2 3 IRGC arrest a number of terrorists in southeast Iran N A T I O N W W W . T E H R A 10 French president: Russia sanctions ‘must be lifted now’ INTERNATIONAL N T I M E S . C O UK Muslim women face rising hate crimes W O M E N M 12 British-Iranian publisher to establish literary award ry awa ard A R T & C U L T U R E I N T E R N A T I O N A L D A I L Y 12 Pages Price 5000 Rials 36th year NO.12173 Tuesday JANUARY 6 2015 Dey 16 1393 Rabi Al Awwal 14 1436 Iran, Iraq seek avenues for medical cooperation 2 Bahrain extends opposition leader’s detention by 15 days IRNA/Faraj Samadi Bahrain’s public prosecutor extended the detention of Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society’s Leader, Sheikh Ali Salman by 15 more days, despite widespread protests over the issue. Reports on Monday said the prosecution has rejected a request by defense lawyers to release the prominent cleric on bail. Salman, the secretary general of the al-Wefaq political party has been in detention for more than one week. His lawyers say prosecutors have formally charged the opposition ﬁgure with inciting a change of government by force, inciting hatred of a segment of society, inciting others to break the law, and insulting the Interior Ministry. Al-Wefaq has rejected the charges as malicious and outright lies. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the European Union have condemned the Bahraini regime for the illegal detention of the dissident Shia cleric. Contd. on P. 11 Tehran lauds religious scholars’ wise role in Iraq TEHRAN — Senior Economic Desk Iranian officials have praised the role of religious scholars for trying to help promote national cohesion in Iraq. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif described the “constructive and wise” role of religious authorities in Iraq as a source of pride. Supreme National Security Council secretary Ali Shamkhani also commended the religious authorities’ role in maintaining political stability in Iraq. The two Iranian oﬃcials made the remarks in separate meetings with Ammar al-Hakim, the president of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq in Tehran. Contd. on P. 11 Iran’s missile technology is defensive: Harvard professor Falling oil prices is unlikely to change Iran’s strategic priorities A political scientist from Harvard University says Iran’s missile technology is “defensive”. “It is crucial to point out that this advancement in missile technology is aimed more at a defensive or deterrent strategy rather than an oﬀensive one,” Majid Raﬁzadeh, a scholar at Harvard University, wrote in an article posted on the alarabiay. net on Friday. The professor also says it is unlikely that the economic pressure resulting from the falling oil prices would soften Tehran’s position in the nuclear negotiations with the global powers or cause a major change in Iran’s support for the Syrian and Iraqi governments in 2015. Following is the text of the article: 2015 will bring about crucial and positive developments as well as challenges for the Iranian government. Iran’s economy will face an austere budget in 2015 in comparison to 2104, when Rouhani’s administration managed to move Tehran out of a recession. According to the IMF, Tehran will need oil prices to be near $131 a barrel to cover its spending. Yet, Iran will likely manage this economic challenge by applying some strategies such as cutting subsidies, increasing taxes and depreciating the foreign exchange rate. The good news from the perspective of the Iranian leaders will be an increase in exports and imports, particularly with Russia, China and some European countries thanks to the extension of the nuclear talks. The shift to use national currencies in foreign trade, instead of the dollar (for example with Russia with regards to food imports), will also facilitate bilateral trade. Contd. on P. 2 Graham Fuller’s five Middle East predictions for 2015 Only a fool offers longer term predictions about the Middle East I oﬀer the following longer terms predictions about the Middle East for 2015. 1- The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group will decline in power and inﬂuence. I have stated earlier that I do not believe ISIL is viable as a state; it lacks any coherent and functional ideology, any serious political and social institutions, any serious leadership process, any ability to handle the complex and detailed logistics of governance, and any opportunity of establishing state-to-state relations in the region. Additionally it has alienated a majority of Sunni Muslims in the world, regardless of deep dissatisfactions among Sunnis in Iraq and Syria. Ideally ISIL should fail and fall on its own, that is, without massive external, and especially Western, intervention that in some ways only strengthens its ideological claims. To be convincingly and decisively defeated the idea of ISIL, as articulated and practiced, needs to demonstrably fail on its own and in the eyes of Muslims of the region. 2- The role of Iran as an actor in the region will grow. Contd. on P. 11 Iran, Oman explore new avenues for increasing trade TEHRAN — IraIndustry, Mining, and Trade Minister Mohammadreza Nematzadeh, heading a delegation of representatives from the private sector, traveled to Oman on Monday to explore new avenues for increasing trade ties. During the three-day stay, the Iranian delegation will participate in the 15th meeting of the Iran-Oman Joint Economic Committee and will inaugurate an exclusive exhibition of Iranian products in Muscat, the IRNA news agency reported. Nematzadeh is scheduled to hold meetings with the Omani prime minister, the minister of commerce and industry, and the chairman of the Omani Center for Investment Promotion and Export Development. In October 2014, Iran and Oman signed six memorandums of understanding to boost commercial ties. Oman was the 21st biggest importer of Iranian non-oil goods in the previous Iranian calendar year, which ended on March 20, 2014, according to the Iran Customs Administration. Iran exported $145.8 million of non-oil goods to Oman and imported $441.7 million of non-oil goods from the country. Economic Desk nian NEWS Blast hits Ansarullah base in Yemen capital A bomb blast has struck a building used as a base for members of the Ansarullah movement in Yemen’s capital, local residents and police said. The police chief in Sanaa said one person was injured in the attack that happened in the east of the city on Monday. The building and neighboring houses were damaged in the blast, he added. The Ansarullah fighters, who control large swathes of Yemen and are regarded as enemies by Sunni fighters including those in al-Qaeda’s Yemeni wing, sealed off the area soon afterwards to prevent access to it, local residents said. Footage showed that the windows had been blown out of the building which was stricken by the attack and bricks were missing from around the front door. The attack came a day after a bomb explosion in a district in Sanaa killed at least four people including a reporter and wounded 25 others, according to officials. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed responsibility for the attack. Ansarullah members seized control of the capital in September as part of a protracted power struggle with President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. The Ansarullah fighters have expanded into central and western parts of the country, leading to direct fighting between them and AQAP in some areas. A series of bomb attacks by AQAP in recent weeks have struck Ansarullah targets, including a street celebration in which 26 were killed on Wednesday. (Source: Al Jazeera) 2 I NTE R NATI O NAL DAI LY MEDIA MONITOR Iran closely monitoring regional developments: envoy Iran to issue visa for Afghan nationals in 48 hours FARS TASNIM TEHRAN – The Kuwaiti foreign minister has said that Iran’s nuclear energy program is a source of concern for the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf and the United States. Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah said on Sunday that Iran should explain about the nature of its nuclear program to the International Atomic Energy Agency, particularly to rule out the risk of any nuclear radiation leak to Kuwait and Persian Gulf waters, according to Elbalad website. He also described Iran as an important and big country, underlining that Kuwait deals with Tehran in accordance with international law. Elsewhere in his remarks, the Kuwaiti oﬃcial dismissed any interference by the Islamic republic in the affairs of the Persian Gulf Arab states. ELBALAD Kuwait says concerned about Iran’s nuclear program TEHRAN – Chairman of Iran’s Expediency Council Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has called for expansion of relations between Tehran and Moscow and further cooperation to combat sanctions. “Being neighbors, sharing borders in the Caspian Sea, and possessing rich resources are good reasons for Iranian and Russian ofﬁcials to boost bilateral relations and to (cooperate) in ﬁghting Western sanctions (imposed on the two countries),” the Tasnim news agency quoted Ayatollah Rafsanjani as saying on Sunday in a meeting with the Russian ambassador to Iran. Ambassador Levan Dzhagaryan, for his part, noted that expanding bilateral relations between Iran and Russia will beneﬁt the two nations. He also referred to the failure of Western sanctions against Iran and Russia and said the imposition of sanctions against countries that are rich in resources is useless. TEHRAN – The Iranian ambassador to Lebanon says the Islamic republic is closely monitoring developments in the Muslim world. In an interview with the Lebanese Al-Akhbar newspaper published on Monday, Mohammad Fat’hali said that certain regional and extra-regional states as well as the Israeli regime are supporting Takﬁri terrorist groups, who are currently wreaking havoc on Iraq and Syria. The Iranian envoy warned that the Takfiri groups pose a threat to the whole world, adding their activities are aimed at sowing discord and causing tension among Islamic countries. ALAKHBAR Rafsanjani calls for expansion of TehranMoscow ties TEHRAN – Iran has informed International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) that it will not allow certain military aircraft such as those run by NATO to ﬂy over its airspace. “Certain aircraft are not allowed to cross into the (airspace) of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” the Fars news agency quoted Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Base Commander Farzad Esmaili as saying on Sunday. NATO aircraft as well as military airplanes belonging to arrogant powers are not allowed to pass through Iran even if they intend to attend an exhibition, he elaborated. General Esmaili also noted that Iran had made an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) aircraft to land in Bandar Abbas airport in September 2014 for wrong information it had provided. TEHRAN – Iran’s consul in Afghanistan Abbas Ahmidi said on Monday that Tehran has oﬀered special facilities for Afghan nationals by reducing the duration of visa issuance to two days. Talking to IRNA in Kabul, the diplomat also noted that Afghan nationals, who have legally married to Iranian citizens, will soon receive more services by the Iranian government. The diplomat also said that Afghan nationals will soon receive insurance services while applying for an Iranian visa. Iran hosts about one million Afghan refugees despite the voluntary return of tens of thousands of Afghans to their country during the past decade. IRNA NATO planes forbidden to pass through Iran: Cmdr. N A T I O N JANUARY 6, 2015 h t t p : / / w w w . t e h r a n t i m e s . c o m / p o l i t i c s Zanganeh says S. Arabia has kept oil prices down for political purposes TEHRAN – Iranian Oil Minister Bi- Po l i t i c a l D e s k jan Zanganeh has mostly blamed Saudi Arabia for the recent plunge in oil prices, saying Saudi officials have kept oil prices down to reach their temporary political objectives, the Iran newspaper said in a report on Monday. Before Zanganeh’s Sunday comments in a closed session of the parliament, President Hassan Rouhani had himself said that the recent plunge in oil prices is a political trick. Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi had even announced earlier that Riyadh would not cut its oil output even if oil prices hit as low as 20$ a barrel. Many political analysts believe that Saudi Arabia’s repeated failures in supporting insurgents in Syria and ISIL terrorists have made Riyadh to resort to such a policy for vengeance against Tehran, the paper said. The Sunday session of the parliament’s majority faction with Zanganeh was due to review the next Iranian calendar year’s budget in which the head of Planning and Management Organization Mohammad Baqer Nobakht was also present in the session. The presence of Zanganeh in the parliament comes against the backdrop of recent falls in global oil prices, resulting from Saudi Arabia’s resistance against cutting its oil output, which has affected the economy of OPEC members, including Persian Gulf Arab states, as well as Iran and Russia. The drop in oil prices has also attracted different perspectives on what changes the Iranian administration should implement in drafting the next year’s budget. Many Iranian legislators have explicitly asked the government to review the next year’s budget bill, which has been drafted based on an average oil price of $72 per barrel. Some others are even worried of the occurrence of a budget deficit. However, government officials, particularly Nobakht, have repeatedly emphasized that the Rouhani cabinet has devised different strategies in the face of drastic fluctuations in the price of oil. In drafting the next year’s budget (starting from March 21, 2015), the government has foreseen a 700 trillion rials (some 22 billion dollars) revenue from oil sales. During the closed session, Zanganeh informed the legislators of the reasons behind the fall of oil price and of the scenarios the administration has predicted in such a scenario. During the session, three MPs also expressed their concerns, to whose questions Zanganeh provided explanations. Iraj Nadimi, who sits on the Majlis Economic IRGC arrest a number of terrorists in southeast Iran TEHRAN – The Is- Po l i t i c a l D e s k lamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) announced on Monday that it has arrested some members of a terrorist group in southeast Iran. The members of the terrorist group were arrested in the region of Sarbaz in the province of SistanBaluchestan, Press TV reported. The IRGC gave no further details. Sistan-Baluchestan Province has been the scene of a number of ter- rorist attacks in recent years. On January 1, a Sunni Basiji volunteer and a Shia teacher lost their lives in a terrorist attack in Sarbaz. In late November 2014, three Iranian security forces were shot dead by unknown gunmen in the province. Three Iranian police officers were also killed in early October last year when they came under a night attack by gunmen while on a mission in the city of Saravan in Sistan-Baluchestan Province. Committee, told an the Iran newspaper that the main issue of concern for MPs is the next year’s budget which has been drafted based on 72 dollars per barrel. He, however, stated that, “Mr. Zanganeh gave managerial explanations about the background, history, and the backstage policies which have resulted in plummeting of oil price and how to face it.” “The oil minister stated that one of the root causes of the oil price fall has been the political plot of Saudis, and the other root causes of that are the U.S. sales of its light crude oil as well as a form of global recession,” Nadimi added. He went on to say that the issues discussed during the closed session mostly focused on the current oil prices and how to maintain and manage the market so that the economy would not face any dilemmas in the next year. “The administration believes that it can manage the existing circumstances with a budgeting mechanism. The government officials say that 72 dollars per barrel for oil in the next year’s budget is a logical one,” the MP said. “Indeed, the budget could be drafted with this figure as well. The current [Iranian] year’s budget was closed at 2,110 trillion rials [some 64 billion dollars], of which only 1800 trillion rials [some 55 billion dollars] were materialized and the remaining 310 trillion rials [some 9 billion dollars] were not. Therefore, in the worst case scenario, this 310 trillion rials would become 350 trillion rials [some 10 billion dollars],” he explained when asked whether or not the Iranian MPs were convinced with the oil minister’s comments. Corker warns of sanctions on Iran, if talks yield no result Sen. Bob Corker signaled Sunday that lawmakers could increase sanctions against Iran, if nuclear negotiations do not yield an agreement, The Hill daily reported. Corker, who will become the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman in the next Congress, said on “Fox News Sunday” that there was “no question” that lawmakers would increase sanctions against Iran. “There's no question,” Corker said. “If the nuke deal falls apart, then there will be more sanctions.” Republicans have signaled that they will take up a new Iran sanctions bill in January. Many Democrats, including the Obama administration, are opposed to new sanctions as the negotiations with Iran have continued. Corker said that the bill would move “regular order” and not immediately. Iran, Iraq seek avenues for medical cooperation TEHRAN – Iranian Health Minister S o c i a l D e s k Seyed Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi and his Iraqi counterpart Adilla Hamoud Hussein highlight the need for cooperation in constructing hospitals and pharmaceutical production plants. During their meeting on Monday, the two ministers also discussed medical tourism. Hashemi expressed Tehran’s willingness to exchange experience with Baghdad, especially in area of pharmaceutics. The Iraqi health minister called for more Iranian investment in her country in diﬀerent medical ﬁelds. Iran and Iraq have enjoyed growing ties since the overthrow of the former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, in 2003 by the U.S. Navy foils pirate attack on Iranian oil tanker TEHRAN – Iranian war- Po l i t i c a l D e s k ships thwarted a pi- rate attack on an Iranian oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden, oﬀ the coast of Yemen, Tasnim news agency reported on Monday. The military forces aboard Jamaran destroyer and Bushehr logistics vessel, known as the 32nd naval ﬂeet of Iran, rescued the oil tanker 120 miles southeast of al-Mukalla, a main seaport in the southern coast of Yemen, it added. Pirates were forced to ﬂee the scene after the timely presence of the Iranian forces. The oil tanker survived without suﬀering any damage. It was the fourth anti-piracy operation the 32nd ﬂeet carried out during its overseas mission across the northern parts of the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden. The 32nd ﬂeet set sail from the southern port city of Bandar Abbas on November 4, 2014, for the Gulf of Aden in a bid to protect the country’s cargo ships and oil tankers in the international waters. On