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Islamist scholars led by Qatar-based Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi urged Arab and Islamic states yesterday to protect Sunni Muslims in Iraq, where sectarian war threatens after Sunni Islamist insurgents overran much of the country’s north. Fighters from the radical Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) seized a swathe of northern Iraqi towns last week in a southwards thrust towards Baghdad. Gulf Arab states have condemned ISIL but blame the Baghdad government for the crisis by failing to share power with Iraq’s Sunni minority. “Sunnis have suffered a great injustice and severe exclusion, so it is natural to make a popular revolution against injustices,” the International Union of Muslim Scholars said in a statement issued from Doha. “The union calls for Arab and Islamic states to prevent any aggression against Sunnis in Iraq, and for the consolidation of efforts to achieve the legitimate rights of all Iraqis.”

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‘Reflect your Respect’ dressing campaign

Muslim states urged to protect Sunnis in Iraq

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QATAR | Awareness

ARAB WORLD | Security

Vol. XXXV No. 9394

June 20, 2014 Sha’baan 22, 1435 AH www. gulf-times.com 2 Riyals

Report hails energy sector’s performance

In brief

The Qatar Centre for Voluntary Activities (QCVA) will today launch the “Reflect your Respect” campaign, which is aimed at raising awareness on the need to dress modestly in public in line with local customs and traditions, Arabic daily Arrayah has reported. The launch was announced by Habis al-Huwail, member of the board of directors at QCVA, and Yousif al-Khilaifi, media co-ordinator of the campaign. AlHuwail said all young Qatari men are invited to take part in this initiative to ensure its success, according to the report. The campaign will be launched at Villaggio, Landmark, Lagoona Mall, Ezdan Mall and Souq Waqif, said al-Khilaifi. The objective of the campaign is to spread a culture of modest dressing among residents and visitors. Al-Khilaifi said the campaign will focus on raising awareness in this respect by introducing Qatari and Islamic values and customs through pamphlets and messages on social networking sites. He expressed hope that the campaign will yield the desired results.

he R is bl TA 978 A 1 Q since

GULF TIMES

FRIDAY

HE Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah receiving the Dewhurst Award from WPC President Dr Renato Bertani.

WPC award for al-Attiyah QNA Moscow

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he World Petroleum Council has granted the Chairman of the Administrative Control and Transparency Authority HE Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah the Dewhurst Award in recognition of his “outstanding contribution to the oil and gas industry” in Qatar and globally. HE al-Attiyah received the award from Dr Renato Bertani, President of the World Petroleum Council, during an official ceremony held in Moscow yesterday afternoon, at the end of the 21st World Petroleum Congress. The award is named after Thomas Dewhurst, who organised the first World Petroleum Congress in 1933. Celebrating scientific and technological excellence in the petroleum industry, the award is a tribute to him and to the person asked to deliver the Dewhurst Lecture. Having led Qatar’s rise to one of the keyplayers in the global gas sector and the world’s largest exporter of LNG, HE al-Attiyah, joins a prestigious group of past recipients who have been respected leaders in the industry and demonstrated unusually high achievements over many years. The World Petroleum Council was established in 1933 and provides a forum for discussion of the issues facing the oil and gas industry worldwide. It is a nonadvocacy, non-political organisation, dedicated to the application of scientific advances in the oil and gas industries, technology transfer and the sustainable use of the world’s petroleum resources for the benefit of all. The WPC is registered as a charity in the UK.

Speaking the ceremony, HE al-Attiyah expressed his pleasure and his thanks for the WPC and the organisers to give him this award of the global value. He praised the discussions and findings made during the 21st Congress, explaining that it embodies the Thomas Dewhurst vision of that led to the holding of the first global Congress of Petroleum in 1933. In this context, HE al-Attiyah expressed pride for Qatar hosting the 20th World Petroleum Congress in Doha in 2011. HE al-Attiyah went on to review the achievements and the great successes made by the State of Qatar in the oil and gas sectors during the last stage, stressing that this success is owed to the vision of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, and HH the Father Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, during the period of their wise leadership of the country, where Their Highnesses guidance have direct impact in building strong and sustainable relationships with international partners, in addition to the strong implementation of the oil and gas projects. He stressed the need for global cooperation, commitment and desire to invest in capital, technology, and most importantly, investment in human resources, which he said will definitely be the future of the energy industry. He noted that he was a witness to the remarkable progress achieved by the State of Qatar in many aspects, especially the development of oil and gas sector… noting in this regard that Qatar is the main source of liquefied natural gas in the world and first in the world in the field of gas-to-liquid, is also the capital of the world in the field of gas-to-liquids, and the host country of 2022 World Cup.

By Santhosh V Perumal Business Reporter

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atar’s energy sector witnessed a 3% reduction in natural gas consumer per tonne of production, more than 2% in natural gas usage, 13% in flaring and 10% in per capita electricity consumption in 2013. Given the sector’s increased levels of production, energy consumption continues to rise together with greenhouse gas emissions, albeit only slightly, according to 2013 Report on Sustainability within the Qatar Energy and Industry Sector, which was released by HE the Minister of Energy and Industry Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada. The report, which provides consolidated information and analysis on the performance and approach of 36 companies on a range of economic, environmental and social topics -has been produced by the Qatar Petroleum Health, Safety and Environment Regulations and Enforcement Directorate (DG) as part of the sector-wide Sustainable Development Industry Reporting (SDIR) programme. The focus remains on energy efficiency, which for the majority of the companies has improved slightly, it said, adding “the sector has also

achieved reduction in natural gas usage as well as significant drop in flaring, with clear targets for further reductions by many companies in 2014/15.” The report also highlighted 19% increase in community investment spending and the sector’s investment in social and community based projects amounted to $143mn in 2013. These investments covered education, health and safety, sports, environment, science and technology, arts and culture. On economic performance, the report said a total of 1,174 new jobs were created and the sector saw a 6.4% increase in revenues to $153bn. “A range of multi-billion dollar oil, gas, helium, refining and petrochemical projects are currently underway, which will further expand the sector’s output in the years ahead,” the report said. On health and safety, it said there was 16% reduction in contractor lost time incident rate (LTIR) and Total Recordable Incidence Rate (TRIR), 13% in employee occupational illness and 15% in employee TRIR. In 2013, the sector completed more than 356mn man-hours in which there were a total of 529 recordable personal safety incidents, a 22% reduction from 2012. About the environment, the sector reported 36% of waste recycled, which

was 2% short of the 2016 national target of 38%. Moreover, there was 2.2% reduction in fresh water used and the sector recycled 24.5mn cu m of water. Also there was 9% reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions. The reporting on workforce indicators reached 83% completeness and from the data submitted, the sector workforce grew 3.1%, leading to a stable Qatarisation rate of 25% and female employment rate of 10%. The amount of training delivered to employees rose by 169,211 hours to reach an average of 30 hours of training per employee. Qatar Petroleum also awarded yesterday a total of 12 companies for their initiatives towards sustainability reporting and performance in 2013. A total of eight were awarded for their excellence in sustainability management, operational health and safety, environmental management and socio-economic and corporate social responsibility activities, and another four received special awards for their innovative projects and programmes. The companies were honoured by HE Dr al-Sada in the presence of HE the Minister of Development Planning and Statistics Dr Saleh Mohamed Salem al-Nabit and HE the Minister of Environment Ahmed Amer Mohamed al-Humaidi. BUSINESS Page 1

HE Dr al-Sada with awardees for excellence in sustainability reporting and performance. PICTURE: Anas Khalid

Lethal Suarez gives Uruguay 2-1 win over England Qatar 2022 dismisses Reuters Sao Paulo

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uis Suarez struck twice including a dramatic late winner to earn Uruguay a 2-1 victory over England in a pulsating World Cup Group D match yesterday. Restored to the lineup after injury, Suarez nodded home Edinson Cavani’s cross in the 39th minute and after Wayne Rooney equalised in the second half the Uruguayan took advantage of slack defending to slam home the winner five minutes from time. The result left England, who lost 2-1 to Italy in their opener, bottom of the group and with little hope of reaching the last 16. Italy play Costa Rica in the other group match today. After a tense start at the Corinthians arena the game burst to life when Rooney, restored to his more favoured central role, whipped a wicked free kick just wide of Fernando Muslera’s post with 10 minutes gone. Rooney went even closer after half an hour when he met Steven Gerrard’s inswinger but his close-range header

smacked back off the woodwork while he landed in the net. With England fans jeering Suarez’s every touch, the stage was set for him to turn the game on its head. A lucky break in midfield sent the ball out wide to Cavani and Suarez escaped the attentions of Phil Jagielka to nod back across England goalkeeper Joe Hart for a 1-0 lead.

Today’s World Cup matches Group D Italy vs Costa Rica, 7pm Group E Switzerland vs France, 10pm Honduras vs Ecuador, 1am (Saturday)

Suarez, who had been well policed by England’s centre backs until that point, wheeled away with a huge smile on his face, kissing his wrists and gesturing frantically in delight. After the break, Uruguay had England on the ropes and Cavani should have done better when put clean through on Hart by Suarez, but the rampaging for-

ward screwed his shot wide. England gradually regained the initiative with Rooney, widely criticised for his performance against Italy, at the heart of all their best work. The number 10, who had never scored in the World Cup, picked up the scraps from a Leighton Baines delivery and brought a terrific save out of Muslera in the 55th minute. Just as it looked like England would never find the net Rooney breathed new life into them. Full back Glen Johnson worked his way into the box after delightful work by Sturridge, and his square ball was rammed home by Rooney at the far post, sending the massed ranks of England fans behind the goal into a frenzy. England were in the ascendancy but when Gerrard failed to deal with Muslera’s punt Suarez was away, outpacing Gary Cahill and slamming the ball past Hart. England pushed for an equaliser but Uruguay held firm, picking up three points that could go a long way to putting them in the knockout stages. See sport pages for World Cup reports

‘baseless’ allegations QNA Doha

Uruguay’s Luis Suarez celebrates after their team’s victory over England.

The recent baseless allegations by France Football magazine follow a disturbing pattern in the media of publishing stories designed to tarnish the reputation of Qatar’s 2022 Bid Committee,” the Supreme Committee for Delivery and legacy said in a statement yesterday. “This latest article is riddled with inaccuracies and falsehoods and is indicative of a blatant disregard for ethical reporting,” the statement added. France Football, a French bi-weekly magazine, had alleged that Real Madrid president Florentino Perez had a role in Qatar getting the

chance to host football’s most prestigious event. “We reiterate that in every aspect of the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup bidding process, we played by the rules and won fair and square,” the Qatar committee said, adding that its legal team is exploring “all avenues to defend the integrity of our successful bid.” Real Madrid has already trashed France Football’s allegation a couple of days ago. The top Spanish club has also threatened to sue France Football over its “false” report. “Real Madrid and their president, Florentino Pérez, will take the legal action they consider appropriate against France Football and against the authors of the report,” the Club said.


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Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

QATAR

Minister opens first Islamic cultural centre in Denmark QNA/Agencies Copenhagen

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E the Minister of Endowments and Islamic Affairs Dr Ghaith bin Mubarak al-Kuwari yesterday opened the first Islamic cultural centre in Denmark. The cost of setting up the cultural centre, called Hamad bin Khalifa Centre, was covered by HH the Father Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani. It is managed by the Danish Islamic Council. Addressing the opening ceremony here yesterday, HE Dr al-Kuwari said the day marks a significant milestone in the history of ties between the Muslim world and Denmark. He added that the opening of Hamad bin Khalifa Centre “is an actual reflection of a firm desire” by the two sides to know each other more. He said that Qatar and its leadership effectively contribute to all the positive initiatives for dialogue between cultures and civilisations and mutual understanding between peoples. He stressed that Qatar is proud of its support for this cultural project and views it as a bridge to build trust, and as a beacon to achieve mutual understanding, between Denmark and the Muslim world. He hoped that the centre would succeed in overcoming the effects of the negative images at the turn of the century, which were a source of tension between Denmark and the Muslim world. Danish Islamic Council chairman Abdelhamid al-Hamdi handed Dr al-Kuwari a gift for HH the Father Emir from the Muslims of Denmark. Qatar’s Ambassador to Neth-

Official

Emir, PM greet Spain’s king HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani have sent cables of congratulations to King Felipe VI on his accession to the throne of the Kingdom of Spain, wishing him success and more progress and prosperity to the Spanish people.

Qatar-Kenya ties reviewed HE the Minister of State for Defence Affairs Major General Hamad bin Ali al-Attiyah yesterday met Cabinet Secretary of Sports, Culture and Arts of Kenya Hassan Arero Wario. Talks dealt with issues of common interest. The meeting was attended by a number of senior army officers.

Envoy meets Chinese official Deputy Director of China’s State Forestry Administration Liu Dongsheng met Qatar’s Ambassador Sultan bin Salmeen al-Mansouri. They exchanged views on ways to enhance co-operation, especially in the area of nature reserves and the fight against desertification.

Assistant FM in Japan talks HE the Minister of Endowments and Islamic Affairs Dr Ghaith bin Mubarak al-Kuwari attending the official opening of the Islamic cultural centre in Rovsingsgade, Copenhagen. erlands Kahlid bin Fahad alKhater attended the opening ceremony along with a group of senior officials at the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs. Earlier, spokesman for the

Danish Islamic Council Mohamed al-Maimouni, said : “We were so happy with this donation: it’s a generous gift that comes with no demands.” The organisation initially tried to raise money for the cul-

tural centre in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia before an appearance on Qatar’s Al Jazeera news channel caught the attention of HH the Father Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani. The group told Gulf financiers

it wanted to create a platform for dialogue between Danish Muslims and other groups in Danish society. To that end, representatives from the Church of Denmark as well as from the Jewish commu-

nity were invited to yesterday’s inauguration. “With this platform you can avoid conflicts like the one over the cartoons, because it creates dialogue and understanding,” alMaimouni said.

Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Takao Makino has met HE the Assistant Foreign Minister for Foreign Affairs Mohamed bin Abdullah al-Rumaihi, who is currently visiting Japan. During the meeting in Tokyo, they discussed bilateral relations and discussed international and regional issues.

QIS students get tips on healthy diet, lifestyle T

Participants of the training programme.

Ezdan Holding employees attend training course F ifteen employees of Ezdan Holding Group have taken part in a training course held by the group in collaboration with the General Directorate of Civil Defence (GDCD). The course, titled “The Art of Crisis Management”, was organised in the framework of the close co-operation between the group and all community bodies - both governmental and private. Ezdan Holding Group holds such training programmes with the aim of highlighting its eagerness to develop the skills and expertise of all its members. The training course, which lasted five days, was conducted by Maj Hussain Aman al-Ali, assistant director of the Prevention Department of GDCD and adviser as well as chairman of the Dukhr committee for community development at Qatar Charity. Maj al-Ali is also adviser to the Sheikh Thani bin Abdullah Foundation for Humanitarian Services (RAF). The training session aimed at providing the required tools to participants to achieve success and leadership in different environments as well as to avoid

crises and deal with them wisely. The course taught participants ways to hone their skills as required to enable them to cope with crises efficiently and according to scientific methods. The course aimed at defining the concept of crisis, with Maj al-Ali introducing it as a state that requires a decision that may have negative effects on an individual or a family. According to him, a crisis is a condition of instability or danger caused by different factors – social and economic - leading to a decisive change or loss of control over circumstances. Maj alAli reviewed a number of cases to explain and clarify the best ways to make good decisions to cope with a crisis. He stressed that participation in the activities of the training session equips employees with appropriate skills and enables them to respond to all work variables in different circumstances. Maj al-Ali praised the close co-operation between Ezdan Holding Group and GDCD for the pivotal role played by both parties in the service of society and to meet its aspirations and needs.

On his part, Ezdan Holding Group deputy CEO Nasser Mohamed al-Abdulla said: “The group is seeking to organise a number of training courses and workshops with the aim of permanently developing the skills of all employees in line with the vision of the chairman, Sheikh Dr Khalid bin Thani bin Abdullah al-Thani, who is always working to provide an ideal environment for all staff of the group. He continues to seek ways to develop appropriate mechanisms in line with the massive development witnessed in the Qatari market at all levels.” Further, al-Abdulla said Ezdan Holding Group has already held a number of courses in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University for the benefit of a large segment of employees and managers of the group. They were taught leadership skills, quality of services and business management. He said Ezdan Holding Group is keen to provide support and sponsorship to the annual conference and exhibition of the Civil Defence due to the belief that it is a vital component of contributing to the community.

he Qatar Museums (QM) Primary School Programmes organised in partnership with Qatar International School (QIS) a creative project for students focused on healthy living using sugar as main topic. Using drama, movement and cooking techniques, the project brought positive change into the school and students’ lives through arts and culture, bringing museums beyond the four walls and making learning about healthy living fun. Held at the QIS from 1 to 16 June, the project involved all Year 5 classes. Each of them worked on a unique project but collectively contributed to one exhibition. During the last week of the project, students of each class shared their projects with other classes by providing them with a taste of their creative process and experience, through interactive presentations. Angela Ruggles, head of schools, QM said: “This project helped students gain ownership over their decisions and grow their skills in critical thinking by using creativity and hands-on learning. We hope that participants were inspired to make healthier choices in life.” Eman al-Abdulla, museum co-ordinator at QM, said: “The best part of the project was inspiring the students to enjoy healthy living through creativity.” “The children are so lucky to be part of such a fantastic project,” said Nicola Ramsden, Year 5 Teacher at QIS. She added: “They need as many opportunities as they can to know about healthy eating and its effects on their lifestyle. Hopefully many changes will be made.” Open to parents, students and QIS family, the exhibition featured work and photographs from various stages of the projects. It included creative advertisement making and sugar

Students taking part in the workshop.

A sugar art installation. art installations made by students using the average amount of sugar a child eats in a year. Students also explored the

process of sugar absorption in the body through kids’ yoga and dramatic games and learned fun and exciting exercises and movements.

They also took part in multiple cooking classes learning new artful fruity recipes and making healthy sweet alternatives.


Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

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REGION/ARAB WORLD

Battle on for Iraq refinery as US mulls air strikes Reuters Tikrit

US ready to send advisers, conduct strikes in Iraq

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President Barack Obama said yesterday the US was ready to send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq and was prepared to make targeted strikes in the country to combat an extremist insurgency. Obama said American forces would not be returning to combat in Iraq. He said Secretary of State John Kerry would leave this weekend for meetings in the Middle East and Europe. Obama urged Iraq leaders to rise above their differences and come together for a political solution to the crisis.

raqi government forces yesterday battled Sunni rebels for control of the country’s biggest refinery as Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki waited for a US response to an appeal for air strikes to beat back the threat to Baghdad. Secretary of State John Kerry said President Barack Obama still had “all options” open to him but US regional allies Turkey and Saudi Arabia echoed concern in Washington about the risk of US action serving only to inflame the sectarian war. In the meantime, the US began flying F-18 attack aircraft from the carrier George H W Bush on missions over Iraq to conduct surveillance of the insurgents. The carrier was ordered into the Gulf several days ago. The sprawling Baiji refinery, 200km north of the capital near Tikrit, was a battlefield as troops loyal to the Shia-led government held off insurgents from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and its allies who had stormed the perimeter a day earlier, threatening national energy supplies. A government spokesman said around noon (0900 GMT) that

its forces were in “complete control” but a witness in Baiji said fighting was continuing and ISIL militants were still present. A day after the government publicly appealed for US air power, there were indications Washington is sceptical of whether that would be effective, given the risk of civilian deaths that could further enrage Iraq’s once dominant Sunni minority. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, a Nato ally, said the US

“does not view such attacks positively”, given the risk to civilians. A Saudi source said that Western powers agreed with Riyadh that what was needed was political change, not outside intervention, to heal sectarian division that has widened under Maliki. Video aired by Al Arabiya television showed smoke billowing from the Baiji plant and the black flag used by ISIL flying from a building. Workers who had been inside the complex, which spreads for miles close to the Tigris river, said Sunni militants seemed to hold most of the compound in early morning and that security forces were concentrated around the refinery’s control room. The 250-300 remaining staff were evacuated early yesterday, one of those workers said by telephone. Military helicopters had attacked militant positions overnight, he added. Baiji, 40km north of Saddam Hussain’s home city of Tikrit, lies squarely in territory captured in the past week by an array of armed Sunni groups, spearheaded by ISIL, which is seeking a new Islamic caliphate in Iraq and Syria. On Tuesday, staff shut down the plant, which makes much of the fuel Iraqis in the north need

Iraqi volunteers take part in a training session in Karbala, about 80km southwest of Baghdad. for both transport and generating electricity. ISIL has led a Sunni charge across northern Iraq after capturing the major city of Mosul last week as Maliki’s US-armed forces collapsed. The group’s advance has only been slowed by a regrouped military, Shia militias and other volunteers. The government announced yesterday that those who joined up to fight in “hot areas” would be paid about $150 a week. Sunni fighters took the small town of Mutasim, south of Samarra, giving them the prospect of encircling the city which houses a major Shia shrine. A local police source said security forces withdrew without a fight when dozens of vehicles

carrying insurgents converged on Mutasim from three directions. ISIL, whose leader broke with Al Qaeda after accusing the global jihadist movement of being too cautious, has now secured cities and territory in Iraq and Syria, in effect putting it well on the path to establishing its own well-armed enclave that Western countries fear could become a centre for terrorism. The Iraqi government made public on Wednesday its request for US air strikes, two and half years after US forces ended the nine-year occupation that began by toppling Saddam in 2003. Asked whether Washington would accede to that appeal, Kerry told NBC only that “nothing is off the table”. Some politicians have urged

Obama to insist that Maliki goes as a condition for further US help. Asked about US aid for the prime minister, Kerry said: “What the US is doing is about Iraq, it’s not about Maliki. Nothing the president decides to do is going to be focused specifically on Prime Minister Maliki. It is focused on the people of Iraq.” US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, say Iraq has asked for drone strikes and increased surveillance by US drones, which have been flying over Iraq. However, officials note, targets for air strikes could be hard to distinguish from civilians among whom ISIL’s men were operating. From Iran, which has pledged to intervene if necessary in Iraq to protect Shia holy places, a

tweet from an account linked to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei noted that Western powers support the mostly Sunni revolt against Syria’s Iranianbacked leader. It called for Sunnis and Shias to resist efforts by the militants and the West to divide Muslims. If the Baiji refinery falls, ISIL and its allies will have access to a large supply of fuel to add to the weaponry and economic resources seized in Mosul and across the north. An oil ministry official said the loss of Baiji would cause shortages in the north, including the autonomous Kurdish area, but that the impact on Baghdad would be limited - at around 20% of supplies - since it was served by other refineries.

Title agreed, but not much else, on Iran nuclear draft AFP Vienna

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A picture released by the Saudi Press Agency of Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal (right) and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation secretary general Iyad bin Amin Madani chairing a ministerial meeting of the bloc in Jeddah.

OIC pledges to take on ‘sectarian policies’ AFP Jeddah

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he Saudi-based Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which represents more than 1.5bn Muslims worldwide, yesterday affirmed a commitment to unity in combatting “sectarian” policies. OIC members will stand “united in combatting sectarian, confessional, and exclusion policies that have led to sedition in some countries and threatened their security and stability,” said a statement issued at the end of a two-day meeting in the Red Sea city of Jeddah. Sunni Muslim militants, led by the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and including supporters of executed dictator Saddam Hussein, have overrun a large chunk of northern and north-central Iraq in the past week. The statement, read by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, did not explicitly name Iraq although many countries, including Saudi Arabia, have said the “sectarian” policies of the Shialed government are to blame for the successes of the Sunni insurgents.

Speaking to reporters, Faisal accused Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki of “stirring” up trouble in his own country and said he was behind “the deterioration of the situation in Iraq.” His comments came in response to a question on Baghdad’s allegations that Saudi Arabia should be held responsible for militant financing and crimes committed by insurgent groups in Iraq. “These accusations are ridiculous,” said Faisal. “My advice to Maliki is to follow a policy similar to that of Saudi Arabia in fighting terrorism.” Saudi authorities launched a massive crackdown on Al Qaeda following a spate of deadly attacks from 2003-2006, prompting many militants to flee to neighbouring Yemen. There they established Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, now considered one of the global network’s most formidable affiliates. Saudi media has been minimising the role of ISIL, designated by the Sunnidominated kingdom as a “terrorist” organisation, through highlighting the role of Sunni tribes and other armed groups in the insurgency in Iraq. On neighbouring Syria, the 57-member OIC condemned “terrorism in all its

forms” and denounced the international community’s “failure’ to find a solution to the Syrian conflict. In another statement, dubbed the ‘Jeddah Declaration’, the meeting rejected polls in June that saw Syrian President Bashar al-Assad re-elected despite an uprising against his rule that left tens of thousands dead across the country. “The ministers rejected the presidential elections held recently in Syria and their entire results as they contravene the Geneva Communique” about a democratic transition in Syria, it said. The declaration also “expressed concern over the developments in Libya and called on all Libyan parties to enter into a comprehensive and inclusive national dialogue to arrive at a compromise solution that will end the crisis” there. It also “condemned the violent activities of the extremist Boko Haram group and reaffirmed unwavering solidarity and support to the people and government of Nigeria.” And it called for “an immediate end to all forms of violence against Muslims” in the Central African Republic, the site of fighting between mainly Muslim exrebels and Christian militias.

acing against the clock, nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers appeared tough going yesterday with both sides warning of major differences as they tried to draft an accord. The hoped-for agreement would see Iran scale back its nuclear programme, in order to ease fears it is seeking atomic weapons, and avert a conflict in the Middle East. Iran, which has seen its relations with the West thaw somewhat since the 2013 election of President Hassan Rohani, wants painful UN and Western sanctions lifted. It denies wanting the bomb. On the fourth day of a fifth round of talks in Vienna, Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany started haggling over the wording of a deal, officials said. But beyond agreeing a title for the accord, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamed Javad Zarif said that “fundamental differences” were dividing the two sides and that the talks were “very difficult”. Top Iranian negotiator Abbas Araqchi said that they were “drafting the text of a final agreement, not the big issues but the general framework and the introduction.” A diplomat said that Iran was refusing to budge on most issues and echoed that drafting language in the text on the “complex issues” had not begun. “It is worrying that there is no evolution on the part of the Iranians on most subjects,” the diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity, with differences on key issue uranium enrichment “major”. Enrichment is front and centre of Western concerns about Iran’s nuclear ambitions, as the process can produce both fuel for nuclear power plants and, when highly purified, the core of an atomic bomb. The West wants Iran to slash the number of centrifuges, machines that enrich uranium, from 20,000, but Tehran wants to install many more in order, it says, to fuel future nuclear plants.

Jail for professor who questioned nuclear programme Iran has sentenced a prominent academic to 18 months in prison for “spreading propaganda against the Islamic Republic” after he questioned the utility of its disputed nuclear programme. Sadegh Zibakalam, a political science professor at the University of Tehran, yesterday confirmed to Reuters that Iranian news reports of his conviction, after he questioned the wisdom of vast state spending on a nuclear power programme that the West suspects is a front for developing weapons technology. “I was the first one to publicly ask critics of the Geneva deal, ‘What has the nuclear programme done for this country? How will an agreement be a problem for the country?’” said Zibakalam who is free pending an appeal. He was referring to the interim deal signed with world powers in

Other thorny issues include the duration of the mooted accord, the pace of any sanctions relief and a reactor being built at Arak that might give Iran weapons-grade plutonium. It was unclear whether the talks would wrap up on Thursday or continue into a fifth day. Mark Fitzpatrick, a former US State Department official now at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, said putting off discussion of key issues was “hardly promising”. “But at this stage it is not surprising. If there is going to be a breakthrough on the key issues, it won’t come until the last moment,” Fitzpatrick told AFP. Araqchi told IRNA on Wednesday that choosing to push back a July 20 deadline for an accord - when an interim deal struck in November expires - “won’t be a catastrophe”. But US President Barack Obama is not seen as keen, seeking ahead of November midterm US elections to silence accusations that the talks are merely giving Iran time to inch ever closer to the bomb. Complicating the process is the shared interest of Washington and

November by which Tehran agreed to limit some of its nuclear work in return for the easing of some sanctions imposed by countries concerned Iran is seeking atomic weapons. Iran has one nuclear power station and has plans to build many more, saying that would free up more of its vast oil reserves for export. In newspaper articles and speeches, Professor Zibakalam said the money spent on the nuclear programme would be better spent on education and health. He was hopeful his sentence would be quashed on appeal. “I don’t think this decision will be acceptable under the (Rohani) administration because they are doing all they can to solve the nuclear issue,” he said. “Moreover, Rohani asked universities not to leave the government alone and to support their work to achieve a nuclear deal.”

Shia Iran in seeing a lightning onslaught by Sunni rebels in Iraq stopped in its tracks. On Monday, US and Iranian officials briefly discussed the crisis on the sidelines in Vienna, although Washington said this would not be repeated. On Wednesday a senior aide to Rohani, his chief of staff Mohamed Nahavandian, appeared to say that success in the nuclear talks could pave the way for US-Iranian cooperation in Iraq. “If that comes to a final resolution, then there might be opportunities for other issues to be discussed,” Nahavandian said in Norway. In Israel, assumed to have nuclear weapons itself and which has not ruled out bombing Iran, a minister yesterday expressed fears that the crisis may lead Washington to make concessions in Vienna. But US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Wednesday that any discussion of Iraq would be “entirely separate” from the nuclear talks. “Any effort to connect the two is a nonstarter for the US,” Psaki told reporters.


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Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

ARAB WORLD ACCIDENT

PUNISHED

UNDER FIRE

COMMUTED

OLD AGE WOES

5 Hamas militants killed in Gaza tunnel collapse

Man hanged for murder of singer’s daughter

South Sudan bishop slams all sides for stalling talks

Jordan cuts sentence in ‘honour killing’

Mubarak breaks leg in hospital fall: medics

An explosion killed at least five members of Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, in a tunnel under the Israeli border, Palestinian officials said yesterday. “Five martyrs were killed in a resistance activity in Saghira neighbourhood” in eastern Gaza City, the local Hamas information office said, without elaborating. A security source told AFP the “accidental explosion” happened “inside of an Al-Qassam Brigades tunnel, which collapsed on some 12 members.” Eyewitnesses reported a large explosion near the border with Israel. The Israeli army told AFP they had no knowledge of the incident.

Egypt yesterday hanged a man convicted of murdering the daughter of a Moroccan singer and her friend six years ago during a bungled burglary, security officials said. The November 2008 murder of Heba al-Akkad, the 23-yearold daughter of singer Leila Ghofran, and her friend Nadine Gamal in an affluent Cairo suburb had sparked a massive hunt for the killer. A blacksmith was arrested in connection with the murders, with police saying at the time he had entered Akkad’s apartment with the intention of stealing money and had killed her and Gamal. The man was sentenced to death in 2010 and executed yesterday at the Wadi al-Natrun prison.

Religious leaders from South Sudan yesterday accused warring factions of stalling peace talks to prolong fighting as the government and rebels continued to boycott negotiations. Both the government of President Salva Kiir and rebels loyal to former vice president Riek Machar are refusing to restart talks aimed at ending six months of bloodshed. “We fear that the warring parties may want to resort to war, it’s kind of a delaying tactic,” South Sudanese Bishop Enoch Tombe Stephen told reporters in the Ethiopian capital. “They may be tempted to go back to the battlefield and fight it out. We do not agree with that position, rather we encourage them to return to the negotiation table.”

A Jordanian court yesterday reduced the sentence of a Pakistani man who killed his teenaged wife and her alleged lover last year “to cleanse his honour”, a judicial official said. “Amman criminal court today initially condemned the 28-year-old Pakistani to death by hanging but immediately reduced the sentence to 10 years in jail after the families of the victims, also from Pakistan, dropped all legal claims against him,” the official told AFP. “He was charged with premeditated murder after he shot dead his 16-year-old wife and her alleged lover, who was also 16 in 2013.” The man “confessed that he wanted to cleanse his honour”.

Egypt’s ousted president Hosni Mubarak yesterday broke a leg yesterday in the Cairo military hospital where he has been detained for much of the time since his overthrow in 2011. The 86-year-old, who prided himself on his health during his three decades in power, was on the way to the toilet when he had a fall, medical sources said. The former strongman, who was handed a three-year jail term on corruption charges last month, could undergo surgery to fix his broken femur with screws, the sources added. While in power, the veteran strongman, who famously survived a spate of assassination attempts, made much of his love of squash.

30 new arrests as Israel hunts teens in W Bank AFP Jerusalem

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sraeli troops arrested some 30 Palestinians in the West Bank overnight as they ramped up a search for three teenagers believed kidnapped by Hamas, the army said yesterday. The arrests raised the number of Palestinians detained since the youths went missing a week ago to 280, around three-quarters of them members of the Islamist Hamas movement, a statement said. The teenagers, two of them minors, disappeared from a popular hitchhiking spot in the sprawling southern West Bank Gush Etzion settlement bloc late on June 12. Israel accuses Hamas of being behind the abductions and has launched a far-reaching military operation aimed at finding the teenagers and also crushing the movement’s infrastructure in the West Bank. “They were kidnapped by Hamas, we had no doubt of that. It’s absolutely certain,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a briefing yesterday at a West Bank army base near Hebron. Netanyahu did not offer evidence, but said “we know more today that we did a few days ago”, implying the operation could take much more time. “I expect (Palestinian) President (Mahmoud) Abbas to dissolve the union with this murderous terror organisation. I think that’s important for our common future,” he added. On June 2, Abbas appointed a Palestinian unity government made up of independents, which is committed to renouncing violence, but is backed by Hamas which is sworn to the Jewish state’s destruction. Soldiers had overnight searched around 100 locations and stormed 10 Hamas organisations, which the army said were used by the Islamists “to recruit, disseminate information and enable cash flow”. One of the sites targeted was the

Israeli soldiers deploy with a sniffer dog in Bet Kahel, near Hebron, West Bank, as the search for three missing Israeli teenagers entered its seventh day yesterday. students’ union at Bir Zeit University near Ramallah, Palestinian sources said. At a meeting with the families of the missing youths, President Shimon Peres said Israel should pursue its crackdown on Hamas. “We must continue to pressure the terrorists, to remove their sources of funding,” he told them in remarks relayed by his office.

Brotherhood chief gets fresh death sentence AFP Cairo

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n Egyptian court yesterday sentenced Muslim Brotherhood chief Mohamed Badie and 13 others to death over violence that killed 10 people in Cairo last summer. Since the army ousted Islamist president Mohamed Mursi in July, hundreds of his supporters and Badie himself have been sentenced to death in speedy mass trials that have sparked international outrage. The court is due to meet again on August 3 to give a final ruling. Death sentences in Egypt are referred to the country’s top Islamic scholar for an advisory opinion before being ratified and courts may commute sentences, which can later be challenged in an appeals court. Other defendants include Mohamed al-Beltagui and Essam al-Erian, top leaders from Mursi’s Brotherhood, as well as Gamaa Islamiya chief Assem Abdel Maged and well-known preacher Safwat Hegazy. They were convicted of inciting violence that killed 10 people near Al-Istiqama’s mosque in the Giza neighbourhood, days after Mursi’s July 3 ouster. Since Mursi’s ouster, his supporters have staged regu-

lar protests calling for his reinstatement, rallies that have often degenerated into street clashes with security forces and civilian opponents. A crackdown on Mursi supporters has left more than 1,400 people dead in street clashes and at least 15,000 jailed. In April, a court in the central city of Minya sentenced Badie, who is being tried in some 40 cases, and around 700 alleged Mursi supporters to death over the murder and attempted murder of policemen. A final ruling is expected on June 21. The same court in March handed down the same sentence for 529 alleged Mursi supporters on similar charges. The judge subsequently upheld only 37 of those sentenced and commuted the rest to life in prison. Mursi himself is detained and on trial in several cases. Along with Badie, Beltagui and Erian, who are all in custody, he is being tried for mass prison breaks and attacks on police during the 2011 uprising that toppled strongman Hosni Mubarak. Mursi also faces charges of espionage in collaboration with the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, and is on trial for inciting the killing of opposition protesters in December 2012 outside the presidential palace.

“Just as there were sanctions against Iran, we must raise the sanctions against any source of terror.” Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon meanwhile issued an order outlawing activities of a Britain-based Muslim charity over what he said were its ties with Hamas. “The IRW (Islamic Relief Worldwide) is one of the sources of Hamas’s funding,” a statement from his office

said, indicating that some of IRW’s West Bank and Gaza offices were “managed by Hamas members”. The group will also be prohibited from transferring money to the West Bank. Yaalon said the pressure on Hamas was aimed at its “leaders and activists, as well as its civilian infrastructure”. The widespread search and arrest operations sparked clashes overnight

in the northern cities of Jenin and Nablus, with Palestinians throwing petrol bombs and firing at the soldiers, the army said. The Palestinian presidency yesterday again warned of “ongoing collective punishment measures by Israel in all Palestinian territories, especially besieged Hebron”, affecting “hundreds of thousands of innocent residents”.

3 killed in Syria car bomb blast AFP Beirut

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car bomb in Homs in central Syria killed three people yesterday and wounded nine in a majority Alawite neighbourhood of the city, state television said. “Three people were killed and nine wounded, including women and children, in a terrorist car bomb attack in the Akrameh district of Homs,” the broadcaster said. The attack is the second of its kind in a week, and comes just over a month after rebels lost their bastion in the heart of Homs city to regime control. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least four people were killed in the attack, though it had no information on who might have been behind the blast. Homs was once dubbed “the capital of the revolution” against President Bashar al-Assad. Most of the city, except the battered district of Waar, has returned to regime control after two years of bombardment and siege. Elsewhere, warplanes launched 25 air strikes on Mleiha southeast of Damascus, a key rebel bastion that the regime has struggled for weeks to recapture, the Observatory said. Regime ground forces also targeted the Mleiha area with nine surfaceto-surface missiles, as troops backed by Lebanon’s Shia Hezbollah battled rebels and their jihadist Al Nusra Front allies, the Britain-based group added. The Assad regime in late spring began a bid to retake Mleiha, which is strategically located near the airport road and in the besieged rebel region of Eastern Ghouta. Meanwhile, activists in the rebelheld Al Hajar Al Aswad neighbourhood in southern Damascus accused the regime of cutting off water supplies for more than two weeks. “Some 20,000 people live here, mostly women and children. The regime wants to pressure civilians into forcing rebels to sign a truce with the army,” said activist Rami al-Sayed. “People are suffering from inflammations and digestive system diseases because they are drinking dirty water from wells,” he added.

Cairo urged to rejoin Nile body AFP Khartoum

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udan yesterday appealed for Egypt to resume full participation in a 10-nation Nile River forum, four years after Cairo withdrew over fears for its access to the crucial water source. Egypt has limited its participation in the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) since 2010 when Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania signed a new treaty on equitable sharing of Nile waters. Burundi and Kenya later also inked the deal which stripped Egypt of its power to veto upstream irrigation and hydropower projects. The Cooperative Framework Agreement replaced a decadesold pact that gave Egypt and Sudan rights over more than 90% of the Nile’s waters. Egypt is almost entirely dependent on water from the Nile. To protest the 2010 pact, Cairo withdrew from the NBI, a forum for riparian countries to discuss joint management and development of the region’s resources. “I should like to place an appeal to our sister nation Egypt. Please, your seat is still empty,” Sudan’s water resources and electricity minister, Muattaz Musa Abdallah Salim, said at the annual meeting of Nile Basin water ministers. “Your resumption of your activities in NBI will further consolidate our gains and integrity in the region,” Salim said.

Water ministers from the 10-member Nile Basin Initiative attend the 22nd Nile Council of Ministers Meeting in Khartoum. Egypt did send a delegation to the Khartoum talks because they are a chance to discuss the controversial Framework Agreement, Ahmed Abu Zeid, counsellor with Egypt’s foreign ministry, told AFP on the sidelines of the talks. But except for such ministerial meetings Cairo has not participated in any other NBI programmes or bodies since 2010, he said. Egypt’s new water resources and irrigation minister, Hussein Mohamed al-Mughazi, was not part of the Cairo delegation because he was only sworn in on Tuesday, Abu Zeid said.

“We thought that the logic and the rules of procedure say that any agreement should be by consensus on all the articles, which didn’t happen. So we had to freeze our membership since then,” Abu Zeid said. He said there have recently been encouraging statements from some signatories to the Framework Agreement. They indicated there is a need “to reencourage the dialogue again amongst all the countries”. In a speech to the forum, Jemma Nunu Kumba, South Sudan’s water minister, reiterated “the need to continuously engage Egypt both formally and informally”.

Kumba is the outgoing chairwoman of the ministerial group. Sudan also froze its NBI participation after the 2010 treaty but resumed involvement last year. Egypt has expressed particular fears that Ethiopia’s 6,000MW Grand Renaissance dam project could diminish its water supply. The dam will be Africa’s largest when completed in 2017. Cairo raised its concerns in three-way talks between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, but they have not met since January. “There is no schedule but we always invite them to come to

the discussion,” Ethiopia’s water minister Alemayehu Tegenu told AFP, adding that construction of the dam is going well. Abu Zeid said Egypt hopes for “common ground to start a constructive dialogue” on the Ethiopian hydro project. The 6,700km Nile River is one of the world’s longest and drains about 10% of Africa. NBI says its cooperative mechanism has brought tangible benefits, including a crossborder electricity link opened in December between Sudan and Ethiopia. Democratic Republic of Congo is NBI’s 10th member.


Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

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AFRICA Guinea frets as Ebola spreads AFP Conakry

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second spike in Ebola virus cases has panicked residents and health officials in Guinea, who fear a west African outbreak of the killer disease may now be out of control. “Ebola cases are worrying. We do not know what to expect,” Mamady Traore, a trader in the suburbs of the capital Conakry, told AFP yesterday. “Sometimes you are told it has been (contained) and sometimes you hear it has reappeared in other towns and villages.” According to figures released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday, a total of 398 cases of haemorrhagic fever – causing 264 deaths – have been reported in Guinea since the start of 2014. Of these, 254 were caused by Ebola. The incurable disease is spread by contact with bodily fluids including sweat, meaning just touching an infected person is enough to spread the virus. “The government can’t do anything to fight the disease,” taxi driver Abdoulaye Barry said of Ebola, one of the deadliest known viruses, which kills its victims by inducing unstoppable internal bleeding. The latest outbreak began in southeast Guinea and spread rapidly through neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone. Cases have recently surfaced in Guinea’s west and southeast – areas previously thought to be free of the disease. “We’re faced with a second spike in the epidemic,” MarieChristine Ferir, a worker for aid agency Doctors Without Borders, told AFP. “What is unusual is the spreading of outbreak locations. It complicates things.” A total of 528 haemorrhagic fever cases have been reported throughout west Africa so far this year, inflicting 337 deaths. Almost 70% were caused by Ebola, which can induce severe fever and muscle pain, as well as vomiting, diarrhoea and organ failure.

Zimbabwe arrests journalist despite media law pledge Zimbabwe police have arrested the editor-in-chief of state-owned weekly newspaper the Sunday Mail, despite pledges by the government to repeal tough media laws. Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi managed to escape police at his office, but was detained later in the day, an employee of the newspaper and police told DPA. “He was alerted ... and sneaked out just before police arrived,” the employee, who did not want his name published, told DPA. “Kudzayi was picked up by police in town and he has yet to have charges laid against him,” said a police officer who spoke on condition of anonymity. Kudzayi was appointed editor following last year’s elections, which President Robert Mugabe won with a large majority. Mugabe has criticised Information Minister Jonathan Moyo for appointing former critics of his ZANU-PF party to lead state-owned media houses.

Kenyan troops kill five linked to coastal attack DPA/Reuters Nairobi

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enyan soldiers have killed five of the gunmen who attacked the coastal town of Mpeketoni this week, killing about 50 people, the Standard newspaper said yesterday. An army patrol ran accidentally into the gunmen near the Somali border late on Wednesday, a senior military officer, who asked not to be named, was quoted as saying. “We caught up with five of the attackers and killed them, while the rest, who were the majority, managed to escape,” he said. “Five suspected attackers shot dead while escaping, three AK-47 guns and several ammunitions recovered,” the interior ministry said on Twitter, locating the incident in Lamu County. Army spokesman Emmanuel Chirchir told DPA that he could not confirm the report for the time being. Dozens of masked men attacked Mpeketoni on Sunday, gunning people down or slitting their throats, and burning down property. A smaller attack followed on Monday in the same area.

The death toll for the two assaults climbed to 60 after two more bodies were found, police said. Kenya Red Cross said nine people remain missing. The Somali radical Islamist group Shebaab has claimed both attacks, but Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta blamed them on his political opponents, saying that they wanted to stoke ethnic tensions. The opposition swiftly denied the charge, which risks deepening political divisions. Police have arrested several people in connection with the attacks. Earlier yesterday, police in the port city of Mombasa fired tear gas and arrested eight people during a demonstration against insecurity on the coast. The protest was organised by 27 rights groups. “We have not done anything wrong by holding peaceful demonstrations for the sake of our country and we will still have them, until the government restores security in the country,” Phyllis Mwema, one of the organisers, told Reuters. Mwema said police had been properly notified of the protest, which had been arranged to take

A group calling itself Young Kenyan Patriots Against American Invasion burn an effigy of the leader of Kenya’s opposition and former prime minister Raila Amolo Odinga to protest what they considered to be foreign involvement in recent terrorist attacks along the Kenyan coast earlier in the week, in front of the Parliament building in central Nairobi. place before the Mpeketoni attacks. Police said they were informed but had not given approval for fear it could be targeted by “criminals”. Those arrested included three members of a government agen-

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igeria will recover $228mn of funds looted by former military dictator Sani Abacha, the finance ministry said yesterday, after a 16-year battle to retrieve the stolen money from Liechtenstein. For years, Abuja’s efforts to get the money back had been stymied by a lawsuit from companies linked to Abacha’s family, alleging infringement of their rights to a fair trial. Nigeria’s finance minister last year accused Liechtenstein of using legal challenges as a pretext to keep the money stolen by Abacha, who died in 1998. The dictator stole as much as $5bn

The KNCHR office in Mombasa confirmed that three of its members were arrested. The agency has had a troubled relationship with Kenyatta, in power since April 2013, who unconstitutionally tried to interfere in nominations of mem-

Mutharika swears in only half of his new cabinet one month after polls

Taylor applies to serve prison term in Rwanda AFP London

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ormer Liberian president Charles Taylor has formally applied to serve the rest of his jail term for war crimes in Rwanda, saying that his imprisonment in Britain breaches his human rights, his lawyer said yesterday. Taylor was jailed for 50 years in 2012 on 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity over acts committed by Sierra Leonean rebels he aided and abetted during the brutal 1991-2001 civil war. He was the first former head of state to be jailed by an international court since the Nazi trials at Nuremberg in Germany after World War II. A motion lodged last week by Taylor’s lawyers with the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague, where he was convicted, argues he should be allowed to serve his sentence closer to his family. “International human rights law requires that prisoners be detained under conditions that preserve, to the extent reasonably possible, contact with family members, particularly children,” it says. Taylor was flown to Britain from The Hague to serve his sentence following a confidential deal made in 2007 after his arrest. He is the only person ever sent by an international court to serve a sentence outside their own continent against their will, the motion claims. Taylor’s lawyer John Jones told the BBC: “What he has applied for is for the revocation of the sentence to be served in the UK so that he can serve his sentence in Rwanda where all the other prisoners convicted by the special court for Sierra Leone are.” Jones added: “The UK has a duty to ensure family life, not just for him but

Taylor: jailed for 50 years in 2012. for his family. It’s a clear duty under international law and English domestic law. “If the UK is unable to make these family visits possible, no matter what he has been convicted of, he is going to serve a 50-year sentence, he has got a right to see his wife and children.” Taylor’s family, which reportedly includes 15 children, has previously complained about conditions at HMP Frankland in northeast England, the maximum security prison where he is being held. “They took him to this prison where high (-risk) criminals, terrorists and other common British criminals are kept and he is being classified as a highrisk prisoner,” his wife Victoria Addison Taylor told AFP last year. “He is going through humiliation and you cannot treat a former head of state that way.” Britain’s Foreign Office said Taylor was treated in the same way as any other prisoner and the court in The Hague would decide on his application. “In terms of him being mistreated, the answer is no. As with any other prisoner in the UK, he’s being held in decent conditions,” a spokesman told AFP. “He and his family have the same conditions and visiting rights as any other UK prisoner.”

Nigeria to recover $228mn of Abacha loot Reuters Abuja

cy – Kenyan National Commission for Human Rights (KNCHR) – and two Kenyan employees of Transparency International, protesters accompanying the detainees told DPA by phone from Mombasa Central Police Station.

bers to the commission, ruled Kenya’s high court. During the demonstration, about 50 people headed towards the county commissioner’s office in Mombasa. Police dispersed them while a Muslim preacher led them in prayer. The protesters accused police of ignoring security information. “It’s about coastal insecurity ... we want someone to be held responsible,” said Francis Auma of the group Muslims for Human Rights. Demonstrators were also concerned about the murders or disappearances of radical or moderate Muslim clerics on the coast in the past two years. Rights groups have accused anti-terror police of carrying out extrajudicial killings. “People are killed all over Kenya and no one is arrested, but when we talk about peace, we are arrested,” said Betty Sharon, executive director of Coast Women in Development, one of the groups involved in the protest. Kenyatta’s critics say there is a noticeable trend toward police using tear gas and resorting to arrests, even against peaceful protesters.

of public money during his five years running Africa’s top oil producer from 1993 to 1998, Transparency International says. “We can confirm that Nigeria will on June 25, 2014, receive the sum of 167mn euros from the government of the Principality of Liechtenstein, part of looted funds recovered from the Abacha family,” the ministry said. The finance ministry had said it was seeking to repatriate 185mn euros ($252mn) of stolen funds. It was not immediately clear if it would repatriate 18mn later on. Nigeria said it had dropped the case against the Abachas as part of a deal to recover the money and, in turn, the dictator’s family agreed to drop its human rights suit. Nigeria will invest the money in

projects picked by a committee of ministers and monitored by the World Bank. Some of it will go into a fund on behalf of future generations. Liechtenstein, with banking secrecy laws like its neighbour Switzerland, is seen as an attractive destination for wealth. Nigeria had recovered about $1.3bn of Abacha’s money from various European jurisdictions as of last year, with more than one-third of that from Switzerland. Abacha also held money in countries including France, Britain and British offshore centres such as Jersey. The United States in March said it had frozen more than $458mn of funds that Abacha and his conspirators obtained through corruption and hid in bank accounts around the world.

Malawi has sworn in only half of its cabinet after President Peter Mutharika’s Democratic Progressive Party won elections a month ago. Mutharika finally appointed nine ministers yesterday.

A tenth minister, former International Monetary Fund official Goodall Gondwe, had already been given the finance portfolio and sworn in earlier this month. The delay in appointing ministers

was linked to Mutharika’s promise to trim the cabinet down to 20 from 32 members to save expenditure, which requires him to restructure it. The presidency has not said when the rest of the cabinet will be announced.


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Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

AMERICAS

‘Obamacare insurance holders rate themselves sicker’ Reuters Washington

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ndividuals who purchased health insurance set up under US President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law rate their personal health as worse than people who bought individual plans elsewhere, a Kaiser Family Foundation survey found. The survey, conducted after enrollment in Obamacare plans closed in April and released yes-

terday, is the first comprehensive study addressing the health of those who have purchased this new insurance, created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). About 8mn people purchased Obamacare plans, more than half of them qualifying for government subsidies toward their monthly premiums based on household income. The relative health of policyholders is a key factor for insurers when they set premium rates, which are designed to cover the

costs of medical services among participants. Kaiser said that it was unclear how this finding might influence rates because insurers had been anticipating a sicker-than-average customer base. The telephone survey of a nationally representative sample of 742 people also found that some 57% of the new Obamacare plan members had been uninsured just before they obtained coverage. Most of them said they had

not had coverage for at least two years. Insurers including WellPoint Incorporated and Aetna Incorporated have said they are still gathering data about their new customers, many of whose coverage did not start until May 1. Insurers have already submitted many of their 2015 rates to regulators. The survey found that 16% of respondents with Obamacare plans purchased on state exchanges rated their health as

“fair”, the fourth-worst of five levels offered. That compared with an average of 11% for all people who bought individual insurance. About 4% of people buying from the Obamacare exchanges rated their health as “poor”, compared with 2% in individual plans sold outside of those exchange and less than 0.5% of people who still hold plans that do not comply with the law. These non-compliant plans are expected to phase out of the

market in the next three years. At the opposite end, 21% of people in Obamacare exchange plans said they had “excellent” health, compared with 24% of all individual plan holders. Twenty-seven per cent of Obamacare plan members said they had “very good” health, compared with 31% overall, and 31% said that they had “good” health, compared with 30% overall. Kaiser found the 55-to-64 age group was the largest among

First executions carried out since botch in April DPA/AFP/Reuters Washington

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lorida became late on Wednesday the third state to carry out the death penalty after a seven-week cessation that was prompted by a botched execution in Oklahoma. The execution in Florida of John Henry, 63, for the 1985 murder of his wife Suzanne and her five-year-old son Eugene, was the third execution in a 24-hour period, the Tampa Bay Times reported. Henry, on death row for three decades, received a cocktail of medications and was declared

dead at 0043 GMT, prisons spokeswoman Jessica Cary said. He was the 23rd inmate executed this year in the United States, which allows individual US states to decide if they will use capital punishment, and implement it if they choose it. Georgia and Missouri carried out executions late on Tuesday and early on Wednesday. Marcus Wellons, 59, was put to death in the southeastern state of Georgia for raping and murdering a 15-year-old girl in August 1989, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Wellons abducted the victim while she was walking to her school bus stop. His ex-

ecution by lethal injection went smoothly, a state corrections official said. John Winfield, 46, was executed in the Midwestern state of Missouri for the 1996 killing of his girlfriend and another woman, the St Louis Post-Dispatch reported. He also left his ex-girlfriend blind and disfigured in the 1996 rampage. The bungled execution in April of Derrell Lockett, 38, in Oklahoma prompted a pause in executions around the country. In that case, the state used a mixture of three drugs because of dwindling availability of the chemicals used in executions.

After the mixture was injected, Lockett grimaced as his body convulsed. He lifted his head and spoke a few words through clenched teeth. He died 43 minutes later of a heart attack. The case attracted nationwide attention and prompted charges it violated the constitution’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. President Barack Obama announced there would be an investigation into execution methods. An underlying reason for the problems is the difficulty of obtaining substances used for executions.

European chemical manufacturers refuse to make their products available for executions. A number of US states are obtaining new chemical mixtures from alternative sources. Critics charged that authorities are keeping the composition of the chemicals a secret, and such secrecy is now a law in Georgia. To carry out its execution on Tuesday night, Georgia passed a law mandating that the origin of the lethal substances be kept confidential. In the Florida execution, Henry asked forgiveness of his victims’ families and Jesus Christ in a brief final statement, the state

Department of Corrections said. Henry’s attorneys sought to have him declared mentally unfit for execution, but the US Supreme Court rejected his last round of appeals. Henry met relatives and a Catholic spiritual adviser before declining his last meal on Wednesday, prisons spokeswoman Cary said. He was condemned for fatally stabbing his wife, Suzanne Henry, at her home in Zephyrhills a few days before Christmas 1985. He then abducted her son by a previous relationship, Eugene Christian, and stabbed the boy to death with the same knife several hours later.

Immigrant Alarm over child immigrants arriving alone rights groups U sue sheriff DPA Washington

Reuters Phoenix

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mmigration rights groups in a lawsuit filed yesterday accused Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio of overstepping his bounds as a local official by using anti-identity theft laws to target undocumented immigrants in workplace raids. Puente Arizona, an immigrant rights groups, filed the lawsuit in federal court, along with two women who were arrested by Arpaio’s deputies last year and a local minister who contends the sheriff is squandering his tax dollars by conducting the raids. The lawsuit represents the latest challenge by advocates for immigrants against Arpaio, the sheriff of Maricopa County who bills himself as “America’s Toughest Sheriff ” and has become a divisive figure in the national immigration debate. Arpaio is the only local law enforcement official in Arizona enforcing state laws that make it illegal for a person to use information belonging to someone else, such as a Social Security number, to obtain employment, said Dan Pochoda, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, which is one of the groups representing the plaintiffs. “We know from past experience that when the (Maricopa County Sheriff ’s Office) gets into the business of immigration en-

forcement, it’s a recipe for discrimination and abuse,” Pochoda said in a statement. A federal judge last year ordered Arpaio to stop using race as a factor when making law enforcement decisions, in response to a 2007 lawsuit that tested whether police could target unauthorised immigrants without also profiling US citizens and legal residents of Hispanic origin. In their lawsuit filed on Wednesday, immigrant rights advocates said that Arpaio has no right under the US Constitution to target illegal immigrants because that is the jurisdiction of the federal government. Attorneys who filed the suit are seeking a judge’s order requiring Arpaio from enforcing the identify theft laws. It was filed as a proposed class action, with attorneys seeking to represent all workers subject to arrest and detention by Arpaio’s office under those laws. Arpaio, in a phone interview, said that the lawsuit is frivolous, and that his office has arrested over 800 people in connection with identity theft by employees. “Identity thieves will not get sanctuary in Maricopa County as long as I am sheriff,” Arpaio said. “This is a very serious crime, identity theft.” Arpaio said his office does not specifically intend to target illegal immigrants with the operations but that many of those arrested turn out to be undocumented.

S Latino legislators met on Wednesday with government representatives from Central America and Mexico to discuss their growing alarm over an upsurge of unaccompanied child immigrants arriving in the US. Since October more than 47,000 children under 18 poured across the border – alone – from Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, US officials said. The number is already nearly double the entire number of unaccompanied children who entered the US illegally in the preceding 12 months. The total for 2014 could reach 60,000 to 90,000 by October, according to some estimates. “The journey these minors undertake is extremely dangerous, and we join embassy officials in discouraging families from putting their children in harm’s way,” said Representative Ruben Hinojosa, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Hinojosa said it was crucial “that we do not turn our backs” on Latin America during the crisis. The caucus met with the El Salvadorian ambassador and representatives from the embassies of Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico. President Barack Obama has called the trend “an urgent humanitarian situation”. The embassy officials insisted that the upsurge in migration was not inspired by Obama’s much-heralded programme of tolerance for children already in the country illegally – the 2012 so-called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA),

members of ACA-compliant plans sold both on and off the exchanges. People older than 65 are eligible for the government’s Medicare programme. Of the other holders of ACAcompliant plans, 17% were aged 18 to 25, and another 17% were 26 to 34. About 19% were 35 to 44, and 21% were in the 45-to-54 age bracket. The survey was conducted from April 3 to May 11.

