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WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
Sisi concludes
�historic’
visit to
Kuwait
www.kuwaittimes.net
RABI ALAWWAL 16, 1436 AH
Female suicide
bomber strikes
in Istanbul,
killing policeman
China’s Xi
proves keen
student of
US power
Ruthless
Sharapova
brushes aside
Shvedova
NO: 16395
growth for oil �tensions’
40 PAGES
150 FILS
2Saudi Arabia
8 14
20
blames weak
Crown prince speaks on king’s behalf • Crude falls to fresh lows
conspiracy theories
The world
is changing
By Badrya Darwish
[email protected]
I
t was very disappointing that the US vetoed a
request by Palestine to end the Israeli occupation
with a timeframe, despite the blessings of many
Western countries and the legitimacy of the
request. In the meantime, it was former US
President George W Bush who said that the
Palestinians should have a state. Now when it’s the
time for its backing, it was expected that DC would
not support the idea and will never support it.
This is not my issue. The US has been against
Palestine since the creation of Israel. But what is surprising me is the criticism of many people of
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas for opting to
pursue peaceful and legal steps to help strengthen
the global recognition of Palestine. Before, the West
and the whole world used to attack the Palestinians
as if they are terrorists and want to use violence and
killing as their only means.
But for many years now, the Palestinian
Liberation Organization is opting for peaceful and
legal steps. Two years ago, Palestine applied for and
received from the UN General Assembly in an overwhelming majority recognition as a nonvoting
member state. Thank God the US doesn’t have the
veto power in the General Assembly. Although this
was a peaceful effort, they were punished by
Netanyahu and his government by freezing tax revenues that are due to Palestine.
The Palestinian Authority is not bending and
continues to pursue peaceful options and global
recognition through legal means. In late December,
they started the process of joining the International
Criminal Court (ICC). We hope within 60 days, they
will be recognized as a full member. But again, Israel
has frozen the $125 million in taxes due to the
Palestinian Authority and the US has threatened to
cut $400 million in aid.
So what do you want the Palestinians to do, may
I know? If they fight, you call them terrorists. If they
pursue peaceful means, they are punished and
starved. They have tried for 70 years to negotiate
with the Israelis and time and time again nothing
materializes. On the contrary, Israel is confiscating
more land day by day, building walls to besiege the
Palestinian areas and doing its best to stifle the
Palestinian people. They cannot breathe, much less
grow and thrive and develop.
Whether they choose the gun or the courts, the
Palestinians suffer. But at least what gives the
Palestinians some hope is that there are many other
countries who are backing them in their peaceful
pursuit of statehood. America is not the whole
world and one day it might change its position.
Well done, Mr Abbas.
RIYADH: Saudi Crown Prince Salman gestures during a session at the Shura Council, where he delivered an
annual televised speech yesterday that has traditionally been given by King Abdullah, who is in hospital
after being diagnosed with pneumonia over the weekend. — AP
Min 07Вє
Max 22Вє
High Tide
00:05 & 14:20
Low Tide
07:53 & 19:33
RIYADH: A weak global economy is the main reason for
“tensions” in world oil markets, Saudi Arabia’s crown
prince said yesterday, in a speech on behalf of ailing
King Abdullah. Prince Salman also indirectly touched on
the violence ravaging Syria and neighbouring Iraq, saying Saudi Arabia remains “an oasis of peace” despite turmoil around it. “You are aware of the urgent tensions
taking place in the international oil market, caused by a
number of factors, foremost the weak global economic
growth,” the prince said in address to the Shura Council,
an appointed body that advises the monarch.
“This development is not new in the oil market, and
the kingdom has in the past dealt with it firmly and
wisely,” he said, adding that Saudi Arabia will maintain
its “same approach” towards the market. The speech
would have been given by King Abdullah, but he has
been hospitalised since last week with pneumonia.
Global crude prices fell about 50 percent in 2014,
mostly since June, and the rout has continued into the
new year. The benchmark US oil price fell below the psychological $50 a barrel level yesterday for a second day.
Economic growth remains uncertain in Europe and in
many emerging economies including China and Brazil.
Along with worries about global demand, analysts have
also blamed a strong dollar and a supply glut for oil’s
price fall.
Saudi Arabia is the major producer among the
Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries
(OPEC) cartel, which decided in November to leave
crude output unchanged, further pressuring prices. Oil
minister Ali Al-Naimi has been quoted as saying it is
unfair to expect the cartel to reduce output if nonmembers, who account for most of the world’s crude
production, do not follow suit.
Continued on Page 13
Syrian embassy resumes services
Oil minister says diesel subsidies remain for some
By B Izzak
Hamas denies Meshaal
expelled from Qatar
JERUSALEM: The Israeli government Gaza, also told the AP the report was
yesterday claimed Qatar had expelled false.In Turkey, the Foreign Ministry said
the leader of the Hamas militant group, it had no information on a Qatari deciin what would be a significant diplo- sion or plans by Meshaal to relocate to
matic victory for Israel. Hamas officials Turkey.
denied the claims as “baseless”. The
Israel and Hamas, an Islamic militant
Israeli Foreign Ministry
group sworn to the
issued a statement saying it
destruction of the Jewish
“welcomes Qatar’s decision
state, are bitter enemies.
to expel the head of the
The sides fought a 50-day
Hamas political bureau,
war last summer that killed
Khaled Meshaal, to Turkey.”
more
than
2,100
It said the Qatari decision
Palestinians in Gaza and 72
came after heavy diplomatpeople on the Israeli side. If
ic pressure from Israel. “We
the claim is true, the expulexpect the Turkish governsion would mark a major
ment to act responsibly in a
setback for Hamas.
Khaled Meshaal
similar way,” it added.
In recent years, Hamas
Hamas officials in both Qatar and has faced growing isolation in the
Gaza angrily dismissed the Israeli region after disputes with its longtime
claims. Izzat Rishq, a top aide to sponsors, Syria and Iran, and the downMeshaal, said the claim was wrong. fall of its close ally, former Egyptian
“There is no basis of truth about broth- President Mohamed Morsi, who was
er Khaled Meshaal leaving Doha. We overthrown by the military. Meshaal
are in Doha now,” he told AP. Hamas moved to Qatar after the Syrian civil
spokesman Hossam Badran in Qatar war erupted in 2011.
and Salah Bardawil, a Hamas official in
Continued on Page 13
Prince Ali to stand for FIFA president
model of ethics, transparency and good governance.”
AMMAN: FIFA Vice President Prince Ali bin Al Hussein of
FIFA has been steeped in controversy and allegations
Jordan declared yesterday he would challenge Sepp
of corruption since Russia and Qatar’s successful bids to
Blatter to lead football’s world governing body, vowing
host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Prince Ali, the son of
to end years of controversy surrounding the game. If
the late King Hussein of Jordan, had been one of the most
successful, he would be only the second FIFA chief from
senior FIFA officials to call for the publication in full of a
outside Europe, and the first ever from the Middle East. “I
report last year into the winning bids. But FIFA’s executive
am seeking the presidency of FIFA because I believe it is
voted to release only an “appropriate”, edited version of
time to shift the focus away from administrative controtop US lawyer Michael Garcia’s report into the alleged corversy and back to sport,” the 39-year-old prince said in a
ruption.
statement. “The headlines should be about football, the
Blatter last month ruled out any suggestion that Qatar
beautiful sport, not about FIFA.”
could lose the right to host the tournament. “It would
The prince, who was elected FIFA vice-president for
really need an earthquake, extremely important new eleAsia in 2011, aims to prevent Blatter winning a fifth term
ments to go back on this World Cup in Qatar,” he said.
in office. Frenchman Jerome Champagne has also
Prince Ali
Blatter has long been a controversial figure, and FIFA,
declared his candidacy in the May 29 election. Prince Ali
said he had been encouraged to run after consultations with senior fig- which oversees a multi-billion dollar industry, has never been far from
ures in football. “This was not an easy decision. It came after careful con- scandal. The 78-year-old Swiss national succeeded scandal-plagued
sideration and many discussions with respected FIFA colleagues over the Brazilian Joao Havelange - the only non-European to have headed FIFA last few months,” he said. “The message I heard, over and over, was that it in 1998. FIFA and Blatter have sought, without success, to silence critics of
is time for a change. The world game deserves a world-class governing the Qatari and Russian bids.
Continued on Page 13
body - an International Federation that is a service organisation and a
KUWAIT: Kuwait said yesterday that Syria’s
embassy had resumed consular services for
some 140,000 Syrian nationals living in the
state after closing nearly three years ago.
Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Khaled AlJarallah said three Syrian diplomats arrived
in Kuwait recently and are operating the
embassy. Jarallah however insisted that
Kuwait had not closed the Syrian embassy
nor opened it because it was “our Syrian
brothers who closed and opened it for matters relating to the services of their community”.
The Damascus mission remained shut
from Feb 2012 when Kuwait and other Gulf
countries expelled the Syrian ambassadors
in protest against the regime’s massacres of
Syrian people. Before its closure, the
embassy was ransacked by thousands of
Syrian and Kuwaiti activists who stormed
the building in protest against the Syrian
regime. About 40 people were arrested by
riot police. The embassy is expected to start
offering its services next week. Syrians in
Kuwait have been unable to renew their
passports or obtain official documents after
Damascus closed the embassy, citing the
refusal to accredit its envoy.
In another issue, Jarallah said that the foreign ministry was in contact with a number
of embassies regarding the issue of residency fines for failing to update passport information at the immigration department.
Continued on Page 13
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
LOCAL
Crime
R e p o r t
Policeman
reports assault
KUWAIT: A policeman told Fahd Al-Ahmad police that he
was beaten by a group of people in the area. Detectives
are working on identifying the culprits.
Kids with guns
Ahmadi police arrested two juveniles with a
firearm. The two were driving in Mangaf without a
driving license. They were sent to concerned
authorities.
KUWAIT: In this March 7, 2013 file photo, expatriate workers lined up and enter a bus following their arrest during a crackdown on illegal residents at the vegetables market. — KUNA
One-year-old rescued after mom
caught in visa crackdown
By Ben Garcia
KUWAIT: A one-year-old baby girl was surrendered to the
Philippines Embassy extension in Hateen area by a
Bangladeshi driver 10 days after the infant’s mother, who
had been living illegally in Kuwait, was arrested. The
child’s father, who is also a Bangladeshi, was deported
before her birth, also for illegal residency violations.
The baby had been cared for a Bangladeshi taxi driver
who is a family friend. “I didn’t have anyone to leave the
baby with in the house so I brought her with me every
day,” said the taxi driver who asked that his name be withheld.
The case came to the attention of the embassy when a
regular passenger of the taxi noticed the baby. “I’ve seen
the baby almost every day for a few weeks so I asked the
driver to whom the baby was and he told me the story,”
explained Bernadette, a Filipina secretary. “I thought
maybe she was his baby or somebody’s baby so I didn’t
really mind at first. I just asked the basic questions: how
old is she, her name but didn’t go in details,” she said. “But
then, I noticed the baby was very jolly and laughing with
the driver too much, so I asked a bit about her. That was
when the driver opened up about her. I told him that
maybe I could help him contact the embassy.
Reunite the family
Bernadette contacted the �Sandigan’ of Ms Ann
Abunda (a non-governmental organization helping
Filipinos in trouble in Kuwait that coordinates with the
embassy).
When contac ted, Annie Mendoza, Philippine
Department of Social Workers and Development headKuwait confirmed that the baby is now in the embassy’s
custody. “Yes, we received the toddler already this afternoon (yesterday). I was very emotional to see the baby
because she’s just a toddler and she’s already separated
from her mother,” Mendoza said.
Philippines Vice Consul Attorney Shiena Tesorero
spoke with the mother, who is in police custody in
Fahaheel. Efforts to reunite the two are now underway.
“We’ll try to negotiate with the authorities here if they
could entrust (to us) the mother under our custody so
she could be with the toddler. We are trying our best, we
hope that by tomorrow [Wednesday] the two will be
reunited once again,” Mendoza mentioned.
More cases
Mendoza said this case was just one of many children
separated with their mother as crackdown continues
against residency violators. “We have many cases of children separated with their parents,” admitted Mendoza.
“In August last year we got a two year old boy from his
guardian. The boy’s name is �Khaled’ and he was separated at first from his mother. She was arrested for violating
residency law. After a month or so the father was also
caught by the police for the same reason and he was
deported. The boy stayed with his parent’s friend for
some time until we eventually rescued him. The boy’s
parents were both Filipino and they are now waiting in
Manila for their baby,” she said.
Another case of a baby separated from their parents
according to Mendoza is the case of four-year-old baby
�Mohammad’. His father was Egyptian and a Filipina
mother. “The father was deported too in their country,
the mother is now in the Philippines. They are all in our
custody. I also have here a seven year old, a 12 year old
and a 13 year old child. They are all awaiting formalities
and if their papers are ready, they will be reunited with
their parents,” she said.
Long process
Asked why the process of repatriation is taking so
long to complete. “Because they have the law to follow
here, they cannot send babies out just that. They need to
know everything they do is in accordance with the law of
Kuwait. So please bear with us, we are all for the reuniting with their respective parents but it has to be dealt
based on legal procedure of the land. They are very careful sending out babies, because according to law of
Kuwait, not one Kuwaiti will be abandoned or neglected.
The good thing is that they are now safe and they are
being cared for by the embassy or by their guardians,”
Mendoza said.
Stolen bus
A security source said that police on a routine patrol in
Salwa noticed a bus being driven recklessly. The bus was
found to be stolen, so they stopped and arrested the driver who attempted to escape after attacking a policeman.
The driver is a citizen in his forties and was under the influence of drugs. Ten narcotic tablets were found on him.
�Fake cops’ wanted for robbery
Three thieves posed as detectives and robbed a
Bangladeshi of KD 10 while standing in front of
his sponsor’s house. When he attempted to get
his wallet back, they pulled out a knife and
escaped. The victim gave police the license plate
number of the car. Police are working on the case.
Drug smuggling foiled
Kuwait airport customs officers foiled an attempt by two
citizens to enter Kuwait with hashish, marijuana and
cocaine. The two who arrived from Lebanon drew the
attention of the officers, so they searched them and found
the drugs. They were sent to concerned authorities.
Drug possession
Farwaniya police arrested an Asian man for possessing and using drugs, as marijuana and heroin
were found with him in Khaitan. He was found
wanted to serve a six-month jail sentence. He was
sent to concerned authorities.
Thief at large
A thief in Hamad Al-Mubarak Street is still worrying residents as a new theft was reported after he broke into a car
parked in front of a house. While a girl was receiving condolences for the death of her father, the thief broke the
windows of her car and stole its contents. Police are working on the case. — Al-Rai and Al-Watan
Man killed in
Fourth Ring
Road crash
By Hanan Al-Saadoun
KUWAIT: A 39-year-old citizen was killed and two girls were
injured in a two-car collision on Fourth Ring Road yesterday.
Meanwhile, a Saudi national was killed in a collision on Salmy
Road, while a Bangladeshi man was taken to hospital in critical
condition.
Homicide
Farwaniya prosecutor charged a 43-year-old Egyptian with
killing his compatriot, 50, and asked detectives to carry out investigations. A security source said police received a call about an
Egyptian who fell from a high place, so police went to the building. The Iranian haris (building janitor) told them where his flat
was, so they went there and found the suspect, who said he did
know about the incident.
Interior Minister opens
�mobile’ operations rooms
KUWAIT: Deputy Prime Minister and
Interior Minister Sheikh Mohammad AlKhaled Al-Sabah opened modern units
of mobile field operations rooms on
Sixth Ring Road. The ceremony coincided
with the visit Egyptian President
Abdelfatah Al-Sisi.
The Interior Minister was accompanied to the site by Interior Ministry
Undersecretar y Lieutenant General
Suleiman Fahad Al-Fahad, Assistant
Undersecretary for Special Security
Affairs Major General Mahmoud AlDousary, Assistant Undersecretary for
Traffic Affairs Maj General Adballah AlMuhanna, Assistant Undersecretary for
General Security Major Gen Abdelfattah
Al-Ali, Assistant Undersecretar y for
Operations Maj General Jamal Al-Sayegh
and several field security leaders.
Electricity theft
A Ministry of Electricity and Water official told Salmy police
about theft and property damage. He said that unidentified persons broke several poles and stole copper wires.
Daughter charged with theft
A citizen accused his daughter of stealing a laptop and other
things worth KD 5,500, then escaping from the house. A case was
filed for investigations.
Commerce seizes counterfeit inks
KUWAIT: The Ministry of Commerce and
Industry has confiscated over 436 boxes of replica inks used in photocopiers and printers in several stores yesterday. The Ministry’s copyrights
department is taking legal measures against
those responsible, and will send the replica inks
to the forensic evidence department at the
Ministry of Interior, Assistant Undersecretary for
international organizations and foreign commerce affairs Sheikh Nimer Al-Sabah said.
Sheikh Nimer also noted that the Ministry has
executed thorough inspections on ink-selling
stores after receiving complaints from owners of
authentic ink companies, regarding the presence
of fake products carrying their brand labels. The
Ministry had recently formed a committee to
protect copyrights, in coordination with the
Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Information,
Ministry of Health, Kuwait’s Municipality and the
customs department, aiming to fight fake and
replica products. — KUNA
Border alert lowered
KUWAIT: Security authorities lowered
an alert on the borders of Kuwait a day
after it was raised following a suicide
attack on a border patrol in Saudi
Arabia. On Monday, Kuwait issued
instructions to keep military intelligence
on continuous duty at border points and
to increase security presence and the
frequency of patrols on the borders
along with border surveillance, Al-Qabas
daily reported yesterday. Kuwait also
coordinated with Iraqi counterparts as a
preventive measure following the attack
on Saudi Arabia.
KUWAIT: Director General of Kuwait Fire Service Directorate Maj Gen Yousuf Al-Ansari
opened the fourth meeting of the search and rescue teams’ development committee in GCC
countries and Jordan. Ansari lauded the efforts of the teams and their coordination of
action during natural disasters, as well as preparing training plans with unified procedures
between the countries. The committee was formed in 2013. — By Hanan Al-Saadoun
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
LOCAL
Sisi promises less red tape for prospective investors
Egyptian president concludes �historic visit’ to Kuwait
KUWAIT/CAIRO: Egyptian President
Abdelfatah Al-Sisi noted in a meeting yesterday with the Kuwaiti media his country’s penchant for encouraging Kuwaiti investments in
Egypt through, among other things, reducing
sharply red tape or any existing impediments
that might stand in the way of Kuwaiti
investors.
In a meeting with Acting Chairman and
Director General of Kuwait News Agency
(KUNA) Abdul-Hameed Malek and editors-inchief of Kuwaiti newspapers, President Sisi
stressed that his country had put in place a
special approach or procedure to assist
investors in concluding their applications for
investment in Egypt in a matter of days.
The Egyptian president applauded the
great role played by His Highness the Amir
Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in
promoting amity and harmony among Arab
states and in filtering out differences among
them.
President Sisi extolled the “firm and historic” ties between his country and Kuwait,
and emphasized the imperative that all Arab
countries strive for joint Arab work and cooperation. He considered that the stability of
Egypt reflected directly on that of the Arab
region and underlined the importance of the
economic conference Egypt was organizing in
March in the city of Sharm El-Sheikh for the
purpose of attracting Arab and foreign investments in his country.
The president emphasized the role the
media and youth play in Arab societies, saying
the media helped in disseminating stability in
the region, and the youth offered energy,
knowledge, and enthusiasm as building
blocks for a progressive and prosperous Arab
society.
KUNA’s Acting Director General and
Editors-in-Chief of the Kuwaiti newspapers
praised the visit of the Egyptian President as
one that would boost security, peace, and stability in the region and lauded the great
progress Egypt has achieved in the last six
months since President Sisi assumed the reins
of power.
Same views
President Sisi concluded yesterday a twoday official visit to Kuwait where he held talks
with HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah.
He was seen off at the airport by HH the
Amir, HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-
Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, National Assembly
Speaker Ali Al-Ghanem, Deputy Chairman of
the National Guard Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad
Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, HH the Prime Minister
Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah,
First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign
Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad AlSabah, Deputy Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs
Sheikh Ali Jarrah Al-Sabah and several other
ministers and senior officials of the army,
police and National Guard.
Before leaving, the Egyptian president said
that he and HH the Amir shared the same
views on “hot issues” in the region, primarily
Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. “There were also
identical views on economic and investment
dossiers and the attraction of more investments to Egypt,” Sisi was quoted by Egypt’s
official news agency (MENA) as telling
reporters accompanying him during his visit
to Kuwait.
He said the significance of his visit to
Kuwait is due to the fact that “Egypt shares
concerns with other Arab countries which are
in trouble at present”. “Now, we need to stand
united as one group in the context of unifying
Arab ranks in face of risks, and we are able to
do so,” Sisi said. He pointed out that his visit to
Kuwait as well as foreign tours in general give
a message to the outside world that “Egypt
has regained its position in the region”.
�Productive’ meeting
President Sisi also received Chairman of the
Arab and International Relations Council
Jassim Al-Sager and Board members of the
Kuwaiti-Egyptian relations council. Following
the meeting, the board members described
their meeting with Sisi as “productive,” as they
discussed many common matters in the
realms of trade, security and investment.
The council’s board members agreed that
their meeting with the Egyptian President was
positive and focused on attracting more
investment to Egypt from Kuwait and other
Arab countries. “Egypt is a promising country
for investment,” the members expressed,
adding that the Egyptian President is working
on facilitating investment regulations for foreigners, especially the Kuwaitis.
Meanwhile, Sager pointed out that the
Kuwaiti-Egyptian relations council was established to promote bilateral ties and it was suggested by the Egyptian Minister of Industry
and Foreign Trade Munir Abdelnour in his
recent visit to the State of Kuwait.
Stronger relations
Sisi began his visit Monday - his first to
Kuwait since becoming president. The visit
was seen as a change to boost bilateral relations and cooperation as Egypt is set to take
over the Arab Summit presidency from Kuwait
in March. Deputy Minister of Amiri Diwan
Sheikh Ali Jarrah Al-Sabah said in a statement
talks between Sisi and Kuwaiti leaders dealt
with ways of boosting bilateral relations and
cooperation, as well as issues of common
interest. Following the summit talks, HH the
Amir decorated Al-Sisi with the Order of
Mubarak Al-Kabeer in appreciation of the
Egyptian leader and people.
The Egyptian leader, accompanied by
Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri, Minister of Oil
and Mineral Wealth Sherif Ismail, Minister of
International Cooperation Najlaa Al-Ahwani
and Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman, had
already started high-level meetings with
Kuwaiti officials at the beginning of his twoday visit. The Egyptian leader, meanwhile, met
with President of the Kuwait Chamber of
Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Ali Mohammad
Thunayan Al-Ghanem, who was accompanied
by KCCI board members. The President’s visit
was described following the meeting to be
“within the framework of efforts exerted by
Egypt to promote joint Arab action and the
development of relations between the Arab
countries.” Sisi will also meet with Egyptian
businessmen in order to strengthen economic
relations between the two countries.
First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign
Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled had said AlSisi’s visit to Kuwait would open future
prospects of bilateral relations, describing it as
“very important to complete what the country
started in both regional and international
issues.”
Brotherly visit
Meanwhile, two leading Egyptian newspapers published yesterday stressed the importance of the Egyptian President’s brotherly visit to Kuwait. Al-Ahram newspaper said that
President Sisi’s visit to Kuwait is a historical
event in the bilateral ties between both countries, and it reflects the president’s deep concern of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)
countries’ security, which he considers part of
the Egyptian national security.
Egypt’s bid to fight terrorism through its
intellectual wisdom tops the President’s agenda during his current visit, the newspaper said.
Egyptian President Abdelfatah Al-Sisi during his meeting with editors-in-chief of Kuwaiti newspapers yesterday.
— KUNA photos
KUWAIT: Egyptian President Abdelfatah Al-Sisi is seen off at the airport by His Highness
the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
It shed light on the Arab nation’s agreement
on a regional plan to face terrorism and
uproots its funding sources.
Sisi greatly appreciates Kuwait’s support of
June 30th revolution, and later to its “road
map” politically and economically, recalling
Kuwait’s great role in the reconciliation
between Egypt and Qatar, it said.
Kuwait’s announced its participation in the
economic and Arab summits to be held in
Egypt next March, as it considers Egypt a great
country which always bears the Arab world’s
concerns, Al-Ahram newspaper said.
The official talks between Sisi and HH the
Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah that took place yesterday were of high
importance where they contributed to boosting bilateral ties at all levels, Al-Gomhoria
newspaper said. This visit is a part of a series
of other visits of President Al-Sisi to various
Arab and African countries, as a step to
reflect the return of the Egyptian key role in
sustaining the regions’ stability and security,
it added. — KUNA
Sisi in a group photo with board members of the Arab and International Relations Council.
KUWAIT: In celebration of Christmas, a Holy Mass was celebrated at the Armenian Church Kuwait - Salmiya yesterday, attended by Armenian
Ambassador to Kuwait Fadey Charchoghlyan and Ambassador of Lebanon to Kuwait Khodr Helweh. The Armenian Church is located in Salmiya
since the 1960s. Armenian orthodox celebrate Christmas on January 7 every year, as fifth century AD Christians celebrated Christmas, Baptism
and Epiphany on that date. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat
NBK sponsors Kuwait
University’s Finance Club
KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK)
sponsors the Finance Club of the Faculty of
Business Administration in Kuwait
University.
NBK is sponsoring the Finance Club
activities for the whole year including students’ participation in a training course in
London on financial analysis.
“NBK’s sponsorship and support to the
Finance Club comes in line with the Bank’s
commitment to Corporate Social
Responsibility as well as the vital role it
plays in supporting all students, youths and
educational initiatives,” said NBK Public
Relations Manager, Abdul Mohsen AlRushaid.
Rushaid added “NBK is committed to
supporting youths and empowering them
to realize their potentials. NBK provides
career and training opportunities to
encourage youths to assume roles and
obtain the required tools to create an environment ripe for their leadership.”
NBK Annually promotes a range of educational initiatives as part of its Corporate
Social Responsibility. In addition to sponsoring student’s clubs at the university, NBK
offers many training programs including
NBK Academy, Shabab program and the
Summer Internship Program.
The Finance Club at Kuwait University
is a non-profit club that seeks to serve
and help business administration students at the university. The club helps in
advancing the interests of business
administration students vocationally and
academically. It aims at presenting a clear
view of activities through providing lection and seminars, or participating in
exhibitions and conventions.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
LOCAL
KUWAIT: Minister of Social Affairs and Labor and State Minister for Planning Hind Al-Subaih speaks, as Mubarak Al-Kabeer Governor Ahmad AlRujaib and mayors are seen. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat
Co-ops privatization under
consideration: Al-Subaih
Mubarak Al-Kabeer residents explain problems to minister
By Nawara Fattahova
KUWAIT: Kuwait is studying the idea of privatizing co-operative societies, a senior government
official said yesterday.
If a decision on that regard was made, it will
first be applied on one co-op to see how it
works, said Hind Al-Subaih, Minister of Social
Affairs and Labor and State Minister for
Planning. “I believe that [the privatization] may
eliminate corruption, as there won’t be bribes for
the manager or board members to sell certain
items, and there will be competition in price,
which in the end will be in favor of the consumer,” she explained.
Subaih was invited yesterday by Mubarak AlKabeer Governor Ahmad Al-Rujaib to meet residents of the governorate and listen to their complaints, suggestions and present and future
plans. Mayors of various areas of the governorate and some residents attended the meeting to speak about problems and shortages in
their areas. The mayor of Messila demanded
establishing a cooperative in Messila and
Hasaniya as residents in this area have to go
shopping for their groceries in Fintas and other
nearby areas.
Co-op license
Subaih noted that the law requires having a
supermarket in the area in order to get a license
for a co-op. “I suggest you make a deal with
Fintas co-op to build a supermarket in your area,
and then separate from them. After that, you can
demand establishing a co-op in the area,” she
suggested.
The mayor of Qurain complained of having
20 branches neglected and suffering from many
problems and shortage of services. He also complained of have large numbers of �bachelors’ in
Block 4. He also demanded establishing a park
and club for children in Qurain. A resident of
Qusoor complained of lopsided demography
over the presence of huge numbers of expats.
Subaih stated that the ministry formed a
committee with four groups from various public
institutions to discuss this issue. “The committee
will make a study on the actual numbers of each
community and it should be announced next
month, to have a forecast of the population after
20 years and their percentages,” she pointed out.
A member from Qurain co-op demanded
imposing departure permits for expat cashiers
or money collectors, especially since some of
them are responsible for huge amounts of KD
40,000 or more. The minister commented that
the law does not allow this and employers can’t
even hold their passports.
General problems
Some attendees spoke about general problems facing needy people who have to frequently visit more than 10 institutions to get the
paperwork done to receive donations. “The min-
istry is now working on a project of connecting
10 institutions online, so patrons won’t have to
go personally to all the places, and will only
need to enter their civil ID number,” stressed
Subaih.
She also spoke about future plans. “A longterm plan is now being discussed at the parliament and should be approved in April, while the
first of the two five-year plans was already
approved, and the second should be approved
in February. We also are cooperating with
schools and universities to spread planning
awareness, such as asking students to plan what
they want to achieve this year. We signed a protocol with the United Nations Development
Program to raise planning awareness in ministries, and an international consultant will train
local achievers to set plans,” explained Subaih.
Developing parks
She also spoke about plans to develop and
improve public parks that are under the umbrella of the ministry and adorn them with landscaping and games instead of abandoned buildings.
She added that a committee of young people
was formed to check service centers, co-ops, traditional cafes and parks to improve them under
the supervision of the ministry. Subaih concluded saying that her doors are open to any suggestion and that she will not take any decision
before studying it from the view of the consumer and not the decision maker.
KUWAIT: The National Union of Kuwait Students - United States Branch (NUKS - US) honored the Commercial Bank
of Kuwait (CBK) for sponsoring the 31st annual NUKS - US conference which took place in San Francisco, California
under the patronage of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah.
Water tankers next?
KUWAIT: Water tankers were scarce
or charging increased prices yesterday despite a warning from the government that they are not allowed to
raise prices. The water tanker issue
follows on the heels of a strike of
Iranian bakeries in Kuwait after the
government removed subsidies and
lif ted the price of diesel and
kerosene.
The Consumer Affairs department
at the Ministr y of Electricity and
Water warned drivers of fresh water
tankers against selling water at
prices higher than those set by the
ministry, adding that this is a violation and will be met with legal
action. An average 3000 liter tanker
costs around KD 5.750 and KD 6 but
now some drivers are ask ing as
much as KD 15 per tank. Many people use the water tankers to fill their
pools or apartment water tanks or to
water their gardens or farms.
The ministry sent a circular to all
water filing stations and those con-
cerned warning them to refrain from
supplying tankers caught trying to
sell at the higher price. They are to
be banned them from entering
water stations, in case of a complaint
or violation, and may face legal
action. It was not clear, however,
what the government is doing to
address the problem as water
tankers will now have to pay the
higher costs of diesel fuel, which
went up January 1 from 55 fils per
liter to 170 fils per liter.
Govt favors monopolists,
harms middle class: ICM
By A Saleh
KUWAIT: The Islamic Constitutional
Movement (ICM) yesterday issued a
statement commenting on the fall of
oil prices and slammed government
measures in this regard, deeming
them as �favoring monopolists and
harmful to the middle class. The statement strongly criticized the government for failing to diversify sources of
income, especially in view of the
recent fall of oil prices that was devastating to the national economy. ICM
also stressed that the recent decisions
showed that the government did not
care about people with limited
income.
MoH, MoI coordinate on Ebola
Health minister Dr Ali Al-Obaidi
stressed that the ministry has set special policies and methods to fight
Ebola and listing the virus on the list of
dangerous infectious diseases that
require special measures and handling
of cases and those in contact with
them. Responding to a question from
MP Kamel Al-Awadhi, Obaidi said that
MoH was coordinating with MoI to suspend issuing visas to people from
affected countries. He added the needed lab technology and the faculty of
medicine labs were alerted to examine
any possible cases round the clock. In
addition, Obaidi said that effective
examination devices had been set up
at all exits to examine arrivals, as well
as in various centers to examine medical staff dealing with possible cases.
On a different issue, Obaidi said that
the ministry suffered from a lack of
ambulances, especially along the Salmi
highway that is served by only four
ambulances. Responding to an inquiry
from MP Saud Al-Huraiji, Obaidi said
that MoH ambulances were equipped
according to international specifications and said that the ministry plans
to replace old ambulances once the
Audit Bureau approves a tender to purchase 50 new ones. He added that the
ministry also signed contracts to purchase two air ambulances (helicopters)
to be used within Kuwait in addition to
a jet to be used for medical evacuation
to and from Kuwait.
Driving blind
By Sara Ahmed
KUWAIT: Perhaps you are a new driver, just learning how to navigate
Kuwait’s roads and its often erratic
and dangerous traffic. Or maybe you
never actually took a course in driving
but instead got your license and
learned from a friend or relative.
Whatever the case, you are posing a
danger on the highway. You drive to
the left of the right of my car, hovering
right exactly in the middle of my blind
spot and creating a hazard I can hardly avoid.
Never heard of a blind spot?
It’s one of the most dangerous and
misunderstood aspects of driving. A
blind spot is an area on the sides of
the vehicle that the driver cannot
directly observe without turning his
head. Side view and rearview mirrors
are meant to help but they do not
completely eliminate blind spots.
If you’re in heavy traffic, on the Fifth
Ring Road, for instance, driving the
blind spot may be unavoidable. But in
many cases, its lack of knowledge and
not lack of lane space that leads to
people driving in a blind spot. When
you ride where the driver of the car
next to you cannot see you, you
increase the chances of a sideswipe or
accident if the main vehicle tries to
change lanes.
Perhaps itis a cultural thing? In
countries like Egypt or India, roads are
so packed that leaving a few hundred
feet distance between you and the car
in front isn’t a question of safety but
more an invitation for someone to cut
in front. Similarly in Kuwait, it seems
that driving in another car’s blind spot
is fashionable, a way of staying close
but not abreast of a potential rival.
There are ways to avoid the dangers of a blind spot. First off, adjust
your rearview and side view mirrors to
see more of your own blind spot.
Second, simply be aware that a blind
spot exists and that the driver of the
other car may not be paying attention. Third, always check your blind
spots by turning your head to look
before changing lanes. Fourth, try to
maintain parity with your neighbor on
the road. Fifth, drive abreast rather
than having the nose of your car level
with your neighbor’s car doors.
Now go out and try it. Drive on the
Fifth or Sixth Ring Road in the far right
(aka slow) lane. Wait until you see car
passing you in the middle lane. Now
watch it in your rearview and sideview
mirrors. Now you see and as it
approaches, it suddenly disappears.
Now turn your head to the left - just a
glance or two. See it right next to you?
That’s a car in your blind spot. If you
had changed lanes just then, you
would have smacked into it. Don’t be
invisible.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
LOCAL
PRICES ...
City for
all religions
By Labeed Abdal
[email protected]
P
Al-Jarida
kuwait digest
Where exactly are we?
By Mudaffar Abdullah
T
o start with, with the fall in oil prices, some ministers appear calling for cancelling some of the current expenses because they are not necessary. It is
as if they are saying that �we have made a mistake now
by such expenditure!’
Unlike what happened in other capitals, it is really
strange that the new year’s occasion goes by without
seeing any sign of joy and celebration in Kuwait. An
entire state with all its development plans was incapable
of having us listen to live music. Are we in a country that
has completely lost all forms of reaction of normal
human feelings?
All the state’s assets, including funds, hotels, cinemas,
theatres and yards went to sleep on an occasion that has
been known to bring joy and social and human pleasures over years. This happened because of the same old
practices and warnings of violating religious regulations
by celebrating this particular occasion, though it does
not actually belong to a specific religion. Even security
forces made their own warnings, threatening to raid private celebrations, which looked more like showing off
what they are capable of. I have read so many remarks
and tweets warning those planning to return home to
Kuwait on the occasion, namely students studying
abroad, and advising them to spend the vacation wherever they are studying in US, UK, Australia or other countries because the decision to spend it in Kuwait is �fool-
ish’! Even the secret fear expressed by some officials of
religious parliamentary blocs is no longer justified
because the current parliament is very �kind’ in this
regard. I wished that local media had made a feature
story about where senior state officials spent their own
An entire state with all its
development plans was
incapable of having us listen
to live music. Are we in a
country that has completely
lost all forms of reaction of
normal human feelings?
vacation!
To exaggerate the society’s false idealism actually
defames it and helps behavioral and social concepts
that develop social hypocrisy spread within the society.
It is a mistake to make calls prohibiting the celebration.
It is also a mistake when all security forces get mobilized
before the occasion and start threatening, as this give a
false idea about the real tasks of such forces, while in
fact celebrating the new year has nothing to do with any
religious beliefs. It is rather a phenomenon practiced by
all mankind around the globe driven by their own feelings to assess what they have been through in the previous year and aspire to achieve more happiness and
things in the year to come. It is this simple!
I would like here to stress that if we had had officials
who think wisely, they would have arranged for organizing various recreational activities in various theatres and
yards as the rest of the world does and this would have
spared security forces of having to appear as commandos and religious scholars of appearing as preachers
warning of punishment in hell!
People are fed up with restrictions. I dare one sane
official of the current government to announce the millions spent by Kuwaitis in other GCC states and the number of crimes committed by youth because of the lack of
entertainment in Kuwait. Our distinguished government, let me tell you a secret. The sound of fireworks
launched from the roofs of our houses on new year’s eve
- the ones we have purchased by our own money - are
but the weak side’s means of telling you that we need to
have fun within our country!
—Translated by Kuwait Times from Al-Jarida
kuwait digest
Soaring prices...whom to blame?
By Dr Bader Al-Daihani
D
iesel subsidies have been annually costing the
state budget over one billion dinars, which is
three times as much as the government’s subsidies to social care and almost six times as much as it
spends on rent allowance given to citizens still waiting
for government housing. Moreover, and especially after
privatizing gas stations in 2004, subsidized diesel has
been stolen and smuggled abroad, leaving the government so far incapable of fighting this crime.
According to the government’s financial advisors
and International Monetary Fund recommendations,
the government recently decided cancelling diesel,
kerosene and aviation fuel subsidies from Jan 1 with
exemptions to local factories and national aviation
companies pending reduction or cancellation of social
subsidies. Since this decision has negative impacts on
citizens with medium and limited incomes, special comprehensive protection programs should have been set
before applying the decision in order to make sure
things would not end up overburdening them with
soaring prices and high cost of living.
The lack of serious consumer protection programs
and the weakness or absence of government monitoring apparatuses made some local factories, major com-
panies and retail outlets immediately increase their
prices, though companies selling their products locally
are exempted from the subsidy cancellation decision
and the fact that they even get generous government
facilities and subsidies, not to mention the internation-
Referral to prosecution
as the government
threatened to do would
take long while people
suffer in their daily life
ally falling oil prices which reduced raw material prices.
Nevertheless, this was their golden opportunity to multiply their profits. The question now is: What will the
government do?
If it wishes, the government can take immediate
legal measures to stop price increases including facility
closure, license cancellation, confiscating goods, completely or partially depriving the violators of the privileges and facilities it provides. But it is not expected to
make worthy decisions due to conflicts of interests
because some of the major company and factory owners are board members in administrative bodies supposed to punish violators. Some of them are even members in the government or the parliament itself. So who
is going to blame whom?!
Therefore, unless public pressure is made, the government will not prevent price increases nor hold
accountable retailers, companies or factories, be them
those who already increased their prices or those
expected to do so once electricity, water and petrol
prices are increased according to the government’s
plan.
Referral to prosecution as the government threatened to do would take long while people suffer in their
daily life. Things may even end up the way it did in previous cases - by minor fines that are nothing compared
to the profits violating companies and factories have
made. These fines will not compensate people for the
losses they have incurred.
— Translated by Kuwait Times from Al-Jarida
kuwait digest
Sisi in Kuwait
By Sami Al-Nisf
I
learned through various sources about how Egyptian
President Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi grew in a well-off family
that is strongly bonded and keen on socializing with
all its members. I learned how he is very religious and
how he used to wake up all his family members to pray
Fajr prayers on time. He was never financially or morally
corrupt.
During our recent meeting with Sisi, he expressed fear
that the terrorist groups fighting in Egypt would be fighting on behalf of other mightier powers plotting against
Egypt and the whole region. Therefore, I believe that
fighting terrorism, Arab-Arab reconciliation and Kuwaiti
investments in Egypt would be on top of the KuwaitiEgyptian talks, especially with advent of the World
Economic Forum due to be held in Egypt next march.
Egypt is the strong barrier protecting the whole
region from wars and chaos. It is the first linedefending
Gulf security, especially after some political blocs
Egypt is the strong barrier
protecting the whole region
from wars and chaos
revealed their true intentions and hidden wish to control
GCC states to turn its security into fear, wealth into
poverty and stability into civil wars the way it happened
in other regional Arab countries.
The Arab nation needs the Egyptian leadership to
work on reaching political, not military, solutions to the
problems in Syria, Libya, Yemen and the Palestinian
cause, because with its size and influence, it is well-qualified to do so. The Egyptian Al-Youm Al-Sabe newspaper
recently published an interview with the Muslim
Brotherhood’s international organization’s secretary general Dr Ibrahim Muneeb in which he admitted that the
Brotherhood had made a mistake by nominating
Mohammed Morsi for the Egyptian presidency in 2012
and that they had politically misinterpreted the Egyptian
political arena. This actually proves that the Egyptian
people were right in rising up against Morsi and supporting Sisi! — Translated by Kuwait Times from Al-Anbaa
alestinian President Mahmoud Abbas criticized
Israel in a recent speech marking the 50th
anniversary of the Palestinian Revolution, and
that for their ongoing settlement construction and
Judaization of Jerusalem. He blamed those practices
for foiling international initiatives and efforts to
achieve peace in the Middle East.
The Palestinian president further pointed out that
the roadblock that the peace process has reached was
caused by Israel’s failure to separate between the terrorist activity practiced by the Islamic State group, and
between Palestinians’ right. Furthermore, Abbas
claimed that the ongoing building of illegal settlements in occupied territories fuels extremist sentiments that are on the rise in the region.
Abbas then reiterated that Palestine will not accept
having their cause marginalized under the pretext of
fighting terrorist groups in the region, and argued that
achieving peace and restoring Palestinians’ rights are
the best way to defeat those groups.
Finally, Abbas slammed Israel’s �illegitimate decision’ to annex East Jerusalem, saying that the holy
city’s fate will determine the dimension of the conflict
with the occupying forces. “The Israeli practices in
Jerusalem will turn the conflict into a religious war
that burns the region and the whole world,” he
warned.
First of all, we have to be realistic when discussing
this prolonged conflict, and identify the points where
the two sides meet, and others where they remain in
disagreement on. The Israeli position is not new, and is
based on agreements reached with superpowers after
World War I and the fall of the Ottoman Empire.
And since neither Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu nor United States President Barack Obama
would be able to change the Israeli reality, the peace
process needs to be built on mutual acceptance to the
future, based on achieving regional security.
Meanwhile, the United Nation’s recent assertion of
the Palestinian people’s right of self determination has
indeed restored some hope; which has also been
restored lately with decisions of some European parliaments - namely in Sweden and France - to recognize
Palestinians’ right of statehood.
Yet, this glimmer of hope remains clouded by the
recurrent tensions and religious-fueled attacks, which
goes against the principles of tolerance and acceptance that all Abrahamic religions call for. Jerusalem is a
city of vital importance in Judaism, Christianity and
Islam, and should always remain a place where all can
practice their religions freely and peacefully.
kuwait digest
Abdulfattah
has gone
By Waleed Al-Jassim
W
ith these words that we made a little for the column, a citizen began his complaint against the
strong return of reckless driving and showing
off, and the rest of the words that describe the practices
of youth in their cars in some well-known streets and
areas of Kuwait. The caller reminded of the efficiency and
ability by Maj Gen Abdulfattah Al-Ali when he was in
charge of the traffic sector in the country and felt sorry
that those days are gone.
The caller said: “I visited a friend for dinner in his Jahra
jakhour (animal pen), then the reckless youth began
showing off from 10:00 pm until 1:00 am when we left
after hearing enough of tyres squealing and smoke from
hot tyres that kept rubbing the earth until they exploded, which made the youths happy and proud. Then they
changed the exploded tyres with a used one worth KD 1
only! But this dinar is enough to disturb one neighbor for
I hope that the state and
youth ministry in cooperation with the Interior
Ministry finds safe and
quick alternatives in suitable places for youth who
practice this hobby.
10 minutes, which is the approximate time used by each
car out of tens of cars.
“I left with the rest of my friends, while the pen owner
remained until the morning to make sure the animals
remained safe. He could not sleep that night because the
youth began celebrating the New Year at an early hour,
and kept showing off until the sun rose. They remained
at this, one car after another, and there were more than
100 cars until 10:30 am, when they exhausted their
excessive energy and their worn tyres and decided to go
back home and sleep after depriving hundreds of people
from it.”
I listened to the caller’s complaint and told him: “I cannot do anything, and you said it...’Abdulfattah has gone’.”
I hope that the state and youth ministry in cooperation with the Interior Ministry finds safe and quick alternatives in suitable places for youth who practice this
hobby. I am not in support of suppressing their hobbies.
If they find a suitable place for it, they would practice it
there instead of disturbing people, and as long as he
state does not find an alternative for them, the problem
will remain hanging and there will only be temporary
solutions like those of Maj Gen Abdulfattah Al-Ali.
— Translated by Kuwait Times from Al-Watan
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
Guatemala ex-dictator
appears at genocide trial
Female suicide bomber hits at heart of Istanbul
Page 8
Page 9
Israel military divided over Gaza probes
JERUSALEM: A fierce debate is raging within Israel’s military over
the extent to which soldiers should be held legally accountable
for their actions during last year’s Gaza war, with commanders
increasingly at odds with military lawyers. The dispute has set off
a firestorm in Israel, where many say the legal threat would
shackle soldiers in any future battle, lower their morale and shatter a sacred trust on which Israel’s compulsory military service
relies.
But with the Palestinians announcing their application last
week to the International Criminal Court, the decision to investigate becomes all the more pressing: A robust Israeli inquiry into
its military’s actions could be essential in thwarting an embarrassing and potentially incriminating outside probe. Israel launched
the operation in Gaza on July 8 in what it said was a mission to
halt relentless rocket fire by Hamas militants. During 50 days of
fighting, more than 2,100 Palestinians were killed, most of them
civilians, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry and the
United Nations. On the Israeli side, 66 soldiers and 6 civilians were
killed.
Israel has defended the operation as an act of self-defense
and blamed Hamas for the heavy civilian death toll, saying the
militant group used residential areas for cover. But critics have
pointed to the heavy Palestinian civilian death toll and questioned whether Israel’s response was proportionate. Israel has
also come under fire from critics who say it fails to thoroughly
investigate its military operations or prosecute soldiers for abuses.
Israel says it does investigate its actions, although those
inquiries rarely lead to criminal punishment. Following a similar
operation in Gaza in early 2009, the army convicted a total of four
soldiers on various charges, including looting, improper use of a
weapon and life-endangering conduct. The most serious sentence was a three-and-a-half month prison term.
Israel’s outgoing military chief, Lt-Gen Benny Gantz, has
walked a fine line in the debate, trying both to soothe the troops’
worries and explain the need for inquiries. “Soldiers and commanders know they have the full support of the command level,”
Gantz said last month. “I feel very secure with our support and
with the investigations, which are a necessary tool for our continued improvement.”
Israel’s military advocate general, Danny Efroni, is seen as the
leader of the drive to investigate soldiers. Efroni and his legal
team have received more than 100 complaints regarding incidents from last summer’s war and plan to conduct criminal investigations into at least 10, including the deaths of four boys in an
NETANYA: Israeli soldiers take part in a military exercise on the seafront of this coastal town north of Tel Aviv yesterday as a winter weather front reached Israel. — AFP
explosion on a Gaza beach on July 16 and an attack on a UN
school on July 24. Efroni’s perspective, military analysts say, views
an internal investigation as preferable to a potential probe by the
International Criminal Court. The military did not answer a
request seeking comment.
The Palestinians are expected to join the court within about
60 days. Once that happens, they can submit war crimes claims
against Israel. However, if Israel can show the court that it has carried out its own investigation in good faith, it could avoid an outside probe. “Some in the military say �let us investigate, we have
nothing to hide. The moment we investigate, international law
won’t intrude. There will be no international inquiry and no trial
in The Hague,’” said Ilan Katz, a former military deputy advocate
general.
Still, the threat of criminal investigations has fueled concerns
that soldiers and commanders will increasingly face prosecution.