December 29, 2014, the ﬂeet performed a successful anti-piracy operation around the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait while it was patrolling in nearby waters as part of the units participating in Army’s massive military drills in southern and southeastern Iran. Since November 2008, the Iranian navy has conducted anti-piracy mis- sions in the Gulf of Aden and Bab elMandeb strait to protect the country’s vessels against pirate attacks. Under the terms of several UN Security Council resolutions, nations can deploy warships to the Gulf of Aden and coastal waters of Somalia to protect their vessels against the pirates and, after giving notice to Somali government, enter Somali territory in pursuit of the pirates. Iran’s missile technology is defensive: Harvard professor Contd. from P. 1 The limited sanctions reliefs will also assist Iran in addressing its budget and increasing non-oil exports in 2015. As the Enterprise Ireland delegation is planning to visit Tehran this year, European countries and business companies will look further for avenues to invest in Iran and increase business deals. Iran’s regional bilateral cooperation with some countries including Turkey and Iraq will also likely heighten. President Erdogan’s visit to his “second home,” Iran, in 2015 could mark an increase in bilateral trades as well as heightened strategic cooperation between Tehran and Istanbul. Iran and Iraq will also be establishing a joint bank, the Islamic Regional Cooperation Bank for Development and Investment, to increase trade transactions and facilitate bilateral trades to over $20 billion in the next three years. In 2015, Iran could make a breakthrough in its long-range missile technology by developing and testing intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) which could reach the United States. Nevertheless, it is crucial to point out that this advancement in missile technology is aimed more at a defensive or deterrent strategy rather than an oﬀensive one. Another potential breakthrough is linked to Iran’s air defense system and its long range surface-to-air missile system through the Bavar (Belief) 373 program. Iranian leaders are planning to unveil an anti-missile defense system, considered to be similar to the Russian S-30 air-defense missile system, or with “higher capabilities than the (Russian) S-300” according to the Brigadier General Farzad Esmayeeli. Strategic priorities will remain intact The signiﬁcant drop in oil prices has led some experts to point out that Iranian leaders will soften their position towards Tehran’s main strategic priorities, such as nuclear negotiations and support of President Bashar al-Assad, in order to come out of isolation and economic sanctions. Nevertheless, economic duress is less likely to fundamentally shift Iran’s regional policy or the country’s top regional strategic priorities. History has shown that even when Iran’s economy deteriorated a few years ago, Tehran’s stance towards supporting Assad, boosting Hezbollah, inﬂuencing the ruling Iraqi government, and continuing its nuclear program, did not alter. Even with the economic challenges, Iran is planning to increase its defense spending by 50%. The next critical issue is meeting the nuclear deadline of July 2015. Iran and the six global powers, known as the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States), failed to strike a ﬁnal and comprehensive nuclear deal on November 24, 2014. But, will Iran and P5+1 seal a ﬁnal deal in 2015? The gap between the Islamic Republic’s demands on its nuclear program and those of the West’s (primarily the United States) is too deep to bridge. A ﬁnal nuclear deal in July 2015 is unlikely. Iran will continue to demand the immediate lifting of economic sanctions while the U.S. will call for a gradual removal of sanctions as Tehran shows that it is meeting the requirements of the ﬁnal nuclear deal. However, it is likely to observe a de facto extension of the interim nuclear deal in 2015. Due to some of the convergence of strategic and geopolitical interests between the U.S. and Iran, back channel diplomacy, direct and indirect military or intelligence cooperation between Tehran and Washington is likely to increase. However, a full U.S.-Iran rapproche- ment, such as the Cuban deal, will not be achievable this year. The other crucial issue is Tehran’s relations with Damascus. Iran’s foreign policy on Syria will continue to be based on a zero sum doctrine. That follows that any change in the Syrian political system will be considered a geopolitical, strategic and ideological loss for the Iranian leaders. As a result, the Iranian ﬁnancial, military, intelligence, and advisory assistance, as well as involvement of Qud’s forces in Syria, will be steady in order to preserve the power of Tehran’s long-standing ally. When it comes to Iraq, Iran’s social, political, religious, and economic inﬂuence in Baghdad will deepen mainly due to the incapability of the Iraqi forces to quell the ﬁghters of ISIS. Finally, the drop in oil prices and extension of nuclear talks will empower the voices of critics vis-a-vis the government of Rouhani. Domestically speaking, although Iran’s economy will likely deteriorate in 2015, the government will use its central bank and other strategies such as depreciating the exchange rate in order to alleviate the pressure on the ordinary people. h t t p : / / w w w . t e h r a n t i m e s . c o m / i n t e r n a t i o n a l JANUARY 6, 2015 INTERNATIONAL French president: Russia sanctions ‘must be lifted now’ French President Francois Hollande is wary of the impact that economic crisis in Russia might have on Europe. He has called for sanctions imposed against Moscow to be lifted as soon as there’s progress in peace talks over Ukraine. “If Russia has a crisis, it is not necessarily good for Europe,” Hollande said during a two-hour interview with radio station France Inter. “I’m not for the policy of attaining goals by making things worse, I think that sanctions must stop now.” Hollande said he wanted to make sure there’s progress in peace talks over the situation in Ukraine, before putting an end to sanctions. He said he hopes to see signs of mutual understanding at the January 15 talks in Astana, Kazakhstan. The meeting is being organized by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, and Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are expected to be among the participants. Moscow has repeatedly said it was doing all in its power to facilitate the peace process in eastern Ukraine. A major breakthrough was achieved during September’s Minsk peace talks, brokered by Russia. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has sarcastically described western sanctions, also announced in September, as “a ‘reward’ for Russia’s role in the Minsk agreements and more generally for its part in organizing the meeting.” Another round of peace talks in Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Francois Hollande attend a meeting with Business 20 and Labour 20 representatives at the G20 Summit on September 6, 2013 in St. Petersburg, Russia.(Getty Images) Minsk took place in December. The negotiations, which brought no breakthrough in the crisis, were overshadowed by Ukrainian parliament voting to revoke the country’s “nonaligned” status, paving its way for closer ties with NATO and eventual full membership. Hollande said he understands that Kiev’s striving for NATO membership can hardly contribute to the peace process. Saudi border guards killed in likely ISIL attack Attackers have killed two Saudi Arabian border guards and injured another near the country’s border with Iraq in a shooting and suicide assault, the Saudi Interior Ministry said. The attackers opened ﬁre on a border patrol near the city of Arar early on Monday, the ministry said. When security oﬃcers responded, one of the attackers was captured and detonated an explosives belt, the ministry added in a brief statement carried by the oﬃcial Saudi Press Agency. It said another attacker was killed by security forces but did not specify the number of assailants. The attack was likely to be carried out by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists that control large parts of Iraq and Syria. ISIL has attacked the border before. It has long held that the House of Saud doesn’t have legitimacy and therefore is a target. This attack is only likely to strengthen the resolve of Riyadh and Baghdad to strengthen relations, which include re-opening the Saudi embassy in Baghdad which has been shut for nearly 25 years, and to ﬁght ISIL. Saudi Arabia has joined the U.S.led alliance against ISIL and is participating - along with Jordan, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates - in air strikes in Syria, with logistical support from Qatar. The move has drawn threats of retaliation from the group. In a purported audio recording released on social media networks last month, ISIL leader Abu Bakr alBaghdadi warned Saudi leaders they would see “no more security or rest.” In July, three shells ﬁred from inside Iraq hit the Arar area, without causing any casualties. No group claimed responsibility for that attack. A Saudi delegation will travel to theh Iraqi capital, Baghdad in the coming week to start preparations to reopen an embassy, oﬃcial Saudi media said on Saturday. Saudi Arabia closed its Baghdad embassy in 1990 after the late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. It has long accused Iraq of being too close to Iran, its main regional rival, and of encouraging sectarian discrimination against Sunnis, a charge Baghdad denies. (Source: Al Jazeera) “Mr. Putin does not want to annex eastern Ukraine. I am sure. He told me so,” Hollande told France Inter. “What he wants is to remain inﬂuential. What Mr. Putin wants is that Ukraine does not become a member of NATO. The idea of Mr. Putin is not to have an army at Russia’s borders.” The Ukrainian crisis has strained relations between Russia and France, with Paris putting on hold the delivery of Mistral helicopter-carrying amphib- ious assault ships to Moscow. Hollande decided to suspend the delivery of the ﬁrst such ship “until further notice” in late November, despite the fact that the move might hit the French economy hard. France is facing a multibillion-dollar ﬁne if it fails to deliver the ships under the terms of the contract. The delay of the warships’ delivery has also reportedly entailed additional costs for Paris. (Source: RT) Hollande rules out French intervention in Libya President Francois Hollande said on Monday that France would not intervene unilaterally in Libya and urged the international community to take action to stem the deepening crisis in the country. “We are acting to contain terrorism in the south, but France will not intervene in Libya because it’s for the international community to live up to its responsibilities,” Hollande told French radio. Asked if France would take action in a United Nations-mandated operation, Hollande said there would have to be a “clear mandate”, “clear organization” and the “political conditions” would have to be in place. “We’re not yet going down that road,” added Hollande. The president of neighboring Niger said on Friday that a solution to the crisis in Libya was not possible without international intervention. “I do not see how the armed terrorist militias can create the conditions for reconciliation among Libyans,” said President Mahamadou Issoufou. “An international intervention is essential to the reconciliation of all Libyans,” including supporters of former dictator Moamer Khadaﬁ, who himself was deposed and killed in 2011 after an international military intervention. Since the overthrow of Gaddaﬁ’s regime, Libya has collapsed into a chaos of warring militias and rival governments, and is awash with weapons that travel in an arc of unrest through northern Mali and Niger. Later on Monday, ambassadors from the Arab League will meet to discuss the Libyan crisis, at the request of Libya’s internationally recognized government. French Defense Minister Yves Le Drian recently visited the region and paid a surprise visit to northern Niger, to see a base being built to combat the growing ﬂow of weapons and extremism from Libya. Le Drian said his visit demonstrated France’s “determination... against the terrorism and those who want to transform this ancient caravan route into a route of violence and trafficking.” (Source: AFP) Abbas to renew bid for Palestinian statehood Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said that he was discussing with Jordan plans to resubmit to the United Nations Security Council a resolution calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state that failed to win enough votes last week, Deutsche Welle reported. Palestinian oﬃcials hope the UN will be more sympathetic to their resolution, demanding an Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories and independence by 2017, although the veto-wielding United States would be all but certain to vote “No” again, as it did on December 30. “We didn’t fail; the UN Security Council failed us. We will go again to the Security Council, why not? Perhaps after a week,” Abbas told oﬃcials at a cultural conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah, the Palestinian seat of self-rule government, according to Al Jazeera. “We are studying it, and we will study this with our allies and especially Jordan ... to submit the resolution again, a third time or even a fourth time.” In the UN vote on Tuesday, the Palestinian draft received eight votes in favor, including France, Russia and China, two against and ﬁve abstentions, among them Britain. Australia joined the United States in voting against the measure. But any resubmission would face almost certain failure. The U.S. has veto power as one of the council’s ﬁve permanent members and has pledged to block Abbas’s plan, calling it one-sided and unproductive. ICC bid Abbas signed onto 20 international conventions, including the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), giving the court jurisdiction over crimes committed on Palestinian lands and opening up an unprecedented confrontation between the veteran peace negotiator and Israel. In retaliation for the move to the ICC, Israel announced on Saturday that it would withhold $125m in monthly tax funds that it collects on the Palestinians’ behalf, in a blow to Abbas’s cash-strapped govern- ment. “Now there are sanctions - that’s ﬁne. There’s an escalation - that’s ﬁne ... but we’re pushing forward,” Abbas said. Abbas’ plan to resubmit the statehood application came as Israel considers its options for further punishing Palestinians after freezing millions in tax revenues as a ﬁrst response to their attempt to join the International Criminal Court. Palestinian leaders responded to the tax freeze by accusing Israel of trying to starve their people as a form of mass punishment. The Palestinian move to join the Hague-based court sets the scene for potential legal action against Israel for war crimes, in a bid to put pressure on Israel to pull out of the territories. But the request to join the court, formally presented on Friday, angered Israel which quickly moved to freeze the transfer of $127m in tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority (PA). (Source: agencies) Suicide bomber hits European police in Kabul A suicide car bomber struck near the headquarters of the European police training mission in Afghan capital city of Kabul, killing one Afghan civilian and wounding ﬁve others nearby. According to a statement from the EUPOL (European Union Police Mission in Afghanistan) mission, the driver of the car packed with explosives apparently targeted a convoy of mission vehicles near its headquarters on the eastern outskirts of Kabul in the early afternoon on Monday. In a statement on its Facebook page, EUPOL says no one in the vehicle was hurt. The spokesman for the Kabul police chief, Hashmat Stanekzai conﬁrmed the casualties. Earlier on Monday, police said an explosion near Kabul’s international airport left no casualties. Kabul has been hit by a high number of attacks in the last weeks of 2014, as Taliban insurgents targeted government, military and foreign installations. (Source: AP) INTERNATIONAL DAILY 3 British government wants nurseries to report potential terrorist toddlers It may become a “duty” of nurseries and elementary schools in Britain to track and report any child that shows signs of sympathy with terrorists or is a risk of potential radicalization, according to the government’s plans aimed at preventing extremism. A consultation document by the Home Oﬃce on ways to enhance Britain’s anti-terrorism system, the socalled “Prevent” strategy, calls for senior management and governors to “assess the risk of pupils being drawn into terrorism,” manifested through youths’ extremist ideas that may breed terrorist ideology. The nurseries should insure proper training of their staﬀ to give them the “knowledge and conﬁdence to identify” and “challenge extremist ideas which can be used to legitimize terrorism and are shared by terrorist groups,” the document stated according to British media. “They should know where and how to refer children and young people for further help.” The new approach of identifying potentially dangerous toddlers should be implemented on non-discriminating basis according to the 39-page consultation document. The document is part of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill bundle currently being debated in the parliament. If the strategy is approved it will become a “duty” not only for nurseries but also for other learning institutions. “Schools, including nurseries, have a duty of care to their pupils and staﬀ. The new duty in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill, to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism will be seen in a similar way to their existing safeguarding responsibilities,” a government spokesperson told The Independent. Questions remain as to how the new measures will be implemented, with politicians and NGO’s speaking out against the heavy-handed tactics. “It is unworkable. I have to say I cannot understand what they [nursery staﬀ] are expected to do,” David Davis, the Conservative MP and former shadow home secretary, told the Telegraph. “Are they supposed to report some toddler who comes in praising a preacher deemed to be extreme? I don’t think so. It is heavy-handed,” he added. “Turning our teachers and child minders into an army of involuntary spies will not stop the terrorist threat,” Isabella Sankey, the policy director at human rights body Liberty, told the Telegraph. “It will sow seeds of mistrust, division and alienation from an early age.” The government defended itself from the avalanche of criticism saying that privacy of individuals will be protected. “We are not expecting teachers and nursery workers to carry out unnecessary intrusion into family life but we do expect them to take action when they observe behavior of concern. It is important that children are taught fundamental British values in an age-appropriate way,” a government spokesperson told the Daily Mail. The controversial Prevent strategy is the main eﬀort by the British government to stop radicalization or people supporting