Two men arrested on terror charges Reuters San Antonio

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wo men in central Texas have been arrested on charges of trying “to provide material support to terrorists,” with one of the pair seeking to aid extremist groups fighting in Syria, US prosecutors said on Wednesday. Rahatul Ashikim Kahn, 23, was arrested at his home in the Austin suburb of Round Rock and charged with terrorist activities, including “committing violent jihad”, according to court documents unsealed on Wednesday. The other man, Michael Wolfe, 23 also known as “Faruq”, was arrested at Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston on Tuesday. He was charged in a separate federal criminal complaint with “attempting to provide material support to terrorists”, prosecutors said. Lawyers for the two were not immediately available for comment. According to the complaint, “Wolfe planned to travel to the Middle East to provide his services to radical groups engaged in armed conflict in Syria”, prosecutors said. The arrest affidavit alleged that Wolfe told a confidential informant in May 2014 that he and his wife were expecting a tax refund in the amount of $5,000. Wolfe indicated his wife wanted to get a portion of the refund to her mother, and the rest of the refund would be for his travel to Syria, according to the affidavit. Both men face up to 15 years in prison if convicted. They have a detention hearing set for this afternoon in Austin.

Five rescued in child porn bust

Two girls watch a World Cup soccer match on television from their holding area where hundreds of mostly Central American immigrant children are being processed and held at the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Nogales Placement Centre in Nogales, Arizona. CBP provided media tours on Wednesday of two locations in Brownsville, Texas and Nogales that have been central to processing the more than 47,000 unaccompanied children who have entered the country illegally since October 1. implemented by presidential order. Faced with the inability to pass broader immigration reform through Congress, Obama ordered DACA measure to allow some of those now-young adults to receive work permits and avoid deportation. Opposition Republican critics charge that Obama’s programme has encouraged such journeys. Other experts say the epidemic of gang violence in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala has pushed parents to take desperate measures to get their

children to safety, the Washington Post reported. Karol Escalante, spokesman for the Honduran embassy in Washington, told DPA that the group of legislators and diplomats was working together to secure “the welfare of minors”. The US is home to more than 11mn unregistered immigrants. Record numbers of people found to entered or stayed in the US illegally have been deported under Obama. The US Senate, with its majority Democrats, passed Obama’s proposed immigration reforms in June 2013.

The Republican-controlled House has not moved since on the bill. Only 600,000 young undocumented people, known as Dreamers, can qualify for the DACA programme. More recent arrivals – including the new children flooding across the border – do not qualify. US Vice-President Joe Biden is to meet today in Guatemala City with Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina and Salvadoran President Salvador Sanchez Ceren to discuss the crisis.

Canadian federal police said yesterday that they rescued five young children from sexual abuse as part of a massive paedophile porn investigation. The operation led by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and involving 40 other agencies resulted in “the rescue of five children from sexual abuse”, RCMP Sergeant Mike Petrilli told a press conference. More than 100 individuals have been charged in the case or are currently under investigation for sexual assault, luring, possession, distribution, making available child pornography and related offenses under Canadian law. The RCMP said 2mn images and videos were found on seized computers and hard drives. “Sadly, many of these cases have images depicting infants and toddlers,” Petrilli said. “These are not simply children having a bubble bath.”

US cable, fibre Internet speeds mostly as hyped Reuters Washington

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S cable and fibre Internet providers generally deliver the download speeds they advertise, though not consistently, while DSL (digital subscriber line) connections increasingly fail to meet promised

speeds, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said on Wednesday. The agency has been testing download and upload speeds of top Internet service providers (ISPs) yearly since 2011, but this year for the first time also assessed how likely consumers were to get speeds as advertised. The report found Cablevi-

sion and Verizon Fiber to be two providers to deliver faster-thanpromised download speeds to 80% of consumers 80% of the time, with Comcast and Frontier Fiber delivering just short of promised speeds. Windstream, Verizon DSL and Frontier DSL delivered download speeds less than 60% of what they promised to 80% of con-

sumers 80% of the time. AT&T and Cox performed at about 80% speed consistency. The results of cable and fibre ISPs improved on average from 2013, when the FCC found they largely delivered on the promised speeds, with Quest/CenturyLink showing a 16% improvement. DSL connectivity has begun lagging behind, with Verizon DSL

showing the only result that was worse than last year. FCC senior officials said they could not determine whether that was because DSL was lagging in capacity or investments in upgrades or because DSL providers overpromised. The FCC planned to write to the chief executives of laggard companies, demanding explana-

tions and improvements, FCC officials said, though they did not name specific companies. Broadly, nearly all Verizon Fiber, Cablevision and ViaSat/ Exede customers received fasterthan-advertised speeds, while Comcast, Frontier Fiber, Time Warner Cable and Cox delivered more than 90% of the speed to almost all their customers.

Conducting the speed tests, the FCC also discovered serious Web traffic congestion at certain points where networks interconnect. The agency is working on tools to measure and analyse how such congestion may affect consumers but planned to make the raw data public this week, FCC officials said.


Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

7

ASEAN

Two boat accidents claim 14 in Malaysia AFP Kuala Lumpur

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alaysian authorities said yesterday 14 people had died and 27 others were still missing following two boat accidents at a time when many illegal migrant workers head home to Indonesia for the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. In the latest reported incident, seven people remained missing off western Malaysia late yesterday after a boat believed to be bound for the Indonesian island of Sumatra sank, said Mohamad Hambali Yaakup, an official with the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA). A passing vessel, MMEA boats and a helicopter rescued eighteen people yesterday, he said. Two more survivors were pulled out of the water and brought to land later in the day. Another maritime official, Hamid Amin, said interviews with survivors revealed the boat sank as strong winds blew near the district of Sepang, south of the capital Kuala Lumpur, early Wednesday—not early yesterday as originally reported. The accident came to light as authorities expanded a search for survivors of another boat—also bound for Sumatra—that sank just up the coast near Port Klang, the country’s main sea port, with 97 Indonesians aboard, also early on Wednesday. Fourteen bodies have been found after that accident, while 20 remain missing, Hambali said late yesterday, though offi-

A Malaysian search and rescue team helps a rescued victim from a capsized boat at Kelanang Jetty, near Banting. cials believe some of them made it to land nearby and fled the area to avoid being apprehended by authorities. Officials said they were still investigating the accidents, but both boats sank in rough seas and were overloaded—with the first one carrying more than three times its capacity. Masri, a survivor from the second accident who like many Indonesians only has one name, said the boat’s engine stopped suddenly about an hour and a half into the journey and water started seeping in.

“The passengers panicked because many couldn’t swim. The sudden movement onboard caused the boat to tip over,” said the chicken seller, 36, who held on to an empty fuel plastic container for about 28 hours until he was rescued. Large numbers of Indonesians—many of them illegal migrants—return home annually from Malaysia for Ramadan, which this year begins around the end of June and will culminate in late July with Eid al-Fitr, Islam’s biggest festival.

Both Malaysia and Indonesia are Muslim-majority. Jumah, another survivor from the accident off Sepang, said he had wanted to return to Sumatra after working illegally on a construction site in the capital Kuala Lumpur for three months. “I felt I was going to die. The sea was very rough. I prayed and held on to the boat,” the 68-year-old told AFP after disembarking from a rescue vessel together with others, who looked tired, sunburned and hungry. Yesterday, divers were deployed, more vessels brought in and the search zone for the first sinking expanded along the coast in hope of finding more survivors, said Hambali. Hambali said the divers would try to determine what caused the boat to sink and to view any markings that would help identify its owner and operator. A total of 63 survivors of the first mishap have been detained by authorities. Relatively affluent Malaysia is a magnet for migrant workers from poorer neighbours such as Indonesia, Bangladesh and Myanmar, who seek low-paying plantation, construction, and factory work that is typically shunned by Malaysians. Around 2mn illegal immigrants—the vast majority of them Indonesian—are estimated to be working in the country. Accidents, however, are frequent as thousands risk the sea journey to and from Malaysia in rickety boats, often adding to the danger by travelling at night to avoid detection.

Thais brace for possible censure on trafficking DPA Bangkok

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hai officials are bracing themselves for a possible downgrade when the US State Department releases its annual human Trafficking in Persons report (TIP) this week. For the past year the country has been on the watch list of Tier 2, and a downgrade to Tier 3 would see it join the likes of Syria, Cuba and Iran in the lowest category. “We definitely come very close to Tier 3 and serious discussion must have taken place [on where] to rate Thailand” in the upcoming report, said Fuadi Pitsuwan, a fellow at Harvard University’s Asia Center, and a Thai native. “In comparison to its neighbours, the trafficking situation is not as bad,” he said. “But the US expects more from Thailand as its oldest ally in Asia and as once a bastion of democracy in Asia.” Thai officials have insisted that the country has more than met the minimum requirements to maintain Tier 2 status. “Thailand’s demonstrated awareness, cooperation and progress in combating human trafficking in 2013 clearly exceeds the US State Department’s criteria for an upgrade on the 2014 TIP Report,” said Thailand’s ambassador to the US Vijvat Isarabhakdi. The foreign ministry insists that the government has been working with various NGOs and rights groups to combat human trafficking, calling it “one of the worst forms of human indignity”. In a separate meeting with the US ambassador, Thailand’s acting foreign minister stressed that the country places “great importance on combatting and eradicating human trafficking”. He said this year’s rise in reported trafficking cases demonstrated authorities’ determination to tackle the issue. The TIP report will come

just over a week after Thailand was the only country to briefly vote against a motion that would enforce the International Labour Organisation’s convention against slave labour. The foreign ministry defended its decision by saying that before supporting the adoption of “any specific instrument, Thailand has to seriously consider her own readiness to implement such an instrument, in conformity with relevant Thai laws”. The reaction from NGOs and rights groups was harsh, with the executive director of the Environmental Justice Foundation calling the decision an “absolute disgrace and one that brings further shame onto an already embattled government”.

The country has been on the watch list of Tier 2, and a downgrade to Tier 3 would see it join the likes of Syria, Cuba and Iran “It also fuels the suspicion that much of Thailand’s public statements regarding its commitment to tackling forced labour amount to little more than a PR exercise.” Thailand subsequently rescinded its abstention and voted in favour of the protocol. The country was also in the crosshairs of a report in Britain’s Guardian newspaper last week that said Thailand’s shrimp farmers were buying feed made from fish caught using forced labour. The Guardian report said “large numbers of men [are] bought and sold like animals and held against their will on fishing boats off Thailand”. Many were illegal migrants from neighbouring countries hoping for jobs in plantations or factories, but who stumbled into the clutches of brokers who sold them to the boat operators, it said. Human Rights Watch wrote to US Secretary of State John Kerry recommending that Thailand be downgraded to Tier 3.

Indonesian poll hopeful hit by abuse revelations Cambodian migrant workers arrive in the city of Poipet after crossing the Thai-Cambodian border yesterday.

AFP Jakarta

Cambodian migrants return empty-handed from Thailand AFP Bangkok

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earing arrest by Thailand’s new army rulers, Chea Sokla fled across the border to Cambodia. But, like many others, she returned to a hard-scrabble village with no home, no jobs and no idea of what lies ahead. After seven years spent working illegally on building sites in neighbouring Thailand, she crossed the border on Wednesday along with her husband and sevenyear-old daughter, returning to home soil with 220,000 fellow Cambodians. That figure, by some estimates, could be the entire undocumented Cambodian population in Thailand. Rumours about the killings of undocumented migrant labourers under a threatened crackdown by Thailand’s new junta propelled the family to flee the country carrying just a few bags of clothes. In Thailand, Sokla, 35, and her husband Phan Chamnan, 29, were able to put aside nearly $250 each month as construction workers—allowing them to send money to relatives back home. They saved a meagre $15 a month doing

menial jobs in Cambodia and Sokla said the family’s work prospects were bleak in her husband’s home village Phum Luong in Banteay Meanchey, one of Cambodia’s poorest provinces. “We are empty-handed. We don’t even own a rice field,” Sokla told AFP. “We don’t see any light for our future.” Experts say the sudden return of tens of thousands of Cambodian workers may put a huge strain on the poor country. The World Bank estimates that 20% of the Cambodian population lives below the poverty line, or less than $1.25 per person per day. Many will return to provinces “where they won’t really have an income, they may not have somewhere to live... we don’t know how long they will be prepared to stay there for”, said Joe Lowry, spokesman for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Bangkok. Like many migrant labourers who help prop up key Thai industries but lack work permits, Sokla and Chamnan lived precariously—moving from job to job and province to province to evade the authorities. Chamnan said returning—albeit without a plan—also brought a measure of relief.

“It was very difficult. We always had to watch out for the Thai police while we were working,” the 29-year-old said. “We were afraid they would arrest and jail or fine us... Sometimes, I had to hide in the forest,” he recalled, adding that the family sometimes paid Thai police bribes of up to 500 baht ($15) to keep them at bay. Chamnan and his wife traded their jobs in Cambodia’s Siem Reap province, home to the famed Angkor temple complex, for construction work in and around Bangkok. They were following the path of Chamnan’s siblings, who also left to earn a better wage in Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy. But they joined the deluge of workers heading to the border last week after the new Thai junta warned that foreigners working illegally faced arrest and deportation. Chamnan says it was too risky to stay after receiving near-daily calls from his anxious parents and seeing dramatic television footage of the mass exodus. “We heard rumours about the Thai military killing Cambodians,” Chamnan said. “We did not feel safe.” The Thai military has denied the allegations, blaming local traffickers for stoking

the mass flight for their own benefit. The family were driven by local authorities from Poipet on the Cambodian side of the border to the village—made up of mostly wooden houses either side of a dirt track. As they drove, Sokla said she was in many ways relieved to be on home turf, despite the uncertainty of a return without jobs or even a home to call their own. “We feel peace of mind now,” she said. For the short-term the family can live with Chamnan’s parents in their single room wooden house as they work out their next move. “We will try to make a living in our motherland... We will not go back to Thailand,” Sokla said. But there may be a ray of hope. Thailand’s junta, which seized power in a May 22 coup, has stressed the importance of migrant workers in recent days and said it would simplify the registration process for an official work permit. “No matter what has caused this, there may be a silver lining because people who are now back in Cambodia are in an ideal position if things can be regularised,” Lowry of the IOM said.

H

uman rights abuse allegations that have dogged Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto intensified yesterday when a former military chief confirmed the ex-general unilaterally ordered the abduction of student activists. The comments were made by Wiranto, who was armed forces chief 16 years ago when Subianto was dismissed from the military and whose small Hanura party is now part of the coalition led by Subianto’s only rival, Joko Widodo. Subianto has admitted to ordering the abduction of activists involved in a student movement that eventually toppled the three-decade Suharto dictatorship in May 1998, during the Asian financial crisis, but has maintained he was acting on orders from above. He was sacked from the military as strategic army reserve commander months later, but denied he ordered the activists’ torture or had any connection to 13 who went missing and one found dead. Twenty-three were abducted in total. A four-page document of investigation findings by a military ad-hoc team was leaked

online earlier this month recommending his dismissal. It stated Subianto had ignored the military’s hierarchy and ordered a team to kidnap the activists. Wiranto did not confirm the document’s authenticity, but corroborated its general contents. He said he had a discussion with Subianto after the kidnappings and asked why he ordered them. “Then I was convinced that it was done on his own initiative, based on his analysis of the situation at the time,” Wiranto, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, told reporters. Subianto emotionally defended himself in a recent televised debate with Widodo, saying he acted to protect the safety of the Indonesian people. “My conscience is clean, I’m the strongest human rights defender in this republic,” he said. Wiranto denied yesterday any order was given by him or his predecessor during the time of the kidnappings, which took place between December 1997 and March 1998. Subianto was once a distant second to the hugely popular Widodo but he has become a serious contender as the July 9 poll approaches and the popularity gap between the candidates narrows.


8

Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

AUSTRALASIA/EAST ASIA TIBET FESTIVAL

Tibetans throw ‘longda’, pieces of prayer paper, into the air as they celebrate the Wei Sang festival in Hongyuan of Aba town, southwest China’s Sichuan province.

‘UNPRECEDENTED’

MENTALLY INCOMPETENT

PRESS FREEDOM

CLOSER TIES

Hong Kong tabloid blames Beijing for cyber-attack

No charges in Anne Frank diary vandalism case

Beijing denies ‘ban’ on critical media coverage

China, Taiwan to discuss liaison offices in Taipei

A leading Hong Kong pro-democracy newspaper yesterday blamed Beijing for a massive cyberattack on its website, just days after a series of similar attacks on an online vote on electoral reform. The website of Apple Daily, known for its critical stance on Beijing, suffered a blackout on Wednesday after what it described as a large-scale attack launched by sophisticated hackers. In a front page article headlined “We will never backtrack”, the Apple Daily accused Beijing of orchestrating the cyber-attack. “Apple Daily is attacked every day but this time the scale was unprecedented,” said Cheung Ka-sing, chief executive of Next Media, which owns the newspaper.

A 36-year-old Japanese man arrested for vandalising library copies of Anne Frank’s ‘The Diary of a Young Girl’ will not be charged after he was found to be mentally incompetent, a report said yesterday. In March, police arrested the unidentified suspect following a rash of incidents which saw more than 300 copies of the diary - or publications containing biographies of Anne Frank, Nazi persecution of Jews and related material - torn at many public libraries around the Tokyo area. Japanese prosecutors, however, have decided not to indict the unemployed man after a psychiatric examination determined he was mentally incompetent at the time, Jiji Press news agency said.

China is not trying to ban reporters from publishing critical reports without prior approval, an official told state media yesterday. The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television issued rules on Wednesday saying reporters could only publish critical stories if their employer had signed off on it, sparking accusations of censorship. But Jiang Jianguo, deputy head of the administration, told Xinhua that the government was dedicated to protecting reporters’ rights. “We have resolutely protected reporters’ lawful professional rights and positively support media supervision via public opinion,” Jiang said.

China’s top Taiwan official will discuss setting up liaison offices during his landmark first trip to the island next week, officials said yesterday, in a further sign of warming ties between the former bitter rivals. Zhang Zhijun, director of the Taiwan Affairs Office, is to fly to Taiwan on Wednesday. Exchanging liaison offices will be on the agenda of a closed-door meeting between Zhang and Wang Yu-chi, the chairman of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council. The visit follows Wang’s historic trip to China’s eastern city of Nanjing in February, during which the two sides held their first government-togovernment talks since Taiwan and the mainland split 65 years ago after a brutal civil war.

Australia marks 6 months with no boatpeople AFP Canberra

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rime Minister Tony Abbott said yesterday he was “very satisfied” as Australia marked six months since the last asylum-seeker boat arrival, but warned it was not yet “mission accomplished”. Abbott’s conservative government came into power in September vowing to stop the flood of asylum-seekers arriving on rickety boats from its Southeast Asian neighbours, with hundreds of people dying en route. Under its offshore detention policy, asylum-seeker vessels are now controversially turned back to Indonesia and would-be refugees sent to Papua New Guinea and Nauru in the Pacific for processing and resettlement. “I’m not declaring victory. There is no hint of mission accomplished about today,” Abbott said in praising Immigration Minister Scott Morrison for “a really outstanding job”. “But nevertheless this is a very satisfactory milestone that we’ve had six months since the last successful peoplesmuggling venture to Australia.” Over the same six-month period in 2012/13 under the previous Labor government, 190 boats with 12,773 people on board illegally arrived in Australia, figures show.

Abbott would not reveal how many boats had been sent back during the military-led Operation Sovereign Borders “The last thing I want to do is to compromise the effectiveness of our operations by giving out information that will just be used by those ... who would put people’s lives at risk by running peoplesmuggling ventures,” he said. “A full account of all of this will one day be given, but not yet.” The turn-back operations have angered Indonesia, with tensions between the two countries growing after the Australian navy admitted entering the nation’s territorial waters. The UN and refugee advocates have repeatedly slammed the government’s hardline policy with critics condemning the conditions at offshore detention centres as being too harsh. A riot at the PNG facility on Manus Island in February left an Iranian asylumseeker dead and 69 people injured as frustrations over their fate and conditions boiled over. Abbott’s comments came a day after Australia’s highest court dismissed a challenge to the policy of sending asylumseekers to PNG, ruling that detention at the immigration camp was legal. The case was brought by an Iranian who arrived at Australia’s Indian Ocean territory of Christmas Island by boat in July 2013 and was transferred to Manus Island.

Canberra seeks to soothe anger over ‘occupied’ East Jerusalem AFP Canberra

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ustralian’s foreign minister yesterday met Arab and Islamic ambassadors to try to soothe concerns over Canberra’s stance on East Jerusalem, insisting there was no policy change despite moves to stop referring to it as “occupied”. The meeting followed fury after Attorney-General George Brandis said the term would not be used as it carried pejorative implications and was neither appropriate nor useful. Eighteen diplomats from countries including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia protested and warned of possible trade sanctions. Australia’s export trade with the Middle East accounts for billions of dollars annually, particularly in wheat and meat. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said there had been a “constructive” discussion and released a letter to the diplomats reaffirming there was no change in the government’s position on the legal status of the Palestinian Territories. “Our position is consistent with relevant UN resolutions adopted over many years, including UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338,” it read. “Senator Brandis’ statement was about nomenclature, and was not a comment on

the legal status of the Palestinian Territories.” While avoiding the term “occupied” altogether, it added that Australia continued to be a strong supporter of a twostate solution “with Israel and a Palestinian state existing side by side in peace and security”. The diplomats were furious with the comments on East Jerusalem, which was annexed by Israel in a move never recognised by the international community, and concerned that it was a “substantial policy shift”. The Palestinians claim Arab East Jerusalem as the capital of their own state. The international community views all Israeli construction on land seized in 1967, including the West Bank, as illegal and a major obstacle to a negotiated peace agreement. The head of the Palestinian delegation to Canberra Izzat Abdulhadi said he was satisfied with the way the meeting went. “The foreign minister was very clear about it today, that, yes, East Jerusalem is occupied. She repeated it several times,” he told Sky News. Abdulhadi added that it appeared Brandis, who said Australia would no longer call East Jerusalem occupied but disputed, had overstepped the mark. “The other important development was that she said that from now on ... the policy of Australia is declared by either herself or the prime minister only.”

South Korean policemen block protesters moving towards the Japanese embassy to deliver a letter of protest during a rally in Seoul to denounce Japan’s collective self-defence policy.

Japan protests S Korea drill in disputed waters Reuters Tokyo

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apan has protested to South Korea against a shooting drill its neighbour plans in disputed waters, Japan’s top government spokesman said yesterday, underscoring tense relations between the two countries. Relations between Tokyo and Seoul have long been plagued by territorial disputes and resentment that

Japan has not properly atoned for its wartime aggression. The target practice is scheduled to take place today, when Japan plans to unveil the closely-watched results of a review of a landmark 1993 apology to women, many of them Korean, who were forced to work in Japan’s military brothels. Japan was told part of the area designated for South Korea’s drill would overlap what it considers to be its territorial waters off a group of con-

tested islets, the Japan Coast Guard said. The islands, called the Takeshima in Japanese and Dokdo in Korean, are controlled by South Korea, but claimed by Japan as well. “We cannot accept the practice in light of our country’s stance on our territorial right to the Takeshima. It is extremely regrettable,” chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga told a regular news conference. Japan has demanded that the drill

be called off, he said. South Korea’s Defence Ministry said its navy planned regular shooting drills today, but declined to comment on the exact location and time of the exercise. Earlier this year, Japan, mindful of potential diplomatic fallout, said that despite the review, it would not revise the 1993 apology, which recognised the involvement of Japanese authorities in coercing the women to work in the military brothels.

No nuclear waste dump now on Aboriginal land

‘Plastic-eating’ microbes help marine debris sink: study AFP Sydney

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icroscopic creatures could be helping reduce marine garbage on the ocean surface, not only by “eating” plastics but by causing tiny pieces to sink to the seafloor, Australian researchers said yesterday. The plastic-dwellers appear to be biodegrading the millions of tonnes of debris floating on waters worldwide, according to oceanographers at the University of Western Australia. They analysed more than

1,000 images of material drifting along Australia’s coast in a study published in the scientific journal Plos One. The study is the first to document the biological communities living on the tiny particles of debris known as microplastics, and recorded many new types of microbe and invertebrate for the first time. “Plastic biodegradation seems to happen at sea,” oceanographer Julia Reisser said. “I am excited about this because the ‘plastic-eating’ microbes could provide solutions for better waste disposal practices on land.”

Scientists have warned that microplastics - particles smaller than 5mm - are threatening to alter the open ocean’s natural environment. The UN Environment Programme estimated in 2012 that around 13,000 pieces of microplastic litter were found in every square kilometre of sea, with the North Pacific most badly affected. While there has been previous research on microbes eating plastic at landfills, Reisser said her research found early indications that their marine counterparts could be just as effective on ocean garbage.

“If you use terrestrial microbes, you need fresh water to grow them and the process can be very expensive,” she told AFP. “But if you find marine microbes, they are growing in saltwater and that might be a cheaper way (to reduce landfills).” Reisser said the research showed diatoms - tiny algae that were the most commonly found microbe living on the microplastics - were using the little pieces as a “boat” to move around on the surface of the ocean. As more and more diatoms which are made of silica - gathered on a plastic piece, they

appeared to make it sink to the bottom of the ocean floor, she said. But the researchers also found evidence of possible tiny bite marks on the microplastics, raising concerns that other small organisms could be consuming toxins found in the litter. “It seems we have tiny animals grazing on these plastic inhabitants - but we are not sure if this is good or bad,” Reisser said. “That’s a hazard that we are very worried about, but we need far more research to see how big this problem is.”

Plans to locate Australia’s first nuclear waste dump in a remote outback area were dropped yesterday after a long battle with traditional Aboriginal landowners. Muckaty Station in the Northern Territory was nominated in early 2007 as a site to store low and intermediate radioactive waste under a deal negotiated with the Aboriginal Ngapa clan. But four other clans also laid claim to the land and said it was adjacent to a sacred site, waging a long fight to have the decision revoked. A Federal Court trial began this month with opponents claiming the nomination was invalid due to a failure of the government and the Northern Land Council

(NLC) to obtain the consent of all Aboriginal owners. The land council, the indigenous organisation which helped negotiate the deal, said it stood by the process which led to the nomination but had decided not to go ahead. The court case was dismissed yesterday with no admission of liability. NLC chief executive Joe Morrison said that A$12mn (US$11.2mn) that had been on the table from the government as compensation for the community would now not be paid. The government said it had agreed to the NLC request that the site no longer be considered, and it would hold discussions to find an alternative.


Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

9

BRITAIN EVENT

A group of women arrive on day three of the Royal Ascot horse racing festival at Ascot, southern England, yesterday.

Murdered student stabbed 16 times

DATA

APPOINTMENT

MEDICAL

PEOPLE

London courts have the lowest rape convictions

Cameron critic gets top health watchdog role

Premier launches world’s biggest dementia study

One Direction star buys hometown club

Little over half of all rape cases brought in London courts end in convictions — the lowest rate in the country, figures revealed. The conviction rate in the capital, which had been rising over the previous four years, dropped from 58.5% in 2012 to 51.8% last year. The next lowest conviction rates were Wessex and the South-East with 56.7% and 57.4% and the highest was Merseyside and Cheshire with 71.8%. Child abuse conviction rates in London showed a fall from 68.5% to 67.7% in 2013 which was balanced by the rise in the domestic violence conviction rate from 63.3% to 63.7%. Labour accused the government of betraying women and children in the capital.

A Conservative MP who has strongly criticised David Cameron’s failure to bring in plain cigarette packaging and minimum alcohol pricing has been elected chairman of the House of Commons health watchdog with the help of Labour. Sarah Wollaston, a former family doctor, will lead the select committee in charge of scrutinising health policy following a vote among MPs on a shortlist of Conservative candidates. The MP for Totnes, who has a reputation for speaking her mind, has been critical of the influence of Lynton Crosby, the Tory electoral strategist, who is reported to have called for Cameron to streamline his message by getting irrelevant “barnacles off the boat”.

The world’s largest study of dementia was launched by Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday as part of a drive to speed up the search for treatments. “The truth is that dementia now stands alongside cancer as one of the greatest enemies of humanity,” Cameron told a London summit on dementia, a range of conditions causing mental decline that affect 40mn people globally. The new study will collect the medical and lifestyle data of 2mn volunteers in Britain aged over 50, using cognitive studies, brain imaging and genetics to shed light on causes and possible treatments for dementia, the most common form of which is Alzheimer’s disease.

One Direction star Louis Tomlinson has completed a takeover of English football club Doncaster Rovers, a spokesman for his co-owner said yesterday. Tomlinson, 22, is a lifelong fan of his hometown club, which plays in England’s third flight, and turned out for their reserves in February, which he described as a “childhood dream.” Now the boyband sensation has gone a step further by taking control of the northern English team alongside businessman John Ryan. “It’s done, the takeover is complete,” Ryan’s spokesman said. One Direction became global superstars after competing in television talent show The X-Factor in 2010. They have sold 35mn records worldwide.

Beckhams’ waxwork unveiled

Agencies London

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Saudi Arabian woman who might have been killed because she was wearing Muslim clothing was stabbed 16 times, police said. Student Nahid Almanea, 31, was stabbed to death in a brutal attack as she walked along a footpath in Colchester, Essex, on Tuesday morning. She was due to graduate from her English language course in August. Detective chief superintendent Steve Worron, of Essex Police, said: “A post-mortem was carried out on Nahid’s body on Wednesday afternoon. We can now confirm that the cause of death was knife wounds. “She suffered at least two knife wounds which would have proved fatal on their own, but in total she was stabbed 16 times to her body, neck, head and arms.” Almanea also suffered an injury to the back of her head but this is believed to have been caused when she fell to the ground during the attack. Worron said there were “obvious similarities” with the murder of James Attfield, a vulnerable man with brain damage, who died after being stabbed more than 100 times in a park in Colchester in March. “For the moment they remain separate but parallel investigations unless further evidence provides a definitive link,” he said. “We are also exploring the possibility that she was targeted because of her distinctive dress. Again this is a line of inquiry which will be fully explored, but there is no hard evidence to support this currently.” The University of Essex student was wearing a dark navy blue abaya, and a patterned multi-coloured hijab headscarf. Almanea, who lived in Essex, was found bleeding on the Salary Brook Trail at 10.40am on Tuesday. Paramedics tried to save her life, but she died at the scene.

Miliband hits back at Mandelson criticism Guardian News and Media London

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New waxworks of footballer/model David Beckham and singer/designer Victoria Beckham are unveiled at Madame Tussauds in London yesterday.

d Miliband has declared he will relish the fight in the runup to the general election and defended his leadership in the face of negative polls and criticism from the former cabinet minister Lord Mandelson. After Mandelson said Miliband’s message on business was “confused”, the Labour leader said he would listen to advice but that “continuity Labour” was not an option; the party could not carry on in the same vein as the last government. Miliband said he believed he could “defy the odds” and win next year’s election, despite a YouGov survey for Prospect magazine suggesting six in 10 voters thought he was not up to the job of being prime minister. The latest YouGov/Sun poll suggested Miliband was on track to win an overall majority, with around 38% of the vote, but he acknowledged it would be a “tough fight” to return Labour to power after one just term in opposition. “I didn’t take this job because I thought it would be a walk in the park; I fought for this job because I thought it was important and I thought I had something distinctive to say about how we can change this country, and I believe that more now than I did three-and-a-half years ago,” he said. “I relish the next

Ex-footballer’s family burgled at knifepoint London Evening Standard London

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ormer England striker Ian Wright raced back home from the World Cup yesterday after his wife was left “in shock” following a raid by masked, knife-wielding robbers as their daughters were in bed upstairs. Wright, who was in Brazil as a TV pundit, caught the first flight back to London after being told of the attack at their Kensal Rise home. Just before 9.30pm on Wednesday, his wife Nancy Hallam answered the door and was forced inside by four thugs. One is said to have shouted: “If you don’t tell us where the safe is we’ll cut off your kids’ fingers.” Another urged: “Punch her, punch her, kill her!” The 39-year-old was bundled into a bedroom, with the couple’s two young children in another room nearby. When she tried to resist, the gang is said to have threatened to cut off her fingers as well as those of the two girls, aged two and four.

The robbers escaped with cash, jewellery and engraved watches. After they left it is believed Hallam rang her husband in Brazil. The former Arsenal star, 50, who has been working for ITV at the tournament, tweeted shortly before his flight: “You won’t get away with it !” Yesterday the family’s nanny said: “Thank God the children were in bed or I do not know what would have happened. They have not been told about this terrible thing ... to protect them. Nancy is OK but in shock. Ian rang on Wednesday night and is on his way back. I have been nanny for five years and my heart melted. I love the family. I am taking the children out to keep things as normal as we can but it is difficult.” Minty Reeves, a client manager for Wright’s agent Steve Kutner Management, said: “It was a terrifying ordeal. The gang held Nancy in one room and the children in another and told her to hand over everything they had. Hallam’s sister Molly told the Standard that she was recovering from her ordeal but would not return home until her husband ar-

rived back from Rio. “She is doing OK. She is in a safe place. “I haven’t spoken to Ian. We are waiting for him to come back.” Neighbours in Kensal Rise spoke of their shock that the Wright family’s £2mn home had been raided. One local, Chris Martin, said: “We were watching the Spain versus Chile game when we saw two police cars arrive at the property and then the street was full of officers. “We are so terribly upset for Ian and his family. They are lovely, lovely people and it is a shock for us all here.” The robbery is the latest in a series of raids on the homes of prominent footballers, who are thought to have been targeted by criminals in the knowledge that they are away. Last month, the West Hampstead property of Watford midfielder Alexander Merkel was ram-raided by men on mopeds. A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “Police are investigating an aggravated burglary at a residential address in north-west London.” The suspects are described as black, aged 18 to 25, with London accents.

10 months, I relish the opportunity to fight for my vision for the country.” Miliband’s comments came as he set out Labour’s first plans for cuts to the welfare system, ending out-of-work benefits for roughly 100,000 18- to 21-year-olds and replacing them with a less costly means-tested payment dependent on training. The move is designed to symbolise Labour’s determination to reform welfare, making it more closely linked to what people pay in, as well as cutting the benefits bill by around £65mn a year. Miliband rejected Conservative claims that the changes would cost money, saying Labour was offering “big changes, not big spending”. It has been welcomed by many Labour MPs

but worried some on the left. Neal Lawson, chairman of the left-leaning pressure group Compass, said Labour would never “win on who kicks down hardest on the poorest”. “In a world of increasing job insecurity and precariousness, conditionality makes less sense,” he said. “More means testing just erodes the notion of universal social security when we need it more than ever. The young are the victims of this insecure, lowwage economy – now they are its double victims. “Ed Miliband berated David Cameron at his last party conference for being ‘strong at standing up to the weak, but he’s always weak when it comes to standing up to the strong’. Ed was right then – he is wrong now.”

Stop bashing Londoners, Labour critics told Londoners are being parodied as “latte-drinking luvvies” by critics trying to bounce Ed Miliband into Ukip-style policies, rising Labour star Chuka Umunna warned yesterday. In an interview with the Evening Standard, he said the party should beware of taking the wrong lessons from last month’s European elections, in which Nigel Farage’s party bit into Labour heartlands outside the capital. He said record results for Labour in London were being glossed

over by people urging Miliband to pledge to cut immigration or hold an EU referendum. “Coming out of the local and European elections, there has been this narrative around London, particularly when people try to make sense of the success of Ukip,” he said. “It says ‘London is different to the rest of the UK because London is booming, because it has growth and all these latte-drinking luvvie people are having an easy time of it.’? This London bashing has got to stop. It is divisive and inaccurate.”

Glitter granted bail in sex abuse case London Evening Standard London

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Gary Glitter appears at Westminster Magistrates Court in central London yesterday.

ary Glitter was yesterday ordered to stand trial on sex charges against two girls — and warned not to wear sunglasses in court. The former pop star faces eight counts including an allegation that he plied one of his under-age victims with alcohol so he could have sex with her. The charges relate to girls aged between 12 and 14 in the late Seventies and early Eighties. Glitter, 70, tanned and wearing a goatee, arrived at Westminster magistrates’ court flamboyantly dressed in a white linen suit and scarf, pink shirt and Panama hat. After he gave his real name — Paul Francis Gadd — address in west London and date of birth he was told by deputy chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot not to wear sunglasses in court. His lawyer Christopher Ware said: “It is for a medical condition and is not intended to be disrespectful.” Arbuthnot said: “I expect

him at crown court to wear normal spectacles when giving evidence or something like that, so just bear that in mind.” She remanded Glitter on bail to appear next at Southwark crown court on July 3. The only condition of bail is that he must surrender his passport to police. Accompanied by a bodyguard and his lawyer Glitter left court without comment after the four-minute hearing. He had been the first person to be arrested by officers involved in Operation Yewtree when he was held at his home in Marylebone in October 2012. The investigation was launched in the wake of serial sex abuse claims against TV presenter Jimmy Savile, who was exposed after his 2011 death as Britain’s most prolific paedophile. Glitter is accused of four counts of indecent assault on a girl aged 12 or 13 in 1977. He is also charged with two counts of indecent assault between October 1979 and December 1980 involving another girl who was aged 13 or 14 at the time. No plea was entered.


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Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

EUROPE

Nato reports new Russian troop build-up AFP Kiev

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ato has reported another build-up of Russian forces near Ukraine as its new president put in place key pieces of his pro-Western government and embraced an EU trade pact that has been bitterly fought by the Kremlin. Ukraine’s parliament unanimously confirmed as foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin – a charismatic 46-year-old ambassador to Germany who had spearheaded the EU negotiations and now represents President Petro Poroshenko at closed-door talks with Moscow. Those high-stakes meetings and Poroshenko’s late-night phone exchange on Tuesday with

Russian President Vladimir Putin bolstered hopes for a solution to Ukraine’s worst crisis since independence in 1991. Poroshenko promised to soon unilaterally halt the army’s 10week push against pro-Russian insurgents who have proclaimed independence in Ukraine’s eastern rustbelt – a plan some fighters rejected but Moscow cautiously endorsed. Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin called Klimkin “one of Ukraine’s most experienced and well-known diplomats”. “We wish the new minister success and are ready for contact with him,” the Russian diplomat said. But the Kremlin’s good will was immediately put in question by new charges from Nato

that Putin had seen “at least a few thousand more” troops to the border in a reversal of a withdrawal he had begun at the start of the month. “I consider this a very regrettable step backwards,” Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in London. “It seems that Russia keeps the option open to intervene further into Ukraine.” Nato’s findings – met with stony silence in Moscow – came on the heels of US charges that rocket launchers and even tanks were starting to cross the Russian border into the conflict zone. Daily clashes that have now claimed at least 360 lives saw the Ukrainian border guard services report of “stepped up activities by rebel groups” yesterday near the Russian frontier.

US Vice-President Joe Biden called on Russia “to stop the flow of weapons and militants across the border and to exercise its influence among the separatists ... both of which Russia has thus far failed to do”. Poroshenko was certain to irritate Putin by vowing yesterday to sign the trade and economic relations portion of an historic EU pact in Brussels on June 27. The old Kremlin-backed leadership’s rejection of the EU Association Agreement in November sparked months of deadly protests that led to the February ouster of president Viktor Yanukovych. The interim government headed by Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk signed the political relations portion of the deal in Brussels on March 21.

A pro-Russian separatist holds a grenade and a cigarette yesterday while a woman rides a bicycle in the background in Siversk, located near the town of Krasny Liman in the Donetsk region. But Kiev delayed signing the economic section because it demanded that Ukraine lift import barriers aimed at protecting its farmers and steel mills in the east from direct EU competition. The complete pact’s signing will effectively cut Ukraine off from a Moscow-led economic alliance of a few former Soviet nations championed by Putin. Russia once again threatened yesterday to impose trade restrictions against Ukraine should it sign the full EU deal. Poroshenko intends to keep Yatsenyuk – a 40-year-old economist embraced by the West – and most members of his cabinet. The ministers represent the European aspirations of the energetic crowds that engineered

Ukraine’s second pro-Western revolution in a decade and are still viewed by many as the voice of the people. But Poroshenko – a 48-yearold chocolate baron with substantial knowledge of Western finance – realised that he must act quickly to save Ukraine from spiralling inflation and a banking sector collapse. His decision to appoint 49-year-old Valeria Gontareva as Ukraine’s first female central bank chief – backed comfortably by parliament yesterday – won immediate praise from International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde. “I think that my appointment is a positive signal to bankers,” Gontareva told reporters on her way out of the confirmation

hearing. “I hope it also will be a positive signal for foreign investors.” Gontareva has worked in international financial institutions for nearly two decades and held top positions in the Kiev branches of the Amsterdam-based ING Bank and France’s Societe Generale. She will play a vital role in turning around the economy by implementing painful economic reforms prescribed under the terms of a $17bn (12.5bn-euro) IMF rescue loan. “She has a good understanding of financial culture,” said Vasyl Yurchyshyn, an analyst with the Razumkov Economic and Political Studies Centre. “We should expect more transparency, openness and clarity in the central bank’s work.”

Flags, cheers greet King Felipe VI AFP Madrid

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Spain’s new King Felipe VI, his wife Queen Letizia, Princess Sofia and Princess Leonor attend the swearing-in ceremony at the Congress of Deputies in Madrid.

pain’s new King Felipe VI vowed to clean up the scandal-hit monarchy as he launched his reign yesterday, cheered on by crowds waving red and yellow flags. Thousands of Spaniards put aside their World Cup misery to line the sun-splashed streets of Madrid, yelling “Long live the king!” The tall, former Olympic yachtsman Felipe, 46, and his glamorous Queen Letizia, 41, waved to cheering crowds from the balcony of the Royal Palace after he swore his oath in parliament. Beside them stood their blonde, blue-eyed daughters: eight-year-old Leonor, now heiress to the throne, and Sofia, seven, plus the former king Juan Carlos, 76, who has abdicated.

Earlier in parliament the new king swore an oath to serve the nation, standing in a dark blue military uniform by the royal sceptre and crown – though it was not actually placed on his head. The king promised an “honest and transparent” monarchy after scandals that dogged his father Juan Carlos in a Spain recovering from recession. Felipe also pledged his “faith in the unity of Spain”, where separatist tensions are considerable in the northeastern region of Catalonia. Lawmakers applauded as he finished his speech and turned to kiss Letizia – a divorced former television newsreader – who wore a white knee-length dress and coat by Spanish designer Felipe Varela. The royal couple waved from an open-topped Rolls Royce as they were driven to the palace, where they shook hands one by

one with some 2,000 guests at a reception. The celebrations offered a distraction from the national gloom of Spain’s humiliating exit from the football World Cup on Wednesday in a 2-0 beating by Chile. “We have lost the World Cup but that doesn’t matter. It is a new day and a new king. We have to celebrate,” said Eduardo Chaperon, 24, wearing a novelty inflatable crown in the street. Not everyone joined in the party. Police blocked off Madrid’s central Puerta del Sol square to prevent a rally by protesters who want Spain to be a republic. “It is shameful. It is a breach of our freedoms. What kind of democracy is this?” said Juana Leon, a 69-year-old retiree wrapped in the red, yellow and purple Spanish republican flag. Protesters have demanded a referendum on the monarchy’s

future, but Felipe said in his proclamation speech that “the parliamentary monarchy can and must continue”. Political leaders in the northeastern Catalonia region meanwhile are calling for a referendum on independence from Spain. In the central Catalan town of Cervera, bar customers sat reading with their backs to the television as Felipe’s speech came on. “Here in Catalonia, we are not monarchists, nor fans of the Spain football team,” said the bar’s owner, Josep Clos, 66. “This king is just another one who is going to live off our money.” In tough economic times, celebrations were relatively restrained compared to other European royal coronations. The palace offered drinks and nibbles at the reception, but no sit-down banquet. No foreign leaders or royals were invited to the ceremonies. US President Barack Obama

sent a note congratulating Felipe and the “valued ally” Spain. He said he looked forward to “working closely” with the new king. On Wednesday, a teary-eyed Juan Carlos ended his reign by signing his act of abdication. He won respect for helping guide Spain to democracy after the death of General Francisco Franco in 1975 and for thwarting an attempted military coup in 1981. But he has suffered from a scandal over an elephant-hunting safari he took in 2012 and fraud allegations against his youngest daughter Cristina, 49, and her husband. By abdicating, Juan Carlos lost immunity from prosecution that notably saved him from answering two paternity suits by people claiming to be his illegitimate children. Rajoy’s government said it was drawing up measures to extend his protection after his reign.

GERMANY

Man claiming to have a bomb surrenders AFP/Reuters Stockholm

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man claiming to have a bomb in the office of a human rights group in Stockholm gave himself up yesterday after negotiating with the police on the phone, law enforcement said. “A man has left the building and he has been arrested,” police spokesman Sven-Erik Olsson told AFP. “He has followed the instructions he got from the police during the arrest.” “The negotiation went well in that he understood that it was an untenable situation,” police spokesman Kjell Lindgren said. “He came out, he showed he wasn’t dangerous and he could be detained undramatically and he has now been taken away from there ... What remains for us is to search the premises to make sure there are no dangerous objects.” The suspect did not have a bomb on him, according to the police, who said they still had to search the building. Police officers had cordoned off two large areas of central Stockholm after the man entered the offices of Civil Rights Defenders with a suspect device. It was unclear why the suspect had targeted that specific human rights organisation, which was not immediately available for comment. “The man claims to have an explosive object,” police spokesman Olsson earlier told Aftonbladet TV while local media reported the man was believed to be wearing a bomb belt.

Turkish coup plot officers released

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People run from a house in the old town of central Stockholm yesterday as Swedish police evacuated the area following a bomb threat. “The man has expressed his dissatisfaction with parties in the parliament,” the police added in a statement, explaining that two main streets in the city centre had been closed off. The human rights group Civil Rights Defenders is located just four doors away from the offices of the ruling Moderate Party in Stockholm’s old town. Bomb disposal technicians

were at the location and police had cordoned off the street from early afternoon as well as another area north of the old town where the Social Democratic Party has its headquarters. The two normally bustling streets were empty apart from emergency services and police who said that they had telephone contact with the man and had engaged in negotiations.

Three dark sedan cars with masked anti-terror forces arrived near the building and a bomb disposal robot was sent down the street, said an AFP reporter at the scene in the late afternoon. Police extended the security cordon and witnesses reported seeing heavily armed police with crowbars and other tools used for forcing entry.

Turkish court has ordered the release of 230 military officers convicted of plotting to topple Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a day after the country’s top court ruled their trial was flawed. The wife of one senior commander, held in prison for four years, described her husband’s coming release as a “bittersweet happiness”, and said the officers would “continue to fight for this country” after their release. The Turkish military said it “shared the joy of the families of retired and active staff who have regained their freedom” and said it hoped a retrial would now lead to a just verdict. The 2010-2012 “Sledgehammer” trial marked a highpoint in Erdogan’s drive to tame an army that for decades had dominated politics. Critics accused Erdogan at the time of using the courts to pursue a “witchhunt” against the generals. In consigning hundreds of senior serving as well as retired officers to jail, the case eroded the authority and power of Nato’s second biggest army while tension on borders with Syria and Iraq demanded increased commitments. Defence lawyer Huseyin Ersoz said that the army officers were expected to be released

within a few hours. The constitutional court ruled unanimously on Wednesday that the officers’ rights had been violated in the handling of digital evidence and the refusal to hear testimony from two former top military commanders as requested by defendants. “Obviously I’m happy my husband is being released but it is a bittersweet happiness,” Nilgul Dogan, wife of chief suspect, former First Army commander General Cetin Dogan, told Reuters. “These people were held unjustly in jail for four years due to a fabricated, wrongful, unjust trial. “They must give account to us for those four years. After our husbands have rested for some time, we will continue to fight for this country for our children and grandchildren.” Erdogan, his primacy over the army established, said early this year he was open to the idea of a retrial. Officials had suggested evidence had been manipulated by an influential Islamic cleric who had been using influence in police and judiciary to help Erdogan break the army’s power. Cleric Fethullah Gulen, a former ally of Erdogan turned bitter rival, denies any involvement in Sledgehammer and in a corruption investigation against Erdogan associates that the prime minister accuses him of concocting to topple him. The alleged plot dates back to 2003, months after Erdogan first came to power.

Caver rescued after 11 days Jubilant rescuers hoisted to safety an injured German cave explorer yesterday, ending an 11day ordeal in caverns deep in the Bavarian Alps and an “incredible” recovery effort by more than 700 personnel. Johann Westhauser, 52, had suffered serious head injuries in a June 8 rockfall about 1,000m below ground in the labyrinthlike Riesending cave complex, Germany’s deepest and longest. Some 274 hours later, a complex, costly and painstaking operation involving five nations managed to winch Westhauser’s stretcher into the daylight before a helicopter flew him to a hospital. Mission chief Klemens Reindl spoke of a “mammoth task” that involved 202 rescuers below ground out of a total of 728 staff and volunteers in caving, medical and emergency services from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, and Croatia.

MACEDONIA

Spider-man goes rogue in Skopje Spider-man robbed a post office in the Macedonian capital Skopje only to be stung by police hours later, the Press24 news portal reported yesterday. A man dressed as the Marvel superhero barged into the post office on Wednesday evening waving a toy gun and scared employees into handing over some 80,000 denars ($1,750). He fled, but was arrested hours later, police said. The 31-year-old suspect confessed to the crime, but only around 3,000 denars were recovered, police said.


Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

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INDIA

Life normal, say Kerala nurses in Baghdad IANS Thiruvananthapuram

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everal nurses, most of them from Kerala, yesterday said they were content working in Baghdad, unlike 46 others stranded in the northern Iraqi town of Tikrit. They said their lives were “normal” even after Sunni insurgents have overrun many parts of the country. Speaking by phone from Baghdad, a Kerala nurse said, “... while there is heavy checking, life is normal.” She said she lives in a complex at the Baghdad Medical City where there are 15 hospitals. “Since we live inside (the complex), there is no reason for us to feel unsafe. Our Iraqi colleagues tell us that so far they have not been affected at all. They say that in the evening, they go out with their families,” she said, adding Baghdad Medical City is around 15 minutes’ drive from the Baghdad airport. “The only difference is that there is lot of security...,” said the nurse, who did not wish to be identified. She said there are 74 nurses from India who work in the complex and 73 of them are from Kerala. They all arrived in Iraq early this year. Another nurse from Kerala who works in the Karbala region, around 70km from the Baghdad airport, also said things were normal there. She rebutted the notion that all parts of Iraq are reeling under insurgents’ attack. “Some TV channels back home are trying to generalise the issue here, which is not the truth. They went to my home in Kerala, and as parents are possessive, when they hear of trouble they feel that the entire country is affected.” “In our case, we do not have any issue at all. The management of our hospital has assured us that things are normal and there is no need to worry at all,” said the nurse, who too did not wish to be identified. However a nurse in Tikrit, the hometown of executed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, said she and others were worried. “Today also the embassy officials called up and said that the roads towards the airport are still not clear. They have assured us that once things are clear, they will ensure that we return to India,” she said. The 46 Kerala nurses stranded in strife-torn Tikrit town in northern Iraq’s Nineveh prov-

ince on Wednesday asked the Indian embassy officials to either take them home or change their place of work. Meanwhile in New Delhi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said the 40 Indian workers abducted in Iraq were safe and told the distraught families that the “very best” efforts were being made to have them freed. Swaraj told a delegation of families of seven of the abducted men that all 40 workers were safe but did not disclose where they were being held. The government was making all possible efforts to free the construction workers seized in Mosul, one of the major Iraqi cities overrun by Sunni insurgents. “I am personally mulling over all options. The government is making all kinds of efforts,” Swaraj told reporters. “The 40 men are safe... When the situation normalises, we will try to get them released,” she told the delegation that was accompanied by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. She said the men, who worked for a Turkish company and were mostly from Punjab, were holed up in a government building. A spokesperson for the family members said the minister told them that the workers were abducted while being taken to a safe place following an outbreak of fighting in Mosul. “The minister said blank passports and tickets would be issued to them so that they can be brought back when they are released,” said Manjit Singh G K, president of the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee. Manjit Singh was a part of the delegation that met the minister. Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said meanwhile that the affected families in Punjab had been told to alert the authorities if they get a telephone call from the workers. She added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was personally monitoring the developments. “Our prime minister and the external affairs ministry are closely monitoring the situation,” Harsimrat Badal said. The mother of one of the Indians, Gurdeep Singh, expressed dismay over the mass abduction. “We don’t know where he is,” the woman said in Punjab. “He has not called for many days. I hope he is safe.”

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal sit in front of the relatives and family members of India workers kidnapped in Iraq, during a news conference in New Delhi yesterday.

Govt struggles with Iraq ‘kidnap’ crisis The foreign says it does not know who has taken the Indians hostage and that it has not received any ransom demand AFP New Delhi

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he new government struggled yesterday to make headway in its first foreign crisis as it tried to secure the release of 40 construction workers being held in war-torn Iraq, home to some 10,000 Indian expatriates. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already dispatched a former ambassador to Baghdad to co-ordinate rescue efforts while Parkash Singh Badal, chief minister of Punjab - where most of the workers hail from - has said he is willing to pay a ransom to gain their freedom. But while India’s foreign ministry has described the men as having been “kidnapped”, it says it does not know who has taken

them hostage and that it has not received any ransom demand. The ministry said yesterday it has learnt the location of the workers and was pursuing “every avenue” in a “tenuous security situation.” “In situations where there exists no single authority, where there exists no established interlocutors, we are trying to do our best in the circumstances,” foreign ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin told reporters. The ministry was working with aid agencies in Iraq including the Red Crescent Society which said the workers had been taken away by armed men while they were working on a stadium in Mosul. But the exact identity of their captors was not known. “We don’t know what happened to them,” Iraqi Red Crescent president Yaseen Ahmed Abbas said by phone from Baghdad. “It is difficult to talk to the insurgents, there is no official who we can talk to.” Underlining the confusion,

some of the family members told Indian media they had spoken to several of the workers who denied they were being “held hostage.” Charanjit Singh said he spoke for several minutes on Wednesday to his brother whose captors have claimed they would eventually be released. “He said he and his co-workers from India were all safe and not held hostage,” Singh told The Hindu newspaper. While India has a record of evacuating large numbers of its nationals from war zones, including from Iraq during the 1991 Gulf War and from Lebanon in 2007, analysts say the situation this time is complicated by a variety of factors. In a front-page editorial headlined “First Foreign Policy Test for Modi,” The Hindustan Times said the prevailing chaos in Iraq made it hard for New Delhi to work out who to interact with. “Handling a crisis like this is a tough task. With the fighting

Push for Hindi risks widening communication divides Reuters New Delhi

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ince taking office as prime minister last month, Narendra Modi has taken a clear stand in support of Hindi, pushing for it to replace English as the preferred language of the capital’s urbane and golf-playing bureaucrats. Hindi and English are India’s two official languages for federal government business, although India’s constitution recognises a total of 22 languages. Modi’s government has ordered its officials to use Hindi on social media accounts and in government letters. Modi spoke in Hindi and used interpreters in meetings with South Asian leaders last month, and addressed the Bhutanese parliament in Hindi during his first official overseas trip last week. But with more than half of India’s 1.2bn people using another language as their mother tongue, the push for Hindi risks widening communication divides in a highly diverse country, especially in the southern and eastern

states, where local languages or English are preferred. The chief of Tamil Nadu’s Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) party yesterday slammed India’s home ministry for its social media diktat.

“No one can deny it’s beginning to impose Hindi against one’s wish” The party, born in 1949 of a southern secessionist movement, uses Tamil and English to communicate with voters. “No one can deny it’s beginning to impose Hindi against one’s wish. This would be seen as an attempt to treat non-Hindi speakers as second-class citizens,” television channels quoted DMK chief M Karunanidhi as saying. In the eastern state of Odisha,

a member of the state assembly was chastised this week for using Hindi during the question hour. The speaker of the house ordered Kengam Surya Rao to make statements only in English or the local language, Odia. Anti-Hindi protests in India date back to before the country gained independence in 1947. Hindi speakers are concentrated in India’s northern and central regions, home to the country’s two most populous states and where the BJP picked up most of its parliamentary seats in the election. It is the mother tongue of just over 40% of Indians, the latest government data show. In the 1960s the DMK launched a campaign against the government’s plan to make Hindi the sole official language, during which Hindi books and effigies of a “Hindi demoness” were burnt on village bonfires. “Hindi is our official language, we have to promote Hindi,” junior home minister Kiren Rijiju said yesterday, following Karunanidhi’s criticism. “It doesn’t mean that we undermine the importance of regional languages.”

spreading, even evacuating people by road is not an option,” it said. “Rebels have seized swathes of territory. The Iraqi government’s writ doesn’t run in areas like Mosul or Tikrit. There is little New Delhi can hope to achieve through government channels.” The paper also warned many expatriates could resist efforts to evacuate them, saying most of a group of around 50 nurses working in Saddam Hussain’s former hometown of Tikrit had told the Indian mission they would like to stay put or be moved to other Iraqi towns. “Only 14 of the nurses want to leave the country which the UN has warned is on the verge of breaking up,” the paper said. Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said she was “leaving no stone unturned to find a solution to this.” “I’m personally supervising this,” she told reporters yesterday, without giving any details of the rescue efforts. But Delhi-based analyst Ajai

Sahni said the Modi-led government was “in a fix” and did not appear to have a coherent crisis strategy. “They don’t know who to contact or how to get thousands of our people out,” Sahni, executive director of the Institute for Conflict Management, said. “They will have no option but to go around begging neighbouring governments and local middlemen to save our people.” Manjeet Kripalani, an analyst for the Mumbai-based Gateway House think-tank, said the situation was further complicated by the reluctance of thousands of contract labourers who have been working in Iraq to leave without being paid. “If they leave right now, they won’t get their money and they need that money. It’s a difficult decision - to leave or to stay?” she said. “India’s priority is to get its captured citizens to safety. The others are given an option to leave or not, but are nevertheless warned of dangers.”

Modi likely to visit Japan after budget Agencies New Delhi

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Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin shakes hands with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their meeting in New Delhi yesterday.

rime Minister Narendra Modi has postponed a visit to Japan which had been expected to take place early next month, the foreign ministry said yesterday. “The dates we were looking at for the visit in early July will now be reworked after PM Modi wrote to PM (Shinzo) Abe,” ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin told reporters in New Delhi. Although no reason was given for the delay, reports in the Indian media said Modi wanted to push back his departure until after his government’s first budget which is expected to be introduced in parliament in the second week of July. The spokesman said that Modi remains “very keen to visit Japan” and has written to Abe to discuss alternative dates. While Modi did visit Bhutan last weekend, his visit to Tokyo would have been his first trip to a major foreign capital since his landslide election in May. Modi has often been com-

pared to Abe, as both are staunch nationalists who were elected to office on pledges to revive their countries’ economic fortunes. Both countries also have a history of territorial disputes with China, although Modi has insisted that Beijing and Delhi should be “natural partners” rather than rivals. Meanwhile, Modi met Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin in New Delhi yesterday and described Russia as a “time tested friend. The prime minister appreciated Russia’s support in building India’s military capabilities. Modi said he intended to take the relationship with Russia to a higher level, a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said. Rogozin conveyed President Vladimir Putin’s greetings to Modi, the statement added. He also communicated Putin’s desire to work with Modi and strengthen the “special and privileged strategic partnership between India and Russia.” Modi thanked Rogozin for Russia’s contribution to the realisation of aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, a major milestone in India’s naval capabilities.


