BUSINESS | Page 1 INDEX QATAR 4 – 11, 32 28, 29 COMMENT 1 – 6, 17 – 20 REGION 12 BUSINESS ARAB WORLD 13 CLASSIFIED 7 – 17 SPORTS 1 – 12 INTERNATIONAL 14 – 27 German duo go all the way to win Qatar Open DOW JONES QE 17,573.97 13,590.49 78.65 +19.46 +0.11% +61.82 +0.46% +0.74 +0.95% Latest Figures Saleh rejects UN sanctions Yemen’s former president Ali Abdullah Saleh yesterday rejected UN Security Council sanctions imposed on him for obstructing peace, and his party walked out of the newly formed cabinet. The UN sanctions, including a visa ban and asset freezing, are “rejected”, Saleh told members of his General People’s Congress in Sanaa, a day after the US-proposed measures were adopted. The GPC, meanwhile, said it was not consulted in forming the long-awaited cabinet, and urged party nominees to turn down their assigned ministries. Page 12 US air strikes destroyed a moving, 10-vehicle Islamic State convoy near the Iraqi city of Mosul but US officials said yesterday it was unclear whether the group’s top commander Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was present at the time. Col Patrick Ryder, a spokesman at the US military’s Central Command, said the US military had reason to believe that the convoy was the product of a gathering of Islamic State leaders. The convoy consisted of 10 Islamic State armed trucks. Page 13 EUROPE | Tension Gorbachev warns of new Cold War The Soviet Union’s last leader Mikhail Gorbachev yesterday warned that the world was on the “brink of a new Cold War” at an event to mark 25 years since the Berlin Wall’s fall, the German news agency DPA reported. “The world is on the brink of a new Cold War. Some are even saying that it has already begun,” the 83-year-old said, amid tensions between the West and Russia over Ukraine. He complained of a “breakdown of trust” in recent months. Page 20 ASIA | Investment Arab youths clashing with Israeli police at the entrance to the town of Kfar Kanna, near Nazareth, yesterday. Thousands took to the streets yesterday hours after Israeli police shot and killed an Arab youth in the town. Israeli police claimed the 22-yearold was shot after trying to stab an officer. But a video footage of the shooting, posted online by several websites, raised questions about the police account of events, and by the afternoon, more than 2,500 people, many waving Palestinian flags, had taken to the streets to protest. Masked youths later gathered at the entrance to the town, burnt tyres and threw stones and Molotov cocktails. The incident is the latest violence between Israeli security forces and Palestinians, which in recent weeks has been largely focused on clashes around Jerusalem and nearby areas of the West Bank. Meanwhile, the top EU diplomat has appealed for the establishment of a Palestinian state. Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s new foreign affairs chief, said the world “cannot afford” another war in the Gaza Strip. “We need a Palestinian state - that is the ultimate goal and this is the position of all the European Union,” Mogherini said during a trip to Gaza, devastated by its third conflict in six years. Page 13 Ministry and QF sign MoU to improve working conditions QNA Doha T he Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), aimed at improving working conditions of migrant labourers in the state. Under the agreement, the two parties will work together to encourage organisations and residents to be more respectful to migrant workers while seeking to improve sponsorship laws in Qatar. QF has been actively involved with initiatives in recent months to improve the welfare of workers across its construction sites. The MoU was signed by Khalid alGhanim, director of the Inspection Department at the Ministry of Labour, and Jassim Telefat, QF Capital Projects and Facilities Management group executive director. HE the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Dr Abdullah Saleh Mu- China to establish $40bn Silk Road fund China will contribute $40bn to set up a Silk Road infrastructure fund to boost connectivity across Asia, President Xi Jinping announced yesterday, the latest Chinese project to spread the largesse of its own economic growth. The goal of the fund is to “break the connectivity bottleneck” in Asia, state media quoted Xi as saying during a meeting in Beijing with leaders from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan and Tajikistan. Business Page 6 SUNDAY HE the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Dr Abdullah Saleh Mubarak al-Khulaifi and QF president Saad bin Ibrahim al-Muhannadi witnessing the MoU signing. barak al-Khulaiﬁ, QF president Saad bin Ibrahim al-Muhannadi and QF health, safety, security and environment executive director Sheikha Amal bint Thamir al-Thani attended the signing ceremony. Al-Khulaiﬁ praised Qatar Foundation’s efforts to improve the welfare of workers in Qatar. He said: “Qatar is facing a number of signiﬁcant challenges related to migrant workers. Local organisations will be required to make a concerted effort to solve these issues, so we applaud Qatar Foundation’s dedication to improving the welfare of workers in Qatar.” Al-Muhannadi said Qatar Foundation was delighted to be partnering with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs “as this agreement represents a signiﬁcant step towards improving the labour laws in Qatar”. He said: “Qatar Foundation hopes to become a role model for the public in the treatment of migrant workers and to lead by example. And, in doing so, Qatar Foundation is helping develop the community and working towards overcoming challenges to unlocking human potential.” Vol. XXXV No. 9536 November 9, 2014 Moharram 16, 1436 AH www. gulf-times.com 2 Riyals Qatar’s projects ‘unaffected by oil fall’ Qatar is implementing a large infrastructure investment programme in the run-up to the 2022 World Cup and in line with its 2030 Vision IRAQ | Crisis US strikes IS convoy in YEMEN | Politics d In brief he is A R 8 7 AT 19 Q since Clashes erupt after Israeli police kill Arab youth bl GULF TIMES NYMEX pu Qapco sees 500% LDPE production capacity jump SPORT | Page 1 Q atar has the capacity to ﬁnance its infrastructure investment programme although the oil price has fallen 30% since June, QNB has said in a report. Based on the 2013 data, QNB estimates that the ﬁscal breakeven price - the oil price at which government expenditure would equal government revenue - was $67 a barrel. The bank’s estimates are based on the impact of a change in oil prices while everything else remains constant (such as hydrocarbon production) with the exception of gas prices, which it assumes fall in line with oil prices. Even if oil prices did fall below $67 a barrel, they would have to remain depressed for some time to have an impact on the investment programme. Qatar has the resources to draw on before being forced to make any signiﬁcant cut-backs to domestic investment. However, should oil prices remain low for a considerable time; a prioritisation process is likely to be implemented to ensure the completion of key projects. According to QNB, Qatar’s large infrastructure investment programme would be sustainable, even if oil prices fell considerably further. Brent crude oil prices have dropped from a peak of $115 a barrel in June 2014 to about $82 currently. This, it said, has raised speculation about the impact of falling oil prices on hydrocarbon exporting countries. In Qatar, oil prices would have to fall considerably further to have any impact on the infrastructure investment programme that is expected to drive economic growth over the next few years. QNB’s assessment is based on ﬁscal breakeven prices (the oil prices at which the government budget would be in balance), which is estimated to be well below current oil prices. Qatar is currently implementing a large infrastructure investment programme in the run-up to the 2022 World Cup and in line with its 2030 Vision to diversify the economy away from dependence on hydrocarbons. The government has recently announced $182bn for project implementation outside the oil and gas sector over the next ﬁve years. The largest projects include several major real estate developments (Lusail, The Pearl Qatar and Musheireb for example), a new metro and rail network as well as new roads and highways. These major projects are creating large numbers of jobs leading to high population growth (annual average of 9.2% in the ﬁrst 10 months of 2014). This is expected to drive GDP growth throughout the non-hydrocarbon sector, thereby supporting diversiﬁcation. The government expects to ﬁnance infrastructure investments predominantly through revenue from hydrocarbon exports. With ﬁscal and current account surpluses of 15.6% and 30.9% of GDP respectively in 2013, ample resources should be available. The question is how far would oil prices have to fall to push the ﬁscal balance into deﬁcit and force the government to cut back on its investment plans? Even though oil prices have fallen almost 30% since their June highs, Qatar retains the capacity to ﬁnance its infrastructure investment programme. Therefore, it is expected that strong economic growth will continue, driven by the infrastructure investment programme, QNB added. 1,900 students barred from exams Some 1,900 students have been barred from taking the first mid-term examinations for being absent for seven days or more without a proper excuse, local Arabic daily Arrayah has reported. The tests are scheduled to begin today in independent schools. The step has been taken by the Education Institute at the Supreme Education Council (SEC) based on a behavioural assessment policy that lays stress on discipline and commitment to attendance, according to the report. The SEC had earlier warned that it would take a harder stance on students who missed school without a plausible reason. The number of students being absent from classes at local independent schools was at an unacceptable level and reflected negatively on the outcome of the learning process, HE the Minister of Education Dr Mohamed Abdulwahid al-Hammadi had observed, as reported by Gulf Times in September. WCMC-Q restructures curriculum into integrated six-year programme W eill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q) has announced a restructuring of its curriculum that will see its premedical and medical programmes integrated into one cohesive six-year medical education programme. As a result of this integration, students will no longer have to go through a separate admission process to make the transition from the two-year premedical programme to the four-year one. Instead, a single admission process will determine entrance to a sixyear medical education programme and students will progress through the course according to advancement criteria, which include academic performance, professionalism and commitment to the profession of medicine. Students who successfully complete the six-year programme are awarded the Cornell University Doctor of Medicine degree – the same qualiﬁcation awarded to Cornell students who complete their studies in the United States. Explaining the beneﬁts to students of the new, integrated programme, Dr Javaid Sheikh, Dean of WCMC-Q, said: “This important innovation preserves the content, academic rigour and quality of our highly-regarded premedical and medical programmes, while providing additional ﬂexibility to our students and at the same time advancing their preparedness for the medical profession. “We are moving into a new era of both medicine and medical education, characterised by extremely rapid Members of the Class of 2018 Med 1 students taking part in the First Responders Course at Hamad Hospital’s training centre. A variety of emergency response first aid is taught to the new medical students. scientiﬁc development and increased specialisation. As such, we have ﬁnetuned our curriculum in order to offer the highly individualised support and education required to produce doctors who are able to excel in the fast-mov- ing, technologically advanced world of 21st century medicine.” One of the aims of the integrated programme is to build upon and enhance WCMC-Q’s already strong reputation for producing medical graduates who are able to gain acceptance to post-graduation residency training programmes at elite hospitals all over the world, a statement issued by the college said. WCMC-Q graduates have placed on residency programmes at top-level institutions that include Johns Hopkins Hospital, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Cleveland Clinic and Hamad Medical Corporation, among many others. Students at WCMC-Q beneﬁt from a wide network of academic and personal support mechanisms, which allow the college to offer a personalised education that meets the needs and interests of each individual. Dr Sheikh added: “We believe these measures will result in an extremely high level of academic performance and a high retention rate of students through the six-year programme. This is a very exciting time for WCMC-Q and we are looking forward to seeing our next intake of students ﬂourish on the new six-year medical programme.” Students who are applying now to the WCMC-Q premedical programme will automatically be reviewed for admission to the new, integrated six-year curriculum. Additional details will be available soon on the WCMC-Q website. 4 Gulf Times Sunday, November 9 , 2014 QATAR Third batch of Lekhwiya search and rescue team graduates T he Internal Security Force (Lekhwiya) celebrated the graduation of the third batch of the national search and rescue team, which oversees the training of the National Academy of specialist training. The ceremony was held under the patronage of the Commander of the Private Operations Group Brigadier Ali Mohamed al-Rashid in the presence of a number of directors and commanders of groups and Director General and Chief Executive Ofﬁcer of the National Academy of Specialist Training Masoud Mo- hamed al-Khaldi A total of 32 trainees, including officers, non-commissioned officers and privates, graduated in the third batch of the national search and rescue team. The programme included training courses in different international institutes that covered ﬁreﬁghting, free parachuting, medical aid, rescue by ropes, diving, urban rescue, A store where counterfeit sportswear items were found. Fake sportswear seized in Al Khor I nspectors from the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) have detected some 476 pieces of counterfeit sportswear at an outlet in Al Khor. This came as part of the MEC’s routine inspection campaigns at commercial outlets around the country to ensure compliance with the consumer protection law and relevant regulations, and spot any potential at- tempts of fraud or counterfeiting. The seized goods will be kept by the MEC until appropriate legal steps are taken against the said outlet, which has been issued a violation report. Fines for such violations range from QR6,000 to QR1mn, depending on the nature of the offence and based on applicable laws and regulations. disposal of hazardous materials and land and maritime navigation. At a press conference, the Search and Rescue Officer Major Abdullah al-Muhannadi said that the third batch of the search and rescue team started their course on 27 January, 2014, and received training at the highest level from renowned institutions. 6 Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 QATAR SCH launches dental health pogramme T he Supreme Council of Health (SCH) has launched the national orthodontic health programme, “A bright smile for a bright future”. The programme is being conducted for the third consecutive year in co-operation with Colgate Palmolive Arabia. The programme will run for eight weeks to raise awareness among some 8,796 students (Class I and II) in 43 schools. Three major road projects in Qatar to cost over QR9.4bn By Ramesh Mathew Staff Reporter T hree major ongoing road development projects in the country will cost the exchequer over QR9.4bn, according to the annual report of the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) published recently. These three projects are the 9.9km Dukhan Road (East) between Bani Hajer interchange and Tilted interchange (near Sidra), the Lusail Expressway project and the North Road corridor between Duhail and Al Shamal. Construction of Dukhan Road (East) between Bani Hajer interchange and Tilted interchange is being done at more than QR3.70bn. The work includes the construction of approximately 6.5km of the dual carriageway road as the mainline of Dukhan Road (East) and 3.4km of Al Gharafa Road, it reported. The mainline for Dukhan Road (East) consists of eight lanes with service roads and auxiliary lanes. Dukhan Road (East), along with Dukhan Road (Central), will pave the way for the ambitious eight-lane East-West highway, which includes six multi-level interchanges on the route, it is pointed out. The project, expected to be completed in 2017, also includes the laying of nearly 10km of micro tunnel for drainage, the report said. Similarly, the Lusail Expressway project being executed along West Bay and covering approximately 5.3km, will cost the government QR3.57bn. The road being built with An artist’s impression of Lusail Expressway project. four lanes in each direction has provisions for three interchanges at Onaiza, Al Wahdah (near Exhibition Centre) and on the access towards The Pearl-Qatar. The highway, when completed, will ease trafﬁc movement towards The Pearl-Qatar, Katara – the Cultural Village, Lusail City and Diplomatic Club. The work that began in 2012 is expected to be over in the second quarter of 2017. The enhancements being made on the North Road corridor between Duhail and Al Shamal will get over in the last quarter of 2016. The main carriageway of the road will be increased from the present four to ﬁve lanes between Duhail and Al Khartiyat. There will be dedicated cycle tracks and pedestrian access bridges along the route, according to the construction plans. Improvements will be made at 11 existing junctions and two new interchanges will also be developed. The project is expected to cost QR2.16bn. Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 8 QATAR SUV catches fire An SUV is seen in flames after it caught fire on the Doha Expressway, in the Al Saad police station area, yesterday afternoon. After the Civil Defence personnel doused the fire, policemen towed the vehicle away. Qatar condemns Israel’s policy of intimidation in Gaza Strip QNA New York T he State of Qatar expressed deep concern over Israel’s continued policy of intimidation and imposition of collective punishment on the residents of the Gaza Strip through the repeated aggression and the siege imposed on the Strip for more than six years. Referring to the latest Israeli aggression against Gaza in August, Qatar renewed the call to create a platform for dialogue and reach a ﬁnal solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conﬂict based on the two-state so- lution. It said that the biggest concern is the strategy pursued by the Israeli government strangling the Palestinian economy and threatening the vital interests of the Palestinian communities by depriving them of water. It also said that the exploitation of natural resources in the occupied Syrian Golan by Israel is illegal under international law. This came in a statement delivered by Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad alThani, a member of Qatar’s delegation participating in the 69th session of the UN General Assembly before the UN Fourth Committeethe Special Political and Decolonisation Committee, which met to consider the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories. The statement said that the most dangerous and unlawful Israeli practices are the assaults on religious sites and the lack of respect for freedom of worship, including attempts to break into the Haram al-Sharif and prevention of worshippers from entering the site. The statement expressed Qatar’s condemnation of the violation of the holy sites and freedom of wor- ship in Palestine by the Israeli authorities. Qatar also strongly condemned storming of Al Aqsa Mosque, preventing worshippers from entering the mosque, the repeated assaults on the Holy Al Aqsa Mosque and settler groups’ provocative visits to Al Aqsa Mosque compound, saying the Israeli government is responsible for any damage to the Haram al-Sharif. The statement stressed that such practices constitute a clear violation of international law and are inconsistent with the relevant Security Council resolutions, calling on Israel to immediately stop all illegal settlement activities. Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 9 QATAR Dr Seetharaman explains a point as al-Mannai and Bishoy look on. PICTURE: Najeer Feroke ‘Moral values are vital in shaping society’s destiny’ By Ramesh Mathew Staff Reporter T he importance of moral values in shaping one’s life as well as determining the destiny of a society was highlighted at a meeting yesterday. Residents of different nationalities and religions participated in the deliberations held as part of the Fourth Roundtable for Local Communities, organised under the aegis of the Doha International Centre for Interfaith Dialogue. The meeting was chaired by Aisha al-Mannai, head of the Faculty of Islamic Studies, Hamad Bin Khalifa University. Speaking at the inaugural session, Doha Bank Group CEO Dr R Seetharaman said though the lack of ethical and moral commitments was generally felt across the world these days, there was still a strong perception that those who possessed strong moral values in life were able to produce better results for mankind. “The work done by elder generations would certainly reﬂect on the performance of the succeeding generations and the collective efforts of different groups would have a positive impact on the future of any society,” he said, stressing that the economic prosperity this country’s citizens are enjoying these days is the result of the work initiated by their forefathers. “Some two decades ago, this country borrowed heavily from the world markets. But now, it has become one of the major lenders to help revive the global economy,” Dr Seetharaman said, explaining that this was possible only because of the good deeds initiated by its leaders who demonstrated great vision and farsightedness. More than 50% of people in the world are under 35 years and “the work we carry out today will have its inﬂuence on the lives of those who will be born in the coming years”, he said and reiterated that character and commitment were not only interdependent but also played a major role in shaping the destiny of the world. Governance, he said, began in- side every person and demonstrating more accountability together with a considerable degree of responsibility would make one a good human being. “Good people eventually contribute to the making of good societies and good societies would lead each nation to the making of a one, single world,” said the speaker. Dr Seetharaman also highlighted the necessity of inculcating more transparency to achieve greater success in one’s life. Speaking earlier, Bisanty Anba Bishoy, president of the Churches Steering Committee of Qatar, said God has created every human being to deliver to the society in which she/he lives and each individual is assigned a role to perform. The Coptic priest called upon the media to play a more important role in spreading the importance of moral values in everyday life so that the world would remain happy and peaceful. “The media’s efforts in highlighting the issue would have a positive impact on the lives of every human being,” he said. 10 Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 QATAR More people now aware of diabetes, says survey By Joseph Varghese Staff Reporter T Ali al-Fadala inaugurating Qatar Insurance Company’s (QIC) new full-service branch at Muaither. QIC opens Muaither branch I nsurance major Qatar Insurance Company (QIC) has expanded its country-wide network with a new branch at Muaither. The new branch will provide the full range of QIC’s personal line products such as car, home care and travel insurance to existing and new customers. Business/working hours for QIC’s Muaither branch are from 9am to 9pm, Sunday through Thursday and on Saturday. The branch was inaugurated by QIC senior deputy group president and CEO Ali al-Fadala in the presence of several dignitaries. On the strategy behind the new branch opening, alFadala said: “I am very excited about expanding our services in Muaither. The new branch opening is a part of our strategic initiative to expand our reach to new customers and grow our existing customer base in Muaither. This branch will also be processing motor claims requests, thus enhancing our service levels and becoming more accessible to our customers residing in Muaither. We look forward to growing this new branch with our customers in the years ahead. “The branch was opened to meet the demand for QIC’s insurance products in Muaither. Opening of this branch is in line with QIC’s ‘channel strategy’ of reaching out to customers across Qatar by being part of the local business life. “QIC has always been innovative in reaching out to its customers. First we introduced the ‘automated insurance machines’, and now the home delivery system, where our customers can now renew or purchase insurance policies and have it delivered to their homes for a small fee.” Infected agriculture products destroyed The agricultural quarantine section at the Ministry of Environment (MoE) confiscated and destroyed some 10 cargoes of imported products, weighing 6.6 tonnes, last month as they were found infested with various bugs. The section inspected and passed 5,143 cargoes of various imported agricultural products during the same period. These weighed around 75,171 tonnes. Besides, some eight such cargoes weighing around 385 tonnes - were inspected and exported outside the country. he number of people in Qatar who are aware of the causes, risks and complications associated with diabetes has grown signiﬁcantly, a survey commissioned by Action on Diabetes (AoD) and conducted by IPSOS Healthcare, says. The survey results, made available exclusively to Gulf Times, clearly point out that diabetes awareness is on the increase in the country, but suggest that more education, increased awareness and early diagnosis are needed to counter the menace. As November 14 is marked as World Diabetes Day, the ﬁndings can be extremely useful to spread awareness among the people in the country. This is the second survey conducted by the agency on similar lines in Qatar. The Qatar Diabetes Awareness Study compares results from an identical survey in 2011 and will be used to inform diabetes research, education, awareness and screening programmes in the future. The survey found that 62% of those people surveyed in Qatar are now aware of the two types of diabetes, an increase of 6% from the 2011 survey. When asked about risk factors, 89% of people now recognise that being overweight increases the chances of developing diabetes, compared to 73% in 2011, while 80% now recognises the role of inactivity. The study has also found out that 79% understand that if they have diabetes, their children have a higher risk of developing diabetes, compared to just 61% in 2011. There has been an increase in people who view diabetes as serious, if not worse, than obesity, up 17% to 87% of the respondents. Herluf Nis Thomsen, senior project manager at AoD, said: “The results from the study are encouraging and show that education, awareness and screening programmes run by AoD and our partners have an effect. However, with one in ﬁve people in Qatar now living with diabetes, it is already ﬁrmly established as one of the biggest health threats in our community. Unless we continue to address it and help people modify lifestyles, at the current growth rate, a quarter of all Qataris could have diabetes by 2030.” The study has also revealed worrying results that pointed to misconceptions about the role of family history in developing diabetes. The majority of respondents (66%) view family history as the main contributing factor - above diet, weight and exercise - even for Type 2 Diabetes. Dr Mahmoud Zirie of Hamad Medical Corporation, said: “The results of this study show that the seriousness of diabetes as a condition, its symptoms and its complications are ﬁnally being recognised. However, despite this progress, greater education and awareness are critical if we are to collectively meet the diabetes challenge in Qatar.” However he pointed out that while family history certainly plays a role in developing diabetes, lifestyle factors like diet and exercise are far more prominent than the survey results suggest. One out of 10 in Mena has diabetes A total of 282,533 adults in Qatar have diabetes while 250,184 adults have impaired glucose tolerance and 114,991 adults have undiagnosed diabetes. They are in the age category of 20-79, according to the Action on Diabetes. It also says one out of ten in Mena region has diabetes, making it the most diabetes affected regions. AoD had hired IPSOS Healthcare to conduct a survey to find out diabetes awareness among the people of Qatar. It was done among 300 people between the ages of 20 and 60. Of the respondents 8% had pre-existing diabetes. Fifty-five percent of the people who took part in the survey were from Doha while 30% were from Al Rayyan and 10% from Al Khor. The respondents included 15 % Qataris, 35% Arabs, 40% from Asian countries and 10% Westerners. The survey has found out people with diabetes have also shifted their perception of their condition in the last few years, with 48% of them viewing their condition as more serious than obesity. QU, Hitachi sign R&D agreement Q atar University (QU), Hitachi Ltd and Hitachi Plant Qatar have signed a comprehensive university-industry agreement to collaborate on environmental and energy efficiency technologies in the area of infrastructure systems. The agreement was signed by QU President Prof Sheikha Abdulla al-Misnad, Hitachi President and CEO of Infrastructure Systems Company Kunizo Sakai, and Hitachi Plant Qatar CEO Hideyuki Ariyasu at Hitachi headquarters in Japan. The three parties agreed to collaborate on the review and selection of research and development (R&D) themes concerning advanced technologies that are suited to the environment and the needs Prof al-Misnad (right) , Kunizo Sakai and Hideyuki Ariyasu at the agreement signing ceremony of Qatar and the Middle East region over the next three years. They will conduct technology development, ﬁeld trials and other activities based on selected R&D themes in order to put the resulting technologies into use in the Middle East as early as possible. As the ﬁrst activity, collaborative R&D concerning energy-efficient air conditioning system technologies will be initiated from the beginning of 2015. The agreement is guided by the objectives outlined in the Qatar National Vision 2030 by which Qatar is seeking to spur further economic development towards achieving a sustainable society. To address solutions to the country’s energy-related issues, the three parties will review and select joint R&D themes primarily in three ﬁelds: energy-efficient air conditioning, water treatment and recycling, and energy efficient management. The framework of the agreement also includes interaction and exchanges whereby QU students and Hitachi engineers will participate in internship and other activities. Prof al-Misnad said: “Qatar University is pleased to work with Hitachi through this collaboration on contributing to energy efficiency and water conservation strategies in Qatar. The partnership will serve a wide range of ongoing and planned development projects in Qa- tar, and as such is very much in line with QU’s commitment to addressing national priorities while offering opportunities for students to gain knowledge, experience and skills that empower them to drive the country’s development and progress in the future”. Sakai said: “Hitachi is honoured to enter into this comprehensive industryuniversity collaboration agreement with Qatar University, which is conducting a host of innovative initiatives in Qatar. Besides making effective use of the joint research achievements, we intend to demonstrate the collective capabilities of the Hitachi Group in order to develop business activities closely tied to customers and the region as One Hitachi.” Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 QATAR Campaign to stop roadside display of vehicles by dealers T he Inspection and Control Unit of the Traffic Department and Al Rayyan Municipality have launched a campaign to stop car dealers from violating the law by exhibiting vehicles outside showrooms, which causes traffic congestion and affects nearby shops. The campaign started at showrooms on Salwa Road, which use footpaths and side roads to park and display their vehicles meant for sale. The authorities emphasised that this was in violation of the law and infringed on the rights of others. The officials conducted the campaign to educate car dealers that indulging in such a practice would lead to legal action, including shutting down of showrooms for one month to three months, depending on the nature of the offence. Officials who led the campaign T Officials during the campaign. included the head of the Traffic Inspection and Control Unit, Maj Saif al-Mohannadi, Traffic officer Lt Ahmad Jassim al-Mohaiza and head of the General Control Section at Al Rayyan Municipality, Bakhit al-Marri. The officials stressed that the campaign would be intensiﬁed to eliminate this practice, which breaches the rights of others, pointing out that the public can contact the Traffic Department or send photographs through Metrash2 if they notice any violations. Vodafone introduces new data plans V odafone Qatar is introducing its new Data Plans with increased data allowances and special promotional offers which include Unlimited data and discounts for life. The new Data Plans range from Vodafone Data Plan 50 with 1 GB data bundled to Data Plan 400 with an Unlimited data bundle. Additionally, existing and new Postpaid customers will get 50 % off for life on Data Plans. Customers, who are not on a Vodafone Postpaid plan, will get 30 % off for life on all Data Plans except Data Plan 50. The promotion offers customers a life-time discount promise if they subscribe to a Vodafone Data Plan up to 31 December 2014. HMC opens clinic in Sealine area Existing postpaid customers and those who take it along with a new postpaid line get 50% discount for life in the new Data Plans promotion, which include: Data Plan 50 offering 1 GB of data at QR25/ month instead of QR50; Data Plan 70 offering 2.5 GB of data at QR35/ month instead of QR70; Data Plan 100 offering 7 GB of data at QR50/ month instead of QR100; Data Plan 200 offering 15 GB of data at QR100/ month instead of QR200; Data Plan 300 offering 25 GB of data at QR50/ month instead of QR300; and Data Plan 400 offering unlimited data at QR200/ month instead of QR400. As part of this promotion customers who don’t have a Vodafone postpaid line can enjoy 30 % monthly discount for life on these Data Plans, except Data Plan 50, with the following fees: Data Plan 70 at QR49; Data Plan 100 at QR70; Data Plan 200 at QR140; Data Plan 300 at QR210; and Data Plan 400 at QR280. Customers can use these data plans to power their tablets, smartphones, USB hotspots and other smart devices with high speed Internet including 4G network. he Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has opened a clinic in the Sealine area, ahead of this year’s camping season. The clinic has capacity to include two additional emergency staff members from the HMC Ambulance Service who will be available on site round the clock. They are supported by a doctor and nurse team as well as the regular service provided to the Sealine area by the Ambulance Service. The clinic, located on the main road and close to the airstrip will facilitate easy transfer of patients in serious conditions to hospital. Urgent cases will be transferred to a HMC hospital by the HMC ambulance service or helicopter. Equipped with clinical equipment and medication to treat simple injuries, the centre will operate on a weekly basis from 3pm every Thursday until 5pm every Saturday during the camping season. Three 4X4 ambulance vehicles as well as three ambulance units, an emergency supervision unit, one advanced critical care paramedic team and a LifeFlight air ambulance unit will be available at the site. Two ambulances will be on standby throughout the week to serve as backup support for the clinic. There will also be more 4X4 vehicles and an advanced ambulance unit provided for patients in a critical condition as well as three more ambulance units dedicated to serving the North of the country during the camping season. HMC officials and guests at the opening of the clinic. Below: A view of the clinic 11 12 Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 REGION Rebels reject new Yemen government, seek reshuffle The Houthi rebels demand the dismissal of ministers they consider unqualified or corrupt AFP Sanaa A l Qaeda claimed yesterday it killed dozens of Shia rebels in Yemen and tried to assassinate the US ambassador, as the rebels rejected a new government announced for the strife-torn country. The cabinet was formed on Friday shortly before the UN Security Council slapped sanctions against influential former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and two rebel commanders for threatening peace. In apparent retaliation yesterday, Saleh’s General People’s Congress party sacked from its leadership Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, following accusations he solicited the sanctions. And the Houthi rebels rejected the new government welcomed by Washington, instead demanding a reshuffle to dismiss ministers they consider unqualified or corrupt. Yemen has been dogged Hadi: loses party position by instability since an Arab Spring-inspired uprising forced Saleh from power in February 2012, and the rebels and Al Qaeda have sought to fill the power vacuum. Al Qaeda claimed twin attacks early yesterday that it said killed “dozens” of Houthis in the central region of Rada, where the Sunni militants have halted a rapid territorial advance by their Shia rivals. The turmoil has raised fears that the nation, which lies on the key shipping route from the Suez Canal to the Gulf, may become a failed state. Al Qaeda also said it had tried to kill US ambassador Matthew Tueller, but the two bombs were detected “minutes before their detonation”. The devices were planted Thursday outside Hadi’s residence, the media arm of Al Qaeda’s Yemen branch said in a statement on Twitter. There was no official confirmation of the failed plot. Washington, which sees Hadi as a key ally in the fight against Al Qaeda, welcomed the launch of the new 36-member cabinet. “This multi-party cabinet must represent the strength of Yemeni unity over individual and partisan interests that may seek to derail the goals of a nation,” US National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said. The new government was formed as part of a UN-brokered peace deal under which the Houthis are supposed to withdraw from the capital Sanaa, which they seized on September 21. Though the rebels, also known as Ansarullah, are not directly represented in the new government, six of the new cabinet’s members are considered close to the insurgents. Despite this, the rebels issued a statement yesterday saying the new government “is in violation of the peace agree- Bahrain orders probe into death of prisoner AFP Manama B A man reads a newspaper headline announcing the formation of a new government in Sanaa yesterday. ment... and a clear obstruction to the political process in favour of private and narrow interests”. They said the cabinet should be reshuffled to “remove those not meeting the criteria” spelled out in the peace accord. Such criteria, they said, include “qualifications, integrity and neutrality in managing the country”. On November 1, the main parties signed an agreement brokered by UN envoy to Yemen Jamal Benomar for the formation of a government of technocrats. Under the accord, rebel representatives and their rivals, the Sunni Al Islah (Reform) Islamic party, mandated Hadi to form a government and committed to support it. Benomar warned in an interview with AFP that without the rapid formation of a government, tensions between Shias and Sunnis were likely to increase, sinking the country deeper into crisis. Al Qaeda said yesterday it had launched two attacks against Houthi posts in Rada. “Dozens of Houthis were killed and wounded,” it said, when a militant rammed his explosives-laden car into a medical centre converted by Houthis into a barracks, in the Manaseh region. It was not immediately possible to verify the report. In another attack, Al Qaeda militants fired on a rebel-occupied school in Jarrah valley, also near Rada, tribal sources and the militant group said. An Al Qaeda statement posted online said four militants stormed the building. On Friday, the UN Security Council slapped a USproposed visa ban and assets freeze on Saleh and two allied Shia rebel commanders for threatening peace in the impoverished country. The Houthis are widely thought to be backed by Saleh. Washington said Saleh “was behind the attempts to cause chaos throughout Yemen” by using the Houthis to weaken the government and “create enough instability to stage a coup”. The top UN body in August called on the Houthis to end their uprising and warned of sanctions against those who threaten Yemen’s stability. Nuclear deal failure danger to world: Iran AFP Tehran A failure by Iran and world powers to reach a comprehensive agreement over Tehran’s nuclear programme would be dangerous “for the entire world”, a senior Iranian negotiator said yesterday. Iran and six world powers are seeking a landmark deal by November 24 that would see Iran scale back its nuclear activities in order to ease longheld fears it might develop atomic weapons, in return for a lifting of international sanctions. “A nuclear deal is in the interest of both parties and the region,” deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi said in an interview with Iranian television the day before talks between Tehran and the so-called P5+1 group of nations resume in Oman ahead of a ﬁnal deadline this month. “No one wants to return to the situation there was before the Geneva accord, as that would be a dangerous sce- nario for the entire world,” he said, referring to an interim agreement Iran signed last year that traded curbs on its nuclear programme for limited sanctions relief. The West wants to close all avenues to Tehran developing an atomic bomb, by cutting back its nuclear enrichment programme, shutting down suspect facilities and imposing tough international inspections. Iran denies it wants nuclear weapons but insists on having “industrial-level enrichment” for its civilian energy programme. It wants all sanctions lifted and no restrictions on its existing nuclear technology. US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet today and tomorrow with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohamed Javad Zarif in Oman along with EU former head of diplomacy Catherine Ashton in an attempt to bring the two sides closer together. “Negotiations have almost stopped on one or two issues and we hope that talks in Oman will allow us to make progress” on a ﬁnal deal, Araqchi said. ahraini authorities ordered yesterday an investigation into the “beating and death” of an inmate in custody, the interior ministry said. The ministry did not reveal the name of the prisoner but Shia activists named him online as Hassan al-Sheikh, saying that he died of torture at Jaw Prison. Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah alKhalifah has ordered an “internal review after the public prosecution’s investigation into the beating and death of an inmate”, said a statement. The review will include all policies and procedures followed in prisons, it said. “The death of the man, thought to have been at the hands of three ministry personnel, was irresponsible, unjustified and unacceptable,” a statement cited the minister as saying, insisting that it was an “individual and isolated act”. Hundreds of Shias have been arrested and faced trial after a month-long uprising was quelled in March 2011. Jaw Prison is known to host scores of them. Shia protesters continue to frequently clash with security forces in villages outside the capital Manama. Possible violation of pact by Tehran seen AFP Tehran A US think tank says Iran may have violated last year’s interim nuclear deal with world powers by stepping up efforts to develop a machine that could enrich uranium faster, but another expert group said it saw no breach. Western officials were not immediately available to comment on the allegation by the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), which closely tracks Iran’s nuclear programme. There was no immediate comment from Tehran. ISIS cited a ﬁnding in a new report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) about Iran. The conﬁdential document, issued to IAEA member states on Friday, said Iran since the UN agency’s previous report in September had “intermittently” been feeding natural uranium gas into a single so-called IR-5 cen- trifuge at a research facility. The IR-5 is one of several new models that Iran has been seeking to develop to replace the erratic, 1970s vintage IR-1 centrifuge that it now uses to produce reﬁned uranium. But unlike other advanced models under development - IR-2m, IR-4 and IR-6 - at a research site at its Natanz enrichment plant, Iran had until now not fed the IR-5 with uranium gas. “Iran may have violated (the interim deal) by starting to feed (natural uranium gas) into one of its advanced centrifuges, namely the IR-5 centrifuge,” ISIS said in an analysis of the IAEA report. “Under the interim deal, this centrifuge should not have been fed with (gas) as reported in this safeguards report.” But the Washington-based Arms Control Association said it did not believe it violated the deal. “The latest IAEA report says clearly that no enriched uranium is being withdrawn from the machine,” the research and advocacy group said in an e-mail. Omani Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs, Yousef bin Alawi Abdullah greets Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamed Javad Zarif upon arrival in Muscat yesterday. Zarif, US Secretary of State John Kerry and EU former head of diplomacy Catherine Ashton will meet in the Omani capital today and tomorrow. Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 13 ARAB WORLD Rebels say South Sudan army breaks truce deal Reuters Addis Ababa S outh Sudanese rebels accused the government yesterday of violating their latest ceaseﬁre deal, just hours after both sides pledged to end almost a year of ﬁghting. The European Union and the United States, desperate to prevent the world’s newest state sliding back into chaos, have already imposed sanctions on both sides for frequent breaches of a ﬁrst peace agreement signed in January, and threatened more. The internal conﬂict in South Sudan, which declared independence from Sudan in 2011, has killed more than 10,000 people, driven 1mn from their homes and raised the spectre of famine. Taban Deng Gai, negotiator for the ethnic Nuer rebels loyal to former vice president Riek Machar, said government troops had “advanced from Bentiu and Pariang and attacked our positions at Tor and Hofra in Unity state”. Unity is South Sudan’s oil hub and saw ﬁghting last month. Neither the government of President Salva Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, nor the eight-nation regional bloc IGAD, was available for comment. Seyoum Mesﬁn, chief mediator in the conﬂict, had announced in the early hours, after two days of talks in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, that both sides had agreed to cease hostilities unconditionally and bring the war to an end. “The parties commit to an unconditional, complete and immediate end to all hostilities, and to bring the war to an end,” said Seyoum, adding that they had also pledged to stop recruiting and mobilising civilians. The former Ethiopian foreign minister told reporters that IGAD had granted the two sides 15 days to conduct further consultations, and said it had agreed to punish any party that violated the agreement with asset freezes and travel bans, among other measures. He said IGAD would also stop the supply of arms and ammunition to any side that carried on ﬁghting. “The IGAD region shall, without further reference to the warring parties, take the necessary measures to directly intervene in South Sudan to protect life and restore peace and stability,” he said. Machar welcomed the deal, saying: “We do not want any soldier or any civilian to die again after this progress in Addis Ababa.” Kiir, for his part, ordered troops from the national army to stay in their barracks in compliance with the agreement. “Should they be attacked from any direction, they should only ﬁght in self-defence,” Kiir said. The US delegation to the United Nations has announced plans for a draft resolution to establish a “mechanism for targeting individuals” undermining South Sudan’s stability and abusing human rights, an official said on Tuesday. Australia’s UN ambassador Gary Quinlan, president of the Security Council this month, said his country and several other council members backed the idea of making an arms embargo part of any South Sudan sanctions regime. He declined to comment on the timing of any sanctions. Air strikes target IS leaders in Iraq: report Reuters Baghdad U S-led air strikes have targeted a gathering of Islamic State leaders in Iraq in a town near the Syrian border, possibly including the group’s top commander Abu Bakr alBaghdadi, Al Hadath television channel said yesterday. Iraqi security officials were not immediately available for comment on the report from the station, part of Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television, but two witnesses said an air strike targeted a house where senior Islamic State officers were meeting, near the western Iraqi border town of Al Qaim. They said Islamic State ﬁghters had cleared a hospital so that their wounded could be treated. Residents said there were unconﬁrmed reports that Islamic State’s local leader in the western Iraqi province of Anbar and his deputy were killed. US officials would not conﬁrm or deny whether Baghdadi, the group’s overall leader, had been targeted. One US official said that air strikes were carried out against a convoy near the northern city of Mosul, about 280km from Al Qaim, and against small Islamic State units elsewhere, but the US-led air strikes had not targeted an Islamic State gathering. Al Hadath said dozens of people were killed and wounded in the strike in Al Qaim, and that Baghdadi’s fate was unclear. Al Qaim and the neighbouring Syrian town of Albukamal are on a strategic supply route linking territory held by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Western and Iraqi officials say US-led air strikes are not enough to defeat the Al Qaeda offshoot and Iraq must improve the performance of its security forces to eliminate the threat from the group, which wants to redraw the map of the Middle East. President Barack Obama has approved sending up to 1,500 more troops to Iraq, roughly doubling the number of US forces on the ground, to advise and retrain Iraqis in their battle against Islamic State. The Iraqi prime minister’s media office said the additional US trainers were welcome but the move, ﬁve months after Islamic State seized much of northern Iraq, was belated, state television reported. The United States spent $25bn on the Iraqi military during the US occupation that toppled Saddam Hussain in 2003, and triggered an insurgency that included Al Qaeda. Washington wants Iraq’s Shialed government to revive an alliance with Sunni tribesmen in Anbar province which helped US Marines defeat Al Qaeda. Such an alliance would face a more formidable enemy in Islamic State, which has more ﬁrepower and funding. Baghdad blasts in Shia areas kill at least 33 A wave of car bombs struck Shia-majority areas of Baghdad yesterday, killing at least 33 people, security and medical officials said. The six car bombs, which hit five different areas of the Iraqi capital, also wounded more than 100 people. The deadliest single attack was in Sinaa Street in the city’s central Karrada district, and killed at least 10 people. Two car bombs also hit the Amil area of south Baghdad, and one each exploded in Ameen in the east, Zafraniyah in the centre and Sadr City in the north. EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini meets Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the headquarters of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah yesterday. EU calls for Palestinian state, sharing of capital Jerusalem should be the capital of two states, the new EU foreign policy chief says AFP Ramallah E urope’s top diplomat yesterday called for a Palestinian state sharing Jerusalem as its capital with Israel, hours after the police killing of an Arab-Israeli further fanned tensions. The appeal by the European Union’s Federica Mogherini followed the dawn killing of the man by police in northern Israel, with his family saying he was killed “in cold blood” and a video showing he was shot in the back. “I think Jerusalem can be and should be the capital of two states,” the new EU foreign policy chief told reporters in the Israeli-occupied West Bank city of Ramallah. The status of Jerusalem is a sensitive issue that has blocked peace efforts for decades. Palestinians are seeking to achieve statehood in Gaza and the West Bank with annexed East Jerusalem as their capital. Israel claims Jerusalem as its undivided and eternal capital. In recent weeks tensions have soared, with Israel pushing plans to build new Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem and Jewish extremists demanding the right to pray at the Al Aqsa mosque compound. Also yesterday, Mogherini visited the Gaza Strip, the coastal enclave devastated by a 50-day summer war with Israel, before talks in Ramallah with Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. In the latest violence, Israeli security forces shot dead an Ar- ab-Israeli man who threatened them with a knife as he tried to prevent a relative being arrested, police said. But the family of Kheir Hamdan, 22, said he was “shot dead in cold blood” in the north Israel village of Kfar Kana. Police said Hamdan was killed after they ﬁred warning shots. But an Internet video link police provided shows the young man running after trying to attack security forces. As he ﬂees a police officer is seen shooting him in the back. Hamdan’s death triggered a peaceful protest in his village, but on the outskirts dozens of youths erected barricades and set ﬁre to tyres as police deployed reinforcements. Arab Israelis, who account for about 20% of Israel’s population, are the descendants of Palestinian Arabs who remained on their land when the Jewish state was established in 1948. The shooting followed another night of clashes in East Jerusalem between youths hurling stones and ﬁrecrackers and police who retaliated with rubber bullets, stun grenades and teargas. Mogherini has been pushing for ways of reviving the peace process that has been frozen since April, since beginning her ﬁrst official visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories on Friday. The world “cannot afford” another war in Gaza, she said there early yesterday, and also appealed for the creation of a “Palestinian state”. “We need a Palestinian state—that is the ultimate goal and this is the position of all the European Union,” she said during a trip to the territory devastated by its third conﬂict in six years. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said yesterday that a draft resolution was on course to be submitted to the UN Security Council this month calling for an end date for Israeli occupation. The text is expected to be vetoed by the United States. On Friday, Mogherini met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who dismissed her criticism of Israeli settlement building in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. “I reject the ﬁctitious claim that the root of the continuous conﬂict is this or that settlement,” he said. “Jerusalem is our capital and as such is not a settlement.” Netanyahu has ordered the security forces to either seal or demolish the homes of any Palestinian involved in anti-Israeli attacks, an official said on Friday. Friends of American hostage issue appeal AFP Tripoli, Lebanon F Colleagues of US aid worker Peter Kassig, who converted to Islam and took the name Abdul Rahman, carry signs during a news conference calling for his release in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli yesterday. riends and former colleagues of a US aid worker whom the Islamic State (IS) group has threatened to execute appealed yesterday for his release. Twenty-six-year-old Peter Kassig, who converted to Islam and took the name Abdul Rahman, has been an IS captive since 2013. “We call on IS... to free Abdel Rahman,” Firas Agha, a Syrian refugee living in Tripoli who shared a ﬂat with Kassig when he lived and worked in the northern Lebanese coastal city, told a news conference. “Islam does not allow Muslim to kill Muslim, especially if the Muslim in question has done good work,” he said. In an October 3 video showing British aid worker Alan Henning’s beheading, the threat was made that Kassig would be next. The group says its brutal executions are in retaliation for US-led air strikes targeting militants in Syria and Iraq. Before travelling to rebel-held areas in Syria, Kassig worked in hospitals and clinics treating Syrians forced to ﬂee their war-torn country to neighbouring Lebanon and Turkey. He made two separate trips into rebel-held areas of Syria before travelling to the eastern province of Deir al-Zor in autumn 2013, when he was taken hostage. Kassig “was a very enthusiastic young man, so much that he would help refugees out of his own pocket”, said Agha. The former US soldier left the army after ﬁghting in Iraq. “He told us many times about his dismay over what he saw, both in terms of the killing and destruction,” said Agha. Another Syrian, Dr Ahmed Obeid, told reporters Kassig “cared a lot about giving humanitarian and medical aid to Syrian refugees”. A third refugee, who identiﬁed himself only as Mohamed and who now lives in Switzerland, made an emotional appeal. With the green, black, red and white ﬂag Syrians opposed to President Bashar al-Assad’s regime have adopted behind him, Mohamed said he warned Kassig about returning to Syria because he sensed his life would be in danger. “But Abdel Rahman was convinced of the need to help the Syrians inside Syria, because they need that,” he said. Hostages threatened at the end of four previous IS videos have all subsequently been murdered. Activists say the militants are holding hundreds of hostages, mostly Syrians. 