Critics say that would undermine performance in the field and
dissuade new recruits from joining key combat units. The main
bone of contention in the military ranks surrounds the events of
Aug 1, when a temporary cease-fire was interrupted by the suspected capture of an Israeli soldier by Hamas militants. Israel
unleashed a massive barrage of airstrikes and artillery fire aimed
at blocking any potential escape routes of the suspected abductors, which killed nearly 200 people in the southern Gaza town of
Rafah, according to Palestinian rights groups. The Israeli army
subsequently declared that the Israeli soldier had been killed in
action.
The debate over whether to investigate the soldiers follows a
separate inquiry into a commander of the same brigade that
fought in Rafah, who was suspected of covering up crimes
alleged to have been committed by his troops, including sexual
misconduct. A group of reservists has appealed to Efroni not to
investigate the Rafah incident, calling the possibility “outrageous
and worrying”. Brig Gen Udi Simhony, a retired military commander, warned that investigating the soldiers could lead them
to lose motivation and conceal evidence from the battlefield to
protect themselves. “This needs to stop before we see its implications harm us mercilessly,” he wrote on the Walla website, a popular Israeli news portal. — AP
p8_Layout 1 1/6/15 9:39 PM Page 1
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
I N T E R N AT I O N A L
Few options for fixing Libya, a major threat to West
PARIS: Verging on full-blown civil war,
Libya may pose an even greater threat to
Europe than jihadists in Iraq and Syria, yet
the international community has few
tools to help resolve the crisis. Three
years after NATO intervened to help overthrow Muammar Gaddafi regime, two
rival governments claim his mantle and a
rash of heavily armed militias fight for ter-
ritory and oilfields. Hopes for a diplomatic
solution are fading, say analysts, but the
stakes are extremely high, particularly for
southern Europe.
Most of the 200,000 migrants who
braved the Mediterranean crossing to
Europe last year came from Libya, the UN
said last month, and security risks are
multiplying. “The West is distracted with
ZWARA, Libya: Fighters from the Islamist-backed Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn) militia
flash the sign for victory after securing the perimeter of the Mellitah Oil and
Gas terminal in western Libya yesterday. —AFP
Syria and Iraq, but arguably Libya is the
greatest threat,” said Richard Cochrane, a
senior analyst at IHS Country Risk in
London. “The jihadists - who are in the
same mould as the Islamic State - have
got a firm foothold and we’re only
expecting that to grow.
“There is nothing stopping fighters
using Libya as a conduit to get to Europe.
It is a training ground right on Europe’s
front door.” Western diplomats have been
shuttling frantically between the elected
government - which has been driven into
refuge in the remote east - and the
Islamist-backed militia alliance that has
seized most of the capital Tripoli. So far,
UN attempts to bring the two sides to the
negotiating table have been in vain.
“Even if they get them to talk, they
wouldn’t achieve anything,” said Geoff
Porter, head of the US-based North Africa
Risk Consultancy. “Both sides think they
stand a strong chance of military victory,
each feels they have enduring support
from external supporters, and both feel
they have been done a severe injustice by
the other party and would be betraying
their followers if they backed down.”
�Let’s Not Dream’
Some neighbouring countries such as
Niger and Chad have called for military
intervention to stem the tide of jihadists,
refugees and weapons spilling over their
borders. But these hopes are unlikely to
be met. “A NATO-style operation? Let’s
not dream,” a French government source
told AFP, speaking on condition of
anonymity. “We are not going to restart
the idea that we can show up, drop a few
bombs and it brings democracy and
national unity.”
An intervention force would have to
be massive to make any dent on the
chaos engulfing Libya. “Anything short
of a full-scale peacekeeping force would
be highly vulnerable,” said Cochrane.
“They would be stuck in compounds and
repeatedly hit by morale-sapping IED
(improvised explosive device) attacks.”
Making matters worse is the fact that
Libya has also become the theatre of a
proxy war between regional powers.
Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab
Emirates oppose the Islamist militias,
seeing them as the military arm of the
Muslim Brotherhood that they have tried
to eradicate in their own countries.
Qatar, and less overtly Turkey, have
suppor ted the other side. “Regional
powers are ac ting as spoilers,” said
Cochrane. “Rather than helping with
mediation, they are supplying arms.” This
is one area in which Western diplomacy
could be effective, pushing these external forces to reduce their military support.
Back Where it Started
But the harsh reality is that Libya may
be doomed to a prolonged and bloody
conflict. “The informal consensus from
Libyans and their neighbours is that the
Libyans are going to fight until they get
tired of fighting,” said Porter. That is
something which Algeria - which went
through its own brutal insurgency in the
1990s - knows all too well. Resigned to a
long period of unrest on its eastern
flank, it opposes any international intervention in Libya, fearing it will only make
matters worse. The ultimate, tragic irony
is that Libya may end up right back
where it started before Gaddafi was toppled and killed in 2011. “There are two
possible scenarios for a political solution,” said Porter. “One is that the Libyans
acquiesce to some kind of federalism sharing power and resources. But the
other is that a new strongman emerges
who can bring the various warring tribes
and factions to heel - who would rule in
much the way Gaddafi did.” —AFP
Female suicide bomber
hits at heart of Istanbul
ISTANBUL: A female suicide bomber blew
herself up inside a police station in
Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet district yesterday, killing one officer and wounding
another, the city’s governor and Turkish
media said. The woman spoke English as
she entered the building but her nationality and identity were unknown, Governor
Vasip Sahin told reporters at the scene.
Turkish media said one of the officers died
from his wounds.
There was no immediate claim of
responsibility but the bombing comes less
than a week after far-left group DHKP-C
said it was behind a grenade attack on
police near the prime minister’s office in
Istanbul. Police sealed off the street where
yesterday’s attack happened, across the
square from the Aya Sofya museum and
Blue Mosque and near the Basilica Cistern,
which are among the top tourist destinations in one of the world’s most visited
cities.
Public transport resumed after being
briefly shut down and some tourists, braving heavy snow, were still walking around
the historic Sultanahmet square. The DHKPC (Revolutionary People’s Liberation PartyFront) had warned of further strikes after
last Thursday’s attack, in which a man carrying an automatic weapon was detained
near the Ottoman-era Dolmabahce Palace.
The group was also behind a suicide bombing at the US Embassy last year as well as
attacks on Turkish police stations.
Turkey faces other security threats.
Some of the thousands of foreign fighters
who have joined the ranks of Islamic State
militants in neighbouring Syria and Iraq
have entered via Turkey, raising concern
that they could return and strike on Turkish
soil. There have also been clashes in predominantly Kurdish southeastern Turkey in
recent weeks between members of Kurdish
Islamist party and youths linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which
has also carried out urban attacks in the
past. — Reuters
Erdogan tells EU: Crack
down on �Islamophobia’
ANKARA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan yesterday warned the European
Union it should crack down on
“Islamophobia” amid rising anti-Muslim
protests instead of trying to teach Turkey lessons about democracy. Erdogan told Turkey’s
ambassadors posted abroad in a speech in
Ankara that they should pursue an assertive
foreign policy to represent strong and selfconfident “new Turkey” under his rule. In a
new attack on the EU, Erdogan called on the
28-member bloc to “revisit its Turkey policy”,
accusing Europe of dragging its feet on
Ankara’s decade-old membership bid.
“Believe me it is regrettable that the EU is
trying teach a lesson to Turkey instead of trying to tackle very serious threats it is facing,”
he said. Erdogan said racist, discriminatory
activities and Islamophobia were on the rise
in Europe, complaining that racist organisations won sympathy in some Western societies with “each passing day”. “ The
Islamophobia - which we constantly draw
attention to and warn of - represents a serious threat in Europe. If the issue is not dealt
with seriously today, and if populism takes
European politicians captive, the EU and
European values will come into question,” he
said.
His comments came a day after controversial German group PEGIDA rallied thousands
of people in Dresden for a demonstration
against what it calls the “Islamisation of the
Occident”. Erdogan told the ambassadors
Turkey needed to see itself as a great country,
amid growing tensions with the EU over the
crackdown on the opposition. “Turkey is not a
country which anyone can accuse by wagging their finger in big arrogance. Those who
have such habits should abandon them,” he
added. “Those who shake their finger and
reprimand Turkey must see that they are dealing with a new Turkey, big Turkey, with its
economy, democracy and foreign policy.”
�Stand Firm Against Them’
Erdogan in August moved to the presidency after over a decade as prime minister in a
period during which he worked to earn
Turkey respect as a global Islamic power. “You
are the envoys of a big state -with its history,
culture, civilisation and victory from the independence war,” Erdogan told the Turkish
ambassadors, referring to the fight against
occupying allied forces in the early 1920s. He
said that with a program of reforms, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had
been “tearing down that tight dress tailored
for Turkey and its people, and getting rid of
all the shackles one by one”.
But the president also warned the ambassadors to be “very careful” and “on alert” in the
face of what he said was a campaign by
Western media to portray Turkey as a country
which “did not take its share from democracy”. “They (Western media) are not honest,
they are not sincere. They come sit and talk
with us. We give them necessary answers. We
show them documents but despite all this,
they go their own way,” he said.
“Therefore, I am asking ambassadors to
stand firm against them. You should hit all
this immoral and false news in its face. You
should not make any concession,” he added.
Erdogan’s comments yesterday coincided
with the detention in southeastern Turkey of
Dutch reporter Frederike Geerdink. She was
released after several hours of questioning
over tweets allegedly supporting a “terrorist
group”. — AFP
CAIRO: Grand Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb, head of Al-Azhar, the Sunni Muslim world’s premier Islamic institution (left) talks to Coptic Pope
Tawadros II, the 118th pope of the Coptic Church of Egypt, during his visit on the eve of the Egyptian Orthodox Christmas at St Mark’s
Cathedral yesterday. — AP
Two Egyptian policemen
shot dead outside church
Another officer killed dismantling bomb
MINYA, Egypt: Two Egyptian policemen were
shot dead by masked men yesterday as they
stood guard at a Coptic Christian church in a city
south of Cairo, witnesses and a local security
source said. Egypt’s Coptic Christmas falls today
and security is typically tightened at churches
ahead of the holiday after a string of attacks on
Christian targets over the past years. Interior
Ministry spokesman Hany Abdel Latif was quoted
by state newspaper Al-Ahram as saying yesterday’s attack in Minya was not sectarian. “(It) has
nothing to do with any of the holidays of our
Coptic brothers, it is instead aimed at the security
forces, to try to undermine their resolve.”
The country’s Coptic Christians, who make up
about 10 percent of the population of 85 million,
have largely coexisted peacefully with majority
Sunni Muslims for centuries. But following the
army’s ousting of President Mohamed Morsi of
the Muslim Brotherhood in July 2013, a number
of churches and Christian properties were burned
and destroyed in the impoverished south that is
home to many Christians. The Brotherhood said
at the time it had nothing to do with attacks on
Christians and accused the army of cynically
using the minority population to justify a fierce
security crackdown.
The most populous Arab nation faces a
jihadist insurgency that has killed hundreds
of soldiers and police since Morsi’s overthrow.
A group of Sinai-based militants has pledged
allegiance to Islamic State, the Al-Qaeda offshoot that controls parts of Iraq and Syria.
Most of the attacks on security forces have
been in the Sinai peninsula, which borders
Israel and the Gaza Strip. But some attacks
have occurred in cities, including the capital.
Yesterday afternoon, an Egyptian police officer
was killed while dismantling a homemade bomb
near a police station in the Giza governorate, outside Cairo, security sources said. Three employees
were also wounded when the device, hidden in a
flowerpot, exploded near a police station on AlHarram Street, a busy avenue leading to the pyramids. A video posted on the website of Egyptian
daily Youm 7 shows the officer dressed in protective gear being thrown metres away as the device
explodes in his hands. The jihadist group Ajnad
Misr (Soldiers of Egypt) claimed on Twitter that it
had placed the device, saying it was targeting
police officers. Four years of political turmoil since
the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni
Mubarak has battered Egypt’s economy and
frightened off tourists and investors. — Agencies
Iraq says rebuilding of
army in early stages
BAGHDAD: Iraqi Defence Minister Khaled
Al-Obeidi said yesterday that the Iraqi military has started rebuilding after its near
total collapse last summer but that the
effort is still in its initial phase. “We are still
in the early stages; some of them are
known to you, and some remain a secret,”
Obeidi said in a televised address on the
national holiday Armed Forces Day. Prime
Minister Haider Al-Abadi has sacked several
dozen commanders and told Obeidi to lead
a probe into corruption within the Iraqi military after Islamic State seized vast swathes
of territory from Iraqi security forces last
summer.
Since then the hardline militants have
been pushed out of several districts around
Baghdad and near the Iranian border, but
continue to hold large sections of the
country. Although Shiite militias, Kurdish
peshmerga forces and US-led air strikes
have played a leading role in Islamic State’s
military reversals, a strong Iraqi army will
be needed to recapture territory and also
to establish law and order.
“Changing some military leaders will be
the first step towards building a strong
army and we will make changes in the
entire military pyramid down to the last
soldier,” Obeidi said on the national holiday
commemorating the 94th anniversary of
modern Iraqi military’s founding. Rampant
corruption was seen as one of the main
reasons why the Iraqi army failed to stop
Islamic State in battle. Many units were
short of weapons or had soldiers listed on
paper who were not actually present in the
field. Currently, several Iraqi security officials estimate the number of functioning
military forces at between seven and nine
divisions. They caution even those divisions
are not all operating at full strength. The
Iraqi army had at least 14 divisions on
paper before Islamic State toppled the
north’s biggest city of Mosul and soldiers
deserted en masse.—Reuters
ISTANBUL: A woman walks under the snow yesterday. Heavy snowfall descended on large parts of Turkey yesterday, snarling road and air traffic
and leading to closures of schools. — AFP
Chaos as heavy snow hits Turkey
ISTANBUL: Heavy snowfall descended on large
parts of Turkey yesterday, snarling road and air
traffic and leading to closures of schools, reports
said. In the northern province of Karabuk, a
school bus went off the road and turned over on
to its side in slick conditions caused by snow,
leaving a student dead and 18 others injured,
the Dogan news agency reported. The snowfall
also seriously disrupted road traffic across Turkey
and caused trouble with the electricity network
causing some power cuts, particularly in the
northern parts of the country.
Turkey’s national flag-carrier Turkish Airlines
cancelled 44 international and domestic flights
in and out of Istanbul and some other cities
including the capital Ankara. In mega-city
Istanbul, the authorities appeared to take every
precaution including closing down schools. But
the snow has so far failed to appear in the city in
the quantities predicted. Some ferries across the
Bosphorus have been cancelled.
Schools have also been shut down in some
parts of Ankara where the snowfall reached 1520 cm in some areas. Dozens of people were
injured in accidents caused by poor weather
conditions that caused traffic snarl-ups, media
reports said. The snow led to the closure of the
Istanbul-Izmir highway, with hundreds of cars
being stuck on the road. Authorities have been
warning for days that the cold spell would be
unprecedented, saying the temperatures might
drop to as low as minus 20 degrees Celsius for
Istanbul. — AFP
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
I N T E R N AT I O N A L
Guatemala ex-dictator appears at genocide trial
GUATEMALA CITY: Guatemala’s former dictator Efrain Rios Montt arrives on a
gurney to court where he faces charges of genocide and crimes against
humanity on Monday. — AP
GUATEMALA CITY: Guatemala’s ex-dictator Efrain Rios Montt was hauled to
court on a stretcher Monday to attend
his retrial on genocide charges before
proceedings were halted by a motion to
change judges. The 88-year-old former
ruler, who is accused of ordering the
army to massacre 1,771 Ixil Maya
Indians during Guatemala’s brutal civil
war, was brought to court in an ambulance after failing in his bid to be tried in
absentia for health reasons.
But two of the judges on the threejudge panel accepted a motion by Rios
Montt’s attorneys to replace lead Judge
Jeannette Valdez, who wrote about the
case in a 2004 master’s thesis that the
defense team said showed bias. Valdez
said she accepted the decision and
would recuse herself, adding that a new
trial date would be set once her replacement had been chosen.
Rios Montt, who ruled Guatemala
with an iron fist in the early 1980s, was
sentenced in 2013 to 80 years in prison
for genocide and war crimes, but the
country’s Constitutional Court threw
out the conviction on procedural
grounds and ordered a retrial. After
Valdez rejected Rios Montt’s request to
be excused from attending the trial, say-
ing medical documents did not indicate
his health problems were high-risk, the
former leader was brought into court on
a stretcher, his face covered with a
beige blanket.
Dozens of indigenous protesters
gathered outside to call for a new guilty
verdict, led by Nobel Peace Prize winner
Rigoberta Menchu. They shouted
“Genocide!” and “We want justice!” as
Rios Montt was taken from court. Rios
Montt has been under house arrest in
an upscale neighborhood in the east of
the capital, where he must be under
“absolute rest,” according to his lawyer
Luis Rosales. He ruled Guatemala from
March 1982 to Aug 1983, as the small
Central American country struggled
with a bloody civil war pitting successive rightwing regimes against leftist
rebels.
Rios Montt and his former intelligence chief, Jose Rodriguez, are
charged with ordering the army to carry
out 15 massacres of Ixil Maya indigenous people in Quiche in northern
Guatemala. During the war, indigenous
Guatemalans were often accused of
supporting the rebels. Rodriguez was
acquitted in the initial trial. The pair now
face a new trial over the dictatorship’s
scorched-earth policy.
200,000 Killed or Disappeared
Arriving at court in a wheelchair,
Rodriguez said he was confident the
retrial would clear his name. “I want to
put an end to this humiliation, this circus put together by NGOs that live off
the conflict and international pressure,”
he told AFP. Human rights activists
reject the defense’s claims that Rios
Montt’s poor health prevents him from
standing, calling them a strategy to
delay the ruling. “The evidence is overwhelming,” said Juan Francisco Soto of
human rights group CALDH, adding that
he would submit more than 800 pieces of
evidence and the testimony of 120 survivors and victims’ relatives. “We already
proved that there was genocide in
Guatemala, and we expect another sentence,” said Hector Reyes, a lawyer representing the victims. Some 200,000 people were killed or vanished without a
trace in Guatemala’s 1960-1996 civil war,
according to a 1999 UN-sponsored
report. More than 90 percent of the
human rights violations took place
between 1978 and 1984. Rios Montt’s
lawyers say he was unaware of the army’s
killings of indigenous people. — AFP
US charges two over
failed Gambia coup
WASHINGTON: US prosecutors on Monday
charged two men with conspiring to overthrow the government of Gambia in a failed
coup ostensibly aimed at restoring democracy to the small west African nation. USGambian dual national Papa Faal and US resident Cherno Njie were arrested in the United
States after they returned from Gambia,
where they had traveled to help launch a
December 30 coup attempt against President
Yahya Jammeh’s government, according to
the US Justice Department. Faal, 46, was
expected to make an initial appearance in
court Monday in his home state of Minnesota,
while Njie, 57, living in Texas, was to appear
Monday in US District Court in Baltimore,
Maryland.
“These defendants stand accused of conspiring to carry out the violent overthrow of a
foreign government, in violation of US law,”
US Attorney General Eric Holder said in a
statement. “The United States strongly condemns such conspiracies. With these serious
charges, the United States is committed to
holding them fully responsible for their
actions.” State Department spokeswoman Jen
Psaki stressed that: “US law enforcement
action in this matter highlights the importance we place on preventing our citizens
from taking part in violence of this nature
overseas.”
According to a criminal complaint
released by the Justice Department, an FBI
agent interviewed Faal, who described his
own participation “as a member of a group of
fighters responsible for the attempted coup.”
Faal also identified Njie as one of the coup’s
leaders and main financiers, and told the FBI
agent that “Njie was also planning to serve as
the interim leader of The Gambia upon the
successful completion of the coup.”
The men are charged with conspiracy to
violate the Neutrality Act, which prohibits US
citizens or residents from taking up arms or
plotting against a nation at peace with
America, and conspiracy to possess a firearm
in furtherance of a crime of violence. Last
month’s attack was repelled by security
forces, and at least three suspected attackers
died during the fighting, according to unconfirmed reports. On Jan 1, strongman Jammeh
- who has ruled Gambia with an iron fist for
20 years - blamed unidentified foreign dissidents and “terrorists” for the assault on his
presidential palace.
The criminal complaint details a plot cobbled together by men of Gambian origin
including Faal, who had not lived in Gambia
for 23 years but agreed to join the movement
last August because he grew angry with the
way “the president was rigging elections”.
According to Faal, the group had planned to
ambush Jammeh’s convoy as he toured the
country around the Christmas holiday.—AFP
Tabloid, prominent Germans
condemn anti-Muslim rallies
DRESDEN, Germany: Top-selling German
tabloid Bild and 50 prominent Germans
called yesterday for an end to what they
see as rising xenophobia, a day after thousands of protesters in several German
cities rallied against Muslim immigration.
Monday’s rallies, organised by a new grassroots movement called PEGIDA, or
Patriotic Europeans Against the
Islamisation of the West, have become a
weekly event in the eastern city of
Dresden. Some 18,000 people, the biggest
number so far, turned out in Dresden but
similar rallies in Berlin and the western city
of Cologne were heavily outnumbered by
counter-protesters who accuse PEGIDA of
fanning racism and intolerance.
Bild published a �No to PEGIDA’ appeal
on Tuesday, covering the front page and a
double page spread on page 2 and 3 with
quotes from the 50 politicians and celebrities. “(They) are saying �no’ to xenophobia
and �yes’ to diversity and tolerance,” Bild’s
deputy editor, Bela Anda, wrote in a commentary. “We should not hand over our
streets to hollow rallying cries.”
In Dresden, the PEGIDA protesters
waved Germany’s black, red and gold flag
and brandished posters bearing slogans
such as “Against religious fanaticism and
every kind of radicalism”. One poster in
Cologne called for “potatoes rather than
doner kebabs”, a swipe at ethnic Turks who
at around three million represent
Germany’s largest immigrant community.
Germany has some of the world’s most liberal asylum rules, partly due to its Nazi
past. The number of asylum seekers arriving in Germany, many from the Middle
East, jumped to around 200,000 last year four times as many as in 2012.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has
urged Germans to shun the anti-Muslim
protesters, saying their hearts are full of
hatred and argued that hostility towards
foreigners has no place in Germany. In
Cologne, home to a large Muslim population, there were 10 times as many counterdemonstrators as PEGIDA protesters. In
similarly multi-ethnic Berlin, some 5,000
counter-demonstrators swamped around
400 anti-Muslim protesters, local police
said. Cologne Cathedral and Berlin’s
Brandenburg Gate switched off their lights
to protest against the rallies.
PEGIDA has nonetheless shaken
Germany’s political establishment which
some say could help the Eurosceptic party
Alternative for Germany (AfD). But the AfD,
dogged by internal power struggle, is split
over how to deal with the movement.
Bild’s campaign drew current and former
politicians, celebrities and businessmen.
“(PEGIDA) appeals to hollow prejudices,
xenophobia and intolerance,” wrote former
Social Democrat Chancellor Helmut
Schmidt. “A look at our past and economic
sense tells us Germany should not spurn
refugees and asylum seekers,” he added.
Others included Finance Minister
Wolfgang Schaeuble, rock star Udo
Lindenberg, 76-year old pop star Heino
and former German soccer captain Oliver
Bierhoff. — Reuters
DRESDEN: Demonstrators wave German national flags during a rally by a mounting
rightwing populist movement called Pegida on Monday. — AFP
WASHINGTON: Bicyclists travel past the US Captiol in falling snow as schools and business close due to unexpectedly heavy precipitation yesterday, the opening day of the 114th Congress. — AFP
Empowered Republicans
take control of Congress
Keystone veto showdown looms
WASHINGTON: Republicans determined to
upend President Barack Obama’s agenda were
taking control of both chambers of Congress yesterday, setting the stage for power struggles that
could define the final two years of Obama’s presidency. The Republicans took control of the
Senate in their sweeping election victories in
November and expanded their majority in the
House of Representatives. In their sights are
Obama’s signature healthcare law, his recent
executive actions on immigration sparing millions from deportation and environmental and
business regulations.
Obama, meanwhile, has sent a message that
he’s still relevant and infuriated Republicans with
a series of high-profile presidential moves,
including steps toward normalizing relations
with Cuba. And no matter what the Republican
Congress passes, Obama retains the power to
veto legislation, an action he’s taken only twice in
six years.
As mandated by the Constitution, Congress
was to convene at noon yesterday. Republicans,
despite some intra-party leadership struggles,
are showing their potential to advance their
agenda, pointing toward a swift veto showdown
with Obama over the long-stalled Keystone XL oil
pipeline from Canada to Texas. The legislation,
opposed by environmental groups and many
rank-and-file Democrats, passed the House but
died in the Democratic-led Senate late last year.
Now, Republican leaders intend to push the bill
through the House late this week, and appear to
be close to having enough votes to clear it
through the Senate as well.
While Obama has not said if he will reject the
measure, White House Press Secretary Josh
Earnest outlined a series of concerns before
adding, “I’m not prepared at this point to issue a
veto threat related to that specific piece of legislation.” Despite the looming clashes, Republican
leaders and the White House have indicated
there is potential for cooperation on issues like
trade, tax reform and infrastructure spending.
The challenge for leaders of both parties will be
facing down pressure from their more ideological members.
Obama might face pressure from his party’s
liberal wing if he tries to work out a deal with
congressional Republicans to fast track approval
of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal that
12 nations are trying to negotiate. Senate liberals, led by Democratic Sen Elizabeth Warren and
independent Sen Bernie Sanders, have declared
opposition to the trans-Pacific trade deal contending it would benefit global corporations at
the expense of American workers.
The leader of the House, Speaker John
Boehner, has seen his efforts to forge compromises thwarted in recent years by lawmakers
aligned with the conservative tea party movement. But his hand is considerably stronger this
year as a result of the Republican electoral triumph. The party will hold its biggest House
majority in nearly 70 years. First, Boehner must
be re-elected as speaker. His prospects of getting
a new term appeared secure, despite challenges
from at least 10 Republicans, including tea partybacked members.
Many Republican lawmakers dismissed the
challenge as a needless distraction at a moment
when the party should be celebrating its new
majorities and showing voters it can lead.
Another distraction for the party has been revelations that the House’s No. 3 Republican, Majority
Whip Steve Scalise, spoke to a white supremacist
group 12 years ago. The White House waded into
the furor Monday, with Earnest saying it’s up to
Republicans to decide whether Scalise will retain
his job and who the party has in leadership “says
a lot about who they are”.
In the Senate, Kentucky Sen Mitch
McConnell’s ascension yesterday to the post of
Senate majority leader was automatic following
his approval by rank-and-file Republicans late
last year. McConnell, who had been the Senate
minority leader, faced criticism from tea party
supporters over his role in brokering a bipartisan
spending deal that ended a government shutdown in 2013. But he survived a tea party primary challenge last year and went on to handily
win re-election to his Kentucky seat in the general election. — AP
NYC mayor brushes off arrests slowdown
NEW YORK: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
described a sharp decline in arrests and court summonses in the two weeks since two policemen
were shot dead in an ambush as a few “aberrant”
days, brushing off reports they were signs of a
police work slowdown. De Blasio, in his first interaction with journalists in two weeks, joined Police
Commissioner William Bratton on Monday to
announce a continued general decline in serious
crime in the city in 2014, which he called a recordbreaking year.
“I certainly don’t think a few very aberrant days
suggest anything compared to what you see over
the course of a whole year of success,” de Blasio
said when asked whether officers were ignoring
low-level crimes because of safety fears or in
protest against the mayor. However, both he and
Bratton said they needed more time before explicitly ruling out the possibility the sharp decline in
police activity was evidence of widespread insubordination.
Tensions have risen between the police unions
and de Blasio over his first year in office after the
mayor, a liberal Democrat who campaigned on a
promise of police reform, expressed qualified sympathy for the nationwide protests that began last
summer over police killings. The rift widened on
Dec 20 when two policemen were shot dead in
their parked patrol car by an itinerant, suicidal man
who said he was seeking to avenge the deaths of
unarmed black men at the hands of white police
officers.
De Blasio called the many hundreds of police
officers who have since turned their backs to him
at the policemen’s funerals and other events “disrespectful” to the city. The drop in police activity
since the ambush has continued into a second
week. The number of arrests across the city was
down more than half in the week ending Sunday
compared with the same week the previous year,
to 2,401 from 5,448, police said, confirming data
first reported in the New York Times on Monday.
The number of criminal court summonses dropped
more than 90 percent to 347 from 4,077.
“Am I overly concerned at this particular point?”
Bratton replied when asked if police were turning a
blind eye to some crimes. “Talk to me a little later in
the week once I have a clearer idea of the impacts
of the demonstrations, the funerals.” De Blasio, who
has expressed impatience with what he calls “divisive” news coverage of his problems with his police
department, was keen not to dwell on the topic. “I
want to get us back to questions on this presentation,” he said, pointing to charts showing the steep
fall in crime since 1993. “This is breathtaking, the
information we have here.” —Reuters
NEW YORK: New York Mayor Bill de Blasio
(center), accompanied by New York City Police
Commissioner William Bratton (second right)
and other ranking NYPD officers, addresses a
news conference at the New York City Police
headquarters on Monday. — AP
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
I N T E R N AT I O N A L
Bangladesh’s Khaleda Zia faces murder charge threat
DHAKA: Bangladesh authorities yesterday threatened to bring murder charges against besieged
opposition leader Khaleda Zia and arrested her
deputy over accusations that they incited a nationwide wave of deadly violence.
A day after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
accused Zia of trying to trigger anarchy, a minister
said her arch rival should expect a murder charge
over an arson attack which left three people fighting for their lives. The threat, which comes after
four activists from Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist
Party were killed in the mounting unrest Monday,
was made while the opposition leader remained
confined to her offices in Dhaka, barred from leaving by police.
The three people injured in the alleged BNP
attack in Dhaka last week were in an autorickshaw
that was firebombed by protestors-a frequent tactic of BNP hardliners who are trying to topple the
prime minister. “She should prepare for a murder
case,” Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu said in
comments that will do little to ease tensions in the
volatile South Asian nation, a year on from Hasina’s
controversial re-election.
Confined and padlocked in her office in a up
market Dhaka district, Zia on Monday called a
nationwide non-stop transport blockade in an
effort to topple the government and pave the way
for inclusive polls. As supporters took to the streets
to clash with officers, police arrested BNP secretary
general Fakhrul Islam Alamgir over a series of violent protests by supporters.
“He was arrested on charges of arson, bombings
and vandalism,” Shiblee Noman, assistant commissioner of Dhaka police, said. Alamgir, the party’s
defacto number two, had been holed up in the
national press club since Monday but was arrested
as he tried to drive away from the building, according to an AFP journalist at the scene.
Minutes before his arrest, Alamgir had
denounced Hasina’s government and renewed calls
to enforce a nationwide transport blockade. “This
unelected government .. has turned the country
into a prison,” he said. Police have virtually sealed
off all the exit gates of the press club in central
Dhaka since Monday afternoon after Alamgir spoke
at a rally of a group of journalists, lawyers and other
professionals.
DHAKA: Burning vehicles, set on fire by opposition demonstrators, are pictured during violent protests
in Dhaka yesterday. (inset) Bangladesh’s main opposition leader and Bangladesh Nationalist Party
(BNP) chairperson Khaleda Zia attends a rally in Dhaka. — AFP
In another sign of the government’s determination to silence critics, a private television network
was forced off air and its chairman arrested a day
after broadcasting a speech from London by Zia’s
exiled son. While police said the detention of the
ET V chairman was prompted by its airing of
“pornographic” material, a senior editor at the
channel dismissed the official explanation as a
smokescreen.
Zia’s eldest son Tarique Rahman, who has been
living in exile since 2008, is seen as his mother’s
heir apparent. He has become a particular bane of
the government after claiming that Hasina’s fatherwho is widely regarded as the hero of Bangladesh’s
1971 independence war from Pakistan-was in fact a
stooge of Islamabad.
Poisonous relationship
Hasina and Zia, who have between them ruled
Bangladesh for most of the last three decades, have
a notoriously poisonous relationship and frequently exchange insults and barbs about each others’
families. Ties hit a new low after the BNP and 19
other opposition parties boycotted last year’s elections, claiming the contest would be rigged.
Awami League party leader Hasina, who has
been in power since 2009, refused their demands
for the polls to be organized by a neutral caretaker
government as with previous elections. Zia has
been a virtual prisoner since Saturday, with the
gates of her compound padlocked and a phalanx
of riot police posted outside.
In brief comments Monday to reporters who
managed to scale the walls of her compound, Zia
accused her rival of trying to cling to power by
force in a country that has seen more than a dozen
coups in its 43-year history. In an address to the
nation on Monday night, a defiant Hasina laid the
blame for the latest unrest firmly at Zia’s feet.
“I am urging the BNP leader to stop these bomb
and grenade attacks, these acts of sabotage, and
killings, of arson and damage to property,” Hasina
said. Although there were no reports of deadly violence yesterday, police said they had fired rubber
bullets and tear gas at scores of BNP supporters
when they tried to mount a transport blockade
outside the capital. Two police officers were injured
during clashes with Islamists, who are part of Zia’s
cadre of opposition parties. — AFP
Wife of former Indian UN
diplomat was �murdered’
Delhi police say Tharoor’s wife’s not committed suicide
ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani paramilitary soldier stands guard at the main entrance of National
Assembly building as the assembly met yesterday. — AP
Pakistan legislators approve
military courts for terrorism
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s lower house of parliament yesterday approved the establishment of military courts to hear terrorismrelated cases, after a Taleban massacre at a
military-run school in the northwest shocked
the nation. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had
announced the plan after militants gunned
down 134 children and 16 adults at the
Peshawar school last month. He also ended a
six-year moratorium on the death penalty in
terror cases, and several people have since
gone to the gallows. Members of the main
opposition joined the ruling party yesterday
to pass the measure, which now goes to the
upper house.
“The bitter pill of this new law is being
swallowed for the security of Pakistan,” said
Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah, opposition
leader in the lower house.
The measure was approved after 247 legislators-more than a two-thirds majority-voted
to amend the constitution to allow for military courts to be set up. Members of the
Jamaat-e-Islami and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam
(Fazal group) abstained. “We were not taken
into confidence when the amendments were
being made,” JUI (F) chief Fazalur Rehman
told reporters at parliament.
“The story of 9/11 is being repeated here,”
he said, referring to September 11, 2011
attacks on the United States. “After 9/11
Muslims were being targeted and the same
thing is being done in the name of constitutional amendment. “Some forces are trying to
initiate a war between religious and secular
forces in the country,” he said.
Members of the party of cricketer-turnedpolitician Imran Khan were not present as
their resignations are pending with the
speaker. He alleges that last year’s general
election which brought Sharif back to power
was rigged. Apart from the religious parties,
some moderate political parties and members of the intelligentsia have criticized the
military courts plan.
The leading English-language newspaper
Dawn termed it a “sad day” in an editorial yesterday.
It accused political leaders of being unable
to defend the country’s constitutional and
democratic roots or resist the “generals’
demands”. “Yes, we need a coherent strategy
to fight militancy and political and military
leaders to work together. But military courts
are not the answer,” Dawn said.
Soldiers killed
In the country’s largest city Karachi yesterday, two paramilitary soldiers were killed and
a passer-by injured during a raid on a hideout
of Taleban militants.
Police said the raid followed an intelligence report that the insurgents were hiding
in a house in the Khurramabad neighborhood of Landhi district. “The militants opened
fierce gunfire while the paramilitary troops
were raiding the house, killing at least two
soldiers,” a senior police officer told AFP on
condition of anonymity.
Police officer Akhtar Farooq said seven
people-two women, two children, two men
and the owner of the house-were taken into
custody for further investigation. He said
empty shells from 9mm pistols and
Kalashnikovs and some improvised explosive
devices were found in the house. — AFP
Thailand to extradite
Pakistan fugitive
convicted of India blast
BANGKOK: A Pakistani fugitive convicted in
India over a 1995 bomb attack that killed 16
people including a chief minister will be
extradited after his capture in Thailand,
authorities said yesterday.
Gurmeet Singh, 37, escaped from a highsecurity Indian jail in 2004 while on trial for
involvement in the assassination of Punjab
chief minister Beant Singh nearly a decade
earlier. In 2007 he was sentenced in his
absence to life imprisonment, along with five
others. Thai police arrested Singh, also known
as Jagtar Singh or Tara Singh, on Monday at a
house he was renting near the eastern beach
resort of Pattaya, local commander Suttisak
Wantee said. “He has been living illegally in
Thailand for four months,” Suttisak said. A
Bangkok court approved his extradition to
India yesterday. Beant Singh was killed by a
Sikh suicide bomber outside the heavilyguarded state secretariat complex in the city
of Chandigarh along with 15 other people in
August 1995. Radical Sikh groups had held
him responsible for abuses by security forces
in the suppression of a Sikh nationalist insurgency in Punjab in the 1980s. — AFP
NEW DELHI: The wife of a former high-flying UN
diplomat and Indian government minister was
murdered and did not commit suicide as earlier
suspected, Delhi’s police chief said yesterday.
Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in her five-star
hotel room in the capital last January, two days
after she alleged on Twitter that her husband
Shashi Tharoor had been having an affair with a
Pakistani journalist.
Pushkar, married to Tharoor since 2010, had
been taking medication for various illnesses and
early autopsy results suggested she may have
overdosed on anti-depressants and sleeping
pills.
But speaking to reporters yesterday, Delhi
Police Commissioner Bhim Sain Bassi said new
medical reports had led investigators to register
a case of murder “against unknown persons”.
“We have registered a case of murder,” Bassi
said in the capital. “The report given to the Delhi
Police by the medical board says that her death
was unnatural and it was because of poisoning.
“The poison could have been administered
orally or could also have injected, so keeping all
these factors in mind, the case has been registered.” The discovery of Pushkar’s body triggered
intense speculation that she had committed suicide after being humiliated by her husband. Her
death dealt a severe blow to the image of
Tharoor who was a cabinet minister at the time
and remains a member of parliament for the
Congress party which lost elections last May last.
In remarks carried by several media outlets,
Tharoor was quoted Thursday as saying he was
“stunned” to hear his wife’s death was being
treated as murder. “All I want is that a comprehensive investigation be conducted and that the
unvarnished truth should come out,” said the 58year-old.
Also an acclaimed author, Tharoor served as
under-secretary general during Kofi Annan’s leadership of the United Nations and was a candidate
to replace him as secretary-general in 2008. After
being beaten to the post by Ban Ki-moon, he
then entered Indian politics as a member of parliament for the southern state of Kerala. Tharoor
had to resign from his first ministerial post in 2010
after revelations that his then-girlfriend Pushkar
had been given a free stake in a new Indian
Premier League cricket team. — AFP
NEW DELHI: Former minister of State for External Affairs and Congress Party’s MP Shashi Tharoor
(right) and his wife Sunanda Pushkar arrive at parliament in New Delhi. The wife of Tharoor was murdered and did not commit suicide as earlier suspected, Delhi’s police chief said yesterday. — AFP
Hunt for suspects
after gang-rape
in India govt office
PATNA: Police have arrested one of five suspects
accused of gang-raping a teenage girl inside a local
government office in eastern India, an officer said
yesterday. The 16-year-old victim was attacked after
arriving in eastern Bihar state late Sunday where the
gang, including a local administrator ’s driver,
approached her and offered her a lift to a relative’s
home.
Instead they took her to a nearby local government office in Muzaffarpur district and raped her. The
victim, who hails from the eastern state of West
Bengal, later escaped and filed a police complaint on
Monday. “Five men, mostly youths, forcibly dragged
her to a nearby building of the (district) collectorate
and gang-raped her till early Monday,” Naseem
Ahmad, a senior district police officer, told AFP. Police
chief Ranjit Kumar Mishra said that they had “arrested
one accused so far and ... are working to arrest the
other four”.
The case is the latest in a string of violent sex
attacks against women in the world’s second most
populous country. In another case in neighboring
Uttar Pradesh state, one of two police officers
accused of raping a teenage girl was reportedly
arrested yesterday.
The December 31 incident took place in Badaun
district when the two policemen picked up the 14year-old as she stepped out to relieve herself. Badaun
was thrown into the spotlight last May when two
teenage girls, who were initially thought to have
been gang-raped, were found hanging from a tree.
The incident sparked uproar in India, echoing the
outrage over the fatal gang-rape of a student on a
bus in New Delhi in 2012. — AFP
Thousands flee homes in
Kashmir to escape firing
SRINAGAR: Thousands of villagers in the
Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir have
fled their homes because of artillery battles
between Indian and Pakistani soldiers along
the highly militarized border, officials said
yesterday.
Authorities have evacuated more than
6,000 people to relief camps as of yesterday,
nearly a week after the shelling broke out,
said Shantmanu, a senior official in Indianheld Kashmir. About 4,000 other people have
fled their homes and are staying with relatives, he said. At least a dozen people have
been killed in the border skirmishes. While
there was no shelling reported yesterday, tensions have heightened along the 200-kilometer (125-mile) border that India and Pakistan
share in Kashmir, the Himalayan region
claimed by both countries and divided
between them. India and Pakistan have
fought two wars over control of Kashmir since
they won independence from Britain in 1947.
Indian officials have set up about 20 relief
camps where food and medical care is available to villagers, many of whom fled their
homes with no belongings.
Many residents said they fled their homes
as mortar fire began landing in border villages. “We were very frightened as bullets and
shells were raining from all sides,” said Kamal
Singh, a construction worker. “We somehow
managed to flee to a safer place,” he said in a
telephone interview. Singh said he and his
family fled from Baniglad village and have
been staying at a government-run relief shelter for four days.
Paramilitary officials said the shelling went
on until midnight at numerous places along
the border. “About two dozen Indian forward
border posts were under attack,” said D
Parekh of the Border Security Force.
While New Delhi and Islamabad each
blame the other for starting the violence, border residents said both are responsible. “The
two governments want to settle their scores
and we are the ones who always suffer,” said
Raj Chowdhry, a resident of Bobyia village,
speaking from a relief camp.
Chowdhry said he was worried about his
elderly parents who stayed behind. “My parents couldn’t leave as they’re too old. I don’t
know if they’re all right,” he said.
Some villagers refused to move. “What’s
the point of leaving the village? This has been
going on for decades. I’ve gotten used to it,”
said Bishen Das, an 80-year old farmer who
stayed in Baniglad, a village near an Indian
border post that came under intense shelling.
“By staying here I can at least attend to the
hapless cattle caught in a situation where
even humans don’t know what to do,” Das
said.
In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Monday that the US is
concerned by the border tensions and
encourages dialogue between India and
Pakistan. India says Pakistani troops committed more than 550 cease-fire violations in
2014, the most since the two nations signed
an accord in 2003. India accuses Pakistan of
sending militants into the Indian-controlled
part of Kashmir under the cover of the
artillery. Islamabad says it only gives the militants moral and diplomatic support. — AP
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
I N T E R N AT I O N A L
Strong currents slow search for AirAsia wreckage
PANGKALAN BUN: Strong currents forced Indonesia
to expand the search area for the crashed AirAsia
plane yesterday, as rough seas and bad weather
pushed debris and made it difficult to reach suspected
chunks of the fuselage on the ocean floor. With only 37
bodies recovered since Flight 8501 crashed Dec. 28,
there are also concerns that it will become harder to
find the remaining corpses.
“Time is of the essence,” said the National Search
and Rescue Agency’s director of operation, Suryadi B
Supriyadi. “But it seems like it is hard to beat the
weather.”
The search operation will expand by about 185
square kilometers (70 square miles), search and rescue
chief Henry Bambang Soelistyo said. Dozens of new air
carriers have popped up in Indonesia in recent years to
meet the industry’s booming demand, but a string of
deadly accidents has raised concerns about safety.
Experts say poor maintenance, rule-bending and a
shortage of trained personnel are largely to blame.
Infrastructure has also failed to keep pace with exploding demand. The country’s transportation ministry said
it was cracking down after it was discovered that Flight
8501 did not have a permit to fly between Surabaya,
Indonesia, and Singapore on the day of the crash. It
suspended two ministry officials and five workers at
Surabaya’s main airport yesterday for allowing the
flight. Others are still under investigation.
All AirAsia flights on that route also have been
canceled for the time being. It is not known what
caused the Airbus A320 to crash into the Java Sea 42
minutes after takeoff, though Indonesia’s Meteorology,
Climatology and Geophysics Agency says bad weather
appears to have been a factor.
Just before losing contact, the pilot told air traffic
control he was approaching threatening clouds, but
was denied permission to climb to a higher altitude
because of heavy air traffic. No distress signal was
issued. Sonar has identified five large objects that are
believed to be pieces of the fuselage on the ocean
floor, but strong currents, silt and mud have kept
divers from seeing or reaching the objects.
No pings have been detected from the plane’s allimportant cockpit voice and flight data recorders.
That’s because high waves have prevented the deployment of ships that drag ping locators. The batteries in
the pingers on the black boxes are likely to go dead in
about 20 more days.
“We are confident that rescuers would be able to
locate them in time,” said Nurcahyo Utomo, an investigator for Indonesia’s National Committee on
Transportation Safety.
The search for the remaining 125 bodies has been
exhausting for family members anxiously waiting to
identify and bury their loved ones. Eight Islamic clerics
flew in a helicopter over the site yesterday and scattered rice into the sea, a local tradition, and prayed for
those who perished. — AP
PANGKALAN BUN: Indonesian clerics pray next to a helicopter for the victims of ill-fated AirAsia flight QZ8501
in Pangkalan Bun, the town with the nearest airstrip to the site of search operations, yesterday. — AFP
HK leader warns against
protests ahead of talks
Public consultation on picking new chief to start
BEIJING: Costa Rica President Luis GuiHermo Solis Rivera (centre left) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (centre right) prepare to inspect Chinese honor guards during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the
People in Beijing yesterday. Luis GuiHermo Solis Rivera is on a visit to China from January 4 to 10. — AFP
Thai junta vows action if
Shinawatra aides protest
BANGKOK: Thailand’s junta chief yesterday warned the
military will “take action” under martial law if protests
occur as a result of impeachment proceedings against
ex-premier Yingluck Shinawatra.
On Friday the army-stacked National Legislative
Assembly (NLA) will begin the impeachment of former
Prime Minister Yingluck for driving through a costly rice
subsidy scheme.
Thailand’s first female premier, who is due to appear
at the assembly on Friday, was removed from office by a
court ruling shortly before the military coup in May
knocked out the rump of her administration. Observers
say a vote to impeach her-which carries an automatic
five-year ban from politics-could stir her �Red Shirt’ supporters to protest, ending months of relative calm since
the army grabbed power and imposed martial law on
the kingdom.
But junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha, the prime minister, shrugged off any potential revival of the street
protests which have blistered Thailand’s recent political
history. “There will be no protest, they can’t protest. If
they don’t accept the ruling, we will take action, that’s
it,” he told reporters. “What is the condition of martial
law? No political movement,” he said, urging the public
to allow the NLA to reach its conclusion, which is due
before the end of the month.
A successful impeachment needs three fifths of the
250-strong national legislature to vote in favor.
Critics say the NLA is driving through a junta-led
agenda to dismantle the power base of Thaksin
Shinawatra-Yingluck’s older brother who lives in selfexile to avoid jail for a corruption conviction.
“Driving her (Yingluck) out of politics could instigate
resentment among her political supporters,” said Thai
academic Pavin Chachavalpongpun, of Kyoto
University. “Thailand is Thailand and the rule of law can
be bent to serve the power interests of the elites.”
Thaksin, who was deposed as premier in a 2006 coup,
sits at the heart of Thailand’s deep schism.
He is loathed by the Bangkok-centered establishment and its supporters among the judiciary and
army, but still enjoys support in the nation’s poor but
populous northern half. Shinawatra-led or aligned parties have won every election since 2001. In that time
they have been battered by two coups and seen three
other premiers banned by the kingdom’s interventionist courts. The Shinawatras’ electoral dominance
comes as concerns mount over Thailand’s future once
the reign of revered 87-year-old King Bhumibol
Adulyadej ends. While popular among Yingluck’s rural
voters, the loss-making rice policy galvanized the
protests against her government that presaged the
coup. The scheme punched a hole in Thai finances
and led to huge rice stockpiles as buyers baulked at
the attempt by Yingluck’s administration to fund the
multi-billion dollar subsidy by hoarding the grain to
force up global prices. The junta has said fresh polls
are unlikely before 2016 as it seeks to re-write the
constitution and enact sweeping reforms aimed at
rooting out corruption. — AFP
HONG KONG: Hong Kong’s leader warned
yesterday against fresh pro-democracy
protests before the next step in the city’s contentious political reform process, as a new
official report on the mass rallies sparked
widespread anger.
The government will today launch a second round of public consultation on the
process for electing the city’s next chief executive in 2017. Beijing has promised Hong
Kong it can vote for its leader for the first
time, but insists that candidates be vetted by
a loyalist committee-a decision which
sparked more than two months of street
blockades in protest.
