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PLANS TO INCREASE POWER OWER GENERATION CAPACITYY Oman Power and Water Procurement y to Company is conducting a detailed study find a suitable location for an independent ent power plant in Duqm, which is expected to have a generation capacity in the region n of 200-300MW. >B1 & B2

MONDAY, May 6, 2013 / 25 JUMADA AL THANI 1434 AH


HM sends condolences MUSCAT: His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said has sent a cable of condolence to President Omar Hassan Ahmed Al Bashir of Sudan for the victims of the collapsed gold mine in Sudan’s Darfur region. His Majesty expressed his condolences and sympathy to Bashir, families of the victims and the people of Sudan, praying to Allah the Almighty to rest the victims’ souls in peace, grant their families patience and the injured speedy recovery. - ONA TOP THREE INSIDE STORIES


Expat drowns in well


The body of a 30-year-old Bangladeshi citizen was recovered from a well in Bidbid after a 96-hour rescue operation. >A3


China withdraws


In a sudden development, India and China pulled back their troops from the stand off point at Daulat Beg Oldi sector in Ladakh. >A7


Malaysian elections


Malaysia’s governing coalition Barisan Nasional (BN), or National Front won a tight national election to extend its 56-year rule. >A11

MPPH FIRST MEDIA HOUSE IN OMAN TO GET ISO 9001:2008 The Sultanate of Oman’s leading publishing group, Muscat Press & Publishing House (MPPH), has been awarded the ISO 9001:2008 certificate for Quality Management Systems after being assessed by GCAS Quality Certifications (GCASQC). MPPH is the first media company in Oman and the second in the Gulf region to have been awarded this certification. The ISO 9001:2008 certificate was presented to Mohamed Issa Al Zadjali, chairman of MPPH, by Umair Siddiqi, country manager of GCASQC, at a formal function held at the MPPH headquarters, yesterday. — Times of Oman Report >A5

Israel hits three sites The second such attack in 48 hours on Syria yesterday draws condemnation

DAMASCUS: Israeli raids early yesterday hit three military sites outside Damascus, the second such reported attack in 48 hours, prompting Syria’s government to warn the strikes had made the regional situation “more dangerous”. The raids raised new concerns that the conflict could spill over with consequences for the wider region. The Foreign Ministry, in a letter to the UN Security Council, said claims it was transferring anything were “unfounded” and accused Israel of coordinating with “terrorist groups”. “Around 01:40am, Israeli mili-

Buying used cars from Sharjah? Check them


tary aircraft over the occupied territories and south Lebanon launched an aerial aggression by firing missiles against three positions belonging to the armed forces of the Syrian Arab Republic,” the letter said. Syria uses the term “occupied territories” to refer to Israel and the occupied West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights. A diplomatic source in Beirut said the three sites were the Jamraya military facility, a nearby weapons depot and an anti-aircraft unit in Sabura, west of the capital. “This aggression caused deaths and injuries and serious destruction at the sites and in the surrounding civilian regions,” the letter added. The cabinet held an emergency meeting, warning afterwards that “the aggression opens the door wide to all possibilities”. “The international community should know that the complex situation in the region has become more dangerous after this aggression,” the Syrian statement added. >A6


M O N DAY, M AY 6, 2 0 1 3


M O N DAY, M AY 6, 2 01 3


Twenty more stations to monitor quakes FAHAD AL MUKRASHI MUSCAT: The Sultanate is currently building 20 additional stations — they are nearing completion — to monitor earthquakes, according to the Monitoring Earthquakes Centre at Sultan Qaboos University. This initiative comes in view of the fact that the Sultanate lies within an area that could be prone to earthquakes. According to the studies, the last earthquake in the Sultanate occurred in 1883. It was felt by residents between Muscat and Nizwa at the time. Meanwhile, in view of the impact of the earthquake that struck Iran and Pakistan in April, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) has announced the establishment of seven new monitoring stations that will measure the sea level in the Sultanate, in cooperation with the DirectorateGeneral of Meteorology and Air Navigation. These stations will provide data samples to monitor sea level for the Unesco International Commission for Oceanography via the Global Telecommunications System. Early Warning Centre The International Commission for Oceanography pointed out that an Early Warning Centre at full power will be available in Oman to avoid and mitigate the impact of natural disasters. On the other hand, Muscat municipality said it had prepared a comprehensive and integrated study on draining rainwater in the Muscat governorate. The municipality had assigned the study to a consulting firm. The detailed study covered the collection of information and data on the paths of the wadis and the amount of water flowing through them.