14 Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 AFRICA Burkina army declines to join transition talks AFP/Reuters Ouagadougou B urkina Faso’s army declined to join talks with the opposition and civilian groups on a transition government yesterday, while ousted leader Blaise Compaore blamed the military and his political opponents of jointly plotting his overthrow. Representatives of political parties and civil society groups held a meeting again in the capital Ouagadougou to hammer out a handover plan, after Compaore ﬂed following a mass uprising against his bid to revise the constitution and extend his 27-year rule. The army’s power grab in the landlocked west African country has attracted international condemnation and threats of sanctions from the African Union un- less it hands over power within two weeks. US Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Bisa Williams reiterated calls for a democratic transition after talks yesterday with the army-named leader Lieutenant-Colonel Isaac Zida in Ouagadougou. “We’re counting on respect for the (army’s) promise to put in place a democratic transition government which is led by a civilian,” Williams said in French. Washington and Paris, Burkina Faso’s two main allies and donors, have been pressuring the military to quickly carry out elections. Around 60 representatives of the opposition, civil society, as well as religious and traditional groups met brieﬂy yesterday morning and were due to meet again after consultations later in the day. A participant in the talks, who requested anonymity, said the conference was seeking to convince the army to send delegates to sign a joint declaration. The groups have already agreed that the transition should last one year and that it should be led by a civilian before presidential and legislative elections take place by November 2015. But there was no agreement on the person to head the transition. The proposals were due to be presented tomorrow to mediators from the United Nations, the African Union and the west African regional bloc ECOWAS. From his exile in the neighbouring Ivory Coast, Compaore meanwhile accused the opposition of plotting a coup with the army, in an interview published yesterday. “We knew for a long time that part of the opposition was working with the army. Their aim: to prepare a coup d’etat,” Compaore told Jeune Afrique magazine. “They wanted me to leave. I left. History will tell us if they were right,” said the 63-year-old who ﬁrst took power in a 1987 coup. As for Zida, Compaore said the lieutenant-colonel was in a position that he would “not wish for his worst enemy”. The West African regional bloc ECOWAS has called on the international community not to impose sanctions on Burkina Faso. At an extraordinary summit in the Ghanaian capital Accra on Thursday, ECOWAS welcomed statements by the new head of state Zida that he would hand power to a civilian transitional government soon. ECOWAS, which has called for a year-long transition to elections in November 2015, named Senegalese President Macky Sall as its lead mediator with the transitional government, ac- cording to a statement issued after the meeting. The Peace and Security Council of the 54-nation African Union (AU) – which imposes sanctions for breaches of democratic process – on Monday gave the military a two-week deadline to return power to civilians or face punishment. “The summit appeals to the International Community and partners not to impose sanctions on Burkina Faso in the light of the on-going regional efforts and to continue supporting the country at these delicate times,” read the statement, published on the ECOWAS website. The United States said last week it had not decided if the military takeover constituted a coup, a distinction that would lead to an automatic suspension of military aid to one of the West’s key allies against Islamist groups in the region. US Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Bisa Williams with Lieutenant-Colonel Zida after their meeting in Ouagadougou. The meeting came as political parties, the army and civil society groups were due to discuss a plan for a transitional government in the west African country. Africa’s wealthy join battle against Ebola Reuters/DPA Addis Ababa T Members of the Fofah family peek through the door as they observe quarantine at home in Takila Road in Freetown. he African Union (AU) raised $28.5mn yesterday from the continent’s wealthiest individuals and ﬁrms for a fund to ﬁght the Ebola outbreak ravaging three west African nations. AU officials and business executives gathered in the Ethiopian capital to launch the emergency response fund said the money committed would be disbursed immediately. AU Commission chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said the business executives were responding to an AU plea for a continent-wide response to the Ebola epidemic, which she said required urgent action. “It was a very successful meeting,” Zuma told reporters. “They (business leaders) ... bring different skills to this response.” “This is a unique initiative,” said AfDB president Donald Kaberuka. “I salute the business people for bringing the competence of business to deal with this epidemic.” “Our immediate concern is to respond to the appeal for 1,000 health care workers,” Strive Masiyiwa, chairman of Econet Wireless, an African telecoms operator, told reporters. “We Liberia rights commission calls for compensation for quarantine shooting Liberia’s human rights commission has called on the government to pay compensation to the family of a boy shot dead during a protest over Ebola quarantine in August, saying officers had not fired in the air as they claimed but directly on the crowd. The West African nation’s rights watchdog condemned the deployment of soldiers and armed police to quell the protest in the West Point neighbourhood of Monrovia. Residents took to the streets after the government quarantined the waterfront slum of 75,000 people following an attack on an Ebola holding centre. Liberia has been the country hardest-hit by the worst outbreak of Ebola on record, which has killed nearly 5,000 people since it was detected in the remote forest region of neighbouring Guinea in March. The Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR) urged President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to make a public apology to the family of Shaki Kamara, who died after being shot in the legs after protesters had tried to break out of the quarantine. have also received considerable contributions in kind, which may well ... exceed what we have received in cash.” “This is not about big business,” he said. “It is about Africans contributing funds for a response to additional health workers.” India’s Bharti Airtel and another telecommunications ﬁrm from Switzerland also agreed to join the campaign to bring in contributions from India and across Europe. Boko Haram ‘seizes another Nigeria town’ AFP Niamey/Yaoundé I slamist extremist group Boko Haram has seized control of a Nigerian town near the Niger border, leading soldiers to ﬂee and adding to its expanding reach in the region, an official said yesterday. The insurgents were said to have taken control of Malam Fatori in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno state after ﬁghting on Wednesday and Thursday, a senior official in the Niger town of Diffa near Nigeria told AFP on condition of anonymity. The ﬁghting killed dozens and wounded about 30 people in the a commercial hub known for ﬁshing and farming, the Anfani radio station in Diffa reported. “The town of Malam Fatori was taken by Boko Haram after violent ﬁghting with the Nigerian army overnight Wednesday to Thursday,” said the official in Diffa, where thousands of refugees from the conﬂict have ﬂed to. According to the official, 315 Nigerian soldiers ﬂed over the border to Diffa. Thirteen who were wounded were treated in a Diffa hospital, while the others have been repatriated. The official’s version of events differed from the one given by a Nigerian senator, who on Thursday spoke of the attack but did not say that the town had been taken. Senator Maina Maaji Lawan said the insurgents met stiff resistance from soldiers from a multi-national task force in the region that includes troops from Nigeria, Chad and Niger. Lawan however also said that soldiers were later forced to ﬂee after being overpowered by the insurgents. He said that 21 civilians were killed. Boko Haram has killed thousands in its ﬁve-year insurgency in Nigeria, and it has in recent months taken control of a growing number of areas in the country’s northeast. It has occasionally carried out cross-border attacks, and another such raid occurred yesterday in Cameroon. In that attack, Boko Haram members attacked a Cameroon border town, leading to six hours of ﬁghting that killed a soldier and several insurgents, authorities said. The attack occurred in Kerawa, near areas of Nigeria recently taken over by Boko Haram. The nearby Mandara mountains have been used as a hide- out by Boko Haram members. “Boko Haram attacked Kerawa around 4am (0300 GMT),” a police officer in the region said on condition of anonymity. “A man from the BIR (elite army unit) was killed. Several assailants were also killed.” He said gun battles between the extremists and soldiers rocked the area until around 10am. Cameroon has reinforced its military presence in the region in a bid to stop an escalation in attacks by Boko Haram. On October 17, the military claimed to have killed 107 Islamists during intense ﬁghting that also left eight soldiers dead. Ten Chinese and 17 local hostages were kidnapped earlier this year in Cameroon in raids blamed on Boko Haram. They were released last month. Musician pleads guilty in terror trial Right-wingers convicted of treason A popular Rwandan musician appealed for leniency this week after pleading guilty at the opening of his trial to plotting attacks on the country’s leaders. Kizito Mihigo is on trial along with three co-accused on charges including conspiracy to murder, complicity in a terrorist act and conspiring against the government of Rwandan strongman and President Paul Kagame. “I plead guilty to all charges, like I did from the first day I was arrested, and I ask for forgiveness,” Mihigo told the court on Thursday. However, his lawyer John Bigaraba said there was no evidence for all the charges. His co-accused, demobilised soldier Jean Paul Dukuzumuremyi and Cassien Ntamuhanga, a journalist, as well as Agnes Niyibizi, all denied the charges. A South African court has sentenced two members of a right-wing group convicted of high treason for plotting to kill President Jacob Zuma to eight years in prison, state prosecutors said this week. The men were arrested in December 2012 on suspicion of targeting top African National Congress (ANC) leaders including Zuma during the party’s conference. National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Nathi Mncube said that the High Court on Thursday convicted Johan Prinsloo of “high treason and possession of ammunition” and jailed him for eight years. His co-accused Mark Trollip had last year pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy and was also handed an eight-year jail term. A third defendant, Martin Keevy, was found mentally unfit to stand trial and charges against him were withdrawn. “A bullet shot in the air cannot fall from above and shatter somebody’s legs, especially a person standing up as was Shaki Kamara’s position,” read the report, dismissing the army’s version of events. “The INCHR ... strongly recommends monetary compensation to the family, with the amount to be determined by the government in collaboration with the inter-religious council.” The report noted that the president had ordered military top brass to penalise officers involved in the August 20 shooting. The commission urged the Liberian government to improve the desperate living standards in West Point and other poor Monrovia neighbourhoods by providing proper housing, health centres, public toilets and schools. The rapid spread of Ebola had caused panic in many parts of Monrovia as infection rates accelerated in August but the government and the World Health Organisation (WHO) noted this week that the pace of the epidemic in Liberia appears to be in decline. “We want to give everybody across the world a chance to help us overcome this challenge,” Masiyiwa said. South African businessman Patrice Motsepe praised the roundtable for mobilising business leaders, who he said had been slow to respond to the outbreak because they weren’t engaged at the earliest opportunity. Motsepe, the chairman of African Rainbow Minerals, said that his ﬁrm would contribute $500,000 immediately and pledged $1mn afterwards. “We are here to conﬁrm that Ebola is a big challenge,” Motsepe said. “The negative perception it is creating is a concern to all businesses throughout Africa ... we will defeat it.” Ebola has killed 4,950 people of the 13,241 infected since the outbreak started earlier this year, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), mostly in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. While countries from the United States to China and Cuba have ANC-aligned union body expels critic Reuters Johannesburg S outh Africa’s African National Congress (ANC)aligned labour federation expelled its biggest and most politically vocal trade union yesterday, in a move that may stir worker unrest and hurt the coalition that has ruled since apartheid ended in 1994. After meeting through the night, delegates from the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) voted 33-24 in favour of expelling the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA). NUMSA, previously the biggest member of COSATU, has regularly criticised President Jacob Zuma’s administration. COSATU is in a three-way governing alliance with the ANC and the South African Communist party. The workers’ federation is seen as a vote-winning machine which also makes signiﬁcant ﬁnancial contributions for polls. “We were expelled this morning, a predetermined decision was evident, the reasons for them kicking us out were not enough,” NUMSA’s treasurer Mphumzi Maqungo said. “It was painful, it was as if someone had died,” he said of the split in a 27-year relationship forged in the ﬁght against racial oppression, which eventually brought down white minority rule in South Africa. The expulsion has been on the cards for months after the union said last December that it would not campaign for the ANC in the May general elections and accused Zuma’s government of promoting business instead of workers’ interests. It also said it would form a political movement called the “United Front” to advance a socialist agenda. NUMSA’s expulsion is likely to add to labour unrest, analysts said. South Africa’s economy, the continent’s most developed, has been hamstrung by strikes this year, including a damaging ﬁve- deployed resources and health personnel in a UN-led aid surge, fast-growing African states and institutions have faced questions about the level and speed of their own contributions. The AU and the African Development Bank (AfDB) will guide the legal set-up of the new fund, which will be administered by a board of trustees drawn from corporate Africa. At the meeting, African telecoms ﬁrms also agreed an initiative to provide a platform for their customers to give at least $1 each, with the potential of reaching 700mmn mobile phone users, he added. The platform, which will use one short code across all networks, is expected to be ready early next month. Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, the African Union’s Commissioner for Social Affairs, said the priority was to secure transport for the 1,000 extra health workers required. “If somebody could help us with the transportation of the workers to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea ... that would be very, very helpful to us,” Kaloko told Reuters after the meeting. The commissioner said they had 103 health workers on the ground but the number could go up to 2,000 by the end of December. Zuma: his administration has been regularly criticised by NUMSA. month stoppage in the platinum sector. “NUMSA expulsion will drive labour instability and make upcoming public sector wage negotiations more difficult,” said Eurasia Group Africa director Mark Rosenberg. “Public sector union leaders have backed the ANC. They expect to be rewarded for their loyalty and will need to counter NUMSA accusations that COSATU is merely a labour desk of the ANC,” Rosenberg added. In a last ditch attempt to stave off expulsion, NUMSA’s general secretary Irvin Jim told COSATU’s top leaders on Friday that the federation that once struck fear into South Africa’s apartheid-era bosses was now in a state of “paralysis”. Jim said that COSATU wanted to expel NUMSA because it had spoken out against rising levels of corruption and “political bankruptcy” in the ANC under Zuma. Most of NUMSA’s members are black workers in key sectors such as car manufacturing. Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 15 AMERICAS Two Americans freed by N Korea, returning home Reuters Washington N orth Korea has freed two US citizens, Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller, who are returning home after spending months in detention in the secretive Asian state, the US government said yesterday. Bae and Miller were being accompanied back to the US by James Clapper, the director of na- tional intelligence, his office said. Their release comes less than three weeks after another American was freed by Pyongyang. Bae, a missionary from Washington state, was arrested in North Korea in November 2012 and sentenced to 15 years hard labour for crimes against the state. Miller, who reportedly was tried on an espionage charge, had been in custody since April this year and sentenced to six years of hard labour. “It’s a wonderful day for them and their families,” President Barack Obama said at the White House. “Obviously we are very grateful for their safe return and I appreciate Director Clapper doing a great job on what was obviously a challenging mission.” The US had frequently called for the men to be freed for humanitarian reasons, especially since Bae was said to have health problems. Clapper’s role in their release was unexpected and his trip to North Korea had been kept secret. The US government gave no other details about how he became involved in the case. The release came just hours before Obama was set to travel to Asia for a trip that will include talks with Chinese leaders about how Beijing can use its inﬂuence with North Korea to rein in its nuclear program, US officials have said. Bae’s delighted son, Jonathan, told Reuters from Ari- zona that he received a call on Friday night and spoke to his father. “The brief time on the phone, he sounded good,” Jonathan said. “I’m sure he will be back to his old self in no time. “It came out of the blue. One minute he was doing farm labour and the next minute they are saying, ‘You are going home.’ Just like everyone else, he was surprised.” The US State Department issued a statement thanking Sweden for its part in the release of Bae and Miller. Sweden serves as a diplomatic intermediary for the US in North Korea because Washington has no diplomatic ties with Pyongyang. North Korea has been on a diplomatic campaign to counter charges by a UN body that highlighted widespread human rights abuses and a move by some UN members to refer the state to an international tribunal. “North Korean policy continues to zig-zag,” said Stephan Haggard, a North Korea expert at the University of California in San Diego. “After pursuing a charm offensive aimed at restarting NorthSouth talks and even a human rights dialogue, North Korea shut those initiatives down following the tabling of a strongly worded human rights resolution at the UN General Assembly. But the release of Miller and Bae suggests an effort to keep channels for dialogue open.” Detroit wins court approval for plan to exit bankruptcy Reuters Detroit D US Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch speaks next to President Barack Obama in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington yesterday. NY prosecutor picked for attorney general Agencies Washington P resident Barack Obama yesterday picked Brooklyn federal prosecutor Loretta Lynch to be the next US attorney general, praising her as someone who would bring a commitment to criminal justice reform and other key administration priorities. If conﬁrmed, Lynch, 55, would be the ﬁrst black woman to serve in the post, bringing with her a family history that stretches back generations to great-great grandparents who were slaves. Obama said he hoped the Senate would conﬁrm Lynch, who he said had distinguished herself as tough and fair in her two stints as the US attorney in the Eastern District of New York, which covers Brooklyn, Long Island, Queens and Staten Island, without delay. Lynch would replace Eric Holder, the ﬁrst black attorney general, who has held the job since Obama took office in 2009. She was among several candidates Holder had recommended to succeed him. “Loretta might be the only lawyer in America who battles mobsters and drug lords and terrorists and still has the reputation for being a charming people person,” Obama said in announcing the nomination. The announcement, made in the White House’s Roosevelt room, was unusual both for its timing and for Obama’s selection of someone for a top job with whom he has little personal history. The White House had planned to announce the selection later this month after Obama returned from his trip to Asia but the timing was moved up after her selection leaked out to the media. The president leaves today for a trip to China, Myanmar, and Australia. Holder announced earlier this year that he was stepping down. Lynch’s nomination is the ﬁrst big personnel change Obama has announced since Republicans won control of the Senate in congressional elections on Tuesday. Lynch’s conﬁrmation potentially could be difficult after Republicans seized control of the Senate. But she is not seen as a member of Obama’s inner circle - which may help her in the conﬁrmation process. “Ms Lynch is a strong, independent prosecutor who has twice led one of the most important US attorney’s offices in the country,” spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement. The spokesman praised Holder - a close friend of Obama - saying his “tenure has been marked by historic gains in the areas of criminal justice reform and civil rights enforcement.” Lynch is in her second stint as the top federal prosecutor for the Eastern District of New York. She earned Senate conﬁrmation under president Bill Clinton and again in 2010 under Obama. Lynch oversees federal prosecutions in three New York boroughs - Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island - as well as two suburban counties on Long Island. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said: “Ms. Lynch will receive fair consideration by the Senate. And her nomination should be considered in the new Congress through regular order.” Chuck Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, added: “I’m hopeful Dallas marks Ebola end with ‘selﬁes’ with Bush No drugs found in Williams suicide AFP Los Angeles R obin Williams had recently become more paranoid when he committed suicide by hanging himself, coroners said on Friday, adding that he had no alcohol or illicit drugs in his system. There were also signs that the comic actor - who had recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease - had tried to cut his left wrist, according to an autopsy report. No suicide note or other indication that he planned to take his own life was found at the scene, it said. The 63-year-old, known for high-energy, rapid-ﬁre improvisation and clowning, was found dead on August 11 at his home in Marin County, north of San Francisco. The coroner for Marin County, Robert Doyle, said the investiga- tion into his death had concluded, giving the cause as “asphyxia due to hanging” and the manner of death as “suicide.” “Toxicological evaluation revealed the absence of alcohol or illicit drugs. Prescription medications were detected in therapeutic concentrations,” it added in a brief statement. “His prior medical history reportedly included depression, Parkinson’s Disease and a recent increase in paranoia,” said a longer coroners’ report, which was obtained by AFP. The report included other details about Williams’ medical history, including that he had shown symptoms of Parkinson’s since 2011, including a left arm tremor and slowing of left hand movements. He was diagnosed with the disease in November 2013. “The clinical history is notable for depression, with components of paranoia, compulsiveness and anxiety,” it said. that her tenure, if conﬁrmed, will restore conﬁdence in the attorney general as a politically independent voice for the American people.” Lynch ﬁrst came to prominence as a member of the legal team that prosecuted and won convictions in a high-proﬁle case against uniformed New York City police officers who beat and sexually assaulted Haitian immigrant Abner Louima after arresting him. The North Carolina native has both undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard University. Before her return to the US Attorney’s office in Brooklyn, Lynch was a partner in the New York office of law ﬁrm Hogan & Hartson LLP, where she focused her practice on commercial litigation, white-collar criminal defense and corporate compliance issues. etroit won US Bankruptcy Court approval on Friday for a road map to end its ﬁscal free fall and revitalise a city sinking under a huge debt load and dysfunctional government. Judge Steven Rhodes conﬁrmed the city’s plan to shed about $7bn of its $18bn of debt and obligations and plow $1.7bn into improvements, ﬁnding it both fair to creditors and feasible to implement. “The city has worked honestly, diligently, and tirelessly to accomplish precisely the remedy that the bankruptcy code establishes for municipalities,” Rhodes said in the ruling he read from the bench. He acknowledged the anger the bankruptcy fuelled among many Detroit residents and urged them to look forward. “And so I ask you, for the good of the city’s fresh start, to move past your anger. Move past it and join in the work that is necessary to ﬁx this city,” he said. He also called Detroit’s inability to provide adequate services to its residents “inhumane and intolerable,” saying that the city’s plan aims to ﬁx that problem. Once the proud symbol of US industrial strength, Detroit fell on hard times after decades of population loss, rampant debt and ﬁnancial mismanagement left it struggling to provide basic services to residents. During the 15-1/2-month bankruptcy process, the city’s historic collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) came into play as a potential pot of assets to satisfy creditors. The journey through Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy began on July 18, 2013, with major creditors girding for battle, and has wound down in a ﬂurry of settlements. A so-called Grand Bargain taps in to $816mn from foundations, the DIA and the state of Michigan to ease pension cuts and protect cityowned art work from sale. In his ruling, Rhodes said that settlement, which was key in winning the support for the plan from Detroit’s two retirement systems and scores of city workers and retirees, “borders on miraculous.” Bigger cuts to retiree healthcare were justiﬁed because that beneﬁt, unlike pensions, was not protected under Michigan’s constitution, he said. However, a deal that granted unsecured holders of the city’s unlimited tax general obligation bonds a 74% recovery was possibly at the top range of reasonableness, Rhodes said. Richard Ciccarone, head of Merritt Research Services, said Detroit changed the risk proﬁle for municipal bonds. “It’s a milestone for municipal credit risk. If we look back over the past 50 years, this stands out as evidence that municipal bonds are not riskfree.” Two companies that guaranteed payments on Detroit bonds and were the last major holdout creditors in the case, Syncora Guarantee Inc and Financial Guaranty Insurance Co , received options to develop parcels of land. Rhodes imposed the plan on two classes of miscellaneous creditors. With the cost of Detroit’s consultants and lawyers topping $140mn, Rhodes said a process will be established to determine if those fees are reasonable. Attending Rhodes’ ruling were Detroit’s state-appointed emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, who took Michigan’s biggest city to bankruptcy court, and Mayor Mike Duggan, who is now tasked with carrying out the plan. Orr came under ﬁre from many Detroit constituents and city-elected leaders when he was appointed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to turn the city around. Reuters Dallas A Former US President George W Bush hugs nurse and Ebola survivor Amber Vinson at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas on Friday. A relieved Dallas got the US government’s all-clear from Ebola, and Bush marked the event by visiting the hospital. relieved Dallas got the US government’s all-clear on Friday from Ebola, and former President George W Bush marked the event by visiting the hospital that was at the centre of ﬁghting the virus and the origin of an American scare over the disease. “It’s official,” the Texas Department of State Health Services said in a tweet announcing the ﬁnal monitoring check on Friday evening of the last of the 177 people who had been considered at risk of catching the virus. “No symptoms. We are happy to close this Ebola chapter with Dallas tonight,” the department said. The announcement came four hours after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Friday, 176 of the 177 people in Texas it had been checking for possible Ebola exposure had been cleared. They had been monitored for symptoms of Ebola for 21 days, the disease’s maximum incubation period. Ebola causes fever, vomiting, diarrhoea and bleeding. The Texas city’s Ebola worries began on Sept. 30 when a visiting Liberian man, Thomas Eric Duncan, was taken by ambulance to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where he was diagnosed with the disease. The ﬁrst case on US soil of the virus, in the middle of an Ebola epidemic that has killed more than 4,950 people in three poor West African countries, prompted questions about whether the US government was doing enough to prevent the disease from entering the country. “The last ﬁve weeks have been a trying time for the city and residents of Dallas and especially the people of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas,” Bush told hospital staff. The former president, who lives a few miles from the hospital, hugged now-Ebola-free nurse Amber Vinson, who contracted the virus after treating Duncan. He also posed for “selfies” with staff at the medical facility where he himself has underwent care. No one else in Texas has contracted Ebola since nurses Nina Pham and Vinson became infected while caring for Duncan, who became ill while visiting relatives in Dallas. He died on Oct. 8. Both nurses eventually made a full recovery. 16 Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 ASEAN/EAST ASIA On the catwalk! Protection boost for migratory mammals in Central Asia DPA Quito T he migratory mammals of Central Asia need to see their protection improved from development threats and poaching, a UN-backed conservation organisation has said. The Mongolian and Tibetan gazelles, saiga antelope, and giant argali sheep are just some of the 15 large mammals whose ways of life are in danger, the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) declared on Friday in the Lima capital, Quito, at its 11th conference of the parties. The threats include poaching, industrial development such as mining, and linear infrastructure such as roads, railways and fences that cut migration routes, the CMS said online. The ﬁrst step of the initiative was the commissioning of a report titled Guidelines on Linear Infrastructure, to help governments and businesses avoid building things that can harm migratory species. “A single Mongolian gazelle can use over 25,000 square kilometres,” said Peter Zahler, Asia programme deputy director of the World Conservation Society and co-author of the report. “Keeping these enormous Central Asian landscapes intact and fully functional will be the key to protecting these globally signiﬁcant wildlife species.” Myanmar govt woos foreign workers with permanent residency Models display creations by Tube Gallery designers Phisit Jongnarangsin and Saksit Pisalasupongs during the Bangkok International Fashion Week 2014 in Bangkok. Ten collections by leading Thai designers are being presented at the fashion week that concludes today. Apec ministers pledge to step up graft ﬁght AFP Beijing C hina yesterday secured backing from Asia-Paciﬁc ministers to deepen anti-graft efforts, in a move that dovetails with a high-proﬁle Communist Party “fox hunt” for corrupt officials who have ﬂed abroad. The anti-corruption proposal is said to have been pushed by China and backed by the US at the Asia-Paciﬁc Economic Co-operation (Apec) gathering in Beijing, which culminates in a two-day summit of leaders from 21 member-economies starting tomorrow. But it remained unclear how effective the move would be, amid apprehension in some countries over returning suspects to China due to fears they could be subject to abuse and denied legal due process. China in July launched its so-called “Fox Hunt” - a campaign to bring back corrupt officials or their family members who have moved abroad, taking ill-gotten gains with them. Since taking office last year, President Xi Jinping has made the graft ﬁght a central theme of his administration as public anger swells over widespread corruption. A report attributed to China’s central bank and leaked three years ago said that as many as 18,000 corrupt officials had left the country over between the 1990s and 2008, taking as much as $123bn with them. In a statement, Apec ministers pledged to step up nascent anti-graft efforts with a regional commitment to “deny safe haven to those engaged in corruption, including through extradition”. But they stressed that such moves would be “subject to domestic laws and policies” and needed to be carried out “in accordance with fundamental legal principles of each economy”. “We, Apec member economies, recognise that corruption impedes economic sustainability and development, threatens social security and fairness, undermines the rule of law, and erodes government accountability, as well as public trust,” the statement said. It pledged to establish an office for the day-to-day running of the Apec Network of Anti-Corruption Authorities and Law Enforcement Agencies (ACT-NET), a body co-ordinating anti-corruption efforts that was launched by Chinese and US officials in August. The office will “assist in detecting, investigating and prosecuting corruption, bribery, money laundering, and illicit trade” and seek cooperation on tracking cases across borders. China has recently announced stepped-up efforts to extradite former officials suspected of corruption from countries including Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Australian police said last month that they would work with their Chinese counterparts to track down and seize illegal assets, but foreign concerns over the country’s legal system linger. Anti-corruption efforts with the ruling Communist Party are carried out by an internal body which operates without any legal oversight, and there is concern that the crackdown may be used for political faction-ﬁghting. Apec Secretariat Executive Director Alan Bollard said Thursday the proposal had been championed by China and the US. Bollard said any anti-corruption effort “needs to happen within the different laws and legal structures” of Apec members, but the statement did not spell out how this would work. “Corruption impedes economic sustainability and development, threatens social security and fairness,” the ministers added. M yanmar will introduce, for the ﬁrst time, a permanent residence system for foreigners, officials said yesterday. According to the officials, this system will enable the people to work, invest and live in the country, Xinhua reported. “The system is the one that will strengthen the favourable conditions of Myanmar at right time and it will enable scholars, experts, intellectuals and investors from other countries as well as former Myanmar citizens to contribute to the national development,” Vice President U Nyan Tun said. Myanmar also introduced the visa-on-arrival system June 1, 2012, and since then travellers from 67 nations, including Asean countries, have beneﬁted. Since the civilian government took over in 2011, tourist arrivals in Myanmar reached 1.06mn in 2012 and rose to 2.04mn in 2013. Myanmar is targeting 3mn tourist arrivals by the end of 2014. Unsafe fare A woman sells prawns at a market in Hanoi. According to animal rights organisation Wakker Dier, half of fish and prawns sold across Asia have been found to contain bacteria resistant to antibiotics. As Obama visits Asia, old alliances face new strains Reuters Washington/Jakarta I n November 2011, with the Arab Spring uprisings in full tilt and Europe rocked by a debt crisis, President Barack Obama ﬂew to Asia to promote a shift of America’s military, diplomatic and business assets to the region. His then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, declared in the same year that the 21st century would be “America’s Paciﬁc century”. Fast-forward to today: as Obama ﬂies to Asia today, Washington’s “pivot” to the region is becoming more visible. It includes deployment of American Marines in Darwin, Australia, stepped up US naval visits to the Philippines and many more joint drills with that nation’s armed forces, as well as the lifting of a ban on lethal weapons sales to Vietnam. But just as Washington seeks to expand American interests in Asia as a counterpoint to China’s growing inﬂuence, some US partners have shown less willingness to challenge Beijing. That may mean China will have a freer hand to assert its authority in the resource-rich South China Sea, where its territorial claims overlap those of Taiwan and four Southeast Asian countries. The drubbing Obama’s Democrats took in this week’s midterm elections, defeats that were blamed by many on his leadership, will hardly strengthen his position in discussions with China or with allies in the region. Obama will have less room for manoeuvre on foreign policy now he has a Republican-controlled Senate to deal with, and the political focus in Washington is already starting to turn to the 2016 presidential election. Protesters hold banners and signs in front of the Sydney Opera House during a demonstration against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. A small group of demonstrators voiced their opposition to the TPP currently being negotiated between the US, Australia and ten Pacific-Rim countries. Although several countries, notably the Philippines and Vietnam, have sought closer US ties as a defence against what they see as China’s aggression in pursuit of its claims in the South China Sea, other long-established alliances have become less robust. Beijing’s increasing economic inﬂuence is a major reason. Southeast Asia’s trade with China is up four-fold over the past decade to $350bn last year and is forecast to reach $1tn by 2020. Indonesia, traditionally a leading voice and strong US ally in Southeast Asia, has signalled a foreign policy shift away from international activism following this year’s election of a populist President Joko Widodo, who said in his election campaign that his focus would be on domestic affairs. Rizal Sukma, a foreign policy adviser to Widodo, told Reuters there would be a shift in priorities from high-proﬁle diplomacy, though Indonesia would continue to play a role in the South China Sea and support freedom of navigation and trade. On the South China Sea, Widodo is unlikely to act without a crisis, said Greg Fealy, an Indonesia expert at the Australian National University. “The US may well ﬁnd it much more difficult to get any leverage,” he said. In Thailand, a military coup in May has shaken up its relationship with the US. Since the coup, Washington has scaled back dip- lomatic contacts and reduced joint military exercises. And Malaysia, next year’s chair of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations, has seen a wave of Chinese trade and investment and is working with Beijing on upgrading an AseanChina free-trade agreement. “I think there is every reason to be concerned,” over whether Asean will stand up to China, said Joseph Liow, a Southeast Asia expert at Washington’s Brookings Institution think tank. During his trip, Obama will attend the November 10-11 Asia Paciﬁc Economic Cooperation forum in Beijing and the Nov. 13 East Asia Summit in Myanmar. Perhaps most importantly, he will hold talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping on November 11-12. US officials say he plans to press Xi about China’s aggressive behavior in pursuit of maritime claims in Asia. “We are going to have to speak very directly and candidly about some of our concerns and our areas of disagreement,” a senior US administration official told Reuters. Washington has had its recent successes in the region. In April, the US and the Philippines signed a new 10-year security pact allowing for a larger US military presence. In July, another US ally, Japan, revised its interpretation of a paciﬁst postwar constitution to allow Japanese troops to assist a friendly state under attack. And Washington has also agreed to boost defence ties with Australia and agreed with India to negotiate a 10-year extension of a bilateral military co-operation deal. Perhaps most eye-catching of all, nearly 40 years after the end of the Vietnam War, the US last month partially lifted a longtime ban on lethal weapon sales to Vietnam to help Hanoi improve maritime security. That followed tensions between China and Vietnam that ﬂared in May after China’s staterun CNOOC oil company parked a deepwater rig off Vietnam’s coast in what Hanoi said was its exclusive economic zone, sparking the worst breakdown in ties between the two since a border war in 1979. Joint US-Philippine drills and exercises have more than quadrupled in the past two years, the Philippine military said. Its Subic Bay port saw 100 US naval ship visits in the ﬁrst 10 months of this year, up from 54 in 2011. The Pentagon says it now has 1,150 Marines in Darwin, in northern Australia, up from an initial 200 in April 2012. It plans to lift that force to 2,500 in two years, pending an agreement with the Australian government. A vital component of Obama’s rebalance - a 12-country TransPaciﬁc Partnership trade pact has yet to be concluded. Obama has said he wants to see TPP progress as a result of his trip, but US officials say they do not expect a deal given major outstanding issues. China is not one of those negotiating the TPP, but is open to joining one day. “There’s no country in the region, given China’s rise ... who isn’t essentially a strong supporter of America remaining strategically engaged in the region,” said Russell Trood, an adjunct professor of US studies at the University of Sydney. “And yet when you ask them to stand up and nail their colours to the masthead, as it were, few are prepared to do it to the degree to which Washington would no doubt be reassured.” Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 17 AUSTRALASIA/EAST ASIA China, Japan ministers meet after deal to curb tensions AFP Beijing T he foreign ministers of China and Japan yesterday held their ﬁrst formal talks in more than two years, a day after the Asian powers agreed to reduce tensions over territorial and historical disputes. Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi and Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida met on the sidelines of the annual Asia-Paciﬁc Economic Cooperation (Apec) forum, reports in both countries said. The meeting, the ﬁrst at such a level since September 2012, just before ties soured over an escalating territorial dispute, came after Tokyo and Beijing agreed on a four-point accord to improve their relationship. Wang called the agreement “a major step” in talks with Kishida, Xinhua said. Kishida, meanwhile, said the talks were meaningful. “This created an important momentum to shift gears to bring Japan-China relations back to a normal track,” he said in remarks shown on Japanese national broadcaster NHK. He said he had stressed the importance of a meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported. Friday’s agreement was widely seen as setting the stage for a summit between the two leaders on the sidelines of the upcoming Apec summit in Beijing, though no official announcement had yet been made. The neighbours have not held a summit since December 2011 when then-prime minister Yoshihiko Noda visited Beijing. Wang and Kishida only held informal meetings in August on the sidelines of a regional gathering in Myanmar, and during the UN General Assembly in New York in September. US Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking to reporters, welcomed the Asian powers’ Friday deal. “We think that any steps that the two countries can take to improve the relationship and reduce the tensions is helpful not just to those two countries but it’s helpful to the region,” Kerry said yesterday. Relations between the world’s second- and third-largest economies have plunged in the face of rows over disputed islands in the East China Sea and Japan’s 20th-century aggression against China. A key point of contention is that Tokyo has long refused to formally acknowledge that there is a sovereignty dispute over the islands, which it controls and calls the Senkakus, but which are claimed by Beijing as the Diaoyus. The Chinese statement Friday said the two “acknowledged that different positions exist between them regarding the tensions” over the islands, while the Japanese text said they “recognised that they had different views as to the emergence of tense situations”. Each used only their own name for the outcrops but both said they would set up a “crisis management mechanism” to keep the situation at bay. Visits by Japanese politicians including Abe to Tokyo’s Yasukuni shrine, which honours Japan’s war dead including convicted war criminals, are another issue, and the statements said they would make efforts to “overcome political difficulties” rooted in historical issues. An editorial yesterday in China’s nationalistic Global Times tabloid, which is controlled by the Communist Party, said the agreement amounted to Tokyo “admitting that the disputes over the Diaoyu Islands’ sovereignty have become the new reality”. But Friday’s statements were carefully worded, and Japanese media insisted that they did not amount to a recognition of a dispute over the islands. The conservative Yomiuri Shimbun paper argued that Tokyo’s reference to “different views” did “not impair Japan’s position so far that ‘there is no territorial dispute’”. It quoted an anonymous “foreign ministry executive” as saying: “The Japanese side has not made any concession on territory.” Speaking to reporters before meeting Kishida, Wang suggested that any summit depended on Japan’s actions regarding the agreement. “We hope that the Japanese side could seriously treat this consensus, implement it faithfully and honour its commitment and create the necessary and favourable atmosphere for a meeting between the two leaders,” he said. The long simmering tensions between the two nations erupted two years ago when the Japanese government purchased from private owners the islets in the chain it did not already own, prompting vehement protests by Beijing and anti-Japanese demonstrations in China. Increased patrols by ships and aircraft from the two sides in the seas and skies around the rocky islets have raised fears of armed clashes between the two powers. Kerry cautioned that the two sides have plenty of work cut out for them to make the deal work. “It’s the outline of steps that now need to be taken in order to really deﬁne how certain tensions are going to really be resolved,” Kerry said. The US is Japan’s key security ally and treaty bound to defend it in case of attack. Anti-Occupy Central protesters sing while holding luminous balloons and Chinese flags during a rally in Hong Kong late on Friday. Amnesty seeks release of mainland activists supporting pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong China should release at least 76 people, detained on the mainland for supporting Hong Kong’s prodemocracy protests, before the start of next week’s Asia-Pacific leaders summit in Beijing, rights group Amnesty International has said. Students calling for full democracy for Chinese-ruled Hong Kong have blocked roads leading into three of the city’s most economically and politically important districts for weeks, drawing condemnation from Beijing and the Hong Kong government. Leaders including US President Barack Obama, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping will gather for the November 10-11 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in the Chinese capital. Preliminary meetings are already underway. “Apec leaders must end their recent silence on the crackdown against mainland Chinese activists expressing support for Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters. Political convenience should not trump principled action,” said Roseann Rife, East Asia Research Director at Amnesty International. “The leaders should take this opportunity to speak out and urge President Xi to ensure all those detained solely for exercising their right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are immediately and unconditionally released,” she said in a statement. China’s foreign ministry, in a statement faxed to Reuters, said Amnesty was a group “prejudiced” towards China which often made irresponsible statements and interfered in the country’s internal affairs. “We are resolutely opposed to this,” it added. Beijing has ruled Hong Kong since 1997 through a “one country, two systems” formula that allows wide-ranging autonomy and freedoms not enjoyed on the mainland. The protesters are demanding fully democratic elections for the city’s next chief executive in 2017, not the vote between prescreened candidates that Beijing has said it would allow. Amnesty said the detentions in China have been especially concentrated in Beijing, as well as the southern cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen that abut Hong Kong. People have been held for putting pictures online with messages of support, planning to go to Hong Kong to take part in the protests or shaving their heads in solidarity, it said. The government has stepped up security in Beijing ahead of the summit. Amnesty said some activists had been forced to leave the city, including prominent dissident Hu Shigen. Xi has presided over a sweeping crackdown on the rights community since taking office two years ago and, while he has promised to improve the rule of law, the Communist Party will remain firmly in charge of the judicial system. “The latest wave of detentions is part of a concerted attack on fundamental freedoms since President Xi took office. It makes a mockery of Xi’s recent claims that the rule of law and human rights will be fully respected in China by 2020,” Rife said. Australian PM to have ‘robust’ talk with Putin AFP Canberra A People hold a banner during a protest in Tokyo yesterday against nuclear power plants being restarted in Japan. Japan to reactivate nuclear reactors IANS Tokyo T he governor of Japan’s Kagoshima prefecture has approved the reactivation of two nuclear reactors at the Sendai plant. Sendai was the ﬁrst plant in Japan on which new regulations were imposed by Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) after the accident at the Fukushima plant triggered by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. The plant is expected to start its com- mercial activities from 2015 after the NRA completes its last security reviews in Sendai. The approval granted late on Friday is almost the final step for the reactivation of the power stations, whose 48 commercial use reactors are currently non- functional until they adopt the NRA norms. The Fukushima accident was the worst since the Chernobyl meltdown in Ukraine in 1986. Some 300,000 people had evacuated the area to avoid the after effects of the accident. ustralian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said yesterday he would have a “robust” conversation about downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 with Russian President Vladimir Putin when they meet in Beijing. The Kremlin conﬁrmed on Friday that Putin will meet Abbott, who last month promised to confront the Russian president over the downing of the plane, at a summit in the Chinese capital. “I am going to have a very robust conversation with him,” Abbott told reporters in Melbourne. “But the conversation will be, as I have said, about our absolute expectation that Russia will be as good as its word, that it will fully cooperate with the investigations that are under way and that it will do what it can to ensure that justice is done.” The meeting is expected to be on November 11, the second day of the Asia-Paciﬁc Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in Beijing. “It will be short,” Putin’s top foreign policy adviser Yury Ushakov told reporters. Last month Abbott vowed to “shirtfront” Putin over the downing of the passenger jet over rebel-held Ukraine in July, in which 38 Australian citizens and residents died. “Shirtfront” is an Australian Rules Football term in which a player charges an opponent. Abbott said yesterday he would be seeking Putin’s personal assurance that “this is not an issue which Russia now expects to be forgotten, that this is not an atrocity which Russia thinks can be swept under the carpet”. “Thirty-eight Australians were murdered and I will speak for our dead, I will speak for our nation, I will speak for decency and for humanity in stating to the Russian president he owes it to us, he owes it to our common humanity to ensure that justice is done,” Abbott said. Australia and the US have accused Russianbacked rebels of shooting down Flight MH17 using a missile supplied by Moscow. Russia has repeatedly denied the claim and pointed the ﬁnger at Kiev over the disaster, which killed all 298 people on board. 18 Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 BRITAIN Kate shows off healthy glow at official event Evening Standard London S he was not seen on an official public engagement for almost two months while she battled with extreme morning sickness. But the duchess of Cambridge, who is 15 weeks pregnant, looked the picture of health yesterday when she braved the wind and rain to tour an oil reﬁnery in Wales. Wearing a light blue Matthew Williamson coat and heeled black boots, she joked and laughed with well-wishers outside the Valero Pembroke Reﬁnery on the Pembrokeshire coast. The duchess also battled with this condition while she was pregnant with prince George and she was admitted to hospital to receive treatment. She returned to royal duties last month as part of the state visit by the president of Singapore. It has been announced that the duchess is expected to give birth in April. For the ﬁrst few years of their marriage, William and Kate lived a secluded fourbedroom cottage in Anglesey on the north west coast of Wales. The oil reﬁnery which is celebrating its 50th anniversary said their visit was a “huge honour”. The royal couple met with workers and apprentices and looked at a display cel- Catherine and William pose with apprentices during a visit to Pembroke Refinery ebrating the last 50 years. They were ushered into a minibus to travel to the 1,270-acre site’s control room where they met shipping and blending workers. “Nicely spruced up for our arrival,” Wil- liam joked as they entered the room. “I can smell the paint.” Both William and Kate sat in front of screens and pressed a button to create their own gasoline blend. “Shall I do one and you can do the other one?” Kate told William. After she pressed the button William laughingly told workers: “We are waiting for the red light to go off.” The group clapped loudly after William had also pressed his button and told the couple it would take 15 hours to create the blend. William replied: “We will do the night shift.” He asked whether anyone would be watching the rugby match later, which the royal couple will attend. “I am sure one of these (monitors) can be turned into a big screen,” he told them. Valero vice president and reﬁnery general manager Ed Tomp said it was a recognition of the role the plant ‘continues to play supporting our economy and communities here in west Wales.’ ‘I know the entire community is looking forward to welcoming the duke and duchess to the reﬁnery, which looks set to be a wonderful opportunity for everyone in Pembrokeshire to celebrate.’ The Pembroke reﬁnery was officially opened in 1964 by the Queen Mother and employs 1,200 people. Built in a deep natural harbour at Rhoscrowther, it processes 270,000 barrels a day, has a pipeline stretching as far as Manchester and supplies more than 10% of the UK’s fuel. Lord Mayor’s show Participants parade outside the Courts of Justice during the Lord Mayor’s show in London yesterday. War widows who remarry will not lose pensions Evening Standard London W ar widows who choose to remarry will no longer lose their pensions, the prime minister announced yesterday. For decades the wives of fallen servicemen have had to choose between ﬁnding new love and ﬁnancial stability under a complex scheme introduced in 1975 that stopped the pensions of military widows who remarried or cohabited with someone after the death of their spouse. This morning David Cameron abolished the “absolutely wrong” loophole before joining the Military Wives Choir in central London on the eve of Remembrance Sunday. It comes as campaigners threatened to walk down Downing Street in what would have been an embarrassing prelude to today’s services. Speaking of the change, Cameron said: “This is a longstanding grievance and I think one which is very justiﬁed people who were married to someone in the armed services and that person died and so they lost their pension if they married again. “I think that wasn’t fair and I’m delighted that because we have a strong economy we can afford to make this change and give justice to these people.” He added: “This reﬂects our clear commitment to uphold the Armed Forces Covenant which we enshrined in law.” Previously, he said the rules forced widows into an “agonising choice between loneliness and ﬁnancial security”, the Times reports. Defence secretary Michael Fallon said: “It’s vital that we do right by those who put their lives on the line for their country - that’s why this Government enshrined the Armed Forces Covenant in law.” The move was welcomed by the War Widows’ Association, representatives of which joined Cameron at No 10 this morning. Irene Wills, chairman of the association, said: ‘We’re delighted that Cameron and Fallon have been courageous enough to correct this injustice. “After campaigning for this amendment, which will beneﬁt a small number of war widows whose partners died in service to their country, we are delighted that the Government has decided to provide pensions for life. “It is absolutely wrong that some armed forces widows lose their pension if they choose to remarry.’ Others highlighted the plight of military spouses who, they said, were often prevented from earning a pension themselves by having to move across the country at the request of the forces. Widows were forced into an “agonising choice between loneliness and financial security” “As the spouse of a member of the British Armed Forces your career can take a back seat as a result of relocation and frequent moves, therefore many miss out on the chance to build up an independent pension pot,” Chris Simpkins, director general of the Royal British Legion said. ‘The Armed Forces Covenant recognises that no one should suffer a disadvantage due to service, and that the bereaved are entitled to special consideration. “‘That is why today’s announcement, that all widows and widowers will retain their pension for life, is so important. “We congratulate the government on recognising that this is a Covenant issue and enabling armed forces widows and widowers to live on.” The change comes after years of campaigning by the association to secure pensions for around 4,000 widows deprived of stately income once remarried. While anyone whose military spouse died after April 5 2005 or before 31 March 1973 is allowed to keep their pension, thousands in between would have to go without under the previous rules. The new rules will come into effect on April 5, 2015, meaning anyone war widows or widowers who remarry after that date will still be eligible to claim military pensions. Widows or widowers who are already remarried or plan to marry before that date will not be able to reclaim money they would have been entitled to under the new rules, however. While the change has been widely welcomed, campaigners are calling for the same rules to now apply to widows of police and emergency service workers. Decorated soldier told to ditch medals in court Evening Standard London A n Army hero who was savagely beaten after returning to the UK from ﬁghting in Afghanistan was banned from wearing his medals at their trial in case his bravery inﬂuenced the jury. Corporal Mark Kershaw, 27, had just got back from his third tour of duty in Helmand province with Operation Herrick 18 when he was head-butted and kicked to the ground in the cowardly attack. He was targeted after trying to stop a woman and two drunken men who were verbally abusing a senior taxi warden on George Street in Hull town centre. The suspects were subsequently arrested and during their trial at Hull Crown Court this week, Kershaw was told by defence barrister Ian StuartBrook that he should remove his Afghanistan campaign medal and Jubilee medal from “public sight”. The lawyer argued that he should not be wearing them in public because “it would have an unfair effect on the jury underlining his status as a decorated soldier”. Judge Mark Bury, agreed, despite Kershaw’s protest that he had been given permission to wear the medals by a senior officer at his Household Cavalry unit in Windsor in the seven days before Remembrance Sunday. Corporal Mark Kershaw Kershaw, who was commended for his bravery in Afghanistan, arrived each day with his medals but was forced to take them off and put them in his pocket after the judge ruled the ban should remain in place for the entire four days of the trial. Despite the ban on his medals, the two defendants who kicked the soldier to the ground were allowed to wear poppies in court during the trial. The decision sparked outrage among Kershaw’s family and war veterans. Kershaw told the court from the witness stand how his was attacked on his ﬁrst night out after returning from a seven-month tour of duty of Afghanistan on November 23 last year. The special unit solider had completed tours of Afghanistan in 2007, 2009 and 2013 - a total of 22 months and had been commended for bravery. During the conﬂict, he was caught up in a bomb explosion and now has shrapnel embedded next to his spine. Four of his friends also died during the tours. The corporal said he was waiting in a taxi queue in Hull town centre when he was head-butted by a woman and then jumped on by two men who were with her. He said he had been waiting in the taxi queue when the woman, Beverley Logen, 27, began abusing a taxi marshal. “People were watching what was happening and doing nothing,” Kershaw told the court. “I was trying to be a peacemaker. I saw him getting verbally abused. I told her to let him do his job. “The next thing I knew, was she turned around and head-butted me in the face. My nose exploded. I went to the ground and people stamped on my head and kicked me.” Logen, who has previous convictions for assault, pleaded guilty on her ﬁrst appearance in court. However, her husband Craig Hood, 27, of Burton-upon-Stather, near Scunthorpe, and Lee Wareham, 34, of Gateshead, both denied causing Kershaw actual bodily harm and went on trial this week.Taxi marshall Alistair Storey told the jury. “I have never in my life witnessed anything like it. “The woman just put her head back and head-butted him. His nose just exploded. “All three of them started kicking him and raining punches. They were screaming: “Let’s have him!” ‘All three of them stamped on him and kicked him. Both males stamped on him when he was on the ﬂoor. It was a cowardly trick.’ Eyewitness Lewis Foster said: ‘All he said was “let him do his job”. “The girl head-butted Mark in the face. The two men came round ﬁsts ﬂying in Mark’s direction.” Both men were unanimously convicted after the four-day trial and Judge Bury told them: ‘You have both been convicted of a nasty attack on a man who was concerned about the level of abuse Beverley Logen was using on a person doing his public duty. “I am satisﬁed, that although Beverley Logen started this, you both played a part. “In particular this involved punching and kicking someone who was doing nothing more than standing up for someone else. “You Hood have a conviction for threatening behaviour. You must both understand you are at risk of being sent to prison. That must follow when there was this level of violence.” The judge deferred sentencing until December 12. After the trial, Kershaw revealed how he had been asked not to speak to the press because of security concerns for his unit’s future operations in the wake of the heightened terror threat. Hull Royal British Legion veteran Charles Jenneson said it was a disgrace the corporal had been banned from wearing his medals. He said: ‘They are the Queen’s medals and he was giving evidence in the Queen’s Court. “The Judge was wrong to make him take them off. He would not have dreamed of asking a World War Two veteran to remove them.’ Kershaw’s uncle, Alan Kershaw, 47, said he was also outraged that his nephew had been told to remove his medals. “It’s an absolute disgrace,’ the lorry driver said. “Mark has earned those medals and he fully expected to be able to wear them in court. “He has been shot at, blown up, and seen four of his friends killed in Afghanistan. He has given ﬁrst-aid to wounded Afghans and been mentioned in dispatches for his bravery. “Yet the jury was told none of this. He came to the court as a victim of crime and he was treated like this. This man has fought for his country and has seen men die. He should be allowed to wear them. “I know he wanted to show his support to the old boys who are wearing them. He won’t be able to return to his Remembrance parade in Windsor, this Sunday because he has been in court all week, so he got permission to wear them in court. “He doesn’t wear them in the street. It has just added insult to injury. I was livid when I heard he was attacked on his ﬁrst night out from Afghanistan. “The word cowardly rightly sums them up. I am glad they got him when he was on the ground. He would have made a real mess of them if he had wanted to ﬁght.’ Shipley Tory MP Philip Davies added: “It is appalling that a judge ordered a war hero to remove the medals he won so bravely serving his country. “Soldiers should be free to wear their war medals at all times. This soldier was not on trial, he was the victim of a crime, and the wearing of his medals had no bearing on the guilt or innocence of the defendant. “If the judge thinks that the jury are so stupid that they cannot see past the medals of a victim to determine the guilt or innocence of someone else then perhaps he shouldn’t be a judge at all.’ Meanwhile Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart agreed the judge’s decision was wrong. He said: “If it is true that the thugs were allowed to wear poppies, while a soldier, a victim, was forced to hide the symbols of his heroism in open court, then it is a disgrace. “We can’t allow this perversion where thugs rights are sacrosanct and decent people’s rights are trampled upon. If that is the culture in some court then it needs to change and change urgently. Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 19 BRITAIN Queen is to attend Cenotaph rites despite ‘plot to kill her’ Evening Standard London T he Queen has vowed to attend the Remembrance Day centenary ceremony at The Cenotaph despite police arresting four Islamist terror suspects plotting to kill her on the day. The 88-year-old monarch insisted she will carry on with tradition - laying the ﬁrst wreath following the twominute silence at 11am on November 11. A source told the Sun: “Whatever the security assessment, Her Majesty would not shirk from her responsibility and duty - and this Remembrance Sunday is no different.” The Queen’s tribute will be followed as normal by salutes from prime minister David Cameron, cabinet members and opposition leaders. Yesterday armed officers seized the four men, aged 19 to 27, following months of surveillance. Last night police were said to be interrogating the suspects - who are thought to have hatched a plot assassinate the Queen with a knife. Police had already stepped up security after a terrorist shot a soldier guarding a war memorial at Canada’s parliament. A ring of steel will be thrown around Whitehall today as the Queen leads events at the Cenotaph marking the centenary of the start of the First World War. Although police would not discuss whether the suspects had a speciﬁc target, the timing of the raids raised fears of a Remembrance Day outrage. Islamic State militants have called on “self-starter” followers to target highproﬁle commemorative events. Police marksmen from its SO15 terrorism command arrested the youngest suspect on Thursday night at 8.31pm at Queen Elizabeth II places a wreath of poppies at the new Flanders Field WW1 Memorial outside the Guards Chapel in Westminster in London, on Thursday. the £160,000 home he shares with his mother in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. He is said to have recently returned from Pakistan. Fourteen minutes later a 22-year-old was seized by armed officers at a house in Hounslow. In an unusual move, the eldest suspect was stopped at gunpoint in his car in Southall, West London, but no shots were ﬁred. The fourth man was arrested in Uxbridge and searches were taking place in Greenford and Hayes, also in West London. The suspects were all arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism. It was reported the allegations are linked to a UK plot - not travelling to Syria to join ISIS. The use of armed officers for the arrests suggests police chiefs fear the suspects may have acquired weapons. None were found, however. The Metropolitan Police said the operation involved its counter-terrorism command, MI5 agents and officers from other constabularies. The home of Yousaf Syed, the 19-year-old suspect, had been raided before – in April during an investigation into potential jihadists. Another man arrested in that operation complained his passport was seized by the home office to stop him travelling to the Middle East. Neighbours of Syed said he lives with his 41-year-old mother Somia, who works as ground crew for an airline. One said he had had “several runins” with the “angry” teenager. When he challenged the teenager’s mother, she told him: “I’m sorry, it’s my son. He’s young and he’s just discovered his faith.” The neighbour said the teenager recently grew a full beard and began wearing traditional Muslim dress. Another local resident said: ‘It’s a big shock to hear what he’s been accused of.’ Officers were said to have removed items from the garden shed as forensic officers combed the house and garden. Today two police officers wearing high visibility jackets were posted outside the brown wooden front door of the brick terraced house in Desborough Avenue, near the town centre. A cordon of police tape was placed around the brick driveway to the home, on which a police patrol car was also parked. All the curtains were closed at the terraced house where police forensic staff were combing the home and garden for clues while neighbours stood in the street and watched. The neighbour said that he saw a woman, the teenager, a man aged in his 20s along with two small children regularly coming and going from the address. He said that he had been out when the raid took place early this morning and that he arrived back at his home to ﬁnd officers removing items from the family’s shed. Two other addresses in the town were being searched, including a rented ﬂat and a £300,000 house apparently occupied by Syed’s aunt. High Wycombe’s remembrance parade is due to take place at 10.30am tomorrow in the high street before proceeding to All Saints’ Church. It attracts large crowds, in part due to the proximity of the town to RAF High Wycombe in nearby Naphill. A large contingent of personnel from the base, which is the home of the RAF’s Headquarters Air Command, traditionally marches with veterans and other community groups. Germaine Lindsay, who killed 26 people when he detonated a bomb on the Piccadilly Line in the 7/7 attacks, has links to High Wycombe. There are growing concerns that British jihadists ﬁghting in Syria and Iraq will return to this country and carry out acts of terrorism. But detectives do not believe there is any direct link between the latest arrests and fanatics in the Middle East. David Cameron ordered a security review last month after the Canadian attack. Heads of MI5 and Scotland Yard held talks over the terror threat to Parliament and other landmarks in central London. Just a few weeks ago police were warned to be on their guard over fears they could become targets. In London, frontline officers were warned of intelligence that suggested terrorists aspired to abduct and murder a policeman. In August the national terror-threat level was raised from substantial to severe, meaning a terrorist attack was ‘highly likely’. A Metropolitan Police spokesman said the men were being held on suspicion of ‘being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism’. He said the arrests were part of an ongoing investigation by the Met’s counter terrorism command, colleagues from other forces and MI5. He added: ‘They have all been taken to police stations in central London and remain in custody. Two of the entries to premises were assisted by ﬁrearms ofﬁcers. No shots were ﬁred.’ On Remembrance Sunday in 1987, 11 people were killed and 68 wounded when the IRA bombed the cenotaph in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland. This year’s Armistice Day will be used to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War and the withdrawal of British troops from Afghanistan. Osborne insists he ‘halved’ EU’s bill Evening Standard London G Visitors look at the Tower of London’s ‘Blood swept Lands and Seas of Red’ poppy installation in the Tower of London. Cameron announces that some sections of poppies will remain Evening Standard London D avid Cameron and his wife Samantha yesterday planted the last two ceramic poppies at the Tower of London after announcing a section of the stunning display will remain in place. The prime minister was joined by his wife as thousands more visitors crowded around the Tower to get a glimpse of Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red. After huge public demand to extend the installation’s lifespan, David Cameron announced the Weeping Window and the Wave elements would stay in place until the end of November. The sections will then be sent on a tour around the country until 2018, before going on permanent display at the Imperial War Museum. The tour will be funded by penalty ﬁnes paid by banks over the Libor-ﬁxing scandal, as well as donations from the Backstage Trust and the Clore Duffield Foundation, according to Chancellor George Osborne. Unprecedented interest in display has seen millions of people descend on the Tower of London before the installation is due to be dismantled from November 12. A team of 8,000 volunteers has been lined up to start removing and cleaning the 888,246 ceramic poppies —one for each British and Colonial life lost in the 1914 to 1918 war. The poppies will then be dispatched to buyers who have paid £25 each to raise money for armed forces charities. Boris Johnson welcomed the extension as he acknowledged the “challenging” logistics involved. The mayor said: “When you stand among the poppies it is easy to appreciate the argu- ment of the artist, that the life each poppy represents was ﬂeeting, a reminder of young men cut down in their prime, and that the display is transient for that very reason. It’s a solemn and deeply moving place. “The logistical issues around keeping the display in place were always challenging but the idea of extending the time people can see the Wave segment, whilst illuminating the poppies late at night and early in the morning until Armistice Day is good news. It does at least give more people a last chance to visit and to reﬂect.” Cameron said the installation, created to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War, had become a “much loved and respected monument” in a short space of time. “I think the exhibition of the poppies has really caught the public imagination, people have found that incredibly moving,” he said. “What we’ve managed to do is ﬁnd a way of saving part of the exhibition for the nation and making sure it will be seen by many more people. “By displaying parts of the installation around the country and then permanently in the Imperial War Museum, we have ensured that this poignant memorial will be saved for the nation.” General the Lord Dannatt, Constable of the Tower of London, said: “We are delighted that key elements of Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red - the poppies installation at the Tower of London - which has so captured the heart of the nation, are to be preserved for many more thousands of people to see and appreciate over the coming four years. “All at the Tower of London and Historic Royal Palaces are most grateful that this wonderful community art project will continue for the next four years.” eorge Osborne yesterday defended a deal which will see Britain pay £850mn to the EU as his claims of a “real win” were branded a sham. The chancellor faced criticism after claiming to have halved the £1.7bn bill demanded by Brussels as it emerged the reduction was achieved by bringing forward a rebate Britain was already due to receive. Shadow chancellor Ed Balls accused him of using “smoke and mirrors” to allow him to boast of a “result for Britain”. Other EU leaders also cast doubt on Osborne’s claims as they insisted Britain was still paying the full sum demanded by Brussels as a result of Britain’s strong economic performance. But Osborne insisted it had not been clear that the rebate was going to be applied to the surcharge to allow the £1.7bn bill to be cut. “It took a lot of hard discussion, a lot of hard negotiation and it shows that when this government sets out a goal in Europe it goes and achieves it,” he told the BBC. After brokering a deal with other EU ﬁnance ministers in Brussels, Osborne said: “It was a real doubt about whether the rebate would apply, apply to the extent it has applied. We have got this bill halved.” He added: “I don’t think we get full value for money for all those pounds that get sent to the European Union.” Labour has claimed the deal does not save the UK “a single penny” and accused Osborne and the prime minister of Chancellor George Osborne “trying to take the British people for fools”. And Ukip leader Nigel Farage said: “Osborne (is) trying to spin his way out of disaster. UK still paying full £1.7bn, his credibility is about to nose-dive. “Borrowing what we are rightfully owed in the future to pay an unfair bill being levied now is not a victory. It’s a sham.” The chancellor’s European counterparts also appeared to contradict the Chancellor’s account of the deal. Irish ﬁnance minister Michael Noonan said he believed that the UK “will pay the whole amount” while Dutch ﬁnance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said “it’s not as if the British have been given a discount”. Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls said: “David Cameron and George Osborne are trying to take the British people for fools. Ministers have failed to get a better deal for the British taxpayer. Not a single penny has been saved for the taxpayer compared to two weeks ago when David Cameron was blustering in Brussels. “Nobody will fall for this smoke and mirrors. The rebate was never in doubt and, in fact, was conﬁrmed by the EU Budget Commissioner last month.” 20 Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 EUROPE CEO conﬁrms strike costing German rail operator more than €100mn Reuters/DPA Frankfurt A strike by Germany’s train drivers will cost German rail operator Deutsche Bahn more than €100mn, its chief executive told a German newspaper. Germany’s train drivers’ union said on Friday that it would cut short a planned four-day strike and return to work yesterday by 6pm – in time for celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The strike, that was originally planned to last until early tomorrow, has thwarted the travel plans of Germans planning to travel by rail to Berlin for today’s celebrations. “The damage so far adds up to more than €100mn and will have an equivalent impact on our annual accounts,” Deutsche Bahn chief Ruediger Grube told Bild am Sonntag. “Not to mention the damage to our image and the loss of trust.” The train drivers union, with 20,000 members, is in a dispute with Deutsche Bahn over negotiating rights and pay. Its members walked out on Wednesday in the sixth round of the strike. Deutsche Bahn transports 5.5mn passengers each day on commuter trains and high-speed lines that criss-cross the country. About one-ﬁfth of German freight is also transported by rail. Economists estimate a strike of more than three days could cost the economy up to €100mn ($130mn) a day if assembly lines have to shut because of supply shortages. German Labour Office chief Frank-Juergen Weise said the damage to the economy could be severe, telling German radio station SWR2 that “a longer strike – and I have to adjust my forecasts for the labour market”. The rail operator said about 60% of its main line traffic would be back up and running today. Disruption was felt across Germany yesterday, while alternative travel options saw a spike in demand. A spokesman for the online car-sharing portal mitfahrgelegenheit.de said 250,000 places were booked on Friday, compared with an average Friday booking rate of 100,000. Germany’s taxi and car hire as- sociation reported a 40-50% rise in business. “We have heard from members all over the country that they’re getting cancellations or special requests from customers,” said a spokesman for the German Hotel and Restaurant Association. In Dresden, a spokesman for the International Congress Centre, slated to host a synod of Germany’s Protestant Evangelical Church, said the strike was a “nuisance”. Germans and foreigners fete fall of the Berlin Wall AFP/DPA Berlin H undreds of thousands descended on the German capital yesterday for festivities to mark the Berlin Wall’s fall 25 years ago, stirring emotions and bringing memories ﬂooding back of its joyous toppling. In bright but chilly autumnal sunshine, German and foreign visitors ﬂocked to symbolic points along the Wall’s route ahead of the anniversary today of the peaceful revolution in 1989 that led to the border’s opening. Germany would reunite within a year, on October 3, 1990. People posed for photos in front of the few remaining grafﬁti-daubed slabs of the Wall, or read information boards about the grim reality of life under Berlin’s 28-year division. Others admired a striking art installation of almost 7,000 gently swaying white balloons, pegged to the ground and winding 15km along the Wall’s route. Many watched onstage rehearsals at the iconic Brandenburg Gate, resplendent against the blue sky, where rock stars and freedom icons will join a massive open-air party in today’s culmination of three days of festivities. At Potsdamer Platz, once cleaved in two by the detested Berlin Wall and now a bustling junction with shiny modern tower blocks, a small crowd watched East German demonstrators in video images chant: “We are the people!” “I cried. It was so dramatic,” Italian tourist Juliane Pellegrini, 60, a school headmistress from South Tyrol, recalled, saying she had followed events on television the fateful night the Wall came down. Twenty-ﬁve years later in the city where it took place, she said she felt emotional all over again. “It’s the history of central Europe,” she told AFP. Sixty-eight-year-old Geraldine Bray, visiting from Britain, also said that the memory of November 9, 1989 had stayed with her. “I was at home making the evening meal and put on the news ... it was very, very memorable.” Chancellor Angela Merkel, who grew up in communist East Germany, said in her weekly podcast yesterday that the reuniﬁed capital of Berlin had become “almost a symbol of Europe’s uniﬁcation after the Cold War”. Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit said the landmark event had stirred “so much emotion”. “It ﬁlls your heart with joy and we can be quite proud of that,” he said at a regional Social Democratic Party meeting. French President Francois Hollande said on Bild’s online news site that 25 years on, the Wall’s fall was a “joint legacy” that obliged France, Germany and Europe to step up, including outside of the region in places such as Syria or Iraq. The last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, whose “perestroika” and “glasnost” reforms helped pave the way for the Wall’s fall, called it a celebratory day “for all peoples of Europe and other continents”. His message together with others by past and present leading ﬁgures, pop stars such as U2’s Bono, or ﬁlm stars, were printed in an anniversary edition of Bild daily. Sausage, beer and souvenir stands will likely face brisk business with more than 1mn visitors expected over the weekend, according to the tourism group Visit Berlin. Merkel was due yesterday to attend a memorial concert at Bertolt Brecht’s historic Berliner Ensemble theatre and, today, she will open a major exhibition on the once divided Bernauer Strasse. Gorbachev and former Polish president and freedom icon Lech Walesa, 71, are among those due today at the Brandenburg Gate, the symbol of German unity, for a show to include rock music and ﬁreworks. From there, the white balloons will begin to be released into the evening sky. Thrown up in 1961, the Wall stretched 155km but today only around 3km of it still stands. Manfred and Edna Tschepe, both 72, said they went to bed at their home in West Berlin on the night of November 9, 1989 before hearing the momentous news. “Unfortunately we slept A co-operation pact between Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and opposition leader Silvio Berlusconi is at risk of collapse, possibly heralding a major realignment in national politics, political commentators said on Friday. In January Berlusconi agreed to help Renzi streamline parliamentary procedures, change election rules and trim the powers of regional governments, even if the former premier’s Forza Italia party was going to remain in the opposition. On Thursday Renzi said the agreement was “creaking”. Renzi’s comments came after his Democratic Party (PD) joined forces with the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) to An aerial view on the line comprised of hundreds of illuminated balloon lanterns tracing the course of the former Berlin Wall past the main train station (right) in Berlin. Left: People look at the lanterns in a gap between what remains of the Berlin Wall, at the Topography of Terror Documentation Centre. Below: Merkel delivers a speech at the opening of the conference ‘Falling Walls - The International Conference on Future Breakthroughs in Science and Society’ at the Neue Nationalgalerie gallery in Berlin. through it,” Manfred, a retired engineer said, chuckling. But when he emerged from the underground train station the next morning on his way to work, end a parliamentary stalemate, and elect a Constitutional Court judge and a member of a judicial oversight body. “What happened shakes up parliamentary dynamics,” Massimo Franco of the Corriere della Sera newspaper said. Stefano Folli, another political columnist writing for La Repubblica, spoke of a PD-M5S “convergence which frightens Berlusconi”. A member of parliament from Austria’s far-right Freedom Party (FPO) called asylum seekers cave men on Facebook, triggering calls from other parties for his resignation. Christian Hoebart’s comments highlighted a febrile debate on immigration in the country. His message criticised a rally of mostly African asylum seekers held in the town of Traiskirchen near Vienna. “I (could not) show understanding for yesterday’s brouhaha of asylum seekers from Africa, so I called (them) emotionally... ‘soil and cave men’, who cannot appreciate how good they’ve got The last leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, has criticised Western countries for their policies since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. “The world is on the brink of a new Cold War. Some say it has already begun,” Gorbachev said in a reference to the current crisis over the pro-Russian rebellion in eastern Ukraine. Gorbachev, 83, is in Berlin for Sunday’s 25th anniversary of crumbling of the Wall, which hastened the end of communism in eastern Europe. His glasnost reforms in the Soviet Union were seen as helping to pave the way for the fall of the Wall, and he is considered a hero by many former East Germans who joined mass demonstrations in 1989 against their communist rulers. But yesterday, he accused the West, and especially the US, of not keeping the promises it has made since the Cold War. Instead, he said, the West has declared itself to be the winner of the Cold War and had taken advantage of Russia’s weakness. “The events of recent months are the consequences of shortsighted policies ... ignoring the interests of partners,” he said. the street was packed with people, he said. On hearing the Wall had gone, he thought “that can’t be. It was so unlikely. I can’t believe it”. Renzi is pushing for the approval of a new electoral law by the end of the year, but Berlusconi is unwilling to give the green light on such rules, as they could prepare the way for fresh elections in which his party was expected to fare badly. Il Giornale, a newspaper owned by the Berlusconi family, conﬁrmed that talks on political reforms had hit a dead end. It compared Forza Italia-PD tensions to a “poker game” which would likely be won by the player “who can bluff the best”. Reforms Minister Maria Elena Boschi accused Forza Italia of blocking progress. “They are arguing, they cannot agree among themselves,” she said of Berlusconi’s party in a TV interview on Friday. “But we cannot stop. We will do the reforms with whoever agrees to them.” Politician under ﬁre for calling asylum seekers ‘cave men’ Reuters Vienna Gorbachev: The events of recent months are the consequences of short-sighted policies Gorbachev criticises the West’s policies Renzi threatens pact with Berlusconi DPA Rome Local tourism offices reported drops in city tours, including in Cologne and Munich. Ulrich Brandl, the president of the Bavarian Hotel and Restaurant Association, said some tourists had been unable to get home. In Berlin, hosting the 25-year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall today, many tourists who had scheduled holiday packages that included anniversary celebrations were being booked on last-minute buses. it with us – their host country Austria,” he wrote. Other opposition politicians called for Hoebart, an FPO leader in the province of Lower Austria, to quit his political posts. “To call humans that maybe ﬂed from murder and rape of IS (Islamic State)-murder gangs in Iraq and Syria ‘soil and cave men’ is open racism, which – similarly to the Nazis – would like to classify certain humans as Untermenschen (under-humans),” said Albert Steinhauser from the Austrian Greens. US cardinal demoted AFP/Reuters Vatican City T he Vatican has removed the former archbishop of St Louis, Raymond Leo Burke, from a key post following his criticism of the Pope. Burke, who is the seniormost American prelate in the Vatican, said in an interview earlier that many Catholics felt that the “church was like a ship without a rudder”. Burke was stripped of the headship of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the highest judicial authority in the church, and instead named as patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, an honoriﬁc post. Burke was replaced as cardinal prefect of the tribunal by Frenchman Dominique Memberti, a Vatican statement said. Britain’s Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher replaced Memberti as Secretary (Relations with States) of the Secretariat of State, equivalent to the Vatican’s foreign minister. He was previously Apostolic Nuncio to Australia. Burke ruffled feathers in December 2013 by questioning Pope Francis’s liberalising attitude towards divorce, remarriage and homosexuality. He was however invited by the Pope in October to attend a synod where he ﬁercely opposed any change in the church’s stance on these and other sensitive social issue. The spiritual leader of the world’s 1.2bn Catholics had called for the church to take a more merciful approach to unmarried mothers, remarried divorcees and gays. The move, which the Vatican announced yesterday without comment, had been expected. Burke said last month he had been told he would move to a new job but did not know when. Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 21 EUROPE Last nine MH17 victims ‘may never be recovered’ AFP Kiev T he remains of the last nine victims of ﬂight MH17 may never be recovered from the Ukrainian battleﬁeld where their plane was downed four months ago, the Dutch foreign minister said yesterday as ﬁghting rumbled on in the east of the country. Foreign Minister Bert Koenders made the grim assessment in the city of Kharkiv, where he attended a memorial service for ﬁve more sets of human remains collected from the site of the disaster and ﬂown to The Netherlands. Another ceremony attended by some 1,600 friends and relatives was planned to take place in The Netherlands tomorrow. “We cannot say at this moment in any certain way ... at what moment, and even if, we can recover the last nine” victims, he said of the air crash that killed all 298 on Lavrov: If (US State Department spokeswoman Jen) Psaki doesn’t have it (confirmation of Kiev’s claim of Russian tanks and troops crossing the border), I don’t. board, including 193 Dutch. The shooting down of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 on July 17 was one of the worst tragedies of a war in which an estimated 4,000 people have died. So far, the remains of 289 of those victims have been identiﬁed. Ukraine and the West blame Russian-backed separatist ﬁghters using surface-to-air missiles for the catastrophe, while Moscow has pointed the ﬁnger at Kiev’s forces, in an incident that galvanised international shock over the chaos in a country bordering the European Union. Ukraine reported more bloody ﬁghting, with eight of its soldiers killed in the last 24 hours, as Moscow denied claims it had sent tanks across the border. Ukraine’s military said one of those killed was a paratrooper shot by a sniper in Donetsk international airport, where government forces are defending a pocket of territory near the biggest rebel-held city. Seventeen other soldiers were wounded in shelling of government positions around the conﬂict zone, according to updates from the military. The ﬁghting rumbled on in the industrial east despite a twomonth-old ceaseﬁre deal that has halted signiﬁcant offensives, but failed to stop shelling at strategic ﬂashpoints. Donetsk’s city hall and Ukrainian authorities reported the wounding of three civilians. After a brief morning calm, the sound of artillery explosions started up again, mostly near the airport, and continued relentlessly into the night, an AFP journalist said. Two tanks and two armoured ﬁghting vehicles could be seen on the outskirts of the city, while rebels were digging trenches. “These are our armoured vehicles changing position to escape the ﬁring by the Ukrainians,” said Zoya, a local resident who was coming to check on her house which she’d been forced to abandon for a safer location with friends elsewhere in the city. Not everyone in the neighbourhood had that luxury. “Where could I go? I have nowhere to go, no one who can give me shelter. Also, this is where my house is,” said Vladimir, 78, while sawing ﬁrewood. “Whatever happens will happen,” the former miner said. “If I have to die under the bombs, then that’s the way it’s meant to be.” Russia, which annexed Spain warned not to disrupt Catalan vote AFP/Reuters Barcelona/Madrid C atalan leader Artur Mas has warned that any move by the Spanish government to disrupt today’s symbolic vote on independence in the wealthy region would be “a direct attack on democracy”. Spain’s Constitutional Court this week ordered the Catalan government to suspend the independence vote. However, Catalonia’s nationalist government has vowed to press ahead with the ballot, which will be organised by volunteers without an official electoral roll. Mas issued a fresh warning yesterday to Madrid, less than 24 hours before the vote was set to go ahead. “I don’t know what they will do, it does not depend on us, but if they have a minimum of common sense I think any action out of the ordinary (to prevent the vote) would be a direct attack on democracy and a direct attack on fundamental rights,” Mas said during an interview with public television. The Spanish government has not speciﬁed what legal consequences Catalan leaders, poll workers and voters might face. But the central government representative in Catalonia has warned the Catalan officials that they cannot use public resources to carry out the ballot. Spain’s conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says his country cannot hold an independence referendum like Scotland because, unlike Britain, it has a written constitution that forbids it. But Catalans have pushed ahead deﬁantly, ﬁred up by Scot- Rajoy: What we need is a return to sanity. land’s independence referendum in September, even though Scots voted not to break away from Britain. Proud of its distinct language and culture, Catalonia, a region of 7.5mn people, accounts for nearly one-ﬁfth of Spain’s economy. Demands for greater autonomy there have been rumbling for years, but the latest bid by the region’s president Mas has pushed the issue further than ever before. Catalonia took a step towards greater autonomy in 2006 when it formally adopted a charter that assigned it the status of a “nation”. But in 2010 the Constitutional Court overruled that nationhood claim, fuelling pro-independence passions. Spain’s recent economic crisis has increased unemployment and hardship in the region and swelled its debts, but in 2012 Rajoy rejected Mas’s request for greater powers for Catalonia to tax and spend. In response, Mas vowed to hold an official yet non-binding vote on independence, but the Spanish government’s legal challenges forced him to water that down. Rajoy called yesterday for renewed dialogue and a “return to sanity” in Catalonia. “What we need is a return to sanity from Monday, and let’s talk within the realm of the constitution and the law,” Rajoy said in a speech to members of his centre-right People’s Party (PP, Partido Popular, also known as the Popular Party). He dismissed today’s planned vote, saying that it carried no weight and would have no impact. “It’s not a referendum or a consultation or anything that resembles that,” Rajoy said. While he is not known to have met with Mas since July, Rajoy has made recent overtures about reforms in Catalonia. The prime minister recently said that a new “chapter of dialogue” was open with Catalonia. Rajoy has previously said that the government has also opened the door to reviewing next year the way Spanish regions are ﬁnanced. Ukraine’s Crimea region in March and lends close political and humanitarian support to the separatist areas in the east, denied the latest Ukrainian allegation that it was dispatching regular troops to join the ﬁghting. Ukraine’s military made headlines around the world on Friday with the claim that columns of hardware, including 32 tanks, had poured across the border which is under the control of Russia and the pro-Russian rebels. However, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov laughed off the allegation after US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said she had no “independent conﬁrmation” of the report. “If Psaki doesn’t have it, I don’t,” Lavrov told journalists with a chuckle in Beijing, where he met his US counterpart John Kerry ahead of an APEC summit. The conﬂict has sent relations between Western backers of Ukraine and Russia to their lowest level in decades. Russia’s economy is suffering from European Union and US sanctions imposed in response to Moscow’s support for the separatists. With Russia welcoming last week’s rebel elections, which were billed as boosting the separatists’ claim to independence, new sanctions could be coming. A ﬂurry of diplomatic activity is approaching, with the APEC summit in China and a Group of 20 meeting in Australia next week, where President Vladimir Putin will have the chance to put his case before world leaders. Speaking in Beijing, Lavrov appeared to soften Russia’s position, saying that US involvement in attempts to resolve the crisis would be a “step in the right direction”. But in comments marking the Berlin Wall anniversary, US President Barack Obama said: “As Russia’s actions against Ukraine remind us, we have more work to do to fully realise our shared vision of a Europe that is whole, free and at peace.” Mas: any action out of the ordinary (to prevent the vote) would be a direct attack on democracy. Pro-independence Catalans take part in the final meeting organised by the Catalonia National Assembly (ANC) and the Omnium Cultural civil society association in Barcelona on Friday night, ahead of a symbolic vote on independence for Catalonia from Spain today. A man poses for a picture in front of a screen showing the remaining time until the 9N (November 9) vote, at Sant Jaume square in Barcelona, in this picture taken on Friday. Ballot papers and a ballot box are pictured at a school in Barcelona in preparation for today’s vote. Hungarian Net tax protesters aim to be new opposition force By Marton Dunai, Reuters Budapest W ith Hungary’s conservative prime minister enjoying solid support and his opposition in disarray, Hungarians who united against his plan to tax the Internet believe they have created a new platform to voice dissent. The biggest street protests since he came to power four years ago forced Viktor Orban last week to shelve the tax plan – a stunning U-turn by a man whose big parliamentary majority and popular support usually allow him to wield power unopposed. The loose collective of students, activists and artists who organised last month’s protests believe they have tapped into a groundswell of a indignation that could now be channelled against other Orban policies. “This is a colourful group but it is together and it wants to keep going,” said Balazs Gulyas, a 28-year-old student activist who organised the protests via a Facebook page. “We are in the process of ﬁnding the way to do this right.” Orban, who declared in July that he wanted to make Hungary an “illiberal state”, citing his admiration of the political systems of China and Russia, is viewed with concern by the rest of the European Union and by the United States. But despite taking a tighter grip over the media and pushing hundreds of judges into retirement – steps criticised in Brussels and Washington as authoritarian – the political opposition has been deserted by voters. That has left a political void that the protest movement – which gathered on Gulyas’s Facebook page “One Hundred Thou- sand against the Internet tax” – hopes to ﬁll. “For now there is no movement, there is no organised political resistance,” said Marton Gulyas, 28, an alternative theatre company director who joined the protests. But, said Gulyas, who is not related to Balazs: “The chance for one is in the air.” After at least 50,000 people attended the tax rallies, and 240,000 joined the Facebook page, the government has not been able to ignore the movement, but it has accused it of being merely a front for the ﬂailing Socialist opposition. “When political will turns against the government then that is not civil society,” government spokesman, Zoltan Kovacs said. “Hiding behind civil society groups gives a special colour to the Hungarian opposition. If they cannot get anywhere with parties they use civil society groups. “Election time is the time for political decisions, and voters in Hungary made their will very clear.” The Socialists welcomed the tax protest and embraced its main message. But that sympathy was not mutual: most protest speakers and participants made clear that their disdain was aimed at the entire political elite, not just the ruling party. “They have a right to reject us,” Socialist chairman Jozsef Tobias told Reuters. “We still think they organised in a legitimate way and they showed that in a society there must be consequences when the people raise their voices against totalitarian attempts.” With a two-thirds majority in parliament, Orban’s power is seen as unassailable through the end of his term in 2018. But the speed at which the tax protests came together showed the power of informal networks of a few tech-savvy activists. They are still holding meetings, usually in co-operative-run bars with names like Frisco, Aurora, or Back Door dotted around the more bohemian districts of Budapest. They have a modest ﬁghting fund collected from the protesters – a few thousand euros, according to organiser Karoly Fuzessi, a bearded 30 year-old Web designer and philosophy student. It was to that alternative crowd, rather than the political mainstream where he already had connections, that Balazs Gulyas looked for help after being overwhelmed by the response to his Facebook page. Gulyas’ mother, Zita Gurmai, was a Socialist member of the European Parliament for a decade until this year, and his father, Mihaly Gulyas, once advised Socialist prime minister Peter Medgyessy and still maintains ties with the party. The young Gulyas was himself a member of the Socialist Party, holding various minor positions before quitting, disillusioned, in August. When 28-year-old alternative theatre director Marton Gulyas agreed to ally his small protest group Human Platform to the anti-Internet tax rallies, he did so on the condition that it break any links with official opposition parties, including the Socialists, protest organisers told Reuters. Balazs Gulyas agreed, and the protests had no signs of professional politics, such as the party ﬂags that might normally be waved at such events. Beyond the group that organised the Internet tax protests, several others have formed, aiming to play an active part in the new opposition activity. Orban: viewed with concern by the West. They do not resemble anything approaching a coherent group, let alone a political party, but they are gathering support from people opposed to government policies such as plans to cut the number of publicly funded high school places and to replace social security schemes with a public labour programme. The next protest is planned for today to demand the removal of the head of Hungary’s tax authority who has been banned from entering the United States over accusations of corruption. She denies any wrongdoing. “The Internet tax was only the trigger of this gathering of people young and old,” 65 yearold Tamas Sovalvi told Reuters at the largest protest on October 28. “It’s the straw that broke the camel’s back.” 22 Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 INDIA CRIME ASSISTANCE PEOPLE APPEAL HEALTHCARE Lab assistant held for molesting girl Sri Sri to visit refugee camp in Iraq Kerala literary critic Hridayakumari is dead TN releases Rs2mn to defend five fishermen Vardhan calls for steps to improve Ayurveda services A lab assistant in a private school was arrested and sent to judicial custody for allegedly molesting an eight-year-old girl student more than three times inside the school premises, police said yesterday. The incident was reported on Wednesday after the victim, a Class 3 student, spoke about her ordeal to her parents who then approached Rohini South police station in west Delhi. “The victim was not going to school for a month by making excuses like stomach ache and others. When her parents forced her to go to school, she told them that her school’s lab assistant would misbehave with her,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Vikramjeet Singh said. Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar will visit Iraq’s Kurdish capital on November 19 and 20 as part of efforts to step up assistance to Yazidis who have been persecuted by Islamic insurgents. The International Association for Human Values, a sister concern of Ravi Shankar’s Art of living along with some NGOs in Iraq, has collected about 110 tonnes of food supplies to be delivered to Yazidis. These refugees have taken shelter in the Sinjar mountains. Ravi Shankar had earlier called on the governments in Europe, the US and India to save the thousands of Yazidis trapped in the mountains In Iraq. Ravi Shankar will visit the relief camps where a conference will be held in the Kurdish capital Erbil on November 20. B Hridayakumari, winner of the Kerala Sahitya Academy award and a literary critic, died at a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram yesterday, her family said. She was 84. She was suffering from age related illness. A respected figure in the social milieu of the state, she was the former principal of the Government Women’s College in Thiruvananthapuram. Hridayakumari headed a committee set up by the Kerala State Higher Education Council to suggest improvements and reforms to the choice-based credit-and-semester system. The Tamil Nadu government yesterday said it has sent Rs2mn to the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka towards legal expenses to secure the release of five fishermen sentenced to death by a Lankan court. The money has been released on the orders of Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, a statement said. According to the statement steps are being taken to file an appeal against the death sentence in the Sri Lankan court tomorrow. The five fishermen set out for fishing from Rameswaram on November 28, 2011, when they were apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy on the charge of possessing narcotics. A Sri Lankan court recently sentenced the five fishermen to death in the case. Health Minister Harsh Vardhan yesterday urged all states to work with the central government to improve the quality of Ayurveda healthcare services in the country. “Health for all through a holistic medicine system was not just the mandate of the central government, it also needed active support from all state governments,” Vardhan said addressing health ministers from various states who gathered for a plenary session at the 6th World Ayurveda Congress (WAC) being held in New Delhi. He emphasised that though many states have made laudable progress in healthcare delivery, the need of the hour was to work together and with foresight so that “we can set a model for the rest of the world.” Gulf-based businessman promises jobs to 5,000 Kerala nurses Bollywood ban on female makeup artists to be repealed IANS Thiruvananthapuram T housands of nurses from Kerala can hope for a wellpaying job in the Gulf in the next one year, Abu Dhabibased Indian businessman B R Shetty said here yesterday. Shetty, MD and CEO of UAE Exchange Centre and the owner of SUT-NMC group of hospitals, said 5,000 nurses will be placed in one year. “The salary and the working conditions will be the best in the industry. I have full faith in the Kerala nurses because their quality is highly commendable. The number is immaterial. I will be able to provide jobs to any number of nurses and it will be done without any charge,” Shetty said. Earlier, he signed an agreement between the Kerala Academy for Skills Excellence (KASE) and the SUT-NMC group of hospitals for setting up the KASECentre of Excellence in Nursing. “In this centre we will offer highly specialised training for qualiﬁed nurses which will extend up to a maximum of six months. World-class value addition to their existing skills will be provided and they will be certiﬁed too, which will be accepted worldwide,” he said. Figures provided by the stateowned Kerala State Nursing Council, the body that gives registration to nurses, revealed close to 20,000 nurses are given registration every year. Labour Minister Shibu Baby John said the skills development programme is the ﬁrst of its kind initiative being launched by any state government. He said: “Today we begin with the nurses and our government will now set up 18 similar KASECentre for Excellence in various sectors in the next one year. Each and every such programme will be done with a reputable partner. The Nurses Centre of Excellence launched today will very soon tie up with a foreign university. We are ﬁnalising the foreign partner as last minute talks are going on with two foreign universities.” John said the efforts of Shetty come at a time when a nurse’s job in Kuwait costs Rs1.5mn by way of agency fees and charges. The Supreme Court says rule enforced by film industry union for almost 60 years is illegal By Jason Burke/ Guardian News & Media New Delhi F Prime Minister Narendra Modi presents a bouquet to BJP veteran L K Advani on his birthday in New Delhi yesterday. Modi greets Advani on birthday IANS New Delhi W ishes overﬂowed for Bharatiya Janata Party veteran L K Advani on his 87th birthday yesterday, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi describing him as “one of the tallest personalities in public life.” Modi, who was in Varanasi since Friday, drove down to Advani’s Prithviraj Road residence soon after his return to Delhi yesterday. Home Minister Rajnath Singh and other BJP leaders were also present. Modi presented Advani with a ﬂoral bouquet, and both chatted for some time before the prime minister left. Earlier, Modi also wished Advani on microblogging website Twitter. “Wishing Advani ji a very happy birthday. May he be blessed with a long life and good health,” he tweeted. “His unparalleled intellect and insight make Advani ji one of the tallest personalities in public life. All of us have learnt a lot from him,” Modi said. The prime minister added that Advani’s determination and hard work has made the BJP what it is today. Rajnath Singh also wished Advani on Twitter. “Advani ji has been a source of inspiration to all of us and his contribution to building the party can never be forgotten,” he wrote. Finance and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said: “I pray for his good health and I wish him a long and happy life ahead.” BJP spokesman Shahna- No going back on liquor ban proposal: Chandy By Ashraf Padanna Thiruvananthapuram K erala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has vowed to go ahead with his phased prohibition plan, despite allegations of bribery and a blow from courts. “This is an extremely important decision (to phase out liquor in 10 years) and it’s quite natural that such a big move shakes a few. We heeded the popular demand and the people at large will beneﬁt from the ban,” Chandy told reporters yesterday. The plan has been facing a series of legal wrangles since it was announced three months back. Opposition parties as well as a section of his own Congress and its allies were sceptical about its success. Last week, a leading hotelier accused Finance Minister and Kerala Congress (M) chief KM Mani of taking a Rs10mn bribe to get the licences of cloed bars renewed. To add to Chandy’s worries, the Kerala High Court allowed 312 bars to continue functioning until their petitions are heard and ordered issue of licences to 10 of the 418 bars shut down in April for failing to meet standards. The Kerala Catholic Bishops Council, championing the prohibition campaign, asked the government to go tough on the “liquor lobby” to ensure that it was not defeated in the court. “I told you, these allegations are baseless. They are raising this after so many months without any proof. Where were they all these days?” asked Chandy. “Everybody knows what their motivation is.” On Friday, Biju Ramesh, the working president of the Kerala Bar Hotels Association (KBHA), appeared before a special team of Vigilance and AntiCorruption Bureau (VACB) of the state’s police which is probing his allegations. Though he insisted that the minister forced the hoteliers to pay Rs10mn before the bars were closed in April and he delayed a cabinet decision against it demanding Rs50mn more, reports said the hotelier failed to produce any evidence during the three-hour questioning. “We are not going to go back on our prohibition plan,” said the chief minister. A day after the KBHA backed Ramesh and formed a ﬁvemember panel to “gather evidence” to substantiate his allegations, the lone hotelier who supported him on a television talk, retracted his statement saying he made it under the inﬂuence of alcohol. waz Hussain said: “Advani ji has played a great role in giving direction not just to BJP, but to the politics of the country.” Other BJP leaders who wished Advani on Twitter included Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Birthday wishes for the BJP veteran also came from Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi and actor Anupam Kher. Advani was born on November 8, 1927 in Karachi, now in Pakistan. or some it is a small revolution. For others, a minor victory in a long drawnout war of attrition. Tomorrow, the Supreme Court is to end a 59-year-old de facto ban on women working as makeup specialists on Bollywood ﬁlm sets. The change is the result of a ﬁve-year legal campaign by Charu Khurana, a makeup artist from New Delhi. “Somebody had to take the initiative. This is the 21st century. All over India women are joining all spheres on an equal footing,” the 32-year-old said. The regulation, which has no legal basis, had been maintained to protect the jobs of male makeup artists, ﬁlm workers’ unions have admitted. Women are permitted to be hairdressers, with a series of further restrictions on where and when they can work, but not makeup artists. Khurana ﬁled a private petition, claiming discrimination. Comments by the judges at a hearing last week indicated they agreed. “Why should only a male artist be allowed to put on makeup? How can it be said that only men can be makeup artists and women can be hairdressers? We don’t see a reason to prohibit a woman from becoming a makeup artist if she is qualiﬁed … We are in 2014, not in 1935,” Justices Dipak Misra and U U Lalit were reported as saying. Khurana’s effort is one of many by campaigners trying to force new freedoms for women Campaign against moral policing in what is still a deeply conservative society. She launched her campaign after being ﬁred and forced to pay a Rs25,000ﬁne to the union after a raid on the set of a ﬁlm she was working on as a makeup artist. India’s $2bn ﬁlm industry is the largest in world by ticket sales, producing between 300 to 325 movies a year. Although there are no official ﬁgures, trade analysts say the Hindi-language industry, which is based in Mumbai, employs more than 250,000 people, most of them contract workers. “When I started going to sets there were often only four women: the leading actress, her mum, the hairdresser and me. There is a huge change. It really is a reflection of the new India” In terms of its product and structure, Bollywood is said to represent and reinforce contemporary India’s concerns, dreams and values. “When I started going to sets there were often only four women: the leading actress, her mum, the hairdresser and me. There is a huge change. It really is a reﬂection of the new India,” said Anupama Chopra, a Mumbaibased ﬁlm critic and expert. But if women were working as composers, cinematographers and “in other previously allmale bastions,” top level jobs remained the preserve of men with Search still on for missing sailors IANS New Delhi N Police intervene as rightwing Hindu activists prevent youths from kissing each other during a rally for the ‘Kiss of Love’ campaign, held in protest against moral policing, outside Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh headquarters in New Delhi yesterday. The Kiss of Love movement, a non-violent protest against moral policing, started out as a Facebook page campaign and gathered momentum with youths across the country. only one female studio owner, she added. There is also a signiﬁcant gap in pay for male and female stars, with many men now co-producing ﬁlms while women tend to be “hired.” Advaita Kala, one of the few younger women who are successful writers in the industry, said changes such as allowing female makeup artists indicated progress but there “was a long way to go.” “This year there have been a number of ﬁlms with female lead (characters) and that’s a ﬁrst. Usually you are lucky if there is one. It’s still very much a boys’ club,” Kala said. Many major Bollywood ﬁlms still feature an “item girl” - a female star who has no connection to the plot who performs a dance routine. “Only (in India) would the term ‘item girl’ ﬁnd legitimacy. Cinema is still dominated by the male gaze. Our ﬁlms are feeding us the idea of objectiﬁcation as empowerment. There are still lots of battles to ﬁght,” said Kala. A recent UN-sponsored survey analysed gender roles in popular ﬁlms released across the 10 most proﬁtable territories internationally between 2010 and 2013. It found a higher than average level of female characters in Indian movies shown semi-nude, with few women in signiﬁcant speaking roles or portrayed working. In India, out of a sample size of 12 scientiﬁc or engineering jobs portrayed in Bollywood ﬁlms, 91.7% where held by men. Globally, the report said, girls and women are twice as likely as boys and men to be shown in sexually revealing clothing, partially or fully naked, thin, and ﬁve times as likely to be referenced as attractive. o survivors have been found after an accident involving a torpedo recovery vessel of the Indian navy which left one dead and four missing, navy sources said yesterday. Among the missing is an officer. The vessel sank off the Visakhapatnam coast on Thursday evening. “A full scale search and rescue operation is in progress by the Indian navy for the four personnel reported missing,” an official said. Day and night search operations are on, involving nine ships of the eastern ﬂeet and aircraft including Boeing P8I, Dorniers, Sea King 42C and Chetak helicopters, the official said One handycam video-camera and two life jackets of the vessel were recovered on Friday. A board of inquiry headed by a captain has been constituted to investigate the circumstances leading to the accident. The dead sailor was identiﬁed as James Jacob. According to initial reports, the probable reason for the sinking of the vessel seems to be ingress of sea water (ﬂooding) in the engine room and aft steering compartment. Sources said the likely cause was “material failure.” The vessel, used to recover dummy torpedoes ﬁred by ships and submarines, was built by Goa Shipyard Limited in 1983. The navy has witnessed a series of accidents over the past year. Earlier this year, then navy chief Admiral D K Joshi resigned taking moral responsibility for “the accidents and incidents.” Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 23 INDIA PM to reshuffle cabinet today The rejig could come as a relief to several ministers who have been handling multiple portfolios Agencies New Delhi P rime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to carry out today the ﬁrst major reshuffle of his cabinet since storming to power in May, with the key defence portfolio likely to go to Manohar Parrikar, who resigned as Goa chief minister yesterday. Parrikar’s likely appointment would ease the burden on Arun Jaitley, who has been juggling both the defence and ﬁnance ministries while battling illhealth. Being relieved of defence would allow Jaitley to focus on spurring the ﬂagging economy by making India more investorfriendly. A government source said yesterday that Parrikar had accepted an offer to “head a key ministry.” Like Modi, Parrikar has a strong background in the nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) organisation, accused by critics of sometimes fomenting religious conﬂict in India. Modi was due to hold a breakfast for the newcomers with the swearing-in slated for early afternoon at New Delhi’s Rashtrapati Bhavan presidential palace, media reported. Several new faces could be brought in, while some junior ministers could be elevated to full cabinet rank. Ruling Bharatiya Janata Party sources said Parrikar may be inducted into the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament, from Uttar Pradesh, where the party has 71 of the 80 Lok Sabha members. The sources said 16 new faces will be inducted. Bandaru Dattatreya from Telangana and Sujana Chowdary from Andhra Pradesh are likely to be inducted into the cabinet. Dattatreya, a national vice president of the BJP, is a Lok Sabha member from Secunderabad. Chowdary belongs to the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and is a Rajya Sabha member from Andhra Pradesh. Modi phoned the two MPs yesterday morning and asked them to be in Delhi today morning, sources in the two parties said. Dattatreya is the lone BJP parliamentarian from Telangana and his inclusion will give representation to the newly created state in the federal ministry. Chowdary, a businessman, is a ﬁrst-time parliamentarian and is considered close to TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu. New ministers may be taken from Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar besides Haryana and Maharashtra – the two states where the BJP assumed power for the ﬁrst time last month. Among the names doing the rounds are J P Nadda (Himachal Pradesh), Jayant Sinha (Jharkhand), Ram Kripal Yadav, Girirraj Singh (both Bihar), Vijay Sampala (Punjab), Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Niranjan Jyoti (both Uttar Pradesh), Sanwar Lal Jat (Rajasthan) and Birender Singh (Haryana). The name of former minister Suresh Prabhu is also on the list. However, his party Shiv Sena did not appear happy about it yesterday. Modi is believed to be keen to induct Prabhu - whose performance in critical ministries in the earlier BJP-led government had been praised by all parties - and may give him the responsibility of the railways portfolio. “We have many more experienced and deserving MPs who need to be encouraged. The party is not clear how this will come (Prabhu’s inclusion in the cabinet) from our (Shiv Sena) quota. We are still discussing it and will ﬁnalise the decision shortly,” a Shiv Sena leader said. Babul Supriyo, a singerturned-politician from West Bengal is also expected to be in the list, with West Bengal BJP president Rahul Sinha saying Modi had called Supriyo and informed him of the decision to make him a minister. Olympic medallist Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore also appears to be on the list, according to the sources. Analysts said the rejig could come as a relief to several of Modi’s ministers who have been handling multiple portfolios. Modi, who is single, is widely known as a workaholic intent on shaking India’s economy out of its doldrums. But media reports have said some ministers and bureaucrats have felt overloaded. “Jaitley, for example, was given two key portfolios - each of which required a full-time minister,” said K G Suresh, a senior fellow with the Delhi-based Vivekanand International Foundation think-tank. “Modi was trying to experiment with the idea of having very few ministers,” Suresh said. “It seems he has realised that his ministers are perhaps overburdened and not able to do justice to their work.” The expected reshuffle follows last month’s big BJP gains in elections in Maharashtra and Haryana, which were viewed as another sign that Modi is still enjoying a honeymoon period. Modi wants a strong ministerial team in place ahead of parliament’s winter session, which begins on November 22. Goa Governor Mridula Sinha administering the oath of office to the new Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar yesterday. Parsekar sworn in as new Goa CM IANS Panaji G oa Health Minister Laxmikant Parsekar was sworn in as the state’s 11th chief minister yesterday, beating to the post rivals like assembly Speaker Rajendra Arlekar and Deputy Chief Minister Francis D’Souza who had doggedly opposed his candidature. The diminutive Parsekar, 58, along with nine cabinet ministers was administered the oath of office at the Raj Bhavan grounds yesterday afternoon, shortly after he formally staked claim to form a government. Later speaking to reporters for the ﬁrst time in his new role, Parsekar, a former Bharatiya Janata Party state chief, unwittingly conceded that the shadow of his predecessor Manohar Parrikar, who resigned earlier in the day due to his impending elevation to the central cabinet, would continue to loom large. “Manohar Parrikar is going to return from Delhi on the 13th or 14th (November). We will decide the portfolios after that,” he told reporters. Parrikar will be sworn in as a central cabinet minister today. Manohar Parrikar gets emotional while speaking to reporters after resigning as the chief minister. He is likely to get the defence portfolio. D’Souza, Dayanand Mandrekar, Ramesh Tawadkar, Mahadev Naik, Dilip Parulekar, Milind Naik, Alina Saldanha (all BJP) and Sudin Dhavalikar and Pandurang Dhavalikar (both Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party) were also sworn in as cabinet ministers yesterday. The two remaining vacancies in the cabinet are expected to be ﬁlled up later this month. Earlier in the day, BJP state leaders as well as central ob- Modi takes clean-up mission to Varanasi IANS Varanasi P rime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday took his cleanliness drive to the ‘ghats’ of Varanasi where he took up a spade and cleaned an area on the banks of river Ganges as a part of the Clean Ganga Mission. In the morning, the prime minister went to the Assi Ghat and performed religious rituals amid chanting of hymns, on the second day of his maiden visit to his Varanasi parliamentary constituency after winning the Lok Sabha election from there in May. He later picked up a spade and did ‘shram daan’ along with over two dozen labourers at the ghat as he kicked off the Nirmal Ganga mission. The prime minister dug the silt mound left behind by the surging river during monsoons at the ghat and cleared it for more than 10 minutes. Local Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers also joined him. “I have started the cleanliness drive here and the social organisations have assured me that this entire ghat will be cleaned with- in a month,” he said. Modi nominated nine more people, including Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, cricketers Suresh Raina and Mohamed Kaif, and singer Kailash Kher, to take forward the message to clean India. The other nominees are Chitrakoot Specially Abled University Chancellor Ram Bhadracharya, Bhojpuri singer and BJP MP Manoj Tiwari, Manu Sharma, known for his ‘Krishna Atma Katha’, Sanskrit scholar Devi Prasad Dwivedi and comedian Raju Srivastava. Modi’s last engagement of the day, before returning to New Delhi, was a close-door event at the Ma Anandmayi Sangh where he visited a hospital on the campus and interacted with members and staff of the Sangh which is acclaimed for its work in health and education. On Friday, the ﬁrst day of his visit, the prime minister laid the foundation stone of a trade facilitation centre at Bada Lalpur and adopted Jayapur village. The visit of the prime minister had its share of politics too. While Chief Minister Yadav ﬂew down from Lucknow to receive him on Friday, he did not accom- pany Modi in the events thereafter. Modi rued at a function that the Uttar Pradesh government had not ceded to the central government’s demand to allot land for the trade facilitation centre, forcing it to pick land which was a little away from the city. Yadav responded to prime minister’s allegations and said if he did not like the land where the foundation stone was being laid for the trade facilitation centre, the state was willing to give the land initially sought by the textiles ministry. Modi, who stayed at the Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW) premises here, said it had brought back memories of his childhood when he was closely associated with trains. Writing in the visitors’ book, the prime minister, giving expression to his feelings, said his stay at DLW had been an emotional experience. “From childhood, I have been related to the railways, railway stations and train compartments. I have been staying at this (DLW) premises since yesterday. The atmosphere about railways on all sides has connected me to my childhood,” Modi said. servers Rajeev Pratap Rudy and Purshottam Rupala were busy fire-fighting dissent sparked by D’Souza who since Friday had insisted on refusing to work with Parsekar or Arlekar, claiming both were junior to him. “I am still in the race for chief minister. I will speak to the party’s observers and make my point clear. I will quit government and will stay away from the swearing in ceremony today. I am OK with being an ordinary MLA,” D’Souza told reporters before a meeting of the party