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Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

INDIA ACCIDENT

MIGRATION

POLITICS

ADJOURNMENT

POLITICS

Body of river tragedy victim brought to AP

Many ‘Bru’ refugees refuse to return home

First session of Andhra assembly begins

Stormy start to UP assembly session

Yashwant Sinha walks out of jail

The body of another victim of the Beas river tragedy in Himachal Pradesh was brought to Hyderabad yesterday. The body of Venkatadurga Tarun was flown in from Delhi, where it was earlier shifted from Himachal. The parents of Tarun accompanied the body. A large number of relatives and friends gathered at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport to receive the body of the engineering student. The body was later taken to Tarun’s home in Chandanagar. Though the student originally hails from Tenali in coastal Andhra, the family decided not to take the body to the native place but perform the last rites in Hyderabad in view of its deteriorating condition.

Around 300 refugees sheltered in Tripura since 1997 have returned to Mizoram since Tuesday, but a large number of migrants are averse to going back until their demands are met, officials said yesterday. Over 36,000 Reang tribals, locally called “Bru”, are sheltered in seven camps in northern Tripura for almost 17 years. “Of the 36,000 refugees, about 300 returned to Mizoram on their own in the past three days,” an official said. Mizoram Home Department Joint Secretary Lalbiakzama said in Aizawl: “Home-bound refugees arrived at the facilitation centres in Mizoram where officials and leaders of NGOs have identified their bona-fide residents of Mizoram.”

The first session of the Andhra Pradesh assembly began yesterday with the legislators taking oath. Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu was the first to take oath as a member of the assembly, followed by YSR Congress leader Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, deputy chief ministers K E Krishna Murthy, N Chinnarajappa and other ministers. Earlier, senior legislator P Narayanaswamy Naidu took oath as the interim speaker. Governor E S L Narasimhan administered him the oath at Raj Bhavan. This is the first session of the Andhra Pradesh assembly after the state was bifurcated to carve out a separate Telangana state. As Hyderabad has been declared the common capital for 10 years, the two states are sharing the existing infrastructure at the state assembly.

The budget session of the Uttar Pradesh assembly began on a stormy note yesterday with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators staging a sit-in inside the house. Protesting against the failing law and order situation in the state, BJP legislators held a noisy “dharna” near the speaker’s chair following which the house was adjourned. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) legislators in the upper house also shouted slogans and demanded the resignation of the Akhilesh Yadav government for failing to pay arrears to cane growers, the poor law and order situation and the grim power scenario. BSP legislators later protested outside the house, wearing blue caps and carrying placards seeking the dismissal of the Samajwadi Party government.

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former minister Yashwant Sinha walked out of a Jharkhand jail yesterday, a day after he was granted bail. More than 55 party workers who were in jail with him since June 3 also walked free after they were released from the Hazaribagh central jail. Sinha was accorded a warm welcome by BJP workers. BJP veteran L K Advani met Sinha in jail on Tuesday and did not rule out the possibility of a larger role for him in the state. Advani had also appealed to him to seek bail and lead the agitation in the state. Sinha was arrested on June 2.

Not selling IPL stake or settling in US: Preity

Birthday wish for Rahul

IB reports a bid to crush opposition: Greenpeace

IANS Mumbai

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ollywood actress Preity Zinta has denied media speculation that she plans to sell her stake in the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Kings XI Punjab, which she coowns with former boyfriend and industrialist Ness Wadia. She also denied she is planning to settle in US. “A big Thank U 2all the people 4the support. Amazed at how much speculation in the media. No I’m not selling my stake or settling in the US. SO called sources says anything & its getting reported. Pls No hearsay. There are many IMP Issues in India which are much more news worthy,” Zinta tweeted on Wednesday night. The actress recently lodged a police complaint against the Bombay Dyeing scion, accusing him of alleged molestation, abuse and threats. She left for the US after filing the complaint. The two had dated for five years until 2009. But things have now turned sour as Zinta has accused Ness of grabbing her hand and abusing her during a cricket match at Wankhede Stadium. Ness has denied Zinta’s charges, and said he was “shocked at the complaint and allegations which are totally false and baseless.” Meanwhile, Bollywood director Rajkumar Santoshi has extended full support to the actress. Santoshi, who co-scripted Zinta starrer Dil Hai Tumhara, said: “I don’t know what the truth is, but I know Preity very well. She is very hard working and sincere. She is very courageous, and outspoken.” He said “if the allegation has been made by Preity against Ness Wadia, then I will definitely appreciate her decision and stand by her in her decision.” “Just as it is wrong to commit a crime, it is equally wrong not to speak up. I appreciate her decision to file a complaint against that concerned person and I am with her,” he added.

Greenpeace rubbishes IB report over coal mining Agencies New Delhi

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Schoolchildren pose with masks of Congress Party vice president Rahul Gandhi while holding slates in honour of his 44th birthday in Hyderabad yesterday. The event was organised by members of the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), which is affiliated to the Congress.

reenpeace India yesterday rubbished allegations made in two Intelligence Bureau (IB) reports, leaked last week, accusing the organisation of stalling India’s coal mining activity. Samit Aich, executive director of Greenpeace India, said the IB reports were a concerted effort by parties with vested interest to ensure elimination of any kind of opposition. “Since Greenpeace India has emerged as one of the primary voices opposing coal mining and nuclear power projects, the NGO has been specifically targeted to show the world, how the Indian government wants to crush any kind of opposition,” Aich said. Aich alleged that there was a plan to create a wave of anger and discontent among the public against the NGO. “Both reports are riddled with mistruths and factual errors. We will continue to challenge the use of fossil fuels and dangerous technologies across the world including India. We will campaign for greater investments in ecologically sustainable, clean and safe practices both in agriculture and energy, and demand for equitable development,” Aich reiterated. The IB reports said foreign-

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rominent personalities from the field of arts, cinema and media yesterday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to refrain from interfering in the auction of late atomic scientist Homi J Bhabha’s bungalow. In a memorandum to Modi, the signatories said the appeals of many people, including scientist C N R Rao and employees of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, to intervene in the auction are misplaced. They said Homi Bhabha, the elder brother of the late Jamshed Bhabha, was not born in the ‘Mehrangir’ bungalow at Malabar Hill but in Kenilworth building on Peddar Road - a fact borne by a plaque on the building’s wall. “Homi Bhabha spent only a few years of his life here (Mehrangir), whereas Jamshed Bhabha lived here till his death in 2006.

“In his will, he (Jamshed Bhabha) bequeathed the bungalow and its contents to the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), with the wish that these should be auctioned in their entirety and the proceeds be used for the running and expansion of NCPA’s activities,” the signatories said. The demand to convert Mehrangir into a Homi Bhabha Museum is disregarding not only Jamshed Bhabha’s legacy but also ignoring the vital cultural activities of the NCPA to which he dedicated his life, they said. An important cultural centre in India, the NCPA plays a significant role in promoting theatre, music, dance, cinema and literature in all Indian languages. The signatories said Jamshed Bhabha was well aware that since NCPA does not receive any grants or subsidies from either the government or the corporate sector, it needed funds from private benefactors. “This is the reason for his gen-

erous bequest to the NCPA,” they said. The signatories from the world of arts, cinema, culture and media include Anil Dharker, Abha Pandya, Alyque Padamsee, Anju Dodiya, Arundhathi Subramaniam, Atul Dodiya, Dalip Tahil, Darryl D’Monte, Dileep Padgaonkar, Dolly Thakore, Farrokh Chothia, Shyam Benegal, Shobhaa De, Jitish Pallat, Geeta Hinduja, Adil Jussawala, Amy Fernandes, Gerson da Cunha, Gieve Patel, Keki Daruwala, Priya Kapoor, Rahul Singh, Rashmi Poddar, Sangita Jindal, Sharon Prabhakar and Zareer Masani. The memorandum came a day after the sprawling, Arabian Sea facing property measuring around 1,600sq m was auctioned for Rs3.72bn - or a staggering Rs281,000 per sq ft - to an unidentified buyer. Some employees of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre had demanded the sale be scrapped and the property should be converted into an atomic energy museum in Homi Bhabha’s memory.

named in the report called the allegations ludicrous. “If indeed we are a threat to national security, one would assume the government would move to engage with us,” Greenpeace India’s Aich said. The crackdown reflects India’s struggle to balance industrial and economic development with protecting and elevating its staggering number of poor. While rapid economic growth - averaging near 10% for the past decade - has boosted the incomes and living standards of millions, a two-year downturn with GDP growth falling below 5% has made many nervous. Inflation has rocketed into double digits, and job growth has stalled. Demands for economic revival helped catapult Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party to a landslide election victory in May. Some have blamed public resistance to development projects for holding up economic growth. But many of the country’s 400mn impoverished have become anxious about environment degradation. Indians breathe some of the world’s dirtiest air, bathe in toxic or fetid rivers and face extreme water scarcity within a few years. Greenpeace, the IB report says, was specifically campaigning against e-waste disposal “in order to undermine the image” of India’s IT firms. It says, however, that the campaign failed to achieve its goal of “eroding the earnings of the IT firms.”

Mamata: won’t allow communal tension

Modi urged not to stop Bhabha bungalow sale IANS Mumbai

funded charities are costing the country up to 3% of its GDP by rallying communities against polluting industries. The IB also accuses the groups including Greenpeace, Amnesty International and Action Aid of providing reports “used to build a record against India and serve as tools for the strategic foreign policy interests of Western governments.” The home ministry said yesterday it would neither confirm nor deny the existence of the report, which has sparked a firestorm of debate in Indian newspapers and on TV news channels. But in a letter last week, the ministry ordered the Reserve Bank of India to hold all foreign contributions to India-based charities until they are cleared by the ministry, spokesman K S Dhatwalia said. He said yesterday the order would help the government control how much money was coming into India, and how it was being spent. The charities had previously reported annually on how they used their funding. The report specifically criticised the charities for organising public protests against nuclear power plants, uranium mines, coal-fired power plants, genetically modified crops and electronic waste. “The negative impact on GDP growth is assessed to be 2-3% “ each year, the report says, without elaborating on how that assessment was made. Organisations and activists

IANS Kolkata

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The Bombay High Court has declined to stay the auction, but has said if necessary the sale could be revoked.

n a veiled attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee yesterday vouched her support for the development of the minority communities in the state and strongly asserted her government will not tolerate communal tensions. Addressing a function organised here by the state minority affairs ministry, Banerjee, who is also the Trinamool Congress supremo, fired a salvo at the BJP, saying “some people get charged up on hearing the word minority.” The chief minister, however, asserted her government will work for the equality of all castes and creeds. “Some people get charged on hearing the word minority. I don’t understand why. I am a Bengali but when I am in Assam, I am a minority. There are some people who want to sow the seeds of division between people of various communities,” she said, adding she is “against riots.” “It is the duty of the majority

to come forward for the development of the minority. This is how a bridge of trust is built,” she said while unveiling a slew of projects for minorities. Banerjee attacked “some sections” for attempting to bring out the communal element “even in petty cases like theft.” “I abhor the idea of inciting communal tension. Criminals are criminals. We should not bring religion here,” she said. Countering accusations that she was biased towards a particular minority group, she said: “Some people allege that I do not work for Hindus. They should open their eyes and ears. I work for all, it is my constitutional duty.” “There is no place for violence in democracy. There is no place for conspiracy in development,” she said. The BJP’s vote share in the state shot up to around 17% in the recent Lok Sabha polls. Bidding to shape up as the main opposition force in the state, it has increased its activities, eying the upcoming municipal polls, next year’s Kolkata civic body elections and the 2016 assembly contest.


Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

13

LATIN AMERICA DECISION

POLICY

CO-OPERATION

ASTRONOMY

OFFBEAT

US drops sanctions aimed at Cali drug cartel

Colombia adopts new sexual violence law

Biden offers support for Colombia’s peace talks

Chile space lab aims for heights with final antenna

Brazil fears World Cup tourists’ parasites

The US yesterday dropped sanctions on 308 individuals and entities that had been tied to the Cali drug cartel in the single largest delisting in the history of the US Treasury’s sanctions programmes. The Treasury Department said the action was taken following the sanctions-related financial collapse of the Colombia-based narcotics trafficking empire. It said sanctions remained in place on Cali cartel leaders Miguel and Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela, who are currently serving jail terms in the US. They now are the only members of their family on the list. In all, sanctions were lifted on 78 persons and 230 entities.

Sexual violence now may be prosecuted as a crime against humanity in Colombia, where President Juan Manuel Santos signed a law to stem assaults against women during the ongoing civil war. Santos signed the measure late Wednesday as his government struggles to end a half century of armed conflict with leftist rebels. The measure, in addition to stiffening penalties for sexual assault, provides free counselling for victims, as well as addressing forced sterilisations and unwanted pregnancies resulting from rape. According to government figures, nearly 5,000 women have been sexually abused in the context of the conflict.

US Vice President Joe Biden has offered support for Colombia’s ongoing peace negotiations with the Marxist guerilla group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) during a visit with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. “Just as the US has supported Colombia’s leaders in the battlefield, so do we fully support you at the negotiating table,” Biden said. “Colombia’s efforts can benefit all the region,” Biden said. “There’s a lot left to do. ... If there’s a strict balance between peace and justice, the US will stand for it.” Santos was re-elected on Sunday in a campaign in which the peace negotiations were a central issue.

The arrival of the 66th and final giant antenna at the world’s largest land-based space observatory in the Chilean desert will allow the endeavour to better probe the mysteries of the universe, the project’s director said. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array’s (ALMA) antennae are situated high on the Chajnantor Plateau, a remote area of the Atacama desert in northern Chile at 16,400 feet above sea level. With all the antennae working in unison as a giant telescope, the observatory will provide astronomers with a window into the “cold universe” where cosmic secrets wait to be discovered, said project director Pierre Cox.

Agriculture watchdogs in Brazil fear foreigners arriving for the World Cup could bring up to 350 new plant parasites into the country. American tourists pose the biggest threat, since the US has 225 agricultural parasites that do not currently exist in Brazil, said the National Plant Defense Association (Andef), an agro-industry umbrella group. Italian fans, who could bring in up to 126 new parasites, and French fans, who could bring in up to 120, are also making farmers nervous. A recent study found foreign parasites are more and more frequent in Brazil, such as the cotton bollworm, or Helicoverpa armigera, which arrived from Australia late last year.

Pablo Neruda poems ‘of extraordinary quality’ found More than 20 unseen works found, which his publisher says amount to ‘a literary event of universal significance’ Guardian News and Media Santiago

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ore than 20 unpublished poems by Pablo Neruda - works of “extraordinary quality” according to his publisher - have been unearthed in boxes of the late Nobel laureate in his native Chile. Neruda’s Spanish publisher Seix Barral called the discovery “a literary event of universal importance”, and “the biggest find in Spanish literature in recent years”. The poems, which range from love poetry to poems dealing with everyday objects, were written by the mature Neruda, said the publisher, after 1950’s Canto General.

“As Neruda’s biographer, I am really looking forward to reading the poems and expect to find further examples of his lyrical genius” They are, said the poet and academic Pere Gimferrer, who is involved with the publication of the poems, as full of “the imaginative power, the overflowing expressive fullness and the same gift, the erotic or loving passion” as Neruda’s best works. Gimferrer, whose expert opinion confirmed that Neruda was indeed the author of the poems, compared the previously unknown works to “the Neruda of the poems of Odas elementales, La Barcarola, Memorial de Isla Negra and even the Neruda of Estravagario”. Adam Feinstein, author of the acclaimed biography Pablo Neruda: A Passion for Life, called the

lines “remarkable”, and said that it appears the newly-found poems “are full of Neruda’s richly imaginative use of language and imagery”, some of them “apparently passionate love poems while others are songs to simple objects, along the lines of Neruda’s Odes”. “This is an enormously exciting discovery,” Feinstein told the Guardian. “In his lifetime, Neruda used to joke that one day they would go as far as to publish his socks. Now they have uncovered a whole new batch of his poems which lay unsuspected in a drawer. As Neruda’s biographer, I am really looking forward to reading the poems and expect to find further examples of his lyrical genius.” The poems were found, said Seix Barral, in boxes of the poet’s manuscripts kept at the Pablo Neruda foundation in Chile, and they will be published in late 2014 in Latin America and early 2015 in Spain. Neruda, called “the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language” by Gabriel Garca Mrquez, won the Nobel prize in 1971 for “for a poetry that with the action of an elemental force brings alive a continent’s destiny and dreams”, from Twenty Love Poems to a Song of Despair. The news of the discovery in Chile comes as a Chilean judge orders new tests on Neruda’s body, which was exhumed in Isla Negra last April to determine whether or not he had been murdered by the Pinochet regime. Neruda died on September 23, 1973, 12 days after Pinochet’s military coup. The poet had been suffering from prostate cancer, but his driver Manuel Araya has claimed his death was “accelerated” by Pinochet’s junta via an injection in his stomach, as the regime was fearful that, if Neruda fled into exile from Chile, as was his plan, he would become a dangerous voice of opposition.

Time out

Mexican Foreign Minister Antonio Meade plays football during a friendly match between members of the delegations from Colombia, Peru, Chile and Mexico taking part in the IX Summit of the Pacific Alliance, in Punta Mita, Nayarit, Mexico.

Rousseff popularity slips, still favoured to win polls Reuters Brasilia

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razilian President Dilma Rousseff ’s popularity has continued to fall, though the left-leaning leader is still favoured to clinch re-election in a probable second round of vote, according to a new poll published yesterday. For the first time since massive protests broke out a year ago against inadequate public services and corruption, more Brazilian disapprove than approve of her government, including its signature poverty reduction policies. The good news for the presi-

Mexico’s $9bn airport ‘to have six runways’ Reuters Mexico City

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exico is reviewing design plans for a new 120bn peso ($9.23bn) Mexico City airport which will eventually have six runways and should begin operating by 2018, according to sources familiar with the plan. The new hub is due to replace the overstretched Benito Juarez International Airport and would be built on the area of the Texcoco lake bed nearby, said two people with knowledge of the project, few details about which have been revealed. The current airport, Latin America’s second busiest after Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos, exceeded maximum operating capacity more than 50 times in 2012, and a new one has been discussed for years. “This situation implies a loss of competitiveness to foreign airports and on some occasions, security risks,” President Enrique Pena Nieto’s transport

development plan says. A handful of consortiums have submitted bids to design the airport, including one fronted by British architect Norman Foster and Fernando Romero, son-inlaw of Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim, the billionaire’s spokesman Arturo Elias said. A winner should be announced in July, the sources said. “The architectural firm for the project will provide design services and detailed engineering, as well as support during the construction phase,” said a government document seen by Reuters. Spokesmen for Mexico’s Transport Ministry and airport operator Airports and Auxiliary Services declined to comment. Still, Carlos Bussey, the ministry’s director for highway projects, said at a conference last week that authorities have been studying solutions to the airport saturation problem. “In the coming months, studies by international teams that have been working on alternatives will be made public,” he said.

The airport master plan was developed by engineering consultancy group Arup and envisions four runways and one terminal serving 30mn passengers by 2018, the year in which it would replace the current airport, the sources said. By 2060, the plan says, the site would include six runways and two terminals to handle 60mn passengers, they added. A train would move travellers between terminals, documents showed. A spokeswoman for Arup confirmed that the company is overseeing a master plan for the airport, noting that Mexican and international architects are competing to design the terminal building. Participating firms were asked to sign 12-year non-disclosure agreements, government documents showed. Competitors were invited to present their credentials in November. In January, the consortiums were asked to submit market studies detailing design plans and costs by April.

dent is that she is holding her lead and her main rivals appear to have stopped advancing, though that could be because they are less well known to voters. “The campaign will really take off in July, but this poll shows it will probably go to a runoff,” said Renato da Fonseca, the head of polling at Brazil’s National Industry Confederation, which commissioned the survey by the IBOPE polling institute. “If the vote were held today, she would certainly be re-elected.” Backing for Rousseff ’s reelection in October stands at 39% of eligible voters. Her main challenger Aecio Neves has the

support of 21%, while Eduardo Campos has 10%. The Rousseff government’s approval rating has fallen to 31% from 36% in a previous IBOPE poll in March and is down to the same level as a year ago in the midst of protests. The president’s personal approval rating dropped to 44% from 51% in the last poll. Rousseff ’s popularity has been declining this year due to concerns about high inflation in a sluggish economy and investigations of mismanagement at the country’s largest company, state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA. If the race goes to a runoff three weeks after the October

Official visit

5 vote, Rousseff would still win by 43% of the votes against Neves, of the centrist PSDB party, who would get 30% of the votes if the election were held today. Campos, a former state governor and leader of the Brazilian Socialist Party, would get 27% of the votes in a runoff against 43% for Rousseff. Rousseff, however, faces an uphill battle to convince Brazilians to give her a second term in office in the face of growing distrust in her stewardship of the nation. Brazilians particularly disapprove of her handling of health and education services, rising crime and high taxation, according to IBOPE.

Argentina rules out US trip in bond spat Reuters Buenos Aires

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Cuban President Raul Castro (left) welcomes Angola President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos at the Revolution Palace in Havana, Cuba.

Worse, more Brazilians now disapprove of her policies in reducing poverty (53% versus 41%), the singular area of achievement by her Workers’ Party since it was led to power a decade ago by labour leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. That could spell trouble for a president counting on the backing of Brazilians who most benefited from her social programmes, estimated at a core 30% of the electorate. The previous IBOPE poll commissioned by the CNI in March did not survey voter intentions. The new poll surveyed 2,002 people from June 13-15 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.0 percentage points.

rgentina Cabinet chief Jorge Capitanich yesterday said the government has no delegation prepared for a “possible” trip to the US to seek negotiations in the ongoing bond dispute, casting doubt over whether the prospective talks will materialise. Buenos Aires is locked in a 12-year legal fight with creditors who refused to participate in two restructurings that followed Argentina’s 2002 default on $100bn in bonds. Argentina threatened to default on its debt on Wednesday night when the government called it “impossible” to meet a bond payment due on June 30. Earlier on Wednesday in New York the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the stay it had placed on an injunction by US judge Thomas Griesa barring payment to holders of restructured bonds via US banks unless the “holdouts” were paid $1.33bn at the same time.

A lawyer for Argentina told the court session presided by Griesa in Manhattan federal court that Argentine officials will seek next week to negotiate for the first time with the holdouts. But the government yesterday said nothing firm was in the works for now. “There is no delegation prepared for a possible trip to the US,” Capitanich said in his morning briefing, without elaborating. “The lifting of the stay in general creates a problem for the Argentine Republic,” he added. The government of leftist President Cristina Fernandez says the decision makes it impossible to meet the next payment on restructured debt in New York. Analysts say the tough talk may be a bid to bolster Argentina’s power at the negotiation table. Others warn it is a slippery slope that risks further upsetting Griesa and throwing the country closer to another catastrophic default.


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Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

PAKISTAN/AFGHANISTAN CRIME

TRAGEDY

SECURITY

TRANSPORT

CASE

Singer shot dead in north-west Pakistan

Dozens die in heat wave at Pakistan shrine

SC orders special police force for minorities

Karachi-Lahore Motorway project gets govt nod

Police charge cleric’s followers with terrorism

A popular female singer was shot dead in Pakistan, police said yesterday, in the latest attack on artists in the militancy-plagued north-west of the country. Gulnar Bibi, 38, was shot five times by masked gunmen who broke into her house on Wednesday in Peshawar city, capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, investigating police officer Naeem Khan said. The singer, better known by her stage name Muskan, died of her injuries in hospital, said Jamil Shah, spokesman of Lady Ready Hospital. The motive was not clear, Khan said. Some of her songs in Pashto were popular in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Dozens of people have died at a religious festival at a shrine in southern Pakistan during a severe heatwave, officials said yesterday. Hundreds of thousands of devotees attended the death anniversary of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, a 13th century Sufi saint, at a shrine in Sehwan, 250km north of Karachi. People were arriving for the past five days despite temperatures hovering around 47 degrees Celsius. District health officer doctor Khalid Arain said that 51 people had died since Sunday, including four women. “Out of the total deaths 45 died of heatwave and suffocation, three died of heart attack, one drowned and two died in road accidents,” Arain said.

Pakistan’s Supreme Court yesterday ordered the establishment of a special police force to protect minorities’ worship places. A threemember panel of judges, headed by chief justice Tassaduq Hussain Jilani, gave the order as part of a wider ruling on a case about the problems faced by religious minorities. The top court also asked the government to set up a taskforce to come up with a strategy for addressing religious intolerance and directed it to develop school curricula “to promote a culture of religious and social tolerance.” The judges said the government must take steps to ensure that hate speech in social media is discouraged.

The National Highway Authority (NHA) of Pakistan gave yesterday a go-ahead to the construction of Karachi-Lahore Motorway. A meeting of the NHA’s executive board, which gave the approval, was informed that the government had been working on a plan to put in place a network of highways in the country in order to boost economic activities. The Karachi-Lahore Motorway has been kept on the priority list and construction work on the project would start soon, the meeting was informed. NHA chairman Shahid Ashraf Tarrar, who presided over the meeting, said that all-out efforts should be made to increase the NHA’s revenue through toll plazas.

Pakistani police said yesterday they had filed terrorism charges against followers of a prominent preacher and anti-government critic, including his son, following clashes with the group in the eastern city of Lahore. Eight people were killed when Pakistani riot police armed with assault rifles clashed with supporters of cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri, who lives in Canada but is due to come to Pakistan by the end of the month. “There is one case against 54 including Doctor Tahir-ul-Qadri’s son Doctor Hassan Mohiuddin and 3,000 unknown people under the charges of terrorism, murder, riots and attack on police,” Zulfiqar Cheema, senior police official said.

US-Pakistan forces are in ‘constant, daily contact’ US Defence Department spokesman says US-led forces in Afghanistan are maintaining constant communication with Pakistani forces during the ongoing offensive in North Waziristan Internews Islamabad

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here is daily and constant communication between the US-led forces in Afghanistan and the Pakistani military as Pakistan continues its operation against militants in North Waziristan, says the US Defence Department. At a regular news briefing at the Pentagon, Press Secretary Admiral John Kirby said that the Zarb-i-Azb offensive was also “a testament to the degree to which Pakistan, the United States and Afghanistan have a shared threat and a shared challenge to deal with.” So far, the US administration has been very cautious in commenting on the operation which began last week amidst fears that a strong US interest in the offensive could prove counterproductive. At recent briefings, officials at

the White House and the State Department made it clear that this was a “Pakistan-led and Pakistan-executed” operation and the United States was not involved in it, directly or indirectly. Admiral Kirby also emphasised this point but went a step ahead of his colleagues at other government departments in acknowledging that US-led forces in Afghanistan had maintained a close co-ordination with the Pakistani forces. “There is daily, constant communication between the ISAF forces under General Joseph Dunford and the Pakistani counterparts on various levels,” said Admiral Kirby when asked if the United States was co-ordinating with Pakistan to ensure that the militants fleeing North Waziristan did not enter Afghanistan. “I won’t get into details about the specifics on this particular operation, but communication with the Pakistani military continues, and must continue.” The admiral was more careful when asked to predict if Zarb-iAzb would be successful. “The operation just began. And we’re not going to certainly rush to judgment here on how it proceeds. But “we obviously hope

that the operation that the Pakistani military is conducting is successful, because it does represent a common enemy”. Admiral Kirby also recalled the sacrifices of the Pakistan army in the fight against terrorists, saying that the Pentagon has never shied away from recognising these efforts. “I said it before, but it’s worth reminding - I mean, we recognise that the Pakistani military has taken casualties in this fight for many years. This isn’t the first time that they’ve conducted operations there,” he said. The Pentagon spokesman noted that the recent attacks at the Karachi airport were “a very stark reminder” of how the threat of terrorism affects the Pakistani people. So, again, we wish them well, and we look forward to seeing them succeed.” Asked if Pakistan would also target the Haqqani network, Admiral Kirby said he was not going to speak about the “intents and objectives” of an operation conducted by another army. Responding to another question, the admiral said he did not know if Pakistan’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who visited the Pentagon this week, had sought US help for the operation.

Taliban set Nato vehicles ablaze in Afghanistan AFP Kabul

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aliban militants set Nato military vehicles ablaze in Afghanistan yesterday, with local officials saying 37 were affected, though the coalition confirmed only that “several” were damaged. All three attackers died in a gunfight with Afghan police and soldiers at the Torkham border crossing with Pakistan, Nangarhar provincial spokesman Ahmad Zia Abdulzai said. “After making it into the parking lot, they used magnetic bombs to destroy some 37 Nato vehicles and fuel trucks,” he said. “They were killed in an hour-long gun battle with security forces, who did not suffer any casualties.” The Taliban claimed responsibility via a recognised Twitter account. A spokesman for Nato’s International Security Assistance Force said the attack occurred outside Forward Op-

Afghan firefighters extinguish burning Nato military vehicles at the scene of a suicide attack at the Afghan-Pakistan border crossing in Torkham, Nangarhar province, yesterday. erating Base Torkham. “There was significant damage to several vehicles,” he said. Nato vehicles in parking lots

at the border have been attacked before, with one policeman killed in a similar assault in December.

Torkham is a key crossing into Pakistan for Nato supplies leaving Afghanistan as the USled coalition withdraws.

Abdullah threatens to reject election result AFP Kabul

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fghanistan’s election crisis deepened yesterday when presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah said he would reject the result because his claims of massive fraud have failed to stop the ongoing vote count. Abdullah’s complaints about alleged fraud in the run-off

election have thrown the country’s first democratic transfer of power into doubt ahead of preliminary results due out on July 2. A smooth election was seen as a key benchmark of Afghan progress by the US-led coalition that has fought against insurgents and donated billions of dollars in aid since 2001 when the Taliban regime was ousted. But the dispute could trigger instability as US-led foreign

combat troops withdraw by the end of the year. “From now onwards, since (the election authorities) have not responded to our legitimate demands... everything they do and the result of their activities will not be accepted by us,” he told reporters. Referring to the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and Election Complaints Commission (ECC), he said: “We will not consider these two insti-

tutions as legitimate from now onwards.” Abdullah had demanded the stopping of the vote count and the sacking of Zia-ul-Haq Amarkhail, head of the IEC secretariat over Amarkhail’s alleged attempt to remove unused ballots from the IEC headquarters on polling day. But the IEC refused his demands, saying it would stick to the schedule in an election that will choose a successor to President Hamid Karzai.

Panicked refugees pour out of N Waziristan Reuters Baka Khel, Pakistan

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heir belongings piled high on buses, rickety donkey carts and tractors, thousands of refugees poured out of Pakistan’s North Waziristan yesterday, terrified by both state troops and Taliban insurgents fighting for control of the troubled region. Pakistan announced the start of a full-on military offensive on Sunday to quash an increasingly assertive Pakistani Taliban insurgency in the ethnic Pashtun region, the base of some of the country’s most feared Al Qaedalinked militants. Troops have since encircled the mountainous region on the Afghan border and fighter jets have pounded villages and militant hideouts, sending a wave of panicked people spilling into the nearby region of Bannu, as well as Afghanistan. For tens of thousands of people massing in camps and private homes in Bannu, living under army control was as frightening a prospect as living in the Taliban’s shadow. “Waziristan was our paradise but the Taliban and security forces turned it into a hell,” said Khair Mohamed, 48, a farmer who brought 20 members of his extended family to Bannu in a wagon pulled by a tractor. “I didn’t want to leave but my children developed serious mental problems because of the bombings by fighter jets and heavy artillery shelling by security forces.” The Pakistani Taliban are

A soldier stands guard as a tractor carrying refugees fleeing the military offensive against the Pakistani militants in North Waziristan, drives past a checkpoint in Bannu, located in Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province yesterday. deeply entrenched in the complex tribal patchwork of North Waziristan’s society, blending into the populace and hard to distinguish from ordinary residents. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his government have tried to engage those they see as moderate Taliban in ceasefire talks but those efforts collapsed after a Taliban attack this month on Pakistan’s biggest airport in Karachi. In response to the army operation, the Taliban commander for North Waziristan, who had entered a peace deal with the government in 2006, announced

his forces would launch a counter-offensive today. “It is a war of defence,” a spokesman for Commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur, Ahmedullah Ahamdi, told Reuters. He said the Taliban offensive had been dubbed Zarb-e-Momin, or “Strike of the True Muslim” - a clear jibe at the name of the army operation, Zarb-eAzb, or “Strike of the Prophet’s Sword”. Some of the displaced people said the most feared militants had disappeared overnight as soon as the army offensive was announced. “It’s very strange that those

Taliban considered as anti-state disappeared mysteriously, but security forces continued to conduct raids on our houses and harass innocent people,” said bank manager Wali Khan, 47. “Why didn’t they come out of their walled (army) compounds when the Taliban fighters were still in the town?” He said he and other refugees had enough time to pack only the essentials for their journey and no one could say when they might be able to return home. Breaking into tears, Khan added: “If I could, I would have brought my cow and other cattle. We left them behind and it was

People displaced from the North Waziristan tribal region where the Pakistan Army had launched a full scale military operation against Taliban militants, lead their livestock through the traffic as they arrive in neighbouring Bannu yesterday. like leaving children behind.” Residents of the North Waziristan capital of Miranshah said more than two-thirds of families had left by Thursday, with some disappearing into the mountains. Long queues stretched out of refugee centres where residents must register before leaving, as people waited for hours under the scorching sun. Women, some barefoot, used their headto-toe burkas to shield children from the heat. The army has launched daily air strikes in North Waziristan but a full-scale ground offensive has yet to start.

It relaxed the day-long curfew on Wednesday to allow residents to leave, triggering a sudden exodus into Bannu as well as Afghanistan’s province of Khost where officials said at least 10,000 refugees were seeking shelter. Officials in Bannu and nearby areas have registered 70,000 refugees, but the number is likely to rise as more people trickle out of North Waziristan. The government has set up camps and refugee registration centres to control the flow, but some people said they would not use state facilities for fear of Taliban retribution.

“The Taliban have their informants everywhere, even at the registration centres and government departments,” said Abdul Wasey, 32, who described himself as a science student. “That is why we would rather die than receive any help from the government.” Others complained the government was doing too little. “The government is treating us badly. We have done nothing. Those who were involved in militant activities have already fled,” Abdul Rehman, 50, a resident of Miranshah, told Reuters. “Why we are being punished for someone else’s crime?”


Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

15

PHILIPPINES

P40mn is taken from frozen bank account Manila Times Makati

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A Philippines soldier stands at Thitu island (Pag-asa) which hosts a small Filipino town as well as an airstrip used for civilian and military flights in the disputed Spratly islands in the South China sea.

Manila, US to hold drill near Spratlys Reuters Manila

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hilippine and American troops are set to hold naval exercises this month near a disputed shoal, which will almost certainly anger China with tension already high in the South China Sea. China claims 90% of the South China Sea, potentially rich in oil and gas and fisheries. The Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam and Taiwan also claim parts of the waters, and China has viewed with suspicion what it sees as US moves to “provoke” tension by supporting its regional allies, notably Vietnam and the Philippines. Five warships, including a US guidedmissile destroyer, and about 1,000 troops will take part in week-long Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercises, which include live-fire drills 64km off Zambales, on the western shores of the Philippine island of Luzon. The drills are to be held about 80 nautical miles distant from two or three ships of the Chinese coast guard are stationed on patrol off the disputed Scarborough Shoal, control of which China seized from the Philippines in 2012. In January 2013, the Philippines went to the arbitration court in The Hague to question China’s “excessive” policy in the South China Sea, hoping the court would order China to pull its ships away from the rocky outcrop. The exercises are aimed at strengthening the capabilities of both sides in amphibious operations, special operations and surface warfare, besides enhancing information-sharing, navy spokesman Lieutenant Rommel Rodriguez said.

Children attend classes at Thitu island which hosts a small Filipino town as well as an airstrip used for civilian and military flights in the disputed Spratly islands. Rodriguez said the drills were a regular annual event. “They’ll have targets at sea, called ‘killer tomatoes’,” he said, referring to the livefire exercise. “All ships will aim at the hostile objects. Then they will take turns to fire their guns.” The USS Halsey, an Arleigh Burke-class missile-guided destroyer, will dock in the Philippine base Subic Bay on June 26 for the exercises. It will be joined by the USNS Safeguard and the USS Ashland. Manila will send the BRP Ramon Alcaraz, a former US coastguard cutter, and the BRP Emilio Jacinto, a former British Royal Navy Peacock-class ship, for the drills, along with Polish-made helicopters. The Philippines said yesterday it would

ask a UN tribunal to speed up its appeal to declare China’s expansive claims to the South China Sea invalid. A formal request would be filed seeking a resolution on the case within the year or early 2015, foreign department spokesman Charles Jose said. “We are consulting our legal team to present a request to the tribunal if it can hasten its process earlier, rather than later,” Jose told AFP. President Benigno Aquino’s spokesman Herminio Coloma also confirmed yesterday that the Philippines would repair an airstrip on Thitu island, one of the disputed Spratly islands occupied by Philippine troops in the South China Sea. “We have funds. We will finish repairs

within the year,” Coloma said in a statement. Anticipating opposition from other claimants to the area, he quoted defence department spokesman Peter Paul Galvez as saying “China’s reaction will always be unfavourable”. The island, called Pagasa (Hope) by the Philippines, has hosted a small town as well as an airstrip used for civilian and military flights. However in recent years the airstrip has been allowed to deteriorate. Department of foreign affairs spokesman Charles Jose said repair and maintenance work would take place “for the safety of our people there”. Coloma stressed that the airstrip had been there for years and its repair did not violate the “Declaration of Conduct” signed by most of the claimants including China and the Philippines in 2002. The non-binding declaration effectively called on all parties to refrain from building new structures in the disputed area until the claims are settled. New land reclamation by China was a contravention of the declaration, the statement said. In recent months, the Philippines filed protests after it monitored reclamations in a number of outcrops that are within its exclusive economic zone but occupied by China. On one, Johnson South Reef, the Philippines said the Chinese appeared to be reclaiming land that may turned into an airstrip. Foreign secretary Albert del Rosario separately said a speedier ruling was necessary “because the situation is getting worse by the day in the South China Sea”. “So we hope to be able to get the arbitration in place, that will be the goal line for all of us,” he told reporters.

Senator Revilla facing arrest after court finds probable cause Manila Times Makati

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he Sandiganbayan is expected to issue an arrest order for senator Ramon Bong Revilla Jr after the first division yesterday found probable cause against him and his 32 coaccused in the pork barrel case. But Revilla’s camp yesterday said he would present himself before the Sandiganbayan. If he pursues that course, the NBI or the police will be spared the unpleasant task of arresting a lawmaker. An unimpeachable source said the court had drafted the warrant but was not able to issue it yesterday because one justice failed to sign the document. Associate justice Efren dela Cruz, the first division’s chairman, had left when the division circulated the draft warrant for the justice’s signature. Under the rules, the Sandiganbayan has to hand over the warrant to the arresting officers, in this case either the agents of the

National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) or members of the Philippine National Police (PNP). Revilla earlier said he had made arrangements with the PNP for his surrender, noting that he does not want his children to see him being arrested at home. The PNP has prepared the detention center for Revilla and senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jose Jinggoy Estrada who were also charged with plunder, a nonbailable offence. In a resolution, the anti-graft court denied the plea of Revilla and his co-accused to dismiss the case, suspend the proceedings or defer the issuance of a warrant. Revilla is accused of receiving P224mn in kickbacks for releasing some of his priority development assistance fund (PDAF) to bogus projects. He was also charged with 16 counts of graft. This morning, the third and fifth divisions will hear the motions in similar cases against Revilla’s colleagues in the Senate, senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jose Jinggoy Estrada. Revilla and the other accused

had asked the court to dismiss the plunder complaint but their appeal was rejected by the Sandiganbayan.

“Mr President, I am ready to be jailed wherever you want me jailed because I am innocent and I am not afraid. Wherever this fight leads, I will fight for my rights” In their four-page resolution, dela Cruz and justices Rafael Lagos and Napoleon Inoturan dismissed the motions for judicial determination of probable cause filed by Revilla, his chief of staff Richard Cambe; alleged pork scam mastermind Janet LimNapoles and her nephew Ronald John Lim; budget undersecretary Mario Relampagos; and budget department employees Rosario Nuñez, Lalaine Paule and Marilou Bare. Aside from Revilla, also charged with plunder and graft were Cambe, Napoles, and John Raymund de Asis. Charged with plunder only was Ronald John Lim.

Charged with graft are Relampagos, Nuñez, Paule, Bare, former Technology Resource Center Directors General Antonio Ortiz and Dennis Cunanan and TRC employees Francisco Figura, Ma. Rosalinda Lacsamana and Marivic Jover; National Agribusiness Corp (Nabcor) employees Victor Cacal and Rhodora Mendoza; Evelyn de Leon, president of supposedly Napoles’ non-government organisation Philippine Social Development Foundation; Allan Javellana, former Nabcor president; National Livelihood and Development Corp (NLDC) former president Gondelina Mata and employees Emmanuel Sevidal, Sofia Cruz, Chita Jalandoni, Evelyn Sucgang and Gregoria Buenaventura; and Nabcor employees Maria Ninez Guañizo and Maria Julie Villarolvo-Johnson. Revilla’s lawyer, Joel Bodegon, had asked the court to suspend proceedings until the Supreme Court rules on the Ombudsman’s request to form a special division that will exclusively hear cases related to the pork barrel scam.

But dela Cruz said the Sandiganbayan will proceed with the plunder case against Revilla and his co-accused, unless the Supreme Court restrains it. Bodegon asked for 10 days to contest the ruling. Revilla had said he will not resist arrest. The senator again maintained his innocence yesterday. In an emotional speech before his supporters who gathered in front of his residence in Bacoor, Cavite province, Revilla said he is ready to be jailed. Speaking before a crowd of people and supporters at the compound of his house in Cavite, he made an emotional appeal that he be given a chance to defend himself in court and not to judge him without hearing his side. Teary-eyed, the senator insisted that he had done no wrong. “Mr President, I am ready to be jailed wherever you want me jailed because I am innocent and I am not afraid. Wherever this fight leads, I will fight for my rights,” he said.

mid Malacanang’s assurances that the government will do everything to recover the loot from people involved in the pork barrel scam, a Manila court discovered yesterday that P40mn had been withdrawn from the bank account of Janet Lim-Napoles and her cohorts. The bank deposit was previously covered by a freeze order issued by Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 22 judge Marino dela Cruz Jr. The court found that the withdrawals from the bank account of First Integrated Bonding and Insurance Inc (FIBI) were made at an unnamed branch of the United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) after May 26, 2014, the date the freeze order lapsed. Napoles was a stockholder of FIBI. When the judge issued the court order, the FIBI account had more than P49mn. There are four remaining active FIBI accounts with the following deposits: P8,914,363.64, P1,000.82, P102,406.21 and P6,674.40. The FIBI bank accounts are linked to the accounts of Pangkabuhayan Foundation Inc, where Napoles is listed as officer, along with a certain Patricia Tan. The disappearance of the money angered dela Cruz, who ordered the office of the solicitor general (OSG) to explain why it did not move fast to ask for the issuance of another Provisional Asset Preservation Order (PAPO) before the freeze order of the bank account expired. A PAPO is good for only 20 days.The judge also directed UCPB to submit records of the bank transactions to the court. The first PAPO was issued in February. It was extended until May. The court issued another freeze order on June 6, 2014, covering the bank accounts of 19 individual respondents deposited in six banks—LandBank, East West Bank, Security Bank, Metrobank, Bank of Philippine Islands and United Coconut Planters Bank. Also, during a hearing on Wednesday, it was learned that the account of former Representative Samuel Dangwa in Landbank only had P26,770,472. Before the freeze

order was issued, the account had P54,467,825. The June 6 freeze order issued by the court also covered the Metrobank account of a certain Washington Plaza totaling about P37mn, the account of Gigi Reyes in East West Bank that has P21,213,500, and the deposits of Paulene Theresa Mary Labayen, Roderick Eheun Reyes, Alfonso Garcia Napoles, Adelina Garcia Napoles, Caesar Ronnie Fernandez Ordoyo, Catherine Mae Canlas Santos, Kristina Santos, Jose Emmanuel Lim, Pedro Dumon Sepulveda Jr., Florentina Seachon Sepulveda and FIBI. The court issued the freeze order because these bank accounts were believed used as conduit to launder funds or proceeds from the pork barrel scam. It surmised that the owners of the bank accounts in question have no legitimate sources of income or their transactions/deposits are not in proportion to their legitimate sources of income.

The court found that the withdrawals from the bank account were made after May 26, 2014, the date the freeze order lapsed Dela Cruz said the court found probable cause that these bank accounts were related to unlawful activities that might constitute plunder or malversation of public funds. Justice secretary Leila de Lima said she will find out why such a big amount was withdrawn and what remedies the government can resort to. “It’s very difficult to make a judgment on that. Let me first find out exactly the circumstances. [I will try to know] from both the OSG and AMLC [AntiMoney Laundering Council] [why that happened]. In any case, I will also discuss it with them. I’m sure [that there is a remedy to that],” de Lima added. “[I will also try to know] where exactly is the lapse, which office [committed a lapse] but we will definitely take it up,” she said. Also yesterday, the UCPB said it allowed withdrawals from the FIBI account because these were cleared by the AMLC. It added that the P39.7mn was withdrawn as payment for FIBI’s back-to-back loans with UCPB.

17 die in clash with rebels on Jolo AFP Manila

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en Muslim extremists and seven soldiers were killed yesterday in one of the bloodiest clashes in the southern Philippines in recent months, the military said. Soldiers were approaching a known hotbed of the militant Abu Sayyaf group on the strife-torn island of Jolo when the fighting broke out, military statements said. The Abu Sayyaf initially fired on the soldiers, killing an officer. Ten minutes later, six more soldiers were killed and many others wounded when the Abu Sayyaf fired mortar shells at them, the statement added. The fighting left 10 Abu Sayyaf fighters dead, although only one body was recovered, and 24 soldiers wounded, the military said. “The remaining troops are still in the area of operations while the casualties were evacuated,” the statement said. The attack comes after the Abu Sayyaf suffered a series of setbacks including the capture in Manila last week of one of its leaders, Khair Mundos, who is on the US government’s list of “most wanted” terror suspects. Days later, two of his fol-

lowers were also arrested. The military would not say why the troops were in the rural town of Patikul, a known Abu Sayyaf hotbed, about 945km south of Manila. The US military has had about 500 troops rotating through the southern Philippines since 2002 to train Filipino soldiers how to combat the militants. Many Abu Sayyaf leaders have been captured or killed, but it continues to pose a threat in the south, kidnapping people and carrying out bomb attacks. The militants are able to draw support from local Muslim communities who feel they have been persecuted for centuries by Christian rulers in Manila. They also get money for weapons from their successful kidnap-for-ransom ventures. The group, founded in the 1990s with seed money from Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network, is blamed for the worst terrorist attacks in the Philippines’ recent history. This includes the 2004 bombing of a ferry that left more than 100 dead. Several hostages are still believed to be held by the Abu Sayyaf in the jungles of Jolo.


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Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

SRI LANKA/BANGLADESH/NEPAL

Hasina to set up six medical universities By Mizan Rahman Dhaka

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rime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday announced that her government would establish a medical university in every division of Bangladesh—six in total-to ensure quality education and training for physicians. “There is a medical university in Dhaka which was established by the Awami League government during its tenure from 1996 to 2001. Initially such a university should be set up in Chittagong and Rajshahi,” she said. “But I think there is a necessity for establishing a medical university in all divisions gradually. Otherwise quality education and training for the doctors won’t be ensured.” She was addressing officials of the health ministry during her visit to the ministry at Bangladesh Secretariat in Dhaka yesterday. Health minister Mohamed Nasim and health secretary MN Niazuddin also spoke on the occasion, while state minister for health Zahid Malek was present. PM’s principal secretary Abdus Sobhan Sikder, PMO secretary Md Abul Kalam Azad, press secretary AKM Shameem Chowdhury and other high officials of different bodies under the health ministry were also present. Stressing the need for giving more importance to child hospitals, she also said that the government plans to set up a separate child hospital in every division. As part of the plan, she said, work on establishing a child hospital in Rajshahi, Sylhet and Barisal has begun. “There is a separate child ward in every divisional and district hospital. But we

Sheikh Hasina should be more careful about the treatment of children,” she said. Sheikh Hasina said that initiatives have been taken to set up separate burn unit at all divisional and district hospitals. “The work on setting up a separate burn unit at Chiitagong Medical College Hospital is under process,” she said. She asked the physicians to stay at their work place as per the conditions of the service. “Your job won’t be made permanent and promotion won’t take place if you don’t stay at your work place for certain period....There would be also fear of losing your job, “ she said. “You will have to keep

in mind that a huge amount of money has been spent for you and this money comes from the tax of farmers and working class people. So you must provide services to the people by staying at your work place,” she added. The prime minister also directed health officials and employees to discharge their duty with utmost integrity and sincerity. “We are the servants of the people and we are working with a commitment to serve the people. In this case, you will have to discharge your duty with utmost integrity and sincerity,” she said. The prime minister said that she does

not consider the country’s population a burden rather it could be turned into a valuable asset if proper education and healthcare services are ensured for the people. Sheikh Hasina also differed with the population control slogan of Bangladesh: ‘Not more than two, one is better’. “Countries which followed such slogans have been turned into countries of elderly people,” she said. She said those countries now do not have sufficient youth and the workforce. “They have now started changing their slogans and now vying for two to three children instead of one in a family,” she added. In this connection, the prime minister directed the authorities concerned of the health and family welfare ministry to conduct a campaign excluding the last part of the slogan-’one is better’. Mentioning that getting healthcare services is a fundamental right, she said her government before the elections in 2008 had made some commitments about health, population and nutrition. These included launching 18,000 community clinics, ensuring nutrition and welfare for children and mothers and achieving self-reliance in medicines. To build Digital Bangladesh, she said, health information programme and ehealth programme have been undertaken. Healthcare services are being provided at upazila and lower levels through 467 government hospitals and at district to national levels through 126 hospitals, she said. She said the number of beds at 153 subdistrict hospitals has been raised to 50 from 31 and manpower at these hospitals has been increased.

Sri Lankans walk past shuttered Muslim-owned shops, closed in protest following deadly communal violence, in Colombo.

Muslim-owned shops closed in Colombo to protest deadly riots AFP Colombo

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everal hundred Muslimowned businesses shut down in Sri Lanka’s capital yesterday to protest against deadly riots by extremist Buddhists, defying president Mahinda Rajapakse’s plea to stay open. Shops and restaurants in central Colombo were shuttered following the riots in two mainly Muslim coastal resorts popular with international tourists that left four people dead and Muslim homes and businesses razed. “The protest is against the BBS and the police failure to protect our community,” a Muslim shopkeeper who declined to be named told AFP.

“We are also asking the government to take action against those behind the riots.” A Sinhalese businessman said most of the shops in the normally bustling Pettah wholesale market in Colombo were closed. The violence on Sunday and Monday nights was blamed on the hardline Buddhist Force (BBS) in the southern towns of Alutgama and Beruwala, about 60km south of Colombo. The closures came as police said a moderate monk, Watareka Vijitha, who voiced opposition to the BBS had been abducted, beaten up and dumped by the roadside outside Colombo early Thursday. Hospital sources said the monk was in intensive care. Residents found him stripped naked,

hands tied behind his back and dumped by the roadside in Panadura, a town outside the capital, police said. The BBS, which has denied it was behind the riots, has been accused of targeting Buddhist clergy who opposed their hardline tactics. Rajapakse on Wednesday urged majority Buddhists and minority Muslims to ease tensions and take steps towards peace. During a tour of riot-hit Beruwala, Rajapakse promised an investigation into the riots and appealed to Muslims not to go ahead with a “hartal” or strike, plans for which had been circulating among Muslim communities. The riots are the latest in a series of religious clashes to hit the

island following unrest in January and last year, when Buddhist mobs attacked a mosque in Colombo. Muslims make up about 10% of the 20mn population, but are accused by Buddhist nationalists of having undue influence in the country. Police said they anticipated trouble after Friday prayers in the capital and additional units would be deployed. Police chief N . Illangakoon appealed to Muslims to ignore leaflets being distributed in Colombo calling on them to take to the streets in protest over the riots. “We are working on special security arrangements for tomorrow (Friday),” Illangakoon told reporters.

“We appeal to Muslims not to respond to calls for unrest issued in the name of bogus organisations.” Illangakoon said they had arrested 55 people over the riots and the situation was returning to normal in the resort areas. Troops and police were Thursday patrolling the streets to deter further violence. The unrest was triggered by a BBS march that took place in Alutgama on Sunday, with clashes breaking out after the group claimed its procession was stoned by Muslims. The US has led international condemnation of the violence, while Western embassies in Colombo have advised nationals holidaying in the area to stay indoors.

Khaleda Zia

Khaleda’s appeal on trial judge rejected By Mizan Rahman Dhaka

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he high court yesterday rejected a writ petition filed for Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia challenging the appointment of the trial judge, who indicted her and others in Zia Orphanage Trust and Zia Charitable Trust graft cases. The bench with Justice Quazi Reza-ul Hoque pronounced the decision after hearing the matter for two days. The matter came up before the present bench as a two-judge bench earlier pronounced split decision on the petition on May 25. Following the supreme court ruling, the chief justice constituted the single- judge bench with justice Hoque to hear and dispose of the petition. Advocate Asaduzzman had filed the writ petition on May 12 for Begum Zia. The petition alleged that legal procedure was not followed to indict Begum Zia, her elder son and BNP senior vice chairman Tarique Rahman and others as no gazette notification was published regarding appointment of the judge to try the cases. Special judge-3 of Dhaka Basudeb Roy indicted Begum Zia and others in the cases on March 19. The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) lodged two separate cases with Tejgoan and Ramna police stations on August 8, 2011 and July 3, 2008 and submitted chargesheets on January 16, 2012 and August 5, 2009 respectively. Meanwhile, a Dhaka court has again deferred hearing to record testimony in the Zia Orphanage Trust and Zia Charitable Trust graft cases against Khaleda Zia.

The deposition was to take place in a makeshift court at the Alia Chennaia in old Dhaka yesterday. Special Judge-3 Basudeb Roy set July 9 as the new date following a defence petition seeking more time. Earlier the deposition was to be held on May 21. Defence counsel Sanaullah Miah said they had moved the High Court challenging the legality of the appointment of Judge Roy. On May 25, an HC bench of Justices Farah Mahbub and Kazi Md Ejarul Haque Akondo issued a split verdict on the plea, following which the Chief Justice sent the writ to a third bench. “That’s why we have prayed to stop the deposition,” the lawyer said. After a two-day hearing, Justice Farah Mahbub issued a ruling and ordered a freeze on the proceedings of the cases, while Justice Kazi Md Ejarul Haque Akondo wanted to scrap the petitions. As per rule, the matter was forwarded to the chief justice who assigned justice Quazi Reza-Ul Hoque’s bench to hear the pleas. The former prime minister had moved the court challenging the indictment but the court dismissed her plea. The Anti-Corruption Commission in 2008 filed a case against six, including Khaleda and her son Tarique Rahman, for allegedly embezzling 21mn taka from ‘Zia Orphanage Trust’, which reportedly came from a foreign bank. Charges were pressed against them two years later. In 2011, the ACC accused the BNP chief and three others of pocketing 31.5mn taka from the ‘Zia Charitable Trust’. The national anti-graft agency prosecuted the four in a chargesheet in 2012.

Nepal tourism body resumes services Agencies Kathmandu

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he Nepal Tourism Board resumed services yesterday, with agitating tourism entrepreneurs calling off their 52-day long strike. The NTB came back to life after the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) issued a directive to the ministry of culture, tourism and civil aviation yesterday to resume service within three days. Also today, the Joint Tourism Co-ordination Committee that had been agitating against the alleged irregularities in the board called off its programmes of protest after fulfillment of its fivepoint demands. It may be noted that the government has formed two separate committees—one to probe into the alleged financial irregularities in the NTB and the other to look into ways to structurally reform the board.


Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

17

THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH

Women’s liberation through Islam T

oday people think that women are liberated in the West and that the women’s liberation movement began in the 20th century. Actually, the women’s liberation movement was not begun by women but was revealed by Allah (God) to a man in the seventh century by the name of Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. The Qur’an and the Traditions of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, are the sources from which every Muslim woman derives her rights and duties.

Human Rights: Islam, 14 centuries ago, made women equally accountable to Allah in glorifying and worshipping Him setting no limits on her moral progress. Also, Islam established a woman’s equality in her humanity with men. In the first verse of the chapter entitled “Women”, Allah Says (what means): “O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Aadam), and from him (Aadam) He created his wife [Hawwaa (Eve)], and from them both, He created many men and women and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you.” [Qur’an 4:1] Since men and women both came from the same essence, they are equal in their humanity. Women cannot be by nature evil (as some religions believes) or then men would be evil also. Similarly, neither sex can be superior because it would be a contradiction of equality. Allah Says (which means): “O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that (believer) who is the most pious of you. Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.” [Qur’an 49:13] Allah also Says (what means): “Verily, the Muslims men and women, the believers men and women, the men and women who are obedient (to Allah), the men and women who are truthful (in their speech and deeds), the men and women who are humble (before their Lord), the men and women who give charity, the men and women who observe fasting, the men and women who guard their chastity (from illegal sexual acts), and the men and women who remember Allah much with their hearts and tongues. Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward (i.e. Paradise).” [Qur’an 33:35]

The Heart of Chechnya Mosque in the Chechen capital Grozny.

In Islam, a woman has the basic freedom of choice and expression based on recognition of her individual personality. First, the non-Muslim woman (from the people of the Book) is free to maintain her religion. Allah Says (what means): “There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right path has been made distinct from wrong path.” [Qur’an 2:256] Women are encouraged in Islam to contribute their opinions and ideas. There are many traditions of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, which indicate women would pose questions directly to him and offer their opinions concerning religion, economics and social matters. A Muslim woman chooses her husband and keeps her family name after marriage. A Muslim woman’s testimony is valid in legal disputes. In fact, in areas in which women are more familiar, their evidence is conclusive.

sallam, said: “Seeking knowledge is a mandate for every Muslim (male and female).” [Ibn Maajah] This includes knowledge of the Qur’an and the Hadeeth as well as other religious knowledge. Men and women both have the capacity for learning and understanding. Since it is also their obligation to promote good behaviour and condemn bad behaviour in all spheres of life, Muslim women must acquire the appropriate Islamic education to perform this duty in accordance with their own natural talents and interests. While maintenance of a home, providing support to her husband, and bearing, raising and teaching of children are among the first and very highly regarded roles for a woman, if she has the skills to work outside the home for the good of the community, she may do so (if she has to) as long as her family obligations are met, and as long as there is no intermingling between her and men in the work place. Islam recognises and fosters the natural differences between men and women despite their equality. Some types of work are more suitable for men and other types for women. This, in no way, diminishes either’s effort nor benefit. Allah will reward both sexes equally for the value of their work, though it may not necessarily be the same activity. The success of a society can be traced to the mothers. The first and greatest influence on a person comes from the sense of security, affection, and training received from the mother. Therefore, a woman having children must be educated and conscientious in order to be a skilful parent.