But Leung Chun-ying, current leader of the
semi-autonomous Chinese city, said more
protests would not change anything. “If we
really want to implement universal suffrage
on 2017, we... should not do anything that
threatens the Hong Kong government or the
central government,” Leung told reporters.
“Coercive actions that are illegal or disrupt
social order” would not sway authorities in
Hong Kong or Beijing, he said. Democracy
campaigners are pessimistic that the consultation will offer meaningful proposals. “Those
coming from the democratic camp will be
able to enter (the election as candidates), but
they will never be able to be selected for election,” pro-democracy lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki
said. “The government will try to create an
impression that we have a lot of room to discuss how candidates of different persuasions
can enter the race, but the nominating committee will still do the gatekeeping,” added
political analyst Ma Ngok.
Campaigners’ anger
A report on the street protests submitted
by city leaders to Chinese authorities yesterday sparked anger. The 220-page report
gives a day-by-day summary of events during
the rallies, which saw tens of thousands take
to the streets at some stages at their height. It
pledged to truthfully reflect public sentiment
and acknowledged there were “divergent
opinions” over the election process.
But it concluded that the “common aspiration” of citizens and the government was to
abide by Hong Kong’s constitution and
Beijing’s rulings on political reform.
“This report was lazy and lacked emotion
Shanghai stampede a �bloody lesson:’ Mayor
SHANGHAI: The New Year’s Eve crush that killed
36 people in Shanghai was a “bloody lesson” for
the city, the mayor of China’s commercial hub
said Tuesday according to official media.
The comments by mayor Yang Xiong are an
implicit acknowledgement that the events of
December 31 should have been handled differently. New Year revellers had flocked to the Bund,
Shanghai’s historic waterfront, but massive overcrowding caused people to be trampled, raising
questions over why authorities failed to enforce
better safety measures.
“Although the cause of the incident is still to
be confirmed by investigation... we must learn
from the bloody lesson, as well as deeply reflect
on this matter,” Yang told lawmakers, according
to the official Xinhua news agency. He did not
say what agencies were carrying out what he
described as a “joint investigation”. Yang also
ordered an overhaul of emergency plans for handling large crowds, Xinhua said. Some 25 of the
36 who died were female, and all but five of the
total number were aged 25 or under, the
Shanghai government has said.
They included one Malaysian woman and a
woman from Taiwan, it said. The youngest victim
was a 12-year-old boy and the oldest was 37. The
dead included students from three universities in
Shanghai, according to Xinhua. Relatives and
friends of the victims visited the site on the Bund
under the watchful eyes of government-assigned
minders yesterday-the seventh day after the inci-
dent which caused the deaths, a date with special meaning under traditional Chinese mourning customs.
“We went to the Bund in separate groups, and
someone escorted us there and took us back
afterwards,” one said. The sister of one victim has
told AFP that her family will not hold a funeral
until the government has explained how the
accident could have happened.
Relatives said yesterday that the government
has yet to offer compensation packages to the
families of the victims. The accident, which has
tarnished Shanghai’s reputation as China’s most
international city, is the city’s worst since a fire in
a high-rise residential building killed 58 people
in 2010. — AFP
SHANGHAI: Chinese officials try to control a relative of a New Year’s Eve stampede victim as she grieves at the site of a memorial ceremony for
people who were killed in the tragic accident in Shanghai yesterday. — AP
and did not identify the cause of the entire
exercise,” said Sin Chung-kai of the
Democratic Party. “Not only does it support
the (Beijing) decision... it also rapes the opinions of Hong Kong residents.” Student leader
Lester Shum ridiculed the report, likening it to
a “secondary school newspaper cutting” project. “The government was not willing to face
the political problem,” he said.
Several lawmakers ripped up copies. The
report was submitted to China’s Hong Kong
and Macau Affairs Office, an agency of the
State Council (cabinet). “Everyone should
express their appeals in a peaceful and legal
way,” a spokesperson said on receiving the
report, according to China’s official news
agency Xinhua.
Police crackdown
China’s ruling that candidates must be vetted was made after Hong Kong’s first round of
public consultation on political changes. The
report submitted by Hong Kong leaders to
Beijing on that occasion was strongly criti-
cized by democracy campaigners for failing
to reflect public views.
The second round is expected to put forward specific proposals on mechanisms to
select candidates. Meanwhile authorities continue to clamp down on activists. On Monday
the justice department made court applications to formally charge 20 activists for
obstructing bailiffs clearing one of the protest
camps, in Mongkok, in November. Student
protest leader Joshua Wong, 18, said Tuesday
he had been summoned to a police station to
provide “assistance in an investigation” later
January.
Shum said he and other student leaders
had also been asked to attend police stations,
but had not been told for what offences.
Dozens of other protest leaders, including
founder of the Occupy movement Benny Tai,
have also been asked to turn themselves in,
local media said.
Police have said they would target the
“principal instigators” of the mass protests as
part of their investigation. — AFP
HONG KONG: Lester Shum, one of the leaders of the Federation of Students, talks to the
media outside the government building in Hong Kong yesterday. Hong Kong leader Leung
Chun-ying warned against fresh pro-democracy protests ahead of the next step in the city’s
contentious political reform process. — AFP
Chinese Communist hero Lei
Feng not beloved by US cadets
BEIJING: A former Chinese journalist has
admitted falling for an April Fool joke which
sparked a decades-long myth in his country
that US officer cadets learnt from the example
of Communist military hero Lei Feng.
Li Zhurun, a former reporter for China’s
official Xinhua news agency who is now a university professor, made the confession on his
Sina Weibo microblog.
Ever since Communist China’s supreme
leader Mao Zedong recognised Lei Feng for
his humble heroism, said to include washing
his comrades’ uniforms and giving his pay to
the needy, authorities have encouraged citizens to do good and follow his example.
While China’s increasingly media-savvy
population has come to question the authenticity of the Lei Feng story, the folk hero
remains popular in some quarters. Pictures of
him wearing his trademark earflap army hat
have become a pop icon emblazoned on
everything from bags to cups.
In his posting, Li said he had been duped
by an unspecified Western news outlet, which
reported on April Fool’s Day 1981 that the
West Point military academy in New York State
had held up the People’s Liberation Army
(PLA) soldier as an example for all students.
“I was young at the time, and I didn’t know
that Western media often invent �news’ on
April Fool’s Day,” Li wrote. The state-run China
Daily newspaper yesterday identified the
Western outlet as the United Press
International news agency. But it was not clear
where Li was based at the time, or who he
wrote the story for. Over the past three
decades, the West Point myth has become so
entrenched in China that even a member of
the country’s advisory discussion body, the
Chinese People’s Political Consultative
Conference (CPPCC), cited it in a 2009 proposal urging Beijing to apply for UNESCO recognition of the “Lei Feng Spirit”.
“At America’s famous West Point, Lei Feng’s
portrait is among five hanging in the hall, and
the academy’s code of student conduct
includes his famous quote: �Human life is limited, but serving the people is limitless,’” CPPCC
member Liu Jianglong said, according to the
Chongqing Morning Post.
Lei Feng joined the People’s Liberation
Army in 1960, when it still basked in the glory
of winning the Chinese civil war just over a
decade earlier. He died aged 22 in August
1962 after a truck driven by a fellow soldier hit
a telegraph pole, which fell on him.
In his posting on Sunday Li called his
report “one of the biggest mistakes of my life”
and said he discovered his error when a
Chinese magazine ran a 1997 expose on the
issue. “But I still feel that it was not enough,
and I have always wanted to have the chance
to cleanse (the rumor) on a wider scale,” he
wrote. In an op-ed a China Daily writer worried that the fabrication of the West Point tale
has “made many question their longstanding
belief in (Lei Feng’s) selflessness”.
“People can hardly accept the fact that
what they once believed was a sign of Lei
Feng’s international renown was just a madeup story,” wrote Wang Yiqing.
“However, the Lei Feng spirit should never
be a bubble that can burst,” he continued,
adding: “Maybe the image of Lei Feng... can be
updated to better resonate with people
today.” — AFP
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
NEWS
Bulgarians dive into the icy waters of a lake to catch a cross thrown by an Eastern Orthodox priest in Sofia as part of Epiphany Day celebrations yesterday. — AFP
Hamas denies Meshaal expelled from Qatar Prince Ali to stand for FIFA president
Continued from Page 1
Facing diplomatic isolation and deep financial problems, Hamas, which seized control of Gaza in 2007,
reluctantly agreed to the formation of a unity government led by its rival, President Mahmoud Abbas, last
year. But the group remains in firm control of the seaside territory.
Asked about the Hamas denial, an Israeli official said
the government had received “serious and reliable
information” from “official channels” that the expulsion
order had been granted. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to
discuss the matter, refused to say whether Qatar had
delivered the news directly. Israel used to have a diplomatic office in Qatar and still maintains low-level relations with the country.
There was no immediate comment from Qatar, a
wealthy Gulf state that has allowed Meshaal to set up a
base there. Under a deal reached with the United Arab
Emirates and Saudi Arabia late last year, Qatar agreed to
a number of foreign policy directives that are largely
believed to be related to its support of Islamist groups
throughout the region. The details of the Gulf reconciliation agreement have not been made public.
A number of Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood members were forced to leave Qatar last year after the UAE,
Saudi Arabia and Bahrain withdrew ambassadors from
Doha. The three Gulf countries had accused Qatar of
interfering in their domestic affairs and of failing to
uphold a security pact. Ambassadors were reinstated
after a deal was reached in November.
The following month Al Jazeera’s live channel dedicated to coverage of Egypt was shut down. Egypt
had accused the Qatar-based-and-funded Al-Jazeera
news network of bias against the new government
and of supporting the Brotherhood. The network has
denied the charges and demanded Egypt free three
journalists imprisoned there from its English-language channel. — AP
Continued from Page 1
Prince Ali is the FIFA vice president for Asia, head of
Jordan’s Football Association and founder of the West Asian
Football Federation. A major general in Jordan’s armed forces,
the prince was educated in the United States and Britain,
where he attended the prestigious military academy
Sandhurst. His wife Rym Brahimi is a former CNN journalist. In
2011 he became the youngest member of the FIFA executive
committee at the age of 35 after rallying Arab support behind
him.
Prince Ali will need five of FIFA’s 209 member countries to
nominate him as a candidate before a Jan 29 deadline and is
believed to have plenty of support, including that of
European football governing body UEFA president Michel
Platini. The Jordanian will be hoping for backing from FIFA’s
European federation, many of whose members have been
vociferous in their objections to the victorious Qatar 2022 bid.
He will also lobby for support from the Asian confederation,
whose head is Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa,
as well as from the United States and Caribbean nations.
“FIFA exists to serve a sport which unites billions of people from all over the world, people of differing and divergent
political, religious and social affiliations, who come together in
their enjoyment of �the world’s game’,” the prince said. Ali first
became Jordanian football president in 1999 before being
elected as the Asian Football Confederation’s FIFA VicePresident in 2011, surprisingly edging out powerful South
Korean administrator Chung Mong-joon.
An initial ally of Blatter, relations between the two weakened over the course of Ali’s four-year term as the Jordanian
strengthened his ties with Platini, long tipped as a future FIFA
president. “I know Prince Ali well. He has all the credibility
required to hold high office. We now await his proposals and
his program for the future of football,” said Platini in a statement. — Agencies
Syrian embassy resumes services
Saudi Arabia blames weak growth for oil...
Continued from Page 1
The royal court announced Friday that Abdullah had
pneumonia but was in stable condition and breathing
with the aid of a tube. He was admitted to the King
Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh on Dec 31 for checks.
Prince Salman said he wished that “God will grant the
king a speedy recovery”. Without naming Iraq and Syria,
he said Saudi Arabia “is facing unprecedented regional
challenges that resulted from the severe crises that
swept through neighbouring or nearby countries and
that pushed them to the quagmire of civil wars and sectarian conflicts.”
Jihadists from the Islamic State group have declared
a “caliphate” in parts of Syria and Iraq they have seized,
where they have been accused of widespread atrocities.
Since September, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain, Qatar,
and the United Arab Emirates have been taking part in
air strikes against IS jihadists in Syria as part of a US-led
coalition. Prince Salman said the regional situation
“should make us cautious, and I would like to assure
you that your leadership is aware of these challenges
and their consequences,” he said.
On Monday, three Saudi border guards, including a
top commander, were killed in a rare attack and suicide
bombing by “terrorists” on the frontier with Iraq. In a
telephone call with Prince Salman yesterday, Iraqi Prime
Minister Haider al-Abadi called for “coordination of
common efforts” between their countries to combat IS,
the premier’s office said. It said they discussed the danger posed by the jihadist group “not only for Iraq but for
the region and the world”. — AFP
Continued from Page 1
The department has been charging hefty fines from
expatriates who extended the validity of their passports
without updating the information at the department,
considering them as holding expired residency permits.
Separately, Oil Minister Ali Al-Omair said yesterday
that the government has exempted a number of companies and factories from the lifting of subsidies on diesel
and kerosene, adding that those who were affected
failed to contact the government committee. Omair said
that the decision was issued on Oct 15 and implemented on Jan 1, leaving enough time for companies to contact the subsidies committee to secure the exemption.
He said that Kuwait Petroleum Corp had asked owners of factories and companies to submit their documents about their needs of diesel or kerosene in a order
to provide subsidized fuel to them. Omair said that some
KD 200 million is spent on diesel subsidies annually, but
some have used this to smuggle diesel outside the
country.
The National Assembly is expected to debate the
lifting of diesel and kerosene subsidies at its next session on Jan 13 after a number of MPs criticized the government’s measure following price rises of a number of
products and services. MP Saud Al-Huraiji said that the
lifting of subsidies was accompanied by a number of
shortfalls, especially price rises and exploitation by
some merchants and professionals. Huraiji said there
was no reason to lift subsidies on kerosene because it is
consumed only by citizens and bakeries. The lawmaker
called on the government to cancel its decision and
activate the consumer protection department to control prices.
ANALYSIS
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
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Issues
Roma baby case
highlights their
plight in France
By Claire Gallen
he tragic case of a dead Roma baby refused
burial in a Paris suburb has underscored the
plight of the community in France, where
supporters say they are a scapegoat for the country’s ills. The affair made headlines around the
world, and was all the more poignant because the
baby of just two and a half months died the day
after Christmas from sudden infant death syndrome. The local town of Champlan, just south of
Paris, refused the family a burial plot, with the
mayor reportedly saying that priority should be
given to those who pay their taxes - although he
later denied this.
After nearly a whole day of conspicuous silence,
top politicians then fell over themselves to condemn the case, with Prime Minister Manuel Valls
saying it was an “insult” to France. Even far-right
leader Marine Le Pen criticised the decision, saying
it showed a “lack of humanity”. But the president
of the National Commission on Human Rights
(CNCDH), Christine Lazerges, said the case was
“the terrible proof that the Roma are the new
scapegoat in France”, which is suffering from high
unemployment and a sluggish economy.
In its most recent report on racism in France,
the CNCDH already voiced fears over the “trivialisation of racist comments about the Roma”. The
European Union believes there are currently 10 to
12 million Roma throughout Europe, making them
the largest minority on the continent. A nomadic
people whose ancestors left India centuries ago,
the Roma have long suffered from discrimination
and are frequently accused of carrying out petty
crime.
But experts believe their plight is getting worse
in France. The CNCDH report showed that more
than 87 percent of people in France believe the
Roma are “a group apart” in society, a rise of 21
points since 2011. This is much more than other
ethnic groups such as people from North Africa
(46 percent) and Asians (41 percent). Polls also
show that 85 percent of French people believe
that Roma often exploit their children and 78 percent think they basically live off theft and petty
crime.
T
�Criminality, Deviance, Cruelty’
Tommaso Vitale, a researcher into Roma at the
Paris-based Sciences Po University, said that
France’s own economic woes worsened the plight
of minorities. “The spectacle of misery in times of
crisis is very sensitive in political terms,” he said,
with most Roma living in makeshift facilities on
the outskirts of towns with little basic amenities.
Almost everywhere in Europe, the same question
is being asked, he said. “Is Europe there to send us
Roma or is it there to give us social policies to get
out of this crisis?”
Eric Fassin, a social scientist at Paris University
and author of a book about the Roma, said verbal
attacks on the community had got steadily worse.
“But in the case of the Roma baby, for once, we
found that we had gone a bit too far,” he said.
Lazarges said the “public debate” in France had to
change. Successive governments have drawn fire
for demolishing numerous camps and evicting
families with children, although some in France
have cheered the tough approach.
In August, a French court fined a member of
parliament Г„3,000 for saying that Nazi dictator
Adolf Hitler “maybe did not kill enough” Roma.
Vitale said the only way to start de-stigmatising
the Roma was to change their image as an isolated
community living in shanty towns on the fringes
of society. “Without that, nothing is possible. There
will always be a stigma of criminality, deviance
and cruelty”. — AFP
All articles appearing on these pages
are the personal opinion of the writers. Kuwait Times takes no responsibility for views expressed therein. Kuwait
Times invites readers to voice their
opinions. Please send submissions via
email to: [email protected] or
via snail mail to PO Box 1301 Safat,
Kuwait. The editor reserves the right
to edit any submission as necessary.
Mideast conflict enters new phase
By Sarah Benhaida
he Palestinians have moved into uncharted territory by bidding to join the International Criminal
Court, analysts say, with the decades-old conflict
with Israel now set to play out on the world stage. After
years of threats, the Palestinians finally turned to the ICC
last month after the UN Security Council rejected a resolution setting a deadline for ending Israel’s occupation
of their lands. A furious Israel responded by freezing the
transfer of tax revenues it collects for the Palestinian
leadership and threatening further punitive measures.
The moves dashed hopes of a return to peace talks
that have failed time and again, including in last year’s
aborted bid led by US Secretary of State John Kerry.
Analysts say the Mideast conflict has moved into a new
chapter, with the Palestinians pursuing a fresh strategy
of putting pressure on Israel through the international
community. “The peace process born at Oslo is dead
and buried, and we’re now at the start of a new phase,”
said Karim Bitar, a Middle East analyst based in Paris,
referring to the 1993 peace accords.
How far Israel will take its response to the ICC bid will
be a key question, analysts say, as it will fear going too
T
far in undermining the Palestinian Authority. “Israel has
a dilemma - we want to have leverage against the
Palestinians, to prevent them from referring (cases) to
the ICC,” said Robbie Sabel, a former legal adviser to the
Israeli foreign ministry. “However, we don’t want to
undermine them. It’s in our interest that they be in
effective control of the West Bank.”
Under the 1993 Oslo Accords which established the
Palestinian Authority, the two sides agreed to coordinate on security issues in the occupied territories. The
Palestinians have threatened to halt that cooperation,
raising fears of increased security risks to Israel.
Following the ICC move, Israel’s Intelligence Minister
Yuval Steinitz threatened “severe” steps in response,
even referring to a “gradual dissolution” of the PA. But
analysts said such a step would be unlikely.
No �Clear Advantage’ Yet
“Its dismantling would cause instability and an
explosion in the region. The PA is banking on the international community to put pressure on Israel to avoid
this,” Gaza-based political analyst Naji Sharab said. Even
the United States, Israel’s key ally, has denounced its
freezing of the transfer of some $127 million in tax mon-
ey to the PA, with the State Department urging both
sides “to avoid actions that raise tensions”. But
Washington also said it was “deeply troubled” by the
Palestinian move to become party to the ICC, describing
it as “counterproductive” and warning it would “only
push the parties further apart”.
The Palestinians, who became an observer state at
the UN in 2012, say they will turn to the court to seek
the prosecution of Israeli officials for alleged war crimes,
including during last summer’s 50-day war in Gaza.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed
to put up a vigorous defence of his troops, while officials have warned the Jewish state was ready to counter
with its own lawsuits against senior Palestinian officials.
Bitar said both sides seemed to be struggling with
how to adjust to this new phase. The Palestinians, he
said, had demonstrated “amateurism” in going to the
UN Security Council “without doing the groundwork in
terms of lobbying and negotiating”, while the Israelis
were “rigid and inflexible” in their reaction. “This new
chapter, of a power struggle in the international arena,
is still in its early stages and it’s not yet clear how it will
play out,” Bitar said. “So far no one appears to have a
clear advantage.” — AFP
Xi proves keen student of US power
By John Kemp
i Jinping is China’s first US-style president. Many commentators have noted Xi is the most powerful leader
since Deng Xiaoping and even Mao Zedong. But a better
comparison might be with the style and powers of the
American president. He wields enormous personal power, in
contrast to the more collective leadership style of Hu Jintao
and Jiang Zemin, has assumed an unprecedented profile
abroad as the country’s chief diplomat and has been heavily
promoted at home as the responsible face of the party and the
government.
Xi is regularly portrayed in the domestic media carrying out
ceremonial functions, inspecting military parades, welcoming
foreign dignitaries, and demanding explanations from lower
level officials in the event of disasters and political controversies such as the stampede in Shanghai at New Year, all the sorts
of things that a US president does.
Xi’s image-makers show the same obsession with controlling perceptions of the leader as the West Wing staff of
President Barack Obama, presenting him as a strong, dynamic,
well-informed and singular leader who takes responsibility for
all decisions carried out by the party and the government in
his name. “He is the first leader to employ a big team to build
his public profile. But he also has a flare for it - thanks to his
stature, his toughness and his common touch,” the Economist
magazine noted last year.
Xi has also cultivated a distinctly presidential approach
abroad. In 2014, Xi and Premier Li Keqiang - the number two in
the Chinese hierarchy who combines the functions of vicepresident, secretary of state and secretary of the treasury spent a total of 85 days on high-profile visits to 30 countries
across Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and Oceania.
Xinhua, the official news agency, likened this flurry of top-level
summits and meetings to a “Chinese whirlwind”.
Putting top leaders on the international diplomatic circuit
so much is no accident. “The year 2014 is a bumper harvest for
China’s diplomacy,” Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced
proudly to a year-end reception of foreign diplomats in Beijing.
“Aiming to build a global network of partnerships, we have
established partnerships of different types with 64 countries
and five regional organisations,” Wang told his hearers.
The foreign minister promised that in 2015 China will continue to “actively practice a distinctive diplomatic approach
befitting China’s role as a major country to provide strong support for realising the Chinese dream of national renewal and
make a new contribution to peace and development of the
world.” It has often been remarked that the United States’ global network of alliances (military, diplomatic and economic) is its
biggest asset as a superpower. Now China is determined to
build its own diplomatic network befitting its role as what officials prefer to call a “major country” but which means a superpower.
X
Diplomatic Whirlwind
For the United States, presidential diplomacy has always
played a crucial role in nurturing relationships and building
influence abroad. Foreign leaders get carefully graduated visits
from military commanders, top diplomats, cabinet secretaries,
the vice-president and even the president himself to cement
ties, as well as carefully controlled invitations to visit the State
Department, the White House and even the Oval Office itself.
China is developing a similar system. The People’s
Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has started to send warships on
port calls around the world. In 2014, the PLAN paid its first port
call to Bandar Abbas in Iran, the first time its warships have
entered the Middle East Gulf. In 2015, the PLAN will conduct
joint naval exercises in the Mediterranean with Russia’s navy.
On the diplomatic side, lesser partners get a visit from the foreign minister. More important ones get a visit from Premier Li.
And the most important ones get the full treatment with a personal visit from the Chinese president.
Choreography is vitally important and the trips are stagemanaged with growing care, harnessing the full resources of
China’s diplomatic service, domestic and foreign media to convey carefully controlled messages about China’s aims and
the importance of particular countries.
China’s leaders have developed their
own foreign policy doctrines
around the country’s “peaceful
rise”, the “Chinese dream” and
the “Belt and the Road” to
promote a vision of peaceful economic development with China at the
centre - much as the
United States earlier
developed diplomatic
doctrines around free
trade, global finance and
individual freedom.
White
House
incumbents like to
have a doctrine named
after them to summarise their posture
and strategy in foreign affairs. Xi has
developed something similar with his
“Silk Road Economic
Belt and 21st Century
Maritime Silk Road”. Just
as the United States has
used free trade agreements, military assistance,
aid and lending by policy
banks to reward allies and deepen diplomatic relationships, China’s
leaders have been busy doling
out trade deals as well as billions of dollars of loans and
investments to selected strategic partners in
the hope of winning greater influence and
support.
President Xi and China’s diplomatic corps seem to be consciously
copying the American model of
international relations, adapted to meet their own strategic priorities and resources, seeking to put China at the heart of a
web of diplomatic, economic and military influence equal but
different to the United States.
Xi Who Must be Obeyed
At home, too, China’s top leader appears to have learned
important lessons from the United States about the importance of very visible and singular presidential leadership. Xi has
become adept at using the presidential bully pulpit to advocate a clear policy direction and agenda in a manner that
would be instantly recognisable to US presidents from
Theodore Roosevelt (who coined the phrase) to Ronald
Reagan.
Even the anti-corruption campaign and the president’s
repeated focus on strengthening the rule of law are clearly
designed to centralise political and administrative control as
well as remove rivals and rebuild the party’s legitimacy. Reducing corruption and strengthening
the rule of law are not about making the political system more participative, let alone
democratic. They are primarily focused on
making the party-government system more
effective, efficient and stable.
In many instances during the Hu
and Jiang years state enterprises,
provinces and local administrations
ignored directives from the top
leadership with impunity.
Extensive corruption, intra-party
factions and weak legal controls
meant that the entire party-state
system was becoming increasingly
unresponsive.
If President Obama issues an
executive order from the White
House there is a fair chance it will be
carried out by the federal bureaucracy. But under the collective leadership of Hu and Jiang it was
increasingly unclear whether commands from top leaders would be
obeyed. The party-state system was
decaying from within. Xi’s campaigns
for more discipline, rule of law, and
against factionalism are a blunt
reminder to lesser officials that there are
serious consequences for failing to obey
instructions from above. As in foreign policy,
China’s internal reforms are meant to equip it
with the economic, political and military decisionmaking structure necessary for a modern economic
and diplomatic superpower. The priority is not transitioning to democracy but making the existing system
work effectively, enabling it to deal with the challenges
of running one of the world’s largest economies and
countries, as well as what the foreign minister
described as increasingly close interactions with the
international community. — Reuters
p15_Layout 1 1/6/15 9:37 PM Page 1
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
S P ORTS
Leafs fire head coach
Players sick in Perth heat
Szukala joins Al Ittihad
TORONTO: The Toronto Maple Leafs have fired head coach Randy
Carlyle in a bid to salvage a season that has started to slip away, the
National Hockey League team said yesterday.
The decision to part ways with Carlyle comes with Toronto having
lost seven of their last nine games and clinging to the final wild-card
playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of the Boston
Bruins. “It’s never an easy decision to make when changing your leadership but our team was not trending in the right direction and we felt an
immediate change was necessar y,” Maple Leafs
General Manager David Nonis said in a statement.
Assistant coaches Peter Horachek and Steve
Spott will handle coaching duties for the Maple
Leafs in their next game on Wednesday against
the visiting Washington Capitals.
The Maple Leafs’ coaching job is widely considered one of the toughest in the 30-team NHL
given the intense media scrutiny and
pressure to bring home the franchise’s
first Stanley Cup since 1967.—Reuters
PERTH: Extreme heat in Western Australia led to unhappy players vomiting
and suffering excessive weight loss during a top of the table A-League
clash on Monday, the local players union said.
Perth Glory have since requested for later kick-off times after the 2-1
home loss to Adelaide United was played out in 39 degrees Celsius (102
Fahrenheit) temperatures which dropped by only four degrees at the end
of the game, local media reported. “Some players have since reported heat
illnesses, including excessive weight loss, headaches and vomiting,”
Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) Chief Executive Adam Vivian said in
a statement yesterday. “The PFA will continue to monitor the players’ health
and will be conducting further discussions with Football Federation
Australia and the clubs. “We will be asking them to share with us the advice
in which they were satisfied the players’ health and safety was not compromised by proceeding with the match at that time.”
League officials shot down suggestions they had risked player safety by
allowing the match to go ahead on the hottest January day in Perth in 20
years. “We’ve gone to great lengths to take serious medical advice on heat,”
A-League head Damien de Bohun was quoted as saying by ABC news. “It’s
important to note that the FFA’s standards are more stringent than FIFA’s
standards and it’s based on medical best practice. —Reuters
BUCHAREST: In a refreshingly honest admission, Poland centre back
Lukasz Szukala says he turned down offers from England and Germany to
join Saudi Arabian side Al Ittihad from Romanian champions Steaua
Bucharest because the money was too good to refuse.
Szukala, who has played 10 times for Poland since making his international debut in 2013, signed a two-year contract, starting on July 1 and did not bother with the footballer’s common claim that he was moving for the “challenge and interest of a new environment.”
“I had offers from Germany and England, but the financial conditions offered by Al Ittihad were fantastic,” said the
30-year-old, who was voted the best foreign player in
the Romanian league in 2014. “It was impossible
to turn down their offer.” Szukala became the
second Steaua player to join Al Ittihad after
highly-rated midfielder Lucian Sanmartean
agreed a one-year deal with the team
coached by former Romania boss Victor
Piturca.—Reuters
Ryder captain to be named
inside six weeks - McGinley
LONDON: The captain of Europe’s 2016
Ryder Cup team will be decided by the
middle of February, according to outgoing
skipper Paul McGinley.
The Irishman, a member of the five-man
panel that will elect the next skipper, told
Reuters in an interview at Wentworth Golf
Club on the outskirts of London that the
top players would have a big say in the
decision-making process.
“We are pretty far down the road,” said
the 48-year-old McGinley. “I think within a
maximum of six weeks we’ll have a new
captain in place.
“The wheels will turn on another Ryder
Cup and we’ll be getting ready for
Hazeltine in two years’ time.” The bookmakers have installed 2011 British Open champion Darren Clarke as the odds-on
favourite to lead the side in Minnesota and
McGinley said it was important for the panel to canvas the opinions of Europe’s leading golfers.
“You look mainly at who the players
want when you are looking for the next
captain,” he added. “One thing that’s
worked in our favour over the years is that
we have voted in captains that the players
have wanted to play for.”
McGinley was lauded by the entire team
for the way he plotted the downfall of Tom
Watson’s United States side in Scotland in
September, Europe’s eighth victory in the
last 10 editions of the biennial team event.
There is always a twinkle in his eye when
his thoughts drift back to that special week
at Gleneagles and the Irishman is hoping
the vast majority of his team will be back in
the side at Hazeltine.
“I’m pulling for all my players from
Gleneagles to do well,” said McGinley who
is joined on the selection panel by 2010
captain Colin Montgomerie, 2012 skipper
Jose Maria Olazabal and European Tour
officials.
INDIVIDUAL SUCCESS
“They all did so well and I’d love to see
them all having individual success. I’d like
as many of them as possible to make the
team again in two years’ time.”
Justin Rose, the 2013 U.S. Open winner,
and Henrik Stenson formed the most successful pairing for Europe at Gleneagles
and McGinley is particularly keen for the
38-year-old Swede to end his long wait for
a first victory in a major championship.
“Henrik and Justin were arguably the
best players at the Ryder Cup and it would
be a shame if Henrik went through his
entire career without winning a major,” said
the Irishman who is an ambassador for the
specialist bank and asset manager Investec.
“But I have no doubts he will. He has
proved himself at the top level, he’s won
big tournaments all around the world. “He
has the game, he has the power and he has
the mental capacity to win a major championship,” said McGinley. “Justin is continually
improving year on year and he will certainly be a factor as well this year.” McGinley
also expects world number one Ror y
McIlroy to come out firing on all cylinders
when he begins his season at next week’s
Abu Dhabi Championship alongside the
second-ranked Stenson and number six
Rose. The Northern Irishman achieved
back-to-back major wins in 2014, at the
British Open and US PGA Championship,
and McGinley said there were many more
victories ahead for McIlroy. “What’s good
about Rory is the great balance he has in
his life,” he explained. “He’s had a good winter off, he’s enjoyed himself and will come
back fresh and invigorated for a new year
of golf.”—Reuters
Terranova clinches
second stage
CHILECITO: Argentine Orlando Terranova
claimed his second stage win of the Dakar
Rally yesterday, to move third overall in the
standings led by Mini teammate Nasser AlAttiyah.
Qatari Al-Attiyah, the 2011 champion,
finished fifth in the day’s 542km third stage,
which included 284km of specials. South
Africa’s Giniel de Villiers, picked up his third
podium finish in three days, ahead of
another Toyota driven by Saudi Arabia’s
Alrahji Zayed, to stay second overall.
Spaniard Carlos Sainz, winner in 2010,
finished fourth at 4min 6sec to move up to
fourth in the overall standings, while fellow
Peugeot veteran Stephane Peterhansel, finished seventh, nine minutes off the pace, to
sit 16th overall at 1hr 12 min.
In the motorbike section, Austria’s
Matthias Walkner, was a surprise winner of
his first Dakar stage, ahead of KTM teammate and reigning champion Marc Coma
and overall race leader Joan Barreda Bort of
Spain. “I made some little mistakes because
it was a little bit dangerous today with
many stones and it forced you over the limit, but overall it was quite good,” said
Walkner.
“It’s my first rally and I hope I can enjoy
it.” Overall Honda’s Barreda Bort leads
ahead of Portuguese teammate Paulo
Goncalves and Walkner. Coma sits fourth at
10min 50sec. “It was really dangerous
because we were on river beds with a lot of
stones and broken up tracks all day,” said
Barreda Bort. “Now we go to Chile and
there will be different stages and a different
feeling so we will see there.” Today’s stage
runs between Chilecito in Argentina to
Copiapo in Chile. —AFP
WASHINGTON: Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8), from Russia, goes airborne as he collides with Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo (1) in
the first period of an NHL hockey game.—AP
Capitals see off Panthers
WASHINGTON: Alex Ovechkin had a goal
and an assist to help the Washington
Capitals beat the Florida Panthers 4-3 on
Sunday. Brooks Laich and Karl Alzner added
second-period goals for Washington, which
has won 10 straight home games against
the Panthers. The Capitals improved to 101-3 in their past 14 games, and avoided a
letdown after their 3-2 victory over Chicago
in the Winter Classic.
Braden Holtby made 29 saves for
Washington. Nick Bjugstad had a goal and
an assist for Florida. Vincent Trochek and
Dylan Olsen also scored.
HURRICANES 2, BRUINS 1
Eric Staal scored the only goal in the
shootout to lift Carolina past Boston. Anton
Khudobin got the start in goal for Carolina
in place of Cam Ward, who played the previous four games. Khudobin, a former Bruin,
made 19 saves and stopped Reilly Smith,
Patrice Bergeron and Torey Krug in the
shootout. Tuukka Rask made 35 saves for
Boston, but couldn’t stop Staal.
Patrick Dwyer opened the scoring for
Carolina with 33.2 seconds left in the first
period. Bergeron tied it for Boston, one-timing a pass from Brad M archand past
Khudobin in the second period.
BLACKHAWKS 5, STARS 4
Patrick Sharp scored 1:17 into overtime
to give the Chicago Blackhawks a win over
Dallas and end the Stars’ four-game winning
streak. Sharp drove past Jason Spezza down
the slot, took Duncan Keith’s feed from the
left point and beat Kari Lehtonen with a
shot that slipped between the goalie’s body
and his blocker.
Chicago’s Brad Richards fooled Lehtonen
with an improbable sharp-angle shot with
3:57 left in the third period to tie it at 4 and
set up overtime.
Brandon Saad, Patrick Kane and Bryan
Bickell scored for the Black hawks, who
came back from four one-goal deficits to
win. Erik Cole had two goals and an assist
for the Stars. Jamie Benn and his brother,
Jordie, also scored for Dallas.
ARGENTINA: Toyota driver Giniel de Villiers of South Africa and co-pilot Dirk Von
Zitzewitz of Germany, race during the second stage of the Dakar Rally 2015. —AP
BLUE JACKETS 4, AVALANCHE 3
David Savard drove in shot from just
inside the blue line with 1:01 left in the
third period, lifting the Columbus Blue
Jackets past the Colorado Avalanche.
Savard, whose turnover early in the game
led to a goal for Colorado, was able to get
enough on the puck to k nock it past
Semyon Varlamov for the Blue Jackets’ fifth
win in their last six road games.
Brandon Dubinsky scored a pair of goals
for the Blue Jackets, and Ryan Johansen and
added a goal. Colorado scored its quickest
goal of the season when Jarome Iginla
intercepted a wayward pass by Savard in
the Blue Jackets’ zone and wristed a shot
past Curtis McElhinney 30 seconds into the
game. Gabriel Landeskog and Cody McLeod
also had goals for Colorado.
DUCKS 4, PREDATORS 3
Francois Beauchemin scored the tying
goal with 2:17 left in the third period and
Ryan Kesler got the deciding goal in the
shootout, giving the Anaheim Ducks a victory over the Nashville Predators.
Matt Beleskey and Corey Perry also had
goals in regulation for the league-leading
Ducks, and Frederik Andersen made 27
saves. Seth Jones and Craig Smith had power-play goals in the second period and
M attias Ek holm also scored for the
Predators. Backup goalie Car ter Hutton
stopped 30 shots, but remained winless in
five starts this season - all on the road.
LIGHTNING 4, SENATORS 2
Tyler Johnson had two goals and Nikita
Kucherov had two assists to lead the Tampa
Bay Lightning past the Ottawa Senators. The
Lightning took a 3-2 lead into the third period and increased that to 4-2 at the 7:58
mark on Johnson’s second goal of the game.
The Lightning also got goals from Victor
Hedman, who also had an assist, and Steven
Stamkos. Ben Bishop made 20 saves and
improved to 6-0-2 against his former team.
Ottawa got a goal and an assist from Kyle
Turris, along with another goal from Mark
Stone, but had its two-game winning streak
end.
OILERS 5, ISLANDERS 2
Matt Hendricks scored a pair of goals and
the Edmonton Oilers topped the New York
Islanders. Jordan Eberle, Derek Roy and
Matt Fraser also scored for the Oilers, who
won for just the third time in their last 25
games. Edmonton, however, improved to 20-2 in its last four games since interim head
coach Todd Nelson took sole possession of
the Oilers’ bench, with general manager
Craig MacTavish moving back upstairs.
Johnny Boychuk and Brock Nelson scored
for the Islanders, whose three-game winning streak ended. New York is 7-2-1 in its
last 10.—AP
NHL results/standings
Anaheim
Vancouver
San Jose
Los Angeles
Calgary
Arizona
Edmonton
Nashville
Chicago
St. Louis
Winnipeg
Dallas
Minnesota
Colorado
Montreal
Western Conference
Pacific Division
W
L OTL GF
26
9
6 115
22
12
3 109
21
14
5 109
19
12
9 112
21
16
3 115
15
19
4
92
9
22
9
88
Central Division
25
9
4 116
26
11
2 124
23
13
3 118
20
13
7 103
18
14
6 119
18
15
4 104
15
16
8 101
Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division
26
11
2 108
GA
110
98
105
103
105
124
135
PTS
58
47
47
47
45
34
27
88
85
99
96
124
106
117
54
54
49
47
42
40
38
Tampa Bay
25
12
4
134
108
54
Detroit
20
10
9
109
99
49
Toronto
21
16
3
130
122
45
Boston
19
15
6
104
108
44
Florida
17
11
9
87
97
43
Ottawa
16
15
7
102
105
39
Buffalo
14
23
3
77
136
31
Metropolitan Division
Pittsburgh
24
10
5
118
94
53
NY Islanders
26
12
1
121
109
53
Washington
20
11
7
112
99
47
NY Rangers
21
11
4
113
90
46
Columbus
17
17
3
96
119
37
Philadelphia
14
18
7
106
120
35
New Jersey
14
20
7
90
117
35
Carolina
12
23
4
77
102
28
Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the
89
54
standings and are not included in the loss column (L).
p16_Layout 1 1/6/15 9:49 PM Page 1
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
S P ORTS
Elgar guides
SA to victory
CAPE TOWN: Dean Elgar guided South
Africa to a series-clinching victory by eight
wickets on the fifth day of the third and
final Test against the West Indies at
Newlands yesterday.
South Africa won the series by two
matches to nil, with one match finishing in
a rain-affected draw. The left-handed Elgar
made 60 not out as South Africa reached a
victory target of 124 shortly before lunch. It
was tough going for South Africa at the
start of the day after they resumed on nine
for one.
Fast bowler Jerome Taylor and left-arm
spinner Suleiman Benn did not concede a
run until Elgar pulled Taylor for four after 26
minutes and off the 45th ball of the day.
The tall Benn was particularly difficult to
score off, getting turn and bounce from a
wearing pitch, with Faf du Plessis completely tied down.
Benn, who bowled Alviro Petersen with
the last ball of the fourth day, did not give
up a run until Du Plessis took a single off
the fifth ball of his sixth over.
Du Plessis struggled to 14 off 69 balls
before a ball from Benn kicked viciously
and took the shoulder of his bat for
Jermaine Blackwood to take a catch running back from gully.
Benn took two for 24 in an unbroken
spell of 17 overs. Elgar, who spoiled Benn’s
figures slightly by hitting him for six, went
to his fifty off 86 balls with six fours and a
six.
The scoring rate accelerated when captain Hashim Amla joined Elgar in an
unbeaten partnership of 73 off 91 balls.
Amla made 38 not out.
South Africa won the first Test in
Centurion by an innings and 220 runs. The
second match in Port Elizabeth was drawn
after more than two days of playing time
was lost to rain.
The sides start a three-match Twenty20
international series at Newlands on Friday,
to be followed by five one-day internationals.—AFP
SYDNEY: Australia’s Steve Smith pulls the ball against India during their cricket Test match. —AP
SCOREBOARD
CAPE TOWN: Final scores on the fifth day of the third and final Test between South
Africa and the West Indies at Newlands yesterday.
West Indies, first innings, 329
South Africa, first innings, 421
West Indies, second innings, 215
South Africa, second innings (overnight 9-1)
D. Elgar not out
60
A. Petersen b Benn 0
F. du Plessis c Blackwood b Benn
14
H. Amla not out
38
Extras (b8, lb2, nb2)
12
Total (2 wkts, 37.4 overs)
124
Fall of wickets: 1-9 (Petersen), 2-51 (Du
Plessis)
Bowling: Taylor 7-3-20-0, Samuels 3.4-024-0, Benn 17-8-24-2, Holder 5-0-19-0,
Gabriel 5-1-27-0 (2nb).
Result: South Africa won by eight wickets
Aussies punish India
SYDNEY: David Warner kissed the ground in
Phillip Hughes’s memory to lead an Australian
run spree with an emotional century on the
opening day of the final Test against India yesterday.
The dynamic opener posted his third ton of
the series and 12th in Tests as he honored the
memory of his fallen friend Hughes, who was
fatally struck by a bouncer at the same Sydney
Cricket Ground in November. Upon reaching the
symbolic score of 63 that Hughes had made
when he was hit, Warner kissed the ground and
then looked skywards before clapping in tribute.
Warner scored 101 and shared in an opening
stand of 200 on a benign SCG pitch with veteran
Chris Rogers, who again fell short of a ton in his
fifth consecutive half-century of the series.
Skipper Steve Smith and Shane Watson maintained Australia’s grip with an unbroken 144-run
stand after winning the toss to put the home
side at a formidable 348 for two at the close.
Smith, who glided to his half-century off 67
balls for his fifth innings beyond 50 in the series,
was unbeaten on 82 with Watson on 61. Watson
was dropped by Ravichandran Ashwin at slip off
the second-last ball of the day.
“We got lucky the coin fell our way. At the
moment it was a fantastic toss to win, we’re two
for 348, fantastic position to be in,” Warner said.
“There was no swing, there was no sideways
movement at all, so it was quite challenging for
the bowlers. “It’s going to be challenging for us
to take 10 wickets as well.”
India have already lost the Border-Gavaskar
Trophy with Australia holding an unassailable 20 lead following wins in Adelaide and Brisbane.
The tourists have won only one of their last
22 Tests overseas and have been successful in
only one of their 10 Tests at the Sydney Cricket
Ground, that sole victory coming 37 years ago.
“It was a very tough day. It’s very important
that we pick ourselves up tonight and try to be
as fresh as possible tomorrow,” Ashwin said.
“It’s going to be a hard day. If we can keep
them down to (a reasonable score) we can get
back into it.” Warner batted for 180 minutes with
16 fours, pulling Mohammed Shami to the
boundary to bring up his ton off 108 balls with
16 fours.
He was out soon after for 101 off 114 balls,
caught at slip off a leading edge from spinner
Ashwin. “It’s great to get milestones and I’ve
done my job for the team as well as I can,”
Warner said.
“The thing I’m most proud of is putting up a
double-century partnership with Bucky (Rogers).
It’s our first one and we bat very well together.”
Rogers, who gave chances on 19 and 90, followed Warner to the pavilion six balls later when
he was bowled for 95 by Shami. The Sydney Test
was being played against the poignant backdrop of the tragic death of Hughes. Warner posted his first Test century at the SCG and he, along
with Smith, Watson, Brad Haddin and Nathan
Lyon, were all on the field when Hughes was
felled by the short-pitched ball.
A plaque honouring the batsman has been
installed outside the home dressing room at the
SCG and served as a reminder for the Australian
players of their former team-mate.
India, with Virat Kohli leading the team after
the sudden Test retirement of Mahendra Singh
Dhoni, made four changes with Rohit Sharma,
Suresh Raina, Wriddhiman Saha and
Bhuvneshwar Kumar coming into the side.
The tourists left out opener Shikhar Dhawan
with Lokesh Rahul promoted to open the
innings, Sharma replacing Cheteshwar Pujara
and Saha for Dhoni at wicketkeeper, while
Kumar came in for paceman Ishant Sharma. The
Australians made only one change with Mitchell
Starc replacing injured paceman Mitchell
Johnson.—AFP
SCOREBOARD
SYDNEY: Scoreboard at the close on the opening day of the fourth Test between Australia and
India at the Sydney Cricket Ground yesterday:
Australia 1st innings
C. Rogers b Shami
D. Warner c Vijay b Ashwin
S. Watson not out
S. Smith not out
Extras (lb3, w6)
95
101
61
82
9
Total (2 wickets, 90 overs) 348
Fall of wickets: 1-200 (Warner), 2-204 (Rogers)
Bowling: Kumar 20-2-67-0, Yadav 16-1-97-0
(6w), Shami 16-2-58-1, Ashwin 28-5-88-1, Raina
10-2-35-0 To bat: S. Marsh, J. Burns, B. Haddin,
R. Harris, M. Starc, N. Lyon, J. Hazlewood.
Williamson, Watling record
smashes Sri Lanka hopes
CAPE TOWN: South African Dean Elgar reacts after hitting the ball as the team plays
West Indies during the third Test match. —AP
India pick three spinners
for World Cup
MUMBAI: India’s selectors yesterday
chose three frontline spinners to help
Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men defend the
World Cup title in Australia and New
Zealand from next month.
Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was
joined by left-armers Ravindra Jadeja
and young Akshar Patel in a 15-man
squad announced in Mumbai for the
showpiece event from February 14 to
March 29.
Jadeja was selected despite being
treated for a shoulder injury that forced
him out of the ongoing Test series in
Australia. Patel, 20, has claimed 14 wickets in nine one-day internationals so far.
“Jadeja is doing wonderfully well in
his recovery process and we are hopeful
he will be fit in 10 days time,” Indian
cricket board secretary Sanjay Patel told
reporters.
The squad includes just four playersDhoni, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and
Ashwin-who were part of the winning
team in 2011.
The selectors ignored Yuvraj Singh,
the man of the tournament in 2011, who
was not in the preliminary 30-man
squad, but came into reckoning with
centuries in three consecutive first-class
matches.
Teams are allowed to select players
from outside their preliminary pool, but
the 33-year-old Singh’s absence from the
one-day team over the past year due to
poor form went against him.
The nucleus of the squad is the same
which helped India win the Champions
Trophy one-day tournament in England
in 2013.
There was no place for opening bats-
man Murali Vijay, one of the few Indian
players to emerge with credit from the
Australia Test series with 402 runs in the
first three matches at an average of
67.00.
Vijay, 30, played the last of his 14 oneday internationals in July 2013. Rohit
Sharma, who hit one-day cricket’s highest score of 264 against Sri Lanka last
November, will open the batting with
left-hander Shikhar Dhawan, despite
both faring poorly in the Tests.
The squad includes seven batsmen,
three spinners and five seamers in Ishant
Sharma,
Bhuvneshwar
Kumar,
Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and
all-rounder Stuart Binny.
The same players, along with two
extra new-ball bowlers Dhawal Kulkarni
and Mohit Sharma, will take part in the
one-day tri-series with England and
Australia starting on January 16.