terrorism, in all its forms. Prevent works at the pre-criminal stage by using early intervention to encourage individuals and communities to challenge extremist and terrorist ideology and behavior. Opponent of contemporary counter-terrorist policies say the strategy produces counter-productive eﬀects and often discriminates directly or indirectly against Muslims. (Source: RT) Al-Shabab claims deadly Somalia car bombing A suicide bombing has struck Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, killing five people including the bomber, with the armed group al-Shabab quickly claiming responsibility. Witnesses reported a loud explosion, followed by gunfire and plumes of smoke, in Waaberi district on Sunday. The area is close to the heavily fortified international airport. Witnesses told Al Jazeera the attack targeted Somalia’s National Intelligence and Security Agency and that security forces opened fire to disperse approaching onlookers. Ahmed Adan, a Somali police official, told AFP news agency: “There was a car bomb explosion near the Afisiyone area. “We are getting information that a suicide bomber rammed a car laden with explosives into a pickup truck.” Mohamed Yusuf, Interior Ministry spokesperson, said security agencies had received information about a car laden with explosives and had been following it. “It exploded and four civilians were killed besides the bomber.” Speaking to Al Jazeera, Abu Musaab, military-operations spokesperson of al-Shabab, said: “We conducted an operation against the apostates - including white mercenaries - in Mogadishu. There were heavy casualties. We will give more details later.” Last month al-Shabab gunmen attacked the main African Union base in Mogadishu leaving at least eight people dead. The AU base hosts UN oﬃces and embassies. Sunday’s blast comes days after a U.S. air strike killed al-Shabab’s intelligence chief, Abdishakur Tahlil. Somalia’s government is struggling to rebuild the country after decades of conflict sparked by the 1991 ouster of long-term leader Siad Barre. (Source: agencies) 4 I NTE R NATI O NAL DAI LY NEWS Oil hits five and a half year lows on supply glut LONDON (Reuters) — Oil prices dropped to fresh 5-1/2-year lows on Monday as worries about a surplus of global supplies and lackluster demand dragged on oil markets. Russia’s oil output hit a post-Soviet high last year, averaging 10.58 million barrels per day (bpd), up 0.7 percent thanks to small non-state producers, Energy Ministry data showed. Iraq’s oil exports were at their highest since 1980 in December, an oil ministry spokesman said, with record sales from the country’s southern terminals. But oil producer group OPEC has decided not to cut output, opting to let the market ﬁnd its own level. The two crude oil benchmarks - Brent and U.S. light crude, also known as West Texas Intermediate - have now lost more than half of their value since mid-2014. Brent crude (LCOc1) for February dropped as low as $55.16 a barrel, its weakest since May 2009, before edging back to $55.32, down $1.10, by 1055 GMT. U.S. crude (CLc1) slid to $51.40 a barrel on Monday, also its lowest since May 2009, before recovering a little to trade around $51.60. “The easiest path for oil is down,” said Carsten Fritsch, senior oil and commodities analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt. “Almost all market news and the fundamental backdrop are negative and it is diﬃcult to see much upside at the moment.” Tunisia to play as a bridge between IKCO & Africa TEHRAN — During a visit with Tunisian Minister of Trade and Handcrafts, IKCO CEO and President described this country’s market as a suitable place for IKCO cars. Making this remark, Hashem Yekehzare said, “Tunisia has a special position in the north of Africa and it can play as a bridge between IKCO and North African countries.” He further voiced that his company has exported 200 thousand sets of cars around the globe and added, “IKCO’s strategy at the moment is to focus on export and foreign market development.” According to IKCO CEO and President, this year’s production plan of the company is 600 thousand cars, 100 thousand sets short of the next years’ target. Paying a visit to IKCO production lines, Najla Harrouche, the Tunisian Minister of Trade and Handicrafts claimed that the technology adopted in IKCO equals to that of global car makers. “I suggest IKCO can enter Tunisian car market and from there can go for the North African countries’ markets,” she said, hoping that the related cooperation can soon begin between the two countries. The Tunisian Minister also underlined that Tunisia has a special capability in automotive part production specially wire harness and has invested in many countries including South American countries for plant establishment and automotive part production. “I look forward to seeing Tunisia to achieve the same industrial development as Iran did,” she emphasized, recalling the technological level of IKCO production systems. TEHRAN STOCK EXCHANGE Index Value Change 50284.4 -381.4 -0.76 57257.7 -329.1 -0.57 Main Board Index Industry Index Percent Overall Index 68232.1 -418.5 -0.61 Free Float Index 78168.5 -610.9 -0.78 Secondary Index 134064.7 -341.3 -0.25 OVERALL INDEX DETAILS First 68658.5 Min Value 68232.1 Closing 68232.1 Variety (418.5) Change end of year(%) 756.49% Historical highest 89500.6 (2014/01/05) Source: tse.ir MAJOR CURRENCIES To U.S. Dollars US dollar British Pound To IR. Rial* To U.S. Dollars Currency To IR. Rial* 1 35140 UAE dirham 0.272 9630 1.525 54080 Euro 1.191 42330 *The free market rates (Sources: Mehrnews.com & xe.com) MAJOR COMMODITIES Light Crude $ / barrel JANUARY 6, 2015 h t t p : / / w w w . t e h r a n t i m e s . c o m / e c o n o m y Iran’s car imports up 61% in 9 months TEHRAN — Iran imported Economic Desk 71,896 cars in the first nine months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21-December 21, 2014), a 61 percent rise from 45,000 in the same period of time last year. The country’s worth of car imports amounted to over $1.457 billion during the nine-month period, from $928 million in the same time in previous year, the ISNA news agency reported on Monday. BMW 528 and BMW X4, with the customs prices of $69,561 and $69,456, respectively, were the most expensive cars imported to Iran during the ninth Iranian calendar month of Azar (November 22-December 21, 2014). In last February, Iranian MP Ali Alilou said Iran is planning scrap all car import tariffs in the next two years. Alilou, who is a member of the Majlis Industries and Mines Committee, said the measure is necessary to boost domestic production and make the auto industry competitive. The automobile industry, the biggest nonoil sector of the Iranian economy, constituting around 10 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), boomed over the decade ending in 2011 due to government support and the dearth of international competitors in the domestic market. Iran breaking economic ties with oil TEHRAN (UPI) — Iranian government spokesman said he expected the share of oil revenue designated in next year’s budget to be down by about 30 percent. The low price of crude oil is pushing economies like Russia’s, which relies heavily on export revenue, toward the brink of recession. Government spokesman Mohammad Bagher Noubakht said the share of oil revenues in the budget proposed for next year is down by about a third. “Now the government has to try hard to pull two big stones -- inﬂation and recession -- out of the bottom of the well,” he said. Iran is restricted to exports of around 1 million barrels of oil per day under the terms of a multilateral agreement reached in November 2013. Last week, the government said non-oil exports from the beginning of the Iranian year, which starts in March, increased to $35 billion, or about 20 percent year-on-year. Iran emerged from recession last month, which the government spokesman said came as a result of heavy government investments in national development projects. The economy, he said, is boasting two Saudis seen giving Asia smaller oil discounts on signs of demand Saudi Arabia will probably offer smaller discounts to ship crude to Asia amid speculation demand will increase after benchmark prices dropped almost 50 percent last year. The world’s biggest oil exporter will announce February official selling prices to buyers in Asia in coming days, after offering its Arab Light grade at the biggest discount in at least 14 years the previous month. OPEC’s largest producer may narrow the discount, according to 12 of 15 traders and refiners in a Bloomberg News survey. Three respondents forecast price differentials to be unchanged. Saudi Arabia led the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in maintaining production quotas while offering straight months of growth. Iranian oﬃcials have said they envision a budget for the next calendar year based on oil priced at about $70 per barrel, about 20 percent higher than the current market price. Mohammad Nahavandian, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s chief of staﬀ, said the share of oil in Iran’s gross national product “is not so high.” Iran won’t give in after 60% decline in oil exports Iran’s oil exports have fallen 60 percent to 1 million barrels a day, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said. Iran, constrained by international sanctions on its energy and ﬁnancial industries, “won’t give in over 1 million barrels a day,” Zanganeh said. The minister didn’t elaborate, nor did he specify dates for the 60 percent cut in the nation’s exports. Brent crude, a pricing benchmark for more than half of the world’s oil, tumbled 48 percent last year, the most since the 2008 ﬁnancial crisis. Saudi Arabia, the biggest member in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, has rebuﬀed calls from Iran and others in the group to cut output amid a struggle with U.S. shale producers for market share. Brent fell 75 cents to $55.67 a barrel at 10:01 a.m. on the deeper discounts for its own cargoes, prompting speculation that it’s prepared to let prices fall to defend market share against more expensive U.S. shale supply. OPEC pumped above target for a seventh straight month in December even as U.S. output expanded to the highest level in more than three decades. “China has been buying slightly more crude because of declining prices and we may expect some bargain hunting at this price level,” Ken Hasegawa, an energy trading manager at Newedge Group in Tokyo, said by phone today. “Still, overall demand is not so good and the Saudis don’t want to lose market share as they’ve said. I don’t think they will change their stance dramatically.” (Source: Businessweek) London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Predicting oil prices is impossible because “political motives and interventions are behind” the recent market collapse, Zanganeh said, without explanation. He previously described the drop in crude prices as “a political plot” and said Iran would “under no conditions let go of its share of the oil market,” the ministry’s news website Shana reported on Dec. 17. The drop in crude prices compounds the pressure Iran faces from economic sanctions. Eﬀorts to reach a deal with the U.S. and other world powers over its nuclear work have gained Iran some relief from the restrictions, though diplomatic negotiations have been extended until July amid diﬀerences. (Source: Bloomberg) Lifan Group to expand its Iranian market in 2015 TEHRAN — Lifan Industry (Group) plans to export models of X50, 720, and 820 to Iran in 2015, according to Mark Timber, the general manager of the group’s Import and Export Company. He said Lifan X50 is a small SUV and Lifan 820 is a sedan identical with the parameters of the new Toyota Camry. The group also plans to exports models of X60 and 620 to Iran in 2016 and two four-wheel drive SUVs of X70 and X80 to the country in 2017. He mentioned after sales services the first priority of Lifan Group in the Iranian market and proposed establishment of a joint investment company to offer these services in Iran. 68650.6 Max Value Currency E C O N O M Y 52.69 Silver $ / troy ounce Gold $ / troy ounce 1,186.20 Platinum $ / troy ounce Copper $ / pound 2.82 Wheat ¢ / bushel 15.77 1,203.90 581.25 Source: cnnmoney.com France: It’s up to Greece to decide whether to leave euro PARIS (AP) — France’s president has raised the possibility of Greece leaving the shared euro currency, but says that’s a decision for “Greece alone” to make. Some in Europe have expressed concern that if the left-wing Syriza party wins this month’s general election in Greece, the new government may renege on terms of a hugely expensive international bailout plan. That has revived questions about Greece’s ﬁtness to stay in the euro. Francois Hollande said on France-Inter radio Monday that Greece’s new leaders “will have to respect the commitments made by their country.” But he insisted that it’s not up to others to say whether the result of the Greek vote means they should or shouldn’t keep using the euro currency. That, he said, “is for Greece alone to decide.” t men nn dA on Sec ce oun N.I.O.C National Iranian Drilling Company Public Calls For Quality Evaluating Of Tenderers NIDC hereby intends to purchase its requirements specified in below table from qualified and interested tenderers through public tender upon following terms and conditions. TENDER GUARANTEE Euro Rial ESTIMATED VALUE (Rial) DESCRIPTION Tenders Portal Reg.No TENDER NO./ INDENT NO. 483,929 20,325,000,000 406,491,436,800 DP& HWDP DRILL PIPE 1/384/730 48-22-9322041 FP/17-93/068 41,935 1,762,000,000 35,231,090,400 HEAVY WEIGHT DRILL PIPE 1/384/735 43-22-9307948011 FP/17-93/069 NO 1 A: Minimum acceptable point of quality is 60 B: Tenderers can receive the quality evaluaon documents by sending their request to the fax No.: 0611-2241154 or In person at the following address: Foreign procurement Dept. , Workshop NO .8, Karoon Industrial Area, NIDC, Ahwaz, Iran Tel: 06114142391 C: Qualiﬁed tenderers shall submit the completed documents within 14 days from publicaon of such a call (second me) to the following address: #203, Opening Tender commiee oﬃce, Workshop NO. 1, NIDC Main oﬃce, Ahwaz Iran More on this & other tenders is accessible by click on. WWW.NIDC.IR Permit No: 456943 National Iranian Drilling Company Contracts Department h t t p : / / w w w . t e h r a n t i m e s . c o m JANUARY 6, 2015 HISTORY & HERITAGE Khoy, the city of sunflowers Compiled by staﬀ writer Sprawled adjacent to some towering mountains in western Iran, the lively city of Khoy is a destination for whom interested in old Persian architecture as its ancient mosques, churches, caravanserais, bathhouses, fortresses, and ramparts, each tells a story. The city, sited near the ancient Silk Road in West Azarbaijan Province, may not be worth a lengthy detour but should you be in the vicinity is well worth a visit. Variety of ﬂora and fauna, warm water spas, salt mines, and rich history as a Christian center, put it on the itinerary of travelers to this place. Khoy was vastly fortiﬁed at diﬀerent times in its history, most recently by the decree of Qajar dynasty rulers in the 18th and 19th centuries. It is also well-known for the mausoleum of Shams Tabrizi, the renowned Iranian poet and mystic. The region’s economy is based on agriculture, particularly the production of fruit, grain, timber, sunﬂowers as it is nicknamed for the latter; Khoy the city of sunﬂowers. In the 2006 census, the city population was estimated for 178,700 while in 2012 the ﬁgure pointed at 200,900. During parts of its bitter history, Khoy was occupied for several times, in 1911 by the Ottoman Empire, in World War I by Russian troops who withdrew in 1917, and finally in the World War II by the Soviets, who remained until 1946. The places briefly introduced in blew are among the city’s most visited sights: Motalleb Khan Mosque: A huge and rooﬂess 13th-century structure of plain brickwork, the Motalleb Khan Mosque claims to have the world’s largest mihrab. The entrance to this mosque is hidden behind street vendors stalls that are just meters from Imam Khomeini Square. The Darvazeh Sangi: It is a black and white stone arch that has two carved lions that make up the last remains of Khoy’s former city wall. St Sarkis Church: A church with slit windows that suggest that it had a fortified past. Although some upper brick sections were rebuilt in the 1730’s St Sarkis Church supposedly dates from the 4th century. Be sure to take note of the carved motifs over the western door. The Shams Tabrizi Minaret: Named for a celebrated 13th-century poet, the Shams Tabrizi Minaret is hidden in the back alleys oﬀ 22 Bahman Street, which is just a short taxi ride northeast of Gumsal Square. The Shams Tabrizi Minaret is 300 years old and is interestingly encrusted with protruding animal horns. assistant professor of geological sciences in the College of Arts and Science at MU. “Fossils of soft-bodied animals like worms and jellyﬁsh, however, provide our only views onto the early evolution of animal life. Most hypotheses as to the preservation of these soft tissues focus on passive processes, where normal decay is halted or impeded in some way, such as by sealing oﬀ the sediments where the animal is buried. Our team is instead detailing a scenario where the actual decay helped ‘feed’ the process turning the organisms into fossils -- in this case, the decay of the organisms played an active We Owe Our Achievements to the Grace of God Bank Pasargad congratulates Iranian Christians on the occasion of the New Year and the birth of Jesus Christ (PBUH). 5 N O TA B L E S George Eastman: Inventor of the snapshots George Eastman (1854–1932) invented the Kodak camera, helping make photography accessible to the public. His company remains one of the largest in the industry. George Eastman was born on July 12, 1854, in Waterville, New York. In 1880, he opened the Eastman Dry Plate and Film Company. His ﬁrst camera, the Kodak, was sold in 1888 and consisted of a box camera with 100 exposures. The company slogan was “You press the button, we do the rest,” which meant the camera was sent in to the company after the 100 exposures on the roll of ﬁlm had been used; they developed it and sent it back to the customer. In 1889, Eastman hired chemist Henry Reichenbach to develop a type of ﬂexible ﬁlm that could be more easily inserted into cameras. Thomas Edison adapted the ﬁlm for use in the motion-picture camera he was developing, further propelling the success of Eastman’s company. Later he oﬀered the ﬁrst Brownie camera, which was intended for children. By 1927, Eastman Kodak was the largest U.S. company in the industry. Eastman committed suicide in 1932. (Source: biography.com) A bust of the renounced 13th-century Persian Poet, Shams Tabrizi, with the same name minaret in the background. 