Social Rights

Economic Rights:

Civil Rights:

The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa

Allah Says (what means): “By Him

Who created male and female; Verily, your efforts and deeds are diverse.” [Qur’an 92:3-4] In these verses, Allah declares that He created men and women to be different, with unique roles, functions and skills. As in society, where there is a division of labour, so too in a family; each member has different responsibilities. Generally, Islam upholds that women are entrusted with the nurturing role, and men, with the guardian role. Therefore, women are given the right of financial support. Allah Says (what means): “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means...” [Qur’an 4:34] This guardianship and greater financial responsibility is given to men, requires that they provide women with not, only monetary support, but also physical protection and kind and respectful treatment. The Muslim woman has the privilege to earn money, the right to own property, to enter into legal contracts and to manage all of her assets in any way she pleases. She can run her own business and no one has any claim on her earnings including her husband. Allah Says (what means): “And wish not for the things in which Allah has made some of you to excel others. For men there is reward for what they have earned, (and likewise) for women there is reward for what they have earned, and ask Allah of His bounty. Surely, Allah is Ever All-Knower of everything.” [Qur’an 4:32] Furthermore, a woman inherits from her relatives. Allah Says (what means): “There is a share for men and a share for women from what is left by parents and those nearest related,

whether, the property be small or large – a legal share.” [Qur’an 4:7]

Rights of a Wife: Allah Says (what means): “And among His signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put affection and mercy between you; Verily, in that are signs for people who reflect.” [Qur’an 30:21] Marriage is therefore not just a physical or emotional necessity, but in fact it is a relationship of mutual rights and obligations based on divine guidance. Allah created men and women with complimentary natures, and in the Qur’an, He laid out a system of laws to support harmonious interaction between the sexes. Allah Says (what means): “...They are your garments and you are their garments.” [Qur’an 2:187] Clothing provides physical protection and covers the beauty and faults of the body. Likewise, a spouse is viewed this way. Each protects the other and hides the faults and compliments the characteristics of the spouse. To foster the love and security that come with marriage, Muslim wives have various rights. The first of the wife’s rights is to receive Mahr (marriage dowry), a gift from the husband, which is part of the marriage contract and required for the legality and validity of the marriage. The second right of a wife is maintenance. Despite any wealth she may have, her husband is obligated to provide her with food, shelter and clothing. He is not forced, however, to spend beyond his capability and his wife is not entitled to make unrea-

The excellence of generosity G

enerosity is a virtuous trait that every Muslim should strive to attain. As for the believer who closely adheres to the teachings of Islam, kindness and giving from what he has become part of his good character. Generosity is the opposite of stinginess, as stinginess is a disease of the heart. The Muslim should avoid this bad quality, for it is a source of corruption. The Muslim’s faith and righteous deeds purify his heart, so his hands should be outstretched, giving to those who are in need. A generous man will share what he has with others, thinking about other people as he thinks of himself. He benefits by helping others and solving their problems. He makes people happy and prevents them from doing wrong, which is often a direct result of poverty. This is a great service to society, and there are some people who spend their life in this service, establishing valuable foundations which remain after them such as hospitals, libraries, etc. Whatever is given for Allah’s Sake will never decrease one’s wealth in the

slightest; rather, it will bless, purify and increase it, as the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “Charity does not decrease wealth.” [Muslim] Whatever is given in charity will be recorded with The One Who has full knowledge of all things. Allah, Almighty, Says (what means): “...And whatever you spend of good – it will be fully repaid to you, and you will not be wronged.” [Qur’an 2: 272] The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam directed the Muslims’ attention to this higher understanding of generosity when he asked ‘Aaishah what was left of the sheep they had slaughtered. She told him : “Nothing but the shoulder.” He said, “Everything except the shoulder is saved.” [At-Tirmithi] Whatever is spent will return multiplied and Allah will increase it in this world and in the next. Allah Says (what means): “The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.” [Qur’an 2: 261]

And (what means): “…But whatever thing you spend [in His cause] – He will compensate it; and He is the best of providers.” [Qur’an 34: 39] Since noble characteristics are acquired in different ways, the Muslim works to develop virtuous traits according to Islamic guidelines. Allah Says (what means): “And spend [in the way of Allah] from what We have provided you before death approaches one of you and he says, ‘My Lord, if only You would delay me for a brief term so I would give charity and be among the righteous.’” [Qur’an 63: 10] Generosity is not expressed exclusively with wealth and money, but also with our time, good deeds, actions and kindness to all people. Allah Says (what means): “Never will you attain the good [reward] until you spend [in the way of Allah] from that which you love...” [Qur’an 3: 92] Allah, Almighty Says (what means): “Indeed, mankind was created anxious: when evil touches him, impatient, and when good touches him, withholding [of it]...” [Qur’an 70: 19-21] The Messenger of Allah sallallaahu

‘alaihi wa sallam said: “Protect yourself from the Hell-fire even by giving a piece of a date as charity.’’ [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] This narration shows that a person can be generous and win the pleasure of Allah even by spending a small quantity of wealth. Jaabir reported that the Messenger of Allah never said “no” to anyone who asked him for something. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] This narration illustrates the generosity of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. If somebody asked him for something, he would never say “no” to him. He would also, on occasions, resort to borrowing to meet the want of a needy person. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “Everyday two angels descend and one of them says, ‘O Allah! Compensate (more) to the person who gives (in charity)’; while the other one says, ‘O Allah! Destroy the one who withholds (charity, etc).’” [Al-Bukhari] The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam also said: “Allah, the Exalted, Says, ‘Spend, O son of Aadam, you will also be

sonable demands. Allah Says (what means): “Let the rich man spend according to his means, and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allah has given him. Allah puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him. Allah will grant after hardship, ease.” [Qur’an 65:7] Allah tells us in the Qur’an that men are guardians over women and are afforded the leadership in the family. His responsibility for obeying Allah extends to guiding his family to obey Allah at all times. A wife’s rights also extend beyond material needs, as she has the right to kind treatment. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “…The best of you are those who are best (in treatment) to their wives.” [At-Tirmithi, Ibn Maajah and Al-Bayhaqi] Allah tells us that He created mates and put love, mercy, and tranquillity between them. Both men and women have a need for companionship and sexual needs, and marriage is designed to fulfil those needs. For one spouse to deny this satisfaction to the other, temptation will rise to seek satisfying it elsewhere.

Duties of a Wife: With rights come responsibilities. Therefore, wives have certain obligations towards their husbands. Allah Says (what means): “…The righteous women are devoutly obedient (to Allah and their husbands), and guard in the husband’s absence what Allah orders them to guard (i.e. their chastity, their husband’s property, etc.).” [Qur’an 4:34] A wife is to keep her husband’s secrets and protect their marital privacy. Issues of intimacy or faults of

spent upon.’” [Al-Bukhari & Muslim] According to the narration, one who spends in the way of Allah, will be duly paid. It means that Allah will enhance the provision of such a man and grant him the best recompense. In another narration, the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “There are forty kinds of virtue, the highest of which is to gift a (milch) she-goat. He who practises any of these virtues, expecting its reward (from Allah) and believing in the truth of the promise made for it, will enter Jannah (Paradise).’’ [Al-Bukhari] A person giving charity should not render it vain by reminders of his generosity or by injury. The giver should be cheerful when asked and when giving. He should spend without being stingy or irresponsible. Whether giving in abundance from his riches, or a small amount of his meager means, one should give with complete satisfaction, a cheerful face and nice speech. The Muslim who truly understands the teachings of his religion never looks down upon any charity, no matter how small it may be. He strives to do as

his, that would dishonour him, are not to be spread by the wife, just as he is expected to guard her honour. A wife must also guard her husband’s property. She must safeguard his home and possessions, to the best of her ability, from theft or damage. She should manage the household affairs wisely so as to prevent loss or waste. She should not allow anyone to enter the house whom her husband dislikes nor incur any expenses of which her husband disapproves. A Muslim woman must co-operate and co-ordinate with her husband. There cannot, however, be cooperation with a man who is disobedient to Allah. She should not fulfill his requests if he wants her to do something Islamically unlawful. A husband also should not take advantage of his wife, but rather he should consider her needs and happiness.

Conclusion: Allah Says (what means): “It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad) have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has strayed in a plain error.” [Qur’an 33:36] The Muslim woman was given a role, duties and rights more than 1,400 years ago that most women do not enjoy today, even in the West. These are rights granted by Allah and are designed to keep balance in the society; what may seem unjust or missing in one place is compensated for or explained in another place. Indeed Islam is a complete way of life. Article source: www.islamweb.net/ emainpage/

much as he is able, while he is firm in his conviction that Allah will reward his good deeds, no matter how small, as Allah Says (what means): “On no soul does Allah place a burden greater that it can bear …” [Qur’an 2: 286] He also responds to the words of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam: “Protect yourselves from the Fire even if it is with half a date.” [Al-Bukhari] Islam teaches the Muslims to be constructive, beneficial members of their societies; always helping those who are deprived and destitute to the best of their abilities. Every good deed is described as an act of charity, as the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “Every Muslim must give charity.” They said, “O Messenger of Allah, what if he cannot do that?” He said, “Then let him help one who is in desperate need.” He said, “Then let him do good, and refrain from doing evil, and that will be an act of charity on his part.” [Al-Bukhari & Muslim] Article source: www.islamweb.net/ emainpage/


18

Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

COMMENT Chairman: Abdullah bin Khalifa al-Attiyah Editor-in-Chief : Darwish S Ahmed Production Editor: Amjad Khan

P.O.Box 2888 Doha, Qatar editor@gulf-times.com Telephone 44350478 (news), 44466404 (sport), 44466636 (home delivery) Fax 44350474

GULF TIMES The edifice that US built in Iraq is falling apart President Barack Obama said yesterday the US would send up to 300 military advisers to support Iraqi forces confronting an Al Qaeda splinter group attacking the country and was prepared to take targeted military action if necessary. But the US president, speaking to a news conference after meeting with his national security team, insisted: “American combat troops are not going to be fighting in Iraq again.” “We do not have the ability to simply solve this problem by sending in tens of thousands of troops and committing the kinds of blood and treasure that has already been expended in Iraq,” he said. “Ultimately, this is something that is going to have to be solved by the Iraqis.” Amid questions about US confidence in Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, President Obama says that it is not up to the US to choose Iraq’s leaders. Given America’s 11 years of involvement in Iraq as an invader, occupier and, most recently, facilitator and ally, it is difficult for the government and Americans to watch what is happening there with equanimity. The US withdrew its forces from Iraq at the end of 2011, with what it said was a democratically elected government in place and with ample armed forces poised to defend that government, which America had trained and equipped. That is, of course, the strategy that the US has also laid out for its departure from Afghanistan, at this point scheduled for the end of 2016, after 15 years there. The edifice that Washington set up and supported in Iraq, led by Prime Minister al-Maliki, has fallen apart, in a heap of sectarianism, regionalism, non-inclusion, corruption and just plain narrow-minded stupidity. The regional powers have backed their respective horses in the race, pulling the country apart. At this juncture there are key points for Obama and his team to bear in mind. First, Obama is probably right to put a small number of US troops into the Baghdad Green Zone, to keep the 5,500 American officials still in Iraq - astonishingly from being slaughtered or taken hostage by a victorious Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or a desperate Maliki government. He must stick to his position that US troops will not become re-involved in combat in Iraq. Pushing Obama to use troops to save the Maliki government will be US parties with commercial interests and investments in Iraq’s status quo, some of it through the sale of arms and other products, and those who still feel committed to the previous strategy and don’t want to admit that it has failed. Obama needs to resist influence by these parties, which are unable to adapt to the changes on the ground. An ironic, but basically positive outcome of the new situation is that it is compelling the US to consult with Iran on matters of common interest in Iraq. Only a determined break by a major Iraqi political force with the sectarian and ethnic politics bequeathed by Bush and Blair could now halt the fragmentation.

“We do not have the ability to simply solve this problem by sending in tens of thousands of troops”

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French rail strike – last kick of a dying horse? A strike by French railworkers was running out of steam on its ninth day, despite fighting talk from union leaders By Clare Byrne/DPA Paris

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nine-day strike by French railworkers looked poised yesterday to go out with a whimper rather than the wallop that trade unions had aimed to land on Francois Hollande’s Socialist government. As stony-faced commuters in Paris again jostled for seats on the rare rushhour trains bearing passengers from the suburbs to work in the city, some union bosses were beginning to urge a retreat in the face of what looked like certain defeat. “We are no doubt reaching a turning point in the way that rail workers express themselves,” Thierry Lepaon, secretary-general of the General Confederation of Labour (CGT), told RTL radio. The strike was “starting to pay,” Lepaon said, pointing to several amendments made to a rail reform bill in suggesting the time had come for the militant rail wing of the CGT to lift its protest. For days the CGT has been trying to find a dignified exit to a protest, which has alienated the public by its intransigence. The strike was called over a bill that merges the SNCF and railway infrastructure manager RFF into one public company and gears France up to compete in a liberalized European rail market by 2019. The legislation was widely praised as long overdue, including by France’s

biggest union in membership terms, the CFDT. But the radical CGT-Cheminots and Sud Rail unions opposed it, saying it did not provide sufficient guarantees on the privileges enjoyed by railworkers, such as the right to retire at 57. Each day of disruptions, which affected two out of three high-speed TGV trains at its peak and caused disruptions to the ‘baccalaureat’ endof-school exams, widened the wedge between the unions and the public. Gone are the days when stranded French passengers saluted railworkers for defending social gains. An opinion poll by Harris Interactive published during the week showed three out of four people opposing the protest.

“One day, two days, three days, ok. Then it’s time to stop. Those people, they’re never happy!” “It’s a disgrace,” said Juliette, a 75-year-old grandmother who stood bone-weary on a platform in Paris on Tuesday after spending two-anda-half hours sitting in the luggage rack of an overcrowded train from the southern town of Valence. “One day, two days, three days, ok. Then it’s time to stop. Those people, they’re never happy!” Her husband Jean, 77, contrasted the strike with the general strike of November-December 1995. Like many people in France he had fond memories of the three-week metro and rail strike, which paralysed the country but united the people against the government, forcing it to

Travellers wait on a platform at the Saint-Charles railway station yesterday in Marseille, southern France, during a national strike by French SNCF railway company’s employees. ditch public sector pension reforms. “In ’95 I cycled to work, 20km there and back,” the dapper pensioner said with pride. “But the context has changed. Back then we didn’t have an unemployment crisis.” The crisis is something Jean and Juliette have experienced up close. Both their son and son-in-law have joined the ranks of France’s record 3.3mn jobless in the past few years - a prospect, which, as they point out, employees of state rail operator SNCF, will likely never face. “It’s time to get back to work,” SNCF CEO Guillaume Pepy urged, estimating at 153mn euros the cost of the strike so far in terms of unsold tickets and reimbursements. By Thursday, many train drivers had already quietly slipped back behind the wheel. Seven out of 10 TGV trains were operating as normal, even as the leaders of CGT-Cheminots and SudRail vowed to fight on. The strike, which comes as casual workers in the arts sector threaten to pull the plug on summer festivals over changes to their unemployment insurance programme, has tested the

mettle of the government. “You have to know when to stop a movement and be aware of the public interest,” an unusually resolute Hollande told reporters last week. For Dominique Simonpoli, a former union official who now heads Dialogues, an association for dialogue between bosses and workers, this is one battle the Socialists can win. French union membership has plummeted to just 7 to 8% of all workers, who are divided into a pragmatic camp led by the CFDT and a more militant camp led by the CGT. Speaking to Liberation newspaper Simonpoli predicted that the pragmatic camp, which is generally supportive of reforms that aim to protect jobs by making France more competitive, is in the ascendant. “The importance of social dialogue has generally risen these past years in France,” he noted, pointing to a number of accords struck by employers and workers that aim to cut costs in return for job security. “I’m not saying there won’t be difficult social conflicts with prolonged strikes but they no occupy the space they once did.

French SNCF unionists and striking railway workers gather during a strike against a planned reform of the sector at Marseille rail station yesterday. French parliamentarians voted to approve the broad outline of a railway reform after adding amendments that preserve the special status of workers in a nod to unions, one of whom acknowledged yesterday a “turning point” in the nine-day railway strike.

Wall Street’s latest fad is built on sand By Anna Driver/Reuters Houston

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uper-sized hydraulic fracturing jobs, which use vast amounts of sand to coax more oil and gas from shale, have led to astronomical returns for investors in companies that mine the tiny particles. The question is whether those super-sized gains can continue. Demand has jumped for the sand used in hydraulic fracturing, which blasts it, along with water, chemicals, into wells to crack rock and release crude oil and natural gas. The increasing practice of “superfracking” requires much more sand, and investors have taken notice. Emerge Energy Services LP, a master limited partnership that produces sand for use in hydraulic fracturing, began trading a little more than one year ago at $17 per unit. Today the units trade at about $109. Shares of two other sand miners, US Silica Holdings Inc and Hi Crush Partners LP, have more than doubled in the past year. And Fairmount Minerals Ltd, one of the largest providers of sand to the oil and gas industry, is considering a $1bn initial public offering, according to

sources familiar with the situation. Still, investing in these companies carries risks. A drop in crude prices would slow drilling. And the market for sand itself is opaque, requiring investors to make a leap of faith as contract terms, prices and supply and demand are not fully disclosed. Also, some oil and gas companies, such as EOG Resources Inc, are cutting out the middleman by buying their own sand mines. At the same time, RBC Capital Markets says US demand for raw frack sand will climb 30% from 2013 to 2015. Houston oil and gas company Rice Energy Inc, which operates wells in the eastern US, says it has benefited from using at least 7% more sand than its competitors. “It’s something that we’ve found really effective to help stimulate the well” to produce more oil and gas, said Julie Danvers, director of investor relations. Demand for sand is expected to outpace the number of rigs drilling new wells for the foreseeable future, but valuations for the sand miners are rich. Their enterprise value - market capitalization plus debt - is about 10 times expected earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

An investor looking for a way to profit indirectly from the fracking boom could buy shares of Martin Marietta Materials Inc , which provides gravel to build roads at frack sites and whose enterprise value is 11.7 times EBITDA. Analysts at Baird Equity Research say Emerge has a good growth outlook but rate its units “speculative.” “If you buy (Emerge Energy) here, do not do it with the milk money,” Baird cautioned in a June 5 note to clients. Not every oil and gas producer is convinced that super-sized sand fracks are needed. Chesapeake Energy Corp Chief Executive Officer Doug Lawler said that while the company was tinkering with the amount of sand it used in some areas, greater quantities do not work on all wells. “With every shale, the reservoir is different,” Lawler told a shareholder who asked about sand at the company’s annual meeting on Friday. Sand miners also face the risk of an energy glut and corresponding drop in oil and gas prices, which could reduce drilling. While crude prices have gotten a substantial lift from worries over violence in Iraq, there is lingering concern that producing oil from

shale will leave the domestic market oversupplied. In 2013, US crude production climbed to a 24-year high and is forecast to grow more this year with the help of oil pumped from shale, according to government data. Investors in sand miners must also accept the lack of information available to them. Thomas Dolley, a mineral commodity specialist at the US Geological Survey who tracks the sand market, said the industry was fragmented, and participation in the government’s supply and demand surveys was not mandatory, resulting in what may be incomplete data for investors. Because most sand companies are privately held, Dolley tracks sand mine openings through industry contacts and the media, he said. “I would say we could use a little more transparency,” he said. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest producer price index shows frack sand prices in May reached their highest level in more than two years, according to a report from Cowen and Co But Cowen called the government’s data for short-term trends “unreliable” because some prices in the sample include transportation costs and others do not.


Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

19

COMMENT

China needs to change its growth model Assessing China’s economic stability requires considering the conflicts and tensions affecting the country – none of which advances the cause of growth By Michael Spence Milan

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espite China’s widely discussed economic slowdown, annual GDP growth remains above 7%, implying little cause for alarm – at least for now. The question is whether the government’s efforts to implement structural reforms and transform the economy’s growth model are working – that is, whether internal imbalances continue to threaten long-term economic performance. Given that China remains the global economy’s most important growth engine, the answer matters to everyone. Assessing China’s economic stability requires considering the conflicts and tensions affecting the country – none of which advances the cause of growth. For starters, China’s territorial disputes with many of its neighbours, including Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines, are undermining regional peace, not to mention economic integration. Moreover, China’s relationship with the United States is deteriorating, owing to conflict over America’s foreign-policy “pivot” toward Asia and disputes over cyber security. China has already restricted access to its market for some US-based technology firms, and more such actions may follow. Meanwhile, China’s domestic political system is being shaken up by President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign – an effort that is essential to boosting the government’s

accountability and legitimacy as it pursues deep systemic reforms. But, at a time of rising international tension, there is a risk that Xi’s campaign could mutate into a broader assault on political dissent attributed to “corrupt” foreign influences. Since China launched its process of “reform and opening up” more than three decades ago, it has benefited from its willingness to consider – if not adapt – foreign ideas. In many areas – economic policy in a market economy, business management, technology, energy, the environment, and healthcare, to name a few – selective learning has accelerated China’s development (and benefited the countries that have learned from Chinese experience). Lumping outside influences together with a legitimate anti-corruption campaign would undermine this positive dynamic, with potentially serious consequences for China’s quest to transform its growth model and achieve high-income status. The good news is that the data – while incomplete – show progress in China’s economic transformation. Weak growth in China’s major export markets (particularly in Europe, North America, and Japan), together with rapidly rising domestic wages and incomes, is driving the tradable part of the economy toward highervalue components in global supply chains. Meanwhile, inflation, rising wages, and the renminbi’s nominal appreciation have driven up the real effective exchange rate, though this trend has been tempered, to some extent, by the euro’s persistently high value. How businesses handle this transition – which is already contributing to China’s growth slowdown – will determine the transformation’s progress. China has no choice but to change its growth model. Its share in global markets is now so large that the economy could be demand-

constrained for the first time in four decades. The only way to avoid this outcome is by pursuing a balanced programme comprising high-return investment, high-value government services, and a higher level of household consumption. Public and private investment – which has served as a key driver of China’s growth over the last four decades – can play a central role in expanding domestic demand, but only if returns are high. While low-return investments generate aggregate demand, they do not increase future income or productive potential, and thus do not foster sustainable growth. Given this, China’s leaders must use a combination of financial-sector

reforms and improved public-sector incentives to increase access to capital in sectors with high potential rates of return. In fact, this process is underway with the licensing of new private banks and the development of China’s shadow banking system. Given the limited capacity of investment demand to drive growth, high-value government services and increased household consumption are also needed. As it stands, private consumption accounts for an unusually small share of China’s GDP. But rising wages – partly the result of mandated minimum-wage increases in some regions – are boosting household incomes, and there is already some evidence that

the downward trend in consumption’s share of GDP has reversed. Consider the telecommunicationsequipment industry, which has been growing at more than 15% annually in the past couple of years. Gross merchandise volume in online retail sales is approaching CN¥2tn ($316bn), and growing at a rate of 40-60% annually. Many other industry segments serving domestic demand are also growing at doubledigit rates, suggesting that domestic consumption is already making a more significant contribution to China’s GDP growth. But there remains the question of whether consumption share growth is sustainable – that is, whether it is the

result of income share growth or rising leverage. If it is supported by excessive leverage, effectively shifting future consumption to the present, China could face a significant slowdown – or even a major crisis. Leverage has undoubtedly increased at unsustainable rates in recent years. But, given that debt growth began from a low base, it will not necessarily lead to a crisis – as long as appropriate risk management is in place. Most important, shadow banks’ activities must be regulated in a way that enhances transparency and deters excessive risk-taking, while allowing the sector to continue to contribute to financial-sector development by providing savings options to households and credit to small and medium-size firms. As for the official banking sector, liberalisation of interest rates on deposits, scheduled for 2016, will reduce financial repression and implicit investment subsidies. That, in turn, should help to rebalance the demand side of the growth pattern. Such complex structural changes cannot be perfectly synchronized and thus are likely to be accompanied by a dip in growth rates. The government has expressed a willingness to accept somewhat slower growth in pursuit of a more stable, sustainable economy. But whether a slowdown is the start of a trend or a temporary part of a complex transition, will not be apparent from the start. Ensuring that it is the latter will require the patience and discipline – in both domestic and foreign policy – befitting the major transformation now underway. Project Syndicate zMichael Spence, a Nobel laureate in economics, is Professor of Economics at New York University’s Stern School of Business and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. His latest book is The Next Convergence – The Future of Economic Growth in a Multispeed World.

Weather report

Who won Europe?

Three-day forecast TODAY

By Daniel Gros Brussels

T

he fight over who will be the European Commission’s next president is heating up. Several European Union leaders were recently spotted in a small rowboat on a Swedish lake, reportedly scheming against the frontrunner, and British Prime Minister David Cameron has launched a public campaign to reassert the right of EU member states’ governments to decide who will occupy the EU’s executive arm. The process of choosing the Commission’s president appears to be a conflict between the voice of the people, as expressed in the results of last month’s European Parliament election, and backroom deal-making by governments. But reality is more complex, and the genuine democratic mandate did not go to the person who claims to have “won” the election. In the run-up to the election, the major European party “families” (there are no pan-European parties, only loose alliances of national parties) each nominated a Spitzenkandidat

as their choice for President of the European Commission. The centreright European People’s Party, which gained a narrow plurality of 221 seats in the 751-seat parliament, has claimed victory in the election; and many others, including socialists, greens, and liberals, concur that the EPP’s Spitzenkandidat, JeanClaude Juncker, has a moral right to be selected as President of the Commission. In fact, though the EPP won 29% of the seats, versus 24% for the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), the S&D can claim victory. After all, its affiliated parties at the national level won a greater number of votes – a combined total of 40mn, compared to 39.9mn for parties affiliated with the EPP. The difference is small, but there can be no doubt that the S&D won the popular vote (24.4% to 23.8%). Though the election system is purely proportional and the S&D won the popular vote, the reason that it ended up with fewer seats is simple: its affiliated parties won relatively more votes in the larger countries, where it “costs” more voters to gain a single seat. Conversely, the EPP

performed relatively better in small countries, where the vote cost per seat is much lower. The most extreme example is Luxembourg, Juncker’s home country, where the EPP received almost 38% of the popular vote, versus 11% for the S&D – a difference, in absolute terms, of only about 52,000. But the EPP obtained two more MEPs than the S&D, which implies a per seat cost of roughly 26,000 votes. The other extreme is Italy, where the S&D won 41% of the votes, versus 22% for the EPP. In absolute terms, the difference was more than 5mn votes, but the S&D won only 14 more MEPs than the EPP. In Italy, the S&D needed about 370,000 voters to gain one MEP, more than 14 times as many as the EPP needed in Luxembourg. The EPP’s “victory” was thus due mainly to the fact that the ratio of voters per MEP varies greatly across countries. A single vote in Italy (and in other large countries) is worth much less than a vote in smaller countries. The German Constitutional Court recently relied on this fact in a controversial decision striking down the 3% electoral threshold for parties to gain European Parliament seats in

Germany (the small far-right National Democratic Party picked up one seat in the European Parliament as a result). The German court’s rationale was that the European Parliament election is not a true election, because the principle of “one person, one vote” is not respected. This is not only a problem from the standpoint of democratic principles; the results of the recent election have shown the extent to which it can influence political outcomes. Juncker came out ahead in the MEP count for only one reason: he obtained his votes in small countries, and votes are de facto weighted by country size. Thus, the claim that the European Parliament directly represents Europe’s people and that the people have given the EPP’s candidate a direct popular mandate that the member states’ representatives in the European Council should respect rings hollow. The S&D obtained more votes, giving its Spitzenkandidat, Martin Schulz, a claim to greater democratic legitimacy. - Project Syndicate zDaniel Gros is Director of the Center for European Policy Studies.

High: 42 C Low: 29 C Hot during the day with slight dust by night to the North.

SATURDAY

High: 42 C Low : 30 C Clear

SUNDAY

High: 43 C Low : 30 C Clear

Fishermen’s forecast OFFSHORE DOHA Wind: SW-SE’LY 05-15/ KT Waves: 1-3/4 Feet INSHORE DOHA Wind: NW-NE’LY 05-15/ KT Waves: 1-2/ Feet

Around the region

Abu Dhabi Baghdad

Dubai Kuwait City

Manama Muscat

Riyadh Tehran

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Live issues

Transforming your sofa into biofuels By Elisabeth Braw Guardian News & Media

I

n Edmonton, Canada, something as mundane as municipal waste treatment is attracting worldwide attention. The waste is the same as at municipal waste plants around the world - shoes, sofas and other items that can’t be recycled and are destined for landfills or incinerators - but the fate that awaits Alberta’s garbage is different: as of this month, it’s being turned into biofuels. “We use heat and pressure to break down the materials that usually end up in the landfill”, explains Vincent Chornet, chief executive of Enerkem, the company behind the technology. “We then turn it into methanol and ethanol. In total, the process from waste to final product takes about four minutes.” Enerkem’s technology, performed on 15 different categories of rubbish at extremely high temperatures, produces renewable electricity, chemicals for plastic and of course, ethanol for cars. Renewable energy from nonrecyclable rubbish, all in a matter of several minutes? It sounds too good to be true. “It’s a game-changer”, says Chornet. “Waste is now an opportunity.” Montreal-based

Enerkem’s contract with the city of Edmonton includes treatment of 100,000 tonnes of garbage annually for 25 years. That, reports Enerkem, will yield 138mn litres of ethanol per year, enough to fuel 400,000 cars driving on a 5% ethanol blend. But what seems like a magic wand for garbage and renewable fuels is the result of 10 years of experimentation by Enerkem, which holds the patents behind the technology. And, everything that helps us to reduce garbage is good, says Dr Olle Olsson, a research fellow at the Stockholm Environment Institute who specialises in renewable energy markets. “In garbage treatment, there’s a hierarchy”, he explains. “At the top is reuse, which means the garbage doesn’t enter the garbage stream. Then comes recycling, and then comes burning the garbage to get energy.” Sweden is a leading practitioner of the fast-growing sector of garbage to energy. According to Avfall Sverige, the association of waste management companies and agencies, environmentally friendly energy from garbage heats 810,000 Swedish households. Not only that: the lowly rubbish also produces enough electricity for 240,000 Swedish family homes. That’s the equivalent of more than 1m litres of oil per year.

The average Swede produces 237.6kg of non-recyclable garbage each year, according to the association, of which 49% is burned and used as energy. But that’s not enough. Sweden’s rubbish to energy market is so hot that the country’s 30 rubbish-based power plants have to import waste from other countries, including Britain. “Garbage from England keeps us warm during the winter”, says Olsson. Sweden now has to import some 750,000 tonnes of garbage each year, and it’s an unorthodox form of import, where Swedish waste to energy companies don’t have to pay for their goods. Instead they’re paid around GBP40 per tonne for taking care of other countries’ refuse. According to energy and development consulting firm Coffey, Sweden is the EU’s second-ranked waste to energy nation, topped only by Denmark, which burns 54% of its waste for energy production. France has more waste to energy plants than any other country in the world - 127 in total - while the US operates 86. Austria and Germany are the EU’s top recyclers at 69% and 65%, respectively. Thanks to Enerkem’s renewable fuel technology, that waste to energy ratio may well increase. Chornet won’t reveal which cities will next introduce its technology, but says the company

is actively interested in the UK thanks to the country’s biofuel legislation. The EU has set a target of 10% biofuels (as a share of all fuel consumption) by 2020, which its member states are obliged to follow. Britain currently imports nearly 80% of its biofuels and is working to increase production within the UK. “What we’re seeing with the plant in Edmonton is a first step towards a large-scale waste to renewable fuels technology”, says Olsson. “But we mustn’t forget that these are complicated chemical processes. It’s not easy to get ethanol out of nappies.” Still, getting ethanol from waste rather than importing the energy is a positive development, he adds, “but by itself it will never replace imports.” If garbage is so useful as a source of biofuels, especially at a time when rising food prices are forcing countries to reconsider food-based ethanol, isn’t there a risk that consumers start producing voluminous amounts, knowing that doing so may even lessen their country’s dependence on foreign oil and gas? Yes, says Olsson: “In an ideal world we should reduce our garbage, but turning it into energy reduces the customer’s incitement to do so.” Still, even Chornet agrees that recycling beats rubbish-based biofuels.

Around the world

Athens Beirut Bangkok Berlin Cairo Cape Town Colombo Dhaka Hong Kong Istanbul Jakarta Karachi London Manila Moscow New Delhi New York Paris Sao Paulo Seoul Singapore Sydney Tokyo

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20

Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

QATAR

‘Around 5,000 people in Qatar require proper medication related to drug abuse’ By Joey Aguilar Staff Reporter

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he Ministry of Interior (MoI) marked the World Drug Campaign 2014 yesterday with the inauguration of a drug prevention exhibition at Landmark mall and a symposium at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC). Staff Major General Saad bin Jassim al-Khulaifi, DirectorGeneral of Public Security and chairman of the Permanent Committee for Drugs and Alcohol Affairs, led the opening ceremony and toured the different participating exhibitors with other MoI officials. Besides creating awareness on the dangers of using narcotics, the exhibition also focused on the role of parents in protecting their children against these substances, an MoI official told Gulf Times on the occasion. “We have to take care of our children as they have been entrusted to us,” he said. The international campaign highlights this year’s slogan: “A message of hope: Drug use disorders are preventable and treatable”. Stating that “more or less” 5,000 people in Qatar need proper medication related to drug abuse, the MoI official expressed confidence as different organisations were working together to address this problem. He told reporters that their programmes were in line with the Qatar National Drug Control Strategy 2010-2015 for combating narcotics. The State of Qatar, established organisations and stakeholders as well as countries around the world take part in

Staff Major General al-Khulaifi led the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Landmark mall yesterday.

A number of government offices and agencies are participating in the exhibition. PICTURES: Shaji Kayamkulam

this international campaign. Various MoI offices participating in the exhibition have distributed brochures and pamphlets indicating the dangers of narcotics to visitors and guests. The reading material also states provisions of the law on drugs and the penalties for violators. Article 34 states that anyone exporting or importing drugs or psychotropic substances with the intention of trafficking will face execution or life imprisonment. The person will also be fined between QR300,000 and QR500,000. Also, under Article 35, those possessing, buying or selling drugs for trade purposes will be jailed for at least 10 years and not more than 20 years, and

effectively address the problem. Among the exhibitors are Qatar Foundation for Protection and Social Rehabilitation, Supreme Council of Health – Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre, General Authority of Customs – Drugs and Alcohol Committee and Qatar Centre for Voluntary Activities. Many of the activities and contests organised at the exhibition aim to educate the public on drug prevention and the dangers associated with narcotics. The MoI also noted that drug prevention programmes, awareness campaigns and exchange of technical information with various organisations concerned have been helpful in the fight against drug risks and drug-related crimes.

Speakers at a symposium on the role of medical staff in preventing the misuse of prescribed medication. PICTURE: Thajudeen also face a fine of QR200,000 to QR400,000. The MoI official stressed that

combating narcotics requires a lot of co-operation and co-ordination with the authorities to

Staff Major General al-Khulaifi earlier said the ministry had been working hard to promote and support all regional and international efforts to fight drugrelated crimes. He added that Phase 2 of the strategy included a set of goals that seeks to sustain and develop systematic, balanced ways to reduce the illicit supply and demand for narcotics and psychotropic substances. MoI’s Permanent Committee for Drugs and Alcohol Affairs has organised a symposium at the HMC conference hall on the role of medical staff in preventing and reducing the misuse of prescribed medication on the same day. Some of the topics tackled by

resource speakers include the potential addictive and harmful effects of some medications. They also discussed prescription drug abuse such as using wrong dosage, using prescriptions of others and using drugs without prescription to get the desired effects. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, which leads the global campaign, stressed that its goal is to mobilise support and inspire people to act against drug use. The MoI official also announced that a religious sermon related to the celebration will be held on June 26, which is observed as International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

An official addressing the participants.

Six venues for this year’s ‘Walk the Mall’ campaign S

ix malls across the country - Villaggio, Ezdan Mall, Hyatt Plaza, Dar Al Salam Mall, Landmark and Al Khor Mall - are venues for this year’s edition of Aspetar’s “Walk More…Walk the Mall” campagin. They have made special indoor walking routes to enable residents to exercise throughout the summer. “Walk More…Walk the Mall” is the perfect solution to stay fit in the country during the hot summer. Part of Aspetar’s wider programme, “Step into Health”, the campaign encourages men, women and children of all ages to exercise within the air-conditioned comfort of Qatar’s shopping malls. Flyers containing walking information as well as specific maps are available in the designated malls for people to use. In addition, all maps can be found online at www.stepintohealth.qa Hyatt Plaza kicked off the 2014 edition of the “Walk More…Walk the Mall” programme on June 7, while Dar Al Salam opened its doors to the public on June 14. The launch event at Ezdan Mall will take place tomorrow, from 8am to 10am. The shopping centre will feature two walking routes on separate floors. Each circuit will challenge walkers to take 1,600 steps, which will be equal to burning 90 calories. The Hyatt Plaza launch saw 320 residents participate. The course

Some of the participants at a ‘Walk the Mall’ event. challenged participants to walk continuously for more than 20 minutes, resulting in approximately 2,300 steps. More than 380 participants took part in the Dar Al Salam Mall launch event. The circuit equals approximately 1,000 steps, burning 60 calories. Additionally, in both malls, residents received a complimentary gift while 100 free pedometers were handed out to specially selected walkers. The events received overwhelming feedback, demonstrating that mall walking is a great form of

physical activity to tackle the summer heat and encourage people to maintain healthy lifestyles. Abdulla Saeed al-Mohannadi, a health promotion researcher at Aspetar, said “Step into Health” was launched in December 2012 and its overarching goal is to inspire the public to start walking. Created last year, “Walk More… Walk the Mall” aims to spread the culture of walking in malls and encourages shopping centres to adopt the concept and help provide a safe environment for physical activity in the summer.


INDIA MARKET | Page 5

Q1 DISASTER | Page 12

Regulator asks govt to dilute state firms stake

US jobs, factory data point to recovery mode

Friday, June 20, 2014 Sha’baan 22, 1435 AH HEAVY PROFIT-BOOKING: Page 3

GULF TIMES

QSE declines below 12,500 as financial, telecom stocks weigh

BUSINESS

Energy, industry firms asked to set sustainable development strategies By Santhosh V Perumal Business Reporter

Q

atar, which is all set to launch the sustainability data management system (SDMS), has asked the companies in the energy and industry sectors to complete their five-year sustainable development strategies, with well defined performance targets. The aims of the energy and industry sector sustainability programme for 2014 also include the issuance of public sustainability reports by 75% of participating companies, no later than May 2015. “It is time that sustainability becomes a dedicated process by all companies and across the entire energy and industry spectrum. The sustainable development programmes are mature enough but it is not the whole story,” Energy and Industry Minister HE Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada said, launching the 2013 report on sustainability within the Qatar energy and industry sector. “It is a journey we have started. We are happy with the progress but not complacent,” he said, calling upon the participating companies to complete their five-year sustainable development strategies with well-defined performance targets. Meanwhile, Saif S al-Naimi, director HSE Regulations and Enforcement Directorate (DG), said: “We are committed to providing the support necessary for 28 companies, 75% of the sector, to release a public report in 2015.” He said the future plans include the launching of SDMS, an online tool for all companies to securely gather, store and verify their sustainability data and information as well as benchmark their performance while maintaining confidentiality. “We shall continue to pursue our sustainability journey, being wise in the exploitation of our natural resources, being foresighted, and executing our responsibilities with diligence,” al-Sada said. The ambitions of the (energy and industry)

HE Dr al-Sada, along with other senior officials of QP, at one of the exhibition booths at the Ritz-Carlton of 36 participating companies of QP’s sustainability reporting initiative. The aims of the energy and industry sector sustainability programme for 2014 include the issuance of public sustainability reports by 75% of participating companies, no later than May 2015. sector require further improvements, which include intensified integration of sustainability strategy and performance oversight at the executive and board levels and achievement of substantive increase in levels of internal and external assurance of qualitative and quantitative information.

Oil hits nine-month high above $115 on Iraq conflict Reuters New York Brent crude hit a nine-month high of more than $115 a barrel yesterday, as concerns persist that ongoing violence in Iraq could limit oil supply from Opec’s second-biggest producer. Government forces battled militants for control of Iraq’s biggest refinery as Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki waited for a US response to an appeal for air strikes to beat back the threat to Baghdad. The Baiji refinery, 200km (130 miles) north of the Iraqi capital near Tikrit, remained under siege as troops loyal to the government held off insurgents from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and its allies who had stormed the perimeter, threatening national energy supplies. If the 300,000 bpd refinery stays closed, Baghdad will need to import more oil products to meet its own domestic consumption, further tightening oil markets. “This would stress an already reasonably tight global balance further, depending on its duration,” oil analysts at Vienna-based consultancy JBC Energy said in a note to clients. Brent rose 75¢ to $115.01 a barrel by 12.30pm (1630 GMT), its highest intraday since September 9. The US crude oil futures contract for July, which expires today, rose 19¢ to $106.16. Both benchmarks rose more than 4% last week in the wake of the insurgency in Iraq, but the rally lost momentum this week as Iraq’s government tightened security around its oil infrastructure. Although fighting continued north of Baghdad, the conflict has not yet spread to the southern regions, where most of Iraq’s 3.3mn bpd of oil production is processed. Uncertainty over potential export disruptions out of Iraq has, however, led to little volatility in the oil market this week.

It will also include more proactive, systematic and extensive engagement with employees, contractors, communities, partners, policy makers and international stakeholders to drive enthusiasm and commitment towards sustainable development and the economic, human, social, health and safety and environmental perform-

ance aspirations of the sector, he added. Elaborating on the future initiatives, al-Naimi said it will include reviewing the sector reporting guidelines to provide clear definitions of reporting terms, to help drive consistent measurement and reporting of all indicators, thus improving data comparability.

12 firms win QP sustainability awards for 2013 Qatar Petroleum has awarded a total of 12 companies for their initiatives towards sustainability reporting and performance in 2013. A total of eight firms were awarded for their excellence in sustainability management, operational health and safety, environmental management and socio-economic and corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities, and another four received special awards for their innovative projects and programmes. At a glittering function, the companies were honoured by Energy and Industry Minister HE Dr Mohamed bin Saleh alSada in the presence of Minister of Development Planning and Statistics HE Dr Saleh Mohamed Salem al-Nabit and Minister of Environment HE Ahmed Amer Mohamed al-Humaidi. On the sidelines of the event at the Ritz-Carlton, all 36 participating companies also had their exhibition booths, wherein they showcased their sustainability projects and innovative case studies. Qatargas Operating Company bagged the award for excellence in sustainability reporting and RasGas for excellence in sustainability management. Oryx GTL and Wintershall Holding received the awards for excellence in occupational health and safety. The winners for excellence in environmental management were Qatar Petrochemical Company and Ras Girtas Power Company; while those for excellence in socioeconomic and CSR activities were Qatar Fuel Additives Company and Occidental Petroleum Qatar. Kahramaa (Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation) was the recipient of a special award for its innovative ‘Tarsheed’ programme and for best first-time sustainability report. Qatar Steel also received a special award for its innovative waste recycling and waste management practices and Dolphin Energy for its innovative stakeholder mapping and engagement. Qatar Aluminum (Qatalum) received a certificate of commendation for outstanding contractor management.

Kahramaa awards QR1.09bn Doha pipelines project to HLG T

The pipelines project is the fifth one awarded to HLG by Kahramaa

he Habtoor Leighton Group (HLG) has been awarded a QR1.09bn contract for the construction of pipelines for two sections of Doha’s Mega Reservoir Corridor Main 1 (Packages A & B) for Kahramaa. HLG, operating as Leighton Contracting (Qatar), is responsible for the supply, installation, testing and commissioning of 120km of 1600mm diameter ductile iron pipes and fittings. Works also include trench excavation, back-filling and construction of all valve chambers. This contract brings the total value of new project awards to HLG during 2014 to $2bn, close to doubling HLG’s December 2013 work in hand to $4.48bn. The pipelines project is the fifth one awarded to HLG by Kahramaa. The group’s first project for Kahramaa was for the construction of the Duhail and Umm Qarn Reservoirs in 2009. A further contract for the construction of two reservoirs and associated works in Shahaniya was se-

cured in 2010. In 2012, HLG secured the contract for the construction of the Al Kaaban reservoir and pipeline, as well as a reservoirs project. HLG CEO and managing director José Antonio López-Monís said the pipelines project was aligned with HLG’s core capabilities and the award validated the high value placed by the client on the capabilities and proven performance of the Group. “Securing repeat business from key government clients demonstrates that HLG remains a preferred contractor for clients to whom we have demonstrated our ability to deliver complex projects, safely, on time and on budget. “Since 2009, HLG has been awarded QR2.18bn worth of contracts by Kahramaa. Our regionallybased team has an exceptional rapport with Kahramaa and we expect this to continue well into the future,” López-Monís said. The pipelines project commenced in June 2014 and is scheduled for completion in Q3, 2016.


2

Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

BUSINESS ‘Burnt out’ Mideast bankers seek change as 53% pursue new jobs Bloomberg Dubai

M

ore banking and finance professionals in the Middle East than in any other region are seeking new jobs because they’re feeling burned out and worry their careers are stalling, ac-

cording to eFinancial Careers. Fifty-three percent of financial-services employees plan to change position, with a quarter citing a lack of career progression as the main reason for the hunt, eFinancial Careers has said in an e-mailed report. That compares with 43% of financial professionals looking for new jobs in the US, 41% in

Singapore and 34% in the UK and Hong Kong. Dubai, which teetered on the brink of default in 2009, is rebounding as equity and property markets soar in the regional business hub. The world’s best-performing stock market and a revival of transactions are prompting banks and brokerages to renew hiring

in Dubai after many cut teams during the crisis. “There is a clear gap between expectations and reality,” James Bennett, global managing director of the financial- services site, said in the report. “Over four in ten of those actively looking for a job had originally accepted their current role based upon

career prospects. Yet a quarter says the lack of career progression triggered their decision to change employer.” Within the Middle East, including Dubai, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, 38% of finance professionals said they move jobs every four to five years. Almost one in five, or 19%, of employees said they

feel “totally burnt out,” according to the report, based on a survey of 8,761 finance professionals globally from April to May. France reported the highest number of exhausted employees at 20%. When asked about their employer of choice, 34% of respondents said they didn’t

Growth in Gulf is drawing global funds to set up shop Abu Dhabi, Qatar exchanges up almost 50% in value in year to end-May; upgrade of UAE, Qatar by index compiler MSCI helping attract funds; regional AUM to grow by 2.5 times 2012-2020: PwC; funds look to JVs with global firms, offshore domiciling Reuters Dubai

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nternational asset management firms are showing renewed interest in setting up in the Gulf, drawn by markets performing better than those in more volatile emerging economies. Despite high incomes and large sovereign wealth funds, countries such as the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have traditionally been serviced from London or New York. Recently, some managers are reassessing how they cover the region and are establishing a local presence as business increases. Nomura Asset Management, one of Asia’s biggest managers, opened its first Middle East office in Dubai this month with five staff. Nomura’s business in the region has doubled in the last five years. Lazard Asset Management poached the local ING Investments team of six in February to cover Mena (Middle East and North Africa) from a new Dubai base, adding to its operations in Bahrain. The US firm has $176bn in global assets under management (AUM). Ashmore Group, which has around $70bn of AUM globally, has hired a head of Mena ahead of opening its first regional office, market sources said, with Dubai and Riyadh touted as possible locations for it. Ashmore declined to comment when contacted by Reuters. AUM in the Middle East and

Employees are seen entering the UK headquarters of Nomura Asset Management, part of the Nomura Holdings Inc group, in London. One of Asia’s biggest managers, the fund opened its first Middle East office in Dubai this month with five staff. Nomura’s business in the region has doubled in the last five years. Africa are expected to increase by 2.5 times in the 2012-2020 period to $1.5tn, according to consultancy PwC, with only Latin America expected to grow faster. “You can’t ignore the growth story that you’re seeing, from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and from Qatar,” said Daniel Rudd, Dubai-based head of Middle East and Africa at HSBC Global Asset Management. Still, the international firms coming to the region are thus far making little investment, usually with just one office and a small staff reflecting the market’s relatively modest size. While Nomura now manages $7bn of Mena assets, for exam-

Renault seeks partner to resume Iran business Reuters Istanbul

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rench automaker Renault is looking for a financial partner to resume full operations in Iran and is in talks with the US and French governments on the issue, one of its senior executives said. Renault is keen to start making and selling vehicles in Iran again with local partners Iran Khodro and Pars Khodro, to rebuild the significant market position it enjoyed before international sanctions on Tehran were introduced in 2011. French rival PSA Peugeot Citroen also wants to ramp up sales in Iran, which analysts say could be a profitable, fastgrowing auto market soon exceeding 2mn vehicles annually in the event of a sustained diplomatic thaw. “What we are looking for is a financial partner, who will on their own as well comply with all the international regulations and which enable us to resume our activities in Iran,” chief performance officer Jerome Stoll said in an interview with news agencies late on Wednesday. “We are just trying to explain our position to the American ad-

ministration, French administration as well. To explain what we want to do, how we want to proceed and how we want to make this business,” he said. Stoll said the company had been approached by Turkish and international banks. Renault said in January it had resumed shipments to Iran and expected its car production in the country to pick up progressively throughout the first half of 2014. At the time the company said a temporary easing of sanctions had begun to allow a “very low” volume of parts shipments for vehicle assembly in Iran. It is keen to reclaim its market position before the mass arrival of competitors behind any permanent political detente that could follow. Production by Iran’s domestic car industry, unusually developed for the Middle East, peaked at 1.6mn cars in 2011, the year crippling new sanctions were introduced. Leading manufacturer Iran Khodro accounted for about half that output. Stoll also said he expected a recovery in the Brazilian auto market but was concerned about Argentina, which threatened to default on its debt on Wednesday.

ple, that remains just a small slice of its $300bn in AUM globally. Another factor drawing foreign asset managers is an upgrade by index compiler MSCI which raised the UAE and Qatar to emerging market status at the end of May. Previously, many had given less weighting to the region because it made up only a small percentage of their global asset bases. Middle East and Africa accounted for just 0.94% of the $64tn of global AUM at the end of 2012, PwC says. The upgrade is one of a number of factors which have created “the perfect cocktail” for increased foreign investor

interest in regional equities in recent months, according to Nina Lagron, Paris-based manager of Amundi Asset Management’s Mena fund, which is concentrated in Saudi equities. There has been a bull run on Gulf bourses with data for the year to May 31 showing the value of exchanges in Abu Dhabi and Qatar grew by almost 50%. Dubai fared even better, growing by 115%. In contrast, other emerging markets such as Thailand struggled over the same period, hampered by political turbulence, military interventions and currency pressures. Thailand’s SET index fell 9.4%. Underpinning the Gulf’s

strength has been strong economic growth, with GDP growth this year in the six Gulf Co-operation Council countries - Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain - forecast at between 3% and 6.1%. Helping spur economic activity are major infrastructure projects, including Qatar’s preparation to host soccer’s 2022 World Cup finals. Despite the positives, Gulf markets still have shortcomings. Regional markets tend to be dominated by retail investors and foreign ownership limits remain, although some of these have been raised in UAE and

Qatar due to MSCI’s upgrade of them to its emerging market index. Amundi’s Lagron said that despite the hike in limits, what foreign funds can buy in the region is very restrictive because allocations for foreign investors are already filled. The predominance of retail investors also makes Gulf markets prone to high volatility and knee-jerk reactions. Dubai’s index shed half of its value during the 2008 financial crisis. For local funds, more bigname foreign players setting up locally means increased competition. Mena fund managers often charge higher subscription, redemption and performance fees because they can’t spread their costs across a large client base like international players. In response, some local funds have sought tie-ups with international names to expand their product offerings. Dubai’s Emirates NBD Asset Management, for example, signed a deal with Jupiter Asset Management in December. Others are opting to domicile their funds overseas in place such as Luxembourg. Of the approximately 870 active funds offered by Middle Eastern firms, around 78 are domiciled outside the region, according to data compiled from Zawya, a Thomson Reuters unit. Fee structures are also starting to evolve. Some Mena managers have switched to performance fees based on how a fund performs over a number of years and not just on an annual basis. Others are splitting the subscription fee with half to be paid initially and the rest when the fund liquidates. There is scope for growth in services, too, as the fixed income market remains small and illiquid and there are no indextracking funds and few mutual funds.

have one, while HSBC Holdings was the most popular amongst employees in the Middle East. Emirates NBD and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank were second and third respectively. Globally, Goldman Sachs was the number one employer of choice, followed by JP Morgan Chase & Co and BlackRock.

Arabtec vows to protect shareholders after CEO quits Major Dubai construction firm Arabtec yesterday said its board had accepted the resignation of chief executive Hasan Ismaik and would protect the rights of all shareholders. The brief statement to the Dubai bourse did not comment on the company’s strategy after Ismaik’s departure or what was likely to happen to his 28.85% stake in the firm. Ismaik resigned suddenly on Wednesday after a tumultuous six weeks during which Arabtec’s share price plunged as much as 50% and a major backer of the firm, Abu Dhabi state fund Aabar Investments, cut its shareholding to 18.85% from 21.57%. Ismaik said he has no plans to sell his 28.85% stake. “I will keep it,” Ismaik told Reuters when asked if he would now seek to offload his stake in Arabtec, which at current market prices is worth about $1.47bn. “I am an investor. I believe in the company, Arabtec has great potential.” Asked again whether he might sell the stake, Ismaik replied: “No, I will hold my shares and I have not decided yet about when I should sell.” He did not say how he had financed his holdings in the company. In late May, Arabtec said Ismaik had raised his stake to 21.46% from 8.03%; on Sunday this week, bourse data showed the stake had risen further to 28.85%. Forbes magazine said this month that Ismaik, 37, had become the first Jordanian billionaire - and the thirdyoungest billionaire in the Middle East - because of his holdings of Arabtec shares. In its statement yesterday, Arabtec said Ismaik was resigning from his posts of CEO, managing director and board member because of his “personal work and investment preoccupations”. It thanked him for his contribution to the company. It also confirmed the appointment of Mohamed al-Fahim, a board member from Abu Dhabi’s state-owned International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC), the parent of Aabar, as Arabtec’s acting CEO for an unspecified “temporary period.”

Saudi Electricity signs $13.2bn interest-free govt loan

State-owned power utility Saudi Electricity Co (SEC) has agreed terms and signed an interest-free loan of 49.4bn riyals ($13.17bn) with the kingdom’s Ministry of Finance, the company said in a statement yesterday. The loan has a lifespan of 15 years but there is a grace period of ten years before repayments begin, the statement to Riyadh’s bourse said. SEC in March said a royal decree had granted it the soft loan to help fund power generation projects, subject to the completion of talks with the ministry. The company plans to spend 622bn riyals to 2023, adding 40,000 MW of installed generating capacity and expanding transmission and distribution networks, SEC chief executive Ziyad Alshiha said at the time. He added that power usage in Saudi Arabia had risen by around 7% to 8% a year over the last decade and would continue to rise.


Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

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BUSINESS

Qatar shares end below 12,500 mark as financial, telecom stocks weigh Arabtec shares plunged 50% in the last two weeks

By Santhosh V Perumal Business Reporter

Gulf stocks mixed; UAE markets rise despite Arabtec weakness

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he Qatar Stock Exchange yesterday witnessed heavy profit-booking, plunging 138 points to settle below the 12,500 mark, mainly dragged by banks and financial services as well as telecom stocks. Foreign institutions were seen intense in selling as the 20-stock Qatar Index (based on price data) shed 1.09% to 12,453.76 points, amid surging volumes. Local retail investors continued to be bullish but with lesser vigour in the market, which is up 19.98% year-to-date. However, the index that tracks Shariah-principled stocks fell slower than the other indices in the market, where trading volumes were largely skewed towards banks, real estate, industrials and consumer goods counters. Market capitalisation eroded 1.1%, or about QR8bn, to QR681.58bn. Large and mid cap equities melted 2.09% and 0.15%, while small and micro caps rose 0.61% and 0.23% respectively. Domestic institutions were marginally bullish and non-Qatari retail investors turned net buyers. The 20-stock Total Return Index shed 1.07% to 18,574.67 points, the All Share Index (with wider constituents) by 1.04% to 3,166.89 and the Al Rayan Islamic Index by 0.45% to 4,170.72. All the three indices factored in dividend income as well. Banks and financial services stocks shrank 2.12%, followed by telecom (1.56%), transport (0.69%), industrials (0.26%) and consumer goods (0.14%); whereas insurance and realty gained 2.4% and 0.16% respectively. Foreign institutions’ net profit-booking rose to QR10.56mn against QR4.86mn the previous day. Local retail investors’ net buying fell to QR7.32mn compared to QR15.23mn on Wednesday. Domestic institutions turned

Reuters Dubai

The QSE market capitalisation eroded 1.1%, or about QR8bn, to QR681.58bn yesterday. PICTURE: Noushad Thekkayil net buyers to the tune of QR0.13mn against net profittakers of QR8.09mn the previous day. Non-Qatari individual investors also turned net buyers to the extent of QR3.12mn compared with net sellers of QR2.33mn on Wednesday. Major losers included QNB, Industries Qatar, Ooredoo, Nakilat, Masraf Al Rayan, Qatar Islamic Bank, Doha Bank, al khaliji and Doha Insurance. However, Commercial Bank, Dlala, Salam International Investment, Qatari Investors Group, Mannai Corp, Aamal

Company, Gulf International Services, Qatar Insurance, United Development Company, Ezdan and Mazaya Qatar bucked the trend. Masraf Al Rayan and Gulf International Services were the most active in terms of both volume and value. Total trading volume rose 64% to 13.91mn stocks, value by 28% to Q636.36mn and transactions by 30% to 10,236. The telecom sector’s trading volume grew six-fold to 1.44mn equities and value gained 74% to QR56.26mn on more than doubled deals to 694.

The consumer goods sector’s trading volume grew more than five-fold to 2mn shares, value expanded 79% to QR49.06mn and transactions by 86% to 1,053. The insurance sector saw its trading volume surge 97% to 0.67mn stocks and value more than doubled to QR41.08mn, but on a 3% fall in deals to 423. The real estate sector saw its trading volume soar 35% to 3.1mn equities, value by 25% to QR78.8mn and transactions by 30% to 1,685. The banks and financial services sector reported a 34% ex-

pansion in trading volume to 4.15mn shares, 16% in value to QR235.03mn and 18% in deals to 3,473. The industrials sector’s trading volume shot up 31% to 2.09mn stocks, value by 20% to QR162.58mn and transactions by 19% to 2,490. However, the transport sector witnessed its trading volume plunge 22% to 0.45mn equities and value by 16% to QR13.55mn, whereas deals increased 59% to 418. In the debt market, there was no trading of treasury bills and government bonds.