India are drawn in pool B of the World
Cup alongside Pakistan, South Africa,
West Indies, United Arab Emirates,
Ireland and Zimbabwe. The top four in
the pool will advance to the quarterfinals. Dhoni’s men begin their campaign
with a mouth-watering clash against
arch-rivals Pakistan in Adelaide on
February 15.
Squad:
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Shikhar
Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane,
Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu,
Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja,
Akshar
Patel,
Ishant
Sharma,
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami,
Umesh Yadav, Stuart Binny. Coach:
Duncan Fletcher. —AFP
WELLINGTON: A world record sixth-wicket
partnership of 365 by Kane Williamson and B.J.
Watling, who both posted career bests,
slammed the door on Sri Lanka in the second
Test in Wellington yesterday. Williamson’s
unbeaten 242, with Watling not out 142, rescued New Zealand from a deep hole and carried them to 524-5 declared in their second
innings. Sri Lanka were left facing a 390-run
final-day target on a ground where the record
for a successful fourth innings chase is 277-3 set
by Pakistan 11 years ago.
At stumps they were 45-1 with Kaushal Silva
on 20 and Dhammika Prasad on one. Dimuth
Karunaratne was out for 17 four overs before
the close, the only dismissal of the day.
With wickets hard to come by on a flat track,
and Sri Lanka holding middle-order strength
led by Kumar Sangakkara, a draw seemed the
likely outcome. This would give New Zealand
the two-Test series 1-0. Williamson and Watling
came together as New Zealand’s last recognised
batsmen with the score on 159-5, a perilous 24run lead. They methodically ground the Sri
Lankan bowlers into submission over the following eight hours.
Williamson said their focus was on occupying the crease to save New Zealand and records
were secondary. “We needed to draw on that to
bat as long as we did. That was very much the
motivating factor. Talk about 100s or 200s, it’s
great to get them but more important to keep
going to put the team in a better position,” he
said.
Sri Lanka need a further 345 on the final day
to win. While the odds favour New Zealand,
Williamson said both sides fancied a result. “We
know if we put it in the right areas and bowl the
way we know we can, we can create opportunities, but anyone with someone like Kumar
Sangakkara in their team will certainly have
confidence, and it’s set up for a really good day’s
cricket.” New Zealand declared 13 runs ahead of
the previous sixth-wicket record of 352 set by
Watling with Brendon McCullum in similar Testsaving circumstances against India a year ago.
Then, as now, New Zealand were fighting to
claim the series after winning the first Test. Sri
Lanka squandered several opportunities to
break the partnership and regain control, and
paid a heavy price for sloppy fielding.
Williamson offered four chances-dropped by
Rangana Herath on 29, dropped by Nuwan
Pradeep on 60 and dropped by Prasanna
Jayawardene on 104 before Jayawardene
missed a blatant stumping opportunity on 233.
Williamson’s unbeaten 242, the product of
more than 10 hours at the crease, gave the 24year-old his ninth Test century and the seventh
highest score by a New Zealander.
After cautiously steering New Zealand into a
commanding position, Williamson opened up
towards the end of the innings, scoring 52 of
the 79 runs added in the 15 overs before the
declaration. In his marathon innings he faced
438 deliveries and scored 18 fours, including a
boundary to midwicket when he danced down
the wicket to bring up his maiden 200 off
Rangana Herath. While Williamson steered New
Zealand to safety, Watling proved a sound ally
at the other end as he brought up his fourth
Test century. He had nine fours and a six in his
142. His previous best was 124 in his match-saving knock with McCullum against India. As the
innings progressed the Sri Lankan captain
Angelo Mathews set defensive fields in hopes
the batsmen would make a mistake, but when
the chances came they were not taken.
Herath, the leading bowler in the world last
year with 60 wickets at 24.85, finished with figures of one for 154. Sri Lanka’s most successful
bowler Pradeep had figures of three for 117
after being three for 32 before Watling went to
the middle.—AFP
SCOREBOARD
WELLINGTON: Scoreboard at stumps yesterday on day four of the second Test between New
Zealand and Sri Lanka at the Basin Reserve in Wellington:
New Zealand 1st innings 221 (K. Williamson 69;
N. Pradeep 4-63, S. Lakmal 3-71)
Sri Lanka 1st innings 356 (K. Sangakkara 203, D.
Chandimal 67; J. Neesham 3-42, D. Bracewell 3-93)
New Zealand 2nd innings (overnight 253-5)
T. Latham c Jayawardene b Pradeep
35
H. Rutherford c Chandimal b Pradeep
40
K. Williamson not out
242
R. Taylor b Herath
0
B. McCullum lbw Prasad
22
J. Neesham lbw Pradeep
19
B. Watling not out
142
Extras (b7, lb7, w4, nb6)
24
Total (five wickets dec, 172 overs)
524
Fall of wickets: 1-75 (Rutherford), 2-78 (Latham),
3-79 (Taylor), 4-122 (McCullum), 5-159 (Neesham)
Bowling: Lakmal 32-4-89-0 (1w), Pradeep 37-4117-3 (5nb, 1w), Herath 56-8-154-1, Prasad 28-1102-1 (1nb, 1w), Mathews 11-3-29-0, Thirimanne
8-1-19-0 (1w)
Sri Lanka 2nd innings
D. Karunaratne c Rutherford b Craig
17
K. Silva not out
20
D. Prasad not out
1
Extras (b4, lb2, w1)
7
Total (one wicket, 17 overs)
45
Fall of wicket: 1-42 (Karunaratne)
Bowling: Boult 7-0-21-0, Southee 4-3-4-0,
Bracewell 2-0-11-0 (1w), Craig 2-2-0-1, Rutherford
1-0-2-0, Williamson 1-0-1-0.
NEW ZEALAND: Sri Lanka’s Dimuth Karunaratne bats
on day four of the second international Test cricket
match between New Zealand and SriLanka†at the Basin
Reserve. —AFP
p17 2_Layout 1 1/6/15 9:50 PM Page 1
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
S P ORTS
MEMPHIS: Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) drives past New York Knicks forward Quincy Acy (4) in the second half of an NBA basketball game. The Grizzlies beat the Knicks 105-83. —AP
Mavs beat Nets, Warriors silence Thunder
NEW YORK: Dirk Nowitzki made a clinching 3-pointer in overtime that moved him
into seventh place on the NBA’s career scoring list, and the Dallas Mavericks beat the
Brooklyn Nets 96-88 on Monday night to
match their season high with a sixth
straight victory.
Monta Ellis scored 19 points and made a
pair of jumpers early in overtime before
consecutive 3-pointers by Chandler
Parsons and Nowitzki made it 96-88 with
34 seconds to play. That gave Nowitzki 15
points for the game and 27,412 in his
career, moving him past Moses Malone into
the No. 7 spot.
Rajon Rondo shot 1 of 13 for two points
but had 14 assists and 10 rebounds for the
Mavericks, who have the longest current
winning streak in the NBA. Tyson Chandler
finished with 14 points and 13 boards.
Brook Lopez had 22 points and 13
rebounds for the Nets but faded after an
18-point first quarter. Jarrett Jack had 20
points and 10 assists.
The Nets were without Deron Williams
(sore left side) and Kevin Garnett, who rested on the second night of back-to-back
games, and dropped their second straight
after winning three in a row.
WARRIORS 117, THUNDER 91
Harrison Barnes scored a season-high 23
points and grabbed seven rebounds, and
Golden State used a smothering defensive
effort to rout Oklahoma City.
Klay Thompson and Stephen Curr y
scored 19 points each as the NBA-best
Warriors (27-5) bottled up Kevin Durant,
Russell Westbrook and the Thunder.
Golden State held Oklahoma City to 30.6
percent shooting. The Warriors’ whipping
denied the rejuvenated Thunder (17-18) a
chance to move above .500 for the first
time this season.
Westbrook scored 22 points, and Durant
had 14 points and 10 rebounds on a night
when everything seemed to be a struggle
for the Thunder. Durant shot 3 of 16, and
Westbrook finished 5 for 21 from the floor.
But help is on the way for Oklahoma City’s
All-Star tandem.
The Thunder acquired shooting guard
Dion Waiters from Cleveland in a threeteam trade that was announced during the
game. Oklahoma City sent the Cavaliers a
protected 2015 first-round draft pick and
moved reserve Lance Thomas to the New
York Knicks.
BULLS 114, ROCKETS 105
Pau Gasol had 27 points and 14
rebounds, Jimmy Butler scored 22 and
Chicago rallied for its 13th win in 15 games.
Derrick Rose added 19 points, Nikola
Mirotic had 17 and the Bulls outscored the
Rockets 19-5 over the final 3:19. Josh Smith
led Houston with 21 points. James Harden
scored 20, but the Rockets lost for the
fourth time in six games. Butler scored five
points and took a charge against Harden
during the game-ending rally to help the
Bulls wipe out a five-point deficit.Mirotic
also hit a 3 and scored five points during
that stretch.
76ERS 95, CAVALIERS 92
Tony Wroten scored 20 points and hit
the go-ahead layup with 9.1 seconds left to
lift Philadelphia over short-handed
Cleveland.
Philadelphia had been 0-14 at home this
season. Kevin Love had 28 points and 19
rebounds for the Cavaliers, who didn’t have
LeBron James and Kyrie Irving because of
injuries. They lost Dion Waiters and two
reserves shortly before tipoff because of a
three -team trade with New York and
Oklahoma City. After the Cavaliers blew all
of a 17-point lead, Love made it 92-90 with
a pair of free throws with 1:09 left.
Wroten made one of two free throws,
then scored the go-ahead layup to help the
Sixers end their home -losing streak.
Michael Carter-Williams had 18 points and
13 assists for the Sixers.
HAWKS 107, CLIPPERS 98
Paul Millsap scored 23 points, Jeff
Teague added 20 and Atlanta pulled away
from Los Angeles in the fourth quarter to
earn its seventh straight road victory for
the first time in 21 years.
DeMarre Carroll had 17 points and eight
rebounds, and Al Horford scored 16 for the
East-leading Hawks, who won their fifth in
a row and 19th in 21 games.
Blake Griffin had 26 points and 10
rebounds to lead the Clippers, whose
biggest lead of nine came at the start of the
game. DeAndre Jordan added 15 points
and 16 rebounds, and Chris Paul had 10
points and 10 assists before fouling out
with 1:50 to play as the team’s three-game
winning streak ended.
GRIZZLIES 105, KNICKS 83
Mike Conley scored 14 of his 22 points
in the third quarter, and Memphis sent
depleted New York to its record-tying 12th
straight loss.
The Knicks (5-32), who have the NBA’s
worst winning percentage, lost for the
22nd time in 23 games. New York played
without injured starters Carmelo Anthony
and Amare Stoudemire. The Knicks were
also missing J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert,
who were traded to Cleveland.
Reserve forward Quincy Acy led the
Knicks with 19 points, and Jose Calderon
added 13. The Grizzlies led by 11 at the half
and pulled away in the third quarter.
Courtney Lee scored all 11 of his points in
the first seven minutes of the period.
TRAIL BLAZERS 98, LAKERS 94
Damian Lillard scored 39 points and
made the go-ahead basket with 36 seconds
remaining as Portland rallied from a 10point deficit in the second half to beat Los
Angeles.
Lillard hit four 3-pointers, and scored 16
points during the fourth quarter to lead the
Trail Blazers (27-8). He has scored at least 39
points in three of his past nine games.
LaMarcus Aldridge added 21 points, and
reserve center Meyers Leonard had 12
points and 12 rebounds for Portland.
Jordan Hill led Los Angeles (11-24) with
23 points and 14 rebounds. Five Lakers
scored in double figures, including Jeremy
Lin with 14 points. Kobe Bryant, the Lakers’
leading scorer at 23.6 points per game,
stayed home for a scheduled day of rest.
WIZARDS 92, PELICANS 85
John Wall had 15 points and 12 assists,
and Washington ended its longest skid of
the season at three games with a victory
over New Orleans.
Paul Pierce scored 14 points on 6-of-8
shooting for the Wizards, who had five
players in double figures. Andre Miller
added 12 points, and Marcin Gortat and
Kris Humphries each had 10.
Anthony Davis had 21 points and 10
rebounds for New Orleans, which led only
once - by a single point in the first 4 minutes of the game.
Tyreke Evans, playing despite an illness
that kept him out of the team’s
shootaround earlier in the day, scored 21
points. Pelicans guard Eric Gordon, returning from a left shoulder injury, played for
the first time in 21 games, but scored only
six points in 33 minutes.
HORNETS 104, CELTICS 95
Kemba Walker scored 20 of his 33 points
in the second half and Cody Zeller finished
with a career-high 20 on a perfect shooting
night, carrying Charlotte over Boston.
It was just the second win in seven
games for the Hornets, who learned last
week that leading scorer Al Jefferson will
be sidelined for about three more weeks
with a left groin injury.
Zeller went 8 for 8 from the floor, hit all
four of his free throws and improved to 6-0
against his older brother Tyler, who plays
for the Celtics. Tyler Zeller had two points in
16 minutes. Walker added five assists and
five rebounds. Jared Sullinger led Boston
with 22 points and eight rebounds. The
Celtics have dropped three straight and
seven of eight.
NUGGETS 110, TIMBERWOLVES 101
Arron Afflalo scored 34 points to help
Denver hand Minnesota its 12th straight
loss. JJ Hickson had 16 points and 11
rebounds and the Nuggets shot 55 percent
to cruise past the Timberwolves (5-28), by
far the worst team in the Western
Conference. Jusuf Nurkic scored 14 points
and Ty Lawson added 12 assists for the
Nuggets, whose reser ves outscored
Minnesota’s 47-10.
Gorgui Dieng tied a career high with 22
points and grabbed 12 rebounds and
Shabazz Muhammad added 19 points and
six boards for Minnesota.
The
Timberwolves shot just 43 percent and
have not won since Dec. 10 while playing
without Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic and
Kevin Martin.
PACERS 105, JAZZ 101
Roy Hibbert scored 22 points to help
Indiana outlast Utah. Hibbert, who got into
a skirmish with the Lakers’ Carlos Boozer in
a one-point loss at Los Angeles on Sunday,
again played with a fiery edge and repeatedly went over 7-foot-1 Rudy Gobert for
inside baskets before fouling out in the
final minute.
Derrick Favors had 27 points and 11
rebounds and Gordon Hayward scored 24
for the Jazz, who were missing starting
point guard Trey Burke (strep throat) and
center Enes Kanter (sprained ankle).
The Pacers led 98-90 with a minute
remaining, but the Jazz nearly completed a
furious comeback with a 39-point fourth
quarter.—AP
NBA results/standings
Philadelphia 95, Cleveland 92; Charlotte 104, Boston 95;
Dallas 96, Brooklyn 88 (OT); Chicago 114, Houston 105;
Memphis 105, NY Knicks 83; Denver 110, Minnesota 101;
Washington 92, New Orleans 85; Indiana 105, Utah 101;
Portland 98, LA Lakers 94; Golden State 117, Oklahoma
City 91; Atlanta 107, LA Clippers 98.
Toronto
Brooklyn
Boston
Philadelphia
NY Knicks
Chicago
Cleveland
Milwaukee
Indiana
Detroit
Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division
W
L
PCT
24
10
.706
16
18
.471
11
21
.344
5
28
.152
5
32
.135
Central Division
25
10
19
16
18
17
14
22
10
23
.714
.543
.514
.389
.303
6
7
11.5
14
Southeast Division
26
8
.765
23
11
.676
15
20
.429
13
24
.351
12
24
.333
3
11.5
14.5
15
Western Conference
Northwest Division
Portland
27
8
.771
Oklahoma City
17
18
.486
Denver
15
20
.429
Utah
12
23
.343
Minnesota
5
28
.152
10
12
15
21
Atlanta
Washington
Miami
Orlando
Charlotte
Golden State
LA Clippers
Phoenix
Sacramento
LA Lakers
Memphis
Dallas
Houston
San Antonio
New Orleans
Pacific Division
27
5
23
12
20
16
14
20
11
24
.844
.657
.556
.412
.314
5.5
9
14
17.5
Southwest Division
25
9
.735
26
10
.722
23
11
.676
21
14
.600
17
17
.500
2
4.5
8
Scrabble squabble: Ruling body forced to eat its words
SYDNEY: A long-running war of words between an
Australian and the official Scrabble body has finally
been declared a draw by a state court.
The Victoria state magistrates’ court ruled that
the local chapter of the Australian Scrabble Players’
Association must overturn a years-old ruling that
retired teacher Mohammed A Hegazi had behaved
in a manner “unbecoming” to the popular
boardgame.
But Hegazi failed to persuade the cour t to
declare he had never cheated while playing the 77year-old game that’s played in 121 countries in 29
languages, Hegazi’s lawyer Robert Frajsman said
told Reuters. Hegazi was also ordered to pay costs of
A$3,000 ($2,440).
“Who would have thought that Scrabble would
be a bloodsport?” Frajsman told Reuters by telephone. Hegazi had agreed in 2008 to a 12-month
suspension from the association after it found him
guilty of bullying competitors, cheating and unprofessional conduct. Details of the cheating accusation
wre not immediately available.
But despite returning to competition once the
ban was up, Hegazi maintained he never cheated
and asked the association to overturn its finding.
In mediation late last year, the association agreed
to revoke its finding, but Hegazi took the matter to
GB
8
12
18.5
20.5
the state court, asking for the body to be ordered to
say he never cheated.
Despite failing to have the cheating clause added
to the court order, Hegazi feels “justified that he didn’t lie down and cop it (and) stood up for what he
firmly believed in”, Frajsman added.
The secretar y of the association’s Victorian
branch at the time when Hegazi was banned,
Marjorie Miller, declined comment.—Reuters
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
S P ORTS
Torres eyes dream homecoming in Madrid derby
MADRID: Fernando Torres was responsable for the second highest attendance
of the season at the Vicente Calderon on
Sunday despite the fact there was no
match to see as 45,000 Atletico Madrid
supporters welcomed �El Nino’ home.
Torres will be free to make his second
debut for his boyhood club, for whom he
scored 82 goals in over 200 appearances
between 2001 and 2007, against their
closest and bitterest rivals when Real
Madrid come to the Calderon for the first
leg of their Copa del Rey last 16 tie
today.
“I’m back at home after seven long
years. I’d been waiting a long time for
this to come true and now my feelings
are a bit strange. I still don’t believe this
is real”, Torres told the club’s website.
However, the 30-year-old is well aware
of the hard work that lies ahead of him if
the real reality check is not to be for the
thousands that attended his presentation on Sunday still in awe of the baby
faced a ssa ssi n t he y s aw l e ave fo r
England during tougher times for the
club.
As Torres has struggled for form and
fitness in recent years at Chelsea and
earlier this season in an ill-fated loan
spell at AC Milan, Atletico have soared
u n der hi s for m e r te a m m a te D i e g o
Simeone.
Since the Argentine took charge three
years ago, Atletico have only lost three
out of 18 two-legged ties on route to
winning the Europa League, the Spanish
Supercup and the Copa del Rey.
However, one of those defeats came
to Real in comprehensive fashion in last
season’s Cup semi-final as Los Blancos
ran out 5-0 winners on aggregate.
“ The club has been able to build a
te a m i n whi c h t he wo rd team i s a
strength and that has led to successes,”
added Torres. “For my part, I have found
a path which has given me great satisfaction, but something seemed to be missing.
“This reunion closes a circle that started when I was just 10 years old wearing
this shirt and now I hope to enjoy it. “I
will always give my all and more for this
shirt because it’s what I feel. The fans
know it is going to be like that.” Real boss
Carlo Ancelotti acknowledged the lift
that Torres’s arrival has given Atletico.
“ Without playing Torres has brought
enthusiasm to the fans and received
their love,” said the Italian, who managed
Torres for five months at Chelsea.
“Torres has quality, experience and in
this atmosphere, which is his, he will be
motivated and desperate to do well.”
The European champions also have
reason to be motivated after their 22game winning run was snapped by
defeat at Valencia on Sunday and
Ancelotti admitted he is likely to make
changes at the Calderon. “ We are
focused on a match that will be difficult.
We will continue with the same fight and
desire as we have done until now.
“There could be changes. There are
some players that haven’t recovered yet,
but we will play our strongest team available.” Ancelotti confirmed that Keylor
Navas will star t all of his side’s Cup
games in goal ahead of Iker Casillas and
that Gareth Bale will retain his place in
the side despite criticism of his performance at Mestalla. —AFP
Celtic close
gap at the top
GLASGOW:Celtic closed to within
one point of Aberdeen at the top
of the Scottish Premiership with a
comfor table 2-0 win over
Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.
The score didn’t reflect the dominance of the Hoops who twice hit
the crossbar through K ris
Commons before Emilio Izaguirre
volleyed the Glasgow giants ahead
with only his third goal for the
club. Killie survived a number of
chances for Celtic, while also coming close through Robbie
Muirhead, before Stefan Scepovic
added a second in the 71st minute.
It ended a two-game winless run
for the Hoops who will now head
for a winter break in Gran Canaria
after postponing their January 10
match against St Johnstone.
“I’m very happy with the result
and the performance. The attitude
and commitment of every player
on the pitch was excellent,” Celtic
manager Ronny Deila said.
“ The first half especially was
ver y good. We controlled the
game, created chances and should
have scored more goals.” K illie
manager Allan Johnston felt it
could have been much worse for
his side. “The first half was very disappointing and we never got anywhere near anyone and allowed
Celtic to pass the ball around without any pressure.
“If you allow good players to
play and don’t put any pressure on
them then they are always going to
cause you problems.” Commons,
mak ing his first star t since
November 22, was quick to show
the kind of form that saw him earn
last year’s Player of the Year award
with the forward involved in everything. After surviving a couple of
hef t y challenges early on,
Commons came close to the opener in the 16th minute as his leftfoot strike from outside the box
clipped the crossbar with keeper
Craig Samson stranded. Commons,
linked with a January move to join
former Celtic boss Neil Lennon at
Bolton, soon had a shot deflected
just wide after good work from
Scepovic before firing over the bar
after weaving his way through the
Killie defence.
A great passing move then saw
Nir Bitton and Liam Henderson
combine to set up Commons for
another effort from the edge of the
box that crashed off the bar.
Despite their dominance, Celtic
were nearly left to rue their missed
chances when Josh M agennis
forced a great save out of Craig
Gordon with a power ful header
from Alexei Eremenko’s free-kick.
The Hoops finally made the
breakthrough in the 36th minute
with a superb strike from Izaguirre.
The Honduran international got on
the end of a clipped pass from
Stefan Johansen to send a wonderful dipping volley past the helpless
Samson.
Commons was to be denied yet
again just before the break when a
Scepovic backheel sent him clear
in the box but Samson made a
super save.
The former Scotland international was foiled once again when
Mark Connolly produced an excellent defensive header to flick his
powerful drive, which looked destined to burst the net, over the
b a r. Ce l t i c k e e p e r G o rd o n h a d
been a virtual spectator for most
of the match but had to be at full
stretch to tip a wicked strike from
Muirhead over the bar after he
tried his luck from the edge of the
box. Celtic finally got the second
goal their play deser ved in the
71st minute. Efe Ambrose sent a
downward header towards goal
f ro m J o h a n s e n’s co r n e r a n d
Scepovic stuck out a foot on the
line to divert it into the roof of the
net.—AFP
MADRID: Spanish forward Fernando Torres and his children play wearing the Atletico Madrid jersey during his presentation at the Vicente
Calderon stadium. —AP
Asian Cup wide open
SYDNEY: With hosts Australia in a state of flux and holders
Japan engulfed by scandal, the Asian Cup looks to be the
most wide open in years.
Redemption for a humiliating 2014 World Cup beckons
should Australia, Japan, South Korea or Iran win Asia’s
showcase tournament, which begins on January 9 when
the Socceroos face Kuwait in Melbourne. The quartet
flopped badly in Brazil as Asia failed to register a single victory for the first time since 1990, a new-look Australia
arguably emerging with the most credit.
But coach Ange Postecoglou must find an alchemist’s
touch to replace a golden generation of players who qualified for three successive World Cups-or at the very least, a
quick fix with his side short on firepower in attack.
Much of the responsibility will fall on talisman Tim
Cahill, who lit up the World Cup with a stunning volley
against the Netherlands but will need his supporting cast
to step up.
“We have to be ruthless,” the former Everton forward
told the Sydney Morning Herald. “If we are ruthless, teams
are not going to know what’s hit them.”
Australia have added incentive after being upset by
Japan in the 2011 final in Doha, but the defending champions will be a tough nut to crack, while 2002 World Cup
semifinalists South Korea lurk for the hosts in Group A.
However, pressure will also be on Japan, whose Mexican
coach Javier Aguirre is under investigation following claims
of match-fixing while he was manager of Spanish club
Zaragoza in 2011.
To what extent the furore unsettles the Blue Samurai
remains to be seen but Aguirre, who is scheduled to
appear in court in Valencia next month, has raised eyebrows with his team selection since taking over after the
World Cup. “All my attention is focused on winning the
Asian Cup,” Aguirre told reporters before flying to Australia.
“I have nothing to hide and understand the media have a
job to do, but that is my sole objective.” Failure at the Asian
Cup could end in the termination of his contract, however,
although the four-time champions will be expected to
comfortably negotiate their first-round group, which also
features Jordan, Iraq and war-torn Palestine.
Iraq overcame conflict and turmoil to win the Asian Cup
in 2007 but Uzbekistan could prove the best of the rest this
time around, with the United Arab Emirates and Qatar also
potentially dangerous to the top sides.
But with no outright tournament favourite, the title
could come down to which team has the courage to abandon caution and take risks.
South Korea last lifted the trophy in 1960 — the year
Muhammad Ali, then Cassius Clay, won Olympic boxing
gold-and will be hoping that the success of their Under-23
side in winning last year’s Asian Games rubs off on the senior team, despite their own lack of cutting edge. Iran, led
by former Portugal and Real Madrid coach Carlos Queiroz,
will also be looking to make an impact after a disappointing World Cup, but the three-time Asian champions have
struggled to fill the void left by the likes of Ali Karimi,
Mehdi Mahdavikia and record goalscorer Ali Daei. —AFP
BRAZIL: In a file picture taken on June 22, 2014, South Korea’s midfielder Son HeungMin advances with the ball. Son Heung-Min is one of the players to watch at the
Asian Cup. —AFP
From minority sport in
Australia to Asian Cup
JAPAN: In this Tuesday, June 4, 2013 photo, Australia’s Tim Cahill listens to the
national anthem before their Asian zone Group B qualifying soccer match for the
2014 World Cup in Saitama.—AP
SYDNEY: Football was once sneered at in
Australia as a game played mainly by immigrants but it will cement its rise from a minority
sport to an established pastime when the Asian
Cup starts this week.
In times past, lovers of football could find
themselves insulted and attacked in a country
where the rugby codes, Australian rules and
cricket dominate the sporting landscape.
But international successes and a vastly
improved domestic scene have been behind
football’s steady ascent in Australia, capped with
the 16-nation Asian Cup starting on Friday.
Football is now more readily associated with
stand-out moments like Tim Cahill’s sublime
strike at last year’s World Cup, or Western Sydney
Wanderers winning the 2014 AFC Champions
League.
Traditional attitudes to football are summed
up by the title of influential ex-player and broadcaster Johnny Warren’s 2002 book, “Sheilas,
Wogs and Poofters”.
“Wogs” is a racial insult applied to immigrants, mainly from southern European coun-
tries like Greece, who arrived in waves in the
years following World War II.
“�Sheilas’, �wogs’ and �poofters’ were considered the second-class citizens of the day and if
you played soccer, you were considered one of
them,” explained Warren, who died in 2004.
“That’s how soccer was regarded back then
and, to some extent, still is today.” Debate
remains lively over whether the sport should
retain its formerly preferred name of “soccer”, to
avoid clashing with rugby league and Australian
rules, both proudly known as “football”.
Football in fact has deep roots in Australia,
with reports of games as far back as the 1830s,
and the first match played under the official
Laws of the Game taking place in Sydney in
1880. But rugby was then the game of choice in
colonial power Britain, a preference which
helped push football in Australia to the margins,
despite its early successes.
So while football flourished across the globe,
there was little being played in Australia until
the post-war migrants arrived from Europe and
took root in the country.
“When I was at primary school in the 1970s,
kids like myself-who decided to kick a soccer ball
around their streets and in the schoolyard-were
ridiculed, mocked and beaten up,” wrote Nick
Giannopoulos, star of Australia’s “Wog Boy”
comedies, in 2006.
“Not a week would go by when some kid
would come up to us and tell us that if we were
Aussies then we should be playing footy and not
that �wogball’.”
Despite ambivalence towards the game,
Australia reached their first World Cup in 1974,
exiting at the group stage, but they would have
to wait 32 years before making a triumphant
return in 2006.
Goals from Cahill, John Aloisi, Craig Moore
and Harry Kewell took the Socceroos into the
quarter-finals in Germany, where they were
undone by a controversial last-gasp penalty
against eventual winners Italy. Despite the cruel
defeat, it was a campaign that ignited football
interest in Australia, also spurred on by the resurrection of the domestic game by Football
Federation Australia (FFA).—AFP
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
S P ORTS
Enrique under threat
as Barca crisis spirals
MADRID: Five days of 2015 was all it took
for crisis mode to envelop Barcelona as two
club legends Andoni Zubizarreta and
Carles Puyol left their roles with the Catalan
giants following a shock 1-0 defeat to
David Moyes’s Real Sociedad at the weekend.
Yet, worse could still be to come with
rumours of dressing room discontent
between coach Luis Enrique and star players like Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique
bringing Enrique’s position under serious
threat should they fail to comfortably see
off Elche in the Copa del Rey in midweek
and beat La Liga champions Atletico
Madrid at home on Sunday.
Zubizarreta’s sacking as the club’s sporting director by president Josep Maria
Bartomeu on Monday came as little surprise.
Bartomeu is fighting a losing battle to
see out his mandate until 2016 and needed
a scapegoat for the one year transfer ban
imposed on the club by FIFA for irregularities in the signing of minors, which rules
out any further reinforcements to the playing squad until next January.
Anticipating the ban, Zubizarreta was in
charge of Barca’s near 160 million euros
($191 million, ВЈ125 million) splurge on seven new players over the summer which has
so far proved largely unsuccessful.
The most expensive signing in the club’s
history, Luis Suarez, has scored just one
league goal, whilst 18 million euro defender Thomas Vermaelen is yet to make his
debut for the club after being sidelined
until April with a hamstring injury.
However, there was widespread shock
when former captain Puyol decided to follow Zubizarreta out by resigning. The 36year-old intimated his departure from the
Camp Nou may be fleeting, stating that he
hoped “to grow both personally and professionally so that, in the future, I can return
home.”
Yet, it was another major body blow for
a beleaguered board to lose an icon with a
lot more recent credit with the fans, having
won three Champions League and six La
Liga titles in the past decade.
Indeed in the brief period between
Zubizarreta’s sacking and Puyol’s resignation, the latter was being touted as the ideal man to step into the role of sporting
director with a year to properly learn the
ropes before having to dive into the transfer market.
Instead, reports in Spain yesterday suggest that Fiorentina’s sporting director
Eduardo Macia will be approached for the
role.
The boardroom unease has spread onto
the pitch as Barca failed to capitalise on
Real Madrid’s first defeat in 23 games on
Sunday away to Valencia as just hours later
they suffered a third league defeat of the
season with Enrique having left nearly 300
million euros of talent on the bench.
Messi was among those left on the sidelines after only returning to Spain from his
Christmas break in Argentina 48 hours
before the match.
The four-time World Player of the Year
then missed an open training session in
front of the club’s fans on Monday due to a
reported stomach bug.
However, the rumour mill churned into
overdrive when the Argentine followed
Chelsea’s official account and two of their
players Filipe Luis and Thibaut Courtois on
the social networking site Instagram later
in the day.
Selling Messi, particularly in the midst of
a transfer ban, is unthinkable even for a
Barca board on the brink. On the contrary,
getting he, Neymar and Suarez playing well
together on a consistent basis appears to
be the Catalans only hope of claiming
some silverware come the end of the season.
Should Enrique fail to provide the necessary answers when Diego Simeone’s
Atletico revisit the scene of their title triumph last season, he may be next to face
the brunt of Bartomeu’s blame game.—AFP
Prince Ali’s FIFA push
needs AFC support
LONDON: With the expected backing of
European body UEFA, Prince Ali Bin AlHussein’s hopes of becoming the first
Asian president of FIFA will rest on his
ability to sway support at home in the
Asian Football Confederation. UEFA and
AFC members will account for 100 votesalmost half of the total-at the May elections in Zurich, where the 39-year-old
Jordanian royal will stand against
Jermone Champagne and, barring a
shock U-turn, incumbent Sepp Blatter.
Yesterday’s announcement of Ali’s
decision to stand followed UEFA
President Michel Platini revealing last
month that he did not want to back
either Blatter or Champagne and hoped
another candidate would emerge.
And stepped forward the Frenchman’s
close confidant Prince Ali. The Jordanian
royal, who said he had been encouraged
to stand by his FIFA colleagues, will be
able to bank on the support of the 54
members associations of a united UEFA,
who have been critical of Blatter.
But a successful election will need
votes from elsewhere, and Blatter has
already been assured of the support of
Africa’s 54 members, Confederation of
African Football general secretary
Hicham el Amrani said in September.
Asia is the key battle ground.
Despite being the founder and head
of the West Asian Football Federation,
and the AFC’s FIFA Vice President, Ali’s
stock in his home continent has dropped
since taking on the role at the world governing body in 2011.
Ali lost a political power struggle to
AFC President Shaikh Salman bin
Ebrahim Al Khalifa last year, with the
Bahraini forcing through policy to ensure
the head of the organisation took the
FIFA seat on the all-powerful executive
committee. The Bahraini came to power
in 2013 with a conclusive election victory
after being backed by Kuwaiti Sheikh
Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah-the man Ali
needs to topple Blatter.
Sheikh Ahmad is the head of the
Olympic Council of Asia and the
Association of National Olympic
Committees and his support has swayed
many a sporting election campaign, with
International Olympic Committee
President Thomas Bach among those
who have won votes after the Kuwaiti’s
backing. When Blatter spoke at the AFC’s
awards dinner in Manila in December he
made a point of reaching out to thank
and praise Sheikh Ahmad in his pre-dinner speech rather than Bahraini Shaikh
Salman, who had opened proceedings
by reiterating the AFC’s full support for
Blatter to stand for a fifth term. Asian
members, and in particular Ali, know
Sheikh Ahmad can change that and back
the Jordanian as he has done before.
Ali surprisingly toppled powerful
South Korean Chung Mong-joon for the
FIFA Vice-Presidency seat but their relationship is unclear now following Sheikh
Salman’s election in 2013.
Despite the political powerplays at
the top, Ali has won plaudits for his four
years of vice-presidential work, where he
has increased the number of countries
competing in the AFC Champions
League, promoted women’s football in
Asia and removed the ban on head scarfs
in the game.
The Asian Football Development
Project, a non-profit youth commission
he founded in 2012 to develop football
across the poorest areas of the continent
will also have curried favor among some
Asian members-and he hopes in all powerful Kuwait. —Reuters
AMMAN: In this Monday, May 26, 2014. file photo Sepp Blatter, President of FIFA
(left) is greeted by FIFA Vice President, Jordan’s Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein (right) prior
to their meeting on the first day of Blatter’s regional tour to Jordan. —AP
ITALY: AC Milan’s Andrea Poli (center) scores during a Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Sassuolo, at the San Siro stadium. —AP
Roma snatch Udinese win
MILAN: Title challengers Roma had Davide
Astori’s controversial first-half goal to thank for
a 1-0 win away to Udinese yesterday that
pulled them level with Juventus at the top of
Italy’s Serie A.
Ahead of Juve’s later fixture with Inter Milan,
Roma travelled nor th without Ger vinho,
Seydou Keita, Emmanuel Badu and Molla
Wague -all of whom are on Africa Cup of
Nations duty-as well as injured defender
Leandro Castan.
Despite shading the encounter at Udinese’s
Friuli stadium, Rudi Garcia’s men rode their luck
in the closing minutes when late substitute
Urby Emanuelson seemed to haul down
Panagiotis Kone in the box, only for the referee
to waved play on.
Roma’s 12th win of the campaign left them
in second place on 39 points, with Lazio, 3-0
winners over Sampdoria on Monday, in third a
further nine points adrift.
Juventus can restore their three-point cushion with a win in Turin later Tuesday, a game
Garcia and Roma will be watching in earnest.
Frenchman Garcia told Sky Sport: “It’s important to win when you’re the first to play. We’re
relaxed, tonight we’ll be in front of the television to see who wins.”
Roma took the lead in the 17th minute when
Astori’s powerful header from Francesco Totti’s
free-kick came off the underside of Orestis
Karnezis’s crossbar and bounced over the keeper’s goalline.
The goal appeared to be initially ruled out
by the goalline official-Italy uses a goalline official at either end as well as the referee and his
two assistants-but, following protests by Roma,
was validated by the referee.
Television replays appeared to show that not
all of the ball had crossed the line, an incident
which is likely to reinforce existing calls for
goalline technology to be introduced into
Italy’s top flight.
Garcia admitted that the use of goalline
technology would “end any doubts” but added:
“At the end of the day the match referee is the
one who decides, he was quite well placed to
see the ball go over.”
However
Udinese
coach
Andrea
Stramaccioni hit out: “My biggest complaint is
about the goalline referees. It’s got nothing to
do with the score.
“Roma won and we accept the scoreline. But
if the goalline officials, who are put there to
rule on borderline goals, are simply ignored by
the referee then what is the point of them
being there?” Elsewhere, AC Milan’s push for a
place in Europe stalled after a shock 2-1 home
defeat to Sassuolo left Filippo Inzaghi’s men
seventh but five points behind Lazio in the
third and final Champions League qualifying
place. Andrea Poli gave Milan a ninth-minute
lead but Eusebio De Francesco’s visitors levelled thanks to Nicola Sansone’s 28th minute
strike before I taly for ward Simone Zaza
wrapped up the points in the 67th minute.
Gianfranco Zola’s Serie A coaching debut at
former club Cagliari, meanwhile, ended in a
painful 5-0 rout at Palermo, whose sixth win of
the campaign moved them up to eighth place.
Former Cagliari coach Zdenek Zeman was
sacked just before the festive break, but Zola-
hired on Christmas Eve-saw the Sardinians
crumble quickly at the Stadio Barbera.
Michel Morganella and Matias Munoz struck
inside the opening 10 minutes and after
Cagliari captain Daniele Conti saw red for a second bookable offence just before the half hour,
Paulo Dybala struck from the penalty spot to
give Palermo a 3-0 half-time lead.
Dybala completed his brace in the 72nd
minute and Osvaldo Barreto grabbed a late
fifth five minutes from the whistle to hand
Cagliari their heaviest defeat of the campaign.
Rock bottom Parma claimed only their third
win of the season, their shock 1-0 win over
Fiorentina helped by the expulsion of Viola pair
Gonzalo Rodriguez and Stefan Savic in the final
11 minutes.—AFP
ITALY: Cesena’s Ze Eduardo (right) vies for the ball with Napoli’s Gonzalo Higuain, during their
Serie A soccer match. —AP
Reformist Ali not one to
blend into FIFA crowd
LONDON: Prince Ali bin Al Hussein became the
youngest member of the FIFA executive committee when he was elected to the governing body
in 2011 but the Jordanian has never been overawed by the more established members on soccer’s top table.
His royal background, military education and
a fierce determination “to do the right thing”
marked him out as someone who stood out
from the old guard.
He is also one of the few FIFA executive committee members who might slip into a pair of
jeans, pull on a leather jacket and go and watch
his favourites Arsenal in London or eat at a modest restaurant and feel completely at home.
And he could become the youngest FIFA
president since Robert Guerin, became its first
aged 28 in 1904. Those who have followed his
career progression closely over the last four
years were not surprised by yesterday ’s
announcement that he has decided to challenge
Sepp Blatter for the presidency later this year.
Softly spoken, and usually with a few days
growth on his face, he clearly resembles his late
father King Hussein and has some powerful supporters including UEFA president Michel Platini.
Platini, who decided to remain as president of
the European soccer body and not run for the
FIFA office despite saying Blatter’s time at the
top should end, welcomed the announcement.
“I know Prince Ali well,” the Frenchman said in
a statement. “He has all the credibility required
to hold high office. We now await his proposals
and his programme for the future of football.”
Jim Boyce of Northern Ireland, Britain’s FIFA
vice-president, told Reuters: “I have sat on the
executive committee with him for three and a
half years and I hold him in the highest esteem.
“If he feels something needs to be said, he
says it. He comes across to me as being moral
and open and we now have the fascinating situation of the 209 members of FIFA being able to
make a democratic decision in May.”
Ali has campaigned against the secretive
nature of Blatter’s FIFA and was among the first
there to support the publication of Michael
Garcia’s original report into the alleged scandals
surrounding the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids.
He has urged reform in Zurich, and unlike
most of the other executive committee members, is not afraid to speak to the media to get
his own point of view across and in many ways is
above the “party politics” at FIFA House.
He became president of the Jordan Football
Association when he was 24 in 1999 and likes to
joke, “when I went into the dressing room, I was
the same age as most of the players.
“But there was one major difference,” adds
the royal. “They could play the game a lot better
than me.” Among his achievements, Prince Ali
founded the West Asian Football Federation in
2000 and started the Asian Football
Development Project in 2012, a non-profit
scheme aimed at developing grass roots football
across Asia. He also campaigned successfully to
lift the ban on female Islamic players wearing
headscarves or hijabs in competitions. Blatter
might still be favourite to win the FIFA election
in May, but no-one should underestimate Prince
Ali’s potential to make an even greater impact
this year.—Reuters
Matches on TV
(Local Timings)
Spain Copa del Rey
Villarreal v Sociedad
22:00
beIN SPORTS 1 HD
Atletico v Real Madrid
23:00
beIN SPORTS 2 HD
Thursday
Almeria v Getafe
0:00
beIN SPORTS 3 HD
Valencia v Espanyol
beIN SPORTS 1 HD
0:00
Roma snatch
Udinese win
Terranova clinches
second stage
19
15
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
Mavs beat Nets, Warriors silence Thunder
Page 17
BRISBANE: MariaSharapova of Russia serves against Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan in the second round of women’s singles match on day three of the Brisbane International tennis tournament. — AFP
Sharapova brushes Shvedova aside
Serena goes down in Perth
BRISBANE: Top seed Maria Sharapova began her 2015
campaign in ruthless fashion as she brushed aside
Yaroslava Shvedova 6-0, 6-1 in the second round of the
Brisbane International yesterday.
Sharapova dominated her opponent in every department as she raced through the first set in just 23 minutes. Shvedova, a qualifier from Kazakhstan, offered
more resistance in the second but was no match for the
world number two.
Sharapova had not played a competitive match since
the WTA Finals in October. But there were no signs of
rust as she cruised into the quarter-finals.”It certainly felt
good to start (well) after not playing a match for a couple of months,” Sharapova said.
“Despite all the training, it’s such a different feeling
to go out on the court and play in front of a crowd in an
actual match atmosphere. “I wanted to start off sharp
and try to do the right things.”
Sharapova broke her opponent five times throughout the match, but had to save two break points on her
own serve in the second set. She said this was important in stopping any chance of a Shvedova comeback.
“She lost the first set in her previous match (against
Sabine Lisicki) 6-0 and ended up winning the match in a
tough three-set battle, so you never know,” Sharapova
said.
“There were moments where I saved a few important
break points, which was crucial. That gave me good
confidence towards the end of that second set.”
Sharapova will now play the winner of the clash
between seventh seed Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain
and Croatia’s Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.
Earlier, third-seeded German Angelique Kerber
remained on course for a semi-final showdown against
Sharapova when she crushed Russian qualifier Daria
Gavrilova in straight sets.
Kerber needed just 90 minutes to see off Brisbanebased Gavrilova 6-3, 7-5. “I think it’s good to be now in
the quarters and have a lot of matches before
Melbourne,” Kerber said.
“I think that was my goal, and right now it looks
good.” She will now take on Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina, a 63, 6-2 winner over Croatian Ajla Tomljanovic.
Defending men’s champion Lleyton Hewitt suffered a
shock loss at the hands of big-serving fellow Australian
Sam Groth. Groth blasted 14 aces and won 89 percent
of his first serves to overpower Hewitt 6-3, 6-2 in just 58
minutes.
Fifth seed Kevin Anderson was another casualty in
the men’s draw, with the South African falling to Polish
qualifier Lukasz Kubot 7-6 (7/3), 6-4.
Seventh seed Alexandr Dolgopolov, a finalist in
Brisbane in 2012, cruised into the second round with a
6-2, 6-3 win over Argentina’s Carlos Berlocq.
Meanwhile in Perth, world number one Serena
Williams complained of tiredness after being trounced
by Canadian Eugenie Bouchard at the mixed teams
Hopman Cup yesterday.
Williams was humbled by the sixth-ranked Bouchard
in straight sets as Canada upset the tournament
favourites 2-1. Williams went down one set against
12th-ranked Flavia Pennetta in her first outing in Perth
on Monday but was rejuvenated by a mid-match coffee
and went on to beat the Italian.
However, there was to be no coffee-inspired miracle
against the sixth-ranked Bouchard, who doubled-fault-
Ito advances in Chennai
Nadal suffer shock defeat in Qatar
DOHA: Rafael Nadal’s ability to make a quick
recovery from multiple ailments was thrown into
doubt yesterday as he lost 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 to Michael
Berrer in Qatar.
This first round match was Nadal’s first match
of the 2015 ATP World Tour and he appeared to
have had insufficient time to recover from an
appendectomy, and far too little match practice
over the last two months. Nevertheless, it was a
humiliating outcome for one of the most successful players of all time, who won the first set at a
canter, and then found himself quite unable to
play anywhere near the standard he would have
hoped for.
Berrer is a 34-year-old qualifier ranked outside
the top 100 who is playing the last season of his
career. Nadal has also been suffering from back
and wrist injuries, which reduced his service speed
greatly.
Berrer had only taken four games in four sets
off Nadal in their previous two meetings, but
recognised a career-greatest opportunity and in
patches responded by raising his standards to new
heights. He was also admirably frank in his assessment. “It’s one of the matches which will stay in my
memory for ever, but let’s be honest it was the first
match for Rafa after injury,” he said.
Earler Berrer commented: “What I’ve learned
from my studies for my sports psychology masters
degree is to avoid thinking about these things.”
This was a reference to dealing with the pressure of
closing out a career-best win against a legend. “In
the first set it felt like the other matches against
him,” he added. “Then it became easy to attack
because it was the only chance I had.
“It’s also my last season and I had nothing to
lose, and I’m enjoying it here-so why not?” Berrer
had plenty of time to think about answering that
question, for he broke early in the final set and led
3-1, sometimes finding angles which perhaps only
a fellow lefty could manage against Nadal.
The French Open champion almost broke back
immediately, but a Hawkeye decision showed his
ground stroke to have landed a millimetre beyond
the baseline, and his only real chance after that
came in the final game.
That saw Berrer slip to 15-40, only to produce
two good first serves, and then go break back point
down by delivering a double fault, before attacking
the net on each of the last three points and finding
Nadal unable to come up with any of those rasping
passing shots for which he has become so
renowned. It not only cost Nadal the title here and
raised doubts about his ability to make any sort of
ed five times in her first two services games and yet
cruised to an emphatic 6-2, 6-1 win over the 18-time
Grand Slam singles champion.
Errors flowed off the Williams racquet during her
match with Bouchard and the 33-year-old said she hadn’t been feeling at her best since arriving in Perth on
Saturday.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with me, I am so tired, it’s
so weird,” she said when asked if she was suffering from
jet lag.
“I can’t get my body to move and I feel like I have no
energy.”It is a little frustrating because I know I can play
2000 times better.” But Williams said she wasn’t overly
concerned by the issue.
“I’m so fit, I can run 10km, I don’t know how to
describe it,” she said. “I have to figure it out, hopefully I
can do better in my next match.” Williams certainly
played with renewed vigour in the later mixed doubles
rubber. In beating Williams for the first time, Bouchard
rebounded strongly from the disappointment of
Canada’s opening tie, when she was beaten 6-0, 6-4 by
the Czech Republic’s in-form Lucie Safarova.—AFP
QATAR: Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal
reacts after losing his tennis match against
Michael Berrer of Germany in Qatar’s
ExxonMobil Open yesterday. — AFP
challenge for the Australian Open, but may cause
questions about what sort of season this is going to
be for him Earlier Novak Djokovic, who succeeded
Nadal as world number one in June, made a satisfactory start with a 6-1, 6-4 win over his Serbian
compatriot Dusan Lajovic. — AFP
CHENNAI: Japan’s number two Tatsuma
Ito moved into the second round of the
ATP Chennai Open with a straight-sets
win over Indian wildcard Ramkumar
Ramanathan yesterday.
