BUSINESS | Page 1
Banking, realty lead
QSE-listed firms’ profit
SPORT | Page 1
Doha has edge
in race to
Hagel: US raids on IS
group may help Assad
Burkina army seizes
power after uprising
Burkina Faso’s President Blaise
Compaore was toppled yesterday as
the army took power after protesters
set parliament ablaze in a popular
uprising against the veteran leader’s
27-year-rule. The demonstrators
earlier forced the government to
scrap a vote on controversial plans
to allow Compaore to extend his
reign, with tens of thousands of
people joining a mass rally in the
capital Ouagadougou calling for the
strongman to go. Page 5
EUROPE | Crisis
gas supply deal likely
Russia, Ukraine and the European
Union were likely to conclude an
accord yesterday that would see
Moscow resume gas supplies to
its ex-Soviet neighbour over the
winter, EU and Ukrainian officials
said. Nothing is certain after
months of hard bargaining. But
Russian negotiators, who broke off
three-way talks overnight saying
a deal depended on firmer EU
commitments to Kiev to help it
pay, returned to Brussels to renew
BUSINESS | Energy
Total’s new boss
French energy major Total’s new
chief executive promised continuity
at his first public appearance
yesterday as Russia charged a
second person over the plane
crash that killed his predecessor.
“My objective is mainly continuity
and stability,” Patrick Pouyanne
said in London. The 51-year-old’s
predecessor, Christophe de
Margerie, was killed on October 20.
ARAB WORLD | Conflict
AFRICA | Politics
Vol. XXXV No. 9527
October 31, 2014
Moharram 7, 1436 AH
www. gulf-times.com 2 Riyals
Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel
acknowledged Thursday that USled air strikes against the Islamic
State group, one of the Syrian
regime’s main adversaries, could
help President Bashar al-Assad. “As
we and the coalition go after ISIL
(IS) to help the Iraqis secure their
government, but also the Middle
East, yes, Assad derives some
benefit of that, of course,” Hagel
said. But he noted that Washington
was pursuing a long-term strategy
that opposes any role for Assad.
Emir in London meeting
bl TA 978
HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani met yesterday with Lord Mayor of London Fiona Woolf and Alan Yarrow at the Mansion House. They discussed bilateral
relations and the means to enhance them, particularly in terms of economic partnership. A number of members of the City of London Corporation attended the meeting.
Their excellencies members of the official delegation accompanying the Emir also attended the meeting. HH the Emir left London later ending his official visit to the United
Kingdom. Page 2
Abbas slams closure
of Aqsa compound
Clashes erupt as Israeli police kill
Palestinian suspected of shooting
sraeli police yesterday shot dead a
32-year-old Palestinian man suspected of having tried hours earlier
to kill a far-right Jewish activist, leading to ﬁerce clashes in East Jerusalem
and fears of a new Palestinian uprising.
The Al Aqsa compound was shut
down for almost an entire day to all
visitors as a security precaution. It
was the ﬁrst full closure of the site in
14 years. Late yesterday Israeli police
reopened the complex.
Palestinian President Mahmoud
Abbas denounced Israel’s actions as
“tantamount to a declaration of war”
and his Fatah party called for a “day of
rage” today. It was not clear if Al Aqsa
would be opened to Muslims today.
Moataz Hejazi’s body lay in blood
among satellite dishes and a solar panel
on the rooftop of a three-storey house
in Abu Tor, a district of Arab East Jerusalem, as Israeli forces sealed off the
area and repelled stone-throwing Palestinian protesters.
Hejazi was suspected of shooting
and wounding Yehuda Glick, a farright religious activist who has led a
campaign for Jews to be allowed to pray
at the Al Aqsa compound.
Glick, a US-born settler, was shot as
he left a conference at the Menachem
Begin Heritage Centre in Jerusalem
late on Wednesday. His assailant escaped on the back of a motorcycle.
A spokesman for the centre said Hejazi had worked at a restaurant there.
Glick, 48, remains in serious but stable
condition with four gunshot wounds,
Residents said hundreds of Israeli
police were involved in the pre-dawn
search for Hejazi. He was tracked
down to his family home in the hilly
backstreets of Abu Tor and eventually
cornered on the terrace of an adjacent
“Anti-terrorist police units surrounded a house in the Abu Tor neighbourhood to arrest a suspect in the
attempted assassination of Yehuda
Glick,” Israeli police spokesman Micky
Rosenfeld said. “Immediately upon arrival they were shot at. They returned
ﬁre and shot and killed the suspect.”
Locals identiﬁed the man as Hejazi,
who was released from an Israeli prison in 2012 after serving 11 years. Israeli
police ﬁred stun grenades to keep back
groups of angry residents, who shouted abuse as they watched from surrounding balconies.
East Jerusalem, which Israel captured and occupied in the 1967 Middle
East war, has been a source of intense
friction in recent months, especially
around Silwan, which sits in the shad-
ow of the Old City and Al Aqsa.
Jewish settler organisations have acquired more than two dozen buildings
in Silwan over the years, including nine
in the past three months, and moved
settler families into them, an effort to
make the district more Jewish. Around
500 settlers now live among approximately 40,000 Palestinians residents.
The inﬂux of settlers combined with
tension over the site, Islam’s thirdholiest shrine and the holiest place in
Judaism, have contributed to the most
fractious atmosphere in East Jerusalem since the second Intifada or uprising began in 2000.
Yesterday, crowds of young Palestinian men and boys blocked off streets
near where Hejazi was killed with rubbish skips and lit ﬁres. They smashed
tiles and bricks and used the pieces to
throw at Israeli police.
Police responded with teargas, scattering the crowd. Clashes continued
for hours after Hejazi was killed.
Sweden recognises Palestinian state
he Swedish government officially
recognised the state of Palestine
yesterday and said there were
signs other European Union states
would follow its lead.
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot
Wallstrom told reporters her government hoped it would bring a new dynamic to efforts to end decades of Israeli-Palestinian conﬂict.
“Our decision comes at a critical
time because over the last year we have
seen how the peace talks have stalled,
how decisions over new settlements
on occupied Palestinian land have
complicated a two-state solution and
how violence has returned to Gaza,”
Sweden’s decision drew praise from
Palestinians who called on other countries to match it - a hope which Wallstrom said was likely to be fulﬁlled in
“There is an ongoing debate in many
other EU member states and hopefully
also a move in this direction,” she said.
“There are clearly signs that this might
happen in other member states as well”.
Palestinians seek statehood in the
Israeli-occupied West Bank and the
blockaded Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as their capital.
A total of 135 countries already recognise Palestine, including several east
European countries that did so before
they joined the EU.
laying the 2022 World Cup in
April and May would be the
“best solution” for the tournament and would have the least impact
on the football calendar, according to
the association representing European
ECA said that, provided matches
kick off in the evening, the heat in Qatar would be “less extreme than the
temperature experienced in some previous World Cups (i.e. Mexico 1986,
USA 1994, Brazil 2014)”.
It also suggested that domestic cup
competitions could be played after the
World Cup in a “cup-only” period in
countries with heavy domestic schedules, and that the international friendly date in March be scrapped.
The April/May proposal will be put
forward on Monday to the FIFA task
force which has been set up to decide when the tournament should be
The task force begun discussions in
September when the January/February and November/December periods
were put forward in addition to the
traditional June/July slot, which is also
June/July is considered an outsider
because of the extreme heat in Qatar
at that time. FIFA president Sepp Blatter has said the tournament cannot be
“In our opinion, this proposal is the
best option. It takes into account the
climate issue while preserving the traditional running of a club football season,” said ECA president Karl-Heinz
Rummenigge in a statement.
“The impact on national team ﬁxtures and UEFA Club Competitions remains limited and the proposal has no
impact at all on the Winter Olympics
or the confederations’ tournaments in
2023. This proposal needs to be seriously considered by all stakeholders: it
is an achievable solution.”
ECA’s proposal envisages that the
European club season will end in midApril when the Champions League
ﬁnal would be played, rather than
late May, and that players would be
released to train with their national
teams on April 18.
The World Cup would start on April
28 and end on May 29.
To allow for the April ﬁnish, ECA
said that European leagues would have
to start two weeks earlier than usual.
World Cup organisers have promised
that stadiums will be cooled to lower
temperatures using new technology.
Schoolchildren take part in World Walking Day
By Joseph Varghese
undreds of schoolchildren
from many Independent
Schools took part in a walkathon at the Aspire Zone yesterday
morning, in celebration of the World
Many of them held placards and
banners highlighting the importance of
physical activity for a healthy life. The
children went around the Aspire Park
in a slow pace and were joined by many
grown-ups too. The event that started
around 9am came to a close by 10am.
Khaleel al- Jabir, sports director,
Qatar Olympic Committee, led the
whole group. He was joined by many
Qataris including noted singer Ali Abdul Sattar.
Speaking to Gulf Times, al-Jabir
said that it was a great initiative and
set an example for everyone to follow
a healthy lifestyle. “The World Walking Day is an occasion for everyone to
think of following healthy practices
in day-to-day life. Today, about 500
students from a number of schools
in Qatar are taking part in the walkathon. Though symbolic in nature, we
are sending out a strong message to
the community that physical activities are very important for a healthy
He said that many such activities
had been arranged in the past to promote physical activities in daily life.
“We will continue organising such
events so that the young generation will be beneﬁted in a big way. It
will also help us in the realisation of
healthy human capital which is one of
the major goals of Qatar National Vision 2030,” he added.
Singer Sattar said that such events
are a way to promote a healthy living.
“It promotes healthy living through
physical activities. We all have the
opportunity to practise healthy living through different activities. So we
all must make use of them to maintain good health. We must continue
practising and learning more and see
why an active lifestyle is helping the
One of the teachers from an Independent School said that it was an interesting activity though the weather
was pretty hot. “I hope that my students will beneﬁt from this practice
immensely and will follow it in their
daily lives. Physical activities can
give them a good physique and better
Students taking part in the walkathon through the Aspire Park yesterday. PICTURE: Shemeer Rasheed
Friday, October 31, 2014
Emir meets senior British officials
H the Emir Sheikh
Tamim bin Hamad alThani held talks with
senior British officials yesterday.
He met Lord Mayor of London
Fiona Woolf and Alan Yarrow at
the Mansion House.
They discussed bilateral relations and the means to enhance
them, particularly in terms of
A number of members of the
City of London Corporation attended the meeting. The members of the official delegation
accompanying the Emir also attended the meeting.
On Wednesday the Emir paid
a visit to the headquarters of the
British Parliament at the Palace
He met Baroness Frances
D’Souza, the Lord Speaker of
the House of Lords chamber and
several member of the House of
The Emir also met Baroness
Morris and a number of parliamentarians and Lords, including
the Group of Friends of the State
of Qatar in the British Parliament.
During the two meetings, the
Emir exchanged views on current regional and international
issues and discussed issues of
The Emir was accompanied by
the members of the official delegation accompanying him.
Later yesterday the Emir left
London concluding his official
visit to the United Kingdom.
The Emir sent two cables of
thanks to Queen Elizabeth of
the United Kingdom and British
Prime Minister David Cameron
in which he expressed his gratitude for the warm reception and
hospitality accorded to him and
his accompanying delegation
during the visit.
HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani meeting Baroness Morris and Lords in the British parliament yesterday.
HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani holding talks with Baroness Frances D’Souza, the Lord
Speaker of the House of Lords chamber.
HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani meeting British parliamentarians.
Traffic jams, parking woes
hit sales personnel hard
By Ramesh Mathew
he Indian embassy has
registered deaths of 20 of
its community members
so far this month, the monthly
community house was informed yesterday.
This year until yesterday,
227 Indian nationals died in
Qatar. While a total of 237
community members died in
2012, last year saw the deaths
of 241 Indian expatriates in the
he continuing traffic woes
in Doha are apparently
forcing sales personnel to
quit their jobs and look for work
that does not involve extensive
travel within the city, it is learnt.
While traffic congestion increases their travel time, ﬁnding
suitable parking space is another
major worry for these workers often described as salesmen-cumdrivers. As a result, they either
miss appointments or fail to meet
business deadlines, they point out.
Gulf Times has learnt from
people engaged in sales jobs
that some companies, especially
those in the retail sector, are reportedly losing employees who
are quitting - mostly out of frustration over reaching targets.
“The situation that we have
been facing for more than two
years now is mostly arising out
of perennial traffic congestion on
the city’s roads. Along with this,
the problem of parking is also
worsening here with each passing
day,” said a sales supervisor of a
company supplying diaries, gifts,
office stationery and other goods.
He said owing to traffic jams
in the city, starting from early in
the morning, people like him are
sometimes unable to meet deadlines and even miss meetings
with regular customers.
The situation has worsened,
Rush hour traffic at Gharrafa intersection. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam
say sources in the retail industry. A supplier of car accessories
said their company has lost some
key personnel in recent months
and each of them has complained
about traffic- and parking-related
issues while quitting. Keen to
avoid sales work that involves a lot
of travel, some of them are said to
be looking for other kinds of jobs.
A senior sales employee of
a company that supplies construction materials to contracting ﬁrms said he is sometimes
forced to return to his office
without meeting customers after failing to ﬁnd parking space
in different city areas.
The employee said he leaves
home at least two hours before
schedule most of the days due to
the possibility of getting caught in
traffic jams at different locations.
He recalled that it took him
more than 45 minutes to go from
the Al Andalus signal to Al Sadd
recently, a distance that he used
to cover in less than 10 minutes
not so long ago.
“If one is unable to attend
our scheduled business meetings and meet deadlines, there
is every possibility of losing customers in this highly competitive market,” said a person who
had once served as a salesman of
a German shoe manufacturer.
There has been a drastic rise in
the number of vehicles in Doha
over the last few years and sales
personnel often ﬁnd it difficult
to perform their jobs under the
present circumstances, the longtime resident said. “Everywhere,
there are long traffic queues and
one also faces a lot of difficulty in
getting parking space,” he added.
The search for parking space in
key localities can take very long,
it is understood.
Another cause for concern is
that salesmen often have to park
their vehicles far from their destination and are forced to walk
under the burning sun, according to sources.
Some companies this newspaper contacted said they were
at times forced to deploy two
salesmen-cum-drivers for a
particular job due to severe parking problems in some city areas.
“While one salesman deals with
customers outside, the other can
remain in the driver’s seat,” said
a supplier of foodstuff.
QU road crash sparks social media debate
he Qatari man killed in
a road traffic accident in
Doha’s West Bay area on
Wednesday has been identiﬁed
as the father of a Qatar University (QU) student.
The man, in his early 70s, was
hit on the QU campus by a car
driven by a female faculty member.
records 20 expat
deaths this month
In a statement sent to QU
community and posted on Twitter university president Professor Sheikha Abdulla al-Misnad,
said: “I have long dreaded that
the day would come when I
would have to write this e-mail.”
There are conﬂicting versions as to where the accident
happened within the campus.
Some said it was in a parking lot
while others maintained the man
was trying to cross an internal
road. Most of the roads on the
QU campus have a speed limit
of 40km and some close to the
The tragedy has spurred a de-
bate on social media about the
need to ensure safe driving as
well as walking habits within QU
“Some people drive irresponsibly inside the campus, while
many of those who walk, do not
seek the safety of pavements,” a
The Labour and
Section of the embassy
has received a total of
3,256 complaints between
January and October this
The house was informed that
79 Indian nationals are currently serving sentence for different offences, and 133 awaiting deportation are housed at
the Criminal Evidence and Investigation Department’s Deportation Centre.
The Labour and Community
Welfare Section of the embassy
has received a total of 3,256
complaints between January
and October this year. In the
last two years, the number of
complaints received were 3,385
(2012) and 3,558 (2013).
On being requested by the local authorities, emergency certificates were issued this month for
11 people housed at the Deportation Centre, it was informed.
The embassy’s follow-up facilitated the return of 61 Indian
nationals from the Deportation
Centre this month, it was disclosed.
The mission also issued
six air tickets to six persons
in distress and borne the expenses for the transportation
of the mortal remains of an
Indian ﬁsherman who died in
a boat collision off the Qatari
The house was held to address urgent consular and
labour issues/cases of the
country’s Indian expatriates.
Ambassador Sanjiv Arora and
other senior officials met the
complainants, discussed their
problems and assured them
of the mission’s support in
bringing their issues to the
attention of the local authorities.
Newly elected president of
the Indian Community Benevolent Fund Arvind Patil and
former chief Kareem Abdulla
were also present besides the
Mesaimeer health clinic
patients to be redirected
tarting today, the Omer
Ibn Khattab Health
Centre will not receive
Mesaimeer Health Centre
patients on Fridays and Saturdays as usual, the Primary
Health Care Corporation has
This temporary measure will
be in place until Mesaimeer
Health Centre adopts the electronic ﬁling system.
Patients are to be redirected
from Mesaimeer to Abu Baker
and Al Rayyan health centres
on Fridays and Saturdays.
HE the Deputy Speaker of the
Advisory Council Issa bin Rabia
al-Kuwari met the ambassador of
Bangladesh to the State of Qatar
Sayyed Massoud Mahmoud
During the meeting they
discussed parliamentary relations
between the two countries and
ways to develop them.
The meeting was attended by
HE the Secretary-General of the
Council Fahd bin Mubarak alKhayareen.
HE the Assistant Minister for
Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin
Abdulrahman bin Jassim
al-Thani met Poland’s
ambassador to Qatar Krzysztof
Suprowicz and Belgium’s
ambassador to Qatar
The meetings dealt with bilateral
relations and means to bolster
co-operation. They also discussed
issues of joint interest.
President of Somalia Hassan
Sheikh Mahmoud met the Charge
d’affaires of Qatar’s embassy in
Mogadishu Hassan bin Hamza
They discussed bilateral relations
and ways of enhancing them in
addition to matters of common
Somalia’s Prime Minister
Abdiwali Sheikh Ahmed
Mohamed also met the Charge
d’affaires of Qatar’s embassy in
During the meeting, they
discussed bilateral relations
between Qatar and Somalia and
ways of enhancing them.
Friday, October 31, 2014
ON THE CATWALK!
A model presents a creation by Palestinian
designer Khlood al-Khori at the Museum of
Modern Art in Kuwait as part of the Palestinian
cultural days in Kuwait.
Lebanese army arrests 50
after weekend clashes
Iran foils bid to sabotage
Amnesty accuses Libya
factions of war crimes
Kuwait jails Tweeter for
Lebanese troops detained 50 people in raids on
towns and Syrian refugee camps in the north of the
country, the army said yesterday, part of a security
crackdown after battles with Islamist gunmen
over the weekend. Soldiers moved on the towns
of al-Minya, Mashta Hassan, Mashta Hammoud
and refugee camps in the town of Behneen on
Wednesday. In one of the raids, soldiers seized a
number of weapons including rocket-propelled
grenade launchers as well as communications
equipment, the statement said. Yesterday, a military
court charged a man it said was an important
member of Islamic State, a judicial source said,
adding that 17 others were also charged in absentia.
Iran has foiled an attempt to sabotage tanks
used for transporting heavy water, which is
needed to run some nuclear reactors, and
blames a “foreign country” for the incident, a
senior official was quoted by local media as
saying. Asghar Zarean, deputy chief in charge of
nuclear protection and security at Iran’s Atomic
Energy Organisation, was quoted by the Tehran
newspaper Arman as saying the bid to damage
tanks at the Arak heavy-water production plant
occurred two weeks ago. “There were attempts
to cause disruption. these attempts foiled before
the tanks were filled with heavy water,” Zarean
was quoted as saying.
Human rights group Amnesty International said
yesterday it had satellite pictures indicating that
rival factions in Libya had committed war crimes
by shelling densely populated residential areas.
Libya plunged into anarchy when an armed faction
from Misrata seized Tripoli in August after fighting
with militiamen from Zintan. Amnesty said that
fighters from both sides had indiscriminately
fired rockets and artillery shells into hospitals
and residential districts in parts of Tripoli and the
western Warshafena region. “Lawless militias and
armed groups on all sides of the conflict are carrying
out rampant human rights abuses, including war
crimes,” Amnesty said in a statement.
Kuwait’s lower court yesterday sentenced an
online activist to four years in prison for insulting
judges on Twitter, according to the court ruling
and activists. Ahmad Fadhel was charged with
writing comments on Twitter deemed offensive
to a number of judges, who then sued him. The
verdict is not final as it can still be challenged
in the court of appeals and supreme court. The
Gulf state has sentenced dozens of tweeters
to jail terms, mainly for insulting the country’s
ruler. In September, a court sentenced a Sunni
Islamist activist to three years in jail for posting
remarks deemed derogatory to the country’s
Shia minority on his Twitter account.
Former general jailed over false
intelligence fed to ‘traitor’ Musri
gypt yesterday banned a pressure group
that has pushed for the reinstatement of
president Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim
Brotherhood, who was overthrown by the army
last year, dealing a new blow to the country’s
oldest Islamist movement.
Egypt banned the Muslim Brotherhood itself
last year and dissolved its political wing, the
Freedom and Justice Party, in August precluding it from running in parliamentary elections
expected to take place in the next few months.
Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb issued a decree yesterday dissolving the National Coalition
to Support Legitimacy and Reject the Coup as
well as its political arm, the Independence Party, in line with an earlier court ruling.
There was no immediate comment from the
The Coalition, which included Brotherhood
supporters and other Islamist groups, was set
up after then-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
overthrew Mursi in July 2013 following mass
protests against his rule.
Egyptian authorities have since cracked down
on the Brotherhood, declaring it a terrorist
group, throwing thousands of its members in jail
and killing hundreds on a single day in one of the
bloodiest episodes in Egypt’s modern history.
The pro-Mursi Coalition called for mass protests in the aftermath of that deadly crackdown
in August last year, but was able to muster little support in the streets. Demonstrations have
dwindled as the authorities have pursued their
campaign against it.
The Coalition was conceived as a vehicle to
bring together Egyptians from across the political spectrum who were opposed to the overthrow of a democratically president. In reality,
it attracted individuals and groups sympathetic
to the Brotherhood’s brand of political Islam.
Two of the main Islamist parties that initially
supported the Coalition have distanced themselves in recent months and its public statements have largely dried up.
Once among Egypt’s best-organised and
most successful political movements, the
Brotherhood won Egypt’s ﬁrst parliamentary
and presidential elections after the 2011 Tahrir
Square revolt that toppled veteran autocrat
An Egyptian court has jailed a retired general
for claiming the nation’s spies deliberately fed
now-deposed Islamist president Mohamed Musri
false intelligence because he was a “traitor,”
state media reported yesterday.
Tharwat Guda, a former officer in general
intelligence, was jailed on Wednesday for a year
in a military trial sparked by a complaint from his
former institution that he had disclosed information “damaging to national security.”
Unclear is how he could know anything about
the matter, as he retired in 2010, the year before
long-time president Hosni Mubarak was driven
from power and Musri elected to replace him.
At issue was an interview he gave to private
newspaper Al Watan in September, state news
agency Mena reported.
When asked whether the intelligence services
had “conspired” against Musri by feeding him
false information, he said: “No. The intelligence
services did not conspire against Musri, it was he
who conspired against Egypt.
“We knew he was a traitor even before he became president, so why give him information?”
Musri’s Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters have claimed that state institutions
and services worked in a way to ensure that his
presidency was a failure.
Guda claims Al Watan misquoted him, but the
daily says it is ready to release the audio recording of his interview.
Mursi ruled for a year, but angered many
Egyptians by giving himself sweeping powers
and mismanaging the economy.
In the wake of his overthrow, Mursi and
other Brotherhood leaders were rounded up
and hundreds have since been sentenced to
death in mass trials that have drawn criticism
from Western governments and human rights
Sisi, who went on to win a presidential election in May, has vowed that the Brotherhood
would cease to exist under his rule.
But many of the leading secular activists behind the 2011 uprising have also found themselves on the wrong side of the new political
leadership, facing charges for taking part in
peaceful demonstrations after Sisi banned unlicensed protests.
Employees and management members of hotels near Dead Sea form a floating image at the Dead Sea beach. A group of 261 hotel staff broke
the Guinness World record for creating the largest floating image on the Dead Sea in an effort to boost Jordan’s flagging tourism industry
that is feeling the effects of the wars raging in neighbouring Iraq and Syria. Organised by Monaco Business Development, the participants
were recruited from the Dead Sea’s eight hotels to create the image of a peace sign.
6 new Mers cases in Saudi
audi Arabia has detected
six new cases of the deadly
Middle East Respiratory
Syndrome (Mers) in 24 hours, the
biggest daily jump for months
with officials blaming lax hospital
The recent surge in cases, now
numbering 32 since the start of
October, has been focused in Riyadh and the western city of Taif,
but it remains far less extensive
than an outbreak in April and May
that infected hundreds.
Mers causes coughing, fever
and sometimes pneumonia, killing
around 40% of its victims. The vast
majority of conﬁrmed cases worldwide have been found in Saudi Arabia, where 786 people have been infected, of whom 334 have died.
Two of the new cases announced by the health ministry
were in medical personnel, adding
to concerns about the standard of
infection control procedures in
medical facilities. Three different
Taif hospitals have been affected.
Some of the people infected
with Mers in Taif this month were
being treated in one renal clinic in
a hospital in the city, which authorities regard as being responsible for some of the transmissions,
a senior Health Ministry official
“The secret here of success is
not to prevent the cases to be in-
troduced to the community... the
success is to control the transmission within health facilities,” Abdulaziz bin Saeed, undersecretary
for public health told Reuters.
He added that medical personnel may have relaxed their infection control standards after the
kingdom’s last outbreak before
the summer ebbed, but that the
ministry had intervened to improve procedures in Taif hospitals.
The six new cases conﬁrmed
late on Wednesday included three
in Taif, where ﬁve others have fallen ill this month, two in Riyadh,
where six others have been diagnosed with Mers since the start of
October, and one in Hafr al-Batin,
Cases of Mers have been found
in other countries since the virus
was identiﬁed in 2012, including
in the US, Europe, the Middle East
and Asia, but most of them were in
people who had recently travelled
to Saudi Arabia.
Scientists are not sure of the
origin of the virus, but several
studies have linked it to camels
and some experts think it is being
passed to humans through close
physical contact or through the
consumption of camel meat or
The disease can then spread between people, and the largest previous outbreaks, including one in
Jeddah in April and May that infected hundreds, have been linked
to poor infection control procedures in hospitals.
Egypt targets universities as last haven for political expression
By Mahmoud Mourad, Reuters
undreds of police surround its walls, patrolling in armoured vehicles with sirens blaring, while
muscle-bound security guards
man metal detectors, searching
all who enter.
But this is not a military barracks or police station, it is Cairo
University, where the government has tightened security as
it seeks to avert another year of
unrest on university campuses,
among the last bastions of protest and dissent in Egypt.
The government has cracked
down on critics since July 2013,
when then-army chief Abdel
Fattah al-Sisi overthrew Mohamed Mursi, Egypt’s ﬁrst freely
elected president and a member
of the Muslim Brotherhood, after
mass protests against his rule.
The Brotherhood was banned,
thousands of its supporters were
locked up and hundreds were
killed when police broke up two
protest camps last year. The net
has since widened to include
secular activists who played a
leading role in the 2011 uprising
that toppled long-serving autocrat Hosni Mubarak and ignited
hopes for deeper change.
As the noose tightened around
activists and the government
banned unlicensed demonstrations, Egypt’s state universities
emerged as one of the few remaining spaces to express dissent.
Scores of students were killed
last year in clashes with police
and hundreds more were detained, leading the government
to delay the start of the new
academic year to mid-October
while it put security procedures
Sisi, now president, has
warned that violence at universities would no longer be tolerated.
After the long summer hiatus,
increased security has come as a
relief for many students who had
found themselves traversing battlegrounds on their way to class.
But opponents accuse the
government of trying to stamp
out the last ﬂickers of political
expression. They criticise the
moves as an attempt to return
campuses to the grip of the security services, which ruled by fear
“(The government) is elimi-
A woman carries a sign that reads ‘Don’t penalise without judicial
rule’ during a protest by faculty members about the ban on partisan
political activity on campus at Cairo University earlier this month.
nating politics inside the university and outside it,” said Khaled
Reda, a student leader at Zagazig
University in the Nile Delta. “The
situation inside the university
will be even more difficult than it
Universities have banned partisan activity on campus, limiting extra-curricular pursuits to
sports or culture.
A decree issued in June means
appointments to positions in-
cluding principal or faculty head
must be approved by the president himself, an apparent effort
to keep politically active academics from attaining senior positions.
Regulations introduced in September at the thousand-year-old
Al Azhar University, among the
world’s most venerable centres
of Islamic learning, give the administration new powers to sack
or expel any faculty member or
student involved in activities
that damage university property,
disrupt the learning process or
The cabinet has approved similar rules for all universities. Sisi
has yet to sign the measures into
law, but the plans have drawn
criticism from students and professors active across the political
spectrum who say they are too
vague and leave the door open for
principals to remove anyone they
ﬁnd too outspoken.
“It is clear that there is interference from the security services
and the target is to suppress academic freedoms under the pretext
of combating terrorism,” Hassan
Nafaa, a political science professor
at Cairo University, told Reuters.
“We are against terrorism...
but we are also against exploiting the current political situation
and the state of polarisation to
restore the (old) regime...”
Student activism has played a
key role in Egyptian politics for
the last century, fomenting unrest against the British occupation and the ensuing succession
of Egyptian leaders hailing from
the military, eventually helping
launched their careers as student leaders, including former
presidential candidates Abdel
Moneim Abol Fotouh, a moderate Islamist, and leftist Hamdeen
Changes introduced in the aftermath of the 2011 revolt, saw
academic staff electing faculty
chiefs for the ﬁrst time.
Under the new law, they must
be named or approved by the
president, giving top political
leaders direct control over what
are meant to be independent educational institutions.
Gaber Gad Nassar, president of
Cairo University, denied the security measures were intended to
restrict academic freedoms.
“There is a state of violence
which we had to confront for the
sake of protecting the students
and the university facilities,” he
told Reuters in an interview at
his office under the university’s
“In what country is storming
the university gates with a Molotov (cocktail) accommodated as
The presence of security forces
inside universities has been a
contentious issue for years. Before the 2011 uprising, a special
police force was dedicated to universities, crushing protest and
A court ruling in 2010, shortly
before the Tahrir Square revolt,
banned police from entering
campuses. But after the spread
of violence during the last academic year, the government allowed police to step on site at the
request of principals.
Universities have since hired
private security ﬁrms to patrol on
campus, while police scour the
perimeters for any signs of trouble among Egypt’s 1.5mn university students.
“We will not deal except with
those who try to disturb or terrify
students,” police general Medhat
el-Menshawi, the head of special
operations at interior ministry,
told Reuters outside the main
gate of Al Azhar on the ﬁrst day
of the academic year.
Staff worry that the security
net is slowly widening, and will
eventually stiﬂe any free expression.
“This is an assault on the independence of universities,” Hani
al-Husseini, a mathematics professor at Cairo University, said
at a silent faculty protest on the
second day of the term.
Friday, October 31, 2014
Islamic State slaughters 220
from Sunni tribe in Iraq
Standing her ground!
eavily armed Iraqi peshmerga forces
yesterday reached the Turkish border
and a ﬁrst group entered the town of
Kobane as they prepared to join fellow Kurds
battling the Islamic State group.
The group of 10 ﬁghters were to co-ordinate with local Kurdish militia who have been
holding off an assault by IS jihadists for six
weeks, a monitoring group said.
A peshmerga convoy reached the town of
Suruc on the Turkish side of the border after travelling through southeastern Turkey
along roads clogged with ﬂag-waving Kurds,
an AFP photographer said.
There it linked up there with a second group of peshmerga who had ﬂown in
Wednesday, but it was unclear when the main
force would cross into Kobane.
Officials have said there are about 150
peshmerga ﬁghters in total, armed with
machineguns, heavy artillery and rocket
The IS jihadists were pounding northern
areas of Kobane along the border with mortars and heavy artillery, a monitoring group
said yesterday, in an apparent bid to prevent
the peshmerga from crossing.
They had also launched an assault on a
northern neighbourhood overnight but were
pushed back by forces from the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia,
said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory
for Human Rights.
“The bombardment of the border area will
likely delay the entry of the peshmerga” into
Kobane, said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman, whose group relies on a wide
network of sources inside Syria.
Kobane has become an important symbol
of the battle against IS, an extremist group
that has seized swathes of Syria and Iraq,
committing atrocities and declaring an Islamic “caliphate”.
A US-led coalition carrying out air raids
against IS has intensiﬁed attacks near
Kobane in recent days, and the Pentagon said
its ﬁghter jets and bombers made 10 strikes
in the area on Wednesday and yesterday. The
coalition carried out two other strikes elsewhere in Syria and two more in Iraq, it said.
Under pressure from the US, Turkey agreed
last week to allow the peshmerga to cross its
territory to Kobane. Turkey also allowed dozens of rebel ﬁghters of the Free Syrian Army
(FSA) to cross into Kobane Wednesday, but
they were lightly armed and unlikely to make
Islamic State militants executed at least 220
Iraqis in retaliation against a tribe’s opposition
to their takeover of territory west of Baghdad,
security sources and witnesses said.
Two mass graves were discovered yesterday containing some of the 300 members of
the Sunni Muslim Albu Nimr tribe that Islamic
State had seized this week. The captives, men
aged between 18 and 55, had been shot at
close range, witnesses said.
The bodies of more than 70 Albu Nimr
men were dumped near the town of Hit in the
Sunni heartland Anbar province, according to
witnesses who said most of the victims were
members of the police or an anti-Islamic State
militia called Sahwa (Awakening).
“Early this morning we found those
corpses and we were told by some Islamic
State militants that ‘those people are from
Sahwa, who fought your brothers the Islamic
State, and this is the punishment of anybody
fighting Islamic State’,” a witness said.
The insurgents had ordered men from
the tribe to leave their villages and go to Hit,
130km west of Baghdad, promising them
“safe passage”, tribal leaders said.
They were then seized and shot.
A mass grave near the city of Ramadi, also
in Anbar province, contained 150 members of
the same tribe, security officials said.
a crucial difference in the battle. Ankara
has been wary of giving support to the YPG
Kurdish militia, which has close links with
the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)
that has fought a three-decade insurgency in
The peshmerga reinforcements were waiting in a storage facility in Suruc, 10km from
the border, which was heavily guarded by
Turkish security forces who prevented media
The Observatory said the small group of
peshmerga that had entered Kobane were
there to “co-ordinate the arrival of their
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime
denounced Ankara, which has long supported the war against it, for allowing them
across the border.
“Once again, Turkey has shown its conspiratorial role... by allowing foreign forces
and terrorist groups to enter Syria,” said a
foreign ministry statement reported by state
television. “This constitutes a ﬂagrant violation of Syrian sovereignty.”
A Palestinian woman shouts at Israeli policemen in Jerusalem after authorities temporarily closed the Al Aqsa mosque compound yesterday.
Libyan Islamist gets to sue London over rendition
former Libyan Islamist
commander yesterday won
the legal right to sue Britain
for damages over the years of torture he says he suffered at the hands
of Muammar Gaddaﬁ’s henchmen
after being illegally handed to Libya
by British and US spies. The ruling
by the Court of Appeal in London
could open the way for litigation
against the British government in
similar torture or rendition cases.
Abdel Hakim Belhadj, a rebel
leader who helped topple Gaddaﬁ in 2011 and is now leader of the
Libyan Al Watan Party, says he and
his pregnant wife Fatima were abducted by US CIA agents in Thailand in 2004 and then transferred
to Tripoli with the help of British
Britain and the US had been keen
to build relations with Gaddaﬁ at
the time, following his 2003 pledge
to give up sponsoring terrorism and
to end Libya’s chemical and nuclear
In 2004, then British prime minister Tony Blair met the former Lib-
yan leader in what was described
as the “deal in the desert”, bringing
Libya back into the international
fold after a series of infamous attacks abroad, including the 1988
bombing of a US airliner over the
Scottish town of Lockerbie.
In 2011, Belhadj began legal action against former British foreign
secretary Jack Straw, Britain’s MI5
and MI6 spy agencies, a former intelligence chief, and relevant government departments but last year
a High Court judge ruled English
courts could not hear the case.
That was because the allegations about Belhadj’s abduction and
rendition involved other countries,
most notably the US, and state immunity, which protects states from
being sued in foreign courts. A bar on
claims which call into question the
actions of other states also forbade it.
Three senior judges at London’s
Court of Appeal overturned that
decision yesterday, paving the way
for Belhadj and his wife to pursue
damages, although the government
was given permission to take the
case to Britain’s Supreme Court.
“The allegations in this case - although they are only allegations - are
of particularly grave violations of hu-
man rights,” the judges’ ruling said.
“The stark reality is that unless
the English courts are able to exercise jurisdiction in this case, these
very grave allegations against the
executive will never be subjected to
Belhadj says he was originally detained in China, before being transferred to Malaysia and then moved
to a CIA “black site” in Thailand.
Belhadj was handed over to CIA
agents, acting on a tip-off from
MI6, and ﬂown via the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian
Ocean to Tripoli.
As a long-standing enemy of
Gaddaﬁ, he was imprisoned and tortured until his release in 2010 while
his wife was also mistreated during
her four-month incarceration.
After the fall of Gaddaﬁ, documents were discovered which indicated British officials had been
in contact with former Libyan spy
chief Moussa Koussa over Belhadj.
“Our part of the ‘deal in the desert’
- the kidnap, the secret CIA jail, the
torture chamber in Tripoli - is as fresh
and as painful for us as if it happened
yesterday,” Belhadj said in a statement.
“We never dreamed Britain
would have conspired in such a
thing until we saw the proof with
our own eyes, right there in Moussa
Koussa’s dusty binders.”
Members of the British domestic
intelligence agency MI5 and its foreign equivalent MI6 have for years
faced accusations they colluded in the
ill-treatment of suspected militants,
often at the hands of US authorities.
British ministers have repeatedly
denied any knowledge of sending
anyone to face torture abroad, and
there have also been warnings that
exposing secret intelligence material in court cases might damage
relations with Washington.
A spokesman for Britain’s Foreign Office said they were studying
the detail of yesterday’s ruling but
declined to say more at this stage.
But human rights campaigners
said the verdict was signiﬁcant.
“The government so fears this
case going to trial that they have
stalled for years by throwing up a
parade of scarecrows - claiming,
for example, that the US would be
angered if Mr and Mrs Belhadj had
their day in court in Britain,” said
Cori Crider, Director at Reprieve.
“The court was right: embarrassment is no reason to throw torture victims out of court.”
Secular party beats Islamists in Tunisia election
he secular Nidaa Tounes
party came top in Tunisia’s
landmark legislative polls
beating Islamist rivals Ennahda,
who had already conceded defeat, provisional results released
Nidaa Tounes won 85 of the
217 parliamentary seats in Sunday’s vote, with Ennahda coming
second with 69, the ISIE election
body told a press conference.
Neither of the two top parties had been expected to win
an outright majority, so political
horse-trading had already begun
ahead of the announcement of
Ennahda, dominant in Tunisian politics since the 2011
revolution, has won praise for its
grace in conceding defeat in the
landmark parliamentary elections in the country, which was
the cradle of the Arab Spring revolts that shook the wider region.
Just hours after polling stations closed Sunday, Ennahda
acknowledged that it had been
beaten into second place by Nidaa Tounes.
Ennahda, which steered the
North African nation through the
aftermath of the revolution, congratulated Nidaa Tounes for becoming the largest party in the ﬁrst
parliament to be elected since then.
The movement called on its
supporters to celebrate “democracy” and hundreds of them rallied outside its Tunis headquarters despite the defeat.
Chafik Sarsar (fourth left), president of the Tunisian election commission, announces the preliminary results of the legislative elections
in Tunis yesterday.
“We consider Tunisia has triumphed and that Ennahda has
triumphed by leading the country
to this stage,” said Abdelhamid
Jelassi, national co-ordinator for
the movement, whose campaign
slogan was “consensus”.
Independent analyst Selim
Kharrat, said this has made Ennahda look like”a very sleek, very
democratic party, which congratulates its opponent, which
hands over power”, also referring
to January, when Ennahda gave
way to a government of techno-
crats to defuse a political crisis.
The UPL (Free Patriotic Union), led by entrepreneur Slim
Riahi, came third, winning 16
That was just one more than
the leftist coalition Popular Front
Tunisians hope the election, and the presidential vote
on November 23, will provide
much-coveted stability, nearly
four years after the January 2011
revolution that toppled longtime
president Zine El Abidine Ben
Nidaa Tounes, an eclectic coalition of left and centre-right
ﬁgures, opponents and former
bigwigs of the ousted Ben Ali
regime, mounted a strong campaign against the Ennahda Islamists.
Ennahda, which won Tunisia’s
ﬁrst free elections three years
ago after the toppling of Ben Ali,
had previously been accused of
working to Islamicise society
away from its traditional secularism.
Tunisia’s economy has also
been in the doldrums during its
tenure, and two prominent ﬁgures were assassinated last year
by suspected jihadists, triggering
the political crisis that Ennahda
resolved by handing over power.
Analyst Slaheddine Jourchi
said Ennahda’s change of tack
could be traced back to the Egyptian army’s ouster of Islamist
president Mohamed Morsi in July
2013 and the bloody repression
“What happened in Egypt
shook them up” and led to an
easing of strains with Nidaa
Analyst Kharrat said this
showed Ennahda’s “extraordinary pragmatism and capacity to
adapt” to political developments.
Under Tunisia’s electoral system, a party that gains the largest
number of votes but falls short
of an outright majority is given a
mandate to form a coalition government.
Wednesday predicted a grand
“The best scenario would be
a Nidaa Tounes-Ennahda coalition guaranteeing a stable government for the next ﬁve years,”
said the French-language daily
Foreign observers praised the
“free” election and signs of a
peaceful transition in the birthplace of the Arab Spring.
In other countries, the hopes
of the Arab Spring uprisings have
given way to conﬂict or renewed
However, poverty and unemployment, which were key factors that sparked the anti-Ben Ali
revolt, remain unresolved.
Nidaa Tounes leader Beji Caid
Essebsi, an 87-year-old veteran
of Tunisian politics, vowed to
form a coalition with other parties to take the country forward.
“We took the decision in advance that Nidaa Tounes would
not govern alone, even if we won
an absolute majority,” Essebsi
told Al-Hiwar Al-Tounsi television.
“We will govern with those
closest to us, with the democratic
family, so to speak,” he said.
Essebsi has also said he will
stand in the November 23 presidential election, and is considered to be a front-runner.
Friday, October 31, 2014
set on ﬁre
urkina Faso’s President
Blaise Compaore declared
a state of emergency yesterday and pledged to open talks
with the opposition, local radio
reported, in a bid to defuse protests sparked by his attempt to
extend his 27-year rule.
“A state of emergency is declared across the national territory. The chief of the armed forces is in charge of implementing
this decision which enters into
effect today,” said the statement
read by a presenter on Radio
“I dissolve the government
from today so as to create conditions for change. I’m calling
on the leaders of the political
opposition to put an end to the
protests. I’m pledging from today
to open talks with all the actors
to end the crisis,” the statement
Earlier, angry demonstrators
went on the rampage, setting
parliament ablaze in an uprising against the regime of longstanding President Compaore.
The protesters forced the government to scrap a vote on controversial plans to allow Compaore to extend his 27-year rule,
Compaore: came to power in a
coup in 1987.
with tens of thousands of people
joining a mass rally in the capital Ouagadougou calling for the
strongman to go.
Hundreds of people stormed
parliament and other public
buildings including the national
television headquarters, ransacking offices and setting ﬁre to
cars, despite a heavy police and
army presence across the city.
The United States and former
colonial power France voiced
alarm over the unrest gripping
the poor west African nation
while the UN chief was sending
an envoy to help restore calm.
“The army is united with the
people,” claimed Benewende
Sankara, a leading light in the
opposition, calling for Compaore
to resign to enable peace to be restored.
Army chief Nabere Honore
Traore was meeting retired general Kouame Lougue, a former
defence minister being touted by
the opposition as a replacement
for Compaore, to discuss the crisis.
Tens of thousands of protesters massed on the streets of the
capital shouting “Lougue in
Hundreds of people had earlier
broken through a heavy security
cordon and stormed the National
Assembly building, before attacking the national television
headquarters and moving on the
One man was killed in the
chaos that erupted just before
lawmakers were due to vote on
the legislation that would allow
Compaore – who took power
in a 1987 coup – to contest next
year’s election, AFP correspondents said.
The government, facing its
worst crisis since a wave of mutinies shook the country in 2011,
later announced it was calling off
Police and soldiers, out in force
after mass demonstrations earlier this week, failed to stop the
onslaught despite using tear gas
Protesters stand in front of smoke rising from the Burkina Faso’s parliament, where demonstrators set cars on fire parked in the courtyard.
against the protesters.
Black smoke billowed out of
smashed windows at the parliament building, where several
offices were ravaged by ﬂames,
including the speaker’s office, although the main chamber so far
appeared to be unscathed.
Several hundred protesters
also broke into the headquarters
of the national television station
RTB, pillaging equipment and
smashing cars, correspondents
Crowds of people later massed
near the presidential palace but
were being held back by troops
from the presidential guard who
ﬁred warning shots into the air.
The ruling party headquarters
in the second city of Bobo Dioulasso and the city hall was also
torched by protesters, witnesses
The United States said it was
“deeply concerned” about the
crisis and criticised the attempts
to alter the constitution, while
France appealed for calm and said
it “deplored” the violence.
UN Secretary General Ban Kimoon dispatched a special envoy
to Burkina Faso, with a spokesman saying Ban was “following with great concern the deteriorating security situation in
The European Union had
urged the government to scrap
the legislation, warning it could
“jeopardise ... stability, equitable development and democratic
The legislature had been due to
examine a proposed amendment
that would allow Compaore to
run for re-election in November
Several thousand protesters
marched through the capital on
Wednesday, the day after street
battles erupted during a mass
rally by hundreds of thousands
against what they branded a constitutional coup by supporters of
the 63-year-old strongman.
“October 30 is Burkina Faso’s
‘Black Spring’, like the ‘Arab
Spring’,” said Emile Pargui Pare
of the opposition Movement of
People for Progress (MPP).
Government spokesman Alain
Edouard Traore had issued a
statement Wednesday hailing the
“vitality” of Burkina Faso’s democracy despite what he termed
Compaore’s bid to cling to
power has angered many, including young people in a country
where 60% of the population of
almost 17mn is under 25.
Many have spent their entire
lives under the leadership of one
man and – with Burkina Faso
stagnating at 183rd out of 186
countries on the UN human de-
State media attacks Zimbabwe’s Mujuru
Experts urge caution over Ebola hopes
ealth authorities called
yesterday for renewed
vigilance over the Ebola epidemic, urging caution
over claims that the outbreak
is retreating as the World Bank
boosted the global response
with $100mn for health workers.
The warning follows an announcement by World Health
Organisation (WHO) that data
from funeral directors and
treatment centres indicated
lower admission rates and burials in Liberia, the nation hit
hardest by the killer virus.
But international aid agency
Doctors Without Borders said
the apparent slowdown could
be due to sick people not being
picked up because of a lack of
ambulances and being omitted
from the statistics.
The medical charity, known
by its French initials MSF,
warned that “mandatory cre-
mation of dead bodies and a
poor ambulance and referral
system could also be reasons for
this decrease in admissions”.
“It is too soon to draw conclusions on the reduction of
Ebola cases in Monrovia,” Fasil
Tezera, MSF head of mission in
Liberia, said in a statement.
WHO assistant directorgeneral Bruce Aylward told reporters in Geneva on Wednesday that labs were also seeing a
“plateauing or slight decline” in
the number of conﬁrmed cases
– but warned that the crisis was
far from over.
Liberia welcomed the possibility of a turning-point in the
outbreak but echoed the call for
caution issued by the WHO and
Deputy health minister Tolbert Nyensuah said that even if
it managed to achieve no new
cases, Liberia would not be able
to consider itself Ebola-free until neighbours Guinea and Sierra
Leone had eradicated the virus.
The outbreak has claimed
4,922 lives, according to the
WHO, the vast majority in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
The number of cases registered worldwide has soared to
13,703 – up from around 10,000
reported on Saturday – but the
WHO has attributed the sharp
rise to previously unreported
cases being added to the statistics.
“The world’s response to
the Ebola crisis has increased
signiﬁcantly in recent weeks,
but we still have a huge gap in
getting enough trained health
workers to the areas with the
highest infection rates,” said
World Bank president Jim Yong
Kim, announcing the $100mn
donation. “We must urgently
ﬁnd ways to break any barriers to the deployment of more
The United Nations estimates
that the three countries need
another 5,000 international
medical, training and support personnel in the coming
The epidemic has taken a
huge toll on health workers in
the region, with 272 deaths.
While the outbreak is inspiring fear across the world, it is
also devastating the response to
other potentially deadly diseases in its west African epicentre,
where healthcare systems are
said to have “collapsed”.
MSF warned that Ebola had
made obtaining treatment for
malaria, which is endemic in
Liberia, almost impossible in
Monrovia, with the majority of
general wards closed because
staff are too afraid to work.
In the rare clinics remaining
open, patients showing fever are
sent straight to Ebola centres,
the agency said.
“The ﬁrst symptoms of malaria are the same as those
of Ebola. They include fever,
headache and overwhelming
fatigue,” said Chibuzo Okonta,
MSF’s deputy director of emergency programmes.
The agency said it had begun
distributing anti-malarials to
around 300,000 people in the
city’s poorest, most denselyinhabited neighbourhoods.
Zimbabwe’s state media accused Vice-President Joice Mujuru of
extortion and abuse of office yesterday in what observers say is a
stepped-up campaign to discredit her in a battle to succeed ageing
President Robert Mugabe.
Mugabe, 90, and in power since independence from Britain in 1980,
has not indicated a preferred political heir, but his advanced age and
rumours of ill health have escalated succession fights in the ruling
The race has been shaken up in recent weeks by first lady Grace
Mugabe, 49, who has emerged as a potential successor.
She has launched withering attacks on Mujuru, accusing her of plotting
to oust the president at a party congress in December.
Mujuru faced a new round of damaging allegations yesterday from
the state-owned Herald newspaper, widely seen as the voice of the
government and powerful forces within ZANU-PF.
It accused her of illegally receiving money from investment partners
and using her political clout to squeeze them out of a business venture.
Thousands flee as Boko Haram surge
Islamist Boko Haram militants have seized control of the northeast
Nigerian town of Mubi, killing dozens of people and forcing thousands
to flee, witnesses said.
The insurgents stormed Mubi on Wednesday. Gunfire has been heard in
the town ever since, witnesses told Reuters.
A security source confirmed yesterday that the town had fallen to the
Witnesses said the insurgents robbed banks, burned down the main
market and sacked the palace. One saw them kill a university lecturer
and his entire family – Boko Haram, whose name means Western
education is sinful, abhors secular learning.
Violence in Nigeria’s northeast has been on the rise since the
government announced a ceasefire with the rebels nearly two weeks
ago to pursue talks in neighbouring Chad aimed at freeing more than
200 girls kidnapped in April.
velopment index – many have
The situation is being closely
watched across Africa where at
least four heads of state are preparing or considering similar
changes to stay in power, from
Burundi to Benin and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Compaore was only 36 when
he seized power in the coup in
which his former friend and one
of Africa’s most loved leaders,
Thomas Sankara, was ousted and
He has remained in power
since, re-elected president four
times since 1991 – to two sevenyear and two ﬁve-year terms.
Known in colonial times as
Upper Volta, the landlocked
country became independent
from France in 1960 and its name
was changed to Burkina Faso
(“the land of upright men”) in
Top court orders
South Africa’s highest court
has ruled that the country’s
police have a duty to investigate
Zimbabwean officials accused of
torturing opposition supporters
seven years ago.
The landmark judgment by the
Constitutional Court is likely to
strain ties with neighbouring
Zimbabwe, whose President
Robert Mugabe responded
angrily to a similar order by a
lower court, describing it as a
“direct assault” on Zimbabwe’s
South African police had refused
to investigate the allegations of
state-sponsored torture ahead
of 2008 elections, citing political
concerns, and appealed against
the earlier judgment.
But they have now exhausted all
legal appeals and must act on the
Constitutional Court order that
“the South African Police Service
must investigate the complaint”.
The Southern Africa Litigation
Centre and the Zimbabwe Exiles
Forum filed the original case
seeking to force police to open an
investigation, citing South Africa’s
obligations to the International
Die at home and cut the health cover-ups, Africans urge leaders
By Ed Cropley, Reuters
hen dying Zambian
Sata ﬂew to London
last week he was following a long
line of African leaders who have
sought emergency – and secret
– medical treatment in foreign
hospitals most of their citizens
can only dream of.
With Ebola exposing the poor
state of the continent’s healthcare systems, and mobile phones
and social media undermining
official attempts to control and
suppress information, many Africans were unimpressed.
After Sata’s death on Tuesday
evening, websites lit up with angry comments about another ailing African head of state jumping
on a plane rather than risking being patched up in one of his own
“Sadly, his death has added
to the long list of rich and inﬂuential Africans to die while on
medical tourism in Europe and
America,” a commentator called
Striker wrote on the website of
Nigerian newspaper Punch.
For those in Zambia, a vibrant
and relatively stable nation of
13mn people that has recently
enjoyed annual growth around
7%, the sense of hypocrisy is particularly acute.
Levy Mwanawasa, died in office
in Paris six years ago after suffering a stroke in Egypt, and one of
Sata’s many 2011 election promises was to improve public infrastructure, including healthcare.
However little changed on the
ground, and when Sata’s son, Kazimu, was involved in a car smash
in the northern town of Ndola in
July he was taken by air ambulance to Johannesburg’s Milpark
hospital, a world-class private
facility in South Africa’s commercial capital.
Kazimu’s fellow passengers
had to make do with the Ndola
General, according to local media
“What if we had a situation
where the children of our politicians were obliged to receive
their care in Zambian hospitals?”
Zambia Reports, an anti-government news website, asked in an
editorial at the time. “No doubt
we would begin to see immedi-
ate improvements to the training, equipment, funding, and innovation of healthcare facilities
throughout the country.”
With the exception of South
Africa – home to top-notch hospitals and the world’s ﬁrst human
heart transplant in 1967 – few
sub-Saharan governments are
willing to let their leaders get
much more than a cough sweet
on home soil.
They are also loathe to tell their
citizens, frequently playing down
the seriousness of medical problems or denying them altogether
– one reason for the “mystery” or
“undisclosed illness” that claims
so many of Africa’s “Big Men”.
Ethiopian strongman Meles
Zenawi died aged 57 in a Belgian
hospital in 2012 after top government officials insisted for more
than a month he had only a minor
illness and his condition was not
In Nigeria, Africa’s most
populous nation and its biggest
oil producer, president Umara
Yar’Adua had months of heart
treatment in Saudi Arabia before
returning home in 2010 in almost
total secrecy and dying after
weeks on life support.
90-year-old Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, regularly
ﬂies to Singapore for what officials say are “routine” eye tests,
although given his age and persistent cancer rumours, few of
his countrymen believe them.
Besides the health beneﬁts,
parking an ailing leader abroad
far from prying eyes lets ﬁrst
families and the inner circle control the ﬂow of vital information,
an important weapon in the succession battles that inevitably
follow in a continent of fragile
Few cases beat that of Malawi
president Bingu wa Mutharika,
who was dead on arrival at a
Lilongwe hospital in 2012 after
a massive heart attack, only to
be ﬂown in secret on a chartered
jet to South Africa for “medical
In the meantime, there were
fears of a seizure of power as
cabinet members – including
Mutharika’s brother – met without vice-president Joyce Banda,
who was only named as the constitutionally approved successor
after the intervention of the head
of the army.
In case of Sata, who had no
clear successor, the government
also went to great lengths to prevent media coverage of his health
and absence from the public eye
However the strategy failed
as dissident news websites such
as Zambia Reports and Zambian Watchdog, run by an exile
in London, emerged as the main
sources of information on the
only topic in town.
“The Zambian case has been
fascinating because there has
been such a crackdown on the
formal media reporting on the
health of the president,” said
Grant Masterson of the Johannesburg-based Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy
in Africa. “It had been an open
secret for a while. Zambians were
all talking about the health of
their president even though they
weren’t allowed to read about it
in their papers.”
Friday, October 31, 2014
Obama may cut
mmigration activists close
to the White House worry that President Barack
Obama could delay or scale
back executive actions on immigration that he has promised
to take before the year ends.
Advocates have pressed the
Obama administration to provide relief from the threat of
deportation to more than 5mn
undocumented immigrants but
fear, after some were briefed
by administration officials,
that the plan could be reduced
to 3mn or fewer, a signiﬁcant
“There’s growing nervousness that instead of going big
and bold that the administration might play it cautiously,”
said Frank Sharry, executive
director of advocacy group
The fears are rooted in politics and a history of perceived
Advocates worry the president might be less aggressive if
Republicans take over the Senate in Tuesday’s congressional
Republicans have vowed
to pass legislation to prevent
Obama from implementing the
The president could remove
the deportation threat for
about 3mn undocumented immigrants who have lived in the
country for 10 years and have
children who are US citizens.
But activists want the parents of so-called Dreamers,
children who have already been
granted deportation relief, to
be covered too.
“Ultimately it is about political will,” said Marielena
Hincapie, executive director of
the National Immigration Law
She said that Department
of Homeland Security officials had briefed her and other
advocates about a scenario in
which 2-3mn people were covered and one in which closer to
5mn were covered.
“They are more likely to take
a more cautious approach that
they think will be palatable to
both Republicans and Democrats, but also probably to the
American public,” Hincapie
The White House said
Obama had not made a decision yet and that ﬁnal recommendations from Attorney-General Eric Holder and
Nurse deﬁes Ebola
order to go cycling
Obama: put off his reform plan
last month because of concern
that it would hurt Democrats
running in the November
Homeland Security Secretary
Jeh Johnson were pending.
“We expect to make an announcement
decisions before the end of
the year,” said White House
spokeswoman Katherine Vargas, seeking to tamp down
concern about a delay.
“It is premature to speculate about the speciﬁc details
including the scope or number
of immigrants who will beneﬁt
since ﬁnal recommendations
from Secretary Johnson and
Attorney-General Holder, and
ﬁnal decisions by the president, have not been made,” she
Obama put off his reform
plan last month because of
concern that it would hurt
Democrats running in the November elections.
It may not be clear on Tuesday which party will control
the Senate because tight races
in Louisiana and Georgia could
trigger run-off elections.
Advocates fear that the
White House might postpone
action if that is still unclear by
the end of the year.
“It depends on the outcome
of the election,” said Angela
Kelly, an immigration specialist at the Centre for American
Progress, which has close ties
to the White House. “It’s more
likely to be a December holiday
surprise or holiday gift.”
About 11mn undocumented
immigrants reside in the United States.
Obama has promised to implement broad reform of the
US system but has been unable
to get Republican support in
the House of Representatives
for a new law.
Another delay could hurt his
legacy and spur criticism from
potential 2016 Democratic
presidential candidates such as
nurse who treated Ebola
patients in Sierra Leone
but has tested negative
for the virus ventured out of her
home in Maine and took a bike
ride yesterday, defying a quarantine order and setting up a legal
collision with state authorities.
Attorneys for Kaci Hickox, 33,
said they had not yet been served
with a court order to enforce a 21day quarantine – matching the
virus’s maximum incubation period – but remained prepared to
ﬁght such an order if necessary.
Hickox left her home in the
small Maine town of Fort Kent,
along the Canadian border, and
television news images showed
her taking a morning bicycle ride
with her boyfriend.
Hickox has said that she plans
to take the issue to court in
Maine, giving the state a deadline
yesterday to lift its order that she
remain isolated at her home until
Norman Siegel, one of the lawyers, defended Hickox’s decision
to go for a bike ride as a public
statement but noted that she
avoided the centre of town so as
not to “freak people out”.
“Since there’s no court order,
she can be out in public,” Siegel
said. “Even if people disagree
with her position, I would hope
they respect the fact that she’s
taking into account the fear,
which is based on misinformation about the way the disease is
Medical professionals say
Ebola is difficult to catch and is
spread through direct contact
with bodily ﬂuids from an infected person and is not transmitted
by asymptomatic people. Ebola is
Siegel also criticised Maine
Governor Paul LePage for stoking
fear of Ebola rather than using his
bully pulpit to educate the public
about the disease.
“People tell me politics isn’t
involved in this?” the attorney
said. “Give me a break.”
LePage, a Republican who is in
a tough re-election battle, said
that he is seeking legal authority
to keep Hickox isolated at home.