Stock markets in the UAE continued to recover yesterday, outperforming an otherwise weak Gulf region, while Qatar took a short-term hit from a rebalancing of the FTSE frontier market index. Dubai’s bourse was the Gulf’s top performer, adding 1.6% and moving, for the first time in more than three weeks, in the opposite direction from Arabtec, which edged down 0.9%. Arabtec, which dropped 50% in the last two weeks, still dominated trading volume, swinging between positive and negative territory as investors digested the surprise resignation of its chief executive Hasan Ismaik on Wednesday. While some were positive about Ismaik’s departure and temporary replacement with an executive close to Aabar Investments, a major shareholder, others still had reservations about the stock. It remained unclear, in particular, what Ismaik plans to do with his stake in the company, which is 28.85%, making him the largest shareholder, said Julian Bruce, director of Western institutional equity sales at EFG Hermes. Those concerns limited the stock’s upside, disappointing short-term investors. “Daytraders who were expecting a good positive move could see that there wasn’t a great deal of momentum and they just cut their positions towards the end of the session,” Bruce said. After the close, Ismaik told Reuters that he

would hold onto his stake. “I will keep it. I am an investor. I believe in the company, Arabtec has great potential.” Other Dubai property-related stocks were strong, though. Emaar Properties jumped 4.5% while construction firm Drake and Scull surged 5.6% to an alltime high of 1.90 dirhams. Shares in Drake and Scull started strengthening after the company said on Tuesday it planned to issue a 55mn dirham ($15mn) convertible bond to a strategic investor, which it did not name. Abu Dhabi’s bourse rose 0.5%, largely on the back of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and National Bank of Abu Dhabi, which were up 2.6 and 1.0% respectively. Shares in two local energy firms that have operations in Iraq’s Kurdistan region also rose after declining earlier this week in response to the military advances made by insurgents. Abu Dhabi National Energy Company was up 3.5% and Dana Gas gained 1.4%. Egypt’s market slid 1.2%, dragged down by blue chips Global Telecom Holding and Commercial International Bank, which fell 2.4 and 1.5% respectively. Unlike the oil-rich Gulf states, Egypt’s economy could suffer from a sustained rise in oil prices due to the fighting in Iraq, as it relies on imported energy and subsidises domestic fuel prices. Elsewhere in the Gulf, Saudi Arabia’s index rose 0.1% to 9,648 points; Kuwait’s index edged down 0.4% to 6,940 points; Egypt’s index fell 1.2% to 8,340 points; Bahrain’s index slipped 0.3% to 1,435 points, while Oman’s measure rose 0.1% to 6,913 points.

Fitch affirms RasGas senior secured bonds at ‘A+’ with stable outlook F

itch Ratings has affirmed RasGas 2 and RasGas 3’s senior secured bonds at ‘A+’ with stable outlooks. Fitch considers RasGas’ exceptionally high financial flexibility as its key strength. This is key in supporting the bonds’ ‘A+’ rating despite mostly midrange individual key rating driver assessments. The stable outlook is supported by the company’s solid operating track record and competitive position within the strongly performing global liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry. During 2013, the projects’ safety record remained at the top end of industry standards, highlighting sound operational procedures. The LNG trains’ technical performance was

Participants of the geomodelling training course held by Total E&P Qatar recently.

Fitch considers RasGas’ exceptionally high financial flexibility as its key strength positive, as demonstrated by high utilisation and reliability factors and operating costs being marginally in excess of budget but within Fitch’s expectations. The company’s positive operating track record, its five LNG train configura-

tion and ability to withstand major cost shocks support a midrange assessment for operation risk despite technology and operating costs risk factors at the higher end of the spectrum within Fitch’s infrastructure and project finance rating universe.

Barwa gets QFMA nod for QR7.57bn Barwa City sale to Qatari Diar unit Barwa Real Estate Company has received a formal go ahead from the Qatar Financial Market Authority (QFMA) for the sale of its Barwa City Real Estate Company to Labregah Real Estate Company for QR7.57bn. The Qatar Stock Exchange-listed company had in May entered into a share sale and purchase agreement with Labregah, a fully-owned subsidiary of Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company, in

relation to sale of Barwa City. Confirming the receipt of ‘No Objection Certificate’ from the QFMA, Barwa, in a communiqué to the bourse, said it expects to announce completion of the transfer of the shares of Barwa City to Labregah in the near future. This transaction has been entered into pursuant to the framework agreement between Qatari Diar and Barwa which has been previously announced to the market.

Total organises remodelling training course for QP, Qatargas and Dolphin staff T

otal E&P Qatar recently organised a geomodelling training course for its employees and its partners, namely Qatar Petroleum (QP), Qatargas and Dolphin Energy. The aim of the course was to present a global remodelling workflow - from the necessary prior synthesis of geophysical and geological (G&G) and dynamic data to uncertainty management and links with reservoir flow simulation. The course was held as part of the yearly training programme of Total Research Centre Qatar (TRC-Q), in which it has committed to sharing its technical

knowledge with its partners. Total assigned one of its specialists in reservoir geology, Eric Tawile, to deliver the course. Tawile has experience in reservoir modelling strategy and methodology as well as uncertainty management, and is a co-inventor with six patents in this field. “I was delighted to present to QP, Qatargas and Dolphin Energy our expertise on ways to achieve a coherent numerical geomodel (static or dynamic). We hope that the lecture would help our partners in always having more-efficient projects related to modelling of hydrocarbon fields,” Tawile said.

In addition, the 25 attendees of the course were able to learn more about data analysis and management of different scales, dynamic reservoir simulation, managing uncertainties and their impact, seismic reservoir characterisation and model updating. “We are pleased to have this opportunity to share our knowledge and experience in remodelling with our partners,” said Philippe Julien, director, TRC-Q. “This is part of Total’s commitment to support human development within the Qatar National Vision 2030. This is TRC-Q’s second high-level

training for this year, and we will continue to conduct such trainings for our employees and partners – QP, Qatargas, Dolphin Energy, Qatar Petrochemical Company (Qapco) and Qatofin - as per our yearly training programme, which includes about 10 courses. In the second half of June 2014, a third high-level training for this year will be given focusing on rock mechanics.” TRC-Q’s trainings are related to various domains such as reservoir engineering, seismic reservoir characterisation, geology, 4D seismics, corrosion, solar energy, air quality, petrochemicals and HSE management.


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Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

BUSINESS China’s shipping veto changes world competition landscape AFP Beijing China’s veto of an alliance between major Western shipping firms shows its growing heft now extends to crucial global competition regulation – and analysts say it uses the power to protect its own commercial interests. Beijing’s commerce ministry on Tuesday rejected a proposed cooperation agreement involving the world’s three largest container operators – all Europe-based – citing a negative impact on competition, particularly on Asia-Europe routes. As the world’s biggest container shipping user China is a key market for the trio - Denmark’s AP Moeller-Maersk, France’s CMA CGM and the Swiss MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company – and they immediately abandoned the plan. It marked the first time the world’s secondbiggest economy had blocked a proposed move

Taiwan tech companies lure foreign investors Dow Jones Taipei

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surge of cash into Taiwan has sent stocks to their highest level since 2007 as enthusiasm grows over the island’s technology companies. Global money managers have pumped in $9.6bn so far this year, more than three times the $2.7bn total for all of 2013. It is the fastest pace since 2009, and puts Taiwan second only to India among Asian destinations for foreign funds, according to Credit Suisse. And Wednesday was the biggest single day for foreign buying since last July, as overseas investors snapped up a net 17.1bn Taiwan dollars ($570mn) in shares. With recovering US and European economies and new gadgets slated from Apple Inc and Sony Inc this year, Taiwan’s technology component makers are benefiting from their central role in the global electronics supply chain. Analysts expect a bigger-screen iPhone 6 later this year, while faster smartphones from other brands are also set to increase demand for components sourced from Taiwanese factories. “We’ve been adding new positions in Taiwan stocks...many of which are very well positioned to gain from electronic-product launches later this year, particularly the Apple products,” said James Yeh, a Taipei-based executive director of JP Morgan Asset Management, which in Asia oversees $491bn of assets. One big beneficiary is Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, the world’s biggest contract chip maker by revenue and the largest listed company in Taiwan. It expects record revenue and net profit this year as it starts to produce chips for Apple, which is reducing its reliance on Korea’s Samsung Electronics for components. TSMC shares, upgraded by analysts in March, have surged 19% this year. That has driven the benchmark Taiex up 8% over the same period. Yesterday, the index rose 0.4% to 9316.81, the highest close since November 2007. Even when Apple turns to mainland Chinese factories for components like touch screens and camera lenses, or to assemble iPads and iPhones, the factories are frequently those of Taiwanese companies like Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Commonly known as Foxconn, it has rallied 17% this year ahead of the expected iPhone 6 launch. For years the sole final assembler of iPhones, Foxconn now shares the role with another Taiwanese company, Pegatron Corp. “Those guys in an oligopolistic structure are doing very well,” said Khiem Do, head of Asian multi-asset at Baring Asset Management, which has $59.4bn worth of assets under management.

involving solely foreign entities, and analysts said it showed that concerns over the impact on its own companies was crucial. “The main purpose is to protect the overseas development of domestic shipping companies,” said Jiang Yuechun, director of the Department for World Economy and Development Studies at the China Institute of International Studies. “Chinese companies are facing more obstacles and all sorts of troubles overseas,” Jiang told AFP, adding that it was “obligatory for the ministry to make some efforts regarding the survival and development of companies overseas”. Until now, merging multinationals have largely had to worry only about US and European regulators. But the changing landscape could also have positive aspects for industries in other countries outside the Western giants. Mario Mariniello, economist at the Brussels based think-tank Bruegel and a specialist in competition policy and regulation issues, said there

was “a structural difference between the Chinese regulation and the European regulation”. “In China, the impact on national competitors is a factor, so the law itself leaves a wider scope for interpretation,” he added. “In Europe, you only take into account the impact on customers.” Mariniello said, however, that China has so far taken an overwhelmingly supportive approach, noting that over a five-year period Beijing cleared 97% of mergers it reviewed, while most of the rest were approved with conditions. Just a single merger - between Coca-Cola and Chinese beverage maker Huiyuan - was blocked in 2009. The proposed shipping alliance, which would have been known as P3, had already been given the go-ahead by regulators in Europe and the US, so China’s veto came as a surprise. The aim was to cut costs on Asia-Europe, trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific routes by creating a system similar to code-sharing agreements among airlines, allowing the companies to put

cargo on each others’ vessels. But in the statement announcing its move China’s commerce ministry expressed concern, saying the alliance would increase the companies’ “combined capacity in container shipping on Asia-Europe routes” and give them a “substantial increase in market concentration”. “The veto will help reduce the impact on Chinese shipping companies,” industry expert Wu Minghua told China’s Dongfang Daily newspaper. But firms in other countries could also benefit. “We breathed a sigh of relief to be honest,” said Kim Kyong-Hoon, general manager of the Korea Shipowners’ Association. “Shipping companies have been suffering from a global slowdown and the emergence of such a powerful alliance would have dealt a real blow to the South Korean shipping industry,” Kim told AFP. “Had it gone ahead, it would have had a major impact on us.” Chinese transportation giant COSCO is a grow-

ing influence in world shipping, and part of an alliance that includes South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping, Taiwan’s Yang Ming Marine Transport and Japan’s “K” Line. China’s new-found veto power over international business deals is another consequence of its rise towards the top of global economic league tables. “In terms of balance of power, China obviously has the capability to block this kind of merger,” Alexandre Baradez, a financial markets analyst at derivatives trading firm IG, told AFP. “It is an economic heavyweight, which gives Beijing a free hand.” But Jiang, of the China Institute of International Studies, warned that Beijing had to tread carefully. “Western countries and especially China’s neighbouring countries are already worried about a rising China,” he said. “If China shows a tougher stance, it might be harmful to its future development in the international arena.”

India to pay $1.65bn Iran oil dues via UAE Reuters New Delhi

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ndia plans to clear some pending oil payments to Iran through the United Arab Emirates central bank, three sources with knowledge of the matter said, under a new payment system that would allow Washington to track the flow of funds closely. The payment of $1.65bn under the revised mechanism includes a step in which funds would be routed through the US Federal Reserve. An interim nuclear deal has allowed Tehran access to $4.2bn in blocked funds globally. The payments are to reward Tehran for cooperating in nuclear talks that, if successful, would pave the way for Iran to return to the international fold after decades of isolation. Despite some signs of improving relations between Washington and Tehran, mostly recently over how to respond to an Islamist militant insurgency in northern Iraq, a full deal over Iran’s nuclear activity remains elusive. Iran and six world powers re-launched talks on Tuesday to try to salvage a deal on Tehran’s nuclear activity by a July 20 deadline. Iran’s earlier request to repatriate $1.65bn in Omani Rials through Bank Muscat proved not to be workable. It was not known why that channel was not utilised. Asian buyers such as Japan and South Korea have cleared some of their oil dues as per a payment schedule approved by world powers in a breakthrough deal with Iran in November. The payment is spread over eight instalments, ranging from $450 to $650mn each, from February to July. India is slated to take up the last three tranches of $550mn each. The payments are linked to Iran making continuous cuts in its nuclear programme. Under the proposed new arrangement, the Reserve Bank of India would buy the dollars from authorised currency dealers, instead of the Indian oil buyers tapping the currency market, the sources said. As part of a complex chain of transactions, the RBI would instruct the Federal Reserve to transfer dollars to the UAE central bank’s account there, after confirmation that Iran had received a final payment in dirhams from Abu Dhabi. The UAE central bank and the US Treasury department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control did not immediately respond to requests for comment. No comment was available from the RBI. The sanctions slapped on Iran in 2012

A pedestrian passes in front of the Essar Group office in Mumbai. Indian refiners including Essar Oil owe about $4bn to Iran. closed banking channels for the transfer of oil payments to the Opec member country, choking off its revenues, crippling the economy and ultimately bringing it to the negotiating table. The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury has informed India that Iran would like to receive $1.65bn in three equal installments through the UAE central bank, the sources said. “It is indeed a complex mechanism but it has been devised to bring in transparency in the money transfer to Iran,” said one of the sources, all of which declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak to media. In a first step, India’s petroleum ministry would instruct oil refiners to remit funds in rupees to the account of an Iranian bank with India’s state-run UCO Bank. UCO would then transfer the sum to the

RBI for crediting to a new rupee account held by the UAE central bank. Once this step is completed, the UAE central bank would make a payment in dhirams to the Iranian central bank. On receipt of payment confirmation, the RBI would credit the UAE account at the Fed with an equivalent sum in dollars. Simultaneously, the RBI would settle its dollar purchases with the funds on the UAE rupee account at the Indian central bank. Indian refiners Essar Oil, Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd, Indian Oil Corp, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and HPCL-Mittal Energy Ltd together owe about $4bn to National Iranian Oil Co, an MRPL executive said last month. In the first two installments, MRPL would pay about $238mn, Essar $232mn, IOC $57mn, HPCL about $8 and HPCL-Mittal

about $15mn. “The respective payments by the five refiners will be the same for the first two installments. Numbers for the third installment are yet to be worked out,” said one of the sources. India has been settling 45% of Iranian oil payments by transferring rupees into Iran’s account with UCO Bank, while the refiners hold the remainder. Tehran is using the funds in UCO Bank to import goods from India. India had used Turkey’s Halkbank to clear part of its Iranian oil dues, but that route was closed in February 2013 as sanctions prevented Iran from repatriating cash it earned from oil sales. India, which imports a total of 4mn barrels per day of oil, has been steadily reducing its dependence on Iran, whose share in its overall oil imports has fallen by two-thirds over the last five years to 5.7% in 2013/14.

Japan business mood suggests economy weathering tax hike Reuters Tokyo

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onfidence of Japanese manufacturers held steady in June while the servicesector mood rebounded from the prior month, a Reuters poll showed, further signs of resilience in the economy despite the pain of a sales tax hike that took effect weeks ago. The Reuters Tankan – which strongly correlates with the Bank of Japan’s key tankan quarterly survey – showed manufacturers’ morale is seen improving in September, while the service-sector mood is expected to worsen but hover at relatively high levels. The monthly poll of 400 major manufacturers and service-sector firms, of which 260 replied during the June 2-16 period, suggests that the BoJ’s tankan due July 1 may show the impact of the April sales tax hike is limited. That would be encouraging to the central bank, which argues Japan can overcome a drop in domestic demand after the sales tax rose to 8% from 5%. It expects the economy to resume a moderate recovery from around summer as exports – a weak spot in the economy – gradually recover. “Firm readings reflect steady earn-

ings at listed firms. Non-manufacturers seem to be more affected by the tax hike, but the pullback in demand has bottomed out,” said Yoshimasa Maruyama, chief economist, Itochu Economic Research Institute. “We need to scrutinise more upcoming data to determine the impact of the tax hike including household incomes. But the BoJ tankan is likely to show only slight decline in business sentiment given readings in the Reuters poll.” Compared with three months ago, the Reuters Tankan’s sentiment index for manufacturers inched up and that for service-sector firms fell slightly, pointing to relatively steady readings in the BoJ’s quarterly tankan. While companies face a decline in domestic demand after the tax hike, some also complained about lack of strength in external demand, particularly China and other emerging Asia. “The expansionary trend is continuing for our business as a decline in demand after the tax hike has been smaller than expected. However, demand from Asia and China has been slow,” a transport equipment firm said in the Reuters Tankan. A retailer said: “Our business condition has worsened due to the pullback in demand after

the sales tax hike, although the decline was within expectations.” The BoJ left monetary policy steady last week and offered a more upbeat view on overseas growth, signalling confidence that the economy is on track to meet its inflation target next year without additional stimulus. The last BoJ tankan showed in April that the business mood edged up in the March quarter, but both big manufacturers and nonmanufacturers expected conditions to worsen in June. In the Reuters Tankan, the index of sentiment among manufacturers stood at plus 19, unchanged from May, and up 1 point from three months ago. At plus 29, the service-sector gauge was up 8 points from May but down 2 points from March. Indexes are calculated by subtracting the percentage of pessimistic responses from optimistic ones. A positive reading means optimists outweigh pessimists. The index for manufacturers is seen edging up to plus 21 in September, while the servicesector gauge is expected to fall to plus 25, with optimists still far outnumbering pessimists. Among manufacturers, industries such as electric machinery and oil refinery led the gains, while sectors including cars and steel were a drag.


Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

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BUSINESS Beijing group used same metal stocks to borrow $2.5bn: report AFP Shanghai A Chinese mining group allegedly used the same commodity stocks as collateral for loans of more than $2.5bn from different banks, state-run media reported, with its other lenders also including Standard Chartered, HSBC, and BNP Paribas. Dezheng Resources, a mining and trading company, and its affiliates are suspected of borrowing more than 16bn yuan ($2.57bn) from 18 Chinese banks using the same stockpiles of metals stored at Qingdao Port, the 21st Century Business Herald (21st CBH) reported, citing unnamed sources.

The reported case, if confirmed, would be the latest instance of potential credit vulnerabilities to emerge the country’s financial system, which experienced several debt defaults earlier this year. One of Dezheng’s subsidiaries also took out 17 loans from six foreign lenders over the last decade, it said. It did not give totals but named them as Britain’s Standard Chartered and HSBC, BNP Paribas of France, DBS from Singapore, Dutch-Belgian bank Fortis and KBC of Belgium. Among the domestic lenders, the state-owned Export-Import Bank of China and Bank of China were the group’s biggest providers, loaning it 2.2bn yuan and two billion yuan respectively, it said.

“Virtually all the local banks in Qingdao and banks that have branches in Qingdao are involved, because companies like Dezheng had been regarded as quality clients and everybody fought with each other to lend to them,” the report quoted a manager with a “big state-owned bank” as saying. Foreign banks including Standard Chartered and Citigroup have loaned hundreds of millions of dollars on the basis of collateral held in Qingdao port, in the northern province of Shandong, to various entities, Dow Jones Newswires said Tuesday, citing unnamed Western bankers. Some were linked to Decheng Mining, a subsidiary of Dezheng, it added. Chen Jihong, head of

Dezheng and a Singaporean passport holder, has been detained by Chinese authorities, the 21st CBH said. Qingdao Port International, the port operator, said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange earlier this month that Chinese police had asked it to assist a fraud investigation relating to aluminium and copper products stored at the port. The Qingdao city government and police authorities were not available for comment when contacted by AFP yesterday. China is the world’s biggest copper buyer and prices for the red metal have fallen on the international market in recent weeks, with traders citing causes including concerns over the Qingdao

port probe. Using the same assets to secure loans from multiple lenders has been “common” in China, with borrowers taking advantage of banks failing to share information on collaterals, the 21st CBH said, citing the bank manager. China’s financial markets were rocked by several debt defaults earlier this year. In one case, a $160mn investment product structured by Jilin Province Trust and backed by a coal firm failed to make capital and interest payments. Chinese authorities have shown tolerance towards individual defaults, calling them unavoidable, but have pledged to keep potential risks in check.

Japan firm to step up investment in oil, gas Reuters Tokyo

S

tate-run Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp (JOGMEC) could accelerate its investment in oil and gas resources in the long term, as it looks to ensure stable commodity supplies for the world’s No 3 economy. President Hirobumi Kawano told Reuters that JOGMEC would in particular focus on boosting its investment in liquefied natural gas assets, with Japanese appetite for the fuel rocketing following the shutdown of all the country’s nuclear reactors in the wake of the Fukushima crisis. Japanese government had previously set a goal to boost the country’s self-sufficiency ratio of oil and gas to 40% by 2030 from around 20% although the target is currently under the review. “If our projects become successful, it would not be surprising for that to double (to 40%),” Kawano said yesterday. He declined to give specific investment plans for the future. The agency, set up in 2004 to help secure fuel for resourcepoor Japan, currently directly invests in or provides financial guarantees for about 50 oil and gas projects worth a total of more than 1tn yen ($9.8bn), including shale gas in North America. Japanese imports of LNG hit a record 87.5mn tonnes in 2013, with government data through May suggesting this year’s level could be even higher. Kawano said that JOGMEC would continue to support Japanese energy companies as they look to compete with overseas rivals. “We are not a commercial institution and have no intention of becoming a resource major. Our role, however, is to help Japanese upstream companies grow to be able to compete with resource giants.” Mitsui & Co’s president said earlier this week that it would consider taking majority stakes in large projects rather than just participating as a minority owner, a strategic shift the Japanese trader is eyeing to preserve growth in its profit margins.

Traders are seen at the Bombay Stock Exchange. India’s capital market regulator yesterday said the government should dilute its stake in listed public-sector companies over the next three years and cap it at 75%.

Sebi asks India govt to cut stake in state firms Recommendation if taken would lead to at least $10bn worth of share sales; share offerings would help draw further investor interest in equity market; govt owns stakes of as much as 90% in some listed public-sector companies Reuters Mumbai

I

ndia’s capital market regulator said the government should dilute its stake in listed public-sector companies over the next three years and cap it at 75%, a recommendation if taken would lead to at least $10bn worth of share sales.

The recommendation was one of several drawn up by the board of the regulator following its first meeting after the pro-business government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power. The share offerings would help draw further investor interest in an equity market that has recently risen to record highs following Modi’s landslide election victory last month. Modi, who won largely on his promise of boosting economic growth, is expected to speed up government stake divestments to bolster revenue generation in Asia’s third-largest economy. “There will be a lot of demand from foreign investors for these issues,” said Naveneet Munot, chief investment officer at SBI funds management in

Mumbai. “This would be a good way to generate investor interest in India as the world is watching the new government’s every move.” The government owns stakes of as much as 90% in some listed publicsector companies including Coal India Ltd, the world’s largest coal miner, and trading company MMTC Ltd, according to the stock exchange data. The Mumbai Stock Exchange’s PSU index, which comprises state-controlled companies, is up nearly 15% since Modi came to power, outperforming a 5.4% gain for the main stock index. “The sentiment for a lot of these PSU stocks is changing very rapidly. People believe that under the new government these companies can turn around

through improvements in efficiency and management,” said Atul Kumar, chief investment officer at Quantum Asset Management. In India, listed state-controlled companies are required to have at least 10% public shareholding. Non-state companies were told by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) last year to raise the public shareholding cap to 25%. UK Sinha, chairman of the regulator, said yesterday that, in all, 36 state companies would need to come to market to meet the new stake guidelines, which were meant to bring “uniformity” in India’s minimum public shareholding rules. To adhere to the regulator’s guidelines, 23 state companies that are part

of the BSE PSU index would need to sell shares valued at about $9.8bn as of yesterday, according to Reuters calculations. A spokesman for the finance ministry, which oversees the department responsible for managing government stake sales, was not immediately available for comment. Separately, Sebi also updated rules for IPOs and secondary share sales, including reserving a bigger portion of share sales for institutional buyers. The new guidelines augurs well for the capital market, which has been dormant for the last few years as companies deferred their share sale plans with investor sentiment hit by slowing economic growth, bankers and investors say.

Asian exporters lean on China for growth Reuters Tokyo

W

hen the US sneezes, Asia catches an economic cold, but when it recovers it’s a boon for the export-reliant region. That, at least, is how it used to be. Today, China plays a much greater role in the fortunes of Asian exporters and their economies, trade patterns show. Exports to China from the likes of South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam all grew between the pre-global-crisis year of 2007 and 2013, while their percentage share of exports to the US declined over the same period. That suggests Asia’s disappointing and at times erratic export performance over the last year was more reflective of China’s economic downshifting and rebalancing than weakness in Western demand, analysts say. “A recovery in advanced economies should give a tailwind for Asian exports. But if China – the key driver of external demand for the region – lacks

momentum, Asian economies could be forced to fly on one engine,” said Toru Nishihama, senior economist specialising in emerging markets at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute. China’s economic growth could cool this year to its slowest pace in 24 years, a recent Reuters poll showed. Since the global financial crisis, China has become increasingly important as the final destination for Asian exports, rather than an “assembly floor”, where products are put together and shipped to the US or Europe. But as Beijing tries to scale back investment in roads, bridges and airports – seeking to rebalance the economy in favour of stronger consumer demand – imports from its Asian neighbours have been cooling too. South Korea’s annual exports to China fell 9.4% in May, the sharpest drop since mid-2009, even as shipments to the US and Europe rose, while Japan’s exports suffered their first annual decline in 15 months, with only a scant gain in sales to China and declines to Western markets. The International Monetary Fund es-

timates that a 1 percentage point decline in China’s growth may cut growth in the median Asian economy by about 0.3 percentage point after a year, double the impact it would have on average nonAsian economies, underlining China’s growing influence on the region. The weakness of China’s own exports is also dampening shipments from its Asian neighbours such as Japan or South Korea, which typically supply most of the advanced tech components in Chinaassembled smartphones, PCs or tablets. One explanation could be that rising property prices and labour costs, along with a strengthening trend in the yuan, are making China’s exports less competitive. That is driving some manufacturers to set up in lower-cost Vietnam, Thailand, Bangladesh or Indonesia, rather than in China. China is also being challenged by rivals from other continents such as Mexico, whose weakened peso, low wages and proximity give it an edge in the US market. And while Chinese domestic demand for consumer goods appears to be holding up, much of those are already

produced in the country by foreign companies: China today is not only the world’s biggest car market but also the top producer. In other words: Toyota or Hyundai cars sold in China largely do not show up as exports because they are assembled locally. Asian Development Bank deputy chief economist Juzhong Zhuang said this shows how China is adapting and moving its manufacturing sector up the value chain. “We see a dramatic shift in the composition of manufacturing, from labour intensive towards more sophisticated equipment, mechanical, transport equipment and other mechanics.” Other emerging Asian nations will have no choice but to step up innovation themselves in order to maintain their sales to China. Analysts say Thailand, which makes a lot of intermediate goods necessary for global output, has more room to grow. Neighbouring Malaysia, which increasingly makes and exports high value-added products such as precision machinery, could also benefit.

A model displays Japanese automaker Daihatsu’s new lightweight sports car “Copen” in Tokyo yesterday. According to analysts, Japan’s exports to China registered a scant gain in May.


6

Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

BUSINESS Sensex slips slightly; rupee at 1-month peak against dollar Bloomberg Mumbai Indian stocks dropped for a second day, erasing earlier gains, as energy companies retreated amid rising crude prices. Oil & Natural Gas Corp, the largest state-run explorer, plunged the most since August. Reliance Industries Ltd, owner of the world’s largest refining complex, dropped the most in a month. Maruti Suzuki India Ltd dropped for the first time in three days. Brent crude traded at a nine-month high as Iraqi forces battled insurgents north of Baghdad. The S&P BSE Sensex slid 0.2% to 25,201.80, wiping out an intraday gain of 0.7%. The measure has fallen 1.5% since closing at a record on June 10 as rising energy costs and forecast for weaker rains

China Vanke buildings are seen in Hong Kong. China’s largest property developer is set to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange next week.

Chinese realtor Vanke planning HK listing Dow Jones Hong Kong

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hina Vanke Co, China’s largest property developer by revenue, is set to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange next week, becoming the third Chinese company to successfully transfer its listing from mainland China to the more active Hong Kong stock market. Shenzhen-listed Vanke will be listed in Hong Kong on Wednesday “by introduction,” – meaning it won’t issue new shares or raise new funds, people with direct knowledge of the deal said yesterday. The company first announced plans to convert its China-listed B shares in January 2013, as part of its expansion plans offshore. It had planned to list in Hong Kong yesterday, but pushed that back as it continues to wait for the Hong Kong regulator’s approval on a date, the people said. Hong Kong’s stock exchange approved Vanke’s listing plan late last month. When it lists, Vanke will be the third Chinese company to shift its listing from the thinly traded B-share market, which is denominated in Hong Kong dollars in Shenzhen and US dollars in Shanghai. Foreign investors buying into Chinese stocks have tended to prefer trading in either Chinalisted A-shares, which are denominated in yuan, through quotas given to them, or through Hong Kong-listed H shares. Most major Chinese companies have either an H-share or an Ashare presence, or both. China International Marine Containers was the first company to successfully convert its Shenzhen-listed B-shares into H-shares in December 2012, followed by Livzon Pharmaceutical Group in January. CIMC’s Hong Kong-listed shares have soared over 50% since their debut in Hong Kong, while Livzon Pharmaceutical’s stock has jumped 17% since listing. Vanke said yesterday it had been given the green light from Hong Kong Stock Exchange to list in late May. Its B-share listing and stock code are removed yesterday from the Shenzhen stock exchange. Vanke’s market capitalisation on the B-share market was HK$114bn (US$14.7bn) before it was suspended from trading on June 4. The share conversion could enhance Vanke’s name globally and help the company tap a bigger pool of investors for future capital-raising efforts, the company said earlier. Vanke, which has a presence in more than 60 Chinese cities, said last month it doesn’t have capital-raising plans.

threaten to undermine Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts to curb inflation, and limit the central bank’s scope to ease monetary policy. “High oil prices can upset some of the calculations of the government and the Reserve Bank of India,” said Vaibhav Sanghavi, managing director of Ambit Investment Advisors Pvt in Mumbai. “Geopolitical risks are weighing on sentiment.” Brent climbed as much as 0.5% in London, extending last week’s 4.4% rally that was the steepest since July. Iraqi forces regained control of the Baiji oil refinery, the nation’s biggest, as President Barack Obama told top US lawmakers that he won’t need additional congressional approval for the options he’s considering in response to the crisis. Oil & Natural Gas tumbled 5%, the third-biggest loser on the MSCI Emerging Markets Index yes-

terday. India’s oil ministry proposes higher price be allowed only for incremental gas production, Financial Express newspaper reported. Oil India Ltd had the biggest drop since August 28. Reliance slid 2.3%, the most since May 20. Maruti decreased 2.3%, paring this year’s gains to 35%. Coal India Ltd dropped 2.3%. Modi faces the task of reviving the economy after the BJP became the first in 30 years to win a parliamentary majority in India. Growth is holding near a decade-low and retail inflation has averaged about 10% in the past two years, eroding the purchasing power of more than 800mn people who live on less than $2 a day. The RBI left interest rates unchanged on June 3, and said further tightening won’t be warranted if retail inflation stays on course to hit 8% in January 2015. The Sensex has risen 19% this year, the most

among BRIC markets, as foreigners bought $9.9bn of domestic shares, the highest inflows among eight Asian markets tracked by Bloomberg. The gauge trades at 15.5 times projected 12-month profits, near the most expensive level since April 2011. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index is valued at a multiple of 11. Meanwhile, rupee strengthened the most in almost a month after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen pledged to keep interest rates low, supporting demand for emerging-market assets. The Federal Open Market Committee said on Wednesday that US borrowing costs are likely to stay low for a “considerable time” as it cut the bond-purchase programme by another $10bn to $35bn. “The FOMC statement on interest rates is clearly positive for the rupee,” said Ankur Jhaveri, co-head

of currency and rates in Mumbai at brokerage Edelweiss Financial Services Ltd. “A stable and improving US economy is good for India’s exports and inflows.” The currency gained 0.5% to 60.0863 per dollar in Mumbai, according to prices from local banks compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the biggest gain since May 22. The rupee earlier gained as much as 0.9% in intraday trading. One-month implied volatility, a gauge of expected moves in the exchange rate used to price options, declined 83 basis points to 7.70%, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Three-month offshore non-deliverable forwards declined 0.4% to 60.90 per dollar, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Forwards are agreements to buy or sell assets at a set price and date. Non-deliverable contracts are settled in dollars.

Foreign ownership of Japan shares touches all-time high Dow Jones Tokyo

F

oreign ownership of Japanese shares reached a new all-time high at the end of March, underscoring foreign investors’ interest in domestic companies driven by lofty expectations for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic policies. The annual statistics, released yesterday by the Tokyo Stock Exchange and three other bourses in Japan, showed that foreign investors held a combined 30.8% of the shares listed on the four exchanges as of the end of March in terms of value, up from 28% in the previous year. Foreigners were net buyers of Japanese shares for the fifth straight year, increasing their amount of net buying to ¥9.5387tn. That was much larger than net buying worth ¥5.0133tn in the previous fiscal year. On the back of Abe’s economic policies and the Bank of Japan’s aggressive monetary easing, as well as the ensuing fall in the yen, the Nikkei Stock Average gained about 20% during the just ended business year. While the data showed that overseas investors have turned sellers of Japanese stocks since January, analysts say they haven’t lost their appetite for domestic names. For example, AllianceBernstein – a New Yorkbased investment firm that manages $454bn in assets – is “cautiously optimistic” toward Japanese stocks, said Sharon Fay, the firm’s head of equities and chief investment officer-global value. Fay said during her visit to Tokyo earlier this month that some big public funds abroad have recently been looking for Japanese equities managers after confirming solid returns on Japanese shares over the past year. On the other hand, the proportion of individuals’ share holdings on the bourses stood at 18.7% – falling below 20% for the first time in six years – as they took advantage of rising stock prices and locked in profits. The ratio of Japanese financial institutions’ holdings of shares listed on the four bourses also fell to a record low of 26.7%, compared with 28% previously.

Pedestrians walk past the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The annual statistics, released yesterday by the exchange and three other bourses in Japan, showed that foreign investors held a combined 30.8% of the shares listed on the four exchanges as of the end of March.

Asian stocks climb on Fed view on US economy AFP Tokyo

A

sian markets gained yesterday, taking up the baton from a record-breaking Wall Street, after the Federal Reserve delivered a broadly upbeat outlook on the US economy and suggested interest rates would remain low for some time. The dollar eased marginally against the yen after a New York sell-off, while oil remained elevated on fears over the crisis in Iraq as the US considers air strikes against militants sweeping through the country.

Tokyo jumped 1.62% to finish at a five-month high, closing up 245.36 points to 15,361.16 despite a stronger yen. Sydney rose by 1.59%, or 85.48 points, to close at 5,468.2 and Seoul put on 0.13%, or 2.54 points, to 1,992.03. Profit taking hit Hong Kong after spending most of the day in positive territory. The Hang Seng closed flat, edging down 13.99 points to 23,167.73 while Shanghai tumbled 1.55%, or 31.78 points, to 2,023.74. After a closely watched meeting, the Fed’s policy committee said it would slash a further $10bn off its monthly bond-buying and maintain its “highly accommodative” monetary policy of record low interest rates. Bank policymakers said in a state-

ment economic growth “has rebounded in recent months” from the first-quarter contraction, while household spending and business investment were both rising. However, while that had been expected, there was no mention of an earlier hike in interest rates than mid-2015. There had been speculation that a recent run of upbeat economic data – including rising inflation – would prompt the bank to consider bringing forward its timetable. Fed boss Janet Yellen told reporters there is “no mechanical formula” for when the Fed will lift benchmark rates following the end of stimulus. Analysts also noted the central bank did not

A pedestrian walks past an electronic board showing the Nikkei average outside a brokerage in Tokyo. The Nikkei jumped 1.62% to a 5-month high yesterday.

significantly increase its inflation forecast, “suggesting that the recent pick-up in inflation doesn’t materially change its near-term outlook for monetary policy”, said a note from IHS. The decision also showed the Fed has faith in the economy despite cutting its growth forecast for this year to 2.1-2.3%, sharply down from its March prediction of 2.8-3% before the depth of the winter setback was known. Wall Street reacted positively. The S&P 500 climbed 0.77% to tap another record high, while the Dow gained 0.58% and the Nasdaq rose 0.59% The prospect of interest rates staying low for at least another year sent the dollar falling to 101.91 yen in US trade on Wednesday from 102.17 yen earlier in Tokyo. The greenback eased a fraction further in Asia yesterday afternoon, buying 101.77 yen. The euro was $1.3617 and 138.58 yen, against $1.3593 and 138.52 yen in New York. “The Fed didn’t say much that the market hadn’t already perceived; hence US stocks’ generally positive ... reaction,” Nicholas Smith, equity strategist at CLSA, told Dow Jones Newswires. “More interesting is the fact of Japan shares’ divergence from the dollar/yen market gyrations; the market is up strongly despite a weaker dollar,” he added. Oil prices rose in afternoon Asian trade after Iraq’s government appealed for the US to carry out air strikes on jihadists who on Wednesday seized another oil refinery and more territory in the north. There are fears the rebel offensive could lead to a civil war in the oil exporter, choking crucial supplies. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for July rose 44 cents to $106.41 while Brent crude for August gained 18 cents to $114.44 in afternoon trade. Gold fetched $1,281.86 an ounce at 1055 GMT in Asia compared with $1,270.69 late Wednesday. In other markets, Singapore closed down 0.24%, or 7.78 points, at 3,269.02, Bangkok added 0.73%, or 10.55 points, to 1,461.91, Kuala Lumpur rose 0.26%, or 4.90 points, to 1,881.48, Wellington rose 0.15%, or 7.69 points, to 5,192.15, Taipei added 0.30%, or 27.47 points, to 9,307.4, Manila ended flat, edging down 3.74 points to 6,699.39 and Jakarta ended down 0.48%, or 23.59 points, at 4,864.27.


Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

7

BUSINESS SAUDI ARABIA Company Name

QATAR Company Name Qatar National Bank Industries Qatar Ezdan Holding Group Ooredoo Qsc Mesaieed Petrochemical Holdi Masraf Al Rayan Qatar Islamic Bank Qatar Electricity & Water Co Commercial Bank Of Qatar Qsc Qatar Fuel Co Gulf International Services Vodafone Qatar Doha Bank Qsc Barwa Real Estate Co Qatar Gas Transport(Nakilat) Qatar Insurance Co Qatar International Islamic Qatar Navigation Aamal Co United Development Co Al Ahli Bank Al Khalij Commercial Bank Qatari Investors Group Qatar National Cement Co Mannai Corporation Qsc Al Meera Consumer Goods Co Qatar General Insurance & Re Gulf Warehousing Company Medicare Group Qatar Industrial Manufactur Salam International Investme Mazaya Qatar Real Estate Dev National Leasing Dlala Holding Qatar Islamic Insurance Widam Food Co Zad Holding Co Al Khaleej Takaful Group Doha Insurance Co Qatar & Oman Investment Co Qatar Cinema & Film Distrib Islamic Holding Group

Lt Price 176.00 177.20 21.72 130.00 32.45 51.20 91.60 183.50 65.50 214.80 94.10 19.60 58.50 38.70 23.00 80.00 80.00 91.10 16.70 24.79 50.00 21.60 61.00 132.50 117.00 168.90 44.65 50.70 83.80 45.90 17.25 17.53 31.95 52.00 75.20 59.00 79.30 45.35 25.00 15.00 57.60 71.80

% Chg -3.83 -1.45 1.02 -2.33 -0.15 -1.92 -1.51 -1.34 0.92 -0.83 1.40 0.00 -2.50 -0.39 -0.78 4.03 -0.62 -0.11 3.41 0.94 0.00 -0.64 1.67 0.00 2.27 0.54 -0.56 -2.50 -0.24 -0.65 6.35 1.04 -0.16 0.97 -0.40 0.00 0.00 -0.98 -1.77 0.87 -10.00 0.14

Volume 340,210 264,757 1,526,601 251,795 328,233 1,199,196 244,840 42,670 456,578 41,524 715,653 1,191,350 173,772 753,922 374,951 66,159 99,681 32,051 507,139 279,418 12,300 104,330 102,947 6,935 107,763 23,479 4,450 38,933 13,300 12,802 1,833,468 544,075 86,355 349,324 361,454 28,642 588 121,000 118,929 1,074,467 21,591 13,573

SAUDI ARABIA Company Name Saudi Hollandi Bank Al-Ahsa Development Co. Al-Baha Development & Invest Ace Arabia Cooperative Insur Allied Cooperative Insurance Arriyadh Development Company Fitaihi Holding Group Arabia Insurance Cooperative Al Abdullatif Industrial Inv Al-Ahlia Cooperative Insuran Al Alamiya Cooperative Insur Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Dev Al Babtain Power & Telecommu Bank Albilad Alujain Corporation (Alco) Aldrees Petroleum And Transp Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair & C Alinma Bank Alinma Tokio Marine Al Khaleej Training And Educ Abdullah A.M. Al-Khodari Son Allianz Saudi Fransi Coopera Almarai Co Saudi Integrated Telecom Co Alsorayai Group Al Tayyar Amana Cooperative Insurance Anaam International Holding Abdullah Al Othaim Markets Arabian Pipes Co Advanced Petrochemicals Co Al Rajhi Co For Co-Operative Arabian Cement Arab National Bank Ash-Sharqiyah Development Co United Wire Factories Compan Astra Industrial Group Alahli Takaful Co Aseer Axa Cooperative Insurance Basic Chemical Industries Bishah Agriculture Bank Al-Jazira Banque Saudi Fransi United International Transpo Bupa Arabia For Cooperative Buruj Cooperative Insurance Saudi Airlines Catering Co Methanol Chemicals Co City Cement Co Eastern Cement Etihad Atheeb Telecommunicat Etihad Etisalat Co Emaar Economic City Saudi Enaya Cooperative Insu United Electronics Co Falcom Saudi Equity Etf Filing & Packing Materials M Wafrah For Industry And Deve Falcom Petrochemical Etf Gulf General Cooperative Ins Jazan Development Co Gulf Union Cooperative Insur Halwani Bros Co Hail Cement Herfy Food Services Co Al Jouf Agriculture Developm Jarir Marketing Co Jabal Omar Development Co Al Jouf Cement Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co Knowledge Economic City Kingdom Holding Co Saudi Arabian Mining Co Malath Cooperative & Reinsur Makkah Construction & Devepl Mediterranean & Gulf Insuran Middle East Specialized Cabl Mohammad Al Mojil Group Co Al Mouwasat Medical Services The National Agriculture Dev Najran Cement Co Nama Chemicals Co National Gypsum National Gas & Industrializa National Industrialization C Maadaniyah National Shipping Co Of/The National Petrochemical Co Rabigh Refining And Petroche Al Qassim Agricultural Co Qassim Cement/The Red Sea Housing Services Co Saudi Research And Marketing Riyad Bank Al Rajhi Bank Saudi Arabian Amiantit Co

Lt Price 42.00 17.76 13.50 70.90 25.02 22.28 22.96 18.96 42.94 54.75 132.67 12.94 35.41 45.60 24.35 47.04 196.83 18.83 67.75 58.33 42.17 53.29 71.67 24.30 23.40 128.97 32.09 38.99 114.10 26.43 44.82 43.77 68.93 27.79 86.13 47.76 54.80 58.50 29.42 44.90 43.19 69.75 31.80 31.55 73.81 83.57 54.51 177.93 16.13 30.32 60.58 13.33 82.83 15.73 39.51 124.49 33.70 57.10 61.64 33.30 43.60 21.63 34.42 77.92 25.90 145.95 47.68 203.57 47.17 20.00 15.55 21.80 25.00 34.55 21.26 84.03 34.10 15.35 12.55 107.54 43.81 31.07 15.94 35.18 30.00 32.97 37.79 33.84 32.40 32.48 16.53 93.39 55.35 20.55 17.87 67.01 17.92

% Chg -0.73 -0.73 0.00 0.48 -0.95 -0.93 -0.56 -2.22 -1.29 -2.20 2.45 -1.07 -0.62 -0.87 0.74 -0.95 -0.08 0.86 1.54 -2.38 0.57 -0.17 0.21 0.00 -0.55 -0.55 -0.65 -4.37 1.62 -1.16 0.81 -0.27 -0.82 -0.75 -3.84 -1.24 -1.65 0.10 -2.13 4.18 -1.21 0.00 1.60 0.16 1.01 -1.61 2.67 1.32 -1.77 -2.04 0.10 -2.20 0.80 -1.07 0.05 0.39 0.00 -0.66 -1.91 0.00 0.41 -1.86 -1.21 -2.60 0.08 2.56 -0.46 0.64 -0.23 -0.99 -0.38 -1.18 -1.85 -0.52 0.47 0.63 0.71 -1.22 0.00 -0.55 -2.88 0.62 -1.12 -1.35 -0.20 0.49 -1.18 0.92 3.18 4.04 0.18 -0.38 -1.30 -0.63 -0.39 0.72 -0.78

Volume 126,424 1,087,018 256,628 349,906 821,191 732,913 232,819 232,273 1,253,011 1,129,045 16,791,806 392,082 513,498 777,551 600,870 33,816 15,723,576 399,548 82,983 850,735 167,891 272,948 446,580 278,135 852,293 1,520,906 1,259,806 1,119,385 738,857 76,550 166,650 571,075 1,774,060 255,942 475,350 576,285 918,772 1,001,533 346,978 1,328,372 546,405 142,378 97,447 429,476 88,021 2,084,574 792,424 165,618 2,858,722 910,874 2,196,501 606,502 32,558 10 244,859 1,772,510 990,183 1,256,064 772,307 360,536 441,484 326,769 54,625 20,098 1,620,245 4,325,729 9,097,820 795,158 296,127 3,410,263 410,320 102,857 724,030 518,111 143,202 1,118,973 462,352 4,521,075 585,652 29,674 1,217,841 455,106 7,675,239 1,906,198 3,579,432 1,234,020 56,807 143,923 80,580 562,831 2,819,872 2,224,225

Saudi British Bank Sabb Takaful Saudi Basic Industries Corp Saudi Cement Sasco 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 Arabian Refinery Co Hsbc Amanah Saudi 20 Etf Saudi Re For Cooperative Rei Savola Saudi Cable Co Saudi Chemical Company Saudi Ceramic Saudi Electricity Co Saudi Fisheries Al-Hassan G.I. Shaker Co Saudi Hotels & Resort Arabian Shield Cooperative Saudi Investment Bank/The Saudi Industrial Development Saudi Industrial Export Co

KUWAIT Lt Price 49.40 39.74 115.09 112.42 28.47 115.78 161.86 40.39 26.51 51.05 35.45 40.28 16.04 38.97 73.54 32.80 12.15 69.40 12.70 71.89 144.91 15.83 41.05 75.01 38.74 57.18 26.10 20.96 61.69

% Chg 0.82 -0.15 0.09 0.81 -1.15 -1.25 0.87 1.08 -1.38 1.98 -1.85 -0.05 -2.14 -0.15 -0.76 0.00 -0.08 -0.86 -1.01 -1.18 -0.08 -0.19 -1.06 -0.98 0.03 0.44 -0.50 -0.05 -1.70

Volume 87,645 379,188 2,626,198 52,420 891,450 23,697 229,085 512,482 722,582 460,176 261,913 312,947 486,523 1,370,342 235,587 102 1,121,873 156,494 1,351,872 314,718 104,831 3,506,085 1,627,242 97,956 462,980 1,895,083 270,245 969,694 394,793

KUWAIT Company Name Aayan Leasing & Investment A’ayan Real Estate Co Burgan Co For Well Drilling Al Ahli Bank Of Kuwait Abyaar Real Eastate Developm Acico Industries Co Kscc Al-Dar National Real Estate Afaq Educational Services Al Arabi Group Holding Co Agility Al-Ahleia Insurance Co Ajwan Gulf Real Estate Co Aviation Lease And Finance C Al Aman Investment Company Kuwait Real Estate Holding C Al-Deera Holding Co Al-Eid Food Co Alimtiaz Investment Co Kscc Alkout Industrial Projects C Al Madina For Finance And In Al Mal Investment Company Al Mudon Intl Real Estate Co Ahli United Bank (Almutahed) Al-Nawadi Holding Co K.S.C First Investment Co Kscc Al-Qurain Petrochemicals Co Alrai Media Group Co Al Salam Group Holding Co Alshamel International Hold Commercial Real Estate Co Amar Finance & Leasing Co Amwal International Investme Aqar Real Estate Investments Arab Real Estate Co Ajial Real Estate Entmt Alargan International Real Arkan Al Kuwait Real Estate Arzan Financial Group For Fi Automated Systems Co Advanced Technology Co Ahli United Bank B.S.C Al Bareeq Holding Co Kscc Bayan Investment Co Kscc Boubyan Intl Industries Hold Bahrain Kuwait Insurance Boubyan Bank K.S.C Boubyan Petrochemicals Co Burgan Bank Gulf Cable & Electrical Ind Kuwait Cable Vision Sak Livestock Transport & Tradng Commercial Bank Of Kuwait Combined Group Contracting City Group National Cleaning Company Coast Investment Development Dulaqan Real Estate Co Danah Alsafat Foodstuff Co Educational Holding Group Egypt Kuwait Holding Co Sae Ekttitab Holding Co S.A.K.C Energy House Holding Co Kscc Equipment Holding Co K.S.C.C Al-Enma’a Real Estate Co Kuwait Bahrain International Eyas For High & Technical Ed Commercial Facilities Co Fujairah Cement Industries First Dubai Real Estate Deve Flex Resorts & Real Estate Kuwait Foods (Americana) First Takaful Insurance Co Future Communications Co Future Kid Entertainment And Gulf Bank Gulf Cement Co Gulf Franchising Kscc Gulf Finance House Ec Gulf Glass Manuf Co -Kscc Gulf Investment House Gulf Insurance Group Ksc Gulf North Africa Holding Co Gulf Petroleum Investment Kuwait Gypsum Manufacturing Hayat Communications Hilal Cement Co Hits Telecom Holding Human Soft Holding Co Intl Financial Advisors Ifa Hotels & Resorts Co. K.S Ikarus Petroleum Industries Injazzat Real State Company Inovest Co Bsc Investors Holding Group Co.K Independent Petroleum Group International Resorts Co Housing Finance Co S.A.K.C Ithmaar Bank Bsc Jazeera Airways Jeeran Holdings Kipco Asset Management Co Kuwait Building Materials Kuwait Business Town Real Es Kuwait Cement Co Kuwait China Investment Co Kuwait National Cinema Co Kuwait Medical Services Co Kuwait Co For Process Plant Kuwait Finance & Investment Kuwait Finance House Kuwait Foundry Co Kuwait & Gulf Link Transport Kuwait Hotels Co Kuwait International Bank Kuwait Insurance Co Kuwait Investment Co Kuwait & Middle East Fin Inv Kout Food Group Kuwait Packing Materials Mfg Privatization Holding Compan Kuwait Projects Co Holdings Kuwait Real Estate Co Kuwait Slaughter House Co Kuwaiti Syrian Holding Co Kuwait Invest Co Holding

Lt Price 62.00 87.00 240.00 420.00 44.00 340.00 0.00 170.00 192.00 830.00 490.00 56.00 248.00 66.00 41.00 28.00 100.00 67.00 0.00 33.00 0.00 82.00 630.00 126.00 86.00 255.00 120.00 87.00 184.00 97.00 59.00 44.00 0.00 47.50 202.00 194.00 132.00 71.00 420.00 880.00 226.00 0.00 70.00 83.00 0.00 510.00 790.00 520.00 770.00 43.50 0.00 670.00 1,100.00 410.00 112.00 41.50 0.00 67.00 156.00 290.00 46.50 88.00 110.00 77.00 0.00 0.00 275.00 81.00 85.00 56.00 2,860.00 0.00 122.00 120.00 340.00 100.00 73.00 35.00 560.00 0.00 550.00 36.50 74.00 0.00 74.00 146.00 41.50 355.00 51.00 218.00 172.00 70.00 70.00 17.00 450.00 50.00 31.50 38.50 430.00 63.00 110.00 190.00 26.50 410.00 0.00 900.00 0.00 280.00 67.00 760.00 310.00 80.00 120.00 295.00 0.00 138.00 50.00 840.00 0.00 57.00 700.00 73.00 226.00 26.50 0.00

% Chg 0.00 -1.14 0.00 0.00 -2.22 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -0.80 -2.94 -2.38 1.82 0.00 -1.47 0.00 0.00 0.00 -5.75 0.00 0.00 0.00 -1.92 0.00 3.57 0.00 -1.02 0.00 -5.38 0.00 2.15 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -0.88 0.00 2.94 -5.68 0.00 0.00 1.28 -1.89 1.32 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -2.38 0.00 -5.68 0.00 -1.47 0.00 0.00 1.09 1.15 -5.17 -3.75 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 6.25 0.00 0.00 0.00 5.17 0.00 1.49 0.00 0.00 2.94 0.00 0.00 0.00 -1.35 -1.33 0.00 -1.33 -6.41 1.22 0.00 0.00 3.81 -2.27 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.01 0.00 -1.28 -1.15 -1.56 1.85 0.00 1.92 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -3.45 0.00 0.00 0.00 -2.44 0.00 -1.67 0.00 -2.82 0.00 0.00 0.00 -1.72 -1.41 -1.35 0.00 -7.02 0.00

Volume 1,280,336 330,000 82,900 253,132 5,395,480 271,400 1,200 39,090 1,707,859 150 10,700 725,142 996,000 13,100 5,184,455 1,000 922,800 88,372 8,549,220 86,183 81,910 230,900 296,886 4,000 599,677 19 6,635,036 276,060 209,051 245,000 30,000 80,000 4,001 92,585 5,000 1 955,063 2,444,671 774,556 267,229 421,647 755,698 45,986 4,850 20,000 10,000 3,162 48,339 1,642,900 2,159,907 50 3,800 723,386 217,000 214,092 87,098 7,500 268,620 2,542,246 10 16,156 22,970 50 454,036 558,486 6,901 20,931,043 1,195 4,720 1,716,906 1,063,339 261,200 100 1,918,600 9,006 4,359,190 10,100 603,932 2,009,506 2,253,500 57,574,779 348 1,475,079 2,156,334 863,500 7,829 58,948 136,100 48 5,005,001 44,330 1,000 7,410 5,224 2,433,145 55,000 642,157 103,726 309,794 34,057 1,439 10 120,000 2,354,916 5,467,304 400 1,933,531 -

Company Name Kuwait Reinsurance Co Ksc Kgl Logistics Company Kscc Mabanee Co Sakc Al-Madar Finance & Invt Co Manafae Investment Co Manazel Holding Real Estate Trade Centers Co Markaz Real Estate Fund Marine Services Co Kuwait Financial Centre Al Masaken Intl Real Estate Mashaer Holdings Al-Massaleh Real Estate Co National Ranges Company Al-Mazaya Holding Co Mena Real Estate Co Al Mowasat Health Care Co Al Maidan Dental Clinic Co K Metal & Recycling Co Mushrif Trading & Contractin Mubarrad Transport Co Munshaat Real Estate Project Kuwait Resorts Co Kscc Nafais Holding National Petroleum Services National Bank Of Kuwait National Consumer Holding Co National Industries Co National International Co National Industries Grp Hold National Investments Co National Mobile Telecommuni Noor Financial Investment K. National Real Estate Co National Slaughter House Osoul Investment Kscc Oula Fuel Marketing Co Palms Agro Production Co Shuaiba Industrial Co Kuwait Portland Cement Co Pearl Of Kuwait Real Estate Kuwait Pipes Indus & Oil Ser Kuwait United Poultry Co Umm Al Qaiwain Cement Indust Qurain Holding Co Real Estate Asset Management Refrigeration Industries & S Kuwait Remal Real Estate Co Ras Al Khaimah Co Al Safat Real Estate Co Al-Safat Tec Holding Co Safwan Trading & Contracting Salbookh Trading Co K.S.C.C Sanam Real Estate Co Kscc Sharjah Cement & Indus Devel Securities House Kscc Al Safat Energy Holding Comp Securities Group Co Heavy Engineering And Ship B

OMAN Lt Price 0.00 158.00 1,040.00 46.50 0.00 42.00 40.50 0.00 120.00 142.00 77.00 162.00 82.00 0.00 108.00 43.00 172.00 0.00 106.00 83.00 62.00 150.00 94.00 80.00 0.00 970.00 98.00 208.00 69.00 234.00 142.00 1,660.00 122.00 148.00 132.00 74.00 158.00 120.00 270.00 1,340.00 20.00 0.00 168.00 94.00 28.00 100.00 325.00 85.00 118.00 32.50 47.00 445.00 63.00 59.00 92.00 68.00 34.00 120.00 146.00

% Chg 0.00 0.00 -1.89 -5.10 0.00 -2.33 -3.57 0.00 -7.69 0.00 0.00 -3.57 0.00 0.00 3.85 1.18 0.00 0.00 -8.62 -5.68 0.00 0.00 1.08 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 2.99 0.86 0.00 0.00 -1.61 1.37 0.00 0.00 0.00 9.09 0.00 0.00 2.56 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.82 0.00 0.00 -1.16 0.00 0.00 -4.08 0.00 1.61 3.51 0.00 -4.23 -1.45 -7.69 2.82

Volume 1,629,527 779,450 166,200 1,560,869 117,168 31,459 29,000 353,000 34 500 5,081,408 500 9,950 290,100 200,048 31,971 2,111,200 204,600 145,000 2,819,046 50 873 154,000 207,558 233,044 20,851 275,100 488,284 100 280,500 87,697 30 321,000 122 250 140 171,373 51,224 250 6,064 442,455 960 7,125,752 114,500 10,000 507,580 156,557 40,610 667,000 4,331,356 16,405 3,730