The 87th-ranked Ito, playing for the
first time in the $450,000 season opener
in the southern Indian city, won 6-3, 6-3
on the centre court of the
Nungambakkam tennis stadium.
“It is good to start the year with a win,
but I must play a consistent game to go
forward,” said Ito, who next plays fifth
seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain.
Garcia-Lopez overcame the loss in the
tie-breaker of the first set to edge past
error-prone qualifier Evgeny Donskoy of
Russia 6-7 (3/7), 6-2, 6-3 in two hours.
Sixth seed Yen-Hsun Lu of Taiwan also
breezed through to the next round with
a 6-3, 6-4 win over India’s top player
Somdev Devvarman.
“One is always a bit worried at the
start of a season, but I think I played
okay,” the 31-year-old Lu said. “I hope I
can do well in the other matches.”
Lu’s next opponent will be Spaniard
Pablo Carreno-Busta, who beat Alejandro
Gonzalez of Colombia 6-1, 6-3. Swedish
wildcard Elias Ymer moved up by defeating Dutchman Igor Sijsling 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
and Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania beat
qualifier Luca Vanni of Italy 6-1, 2-6, 7-5.
Another qualifier Aljaz Bedene of
Slovenia brushed aside Lukas Lacko of
Slovakia 7-6 (7/0), 6-3 to set up a tough
second round meeting against second
seed Feliciano Lopez of Spain.
Australian Open champion and world
number four Stanislas Wawrinka leads
the 32-man field which includes a strong
Spanish contingent of 14th-ranked
Lopez, number 15 Roberto Bautista-Agut
and Garcia-Lopez. Other leading contenders are Belgium’s David Goffin, and
Wawrinka’s second round opponent
Borna Coric of Croatia.
The top four seeds-Wawrinka, Lopez,
Bautista-Agut and Goffin-received a
bye in the first round. The champion
will pocket $73,400 and 250 ranking
points. —AFP
Business
Kuwait real estate
activity remains robust
Page 22
Cairo stops subsidies
to farmers of cotton
Page 23
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
US home prices coasting upward in November
A track-ready Lexus
poised to make global
debut at 2015 NAIAS
Page 25
Page 26
MANHATTAN: A construction worker clears wood from a platform that spans the Penn Station railroad tracks in midtown Manhattan, in New York. —AP (See Page 25)
Euro-zone growth faltered in 2014: Survey
Big EU economies choking off growth in region
LONDON: Weakness in the eurozone’s major economies, such as
Germany and France, risks choking
off the growth emerging in countries that were at the forefront of the
region’s debt crisis, a closely monitored survey indicated yesterday. In
its monthly survey of business activity, financial information company
Markit said the euro-zone ended
2014 on a tepid note despite “signs
of life” in countries like Ireland and
Spain, which were hit hard by the
financial crisis. That’s another potential headache for policymakers
across the region. As well as fears
that the euro-zone will soon suffer a
bout of deflation, or falling prices,
which can choke the recovery further, there are renewed concerns
over Greece’s future in the eurozone. In concert, they’ve renewed
pressure on the euro and exacerbated the fall in oil prices.
Many of the problems confronting the euro-zone would be
helped by economic growth but survey after survey shows that prospect
remains distant. Markit’s so-called
purchasing managers’ index - a
gauge of business activity across
manufacturing and services - reinforced that picture. Its main index
rose to 51.4 points in December
from 51.1 the previous month.
However, that was down from a preliminary estimate for December of
51.7, with figures above 50 indicating expansion.
Overall, Markit suggests that the
rate of economic expansion during
the fourth quarter was the weakest
since the third quarter of 2013.
Markit estimates that the euro-zone,
which now numbers 19 countries
following Lithuania’s adoption of the
euro at the start of January, grew by
a quarterly rate of 0.1 percent in the
last three months of the year, continuing the trend of minimal growth
since the recession ended in mid2013.
Recession missed
“The euro-zone will look upon
2014 as a year in which recession was avoided by the narrowest of margins, but the weakness
of the sur vey data suggests
t h e r e’s n o g u a r a n t e e t h a t a
renewed downturn will not be
s e e n i n 2 0 1 5 ,” M a r k i t ’s c h i e f
economist Chris Williamson said.
Williamson said he was particularly concerned by the downturns in
France and Italy, as well as the “stuttering” performance of Germany,
Europe’s economic powerhouse. He
warned that the recoveries in countries like Ireland and Spain, which
are enjoying their best growth spells
in years, “are in danger of being
extinguished by malaise spreading
from the region’s largest economies.”
The weak data will likely add to
calls for more aggressive action from
the European Central Bank. Its president, Mario Draghi, recently hinted
that the bank stands ready to launch
a full-blown bond-buying program
similar to those undertaken by other
central banks, such as the US Federal
Reserve and the Bank of England.
Many experts think the ECB could
make the announcement at its next
monetary policy meeting on Jan 22.
Although the ECB has cut interest
rates to record lows and backed the
purchase of some private-sector
bonds, it has refrained from a fullscale bond-buying program - socalled quantitative easing, or QE. The
euro has been in retreat for months
on the back of expectations that the
ECB will back a further stimulus as
traders anticipate more of the currency in circulation. On Monday, the
euro fell to a nine-year low against
the dollar below $1.19.
While anemic economic growth
across the euro-zone is a major
source of concern for policymakers
at the ECB, it is too-low inflation
that’s prompting the speculation of
further action. Inflation, at last
count, stood at 0.3 percent, far
below the ECB’s target of annual
price increases just below 2 percent.
Figures Wednesday are expected to
show a further decline, with some
economists predicting an actual
decline due to sliding oil prices. The
benchmark New York rate has fallen
below $50 for the first time in nearly
six years. Although falling prices
may sound good, so-called deflation
can choke the life out of an economy if consumers put off purchases in
the hope of future bargains, and
companies struggle to remain profitable. Deflation can prove difficult
to reverse, as evidenced by Japan’s
economic stagnation over the past
two decades.—AP
DIB to test Gulf debt markets post oil fall
DUBAI: Dubai Islamic Bank will reopen the Gulf
bond market next week with a capital-boosting
sukuk, the region’s first debt offering in two months
as financial markets there wobbled under the
impact of falling oil prices. A successful offering
would not just bolster reserves at DIB, the largest
Islamic bank in the United Arab Emirates, but also
pave the way for others who may have been waiting
to see the fallout from oil prices before coming to
the market.
Benchmark Brent oil has plunged by more than
half from its June peak, hitting a 5-1/2-year low on
Tuesday. The slump gathered pace after a Nov. 27
meeting of OPEC ministers said the group would
not cut output to support prices. Oil and gas production account for nearly half of economic output
in the six Gulf Cooperation Council nations, some
three-quarters of exports, and an even higher ratio
of state revenues, raising fears about the effect on
local economies.
Stock markets in Dubai and Saudi Arabia have
slipped by 19.4 percent and 11 percent respectively
since the OPEC gathering, while debt yields have
risen. Dubai’s 3.875 percent January 2023 sukuk
widened by 77 basis points between the end of
November and mid-December to 4.483 percent.
The volatility brought a halt to what had been
active issuance. The last deal from a Gulf issuer
came on Nov 12, when fellow Dubai lender Emirates
NBD completed a $500 million five-year trade. Prior
to that, there had been 14 deals since Sept 4.
Against this backdrop, DIB said yesterday it had
picked eight banks to arrange roadshows between
Jan. 8 and 12 in Hong Kong, Singapore, the UAE and
London. The potential benchmark size dollar sukuk
issue will boost the bank’s Tier 1, or core, capital.
VANGUARD
Despite the lack of bond deals and higher potential costs for issuing new debt, the DIB deal should
find strong local demand if it is priced well, said
Abdul Kadir Hussain, chief executive at Mashreq
Capital, the investment unit of Mashreq bank.
“We will need stability in oil prices for spreads to
start tightening again. But there is still strong liquidity in the market and the widening in this region has
been much more disciplined than in other regions.”
A strong deal could accelerate the plans of other
potential issuers who have been waiting on the
sidelines, a senior Gulf-based banker on the deal
said on condition of anonymity as he is not allowed
to speak to the media.
A slew of companies had announced plans last
year for bond issues including Bank Muscat, Gulf
Finance House and Etisalat. The transaction is
important for DIB, after the bank’s Chief Executive
Adnan Chilwan said it would need to bolster its capital reserves to sustain growth.
Strong lending and acquisitions had reduced its
total capital adequacy ratio - a key indicator of the
bank’s health - to 15.2 percent on Sept. 30. While
above the minimum 12 percent set down by the
UAE central bank, it was 3 percentage points down
from the star t of 2014. HSBC and Standard
Chartered are joint structuring banks for the potential issue, with Al Hilal Bank, Emirates NBD, National
Bank of Abu Dhabi, Noor Bank, Sharjah Islamic Bank
and DIB’s own investment banking team chosen for
the deal. —Reuters
Oil weighs on
bourses, but Saudi
cuts losses
MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS
DUBAI: Gulf stock markets extended their losses yesterday as Brent
crude plunged for a second session in a row and the threat of a fresh
euro-zone crisis in Greece also prompted investors to sell risky assets
globally. Brent crude touched a fresh 5-1/2-year low at $51.23 a barrel on oversupply concerns. MSCI’s emerging market index fell 1.0
percent to a three-week low.
Saudi Arabia’s main index dropped as much as 4.0 percent in a
broad sell-off early in the session, but then pared its losses and
closed only 0.6 percent down. The kingdom’s market is heavily
weighted towards petrochemicals, whose profit margins will suffer
from cheaper crude. The sector was the main drag on the bourse as
it fell 1.2 percent. But dozens of stocks closed in the black and
Makkah real estate developer Jabal Omar was the main support,
jumping 2.2 percent after it secured a 4 billion riyal ($1.1 billion) loan
to refinance part of an existing facility. The broad market’s recovery
followed a speech by King Abdullah - read on his behalf by Crown
Prince Salman on state television - in which the monarch said the
world’s top oil exporter would deal “with a firm will” with the challenge posed by lower oil prices, although he did not give policy
details. Also, a survey of companies showed on Tuesday that growth
in Saudi Arabia’s non-oil private sector had accelerated slightly in
December, driven by an expansion in output, though it remained
weaker than it was in most of 2014.
“The rise in December’s whole economy PMIs suggests that, in
spite of the plunge in oil prices at the end of last year, economic
activity in the Gulf has held up reasonably well,” Jason Tuvey, Middle
East economist at London-based Capital Economics, said in a note.
The kingdom adopted a large 2015 state budget last month which
provides for a marginal increase in spending rather than a cut as
some retail investors had previously feared.
UAE, EGYPT
Dubai’s bourse led losses in the Gulf, dropping 3.2 percent. Emaar
Properties, the emirate’s largest listed developer, topped trading volume as it lost 5.8 percent. However, shares in Air Arabia bucked the
trend and added 1.4 percent after the firm said on Monday it had
bought a 49 percent stake in Jordan’s Petra Airlines and would
establish a hub in the country. The carrier may also benefit from the
sustained drop in oil prices.
Dubai’s non-oil business activity growth also edged up in
December. But the emirate’s bourse, which unlike Saudi Arabia’s is
open to direct foreign investment, has been hit in recent days by a
global pullout from emerging markets. Foreigners from outside the
Gulf were again net sellers on Tuesday, bourse data showed.
Elsewhere in the Gulf, Abu Dhabi’s index fell 2.7 percent, Kuwait lost
1.5 percent and Oman’s bourse slipped 1.3 percent. Egypt’s market
dropped 2.4 percent. As an oil importer, Egypt should benefit from
cheaper crude, but its equities are also vulnerable to global emerging market flows and Cairo’s government relies heavily on financial
aid from the oil-exporting Gulf states, which could conceivably
shrink if they become more cautious about spending. — Reuters
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
BUSINESS
Kuwait real estate activity remains robust
News
i n
NBK ECONOMIC REPORT
KUWAIT: Kuwait’s real estate market had one of its
best months of 2014 in November, with sales totaling KD413 million. Across the three real estate subsectors, the residential and commercial sectors performed more strongly than the investment sector
in November, which saw a year-on-year (y/y)
decline in the value of transactions. In general,
Kuwait’s real estate market had a good year in
terms of growth with investors seeing it as an alternative to the stock market in its capacity to deliver
more stables returns.
Sales in the residential sector totalled KD178
million during the month. This was an increase of
26.5 percent y/y. November’s performance was the
second best this year after a few months of relatively subdued activity attributed to PAHW plot distributions and infrastructure developments in areas
such as Abu Fateera and Fintas. The number of
transactions was also up by 30 percent y/y. The
average value of residential transactions has
remained relatively steady for a number of months
now.
Residential activity was, once again, heaviest in
the Ahmadi governorate, which accounted for 60
percent of all residential transactions during
November. More specifically, plots in Sabah AlAhmed Sea City accounted for 47 percent of all
transactions in the residential sector. The average
transaction size in November was KD 300,000,
down 3.3 percent y/y due to the higher volume of
lower-priced units from Sabah Al-Ahmed Sea City
coming online. Meanwhile, the Mubarak Al-Kabeer
and Hawally governorates accounted for 15 percent and 8 percent of all transactions, respectively.
Investment sector
Meanwhile, in the investment sector, sales of KD
104 million were recorded in November, a decrease
of 29 percent y/y. The announcement by one bank
that it intended to liquidate one of its real estate
portfolios in December may have contributed to
the slowdown in activity, with many investors likely
holding off on purchases in November in order to
take part in the following month’s auction. In terms
of the number of transactions, only 99 were recorded during the month, a decline of 21 percent y/y.
The average transaction size also dropped, to KD 1
million.
In the investment sector, whole buildings
accounted for 43.5 percent of all transactions.
Apartment units followed, with 40 percent of all
transactions. The Ahmadi governorate once again
witnessed the bulk of activity, with 51 percent of all
transactions, while the Hawalli governorate
accounted for 22 percent. The largest transaction,
however, involved the sale of a building for KD 22
million in Al-Salmiya.
In the volatile commercial sector, sales grew
more than five-fold over the corresponding month
in 2013 to reach KD 131 million. The large increase
is mainly attributed to a single transaction of KD 92
million in the Ahmadi governorate. 13 transactions
in total were recorded in November.
November also saw two small coastal line transactions: a restaurant in Funaitees that was bought
for KD 175,000 and a plot in Mahboola that was
sold for KD 533,000. Coastal line transactions are
unique as they are independently regulated. They
can also include both commercial and residential
properties.
The Kuwait Credit Bank (KCB) approved 336
housing loans worth approximately KD 20.4 million
in November, a drop of 41 percent y/y. Again, this
was largely due to a base and seasonal effect.
Disbursed loans totalled KD 20.3 million, an
increase of 30 percent y/y.
Kuwait oil barrel down
by $3.99 to $47.36pb
KUWAIT: The price of Kuwaiti oil went down by $3.99
Monday to $47.36 per barrel compared to $51.35pb
last Friday, said Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC)
yesterday. The global oil price dropped tremendously
in the beginning of this week’s trading with future
contracts of American crude reaching $50pb for the
first time since April 2009. Brent mix prices also went
down under $55pb which raised fears of increasing
oil supplies with no demand noticeable for the black
gold. The new policies to be carried out by Iraq and
Saudi Arabia had also affected prices with Baghdad
considering increasing exports up to 3.3 million barrels pd in January, while Riyadh is planning to lower
the price of its oil exported to European buyers this
month. OPEC’s meeting last November decided to
keep production at 30 million barrels per day, a contributing fact to the continuous drop.
Main currencies stabilize
against Kuwaiti dinar
KUWAIT: The exchange rate of the main currencies, namely the US dollar, euro, yen, Swiss
franc and the sterling were all stable against
the Kuwaiti dinar yesterday, compared to yesterday’s exchange rate. The Central Bank of
Kuwait said in its daily bulletin that the
exchange rate for the US dollar was stable at
KD 0.293 against the KD, while the euro was
also stable at KD 0.350, whereas the Sterling
Pound stood at KD 0.448, the Swiss franc was
KD 0.291, while the Japanese yen was
unchanged at KD 0.002.
Bahrain sovereign fund
signs $500m loan
DUBAI: Bahrain’s Mumtalakat has signed a $500 million five-year loan with a group of banks and will use
the cash to refinance debt, the sovereign fund said
yesterday. Reuters reported on Sunday that
Mumtalakat had signed the loan with the Bank of
Tokyo-Mitsubishi, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank,
Standard Chartered, Arab Banking Corp and National
Bank of Bahrain. The loan is structured as a revolving
credit facility and was signed towards the end of
December, Mumtalakat said. One of the smaller sovereign wealth funds in the Gulf region, Mumtalakat had
$7.1 billion of assets under management at the end of
September. It holds stakes in 40 firms in the kingdom’s
non-oil sector, including Bahrain Telecommunications
Co (Batelco) and Aluminium Bahrain (Alba).
Egypt’s Bisco
Misr to sell
stake to Kellogg
CAIRO: Shareholders in Egypt’s Bisco Misr have
agreed to sell a controlling stake to Kellogg as the
world’s largest breakfast cereal maker emerged as
the likely winner of an $87 million takeover battle
for the cake and biscuit producer. Private equity
firm Abraaj said last week it would withdraw from a
bidding war with Kellogg that had driven up the
offer price by over 20 percent, leaving the US
group as the only remaining suitor.
Shareholders controlling 59.91 percent of the
firm’s shares agreed to sell at 89.86 pounds a share,
Bisco Misr said in a statement yesterday, for a total
of just under $87 million.
The tussle over Bisco Misr is part of a flurry of
mergers and rights issues boosting activity on the
Cairo bourse, which has struggled to revive
investor confidence in the turmoil that has followed the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings. Though the
values are relatively small, along with a takeover
battle for Arab Dairy, the Bisco Misr acquisition suggests growing international interest in the Egyptian
market.
Kellogg had indicated it was willing to buy 100
percent of Bisco Misr and would only accept a controlling stake. It scuppered an effort by Abraaj to
snap up the Egyptian company for an opening
gambit of 73.91 pounds a share.
Though Kellogg appears almost certain to seal
the deal, the regulator last month extended the
bidding period to Jan. 11, which means another
suitor could yet emerge. Shareholders holding 56
percent of Bisco Misr agreed in November to sell
their shares to Abraaj and a deal seemed likely until
Kellogg entered the fray.
Food is seen as a fast-growing sector in the
most populous Arab nation of 87 million people
and Bisco Misr is a well-known brand with three
baking facilities in Cairo and Alexandria. — Reuters
RAWALPINDI: A Pakistani man pushes a bicycle laden with recyclable items at a market in Rawalpindi yesterday.
Pakistan’s official reserves crossed a historic high of $15.098 billion dollar in December. — AFP
Egypt’s foreign reserves
fall to $15.33bn at end-Dec
CAIRO: Egypt’s foreign currency reserves fell to
$15.33 billion at the end of December from
$15.88 billion the previous month, the central
bank said yesterday. Foreign reserves fell
sharply after the 2011 uprising that ousted
President Hosni Mubarak but had risen again on
the back of billions of dollars of Gulf Arab aid
that has flooded into Egypt since the army overthrew elected Islamist President Mohammad
Morsi last year. In November, Egypt repaid to
Qatar a $2.5 billion central bank deposit
received under Morsi, which some traders had
warned could have an impact on reserve levels.
Reserves stood at about $36 billion before the
2011 revolt.
British petrol prices drop to five-year low
LONDON: British petrol prices have fallen to the lowest
level for five years, data published by the government
shows, reflecting the steep decline in crude oil prices.
Prices at the petrol pumps have slumped to an average of
111.06 pence per litre this week, the lowest since the week
starting Jan. 11, 2010, according to Britain’s energy ministry.
Diesel prices have also fallen to multi-year lows at
117.93 pence per litre, a level not seen since Sept 20, 2010.
A glut in global oil supplies has caused Brent crude prices
to more than halve in a little more than six months, with
motorists now starting to benefit from the decline.
Around half of the average current petrol price, or 57.95
pence per litre, is a government tax. This explains why
petrol prices have not fallen as sharply as crude prices.
Consumer groups have complained the slump in
wholesale prices has not been passed on to consumers,
with less than half of the drop in crude accounted for by
early December, even after exchange rates and taxes were
taken into consideration. British finance minister George
Osborne, gearing up for a May general election, warned
petrol retailers in November he would be watching them
carefully to ensure savings from falling wholesale prices
were passed on to consumers. — Reuters
Syrian Pound
Nepalese Rupees
Malaysian Ringgit
Chinese Yuan Renminbi
Thai Bhat
Turkish Lira
Philippine Peso
Sierra Leone
Singapore Dollar
South African Rand
Sri Lankan Rupee
Taiwan
Thai Baht
0.006498
0.000066
0.217169
0.019122
0.001859
0.009080
0.008633
0.006778
0.000072
0.223169
0.027622
0.002439
0.009260
0.009183
Bahraini Dinar
Egyptian Pound
Iranian Riyal
Iraqi Dinar
Jordanian Dinar
Kuwaiti Dinar
Lebanese Pound
Moroccan Dirhams
Nigerian Naira
Omani Riyal
Qatar Riyal
Saudi Riyal
Syrian Pound
Tunisian Dinar
Turkish Lira
UAE Dirhams
Yemeni Riyal
Arab
0.774574
0.039069
0.000081
0.000195
0.411244
1.000000
0.000144
0.024043
0.001198
0.758784
0.080167
0.077883
0.001746
0.153356
0.125217
0.079186
0.001329
0.782574
0.042169
0.000083
0.000255
0.418744
1.000000
0.000244
0.048043
0.001833
0.764464
0.081380
0.078583
0.001966
0.161356
0.132217
0.080335
0.001409
EXCHANGE RATES
Al-Muzaini Exchange Co.
Japanese Yen
Indian Rupees
Pakistani Rupees
Srilankan Rupees
Nepali Rupees
Singapore Dollar
Hongkong Dollar
Bangladesh Taka
Philippine Peso
Thai Baht
Irani Riyal transfer
Irani Riyal cash
Saudi Riyal
Qatari Riyal
Omani Riyal
Bahraini Dinar
UAE Dirham
Egyptian Pound - Cash
Egyptian Pound - Transfer
Yemen Riyal/for 1000
Tunisian Dinar
Jordanian Dinar
Lebanese Lira/for 1000
Syrian Lira
Morocco Dirham
ASIAN COUNTRIES
2.460
4.658
2.913
2.227
2.908
224.280
37.933
3.763
6.605
8.946
61.555
121.740
GCC COUNTRIES
78.498
80.871
764.880
781.850
80.166
ARAB COUNTRIES
42.250
41.069
1.374
158.880
415.430
1.975
2.098
330.620
EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES
US Dollar Transfer
294.250
Euro
358.130
Sterling Pound
459.320
Canadian dollar
255.980
Turkish lira
126.180
Swiss Franc
300.260
Australian Dollar
243.640
US Dollar Buying
293.050
20 gram
10 gram
5 gram
GOLD
238.100
121.740
61.560
b r i e f
UAE Exchange Centre WLL
COUNTRY
Australian Dollar
Canadian Dollar
Swiss Franc
Euro
US Dollar
Sterling Pound
Japanese Yen
Bangladesh Taka
Indian Rupee
Sri Lankan Rupee
Nepali Rupee
Pakistani Rupee
UAE Dirhams
Bahraini Dinar
Egyptian Pound
Jordanian Dinar
Omani Riyal
Qatari Riyal
Saudi Riyal
SELL DRAFT
231.71
256.71
302.93
362.08
293.55
461.65
2.49
3.761
4.636
2.220
2.893
2.918
79.77
779.11
40.93
417.10
761.26
80.83
78.19
SELL CASH
228.71
257.71
300.93
363.08
296.55
464.65
2.51
4.031
4.936
2.655
3.428
2.790
80.23
781.18
41.53
422.75
768.56
81.38
78.59
Bahrain Exchange Company
CURRENCY
Belgian Franc
British Pound
Czech Korune
Danish Krone
Euro
Norwegian Krone
Romanian Leu
Slovakia
Swedish Krona
Swiss Franc
Turkish Lira
Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd
Rate for Transfer
US Dollar
Canadian Dollar
Sterling Pound
Euro
Swiss Frank
Bahrain Dinar
UAE Dirhams
Qatari Riyals
Saudi Riyals
Jordanian Dinar
Egyptian Pound
Sri Lankan Rupees
Indian Rupees
Pakistani Rupees
Bangladesh Taka
Philippines Pesso
Cyprus pound
Japanese Yen
Selling Rate
291.750
260.085
456.630
366.500
303.035
775.760
79.330
80.935
77.975
411.660
40.707
2.225
4.716
2.867
3.759
6.481
715.865
3.480
2.710
3.945
87.645
48.035
9.885
131.225
Australian Dollar
New Zealand Dollar
BUY
Europe
0.007670
0.442233
0.004670
0.043172
0.346090
0.034536
0.078001
0.008637
0.033101
0.286085
0.125217
SELL
0.008670
0.451233
0.016670
0.048172
0.354090
0.039736
0.078001
0.018637
0.038101
0.296285
0.132217
Australasia
0.230848
0.220891
0.242348
0.230481
Al Mulla Exchange
Canadian Dollar
US Dollars
US Dollars Mint
Bangladesh Taka
Chinese Yuan
Hong Kong Dollar
Indian Rupee
Indonesian Rupiah
Japanese Yen
Kenyan Shilling
Korean Won
Malaysian Ringgit
Nepalese Rupee
Pakistan Rupee
America
0.245043
0.290350
0.290850
0.253543
0.295050
0.295050
Asia
0.003451
0.045994
0.035880
0.004341
0.000019
0.002384
0.003233
0.000257
0.080049
0.003010
0.002774
0.004051
0.049494
0.038630
0.004742
0.000025
0.002564
0.003233
0.000272
0.086049
0.003180
0.003054
Currency
Transfer Rate (Per 1000)
US Dollar
293.850
Euro
356.650
Pound Sterlng
455.100
Canadian Dollar
252.600
Indian Rupee
4.650
Egyptian Pound
41.110
Sri Lankan Rupee
2.224
Bangladesh Taka
3.748
Philippines Peso
6.535
Pakistan Rupee
2.915
Bahraini Dinar
781.900
UAE Dirham
79.970
Saudi Riyal
78.400
*Rates are subject to change
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
BUSINESS
Rolls-Royce’s shift to
smaller, sporty cars
spurs sales to record
FRANKFURT: Luxur y carmaker RollsRoyce is upbeat about sales this year after
smaller, more sporty cars gained appeal
with younger customers, resulting in a 13
percent jump in deliveries in 2014.
Chief Executive Torsten MuellerOetvoes said the brand had benefited
from expanding its model range beyond
the flagship Phantom, which can measure
up to six meters in length and sells for
more than 300,000 pounds ($455,580).
Rolls introduced smaller models such
as the Ghost II in late 2014 and the Wraith
Coupe in late 2013, helping lift overall
deliveries to a record 4,063 last year. Both
models are almost one meter shorter than
the Phantom. The company is broadening
its portfolio to suit a younger market with
different aspirations, Mueller-Oetvoes
said. In China for example the average
customer is in his or her late 30s or early
40s, around 10 to 15 years younger than
elsewhere.
Rolls is even considering building a
sports utility vehicle. A decision about
whether to go ahead will be made this
year, the CEO said.
Given the company’s product portfolio
and the growth in its ultra-wealthy clientele, Mueller-Oetvoes said he was quietly
confident about sales for 2015. Around
the world, wealth accumulated by high
net worth individuals, defined as those
having investable assets of $1 million or
more, is expected to reach a record of
$64.3 trillion by 2016, 22 percent more
than in 2013, according to a report by
Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management.
Growth at Rolls has been steady since
2003, when the company sold 300 models
of its Phantom, the first car developed by
the company under BMW ownership. But
it still lags rival Bentley, owned by
Volkswagen, which has yet to disclose fullyear sales but which sold 7,786 cars in the
first nine months of the year and 6,516 in
2013. Rolls says it is not playing the volume sales game. “BMW gives me an earnings target, not a volume target,” MuellerOetvoes said. Asked if Rolls might consider a move toward greater independence,
just as Ferrari is being spun off from Fiat
Chrysler, the German executive saw little
appeal in such an idea. “I hope not. I am
glad to be part of BMW Group because we
can learn from their vehicle development
capacities and k now-how,” MuellerOetvoes said. “Developing the next generation of fuel-efficient technologies is really
expensive.” — Reuters
ATHENS: A street vendor sells chestnuts outside from a branch of the National bank in Athens yesterday. Fears that Greece could end up leaving the
euro-zone after elections later this month rattled European markets, hammering stock prices. — AFP
Cairo stops subsidies
to farmers of cotton
Traders say move final blow to Egypt’s �white gold’
MUMBAI: A stock dealer watches share prices on his screen at a brokerage house in
Mumbai yesterday. The BSE 30 share benchmark index - SENSEX plunged over 600 points
in trade in cue with the sink in Asian markets, which were trading lower as investors are
starting to worry that the prolonged slump is signaling a weaker global economy. — AFP
Libya pays heavy economic
price as fighting takes toll
CAIRO: The central bank is burning
through its foreign reserves and many
government services are being cut as
Libya reels under the effects of a collapse in oil revenues caused by factional fighting that threatens to tear
the country apart. With the oil price
plunging and no sign of an end to hostilities, economic options are few.
Experts say the bank, which is struggling to remain neutral amid the fighting, might have to devalue the currency sharply to meet the public payroll.
As the fighting has knocked out
most oilfields and ports, oil exports
have fallen below 300,000 barrels a
day, less than one fifth of the 1.6 million barrels Libya was pumping before
Muammar Gaddafi fell in 2011. Since
then, the country has been in turmoil
as the rebel brigades that helped overthrow Gaddafi are now fighting each
other for power and are backing two
competing governments.
Neither side-the internationally-recognized government in the east and a
rival outfit which seized Tripoli in summer- has prepared a budget for 2015.
Both seem determined to defeat each
other on the battlefield, with oil facilities, ports and steel plants their targets.
The turmoil has cut the value of
Libya’s currency by 30 percent against
the dollar on the black market as oil
exports are the only means of funding
the budget and an annual import bill
of $30 billion. An employee at a state
bank in Tripoli said the central bank
had stopped making dollars available
months ago. Worse is to come. Husni
Bey, head of one of Libya’s biggest private firms, said the central bank might
have to devalue the dinar by 50 percent to offset the loss of oil revenues
and pay public salaries. Libya had a
budget deficit of around $15 billion at
the end of November, the bank said,
before oil output fell by half. This year
the gap will balloon because oil and
gas exports will fetch just $11.6 billion,
said Bey, head of the HB Group, one of
Libya’s biggest importers.
Salaries, wheat and petrol subsidies
will alone cost 38 billion dinars ($28
billion), he said. Last year’s budget had
assumed oil output of more than
600,000 bpd, a level now unattainable
as only two ports and offshore fields
have escaped the fighting.
Foreign reserves
As a result, the central bank warned
last week it was depleting Libya’s foreign reserves. It did not say how much
it had got through since last June,
when reserves were $109 billion. The
bank has acknowledged the country’s
economic problems but has spoken
only of “maintaining the current value
of the Libyan Dinar exchange rate” and
discussing “how public finance obligations can be met in 2015”.
One problem is that only half of its
foreign assets are held in cash or
bonds in major currencies. The rest are
a mix of somewhat illiquid or exotic
assets- equity stakes in I talian or
Bahraini banks, Chinese bonds or
deposits in CFA francs, the currency of
West Africa-and some investments are
blocked by legal disputes. Cutting the
budget is not a viable option as twothirds of the funds are reserved for
salaries for civil servants and subsidies.
Most adults are on the public payroll, a
tactic Gaddafi used to buy loyalty, and
the warring parties will not touch the
system as their own fighters are on
state salaries. Alex Warren of advisory
group Frontier, which runs The Libya
Report website, said both rival parliaments would have to seek loans from
Libyan banks or get suppor t from
abroad.
“There is effectively no more Libyan
state,” he said. “Both seek further loans
or bonds from domestic banks that
they respectively control, or look for
patronage from overseas,” he said.
Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni,
who is holed up in the east, and his
rival, Omar Al-Hassi, running Tripoli,
are trying to show they are solving the
economic crisis by holding televised
meetings with business leaders. But
ordinar y people say the state has
stopped providing basic services in
some parts of the country as funding
is frozen or ministries simply halt work.
In eastern Libya, state cell phone
operator Al-Madar has stopped working while power cuts have become
part of daily life. Officials blame a lack
of funds for maintenance or shortages
of spare parts to fix facilities damaged
by fighting. At Benghazi’s state-run
hospitals, patients must bring their
own drugs or have blood tests done at
private laboratories. “There is a big
shortage of drugs. We don’t have a
budget any more from the ministry of
health,” said a spokesman for
Benghazi’s biggest hospital.
Petrol has become scarce in
Benghazi and other eastern cities,
while people queue for bread. Imports
stopped two months ago due to fighting. Nor is there money to rebuild
infrastructure such as airports or oil
facilities. That will cost $38 billion, said
Bey. — Reuters
CAIRO/ABU DHABI: Growers of Egypt’s high quality cotton
will no longer receive any state support and have been
advised not to plant the crop unless they have contracts to
sell it, a move some traders say is a final blow to the longneglected industry. The market for Egypt’s high quality extra
long staple cotton, once known as the country’s “white gold”,
has been shrinking for years. Farmers have turned to more
lucrative crops and local textile firms have shifted their focus
to creating low-quality products with cheap raw cotton
imports.
Agriculture Minister Adel el-Beltagy said yesterday the
government will no longer pay the subsidy of 350 Egyptian
pounds per qintar of cotton (160 kg), as much as 40 percent
of the domestic market price in the current season. He said
cultivation of Egypt’s long and extra long cotton, which
competes with the US Pima variety for high quality fibres,
was too expensive and Egyptian factories no longer bought
local cotton because of the availability of far cheaper short
cotton.
The liberalization of Egypt’s cotton sector in 1994 exposed
farmers to volatile global prices and rising fertilizer costs.
Cotton acreage has fallen dramatically since the heyday of
the 1960s, when Egypt produced cotton from up to 2.2 million feddans (924,000 hectares), helped by fixed state prices.
One Egyptian cotton trader said planted acreage had
dropped last season to around 350,000 feddans. “In almost all
countries the cotton crop is supported by some kind of subsidy so it is very de-motivating that Egypt is taking away the
subsidy from its farmers now,” he said.
The government will ask spinning and weaving companies to sign contracts with farmers for long staple cotton
according to their needs, Egypt’s Trade and Industry Minister
Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour said. Deputy Agriculture Minister
Hamdy Aasy told Reuters that removing subsidies would
benefit farmers because instead of the government giving
direct support to producers amid price volatility in the global
market, it will help coordinate favorable contracts between
companies purchasing the crop and the farmers. “This will
give (farmers) a profit margin instead of dealing with the free
market that goes up and down and endangers them with
price fluctuations.”
According to the state-run statistics agency CAPMAS, cotton exports in the second quarter of Egypt’s current financial
year that began in July were 109,600 metric tons, down nearly 70 percent from the same quarter in 2013. — Reuters
French, German
borrowing rates at
new all-time lows
PARIS: French and German borrowing rates reached
new all-time lows yesterday amid fears over the
prospect of Greece leaving the euro-zone. As of 0830
GMT, France’s 10-year debt hit 0.772 percent on the secondary market, while the German 10-year Bund fell to
0.484 percent.
“Factors causing the recent risk-off mode are unlikely
to fade rapidly,” BNP Paribas analysts said in a note.
“Greece and the question of QE (stimulus) are keeping
bond markets nervous,” it said, adding that the anxiety
is likely to persist through January.
At the weekend, the Der Spiegel weekly quoted
German government sources as saying that Berlin sees
a Greek exit from the euro-zone as “almost inevitable”
should Greece’s radical leftist Syriza party win snap elections on January 25. Both Chancellor Angela Merkel and
her finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble have come to
consider that Greece’s departure from the single-currency bloc would be “manageable”, the magazine said.
German media saw the Spiegel article as an attempt
by Merkel and Schaeuble to put pressure on Greeks and
Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras, who has vowed to end austerity policies.
The specter of a Greek exit from the euro-zone
caused major stock markets to tumble on Monday
despite a European Commission declaration that eurozone membership was irrevocable.
Meanwhile, the European Central Bank is coming
under heightened pressure ahead of its January 22
meeting on monetary policy to do more to help prop
up the euro-zone economy amid fears of deflation. If
euro area-wide inflation turns negative, the ECB may
have to resort to radical measures such as so-called
quantitative easing (QE), the large-scale purchase of
sovereign bonds, analysts said.
At times of uncertainty, traders prefer to park money
in the relatively safe haven of sovereign bonds rather
than play the riskier stock market. Even countries considered more fragile such as Spain and Italy benefit
from this trend. Spain’s 10-year bond yield dropped to
1.594 percent yesterday from 1.609 percent on Monday,
while Italy’s stood at 1.826 percent, down from 1.839
percent.— AFP
India coal workers go
on strike over reforms
MUMBAI: Millions of coal miners in India
began a five-day strike yesterday in
protest at moves to open up the market
to private companies, sparking fears of
power cuts in the energy-hungry nation.
“I can say that a nationwide strike is
on and this the biggest one since 1977,”
Gurudas Dasgupta, general secretary of
the All India Trade Union Congress
(AITUC), told AFP after last-ditch talks to
avert the stoppage failed. Dasgupta was
speaking on behalf of the five unions
which represent the 3.7 million workers
on the payroll of state-run Coal India,
which has a near monopoly over production.
Unions fear that any move to privatize
the coal industry could lead to job cuts.
Coal India has been under pressure for
years to increase production, with the
country’s rapid industrialization leading
to ever-rising demand. No one from the
management of Coal India was immediately available for comment but reports
said that unions would be meeting government officials within the next 24
hours.
India’s new right-wing government
pledged in October to open up the coal
mining industry to private players as part
of a raft of reforms by Prime Minister
Narendra Modi to revive the ailing economy. The government approved an ordinance to allow auctions of coal mines to
private companies for their own use, as
well as permitting commercial mining at
some point in the future.
The decree came after the Supreme
Court in September cancelled more than
200 permits for coal mines, after declaring the process of awarding them illegal,
throwing the sector into turmoil. India
imports vast quantities of coal, despite
sitting on the world’s fifth largest
reserves. Coal provides nearly 60 percent
of India’s electricity generating needs,
but the power sector relies heavily on
imports of the fuel.
Blackouts are common across India,
especially during peak summer months,
amid surging demand including from a
fast-rising middle class. There are also
fears that a lack of power at the height
of winter could put lives at risk as temperatures often drop to below freezing
in some parts of northern India. A prolonged strike would run the real risk of
triggering outages since many power
stations are already operating on dangerously low supplies, an analyst at an
equities house told AFP, requesting
anonymity. — AFP
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
BUSINESS
Asian shares slump as oil gloom deepens
TOKYO: Asian shares slumped yesterday as sliding oil
prices and political uncertainty in Greece forced
investors out of riskier assets and into the safety of government bonds, while the euro wallowed near nineyear lows. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares
outside Japan fell 1.4 percent, giving up half of the
gains made since it hit a 10-month low on Dec. 17.
Japan’s Nikkei dropped 3 percent, its largest fall in
almost 10 months while South Korean shares fell 1.7
percent to a 1-1/2-year low. Even high-flying mainland
Chinese shares pulled back after hitting 5-1/2-year
highs earlier in the session. European shares were seen
little changed, with many countries on holiday.
Spreadbetters expected Britain’s FTSE and Germany’s
DAX to open almost flat.
The slide in oil prices showed little signs of abating
in the new year, plunging as much as 6 percent on
Monday to hit their lowest since spring 2009, as
increased output of US shale oil has exacerbated a
global supply glut.
“Falls in oil prices are going beyond many people’s
expectations. This will put pressure on the earnings of
US energy firms,” said Hirokazu Kabeya, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities.
US crude crashed below $50 a barrel on Monday
while benchmark Brent tumbled under $53 after data
showed Russian oil output at post-Soviet era highs and
Iraqi oil exports near 35-year peaks. They rebounded
slightly yesterday with US crude last traded at $50.21,
up 17 cents. Brent stood at $53.34 but that did little to
dispel concerns that current low prices would squeeze
many energy producers and hurt many assets with
close links to energy.
The US S&P 500 had its worst day in almost three
months on Monday, dropping 1.8 percent, with energy
shares leading the decline. Adding to the gloom was
increasing speculation that Greece might be kicked out
of the euro-zone if a left-wing party that has vowed to
end austerity measures and erase a big portion of its
debt wins in Jan. 25 elections, as widely expected.
Developments in Greece, however, have not hit other periphery euro zone bonds so far, with their yields
stuck near record low levels as investors see limited risk
of a collapse of the monetary union. Part of the reason
behind that stability is expectations that the European
Central Bank could start buying government debt to
shore up the economy as soon as this month. The
prospect of more policy easing from the ECB kept the
euro at bay. The common currency last traded at
$1.1956 after slipping into the $1.1860 area on
Monday, reaching depths not seen since early 2006.
“ The next possible targets for the euro will be
around $1.18, the level when the common currency
started and around $1.16, its November 2005 low. It
could see further falls depending on the outcome of
Greek election, or the euro-zone’s reaction to that,
rather,” said Daisuke Uno, chief strategist at Sumitomo
Mitsui Bank.
Adding pressure on the ECB to do more, German
inflation slowed to its lowest in over five years in
December. The data came just days after ECB President
Mario Draghi said the risks were growing that inflation
would stay too low for too long.
As riskier assets came under pressure, prices of safe
haven assets such as the yen and government bonds
gained on flight-to-quality bids. The yen strengthened
0.6 percent to 118.88 to the dollar from a low of
120.745 hit on Friday. The 30-year US bond yield fell to
a 2-1/2-year low of 2.592 percent on Monday and last
stood at 2.601 percent. Gold prices extended gains
after 1 percent on Monday to trade at $1,206.60 per
ounce. — Reuters
SEOUL: Currency traders work in front of a screen showing the Korea Composite
Stock Price Index, top right, at the Korea Exchange Bank headquarters in Seoul yesterday. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 1.74 percent, or 33.30, to close at
1,882.45. — AP
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
BUSINESS
Lloyds hopes for waiver
from ring-fenced rules
LONDON: Lloyds Banking Group wants
Britain’s financial regulator to grant it a
waiver from new rules requiring banks to
have separate boards of directors for their
retail and investment operations, sources
said.
The Bank of England (BOE) is forcing
banks to establish a boundary around their
branch activities to protect taxpayers from
any future exposure to the multibillionpound bailouts required to rescue lenders
during the 2007-09 financial crisis. Among
the requirements will be new boards for
the supposedly safer, ring-fenced entities,
new staff contracts and separate pension
schemes. Banks will also need to separate
their risk-management and IT operations.
By dividing up a bank’s activities, it
would make it easier to wind up troubled
sections without the risk of dragging down
the healthy parts of the business. The
Financial Times reported late on Monday
that Lloyds was seeking an exemption from
the board requirement, arguing that
because more than 90 percent of its operations will sit inside of the ring-fence there is
no need for a separate board.
The BOE’s Prudential Regulation
Authority has said it will take a “proportionate approach” to how the rules are applied.
“The PRA will consider applications from
firms for modifications of rules,” the regula-
tor said in a consultation paper published
in October.
In the consultation paper, the regulator
said it had a “discretionary power to waive
or modify rules...where the application of
rules would be unduly burdensome or
would not achieve the purposes for which
the rules were made”. Any bank with 25 billion pounds of UK deposits will need to set
up a ring-fenced unit by 2019. At present,
six lenders would be affected-HSBC, Lloyds,
Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander
UK and the Co-operative Bank.
Andrew Tyrie, head of an influential parliamentary committee that scrutinizes
Britain’s finance ministry, has warned that
banks could look to find ways around the
ring-fence and should face the threat of
being broken up if they do. Britain’s biggest
customer-facing banks-Lloyds and RBShope to include as much as possible within
the ring-fenced entity, whereas those with
more risky investment activities, such as
Barclays and HSBC, want fewer of their assets
to be kept within the ring-fence, industry
sources have said. Barclays plans to keep its
Barclaycard credit card division outside of
the ringfence, the sources said. Barclays and
HSBC are also expected to set up separate
subsidiaries for their IT operations and other
functions. Banks must submit their plans to
the PRA by yesterday.—Reuters
Hedge fund manager
Andurand strikes gold again
by betting on oil crash
LONDON: Energy hedge fund Andurand
Capital returned 38 percent in 2014 betting
on the collapse in oil prices, a source familiar with the matter said yesterday, emerging as one of the biggest winners from the
near halving in crude since June. French
fund manager Pierre Andurand, who made
his name in 2008 by calling the sharp rise
and subsequent collapse in oil prices that
year at his BlueGold fund, launched
Andurand Capital in 2013.
The London-based fund had $400 million of assets under management at the
start of this year, the source said. The return
of 37.9 percent was net of all management
and performance fees. Returns not including performance fees were 47.4 percent.
Most of the returns came in the last two
months of the year, as Andurand bet on the
sharp drop in crude prices accelerating.
The fund was up only slightly for the
year at the end of October, when Andurand
predicted at London’s Oil & Money conference that the market could drop to $50 a
barrel-well below the roughly $85 a barrel
North Sea Brent was trading at the time.
Brent hit a 5-1/2 year low of $51.23 a
barrel yesterday, down by more than 50
percent from the 2014 high near $115 a
barrel. Speaking in December, Andurand
said wild price swings would continue after
the Organization of the Petroleum
Exporting Countries (OPEC) declined to cut
production, choosing to compete to hold
on to market share rather than trying to
prop up the price.
“There needs to be real pain in the oil
market before the price can go back up,”
Andurand said in December, predicting a
number of high-cost producers would go
bankrupt before the US-led surge in shale
supplies slowed enough to balance the
market. Andurand Capital declined to comment yesterday. —Reuters
RICHARDSON: A for sale by owner sign sits in front of a home in Richardson, Texas. Real estate data provider CoreLogic reports on November
home prices yesterday. —AP
US home prices coasting
upward in November
Factory orders edge lower
WASHINGTON: US home values rose at a measured pace in November, a sign that demand
remains weak as many buyers have been priced
out of the market. Prices increased 5.5 percent
in November compared with 12 months earlier,
real estate provider CoreLogic said yesterday.
That was up slightly from October’s year-overyear increase of 5.4 percent, which was revised
downward from a previously reported 6.1 percent.
The housing market faces an affordability
crunch. Many potential buyers were sidelined
by double-digit home price gains in 2013,
which eclipsed average wage growth of roughly
2 percent. That affordability gap caused sales to
slide in 2014, restraining price growth in recent
months.
CoreLogic projects that price growth will
remain mild as the US real estate market continues to recover from the lows reached after the
Great Recession. Nationwide, home prices
remain 12.9 percent below their April 2006
peak. Over the next 12 months, CoreLogic
expects that home values will rise 4.6 percent.
The firm estimates that roughly half the country’s homes will match or surpass their pre-
recession prices by the middle of 2015.
But “pockets of weakness” are surfacing in
some parts of the country, noted Sam Khater,
deputy chief economist at CoreLogic. In three of
the states with the highest annualized gains in
November - Texas (8.5 percent), Colorado (8.8
percent) and North Dakota (7.9 percent) - home
values have “been benefiting from the energy
boom,” Khater said. But as oil prices have more
than halved from $107 a barrel in June, home
values in these states may see downward pressure, he said.
Prices nudged up just 2.5 percent over the
past 12 months in the Washington, DC metro
area. That slowed growth in surrounding states,
with Maryland chalking up a nearly flat 0.1 percent gain and Virginia prices increasingly only
1.8 percent.
Still, home values increased a solid 9 percent
in Michigan and 7.6 percent in California. And
falling oil prices correspond with cheaper gasoline, which could free up income for Americans
to spend on homes. Economists also expect that
solid hiring over the past year should produce
stronger wage growth in 2015, which would
also help with affordability. The National
Association of Realtors estimates that 2015 sales
will total 5.3 million. The trade group forecasts
that 4.9 million existing homes were sold in
2014, down 3 percent from 5.1 million in 2013.
Analysts say sales of roughly 5.5 million existing
homes are common in a healthy real estate market.
Meanwhile, orders to US factories fell for a
four th straight month in November, with
demand in a key category that signals business
investment plans down for a third month. The
Commerce Department says factory orders
dropped 0.7 percent in November after a similar
0.7 percent fall in October. The November weakness came from decreases in demand for primary metals, industrial machinery and military
aircraft.