550-million-year-old fossils provide new clues about fossil formation A new study from University of Missouri and Virginia Tech researchers is challenging accepted ideas about how ancient soft-bodied organisms become part of the fossil record. Findings suggest that bacteria involved in the decay of those organisms play an active role in how fossils are formed -- often in a matter of just a few tens to hundreds of years. Understanding the relationship between decay and fossilization will inform future study and help researchers interpret fossils in a new way. “The vast majority of the fossil record is composed of bones and shells,” said James Schiauer, INTERNATIONAL DAILY role in creating fossils.” Schiauer studied a type of fossil animal from the Ediacaran Period called Conotubus, which lived more than 540 million years ago. He noted that these fossils are either replicated by, or associated with, pyrite -- commonly called fool's gold. The tiny fossils are tube-shaped and believed to have been composed of substances similar at least in hardness to human ﬁngernails. These fossilized tubes are all that remain of the soft-bodied animals that inhabited them and most likely resembled worms or sea anemone-like animals. (Source: Science Daily) Ancient Roman fort designed for celestial show The gateways of an ancient Roman fort in Britain are roughly aligned with the light from the sun during the summer and winter solstices — a design that would have resulted in a striking scene on the shortest and longest days of the year, a researcher says. The fort had four gateways facing one another. During the summer solstice, the sun would rise in alignment with the fort’s northeastern and southwestern gates, and set in alignment with its northwestern and southeastern gates, the researcher reported in the new study. During the winter solstice, the sun would rise in line with the fort’s southeastern and northwestern gates, and set in line with the fort’s southwestern and northeastern gates. The fort’s ruins are located near Hardknott Pass in Cumbria, England, and oﬀer a commanding view of the sprawling Eskdale Valley. Built during the reign of Emperor Hadrian, who ruled from 117 CE to 138, the structure was part of a series of fortiﬁcations that once guarded the Roman frontier in Britain. Sparavigna used online software to calculate the angles at which the solstice sun rises and sets at the fort. She then used satellite maps available on Google Earth to determine how the rising and setting solstice sun compares to the fort’s features. The summer solstice (which last occurred on June 21, 2014) represents the longest day of the year, when the sun appears at its highest point in the sky. The winter solstice (which last occurred on Dec. 21, 2014) represents the shortest day of the year, when the sun appears at its lowest point in the sky. Sun gods? But the reason for the fort’s celestial alignment remains unclear. In her paper, and in an email to Live Science, Sparavigna noted that she is not an expert on Roman religion. However, she did oﬀer some ideas that might help to explain the alignment. “An orientation of sacred places to sun and sky is common to several religions,” Sparavigna told Live Science. It is “quite possible that the Hardknott fort has a symbolic homage to the sun,” she said. Another possible link could be with Mithra, a god of light, “whose mysteries were a religion popular in the Roman army,” Sparavigna wrote in the study. The worship of Mithra originated in Persia but became popular throughout the Roman Empire. (Source: Live Science) C L O S E - U P Jan. 6, 1838: Morse demonstrates telegraph On this day in 1838, Samuel Morse’s telegraph system is demonstrated for the first time at the Speedwell Iron Works in Morristown, New Jersey. The telegraph, a device which used electric impulses to transmit encoded messages over a wire, would eventually revolutionize long-distance communication, reaching the height of its popularity in the 1920s and 1930s. Samuel Finley Breese Morse was born April 27, 1791, in Charlestown, Massachusetts. He attended Yale University, where he was interested in art, as well as electricity, still in its infancy at the time. After college, Morse became a painter. In 1832, while sailing home from Europe, he heard about the newly discovered electromagnet and came up with an idea for an electric telegraph. He had no idea that other inventors were already at work on the concept. (Source: history.com) ROUND THE WORLD Red Fort complex The Red Fort Complex was built as the palace fort of Shahjahanabad – the new capital of the ﬁfth Mughal Emperor of India, Shah Jahan. Named for its massive enclosing walls of red sandstone, it is adjacent to an older fort, the Salimgarh, built by Islam Shah Suri in 1546, with which it forms the Red Fort Complex. Inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the Red Fort is considered to represent the zenith of Mughal creativity which, under the Shah Jahan, was brought to a new level of reﬁnement. According to UNESCO, the planning of the palace is based on Islamic prototypes, but each pavilion reveals architectural elements typical of Mughal building, reflecting a fusion of Persian, Timurid and Hindu traditions. The Red Fort’s innovative planning and architectural style, including the garden design, strongly influenced later buildings and gardens in Rajasthan, Delhi, Agra and further afield. O N T H I S D AY 1449 Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI is crowned at Mistra 1497 Jews are expelled from Graz in Styria, Austria 1661 The Fifth Monarchists unsuccessfully attempt to seize control of London 1681 1st recorded boxing match 1784 Turkey & Russia sign treaty in Constantinople 1898 1st telephone message from a submerged submarine, by Simon Lake 1958 Gibson patents Flying V Guitar 2013 10 people are killed by a US drone attack in South Waziristan, Pakistan 6 I NTE R NATI O NAL DAI LY F E AT U R E Why Brazil’s Rousseff is in tears By Mac Margolis D ays away from the start of the new presidential term, Brazilian media are reporting that President Dilma Rousseﬀ is feeling low and has taken to weeping. Imagine if she had won the October election. Don’t get me wrong. Rousseﬀ eventually came out on top of the balloting for the Oct. 26 runoﬀ vote, just besting Social Democrat Aecio Neves. But winning is not the same as governing. As a row over Rousseﬀ’s slow-motion cabinet reshuﬄe indicates, she looks poised to preside over an administration that was largely chosen for her, by coalition partners she must indulge but can’t stand, and whose appetites and political agendas she doesn’t control. It’s not just that Rousseﬀ will have to super-glue a working majority from the 28 political parties in Congress -- 10 alone in her ruling bloc -- week by week. She must also stomach policies she once trashed and defend them to supporters who now feel betrayed. Start with her pick for finance minister, Joaquim Levy. An orthodox, University of Chicago-trained economist, Levy spent much of his career in government performing fiscal liposuction, first at the National Treasury and then as finance secretary for Rio de Janeiro state. He returns to Brasilia by way of Banco Bradesco, the country’s largest commercial lender, where he tended high-asset clients, much to the horror of the Workers’ Party rank and ﬁle. Rousseﬀ’s “militantes” delighted in her aggressive campaign ads last year showing food disappearing from Brazilian dinner plates, a warning of what would surely transpire if market-friendly types like Levy won the day. “Brazilians were sold on the idea that bankers were the enemy. Now apparently they’re the solution,” former ﬁnance minister Mailson da Nobrega told me. Contd. on P. 11 INTERNATIONAL JANUARY 6, 2015 h t t p : / / w w w . t e h r a n t i m e s . c o m / i n t e r n a t i o n a l End Iraq quota system to destroy Daesh By Mohammad Akef Jamal D espite its natural resources and human wealth, Iraq has been suﬀering since 2003 and is on the brink of bankruptcy. It also faces great diﬃculties as it tries to remedy its situation. The ﬂaw lies — undoubtedly — in the foundations upon which the political process was built; this foundation led to the rise of Daesh (the ISIL). So what are the chances for reform and for confronting and defeating this terrorist organization, given the diﬃcult conditions being experienced today? Eliminating this organization will have to be done through an international alliance, wherein the West, led by the United States, will play a leading role. The other roles will have to be played by regional alliances and this demands an improvement in Iraqi-Arab relations, so that Iraq’s Arab neighbors can stand in solidarity with the country to face the lethal group. Iraq’s Prime Minister Haidar Al Abadi will ﬁnd that he will have to take into consideration all that was overlooked and ignored by his predecessor, Nouri Al Maliki, during his eight-year rule. Al Abadi has to reconsider the fate of those who were marginalized, including his allies, because all these forces represent the key that will solve all other problems in Iraq. Unifier in convictions For Iraq to remain united and intact, the leader has to be Iraqi in his aﬃliation, a uniﬁer in his convictions, and a liberal in the way he carries out his duties and tasks. So will Al Abadi and his overburdened government be able to face all these problems in this manner or does he have other options? Will he ﬁnd real support and backing from the other forces in the Iraqi political process? Al Abadi has no option other than the national one when it comes to facing Daesh. The decisions he took dur- ing the past 100 days in oﬃce reﬂect optimism. However, it is doubtful that he will ﬁnd the necessary support and backing from others. This is not speculation but a reading of the situation that seeks to explain the current political landscape in Iraq. Some events have a bigger impact than others on the political situation. The ﬁrst of these events was the Arbil conference that was held on December 18, last year, under the slogan “The Arab Conference for Combating Terrorism”. The conference’s aim was to send a message to the international coalition leading the war against Daesh that Arabs are a united bloc with goals that do not conﬂict with the anti-terrorism policy. However, they do not participate in decision-making commensurate with their size. The second event is the Kurdish military eﬀort to defeat Daesh in some areas, in order to gain maximum political advantage through the annexation of the liberated areas to the Kurdish geographical region. And imposing it as a fait accompli, a fact that was admitted by the head of the Kurdish regional government, Nechirvan Barzani. Political elites The third of these events was that some political elites again started demanding the creation of federal regions. They did it in a manner that suggested that their understanding of federalism was limited to the interests of their governorates. Here, they are forgetting the fact that the federal project will not be complete without a comprehensive For Iraq to remain united and intact, the leader has to be Iraqi in his affiliation, a unifier in his convictions, and a liberal in the way he carries out his duties and tasks. IraniaHOME Real Estate SH.LAVASANI Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! Mobile: 09123103526 Tel: 88888007 Fax: 88675936 E-mail: [email protected] ﻭﻳﻼ ﻭ ﺁﭘﺎﺭﺗﻤﺎﻥ ﻣﺒﻠﻪ ﺷﻤﺎ:ﻣﺎﻟﻜﻴﻦ ﻣﺤﺘﺮﻡ ﺭﺍ ﺟﻬﺖ ﺍﺟﺎﺭﻩ ﺑﻪ ﺩﻳﭙﻠﻤﺎﺗﻬﺎ ﻧﻴﺎﺯﻣﻨﺪﻳﻢ Vali-e-asr – Jordan Whole building–9 stories, Administrative License, good for Co. & consulates. AHRABI 09192571076 Zafranieh 3 bedrs F.F $3000 Qheytarieh 2 bedr F.F $1500 Shahrak-GHARB 3 bedrs F.F $2500 FARSHID: 09125540877 program of clear and transparent understanding with the rest of the country; Iraq’s veins are intertwined in ways that are hard to ignore. Disintegration is the most obvious phenomenon in Iraq. The eﬀorts made to weaken the center and the trend towards more decentralization in favor of federal regions and provincial councils are the hallmarks of the political reality. The talk about the establishment of the National Guard and broadening the base of the popular army (Al Hashd) and arming tribes in the western region is much louder than any talk about re-building the Iraqi Army. And the specter of the regions and injustice faced by oil-rich cities, which is gaining momentum, is more prevalent than demands for rebuilding of the Iraqi state on a civilized foundation. And talk about the role of religious leaders in building a new Iraq is louder than any talk about the role of thinkers and intellectuals in this respect. When looking at where these conversations are taking place, we ﬁnd frustrating sights of a battle revolving around dividing the spoils. Those behind this entered the political arena with a racist, sectarian and tribal agenda. Maintaining the ethno-sectarianregional balance has become second nature in the country, and there is a political class that has succeeded in employing the politics of aﬃliation instead of political programs as a method to rise and remain in top decisionmaking positions in government. The circumstances in Iraq still allow forces to be grouped according to sectarian, ethnic or zonal basis and this will most certainly be an obstacle against facing Daesh eﬀectively. This organization will be defeated militarily, inevitably. However, its return one way or another is expected, as long as quota equations persist. (Source: Gulf News) h t t p : / / w w w . t e h r a n t i m e s . c o m / e c o n o m y JANUARY 6, 2015 WORLD ECONOMY Being poor is getting scarier in the U.S. By any measure, the U.S. is among the wealthiest countries in the world. Judging from new research, though, it›s becoming an increasingly hazardous place to be poor. Every advanced nation has a mechanism to protect its most vulnerable members from economic shocks. In the U.S., government transfer programs such as unemployment insurance, food stamps and the earned income tax credit act to oﬀset the impact of recessions, particularly for the poorest families. By putting much-needed money in the pockets of the people most likely to spend it, these «automatic stabilizers» also help the broader economy recover. In a paper presented over the weekend at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association, economists Hilary Hoynes of the University of California at Berkeley and Marianne Bitler of UC Irvine explored how well automatic stabilizers in the U.S. are working. Using statelevel data on unemployment rates and a measure of household income that accounts for taxes and transfers, they compared the eﬀects of the most recent recession to those of the last deep recession in the 1980s. The result: The U.S. is doing a signiﬁcantly worse job of protecting its most vulnerable households than it did a few decades ago. Speciﬁcally, the economists estimate that during the 2008 recession, a onepercentage-point increase in the unemployment rate was associated with a nearly 10 percent increase in the share of 18- to 64-year-olds with household incomes of less than half the poverty level. That›s roughly double the eﬀect of unemployment in the 1980s recession. It›s hard to imagine how anyone can survive at 50 percent of the poverty level. As of 2013, using the measure of income employed by Hoynes and Bitler, that corresponded to $9,384 a year for a family of three. Nonetheless, more than 7 million people were living below it. Hoynes and Bitler attribute the increased vulnerability of the poorest households in part to the welfare reforms of the 1990s, which sharply reduced access to cash aid. In 1996, for example, Congress replaced the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, which was aimed at getting people back to work faster. There are various ways the U.S. can improve its social countries as investors speculate about which might be next to leave the currency union, he said. “In the short run, it would be Lehman Brothers squared,” Eichengreen warned. He predicted that European politicians would “swallow hard once again” and make the compromises necessary to keep Greece in the currency union. “While holding the eurozone together will be costly and difficult and painful for the politicians, breaking it up will be even more costly and more difficult,” he said. In general, the panel, consisting of four prominent American economists, was pessimistic about More Russia sanctions to provoke ‘dangerous situation’ in Europe: Germany Tougher sanctions against Russia could destabilize the country and provoke an “even more dangerous” situation in Europe and have negative consequences for the entire world, German Vice-Chancellor Economic Aﬀairs and Energy Minister has warned. “Those who want it, provoke an even more dangerous situation for all of us in Europe,” Sigmar Gabriel said in an interview with the Bild am Sonntag newspaper. “Those who are seeking to even more destabilize Russia from the economic and political point of view are pursuing quite diﬀerent goals.” The goal of sanctions against Russia was to return Moscow to the negotiating table to ﬁnd ways for a peaceful resolution to the crisis in Ukraine, he said. He elaborated that additional sanctions may exclude Moscow from partnership in the resolution of conﬂicts which “will have very dangerous consequences for the entire world.” Though there are some in the U.S. and EU that “would like to ﬂoor their superpower rival,” but it is not in the interest of Germany or Europe, he stated. “We want to help solve the conﬂict in Ukraine, not to force Russia to its knees,” he stressed. The U.S. and EU slapped Russia with several rounds of sanctions, starting in March after Crimea joined Russia. Western nations have accused Russia of annexing Crimea, though Moscow has denied the claims stressing that residents of the peninsula voted in favor of the notion in a referendum that was in line with the international law and the UN Charter. The ﬁrst round of Western sanctions targeted Russian oﬃcials and companies and included visa bans and asset freezes. The second round of sanctions that 7 NEWS Energy funds worst performers in 2014 as oil price crash safety net without unduly reducing the incentive to work. The Aﬀordable Care Act, for example, subsidizes health care for the poorest families. Congress could expand the earned income tax credit, which provides added income to people in low-paying jobs. Rules restricting access to emergency cash assistance could be relaxed during severe recessions. Over the past three decades, economic output per person in the U.S. has increased more than 60 percent, to an estimated $54,678 in 2014. Surely such a rich country can aﬀord to do better for the poor. (Source: bloombergview.com) Greek euro exit would be ‘Lehman Brothers squared’: economist WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — A decision by a new Greek government to leave the eurozone would set off devastating turmoil in financial markets even worse than the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, a leading international economist warned. A Greek exit would likely spark runs on Greek banks and the country’s stock market and end with the imposition of severe capital controls, said Barry Eichengreen, an economic historian at the University of California at Berkeley. He spoke as part of a panel discussion on the euro crisis at the American Economic Association’s annual meeting. The exit would also spill into other INTERNATIONAL DAILY put pressure on ﬁnancial, energy, and defense sectors was announced in July with the U.S. and EU blaming Moscow for involvement in the unrest in eastern Ukraine. Moscow has denied the claims. Following Western restrictions, Russia imposed a one-year ban on