OMAN Company Name Voltamp Energy Saog United Finance Co United Power Co United Power/Energy Co- Pref Al Madina Investment Co Taageer Finance Salalah Port Services A’saffa Foods Saog Sohar Poultry Shell Oman Marketing Shell Oman Marketing - Pref Smn Power Holding Saog Al Shurooq Inv Ser Al Sharqiya Invest Holding Sohar Power Co Salalah Beach Resort Saog Salalah Mills Co Sahara Hospitality Renaissance Services Saog Raysut Cement Co Port Service Corporation Packaging Co Ltd Oman United Insurance Co Oman Textile Holding Co Saog Oman Telecommunications Co Sweets Of Oman Oman Orix Leasing Co. Oman Refreshment Co Oman Packaging Oman Oil Marketing Company 0Man Oil Marketing Co-Pref Oman National Investment Co Oman National Engineering An Oman National Dairy Products Ominvest Oman Medical Projects Oman Ceramic Com Oman Intl Marketing Oman Investment & Finance Hsbc Bank Oman Oman Hotels & Tourism Co Oman Holding International Oman Fiber Optics Oman Flour Mills Oman Filters Industry Oman Fisheries Co Oman Education & Training In Oman & Emirates Inv(Om)50% Oman & Emirates Inv(Emir)50% Oman Europe Foods Industries Oman Cement Co Oman Chlorine Oman Chromite Oman Cables Industry Oman Agricultural Dev Omani Qatari Telecommunicati National Securities Oman Foods International Soa National Pharmaceutical-Rts National Pharmaceutical National Packaging Fac National Mineral Water National Hospitality Institu National Gas Co National Finance Co National Detergents/The National Carpet Factory National Bank Of Oman Saog National Biscuit Industries National Real Estate Develop Natl Aluminium Products Muscat Thread Mills Co Muscat Insurance Company Modern Poultry Farms Muscat National Holding Musandam Marketing & Invest Al Maha Petroleum Products M Muscat Gases Company Saog Majan Glass Company Muscat Finance Al Kamil Power Co Interior Hotels Hotels Management Co Interna Al-Hassan Engineering Co Gulf Stone Gulf Mushroom Company Gulf Invest. Serv. Pref-Shar Gulf Investments Services Gulf International Chemicals Gulf Hotels (Oman) Co Ltd Global Fin Investment Galfar Engineering&Contract Galfar Engineering -Prefer Financial Services Co. Flexible Ind Packages

Lt Price 0.42 0.14 1.61 1.00 0.00 0.14 0.65 1.01 0.21 2.05 1.05 0.55 1.04 0.25 0.37 1.38 1.46 2.45 0.65 1.99 0.45 0.48 0.41 0.28 1.60 1.20 0.15 2.42 0.28 2.27 0.25 0.43 0.30 0.00 0.39 0.00 0.49 0.52 0.30 0.00 0.23 0.00 4.70 0.64 0.02 0.09 0.14 0.25 0.00 1.00 0.77 0.60 3.64 2.46 1.45 0.57 0.17 0.52 0.00 0.10 0.00 0.04 2.05 0.80 0.16 0.72 0.00 0.32 3.75 0.00 0.28 0.16 0.00 0.00 1.65 0.00 2.43 0.86 0.27 0.15 0.31 0.00 1.25 0.17 0.08 0.42 0.25 0.27 0.25 11.50 0.14 0.25 0.43 0.15 0.06

% Chg 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -2.14 0.00 -1.20 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -0.66 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.80 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.63 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.65 0.00 0.00 -0.57 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.37 2.50 0.00 -1.42 -0.40 0.00 0.00 0.00

Volume 783 2,900 15,000 40,000 280,484 1,050 270,384 1,001 4,000 491,354 541,670 34,362 250,000 37,350 144,440 1,031,552 100,010 927,350 59,000 100 10,147 190,270 37,561 427,631 10,273 6,000 62,200 1,038,100 441,550 229,173 28,450 -

Company Name Financial Corp/The Dhofar Tourism Dhofar Poultry Aloula Co Dhofar Intl Development Dhofar Insurance Dhofar University Dhofar Power Co Dhofar Power Co-Pfd Dhofar Fisheries & Food Indu Dhofar Cattlefeed Al Batinah Dev & Inv Dhofar Beverages Co Computer Stationery Inds Construction Materials Ind Cement & Gypsum Pro Marine Bander Al-Rowdha Bank Sohar Bankmuscat Saog Bank Dhofar Saog Al Batinah Hotels Majan College Areej Vegetable Oils Al Jazeera Steel Products Co Al Sallan Food Industry Acwa Power Barka Saog Al-Omaniya Financial Service Taghleef Industries Saog Gulf Plastic Industries Co Al Jazeera Services Al Jazerah Services -Pfd Al-Fajar Al-Alamia Co Ahli Bank Abrasives Manufacturing Co S Al-Batinah Intl Saog

Lt Price 0.15 1.00 0.18 0.53 0.53 0.24 1.30 0.00 0.00 1.28 0.23 0.22 0.26 0.33 0.05 0.00 0.00 0.24 0.68 0.38 1.13 0.47 5.00 0.45 0.00 0.75 0.35 0.00 0.39 0.50 0.55 0.75 0.18 0.05 0.00

% Chg 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.43 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -0.45 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.80 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -1.12 0.00 0.00

Volume 21,000 613,550 71,800 1,525,271 2,925,811 64,055 172,399 -

UAE Company Name National Takaful Company Waha Capital Pjsc Union Insurance Co Union National Bank/Abu Dhab United Insurance Company Union Cement Co United Arab Bank Abu Dhabi National Takaful C Abu Dhabi National Energy Co Sudan Telecommunications Co$ Sorouh Real Estate Company Sharjah Insurance Company Sharjah Cement & Indus Devel Ras Al Khaima Poultry Ras Al Khaimah Co Rak Properties Ras Al-Khaimah National Insu Ras Al Khaimah Ceramics Ras Al Khaimah Cement Co National Bank Of Ras Al-Khai Ooredoo Qsc Umm Al Qaiwain Cement Indust Oman & Emirates Inv(Emir)50% National Marine Dredging Co National Corp Tourism & Hote Sharjah Islamic Bank National Bank Of Umm Al Qaiw National Bank Of Fujairah National Bank Of Abu Dhabi Methaq Takaful Insurance #N/A Invalid Security Gulf Pharmaceutical Ind-Julp Investbank Insurance House Gulf Medical Projects Gulf Livestock Co Green Crescent Insurance Co Gulf Cement Co Foodco Holding Finance House First Gulf Bank Fujairah Cement Industries Fujairah Building Industries Emirates Telecom Corporation Eshraq Properties Co Pjsc Emirates Insurance Co. (Psc) Emirates Driving Company Al Dhafra Insurance Co. P.S. Dana Gas Commercial Bank Internationa Bank Of Sharjah Abu Dhabi Natl Co For Buildi Al Wathba National Insurance Intl Fish Farming Co-Asmak Arkan Building Materials Co Aldar Properties Pjsc Al Ain Ahlia Ins. Co. Al Khazna Insurance Co Agthia Group Pjsc Al Fujairah National Insuran Abu Dhabi Ship Building Co Abu Dhabi National Insurance Abu Dhabi National Hotels Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank Abu Dhabi Aviation

Lt Price 0.90 2.90 1.10 6.05 2.00 1.35 7.00 7.20 1.18 1.16 0.00 4.05 1.14 1.52 1.49 1.06 3.18 3.34 1.32 8.62 147.00 1.25 1.55 8.04 7.00 1.90 3.60 3.70 14.75 1.12 0.00 3.00 3.01 1.36 2.57 4.46 1.12 1.33 6.00 3.48 16.00 1.39 1.60 11.40 1.35 7.25 4.00 7.45 0.75 2.20 1.86 1.02 5.35 6.00 1.89 3.95 43.00 0.75 5.70 300.00 2.88 5.60 3.00 6.26 7.44 3.25

% Chg 0.00 1.40 -5.98 0.67 0.00 3.85 0.00 0.00 3.51 0.00 0.00 0.00 2.70 0.00 -9.70 0.00 0.00 -0.30 -5.04 0.23 0.00 1.63 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.03 3.70 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -3.62 0.00 0.00 -0.31 0.00 0.00 0.44 6.30 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.35 0.00 -2.11 -5.56 0.00 10.70 -5.03 2.07 0.00 0.00 -5.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -0.63 2.62 4.84

Volume 1,322,610 1,817 971,411 60,000 802,871 207,900 14,500 19,479,471 186,014 99,200 99,350 100,500 210,001 1,650,094 979,696 166,123 3,735,474 1,783,890 75,049,961 13,550,141 84,594 512,814 6,581 28,957 27,344,698 4,553,344 327,542 3,705,154 10,000

BAHRAIN Company Name United Paper Industries Bsc United Gulf Investment Corp United Gulf Bank United Finance Co Trafco Group Bsc Takaful International Co Taib Bank -$Us Securities & Investment Co Seef Properties Sudan Telecommunications Co$ Al-Salam Bank Delmon Poultry Co National Hotels Co National Bank Of Bahrain Nass Corp Bsc Khaleeji Commercial Bank Ithmaar Bank Bsc Investcorp Bank -$Us Inovest Co Bsc Intl Investment Group-Kuwait Gulf Monetary Group Global Investment House Kscc Gulf Finance House Ec Bahrain Family Leisure Co Esterad Investment Co B.S.C. Bahrain Duty Free Complex Bahrain Car Park Co Bahrain Cinema Co Bahrain Tourism Co Bahraini Saudi Bank/The Bahrain National Holding Bankmuscat Saog Bmmi Bsc Bmb Investment Bank Bahrain Kuwait Insurance Bahrain Islamic Bank Gulf Hotel Group B.S.C Bahrain Flour Mills Co Bahrain Commercial Facilitie Bbk Bsc Bahrain Telecom Co Bahrain Ship Repair & Engin Albaraka Banking Group Banader Hotels Co Ahli United Bank B.S.C

Lt Price 0.00 0.13 0.00 0.00 0.24 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.20 0.00 0.23 0.00 0.32 0.77 0.18 0.05 0.14 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.19 0.12 0.25 0.81 ` 1.35 0.22 0.00 0.48 0.00 0.81 0.00 0.71 0.16 0.87 0.00 0.67 0.44 0.37 0.00 0.84 0.06 0.81

% Chg 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.77 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -3.57 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.91 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -1.82

Volume 80,000 5,000 30,000 4,030,000 33,667 1,210 7,250 970,000 271,212 5,000 12,000 39,602 8,000 18,428 404,157 1,500 69,400 4,500 48,218 3,000 25,000 8,439 30,297 6,943 10,000 520,000

LATEST MARKET CLOSING FIGURES


Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

8

BUSINESS DJIA

WORLD INDICES Company Name

Exxon Mobil Corp Microsoft Corp Johnson & Johnson General Electric Co Chevron Corp Wal-Mart Stores Inc Jpmorgan Chase & Co Procter & Gamble Co/The Verizon Communications Inc Pfizer Inc Intl Business Machines Corp At&T Inc Coca-Cola Co/The Merck & Co. Inc. Intel Corp Walt Disney Co/The Visa Inc-Class A Shares Cisco Systems Inc Home Depot Inc United Technologies Corp American Express Co Mcdonald’s Corp Boeing Co/The 3M Co Goldman Sachs Group Inc Unitedhealth Group Inc Caterpillar Inc Nike Inc -Cl B Du Pont (E.I.) De Nemours Travelers Cos Inc/The

Lt Price 102.03 41.47 103.36 26.85 130.67 76.25 57.27 80.28 49.38 29.54 183.03 35.30 41.68 58.26 29.96 83.73 208.19 24.61 80.12 117.16 94.71 101.60 132.49 144.43 169.57 80.00 107.34 75.39 67.47 95.50

% Chg -0.68 -0.43 0.53 -0.15 0.30 0.73 -0.88 0.61 -0.08 -0.57 -0.31 0.29 0.29 -0.25 0.10 0.17 -1.45 -0.10 -0.73 -0.06 -0.89 0.25 0.01 0.07 -0.17 1.00 -0.13 -1.08 -0.62 0.10

FTSE 100 Company Name Whitbread Plc Wpp Plc Wolseley Plc William Hill Plc Weir Group Plc/The Vodafone Group Plc United Utilities Group Plc Unilever Plc Tui Travel Plc Tesco Plc Travis Perkins Plc Tullow Oil Plc Severn Trent Plc St James’s Place Plc Standard Chartered Plc Sse Plc Sports Direct International Smith & Nephew Plc Smiths Group Plc Standard Life Plc Shire Plc Sage Group Plc/The Schroders Plc Sainsbury (J) Plc Sabmiller Plc Rsa Insurance Group Plc Randgold Resources Ltd Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc Royal Mail Plc Rio Tinto Plc Rexam Plc Reed Elsevier Plc Royal Dutch Shell Plc-B Shs Royal Dutch Shell Plc-A Shs Royal Bank Of Scotland Group Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc Pearson Plc Persimmon Plc Prudential Plc Petrofac Ltd Old Mutual Plc Next Plc National Grid Plc Wm Morrison Supermarkets Melrose Industries Plc Mondi Plc Marks & Spencer Group Plc Meggitt Plc London Stock Exchange Group Lloyds Banking Group Plc Legal & General Group Plc Land Securities Group Plc Kingfisher Plc Johnson Matthey Plc Itv Plc Intertek Group Plc Imperial Tobacco Group Plc Imi Plc Intercontinental Hotels Grou Intl Consolidated Airline-Di Hsbc Holdings Plc Hammerson Plc Hargreaves Lansdown Plc Glaxosmithkline Plc Glencore Plc Gkn Plc G4s Plc Fresnillo Plc Friends Life Group Ltd Easyjet Plc Experian Plc Diageo Plc Crh Plc Capita Plc Compass Group Plc Centrica Plc Carnival Plc Coca-Cola Hbc Ag-Cdi Bt Group Plc British Sky Broadcasting Gro Burberry Group Plc Bp Plc Bunzl Plc Bhp Billiton Plc British Land Co Plc Bg Group Plc Barratt Developments Plc British American Tobacco Plc Barclays Plc Babcock Intl Group Plc Bae Systems Plc Astrazeneca Plc Aviva Plc Arm Holdings Plc Antofagasta Plc Ashtead Group Plc Aggreko Plc Aberdeen Asset Mgmt Plc Admiral Group Plc Associated British Foods Plc Anglo American Plc #N/A Invalid Security

Lt Price 4,300.00 1,268.00 3,240.00 342.60 2,688.00 194.85 870.50 2,681.00 385.60 290.90 1,622.00 871.50 1,949.00 755.50 1,269.50 1,575.00 760.00 1,065.00 1,289.00 381.80 3,738.00 391.20 2,550.00 321.30 3,395.00 497.80 4,734.00 1,092.00 483.10 3,080.00 527.50 951.50 2,541.50 2,410.50 338.50 5,230.00 1,123.00 1,229.00 1,345.50 1,240.00 196.80 6,365.00 844.50 190.50 269.50 1,095.00 439.50 532.50 1,933.00 77.40 226.00 1,028.00 368.50 3,124.00 173.50 2,782.00 2,667.00 1,536.00 2,281.00 375.60 610.30 566.00 1,259.00 1,590.00 325.40 367.60 262.50 835.00 312.40 1,425.00 1,003.00 1,853.00 1,657.00 1,165.00 1,013.00 321.40 2,269.00 1,383.00 392.50 871.50 1,451.00 515.70 1,630.00 1,893.00 687.50 1,260.00 358.90 3,585.00 236.20 1,170.00 424.20 4,444.00 515.00 891.00 765.00 863.50 1,604.00 440.00 1,557.00 3,071.00 1,451.50 0.00

% Chg 1.30 0.48 1.25 1.93 2.32 -1.64 1.04 0.49 0.63 -0.41 2.59 0.46 1.09 -0.40 -1.05 0.83 0.46 1.14 0.00 0.16 -1.24 0.51 0.75 1.32 -0.31 0.95 2.47 8.12 0.65 0.02 0.29 0.05 0.34 0.12 0.12 1.06 1.45 1.65 -0.74 0.32 0.20 1.03 0.24 -0.21 0.07 2.34 0.23 1.62 1.31 -0.33 0.53 1.68 1.32 -0.13 0.00 -0.04 0.41 0.66 0.71 -0.34 0.03 0.18 -0.63 0.70 -0.08 -0.51 0.46 1.58 -0.35 -0.42 0.30 -0.27 2.86 1.22 0.90 0.34 -0.18 1.02 1.95 0.69 0.35 0.25 -0.37 0.99 1.25 -0.55 3.91 1.21 0.30 -0.09 1.60 1.10 0.88 0.00 0.99 4.04 0.31 1.24 0.26 0.69 0.97 0.00

Volume 371,626 2,736,957 978,824 3,480,540 636,519 62,822,075 1,738,923 1,950,821 1,574,879 13,426,790 1,161,520 2,022,759 452,050 674,864 5,584,301 2,150,376 741,274 2,490,100 640,211 2,596,193 1,368,552 1,524,225 243,226 7,167,408 2,230,582 2,956,348 375,179 15,592,650 2,629,004 3,276,302 3,874,307 2,152,191 3,474,116 3,589,231 5,008,933 964,840 1,702,149 1,433,358 3,677,672 742,397 6,858,817 431,084 5,257,558 6,158,280 3,156,826 1,459,445 2,741,096 1,652,634 212,298 95,672,319 13,990,681 2,277,995 6,983,975 271,798 12,938,413 233,329 1,362,852 606,301 503,749 5,427,307 17,211,497 2,223,326 582,781 15,353,911 15,631,287 2,877,959 7,523,046 780,607 1,734,630 1,087,821 1,887,840 3,942,211 1,892,860 1,594,501 1,688,607 11,139,287 1,225,684 359,826 23,533,844 1,669,238 756,800 20,703,031 442,026 6,381,207 2,365,034 5,981,844 5,630,654 2,641,301 22,848,400 1,004,022 10,919,712 3,098,868 3,815,727 2,920,172 1,541,934 3,312,846 368,069 3,669,140 416,081 528,605 3,255,581 -

TOKYO Company Name Inpex Corp Daiwa House Industry Co Ltd Sekisui House Ltd Kirin Holdings Co Ltd Japan Tobacco Inc Seven & I Holdings Co Ltd Toray Industries Inc Asahi Kasei Corp Sumitomo Chemical Co Ltd Shin-Etsu Chemical Co Ltd Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Kao Corp Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd Astellas Pharma Inc Eisai Co Ltd Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd Fujifilm Holdings Corp Shiseido Co Ltd Jx Holdings Inc

Lt Price 1,635.00 2,061.00 1,375.00 1,517.00 3,671.00 4,263.00 679.00 784.00 386.00 6,291.00 441.00 4,101.00 4,876.00 1,331.00 4,236.00 1,830.00 2,811.00 1,873.00 541.00

% Chg 2.96 2.74 2.23 1.40 2.11 3.15 2.57 2.08 0.26 2.46 0.68 1.06 1.60 2.54 1.10 1.22 0.93 0.64 1.50

Indices

Volume 2,501,014 7,528,598 1,502,194 11,068,764 1,904,594 1,630,122 3,887,066 4,076,969 5,269,104 6,204,908 1,460,218 6,021,809 4,626,128 2,030,701 9,892,509 1,272,384 1,599,559 6,760,095 1,824,747 662,295 1,041,919 1,028,646 997,115 481,023 974,815 1,017,464 893,995 866,382 1,111,237 780,952

Volume 4,670,100 2,569,000 3,687,800 2,780,200 3,342,800 2,842,500 9,013,000 7,611,000 13,037,000 2,016,300 4,857,100 2,344,600 3,649,900 9,674,900 1,064,600 2,456,300 2,172,600 2,483,400 8,680,700

Lt Price

Change

Dow Jones Indus. Avg S&P 500 Index Nasdaq Composite Index S&P/Tsx Composite Index Mexico Bolsa Index Brazil Bovespa Stock Idx Ftse 100 Index Cac 40 Index Dax Index Ibex 35 Tr

16,870.34 1,955.42 4,351.05 15,100.01 42,882.46 55,202.54 6,808.11 4,563.04 10,004.00 11,187.80

-36.28 -1.56 -11.79 -9.19 +79.86 +902.59 +29.55 +32.67 +73.67 +75.50

Nikkei 225 Japan Topix Hang Seng Index All Ordinaries Indx Nzx All Index Bse Sensex 30 Index Nse S&P Cnx Nifty Index Straits Times Index Karachi All Share Index Jakarta Composite Index

15,361.16 1,269.04 23,167.73 5,446.40 1,060.04 25,201.80 7,540.70 3,269.02 21,238.72 4,864.27

+245.36 +19.89 -13.99 +82.49 +0.44 -44.45 -17.50 -7.78 -348.76 -23.59

TOKYO Company Name Bridgestone Corp Asahi Glass Co Ltd Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Meta Sumitomo Metal Industries Kobe Steel Ltd Jfe Holdings Inc Sumitomo Metal Mining Co Ltd Sumitomo Electric Industries Smc Corp Komatsu Ltd Kubota Corp Daikin Industries Ltd Hitachi Ltd Toshiba Corp Mitsubishi Electric Corp Nidec Corp Nec Corp Fujitsu Ltd Panasonic Corp Sharp Corp Sony Corp Tdk Corp Keyence Corp Denso Corp Fanuc Corp Rohm Co Ltd Kyocera Corp Murata Manufacturing Co Ltd Nitto Denko Corp Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nissan Motor Co Ltd Toyota Motor Corp Honda Motor Co Ltd Suzuki Motor Corp Nikon Corp Hoya Corp Canon Inc Ricoh Co Ltd Dai Nippon Printing Co Ltd Nintendo Co Ltd Itochu Corp Marubeni Corp Mitsui & Co Ltd Tokyo Electron Ltd Sumitomo Corp Mitsubishi Corp Aeon Co Ltd Mitsubishi Ufj Financial Gro Resona Holdings Inc Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdin Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Gr Bank Of Yokohama Ltd/The Mizuho Financial Group Inc Orix Corp Daiwa Securities Group Inc Nomura Holdings Inc Nksj Holdings Inc Ms&Ad Insurance Group Holdin Dai-Ichi Life Insurance Tokio Marine Holdings Inc T&D Holdings Inc Mitsui Fudosan Co Ltd Mitsubishi Estate Co Ltd Sumitomo Realty & Developmen East Japan Railway Co West Japan Railway Co Central Japan Railway Co Ana Holdings Inc Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Kddi Corp Ntt Docomo Inc Tokyo Electric Power Co Inc Chubu Electric Power Co Inc Kansai Electric Power Co Inc Tohoku Electric Power Co Inc Kyushu Electric Power Co Inc Tokyo Gas Co Ltd Secom Co Ltd Yamada Denki Co Ltd Fast Retailing Co Ltd Softbank Corp

Lt Price 3,671.00 609.00 329.00 0.00 150.00 2,058.00 1,603.00 1,400.00 28,485.00 2,337.00 1,451.00 6,510.00 733.00 459.00 1,274.00 6,252.00 331.00 742.00 1,238.00 325.00 1,705.00 4,805.00 44,435.00 4,781.00 18,085.00 5,850.00 5,009.00 9,255.00 4,620.00 637.00 980.00 6,013.00 3,609.00 3,158.00 1,603.00 3,402.00 3,438.00 1,247.00 1,068.00 12,410.00 1,303.00 732.00 1,621.00 7,100.00 1,370.00 2,133.00 1,257.00 634.00 575.00 473.00 4,412.00 598.00 211.00 1,673.00 880.00 741.00 2,836.00 2,574.00 1,534.00 3,464.00 1,401.00 3,470.00 2,532.00 4,473.00 7,994.00 4,480.00 14,370.00 236.00 6,440.00 6,086.00 1,771.00 419.00 1,279.00 941.00 1,148.00 1,111.00 585.00 6,304.00 379.00 34,480.00 7,790.00

% Chg 1.55 3.22 3.13 0.00 0.67 1.98 0.94 1.60 1.37 1.13 1.47 1.96 3.39 2.23 3.07 1.68 2.80 4.21 0.49 3.50 3.71 1.48 1.51 -0.06 0.92 2.81 2.12 2.21 0.72 1.43 1.55 2.19 1.55 -2.02 -0.80 0.32 1.06 2.21 1.33 0.57 0.23 0.97 1.50 0.30 1.48 1.09 2.20 2.42 2.86 1.72 2.58 1.53 0.96 3.78 1.15 1.79 1.65 2.39 2.06 0.76 4.09 2.03 3.01 2.69 2.23 1.80 2.02 0.85 2.65 0.26 1.32 0.96 1.67 3.41 1.95 3.73 0.69 1.61 1.61 2.60 2.37

Volume 3,413,000 10,365,000 74,566,000 53,735,000 5,383,300 4,039,000 3,291,000 239,700 3,219,700 4,333,000 1,387,000 36,517,000 43,619,000 9,055,000 1,608,800 31,511,000 19,126,000 11,302,400 66,607,000 16,965,500 1,358,500 226,400 4,477,600 1,251,800 625,100 2,921,100 1,201,600 1,780,500 21,867,000 13,711,400 15,725,300 5,886,200 4,457,200 6,631,500 1,814,200 5,539,800 4,561,400 2,117,000 754,300 8,195,600 10,593,000 12,936,000 900,600 5,569,600 7,976,500 3,242,300 87,461,600 20,252,500 21,010,000 13,863,500 4,627,000 190,923,100 7,587,200 15,455,000 57,919,400 1,092,400 2,936,500 3,394,300 3,022,400 2,889,700 9,678,000 8,356,000 3,175,000 1,831,100 1,020,300 576,500 29,231,000 2,696,800 2,912,900 6,048,000 11,849,800 2,420,800 4,233,500 1,669,500 2,865,100 10,050,000 938,200 7,631,900 707,800 10,986,400

SENSEX Company Name Wipro Ltd Ultratech Cement Ltd United Spirits Ltd Tata Motors Ltd Tata Power Co Ltd Tech Mahindra Ltd Tata Consultancy Svcs Ltd Tata Steel Ltd Sun Pharmaceutical Indus Sesa Sterlite Ltd State Bank Of India Reliance Industries Ltd Power Grid Corp Of India Ltd Punjab National Bank Oil & Natural Gas Corp Ltd Ntpc Ltd Nmdc Ltd Maruti Suzuki India Ltd Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd Larsen & Toubro Ltd Lupin Ltd Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd Jindal Steel & Power Ltd Itc Ltd Infosys Ltd Indusind Bank Ltd Idfc Ltd Icici Bank Ltd Hindustan Unilever Ltd Hindalco Industries Ltd Hero Motocorp Ltd Hdfc Bank Limited Housing Development Finance Hcl Technologies Ltd Grasim Industries Ltd Gail India Ltd Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Dlf Ltd Coal India Ltd Cipla Ltd Cairn India Ltd Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd Bank Of Baroda Bajaj Auto Ltd Bharat Heavy Electricals Bharti Airtel Ltd Axis Bank Ltd Asian Paints Ltd Ambuja Cements Ltd Acc Ltd

Lt Price 537.20 2,755.40 2,601.20 438.60 103.95 2,030.55 2,276.05 519.45 642.55 295.05 2,605.45 1,042.10 131.20 967.35 420.75 152.50 177.00 2,380.05 1,176.10 1,656.70 1,011.30 923.65 318.25 336.25 3,311.90 557.30 129.35 1,411.75 625.75 167.75 2,539.70 825.75 968.45 1,458.60 3,546.15 443.60 2,447.25 207.10 385.15 425.95 366.90 564.45 843.70 2,160.25 240.90 338.15 1,841.80 568.00 219.50 1,455.05

% Chg 1.26 -1.77 -7.18 1.26 -1.28 0.93 2.20 -0.47 1.45 -0.81 -1.37 -2.31 -2.05 -1.19 -4.96 0.66 1.20 -2.26 1.36 -0.88 1.22 -3.81 0.32 0.99 2.20 2.81 1.02 -0.69 1.11 0.57 -0.18 -1.09 1.04 1.51 -0.12 -2.00 1.01 -0.19 -2.27 0.20 -1.20 -4.61 -1.82 0.45 -0.19 -0.62 -0.36 1.81 -0.90 -1.37

Volume 1,937,072 330,204 1,395,526 8,189,826 5,237,762 604,082 1,242,053 4,838,033 1,562,032 8,984,756 2,394,207 5,986,304 3,503,277 805,729 19,936,433 5,157,863 2,947,578 345,484 562,085 1,210,831 866,274 800,607 3,451,949 7,083,377 1,501,152 1,976,113 8,556,123 3,149,963 935,657 16,019,968 412,994 1,285,202 3,783,023 1,330,093 105,577 1,963,161 233,502 9,147,323 4,752,522 2,049,596 2,043,610 4,371,782 1,187,081 261,427 6,112,514 4,490,961 1,131,506 1,226,353 2,301,145 188,090

Europe stocks move firmly higher on Yellen comments Dow Jones London

G

ermany’s DAX 30 index reclaimed the 10,000 level yesterday as European stock markets moved firmly higher after US Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen signalled she was in no hurry to raise interest rates. The Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 0.6% to close at 348.15, after moving in a tight range most of the week. The DAX 30 index climbed back above the 10,000 mark for the first time since June 11, gaining 0.7% on the day to close at 10,004.00. The UK’s FTSE 100 index advanced 0.4% to 6,808.11, while France’s CAC 40 index climbed 0.7% to 4,563.04. The solid moves came after US Fed chief Janet Yellen late on Wednesday said there would be “considerable time” between when the bond taper ends and when rate increases begin. She also said the central bank wasn’t concerned about the stock mar-

ket currently trading around record highs. Yellen’s comments also weakened the dollar and boosted metals prices. UK miners climbed on the back of stronger metals prices yesterday, with shares of Anglo American up 1% and BHP Billiton 1% higher. Among other notable movers, RollsRoyce Holdings climbed to the top of the pan-European index. The engine maker rallied 8.1% after it announced a £1bn ($1.7bn) stock-buyback programme and ruled out any major takeovers. Man Group jumped 6% after the asset manager said it is buying Bostonbased investment firm Numeric Holdings for up to $494mn. Shares of Portugal Telecom SGPS picked up 1.1% after Moody’s Investors Service lifted the company’s rating to Baa3, or investment grade, from Ba2 to reflect “the company’s stronger global diversification and greater financial strength all owing to its merger with Oi SA.” Among decliners, shares of Alstom

HONG KONG

HONG KONG

Company Name Aluminum Corp Of China Ltd-H Bank Of East Asia Bank Of China Ltd-H Bank Of Communications Co-H Belle International Holdings Boc Hong Kong Holdings Ltd Cathay Pacific Airways Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd China Coal Energy Co-H China Construction Bank-H China Life Insurance Co-H China Merchants Hldgs Intl China Mobile Ltd China Overseas Land & Invest China Petroleum & Chemical-H China Resources Enterprise China Resources Land Ltd China Resources Power Holdin China Shenhua Energy Co-H China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd Citic Pacific Ltd Clp Holdings Ltd Cnooc Ltd Cosco Pacific Ltd Esprit Holdings Ltd Fih Mobile Ltd Hang Lung Properties Ltd Hang Seng Bank Ltd Henderson Land Development

tanked 6% after General Electric revised its offer for the French conglomerate’s energy business, which would create three new joint ventures. Shares of Hennes & Mauritz slipped 0.5% after Deutsche Bank cut the Swedish fashion retailer to hold from buy, with the analysts saying shares currently trade at “full price.” Shares of Air France-KLM gave up 3.5% after UBS slashed its rating on the airline to sell from neutral, saying a number of factors that are beyond the company’s control will weigh on its results. UBS mentioned the recent spike in oil prices, due to sectarian violence in Iraq, as one of the issues. Eurozone finance ministers gathered in Luxembourg for a Eurogroup meeting, with Greece-among other things on the agenda. The International Monetary Fund, one of Greece’s international lenders, warned last week the country needs to improve its publicsector efficiency dramatically, to meet new fiscal targets and avoid fresh austerity measures. The IMF also identified a €12.6bn ($17bn) gap in funding.

Lt Price 2.80 32.25 3.48 5.31 8.35 23.10 14.46 138.00 4.12 5.83 20.90 24.25 75.50 19.52 7.44 21.25 14.24 20.60 22.15 12.08 13.36 63.70 14.12 10.74 11.06 4.73 23.90 127.20 46.50

% Chg -0.36 0.16 -6.45 0.00 1.83 0.87 -0.69 2.60 -0.24 1.04 -1.65 -0.41 -0.26 -2.64 -0.13 0.24 -3.00 -0.72 -0.45 0.17 -0.30 -0.08 0.57 -0.56 -1.60 -1.05 0.21 0.08 -0.64

Volume 5,984,000 1,189,991 348,421,427 7,811,203 23,129,420 6,824,224 2,459,120 4,555,653 10,244,000 294,715,532 25,279,575 16,164,622 9,610,759 31,535,357 64,979,294 1,909,120 20,892,085 7,630,847 14,479,019 26,102,668 8,586,415 2,286,979 58,333,942 3,154,723 4,252,492 27,405,006 7,607,273 886,730 2,485,245

Company Name Hong Kong & China Gas Hong Kong Exchanges & Clear Hsbc Holdings Plc Hutchison Whampoa Ltd Ind & Comm Bk Of China-H Li & Fung Ltd Mtr Corp New World Development Petrochina Co Ltd-H Ping An Insurance Group Co-H Power Assets Holdings Ltd Sino Land Co Sun Hung Kai Properties Swire Pacific Ltd-A Tencent Holdings Ltd Wharf Holdings Ltd

Lt Price 16.76 144.50 80.90 104.00 4.94 11.14 29.20 9.10 9.67 61.35 66.55 12.78 108.00 94.00 115.80 56.00

% Chg 0.24 -0.21 0.00 0.58 0.00 0.36 0.00 1.45 0.83 -1.13 -0.37 1.27 1.03 -0.48 -0.34 -0.71

Volume 4,757,189 3,418,315 6,456,820 2,324,748 139,740,935 7,278,683 1,676,668 23,084,059 87,567,250 11,585,585 1,312,277 6,520,028 4,182,001 973,580 14,234,491 7,922,053

GCC INDICES Indices Doha Securities Market Saudi Tadawul Kuwait Stocks Exchange Bahrain Stock Exchage Oman Stock Market Abudhabi Stock Market Dubai Financial Market

Lt Price 12,453.76 9,648.26 6,940.24 1,434.84 6,912.97 4,803.79 4,593.27

Change -137.56 +9.21 -25.69 -4.42 +9.73 +22.51 +70.97

“Information contained herein is believed to be reliable and had been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. The accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. This publication is for providing information only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation for a purchase or sale of any of the financial instruments mentioned. Gulf Times and Doha Bank or any of their employees shall not be held accountable and will not accept any losses or liabilities for actions based on this data.”

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10

Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

BUSINESS

Hungary to scrap FX loans in relief scheme Banks to pay for rate hikes, exchange rate margin: Fidesz lawmaker; planned law will also tackle exchange rate risk on loans; borrowers’ monthly repayments to drop, will be fixed in forints Reuters Budapest

N

ew measures to help borrowers could cost Hungary’s banks 400bn forints ($1.77bn) and they will have to foot most of the bill for reducing forex loan repayments and fixing them in forints, a ruling party lawmaker told Reuters. Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government is preparing legislation to resolve the problem of about $15bn worth of mortgages, mostly denominated in Swiss francs, which Hungarian households took out prior to the 2008 economic crisis. The loans have become expensive to service as the forint has weakened and the Swiss currency firmed. Hungary’s mostly foreign-owned banks fear the new government measures will inflict fresh losses on them after years of heavy taxation and earlier costly schemes to help borrowers. The ruling Fidesz party says a Supreme Court decision on Monday, which said banks had overcharged borrowers for foreign currency loans, authorises the government to step in and finally resolve the problem. Gergely Gulyas, a Fidesz lawmaker involved in drawing up the legislation, said the court ruling made clear that

banks must compensate borrowers for unlawful interest rate increases, and for the unfair exchange rate margin applied on the loans. This margin favoured banks, which applied different exchange rates when disbursing the loans and when calculating repayments. Gulyas said settling these two issues could cost banks some 400bn forints in total, based on various estimates, though the government had not yet made calculations of its own. “These figures are in the ballpark,” he said in an interview late on Wednesday, when asked about costs for banks. Asked if lenders could bear this new burden he said: “We are confident. The same way as borrowers have managed to withstand these unlawful practices applied by the banks, banks will also be able to withstand the rectification of this.” Gulyas said the new legislation, which he said parliament could approve in September or October, would also tackle the issue of the shift in the exchange rate. Hungarian borrowers’ monthly repayments on the loans have soared and Fidesz wants to reduce and fix repayments in forints. “We hope this will result in a meaningful decline in monthly repayments and even, in the best cases, in outstanding principal, as soon as this year,” Gulyas said. “Foreign currency mortgages as a product will cease to exist (by the end of 2014) and everyone will pay fixed monthly instalments in forints.” He said the scale of the reduction

in borrowers’ payments had not been decided, adding that the state could in theory absorb some of the costs of this measure but that most would have to be covered by the banks. A previous government scheme in 2011, which allowed borrowers to repay forex loans at below-market rates, cost banks over 1bn euros in losses but they were allowed to write some of that off against taxes. Banks operating in Hungary include units of Belgium’s KBC, Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank and Erste Bank, Italy’s UniCredit and Intesa Sanpaolo, and German-owned MKB Bank. Gulyas said the elimination of foreign currency loans would bring multiple benefits including easing the burden on hundreds of thousands of families, and reducing the economy’s exposure to investor speculation over the forint’s exchange rate. “The government has no exchange rate target but such a magnitude of household foreign currency exposure always had to be a consideration in economic policy. This will obviously ease once (these loans) are no longer denominated in foreign currencies,” he said. But “the government has no exchange rate target, and as such, it does not aim to weaken the forint,” he added. Gulyas also said the elimination of the toxic loans could boost domestic consumption and help kick-start lending. He said the solution will apply to everyone who held a foreign currency mortgage or home equity loan — loans amounting to about $15bn based on central bank data.

A view of the central bank of Hungary. The Hungarian government is preparing legislation to resolve the problem of about $15bn worth of mortgages, mostly denominated in Swiss francs, which Hungarian households took out prior to the 2008 economic crisis.


Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

11

BUSINESS

Alstom CEO says Siemens can ‘dream’ of asset swap GE to submit improved offer: sources; state bank BPI ready to take Alstom stake; Alstom’s Kron says shareholders must decide; government says aim is to “up stakes” Reuters Paris

A

lstom CEO Patrick Kron told an investor conference that Germany’s Siemens could “dream” of swapping assets with the French engineer but it was for shareholders to decide, conference host Exane BNP Paribas said yesterday. Alstom’s board is due to choose by Monday between a €12.4bn ($16.8bn) cash offer for its power arm from US suitor General Electric — which GE boss Jeff Immelt was expected to improve upon later yesterday — and a rival proposal from Siemens and Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI). The two offers are very different in nature: Whereas Siemens would take just the gas turbines arm of Alstom and MHI minority stakes in its other power activities, GE wants all of Alstom’s energy arm, which includes its thermal power, renewable power and grid businesses and accounts for 70% of its revenue. Sources close to Alstom say it regards the GE offer as the only one having binding status at this stage, despite Siemens saying that its proposal with MHI values Alstom’s power arm at €14.2bn — nearly €2bn more than GE’s. “They want our gas activities... and we should take their Transport business...well they are allowed to dream,” Kron told an investment seminar hosted by Exane on Wednesday, the Paris-based investment house wrote in a note. “At the end of the day, despite some impressions to the contrary, it will be the shareholders who decide,” it further quoted him as saying, noting Kron stressed the board will review the offers based on their financial criteria and feasibility. An Alstom spokeswoman declined to comment.

A French high speed train made by Alstom waits for passengers at the Nantes railway station, western France. Alstom’s board is due to choose by Monday between a €12.4bn ($16.8bn) cash offer for its power arm from US suitor General Electric and a rival proposal from Siemens and Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The tug-of-war for the power business of the 86-year-old French company has drawn in France’s Socialist government, which has given itself powers to veto any deal in the name of protecting local jobs and influence over a key sector. In a new twist, a source close to the talks said the French state bank BPI was ready to take a stake in the future Alstom regardless of whom it tied its fate to — either taking a stake in its remaining transport arm in the event of a deal with GE or taking a stake in Alstom as a whole

Rolls-Royce to return £1bn to investors, shares jump Reuters London Rolls-Royce shares jumped 7% yesterday after the British aeroengine maker decided to buy back shares worth £1bn ($1.69bn) instead of making any major acquisitions. The company said it was on track to return to earnings growth next year, reassuring investors whose confidence was shaken by a cut in profit guidance in February and an engine order cancellation this month. Rolls-Royce shares climbed to 1,076 pence, their highest in over two months, leading Britain’s benchmark FTSE 100 index. The stock had lost 17% of its value over the past six months. The buyback, equivalent to about 5% of the Rolls-Royce’s £19bn market capitalisation, will be funded partly by proceeds from the £785mn disposal of its gas turbine unit to German conglomerate Siemens AG, agreed in May. “As no material acquisitions are planned, and reflecting the strength of our balance sheet, we will return the proceeds of the energy sale to our shareholders,” chief executive John Rishton said ahead of an investor day event yesterday. Rolls-Royce had last year considered a bid for Finnish ship and power plant engine maker Wartsila and analysts had said such a deal could re-emerge. Shares in that company, currently worth about €8bn, traded down 3%. Rolls-Royce had looked at buying Wartsila as a way to strengthen its Marine engine business, but the idea left some investors wondering whether the company was spending indiscriminately in the pursuit

of growth. The share buyback “shows they ‘get’ how much the Wartsila story frightened investors”, said Edison analyst Sash Tusa. In further evidence of a more rigourous approach to spending, Rolls-Royce said it would reduce group capital expenditure to 4% of underlying revenue over the next three to five years from 4.9% at the end of 2013. “The buyback is good news because it shows the company is committing itself to very tight capital discipline, prioritising rewarding shareholders ahead of expanding the footprint. This is exactly the message we were looking for after a challenging six months,” said Espirito Santo analyst Edward Stacey. Rolls-Royce joins a number of British blue-chip companies signalling a focus on returning cash to shareholders. Oil companies BP and Shell have this year said they will rein in spending and return spare cash. Vodafone in February directed the $24bn made on the sale of its stake in US operator Verizon Wireless back to investors. Analysts expect Rolls-Royce to post flat pretax profit of £1.7bn for 2014. Before February’s warning, they had expected pretax profit growth of 8% this year. The company reiterated earlier guidance that it was on track to return to growth in 2015, when it is due to ramp up production of aero engines. The company has enjoyed strong profits and revenue growth for 11 years as soaring demand for more fuel-efficient engines for passenger planes made by Airbus and Boeing boosted its civil aerospace unit, which generates about half of its sales.

if the Siemens-MHI proposal were to win out. Either scenario would mean the French state ending up with a minority stake in some Alstom activities and would be possible if 29-percent shareholder Bouygues decided to sell some or all of its stake in the group. Later yesterday General Electric’s chief executive Jeff Immelt was to unveil an improved offer for Alstom’s energy arm to the French government and Alstom unions, labour representatives and sources close to the US conglomerate said.

Le Figaro daily reported that GE would propose selling part of its business to Alstom and have the French firm remain a shareholder in its power grid business, in a bid to allay French concerns about the national champion losing its influence. “He (Immelt) will offer to sell to Alstom Transport GE’s rail signalling business whose revenue is estimated at 600mn euros against 1.4bn euros for Alstom’s signalling business,” Le Figaro said without citing its sources. “In addition it would re-

nounce buying the whole energy business of the French group and propose that it (Alstom) stays as shareholder of the grid business.” Immelt told French lawmakers last month his group would set up global headquarters for the grid, hydro, offshore wind and steam turbines businesses in France. Immelt also said GE was considering a tie-up in rail signalling that would give Alstom control of that business. A source with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday that the government would

make its opinion known ahead of the decisive Alstom board meeting. Finance Minister Michel Sapin reiterated yesterday the official government line that it is neutral. “We are not here to support one position or the other,” he told French digital channel iTele. “(The government) is trying to up the stakes, in simple terms, it is trying to get improved offers and so the Alstom board will have better offers to choose from than what they did to start off with.”

Santander sells half of custody business Reuters Madrid/London The eurozone’s biggest bank Santander said it is selling a 50% stake in its $1.3bn securities custody business to a group led by Warburg Pincus, marking the third major deal between the bank and US private equity firm. The business has 738bn euros in assets under custody in Spain, Mexico and Brazil, and Santander said on Thursday it would book a €410mn ($556mn) net capital gain on the sale, which values the business at €975mn ($1.3bn). Santander will keep a 50% stake. Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek is also part of the group which will become a new partner of Santander in the business. Santander said the deal will allow the custody business to expand and it plans to increase investment in its technology. Banks across Europe remain under pressure to shed assets and improve their capital. Santander’s core equity capital ratio should get a 12 basis point boost from the custody unit deal, Citigroup analysts said. The deal, which allows it to make a capital gain but retain exposure to future profits and growth, has echoes of Santander’s agreement to sell a 50% stake in its asset management business to Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic last April, allowing the bank to book a profit and bring in partners. Warburg Pincus also led a $1bn investment in Santander’s US automotive finance lending business in 2011, and still holds a stake following its flotation in January. Warburg Pincus will take a bigger stake than Temasek in the Santander custody business, an industry source said. The two sides did not disclose how they will split the deal. Warburg Pincus, with more than $40bn of assets under management, has bought financial assets in Brazil, China and India, using a so-called partnership model, and is expanding in Europe. Daniel Zilberman, its financial services managing director, told Reuters last year the reluctance of banks to sell 100% of assets at a knock-down price had encouraged him to pitch coming in as a partner instead.

Bank of England flexes muscles to improve banking standards Reuters London

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he Bank of England (BoE) is determined to improve business standards at banks, and has already forced an unidentified firm to limit its lending and deposit-taking until it met regulatory requirements, it said yesteday. Policymakers and regulators see changing the business culture at banks as essential to lasting reform in an industry that had to be bailed out by taxpayers during the 2007-09 financial crisis. The BoE’s supervisory arm, the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), yesterday set out how it already has — and will in future — used its powers to enforce change in an industry tarnished by scandals over mis-sold products and the rigging of benchmark interest rates. In a policy statement, the PRA said it was looking out for firms that failed to conduct their business in a safe and sound way, poorly functioning boards that did not challenge executives, and inadequate control of risks. The first step would be to step up the intensity of supervision, increase reporting requirements and set a deadline for improvements, it said. “The PRA may proceed to an enforcement investigation without having exhausted all other supervisory options,” it added. In June 2013, Britain’s parliament published a report on banking standards that made several recommendations, including a new professional body and more women on trading floors. It also called for a “special measures” tool for regulators, but the BoE said at the time that no new tools were needed and the PRA statement set out how exist-

The BoE’s supervisory arm, the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), yesterday set out how it already has — and will in future — used its powers to enforce change in an industry tarnished by scandals over mis-sold products and the rigging of benchmark interest rates. ing tools could be used. The PRA said it expected banks to co-operate in resolving cultural issues but wouldn’t hesitate to use formal powers if it felt a lender wouldn’t respond appropriately. The watchdog could appoint an outside person to review operations at the lender’s cost, or if a bank’s board or top staff lacked the necessary skills, deposittaking could be barred for six months, it added. The PRA gave examples of where it had already used its powers to improve standards, such as ordering a firm to put in place committees to tackle regulatory concerns or requirements. It has also appointed an outside person, reporting directly to the PRA, to oversee compliance with its requirements. A firm also agreed to limit its balance sheet growth — essentially lending and/ or deposit-taking — to a set percentage a year until the watchdog was satisfied that

more robust governance structures were in place. The PRA did not identify any of the firms in its examples. Martin Wheatley, chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, launched last year to crack down on bad behaviour at banks, has said top bank executives were getting the message but that it had yet to fully trickle down to lower levels. The most dramatic attempt to change a bank’s culture came in July 2012 when the BoE pushed out Barclays’ chief executive Bob Diamond a month after the lender was fined for rigging the Libor benchmark interest rate. Meanwhile, Bank of England’s policymaker Ian McCafferty said that economic data over the next few months will have a critical influence on when the central bank raises interest rates, adding to signs that a rate rise is possible later this year. McCafferty’s comments on monetary policy in a speech in London yesterday largely echo those he gave in a radio interview 10 days ago, and follow BoE Governor Mark Carney’s warning last week that markets had underpriced the risk of an early rate rise. “The decision on when it will become appropriate to begin the normalisation of policy is becoming more balanced as the economy has strengthened through the early summer,” he said. “As ever, our decisions on monetary policy will depend critically on the evolution of the data over the coming months.” McCafferty also discussed Britain’s weak productivity at length, a key issue for monetary policy as it is likely to generate inflation pressures if it does not start to recover as growth strengthens. Most of the weakness in productivity appeared to be related to factors that would not improve as the economy re-

covered, such as increased regulation and a long-term decline in easily accessible North Sea oil reserves, he concluded. “Some of the weakness may well be more persistent, and that a more rapid recovery in productivity than currently expected over the next couple of years is perhaps hoping for too much,” he said. McCafferty stressed that he did not want interest rates to rise rapidly, and that increasing rates earlier rather than later was one way to do this, describing it as “an additional reason not to hold back too long”. “It will be critically important that rises in Bank Rate are delivered, as far as we are able, at only a modest, gradual pace,” he said. How widely McCafferty’s views are shared on the MPC is not completely clear. Only a minority of policymakers at June’s MPC meeting shared his view that the case for rate rises is becoming more balanced — although that does include Carney and new chief economist Andy Haldane. Haldane said late on Wednesday that it would be better for the BoE to be on the front foot and take a proactive stance on raising rates. New BoE policymaker Kristin Forbes, who starts next month, also highlighted costs to waiting too long to raise rates in her first testimony to British lawmakers on Wednesday. But Martin Weale, probably the most hawkish member of the MPC, said in a radio interview earlier broadcast yesterday that there was no case for an immediate rate rise. And the minutes showed that all policymakers thought the economy could grow further before rates needed to go up, with wage growth weak and inflation below target and subsequently hitting a 4-1/2 year low.


Friday, June 20, 2014

BUSINESS

GULF TIMES

Your days are numbered, top online entrepreneur tells retailers Reuters Paris

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he founder of Rocket Internet, the German venture capital company behind dozens of online start-ups, warned the retail industry yesterday that e-commerce and smartphones would mean there will be little future for stores in emerging markets. Oliver Samwer, 40, told the annual summit of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), an industry network of some 400 retailers and big brands from 70 countries, that many of them risked being left behind as the growth of ecommerce accelerates.

“You only have stores because there was no Internet, but that does not mean there is a right to have a store,” Samwer said, adding that traditional retailers focused too much on older shoppers and not enough on smartphone-savvy youngsters. “What you fear will come much faster,” he warned. Rocket Internet is bidding to create the largest |Internet empire outside the US and China, seeking to replicate the success of Amazon and Alibaba in markets the US and Chinese e-commerce groups have yet to dominate, such as Africa, Latin America and Russia. After his speech, Samwer traded blows about whether stores will survive, in a panel discussion with Mark Price, man-

aging director of British grocer Waitrose, who introduced himself to Samwer saying: “Hi - I’m Mark, I’m a dinosaur.” Samwer founded Rocket Internet in 2007 with his brothers Marc and Alexander and it is already active in 102 countries, making revenue of $1bn in 2013 via online fashion stores including Dafiti in Latin America and Lamoda in Russia, as well as Jumia for general merchandise in Africa. Sources have told Reuters the company is considering a stock market listing in Frankfurt later this year which could value it at up to 5bn euros ($6.8bn), as buoyant capital markets have encouraged a flurry of e-commerce flotations this year, with most focus on Alibaba. Samwer said the stock market value

of Amazon and Alibaba would soon dwarf the world’s biggest retailer WalMart. “What would you buy for your children? I would buy Amazon and Rocket (shares),” he said, adding he believed French retailer Carrefour would have been better off buying a stake in Alibaba than trying to open stores in China. Noting that 75% of the world’s population lives in the markets Rocket is targeting, Samwer said e-commerce had even better prospects in emerging markets than in developed economies, as online sites do not have to compete with such established stores. “If you don’t have to share with offline, your percentage will be much higher,” he said. “It will all move on-

line, you will have 10% left that will not move online.” Samwer said Rocket Internet ventures around the world already had 44mn fans on Facebook, more than Nike and Apple combined, noting that the cities with the most active users of Facebook are Bangkok, Jakarta and Istanbul, with none of the top 10 cities in the US. Deutsche Post, the world’s largest postal and logistics company which is profiting from booming deliveries for online retailers, predicts e-commerce could account for up to 40% of total trade by 2025 in developed countries, from under 10% in most markets now, and up to 30% in emerging markets, up from a tiny fraction today. The Samwers have raised hundreds

US jobs, factory data point to strengthening economy Weekly jobless claims drop 6,000; claims fall between May and June payrolls survey periods; continuing claims lowest since October 2007 Reuters Washington

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he number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits fell last week and factory activity in the mid-Atlantic region accelerated in June, more evidence the economy was strengthening after a disastrous first quarter. “The economy has improved markedly in recent months,” said Jim Baird, chief investment officer at Plante Moran Financial Advisors in Kalamazoo, Michigan. “Signs point to continued growth in the coming quarters, and further improvement in labour market conditions.” Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 312,000 for the week ended June 14, the Labor Department said yesterday. The four-week moving average for new claims, considered a better measure of underlying labour market conditions as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 3,750 to 311,750, not far from a seven-year low touched in May. Separately, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank said its business activity index jumped to 17.8 this month, the highest level since September, from 15.4 in May. Any reading above zero indicates expansion in the region’s manufacturing. Gains were driven by a surge in new orders, as well as an increase in factory employment and working hours. There were also improvements in delivery times, shipments, and unfilled orders, which rebounded strongly from May’s slump. Another report showed a gauge of future growth rose for a fourth straight month in May. The reports joined data on employment and the manufacturing and services sectors in painting an upbeat picture of the economy after a contraction in the first quarter. The government said last month the

A Cummins employee works to manufacture diesel truck engines at the Cummins Mid-Range Engine Plant in Columbus, Indiana. Factory activity in the mid-Atlantic region accelerated in June, more evidence the US economy is strengthening after a disastrous first quarter. economy shrank at a 1% annual pace, but economists say more recent data have suggested the contraction was even deeper. But second-quarter data, including the reports yesterday, bolstered the case the Federal Reserve made this week that the economy was bouncing back. The central bank on Wednesday slashed its 2014 growth forecast, but it further reduced the amount of money it is pumping into the economy each month through bond purchases and

hinted at a slightly faster pace of interest rate increases starting in 2015. US financial markets were little moved by the data as traders continued to digest Wednesday’s statement from the Fed’s policy-setting committee. The claims data covered the survey week for the government’s report on June’s nonfarm payrolls, which will be released in two weeks. The four-week average for claims fell 11,000 between the May and June survey periods, suggesting payroll growth probably increased from last month’s gain of

217,000 jobs. “The ongoing low levels of initial claims suggest there is a good chance that we will see another respectable advance in payrolls,” said Guy Berger, an economist at RBS in Stamford, Connecticut. Other measures such as job openings and hiring intentions by small businesses have also pointed to a healthier labour market. The economy has recovered the 8.7mn jobs lost during the recession and has enjoyed four straight months of job gains above 200,000, the strongest stretch since early 2000.

The claims report showed the number of people still receiving benefits after an initial week of aid hit its lowest level since October 2007 in the week ended June 7. The so-called continuing claims have been trending lower, an indication that some long-term unemployed were finding work. The unemployment rate for people collecting unemployment benefits fell to 1.9% in the week ended June 7, the lowest since October 2007, from 2% the prior week.

of millions of dollars of funding for Rocket Internet and its ventures, including from Swedish investor AB Kinnevik, billionaire American industrialist Leonard Blavatnik, JP Morgan Asset Management and retailers like Tesco and Germany’s Tengelmann and Rewe. Before founding Rocket, the Samwers had success with German online auction site Alando, which they sold to eBay and mobile phone content provider Jamba which they sold to VeriSign. Rocket Internet also helped launch Zalando, Europe’s biggest online fashion retailer, which is considering its own stock market listing. Rocket is no longer invested in Zalando, but the Samwer brothers’ European Founders Fund still owns 18%.

US says basic outline in place for int’l services trade deal Reuters Washington The outline of an international trade deal opening up services markets is in place, US Trade Representative Michael Froman said on Wednesday, ahead of the next round of negotiations next week. The Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), which seeks to free up trade in services such as communications and banking, is being negotiated among 50 countries that make up nearly two-thirds of global services trade. “The basic framework of the agreement is in place, initial market access offers have been exchanged, and sector-specific work in areas like telecommunications and financial services is in full swing,” Froman said, while cautioning there was still a lot of work to do. Issues that come under the umbrella of TISA range from cross-border data flows and monopolies by state-owned enterprises to air pollution monitoring, shipping and postal services. In the US, services account for 75% of economic output and 80% of private sector jobs; in the European Union, they account for almost 75% of gross domestic product and employment. But their importance in trade is often under-estimated. The hidden value of services can be almost as much again as raw services export figures suggest, according to calculations from the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Taking into account the value added by services such as transport, logistics, finance and communication, the services sector contributes around half the value of total exports in the US, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy. In China, where services make up only about 10% of gross exports, services value-added amounts are worth nearly onethird of the total.

GM e-mails show more unheeded warnings about ignition defects Reuters Washington

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S lawmakers have accused General Motors Co of a “disturbing pattern” of neglecting safety and revealed e-mails from 2005 in which a GM employee warned a “big recall” may be necessary over an ignition-switch problem that was only addressed this week. GM chief executive Mary Barra held steady during her third public appearance before Congress since the No 1 US automaker started recalling in February millions of vehicles for an ignition flaw linked to at least 13 deaths over the past decade. But Barra faced tough questions about widespread safety failures at GM. The automaker has issued 44 recalls this year totalling about 20mn vehicles, mostly in the US. Nearly 6.5mn of the vehicles were recalled for ignition switch-related issues. In the e-mails made public on Wednesday, GM employee Laura Andres in 2005 sent one to engineers warning that a 2006 Chevy Impala Special car she was driving had experienced an engine stall when moving between a paved road and gravel.