A closely watched category that serves as a
proxy for business investment spending
dropped 0.5 percent in November, the third
straight decline, the longest stretch of weakness
in this category since 2012. Economists, however, remain optimistic that the drop in orders is a
temporary soft patch and a stronger economy
with increased consumer spending will trigger a
rebound in demand in 2015. —AP
China HSBC services PMI
touches 3-month high
Analysts expect more stimulus as economy cools
RAWALPINDI: A Pakistani watch repairer tends to a timepiece at his roadside stall in
Rawalpindi yesterday. Pakistan’s official reserves crossed a historic high of $15.098
billion in December. —AFP
US stocks edge higher at
open; oil extends decline
NEW YORK: US stocks opened slightly higher
yesterday, after a big slump on Monday. The
price of oil continued to slide and the yield on
the 10-year Treasury note fell below 2 percent. KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s
500 index gained four points, or 0.2 percent,
to 2,025, as of 9:52 a.m. Eastern. The Dow
Jones industrial average rose 42 points, or 0.3
percent, to 17,547. The Nasdaq composite
was flat at 4,649.
OIL SLIDE: US crude continued to fall,
dropping $1.11 to $48.94 a barrel on the New
York Mercantile Exchange. The price of oil has
fallen by more than half since trading as high
as $107 in June. Brent crude, the global
benchmark, was down 94 cents at $52.16 a
barrel. It plunged $3.31 on Monday.
IMPACT: The prolonged slide in oil prices
should help economic growth by reducing
energy costs, however investors worry that
the large scale of the downturn could foretell
a global economic slowdown. Also, as the
price of oil falls, energy companies might cut
jobs, put off investment or go out of business.
EUROPE’S DAY: Germany’s DAX rose 1.1
percent and France’s CAC-40 rose 0.4 percent.
Britain’s FTSE 100 edged up 0.3 percent.
EURO JITTERS: The possibility that Greece’s
anti-austerity Syriza party might win national
elections this month has fed doubts about
whether the country will stick to terms of its
bailout and remain in the euro bloc.
Meanwhile, a new survey showed that economic growth in the euro-zone was weak at
the end of 2014, suggesting that a robust
recovery is still a dim prospect.—AP
BEIJING: China’s services sector grew at its
fastest pace in three months in December as
new orders remained strong, a private survey
showed, an encouraging sign of strength even
as manufacturing activity slows and the property market softens. The robustness in the services
sector contrasted sharply with surveys last week
which showed Chinese factories were struggling at the end of 2014, suggesting a further
loss in economic momentum.
Those findings reinforced expectations that
more stimulus measures are on the cards, either
in the form of more liquidity injections by the
central bank, interest rate cuts or reductions in
the amount of reserves banks must hold to
encourage them to lend.
“Given the traditional industrial sector is still
under pressure, more policy loosening is necessar y,” said Zhou Hao, ANZ economist in
Shanghai. “Recent moves by the central bank
showed they actually kept a relatively loosening
policy stance to lift growth, even though they
seem to not want to send a strong easing signal.”
The HSBC/Markit Ser vices Purchasing
Managers’ Index(PMI) picked up to 53.4 last
month from November’s 53.0, well above the
50-point level that separates growth from con-
traction in activity on a monthly basis. A subindex measuring new business cooled slightly
to 53.9 in December from a 2-1/2 years high of
54.2 in November, but remained well in expansion territory.
The labor market was also buoyant, with the
employment sub-index hitting an 18-month
high as companies expanded. Chinese leaders
suggested last year they could tolerate somewhat slower economic growth as long as labor
markets remained healthy. But services firms
were not so optimistic on the outlook. A subindex for business expectations for the year
ahead dipped to the lowest level since August
2014, with many firms saying increasing competition was dampening their pricing power.
“The services sector continued to hold up
well amidst the manufacturing downturn, providing some counter-weight to the downward
pressures on the economy,” said Qu Hongbin,
chief China economist at HSBC.
“We continue to believe that there is insufficient demand in the overall economy and more
(policy) easing measures are warranted in the
coming months.”
Flagging growth
A similar official survey released last week
showed similar strength, with the services PMI
rising to 54.1 in December from November’s
53.9. That survey focuses more on larger, stateowned firms.
Hurt by a sagging housing market as well as
slowing domestic demand and investment,
China’s economy is expected to grow at its slowest pace in 24 years in 2014, with annual growth
seen at 7.4 percent. With weakness in property
and fixed investment expected to persist for
much of this year, and bad loans likely to rise,
some economists have urged Beijing to set a
2015 growth target of 7 percent for 2015, compared with 7.5 percent for 2014.
After saying for months that China doesn’t
need any big economic stimulus, the central
bank unexpec tedly cut interest rates in
November for the first time in more than two
years to support growth. It has also loosened
some lending restrictions to persuade banks
to make more loans and injected funds into
the banking system in an attempt to bring
down high funding costs. Those moves may
have bought the central bank some time to
see if conditions improve, though many economists still expect more rate cuts as well as
reductions in banks’ required reserve ratios
(RRR) this year. — Reuters
UK banks years away from end to
mis-selling scandal: Ombudsman
LONDON: Britain’s banks will be paying out
compensation to customers mis-sold loan
insurance for years to come, having already
set aside 24 billion pounds ($36.5 billion) to
deal with the issue, the chief financial
ombudsman said. The Financial
Ombudsman Service, which steps in when
banks and their customers can’t reach an
agreement, said it expected to settle
250,000 disputes about the mis-selling of
payment protection insurance (PPI) in the
next financial year.
PPI policies were meant to protect borrowers in the event of sickness or unemployment but were often sold to those who
would have been ineligible to claim and
the resulting compensation bill has made it
Britain’s costliest ever consumer scandal.
The ombudsman said it was continuing to
receive around 4,000 complaints about PPI
each week, although that is down from a
peak of 12,000 cases a week in late 2012.
“Complaints about PPI are still the main
driver of financial disputes. And although
numbers are slowly declining, it will be
years before we can truly say this mis-selling scandal is over,” Chief Ombudsman
Caroline Wayman said yesterday. Lloyds
Banking Group has set aside 11.3 billion
pounds for compensation, more than any
other bank. Barclays , Royal Bank of
Scotland and HSBC have also set aside billions of pounds. In its proposed plan and
budget for the 2015/16 financial year, the
ombudsman said it would take on 200 new
staff to deal with new complaints relating
to PPI and other matters.
The ombudsman, which is funded by
the financial services industry, said it
planned to freeze case fees paid by businesses and reduce its cost to the industry
by 13 percent. —Reuters
BANGKOK: An electronic board showing stock movements is seen at a private trading firm in Bangkok yesterday. Tokyo’s Nikkei led an
Asian share slump following painful losses in New York and Europe, with fears sparked by the global slump in oil prices and the Greek
political crisis. — AFP
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
BUSINESS
A track-ready Lexus poised to
make global debut at 2015 NAIAS
New model will broaden Lexus brand’s high performance portfolio
KUWAIT: Lexus announced it will be adding a second vehicle to its growing stable of F brand high performance models. Last year, the luxury manufacturer launched the RC F, a
V8 powered performance coupe. The newest Lexus F brand
vehicle will make its global premiere at the 2015 North
American International Auto Show (NAIAS) on Jan 13, 2015.
Named after the famous Fuji speedway in Japan, the “F”
marque stands for true high performance and takes
intense motorsport technology and driving passion to a
level never encountered for the ultimate exhilarating ride.
Lexus F vehicles are born of a pure passion for driving with
a unique Lexus perspective on extreme driver engage-
ment. The “F” marque was first introduced with the Lexus IS
F in 2008.
Takayuki Yoshitsugu, Chief Representative, Middle East
and North Africa Representative Office, TOYOTA Motor
Corporation, said, “The premiere of a new F brand model in
2015 will reveal a unique vehicle with a stunning and emo-
tive design that follows in the footsteps of the launch of the
“RC F” which also made a bold statement with its aggressive
attitude and sleek look. Lexus has been pushing the boundaries of performance right from the start and our new Lexus
F brand vehicle will take this even further to exceed customer expectations.”
ABK announces
winner of Final
SMS banking draw
India Education Exhibition 2015 to open on Jan 9
KUWAIT: The eighth edition of the annual India Education
Exhibition is set to take place on Friday (January 9) and
Saturday (January 10) at the Ramada Hotel in Al-Riggae.
The two-day exhibition, which will be open on both days
from 11am to 8pm, is expected to showcase the wide ranging resources, best practice methods and effective training
available at educational establishments in India.
NRI students and parents will get an opportunity to
interact with leading education experts, practitioners and
academic heads of various institutions across India, and
offer one-on-one counseling for students. It is proven fact
that in spite of available information in the digital form on
websites, interaction with academic heads and professors
in persons is very highly ranked as the best mode of getting information about the courses available, fee structure,
job opportunities and placements. It also helps parents
and students decide from the various options available in
their field of choice. Information on more than 100 courses
which are in demand, scholarships available and other relevant material will be on display during the event.
Manipal University is the co-sponsor of this exhibition
and other leading participants include Anna University,
Hindustan University, DY Patil University, Datta Meghe
Medical University, KJ Somaiya Institutions, CMR University,
Vishwakarma Institute of Technology among others.
Indus Group is a leading business to business media
group and the largest Indian exhibition organizer with
many events in its umbrella for NRIs across the world. The
exhibition is being held in Kuwait in association with
Response Media & Exhibitions.
Every year Indus conducts exhibitions across 15 countries, drawing tens of thousands of visitors who avail of the
counseling available at these events. Visitors are also able
to discuss and compare thousands of educational
resources designed to meet a wide range of educational
needs.
KUWAIT: Al-Ahli Bank of Kuwait conducted their
fourth and final weekly draw on their SMS banking
promotion, in the Head Office, in the presence and
supervision of the Ministry of Commerce and
Industry representatives. ABK’s fabulous offer
addresses subscribers of SMS banking; they go into
a draw and a winner of the iPhone 6 Plus is
declared, every week. This fourth week winner was
Mr. Abdulkareem Mohammed Ismael from Hawally
Branch.
Stewart Lockie, GM, Retail Banking stated, “ABK
encourages its customers to subscribe to SMS
banking, more so from a security viewpoint, it’s a
safe means of keeping track of their transactions.
This service allows customers to access their
account, check account and credit card balance as
well as currency exchange rates which implies that
customers remain informed of their banking transactions at all times.”
For further information please visit one of the
ABK branches or chat directly with a customer service officer from Ahli Chat service on our website
www.eahli.com, or call Ahlan Ahli at1899899.
Gold climbs to
3-week high as
investors seek safety
LONDON: Gold hit a three-week high yesterday as sliding oil
prices and concerns over Greece’s future in the euro-zone
fuelled risk aversion, prompting investors to seek out bullion as a
safe store of value. Spot gold was up 0.5 percent at $1,209.71 an
ounce at 1452 GMT, having earlier touched a peak of $1,214.40,
its highest since Dec 16. The metal rose 1.3 percent on Monday.
US gold futures for February delivery were up $5.80 an ounce
at $1,209.80. Gold priced in euros hit its highest since Sept. 2013
at 1,019.15 euros an ounce, benefiting from a 0.3 percent drop in
the euro versus the dollar. Investor sentiment was rattled by a
drop in oil prices to fresh 5-1/2 year lows, with crude futures
extending a 5 percent plunge in the previous session as worries
over a global supply glut intensified.
Political uncertainty in Greece has also renewed fears of a
possible Greek exit from the euro-zone ahead of the country’s
elections on Jan 25. That prompted investors to buy assets perceived as offering safety, such as US and German government
bonds, the Japanese yen and gold, offsetting the negative
impact on the metal of a stronger dollar.
“People are rushing to gold as a safe haven, along with the
dollar - this is one of those times when the dollar and gold
strengthen together,” Citi analyst David Wilson said. “There is a
lot of risk out there which is supportive, connected to the euro
zone, a possible slowdown in China. Gold is coming back as a
safe-haven risk hedge.”
Holdings in the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded
fund, SPDR Gold Shares, rose 0.25 percent to 710.81 tons on
Monday, though they remained near a six-year low. Meanwhile
data showed hedge funds and money managers raised their net
long positions in gold futures and options for the first time in
three weeks in the week to Dec. 30.
Premiums on the Shanghai Gold Exchange were $5-$6 an
ounce over the global benchmark on Tuesday, seen by dealers
as a sign of good demand in top consumer China. Buying in
China has increased in recent weeks ahead of the Lunar New
Year holiday, when gold is bought for gifts, and demand is likely
to stay strong until the holiday in February.—Reuters
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
technology
Smart gadgets take center stage at CES
LAS VEGAS: Imagine a world in which your garage
door opens automatically as you pull into the driveway.
The living room lights and heater turn on - perhaps the
oven starts warming up, too.
In the so-called “smart home,” cars, appliances and
other devices all have sensors and Internet connectivity
to think and act for themselves, and make your life easier. We’re not there just yet, but we’re getting closer.
The smart-home concept is known in tech circles as
the Internet of Things. Current iterations primarily
include our ability to control gadgets such as lights and
security alarms or view data remotely through a smartphone app. At the International CES gadget show in Las
Vegas this week, manufacturers will promote more
devices and functionality. Some gadgets will be able to
talk directly with one another, not just to an app. The
four-day show opens to the public Tuesday.
That garage door? Mercedes-Benz would like people to imagine their luxury car of the future pulling in
all by itself, without a driver behind the wheel, to bring
its passengers home.
The carmaker unveiled the sleek concept car that it
is calling F 015 Monday night when it turned a stage
inside The Cosmopolitan on the Strip in Las Vegas into
a scene usually reserved for annual car shows, attracting a swell of people on stage afterward wanting a
closer look.
The car’s futuristic look belies some historic inspiration in its design. Dieter Zetsche, head of MercedesBenz, said the wheels were pushed to the outer edges
much like a horse carriage, giving ample room inside
for seating rather than wheel wells - in this case four
modern swivel chairs that can face each other. And
much like those horse carriages, the passengers inside
the car of the future can chat, read a newspaper, or
even take a nap while their car would ferry them
home.
“Mankind has been dreaming of autonomous cars
since the 1950s,” Zeetsche said. He said his company
has been working to make it a reality, albeit still a concept and not in production yet, since the 1990s. “It’s
basically a revolution,” he said of the car.
The Internet of Things could mean big business for
gadget makers. The Consumer Electronics Association
projects U.S. sales of smart energy and security systems alone will total $574 million this year, a 23 per-
cent increase from 2014. Although that pales by comparison to the $18 billion spent on TVs and displays,
growth has been swift.
In terms of people smartening up their homes in
earnest, though, it will probably be another two years
before devices are cheap and widespread enough for
the typical consumer, says Eduardo Pinheiro, CEO of
Muzzley, which makes a hub that allows devices to talk
to each other.
For now, the smart home is more about possibilities
than practice. Many companies exhibiting at CES are
laying the foundation for what a smart-home system
will eventually do, hoping to entice consumers to start
thinking about upgrading to smart gadgets. It’s not
always an easy sell.
Consider wearable devices that track fitness and
other activities. In many cases, the novelty wears off
quickly, and devices end up in drawers. But what if a
wearable device that tracks sleep could tell the coffeemaker to start brewing as soon as you awoke?
When the coffee’s done, what if the sprinklers on the
front lawn automatically turned off so you didn’t get
wet walking out the front door to work?
“It’s these great benefits that we need to explain,”
says BK Yoon, Samsung’s CEO and chief of consumer
electronics. “We can’t just talk about the Internet of
Things because it’s so impersonal like a bedtime story
for robots. We have to show what’s in it for them.”
That includes freeing people from chores to spend
more time with family, pursue more hobbies and, in
his case, spend “quality time on the putting green,” he
says.
Some examples: Lucis Technologies will soon ship a
smart-lighting device called NuBryte that can learn
your behavior, such as what time you tend to come
home. Sensors can turn on the night light if you wake
up to use the bathroom but switch on brighter lights
during the day. A coffeemaker from Smarter will soon
use data from fitness trackers such as Fitbit.
If you had a bad night of sleep, the coffeemaker will
know to make the java stronger that morning. Other
products focus on better notifications: a battery for a
smoke detector to alert you on your phone when the
alarm goes off, or a bracelet that vibrates when the
baby cries in its crib. (Moms rejoice: the bracelet is
even smart enough to alternate which parent it alerts
LAS VEGAS: A man demonstrates the eGeeTouch Smart Luggage Lock by Digi-Pas at CES Unveiled, a
media preview event for CES International. The device allows you to unlock luggage with a smart tag or
mobile device. — AP
automatically.
to get up.)
Meanwhile, a smart-home hub called DigitalStrom
“It’s got to be something people are seeing it can
do and want it to do,” says Chris Penrose, AT&T’s senior plans to take cues from Nest. If Nest is trying to cool
vice president for the Internet of Things. “It’s got to down the house, for instance, DigitalStrom will lower
automated window shades to block out sunlight.
make their lives better and be incredibly easy to use.”
These are the building blocks for an eventual auto“True consumer value will come when devices work
in concert with one another and in many cases across mated home. Once those building blocks are in place,
manufacturers,” adds Brett Dibkey, a Whirlpool Corp. services can better predict what you want. For examvice president. “The home adapts to the way con- ple, Netflix is already good about recommending
movies to watch based on your preferences, but it
sumers live rather than the other way around.”
At CES, Whirlpool will showcase dryers that can run might suggest something different if it could read data
at a slower, energy-saving cycle if you aren’t home and from a wearable device or camera and tell that you’re
thus aren’t in a rush. The dryer integrates with Google with friends, or stressed out, says Shawn Dubravac,
Inc.’s Nest smart thermostat, which has sensors to fig- senior director of research with the Consumer
ure out that no one’s home and then lowers the heat Electronics Association. — AP
Meet the new Nokia 215,
Microsoft’s most affordable
Internet-ready phone
DUBAI: Microsoft Devices Group on
Monday announced the Nokia 215, its
most affordable Internet-ready phone.
The Nokia 215 is designed to connect
and introduce first-time mobile phone
buyers to the Internet and new digital
experiences. Available in both Single
SIM and Dual SIM models, the Nokia
215 will expand the reach of Microsoft
services at more affordable prices.
At only $29, the Nokia 215 will allow
more people to access popular Web
content and digital services, and
enable them to do the following:
• Enjoy online experiences via Opera
Mini browser, Bing search, MSN
Weather, Twitter and Facebook.
• Stay in touch with friends and family using Facebook and Messenger
with instant notifications.
• Connect in new ways with SLAM,
which enables content to be shared
between devices and callers making
hands-free calls using Bluetooth 3.0
and Bluetooth audio support for headsets.
• Delight in the fresh design,
durable quality and outstanding battery life - all the features entry-level
mobile phone owners have come to
trust and love.
• Enter the mobile-first world with
all the everyday essentials, including
these:
• Built-in torchlight
• Up to 20 hours of talk time
• Outstanding battery life (up to 29
days of standby time for the Single SIM
variant and up to 21 days for the Dual
SIM)
• MP3 playback of up to 50 hours
• FM radio playback of up to 45
hours
• VGA camera
“With our ultra-affordable mobile
phones and digital services, we see an
inspiring opportunity to connect the
next billion people to the Internet for
the first time,” said Jon French, Vice
President Middle East, Microsoft
Mobile Devices. “The Nokia 215 is perfect for people looking for their first
mobile device, or those wanting to
upgrade to enjoy affordable digital
and social media ser vices, like
Facebook and Messenger.”
The Nokia 215 and Nokia 215 Dual
SIM come in Bright Green, Black and
White, and will roll out first in select
markets in the Middle East, Africa, Asia
and Europe in Q1 2015. The Nokia 215
is expected to be available for an estimated retail price of $29• before taxes
and subsidies.
Device
Nokia 215 and Nokia 215 Dual SIM
Operating system
Nokia Series 30+
Display
2.4-inch QVGA
Battery
BL-5C, 1100 mAh
Talk time and standby time
Talk time: up to 20 hours
Standby time: up to 29 days (Single
SIM), 21 days (Dual SIM)
Camera
VGA camera
Connectivity
900/1800 MHz, Micro USB, 3.5mm AV
connector, Bluetooth 3.0 with SLAM
and HSP/HFP profile
Memory
Up to 32GB microSD supported
Dimensions and weight
116mm x 50mm x 12.9mm. 78.7 grams
LAS VEGAS: Roger Lynch, far right, CEO of Sling TV, demonstrates Sling TV, a live television streaming service, at the Dish Network’s news conference at the International CES. — AP
TV makers design for streaming
video to stay relevant
LAS VEGAS: Does anyone just watch T V
anymore? The dramatic shift toward online
and mobile viewing is driving television set
makers to design as much for streaming
video as for watching broadcast or cable
channels. Traditional TV is far from dead,
but these days viewers care less about
watching shows live and even prefer saving
certain series to watch all at once in an
evening or weekend of binge-watching.
Broadcast networks and hundreds of cable
channels share viewer attention with thousands of online services, including amateurs
creating their own series on YouTube.
Already, Netflix has outbid traditional
channels for hits such as “House of Cards.”
And Dish this week announced it will sell
online access to a bundle of channels
including live sports network ESPN for just
$20 a month. Online video will account for a
third of all video viewing in 2020, up from
about 10 percent in 2013, predicts The
Diffusion Group, a research firm that specializes in Internet video.
So how to keep the television set, that
focal point of the American living room for
decades, relevant? Design for online video.
At the International CES gadget show
this week in Las Vegas, TV makers unveiled
new models with 4K resolution, or four
times the clarity offered by today’s high definition TVs. They are pushing the features
even though not a single TV channel is yet
available in 4K. But Internet services such as
Netflix, Amazon and M-Go are starting to
offer 4K video.
Sony on Monday promised to create
more 4K content to watch on those sets.
Four popular shows from its entertainment
division - “The Goldbergs,” “The Blacklist,”
“Masters of Sex” and “The Night Shift” - will
soon be available in 4K and it’s working
with partners including Netflix and YouTube
to deliver more 4K streaming video. “It’s
going to be the first format primarily driven
by streaming,” says Jim Funk, a senior vice
president at Roku Inc., which makes streaming TV devices.
Beyond 4K, Sharp developed an engineering trick to make its high-end set look
even sharper. Samsung added a nanocrystal
semiconductor layer to make colors purer
and the screen brighter. LG is pushing
organic LED screens with richer colors and
pure black - the kind typically limited to
smaller displays such as phones because of
price.
And Internet connectivity is becoming
standard in sets, the way all TVs are color
now. LG and Samsung also have ways to
easily switch video between TV and mobile
devices, so that if you’re watching a movie
on a phone, you can continue it on your TV
as soon as you get home.
The Consumer Electronics Association
expects TV sales to increase 2 percent to
251 million units this year. The average
screen size is projected to be 40 inches, up
from 31 inches in 2007. CEA predicts more
than 23 million of the units will be 4K TVs
this year, about 2.5 times the shipments in
2014. That’s even with the explosion of
viewing on tablets and smartphones.
People tend to use phones and tablets
while traveling or for shorter video, says Tim
Alessi, head of new product development
for home entertainment at LG Electronics
USA. For a full-length movie, viewers want
to replicate the theater in the home. That’s
only done through a big TV set.
“When I want a full home-entertainment
experience, especially with my family and
friends, the TV is still the best way to do
that,” agrees Tim Baxter, president and chief
operating officer of Samsung Electronics
America.
And just as TV makers are hopping on
the online train, so are content providers.
Traditional channels are becoming available
without the need for a cable or satellite
subscription. Satellite T V provider Dish
Network Corp. is the latest, offering its Sling
TV package of channels, including ESPN and
CNN, for delivery entirely over the Internet.
The availability of ESPN addresses a
major reason people still keep their TV service - live sports. Sony also has an Internet
television service expected to debut by the
end of March - PlayStation Vue - and HBO
and Showtime plan to debut Internet-only
subscription offerings this year. The packages are aimed at the millions of so-called
cord-cutters or “cord-nevers” that find cable
and satellite bundles too pricey and don’t
subscribe to either, turning instead to Hulu,
Google’s YouTube and Amazon.
Lesley H. Stahl, 31, is one potential customer of an Internet-only offering. She and
her husband never considered cable when
they bought a new house in Sunnyvale,
California, figuring they had been mostly
watching video online anyway. But Stahl
says she would be cautious about subscribing to new channels, as she’s used to just
waiting until Hulu or Amazon gets the
show. She said costs for individual subscriptions add up, and there’s only so much time
to watch.
“ There’s not any one T V show I’m so
addicted to that I’m going to pay extra,” she
says. “At a certain point, we’re just spending
a whole lot of money.” These Internet offerings alone won’t accelerate cancellations of
cable or satellite services, says Joel Espelien,
senior analyst for The Diffusion Group. But
they might get more people to downgrade
to lower tiers, he says, and use the savings
to buy specific channels or services of interest. Or a brand-new 4K TV? — AP
H E A LT H & S C I E N C E
MONROVIA: Red cross workers, wearing protective suits, prepare prior to a burial for victims of the Ebola virus on
January 5, 2015. — AFP photos
CytRx brain cancer
drug shows promise
in trial, shares rise
NEW YORK: CytRx Corp said interim data
showed its experimental brain cancer drug
was effective in preventing the progression
of tumors and even shrunk them. The company’s shares rose up as much as 30 percent
and were among the top percentage gainers
and the most actively traded on the Nasdaq.
CytRx’s drug, aldoxorubicin, was tested in a
mid-stage trial on patients with glioblastoma
multiforme (GBM) whose tumors had progressed post surgery and radiation.
GBM is the most deadly form of brain cancer and affects more than 12,000 people in
the United States annually. Aldoxorubicin is
an improved version of the chemotherapy
agent, doxorubicin, without any of the side
effects such as gastrointestinal disorders and
heart muscle damage at higher doses.
The drug belongs to a class of cancer
drugs called anthracycline which prevents
cell division by disrupting the structure of
cancer cell DNA and destroying them.
“Aldoxorubicin appears to be the first anthracycline to cross the blood-brain barrier in
GBM, potentially creating a new approach to
MONROVIA: Red cross workers, wearing masks, carry the body of a person who died from Ebola during a burial
with relatives of the victims of the virus.
Ebola �challenge’ will
promote unity in west Africa
attacking brain tumors,” CytRx Chief
Executive Steven Kriegsman said in a statement.
The blood-brain barrier is a layer of membranes to prevent toxins and other substances from passing from the blood stream
into tissue. But drug developers have faced
challenges in making a treatment capable of
crossing this barrier to reach cancer cells.
CytRx said more detailed data on the trial is
expected in the first half of 2015.
The US Food and Drug Administration
had in November placed a hold on enrolling
new patients in trials, after one patient died.
CytRx did not disclose the cause of death at
the time. Aldoxorubicin is also being tested
to treat patients with other forms of cancer
such as soft tissue sarcoma, small cell lung
cancer and pancreatic cancer.
CytRx shares touched a high of $3.72 yesterday, boosting its market value by nearly
$50 million to about $207 million. The stock,
which traded as high as $8.35 last January,
was trading up 16.5 percent at $3.32 yesterday. — Reuters
MONROVIA: Red cross workers, wearing protective suits, carry the body of a person
who died from Ebola.
Breaking the law may
be a sign of dementia
Corn syrup more
toxic than table
sugar in female mice
NEW YORK: Corn syrup was found to be
more toxic to female mice than table sugar,
shortening their lives and cutting their rate
of reproduction, according to a study by
University of Utah researchers published
online in a scientific journal on Monday. The
research, funded by the National Institutes of
Health and the National Science Foundation,
is among the first to differentiate between
the effects of the fructose-glucose mixture
found in corn syrup and sucrose, or table
sugar, said University of Utah biology professor Wayne Potts, senior author of the paper.
It is to be published in March in the print
edition of the Journal of Nutrition. The study
showed that female mice fed a diet which
contained 25 percent of calories from added
fructose and glucose carbohydrates known
as monosaccharides that are found in corn
syrup died at a rate 1.87 times higher than
female mice on a diet in which 25 percent of
calories came from sucrose.
The mice on the fructose-glucose diet
produced 26.4 percent fewer offspring than
their counterparts on the diet containing
added table sugar, according to the paper.
Male mice given either high-fructose or
sucrose diets showed no differences in lifespan or reproduction for reasons that were
not immediately clear, Potts said. He added
that it is possible that both forms of sugar are
bad for male mice.
The study suggests humans, especially
women, could face adverse health effects
tied to consuming too much corn syrup,
which is found in many processed food
products, Potts said. Between 13 and 25 percent of Americans are estimated to eat diets
containing 25 percent or more of calories
from added sugars, according to the paper.
The study on corn syrup struck a sour
note for the Corn Refiners Association, which
said the research lacked scientific merit and
misrepresented the effects of consuming
high-fructose corn syrup. “The physiological
and psychological differences between
humans and rodents are so diverse that you
simply cannot compare the two when determining the health impact of any food or
ingredient,” the group said in a statement.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
NEW YORK: Criminal behavior in older
adults, including theft, traffic violations, sexual advances, trespassing, and public urination, may be a sign of dementia, researchers
say. There is a subgroup of people, especially older adults who are first-time offenders,
who may have a degenerative brain disease
underlying their criminal behavior, said Dr
Georges Naasan of the Memory and Aging
Center and Department of Neurology at the
University of California, San Francisco.
He and his coauthors reviewed the medical records of 2,397 patients diagnosed
with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of
dementia between 1999 and 2012. They
scanned patient notes for entries about
criminal behavior using keywords like �arrest,’
�DUI,’ �shoplift’ and �violence’ and uncovered
204 patients, or 8.5 percent, who qualified.
Their behaviors were more often an early sign of frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD)
or primary progressive aphasia (PPA), a type
of language-deteriorating dementia, than
of Alzheimer’s disease. Of the �criminal’
group, 64 had bvFTD, 24 had PPA, 42 had
Alzheimer’s, and the rest had various other
forms of dementia.
Patients with bvFTD or PPA tended to be
younger, averaging 59 to 63 years old, compared to Alzheimer’s patients, who were an
average age of 71, when their doctors made
notes about criminal behaviors. More than
6.4 percent of those in the “criminal group”
with bvFTD exhibited physical or verbal violence during their illness, compared to 3.4
percent of those with PPA and two percent
of those with Alzheimer’s disease, the
researchers reported in JAMA Neurology.
For four percent of patients with bvFTD,
violence was one of the first symptoms of
their brain disease. Men were considerably
more likely than women to make sexual
advances to others and to urinate in public.
If patients have a family history of the
neurodegenerative disease, it may be possible to connect new criminal behavior to an
underlying problem with the brain, Naasan
said. “However, most of these diseases are
�sporadic’ meaning that they occur for no
identifiable genetic cause and it is difficult
to predict,” he said. “In general, an early
detection of changes in personality, deviation from what constituted a �norm’ for a
particular individual, should prompt an
evaluation for possible brain causes.”
Early signs of bvFTD can include personality changes including disinhibition, lack of
empathy, loss of motivation or apathy, or
obsessive-compulsive behavior, he said. “It
is sometimes hard to wrap our minds
around the concept that a specific part of
our brain is not functioning properly, leading to behaviors that may range the gamut
of disruptive, detached and sometimes
criminal,” Naasan said.
Medical evaluation
Family and friends can easily take these
behavior changes personally, but they
should understand that it may be the first
sign of a disease and should request a medical evaluation, he said. “The amoral conduct seen in FTD spectrum disorders strikes
the examiner as patient’s deliberate choice,
these individuals seem selfish and temperamental with little regard for their worried
and frustrated family members,” said Dr
Adonis Sfera, staff psychiatrist at Patton
State Hospital in Orange County, California,
who was not part of the new research.
“As their behavior looks like mental illness, some of these people end up admitted in psychiatric hospitals, while others are
imprisoned or placed in state psychiatric
hospitals after being diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder,” Sfera told
Reuters Health by email.
It’s difficult to say how much crime may
be due to these types of causes, Naasan
told Reuters Health by email. He and his colleagues did not survey criminal records and
so they can’t say what percentage of all
people who commit crimes have neurological disorders.
Health care providers are not usually
familiar with FTD, and frequently misdiagnose it as bipolar disorder or late onset
schizophrenia, he added. FTD spectrum
disorders can be accurately diagnosed
with so-called PET scans (positron emission tomography) and neuropsychological
testing, “but only if we think of it,” Naasan
said. — Reuters
MONROVIA: West Africa’s Ebola epidemic could have a
positive side by uniting the region’s countries in their
response to the “serious challenge,” the acting head of the
African Union said. Regional experience in fighting the
deadly virus “should consolidate our solidarity and our
mutual support,” AU chief Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, the
president of Mauritania, told journalists late Monday in the
Liberian capital Monrovia. The “serious challenge... will help
countries in the region (to) come out more determined to
unite through our bilateral relations which have been very
strong,” he added on the second leg of a tour of the three
worst-hit countries.
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf thanked the
chairman of the pan-African body for help with funds, supplies and personnel, announcing that “30 African health
workers (are) working with Liberia against the Ebola disease.” Abdel Aziz was in Monrovia after a swift visit to
Guinea and he was awaited in neighboring Sierra Leone
yesterday. Together, the three nations account for almost
all of the 7,900 victims of the most virulent outbreak of the
Ebola virus to date, also the first to hit west Africa.
The highly contagious disease, first identified in 1976 in
what is today the Democratic Republic of Congo, was
declared present in southern Guinea in December 2013.
The virus is fatal, but victims can be helped to recovery by
swift treatment of early symptoms in quarantine. In his
capacity as head of state, Abdel Aziz signed an agreement
with Johnson Sirleaf for Mauritania to donate 37 million
Liberian dollars (336,000 euros, $400,000) to Liberia to help
combat the virus. — AFP
Flu widespread
in 43 US states
CHICAGO: Flu is widespread in 43 US states, up from 36
states in the prior week, the US Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention reported on Monday. Six children died from
the flu during the last full week in December, bringing the
total flu deaths to 21 this season, the report showed. Last
week the CDC reported for the first time that deaths from
flu and pneumonia reached an epidemic level, comprising
6.8 percent of all deaths. That figure slipped slightly below
the epidemic level in this week’s report, the CDC said.
“Last week was the first week that this particular number exceeded the epidemic threshold, but we’ve been in a
flu epidemic for weeks now,” said Dr Michael Jhung, medical officer in the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention’s Influenza Division. The statistic is just one of
many clues the CDC uses to gauge the severity of flu in the
United States, which has a widespread outbreak - or an epidemic - every year.
Jhung reviews several factors when determining
whether the flu season has started, suggesting the nation is
in a period of epidemic. Initially, he considers the percentage of positive flu tests. When that exceeds 10 percent for 2
weeks, the season is starting. That happened around midNovember this season.
He also looks at the proportion of patients seeking care
for influenza-related illnesses. When that exceeds 2 percent
of visits, it is another sign of a flu epidemic. This season, flu
watchers are keenly focusing on hospital admissions
because the current vaccine may not be a good match for
the most common seasonal flu strain circulating in the
United States known as influenza A (H3N2) virus.
Flu seasons dominated by H3N2 tend to have higher
overall hospitalization rates and more flu-related deaths,
especially among older people and very young children
compared with flu seasons dominated by the H1N1 virus or
influenza B viruses. In the latest CDC report, flu hospitalizations, a key measure of severity, have reached 12.6 per
100,000 for all ages. Last season, the rate was 5.8 per
100,000 and in 2012, the most recent season dominated by
H2N3, the rate was 8.1 percent. “We are above that now,”
Jhung said, suggesting this flu season “is at least as severe
as 2012 was.” — Reuters
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
H E A LT H & S C I E N C E
Radiation plus hormone therapy saves lives in prostate cancer
MIAMI: Older men with prostate cancer may live
longer if they receive a combination of radiation
and hormone therapy, but many men do not get
the right treatment, US researchers said Monday.
The dual therapy saved nearly 50 percent more lives
among men aged 76 to 85 with locally advanced
prostate cancer, compared to those who received
hormone therapy alone, said the findings in the
Journal of Clinical Oncology.
The study is the first to focus on older men with
locally advanced prostate cancer, and builds upon
the results of two clinical trials that showed combination therapy could save lives in younger men.
Locally advanced prostate cancer occurs when cancer has spread outside but near the prostate gland,
making for more aggressive tumors that are prone
to metastasize and become fatal, the researchers
said. Previous research has shown that about 40
percent of men with aggressive prostate cancer are
treated with hormone therapy alone, suggesting
there is a significant group of people who could
benefit from radiation therapy.
“Failure to use effective treatments for older
patients with cancer is a health care quality concern
in the United States,” said lead author Justin
Bekelman, an assistant professor of Radiation
Oncology, Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the
University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of
Medicine and Abramson Cancer Center. “Radiation
plus hormone therapy is such a treatment for men
with aggressive prostate cancers.”
He urged patients to talk with their doctors, and
called on physicians to “reduce the use of hormone
therapy alone.” The study involved 31,541 men with
prostate cancer, ranging in age from 65 to 85 years.
Those aged 76 to 85 and who got the radiation plus
hormone therapy saw 49 percent fewer deaths than
those on hormone therapy alone after seven years
of follow-up. The younger age bracket, 65 to 75, also
benefited from combination therapy, seeing 57 percent fewer deaths than in those who received just
hormone therapy. Bekelman said the combination
therapy has minimal side effects and “is both tolerable and effective in curing prostate cancer.” — AFP
Modern standup desks coax
DASH named best
office
workers
back
on
their
feet
overall diet
for fifth year
NEW YORK: The DASH diet, rich in vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy,
has been named the best overall diet for
the fifth consecutive year, outpacing
Weight Watchers and the Mediterranean
diet, US News & World Report said yesterday. DASH, which was developed to lower blood pressure without medication,
was also chosen by a panel of health
experts as the top diabetes diet and the
best plan for healthy eating.
Weight Watchers retained the No. 1
spot as the best diet for weight loss, followed by the HMR (Healthy Management
Resources) low-calorie, meal-replacement plan; and Jenny Craig, which offers
prepared meals to drop excess pounds.
“The DASH diet has been our top diet
overall for five years now and this is the
fifth year we are evaluating and ranking
diets,” said Angela Haupt, senior health
and wellness editor at US News & World
Report.
“Our experts, who rate these diets for
us, say it will end up being very good for
your waistline, in addition to your high
blood pressure, because it is such a common-sense, balanced diet,” she added in
an interview. The TLC ( Therapeutic
Lifestyle Changes) diet, which is
designed to lower levels of cholesterol,
came in second in the best overall category, followed by the Mediterranean diet,
Weight Watchers and the Mayo Clinic
Diet, which each tied for third place.
At the opposite end of the scale is the
Paleo Diet, which focuses on meat, fish
and vegetables, and the four-phase
Dukan Diet, tied for last place. “The Paleo
Diet never does well in our rankings,” said
Haupt, adding both are restrictive eating
plans. Weight Watchers, based on a point
system assigned to foods, Jenny Craig
and the Mediterranean Diet, with its
emphasis on vegetables and olive oil,
were deemed the easiest diets to follow.
A panel of two dozen experts in diet,
nutrition, obesity, heart disease, diabetes
and food psychology ranked 35 eating
plans to compile the annual list. They
looked at sample menus and published
medical studies to rate of top diets overall as well as the best for weight loss, diabetes, heart disease and the easiest to
follow. “We provide people with all the
facts, comprehensively, in the hope that
they can make the best decision for
themselves,” said Haupt. The panel selected the Ornish Diet, which is focused on
fruits, vegetables and grains, as the top
heart-healthy diet, along with TLC and
DASH. — Reuters
NEW YORK: Advocates of workplace wellness initiatives are hoping 2015 will be the year that
standup desks, historically favored by great
minds from Leonardo da Vinci to Virginia Woolf,
will reconfigure the modern cubicle. Some 50 to
70 percent of people spend six or more hours
each day sitting, according to a 2012 study from
the National Health and Nutrition Examination
Surveys. Fitness experts say office workers are
particularly susceptible to what has been
dubbed the sitting disease.
“Researchers have said that sitting is the new
smoking,” said Jessica Matthews, exercise physiologist at Miramar College in San Diego. Prolonged
sitting is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity and
early mortality. Medical studies show that even
people who are active are not immune to health
concerns resulting from hours of sitting, she
added. The American Council on Exercise (ACE)
has offered its workers the option of standing
workstations for more than two years.
“Many people report feeling more energetic.
It certainly helps with mental processing,” said Dr
Cedric X. Bryant, chief science officer at ACE.
Bryant, who works on a treadmill desk, which is
attached to a treadmill, said standing helps him
stay alert and focused. He believes the desks are
a reasonable expense. There are various types of
standup desks, from freestanding workstations
to others that are placed on top of a regular desk
or table.
Prolonged standing
California-based Joe Nafziger was a creative
director at an ad agency when he developed
theReadyDesk, a $169 adjustable standup desk.
“It’s definitely a worldwide thing that’s picking up
speed,” said the 35-year-old, whose desks have
been sold as far away as Australia, Germany and
Japan. “And I love that you’re always ready. You’re
not half turned off. Leg muscles fired up, core
activated,” he said, “with less stress on your spine.”
A study published in the Journal of Physical
Activity and Health showed that over an eighthour day standing at a desk burns an additional
163 calories compared to sitting.
Bryant said just as sitting all day isn’t good,
Whole grains lower heart
disease risk, but not cancer
MIAMI: People who eat more whole grains are more likely to
live longer and avoid heart disease, but such a diet does not
affect risk of dying from cancer, said a US study released yesterday. The findings by researchers at Harvard University appear
in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)
Internal Medicine. Scientists examined the records of more
than 74,000 women and nearly 44,000 men from the mid1980s until 2010.
They found that the more whole grains people reported eating, the lower risk they had of dying, particularly from heart disease, after adjusting for factors such as age, smoking and body
mass index. Every serving (28 grams per day) of whole grainssuch as brown rice, oatmeal, whole wheat bread and pasta-was
associated with five percent lower mortality, and a nine percent
lower risk of dying from heart disease.
However, eating more whole grains did not make cancer
deaths any less likely. “These findings further support current
dietary guidelines that recommend increasing whole grain
consumption to facilitate primary and secondary prevention of
chronic disease and also provide promising evidence that suggests a diet enriched with whole grains may confer benefits
toward extended life expectancy,” the study said. — AFP
neither is prolonged standing, which studies
have shown can increase the risk of hardening
arteries and varicose veins. “Start by standing
for a half hour or an hour of the workday,” he
said, giving the body time to adjust. The goal
is to break up the day to avoid the typical,
constant sitting that most do in an office. “It’s
more of a lifestyle approach: turning the clock
back to where life used to be before we engineered movement out of our lifestyle,” he
added. — Reuters
Researchers identify new
strain of deadly pig virus in US
NEW YORK: US researchers have identified a
new strain of a hog disease that has wiped out
millions of baby pigs, a sign the virus will keep
mutating as producers work to contain it. A
third strain of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus,
or PEDv, was detected in a Minnesota hog
herd and found to be at least as virulent as an
original strain that emerged in the United
States in early 2013, said Douglas Marthaler,
assistant professor of veterinary population
medicine at the University of Minnesota, on
Monday.
Marthaler, who reported on the strain last
month in a journal from the US Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, believes the
strain is a mutation of the original. A second,
less-virulent strain had previously been identified. The original strain may have mutated in
response to increased immunity in herds,
Marthaler said. It is also the nature of viruses
like PEDv to evolve as they replicate. “The virus
is always changing,” Marthaler said.
PEDv has killed at least 8 million pigs,
roughly 10 percent of the US hog population,
in the past two years. The pork supply reduction was largely responsible for pushing prices
to record highs. It is unknown how the virus,
which causes extreme diarrhea in piglets,
came to the United States. It was previously
found in parts of Asia and Europe.
The impact on hog production from the
emergence of the new strain, which was first
identified last year, is unclear. It could have
existed in the United States without being
detected since early 2013 or could be a new
mutation, experts said. It is unknown whether
the third strain even exists outside of the
Minnesota herd in which it was found,
Marthaler said.
Hog producers need to take the same precautions to prevent the new strain from
spreading as they did for the previous two
strains, including washing trucks and other
equipment. Researchers previously determined that PEDv can spread from pig to pig by
contact with manure, which contains the virus.
It can also be spread from farm to farm on
trucks.
“Whether or not exposure to one of the
earlier strains provides protection against this
strain, I don’t think anybody knows the answer
to that question,” said Harry Snelson, a veterinarian who represents the American
Association of Swine Veterinarians. PEDv is not
a threat to humans or food safety, according to
the US Department of Agriculture. — Reuters
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
W H AT ’ S O N
Teachers training
conducted
A
ACK wraps up 1st Intramural
Football Tournament
T
he Australian College of Kuwait (ACK) successfully
concluded its first Intramural Football Tournament at
the College’s campus. The tournament witnessed the
participation of 16 teams consisting of ACK students,
aimed at promoting the spirit of sportsmanship while
encouraging students to take up a more active lifestyle.
Official sponsor of the tournament, the Commercial
Bank of Kuwait was represented by Bashar Al-Bader Senior Manager, who was on hand during the closing ceremony to crown the first and second place teams as well as
awarding prizes to the tournament’s best player, best goal
keeper and top scorer.
Basel Dana, Manager of the Students Recreational and
Activities Center at ACK, proudly said: “We truly believe in
the potential of our students. We always encourage them
to participate in sports and health-related activities, which
only benefit them in their pursuit of achieving their academic and non-academic goals. The tournament was
hailed a success and the College looks forward to hosting
its second intramural tournament in the near future.”
s part of the one year Golden Jubilee celebrations of St Gregorios Indian Orthodox Church
Sunday School, Kuwait - the largest Sunday
School of Malankara Orthodox Church with 1,365 students and OSSAE, a Teachers Training program was
conducted, in which more than 135 teachers from 3
Orthodox parishes participated.
The program was divided into three sessions, and
the first session was handled by HG (Dr) Joseph Mar
Dionysius, Metropolitan of Calcutta Diocese and
Director of St Stephens College Zoology Research
Centre, Pathanapuram on �General Principles of
Teaching’. HG’s 34 years of rich experience as a
teacher, research guide and environmentalist had a
positive influence on the participants, who were
enthralled by his advice on the various ways a teacher
could be molded, before trying to mould their students. He further emphasized that the primary
responsibility of a teacher shall be to prepare the students to face the truth and tell the truth, that can
transform the society beyond our expectations.
The second session was by Prof Mary Mathew, former Vice Principal and Head of Malayalam
Department of Baselios College, Kottayam on �How to
take an effective class based on the psychology and
age group of students’. She had emphasized the
importance of effective inter-action between the
teacher and students, that unfortunately is not taking
place now. Understanding a student is the key to the
success of a teacher. Teachers are no longer role models as in the past, mainly due to their changed attitude
and life style.
Shibu Alex, a highly talented orator and a successful trainer handled the third session - How to make
your class memorable to your students’. He gave practical and simple tips to the participants from his own
experience that are vital in attracting the attention of
the students and make each class interesting to them.
Earlier, the inaugural meeting was presided over by
the Parish Vicar, Fr Raju Thomas. HG (Dr) Joseph Mar
Dionysius, Fr Regi C Varghese, Fr Kurian John, Fr Shaji P
Joshua, Fr Shiju John, Kurien Varghese (Headmaster), P
C George (Golden Jubilee convener), John P Abraham
(Program Jt Convener) spoke on the occasion. Besides
St Gregorios Maha Edavaka, teachers from St. Basil
and St. Thomas parishes participated in the program.
Other programs planned during the one year celebrations are seminars on career guidance, personality
development, public speaking, scholarship to students, financial assistance to needy children in and
outside Kuwait, other charity projects, workshops,
family meet, inter-Sunday school competitions,
Alumni meet of students from Kuwait and other GCC
countries, honoring teachers serving above 25 years
and so on. A web portal to enhance Sunday school
studies will also be launched shortly, open to all
throughout the world.
Al Fanar restaurant and cafe now open
at Town Center, Jumeirah
T
he latest branch of Al Fanar Restaurant
and Cafe has just been launched at
Town Center in Jumeirah. The hugely
popular Emirati restaurant first began operation at Dubai Festival City Mall followed by its
second outlet in Venetian Village within Ritz
Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal.
Al Fanar Restaurant and Cafe has successfully established itself as the UAE’s first and
only restaurant offering traditional Emirati
cuisine in a themed rustic setting. Hashem Al
Marzouqi, Principal, Al Fanar Restaurant and
Cafe, said, “Our motivation with Al Fanar
Restaurant and Cafe is to put the national
identity of the UAE on a plate combining the
most authentic flavours with our glorious
heritage and culture. Inspired from Dubai’s
various facets in 1960s, it offers diners a
unique experience recreated from the ageold traditions of a Bedouin way of life.
Reviving memories of Dubai as a small town
on the shores of the Arabian Gulf, every corner has a story to tell at each of our restaurants. Here, along with glimpses of a bygone
era we serve the finest Emirati flavours.”
Each and every detail is noteworthy.