imports of beef, pork, poultry, ﬁsh, cheeses, fruit, vegetables and dairy products from Australia, Canada, the European Union, the U.S. and Norway in August. France’s largest farming association - the National Federation of Unions of Agricultural Operators (FNSEA) – said in August that Russia’s ban could push Europe into a market crisis. The Netherlands, Germany, and Poland were Russia’s biggest food suppliers in the EU. The U.S. shipped $1.6 billion worth of food to Russia in 2013. Prior to the sanctions Russia imported 36.7 percent of its meat, 32.6 percent of dairy, eggs, and honey, 30.4 percent of vegetables, and 24.2 percent of fruit from the EU, according to 2014 trade data. A new sanctions package was pushed by the West a few days after the Minsk agreement was signed on September 5, which included a ceaseﬁre in eastern Ukraine. In response, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview to France 24 in Moscow in December that “if this is what Europe has as a reaction to something positive, then I once again can only say that we hugely overestimated European independence in foreign policy.” He recalled the public statement made by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden that America’s leadership had to embarrass Europe to impose economic hits on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine – even though the EU was opposed to such a motion. “I don’t believe [the sanctions] help Europe,” Lavrov said. (Source: RT) the outlook for the single-currency project. Jeffrey Frankel, an economics professor at Harvard University, said that global investors “have piled back into” European markets over the last years as the crisis ebbed. Now, there will likely be a repeat of the periods of market turmoil in the region and spreads between sovereign European bonds could widen sharply. Kenneth Rogoff, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund and a Harvard professor, said the euro “is a historic disaster.” “It doesn’t mean it is easy to break up,” he said. Martin Feldstein, a longtime critic of the euro project, said all the attempts to return Europe to healthy growth have failed. “I think there may be no way to end to euro crisis,” Feldstein said. The options being discussed to stem the crisis, including launch of full scale quantitative easing by the European Central Bank, “are in my judgment not likely to be any more successful,” Feldstein said. The best way to ensure the euro’s survival would be for each individual eurozone member state to enact its own tax policies to spur demand, including cutting the value-added tax for the next five years to increase consumer spending, Feldstein said. Morgan Stanley sees ‘more problems’ for oil market on new supply The oil market is set for “more problems” this year as increasing supplies from countries including Russia and Iraq add to the global glut that drove prices almost 50 percent lower in 2014, according to Morgan Stanley. Output may increase from ﬁelds in West Africa, Latin America, the U.S. and Canada in addition to more exports from Russia and Iraq, oﬀsetting concerns of reduced production in Libya, analysts including New York-based Adam Longson said in an e-mailed report. Iran may raise overseas shipments by about 500,000 barrels a day if western sanctions against the country are lifted, according to the report. Morgan Stanley is predicting additional supplies coming to the market as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries maintains its production quotas and the U.S. pumps at the fastest rate in more than three decades. Benchmark prices are extending declines in a bear market as OPEC pumped above target for a seventh straight month in December. “With the global oil market just passing peak runs and Libyan supply already at low levels, it’s hard to see much improvement in oil fundamentals near term,” Morgan Stanley said in the report. “A number of worrying signs have already emerged, lifting the probability of our bear case.” Oil exports from Iraq were at 2.94 million barrels a day in December, the most since the 1980s, according to Asim Jihad, a spokesman at the nation’s oil ministry. OPEC’s secondbiggest producer plans to ship 3.3 million this month, Jihad said. Iraq reached an agreement with its semi-autonomous Kurdish region last month over oil exports through Turkey, after years of disagreement on the territory’s right to independently develop its energy resources. The pact allows as much as 550,000 barrels a day from northern Iraq to be shipped to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, along a pipeline to the Turkish border operated by the Kurdistan Regional Government. In Russia, the biggest crude producer, oil output rose 0.3 percent in December to a post-Soviet record of 10.667 million barrels a day, according to preliminary data e-mailed by CDU-TEK, part of the Energy Ministry. Iraq and Russia provided 15 percent of the world’s oil in November, according to the International Energy Agency. The supplies from Russia and Iraq will help oﬀset reduced output in Libya, according to Morgan Stanley. Libyan production has fallen below 300,000 barrels a day, the lowest since May, after militants shifted attacks to energy facilities including the country’s largest oil export terminal, according to Energy Aspects Ltd. estimates. That’s down 65 percent from a recent high of 850,000 barrels a day in October. A potential deal between Iran and the U.S. could “open the door to a lifting of oil sanctions” and boost exports from the OPEC member, Morgan Stanley said. Iran and the U.S. have tentatively agreed that the Middle East nation will ship to Russia much of the material it could use to make nuclear weapons, the Associated Press reported, citing two unidentiﬁed diplomats. In Africa, new reports of unsold West African and North African cargoes are emerging with much of the crude moving into storage, according to Morgan Stanley. “With demand likely to fall seasonally and supply continuing to ramp, the inventory overhang should only grow over the coming months,” the bank said. “These excess inventories will need to be cleared before the market can heal, likely putting a cap on any upside.” (Source: Bloomberg) Energy mutual funds ﬁnished the year as the biggest loser after registering a 16.7% year-to-date loss. The other losers were Natural Resources, Equity Precious Metals and Miscellaneous Sector, which slumped 12.5%, 10% and 0.2%, respectively. For the energy sector, the slump was unavoidable given the nosedive that crude prices suffered in the second half of the year. Currently, oil is deeply entrenched into bearish territory and has fallen below the $60-a-barrel level following OPEC’s decision to hold production unchanged, the effects of booming shale supplies in North America and a stagnant European economy. Moreover, a stronger dollar has made the greenbackpriced commodity more expensive for investors holding foreign currency. The cut in global crude demand growth by major energy consultative bodies has put the final nail in the coffin. The concerns have dealt severe blow to the energy sector, and as evident from the fact that energy mutual funds category was the biggest loser in 2014. Let’s look at the funds that were the biggest losers last year, and with unfavorable Zacks Mutual Fund Rank they continue to be funds that should be dropped from investors’ portfolios. The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude price lost momentum in June and has since then been showing weakness. This is primarily owing to plentiful North American shale supplies in the face of lackluster demand expectations, sluggish growth in China and the prevailing softness in the European economy. Strengthening of the U.S. dollar also impacted the demand for the greenback-priced crude as it is now expensive for importers to buy oil. (Source: Nasdaq) Euro weakens to near nine-year low The euro weakened to an almost nine-year low and European stock-index futures fell amid concern Greece will exit the currency union. Chinese shares jumped, while oil slumped to its lowest level since 2009. The euro depreciated 0.4 percent to $1.1950 at 7:05 a.m. in London, after touching its weakest level since March 2006. The dollar gained against all but two of its 16 major peers. The ruble slumped 4.2 percent. Futures on the Euro Stoxx 50 Index fell 0.5 percent, while Standard and Poor’s 500 Index contracts slid 0.2 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index surged 3.6 percent to its highest level in ﬁve years. A gauge of global bond yields approached a record low. Crude slid 2.1 percent and silver rose 1.9 percent. Greece’s political parties have embarked on a campaign for elections this month that may determine the fate of the country’s membership in the euro area, with Der Spiegel magazine reporting German Chancellor Angela Merkel is ready to accept a Greek exit. Data this week will probably show consumer prices in Europe fell for the ﬁrst time in ﬁve years in December, adding to the argument for European Central Bank President Mario Draghi to extend stimulus. “The reasons to be selling the euro were pretty clear over the weekend: Draghi being a step closer to QE and deepening concerns about the Greek political situation,” Sean Callow, a currency strategist at Westpac Banking Corp. in Sydney, said by phone. “The euro was so close to such a keenly watched round number as $1.20 that we didn’t need any fresh news to tip us over the cliﬀ.” The pound declined to its weakest level since August 2013, while the Swiss franc lost 0.4 percent and the Australian dollar depreciated 0.5 percent. The Indonesian rupiah weakened 0.7 percent. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, which tracks the US currency against 10 major counterparts, added 0.3 percent, heading for its highest close since March 2009. Australian 15-year yields fell to an unprecedented 2.97 percent and Japan’s ﬁve-year yield dropped to a record 0.025 percent. Bonds in the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Broad Market Sovereign Plus Index had an eﬀective yield of 1.30 percent on Jan. 2, approaching the low of 1.29 percent set in 2013, based on data going back to 1996. Consumer staples and telecom stocks led declines on the MSCI Asia Paciﬁc Index, which dropped 0.7 percent. The Kospi lost 0.6 percent in Seoul and Taiwan’s Taiex Index retreated 0.4 percent. Japan’s Topix fell 0.5 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was little changed. The Shanghai Composite extended its rally over the past six months to 63 percent. A gauge of Chinese energy shares rose 8.9 percent, the most in more than six years, with PetroChina Co. and China Shenhua Energy Co. soaring by the 10 percent daily limit. Crude Falls West Texas Intermediate crude slipped to $51.71 a barrel after capping a sixth straight weekly loss Jan. 2. Brent crude in London fell 1.8 percent to $55.43 per barrel, with both blends headed for their lowest settlement levels since 2009. WTI and Brent tumbled more than 40 percent last year as the highest US oil output in about 30 years collided with slowing global demand and OPEC’s reluctance to reduce its own production. Iraq plans to boost crude exports this month, according to the oil ministry. Silver advanced to $16.0525 an ounce in the spot market, while tin climbed 1.8 percent. (Source: irishtimes.com) 8 I NTE R NATI O NAL DAI LY NEWS IN BRIEF Researchers build nano-based system for waste water treatment TEHRAN (ISNA) — Iranian researchers at Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Department, have designed a system for waste water treatment, using nano-material. The system can remove oil, fat, organic pollutants, particles, microbes, heavy metals and other pollutants from water and waste water. Dr. Saeed Bazgir, the director of the project and a faculty member of Polymer Engineering Department of the University said the system includes diﬀerent physical and chemical treatment parts. The chemical treatment section uses new materials designed by Iranian researchers. The materials can separate pollutants from water in less than 30 seconds, he said, adding the method also uses nanoparticles absorption columns and nano-ﬁber microﬁltration. The system is of high speed, eﬃciency and is economical. It occupies less space and can be used for any kind of water waste and pollutants. NASA’s SMAP satellite to predict natural disasters, help farmers NASA’s latest project, known as the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite, may help farmers bounce back from a bad yield, provide useful information to meteorologists, and allow experts to predict natural disasters. The technology, which is set to launch into orbit from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base, eﬀectively maps global soil moisture. NASA scientist Nadendra Das tells CNN International, “SMAP can assist in predicting how dramatic drought will be, and then its data can help farmers plan their recovery from drought.” SMAP is composed radiometer, a radar, and the “largest rotating mesh ever deployed in space,” according to NASA’s oﬃcial statement. The dish measures in at 19.7 feet across and results from the meticulous work of NASA engineers. (Source: National Monitor) Cempra oral antibiotic effective against hard-to-treat pneumonia CHAPEL HILL, NC ( The Street) — Cempra got an early and happy start to the new year, announcing positive results Sunday from a pivotal, late-stage study of the experimental oral antibiotic solithromycin in patients with community-acquired bacterial pneumonia. In the intent-to-treat population (ITT, all randomized patients), solithromycin met the primary objective of statistical non-inferiority (10% non-inferiority margin) of the early clinical response at 72 (-12/+36) hours after initiation of therapy compared to moxiﬂoxacin. Solithromycin also met the secondary objectives of non-inferiority in clinical success at the short term follow up (SFU) visit, 5-10 days after the end of therapy, both in the ITT and clinically evaluable populations. The point estimates for the primary endpoint of early clinical response were 78.2% for solithromycin and 77.9% for moxiﬂoxacin. The 95% conﬁdence interval for the treatment diﬀerence had lower and upper bounds of -5.5% and 6.1%, respectively. SUBSCRIPTION FORM W W W . T E H R A N T I M E S . C O M INTERNATIONAL DAILY Tehran Times subscription form First name: ................................................... Family name: ............................................... Company: .................................................... 12-month subscription: 1,600,000 rials 6-month subscription: 800,000 rials 3-month subscription: 400,000 rials Phone No.: .................................................... Fax: .............................................................. Address: ...................................................... Postal code: ................................................. E-mail: .......................................................... ATTENTION: The money can be deposited into Tehran Times account number 6973086221 in Bank Mellat at any branch. Send the subscription form along with the deposit receipt to No. 18 Bimeh Lane, Nejatollahi Street, Tehran, or fax to number 88808895 (special for Tehrani citizens). Interested individuals in other cities can contact the subscription oﬃce at 8880-3025 M E D & S C I JANUARY 6, 2015 h t t p : / / w w w . t e h r a n t i m e s . c o m UNEP hoping for carbon neutral Earth in the next 4 decades A United Nations report suggests that the Earth needs to be carbon neutral by the years 2055 to 2077 in order to avoid the most serious consequences of climate change. The target years are notably much earlier than 2100, the reported target year of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The Emissions Gap Report, which was published by the United Nations Environment Pro(UNEP) in November A negative carbon gram 2014 and based on a study that looked at the gap beemission in the tween the current trajectory second half of of emissions and scientific the century could assessments of reductions needed to prevent the catamean tapping on strophic impact of a warming technologies such world, did not only suggest as carbon capture that emissions should be net neutral by 2055-2070. It also and storage. said that emissions should be net negative after this period. A negative carbon emission in the second half of the century could mean tapping on technologies such as carbon capture and storage. A controversial means of intervening with the climate in order to bring down the temperature, known as geoengineering, may also be resorted to. Spraying sulphur particles Ideas for the yet unproven process include the use of artiﬁcial tress to absorb carbon dioxide and using aircraft to spray sulphur particles at high altitude in order to achieve the similar cooling eﬀects associated with volcanoes. The UNEP report, however, has enumerated several actions that can be implemented to attain a zero carbon emission and this includes adjusting fuel prices through carbon taxes, reducing fossil fuel subsidies that amount to over $600 billion per year and adopting policies that will encourage innovative technologies. Besides carbon, the report also pointed out that emissions of other heat-trapping greenhouse gases also need to be reduced to zero by 2080 to 2100. It likewise warned of the urgency of bringing the emissions to zero as delaying actions will have other unwanted impacts such as increased rates of reduction in global emissions, higher risks for economic disruption, more dependence on neg- ative emission and lock-in of carbon-intensive infrastructure. The goal is to limit global temperatures from rising to over 2 degrees Celsius from preindustrial levels, which experts said could lead to the most devastating consequences of global warming. After the climate change meeting in Lima Peru late in 2014, the next best chance for world leaders to come up with a uniﬁed agreement to cut carbon emissions will be during the UN Climate Change Conference, which will be held in Paris on from Nov. 20 to Dec. 11 later this year. (Source: Tech Times) Here’s how fast different animals are disappearing from Earth Many scientists believe our planet is in the early stages of a mass extinction, an event deﬁned by a loss of 75% of species on Earth. It will be the sixth one to occur in the planet’s 4.5 billion year history — and the ﬁrst to be caused by humans. But just how fast are species disappearing from Earth, and how much should we be worried? Information recently compiled by the journal Nature, the World Wildlife Fund, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) sheds some light on these questions. It’s not a pretty picture. Drawing from the IUCN’s “Red List,” a catalogue of species considered in danger of extinction, Nature recently published a detailed analysis of threatened animals on Earth. The report concluded that 26% of all known mammals, 13% of birds, and 41% of amphibians are in jeopardy. Scientists don’t have enough data for ﬁsh and reptiles to make an assessment for them, and insects got oﬀ comparatively easy — an estimated 0.5% of known species are thought to be facing extinction. But these are just the species that we know of. There are about 1.7 million species of animals, plants, and fungi that humans are aware of, but scientists estimate there are millions more yet to be discovered, and we have no idea what kind of shape their populations will be in if we ever do discover them before they die oﬀ. How to tell if memory problems are really a sign of dementia Worried that forgetfulness might be an early sign of dementia? New research suggests there is no need to be anxious about an awkward memory lapse - as long as you can recall enough of the embarrassing detail to tell a friend about it. Researchers at Sheﬃeld Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have found that how people talk about their memory problems is a vital clue to pinpointing their cause. They say a technique called Conversation Analysis (CA), used with patients experiencing memory lapses, can help distinguish between dementia and other problems. Memory problems may be an early sign of organic disease such as dementia – but they may be also caused by other non organic factors, such as anxiety or depression. This is called functional memory disorder (FMD) and is unlikely to get worse, according to consultant neurologist Prof Markus Reuber, at Sheﬃeld Teaching Hospital. Using the CA technique, his team of researchers have found that the way people talk about their memory problems is very diﬀerent in those who have dementia, to those whose memory lapses have other causes. Professor Reuber ﬁrst used Conversational Analysis as a diagnostic tool in Germany with patients suﬀering from seizures. There, he found it was possible to distinguish between those suﬀering from epilepsy and those suﬀering from seizures caused by other factors simply by listening to them talk about symptoms. The success rate was 85 per cent. In a pilot study, Professor Reuber and his team are now applying CA to patients referred by GPs to the specialist memory clinic at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital. The research- ers have studied videos of more than 100 patients during their ﬁrst consultation at the clinic, and searched for patterns in their initial conversation. Then they looked at whether those patterns were linked to whether or not the person was later diagnosed with dementia. One clear diﬀerence which emerged between those diagnosed with dementia and those with FMD, was the way people responded when two or more questions were grouped together. “Ask a patient: ‘Where are you from originally and where did you go to college?’ and the person with dementia will not be able retain the information and answer both questions,’ he says. “The person who has memory problems due to other factors will be able to work their way through the questions.” Another clue was the use of the phrase “As I said …” or “Like I said …” which indicates a “working memory” during the conversation: patients with dementia did not tend to use these phrases. When asked about the last time their memory failed them, those who had FMD could remember, and often constructed elaborate tales to illustrate the occasion. Those with dementia could not recall the details. There are behavioral clues as well. Those who originally consulted their GP because they were concerned about their memory were less likely to have dementia than those who were encouraged to seek help by family members. If a friend or family member was present in the interviews, those with dementia would often hesitate and turn to them for support when asked a question, while those with FMD did not seek this reassurance. (Source: The Telegraph) Scientists aren’t completely sure how fast all these species are disappearing from the planet, but the fastest estimates — which suggest 690 extinctions take place every week — indicate that the mass extinction could be complete in the next 200 years. (Slower estimates give us several more hundred years before 75% of life on Earth is gone, and the most conservative guesses allow us thousands.) In fact, research from the World Wildlife Fund suggests that the number of vertebrates on Earth (excluding humans) is only half what it was 40 years ago. The Living Planet Index, an assessment of vertebrate populations, shows that between 1970 and 2010, terrestrial and marine vertebrate populations both declined by 39%, and freshwater vertebrates declined by a whopping 76%. Altogether, the total rate of decline for vertebrates was 52%, meaning their populations have been cut in half since 1970. So what’s causing all the trouble, anyway? (Source: Business Insider) The surprising link between gut bacteria and anxiety In recent years, neuroscientists have become increasingly interested in the idea that there may be a powerful link between the human brain and gut bacteria. And while a growing body of research has provided evidence of the brain-gut connection, most of these studies so far have been conducted on animals. Now, promising new research from neurobiologists at Oxford University oﬀers some preliminary evidence of a connection between gut bacteria and mental health in humans. The researchers found that supplements designed to boost healthy bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract (“prebiotics”) may have an anti-anxiety eﬀect insofar as they alter the way that people process emotional information. While probiotics consist of strains of good bacteria, prebiotics are carbohydrates that act as nourishment for those bacteria. With increasing evidence that gut bacteria may exert some inﬂuence on brain function and mental health, probiotics and prebiotics are being increasingly studied for the potential alleviation of anxiety and depression symptoms. “Prebiotics are dietary ﬁbers (short chains of sugar molecules) that good bacteria break down, and use to multiply,” the study’s lead author, Oxford psychiatrist and neurobiologist Dr. Philip Burnet, told The Huﬃngton Post. “Prebiotics are ‘food’ for good bacteria already present in the gut. Taking prebiotics therefore increases the numbers of all species of good bacteria in the gut, which will theoretically have greater beneﬁcial eﬀects than (introducing) a single species.” To test the eﬃcacy of prebiotics in reducing anxiety, the researchers asked 45 healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 45 to take either a prebiotic or a placebo every day for three weeks. After the three weeks had passed, the researchers completed several computer tests assessing how they processed emotional information, such as positive and negatively-charged words. The results of one of the tests revealed that subjects who had taken the prebiotic paid less attention to negative information and more attention to positive information, compared to the placebo group, suggesting that the prebiotic group had less anxiety when confronted with negative stimuli. This eﬀect is similar to that which has been observed among individuals who have taken antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication. The researchers also found that the subjects who took the prebiotics had lower levels of cortisol -- a stress hormone which has been linked with anxiety and depression -- in their saliva when they woke up in the morning. While previous research has documented that altering gut bacteria has a similarly anxiety-reducing eﬀect in mice, the new study is one of the ﬁrst to examine this phenomenon in humans. As of now, research on humans is in its early stages. A study conducted last year at UCLA found that women who consumed probiotics through regularly eating yogurt exhibited altered brain function in both a resting state and when performing an emotion-recognition task. “Time and time again, we hear from patients that they never felt depressed or anxious until they started experiencing problems with their gut,” Dr. Kirsten Tillisch, the study’s lead author, said in a statement. “Our study shows that the gut–brain connection is a two-way street.” (Source: Huﬃngton Post) h t t p : / / w w w . t e h r a n t i m e s . c o m / s p o r t s S JANUARY 6, 2015 P O R T S World’s all-time leading goalscorer sends a message to Iran captain Nekounam TEHRAN - Iranian football legend S p o r t D e s k Ali Daei has sent a supporting message to Team Melli captain Javad Nekounam, congratulating him for breaking the most international appearances record in the near future. Ali Daei is Iran’s most capped player with 149 appearances but Javad Nekounam will surpass this record if he continues to serve as Iran’s captain in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup. “I’m really happy from deep of my heart that you will play for Iran in the Asian Cup and break my most international appearances record. I hope that an Iranian player to break my international goalscoring record,” former Persepolis head coach told in a message to Javad Nekounam. “I know Carlos Queiroz is a great coach and I believe in his player’s ability, so as an Iranian football fan I hope to see you in the Asian Cup Final lifting the Asian Cup trophy,” Daei added. Daei is all-time leading goalscorer with 109 goals and no player is even close to his record. Iran defeated Iraq 1-0 in a friendly match on Sunday, five days ahead of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup. The Asian Cup will kick oﬀ in Australia on January 9, with Iran playing Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE in Group C. Carlos Queiroz men will face Bahrain in the first step in Melbourne on January 11. Mizan Khorasan volleyball team signs Petkovic The Iranian vol- S p o r t D e s k leyball club Mizan Khorasan announced the signing of Serbian setter Vlado Petkovic. After two seasons in Iran’s Kalleh Sports and Shahrdari Urmia, Petkovi became a new member of Mizan. The experienced player is expected to help his new club to be better in the second part of the Iranian league. Vlado Petkovic played for the Serbian national team at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and 2012 Summer Olympics in London. “I am pleased with the signing of the contract. For the third time, I play in Iran and I have experience playing in the country,” the 31-yearold player said. Italian setter Vermiglio happy to join Shahrdari Urmia Italian setter Vale- S p o r t D e s k rio Vermiglio said that he is happy to sign a contract with Shahrdari Urmia volleyball club. The 39-year-old player replaced Saeid Marouf, who joined Russia's Zenit Kazan last week, in the Iranian volleyball club. “Hello everyone, I wanted to publicly thank President Guido Molin- aroli and the entire society for what they made for me,” Vermiglio, the setter of Copra Piacenza and former member of the Italian national team, told Gazzetta del sud. “I joined Shahrdari because of personal problems. Volleyball has improved during the years in Iran and I think I’ve made good decision. I am happy to join the team,” the setter added. Mancini confirms interest in Shaqiri Inter boss Roberto Mancini is excited at the prospect of working with Lukas Podolski – and is hoping to pair him with Xherdan Shaqiri before the end of the transfer window. Germany international Podolski is expected to complete a loan deal with Inter in the coming days having become frustrated with a bit-part role at Arsenal. His capture is being hailed as a coup by Mancini, who believes his best years are ahead of him. "Podolski has had a great career so far and he can help us over the next ﬁve months," the former Manchester City and Galatasaray boss said on Monday ahead of the midweek clash against Juventus. "We haven't hired someone who is 34, 35, at the end of his career, but a competitive player." Inter have also been linked with Shaqiri, who, like Podolski, has grown tired of a lack of playing time and is expected to leave Bayern Munich. Mancini added: "Shaqiri is another option for us, but we don't know what will happen in the next month. We're looking for a player who can play both as a striker and winger, and Shaqiri plays both roles." Inter resume Serie A following the winter break in 11th place and are in need of swift improvement if they are to play European competition next season. Hajduk Split midﬁelder Tino Susic has spoken of his desire to join Inter while Ezequiel Lavezzi, currently suspended by Paris Saint-Germain, has also been suggested as a target. "Lavezzi, as well as Shaqiri, plays for a giant club, it's very diﬃcult to try to sign him," said Mancini. "Susic is more of an investment, who may be a good bet for the future." Andy Murray continues Australian Open warm-up with impressive win Mancini revealed he would not be tinkering with his defence ahead of the trip to Turin, meaning Nemanja Vidic is set to miss out. "Vidic wasn't fully ﬁt in the last few weeks, that's why he never played. Now he has recovered, so I think he'll get some chances. But at the moment I fully trust in my four-man defence." (Source: Goal) Van Gaal has no right to complain about fixtures - Cruyff INTERNATIONAL DAILY 9 2015 AFC ASIAN CUP Iran attempt to end 40 years of Asian Cup pain SYDNEY (AP) — Iran's squad arrived in Australia for the Asian Cup aiming to end nearly 40 years of football heartache with a long overdue continental triumph. Team Melli must ﬁrst overcome rivals from closer to home in an all-West Asian Group C, which includes Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Asia's top-ranked team at No. 51, Iran has not progressed past the Asian Cup quarterﬁnals since 1996, falling well short of its most successful era when it won three successive tournaments from 1968 to 1976. The ace for Iran could be its coach, former Portugal and Real Madrid manager Carlos Queiroz, who guided the squad to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Queiroz was expected to leave his post after Iran's group-stage exit from Brazil, but stayed on in what appears to be a vote of conﬁdence in his methods. Iran's captain and talisman, Javad Nekounam of Osasuna in Spain, brings some star power to a tournament light on high-proﬁle players and will be aiming to continue his goal-scoring form from qualifying, during which he netted four times. Iran opens against Bahrain at Melbourne on Jan. 11. Despite the continuing off-field distractions surrounding Qatar's successful 2022 World Cup bid and subsequent preparations for the tournament, the Qatari squad enters the Asian Cup in strong form on the field. Qatar was impressive at the recent Gulf Cup, where it beat Oman in the semifinals and Saudi Arabia in the final. Algerian coach Djamel Belmadi has opted for youth above experience in attack, leaving veteran striker Sebastian Soria at home for Congolese-born Mohammed Tresor Abdullah and naturalized striker Mohammad Montari to support playmaker and former Asian Player of the Year Khalfan Ibrahim. Qatar was ousted in the Asian Cup quarterfinals on home soil in 2011, losing to eventual champion Japan — a team it could well meet again in the same stage here. The Qataris open in Canberra against the United Arab Emirates in a match that could be decisive for both nations' prospects of reaching the knockout stages. UAE breezed through qualifying, winning ﬁve games and drawing one on its way to topping its group. Striker Ali Mabkhout notched five goals to jointly lead all scorers across the continent, as UAE found the net 18 times in qualifying, a mark only matched by group rivals Iran. The UAE's good form continued into the Gulf Cup, where the defending champs navigated their group undefeated, with Mabkhout scoring four times in three games. Saudi Arabia ended the UAE run in the semiﬁnals, but the team bounced back to beat Oman in the third-place playoﬀ. Bahrain, the lowest-ranked team in the group at 125th, heads into the tournament in turmoil after a poor Gulf Cup campaign, which yielded no goals and the ﬁring of coach Adnan Hamad. New coach Marjan Eid has had little time to address Bahrain's main weakness — its lack of potency in front of goal. Eid will lean on 28-year-old striker Ismail Abdul-Latif, who scored twice against Saudi Arabia in a friendly last week, to spearhead Bahrain's attack. Juventus would have to pay €20 million for Wesley Sneijder - agent Andy Murray continued his strong build-up in his quest for a maiden Australian Open title with a comfortable victory over Frenchman Benoit Paire in the Hopman Cup mixed-team event in Perth on Monday. Fresh from his ﬁrst title of 2015 in Abu Dhabi, the Scot, representing Britain at the event alongside Heather Watson, defeated Paire 6-2 7-5 in the evening match. The 27-year-old arrived in sweltering Perth on Sunday after a walkover against an ailing Novak Djokovic in the Abu Dhabi ﬁnal but showed no signs of rust despite the stark diﬀerence in conditions. "It was a bit of an eye-opener when we arrived at the practice court this morning and it was 44 degrees (Celsius) outside," Murray, who also beat Rafa Nadal and Feliciano Lopez in Abu Dhabi, said with a grin in a courtside interview. "I'm from a small town in Scotland and the weather is not quite like that there. The conditions here are fantastic to get ready for Melbourne." After breezing through the ﬁrst set, the world number six was put under pressure by his French opponent in the second and had to ﬁght hard to hold his serve in a marathon eighth game during which his left shoulder started hurting. Murray had to wait till the 11th game for the decisive break and completed the win on his second match point with a booming ace. "I had the (shoulder) problem in Abu Dhabi couple of days ago and haven't had much time to serve after that. We ﬂew straight from there and arrived yesterday," Murray said. "It doesn't really make sense for a right-handed player to have a problem with their left arm. So I am not sure exactly what it was and I had a scan in Abu Dhabi and that was all clear. "But it's still a little bit sore today." (Source: Reuters) AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Former Netherlands great Johan Cruyﬀ has told Louis van Gaal he has no right to complain about the hectic holiday season programme in the Premier League when he chose to go and work there. Writing in his weekly column in the daily De Telegraaf, Cruyﬀ said the Manchester United manager had to accept the English way of running their league without a winter break. "If you choose for (a job in) England, then you choose for their successful system, which is based on the proposition that the stadiums open as soon as the fans are available to watch, which is the holiday period," Cruyﬀ said. “Playing football between Christmas and New Year is a war of attrition and thus in favour of physically stronger teams.” Any attempt by Van Gaal to try to change the system would be doomed to failure, added Cruyﬀ, who has had a strained relationship with his compatriot and has criticised Van Gaal’s organisation of the United team since taking over in July. "It has been working (well) since time immemorial and in 100 years it will still be so," Cruyﬀ said. "Complaining makes no sense if everyone else around you is happy. Moreover, everybody is well paid for working over the holiday period.” Van Gaal said the over-crowded festive ﬁxture schedule neglected player welfare and short-changed millions of supporters. “Everybody knows the body cannot recover within 48 hours,” he said last month. “Therefore there is a rule within UEFA and FIFA that you cannot play the games within two days. The scientists have proven it, everybody knows it