legislators. D’Souza, one of the oldest minority faces in the Goa BJP, also claimed the support of 15 legislators. What followed was a series of group and individual interactions at the BJP’s state headquarters spread over nearly three hours between Parrikar, state party president Vinay Tendulkar, and the central observers on the one hand and the BJP legislators on the other. Even as the BJP failed to resolve the crisis, precipitated by D’Souza and his band of members namely Vishnu Wagh and Mandrekar, Raj Bhavan authorities issued formal invitations for the swearing-in ceremony leav- ing the name of the chief minister blank. The breakthrough was achieved an hour-and-a-half before the swearing-in ceremony after a final meeting between D’Souza, Arlekar, Parsekar and Parrikar and the two party observers. Emerging from the meeting, D’Souza did a volte face on his earlier defiant position. “I thought Parsekar was being imposed on us. Today I was told that majority of the MLAs were supporting him,” he said. Party sources said that apart from being made deputy chief minister again, D’Souza would be allotted one additional key portfolio, namely ﬁnance or home. D’Souza however said: “I will be happy with what I am offered.” Rudy sought to paper over the cracks. “There was a complete unanimity as far as the choice of leader of the legislature party was concerned. And it was a unanimous decision when the name of Laxmikant Parsekar was proposed by Manohar Parrikar and seconded by Francis D’Souza who has been elected as the deputy leader of the party,” he said after the meeting. Socialist front has no chance: Paswan IANS Patna C Prime Minister Narendra Modi cleans an area on the banks of river Ganges as a part of the Clean Ganga Mission. onsumer Affairs Minister and the Lok Janshakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan yesterday ridiculed a new front ﬂoated by socialist leaders including Lalu Prasad Yadav and Nitish Kumar. Both Paswan and Minister of State for Rural Development Upendra Kushwaha said the new front stood no chance of making a mark in national politics. Its leaders, they said, were “selﬁsh” and had lost credibility among the people. “It is nothing but an attempt by a group of selﬁsh leaders to form a united front for survival,” Paswan said. Kushwaha said the new front showed its leaders had been rejected by the people. “They are all dejected and frustrated.” The ministers said there was no match for Prime Minister Narendra Modi - even if the proposed front of socialist parties became a reality. “No one can stop Modi’s wave.” Paswan heads the LJP and Kushwaha is president of the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party. Both are allies of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Ahead of the winter session of parliament, leaders of the Samajwadi Party, Janata DalUnited, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Janata Dal-Secular have announced a united front to counter the Modi government. In other developments, senior Congress leader V Narayanasamy describing the BJP-led government as “inefficient,” and said Chinese intrusions and Pakistan’s ceaseﬁre violations have become “regular” since the new government took charge. “When they were in the opposition, they called our government a spineless one while we were diplomatically tackling Chinese intrusion and Pakistan. But now, the situation on the India-China and India-Pakistan border is much grave,” he said. “Almost every day there is shelling by Pakistan and intrusion by China’s People Liberation Army into our territory. Villagers residing near the border have to relocate themselves to army camps. During the Congress regime, there were such incidents but these were minimal and not an everyday affair,” he said. 24 Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 LATIN AMERICA 43 Mexican students are feared massacred AFP Mexico City M exico was confronted yesterday with possibly one of the grisliest massacres in years of drug violence after gang suspects confessed to incinerating the bodies of 43 missing students and dumping them in a river. The disappearance of the students six weeks ago has gripped and horriﬁed Mexico. Gang-linked police attacked the young men in the southern state of Guerrero on September 26, in violence that left six other people dead. The confessions may have brought a tragic end to the mystery, which has sparked international outrage and triggered protests in the biggest crisis of President Enrique Pena Nieto’s administration. But at the young men’s Ayotzinapa teacher-training college, exhausted parents of the victims refuse to accept they are dead un- 7 troops jailed awaiting trial over June killings A Mexican judge has formally placed seven soldiers under pre-trial detention over the June killing of suspected criminals in a case denounced by human rights groups, authorities said on Friday. Three of the soldiers will face a civilian trial on homicide charges while all seven have been accused of crimes against public service, the Federal Judicial Council said in a statement. The three murder suspects have also been charged with altering a crime scene. The army announced on June til DNA tests conﬁrm their identities, saying the government has repeatedly fed them lies. “It appears that the federal government, with great irresponsibility, is interested in closing this matter because it’s all based in testimony. There is nothing deﬁnitive,” Meliton Ortega, uncle of a missing student, told AFP. 30 that soldiers had killed 22 gang suspects in a shootout in Tlatlaya, 240km south of Mexico City. But a witness later told Esquire magazine that the soldiers had executed 21 of the suspects, including her teenage daughter, after they surrendered. The governmental National Human Rights Commission said last month that at least 12 of the suspects were killed after giving themselves up and that the crime scene had been fiddled with to make it look like they died in a shootout. Some parents said the announcement was aimed at allowing Pena Nieto to leave today on a major trip to China and Australia, which has been shortened due to the crisis. “They want Pena Nieto to go on this trip,” said Felipe de la Cruz, a spokesman for the families. Three suspected Guerreros Parents of missing students from a teacher’s training college address the media at their college in Ayotzinapa. Unidos gang members told investigators that local police handed them the students between the southern towns of Iguala and Cocula. In taped confessions, the suspects said they bundled the 43 in the back of two trucks, took them to a nearby landﬁll, killed them and used fuel, wood, tires and plastic to burn their bodies for 14 hours. The students had travelled to the city of Iguala to raise funds but hijacked four buses to return home, a common practice among the young men from a school known as a bastion of left-wing activism. Authorities say the city’s mayor, worried that they would interrupt a speech by his wife, ordered the police to confront them. The officers shot at several buses, leaving three students and three bystanders dead. 25 new lawsuits over forced debt default AFP New York A rgentina told a New York judge on Friday that its court-forced bond default has spurred a raft of new lawsuits against the country, threatening to further tie it up in litigation. In a letter to Judge Thomas Griesa, whose ruling blocking the country from making a debt payment forced it into default in July, Buenos Aires complained that the result has been 25 new lawsuits from creditors. The “practical effect” of Greisa’s injunctions on the country servicing its debt to its main creditors, Argentina said, “has become clear since they went into effect this past June. They did not ‘end’ the litigation.” “The injunctions have had only a negative effect: they have created more litigation.” Griesa had ruled that the country could not make a $539mn interest payment to holders of its restructured bonds on June 30, unless it ﬁrst pays off a group of “holdouts” who refused to take part in its 2005 and 2010 debt restructurings. But Argentina has refused to pay the holdouts, led by two US hedge funds which sued the country for full payment on the defaulted Argentine bonds they hold. In October, the hedge funds assured the court in a letter that other claims on Argentina like their own could be consolidated to make a settlement more easily reached. In the letter on Friday, Argentina said that instead the claims have exploded, from other holdouts and now from holders of restructured bonds, “thereby exacerbating further the situation.” The letter said it had put the country in “an impossible situation”. “There can be no equitable basis for seeking to compel the Republic... to do the impossible by paying in full its holdout debt, much of which was purchased at a deep discount in the secondary market with the aim of extracting through litigation better terms than the vast majority of the Republic’s creditors who participated in the Republic’s debt restructuring,” it said. In response, Robert Cohen, a lawyer for NML Capital, one of the two hedge fund “holdouts”, suggested in a statement that Buenos Aires was simply continuing to avoid a negotiated settlement over the issue. “Since June, when the Supreme Court declined to hear its appeal, the government of Argentina has consistently said that it wants to resolve its debt dispute with all of its creditors,” he said. “The motions outlined in our (October) letter to Judge Griesa provide a constructive vehicle to reach that resolution.” The hedge funds maintain that Argentina is stalling to avoid settling with them, which would mean paying $1.6bn in principal and accrued interest on the bonds they hold. Authorities have arrested 74 people, including the ousted mayor, Jose Luis Abarca, his wife Maria de los Angeles Pineda, 36 police officers and several Guerreros Unidos operatives. If the confessions are true, the mass murder would rank among the worst massacres in a drug war that has killed more than 80,000 people and left 22,000 others missing since 2006. The Iguala case has undermined Pena Nieto’s assurances that authorities were ﬁnally reducing the cycle of murders plaguing the country. Late on Friday, some 300 protesters lit candles on the steps of Mexico City’s Angel of Independence monument before heading to the attorney general’s office, where they spray-painted #I’mTiredOfFear. “I feel helpless, angry, incred- ulous at what the government said. I’m fed up,” said Judit Urena, mother of a seven-year-old girl. The hashtag #I’mTired became a trending topic on Twitter after Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam uttered the words during a somber news conference announcing the apparent massacre on Friday. The radical CETEG teachers union in Guerrero threatened to lead new protests in the state, where demonstrators torched part of the regional government headquarters last month. Murillo Karam stopped short on Friday of declaring the 43 dead and said an Austrian university would help identify the remains. But the chief prosecutor added that there was “a lot of evidence... that could indicate it was them.” Murillo Karam presented gruesome details of the killing, with videos of small pieces of charcoal-like remains that were found in black plastic bags in a river. After incinerating the remains, the suspects say crushed them into pieces and burned their own clothes to hide evidence. Parents of the missing say they will not accept they are dead until independent Argentine forensic experts deliver DNA results. Last month, two hitmen had already confessed to killing 17 of the students and dumping them in a mass grave near Iguala. But authorities said tests showed none of them were among 28 bodies found in the pit. Murillo Karam said Friday the grave contained men and women who were killed in August. 7 Farc guerrillas face ‘indigenous’ justice AFP Bogota S even suspected Farc guerrillas will be tried today by an indigenous court for murdering two leaders of the Nasa tribe in western Colombia, officials said. The leftist rebel ﬁghters face penalties including lashes, expulsion from the territory, forced labour or prison, Northern Cauca indigenous councils association leader Gabriel Pavi said. When crimes are committed in aboriginal territory, the punishment for the accused is decided by the community and not the ordinary justice system. An assembly of about 5,000 members of the indigenous reserve in the Cauca province town of Toribio will debated for six hours whether the captured guerrillas were guilty and what sanctions they should face. “An investigating committee will report to the council authorities. The authorities will put it up for consideration by the assembly, which will determine the remedy to be applied to those who were caught,” said Pavi. The suspected rebel ﬁghters on Wednesday attacked two native leaders who were removing billboards praising the late leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, Guillermo Leon Saenz, also known as Alfonso Cano. A man puts a candle over the coffin of Daniel Coicue, a member of the indigenous Nasa tribe recently killed by alleged rebels, during his funeral in El Flayo, a rural area of Toribio, department of Cauca, Colombia. Pavi said the guerrillas were captured “in uniform and with riﬂes” and that “all are indigenous.” The Colombian constitution gives indigenous authorities jurisdiction over their own territory, unless this contra- venes the national constitution or the laws of the country. Colombia’s indigenous population reached 1.4mn in 2005, the latest official ﬁgures, out of a total population of 48.3mn. Dead ﬁsh in Rio Olympic bay baffle scientists By Claire de Oliveira Neto, AFP Rio de Janeiro T Dead fish wash ashore on a beach in Paqueta Island at Guanabara bay in Rio de Janeiro. housands of dead ﬁsh have begun mysteriously washing up in the polluted Rio bay that will host sailing events at the 2016 Olympics - and experts are at a loss to explain why. Guanabara Bay has already been the subject of concern amongst sailors who are to compete in Rio because of the human sewage that gets pumped into its waters. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has expressed conﬁdence that Guanabara will be ﬁt for purpose by the time of the games. But the recent appearance of thousands of dead ﬁsh, and the foul stench of their rotting carcasses, has attracted further scrutiny with the Olympics less than two years away. Scientists are baffled by the phenomenon but say there is no evidence so far to suggest pollution is the cause. The foul odour ﬁrst took over the usually peaceful Paqueta Island, where cars are banned and the population of 4,500 people travels on horseback or bicycle among the only baobab trees in Brazil. With the help of a bulldozer, a municipal company has removed 20 tonnes of dead sabalo ﬁsh - from the Clupeidae family of herrings and sardines - as well as four dead sea turtles. “Tests showed that this is not a matter of chemical or toxic water pollution,” Rio do Janeiro State University oceanographer David Zee told AFP. Leandro Daemon of the National Institute for the Environment, or INEA, agreed that water testing had not identiﬁed any toxic chemicals or any unusual change in the water’s pH (potential of hydrogen), salinity or oxygen. “We have no answer yet about what happened, but we can certainly exclude the hypothesis of a chemical pollution killing the ﬁsh,” he said. But not everyone is so sure. Worried ﬁshermen and islanders are pointing the ﬁnger at the petrochemical activities of state giant Petrobras. “We want to know why so many ﬁsh have died. The rotten smell is horrible and there are many ﬂies on the island. The authorities tell us nothing,” said Vilma Leocadio of the Paqueta citizens’ association. “We are afraid, we do not bathe in the sea anymore and do not buy ﬁsh here.” Rosimere Figueiredo, 52, said Paqueta was in distress. “I do not encourage you to step in the water with all those dead bodies of ﬁsh. We see them dying,” she said. Five of the ﬁsh were sent last week to the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro’s biology department for analysis, and the results will be announced in a week. Experts want to know if there are any signs of pollution or disease in the entrails or gills. One hypothesis is that the culprit is predatory ﬁshing. At this time of year, ﬁshing is prohibited, but it is common for ﬁshermen to still work, catching ﬁsh like sabalo that have a lower market value, Zee said. But the expert said the likeliest scenario was that the deaths are caused by “thermal pollution” of the water. “Sabalo are very sensitive to any lack of oxygen. Warm water temperatures such as those recorded several days ago - ranging from 27 to 30 degrees Celsius - in shallow water decrease the solubility of oxygen,” Zee said. He noted that Paqueta is located at the bottom of the Rio bay, where water circulation and exchange is more difficult, a phenomenon exacerbated by the low tide. “What is striking is the duration of this mortality and also the high temperature of the water,” said biologist Mario Moscatelli, who has studied the bay’s waters for 20 years. “I ﬂew over the area in early October, and ﬁsh were ﬂoating. At ﬁrst, we thought they were thrown into the sea by ﬁshermen. But before too long, I saw them dying in a way that seemed they were missing oxygen.” He said the sabalo, being more sensitive, are the ﬁrst ﬁsh to die in the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, which contains sea water carried through a canal in Rio’s southern zone. “But in case of chemical contamination, other species will die,” he said. “We have more questions than answers. We must wait for the results of the analysis.” Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 25 PAKISTAN/AFGHANISTAN Court summons Musharraf over cleric’s death AFP Islamabad A Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chinese President Xi Jinping chair a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing yesterday. Pakistan to help China ﬁght Xinjiang militants Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif meets Chinese President Xi Jinping Islamabad promises to help Beijing fight a terrorist threat in its far-west ; Pakistan wins Chinese investment worth $42bn Reuters Beijing P akistan will help China with its ﬁght against extremists Beijing says are active in its unruly far western region of Xinjiang, the country’s prime minister said yesterday during a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. China blames the East Turkestan Islamic Movement for carrying out attacks in Xinjiang, home to the Muslim Uighur people, though many foreign experts doubt the group’s existence in a cohesive group. China, Pakistan’s only major ally in the region, has long urged Islamabad to weed out what it says are militants from Xinjiang, who are holed up in a lawless tribal belt, home to a lethal mix of militant groups, including the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Hundreds have died in unrest in Xinjiang in the last two years or so. Exiles and activists say Chinese controls on the religion and culture of the Uighur people is more a cause of the violence than well-organised militant groups. Pakistan Prime Minister Mohamed Nawaz Sharif told Xi that his country would “continue to resolutely ﬁght the East Turkestan Islamic Movement terrorist forces”, China’s foreign ministry said in a statement following the meeting in Beijing. Pakistan will increase its coordination with China on Afghanistan too, so as to “jointly maintain regional peace and stability”, Sharif said. Pakistan will also do all it can to guarantee the safety of Chinese companies and workers in the country, he added, who have in the past been attacked by militants. China and Pakistan call each other “all-weather friends” and their close ties have been underpinned by long-standing wariness of their common neighbour, India, and a desire to hedge against US inﬂuence across the region. China’s foreign ministry said the two countries had signed more than 20 agreements on Sharif’s trip, including on nuclear power and on the deepwater port of Gwadar, which China is developing. It provided no details. An official said China has promised Pakistan investment worth $42bn, an official said. Pakistan suffers from chronic electricity shortages and Islamabad has long sought investment in coal-ﬁred power stations which it sees as a solution to the problem. The new agreements pave the way for Chinese stateowned companies to help build at least four new power stations in Pakistan, while the deals also cover the supply and mining of coal, the prime minister’s press office said. “The deals being signed between China and Pakistan are worth $42bn. The whole investment is being made by China,” said Amir Zamir, spokesman for Pakistan’s ministry of planning and development. “There is no loan or aid for the energy projects, but pure investment by the Chinese,” he said. The agreements signed between the two countries include solar power production at Quaid-e Azam Solar Park, easy loan for laying optic ﬁbre between the two countries, mining of 65,00,000 metric tonnes of coal in Thar Block-2, 870 MW Sukhi Kinari hydropower project, 1320 MW Sahiwal power project and MoU for 100 MW Jhimpir wind power project. L t Gen Rizwan Akhtar has taken over as the head of powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), succeeding retired Lt Gen Zaheerul Islam. “Gen Akhtar has taken over as the next director general of ISI,” a military official conﬁrmed the change at ISI headquarters, commonly known as Aabpara. Gen Akhtar, known to be a close ally of Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif, was named as director general of the ISI by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in September, more than a month in advance, in an attempt to avoid controversy over the appointment at a time when civilmilitary relationship was passing through a critical phase. With Gen Akhtar assuming the office of ISI chief, all promotions of two to three star generals made by the army chief in the latest phase have taken effect. This makes the army chief more powerful than when he took over the command last December as he is now believed to have consolidated his grip over. The new spy chief has assumed office at a time when the country is faced with grave external and internal challenges. The landscape of militancy in the country is changing with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan getting weaker and is forming new alliances for its survival and Middle East-based terrorist group Islamic State (Daesh) making entry into Pakistan. Gen Akhtar had advocated “rapprochement with India”, “greater transparency in the (country’s) nuclear programme” and limiting the military’s role to national security from external threats At the same time law and order situation in Karachi, where Gen Akhtar till recently headed Sindh Rangers, is still bad, if not getting worse and Balochistan insurgency continues to threaten the integrity of the country. The change comes at a time when civil-military relations are being re-deﬁned and the ISI is yet to clear itself of allegations of supporting sit-ins of the Pa- kistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek, which had brought the government to a standstill for weeks. On the external front, tensions with India have heightened and terrorist sanctuaries in Afghanistan pose serious threat to the progress made by security forces in their counter-terrorism operations in tribal areas. All these challenges aside, the job of leading the ISI, an intelligence agency which has expanded its domain much beyond the traditional role of a spy outﬁt to all spheres of governance, is itself a no mean task. Many expect Gen Akhtar to fundamentally transform the ISI’s working. The ISI chief may be one of the most powerful persons in the country, but still he has only an implementation role with policies decided at the General Headquarters. Therefore, the nuances can change with more focus on counter-militancy, but the basic policy framework will broadly remain unchanged. While not much is known about Gen Akhtar’s thinking, Pervez Musharraf satisﬁed with the security arrangements for the hearing, adding that the court has now ordered police to provide details for the ex-army chief’s appearance in the court. “We had requested the court to exempt General Musharraf for appearance in the court on medical grounds and security fears, because Islamabad’s police have not responded to our request about security arrangements,” said Musharraf’s lawyer Akhtar Shah. “The judge rejected our plea but also ordered police to provide security details.” Musharraf also faces treason charges over his imposition of emergency rule in 2007 -- a historic ﬁrst in a country ruled for half its existence by the military. He further faces murder accusations over the 2006 death of Baluch rebel leader Nawab Akbar Bugti and the 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. In June, Pakistan’s Supreme Court suspended a decision which would have allowed Musharraf to leave the country. 17 insurgents killed in Khyber tribal district AFP Islamabad P Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif shakes hands with China’s President Xi Jinping before a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing yesterday. Rizwan Akhtar assumes charge as new ISI chief Internews Islamabad Pakistani court yesterday said former military ruler Pervez Musharraf must appear at a hearing in December over a cleric’s death during a bloody mosque siege, rejecting his fears over security. Musharraf faces a string of court cases dating back to his 1999-2008 rule, including over the death of radical cleric Abdul Rashid Ghazi, one of more than 100 people killed after Pakistani troops stormed the Red Mosque in Islamabad on July 10, 2007. The mosque was the scene of a week-long military siege against radicals that unleashed a wave of Islamist attacks across Pakistan. Musharraf’s legal team has fought to avoid a court appearance over the case being pursued by Ghazi’s family, citing ill health — he has been receiving treatment for heart problems — and security fears. The former president narrowly escaped an apparent assassination attempt in Islamabad in April as a roadside bomb went off shortly before his convoy was due to pass. “The court has rejected the exemption plea of General Pervez Musharraf in the case regarding killing of Abdul Rashid Ghazi and ordered him to appear on the next hearing of December 6,” Abdul Haq Malik, the lawyer representing the cleric’s son Haron-ur-Rashid Ghazi, told AFP. Musharraf’s lawyer said the former leader had not been an academic dissertation he authored in 2008 while studying at the US Army War College is used by analysts to read his mind. In the dissertation, Gen Akhtar had advocated “rapprochement with India”, “greater transparency in the (country’s) nuclear programme” and limiting the military’s role to national security from external threats. He had suggested that the army should be used for internal security only as a last resort. Gen Akhtar’s parent regiment is Frontier Force. Before his Sindh Rangers assignment (2012-2014), he remained general officer commanding in South Waziristan from 2010 to 2012. His postings in Karachi and South Waziristan provide him a good background in counterterrorism, which is currently the focus of the ISI. Although, Gen Sharif picked a relatively younger general to head the premier intelligence agency, he was the senior most among the batch of six two star generals promoted in September. Hazaras protest against girl’s murder Hundreds of Pakistanis from the Hazara ethnic group staged a protest yesterday against the murder of a six-year-old girl, found dumped near a garbage heap after apparently being subjected to rape attempts. Sahar Batool, who was from the minority Hazara group, was found dead last week in Quetta. Around 500 protesters gathered outside the office of Baluchistan’s police chief and staged a sit-in for around an hour, demanding the immediate arrests of the girl’s killers. akistani security forces killed at least 17 militants in heavy overnight shelling in a restive northwestern tribal area, officials said yesterday. The militants were killed in Bara town, Khyber tribal district, after security forces repulsed an attack on a checkpost. “We have captured 17 dead bodies of Lashkar-e-Islam and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan militants after killing them in overnight action in Khyber tribal district,” a senior security official said. “Our forces had responded to a joint attack by these two militant outﬁts. We are now handing over these dead bodies to the local administration for identiﬁcation.” Another official on the ground in Bara conﬁrmed the killings. In a separate incident, three members of a local peace committee — a volunteer pa- trol force backed by the government to assist in the ﬁght against the Taliban — were killed in an IED explosion. A local administration ofﬁcial in the Landi Kotal area of Khyber said that the three were on a routine patrol when they were hit by the blast. Khyber is one of seven semiautonomous tribal districts on the Afghan border, where Pakistan has been battling Islamist groups for a decade. Militants have taken sanctuary in Khyber after ﬂeeing strongholds in North Waziristan, where the military launched a large-scale offensive in June following a bloody raid on Karachi Airport that ended faltering peace talks between the government and the Taliban. Pakistan’s army says it has killed more than 1,100 militants and lost around 100 soldiers since the start of the operation. The number and identity of those killed is difficult to verify as there is little regular media access to the conﬂict zone. Empowering women Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, also known as Bibi Gul, speaks during an event for empowering Afghan women at the US embassy in Kabul yesterday. The event was organised by the US embassy to promote a long-term support programme for Afghan women and girls. 26 Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 PHILIPPINES Day of tears and prayers as victims mourn at mass graves Slow progress in relief works may prolong the misery Agencies Tacloban, Philippines S urvivors of the strongest typhoon ever to hit land wept at mass graves yesterday during ceremonies to mark one year since the storm devastated the central Philippines and condemned millions to deeper poverty. Super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) claimed more than 7,350 lives as it swept in off the Paciﬁc Ocean, with its record winds and once-in-a-generation storm surges ﬂattening entire towns. The typhoon tore across a corridor of islands where about 14mn people lived in farming and ﬁshing communities that were already among the nation’s poorest. The rebuilding effort has been painfully slow for most survivors, with millions poorer and many dangerously exposed to the next big storm as they still live in shanty homes along coastal areas. In an outpouring of grief, thousands marched to mass grave sites scattered across the typhoon zone yesterday to offer ﬂowers, light candles and say prayers. Josephine Crisostomo, 41, whose three children died during the storm, was among a big crowd at a site on the outskirts of badly hit Tacloban city where more than 2,000 people were buried. “I miss my children terribly, especially John Dave who would have celebrated his birthday tomorrow . . . I miss you, son, I love you so much,” Crisostomo said. Using felt-tip pens, mourners wrote names of those who died on the hundreds of white crosses planted on Residents and survivors release lanterns as part of the memorial service to commemorate the first year anniversary of typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban City. parched earth in symbolic gestures as many of those buried there had not been identiﬁed. “I am looking for my brother, but his name is not on the list of those buried here,” Elena Olendan, 50, told Agence France-Presse, her eyes welling with tears, as she wandered around the grave site, about the size of six basketball courts. Olendan then found a cross at the far end of the mass grave and wrote her brother’s name, Antonio, on it. The Philippines is a mainly Catholic country and many people in the typhoon zones, as well as across the nation, attended special church services. At the Tacloban grave site, white doves and balloons were released after a bishop gave a mass. Tacloban city mayor Alfred Romualdez, who attended the ceremony, said yesterday’s solemn rites gave the sur- vivors an opportunity to let emotions come out. “It’s bittersweet because while they survived, they lost their loved ones, their livelihood and their homes. Now is really the time for them to grieve,” Romualdez told Agence France-Presse. The build-up to the anniversary had focused renewed attention on the pace of the reconstruction effort, with president Benigno Aquino’s government criticised by many for a perceived lack of urgency. Roughly 1mn people need to be moved away from coastal areas that are deemed vulnerable to storm surges, according to a P160bn ($3.6bn) government master plan for rebuilding the typhoon zones. However those plans have already fallen behind schedule, delayed by problems in ﬁnding new land that is safe and suitable for 205,000 new homes. Across the typhoon-hit islands, schools, health centres, gymnasiums and other important community buildings are also yet to be rebuilt or repaired. In a speech at the typhoon-hit town of Guiuan on Friday, Aquino defended the pace of the reconstruction and recovery programme, saying he was determined to ensure it was carried out correctly rather than rushing. “Curse me, criticise me but I believe I must do the right thing,” Aquino said. “I am impatient like everyone else but I have to stress that we can’t rebuild haphazardly. We have to build back better… let’s get it right the ﬁrst time and the beneﬁts should be permanent.” And while millions are enduring Haiyan-exacerbated poverty, there has been some remarkable progress from a year ago, partly due to international aid agencies pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into the region. Some of the big successes of the campaign have been the restoration of electricity within a few months, quick replanting of rice crops and sanitation programmes that prevented major outbreaks of killer diseases. Tacloban, home to 240,000 people, again resembles many other chaotic Philippine cities, with traffic jams, busy market stalls and packed shopping malls. Accuser is using fuzzy math, says VP’s lawyer Manila Times Makati V Filipino protesters light candles for the victims and survivors of super typhoon Haiyan during a protest at Mendiola Bridge, near the Malacanang presidential palace in Manila. Govt way below housing targets Manila Times Makati T housands of Yolanda survivors won’t have permanent homes until 2016. If the pace of construction of permanent houses for survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) does not pick up, thousands of families will still be living in temporary shelters when president Benigno Aquino 3rd steps down in 2016. This is because as of November 5, only 1,252 of the 205,128 housing units the government plans to build for the typhoon victims have been completed. The government target for this year is 8,629 houses. It expects to ﬁnish 7,377 houses by March 2015. For next year, the target is 85,128 housing units, and another 85,128 houses in 2016. A year after the killer typhoon struck Eastern Visayas, thou- sands of survivors are still living in tents or in their damaged houses. The shortage of shelter is palpable in Tacloban City where thousands of survivors are crammed in tent communities. The city government said less than 200 permanent houses have been built and half of that number was constructed by nongovernment organisations. Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez said they need 14,500 permanent shelters for Yolanda victims. The slow construction of permanent shelters prompted Romualdez to urge government to study a mechanism to better address disaster-related issues. “I think it is important to come up with a mechanism to address these issues because we are hit by strong typhoons every year,” he said. “There was Sendong, Pablo, and others. If we say recovery should be fast, it should be really fast. We should have learned our lessons from past disasters,” he said. “I am just saying we have to ask ourselves do we really have the right mechanisms and system in place to address issues like these? If we don’t, we should make systems and mechanisms to speed things up,” the mayor said. Romualdez also pointed out that the government should not “divert” the deﬁnition of the “build back better” programme. He explained that “build back better” should mean “building their [victims] lives back better not building infrastructure better.” “Based on the feedback that we are getting, the people are saying that they should be the priority because they need help, their lives were ruined,” Romualdez said. “They feel that if the focus then was humanitarian response by giving food, the response should be the same in giving shelter, it should be among the priorities. But apparently they feel giving shelter is [the] lesser priority,” he added. In addition to the construction of 1,252 housing units, the national government reported that it ﬁnished construction of 26km of national roads, 57.69km of farm-to-market roads, 158.5km bridges, 2 ﬂood control structures, 101 new classrooms, renovated 833 classrooms, 28 airports, 29 public markets, 3 health facilities in government hospitals and 25 health facilities in regional health units. The Department of Education said more than 17,000 damaged classrooms have been repaired. As of November 4, more than half of the targeted 2,313 classrooms are ongoing construction. Social eelfare secretary Corazon Dinky Soliman said the government is doing its best so that by December 30, families liv- ing in tent cities will have been transferred to better homes. “The task of rebuilding is indeed a challenge but with the private sector, our partner nongovernment and international humanitarian organizations, and the survivors themselves working together, we have no doubt that the areas devastated by ‘Yolanda’ will rise again,” Soliman said. As of last June, there were 3,219 families staying in tents and makeshift houses in Leyte and Samar. Last week, Soliman visited Barangays 88, 89, and 90 in Tacloban to check on the condition of families staying in tents. She also consulted the barangay chairmen to discuss the residents’ transfer to transitional shelters. The DSWD, in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), has been relocating hundreds of families to transition sites. ice president Jejomar Binay’s camp on Friday slammed lawyer Renato Bondal for reportedly using ﬂawed logic and fuzzy math once again in alleging that the Makati Science High School is overpriced. Joey Salgado, Binay’s spokesperson said Bondal conveniently overlooked the fact that the total construction cost includes the cost of the school’s foundation, ﬁnishing and facilities. “If we go by his fuzzy math, then all public school buildings are overpriced,” Salgado said. He added that Bondal had earlier cited data from the National Statistics Office (NSO) in claiming that Makati City Hall Building 2 was overpriced, even if the NSO itself clariﬁed that the data is based on building permit applications and not actual construction costs. “Remember this is the same person who has perjured himself before the Senate. Bondal claimed that the birthday cakes given by Makati to senior citizens were overpriced at P1,000, only to admit later Jejomar Binay that the amount was just a ‘guess’,” Salgado said. “His claim of overpricing in Makati Building 2 and Makati Science High School falls into the same category. It’s guesswork or ‘hula-hula’ that won’t pass scrutiny in a court of law but is being encouraged by the Senate,” he added. The vice president’s spokesperson further said that all Makati projects comply with the process required by law and undergo audit by the Commission on Audit (COA). “Both Building 2 and Makati Science have passed COA review. If Bondal and the senate are conﬁdent in their latest allegations, then they should ﬁle a case before the courts,” he said. Salgado also hit former Makati City bids and award committee head Mario Hechanova for continuing to drag the name of former city engineer Nelson Morales in making false testimonies before the senate. “The family and relatives of former city engineer Nelson Morales are still grieving from his tragic death and Hechanova should spare them the agony of hearing the name of their lost kin being besmirched,” Salgado said. Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 27 SRI LANKA/BANGLADESH/NEPAL Bangladeshi Chinese leader invites chief of terror Dhaka to join bank cell arrested C in India IANS Beijing IANS Kolkata I n a major breakthrough in the Burdwan blast case, India’s West Bengal state police yesterday arrested Bangladeshi citizen Rahamatulla alias Sajid, described as the chief of the Burdwan module, from near the Dum Dum airport in Kolkata. “We arrested Rahamatullah alias Sajid from Jessore Road (under the airport police station). He is a resident of Narayanganj in Bangladesh. Preliminary interrogation revealed he was heading the Burdwan module. The NIA has also said so and had announced a Rs1mn reward for information leading to his arrest,” Bidhannagar police commissioner Rajiv Kumar said. The 33-year-old Sajid is a senior leader of the Jamaat-ulMujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). “According to unconﬁrmed reports, he is also a member of the majlis-e-shura (central committee) of the JMB,” he said. Sajid was picked up around 2.30pm after police intercepted BNP calls nationwide protest rallies By Mizan Rahman Dhaka D enied permission to stage rally yesterday in Dhaka, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) announced a countrywide demonstration programme for today, protesting what it said the government’s undemocratic attitude. Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, acting secretary general, BNP, said: “We didn’t cancel our rally. We’ve been prevented from holding it. We strongly protest and condemn the government’s autocratic attitude.” Fakhrul said they will stage demonstrations in all cities, including Dhaka, and district towns to register their protest for denial of permission for the rally. In Dhaka city, the BNP leader said every unit of the city BNP will stage demonstrations in their respective areas. The BNP was scheduled to hold a rally at the Suhrawardy Udyan yesterday afternoon marking the National Revolution and Solidarity Day. BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia was slated to address the rally. Earlier on October 29, BNP sought permission from Public Works Department (PWD) for holding the rally at Suhrawardy Udyan as well as from the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) ofﬁce for using the loudspeakers at the rally. However, the authorities denied it the permission for the programme. DMP authorities said they would allow BNP to hold an indoor rally in the city if the party wanted to do so. Fakhrul said the government has closed all the spaces for democratic practice in the country. “Now there’s no democracy in the country. Democracy has now been crushed under police boots.” BNP Dhaka city unit convener Mirza Abbas urged the government to refrain from obstructing their peaceful democratic programmes. a courier who was supposed to hand over Rs100,00 to him. “The anti-terrorism squad team was following information about some illegal monetary transaction. Our men intercepted a courier when he was receiving the money. They managed to convince him to call Sajid. We laid a trap and rounded him,” the police chief said. Sajid would be handed over to the India’s National Investigation Agency, which is probing the October 2 blast in the semi-urban locality of Khagragarh, about 100km from Kolkata, in Burdwan town of Burdwan district. The accidental blast inside a house killed two suspected JMB militants and injured another. Sajid’s arrest comes a day after the NIA nabbed his close associate Zia-ul-Haque from northern West Bengal’s Malda district in connection with the blast. Indian police yesterday said they have arrested a 36-yearold woman suspected of being involved in a plot to assassinate the prime minister of Bangladesh and carry out a coup. The arrest came days after Indian security officials said they had uncovered a plot by members of the JMB, accused of carrying out scores of attacks in Bangladesh, targeting Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The group also planned to assassinate the country’s main opposition leader, Khaleda Zia, Indian officials said. Pallab Bhattacharjee, additional director general of police in the northeastern Indian state of Assam, said the woman had been also charged with collecting arms with an intention of waging war against India. “She has been arrested by the special operations unit of the Assam police and will be produced in court today,” he said. The alleged assassination conspiracy was discovered after two members of the outlawed group were killed in an explosion while building homemade bombs at a house in Burdwan town of Burdwan district in West Bengal last month. Indian police say the militants were Bangladeshis and were using India as a safe haven to plan the attacks. hinese President Xi Jinping said Bangladesh is welcome to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as a founding member, and the two countries must enhance co-operation in trade, agriculture, infrastructure development and maritime industry. Xi made the remarks yesterday morning during his meeting with visiting Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid, who is in Beijing for a dialogue on strengthening connectivity partnership, Xinhua reported. Xi said China’s vision to build the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road will create chances for both countries. The two countries should work together to push the building of an economic corridor linking Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar, Xi said. Describing Bangladesh as an important partner of China in South Asia and Indian Ocean region, Xi said the bilateral relationship features friendship, trust and cooperation. China appreciates Bangladesh’s support in issues concerning China’s core interests and will as always support its cause to safeguard independence and sovereignty and realize stability and development, he said. At the meeting, Hamid said Bangladesh expects to learn from China’s experience in poverty alleviation and seize the chance brought by the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st China’s President Xi Jinping, right, shaking hands with Bangladesh’s President Abdul Hamid prior to the Dialogue On Strengthening Connectivity Partnership at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing yesterday. Twenty-ﬁrst Asian countries signed the memorandum of understanding on establishing AIIB last month in Beijing, including Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, the Philippines, Qatar, Century Maritime Silk Road to promote trade and connectivity. Bangladesh will work with China in climate change and disaster control while helping promote co-operation between China and the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation, he said. Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. The dialogue on strengthening connectivity partnership scheduled yesterday in Beijing would be attended by leaders from China, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan and Tajikistan. Lanka rejects UN allegations over war probe AFP Colombo S ri Lanka yesterday angrily rejected accusations by the UN rights chief that it was sabotaging a war crimes probe into the country’s brutal separatist war, calling the charges “extremely regrettable.” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Friday accused Colombo of creating “a wall of fear” and repression to scuttle the UN-mandated probe by subjecting civil society groups and rights activists to surveillance, harassment and other forms of intimidation. But yesterday Sri Lanka denied the charge. “The Government of Sri Lanka, its departments and agencies made no attempt whatsoever to prevent bona ﬁde witnesses from submitting information to the investigation team,” Colombo’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Ravinatha Aryasinha, said in a statement. “Neither was any attempt made to deter and intimidate individuals from submitting evidence. The submissions that the Investigation would have received by now would stand to prove this fact,” he added. The UN Human Rights Council last March ordered an international investigation into allegations that up to 40,000 ethnic Tamil civilians were killed by government troops in the ﬁnal months of ﬁghting in the civil war, which ended in 2009. Sri Lanka, which denies any civilian was killed by its security forces, has repeatedly refused to cooperate with the probe, insisting a domestic commission of inquiry can do the job. “The government of Sri Lanka has refused point blank to co-operate with the investigation despite being explicitly requested by the Human Rights Council to do so,” Zeid said. In his statement, Aryasin- ha said that his government’s “categorical rejection of the investigation established by the Human Rights Council is not tantamount to concealing information.” “The Government of Sri Lanka has steadfastly maintained that it owes to the country’s dignity not to subject its people to an investigation that does not conform to even the minimum requisites of justice and fair play. “This position has been overwhelmingly endorsed by the national Parliament. It is a principled position which the Government chose to take that was supported by many countries in the Council.” The Sri Lankan government charged earlier this week that the probe had been “unprofessional” and that its approach was “selective and biased”, accusations Zeid ﬂatly rejected. The UN has estimated up to 100,000 people may have been killed in the separatist conﬂict between 1972 and 2009. Youths in Nepal take pride in preserving ancient dance form India to provide vehicles for summit IANS Kathmandu India will provide six sophisticated armoured vehicles to ferry the world leaders during the 18th Saarc summit to be held in Kathmandu later this month. India had offered to provide these bullet proof vehicles to Nepal free of charge, foreign ministry sources said. The vehicles will be utilised to ferry heads of the government or heads of the state during the summit being held from November 26-27, the sources said. The bullet-proof Mercedes-Benz cars are scheduled to land in Kathmandu in a special cargo flight on November 15. These bullet-proof cars will be at the disposal of six, out of eight, participating heads of state of Saarc member states during the two-day jamboree. According to officials, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will himself bring one such car with him during his travel while Nepal’s Prime Minister Sushil Koirala already has one. During Modi’s last visit to Nepal in August, the Indian government had brought such two bulletproof BMWs in Nepal. Besides, additional 32 high-end Mercedes Benz sedans, which the Nepal government has arranged to rent from India’s private firms for the summit, will be arriving in Kathmandu via land routes on November 19. F or the past 12 consecutive nights, Nepali youths converged in the historic Patan Durbar Square in Kathmandu to join in the preservation of Kartik Naach, a dance-drama performed since ancient times. To the accompaniment of throbbing music, the youths try to safeguard the unique form of 17th century narrative dance and attune it to modern choreography, Xinhua reported. It is believed that the narrative dance is based on stories from Hindu mythology. The underlying theme of the whole performance is the triumph of god over evil forces. Ravi Krishna, 45, plays the lead. He has been playing the role of Varaga Avatar for the past eight years. “It gives me immense pleasure to act like a hero in front of the audience. My father and grandfather used to perform in this legendary show, and now, I am continuing this tradition. I am preserving this culture for the future generation,” he said. This sophisticated annual dance-drama was ﬁrst performed during the Malla period Artists performing during the Kartik Naach festival in the ancient courtyard of Patan Durbar Square in Lalitpur, near Kathmandu. when Nepal was ruled by king Siddhi Narsingh Malla. The Malla period is regarded as the Golden Age of Nepali culture. Since then, the dance-drama has been performed every year by young Nepali actors and dancers. Kiran Chitrakar, an artist and chairman of Kartik Naach preservation committee, said that he has been involved in Kartik Naach for the past 23 years. “It’s not merely a dance or a cultural performance. It is a symbol of our identity as a people. Over the years, Kartih Naach never lost its beauty and meaning,” he said. According to cultural experts, during the ancient times, the dance-drama used to be staged in the open for a whole month. Now, the period for the performance has been shortened with some stories removed. This historical dance-drama has only two or three major characters but there are around 40 artists involved in the show and most of them are young performers. “It’s a matter of pride to continue this dance culture as a tribute to our forebears. I would continue to perform until I get old,” said Bibek Shrestha, a 21-yearold student who has been performing for the past four years. Despite the chilling autumn evening, Patan Durbar Square has been ﬁlled with spectators during the performances. “I have been watching Kartik Naach since childhood, it’s just awesome. It’s a unique type of entertainment for young people”, Smriti Silpakar, 24, said. This dance-drama is named Kartik Naach because it is being performed on the Nepali month of Kartik, which falls in October or November. Kartik Naach is a cultural heritage that the Nepali people would continue to perform and preserve even with the onslaught of Western entertainment. 28 Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 COMMENT Chairman: Abdullah bin Khalifa al-Attiyah Editor-in-Chief : Darwish S Ahmed Production Editor: C P Ravindran P.O.Box 2888 Doha, Qatar [email protected] Telephone 44350478 (news), 44466404 (sport), 44466636 (home delivery) Fax 44350474 GULF TIMES Qatar Airways joins global efforts to boost travel security Qatar Airways’ decision to use the Interpol database to screen the passports of its passengers will go a long way in realising a global initiative to make air travel even safer. As part of efforts to enhance international travel security, Qatar Airways recently signed an agreement with International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) to use the world police body’s “I-Checkit” system to screen the passports of its passengers against Interpol’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) database. With the agreement, the national carrier has become the ﬁrst full-service airline to use I-Checkit, joining regional low-cost carrier AirAsia in piloting the Interpol initiative, which allows select partners in the travel, hotel and banking industries to send their clients’ travel document information to be screened against the SLTD database. Through I-Checkit, partners such as Qatar Airways send the passport numbers of passengers through secure channels to be compared against Interpol’s SLTD database, which contains more than 43mn records of lost or stolen travel documents from some 168 countries. The International Air Transport Association (IATA), the global body of airlines, has launched a global initiative on in-ﬂight tracking of passenger aircraft since the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board in March this year. “We cannot let another aircraft simply vanish,” said Tony Tyler, IATA director general at a media event in Doha on the sidelines of the global body’s annual general meeting this year. Tyler had also urged governments to make better use of information sources like Interpol’s lost or stolen passports database. Some 240 member airlines of IATA carry nearly 85% of all passengers and cargo worldwide. The global airline body had set up a task force that will make recommendations by end-2014 on how commercial aircraft can be tracked continuously. Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker said the airline always placed “great importance” on the safety and security of its passengers and added that the national carrier viewed Interpol’s I-Checkit as an opportunity to “further enhance its stringent safety and security measures”. IATA had also called upon governments to step up the use of passenger databases such as the one operated by Interpol to determine if a passport has been stolen. Interpol has a database of 43mn stolen or lost travel documents, but most countries don’t run passports through its computer system. But the global initiative led by IATA, Interpol and supported by airlines such as Qatar Airways may soon change that. Recently, the European Union called on its member countries to systematically check all passports against Interpol’s SLTD database at their borders and to ensure their records of lost and stolen passports are promptly shared with Interpol. This, according to Interpol secretary general Ronald K Noble, was a very positive development. “Nothing short of a co-ordinated global approach uniting the law enforcement community and private industry via I-Checkit will be sufficient for preventing criminals and terrorists from moving between countries undetected to carry out their illicit activities,” he said. Challenges as Eastern Europe completes 25 years of transition Several Central European countries have achieved per capita GDP levels that place them on the lower rungs of the eurozone’s income ladder By David Lipton Washington W hat a difference 25 years can make. In 1989, Central and Eastern Europe embarked upon a historic transformation, from authoritarian communism to democratic capitalism. With memories of the old system already beginning to fade, it seems ﬁtting to look back at the region’s achievements, review the lessons learned and examine the challenges ahead. It would be a mistake to assume that the success of the region’s transformation was inevitable. At the close of the Cold War, Central and Eastern Europe’s economies were burdened by pervasive state ownership and concentrated investments in heavy industry. Fiscal and monetary policies had focused on boosting industrial growth, without regard to macroeconomic balance, resulting in chronically excessive demand and widespread shortages. To make matters worse, most of the region – Czechoslovakia being a notable exception – was plagued by unsustainable external debt and soaring inﬂation. Meanwhile, few economists or policymakers had the background needed to tackle the complex tasks ahead. Such was the scale of the necessary transition that neither modern macroeconomics, nor the International Monetary Fund’s nearly 50 years of experience, offered much guidance. The challenges to be overcome were daunting, and many thought it would be impossible. Instead, four key ingredients contributed to successful transitions. First, courageous politicians and policymakers took on the challenge of designing crucial reforms and explaining their consequences to a public that was understandably wary. They understood the historic nature of the task and embraced the challenge. Some countries, especially in the Balkans and the Commonwealth of Independent States, are far from completing the transition Second, the reform strategies focused squarely on the essential: the liberalisation of prices to reﬂect scarcity and facilitate the allocation of resources; stabilisation of ﬁnances to end shortages and inﬂation; and privatisation of state-owned companies and assets in order to improve corporate governance and performance. Countries that implemented these policies generally made the quickest and most complete progress. Third, the allure of rejoining Europe after years of isolation, together with the European Union’s commitment to enlargement, provided a gravitational pull – and a legislative template – that helped policymakers justify and implement difficult reforms. Unpopular laws sometimes brought down governments, but the ultimate litmus test for any new policy remained: “Will it lead us back to Europe?” Finally, external support helped the region’s heavily indebted countries face the twin tasks of implementing structural reforms and coping with ﬁnancial instability. Financing from the IMF, the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and bilateral lenders, along with debt relief from official and commercial bank creditors, helped relieve the pressure. Technical assistance, capacity building, and support for privatisation – of banks, in particular – further smoothed the way. Overall, the progress has been impressive. Several Central European countries have achieved per capita GDP levels (measured in terms of purchasing power parity) that place them on the lower rungs of the eurozone’s income ladder. Standards of living in the region have improved dramatically – even if full convergence with Western Europe is far from achieved. Unsurprisingly, however, the picture is far from rosy everywhere. Some countries, especially in the Balkans and the Commonwealth of Independent States, are far from completing the transition and have gone through repeated cycles of hope and crisis. As elsewhere in the world, growth in the region has slowed sharply since the global financial crisis erupted in 2008. The pace of reform has slowed in many countries – and reversed in a few. Geopolitical considerations have complicated matters further, as the conflict in Ukraine demonstrates. Looking ahead, one can envision two broad scenarios. In the ﬁrst, the region risks a cycle of weak growth, retreat from market-oriented policies xand increasing disillusionment. As a result, convergence with Western Europe could slow, with many countries lagging far behind – a far different outcome from that envisioned during the boom of the mid-2000s, when convergence within a generation seemed almost like a birthright. In the second, brighter scenario, rapid convergence to advancedeconomy income levels continues, supported by a focus on two priorities, detailed in a new IMF report. A renewed commitment to macroeconomic and ﬁnancial stability allows governments to rein in persistent deﬁcits and growing debts and address their economies’ increasing volume of bad loans. Meanwhile, deeper structural reforms improve the business and investment climate, strengthen corporate governance, expand access to credit, free up labour markets, control public expenditure, and bolster tax administration – all of which puts their economies on track for sustained rapid growth. The IMF, for its part, has been a committed partner to Central and Eastern Europe and its transformation throughout the past 25 years. It stands ready to help countries in the region make the next quarter-century just as impressive. - Project Syndicate zDavid Lipton, ﬁrst deputy managing director at the International Monetary Fund, was senior director at the US National Economic Council and National Security Council during President Barack Obama’s administration and under-secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs under President Bill Clinton. With the agreement, Qatar Airways has become the first full-service airline to use I-Checkit To Advertise [email protected] Display Telephone 44466621 Fax 44418811 Classified Telephone 44466609 Fax 44418811 Subscription [email protected] 2014 Gulf Times. All rights reserved A general view of the installation “Lichtgrenze” (Border of Light) on a foot bridge along a former Berlin Wall location near Bornholmer Strasse. A part of the inner city of Berlin is being temporarily divided, with a light installation featuring 8,000 luminous white balloons, following the 15.3km path the Berlin Wall once occupied, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the wall. In 1989, Central and Eastern Europe embarked upon a historic transformation, from authoritarian communism to democratic capitalism. Israel’s ex-army officers call for peace initiative By Dr Cesar Chelala New York M ore than a hundred former high-ranking Israeli members of the armed forces and police and intelligence officers have called on Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make a strong move for peace with the Palestinians. In a letter to Netanyahu, the 106 former army and police officers said that he should seriously pursue peace with the Palestinians stating: “We, the undersigned, reserve Israel Defence Forces (IDF) commanders and retired police officers, who have fought in Israel’s military campaigns, know ﬁrst-hand of the heavy and painful price exacted by wars.” The officers called on Netanyahu to embark on a “courageous initiative” and make peace with the Palestinians and other Arab countries. The letter came at a time when the situation is rapidly deteriorating in Gaza and in Jerusalem. Following an October 24 suicide attack in the Sinai Peninsula where some 30 policemen were killed, Egypt closed the Rafah crossing, a 12-km long border between Gaza and Egypt. The situation worsened last weekend when Israel also closed its two main border crossings after an anonymous group launched a mortar shell at Israel –the second incident after the August 27 truce. “We expect a show of courageous initiative and leadership from you” As a result of those actions by Egypt and Israel, the Gaza Strip is now totally sealed off, leaving its inhabitants, foreigners and sick people totally isolated, even those in need of medical care. “Gaza had turned into a big prison, and now it will turn into a huge graveyard,” said Fatima Hassan, a 56-year-old breast cancer patient from the town of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. In the letter addressed to Netanyahu, the Israeli officials state: “We fought bravely for the country in the hope that our children would live here in peace, but we got a sharp reality check, and here we are again sending our children out into the battleﬁeld. This is not a question of left or right. What we have here is an alternative option for resolving the conﬂict that is not based solely on bilateral negotiations with the Palestinians, which have failed time and again.” The letter is the brainchild of major general Amnon Reshef, a former armored corps commander. According to the Ynet news website, Reshef, who had fought in the Battle of the Chinese Farm, which took place in 1973 between the Egyptian Army and the Israeli forces, as part of the Yom Kippur War, was sick and tired of repeated fighting instead of adopting one of the Arab peace initiatives such as the Saudi proposal of 2002. The Saudi Initiative, also called the Arab Peace Initiative, is a comprehensive peace proposal ﬁrst put forward in 2002 at the Beirut Summit of the Arab League by the then crown prince, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and re-endorsed at the Riyadh Summit in 2007. The initiative intended to end the Arab-Israeli conﬂict and bring peace to the region. The normalisation of relations between the Arab countries and Israel was conditioned on the complete Israeli withdrawal from all occupied territories and a just settlement of the Palestinian refugee situation based on UN resolution 194 (which calls for a diplomatic resolution to the conﬂict and resolves that any refugees “wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours” should be able to do so or, if they otherwise wish, should be provided with compensation.) George Mitchell, then the US special envoy to the Middle East, announced in March 2009 that President Barack Obama’s administration intended to “incorporate” the initiative into its Middle East policy. This opinion wasn’t supported by later events. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s refusal to take a more active role to end the conﬂict was severely criticised by several of the letter-signers who stated that Israel had the means to reach a two-state solution without jeopardising the country’s security but had failed to do so because of weak leadership. As the signers of the letter wrote to Netanyahu: “We expect a show of courageous initiative and leadership from you. Lead – and we will stand behind you.” zDr Cesar Chelala is a winner of an Overseas Press Club of America award. Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 29 COMMENT The changing face of communism in Vietnam Nearly 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, communism lives on in brand-loving Vietnam, but in a form far removed from its origins By Marianne Brown and Pham Bac Hanoi/DPA A t a fashionable cafe in central Hanoi, Van sips a $3 latte and taps the screen of her iPhone 5. Dressed in a designer cardigan and skinny jeans, the 28-year-old Communist Party member can speak English, but responds to questions in Vietnamese. “I joined (the party) because of my job,” says Van, who works for a staterun media outlet and did not want to give her real name. Being a member gives her a stronger chance of promotion, she explains. In many ways, Van is typical of those born into prosperous families of the post-war period, a generation that has embraced consumer culture, and is too young to remember Vietnam’s years of grinding poverty. The persistent survival of the Communist Party in Vietnam may jar with the widespread adoption of global brands like Starbucks and McDonalds, at least to Western eyes. But Van’s pragmatism reﬂects how the Vietnamese Communist Party has weathered the past decades. Its durability depends partly on how you deﬁne communism. If examined in the economic sense, “then the answer is it is dead in Vietnam”, says Vietnam expert Carl Thayer, emeritus professor at the University of New South Wales in Australia. Communist parties took root in the 20th century across South-East Asia, where some scholars argue that Confucianism, a philosophy of order, Motorcyclists riding past a statue of the Russian communist leader Vladimir I Lenin with bunches of flowers placed by local communist party and government’s organisations on the occasion of the 97th anniversary of the Russia’s October Revolution in downtown Hanoi. hierarchy and strict moral codes, made it easier for people to accept the principles of communism in countries historically under China’s inﬂuence. Ho Chi Minh, the revolutionary who would lead the Vietnamese against colonial France, “understood the importance of reconciling communism with Confucian culture”, author David Priestland writes in The Red Flag: Communism and the Making of the Modern World. Today, the Vietnamese government continues to promote the “morals and virtues of Ho Chi Minh” at schools, in the media and banners decorating the streets. But some argue this is mostly window-dressing. The current Communist Party “has no understanding about Confucianism and little about communism,” says former government advisor Professor Tuong Lai, who has been a member of the Communist Party for 56 years. Instead of ideology, the legitimacy of the Vietnam Communist Party today “rests on its ability to deliver the economic goods to society at large and not on moral grounds”, Thayer says. This began in 1986 when the Communist Party abandoned its Soviet-style doctrinaire approach to centralised planning with economic reforms known as “doi moi” and the approval of foreign direct investment. Over the years consistent economic growth and foreign investment has led to rising living standards and the upgrading of the country to middle income status. As long as this trend continues, capitalism and globalisation allow the party to continue too. “If Vietnam’s communists had not done away with the Stalinist system of central planning and priority to heavy industry, foreign investors would have stayed away. The capitalist world would have had no incentive to invest in Vietnam,” Thayer says. But that does not mean that old school values are dead. Despite speaking out against corruption and being sidelined for his views, Tuong Lai says he would not consider giving up his party membership. “Some people ask me why I remain in the party,” he says. “I tell them that I stay to clean up the leaders so as to push the country forward. I believe that in the party there are many patriots.” But his optimism does not resonate with many Vietnamese. Farmer Nguyen Van Hien, 53, from Hai Duong province was a soldier posted at the border with China during heightened tensions in the early 1980s. “The current party is very different to the one which ruled the country during the American (Vietnam) War and war against China,” he said. “At that time, they really cared for the life of people. Now they only care for themselves. Support for the party has decreased very fast among farmers.” Media worker Van says she would drop her party membership if she worked for a foreign company. “Maybe in the future it won’t matter for my job, but not yet,” she says. “The majority of Vietnamese people my age don’t care about Ho Chi Minh’s teaching,” Van says. “They just read it or repeat it because it’s become habit.” Weather report Letters Three-day forecast The importance of a second opinion Dear Sir, After reading quite a handful of letters in Gulf Times on hospitalrelated issues, I would like to suggest that unless it’s an emergency medical situation, it’s always advisable to take a second opinion, because doctors are also human beings and to err, as they say, is human. (This is applicable not only to medical issues but also to any task that requires some level of decision-making and planning, such as buying something and planning for school admissions, jobs, marriages, etc.) To support my comment, let me narrate two of my experiences here. The ﬁrst one was related to a top hospital in Doha. I was admitted there a few years ago with severe nausea and vomiting. I thought it was a case of food poisoning and conveyed my feelings to my doctor. But he suggested a few tests and an abdominal ultrasound and came to the conclusion that I needed an urgent surgery to remove my gallbladder since he had spotted “something black” there. I was confused and afraid on hearing this. I didn’t know what to do. But I soon got hold of myself. I told the doctor that I would come back for the surgery at a later date as my family wasn’t there now to support me. I was, therefore, discharged at my own risk. Later I went to India and consulted with two gastroenterologists at Lakeshore Hospital in Kochi and LF hospital in Angamaly (both in the southern India state of Kerala) and did an endoscopy. Both the doctors assured me that there was nothing wrong with my gallbladder or any other organs, to that matter. By God’s grace, I have been ﬁne ever since with all my organs intact and in place. One of my colleagues had done the gallbladder removal surgery from the same Doha hospital almost the same time I was admitted there and, after hearing my story later, was quite shocked. Now, every time we run into each other, the ﬁrst thing he asks me is: “How’s your gallbladder?” He is having some digestive problems like heartburn, etc and suspects that these are all because of his surgery. Though some doctors may tell you that gallbladder is an “unwanted” organ in our body, I strongly believe there is a purpose for everything created by God. I used to think why God had given us two kidneys when actually we required only one to survive. Maybe, God wants to test us whether we are willing to donate the spare one to a needy person. My second experience, which also proves that second opinions are quite important, was related to mobile phones. It was when smartphones ﬁrst came to the market. I had just bought one of the latest models but was not fully familiar with the general interface or the functionalities of the phone’s screen. I was ignorant of the fact that I should swipe the screen to the right in order to receive incoming calls. So, whenever I received a call, I just pressed the icon as I would usually do with my regular handset before. But this was apparently of no use. Thinking of it as a manufacturing defect, I took the phone to its authorised service centre. Guess what! The “authorised service person” also didn’t know of this feature either! He tried the same way as I did on receiving calls and ﬁnally suggested it needed a complete reinstallation of the software! But doing this, I would end up losing all the data which I had stored so far, he warned me. I replied that I would come back to him after copying all the data and left the workshop. On the way back I visited a mobile phone showroom close to the dealer’s outlet and for a second opinion I showed the instrument to a Filipino sales person and explained my problem. (Filipinos, I feel, are often smarter than smartphones themselves!) And presto, he demonstrated to me the way how to take calls in a smartphone. Problem solved! So, you see, a “second opinion” is always useful in this confused world. K John Johnson (Address supplied) TODAY Oil price decline riddle High: 28 C Low: 20 C Slight dust with scattered clouds with chance of rain at places at times and relatively cold by night Dear Sir, MONDAY High: 29 C Low : 22 C I am really surprised by the sudden drop in crude oil prices in the world commodity market. When the prices were going up, experts said it was due to speculation and future trading. Now that the prices are falling drastically, one would think speculation and future trading are again at play. But the question is: who are behind the speculation, the oil producing companies or middle men? P Cloudy TUESDAY High: 28 C Low : 20 C Clear Fishermen’s forecast KN (Full name and address supplied) OFFSHORE DOHA Wind: NW-NE 05-15 KT Waves: 1-3/4 Feet INSHORE DOHA Wind: NW-NE 06-16 KT Waves: 1-2/3 Feet Please send us your letters By e-mail [email protected] Fax 44350474 Or Post Letters to the Editor Gulf Times P O Box 2888 Doha, Qatar All letters, which are subject to editing, should have the name of the writer, address and phone number. The writer’s name and address may be withheld by request. Around the region Abu Dhabi Baghdad Dubai Kuwait City Manama Muscat Riyadh Tehran Weather today Clear P Cloudy Clear Clear Clear Clear Clear Clear Max/min 31/22 24/08 30/15 26/10 27/23 28/21 22/11 12/02 Weather tomorrow Clear Clear Clear Clear Clear Clear Clear Clear Max/min 29/23 23/07 29/17 26/11 27/22 28/19 24/12 12/02 Weather tomorrow P Cloudy Clear P Cloudy P Cloudy Clear P Cloudy P Cloudy P Cloudy P Cloudy Clear C Storms Clear P Cloudy P Cloudy P Cloudy Clear P Cloudy P Cloudy P Cloudy Clear C Storms P Cloudy Cloudy Max/min 20/14 26/17 33/25 12/06 27/18 26/16 31/24 31/20 24/21 17/11 34/27 34/19 13/10 31/24 03/00 28/16 14/10 13/08 26/13 15/05 31/25 22/14 19/13 Live issues Roller-coaster of parenthood driven by love By Barton Goldsmith MCT N ot every man or woman is cut out to be a parent. Some people are unable to deal with the emotional roller coaster of raising a family. It is also a very tough job physically, m1entally and ﬁnancially, so if you aren’t internally prepared with a ton of desire, being a parent may not be your thing, and that’s just ﬁne. I love family and enjoy having all kinds of people around, from grandparents to tiny tots. I just like the energy and all the love that comes with having those I care for - whether related to me or not - close by. But not everyone feels that way, and it can cause a lot of emotional discomfort if you have to be around kids but don’t really enjoy the experience. If you are in a serious relationship and thinking about tying the knot, you and your partner should discuss your feelings about children and family. Unfortunately, most couples forget to talk about this before their wedding day, which sometimes can lead to upsetting discoveries down the road. Parenting is a complete give Many people who are great at being parents when the kids are young may ﬁnd the teenage years to be far more challenging. When you are attempting to get your teenager to take out the trash, help with the dishes or ﬁnish homework, it may be hard to remember that your child was ever an adorable toddler. When kids are as strong-willed as the parents, the home wars can become pretty ugly, and it can bring out the dark side of an overly-stressed mother or father. If you are wondering if you fall into this category, ask yourself this question: have you ever wanted to punch your child? If the answer is yes, then you must look into what is being triggered inside you. There is no reason to ever hit your children, even if they are bigger than you are. Parenting is a complete give. If you get anything back, consider it a gift. But never take the love for granted, because not every family has it. Those close and loving relationships require nurturing and an ability to catch yourself before you go off. I always recommend that if you need to say something and it may come off as criticism, say it to yourself ﬁrst to make sure there is nothing hurtful in your words. On the other hand, when your kid says he hates you or she rolls her eyes at just about everything you say, it can cut deeply. The proper response is to say to your child: “I understand how you feel, but I love you anyway.” This simple statement can disarm any rancour that may be lurking around the corner. Remember that we all get stressed out, and this includes children. We also all can overreact, rather than properly respond, when we have too much on our plates. Having a family discussion is something that few families do, but the results can change things in an amazing way. The goal is to reach a common understanding about how to have a loving home. Children respond to love and kindness. So do we all. The best way to teach your kids the value of a supportive family is to set the example for them. zDr Barton Goldsmith, a psychotherapist in Westlake Village, California, is the author of The Happy Couple: How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time. Follow his daily insights on Twitter at @ BartonGoldsmith, or e-mail him at [email protected] Around the world Athens Beirut Bangkok Berlin Cairo Cape Town Colombo Dhaka Hong Kong Istanbul Jakarta Karachi London Manila Moscow New Delhi New York Paris Sao Paulo Seoul Singapore Sydney Tokyo Weather today C Showers Clear C Storms P Cloudy Clear P Cloudy P Cloudy P Cloudy P Cloudy M Cloudy T Storms Clear Clear P Cloudy M Cloudy Clear P Cloudy C Rain C Storms Clear T Storms Clear Rain Max/min 19/14 26/18 33/24 11/05 29/19 23/15 30/24 32/22 25/21 17/11 34/27 34/23 13/07 30/24 04/02 32/18 12/06 12/06 23/14 15/03 30/27 26/17 17/14 30 Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 QATAR Hand-made ‘Market at Katara an opportunity for entrepreneurs’ By Joey Aguilar Staff Reporter Q atarArt’s Hand-made Market at Katara - the Cultural Village provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs to showcase their products, group’s head Dominika Bozic told Gulf Times. Members of QatarArt showcase a variety of handcrafts and products at the Katara Art Studio courtyard every two weeks. These include jewellery, accessories, paintings, illustrations, graphic designs, craft kits, bags, clothes, home decors, handcrafted cards and boxes, party supplies and homemade food. “Everything is hand-made. We only allow members who are making hand-made stuff here in Qatar; they cannot import anything only supplies (raw materials),” said Bozic. “They cannot buy abroad and resell here.” Since the venue can only accommodate a limited number of stalls, QatarArt tries to rotate its members to the activity. Products with unique and colourful designs are a big hit among the young clients. The market started in March with the same concept and continued until April. It temporarily stopped during summer and continued in October. Bozic said prices also vary, some are cheaper while others are expensive but of good quality. “You can also order cus- tomised items. If you want something different or personalised, you can always ask because here you can ﬁnd members who are artists,” she noted. “We are also trying to bring new stuff,” QatarArt uses various social media to promote their products such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Bozic said they got a positive response from the market in Doha with the full support of Katara. Founded in 2011, the group became active only in October last year. The bi-monthly activity started in March this year in QC to host CSR meet in Dec Q atar Chamber will be hosting the “Second CSR Qatar 2014”, on December 1-3 at the Marriott Marquis City Center, Doha. Remy Rowhani, director-general, QC, said the country will be hosting the event as it prepares “for the next step in its journey toward inclusive growth.” “CSR Qatar 2014 will play a pivotal role in catalysing business orientation towards corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability, which we believe are evolving concepts that are yet to be fully-understood or implemented by businesses,” Rowhani said. He added: “Cultivating a culture of corporate responsibility and transparency and promoting businesses’ role in driving social progress is one of the focus areas for the chamber and we believe forums such as CSR Qatar can provide a platform for stakeholders to share ideas and strategies on how to build a better future for all.” Launched last year with the aim of aligning CSR initiatives with the Qatar National Vision 2030, the conference provides an opportunity for CSR professionals to network with high-level experts from across the region. The programme will have 360-degree stakeholder involvement, gathering policymakers, business leaders, CSR practitioners, academics, and key representatives from NGOs (nongovernment organisations), foundations, and think-tanks. “CSR Qatar provides a dynamic platform for organisations in Qatar and the region to unite for a common cause – of creating shared value and making a difference to the community at large,” said conference director Hoda Abdelhay. Abdelhay said the conference aims to enhance stakeholder collaboration and develop sustainable CSR strategies that are based on proven global models but adapted to accommodate regional business sensibilities and practices. “With a programme agenda geared towards catalysing corporate involvement in the community, this year’s conference will discuss innovative ideas and ways to enhance business contribution to sustainable development. This involves encouraging organisations to continually-improve their positive impact on society while remaining committed to reducing their ecological footprint through energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly practices,” Abdelhay added. During the conference, leading organisations will share their strategy development practices, how they overcame challenges, as well as statistical measurable outcomes or Social Return on Investment (SROI). Dominika Bozic and some of QatArt members showcase their products at the Hand-made Market yesterday. PICTURES: Shaji Kayamkulam. collaboration with Katara Art Studio. From a small online group, QatarArt grew to 60 members now from 30 countries. It is now organising marketing workshops for its members in a bid to improve their marketing skills such as branding, prod- uct photography, and use of social media. Members also meet regularly in most of the parties and gettogether they organise. An artist herself, Bozic sells customised paintings, cards, gift tags, bookmarks, among others. “I think I was born an artist, I cannot live without creating,” she said. Besides the “QatarArt’s Hand-made Market,” its members also participate in different activities in Qatar. Bozic has urged residents to support their group saying they should “pick up unique products and get inspired.” Centre uses cutting-edge therapy to treat cervical cancer patients A The PCDAA meeting in progress. Drugs and alcohol affairs committee holds meeting T he Permanent Committee for Drugs and Alcohol Affairs has held a consultative meeting of the co-ordinators of National Drug Control Strategy (2010-2015) at its headquarters in Sailiya. The meeting was attended by representative of different agencies, including Drug Enforcement Administration at the Ministry of Interior, the Supreme Education Council, the Supreme Council of Health, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage, Qatar Media Corporation, the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Qatar Foundation for Social Protection and Rehabilitation, General Authority of Customs, Eid Charity and Raf with a number of departments at MoI and rehabilitation institutions. Lt Col Ibrahim Mohamed Rashid al-Somaih, secretary, PCDAA, said this consultative meeting was the conclusion of the previous meetings held to discuss the implementation of National Drug Control Strategy (2010-2015), especially the recommendations of the Council of Ministers with respect to the third phase of the implementation of the strategy. He added that the committee will submit its fourth report to the Council of Ministers on what has been accomplished in the third stage of the strategy and proposals for the duration of the fourth stage. The official noted that the strategy has achieved a number of accomplishments including facilities provided for psychiatric treatments and centres for social rehabilitation, in addition to the centres under other establishments like Eid Charity and Raf. He added that the upcoming Naufar project will contribute a lot in this ﬁeld as it will provide state-of-the-art healthcare and treatment facilities for substance abuse therapy and rehabilitation. team from the department of radiation oncology at the National Center for Cancer Care and Research (NCCCR) has successfully implemented a sophisticated initiative – magnetic resonance image-guided adaptive brachytherapy (MRIGABT) – for the treatment of patients with advanced cervical cancer. The project is led by department’s chairperson Dr Noora Mohammed al-Hammadi and Dr Primoz Petric, a senior consultant. Brachytherapy is an interventional radio-oncological procedure, representing an essential treatment component for cervical cancer. The historical or conventional method of brachytherapy is based on a two-dimensional (2D) system of points, deﬁned on pelvic radiographs or computed tomography (CT) images. There are several limitations of the conventional approach, reﬂected in its suboptimal dosimetric (measurement of the absorbed dose delivered by ionising radi- Expert advises caution on selection of artiﬁcial turf P lanners who choose artiﬁcial turf should ensure that they are using environmentally regulated artiﬁcial grass, an expert has stressed. This and other key observations were made at the Future Landscape and Public Realm Qatar conference held recently in Doha. QPM, the leading Qatari project management company, participated in and supported the event as a partner, with landscape architect Hala Shiblaq addressing the challenges related to artiﬁcial and natural grass in a presentation titled “Plastic vs Green”. During the presentation, Shiblaq highlighted the basic challenges landscape architects face when designing projects. “We must be wary of the rubber inﬁll used in some lowgrade artiﬁcial grass ﬁelds, which are often made out of pulverised tyires with traces of heavy metals such as lead and could also contain traces of carcinogens,” she said, adding that the dust produced by constant contact with rubber inﬁll could be inhaled or ingested by those who play on it. Using sand inﬁll is a better Hala Shiblaq, landscape architect option as sand doesn’t absorb as much heat as rubber. It is also preferable to use an underlay, which acts as a shock pad and reduces possible skin abrasion during play due to athletes sliding on the turf. A number of high-quality turf variations are available. So, while choosing artiﬁcial turf, planners should ensure that they are using environmentally regulated artiﬁcial grass. Qatar uses environmentally regulated artiﬁcial grass and the option of using toxin-free inﬁll is available in the country. There are lots of organic alternatives to rubber in- ﬁll, such as dune sand, walnut shells, coconut shells or even cork. One of the disadvantages of selecting the artiﬁcial route is the heat factor. The surface temperature of natural grass is similar to atmospheric temperature, while the surface temperature of artiﬁcial grass can be 20 degrees higher. This makes cooling a necessity with artiﬁcial grass. Shiblaq said developers and designers should refrain from using artiﬁcial grass in residential and educational facilities, sports ﬁelds or playgrounds until the health and environmental impacts are resolved. On the other hand, artiﬁcial grass has its merits when used wisely. They are good for highways and medians, roundabouts or airport grounds where they remain verdant and use zero water. “We also tend to change our behavioural habits when driving next to a green space,” said Shiblaq. “People slow down or remain cautious when they drive in green areas. So, this is one of the things we need to think about when creating future master plans.” She concluded that from a landscape architect’s perspective, local identity must be protected, ecological diversity embraced and artiﬁcial treatments chosen wisely. The summit, part of the Project Qatar conference series, organised by Advanced Conferences & Meetings, provided an opportunity for landscaping and exterior design professionals, urban planners and high-level decision-makers to discuss the latest trends, key challenges, ongoing projects and upcoming opportunities in Qatar’s landscaping and outdoor design industry. ation) and clinical results. The implementation of the modern state-of-the-art MR-IGABT project aimed to reform the brachytherapy practice in the department to improve clinical outcomes. Initiated by the team in February 2013, MR-IGABT is an evidence-based treatment technique that can signiﬁcantly improve the results of treatment in cases of inoperable cervical cancer. With the use of MR-IGABT in advanced cervical cancer, cure rates of up to 90% can be achieved. This represents a 20-30% improvement compared to conventional brachytherapy techniques. This innovative method of treatment is also proven to reduce the rate of complications and allow an improved quality of life for patients. The MR-IGABT initiative was one of 10 clinical practice improvement focused projects that were recently recognised at HMC’s Stars of Excellence Awards. “Our project was developed using evidence-based limitations of conventional brachytherapy and advantages of MR-IGABT. Since its successful implementation, the project has shown clear advantages over the conventional approach,” says Dr Petric. He recalls that between October 2013 and June 2014, the ﬁrst six patients with locally advanced cervical cancer were included in the new MR-IGABT programme. To date, a total of 19 procedures have been successfully conducted. According to Dr Al-Hammadi, MR-IGABT is a complex procedure that requires subspecialised medical expertise and sophisticated technology and infrastructure. “The successful implementation of MR-IGABT was critically dependent on a systematic multidisciplinary approach. With this procedure, we were able to achieve a safe and clinically signiﬁcant rise in the radiotherapy dose administered to the primary tumor in our patients. This improved their chance of a straightforward cure.” Some of the contestants of the ECQ 2014 in a meeting. 18 teams to take part in ECQ 2014 A total of 18 teams from nine universities will take part in the ‘Enterprise Challenge Qatar’ 2014 (ECQ), grand final competition to be held on November 15 at Hamad Bin Khalifa University. The ECQ is an annual competition that encourages and inspires the entrepreneurial spirit among young people in Qatar. The competition was launched in October, with more than 700 students from schools and universities from across Qatar. The teams in the final competition are: Team Illusion and Tigers (Qatar University), The Entrepreneurs and Hawameet (Texas A&M University at Qatar), UCLQatar1 and UCLQatar2 (University College London Qatar), Smart Circle and Horizon (Stenden University Qatar), The Analysts and The Jockeys (Carnegie Mellon University Qatar), NUQ Wildcats and The Qatar Edge (Northwestern University Qatar), ALA and Unicorns (College of the North Atlantic – Qatar), Ibn Adam and GU Team One (Georgetown University Qatar), and Athena and SODA (Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar). Since the launch of this year’s challenge, more than 100 volunteer mentors, the vast majority of whom are Qatari, have delivered coaching sessions on core business concepts, focusing on the computerbased business simulation, which evaluates the teams’ performance as a business in a competitive marketplace over a three-year period. Students also received mentoring on ethical business, which tests participants’ ability to balance the economic, environmental and social performance of their company. Winners of the ECQ Universities Challenge will be honoured and awarded at the upcoming Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) gala dinner on November 16. This year, GEW-Qatar is being held under the patronage of HE Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani, Minister of Economy and Commerce. 32 Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 QATAR Noted artist Neshat’s show at Mathaf M athaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha is presenting “Shirin Neshat: Afterwards”, the ﬁrst solo exhibition in the Middle East by internationally-acclaimed artist Neshat, from today until February 15, 2015. Presented by Qatar Museums under the leadership of its chairperson, HE Sheikha al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the exhibition is curated by Abdellah Karroum, director of Mathaf. HE Dr Hamad bin Abdul Aziz al-Kuwari, Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage, officially opened the exhibition at Mathaf yesterday evening, accompanied by dignitaries and officials. Occupying the entire ground ﬂoor galleries, the exhibition features existing and newly produced works. The show includes the major photographic series “The Book ‘Speechless’ by Shirin Neshat, 1996, courtesy of Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels. of Kings” (2012) inspired by the poem “Shahnameh” (The Book of Kings) by Persian poet Ferdowsi, written between c 977 and 1010 CE, as well as a selection of video installations, “OverRuled” (2012) and “Turbulent” (1998) that collectively comment on historical, cultural and political realities on which the artist has focused for the past 30 years. As Neshat said in her interview with Karroum: “‘The Book of Kings’ is a conceptual and artistic approach to narrating history, questioning the notion of ‘heroism’ and capturing the emotional and human realities behind the faces of those who stand in the intersection of love, devotion and sacriﬁce, yet violence, atrocity and death.” The exhibition is conceived as a visual and sonorous experience that unfolds in the spaces of the museum. Composed of layers of information, images, references and concepts, it is an experience that, through the artist’s interrogation of history and acts of building and destroying life and relationships, addresses the contradictions inherent to humanity. HE Dr al-Kuwari at the official opening of the exhibition yesterday, accompanied by HE Sheikh Hassan bin Mohamed bin Ali al-Thani, vice-chairperson of Qatar Museums; HE Sheikh Abdulla bin Ali al-Thani, vice-president of education at Qatar Foundation; French Ambassador Eric Chevallier; and Abdellah Karroum, director of Mathaf. Karroum said: “This exceptional body of work reveals Shirin Neshat’s intention to build relationships between ancient mythologies and contemporary events that challenge our lives. Her vivid poetic expression repeatedly manifests itself in her signature visual vocabulary, which comprises photography, calligraphy, poetry and ﬁlm- making. With these elements, she creates powerful narratives that require viewers to decrypt, interpret and position themselves within the work in order to fully grasp its meaning.” Neshat joins Karroum for a one-off public conversation at 3pm today. This takes place as part of the CIMAM 2014 annual conference, a forum for commu- nication and exchange between museums, professionals and artists in the modern and contemporary art world. This conversation takes place at Mathaf, Qatar Foundation. A fully illustrated bilingual Arabic-English catalogue will be released by Mathaf. The publication will contain an interview by Karroum and essays by several other contributors, providing insight into the artistic process of Neshat. Mathaf also opened its doors to a new permanent presentation of its collection on November 1. “Mathaf Collection, Summary, Part 1” includes work from Qatar and the Arab world, Iran, Turkey, and other regions historically connected to the Arab Peninsula. QTA showcases Qatar at global event in London Q atar Tourism Authority (QTA) showcased Qatar’s credentials as a leading destination in the Gulf region for business and leisure travel at World Travel Market (WTM), the leading global event for the travel industry. WTM took place in London from November 3 to 6, gathering more than 50,000 senior travel professionals, government officials and international media to discover the latest industry opinion and trends. On the sidelines of the event, QTA chairman Issa bin Mohamed al-Mohannadi participated in the UNWTO/WTM Tourism Ministers’ Summit, where discussions addressed the essential connections between tourism and mega events. During the tradeshow, QTA focused on holding buyer meetings and interacting with counterparts in the UK and European tourism industry to increase interest in Qatar as a destination for business and leisure travel, as well as conducting interviews with British and international media to promote the destination. QTA officials at WTM, London. Qatar-branded taxis in London. “Britain is a signiﬁcant tourism market for us; it represents one of Qatar’s largest source markets for tourists. We are serious about the British market and have an established on-the-ground Qatar representative office in London. We believe Britain provides substantial opportunities for further growth,” said Rashed alQurese, acting chief marketing and promotions officer. “The presence of government organisations and companies from the private sector showcases the important role of both sectors to boost business and leisure tourism as an industry in Qatar’s diversified economy” The Qatari stand was led by QTA and more than 30 hotels, destination management companies and other industry suppliers. QTA showcased Qatar’s credentials as a leading destination in the Gulf region for business and leisure travel with quality hotels, world-class conference centres and unique cultural activities. At the stand, visitors were able to see and experience some of the characteristic elements of Qatar, including artisans making Qatari arts and crafts, henna tattooing and falcons. “We thank all our partners for joining us in the Qatar stand at WTM,” added al-Qurese. “The presence of government organisations and companies from the private sector showcases the important role of both sectors to boost business and leisure tourism as an industry in Qatar’s diversiﬁed economy.” Running parallel to WTM - and to help highlight Qatar’s participation at the event - QTA has launched an innovative campaign for the British public through 20 Qatar-branded taxis, which will ply London’s streets over the next three months. Total visitor arrivals to Qatar grew by 7% in the ﬁrst half of 2014, reaching 1.42mn. Some 72,877 visitors from the UK visited Qatar in the ﬁrst half of 2014, representing the largest number of tourists to Qatar from Europe. Kulluna holds Child Passenger Safety Training course K ulluna recently completed its sixth Child Passenger Safety Training (CPST) course at Hamad International Training Centre (HITC). The initiative was launched in 2013 in partnership with HITC and Safe Kids Worldwide. The training was held over four days and focused on teaching participants to become child passenger safety technicians so that they can teach parents and caregivers about how to choose and correctly instal the appropriate car seat for their children. Dr Khalid Abdulnoor Saifeldeen, director of HITC, said: “Until now, we have trained more than 45 people to become CPST technicians and are committed to hold this training more frequently. Car-related injuries are preventable accidents and by educating these participants, we are able to spread awareness among the general public about the importance of car seats.” He added that car seats are recommended for all children. Gary Sykes, ConocoPhillips Qatar president, said: “As the founding sponsor of Kulluna, we are extremely proud at how well the CPST course has been received, especially given the amount of time and commitment required to complete it. We thank all the participants for taking part and joining the Kulluna family. “This goes to show the impact of Kulluna’s ongoing safety initiatives on members of the society, who help us reach out to a wider circle of families. At ConocoPhillips, safety is the ultimate core value and it is our collective goal to eliminate injuries and incidents.” Some of the participants during the CPST course. A still from Ilo Ilo. Katara-DFI Cinema to present award-winning Singaporean drama K atara-Doha Film Institute (DFI) Cinema will present the highly acclaimed Singaporean drama, Ilo Ilo, from November 15-17 at Katara Drama Theatre, building 16, at 7pm. Singapore’s official entry for the Oscars in 2013, the ﬁlm marks the directorial debut of Anthony Chen. The ﬁlm has won more than 10 major awards, including the “Camera d’Or” at the Cannes Film Festival. Time Out New York magazine deﬁned the ﬁlm as a satisfying beam of compassion. Ilo Ilo (2013, 95 minutes) narrates the story of a family of three and their relationship with their newly arrived maid, Teresa, who like many other Filipina women has come in search of a better life. The entire family needs to adapt to the presence of this stranger, which further threatens their already strained relationship. Still, Teresa and Jiale, the young and troublesome boy she cares for, soon form a bond. Their unique connection continues to develop and she becomes an unspoken part of the family. But this is 1997 and the Asian ﬁnancial crisis is starting to be felt in the region. Katara-DFI Cinema brings monthly screenings of the ﬁnest ﬁlms from around the world and is part of the creative collaboration between DFI and Katara – the Cultural Village to further strengthen the appreciation of good ﬁlms among the public. Tickets are on sale at www.dohaﬁlminstitute.com and at the Katara Drama Theatre ticket outlet, (Katara building 16) from 2pm until 8pm. Tickets are priced at QR35 for the general public and at a special discounted rate of QR25 for students (who must present a valid student ID to receive a discount; there is a maximum of two discounted tickets per person). For Box Office timings and full ﬁlm listings, visit www.dohaﬁlminstitute. com ANOTHER NAIL | Page 4 DOLLAR BOND | Page 5 India bourses to suspend trade in Kingfisher Pakistan plans $500mn sukuk this month 7TH GENERATION MODEL : Page 20 Sunday, November 9, 2014 Moharram 16, 1436 AH GULF TIMES BUSINESS National Car Co launches all-new Hyundai Sonata An aerial view of Qapco facilities in Mesaieed. Right: HH the Father Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, HE the Minister of Energy and Industry, Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada with Total chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanne and al-Mulla during Qapco LDPE3 inauguration in 2012. Qapco sees 500% LDPE capacity jump Petrochemical major celebrates its 40th anniversary Q atar Petrochemical Company (Qapco) has seen its low-density polyethylene production capacity increase ﬁve-fold since 1974 as the petrochemical major currently celebrates its 40th anniversary. From humble beginnings as the ﬁrst petrochemical plant established in the Middle East in 1974, Qapco has transformed itself into a global and leading petrochemical powerhouse. Qapco was established on November 9, 1974 through Emiri Decree Number 109. From a staff strength of 20 in 1978, the number of employees at Qapco grew to 700 in the early 1980s and reached 1,324 in 2014. Today, with Qatarisation standing at 30.2%, national leadership is one of the driving forces of Qapco and gives the company its cultural identity. A joint venture between Industries Qatar (80%) and Total Petrochemicals France (20%), Qapco is currently one of the largest producers of low density polyethylene (LDPE) in the region besides producing ethylene, sulphur and other petrochemical products. Qapco is involved in a number of joint ventures that include Qatoﬁn, QVC, and QPPC. LDPE is considered the most widely used type of plastic, with applications such as food packaging, agricultural ﬁlms, cables and wires, coating, lamination and many other products Qapco plant inauguration in February 1981. broadly used all over the planet. Low-density polyethylene produced by Qapco is a “high quality food-contact safe” grade polymer and complies with local, European Union and US’ FDA (Food and Drug Administration) standards. Qapco started commercial production in 1981, with an annual output of 132,679 tonnes of ethylene. The plant also had the capacity to produce 140,000 tonnes of low density polyethylene and minor amounts of sulphur, generated as a by-product. Qapco chairman Hamad Rashid al-Mohannadi said, “I am incredibly proud of our 40 years of growth and excellence, inspired by our pioneers. Our successful and extraordinary journey rests on the minds and brilliance of many. “It ﬁrst started with a dream in 1974. By QDB supporting 33 Qatar firms at Dubai construction expo Qatar Development Bank (QDB) has announced its participation in this year’s edition of “Big 5,” a major international building and construction trade exhibition starting on November 17 at the World Trade Centre in Dubai. QDB’s export promotion arm, Tasdeer, will host the Qatari pavilion consisting of 33 local companies from various segments of the construction and building industries. The bank’s participation in Big 5 is its latest initiative in an ongoing effort to support local industries through export and trade promotion and opening new markets for products made in Qatar. QDB recently hosted 10 companies from Qatar’s food and agriculture industries at SIAL, the “International Exhibition for Food and Food Industries” held in Paris. Also recently, QDB supported 10 local companies by organising joint meetings between Qatari exporters and potential importers in Tunisia and Morocco. QDB chief executive Abdulaziz bin Nasser al-Khalifa said, “Supporting local companies at international exhibitions provides key exposure and access to compete and succeed in strategic markets for Qatari products.” He added, “We are proud of the highquality and competitive Qatari prod- QDB’s booth for the “Big 5” construction expo in Dubai. ucts on display at Big 5. Our measure of success is the amount of deals and business generated for Qatar’s private sector and we are proud to see that business grow with each of these successful initiatives.” Al-Khalifa also stressed that joining similar events forms a “key pillar” of QDB’s export promotion strategy and underscores the bank’s commitment to growing non-hydrocarbon exports and Qatar’s private sector. Big 5 provides a platform for growing business in building and construction markets across the Mena region. Exhibitors and visitors will have the opportunity to network with industry peers and stay on top of the latest trends, goods, and services from all segments of the region’s rapidly growing construction market. transforming a visionary idea into a reality, making the most of what we have been given, by further optimising our hydrocarbon resources, Qapco broke new grounds and paved the way to an entirely new and promising industry in the GCC, petrochemicals. “Our success story has been made possible through the visionary leadership of HH the Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and with the wise guidance of HE the Minister of Energy and Industry, Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada. Our shareholders are also drivers of progress and their contribution has been essential to our four decades of growth. I would like to thank Qatar Petroleum and our shareholders, Industries Qatar and Total Petrochemicals France, as they are the foundation of our success. They have left their mark, inﬂuenced our corporate culture and propelled Qapco into new eras of development thanks to their focus on assertive growth and sustainability,” al-Mohannadi said. Qapco vice-chairman and CEO Dr Mohamed Youssef al-Mulla acknowledged the contribution of all the employees and said, “40 years is a journey and ours has been extraordinary, marked by many milestones and unprecedented achievements. It is truly the men and women of Qapco who have driven us where we are today. “From our humble beginnings as the ﬁrst petrochemical plant established in the Middle East in 1974, we got transformed into a global and leading petrochemical powerhouse. Our employees’ expertise, loyalty and hard work along with their unwavering commitment to the highest standards of performance and excellence made us who we are. The Qapco family is at the heart of everything we do and a vital force that has always propelled us forward.” As part of its 40th anniversary celebrations, Qapco is paying tribute to all its employees and holding celebrations in their honour at its Mesaieed facility today. 2 Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 BUSINESS Egypt received $10.6bn from Gulf last ﬁscal year Reuters Cairo E gypt received $10.6bn in aid from Gulf states in the last ﬁscal year, the ﬁnance minister said yesterday, the ﬁrst time the government has put a total ﬁgure on how much its oilrich allies spent to prop up the economy. Of about 74bn Egyptian pounds of aid received in the 2013-14 ﬁscal year, 53bn pounds was in the form of petroleum products, with the remaining 21bn pounds coming as cash grants, Hany Kadry Dimian told a news conference. Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait have provided Egypt with political and economic support since then-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ousted elected president Mohamed Mursi in July last year and led a crackdown on his supporters. Sisi went on to win a presidential election in May and has promised to restore stability and growth to a country convulsed by turmoil since the 2011 overthrow of Hosni Mubarak. Soon after Mursi’s removal, some Gulf states pledged Egypt about $12bn aid. In September 2013, the Egyptian central bank chief said about $7bn of that had been received. But yesterday’s ﬁgures are the most concrete to date. Although his critics say political freedoms have been eroded under Sisi, the government has passed a raft of reforms from subsidy cuts to tax hikes that have impressed business leaders. Egypt’s government deﬁcit shrank as a percentage of gross domestic product last year, Dimian said, a positive sign for a government that is trying to balance cutting its deﬁcit and reviving growth. The deﬁcit was 255.4bn pounds, or about 12.8% of GDP, in 2013-14, he said, compared to 13.7% of GDP, or 239.7bn pounds, in the previous year. Egypt’s spending on a gen- erous subsidy system that is weighing on government ﬁnances rose by 10% last year, however, to 187.7bn pounds. Most of last year’s subsidies bill, 126bn pounds, was for fuel, the minister said. The government cut energy subsidies in July, the start of the current ﬁscal year, in a bid to better balance its books. But the move raised prices of gasoline, diesel and natural gas by up to 78% and caused a spike in inﬂation. Egypt’s foreign reserves rose to $16.909bn at the end of October from $16.872bn the previous month, the central bank said on Thursday. Foreign reserves fell sharply after the 2011 uprising that ousted Mubarak but have risen again on the back of billions of dollars of Gulf Arab aid that has ﬂooded into Egypt. Mobily drop wipes $4.4bn from shares on audit error Bloomberg Dubai The shadows of investors are seen cast on a screen as they monitor stock prices at the Falcom investment bank in Riyadh. Investors may pump between $8bn and $10bn back into stocks when National Commercial Bank’s returns the excess funds it received in subscriptions to the record share sale, according to an expert. Record IPO set to fuel $10bn Saudi stock market windfall Bloomberg Dubai S audi Arabia’s stock market, coming off its worst month in more than two years, is poised to beneﬁt from a $10bn windfall following National Commercial Bank’s record share sale. Investors may pump between $8bn and $10bn back into stocks when the lender returns the excess funds it received in subscriptions for the sale, according to Ahmed Badr, chief executive officer and head of MENA equities at Renaissance Capital Ltd in Dubai. Investors might have borrowed as much as ﬁve times their own money to bid in the offering, he said. The bank got requests for $83bn of shares, 23 times the amount sold to Saudi citizens. “It was such a large IPO, it sucked the liquidity out of the market,” Amer Khan, senior executive officer at Shuaa Asset Management, said by phone from Dubai on Tuesday. “The impact will be immediate when the liquidity returns,” with banks, retail and consumer stocks likely to beneﬁt, he said. Saudi Arabia’s benchmark stock index tumbled 7.6% in October as NCB started offering shares valued at 13.5bn riyals ($3.6bn) to nationals. The bank, which according to its prospectus, will return the excess cash today, sold shares as the kingdom prepares to open its $527bn Iraqi Kurdistan daily oil exports approach 300,000 barrels Reuters Arbil I raqi Kurdistan has increased its oil exports to almost 300,000 bpd, the semiautonomous region’s natural resource minister has said, adding he expected them to rise to around 500,000 bpd early next year. “We are now close to exporting 300,000 bpd through Ceyhan in Turkey,” the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Ashti Hawrami told a conference in the regional capital Arbil. “Probably this week it will be that ﬁgure.” He added that three more oilﬁelds in the region were due to start production in the next two to three months, and said he saw exports rising to 500,000 bpd in January or February. In late October, the KRG’s pipeline to Ceyhan was pumping 280,000 bpd, according industry sources and Turkish officials. The KRG has been ramping up its oil exports through Turkey’s Mediterranean port of Ceyhan since May, despite legal threats from Baghdad that says the sales are illegal. The KRG says they are allowed under Iraqi’s constitution. Baghdad has cut the region’s budget over the dispute. Hawrami struck a deﬁant note at the conference, saying the KRG had already sold around 20mn barrels of oil at prices similar to those achieved by the Iraqi central government’s state marketer SOMO. “We compete with SOMO’s price,” Hawrami said. “We have no problems with selling the oil. There is more demand than we are able to supply,” he added. Hawrami said 25 to 26 ships had sailed from Ceyhan and that the KRG had already been paid for the oil it has delivered. “We got paid for that and indeed we got paid for another 10 ships we haven’t yet loaded.” As Baghdad has threatened legal action against anyone buying oil from the KRG, the Kurdish tanker sales have often involved a cat-and-mouse game with ship-to-ship transfers, covert deliveries and vessels turning off satellite tanker tracking. A number of cargoes have gone to Israel, industry sources say and ship-tracking data indicates, while others have sailed to Asia. stock market and bond trading to foreigners.All 15 industry measures in the Tadawul All Share Index declined last month. The petrochemicals gauge racked up the biggest loss, with a 14% slump, as oil prices slid amid concern that the global economy is faltering. Saudi Arabia is the world’s biggest crude exporter. The benchmark, up 13% this year, trades at an estimated price-to-earnings multiple of 13.9 compared with 13.6 for Dubai’s gauge and 15.9 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. “Valuations in Saudi Arabia aren’t uniformly attractive but we still see plenty of opportunity selectively,” said Khan at Shuaa. “It’s still the biggest economy in the region and regardless of oil prices there seems to be staunch commitment to spending and growth by the government.” Saudi Arabia is beneﬁting from a stimulus programme started by King Abdullah to boost employment and diversify the economy. Growth is forecast at 4.4% this year, the second-fastest pace along with the UAE in the six-nation Gulf Co-operation Council after Qatar, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The kingdom said it will open its stock market to foreign investors next year. The country is working on rules to allow foreigners to invest in the debt markets, three people with knowledge of the matter said in September. NCB offered 500mn shares, or a 25% stake, at 45 riyals apiece, raising $6bn and valuing the lender at about $24bn. The bank offered 300mn shares to citizens and allocated 200mn shares to the country’s Public Pension Fund. Saudi listings usually rise by the daily limit of 10% for the ﬁrst couple of weeks so most of the money that’s returned “will go into other stocks,” Ahmed Badr said. The bank’s trailing 12-month price-to-earnings ratio is 10.6 compared with a multiple of 17.2 for banking shares, Ramez Merhi, director for asset management at Al Masah Capital Ltd, said by e-mail on Tuesday. The shares were sold at a discount to peers and “will be limit-up” until its valuations adjust “to at least the market averages if not higher,” Merhi said. A three-day slump in Etihad Etisalat Co has wiped 16.5bn riyals ($4.4bn) from shares of the largest Saudi telecom company after auditing errors led to a drop in quarterly results. The phone operator, also known as Mobily, lost 10% to 58.50 riyals, the lowest since July 2012, bringing its retreat since trading resumed on November 4 after a three-day halt to 27%. Volume reached 36.1mn shares, more than 22- times the three-month average. Mobily was the biggest decliner on the Tadawul All Share Index, which rose 0.2% on Thursday. The market regulator started procedures to determine if Mobily violated rules after the company sought a trading halt to provide more time for its audit committee to work on the results. The phone operator reported a decline of more than 70% in third-quarter profit, missing the average of seven analyst estimates. “There is a risk now that the dividends would be impacted and investors don’t like it,” Sebastien Henin, who oversees $100mn as the head of asset management at the National Investor in Abu Dhabi, said by telephone. “It was a darling of investors, especially the foreign investors, but the governance issues and profits have disappointed them.” Mobily distributed a cash dividend of 1.25 riyals in the last three quarters, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The company is set to pay the same dividend to shareholders in the next quarter, according to analyst estimates on Bloomberg. Mobily, citing a chartered accountant’s report, said last Monday an error in timing of revenue recognition of a promotional programme affected the interim consolidated financial statements for 2013 and the first half of this year. The period ended June 30 was also impacted by an error in revenue relating to leasing elements of the fibreoptic communication network because of a lack of readiness for use in full by the end user of the service, Mobily said. The UAE’s Emirates Telecommunications Corp, which owns about 27% of Mobily, said in a statement on Thursday that it is providing technical and management support to its affiliate. Libya protesters stop oil exports from Hariga port A general view of the Hariga oil seaport in the city of Tobruk, Libya. Libyan state security guards have started a protest at the 120,000 bpd Hariga oil port in the east, halting any oil exports, a Libyan oil official said yesterday. The port closure is the second blow to Libya’s oil industry within days after gunmen forced the closure of the southern El Sharara oilfield which used to pump at least 200,000 bpd. A tanker had been waiting for three days to lift oil Hariga, located in Tobruk, but the guards did not allow it to, the official said, asking not to be named. The port was only open for fuel imports, he added. The closure will lower Libya’s output to around 500,000 bpd, based on previous published figures. State firm National Oil Corp (NOC) has not given a production update for a month. The protesters at Hariga were part of a state security oil force which had gone several times on strike this year to complain about allegedly missing salary payments. Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 3 BUSINESS Saudi oil market ﬁght shifting to US Bloomberg Singapore/Seoul S audi Arabia’s increase in oil prices for Asia signals the world’s biggest crude exporter is shifting the focus of its ﬁght for market share on US buyers. While Saudi Arabian Oil Co boosted differentials for supplies to Asia next month after cutting some November prices to the lowest in almost six years, American buyers will get another month of reductions. The Middle East producer isn’t prepared to surrender sales in the US, where a shale boom has lifted output to the highest in more than 30 years, according to Idemitsu Kosan Co, Japan’s third-largest reﬁner, and Elements Capital Inc, a Tokyobased hedge fund that focuses on energy. Global oil prices slid into a bear market last month on speculation the biggest Opec producers were discounting their crude to maintain market share, resisting calls to cut output amid slowing demand growth. West Texas Intermediate futures slumped to the lowest in three years on Tuesday on signs Saudi Arabia is prepared to go even lower to shore up US demand. “Asia needs to buy the crude from Saudi Arabia regardless of price ﬂuctuations,” Ken Hasegawa, an energy trading manager at Newedge Group in Tokyo, said by phone. “On the other side of the world, they’re trying to expand their share of the US market and lowered prices.” Saudi Arabia can count on sales to Asia for revenues as most customers hold long-term contracts that require them to take deliveries, Hasegawa said. The country shipped 68% of its crude exports to Asia and 19% to the US last year, data from the US Energy Information Administration show. The biggest oil consumers in Asia including China, Japan, India and South Korea count Saudi Arabia as their largest supplier. The region accounts for about one-third of global oil demand, according to the International Energy Agency in Paris. “Asia’s demand for Saudi crude has Current gas prices are displayed as a customer fuels a vehicle at a Mobil gas station in Peoria, Illinois, US (file). Saudi Arabia isn’t prepared to surrender sales in the US, where a shale boom has lifted output to the highest in more than 30 years, according to Idemitsu Kosan Co, Japan’s third-largest refiner, and Elements Capital Inc, a Tokyo-based hedge fund that focuses on energy. been relatively stable, so Saudi Arabia can raise prices slightly to improve their proﬁts,” Gao Jian, an oil analyst with Shandong-based consultant SCI International, said by phone. “Meanwhile, they have to cut their prices to the US further so as to be competitive against crude produced domestically.” Arab Light, the biggest Saudi crude stream, will sell in Asia next month at 10 cents a barrel below the average of Oman and Dubai grades, compared with a discount of $1.05 for November, Aramco’s statement showed. That is still attractive to reﬁners given current product crack spreads, according to Setoh Shohei, a former crude trader who is currently a Tokyo-based manager at Japan Biofuels Supply, a joint venture of Japanese reﬁners. He estimated its value at a premium of 45 cents. “The Saudis probably adjusted prices for the US market to compete with shale oil, their big rival,” Sagishima Toshiaki, an official in the Treasury department at Idemitsu Kosan, said in Tokyo. “Asia is a premium market for them.” While the increase in Saudi prices to Asia was higher than expected, it shouldn’t be viewed as a reluctance to keep market share, according to Bernard Leung, an oil strategist for Bloomberg First Word who traded crude for 15 years. Saudi Arabia’s share in China increased to 17.2% in September from 15.7% a month earlier, he said. A rise in freight rates from the Gulf to Asia indicates that demand is improving, according to Leung. The increase in official selling prices will be followed by other Middle East producers, which may keep supplies from Saudi Arabia competitive, he said. State-run National Iranian Oil Co may raise the December official selling prices of its crude to Asia for the ﬁrst time in ﬁve months, according to a quarterly formula based on Saudi prices that the Tehran-based company has used previously. “The Saudis didn’t lower price differentials for Asia because they know well that they won’t lose the Asian market,” Takashi Hayashida, the chief executive officer of Elements Capital, said by phone. The US is pumping oil at the fastest pace in more than three decades as a combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has unlocked supplies from shale formations in the central US, including the Bakken in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford in Texas. Production expanded to 8.97mn bpd in the week ended October 24, according to the EIA, the Energy Department’s statistical arm. That is the most in data going back to January 14, 1983. “It’s now a game of chicken between Opec members and the US to ﬁght for market share” in the world’s biggest oil-consuming nation, Will Yun, a commodities analyst at Hyundai Futures Co in Seoul, said by phone. 