Discover the joy of dining under the desert
tree, or have a lazy lunch at the fishermen’s
hut or dine like a pearl merchant. The food is
as fabulous as the decor. On the menu are a
tempting array of fresh Emirati breads, appetizers, soups, salads, main dishes and desserts
that have been created using family recipes
handed down generations. Sizzling seafood,
tender grills, aromatic rice and delicious
desserts work up your appetite with scenes
and scents of old Dubai. The service is equally
impeccable and friendly.
Al Fanar Restaurant and Cafe is open for
breakfast, lunch and dinner featuring indoor
and outdoor dining areas with both modern
and traditional Emirati style seating.
For reservations Call 04 344 2141
For more information about the restaurant visit www.alfanarrestaurant.com
Kuwait Continental Hotel’s management hosted a dinner banquet for members of a medical delegation who held a seminar there recently on autism treatment methods.
Entertainment City
welcomes visitors
in spring break
T
he Entertainment City will receive visitors during the
spring break from January 9 to 24, 2015, Sager AlBader, Public Relations and Media Director at the
Touristic Enterprises Company said. He added that the
Entertainment City opens from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm every
day, while Mondays are allocated for female visitors only.
Special programs are arranged for every Friday, Bader said.
W H AT ’ S O N
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
Information Minister opens
21st Qurain Cultural Festival
M
KUWAIT: Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Al-Sabah honors veteran actor
Ahmad Al-Saleh during the festival’s inauguration ceremony. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat
inister of Information and Minister of State for
Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Al-Sabah opened
on Monday the 21st Qurain Cultural Festival by
honoring the recipients of the state orders of merit.
Addressing the opening ceremony, he said the festival has become an impressing cultural platform that
gathers notable intelligentsia and creative artists from
various literary, artistic, social and humanitarian fields.
Sheikh Salman, also President of the National Council
for Culture, Art and Letters (NCCAL), was speaking on
behalf of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber
Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, the sponsor of the festival.
“It’s a good omen that the festival takes place while
Kuwait is preparing for the national celebrations marking the 54th Independence Day, the 24th Liberation Day
and the ninth anniversary of His Highness the Amir
Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s assumption
of office,” he said.
“Kuwait continues contributing to the development
humanities as seen in the period between 2001 when
Kuwait City was selected as capital of Arab culture, and
2014 when the UN named His Highness the Amir as
humanitarian leader and Kuwait as humanitarian center.
“The cultural achievements made by Kuwait during
this period are indicative of deep belief of the Kuwaiti
leaders and people in role of cultural enlightenment in
the promotion of such values as tolerance and good for
all humanity,” he pointed out.
He reaffirmed the commitment of the country to
opening new horizons for culture and arts through new
projects such as the modernization of the National
Museum and the National Library and opening of AlSalmiya Theater and Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah Cultural
Center.
Sheikh Salman commended the celebrities who were
awarded the state orders in recognition for their outstanding contributions to the cultural movement of the
country.
The laureates of the 2014 state awards include
Ibrahim Al-Shatti, Ahmad Al-Saleh, Suleiman Al-Khulaifi,
Mai Al-Saad, Yusuf Al-Hashash, Abdullah Al-Turkmani,
Abdullah Al-Aber, Waleed Sarab, Anwar Abdullah, Dr
Fatma Al-Melhem, Dr Nawaf Al-Jahma, Dr Mohammad
Al-Baker, Dr Su’ad Al-Shabo and Dr Ahmad Al-Hassan.
The ceremony culminated into concert performances,
led by maestro Fahad Al-Haddad and featuring lyric
poems of martyr Fayq Abduljalil. The Qurain festival continues until January 24. — KUNA
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
TV PROGRAMS
00:15 As Time Goes By
00:45 Eastenders
01:15 Doctors
01:45 Being Erica
02:30 Being Erica
03:15 Being Eileen
03:45 As Time Goes By
04:15 The Weakest Link
05:00 Woolly & Tig
05:05 The Green Balloon Club
05:30 Gigglebiz
05:45 Boogie Beebies
06:00 Nina And The Neurons: In
The Lab
06:15 Woolly & Tig
06:20 The Green Balloon Club
06:45 Gigglebiz
07:00 Boogie Beebies
07:15 The Weakest Link
08:00 As Time Goes By
08:30 Being Eileen
09:00 Eastenders
09:30 Doctors
10:00 Being Erica
10:45 The Weakest Link
11:30 As Time Goes By
12:00 Being Eileen
12:30 Kidnapped
13:15 Eastenders
13:45 Doctors
14:15 Being Erica
15:00 Rev.
15:30 As Time Goes By
16:00 Being Eileen
16:30 The Weakest Link
17:15 Eastenders
17:45 Doctors
18:15 Being Erica
19:00 Rev.
19:30 Saxondale
20:00 Money
20:50 DCI Banks: Aftermath
21:40 The Omid Djalili Show
22:10 Mad Dogs
22:55 The Weakest Link
00:00 Homes Under The Hammer
00:55 Rick Stein’s India
01:45 Home Cooking Made Easy
02:10 Celebrity MasterChef
03:05 Antiques Roadshow
04:00 Come Dine With Me
04:25 The Good Cook
04:50 Homes Under The Hammer
05:45 Rick Stein’s India
06:35 Home Cooking Made Easy
07:05 Celebrity MasterChef
08:00 Antiques Roadshow
08:50 Come Dine With Me
09:15 Homes Under The Hammer
10:10 Rick Stein’s India
11:00 The Roux Legacy
11:35 Celebrity MasterChef
12:25 Antiques Roadshow
13:20 Come Dine With Me
13:45 Homes Under The Hammer
14:35 Rick Stein’s India
15:25 Fantasy Homes By The Sea
16:10 Celebrity MasterChef
17:05 Antiques Roadshow
18:00 Come Dine With Me
18:25 Homes Under The Hammer
19:15 The Planners
20:10 Nordic Cookery With Tareq
Taylor
20:35 Nigellissima
21:00 Baking Mad With Eric
Lanlard
21:25 Celebrity MasterChef
21:55 Rachel’s Favourite Food For
Living
22:25 Bargain Hunt
23:10 Come Dine With Me
23:35 The Little Paris Kitchen
00:20
01:10
02:00
02:50
03:15
03:40
04:05
04:30
05:00
06:00
06:50
07:40
08:30
08:55
09:20
Dive Wars Australia
Manhunt
Fast N’ Loud
Auction Hunters
The Liquidator
Dukes Of Haggle
How It’s Made
How It’s Made
Dual Survival
Siberian Cut
Car Chasers
Fast N’ Loud
Auction Hunters
The Liquidator
Dukes Of Haggle
09:45
10:10
10:35
Grylls
11:25
12:15
13:05
13:30
13:55
14:20
15:10
16:00
16:50
17:15
17:40
18:30
19:20
19:45
20:10
20:35
21:00
21:50
22:40
23:30
How It’s Made
How It’s Made
Get Out Alive With Bear
Dive Wars Australia
Manhunt
Auction Hunters
The Liquidator
Dukes Of Haggle
Siberian Cut
Car Chasers
Fast N’ Loud
How It’s Made
How It’s Made
Dual Survival
Troy
Magic Of Science
Magic Of Science
The Liquidator
Dukes Of Haggle
Troy
Dynamo: Top Ten Moments
Dynamo: Revealed
Troy
00:00 Violetta
00:45 The Hive
00:50 Art Attack
01:15 Art Attack
01:40 Jungle Junction
01:50 Jungle Junction
02:05 Jungle Junction
02:15 Jungle Junction
02:30 Violetta
03:10 The Hive
03:20 Art Attack
03:45 Art Attack
04:10 Jungle Junction
04:20 Jungle Junction
04:35 Jungle Junction
04:45 Jungle Junction
05:00 Art Attack
05:25 Art Attack
05:50 Mouk
06:00 Dog With A Blog
06:25 Liv And Maddie
06:50 So Random
07:15 I Didn’t Do It
07:40 Jessie
08:05 Austin & Ally
08:30 Girl Meets World
08:55 Suite Life On Deck
09:20 Wizards Of Waverly Place
09:45 Hannah Montana
10:10 That’s So Raven
10:35 Cheetah Girls: One World
12:15 Austin & Ally
12:40 Jessie
13:05 I Didn’t Do It
13:30 So Random
13:55 Liv And Maddie
14:20 The Adventures Of Disney
Fairies
14:55 Jessie
15:20 I Didn’t Do It
15:45 Liv And Maddie
16:10 Austin & Ally
16:35 Girl Meets World
17:00 Twitches
18:30 Wolfblood
19:05 Gravity Falls
19:30 Liv And Maddie
19:55 Austin & Ally
20:20 Wizards Of Waverly Place
20:45 Suite Life On Deck
21:10 Hannah Montana
21:35 That’s So Raven
22:00 Suite Life On Deck
22:25 A.N.T. Farm
22:50 Shake It Up
23:10 Wolfblood
00:00 Escape Club
00:55 Extreme Close-Up
01:25 Keeping Up With The
Kardashians
02:20 Giuliana & Bill
03:15 Eric And Jessie: Game On
03:40 Eric And Jessie: Game On
04:10 E!ES
05:05 E!ES
06:00 Kourtney And Kim Take
Miami
06:55 Kourtney And Kim Take
Miami
07:50 Style Star
08:20 #RichKids Of Beverly Hills
08:45 #RichKids Of Beverly Hills
09:15 Giuliana & Bill
10:15 Giuliana & Bill
11:10 Kourtney And Khloe Take
The Hamptons
12:05 House Of DVF
13:05 Extreme Close-Up
13:35 E!ES
14:30 Style Star
15:00 Keeping Up With The
Kardashians
16:00 Keeping Up With The
Kardashians
17:00 #RichKids Of Beverly Hills
17:30 #RichKids Of Beverly Hills
18:00 E! News
19:00 Live From E!
19:30 Fashion Bloggers
20:00 Giuliana & Bill
21:00 Kourtney And Khloe Take
The Hamptons
22:00 E! News
23:00 Live From E!
23:30 The Soup
00:05 Chopped
00:55 Amazing Wedding Cakes
01:45 Reza’s African Kitchen
02:10 Reza’s African Kitchen
02:35 Ching’s Restaurant
Redemption
03:25 Charly’s Cake Angels
03:50 Amazing Wedding Cakes
04:40 All You Can Meat
05:05 Roadtrip With G. Garvin
05:30 Reza’s African Kitchen
05:50 Siba’s Table
06:10 Sweet Genius
07:00 Roadtrip With G. Garvin
07:25 Roadtrip With G. Garvin
07:50 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives
08:15 Chopped
09:05 Barefoot Contessa - Back To
Basics
09:30 Farm Kings
10:20 Recipes That Rock
10:45 All You Can Meat
11:10 Roadtrip With G. Garvin
11:35 Grandma’s Secret Cookbook
12:00 Chopped
12:50 Siba’s Table
13:15 Jenny Morris Cooks The
Riviera
13:40 Mystery Diners
14:05 Guy’s Grocery Games
14:55 Roadtrip With G. Garvin
15:20 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives
15:45 Farm Kings
16:35 Chopped
17:25 Jenny Morris Cooks The
Riviera
17:50 Guy’s Big Bite
18:15 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives
18:40 Siba’s Table
19:05 Grandma’s Secret Cookbook
19:30 Mystery Diners
19:55 Burger Land
20:20 Guy’s Grocery Games
21:10 Amazing Wedding Cakes
22:00 Chopped
22:50 Roadtrip With G. Garvin
23:15 Roadtrip With G. Garvin
23:40 Burger Land
00:40 The Hungry Sailors
01:30 Celebrity Exposed: Richard
Young Photography
02:00 Emmerdale
02:25 Emmerdale
02:55 Coronation Street
03:25 Midsomer Murders
05:15 Murdoch Mysteries
06:10 The Jonathan Ross Show
07:05 Celebrity Exposed: Richard
Young Photography
07:30 Midsomer Murders
09:20 The Chase
10:15 Murdoch Mysteries
11:10 Emmerdale
11:35 Emmerdale
12:00 Coronation Street
12:30 The Hungry Sailors
13:25 The Jonathan Ross Show
14:20 Celebrity Exposed: Richard
Young Photography
14:45 Murdoch Mysteries
15:35 The Chase
16:30 The Great Fire
17:25 Chasing Shadows
18:20 The Jonathan Ross Show
19:10 Coronation Street
19:35 The Chase
20:30 The Great Fire
21:25 Chasing Shadows
22:20 Coronation Street
22:50 Emmerdale
23:15 Emmerdale
00:00 Knights of Mayhem
01:00 Family Guns
02:00 Wild Untamed Brazil
03:00 Ancient Secrets: Cathedrals
Decoded
04:00 Chasing UFOs
05:00 Salvage Code Red
06:00 Pirate Patrol
07:00 Megacities
08:00 Knights of Mayhem
09:00 Family Guns
10:00 Wild Untamed Brazil
11:00 The Truth Behind
12:00 Dangerous Encounters
13:00 Street Monkeys
14:00 Mega Factories: Supercars
15:00 Diggers
15:30 Diggers
16:00 Naked Science
17:00 Street Genius
17:30 Street Genius
18:00 Sea Patrol
19:00 Diggers
19:30 Diggers
20:00 Naked Science
21:00 Street Genius
21:30 Street Genius
22:00 Sea Patrol
23:00 The Truth Behind
00:30 The Daily Show With Jon
Stewart
01:00 Two And A Half Men
01:30 Web Therapy
02:00 Ja’mie: Private School Girl
02:30 The Big C
03:00 Back In The Game
03:30 About A Boy
04:00 New Girl
04:30 The Tonight Show Starring
Jimmy Fallon
05:30 My Boys
06:00 Til Death
06:30 Welcome To The Family
07:00 Late Night With Seth Meyers
08:00 New Girl
08:30 My Boys
09:00 Back In The Game
09:30 The Simpsons
10:00 Baby Daddy
10:30 Welcome To The Family
11:00 The Tonight Show Starring
Jimmy Fallon
12:00 Til Death
12:30 New Girl
13:00 My Boys
13:30 Welcome To The Family
14:00 About A Boy
14:30 The Simpsons
15:00 Baby Daddy
15:30 The Daily Show With Jon
Stewart
16:00 Two And A Half Men
16:30 Til Death
17:00 Late Night With Seth Meyers
18:00 Back In The Game
18:30 About A Boy
19:00 Melissa & Joey
19:30 Baby Daddy
20:00 The Tonight Show Starring
Jimmy Fallon
21:00 The Daily Show With Jon
Stewart
21:30 Two And A Half Men
22:00 Brickleberry
22:30 The League
23:00 The Big C
23:30 Late Night With Seth Meyers
00:00
01:00
02:00
03:00
04:00
05:00
06:00
07:00
08:00
09:00
10:00
11:00
12:00
12:30
13:00
14:00
15:00
16:00
16:30
17:00
18:00
20:00
21:00
22:00
White Collar
Killer Women
True Blood
Supernatural
State Of Affairs
Criminal Minds
White Collar
Helix
C.S.I.
Criminal Minds
State Of Affairs
Helix
Emmerdale
Coronation Street
The Ellen DeGeneres Show
C.S.I.
White Collar
Emmerdale
Coronation Street
The Ellen DeGeneres Show
C.S.I.
Marvel’s Agent Carter
Marvel’s Agent Carter
Legends
00:00 Unforgettable
01:00 Good Morning America
03:00
04:00
05:00
07:00
07:30
09:00
10:00
10:30
13:00
14:00
15:00
18:00
19:00
21:00
22:00
23:00
Dracula
The Leftovers
Good Morning America
Emmerdale
Coronation Street
24
Emmerdale
Coronation Street
Unforgettable
24
Live Good Morning America
Unforgettable
24
Unforgettable
Dracula
The Leftovers
00:00
02:00
04:00
06:00
08:00
10:00
12:00
14:00
16:00
18:00
20:00
22:00
The Marine 3: Homefront
Dead In Tombstone
Summoned
Ghostbusters II
After Earth
Flightplan
Summoned
American Warships
After Earth
Into The Blue
Flightplan
Safe
00:00
02:00
04:00
06:00
08:00
10:00
12:00
14:00
16:00
18:00
20:00
22:00
Dead In Tombstone-18
Summoned-PG15
Ghostbusters II-PG
After Earth-PG15
Flightplan-PG15
Summoned-PG15
American Warships-PG15
After Earth-PG15
Into The Blue-PG15
Flightplan-PG15
Safe-PG15
Plunkett & Macleane-PG15
00:00 Boomerang-PG15
02:00 The Hitchhiker’s Guide To
The Galaxy-PG15
04:00 All American Christmas
Carol-PG15
06:00 Syrup-PG15
08:00 The Little Rascals Save The
Day-PG
10:00 Something New-PG15
12:00 Standing Ovation-PG15
14:00 Three Men And A Baby
16:00 The Little Rascals Save The
Day-PG
18:00 Proof Of Love-PG15
20:00 Keeping The Faith-PG15
22:15 The Parole Officer-18
01:00
03:00
05:00
07:00
09:00
11:00
13:00
15:00
17:00
19:00
21:00
23:00
The Impossible-PG15
Grace Of Monaco-PG15
Stolen Child-PG15
The Impossible-PG15
The Sapphires-PG15
Stolen Child-PG15
Heaven’s Door-PG
Lost Christmas-PG15
The Sapphires-PG15
Inescapable-PG15
Phantom-PG15
The Frozen Ground-18
01:00 The Master-R
03:30 Mud-PG15
05:45 Annapolis-PG15
07:30 I Am Sam-PG15
09:45 The Fifth Estate-PG15
12:00 Goal II: Living The DreamPG15
14:00 Mud-PG15
16:15 Eastwood Directs: The
Untold Story-PG15
17:30 The Fifth Estate-PG15
19:45 The Count Of Monte CristoPG15
22:00 The Next Three Days-PG15
01:45
03:45
05:30
07:15
09:00
11:00
13:00
15:00
Devil’s Knot-18
Last Vegas-PG15
Free Birds-PG
The Pretty One-PG15
Grand Piano-PG15
Last Passenger-PG15
Labor Day-PG15
Turbo-PG
FIRE WITH FIRE ON OSN MOVIES PREMIERE HD
SAFE ON OSN MOVIES ACTION
17:00
19:00
21:00
23:00
Grand Piano-PG15
Empire State-PG15
Out Of The Furnace-PG15
Lone Survivor-18
01:00 Arthur’s Missing Pal
02:45 Casper’s Scare School
04:30 The Happy Cricket
06:00 Los Campeones De LA
Lucha Libre
08:00 Wheelers
10:00 Blue Elephant
11:30 The Adventures Of Rocky
And Bullwinkle
13:00 Casper’s Scare School
14:30 Barbie Fairytopia
16:00 Unstable Fables: The
Goldilocks & The Three Bears
18:00 Blue Elephant
20:00 Home Alone
22:00 Barbie Fairytopia
23:30 Unstable Fables: The
Goldilocks & The Three Bears
00:00
02:00
04:00
06:00
08:00
10:00
12:00
14:00
PG
16:00
18:00
20:00
22:15
Fire With Fire-18
47 Ronin-PG15
The Croods-PG
Legendary Amazons-PG15
Austenland-PG15
The Smurfs 2-PG
47 Ronin-PG15
Marvel’s Ultimate Avengers IAustenland-PG15
Red Sky-PG15
About Time-PG15
The Best Man Holiday-PG15
00:00 Live MSNBC Now With Alex
Wagner
01:00 Live MSNBC The Ed Show
02:00 Live MSNBC Politicsnation
03:00 Live NBC Nightly News
03:30 ABC World News With David
Muir
04:00 Live MSNBC All In With Chris
Hayes
05:00 Live MSNBC The Rachel
Maddow Show
06:00 Live MSNBC The Last Word
W/ Lawrence O’Donnell
07:00 NBC Nightly News
07:30 ABC World News With David
Muir
07:57 NBC Nightly News
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Muir
08:39 Live ABC Nightline
09:06 MSNBC The Rachel
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10:00 MSNBC The Last Word W/
Lawrence O’Donnell
11:00 Live ABC World News Now
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12:00 Live NBC Early Today
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13:00 Live ABC America This
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13:30 Live ABC America This
Morning
14:00 Live ABC America This
Morning
14:30 MSNBC First Look
15:00 Live NBC Today Show
18:57 MSNBC Hardball W/ Chris
Matthews
19:38 MSNBC The Rachel
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20:19 MSNBC The Last Word W/
Lawrence O’Donnell
21:00 Live MSNBC Ronan Farrow
Daily
22:00 Live MSNBC The Reid
Report
01:00 Live Cricket
09:00 Futbol Mundial
09:30 Super Rugby Final Highlights
11:00 Hero Indian Super League
Highlights
13:30 Sevens World Series
Highlights
15:00 Volvo Ocean Race Highlights
15:30 Futbol Mundial
16:00 PDC World Darts
Championship
19:00 Inside The PGA Tour
19:30 European Tour Weekly
20:00 Trans World Sport
21:00 European Senior Tour
Highlights
22:00 PGA Tour Year in Review
23:00 Volvo Ocean Race Highlights
23:30 Futbol Mundial
01:00 Pool Mosconi Cup
05:00 Futbol Mundial
07:00 NFL Road To The Playoffs
08:00 European Senior Tour
Highlights
09:00 PGA Tour Year in Review
10:00 Champions Tour Year in
Review
11:00 PDC World Darts
Championship
16:00 WWE Superstars
17:00 WWE SmackDown
19:00 WWE Vintage
20:00 NFL Gameday
23:30 European Tour Weekly
02:30
Series
10:30
11:00
16:00
19:30
Live Australia v India Test
ICC Cricket 360
Live Big Bash League T20
Big Bash League T20
Ranji Trophy
Classifieds
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
KNCC PROGRAMME FROM THURSDAY TO
WEDNESDAY (01/01/2015 TO 07/01/2015)
Kuwait
SHARQIA-1
VICE
VICE
090 (Kuwaiti Film)
INTO THE WOODS
090 (Kuwaiti Film)
VICE
VICE
12:45 PM
2:45 PM
4:45 PM
6:30 PM
9:00 PM
10:45 PM
12:45 AM
SHARQIA-2
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2 ANGEL OF DEATH
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2 ANGEL OF DEATH
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2 ANGEL OF DEATH
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2 ANGEL OF DEATH
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2 ANGEL OF DEATH
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2 ANGEL OF DEATH
SHARQIA-3
LEGEND OF THE NEVER BEAST
LEGEND OF THE NEVER BEAST
LEGEND OF THE NEVER BEAST
UNBROKEN
LEGEND OF THE NEVER BEAST
UNBROKEN
090 (Kuwaiti Film)
11:30 AM
1:30 PM
3:30 PM
5:45 PM
7:45 PM
10:00 PM
12:15 AM
11:30 AM
1:15 PM
3:00 PM
4:45 PM
7:30 PM
9:15 PM
12:05 AM
MUHALAB-1
UNBROKEN
ANNIE
INTO THE WOODS
UNBROKEN
090 (Kuwaiti Film)
UNBROKEN
12:15 PM
3:00 PM
5:30 PM
8:00 PM
10:45 PM
12:30 AM
MUHALAB-2
LEGEND OF THE NEVER BEAST
LEGEND OF THE NEVER BEAST
LEGEND OF THE NEVER BEAST
VICE
090 (Kuwaiti Film)
VICE
VICE
12:45 PM
2:30 PM
4:15 PM
6:00 PM
8:15 PM
10:00 PM
12:05 AM
MUHALAB-3
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2 ANGEL OF DEATH
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2 ANGEL OF DEATH
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2 ANGEL OF DEATH
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2 ANGEL OF DEATH
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2 ANGEL OF DEATH
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2 ANGEL OF DEATH
11:30 AM
1:45 PM
4:00 PM
6:15 PM
8:30 PM
10:30 PM
12:45 AM
FANAR-1
UNBROKEN
UNBROKEN
UNBROKEN
090 (Kuwaiti Film)
090 (Kuwaiti Film)
UNBROKEN
11:45 AM
2:30 PM
5:30 PM
8:15 PM
10:00 PM
11:45 PM
FANAR-2
VICE
VICE
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
VICE
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
VICE
VICE
12:45 PM
2:45 PM
4:45 PM
6:45 PM
8:45 PM
10:45 PM
1:00 AM
FANAR-3
INTO THE WOODS
090 (Kuwaiti Film)
INTO THE WOODS
THE WATER DIVINER
THE WATER DIVINER
090 (Kuwaiti Film)
1:00 PM
3:45 PM
5:30 PM
8:00 PM
10:30 PM
12:45 AM
FANAR-4
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2 ANGEL OF DEATH
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2 ANGEL OF DEATH
12:30 PM
3:00 PM
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2 ANGEL OF DEATH
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2 ANGEL OF DEATH
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2 ANGEL OF DEATH
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2 ANGEL OF DEATH
5:00 PM
7:30 PM
9:30 PM
12:05 AM
UNBROKEN
PERSONAL DVD
Special Show “UNBROKEN “
VICE
Special Show “VICE “
UNBROKEN
6:45 PM
7:00 PM
6:45 PM
9:30 PM
9:30 PM
11:30 PM
FANAR-5
LEGEND OF THE NEVER BEAST
LEGEND OF THE NEVER BEAST
LEGEND OF THE NEVER BEAST
LEGEND OF THE NEVER BEAST
P.K -HINDI
P.K -HINDI
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2 ANGEL OF DEATH
12:00 PM
1:45 PM
3:30 PM
5:15 PM
7:00 PM
9:45 PM
12:30 AM
AVENUES-6
VICE
VICE
VICE
VICE
VICE
VICE
VICE
1:15 PM
3:15 PM
5:15 PM
7:15 PM
9:15 PM
11:15 PM
1:15 AM
MARINA-1
VICE
INTO THE WOODS
VICE
INTO THE WOODS
VICE
VICE
12:30 PM
2:45 PM
5:30 PM
7:45 PM
10:15 PM
12:15 AM
AVENUES-7
PADDINGTON
LAGGIES
PADDINGTON
LAGGIES
LAGGIES
090 (Kuwaiti Film)
090 (Kuwaiti Film)
1:00 PM
3:00 PM
5:00 PM
7:00 PM
9:00 PM
11:00 PM
1:00 AM
MARINA-2
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2 ANGEL OF DEATH
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2 ANGEL OF DEATH
11:30 AM
1:45 PM
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2 ANGEL OF DEATH
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2 ANGEL OF DEATH
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2 ANGEL OF DEATH
4:00 PM
6:15 PM
8:30 PM
10:30 PM
12:45 AM
AVENUES-8
P.K -HINDI
ANNIE
ANNIE
P.K -HINDI
THE WATER DIVINER
1:30 PM
4:15 PM
6:45 PM
9:15 PM
12:15 AM
MARINA-3
LEGEND OF THE NEVER BEAST-3D
UNBROKEN
LEGEND OF THE NEVER BEAST-3D
LEGEND OF THE NEVER BEAST-3D
090 (Kuwaiti Film)
UNBROKEN
UNBROKEN
11:45 AM
1:30 PM
4:15 PM
6:00 PM
8:00 PM
9:45 PM
12:30 AM
AVENUES-9
LEGEND OF THE NEVER BEAST-3D
LEGEND OF THE NEVER BEAST-3D
LEGEND OF THE NEVER BEAST
LEGEND OF THE NEVER BEAST-3D
LEGEND OF THE NEVER BEAST
LEGEND OF THE NEVER BEAST
THE WATER DIVINER
11:30 AM
1:30 PM
3:30 PM
5:30 PM
7:30 PM
9:30 PM
11:30 PM
AVENUES-1
INTO THE WOODS
INTO THE WOODS
INTO THE WOODS
INTO THE WOODS
INTO THE WOODS
1:00 PM
3:30 PM
6:00 PM
8:30 PM
11:00 PM
AVENUES-10
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB
12:00 PM
2:15 PM
4:30 PM
6:45 PM
9:00 PM
11:15 PM
AVENUES-2
090 (Kuwaiti Film)
090 (Kuwaiti Film)
090 (Kuwaiti Film)
090 (Kuwaiti Film)
090 (Kuwaiti Film)
090 (Kuwaiti Film)
090 (Kuwaiti Film)
12:15 PM
2:15 PM
4:15 PM
6:15 PM
8:15 PM
10:15 PM
12:15 AM
AVENUES-11
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2
12:30 PM
2:45 PM
5:00 PM
7:15 PM
9:30 PM
11:45 PM
AVENUES-3
UNBROKEN
UNBROKEN
UNBROKEN
UNBROKEN
UNBROKEN
11:45 AM
2:45 PM
5:45 PM
8:45 PM
11:45 PM
360Вє- 1
VICE
VICE
VICE
VICE
VICE
VICE
VICE
12:15 PM
2:15 PM
4:15 PM
6:15 PM
8:15 PM
10:15 PM
12:15 AM
360Вє- 2
090 (Kuwaiti Film)
090 (Kuwaiti Film)
090 (Kuwaiti Film)
090 (Kuwaiti Film)
090 (Kuwaiti Film)
090 (Kuwaiti Film)
090 (Kuwaiti Film)
1:15 PM
3:15 PM
5:15 PM
7:15 PM
9:15 PM
11:15 PM
1:15 AM
360Вє- 3
INTO THE WOODS
INTO THE WOODS
INTO THE WOODS
INTO THE WOODS
INTO THE WOODS
11:45 AM
2:15 PM
5:00 PM
7:30 PM
10:00 PM
AVENUES-4
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB 11:30 AM
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2 ANGEL OF DEATH
1:30 PM
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2 ANGEL OF DEATH
3:45 PM
Special Show “NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB”
4:00 PM
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2 ANGEL OF DEATH
6:00 PM
Special Show “LEGEND OF THE NEVER BEAST”
6:00 PM
Special Show “VICE “
6:00 PM
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2 ANGEL OF DEATH
8:15 PM
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2 ANGEL OF DEATH
10:30 PM
THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2 ANGEL OF DEATH
12:45 AM
AVENUES-5
VICE
UNBROKEN
VICE
12:00 PM
2:00 PM
4:45 PM
ANGEL OF DEATH
ANGEL OF DEATH
ANGEL OF DEATH
ANGEL OF DEATH
ANGEL OF DEATH
ANGEL OF DEATH
CHANGE OF NAME
I, Thiru Sakthivel R.
(Hindu) holder of Indian
Passport No. E6574227,
Subbaiyapillai street,
Pattukkottai, Thanjavur,
Tamil Nadu, has been converted Islam with the name
R. Abdul Nazeer. (C 4901)
7-1-2015
MATRIMONIAL
RC Christian boy, aged 29,
native of Chalakkudy,
presently settled in
Wyanadu Dist, Kerala, working in Kuwait as Computer
Engineer, seeking proposals
from parents of working
girls in Kuwait. Contact:
[email protected]
(C 4900)
6-1-2015
ACCOMMODATION
SITUATION VACANT
Required a driver for a
Kuwaiti family. Has a valid
driving license, has experience in Kuwait, speaks
English. Tel: 90030691.
(C 4899)
A well experienced cook
for a family house in
Kuwait. Tel: 90030691.
(C 4899)
5-1-2014
Sharing accommodation
available in a flat at Jabriya,
area - 10 near Jabriya Indian
School for decent working
ladies or couple from
February-2015. Contact:
99300513. (C 4898)
5-1-2015
Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (www.kuwait-airport.com.kw)
Airlines
JAI
JZR
JZR
JZR
THY
FDB
QTR
PGT
ETH
MSC
GFA
UAE
JAI
FDB
RJA
CEB
MSR
ETD
KKK
OMA
QTR
MSC
THY
DHX
BAW
KAC
FDB
QTR
KAC
KAC
KAC
UAE
KAC
KAC
ABY
ETD
FDB
QTR
GFA
IRM
GFA
IRA
UAE
AXB
MSC
KAC
JZR
JZR
IRM
MEA
IAW
UAE
MRJ
MSR
CLX
IYE
IRC
ABY
KAC
KAC
QTR
MSR
Flt
574
239
267
539
772
069
1084
858
620
403
211
853
526
067
648
7694
612
305
6507
643
1076
401
770
170
157
412
053
1086
352
302
206
855
344
362
125
301
055
1070
943
1186
213
665
873
889
405
204
165
561
1188
404
157
871
4815
610
792
826
526
129
382
672
1078
575
Arrival Flights on Wednesday 7/1/2015
Route
Mumbai
Amman
Beirut
Cairo
Istanbul
Dubai
Doha
Istanbul
Addis Ababa
Sohag
Bahrain
Dubai
Chennai/Abu Dhabi
Dubai
Amman
Manila
Cairo
Abu Dhabi
stanbul
Muscat
Doha
Alexandria
Istanbul
Bahrain
London
Manila/Bangkok
Dubai
Doha
Kochi
Mumbai
Islamabad
Dubai
Chennai
Colombo
Sharjah
Abu Dhabi
Dubai
Doha
Bahrain
Tehran
Bahrain
Shiraz
Dubai
Mangalore/Bahrain
Sohag
Lahore
Dubai
Sohag
Mashhad
Beirut
Al Najaf
Dubai
Mashhad
Cairo
Luxembourg
Sanaa/Mukalla
Mashhad
Sharjah
Delhi
Dubai
Doha
Sharm el-Sheikh
Time
00:10
00:25
00:30
00:40
00:45
00:55
01:00
01:35
01:45
02:30
02:30
02:35
02:50
02:55
03:05
03:10
03:10
03:10
03:20
03:25
03:45
04:05
05:35
05:40
06:40
07:10
07:45
07:50
08:10
08:20
08:25
08:40
08:45
08:45
09:00
09:20
09:40
10:00
10:15
10:20
10:40
10:40
11:00
11:15
11:25
11:25
11:30
11:45
11:45
11:55
12:05
12:50
12:55
13:00
13:15
13:30
13:30
13:40
13:45
13:55
14:05
14:15
MSC
KNE
SVA
SYR
FDB
RJD
GFA
KAC
JZR
KAC
KNE
UAE
ABY
FDB
KNE
JZR
KAC
JZR
JZR
QTR
RJA
ETD
AGY
SVA
GFA
IRM
GFA
JZR
UAE
JZR
JZR
FDB
ABY
KAC
QTR
KAC
KAC
KAC
KAC
GFA
KAC
KAC
JAI
KAC
OMA
FDB
ETD
MSR
ALK
MEA
ETD
FDB
UAE
GFA
QTR
KNE
JZR
JZR
ETD
FDB
AIC
JZR
THY
FDB
1401
472
500
341
057
135
221
284
175
788
462
857
127
051
460
535
562
787
357
1072
640
303
680
510
215
1180
944
777
875
177
483
063
121
786
1080
618
774
674
542
217
166
102
572
742
647
061
919
606
229
402
307
073
859
219
1074
480
135
157
309
059
975
185
764
071
Sharm el-Sheikh
Jeddah
Jeddah
Latakia/KAC
Dubai
Abu Dhabi
Bahrain
Dhaka
Dubai
Jeddah
Madinah
Dubai
Sharjah
Dubai
Riyadh
Cairo
Amman
Riyadh
Mashhad
Doha
Amman
Abu Dhabi
Alexandria
Riyadh
Bahrain
Mashhad
LCA
Jeddah
Dubai
Dubai
Istanbul
Dubai
Sharjah
Jeddah
Doha
Doha
Riyadh
Dubai
Cairo
Bahrain
Paris/Rome
New York/London
Mumbai
Dammam
Muscat
Dubai
Abu Dhabi
Luxor
Colombo
Beirut
Abu Dhabi
Dubai
Dubai
Bahrain
Doha
Taif
Bahrain
Dubai
Abu Dhabi
Dubai
Chennai/Goa
Dubai
Istanbul
Dubai
14:20
14:25
14:30
14:30
14:30
14:55
15:00
15:15
15:20
15:40
15:45
15:45
15:45
16:00
16:00
16:10
16:20
16:25
16:30
16:40
16:55
16:55
17:05
17:15
17:30
17:35
17:50
17:55
18:00
18:20
18:40
18:40
18:40
18:45
18:50
19:15
19:15
19:25
19:25
19:30
19:40
19:55
20:00
20:00
20:20
20:20
20:30
20:45
21:10
21:20
21:30
21:35
21:40
21:45
21:55
22:00
22:05
22:10
22:15
22:30
22:30
23:15
23:35
23:45
Airlines
AIC
FDB
UAL
JAI
KAC
KAC
ETH
THY
PGT
MSC
KAC
UAE
FDB
ETD
MSR
KKK
OMA
QTR
CEB
MSC
JZR
QTR
THY
FDB
JAI
JZR
RJA
GFA
THY
FDB
BAW
QTR
JZR
KAC
ABY
KAC
UAE
JZR
KAC
ETD
KAC
JZR
FDB
KAC
JZR
QTR
GFA
GFA
IRM
IRA
KAC
AXB
KAC
JZR
MSC
UAE
MEA
KAC
IAW
IRM
JZR
JZR
Departure Flights on Wednesday 7/1/2015
Flt
Route
982
Ahmedabad/Hyderabad/Chennai
072
Dubai
981
IAD
573
Mumbai
203
Lahore
283
Dhaka
621
Addis Ababa
773
Istanbul
859
Istanbul
404
Sohag
381
Delhi
854
Dubai
068
Dubai
306
Abu Dhabi
613
Cairo
6508
Istanbul
644
Muscat
1085
Doha
7695
Manila
406
Sohag
560
Sohag
1077
Doha
765
Istanbul
070
Dubai
525
Abu Dhabi/Chennai
164
Dubai
649
Amman
212
Bahrain
771
Istanbul
054
Dubai
156
London
1087
Doha
534
Cairo
671
Dubai
126
Sharjah
787
Jeddah
856
Dubai
482
Istanbul
117
New York
302
Abu Dhabi
561
Amman
356
Mashhad
056
Dubai
175
Frankfurt/Geneva
174
Dubai
1071
Doha
943
LCA
214
Bahrain
1181
Mashhad
664
Shiraz
541
Cairo
890
Mangalore
103
London
776
Jeddah
402
Alexandria
874
Dubai
405
Beirut
785
Jeddah
158
Al Najaf
1189
Mashhad
786
Riyadh
176
Dubai
DIAL161 FOR AIRPORT INFORMATION
Time
00:05
00:45
00:55
01:10
02:00
02:25
02:45
02:55
03:25
03:30
03:40
03:50
03:55
04:05
04:10
04:10
04:15
04:30
04:40
05:05
05:10
05:15
05:40
06:30
06:35
06:55
07:05
07:15
07:30
08:25
08:45
08:50
09:15
09:25
09:40
09:50
09:55
10:00
10:05
10:20
10:25
10:30
10:35
10:40
10:45
11:00
11:00
11:25
11:30
11:40
12:05
12:15
12:20
12:20
12:25
12:30
12:55
13:00
13:05
13:10
13:10
13:45
MSR
MRJ
UAE
ABY
IRC
IYE
CLX
KAC
MSR
QTR
FDB
KAC
MSC
KNE
SYR
SVA
GFA
KAC
RJD
KAC
ABY
KNE
KNE
FDB
KAC
JZR
KAC
JZR
QTR
UAE
JZR
ETD
RJA
AGY
SVA
GFA
GFA
JZR
IRM
JZR
JZR
ABY
JZR
UAE
QTR
FDB
GFA
KAC
JAI
KAC
KAC
FDB
OMA
MSR
DHX
ALK
ETD
KAC
MEA
ETD
FDB
GFA
UAE
KNE
611
4814
872
120
527
827
792
673
576
1079
058
617
1402
473
342
503
222
773
136
501
128
463
481
052
741
266
545
156
1073
858
538
304
641
681
511
216
944
184
1187
238
134
122
552
876
1081
064
218
361
571
331
351
062
648
619
171
230
308
301
403
920
074
220
860
461
Cairo
Mashhad
Dubai
Sharjah
Mashhad
Mukalla/Sanaa
Hanoi
Dubai
Sharm el-Sheikh
Doha
Dubai
Doha
Sharm el-Sheikh
Jeddah
Damascus/Latakia
Jeddah/Madinah
Bahrain
Riyadh
Abu Dhabi
Beirut
Sharjah
Madinah
Taif
Dubai
Dammam
Beirut
Alexandria
Dubai
Doha
Dubai
Cairo
Abu Dhabi
Amman
Sharm el-Sheikh
Riyadh
Bahrain
Bahrain
Dubai
Tehran
Amman
Bahrain
Sharjah
Alexandria
Dubai
Doha
Dubai
Bahrain
Colombo
Mumbai
Trivandrum
Kochi
Dubai
Muscat
Alexandria
Bahrain
Colombo
Abu Dhabi
Mumbai
Beirut
Dubai
Dubai
Bahrain
Dubai
Riyadh
14:00
14:10
14:15
14:20
14:30
14:30
14:45
15:00
15:00
15:05
15:10
15:15
15:20
15:20
15:30
15:45
15:45
15:50
16:05
16:15
16:25
16:30
16:50
17:00
17:00
17:05
17:30
17:35
17:40
17:45
17:45
17:50
17:55
18:05
18:15
18:20
18:35
18:40
18:45
18:50
19:10
19:20
19:30
19:40
19:50
19:55
20:15
20:50
21:00
21:10
21:15
21:20
21:20
21:45
21:50
22:10
22:15
22:15
22:20
22:25
22:30
22:30
22:50
22:50
34
stars
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
CROSSWORD 777
STAR TRACK
Aries (March 21-April 19)
Today is an easy, relaxing day if you avoid extremes. You are inclined to
expect that the world will come to you; do not expect too much. It is important to pay
attention to the way you handle stress. You are more successful in the workplace than
most when it comes to sharp minds. It is important that you have an awareness of your
stress level and positive ways to balance it. Begin to develop and increase the time you
are in touch with the spiritual side of yourself. Moneymaking ideas do not interest you
but substantial ways to increase your income or investments are where you are focused
this afternoon. A friend’s scheme may actually turn you in a direction that will help you to
increase your savings. You enjoy the family this evening.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
When a department in your office or store needs to complete an order at a
faster time than usual, you are the one that could be stuck with the how and the when
issues. A good plan of action will emerge soon. There is a natural tendency to experience
some delays at this time, which may be the cause of some frustration. However, like the
little train that climbed the mountain-you can see this day through to the end and walk
away with many accomplishments. You may find yourself in deep discussions about the
world and the progress of different countries or technologies. Taxes, investments and
other financial ties or obligations may grab your attention as well. Get outside, weather
permitting of course, and enjoy some fresh air this evening.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
ACROSS
1. Little known Kamarupan languages.
5. Expectorated matter.
11. The elementary stages of any subject (usually plural).
15. An indication of radiant light drawn
around the head of a saint.
16. Someone who pays rent to use land or a
building or a car that is owned by someone
else.
17. A river in north central Switzerland that
runs northeast into the Rhine.
18. (usually followed by `to') Having the necessary means or skill or know-how or authority to do something.
19. Measuring instrument in which the echo
of a pulse of microwave radiation is used to
detect and locate distant objects.
21. The cry made by sheep.
24. A loose sleeveless outer garment made
from aba cloth.
26. Essential oil or perfume obtained from
flowers.
28. Filled to capacity.
30. Conforming to an ultimate standard of
perfection or excellence.
33. Before noon.
34. A resort city in southern Ukraine on the
Black Sea.
37. A Loloish language.
38. A Loloish language.
40. An outer garment that has sleeves and
covers the body from shoulder down.
42. (used of count nouns) Every one considered individually.
44. A victory (as in a race or other competition).
45. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a
skewer usually with vegetables.
46. The basic unit of money in Peru.
48. A Hindu disciple of a swami.
50. Norwegian mathematician (1802-1829).
51. An involuntary spasm of ineffectual vomiting.
53. (Norse mythology) One of the Aesir
known for his beauty and skill with bow and
skis.
54. A boy or man.
56. An ester of adenosine that is converted to
ATP for energy storage.
57. (Greek mythology) One of the three
Graces.
61. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike.
67. Situated in or facing or moving toward the
east.
71. An implement used to propel or steer a
boat.
75. The law enforcement agency in the Justice
Department.
76. Organelle in the cytoplasm of a living cell
that is composed of ribonucleic acid.
78. (in Scotland or Ireland) A mountain or tall
hill.
79. Title for a civil or military leader (especially
in Turkey).
80. Wealth as evidenced by sumptuous living.
81. Animal reproductive body consisting of an
ovum or embryo together with nutritive and
protective envelopes.
DOWN
1. According to the Old Testament he was a
pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel
(9th century BC).
2. A small cake leavened with yeast.
3. Leaf or strip from a leaf of the talipot palm
used in India for writing paper.
4. Fish eggs or egg-filled ovary.
5. The act of sitting or standing astride.
6. The state prevailing during the absence of
war.
7. Located below or beneath something else.
8. An official language of the Republic of
South Africa.
9. Not prepared or in a state of readiness.
10. A unit of weight equivalent to 1000 kilograms.
11. A river in north central Switzerland that
runs northeast into the Rhine.
12. An imaginary elephant that appears in a
series of French books for children.
13. Baby bed with high sides.
14. Stalk of a moss capsule.
20. A law passed by US Congress to prevent
employees from being injured or contracting
diseases in the course of their employment.
22. Any wingless blood-sucking parasitic
insect noted for ability to leap.
23. A mug intended for serving beer.
25. The sodium salt of amobarbital that is
used as a barbiturate.
27. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike
part of an organism.
29. Naked freshwater or marine or parasitic
protozoa that form temporary pseudopods
for feeding and locomotion.
31. Very hot and finely tapering pepper of
special pungency.
32. A historical region of southwestern India
on the west coast.
35. Long-tailed arboreal mustelid of Central
and South America.
36. (of complexion) Blemished by imperfections of the skin.
39. A kind of danceable music popular among
black South Africans.
41. In bed.
43. A protocol (utilizing TCP) to transfer
hypertext requests and information between
servers and browsers.
47. Being nine more than ninety.
49. Small genus of erect balsam-scented
herbs.
52. The (prehensile) extremity of the superior
limb.
55. An official prosecutor for a judicial district.
58. A rare silvery (usually trivalent) metallic
element.
59. A Russian river.
60. American professional baseball player
who hit more home runs than Babe Ruth
(born in 1934).
62. Open-heart surgery in which the rib cage
is opened and a section of a blood vessel is
grafted from the aorta to the coronary artery
to bypass the blocked section of the coronary
artery and improve the blood supply to the
heart.
63. An elaborate song for solo voice.
64. (Babylonian) God of wisdom and agriculture and patron of scribes and schools.
65. A material effigy that is worshipped as a
god.
66. (law) A comprehensive term for any proceeding in a court of law whereby an individual seeks a legal remedy.
68. A French abbot.
69. A brace that extends from the rear of the
keel to support the rudderpost.
70. The taste experience when a savoury
condiment is taken into the mouth.
72. Electronic equipment that provides visual
images of varying electrical quantities.
73. (informal) Informed about the latest
trends.
74. Any of numerous hairy-bodied insects
including social and solitary species.
77. One million periods per second.
Allow for delays today-exercise patience. Some people do not care for challenges, but if you did not have challenges in your life it would be easy for
you to become bored. Today you will be able to show off your problem-solving abilities. If
you are humble in your attempt to help others, you will make many friends. If you are
looking for the answer to a haunting problem from the past, you will find it now. This can
be a lucrative time for you, but there are risks as well as rewards. A good example of this
might be an investment in the stock market that looks as though it may be on an
upswing. You are motivated to give some personal time to a family member this evening.
A healing of emotions may take place tonight. Harmony is achieved.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
You feel very good about yourself today-others tend to support your selfconfidence. If you enjoy your work, this is a good day to expand your horizons. If you consider your job little more than drudgery, this is a good time to begin a vacation or to make
vacation plans. You may find yourself reviewing some sales technique or some old project
this afternoon. This is the best time to clear away the debris. You may insist that whatever
does not contribute to security and other long-term goals is trivial. Your ambition is intensified. This evening you may enjoy a good movie, book or perhaps a computer game that
you have not had a chance to investigate.
Leo (July 23-August 22)
You make all the moves and seem to have the last say in situations today.
This is fun for a while but carries a lot of responsibility. Everything points to your taking
the initiative. This is a great time to be with others and to work together. Someone wants
you for a particular job. You could feel great support from those around you. You are very
aware of other people and their needs. Your receptiveness to the input from others may
encourage them to ask for your help. Doing so should give you a great sense of satisfaction. Spiritual matters are highlighted and it is not enough merely to understand what
something is-you need to know what it means. You may be able to feel especially kind
toward a friend or loved one this afternoon.
Virgo (August 23-September 22)
Ambition, practicality and achievement are admirable, but they are means
to an end-not ends in themselves. It is important that you share the responsibilities to
complete an old project now. If you can be a bit flexible, you will see successful results
from most anything you try to involve yourself with now. Your focus and self-discipline
are admirable and others may want some advice on how to do what you do. It is time to
build a solid foundation for yourself. This may mean in the workplace, home or in a volunteer organization. Whatever the case, a spirit of cooperation is the most important asset.