The nurse’s confrontation with
state officials in Maine, as well as
in New Jersey, highlights how US
states have been struggling to
protect their citizens from Ebola
without resorting to overzealous,
useless precautions or violating
Hickox says she is completely
healthy and has been monitoring her condition and taking her
temperature twice a day.
She tested negative for Ebola
after returning from treating patients in West Africa.
Hickox previously blasted New
Jersey Governor Chris Christie
after she was taken from Newark’s airport and put in quarantine in a tent before being driven
to Maine to spend the rest of her
21-day quarantine at home.
Her town is in Maine’s sparsely
populated far north, more than
300 miles (480km) from the
state’s largest city, Portland, and
further north than Quebec City
in neighbouring Canada.
Hickox worked with the humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders in Sierra Leone,
Kaci Hickox and her boyfriend Ted Wilbur go for a bike ride in Fort Kent, Maine yesterday. Hickox, who
treated Ebola patients in Sierra Leone but has tested negative for the virus, ventured out of her home
yesterday, defying a Maine quarantine order and setting up a legal collision with state authorities.
one of the three impoverished
countries at the heart of an outbreak that has killed about 5,000
people, all but a handful in West
Africa. The disease causes fever,
bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea.
Some US states have imposed
automatic 21-day quarantines
on doctors and nurses returning
from treating Ebola patients in
Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
Republicans have accused the
Obama administration of doing
too little to protect Americans
from the disease.
President Barack Obama’s
“Ebola czar”, Ron Klain, was due
to visit the Centres for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC)
The lava flow from Mt Kilauea inches closer to the village of Pahoa, Hawaii. A slow-moving river of molten
lava from an erupting volcano crept over residential and farm property on Hawaii’s Big Island on Wednesday
after incinerating an outbuilding as it threatened dozens of homes at the edge of a former plantation town.
The lava flow from the Kilauea volcano has been slogging toward the village of Pahoa for weeks, moving at
speeds of 10-15m an hour as it bubbled over a cemetery and reached the community’s outskirts.
Canada’s spy agency must improve
information sharing, says watchdog
anada’s spy agency must
have national standards
to improve how its regional surveillance teams share
information, the chairwoman of
the agency’s civilian watchdog
said in the wake of the killings
of two Canadian soldiers last
The comments by Deborah
Grey, chairwoman of the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC), come after a report from her committee last
week said the Canadian Security
Intelligence Service’s (CSIS) regional teams “operate in total
isolation from one another and
communicate only sporadically
with their HQ counterparts”.
“We need to make sure that
each region knows exactly what
the other regions are doing, un-
der the umbrella of the headquarters, of course,” Grey told
Reuters yesterday. “You need
national standards right across
the country because (criminals)
are pretty mobile.”
The performance of Canadian
police and security services is
under scrutiny after a gunman
last week killed a soldier in Ottawa, then stormed the country’s Parliament building.
Two days earlier another man,
described by police as having
been radicalised, rammed two
soldiers in Quebec with his car,
Both assailants were subsequently shot dead by security
The Canadian government
introduced legislation on Monday that would give the CSIS
more powers to investigate potential threats.
Grey, a former federal Conservative politician, said that
terday’s edition of the Washington Post.
US Representative Steve Cohen, a Tennessee Democrat, said
the ﬁght over Hickox and the
larger battle over isolation policies have deteriorated into political posturing just days ahead of
next week’s midterm elections.
“This is just fear. It’s kind of
understandable, but unfortunately it’s just stirred up and
caused by fear-mongering politicians who see poll-driven numbers in anticipation of Tuesday’s
election,” Cohen told CNN after
Hickox’ outing. “This is strictly
driven by politics and fear-mongering.”
Hawaii lava crosses
Bin Laden shooter to reveal identity
The US Navy Seal commando who fired the shots which killed Al
Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden is to reveal his identity in a Fox News
television documentary next month, the network announced on
The Man Who Killed Osama Bin Laden will air in two segments
November 11-12, with the commando recounting his role in the raid
that killed Bin Laden at his Pakistani compound in 2011.
The Navy SEAL “will share his story of training to be a member
of America’s elite fighting force and explain his involvement in
Operation Neptune Spear, the mission that killed Bin Laden”, the
network said in a press release.
“Offering never before shared details, the presentation will include
‘The Shooter’s’ experience in confronting Bin Laden, his description
of the terrorist leader’s final moments as well as what happened
when he took his last breath,” it said.
headquarters in Atlanta yesterday.
Democratic Senator Chris
Coons of Delaware said Obama
should issue a guarantee to medical volunteers to assure them
of help when they return to the
“The president should guarantee that all US citizens who
travel to West Africa to help ﬁght
Ebola will be allowed to return to
the United States, that any medical care they need as a result of
their trip will be provided free of
charge and that wages lost to any
government-imposed quarantine will be reimbursed,” Coons
wrote in an opinion piece in yes-
her committee, the SIRC, was
still examining the new legislation.
She said the SIRC felt that the
intelligence agency was doing a
good job of protecting Canadians in general, but that it must
improve in a number of areas,
including keeping the government informed of its secret operations.
The SIRC’s report last week
warned that the federal minister for the CSIS had not been
informed systematically by the
agency about sensitive operations that could be considered
“Whatever the reason for it
was – of not letting a minister
know – we don’t want to see it
again,” she said.
The SIRC’s report also criticised the CSIS for misleading
it during an investigation into
a complaint from a federal employee who had his or her secu-
rity clearance revoked following
a review by the spy agency.
“Are they doing a perfect job?
No, we’ve highlighted some
pretty serious concerns,” Grey
said. “This isn’t just a rubberstamping (committee) that we
sit on. We have very serious
concerns and we want to make
sure that next year, they just
keep getting better and better.”
The SIRC said the revocation
of the security clearance was
ultimately justiﬁed, based on all
the evidence, but it also found
that the CSIS had used false information in the case.
“A witness had to be recalled
by the SIRC to speak to the
matter and the SIRC found the
CSIS’s lack of candor most disturbing,” the report said.
Public Safety Minister Steven
Blaney has said he has conﬁdence in the CSIS and expects
the agency to address the issues
raised by the watchdog.
Gun owner held
as security threat
Police arrested and charged a
Pakistani gun collector living in
Ontario this week, alleging he
is a terrorist threat to Canada,
the Globe and Mail newspaper
reported yesterday, quoting his
Muhammad Aqeeq Ansari, a
30-year-old software designer,
was arrested on Monday,
according to his attorney, Anser
Farooq, the Globe reported.
Federal officials allege Ansari
has ties to militants in Pakistan,
that he had amassed an arsenal
of firearms, and that he has
expressed extreme views on
Twitter, according to the Globe.
He is being charged under
Canada’s Immigration and
Refugee Protection Act with
being a danger to the security of
Canada, the newspaper said.
Court records obtained by the
Globe show that Ansari last
year surrendered 10 firearms to
authorities, including rifles and
It said this was part of a plea
bargain to obtain a conditional
discharge on charges of illegally
storing lawfully acquired
slow-moving river of
molten lava from an
erupting volcano crept
over residential and farm property on Hawaii’s Big Island on
Wednesday after incinerating
an outbuilding as it threatened
dozens of homes at the edge of
a former plantation town.
The lava ﬂow from the Kilauea volcano has been slogging toward the village of
Pahoa for weeks, moving at
speeds of 10-15 yards an hour
as it bubbled over a cemetery
and reached the community’s
As of Wednesday afternoon,
authorities reported the lava
had advanced to within 205
yards of Pahoa Village Road,
the main street through the
town of about 800 people built
on the site of an old sugar plantation.
Pahoa’s commercial district
lies mostly to the south of the
area in greatest danger, and
most homes and businesses
are believed to be out of harm’s
way, based on the lava’s current
trajectory, civil defence chief
Darryl Oliveira said.
But residents of about 50
dwellings in what civil defence
officials called a “corridor of
risk” have been urged to be
prepared to leave, and many
have been slowly emptying
their homes of furniture and
Oliveira told a news conference that officials had met
about a dozen residents and
business owners closest to the
He said all were prepared to
leave, but added they intended
to wait until the last minute before evacuating.
No mandatory evacuations
have been ordered.
Oliveira added that 83 national guard troops were undergoing training and would be
deployed to the community.
Besides anxiety, some residents, like Aaron Milewski,
voiced resignation about the
forces of nature they faced.
“This energy is coming from
the centre of the Earth, so you
have to respect it,” he said.
Molten rock topping temperatures of 1,650 degrees
Fahrenheit (900 degrees Celsius) engulfed a storage shed on
Tuesday but bypassed a rental
house that was already evacuated, Oliveira said.
A slower-moving, narrower
ﬁnger of lava then branched
out off the main ﬂow and oozed
back toward the abandoned
home, crawling to within 100
feet (30m) of it on Wednesday,
It remained to be seen
whether the house would be
The main lava front continued to creep over adjacent
farm property, taking aim at a
warehouse and home. Another property owner built a tall
berm of soil and rock hoping
to divert the approaching lava
around his house.
The ﬂow is expected eventually to reach the ocean, still six
miles (10km) away, authorities
Four die in small plane crash in Kansas
At least four people were killed and five seriously injured yesterday
when a small plane crashed into a building at an airport in the US
state of Kansas, officials said.
The twin-engine aircraft lost engine power shortly after take-off
and crashed into a building while attempting to return to the
runway at the Wichita Mid-Continent Airport, the Federal Aviation
Five people were taken to the hospital with “serious” injuries and
rescue crews are still searching for four people who were inside the
building, city officials said in a statement.
There were about 100 people in the building, which houses the local
base of training company FlightSafety International, when it was
struck in the morning hours, police said.
One person was aboard the Beechcraft King Air 200 series aircraft,
the airport said in a Twitter update.
The airport remains open and some flights were delayed.
Friday, October 31, 2014
Yangon calls meet of
yanmar’s president and powerful military chief will hold an
unprecedented high-level meeting today with major political parties and
ethnic minority groups as cracks widen in
the ﬂedgling democracy ahead of an election next year.
The talks are the ﬁrst of their kind in
Myanmar and will see opposition leader
Aung San Suu Kyi meet for the ﬁrst time
with the powerful armed forces chief,
senior general Min Aung Hlaing - talks
that the Nobel laureate has sought since
she became a lawmaker in 2012.
Today’s hastily arranged get-together
in the capital Naypyitaw comes as a
complex peace process with armed ethnic
rebels teeters on the brink of collapse and
tensions linger over moves by Suu Kyi’s
party - backed by 5mn petitioners - to
amend the constitution and reduce the
political clout of a military that ruled
Myanmar brutally for 49 years.
It takes place as US president Barack
Obama prepares to visit Myanmar next
month for a regional summit amid growing
US concerns about human rights abuses in
Myanmar, including jailing of journalists
and alleged oppression of stateless
Rohingya Muslims and ethnic minorities
caught in conﬂict with government troops.
President Thein Sein, a former junta
Aung San Suu Kyi
general, has been lauded for widespread
reforms since taking power in 2011 and
convincing the West to suspend most
sanctions, but critics say those changes
are now starting to unravel.
News of the meeting so close to Obama’s
arrival has been met with scepticism in
Myanmar, with some calling it theatre.
“The government seems to intend to use
this meeting in creating a good impression
before President Obama’s visit,” said
political analyst Yan Myo Thein. “There’s
little chance of seeing tangible results.”
The government should instead focus
on bringing some unity and openness to
a nascent political system that was facing
headwinds, he said, adding details of
what transpires at the meeting should be
revealed “with complete transparency and
Despite winning massive popularity
at home and abroad, since becoming a
lawmaker Suu Kyi has been criticised for
her reluctance to comment on contentious
political issues, or speak out against the
Asked about the talks during an
interview on Thursday with Radio Free
Asia, Suu Kyi bluntly replied: “Where did
you get this information? You should ask
those who were invited.”
Next year’s parliamentary election will
be the ﬁrst since 2010, which ushered in
a quasi-civilian system that dismantled
the absolute control of a military that had
ruled since a 1962 coup, 14 years after
independence from Britain.
It will also be the ﬁrst general election
that Suu Kyi’s National League for
Democracy (NLD) has contested since it
won a 1990 vote that the military ignored.
The party boycotted the 2010 poll and Suu
Kyi was under house arrest at the time.
Also attending the talks will be Shwe
Mann, the inﬂuential lower house
speaker and chairman of the ruling Union
Solidarity and Development Party. A
former heavyweight under army rule, he
is seen widely as a reformer, but also an
astute political tactician with presidential
The official purpose for the talks has
not been disclosed. NLD spokesman Nyan
Win suggested the meeting had been
called because of “mounting pressure”
and “the current impasse”.
Suu Kyi has previously asked for a
“four-party summit” between herself,
Thein Sein, Shwe Mann and Min Aung
Hlaing, the most inﬂuential people in
The military holds several cabinet
posts and 25% of legislative seats,
essentially a veto on any attempt to
change a constitution it drafted, which
needs more than 75% support for
amendments. The NLD is leading the
push to change that, but is expected to
face strong resistance.
The meeting risks more turbulence,
however, with only six of the 70 political
parties and a few ethnic groups invited.
“The president will have to explain,” said
Aye Maung, leader of the Arakan National
Party, the second biggest ethnic party in
parliament, which was not invited.
Christopher Roberts, a Myanmar
expert at the Australian Defence Forces
Academy, said Obama’s visit was likely
a key factor but holding political talks at
such a critical juncture would not do any
“They’re past the point of no return.
There’s a hybrid system in place, a halfway
house, and there’s no easy way to get rid
of the military,” he said. “They know they
have to work with each other and that
they’re in it for the long haul.”
Thai youth fear junta’s school
reforms will dim job prospects
ixteen years old and
studying 13 hours a day,
high school pupil Worapot doesn’t have time to waste
matching up to a military-led
government’s idea of what makes
a good Thai.
The generals who led a coup in
May have prioritised school reforms to inculcate a strong sense
of national identity - or Thainess - in a country whose traditional values hinge on unquestioning respect for the monarchy,
religion and elders.
For Worapot, the son of junior
civil servants who together earn
$1,800 a month, a more practical
goal would be creating an education system that commands respect in the job market.
“Now the system might get
even worse,” said Worapot, as
he sat on the steps of a language
school in a bustling Bangkok
shopping district where he is
taking extra lessons in English.
Still to lift martial law, the
junta has given education the
biggest slice of the 2015 budget,
raising teachers’ pay and redrawing the national curriculum with
the aim to introduce it at the start
of the next school year in May.
Aside from giving Thai history and culture more emphasis,
classes in “moral soundness and
virtues” will be introduced.
Worapot’s frustration with
the new policies is magniﬁed by
the prospect that the job market will become tougher once a
trade pact, due to start next year,
brings together 600mn people in
He wants to be able to compete
with better-off Singaporeans and
Malaysians rather than be patronised for quaint moral codes or
“I want to be their equal or
better. Not to be ridiculed,” he
said, while using a Thai-to-English application on his iPad.
For years, education in Thailand has been handicapped by
a reliance on rote-learning and
stress on skills that support basic jobs but just do not cut it for
a booming middle class that aspires to better jobs and better
Technocrats have long called
for changes to put more stress on
developing critical thinking skills
rather than conformity, whereas
Thais often shy away from showing individuality for fear of “losing face”, or causing embarrassment.
The reforms envisaged by the
junta - including civic duty and
morality classes to promote “a
sense of pride in being a Thai” do not appear to be the answer.
“The way the government
promotes certain values may not
ﬁt well with the development of
21st century skills,” said May Sripatananskul, education initiative
project manager at the Thailand
Development and Research Institute (TDRI), a Bangkok-based
Multinationals based in the
kingdom already complain of a
shortage of skilled and professional labour.
“Most graduates may not have
basic skills adequate to the needs
of the company - for example,
practical command of the English language, communication,
time management and behavioural skills,” Krisda Utamote,
director of corporate communications at BMW Group Thailand,
Thailand’s education system
is routinely ranked as one of the
worst in Southeast Asia.
Attempts by previous governments to bring students up to
speed with their Asian peers from free, “Made in China” computer tablets for primary school
children to foreign exchange programmes - have proved ineffective or disastrous.
In the UN Development Pro-
Students exercise after singing Thailand’s national anthem at a school in Bangkok yesterday.
Anwar Ibrahim with his defence team as he leaves the court
during his final appeal against conviction
gramme’s 2014 human development index, Thailand ranks 89th
out of 187 countries for education.
Taking over an economy laid
low by months of political unrest
and martial law, prime minister
Prayuth Chan-ocha, the former
army chief, has said he will do
“everything” to ensure Thailand
remains a hub for foreign investors.
The policymakers chosen to
oversee the school reforms have
raised some eyebrows, however.
Prayuth’s education minister,
Narong Pipathanasai, was chief
of Thailand’s navy until September. And Art-ong Jumsai Na
Ayudhya, the aristocrat tasked
by the Office of Basic Education Commission (OBEC) with
re-drafting the curriculum, believes in UFOs and the paranormal powers of ancient Egyptian
A petition calling for his removal has gathered over 3,000
signatures. Art-ong did not reply
to a Reuters request for an interview, while OBEC said it was
“under orders from the highest
level not to comment on education policy.”
As a percentage of gross domestic product, Thailand already spends more on education
than Germany, but that has not
TDRI’s May bemoaned the
amount wasted through inefficiency, and the failure of higher
pay to translate to better quality
teachers. The largest chunk of the
budget is spent on the primary
and pre-primary segments.
Yet, Thailand ranked 90th out
of 144 countries for the quality
of primary education, the latest
World Economic Forum Global
Competitiveness Report showed.
Neighbouring Malaysia, whose
per capita GDP is double Thailand’s $5,779, ranked 17th.
Past studies by UN agencies
have noted that while access to
primary education is fairly equal
across Thai society, more should
be invested in secondary and
tertiary levels, where both access and quality need improvement.
public schools if they can. The
well-heeled, living in Bangkok, have the choice of sending
their children to international
schools where annual fees average 400,000 baht ($12,300), according to a 2013 survey.
“I can do without patriotism
and morality classes,” said businessman Krissada Pornweroj,
while waiting for his son outside
a British school in the capital.
“We want him to get in to a
good English boarding school.”
leader Anwar Ibrahim
said yesterday he was
a victim of a conspiracy but
was hopeful of winning an appeal against a sodomy conviction and ﬁve-year prison term
that could stymie his political
ambitions for good.
Anwar was the ruling party’s
rising star in the mid-1990s
before he fell out with then
Prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.
Since then, Anwar has been
beset by legal problems and
spent several years in prison
after being convicted of corruption and an earlier sodomy
But the charismatic Anwar,
who heads a three-party opposition alliance, remains the
greatest threat to Malaysia’s
“Based on the facts and the
law, I see no other possibilities, no other options, except
to acquit me of all these frivolous charges,” Anwar told supporters outside the court after
his legal team wound up their
“Clear people can see now,
with the evidence of fabrication, of conspiracy, of the powers that be,” he said.
Yesterday, his lawyers questioned DNA evidence.
They said a DNA sample taken from a male former political aide who in 2008 accused
Anwar of sodomising him
had taken 96 hours to reach a
chemist and was contaminated
and possibly tampered with.
The government has rejected the notion of political interference in Anwar’s conviction
saying Malaysia had an independent judiciary and the case
was a matter for the courts.
A court convicted Anwar in
March and sentenced him to
ﬁve years in prison.
Malaysia’s highest court
began considering his appeal
on Tuesday and is expected
to complete the hearing early
If Anwar, 67, loses the appeal he faces a return to jail and
would be barred from contesting the next general election
that must be held by 2018.
A ruling against him could
also inﬂame tension after opposition gains in a general
election last year when prime
minister Najib Razak’s ruling
alliance recorded its worstever performance, raising the
possibility of a genuine challenge for the ruling party that
has held power in multi-ethnic
Malaysia since 1957.
Lead prosecutor Muhamad
Shafee Abdullah told reporters
he would be setting out the full
“There are always two sides
to a case, that’s the beauty
about the law. We can answer
all the issues raised,” he said.
Scores of Anwar’s supporters have thronged at security
barriers manned by police outside the court in Kuala Lumpur
this week, but there has been
Anwar has urged them not to
resort to violence and not to be
Anwar was sacked as deputy
prime minister and ﬁnance
minister in 1998 and then
campaigned against corruption and nepotism and led a
nationwide “reformasi” (reform) protest movement before he was jailed in 1999 for
In 2000, he was convicted of
sodomy for the ﬁrst time. The
conviction was overturned in
2004 and Anwar was released
from prison and returned to
head a revitalised opposition
School staff to face assault charges
Two teachers at Jakarta
International School (JIS) are
to stand trial on charges of
sexually assaulting a six-yearold pupil, local media reported.
The head of Jakarta
prosecutor’s office, Adi
Toegarisman, said the case
dossiers of Canadian Neil
Bantleman and Indonesian
Ferdinand Tjiong had been
completed on Wednesday.
The men, who were the school’s
vice principal and a teaching
assistant respectively, have
denied any wrongdoing.
“We are now waiting for the
next phase, the handover
of evidence from the
investigators before we
proceed to trial,” Toegarisman
was quoted as saying by news
The two teachers have been in
police custody since July while
the police were investigating
allegations against them by the
They are charged with
violations against the child
protection law and
could face up to 15 years in
prison if convicted.
Five former janitors at the
school are on trial in the child
sexual assault scandal.
Wild boar kills woman
A woman died after being trampled and bitten by a wild boar
in a mountainous area of central Vietnam, a local official said
yesterday. The 39-year-old woman was working in a rice field
in Pho Hoa commune in Quang Ngai province when the animal
attacked her, said Nguyen Van Nho, chairman of the commune’s
The woman died several hours later. The boar was being
pursued by hunters when it attacked the woman, and the animal
was later shot, Nho said, adding that it was the first such incident
reported in the commune. “If it was not being chased, the
animal would not have attacked her,” he said. Boars used to be a
common sight in the area, but they have become much scarcer
in recent years because of hunting.
Friday, October 31, 2014
Japan aircraft scrambles
endangering safety: China
North Korea orders Ebola
quarantine on all foreigners
5-year delay in removing
melted Fukishima fuel
German tourist found dead
in Australian national park
Anti-groping cop held
for molesting student
Japan’s increased scrambling of military aircraft
in response to Chinese flights is endangering
safety between the Asian powers in the air and
at sea, Beijing’s defence ministry said yesterday.
The defence ministry in Tokyo announced
earlier this month that the country’s military
had scrambled aircraft a total of 207 times
to respond to incursions by Chinese aircraft
between April and September, up from 149 cases
during the same six-month period last year.
Asked about the Japanese statistics at a monthly
press conference, Chinese People’s Liberation
Army spokesman Yang Yujun said the numbers
showed that Japan was endangering safety.
North Korea intends to quarantine all foreigners
entering the country for 21 days, no matter what
their country of origin, as a measure against
the spread of the Ebola virus. According to the
advisory, travellers to North Korea from regions
or countries that Pyongyang considers affected
by the Ebola virus, will be quarantined for 21
days “in a government-appointed hotel under
medical supervision”. Travellers from any other
country or region will also be quarantined in
hotels appointed by the organisation hosting
their visit. It was unclear if the quarantine
requirement applied to foreigners already inside
North Korea when the order was issued.
The Japanese government and the operator
of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant said
yesterday they plan to postpone the start of
removing melted fuel from a reactor by five years,
amid delays in the decommissioning process. The
government and Tokyo Electric Power Co had
initially planned to start the removal at reactor 1
of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in
2020. They will also remove spent fuel rods from
a cooling pool above the reactor in 2019 - a delay
of two years. The delays are not expected to affect
the whole process of decommissioning the plant.
It is projected to take up to 40 years to complete
The body of a German tourist was found at a
campsite in Australia’s Northern Territory, media
reports citing police said yesterday. The 31-yearold man was found near a rented campervan
in the Kakadu National Park late Wednesday,
broadcaster ABC reported. Police said they
were treating his death as non-suspicious. The
unidentified man had reportedly walked up the
Jim Jim Falls trail prior to his death. There was no
obvious cause of death, police were quoted as
saying. An emergency signal was sent to police
shortly before he was found, ABC said. The
report said Wednesday marked the hottest day
in the park in a decade.
A Japanese police officer in charge of crackdown
on groping was arrested for allegedly molesting
a teenager. The 30-year-old officer was arrested
on suspicion of having groped a 19-year-old
female university student in a bicycle parking
area in Hiratsuka city, near Tokyo, Kanagawa
Shimbun reported yesterday, citing local police.
The officer said he “did wrong to the victim,” the
paper reported. The Kanagawa prefectural police
said it was “inappropriate behaviour by a police
officer. We will look into the matter and respond
harshly.” Groping is a serious social problem in
Japan, and those found guilty are given prison
sentences or face a penalty charge.
ustralia yesterday passed
a law criminalising travel
to terror hotspots, a tough
counter-terrorism measure aimed
at stopping jihadists from going to
Iraq and Syria to ﬁght.
The Australian government has
been increasingly concerned about
the ﬂow of foreign ﬁghters to the
Middle East to join militant groups
such as Islamic State, with 70 Australians believed to have already
made the journey.
The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Foreign Fighters) includes measures that make
it an offence to enter a “declared
area” where a terrorist organisation is engaging in hostile activity,
without a valid reason.
The offence carries a maximum
penalty of 10 years in prison.
“The foreign ﬁghters bill that
has passed the parliament today
will mean, ﬁrst of all, that it is easier to secure convictions against
Australians who have been ﬁghting with terrorist groups overseas,”
Prime Minister Tony Abbott told
“It will mean that it is easier to
monitor potential terrorists here,
and it will also mean... that it is
easier to prosecute the preachers of
hate who create the potential terrorists.”
Abbott said about 100 Australians were supporting jihadists who
had travelled to the Middle East to
ﬁght with recruitment and funding
Some 20 jihadists who fought
with terrorist groups in the region
had also returned to Australia, Abbott added.
“The best way to deal with returning foreign ﬁghters is to stop
them leaving in the ﬁrst place...
and I’m able to inform the House
that some 70 Australian passports
have been cancelled to stop terrorists or potential terrorists from
The new law came into force as
the government introduced a bill
yesterday that requires Australian
telecommunication ﬁrms to retain
customers’ digital data for two years.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the laws were
“absolutely critical” for law enforcement and intelligence agencies, while stressing that the metadata collected “does not include
the content of communications”.
“What it is seeking to do simply
is to ensure that the ability of our
law enforcement agencies, security agencies and police are not diminished because changing technologies and changing business
practices no longer require telcom
companies to retain that type of
data,” he said.
But the Australian Lawyers Alliance said the data retention bill
was a “recipe for privacy abuse”
and would leave Australians with
“no protection against security
agencies misusing their personal
or private information”.
“Under the legislation, every
single phone call, every single text
message, e-mail or online communication will available to be
accessed by security agencies
such as ASIO (Australian Security
Intelligence Organisation) or the
Australian Federal Police,” alliance
spokesman Greg Barns said in a
Concerns about another national security measure passed in
September as part of an anti-terror
crackdown were also raised by the
Labor opposition amid fears that
journalists could be jailed for up to
10 years if they reported on certain
Attorney-General George Brandis refuted the concerns, saying
that the legislation was instead
“intended to deal with a Snowdentype situation”.
Documents leaked by US intelligence fugitive Edward Snowden
included reports in November that
Australian spies tried to tap the
phones of former Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
and his inner circle, damaging relations between the two countries.
A pro-democracy protester draws on his tent at their camp site in the Admiralty district of Hong Kong.
Hong Kong democracy protests
national security issue for China
ong Kong’s pro-democracy protests have escalated into a national security issue threatening Chinese sovereignty over the Asian
ﬁnancial centre, a delegate to China’s
rubber-stamp parliament said yesterday.
Businessman and lawmaker Michael
Tien Puk-sun said support for Hong
Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying
was crucial to the city’s future stability
and there was no longer any room to remain neutral.
The protesters have blocked key intersections for a month in their demand for
fully-democratic elections for the city’s
next chief executive in 2017. Beijing has
said it will only allow a vote among prescreened candidates.
While the protests have remained
largely peaceful, ﬂashes of violence and
dramatic images of students dressed in
Carpenter Liu Fulong
drives a wooden car
that he made on a street
in Shenyang, northeast
province. Liu Fulong
spent more than three
months on the wooden
electric car that can
travel at a top speed
of 30kph when fully
charged, local media
raincoats and safety goggles using umbrellas to protect themselves from tear
gas and pepper spray have reared a new
political consciousness in the city of
“Because China has declared there
are foreign forces and political inﬂuence behind Occupy Central, it has been
elevated to a national security issue,”
Tien said, referring to one of the protest
“They are not ﬁghting for democracy.
They are ﬁghting for independence. We
are dealing with a sovereignty issue...
Occupy Central is asking for complete
democracy, something that only an independent state can provide.”
Tien was speaking a day after his
brother, James Tien Pei-chun, was expelled from China’s top parliamentary
advisory body and resigned as leader of
Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing Liberal Party
after urging the Leung to step down.
Beijing has said it fully supports Leung.
James Tien’s swift removal from the
Chinese People’s Political Consultative
Conference (CPPCC) is a sign of how
concerned Beijing is about the protests
which, at their peak, drew more than
100,000 people into the streets.
Hong Kong’s increasingly charged
political climate is also putting Chinese
government officials on tenterhooks.
China’s liaison office in Hong Kong
called an urgent meeting with Liberal
Party leaders on Tuesday, calling them
in the morning and asking them to attend a dinner meeting that night, said
Liberal Party lawmaker Felix Chung.
China’s most senior official in Hong
Kong, Zhang Xiaoming, explained the
CPPCC’s decision was speciﬁc to James
Tien, Chung said. Zhang also said Beijing would continue to support the Liberal Party, according to Chung.
The party in Hong Kong is pro-establishment and comprised largely of businessmen.
Michael Tien said that the CPPCC was
forced to act given the backdrop of the
protests. CPPCC members are expected
to fully support and promote its resolu-
tions - or at least keep quiet once they
are made, he said, adding that if the CPPCC had failed to respond to his brother’s
comments, its bylaws and code of conduct
risked becoming “a bunch of hot air”.
“Membership comes with a certain
price tag,” Tien said. “I think my brother
made the mistake of not recognising
While CPPCC officials have said
they still consider James Tien loyal, his
brother says there is still debate over
how to categorize him.
“One camp calls him the ‘conscience
of Hong Kong’ because he is willing to
sacriﬁce his own political career to speak
his mind. The other camp says he is not
loyal and has betrayed his status as a
pro-establishment member,” Michael
“I think both camps are correct.
That’s why it’s best for him not to be a
CPPCC member. When you accept that
appointment, it comes with certain obligations.”
James Tien declined to comment.
South Korea soldiers jailed in hazing case
Yongin, South Korea
South Korean court-martial yesterday convicted four soldiers of
homicide for the beating death of
a fellow conscript and sentenced them to
long prison terms in a case that sparked
an outcry about how enlisted are treated.
Private First Class Yoon Seung-joo,
20, died in April after more than a month
of almost daily beating and other abuse.
The case shocked South Korea, which
maintains a military of about 630,000,
many of them conscripts who serve
about two years, and led to the resignation of the army chief of staff.
A panel of three military judges sentenced the four defendants to prison
terms ranging from 25 to 45 years. The
military prosecutor had sought the death
penalty for one of them, a sergeant accused of being the main offender.
The four did not speak in court and
their lawyers were not available for comment after the verdict. The defendants
said earlier they had not intended to kill
Members of Yoon’s family, angered by
what they regarded as a lesser charge of
homicide, tried to rush the defendants
after the sentences were handed down
and had to be held back by military police.
“How is this not murder?” Yoon’s
crying mother, Ahn Mi-ja, told reporters
after the sentencing. “I’m going to leave
this country. I can’t live here any more.”
Military prosecutors said they would
appeal to seek tougher sentences.
During the trial, witnesses testiﬁed
that Yoon was beaten and denied food
and sleep. The defendants had beaten and
tormented him in the moments before he
collapsed and died, one witness said.
Military leaders have pledged to reform the armed forces and the treatment
of conscripts. Under changes introduced
by military leaders, conscripts are allowed more visits at their bases and days
off and barracks have been upgraded.
But some critics say the military has to
change a culture of abuse, mostly among
enlisted soldiers, and do something
about commanders’ inability to stop it.
“I have doubts about whether people
will trust the reform of military culture,”
said Lim Tae-hoon, head of the Center
for Military Human Rights who exposed
the beating death case and who now sits
on a military panel charged with studying reforms.
Friday, October 31, 2014
British actor Sir Michael Caine and his wife
Shakira Caine arrive for the European premiere
of ‘Interstellar’ in Leicester Square in London.
The movie opens in British cinemas on
N Ireland police arrest man
over McConville murder
Murphy launches bid to
lead Labour in Scotland
Hip-hop trio Young Fathers
win Mercury Prize
Fighter jets scrambled
to intercept cargo plane
Police in Northern Ireland yesterday said they
had arrested a man for questioning over the
1972 abduction and murder of Jean McConville,
months after Irish nationalist leader Gerry
Adams was questioned about the same crime.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland said in
a statement yesterday that it had arrested a
73-year-old man in Dunmurry, a town just south
of Belfast, for questioning about the murder.
It did not name him. Northern Ireland police
detained 66-year-old Adams for four days in May
in relation to the murder of McConville, who was
abducted by the Irish Republican Army in front
of her children from a nationalist area.
Former Labour Party minister Jim Murphy stepped
forward yesterday to join members of the Scottish
parliament Neil Findlay and Sarah Boyack in a bid
to become the new leader of the Scottish Labour
Party. The vacancy was created this month with
the shock resignation of Johann Lamont, who
complained the Scottish Labour Party was being
treated like a “branch office” of the Labour Party
in London. “I want to unite the Labour party, but
more importantly, I want to bring the country
back together after the referendum,” Murphy said.
Interim Scottish leader Anas Sarwar, shadow health
secretary Jackie Baillie and former prime minister
Gordon Brown have said they will not stand.
Young Fathers, an underground hip-hop trio from
Scotland, won the prestigious Mercury Prize,
beating out far better-selling British artistes.
Young Fathers’ first studio album Dead topped a
field that included Blur frontman Damon Albarn
as well as poet-turned-rapper Kate Tempest and
R&B-influenced trip-hopper FKA twigs. Young
Fathers took home the £20,000 award, given
each year for the best British or Irish album, even
though “Dead” had sold fewer than 2,400 copies
by this week. “Young Fathers have a unique take
on urban British music, brimming with ideas forceful, unexpected and moving,” said Simon
Frith, the chair of the judging panel.
Fighter jets were scrambled to intercept a
Lithuanian cargo plane near London after air
traffic controllers had raised concerns about its
flight path. The pair of Royal Air Force Typhoons
were on to the Russian-built aircraft so fast
that their sonic booms were described by
worried homeowners as akin to an explosion.
The freighter was escorted to Stansted Airport
without incident. The Lithuanian-operated
Antonov Av-26 was cleared to continue on to
Birmingham. An air force spokesman said: “To
fulfil their quick reaction role the Typhoons were
cleared to travel at supersonic speed. Any noise
disturbance as a result of this is regretted.”
London Evening Standard
early 1,500 criminal suspects, including murderers and rapists, who ﬂed
to London to avoid facing justice
overseas have been extradited over
the past ﬁve years under the controversial European Arrest Warrant, new ﬁgures revealed yesterday.
The Met statistics show that 45
alleged killers and 35 men wanted
for rape were among 1,423 suspects detained in London since
April 2009 and sent to other European countries in response to EAW
Other offenders hiding in the
capital who have been extradited
to face prosecution abroad using
the fast-track system — which
David Cameron is battling to preserve in the face of a major Tory
rebellion — include 25 accused of
child sex offences and 30 suspected armed robbers. Two alleged
terrorists, 130 people wanted for
drug trafficking and 252 accused
of fraud have also been sent back
to European countries using the
EAW after being found by the Met
on the run in London.
More than half of the alleged
offenders were Poles. There were
also 113 Romanians, 138 Lithuanians and 37 Hungarians.
Only 67 Britons - less than ﬁve
percent of the total - were among
those handed over.
The new statistics, obtained
by the Evening Standard, follow
a pledge by the prime minister to
hold a Commons vote on retaining the EAW before the crunch
Rochester and Strood by-election
The warrants allow criminal
suspects to be extradited from one
EU country to another without the
need for the evidence in the case to
be tested in court before the person is sent back.
Cameron wants to renew Brit-
ain’s participation in the system
before a December 1 deadline set
under the terms of an “opt-out”
agreed ﬁve years ago by the Labour
But as many as 100 Conservative backbenchers, who believe
that the system is exposing British
citizens to injustice, are planning
to vote “no” in what could become
the most damaging rebellion of his
Home Secretary Theresa May
has already sought to quell the revolt by warning that any decision
to abandon the arrest warrant will
undermine the ﬁght against crime
by making it harder for police to
secure the return of suspects who
have ﬂed overseas.
She has also expressed concern
that it would turn Britain into a
haven for foreign criminals and
yesterday cited the new ﬁgures as
evidence of the potentially disastrous consequences of pulling out
of the system.
“The arrest warrant is a vital
tool to help us bring serious international criminals like paedophiles, human traffickers and
terrorists to justice,” May told the
“Without it, London and the
UK’s other great cities would be
safe havens for European criminals on the run because of our
diminished powers to send them
“We have reformed the arrest
warrant to ensure that it is a fair
and effective tool to tackle crime
— with those extra safeguards in
place, it is not a tool that we should
May added that withdrawal
from the arrest warrant would
also leave British law enforcement agencies with “weakened”
powers to capture criminals “who
have ﬂed overseas”, while “victims
of crime would ﬁnd it harder to
get justice”. People of 56 different
nationalities, including 803 Poles,
have been returned to 25 EU states
after being held in London.
Poppy Day event
Prime Minister David Cameron meets supporters of the Royal British Legion in front of a 1960’s Routemaster Bus, during a Royal British Legion Poppy Day event at
Downing Street in London yesterday.
House prices in London
‘to dip,’ predict experts
Guardian News and Media
ondon house prices could
“dip” in coming months
after the number of new
buyer inquiries fell to a six-year
low, property experts said yesterday in their strongest warning yet.
Latest Nationwide Building
Society ﬁgures showed annual
house price rises across the UK
slowing to nine percent in October, down from 9.4% the previous month.
change was a 0.5% increase nationwide to an all-time high of
£189,333 on average, reversing
a 0.1% month-on-month fall
seen in September.
But Nationwide’s chief economist Robert Gardner said: “A
Budget secrets leaked to
Sun for £750, court hears
government press officer
leaked budget secrets to a
Sun reporter in exchange
for £750, a court heard.
Clodagh Hartley is on trial at
the Old Bailey accused of paying Her Majesty’s Revenue and
Customs (HMRC) press officer
Jonathan Hall around £17,000 for
story tips over a period of three
In March 2010, Hall gave the
Whitehall editor information for
an exclusive double page spread
about Alistair Darling’s budget
before he stood up to deliver it to
MPs, jurors were told.
Prosecutor Zoe Johnson QC
said: “On March 24, 2010, there
was a big news story on pages
eight and nine of the Sun exclaiming ‘Don’t Fudge It’ with a
cartoon and photograph of the
then chancellor of the exchequer,
“This story was published on
budget day and leaked an announcement that there was going to be a rise in fuel duty.
“As you would expect, the details of the budget are a closely
guarded secret. You would expect
the details would be announced
to Parliament and not broadcast
in advance in the newspapers and
certainly not for money, for personal gain.”
Johnson said a ﬁnancial trail
revealed that Hall was paid £750
for the exclusive story at the request of Hartley.
“Many of you will
have sympathy for
journalists who expose
inefficiency in government
departments but that is not
what this case is about”
He was also paid £500 for a
story in December 2009 headlined ‘£1mn celeb Ads’, the court
It revealed that celebrities including Kelly Brook were being
paid as part of a £1.3mn tax payer
funded TV campaign publicising
the government website Directgov.
Hall, who joined HMRC in
2009, received more than £4,000
directly from News International
between April 2008 and May
Then, at Hartley’s suggestion, he used his girlfriend Marta
Bukarewicz’s account to channel more than £13,000 between
June 2010 and July 2011 in order
to “cover his tracks”, the court
Bukarewicz transferred most
of the money to Hall but kept
£845 for her role in the “unlawful
agreement”, Johnson said.
The prosecutor told jurors:
“This is not a trial involving
whistle blowing in a noble cause.
It is a case in which Hall, the
HMRC press officer, was motivated by greed and Hartley, the
journalist, was motivated by acquiring the next big scoop or exclusive.
“Many of you will have sympathy for journalists who expose
mismanagement and inefficiency in government departments
but that is not what this case is
The jury was told that Hall has
accepted that he supplied stories
to Hartley for which he was paid
but was not in the dock.
variety of indicators suggest
that the market has lost momentum. The number of mortgages approved for house purchase in September was almost
20% below the level prevailing
at the start of the year.
“Some forward-looking indicators, such as new buyer
inquiries, suggest that activity
may soften further in the near
term, especially in London.”
He highlighted ﬁgures from
the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors which showed
the net balance for new buyer
inquiries plunging in London to
its lowest level in six years.
RICS chief economist Simon
Rubinsohn said: “Buyers have
been put off by the sharp rise in
prices in the capital and by the
lack of fresh stock coming to the
“Fears over the rise in the
cost of borrowing, coupled with
banks tightening up on high
loan to income mortgages have
also contributed to the drop in
buyer demand. We suspect that
this picture will stabilise and it
is possible prices will dip in the
near term — but the chronic
shortage of homes in the capital
indicates that the falls will not
be signiﬁcant or long-term.”
This month the RICS reported more of its members saying
house prices had fallen in the
capital than had increased during September — the ﬁrst occasion there had been such a
monthly drop for nearly four
Howard Archer, chief UK
economist at IHS Global Insight, said: “There is now clear
evidence of at least a temporary
housing market slowdown.” The
Nationwide ﬁgures yesterday
did not include data by region.
However, Gardner stressed that
broader economic indicators
remained positive, with unemployment continuing to drop
and mortgage rates falling back
towards all-time lows.
“If the economy and the labour market remain in good
shape, activity is likely to pick
up in the quarters ahead — providing mortgage rates do not
rise sharply,” he added.
In a sign of what is to come,
the Bank of England on Wednesday reported that the number
of mortgage approvals made to
home buyers fell to a 14-month
low in September.
Some experts have said this is
evidence of the market becoming steadier after a strong burst
of house-buying activity seen
earlier this year.
But other commentators have
on Ukip approach
Queen Elizabeth arrives at the new Jaguar Land Rover
factory in Wolverhampton, west Midlands, Britain,
yesterday. The Queen and Prince Philip, Duke of
Edinburgh toured Jaguar Land Rover’s new engine
manufacturing centre which will start manufacturing
engines in 2015.
predicted that with the wider
national economy still picking
up, the weaker patch of mortgage
approvals will not last for long.
Stricter mortgage lending
rules came into force earlier
this year and these have caused
some disruption to the market.
But in recent weeks there have
been signs of lenders gaining a
stronger appetite to do business
and slashing the mortgage rates
on offer in attempts to meet
end-of-year lending targets.
Expectations about the prospect of a rise in the Bank of England base rate from its historic
0.5% low, pushing up borrowing
costs, also appear to have been
The Bank of England’s chief
economist Andy Haldane recently suggested that there will
be no hike until well into next
ony Blair has warned Ed
Miliband not to chase
Ukip to win over voters
and insisted curbing immigration would be a “disaster” for
The former prime minister
said Labour must be “really careful” of saying things that suggested Nigel Farage’s party are
justiﬁed in their policies.
Miliband last week announced
that a Labour government would
immediately bring in an immigration Bill and said the EU “needs to
change if we are to deal with the
problems of immigration”.
Blair said the way to tackle the
threat from Ukip was to “deal
with it by what you believe”.
He told Progress magazine:
“Let’s be clear: We don’t think
that Ukip’s right, not on immigration and not on Europe - so
the ﬁrst thing you’ve got to be really careful of doing is ... saying
things that suggest that they’re
kind of justiﬁed in their policy
because what you’re actually
going to do is validate their argument when in fact you don’t
believe in it.” Stopping immigration would be “a disaster for this
country” and Labour must not
“end up chasing after the policies of a party like Ukip, who you
don’t agree with, whose policies
would take this country backwards economically, politically,
in every conceivable way, and
who, ultimately, at the heart of
what they do, have a rather nasty
core of prejudice that none of us
believe in, which you’ve actually
got to take on and ﬁght. So the
way to deal with this is to deal
with it by what you believe”.
Blair claimed the way David
Cameron is dealing with the
threat from Ukip “doesn’t do
them any electoral favours at all”.
He claimed the Tories would
be better off at the ballot box “if
they actually stood up against
these people and said ‘you don’t
understand the way the world
works today, your policies will
take us backwards and we’re not
Blair added: “There’s a huge
desire in a large part of the media
in this country to return British politics to a traditional Tory
party ﬁghting a traditional Labour party.” That would lead to a
“a traditional result”, he warned.
Friday, October 31, 2014
Drones seen ﬂying over
France’s nuclear plants
nti-nuclear groups expressed alarm yesterday
at revelations that drones
ﬂew over seven French nuclear
power plants in October in a
development that has sparked
fresh debate about nuclear safety.
State electricity company
EDF, which operates the plants,
conﬁrmed that “aircraft resembling drones” had been spotted
over seven of them since October 5.
One of the plants is currently
Environmental group Greenpeace claimed that “at least 10”
nuclear sites nationwide had
been targeted by the drones, including the country’s oldest nuclear plant at Fessenheim, on the
border with Germany, and the
administrative headquarters of
the Atomic Energy Commission
The EDF denied any drone
sightings over Fessenheim.
“Fessenheim was not overﬂown,” a spokesperson told DPA
he Vatican unveiled yesterday a minor make-over
of the Sistine Chapel,
which has been ﬁtted with new
lighting and ventilation systems
to better showcase and preserve
The renovation, costing about
€3mn ($3.8mn), took three years
and was carried out pro bono by
US ventilation specialist Carrier and German lighting giant
Osram, with some funding from
the European Union.
“We take pride in having
honoured Michelangelo, on the
450th anniversary of his death,
in the way that we think is best,”
the director of the Vatican Museums, Antonio Paolucci, said,
opening a two-day conference
on the chapel.
For years, experts had been
warning that the chapel’s worldfamous frescoes, whose last restoration took 20 years and was
completed in 1994, were under threat from smog, dust and
changes in temperature brought
in by growing numbers of tourists.
Currently, there are up to
20,000 visitors every day to the
chapel, which is also the place
where cardinals are secluded
when they have to elect a new
The old ventilation system,
ﬁtted some 20 years ago, could
cope with only about onethird of those tourist numbers,
“New lighting was also needed,” he added, hailing the 7,000
LED lamps ﬁtted by Osram as
“non-invasive, respectful” and
“capable of illustrating every
detail” of the chapel, not just its
most iconic images.
“We spent entire nights” with
Paolucci and other experts testing the right mix of lamps to
bring out the colours of the artworks, Marco Frascarolo, an Italian consultant who worked with
He said that LED technology cut energy consumption by
Speaking to DPA, Paolucci
dismissed Italian press reports
suggesting that he was planning
to introduce visiting quotas.
“No, with this new (ventilation) system we don’t need
to. But we need to keep to this
number of visitors, not to let
it grow. The Vatican Museums
are advocating zero-growth”
in tourist numbers, the Vatican
Museum director said.
It is not known who was behind the ﬂights.
However, suspicion immediately fell on the anti-nuclear
lobby, which has staged several
stunts to highlight nuclear security.
Greenpeace, which has carried out several break-ins at
nuclear plants in recent years
to raise awareness of nuclear
safety, denied any hand in the
incidents, which it called “very
“In all its actions, Greenpeace
operates openly and takes responsibility for its actions,” the
group said, calling for an investigation into the security of the
airspace around nuclear plants.
The EDF said that it had notiﬁed the authorities and ﬁled
a criminal complaint against
persons unknown for the illegal
entry of airspace above a nuclear
facility after each incident.
Aircraft are banned from ﬂying within a 5km radius and
1,000m altitude over a nuclear
Questioned about the incidents on France Info, Interior
Minister Bernard Cazeneuve
vowed the authorities had “ways
of neutralising these drones”.
This photo taken on March 30, 2013, shows the Bugey’s nuclear plant in Saint Vulbas, central-eastern
Cazeneuve would not be
drawn into saying who might be
behind the ﬂights, saying that
the investigation was continuing.
The EDF downplayed the sig-
niﬁcance of the airspace breaches, saying they had “no impact
on the safe functioning of the
The company did not speak
to the broader issue of security,
including the threat of terrorist
The Observatoire du Nucleaire, a French anti-nuclear
group, said that the “campaign
proves that, with modern tech-
nologies like drones, people with
bad intentions can easily obtain
crucial information on the exact
conﬁguration of nuclear plants,
in order to possibly carry out real
While the EDF did report each
drone sighting in brief on the
websites of the affected power
plants, the utility did not issue
any general statement on the
overﬂights, meaning the incidents went largely unnoticed
by the media and public until
The EDF named the plants
over which drones had been
spotted as Creys-Malville and
Bugey in the southeast, Blayais
in the southwest, Cattenom and
Chooz in the northeast, Gravelines in the north and Nogentsur-Seine, the closest plant to
The unmanned aircraft were
spotted late in the evening, at
night or very early in the morning, the EDF said.
France has 58 reactors providing three-quarters of the country’s power.
President Francois Hollande
has vowed to try reduce the
atomic share in the energy mix
to 50% by 2025.
Germany’s new road toll to cost
foreign car drivers up to €130
he German government
introduced a controversial road toll yesterday
which will force foreign car
drivers to pay up to €130 a year
for using Germany’s Autobahn
The plan, intended to help
Germany fund the upkeep of
its transport infrastructure
which is used by millions of
foreign vehicles, may yet face
a legal challenge in Brussels for
discriminating against foreign
After months of heated
debate between Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian
Democrats (CDU) and their
Bavarian sister party Christian
Social Union (CSU), Transport
Minister Alexander Dobrindt
dropped an original idea to raise
the fee on all roads.
However, the minister stuck
to the plan that the toll will not
lead to extra costs for German
drivers by allowing them to offset the levy against an already
existing motor vehicle tax.
Dobrindt, a leading member
of the CSU, said he was convinced that his draft law does
not discriminate against foreign motorists and therefore
would stand if challenged in
“The infrastructure fee is
sensible, fair and just,” the
minister said, adding that the
Nearly 1,000 picked
up in Mediterranean
early 1,000 migrants
have been rescued in
the Mediterranean over
the past 24 hours, and 20 were
feared missing, Italian authorities and media said yesterday.
The news came amid uncertainty over Italy’s plans to close
its Mare Nostrum migrant rescue mission once the European
Union border agency Frontex
launches Triton, a new sea patrol operation due to debut tomorrow.
“The Mare Nostrum operation will close and will do
it according to a [...] phasing
out [schedule] that the government will deﬁne shortly,
deciding how long it will take,”
Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said in a Senate hearing.
The Italian navy, which coordinates sea rescue operations, said that three of its vessels rescued 567 migrants over
the course of several operations on Wednesday.
It said 250 of them would be
disembarked in Reggio Calabria today.
The ANSA news agency said
the coast guard picked up another 93 migrants off the coast
of Libya, and were searching
for more after being told by
survivors that their sunken
rubber dinghy had 113 people
Another coast guard patrol
intercepted 78 migrants whose
dinghy was at risk of sinking,
Meanwhile, 228 migrants
landed in the Sicilian port of
Messina, after being taken on
board by a passing cargo ship
40km south of Malta.
Italy is facing a record inﬂux
of migrants, fuelled by unrest
in Syria, the Gaza Strip and
On October 16, Frontex boss
Gil Arias Fernadez said that
about 143,000 had landed on
the country’s shores since the
start of the year, compared to
less than 43,000 during 2013.
Italy launched the Mare
Nostrum mission 12 months
ago, following two shipwrecks
in which at 500 people died.
It said it was an emergency response, costing €9mn
($11.3mn), which could not be
kept on indeﬁnitely.
Human rights organisations
have criticised Italy’s plans to
wind down the operation, noting that Triton will operate in a
far smaller area of the Mediterranean, limiting its capacity to
rescue migrants in distress.
A spokeswoman for the EU
agency told DPA that Triton
would cost €2.9mn a month
and deployments would include two ocean patrol vessels,
two coastal patrol vessels, two
aircraft and a helicopter.
They were expected to operate in the territorial waters
of Italy and “partly” in the
search-and-rescue waters of
Italy and Malta, the spokeswoman said.
revenues of the road toll would
only be used to modernise Germany’s motorways and main
The toll is expected to be introduced in 2016.
Motorists have to pay it by
registering their licence plates
via the Internet. Foreigners can
also pay the levy at gas stations.
The fee will take into account
the cylinder capacity and environmental compatibility of
the car with a maximum toll of
€130 a year.
Foreign drivers can pay a
10-day levy for €10 or a twomonth levy for €22 euros.
The minister expects revenues of €3.7bn of which around
€3bn euros will come from domestic drivers.
With estimated introduction
costs of nearly €200mn, the
net revenue might shrink to just
€500mn a year.
Dobrindt’s CSU wants foreign motorists to pay tolls on
motorways because they think
it is unfair that foreigners travel
for free in Germany while German drivers have to pay tolls
in neighbouring countries
like Austria, Switzerland and
The CSU pressed the motorway toll issue in coalition talks
after last year’s German federal
But Merkel’s CDU and its
other coalition ally, the centreleft Social Democrats (SPD),
said they would only back the
toll if it did not lead to extra
costs for German motorists
and if it complied with European Union rules that prohibit
discrimination against foreign
Germany has already introduced a satellite-based toll
system for lorries that obliges
truck drivers to pay on motorways.
This toll depends on the
number of kilometres actually
Merkel has vowed that no
German car owner would pay
more to drive than at present,
so domestic road taxes will be
reduced at the same time as the
fee is ushered in as an integral
part of car registration.
“That was my main condition,” she said.
Strike hits Portuguese airline
airline TAP cancelled
nearly half of its 320
scheduled ﬂights yesterday as its
cabin crew held a 24-hour strike
over deteriorating working conditions.
Only ﬂights by its regional
subsidiary carrier Portugalia
were maintained as well as minimum services to the Azores and
Madeira, two Portuguese archipelagos in the Atlantic, and Sao
Paulo, the ﬁnancial capital of
Brazil, an airline spokeswoman
Of the 25,000 passengers who
were scheduled to ﬂy on TAP
ﬂights yesterday, nearly 15,000
had either cancelled their trip or
changed the ﬂights ahead of the
strike, she added.
Cabin crew union SNPVAC
complained that contracts are
being violated, leading to “a
continuous and systematic degradation of work conditions” at
the airline which the government plans to sell.
A crew member of TAP airline waits under the company’s
logo in Lisbon during a strike yesterday.
ro-Russian separatists in
Ukraine threatened yesterday to retake the city
of Mariupol from government
forces, three days before an election in areas controlled by the
the leader of the self-declared
“Donetsk People’s Republic”,
said that the separatists would
take the port city by force if government troops did not withdraw.
“We are in talks over Mariupol
– but they won’t give it up. If we
cannot take it peacefully, we will
take it by force,” he told a rally in
Novoazovsk, a rebel-held town,
according to Russian news agencies.
Zakharchenko was campaigning for Sunday’s elections in
both the Donetsk and Luhansk
Ukraine and western governments have denounced the elections as illegal and as a threat to
the ceaseﬁre accord signed last
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and German Chancellor Angela Merkel denounced the
vote as running counter to the
Minsk Protocol, Poroshenko’s
office said after a phone conversation of the two leaders.
EU Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton warned earlier that
the vote would contradict the
protocol’s “letter and the spirit”
and disrupt progress to ﬁnding a
But Andrei Purgin, Zakharchenko’s deputy, said that the government in Kiev had practically
aborted the accords.
“Ukraine does not observe a
single of its points,” he told Interfax.
The ceaseﬁre has been shaky
since it was announced on September 5, and both sides have
accused each other of violating
The Ukrainian military said
that seven soldiers were killed
and 11 injured during the past 24
Security and Defence Council
spokesman Andriy Lysenko said
that the number and intensity
of separatist attacks was on the
Russia has said it would accept the result of the elections
in rebel-held areas, angering
western capitals who want the
Kremlin to curtail its backing of
Tensions over Ukraine have
sparked concerns of a new Cold
Nato Secretary General Jens
Stoltenberg said yesterday that
the number of Russian aircraft
intercepted along the alliance’s
borders had increased.
There have been more than
100 cases this year so far, more
than three times as much as during 2013.
“Nato remains vigilant and
ready to respond,” Stoltenberg
said during a visit to Athens.
Stoltenberg also called on
Moscow to end its destabilising
actions in Ukraine.
“Russia’s actions in Ukraine
are in breach of international
law. They have severely damaged trust and they pose a major
challenge to Euro-Atlantic security,” he said after talks with
Greek Prime Minister Antonis
Also yesterday, Russia said
that it had tested a new intercontinental missile.
The Bulava-type missile hit its
target on the Paciﬁc peninsula of
Kamchatka after being launched
from a nuclear submarine in the
Barents Sea, some 5,000km to
the west, Russian news agencies
Turkish foreign ministry, Norway embassy targeted by ‘suspect packages’
The Turkish foreign ministry and Norwegian
embassy in Ankara received suspicious
packages yesterday, officials said, the latest
in a string of such incidents reported in the
Turkey’s emergencies management agency
AFAD said in a statement that both reported
receiving the suspect packages in the
It did not say what was in the packages but
the Dogan news agency said they contained
the same yellow powder that had been sent
to half a dozen consulates in Istanbul last
Twenty-five staff from the consulates were
hospitalised after coming into contact with
the powder but all were eventually released
without showing ill health.
The health ministry had said there was no
evidence of dangerous substances in the
powder, which turned out to be nothing more
than yellow chalk.
But the scare in Istanbul came amid
mounting concerns about the growing
national security threat to Turkey and
Western states posed by the jihadists, who
are trying to seize the town of Kobane close
to Turkey’s border with Syria.
The consulates of Belgium, Canada, Germany,
France, Hungary and the United States –
all countries involved in the international
coalition against Islamic State (IS) jihadists –
had reported receiving the yellow powder.
Friday, October 31, 2014
ritish defence minister
Michael Fallon said yesterday he had raised a $12bn
ﬁghter jet deal being negotiated by
French company Dassault during
talks with his Indian counterpart.
Fallon said he had spoken to
Defence Minister Arun Jaitley
about the contract in the hope of
still landing the giant deal currently being considered by the
British-backed Euroﬁghter lost
out to the French-made Rafale
plane for exclusive negotiations in
2012 to supply 126 ﬁghters.
The French lodged a lower bid
than its rival Euroﬁghter for a
tender with an estimated value of
But the negotiations have since
been delayed, and have only now
been taken up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government
which stormed to power in May.
“So far as Typhoon Euroﬁghters are concerned we respect the
position the Indian government
has adopted,” Fallon said at an
event in New Delhi.
“Euroﬁghter has made it very
clear that should the negotiations
not progress with the French then
we are ready to get into negotiations with the Indian government,” he said. Fallon added that
Britain was “ideally placed to contribute signiﬁcantly” to India’s
India, the world’s biggest
arms importer, is in the midst of
a $100bn defence upgrade programme and last week cleared
projects worth $13.1bn.
Modi has said India must build
up its military might to the point
that no other country “dare cast
an evil eye” on the nation.
A series of corruption scandals
under the previous government
had brought defence procurement
to a near standstill.
Fallon is in Delhi to meet top
government ministers as well as
commemorate India’s fallen soldiers in World War I, as countries
mark the 100th anniversary of the
beginning of the conﬂict.
“I thought it was important for
me to be here to mark the memory of all those who served and
many of those who died in that
great cause a hundred years ago,”
he said, after laying a wreath at
Delhi’s India Gate memorial.
The proposed plan will be
rolled out in phases from
April 2015 and will cover the
entire population by March
British Secretary of State for Defence Michael Fallon poses for a photograph with a battlefield guide
publication during a World War I commemoration event in New Delhi yesterday. British dignitaries
and descendants of soldiers yesterday commemorated India’s largely forgotten World War I heroes at
a ceremony marking the centenary of the battles fought for their British colonial ruler.
ndia’s universal health plan
that aims to offer guaranteed beneﬁts to a sixth of
the world’s population will cost
an estimated Rs1.6tn ($26bn)
over the next four years, a senior health ministry official said.
Under the National Health
Assurance Mission, Prime
Minister Narendra Modi’s
government would provide all
citizens with free drugs and diagnostic treatment, as well as
insurance cover to treat serious
The proposed plan would be
rolled out in phases from April
2015 and will cover the entire
population by March 2019, C K
Mishra, an additional secretary
at the health ministry, said.