She said a technician had advised the problem may be with part of the ignition switch. “I think this is a serious safety problem, especially if this switch is on multiple programs. I’m thinking big recall,” Andres said in an e-mail sent to 11 other GM employees including the vice president of North American engineering. Andres could not immediately be reached for comment. The 2006 Impala was not recalled until on Monday of this week, as part of an additional 3mn cars that GM recalled for an ignition-switch issue. GM in February and March recalled 2.6mn cars, including the Chevrolet Cobalt, for a separate ignition switch issue in which the car could unexpectedly stall, disabling air bags, power steering and power brakes. A GM investigation found the automaker had ignored warnings about the deadly defect for more than a decade. “This latest recall appears to follow the same disturbing pattern as the Cobalt breakdown,” House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton said about the email exchange he revealed on Wednesday. When asked by reporters about the e-mails after the hearing, Barra said, “I think the important thing is, as it re-

lates to stalls, we consider stalls to be a safety issue. And if it is because of a defect, we’re going to take action.” Barra appeared alongside Anton Valukas, the GM-hired investigator who delivered a report earlier this month about the recall scandal that spared top executives and pinned blame on lower-level engineers and lawyers. The report said those employees either did not appreciate the danger of the flaw or did not share the risk with their superiors. Barra, who became CEO only in January but is a GM veteran of more than 30 years, has said she did not become aware of the problem until December 2013 and was not fully briefed until January of this year. “That the most senior GM executives may not have known about a defect that caused more than a dozen deaths is frankly alarming and does not absolve them of responsibility for this tragedy,” said Democratic Representative Diana DeGette of Colorado. The company has pushed out 15 employees since the recalls were announced, including some high-ranking officials, but the departures have not affected the top level of executives. The most senior executive on the Andres e-mail chain about the Impala was

Ed Koerner, who was named vice-president of North American engineering in spring 2005, before Andres sent her first e-mail. He retired in 2009. He could not immediately be reached for comment. Another familiar name on the Andres e-mail chain was former GM engineer Ray DeGiorgio, one of the 15 employees pushed out. The former company engineer initially approved an ignition switch design for the Cobalt that did not meet company specifications. He later approved a redesign without changing the part number, an unheardof move in the industry. Lawmakers also said they are concerned that the number of recalls connected to ignition-switch issues continues to grow. GM’s recalls this year include one last Friday for more than half a million Chevrolet Camaros for an ignitionswitch issue that is not related to the earlier recall of Cobalts and other small cars. GM is taking recall-related charges of $2bn so far this year. GM has not tied any fatalities to the more recent ignition-related recalls. “We are currently conducting what I believe is the most exhaustive, comprehensive safety review in the history of the company,” Barra said on Wednes-

day. But lawmakers pounced on the mounting recalls as potential evidence of bigger safety problems at GM. Republican Representative Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania, chairman of the oversight subcommittee holding the hearing, said the latest ignitionrelated recalls are “hauntingly similar” to the prior recalls connected to more than 13 deaths. Separately on Wednesday, US safety regulators said they have opened two investigations into Chrysler Group vehicles involving possibly faulty ignition switches that can be bumped out of the “run” position, disabling air bags in the event of a crash. The issue is similar to the GM recalls. No deaths or injuries are linked to the ignition-switch issue suspected in about 1.25mn vehicles covering five Chrysler models involved in the new investigations by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the agency said. Chrysler is a unit of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Barra said in her testimony on Wednesday that GM is addressing any and all safety concerns. She also said the company is committed to change. “I want this terrible experience permanently etched in our collective

memories. This is a tragic problem that never should have happened. And it must never happen again.” Barra also said a compensation fund that GM is creating will cover all victims who suffered a serious physical injury, as well as families of victims who died. She said there will not be a cap on the fund. Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, an outspoken critic of GM’s response to the ignition issues, on Wednesday morning gathered with victims’ families and called on GM to fully compensate those impacted. “All the consequences should be compensated and they should be done without the need for elaborate standards of proof or reconstruction of accidents,” he said. GM and Barra have so far weathered the scandal with few signs of permanent damage. The automaker’s May US sales were up 12.6% from the prior year, well above analyst expectations, and its share price is slightly stronger than just before the announcement of the first ignition-related recall on February 13. Also, GM on Wednesday received more awards for initial quality from J D Power than any other automaker in the US market.


MLB | Page 9

TENNIS | Page 10

Kershaw’s no-hitter sees Dodgers beat Rockies

Murray beats Robredo as he warms up for Wimbledon

Friday, June 20, 2014 Sha’baan 22, 1435 AH

GULF TIMES PREVIEW: ITALY VS COSTA RICA

7PM QATAR TIME

Pirlo’s in-form Italy take on Campbell and the heat Italy aim to take a major step towards qualification to the knock-out rounds with a win against Costa Rica. But they face two formidable opponents in Recife: striker Joel Campbell and the high temperature

(From left to right) Italy’s defender Matteo Darmian, midfielder Antonio Candreva, midfielder Andrea Pirlo and forward Mario Balotelli run during a training session in Mangaratiba. (AFP)

DPA Mangaratiba, Brazil

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victory against Costa Rica would “virtually qualify” Italy for the next round, according to Daniele De Rossi. But the Roma midfielder and his team-mates know all too well that this is easier said than done. “There are no weak teams anymore, everyone has learnt to play football. Just look at Costa Rica: Back in 1990, all the members of the national team played their club football at home. These days, quite a lot of them play in Europe,” De Rossi said ahead of today’s match. Despite being an unknown quantity at the Italia 90 World Cup, Costa Rica still managed to reach the last 16 thanks to memorable defeats of Scotland and Sweden. And now that they lead Group D the so-called “Group of Death” owing to the fact that it includes three past world champions - on goal difference, their confidence is more than justified. “We have taken a big step forward [against Uruguay], one that is really going to help us ... Now we want to beat Italy and England,” said Jorge Luis Pinto, Costa Rica’s Colombian coach. Having won their opening game against England 2-1, the Azzurri now face two formidable opponents in Recife: star

striker Joel Campbell and the climate. “I had said in an interview a few months ago that they would have been a tough opponent for everyone. That’s because I played against Olympiacos in the [European] Champions League and we were really impressed by Campbell,” goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu, who plays his club football for Paris Saint-Germain. Campbell was on target in Costa Rica’s 3-1 rout of Uruguay but impressed with his all-round display and also set up Marcos Urena to score the decisive third goal. Despite being just 21 years old, Campbell has already played in the Greek, French and Spanish leagues. It is no surprise that Premier League giants Arsenal have immediately secured his return to the club after a three-year loan spell. But it is not just Campbell that has the Azzurri worried.“They run a lot, they are very technical and the game will require a lot of concentration [on our part],” Sirigu said of today’s game. “We will face them with a healthy dose of respect,” De Rossi said. In fact, Costa Rica’s win over Uruguay may have ended up playing in Italy’s favour. The Italians have traditionally fared badly against low-ranking opposition, only producing the kind of football they are capable of against more illustrious teams. The Tica’s victory will therefore serve as a poignant reminder that the

Factbox: Italy vs Costa Rica Where: Pernambuco arena, Recife. Capacity: 42,610 Referee: Enrique Osses (Chile) Probable teams: Italy: 1-Gianluigi Buffon; 20-Gabriel Paletta, 4-Matteo Darmian, 15-Andrea Barzagli, 3-Giorgio Chiellini; 23-Marco Verratti, 16-Daniele De Rossi, 6-Antonio Candreva, 21-Andrea Pirlo, 8-Claudio Marchisio; 9-Mario Balotelli Costa Rica: 1-Keylor Navas; 16-Cristian Gamboa, 3-Giancarlo Gonzalez, 4-Michael Umana, 7-Christian Bolanos, 6-Oscar Duarte, 17-Yeltsin Tejeda, 15-Junior Diaz; 5-Celso Borges, 10-Bryan Ruiz; 9-Joel Campbell Key stats: Andrea Pirlo is one of three

Azzurri should not underestimate their opponents, De Rossi said. The other main concern for the Italians is the heat. After the game against England, midfielder Claudio Marchisio complained of suffering from “hallucinations” as a result of the stifling heat and humidity in Manaus. And there isn’t one Italian player who has since refrained from complaining about the climate in Brazil.

Organised Costa Rica eye another upset current Italy players who won the World Cup in 2006 along with 36-year-old keeper Gianluigi Buffon and 30-year-old midfielder Daniele De Rossi. Italy have reached the final in two of their last four major tournaments as well as a semi-final appearance at last year’s Confederations Cup. Costa Rica have not made it past the group stages in the World Cup since 1990. Previous meetings: The two teams have played each other once, with Italy winning. Last meeeting: June 11, 1994, New Haven, United States (friendly) - Italy 1 Costa Rica 0.

Unlike the Manaus game, which was played in the evening, the match in Recife will be played at 1 pm local time (1600 GMT). The weather forecasts predict maximum temperatures of 27 degrees with a slight chance of rain. Italy’s injury situation has improved though there is a slight doubt over defender Andrea Barzagli, who skipped training Wednesday for precautionary reasons.

Shunning the flamboyance and individuality that has previously characterised their game, Costa Rica and their collection of nimble attacking talents face Italy today ready to produce another World Cup shock. The Central American nation were meant to be the sacrificial lambs in Group D but stunned Uruguay 3-1 in their opening game. In Fortaleza they showed admirable organisation in defence and rapier-like speed on the break, setting themselves apart from previous Costa Rica teams who arrived at World Cups relying more on maverick individual talents. “In the national team we’ve managed to build ourselves a little bit like Italy in 2006 - a solid defensive group with very good players in attack,” midfielder Celso Borges told Reuters in the run-up to the tournament. “When we win the ball we counter-attack quickly. We don’t elaborate too much, it’s more like a knockout punch.” With Joel Campbell, who scored their opening goal against Uruguay, spearheading their frontline, they have a player capable of providing the cutting edge their smash-and-

grab approach demands. Yet it remains to be seen whether they will be able to play in a similar vein against Italy, who will pose a different type of challenge. Champions in 1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006, they delivered a reminder of their qualities of organisation and patience in their 2-1 victory over England in the hot and steamy jungle conditions of Manaus. Cesare Prandelli’s team have a long-established tradition of winning games without looking like world beaters, and are unlikely to attack in the same manner as the more tactically naive Uruguay.


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Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

REPORT: COLOMBIA 2-1 IVORY COAST

DISAPPOINTMENT

Rodriguez inspires Colombia to win over Ivory Coast

Cameroon come and go in a cloud of controversy

Playmaker scores one and creates second to take his team to brink of Last 16

Cameroon’s Alexandre Song (left) receives a red card by referee Pedro Proenca of Portugal for punching Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic. Reuters Salvador, Brazil

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Colombia’s James Rodriguez (left) celebrates next to teammate Juan Cuadrado after scoring against Ivory Coast at the Brasilia national stadium yesterday. (Reuters) AFP Brasilia

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nother superb performance by playmaker James Rodriguez who scored one goal and created the other inspired Colombia to a 2-1 win over Ivory Coast in their World Cup Group C match and to the brink of the last 16 yesterday. Rodriguez, scoring his second of the tournament, and substitute Juan Fernando Quintero, with his first international goal, struck in the second-half while Gervinho replied with a superb individual goal, his second of the finals, for the African side. Colombia, making their first appearance at the finals since 1998, will qualify for the second round if the match between Japan and Greece ends in a draw or if the Greeks beat the Blue Samurai. Ivory Coast are still firmly in the hunt for a place in the last 16 for the first time in three appearances as they opened with a 2-1 win over Japan.

The national anthems saw Ivorian midfielder Die Serey in floods of tears—it was reported later that his father had died hours before the match. The first-half was largely bereft of any excitement, although the Colombians should have gone in one goal to the good but for a dreadful miskick by Teofilo Gutierez after being beautifully teed up by Rodriguez. The Ivory Coast, who had once again opted to leave veteran Didier Drogba on the bench, offered little in attack with their one incident of note a crude piece of play acting by Serge Aurier when having got free of his opponent he then collapsed theatrically to the ground clutching his face. Colombia, though, had done an effective job on taking Ivory Coast’s main creative force Yaya Toure out of the game as Carlos Sanchez followed him everywhere. Toure, though, started to free himself of the shackles in the second-half as first he curled a freekick wide of the post and then produced a delightfully

deft chip into the penalty area finding Wilfried Bony. However, the Swansea marksman had mistimed his run and instead of being able to head the ball he was forced to try and do a bicycle kick which flew wide. Colombia swept up the other end of the pitch with Rodriguez finding wing wizard Juan Cuadrado and he worked his magic on the weary Arthur Boka turning him inside and out and his cross shot beat the keeper only to cannon to safety off the crossbar. Ivory Coast coach Jose Pekerman had seen enough and sent on 36-year-old Drogba for Bony hoping he could work his magic with both his previous World Cup goals coming against South American opposition. However, his teammates were looking at him in askance after the smaller Rodriguez managed to beat him and another defender to Cuadrado’s corner and head home sparking another terrific Motown style Colombian goal celebration. There was another excuse for more of

Match Stats: Colombia 2 (Rodriguez 64, Quintero 70) Ivory Coast 1 (Gervinho 73) COLOMBIA IVORY COAST 2 Goals scored 1 11 Total shots 15 8 Shots on target 11 5 Corners 5 3 Offsides 2 11 Fouls committed 14 0 Yellow cards 2 0 Red cards 0 45% Possession 55%

that in the 70th minute as Rodriguez dispossessed Aurier inside his own half and fed Juan Fernando Quintero who ran into the penalty area and slotted the ball past goalkeeper Boubacar Barry. The Ivorians, though, were far from down and out as the match really came to life and Gervinho gave the African side real hope when he scored a superb individual goal.

BACK WITH A BANG

BITTER FUED A bitter feud between Eto’o and Song split the squad at the last World Cup four years ago, where Cameroon lost all of their first round games. This time Eto’o led the team in a strike action on the eve of their departure for Brazil, delaying their expensively-hired charter plane to squeeze extra money out of an embattled football federation (FECAFOOT). Eto’o had been banned three years ago for leading a similar strike which forced the cancel-

Group A Standings Brazil Mexico Croatia Cameroon

P 2 2 2 2

W 1 1 1 0

D 1 1 0 0

L Pts 0 4 0 4 1 3 2 0

Cameroon have been to the World Cup an African record seven times, going unbeaten on debut in 1982 in Spain but exiting after three draws in the group stage and then catching the imagination of football fans worldwide with their unlikely run to the quarter-finals in Italy in 1990, where they beat defending champions Argentina in the opening game. But since those heroics they have won a single match in 14 games at five subsequent finals - against Saudi Arabia in Japan in 2002. Cameroon’s distinctive green, red and yellow strip has become an iconic item of sporting fashion worldwide but so too has the image of a disorganised, selfserving and greed-filled team and federation increasingly out of step with the advances in the modern game.

NUMEROLOGY

Mandzukic return leaves Croatia in confident mood Reuters Manaus, Brazil

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olstered by the return of suspended striker Mario Mandzukic, Croatia delivered a telling performance in a 4-0 rout of Cameroon and will head into Monday’s clash with Mexico with their tails up. Having missed the opening 3-1 loss against Brazil, the towering 28-year old hitman scored a brace on his World Cup debut on Wednesday and was a constant threat with his tireless running and presence. Mandzukic said Croatia needed to keep their feet on the ground in order to approach the Mexicans with clear heads. Brazil and Mexico have four points from two Group A games, Croatia have three and eliminated Cameroon none. Croatia, in all probability, will need to beat Mexico in Recife to advance to the last 16, although a draw would be enough if Brazil lose to Cameroon, a prospect Mandzukic readily dismissed. “We know that we have to go for a win and will head into the clash fearlessly as it’s the only way we can beat a very good Mexican side,” he said. “I worked for the team against Cam-

ameroon exited the running at the World Cup on Wednesday in the same turbulent way they arrived with a glum future ahead for the African country that once held the footballing world’s imagination. A violently petulant display is nothing new from Cameroon but reached a new low when Benoit Assou Ekotto head-butted team mate Benjamin Moukandjo towards the end of the 4-0 capitulation to Croatia in Manaus that condemned the Indomitable Lions to an early departure from the tournament. Their chances effectively ended before halftime when Alex Song was sent off for elbowing Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic in the back, right in front of the Portuguese referee who had no hesitation in handing the midfield strong man his marching orders. Cameroon’s second Group A loss at the World Cup in Brazil means their last game against the host nation on Monday is of academic interest only. Injury means it is unlikely to offer a farewell stage for Samuel Eto’o, their talismanic captain who has been at the heart of much of their turmoil in recent years.

lation of an international match but squabbling over money has become almost a right of passage in the team. Cameroon now face an uncertain future with Eto’o battling with knee problems, plus an uncertain club future at Chelsea, and the football federation still in a state of flux. Their last president was jailed for alleged fraud and after being briefly suspended by FIFA last year, a ‘normalisation committee’ was put in place to revise the statutes, conduct elections and manage the daily affairs of FECAFOOT. But they did not complete their task by the FIFA deadline and were given an extension to November by world football’s governing body.

Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic celebrates after scoring against Cameroon. (Reuters) eroon and the goals came as a reward, hopefully we will fire on all cylinders again because we will need to.” Croatia coach Niko Kovac praised Mandzukic’s display and said he would prepare his side to face Mexico as if it were a “final”. “Mandzukic again showed he is a big player and a prolific scorer, the kind of

striker that strikes fear into the opposition’s hearts. “It was a good display against the Cameroonians but there will be no resting on laurels, that’s for sure,” the 42-year old coach told reporters after Croatia enjoyed their biggest World Cup win as an independent nation.

“In Mexico, we will have a strong and aggressive opponent and this match is like a final in itself. We will have to play with a lot of faith in ourselves if we are to progress from a very difficult group.” The Croatians have not advanced into the World Cup knockout stages since 1998, when a talented generation led by Davor Suker, now the country’s FA president, stunned the world and reached the semi-finals. They also failed to win a match in either 2002 or 2006 and did not qualify for the 2010 event as outfits which featured Kovac as a central midfielder could not reproduce the guile and creativity of their predecessors. In 2002, it was the Mexicans who precipitated Croatia’s failure when they beat them 1-0 in the opening group match. The Croatians then upset Italy 2-1 but lost their final game to Ecuador 1-0. Goran Vlaovic, who scored one of Croatia’s goals in a famous 3-0 quarterfinal win over Germany in the 1998 tournament, said the present team could even surpass his generation’s third-place finish and go all the way. “This generation has a lot of heart and if they can negotiate the Mexico obstacle this time they can go very far, I believe all the way to the final.”

For Olic, his goal was all about number 18 Reuters Sao Paulo

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vergreen Croatia striker Ivica Olic knew it was going to be his day even before Wednesday’s 4-0 thrashing of Cameroon. The 34-year-old, who became his country’s oldest scorer at a World Cup when he got the first goal in the Group A game in Manaus, was confident that the result, and his own role in it, would come down to the number 18. After the goal, an ecstatic Olic ran over to Niko Kovac, but the coach could not hear what he was trying to say amid the din. “I had joked with him that the game would be on the 18th day (of June), at 18:00, and so the player wearing the number 18 shirt would be the one to score,” Olic said in an interview on the FIFA website yesterday. It was also listed by FIFA as match number 18 at the Brazil tournament. “So I went over there to tell him that I had been right.” Olic overtook Kovac’s record as Croatia’s oldest scorer at a World Cup by 27 days, according

Croatia’s Ivica Olic celebrates after scoring against Cameroon. to FIFA. But the VfL Wolfsburg forward nearly did not play at all. According to Croatian media, Olic cut his foot on a piece of glass in his hotel room on the day of the match. “The glass door in the bathroom smashed, and a piece got stuck in my foot,” he told daily 24sata. “I have to thank the medical staff who reacted quickly. I was lucky, I didn’t feel any pain. They convinced me that stitches was the best thing and everything was OK.” Now Olic is focusing on Monday’s clash with Mexico in Recife.


Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

ANALYSIS

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ONE STEP AT A TIME

Brazil can wait, says Chile star Vidal

It was beautiful while it lasted Spain deal with Day One in a new era of Spanish football - that of former champions

Chilean player Arturo Vidal him for a “very intensive performance” against Spain.

AFP Rio de Janeiro

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hile midfielder Arturo Vidal has told his teammates that they must focus on bettering the Netherlands before they can start thinking about a glamour clash with World Cup hosts Brazil. Chile dumped holders Spain out of the tournament with a stunning 2-0 win and can now secure top spot in Group B by winning their final group game against Holland in Sao Paulo on Monday. A draw would leave Chile in second place in the group, potentially teeing up a last-16 date with South American rivals Brazil, but Vidal says that his side cannot afford to look too far ahead. “We just want to play against the best teams,” the Juventus midfielder told reporters after the victory over Spain at the Maracana. “Holland are a strong team who have won their two matches, but we hope, like today (Wednesday), to get the three points. Playmaker Jorge Valdivia echoed his teammate’s words, saying: “Now we need to think about Holland before worrying about Brazil, Mexico or whoever it may be.” Vidal is playing through the pain for his country after undergoing knee surgery last month and coach Jorge Sampaoli praised

‘THIS IS SAMPAOLI’S’ Sampaoli has transformed Chile’s fortunes since succeeding Claudio Borghi in December 2012, overseeing a run of five wins in six matches in qualifying that secured the team’s place in Brazil. He is an avowed disciple of his fellow Argentine Marcelo Bielsa, who was Borghi’s predecessor, with an emphasis on tactical flexibility, aggressive pressing, and a fast-paced passing style. However, while Bielsa’s fouryear tenure at the helm laid the groundwork for Sampaoli’s achievements with Chile, Vidal believes that the credit for the team’s recent form is all due to the current coach. Asked if Sampaoli had built on Bielsa’s model, he replied: “No, that process is finished. This is Sampaoli’s. He has applied his style and it is working very well.” Before the tournament, Sampaoli asserted that Chile were “contenders” and midfielder Marcelo Diaz feels that the performance against Spain proves that his side are capable of making a deep impression in Brazil. “Spain are a great team with great players, but we just focused on achieving what we wanted to achieve. We have the players and the hope that we can go far.

Spain won’t fall apart, says del Bosque

(Left-Right) Spain’s goalkeeper Iker Casillas, Andres Iniesta and Fernando Torres leave the pitch after their loss against Chile at the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro. (EPA) AFP Madrid

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panish newspapers and football fans yesterday mourned the end of an era for their national team after the world and European champions crashed out of the World Cup in a humiliating 2-0 beating by Chile. Photographs of midfielder Andres Iniesta with his head in his hands made the front pages of the press, sharing the space in some cases with coverage of the swearing in of Spain’s new king, Felipe VI. “The end... A terrible end to the most glorious era”, ran the headline in leading Madrid sports daily Marca. “Goodbye to the golden years.” Marca commentator Santiago Segurola called it “the end of an excellent generation and the start of a new era”. He blamed Spain’s failure to score or stop Chile on “big mistakes and a sense of brokenness, of exhaustion”. “A monumental challenge awaits their

successors. They will have to restore the prestige suddenly lost by Spain.” Marca analyst Angel Lara said the defending champions’ World Cup exit in the first stage marked the end of the international careers of heroes of the Spain’s squad of recent years such as Xavi Hernandez, top scorer David Villa, Fernando Torres and Xabi Alonso. Veteran goal keeper Iker Casillas, who apologised to fans after a string of mistakes in Spain’s losses to Chile and on June 13 to the Netherlands, had not planned to leave the squad after this World Cup, but may now do so, Lara added. ‘WE OWE YOU A LOT’ “It was beautiful while it lasted,” ran the headline on another sporting daily, AS. AS printed photographs recalling Spain’s past three triumphs: the 2008 and 2012 Euro championships and the 2010 World Cup. “Don’t apologise,” it said. “We owe you a lot.” The analysis inside the paper was stern, however. “The end was horrible,”

wrote AS commentator Juanma Trueba, who said Spain’s failure was directly linked to the flagging fortunes in recent seasons of Barcelona. That club’s players and quickfire “tiki taka” passing style have strongly influenced the national squad. “It had to happen some day, that was understood, but we never imagined a farewell so pitiful, with a team so unrecognisable and vulgar,” Trueba wrote. Attention in Spain was yesterday focussed largely on the swearing-in of Felipe after his father Juan Carlos’s abdication. Leading general newspaper El Pais led with the royal succession on its front page, with a smaller item below titled “Spain’s debacle in the World Cup”. The paper called it “a nightmare that will last for all time, as will the successes”. “They have abdicated,” headlined Barcelona sports daily Mundo Deportivo in a bitter pun above a photo of dejected Spain players with their heads bowed. “Del Bosque’s successful team has fallen, making it clear that it now needs

renewal,” wrote columnist Santi Nolla in the paper. “In the past two years, they had played a muscular passing game, but the movement of the ball was quick and intense. With none of these qualities, the team, for all the trophies in its cabinet, did not manage to impose its game.” SORROW Grim-faced fans watching the defeat in a Madrid bar voiced sadness and resignation. “What do I feel? Sorrow, sorrow, nothing more. But it’s normal. We did not play well,” said 51-year-old sales manager Manuel Lista. “Spain are not in good shape and that’s it. I love football and I saw it coming.” He blamed coach Vicente Del Bosque for failing to bring in a new generation of players two years ago. “We were supposed to be the best, the champions of the world,” said another fan, Juan Tamayo, after watching the match outside Real Madrid’s Bernabeu stadium “They have humiliated us as a country.”

VICENTE DEL BOSQUE (right) will not be rushed into a decision over his future as coach of Spain after their World Cup reign ended in a humiliating first round exit. Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat to Chile at Rio’s Maracana, which followed a 5-1 rout at the hands of the Netherlands, sealed the fate of Spain who were chasing a fourth successive title to add to their 2010 World Cup and 2008 and 2012 European championships. “This is not the time to reflect on my future,” said del Bosque who insisted that Spain now had to learn from adversity. “When something negative comes out of such an important competition then of course there are consequences. I don’t want to go into an analysis right now—there will be plenty of time for that. “We have players and a federation who are very consolidated— we are not falling apart. We will take the time to do what is best for Spanish football—and I include myself there,” he insisted.

“We must not make snap decisions on the basis of what has happened here. We played two games and were not able to overcome our rivals—Holland and Chile were better than us on the day.” Del Bosque acknowledged his side were poor in the second half against the Dutch and in the first 45 minutes against a Chilean side who scented blood from the outset. “I thought we came here in good shape and the problem would be which were the best eleven players to field. But things did not turn out as we expected,” said the 63-year-old coach. “But we mustn’t make excuses. We are out, we were inferior and we must look to the future.”

BOTTOMLINE

Is Spain’s elimination the end for tiki-taka? AFP Rio de Janeiro

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pain’s elimination from the World Cup by Chile not only spelt the end for one of the greatest national teams, but also threatened the demise of an entire footballing philosophy. Spain’s intricate passing style, dubbed ‘tiki-taka’, swept all before it for the best part of six years, but the sight of Andres Iniesta and Xabi Alonso being harried out of their stride by Jorge Sampaoli’s hard-working Chile at the Maracana on Wednesday felt like the end of an era. Argentina legend Diego Maradona is among those who believe that tiki-taka has become a tactical relic, but can an approach that has become so widespread be invalidated by the result of just one game? As Spain midfielder David Silva asked British newspaper The Independent before the tournament: “Why would we change? We’ve done very well with this style. There’s no need to change it.” Where Spain led with tiki-taka, winning Euro 2008, so Barcelona followed,

who first brought the ‘false nine’ tactic to a wider audience, while it is now commonplace to see goalkeepers methodically practising first-time passes during their pre-match warm-ups. The cult of possession has forced players in every position to sharpen up their technique and has made the scrutiny of passing completion statistics an early port of call in any after-match post-mortem. Its legacy can also be seen in the ubiquitousness of small, Spanish midfielders at Europe’s leading clubs, from Silva at Manchester City and Santi Cazorla at Arsenal to Thiago Alcantara at Bayern and Juan Mata at Manchester United.

dominating the European club game between 2008 and 2011 under Pep Guardiola, who subsequently installed the same playing philosophy at Bayern Munich. Carlo Ancelotti’s counter-attacking Real Madrid got the better of both teams last season, however, routing Bayern 5-0 in the Champions League semi-finals and edging Barcelona in the final of the Copa del Rey. Bayern’s loss to Madrid was particularly illustrative, with the Spanish side procuring a 1-0 first-leg lead despite enjoying only 36 per cent of possession at the Santiago Bernabeu. COUNTER-PUNCHERS ARRIVE Indeed, all over Europe, teams have been relinquishing the ball and still enjoying success, with Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea in the vanguard of the new wave of counterpunching sides. Rather than endlessly circulating possession in a manner that prompted some critics of tiki-taka to brand it ‘boring’, the counter-punchers rely on breathless industry and water-tight defensive organisation.

File picture of Xavi Fernandez of Spain during a training session in Rio de Janeiro. It is on their opponents’ mistakes that they prey and in the tika-taka era, with teams falling over themselves to ape the Spanish style by taking more and more risks in possession, it is an increasingly effective approach.

Against such tactics, tiki-taka can seem naive in its steadfast commitment to conserving possession, but its impact already reaches so deep that it would prove impossible to fully uproot. It was Barcelona, with Lionel Messi,

‘CHANGE NAMES, NOT IDENTITY’ While Xavi Hernandez may never play for Spain again, having been dropped for the 2-0 defeat by Chile, it is in his image—and with likeminded players such as Thiago—that the national team will be rebuilt. The 34-year-old midfielder, a faultless passing metronome for Spain and Barcelona, typifies tiki-taka more than any other player and he believes that it

will always be a point of reference for teams such as his own where waiting for the opponent to make a mistake is not an option. “If you go two years without winning, everything has to change. But you change names, not identity,” he said in a 2011 interview. “The philosophy can’t be lost. Our fans wouldn’t understand a team that sat back and played on the break.” As Sampaoli observed before his side’s victory on Wednesday, Spain are paying the price for the fatigue and fading motivation of their players after six years of near-constant success, rather than any inherent flaw in their tactical approach. Tiki-taka owed its origins to a unique set of circumstances, specifically the emergence at Barcelona and Spain of a group of similarly aged players who were coached in the same way. Its figureheads, such as Xavi and Iniesta, were always destined to topple from the sport’s summit at some point, but with tiki-taka disciples now dotting the game, it would be precipitous to sound the death knell too soon.


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Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

PREVIEW: SWITZERLAND VS FRANCE

10PM QATAR TIME

Switzerland up next as French dare to dream ‘They are strong in attack, but it’s may be their weakness to want to attack too much’ Reuters Salvador, Brazil

Bayern midfielder Shaqiri has key role in Swiss team

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ince 1998, the erratic French soccer team has either reached the final or failed to win a game at the World Cup. So now, after a clinical 3-0 defeat of Honduras, fans of Les Bleus could be daring to dream again as France take on neighbours Switzerland in the second Group E game today. The dominant display against Honduras on Sunday featured a resurgence of flair and free-flowing football that was non-existent in a disastrous South Africa campaign in 2010. Four years ago the players mutinied against coach Raymond Domenech and returned home in disgrace. But Didier Deschamps has built a more unified squad and even though Franck Ribery is out injured, Karim Benzema, Paul Pogba and Olivier Giroud offer a dangerous attacking threat. The Swiss, who grabbed a last-gasp 2-1 win over Ecuador in their first game, are likely to provide a sterner test, especially as the winner on Friday should make the second round. With World Cup goals flying in across Brazil and Benzema looking in fine fettle, fans descending on Salvador’s Fonte Nova arena might well expect another goal fest, although a quick look at recent encounters suggests otherwise. The last three matches between the two countries have ended in draws with a total of only two goals. France won the two games prior to that and Switzerland have to go back to 1992 for their last win. But the Swiss have made great strides in recent years, their prospects boosted by a more exciting crop of players largely playing in Europe’s top leagues, such as hard tackling captain Gokhan Inler and the skilful Xherdan Shaqiri. Deschamps is unlikely to tinker much with his side, with the same back four of Mathieu Debuchy, Raphael Varane, Mamadou Sakho and Patrice Evra likely to start. His big decision will come on the left of midfield. Antoine Griezmann started against Honduras with the excellent Benzema up front, but Deschamps could be tempted to move Benzema out to the left and bring in Giroud up front to add more height and power to the side. Whoever gets the nod will have an eye on the history books, since the next goal will be France’s 100th at a World Cup. Haris Seferovic, Switzerland’s hero in the first match after grabbing a 93rd minute winner, said France’s attacking talents could be their downfall. “There will surely be more space (than versus Ecuador) because the French like

France’s Karim Benzema (right) poses for a selfie with a young fan after a training session in Ribeirao Preto, 336 km northwest of Sao Paulo. Benzema, along with Paul Pogba and Olivier Giroud, offers a dangerous attacking threat to the opposition. (Reuters)

Factbox: Switzerland vs France Where: the Fonte Nova arena, Salvador Capacity: 52,048 Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (Netherlands) Probable teams: Switzerland: 1-Diego Benaglio; 2-Stephan Lichtsteiner, 5-Steve von Bergen, 20-Johan Djourou, 13-Ricardo Rodriguez; 8-Gokhan Inler, 11-Valon Behrami; 23-Xherdan Shaqiri, 10-Granit Xhaka, 14-Valentin Stocker; 18-Admir Mehmedi.

to play more. They are strong in attack, but it’s may be their weakness to want to attack too much,” he said. Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld, who like Deschamps has a target of reaching the last 16 in Brazil, must decide whether to shuffle his front line after substitute forwards Admir Mehmedi and Seferovic grabbed both their goals against Ecuador. The pair are vying to start in place of Josip Drmic. The Swiss are also trying to pile the pressure on France by claiming the underdog tag for the clash in Salvador on Friday. Sixth-placed Switzerland are 11 plac-

PREVIEW: HONDURAS VS ECUADOR

France: 1-Hugo Lloris, 2-Mathieu Debuchy, 4-Raphael Varane, 5-Mamadou Sakho, 3-Patrice Evra; 6-Yohan Cabaye; 8-Mathieu Valbuena, 14-Blaise Matuidi, 19-Paul Pogba, 10-Karim Benzema; 9-Olivier Giroud. Match facts: Switzerland have not beaten France since 1992, when they snatched a 2-1 friendly win. The last three meetings between the two have been drawn.

es higher than the French according to FIFA’s rankings, but insist those standings mean nothing. “Favourites? You like that word in France, eh?,” Swiss central defender Steve von Bergen said. “It is France who are the favourites.” Swiss assistant coach Michel Pont, who celebrates his 60th birthday on Thursday, said 1998 World Cup-winners France have the upper hand. “Us, favourites? Absolutely not,” said Pont, who has worked under current coach Ottmar Hitzfeld since 2008, as well as his predecessor Jakub Kuhn from 2001-2008.

Switzerland-France is the 250th World Cup match between European teams.

Brasilia: Whirlwind Xherdan Shaqiri (below) is happy with his pivotal role in the Swiss World Cup team, both on and off the field. Today, the Bayern Munich midfielder will in all probability be the playmaker in the crucial Group E game against favourites France, a role which won him the Man-of-the-Match award against Ecuador. The 22-year-old has risen to stardom in his brief career, and an Internet poll recently named him the most popular person in Switzerland. “He’s the focus of attention in the national team,” wrote the Swiss news agency si. “Every gesture is noted, practically every statement he makes is posted online, and the photographers are always there to snap him.” At 1.69 metres, he is the smallest member of the national squad. In Germany, he is regarded as a talented dribbler who plays only a secondary role in the star-studded Bayern Munich ensemble. Last season he made 17 Bundesliga appearances and made it three times into the Champions League formation, not enough to be considered a first-team regular.

Nevertheless, he’s a player in demand, with reports saying Juventus and Liverpool have shown an interest in him. Shaqiri would probably have had more first-team outings had he not been plagued by injury, mostly to his thigh muscle, which kept him out towards the end of the season. “At the moment I’m trying not to think about it,” he said. “I’m not worried about picking up another injury.” He had no problems against Ecuador when after moving from the wing to central midfield in the second half he ran tirelessly, dribbled well and harried his opponents. Despite his poster-boy image, Shaqiri is a team player and not just a solo entertainer. “Of course people expect more from me because I play for Bayern,” he said. “I don’t find the pressure too great. We will achieve our goal together.” “I’m all over the pitch, that’s what the coach wants to see from me,” said Shaqiri. This is what the Swiss hope to see him do in the game against France in Salvador.

The next French World Cup goal will be their 100th. Previous meetings: This is the 37th meeting between the two countries. France lead the head-to-head series by 15 victories to 12, with the other nine games having ended in draws. Last meeting: 13 June, 2006, Stuttgart, Germany, World Cup group stage France 0 Switzerland 0.

“Frankly, the current French team impresses me, they have found harmony. France has always had technical quality, they have simply returned to their normal level, which they never should have left. “It’s extremely difficult to find their weak points, it is the first time I have experienced this in 13 years.” Swiss defender Johan Djourou, who will mark Benzema said his side have nothing to fear. “France are favourites, by the fame of their players, who play in the biggest clubs,” said the 27-year-old ex-Arsenal defender, who is now at Hamburg. “But on the day, this is the game that counts, not the name of the player or his club.”

1AM QATAR TIME

Ecuador, Honduras coaches face familiar foes AFP Curitiba, Brazil

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cuador and Honduras coaches Reinaldo Rueda and Luis Suarez will both face their old sides as the two group outsiders look to get their first points of the World Cup when they meet in Curitiba today. Rueda’s Ecuador were beaten 2-1 by Switzerland in their opening Group E match thanks to Haris Seferovic’s stoppage time winner. The Colombian lamented his side’s lack of killer instinct in front of goal against the Swiss, but has insisted he won’t make any changes for the game against the country he led at the last World Cup. “There is no time to cry. We have another game in front of us and we need to move on,” he said. “We know that Honduras are difficult opponents that are well-organised and it will be an intense match. We played well against Switzerland, but we weren’t effective.” Former Manchester City striker Felipe Caicedo will therefore continue to lead the line up front with Enner Valencia and Manchester United’s Antonio Valencia in support. Suarez, meanwhile, guided Ecuador to their best ever showing at the World Cup when they reached the last 16 in 2006. Honduras were easily swept aside 3-0 by France on Sunday after having Wilson Palacios sent-off just before half-time. But Suarez is confident

Honduras keen to end 480-minute goal drought Honduras will be trying to end their World Cup goal drought today against Ecuador, and avoid creating a new negative record. If they do not score by the 37th minute of today’s match then they will have broken the record of going the most minutes without scoring — currently held by Bolivia. Honduras have gone 480 minutes without scoring, since Antonio Laing scored for them against Northern Ireland in 1982, in a 1-1 draw. “We will score sooner or later, we are calm about it. The people back home want to celebrate a goal,” striker Jerry Palacios said. “We talk a lot about scoring. This is a

his side can get themselves back into contention in the group with their first ever World Cup win in their third appearance at the finals. “We will have to prepare for a very important 90 minutes and we have to play better than against France, that is obvious. Each game is a new opportunity and we believe we are well equipped to get the result in the next match,” he said. And Wigan defender Juan Carlos Garcia insisted all is not lost for Honduras despite a disappointing showing against the French. “We haven’t lost anything yet, it is still up for grabs,” he said. “Although

World Cup and we have to enjoy ourselves and be daring, playing without fear. Everything will be different against Ecuador.” In their 3-0 debut defeat against France, Honduras only threatened the goalmouth of Hugo Lloris on two isolated occasions. Honduras failed to score in the 2010 World Cup, against Chile, Spain and Switzerland. “I would give one of my kidneys to find a proper goalscorer,” said Honduras coach Luis Suarez last year. “Coach Suarez is not to blame for our lack of goals, it’s us players who are out on the pitch, not him,” said Palacios.

we are aware that we don’t have the luxury of losing another game. “I understand the concern of the Honduran people, but we haven’t lost everything, we still depend on ourselves. Ecuador are a great team that possess players of the same characteristics as ours. They have quick, fast players. They also like to have the ball and move off the ball. We know it will be a very quick-paced game.” Oscar Garcia of Houston Dynamo is expected to replace the suspended Palacios in midfield, while centreback Victor Bernandez is also a serious injury doubt after he was forced off at half-time against France.

Factbox: Honduras vs Ecuador Where: Baixada arena, Curitiba Capacity: 39,631 Referee: Benjamin Williams (Australia) Probable teams: Honduras: 18-Noel Valladares; 21-Brayan Beckeles, 5-Victor Bernardez, 3-Maynor Figueroa, 7-Emilio Izaguirre; 17-Andy Najar, 14-Oscar Boniek Garcia, 19-Luis Garrido, 15-Roger Espinoza; 11-Jerry Bengtson, 13-Carlo Costly

(Above) Ecuador’s coach Reinaldo Rueda; (below) Honduras’ coach Luis Suarez.

Ecuador: 22-Alexander Dominguez; 4-Juan Carlos Paredes, 2-Jorge Guagua, 3-Frickson Erazo, 10-Walter Ayovi; 16-Antonio Valencia, 23-Carlos Gruezo, 6-Cristian Noboa, 7-Jefferson Montero; 13-Enner Valencia, 11-Felice Caicedo Match facts: Both coaches are Colombians and have previously been in charge of their opponents. Current Honduras coach Luis Fernando Suarez took Ecuador to the second round of the World Cup in 2006. Reinaldo Rueda led Honduras to the 2010 tournament but left after they failed to make it past the first round. Honduras have appeared in two tournaments - 1982 and 2010 - but have yet to win a game. Their last World Cup goal was against Northern Ireland on June 21, 1982. Ecuador are appearing at their third World Cup after 2002 and 2006. Previous meetings: The sides drew no fewer than eight of their 13 encounters, all of which were friendly games. They last met in the US city of Houston last November when the game ended 2-2.


Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

SPOTLIGHT

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FOCUS

Queiroz to quit Iran after the World Cup Reuters Belo Horizonte, Brazil

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arlos Queiroz will step down as Iran coach after the World Cup because of a lack of financial support from the government, he said yesterday. The Mozambique-born coach said discussions had ended with the Iranian Football Association and that he would not lead the continent’s best-ranked team at the 2015 Asian Cup in Australia. “Yes my connection will finish here at the World Cup,” the former Real Madrid manager told Portuguese newspaper Publico in an interview. “There was not [enough] support from the government... there has stopped being a genuine inter-

est because of the financial situation. “The dialogue has been cut off and I have already decided not to stay.” Queiroz has long bemoaned the financial restrictions he has had to work under with the West Asians, mainly down to the political restrictions placed on the country. He struggled to arrange warm-up matches for the team after qualifying them for their fourth finals by topping their group last year with only Guinea venturing to Tehran in March to grab a 2-1 friendly win. Despite the problems and limitations in his squad Queiroz’s tactical nous was on full display as the Iranians held African champions Nigeria to a 0-0 draw in their World Cup Group F opener on Monday. They face an imposing challenge against one of the tournament favourites Argentina on Saturday before fin-

ishing their campaign against Bosnia, hoping rather than expecting to make the last 16 for the first time. The firebrand coach said he had no plans to retire, though, and has set his sights on becoming the first manager to qualify four teams for the World Cup after he led South Africa to the 2002 tournament and Portugal to 2010. “I still feel well,” he said when asked about quitting the game. “Maybe my next professional choice I will be looking at becoming the first coach to qualify four different teams for the World Cup.” The former Manchester United assistant manager to Alex Ferguson said he had been offered jobs but that his preference was for an international role. “I’ve had an offer to stay in Brazil and in England but because of circumstance in my private life it is difficult for me to accept a position at a club,” he said.

Need a miracle to beat Argentina, says Iran coach

Argentina’s Lionel Messi is just one of the worries for Iran coach Carlos Queiroz in tomorrow’s match in Belo Horizonte. (EPA)

ANALYSIS

Reuters Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Robben, Van Persie: Dutch double trouble ‘The fact that our defence plays very deep frees up a lot of space for Robin and me’ AFP Porto Alegre, Brazil

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oth goal-scorers against Australia on Wednesday, Dutch forwards Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie now have three goals each and seem determined to leave their mark on the World Cup. Quite apart from the number of goals, the quality of their performances has also been roundly applauded. Robben was clocked at 37 kilometres per hour (23 miles per hour) during Holland’s 5-1 rout of Spain—a record for a footballer—while Van Persie’s glorious diving header in the same game appears destined to become one of the images of the tournament. The statistics reveal that the Netherlands, who have already scored eight goals in only two games, are heavily dependent on their two attacking stars. In his last eight matches for the Oranje, Robben has scored at the exceptional rate of a goal a game. Van Persie, meanwhile, has found the net 12 times in his last 13 appearances, notably netting a double in the 2-0 win over Andorra, a hat-trick in the 8-1 rout of Hungary, and another brace in the crushing victory over Spain. Between them, the pair have accounted for 65 percent of the 29 goals that Holland have scored this season, making them by some distance the most productive players since Louis van Gaal returned as coach two years ago. Their form for the national team can be traced directly to their performances at club level. Robben scored 21 goals in 45 matches for Bayern Munch last season, while Van Persie claimed 18 goals in 28 games despite enduring a difficult campaign at Manchester United under David Moyes. Van Persie’s goal against Australia took his career total to 247 goals in 519 professional games for club and country. ‘DO SOME DAMAGE’ The milestone of 250 is therefore in sight, although his suspension for Monday’s game against Chile means that he will have to wait until the knockout phase for his next opportunity to chase down the target.

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olding African champions Nigeria to a stalemate is one thing, but miracles will be required if Iran are to get anything from their World Cup Group F clash against Lionel Messi’s Argentina, coach Carlos Queiroz said. The two sides meet in Belo Horizonte tomorrow with a lopsided victory for the twice champion South Americans the only result expected against the limited, defensive Asians. “It will require a miracle since Argentina is one of the best teams in the world and also they have one day of rest more than we do,” the former Portugal coach was quoted as saying by the Telam News Agency. “Messi could be the best player in the world if he was human, but as he is not human he does not enter the race.”

But it wasn’t just the fourtime World Player of the Year, who scored a stunning goal in the opening 2-1 win over Bosnia, that was of concern to Queiroz. “All the other players also worry me Argentina (Angel) Di Maria, (Gonzalo) Higuain, (Javier) Mascherano they all are great players.” The two teams have met once before, a 1-1 draw in a friendly in Madrid in 1977 with a repeat result in Brazil highly unlikely with the Iranians having won only one match in three previous World Cup appearances. Queiroz, though, will take heart from his side’s impressive defensive display in the 0-0 against Nigeria in Curitiba on Monday where they restricted their opponents to few opportunities despite the Africans bossing possession. The fearsome Argentine forward line of Sergio Aguero, Messi and Higuain are unlikely to be kept so quiet.

LET BYGONES BE BYGONES

Argentina, Iran to leave aside political row at World Cup game DPA Belo Horizonte, Brazil

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Arjen Robben (left) of the Netherlands receives the captain’s armband from Robin van Persie after the latter was subtituted in the match against Australia on Wednesday. (Reuters) When asked to explain their current productivity, the two players are quick to laud the tactical system put in place by Van Gaal, who will coach Van Persie at United from next season onwards. “I’m a player who craves counter-attacks,” explains Robben. “The fact that our defence plays very deep frees up a lot of space for Robin and me. We have the whole pitch for leading counter-attacks.”

His goals against Spain and Australia were the perfect illustration. “The 5-3-2 allows me to play in a very direct way towards Arjen and Robin,” adds midfielder Wesley Sneijder, who is a key figure in the pair’s supply line. “Against Australia it was less straightforward because the Australians were less attacking than the Spanish. But against Chile and again in the last 16, our system will do a lot of damage.”

However, Van Gaal is considering jettisoning the system as he is less than satisfied with his players’ conservation of the ball. “It went better (against Australia) when we moved to a 4-3-3 after Memphis Depay came on,” explained the 62-yearold, who added that he would discuss the matter with his players. Sneijder, though, is happy with things just the way they are. “The 5-3-2 works,” he said. “You don’t change a winning system.”

ince Argentina and Iran last faced each other on a football field in 1977, a tragedy has ruined relations between the two countries. They are in conflict about one of the saddest episodes in Argentinian history: the deadly terrorist attack on the AMIA Jewish centre in Buenos Aires on July 18 1994, which left 85 people dead and hundreds injured. Almost 20 years later, the pictures of the desperate search for survivors in the rubble of the AMIA are still fresh in the minds of many Argentinians. Argentina accused eight former Iranian agents, including former president of Iran Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, of being the “ideological architects” of the attack, and requested an international arrest warrant for them. It was the second terrorist attack against Jewish targets in Buenos Aires, after the March 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy.

Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah claimed to have carried out the embassy attack, which was allegedly financed by Iran. Argentinian courts did not identify those behind the 1992 bombing despite the indignation of the Jewish community, which is the largest in Latin America. The government of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner signed an agreement with Iran in 2013 to set up a “truth commission” made up of legal experts from both countries to write a report about the people implicated in the AIMA attack and then interview them in Tehran, under the auspices of Interpol. However, the agreement has been bogged down by political complications in both countries. At the World Cup, the Argentinian and Iranian teams will try to stay out of the judicial and diplomatic row when they face off Saturday in Belo Horizonte. “Our national team has to transmit a message of peace, friendship and peaceful coexistence,” Ali Kafashian, the president of the Iranian football federation, said two weeks ago.

BOTTOMLINE

Australia will be feared by the best, insists coach Postecoglou AFP Porto Alegre, Brazil

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ustralia coach Ange Postecoglou believes his side will become a force to be reckoned with at future World Cups despite being eliminated by a 3-2 defeat to the Netherlands on Wednesday. Australia had deservedly led 2-1 just before the hour mark thanks to Tim Cahill’s stunning volley and Mile Jedinak’s penalty after Arjen Robben had given Holland the lead. However, Robin van Persie quickly levelled and Memphis Depay struck the winner with the aid of a goalkeeping mistake from Maty Ryan 22 minutes from time. Postecoglou insisted his young squad will become a force to be reckoned with at future tourna-

ments, including the Asian Cup on home soil next year, if they continue their current rate of progress. “I don’t feel pleased right now because of emotions of the game, but we came to this World Cup and we’re playing against three of the best nations in the world. People were saying we weren’t going to score a goal and we would just try and survive and I think in both games we’ve taken it to the opposition. “We’ve only just started on this journey and the goal is to come back in four years time and they fear us before we go on the pitch as much as they fear us on there now. There is no doubt both Chile and the Dutch know they’ve been in a game and I think that speaks about the way we’ve gone about our football. “At the same time I have said all along I wasn’t going to discount

this World Cup, I wasn’t going to come here and experiment or build experience. I came here with the objective to make an impact and I think in both games we’ve had the opportunities to do that so it is just disappointing that we weren’t able to.” Australia could have been in front once more just before Depay’s winner as Matthew Leckie passed up a great chance. Postecoglou admitted that had been the turning point in the game. “I think that was the critical moment both us missing the opportunity and conceding. That’s how big games are decided and from our point of view that is two now we’ve had some great opportunities to get our noses in front and we weren’t able to.” Victory ensured Holland’s place in the last 16 as they have maxi-

mum points from two games and will play Chile for the right to top the group on Monday, although they will be without the suspended Van Persie. Dutch boss Louis van Gaal agreed with Postecoglou that Leckie’s miss turned the game and hailed the clinical nature of Robben and Van Persie in similar circumstances as they each took their tally for the tournament to three goals in two games. “At one point Australia missed an enormous opportunity, I said we are going to win the match because if they missed chances like that, we will take ours. “It is great to have strikers like Robben and Van Persie to have scored three goals each in just two matches. They are incredibly clever and create a good spectacle for the fans which is important as well.”


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Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

FOCUS

SPOTLIGHT

Oh, brother! Boateng boys meet again at World Cup ‘Regardless of what happens, I can only win. My only wish is that nobody gets hurt’

Germany defender Jerome Boateng (left) and half-brother Ghana’s Kevin-Prince Boateng will face off tomorrow’s clash in Fortaleza. (AFP) AFP Fortaleza, Brazil

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rotherly love will be forgotten tomorrow when Germany’s Jerome Boateng faces his sibling once more at a World Cup with Ghana’s Kevin-Prince Boateng predicting a ‘fight to the death’. The half-brothers were both born in Berlin to separate mothers, but in 2009, Schalke’s Kevin-Prince, 27, opted to play for the country of his father. He turned to Ghana having become discouraged by a perceived lack of opportunities even after the brothers had made a single appearance in the same Germany Under-21 team. The brothers normally have daily contact via SMS or telephone, but there has been radio silence as they prepare for the Fortaleza clash in Group G.

“We’ve had no contact recently, each of us is just concentrating on himself,” said Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng. The 25-year-old will face Ghana with a splint on his right hand having torn a thumb ligament in Germany’s opening 4-0 win over Portugal. This is not the first time the brothers have played each other at a World Cup. In South Africa, they set a record by becoming the first brothers to play against each other at a World Cup finals. A nervous Germany needed Mesut Ozil’s second-half goal to seal a 1-0 win over Ghana in Johannesburg after a shock defeat to Serbia as both sides reached the knock stages. Four years on, Germany are looking to maintain their grip on the group after hammering Portugal, but Kevin-Prince has turned up the heat on the tie. “It’s like in ancient Rome. There will be people around the pitch who want to see

how two teams fight,” the Schalke 04 star told German magazine Sport Bild. “The team who wants it more will win and we will fight to the death against Germany.” There was bad blood between the brothers before the last World Cup when a hard Kevin-Prince Boateng tackle in the FA Cup final between Portsmouth and Chelsea ruled Germany captain Michael Ballack out of the tournament. “At the time we certainly had a few arguments,” revealed Kevin-Prince. The brothers hail from the tough Berlin district of Wedding and neither are short of confidence, but Kevin-Prince attracts attention. As a seven-year-old, he successfully played a game for a place in Hertha Berlin’s young section in rubber Wellington boots as they were his favourite shoes at the time. And in an interview with German foot-

ball magazine 11Freunde, Boateng was once happy to admit: “Yes, I am the best footballer in the world”. After spells at Tottenham Hotspur and AC Milan, the heavily-tattooed KevinPrince has tried to shake off his bay-boy image and has become a father. He had to be content with an appearance off the bench in his side’s 2-1 defeat to the United States on Monday. In contrast, Germany coach Joachim Loew singled out Jerome for praise after keeping World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo subdued as Thomas Mueller claimed a hat-trick against Portugal. Whatever the outcome of Saturday, there will be at least one happy member of the Boateng clan. “For me, it’s the easiest game ever,” Prince Boateng told German daily TZ. “Regardless of what happens, I can only win. My only wish is that nobody gets hurt.”

BOTTOMLINE

Enyeama a bright spot for tepid Nigeria Reuters Salvador, Brazil

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mong the few bright spots for Nigeria in their tepid start to the World Cup was yet another clean sheet for goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama. The fact he did not concede a goal in Monday’s 0-0 Group F draw with Iran in Curitiba should not come as much of a surprise. The 31-year-old came into the tournament in Brazil on the back of his bestever season, coming agonisingly close to breaking a 21-year-old record in the French league. Between August and December, Enyeama went 1062 minutes without conceding a goal for his club Lille, passing 11 hours of blemish-free football and coming within 114 minutes of the record before finally being beaten by a deflected shot. The achievement came at the end of a year in which he won the African Nations Cup at the fifth time of asking, adding to the success he had achieved when he just out of his teens with his first professional club Enyimba when they won the African Champions League in 2003 and 2004. African goalkeeping exports to Europe

are a rarity and it has taken Enyeama almost a decade to prove himself through the relative anonymity of the Israeli league and onto France, where last month he was named best African player for the last campaign. But for the Nigerian side, he has been first choice for the last decade, effectively taking over during the 2002 World Cup when he played one game - keeping a clean sheet against England in Osaka. “He is a winner,” said coach Stephen Keshi recently of his captain. “A positive presence who has great relations with his team mates. Not for nothing, is he the captain of the team.” It is actually a job he shares with centre back Joseph Yobo, and his leadership will again be important for Nigeria when they take on Bosnia in Cuiaba on Saturday, followed by a meeting with Argentina in Porto Alegre next Wednesday. It was against Argentina four years ago that Enyeama played what he says “was the best game of my career”. Although beaten by a Gabriel Heinze goal after six minutes of the 2010 World Cup group game in Johannesburg, he then kept a rampant Lionel Messi at bay in a fine demonstration of his capability. It is a display he is likely to be asked to reproduce again at the business end of the group phase next week.

Nigeria’s Vincent Enyeama saves a shot during their Group F match against Iran in Curitiba on Monday. (Reuters)

Mertesacker warns of second game slip-ups, physical Ghana DPA Santo Andre, Brazil

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erman centre-back Per Mertesacker said yesterday that his national team already knows of its propensity to slip up after strong starts to big tournaments and realises that Ghana will be a very tough World Cup opponent. “Sure it’s a warning. We have often won the first game convincingly and then lost the next game. But we know what we need to do,” said Mertesacker, who tomorrow against Ghana could earn his 100th cap for Germany. At Euro 2008, Germany beat Poland 2-0 in their opener but then lost 2-1 against Croatia in their second group match. At the 2010 World Cup, the Germans breezed past Australia 4-0 only to be tripped up by Serbia 1-0 in their second contest in South Africa. There was also a 1-1 draw with Ireland in Germany’s second match at the 2002 World Cup, which the eventual finalists opened with an 8-0 drubbing of Saudi Arabia. Mertesacker, who would become the 13th man to earn 100 caps for Germany, said Ghana will enter their game in Fortaleza knowing that anything other than a win could mean an early exit from the World Cup. “It’s like a final for them. They will play with their physical style and will not have a lot of problems with the heat. We need to stamp our authority on the game. But it will not be easy,” said the Arsenal defender. “They will have different attributes than the Portuguese.” Mertesacker made his debut for Germany on October 9, 2004 against Iran in Teheran. If he plays every game for Germany in Brazil and Germany reach the quarter-finals, Mertesacker would move to 103 caps and pull even with Franz Beckenbauer for seventh place on the country’s all-time list. “I wouldn’t have thought I could get there (100 caps) a few years ago. It’s so much fun being able to play with this great

team. I just want to keep playing as many games as possible,” said the 29-year-old, who is playing in his third World Cup and also played at Euro 2008. “I just want to experience as many highlights as possible,” he added. HUMMELS DOUBTFUL

Meanwhile, Germany may be forced to reshuffle their back-four for tomorrow’s match as Mats Hummels struggles to recover from a thigh injury. The 25-year-old centre-back, who headed Germany’s second goal in their 4-0 win over Portugal on Monday, is struggling to be fit for the Group G clash in Fortaleza. He has been unable to train with the squad since their opening win in Salvador, when he had to be helped off with deep bruising to his right thigh in the second half. He followed an individual programme yesterday and is being treated intensely. Should the Borussia Dortmund star miss out, right-back Jerome Boateng is expected to move across to partner Mertesacker at centre-back. Sampdoria’s 22-year-old Shkodran Mustafi will win his third cap at right-back having come on for Hummels in Salvador. Arsenal defender Mertesacker said yesterday that “he assumes Mats can play on Saturday”, but a German FA spokesman said there was no prognosis as to when Hummels will be fit.