There may be a little scattered energy today but you will come across as very organized.
You can relax with friends tonight.
WORD SEARCH PUZZLE
Libra (September 23-October 22)
You may be reminded of your various responsibilities at this time. You are
able to cut through the red tape and find exactly what is needed to solve most problems.
In-depth discussions and probing conversations find you at your mental best. Your analytical abilities are at a high point. Lunchtime is a good time to get down to the basics
and take care of some personal business you had set aside. Past obligations may come to
your attention. A meeting with someone older or in authority is insightful. Harmony with
friends and loved ones is the order of the day. A healing between neighbors is possible
this afternoon. You will enjoy socializing or just spending time with a loved one tonight.
This is a good time to improve your love life.
Scorpio (October 23-November 21)
Spend some extra time to study a special problem today. There is much too
much rushing and the time is not right to move on this special project just yet. Contracts
and ventures need to be analyzed carefully, making sure that all signatures, dates and
addresses are correct. You are very aware of other people and their needs. Your receptivity to input from others may encourage them to ask for your help. Doing so should give
you a great sense of satisfaction. Spiritual matters are highlighted-it is not enough merely
to understand what something is; you need to know what it means. You may decide to
join a choir or take some sort of creative lessons in the evening. This could also involve
you and another member of your family.
Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)
Work moves along well today, although there could be a few delays. This
may be an important time to change a delivery company, particularly if this
is one of many times a delay has happened. A massage set up for later in the day will help
to alleviate some of the stress you have recently been experiencing. This afternoon you
may find that groups have gathered for ideas on how to help people in need. There is talk
of needing a senior math or reading mentor program; recruiting retirees as volunteers
would actually be benefiting many. This volunteer work is for helping young people learn
the basics or helping the elderly maintain a sharp mind. This volunteer work is within your
expertise and will fill you with a great deal of satisfaction.
Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
A shuffle of desks, equipment or merchandise creates a new look after the holidays but it is also a brain teaser to find the essential props needed for your
work. The process of getting back to the organized state that you prefer is becoming more
comfortable. There are only a few more details to gather together that will make your work
routine move along in a reliable fashion. Finally, with your head down or with your feet busy
doing the chores, your day moves along quickly. There are very few interruptions and people are cooperative. You have plenty of opportunities to help interest people in spending
their money. If you are in the technical field, you will find yourself interested in teaching.
Aquarius (January 20- February 18)
A perfect balance between your career needs and personal needs should
bring about an inner peace that you rarely get a chance to enjoy. The lighter side of you usually has to struggle with the more serious side of you. In addition, you have a supersensitive
awareness of the moods and needs of others, making this an excellent time to run seminars
or work with groups. Do not skip any breaks-take this allotted time to recharge your energy.
You may find yourself serving to guide someone younger than you in matters of importance
this afternoon. You could also perceive how to precede with plans and decisions in regard to
your life goals. Any problems you encounter should have easy solutions. You socialize with
friends this evening.
Pisces (February 19-March 20)
Negotiations and persuasions to change or update an old technical way of
doing things are met with success this morning. This clarity is a bit unusual just now. You do
not have to draw a picture to get your message over to others-communications are clear. Indepth thinking brings success with work of a mental nature. Your intuition will prove valuable in a business meeting after lunch. Work is definitely on the back burner this afternoon,
although you could be inspired to do something to beautify your home or surroundings. You
enjoy being around people in general, but the rapport between you and your significant other is especially strong at this time. With this understanding, you both can be nurturing without being pushy.
Yesterday’s Solution
Yesterday’s Solution
Daily SuDoku
Yesterday’s Solution
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
i n f o r m at i o n
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Call MSAL hotline 128
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WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
lifestyle
Eminem sued
Carey to accept Las
Vegas residency
G O S S I P
Affleck
M
ariah Carey has landed a multimillion dollar deal to perform in Las
Vegas. The “#Beautiful’ singer is in negotiations with Caesars Palace
for a performing stint that will reportedly earn her more than the
$30 million Britney Spears is receiving for her two-year residency in the
gambling capital of the US, the New York Post newspaper’s Page Six column
reports. Once the deal if confirmed, Mariah is expected to take to the stage
in Las Vegas before the end of this year. If the deal goes ahead, it seems
Mariah - who has three-year-old twins Moroccan and Monroe with
estranged husband Nick Cannon - has had a change of heart as it was
claimed in November she was looking for a “mini residency” outside of the
city. A source said: “Mariah doesn’t want to go to Vegas. She put out feelers
to the Borgata in Atlantic City and the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut about a
mini residency. “She wants a stable, high-paying gig that will keep her close
to her New York home. Mariah is crossing her fingers that she can figure out
a way to make money on her own turf.”
replaces Damon in
Manchester-by-the-Sea
C
asey Affleck has replaced Matt Damon in
�Manchester-by-the-Sea’. The 39-year-old actor
will take over the lead role from Matt, 44, in
director Kenneth Lonergan’s drama after a scheduling
conflict prevented Matt from starring. Lonergan’s film
tells the story of a Boston plumber who has to
become the guardian of his 16-year-old nephew after
his brother tragically dies, however, his attempts to be
a carer are hindered by a past secret tragedy.
Revealing he is replacing Matt in the movie, Casey the brother of Ben Affleck - quipped: “(I’m going to be
in) �Manchester-by-the-Sea’. Matt can’t do it. And, you
know, if Matt’s not in it, it’ll be good.” Writer-anddirector Lonergan previously worked with Matt on
the critically acclaimed �Margaret’ and his previous
films include �Analyze This’, �The Adventures of Rocky
and Bullwinkle’ and �You Can Count on Me’. Matt is
currently shooting Ridley Scott’s highly-anticipated
sci-fi film �The Martian’ and is then due to reunite with
Paul Greengrass to reprise his role as Jason Bourne for
another installment in the Bourne action series.
Casey has been busy filming Disney disaster movie
�The Finest Hours’, which tells the true story of the
Pendleton rescue mission which saw the Coast Guard
deal with the devastation of two oil tankers in a storm
off the coast of Cape Cod in 1952.
Lambert wants
to honor Mercury
A
dam Lambert wants to keep Freddie Mercury’s “memory
alive” when he performs with Queen. The former
�American Idol’ star sings with the legendary band live
and has won rave reviews for his performances as the group’s
frontman. Adam insists he never tries to imitate or replace
Freddie - who died in 1991 at the age of 45 - on stage and his
main motivation for singing with Queen is to keep his idol’s
wonderful music alive. The 32-year-old rocker said: “There’s never going to be another (Freddie), and I’m not replacing him.
That’s not what I’m doing. I’m trying to keep the memory alive,
and remind people how amazing he was, without imitating
him. I’m trying to share with the audience how much he
inspired me.” Queen guitarist Brian May has praised Adam’s
vocal abilities, and says he is the first singer he has worked with
since Freddie’s passing who can perform all of their songs.
Speaking to the new issue of Classic Rock magazine, he
enthused: “Adam is the first person we’ve encountered who can
do all the Queen catalogue without blinking. He is a gift from
god.” Drummer Roger Taylor is also blown away by Adam’s talent, adding: “(His voice is) one in a billion ... He’s incredibly
musical, and we certainly take anything he says quite seriously.”
Queen’s concerts still feature Freddie, as they use video recordings of him singing on certain tracks, and Brian admits it’s
important for them to pay tribute to their friend without getting too nostalgic. The musician said: “We’ve been on tour in
the States with Adam, and Freddie’s already there because of
the writing, and the original performances that we model the
E
minem is being sued for $8 million. The 42-year-old rapper and his record label are the subject of
legal action from Raymond Jones, an MC from the group Hotstylz, who has alleged the star has
sampled one of his songs without permission. According to TMZ, the case claims Eminem’s song
�Rap God’, from his �Marshall Mathers LP 2’, features a 25-second clip from Raymond’s track �Lookin Boy’
and he wants to be compensated financially for the unauthorized use. A spokesperson for Eminem has
not yet commented on the allegations. In September, �Rap God’ made it into the Guinness Book of
World Records for the most words in a hit single, with the six minute, four seconds-long track totting up
1,560 words. Eminem recently admitted he loves performing live with musicians because he thinks they
add a new element to his sound. He said: “It’s definitely better, it definitely brings a whole new element
to it. There are more things to do with your hands. It’s a whole different energy, it’s louder, it’s more in
your face, it’s more explosive. For me, music is about feeling and energy and all that. “We always try to
mess around with the order of things. There are certain songs that just, for some reason or another, they
don’t work as good live. You have to go with the ones that work best to perform live. Sometimes we’ll
[also] add ones in we haven’t done in a while.”
Kate
Moss
fronts Matchless’ 115th
anniversary campaign
K
ate Moss is the face of Matchless’ 115th anniversary campaign. The 40-year-old supermodel has teamed up with the
British motorcycle brand for the fourth time to front the
label’s celebratory collection marking its foundation in 1899,
reports WWD. Kate stars in the campaign - which was shot in a desolate-looking field in Ibiza - alongside male model ClГ€ment
Chabernaud and can be seen reclining on a motorcycle in iconic
studded leather creations from the label’s spring 2015 line, including the Kate vent waistcoat and a cropped leather jacket called the
Miss Kate Blouson. The Croydon-born beauty also had a hand in
styling the ads with Ludivine Poiblanc, while famed photographers
Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott shot the campaign. The brand’s owners Manuele and Michele Malenotti have chosen the fashion icon to
front their campaigns since their Autumn 2013 collection.
Managing director Michele said Kate, “epitomizes the Matchless
spirit through her energy and status as a Londoner.” Kate also
teamed up with model of the moment Cara Delevingne to front a
campaign for Burberry’s latest fragrance, My Burberry, in September
last year. The adverts were shot by photographer Mario Testino and
featured the supermodel duo sporting the label’s signature trench
coats as they posed together under an umbrella.
Courtney Love is
bored of rock �n’ roll
C
ourtney Love is bored of rock �n’ roll. The hellraising singer realized
she had to walk away from the genre that made her a star while on
stage in Australia last year when she felt dismayed having to perform her old songs. Recalling the gig, she said: “I got to that part where I’m
looking down at the set list going, �Really, �Malibu’ next? Are we halfway
done yet?’ And when that happens in rock �n’ roll, it’s like, �OK, I’ve got to
look at something else. Because I’m not loving this. I’m not in the moment.
Forget persona, forget who is new and who is old, your mojo is your mojo.”
After deciding to turn her back on rock, Courtney was inspired to try
something completely new which led her to landing a role in Todd
Almond’s pop opera �Kansas City Choir Boy’. The 50-year-old musician
insists the show - which opens at the Prototype Festival in New York on
Thursday - has given her a new lease of life because it’s a totally new challenge for her. Courtney hopes she and Todd can take the production to
other cities if it is well received. The former Hole rocker - the widow of
Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain - said: “It’s baptism by fire, but I’m going to
hang in and give it my best ... I’ve never done musical theatre - I really
wanted to do theatre, but probably I’m not ready to do a play quite yet.
Fortuitously, Todd wrote this thing eight years ago, and I met him and I fell
in love with it ... It’s like putting out a single. If it gets catchy, then we do it
in London or something. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. We think it’s really catchy
and fabulous.”
Cumberbatch doesn’t
see Doctor Strange as a risk
B
enedict Cumberbatch doesn’t think taking on the lead role in �Doctor Strange’
is a risk. The 38-year-old actor was recently cast in the role and says he’s confident the film will be a success, because of Marvel’s ability to bring lesserknown characters to life. He shared: “I don’t think it’s a risk because of Marvel.”Marvel
is a stable of bringing out ordinary comic characters and turning them into screenlike gods. “It’s very different, it’s an Astral Plane. There’s a huge new element to this
Marvel universe that’s going to be employed in building this story and this character.
“But you know, I’m really excited about it, about working with [director Scott
Derrickson] whose imagination is endless, and all the boys and girls at Marvel who
know what they’re doing.” Cumberbatch, who confirmed he will begin shooting
�Doctor Strange’ after appearing on the stage in �Hamlet’ and filming for the �Sherlock’
Christmas special in 2015, revealed he was never a big fan of comic books as a child.
However, he told The Wall Street Journal newspaper: “You can bet your bottom dollar
I’m reading them now, avidly.” �Doctor Strange’, which is set for release in November
2016, is also expected to feature Morgan Freeman and Bill Nighy.
Aniston doesn’t
care about weight gain
J
ennifer Aniston doesn’t care about gaining weight. The �Horrible
Bosses 2’ actress recently adapted her diet to include carbohydrate-rich foods and while it’s made losing weight more difficult
for her, she insists she doesn’t care about the extra pounds. She told
InStyle magazine: “I never ate pasta. I’ve been allowing myself a lot
more in the past few years. Which does make it harder to lose those
last few pounds. But you have to live. And so what? You go up a size.
What’s the big deal?” The 45-year-old star previously opened up about
her struggle to get back in shape after portraying Claire Bennett - a car
crash survivor who manages her chronic pain with illegal drugs - in
the drama �Cake’, which is set to be released next month. She said: “It’s
not so easy coming back, let me tell ya! We’ve got a way to go, but it
puts you in a different state of mind not to be physical and not take
care of yourself.” Jennifer’s co-star Camille Guaty added that many of
her friends thought the actress could be pregnant with her and her
fiancÈ Justin Theroux’s first child due to her curvier figure. She said:
“It’s so funny, because a lot of people were like, �Is she pregnant?’ I’d
say, �No,’ and they’d say, �But she looks so dowdy.’ I’m like, �This is the
role that she’s playing!’ Knowing the story, it’s just a complete transformation.”—Bang Showbiz
37
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
LIFESTYLE
F I L M S
�Birdman,’ �Boyhood,’ �Imitation Game’
among Producers Guild nominees
merican Sniper,”“Birdman,”“Boyhood,”
“Foxcatcher,”“Gone Girl,”“Grand
Budapest Hotel,”“The Imitation
Game,”“Nightcrawler,”“The Theory of
Everything” and “Whiplash” have been nominated for the Producers Guild of America’s Darryl F.
Zanuck Award for top feature film. The winner
will be announced Jan. 24 in the PGA’s 26th
“A
The Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding
Producer of Episodic Television, Comedy:
Birdman
Producers: Alejandro G. Inarritu, John Lesher,
James W. Skotchdopole
The Big Bang Theory
Producers: Faye Oshima Belyeu, Chuck Lorre,
Steve Molaro, Bill Prady
Boyhood
Producers: Richard Linklater, p.g.a., Cathleen
Sutherland, p.g.a.
Louie
Producers: Pamela Adlon, Dave Becky, M.
Blair Breard, Louis C.K., Vernon Chatman, Adam
Escott, Steven Wright
Foxcatcher
Producers: Megan Ellison, p.g.a., Jon Kilik,
p.g.a., Bennett Miller, p.g.a.
Modern Family
Producers: Paul Corrigan, Megan Ganz,
Abraham Higginbotham, Ben Karlin, Elaine Ko,
Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd, Jeff Morton,
Dan O’Shannon, Jeffrey Richman, Chris Smirnoff,
Brad Walsh, Bill Wrubel, Sally Young, Danny
Zuker
Gone Girl
Producer: Cean Chaffin, p.g.a.
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Producers: Wes Anderson & Scott Rudin,
Jeremy Dawson, Steven Rales
The Imitation Game
Producers: Nora Grossman, p.g.a., Ido
Ostrowsky, p.g.a., Teddy Schwarzman, p.g.a.
Nightcrawler
Producers: Jennifer Fox, Tony Gilroy
The Theory of Everything
Producers: Tim Bevan & Eric Fellner, Lisa
Bruce, Anthony McCarten
annual awards ceremony at the Hyatt Regency
Century Plaza. The PGA has about 6,000 members.
“Nightcrawler” was probably the biggest surprise among the 10 nominees, while “A Most
Violent Year,”“Into the Woods,”“Selma,”
“Unbroken” and “Wild” were among the notable
exclusions. “Gravity” and “12 Years a Slave”
wound up in a dead heat last year as both won
the Zanuck award-the first tie in the PGA’s 25year history for the trophy. The PGA uses the
preferential balloting system employed for the
Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
for the Oscars.
The PGA’s Zanuck award has become a
strong indicator of Oscar sentiment in recent
years, matching the Oscar for best picture in 18
of its 25 years-including the last seven, with “12
Years a Slave,”“Argo,”“The Artist,”“The King’s
Whiplash
Producers: Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook,
David Lancaster
Hawley, Warren Littlefield, Chad Oakes, Kim
Todd
The Normal Heart
Producers: Jason Blum, Dante Di Loreto,
Scott Ferguson, Dede Gardner, Alexis Martin
Woodall,
Ryan Murphy, Brad Pitt, Mark Ruffalo
The Roosevelts: An Intimate History
Producers: To Be Determined
Sherlock
Producers: Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat, Beryl
Vertue, Sue Vertue
In late 2014, the Producers Guild of America
announced the Documentary Theatrical Motion
Picture, Television Series and Non-Fiction
Television Nominations. The following list now
includes complete producer credits.
The Award for Outstanding Producer of
Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures:
Life Itself
Producers: Garrett Basch, Steve James, Zak
Piper
The Award for Outstanding Producer of
Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures:
Big Hero 6
Producer: Roy Conli, p.g.a.
The Book of Life
Producers: Brad Booker, p.g.a., Guillermo del
Toro, p.g.a.
The Boxtrolls
Producers: David Bleiman Ichioka, p.g.a.,
Travis Knight, p.g.a.
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Producer: Bonnie Arnold, p.g.a.
The Lego Movie
Producer: Dan Lin
The Colbert Report
Producers: Meredith Bennett, Tanya
Michnevich Bracco, Stephen Colbert, Richard
Dahm, Paul Dinello, Barry Julien, Matt Lappin,
Emily Lazar, Tom Purcell, Jon Stewart
Veep
Producers: Chris Addison, Simon Blackwell,
Christopher Godsick, Armando Iannucci,
Stephanie Laing, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Frank Rich,
Tony Roche
The Award for Outstanding Producer of NonFiction Television:\
30 for 30
Virunga
Producers: Joanna Natasegara, Orlando von
Einsiedel
The Norman Felton Award for Outstanding
Producer of Episodic Television, Drama:
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Producers: David Craig, Ken Crosby, Doug
DeLuca, Gary Greenberg, Erin Irwin, Jimmy
Kimmel, Jill Leiderman, Molly McNearney, Tony
Romero, Jason Schrift, Jennifer Sharron, Seth
Weidner, Josh
Weintraub
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
Producers: Tim Carvell, John Oliver, Liz
Stanton
Real Time With Bill Maher
Producers: Scott Carter, Sheila Griffiths, Marc
Gurvitz, Dean Johnsen, Bill Maher, Billy Martin,
Matt Wood
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
Producers: Rob Crabbe, Jamie Granet
Bederman, Katie Hockmeyer, Jim Juvonen, Josh
Lieb, Brian McDonald, Lorne Michaels, Gavin
Purcell
Breaking Bad
Producers: Melissa Bernstein, Sam Catlin,
Bryan Cranston, Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould,
Mark Johnson, Stewart Lyons, Michelle
MacLaren, George Mastras, Diane Mercer,
Thomas Schnauz, Moira Walley-Beckett
Downton Abbey
Producers: Julian Fellowes, Nigel Marchant,
Gareth Neame, Liz Trubridge
Game of Thrones
Producers: David Benioff, Bernadette
Caulfield, Frank Doelger, Chris Newman, Greg
Spence, Carolyn Strauss, D.B. Weiss
House of Cards
Producers: Dana Brunetti, Joshua Donen,
David Fincher, David Manson, Iain Paterson, Eric
Roth, Kevin Spacey, Beau Willimon
True Detective
Producers: Richard Brown, Carol Cuddy,
Steve Golin, Woody Harrelson, Cary Joji
Fukunaga,
Matthew McConaughey, Nic Pizzolatto, Scott
Stephens
The nominees are:
The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding
Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures:
American Sniper
Producers: Bradley Cooper, p.g.a., Clint
Eastwood, p.g.a., Andrew Lazar, p.g.a., Robert
Lorenz, p.g.a., Peter Morgan, p.g.a.
Top Chef
Producers: Doneen Arquines, Daniel
Cutforth, Casey Kriley, Jane Lipsitz, Hillary Olsen,
Erica Ross,
Tara Siener, Shealan Spencer
The Voice
Producers: Stijn Bakkers, Mark Burnett, John
De Mol, Chad Hines, Lee Metzger, Audrey
Morrissey,
Jim Roush, Kyra Thompson, Mike Yurchuk,
Amanda Zucker
The Award for Outstanding Producer of Live
Entertainment & Talk Television:
The Green Prince
Producers: John Battsek, Simon Chinn, Nadav
Schirman
Merchants of Doubt
Producers: Robert Kenner, Melissa Robledo
Particle Fever
Producers: David E. Kaplan, Mark A. Levinson,
Andrea Miller, Carla Solomon
Speech,”“The Hurt Locker,”“Slumdog Millionaire”
and “No Country for Old Men.” The PGA winner
last diverged from the Oscar best picture in
2006, when “Little Miss Sunshine” won the
Zanuck while the Academy opted for “The
Departed.”
The producers branch of AMPAS constitutes
about 8% of the AMPAS membership. When the
Academy expanded the best-picture Oscar category to 10 nominations, the PGA followed suit
with an expansion of the Zanuck nominations
to 10. The PGA also announced “Big Hero 6,”“The
Book of Life,”“The Boxtrolls,”“How to Train Your
Dragon 2” and “The Lego Movie” as nominees
for the animated award. “Frozen” won the trophy
last year.
Monday’s announcement included the nominees in the longform television category, which
encompasses both movies of the week and
miniseries, with noms going to two FX series”American Horror Story: Freak Show” and
“Fargo”-along with PBS pair “The Roosevelts: An
Intimate History” and “Sherlock.” HBO’s “The
Normal Heart” scored the other nomination. The
individual producers have yet to be determined
on “The Roosevelts.” The PGA had previously
announced nominations in the feature documentary, and digital and other TV categories.
Orange Is the New Black
Producers: Mark A. Burley, Sara Hess, Jenji
Kohan, Gary Lennon, Neri Tannenbaum, Michael
Trim, Lisa I. Vinnecour
The television nominees are:
The David L. Wolper Award for Outstanding
Producer of Long-Form Television:
The Long-Form Television category encompasses both movies of the week and miniseries.
American Horror Story: Freak Show
Producers: Brad Buecker, Dante Di Loreto,
Brad Falchuk, Joseph Incaprera, Alexis Martin
Woodall,
Tim Minear, Ryan Murphy, Jennifer Salt,
James Wong
Fargo
Producers: Adam Bernstein, John Cameron,
Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Michael Frislev, Noah
Producers: Andy Billman, John Dahl, Erin
Leyden, Connor Schell, Bill Simmons
American Masters
Producers: Susan Lacy, Julie Sacks, Junko
Tsunashima
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Producers: Anthony Bourdain, Christopher
Collins, Lydia Tenaglia, Sandra Zweig
Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey
Producers: Brannon Braga, Mitchell Cannold,
Jason Clark, Ann Druyan, Livia Hanich, Steve
Holtzman, Seth MacFarlane
Shark Tank
Producers: Becky Blitz, Mark Burnett, Bill
Gaudsmith, Phil Gurin, Yun Lingner, Clay
Newbill, Jim Roush, Laura Roush, Max Swedlow
The Award for Outstanding Producer of
Competition Television:
The Amazing Race
Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer, Elise
Doganieri, Jonathan Littman, Bertram van
Munster, Mark Vertullo
Dancing With the Stars
Producers: Ashley Edens Shaffer, Conrad
Green, Joe Sungkur
Project Runway
Producers: Jane Cha Cutler, Desiree Gruber,
Tim Gunn, Heidi Klum, Jonathan Murray, Sara
Rea, Teri Weideman
The following programs were previously
announced in late 2014. They were not vetted
for producer eligibility this year, but winners in
these categories will be announced at the official ceremony on Jan 24.—Reuters
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
lifestyle
M u s i c
&
M o v i e s
Bradley Cooper on �American Sniper,’
packing on 40 pounds and turning 40
E
ven if “American Sniper” missed out on Golden Globe nominations,
it still emerged as one of the big winners of the holiday season.
Clint Eastwood’s drama about Navy SEAL Chris Kyle has grossed a
stellar $2.2 million since it opened in only four theaters on Christmas, and
the Warner Bros release expands on Jan 16. The Oscar lead actor race is
especially overcrowded this year, but as ballots are due on Thursday, voters should take a look-if they haven’t already-at Bradley Cooper’s careerbest performance. It’s a transformation that had Kyle’s widow, Taya, in
tears the first time she saw the film, and she’s been talking about how
Cooper captured her husband’s essence. In the last few weeks, many
actors, including Ben Affleck, Jane Fonda, Julia Roberts and Jonah Hill,
have also been singing Cooper’s praises.
To play Kyle, Cooper spent six months working out 4.5 hours a day,
but the role went beyond the physical. He practiced a Texas drawl with a
dialect coach, learned how to shoot three military sniper rifles and spent
time with Kyle’s family and friends, who gave him access to his emails
and home videos. Cooper, who turns 40 on Monday, had a strong 2014.
He picked up a second consecutive Oscar nomination for “American
Hustle,” performed the voice of Rocket Raccoon in “The Guardians of the
Galaxy” and is now on Broadway in “The Elephant Man.” He spoke to
Variety over the weekend.
Q: “American Sniper” is doing really well in only four theaters. Are
you surprised by the film’s success?
Bradley Cooper: I’m always surprised when things do well, because
you can never bank on that. We were just hoping that awareness was
going to be enough for people to see it on Christmas. It was such a competitive market that day-with “Into the Woods,” “Unbroken” and “The
Hobbit.” We were happy that people came out in droves for “American
Sniper.” And then the A-plus Cinemascore. I didn’t even know they had
that.
Q: Actors have been reaching out to you.
Cooper: I’ve got to say that’s been the most amazing thing. I just
heard from Ed Helms and Jonah Hill. I don’t know Ashton Kutcher that
well, but he made the effort to contact me to say how he felt about the
work and the movie. I’ve never experienced anything like that. It really
does make me feel like we’re a community and we’re all invested in each
other’s work.
Q: You recently screened “American Sniper” at Fort Hamilton military base. What was that like?
Cooper: We showed it to veterans. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to take “Silver Linings Playbook” to Walter Reed (National Military
Medical Center). Without us even realizing it, Pat Solatano was a character that many young males and women could relate to coming back from
war. It was a really impactful film at Walter Reed. That was probably the
best experience I’d ever had showing that movie.
And so, when we were making “Sniper,” I thought if I could make a
movie that people could relate to in this field, I imagined showing it at
Walter Reed, which we’re going to do on Jan 13. We are also going to take
it to San Antonio, a hospital there, with Chris’ father and brother. That’s
when you really get to experience storytelling and the impact that it
could have.
Q: There have been a handful of movies about the Iraq War,
including “The Hurt Locker.” Why did you sign on to produce Chris’
story?
Cooper: I love the character study. Growing up, “Unforgiven” was one
of my favorite films, dealing with the psychology of that character. Jason
Hall came with me with this story. I saw it right away as a war movie but
told as a Western. But everything changed when Chris died and Steven
Spielberg came in and said, “We need to make this movie now.” That’s
when I fell in love with the guy. It was an incredible experience-the investigative process of trying to get inside a human being’s mind and emotions.
Midnight Meat Train,” with Ryuhei Kitamura, and was very collaborative in
the editing room with him. Todd Phillips was like that too with “The
Hangover.” By the time we got to “Limitless,” Ryan Kavanaugh at Relativity
encouraged me to be part of it in the post-production process, and I
became an executive producer. If a director is open to me helping him or
her tell the story, I’ll be there as much as they want. I’m lucky that David
O. Russell enveloped me with both arms and made me his partner. And
Clint was the same way.
Q: Did you and Clint Eastwood talk about framing it as a Western?
Cooper: Oh yeah. I constantly talked about “Unforgiven.” When Chris
says to his son, “It’s a heck of a thing to stop a beating heart,” it was really
right out of “Unforgiven,” when Will Munny says, “It’s a hell of a thing,
killing a man.” At the end of “Unforgiven,” when he goes down to get his
friend Ned, there’s this storm outside. In terms of Chris’ last tour, we did
this desert storm. He’s almost Will Munny 20 years prior to “Unforgiven.”
Q: How much time do you spend in the gym preparing for the
role?
Cooper: In the actual gym? Probably 4 hours a day.
Q: Was it similar to your workout for “The A-Team”?
Cooper: That was totally different. That was cardiovascular and high
reps for bodybuilding. This was weightlifting. There was no cardio. There
was no toning of muscles. It was just get strong.
Q: And when you see yourself onscreen?
Cooper : My main thing, after each take, the only thing I would ask
anybody, “Hey man, am I too big?” When I watched the first cut of the
film, I was so monstrous, I thought any more pounds, it would have been
farcical.
Q: Did you feel like you got it right as you were shooting?
Cooper: I knew it was working. I felt him. I felt like I had successfully
entered the world of his, so I would be able to tell the story. If you do all
the research, you let yourself be open. I had hours and hours of home
videos, and all of their email exchanges, and even his workout playlist. I
basically had a dossier on this man’s life. And I had his children, his parents, his wife and the people who knew him. It was a huge amount of
information to be digested. Once that all happened, and then I got to the
size, and I felt comfortable in his voice, or my voice as him, and I got comfortable with the three sniper rifles that he used, then it was like, “OK, let’s
tell the story.”
Q: What did you learn from the emails?
Cooper: Just how fiery their relationship was-how much love there
was, how much lust there was. And how much their relationship is relatable. How I could relate to it, and I think anybody who could read them
could relate to it. It just humanized him in a huge way.
Q: Your first producing credit was on 2011’s “Limitless.” Why did
you decide to go down that path?
Cooper: I started way before. It was when I was doing “Alias.” I used to
get everybody’s dailies. They were video cassettes. I would get back to
my little apartment that I was renting, a bottom floor of this woman’s
house in West Hollywood, and I would watch them all day long, and then
I would go into the editing room. I would only work three days a week,
and I was from the East Coast, and I was going to shoot myself living in
LA I was just so fascinated by the process of making this show. I did that
for a year, basically. It was like going to school. Then I went to “The
Q: How did your career change after your first Oscar nomination
for “Silver Linings Playbook”?
Cooper: You could probably tell me more than I could. I can’t tell you
how many times people came up to me after “Sniper,” and said, “Hey man,
I didn’t know you could act.” I can’t concern myself with that, or I’ll go
crazy.
Bradley Cooper
Q: You’re now starring in “Elephant Man” on Broadway. How do
you feel about your career as you’re about to turn 40?
Cooper: I’m the most fulfilled I’ve ever been artistically. Nathan Lane
has got it all figured it out. This lifestyle of doing it, being able to show up
and tell a story to 740 strangers every day and sometimes twice a day,
and you have the rest of your day free. It’s ideal, and in New York, it’s
absolute heaven.
Q: Will you do another Broadway play?
Cooper: I have to finish this one first. And then I think we’re going to
take it to London for three months this summer. I’ll spend half the year
doing theater.
Q: Are you going to do a “Guardians of the Galaxy” sequel?
Cooper: Hell yeah, if they’ll have me. — Reuters
Scarlett Johansson signs on to
star in DreamWorks’ �Ghost in the Shell’
F
Channing Tatum
ollowing the success of “Lucy,” Scarlett
Johansson looks ready to take on another action pic, this one coming from the
world of Japanese anime. Johansson is set to
star in DreamWorks’ adaptation of the popular anime pic “Ghost in the Shell.” Deadline
Hollywood had reported that the actress had
the offer to star but at the time she was still
undecided about taking the role. Sources
now say she has agreed to star in the pic. The
story follows the exploits of a member of a
covert ops unit of the Japanese National
Public Safety Commission that specializes in
fighting technology-related crime.
Rupert Sanders is on board to direct. Avi
Arad and Steven Paul are producing the film
from a script by Bill Wheeler. Mark Sourian is
exec producing. Insiders also tell Variety that
Paramount has the option to come on as coproducer and financier and that decision is
expected in the coming weeks.
Channing Tatum’s
X-Men spinoff to hit
theaters in 2016
T
wentieth Century Fox has set Channing Tatum’s XMen spinoff “Gambit” for Oct 7, 2016. The Gambit
character, who debuted in 1990, is an expert cardthrower and has the power to manipulate kinetic energy.
“Gambit,” written by Joshua Zetumer, will be Fox’s eighth XMen movie. “X-Men: Apocalypse” debuts on May 27, 2016.
“Gambit” will face off against Warner Bros’ “Live by Night”
and Universal’s “Monster High.”
Fox also announced Monday that it had set or shifted
dates for six other films-most notably, moving its next
“Planet of the Apes” movie back a year to July 14, 2017. The
studio had originally planned to open its ninth “Planet of
the Apes” on July 29, 2016. Instead, Fox has taken the
“Fantastic Four” sequel off July 14, 2017, and moved it forward six weeks to June 2, 2017. Fox successfully rebooted
the “Apes” franchise in 2011 with “Rise of the Planet of the
Apes,” which grossed $482 million worldwide. This year’s
“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” was even more successful
with over $700 million.
Fox’s reboot of “Fantastic Four,” directed by Josh Trank
and starring Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan and
Jamie Bell, will open on Aug 7. “Mike and Dave Need
Wedding Dates,” a comedy to be directed by Jake
Szymanski, has been set for July 29, 2016. The script by
Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O’Brien focuses on two
brothers posting an online ad for wedding dates.
The studio dated two films for next year’s holiday season-vidgame adaptation “Assassin’s Creed,” starring Michael
Fassbender with Justin Kurzel directing, has been dated for
Dec 21, 2016; and P.T. Barnum biopic “ The Greatest
Showman on Earth,” starring Hugh Jackman, will open Dec
25, 2016. Romance movie “The Mountain Between Us,” starring Charlie Hunnam and Rosamund Pike, has been set just
before Valentines Day on Feb 10, 2017. — Reuters
DreamWorks principal Steven Spielberg is
a huge fan of the original and has long wanted to get this film off the ground. A commitment from a star like Johansson should help
in getting the pic greenlit for production.
Besides Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Lawrence,
Johansson is becoming one of the few
actresses in town with the clout to get a project greenlit on her name alone.
“Lucy” made $394 million worldwide and
Johansson can be seen next in “Avengers:
Age of Ultron,” bowing in May. Johansson has
also done a nice job of balancing actionheavy tentpoles with serious dramas and
comedies. She received rave reviews for
Spike Jonze’s “Her ” and is a part of the
ensemble of the Coen brothers’ next pic “Hail,
Caesar!” She is repped by CAA and LBI
Entertainment. — Reuters
Scarlett Johansson
�The Hobbit’ holds on at
top at N American box office
F
antasy epic “The Hobbit” enjoyed a third week atop the
North American box office while controversial North
Korea comedy “The Interview” earned another $1 million
in its limited release, figures showed Monday. “The Hobbit: The
Battle of the Five Armies,” by Oscar-winning director Peter
Jackson, is the last of six films adapted from J.R.R Tolkien’s books
and the third and final installment based on the author’s novel
“The Hobbit.” It took in $21.7 million over the weekend, for a
total of $220.6 million since its release three weeks ago, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations. In second place for
a second week was Disney’s “Into the Woods”, the star-studded
big-screen adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical. The
film took $18.7 million in its second weekend. Third place was
occupied by “Unbroken,” the Angelina Jolie-directed drama
about Louis Zamperini, an Olympic athlete taken captive by the
Japanese during World War II. The movie took $18.2 million.
A newcomer, “The Woman in Black 2” opened in the number
four spot. The horror flick starring Helen McCrory and Jeremy
Irvine earned $15 million in its debut weekend. Following close
behind was “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb,” the third
movie in the Ben Stiller franchise about a museum security
guard trying to keep track of exhibits that come to life.
Popular series
The family comedy earned $14.5 million in its third week in
theaters. “Annie,” about the adventures of an orphan girl starring Quvenzhane Wallis in the title role and Jamie Foxx as the
tycoon who takes her under his wing, brought in $11.3 million,
good enough for sixth place. “The Imitation Game,” about a
code-cracking mathematician and logician during World War II,
rose to seventh with $7.8 million, beating out “Hunger Games:
Mockingjay, Part 1,” which slipped into eighth place.
The sequel, one in the hugely popular series starring
Jennifer Lawrence, earned $7.6 million this weekend, bringing
its total seven week take to a whopping $323.7 million.
Rounding out the top 10 were “The Gambler,” starring Mark
Wahlberg, which earned $6.3 million, and Disney animated hit
“Big Hero 6,” with $4.8 million. Meanwhile, “The Interview,” playing in 581 independent movie houses, after threats from hackers who claimed a cyberattack of Sony Studios, which the White
House said was orchestrated by Pyongyang, added $1 million
to its two-week theatrical take. The film has also earned millions in online rentals and sales, making it what Sony said was
the studio’s “#1 online film of all time”. — AFP
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
lifestyle
M u s i c
Cameron Diaz and
rocker Benji Madden
H
ollywood star Cameron Diaz and rocker Benji
Madden got married in their Los Angeles home
on Monday, People magazine reported. Diaz, 42,
and Madden, 35, had been dating since May and got
engaged shortly before Christmas, People reported. “We
couldn’t be happier to begin our new journey together
surrounded by our closest family and friends,” the couple told the magazine.
Diaz, a Golden Globe-nominated actress, most
recently starred in the film “Annie,” a reworking of the
Tony-winning 1977 Broadway musical of the same
name. Madden is best known for performing in the rock
bands Good Charlotte and The Madden Brothers with
&
M o v i e s
marry
his twin brother Joel Madden. A representative for the
couple told People that the two were married at “an intimate ceremony at their home in Los Angeles.”
Representatives for Diaz and Madden could not immediately be reached for comment. — Reuters
Cameron Diaz and
rocker Benji Madden
STING UNABLE TO SAVE HIS MUSICAL
�THE LAST SHIP’ ON BROADWAY
S
ting is going down with his ship. Producers said early
yesterday that the Grammy Award-winning singersongwriter’s Broadway musical “The Last Ship” will
close when he leaves the show Jan 24. Sting, who wrote
the songs, jumped into the show in December, playing a
shipyard foreman, played by Jimmy Nail. While that
improved sales, they didn’t skyrocket.
“The Last Ship” is a semiautobiographical story about a
prodigal son who returns to his northern England shipbuilding town to reclaim the girl he abandoned when he
fled years before. He finds the workers are now unemployed and entertaining the idea of building one last boat
to show off their skill and pride. The show has struggled at
the box office, attributable in part to its challenging topic
and mixed reviews. It earned well during the Christmas and
New Year holidays, but all shows enjoyed bumps. A long
February loomed without tourists to swell the ranks in the
audience or Sting to draw New Yorkers.
Sting, born Gordon Sumner, drew on his childhood,
growing up in Newcastle. He was last onstage on
Broadway in 1989’s revival of “The Threepenny Opera.” On
the eve of joining the cast onstage, the singer acknowledged his show faced tough odds: “This was never going
to be easy. I didn’t anticipate a shoo-in at all. I expected a
battle because I want to succeed against the odds.” For
“The Last Ship,” Pulitzer Prize and Tony-winning lyricist
Brian Yorkey (“Next to Normal”) and Tony-winner John
Logan (“Red”) wrote the book, and Tony-winner Joe
Mantello (“Wicked”) directed.
Other rock stars have joined shows they helped create,
including Green Day’s frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, who
made several onstage visits to his show “American Idiot.”
But others - including Bono and The Edge from U2 and Trey
Anastasio from Phish - chose to stay offstage even after
their shows sprung a leak. — AP
In this file photos, Sting appears at the curtain call following his debut performance in
Broadway’s “The Last Ship,” in New York. — AP photos
Sony chief thanks
supporters after
�vicious’ cyber attack
S
ony chief Kazuo Hirai called the devastating hack on the
company “vicious and malicious,” in his first public comments about the attack that derailed the launch of controversial comedy “The Interview.” Speaking Monday at a press
event on the eve of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las
Vegas, Hirai thanked supporters who stood by the company in
the face of the massive cyber assault, including employees
and movie-goers who saw the film when it finally hit theaters.
“Freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of
association-those are important lifelines of Sony and our
entertainment business,” Hirai said. His comments were his
first public statements about the attack on the Japanese company’s film and television unit. “We are proud of partners who
stood up against extortionist efforts by criminals who
attacked Sony,” Hirai said.
Sony employees, he added, “were victims of one of the
most vicious and malicious cyber attacks we have known, certainly in recent history.” “The Interview” is now showing at 580
independent theaters in the US, in addition to online platforms, according to Hirai. “I want to thank all the partners who
made this possible, media who supported the launch, and
those who have gone out to see the movie,” Hirai said. “Thank
you for being part of that great event,” he added, before ending with a quip referring to another Sony Pictures
Entertainment film released during the year-end holidays.
“Annie is a great movie as well,” he said.
Movie plot to kill Kim Jong-Un
The late-November cyber attack against Sony led to an
online leak of employee information, unreleased films and
embarrassing in-house emails. The hackers also mounted
threats against Sony over the planned Christmas release of
“The Interview,” which depicts a fictional CIA plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. Threats by hackers
issued after the cyberattack on Sony Pictures initially prompted the movie giant to cancel the film’s Christmas Day release,
after many large US theater chains got cold feet.
The comedy, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, eventually opened on December 25 in more than 300 independent
movie houses that offered to show the film after Sony came
under fire for pulling it. US investigators have said North
Korea, which has repeatedly denied involvement, was behind
the attack, but some experts have raised doubts about the
conclusions of the FBI probe.
US President Barack Obama last week authorized a new
layer of sanctions on several Pyongyang institutions and officials, in retaliation for the alleged cyber attack on Sony
Pictures. North Korea on Sunday lashed out at the fresh sanctions, criticizing Washington for refusing a proposed joint
investigation. The impoverished but nuclear-armed state was
already heavily sanctioned following a series of nuclear and
missile tests staged in violation of UN resolutions.
Pyongyang, which repeatedly slammed the movie as an
“act of terror,” praised the hacking attack as a “righteous deed”
possibly staged by its sympathizers. The isolated country last
month suffered several mysterious Internet outages. The
Obama administration denied comment on whether it was
linked to the blackouts. — AFP
Jewel
�Saved by the Bell’
actor to stand trial
in stabbing case
D
ustin Diamond, the actor who played Screech
on the 1990s television series “Saved by the
Bell,” was ordered to stand trial Monday in the
stabbing of a man at a Wisconsin bar on Christmas
Day. Diamond, 37, is charged with felony reckless
endangerment and two misdemeanors stemming
from the incident in Port Washington, about 25 miles
north of Milwaukee. His defense attorney noted that
none of witnesses reported seeing Diamond stab the
man, who wasn’t seriously hurt, but an Ozaukee
County judge ruled there was enough evidence for
the case to go to trial.
Diamond’s fiancee, Amanda Schutz, told police
she shoved a woman who was making rude remarks
and antagonizing her and Diamond at The Grand
Avenue Saloon, according to a criminal complaint.
The women then got into a physical altercation, and
two men held Schutz by her hair, Diamond told
investigators. During Monday ’s hearing, Port
Washington police officer Ryan Hurda testified that a
man confronted and shoved Diamond as the actor
moved toward the fight. The man’s brother “intervened when he heard the snap of a knife,” Hurda said.
The officer said the brother never saw Diamond
stab anyone, and that there was nothing in the bar’s
video surveillance that shows Diamond stabbing the
man. “No, it’s not distinct, but you see he’s holding
some type of object in his right hand,” Hurda testified. Defense attorney Thomas Alberti told the judge
that of the half-dozen people interviewed at the bar,
no one saw Diamond stab the man during their confrontation. Hurda was the only witness at the hearing. Diamond, who remains free on $10,000 bond,
was granted permission to temporarily leave
Wisconsin, where he lives, for work. Alberti said
Diamond was working as a comedian and had shows
scheduled outside the state. — AP
working on revealing
memoir, to be published this fall
M
usician and actress Jewel is going back to
the books. She has a deal with Penguin
Random House imprint Blue Rider Press for a
memoir scheduled to come out in the fall. Blue Rider
announced the currently untitled book Monday. In
1998, Jewel’s “A Night Without Armor” became the
rare poetry collection to sell more 1 million copies.
Blue Rider says Jewel will reveal a “far more complicated life” than previously known. She will write
about her childhood and career while offering writing advice and insights on being a mother. The singer
was born Jewel Kilcher. The 40-year-old star had one
of the most successful debuts in history with the
1995 multiplatinum album “Pieces of You.” Her other
albums include “Spirit” and “ This Way.” She has
appeared in movies including “Walk Hard: The Dewey
Cox Story.” — AP
Dustin Diamond
�Game of Thrones’ to hit IMAX theaters
H
BO and IMAX have struck a deal to make “Game of
Thrones” the first TV series to grace the theatrical distributors’ big screens. An exclusive season 5 trailer, as
well as the final two episodes of the fourth season, will get an
unprecedented run Jan 23-29 at 150 theaters in top markets
across the US While the visual spectacle of the HBO hit makes
it a natural for the big-screen treatment, “Thrones” will be digitally remastered to fit the IMAX format.
Fans will be able to purchase tickets to the special event for
an unspecified price on Imax.com in the coming weeks. “The
cinematic brilliance and grand scope of the series is perfect
for the IMAX format,” said Pamela Levine, chief marketing officer at HBO. “We are always looking to provide fans with new
and exciting ways to experience the show and viewing two
key episodes, along with the new trailer, on such an impressive platform makes for a great event.”
IMAX has indicated previously its intent to branch out
beyond the typical Hollywood fare in search of innovative
content distribution opportunities. The company signed a
groundbreaking pact late last year with Netflix to get a theatrical day-and-date component of the upcoming “Crouching
Tiger, Hidden Dragon” sequel.
“IMAX always seeks innovative ways to provide moviegoers
a unique and differentiated experience and today’s partnership with HBO and �Game of Thrones’ achieves just that,” said
IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. “This deal also furthers our
efforts to offer exhibitors the opportunity to participate in
alternative forms of content in a new and exciting way.” The
fifth season of “Thrones” premieres in April.— Reuters
Cameron Diaz and rocker
Benji Madden marry
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2015
39
Visitors take photographs on an ice sculptures during the 16th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, northeast China’s Heilongjiang province. — AFP photos
Strong dollar makes world
travel cheaper for Americans
T
rips in Europe or Asia should be cheaper for Americans
this year. Thank a stronger dollar. Since the middle of last
year, it has been gaining against the euro, the British
pound, the Swiss franc, the Russian ruble, the Indian rupee, the
Japanese yen and other currencies. That means dollars go further in those countries, reducing the price of everything from a
hotel room to drinks.
“This is one of the best times for Americans to travel in
years,” says Matt Kepnes, author of “Travel the World on $50 a
Day” and other travel books.
mer, which is peak season.
When to book a flight
Demand for travel is so strong that most airlines don’t have
to cut prices to sell seats. “The summer fares are still very expensive,” says George Hobica, founder of travel website airfarewatchdog.com. But airlines might cut prices this spring if the
strong dollar discourages Europeans and Asians from flying to
and from the US.
Why the dollar is strong
Other economies are shaky, making their currencies less
valuable. Europe is barely growing. Japan is already officially in
recession. China’s growth has slowed. Meanwhile, the US economy has been chugging along. Many economists expect that
steady US growth will compel the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates later this year, making dollar investments more attractive and leading traders to sell other currencies and buy dollars.
What it means
Let’s say that in June you had a charming dinner for two in
Paris for 75 euros. First, congratulations. Second, it cost $103
then; today it would be $89. Expensive countries may not be
cheap, but at least they’re more affordable now.
In this July 22, 2008 file photo, tourists take pictures in front of the Eiffel tower, in
Paris. —AP photos
Best bargains
Thanks to the pound’s decline, England is cheaper than it
was six months ago. But the euro has slumped more, making
most of continental Europe an even better bargain. Travel writer
Kepnes says Greece is attractive right now because hotels and
tour operators have been slashing prices to fill rooms. The same
thing is happening in Portugal and parts of Spain.
“Be the contrarian traveler,” Kepnes says. “If you want to go to
Europe, consider eastern or central Europe, where prices are
generally cheaper,” he says. He recommends going during the
“shoulder season” - late spring or early fall - rather than in sum-
Consider all the options
Hobica recommends checking foreign airlines. He says
Etihad, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines and others sometimes
offer better prices to Europe than US carriers do, although they
could include a distant stopover. — AP
In this Tuesday,
March 22, 2011 file
photo, tourists take
pictures in front of
Rome’s ancient
Colosseum.
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