When the entire population is
covered, it would cost an estimated $11.4bn annually.
“If you want to deliver the
service, that is what it will
take,” Mishra said, disclosing for the ﬁrst time an expert
group’s cost estimates that will
be considered by the ﬁnance
ministry for inclusion in the
government’s spending plans.
Healthcare experts caution
that it could take decades before India’s 1.2bn people are
adequately covered and that
the costs of provision could
face signiﬁcant upward pressure.
If approved, India would
need to drastically raise its
healthcare spending. In the
current ﬁnancial year, the federal budget allocated about
$5bn to healthcare.
“We are not in a position to
implement it across the regions, states (right now). It’s
impossible. So we are choosing
number of districts each year,”
Despite rapid economic
growth in the last 20 years,
the Indian government spends
only about 1% of gross domestic product on healthcare. That
compares to 3% in China and
8.3% in the US.
“The new plan will focus
on improving preventive
by ensuring adequate
availability of medical
practitioners in rural
More newborns die in India
than in poorer neighbours such
as Bangladesh, and preventable
illnesses such as diarrhoea kill
more than a million children
Government hospitals are
overcrowded and lack resources to meet the growing
demand, while access to basic health services in rural areas and smaller towns remains
“I can say that you are covered, but your closest facilities are 100km away. You are
limited by that fact,” said Rana
Mehta, leader of healthcare at
consultants PwC India.
“To build infrastructure and
then provide care over a period
of time would obviously take
A 2012 study by Indian business lobby Ficci and consultants EY estimated that universal health cover in India was
feasible in a decade and would
require government health
spending to rise to 3.7-4.5% of
The new plan will focus on
improving preventive healthcare services by ensuring adequate availability of medical
practitioners in rural areas,
while new infrastructure will
be created under existing welfare programmes, Mishra said.
Tertiary care services would
be provided through an insurance-based model and the
government will offer more
than 50 drugs free to all its citizens.
Along with the drugs, about
12-15 diagnostic treatments
will be offered in the package.
Mishra said states will be
encouraged to enter into outsourcing agreements for the
provision of treatment.
In recent years, thousands of
small private hospitals and test
centres have ﬂourished, betting on high demand created
by lack of adequate public facilities. Such providers opened
80% of India’s new hospital
beds during 2002-2012, according to a PwC-NatHealth
While private players will
be involved in the ambitious
programme, the government
will need to ensure speedy
payments for the partnership
to work, said Harish Pillai,
chief operating officer at private healthcare group Indus
Cipla asks govt to revoke Novartis patents on respiratory drug
eneric drugmaker Cipla
Ltd said yesterday it has
asked the Indian government to revoke ﬁve patents
held by Swiss ﬁrm Novartis AG
on respiratory drug Onbrez and
has launched a cheaper copy to
boost access in the local market.
Cipla alleged that Novartis
has had patents on the medicine
since 2008 but instead of producing it in India has imported a
“negligible quantity” from Switzerland, leading to a shortage of
supplies in the Indian market.
Big international pharma companies have been hit by wideranging
price cuts and legal battles over
patent protection in recent years
in India, a vital growth market.
Cipla, India’s fourth-largest
drugmaker by revenue, said because there was an urgent but
unmet need for the respiratory
treatment in India it has started
to sell a copy of the drug in Delhi
priced at a ﬁfth of the cost of Novartis’s product.
“Cipla believes that it has the
potential to manufacture adequate quantities of the drug and
make the same available in the
country,” the company said in
a statement, conﬁrming its re-
quest to the government for the
patents to be revoked.
A spokeswoman for Novartis
in Zurich said the company had
not received any notice from
regulatory or other authorities
about the issue.
Cipla’s action is likely to result
in a prolonged legal battle between
the two companies, analysts said.
A senior official at the Indian
government’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion
said Cipla’s ﬁling about Novartis’s
patents was made under Section
66 of the Indian Patents Act.
The section grants the Indian
government the power to revoke
a patent in the public interest,
after giving the patent holder
an opportunity to explain why
it should not be revoked, said
the official, who declined to be
Onbrez, chemically called indicaterol, is used to treat breath-
Govt bars ﬁrst-class
air travel for officials
rime Minister Narendra
Modi has ordered bureaucrats to forgo the
luxury of flying first class and
start paying for their spouses’
air tickets as he tries to deliver
on a promise to cut the fiscal
deficit to a seven-year low.
The ban on first-class travel,
which could save $3,000 on a
long-haul flight, is part of an
austerity drive launched by
Modi yesterday to cut discretionary spending by 10% in the
fiscal year to March 2015.
“There is a need to continue
to rationalise expenditure and
optimise available resources,”
the finance ministry said in its
The ministry has also barred
meetings at five-star hotels,
the purchase of cars for government officials and the crea-
tion of new posts in federal departments.
“There will be a ban on holding of meetings and conferences at five-star hotels except
in case of bilateral/multilateral
official engagements to be held
at the level of minister-incharge or administrative secretary, with foreign governments or international bodies
of which India is a member,”
the ministry said.
“While officers are entitled
to various classes of air travel
depending on seniority, utmost
economy would need to be observed while exercising the
choice keeping the limitations
of budget in mind. However,
there would be no bookings in
first class,” it added.
It recommended, instead,
more use of the facility of video
conferencing, saying it “may be
However, interest and debt
payments, the defence budget,
salaries and pensions will not
“Such measures are intended
at promoting fiscal discipline,
without restricting the operational efficiency of the government,” the finance ministry
India’s longest economic
slump since the 1980s has
slashed tax receipts, forcing
New Delhi scale back public
spending by nearly $33bn in
the past two years to deliver
on its deficit goal and retain its
investment-grade credit rating.
In its maiden budget in July,
Modi’s government pledged to
narrow the fiscal deficit to a
seven-year low of 4.1% of gross
domestic product in the fiscal
year to next March.
A slide of 25% in global oil
prices since June has made government officials more confident of meeting a tough target
without deeper spending cuts.
ing problems associated with
chronic obstructive pulmonary
disease (COPD). Cipla estimates
more than 15mn Indians are afﬂicted with the disease.
Novartis has been particularly
vocal in its criticism of India’s
patent laws after the Supreme
Court last year denied the company a patent on its cancer drug
Glivec, allowing Indian ﬁrms to
launch cheaper copies.
The US Trade Representa-
tive (USTR) said this year India’s limits on the approval of
pharmaceutical patents and its
plan to open patented drugs to
generic makers created “serious
challenges” for some innovators.
New Delhi is working on a new
intellectual property policy, and
the government will also set up
a think-tank to advise it on global intellectual property issues,
Trade Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said last month.
Bukhari invites Sharif,
not Modi, for dinner
Bukhari and his son speak to reporters in New Delhi yesterday.
he Shahi Imam of Delhi’s
Jama Masjid yesterday
said he was inviting Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz
Sharif but not Narendra Modi
to mark his son’s anointment as
the Naib Imam, saying the Indian prime minister was yet to
win the conﬁdence of the country’s Muslims.
Syed Ahmed Bukhari, however, said he had invited four
Bharatiya Janata Party leaders,
including Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, for the November 29 dinner to mark the
“We have invited the prime
minister of Pakistan as we have
had relations with him since my
(late) father’s time, unlike with
Modi, whom we have not invited,” Bukhari said.
Bukhari’s son, 19-year-old
Shaban, will be anointed the
Naib Imam of Jama Masjid, re-
putedly India’s biggest mosque
on November 22.
“Modi has not done anything
for Indian Muslims even after
coming to power. Indian Muslims have not forgiven him for
the 2002 Gujarat riots,” the senior Bukhari said.
“Modi has not even apologised (for the riots) and reached
out to Muslims. He is yet to win
the conﬁdence of Muslims.”
He accused Modi of representing “only a section of the
society” - an apparent reference to Hindus.
Shaban Bukhari echoed his
“It would have been better
had he represented the 125 crore
people of India,” Shaban said.
Bukhari said invitations for
the dinner had also been extended to Vice President Hamid
Ansari, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul
The Bukharis, originally from
Central Asia, have been the traditional custodians of the Jama
Masjid since it was built.
Friday, October 31, 2014
Mayaram moved again,
now to minority affairs
Shot dead in Lucknow
Sana, Ismail released
on bail in assault case
Yasin Malik held
over protest call
Within days of being moved from the finance
ministry to tourism, Arvind Mayaram was
yesterday transferred to the minority affairs
ministry as secretary. The appointments
committee of the cabinet (ACC) cancelled the
order of appointment of Mayaram, a 1978 batch
IAS officer, as secretary in the tourism ministry, a
statement said. Mayaram was replaced by Rajiv
Mehrishi as the finance secretary on October
15, and had not yet taken charge in the tourism
ministry. The ACC said Ratan P Watal, secretary
in the department of expenditure in the finance
ministry will hold additional charge as finance
secretary for one month, or until the assumption
of charge by Mehrishi.
A shopkeeper and his assistant were shot dead
yesterday in the Uttar Pradesh capital, police
said. Two unidentified men stopped their
motorbike at the crockery shop owned by
Amit Dulani, barged inside and pumped bullets
into him and his aide Dashrath, Superintendent
of Police Ajay Kumar Mishra said. Dulani, his
mother Usha and aides Anand and Dashrath
were present in the shop at the time of the
attack. The assailants first dashed into Dulani’s
cabin and tried to snatch his gold chain.
When he resisted, they shot him. As they were
fleeing, his mother tried to stop them and the
assailants hit her with a pistol butt. They then
shot the aide and fled.
Jadavpur University students yesterday took part
in a referendum in their bid to prove that they were
unanimously demanding the resignation of Vice
Chancellor Abhijit Chakrabarti. The students have
been clamouring for the removal of Chakrabarti
since September 17 when the university authorities
allegedly ordered a police crackdown to break up
a sit-in demanding an independent investigation
into the alleged molestation of a female student
inside a hostel. A student leader said referendum
will end today and that the results will be declared
soon after. Students across all disciplines took
part. Thousands of students and several faculty
members led a massive rally on September 19 in
Kolkata, demanding Chakrabarti’s removal.
Bollywood actress Sana Khan and her boyfriend
Ismail Khan, who were arrested over an assault
case in Mumbai, have been granted bail, a police
official said. They were arrested on Wednesday
by officials of the Amboli police station, and were
granted bail the same day. “Now, we are collecting
some more evidence on this case,” an official
from the police station said. Sana and Ismail were
arrested after a woman filed a complaint of threat
and sexual harassment against them, the police
said. Co-incidentally, Style actor Sahil Khan had also
alleged that he was assaulted by Ismail at a gym
in Mumbai. The incident took place on October 22
and Sahil registered a complaint with the Amboli
police station on the same day.
Separatist leader Mohamed Yasin Malik, who
has called for a boycott of the upcoming Jammu
and Kashmir elections, was yesterday taken into
preventive custody. This was done to maintain law
and order in the city, a police officer said. Malik,
chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation
Front (JKLF), said police reached his uptown Abi
Guzar office in the morning and seized him. He
said some other JKLF leaders were also arrested.
Separatist leaders including hardliner Syed
Ali Geelani and moderates like Mirwaiz Umer
Farooq and Malik, have called for a boycott of the
November-December election. Earlier, police chief
K Rajendra Kumar said that security forces will
not allow anyone to interfere with polls.
ban on liquor
he Kerala High Court yesterday upheld a ban on alcohol served in most bars
in the southern state, in a major
blow to hoteliers.
The court backed the state
government’s plans to introduce
almost complete prohibition in a
bid to tackle the area’s drinking
Justice K Surendra Mohan said
“the challenge made against the
policy” by hoteliers “fails,” rejecting arguments that the move
would drive away tourists seeking some booze with their beach
However the court made some
concessions, ruling that hotels
with a four-star and heritage
ranking could stay open.
“Now we will see what we
can do to bring the four-star
hotel bars also out of the
present list and for that we
will seek legal recourse”
Hotel owners warned that hotels would close as a result of the
ruling - although not as many as
“It is a very unfortunate order
as it will shut around 200 of the
312 bars in the state,” G Sudhiesh
Kumar, a hotelier and president
of the local Bars Association
“We will deﬁnitely go in for an
appeal,” he told the NDTV network.
Owners had been hopeful of
overturning the ban after the
Supreme Court ordered a stay
in September on introducing
the policy until the Kerala High
Court had ruled on the petitions.
The Kerala government had
planned for all hotels to close,
although shops selling liquor
would be phased out over 10
years and ﬁve-star places exempt from the ban except on
Chief Minister Oommen
Chandy who announced the
policy on August 21, said the
Congress Party-led government
would go ahead with its longterm plans which included a
massive awareness campaign.
He said the court had endorsed his prohibition policy
with minor exemptions. The
long-term ban plan will stay and
the state will be free of alcohol in
Chandy said the government’s
policy has been accepted and it
cannot be said it’s only a partial
victory, if one looks at the huge
number of bars that have been
ordered to close down.
But leader of opposition V S
Achuthanandan said it was a
setback because the government
had earlier only allowed ﬁve-star
hotel bars, but with this verdict,
now four-star hotel bars can also
be kept open.
However, state Excise Minister K Babu said the verdict was
not a setback.
“Now we will study the verdict and decide the next course
of action,” said Babu.
State Congress president V M
Sudheeran welcomed the verdict
and said it has upheld the liquor
policy of the state government.
“Now we will see what we can
do to bring the four-star hotel
bars also out of the present list
and for that we will seek legal recourse,” said Sudheeran.
Employees working in a threestar hotel in the state capital said
it was a sad day for them.
“...we are so sad as we are left
with no job. I have been in this
industry for the past quarter of a
century as a waiter in a bar restaurant,” said a waiter.
Meanwhile, the state government has already begun talks
with trade union leaders for devising a rehabilitation package
for registered employees working in the bars that will now be
“One round of talks is over and
very soon we will have a second
round. We have asked the stakeholders to come out with their
suggestions,” said Babu.
Another bar employee who
has lost his job due to the closure of the bars said Kerala’s loss
would be Tamil Nadu’s gain as
tipplers will now cross the border to have a drink.
A man stands near a boat with a huge cutout of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s symbol in the Arabian Sea, on the eve of the swearing-in ceremony of Maharashtra chief
minister-elect Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai, yesterday.
Shiv Sena may not join
Maharashtra govt: Rudy
The Shiv Sena remains
undecided on the issue amid
speculation of differences
over the number of
ministries it will be given by
he Bharatiya Janata Party
yesterday said it was unlikely that former ally
Shiv Sena will join the party’s
ﬁrst government in Maharashtra.
“Talks with Shiv Sena going
on very amicably. No outcome
yet. Seems unlikely Shiv Sena
will be part of government as of
now,” BJP general secretary Rajiv Pratap Rudy said in a tweet.
Despite sending positive feelers, the Shiv Sena, on its part,
remains undecided on the issue
amid speculation of differences
over the number of ministries it
would be given by the BJP.
The party will make its ﬁnal
Govt to mark Patel’s birth
anniversary, ignores Indira
‘Run for Unity’ and
pledge-taking will mark
India’s ﬁrst home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s
birth anniversary today, being
observed as ‘Rashtriya Ekta Divas’ (national unity day).
Nothing was, however, announced by the government to
observe the 30th death anniversary of prime minister Indira
Gandhi, inviting criticism from
The celebrations to mark Patel’s
birth anniversary will start with a
function at which Prime Minister
Narendra Modi will pay ﬂoral tributes at his statue at Patel Chowk
near Parliament House at 7.30am.
The prime minister will then
address participants of ‘Run for
Unity’ at Vijay Chowk at 7.40am
and administer the Unity Pledge
at 8am. The Run for Unity will be
ﬂagged off from Vijay Chowk to
India Gate on Rajpath at 8.15am.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh
will attend a Run for Unity programme in Nampally, Hyderabad
The home minister will also
attend the passing out parade of
Indian Police Service officers at
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy in Hyderabad.
Schools and universities in
the national capital will organise
several cultural events to celebrate the Rashtriya Ekta Diwas.
All the universities were sent
notiﬁcation by the ministry of human resource development suggesting several events that could
be organised to mark the day.
At Delhi University (DU), programmes are being held at the
north campus and in all the afﬁliated colleges which have been
asked to “submit a brief report of
the same along with the photographs latest by November 3.”
Vijay K Sharma, principal of
Ram Lal Anand College said: “We
have sent e-mail notiﬁcation to
all our staff. Though we have not
made it compulsory we have organised interesting events to ensure maximum participation.”
Similarly Jamia Milla Islamia
has organised events both at
their school and the university.
In schools, poster competitions on unity, integrity and security have been planned, while
at the university level, essay
competition and plays are being
held along with oath administering and run for unity.
Meanwhile Congress leader
Shashi Tharoor, who was recently sacked as party spokesman for
joining Modi’s Clean India Campaign, slammed the government
for forgetting Indira Gandhi.
“Disgraceful that government is ignoring the martyrdom
of our only prime minister who
was killed in office in the line of
duty. Oct 31 forgotten?” Tharoor tweeted.
stand clear after a high-level
meeting to be presided over by
party chief Uddhav Thackeray.
The Shiv Sena meanwhile
said it “wholeheartedly welcomes” Devendra Fadnavis as
the new chief minister-designate, two days after the BJP
“We wholeheartedly welcome the new CM of Maharashtra... We are conﬁdent that
with Narendra (Modi) in Delhi
and Devendra (Fadnavis) in Maharashtra, nobody can prevent
‘achhe din’ (good days) from
coming to Maharashtra,” the
Shiv Sena said in an editorial in
the party mouthpiece Saamana
The Sena recalled how the
party was closely acquainted
with the 44-year-old Fadnavis
for many years and that “there
are no doubts that his feet
would remain ﬁrmly planted on
The editorial also said that
although Fadnavis is from Vidarbha region of eastern Ma-
harashtra, he must work for
the entire state as a whole. “A
Vidarbha leader will be heading
the state once again and the entire state is proud of him.”
“It will be Fadnavis’ responsibility to remove prejudices
that ‘Vidarbha is a backward region’... Vidarbha is blessed with
black gold (Kaala Sona) - coal.
The coal kings are very inﬂuential in Maharashtra... A lobby of
businessmen-traders wants to
carve out Vidarbha from Maharashtra, but this would not be
in the interest of the people,” it
Hinting that the Shiv Sena is
keen to join the BJP’s ﬁrst government in the state, the editorial wondered whether the BJP
would like to sully its image by
taking the help of the corrupt
Nationalist Congress Party.
“The mandate of the people
is for change...by permanently
burying the (former) CongressNCP government. However,
if the BJP wants to accept the
NCP’s help in running the gov-
ernment, then this topic can
end right now...,” the editorial
The welcome for Fadnavis
was the ﬁrst official comment
by the Shiv Sena since his election as the chief minister-designate.
In a related development, the
NCP lashed out at the BJP for
the mega swearing-in ceremony planned for today.
“BJP a party with a difference, hence the most lavish
oath-taking ceremony in the
history of Maharashtra,” NCP
state spokesman Nawab Malik
said in a tweet.
The NCP has already announced it would abstain during a vote of conﬁdence of the
Meanwhile, hectic lastminute details were being
worked out for the swearing-in
of Fadnavis and a small team of
ministers by Governor C V Rao
at the Wankhede Stadium today
The ceremony will be attend-
Two arrested over
bank locker heist
Camel traders rest at the Pushkar Fair in the desert state of
Rajasthan yesterday. Thousands of animals, mainly camels,
are brought to the annual fair to be traded.
ed by Prime Minister Narendra
Modi, BJP president Amit Shah,
central ministers, party leaders,
chief ministers, ﬁlm personalities, businessmen, sportspersons and other celebrities.
z The BJP’s ally Rashtriya
Samaj Paksha was accused of
cheating by the management
of Mumbai’s famous Shanmukhananda Hall.
According to a spokesperson,
the RSP booked the Sri Shanmukhananda Chandrasekarendra Saraswati Auditorium in
central Mumbai for a party
function on August 11, for four
The RSP, which is led by Mahadeo Jankar, issued a cheque
of Rs936,000 towards deposit,
rent and other services.
bounced, the spokesperson
On the RSP’s instructions,
the management again presented it for payment, but it
bounced again, this time with
the remark “Account Closed”.
olice have arrested two
suspects in the daring bank locker heist in
Gohana town in Haryana and
recovered over 10kg of ornaments, an official said yesterday.
He also said the man who
owned the building from which
the burglars dug a tunnel to the
bank was found dead.
The body of Mahipal, owner
of the building from where
a125ft-long tunnel was dug to
the bank’s locker room, was
found in a car on the Panipat
highway, in a shocking twist
to the case. Police said it appeared Mahipal committed
Burglars had dug the tunnel
from the building adjoining
the bank and broken into the
locker room of the state-run
Punjab National Bank (PNB).
They broke open 89 of the over
350 lockers in the room. The
heist came to light on Monday.
Sonipat district police chief
Arun Nehra said the two suspects, Balraj and Surinder,
were arrested in Gohana,
210km from here.
“We have recovered over
10kg ornaments from a bag
hidden in a brick kiln in a
nearby village. We are trying
to catch two other suspects,
Satish and Rajesh,” the police
Another official said the
building owner’s body was
found in a car on the Panipat
highway. “It appears that he
consumed some poisonous
substance and committed suicide,” he said.
Police have booked bank ofﬁcers for negligence.
Angry customers have been
protesting outside the bank
branch since Monday. They
claim they have lost millions in
the form of jewellery and cash.
Friday, October 31, 2014
Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paes visits a
tunnel that is part of the urban development
project Porto Maravilha around the old industrial
and port areas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The
1.48km tunnel is called Tunnel Rio 450.
New law aims to woo
investors to energy sector
Storm forces evacuation
of 1,000 in Argentina
70 children suffer food
poisoning in Peru
Morales gets absolute
majority in legislature
Argentine lawmakers approved a hydrocarbon
law yesterday to attract further investment in
its energy sector by offering longer concessions
and limiting revenues for its oil rich provinces.
The law grants 25-year concessions for
conventional gas exploration, 30 years for
offshore resources and 35 years for shale oil and
gas, all of which can be extended for up to 10
years. Argentina is seeking to boost investments
in its energy sector, including in its Vaca Muerta
shale formation, to reduce reliance on costly
energy imports and increase foreign currency
reserves. Oil giants Chevron, Shell and Total have
already signed deals with state firm YPF.
The Argentine government activated an
emergency plan to help those affected by the
powerful storm that struck 17 municipalities
in Buenos Aires province and evacuated
about 1,000 people. Argentine Cabinet chief
Jorge Capitanich held a press conference
at which he provided details of the damage
caused by the storm in different parts of the
country, mainly in Buenos Aires province, as
well as in Entre Rios, southern Cordoba and
Santa Fe. Capitanich said that authorities
are carrying out “co-ordinated work on
the ground with the provincial municipal
authorities” to help those in need.
About 70 Peruvian schoolchildren, aged between
10 and 15, began showing symptoms of poisoning
after having food provided under a state-run
social programme in northern Lambayeque
province, local media reported. The children
were admitted to several hospitals in the area
after they began vomiting after eating bread
with tuna and milk with boiled oats provided
by the Qali Warma programme, RPP Noticias
reported. The La Republica Web site said that
the children are students at state-run schools in
the Mochumi and Illimo districts, to which the
regional co-ordinators of the food programme
were dispatched to assess the situation.
In addition to his own re-election, Bolivia’s
President Evo Morales kept his absolute majority
in congress in the October 12 general elections,
authorities said. The Supreme Electoral Council
said Morales, a socialist in power since 2006 and
Bolivia’s first indigenous president, won 61.36%
of the vote against 24.23% for his closest rival,
wealthy cement magnate Samuel Doria Medina.
The results mean Morales, a staunch critic of
the US, will keep his control over the legislature,
which makes it easy for him to pass legislation
with little opposition. His allies in congress
secured 89 seats of the 130 in the lower house;
and 25 of 36 senate seats, the council said.
rate hike in
wake of polls
razil’s central bank has
raised interest rates, surprising investors with a
bold move that signals President
Dilma Rousseff could make more
market-friendly policy changes
after her narrow re-election victory on Sunday.
In a divided vote, the central
bank’s board decided to raise its
benchmark Selic rate by 25 basis
points to 11.25%.
All 43 economists surveyed in
a Reuters poll this week expected
the bank to keep the Selic at 11%.
With the hotly contested
presidential race over, the central bank moved swiftly to anchor inﬂation expectations at a
time when markets are wondering if Rousseff is willing to overhaul her policies to regain the
trust of investors.
The bank said inﬂation risks
had become less favourable since
its last rate-setting meeting in
early September due to more intense price increases.
“In light of that, the committee considered it appropriate to
adjust monetary conditions in
order to guarantee, at a lower
cost, the prevalence of a more
benign inﬂation outlook in 2015
and 2016,” the bank said in its
Five of the eight members
of the bank’s monetary policy
committee voted to raise the
Selic, and the other three wanted
to keep it unchanged.
“This deﬁnitely is a great step
forward to rebuild the credibility of the inﬂation-targeting
regime. Very well done,” said Alberto Ramos, senior economist
with Goldman Sachs in New
York. “This is market friendly.
Whether this means other (market-friendly) steps will come,
only time will tell.”
Inﬂation hovering above the
official target ceiling of 6.5% has
increased pressure on the central
bank to raise borrowing costs.
The central bank aims to keep
inﬂation at the centre of the target, between 2.5% and 6.5%.
Still, most economists had expected the bank to refrain from
action until Rousseff announces
changes to her economic team.
After narrowly defeating Aecio Neves, who was favoured by
many investors and business
executives, on Sunday, Rousseff pledged policy changes to
reverse economic weakness that
cost her support among Brazil’s
The leftist leader is considering a close aide or a business
executive to replace Finance
Minister Guido Mantega, who
will step down at the start of her
second four-year term on New
Some of the central bank
board members could also be
replaced in a second term, according to local media. Brazilian exchange and stock markets
have been volatile since Rousseff ’s re-election victory on Sunday, with some investors hopeful
that the threat of a credit downgrade next year could force her
to adopt more policies that are
favourable toward business.
“This change in monetary policy may be interpreted as a possible change in economic policy in
general,” said Jankiel Santos, chief
economist for Espirito Santos Investment Bank in Sao Paulo.
“The bank will not stop here,
this should be the start of a new
The surprise hike could also
pave the way for the government to raise fuel prices, helping
state-run oil company Petrobras
recover from policies that have
forced it to sell imported fuel at
a loss to cap inﬂation, analysts
say. The most urgent task facing
Rousseff ’s new economic team
will be tightening the federal
budget to ward off the threat of a
credit downgrade next year.
Chief of the Colombian government delegation Humberto de la Calle (centre) arrives at the Conventions Palace in Havana, Cuba, yesterday to continue the peace talks with a
delegation of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc).
Farc admits actions
olombian guerrilla leaders yesterday said they
took responsibility for
civilian casualties caused by
rebel attacks during 50 years of
war, a show of contrition aimed
at buttressing peace talks with
“We explicitly recognise that
our actions have affected civilians at different times and
under different circumstances
throughout the conﬂict,” Pablo
Atrato, a member of the guerrilla negotiating team, said at
peace talks being held in Cuba.
Missing students’ kin
slam Mexico president
Guardian News and Media
arents of 43 student teachers who went missing
more than a month ago in
southern Mexico emerged from
a marathon meeting with President Enrique Pena Nieto frustrated and angry at what they see
as a lack of commitment to ﬁnd
“We told the president that
we don’t trust his government,”
Felipe de la Cruz told a press
conference after the meeting,
which lasted ﬁve hours. “It’s
been more than 30 days and they
still haven’t found our boys.”
The students, all young men,
disappeared on September 26
after being attacked and arrested
by police in the city of Iguala, in
the state of Guerrero, soon after
they had commandeered some
buses to use in a protest.
Government investigators say
police handed the students over
to a local drug gang called Guerreros Unidos but, despite arresting 56 people who were allegedly
involved, say they have yet to establish what happened next.
The most visible efforts to ﬁnd
the missing 43 students have focused on the retrieval of dozens
of bodies from mass graves in the
Investigators say information
given by detainees led them to
the graves. None of the bodies
have yet been identiﬁed as belonging to the students.
Authorities mounted a major
operation this week to look for
human remains in a municipal
rubbish dump, though there has
been little indication as yet of
any signiﬁcant ﬁnds.
“We are demanding that they
don’t just look in graves and in
dumps, because we are sure they
are still alive,” De la Cruz said,
echoing the prevailing hope and
conviction among parents.
De la Cruz was one of ﬁve parents who spoke at the press conference while dozens more stood
behind them, looking drained
and stoney faced, only breaking
their silence to chant: “They took
them alive, we want them alive.”
Some held banners with photo-
graphs of their missing children,
who were all enrolled in the Ayotzinapa rural teachers’ college one of the few routes out of poverty for the children of subsistence
farmers, and known as a hotbed of
radical leftwing activism.
The disappearance of the students has sparked outrage across
Mexico and concern abroad,
challenging President Pena Nieto’s carefully crafted image as
a modernising reformist leading
the country to a brighter future.
After an initial week of near silence, the president makes statements almost daily promising
that his government will stop at
nothing to ﬁnd the students and
bring those responsible to justice.
Wednesday night’s meeting
was the ﬁrst time he came face to
face with the parents.
“During nearly ﬁve hours, I
had the opportunity to listen to
their concerns, worries, as well
as their pain,” the president said
in an address to the nation.
He said the government also
felt “the same indignation” that
the disappearances had caused
the families and Mexican society.
He said the Revolutionary
Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc)
guerrilla group never targeted
civilians but recognised it has
harmed civilians through use of
excessive force, mistakes or unforeseen circumstances of war.
The statement read by Atrato
made no mention about whether the Farc’s Marxist-inspired
rebels would face justice in Colombian courts.
Some Farc leaders have been
sentenced in absentia to long
prison terms or face criminal
charges, while others have been
captured and are serving jail
Latin America’s longest
running war has killed some
200,000 people since 1964.
The Farc and the government
of centre-right President Juan
Manuel Santos have held peace
talks in Cuba for the past two
years, reaching tentative agreements on three of ﬁve major issues.
The Farc’s statement yesterday came in direct response to
a government request for the
rebels to assume responsibility
for victimising civilians, and it
also appeared to be directed at
the families of those killed in
Family members and other
victims of the violence have
been given a formal role in the
peace talks and have been ﬂown
Bachelet in Spain
in to address the negotiators,
who are working toward an
agreement on reparations.
The Farc said it had punished
guerrillas who intentionally attacked civilians, although it
gave no details and did not explain how its internal system of
“We take responsibility for
each and every one of the acts
of war committed by our ranks
under the orders and instructions given by our command
and we assume their repercussions,” the Farc said.
The Farc is expected to attempt to negotiate an amnesty
as part of the peace deal but it
would face ﬁerce opposition
Cartel boss prefers
death to surrender
Guardian News and Media
Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet and Spain’s Prime
Minister Mariano Rajoy arrive for a joint news conference at
Moncloa palace in Madrid yesterday. Bachelet is on an official
two-day visit to Spain.
from conservative politicians in
Colombia. Santos was re-elected for a second term in June, defeating a right-wing challenger
who had threatened to end the
talks had he been elected.
Negotiators have already
agreed that the Farc could become a legal political party
should a ﬁnal peace deal be
reached, but the two sides have
yet to address amnesty. Some
additional high-ranking guerrilla commanders joined the
talks last week, injecting a sense
of urgency to the talks. Still, the
war has continued with Farc
and government forces clashing
periodically. The rebel forces
are estimated at 8,000 strong.
he fugitive leader of one
of Mexico’s most violent
and bizarre drug cartels
has said that he regrets choosing a life of crime, but vowed
that he would never let himself
be taken alive.
“I have committed many
crimes like an idiot, and I will
have to pay for them when the
time comes, but I don’t plan
to do that on this earth,” said
a man who identiﬁes himself
as Servando Gumez, alias La
Tuta, in a 24-minute recording, posted on social media.
“I am not going to give myself up. I am going to ﬁght until
The Knights Templar cartel, or Caballeros Templarios, gained notoriety for its
signature blend of extreme
violence with faux medieval
rituals and a rhetoric of social justice. The cartel once
trafficked large quantities
of drugs and iron ore, while
imposing a reign of terror
throughout its main bastion
in the Tierra Caliente, or Hot
Lands, in the western state of
The group was severely
weakened after the rise of an
armed vigilante movement in
the region prompted federal
forces to step up efforts against
the Knights Templar. With all
the other major cartel leaders now dead or in prison, the
recording, ﬁrst posted on the
Internet late on Tuesday, appears to conﬁrm reports that
the circle is now closing in on
“Just like they say I am
alone, hiding in the sierra, riding a donkey and I haven’t seen
any of my family for a year,”
says Gumez, who in the course
of the rambling message complained that authorities had
detained members of his family who had nothing to do with
the drugs trade.
Interior Minister Miguel
Angel Osorio Chong appeared
to accept the authenticity of
the recording when he told reporters that it showed “a cornered criminal who recognises
that the state has been effective.”
Friday, October 31, 2014
Civilians ﬂee as army
steps up offensive
In the latest offensive by
Pakistan’s military, 21
suspecrted militants and
eight soldiers were killed on
wenty-nine people were
killed and thousands of
civilians forced to ﬂee
Pakistan’s northwestern region
of Khyber, the military said yesterday, as it stepped up a twoweek-old offensive against Taliban militants in the area.
Twenty-one suspected militants and eight soldiers were
killed on Wednesday, the military said in a statement, but
gave no ﬁgure for civilian casualties.
National disaster officials say
the ﬁghting has forced more
than 18,000 people to abandon
Residents of the area say many
people are caught between the
two opposing forces, as the military orders them to leave and the
A girl travels atop a vehicle laden with her family’s belongings, as they flee the military offensive against
militants in the Khyber Agency, on the outskirts of Peshawar yesterday.
militants urge them to stay.
“Security forces were asking
us to leave their area as there
would be heavy bombing against
the militants,” said one villager,
But the militants had set up
bunkers and were patrolling vil-
lages to prevent residents from
leaving, he added.
“The militants were saying
we shouldn’t ﬂee the villages.
We don’t know whom we should
The military said it had killed
dozens of militants in airstrikes
and ﬁghting since the ﬁghting
began in Khyber.
“The militants wanted people not to leave their houses
so that the military don’t use
ﬁghter jets and artillery against
them,” said Khair Zaman, 47,
who had spent nine hours wandering on unfrequented back
roads moving his family to
safety. On Sunday, the military
said it had killed 18 militants in
The Khyber offensive began
two weeks ago in the area around
the Tirah Valley, a key smuggling route into neighbouring
Afghanistan. At the same time,
the military is pressing on with
a campaign against the Taliban it launched in nearby North
Waziristan in June.
Pakistan has been convulsed
by Islamist violence since it
threw its support behind the USled campaign against militancy
launched after the Sept 11, 2001,
attacks on the United States.
Insecurity and opium blight Afghan province
espite praise from politicians, British troops are
leaving behind a province
still blighted by insurgency and a
huge opium harvest as they end
their combat mission in Afghanistan’s Helmand.
The Union Jack was lowered
at Helmand’s Camp Bastion on
Sunday, ending a British deployment that lasted longer than
World War II and cost 453 lives.
British troops moved into Afghanistan after the 2001 US-led
invasion which ousted the Taliban government in Kabul.
When they took over command
in the southern province of Helmand in 2006, there were hopes
they could employ a softer approach than their American counterparts to win hearts and minds
in the stronghold of Taliban insurgents battling to regain power.
The mission was hailed on
Sunday by British Prime Minister David Cameron and senior
local Afghan officials as a suc-
cess that lays solid foundations
for Nato’s post-2014 training
and support mission.
But while the Afghan National
Army has been strengthened
by billions of dollars of aid and
Western training, some analysts
warn that a lack of strategic foresight means the British have left
with their mission uncompleted.
Chief among the concerns is
the growing menace of opium
production, which helps sustain
the Taliban insurgency.
Afghan poppy production
hit an all-time high last year
as farmers sought to “insure”
themselves before the withdrawal of Nato combat forces by
the end of this year.
Cultivation amounted to
207,000 hectares in 2013 – far
outstripping the previous record
of 193,000 hectares in 2007 and
with Helmand accounting for
48%, according to the United
Nations Office on Drugs and
“Farmers may have driven
up cultivation... trying to shore
up their assets as insurance
against an uncertain future,” a
UNODC report said.
Helmand, which shares a border to the east with the Taliban’s
spiritual home of Kandahar, and
with Pakistan’s restive Baluchistan province to the south,
has seen some of the ﬁercest
ﬁghting of the war.
Despite a mixture of peace
deals and major pushes undertaken with US allies, coalition
forces failed signiﬁcantly to dent
the insurgents, who this year
have redoubled their efforts—
killing 7,000-9,000 Afghan security forces nationwide.
A report by the respected Afghan Analysts Network in July
detailed how a series of missteps allowed one district of
Helmand to sink further into the
hands of the insurgents.
It said the district’s “shadow
governor”, Taliban commander
Mullah Abdul Qayum, was on
the verge of switching sides in
2010 because he was incensed by
the insurgents’ brutality.
But after months of secret
communication with Afghan and
British officials, Qayum and his
entourage were bombed by US
forces who hailed it as a triumph.
The report also criticised the
British-led Provincial Reconstruction Team for failing to deliver development projects that
would have signalled good faith
to Taliban commanders who had
reined in violence, and subsequently allowing the ﬁghting to
“It was unfortunate that, although the coalition subscribed
in public to the idea that the war
in Afghanistan could only be resolved politically, military expediency usually trumped political
necessity in practice,” it said.
Thomson, the highest-ranking
officer with the British forces,
said he felt the time was right to
“We look back with pride because the Afghans are ready to
pick up the baton. They’ve been
in the lead already since May 2013
and they’ve done well. But there
remain some challenges in security and government,” he said.
His Afghan counterpart, Major-General Sayed Malok, said
the large, sophisticated Camp
Bastion base would be a huge
help to local forces, but admitted
they faced a tough ﬁght.
“It is true that the insecurities continue in Helmand. The
Taliban and other terrorists...
put most of their weight in Helmand. Some districts were under the Taliban control before,
and some are still under their
control,” he said.
But on the ground, some locals are ﬁercely critical about
the British record in Helmand,
drawing parallels with their illfated 19th-century colonial adventures.
“The British troops have been
defeated the second time in Helmand, the ﬁrst time they were
beaten almost a hundred years
ago,” said Mohamed Ismail, a
farmer from Helmand’s Musa
“Now they are ﬂeeing Helmand province. The Taliban are
making progress and gaining
ground, hundreds of their soldiers were killed and thousands
were left wounded, but they are
hiding the reality. It was a failed
mission for them in Helmand.”
among dead in
US drone strike killed
at least seven militants
in Pakistan’s restive
tribal belt yesterday, including
an important commander of
the feared Haqqani network,
security officials said.
The attack happened early
yesterday in Nargas village of
Birmil area, some 30km west
of Wana, the main town of
South Waziristan tribal region
near the Afghan border which
is considered a stronghold of
Officials and a militant
source said four foreigners
and an important commander
from the ruthless Haqqani
network, which is blamed
for numerous bloody attacks
in Afghanistan, were among
“At least seven militants
were killed in the drone
strike,” an intelligence official
based in Wana told AFP, adding that the dead included four
foreigners and a top Haqqani
“Abdullah Haqqani (the
commander) was responsible
for sending suicide bombers to
Afghanistan,” the official said.
Another official in the
neighbouring garrison town
of Bannu conﬁrmed the death
toll and killing of the commander.
A source in a militant group
said that a vehicle loaded with
arms and ammunition was
also destroyed in the attack.
South Waziristan is one of
the seven lawless tribal dis-
tricts of Pakistan that border
Washington pressed Islamabad for years to wipe out
the sanctuaries in the North
Waziristan tribal area, which
militants have used to launch
attacks on Nato forces in Afghanistan.
The Pakistani military
launched a major offensive in
North Waziristan in June and
say they have killed more than
1,100 militants so far, with 100
soldiers losing their lives in the
The area is off-limits to
journalists, making it impossible to independently verify
the number and identity of the
The army assault was
launched after a dramatic attack by militants on Karachi
airport, which killed dozens of
people and marked the end of
faltering peace talks between
the government and the Pakistani Taliban.
Pakistan routinely protests against US drone strikes,
which have been targeting
militants in the tribal areas
since 2004, saying they violate its sovereignty and are
counterproductive in the ﬁght
But most analysts believe
the resumption of the drone
programme after it was suspended at the start of t he year
— reportedly to give Pakistan
space for negotiations with
the Taliban — is evidence of
collusion between the two
The Islamabad government
and military officials strongly
Pakistan summons Indian diplomat
Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign
Affairs has summoned
the Indian Acting High
Commissioner and lodged
protest over the killing of
a civilian in the firing by
Indian Border Security Force
deployed at Tashpura Post.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office
spokesperson said that three
Pakistani nationals were
cutting grass in Shakargarh,
Narowal, when they
inadvertently crossed the
Indian BSF troops fired
without any warning, injuring
one Tauqir, while the other
two managed to return,
according to Radio Pakistan.
A Company Commander level
contact was established by
Pakistan Rangers to take over
the injured Pakistani, but the
Indian forces refused and took
the injured across the fence.
Later, he passed away in the
custody of BSF troops.
The Indian high
commissioner was informed
that this act was in violation
of the Border ground rules.
‘Disastrous’ campaign feeds Pakistan’s polio spike
aliban militants have long
been the scourge of Pakistan’s polio vaccination
campaign, attacking aid workers
and the police who protect them
as they distribute doses to children.
But experts say there is another reason for the sharp spike in
cases of the crippling disease in
Pakistan this year - government
“Pakistan’s polio programme
is a disaster. It continues to
ﬂounder hopelessly, as its virus
ﬂourishes,” the Independent
Monitoring Board, which advises agencies ﬁghting polio, will
say in a report to be released this
The prime minister’s polio
cell was disbanded during 2013
elections, the new government
delayed reconstituting it, and in
recent months the prime minister has been consumed with protests in the capital that have only
“It’s frustrating. Eradicating
polio is not rocket science,” said
Elias Durry, head of the World
Health Organisation (WHO) polio campaign in Pakistan.
“If we could have three to ﬁve
months to have really good campaigns, then we could get rid of
this disease,” he said. “We have
been doing half-baked campaigns in high risk areas.”
Polio was meant be a thing
of the past. A global campaign
came tantalisingly close to wiping out the disease altogether.
Now polio, which can kill or
paralyse a child in hours, is endemic only in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. So far this
year, Pakistan has had 217 polio
cases, a 14-year high accounting
for 85% of instances around the
The disease spreads easily
from person to person, and Pakistan has already exported the
virus to Syria, China, Israel and
Egypt. Experts say complacency
is not an option and the government has called the situation an
Yet as the latest vaccination
campaign kicked off this week
in the broiling, garbage-strewn
alleys of Pakistan’s biggest city,
Karachi, vaccination workers
said they had not received stipends from the provincial government for months.
Some have dropped out of the
campaign in Karachi, a teeming
city of 18mn people where the
disease is entrenched.
As teams prepared to venture
out on vaccination missions into
some of Karachi’s most dangerous streets, police deployed to
protect them showed up late.
Vaccinators must wait, meaning they miss children. Sometimes only a third of children in
an area are vaccinated, the WHO
said, and low coverage fuels new
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took six months to
appoint an official responsible
for polio, and the government
A polio worker (right) helps his colleague to arrange bottles of vaccine drops in a cooler before leaving
the team support centre in Karachi.
approved a funding plan only
That meant provinces did
not pay workers their stipends
of $2.50 a day on time, said
Shahnaz Wazir Ali, a polio adviser to Sindh province in the
south where Karachi is located.
“We had a loss of about nine
to 10 months, which is a very big
setback,” Ali said.
Ayesha Farooq, the prime
minister’s appointee on polio,
admitted there were problems,
but said that payment arrears
were down to provincial, not
Most new cases were in areas
where security was poor so children had not been vaccinated,
she said, and denied that Sharif
was not taking the issue seriously.
“We have got to take responsibility for our weaknesses,” Farooq said. “The quality of campaigns is something we will be
paying close attention to.”
Emergency Operations Centres, which were meant to be op-
erational by July, will not be ready
until the end of November, she
said. The IMB report said the delay
“speaks volumes about the inertia
of the programme in Pakistan”.
For frontline polio workers,
late pay is less worrying than
lack of protection. Sixty-four
people have been killed in attacks on polio teams and their
security escorts since 2012,
when the Taliban banned vaccinations in areas they controlled.
Their targets are women like
19-year-old medical student
Asma Nizam, who received a
death threat for taking part in
“A man came on a motorbike
and said, ‘if you want to save
your life, you should go from
here’,” she said.
The next day, militants killed
ﬁve of her colleagues.
As she prepared to visit Karachi slums on a vaccination mission last Monday, police sent to
protect Nizam were three hours
Pakistan’s police are thinly
spread, especially in crime-ridden Karachi where only 26,000
police watch over the huge city.
Some are seconded as bodyguards for politicians.
“I have seen six police taking
a VIP’s teenager to the salon but
they cannot spare any officers to
protect the poor children of Pakistan,” one health official burst
out in exasperation.
Karachi police spokesman
Atiq Shaikh said the force was
“Polio campaigns take 2,000
officers. But we always provide
them with security even though
we have some time constraints,”
A further hurdle is caution
among families offered the
treatment. Some believe Taliban
propaganda that says vaccinations are a Western plot to sterilise children.
Aiding polio’s spread has been
this year’s military offensive in the
tribal region of North Waziristan,
which drove nearly a million people out of the conﬂict zone.
The mass movement allowed
workers to vaccinate children
previously unreachable. But
families also moved to areas
where vaccination coverage was
patchy, allowing polio to reestablish itself in cities where it
had been eradicated, experts say.
Children may need the oral vaccine up to 10 times for it to be effective. Many Pakistani children are
malnourished or have diarrhoea so
the vaccine is not absorbed.
The unlucky ones may end up
like Raﬁa, a chubby two-yearold with kohl-rimmed eyes. Her
legs were partially paralysed after contracting polio this summer.
“She was vaccinated whenever they came,” said her father
Ghulam Isaq, a shopkeeper.
He massaged her tiny toes as a
group of black-robed polio vaccinators looked on, only their
eyes visible above black niqabs
covering their faces.
“We need help even if we are
poor,” Isaq said. “We are Pakistanis too.”
Friday, October 31, 2014
China is absorbing disputed
areas: geopolitics expert
hina can slowly acquire more territory
through its expansionist stance in the
West Philippine Sea (South China Sea)
and later “absorb the region”, a geopolitics experts said.
Rodger Baker, vice president for East Asia and
the Paciﬁc of Stratfor, said Beijing’s expansionism is “political, not military”, since none of the
countries claiming ownership of small islands in
the region will risk military action.
“So China can slowly absorb the region,” Baker said during the Business Forum organised by
The Manila Times.
“Certainly, building structure on the islands
prevents others from doing the same, and in
time of relative peace may give China slightly
easier and more robust capabilities for maritime
surveillance,” the Stratfor analyst explained.
“But the main purpose of occupying the islands is not military. It is political,” he said.
Beijing’s “ownership” of the islands is further
bolstered by the fact that it faces no concrete
“This strengthens the reality of Chinese possession,” Baker pointed out.
China’s highly dynamic movements in the
disputed territories, he further explained,
changes the political reality there by easily redirecting attention when tensions arise.
“When tensions rise too high with a particular country, China can ease off, shift attention to
a different country, or just use the perception of
heightened tensions to drive a desire for an easing of stress,” Baker said.
While the United States and other “extraregional allies” have expressed the desire for a
legal settlement of the maritime disputes, these
countries “are not going to intervene on behalf
of Southeast Asian nations”, he added.
“In China’s perspective, [it] will lead to a realignment of political relations where the South-
A view of a reef held by the Chinese in the Spratlys
east Asian nations will ﬁnd accommodation
with China more beneﬁcial than attempts to
oppose Chinese expansion,” Baker said.
He observed that while China’s unprecedented growth has pushed it to become a world
economic superpower, it lags behind in terms of
“soft power expansion”.
“The disconnect between China’s economic
strength and the security role assumed by others—namely the United States—highlights the
imbalance of power in the region. In some ways,
it has beneﬁted Asean [Association of Southeast
Asian Nations] countries, giving Asean states
the ability to play off the big power competition
for their own beneﬁt,” the Stratfor official said.
Baker asserted that China will not “domi-
nate” its smaller neighbours as colonial powers
did in the past.
“China is hoping to simply draw in their cooperation and concessions, a recreation of the
ages-old Chinese system of regional political
management,” he said.
Also, according to Baker, Beijing cannot afford to have a confrontation with the Philippines because it would run counter to its maritime interests in the region.
“The Philippines is a US treaty ally, and thus
seen as part of a US containment strategy to
hold China in. There is plenty of room for expanded economic cooperation with China, despite the political speed bumps.”
The Philippine government’s ﬁling of an ar-
bitration case against China and openly seeking international support for Manila’s claim to
disputed shoals and islets in the West Philippine
Sea (South China Sea) may only be fanning nationalism among the Chinese who believe that
the contested parts of the sea are theirs.
According to former ambassador Roberto
Romulo, Beijing’s assertion of the nine-dash
line principle in proving its ownership of the
disputed territories are among the “long-held
beliefs” of the Chinese people that the area was
theirs dating back to the Chin Dynasty.
Speaking during a business forum organised
by The Manila Times, the former envoy also
criticised the government for “not being good
at restraint”. He said the Aquino administration’s moves to prove sovereignty over these
islands naturally come as “provocative” to the
“Aligning ourselves with the US and Japan
and seeking world opinion should not be done in
a public and provocative manner. It will fuel nationalism from the Chinese,” Romulo explained.
Earlier this year, the government through the
department of foreign affairs (DFA) ﬁled a “memorial” with the International Tribunal on the
Laws of the Sea contesting China’s claims to the
disputed areas in the West Philippine Sea based
on its nine-dash line rule.
In September, Aquino sought the backing of
the European Union in Manila’s move against
Beijing, invoking the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea where China is a signatory.
But these tactics, Romulo noted, do not sit
well with China.
He said it is impossible for the Chinese government to strike a compromise because it will
be perceived as an act of treason.
“If you look at the interior of China, aside
from these substantive issues, [we have to know]
China’s current political dynamics.
Realising this help to calibrate [PH] response,”
Romulo noted, adding that there’s “universal
public support” in the mainland for its govern-
ment toward its policies in the contested seas.
“Public support has devolved… Chinese
[ownership] extends back to the Chin Dynasty.
It is impossible for any Chinese government to
compromise [because] compromise will be perceived as betrayal of the nation’s sovereignty,”
he pointed out.
The former Foreign Affairs official maintained
that it will be “difficult to imagine a major shift
in China’s position until [there is a] new eldership bold enough to run counter along that
long-held belief [of ownership over the territories].”
He said while there is no quick ﬁx or “magic
solution” to the problem, “subtlety” and “restraint” on the part of the Philippine government may do the trick in the long haul.
“There is no magic solution here other than
the virtues of patience, perseverance and it is
important to have that level of restraint, where
we are not very good at, and subtlety,” Romulo
He said China and the Philippines should seriously consider joint use and exploration of the
disputed areas and set aside the issue of sovereignty since none of the claimants are inclined
to give up such.
“[Many] Chinese have all proposed shelving
sovereignty and [resort to] joint use. Claimants
should work together for maritime cooperation
and joint development, maintain peace and stability, reduce tensions,” Romulo added.
Earlier, the former ambassador claimed that
China’s rise as an economic superpower is inevitable, making it imperative for the Philippines to rekindle and even strengthen its ties
The chairman of AIG Philippine Insurance
Inc., he said Philippine leaders must face the future and accept China’s “preeminence.”
“Why should we care to bring our relations
to normalcy? Because [China’s rise] is a reality
that we have to accept. [Thus it follows that]
engagement and mutual accommodation [are]
unavoidable,” Romulo added.
a year after
A man wearing a zombie costume chases participants during a Zombie Run held as part of Halloween celebrations in Marikina city, east of Manila yesterday.
Abu Sayyaf releases captive
he Abu Sayyaf Group has released
an eight-year-girl after three
months in captivity in the southern province of Sulu, police said yesterday.
Police senior superintendent Abraham
Orbita said the victim, who was seized
from a store in her hometown Olutanga in
Zam-boanga Sibugay on July 25, was freed
in the town of Jolo on Wednesday afternoon.
Citing a police intelligence report, Orbita said the girl was handed over to her
brother and father, who paid a still unde-
termined amount of ransom to a woman
wearing niqab at the port of Jolo. The negotiation was conducted by the victim’s
Orbita said the trio then went to the
house of a relative who is a policeman
where they brieﬂy stayed before heading
to Zamboanga City on a ferry.
No other details were made available by
The girl, whose family operates a small
restaurant in Olutanga town, was reunited
with her parents. She was seized by ﬁve
armed men and brought to Sulu where she
had been kept since then.
The release of the girl came two weeks
after Abu Sayyaf members released German Stefan Viktor Okonek, 71, and Hen-
rike Diesen, 55, in exchange for a P250mn
The Germans were heading to Sabah in
Malaysia on a private yacht after a vacation
in Palawan province when they were spotted and seized by Abu Sayyaf members
who were returning to Mindanao from a
failed kidnapping in Sabah on April 25.
Another Abu Sayyaf faction is holding
Malaysian ﬁsh breeder Chan Sai Chuin,
32, and a Filipino worker who were seized
from a ﬁsh farm in the town of Kunak in
Tawau District in Sabah on June this year.
The militants are demanding 3mn ringgits
for the safe release of the ﬁsh breeder.
The rebels also seized Malaysian policeman Kons Zakiah Aleip, 26, on June 12 following a clash in Sabah that killed another
policeman. The militants are demanding
5mn ringgits (P68.3mn).
The Abu Sayyaf’s other hostages are
64-year-old Japanese treasure hunter
Katayama Mamaito, who was kidnapped
from Pangutaran Island in July 2010; European wildlife photographers Ewold Horn,
52, from The Netherlands and Lorenzo Vinciguerre, 47, from Switzerland, who were
snatched in the coastal village of Parangan in
Panglima Sugala town in Tawi-Tawi province in 2012; and several Filipinos kidnapped
in other provinces and brought to Sulu.
The military said the rebels are hiding
in civilian communities and have moved
their hostages from one hideout to another
making it extremely difficult for security
forces to track them down.
lmost a year after a
super typhoon devastated wide areas of
the central Philippines killing thousands, President Benigno Aquino only this week
approved a $3.74bn master
plan to rebuild housing, social services and public infrastructure.
Typhoon Haiyan wiped
out or damaged practically
everything in its path as it
swept ashore on November 8,
2013, with 7m storm surges
destroying around 90% of
the city of Tacloban in Leyte
Haiyan killed or left missing close to 8,000 people and
displaced as many as four million.
It was not immediately clear
why Aquino’s approval took
so long but the mayor of Tacloban said on Tuesday fewer
than 100 of 14,500 promised
permanent homes had been
built there and that thousands
were still living in danger
zones, including in tents.
blamed the delays on bureaucracy, availability of land
for resettlement and scarce
“The national government’s commitment (is) to
implement over 25,000 rehabilitation and recovery speciﬁc plans, programmes and
secretary Herminio Coloma
told reporters in Malacanang
presidential palace yesterday.
“The recovery plans are
based on the principle of
‘build back better’ by focusing
on long-term, sustainable efforts to reduce vulnerabilities
and strengthen capacities of
communities to cope with future hazard events.”
Apart from housing con-
cerns, data from the office
of presidential assistant for
rehabilitation and recovery
showed the government had
rebuilt only 6km of 116km of
damaged major roads.
The data, as of September
this year, shows the government has completed only six
of 43 damaged ports, 213 of
19,600 classrooms, 21 of 161
civic centres and three of 34
The government plan foresees more than 205,000 permanent houses being built
for about 4mn people. The
six-year plan was prepared
in August but only signed on
The government has released about 51.9bn pesos
($1.15bn) for the initial recovery work but only 450 homes
would be completed and ready
for turn over to displaced
families on November 8, the
ﬁrst year anniversary of the
About 75.6bn pesos would
be spent on new townships
where homes, once built,
would be able to withstand
winds of 250kph.
Alison Kent, Oxfam humanitarian policy adviser,
said some administrative
processes and land governance issues were to blame for
delays in moving thousands of
people from tents to permanent homes.
“We feel local authorities,
right now, are struggling to
ﬁnd and acquire appropriate
and safe land for resettlement
sites,” she said.
Politics and corruption
could also be reasons, said Rosario Bella Guzman, head of
research of Ibon Foundation,
an independent development
“Some government agencies are saying that the fund
releases from the government
did not end up for what they
were intended,” Guzman said.
Friday, October 31, 2014
Jamaat activists on rampage,
attack home of Hasina’s kin
By Mizan Rahman
ost shops downed their shutters in Dhaka yesterday as
Jamaat-e-Islami and its student front Islami Chattra Shibir started
a three-day general strike called in protest against death sentence awarded to
its party chief Motiur Rahman Nizami
for his 1971 war crimes.
Activists of the Islamist party went
on rampage in most of the district
towns while in the Bangladesh capital,
ringed by the troops of Border Guard
Bangladesh and elite security outﬁt
Rapid Action Battalion, they adopted
just hit-and-run tactics.
A bus was set on ﬁre in Dhaka city
while the RAB seized eight abandoned
handmade bombs in the capital. The
ﬁre service said a parked bus at the
city’s Shyampur was set aﬁre at around
“It was an empty bus and parked. So
no one was injured. Two ﬁre-ﬁghting
units rushed to spot and put out the
ﬁre,” Fire Service Control Room incharge Ataur Rahman told newsmen.
In the city’s Hazaribagh area, eight
handmade bombs were found in front
of a house, said RAB-2 Operations Ofﬁcer Maruf Ahmad.
The Khulna city home of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s paternal cousins,
MP Sheikh Helal Uddin and Sheikh
Soheil, were attacked on the eve of
Police said assailants on two motorcycles ﬁred several rounds at the house
in Khulna city’s Sher-e-Bangla Road.
Sheikh Soheil, a director of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), was not at
home. Four bullet marks were seen on
the front gate and a wall.
Sonadanga Model Police Officer-inCharge (OC) Maruf Ahammed said four
policemen in charge of the building’s
security have been suspended.
“Five rounds were shot from an alley
opposite to the house’s main entrance,”
According to the local ruling Awami
League, ﬁve masked men on two motorcycles ﬁred at the house on Wednesday night.
“One bullet hit the office on the
ground ﬂoor, another hit a wall inside,
two struck at the gate, and police recovered a stray bullet,” Khulna Metropolitan Jubo League unit’s Joint Secretary Hafez Md Shamim said.
No one was hurt in the ﬁring, and
neither Sheikh Sohel nor his other
brother Sheikh Rubel was at home during the shooting, he said.
Senior officials of the Khulna Metropolitan Police, including Commissioner Nibash Chandra Majhi, visited
The house at the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Road was originally built by Sheikh
Abu Naser, younger brother of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
His sons, Sheikh Sohel and Sheikh
Rubel, currently live in the house.
Their other two brothers, MP Sheikh
Helal Uddin and Sheikh Jewel live in
“We have been always a target of the
anti-liberation forces. The ﬁring is a
consequence of that,” said Sohel.
His father Sheikh Naser was killed
on August 15, 1975, when Bangabandhu
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was assassinated with most members of his family.
In Bogra district town, hand-made
bombs were hurled at a police car from
a procession by Jamaat-e-Islami supporters.
Jamaat supporters threw two bombs
at a police patrol car from a procession
at the town’s PTI intersection Thursday
morning, said Sadar Police Officer-inCharge Faizur Rahman.
“Police dispersed the group by ﬁring
tear-gas shells,” he said.
Activists of the Jamaat and its student front Islami Chhatra Shibir
brought out sporadic processions from
various parts of the town.
Labourers take a nap at the Karwan bazar wholesale market in Dhaka, during
the countrywide strike.
They poured petrol on the roads and
set it alight, said police and witnesses.
Earlier, 87 people, including 15 Shibir
activists were detained during latenight raids on Wednesday. Three local
weapons were recovered, said OC Faizur.
Members of Rapid Action Battalion
(RAB) and Border Guard Bangladesh
(BGB) along with the police were working to secure the town during the strike.
Meanwhile, the police, in a drive,
detained Jamaat-e-Islami’s Rajshahi
district unit chief Ataur Rahman, from
Tekhadia area of the district.
The law enforcers detained Ataur in
special drive early yesterday.