and, in spite of that, we have to play. “It is the culture of England. I don’t mind, but it’s not good for the players, for the health of the players, and it’s not good for the game,” said Van Gaal. Wesley Sneijder's agent has made it clear to Juventus that it will take 20 million euros for them to sign the attacking midﬁelder from Galatasaray, making a deal look unlikely this winter. The Bianconeri had reportedly shown an interest in the former Inter Milan player to strengthen their front line for the second half of the season, in which they will be aiming to win a fourth straight Serie A title and go as far as possible in the Champions League. However, their hopes of picking him up at a bargain price have been dashed by the player's agent, who passed on the Turkish club's valuation via Turkey's Bugun TV. "Anybody who wants Wesley Sneijder will have to pay Galatasaray his release clause, which is 20 million euros," said Guido Albers. "He's not going to leave for two, five or even 10 million. I've spoken with the club and Galatasaray have no intention of selling Sneijder, who's extremely happy in Istanbul. "If anybody does want him, then they will ﬁrst have to speak to the club and then with me." With Juve seemingly unlikely to spend such an amount for a 30-year-old, they may instead turn their attention back to Bayern Munich's Xherdan Shaqiri, who is reportedly on the verge of joining Inter Milan. The 23-year-old has also attracted attention from Liverpool having expressed his desire to leave Munich after making only three starts in the first half of the Bundesliga season. (Source: Soccernet) 10 I NTE R NATI O NAL DAI LY BRAINY QUOTES W O M E TEHRAN — Not NEWS Muslim women are fashionable under their burkas: Countess of Wessex The Countess of Wessex has spoken out in support of Muslim women who express their fashion sense while wearing traditional clothes like the burka. The countess told Harper’s Bazaar magazine women from the Islamic world could be stylish and modest at the same time. In an interview by the women’s fashion magazine ahead of her 50th birthday on January 20, the countess said that under a burka there was probably a woman wearing “something really quite fashionable”. Her comments followed an event she hosted at Windsor Castle where she met representatives from the organization Islamic The Countess Of Wessex during a Fashion Festival. visit to Bahrain in 2001 She said: “It’s very evident that Muslim women can be fashionable while also retaining their modesty... And it’s a great way of bringing people together, and saying, ‘Look, this is what we’re really like’. “And what people forget is that underneath the burka and everything else, there is somebody who is probably wearing something really quite fashionable.” In September the countess, in her role as a global ambassador for the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation, held a dinner at Windsor Castle where she met Islamic Fashion Festival representatives and a number of designers showcased their clothes. During the interview the countess revealed that she has followed the Queen’s lead when it comes to her public life as a member of the royal family. (Source: The Telegraph) Church of England appoints its first woman bishop LONDON (Reuters) — The Church of England appointed its ﬁrst ever female bishop last Wednesday, overturning centuries of tradition in a Church that has been deeply divided over the issue. It named Reverend Libby Lane as the new Bishop of Stockport in northern England. After long and sometimes heated debate, the Church of England governing Synod voted in July to allow women to become bishops and formally adopted legislation last month. Women have served as priests in the Church since 1994. RECIPE OF THE WEEK Macaroni pie “This wonderful pie is a variation of macaroni and cheese.” Ingredients 32 ounces elbow macaroni 3 eggs 3 cups milk 4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese 1/4 teaspoon salt Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. Beat eggs and milk together. Pour half of the cooked macaroni into 9x13 inch baking dish. Cover macaroni with half of the cheese. Pour remaining macaroni into baking dish leaving a little room at the top. Cover with remaining cheese. Pour egg mixture over macaroni. Sprinkle with salt. Bake in a preheated over for an hour or until a knife inserted comes out clean. JANUARY 6, 2015 h t t p : / / w w w . t e h r a n t i m e s . c o m / s o c i e t y No restriction on Iranian women’s dress color: vice president Women’s Desk only there exists no No language can express the power and beauty and heroism of a mother’s love. Edwin Chapin N restriction or ban on the color of clothes Iranian women choose it is also recommended that they use colorful garments, says the Iranian vice president for women and family aﬀairs. Choosing colorful garments is rooted in “our national and traditional attire”, Shahindokht Mollaverdi said while visiting the Tasnim Festival in Tehran on Monday. Mollaverdi added the style and color of Iranian traditional dresses are rooted in nature. Choosing the style of Islamic clothing is the right of any Iranian girl, IRNA quoted Mollaverdi as saying. From an aesthetics point of view, diﬀerent styles and colors of IranianIslamic clothing are presented in the festival, she said. The Tasnim Festival is aimed at promoting Iranian-Islamic lifestyle and introducing Islamic clothing. The eight-day festival opened in Goftegoo Park on Dec 30, 2014. UK Muslim women face rising hate crimes LONDON — Amid soaring Islamophobic attacks across Europe, the number of hate crimes targeting Muslim women in the UK has risen by up to 10% over the past two years, according to a national project measuring antiMuslim incidents. “Over the last two years our data has shown that women suﬀer more incidents of hate and they also suﬀer more aggressive incidents of hate,” Fiyaz Mughal, director of Tell Mama, told Sky News recently. “The veil seems to delegitimize the sense of femininity of that person in the eyes of the perpetrator. “It seems to become something they become ﬁxated upon rather than the individual, the female behind the veil,” he added. According to Mughal, the number of hate crimes targeting Muslim women has witnessed a 5-10% increase over the last 18 months. He also said that number of veiled women reporting hate crime has also doubled in the last two years. Yet, Tell Mama couldn’t attribute this increase either to the soaring incidents or better reporting of the problem. Muslim women victims are likely to face “opportunistic” verbal or physical attacks, mostly by men, according to a research by Tell Mama. An earlier report by think-tank Chatham House identiﬁed a considerable Islamophobic sentiment in Britain, detecting a “wide reservoir of public sympathy for claims that Islam and the growth of Muslim communities pose a fundamental threat to the native group and nation.” A Financial Times opinion poll showed that Britain is the most suspicious nation about Muslims, estimated by 2.7 million. A poll of the Evening Standard found that a sizable section of London residents harbor negative opinions about Muslims. Yasmeen Khalid, from Bromsgrove, is one of the women who have become an easy target for Islamophobic attacks that intensiﬁed in recent months. The 21-year-old woman has only reported two hate crime incidents out of 30 diﬀerent attacks she faced. “By looking, they instantly know I’m Muslim... sometimes people call me a terrorist, sometimes they say ‘Paki’, sometimes someone has called me ‘Taliban’ or stuﬀ like that,” the young Muslim woman, who dons a hijab, said. “Sometimes I walk oﬀ humiliated - I shouldn’t be humiliated but I am humiliated. “Sometimes I speak up, sometimes I just cry, go away somewhere, and cry because I don’t know what to do.” Another veiled Islamophobia victim, Shalina Litt, from Birmingham, urged women to report hate crime attacks. “Actually we are mothers, we are daughters, we are sisters,” she said “I really just hope that any mothers, any daughters etc., can speak to their sons and say actually it’s not right and we do need to change how we approach this.” Despite the rise of the reported anti-Muslim hate crime, Tell Mama pointed to the “substantial under reporting” by the Muslim community. There’s “been an enormous shift in the language of anti-Muslim hate,” Mughal said. “International and national incidents create diﬀerences in the way narratives are set.” Hundreds of anti-Muslim hate offences have been carried out across UK in 2013, with Britain’s Metropolitan police recording an increase of 49% than 2012. The Metropolitan Police recorded 500 Islamophobic oﬀences from January to mid-November that year, compared with 336 oﬀences in 2012 and 318 in 2011. (Source: OnIslam & News Agencies) More women, minorities in new Congress WASHINGTON (AP) — The 114th Congress that convenes today will count more minorities and women than ever, although lawmakers remain overwhelmingly white and male in the Republicancontrolled House and Senate. A record 104 women will serve in Congress, and for the first time, African-American members of both genders and representing both parties will be among the ranks on Capitol Hill. The number of female lawmakers is up slightly from 100 at the close of the last Congress, but represents about 20 percent of the total in Congress. It’s far less than the nearly 51 percent of the U.S. population. A total of 96 racial minorities will serve in Congress, about 18 percent. There are 100 senators and 435 seats in the House. The House will have 246 Republicans and 188 Democrats. One seat is vacant following the resignation on Monday of Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., who pleaded guilty to a felony tax evasion charge. The Senate will have 54 Republicans and 44 Democrats, plus two independents — Maine’s Angus King and Vermont’s Bernie Sanders. Both caucus with Democrats. A total of 84 women will serve in the House, compared with 80 in the last Congress. The new lawmakers include Elise Stefanik, a 30-year-old New York Republican who is the youngest woman ever elected to the House. Also making history is Mia Love, 38, whose election to a suburban Salt Lake City district made her the first black female Republican to win a seat in Congress. Forty-four African-Americans will serve in the House, including Love and another black Republican freshman, Will Hurd of Texas. Hurd made news last month as he was named chairman of an Information Technology subcommittee on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, an unusual distinction for a freshman. There are 34 Hispanic lawmakers, including 10 Republicans, as well as 10 Asian-Americans and two Native Americans, both Oklahoma Republicans. The number of women in the Senate remains at 20, following the election of Republicans Joni Ernst of Iowa and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, and the defeats of Democrats Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana. (Re-elected were Republican Susan Collins of Maine and Democrat Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire.) Two African-Americans serve as senators — Republican Tim Scott of South Carolina and Democrat Cory Booker of New Jersey. There are three Hispanic senators: Republicans Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas and Democrat Robert Menendez of New Jersey. Fifty-eight House freshmen will be sworn in on Tuesday — 43 Republicans and 15 Democrats. Three other members are new to Congress but are considered veterans of a few weeks. Reps. Dave Brat, R-Va., Donald Norcross, D-N.J., and Alma Adams, D-N.C., took the oath shortly after November’s elections to ﬁll the seats of lawmakers who had left Congress. The Senate will welcome 13 new members — 12 Republicans and one Democrat, Gary Peters of Michigan. Nepal announces women-only buses KATHMANDU (AFP) — Nepal’s capital has introduced women-only minibuses in a bid to protect female passengers from sexual assault, the transport operator organizing the service said on Monday. Four 17-seater minibuses were flagged off in Kathmandu with large “women-only” signs on Sunday and they will operate on key routes in Kathmandu during morning and evening rush hour. “Groping and sexual assault is a problem for women who use buses, especially during peak hours when buses are overcrowded,” said Bharat Nepal, president of the Bagmati Federation Transport Union, which introduced the service. “This is our small initiative to make com- muting safe and secure for female travelers.” Only one of the buses currently has a female conductor but he said that the goal was to eventually employ an all-women crew. In a 2013 World Bank survey, 26 percent of female respondents aged between 19 and 35 years said they had experienced some form of sexual assault on public transport in Nepal. In 2011, a 21-year old Buddhist nun was gang raped in a bus in eastern Nepal by five men, including the bus driver. Complaints about groping prompted authorities in neighboring India to introduce women-only carriages on the metro system in the capital New Delhi in 2010. (Source: dunyanews.tv) Four 17-seater minibuses were ﬂagged oﬀ in Kathmandu with large “women-only” signs. h t t p : / / w w w . t e h r a n t i m e s . c o m / i n t e r n a t i o n a l WORLD IN FOCUS JANUARY 6 , 2015 Graham Fuller’s five Middle East predictions for 2015 Contd. from P. 1 Despite all the hurdles, I feel optimistic about U.S. negotiations with Iran. Both parties desperately need success in this regard. Normalization is ludicrously long overdue and necessary to the regional order. Furthermore, Iran and Turkey are the only two “real” governments in the region today with genuine governance based on some kind of popular legitimacy—for all their faults. These two states espouse many of the aspirations of the people of the region in ways no Arab leader does. The Persian Gulf [Arab States] will be forced to accommodate itself to the reality of a normalized Iran; the two sides have never really been to war, despite all the occasional bellicose noises that have emerge from them periodically over the past century. Iran is post-revolutionary power with a vision of a truly sovereign Middle East free of western domination– none of the Arab states truly are. Iran’s inﬂuence in the region will also grow in supporting growing regional challenges to Israel’s eﬀorts to keep the Palestinians under JUMP permanent domination. 3- President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey will ﬁnd his inﬂuence beginning to crumble in 2015. After a brilliant prime-ministership for the first decade of AKP power, he has become mired in corruption charges and has lashed out in paranoid fashion against any and all who criticize or oppose his increasingly irrational, high-handed, and quixotic style of rule. He is in the process of damaging institutions and destroying his and his party’s legacy. I continue to have faith that Turkey’s broader institutions, however weakened by Erdogan, will nonetheless suffice to keep the country on a basically democratic and non-violent track until such time as Erdogan loses public confidence—which could be sooner rather than later. 4- Russia will play a major role in diplomatic arrangements in the Middle East, an overall positive factor. Russia’s ability to play a key diplomatic (and technical) role in resolving the nuclear issue in Iran, and its important voice and leverage in Syria Contd. from P. 1 represent signiﬁcant contributions to resolution of these two high-priority, high-risk conﬂicts that aﬀect the entire region. It is essential that Russia’s role be accepted and integrated rather than seen as a mere projection of some neo-Cold War global struggle—a confrontation in which the West bears at least as much responsibility as Moscow. The West has insisted on provoking counter-productive confrontation with Moscow in trying to shoehorn NATO into Ukraine. Can you imagine an American reaction to a security treaty between Mexico and China that included stationing of Chinese weapons and troops on Mexican soil? 5- The Taliban will make further advances towards gaining power within the Afghan government. After 13 years of war in Afghanistan the U.S. failed to bring stability to the country as a whole, or to elim- Contd. from P. 1 The top security oﬃcial also said Tehran is strongly determined to continue its support to Iraq to root out terrorism in the country. For his part, al-Hakim elaborated on the recent political, economic inate the Taliban as a major factor in the national power equation. The Taliban is much more than an Islamist movement; it has in many ways been a surrogate for nationalist Pashtun power within Afghanistan (although not accepted as such by all Pashtun). The Pashtun lost out big when the Taliban government was overthrown by the U.S. in 2001; inclusion of mainstream Taliban within the new government is essential to future Afghan stability. The Taliban will seek to strengthen their power on the ground this year in order to enhance their powers of political demand in any possible future negotiations over power sharing. They cannot be functionally excluded. Desperately needed stability in Pakistan also depends in part upon such a settlement. (Source: grahamefuller.com) and security developments in Iraq. Given the process of establishing security in various parts of Iraq, it is essential to boost Baghdad-Tehran cooperation to promote the welfare of the Iraqi people and reconstruct the country. Rafsanjani says support for ISIL shows lack of ‘foresightedness’ In a separate meeting with Hakim on Monday, Chairman of the Expediency Council Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said that some regional countries’ support for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is a sign of “imprudence” and “foresightedness”. He also highlighted the importance of solidarity and unity among the Muslims. 20 Turkish police charged in wiretapping probe Turkish authorities have arrested at least 20 police oﬃcers on suspicion of forging oﬃcial documents and illegally eavesdropping on top oﬃcials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. On Monday, police carried out raids in eight cities across Turkey and arrested the policemen. The arrests come as dozens of serving and former Turkish police oﬃcers have already been detained over the past few months as part of an investigation into wiretapping Erdogan and other key individuals, including businessmen, politicians and government oﬃcials. Many of the police oﬃcers arrested are involved in an anti-government corruption probe and have been removed from their posts. Turkey plunged into a political crisis after dozens of government oﬃcials and prominent businessmen close to then Prime Minister Erdogan were arrested for inquiry on graft charges on December 17, 2013. The scandal, which turned into a very serious challenge to Erdogan’s rule, led to a cabinet reshuffle. Erdogan denounced the corruption scandal as well as a string of damaging leaks in the media, saying they were engineered by supporters of his rival Fethullah Gulen to undermine his government. Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania since 1999, has repeatedly denied any involvement. Turkish security forces stormed the offices of Samanyolu TV network and Zaman daily newspaper in the metropolitan and port city of Istanbul on December 14, 2014. Both the television network and the newspaper are said to be close to Gulen. On December 19, an Istanbul court issued an arrest warrant for the self-exiled U.S.-based cleric. (Source: Press TV) Libyan warplane bombs Greek-operated oil tanker at port, two dead A Libyan warplane from forces loyal to the internationally recognized government bombed a Greek-operated oil tanker that had anchored oﬀshore, killing two crewmen in an escalation of a battle between the country’s rival factions. The air strike on Sunday damaged the Liberian-ﬂagged ARAEVO that was carrying 12,600 tons of crude oil when it was oﬀ the eastern port of Derna, the Greek coastguard and Libyan oﬃcials said. Military oﬃcials allied with Libya’s internationally recognized government said the vessel had been warned not to enter port and claimed it had been transporting militants to the city of Derna. Greece condemned what it called an “unprovoked and cowardly” attack and demanded an investigation and punishment for those responsible. PICTURE OF THE DAY 11 Bahrain extends opposition leader’s detention by 15 days Tehran lauds religious scholars’ wise role in Iraq In his meeting with al-Hakim on Monday, Zarif also praised the Iraqi politicians’ approach in campaign against terrorism and eﬀorts to boost national cohesion. Shamkhani called political and military unity among Shia and Sunni forces a “great achievement” in line with increasing Iraq’s national and regional power. Unity is the main the key for victory over the Takfiris and their allies who are making efforts to create division among Muslims, Shamkhani added. I N T E R NAT I O NALDAI LY Three years after the fall of Muammar Gaddaﬁ, Libya is mired in a power struggle between two rival factions of former rebels who have established competing governments, both claiming legitimacy and control of vast oil resources. Athens-based Aegean Shipping Enterprises Co, which operates the vessel, said no oil had spilled as a result of the air strike. The vessel, which it said had been chartered by By Mohammed Shurrab A married couple from Gaza standing in front of their “house” which got demolished by the Israeli airstrikes NOC, was loaded at Brega port for transport to Derna. Ahmed Bu Zayad Al-Mismari, a spokesman for the government’s General Chief of Staﬀ, conﬁrmed the vessel was attacked by one of it warplanes. “The ports of Derna and Benghazi were closed, and we have cautioned all oil tankers not to get close to these ports.” The Greek vessel had not let oﬃcials know its destination and did not seek Greece permission, he said. But an industry source condemned said it was delivering what it called an gasoil to power generators that supply “unprovoked the cities of Derna, and cowardly” Khoms, Benghazi and attack and Misrata. The company demanded an said two members investigation were killed and two and punishment wounded. The Greek foreign for those ministry said it had responsible. contacted the United Nations special envoy for Libya and the European Union. “The Greek government will take all the necessary actions towards Libyan authorities - despite the unrest - so that light is shed on the tragic incident, the attackers are identiﬁed and punished and the families of the victims are reimbursed,” it said. Sunday’s attack also illustrates the complex task facing U.N. and international mediators trying to a broker an end a conﬂict they fear may spillover its borders and facture Libya. (Source: Reuters) Bahrain has been witnessing almost daily protests against the House of Khalifa since early 2011, when an uprising began in the tiny Persian Gulf state. Since then, thousands of protesters have held numerous rallies in the streets of Bahrain, calling for the Al Khalifa royal family to relinquish power. (Source: Press TV) Why Brazil’s Rousseff is in tears Contd. from P. 6 Levy’s rise heralds a change from the dirigisme of the last four years, when bureaucrats tweaked the economy with fuel price caps, tax breaks and easy money for favored industries, such as carmakers and meatpackers. The dirigiste-in-chief was Guido Mantega, Rousseﬀ’s ﬁnance minister, whose “creative accounting” Levy has pledged to undo. “It’s important to understand that trying to avert the slowdown in job creation and GDP growth with more ﬁscal expansion, which has been the practice for some time, no longer has any real traction and would be dangerous,” he said Jan. 29, in an interview with Valor Economico. Levy, tellingly, was not Rousseﬀ’s ﬁrst choice but that of her political mentor, former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is credited with rescuing her re-election. Now, with an eye on his own political comeback in 2018, he is said to be nudging her to the right to salvage the tanking economy. “This is Lula’s pragmatism,” says Nobrega. “He’s interested in power, not ideology.” But creator and creature have not always agreed. While Lula took care to compensate his initial Scrooge-like economics with an activist foreign policy and aggressive social spending, Rousseﬀ has been less indulgent to the companheiros. In spite of preserving poverty-busting programs, she has frustrated militant civic groups and now risks alienating unions and public sector employees with cuts to the loss-making social security and pension system. Levy is not the only conservative in Rousseﬀ’s new kitchen. Katia Abreu, a big farm and rancher advocate, and the bane of Brazilian environmentalists, is in line for agriculture minister. Armando Monteiro, Rousseﬀ’s pick for the coveted Development Ministry, was head of the National Industry Confederation. Neither hails from the ruling Workers’ Party, which has seen its hold on cabinet real estate shrink by the day. To the uninitiated, this may seem as convoluted as a Brazilian baroque church. Brazil’s elections are won on the stump, but its governments are made on marble ﬂoors, which tend to expand. Rousseﬀ presides over 39 ministries, up from 34 in the 1990s, and 16 in the early 1980s. The Lula government kept the plum jobs for the Workers’ Party and bought congressional support with monthly payoﬀs to friends of convenience, inventing the mensalao payola scandal. And during Rousseﬀ’s administration, apparatchiks greased the wheels with campaign funds skimmed from supply contracts for the state oil company, giving way to the Petrolao, a far bigger scam. Staggered by corruption probes and a feeble economy, Rousseﬀ now faces a second term, having made aides of enemies and enemies of allies. It’s enough to bring a leader to tears. (Source: Bloomberg) Bangladesh opposition supporters shot dead Two activists from the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party have been shot dead in clashes with ruling party supporters after their leader called for protests on the ﬁrst anniversary of elections her party boycotted, police said. Monday’s clashes came as BNP’s leader Khaleda Zia remains confined to her office in capital, Dhaka in what is seen as attempts by the authorities to prevent her from staging protests. The two activists were killed in the northern town of Natore on Monday morning in what police said were clashes with Awami League supporters. The victims were identiﬁed as men in their 20s and shot by assailants on motorbikes. The attack happened as authorities stepped up their siege of Zia’s upmarket Gulshan oﬃce, parking trucks laden with sand and bricks to block the road leading to the oﬃce. Police said the oﬃce had been cordoned oﬀ “In an effort to step up her security”. Opposition threat Rawshan Ershad, the leader of parliamentary opposition, was threatening to withdraw her ministers from the cabinet. Ershad made the comments while addressing a news conference in Dhaka at the parliament building on Monday. It was not clear whether the threat was linked to restrictions placed on Zia. Local media reported clashes in various parts of the country that have left dozens injured by rubber bullets ﬁred by security forces. (Source: Al Jazeera) b Poem of the day I N T E R N AT I O N A L D A I L Y The waves run high, night is clouded with fears, And eddying whirlpools clash and roar; How shall my drowning voice strike their ears Whose light-freighted vessels have reached the shore? http://www.tehrantimes.com/culture SINCE 1979 Hafez No. 18, Bimeh Lane, Nejatollahi St., Tehran, Iran P.o. Box: 14155-4843 Zip Code: 1599814713 NEWS British-Iranian publisher to establish literary award TEHRAN — Candle & Fog, a Britishpublishing house that publishes translations of Persian works, plans to honor translators of Iranian works to other languages. The Candle & Fog World Literary Award will be launched next year, Candle & Fog director Afshin Shahnetabar told the Persian service of ISAN on Monday. A jury composed of five non-Iranian professors from the University of Sydney, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and the University of Rochester will judge the works, he added. By establishing the Candle & Fog director Afshin award, Candle & Fog aims Shahnetabar to find professional translators for rendering Persian books into other languages, Shahnetabar said. Candle & Fog has published foreign translations of many Persian books over the past decade. The English versions of “Democracy or DemoCrazy” by Mehdi Shojaei, “The Water Urn” by Hushang Moradi Kermani and “Redfish” by Katayun Riahi were among the offerings of the company in 2014. All the books were translated into English by U.S. translator Caroline Croskery. The books were put on display at the Frankfurt Book Fair during October. Culture D e s k Iranian NEWS IN BRIEF Iranian films to compete in Indian festival Iran, Afghanistan to boost media cooperation Several Iranian ﬁlms will be competing in the 6th Jaipur International Film Festival, which will take place in the northwestern Indian city from February 1 to 5. “We Have a Guest” directed by Mohammad-Mehdi Asgarpur, “Today” by Reza Mirkarimi and “Bending Rules” by Behnam Behzadi will be screened in the main section of the festival. “Unclean”, a short ﬁlm by Bahman and Bahram Ark, and “Iranian Ninja”, a documentary ﬁlm by Marjan Riahi, will also go on screen at the event. Managing Director: Ali Asgari Chief Editor and Deputy Managing Director: Morad Enadi Editorial Dept.: Tel: (+98 21) 88895450 Fax: (+98(21) 88808214 [email protected] Switchboard Operator: Tel: (+98 21) 88800293-5 Advertisements Dept.: Telefax: (+98 21) 88896970-71 [email protected] Public Relations Oﬃce: Tel: (+98 21) 88805807 Subscription & Distribution Dept.: Tel: (+98 21) 88808895 Webmaster: [email protected] Prayer Times Noon:12:10 Printed at: Kayhan - ISSN: 1017-94 Evening: 17:26 Dawn: 5:45 (tomorrow) Sunrise: 7:15 (tomorrow) Alim Qasimov says his concerts promote peace The renowned vocalist, Alim Qasimov, said he performs concerts to bring people together to promote friendship and peace. Qasimov made the remarks during a press conference that he held at Tehran’s Vahdat Hall on Monday to brief the media about his concerts with the Tehran Wind Orchestra at the hall on January 11 and 12. “Any musician across the world, whether I know him or not, is my friend, because I believe musicians transfer their thoughts to other people through the language of art,” he said. Referring to the Tehran Wind Orchestra, he continued that the young musicians of the orchestra and its director Sina Zokaii have encouraged him for the concert. He said that the music of his country is very similar to the music of Iran and the only diﬀerence might be the language, however, the music of the two countries is so close that more collaboration can be made. He added that his daughter Fargana Qasimova will be beside him in the concert and will accompany him and share in his works. Art TEHRAN — D e s k Azerbaijani Azerbaijani musician Alim Qasimov poses at Vahdat Hall on January 5, 2015 after holding a press conference to brief the media about his concerts, which will be held in Tehran on January 11 and 12. (ISAN/ Ruhollah Vahdati) Iranian scholars invited to seminar on cultural exchange in New Delhi Art TEHRAN — Iranian D e s k scholars have been invited to an international seminar on cultural exchange on antiquity, to be held in the Indian capital of New Delhi from January 7 to 9. Scholars Dariush Akbarzadeh, Fariba Sharifian, Katayun Fekripur and Azadeh Heidarpur are scheduled to attend the three-day seminar, which has been organized by the Center for Community Knowledge and the Ambedkar University Delhi. An international group of archaeologists, historians, linguists, epigraphers, art historians and PICTURE OF THE DAY historians of science and technology are expected to attend the seminar entitled “Cross Cultural Knowledge Exchange in Antiquity: Interactions between Greece, Iran, India and China”. The seminar seeks to offer a unified perspective on the mutual By Abuzar Ahmadizadeh/ IRNA interaction of Greek, Indian, Iranian and Chinese cultures in the wider Indian domain in the period of antiquity, the university has announced on its website. It also hopes to achieve further collaboration among ancient Indian, Iranian, Chinese and Greek studies. Early films of Bahram Beizaii, Shapur Gharib screened at IAF Art Iran’s Deputy Culture Minister for Press Aﬀairs Hossein Entezami and Afghanistan’s Deputy Minister of Information and Culture Simin Hassanzada have discussed ways to expand bilateral media cooperation. The two met on Sunday and held talks on reinforcing cultural and media ties, and proposed the establishment of a union for Persian-speaking agencies in the future. A worker prepares a mixture of clay and straw for the restoration of the Beiglarbeigi House, a 19-century structure located near the southern Iranian city of Kerman, on January 4, 2015. Traditionally, Iranians used a mixture of clay and straw to cover the roofs and parts of the façade of their buildings. Islamic Libraries in other countries distribute Razavi culture Italian singer-songwriter Pino Daniele dies of heart attack at 59 TEHRAN — The top writer in the seventh festival of Razavi book of the year Dr. Morteza Enferadi stated we should establish Imam Reza Libraries in other countries of the world to distribute Razavi culture. Stressing the need for communication with other libraries around the world he said we should invite foreign scholars to attend the related festival and ease the international students traveling to Iran and vice versa. He stated library of Astan Quds Razavi is one of the best libraries in the world. “The seventh festival of Razavi book of the year was a positive step in the publication Education Department and the assessment to hold it by the Central Library of Astan Quds Razavi confirmed as one of the world’s top libraries,” he added. He said the importance of introducing the character and teachings of Imam Reza and related effects is considered to be essential in this festival. Mentioning his top work in this festival he explained this book has two parts, the first section titled as “the Season of Prayer” to express the importance of prayer in Islam and in the second part the types of prayers of Imam Reza is discussed. ROME (Reuters) — Pino Daniele, one of Italy’s most popular singersongwriters, who fused the musical traditions of his native Naples with jazz and blues, has died of a heart attack at age 59, his agent said on Monday. Daniele was born and raised in the tough, crime-infested Sanita neighborhood of Naples and drew on that experience to tinge his love songs with themes of poverty and injustice. From humble beginnings, the selftaught guitarist went on to play with greats such as Eric Clapton, Richie Havens, Pat Metheny and Chick Corea. His band was once the opening act for a historic concert in Milan by Bob Marley. Naples Mayor Luigi de Magistris ordered ﬂags on city buildings to be ﬂown at half-mast and declared a day of mourning for the man whose melancholic, nasal voice made him in- stantly recognizable to millions. “I still have his music in my ears,” Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said. “He had an incredible voice ... his guitar playing was precious and he had a rare sensitivity that was tinged with passion and melancholy that will continue to tell the story of our country to the whole world.” Daniele, who often sang in a mix of Italian, Neapolitan dialect and English, studied accounting in high school but decided early on he wanted to be a musician. He made his debut album “Terra Mia” (My Land) in 1977. In it, he spoke of the hope and despair of his city, home to the Camorra organized crime group. Just four years later, his success was crowned when he drew some 200,000 fans to an outdoor concert in one of the southern city’s biggest squares. TEHRAN — Three D e s k ﬁlms from the early works of the Iranian directors Bahram Beizaii and Shapur Qarib were screened during a program at the cinematheque of the Iranian Artists Forum (IAF) Monday. “The Journey” (1969) and “Uncle Mustache” (1970) by Beizaii, and “Wooden Guns” (1975) by Shapur were selected to be screened during the program. “The Journey” tells the story of two poor boys who search for their father by a journey from downtown to uptown. The two hungry boys are forced to move through the events, people and unrealistic and risky places in a nightmarish way. “Uncle Moustache” is about an emotional relationship developed between an old man who has rested heartsick in his solitude for years, and the children who are joyous by nature. “Wooden Guns” revolves around the simple life of children who live in a train station, until the family buys a TV set, which leads to several problems. “Hobbit” takes third straight win at U.S., Canada box office NEW YORK (Reuters) — The last of Peter Jackson’s three “Hobbit” ﬁlms rode to a third straight weekend atop box oﬃce charts, selling an estimated $21.9 million in tickets at U.S. and Canadian theaters. Disney’s ﬁlm version of the dark Broadway musical “Into the Woods” claimed the No. 2 spot with $19.1 million, while the World War Two drama “Unbroken”, directed by Angelina Jolie, ﬁnished third with $18.4 million for the Friday through Sunday period. “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” grabbed another $9.3 million from New Year’s Day screenings for a four-day take through Sunday of $31.2 million, and has a domestic total of $220.8 million since its Dec. 17 release, according to estimates from tracking ﬁrm Rentrak. The new year’s ﬁrst weekend numbers spelled some welcome news for ﬁlm studios, with total ticket sales up 8.4 percent from 2014’s initial weekend. The weekend’s sole new release, horror ﬁlm “The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death”, opened in fourth place with $15.1 million, while another sequel, “Night At The Museum: Secret of the Tomb” rounded out the top ﬁve with $14.5 million in ticket sales. “Unbroken”, Jolie’s second directorial eﬀort, tells the reallife story of Olympic runner Louis Zamperini’s two years as a prisoner of war in Japan. “Into The Woods”, an adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s Broadway musical that puts a spin on children’s fairy tales, stars Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt and Johnny Depp and has grossed $91.2 million since opening on Christmas Day.
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