4 Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 BUSINESS India’s Kingﬁsher faces trading ban AFP Mumbai T rading in the shares of bankrupt Kingﬁsher Airlines will be suspended, India’s two main trading exchanges announced yesterday, putting another nail in the coffin of the carrier founded by self-crowned “King of Good Times” tycoon Vijay Mallya. The grounded carrier, once India’s second-largest airline by passenger market share, never turned a proﬁt since its launch in 2005, and owners of its planes have taken them back. The decision to suspend trading in shares of Kingﬁsher Airlines from December 1 is due to the company’s failure to declare its ﬁnancial results for two successive ﬁnancial quarters in March and in June. The exchanges will also suspend trading in the shares of Mallya Group Company UB Engineering from December 1, the bourses said. “Trading in the securities of the companies would be suspended with effect from December 1, 2014 and the suspension will continue till such time the company complies (with ﬁnancial reporting requirements),” the Bombay Stock Exchange said in a website notice yesterday. The National Stock Exchange made a similar announcement. The full-service Kingﬁsher, which used to boast its treated ﬂyers as “guests”, never returned to the skies after pilots went on strike in 2012 over unpaid wages. While India’s passenger aviation market is one of world’s fastest-growing, analysts say Kingﬁsher was a casualty of cut-throat fare wars in the congested sector where most carriers are losing money. The move by the stock exchanges comes two months after the United Bank of India declared Mallya a “wilful defaulter” over his indebted airline – a term the central bank deﬁnes as someone failing to pay debts even when they have the capacity. Mallya, known for his lavish lifestyle, made his fortune through an inherited liquor business – branching out with the launch of Kingﬁsher Airlines, named after his company’s popular beer that is a household name in India. Kingﬁsher shares fell more than 2.5% on Friday on the Bombay Stock Exchange to Rs1.94, down from a peak price in December 2007 of Rs335. Mallya objected to the tag “as a wrongful decision”, and a court hearing on his challenge is expected tomorrow in the eastern city of Kolkata, according to a company statement. The court’s decision is important as the defaulter label could prevent Mallya from getting new loans and might mean he has to quit corporate directorships. Kuroda’s stimulus makes won a loser, rupee a winner Bloomberg Tokyo Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s expanded stimulus is highlighting the split in Asia’s foreignexchange market. On one side are South Korea’s won and Taiwan’s dollar, which ING Groep and Westpac Banking say will weaken as policy makers look to intervene to offset the impact of the falling yen, a result of Kuroda’s policies. On the other are Indonesia’s rupiah and India’s rupee, which they see gaining as investors flee Japan in search of higher yields. The divergence follows the BoJ’s decision on October 31 to lift the annual target for enlarging Japan’s monetary base to ¥80tn ($698bn), from ¥60tn to ¥70tn. Korea competes with Japan to export electronics, ships and cars, making the won most exposed to Kuroda’s policy. Taiwan is home to the world’s biggest contract chipmakers and producers of notebook computers. “The won is most vulnerable because its manufacturing sector matches Japan’s so closely,” Tim Condon, ING’s Singapore-based head of Asia research, said on Friday by phone. “After Korea comes Taiwan for the same reason.” After the yen, the won posted the biggest jump in three-month implied volatility among 11 Asian peers over the past five days, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Taiwan’s dollar climbed to a seven-month high, while the rupee and rupiah were little changed. The yen had Asia’s biggest decline versus the US dollar this year, with its 8.5% slide followed by drops of more than 2% for the won and Taiwan and Singapore dollars. The rupee and rupiah were the only gainers, climbing less than 1%. The weaker yen threatens to make exporters such as Samsung Electronics and HTC less competitive compared with their Japanese rivals, stoking speculation Korea and Taiwan will buy foreign currency to depress their exchange rates. The won faces “the clearest headwinds” from the yen with Taiwan’s local dollar also coming under pressure, according to a report from Goldman Sachs on Friday. The bank forecast the won will weaken 4.2% to 1,140 per dollar in a year. “The yen’s weakness is certainly a risk,” Jonathan Cavenagh, a strategist at Westpac in Singapore, said by e-mail. “The yen’s move threatens competitiveness in these two economies and clouds the profit outlook. Intervention is likely.” The Bank of Korea said in a November 3 statement it will monitor the impact of the weak yen on exports and financial stability. Harry Yen, deputy directorgeneral of foreign exchange at Taiwan’s central bank, said in a phone interview yesterday that policy makers will curb excessive volatility. The yen weakened to 9.3933 won on November 3, the lowest level since August 2008, and reached a sevenyear low of 3.773 per Taiwan dollar on Friday. The won slid yesterday to a 14-month low of 1,096.88 versus the greenback, and was at 1,093.43 on Friday. Taiwan’s dollar dropped to 30.716, the lowest since 2010. While any gains in the Korean and Taiwanese currencies may be stymied by central-bank intervention, the rupee and rupiah may have more scope to advance. India and Indonesia’s new leaders, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joko Widodo, are modernising their economies and foreign investment is pouring in. Overseas investors placed a net $36.8bn in Indian bonds and stocks in 2014, the most in four years, while Indonesian assets lured $26bn of inflows, the most since the nation’s exchange started tracking the data in 2010. Investors are attracted by India and Indonesia having the highest bond yields among investmentgrade Asian sovereigns. While inflows have driven the rates to the lowest in at least six months, their 10-year securities both still pay more than 8 percent, compared with about 2.5% for Korea and the US and less than 0.5% for Japan. The economies of India and Indonesia will both grow about 5.5% next year, while Taiwan, Korea and Singapore will expand less than 4%, economists surveyed by Bloomberg predict. South Korea’s record $7.5bn trade surplus in October reflected a slowdown in domestic demand and drop in imports. Australia & New Zealand Banking Group predicts India’s rupee will trade at 61.8 per dollar by the end of March, little changed from where it is now. The median prediction of 30 strategists surveyed by Bloomberg puts it at 61.5. ANZ also sees the rupiah at 12,150 per dollar, compared with 12,170 on Friday. Mallya: At the receiving end. Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 5 BUSINESS Pakistan to issue $500mn sukuk Reuters Dubai P akistan plans to issue a US dollar-denominated Islamic bond worth at least $500mn this month and also hopes to obtain $1.1bn from the International Monetary Fund soon, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said yesterday. After a successful eurobond issue in April, Pakistan said it planned an international sovereign sukuk issue, and in early September it revealed it had selected four banks – Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank and Standard Chartered – as bookrunners. But the issue did not happen as soon as the market expected, apparently because of political instability in the country, as Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif came under pressure from weeks of demonstrations calling for him to resign. “Hopefully in the last week of this month the sukuk, God willing, will be available to the industry, Islamic banking institutions,” Dar told a joint press conference with the IMF in the United Arab Emirates. “The indicative size for a sovereign bond, we have $500mn. We will see...what is the book building...but we had a very good response when we issued the sovereign conventional paper,” he said without giving further details. The Pakistani government now also hopes to receive $1.1bn in funding from the IMF to bolster its foreign currency reserves, after completing the fourth and ﬁfth reviews of a $6.6bn IMF ﬁnancing programme originally agreed in September last year. The IMF’s executive board will consider in December whether to release the funds, its mission chief Jeffrey Franks said, adding that the Fund was encouraged by Pakistan’s overall progress in strengthening its macroeconomic stability and output growth. The IMF usually disburses ﬁnancing from the programme in $550mn tranches, but completion of the fourth review was delayed by differences of opinion over some of the targets in the plan, Franks said without elaborating on those differences. Dar: Expecting $1.1bn IMF funding to bolster foreign currency reserves. “Economic indicators are improving, with growth expected to reach 4.3% in ﬁscal year 2014/2015, inﬂation on a downward trajectory, and credit to the private sector expanding at a robust pace,” he said. The rapid build-up of Pakistan’s gross reserves, which jumped to $9.1bn at the end of June from $5.4bn in March, stalled because of delays in state asset sales and the sukuk issue, as well as the effects of political uncertainty on capital ﬂows. “However, going forward reserves are expected to surpass three months of imports by the end of the ﬁscal year 2014/2015,” Franks said. The IMF saved Pakistan from possible default by agreeing last year on its three-year lending programme. The Fund disburses loan tranches after conﬁrming a country is on track with the conditions of the bailout. The cash ﬂows could stop if Pakistan fails to institute changes such as cracking down on tax evasion and privatising loss-making state companies. A recent drop in global oil prices, which touched four-year lows beneath $82 per barrel this week, will help Pakistan to slash its oil import bill substantially. “We are now forecasting that the oil import bill for Pakistan compared to what we thought a few months ago is going to be over a billion dollars less. That’s 0.3, 0.4% of GDP saved by a lower petroleum import bill,” Franks said. Islamabad scraps plan to sell shares Bloomberg Karachi P akistan scrapped its biggest share sale in eight years as a slump in crude oil prices and political opposition to reducing a government stake in oil explorer Oil and Gas Development Co damped investor interest. The government received bids for 52% of the 311mn shares Oil and Gas offered at a ﬂoor price of Rs216 each, the ﬁnance ministry said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. The sale, through a book-building process that began on November 5, would have raised Rs67.2bn ($656mn) at the minimum price. Pakistan is seeking to raise funds through the sale of government holdings in companies to meet conditions attached to a $6.6bn International Monetary Fund loan. The Privatisation Commission sold shares in Pakistan Petroleum, the second-biggest fuel explorer, and United Bank in June. Oil has slumped into a bear market amid signs that global supply growth is outpacing consumption with West Texas Intermediate tumbling 20% this year. “Oil prices came down by the time of the offer,” Mohammad Zubair, chairman of Privatisation Commission said by phone from Islamabad. “We would have gone forward if the offer was fully subscribed.” Pakistan opposition leader Imran Khan’s protests against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government since mid-August and a court case ﬁled by the provincial government of Khyber- Pakhtunkhwa also led to low investor response, the ministry said. Airbus signs deal with Chinese firm European aerospace giant Airbus announced yesterday it had signed a preliminary deal to supply the China Aircraft Leasing Company with 100 planes, a contract worth around $10.2bn (€8.1bn) at catalogue prices. The Chinese leasing firm wants 74 A320neos, 16 A320ceos and 10 A321ceos, according to the Airbus statement. The A320 family is a range of medium-range aircraft, with the A320neo designed to consume 15% less fuel. The deal “confirms the aircraft’s popularity and appeal,” said the chief executive of the leasing firm, while Airbus Chief Operating Officer John Leahy said it was “a strong signal of the continuing long-term success of our bestselling product line.” Indian economy likely to grow 6.6% in 2016: OECD IANS Chennai Indian economy is expected to log 6.4% growth in 2015 and 6.6% in 2016, states the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Growth in emerging economies will remain stronger. It will be slow in China, pick up in India and remain sluggish in Brazil and Russia, states the OECD Economic Outlook report. According to the report, global growth is projected to strengthen but will remain modest by past standards. “There are important differences across countries: the US recovery looks more robust, but the euro area faces an increasing risk of stagnation, and Japan’s escape from deflation is not yet assured,” the report said. According to the report, China’s GDP growth rate will slow down in a controlled fashion to 7.3% in 2014, 7.1% in 2015 and to 6.9% in 2016 due to its rebalancing efforts to have a sustainable growth. On the other hand, India’s growth rate is expected to go up 5.4% in 2014, 6.4% in 2015 and 6.6% in 2016. According to the OECD report, there are substantial downside risks to the outlook. “Risks of financial instability remain high, while volatility may increase, notably for emerging markets, as monetary policy and economic activity differ across the major economies,” the report states. Debt levels are high by past standards and some emerging economies have significantly increased external financial exposure. Because the growth of potential output has slowed in major economies since the crisis, future trend growth may be weaker than anticipated. Modest global growth and the slowdown in potential growth call for ambitious structural reforms to boost investment, trade and job creation, the report states. According to the report global growth has been subdued, but is projected to accelerate from the second half of 2014 onwards as improved financial conditions, continued monetary policy stimulus and a slower pace of fiscal consolidation facilitate stronger activity in advanced economies. World GDP growth rates in 2015 and 2016 will nevertheless remain modest relative to the strong pre-crisis expansion and somewhat below the long-term average. Emerging economies will continue to outpace the advanced economies but less than in past decades, the report states. “In India, the pick-up in growth after the sharp slowdown in 2012 -13 will continue despite the tight monetary and fiscal stance. Investment will be the main growth engine, after several quarters of subdued growth,” the report said. According to the report, improved business sentiment resulting from reduced political uncertainty, deregulation, and the government commitment to cut red tape should boost growth. Over the next year or so economic growth should be supported by the recovering U.S. economy that would provide a market for Indian merchandise and service exports. Private investment is expected to pick up thanks to the government’s business orientation, and declining oil prices should boost private sector competitiveness. But economic reforms will be needed for India to achieve its full long-term growth potential, the report argued. 6 Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 BUSINESS Beijing to set up $40bn Silk Road fund Apec cautiously supports China-backed trade zone C Reuters Beijing AFP Beijing A Paciﬁc Rim summit yesterday voiced cautious support for a vast free-trade zone proposal being pushed by China in the face of reported resistance from the United States, which is promoting its own regional trade pact. China’s promotion of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Paciﬁc (FTAAP) idea – and the narrative of Sino-US trade rivalry on the issue – has loomed as a major agenda item at the diplomatic gathering in Beijing. A joint statement by foreign ministers of the 21-member Asia-Paciﬁc Economic Co-operation (Apec) forum called for steps to be taken to “translate the FTAAP from a vision to reality”. But it agreed to launch a “strategic study” on FTAAP, avoiding China’s calls for a “feasibility study” on the concept. The wording of next week’s ﬁnal summit communique has been toned down in a compromise by Beijing after the United States objected to use of the term, according to a report by the Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post (SCMP). It quoted a US official saying Washington objected “because when you use the word feasibility study, it’s used in trade talks as implying the launch of a negotiation towards a free-trade agreement.” The ministers’ statement also made no mention of a 2025 target date for realising the FTAAP, which had been ﬂoated earlier. The same language is expected in the joint communique on Tuesday at the end of a two-day summit of top leaders hosted by Chinese host President Xi Jinping and including US President Barack Obama plus his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The FTAAP will be mentioned only in an annex to the communique, and not the main statement, the SCMP said. Beijing is hosting Apec – which accounts for 40% of the world’s population, almost half its trade, and more than half its GDP – for the ﬁrst time since 2001, and is using the gathering to underline its growing global economic clout. China is now the world’s second-largest economy following the United States, and is increasingly pushing for a greater say over the global trade and economic architecture. In the run-up to the Apec gathering, Chinese media have aggressively pushed for the FTAAP to Canada’s Trade Minister Ed Fast (left) shakes hands with a Chinese official as Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper (2nd from left) and China’s Premier Li Keqiang (right) applaud during a signing ceremony on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing yesterday. be accelerated as a solution to the current “spaghetti bowl” of competing regional free-trade proposals, an apparent swipe at the US-backed Trans-Paciﬁc Partnership (TPP). The US has been trying to secure agreement on the TPP, a grouping of 12 nations including Japan, Australia, Malaysia and Mexico – but notably excluding China. All 12 also belong to Apec, and the TPP constitutes the economic component of Washington’s much-touted “rebalance” of strategic attention to the Asia-Paciﬁc. The SCMP quoted an unnamed Chinese official as saying: “The US wants to impede FTAAP, and they want to promote TPP during Apec. This is really annoying for us.” Some Chinese analysts have viewed the US effort as a way to thwart the FTAAP and thus counter Beijing’s growing inﬂuence in the Paciﬁc Rim – concerns Washington has dismissed. The Apec ministers statement endorsed “a step-by-step approach, with the goal of establishing the FTAAP as early as possible by building on ongoing regional undertakings”, but also referring to its “eventual realisation” and couching it in cautious and vague diplomatic language. It instructed that the “strategic study” be completed by end-2016. The Chinese official quoted by the paper said Washington had insisted on holding TPP talks on the sidelines of Apec but had eventually agreed to keep such efforts low-proﬁle. Wang Shouwen, an assistant commerce minister, had said in April that China wanted an FTAAP “feasibility study”, but added there “will be no conﬂict” between the proposal and other freetrade initiatives in the region. PBoC, Canada agree to currency swap worth $32bn Reuters Beijing The central banks of China and Canada have agreed to a currency swap worth 200bn yuan ($32.67bn) or C$30bn, according to a Canadian government statement issued at a meeting of Asia Pacific nations yesterday. The swap will be effective for three years, according to a separate $113bn projects approved Reuters Beijing C hina approved more than $100bn worth of infrastructure projects in late October and early November, state media said yesterday, in a bid to bolster slowing growth in the world’s second largest economy. China’s top economic planning body, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), approved 21 infrastructure investment projects between October 16 and November 5 with a total investment value of 693.3bn yuan ($113.24bn), the official Xinhua news agency said yesterday, citing state radio. The projects included 16 railways and ﬁve airports, with the aim of propping up a decline in real estate investment, Xinhua said. Annual growth slowed to 7.3% in the third quarter – the weakest since the height of the global ﬁnancial crisis – as a cooling property sector weighed on domestic demand. Annual growth in China’s exports and imports also slowed in October, data showed yesterday, reinforcing signs of fragility that could prompt policymakers to roll out more stimulus measures. statement from China’s central bank. The agreement was announced after Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper met Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China, will also appoint a clearing bank in Canada for yuan – or renminbi, as the currency is also called – as part of a Memorandum of Understanding, said the statement. It did not say which bank would be appointed as the clearing bank, but it is likely to be one of China’s four largest banks. China’s central bank said in its statement that the yuan clearing bank would be in Toronto. The currency swap will help set up the clearing bank, and allow the two banks to swap currencies if needed to ease trade and investment. The yuan clearing bank would be the first in the Americas, and allow Canadian financial institutions to use the clearing bank to process payments for their customers in yuan. The move is in line with Beijing’s ambition to promote its currency to more international investors and eventually turn the “redback” into a global reserve currency, while at the same time expanding China’s already considerable political and economic clout. “This is a fantastic announcement for Canada and China relations, a terrific move for Canadian businesses to be able to compete more abroad, not only direct-to-China investment but ... as more RMB/CNY activity takes place around the world,” said CJ Gavsie, managing director of foreign exchange sales at BMO Capital Markets. China will additionally give Canadian investors the right to invest up to 50bn yuan initially in China’s capital markets. The quota will be granted under the Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (RQFII) scheme. That programme, launched in 2011, hina will contribute $40bn to set up a Silk Road infrastructure fund to boost connectivity across Asia, President Xi Jinping announced yesterday, the latest Chinese project to spread the largesse of its own economic growth. China has dangled ﬁnancial and trade incentives before, mostly to Central Asia but also to countries in South Asia, backing efforts to resurrect the old Silk Road trading route that once carried treasures between China and the Mediterranean. The fund will be for investing in infrastructure, resources and industrial and ﬁnancial cooperation, among other projects, Xi said, according to Xinhua. The goal of the fund is to “break the connectivity bottleneck” in Asia, state media quoted Xi as saying during a meeting in Beijing with leaders from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan and Tajikistan. The Silk Road Fund will be “open” and welcome investors from Asia and beyond to “actively” take part in the project, Xi was cited as saying, ahead of a separate summit of the Asia Paciﬁc Economic Cooperation (Apec) grouping, also being held in the Chinese capital. It was not immediately clear precisely how the fund would work, when it would start operations or where it would be based, though in all likelihood it would be China. But Xinhua said it would focus on China’s Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiative, which aim to build roads, railways, ports and airports across Central Asia and South Asia. “Such a framework accommodates the needs of various countries and covers both land and sea-related projects,” Xi said, adding China is ready to welcome its neighbours “to get on board the train of China’s development.” China will also provide neighbouring countries with 20,000 places for training “connectivity professionals” over the next ﬁve years, Xi said. China has sought to address fears in the region – and globally – that its bounding economic growth will inevitably bring about a more assertive, muscular diplomatic and military approach to issues such as territorial disputes. One of the ways it has done this is to offer large loans to places like Southeast Asia and Africa, to show that China is a benign growing power only interested in helping others escape poverty in the way it has itself over the past three decades. Last month, Xi unveiled the $50bn China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, seen as a challenge to the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, both multilateral lenders that count Washington and its allies as their biggest ﬁnancial backers. China’s annual trade growth slows in Oct Reuters Beijing A nnual growth in China’s exports and imports slowed in October, data showed yesterday, reinforcing signs of fragility in the world’s second-largest economy that could prompt policymakers to roll out more stimulus measures. Exports have been the lone bright spot in the last few months, perhaps helping to offset soft domestic demand, but there are doubts about the accuracy of the official numbers amid signs of a resurgence of speculative currency ﬂows through inﬂated trade receipts. Exports rose 11.6% in October from a year earlier, slowing from a 15.3% jump in September, the General Administration of Customs said. The ﬁgure was slightly above market expectations in a Reuters poll of a 10.6% rise. A decline in China’s leading index on exports in October pointed to weaker export growth in the next two to three months, the administration said. “The economy still faces relatively big downward pressure as exports face uncertainties while weak imports indicate sluggish domestic demand,” said Nie Wen, an economist at Hwabao Trust in Shanghai. “The central bank may continue to ease policy in a targeted way.” Imports rose an annual 4.6% in October, pulling back from a 7% rise in September, and were weaker than expected. That left the country with a trade surplus of $45.4bn for the month, which was near record highs. Annual growth slowed to 7.3% in the third quarter – the weakest since the height of the global ﬁnancial crisis – as Buses wait to be exported in Lianyungang port. China’s exports-imports annual growth slowed in October, data showed yesterday. a cooling property sector weighs on domestic demand. Recent purchasing managers’ surveys on factory and services showed the economy lost further momentum heading into the fourth quarter as the property market weighed and export demand softened, putting Beijing’s official growth target for the year at even greater risk. September’s surprisingly strong export growth led some analysts to ques- tion the accuracy of the official data amid signs of hot money inﬂows as ﬁrms tried to evade capital controls by overinvoicing precious metal sales. The latest trade data indicated a cooldown in such speculative activity amid fears of an official crackdown. “It’s impossible to control hot money ﬂows. Hot money may distort trade data but it won’t affect the trend,” said Li Huiyong, an economist at Shenyin & Wan- guo Securities in Shanghai. Customs data showed China’s exports of precious metals and jewellery rose 187% in October from a year earlier. The pace eased from a 678% jump in September. China’s exports to Hong Kong, where over-invoicing is typically most pronounced, rose 24% in October from a year earlier, slowing from September’s 34% increase. Exports to the United States, China’s top export destination, rose 10.9% in October from a year earlier, largely matching September’s rise, while exports to the European Union, the second-biggest market, grew 4.1%, slowing sharply from a 14.9% jump in September. China’s external trade environment may slightly improve in 2015 but still faced uncertainties, the Ministry of Commerce said in a report published yesterday. “It’s difficult for external demand to show a signiﬁcant rebound,” the ministry said. China’s combined exports and imports rose 3.8% in the ﬁrst ten months from a year earlier, the administration said. That suggests China will miss its trade growth target for a third consecutive year. The government missed its targets of 8% in 2013 and 10% in 2012 and aims for 7.5% growth this year. A deluge of China data over the coming week, including factory output and investment, is likely to show a persistent cooling in the economy, reinforcing views that authorities may need to do more to ﬁght slackening growth. China’s reform-minded leaders have refrained from acting forcefully, such as by cutting interest rates. That has caused concerns among some analysts that the modest policy measures may not be enough to prevent a sharper slowdown. A Reuters poll published last month forecast the economy could grow an annual 7.3% in the fourth quarter, leaving the full-year pace at 7.4% – the weakest in 24 years. China’s cabinet unveiled detailed measures on Thursday to support imports of high-tech equipment, resource products and consumer goods, in its latest efforts to support the economy and rebalance trade. Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 17 BUSINESS WEEKLY COMMODITIES REVIEW Gold prices touch four-year low on strong dollar AFP London Gold prices hit a four-year low, hit by persistent dollar strength, while crude oil plumbed multi-year troughs on fears over Saudi price cuts and plentiful supplies. A rebounding greenback makes dollar-priced commodities more expensive for buyers using weaker currencies. That tends to dent demand and prices. “The precious metal sector was the hardest hit for a second week in a row with both gold and silver continuing to be sold,” said Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen. PRECIOUS METALS: Gold plunged Friday to $1,131.24 per ounce—its lowest level since mid-April 2010 - while silver touched a similar nadir at $15.06 an ounce. The euro meanwhile sank to $1.2358, a level last seen on August 21, 2012, before bouncing back above $1.24 on mixed US non-farm payrolls data. The Department of Labour reported the US economy added 214,000 jobs in October, below the 235,000 expected by analysts. However, it also revised upward the number of jobs created in the previous two months. “The US labour report for October doesn’t really change the positive story on the US economy,” said ING economist James Knightley. The euro also sank this week after the European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi signalled it was ready to introduce fresh measures to counter deflation and boost growth in the ailing eurozone. The dollar has rallied ever since the US Federal Reserve signalled last week that it will end its quantitative easing (QE) stimulus, boosting confidence over the health of the world’s largest economy and key commodity consumer. The US unit gained further traction after Republicans cruised to victory in US midterm elections on Wednesday, taking control of the Senate in a stinging setback for US President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats. Trustnet Direct analyst Tony Cross said the Republican win boosted the dollar because there was a market “assumption that the party’s policies are more pro-business, so better for the economy”. Separately on Friday, oversight of London’s scandal-hit gold price setting process was awarded to a division of US group Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). Industry body the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) announced that ICE Benchmark Administration had been selected as third party administrator for a new mechanism for setting gold prices. OIL: In a rollercoaster week for the oil market, prices plunged on Tuesday after leading producer Saudi Arabia cut its prices for crude sold to the US market. New York crude tumbled to its lowest close since October 2011 and Brent to its lowest since October 2010. Analysts interpreted the Saudi move as an effort to maintain market share in North America against cheaper oil flooding from US shale fields. New York crude then rebounded Wednesday after the US Energy Gold prices plunged on Friday to $1,131.24 per ounce — its lowest level since mid-April 2010 Information Administration (EIA) revealed a smaller-than-expected increase in crude oil supplies. The EIA reported that US crude inventories grew by 500,000 barrels in the week ending October 31. That was much less than the 2.2mn barrel increase expected by analysts. Over the four previous weeks, crude inventories had climbed by roughly 23mn barrels. The market also rallied Wednesday following reports of a pipeline blast in Saudi Arabia. However, state-owned oil firm Saudi Aramco said operations were unaffected. Crude futures then sank on Thursday after Opec, supplier of a third of the world’s crude, cut its longer-term production forecasts in the face of rising North American shale output. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries estimated in its annual world outlook that global demand for Opec crude oil will fall from just above 30mn barrels per day in 2013 to 28.2mn barrels a day in 2017, before starting to rise again in 2018. Opec highlighted that the US and Canada are the primary drivers of non-Opec output growth, in part due to shale-oil production. Since mid-June, both Brent and New York oil prices have also fallen by almost 30% in value amid concerns of a global supply glut. By Friday on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in December slid to $83.64 a barrel from $85.36 one week earlier. BASE METALS: Base or industrial metal prices held steady, with gains limited by the strong dollar. “The market steadied today after the ECB signalled it was ready to take further measures if needed to revive the euro economies,” said Triland Metals analysts. By Friday on the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months increased to $6,682 a tonne from $6,720 a week earlier. Three-month aluminium firmed to $2,069 a tonne from $2,031.50. Three-month lead inched up to $2,017.50 a tonne from $2,014. Three-month tin advanced to $20,076 a tonne from $19,955. Three-month nickel fell to $15,450 a tonne from $15,768. Three-month zinc decreased to $2,249 a tonne from $2,313. COCOA: The market continued to decline on easing output worries over the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, which is home to most of the world’s cocoa production. Prices had soared in September to 3.5-year peaks on worries that Ebola could reach key producers Ivory Coast and Ghana. By Friday on LIFFE, cocoa for delivery in March dropped to £1,905 a tonne from £1,933 for the December contract a week earlier. On the ICE Futures US exchange, cocoa for March declined to $2,893 a tonne from $2,936 for the December contract a week earlier. SUGAR: Prices dived in London to a four-year trough of $409.10 per tonne on the back of abundant supplies. “Sugar was lower on ... big world supplies and on the stronger US dollar,” said Price Futures Group analyst Jack Scoville. By Friday on LIFFE, the price of a tonne of white sugar for delivery in March traded at $413.20 compared with $427.40 a week earlier. On ICE Futures US, the price of unrefined sugar for March dipped to 15.69 US cents a pound from 16.30 US cents a week earlier. COFFEE: Arabica recoiled to a six-week low at 182.10 US cents on favourable growing conditions in Brazil. “Ever since mid-October, the price has been driven down by favourable weather forecasts in Brazil, the most important growing country,” said Commerzbank analysts. “All the same, it is still unclear whether the rainfall will prove sufficient for the coffee berries to develop well once the blossoming phase has come to an end.” By Friday on ICE Futures US, Arabica for delivery in December dipped to 183.65 US cents a pound from 186.10 cents a week earlier. On LIFFE, London’s futures exchange, Robusta for January fell to $2,010 a tonne from $2,032 a week earlier. RUBBER: Kuala Lumpur rubber prices pushed lower amid a report that Indonesian rubber exporters were exercising caution and holding on to stocks. The Malaysian Rubber Board’s benchmark SMR20 fell to 151US cents a kilo on Friday, from 160.20 US cents the previous week. 18 Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 BUSINESS T he Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) Index gained 91.63 points, or 0.68%, during the week, to close at 13,590.49 points. Market capitalisation increased by 0.76% to reach QR733.8bn compared to QR728.3bn at the end of the previous week. Of the 43 listed companies, 23 companies ended the week higher, while 19 fell and 1 remained unchanged. Islamic Holding Group (IHGS) was the best performing stock for the week, with a gain of 14.9% on 1.3mn shares traded; the stock is up 278.3% yearto-date (YTD). On the other hand, after reporting weaker-than expected results, Vodafone Qatar (VFQS) was the worst performing stock, with a decline of 4.2% on 7.6 mn shares traded; the stock is still up 85.2% YTD. Industries Qatar (IQCD), QNB Group (QNBK) and Gulf International Services (GISS) were the biggest contributors to the weekly index gain. IQCD contributed 55.7 points to the index’s gain of 91.6 points. QNBK contributed 38.6 points. GISS was the third biggest contributor, contributing 32.0 points. On the other hand, within the QSE index, Ooredoo (ORDS), Masraf Al Rayan (MARK) and Qatar Islamic Bank (QIBK) pulled the index down. ORDS ended the week shaving 22.9 points off the index. MARK dragged the index down by 20.1 points during the week. Trading value during the week decreased by 25.1% to reach QR2.9bn vs QR3.9bn in the prior week. The banks and financial services sector led trading value during the week, accounting for 32.7% of the total. The real estate sector was the second biggest contributor, accounting for 21.3% of the total trading value. Barwa Real Estate (BRES) was the top value traded stock during the week with total traded value of QR260.9mn. Trading volume decreased by 36.3% to reach 60.1mn shares vs 94.4mn shares in the prior week. The number of transactions fell by 19.6% to reach 30,307 versus 37,685 in the prior week. The real estate sector led the trading volume, accounting for 37.7%, followed by the banks and financial services sector, which accounted for 18.6%. ERES was the top volume traded stock during the week with total traded volume of 10.3mn shares. Foreign institutions remained bullish during the week with net buying of QR67.3mn vs net buying of QR164.5mn in the prior week. Qatari institutions turned bearish with net selling of QR3.8mn vs net purchases of QR114.7mn the week before. Foreign retail investors remained bearish for the week with net selling of QR45.6mn vs net selling of QR43.6mn in the prior week. Qatari retail investors remained bearish, albeit on a lower scale, with net divestments of QR17.6mn vs QR236.0mn in net selling the week before. Thus far in 2014, the QSE has already witnessed net foreign portfolio investment inflow of $2.3bn. QSE Index and Volume Weekly Market Report Source: Qatar Exchange (QE) Weekly Index Performance Source: Qatar Exchange (QE) Source: Bloomberg Source: Qatar Exchange (QE) DISCLAIMER This report expresses the views and opinions of Qatar National Bank Financial Services SPC (“QNBFS”) at a given time only. It is not an offer, promotion or recommendation to buy or sell securities or other investments, nor is it intended to constitute legal, tax, accounting, or financial advice. We therefore strongly advise potential investors to seek independent professional advice before making any investment decision. Although the information in this report has been obtained from sources that QNBFS believes to be reliable, we have not independently verified such information and it may not be accurate or complete. Gulf Times and QNBFS hereby disclaim any responsibility or any direct or indirect claim resulting from using this report. Qatar Stock Exchange Top Five Gainers Top Five Decliners Most Active Shares by Value (QR Million) Most Active Shares by Volume (Million) Investor Trading Percentage to Total Value Traded Net Traded Value by Nationality (QR Million) Source: Bloomberg Technical analysis of the QSE index T he QSE Index extended its winning streak for the third straight week and gained around 92 points. It was a good week for the bulls, as the index moved higher on every trading session except on Wednesday, when it witnessed severe profit-booking, trimming the majority of its gains. Meanwhile, the index recaptured the 21-day moving average and the 13,584.0 level, making further headway. However, volumes were comparatively less compared to the prior week, which casts a doubt on this bullish momentum. The index will come under a firm bull-grip only if it manages to surpass and sustain above the 13,700.0 level along with the 55-day moving average on a weekly closing basis. Otherwise, the index will slip back toward the 21-day moving average or possibly even lower. For now, both the momentum indicators are stalling, which indicates a lack of clarity in the direction of the index. The QSE Index continued its southbound journey for the third straight week and ended lower losing around 889 points, caving under sustained selling pressure. Moreover, the index penetrated below 13,000.0 for the first time since July providing a bearish signal. Meanwhile, the sharp losses registered on Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday were mainly responsible for dragging the index below many important psychological supports along with the 55-day moving average. This shows that the index is indicating a clear intermediate corrective trend, as it has been recording lower tops and lower bottoms since mid-September. On the downside, the index has its important psychological support at 12,900.0 which should not be breached, if it attempts to rebound. However, any sustained weakness below 12,900.0 may result in additional selling pressure, which will drag the index toward 12,770.0, followed by the 12,680.0 level. We believe the bulls have now been trapped, and the bears may continue to dominate until the index stays below the 13,000.0 level. Further, both the momentum indicators are in downtrend mode with no immediate trend reversal signs, suggesting the continuation of this weakness. Definitions of key terms used in technical analysis C andlestick chart – A candlestick chart is a price chart that displays the high, low, open, and close for a security. The ‘body’ of the chart is portion between the open and close price, while the high and low intraday movements form the ‘shadow’. The candlestick may represent any time frame. We use a one-day candlestick chart (every candle- stick represents one trading day) in our analysis. Doji candlestick pattern – A Doji candlestick is formed when a security’s open and close are practically equal. The pattern indicates indecisiveness, and based on preceding price actions and future confirmation, may indicate a bullish or bearish trend reversal. Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 19 BUSINESS Upbeat corporate results to cheer Wall St investors Reuters New York W Traders use telephones as they work on the trading floor at the London Metal Exchange. The proposed rule changes represent the latest step in the LME’s efforts to reduce wait times for receiving metal. LME proposes rules to prevent market abuse at metal depots Bloomberg London T he London Metal Exchange (LME) proposed changes designed to strengthen its powers to investigate and prevent market abuse at warehouses amid scrutiny of delivery backlogs. The proposed rule changes represent the latest step in the LME’s efforts to reduce wait times for receiving metal. The exchange, which monitors a network of about 700 depots, plans to require warehouses to submit more information to ensure companies aren’t distorting the market, according to an e-mailed statement on Friday. Aluminum consumers including MillerCoors last year complained that LMEauthorised warehouse operators were constraining supply and inﬂating costs, drawing attention of US lawmakers and regulators. The proposals add to earlier reforms to reduce logjams at some LME-approved warehouses and are part of a broader effort to step up regulation of banks owning physical commodities. “It’s a question of cleaning up the shadowy things that are going on,” Edward Meir, an analyst at INTL FCStone Inc in New York, said by phone. “It’s going to be a lot more work for warehouses. I’m sure these banks that still have warehouses will be more inclined to get rid of them.” The reform proposals come after the LME’s court victory last month over United Co Rusal, which sought to block rules aimed at reducing warehouse logjams. The Moscow-based company said in October it was seeking to increase transparency in the market and that the appeal court’s ruling “will do little to address the problems caused by disparities between the LME price and premiums or the general lack of transparency.” Charles Watenphul, a spokesman for Glencore, owner of the warehousing business Pacorini Metals, declined to comment. Michael DuVally, a spokes- Traders seek clues on stocks from Internet employee forums Reuters London When digging for insight on a complex retail story such as Tesco, whose shares are at decade lows after profit warnings and boardroom upheaval, every little helps investors – even comments in employee chatrooms. While it may be far removed from stockbrokers’ traditional balance-sheet analysis, and often less well-written, traders and fund managers are scouring online message boards and forums to gauge mood, morale and management success – information easily overlooked by busy investors. One of these troves of gossip has been Tesco employee forum verylittlehelps.com, for example, where one anonymous writer posted: “I hope that the new boss takes this opportunity to ensure that systems are worked properly. Stock is written off. Staff are employed. Waste is recorded. Shelves are filled.” That does not mean investors will take these comments at face value without filtering them, but there is a sense that unofficial sources and social media are being taken more seriously as a way to go beyond broker research and company disclosure. “In general, I think it’s a very good idea to look at employee opinions which will give you inside information that you would not get from banks’ research notes, but you would have to be careful to filter out the noise,” said Hendrik Klein, head of Swiss high frequency trading firm Da Vinci. Ex-Morgan Stanley banker Emmett Kilduff, whose firm Eagle Alpha helps investors analyse the Internet and Twitter for clues on the financial market environment, said there had been growing demand from fund managers for analysis of employee views online. Tesco was a prominent request in the wake of its announcement in September that it had a bigger-than-expected hole in its finances. Tesco is conducting a probe into the matter. Another was postal operator Royal Mail, which in March announced plans to cut a net total of 1,300 jobs, prompting the threat of industrial action from a trade union. Employee forums were used in order to gauge the risk of strike action. Even official corporate videos posted online can give investors insight, such as those of US electric car maker Tesla Motors, whose videos were analysed by Eagle Alpha for investors which might have otherwise missed them. In several of these, Tesla Motors - whose shares have risen by nearly 60% since the start of 2014 – gave “behind the scenes” tours of production lines and product demonstrations. man for New York-based Goldman Sachs Group Inc, wasn’t immediately available to comment. The New York-based bank owns Metro International Trade Services. Elena Morenko of Rusal didn’t return an e-mail sent after normal business hours on Friday. The wait time to remove aluminum from Metro-operated warehouses in Detroit was 702 days in September while the removal time from Pacorini’s depots at the Dutch port of Vlissingen was 625 days, according to LME’s report published last month on its website. The LME said last month that it will require warehouses with waits exceeding 50 days to load out more metal than they take in, starting in February. The minimum metal delivery requirement for warehouses with the biggest stockpiles is 3,000 metric tons a day, with extra rates applying to nickel and tin. The bourse said yesterday that it wants to require storage companies to release an additional 500 tons of aluminum alloy a day, which will help bring contract prices closer to the physical market, the notice said. The exchange will also require warehouses to appoint an independent auditor to count all of the stock each company holds in bourse-approved depots, according to the proposal. It currently tracks 10%. Counting all stockpiles will give “an additional level of assurance that all warrants are backed by physical metal” after the Qingdao port probe, the LME said in a notice to members. Chinese authorities earlier this year discovered the same metal in the port of Qingdao was pledged multiples times to secure different loans. The LME said it wants to add a code of conduct that bans behaviour to manipulate the market, such as creating or maintaining a queue for metal delivery. It also plans to take disciplinary action against any price-distorting behaviour. The exchange said the consultation on the proposed reforms and changes to its rules for approving warehouses will run until February. ith the US third-quarter earnings season almost at an end, many investors are breathing a sigh of relief as more companies surpassed proﬁt expectations than in any quarter since 2010. But some analysts say investors may be brushing off their worries about corporate proﬁts a little too soon. While most Standard & Poor’s 500 companies beat analysts’ expectations for third-quarter earnings, many just barely topped estimates, said Pankaj Patel, head of quantitative research at Evercore ISI in New York. Of the S&P 500 companies that had reported results as of early this week, 66% exceeded expectations, according to Evercore’s data analysis. But that ﬁgure falls to just 43% after stripping away companies that beat expectations by 5% or less, Patel’s research shows. The ﬁgure excluding beats of 5% or less is also well below the percentage of beats according to data based on Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S polls of analysts. On that data, 74% of S&P 500 companies so far have exceeded analysts’ expectations, which is the highest for any quarter since the second quarter of 2010. Results have come in from 88% of the S&P 500. The results could mean that an increasing number of companies are trying to “manage their beat rate,” possibly to mask proﬁt weakness, Patel said, noting that companies that exceed expectations by 5% or less typically see their share prices decline in the three days following results. “The beat rate is artiﬁcially high, but people still watch that%,” Patel said. “They keep buying and the market goes higher.” The S&P 500 has risen more than 3% since October 8, roughly when this earnings season began. The index is up 9.1% from its October 15 low. In addition, analysts’ keep trimming their proﬁt forecasts. Estimates for fourth-quarter earnings are down from the start of the quarter, along with estimates for the ﬁrst part of 2015. Earnings growth for the fourth quarter now is estimated at 7.6% compared with an October 1 forecast for 11.1% growth, Thomson Reuters data showed. For the 2015 ﬁrst quarter, proﬁt growth is seen at 8.8%, down from an October 1 forecast for 11.5% growth. Moreover, the magnitude by which fourth-quarter estimates are falling has increased compared with the previous quarter, said Nick Raich, chief executive officer of The Earnings Scout, a Cleveland-based independent research ﬁrm specializing in earnings trends. In outlooks given by companies themselves – done by only a minority of companies – the news is not good. Negative outlooks outnumber positive ones for the fourth quarter so far by a ratio of 3.9 to 1, up from the third quarter’s ratio of 3.3 to 1, Thomson Reuters data showed. The NYSE building in New York. With the US third-quarter earnings season almost at an end, many investors are breathing a sigh of relief as more companies surpassed profit expectations than in any quarter since 2010. Sainsbury’s takes various savings initiatives to get competitive edge Reuters London C utting costs, investment, prices and dividends are likely to be among the initiatives announced by new Sainsbury’s boss Mike Coupe on Wednesday, when he reveals his plan for coping with the toughest market conditions for decades. With Sainsbury’s share price down a third in the last year, Coupe, who was promoted to succeed Justin King in July, is under pressure to come up with a strategy that convinces investors it can avoid the even deeper problems experienced by market leader Tesco and smaller rival Morrisons. He said last month market conditions were the most challenging he had experienced in his 30-year career in retail – a “perfect storm” of price deﬂation, customers shopping around more than ever and a post-recession trend of people eating out more often. Up until the fourth quarter of its 201314 ﬁscal year, Sainsbury’s had been outperforming rivals, with nine unbroken years of sales growth. It has since had three straight quarters of falling sales, culminating in a like-for-like sales drop of 2.8%, excluding fuel, in its second quarter to September 27. On Wednesday, Sainsbury’s is forecast by analysts to post a ﬁrst-half underlying pretax proﬁt of about £350mn ($554mn), down 12.5% on the same period last year. Like “big four” rivals Tesco, Wal-Mart’s Asda and Morrisons, Sainsbury’s has been losing market share to discounters Aldi and Lidl as well as upmarket Waitrose and Marks & Spencer, and in October cut its sales forecast for the 2014-15 ﬁscal year. Customers enter and exit a Sainsbury’s supermarket store in Godalming, the UK. Cutting costs, investment, prices and dividends are likely to be among the initiatives announced by new Sainsbury’s boss Mike Coupe this week, when he reveals his plan for coping with the toughest market conditions for decades. All of the big four have responded by cutting prices and new Tesco boss Dave Lewis, who is also grappling with an accounting scandal, is expected to shake-up the market further with more price reductions. Coupe promised his review would look at all aspects of Sainsbury’s business, leaving “no stone unturned”. He has previously said Sainsbury’s can set itself apart from rivals with a strategy that focuses on own-brand products, on the quality, provenance and ethical credentials of its food, and on expanding its fast-growing convenience and online businesses. But analysts and investors think more price cuts may be needed and to do that Coupe needs to ﬁnd money. “The big things that people are looking for in the strategic review are very good shepherding of the cash ﬂow, so probably reducing the plans they might have had for increased space and reducing the capital expenditure,” one investor in Sainsbury’s told Reuters, adding he did not want to see a dividend cut. However, Exane BNP Paribas analyst John Kershaw expects the dividend, which amounted to £320mn in 2013-14, to be cut by 30% for 2014-15. He forecasts an interim dividend of 3.5 pence a share, down from 5.0 pence last year. Any dividend cut is unlikely to go down well with Sainsbury’s shareholders. Some 26% of its equity is owned by the Qatar Investment Authority, which walked away from a possible takeover in 2007, while the different parts of the Sainsbury family own around 11%. In May, Sainsbury’s guided that core capital expenditure in 2014-15 would be at a similar level to the £888mn spent in 2013-14 that gave a capex/sales ratio of 3.4%. The ﬁrm also guided to a capex/sales ratio below 3% from 2015-16 onwards. Shore Capital analyst Clive Black reckons Sainsbury’s may further cut capex guidance to £550-£600mn a year, focusing spending on the fast-growing convenience store sector until the wider grocery market improves. Exane’s Kershaw expects Sainsbury’s to open less than 500,000 square feet of new selling space in the 2015-16 year, down from the 750,000 square feet it expects to open in 2014-15. Shore Capital’s Black also expects further cost cutting beyond the current guidance of 120-130mn pounds of savings for 2014-15. He said this process may involve substantial restructuring costs. Analysts also reckon Sainsbury’s could write down the value of its development properties and trading assets. Coupe has already made some strategic moves since taking the helm. He has simpliﬁed the grocer’s “Brand Match” price matching scheme to focus on prices at Asda rather than Tesco and made changes to its Nectar loyalty card programme. He is also tackling the rise of the discounters by teaming up with Denmark’s Dansk Supermarked to bring the Netto brand back to the UK. A ﬁrst store opened in Leeds, northern England, on Thursday. Sunday, November 9, 2014 BUSINESS GULF TIMES QBIC launches monthly speaker series with Swatch co-inventor T Dignitaries at the launch of the all-new Hyundai Sonata. The improved 7th generation model is the result of three years of research and development conducted by Hyundai. National Car Co launches all-new Hyundai Sonata N ational Car Company, the sole distributor for Hyundai vehicles in Qatar has officially launched the all-new Sonata midsize sedan at a well attended event at the Ezdan Mall, Gharaffa. Staying true to Hyundai’s acclaimed ‘Modern Premium’ brand direction, the new Sonata is the second Hyundai model to feature the brand’s Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design concept, while also offering modern styling, excellent performance, and the practical application of the Hyundai’s latest technologies such as Smart Trunk function and Blind Spot Detection. The improved 7th generation model is the result of three years of research and development conducted by Hyundai in the Middle East and around the globe, in order to maximize product competitiveness and satisfy the diverse needs of the Middle East market. Currently on display at the two Hyundai showrooms in Doha and Aziziya, Sonata is expected to continue the popularity of a model that has traditionally been one of Hyundai’s best-selling models in the Middle East since it was ﬁrst introduced. In 2013, the Sonata sold over 26,000 units across the Middle East – a region that is set to become Hyundai’s biggest market after the US. Since its introduction in 1985, cumulative global sales of the Sonata have reached almost seven million units. Sheikh Ahmad bin Nasser alThani, President Director, National Car Company said: “We are proud to present the all-new Sonata which has gone through rigorous performance tests and quality enhancements especially in the tough conditions in our region and I am conﬁdent that it will be a new bench mark in mid-size sedan segment in Qatar. It has already achieved top-class safety ratings and we strongly feel that car lovers in Qatar will be delighted to accept the new Sonata with enthusiasm.” The all-new Sonata is the second model to have been designed using Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 philosophy, following in the footsteps of the all-new Genesis which was launched in Qatar in May 2014. It boasts a dramatic new exterior look, as well as a new and improved interior, and a design concept that focuses on ‘Inner Force’: a theme that points to evolved aesthetics and conﬁdent perfection. The new model aims to deliver maximum driver conﬁdence through the inclusion of top safety features and a new suspension, which will provide the driver with a smoother overall ride. Pioneering safety technology such as Vehicle Stability Management, Hill Assist Control and Electric Parking Brake are all included. An impressive 51% of the new Sonata’s steel is Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS), increasing stiffness and protecting passengers more effectively with improved body structure rigidity. This has helped the vehicle to achieve a 2014 Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) in the United States. The new Sonata also beneﬁts from improved interior ergonomics, resulting in a completely driverfocused cabin that incorporates Hyundai Motor’s core interior design principles of safety, intuitiveness and simplicity. Multiple comforts include a panoramic sunroof, manual rear side window curtains, electrical backlite glass curtain, integrated driving mode system (normal, sports and eco) and an Integrated Memory System (IMS) for the driver seating position. The Smart Trunk feature also allows drivers to open the trunk remotely if their hands are full. Puddle lamps projected from outside mirrors and HID Xenon headlamps add to the premium feel of the vehicle. The all-new Sonata also offers a top-of-the-line multi-media sound system, with an option of an impressive 4.3” colour TFT – LCD screen with Rear Camera Viewing for high audio or a 3.8” Negative Mono LCD for basic audio, both of which are accompanied by MP3, bluetooth hands-free and My Music Functions. The high quality sound system is linked to eight optimally tuned highperformance speakers and subwoofers, offering live multi-dimensional sound. The new Sonata also supports AUX & USB ports and iPod bundle cable connection. The all-new Hyundai Sonata is available in Supreme (equipped with all the special features mentioned above), Classic, Mid & Entry grades varying in features and speciﬁcations. The new Hyundai Sonata available in Qatar is equipped with a 2.4 L MPI engine coupled with 6-speed automatic transmission. he Qatar Business Incubation Centre (QBIC) has launched the ﬁrst session of its monthly “Speaker Series” with guest speaker Elmar Mock, the co-inventor of the original Swatch watch. In line with QBIC’s mission of developing Qatar’s next QR100mn companies, the Speaker Series is one of a number of programmes and activities that encourage and support aspiring entrepreneurs to overcome external obstacles and focus on their start-up ideas. The Speaker Series sessions are held periodically and were designed to appeal to a broad spectrum of aspiring entrepreneurs, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) owners, and anyone interested in business. Selected speakers are chosen on the basis of their personal achievements as entrepreneurs, especially those who achieved success after leaving their fulltime jobs to pursue their business ideas. Qatar Development Bank CEO and QBIC chairman Abdulaziz bin Nasser alKhalifa said, “Elmar Mock’s talk puts in perspective a lot of what we try to teach participants partaking in QBIC’s programmes; the key to a successful startup