Motihar police station Officer-inCharge (OC) Alamgir Hossain said:
“Acting on a tip-off, police raided the
house of Masum and arrested Ataur at
Police also detained four activists
of Islami Chhatra Shibir from Rajshahi
town while picketing the area.
The OC said: “The other Shibir activists were arrested from Hadirmor
He said additional police forces were
deployed in different important points
of the district to avert further untoward
Meanwhile, Jamaat-e-Islami activists clashed with police at Rajshahi city.
The activists took out sudden processions and blocked roads by setting
Police arrested the head of Jamaat’s
metropolitan unit Ataur Rahman and
six other activists of the party and its
student front Islami Chhatra Shibir
from a pro-shutdown procession at
The activists were demonstrating by
setting ﬁre on the streets using petrol
in three points of Rajshahi city.
They clashed with police at Dingadoba.
“Jamaat-Shibir activists blocked
the Hadir Mor setting ﬁre pouring patrol on the street around 7am. They ran
away after RAB members went there,”
said Boalia Model Police OC Khandaker
At Shalbagan, they put tree trunks on
the road to block it and demonstrated
there around 8am. They also ﬂed after
a police team reached the site.
At Tultuliparha of Dingadoba at the
city bypass, they set ﬁre using patrol to
block the road at 7:30am.
When police reached the site, the
demonstrator started pelting brickbats
at them, resulting in a clash with the
Police ﬁred several rounds of blank
shots to disband the group.
Motihar Police OC Alamgir Hossain
said Rajshahi city unit chief of Jamaat,
Ataur Rahman, was arrested from his
home in the early hours yesterday.
“He was arrested on charges of planning and directing party workers to
Meanwhile, the six arrested at Bagmara were yet to be identiﬁed, said OC
Abu Obaida Khan.
“They’re all Jamaat-Shibir activists.
They were nabbed while planning to
stage vandalism from a procession they
took out at Bagmara Sadar’s Bhabaniganj.”
Reports of clashes between the
Jamaat activists and police from other
districts have started reaching Dhaka.
The Jamaat’s second round of shutdown begins early Sunday to dawn on
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said she is not worried about
the suspected plan by banned militant
group Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) to assassinate her.
“I have nothing to be worried much.
Because, I have been living an extended
life,” she said adding: “I have come under attacks again and again.”
The premier said while commenting
on media reports that India’s National
Investigation Agency (NIA) has uncovered a suspected plot by JMB to assassinate Hasina and carry out a coup.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina once
again rejected any possibility of early
parliamentary elections as demanded
by BNP and some other opposition parties.
“An election has been held and the
next election will take place on time,”
she said while replying to a question
made referring to her pre-election
speech where she described the January 5 polls as constitutional necessity.
The premier was addressing a press
conference on her recent visit to the
United Arab Emirates (UAE). The conference was held at her official Gono
Criticising the European Union (EU)
for its concern over awarding of capital
punishment to Jamaat-e-Islami chief
Motiur Rahman Nizami, Sheikh Hasina
said the trial and punishment of human
rights violators will be held as per the
law of the land.
“They always express concern over
the rights of those who have violated
human rights. . . How will terrorism
and militancy be stopped?” she asked.
Sheikh Hasina categorically said
terrorism and militancy will have to be
uprooted from Bangladesh and human
rights will have to be protected. “To do
this, the human rights violators will
have to be brought to justice as per the
provisions existing in the country,” she
She said the trial of war criminals is
nothing new. “The trial of war criminals after the World War-II is still ongoing. Whether they are 90 years old or
100 years....why they did not stop the
“Are the people of the country not
human beings?” she asked. “They
raped, looted, torched and killed intellectuals... everybody knows who was
Nizami,” she said.
5 Indian smugglers
sentenced to death
Sri Lankan security personnel recovering some books and documents from a landslide destroyed home at Meeriyabedda.
Heavy rains hit mudslide
search effort in Sri Lanka
eavy rains disrupted a
massive search yesterday for scores of people
feared buried in a landslide on
a Sri Lankan tea estate, further
dimming prospects of ﬁnding
Hundreds of troops suspended
their work as rains threatened
more mudslides at the plantation
in central Sri Lanka, a day after
scores of tin-roofed homes were
buried under tonnes of mud.
“We are suspending the search
operation because it is not safe
to work in this rain,” the region’s
top military officer, major general
Mano Perera, told reporters.
“We hope to start work tomorrow morning if the weather improves.”
Perera said they failed to ﬁnd
any survivors or bodies from the
disaster site yesterday. He did not
hold out much hope of ﬁnding
survivors as the site was covered
in tonnes of mud.
“There were no concrete
structures which could have acted as air traps for victims to survive,” he added.
Shop keeper Vevaratnam
Marathamuttu said he ran when
tonnes of earth came crashing down the hill on Wednesday
morning, fearing there had been
“I thought it was some sort of
a bomb blast and ﬂed from my
shop,” Marathamuttu said. “I
saved my life because I ran away.”
Truck driver Sinniah Yogarajan,
48, said there was “no point in my
living” after ﬁve members of his
family along with his friends were
buried in the disaster.
“The entire neighbourhood
has vanished. Now there is a river
of mud where our houses once
stood,” Yogarajan told AFP at a
nearby school where survivors
“The soldiers are trying their
best but every time they scoop
out some of the mud the hole
then just gets ﬁlled up again with
Although only a handful of
bodies have been recovered so
far, the government’s disaster
management minister voiced
fears on Wednesday night that
100 people may have been buried
after he visited the site.
There had been fears of an even
higher toll when officials initially
said that up to 300 people were
unaccounted for, but the minister said most of those who were
classiﬁed as missing were later
found at work.
Some 75 children were already
at their school nearby when their
homes were buried, officials said,
adding that they were checking
on reports that at least two children had lost both parents.
President Mahinda Rajapakse
visited the disaster area in Koslanda yesterday, speaking with
survivors now sheltering at two
schools. He later inspected the
Meeriyabedda tea plantation
which bore the full brunt of the
During the day, soldiers were
seen clearing debris from the
mud, as curious onlookers as well
as survivors whose relatives were
missing gathered at the site despite appeals to stay away.
Labourer Arumugam Thyagarajah, 28, said his six-year-old
daughter was washed away in the
mudslide as she walked with her
older brother to school.
At least 1,200 people from
nearby tea plantations have also
been evacuated from their homes
amid fears that ongoing rains
could lead to more mudslides, ofﬁcials said adding that more people were expected at relief centres.
Sri Lanka’s picturesque hill region is famed for producing Ceylon tea and has become a major
tourist attraction with visitors
able to stay on the plantations.
The number of homes destroyed
was revised down to 63 from 150
given earlier by the national Disaster Management Centre (DMC).
Sri Lankan court sentenced five Indians and three locals to death yesterday
after finding them guilty of smuggling
drugs onto the island while claiming to be
Colombo High Court judge Preethi Surasena
convicted all eight men who were arrested in November 2011 off the island’s northern coast carrying heroin, a court official said.
Drug convictions carry a mandatory death sentence which is almost always commuted to life in
prison. Sri Lanka has not carried out an execution
“They claimed they were genuine ﬁshermen,
but the court upheld evidence that they transported nearly a kilo of heroin from India to Sri
Lanka,” the unnamed official said.
The official said the men claimed they were in
Indian waters at the time of their arrest, but recordings from their onboard navigational equipment showed they were in fact in Sri Lankan waters.
The ﬁve Indians from the southern Indian state
US woman has died on
the 8,163m Mount Manaslu in Nepal, authorities said yesterday.
Police said the 49-year-old
woman died on the way up
the mountain, at a height of
She collapsed on her way up
on Wednesday and died immediately, according to police.
Her body was airlifted to
Kathmandu’s Teaching Hospital for autopsy yesterday.
She was in an expedition
with six other foreign climbers.
of Tamil Nadu were expected to appeal to Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court.
“Now that the lower court has given its judgement, we intend through our High Commission
to appeal to a higher court,” Indian foreign ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin told the NDTV
network in New Delhi.
Fishermen from the two countries straying into
each others’ waters is a thorny issue for Colombo
Tamil Nadu has repeatedly accused Sri Lanka’s
navy of harassing their ﬁshermen and urged Delhi
to take ﬁrm action against Colombo.
Sri Lanka denies the charges, and says Indian
ﬁshermen are regularly straying into Sri Lankan
waters and depriving local ﬁshermen of their
The two countries are separated by a narrow
strip of sea known as the Palk Strait which is also
a rich ﬁshing ground.
During the height of Sri Lanka’s separatist war
in the island’s northeast, close to southern India,
ﬁshing provided a cover for lucrative smuggling
of arms and fuel to the rebels.
Sri Lankan authorities say smugglers are now
bringing narcotics into the island for shipping to
indicted for graft
By Mizan Rahman
Dhaka court yesterday framed charges
against former mayor
of Dhaka city and Bangladesh Nationalist Party leader Sadeque Hossain Khoka
in a case ﬁled against him by
the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) for amassing
Dhaka senior special judge
Md Jahurul Haq framed
charges against Khoka after rejecting a time petition
ﬁled by his lawyer and ﬁxed
November 16 for staring the
Khoka was not present at
the court yesterday as he is
now in the USA for medical
ACC assistant director
Md Shamsul Alam ﬁled the
case against Khoka, his wife
Ismat Ara, daughter Sarika
Sadeq and son Ishraq Hossain with Ramna Police Station on December 6, 2007.
Md Shamsul Alam, also
the investigation officer
of the case, submitted a
chargesheet against Khoka
and his wife on April 2, 2008.
According to the case
statement, Khoka submitted
his wealth statement to the
ACC concealing information about his wealth worth
99.7mn taka in 2007.
Khoka earlier held the strategic post of convener of Dhaka city unit of the BNP and
was replaced by Mirza Abbas.
Friday, October 31, 2014
THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH
Muharram: The month of Allah
uslims must fear Allah
and take lessons from
what Allah has told us in
the Qur’an regarding the
Prophets and Messengers of Allah and
the previous nations.
Allah said (which means):
“Indeed in their stories, there is a
lesson for men of understanding. It
(the Qur’an) is not a forged statement,
but a conﬁrmation of Allah’s existing
books (the Torah, the Injeel, and other
Scriptures of Allah), a detailed explanation of everything, and a guide and
a mercy for the people who believe.”
(Yusuf 12: 111)
And among the stories that Allah
has narrated to us in His Book is what
happened in Allah’s month,(1) the
sacred month of Muharram,(2) and
that is the story of Prophet Moosa,
and Pharaoh the tyrant of Egypt, in
the Qur’an, Allah tells us this story,
“We recite to you some of the news
of Moosa and Pharaoh in truth, for
a people who believe (i.e. those who
believe (ie those who believe in this
Qur’an and in the Oneness of Allah).
Verily, Pharaoh exalted himself in
the land and made its people sects,
weakening (oppressing) a group (Bani
Israa’eel) among them, killing their
sons and letting their females live.
Verily, he was of the mufsidoon (those
who commit great sins and crimes,
oppressors and tyrants). And We
wished to do a favour for those who
were weak (and oppressed) in the
land, and to make them rulers and to
make them the inheritors, and rulers
and to make them the inheritors, and
to establish them in the land, and We
let Pharaoh and Haamaan (a minister
of Pharaoh) and their hosts receive
from them that which they feared.”
Pharaoh dominated the nation of
Israa’eel and enslaved them, killing
their newborn sons but letting their
females live. The reason he committed this criminal act was the fear
of the truth coming out from one of
those newborn males. The nation
of Israa’eel used to know, according
to what came to them from Prophet
Ibraheem, that someone from his
lineage would destroy the king of
Egypt. These glad tidings were famous
among the nation of Israa’eel; and
the news of it was made known to
Pharaoh. Pharaoh ordered his soldiers
to kill all newborn boys of the nation
of Israa’eel; on order to secure himself
However, all of the precautions that
he made were not enough to protect
him from what Allah wanted, which
was for this newborn boy to be raised
in the house of Pharaoh. The will
of Allah cannot be stopped by any
precautions and His ability conquers
anything. So Allah chose for the
Prophet Moosa to be born safely, to be
saved from being killed, and also to be
raised in Pharaoh’s own home under
the protection of Allah until he was
Later Moosa accidentally killed a
person from Pharaoh’s people. Moosa
was afraid that he would be captured
and be killed for this, so he ﬂed to the
land of Madyan and abided there for
some time. He married there and then
returned to Egypt. On the way back
Allah talked to him (by wahy)(3) revelation and told him he was a prophet
and the Messenger to Pharaoh. Allah
told him many signs by which he will
be known as the prophet of Allah and
they would show that he was a true
Moosa went to Pharaoh and showed
him the signs of Allah but Pharaoh
was arrogant and stubborn.
Allah says (which means):
“Has there come to you the story of
Moosa? When his Lord called him in
the Valley of Tuwaa. ‘Go to Pharaoh, verily he has transgressed all
bounds (in crimes, sins, polytheism
and disbelief). And say to hi, ‘Would
you purify yourself (from the sin of
disbelief and by becoming a believer).
And that I guide you to your Lord, so
you should fear him?’ Then (Moosa)
An aerial view of the walk way leading to the pillars where pilgrims throw stone (centre tents) during “Jamarat” ritual, the stoning of Satan, in Mina near the holy
city of Makkah.
showed him the great signs (miracles).
But (Pharaoh) belied and disobeyed;
then he turned his back, striving hard
against (Allah). Then he gathered his
people and cried aloud, saying, ‘I am
you lord, most high.’’’(An-Naazi’aat
Pharaoh claimed that the signs
Moosa brought were only magic and
that he had magic that would overtake
the magic of Moosa. So Pharaoh
gathered magicians from his kingdom
and they presented their magic, and
Moosa presented what he had from
the signs, which Allah had given him.
Allah said (which means):
“Thus truth was conﬁrmed, and all
that they did was made of no effect.
So they were defeated there and then,
and were returned disgraced. And the
sorcerers fell down prostrate. They
said, ‘We believe in the Lord of the
‘Aalameen (i.e. all that exists), the
Lord of Moosa and Haaroon (Aaron).’”
(Al-A’araf 7: 118-122)
At that time Pharaoh decided to
try a different plan - fear, force and
retaliation. Allah told Moosa to get
every believer out of Egypt and direct
them to where Allah would tell him.
Pharaoh gathered his army and forces,
which were around one million soldiers according to the seerah, and he
chased Moosa and his people, hoping
to destroy them completely. Moosa
ended up at the sea with Pharaoh and
his army behind him. The believers were afraid because the sea was
in front of them and the enemy was
Allah says (which means):
“And when the two hosts saw each
other, the people of Moosa, said, ‘We
are sure to be overtaken. (Moosa) said,
‘Nay, verily! With me is my Lord and
He will guide me!’” (Ash-Shu’araa 26:
Whoever is close to Allah, Allah
will never let him down or leave him
on his own. Allah ordered Moosa to
strike the sea with his staff. Moosa did
so and the sea opened up for them to
Allah says (which means):
“And indeed We inspired Moosa
(saying): ‘Travel by night with ‘Ibaadi
(My slaves) and strike a dry path for
them in the sea, fearing neither to
be overtaken (by Pharaoh) nor being
afraid (of drowning).” (Taaha 20: 77)
Moosa walked across the path that
opened in the sea and the last of his
people left the sea and every soldier of
Pharaoh’s army was inside the path.
At this time Allah ordered the sea to
collapse upon them, drowning Pharaoh and his army.
That was the victory of the truth
over falsehood. The promise of Allah
was true - He made the people of
Moosa victorious over Pharaoh and
his army. From this story we see how
the truth is victorious, regardless of
the size or seeming power of falsehood. Falsehood has its own limited
time, but the truth is always victorious. This story should enrich the
hearts of the believers and make them
steadfast in the face of their enemies,
regardless of size or seeming power of
The believer should also beneﬁt
from this story by understanding that
the people of falsehood claim that
they are on the right path and are
calling people to the truth. In fact, the
opposite is true-they rely on lies and
Pharaoh said to his people,
“I guide you only to the path of
right policy!” (Ghaaﬁr 40:29)
But he was a liar. From this story we
also see that whoever knows the truth
and truly believes in it will not lose,
regardless of what he or she endures
of torment, torture or even death. An
example is of the magicians. When
they knew the truth, they believed in
Allah and in the message of Moosa.
Allah says (which means):
“So the magicians fell down prostrate. They said, ‘We believe in the
Lord of Haaroon and Moosa.’” (Taaha
Pharaoh threatened to crucify them,
but they were strong in their belief
and refused to return to disbelief after
Allah said (which means): “Pharaoh said, ‘Believe you in him (Moosa)
before I give you permission? Verily!
He is your chief who taught you
magic. So surely I will cut off your
hands and feet on opposite sides, and
I will surely crucify you on the trunks
of palm-trees, and you shall; know
which of us, (I, Pharaoh) or the Lord of
Moosa (Allah) can give the severe and
more lasting torment.’
They said, ‘We prefer you not over
the clear signs that have come to us,
and to Him (Allah) who created us. So
decree whatever you desire to decree,
for you can only decree (regarding)
this life of the world.’
‘Verily! We have believed in our
Lord, that He may forgive us our
faults, and the magic to which you
did compel us. And Allah is better (as
regards in comparison to your punishment).’
Verily! Whoever comes to his
Lord as a mujrim (criminal, sinner,
polytheist, disbeliever in the oneness
of Allah and in His messengers) then
surely, for him is Hell, therein he will
neither die nor live.
But whoever comes to Him (Allah)
as a believer (in the oneness of Allah)
and has done righteous deeds, for
such are the high ranks (in the Hereafter).” (Taaha 20:71-75)
We also derived from this story the
lesson that falsehood, regardless of
how big or the number of its adherents, will be defeated by the truth and
the people of the truth are patient
with whatever they are facing. This is
an example of an arrogant tyrant with
power, an army and a kingdom which
he ruled, who pursued a few who had
no munitions or other means (of defence), but Allah was with them and
they had the force of Imaan in their
hearts. Allah gave them His victory,
His guidance, His help; and in a single moment the forces of falsehood
were destroyed. Pharaoh’s forces
were destroyed in the sea and as Allah
said (which means):
“We ﬂing (send down ) the truth
against the falsehood, so it (truth)
destroys it, and behold, it (falsehood)
is vanished.” (Al-Anbiyaa 21: 18)
We also learn that Allah tests the
prophets and the believers, and the
tests are sometimes very difficult, but
in the end, victory is for the prophets
and the believers. Allah is with the
prophets and the believers in victory
Allah says (which means):
“Truly, Allah is with those who fear
him, keep their duty unto Him, and
those who are Muhsinoon (doers of
good, those who perform good deeds
solely for the sake of Allah and in
accordance with the Sunnah of the
Prophet).” (An-Nahl 16: 128)
As Muslims, we should always fear
Allah and consider these lessons and
not follow the ways of those who were
disobedient to Allah; but rather to
obey the Prophet and follow his guidance as Allah told us, which means,
“Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad) you have a good
example to follow for him who hopes
in (the meeting with) Allah and the
Last Day and remembers Allah much.”
(Al-Ahzaab 33: 21)
This great event - the victory Allah
gave Moosa and the believers over
Pharaoh and his army - occurred on
the 10th of the sacred month of Muharram and the day is called Yaumul
Aashoorah (the day of ‘Aashoorah). It
is a day that has great merit. Prophet
Moosa fasted on that day, and ordered
the people to fast that day.
Ibn ‘Abbass reported that when the
Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi
wa sallam) arrived in Madinah, he
found the Jews fasting on the day of
Aashoorah. The Messenger of Allah
asked them, “What is the signiﬁcance
of this day that you fast on?” They
said, “It is the day of great signiﬁcance when Allah delivered Moosa
and his people and drowned Pharaoh
and his people. Moosa observed fast
out of gratitude, and we also observe
it.” Upon this, the Messenger of Allah
said, “We have more right and we have
a closer connection (awlaa) to Moosa
than you have. So Allah’s Messenger
fasted (on the day of ‘Aashoorah ) and
gave orders that it should be observed.
According to Muslim, the Prophet
said of fasting on ‘Aashoorah that “It
is an expiation (of sins) for the previous year.”(5)
According to many authentic
ahaadith, fasting on ‘Aashoorah was
obligatory, but later made voluntary
when the obligation of fasting the
month of Ramadan was revealed in
The Prophet fasted on the day
of ‘Aashoora and commanded that
people should fast on that day. The
sahaabah (his companions) said,
“Messenger of Allah, it is a day which
the Jews and Christians hold in high
esteem.” Thereupon the Messenger
of Allah said, ‘“When the next year
comes, inshaa ‘Allah, we would fast
on the 9th (i.e. the ninth as well as the
10th in order to differ from the disbelievers).” But the Messenger of Allah
died before the advent of the next
year.(7) Therefore we should fast that
day and one day before it (the 9th),
following the Prophet’s Sunnah and
looking for the reward from Allah.(8)
We also beneﬁt from the story of
Moosa by learning that the Sunnah
of the Prophets is to thank and praise
Allah in times of peace and when
they gain victory over their enemies.
Moosa fasted on the 10th, the day
on which Allah made his followers
victorious over Pharaoh; and this is
another sign that the truth will always
The Prophet fasted on this day
thanking Allah for the victory of the
people of the truth over the people of
falsehood. The victory in that time
was for Moosa, but the Sunnah of the
prophets is one. This is the jihaad
against the disbelievers - to make the
word of Allah the highest on earth.
Victory always comes from Allah and
victory is a ni’mah (bounty) from Allah for which we must thank Allah by
being obedient to Him.
Some people nowadays create
bid’ah (innovation in the deen), and
deviant slogans and hold demonstrations, or invent a state of mourning
for themselves on this day.
1 The Prophet said, “The most
excellent fast after Ramadan is
Allah’s month, Muharram, and the
most excellent prayer after what
is prescribed is praying during the
night.” (Saheeh Muslim, Volume 2
page 569 no.2611 )
2 The sacred months are four:
Dhul-Qa’dah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab. See Qur’an,
At-Tawbah 9: 36-37. Waging war,
killing and plunder are prohibited
during these months. It is prohibited to intentionally violate
the sanctity of one of the months
and then make up for it, as the
pre-Islamic Arabs used to do in
order to give themselves a military
edge. However, if you are attacked
during one of these months, it is
permitted, as mentioned in the
ayah 2:194 to attack them as you
3. by revelation
4 Saheeh Muslim, Volume 2
page 551 no. 2520
5 Saheeh Muslim
6 Saheeh Muslim, Volume 2
page 548 no. 2499
7 Saheeh Muslim, Volume 2 page
552 no. 2528
8 We may only single out this
day as a day of fasting and not a
day of celebration. Abu Moosa reported that the people of Khaybar
(most of them were Jews) observed fast on the day of ‘Aashoorah and they treated it as “Eid and
gave their women ornaments and
beautiful dresses to wear. The
Messenger of Allah said, “You
(only) fast on this day.” (Saheeh
Tussle with Satan
There are many among us who
do not take Satan seriously.
There are still others who simply
laugh to scorn at the idea. For
those who wish to know the truth
about Satan and his clan and
their technique, we quote from
the Qur’an – the book of “assured
“And surely We created you
and then gave you shape, then
We told the Angels ‘Prostrate
to Adam’, and they prostrated,
except Iblees, he refused to be
one of those who prostrate.
(Allah) said: ‘What prevented
you (O Iblees) that you did not
prostrate when I commanded
you?’ Iblees said: ‘I am better than
he (Adam). You created me from
fire and him You created from
(Allah) said: ‘Get you (O Iblees)
down from this, it is not for you to
be arrogant here, get out, for you
are of the meanest ones.’
(Iblees) said: ‘Respite me till the
Day they are raised up (ie the Day
(Allah) said: ‘You are of the
(Iblees) said: ‘Because you have
sent me astray, surely I will sit
in wait against them (human
beings) on Your straight path.’
After going through the above
verses there could be no reason
to be sceptical about Satan. He
is one who defied his Lord out
of sheer arrogance. He thought
too highly of himself and too
contemptuously of Adam who
he took to be a murky creature
made of clay. He overlooked
the fact that the Lord had made
Adam with His own hands and
had breathed into him His Word.
Satan was humbled for his
haughtiness, declared an outlaw
and avowed enemy of Adam and
FIRST VICTIMS: Adam and
Eve were thus his first victims
and unfortunately for all of us,
they fell in Satan’s lap like a ripe
apple. Their error of judgment
cost them their peaceful abode
in Heaven – they were thrown
out: Adam to execute God’s plan
and to establish His kingdom on
earth and Satan to try his worst
to undo it.
THE TUSSLE: The tussle which
started with the first man goes
on with ever-increasing fury.
Satan’s first step is to put man off
his guard and then to lead him
to the wrong direction to pursue
the path of divine disobedience.
His second step is to demoralise
him through open and concealed
threats as the Holy Qur’an says:
“(Satan) commands you only
what is evil and sinful and that
you should say against Allah what
you know not.” (2:169)
“Satan threatens you with
poverty and orders you to
commit sins; whereas Allah
promises you Forgiveness from
Himself and bounty. And Allah
is All-Sufficient for His creatures’
needs, All-Knower.” (2:268)
Ordinarily one would not fall in
Satan’s trap but there are ever
so many who are not so careful.
Satan is in our blood; he races
with it in our veins as observed
by the Holy Prophet (sallallaahu
‘alaihi wa sallam – peace be
upon him). The Prophet (peace
be upon him) has also said that
Satan sits stooping over the heart
and injects venom through his
Why Satan has a way with us
is that he knows fully well our
principal weakness and he
exploits it to the utmost, namely
man’s craving for supremacy.
He entices us away as he
cunningly prevailed upon Adam
and brought about his fall. He
bore enmity to Adam because
he felt humbled before him. He
continues to harbour enormous
enmity to all of us; the fury
of his wrath, the tempo of his
hatred is ever on the increase.
Man’s ignorance is only aiding
and abetting Satan’s passion.
Satan is out to harm man out
of desperation because of the
fatal blunder that he committed
in disobeying Allah’s command
to honour Adam. Hence the
repeated warning of the Holy
Qur’an to us that we should
beware of Satan who is our worst
ONLY ONE ENEMY: As
explained above, man has
only one enemy – Satan. If he
surrenders himself to him, he
will find himself surrounded by a
host of hostile herds each one as
sharp and shrewd as a doublefaced crook ready to hamstring
him the moment he steps out.
Once in their clutches, he can
only sink deeper and deeper. But
Allah Almighty is Omnipotent.
If the man, the sinner calls Him,
He does come to the rescue.
The Qur’an tells us many stories
of this kind of divine help and
succour to those who lost their
way through ignorance and
earned their freedom once again
through Divine Mercy.
Satan is in hot pursuit of us as
long as we are alive. The sooner
it is realised the better for all of
us. Man is not an eternal sinner
nor is he “born in sin.” He is a
sublime being born out of a
noble parentage and possesses
a proud heritage. We come to
know all of this from the Qur’an.
The Prophet (peace be upon
him) in his last Pilgrimage,
exhorted his Companions
gathered there and through
them to all of his followers to the
last day, to hold fast to the Holy
Qur’an and the Sunnah – the two
sources of certain success. Let
us therefore take them in right
earnest to keep away the Satan
from our midst.
Friday, October 31, 2014
Chairman: Abdullah bin Khalifa al-Attiyah
Editor-in-Chief : Darwish S Ahmed
Production Editor: Amjad Khan
Telephone 44350478 (news),
44466404 (sport), 44466636 (home delivery)
Doha 2019: a unique opportunity
to connect the world of athletics
Senate control could
be mixed blessing for
For Republican lawmakers with White House
aspirations, control of the US Senate could be a
blessing and a curse.
If Republicans win a Senate majority in the
November 4 elections, the party’s new governing
responsibilities may force potential 2016 presidential
candidates such as Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted
Cruz of Texas to take uncomfortable votes that open
them to criticism from rivals outside of Congress.
While they would have the opportunity to pass
legislation on projects such as the Keystone XL
pipeline that are important to conservative voters,
a thin Senate majority could hamper their ability to
deliver on big promises to shrink government and cut
That would open the door for rivals who are
current or former state governors to campaign
against Washington and its unpopular lawmakers,
including the Republicans in charge of the House of
Representatives and the Senate.
“Anybody who’s a senator who’s running for
president is obviously always in jeopardy for votes
they have to cast. It
is an advantage that
governors have over
them,” said Republican
Black, an adviser to
Governor Mitt Romney
and Arizona Senator
John McCain during
their presidential campaigns.
Some governors with an eye on 2016 are already
looking to exploit their edge over senators.
“I am convinced that the next president of the US is
going to be a governor,” New Jersey Governor Christie,
a likely 2016 contender, said last week.
“We have had the experiment of a legislator who’d
never run anything getting on-the-job training,” he
said, knocking President Barack Obama, a former
senator from Illinois.
Governor Rick Perry of Texas, another likely 2016
contender, is quick to highlight his state’s economic
successes and his role as the state’s chief executive in
delivering them. If they start their own campaigns,
others like former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal would no doubt do
But Black and other Republicans said Senate control
also could help potential 2016 candidates Cruz, Rubio,
Rob Portman of Ohio and Rand Paul of Kentucky by
giving them frequent opportunities to shine.
“I think it’s all positive,” Paul said recently.
“I think if we take over the Senate ... we’ll actually
start passing legislation,” Paul said. “There were 400
bills passed in the House last year and not one of them
was taken up in the Senate.”
That could lead to potentially tough votes on
contentious issues such as raising the debt ceiling,
keeping the federal government open, reforming the
tax code and conﬁrming potential presidential Cabinet
or Supreme Court appointments.
It also could give the party’s senators a chance to
show they can govern responsibly and compromise
when needed, Portman said.
“If Republicans are seen as taking the lead on that,
in passing legislation, I think it helps,” he said in an
interview. “If we get a majority Senate, there’s a chance
that you could get the president to the table, though
Republicans would have to do their part in doing that.”
By Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman
Secretary-General, Qatar Olympic
he next two days have the
potential to be of great
importance to the sporting
future of Doha, the sporting
landscape of the Middle East and the
future of athletics worldwide.
Yesterday evening, the IAAF’s
Evaluation Commission, Chaired by
Lord Sebastian Coe, Vice President
of the IAAF, were welcomed to Doha
to analyse our capabilities of hosting
the 2019 IAAF World Championships
in Athletics. Doha is competing
against bids from Eugene, USA, and
Barcelona, Spain. Following their
visit to each city, the Evaluation
Commission will submit a report to be
shared with all IAAF Council members
ahead of their vote to decide the
winning bid on November 18, 2014.
During the IAAF delegation’s
visit, we will be showcasing Doha’s
state-of-the-art facilities, our proven
experience of hosting world-class
events, our use of sporting innovation
to provide new solutions for sport
and our commitment to developing
athletics at all levels – in order to
demonstrate that Doha would host an
exceptional World Championships in
However, our ambitions are
much higher than simply hosting an
exceptional World Championships
- we want to work in partnership
with the IAAF to use the power of
hosting one of the biggest and most
prestigious Championships in the
world to help athletics grow in Qatar,
across the whole of the Middle East –
for the mutual beneﬁt of athletics in
our region and for the beneﬁt of the
world of athletics.
The Middle East has never hosted
the IAAF World Championships
before. This brings a fantastic
opportunity to showcase athletics to a
new region and a new generation, not
just during the week of live sporting
action but in the years leading up to
2019 and for many years after the
Championships, ensuring a true
athletics legacy for our nation and
for our region. Sixty per cent of the
Middle East are under the age of
30 – this huge young and dynamic
population would be inspired to
participate in athletics, connecting
more young people to athletics at a
grassroots level, empowering more
young females to realise their potential
and creating more sporting heroes for
generations to come.
Furthermore, hosting major
sporting events is part of the Qatar
National Vision 2030. There is no
better way to develop our people,
provide new skills, educate through
the values of sport and promote
active and healthy lifestyles. Sport
challenges, it inspires, it creates
sporting heroes and provides
role models. The IAAF World
Championships are the third largest
sporting event in the world and
hosting them in Doha would have a
profound impact on our nation.
We know as a nation we would unite
behind a common cause, shoulder
the responsibility that comes with
hosting such an occasion and relish
the opportunity to show the world
our deep passion for sport, our warm
hospitality and love of life.
We have been working hard
to develop sport at all levels and
Doha 2019 would be a catalyst for
even further success at every level,
instilling sporting values across
the nation and wider region. At a
grassroots level, the Schools Olympic
Programme and National Sports Day
have introduced schoolchildren and
people of all ages to athletics and a
wide variety of sports, and encourage
increased participation. They have
increased in success year by year and
2014 saw 26,000 students from 461
schools participating in the Schools
Olympic Programme. At an elite
level, the Aspire Academy for Sports
Excellence has this year, once again,
proven the success of Qatar’s system
of identifying and nurturing talent
through the success of Mutaz Barshim
and Ashraf Elseify.
Our programmes are already a
beacon for sports development across
the Middle East but Doha 2019 would
provide a springboard for the further
expansion of these programmes and
improved development at every level
of the sporting pathway.
With pride I can say that Doha has
become a true global sporting hub in
recent years. Not for one single reason
or even an event but a multitude,
all showing our relentless ambition
to compete, share and support the
advancement of sport world-wide.
Qatar is making a difference to the
world of sport and sport is making a
difference to Qatar. we can see a more
active, more ambitious nation emerge.
As we look to 2019 we know
success does not come easy. Years of
planning and hard work is required to
achieve the goals we set. Dedication,
commitment and belief needs to
come from within and be shared by
all involved. But you simply need to
look at our own sporting talent for
inspiration. Qatar is showing to be
more than a sporting hub, but serious
competitor on the ﬁeld of play. Over
recent months team Qatar has our
most successful Asian Games, we are
the World 3x3 Basketball Champions
and even last week we secured the
U-19 Asian Football Cup for the very
ﬁrst time with all players coming
through the Aspire Academy. Qatar
sporting heroes are taking their
chance on the world stage.
When it comes to athletics we
have a proven track record to point to
thanks to our hosting of world-class
international sports events, including
the 2006 Asian Games, the 2010 IAAF
World Indoor Championships and
the annual IAAF Diamond League
meeting, formerly the IAAF Super
Grand Prix, hosted every year since
1997. We have the support of some
of the best athletes in the world who
have competed in Doha because they
recognise our abilities to understand
what is important to an athlete and
care for them to the highest possible
levels. These supporters include
2010 World Indoor Champion,
Chris Brown, World and Olympic
Champion, Valerie Adams, and
European 110m Hurdle Champion,
Sergey Shubenkov, who is in Doha this
week to support our bid.
Just as important, if not more so
for Qatar is the deep support of our
own athletes especially the next
generation. Those who will lead
Qatar in track and ﬁeld events, ﬁlling
stadiums and winning medals in
years to come. This week 16-year-old
Mariam Farid and 15-year-old Dalal
al-Ajmi will support Qatar’s bid. Both
are concrete examples of Qatar’s focus
on developing female athletics talent.
We are delighted two of Qatar’s
brightest hopes for future athletics
success will be able to tell their story.
It is a story of hope, ambition and
commitment to make a difference, to
succeed and to connect to other young
females like them.
At this time of dramatic sporting
growth in Qatar, hosting the IAAF
World Championships would be the
pinnacle of our achievements and
our proudest moment. It would be an
honour to work in partnership with
the IAAF to deliver the greatest ever
World Championships, to help realise
the potential of global athletics and
to cement a true legacy for the sport.
If successful we will be honoured to
bring our nation together through our
shared passion for sport in this global
celebration of athletics.
We believe that Doha 2019 is the
right time to embrace this unique
opportunity to connect the world of
“I am convinced
that the next
president of the
US is going to be
Telephone 44466621 Fax 44418811
Telephone 44466609 Fax 44418811
2014 Gulf Times. All rights reserved
In this photograph taken on May 16, 2014, Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi is watched by her son and party vice president Rahul Gandhi as she prepares to
address a press conference following Congress’ defeat in the general elections at the party headquarters in New Delhi.
India dynasty ﬂounders 30 years after Gandhi killing
hen Indira Gandhi was
gunned down by her
bodyguards on October
31, 1984, the instant
elevation of her son Rajiv to the post
of prime minister appeared to conﬁrm
her family’s status as India’s naturalborn rulers.
But three decades on from the
assassination of India’s ‘Iron Lady’,
even members of her Congress party
are beginning to question whether
they may now have to look beyond the
Nehru-Gandhi clan for survival.
After a crushing defeat in May’s
general election, things hit a new low
this month when Congress trailed
in third place in two state polls with
Rahul Gandhi - the dynasty’s latest
scion - having all but disappeared
“Indira Gandhi was the real
architect of the Congress party’s
expansion. She had the ability to
directly speak to the masses across
India and get votes,” said Rasheed
Kidwai, who has written several books
“For the ﬁrst time, instead of the
party depending on the family, the
family depends on it for its survival,”
he told AFP.
The centre-left Congress has ruled
India for more than 50 of the 67 years
since independence, while a member
of the family has been at the helm of
the party for all but a handful of those
Indira’s father Jawaharlal Nehru was
India’s ﬁrst prime minister from 1947
This file picture dated November 1971
shows Indian Prime Minister Indira
Gandhi. When Indira Gandhi was gunned
down by her bodyguards on October 31,
1984, the instant elevation of her son Rajiv
to the post of prime minister appeared
to confirm her family’s status as India’s
to 1964. Two years after his death,
Indira became the premier from 1966
to 1977 and then again from 1980
before a grieving Rajiv then took up
Such was the sympathy towards
Rajiv that Congress recorded its bestever showing in elections soon after he
took office, reinforcing the notion that
the family was destined to rule the
world’s largest democracy.
After Rajiv was assassinated in a
Tamil suicide attack in 1991, Congress
turned to his Italian-born widow
Sonia who led the party back to power
in a shock 2004 election victory.
She declined to become premier,
installing the mild-mannered
Manmohan Singh instead, but was
seen as the power behind the throne
until May’s defeat after a lacklustre
campaign led by her son Rahul.
While few within Congress speak
out against the family, analysts say
there can be no illusions about the
scale of its troubles.
“It is defeated and directionless
with a serious leadership crisis,” Zoya
Hasan, a professor at Jawaharlal Nehru
University in New Delhi, told AFP.
While Rajiv and Sonia were
reluctant leaders, both showed
an aptitude for politics that their
daughter Priyanka seems to have
Although Priyanka is seen as an
alternative leader, she says she is
dedicated to raising her children and
is hampered by controversy over her
husband’s property business dealings.
Rahul - once described in a US
diplomatic cable as “an empty suit”
- has shown no such appetite and
likened power to “poison” before
being persuaded to become Congress’s
election frontman. His mother
remains party president.
Since May, Rahul has been barely
seen in public and has left Sonia to
rally the party.
Hasan said it had been a mistake
to think the Gandhi magic could be
handed down endlessly, adding: “I
think the whole transition from Sonia
Gandhi to Rahul Gandhi went horribly
For years, it seemed almost
unthinkable that anyone but a Gandhi
could lead Congress.
But asked recently if someone
from outside the family could lead
the party, former ﬁnance minister P.
Chidambaram told NDTV: “I think
so... some day, yes.”
The party’s plight has added to
the nostalgia for Indira even though
she was a massively divisive ﬁgure,
especially after she imposed a
21-month state of emergency.
Critics say her authoritarian streak
was again illustrated by her order to
storm the Golden Temple, the Sikhs’
most revered shrine, in June 1984
when part of the complex in Amritsar
were taken over by militants.
After at least 400 people were
killed in the assault, two of her Sikh
bodyguards took revenge by shooting
her dead in her garden.
“She was a very great leader, a
world leader, who I saw was respected
wherever she went,” K. Natwar
Singh, a former foreign minister who
accompanied her on numerous trips,
Singh, who fell out with Sonia
after being sacked in 2005, sees little
chance of any immediate Congress
“Its fortunes are very, very low
and have nowhere to go but up, but at
this time I don’t see it happening,” he
Digvijaya Singh, another Congress
veteran who worked with both Indira
and Rajiv Gandhi, said it would be
a mistake to write off the party but
added it was struggling to get its
“I am sure we will make a
comeback... but one thing that I have
been suggesting to Rahul Gandhi and
to others in the party is the need to
communicate more, and directly, in
this age of 24/7 communication,” he
Friday, October 31, 2014
What’s causing sea level to rise?
Sea level rise is half due to
melting ice and half due to
including 13% from the
deepest oceans, a new paper
By John Abraham
Guardian News and Media
here have been a number of
studies recently on ocean
warming and sea-level rise.
Collectively, they are helping
scientists unite around an emerging
understanding of climate change and
its impact on the Earth.
Most recently, a study by scientists
Sarah Purkey, Gregory Johnson, and
Don Chambers was published. This
team was responsible for a 2010 paper
that was groundbreaking in that it
quantiﬁed very deep (abyssal) sea
warming. This latest paper is, in some
respects, a continuation of that work.
The researchers recognised that
changes to sea levels are mainly caused
by thermal expansion of ocean waters
as they heat, changes to the saltiness
of water, and an increase in ocean
waters as ice melts and ﬂows into the
sea. The total annual sea level rise is
about 3mm per year – the question is,
how much of that is from expansion
and how much is from melting?
The researchers used a few tools to
answer this question. One tool was
ocean bottom pressure measurements.
If you can measure changes to ocean
pressure, you can deduce how much
water is in the ocean. Another tool is
through an inventory approach. This
inventory method quantiﬁes how
much glaciers retreat, polar ice melts,
and changes to water storage on land.
The paper reports that both methods
agree with each other. They conclude
that increased water in the oceans is
Water levels near Greenland and Antarctica may actually fall as those ice sheets melt.
causing between 1.5–1.8mm per year
of sea level rise, depending, in part, on
which years are under consideration.
The authors don’t just consider
the ocean as a whole. They break the
ocean regions into seven different
sections because the change to ocean
levels is not uniform. In some regions,
waters are rising quickly, in others, the
rise is much slower or zero. One reason
for regional variability is that the
Earth’s gravity is changing.
For instance, there is so much ice
in Greenland and Antarctica that is
melting and ﬂowing into the ocean,
the mass of these two regions is being
reduced; therefore, the pull of gravity
toward Greenland and Antarctica is
changing. As a result, we expect water
levels near Greenland and Antarctica
may actually fall as those ice sheets
But, ocean levels elsewhere,
particularly US coastlines, will rise
more than average because of this
same effect. I have a paper in press
with Ted Scambos on this very topic
that should be published in a few
Another reason sea level rise isn’t
uniform is that there are local changes
to heat and salt which can increase
or decrease water density in certain
regions, causing local changes to sea
level. A third reason is that changes to
wind patterns can slosh water around,
causing it to build up in one area, fall
In each of the seven ocean
regions, the researchers collected
temperature and salt measurements
at carefully distributed sections.
These measurements allowed them
to calculate how much of the ocean
rise is due to heat/salt effects. They
compared the expected sea level rise
to actual satellite measurements. The
difference between expansion sea
level rise and actual sea level rise is
the contribution by melt water which
ﬂowed into the ocean. This method
they call the residual measurement.
Then, they collected measurements
from special satellites (GRACE)
which measure local ﬂuctuations
in ocean mass. They compared the
GRACE results with the residual
measurement. It turns out they were
in near perfect agreement; 1.5mm
per year of sea level rise is from
EU bill could decide British by-election
added mass to the oceans. The rest
is from expansion. Not only did the
two methods agree, but they agreed
region by region. They showed, for
instance, that the South Atlantic and
the South Indian/Atlantic Oceans are
rising very rapidly. The North Paciﬁc,
South Paciﬁc, and Indian Oceans are
rising modestly. The southern Paciﬁc
is falling modestly and the North
Atlantic is basically constant.
Next, they calculated the relative
sea level rise for waters from the
surface down to different depths
(300, 1,000, 2,000, 3,000, 4,000, and
6,000m) to determine which layers
make the largest contributions to sea
level rise. The authors report that the
deeper we go into the ocean, the less
heating has occurred (this is expected
and well known). Interestingly, they
ﬁnd that every water layer, even the
deepest waters, have contributed some
to sea level rise. They also report that
the sea level rise contribution from the
layers 300-2,000m is much more than
Dr Johnson summarised their
“We ﬁnd a small but measurable
contribution from deep-sea warming
to the global sea level budget (and
hence global energy budget) from
1996–2006. The ocean warming
is estimated directly from highly
accurate, full-depth, oceanographic
temperature data. The magnitude of
the deep warming contribution to sea
level below 2,000m is about 13% of the
total contribution of the mass trend
below 2,000m for that same time
I asked how this paper agrees or
disagrees with a recent paper that
reportedly showed the deepest ocean
waters are not heating. He replied
that the two studies actually agree
with each other. They both show that
the deepest ocean waters are likely
contributing only a small fraction to
the overall ocean energy/water rise.
On the other hand, the uncertainty
is largely because the deepest waters
just don’t have a history of sufficient
measurements to close the uncertainty
range. He also stressed the importance
of a proposed ﬂeet of deep-water
measuring devices (Deep Argo).
It is sometimes said that “global
warming” is really “ocean warming”.
Given the importance the oceans have
on our past and future climate, you
can be sure scientists around the world
are working to better understand how
much heat is going into the oceans,
where the heat is going, and what
will happen in the future. The recent
publications are helping us close the
uncertainty range and improve our
knowledge. This is what progress
By Sid Astbury/DPA
igel Farage and his fellow
eurosceptics in the UK
Independence Party (Ukip)
are delighted at Britain
receiving a demand for extra cash from
the European Commission.
They present the 2.1bn-euro
($2.7bn) surcharge, levied because
the economy is growing faster than
expected, as further proof that Britain
should leave the European Union.
The timing is perfect for Ukip,
which won its ﬁrst seat in the
Westminster parliament through a
by-election last month and is favoured
to win a second when another deserter
from Prime Minister David Cameron’s
ruling Conservatives tries to regain
his old seat, Rochester and Strood in
England’s south, for his new party.
Farage chuckles at the conga-line of
EU luminaries insisting London has no
option but to pay up.
“Everyone in Brussels has been very
clear with Britain: no renegotiation,”
Cameron is on the spot. Promising
to pay in full and on time would be a
propaganda coup for Ukip ahead of the
Nigel Farage: “Everyone in Brussels
has been very clear with Britain: no
November 20 by-election.
Farage could batter the Tories,
already fractured on Europe, as weakwilled on both staying in and getting
But trying for a deferral or
a discount, could gift Farage a
marvellous montage of Cameron and
his government grovelling to Brussels.
Cameron is neither paying up nor
ripping up the bill. His is a graduated
climb down, said Steve Hughes,
director of international strategy at
“From strident rejection we now
have a promise to ‘crawl through’
the detail,” Hughes said. “This will
be a negotiated settlement with the
language carefully crafted to echo in
the streets in Rochester and Strood.”
Cameron is out to make the most
of this tiff with Brussels, showing a
willingness to stand up for Britain but
also compromise when necessary.
Ukip in May came top of the British
parties in European Parliament
elections, winning 24 seats, up from 10
of the assembly’s more than 750 seats.
It is hoping the twin voter concerns
of Britain’s place in Europe and the
rate of immigration will power it to
100 Westminster seats at the general
election in May.
Eurosceptics within Cameron’s
party are goading him to say which
side he will campaign for in the in/out
referendum on membership he has
promised if triumphant in May.
Party colleagues who favour staying
in complain that Cameron’s constant
carping about Brussels gives voters the
impression he wants out. They worry
this mixed message will end badly in
Thomas Raines, a researcher at
Chatham House, sees it differently.
“The Conservatives will go into the
next election with a clear message:
we intend to negotiate a looser
relationship with a reformed EU, and
once this is achieved, we will give the
British people a choice in the simplest
possible terms,” he predicted in a
paper given at the London think tank.
A poll by market research ﬁrm
Ipsos Mori indicated support for
Britain staying in Europe had risen to
a 23-year high. Greater comfort for
Cameron comes from a YouGov poll
that found Cameron most-trusted
to get the best deal in negotiations
in Brussels with 26 per cent of
respondent, coming in ahead of Farage
on 15% and the opposition Labour
Party’s Ed Miliband on 12%.
Cameron is under huge pressure to
take a stand on the EU bill. But he has
not said categorically that Britain will
not pay. And even those most keen to
berate Brussels have fallen short of
digging themselves a ditch.
“We’re going to look at how this
sum got calculated,” Defence Secretary
Michael Fallon said.
Cameron, some are suggesting,
will “crawl through” the detail to get
to a face-saving compromise on the
High: 34 C
Low: 27 C
Strong wind and high seas to
High: 35 C
Low : 26 C
High: 33 C
Low : 25 C
Wind: SE-E 08-18/22 KT
Waves: 3-5/7 Feet
Wind: SE 05-15/18 KT
Waves: 1-2/3 Feet
Around the region
The time of the ﬂying car has come
Creators say AeroMobil’s
Flying Roadster 3.0 could
become regular mode of
transport for commuters
By Philip Oltermann in Vienna
Guardian News and Media
ith its sportscar cockpit
and dragonﬂy wings
that fold in neatly
behind the cabin, it
looks like something straight out of
the Batcave or Q’s secret laboratory.
But the creators of AeroMobil’s Flying
Roadster insist their innovation is
more than just a boy’s toy dreamt
up by science ﬁction fans. The time
of the ﬂying car, they announced at
Wednesday’s unveiling of their most
advanced prototype, has come.
Speaking at Pioneers festival, a
two-day entrepreneurship and digital
technology conference in Vienna,
AeroMobil’s chief designer, Stefan
Klein, and CEO, Juraj Vaculik, said
their innovation could “change
personal transport on a global scale”.
Their ﬂying car, Vaculik said, could
eventually become a regular mode
of transport for commuters and
middle-distance travellers, especially
in countries with underdeveloped road
The Flying Roadster 3.0 prototype
has a top groundspeed of 124mph and
a ﬂight travel range of 430 miles or
up to four hours – enough to reach
Aberdeen from London.
The length of a luxury saloon car,
the vehicle can be parked in regular
parking slots and fuelled at normal
petrol stations – though once in
gliding ﬂight mode it is more energyefficient than road cars.
AeroMobil admitted the vehicle was
unlikely to live up to the ﬂying car’s
ultimate sci-ﬁ promise. With at least a
50m strip of land required for landing
and 200m for take-off, even ﬂying cars
can get stuck in traffic. A vertical takeoff, even if physically possible, would
instantly use up half the fuel.
But Klein insisted that his invention
did not require an airport or even
a concrete runway. In spite of the
car’s low centre of gravity, he said,
the Flying Roadster could land on
stretches of lawn or even farmland.
If scepticism about AeroMobil’s
vision persists, it is partly because
the ﬂying car has been part of
visions of the future for so long that
it almost feels retro. A ﬁrst patent
was registered in 1903, and Waldo
Waterman’s “aerobile” went on its
maiden ﬂight in 1937. In 1940, Henry
Ford prophesied that “a combination
of airplane and motorcar is coming.
You may smile, but it will come”.
Rapid advances in modern
technology and relaxation of
regulations in the sport aeroplane
aviation industry have recently
given the idea a new lease of life. US
company Terrafugia has had a ﬂying
prototype of a “roadable plane” for
ﬁve years, yet the wait has continued.
Terrafugia CEO, Carl Dietrich, told the
Guardian that it would be “probably
another two to three years” until
there was a controlled launch, with
a ballpark price tag of $279,000
(£172,000). AeroMobil, likewise,
remain vague on when the car will be
The European version of the ﬂying
car does have an added emotional
value. Former sculptor Klein started
experimenting with his father on a
prototype in their garage in communist
Czechoslovakia more than 25 years
ago – an undertaking which, as he later
found out, had been monitored by the
state intelligence service.
In 2010, he teamed up with
entrepreneur Vaculik, a former
theatre director and student leader in
Czecheslovakia’s Velvet Revolution,
in order to ﬁnd ways to commercialise
the concept. The current prototype
was built over ten months, with a
team of 12 people, including Klein’s
The dream of overcoming borders,
said Klein, had always motivated
his work on the vehicle: “In the
Czechoslovakia, we got very good
training as pilots, but we didn’t
have the freedom to go anywhere.
Nowadays I can use an app to check
in my ﬂight on the way to the airﬁeld
and I’m in Croatia in ten minutes. For
me the freedom to move is really in the
DNA of this project.”
The dream of door-to-door travel by
ﬂying car, he said, also hinged on Europe
sticking to the principle of free movement.
The reintroduction of border checks in the
Schengen area would route all inter-state
ﬂights via airports.
In the long term, Europe’s ﬁrst
ﬂying car may have a better chance
of success outside Europe. While
building roads remains expensive
and air is still free, countries with
less developed infrastructure but less
tightly regulated airspace, such as
Africa, China or Russia, are more likely
to take a punt.
Around the world
Friday, October 31, 2014
Weekend events to draw big crowds
By Joey Aguilar
variety of activities, sports
events, art exhibitions and
family entertainment are expected to attract a large number of
spectators as well as participants
at different venues in Doha over
Qatar Tourism Authority’s
OnQatar online portal has provided details of most of the
events, such as the venue, time,
contacts and their duration.
Some 1,000 runners and enthusiasts will gather at Aspire
Zone at 7am today for the “Doha
College Fun Run”. Its Facebook
account says it will provide some
useful tips about warming up
properly at the event to guide
participants, especially when
running in the heat.
Various sports competitions
follow from 11am to 10pm today
at The Pearl-Qatar. These include football and tennis (11am)
and basketball (4pm).
Basketball features three
players (and one substitute) per
team while football should have
at least six players (and two
The Indian and Filipino expatriate communities will have
the chance to watch some of
their popular artistes and musicians in two separate concerts in
Five of the Philippines’ renowned male actors and screen
idols - Enchong Dee, Gerald Anderson, Rayver Cruz, Xian Lim
and Enrique Gil - with the special participation of “The Legal
Performer” Maja Salvador are
expected to enthral thousands
of spectators at the Al Gharafa
Sports Club stadium.
Special guests include The
Viva Hotbabes, Gwen Garci
and Jennifer Lee together with
“The Celebrity Bluff Comedian”
Boobay. Besides assisting its
community partners, the concert also aims to raise funds for
two Filipino paediatric cancer
Thousands of Indian nationals are also expected to gather at
West End Park at 7pm to watch
live one of the most renowned
and sought-after musical trio
of the south Asian country Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy.
Described as “extremely talented and loved”, organisers said
the artistes would enthral the
crowd with their rhythm and
For wholesome family entertainment, residents will have
their last chance to visit the
Angry Birds Universe exhibition
at Katara – the Cultural Village,
which provides exciting and educational activities for all ages.
Museum officials speaking to reporters at a press conference yesterday. PICTURE: Shemeer Rasheed
Part of OnQatar’s list is the
Porto Arabia esplanade family
weekend entertainment, which
runs from 6pm until 10pm. It
will continue until December 27.
Besides street musicians and
clown acts, the weekly activity also features inﬂatable games
for children, cartoon characters,
face painting, colouring, tattoo
and balloon twisting.
For music lovers, it will be an
enchanting evening at the Katara
European Jazz Festival, a ﬁrst in
zerland) starts at 7pm while
“Play” by Bertraund Renaudin
starts at 9pm.
The event is presented by Katara - the Cultural Village in cooperation with the French, German, Swiss, Italian and Austrian
Katara also hosts the fourth
exhibition of “The Gulf, Civilisation and History” Series “The Architecture in the Gulf”
until November 8. “The Colours
of Desert Art and Painting Exhibition” at the Katara amphitheatre ends today.
Ali Hassan Noon, Arabic letter, 1996.
Mathaf exhibition presents 100
artists from over 8,000 works
new exhibition of Mathaf:
Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha presents
100 artists from its permanent
collection of over 8,000 works
Titled “Mathaf Collection,
Summary, Part 1”, the exhibition
includes works from Qatar and
the Arab world, Iran, Turkey and
other regions historically connected to the Arab Peninsula. It
reﬂects a large number of artistic
directions and contexts.
“Qatar has a long tradition of
collecting works that reﬂect the
inherent art, creativity and heritage in the region,” said Sheikh
Hassan bin Mohamed bin Ali alThani, patron of Mathaf and the
“It is my belief this important
collection honours the traditions
of the past in Qatar and throughout the Arab world, while embracing our future.”
The new exhibition also contributes to developing research
into the collection and its interconnections with contemporary
cultures that is also present online in the Encyclopedia of Modern Art and the Arab World, developed by Mathaf.
Artists represented in “Summary, Part 1” include Farid Belkahia (1934-2014), Faraj Daham (b
1956), Wafa al-Hamad (1964-
Jassim Zaini, The Bicycle Passenger, C 1960.
Manal al-Dowayan, Suspended Together, 2011. Courtesy of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha.
2012), Baya Mahieddine (19311998), Salman al-Malik (b 1958),
Mahmoud Mouktar (1891-1934),
Waﬁka Sultan (b 1956), Ibrahim
el-Salahi (b 1930), Hassan Sharif
(b 1951), Jewad Selim (1919-1961),
Seif Wanly (1906-1979) and Jassim Zaini (1943-2012).
African and Arabic representations meet in the paintings of
el-Salahi and the work of Mahieddine exempliﬁes her unique
style of free ﬁguration developed
under the limitations of colonial
rule in Algeria.
Wanly depicts modern Egyp-
Some of the works that will be part of Mathaf’s new exhibition. PICTURES: Shemeer Rasheed
tian symbols of social and industrial progress while Sharif and
Belkahia use natural materials,
found objects and local languages to express strong statements
on the making of art in their
The exhibition also presents the
work of Zaini, Selim and Mouktar,
who were the ﬁrst to establish the
art scene in their countries.
“We are seeking to position
modern and contemporary art
from Mathaf’s collection within
the local and global context,”
said Mathaf director Abdellah
Mathaf also wants to give
multiple entry points into the
collection through artistic research, historical moments and
aesthetic experimentations on
the idea of an Arab modernity.
The exhibition is collectively
curated by Karroum; Laura Barlow and Leonore-Namkha Beschi, assistant curators; and Dr
Yasser Mongy, researcher.
As part of Mathaf’s wider programme of research and documentation, in collaboration with
Qatar Museums and Qatar Foundation, the Mathaf Encyclopedia of Modern Art and the Arab
World is now being developed. It
will be launched in 2015.
The bilingual (English and
Arabic) encyclopedia is a free
online “scholarly, peer-reviewed
and comprehensive resource”
that will provide in-depth information on modern and contemporary art from the Arab world.
“The curatorial concept of
‘Summary, Part 1’ looks beyond
traditional linear histories of art
to highlight diverse attitudes
and contextualise intellectual
production within multiple modernities,” Mathaf pointed out.
It noted that the methodology
of display adopted in the exhibition is informative rather than
spectacular, proposing new relationships between works and key
moments in history.
PROFIT SLIDE | Page 5
3.5% RATE | Page 10
US growth in Q3
Friday, October 31, 2014
Moharram 7, 1436 AH
FAVOURABLE DEMOGRAPHICS: Page 12
$182bn spend plan’
Banking, realty lead
9-month proﬁt gain
of QSE-listed ﬁrms
By Santhosh V Perumal
arnings boost, especially in the
real estate and banks and ﬁnancial services sectors, improved
the overall net proﬁtability of the listed companies in Qatar during the ﬁrst
nine months of this year.
The listed companies’ cumulative
net proﬁts grew 8.74% in JanuarySeptember this year against 6.67%
in the comparable period of 2013, according to Qatar Stock Exchange data.
The QSE’s 20-stock main index
jumped 19.49% quarter-do-date in
September 2014; indicating a positive
correlation between the proﬁtability
and the corporate sector’s increased
The cumulative net proﬁts of the 42
listed companies stood at QR32.42bn
compared to QR29.81bn in the 2013
Vodafone Qatar follows a JanuaryDecember format compared with the
other companies that have the AprilMarch format.
Indicating the recovery in the sector, the real estate segment witnessed
the maximum rise in net proﬁtability, followed by banks and ﬁnancial
services, industrials and transport.
But insurance witnessed erosion in its
net earnings despite local companies
having bagged a huge risk cover order
from Qatar Rail.
The real estate sector, which has
four listed constituents, witnessed
a 37.49% surge in cumulative net
profit to QR2.34bn compared to
16.19% in the previous-year period.
The sector outperformed the main
stock index by rising 21.28%. The
segment contributed 7% to overall
The real estate sector has shown
signs of revival because of the large
scale infrastructure development
with many projects being awarded or
in the pipeline; which has cast a “pos-
Qatar budget spending
falls 6.6% in fiscal Q1;
revenue hits record
Qatar’s government spending fell
6.6% from a year ago to QR38.8bn
($10.7bn) in the first quarter of
the current fiscal year, while
revenue soared to a record high,
Qatar Central Bank data showed
The QCB did not give a reason for
the drop in spending, but work on
some large infrastructure projects
in the country has been slowed or
divided into phases to reduce the
risk of waste or overcapacity.