TRADITION

Ayew keeps Ghana dynasty alive AFP Fortaleza, Brazil

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hana’s World Cup hopes are a family affair and midfielder Andre Ayew is proud to keep a footballing dynasty in the headlines, for the right reasons. Marseille star Ayew, who scored in Ghana’s opening 2-1 defeat to the United States, is playing in his second World Cup alongside brother Jordan, who is also on the books of the French club. Andre is the son of Abedi Ayew who took the name of Pele in honour of the legendary Brazilian World Cup winner. Abedi Pele delivered the corner from which Basile Boli scored to give Marseille victory over AC Milan in the 1993 European Cup final. Furthermore, Abedi’s own brother, Kwane, also played professionally with clubs in France, Saudi Arabia and Portugal. Andre, 24, is the natural successor to his father who is still Ghana’s record international scorer with 33 goals. At the 2010 World Cup, he played alongside his half-brother Abdul Rahim, the eldest son of Abedi Pele. The tournament in South Africa saw Ghana make the quarter-finals but having picked up a second yellow card in the last 16 tie with the United States, he missed the match with Uruguay which Ghana lost on a penalty shootout. “I already have close to 50 caps, I have earned my place. The players before me made it clear that they were on the way out

and that I was in line,” he said. Jordan played in the loss to the United States but big brother Andre insists he will not lobby on his sibling’s behalf. “I won’t push for Jordan if he doesn’t deserve to be in the team,” said Andre after his brother was replaced in the opening game. “I love him but nobody has a right to a place in the team. I talk to him and he talks to me a lot. He sees things that I don’t anticipate.” Andre Ayew has long been linked with a move away from Marseille with the French club desperate for an injection of funds. But before worrying over his club future, Ayew wants to increase his goal scoring prowess with the national team. For Marseille last season he scored eight goals in 29 matches while his international career has yielded a modest five. Next up for Ghana is a clash against Germany who demolished Portugal 4-0 in their Group G opener. Four years ago, Germany beat the Black Stars 1-0 in the group stages.


Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

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SPOTLIGHT

Intruders, Miss BumBum arouse security concerns Urach and the world player of the year have something of a history—or so says Urach AFP Sao Paulo

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“Miss BumBum” who claims she slept with Cristiano Ronaldo, a Chilean stadium invasion and a Lionel Messi fan who snuck into Argentina’s training camp cast an unflattering spotlight on World Cup security Wednesday. Just when Brazil was soaking up praise for a relatively snag-free tournament the three security breaches gave organizers some of their most embarrassing moments yet and prompted football’s world governing body FIFA to reassess its measures. First, the Miss BumBum incident. Andressa Urach, a former contestant in a pageant to choose Brazil’s sexiest female posterior, was frog-marched out of Portugal’s training ground by security staff just minutes before Ronaldo and his team took to the pitch. Urach and the world player of the year have something of a history—or so says Urach. British newspapers last year reported claims from her that Ronaldo, 29, had cheated on his girlfriend Irina Shayk with her. At the time, the Portuguese superstar angrily denied the claims, tweeting that he was “deeply outraged by a situation intended, in vain, to affect my personal life.” Urach, a co-host on a Brazilian variety programme called the Muito Show, has been determined to get Ronaldo’s attention at the World Cup. Last week she reportedly welcomed him to Campinas, the southeast Brazilian city where Portugal are based, by painting his green and red shirt onto her naked skin and holding up a sign that said “Kisses C. Ronaldo.” She appeared to be planning another media stunt Wednesday. She had a microphone in her hand and was apparently wearing official accreditation. But, surrounded by a knot of photographers, she was unceremoniously ushered from the premises. After the incident, she tweeted: “I came to give good luck to C7 (Ronaldo) and was removed from the pitch and they took away my press credentials. “Where is the freedom of expression?” Soon after Urach’s ejection came news that Brazilian security services had detained a man who sneaked into Argentina’s training camp in Belo Horizonte to seek star striker Messi’s autograph. The 33-year-old Brazilian, who had received a t-shirt from Messi last week after cleaning his

Andressa Urach (C), a former Miss Bumbum pageant contestant, is escorted by members of security out of the grounds during a Portugal team training session in Campinas, Sao Paulo, on Wednesday. boots, was seen crying as he was led away. He told police he just wanted to get the shirt signed. Organizers’ security woes only got worse when scores of ticketless Chilean fans gate-crashed Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium, breaking through fences in a desperate rush to see their team play Spain. The fans, many wearing Chile’s red jersey, shattered a glass door at the media center, broke fences and partition walls, and swarmed into internal corridors before security guards stopped them.

Brazilian authorities arrested 85 people and ordered them to leave the country. FIFA said none of the intruders had made it into the stands to see their team’s stunning 2-0 victory, which put Chile into the second round and sent defending champions Spain packing. But a security guard said some had found their way into the stands. The incident took place despite the presence of 1,500 security staff at the stadium, plus about 5,000 police on duty in the surrounding area, a security guard told AFP.

FOCUS

opening game between Brazil and Croatia by convincing a receptionist at a five-star hotel that they were representatives of an international company with commercial links to FIFA. The woman, without asking many questions, handed them VIP tickets to the game—where they took pictures of themselves with Brazilian football legend Ronaldo, which they later showed to AFP. But in a victory for security guards, they were thrown out when the flip-flops they were wearing gave them away.

‘LIKE A DREAM’

Mathieu Valbuena France’s ‘Little Big Man’ AFP Sao Paulo

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athieu Valbuena has had the last laugh over former tormentors Samir Nasri and Franck Ribery after becoming integral to France’s World Cup hopes. The pocket-sized 29-year-old wideman—nicknamed the ‘little bike’—has always punched above his weight and never shirked a challenge. Thus it was he finally established himself for his country ahead of Nasri after the epic two-leg play-off win over Ukraine last November. It is as much his usually cheery disposition that earned Valbuena a place on the plane and not the more skilful Nasri, whose badboy image and disruptive influence counted against him when Dider Deschamps came to name his squad. Valbuena, born near Bordeaux to a Spanish father and a French mother, will have shed no tears over his omission given Nasri and Ribery ganged up on him when he first arrived at Marseille, making a particular point of singling him out because of his lack of height—he stands at just 5ft 6inches (1.67metres). “When I see them at the national side get togethers, I prefer to make light of what went on because the story is over,” he told radio station RTL in February last year. “Despite it being over I still have a bad memory of what went on. “To be systematically singled out for bad jokes really hurts.

Afterwards FIFA said it would soon announce new security measures. It is the second time this week that fans have broken into the iconic Maracana Stadium, which will host the July 13 final. On Sunday a group of fans in Argentina colours smashed through an entry gate ahead of the Argentina-Bosnia game. Nine people were arrested after that incident. Other fans have been more crafty sneaking their way in. Four Argentine fans got into last Thursday’s

France’s Mathieu Valbuena gestures upon substitution during his team’s match against Honduras on June 15. “Nobody else in the dressing room would have put up being targeted like I was. I was not ready to be subjected to that. I was too nice but I am now made of harder stuff,” added Valbuena, who was also singled out for especially tough treatment on the training

ground. Valbuena, scorer of five goals in his 35 international appearances since making his debut in 2010, may not have earned a big money move abroad like Ribery or Nasri have done. However, he is hoping that good performances in Brazil will

finally see him cut the bonds with Marseille after eight years, a rarity in terms of longevity for modern footballers. Deschamps, for whom Valbuena was an integral part of the Marseille side he coached to the 2010 title, is overjoyed to have such a cheerful presence along at the finals and equally so that his performances, especially in the warm-up win over Norway, were so impressive. “He (Valbuena) has been superb for us (the national side) for the past two years,” Deschamps said. “He arrived with a big smile, a great eagerness to succeed and you can see that on the pitch, you can really feel it. “He has never been better than he has been for France coming into the finals.” For Guy Stephan, assistant coach to Deschamps at national level as he was at Marseille, summed up the importance of Valbuena to the France set-up. “Mathieu is indispensable,” he said. “He has been given a role he has never had before. Didier has allowed him a lot of freedom to move around and animate the flow of the game, but he knows that he has to get out to a flank if we lose the ball. “He is an extraordinarily giving person on the pitch,” added Stephan. Valbuena, who has scored some eye-catching goals in European competition, including spectacular efforts against English side Liverpool and Germans Borussia Dortmund, has according to friends always been able to raise his game when needed.

Son savours World Cup debut AFP Recife

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t was hardly the way South Korea’s Son Heung-Min wanted to celebrate picking up the man-of-the-match award after a sparky World Cup debut in a 1-1 draw with Russia. The 21-year-old Bayer Leverkusen star’s evening took an unexpected turn when he was hauled in for an anti-doping control after the Group H game in Cuiaba on Tuesday night. Without going into details ‘the procedure’ took longer than anticipated, and by the time Son emerged his colleagues and the team bus had long since departed the Arena Pantanal. So Son was left behind on one of the landmark nights of his career, forced to head back to the Korean hotel alone in a cab. Before finally taking his leave of the stadium, the pacy attacking midfielder, who moved from Hamburg to Leverkusen in a 10 million euro deal in 2013, gave a glimpse of what the whole experience of playing for his country on the world’s greatest football stage had meant to him. “It’s like a dream, I tried to sleep before the game, but I couldn’t. “I was a little bit nervous. And then happy that I performed well in the first game.” Son, it is hard to believe, was only 11 when Korean coach Hong Myung-Bo skippered the nation to a remarkable semi-final spot at the 2002 World Cup. Now, 12 years later, he was being tackled by the Brazilian media about his haircut, a sure sign that he has arrived in footballing terms. In flawless German, picked up since joining Hamburg’s youth academy aged 16, Son, who secured his 26th international cap on Tuesday, reflected on his side’s opening point in a game they had fleetingly led. Substitute Lee Keun-Ho put South Korea ahead with a 30 metre shot that Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev disastrously parried over his head into the net. But that was cancelled out by Russian substitute Alexander Kerzhakov minutes later. Son proved a handful for the Russian defence without capitalising. He had a gilt-edged chance

in the first half, but shot high. The result left both teams trailing Group H favourites Belgium, 2-1 winners over Algeria earlier in the day. “We had the win in our sights but even so this one point is still important,” said the dual-footed attacker, who is one of a batch of Koreans playing in the Bundesliga. “We now have to study Algeria (their next rivals in Porte Alegre on Sunday) carefully to make sure we get the three points against them.” The scorer of 10 goals for Leverkusen last term downplayed the personal satisfaction of receiving the man of the match award. “It doesn’t mean that much right now, it was just important to get something out of this match, but having said that of course I’m happy because it was my first World Cup game.”


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Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

SPOTLIGHT

If we’re sad, that’s even more reason for the samba’ Manaus stadium to be a white elephant, residents of the Amazon city fear By Andy Goldberg Manaus

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he World Cup in Manaus is half way over, and now residents are asking “what’s next?” In the courtyard of a petrol station a kilometre or two from the city’s brand new 230-million-dollar World Cup stadium, a small sushi restaurant is packed every night with young locals drinking beer and eating the Japanese-style food. “We thought the World Cup would change our city but it has done nothing,” said proprietor JJ. “Sure there are a few more tourists. But in a week or two they will be gone and then what will be left? Just a giant stadium that no-one needs and no-one will use.” His young cosmopolitan crowd is equally ambivalent. “We love football,” said one customer. “But where is the train we were supposed to get? Nowhere.” Visitors may be surprised at the number of sushi joints in this gritty city of 2 million. But Manaus is a city of many faces. Grimy factories and putrid favelas squat alongside gleaming shopping malls and magnificent villas on the banks of the Amazon. Crumbling colonial mansions rest in the shade of towering condominium towers and beautifully restored market buildings. JJ says that the World Cup has actually been detrimental to Manaus, which prior to its football fame was renowned as the best base for exploring the magnificent Amazon region and, thanks to its tax free status, as one of the mightiest industrial centres of Brazil. “The money should have gone to schools, hospitals and roads, but the politicians,” says JJ with a grunt. “They had a different plan.” True, the city does have an impressive new 40,000-seat stadium that shimmers and glows like a giant spaceship in the jungle - but without a first rate football team to play in it the Stadium of the Amazon is likely to become one of the strangest creatures in the entire jungle ecosphere - a white elephant. A local judge even proposed turning it into an overflow facility for the state’s overcrowded prisons. It wouldn’t be the first grandiose folly in the city’s history. At the end of the 19th cen-

tury Manaus was a prosperous boom town thanks to its monopoly of the world rubber trade. That’s when local rubber barons paid millions to construct the world-renowned Amazonas Opera House using bricks imported from Europe, and coating the carriageway outside with rubber to protect their horses’ hooves. But the city fell into deep decline when traders shipped out the seeds of rubber plants and the monopoly was broken. It’s still looking for a way back up - but the World Cup is unlikely to provide it. Maybe it’s even had a negative effect. Ever since Manaus was announced as a World Cup venue it has been bombarded with bad publicity. England manager Roy Hodgson called it the “place to avoid,” and the British press had a field day describing the capital of the Amazon as a steaming “hell-hole” filled with snakes, man-eating plants, malarial mosquitos and killer thugs. Visitors to Manaus have found those claims highly exaggerated. “It’s not Rio, but I like it,” said Morris Johnson, who travelled here from Manchester to watch England. “It’s authentic, the people are friendly, and the heat isn’t as bad as I thought.” Like many other visitors to the city, Johnson complained about the transportation difficulties he encountered in getting here. Manaus is almost 3,000 kilometres from Rio de Janeiro and there are no roads connecting it to the rest of Brazil. The mighty Amazon serves to bring in most of the freight. But people need to use air transport, and with few direct connections to Brazil’s major cities many travellers often face journeys of six or eight hours. That’s of little concern to the locals however, especially when Brazil is playing. Some of them flock to massive open air restaurants which serve up mounds of grilled meat and fish freshly caught from the Rio Negra and the Amazon rivers. Others close off their streets, festoon them in the colours of the flag, and spend the day, eating, watching football, and most importantly it seems, dancing - even on the day that Brazil was held 0-0 by Mexico. “We want to be happy whatever happens,” said one young couple dancing in an alley near the Amazon stadium. “If we’re happy we dance. If we’re sad, that’s even more reason for the samba.”

A street in Manaus decorated with ribbons depicting the colours of national flag.

BOTTOMLINE

FOCUS

Five coaches who failed to France’s Pogba deliver World Cup repeat making headlines for right reasons of a suave Italian sitting on the bench shielded by dark glasses and puffing on a pipe. Delivered the World Cup in wonderful fashion against West Germany in 1982, but like Del Bosque and Menotti found it impossible to drop his loyal players who had given him his greatest moment. The heat of Mexico proved beyond the veterans and they went out in the last 16, beaten by a classy French side. “For me, coaching Italy was a vocation which, as the years have passed, has become a profession. The game’s values have changed since my day,” said Bearzot on resigning after their exit and returning to his second love, collecting classical literature.

AFP Sao Paulo

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t may not be much of a consolation to Spain coach Vicente del Bosque after his world champions went out at the first stage of the World Cup on Wednesday but several other coaches have also tried and failed to back up their success four years later, with Italian Vittorio Pozzo the only man to achieve that in 1934 and 1938. Here AFP Sport looks at five coaches feted as heroes and then four years later unable to deliver a repeat dose of success: Alf Ramsey - England (1966-70) „Mild-mannered and unassuming he managed to focus his side’s minds despite captain and icon Bobby Moore being falsely accused of theft in a Colombian jewellery shop prior to the finals in Mexico. They reached the last eight and a repeat of the 1966 final with West Germany. England took a 2-0 lead only for the loss of goalkeeper Gordon Banks prior to the match because of an upset stomach to come back and haunt them as Peter Bonetti did not live up to his nickname ‘the cat’. In an error-strewn display, he was at fault for one goal in the 3-2 defeat in extra-time. Ramsey survived but was sacked by the FA when England failed to reach the 1974 finals. Helmut Schoen - West Germany (1974-78) •Known as the ‘man with the cap’ due to his permanent piece of attire, he steered West Germany to the 1966 final then the 1970 semi-finals and subsequently a European title in 1972,

Spain’s coach Vicente Del Bosque reacts during the 2014 World Cup Group B soccer match against Chile at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro yesterday. as well as the World Cup at home two years later. However, like boxers who think there is one more knockout in them at world title level despite evidence to the contrary, so Schoen decided to try his hand at retaining the title in 1978 at the same time saying he would retire whatever the final result. The Germans reached the second group phase which included the Dutch—who they had beaten in the ‘74 final—but two draws meant they needed a result against neighbours Austria, who had nothing to play for as they had already been eliminated. But they showed little respect and beat the Germans 3-2 to put a dampener on the end of Schoen’s golden era. Cesare Menotti - Argentina (1978-92)

„Known as the ‘Thin One’, it looked as if he eschewed eating for smoking such was his consumption of tobacco during matches. Delivered Argentina their first World Cup at home which delighted the unattractive military Junta that ruled the country, although Menotti walked a fine line as he appeared to be often critical of the regime. However, four years later he, like Del Bosque, remained loyal to the core of the team that won them the World Cup, with the notable exception of introducing Diego Maradona to the world. The opening day of the tournament was marked with the Junta conceding defeat in the Falklands War. Enzo Bearzot - Italy (1982-86) „Bearzot was the epitome

Marcello Lippi - Italy (2006-2010) „Devilishly good looking, many thought he bore more than a passing resemblance to Hollywood idol Paul Newman. Lippi left his post after the 2006 victory and took time off to enjoy his hobby of yachting but returned like an old Roman general called back to restore the Empire’s honour after Italy went out in the Euro 2008 quarter-finals. The cheroot-puffing coach thought he could succeed where others had failed and relied on his old guard but despite qualifying and being drawn in a soft-looking group, they never got into their stride, even being held to a 1-1 draw by minnows New Zealand to exit at the first hurdle. “When you see a team that plays with fear in their legs and in their hearts, you understand that you have failed,” said a gracious and humble Lippi afterwards.

Reuters Salvador

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icknamed ‘The Octopus’ for his tentaclelike legs, a fiery combative style and his controversial exit from Manchester United have ensured talented France youngster Paul Pogba has created more than his share of headlines. Pogba left Old Trafford under a cloud after a war of words with then United manager Alex Ferguson who accused the midfielder of a lack of respect when he left for Juventus in 2012 after not making the first team quickly enough. Since then, Pogba has done his talking on the pitch with the tall 21-year-old fast emerging as a midfield force for club and country. Oozing class and confidence, Pogba combines a strong physical presence with deft footwork, outstanding technique and superb vision, and has won plaudits in both defensive and attacking roles through the centre of the park. His potential is underlined by the fact he is seen as the leading candidate to take over the role of pass master from Italian veteran Andrea Pirlo at his club side Juventus. For France, his presence offers some steel alongside the likes of Yohan Cabaye and Blaise Matuidi while his athleticism allows him to reinforce attack-

ing forays with Karim Benzema, Olivier Giroud and co. Born in France to Guinean parents, Pogba made his international debut in March 2013, but his talent has been clear for some time. French captain from the Under-17s to the Under20s, he starred in leading the latter to World Cup victory in Turkey last year and already has two Italian league titles to his name. The most successful in a footballing family - his brothers Florentin and Mathias, play for French side St Etienne and English lower league club Crewe, Pogba shares an agent with the likes of top strikers Mario Balotelli and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Last year he was named ‘Golden Boy’, an award given to the most impressive young player in Europe, joining previous winners including Wayne Rooney, Lionel Messi and Cesc Fabregas. If Pogba has a weakness, it’s his penchant for tackles that bring out the fiery streak in him. In 2013 as Juventus clinched the league title he saw red for spitting at Palermo’s Salvatore Aronica. For France, he was sent off in his second appearance, and received a halftime talking to by teammates in his first World Cup match in Brazil after coming close to a red card in an altercation with Honduran midfielder Wilson Palacios on Sunday.

His box-to-box engine also saw him win a penalty though, which sent France on their way to a 3-0 Group E victory, and in coach Didier Deschamps, Pogba has a perfect teacher to help him fine tune his aggression. “There is such a buzz about him and there’s always a risk with a player who is being talked up as a star of the World Cup,” Deschamps told media. “It’s not an easy environment to manage even if he is at a big club. He is still young and he has steps to take.” Prior to the Manchester United and Juventus saga, Pogba was already making headlines after his move as a kid from French side Le Havre to United sparked claims of poaching. His later acrimonious United exit prompted Ferguson to say he was happy he’d left, although that now appears to have been a mistake. Now considered one of the hottest prospects in soccer, media reports say Europe’s elite clubs, including United, may pay as much as 60 million pounds ($101 million) for him. That figure could rise should he have a belter in Brazil. “Noel Le Graet, the president of the (French) Federation, estimated that a quarter-final would be a success,” Pogba, who has 12 caps, told French newspaper L’Equipe this week. “Me? I believe in the group. So I say to myself: ‘Why not us?”.


Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

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SPORT SPOTLIGHT

Spurs celebrate fifth NBA crown with fans Agencies Los Angeles

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he San Antonio Spurs celebrated their fifth title in franchise history by climbing onto barges that floated down the river walk followed by a triumphant rally at the Alamodome arena. The National Basketball Association (NBA) champions were greeted by about 100,000 people on the river walk parade and about 75,000 at the downtown Alamodome on Wednesday. The celebration began at the Arneson River Theater and moved through the River Center extension before finally concluding at the Convent Street Bridge. Players and coaches then addressed fans inside the Alamodome during a special ceremony. “It is soaking in, but I’m still going to live it up for about the whole summer,” said

Kawhi Leonard, who was named MVP of the NBA finals. “I’ve been trying to live the moment. It’s been hard to sleep. Thought I would get some sleep after we won the finals, but I’m still celebrating.” Some fans began lining up outside the Alamodome in 90 degree Fahrenheit heat five hours before the celebrations began. The Spurs completed their five game demolition of the Miami Heat with a 104-87 win Sunday night in San Antonio. They have five championships since 1999 and Tim Duncan has been part of all of those. “They’re better people than they are basketballers,” said Mills, who received a thunderous round of applause after calling out the names of Duncan and Ginobili and Parker. All three showed their class, expressing deep mutual admiration. “These two guys are very special to me,” said 36-year-old Gino-

bili. “I respect them on and off the court. It’s been a true pleasure to play with them for so long.” “Like Manu said, ‘we’ll have a special bond for life, and what we have with coach (Gregg Popovich) I don’t take for granted,” an admittedly emotional Parker said. “I appreciate every moment.” Duncan said he matured with the help of Ginobili and Parker. “I started with some great ones and learned from there,” he said referring to Hall of Famer David Robinson. “Then I get to spend the next 15 years of my career growing up with these two. I found myself as a player and a person, growing as an individual and watching them grow.” Mills said the Spurs’ off-court bonding contributed to their success on the court. “We’re all friends before we’re teammates,” he said. “We look after each other off court. I think it

worked into how we trusted each other on the court. I think it was a big factor. I think we’ll be best friends for a long time. We’re a great group and it’s been an unbelievable year.” With Popovich back at the helm, and the Big Three expected to return next season, the Spurs will be a strong favourite to defend their title. “It will come to an end but I don’t think next year,” 32-yearold Parker said after the Finals. “I think everybody’s going to come back.” The Spurs will look to build their legacy and embrace their love affair with the Alamo City fans. “We feel very fortunate to be in this city and to be supported by people like yourselves,” Popovich told the crowd. “I just want you know that we’re all going to continue to do everything we can to make you make you proud of us.”

San Antonio Spurs players (from left) Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, Marco Belinelli and Tiago Splitter stand on the stage during an event celebrating their fifth NBA title win in San Antonio on Wednesday. (EPA)

BASEBALL

RUGBY

All Blacks primed to clean sweep England

Kershaw pitches no-hitter, Dodgers beat Rockies 8-0

AFP Hamilton

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‘That was a really though play. Under normal circumstances, that was pretty close to a hit’ Agencies Los Angeles

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odgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw pitched the game of his life on Wednesday night, throwing a no-hitter to beat the Rockies, 8-0, at Dodger Stadium. Kershaw struck out a careerhigh 15 batters in the effort and walked none. The only batter to get to first base all night was Corey Dickerson, who reached on a throwing error by Hanley Ramirez to open the seventh inning. “That was a really though play. Under normal circumstances, that was pretty close to a hit,” Kershaw said after the game. Hanley did all he can. There is nothing you can really do about that.” “It’s not good when you have a pitcher like him having a perfect game going. You try to do your best,” Ramirez said. “Everybody in baseball knows that was a tough play. I gave every effort I had on that play.” After the error, Kershaw retired the final nine batters of the game, including five by strikeout.“Clayton was just so dominant as the game went on, he had such a great breaking ball,” said catcher A.J. Ellis. “The combination of his slider and curveball was the best I’ve seen. When you have those things going, nights like this are possible.” There have been two no-hitters in baseball in 2014, and both have been thrown by Dodgers. In addition to Kershaw’s masterpiece, teammate Josh Beckett

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws in the ninth inning of the game against the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday. PICTURE: USA TODAY Sports no-hit the Phillies on May 25 in Philadelphia. It is the first time the Dodgers have had multiple no-hitters in the same season since 1956, when Carl Erskine and Sal Maglie turned the trick for Brooklyn.The last team to have two pitchers throw complete game no-hitters in the same season was the 1972 Cubs, with Burt Hooton and Milt

Pappas.“I hear [Zack] Greinke’s got one in him, and [HyunJin] Ryu maybe, too,” manager Don Mattingly joked after the game. “That’s the goal.” Kershaw won his fourth straight game on Wednesday and during the month of June is 4-0 with a 1.24 ERA to go along with 39 strikeouts and just one walk, in 29 innings.

RESULTS Philadelphia Chicago Cubs Kansas City Baltimore Boston NY Mets White Sox

10 6 2 2 2 3 7

Atlanta Miami Detroit Tampa Bay Minnesota St. Louis San Francisco

5 1 1 0 1 2 6

Oakland NY Yankees Washington Cincinnati Arizona LA Dodgers San Diego

4 Texas 7 Toronto 6 Houston 11 Pittsburgh 4 Milwaukee 8 Colorado 2 Seattle

2 3 5 4 3 0 1

GOLF

Finland’s Ilonen fires Irish Open with course record AFP Dublin

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inland’s Mikko Ilonen ignored the script to easily outshine his more-fancied local rivals, including double Major winning Rory McIlroy, on the opening day of the Irish Open yesterday. Illonen, 34, celebrated his 300th European Tour event setting a new course record of a seven-under par 64 in superb scoring conditions on the Fota Island course in Cork. In contrast, McIlroy, the highest world ranked player in the field at No 6, had just three bird-

ies and double the number of bogeys in a three-over-par 74 to trail 10 shots behind the triple Tour-winning Finn. Illonen capped his round birding five of his closing seven holes and taking just 26 putts, to end near lunch leading by three shots from the duo of Italy’s Edoardo Molinari and England’s Matthew Baldwin. “A couple of weeks ago in Sweden I was playing really well and I finished 32nd, and it’s still really a mystery how I finished 32nd that week, because I was actually hitting my best shots of the year there,” said Illonen. “I felt really calm with the putter and today really it’s just

still there but we still have a long way to go.” And while Illonen sets his sights on a fourth Tour victory he also is looking to break into the world’s top-50 for a first time in his career and be assured of contesting August’s WGC - Bridgestone Invitational. He is currently ranked 63rd in the world, one place more than a career high of 62nd in December 2007. “In these summer tournaments up until The Open my goal is to get into the Top?50 and that gets me into the Bridgestone that I can play in the States,” he said. “I am exempt into The Open while 63 in the world will get me into the PGA, so I have that, but

it would be nice to play two more over in the States once you’re there.” McIlroy, however, paid a price for disruptions to his preparation including losing his clubs and struggling to hit just eight of the 14 fairways and taking 30 putts in a round of 74. “I’ve still got a little bit of jetlag for sure coming from the US Open,” he said. “I wasn’t able to do much on Monday or Tuesday because the clubs didn’t arrive until yesterday so that was a little bit frustrating more than anything else. “But I did a really good practice session on the range last night after the Pro-Am and was feel-

ing good going out this morning. “However I just couldn’t really put it together as I was very sloppy with the scoring clubs today, wedges, the short game, the putting. All that was just a little off. “So hopefully that is my poor round for the week and I can do a better job of that tomorrow and obviously I’ll need something in the low 60s just to be here on the weekend.” And McIlroy revealed he will get his first look at Royal Liverpool and next month’s British Open host venue when he will play two practice rounds on the course on the weekend before the July 10th commencing Scottish Open.

he All Blacks have their sights on a world record run of victories as they look to clean sweep England in tomorrow’s third and final Test in Hamilton. Although New Zealand wrapped up the series by winning the first two Tests, assistant coach Ian Foster said: “We don’t feel we’ve put the foot on the throat to the point we want to.” The All Blacks scraped a narrow 20-15 victory in the first Test and were pushed to the wire in Dunedin last weekend in their 28-27 win. The All Blacks have made only two injury-related changes as they work on getting their preferred starting line-up playing with more consistency. However England, with the series gone, have swung the axe and made seven changes as their quest to beat the All Blacks now becomes a search for sound combinations before they host next year’s World Cup. “I still think we are finding out who can really deliver at the highest level,” England coach Stuart Lancaster said. “Our aim was to win a Test series and we are disappointed that we haven’t. At stake for New Zealand is not only a further chance to gain a psychological blow over England, but also to become the most successful tier-one Test nation. They have already won 16 Tests in a row and a win on Saturday will equal the record of 17 held by the All Blacks (1965-69) and Springboks (1997-98). International player of the year Kieran Read returns for the home team now he is over his concussion issues and enterprising centre Malakai Fekitoa gets his first Test start in place of the injured Conrad Smith. The misfiring Aaron Cruden retains the No 10 jersey ahead of the in-form Beauden Barrett with All Blacks coach Steve Hansen saying one new combination in the backs was enough when trying to produce a complete performance. Hansen described Fekitoa as a “special” player and was not concerned about the rawness of his partnership with veteran Ma’a Nonu in the midfield. “They’ll be a good combination going forward. But like with any new combination, it takes time,” he said. “There will be mistakes. It’s just what we do when we make

Matfield faces latest test on comeback trail Victor Matfield will become the most-capped player in South Africa’s history when he makes his 112th appearance for the Springboks in the second test against Wales in Nelspruit tomorrow. It will also mark another important staging post in the 37-year-old’s comeback from retirement. Matfield, who will captain the side, will surpass John Smit’s record of 111 tests for South Africa, something that would have been unthinkable a few months ago and following his retirement in 2011. Coach Heyneke Meyer has made no secret of his desire to use Matfield’s experience and extraordinary aerial ability at the World Cup next year, but, like the oldest student on campus, the lock needs to pass a few more exams first.

the mistakes and how quickly we repair it. I’m not too concerned. I think (Fekitoa’s) going to be a special player.” The return of Read to partner Richie McCaw and Jerome Kaino re-establishes a partnership last seen together when the All Blacks beat France in the 2011 World Cup final. Despite winning the first two Tests, it was only in the third quarter of the second Test, when the All Blacks ran in three tries, that they played at a much higher level than England. The aim in Hamilton is to produce that performance for 80 minutes. “That’s our primary driver so I guarantee there’ll be no complacency,” Foster said. Among the wholesale changes in the England line-up, the experiment of playing Manu Tuilagi on the wing has been abandoned and he returns to the No 12 jersey to ensure a baptism of fire for Fekitoa. Freddie Burns has regained the fly-half spot with Ben Youngs at scrum-half and Kyle Eastmond at inside centre while Chris Ashton comes in on the wing. In the forwards Dylan Hartley, Courtney Lawes and Billy Vunipola take over from Rob Webber, Joe Launchbury and Ben Morgan. “We have progressed as a squad during this tour and while there has been challenges with the end of season scheduling affecting selection it has been a great opportunity to work with a wider group of players and test many of them at the highest level in the build up to the World Cup,” said Lancaster.

World champ Klitschko to defend titles in September Heavyweight boxing world champion Wladimir Klitschko will defend his three championship belts against the unbeaten Bulgarian, Kubrat Pulev, it was announced yesterday. The fight will take place on September 6, in Hamburg. Klitschko, 38, currently holds the WBO, WBA and IBF heavyweight belts. The Ukrainian successfully defended them in April, knocking out Australia’s Alex Leapai in the fifth round in Oberhausen, Germany. Pulev, 33, is the IBF challenger, but Klitschko’s spokesman Lorenz Eichhorn said that, in the event of a defeat in September, Klitschko would also give up the other two belts he holds. “The Cobra is a challenge for me, with his record of 20 wins (11 by K.O.) and no losses ... So there is definitely no reason to underestimate him,” Klitschko said on his Facebook site yesterday.


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Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

SPORT FORMULA ONE

Red Bull looking at home advantage in Austria AFP Spielberg (Austria)

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ed Bull will be looking to extend their winning form and set the stage for a real title challenge to dominant Mercedes when the Grand Prix returns to Austria Sunday after 11 years. Fresh from Daniel Ricciardo’s maiden win in Canada two weeks ago, the Austrian team will have home advantage at the Red Bull Ring amid the rolling hills of southern Styria. But the 24-year-old Australian still has a large gap to close if he is to catch up with current championship leader Nico Rosberg and his teammate Lewis Hamilton, who stand respectively at 140 and 118 points, to his 79. After taking all first six races of the season— putting it firmly in the lead in the constructors’ standings—Mercedes encountered power problems in Montreal, helping Ric-

ciardo to victory. This will not happen again, Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff vowed ahead of F1’s return to the historic track at Spielberg: “We will be pushing harder than ever to ensure that we do not give away any more valuable points to our rivals.” “We know we cannot afford to slip up as our rivals are always there to take advantage,” added Rosberg. For Red Bull, the 1-3 finish in Montreal was a perfect set-up for this weekend’s race. After four back-to-back championship titles thanks to German star Sebastian Vettel, the team struggled this season before travelling to Montreal. But Vettel, third in Canada and fifth in overall standings, was confident that racing on home ground on Sunday “will energise us.” “I have been looking forward (to this race) since the start of the season. A Grand Prix on the Red Bull Ring is a very special motivation for our team. We will fight with all we’ve got to stand on top

of the podium,” he promised. Home asphalt Another team to be claiming home advantage will be Toro Rosso—also owned by the Austrian energy drink maker. “It’s going to be a big weekend for the Red Bull family,” Russia’s Daniil Kvyat already predicted. Lotus, Caterham and Marussia, on the other hand, will just be hoping to redeem themselves after seeing all their drivers retire in a crash- and accidentpacked race two weeks ago. “Canada was a kick where it hurts for everyone at the team but we took stock, identified the issues and have taken action to avoid any repeats,” said Lotus deputy team chief Federico Gastaldi. Caterham driver Kamui Kobayashi added his team could “benefit a lot from a good weekend” after Montreal’s wash-out. Force India’s Sergio Perez will meanwhile start with a five-place grid penalty after causing a near

300kph crash in Montreal with Felipe Massa of Williams, which both drivers escaped uninjured. Adrenaline rush Many drivers will be racing Sunday on a track they hardly know. Only Massa and former champions Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button and Kimi Raikkonen have taken part in an Austrian Grand Prix here and the track has undergone a few changes since its takeover by Red Bull. A lot will therefore hang on the free practice sessions today and tomorrow and on the racers’ ability to quickly master the 4.3-kilometre track and its tricky uphill and downhill sections. But the drivers were already relishing the challenge. “It’s a circuit where you never really get to rest in the cockpit because the track is always going somewhere,” said McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen, who will be able to draw on his experience in non-F1 races on the Red Bull Ring.

Wimbledon champ Bartoli beaten by schoolgirl Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli was beaten by a 15-year-old English schoolgirl as she turned out on a grasscourt yesterday for the first time since her historic triumph. Just over a year ago, Bartoli was lifting the Venus Rosewater Dish on Wimbledon’s hallowed Centre Court having achieved her lifelong dream by defeating Germany’s Sabine Lisicki in the women’s final. The 29-year-old Frenchwoman retired a month later and won’t defend her title at Wimbledon, which gets underway on Monday. But Bartoli’s fond memories of England’s grasscourts persuaded her to accept an invitation to play in the Liverpool Hope University International Tennis Tournament at Liverpool Cricket Club this week. Her first opponent in the exhibition event was teenager Jodie Burrage and Bartoli was virtually unrecognisable from the player who did not drop a set at Wimbledon last year. The disbelief on Burrage’s face was clear as she raced into a 4-0 lead. Bartoli won the next four games but could not save the set, and trailing 7-5, 3-2 she pulled out with a right shoulder problem. Burrage, 208th in the junior world rankings, earned the chance to play in the event by winning a junior tournament in Liverpool last year and she said: “I can’t believe it. It’s amazing even to be able to play against her. So to win, it’s unreal. “I was really nervous, I was thinking, ‘Just get a couple of games, or even a game’. Then when I was out on the court, I couldn’t believe the scoreline and how I was playing. I played really well. “When I won the first game, I thought it was lucky. When I went 4-0 up, I was like, ‘Oh my God, you could get a set’. I didn’t think I’d win. Then I think

TENNIS

‘It’s important to try to enjoy experiences like that, because they don’t happen often’

PRE-WIMBLEDON BOOST: Andy Murray.

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ndy Murray warmed up for the start of his Wimbledon title defence with an emphatic victory over Spain’s Tommy Robredo at the Hurlingham Club yesterday. Murray’s preparations for the grasscourt Grand Slam had suffered a setback when he was surprisingly beaten in the third round at Queen’s Club by Czech veteran Radek Stepanek last week, a defeat that ended his 19-match winning run on grass. But the Scot looked back in the groove as he dispatched world number 22 Robredo 6-2, 7-6 (7/1) in the BNP Paribas Tennis Classic exhibition event.

Gasquet says game on the mend Richard Gasquet moved into his third semi-final of the season as the top seed defeated Slovak Martin Klizan 6-3, 6-4 at the ATP-WTA Eastbourne International yesterday. The world number 14 will be playing in a final four outside of his native France for the first time in 2014 as he prepares for next week’s Wimbledon championship after missing nearly two months and the entire clay season prior to Roland Garros with a back injury. In the women’s draw at Devonshire Park, Briton Heather Watson moved into the semis as second seed and 2011 Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova withdrew before their match with a thigh strain on the eve of Monday’s All England Club start. German fifth seed Angelique Kerber, a 2012 Wimbledon semifinalist, advanced past Ekaterina Makarova in their quarter-final 6-2, 6-1. “Nice and quick, but it was not so easy like the score said,” added the German. “I knew it would not be easy because we’ve had a lot of close matches in the past. “I was just focusing on me, trying to be aggressive and take my chances. I think I did a good job today.” Gasquet advanced with seven aces and two breaks of serve in 68 minutes, saving both of the break points he faced, and declared he was optimistic about his progress.

SPOTLIGHT

Murray warms up for Wimbledon by beating Robredo

AFP London

I lost my focus a bit but I still managed to get that and then go up in the second. “Unfortunately she had to pull out, but still it was incredible.” Bartoli is expected to compete in doubles on Friday, although it was unclear whether she would be able to complete her round-robin singles matches.

It was another pre-Wimbledon boost for the 27-year-old, who heard earlier in the week that he will be seeded third in the Grand Slam due to his good record on grass, even though he is currently ranked fifth in the world. Murray’s Wimbledon campaign will get underway on Monday when he walks on to Centre Court as the first British male defending singles champion since Fred Perry. It is certain to be a pressurepacked fortnight for Murray, especially as his partnership with new coach Amelie Mauresmo will be closely scrutinised. Frenchwoman Mauresmo was Murray’s shock choice to replace Ivan Lendl, initially on a trial basis until the end of the short grasscourt season. With few other leading men

coached by women, Murray’s move has raised eyebrows in the tennis world, but the Scot is happy to be able to pick the brains of former Wimbledon winner Mauresmo about the experience of defending the title. “I chatted to her about it last night when we had dinner,” Murray said. “It’s important at the beginning, when you go out and walk onto the court, to try to enjoy that feeling, because it’s something I’ve never experienced before, it will be a proud moment to come back as defending champion. “It’s important to try to enjoy experiences like that, because they don’t happen often. “I don’t know how it will feel, I have no idea, I’m sure I’ll be nervous and will feel some pressure, but I’ll try to enjoy it, it’s a

new experience for me. “It’s not often that happens now, there aren’t many situations I haven’t been in, after nine or 10 years on the tour, so that will be nice. “But then when you start playing the match, you need to treat it like any other tennis match, and get down to business and focus on the tactics and what you need to do to try to come through.” Murray, who also won the Olympic singles gold medal at Wimbledon in 2012, says he is relishing his time with Mauresmo after working without a coach since Lendl quit in March. “I’ve really enjoyed working with Amelie so far, I’ve really enjoyed being on the court with her,” he said. “She understands the game well obviously, she’s also been

in the position before coming back as defending champion at Wimbledon. “Queen’s didn’t really count as a tournament that we spent together because she arrived on Tuesday afternoon and I played my first match on Wednesday, and we practised for 30 minutes. “From her side, she’s just getting to know me, getting to know the guys that I work with, and how we operate. “Then these last few days we’ve had time on the court, some peace and quiet to work on some things and to try to get ready for the start of the tournament. “It’s important to enjoy practising and having fun on the court with your coach, and that’s been the case in the last four days.”

A decade on, insatiable Sharapova seeks Wimbledon No. 2 Reuters London

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hen a 17-year-old Maria Sharapova lit up Wimbledon 10 years ago to win the title it was the launch pad to her becoming the world’s wealthiest sportswoman and an international tennis brand. Yet despite the millions of dollars earned in prize money, endorsements and now a confectionary brand, the 27-yearold Russian’s hunger for victory remains insatiable. After winning the French Open for a second time earlier this month, taking her grand slam haul to five, she is chasing a rare “Channel Double” last achieved by a woman in 2002 when Serena Williams proved unbeatable on clay and grass. Sharapova stunned Serena Williams on Wimbledon’s Centre Court in 2004 to take the title, and the fact that they are the favourites at this Wimbledon speaks volumes for the enduring quality and determination of both players. American Williams, who has bagged 17 grand slam titles, has struggled to live up to the sensational heights she scaled last year when she claimed the French and US Opens and won 78 of the 82 matches she contested. It seemed certain that she would go on to move in front of fellow Americans Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova (both 18) on the all-time list of major singles triumphs but, as her 33rd birthday looms, time is maybe running out. She has already lost as many matches this year as she did in the whole of 2013 and suffered a surprise second-round defeat at the French Open, although that could have been a blessing as the world No.1 will arrive at Wimbledon refreshed. ABSENT CHAMPION As a five-times champion she is most likely to open proceedings on Centre Court on Tuesday in the absence of last year’s winner Marion Bartoli, who will be watching from the commentary box having retired last year. Another former champion, Chris Evert, believes that Williams will begin the tournament

under pressure, after disappointing runs in the first two grand slams of the year, but providing she survives the early rounds will take some stopping. “If she can get through the first week, that’s going to be the big thing,” Evert, who will be working for broadcaster ESPN during the tournament, said in a conference call. “Once she gets the ball rolling, gets more comfortable on the grass, she’ll be unbeatable.” Sharapova, seeded five, will hope to avoid a potential quarter-final with Williams because, despite her fearless persona on court against every other player in the world, the Russian has a timid record against the American, losing her last 15 matches against her, a sequence dating back 10 years. “If she can do a double, the French and Wimbledon, that would be the greatest year she’ll ever have in her life,” Evert said, when assessing Sharapova’s chances. For a player who once despised clay courts, Sharapova now looks completely at home on the dirt and a little awkward on grass, as was the case last year when she was bundled out in the second round by Portuguese qualifier Michelle Larcher de Brito. “Remember all the slipping and sliding, the problems she had last year,” Evert said. “Footing is a big problem with her.” YOUNG GUNS While most money will be on Williams and Sharapova, the women’s draw has plenty of depth this year with the likes of world number two and threetimes quarter-finalist Li Na, French Open runner-up Simona Halep, Serbian duo Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic and young guns such as Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard beginning to make inroads. “She likes grass. She likes to step in and take the ball early. She has power. I think she’s one to watch,” Evert said of the attack-minded Bouchard, whose style has many similarities to Sharapova’s when she broke through in 2004. Halep, seeded three at Wimbledon, retired hurt in the second round of the Den Bosch Open on Wednesday with an upper back problem but said she expected to be fit for Wimbledon.


Gulf Times Friday, June 20, 2014

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SPORT TEST

Benn makes his mark as Kiwis slip to 129 for 4 AFP Port of Spain

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SCOREBOARD

ulieman Benn starred with the ball as the West Indies claimed three wickets to have New Zealand struggling at 129 for four in their second innings at lunch on the fourth day of the second Test at Queen’s Park Oval yesterday. Having started their innings on the third afternoon with a first innings deficit of 239 runs, the Black Caps still need another 110 runs to make the home side bat again. Benn, the gangling Barbadian leftarm spinner, dislodged Tom Latham for 36 to a catch at silly point for the first wicket of the day. While the obdurate opening batsman could claim to be undone by awkward bounce extracted out of the bowler’s footmarks, there was nothing but the brilliance of Benn’s catching off his own bowling to account for the demise of Jimmy Neesham just before the interval. Looking to counter-attack the spinner with one of his trademark powerful off-drives, the left-hander stood in disbelief as Benn flung himself to his right to come up with the sensational catch, a dismissal that was celebrated by his team-mates in a manner to suggest that that they were almost as stunned as the bats-

New Zealand 1st innings 221 West Indies 1st innings 460 New Zealand 2nd innings (Overnight 73 for 1) Latham c Brathwaite b Benn ........................................................................................................36 McCullum lbw Taylor ........................................................................................................... 3 Williamson c Ramdin b Roach .................................................................................................... 52 Taylor not out .......................................................................................................................................28 Neesham c & b Benn ............................................................................................................................7 Watling not out ...................................................................................................................................... 0 Extras (b1, lb1, nb1) ....................................................................................................... 3 Total (67 overs, 4 wickets) ......................................................................................129 Fall of wickets: 1-9 (McCullum), 2-84 (Latham), 3-108 (Williamson), 4-121 (Neesham) Bowling: Taylor 14-5-21-1, Roach 14-6-34-1, Gabriel 5-1-12-0 (1nb), Benn 26-9-41-2, Gayle 8-3-19-0.

man. In between those two wickets by the slow bowler, the persevering Kemar Roach seemed to be coming to the end of his spell but found a further lease of life when he had Kane Williamson caught behind for 52. The classy right-hander had played with admirable discipline in a 75-run second-wicket partnership with Latham and looked set to participate in another useful stand with new batsman Ross Taylor. But Roach drew him into following a delivery wide of off-stump to offer a straightforward catch to West Indies captain Denesh Ramdin, ending

his three-and-a-half-hour occupation of the crease. Taylor (28 not out) will resume in the afternoon with wicketkeeperbatsman B.J. Watling, as regular opening batsman Hamish Rutherford has yet to make an appearance in the middle even though the time he was off the field on the third day because of a stomach upset has already elapsed. New Zealand were 129 for 4 in their second innings, still trailing the West Indies by 110 runs, at lunch on the fourth day of the second Test at Queen’s Park Oval yesterday.

Sulieman Benn celebrates with teammates after taking a wicket.

SPOTLIGHT

CRICKET

QOC forges closer ties with the IOA Sheikh Saoud signs MoU to co-operate on educational initiatives

Fine start by Galfar Club By Sports Reporter Doha

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n a closely fought game Galfar Cricket Club registered a 12-run victory over a competitive Q-Tickets XI side at West End Park Stadium. Saman (Galfar) was the standout performer scoring 33 runs and taking three wickets to assist his team. Marso and Saman scored 52 and 33 runs, respectively for their side to help reach a total of 139 runs after Galfar won the toss and elected to bat first. Kannan and Yazeer dug in deep for the opposition by taking four and three wickets each respectively to minimise the damage. Q-Tickets XI proved there were no slouches with the bat either as Thusher scored 42 and Dinesh scored 30 runs to make a total of 127 runs. However, Narayan and Saman were both in fine bowling form (took three wickets each) and ultimately paving the way to a deserved victory. Michael Scallon from West End Park commented: “The

Challenge Cup promised to deliver an exciting tournament and it hasn’t failed to deliver. Tonight’s match was a fine advertisement for the local game and could have went either way. I can’t wait to see the forthcoming games and I’m sure the tournament will continue to build up speed as it progresses through the group stages.” West End Park Stadium will be hosting the Challenge Cup until its conclusion on Saturday 5th July until Sunday 6th July, 2014. Sixteen teams from the Qatar Cricket Association B and C Divisions will be participating. The Ramadan Tournament will follow from July 6 and will have twelve teams - ten from the Qatar Cricket Association A Division (and the 2 Challenge Cup Finalists will be eligible). The tournament will create added excitement with four overseas players being permitted per squad. Significant prize money is up for grabs (1st Place = QR50,000 / 2nd Place = QR25,000) in addition to other individual prizes. Matches begin daily at 7:00pm and entry is free for the public.

Trentin sprints to sixth stage win, Martin holds lead

Secretary General of the Qatar Olympic Committee HE Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman al-Thani (left) during the MoU signing ceremony. Agency Olympia (Greece)

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senior delegation from the Qatar Olympic Committee chaired by His Excellency Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman alThani, Secretary General of the Qatar Olympic Committee and President of the Qatar Olympic Academy, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Olympic Academy (IOA) at the historic birthplace of the Olympic Movement in Ancient Olympia, Greece. Established to further the cooperation on mutually beneficial educational initiatives on Olympic matters between the Qatar Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Academy, the MoU details a number of wide-ranging potential areas of collaboration that preserve and propagate the Olympic Spirit including shared educational programmes and international seminars.

Speaking after having signed the MoU on behalf of Qatar Olympic Academy (QOA) alongside Isidoros Kouvelos, Member of the Hellenic Olympic Movement and President of IOA, and witnessed by Ibrahim al-Jefairi, the Director of Qatar Olympic Academy (QOA), His Excellency Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said: “Today Qatar has taken a further important step to reach out to the international Olympic Movement and forge closer ties by serving and spreading the Olympic Values through education. It is very fitting to sign such an academic agreement that aims to safeguard and promote such universal values for the benefit of all societies at the home of movement in Ancient Olympia. Now more than ever the world needs to live by these values and instil them in its youth. “The Olympic values established in Ancient Greece are the foundation upon which Qatar’s emergence and sporting future is built. Each day our ambitions for sport and our people are in-

spired by these common beliefs that unite Qatar, Greece and the wider world for the good of all. “ I am humbled by the desire of the International Olympic Academy to ensure the Olympic flame burns bright in the hearts of future generations and proud that Qatar will collaborate with such an important movement. This timing is especially significant following the recent guidance and support offered in establishing our Qatar Olympic Academy in Doha which has been developed to advance Olympism across the Arabic-speaking world through several academic and scientific fields.” Isidoros Kouvelos, Member of the Hellenic Olympic Movement and President of IOA, added: “We are very pleased to initiate a new co-operation between the IOA and the QOC towards the dissemination of the Olympic Values. We are certain that there will be a fruitful outcome for the benefit of Olympic Education”. The signing of the MoU continues on from existing cooperation by the two parties in

the development of the Qatar Olympic Academy, which will serve the Olympic Values by bringing awareness and education to the people of Qatar and the region. The QOA just opened a new state-of-the-art facility with the distinction of offering courses in Sports Management, Coaching, as well as Olympic Values and Education in the Arabic language, amongst others—the only institution of its kind internationally. Held on the sidelines of the IOA Annual Forum, the signing followed an address by HE Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman al-Thani at the 54th International Session for Young Participants. The Qatar Olympic Committee Secretary General was amongst the guests of honour who also included the President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, and was attended by 200 participants from 96 countries. During his keynote address on “Olympic Values: Respect for Diversity”, His Excellency Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrah-

man al-Thani urged the future leaders of the Olympic World to serve the Olympic Values every day and seek a more equal and united Olympic Movement. “Joy of effort, fair play, respect for others, pursuit of excellence, balance between body, will and mind, are all values that fit into Qatar’s National Vision (2030) but, it is our duty to find ways to spread these values every day. It is also our duty within the Olympic Movement to support Universality. Our world is so rich. We should not deny diversity but we should make all the necessary arrangements to have equal opportunities, just as the values created in Ancient Olympia served.” Annually the IOA brings together a large international group of young people, students, Olympic athletes, people active in sport, teaching or active in their respective NOCs or NOAs with the aim of motivating the future generation to use their experiences and knowledge to promote the Olympic Ideals and educating others in their own countries.

Italy’s Matteo Trentin capitalized off of some fantastic teamwork to claim the stage 6 victory at the Tour de Suisse in Delémont, on Thursday. His team led him into the final few hundred meters in perfect position to sprint for the win, ahead of Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff Saxo) in second and Francesco Gavazzi (Astana) in third. “Of course I am super happy about this victory,” Trentin said. “At four kilometers to go, Tony looked at me and said ‘OK, we do the sprint.’ It was a question of one second time difference, so we knew the yellow jersey was safe at that point and we went. Tony did an unbelievable job. He split the peloton into two groups in the last kilometers, in the middle of the village. When he does a pull like that it is unbelievable the engine he has. He left me at 200 meters to go. “The finish was slightly uphill. I accelerated and was able to do a good sprint. I like this kind of sprint. But of course I want to share this victory with the team and Tony who did a selfless, great job.” Overall race leader Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) led the peloton, with Trentin on his wheel, into the final few hundred meters. The huge effort cut a gap in the main field. His position also ensured that he made it safely to the finish line without losing any time in the overall classification. Martin leads the race into the seventh stage ahead of Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano) and Peter Sagan (Cannondale). Sagan tried to shake things up over the final climb and on the descent toward the finish line but ended the day in fifth place. He currently leads the points classification while Bjorn Thurau (Team Europcar) leads the mountains competition and Mathias Frank (IAM Cycling) leads the Swiss rider competition.

Italian Matteo Trentin (C) of Omega Pharma Quick-Step sprints to win the 6th stage of the 78th Tour de Suisse yesterday. (EPA)


Friday, June 20, 2014

SPORT

GULF TIMES

(L) The El Jaish team celebrate after winning the Emir Cup handball tournament yesterday. In a thrilling final, they defeated Al Rayyan 31-27. At bottom, Minister for Youth and Sports HE Salah bin Ghanem bin Nasser al-Ali, and Qatar Handball Association president Ahmed al-Shaabi hand over the winners’ trophy.

HANDBALL

HORSE RACING

Draw for Super Globe event held By Yash Mudgal Doha

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l Sadd exercised their right as hosts and opted for Group B of the IHF Super Globe, the draw for which was held here yester-

day. The defending champions FC Barcelona and African club champions Esperance of Tunisia are the other two teams that were drawn in the group before the official hosts Al Sadd used their privilege of choosing their group for the championship. European Champions League winner SG Flensburg-Handewitt from Germany and pan American champions Taubate from Brazil were drawn in Group A along with Asian club champions El Jaish of Qatar. The eight teams from five continents will compete in two groups of the preliminary round of the event, which will be held from September 7 to 12 at the new Qatar Handball Association Complex. The complex is one of the four venues for the 24th Men’s Handball world Championship-Qatar 2015 to be held from January 15 to February 1, 2015. “Doha is hosting the Super Globe since 2010, but this year is different as the event has become a major test event for the World Championship. It will be rehearsal and set the tone of the biannual championship and,” director Qatar Handball Association’s secretary general Mohammed Jabor al-Mulla said. “We need now more than ever to stress the importance of the upcoming Super Globe as we are entering the final stages of preparations for the world championship,” he added.

Officials conduct the draw for the Super Globe Handball Championship in Doha yesterday. With the likely participation of 24 countries from all over the world in the 2015 World Championship, Qatar will be the only Gulf country and second in the Middle East to host the event after Egypt (1991). “We are moving forward according to the timetable to ensure a world class infrastructure for the prestigious event. The organising committee is working closely with IHF and all the teams involved to deliver an amazing event to the sporting world and make them experience the power and precision of the fastest game ever.”

The competition director Patrick Strub was impressed with Qatar’s preparations for the world Championship. “What I have seen so far regarding the preparation of the championship, I am impressed with that. Qatar is going to host a tournament which will be regarded as the best ever and will certainlt raise the bar for other future hosts,” Strub said.The preliminary rounds of Super Globe will be played September 7, 8 and 9 followed by a rest day. The semi-finals and first two placement matches will be held on Sep-

tember 11, while the final will be played on September 12. Group A SG Flensburg-Handewitt (Germany, winner of the EHF Champions League), El-Jaish (Qatar, winner of the Asian Club League), HC Taubate (Brazil, Pan-American club champions), wild card participant (Qatar) Group B FC Barcelona (defending champions), Esperance Sportive de Tunis (Tunisia, African club champions), Al Sadd (Qatar), Oceania representative.

Dettori rides Shaqab’s Baitha Alga to victory Agencies London

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egendary jockey Frankie Dettori rode Baitha Alga of Al Shaqab to a fine victory in the Norfolk Stakes as odds-on favourite The Great War flopped in fifth at Royal Ascot yesterday. The Great War seemed to be all going to plan for the 5-6 Aidan O’Brien-trained colt as he hit the front a furlong and half from home but Baitha Alga found another gear and burst ahead inside the final furlong to beat the strong finishing Mind Of Madness by a length and a half. After victory aboard The Wow Signal in the Coventry Stakes on Tuesday, the win was a second success of this year’s meeting for Dettori and a 49th at Royal Ascot, and the jockey admitted the team were confident going into the race. “He ran a super race at Epsom,” said Dettori. “The team were very confident so I am pleased for them. They have done well. “Reading before the race it seemed like there would be a lot of speed. I didn’t want to choke him too early but he did it well.” The win was also a second for Richard Hannon after Toronado’s success in the Queen Anne on Tuesday and the trainer thinks he has a good juvenile in his hands after landing his third success in four runs. “This horse can handle it,” said the trainer. “It nearly looked like he was beaten but he’s a very smart impressive two-year-old.” Hannon added: “We brought him back to five because of the

horse in the Coventry [The Wow Signal] so this is very pleasing. “We have to go up from here so will look at the Prix Morny and races like that.” Meanwhile, the length of Leading Light’s neck was all that separated him from the 2013 champion Estimate, owned by Queen Elizabeth II, at the end of a pulsating Ascot Gold Cup . In a pulsating finish that threatened to lift the roof clean off the £200 million grandstand, Leading Light narrowly resisted Estimate’s bid to win Royal Ascot’s feature race for the second year running. For the winning trainer, 44-year-old Irishman Aidan O’Brien it was a record sixth victory in Europe’s premier staying race, and was yet another landmark in his remarkable career having become the first trainer in history to win three successive Epsom Derby’s earlier this month. Leading Light’s victory brought to the quietly-spoken unassuming trainer a mixture of joy and relief. Some of his horses have run disappointingly this week, causing him to approach the Gold Cup with trepidation. But Leading Light cast aside the doubts to become only the third St Leger winner to win the Gold Cup in the last 100 years. “It was a tough battle,” O’Brien reflected. “It was nip and tuck all the way. That final furlong seemed to take forever. “Obviously we are sorry the Queen’s filly finished second but we are delighted to have won. It was a tight finish and we’re lucky that our horse managed to get his head in front.”


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