idea is practical innovation.” QBIC CEO Aysha al-Mudahka said, “We believe our speakers will be a source of inspiration as they have overcome many of the same challenges facing our aspiring entrepreneurs today. We are also selecting speakers on their ability to share practiced strategies and knowledge to help our entrepreneurs achieve tangible results.” Mock’s topic, “The Innovation Factory,” centred on how to successfully manage innovation using practical examples such as the Swatch story. He also discussed the hidden consequences of innovation and the contradiction between innovation and renovation. Mock is a serial innovator and is wellknown as the inventor of the original Swatch watch. Following Swatch, he designed Tissot’s Rock watch and then left the company to establish his own engineering and technical consultation company in Switzerland. Since starting his own company in 1986, Mock has completed more than 600 projects for numerous companies, created several spin-offs, and generated more than 150 patents in various ﬁelds. Elmar Mock and QBIC chairman Abdulaziz bin Nasser al-Khalifa. QPM to chair ‘6th Annual Middle East District Cooling Summit’ Q Officials from Al-Attiya Motors and Trading Co and Renault Trucks at the opening ceremony. Opening ceremony held for QR26mn Renault Trucks Qatar workshop To mark its 40th anniversary, Al-Attiya Motors and Trading Co (AMTC) recently held an opening ceremony for the launch of its “state-of-the-art”, QR26mn Renault Trucks (RT) workshop in the Industrial Area. The 4,500sqm facility features full air-conditioning, a comfortable reception area, modern tooling equipment and expanded work stations to be able to provide a professional and timely service and maintenance experience for clients, according to a statement. Over 2,000 Renault Trucks are currently in operation across Qatar and the new workshop will help significantly in accommodating the increasing demand for repair, service, body work and maintenance. According to a report from Renault Trucks Middle East, AMTC is one of the best performing importers in the region. As a result, Renault Trucks is a strong player when it comes to the medium duty range and one of the best brands when it comes to the heavy duty range, the statement adds. The RT Qatar workshop is located on Street 6 (Al Kassarat St), Industrial Area. The workshop capacity has been raised from 150 to 300 job cards per month, with state-of-the-art tooling and extra parking spaces as an added convenience. In addition, the warehouse storage space is capable of accommodating over QR10mn worth of parts stock. Abdul Aziz al-Attiya, chairman of AMTC, said: “The new Renault Trucks Qatar service centre is in line with our company vision in setting a standard for professional aftersales support and professionalism. We are devoted to continuously invest in human and capital resources for the welfare of our individual and corporate customers.” Mohamed Maali, CEO of AMTC, added: “We are excited to inaugurate the new workshop as this will provide us with the opportunity to strengthen our relationships with existing and potential customers.” atar Project Management (QPM) will be representing the country as Project Management Partner and Chair of the “6th Annual Middle East District Cooling Summit” to be held from November 10 to 11 at the Ritz-Carlton Doha. This year’s designated Chair, QPM director for Corporate Sustainability Salah Nezar, will also head several high-proﬁle panel discussions during the two-day summit. Nezar will also deliver the keynote presentation during the opening session focusing on “Solar outdoor cooling opportunities” as a “new and viable” option to lead countries in the region to a “new age of sustainability” in the energy and waterintensive district cooling sector. “There are only a few days in the region when direct sunlight is low. Therefore, the practical applications of harnessing solar energy in the region are massive and much more lucrative in terms of sustainability factors than anywhere else in the world. This solution can drive the massive demand growth for cooling in our expanding cities,” Nezar said. The research to be presented by QPM was co-authored by Nezar on behalf of QPM, in partnership with Dirk Krüger and Jürgen Dersch from the German Aerospace Centre, which is headquartered in Cologne. The paper explains how the sun can be an innovative and sustainable answer to a scalable and affordable outdoor cooling solution in Qatar. The “groundbreaking solution” aims to rebrand the outdoor environment Salah Nezar, QPM director for corporate sustainability. in Qatar during the summer so it is comfortable and appealing for people to experience open-air activities rather than staying indoors. Some of the proposed solutions being presented during the keynote session include the cooling of a playground in Lusail City as a case study performed in collaboration with QPM partners involved in the project. The presentation will also cover several other key topics related to the challenges and opportunities in producing a reduced scale prototype to corroborate results obtained from a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation. The results of the techno-economic study will be shared with the audience to demonstrate the costeffectiveness of the proposed solution. QPM is currently managing mega projects in various locations worldwide while cultivating potential markets and playing an integral role in the development of international communities. QPM also invests in state-of-theart project management technologies that bring projects to life by articulating problem areas, avoiding construction and ecological clashes, and reducing costs through the use of sustainable technologies and systems. QPM’s technology leadership was enhanced by an international team with global experience in mega projects that were built on the highest Health, Safety, and Environmental (HSE) standards. FORMULA ONE Page 7 CRICKET | Page 5 Rosberg edges Hamilton to take pole in Brazil Pakistan roll out spin trap for New Zealand in Abu Dhabi Sunday, November 9, 2014 Moharram 16, 1436 AH FOOTBALL GULF TIMES Costa fells Liverpool, Mata revives United SPORT BEACH VOLLEYBALL German duo go all the way to win Qatar Open ‘First we were in qualification then with a bit of luck we made the main draw. This is just incredible’ The winning German pair (yellow) pose with runners-up Canada (in green) and third-placed France (in blue) at the medals ceremony yesterday. PICTURE: Thajudeen By Yash Mudgal Doha T im Holler and Jonas Schroder made a dream debut at the FIVB Beach Volleyball Tour, defeating Canada’s Josh Binstock and Sam Schachter 2-0 (21-18, 21-13) to win inaugural Qatar Open yesterday. The German pair thus capped a perfect few days after first coming through the qualifers and going all the way to win the championship. “We didn’t expect anything,” Holler said. “First we were in qualification then with a bit of luck we made the main draw and the fact we played that well is incredible. “This is just incredible, to be on the World Tour and win a gold medal. Just give me a second because I just can’t believe it.” The pair combined well in the final as Holler dominated the net and Schroder was full of energy at the back of the court. “I’m very lucky, I guess,” Schroder said. “He played an almost perfect tournament, we had an almost perfect week and what a finish. It was a great atmosphere and great playing here.” Holler and Schroder had never previously played on the World Tour, but they have now set themselves a high bar to match in the future after a powerful run to the final. Their previous best came earlier in the year when they won the University Beach Volleyball World Championships and they also added one gold, two silvers and one bronze on the German National Tour. Binstock and Schachter’s silver was their second World Tour medal in seven days. Last Sunday they defeated Chilean cousin’s Marco and Esteban Grimalt in the Parana Open final to win their first World Tour medals. Here they impressed throughout the week, but were unable to overcome the Germans in the final. “We were both a little tired, it has been quite a long couple of weeks,” Schachter said. “They played great and were siding out very effectively. “They served unbelievably well and we struggled a little with passing, but I’m just proud with the way we competed and played during the tournament. It is a new level of performance for us and I’m still happy with the overall two weeks.” Earlier, France’s Edouard Rowlandson and Youssef Krou won the bronze medal defeating Russia’s Bykanov and Serguei Prokopiev 2-0 (21-15, 21-15). The pair controlled the match from start to finish and used their greater experience to maintain their grip on proceedings after they took an early lead. “We are really pleased with this match. I was saying to Youssef that we needed a really, really great match to finish this competition,” Rowlandson said. It is the pair’s second medal of the season after they won gold at the Xiamen Open. Nonetheless, with only the Mangaung Open in South Africa remaining on the 2014 World Tour, the pair are determined to add yet another medal to their trophy collections. “We are not finished yet,” Krou added. “We have one more tournament for this season and hoping to finish on the podium again.” Page 2 Lee Chong Wei believed to have failed dope test Kuala Lumpur, AFP: Malaysian officials yesterday said an unnamed badminton player, widely believed to be world number one Lee Chong Wei, had failed a drugs test—but leapt to his defence, saying he would never take “shortcuts” to boost his career. Reports of a failed drugs test by the long-time top player with a reputation for humility and diligence have shocked followers of what is one of Asia’s most popular sports. “I want to stress this is not a performance enhancing drug. It shouldn’t affect (the public’s) perception of badminton. This is not (sprinter) Ben Johnson or (cyclist) Lance Armstrong,” sports minister Khairy Jamaluddin was quoted by The Star as saying. His aide confirmed the comments. Norza Zakaria, deputy president of the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), told a press conference that a player had been temporarily suspended after his B-sample tested positive for the banned anti-inflammatory dexamethasone. Lee reportedly flew to Norway to witness a second test this week at a laboratory there, following a positive result in an initial test in late August. Norza said the player could not be named citing due process, with the Badminton World Federation set to hold a hearing. The date for that hearing has not been set, he said. Lee, who has been widely named by Malaysian media, faces a suspension of up to two years over the doping offence. “I would like to inform you that we believe that this player is a very hardworking player and an exceptional individual,” Norza said. “We also believe that this player has never resorted to shortcuts in his pursuit of success.” Norza said officials were still probing how the substance could get into the shuttler’s system. He said the player had denied taking the drug on purpose but received treatment in July for a thigh injury. Lee, 32, received stem cell injections for a thigh injury in July. “From our side, we have some justification that the player is innocent,” Norza said. “The main priority is to assist the player... because he is a part of the BAM family. He has done a lot for the country.” Badminton is not used to doping scandals, with previous controversies mainly stemming up from judging inconsistencies and attempts to throw matches. 2 Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 FOOTBALL EPL FOCUS ‘Chelsea won’t match Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’’ Chelsea edge past Liverpool; City slip Reuters Liverpool, England C Diego Costa’s second-half goal won it for the Chelsea, United win against Crystal helsea will not go through the season undefeated, manager Jose Mourinho said yesterday, after watching his side maintain their stranglehold on the Premier League with victory over Liverpool. Defender Gary Cahill and Spain forward Diego Costa were on target for Chelsea, who secured their ninth league victory this campaign with a 2-1 win at last season’s runnersup Liverpool, to extend their unbeaten start to 11 games. Yet just as talk had started to turn to matching Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’, who went undefeated throughout the 2003/2004 season, Mourinho sought to play down expectations and said his team will not remain unbeaten. “I think it is possible to be champions and we had in mind before the season that we considered ourself title contenders but in modern football and especially in the Premier League, I don’t believe an unbeaten run can happen,” the Portuguese coach told reporters. “This is England, and every match is difficult, every match you can lose points.” Chelsea have a four-point lead over second-place Southampton and a 15-point advantage over Liverpool, though Mourinho dismissed sugges- “I think it is possible to be champions and we had in mind before the season that we considered ourself title contenders but in modern football and especially in the Premier League, I don’t believe an unbeaten run can happen” tions that the Merseysiders are now out of the title race. “If this is Portugal, the Spanish league or the German league where you have two teams to be champion, and if you leave one 15 points behind, you are almost there, but this is England,” said Mourinho. Mourinho said the way his side fought back after falling behind early on to a deﬂected goal from Liverpool midﬁelder Emre Can showed they had the character of Premier League title contenders. “Of course, you don’t want to go behind, but when we do, I am very comfortable because the team is very stable,” said Mourinho. “When they scored, it was not a drama for me, it was not a drama for the team.” The Chelsea boss also revealed that despite starting the match, midﬁelders Ramires and Cesc Fabregas both played with injuries. “Fabregas is a fantastic professional, he gambled,” said Mourinho, who added that he does not think the Spaniard will be ﬁt for international duty next week. POINTS TABLE Read as: Played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points Chelsea’s Diego Costa (centre) takes an unsuccessful shot past Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard (left) and Martin Skrtel. (AFP) DPA London C helsea manager Jose Mourinho hailed his team as “fantastic” after the leaders won 2-1 at Liverpool yesterday to further emphasise their status as favourites for the Premier League title. Diego Costa’s second-half goal won it for the London side, maintaining their four-point lead over Southampton at the top. Southampton stayed in touch with a 2-0 win over Leicester but champions Manchester City lost ground as they were held to a 2-2 draw by struggling Queens Park Rangers and are now eight points off the top. Chelsea were at their ruthless best as they came from behind to hand Liverpool their third defeat in a week. “It was a fantastic performance,” Mourinho said. “The players as individuals all had a great performance and as team they were in control. “One point at Anﬁeld, most teams would accept that as a great result, this team did not accept that and I am really, really pleased.” Liverpool took the lead after just nine minutes when Emre Can’s shot deﬂected off Gary Cahill but Chelsea equalized ﬁve minutes later when Cahill bundled the ball over the line, conﬁrmed by goalline technology. Costa hammered in a low shot on 67 minutes to put Chelsea in front and they held the advantage, though Liverpool were aggrieved not to be awarded a late penalty when Cahill handled the ball in the area. Chelsea have dropped just four points in their ﬁrst 11 matches but Mourinho dismissed suggestions they could emulate the Arsenal team of 2001-2 by going through the whole league season unbeaten. Liverpool dropped to eighth and could fall further later in the weekend, but manager Brendan Rodgers was left to rue the penalty decision. Southampton were frustrated by Leicester for 75 minutes but two late goals by Shane Long maintained their stunning start to the season. Manchester City’s problems continued as they could only draw 2-2 at QPR, despite an early goal by Sergio Aguero for the visitors. Charlie Austin equalized for QPR and then an own goal from Martin Demichelis put the home side in front before Aguero scored his second seven minutes from time. Burnley secured their ﬁrst Premier League win 1-0 over Hull, with Ashley Barnes scoring ﬁve minutes into the second half. The result was not enough to lift Burnley off the bottom of the table but they are now just one point behind QPR. A second-half goal by substitute Juan Mata was enough lift Manchester United 1-0 over Crystal Palace and into the top six. “I was thinking if I come on I would try to change the game and luckily I did it,” Mata said. “The most important thing is that we won and the three points will help us to carry on this good run. Hopefully now in the international break we can recover our injuries.” Fourth-placed West Ham drew 0-0 with Aston Villa in the other match, Villa ending a six-match losing streak. Chelsea Southampton Man City West Ham Arsenal Man Utd Swansea Liverpool Tottenham Everton West Brom Newcastle Stoke City Hull City Sunderland Aston Villa Crystal Palace Leicester QPR Burnley 11 11 11 11 10 11 10 11 10 10 10 10 10 11 10 11 11 11 11 11 9 8 6 5 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 2 2 3 2 2 2 1 2 1 3 3 5 4 3 2 2 4 4 4 3 5 5 2 3 3 2 4 0 2 2 3 1 3 3 5 4 3 3 3 4 4 3 6 6 6 7 6 28 23 22 19 18 17 13 14 13 19 13 11 10 13 11 5 14 11 11 6 11 5 12 14 11 14 10 15 14 17 13 15 12 15 18 16 20 18 22 19 29 25 21 18 17 16 15 14 14 13 13 13 12 11 11 11 9 9 8 7 RESULTS Burnley 1 (Barnes 50) Hull 0; Liverpool 1 (Can 9) Chelsea 2 (Cahill 14, Costa 67); Manchester United 1 (Mata 67) Crystal Palace 0; QPR 2 (Austin 21, Demichelis 76-og) Manchester City 2 (Aguero 32, 83); Southampton 2 (Long 75, 80) Leicester 0; West Ham 0 Aston Villa 0 Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers (right) and his Chelsea counterpart Jose Mourinho react during the English Premier League match at Anfield in Liverpool, yesterday. (EPA) SPOTLIGHT Wenger expects Arsenal to bounce back AFP London A rsene Wenger believes Arsenal will make an immediate recovery from their European meltdown when they return to Premier League action at Swansea today. Wenger’s side squandered a threegoal lead as they crumbled in spectacular fashion in the ﬁnal 29 minutes against unheralded Belgians Anderlecht on Tuesday. The woeful collapse once again exposed the soft centre of Arsenal’s defence and sparked a torrent of criticism for Wenger and his players. But the Gunners boss says his team’s morale has not been affected by either the result or the abuse and he is conﬁdent of returning to winning ways at the Liberty Stadium this weekend. “I have managed 2000 games and can anticipate what people will say. If you defend and get back to 3-3, people will ask why you defend and not continue to play a normal game. If you continue to attack, people ask why you attack. It is so predictable,” Wenger said. “We can learn a lot from what happened on Tuesday. We have special incidents. Some things we can correct, like the second and third goals. We are very positive inside the camp. We are not touched by that (the negativity). When we do not win, we are not happy. The rest, we can live with.” Arsenal’s defence has come under criticism. (AFP) Wenger will adopt a cautious approach by carefully managing Theo Walcott’s return to ﬁrst-team action following a long-term injury. The England winger has just returned from a serious cruciate knee ligament injury which he sustained in the Gunners’ FA Cup third round win over Tottenham back in January. Long lay-off -Walcott has sat on the substitutes bench for the wins over Sunderland and then Burnley last weekend, where he was able to make an eye-catching comeback at the Emirates. And Wenger won’t rush the 25-year-old straight back into his starting line-up after such a length lay-off. “In our job, every time you have a big injury, there is a bigger chance of having another,” Wenger said. “He is now ready to play again and we just have to leave him in peace and give him the time needed to come back. He is in the squad. His ability to start is that if I decide to start him he can start.” Meanwhile, Swansea striker Wilfried Bony, who interested both Tottenham and Liverpool in the close-season, is set to extend his stay in south Wales. And Swansea manager Garry Monk has revealed the Ivory Coast forward could even sign a new deal before the ﬁxture with Arsenal. “Hopefully we can get it done before Arsenal - it has to go through the legal procedures but ﬁngers crossed it can be done,” Monk said. “We’ve had a great relationship. We spoke a lot over the summer and I know how committed he is and how much he enjoys it here. This contact is a symbol of that. It would be a very big thing for the club, the player and his teammates. It’s good for them to see a big player commit to the club. Hopefully it’s a boost for everyone.” Monk denied the move to tie Bony to a longer deal, which could see his release clause taken over, was a move to keep the 25-year-old from the clutches of Premier League rivals. “It’s not why we’re doing it, it’s just about having good players here and on contracts that suit the club,” he added. “It’s a sign of how committed he is. That’s the biggest message, his commitment to the club and his teammates. Speculation over the summer saw Ashley Williams and Wilf linked away but they gave their commitment to the club and team-mates which is great for them to see. Speculation will always happen. “In the times we’re in and the players we have, they will attract attention. I’m sure he’ll be linked again but that’s not a concern.” Rodgers fumes over Liverpool penalty claim London: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers complained that his team were denied what he called a “clear penalty” during their 2-1 loss at home to Premier League leaders Chelsea. Chelsea took the spoils thanks to a close-range strike by Diego Costa in the 67th minute, after Emre Can’s early opener for Liverpool had been cancelled out by Gary Cahill. Rodgers felt that his side should have been awarded a penalty after a late Steven Gerrard strike appeared to catch Cahill on the arm inside the box. “It was a clear one,” Rodgers told BT Sport. “We worked so hard in the game, we need those decisions. “It was quite obvious. It hits his hand, it was a clear, clear penalty, and the referee has a clear view of it. The players gave everything and we deserved at least a point.” Liverpool have now lost five league games this season - just one less than they recorded in the whole of the previous campaign - and Rodgers hopes the return from injury of striker Daniel Sturrige will give them a boost. Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 3 SPORT SPOTLIGHT Ferguson’s exit hit me hard, says van Persie By Ed Aarons and Bart Vlietstra theguardian.com R obin van Persie has revealed he was surprised by Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure from Manchester United, while the Dutch striker also admitted he is not satisﬁed with his recent performances under new manager Louis van Gaal. In September, former United teammate Rio Ferdinand stated that Ferguson’s decision to retire after 27 years at Old Trafford “took the wind out of everyone’s sails” but “the person it hit more than anyone was Robin”. Speaking to Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant, Van Persie admitted he had been shocked by the departure of the man who persuaded him to leave Arsenal in August 2012. “Rio is a great guy. He talks a lot but there is some truth in that,” said Van Persie. “My decision to come to Manchester was partly because of the presence of Ferguson, or excuse me, Sir Alex. And he told me he’d SPANISH LEAGUE “My decision to come to Manchester was partly because of the presence of Ferguson, or excuse me, Sir Alex. And he told me he’d stay for another three years. I enjoyed his approach. We were once 18 points clear of City but we lost at home 2-1. We were still 15 points ahead but he was furious. Then I realised: he’s a winner” stay for another three years. I enjoyed his approach. We were once 18 points clear of City but we lost at home 2-1. We were still 15 points ahead but he was furious. Then I realised: he’s a winner.” Van Persie has so far struggled to replicate the form that saw him ﬁnish his debut season in Manchester as the Premier League’s top scorer with 26 goals as United won their 20th title. An injury-hit campaign under David Moyes saw the 31-year-old ﬁnd the net just 12 times in the league, while he has managed three from nine appearances this term under compatriot Van Gaal. “Three goals in nine games is not enough,” he said. “Against Chelsea I had a nice chance and I had three options: chip it, go round the keeper or just (shoot) straight at the goal. I chose the last and safest. If I wouldn’t have thought it over I would just chip it. I just have to trust again in my intuition.” Despite United recording their worst start to a season since 1986 under the former Holland coach, Van Persie has faith that they can turn things around and revealed some. He said: “We train more and more intensely than in previous years. We have to get used to that.” Van Persie also revealed that he has discussed recent criticism of his performances by BBC and BT Sport pundit Robbie Savage with the former Wales midﬁelder. “My kids go to the same school as Robbie Savage, a great lad,” he said. “I once asked him why he was so harsh in his judgements. He told me it had to do with the competition in the media landscape, between television stations. He admitted to sometimes judging harder than is reasonable, but also that he has a mortgage to pay.” FOCUS Suarez inspires Barca revival Neymar and Jordi Alba score of assists from Suarez as Barca beat Almeria City’s Aguero vows to win Champions League AFP London M anchester City may be on the brink of another early exit from the Champions League but striker Sergio Aguero has vowed to stay at the club until they are crowned European champions. The Premier League champions are without a win in this season’s edition of Europe’s elite club competition, bottom of their group with just two points from their opening four games. City have never made it further than the last 16 of the tournament and must now beat Bayern Munich at home and AS Roma away in their remaining group games to stand a chance of emulating their best European campaign. Argentina striker Aguero, City’s top scorer with 12 goals in all competitions this season, says that he is willing to stay beyond the new ﬁve-year contract he signed in the close season to ensure the team win Europe’s biggest trophy. “Not only will I stay the four (remaining) years to make it eight here in total, I’ll stay beyond that—until we win it,” he told reporters at the launch of his autobiography “Born To Rise”. “We could still be able to put things right (this season) but clearly the group table is not where we want to be and not what we would have expected. “None of the games have been the real City and I guess that if we don’t turn it around in these last two games you would consider it to be the worst Champions League campaign the club has had. What we have to try and ensure is that the real City turn up for the games against Bayern Munich and Roma.” City manager Manuel Pellegrini oversaw the club’s best European campaign last season, their ﬁrst foray into the last 16 ended in defeat over two legs to Barcelona. Aguero believes that it is unfair that pressure is piling on the Chilean coach after City’s indifferent start to this campaign and that the players should shoulder some of the blame. “It’s easy for everyone to suddenly decide it’s the man at the helm who is to blame, but I would say in situations like this, when we haven’t played well as a group, we are all in it together,” the 26 year-old said. “It is not just the manager, and not just the players—we are all to blame as a group and we need to work our way out of this situation as a group.” City’s torrid travels around Europe have been matched with a stuttering start to their title defence in the Premier League. FRENCH LIGUE Jeers turn to tears as Sagnol’s Bordeaux win Almeria’s Ximo Navarro (left) vies for the ball with Barcelona’s Neymar da Silva during the Spanish league match yesterday. (AFP) AFP Barcelona T wo assists from Luis Suarez inspired Barcelona to come from behind and snap a two-game losing streak in La Liga with a 2-1 win at Almeria yesterday. Suarez had started the game on the bench alongside Neymar as Barca boss Luis Enrique made ﬁve changes from the side that defeated Ajax 2-0 in midweek. However, both men were called into action at half-time after Thievy Bifouma had ﬁred Almeria into the lead eight minutes before the break. Suarez squared for Neymar to level the scores 18 minutes from time and his cross then teed up Jordi Alba to seal the three points nine minutes later. Victory takes Barca a point ahead of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga, but Los Blancos can reclaim top spot when they host Rayo Vallecano later last night. Yet, despite his team’s reaction after the break, Enrique was less than impressed by their display. “The second-half was better for the ambition and attitude shown by the players rather than for good football,” he said. “To have a good season, though, you have to win even when you don’t play well in games like today.” Enrique’s decision to make a host of changes handed Pedro Rodriguez and Munir El Haddadi a start alongside Lionel Messi in attack. But they did little to justify their selec- POINTS TABLE Read as: Played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points Barcelona Real Madrid Valencia Atletico Madrid Sevilla Celta Vigo Malaga Villarreal Eibar Getafe Athletic Bilbao Rayo Vallecano Espanyol Almeria DLa Coruna Grenade Elche Levante Real Sociedad Cordoba 11 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 11 11 10 10 10 10 11 8 8 7 7 7 5 5 4 3 4 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 0 1 0 2 2 1 4 3 2 4 1 2 2 4 3 3 3 2 2 3 6 2 2 1 1 2 1 2 4 3 5 5 5 4 6 6 5 6 6 6 5 25 37 23 19 17 17 12 14 12 8 7 13 10 9 12 6 10 6 10 8 5 10 9 9 10 11 8 12 13 14 12 19 12 14 21 17 22 24 15 18 25 24 23 23 22 19 18 14 13 13 11 11 10 9 9 9 8 8 6 6 tion, although Munir did force Ruben Martinez into a low save after the Almeria ‘keeper had blocked Messi’s effort from close range. Martinez had to be at his best to stop Barca taking the lead just before the half hour mark as he scrambled to keep out Ivan Rakitic’s downward header and from the rebound Messi nodded onto the crossbar. However, the visitors were caught out eight minutes before half-time as Messi lost possession deep inside the Almeria half and with one pass Barca were undone as Jonathan Soriano released Thievy and he raced past Bartra before calmly slotting past Bravo. Enrique had seen enough in the ﬁrst 45 minutes and swiftly introduced Suarez and Neymar for Munir and Pedro at the break. It took 15 minutes for the substitutes to make an impact as Suarez acrobatically volleyed against the bar at the back post from a corner. Suarez was the creator when Barca did eventually level as he turned his marker just inside the area and squared for Neymar to turn the ball home via a deﬂection off Ximo Navarro. The Uruguayan was inches away from his ﬁrst Barca goal moments later as he spun and sent a low shot just beyond Martinez’s far post. Suarez then teed up Messi to sent another looping header off the crossbar as the pressure from the Catalans continued. And they found the winner eight minutes from the end when after another burst from Suarez down the right he picked out the late arriving Alba from left-back to bundle home his ﬁrst goal of the season. Messi’s quest to become the joint top goalscorer in La Liga history was frustrated once more by Martinez in stoppage time, but Barca saw the game out to return to winning ways after back-to-back league defeats against Real Madrid and Celta Vigo. AFP Paris I n a week he faced claims of racism, Bordeaux coach Willy Sagnol was moved to tears in Ligue 1 yesterday when African striker Cheick Diabate hugged him after sealing a 2-1 win at Lens. The victory lifts Bordeaux to third position, level on 24 points with second-placed Paris Saint Germain, who on Sunday host Ligue 1 leaders Marseille. Lens are fourth from bottom with three wins from 13 games. Sagnol had been forced to apologise this week after appearing to suggest African players may be lacking in “discipline” and “intelligence” in a newspaper interview. The former French international was also mercilessly whistled by home fans as he walked onto the Lens pitch. So when 26-year-old Malian striker Diabate scored Bordeaux’s second goal just before half-time and ran over to hug Sagnol, the gesture left the coach wiping tears from his eyes. Wahbi Khazri opened Bordeaux’s account with a powerful shot on 24 minutes before Diabate rounded the ‘keeper to double the tally on 41 minutes. The striker refused point blank to be drawn of the subject. “I didn’t see that (the crying). I’m just focussed on winning the game and getting the points,” he told French television at halftime. Lens coach Antoine Kombouare, a Kanak from New Caledonia, shook Sagnol’s hand before the game as fans at the Stade Felix-Bollaert subjected the Bordeaux coach to a barrage of jeers. A Yoann Touzghar penalty gave Lens hope and brought the score back to 2-1 with 15 minutes to play, setting up a nervy closing spell for Bordeaux. Rennes, meanwhile, are comfortably settled in the top third of the table after edging lowly Lorient 1-0 in the Brittany derby on Friday evening. Later last night, Bastia start life without sacked coach Claude Makelele by hosting Montpellier, high-ﬂying Nantes travel to Normandy outﬁt Caen, Evian host Nice, and Toulouse take on Metz. Ibrahimovic returns to face Marseille Paris: Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been included in Laurent Blanc’s squad to face Marseille today in the Ligue 1 top-of-the-table clash at the Parc des Princes. The Sweden captain, has been out of action since September 21 with a heel injury, but only returned to full training on Friday. “He has been out seven weeks but of course he wants to play but we have to consider our decision carefully,” Blanc said on whether last season’s top scorer would play against Marseille who come into the high-octane clash with a four-point lead over their arch-rivals. “He cannot sprint at 100 per cent and between doing cycling and ‘ab’ work to flat out sprinting, there is a big difference,” added Blanc, who played as a defender for Marseille between 1997 and 1999. “If he is ready, the question remains whether he can start the match. Is it reasonable to throw him into such a big match? The answer is no! But when it’s Zlatan, reason doesn’t come into it because he is a player who is out of the ordinary.” Lucas and Marco Verratti are also in the 20-player squad despite carrying knocks while key defender Thiago Motta and Gregory Van der Wiel are suspended. 4 Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 FOOTBALL BUNDESLIGA SPOTLIGHT Mueller’s hat-trick extends Bayern lead Guardiola’s men register their eighth win in 11 league games POINTS TABLE AFP Munich D efending champions Bayern Munich opened a seven-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga yesterday as Thomas Mueller netted a hat-trick in their 4-0 romp at Eintracht Frankfurt. With main rivals VfL Wolfsburg and Gladbach playing Sunday, Pep Guardiola’s Bayern made sure of their eighth win in 11 league games to pull clear of the chasing pack. Having been rested for Wednesday’s 2-0 home win over Roma which conﬁrmed Bayern’s place in the Champions League’s last 16 as group winners, Mueller opened the scoring in Frankfurt when he converted a Franck Ribery pass at the second attempt on 23 minutes. The 25-year-old then boosted his tally with two goals in three minutes after converting another Ribery pass after the Frenchman sprinted though the defence with Poland striker Robert Lewandowski also queueing up to score on 64 minutes. Mueller bagged his third to leave him with nine goals in all competitions and the league’s joint top scorer when he ﬁnished off a move from a quick Ribery throw-in to claim his sixth Bundesliga goal. Xherdan Shaqiri grabbed Bayern’s fourth on 86 minutes after fellow secondhalf replacement Arjen Robben had pulled the Frankfurt defence to pieces to leave the Swiss winger to tap into an empty net. Werder Bremen can move off the bottom, and leave last season’s runners-up Borussia Dortmund last before hosting third-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach today, with just a point at VfB Stuttgart. Hoffenheim dropped to ﬁfth after a lively 4-3 defeat at home to Cologne with Nigeria striker Anthony Ujah netting his third goal of the season for the visitors and Poland defender Pawel Olkowski scoring twice, including the 83rd-minute winner. Leverkusen, who won 2-1 at Zenit St Petersburg on Tuesday to stay top of their Champions League group, were held to a goalless draw at home to Mainz and drop to sixth having suffered a shock 1-0 league defeat at Hamburg last weekend. Robert di Matteo suffered his second consecutive defeat as Schalke coach when his side lost 2-0 at Freiburg, who pulled clear of the relegation places to move up to 13th with Christian Guenter and Jonathan Schmid scoring their goals. The 44-year-old Di Matteo has now lost three and won three of his six games since taking charge of the Royal Blues last month and his side drop to 11th in the table—exactly where they were when he took charge. Augsburg moved up to seventh with a 3-0 win at mid-table Paderborn as midﬁelder Tobias Werner scoring twice. Second-placed Wolfsburg can pick up their eighth straight win when they host strugglers Hamburg today. FOCUS M emories of Germany’s World Cup triumph will be rekindled tomorrow when ‘Die Mannschaft’ (The Team) hits cinemas and Joachim Loew’s squad receive the country’s highest sports award. After the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall today, Germany’s capital is preparing to relive the football-mad nation’s Brazil 2014 triumph. The 90-minute long movie gets its premiere when the behind-the-scenes story of Germany’s fourth World Cup triumph is told. Earlier tomorrow , the 23-man squad, who clinched the title in Brazil, will receive the Silver Laurel Leaf—the country’s top award for sports success—from president Joachim Gauck at his Schloss Bellevue residence. Loew’s squad will also receive their ofﬁcial World Cup winners badge from football’s governing body FIFA which they will wear for their Euro 2016 qualiﬁer against Gibraltar on November 14 and away Bayern Munich 11 VfL Wolfsburg 10 M’gladbach 10 Hanover 11 Hoffenheim 11 Bayer Leverkusen 11 FC Augsburg 11 Mainz 05 11 SC Paderborn 10 FC Cologne 11 Schalke 04 11 Eintr. Frankfurt 11 SC Freiburg 11 Hertha Berlin 11 Hamburg 10 VfB Stuttgart 10 Dortmund 10 Werder Bremen 10 8 6 5 6 4 4 5 3 4 4 4 3 2 3 2 2 2 1 3 2 5 1 5 5 0 6 3 3 2 3 5 2 3 3 1 4 0 2 0 4 2 2 6 2 4 4 5 5 4 6 5 5 7 5 27 20 15 9 17 17 14 13 16 11 14 17 11 15 4 14 11 12 3 27 9 20 5 20 11 19 14 17 15 17 12 15 12 15 16 15 11 15 15 14 23 12 14 11 21 11 12 9 23 9 17 7 24 7 dinese veteran striker Antonio Di Natale revealed he would have loved to play for Liverpool as he bids to write another page in his impressive personal history in Italy’s top ﬂight. Di Natale, one of Serie A’s most successful ever strikers, will take his league goals tally to 200 if he scores away to Palermo on what will be his 400th league appearance today. Had he followed through with a decision to retire at the end of last season, the 37-yearold Napolitan’s 200-goal dream would have died along with his faint hopes of a ﬁnal World Cup appearance with Italy in Brazil last summer. Instead, Di Natale—who scored 11 goals in 42 appearances for the Azzurri—has turned his attention to at least matching the 205-goal tally of Italian great Roberto Baggio. Having spent his entire career in Italy with only two clubs, Empoli and Udinese, Di Natale admits a spell at Liverpool was among his few regrets. “The only team that I would have loved to play for, for the atmosphere and the stadium, is Liverpool,” Di Natale said in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport’s Sportweek magazine. “When they took (Andrea) Dossena to Liverpool in 2008, there was talk of me going as well. But then nothing happened.” Alongside Roma playmaker Francesco Totti, Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and Verona striker Luca Toni, Di Natale is among a handful of ‘golden oldies’ still plying their trade in Serie A. Di Natale admits trying to match Totti’s current mark of 237 goals is beyond him. Silvio Piola, who retired in 1954, holds Serie A’s all-time goals record of 274. “Totti and I are the only players born in 1977 still playing in the league. He’s doing great, I couldn’t imagine matching him,” he said. A “huge admirer” of Diego Maradona, Di Natale says he has been dreaming of matching Baggio’s 205-goal mark since he went back on a decision to retire at the end of last season. Di Natale explained: “I returned home last January and told my wife, ‘it’s time to retire’. She didn’t seem very convinced. And then my son Filippo just laughed at me. Maybe he had an idea how it would end up. Since our ﬁrst training session this summer I’ve been dreaming of equalling Baggio’s tally of 205 goals.” For Serie A aﬁcionados, Baggio’s achievement—the bulk of his goals came in a ﬁve-year spell with Juventus—may carry more prestige. But Di Natale said: “When a player like Baggio looks you in the eye and tells you you’re at his level, I can be satisﬁed with what I’ve achieved.” Despite playing for Udinese, a club that has neither won the Italian league or Cup, Di Natale has won Serie A’s ‘Capocannoniere’ top scorer award two years in succession. In 2010 he scored 29 league goals to leave Inter’s Diego Milito (22) a distant second and then hit the net 28 times to leave Uruguayan Edinson Cavani, then of Napoli, second by just two goals. Although he said he owes “everything to Silvio Baldini, who gave me my ﬁrst chance at Empoli”, he admits Maradona has been his idol since childhood. “I’ve always admired him, even though his lifestyle has been totally different from mine. But Diego is a top player, and when you’re among the best everything is allowed,” added Di Natale. “In saying that, there’s a message written on the wall at my football school which says, ‘any parent who thinks they have a little Diego, please take them straight back home.” RESULTS Bayer Leverkusen 0 Mainz 05 0 Augsburg 3 (Werner 7, 47, Callsen-Bracker 68) Paderborn 0 Hoffenheim 3 (Szalai 2, Firmino 39, 45) Cologne 4 (Olkowski 5, 83, Lehmann 12, Ujah 35) Eintracht Frankfurt 0 Bayern Munich 4 (Mueller 23, 64, 67, Shaqiri 86) Freiburg 2 (Guenter 22, Schmid 68) Schalke 04 0 Hanover 96 moved up to fourth in the table with a 2-0 win at Hertha Berlin on Friday, but both top six sides Hoffenheim and Bayer Leverkusen both lost ground to Bayern. Udinese’s Antonio Di Natale will take his league goals tally to 200 if he scores away to Palermo on what will be his 400th league appearance today. ROUND-UP Germany’s World Cup heroes take to silver screen AFP Berlin AFP Milan U Read as: Played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points Bayern Munich’s Thomas Mueller (right) and Eintracht Frankfurt’s Bamba Anderson and Bastian Oczipka (left) vie for the ball during a Bundesliga match at Commerzbank Arena in Frankfurt. (EPA) Landmark looms for Di Natale The documentary, which goes on general release next Wednesday, promises to tell the story from Germany’s pre-World Cup training camp in north Italy through to their extra-time victory over Argentina friendly in Spain four days later. The documentary, which goes on general release next Wednesday, promises to tell the story from Germany’s pre-World Cup training camp in north Italy through to their extra-time victory over Argentina at Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Maracana. The project was ﬁlmed by the German Football Federation (DFB), who had planned to use the footage for motivation purposes, but was turned into a documentary after Germany’s triumph. “Brazil have Neymar, Argentina have Messi, Portugal have Ronaldo, Germany have a team,” is the quote from England captain Steven Gerrard following Germany’s 7-1 semi-ﬁnal drubbing of hosts Brazil which opens ‘Die Mannschaft’. As well as footage of team talks, motivational sessions and player interviews, the ﬁlm promises to capture some of the pranks and humour from within the squad. A teaser clip shows winger Thomas Mueller wearing a traditional Bavarian Dirndl dress as a forfeit at a team breakfast. “Abroad, everyone calls us ‘The Mannschaft’,” explained team manager Oliver Bierhoff. “The ﬁlm gets across all the emotions we experienced during the World Cup. I told the crew to shoot it as if we would become world champions. “We hope to bring the World Cup closer to our fans again and show a different side of how the team experienced the World Cup. And, of course, we want to show a few goals.” Oliver Bierhoff, the team manager, has promised there will be a “few ﬁreworks” at the premiere and the ﬁlm will be on sale as a DVD just before Christmas. The proceeds will go to the foundations of both the DFB and FIFA, who waived their right to the material in order for the ﬁlm to be made. The documentary of Germany’s 2006 World Cup campaign as hosts made 4.1 million euros when the ﬁlm “Germany, a summer fairytale” went on release and the majority of the money went to a children’s charity. City’s Toure up for fourth African player title AFP Cape Town M anchester City’s Yaya Toure is one of 25 candidates in the running to be crowned African player of the year, the Confederation of African Football announced. Toure has won the past three awards in a list that also features his Ivory Coast teammate Gervinho of Roma, but not Cameroon’s four-time winner Samuel Eto’o or double winner Didier Drogba of Chelsea. Eto’o is the only player to win four awards and achieved that feat in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2010. Algeria, who reached the World Cup second round for the ﬁrst time in Brazil in July, have the most candidates with four players. Sporting Lisbons’s Islam Slimani, Rais Mbolhi of the Philadelphia Union as well as Valencia’s, Soﬁane Feghouli and Porto star Yacine Brahimi all feature in the list of 25. Nigerian goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama of Lille is the only Ligue 1 player nominated. DRUGS CHARGE AGAINST ADRIANO THROWN OUT A Rio de Janeiro judge has dismissed charges laid against former Brazilian international Adriano that accused him of involvement with drug-traffickers, a court spokesman said. The former Inter Milan, Fiorentina, Parma and Roma striker, 32, who is trying to revive his career in France, was charged Tuesday with buying two motorbikes between 2008 and 2009 that were later used by drug dealers in Rio’s Vila Cruzeiro favela, where he grew up. Judge Maria Tereza Donatti threw out the charge, partly because of evidence irregularities. Sources in the prosecutor’s office in Rio de Janeiro told AFP that attorneys will appeal the ruling. In a statement, the former international, who scored 27 goals in 48 appearances for Brazil, said he had never been worried. “I knew everything would be okay... I’m honest, I pay my taxes and I’m proud of my origins,” he said. He faced up to 15 years in prison if found guilty. Adriano’s last contract, with Atletico Paranaense, was terminated six months ago after he missed several training sessions. BRAZIL TO PLAY FRIENDLY IN NIGERIA Nigeria will host ﬁve-time world champions Brazil in a high-proﬁle friendly on March 29 at a new provincial stadium that was opened on Friday, officials said. “Brazil will ﬁeld the full complement of its stars for the match, including Barcelona star Neymar,” Akwa Ibom state governor Godswill Akpabio said at the opening of the Akwa Ibom Stadium in the southeast of the country. Nigeria hosted Brazil in 2003 in Abuja when the World Cup holders won 3-0. Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 5 SPORT CRICKET Pakistan roll out spin trap for NZ India’s cricket captain Virat Kohli THIRD ONE-DAYER We will be ruthless, says Kohli IANS Hyderabad A fter two resounding victories, India will be “ruthless” when they meet Sri Lanka in the third One-Day International (ODI) of the ﬁve-match cricket series here today. Indian skipper Virat Kohli yesterday said they will be ruthless and try to win every game they play. “What we are trying to achieve is being ruthless rather than letting the situations be. In the past it happened a lot when we had got eight wickets then let the last two players get away with it,” he told reporters after the practice session at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here. “If you want to be ruthless, want to have big and convincing wins it is important to address the issues that happen in resounding win as well,” he said when asked if the team is looking to work on weak areas. “That’s the kind of hunger and vision that we are trying to instil in this team going into the 2015 World Cup so that every game we play we want to be ruthless, we want to win by big margin,” he added. Kohli said the team is treating every match like a knock-out game and looking to win every one of them. “Not really thinking about being 2-0 up. This is about one game at a time. Looking to execute the plan we make before every game. That’s the kind of mindset we want to build before going into the World Cup,” said the middle-order batsman. “It doesn’t really matter what the other team is feeling like and what their strengths and weaknesses are,” Kohli said when asked about the statements made by some Sri Lankan players that they were not prepared for the series. “We want to more focussed on what we want to do rather than who we are playing against,” he added. “We are taking this series and the tri-series (involving Australia and England) to test ourselves and create targets for ourselves rather than worrying about the opposition.” ‘No changes have been made to the side that won the second Test against Australia’ Reuters Abu Dhabi T he leaden-footed Australians found themselves bamboozled by Pakistan’s wily spinners and their trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand can expect similar treatment from Misbah-ul-Haq and his men in a three-test series starting in Abu Dhabi today. Left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar (14) and leggie Yasir Shah (12) shared 26 of the 40 Australian wickets between them to help Pakistan secure a comprehensive 2-0 win on the slow, turning wickets in the United Arab Emirates last week. By retaining the same 16 who gave them their ﬁrst test series victory over Australia in 20 years, Pakistan have suggested they would employ the same tried-and-tested formula against the Brendon McCullum-led Black Caps. “No changes have been made to the side that won the second test against Australia. This is to ensure there is consistency, which will bring more stability and strengthen team bonding and combination,” chief selector Moin Khan said. The slow nature of tracks in the UAE negated much of the threat posed by Australian pacemen, including Ashes hero Mitchell Johnson, while run-machine Younus Khan and his nimble-footed batting colleagues milked the touring spinners dry. Brendon McCullum and Misbah-ul-Haq pose with the series trophy ahead of the first Test in Abu Dhabi. Australia’s specialist slow bowler Nathan Lyon bled 422 runs for his three wickets in the series that saw Younus hit two centuries and a double ton while Misbah and top order batsman Azhar Ali hit hundreds in both innings of the Abu Dhabi test. Misbah also equalled West Indies great Viv Richards’s fast- est test century record by blasting his second hundred in 56 balls in the Abu Dhabi contest. New Zealand coach Mike Hesson knows what it would take to upstage a formidable Pakistan team eying a second successive whitewash to close their current 12-point gap on second-placed Australia in test rankings. “I’d like to see us develop in two areas on this tour,” Hesson wrote on his blog on New Zealand Cricket website. “The ﬁrst is our ability to take wickets on un-responsive surfaces, and the second is that our batsmen all have a method to cope when the ball starts turning, to both defend and to score.” Leggie Ish Sodhi and offspinner Mark Craig will have to be at the best of their craft against a Pakistani batting order who play spin extremely well. “Australia struggled to take wickets and it’s going to be hard. It’s important that we stick to our plan,” Craig, who has played only three tests, said. SPOTLIGHT Zimbabwe spinner Waller reported for suspect action Reuters Dhaka Z imbabwe off-spinner Malcolm Waller has been reported for a suspected illegal bowling action, joining a fast-growing list of spinners to have fallen foul of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) rules against throwing. The 30-year-old part-time bowler, whose action was reported after Zimbabwe’s defeat in the second test against Bangladesh on Friday, had 21 days to undergo testing, the ICC said yesterday. Off-spinners Sachithra Senanayake (Sri Lanka), Kane Williamson (New Zealand), Prosper Utseya (Zimbabwe), Sohag Gazi (Bangladesh) and Saeed Ajmal (Pakistan) have all been reported for suspect bowling actions in recent months. Three of them—Senanayake, Williamson and Ajmal—were subsequently banned from bowling. ICC poised to clear way for Aamer return DUBAI: Pakistan seamer Mohammad Aamer (pictured), banned and jailed for spot fixing in one of cricket’s darkest episodes, is set to be handed a dramatic return to the sport. The International Cricket Council (ICC) is expected to revise its anti-corruption code at a two-day board meeting starting in Dubai today, allowing all banned players to feature in domestic matches before their suspensions expire. Sources told AFP that the ICC chief executives’ committee has already approved the new provision and has recommended the full board to do the same. Although the revised code will apply to all banned players, it could specifically benefit the 22-year-old Aamer, who was BOTTOM LINE Tendulkar urges Indian players to follow his English example AFP London S achin Tendulkar may have written off England’s chances of winning next year’s World Cup but that hasn’t stopped the India great urging his compatriots to broaden their horizons with a spell in English county cricket. England have never won the World Cup in nearly 40 years of trying and, having lost ﬁve out of their last six one-day international series, few expect them to end that sequence in Australia and New Zealand next year. Tendulkar, who retired from cricket last year having become the ﬁrst man to score 100 international centuries and been India’s leading run-scorer during their march to the 2011 World Cup title, was among the sceptics when it came to assessing England’s chances. “I think Australia, South Af- rica, New Zealand are a dark horse, and India—these four should be my semi-ﬁnalists,” Tendulkar said at a press conference at London’s Lord’s Cricket Ground on Friday, where he was promoting his autobiography, ‘Playing It My Way’. “Do England have a chance? Not really. I don’t think so. “Anything is possible in this sport but going on current form I don’t think England will be that competitive. “I feel India can surprise a lot of people and I also believe the spinners will come into play. “People talk about the pitches for fast bowlers but because of the size of the grounds, I think spinners could be important.” India have long proved tough to beat in home conditions but have often struggled on their travels, particularly in recent times, and were beaten 3-1 in a ﬁve-Test series in England earlier this year. Tendulkar said he thought increased exposure to English conditions would beneﬁt Indian players, citing his own ex- perience as a 19-year-old when he became Yorkshire’s ﬁrst overseas cricketer in 1992. “I grew up watching cricket being played in England and the reason I wanted to start playing cricket was because of the 1983 World Cup (that India won in England),” the 41-yearold Tendulkar said. “My ﬁrst Test 100 also took place in England at Old Trafford, which was a big moment for me. “And in 1992, the ﬁrst time I played for Yorkshire was a turning point in my career because it taught me about the conditions but it also taught me a lot as a person. “I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Yorkshire—they were all very supportive and welcoming and I can never forget that experience, the warmth I felt there.” “England will always have a special place in my heart and my mother-in-law is English, so I have to be careful what I say about England!,” added Tendulkar. exiled from cricket after a spotfixing scandal during Pakistan’s tour of England in 2010. Aamer and pace partner Mohammad Asif, along with then Pakistan captain Salman Butt, orchestrated deliberate no-balls in return for money during the Lord’s Test against England four years ago. In February 2011, ICC anti-corruption tribunal chief Michael Beloff QC, a senior English lawyer, banned the players but also raised questions over the code and said he would recommend a revision in cases where the minimum punishment was five years. Left-arm paceman Aamer was banned for five years, Butt for 10, with five suspended, and Asif for seven, with two sus- pended. All three also served prison sentences. “The ICC Board will discuss the recommendations from the executive committee, including in respect of a revised anticorruption code and a revised ICC anti-doping code,” said an ICC statement. ICC chief executive David Richardson hinted last month that the revision to the code would feature at the November 9-10 meeting. “There is a provision now in the revised code which will allow a player who has been banned internationally to play domestic cricket for a certain period from his ban coming to an end,” said former South Africa wicketkeeper Richardson, without mentioning the length of the period. The ICC formed a five-man committee last year to consider the details of the code after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) requested a relaxation of certain conditions relating to Aamer’s ban. If the revised code is approved, a banned player will have to apply to the ICC to get permission to feature in domestic cricket. The ICC will seek recommendations from its Anti-Corruption and Security Unit as well as from the home board concerned and the ICC board before clearing the player to feature in domestic matches. The PCB is likely to make an appeal on behalf of Aamer but let Butt and Asif’s bans stand as they are. Meanwhile the ICC board will also discuss matters relating to the Future Tours Programme from 2015-2023, playing conditions for the 2015 World Cup and suspected illegal bowling actions. Qatar Endurance Cup winners The winners of the Qatar Endurance Cup pose with their trophies after the presentation ceremony yesterday. Al Sadd Endurance Team’s Gaje Singh Hari Singh riding Tarifa, took the first place in the 100km category ahead of Bin Shaqer Endurance Team’s Mohammed Nasser Salem Bugnaim astride Ithlien Arwen, while Jassim Mohammed Ali al-Meadadi, riding Shabbab finished third. In the 80km category, Bin Shaqer Endurance Team’s Hamad Saad Saleh al-Nabit (astride El Real) was a clear winner, while Soud Ahmad Mubarak Buhammad (astride Afour) and Hamad Abdulla al-Jumaily (Maver Issona) were second and third respectively. 