The budget surplus in April-June
was QR79.0bn, compared with a
deficit of QR24.4bn a year earlier,
the data showed. The surplus
was equivalent to 41.7% of gross
Revenue surged to QR117.8bn in
the first quarter, nearly the same
amount as the country collected in
the whole first half of last year, from
QR17.1bn a year ago.
The revenue increase seemed at
least partly due to the fact that
Qatar Petroleum started transferring
its entire financial surplus to the
government in 2013.
Previously, a part went to the
government as investment income,
part was retained on the company’s
balance sheet, and part was used
to provide fresh capital to the Qatar
Investment Authority. -Reuters
Qatar banks’ asset
base sees QR78bn gain
in 9 months: KPMG
By Pratap John
Chief Business Reporter
The asset base of local banks has seen
a QR78bn increase (9%) in nine months
up to September on the back of higher
lending, a KPMG report has shown.
In the first three quarters of this year,
the banks’ lending portfolio saw a
QR59.1bn increase in December 2013,
Furthermore, Islamic banks continue to
experience higher asset growth rates
than their conventional counterparts.
This is predominantly a result of
increased public spending on the back
of a gradual acceleration of infrastructure projects. Islamic lenders also
continue to experience higher asset
growth rates than their conventional
According to KPMG, there had been a
“positive story” for listed banks in Qatar
for the first nine months of 2014 with
robust asset growth, lower impairment
charges, stronger asset quality, higher
profitability; all coupled with capital
adequacy ratios that remain above the
QCB minimum requirements.
Omar Mahmood, partner, KPMG Qatar
and head (financial services) said,
“Combined net profitability for all
banks increased by 12.2% from the nine
month period that ended on September 30, 2013, predominantly driven
by higher net interest income. Strong
economic growth and increased market activity have been the main drivers
behind these positive set of results.
“For the first time in recent periods,
market sentiment appears to be more
correlated with entity-specific fundamentals with bank share prices, for
all but one bank, exhibiting a positive
trend from the prior period,” Mahmood
Islamic banks’ share prices have on
average jumped by 69%, whereas
their conventional peers on average
increased by 12%.
Deposits are up, with a healthy growth
of 7.7%, up by QR46.4bn from endDecember 2013.
Mahmood said the increase mainly
came from population growth, increased marketing and attractive pricing to absorb liquidity in the market.
“This will certainly be an area of continued focus for banks in Qatar given
the recently issued Qatar Central Bank
regulations on the ‘loan to deposit’
ratio which will force banks to actively
look to increase their customer deposit
base, and if not, be faced with restricting lending activities.”
Despite concerns over recent oil price
declines and increasing regulatory
driven capital requirements (mainly
for ‘domestic systemically important
banks’), the overall banking sector outlook remains positive, the report said.
“Bank lending and investment activity, both domestic and international,
are expected to rise on the back of
further acceleration of infrastructure
projects ahead of the 2022 FIFA World
Cup and increased public spending
underpinned by high fiscal surpluses,”
The cumulative nine-month net profits of the banks and financial services sector, which has 12 listed entities, registered a
12.41% jump to QR14.82bn. The segment was the largest contributor of the overall net profit at 46%. PICTURE: Nasar TK
itive” spin-off effect for the related
The cumulative net proﬁts of the
banks and ﬁnancial services sector,
which has 12 listed entities, registered
a 12.41% jump to QR14.82bn compared to 5.01% in the previous-year
period. The sector outperformed the
main index by gaining 21.52%. The
segment was the largest contributor
of net proﬁt at 46%.
The consumer goods and services
sector, which has eight listed companies, saw its net proﬁt grow 10.07% to
QR1.36bn against 10.03% in the yearago period. Underperforming the index, the consumer goods index rose
16.39%. Its share in overall net proﬁt
The industrials sector, which has
nine listed constituents, saw its net
proﬁts rise 3.18% to QR9.07bn compared to 0.65% in the previous-year
period. The sector underperformed
the market with its index rising
13.21%. The industrials contributed
28% to overall net proﬁt of the listed
The industrial sector’s earnings
have rather been dented by shutdowns in market heavyweight Industries Qatar, but the net proﬁtability
of the sector ought to improve in the
The cumulative net proﬁt of the
transport sector, which has three listed entities, reported a 14.94% growth
to QR1.62bn compared to 11.56% in
the previous-year period. The sector
underperformed the main index by
registering 15.57% gain in its index.
The transport segment constituted
5% of overall net proﬁt.
The telecom sector saw its net
proﬁt rise 0.5% to QR2.08bn against a
4.04% decline in the comparable period of 2013. The segment underperformed the main index with a 16.58%
rise. Its share in overall net proﬁt was
The insurance segment, which
has ﬁve listed companies, saw its net
proﬁt plummet 20.61% to QR1.13bn
against a stupendous 122% growth in
the year-ago period. The sector saw
its index gain 19.85% its share in total
net proﬁt was 3%.
Biggest oil price forecast cut since crisis
onsumers can expect at least another
two years of low oil prices, a Reuters poll
showed yesterday, recording its biggest
downgrade to forecasts since the global economic crisis.
Oil prices have dropped by a quarter since
June, taking benchmark North Sea Brent crude
oil down to around $87 a barrel as overproduction and lacklustre demand have ﬁlled stockpiles
around the world.
A massive increase in high quality oil production from North American shale has swamped
demand at a time of sluggish economic growth
and analysts say the glut could last for years.
Reuters monthly poll of 31 economists and
analysts said Brent was likely to stay below $100
a barrel for the next two years, averaging $93.70
in 2015 and $96in 2016.
That is $9.60 a barrel below the average forecast in the last Reuters poll in September and the
biggest monthly cut in forecasts for year-ahead
oil prices since November 2008, when the world
was in the depths of the global ﬁnancial crisis.
Twenty-four of the 26 analysts who contributed to data for both the September and October
Reuters polls slashed their forecasts, some substantially.
Goldman Sachs, which said before the crash
of 2008 that oil could hit $200 a barrel, cut $15 a
Gas prices are shown at a Shell station in Encinitas, California. Oil prices have dropped by a quarter
since June, taking the benchmark North Sea Brent crude oil down to around $87 as overproduction
and lacklustre demand have filled stockpiles around the world.
barrel off its forecast for the ﬁrst quarter of next
year, expecting Brent to drop to $85.
The US bank now has one of the lowest forecasts for next year, projecting Brent at an average of just $83.80 as new US shale oil production
keeps the market over-supplied.
Goldman Sachs and other analysts say the
ability of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which pumps around a third
of the world’s crude oil, to inﬂuence prices has
been eroded by the new shale oil production.
But what is bad for oil producers, is good for
Oil has a huge impact on transport and manufacturing costs and falling oil prices reduce inﬂationary pressure worldwide.
“Cheaper oil is very good news for the world
economy and consumers in the US,” said Torbjorn Kjus, senior oil analyst at Norway’s DNB
Markets. “Although it is bad for oil producers
such as Norway, the rest of the world will beneﬁt.”
DNB Markets in Oslo had the lowest Brent
forecast, looking for an average of $80 a barrel
next year and said oil could fall much further:
“Prices could drop even lower than this average
as there will be delays to the curbing of production,” Kjus said.
Thomas Pugh, commodities economist at
Capital Economics, one of the most consistently
bearish of all forecasters this year, said a $10 a
barrel fall in the world oil prices could boost global GDP growth by 0.2-0.3 percentage points.
“That is good news for most of us and a huge
bonus for motorists,” said Pugh, who has forecast since January that Brent will average $85 in
The Reuters poll forecast US light, sweet
crude, also known as West Texas Intermediate or
WTI, would average $88 a barrel next year. The
previous month’s consensus was $96.10. WTI
has averaged $98.19 so far this year.
Brent, buoyed by much higher prices in the
ﬁrst half of this year, has averaged $105.15 so far
Analysts gave a wide range of forecasts, between $50 and $110 a barrel, when asked about
the break-even price for US shale oil, a key factor
in the oversupply in the market.
Brent’s premium to WTI will narrow to $5.70
a barrel in 2015 from $10.58 last year, the poll
ANZ and Standard Chartered had the highest
2015 Brent forecast, both predicting it would average $105 per barrel next year. Pages 3, 9
Friday, October 31, 2014
oil & gas auction
soon, says official
lgeria is preparing a new auction of
oil and gas blocks, an official said
on Wednesday, after the North
African country awarded just four of 31
ﬁelds last month in the ﬁrst attempt to
lure foreign investors since 2011.
Algerian officials described last
month’s result as acceptable but analysts
said the Opec member needed to do more
to improve conditions and attract more
foreign oil operators.
“We are preparing a new bidding round.
It will be launched within weeks,” Sid Ali
Beta, head of hydrocarbons agency ALNAFT which oversaw the bidding, told
reporters at the signing of contracts with
the winners of the September 30 auction.
He gave no details.
One of the winners, Italy’s Enel, plans
to invest $700mn at its four oil and gas
blocks in Algeria in the next ﬁve to six
years, Marco Arcelli, the company’s executive vice president for upstream gas,
said at the signing ceremony.
The Italian utility’s consortium with
Dragon Oil won two new blocks, adding to
two existing ones.
Beta said the ﬁrst phase of operations
at the four blocks will include drilling
around 11 wells at an estimated cost of
He said around $270mn will be invested
in the second phase to drill 15 wells.
Said Sahnoun, interim chief of stateowned energy ﬁrm Sonatrach, said he is
looking forward to “proﬁtable results”
from the contracts.
“This is the beginning of a new adventure that I hope will be fruitful. This partnership is based on sharing of know-how
and risks,” he said.
Spain’s Repsol in partnership with Royal Dutch Shell won the Boughezoul area in
the north of the country, while Shell and
Norway’s Statoil won the Timissit area in
“It’s a challenge to start this project.
We will begin a new phase. We will start
working tomorrow,” Gabino Lalinde, Rep-
sol’s head of affairs unit for Algeria, said at
the same event.
In a disappointing 2011 auction, Algeria secured bids for just two ﬁelds out of
10 - one from Spain’s Cepsa and the other
from Sonatrach. But a new hydrocarbons
law passed in 2013 offers tax and contractual incentives and beneﬁts for unconventional energy investments.
Algeria supplies a ﬁfth of Europe’s gas
needs, but it relies on mature ﬁelds for
most of its energy output and looks to
foreign explorers to help develop new reserves and increase ﬂagging production.
Foreign oil executives have in the past
complained about Algeria’s tough contract terms, often difficult business environment and security worries, especially
after a 2013 attack on the Amenas gas
plant killed 39 foreign contractors.
Officials were optimistic before last
month’s bids, having delayed the auction
twice after foreign players asked for more
time to study the ﬁelds. They reported initial interest from 50 companies and cited
incentives under a new oil law, improvements in security and the potential of the
ﬁelds on offer.
An increase in output is vital for a government that relies heavily on energy exports for state income and to pay for social
programmes, including food and fuel subsidies that have helped keep it stable amid
turbulent times in North Africa.
Analysts say rising domestic energy
consumption will also be a concern should
Algeria fail to draw the kind of investment
required to bolster its production. Oil
output last year was 1.2mn barrels per day,
about the same as in 2012.
Security has been a concern since the
2013 Amenas attack, which prompted
BP and Norway’s Statoil to pull workers
out. The kidnapping and beheading of a
French tourist last month was a reminder of risks in the North African country,
which fought a war against Islamist extremists in the 1990s.
Still, Statoil this month said the Amenas plant, which produced 11.5% of Algeria’s gas output before the attack, was due
to return to full production soon after improvements in security.
Bahrain funds acquire
US tech company PRO
Bahrain-based alternative investment
fund Investcorp and sovereign fund
Mumtalakat have acquired US software
and services firm PRO Unlimited for
PRO, based in Florida, operates in
52 countries and provides services
to companies that use independent
contractors, consultants and freelancers,
a statement from Investcorp said.
Investcorp did not reveal the deal value.
But an Investcorp spokesman confirmed
that its president of Gulf business,
Mohammed al-Shroogi, said at a press
conference in Bahrain that the price was
Mahmood al-Kooheji, chief executive
of Mumtalakat, told Reuters that both
entities had invested equally in the
business and they hoped to tap into
the growth PRO was expecting from
changing labour patterns.
“Talented people don’t stay in one
company for long,” Kooheji said in a
telephone interview. “People moving
from place to place have its challenges
and that’s what PRO Unlimited helps with.
It’s a major player in this growing field.”
Andrew Schultz, co-founder and chief
executive of PRO Unlimited, was quoted
in Investcorp’s statement as saying the
investment would allow it to expand its
Kooheji said this growth would be in
countries where PRO is already present,
because many other countries have
labour laws which limit the fields in
which the firm operates.
Investcorp’s Shroogi had told Reuters in
an interview last week that the fund was
hoping to complete three transactions,
with one each in the United States,
Europe and Turkey. Mumtalakat, fully
owned by the Bahraini state, held a
portfolio of assets worth approximately
$7.2bn as of the end of 2013.
Funds bullish on
despite oil slide
unds are positive on many Gulf
stock markets despite the recent slide in oil prices, after
sharp pull-backs in the markets improved valuations, the latest monthly Reuters survey of regional asset
The oil price drop to four-year
lows, if sustained for a long period,
will cut Gulf economies’ current account surpluses and may push Saudi
Arabia’s state budget into deﬁcit.
It may also hurt earnings at the region’s petrochemical producers. But
economists think Gulf governments
have plenty of reserves to maintain
spending at high levels, and history
suggests there is only a low correlation between Gulf stock markets’
overall performance and the oil
Based on monthly changes, the
Saudi petrochemical index, tracked
since 2007, has a fairly strong correlation to Brent crude oil of 0.65 out
of a maximum 1. But over the last 10
years, the main Saudi stock market
index has a correlation of just 0.36.
Also, sharp drops in emerging
stock markets around the world during October dragged down equities
prices in the Gulf, cutting the high
valuations which, rather than economic fundamentals, are currently
the main concern of fund managers
in the region.
The latest survey of 15 leading regional investment managers found
47% of them intending to raise their
overall equity allocation to the Middle
East in the next three months, while
20% expected to decrease allocations.
That was a shift from the previous
month’s survey, in which 13% intended to raise equity allocations and the
same ratio to reduce them.
“Current market levels in Saudi,
Qatar and the United Arab Emirates
are attractive for an accumulation
phase before the end-of-the-year
earnings and dividends season,” said
Tamer Mostafa, vice president and
fund manager at Union National
Bank in the UAE. Mohammed Ali
Yasin, managing director at NBAD
Securities in Abu Dhabi, said: “The
markets were very volatile and the
UAE markets saw sharp drops without any internal factors to justify the
He added that the third quarter
earnings season in the Gulf, now
drawing to a close, had been strong
overall but there had been few surprises so it had only a minor effect
on the markets.
The survey was conducted over
the past 10 days by Trading Middle East, a Reuters forum for market
Among the Gulf stock markets,
fund managers are most bullish on
Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Fifty-three per cent expect to increase their allocations to Saudi equities and 27% to decrease them. In
the UAE, the ratios are 47% and 27%.
Large initial public offers of shares
now underway in those two countries – the $6bn IPO of Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank,
and the 1.375bn dirham ($374mn) offer of UAE-based healthcare and education start-up Amanat Holdings
– have temporarily dampened the
markets by sucking liquidity from
them, said Vijay Harpalani, assistant
fund manager at Al Mal Capital.
In the long run, however, signs of
a pick-up in IPO activity throughout
the Gulf, after a drought of ﬁve years,
are likely to be positive for the region, by deepening the markets and
attracting fresh investor interest.
The survey also found that 40% of
fund managers expected to increase
their equity allocations to Egypt and
only 7% to decrease them.
This reﬂected signs of accelerating
economic growth and a sense that
the government is ﬁnally putting
together a comprehensive plan
to tackle the country’s economic
Mobily delays earnings to review ﬁnancial statements
audi Arabia’s Mobily asked for
its shares to be suspended and
postponed publication of its
quarterly earnings yesterday, seeking more time to review unspeciﬁed
“signiﬁcant matters” in its ﬁnancial
Mobily, 28% owned by United Arab
Emirates’ Etisalat and formally called
Etihad Etisalat, had been expected to
report its third-quarter results last
Sunday or Monday. It now plans to
publish the results this coming Sunday, a spokesman for the ﬁrm said. He
declined to comment further.
Mobily, Saudi Arabia’s secondlargest telecoms ﬁrm, has long been
a market darling, its proﬁts climbing
in the decade since it ﬁrst challenged
Saudi Telecom’s monopoly cumulating with record proﬁts last year.
But delayed results and growing uncertainty over its management sent its shares more than 8%
lower over three days this week to a
16-month low. Earlier this month,
parent Etisalat’s chief ﬁnancial ofﬁcer Serkan Okandan was appointed
Mobily’s deputy CEO.
Mobily said via Twitter yesterday
that long-standing chief executive
Khalid al-Kaf had not resigned and
had not failed to follow accounting
Asked about a potential departure, Kaf told Reuters on Wednesday there was “nothing like that
for the time being”. He declined to
comment further and could not be
Mobily asked for its shares to be
suspended yesterday morning, citing a meeting of its audit committee to consider “signiﬁcant matters
relating to its ﬁnancial statements”.
It later delayed results, explaining
it had been unable to complete “required amendments” to the ﬁnancial
Analysts polled by Reuters on average forecast Mobily will report
a third quarter net proﬁt of 1.67bn
riyals ($445mn), a slight drop from
a year earlier. Mobily began operations in 2005 and it turned proﬁtable the following year. Its annual
proﬁts more than quadrupled from
2006 to 2009 to reach 3bn riyals
($799.68mn) that year, according to
In 2013, Mobily made a record annual proﬁt of 6.68bn riyals, up 11%
from a year earlier.
But this also represented its
smallest year-on-year proﬁt rise as
market saturation and stiffer competition from STC and third entrant
Zain Saudi crimped growth.
Etisalat received 973.3mn UAE
dirham ($265mn) in dividends from
Mobily in 2013, according to the UAE
company’s annual report.
NCB set to defy global slowdown with $6bn flotation
Saudi Arabia is still expected to chalk up
the region’s biggest ever listing when
National Commercial Bank’s 22.5bn
riyal ($6bn) offering closes on Sunday,
bucking a broader market slowdown.
The initial public offering, the secondbiggest globally this year after the
$25bn flotation of Alibaba Group, is
happening at a time when listings in
other parts of the world have been
halted due to market volatility caused
by concerns over the strength of global
After Wednesday, the 11th day of the
offer period which began on October
19, the retail part of the IPO was 50.3%
covered by around 757,000 investors,
arranging banks said.
But subscriptions should pick up in the
final days of the offer, due to close on
Sunday, as Saudis are usually reluctant
to commit their capital early in the
period, analysts said.
NCB is offering 300mn shares to Saudi
individuals and 200mn shares to
the state-run Public Pension Agency,
equivalent to a 15% and 10% stake
The price of shares, 45 riyals each, is
also a considerable discount to their
true value, analysts said, with a price
to book value of 2.0 times, below the
sector average of 2.2 times.
This is in line with other privatisations,
such as the 9.25bn riyal offering of
Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Ma’aden) in
2008, which offer cheap shares to help
the authorities spread the kingdom’s
vast wealth to citizens.
The pace of IPOs in the kingdom
contrasts with the situation in Europe.
Last week, Italian paper group Fedrigoni
and British used car company BCA
Marketplace both postponed listings.
Saudi Arabia’s wider index has shown
signs of the uncertainty gripping global
markets, falling 12% in the month to Oct.
16, before recovering somewhat last
week. NCB’s listing also attracted the ire
of prominent clerics in the conservative
kingdom, who argued investing in the
bank was forbidden for Muslims as
not all NCB’s dealings were conducted
according to sharia principles, forcing
NCB to pledge it would convert to an
Islamic bank in around five years.
However, the Saudi IPO market is
often seen as insulated from global
sentiment, with significant local cash
looking for domestic assets. This has
allowed flotations to happen regularly,
even at the height of the global financial
The fact only half the NCB offering has
been taken up so far is more because
Saudi investors, who have to hand over
funds when ordering shares, don’t like
having their cash locked up for more
time than is necessary, analysts said.
“Saudi investors took advantage of the
rally earlier in the period, hence there
was less appetite than expected,” said
John Sfakianakis, regional director for
the Gulf at Ashmore Group.
“However, investors always submit
their orders at the end of an IPO so
while a 50% covered rate now might
not look that rosy, there should be no
concern about the offering not being
fully covered by the close on Sunday.”
NCB is the only unlisted lender of the
kingdom’s 12 banks, with assets worth
438bn riyals at the end of September.
NCB is the only unlisted lender of the
kingdom’s 12 banks, with assets worth
438bn riyals at the end of September.
At the offer price, NCB will be the fourth
largest stock on the Saudi exchange,
and the second-biggest bank by market
value. Al Rajhi is the current largest
listed bank, with a market capitalisation
Friday, October 31, 2014
up 55% on
An Iranian man walks along of the phase 15-16 of the South Pars gas field facilities in the southern Iranian port of Assaluyeh. Iran’s $400bn economy shrank more than 7% over the past two years, according to the
International Monetary Fund, as sanctions depressed oil output to the lowest since 1990 and deterred investment.
Iran oil revenue plunges 30%
because of global price decline
ran’s revenue from crude sales, the
Opec member’s biggest export,
plunged 30% because of the recent
decline in global oil prices, according to
President Hassan Rohani.
“International conditions are such
that the country’s main source of income, i.e. oil revenues, has been cut by
some 30%,” Rohani said in remarks to
parliament published on Wednesday on
Shana, the oil ministry’s news website.
“We have to deal with the new conditions and the global economic conditions.”
Brent crude, a benchmark for
more than half of the world’s oil, has
plunged more than 20% since peaking
in June at about $115 a barrel as supply,
boosted by US shale production, outpaced demand. Iran needs to achieve
a break-even sales price of $143 a barrel this year to maintain its ﬁscal bal-
ance, according to data compiled by
“The government probably will face
a budget deﬁcit; that’s why growth will
be the victim,” Kevan Harris, associate director at Princeton University’s
Center for Iran and Gulf Studies in
Princeton, New Jersey, said by phone
Iranian oil exports fell to the lowest
level on record in August, according
to the Joint Organisations Data Initiative. Economic growth and energy demand is slowing in China, Iran’s biggest
buyer, while the Gulf state’s sales are
restricted by US and European Union
Iran dropped in 2012 to ﬁfth from
second in production among the 12
members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries. It pumped
2.78mn bpd in September, data compiled by Bloomberg shows. The nation holds oil reserves of 157bn barrels and the world’s biggest deposits
of natural gas, estimated at 1,192tn cu
ft, according to BP. The US and allied
countries imposed sanctions on Iran
over concerns that its nuclear programme could mask efforts to produce
an atomic bomb. Iran says its nuclear
work is for peaceful purposes. The
sanctions have almost closed Iran’s oil
and gas ﬁelds to investment over the
last decade, limiting the country’s access to technology to boost output and
build plants for exporting liqueﬁed
The decline in crude prices and a
looming November 24 deadline for a
nuclear accord with the US and other
world powers are raising pressure on
Rohani, elected last year on a platform
to end Iran’s isolation and revive the
“In the issue of oil, the economy has
not been the sole important factor,” Rohani said. “International politics and
plots” have also affected prices, he said,
The inﬂation rate has slowed to 15%
from a peak of 32% two years ago, ac-
Qatar shares drop on
By Santhosh V Perumal
Severe profit-booking – especially in the telecom
and industrials – yesterday dragged the Qatar
Stock Exchange to a huge 277 points to settle
below the 13,500 mark, after two days of a bullish
Foreign institutions hurriedly squared off their
position, leading the 20-stock Qatar Index (based
on price data) to knock off 2.01% to 13,498.86
Large, small and mid caps largely came under
selling pressure in the market, which is, however,
up 30.05% year-to-date.
The index that tracks Shariah-principled stock
was seen melting slower than the other indices
in the bourse, where trading volume was largely
skewed towards realty, banking and transport
The Total Return Index shed 2.01% to 20,133.42
points, the All Share Index by 1.77% to 3,414.04
points and the Al Rayan Islamic Index by 1.58% to
Market capitalisation eroded 1.82%, or about
QR14bn, to QR728.27bn with large, small, mid and
micro cap equities melting 2.23%, 1.52%, 1.28%
and 0.77% respectively.
Telecom stocks deflated 3.03%, followed by
industrials (2.39%), bank and financial services
(1.89%), insurance (1.16%), transport (1.08%), realty
(0.81%), and consumer goods (0.48%).
About 79% of the stocks were in the red with
major losers being Industries Qatar, QNB,
Ooredoo, Qatar Islamic Bank, Alijarah Holding,
Dlala, Qatari Investors Group, Qatar Insurance,
Ezdan, Mazaya Qatar and Nakilat.
However, Barwa, Doha Insurance, Widam Food, Al
Khaleej Takaful and Islamic Holding Group were
seen bucking the trend.
Ezdan continued to be the most active in terms of
volume and value.
Foreign institutions turned net sellers to the tune
of QR101.8mn against net buyers of QR70.04mn
However, domestic institutions turned net buyers
to the extent of QR137.44mn compared with net
sellers of QR6.41mn the previous day.
Qatari retail investors’ net profit-booking fell to
QR31.15mn against QR48.8mn on Wednesday.
Non-Qatari individual investors’ net selling
sunk to QR4.6mn compared to QR15.02mn the
Total trade volume shrank 28% to 18.76mn
shares, while value was up 9% to QR1.05bn and
transactions by 8% to 9,699.
The consumer goods sector saw its trade volume
plummet 59% to 0.99mn equities, value by 31% to
QR47.07mn and deals by 34% to 443.
The market witnessed a 49% plunge in the
real estate sector’s trade volume to 7.85mn
stocks, 36% in value to QR225.44mn and 26% in
transactions to 2,301.
The transport sector’s trade volume tanked 19%
to 1.62mn shares, value by 23% to QR85.23mn and
deals by 1% to 608.
However, the banks and financial services sector’s
trade volume surged 45% to 5.1mn equities, value
by 54% to QR386.57mn and transactions by 49%
There was a 36% expansion in the industrials
sector’s trade volume to 1.7mn stocks; 83% in
value to QR229.12mn and 33% in deals to 2,320.
The telecom sector saw its trade volume rise 16%
to 1.18mn shares; value by 75% to QR51.09mn and
transactions by 31% to 555.
The insurance sector’s trade volume was up 7%
to 0.32mn equities but value was down 7% to
QR20.67mn. Deals shrank 24% to 192.
In the debt market, there was no trading of
treasury bills and government bonds.
cording to the Central Bank of Iran.
Iran’s $400bn economy shrank more
than 7% over the past two years, according to the International Monetary
Fund, as sanctions depressed oil output
to the lowest since 1990 and deterred
investment. Growth will probably
resume this year, the IMF says.
Iran is moderating its reputation
for taking a hard line on crude prices
by shunning calls for Opec to hold an
emergency meeting. Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh consulted with
Rouhani about political and economic reasons for the recent price slide,
Shana reported on October 20. No
emergency Opec session is necessary,
Opec is unlikely to lower its production ceiling when it meets November 27
in Vienna, said Mohsen Qamsari, director for international affairs at state-run
National Iranian Oil Co, according to a
Shana report on Monday.
Iran foresees an economic boost
from a possible end to sanctions and is
raising its reﬁning capacity to produce
gasoline and diesel to meet an anticipated growth in domestic demand, Mehdi Shariﬁ, NIOC’s marketing manager
for fuel oil, said on Wednesday at a conference in Dubai.
Construction of the country’s newest reﬁnery has been delayed since
2007 because of sanctions. The plant is
now scheduled to start operating next
year, he said. Once the 360,000bpd
facility reaches full capacity in 2016, it
will raise Iran’s total reﬁning capacity
to about 2.2mn bpd from 1.8mn bpd,
Iran plans to increase reﬁning capacity to 3mn bpd over the next four
years, he said. The government must
import three to four cargoes of gasoline a month, Shariﬁ said, declining to
specify origins of the fuel.
Other Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, are
building and expanding reﬁneries to
meet domestic demand as their populations and economies grow.
Dubai’s Emaar Malls Group
(EMG), a unit of Emaar Properties that listed on the emirate’s
main stock market in October,
reported a 55.2% jump in thirdquarter net profit yesterday as
The retail and malls unit of
Dubai’s largest developer made
a quarterly profit of 321.18mn
dirhams ($87.5mn), up from
206.97mn dirhams in the corresponding period of 2013.
Quarterly revenue was
649.88mn dirhams versus
542.74mn dirhams a year ago.
EMG priced the largest stock
flotation in the Gulf region since
2008 at the end of September,
raising 5.8bn dirhams from the
sale of 15.4% of the company.
Emaar Properties said in August
it would pay a special dividend
of 9bn dirhams to its shareholders after EMG went public, using
cash raised from the offering
and other dividends paid by
EMG to the parent firm prior to
In a separate Emaar Properties statement yesterday, the
developer said it will hold a
shareholder meeting on November 24 in which a proposal
to distribute the cash dividend,
equivalent to 1.27 dirhams per
share, would be discussed.
The statement added shareholders registered as of December 4 would be entitled to this
dividend, which is significantly
above the 0.14 dirhams a share
Emaar paid as a dividend for
According to analysts, the cutoff
date implies Emaar could pay
the dividend that month, which
would be ahead of its annual
dividend payout in early 2015.
Many traders had assumed the
malls-related dividend would
be paid at the same time as the
annual dividend, so yesterday’s
statement could boost Emaar’s
shares when trading resumes
Both statements came after
market hours. Shares in EMG
had finished the day flat, while
Emaar Properties slumped 3.4%,
against a wider market decline
Frontier fund selling weighs
on UAE; Saudi stocks down
MSCI continues phasing UAE,
Qatar out of frontier index;
some local retail investors
also book profits; Etisalat
slips as Saudi affiliate looks
into financial reports; Saudi
slides further, but some
stocks gain on strong Q3;
Egypt extends rebound, most
elling by foreign frontier
funds sparked heavy profit-taking in the UAE and
Qatar yesterday. Saudi Arabia
also declined, but Egypt rose for
a third day.
A number of companies from
the UAE and Qatar remain part
of MSCI’s Frontier 100 benchmark even though the index
compiler upgraded both countries to emerging market status
MSCI’s opted to gradually phase those stocks out
of the frontier index through
monthly weighting reductions
and one of these takes effect
on November 1. This prompted
a wave of selling by passive
funds tracking the index on
the final trading day before
Foreigners were net sellers
in Dubai as its index fell 1.7%.
An investor looks up at screens displaying stock information at the Dubai Financial Market. Foreigners
were net sellers in the Dubai market yesterday as its index fell 1.7%.
MSCI index constituents Emaar
Properties and Dubai Islamic
Bank, which dropped 3.4 and
1.2% respectively, were the main
Abu Dhabi’s bourse fell 1.8%,
also due to MSCI benchmark
members. National Bank of Abu
Dhabi lost 5.3% and First Gulf
Bank fell 2.4%.
Etisalat edged down 0.4% after its Saudi Arabian affiliate
Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) yesterday requested that its shares be
temporarily suspended pending
an audit committee meeting to
consider “signiﬁcant matters
relating to its ﬁnancial statements”.
In past months, declines
linked to frontier market fund
sell-offs were usually followed
by quick rebounds.
Saudi Arabia also extended
declines, with the main index
falling 0.5%. Shares in petrochemicals giant Saudi Basic Industries dropped 1.2% and Al
Rajhi Bank lost 0.6%.
The insurance sector was hit
particularly hard after rising to
a six-year intraday high in the
previous session. It fell 1.3%
despite insurers posting strong
However, Mediterranean And
Gulf Insurance And Reinsurance
Co added 1.4% after its thirdquarter proﬁt surged more than
Egypt’s bourse maintained
its recovery from a sharp drop
earlier this month, rising 1.8%
to take its gains to 5.4% since
Monday. Blue-chip Commercial
International Bank was the main
support, jumping 3.5%.
Elsewhere in the Gulf, Kuwait’s index slipped 0.1% to
7,362 points; Oman’s index
slipped 0.07% to 6,975 points,
while Bahrain’s measure edged
up 0.3% to 1,444 points.
Friday, October 31, 2014
plans to free
isa Inc and Mastercard
Inc welcome China’s
plans to open up its market for clearing domestic bank
card transactions, as they stand
to gain access to a growing market worth more than $1tn a year.
While China lags behind
countries such as the United
States in spending on credit,
habits are changing fast and the
Chinese are increasingly swiping plastic to satisfy their growing appetite for consumer goods.
The State Council, China’s
cabinet, said on Wednesday after a weekly meeting that foreign ﬁrms that meet its criteria
could set up their own clearing
companies. It did not provide
details. Visa, the world’s largest
credit and debit card company,
welcomed the move.
“We look forward to seeing the
speciﬁc details and working with
people within China to ﬁgure out
what we need to do to participate
in that marketplace, where we
believe we can add a lot of value,”
Chief Executive Officer Charlie Scharf said on a conference
call, following the release of its
Household debt in China
amounted to just 37% of GDP at
the end of July, compared with
81% in the United States.
But the Chinese, renowned for
being thrifty, are changing fast.
China’s total outstanding
credit card balances, while less
than 10% of household debt,
were a third higher at the end of
June than a year ago, according to
the People’s Bank of China. The
amount outstanding per card
has increased by more than twothirds in two years. Mastercard,
the second-largest payments
company globally, also welcomes
the opportunity to expand in the
world’s second-largest economy.
“We will continue to monitor closely and look forward to
the day when we can compete
for domestic business in China,”
MasterCard said in a statement
emailed to Reuters yesterday.
The explosion in online retailers, fuelled by increasingly wellheeled youth, is adding to the allure of plastic.
Access for foreign ﬁrms to
China’s fast-growing electronic
payments market is a controversial issue. China promised
to reform and free its electronic
payments market after the World
Trade Organization (WTO) said
in 2012 that its behaviour discriminated against US ﬁrms. It
was not immediately clear if the
move would allow foreign ﬁrms
to process credit and debit card
payments made in yuan in China.
In July 2012, the world trade body
held that China had discriminated
against US bank card suppliers in
its electronic payments market by
favouring state behemoth China
UnionPay, following a complaint
to the WTO by the United States.
Next stop for yuan’s global
journey: Canada, Mideast
ven as China quickly expands the use of its
currency to ﬁnancial hubs in Asia and Europe this year, bankers are already looking to
Canada and Middle East as the next growing regions for their offshore yuan business.
The moves are in line with Beijing’s ambition
to promote its currency to more international investors and eventually turn the “redback” into
a global reserve currency, while at the same time
expanding its already considerable political and
“There is big potential in the Middle East and
Canada in terms of where’s next for offshore yuan
development, and the needs there are quite balanced between trade and investment,” Candy
Ho, global head of RMB business development at
HSBC told Reuters.
“In the Americas, Canada is a bit ahead of the
United States. Canada’s pension funds, especially
from the West Coast, are looking to access China,”
Indeed, Canada is making efforts to beef up its
offshore yuan business. Chinese media reported
earlier the government is studying how to set up
a yuan clearing centre with the private sector, and
hopes to see some progress later this year.
The Canadian province of British Columbia
completed its second offshore yuan debt issuance worth 3bn yuan ($490.94mn) on Wednesday,
which saw strong demand from central banks.
Issuance from sovereign and supranational issuers is rare in dim sum market and usually draws
lots of orders from central banks, which in turn
pushes the Chinese currency a step ahead on the
road to becoming a global reserve currency.
Some banks are strengthening their presence in
China in anticipation that offshore yuan business
will take off in the Americas.
“In North America there is an increased focus
on transactional banking involving RMB payments. We have hired a head of FX in China which
will help us ﬁnd global RMB FX solutions for our
clients,” said Gerrard Katz, head of Asia foreign exchange trading at Scotiabank, Canada’s third largest lender.
And the business interest goes both ways.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has
won approval to be the yuan clearing bank in Singapore and Luxembourg.
“For the next step, we will try to make breakthroughs in the Americas,” said Wu Bin, general
manager at ICBC’s International Banking Department.
By establishing new clearing hubs in more cities,
Beijing hopes to persuade more foreign companies
settle trade deals in yuan and to switch their invoicing to the yuan, also known as the renminbi.
Having clearing banks reduces the cost of making
payments, makes trades more efficient and reduces currency risk.
Use of the yuan is also percolating into the Middle East at a quicker pace, with China’s Agricultural Bank selling the ﬁrst offshore yuan bond in
Dubai in September, offering investors there access to yuan assets.
The People’s Bank of China and the Central
Bank of UAE signed a 35bn yuan currency swap
agreement in 2012 and some Middle East countries
have announced or indicated plans to diversify
their currency reserves into the yuan.
“The Middle East is looking quite closely at the
development of China and access to China. There
is evidence of increasing demand for Chinese assets, whether it’s for offshore or onshore bonds
given a lot of money there is looking for diversiﬁcations,” said HSBC’s Ho.
In June, the yuan reinforced its position as the
seventh most active currency for global payments
and accounted for 1.55% of payments worldwide.
HSBC expects the yuan to be fully convertible
within 2-3 years. It had predicted last year that the
currency would become fully convertible within
Meanwhile, China ﬁnancial institutions are
rushing to expand their business beyond Hong
Kong, aiming to broaden their investor base to Europe and the United States with yuan products.
Chinese asset managers and banks have long been
keen to go abroad, but their overseas business did not
really pick up until the past few years when products
denominated in yuan began to bestow them competitiveness against strong foreign players.
Asset manager GF International Investment
Management told Reuters on Monday in an inter-
An employee counts yuan banknotes at a bank in Beijing. Even as China quickly expands the use of its
currency to financial hubs in Asia and Europe this year, bankers are already looking to Canada and
Middle East as the next growing regions for their offshore yuan business.
view that it was looking to set up offices in New
York and London next year to strengthen its distribution ability.
“Our initial plan is to hire ﬁve to six people for
each office and local hire is preferred especially for
sales people,” said Nathan Lin, chief executive ofﬁcer at GF International Investment.
The ﬁrm will cooperate with exchange-traded
funds (ETF) provider Global X, which had $3.5bn
of assets under management by April, to launch a
China bond ETF in New York within a month.
Other money managers including China CSOP
Asset Management and E Fund Management have
already sold yuan products in Europe or the United
States to meet growing demand there.
Despite their smaller size and lack of international investment experience compared with fa-
Sensex soars over 248 points
benchmark index of Indian equities markets yesterday touched a record high of
27,390.60 points surpassing its previous
high of 27,354.99 hit on September 8.
All the sectors were trading in green and the
rally was led by IT, oil and gas, consumer durables,
capital goods, banking and technology, media and
entertainment (TECK) sectors.
The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the
S&P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened
at 27,098.94 points, closed trade at 27,346.33
points, up 248.16 points or 0.92% from the previous day’s close at 27,098.17 points.
The Sensex touched a high of 27,390.60 points
and a low of 27,088.65 points in the trade so far.
The S&P IT index gained by 210.22 points, oil
and gas index increased by 177.25 points, consumer durables index moved up by 159.71 points, capital goods index got augmented by 144.78 points,
Bankex inched up by 136.55 points and TECK index went up by 101.83 points.
The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock
Exchange (NSE) also closed trade up 78.75 points
or 0.97% at 8,169.20 points after touching record
high of 8,181.55, surpassing its previous high hit
on September 8.
“Fed Reserve’s growing optimism towards an
economic recovery is encouraging. India’s external sector should beneﬁt from an expanding ag-
Traders at the Bombay Stock Exchange. The Sensex yesterday touched a record high of 27,390.60
points surpassing its previous high of 27,354.99 hit on September 8.
gregate demand in the US, where consumer conﬁdence and employment are on an uptrend already.
“Withdrawing quantitative easing should not
have any major implications on India especially
due to the added protection of Fed refraining from
raising rates and Dr Rajan’s strict vigil on the Indian interest rate regime,” said Debopam Chaudhuri, chief economist, ZyFin Research.
mous foreign names, the Chinese managers are
believed to have a better understanding of China’s
policies and thus better investment strategies.
“People’s interest in China has increased so
much as there are a lot of programs that are telling
people that China is deﬁnitely opening up,” said
Jack Wang, chief marketing officer at CSOP Asset
“We see a lot of new clients coming to us this
year, some of whom are very big and reputable foreign investors.”
Not only asset managers, but Chinese banks
have begun to see beneﬁts from quicker yuan internationalisation as investors and corporates’ appetite to use and hold the “redback” is whetted by
a slew of policies that enable greater access to the
world’s second-largest economy.
Rupee hits 2-week low
The Indian rupee hit a two-week low yesterday,
falling for a third consecutive session as the
dollar got a boost after the US Federal Reserve
struck a more hawkish tone than expected at its
The dollar climbed to its highest in more than
three weeks against a basket of currencies, after
the Fed underscored the improving US labour
market, raising concerns it may raise interest
rates earlier than expected.
However, broader losses in the rupee were
capped as domestic shares rose to record highs,
raising hopes of continued foreign inflows.
Custodian banks were also seen selling dollars
through the session.
Analysts also cited government measures on
Wednesday relaxing rules for foreign investment
in the construction sector as another positive for
“Overall sentiment on rupee is still positive because
flows continue towards India, and I think India will
be the favourite destination among EMs (emerging
markets),” said Hari Chandramgethen, head of
foreign exchange trading at South Indian Bank.
“I expect a trading range of 60 to 62 (per dollar)
for the rupee in the near term.”
The partially convertible rupee closed at 61.45/46
per dollar, weaker from Wednesday’s 61.35/36.
Intra-day, it fell to as low as 61.55 per dollar, a level
last seen on October 17.
Asia shares mixed after Fed winds up bond-buying scheme
A businessman passes before a share prices board in Tokyo. Japan’s share prices rose 0.67%, or 104.29 points, to 15,658.20 yesterday.
sian markets were mixed yesterday while the
dollar resumed its upward march against the
yen after the Federal Reserve wound up its
vast bond-buying scheme and reiterated its plan to
keep interest rates at record lows.
Tokyo rose 0.67%, or 104.29 points, to 15,658.20
and Sydney added 0.52%, or 28.52 points, to 5,476.2,
while Shanghai ﬁnished 0.76%, or 18.07 points,
higher at 2,391.08.
But Seoul eased 0.11%, or 2.24 points, lower at
1,958.93 and Hong Kong gave up 0.49%, or 117.83
points, to 23,702.04.
After a two-day meeting the US central bank’s
policy committee said it would bring an end to six
years of monetary easing as the economy gets back
And to reassure investors worried about the global economy, it also said it would keep near-zero
interest rates for “a considerable time” after the end
of the quantitative easing programme, sticking to
its timetable of an increase well into 2015.
However, while the decision was widely expected, its optimistic comments on the state of the
jobs market were considered by analysts to be more
hawkish than in the past, fuelling speculation of a
possible earlier rate hike.
“The Fed is positioning itself, but it hasn’t taken
the decision” to raise rates, said Gregori Volokhine,
president of Meeschaert Capital Markets. “Its action still depends on how the economy performs.”
Traders will be keeping a close eye on the Fed’s
moves over the next few months, with fears that a
hike too early could hurt overseas economies.
World markets took a beating earlier this month
on fears about the global outlook, with China, Japan
and the eurozone still struggling, despite the pickup in the United States.
Wednesday’s announcement sent the dollar
surging on expectations for higher interest rates
down the line, while the end of Fed bond-buying
means there will be less cash swirling around the
It was at 109.26 yen yesterday in Japan, against
108.90 yen in New York and sharply up from 108.12
yen in Tokyo earlier Wednesday.
The euro bought $1.2568, compared with $1.2634
in US trade and well down from Wednesday’s
$1.2737 in Asia. The single currency was at 137.32
yen compared with 137.60 yen.
The greenback also surged against the Australian
dollar. In afternoon trade the Aussie bought 87.65
US cents, compared with 88.66 cents on Wednesday.
In other markets, Bangkok closed up 0.17% or
2.68 points to 1,565.35; Taipei fell 0.18%, or 15.61
points, to 8,888.07; Wellington rose 0.27%, or 14.31
points, to 5,370.18 and Manila ended up 1.10%, or
77.68 points, at 7,170.99.
Friday, October 31, 2014
Asian buyers line up for Mozambican LNG with new deals
Countries across Asia are quietly
reaching deals to import liquefied
natural gas (LNG) from Mozambique,
which could transform its economy
and give it a front-row seat in tapping
rising global gas demand.
The unannounced agreements,
five in total, show how war-scarred
Mozambique is elbowing past rivals
from the United States to Australia
by offering flexible contract terms on
US oil major Anadarko Petroleum is
building the first two of up to 10 plants
in Mozambique to liquefy gas for
Its gas finds in Area 1 of the country’s
Rovuma Basin will feed the initial 10mn
tonne per annum (mtpa), $23bn export
project, which is due to start by 2021.
Preliminary deals have been reached to
sell its LNG to China National Offshore
Oil Corp, Japan, Indonesia’s state-run
Pertamina, the United Arab Emirates,
Thailand’s PTT and companies in India,
according to company and industry
sources close to the talks.
Firming these deals is critical to secure
bank financing for Anadarko and its
Area 1 project partners to build the
If all goes as planned, Africa-focused
Standard Bank expects an LNG windfall
to swell the state purse of the former
Portuguese colony, one of the world’s
It sees Anadarko’s initial project adding
$67bn to government revenue over its
30-year life, rising to $212bn once the
two initial plants are expanded to six.
“The LNG cost base and pricing from
our Mozambique project is competitive
in today’s LNG market, which is
supported by the willingness of our
partners to invest more than $3bn to
date in this world-class development,”
Steve Hoyle, Anadarko’s vice president
for LNG who is leading the project, told
He declined to comment on
commercial details. Anadarko’s
partners include Mitsui, Oil India,
Bharat PetroResources, PTT and
Mozambique’s state-run ENH.
Global LNG demand is expected to
double by around 2035. But prices that
LNG projects can charge for long-term
supply are falling from historic highs as
new producers crowd the market and
oil prices plunge, weeding out weaker
Delays pose one of the biggest risks to
Anadarko’s plans, given the project has
an extremely narrow window to lock in
premium buyers before a surge of new
supply post-2021 leaves only lower tier
In private talks, the supply deals
have mostly been set via Heads of
Agreement accords covering twothirds of the gas from Anadarko’s
flagship development, and negotiators
are now trying to convert those into
binding agreements by year-end, the
sources said. They are likely to be
announced as the project gets closer
to a final investment decision.
In an industry dominated by oillinked pricing of LNG, Anadarko is
attracting clients by offering to price
the fuel based on a mix of benchmarks
including crude oil and US gas prices,
the lowest in the world due to the shale
boom, according to industry sources.
Banking sources say Anadarko had
been offering to partly tie forward sales
of LNG to US gas prices plus a premium
of $5-$7 per million British thermal
units (mmBtu), with crude oil forming
around 70% of the price.
Chinese energy companies, already
emerging as one of the biggest
beneficiaries of new LNG exports from
the United States, may also steal the
show in Mozambique.
Last year CNPC paid $4.2bn for a
20% stake in Eni’s Area 4 LNG export
venture in Mozambique to feed the
world’s fastest growing gas consuming
Now China’s National Offshore
Oil Corp., or CNOOC, is set to lift a
comparable volume of 2mn-2.5mn
tonnes a year from Anadarko’s
neighbouring site in Area 1, three
sources with knowledge of the matter
said. “The terms of the CNOOC deal
were ironed out some time ago, and
it has just been parked waiting for
the project to take a final investment
decision,” an Area 1 project source said.
Thailand’s PTT, a partner in the
Area 1 venture, has agreed to take
comparable volumes to China’s
CNOOC, a source with knowledge of
the matter said.
Indonesia’s Pertamina, facing falling
domestic gas output and rising
demand, has agreed to take 1 mtpa of
LNG, two sources with knowledge of
the matter said. Last month it asked
for double that volume and to buy a
stake in the export plant, a Pertamina
company source said.
Rules on farm-ins set by the
government require companies to take
10% or more, raising doubts among
project sources if Pertamina has that
much of an appetite for a stake.
The project is trying to market some
supply to a consortium of small-scale
Japanese buyers, which may want to
take a stake, and is in advanced talks
with an Indian company, the sources
Apart from Asia, Anadarko is also
pursuing a supply deal with the United
Arab Emirates, which is keen to switch
to gas from burning oil to generate
electricity and looking for supply to
help fill a big LNG import terminal it is
building, the sources said.
While Mozambique finds buyers,
regional rival Tanzania is lagging as
political paralysis bogs down energy
legislation and delays investment
decisions by project developers BG
Group and Statoil, a recent Eurasia
Group note said.
For the Mozambique LNG project to
be developed, the government must
set up a fiscal and legal framework to
smooth the inflow of investments, for
which parliament has set a year-end
deadline. Recent election results
make that process easier as the ruling
Frelimo party and its candidate, Filipe
Nyusi, were returned to power.
Samsung plans smartphone
revamp to arrest proﬁt slide
amsung Electronics yesterday said it would revamp its
smartphone line-up to take
on competitors in the rapidly growing mid-to-low range segment, after third-quarter earnings set it on
course for its worst year since 2011.
The global smartphone leader’s
market share declined in annual
terms for the third straight quarter in
July-September, lagging Apple Inc in
the premium market and overtaken
by rivals like Lenovo Group and Xiaomi Inc at the bottom end, research
ﬁrm Strategy Analytics said.
Executives said the South Korean
giant would overhaul its lower-tier
line-up to boost price competitiveness and use higher-quality components to set its devices apart, after it
announced its worst third-quarter
proﬁt in more than three years.
“The mid-to-low end market is
growing rapidly, and we plan to respond actively in order to capitalise on that growth,” Samsung senior vice president Kim Hyun-joon
said during a conference call with
Samsung said its third-quarter operating proﬁt fell by an annual 60.1% to 4.1tn won ($3.9bn),
matching its guidance issued earlier
he asset management arm
of Malaysia’s Malayan
Banking Bhd, the country’s largest lender, has launched
its ﬁrst US dollar-denominated
mutual fund that invests in Islamic bonds. The new fund will
invest partly in sukuk issued from
Gulf countries. This is rare for
Malaysian funds, because there
is an abundant supply of local
ringgit-denominated sukuk, but
demand for dollar-denominated
paper has been growing.
The fund will initially be
available to Malaysian investors
only, although the ﬁrm plans to
distribute the fund overseas as
well, Nor’ Azamin Salleh, chief
executive of Maybank Asset
Management Group Bhd, said in
a statement on Wednesday.
Sukuk funds remain tiny
compared to their conventional
ﬁxed income counterparts, but
competition is heating up as the
market widens and ﬁrms vie for
a chunk of privately managed
accounts. There are 36 sukuk
funds in Malaysia which hold a
combined $1.9bn in assets, according to data from Zawya, a
Thomson Reuters company.
this month. While the company expects proﬁts to pick up in the fourth
quarter on strong demand for televisions and memory chips, analysts still expect Samsung to record
its worst annual operating proﬁt in
Proﬁt for the mobile division fell
73.9% to 1.75tn won in the third
quarter, its worst performance since
the second quarter of 2011.
Samsung spent most of the quarter without launching a new ﬂagship
device, and continued to struggle in
the mid-to-low tier markets against
cheaper and value-packed offerings
like Xiaomi’s Redmi 1S.
Robert Yi, Samsung’s head of investor relations, said the ﬁrm would
launch new mid-tier models in the
fourth quarter, although he didn’t
specify what features they would
Samsung expects average selling
prices for handsets will rise in the
fourth quarter due to an increase in
premium smartphone sales, namely
of the Galaxy Note 4, and as demand
picks up in the holiday shopping
Analysts say Samsung will likely
have to sacriﬁce margins to protect
its market share. Cheaper phones are
expected to drive global smartphone
market growth in coming years,
meaning a general trend of lower average selling prices.
Wal-Mart to close 30 Japan stores
Wal-Mart Stores will close about 30 outlets in
Japan as it focuses on its fresh food offerings and
expands its e-commerce business in the world’s
Wal-Mart’s Seiyu unit also will accelerate upgrades
to its existing stores as it broadens fresh food and
deli offerings, the world’s largest retailer said in an
e-mailed statement yesterday. About 50 stores are
expected to be remodelled by next year, it said.
The store closures come after rival foreign
retailers have pulled out of the Japanese market,
which is fragmented and faced with severe price
competition. Carrefour SA of France sold its
Japanese stores to Aeon Co. in 2005, and that was
A man tries out a Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Note Edge during the 2014 Korea Electronics Show in Goyang. The company
yesterday said it would revamp its smartphone line-up to take on competitors in the rapidly growing mid-to-low range
segment, after third quarter earnings set it on course for its worst year since 2011.
Lenovo closes $2.9bn deal to buy Motorola
followed by Tesco Plc’s decision to sell its local
business to the same company in 2012.
Wal-Mart’s Seiyu chain has 373 outlets nationwide
and employed 17,916 employees including
temporary workers as of December last year,
according to Seiyu’s website. Apart from Seiyu, the
US retailer also runs Wakana deli outlets and Livin
The company will introduce more versatile food
processing equipment to provide greater flexibility
to change menus at the Wakana unit, according
to yesterday’s statement. Same-store sales in
Japanese supermarkets fell for a 22nd straight
year in 2013, according to the trade ministry.
Aeon faces a “tough challenge” to meet forecasts
as its discounting strategy hasn’t stimulated sales
as much as expected, Credit Suisse Group AG
analyst Taketo Yamate wrote in an October 6 note.
enovo announced yesterday it has
completed its acquisition of Motorola Mobility from Google, a move
strengthening the Chinese giant’s position
in the smartphone market.
The $2.9bn deal, announced in January,
ends Google’s brief ownership of the onetime mobile phone star.
By adding Motorola, Lenovo positions itself among the top global smartphone makers behind Samsung and Apple. Lenovo will
operate Motorola as a wholly-owned subsidiary, keeping the Chicago-based head-
quarters and adding some 3,500 employees,
including 2,800 in the United States.
“Today, we achieved a historic milestone
for Lenovo and for Motorola – and together
we are ready to compete, grow and win in
the global smartphone market,” Lenovo
chairman and chief executive Yang Yuanqing said in a statement.
He hailed the partnership as a “perfect
ﬁt,” adding that “Motorola brings a strong
presence in the US and other mature markets, great carrier relationships, an iconic
brand, a strong IP portfolio and an incredibly talented team.” In the same statement,
Google CEO Larry Page said that “Motorola
is in great hands with Lenovo, a company
that’s all-in on making great devices.”
Lenovo announced yesterday it has
completed its acquisition of Motorola
Mobility from Google.
‘Indonesia ﬁscal deﬁcit won’t exceed legal limit’
Brodjonegoro: Allaying fears.
ndonesia’s fiscal deficit is not expected
to exceed a legal limit this year as government spending has been lower than
expected, the new finance minister said
yesterday, a step that would allow President
Joko Widodo to avert a political crisis.
A shortfall in tax revenue estimated at
$6.15bn threatened to push the 2014 budget
deficit to breach a legally binding limit of
3% of gross domestic product.
But Indonesia’s new Finance Minister,
Bambang Brodjonegoro, told Reuters the
deficit would be below that, as lower-thanexpected government spending, which included a cut in fuel subsidy costs, is set off
against smaller tax collections.
“For sure, we are not expecting it will
be close to 3% (of GDP). It will be around
our targeted deficit of 2.4%,” said Brod-
jonegoro, who was promoted from vice
minister on Monday. He expected government spending to be 7% to 8% less than the
1,877tn rupiah ($154.87bn) budgeted for
Parliament passed a law in 2003 limiting
the budget deficit to below 3% of GDP in a
bid to prevent a repeat of the financial crisis
of 1998 that ended the 32-year rule of autocratic leader Suharto.
Breaking the budget law could feasibly
embolden parliament to launch an impeachment bid, even though the budget
mess is the responsibility of Widodo’s
predecessor, former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
The main driver behind the budget deficit
was ballooning fuel subsidies, which could
be cut as early as this week, an adviser to
the president told Reuters.
Brodjonegoro declined to specify when
a fuel subsidy cut would happen, saying it
would take place “as early as possible.”
Indonesian fuel prices are among the
cheapest in the region, with gasoline costing 6,500 rupiah a litre, and diesel costing
A sharp drop in global oil prices has helped
limit the government’s subsidy costs. The
market price of subsidised fuel is at around
8,750 rupiah, said Dian Ayu Yustina, an
economist with Bank Danamon. Brodjonegoro said the government would not scrap
the fuel subsidy, indicating the hike would
probably be less than 3,000 rupiah.
The government plans to cap the fuel
subsidy next year. The fuel price hike is expected to ease domestic demand and allow
state oil firm Pertamina to keep to its quota
of 46mn kilolitres this year, Brodjonegoro
said. Pertamina, which is the main distributor of subsidized fuel, had expected to exceed the quota in early December and need
1.9mn kilolitres more, said Hanung Budya,
the company’s director of marketing and
Friday, October 31, 2014
Zad Holding Co
Widam Food Co
United Development Co
Salam International Investme
Qatar & Oman Investment Co
Qatar National Cement Co
Qatar National Bank
Qatar Islamic Insurance
Qatar Industrial Manufactur
Qatar International Islamic
Qatari Investors Group
Qatar Islamic Bank
Qatar Gas Transport(Nakilat)
Qatar General Insurance & Re
Qatar German Co For Medical
Qatar Fuel Co
Qatar Electricity & Water Co
Qatar Cinema & Film Distrib
Qatar Insurance Co
Mazaya Qatar Real Estate Dev
Mesaieed Petrochemical Holdi
Al Meera Consumer Goods Co
Mannai Corporation Qsc
Masraf Al Rayan
Al Khalij Commercial Bank
Islamic Holding Group
Gulf Warehousing Company
Gulf International Services
Ezdan Holding Group
Doha Insurance Co
Doha Bank Qsc
Commercial Bank Of Qatar Qsc
Barwa Real Estate Co
Al Khaleej Takaful Group
Saudi Hollandi Bank
Al-Ahsa Development Co.
Al-Baha Development & Invest
Ace Arabia Cooperative Insur
Allied Cooperative Insurance
Arriyadh Development Company
Fitaihi Holding Group
Arabia Insurance Cooperative
Al Abdullatif Industrial Inv
Al-Ahlia Cooperative Insuran
Al Alamiya Cooperative Insur
Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Dev
Al Babtain Power & Telecommu
Alujain Corporation (Alco)
Aldrees Petroleum And Transp
Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair & C
Alinma Tokio Marine
Al Khaleej Training And Educ
Abdullah A.M. Al-Khodari Son
Allianz Saudi Fransi Coopera
Saudi Integrated Telecom Co
Amana Cooperative Insurance
Anaam International Holding
Abdullah Al Othaim Markets
Arabian Pipes Co
Advanced Petrochemicals Co
Al Rajhi Co For Co-Operative
Arab National Bank
Ash-Sharqiyah Development Co
United Wire Factories Compan
Astra Industrial Group
Alahli Takaful Co
Axa Cooperative Insurance
Basic Chemical Industries
Banque Saudi Fransi
United International Transpo
Bupa Arabia For Cooperative
Buruj Cooperative Insurance
Saudi Airlines Catering Co
Methanol Chemicals Co
City Cement Co
Etihad Atheeb Telecommunicat
Etihad Etisalat Co
Emaar Economic City
Saudi Enaya Cooperative Insu
United Electronics Co
Falcom Saudi Equity Etf
Filing & Packing Materials M
Wafrah For Industry And Deve
Falcom Petrochemical Etf
Gulf General Cooperative Ins
Jazan Development Co
Gulf Union Cooperative Insur
Halwani Bros Co
Herfy Food Services Co
Al Jouf Agriculture Developm
Jarir Marketing Co
Jabal Omar Development Co
Al Jouf Cement
Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co
Knowledge Economic City
Kingdom Holding Co
Saudi Arabian Mining Co
Malath Cooperative & Reinsur
Makkah Construction & Devepl
Mediterranean & Gulf Insuran
Middle East Specialized Cabl
Mohammad Al Mojil Group Co
Al Mouwasat Medical Services
The National Agriculture Dev
Najran Cement Co
Nama Chemicals Co
National Gas & Industrializa
National Industrialization C
National Shipping Co Of/The
National Petrochemical Co
Rabigh Refining And Petroche
Al Qassim Agricultural Co
Red Sea Housing Services Co
Saudi Research And Marketing
Al Rajhi Bank
Saudi Arabian Amiantit Co
Saudi British Bank
Saudi Basic Industries Corp
Saudi Dairy & Foodstuff Co
Saudi Arabian Fertilizer Co
Al Sagr Co-Operative Insuran
Saudi Advanced Industries
Saudi Arabian Coop Ins Co
Salama Cooperative Insurance
Samba Financial Group
Sanad Cooperative Insurance
Saudi Public Transport Co
Saudi Arabia Refineries Co
Hsbc Amanah Saudi 20 Etf
Saudi Re For Cooperative Rei
Saudi Cable Co
Saudi Chemical Company
Saudi Electricity Co
Al-Hassan G.I. Shaker Co
Saudi Hotels & Resort
Arabian Shield Cooperative
Saudi Investment Bank/The
Saudi Industrial Development
Saudi Industrial Export Co
Securities Group Co
Sultan Center Food Products
Kuwait Foundry Co
Kuwait Financial Centre
Ajial Real Estate Entmt
Gulf Glass Manuf Co -Kscc
Kuwait Finance & Investment
National Industries Co
Kuwait Real Estate Holding C
Boubyan Petrochemicals Co
Al Ahli Bank Of Kuwait
Ahli United Bank (Almutahed)
National Bank Of Kuwait
Commercial Bank Of Kuwait
Kuwait International Bank
Al-Massaleh Real Estate Co
Al Arabiya Real Estate Co
Kuwait Remal Real Estate Co
Alkout Industrial Projects C
A’ayan Real Estate Co
Investors Holding Group Co.K
Markaz Real Estate Fund
Al-Mazaya Holding Co
Al-Madar Finance & Invt Co
Gulf Petroleum Investment
Mabanee Co Sakc
Inovest Co Bsc
Kuwait Gypsum Manufacturing
Al-Deera Holding Co
Alshamel International Hold
United Industries Co
Mena Real Estate Co
National Slaughter House
Amar Finance & Leasing Co
United Projects Group Kscc
National Consumer Holding Co
Amwal International Investme
Equipment Holding Co K.S.C.C
Safwan Trading & Contracting
Arkan Al Kuwait Real Estate
Gulf Finance House Ec
Energy House Holding Co Kscc
Kuwait Slaughter House Co
Kuwait Co For Process Plant
Al Maidan Dental Clinic Co K
National Ranges Company
Kuwait Pipes Indus & Oil Ser
Al-Themar Real International
Al-Ahleia Insurance Co
Wethaq Takaful Insurance Co
Salbookh Trading Co K.S.C.C
Aqar Real Estate Investments
Kuwait Packing Materials Mfg
Soor Fuel Marketing Co Ksc
Alargan International Real
Burgan Co For Well Drilling
Kuwait Resorts Co Kscc
Oula Fuel Marketing Co
Palms Agro Production Co
Ikarus Petroleum Industries
Mubarrad Transport Co
Al Mowasat Health Care Co
Shuaiba Industrial Co
Kuwait Invest Co Holding
Hits Telecom Holding
First Takaful Insurance Co
Kuwaiti Syrian Holding Co
National Cleaning Company
Eyas For High & Technical Ed
United Real Estate Company
Kuwait & Middle East Fin Inv
Fujairah Cement Industries
Livestock Transport & Tradng
International Resorts Co
National Industries Grp Hold
Marine Services Co
Pearl Of Kuwait Real Estate
Warba Insurance Co
Kuwait United Poultry Co
First Dubai Real Estate Deve
Al Arabi Group Holding Co
Kuwait Hotels Co
Mobile Telecommunications Co
Al Safat Real Estate Co
Tamdeen Real Estate Co Kscc
Al Mudon Intl Real Estate Co
Kuwait Cement Co Ksc
Sharjah Cement & Indus Devel
Kuwait Portland Cement Co
Educational Holding Group
Bahrain Kuwait Insurance
Kuwait China Investment Co
Kuwait Investment Co
Kuwait Projects Co Holdings
Al Madina For Finance And In
Kuwait Insurance Co
Al Masaken Intl Real Estate
Intl Financial Advisors
First Investment Co Kscc
Al Mal Investment Company
Bayan Investment Co Kscc
Egypt Kuwait Holding Co Sae
Coast Investment Development
Privatization Holding Compan
Kuwait Medical Services Co
Injazzat Real State Company
Kuwait Cable Vision Sak
Sanam Real Estate Co Kscc
Ithmaar Bank Bsc
Aviation Lease And Finance C
Arzan Financial Group For Fi
Ajwan Gulf Real Estate Co
Manafae Investment Co
Kuwait Business Town Real Es
Future Kid Entertainment And
Specialities Group Holding C
Abyaar Real Eastate Developm
Dar Al Thuraya Real Estate C
Al-Dar National Real Estate
Kgl Logistics Company Kscc
Combined Group Contracting
Zima Holding Co Ksc
Qurain Holding Co
Boubyan Intl Industries Hold
Gulf Investment House
Boubyan Bank K.S.C
Ahli United Bank B.S.C
Al-Safat Tec Holding Co
Al-Eid Food Co
Al-Qurain Petrochemicals Co
Advanced Technology Co
Ekttitab Holding Co S.A.K.C
Kout Food Group
Real Estate Trade Centers Co
Acico Industries Co Kscc
Kipco Asset Management Co
National Petroleum Services
Alimtiaz Investment Co Kscc
Ras Al Khaimah Co
Kuwait Reinsurance Co Ksc
Kuwait & Gulf Link Transport
Human Soft Holding Co
Automated Systems Co
Metal & Recycling Co
Gulf Franchising Holding Co
Al-Enma’a Real Estate Co
National Mobile Telecommuni
Al Bareeq Holding Co Kscc
Union Real Estate Co
Housing Finance Co Sak
Al Salam Group Holding Co
United Foodstuff Industries
Al Aman Investment Company
Mushrif Trading & Contractin
Tijara And Real Estate Inves
Kuwait Building Materials
Commercial Real Estate Co
Future Communications Co
National International Co
Taameer Real Estate Invest C
Gulf Cement Co
Heavy Engineering And Ship B
Refrigeration Industries & S
National Real Estate Co
Al Safat Energy Holding Comp
Kuwait National Cinema Co
Danah Alsafat Foodstuff Co
Independent Petroleum Group
Kuwait Real Estate Co
Salhia Real Estate Co Ksc
Gulf Cable & Electrical Ind
Al-Nawadi Holding Co K.S.C
Kuwait Finance House
Voltamp Energy Saog
United Finance Co
United Power Co
United Power/Energy Co- Pref
Al Madina Investment Co
Salalah Port Services
A’saffa Foods Saog
Shell Oman Marketing
Shell Oman Marketing - Pref
Smn Power Holding Saog
Al Shurooq Inv Ser
Al Sharqiya Invest Holding
Sohar Power Co
Salalah Beach Resort Saog
Salalah Mills Co
Renaissance Services Saog
Raysut Cement Co
Port Service Corporation
Packaging Co Ltd
Oman United Insurance Co
Oman Textile Holding Co Saog
Oman Telecommunications Co
Sweets Of Oman
Oman Orix Leasing Co.
Oman Refreshment Co
Oman Oil Marketing Company
0Man Oil Marketing Co-Pref
Oman National Investment Co
Oman National Engineering An
Oman National Dairy Products
Oman Medical Projects
Oman Ceramic Com
Oman Intl Marketing
Oman Investment & Finance
Hsbc Bank Oman
Oman Hotels & Tourism Co
Oman Holding International
Oman Fiber Optics
Oman Flour Mills
Oman Filters Industry
Oman Fisheries Co
Oman Education & Training In
Oman & Emirates Inv(Om)50%
Oman & Emirates Inv(Emir)50%
Oman Europe Foods Industries
Oman Cement Co
Oman Cables Industry
Oman Agricultural Dev
Omani Qatari Telecommunicati
Oman Foods International Soa
National Packaging Fac
National Mineral Water
National Hospitality Institu
National Gas Co
National Finance Co
National Carpet Factory
National Bank Of Oman Saog
National Biscuit Industries
National Real Estate Develop
Natl Aluminium Products
Muscat Thread Mills Co
Muscat Insurance Company
Modern Poultry Farms
Muscat National Holding
Musandam Marketing & Invest
Al Maha Petroleum Products M
Muscat Gases Company Saog
Majan Glass Company
Al Kamil Power Co
Hotels Management Co Interna
Al-Hassan Engineering Co
Gulf Mushroom Company
Gulf Invest. Serv. Pref-Shar
Gulf Investments Services
Gulf International Chemicals
Gulf Hotels (Oman) Co Ltd
Global Fin Investment
Galfar Engineering -Prefer
Financial Services Co.
Flexible Ind Packages
Dhofar Intl Development
Dhofar Power Co
Dhofar Power Co-Pfd
Dhofar Fisheries & Food Indu
Al Batinah Dev & Inv
Dhofar Beverages Co
Computer Stationery Inds
Construction Materials Ind
Cement & Gypsum Pro
Marine Bander Al-Rowdha
Bank Dhofar Saog
Al Batinah Hotels
Areej Vegetable Oils
Al Jazeera Steel Products Co
Al Sallan Food Industry
Acwa Power Barka Saog
Al-Omaniya Financial Service
Taghleef Industries Saog
Gulf Plastic Industries Co
Al Jazeera Services
Al Jazerah Services -Pfd
Al-Fajar Al-Alamia Co
Abrasives Manufacturing Co S
Al-Batinah Intl Saog
National Takaful Company
Waha Capital Pjsc
Union Insurance Co
Union National Bank/Abu Dhab
United Insurance Company
Union Cement Co
United Arab Bank
Abu Dhabi National Takaful C
Abu Dhabi National Energy Co
Sudan Telecommunications Co$
Sorouh Real Estate Company
Sharjah Insurance Company
Sharjah Cement & Indus Devel
Ras Al Khaima Poultry
Ras Al Khaimah Co
Ras Al-Khaimah National Insu
Ras Al Khaimah Ceramics
Ras Al Khaimah Cement Co
National Bank Of Ras Al-Khai
Umm Al Qaiwain Cement Indust
Oman & Emirates Inv(Emir)50%
National Marine Dredging Co
National Corp Tourism & Hote
Sharjah Islamic Bank
National Bank Of Umm Al Qaiw
National Bank Of Fujairah
National Bank Of Abu Dhabi
Methaq Takaful Insurance
#N/A Invalid Security
Gulf Pharmaceutical Ind-Julp
Gulf Medical Projects
Gulf Livestock Co
Green Crescent Insurance Co
Gulf Cement Co
First Gulf Bank
Fujairah Cement Industries
Fujairah Building Industries
Emirates Telecom Corporation
Eshraq Properties Co Pjsc
Emirates Insurance Co. (Psc)
Emirates Driving Company
Al Dhafra Insurance Co. P.S.
Commercial Bank Internationa
Bank Of Sharjah
Abu Dhabi Natl Co For Buildi
Al Wathba National Insurance
Intl Fish Farming Co-Asmak
Arkan Building Materials Co
Aldar Properties Pjsc
Al Ain Ahlia Ins. Co.
Al Khazna Insurance Co
Agthia Group Pjsc
Al Fujairah National Insuran
Abu Dhabi Ship Building Co
Abu Dhabi National Insurance
Abu Dhabi National Hotels
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank
Abu Dhabi Aviation
United Paper Industries Bsc
United Gulf Investment Corp
United Gulf Bank
United Finance Co
Trafco Group Bsc
Takaful International Co
Taib Bank -$Us
Securities & Investment Co
Sudan Telecommunications Co$
Delmon Poultry Co
National Hotels Co
National Bank Of Bahrain
Nass Corp Bsc
Khaleeji Commercial Bank
Ithmaar Bank Bsc
Investcorp Bank -$Us
Inovest Co Bsc
Intl Investment Group-Kuwait
Gulf Monetary Group
Global Investment House Kscc
Gulf Finance House Ec
Bahrain Family Leisure Co
Esterad Investment Co B.S.C.
Bahrain Duty Free Complex
Bahrain Car Park Co
Bahrain Cinema Co
Bahrain Tourism Co
Bahraini Saudi Bank/The
Bahrain National Holding
Bmb Investment Bank
Bahrain Kuwait Insurance
Bahrain Islamic Bank
Gulf Hotel Group B.S.C
Bahrain Flour Mills Co
Bahrain Commercial Facilitie
Bahrain Telecom Co
Bahrain Ship Repair & Engin
Albaraka Banking Group
Banader Hotels Co
Ahli United Bank B.S.C
LATEST MARKET CLOSING FIGURES
Friday, October 31, 2014
Exxon Mobil Corp
Johnson & Johnson
General Electric Co
Wal-Mart Stores Inc
Procter & Gamble Co/The
Jpmorgan Chase & Co
Verizon Communications Inc
Merck & Co. Inc.
Intl Business Machines Corp
Walt Disney Co/The
Visa Inc-Class A Shares
Home Depot Inc
Cisco Systems Inc
United Technologies Corp
American Express Co
Unitedhealth Group Inc
Goldman Sachs Group Inc
Nike Inc -Cl B
Du Pont (E.I.) De Nemours
Travelers Cos Inc/The
Wm Morrison Supermarkets
Weir Group Plc/The
Vodafone Group Plc
United Utilities Group Plc
Tullow Oil Plc
Tui Travel Plc
Travis Perkins Plc
Standard Life Plc
Standard Chartered Plc
St James’s Place Plc
Sports Direct International
Smiths Group Plc
Smith & Nephew Plc
Severn Trent Plc
Sainsbury (J) Plc
Sage Group Plc/The
Rsa Insurance Group Plc
Royal Mail Plc
Royal Dutch Shell Plc-B Shs
Royal Dutch Shell Plc-A Shs
Royal Bank Of Scotland Group
Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc
Rio Tinto Plc
Reed Elsevier Plc
Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc
Randgold Resources Ltd
Old Mutual Plc
National Grid Plc
Marks & Spencer Group Plc
London Stock Exchange Group
Lloyds Banking Group Plc
Legal & General Group Plc
Land Securities Group Plc
Johnson Matthey Plc
Intu Properties Plc
Intl Consolidated Airline-Di
Intertek Group Plc
Intercontinental Hotels Grou
Imperial Tobacco Group Plc
Hsbc Holdings Plc
Hargreaves Lansdown Plc
Friends Life Group Ltd
Dixons Carphone Plc
Direct Line Insurance Group
Compass Group Plc
Coca-Cola Hbc Ag-Cdi
Burberry Group Plc
Bt Group Plc
British Sky Broadcasting Gro
British Land Co Plc
British American Tobacco Plc
Bhp Billiton Plc
Bg Group Plc
Bae Systems Plc
Babcock Intl Group Plc
Associated British Foods Plc
Ashtead Group Plc
Arm Holdings Plc
Anglo American Plc
Admiral Group Plc
Aberdeen Asset Mgmt Plc
3I Group Plc
#N/A Invalid Security
Daiwa House Industry Co Ltd
Sekisui House Ltd
Kirin Holdings Co Ltd
Japan Tobacco Inc
Seven & I Holdings Co Ltd
Toray Industries Inc
Asahi Kasei Corp
Sumitomo Chemical Co Ltd
Shin-Etsu Chemical Co Ltd
Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings
Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd
Astellas Pharma Inc
Eisai Co Ltd
Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd
Fujifilm Holdings Corp
Shiseido Co Ltd
Jx Holdings Inc
Dow Jones Indus. Avg
S&P 500 Index
Nasdaq Composite Index
S&P/Tsx Composite Index
Mexico Bolsa Index
Brazil Bovespa Stock Idx
Ftse 100 Index
Cac 40 Index
Ibex 35 Tr
Hang Seng Index
All Ordinaries Indx
Nzx All Index
Bse Sensex 30 Index
Nse S&P Cnx Nifty Index
Straits Times Index
Karachi All Share Index
Jakarta Composite Index
Asahi Glass Co Ltd
Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Meta
Sumitomo Metal Industries
Kobe Steel Ltd
Jfe Holdings Inc
Sumitomo Metal Mining Co Ltd
Sumitomo Electric Industries
Daikin Industries Ltd
Mitsubishi Electric Corp
Rohm Co Ltd
Murata Manufacturing Co Ltd
Nitto Denko Corp
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Nissan Motor Co Ltd
Toyota Motor Corp
Honda Motor Co Ltd
Suzuki Motor Corp
Ricoh Co Ltd
Dai Nippon Printing Co Ltd
Nintendo Co Ltd
Mitsui & Co Ltd
Tokyo Electron Ltd
Aeon Co Ltd
Mitsubishi Ufj Financial Gro
Resona Holdings Inc
Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdin
Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Gr
Bank Of Yokohama Ltd/The
Mizuho Financial Group Inc
Daiwa Securities Group Inc
Nomura Holdings Inc
Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Holdin
Ms&Ad Insurance Group Holdin
Dai-Ichi Life Insurance
Tokio Marine Holdings Inc
T&D Holdings Inc
Mitsui Fudosan Co Ltd
Mitsubishi Estate Co Ltd
Sumitomo Realty & Developmen
East Japan Railway Co
West Japan Railway Co
Central Japan Railway Co
Ana Holdings Inc
Nippon Telegraph & Telephone
Ntt Docomo Inc
Tokyo Electric Power Co Inc
Chubu Electric Power Co Inc
Kansai Electric Power Co Inc
Tohoku Electric Power Co Inc
Kyushu Electric Power Co Inc
Tokyo Gas Co Ltd
Secom Co Ltd
Yamada Denki Co Ltd
Fast Retailing Co Ltd
Zee Entertainment Enterprise
Ultratech Cement Ltd
Tech Mahindra Ltd
Tata Steel Ltd
Tata Power Co Ltd
Tata Motors Ltd
Tata Consultancy Svcs Ltd
Sun Pharmaceutical Indus
State Bank Of India
Sesa Sterlite Ltd
Reliance Industries Ltd
Punjab National Bank
Power Grid Corp Of India Ltd
Oil & Natural Gas Corp Ltd
Maruti Suzuki India Ltd
Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd
Larsen & Toubro Ltd
Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd
Jindal Steel & Power Ltd
Indusind Bank Ltd
Icici Bank Ltd
Housing Development Finance
Hindustan Unilever Ltd
Hindalco Industries Ltd
Hero Motocorp Ltd
Hdfc Bank Limited
Hcl Technologies Ltd
Grasim Industries Ltd
Gail India Ltd
Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories
Coal India Ltd
Cairn India Ltd
Bharti Airtel Ltd
Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd
Bharat Heavy Electricals
Bank Of Baroda
Bajaj Auto Ltd
Axis Bank Ltd
Asian Paints Ltd
Ambuja Cements Ltd
The euro logo is pictured in front of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt/Main. The ECB gave most eurozone banks a
clean bill of health on Sunday, but said 25 out of a total 130 banks had a combined shortfall of €25bn at the end of 2013.
European stocks close up as
ECB moves to kick-start lending
urope’s main stock markets
closed up yesterday, lifted by the
European Central Bank’s announcement that it would begin buying asset-backed securities in a multipronged action to get lending ﬂowing
London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index ended the day 0.15% higher at
6,463.55 points, after a day of choppy
trading as investors fretted initially
over the health of the eurozone banking
In Paris, the CAC rose 0.74% to
4.141.24 points and Frankfurt’s Dax was
up 0.35% at 9,114.84 points.
The Federal Reserve’s withdrawal of
its vast bond-buying scheme known as
quantitative easing (QE) had earlier also
hit sentiment across global markets.
Stocks in the eurozone’s periphery of Athens, Lisbon and Madrid also
slumped initially on renewed doubts
over recent stress tests on the eurozone
But losses were later capped by the
ECB’s asset purchase announcement.
The Lisbon market closed down 1.47%
while Athens lost 2.8%. Madrid meanwhile ﬁnished with a slight gain of 0.16%.
The euro was trading at $1.2624.
The ECB gave most eurozone banks a
clean bill of health on Sunday, but said
25 out of a total 130 banks had a combined shortfall of €25bn ($31bn) at the
end of 2013.
“I think (there are) still some concerns over ECB stress tests—and that
ECB might be under-estimating capital
required,” VTB Capital economist Neil
MacKinnon told AFP.
After a two-day meeting, the US
central bank’s Federal Open Market
Committee (FOMC) said on Wednesday it would bring an end to six years of
monetary easing as the world’s biggest
economy gets back on track.
The Fed added it would keep nearzero interest rates for “a considerable time” after the end of the QE programme, sticking to its timetable of an
increase well into 2015.
However, while the decision was
widely expected, optimistic comments
on the jobs market were considered by
analysts to be more hawkish than in the
past, fuelling speculation of a possible
earlier-than-expected rate hike.
While that hurt sentiments earlier in
the day, markets recovered as the ECB
said it would begin its purchases of
asset-backed securities or ABS in November.
Asset-backed securities (ABS) are
Aluminum Corp Of China Ltd-H
Bank Of East Asia
Bank Of China Ltd-H
Bank Of Communications Co-H
Belle International Holdings
Boc Hong Kong Holdings Ltd
Cathay Pacific Airways
Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd
China Coal Energy Co-H
China Construction Bank-H
China Life Insurance Co-H
China Merchants Hldgs Intl
China Mobile Ltd
China Overseas Land & Invest
China Petroleum & Chemical-H
China Resources Enterprise
China Resources Land Ltd
China Resources Power Holdin
China Shenhua Energy Co-H
China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd
Clp Holdings Ltd
Cosco Pacific Ltd
Esprit Holdings Ltd
Fih Mobile Ltd
Hang Lung Properties Ltd
Hang Seng Bank Ltd
Henderson Land Development
bundles of individual loans such as
mortgages, car credit and credit-card
debt which are sold on to investors,
allowing banks to share the risk of default and freeing up funds to offer more
The ECB believes that the market for
such securities—an important source
of ﬁnancing for banks to keep lending
to small and medium-sized enterprises—has effectively dried up since the
The bank hopes that by buying them
on a large scale, it can help revive the
market and free up some of the credit
channels which have seized up during
the long years of crisis.
There has also been speculation
that the ECB could embark on the purchase of corporate bonds, and a largescale sovereign bond purchase scheme
known as quantitative easing is also believed to be under consideration.
In foreign exchange deals, the euro
later stood at $1.2624, down from
$1.2634 in New York late on Wednesday.
The euro fell to 78.72 British pence
from 78.90 pence. The British pound
gained to $1.6037 from $1.6011 on
On the London Bullion Market, gold
prices declined to $1,202an ounce, from
$1,223.50 an ounce on Wednesday.
Hong Kong & China Gas
Hong Kong Exchanges & Clear
Hsbc Holdings Plc
Hutchison Whampoa Ltd
Ind & Comm Bk Of China-H
Li & Fung Ltd
New World Development
Petrochina Co Ltd-H
Ping An Insurance Group Co-H
Power Assets Holdings Ltd
Sino Land Co
Sun Hung Kai Properties
Swire Pacific Ltd-A
Tencent Holdings Ltd
Wharf Holdings Ltd
Doha Securities Market
Kuwait Stocks Exchange
Bahrain Stock Exchage
Oman Stock Market
Abudhabi Stock Market
Dubai Financial Market
“Information contained herein is believed to be reliable and had been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. The
accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. This publication is for providing information only and is not intended
as an offer or solicitation for a purchase or sale of any of the financial instruments mentioned. Gulf Times and Doha Bank
or any of their employees shall not be held accountable and will not accept any losses or liabilities for actions based on
Friday, October 31, 2014
Oil stocks lure most bearish
bets since 2007 after slump
raders are speculating the slump
in oil companies will get worse.
Even after valuations for an
index tracking the shares slumped
40%, investors are loading up on bearish options. The cost of puts on the
SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration &
Production ETF jumped to the highest level in seven years versus calls. The
exchange-traded fund tracks companies including Exxon Mobil Corp,
Chevron Corp and ConocoPhillips,
which are down more than 9% from
their highs this year.
Oil companies were among those
losing the most during the stock selloff, with the commodity entering a
bear market as global demand growth
slowed and threats to supply in Iraq
and Libya receded.
While oil rebounded from this
month’s low, investors are hedging
against further declines, according to
Serge Berger of Blue Oak Advisors.
“Longer term, I’m deﬁnitely bearish on oil,” said Berger, a Zurich-based
trader, who also runs the research website The Steady Trader. “The issue here
isn’t so much ‘Is it cheap or not?’ Given
the amount of volatility we have in the
market, cheap can become cheaper. Oil
will become less and less of a precious
Companies in the index that the oil
ETF tracks trade at 26.6 times reported
earnings, data compiled by Bloomberg
show. Multiples fell as much as 39%
from June to a one-year low on October
14. The benchmark Standard & Poor’s
500 Index has a valuation of 17.6 times.
The ETF lost 1.9% to $58.92 a share at
10.06am in New York yesterday.
Both volume and the number of
options outstanding on the oil ETF
Traders work in the energy options pit at the New York Mercantile Exchange (file). Analysts are slashing projections for both oil prices and oil companies’ profits.
Companies including Exxon Mobil Corp, Chevron Corp and ConocoPhillips are down more than 9% from their highs this year.
surged this month, and nine out of the
10 most-owned contracts are bearish.
Those hedging against a 10% decline
in the fund cost 10.7 points more than
calls betting on a 10% gain on Tuesday,
according to three-month impliedvolatility data compiled by Bloomberg.
That’s the widest spread since September 2007.
Analysts are slashing projections
for both oil prices and oil companies’
proﬁts. While they estimate earnings
at companies tracked by the ETF will
jump 32% in 2014, those projections
have dropped by 9.7% this month.
That’s not enough to account for the
decline in oil, and crude could fall even
further, according to Blue Oak Advisors’ Berger.
Goldman Sachs Group cut its oil-
price estimate this week, and Barclays
lowered it for the second time this
To Wells Fargo & Co strategist Gina
Martin Adams, the plunge in energy
companies has “gone too far too fast,”
she wrote in an October 21 report. The
stocks have declined more than oil
prices would signal and should perform better than the broader market
in the near term, Morgan Stanley’s
Adam Parker said in an October 20
Investors have sold oil and gas shares
indiscriminately and the decline has
left some companies at attractive valuations, according to Ted Harper of
Frost Investment Advisors.
“It was certainly the baby getting
thrown out with the bathwater,” said
Harper, who helps manage more than
$10bn from Houston. “When you have
higher quality, consistent growers getting marked down to the extent that
they’ve been, that creates opportunities.”
Traders are betting on more price
swings. The Chicago Board Options
Exchange/NYMEX WTI Volatility Index has jumped 35% this month, the
most since May 2012. The gauge measuring expected price swings is near a
one-year high relative to the CBOE
Volatility Index, or VIX, of S&P 500
After falling 25% from June to $80.52
a barrel on October 22, West Texas
Intermediate closed at $82.20 on
“The sector is widely held by hedge
funds who got hurt with the move
lower in oil prices,” said Adam Perlaky,
chief strategist at New York-based
broker New Albion Partners LLC. “The
concern at this point is a break below
$80 a barrel in oil. If the levels hold, the
sector should rally, but people are protecting against another leg lower.”
Friday, October 31, 2014
TransCanada seeks to build North America’s biggest oil pipe
TransCanada Corp, the Calgarybased company that has been
trying to build the Keystone XL
pipeline since 2008, applied for
a C$12bn ($10.7bn) link between
Alberta’s oil sands and Canada’s
The 4,600km (2,859-mile) Energy East line, the largest proposed
oil conduit in North America, would
stay within Canada, carrying as
much as 1.1mn barrels a day to eastern refineries and marine terminals
in Quebec and New Brunswick,
according to a statement yesterday.
Canada’s National Energy Board
has 15 months to review the project
and make a recommendation to the
cabinet of Prime Minister Stephen
Keystone XL, which requires
approval by the US, has emerged as
a lightening rod for environmental
groups. President Barack Obama
rejected TransCanada’s initial
application in 2012. Other possible routes such as the Northern
Gateway project and the expansion
of the Trans Mountain line face
delays as oil-sands opponents and
landowners fearful of spills have
stalled regulatory reviews.
“We have been out in the field
for more than 18 months gathering
data, performing environmental
studies and engaging with Aborigi-
nal and stakeholder groups in the
initial design and planning of the
project,” TransCanada chief executive officer Russ Girling said in the
Energy East is one of four major
pipeline projects proposed to ship
rising oil-sands output largely
landlocked in Alberta to the Pacific,
Atlantic and Gulf coasts as producers seek new markets and higher
prices for Canadian crude.
TransCanada, the second-largest
Canadian pipeline company, is planning to convert portions of its existing natural gas mainline to carry
crude and lay new pipe to build
Energy East, which is expected to
begin taking oil in 2018.
While Energy East has faced op-
position from advocacy groups like
Equiterre in Quebec, TransCanada
has won support from communities
along the route by negotiating with
landowners and politicians and
making changes to plans ahead of
its regulatory filing, Girling said in a
Fearing supply shortfalls to heat
homes and fuel power plants in
Quebec and Ontario, gas distributors have spoken out against Energy East because of TransCanada’s
plan to switch part of its pipeline to
oil and charge tolls for a replacement pipeline. Quebec’s Gaz Metro,
Enbridge Inc’s Toronto-based
Enbridge Gas Distribution and
Spectra Energy Corp’s Union Gas
in Chatham, Ontario, are among
distributors opposing the project,
saying it could raise prices for
The Eastern Mainline proposed
by TransCanada to replace the
portion that will be converted to oil
in Ontario would include a new segment as long as 250 kilometers.
The application comes six years
after TransCanada first sought US
approval to build Keystone XL to
link the oil sands to the Gulf Coast,
the largest refining center in the
world. Unlike Keystone XL, Energy
East doesn’t enter US territory.
The US State Department, which
has jurisdiction over pipelines
that cross the country’s borders,
is awaiting the outcome of a court
case in Nebraska to rule on the
Keystone XL project, which Girling
said may cost as much as $10bn.
TransCanada split the project in
two to build the southern portion
first and re-applied for the northern
leg in 2012 after Obama rejected
Canadian heavy oil prices have
come under pressure because of
transportation bottlenecks, plummeting to $42.50 a barrel less than
the US benchmark in December
2012. The discount has narrowed
to $14 a barrel yesterday as new US
pipeline capacity to the Gulf Coast
eases some congestion and producers increasingly turn to trains to
move their crude.
Canadian exports of oil by rail
surged 10-fold to about 163,000
Trade, defence spending
buoy US growth in Q3
Economy grows at 3.5% pace in
third quarter; consumer spending,
business investment slow; trade
adds to growth; inventories a drag
smaller trade deﬁcit and a surge
in defence spending buoyed US
economic growth in the third
quarter, but other details of yesterday’s
report hinted at some loss of momentum in activity.
Gross domestic product grew at a
3.5% annual rate, the Commerce Department said yesterday, beating economists’ expectations for a 3.0% pace.
While the pace of growth in business
investment, housing and consumer
spending slowed from the second quarter, all those categories contributed to
“The report was broadly constructive, with the gains broadly based and
pointing to positive underlying momentum in the US economy,” said Millan Mulraine, deputy chief economist at
TD Securities in New York.
“However, with some indications
of weakness emerging in housing and
consumption spending, we expect the
pace of growth to slip further in the
Despite decelerating from the second quarter’s brisk 4.6% pace, it was
the fourth quarter out of ﬁve that the
economy has expanded at or above a
A separate report from the Labour
Department showed ﬁrst-time applications for unemployment beneﬁts
A Washington State Ferry traverses past the city skyline through Puget Sound as seen from the Vigor Shipyard in Seattle. The US
GDP grew at a 3.5% annual rate, the Commerce Department said yesterday, beating economists’ expectations for a 3.0% pace.
rose modestly last week, but remained
at levels consistent with ﬁrming labor
The data came one day after the Federal Reserve ended its asset purchasing
program. Fed officials said there was
sufficient underlying strength in the
The dollar extended gains against the
euro and the yen, while prices for US
Treasury debt trimmed gains.
The narrower trade deﬁcit reﬂected
a plunge in imports, which fell at their
fastest pace since the fourth quarter of
2012. That was largely attributed to a
drop in oil imports.
Trade added 1.32 percentage points
to growth. Although there are con-
cerns a strengthening dollar and slowing eurozone and Chinese economies
will crimp US export growth, economists believe the impact will be marginal.
Government spending was also a
boost, with defence spending rising at a
16% rate, its fastest pace since the second quarter of 2009.
One of the few areas that was a drag
on growth was inventories, which subtracted 0.57 percentage point from GDP
after adding 1.42 percentage points in
the second quarter.
Growth in business investment
slowed in the third quarter, with spending on equipment rising at only a 7.2%
rate. Economists had expected a second straight quarter of double-digit
Business spending on structures
and intellectual property products
also slowed. Data on Tuesday suggested further moderation in the pace
of equipment investment in the fourth
quarter, but it is still expected to remain
strong enough to keep the economy on
a higher growth pace.
While growth in consumer spending decelerated to a 1.8% pace from
the second-quarter’s 2.5% pace, it still
contributed 1.22 percentage points to
Consumer spending accounts for
more than two-thirds of US economic
The moderate pace of consumer
spending helped keep inﬂation pressures under wraps during the quarter.
A price index in the GDP report
rose at a 1.2% rate in the third quarter after advancing at a 2.3% pace in
the prior period. A core price measure
that strips out food and energy costs
increased at only a 1.4% pace, slowing sharply from the second quarter’s
Declining gasoline prices and accelerating job growth, which is expected to lift wages, will provide tailwinds for consumer spending in the
Businesses urge action on fast-track trade authority
US businesses urged President
Barack Obama yesterday to make a
case for fast-track authority on trade
agreements before his upcoming trip
to Asia, which is seen as an opportunity
to push a Pacific trade deal.
Myron Brilliant, head of international
affairs for the US Chamber of
Commerce, said Obama should send a
signal about trade in the time between
mid-term US elections on November
4 and an Asia-Pacific Economic
Cooperation (Apec) summit in China
on November 10-11. A bipartisan bill on
so-called trade promotion authority
(TPA), which allows lawmakers to
set priorities for trade deals in return
for a yes-or-no vote, was introduced
in Congress in January but has not
progressed to a vote.
“We think the time is ripe to move on
trade and we are looking to signals
from the president following the
election that he will move on TPA,”
Brilliant told reporters.
The Apec summit, Obama’s first stop
on a week-long trip to Asia, will be
attended by the leaders of the other 11
countries negotiating the Trans-Pacific
The TPP would cover 40% of the world
economy and is the economic arm of
the administration’s move to engage
more with Asia, seeking to set common
standards in areas such as labour and
intellectual property as well as break
down trade barriers.
Trade experts say the lack of a trade
promotion authority is one of the
hurdles in finalising the TPP, since trade
partners may fear Congress would
later seek to amend the deal.
In an article in Foreign Policy
Magazine earlier this month, US Trade
Representative Michael Froman said
TPA would give “US trading partners
the necessary confidence to put their
best and final offers on the table.”
Virginia Democrat Jim Moran, a
senior member of the pro-trade New
Democrat coalition, said passing the
TPA should be a priority in the “lame
duck” session of Congress after the
election - something many Republicans
are also pressing.
His view stands in contrast to other
Democrats who want to see the
substance of the TPP before giving the
White House fast-track authority, and
to opponents who do not want fasttrack at all.
Trade unions, which are an important
Democrat support base and worry
about the impact of trade deals on
jobs, this week launched a campaign of
advertisements in a Capitol Hill metro
station, calling on lawmakers to “say
no” to fast-track.
Miriam Sapiro, who was deputy US
Trade Representative until early this
year, said there was a narrow window of
opportunity to get Obama, Congress and
Asian trading partners on the same page
before the presidential election in 2016.
If TPA did not pass this year, the most
likely window is in the northern spring of
2015, which would push back agreement
on the TPP until this time next year, she
said. “I think there is a clear path forward
if people want to take it,” she told a TPA
forum at law firm Arent Fox.
barrels a day in the three months
ending June 30 from the first
three months of 2012, according to
National Energy Board data. Shipments by rail from Western Canada
are forecast by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
to reach about 700,000 barrels a
day by 2016.
Energy East is the largest of
about C$39bn in projects backed
by contracts that TransCanada is
Enbridge Inc is Canada’s biggest
pipeline company by market value.
The announcement was made
before the start of regular trading
on North American markets. TransCanada gained 0.3% to C$55.30 at
8:16 am in Toronto.
ew Zealand’s central
bank held rates steady
yesterday and signalled
it will keep monetary policy on
hold closer to the end of next
year, diluting its tightening bias
just as the US Federal Reserve
moved a step closer to raising
The New Zealand dollar tumbled more than half a US cent as
markets reacted to the contrasting tones in the policy statements of the Fed and the Reserve
Bank of New Zealand, which also
took aim at an unjustiﬁably high
“A period of assessment remains appropriate before considering further policy adjustment,” RBNZ Governor Graeme
Wheeler said in a statement,
after holding its official cash rate
(OCR) at 3.50%, citing low inﬂation and slowing global growth.
Wheeler added that global
monetary policies looked set to
remain soft for longer, and noted
that New Zealand’s economy
was adjusting to past rate hikes.
Signiﬁcantly, in a nod to soft
inﬂation data and dovish market pricing the RBNZ dropped
its explicit tightening bias contained in the September monetary statement, when it spoke
of further rate rises being needed
to return the cash rate to a more
“The RBNZ has indicated
that it will not hike the OCR
again until it sees the whites of
the eyes of inﬂation,” Stephens
said, reaffirming his forecast of
September next year for the next
Markets have reduced expectations of rate rises in the next 12
months to 12 basis points from
17 basis points before the latest
A Reuters poll after the statement has a majority view that
the RBNZ will pause at least until September or even December
next year before resuming rate
The RBNZ raised rates by 100
basis points between March and
July, but the latest brief statement did not specify how long it
expects to be on hold.
Its interest rate forecasts in
September suggested it would
pause at least until March next
year, but that is now seen as likely to be September or later.
Ukraine says EU to be guarantor in any Russia gas deal
kraine and the European Union
have agreed that the EU’s executive arm will serve as guarantor in any agreement for Russia to
supply Ukraine with gas, Ukrainian
Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said
Russian Energy Minister Alexander
Novak, meanwhile, said Moscow and
Kiev could sign a gas deal later in the day
if all necessary documents were ﬁnalised.
EU-hosted talks to unblock deliveries of Russian gas to Ukraine was to
resume later yesterday, the European
Commission said, as Moscow reiterated
its demand for advance payment for
future supplies. Russian gas exporter
Gazprom cut off supplies to Ukraine in
June, citing unpaid bills.
The latest discussions, which ended
in the early hours of yesterday, made no
“We and the European Commission
have reached an agreement that the
Commission will be a virtual guarantor of Russia fulﬁlling its obligations
regarding a fair price,” Yatseniuk told a
government meeting in Kiev.
Jointly prepared documents laying down a common understanding
have been prepared and are now with
the governments in Moscow and Kiev
for approval, a spokeswoman for the
Brussels-based Commission said in a
“Trilateral consultations will continue throughout the course of today
(yesterday),” the spokeswoman said.
Russia’s Novak said Moscow was
sticking to its demand on prepayment.
“All future deliveries during winter should be prepaid before deliveries
start,” Novak told a government meeting chaired by Prime Minister Dmitry
Yatseniuk said Ukraine’s position in
Brussels was that the price of Russian
natural gas should be $378 per 1,000
cubic metres by the end of 2014 and fall
to $365 in the ﬁrst quarter of 2015.
An official at Russia’s Energy Ministry conﬁrmed the ﬁgures announced by
the Ukrainian prime minister, RIA news
Yatseniuk said Kiev was ready to pay
off debts for previously supplied gas
immediately after any deal was signed.
A total of $1.45bn would be paid immediately and a further $1.65bn paid by
the end of the year, he said.
EU officials say Kiev, like Moscow, is
negotiating hard and that the Ukrainian
government is keen to win public support
for any deal. Despite agreement on price,
the amount to be supplied and the re-
payment of unpaid bills, Moscow wants
more legal assurances that Kiev can pay
some $1.6bn for new gas up front.
Some critics of Russia question
whether its motivation is ﬁnancial
or whether prolonging the wrangling
with ex-Soviet Ukraine and its Western allies suits Moscow’s diplomatic
Ukraine is in discussions with existing
creditors the EU and the IMF. German
Chancellor Angela Merkel, concerned
about Russian gas supplies to the rest
of Europe which come via Ukraine has
spoken of bridging ﬁnance for Kiev.
But Russian negotiators said they
wanted to see a signed agreement on EU
ﬁnancing for Ukraine.
Novak was quoted by RIA as saying he had been told in the talks that
Ukraine was discussing funding for
4bn cubic metres of gas with the European Commission and the Interna-
tional Monetary Fund but he had seen
no guarantee of it.
“This isn’t about guarantees, but
only statements from the Ukrainians,”
he said. “We were shown no written
He noted that Russia was only offering to open the taps once prepayments
were made by Ukraine, whose economy
is in crisis and which has a record of
payment difficulties. “If there’s money,
there will be gas,” Novak said.
The gas cut-off has had little impact
for months. But pressure is mounting
for a deal as temperatures start to drop
European Energy Commissioner
Guenther Oettinger, who has been mediating, leaves office today, making way
for a new European Commission.
If he cannot broker a solution, it will
be down to his Slovak successor, Maros
Sefcovic, who takes office tomorrow.
The two sides came close to an agreement in September, but last week differences were wide over Kiev’s ability
Weekend elections returned a proWestern parliament in Kiev, potentially stoking tensions with Moscow,
although Russia’s EU envoy, Vladimir
Chizhov, said yesterday the mood could
be more relaxed now the vote had taken
Ukraine’s Naftogaz company has set
aside $3.1bn in a special escrow account
to pay the debt.
Kiev says it is working to raise more
money from all possible sources of ﬁnancing, including the EU. The Commission is considering Ukraine’s request, made last week, for a further
loan of €2bn.
Russia provides around a third of the
European Union’s gas, roughly half of
which is pumped via Ukraine.
Friday, October 31, 2014
Shell outpaces peers with profit growth, keeps spending
results beat expectations, shrugging off falling oil
Oil majors have seen their stock market values fall
since mid-June, in step with a 25% drop in crude oil
prices to four-year lows on slowing global demand
and ample supplies.
State-controlled Eni said adjusted net profit
reached €1.17bn ($1.5bn) in the three months to September 30, above a consensus forecast of 861mn in
a Reuters poll of six banks and brokerages.
Operating cashflow was €3.98bn, which the
company said was its best in a third quarter for five
Eni’s mature field declines and maintenance
prompted a 4.7% fall in oil and gas production in
the quarter to 1.58mn barrels of oil equivalent per
day, but the company still sees output for the year
in line with 2013.
The decline in oil prices is piling pressure on oil
companies to protect earnings by cutting investments and selling assets. Eni said it expected to
spend less this year on capital expenditure than the
€12.8bn it invested in 2013.
Royal Dutch Shell has outpaced peers with a
forecast-beating rise in quarterly profit and said
it would spend heavily next year on key projects,
even as oil majors prepare to weather the full
impact of a sharp drop in oil prices.
Its adjusted net profit climbed 31%, thanks to more
profitable new production and improved refining.
Shell has so far this year sold $12bn of assets,
including the sale of its downstream Australian
business in the quarter, putting it on track to hit a
target of $15bn.
“It is quite likely we will take a very close look at levels of investment where we have flexibility if we see
the oil price weakness persisting,” chief financial
officer Simon Henry said.
Shell, Europe’s biggest oil company by market
value, is “less likely”, however, to go ahead with
some unconventional shale oil developments in the
US Permean Basin and in West Canada, if oil hits
$80 a barrel, he said.
But cuts will not slow its bigger projects and
organic capital expenditure will likely remain flat in
2015 at this year’s $35bn level.
Shell’s adjusted net profit in the third quarter hit
$5.8bn, with the company maintaining its dividend
quarter-on-quarter and increasing it 4% year-onyear, as both upstream and downstream divisions
delivered strong results.
Earnings nevertheless declined from the second
quarter of the year, mostly due to weaker oil prices.
Shell has one of the most robust balance sheets in
the sector, with stronger debt ratios than its peers.
Analysts expect it to maintain its dividend payout
and continue to buy back shares, even in the face of
But analysts also said Shell would not be immune
from the strain on the broader sector, and some
questioned whether it was doing enough.
Apollo Global Management reported a bigger-thanexpected 91% drop in third-quarter profit yesterday,
as its private equity funds depreciated, in stark
contrast to its peers, and the firm generated less
cash from selling assets.
A halt to the stock market rally weighed on the
earnings of all of Apollo’s publicly listed peers, with
KKR & Co LP and Carlyle Group LP also posting lower profits. But Apollo’s profit decline — it reported
its lowest quarterly profit in two years — dwarfed
those of its peers.
Apollo’s private equity funds depreciated by
2% in the quarter, versus a 3% appreciation at
Carlyle’s private equity funds, a 2.2% appreciation at KKR and a 3.7% appreciation at Blackstone
Apollo is particularly exposed to stock market jitters because it likes to take many of its companies
public, and historically more than half of its private
equity portfolio has included publicly-traded securities.
Prior to this quarter, Apollo’s recent earnings had
been stronger. It manages some of the bestperforming funds in its industry — its $14.7bn Fund
VII, for example, reported a 29% net internal rate of
return (IRR) as of the end of September.
Economic net income after taxes was $48mn
versus $550.9mn a year earlier. That translated into
ENI per share of 12 cents, compared to the analysts’
average estimate of 38 cents in a poll by Thomson
Reuters I/B/E/S and the lowest since the 5 cents
reported in the second quarter of 2012.
Apollo shares fell 3.5% to $22.58.
Distributable earnings, which show actual cash
available to pay dividends, fell to $342.7mn from
Assets under management were $163.9bn at the
end of September, down from $167.5bn at the end
MasterCard reported a better-than-expected 15.5%
jump in quarterly profit as a rise in global consumer
confidence encouraged its customers to use cards
to make purchases, sending its shares up 7%.
Consumer confidence in the third quarter improved
globally as concerns about the economy and job
prospects eased, according to a survey by global
information company Nielsen. US consumer confidence also rose in August to its highest level since
MasterCard’s cross-border volume fees rose 14% to
$835mn in the quarter.
Worldwide purchase volume, or the total amount of
purchases made with MasterCard-branded cards,
increased 11% to $843bn in local currency terms.
The company said US purchase volume rose 8.2%
MasterCard and Visa are also turning their attention
to mobile payments and have partnered with Apple
in the launch of Apple Pay, which allows iPhone
users to pay using their phones.
Chief executive Ajay Banga said on a conference
call that the company plans to use mobile-based
payments as a key tool of its cash displacement
MasterCard’s net income rose to $1.02bn, or 87¢
per share, in the third quarter ended September 30
from $879mn, or 73¢ per share, a year earlier.
Net revenue rose 12.8% to $2.5bn.
Analysts on average had expected earnings of
78¢ per share on revenue of $2.45bn, according to
Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Financial information and media group Thomson
Reuters said yesterday that its profits fell 15% from
a year ago following a major restructuring.
Profits in the third quarter fell to $231mn from
$271mn the same period a year ago.
Revenues meanwhile edged higher by 0.7% to
Last year, the company announced 5,500 job cuts,
mostly in the financial information unit that provides terminals for stock market professionals.
The company also includes the Reuters news
agency, whose revenues for the quarter were down
3.7% from last year at $79mn in the quarter.
Britain’s BT said it would not be drawn into a price
war with rivals such as BSkyB, as it offset slower
broadband growth in its second quarter with
customers paying more for superfast Internet connections and sports TV.
BT said yesterday that it had added 88,000 new
retail broadband customers in the quarter, 48% of
the net new additions to the market in Britain. That
was down from previous levels of growth, and BT
blamed competitive offers from rivals.
However, the group’s consumer business revenues
grew by 7%, with customers paying more on average as one in three broadband customers now took
the faster fibre product.
An ongoing programme of cost cuts and an easing
of investment levels in the sports service helped
the group to report core earnings up 1% and pretax
profit up 13% on an adjusted basis, both slightly
ahead of forecasts.
That was off revenue of 4.4bn pounds, down 2% on
a reported level but in line with forecasts.
The strong trading performance enabled the group
to reiterate its outlook and lift its interim dividend
by 15%, at the top end of its guidance range.
The world’s top insulin maker, Denmark’s Novo
Nordisk, reported yesterday a slight profit increase
in the third quarter as sales rose.
Novo Nordisk accounts for almost half of the global
insulin market, which has grown rapidly in recent
years following a rise in the number of people suffering from diabetes.
The World Health Organisation estimates that
the number of people with diabetes totals nearly
Net profit grew by 1.3% to 6.5bn kroner (€873mn,
$1.1bn) while revenue rose by 8.5% to 22.249bn
In local currencies, sales increased by 8.0% from
January to September, thanks to strong sales of
modern insulin and non-insulin compound Victoza.
“We are satisfied with the financial results for the
first nine months of 2014,” chief executive Lars
Rebien Soerensen said in a statement.
He added that the approval of insulin drug combination treatment Xultophy in Europe meant the
company expected to launch the product in the
first half of 2015.
Diabetes treatments represent 88% of Novo
Nordisk’s revenue, but the company also provides
haemophilia care, growth hormone therapy and
hormone replacement therapy.
French oil services group Technip yesterday
reported soaring sales even though weak petrol
prices have forced energy giants to be cautious
about future investments.
The engineering group, which provides engineering services to oil and gas giants such as Total, BP
or Shell, said sales rose 17.8% to €2.82bn.
Net profit slid to 12.3% to €131.6mn, but Technip
said it would maintain its full-year targets, citing its
The group is expecting 2014 sales of its underwater
activity to reach between €4.6 and €4.9bn, and its
onshore and offshore business revenues to reach
between €5.55 and €5.80bn.
In recent months the group has announced several
big contracts linked to underwater pipelines, and
also to the shale energy boom in North America.
Germany’s Lufthansa has lowered its profit guidance for 2015 for the second time this year due to a
stuttering global economy and increased competition, hitting its shares and sending shivers through
other airline stocks.
The airline’s chief executive also said he would
stand firm in a row with pilots over early retirement benefits and low-cost expansion, even after
eight walkouts by staff this year wiped €160mn off
Europe’s largest airline by revenue reported higher
than expected third-quarter results but said it
expected its 2015 operating profit to be only “significantly above” the €1bn ($1.3bn) seen for 2014,
compared with a previous forecast for €2bn.
Yields fell a currency-adjusted 3.9% in the latest
quarter, after a drop of 2.6% in the previous quarter,
and were especially under pressure in North
America and Asia.
Strikes by pilots and other staff this year have cost
Lufthansa around €170mn. Chief financial officer
Simone Menne said any further pilot strikes in
November and December could affect its 2014
Lufthansa’s third-quarter operating profit of
€735mn on sales of €8.46bn beat average analyst
forecasts of 709mn and €8.26bn in a Reuters poll.
Italian oil and gas group Eni kept to its full-year
production outlook yesterday after third-quarter
its overseas results. Operating profit in the second
quarter fell 39.2% to ¥24.9bn and net profit was
down 27.7% at ¥17.2bn, Fujitsu said, adding that the
higher results last year were partly due to one-time
gains. Fujitsu left its full-year outlook unchanged at
a net profit of ¥125bn on sales of ¥4.8tn.
Samsung reported its smallest quarterly profit in
nearly three years yesterday as its key smartphone
business faltered under competition from Apple’s
iPhone6 and Chinese handset makers in an increasingly saturated market.
Net profit for the South Korean electronics giant
amounted to 4.22tn won ($4bn) for July to September, marking a dramatic fall of 48.8% from a year
ago, and the lowest figure since the fourth quarter
Operating profit also dropped 60% from a year ago
to 4.06tn won, while sales tumbled about 20% to
47.4tn won, Samsung said in a statement.
The firm’s mobile phone unit reported operating
profit of 1.75tn won in the third quarter, a dramatic
decline from 6.7tn won a year ago.
Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal, one of the world’s
biggest steelmakers, said yesterday that its halfyear profit slipped 2.9%, as it pointed to still-high
production by Chinese mills.
The firm’s net profit in the April-September period
fell to ¥112.2bn ($1.0bn), saying its net profit a year
earlier was lifted by a one-time investment gain.
Sales rose 3.9% to ¥2.78tn, while its operating profit
fell 2.7% to ¥135.5bn, it added.
The company said it was on track for a net profit of
¥250bn on sales of ¥5.65tn for the full year through
It also kept unchanged an earlier pre-tax profit
forecast of ¥400bn, despite the impact of recent
explosions at a domestic plant.
Visa reported a better-than-expected adjusted
quarterly profit and said the mobile payment industry would be “a great driver” for business, sending
its shares up nearly 4% in extended trading.
On a constant dollar basis, Visa forecast 2015 revenue growth in the low double digits in percentage
terms. The company also announced a new $5bn
stock buyback program.
Cross-border transactions grew 10% on a constant
dollar basis in the fourth quarter. Payment volume
growth rose 11% to $1.2tn on the same basis.
On an adjusted basis, Visa’s net income rose 14%
to $1.4bn, or $2.18 per Class A share, for the quarter
ended Sept. 30. Total operating revenue rose 8.6%
Scandal-hit British bank Barclays revealed a huge
charge for probes into allegations it rigged foreignexchange market prices, cutting into quarterly
profits reported yesterday.
The bank has set aside £500mn, equivalent to
$800mn or €634mn, and this hit profits hard.
The announcement from Barclays — which was also
at the heart of the 2012 Libor interest-rate rigging
scandal — comes as global regulators investigate
the alleged rigging of foreign exchange markets
around the world.
Barclays added in its results statement that net
profit or earnings after taxation plunged 25% to
£379mn in the three months to September. That
compared with £511mn the same period of last year.
The performance was also weighed down by a
£364mn loss from the sale of its Spanish retail
Barclays, which has been plagued by scandals in
recent years, also set another £170mn aside for
compensation costs arising from the mis-selling of
payment protection insurance (PPI).
That took its total PPI mis-selling bill to more than
At the same time, Barclays also took a £461mn gain
related to its 2008 purchase of the US business of
failed US investment bank Lehman Brothers.
The bank added yesterday that adjusted pre-tax
profit — after stripping out charges and other
exceptional items — rose 15% to £1.59bn in the third
quarter. That beat expectations of about £1.21bn,
owing to lower-than-anticipated restructuring
Hyundai Heavy Industries
South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries
yesterday reported a record net loss in the third
quarter, reflecting delayed construction projects
and competition from Chinese rivals.
The company said its consolidated net loss for July
to September stood at 1.46tn won ($1.4bn) from
12.5bn won a year ago.
It also posted a record operating loss of 1.93tn won
in the third quarter, compared to a profit of 222.4bn
won a year earlier. Sales fell 5.6% to 12.4tn won.
The company attributed the loss mainly to large
provisions made against delayed projects. It promised to restructure its business or sell unprofitable
businesses to cut costs and improve profitability.
Fujitsu said yesterday its half-year net profit jumped
by nearly a third on rising IT investment among
Japanese firms, but a recent economic downturn
took a toll on results in July-September.
The sprawling IT conglomerate logged an AprilSeptember net profit of ¥24.1bn ($221mn), up 31.5%
year on year, while sales rose 1.9% to ¥2.19tn.
But more recent economic data have been lacklustre as April’s sales tax rise — Japan’s first in 17 years
— dampens consumption.
That impacted Fujitsu’s results in the second
quarter from July to September as revenue fell
2.4% to ¥1.12tn, although the weak yen supported
Japan IT firm NEC said yesterday it had swung back
to profitability in the six months to September, after
it exited from the smartphone market as part of a
broader restructuring. The firm posted a net profit
of ¥12.5bn ($114mn) in the April-September period,
reversing a ¥26.2bn loss a year earlier.
Operating profit ballooned to ¥21.5bn from a
year-earlier profit of ¥379mn, as the firm cut away
its money-losing smartphone unit and focused on
Sales were down 4.2% at ¥1.32tn, it added.
NEC left its earnings forecast unchanged for the full
year to March, expecting a net profit of ¥35bn on
sales of ¥3.0tn.
Alcatel-Lucent squeezed out more costs to improve
its gross profit margin to a better than expected
34%, its third quarter results showed yesterday, lifting its shares by more than 11% in early trade.
The company is still in the red with a net loss of
€18mn ($22.67mn), down from 200mn a year earlier, while sales declined 5.9% to €3.254bn, but the
margin improvement from 31.9% a year earlier was
better than the 32.2% analysts had expected.
The group said it had added €73mn of fixed cost
savings in the third quarter to bring total savings
to-date to 645mn — two thirds of its target under
a plan aimed at returning the business to positive
Cash flow in the period improved to minus €81mn
from minus 227mn a year earlier.
ConocoPhillips, the largest US independent oil and
gas company, yesterday reported higher thirdquarter profit from the sale of its Nigerian unit but
lowered its fourth-quarter production outlook,
sending shares down 1.4%.
Over the last several years, Conoco has shed lowermargin assets, directing more capital to projects
like shale drilling in the US that offer higher returns
and higher production growth.
Analysts at energy-focused investment bank Simmons & Co said it was important for Conoco, which
shed its refining operations in 2012, to meet its
Profit rose to $2.7bn, or $2.17 per share, from $2.5bn,
or $2per share, in the 2013 third quarter.
Excluding items such as the proceeds from the sale
of its Nigerian business in July and a tax benefit,
Conoco had a profit of $1.29 per share. Analysts,
on average, expected $1.20, according to Thomson
Reuters I/B/E/S. The proceeds from the Nigerian
sale were $1.4bn.
Even as crude prices have fallen more than 20%
in recent weeks on increased supply and waning
demand, Conoco’s chief executive officer expressed
optimism about next year.
Surmont is an oil sands project in Canada and
APLNG is a liquefied natural gas project in Australia.
Unconventional drilling refers to shale drilling.
ConocoPhillips had third-quarter oil and gas
production from continuing operations, excluding
Libya, of 1.473mn barrels oil equivalent per day
(boed), up 25,000 boed from a year ago.
For the fourth quarter, Conoco forecast production
from continuing operations rising to 1.545mn boed
to 1.575mn boed, excluding Libya. Previously, it
said it would produce as much as 1.590mn boed to
The production cut is due in part to third-party
infrastructure constraints in Malaysia and a
depressed market for the natural gas liquid (NGL)
ethane in the US, according to analysts at Wells
Bombardier, a Canadian plane and train maker, yesterday reported better-than-expected third-quarter
earnings as aircraft deliveries shot up nearly 60%.
The company said it delivered 71 aircraft in the
quarter, compared with 45 planes a year earlier.
Aerospace earnings before interest and taxes rose
to $137mn from $86mn, excluding special items.
Test flights continued for Bombardier’s closely
watched CSeries program, which takes a company
best known for business jets and turboprop planes
into the competitive commercial jet market. The
program has been plagued by delays and rising
costs, worrying investors.
Bombardier said it had cash and equivalents of
$1.9bn at September 30, down from $3.4bn a
year earlier. RBC Capital Markets analyst Walter
Spracklin said the company’s liquidity position was
The order came after Bombardier resumed CSeries
test flights in September, alleviating some uncertainty about the program. Flights had been halted
in May after an engine failed during a stationary
test. The CSeries is set to go into service in the
second half of 2015.
Revenue at Bombardier’s transportation business
rose 13% to $2.33bn. That helped total revenue
jump nearly 21% to $4.91bn, beating the average
analyst estimate of $4.81bn, according to Thomson
Quarterly profit dropped nearly 50% as the
company took a $120mn charge related to job cuts
announced in July. Net income fell to $74mn, or 3
cents per share, from $147mn, or 8¢ per share, a
Volkswagen’s third-quarter earnings jumped as
profit margins at its main passenger-car brand rose
for the first time in almost two years, adding to
record sales of luxury Audis and Porsches.
While sales at Audi and Porsche — which account
for two-thirds of group profit — have been rising all
year, they have been slowing at the carmaker’s VW
Profit margins have languished at the division,
which has high fixed costs and production issues
related to a new MQB modular platform. To boost
efficiency, VW in July announced a goal to cut costs
by €5bn per year.
However, in the third quarter the brand’s profitability increased for the first time since the final
three months of 2012, buoyed by a weakening euro
which boosted exports and a recovering European
Together with robust demand for Audis and
Porsches in Europe and China, this helped VW’s
third-quarter operating profit rise 16% to €3.23bn
($4.07bn). That beat the top-end forecast of
€3.09bn in a Reuters poll of analysts.
Third-quarter vehicle sales at Audi and Porsche,
which account for two thirds of VW group earnings
before interest and tax (EBIT), were up 7.2% and
25% respectively to 429,250 and 47,800 cars.
VW’s third-quarter group deliveries were up 4.1%,
at a record 2.43mn autos, with growth in China and
Europe offsetting declines in the Americas, keeping
VW on course to hit a 10mn car-sales target four
years early in 2014.