6 Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 RUGBY FOUR NATIONS LEAGUE New Zealand down England, secure final berth AFP Dunedin N ew Zealand secured their berth in the ﬁnal of the Four Nations rugby league tournament when they scraped home 16-14 over England in their ﬁnal pool match in Dunedin yesterday. There were three tries apiece at Forsyth-Barr Stadium with two goals by Shaun Johnson to one by Gareth Widdop making the difference. The Kiwis go into the ﬁnal as the only unbeaten team in the tournament after earlier wins over Australia and Samoa. England, who came up short of their initial target of needing to beat New Zealand by 10 or more points to make the ﬁnal, must now wait on the outcome of today’s Australia-Samoa clash at Wollongong. Australia will make the ﬁnal if they win, Samoa will qualify if they beat Australia by eight or more points, and England will sneak through if Samoa win by fewer than eight points. “It’s out of our hands now,” a disappointed England skipper Sean O’Loughlin said. “We wanted to come here and get that win and get there (the ﬁnal) in our own right. But we knew it was going to be tough to get the win and get the 10 points we were chasing.” England had their moments to close out the game and New Zealand captain Simon Mannering acknowledged his side were pushed to the limit. “They played some great footy, shifted the ball and chanced their arm and defensively put us under a lot of pressure,” he said. “I thought we scrambled pretty well but I thought we let some tries in we should have stopped.” New Zealand made a huge start to the crunch game with a try to Jason Nightingale at the end of the ﬁrst set when he beat Ryan Hall in the air to score off a Johnson bomb. Hall immediately made amends with a try in the corner and Josh Charnley then stepped around Manu Vatuvei for England’s second try as the tourists dominated play early to lead 8-6 after 24 minutes. The negative scoreline was enough to reignite the Kiwis who found another gear to regain the lead before half-time. Nightingale, who had been taken from the ﬁeld with blood streaming from his head, returned to the battle swathed in bandages to score his second try for New Zealand and hold a 12-8 lead at the break. After Hall lost a chance to equalise when he lost the ball diving for the line when play resumed, Vatuvei extended New Zealand’s lead to 16-8 when he scored wide out. As play swung from one end of the ﬁeld to the other, Hall scored his second try and Widdop, who hit the posts with his ﬁrst two goal attempts, was successful with his third to narrow the gap to 16-14. In a frantic ﬁnal quarter to the ﬁrst rugby league Test in Dunedin in 86 years, both sides ﬂung the ball about only to be let down by misdirected kicking options. BRIVE PILE ON MONTPELLIER MISERY, END LONG WAIT FOR AWAY VICTORY Brive claimed their first French Top 14 away victory since February 2012 when they defeated Montpellier 25-10 on Friday. Montpellier could have gone into the top four with a win but their fourth successive loss in all competitions was greeted by a chorus of boos from their disgruntled fans. “We lost and we have nothing to complain about. We were weak,” said Montpellier coach Fabien Galthie. “We were poor from start to finish. But since the beginning of the season it has been like this. Even when we have won, we have snatched victories without being convincing.” It took Montpellier an hour to get on the scoreboard through a penalty from replacement Teddy Iribaren and their lone try scored by No. 8 Alexandre Bias came nine minutes from time. In contrast, Brive never looked back from the moment that Fijian winger Benito Masilevu sprinted and weaved his way to a fifthminute try for his sixth score of the season after being released by a sharp pass from Nicolas Bezy. Brive extended their lead to 13-0 by the interval with Gaetan Germain kicking the conversion and two penalties as he went through the 100-point barrier for the Top 14 season. ROUND-UP Montpellier’s scrum-half Jonathan Pelissie was handed kicking duties and he missed two comfortable kicks in the first half, the rustiness of having only booted seven previous attempts this season cruelly exposed. The home side once again missed regular kicker Francois Trinh-Duc is out for between three and four months with a broken leg. Bezy added two drop goals after the break with Germain succeeding with another brace of penalties as Brive moved up to mid-table. “It was a fine performance, I am happy and proud of the boys,” said Brive boss Nicolas Godignon. FOCUS All Blacks grind out narrow win Australians win to extend Wales misery ‘It felt like we had control for most of the game, bar those last few minutes’ A England’s Dave Attwood wins the line up against New Zealand’ Kieran Read during their international rugby union match at Twickenham in London yesterday. (Reuters) AFP Twickenham N ew Zealand started the European leg of their November tour with a hard-fought 24-21 win over England at Twickenham yesterday. In a match billed by some as a potential World Cup ﬁnal between the reigning champions (New Zealand) and the 2015 tournament hosts (England), the All Blacks’ greater rugby ‘nous’ told as they recorded their ﬁfth straight win over the Red Rose brigade following a 3-0 home series victory in June. England were 14-11 up at half-time but New Zealand, with captain Richie McCaw scoring a try, hit back in the rain-lashed second half before a last-minute penalty try for the hosts narrowed the score. “It felt like we had control for most of the game, bar those last few minutes,” McCaw told Sky Sports. “We are just happy that our last visit to Twickenham of the season is a win,” manof-the-match McCaw added. “Ten months is a long time in rugby though, we will have to see if it has any affect at the World Cup.” Disappointed England captain Chris Robshaw, like McCaw an openside ﬂanker, said: “The ﬁrst half we played really well in the right areas. “Unfortunately in the second half the conditions came down and we could not get ﬁeld position.” England kicked-off buoyed by the memory of their record 38-21 win over New Zealand at Twickenham in 2012 and they gave a Test debut to Fiji-born wing Semesa Rokoduguni, a serving British Army soldier. But their task on Saturday was not helped by the absence of seven injured British and Irish Lions—Dan Cole, Alex Corbisiero, Mako Vunipola, Tom Youngs, Geoff Parling Tom Croft and Manu Tuilagi, as well as lock Joe Launchbury and centre Luther Burrell. New Zealand’s matchday 23 boasted more than double the number of caps than England’s squad, while All Blacks wing Julian Savea, with 29 tries in 30 Tests had scored more than England (20 tries) had managed between them. Yet despite their relative lack of experience, it took England just four minutes to open the scoring in dramatic style. The ball was worked wide to left wing Jonny May, who promptly went round New Zealand centre Conrad Smith and then went past Israel Dagg, when it seemed the full-back had lined him up, for his ﬁrst Test try. Owen Farrell then missed the difficult conversion. England nearly had another try soon afterwards but fullback Mike Brown knocked on a pass from centre Kyle East- mond just metres from the line. It was a miss that was punished by New Zealand when they hit back in the 14th minute following their ﬁrst visit to England’s 22. All Blacks wing Ben Smith beat May in an aerial challenge and the ball was then spun wide, with blindside ﬂanker Jerome Kaino bursting between Robshaw and Courtney Lawes. From a close-range ruck, referee Nigel Owens ruled ﬂy-half Aaron Cruden had just done enough to touch the try-line. Cruden couldn’t convert but the match was now all square. Farrell then kicked two penalties to take England into an 11-5 lead. Next weekend England face in-form South Africa at Twickenham while New Zealand play Scotland at Murrayﬁeld. Haimona inspires Italy comeback against Samoa New Zealand-born ﬂy-half Kelly Haimona kicked 14 points to inspire Italy to a hard-fought 24-13 victory over Samoa as the Azzurri ended a nine-match string of defeats in Ascoli yesterday. Haimona was making his full Azzurri debut after being called up for the November tests two weeks ago alongside Fijian Samuela Vunisa. And the Zebre ﬂy-half proved a useful addition to Jacques Brunel’s stuttering side as they look to put a disastrous Six Nations and summer tour of the South Paciﬁc behind them. “Kelly proved what a top quality player he is,” said Brunel of the New Zealander. “He helped us turn the game around and took a lot of individual initiatives. He set up (Sergio) Parisse’s try with a textbook move that is not so easy to execute.” Italy will face Argentina and South Africa later this month and Brunel’s men, whose last victory was a 37-31 win over Fiji last November, will take some heart from a performance that nevertheless took time to come together. Brunel added: “The ﬁrst half we seemed a little confused, we couldn’t keep possession and we lacked organisation. “But the boys had faith in themselves, especially in the second half.” A shaky Italy went in for the half-time interval trailing 3-10 after ﬂanker Jack Lam touched down for the Samoans just after the half hour, with ﬂy-half Tusi Pisi converting having levelled Haimona’s third-minute penalty with a penalty on 26 minutes. It looked as though the Italians might suffer their third consecutive defeat to the Samoans, who whitewashed the Azzurri 15-0 in Apia last June after a crushing 3910 defeat a year earlier in Nelspruit. Italy’s last beat Samoa in Ascoli in 2009 and a much-improved second half performance revived memories of that 24-6 victory. AFP Cardiff ustralia edged Wales 33-28 to extend Wales’s losing streak to southern hemisphere teams to 21 at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium yesterday. The Wallabies’ victory stretched their own winning streak over Wales to 10 matches since 2009 and the result was the ninth successive time the winning margin was in single digits. In a World Cup pool dress rehearsal, it really was a game of two halves, with the teams going in at half-time locked at 21-21 having each scored three converted tries, virtually unheard of in professional rugby. Australian ﬂy-half Bernard Foley ﬁnished with a personal tally of 18 points as he booted three second-half penalties and a nonchalantly-taken drop-goal to Wales’ converted penalty try. “It was a squad effort today,” the faultless Foley told BBC. “The guys were relentless in their efforts and it was a true team effort.” Wales coach Warren Gatland dubbed the result “frustrating”, adding: “I’m not happy with the result, but I’m happy with the performance. “We missed two one-on-one tackles and they’ve scored and then we’ve thrown an intercept pass. We showed a huge amount of positives, there’s a lot of things to build on.” While the opening 40 minutes made for an entertaining match, it certainly was not one for the purists, both sides offering wave after wave of attack while the defence was at best run-of-the-mill, at worst completely porous, notably down Wales’ right ﬂank. An electrifying start saw Rhys Webb open the scoring in just the second minute, a perfect beginning for a Welsh side whose last victory over a SANZAR side came in a 21-18 win against the Wallabies in 2008. The scrum-half, preferred to benched Racing-Metro veteran Mike Phillips, dummied a static Australian defence from a ruck set up after a break by skipper Sam Warburton and darted over from the 22m line, Leigh Halfpenny kicking the conversion. Australia came roaring back, the towering ﬁgure of fullback Israel Folau crossing for a try between the posts after irrepressible ﬂanker and captain Michael Hooper busted Dan Biggar’s tackle and managed the offload. Foley hit the extras and was on target again ﬁve minutes later when, with Wales pressing, Folau intercepted an ambitious Webb pass and sprinted 80 metres for his 17th try in 26 Tests since crossing codes from rugby league. Wales drew level almost immediately after George North, playing in the centre instead of his preferred wing position, split the defence and played in winger Alex Cuthbert in a simple two-on-one for a try Halfpenny converted. But the drama was not over as Australia turned over Halfpenny, who immediately went off concussed, and span the ball left, Fiji-born centre Tevita Kuridrani easily busting an attempted double tackle from lock Alun Wyn Jones and Cuthbert to cross for a third Wallaby try in 15 minutes. Jones was on hand to wrap up a see-saw half when he burrowed over from close range to justify Warburton’s decision to spur two kickable penalties. Biggar converted to leave the sides tied at 21 points apiece. Australia’s Tevita Kuidrani breaks through the Welsh defence to score a try against Wales during their Autumn International rugby union match at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff yesterday. (Reuters) Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 7 MOTORSPORT SPOTLIGHT Ecclestone rejects Caterham ‘begging bowl’ Reuters Sao Paulo F ormula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone yesterday slammed Caterham’s plan to raise funds from fans as a disaster for the sport and ruled out putting any money of his own in the “begging bowl”. British-based Caterham, who have not scored a point since their debut in 2010, went into administration last month and are absent from this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix after missing the previous race in Texas. The administrator and interim principal announced a crowd-funding scheme on Friday to raise 2.35 million pounds ($3.73 million) from fans and companies to get the team to Abu Dhabi for the ﬁnal race on Nov 23. The website (www.crowdcube.com/caterham) showed 512,263 pounds had been contributed by yesterday afternoon. “I think it’s a disaster,” Ecclestone told reporters. “We don’t want begging bowls. If people can’t afford to be in Formula One, they have to ﬁnd something else to do.” Asked whether he was ready to help the team if they were slightly short of target when the deadline expired, he offered a one word reply: “No.” “If I sit in a poker game and I can’t afford to be there with the other people, I get killed and have to leave,” the 84-year-old added when pressed. Ecclestone gave both Caterham and tail-end rivals Marussia, who have now folded and made all their 200 staff redundant, a special dispensation to miss the US and Brazil races but he made clear that did not apply to Abu Dhabi. Asked whether the usual “rules of the game” applied, he replied: “Yes, absolutely.” “The trouble is they haven’t really understood,” continued the British billionaire. “People want to win, all the teams here want to win. Some teams have got more money and they spend it. “When I had a race team a few years ago, in fact a few hundred years ago, I used to run the team according to how much money we could spend and we won the world championship. “That’s what they don’t do. They don’t seem to understand that somebody is going to be last.” The absence of Caterham and Marussia has left just nine teams competing in Brazil, with the smaller independent outﬁts calling for the sport to change the way the revenues are distributed to help them survive. Sauber, Force India and Lotus all have big ﬁnancial challenges and are looking for a base payment that would ensure they too did not have to close their doors. Ecclestone ducked questions about the progress of talks between them and the commercial rights holder and said the teams as a whole received nearly $900 million a year. “They have a contract until 2020. They know exactly what the terms are. So they have to run their business according to their income. If they spend more than they get, it’s not a good way to run a business,” he added. Former team owner Eddie Jordan, now a pundit for BBC television, said at the last race that the treatment of smaller teams was a ‘disgrace’ and pointed the ﬁnger of blame at Ecclestone and others. Asked whether he agreed with Jordan, Ecclestone cut the questioner short: “I never agree with Eddie Jordan,” he said. MALLYA DENIES FORCE INDIA EVER CONSIDERED F1 BOYCOTT Force India principal and co-owner Vijay Mallya has silenced any further talk of a Formula One boycott, saying his team never intended to do anything other than race. “Here I am fighting with McLaren. I want to beat McLaren. If I park my car, I might as well just accept that I am where I am in the championship and go home,” he told reporters at the Brazilian Grand Prix. “Why would I come here, or for that matter have gone to Austin or gone to Sao Paulo, or go to Abu Dhabi, with the whole shooting match if I didn’t want to compete? Teams arrived in Brazil after a Texan race weekend dominated by talk of financial failure and a possible protest gesture by those demanding a bigger share of the $900 million pot of revenues. Force India deputy principal Bob Fernley had said in Austin before the race, when there was talk of a possible boycott by teams determined to make others aware of the gravity of the situation, that nothing had been ruled out. In the end, the race proceeded normally. FORMULA ONE Since then Marussia have gone out of business while Caterham are trying to raise money through crowd-funding to compete in Abu Dhabi. Both teams went into administration last month and were absent from Austin. “Who said that we wanted to boycott the race? Please tell me. If I am wrong, you educate me,” said Mallya, speaking in his paddock office at the Interlagos circuit, when asked about Austin. “I speak on behalf of Force India. I have never said that we are going to boycott,” he added. “Why would we? We have come to go racing. I may as well have stayed in England and saved all the expense. “We are racing all the way down to the wire. From my perspective you can kill it off (the boycott talk),” he added. Meanwhile, Mallya confirmed that Sergio Perez will remain at Force India to again partner German Nico Huelkenberg for the 2015 season. “The possibility came of extending Checo’s contract for 2016 as well and that is under negotiation,” he said. MOTO GP Rosberg beats Hamilton to pole ‘Congratulations to Nico. He drove a really great lap and it was a truly thrilling session’ Rossi on pole as Marquez crashes Reuters Valencia I talian Valentino Rossi won his ﬁrst pole position for over four years in qualifying for the ﬁnal MotoGP grand prix of the season in Valencia yesterday while newly-crowned world champion Marc Marquez is on the second row of the grid. Rossi maintained his recent good form with the fastest lap of one minute 30.843 seconds, ahead of fellow Italian Andrea Iannone on his Ducati and Honda rider Dani Pedrosa behind him. Rossi has not had a pole position since Le Mans in 2010. “We were still in black and white I think (when he was last on pole),” Rossi joked with reporters. “On the last lap I felt that I could improve and then to look up at the screen and see I was on pole was fantastic.” Pedrosa is looking to rebound after failing to ﬁnish the last two grands prix, which has seen him fall down to fourth place in the rider’s championship. “There was a good pace and the wind played a big part as it made it more difficult for us,” Pedrosa told reporters. “It got more windy as the sessions went on and it is not easy to deal with on the bike. I did a strong lap where I could improve a bit but third place is still not the best.” Marquez, who is aiming to break the record of 12 wins in a season he shares with Australian great Mick Doohan, was looking strong but crashed in his ﬁnal lap and is ﬁfth on the grid. The battle is on for second place in the riders’ championship with Rossi on 275 points and his Yamaha team mate Jorge Lorenzo 12 points behind. NASCAR Domestic assault charge against Busch Reuters Dover P Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg (right) and teammate Lewis Hamilton wave after the former clocked the pole for today’s Brazilian Grand Prix, at the Interlagos racetrack in Sao Paulo. (AFP) AFP Sao Paulo N ico Rosberg secured pole position for today’s Brazilian Grand Prix and his 10th this season by the narrowest of margins yesterday when he outpaced world championship leader and Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton. In a tense and dramatic qualifying session, both men broke the Interlagos lap record several times as Rosberg ﬁnally topped the times with a best lap in one minute and 10.023 seconds. This was just 0.033 seconds faster than Hamilton’s best lap and enabled him to complete a clean sweep, having topped the times in all three practice sessions. It was the 14th pole position of his career. The previous best qualifying lap at Interlagos was set by Brazilian Rubens Barrichello who clocked 1:10.646 in 2004 for Ferrari. Rosberg’s success earned him the Pole Position Trophy as best qualiﬁer of the season and earned Mercedes their recordequalling 18th pole of the year, drawing level with Red Bull. It was also the team’s seventh consecutive clean sweep of the front row this season. Hamilton had done his best to outpace his title rival, but knew too that with a lead of 24 points in the championship he can afford to ﬁnish second on Sunday and in the season-ending race in Abu Dhabi, where double points will be scored, to take his second world title. “That was good and I am happy to be on pole,” said Rosberg. “It is the best place to start the race, but I have to do better than I did last week in Austin last week and convert this into a win.” Hamilton said: “Congratulations to Nico. He drove a really great lap and it was a truly thrilling session—just what qualifying is all about. Every time I went out I had to go faster and improve and so did Nico. I hope everyone enjoyed watching that.” Brazilian Felipe Massa was third fastest for Williams and greeted by a standing ovation from the fanatical Interlagos crowd. His Williams teammate Valtteri Bottas was fourth quickest. “That was very emotional for me,” said Massa, who missed out on winning the world title in dramatic circumstances at the same venue in 2008. “I really felt the crowd with me today.” Jenson Button, without a conﬁrmed drive or seat in Formula One next year, proved his enduring talent by qualifying ﬁfth for McLaren ahead of four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull. Kimi Raikkonen qualiﬁed seventh for Ferrari ahead of Australian Daniel Ricciardo in the second Red Bull, Kevin Magnussen of McLaren and 10th placed Fernando Alonso in the second Ferrari. On a warm, overcast day with an air temperature of 25 degrees and a track temperature of 36, conditions were perfect for fast times. It worked out that way, too, as Rosberg topped the times ahead of Hamilton, both of them setting record lap times for the circuit. The demands of the circuit, with the new asphalt surface, encouraged that speed, but also spelt problems for other teams, including struggling Lotus who saw both of their drivers eliminated in Q1. Out from that session went Frenchman Romain Grosjean of Lotus, compatriot Jean-Eric Vergne of Toro Rosso, Sergio Perez, who had no running time in his Force India on Friday, and Pastor Maldonado in the second Lotus. Much the same pattern followed in Q2 as another four men went out, failing to make STARTING GRID 1. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 2. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 3. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams 4. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams 5. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 6. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) RedBull 7. Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) McLaren 8. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 9. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) RedBull 10. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 11. Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber 12. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India 13. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Sauber 14. Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 15. Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso 16. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus 17. Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Toro Rosso 18. Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India the cut to the top ten shootout, as Rosberg cut his best lap time to 1:10.303, 0.409 seconds clear of Hamilton’s best effort. The championship leader was fourth, separated from his team-mate by the two Williams. Out this time went Esteban Gutierrez of Sauber, Germans Nico Hulkenberg of Force India and Adrian Sutil of Sauber. olice in Dover, Delaware, said on Friday they are investigating an allegation of domestic assault made against star NASCAR driver Kurt Busch, but his lawyer called the accusation a “complete fabrication.” Busch, 36, becomes the latest US sports ﬁgure accused of domestic violence. He won the NASCAR championship in 2004 and has won 25 NASCAR races including one this year. Police in Dover, the state capital, declined to give any details about the alleged incident or the accuser. Busch’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, said in a statement that Busch “expects to be vindicated when the entire truth of the situation comes to light”. “This allegation is a complete fabrication by a woman who has refused to accept the end of a relationship and Mr. Busch vehemently denies her allegations in every respect,” Hardin said. The Dover Police Department said in a statement that it “can conﬁrm that an investigation is being conducted based on an allegation of domestic assault that is alleged to have occurred in the City of Dover involving Mr. Busch.” Police ﬁrst learned of the allegations on Wednesday and “will not have any further comment on this matter in order to preserve the integrity of the case,” the statement said. NASCAR, which holds two major races a year in Dover, issued a statement saying it was aware of the investigation. “We recognize the seriousness of this matter and are actively gathering information from all parties, including law enforcement authorities and (Busch’s race team) StewartHaas Racing,” NASCAR Senior Vice-President Brett Jewkes said. “It would be inappropriate for NASCAR to comment further on this matter until we have more information.” Busch practiced on Friday in Phoenix for the second-tolast race in the NASCAR premier series. Busch’s team is co-owned by Tony Stewart, who was investigated by police after his car fatally struck another driver in an open-wheel sprint car race in upstate New York in August. A grand jury declined to bring criminal charges against Stewart in that case. Busch’s younger brother Kyle also races on the NASCAR circuit. Prior to this, the most recent NASCAR premier series driver to be accused of domestic violence was Travis Kvapil, who pleaded guilty in January in North Carolina’s Iredell County and was given probation, ﬁned and sentenced to 72 hours of community service. Kvapil, 38, has raced in 21 races in NASCAR’s top series this year. The National Football League has been rocked by a recent series of domestic violence allegations against star players including Ray Rice, Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson, who was also represented by Hardin. 8 Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 SPORT McDowell, Poulter angry at ‘ridiculous’ pace of play SHANGHAI: Graeme McDowell lashed the snail-like pace of play yesterday at the WGC-HSBC Champions as “ridiculous” after a third round of one-under-par 71 reduced his lead to a single shot. McDowell has led for all three days of the $8.5mn Shanghai event known as “Asia’s Major”, but he and playing partner Ian Poulter were angered by having to spend more than five and a half hours on the course in cold and damp conditions. “Ridiculous,” McDowell told AFP after finishing in near-darkness, having teed off at 10.50am (0250 GMT). Play ended in the gloom at 4.30pm, just a few minutes before sunset. “We got to the fourth tee, the par three, and there was already a group on it,” McDowell lamented. “We’ve got threeballs, a lot of people out there and a couple of driveable par fours and a couple of two-shot par fives. Just a slow golf course. A long day,” said McDowell, the 2010 US Open champion. Ryder Cup star Poulter was less diplomatic in his assessment of the day after a levelpar 72 left him four behind McDowell. “There’s no excuses. We need to be pressing and making sure people are keeping up to pace,” Poulter told AFP. “Five and a half hours is too long to play golf. End of story.” American Rickie Fowler, who finished in the top five in all four majors this year, was bewildered as to why the round took an hour longer than the first two days. “Yeah, it was too long,” Fowler told AFP. “I’m not sure what it was. The first two days didn’t take as long. We didn’t have as many waits. “Today was a bit cooler and the rough did play tough with the rain and the moisture. I guess it just shows you what a little bit of weather conditions can do.” The two major tours, the US PGA Tour and the European Tour, do have regulations governing slow play and can impose penalties, but it rarely happens. The US PGA Tour last handed out a one-stroke penalty for slow play to 14-year-old amateur Guan Tianlang of China at the 2013 US Masters. It was the first such penalty on the Tour for 18 years. GOLF McDowell stays ahead as pack gathers behind ‘Maybe tomorrow coming up the last few holes, I might get a little bit nervous, but so far I’m calm’ Americans Toms and Rollins share lead in Jackson AFP Shanghai G raeme McDowell will take a one-shot lead into the ﬁnal round of the WGC-HSBC Champions today as a host of top players gather behind ready to capitalise on any slip-up. The Northern Irishman shot a one-under-par 71 in cold, windy and damp conditions in Shanghai yesterday to stay ahead of a pack of seven players within four shots, including US Open champion Martin Kaymer and Masters champion Bubba Watson. In second place, though, is the tournament’s surprise package, Hiroshi Iwata of Japan, and McDowell confessed he knew “nothing” about the man who qualiﬁed by ﬁnishing third on the Japan Tour order of merit. “I saw him make one golf swing. I never heard of him,” said McDowell. “Looked like a beautiful golf swing. But genuinely I’ve never heard of him. No disrespect meant, just looking forward to seeing him tomorrow.” Iwata is 33 years old and despite playing his ﬁrst WGC event, having notched one victory in Japan this year, showed few nerves among such exulted company. He rolled home a 30-foot birdie putt at the 18th for a round of 68 to follow his 65 on Friday, the low round of the week. “Maybe tomorrow coming up the last few holes, I might get a little bit nervous, but so far I’m calm. So I think I’m doing OK,” Iwata told reporters. Watson and Kaymer are back at nine-under after shooting 69 and 66 respectively. Watson was thrilling and frustrating in equal measure. He hit the shot of the week on the long par-ﬁve eighth only to follow with a contender for worst putt of the tournament. Faced with all of 240 yards to a tight pin at the front left of the Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland hits the ball on the ninth hole during the third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions golf tournament in Shanghai yesterday. green, Watson cut a high threewood left to right across the water and was an inch from seeing it drop for an albatross two as it ran two and half feet past the hole. The left-hander then tugged the putt for eagle horribly right. “It was a great shot. I could tell by the reaction of the crowd it almost went in” said Watson. “But then I missed the putt. But let’s don’t bring that up.” And on the 10th, faced with around 80 yards to the pin after an imperious drive, Watson inexplicably dropped his sand wedge short into the front bunker resulting in a ‘fried egg’ lie. His sand shot ran all the way to the back of the green. McDowell, meanwhile hammered home a 30-footer for a birdie and Watson three-putted for a double bogey and in an in- stant fell ﬁve behind. That stretched to six when Watson bogeyed the short 12th. But the man from Bagdad, Florida, closed the gap to two with four birdies and a bogey in his last ﬁve holes as McDowell dropped back to 11-under with a bogey at 17. US Open champion Kaymer was quietly putting together the round of the day as only 15 TENNIS Fed Cup Fatherhood fires Djokovic bid for Tour Finals treble AFP London N ovak Djokovic believes the thrill of becoming a father has provided him with the perfect motivation to win yet another ATP World Tour Finals title and end the year as the world number one. Djokovic became a father last month when his wife Jelena gave birth to a baby boy named Stefan. While some ﬁrst-time parents initially ﬁnd raising a child a bewildering blur of nappy changing and sleepless nights, Djokovic has adapted to the new arrival with few problems. The Serb celebrated the birth by returning to the court just a few days later and embarking on a triumphant run to the Paris Masters title—a success that extended his run of consecutive victories in indoor tournaments to 27 matches and left him ﬁrmly on course to hold off Roger Federer in the race to secure top spot in the end of year world rankings. After such an emphatic victory in France, the world number one arrives at London’s O2 Arena for the Tour Finals, which get underway on Sunday, as strong favourite to become the ﬁrst player to win the prestigious event three times in a row since Ivan Lendl in the 1980s. players in the elite 78-man ﬁeld broke 70 on the 7,261-yard par 72 layout. The German notched four birdies on the front nine and three more coming home with a lone bogey at the 15th. “Finally I could make some putts today,” Kaymer said. “The ﬁrst two days I played already really well but the putter was a little cold.” David Toms, seeking his ﬁrst PGA Tour win since 2011, played to his strengths of accuracy and patience as he charged into a tie for the lead on Friday in the second round of the Sanderson Farms Championship in Jackson, Mississippi. The 47-year-old American piled up six birdies, including four in his last six holes, to card a ﬂawless six-under-par 66 after teeing off on a chilly morning at the Country Club of Jackson. Toms signed off by sinking a ﬁve-footer to birdie his ﬁnal hole, the ninth, for a 10-under total of 134 and ﬁnish level with compatriot John Rollins, who also returned a 66. Rollins brieﬂy got to 11 under with his eighth birdie of the round, at the 15th, but slipped back with a bogey at the parfour 17th where he missed the green with his approach. Canadian Nick Taylor was alone at eight under after shooting a 69 before play was suspended due to fading light with 15 players still on the course. They will complete the second round on Saturday. Toms was delighted with his course management after covering his back nine in fourunder 32. “I’m playing really solid,” the 13-times PGA Tour winner told Golf Channel. “I’m being real patient on the golf course. I’m playing to my strengths, trying to get the ball in the fairway (off the tee). “My iron game is pretty good right now if I have a good (yardage) number. And if I don’t have a good number, I play conservative. I am starting to putt a little bit better so that helps as well.” Toms relished being grouped with fellow American Lucas Glover and triple major winner Padraig Harrington of Ireland for the ﬁrst two rounds. “We probably had more conversation than I’ve had in a long time,” said Toms. “We have a lot in common, have played a lot of golf together, all three of us. We had a good time.” Tomas Berdych (right) takes a ‘selfie’ with fellow tennis players (left to right) Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka, Novak Djokovic, Kei Nishikori, Andy Murray, Milos Raonic and Marin Cilic at the O2 Arena in London on Friday. “My wife and I had the blessing of becoming parents recently and it’s the most beautiful thing we can experience. First tournament after that happened was Paris and I won it without dropping a set,” said Djokovic, who opens his campaign against US Open champion Marin Cilic on Monday. “We should be making more kids I guess! It was a fantastic week and hopefully I can follow it up. “Of course things change psychologically when you’re playing for someone.” Djokovic and Federer have had a sometimes prickly relationship in the past, but they have bonded over parenthood, with the Swiss father-of-four offering his rival advice on how to balance family commitments with a desire to remain competitive on the court. “He was one of the ﬁrst players who congratulated me. Of course he can identify with what I’m going through,” Djokovic said. “We talked in China and in Paris about travelling and so forth. I took some advice from him and hopefully I can organise my life as well as he does.” Any distraction Federer feels as he bids for a record seventh title at the eight-man tournament will stem not from childcare, though, but an extra addition to his season. Switzerland have made it to the Davis Cup ﬁnal for the ﬁrst time and a victory over France later this month would ﬁll one of the few remaining gaps in Federer’s CV. “The only time where I could potentially see that slightly creeping into my mind would be if I make it to the semis or ﬁnal here,” said Federer, whose ﬁrst match is against Canada’s Milos Raonic on Sunday. “Then the Davis Cup is close. But right now I feel like it’s still somewhat far away and during the round-robin matches there’s no way it’s going to distract me.” With French Open champion Rafael Nadal recovering after surgery on his appendix, the remaining places in Djokovic’s group are taken by Tomas Berdych, Stan Wawrinka, while Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori complete Federer’s group. The honour of playing the ﬁrst match of the tournament falls to home favourite Murray, who faces Nishikori after embarking on a lengthy battle to secure enough ranking points to qualify. Murray fell out of the top 10 for the ﬁrst time in six years after failing to win a tournament since his historic Wimbledon triumph in 2013, but he has climbed back up sixth thanks to recent titles in Shenzhen, Vienna and Valencia. “After New York I wanted to play tournaments and get back to winning matches,” Murray said. “I really wanted to be competing against the top players and get as many of those matches in as possible so that it would set me up for the beginning of next year.” Czechs lead Germany 2-0 in Fed Cup final AFP Prague P etra Kvitova and Lucie Safarova gave the Czech Republic a 2-0 lead over Germany in the Fed Cup ﬁnal in Prague yesterday after winning their opening rubbers in straight sets. Kvitova, the Czech number one player and world number four, overcame Germany’s number two Andrea Petkovic 6-2, 6-4 in an hour and 17 minutes. Safarova then needed an hour and 28 minutes to beat Germany’s Angelique Kerber 6-4, 6-4. The Czechs, who won the trophy in 2011 and 2012, are within a point of making it three in four years. Germany last won the Fed Cup in 1992. On the superfast hardcourt of Prague’s O2 Arena, Wimbledon champion Kvitova leaned on her serve and aggressive play in the ﬁrst set. The 24-year-old Czech ﬁrst broke Petkovic’s serve in game two after the German world number 14 produced two double faults, then snatched another break for a 5-1 lead. Serving for the set, Kvitova lost concentration, squandered a set point and let the 27-year-old German break her serve, before breaking back for 6-2. In the second set, both players allowed a break apiece, then held on to their serves until game 10, in which Kvitova snatched a break point and converted it as Petkovic ﬁred long from Kvitova’s backhand slice. “I’m just glad that I did everything well,” Kvitova said after the game. “She tried to play a little bit better at the end of the ﬁrst set and it was just important that I had a break back. “It was really tight in the second set and I was looking for the moment when it was going to be very close and that’s going to be my chance.” Petkovic admitted she was “obviously more nervous in Fed Cup than in normal matches” but paid a tribute to Kvitova for her performance. “I wasn’t playing badly, she was just so much better in each and every department.” In a clash of two left-handers, Safarova, the world number 17, and 10th-ranked Kerber had a break each in the ﬁrst set until the 27-year-old Safarova earned two break points in game 10. She converted the second spectacularly to win the set as the 26-year-old German blasted the ball into a corner, yelled in celebration and was penalised for hindrance as a diving Safarova miraculously returned the ball. Both had two breaks in the second set before Safarova took a 5-4 lead and earned three match points, converting the last one to ﬁnish a rubber in which she had 32 unforced errors against Kerber’s 23. Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 9 SPORT NBA Conley shoots undefeated Grizzlies past Thunder ‘This team is very good. We want to play every game like it is the 82nd game going into the playoffs’ Agencies New York M ike Conley ﬁnished with 20 points and ﬁve assists as the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the short-handed Oklahoma City Thunder 91-89 Friday to post their franchise record sixth straight win to start the season. Courtney Lee scored 17 points and Zach Randolph had 16 points and seven boards for the Grizzlies, who started their NBA existence in Vancouver before moving to Memphis in 2001. “I am happy with what we are doing but we know we have a long way to go,” Conley said. “We know this is only six games. We are still striving to be great.” The Grizzlies had lost three straight and seven of the last 10 games in Oklahoma City heading into Friday’s contest. Reggie Jackson scored a gamehigh 22 points for the injury-depleted Thunder who are without superstars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Durant has a foot injury and Westbrook is out with a hand injury. Jeremy Lamb had a solid season debut with 17 points while Steven Adams ﬁnished with 13 points and 11 rebounds in front of a crowd of 18,203 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. In a rematch of last season’s ﬁrst round playoff series that the Thunder won in seven games, Memphis led for the entire game until late in the fourth. “We tried to play our game,” Conley said. “They tried to force us to make outside shots and we told our guys ‘You have to make them if we are going to win.’” The Grizzlies led 22-19 after one quarter and led by as many as nine in the second, taking a 49-40 lead into halftime. Memphis couldn’t shake the pesky Thunder as it took a 6662 lead into the fourth. Lamb nailed a three pointer with just over four minutes to go in the fourth to tie it 81-81. Thunder guard Jackson hit a jump shot that was sandwiched between a pair of Memphis three pointers to stretch the Grizzlies lead to four points. The Thunder took their only lead of the game with 53 seconds remaining on back-to-back threes by Serge Ibaka and Jackson. Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley handles the ball against Oklahoma City Thunder guard Reggie Jackson during the second quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Friday. But on the next Memphis possession, Conley responded with a three-pointer for a 90-89 lead. After an empty possession from each team, Oklahoma City was whistled for a ﬁve-second turnover on the inbounds. But Lee made just one-of-two free throws with just three seconds on the clock. Ibaka then ﬁred long on the potential game-winning threepointer at the buzzer. “This team is very good. We want to play every game like it is the 82nd game going into the playoffs,” Conley said. The Grizzlies’ next game is a visit to Milwaukee where they will try to win their ﬁfth straight road game. Elsewhere, Mike Dunleavy scored a season-high 27 points, including 12 in the pivotal third quarter, as the Chicago Bulls held off the winless Philadelphia 76ers 118-115. Jimmy Butler added 23 points for Chicago (5-1), who were without All-Star guard Derrick Rose for the third time in four games because of sprained ankles. Hollis Thompson added 21 points for the Sixers (0-6), who because of injuries had nine players in uniform. Deron Williams scored a game-high 29 points, leading the Brooklyn Nets to a 110-99 victory over the New York Knicks. Joe Johnson and Mirza Teletovic each added 18 off the bench for Brooklyn (3-2), who took the lead midway through the ﬁrst quarter and never looked back. Carmelo Anthony paced the Knicks (2-4) with 19 points but made just ﬁve of 20 shots. Lance Stephenson banked in a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Charlotte Hornets a dramatic double-overtime 122-119 win over the Atlanta Hawks. Stephenson’s heroics came after he inbounded with 2.7 seconds left to Kemba Walker, who went back to Stephenson immediately and he banked in the winner from about 25 feet. NHL Results Charlotte ...............122 Atlanta ..................119 Orlando ...................112 Minnesota........ 103 Chicago...................118 Philadelphia ......115 Boston .....................101 Indiana .................. 98 Brooklyn................110 NY Knicks........... 99 Detroit.......................98 Milwaukee ..........95 Toronto ..................103 Washington.......84 Memphis ................ 91 Oklahoma City 89 Sacramento........114 Phoenix .................112 Dallas .......................105 Utah ..........................82 Cleveland .............110 Denver...................101 BASEBALL Caps score three goals late in second to beat Blackhawks Agencies Chicago T he Washington Capitals rallied from a two-goal deﬁcit to earn a win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday. Andre Burakovsky, Marcus Johansson and Joel Ward scored for the Capitals (5-5-3), who snapped a ﬁve-game skid in which they went 0-4-1. Johansson and Ward scored within a 42-second span in the ﬁnal minute of the second period to quiet a sell-out Chicago crowd. Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby turned aside 38 of 40 shots for the win. The Blackhawks (7-6-1) lost for the sixth time in the past nine games despite goals from Results Edmonton ...................3 Carolina..........................3 Detroit..............................4 Washington ...............3 Arizona ...........................3 Al Jefferson led the Hornets with a season-high 34 points. The Boston Celtics beat Indiana 101-98 but lost rookie Marcus Smart to what appeared to be a serious left ankle injury. Smart, the sixth pick in the 2014 NBA draft, was fouled in the fourth quarter and left the court on a stretcher, his left leg being held in the air by the team doctor. Jared Sullinger had 17 points for the Celtics (2-3). Indiana fell to 1-5. Buffalo.....................2 Columbus ...........2 New Jersey........2 Chicago .................2 Anaheim...............2 Brandon Saad and Duncan Keith. ‘’Chicago is a very good hockey team and they made us look pretty normal,’’ Washington coach Barry Trotz said. ‘’But we were resilient. ‘’Holts was good in net and we got some timely goals, finally. Back-to-back-toback.’’ And for the first time since their last victory, the Capitals allowed fewer than four goals. ‘’It felt like this got switched over for us,’’ said Ward, whose deﬂection with 5 seconds left in the second turned out to be the game-winner. ‘’We were up 2-0 in a couple of games and had the lead slip away. ‘’Shows you how fast there can be a turn of events.’’ For the Blackhawks, that turn was in the wrong direction. ‘’I thought we played a perfect 35 minutes, then basically shot ourselves in the foot with mental mistakes,’’ Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. ‘’A couple of plays that are totally unacceptable.’’ Elsewhere, Niklas Kronwall Washington Capitals’ Andre Burakovsky of Austria, scores a goal against Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Chicago on Friday. had a goal and an assist as the Detroit Red Wings beat the New Jersey Devils 4-2. Jakub Kindl, Brendan Smith and Johan Franzen also scored for Detroit (7-3-4), while goaltender Jimmy Howard made 15 saves. Steve Bernier and Jordin Tootoo scored for New Jersey (6-6-2). Goalie Cory Schneider stopped 20 shots before being pulled after the second period. Keith Kinkaid made seven saves. Boyd Gordon scored with 4:15 remaining to lead the Edmonton Oilers to a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Gordon finished off a terrific play by Teddy Purcell, who skated to his right around Sabres defenseman Nikita Zadorov before finding a wide-open Gordon to his left. Mark Arcobello and Iiro Pakarinen also scored for the Oilers (5-8-1), who snapped a four-game losing streak. Drew Stafford and Matt Moulson scored for the Sabres (3-10-2) while goaltender Michal Neuvirth made 49 saves. McGehee, Young win comeback player awards AFP New York M iami Marlins third baseman Casey McGehee and Seattle Mariners pitcher Chris Young were named the National League and American League Comeback Players of the Year on Friday. The award is based on a vote of 30 beat reporters, one from each major-league team. McGehee, ﬁfth in the National League Rookie of the Year voting while with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2009, played for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan in 2013. He returned to major leagues in 2014 with the Marlins and hit .287 with four homers, 29 doubles with 76 RBIs. Young was named to the AllStar team in 2007 while with the San Diego Padres. But he did not pitch in the major leagues at all in 2013 after being plagued by a series of injuries. Meanwhile, third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who rejected a $15.3mn qualifying offer from the San Francisco Giants, is seeking at least a six-year deal. Sandoval’s agent, Gustavo Vasquez, told the San Francisco Chronicle he has spoken to a “few teams” since free agency began Tuesday, including the Giants. According to ESPN.com, general manager Brian Sabean has told free agent starting pitchers Jake Peavy and Ryan Vogelsong that the World Series champions need time to try to re-sign Sandoval before turning their attention to any other position. St. Louis Cardinals center ﬁelder Peter Bourjos had surgery to repair a hip impingement, MLB.com reported. He is expected to be ready for spring training. Bourjos is an outstanding defensive center ﬁelder who began the 2014 season sharing time with Jon Jay. By season’s end, however, Jay was getting nearly all the playing time in center ﬁeld, with Bourjos spending most of his time on the bench. The full squad for the MLB All-Star Team was announced for the upcoming ﬁve-game AllStar Series in Japan. Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell’s 29-man roster includes Salvador Perez of Kansas City, Evan Longoria of Tampa Bay, Robinson Cano of Seattle and Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers. 10 Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 SPORT FIVB BEACH VOLLEYBALL WORLD TOUR CONCLUDES Qatar Volleyball Association (QVA) President Khalid Ali al-Mawlawi and QVA General Secretary Mohamed al-Mohannadi with the winners, runners-up and third-placed team at the closing ceremony of the Qatar Open Beach Volleyball Tournament which concluded at the Gharafa Sports Complex yesterday. PICTURES: Thajudheen The winning German team of Tim Holler and Jonas Schroder and snaps of the crowd from the stands. El-Bayoumy & Khalfan win QAFCO Open doubles title Hamed al-Marwani, Chief Administration Officer at QAFCO and Chairman of the QAFCO Open organising committee, with the winners at the closing ceremony of the event. Right: Al-Marwani poses with Men’s Doubles winners Amir el-Bayoumy and Sultan Khalfan. Mesaieed: The pair of Amir el-Bayoumy and Sultan Khalfan held aloft the QAFCO Open tennis championship men’s doubles title on the final day of the fortnight-long event. They defeated Cliff Anthony Acaso & Reynaldo Amazona 4-6, 6-3, 10-5 in Friday’s final. The sporting gala, with more than 280 players participating in more than 300 matches, came to a close amidst much fanfare. The event was held at Mesaieed which was attended by many tennis enthusiasts from Qatar. Speaking during the closing ceremony, Hamed al-Marwani, Chief Administration Officer at QAFCO and Chairman of the Organising Committee, said: “QAFCO Open has been a fertile ground for many a budding talents who made their names at the national circuits. I hope these children who are playing now will make a mark in the years to come. Putting it into perspective, when Qatar is hosting quite a number of international tournaments, tournaments such as these go a long way in expressing the zeal for sports in young Qatari minds. The closing ceremony was attended by Mohamed Abdulaziz al-Subaie, Board member with Qatar Tennis Federation, Mohamed al-Fakhri, acting Chief Financial Officer with QAFCO, Ali Jama, Projects Manager at QAFCO, apart from other distinguished guests. The closing function ended with a fantastic display of fire dance. Results (all finals) Girls U-10: Harini Natarajan bt Alix Dhooge 4-0, 4-0; Boys U-10: Nasser Alyazidi bt Zaid Mohd S al-Mashni 5-3, 4-2; Girls U-12: Krisal Kirthi Olivera bt Bianca Lorentz 6-1, 6-0; Boys U-12: Taym Alazmeh bt Ibrahim Alsuliti 6-0, 6-0; Girls U-14: Vipasha Mehra bt Mubaraka Abdulla Alnaimi 6-4, 3-6, 10-5; Boys U-14: Joud al-Azmeh bt Rayyan Abdulla Aljufairi 3-6, 6-0, 6-4; Boys U-18: Issa Alharrasi bt Siddharth Ramesh 6-2, 6-0; Boys Doubles: Khalifa Mohamed al-Mahmoud & Mohamed Abdulla al-Mohannadi bt Joud Alazmeh & Siddharth Ramesh 7-6, 3-6, 10-8; Ladies Doubles: Sarah Meghoufel & Rebecca Marie Franklin bt Debra Lynn Mace & Robie Lou Santos 6-2, 6-3; Mixed Doubles: Mubaraka Abdulla Alnaimi & Amir al-Bayoumy bt Debra Lynn Mace & Eleftherios Christou 6-2, 6-4; Ladies Singles: Sarah Meghoufel bt Rebecca Marie Franklin 6-0, 6-1; Men’s Singles: Amir al-Bayoumy bt Eleftherios Christou 6-3, 6-1; Men’s Veteran Doubles: Raymono el-Hayek & Robert el-Hayek bt Raed Hassan & Ahmed Askar 6-2, 6-3; Men’s Veteran Singles: Manuel Lucas bt Obay Soliman MH Elsettawy 6-1, 6-2 Gulf Times Sunday, November 9, 2014 11 SPORT FERRARIS AT LOSAIL Drivers pose with their Ferraris at the Emozoine in Pista, a Ferrari driving event, which was held at the Losail International Circuit on Friday night. Around 40 Ferrari cars took part in the event organsied by Alfardan Sports Motors. SPOTLIGHT FOCUS 2024 is ‘right time’ for US Olympic bid, says OCA chief Baku gung ho over Euro Games readiness ‘I think this is the best time for the States to come back with a nice bid’ B Reuters Bangkok O ne of the most powerful men in the Olympic movement has urged the United States to push ahead with its plans to bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics, saying it is the “right time”. The US has not hosted the Summer Olympics since 1996, partly because of a long-running feud over television rights and sponsorship, but the president of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), believes the US now has a great chance. “I think this is the right time to come forward for 2024,” Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad alSabah said yesterday. “I don’t know what city, I don’t know the other competitor, I’m not saying anything because I don’t know who’s showing interest. “But I think this is the best time for the States to come back with a nice bid because 2024, maybe they will have a good chance.” Sheikh Ahmad, a former Kuwaiti oil minister who is also president of the Olympic Council of Asia, is one of the most inﬂuential members of the IOC. Earlier this week, he was re-elected unopposed to serve four more years as president of ANOC, which represents more than 200 National Olympic Committees (NOCs). During the ANOC general assembly in Bangkok, he also succeeded in getting approval to start the World Beach Games—a multi-sports event he pioneered in Asia for countries that can’t afford to host the Olympics—as President of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and head of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) , Sheikh Ahmad Fahad al-Sabah, speaks in Bangkok. well as a resolution supporting IOC president Thomas Bach’s 40-point plan to modernise the Olympics. The 2018, 2020 and 2022 Olympics (summer and winter) will all be held in Asia but the U.S. is planning to bid for 2024. ANOC has provided the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) with a golden opportunity to press its claims by awarding the 2015 general assembly to Washington DC. “It will be very nice to be back in the United States because we have not been back there for a long time,” Sheikh Ahmad told a news conference at the end of this year’s general assembly yesterday. “I hope this will be the return of the United States in the sport movement—they are in the sports movement of course, but you understand what I mean. “(Their) return back after the problems of Salt Lake City and all the cities that didn’t have the chance to host the Games.” The US has not hosted the general assembly since 1994, two years before it last staged the Summer Olympics in Atlanta. The last time the US hosted the Winter Olympics was in 2002 at Salt Lake City, which became the centre of a scandal in vote buying. Subsequent US bids for the Summer Games have all been rejected but the mood has softened since the USOC and the IOC reached an agreement two years ago on revenue sharing. Washington DC, along with Los Angeles, Boston and San Francisco, is one of four cities shortlisted to be the US candidate for 2024, adding possibly even more importance to next year’s ANOC meeting. “I hope this will be the return because you see today at our general assembly, there were 40 IOC members, the (IOC) President was there, 204 NOC’s, 14 IFs (international federations) from the sport programme, SportsAccord, a lot of Olympic sport IF presidents, WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency), CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport), athletes, media... it’s almost a full house,” he said. “Those will also be in Washington and I think it’s a very good opportunity for the United States Olympic Committee, with their co-ordination commission, to build that trust again.” Reuters Bangkok aku is facing a race against time to be ready to host next year’s inaugural European Games with thousands of construction workers scrambling around the clock to get all the facilities ﬁnished. Just a quarter of the 16 venues have been completed but organisers are conﬁdent everything will be ready before the opening ceremony on June 12, 2015. Given less than three years to prepare for the Games after the European Olympic Committee awarded the rights to Baku in December 2012, the Azerbaijan capital was always facing a Herculean task. But with 4,000 people currently working 24 hours a day just on the 68,000-seater new national stadium, organisers say they have no doubts Baku will meet the deadline. “I’m incredibly conﬁdent,” Baku 2015 Chief Operating Ofﬁcer Simon Clegg said before a presentation on the city’s progress to the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) yesterday. “This is not an issue, I have no concerns at all. “Let’s just say they lay concrete very quickly in Azerbaijan.” Clegg, formerly the British Olympic Association’s ﬁrst chief executive, said the former Soviet republic was one of the few countries that had the money and the will to organise a major multi-sports event at short notice but future hosts would be given more time. Although he would not say which cities had indicated they wanted to stage the 2019 edition, he said the host city would be announced early next year and would not have to spend as much as oil and gas-producing Azerbaijan has. “We needed a country that had signiﬁcant resources and also sufficient vision and motivation for hosting these Games, which Europe has never had up until now,” he said. “So this is the big-bang moment for the European Games. “The ﬁgure has not been made public but what I can tell you is that we’re spending more on these Games than subsequent organisers will need to because of the fact no-one knows about this, so we’re spending a lot more on marketing and promotion of the event that future events will have to.” Despite the time constraints, Clegg said all the early signs were positive for the European Just a quarter of the 16 venues have been completed but organisers are confident everything will be ready before the opening ceremony on June 12, 2015 Games. Organisers had to turn away 14 different sports that wanted to be involved after deciding to put a cap of 20 for the ﬁrst edition. They have already signed up six major sponsors and are a close to a deal on a seventh, leaving just one more spot available after deciding to limit the toplevel partnerships to eight. Organisers have also completed most of their television broadcast details, not only in Europe, and are in advanced stages of negotiating with future hosts. “This is no small undertaking,” Clegg said. “We had to go to the market place to sell commercial sponsorship based upon a concept and promises. “We have already sold broadcasting deals outside of Europe and this is really important for the future of the European Games. “To be fair, we’ve had to muscle our way into an already congested sports programme... but there have been some very positive discussions.” Sunday, November 9, 2014 SPORT GULF TIMES Al Rayyan win Arab clubs basketball Al Rayyan captain Yaseen Ismail Moosa holds aloft the trophy after the Qatar club beat Morocco’s Association Sale 85-78 to land the Arab Clubs Basketball Championship title for the first time in their history. Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut won the third place by beating Egypt’s Al Ahly 91-68 in a game that took place ahead of the final. Qatar Olympic Committee Secretary General HE Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, who is also chairman of the Qatar Basketball Federation, congratulated Al Rayyan on their victory in a phone call with the club’s Vice President Rashid bin Nasser al-Khalifa. Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman said Al Rayyan’s win was an honour for Qatar and a huge achievement for the Qatari sport. He also praised the strong performance of the team and the role of the technical and administrative staff in the achievement. (QNA) AGREEMENT SPOTLIGHT Aspetar signed as medical partner of Qatar 2015 The hospital will also provide services to spectators at all venues By Sports Reporter Doha By Sports Reporter Doha T T he Qatar 2015 Organising Committee has announced Aspetar as a Business Partner and ‘Official Medical Partner’ of the Qatar 2015 – 24th Men’s Handball World Championship. As the Gulf region’s ﬁrst specialised Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Aspetar has been specially chosen by the Organising Committee following its successful partnership during the IHF Super Globe Championship 2014 and will offer the 24th Men’s Handball World Championship a range of services for athletes including physical therapy and sports massages. The hospital will also provide fully-equipped clinics, ambulance and healthcare services for spectators across the venues. Mohamed Jabor al-Mulla, Assistant Director General, Qatar 2015, said: “The Qatar 2015 Organising Committee and under the management of Dr Thani Abdulrahman alKuwari considers the health of the athletes and the spectators of the championship as one of the top priorities for us and we are proud to partner with Aspetar to ensure that participants have professional medical help and care available to them at all times. “Sports medicine is a specialised ﬁeld and we are happy to work with the best doctors and consultants at Aspetar who are speciﬁcally qualiﬁed to handle physiotherapy, sports injuries, physical training and rehabilitation for athletes and sport professionals.” Abdul Rahman al-Qahtani, Aspire Congress hosts athletics experts Jabor al-Mulla and Abdul Rahman al-Qahtani at the signing ceremony. Assistant Executive Director of the NSMP (National Sports Medicine Program) said: “We are honoured to extend our services to athletes and visitors of the championship and would like to thank the Organising Committee for the opportunity to be the exclusive medical partner for the event. This partnership demonstrates our ability to provide world-class medical care to elite athletes and our commitment to help them reach their maximum potential, which is a key objective of the hospital.” Aspetar has a state-of-theart facility and was accredited by F-MARC as a FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence in 2009, in addition to being the ﬁrst “Reference Centre” in the ﬁeld of sports medicine in the Gulf region. It services the needs of sports clubs and federations throughout the state of Qatar and strives to meet the highest international standards obtainable in its treatment to guide athletes from diagnosis through rehabilitation and recovery. The 24th Men’s Handball World Championship will take place in Doha from 15 January to 1 February 2015. With the participation of 24 countries from all over the world, the biennial Men’s Handball World Championship is the biggest and one of the most important international events in Olympic sport. Handball is one of the most dynamically developing Olympic sports and enjoys a continuously increasing fan base worldwide. In alignment with the Qatar National Vision 2030, the state of Qatar has geared up to become one of the leading states in the ﬁelds of sports legacy development and sports events in the world. Qatar aims to create awareness for the sport of handball and further increase the global proﬁle of the sport, through the successful organisation of this high proﬁle sporting event under the leadership of HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al-Thani, President of the Organising Committee and in close collaboration with the International Handball Federation (IHF). The Committee’s vision, goals and key milestones include ensuring community participation, upholding the traditions of Qatar and promoting a healthy and active lifestyle by engaging the current and next generations in Qatar in the “Game of Fast”, the future of the sport of handball. he “Youth Athletics Coaching Congress”, an event hosted by Aspire Academy and the Qatar Athletics Federation, will bring together a large panel of internationally recognised coaching and sport science speakers today and tomorrow. The event starts today with the official welcome of all participants by Dahlan al-Hamad, President of the Qatar Athletics Federation, and Ivan Bravo, Director General of Aspire Academy, at 8:15 am at the auditorium of Aspire Academy. This congress is another way of Aspire Academy to gather international experts in order to share their know-how with each other. The ones that should speciﬁcally beneﬁt from this event are, of course, athletics coaches from Qatar and the registration proves that they are taking on the offer. Among the 270 registered people are 56 club coaches from Qatar and 20 QAF coaches. Besides local participants, the coaches in the audience include delegates from all over the world from Australia over Slovakia to Singapore. “We are all gathering at Aspire Academy in the spirit of cooperation to learn from one another about the subtle intricacies of developing youth athletes,” says Chris Earle, Director of Sport at Aspire Academy. “In partnership with the Qatar Athletics Federation, we are proud to host this conference that includes an outstanding panel of internationally respected coach educators from around the world.” The presenters all work, or have worked extensively with athletes from all ages and have The congress is another way of Aspire Academy to gather international experts in order to share their know-how with each other produced many medals at all international events and include names such as Paddy Upton, a World Champion cricket coach, who is going to give the keynote speech, John Godina, a fourtimes World Champion in shot put and CEO of the “World Athletics Centre” or Kevin Tyler, the former Head of Coaching at UK Athletics. “I’m very excited to come and present at the world-leading Aspire Academy in Doha. Coach education is an important step for all of us coaches. When you can learn a few things to incorporate within your own coaching practice, your athletes immediately beneﬁt,” says Tyler. Furthermore Qatar Middle Distance Coach Jama Aden, coach of world record holders as well as World and Olympic Champions, is going to be part of the congress. “I’d like to thank Aspire Academy for giving me the opportunity to share my coaching experiences at this conference,” says Coach Aden, who will be speaking about the organization of training for teenage distance runners as well as endurance technique. “I’m looking forward to spending time over the two days with my coaching colleagues and to discuss the newest methods of training athletes.” In addition, the congress also includes presentations of Aspire Academy experts with the goal to communicate complex information into simple information that will be easy to use for coaches. The congress is also using some of their expertise to run parallel sessions designed for Aspetar and football audiences.
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