But the rapid expansion has led to a costly proliferation of models, especially at the core passenger-car
brand where profit margins have languished as
the top-selling Golf hatchback has expanded to 15
Friday, October 31, 2014
Over 350 participate in QFC’s 12th networking event
Qatar Financial Center (QFC), in partnership with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Qatar, has hosted the 12th networking event for business and financial professionals in Doha. Over 350 distinguished guests from across the business
and financial services communities in Qatar gathered to network and discuss business opportunities. Guests also had the opportunity to see the QFC’s refreshed logo and branding which projects the spirit of the QFC brand, “Facilitating Success.”
“Qatar’s success has gone hand-in-hand with rapid change and for almost a decade the QFC has also evolved, fulfilling its mandate to support business and the private sector. The business community has worked together very effectively to help
turn Qatar into an extraordinary success story and networking events like this are an important part of how we facilitate business success in Qatar,” QFC CEO Shashank Srivastava said. ICC Qatar represents the Qatar-based business community
in bilateral, regional and multilateral meetings for promoting trade expansion and business networking. “The networking events which the QFC has hosted over the years have been of immense value in the development of Qatar’s business
environment and we are delighted to be partnering with them,” according to Ali Abudulatif al-Misnad, ICC Qatar vice-chair. Picture shows al-Misnad speaking at the QFC-ICC Qatar networking event. Right: Srivastava addressing the crowd.
QIF: Qatar economy’s
By Pratap John
Chief Business Reporter
he long term prospects for the Qatari economy “remain compelling”
because of “massive” infrastructure spending totalling $182bn up to 2018
and “favourable” demographics, a new
report has shown.
“GDP growth from an expanding nonhydrocarbon sector and rising population should drive consumption spending,
creating opportunities in ﬁnancial services, transport, communications, and real
estate,” Qatar Investment Fund said in a
The banking sector should beneﬁt
from demand for project ﬁnancing and
consumer lending, it said. “Hence, the
investment adviser favours selected domestic banks, real estate and consumer
driven companies,” QIF said.
In the near term, growth prospects for
the Qatari economy and the Qatari market are expected to remain good because
of the near term infrastructure project
pipeline, expansionary budget announcements, moderate corporate earnings
growth and an attractive dividend yield,
the report said.
In its macroeconomic update, QIF
said Qatar’s economy continues to
grow, with GDP increasing 5.7% in Q2,
2014 compared to Q2, 2013, quoting
data from the Qatar Statistics Authority (QSA).
In Q2, 2014, GDP accelerated from a
downwardly revised 5.4% in the previous
quarter. Q2 growth was mainly driven by
double-digit expansion in the non-hydrocarbon sector.
Non-hydrocarbon sector GDP grew
11.3% in Q2, 2014 over Q2, 2013 due to de-
In the near term, growth prospects for the Qatari economy and the Qatari market are
expected to remain good because of the near-term infrastructure project pipeline,
expansionary budget announcements, moderate corporate earnings growth and an
attractive dividend yield, the Qatar Investment Fund report said.
mand in electricity, construction, trading,
hospitality and ﬁnancial sectors, and the
The hydrocarbon sector GDP contracted 2.2% during the same period,
because of lower oil production, some
major maintenance shutdowns in natural gas liquids (NGL) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants and the lower oil
Looking ahead Qatar’s GDP will be
driven by expansion of the non-hydrocarbon sector as demand for domestic
goods and services is expected to remain
Aamal 9-mth profit up
25% to QR296.6mn
Aamal Company has reported 25% rise in net
profit to QR296.6mn in the first nine months of
“This is the result of our success over many
years in managing and diversifying the
company to support and take full advantage
of Qatar’s rapid economic growth and
diversification,” Aamal Company chairman
Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani said.
Revenues were up 5% to QR1.61bn. “In 2014
Aamal has continued to achieve organic
growth and develop new business, a good
example being the recent announcement
about the formation of Aamal Optical
Supplies. And as Qatar’s infrastructure
investment programme gathers momentum,
we expect to see further growth in the
industrial manufacturing division,” Aamal
vice-chairman Sheikh Mohamed bin Faisal
Financial gearing (net debt to net debt plus
equity) stood at 7% at the end of nine-month
ended September 30, 2014.
The company’s fair value gains on investment
properties stood at QR33.3mn against
QR50.8mn in the same period of previous year.
According to the QNB Group, Qatar’s GDP growth in 2014 is expected to
be 6.8% accelerating to 7.5% in 2015 and
7.8% in 2016.
The non-hydrocarbon sector is estimated to grow by over 11% each year,
while the hydrocarbon sector growth is
expected to be around 1% between 2014
Population growth in Qatar remained
healthy, rising 6.9% at the end of September 2014 compared to December 2013.
The population is estimated to rise
by more than 10% in 2014 and by 7%
in 2015, encouraging for the domestic
consumer and services sectors. Qatar
Investment Fund plc’s net asset value
(NAV) per share increased 16 in the quarter that ended in September, with the
Qatar Exchange Index rising 19.5% over
According to QIF, its investment adviser remains positive on the Qatari banking sector, and is marginally overweight
compared to the QE Index, with a sector
weighting (including ﬁnancial services)
of 41% (down from 43.5% at the end of
June 2014) in the portfolio compared with
40.1% for the QE Index.
Qatar National Bank is QIF’s largest
banking sector holding (13.4% of NAV),
followed by Commercial Bank (9.1%).
According to Qatar Central Bank data
published at the end of August, overall banking sector assets in Qatar grew
4.2% so far in 2014, mainly driven by loan
growth of 5.9%.
The Investment Adviser believes that
the Qatari banking sector outlook remains robust, driven by the infrastructure
spending and population growth.
QIF’s second largest allocation, at 22%
(Q2, 2014: 16.7%), is to the industrial sector, notably Industries Qatar (13.7% of
During the quarter, the Investment
Adviser increased the industrials weighting by adding Gulf International Services
(4.2% of NAV) to the portfolio.
Real estate increased to 14.6% (Q2,
2014: 12.1%) of the fund, with telecoms
decreasing to 6.4% from 6.7%.
The allocation to the insurance sector
stood at 6.5%, (Q2, 2014: 6.3%) while the
transportation sector eased to 4.5% (Q2,
The services and consumer goods sector increased to a weighting of 2.6% from
2.3%, Qatar Investment Fund said.
Qatar’s trade surplus
shrinks 20% y-o-y to
QR26.27bn in Sept
By Santhosh V Perumal
double-digit plunge in
exports and a similar
in the imports led Qatar’s foreign trade surplus shrink 20%
year-on-year to QR26.27bn in
September, according to official
The Gulf country’s total exports (valued free-on-board)
plunged 13% to QR36.11bn with
shipments to Qatar’s major export destinations, especially
Asian countries, showing decline, the preliminary estimates of the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics
Total exports (valued
13% to QR36.11bn
with shipments to
Qatar’s major export
Asian countries, showing
decline, the preliminary
Japan continued to be the top
destination of Qatar’s exports,
followed by South Korea, India,
the UAE and China.
The country’s total exports
of domestic products fell 13%
to QR35.53bn in September,
dragged by lower shipments of
crude, non-crude and natural
gas; reﬂecting the pessimism in
the world energy markets and
oil touching a 15-month low.
The export of non-crude
tanked 26% to QR2.16bn, crude
by 20% to QR6.22bn and petroleum gases and other gaseous hydrocarbons by 12% to
Petroleum gases and other
gaseous hydrocarbons constituted 61.58% of total exports
of domestic products in September, 2014 against 60.62% a
year-ago period; crude petroleum oils 17.51% (18.98%), noncrude petroleum oils and bituminous minerals 6.08% (7.12%)
and other commodities 14.88%
On exports destinations, Japan accounted for 22% of total
exports in September, South
Korea 18%, India 15%, the UAE
7% and China 6%. Qatar’s exports to Japan shrank 32% to
QR8.03bn; South Korea by 15%
to QR6.33bn, China by 11% to
QR2.24bn and the UAE by 3%
to QR2.5bn; even as those to
India surged 39% to QR5.24bn.
Qatar’s re-exports fell 15%
to QR0.58bn during the review
period. Total imports (valued at
cost insurance and freight), on
the other hand, swelled 10.5%
year-on-year to QR9.84bn in
September as shipments, especially from the US and Germany were on the rise.
The US, China, Germany,
the UAE and Japan were among
the top ﬁve destinations from
where Qatar imported merchandise goods.
The US accounted for 14.5%
of Qatar’s imports in July,
2014, China (10.2%), Germany
(7.7%), the UAE (6.9%) and Japan (6.2%).
Qatar’s imports from the US
expanded 69% to QR1.42bn;
China by 17% to QR1.01bn;
Germany by 31% to QR0.76bn;
the UAE by 19% to QR0.68bn
and Japan by 15% to QR0.61bn.
Motor cars and vehicles (passenger and freight), electrical
apparatus for telephone were
mainly imported by Qatar in
The imports of motor cars
and other motor vehicles for
the transport of persons soared
8% to QR0.79bn; motor vehicles for the transport of goods
by 59% to QR0.22bn; electrical
apparatus by 12% to QR0.21bn
and other commodities by 10%
Turkey to challenge Thailand as medical tourism destination for Arabs
By Arno Maierbrugger
Gulf Times Correspondent
he buoyant tourism industry in Turkey
has made health officials think about
beneﬁtting from the surging international medical tourism business, especially
for wealthy health travellers from the Gulf
Cooperation Council (GCC).
While Thailand remains the world’s leading
destination for health tourists including those
from Arab countries, Turkey seems ambitious
enough to disrupt global medical tourism
streams for its own advantage.
According to the Turkish health ministry,
Turkey in the recent years has emerged as a
popular health tourism destination for visitors from the Middle East and Europe due to
“signiﬁcant improvements” in health services and technologies as well as due to its convenient geographical location for both target
groups. For example, the ﬂight time from
Doha to Istanbul is just above three hours,
while it takes seven hours to reach Bangkok.
Turkey seems ambitious enough
to disrupt global medical tourism
streams for its own advantage
Latest numbers from the World Tourism
Organisation show that out of roughly 35mn
tourists who visited Turkey in 2013, a new
record of 188,095 visitors came for surgical procedures such as hair transplants, liposuction, as well as cancer and orthopedic
treatment. In the ﬁrst six months of 2014,
the number already stood at 162,445 and
half-year revenues in the sector added up to
$328mn. More promotion is to be expected
when the next Istanbul Medical Tourism Fair
will be held in May 2015, and by the end of the
next year the number of health visitors should
reach 500,000, the ministry believes.
The number of tourists that visited Turkey
in 2013 from 15 Arab countries including the six
GCC nations increased by 9% compared to the
previous year and reached 3,265,190 people,
according to statistics from Turkey’s Ministry
of Culture and Tourism. A growing percentage
of those visitors came to Turkey for health purposes, says Cem Polatoglu, spokesman of the
platform of Turkish tour operators.
“I have heard that 7,000 Arab tourists came
to only one clinic in Istanbul to have hair implantation last year,” he notes.
Turkey’s health ministry hopes to reach the
$20bn mark in medical tourism revenue by
2023, and expects 15-20% annual growth in
the sector. It says that Turkey is now sixth in
the global ranking of medical tourism destinations as per visitor numbers behind Thailand, Mexico, the US, Singapore, India and
However, to reach Thailand’s numbers
Turkey will still have to make a great leap
forward. The Southeast Asian country welcomed 2.5mn health tourists in 2013, around
one third from the Middle East.
Cleared by those who were just coming for
spa or wellness treatment, the number was
still around 1.3mn travellers seeking surgery
and other medical procedures. But unrest in
Thailand and the subsequent military coup
earlier this year has taken its toll.
Private hospitals popular with foreigners such as Bangkok Hospital or Bumrungrad
Hospital saw a drop in medical tourist numbers in the double-digit percentage range so
far in 2014.
Local competition has been heating up
from Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines,
and for Arab travellers, well, from Turkey,
which can easily compete with Thai prices for
health services that used to rise signiﬁcantly
over the past years.
Two recent and widely reported cases of
malpractice by unlicensed beauty surgeons in
Bangkok that led to the demise of two foreign
patients aren’t helping the Thai health tourism sector either.
FOOTBALL | Page 2
BASEBALL | Page 8
City 2-0 in
Friday, October 31, 2014
Moharram 7, 1436 AH
DOHA 2019 BID
Doha has edge in race to host
World Championships: Dahlan
Qatari capital is competing with Spain’s Barcelona and Eugene of USA to host the prestigious event in 2019
QOC secretary-general HE Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, QAF president Dahlan al-Hamad, British running great Sebastian Coe, who is part of the visiting IAAF delegation, along with other officials and athletes at the Aspire Zone yesterday.
By Satya Rath
he 2017 IAAF World Championships bid, which Doha lost
out to London three years back,
was a lesson well learnt for Qatar. At least that’s what Dahlan al-Hamad, the president of Qatar Athletics
Federation (QAF), believes.
“We gave our best, but London’s bid
was better. We realized there were a few
grey areas in our presentation. Three
years is a big time. We are fully prepared
this time, we are conﬁdent we have the
best bid among all three candidate cities,” the QAF president said in an informal chat yesterday.
Doha is competing with two other
cities – Barcelona (Spain) and Eugene
(USA) – to bag the hosting rights of the
2019 World Championships. An IAAF
Evaluation Commission, headed by
IAAF vice-president Sebastian Coe, is
already in Doha to have a ﬁrst-hand feel
of the facilities. The commission has
completed the evaluation of the other
two candidate cities, with Doha being
its last stop. It will submit a report to
the IAAF executive council, which will
take a deciding call in Monaco on November 18.
Dahlan says he’s not underestimating the bids of the other two cities.
“Both Barcelona and Eugene are competent candidates, and we are sure they
must have carefully thought about their
presentations. But we think we have the
edge, as the IAAF believes in expanding
the reach of world athletics and spreading it to newer horizons, and the Middle
East has never hosted the World Championships,” he explains.
“Furthermore,” the QAF chief adds,
“we already have a successful track
record of hosting big events. We have
been hosting the opening meeting of
the IAAF’s Diamond League since its
inception. We hosted the Asian Games,
we have already hosted the World Indoor Championships (in 2010), and we
would be hosting the football World
Cup in 2022. We strongly believe we
have the best facilities and infrastructure to host an event of this magnitude.
We are certain we will make the IAAF,
and ourselves, feel proud by the class
and grandeur that we have planned for
Dahlan believes Doha’s bid would be
unique in many ways than the other
bids. “We have proposed to build an
Athletics City, where the athletes can
freely mingle with the public. We plan
to host a night marathon, which has
Qatari 400m sprinter Mariam Farid (left) with high-jumer Mutaz Essa Barshim.
never happened before at the World
Championships. We would have a 100
metre long giant LCD screen for spectators for the 100m sprint. These are
just some of the unique things in our
bid document. We can conﬁdently
state that given a chance, we shall make
Doha 2019 the best World Champion-
ships ever,” he asserted.
High jump icon Mutaz Essa Barshim,
who is one of the ambassadors for Qatar’s bid, too believes it’s high time his
gets a chance to host world athletics’
“A World Championships medal
is always special, but very few get a
chance to win it at home, before your
home crowd,” said the 23-year-old. “I
strongly feel Doha is a deserving candidate to host this event. Winning a medal at Doha 2019 would be the highlight
of my career – standing on the podium,
watching the Qatari ﬂag being raised
and hearing the national anthem would
be a memory to treasure for life. We
need to connect athletics to this part of
the world and to inspire young people
across the region by live athletics, so I
am very hopeful that Doha would win
the bid this time. It would be a proud
moment not just for Qatar, but for the
entire Middle East region.”
Women’s 400m runner and hurdler Mariam Farid harbours a similar
dream too. She has already set her sight
on winning glory for Qatar at the 2019
Championships, and feels it would be
the best possible inspiration for female
“It is very important for us to host
the World Championships. It would a
big boost for female athletes, not just
in Qatar but for the entire Middle East
region. Not many girls choose athletics
as a career in this part of the world, and
I am sure hosting the event would prove
to a big inspiration and impetus for
more and more girls to take to sports.
“For me specially, it would mean a
lot much to win a World Championships medal in front of my home crowd.
I would be 21 by then, and am conﬁdent
that if I keep training hard, I can make
my country proud,” Mariam said.
Russian hurdler Sergey Shubenkov,
who is one among numerous top athletes supporting Doha’s bid, says his
impression about Qatar changed after
he competed at the Diamond League in
Doha. “I have never been to Barcelona,
but I have been to Eugene. And I can
honestly say that the facilities at Doha
are superior. The Diamond League
meeting here is one of the best organized events I have ever attended. The
Aspire Zone, I strongly feel, is a one of
its kind facility in the world. The venues, for whatever little I have seen so
far, are world class. So yes, I do believe
Doha has what is required to host the
World Championships,” Shubenkov -who won the 110m hurdles bronze at
the Moscow Worlds last year, his country’s ﬁrst ever World Championship
medal in hurdles – said.
The IAAF Evaluation Commission is
scheduled to tour some more venues
and facilities today and watch a presentation by the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) and the QAF before concluding their two-day visit.
IAAF delegation concludes first day of Doha visit
By Sports Reporter
he IAAF Evaluation Commission for the 2019
World Championships of Athletics, chaired by
IAAF vice-president Sebastian Coe, was welcomed to Doha yesterday by secretary general of
Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC), HE Sheikh Saoud bin
Abdulrahman al-Thani, and president of Qatar Athletics
Federation (QAF), Dahlan al-Hamad, on the ﬁrst day of
their two-day visit.
The ﬁrst day of the Commission’s visit saw extensive
presentations by the Doha 2019 Bid Committee and by
the Bid’s partners, including the Aspire Zone at Khalifa
International Stadium and by Msheireb Properties at
their Enrichment Center on Doha’s pristine Corniche.
There the Commission learnt more about Doha’s plans
to revolutionise the traditional concept of an Athletes’
Village by offering the ﬁrst ever ‘Athletics City’.
Speaking on the arrival of the Evaluation Commission,
the QAF president said: “It is an honour to welcome the
IAAF Evaluation Commission on their inspection tour
of Doha and we hope to demonstrate Doha’s true character as a sporting hub for the region and the world. We
are committed to continuing our work with the IAAF to
develop athletics and ensure a lasting legacy from the
World Championships for generations to come.”
The Evaluation Commission was hosted by Ali Saeid
al-Fhaida, acting director of Aspire Logistics, a member organization of the Aspire Zone Foundation, during which the Commission went on an extensive tour
of the Aspire Zone’s facilities that would be utilized for
the World Championships. These facilities have played
host to several international sports events, including
the Asian Games in 2006, the 2010 IAAF World Indoor
Championships and the 2011 Arab Games, showing Doha’s experience of hosting world-class events.
The highlight of the tour was a visit to the Aspire Zone’s
centre piece, the Khalifa International Stadium – which is
currently under renovation to make it the most state-ofthe-art purpose-built athletics stadium in the world.
At the warm-up area, the Evaluation Commission
were greeted by members of the Qatar National athletics
team, including Qatari star high-jumper and Olympic
medalist Mutaz Barshim, and rising stars Mariam Farid
and Dalal al-Ajmi, who were taking part in an athletics
master class with Russian hurdler and Doha 2019 ambassador, Sergey Shubenkov – who is one of a host of the
world’s greatest international athletes who are supporting Doha 2019, including shot put legend Valerie Adams,
Canadian Commonwealth high jump champion Derek
Drouin, and Bahamian sprinting hero Chris Brown.
Hosting the World Championships in Doha will be a
ﬁrst for the Middle East and will present an unparalleled
opportunity to connect the world of athletics to a new
generation of future athletes and fans.
Friday, October 31, 2014
holders Man City
Newcastle United’s Moussa Sissoko (third right) celebrates his goal against Manchester City with teammates during their English League Cup match in Manchester. (Reuters)
ewcastle United visited fresh
misery upon faltering Manchester City with an impressive 2-0
win at the Etihad Stadium on
Wednesday that dumped the holders out
of the League Cup.
Teenage forward Rolando Aarons put
Alan Pardew’s side ahead in the sixth
minute and substitute Moussa Sissoko
added a superb solo goal 14 minutes from
time to send Newcastle into the quarterﬁnals. “It’s a marvellous performance
from Newcastle tonight. Everything we
wanted and tried to get from the game
came off,” said Pardew, whose side will
visit Tottenham Hotspur in the last eight.
Premier League champions City, who
saw midﬁelder David Silva forced off by
injury, have now gone three games without victory in all competitions ahead of
Sunday’s derby with Manchester United.
“We didn’t play well enough,” City
manager Manuel Pellegrini told Sky
Sports. “We conceded two easy goals and
didn’t take our chances to score.”
Ryan Taylor was making his ﬁrst Newcastle appearance since August 2012 after
a long-term knee problem and he quickly
made an impact.
Taylor robbed Fernandinho in midﬁeld,
which freed 18-year-old Aarons to run
through and slot the ball between Willy
Caballero’s legs from a narrow angle on
the right. City received a further blow
three minutes later when Silva was forced
off after injuring his left knee in an early
tangle with Taylor.
Pellegrini said that Silva’s knee injury
would be assessed, but played down the
extent of a groin problem that saw Yaya
Toure leave the fray during the second
half, saying it was “nothing important”.
Silva’s replacement, the ﬁt-again Samir
Nasri, teed up Stevan Jovetic for a volley
that Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot had to
parry and visiting captain Fabricio Coloccini then sliced the ball against his own post.
But Newcastle ﬁnished the ﬁrst half
strongly, with Paul Dummett testing Caballero from a corner and Adam Armstrong sliding the ball narrowly wide from
Daryl Janmaat’s right-wing cross.
(Aarons 6, Sissoko 76)
(Nzonzi 49, Diouf 82)
(Pelle 6, 88, Long 30)
(Lamela 54, Kane 74)
Brighton and Hove Albion
As Newcastle continued to press, with
City left-back Aleksandar Kolarov fortunate not to concede a penalty for felling
Gabriel Obertan, Pellegrini sent on Jesus
Navas and Sergio Aguero.
But it was a Newcastle substitute who
delivered the killer blow, with Sissoko
skilfully dragging the ball away from Fernandinho and then bursting past Bacary
Sagna before coolly stabbing home.
Taylor completed a memorable return
by blocking on the line from Edin Dzeko
in the 85th minute, as Newcastle secured
a ﬁrst ever win at the Etihad and sent the
‘Everything we wanted and tried to get from the game came off ’
Man City form
holders crashing out.
“It was a fairytale,” said Taylor. “It was a
dream which all came true.”
Elsewhere, Graziano Pelle took his tally
for the season to nine goals as in-form
Southampton survived a late Stoke City rally
to win 3-2 at the Britannia Stadium and set
up a trip to third-tier Sheffield United.
The Italian curled Southampton ahead
from 25 yards in the sixth minute and
Shane Long made it 2-0, only for Steven
Nzonzi to bring Stoke back into the game
before Mame Biram Diouf headed in an
But after former Southampton player
Peter Crouch had been sent off for a second
bookable offence, Pelle swept home from
the ensuing free-kick in the 88th minute to
put Ronald Koeman’s side in the last eight.
In the evening’s other game, second-half
goals from Erik Lamela and Harry Kane gave
Tottenham a 2-0 victory at home to secondtier Brighton and Hove Albion.
Liverpool, who edged Swansea City
2-1 on Tuesday, will visit second-tier
Bournemouth in the quarter-ﬁnals, while
Chelsea were handed a trip to another
Championship side, Derby County.
Pellegrini has admitted he is “worried” about his side’s form after they were knocked out of
the League Cup by Newcastle
The holders fell to a 2-0
defeat at the Etihad Stadium
on Wednesday and have now
gone three games without a
win ahead of Sunday’s derby at
home to Manchester United in
the Premier League.
To compound matters, inﬂuential midﬁelder David Silva
was forced off by an early knee
injury, and Pellegrini conceded after the game that he has
problems on his hands.
“Of course we must be worried—we didn’t win the three
games we played this week,”
said the Chilean, whose team
have also made a slow start in
the Champions League.
“We must be worried about
that, but we must ﬁnd a solution and we must address it.
We will see with the players
which is the way to try and recover that conﬁdence because
it’s not normal to see this team
playing the way we are now.”
He added: “My feeling is
that we are not playing well.
We are in a difficult moment
with a lack of trust.
“We are conceding too
(many) easy goals and we are
not scoring the chances we
have to score. That’s the feeling at this moment.
“It’s a lack of conﬁdence
that we must address as soon
as possible because we need to
continue to be involved in the
Silva’s injury was due to be
Bayern cruise past Hamburg into third round
Magdeburg 2 Bayer
Leverkusen won 5-4 on
Wurzburger Kickers 0
1860 Munich 2 SC Freiburg 5
Leipzig 3 Erzgebirge Aue 1
Hamburg 1 Bayern Munich 3
Hoffenheim 5 FSV Frankfurt 1
Wolfsburg 4 Heidenheim 1
Eintracht Frankfurt 1 Borussia
olders Bayern Munich
eased into the German
Cup third round with
a comfortable 3-1 win
at Hamburg SV on Wednesday
to continue their unbeaten domestic run as they prepare for
tomorrow’s league clash against
The league leaders, who also
take on Roma in the Champions
League next week, got off to a
dream start with forward Robert
Lewandowski ﬁring in on the rebound after a Heiko Westermann
mistake had set up the hosts’
lead in the seventh minute.
Bayern, undefeated in the
league as well as the Champions
League so far, then struck just
before the break after an earlier
effort had been ruled off side.
Austria international David
Alaba found space outside the
box and riﬂed in a long range
effort that took keeper Jaroslav Drobny by surprise on the
stroke of halftime.
Franck Ribery, back in the
starting lineup after a lengthy
injury break, killed off any lingering comeback hopes from
Hamburg, seeing his deﬂected
Bayern Munich’s David Alaba (left) celebrates after scoring against Hamburg SV on Wednesday. (EPA)
shot beat Drobny in the 55th.
Ribery also had a close encounter with a Hamburg fan
who stormed the pitch in stoppage time, slapping the Frenchman with a Hamburg scarf and
making an obscene gesture.
“I did not see him coming but
it’s ok,” said a smiling Ribery. “It
was important for me to play
again after being injured. But
it was more important for us to
win and advance.”
Hamburg managed a late
Pierre-Michel Lasogga with a
header at the far post after a deft
chip from Raffael Van der Vaart.
Fellow Champions League
club Bayer Leverkusen had a
far more adventurous evening
after needing penalties to
edge past fourth division club
What had looked like an easy
task with in-form Hakan Calhanoglu putting Leverkusen
ahead after only three minutes,
turned out to be a thriller with
the hosts levelling and taking
the lead in extra time.
Leverkusen, who had South
assessed on Thursday, but Pellegrini played down the extent
of a groin problem that saw
Yaya Toure substituted as a
precaution during the second
“We will see with the doctor,” Pellegrini said of Silva.
“I can’t tell you now exactly
at this moment. David has a
problem in his knee. I don’t
know how serious it is.
“Yaya was a little bit tired
with his groin so I didn’t want
to risk him.”
Newcastle manager Alan
Pardew, whose side will visit
Tottenham Hotspur in the last
eight, paid tribute to Ryan Taylor, who made an impressive
return to action after over two
years on the sidelines.
utility player had not played
since August 2012 due to serious knee problems, but he set
up Rolando Aarons’s sixthminute opener and foiled City
striker Edin Dzeko with a late
“Our staff have been very
impressed with his conduct.
He is a beacon of light in professional football,” Pardew
said. “We are delighted we
have been able to give him a
platform, but he had 10 good
players around him and we
couldn’t have asked for more.”
Manuel Pellegrini. (AFP)
“Of course we must be
worried—we didn’t win
the three games we
played this week. We
must be worried about
that, but we must find a
solution and we must
address it. We will see
with the players which
is the way to try and
recover that confidence
because it’s not normal to
see this team playing the
way we are now”
Korean Son Heung-min sent
off with a straight red card for
a foul, needed a 116th minute
equaliser through Kyriakos Papadopoulos to take the game to
penalties where they kept their
cool with keeper Bernd Leno
saving three penalties.
In an all-Bundesliga clash,
beat Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1
while Hoffenheim crushed second tier FSV Frankfurt 5-1 with
two goals from Brazilian Roberto Firmino.
Dortmund, last season’s finalists, have already booked
their spot in the next round
after beating St Pauli 3-0 on
Munich: Bayern Munich’s
France winger Franck Ribery
has accepted Hamburg’s
apology after one of their
fans hit him in the face with
a scarf during the Bavarians’
German Cup win. Ribery
scored for title-holders Bayern
in Wednesday’s 3-1 win at
Hamburg in the second round
of the German Cup. But Ribery
was insulted in added time
when a fan stormed on to the
Imtech Arena pitch, hit the
France star in the face with his
Hamburg scarf and showed
him the middle finger of both
hands before security guards
“That shouldn’t have happened, but it’s not so bad,” the
Frenchman told Sky Sports,
having started the match after
recovering from a knee injury
which hampered the start of
his season. “It’s always forgotten after the game. I don’t
know what that was all about.
It wasn’t an easy game for me,
I got kicked a lot.”
Hamburg apologised to
Ribery on Twitter. “Dear FC
Bayern, dear Franck Ribery, we
apologise for the scenes just
before the end of the game,
that is not Hamburg!”
Friday, October 31, 2014
Record scorer Rooney
set for derby return
United captain Rooney, who missed last three matches, hopes to recover from a minor foot injury
Wayne Rooney (second left) tops the all-time goalscoring list for Manchester derbies having netted 11 in 22 games for United.
anchester United are likely
to welcome back captain
Wayne Rooney from suspension for their visit to
Premier League champions Manchester City on Sunday, hoping the striker
can add to his record scoring tally in
Rooney, who missed three matches
because of a red card last month and
hopes to recover from a minor foot
injury picked up in training, tops the
all-time goalscoring list for Manchester derbies having netted 11 in 22 games
The return of the England striker
will add a further spring to manager
Louis van Gaal’s step, after United
snatched a 1-1 home draw with league
leaders Chelsea last week thanks to
Robin van Persie’s stoppage-time goal.
“It’s a massive boost for us to have
him back,” United defender Luke Shaw
told British media this week. “It’s
something I think he’s looking forward
to. Wayne hates sitting on the sidelines
The 20-times English champions,
after a dreadful campaign last term under David Moyes, have endured a torrid
time away from home so far this season
and are six games without a win on the
road in the league, their worst run for
Van Gaal and some of his new-look
team will be experiencing a Manchester derby for the ﬁrst time but Shaw, a
close-season signing from Southampton, is sure the recent arrivals understand the ﬁerce rivalry.
“It’s pretty obvious what this match
means to the fans and the club,” the
19-year-old said. “I don’t think I need
to be told about it and the others (new
signings) will be aware too.
“It’s a massive occasion for everyone
involved in it. We need to come out ﬁring on Sunday.”
Joyous memorial for slain
South African captain
Johannesburg: Thousands of
South Africans jammed into a
Johannesburg sports stadium
yesterday to celebrate the
life of South African football
captain Senzo Meyiwa, whose
murder during a robbery has
stunned the nation.
Decked in the colours of the
national team, of Meyiwa’s club
the Orlando Pirates and rival
clubs, fans rubbed shoulders
with government ministers and
sporting luminaries to mark
the loss of their 27-year-old
In the stands they chanted,
danced and sang; “Senzo
Meyiwa, akekho ofana naye”—
there is no-one like him—reprising anti-apartheid struggle
songs in Meyiwa’s name. “Love
is stronger than death” a pastor
told the crowd, before a rousing
version of the national anthem.
Meyiwa was shot dead last
Sunday when burglars broke
into his pop-star girlfriend’s
home some 30 kilometres (20
miles) south of Johannesburg,
before making off with a cell
More than 17,000 people
were killed in South Africa last
year, but the slaying of a popular sporting hero has stunned
even this crime-weary nation.
“It is just very sad today,”
said Springbok rugby captain
Jean De Villiers, who was
present at the memorial, which
also remembered the lives of
two other recently fallen sporting heros.
Phindile Mwelase, a female
boxer, died after spending two
weeks in a coma following a
bout and world 800-metre
champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi
died in a car crash a week ago.
the ex-wife of late president
Nelson Mandela, also attended
Yesterday, police denied that
they had arrested two people in
connection with Meyiwa’s killing, but a manhunt continues.
According to public broadcaster SABC on Wednesday,
two men were being held for
questioning after they were arrested in Nongoma, in the eastern KwaZulu Natal province.
But police spokesman
brigadier Neville Melila told
AFP: “There is no arrest, (the)
investigation continues, we
have spoken to witnesses, so
we are investigating. We are
working through evidence.”
SABC said the suspects had
been picked up following a tipoff by members of the public.
United’s indifferent away form has
been costly, with the team eighth in
the table on 13 points, 10 adrift of Jose
Mourinho’s Chelsea at the summit.
City have suffered their own stuttering start to their title defence and a
2-1 defeat at in-form West Ham United last weekend left them third on 17
Boss Manuel Pellegrini is not concerned by the champions’ form and
pointed out they are in a better position
than they were this time last season.
He was also unmoved by Rooney’s
United return. “I think Rooney is a
very important player for Manchester
United but I think that big teams never
depend on one player,” he said.
Following their draw at Old Trafford, Chelsea will be looking to steal a
march on their Manchester rivals when
they host their own local adversaries
Queens Park Rangers tomorrow.
In scintillating form since the start
of the season, Mourinho’s men have
dropped only four points in their open-
ing nine games, conceding late goals to
draw at both City and United, and have
a four-point lead at the top of the table.
They are likely to have Diego Costa
available again after he missed the
trip to Old Trafford due to a hamstring
problem and the Spain striker will be
looking to add to the nine league goals
he has scored in seven appearances this
QPR climbed off the foot of the table
with a 2-0 home win against beleaguered Aston Villa on Monday but with
all of their seven points this season
coming at Loftus Road, their hopes of
a surprise result at Chelsea will be slim.
With the loss to Harry Redknapp’s
side, Villa extended their run of ﬁve
straight league defeats without scoring
Paul Lambert will hope his side
can score their first in over eight
hours of football to reignite the early season form that saw them reach
second in the league when they host
Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, who
are enduring their own slump.
Second-placed Southampton look
to continue to dumbfound their preseason critics when they travel on
tomorrow to Hull City, who proved a
stern test for Liverpool in a goalless
draw at Anﬁeld last weekend.
Another team exceeding all expectations, fourth-placed West Ham, follow
their victory at home to the champions
with a very different test at mid-table
A late Mario Balotelli-inspired
comeback helped Liverpool book their
place in the League Cup quarter-ﬁnal
with a 2-1 home win against Swansea
City on Tuesday, and the Italy striker
will target a ﬁrst league goal for the
Reds when they visit Newcastle United
England winger Theo Walcott could
make his ﬁrst appearance for Arsenal
after 10 months out with injury to heap
more misery on bottom club Burnley,
who visit the Emirates Stadium having
garnered only four points this season.
London: One man’s loss is another’s gain, according to Liverpool
manager Brendan Rodgers, who
could throw outcast forward
Fabio Borini into the fray against
Newcastle United tomorrow in
the continued absence of leading striker Daniel Sturridge.
Italian forward Borini has
found first-team chances few
and far between at Anfield since
signing from AS Roma in 2012
and was sent out on loan to
Sunderland last season.
He was deemed surplus to
requirements on his return to
Liverpool, who accepted bids for
the player from both Sunderland
and Queens Park Rangers.
The Italian, however, shunned
the opportunity of a fresh start
at a new club, where his chances
of first-team football would have
been greatly improved.
After making only one Premier
League start in nine games this
season, the 23-year-old’s chance
to shine in a Liverpool shirt came
in their 2-1 League Cup victory
over Swansea City on Tuesday
and Rodgers hailed his impact
ahead of his side’s trip to 14thplaced Newcastle.
“Daniel Sturridge being out
has been a big miss for us, but
sometimes it can give opportunities to others,” Rodgers told a
“The other night, Fabio Borini
was outstanding. He made a perfect cross at the end and worked
hard and was lively all night.”
With the misfiring Mario
Balotelli finally breaking his sixweek scoring drought against
Swansea, Rodgers was forced to
defend Liverpool’s other faltering forwards.
Serbia winger Lazar Markovic
has struggled at Anfield since
signing from Benfica for 20
million pounds ($32.02 million),
while Rickie Lambert has looked
lost in front of goal after joining
“We brought young Markovic
in for the longer term,” Rodgers
said. “We have confidence he will
become a big player for us.
“Rickie Lambert hasn’t had
many opportunities. Goals will
come. He has worked tirelessly
who have 14 points from nine
matches, travel to a Newcastle
side buoyed by their League Cup
victory over Manchester City on
Wednesday and Rodgers praised
the club for sticking by underfire
boss Alan Pardew.
Real begin King’s Cup defence with win
aphael Varane converted two
corners as a second-string Real
Madrid began the defence of
their King’s Cup crown with a
4-1 victory against third-tier part-timers Cornella on Wednesday.
The last-32, ﬁrst leg pitted the world’s
richest club by income, with annual
revenues of more than 600 million euros ($758 million), against a club with a
budget of around 1 million euros a season, who were promoted to Spain’s regional Segunda B for the ﬁrst time at the
end of last term.
Despite the glaring mismatch, Barcelona-based Cornella, whose players include a dentist and a school teacher, were
not overawed by the occasion and after
Varane nodded Real in front from a James
Rodriguez corner in the 10th minute,
burly striker Oscar Munoz levelled in the
20th with a ﬁerce strike.
France centre back Varane made
it 2-1 from Isco’s corner in the 36th
minute and Javier Hernandez struck
eight minutes into the second half before substitute Marcelo rifled home the
rebound from an Isco effort 15 minutes
“It was important to get a good win in
this ﬁrst leg,” Hernandez said in an inter-
Real Madrid’s French defender Raphael Varane (right) scores a goal against Cornella
during the Spanish King’s Cup match in Cornella-El Prat near Barcelona. (AFP)
view with Spanish television broadcaster
“With all our opponents the coach
asks us to be professional and we treated
this game in exactly the same way as we
would a ‘Clasico’ (against Barcelona),”
added the Mexican, who is on loan at Real
from Manchester United.
Cornella play their home games at the
club’s modest 1,500-capacity stadium
but Wednesday’s match was relocated to
Espanyol’s 41,000-seater arena next door.
The stadium was at least half full,
with plenty of Barcelona-based Real fans
turning out to see their team despite the
absence of regulars like Cristiano Ronaldo, the injured Gareth Bale and Iker
Spanish media reported the Cornella
players had been promised a bonus of
around 1,400 euros if they achieve the
feat of eliminating Real, less than Ronaldo earns in a single hour.
“We had to make the most of the fact
that we were playing in front of so many
people for the ﬁrst time,” Munoz told
Canal Plus. “I was very pleased with the
goal but in the end their quality counted
and we let in four,” he added.
Real are on course to meet city rivals
Atletico Madrid in the last 16, with Barca
the probable opponents in the quarterﬁnals.
All but two of the last-32, ﬁrst legs take
place at the beginning of December, but
Real’s has been brought forward because
of the European champions’ participation in the Club World Cup in mid-December.
Due to the disruption to the La Liga
calendar caused by the tournament in
Morocco, Sevilla also had their ﬁrst leg
brought forward and they thrashed second-division Sabadell 6-1.
Iago Aspas, who is on loan at the Andalusian club from Liverpool, netted a
hat-trick and former Arsenal winger Jose
Antonio Reyes scored a long-range stunner as Sevilla all-but assured themselves
of a place in the last 16.
The return legs are at the beginning
of December, when the Cornella players
will fulﬁl their dream of playing in one
of the world’s great soccer venues, Real’s
Friday, October 31, 2014
Roma level at top
as Juventus beaten
‘You can’t concede in the last 30 seconds like this’
n injury-time goal from Genoa
midﬁelder Luca Antonini handed
Juventus their ﬁrst defeat of the
season Wednesday while a 2-0
win for Roma allowed the title challengers
to pull level at the top of Italy’s Serie A.
Udinese’s 3-0 defeat at Fiorentina allowed AC Milan, held 1-1 at Cagliari, to
move three places up to third with Sampdoria still in fourth despite suffering a
last-gasp 1-0 defeat at Inter Milan.
Both AC Milan and Sampdoria are six
points off the leaders’ pace, with Udinese
dropping to ﬁfth, also on 16 points and one
ahead of Lazio, who face Verona.
Gonzalo Higuain should have handed
Napoli all three points in the dying minutes away to Atalanta but the Argentinian
striker saw his spot-kick saved by Marco
Napoli remain seventh and are now seven points adrift of Juventus and Roma.
Juventus had moved clear of Roma last
weekend after Rudi Garcia’s men were held
to a scoreless draw away to Sampdoria but
were frustrated at the Luigi Ferraris stadium where goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon
was making his 500th appearance in a Bianconeri jersey.
Juve spurned several chances, notably
when Angelo Ogbonna’s toe-poke hit the
crossbar, and then home goalkeeper Matia Perin pulled off a superb one-handed
save from Alvaro Morata at the death after
he had replaced fellow Spaniard Fernando
Llorente on 65 minutes.
The match looked to be heading for a
draw until Antonini stunned Massimiliano
Allegri’s men by bundling a cross from the
left past Buffon after being left unmarked
in front of goal. “You can’t concede in the
last 30 seconds like this,” Allegri told Sky
Sport. “We should have come away with
the minimum of a draw. But we will take
stock of this result and learn from it.”
It was Juve’s ﬁrst league defeat in injury
time since a reverse to Roma in 2010, and
gave Garcia’s men a huge boost as they
dominated Cesena at the Stadio Olimpico.
Genoa coach Gian Piero Gasperini admitted: “It’s one of the most beautiful days
of my career. Juventus have lost very rarely
in the past few seasons so big compliments
to the lads.”
Lukasz Skorupski replaced Morgan De
Sanctis in goal for Roma and Seydou Keita
returned to the midﬁeld while Ashley Cole
was brought in at left-back following a
spell on the sidelines due to a dismal display in the 7-1 drubbing by Bayern Munich.
Mattia Destro replaced captain Francesco Totti and gave Roma the lead with an
easy tap-in from Gervinho’s inch-perfect
pass inside 10 minutes.
Destro had the ball in the net on 28 minutes when he ﬁred a powerful header past
Federico Agliardi, but was a fraction offside when he started his run to meet Miralem Pjanic’s free-kick from the left.
Agliardi had to react quickly to keep
Alessandro Florenzi’s corner from swerving into the net in the ﬁnal 10 minutes, but
from the resultant corner the ‘keeper was
ﬁnally beaten a second time.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa had replaced Davide Astori on 54 minutes and did well to
keep the ball in play at the byline for Daniele De Rossi to bundle a volley home from
In Bergamo, Napoli were stunned 13
minutes into the second half when German Denis ran in unhindered between
Christian Maggio and Raul Albiol to nod
Cristian Raimondi’s cross past Rafael.
Napoli should have levelled two minutes later but Jose Callejon somehow skied
Faouzi Ghoulam’s cross despite being less
than a metre from goal.
Atalanta suffered a blow late on when
Luca Cigarini saw red for a second bookable offence, and Napoli capitalised soon
after when Higuain spun on Lorenzo Insigne’s pass into the area to beat Sportiello
Napoli won a penalty in the dying minutes after Guglielmo Stendardo’s foul on
Cristian Zapata, but Sportiello did well to
keep out Higuain’s effort from 12 yards.
igeria look like avoiding a FIFA suspension after a court case
involving a battle
for the leadership of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF)
was withdrawn from the High
Dropping the case paves
the way for FIFA-backed NFF
president Amaju Pinnick and
his executive to resume their
duties after they had been
ousted from office by an interim ruling last Thursday by
Justice Ambrose Allagoa, who
placed Chris Giwa in charge.
Judge Allagoa ruled that the
elective congress that brought
Pinnick to power on Sept. 30
was invalid but that ruling is
no longer being supported by
Giwa and is being dropped.
There was also some conjecture that Stephen Keshi, who
left his job as national team
coach earlier this month could
return. Keshi, who led Nigeria
to the African Nations Cup title in 2013, has left his job but
the country’s president Goodluck Jonathan is a big fan of
Keshi and Nigeria media say he
would be delighted if the charismatic “Big Boss” returned.
FIFA wrote to the NFF on
Tuesday and placed a deadline
of mid-day on Friday (Oct 31)
for the court to strike the matter off the roll and for Giwa to
Giwa asked for the matter to
be withdrawn yesterday fol-
third in Italy’s top ﬂight.
Colombian Victor Ibarbo gave the Sardinians a 24th minute lead on Wednesday
when he bravely headed a cross past onrushing goalkeeper Christian Abbiati on
the edge of the Milan box.
The Rossoneri levelled barely 10 minutes later when Bonaventura’s looping
drive from outside the area on the right
ﬂank beat Alessio Cragno in the hosts’ net.
It was to prove a bittersweet night for
the former Atalanta player, who spent the
night in hospital under observation after
being kicked in the head later in the match.
But he admitted: “I tried to play a ball
into the box for the forwards and it ﬂew in.
“These kinds of things happen in
games. The ‘keeper was off his line but I
really crossed it in for the strikers.”
Spanish striker Raul played for Qatari side
Al Sadd for two years. (AFP)
Champions League semi-ﬁnals before departing for Qatari side Al Sadd in 2012.
Raul, whose 71 Champions League goals
came in 144 appearances, also scored 44
goals in 102 games over a decade with the
Spanish national squad.
MILAN WONDER STRIKE WAS A
FLUKE, SAYS BONAVENTURA
AC Milan midﬁelder Giacomo Bonaventura admitted his wonder-strike that earned
a share of the points away to Cagliari was
a ﬂuke as the Serie A giants crawled up to
CELTIC’S TONEV GIVEN 7-MATCH
BAN FOR RACIST ABUSE
Celtic winger Aleksandar Tonev was hit
with a seven-match suspension yesterda
after the Scottish Football Association
found him guilty of racial abuse.
Tonev, on loan from Aston Villa, had
been charged by the SFA following an incident involving Aberdeen defender Shay
Logan during a Scottish Premiership
match last month.
The Bulgarian was ordered to appear
before the SFA’s judicial panel, which
ruled he had committed “excessive misconduct by the use of offensive, insulting
and abusive language of a racist nature”.
However, Scottish champions Celtic insist they are backing their player’s claims
of innocence and plan to appeal.
A club spokesperson said: “Racism has
no place in football and as a club for all
people, Celtic absolutely abhors racism
of any kind. “We conﬁrm that Aleksandar
will be appealing this decision.”
Dropping the case paves
the way for FIFA-backed
NFF president Amaju
Pinnick and his executive
to resume their duties
after they had been ousted
from office by an interim
ruling last Thursday by
Allagoa, who placed
Chris Giwa in charge
lowing an intervention from
President Jonathan, who met
with the warring factions on
He instructed them to ﬁnd
a solution to the crisis that
threatened to rule the Super
Eagles out of attempting to
reach next year’s ﬁnals in Morocco to defend the title they
won under Keshi in 2013.
Nigerian media suggested
that Keshi had been recalled
to his position at the personal
request of President Jonathan.
Although there was no conﬁrmation from the NFF, current coach Shaibu Amidu
backed Keshi’s return on the
Nigeria national team’s official Twitter account (@NGSuperEagles).
“I believe Keshi should be
allowed to complete the qualifying race he started. I think
the mission to qualify is not an
impossible task,” Amidu was
quoted as saying.
Nigeria will most likely have
to win both of their remaining
Nations Cup qualiﬁers next
month away in Congo and at
home to South Africa to stand a
chance of reaching the ﬁnals in
Morocco in January.
Atalanta 1 (Denis 57) Napoli 1 (Higuain
86); Cagliari 1 (Ibarbo 24) Milan 1 (Bonaventura 34); Fiorentina 3 (Babacar
44, 70, Valero 80) Udinese 0; Genoa
1 (Antonini 90+4) Juventus 0; Inter 1
(Icardi 90-pen) Sampdoria 0; Palermo
1 (Rigoni 81) Chievo 0; Roma 2 (Destro
9, De Rossi 81) Cesena 0; Torino 1
(Darmian 10) Parma 0
Stephen Keshi, who left his job as national team coach earlier
this month could return.
Raul joins New York Cosmos
panish striker Raul, Real Madrid’s
all-time leading goalscorer, has
signed for the New York Cosmos,
the club announced yesterday.
Raul, 37, who remains the top Champions League scorer with 71, will join the
Cosmos for next year’s North American
Soccer League campaign, one level below
Major League Soccer, and serve as technical advisor for the team’s youth academy.
Cosmos, whose former stars include
Pele and Franz Beckenbauer in the club’s
all-star heyday in the 1970s, had gone out
of business but the club was revived in the
hopes of a return to glory.
“Everyone throughout the soccer world
knows the Cosmos name and the legacy of
the players that played for this team previously,” Raul said.
“They helped establish soccer in America and I’m honored to follow in their footsteps. I believe in this club’s vision and I’m
excited to be a part of that.”
Signing Raul will help Cosmos compete
with the MLS New York Red Bulls and FC
New York City, a new MLS rival owned by
English Premier League side Manchester
City and baseball’s New York Yankees.
The new club will boast Spanish World
Cup striker David Villa and former Chelsea star Frank Lampard when it debuts in
March at iconic Yankee Stadium.
Raul joined Real Madrid in 1994 at the
age of 17 and spent 16 seasons with Los
Blancos, scoring 323 goals and collecting
six La Liga titles, four Spanish Super Cups
and three Champions League crowns.
He left Real in 2010 for Germany’s
Schalke 04, where he netted 40 goals in 98
matches and spurred them on to the 2011
Genoa’s Luca Antonini scores past
Juventus’ goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon
(right) during the Italian Serie A match at
Luigi Ferraris stadium in Genoa. (EPA)
Nigeria set to
ueens Park Rangers are considering
whether to appeal
against defender Rio
Ferdinand’s ban and ﬁne for a
comment he made on Twitter,
manager Harry Redknapp said
yesterday in London.
Ferdinand, 35, was suspended for three games and ﬁned
£25,000 ($40,000, 31,800 euros)
by the Football Association on
Wednesday for referring to the
mother of another Twitter user
as a ‘sket’, a derogatory slang term
for a promiscuous woman.
“I’ll have to sit down with
chief executive Philip Beard and
chairman Tony Fernandes and
talk about the possibility of an
appeal when we have the report
(from the FA),” Redknapp told a
“We’ve not seen the report
from the FA so we can’t really
comment on it, to understand
what he has done.
“Rio does know how to behave
off the pitch. There are not many
professionals better than Rio.
But I am not in position to talk
about it, because I have not seen
Ferdinand, whose ban takes
immediate effect, was also “severely warned” about his future
conduct by the FA and ordered to
attend an education programme.
A Twitter user provoked the
tweet that landed Ferdinand in
hot water by sending him a teasing message on transfer deadline
day that said: “Maybe QPR will
sign a good CB (centre-back)
they need one.”
Ferdinand replied: “get ya
mum in, plays the ﬁeld well son!
The former Manchester
United defender, who won 81
caps for England, is a member
of a commission set up by FA
chairman Greg Dyke to investigate how to improve English
Ferdinand, who said last week
that he would probably retire
from playing at the end of the
season, has over 5.9 million followers on Twitter and is a proliﬁc user of the social networking website. He has also been a tv
pundit for BBC during the World
Cup in Brazil.
Redknapp added: “I don’t
know what Twitter is. I don’t
want to know, to be honest. It
doesn’t interest me one little bit.
If I understood it, I might be able
to talk about it.”
team, aims for
Los Angeles: Major League
Soccer’s new Los Angeles
franchise was unveiled
yesterday led by a 22-person ownership group being
headed by Vietnamese-American venture capitalist Henry
Basketball Hall of Famer
Magic Johnson and Peter Guber, who are both part of the
ownership of Major League
Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers, are among the leaders of
the consortium listed on the
The surprisingly large
group also includes Malaysian Vincent Tan, owner of
English league club Cardiff
City, former U.S. women’s
soccer great Mia Hamm
and celebrity life-coach and
motivational speaker Tony
The new team, which has a
working name of Los Angeles
Football Club, is expected
to start play in the 2017 MLS
season and will compete with
the existing LA Galaxy club
On Monday MLS announced that struggling Chivas USA, which had groundshared with the Galaxy at the
StubHub Center in the L.A.
suburb of Carson, had ceased
The new club intends to
build their own stadium but
have yet to finalise any plans
for such a venue.
Friday, October 31, 2014
ABU DHABI TEST
Azhar Ali also hits ton as Pakistan post 304-2 on opening day
ounis Khan became
the ﬁrst batsman in 90
years to hit three hundreds in consecutive
innings against Australia as Pakistan took an early advantage
in the second Test in Abu Dhabi
smashed twin hundreds in the
ﬁrst Test, notched 111 not out for
his 27th century to help Pakistan
close the opening day on a solid
footing of 304-2 after they won
the toss and elected to bat on a
ﬂat Sheikh Zayed Stadium pitch.
In the last over before stumps,
Azhar Ali also completed his
sixth Test hundred and was un-
beaten on 101 on a day Australia
used as many as eight bowlers
and unusual ﬁelding placings
but failed to break the Ali-Younis
third wicket stand which has so
far yielded 208 runs.
Younis lofted spinner Glenn
Maxwell to long-on boundary
for his tenth four to complete his
hundred before raising his bat to
his team-mates and a few dozen
people who gave him a standing
England’s Herbert Sutcliffe
was the last man to score three
hundreds in three consecutive
Test innings against Australia
way back in 1924-25.
Before Younis three Pakistani
batsmen, Zaheer Abbas (v India in 1982) Mudassar Nazar (v
India in 1982) and Mohammad
Yousuf (v West Indies in 2006)
had achieved three consecutive
So ruthless was Younis that
even the second new ball, taken
soon after it was due, couldn’t
disturb him. He has so far hit ten
fours and a six during his 155ball knock.
Things went wrong for Michael
Clarke right from the toss when
he wrongly called tails.
He did everything, from using
two short mid-wickets, a short
mid-on and a man almost behind the umpire at the bowler’s
end, but even that failed to get
him any wickets, leaving him
frustrated in his bids to avoid a
ﬁrst series defeat against Pakistan since 1994.
Pakistan won the ﬁrst Test of
the two-match series by 221 runs
“It was a tough day,” said
Clarke. “I tried everything,
some unorthodox ﬁelds but we
couldn’t take as many wickets as
we would have wanted and that’s
Ali expressed admiration for
“I don’t have words to describe the way he batted,” said
Ali. “We are in a good position
but it’s a long way to go and we
have to apply ourselves in every
session in this match.”
Younis survived two leg-before
reviews, off Maxwell when on 35
and off Steven Smith when on 68.
Ali, who hit six fours off 223
balls, also survived two sharp
chances, on 34 and 46, epitomising an unrewarding day for
Openers Ahmed Shehzad (35)
and Mohammad Hafeez (45)
were out either side of lunch.
Hafeez fell to an edge behind
the wicket off paceman Mitchell
Johnson who toiled hard for his
ﬁgures of one for 50.
Shehzad was shaping up well
during his 64-ball knock, hitting three fours before he missed
a delivery from spinner Lyon and
was trapped leg-before.
Clarke juggled his pace bowlers before bringing Lyon on in
the 14th over to get the needed
Pakistan kept the same XI
while Australia brought in paceman Mitchell Starc and spinning
all-rounder Maxwell for batsman Alex Doolan and left-arm
spinner Steve O’Keefe, preferring a three-prong pace attack
with one spinner in Lyon.
ngland bowler Stuart
Broad has dismissed
claims by former teammate Kevin Pietersen
that there was a bullying culture
in the changing room during
their time as international colleagues.
In Pietersen’s recently-published autobiography, he alleges that Broad was a member
of a group of senior players who
abused less-experienced squad
members if they made ﬁelding
errors. But Broad told BBC Sport
in an interview published late
on Wednesday: “The ‘bullying’
word has not crossed my mind in
eight or nine years of playing international cricket.”
He added: “You would expect
guys to be excited and passionate about playing for their country. I look at my heroes growing
up, the likes of (former England
rugby union captain) Martin
Pakistan Ist innings
Ahmed Shehzad lbw b Lyon 35
Mohammad Hafeez c Haddin b
Azhar Ali not out 101
Younis Khan not out 111
Extras: (b3, lb6, nb3) 12
Total: (for two wkts; 88 overs)
Fall of wicket: 1-57 (Shehzad),
Bowling: Johnson 18-4-50-1
(2nb), Starc 11-0-37-0, Siddle 17-539-0 (1nb), Lyon 23-1-86-1, Marsh
6-0-23-0, Maxwell 8-1-36-0,
Clarke 2-0-7-0, Smith 3-0-17-0
Australia: D. Warner, C. Rogers,
S. Smith, M. Clarke, B. Haddin, G.
Maxwell, M. Marsh, M. Johnson,
M. Starc, P. Siddle, N. Lyon.
Umpires: Richard Kettleborough (ENG) and Nigel Llong
Tv umpire: Marais Erasmus
Match referee: Ranjan
Younis Khan acknowledges the crowd after scoring his third consecutive century against Australia in Abu Dhabi yesterday.
“Look at (former Manchester
United goalkeeper) Peter Schmeichel—when he conceded
a goal, he certainly gave Steve
Bruce and Gary Pallister an earful.
“I don’t know if that would be
classed as bullying, or just the
passion of being disappointed.”
Broad’s fellow-bowler James
Anderson, another player accused of bullying by Pietersen,
said the South Africa-born
batsman’s claims threatened to
overshadow the team’s achievements.
“It puts a bitter taste in your
mouth about a really fruitful
time for an England team who
were one of the best England
teams I’ve been around in recent
times,” Anderson said.
“We try to challenge each other, try to push each other to improve and get the best out of each
other. The culture we built is the
reason we got to number one in
the world (in August 2011).”
Meanwhile, Broad expressed
support for batsman Jonathan
Trott, who has been selected for
the England Lions’ January tour
of South Africa after withdrawing from England’s Ashes squad
last year due to a stress-related
“I think if I could choose anyone to bat for my life, it would be
Jonathan Trott,” Broad said.
“It was really sad to see what
happened to him in Australia,
but credit has to go to him, his
family and the people around
him to get him back up to playing
cricket and scoring runs.”
Sethi for ICC presidency
akistan yesterday nominated Najam Sethi as its
candidate for the presidency of cricket’s world
governing body next year, three
months after he resigned as the
head of the national board.
Sethi’s nomination for the
presidency of the International
Cricket Council (ICC) was conﬁrmed after approval from Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz
Sharif, patron of the Pakistan
Cricket Board (PCB).
“The PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan and the Board of Governors have unanimously recommended Sethi as Pakistan’s
nominee for president of the
ICC for the 2015-16 term commencing on July 1, 2015,” said a
PCB release. Pakistan’s Ehsan
Mani held the ICC president’s
post between 2003 and 2006
but in 2012 the ICC changed the
structure of its top-level administration effective from 2014,
making the role a ceremonial
one with a one-year term, handing over power to the new post
of chairman. India’s Narayanaswami Srinivasan took over
as ICC’s chairman for the next
two years in June. Bangladesh’s
Mustafa Kamal is the current
ICC president whose tenure will
end in June 2015.
“Sethi is a renowned international award winning journalist.
Last year he served as chairman
PCB and helped fashion a new
democratic constitution for the
PCB, later voluntarily stepping
aside to make way for the election of Khan,” the PCB said.
Sethi endured a tumultuous
spell at the head of the PCB, being appointed and removed from
the post repeatedly as a legal
tussle with a rival raged.
Australia flush with funds
ahead of ICC World Cup
ricket Australia yesterday reported a strong
ﬁnancial position ahead
of the ICC Cricket
World Cup in Australia and New
Zealand early next year.
Revenue of almost Aus$300
million (US$262 million) is expected to grow to Aus$360 million (US$315 million) by the end
of this southern summer season, CA said.
Over CA’s four-year reporting cycle that spans from 201314 to 2016-17, revenue will
climb to a projected Aus$1.22
billion ($1.07 billion), up from
Aus$736 million in the previous four-year period.
Revenue of almost
Aus$300 million (US$262
million) is expected to
grow to Aus$360 million
(US$315 million) by the end
of this southern summer
season, CA said
CA explained that cricket
revenue is recorded over fouryear periods due to the sometimes signiﬁcant annual ﬂuctuations in income depending
on the teams touring Australia.
The organisation said it has
“never been in better health”
and will invest Aus$30 million
into key strategic projects, including several grassroots programmes around the country.
And CA CEO James Sutherland said cricket has never been
more popular in Australia.
“From a fan’s point of view,
last summer’s 5-0 Ashes
whitewash (of England), a
world record crowd of 91,112 at
the Melbourne Cricket Ground
on Boxing Day, 1.7 million
people through the turnstiles
to watch cricket over the summer and huge average national
TV audiences, are measures
which all show the Australian
public loves cricket,” Sutherland said.
He voiced conﬁdence the
ICC World Cup from February
to March next year will further
lift the proﬁle of cricket in Australia.
“I am conﬁdent the World
Cup, culminating in the March
29 ﬁnal at the MCG, will be a far
bigger event than most Australians expect,” he said.
Friday, October 31, 2014
Levy leads at wet
‘I ENJOY BEING IN CHINA AND I AM GOING TO TRY MY BEST’
Alexander Levy of France plays a shot on
the third hole during the first round of the
BMW Masters in Shanghai yesterday.
Poulter tries to put
Bishop row behind
him in Shanghai
an Poulter is just glad to
be back playing—despite
struggling to a two-over
74 in the ﬁrst round of the
BMW Masters yesterday—as
he tries to put the Ted Bishop
row and an injury-hit season
Former PGA of America
president Bishop apologised
this week for his “li’l girl”
tweet about Poulter which got
him ﬁred a month before his
term in office was due to end.
The English Ryder Cup star
clearly considers the matter
closed and wouldn’t comment
on the spat when approached
“I’m here to play golf and
that’s what I’m focused on this
week,” he said before his opening round yesterday.
Poulter last week launched
his autobiography “No Limits”
in which his frank comments
about Nick Faldo and Tom
Watson’s Ryder Cup captaincies prompted the offending
tweet from Bishop.
“The book’s been great,” is
all Poulter would say on the
“It was a fun project. From
the ﬁrst days of talking about
it two-and-a-bit years ago to
coming round to it launching
has been quite exciting.
“But now it’s all about playing
good golf for four weeks, turning the season around which has
been a disappointment.”
Poulter has suffered a succession of injuries which he
put down to “gym, gym and
more gym,” and has plunged
to 43rd in the world rankings
from 12th at the end of 2013.
He damaged his shoulder
working out at the start of the
year, in May his back played
up and he injured his wrist just
before the British Open.
As if that was not enough,
he bizarrely suffered a horseﬂy bite before the Bridgestone
Invitational in August that put
him in hospital.
But he believes that the European Tour’s “Final Four” series of big money tournaments
gives him a chance to salvage
something from a season in
which his only real highlight
was once again being an integral part of a winning European Ryder Cup team.
“I’m ﬁt and healthy. I feel
good and I’m looking forward
obviously to four good weeks,”
Poulter told AFP. “The niggles
have cleared up.”
Poulter has an outstanding record at this time of year
in China having won the 2012
WGC-HSBC Champions event
in Shenzhen and the 2010
Hong Kong Open.
He ﬁnished fourth in the
2012 BMW Masters and was
runner-up to Dustin Johnson
in the WGC-HSBC Champions across the city at Sheshan
a year ago.
“It’s been good in China the
last few years so I’m hoping
there’s more of that to come,”
he said, adding that he has
plenty of gas left in the tank.
“To be honest I don’t feel
like I’ve played an awful lot,”
“Playing golf is the easy part
it’s the practising away from
the golf course that tires you
out. And I haven’t done a lot of
that because I’ve had the injuries.”
Levy continued his love
affair with China’s golf
courses by kicking off the
European Tour’s Final Series with
a seven-under-par 65 to lead after the ﬁrst round of the BMW
Levy, who won the Tour’s
China Open in April, ﬁred seven
birdies in a bogey-free round to
lead by one at Lake Malaran from
Argentine Emiliano Grillo, Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium and another Frenchman, Romain Wattel.
Northern Ireland’s Graeme
McDowell also went bogey free,
ﬁring a ﬁve-under 67 to sit in
ﬁfth at the ﬁrst event of the European Tour’s lucrative ﬁnal four
of the season which offer more
than $30 million in combined
But they were all short of the
24-year-old Levy, who showed
some hot form on a cool, damp
morning in China.
Starting on the 10th, Levy
opened with four birdies before
getting to ﬁve-under by sending
a pinpoint iron at the 200 yard
par three 17th to six feet to make
the turn in 31.
Another shot was gained at the
second before he completed his
round by rolling in a 12-foot putt
at his last for a birdie three and a
It was the Frenchman’s ﬁfth
straight sub par round in China
after his four shot win at the
Genzon Golf Club in Shenzhen.
“For me, this golf course is
pretty much the same as Shenzhen. I like this type of golf
course with water and the target
golf,” he told reporters.
“I enjoy being in China and
I’m going to try my best the last
few days and try to do the same
things I thought of in April. I like
China, that’s for sure.”
Levy has been in strong form
of late, claiming his last strokeplay event at the curtailed Por-
tugal Masters earlier this month
to become the ﬁrst Frenchman to
win at least twice in a single European Tour season.
Levy is 19th in the Tour’s Race
to Dubai standings but a strong
showing at the $7 million event
in Shanghai can help rocket him
up the money list.
World number one Rory McIlroy is well clear at the top of the
standings but he is skipping this
week’s event and the following
World Golf Championship HSBC
Champions tournament, also in
China, next week.
Second-placed Sergio Garcia
is also absent this week, opting to
compete at the PGA Tour’s event
in Malaysia, while Henrik Sten-
son, third on the list, is also missing from the 78-man ﬁeld.
Welshman Jamie Donaldson,
fourth in the Race to Dubai, made
a good start in Shanghai with a
four-under 68 to sit in a group of
six players, including victorious
Ryder Cup-winning team mate
Thomas Bjorn, who is ﬁfth in the
Li Hao-tong and Hu Mu led
the local charge with the Chinese
pair ﬁring 69s to sit tied 12th
alongside multiple major winner
Ernie Els and Italian Francesco
The Italian’s brother Eduardo,
one back at two-under, produced
the shot of the day with a holein-one at the 212 yard fourth.
Karlberg takes early lead
weden’s Rikard Karlberg sunk seven birdies for a seven-under-par
65 to take a two-stroke lead in the
ﬁrst-round of the CIMB Classic in
Malaysia, while Spanish star Sergio Garcia lurked four shots back.
American defending champion Ryan
Moore turned in six birdies of his own to
lead a pack of golfers just three strokes off
Karlberg’s pace on 68.
The Swede, who has struggled this year
to overcome a stubborn viral infection
and said he “almost stopped enjoying the
game”, credited his strong start to a decision to just shake off the negative feelings
“I just went out there and tried to be as
relaxed as possible and just have fun,” he
said. Karlberg had ﬁve birdies on the front
nine at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club and cemented his lead with two
more on the ﬁnal two holes.
World number four Sergio Garcia, the
highest-ranked golfer in the ﬁeld, was in
striking distance after entering the clubhouse with a three-under 69.
Garcia, 34, started brightly, notching four
birdies over his opening nine, but could
manage no more the rest of the way and suffered a bogey down the homestretch.
Rikard Karlberg of Sweden hits a
shot during the Round One of the
CIMB Classic golf tournament in
Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
But the Spaniard, who has seen a revival
in his play this year including a January
Qatar Masters win and runner-up showing to world number one Rory McIlroy in
the Open Championship, was pleased.
“I felt like I played quite well. Obviously
I didn’t hole a lot of putts. I hit some really good putts that I had quite a lot of lipouts, but other than that, it felt good,” he
Patrick Reed, a bright spot for the
USA in its latest recent Ryder Cup loss
to Europe, was among several entrants
who ﬁnished the day at two-under after
shooting a 70.
England’s Lee Westwood, who won on
the same course in the Malaysian Open
in April, had an up-and-down day to ﬁnish at even par, tied with a group of golfers including this past season’s FedExCup
champion Billy Horschel.
Westwood, a former world number one,
turned in a card featuring two birdies and
an eagle three on the par-ﬁve ﬁfth, but
also two bogeys, and a double bogey on
the par-four 16th.
“I struggled with the speed of the
greens more than anything, but made a
nice eagle at ﬁve, which got me back to
level par. So not too much damage done,”
Co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour and
Asian Tour, the CIMB Classic offers the
winner $1.26 million and 500 FedExCup
points. Last year’s winner, Ryan Moore
of the United States, is back to defend, as
compatriot Jason Dufner continues his
Jason Dufner, the American 2013 PGA
Champion, who returned to competitive
play last week in Australia after nearly
three months off due to a neck injury,
could muster only a two-over 74.
Taipei: China’s Feng Shanshan and
South Korean Park In-bee each ﬁred an
eight-under-par 64 to share the lead after the opening round of the Fubon LPGA
Taiwan Championship in Taipei yesterday. Park, who took over the top spot in
the Rolex Rankings earlier this week, hit
all 14 fairways and needed only 26 putts to
complete her round with eight birdies for
the $2 million tournament at the par-72
Miramar Golf Country Club.
“I hit the ball really solid all day, and
on the back nine, everything seemed to
drop,” Park said. “I can’t remember the
last time I putted like this. It’s been a really good putting day, so I’m really happy
“Rumble in the
stolen as fans
fficials in Kinshasa
have revealed the
ring used for “The
Rumble in the Jungle” has been stolen as boxing fans yesterday marked 40
years since one of the most
famous and brutal bouts in the
As the sporting world remembers Mohamed Ali’s epic
showdown with George Foreman the search is on for the
ring which the two boxers
climbed into at dawn on October 30, 1974.
The ring “was stolen a few
years ago,” Barthelemy Bosongo, manager of the Tata Raphael stadium which staged the
ﬁght, told AFP.
“We don’t know where it’s
gone, but it’s no longer in Kinshasa,” he added. “We’re in the
process of setting up a judicial
A leading sports official in
the Democratic Republic of
Congo who wished to remain
anonymous believes the bulky
piece of sporting memorabilia
“is in South Africa”.
According to Bosongo,
“there are no signs left now of
the ﬁght, apart from the two
dressing rooms” which Ali and
Foreman used to change before
stepping out for the ﬁght, and
into boxing folklore.
He added: “I would have
liked for the stadium to become a place of history, where
you’d ﬁnd the dressing rooms,
photos, gloves...but there’s
nothing to remind you of the
It may be making headlines
around the world but Thursday’s 40th anniversary was
passing off virtually unobserved in Kinshasa itself.
At the Tata Raphael stadium
it was just like any other day.
Youngsters were knocking a
ball around outside while inside Yvonne, 47, when asked
about the importance of the
day, replied: “What happened
40 years ago?
“1974........was it the ﬁght
between Ali and Foreman?”
“I know the year of the bout,
but not the day itself,” she admitted.
Pierre, 64, remembers as
a student having to watch
the bout on television as he
couldn’t afford a ringside seat.
“We’ve forgotten about the
ﬁght, the government should
have mande an announcement
about it,” he said.
“It was after all the ﬁght of
the century, which we staged
“The Rumble in the Jungle”
anniversary barely got a mention in the local press.
And Ali’s famous eighth
round KO was similarly being
ignored out on the streets of
the capital, aside from a handful of posters advertising a
low-key national competition
to mark the occasion today.
The stadium itself looks as
though it has lost a few rounds
against Ali in the intervening
The terraces, which were
packed with 100,000 people on the night, are falling
apart. Water leaks into the
gyms where Ali and Foreman
Bosongo revealed that a long
awaited makeover was on the
Friday, October 31, 2014
With Rose blooming,
Bulls open season
with emphatic win
‘I wouldn’t say my rust is knocked off, but it’s getting there’
he Chicago Bulls welcomed former NBA Most
Valuable Player Derrick
Rose back from injury
Wednesday with a convincing
104-80 win over the New York
The return of Rose and the
addition of Spanish veteran Pau
Gasol have branded the Bulls as
Eastern Conference contenders
in 2014-15, and they looked the
part at Madison Square Garden.
“I wouldn’t say my rust is
knocked off, but it’s getting
there,” said Rose, who missed the
ﬁnal 71 games of last season with
a torn meniscus after missing all
of the previous campaign recovering from a torn knee ligament.
“I can’t be content with how
I’m performing,” he added. “I
have to put it behind me whether
it’s good or bad and make sure I
stay consistent with my workouts. Physically, I feel good.”
Both Rose and Gasol made key
contributions. Rose—the 2011
NBA MVP—scored 13 points
with ﬁve assists in his long
awaited regular-season return
and off-season acquisition Gasol
putting up 21 points with 11 rebounds.
Taj Gibson scored 22 points in
28 minutes off the bench for the
Bulls, who connected on better
than 50 percent of their shots
from the ﬁeld and effectively
smothered the Knicks offence.
In all the Bulls received 55
points from their reserves, with
Aaron Brooks netting 13 and
2014 ﬁrst-round draft pick Doug
McDermott scoring 12 in his
For New York, it was a disappointing start to the head coaching tenure of Derek Fisher, the
former player drafted to implement the Phil Jackson triangle
Carmelo Anthony was held
to 14 points on 5-of-13 shooting
and the Knicks ﬁnished a lackluster 3-for-17 from three-point
Amare Stoudemire was New
York’s only other player to score
in double ﬁgures, with 12 points
to go with his eight rebounds.
Rose acknowledged he was
eager to get back on an NBA
court for the ﬁrst time since surgery last November, but said he
wasn’t harbouring any unrealistic expectations for himself.
“It’s still going to take some
time,” he said. “I’m not worried
about that. I might have some
bad games here and there. But
that’s not going to stop me from
trying to be aggressive.”
Heat sizzle without James
The second night of the sea-
Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose (R) looks to put
up a shot past New York Knicks center Samuel
Dalembert (C) and Shane Larkin (L) in the first half
of their NBA game at Madison Square Garden in
New York on Wednesday. (EPA)
son saw Miami open their postLeBron James era with a bang as
Chris Bosh scored 26 points and
15 rebounds in the Heat’s 107-95
victory over Washington.
Bosh, who saw his numbers
dwindle in each of the four seasons that superstar James played
for the Heat, inked a ﬁve-year
$118 million deal in the offseason
to stay in Miami, while James
opted to return to the Cleveland
Cavaliers in his home state of
Turns out the Heat, who won
two titles in four trips to the NBA
ﬁnals in James’ four years in Miami, didn’t need “King James” to
put on a show.
Dwyane Wade scored 12 of
his 21 points in the fourth quarter while Norris Cole added 23
and off-season acquisition Luol
Deng of Britain scored 12 in his
In other games: the shorthanded Indiana Pacers overcame
the loss of three injured starters
to stop the visiting Philadelphia
76ers, 103-91; the Toronto Rap-
tors clipped the visiting Atlanta
Hawks, 109-102; the Denver
Nuggets dropped the visiting
Detroit Pistons, 89-79; and the
visiting Golden State Warriors
made Steve Kerr’s coaching debut a success after crowning the
Sacramento Kings, 95-77.
Isaiah Thomas scored 23
points in his Phoenix debut,
Marcus Morris had 21, including
ﬁve triples, and Suns ran past the
injury-decimated visiting Lakers in their season-opener despite Kobe Bryant’s 31 points.
ndy Murray guaranteed his place at the
World Tour Finals in
London with a 6-3,
6-3 third round victory over
Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov at
the Paris Masters yesterday.
The 27-year-old Scot, who
also stays on course for a
fourth tournament victory in
just six weeks, will now play
either world number one Novak Djokovic or French showman Gael Monﬁls in the quarter-ﬁnals today.
Murray joins Djokovic,
Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka
and Marin Cilic in reaching
the season-ending showpiece
with David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych and Kei Nishikori in possession of the other three spots
but not yet assured places.
Canada’s Milos Raonic is
now the only player who can
gatecrash the top eight but
needs to win the Paris tournament to guarantee his place.
Murray aimed a jibe at his
critics after the match who
have said he has had a poor
season by writing ‘Bad Year’
on the courtside camera lens.
It is the seventh straight
year he has qualiﬁed for the
Finals although he didn’t play
last year due to his back injury.
“I served really well and I
don’t think I had any break
points against me so if you do
that and pick up a break or two
that’s what I did,” said Murray.
“It’s going to be tough
against either Novak (Djokovic) or Gael (Monﬁls). I think
Gael is one of my favourite
players and he’s very popular
with the fans here. If there’s
one player I’d pay to watch it
would be him.
“As for Novak, well he’s still
ﬁghting for the number one
spot and very tough so they’re
both difficult opponents.”
Berdych is one win from
sealing his place in London
after easing into the last eight
with a comfortable win over
Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.
Following a ﬁrst round de-
feat at the Valencia Open last
week, the 29-year-old Czech
evened his record against
Lopez at six wins apiece with a
7-5, 6-3 victory.
Chasing an 11th ATP title,
and third of the year, the Australian Open semi-ﬁnalist now
plays South African 14th seed
Kevin Anderson for a place in
Anderson won a three-hour
thriller over Swiss third seed
Wawrinka 6-7 (2/7), 7-5, 7-6
(7/3). Anderson, who had never
been past the third round in
Paris, converted a third match
point to set up the meeting with
Berdych. “It was a great match
and some of my best matches
have been against Stan,” said a
“I fought well out there and
was in trouble at 5-4 down but
suddenly I was back in front
again so I’m very, very happy.
“It’s going to be a big challenge (against Berdych) but I’m
not going to worry about that
just yet. I’m going to enjoy this
win and later tonight I’ll start
thinking about tomorrow (Friday).”
Earlier, former champion
Ferrer kept his quest on track
to reach a second straight Paris
ﬁnal as he swept aside Spanish
compatriot Fernando Verdasco 6-1, 6-2.
He needs to reach the semiﬁnals to guarantee his spot
in London and will now face
either French number one JoWilfried Tsonga or Japanese
Nishikori is trying to become the ﬁrst Japanese player
to qualify for the World Finals.
Raonic kept his slender
chances alive of reaching the
Finals with a hard fought 7-5,
7-6 (9/7) victory over Spaniard
Roberto Bautista Agut.
In other third round matches, world number two Federer
chases a 14th straight victory,
including tournament wins
at Basel and Shanghai, takes
on world number 176 Frenchman Lucas Pouille who came
The winner of that match
will face Raonic in the last
Boston ............ 121
Miami .............. 107
Memphis ....... 105
Phoenix .......... 119
Golden State .95
Philadelphia .. 91
Brooklyn ...... 105
Washington . 95
Atlanta ........... 102
Minnesota ... 101
NY Knicks ......80
Detroit ............. 79
Utah .................. 93
LA Lakers .......99
Britain’s Andy Murray celebrates winning the third round match
against Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov at the ATP World Tour Masters
1000 indoor tennis tournament in Paris yesterday. (AFP)
Wozniacki looks forward to marathon debut
ormer world number one
Caroline Wozniacki knows
just what to expect when she
steps on a tennis court, but
tackling the New York City Marathon
is another matter.
“I’m a little nervous,” the Dane
admitted Wednesday as she looked
ahead to her ﬁrst crack at the 26.2mile distance on Sunday.
“This is the farthest I’m going to
run so far. I think it’s going to be an
unbelievable experience. The New
York City Marathon has always been
on my bucket list.”
Wozniacki decided to make the
fantasy a reality back in June—not
long after the break-up of her engagement to golf star Rory McIlroy.
Since then she has squeezed her
training runs in when she can during
a busy tennis season that included a
runner-up ﬁnish at the US Open.
She arrived in New York on Tuesday night via Denmark from Singapore, where she played in the WTA’s
Since falling to Serena Williams
in the US Open ﬁnal in September,
Wozniacki has played four tournaments in Japan, China and Singapore.
In the early stages of that Asian
swing, her match schedule precluded
serious marathon training and she
was “starting to panic.”
“I had a few dreams were I didn’t
ﬁnish and had to be carried through
with a wheelchair,” she said.
But she was able to step up her
mileage in a break between a tournament in Beijing and the championships in Singapore, which left her
conﬁdent she can ﬁnish even though
her longest run to date is 13 miles.
Contrary to fears that combining
marathon training with tennis would
lead to injury or debilitating fatigue,
Wozniacki says she’s never felt better. She credited her running with
helping her in a three-hour slug-fest
with Maria Sharapova in Singapore
Crazy in a good way
Even so, none of her elite tennis
rivals have voiced an interest in emulating her marathon attempt. “None
of the others have said that they want
to try,” Wozniacki said. “I think you
need to be a little crazy—but in a good
way, I hope.”
She did get some advice from
Kimiko Date-Krumm, the Japanese
WTA veteran who has run marathons.
“She told me that she had a really
tough time, but she had a great time
as well,” Wozniacki said.
“Obviously, you have to watch
out for your body, but I think, as an
athlete, you know your body so well.
You know when you can push it. You
know when you need to hold back.”
Wozniacki said she has a time goal
in mind, but she’s not ready to share
it. She’s also running for a children’s charity, and has already raised
$50,689 for Team For Kids, which
funds youth ﬁtness programmes.
Former Wimbledon champion
Andy Murray is among the top tennis players who have pledged donations.
Wozniacki’s friend and rival Williams has yet to sign on as a donor.
“Now I put her on the spot, so
now she doesn’t have a choice,”
Caroline Wozniacki holds her race bib as she poses with children from Public School P.S.
35 in Queens, New York at a news conference to promote running in the New York City
Marathon as an ambassador for the Team For Kids charity on Wednesday. (Reuters)
Friday, October 31, 2014
WORLD SERIES BASEBALL
Giants ride brilliant
Bumgarner to triumph
‘I was just thinking about getting outs until I couldn’t get them anymore. Fortunately I was able to stay in there’
San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong (left) watches as teammate
Madison Bumgarner hoists the Commissioners Trophy after game seven of the 2014
World Series against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.
PICTURE: USA TODAY Sports
Kansas City (Missouri)
he San Francisco Giants
rode workhorse lefthander Madison Bumgarner all the way to
their third World Series crown
in ﬁve years with a Game Seven
victory over the Kansas City
Royals on Wednesday.
worked his magic as a reliever
this time, coming out of the
bullpen to throw ﬁve shutout
innings and earn the save in a
3-2 win that clinched the bestof-seven Fall Classic. It was the
eighth World Series title for the
Giants and third in ﬁve seasons
after victories in 2010 and 2012.
Michael Morse drove in a pair
of runs and Bumgarner, named
Most Valuable Player of the
World Series, dazzled the Royals once again despite returning
to the mound on two days rest
after throwing a 117-pitch shutout against them on Sunday.
“I was just thinking about
getting outs until I couldn’t
get them anymore,” said the
25-year-old. “Fortunately I was
able to get some quick innings
and I was able to stay in there.”
starting pitcher, Tim Hudson, said
there was no way Bumgarner
was leaving until he got the job
done. “You couldn’t have pried
the ball out of his hands,” said
Hudson. A raucous Kauffman
Stadium and history were on the
Royals’ side ahead of the game,
as home teams had won the last
nine World Series that went to a
Game Seven, including the 1985
But the visiting Giants, who
were hammered 10-0 Tuesday’s
Game Six, bounced back to become the ﬁrst road team to win
a World Series Game Seven since
the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates.
San Francisco drew ﬁrst
blood, loading the bases in the
top of the second and pushing
across a pair of runs on sacriﬁce
ﬂies from Morse and Brandon
Crawford. The Royals answered
back in the bottom of the same
inning, Billy Butler hammering
a leadoff single and racing home
on Alex Gordon’s line drive double to the wall in right-center.
LAST 10 WORLD
2014: San Francisco Giants
2013: Boston Red Sox
2012: San Francisco Giants
2011: St. Louis Cardinals
2010: San Francisco Giants
2009: New York Yankees
2008: Philadelphia Phillies
2007: Boston Red Sox
2006: St. Louis Cardinals
2005: Chicago White Sox
With the capacity crowd on their
feet Omar Infante kept the celebrations going with a sacriﬁce
ﬂy to cash in Gordon and tie the
contest at 2-2.
A single by Alcides Escobar
marked the end of a short night’s
work for starter Hudson.
Hudson, at 39 the oldest
pitcher to start a World Series
Game Seven, surrendered two
runs on three hits in his 1-2/3
innings of work before manager
Bruce Bochy made the call to the
bullpen for Jeremy Affeldt.
The San Francisco bats were
buzzing again in the fourth with
Pablo Sandoval and Hunter
Pence leading off with singles
before Morse drove in his second
run of the night on a broken bat
ﬂy that fell safely in right ﬁeld for
a single. With Bumgarner on the
hill, the one-run cushion was all
the Giants would need.
The Royals threatened in the
bottom of the ninth with two
outs when Gordon lined a shot
into center that fell in front of
Gregor Blanco and skipped past
him to the fence for a two-base
error that allowed Gordon to
reach third base.
But Bumgarner would not be
denied, getting Salvador Perez to
pop out to third baseman Sandoval, who collapsed onto his
back in foul territory after gloving the ball for the ﬁnal out.
Bumgarner, who won two
games in the series before his
save in the ﬁnale, was agitating
to pitch in Game Seven.
“He kept telling me ‘I’m
ready to go,’ he said just put
me in anytime and it couldn’t
have worked out better,” Giants manager Bochy said about
Bumgarner. “We just got on this
horse and rode it.”
Giants fans take to streets after victory
ans of the San Francisco
Giants took to the streets
to celebrate on Wednesday
night after their team won
the baseball World Series, topping
the Kansas City Royals, but the
festivities were marred by raucous
fans and ﬁres.
Hundreds, many clad in the
team’s orange and black, ﬂooded
Valencia Street in San Francisco’s
Mission District after the ﬁnal out
in the seventh game of the baseball championship. Some perched
themselves on bus stops, while
others set off ﬁreworks, hugged,
high-ﬁved and cheered with beer
and champagne in the middle of
“(Pitcher Madison) Bumgarner
blew my mind tonight!” said Beau
Adams, a San Francisco native
sporting a Giants tattoo.
“The balance of superstition
and belief and pride and conﬁdence makes it all come together,”
As the celebrations dragged on
late into the night, fans set ﬁres
in the streets while others gawked
as people took turns jumping over
each other. Police, many in riot
gear, were out in force and broke up
the more unruly demonstrations.
KTVU, a local television station,
reported police made numerous
arrests during the night after some
threw bottles at officers, but did
not provide an exact tally.
The TV station also said two
people were shot in the city during
the late-night festivities, though it
was unclear whether the shooters
or the victims were revellers themselves. Police department officials
could not be immediately reached
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency late
Wednesday suspended all bus
service in the city due to safety
It was the eighth World Series
title for the Giants, and the third in
ﬁve seasons after victories in 2010
Bumgarner was named the Most
Valuable Player of the World Series
after sealing the Giants’ 3-2 game
seven victory over the Royals, with
ﬁve shutout innings of relief.
“I think (Bumgarner) should be
president,” said lifelong Giants fan,
Nacho Ramone, after the win.
Revellers celebrate from a moving vehicle in San Francisco on Wednesday after San Francisco Giants defeated the Kansas City Royals
3-2 to win their third World Series title in five seasons. (Reuters)
Kansas City (Missouri)
unleashed a pitching performance for
the ages Wednesday
that cemented his place among
World Series legends and established the San Francisco Giants as a Major League Baseball
The 25-year-old left-hander,
returning to the mound on a
career-low two days rest after a
complete-game triumph, ﬁred
ﬁve scoreless innings to give the
Giants a 3-2 victory over Kansas
City in decisive game seven of
the 110th World Series.
“This is as good as it gets.
World Series. Game seven,”
Bumgarner said. “It was deﬁnitely emotional. It has been an
unbelievable year for us.”
Royals batters to win the second
and ﬁfth games of the best-ofseven championship ﬁnal, but
San Francisco needed more of
his magic when he entered in
the ﬁfth inning with the Giants
nursing a lead that he would turn
into their victory margin.
“He just went after them,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
“He just said, ‘If you’re going to
beat me, you’re going to beat me
with my best pitch.”
After surrendering a single to
Omar Infante, Bumgarner retired the next 14 Royals batters
he faced until, one strike from
victory, Alex Gordon hit a single
that outﬁelder Gregor Blanco
misplayed, allowing Gordon to
reach third base.
Bumgarner, keeping his composure, induced a pop up that
Giants third baseman Pablo
Sandoval gloved for the ﬁnal out,
touching off a huge celebration.
“You see Pablo under it. A little bit of relief, a little bit of excitement combined,” Bumgarner
said. “You are just sitting there
trying to ﬁgure out if it just really
happened or not.
San Francisco Giants pitcher and
series MVP Madison Bumgarner
holds his MVP trophy.
“But it was an awesome experience getting to be out there for
the last out of game seven of the
World Series. I’m thankful for
my team believing in me and letting me stay out there.”
Credit Bochy, who shared an
emotional hug with Bumgarner
after their third crown together
following titles in 2010 and 2012.
Bumgarner a warrior
“I can’t remember too much
about what I said except I love
him and what a warrior he is,”
Bochy said. “I can’t believe what
he has accomplished. He’s such
a humble guy and we rode him
pretty good. He’s a guy I think so
much of. I had that kid when he
was 20 and to watch him develop, that has been pretty special.”
For the World Series, “Mad
Bum” went 2-0 and added a
ﬁve-inning save in game seven,
allowing only one run over 21 innings while striking out 17 batters and walking just one.
His 0.43 World Series earnedrun average was the lowest of
any hurler with at least 15 innings since Sandy Koufax of the
1965 Los Angeles Dodgers compiled a 0.38 ERA.
Bumgarner has allowed only
one run in 36 career World Series innings, giving up 14 hits
with ﬁve walks while striking out
31. His 0.25 World Series career
ERA is the lowest of any player
with at least 25 innings, beating
the old mark of 0.36 by Jack Billingham from 1972-1976.
Friday, October 31, 2014
Fine Prince pips Lupie to
victory in Al Naksh Cup
‘It is great to start the season on a winning note. I must thank Sheikh Faisal for giving me an opportunity to return to Doha.
Though I have a small string, I will do my very best and give good results to my owner’
By Chris Hoover
ine Prince (Strategic PrinceTheebah) saddled by Jassim alGhazali posted a thrilling victory in the Al Naksh Cup, a race
for two year old Thoroughbreds, which
featured the fourth day’s races at the
Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club yesterday. Sporting the colours of Sheail
bin Khalifa al-Kuwari, Fine Prince
made a winning debut in Qatar with a
ground devouring run in the ﬁnal stages of the race. Fine Prince galloped on
resolutely in the stretch to come from
the third position and win while warding off the spirited effort of stable mate
Lupie. Jockey JP Guillambert rode a
well judged race on the winner.
Trainer Ghazali dominated the day’s
proceeding with four winners in a
small card of seven events framed for
Ghazali trained Al Hareth plundered his rivals with a tremendous
turn of foot and completely outclassed
them all with a super display of speed
to win the Al Kharrarah Cup, a local
Thoroughbred’s race for three year
olds. Jockey Stephane Ladjadj took the
Ghazali trainee to the front and made
every post a winning one. Though
Footprintinthesand came with a spirited challenge in the ﬁnal 50 metres, Al
Hareth strode out gallantly to stave off
the bid and win by a head.
schooled Al Zobara Al Sakab earned
her maiden win in a striking manner
in the Muraikh Cup, a Local Bred Pure
Arabian Maiden race, run over seven
furlongs. After racing a handy second
until the homestretch, Al Zobara Al
Sakab quickened well in the ﬁnal furlong and went past Moddhish to win
quite comfortably. Jockey Alberto Sanna was astride the winner.
Sheikh Faisal bin Hamad bin Jassim
al-Thani owned Suhail Al Uraiq made
a winning debut in the Sumaysimah
Cup, a mile race for three year old local
bred Pure Arabians. It also gave former
Al Shahania Stud and Injaaz Stud
trainer Mohammed Riyaz, his maiden
victory in his ﬁrst attempt after returning from India to train for Sheikh
Faisal. Jockey Marvin Suerland rode
the Riyaz trainee to a start to ﬁnish victory. Sendeed Al Galayel was a neck
behind in second while AJS Hayem and
Saab completed the frame.
Trainer Riyaz was delighted to have
started the season on a winning note.
“It is great to start the season on a winning note. I must thank Sheikh Faisal
for giving me an opportunity to return
to Doha. Though I have a small string,
I will do my very best and give good
results to my owner. Though it was his
ﬁrst run, Suhail Al Uraiq gave a good
performance and I am looking forward
to another improved performance in
his next start,” trainer Riyaz told the
Julian Smart saddled Radwah came
up with a brilliant stretch run to win
the Ghasham Cup, a race for three year
old Pure Arabian Fillies, run over seven
furlongs. Radwah with Richard Mullen
in the saddle, produced a resounding
gallop in the ﬁnal furlong to skip away
from the pack and win in ﬁne fashion.
Bahia Du Barthas, who tried runaway
tactics held on to take the runner-up
berth from AJS Intifadah.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Mishal bin
Hamad al-Thani owned Momalorka
took her seventh win in 19 starts when
the progeny of Dutch Art came good
under the able riding of Ladjadj in the
Thoroughbred Conditions race for Fillies and Mares. Abeer also came with
a ﬁne performance to take the second
place ahead of My Sharona to give
trainer Ghazali the top three ﬁnish in
the 1,400 metres contest.
Trainer Ghazali went on to complete
a treble for the day when Bambino Du
Pouy (Declan Cannon up) was successful in a start to ﬁnish mission in the
Umm Sawayyah Cup, a race for three
year old Pure Arabians. Stable mates
Bahess Des Vialettes and Tarek Al Mels
ﬁnished second and third respectively.
QREC deputy general manager Tariq Abdulhameed al-Sidiqie presents the Al
Naksh Cup to Sheail bin Khalifa al-Kuwari after Fine Prince had won the event at
the QREC yesterday
QREC general manager Sami Jassim al-Boenain is seen with the winners of the Sumaysimah Cup at the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club yesterday.
1st race: Al Zobara Al Sakab (Alberto Sanna)
1, Moddhish 2, Desar Al Naif 3, Nazala Al
Naif 4. Won by: 2 ½, 3 ½, Shd. Time: 1:32.85.
Trained by: Mohammed Hamad al-Attiya.
Owned by: Hamad bin Mohammed bin
2nd race: Al Hareth (Stephane Ladjadj) 1,
Footprintinthesand 2, Al Saba 3, My Way 4.
Won by: Hd, 5, 3. Time: 1:25.34. Trained by:
Jassim al-Ghazali. Owned by: Mishal bin Ali
3rd race: Suhail Al Uraiq (Marvin Suerland)
1, Sendeed Al Galayel 2, AJS Hayem 3, Saab
4. Won by: Nk, ¾, Distance. Time: 1:48.85.
Trained by: Mohammed Riyaz. Owned by:
Sheikh Faisal bin Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani
4th race: Radwah (Richard Mullen) 1, Bahia
Al Barthas 2, AJS Intifadah 3, Bayalina 4.
Won by: 1 ¾, Shd, Distance. Time: 1:32.59.
Trained by: Julian Smart. Owned by: HH
Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al-Thani
5th race: Momalorka (Stephane Ladjadj) 1,
Abeer 2, My Sharona 3, Rasheeda 4. Won by:
1 ½, ½, ½. Time: 1:22.01. Trained by: Jassim
al-Ghazali. Owned by: Sheikh Mohammed
bin Mishal bin Hamad al-Thani
6th race: Bambino Du Pouy (Declan Cannon) 1, Bahess Des Vialettes 2, Tarek Al Mels
3, Rasheeda 4. Won by: Time: Trained by:
Jassim Al Ghazali, Owned by: Sheail bin
7th race: Fine Prince (JP Guillambert) 1,
Lupie 2, Ko Cache 3, Dig Deep Baby 4. Won
by: Shd, 5, 4. Time: 1:23.86. Trained by: Jassim al-Ghazali. Owned by: Sheail bin Khalifa
Jockey JP Guillambert rides Fine Prince to an exciting victory in the Al Naksh Cup at the QREC yesterday. PICTURES: Juhaim
Al Shaqab’s Al Mourtazez wins French
Arabian Breeders’ Challenge Classic
Al Shaqab’s Mister Ginoux
wins French Arabian
Breeders’ Challenge for Colts
he Al Shaqab Racing representative Al Mourtazez was
head and shoulders above his
rivals in the French Arabian
Breeders’ Challenge Classic (Gr3 PA)
at Toulouse, France, on Wednesday, 29
Al Mourtazez was ridden by Julien
Auge to win the 2,200 metre contest
and clinch the title of the € 4,500 race
that was reserved for 4-year-old and
older horses. Al Mourtazez gave a good
performance, giving Al Shaqab and
jockey Julien Auge their second win of
While he was the easy winner of
the Doha Cup (Gr1 PA) this summer in
Deauville, the colt did not run in the
Qatar Arabian World Cup (Gr1 PA) at
Longchamp, earlier this month, due to
a slight problem.
His trainer Thomas Fourcy: “I really regret Longchamp but he hurt his
back in his stable and I could not take
“He is really very good and will make
a top ﬁve-year-old.”
Mister Ginoux ridden by Julien Auge dominated his rivals.
ister Ginoux, who won
on his debut at Bordeaux,
remained unbeaten when
taking the French Arabian
Breeders’ Challenge for Colts (Gr3 PA)
at Toulouse, France, on Wednesday,
29 October 2014. The Al Shaqab Racing representative, who is trained by
Thomas Fourcy and was ridden by Julien Auge, easily dominated his rivals,
in the 1,600 metre contest, including
Namrood, who was ﬁfth in the Qatar
Total Arabian Trophy for Colts (Gr1
PA), in his wake.
Speaking after winning the € 45,000
race, Thomas Fourcy explained: “He
came to me late. I hesitated about letting him have his ﬁrst start in the big
race at Saint Cloud but I preferred to
be patient and run him in Bordeaux. I
thought he would win easier that day
but he saved something for today! He
is a very good horse that we will keep
for the European season next year.”
Friday, October 31, 2014
Aspire to host 50 KM World Championships until 2017
By Sports Reporter
spire Zone and the International Association
of Ultrarunners (IAU),
that Aspire Zone to host the newly
formatted 50km World Championships from 2015-2017. The announcement came during a press
conference held at The Torch Hotel with VIP representatives from
Aspire Zone;. Abdulla al-Khater,
Aspire Events Manager, Phillip Templar, Aspire Venues and
Events Director, Dirk Strumane,
IAU President and Nadeem Khan,
IAU Director of Communications.
Dirk Strumane, IAU President
opened the press conference
and said: “On behalf of the IAU,
I am happy to be here and to be
partnering with Aspire Zone.
We look forward to a successful
partnership and the long term
co-operation of Aspire Zone as
they continue to embrace Ultrarunning in the region and spearhead this sport in the Gulf Area.
Aspire Zone has responded to the
challenge of hosting the ﬁnal leg
of the 50km World Trophy Final
which features a top notch ﬁeld,
elite athletes and promises to be
an exciting competition.”
Phillip Templar, Aspire Venues
and Events Director said: “Ultrarunning is a growing sport and
one that has increasing interest in the region. I would like to
thank the IAU Team for their assistance in helping Aspire Zone
continue to grow long distance
running locally and regionally
which is a fantastic opportunity
for the people of Qatar.”
Aspire Zone has established
itself as Qatar’s premier organisation for hosting major sports
events, training camps and managing the precinct’s world class
sporting venues. In addition,
Aspire Zone continues to focus
on long distance marathons, as
it enhances the sport throughout
the State of Qatar. Abdulla alKhater, Aspire Events Manager
said: “Aspire Zone is proud to
be witnessing two major Ultrarunning international sporting
events this year with the World
Trophy Final and the 100km
World Championships in November. This is the ﬁrst time that
a 50km Trophy race has been
hosted in the Mena region and
demonstrates the exceptional
leadership of Aspire Zone in advancing this sport in the region.”
Speaking on the occasion Nadeem Khan, IAU Communications Director, said: “Aspire Zone
has many great facilities which
are qualiﬁed to support today’s
races and all future ones. It is very
exciting to witness this world
event come to the region and we
have had the pleasure of selecting a total of 38 athletes who represent 17 countries. Once again I
would like to congratulate Aspire
Zone and Qatar for hosting the
ﬁrst ever ultrarunning event in
the Middle East.”
This was followed by an introduction to the world class
athletes who included: Phil Anthony, Paul Martelleti, Michael
Wardian, Emily Harrisson, Tina
Major and Marina Zhalybina. All
of the participants of the Aspire
International 6:50 Race will have
to complete 10 laps of a speciﬁcally designed 5km track at the
Aspire Zone grounds.
Abdulla al-Khater concluded
the press conference by stating
that: “The State of Qatar and Aspire Zone have a long term vision
which includes a renewed interest in ultrarunning and reviving
this sport. The world has begun
to recognize Qatar as a sporting nation and we look forward
to hosting many other sporting
championships in the future.”
The winners across a number
of categories including The 10th
International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) 50km World
Trophy Final Male/Female, Open
Race Male/Female Overall, Open
Race Male/Female under 40,
Open Race Male/Female 40+,
Open Race Male/Female 50+,
Relay Team Male/Female/Mix
and GCC Champion Male/ Female, will be honored at a special
ceremony on Saturday, November 1 at 11am at The Torch Hotel.
Medals will be awarded to ﬁrst,
second and third place winners.
Aspire Zone and IAU officials with the Ultra Marathon Runners.
Bill, Cruden to start for
All Blacks against US
‘It’s another chance for those selected to pull on the jersey and play well’
SONNY BILL WILLIAMS
ode-hopper Sonny Bill
Williams and humbled
ﬂyhalf Aaron Cruden
have been named in
an experimental-looking New
Zealand side to face the United
States in their rugby test at Chicago’s Soldier Field tomorrow.
Williams, who was playing
in Australia’s National Rugby League last month before
crossing codes again to try to
make the All Blacks’ World Cup
squad, was named at his preferred inside centre position in
the side to face the Eagles.
He had been expected to start
in order for coach Steve Hansen
to get him back up to speed in
the 15-man game after he played
a part in two games in New Zealand’s provincial championship before being selected in the
Cruden had also been expected to come back into the side after being disciplined for missing
the team’s ﬂight to Argentina in
September following a boozy
The 25-year-old was supplanted by Beauden Barrett as
the starter for the latter part
of the southern hemisphere’s
Rugby Championship though
he was brought back into the
squad for the third Bledisloe
Cup match in Brisbane two
weeks ago but not named in the
His inclusion in the pivotal
role means Daniel Carter will
make his return to international
rugby off the bench after he
proved his ﬁtness following a
broken leg sustained in the Super Rugby ﬁnal in early August.
Carter, the world’s leading
points scorer, has barely played
at all this year following a sixmonth sabbatical and slow recovery from the broken leg.
Rookie hooker Nathan Harris will also make his ﬁrst start
after he came off the bench
against Argentina last month,
while scrumhalf TJ Perenara
also makes his ﬁrst start in his
eighth test as Hansen gives less
experienced squad players some
valuable game time.
Number eight Kieran Read
will captain the side with openside ﬂanker Richie McCaw
rested and his understudy Sam
Cane given the chance to start
for the ﬁrst time this season
after seven appearances off the
bench. “It’s another chance for
those selected to pull on the jersey and play well,” Hansen said
in a statement.
“On this ... Northern tour, we
want to give all the players in the
squad the opportunity to grow
their game - and we also want
Hodgson to lead
Wallabies in opener
ew Australia coach
Michael Cheika named
Hodgson as his ﬁrst
captain yesterday in the Wallabies’ opening tour match against
the Barbarians in London.
Cheika also reunited the
halves pairing of Quade Cooper
and Will Genia and picked uncapped winger Henry Speight
in his ﬁrst match in charge after Ewen McKenzie’s abrupt
resignation. Cheika said he
recognised open-side ﬂanker
Hodgson for his season with the
Western Force by selecting him
“Matt has demonstrated exceptional leadership attributes
at the Western Force for a long
time now, and he deserves this
opportunity being given to him,”
“To captain your country is
a huge honour and I’ve got no
doubt he’ll step up and provide
the team with the right direction
and leadership needed against
the Barbarians on Saturday.”
It will be the ﬁrst match of a
ﬁve-game tour in November,
which also includes Tests against
Wales, France, Ireland and England. Cheika, installed after McKenzie quit following speculation over player discontent and
his private life, said the team was
looking forward to facing the
“We’ve worked really hard this
week on ensuring our team has a
clear understanding of how we
want to play, next is to transfer
this into the game on Saturday,”
Cheika said in a statement.
“You sense they’re all looking forward to the opportunity
against the Barbarians, and so
far I’ve been impressed with
the level of consistency they’ve
brought to their work.
“This team contains a mix of
players from our last game and
also experienced players eager
to push their way into the Test
team. We’re all looking forward
to playing our ﬁrst game for Australia on this tour.”
Hodgson will lead a back row
which includes fellow Force
teammate Ben McCalman at
No.8 and Scott Higginbotham at
The starting tight ﬁve consists of hooker Saia Fainga’a and
props Benn Robinson and Ben
Alexander, while Sam Carter and
James Horwill will pack down as
the two locks.
Genia and Cooper will be responsible for sparking a backline
which includes ACT Brumbies’
pair Matt Toomua and Tevita
Kuridrani in the centres, Rob
Horne and Speight on the wings
and Israel Folau at fullback.
Australia (15-1) - Israel Folau;
Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani, Matt Toomua, Rob Horne;
Quade Cooper, Will Genia;
Ben McCalman, Matt Hodgson
(capt), Scott Higginbotham;
James Horwill, Sam Carter; Ben
Alexander, Saia Fainga’a, Benn
Reserves: James Hanson,
James Slipper, Sekope Kepu, Will
Skelton, Sean McMahon, Nic
White, Bernard Foley, Christian
Leali’ifano, Joe Tomane (one to
for Children in Sport
receives ICSS support
to develop our game as a team and it starts on Saturday.”
“While we are giving a
number of players another opportunity this weekend, our expectation is that they will play
to the highest level and we get a
New Zealand: 15-Israel
Dagg, 14-Cory Jane, 13-Ryan
Crotty, 12-Sonny Bill Williams,
11-Charles Piutau, 10-Aaron
Cruden, 9-TJ Perenara, 8-Kieran Read (captain), 7-Sam
Cane, 6-Victor Vito, 5-Patrick
Tuipulotu, 4-Jeremy Thrush,
3-Charlie Faumuina, 2-Nathan
Harris, 1-Joe Moody.
Mealamu, 17-Wyatt Crockett, 18-Ben Franks, 19-Brodie
Retallick, 20-Liam Messam,
21-Augustine Pulu, 22-Daniel
Carter, 23-Julian Savea
International Safeguards for Children in Sport, which has been
launched yesterday, has received full support from the International
Centre for Sport Security (ICSS).
While announcing their support President of the ICSS Mohammed
Hanzab said: “For many young people around the world, sport
means many different things. For some, it is purely for fun. For others, it is way out of poverty. Regardless of why they play, the safety
and well-being of children must be safeguarded.
“At the ICSS, children and young people are at the centre of our
work and these safeguards are an essential stepping stone to
protecting young children who play sport around the world. We
wholeheartedly endorse these safeguards and would urge other
organisations to urgently adopt and implement the measures
outlined in them.”
Executive Director – Sport Integrity, ICSS Chris Eaton, said: “With
global threats like child trafficking on the increase, preserving the
integrity of sport should begin with protecting those most vulnerable and most at risk – young people.
“As an international organisation that is committed itself to protecting sport, the ICSS and its Sport Integrity unit fully support these
pioneering new safeguards, which are in line with our belief that
education and prevention should sit at the very heart of the fight
against sport corruption.
“I would strongly urge any organisation working in sport to adopt
these standards to ensure the safety and well-being of young athletes and create an environment where a new generation of sport
stars can flourish.”
Friday, October 31, 2014
Tabata shines as
Sadd thrash Khor
Qatar SC held to a
frustrating 1-1 draw
by Al Kharaitiyat
Tabata, who transferred to Sadd from Rayyan after they were relegated last season,
scored his team’s first and third goals to give Sadd their eighth win in 10 matches
Action from the QSL match between Qatar SC (in yellow and black)
and Al Kharaitiyat held yesterday. PICTURE: Shemeer Rasheed
By Joe Koraith
Al Sadd’s Rodrigo Tabata (second left) celebrates after scoring a goal yesterday against Al Khor. ((Below) Teammates congratulate Tabata. Pictures: Noushad Thekkayil
By Sports Reporter
odrigo Tabata scored a brace as
Al Sadd consolidated their position in the Qatar Stars League
with an emphatic 4-1 win over
Al Khor yesterday.
Tabata, who transferred to Al Sadd
from Al Rayyan after the Lions were
relegated last season, scored his team’s
ﬁrst and third goals to give Al Sadd their
eighth win in 10 matches.
Abdulkarim Hassan and Ali Asadulla
completed the misery for Al Khor, although they managed to pull one back
Yesterday’s win took the Wolves’ tally
to 26 points, putting pressure on defending champions Lekhwiya who face a crucial match against Al Arabi today.
Lekhwiya surrendered their lead to Al
Sadd earlier this week and are in second
spot with 22 points. They need a win today to keep the heat on Al Sadd or risk
falling behind in the title race.
Al Sadd’s supremacy was never in
doubt, especially with Brazilian Tabata
ﬁnally ﬁnding his scoring touch after
having had a lacklustre season so far.
The Al Khor defence had a tough time
keeping him at bay as Tabata time and
again threatened to score.
The diminutive attacking midﬁelder,
however, could not be denied for long
as he struck off a solo effort in the 27th
minute, wrong-footing the Al Khor goalkeeper Baba Djibril with a low shot.
Al Sadd continued to squander chances thereafter, Tabata himself going close
a couple of times and goalkeeper Djibril
also came up with a ﬁne save.
However, in their keenness to attack,
Al Sadd conceded the equalizer in the
42nd. William met a long pass from Djibril just outside the penalty area, and after outwitting the late-reacting defence
drove the ball powerfully into the right
corner of the net past Al Sadd goalkeeper
Al Khor’s joy was short-lived as they
conceded their second goal in similar
fashion, Abdulkarim Hassan chesting
down a long pass from goalkeeper alSheeb and driving home comfortably at
the stroke of half-time.
Al Sadd upped their game a few notches in the second session and struck their
third goal with Asadulla doing most of the
spadework and passing to Tabata, who
scored from close range in the 69th minute.
Asadulla himself beneﬁted from a
Tabata pass in the 75th minute to help Al
Sadd complete the rout.
Al Sadd could have had another goal
but Abdulkarim Hassan missed a penalty,
Djibril making a ﬁne save.
Ooredoo felicitates Qatar U-19 team
HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammad bin Saud al-Thani, Ooredoo Chairman (fourth right), HE Salah bin
Ghanem bin Nasser al-Ali, Qatar’s Minister of Youth and Sports (third right), Waleed al-Sayed, Ooredoo Chief
Operating Officer (second right), Qatar U-19 captain Ahmed Moein (fifth right), Qatar U19 coach Felix Sanchez
Bas (second left) and other guests during the felicitation ceremony yesterday. PICTURES: Nasar TK
t was a frustrating evening
for Qatar SC in the Qatar
Stars League yesterday as
they were held to a 1-1 draw
by Al Kharaitiyat.
Qatar SC endured a horrible
start to their QSL campaign this
season. They lost their ﬁrst two
matches 5-0 and 3-1 which lead
to the sacking of their then high
proﬁle coach Ivan Hasek. Iraqi
Radhi Shenaishil was brought in
to arrest the decline and he produced one of those magical turnarounds which made everyone sit
up and notice the team.
They went on a four-match
unbeaten streak which included
a 5-1 thrashing on Al Gharafa but
that momentum was broken with
the loss to El Jaish. They got back
to winning ways against Shamal
but then lost to Al Sadd who are
on a roll this season.
It was in this stop start mode
that Qatar SC came into yesterday’s match looking to get back
to climbing up the table but they
met a resilient Kharaitiyat who
have won just two games but also
managed to draw three.
Qatar SC got an early goal
through Ali Awad in the ﬁrst
minute of the game and looked
set for another dominating performance but while they had
major share of the possession,
they couldn’t break down the
It was a game which saw a set
pattern with Qatar SC building an
attack but failing to ﬁnd the back
of the net and then Kharaitiyat
attacking on the counter. Qatar
SC looked the more threatening
of the two but their opponents
were getting bolder on the counter and that is how the equaliser
In the 40th minute Kharaitiyat
attacked on the counter which
saw Issiar Dia being brought
down inside the box by Qatar
SC’s Medhat Mostafa and though
it looked like the ball had hit the
striker on the hand, the referee
awarded the penalty. Waleed Jassimy stepped up to take the penalty and he slotted the ball into
the left corner and put the match
level in the 43rd minute. The celebration was a unique one with
Jassimy taking out his shin pad
and taking a selﬁe of the team.
Wonder how many megapixels
Just ﬁve minutes after
Kharaitiyat got a great chance to
take the lead when M Sadd took
advantage of a sloppy pass from
the Qatar SC defence and he
passed the ball to Hasan Mahmoud who was in a good position
inside the box to score but shot
The second half saw Qatar SC
show more intent and dominate
possession but couldn’t score
due to their own inability to convert the moves into goals and also
due to the Kharaitiyat goalkeeper
Khalifa Ndiaye who kept coming out to pluck the ball out of
the many corners that Qatar SC
The closes Qatar SC came to
taking the lead was in the 87th
minute when Cho Youngcheol
supplied a great pass to Hamdi
Harbaoui but the goal machine,
who has notched up nine goals so
far, scuffed his shot wide.
Qatar SC coach Shenaishil
would have been hoping for a
better performance from his
team considering the form that
they had been showing recently
against weaker teams but they
came up short against a determined Kharaitiyat side and will
have to be content sharing the
Al Sailiya hold on for a thrilling 4-3
win over Al Wakrah
In the other match of the day, Al Sailiya (playing in blue and
black stripes) held on for a thrilling 4-3 win over Al Wakrah.
Sailiya who finished fourth last season are having a bad start
to this season with yesterday’s triumph being their only second
win in nine matches so far. PICTURE: Noushad Thekkayil
Friday, October 31, 2014
WORLD SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP
Sykes, Guintoli heading
for showdown at Losail
‘I think I have really good chances. In my mind, I don’t see myself losing’
By Mikhil Bhat
nd then there were two.
One, a defending champion
and the championship leader;
the other, who has nothing
to lose. The round at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar, their only
Kawasaki Racing Team’s Tom Sykes
leads the championship by 12 points
over Aprilia Racing Team’s Sylvain
Guintoli. And the two are the only one
with any chance of winning the title.
“It’s come down to that after a long
season of hard racing and on Sunday
evening we will do the best we can,”
Sykes told Gulf Times yesterday.
The British rider has not won since
the second race in Laguna Seca back in
July. In the four races since then, two
each at Jerez and Magny-Cours, his
best has been third place podium ﬁnish
at the Spanish track.
During this time, Guintoli closed the
gap from 44 to 12, with a string of second place ﬁnishes and a win in the last
race at Magny-Cours.
“It feels good to be so close, especially because we were a long way behind a
couple of races ago. So I would say that
we deﬁnitely have a chance here,” the
Frenchman said. “We are in the hunt,
and this track, I think will be good for
us. I can’t wait actually. It is going to be
“Night race in Qatar makes it a special event, being away from Europe and
ﬁnishing the championship like this. I
think we can do really well.”
Guintoli is more experienced of the
two when it comes to racing in Qatar.
He has also raced under lights, with
his last visit being in 2010 for the FIM
World Endurance Championship and in
MotoGP before that.
“I have raced here many times at
night. The last time I came here was in
2010. It is a track I really like and know
very well obviously,” the 32-year-old,
who ﬁnished third last year, said.
“While I don’t think that will play a
big part, I think Aprilia is going to be
very good here and I like this track.”
Sykes, while has raced around Losail
a couple of times in the past, is counting on a different kind of experience.
“This is my third year in a row that I
am ﬁghting for the championship,” the
29-year-old said. He ﬁnished second in
2012 before winning the title last year.
“I will just try and use best of that experience for an advantage on Sunday.”
In terms of the bike, Sykes plans to
make a couple of changes to his Kawasaki ZX-10R for the ﬁnal weekend
of the season, while Guintoli said he is
conﬁdent he can win without making
any changes to his Aprilia RSV4.
About his strategy for the weekend,
Sykes said: “Winning is always the idea.
Of course, if I follow Sylvain closely in
both the races, I will still win. So yeah, we
will just look at the situation on Sunday.”
Guintoli, on the other hand, said:
“I think I have really good chances. In
my mind, I don’t see myself losing. No
pressure. I am the one in the hunt. I
can’t lose my second place in the championship, so I have nothing to lose.”
The Aprilia rider was also looking
forward to a duel with the championship leader in the ﬁnal race for the title.
“We have not had much of a ﬁght on
the track. We have done some overtaking but we never had the same pace at
the same time. Either I was in front or
he. Maybe it will be a great showdown
in the last race for the championship,”
And then there were two.
WSBK standings (top 10)
1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)
2. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia)
3. Marco Melandri (Aprilia)
4. Jonathan Rea (Honda)
5. Loris Baz (Kawasaki)
6. Chaz Davies (Ducati)
7. Leon Haslam (Honda)
8. Davide Giudliano (Ducati)
9. Eugene Laverty (Suzuki)
10. Toni Elias (Aprilia)
Kawasaki Racing Team rider and
defending champion Tom Sykes (right)
looks at Aprilia Racing Team rider
Sylvain Guintoli during a television
interview on a dhow cruise in Doha
championship standings by 12 points
over Guintoli. (Below) World Superbike
Championship riders enjoy a dhow
Making World Superbike debut
in Qatar is special, says Cudlin
By Mikhil Bhat
lex Cudlin will be making his
World Superbike Championship (WSBK) debut this weekend in Qatar. And he will also
race in the Qatar Superbike Championship (QSBK), which will run as a support
race during WSBK 2014’s ﬁnal weekend.
Cudlin will run for Team Pedercini
with an EVO spec Kawasaki.
“I am looking forward to it. Making my world superbike debut in Qatar
is something very special. I have spent
a lot of my career racing here,” said the
four-time QSBK champion.
“But it will be difficult because I have
to concentrate on two different championships. I am leading in the Qatar
Superbike Championship, and I have to
try and continue winning. And I have to
now also race in WSBK. But I am looking
forward to it. I hope I have a good result,”
the Australian added.
Cudlin will not have to deal with racing in two different championships with
two different competition levels, he will
also have to deal with two different bikes.
“Only thing same is the name of the
bike – Kawasaki. The setting, the tyres,
the mechanics, everything will be different. This will make it hard for sure.
But we have to do what we have to do,”
And then there is the physical aspect of getting on the track a number of
times for racing, qualifying and racing.
“That’s going to be hard, because it is
hot. But I do come from the endurance
background, so I am used to riding a bike
for 24 hours and all, but physically yeah
it will be hard. I feel ﬁt and ready,” the
What does he intend to achieve on his
WSBK debut? “If I can be with the other
EVO guys, this would be a good result.
Obviously it would be nice to ﬁght in
the EVO category for the win, and if I
am able to do that, that would be nice,”
Talking about QSBK, he said: “I am
still motivated to win in QSBK [despite
four titles]. QMMF have me to try and
win the championship and each year it
is getting harder. I still enjoy every single
win. I still have to push the maximum to
do it. If I can make number ﬁve this year,
it will be nicer.”
Alex Cudlin, who rides for the QMMF Racing Team in the Qatar Superbike Championship, will also
race for Team Pedercini in WSBK this weekend.
Safety most important
for FIA: al-Attiyah
FIA vice president Nasser Khalifa
al-Attiyah (pictured) has said that
the return of Oman Rally to the
Middle East Rally Championship
will increase the competition in the
series. Talking at a press conference ahead of the Oman Rally, he
said, “The return of Oman rally to
the Middle East Championship will
increase the competition. It is one
of the oldest rallies in the region,
and enjoys a good history and
The Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF)
president was at Grand Herms Hotel for the Oman Trial
Rally opening ceremony in Muscat along with Oman Automobile Club chairman Salem al-Askari, rally manager
Hani Shaaban, Anwar Alzedgali, Omani assembly board
member Gamal al-Zaire, UAE driver Khaled al-Qassimi,
Oman’s Khaled al-Mangi and Qatar’s Khalifa al-Attiyah.
Al-Attiyah said that FIA considers safety as very important, and that he hoped that the Oman rally would meet
the instructions of FIA to ensure its return to the Middle
East calendar. The Qatari motorsport administrator
said he has been trying hard to accommodate as many
events as possible on the calendar.
He added that among the FIA regional divisions, Europe
is considered as the strongest in motorsport and that he
hopes that competitors from the Middle East are able to
give strong competition and produce champions who
are able to compete internationally.
Rally manager Hani Shaaban said that 24 participants
will compete in the Oman rally, which will consist of 12
stages with different geographical conditions.
Oman has a history of organising rallies since 1978. After
a seven-year absence from the rally calendar, the country is trying to restore its reputation in motorsport.