Expat drowns in well Times News Service MUSCAT: The body of a 30-year-old Bangladeshi citizen was recovered from a well in Bidbid after a 96-hour rescue operation by the officers of the Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulances (PACDA). Speaking to Times of Oman, a senior official of PACDA said that

his body was recovered on Saturday. “He had entered into the well to do some service work when the water from the nearby wadis drowned him,” the official said. The ROP formed a rescue team to search for the missing person after a co-worker informed them but it was too late by then. Altogether, 13 people have died during the 10-day rains in Oman.



M O N DAY, M AY 6, 2 0 1 3

OMAN Used Sharjah cars: Check them first cident. During the investigation, the showroom official acknowledged that the car had been ‘totalled’ when he was shown the photographs and police report of the accident. The showroom official pretended that the buyer had been aware of the car’s history, which is contrary to logic since the buyer had paid a significantly higher amount than the value of a ‘totalled’ car.

Sharjah Police have cautioned buyers against unworthy car deals which involve sale of vehicles completely battered in horrific accidents. The Emirates Association for Consumer Protection has urged the consumers to do a thorough check while buying vehicles from used-car showrooms

FAHAD AL GHADANI MUSCAT: People should check well before purchasing secondhand cars from showrooms in Sharjah, the Emirates Association for Consumer Protection has cautioned buyers. As many Omanis head to Sharjah to buy used cars that appear perfect and are offered at a better price than those in the Omani mar-

ket, they need to know that many of these vehicles were once completely battered and have been repaired with faulty parts to ensure a quick sale. After receiving several complaints about faulty cars, the Emirates Association for Consumer Protection recently apprised consumers about precautions to be taken while dealing with usedcar showrooms. The association referred these complaints to the relevant authorities to initiate the

necessary legal procedures. The association has called upon consumers to avoid buying cars without proper engine and electronic checks. These tests should be conducted to ensure reliability of the automobile. In one incident, an Omani buyer performed a cursory check on a car that interested him. Believing it to be in very good condition and free of defects, except for a simple scratch that could barely be seen

from the front, he decided to buy the car for AED93,000, without requesting an engine check. Omaima Al Mahdi, head of the complaints department at the Emirates Association for Consumer Protection, declared recently to the media that the showroom in question had insisted on handling the clearance and export procedures for the car under the pretext of after-sales service. She pointed out that after the

purchase, the buyer discovered that the car did not appear to work at all, but the showroom refused to repair the vehicle, claiming that it was not their responsibility. Preliminary investigations by Sharjah Police revealed that this car had been completely battered in a horrific accident, and its real value did not exceed AED10,000. The buyer received a major shock when he saw photographs of his new car at the scene of the ac-



Council of Ministers condoles rain-hit families MUSCAT: The Council of Ministers yesterday issued a statement on the outcomes of its meetings during March and April. The text of the statement reads as follows: “While it follows with interest the developments of climate changes witnessed by the Sultanate recently, the Council of Ministers praises Allah for the bounty of the rain of blessings bestowed on the country. The Council of Ministers seizes this opportunity to express thanks and appreciation to all agencies that contributed to limiting the impacts of the overflow of wadis and rescuing a number of citizens and expatriates. “The agencies were spearheaded by the Sultan’s Armed Forces, the Royal Oman Police, the Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulance, the Directorate General of Meteorology and Air Navi-

Double commission The police investigation further revealed that the car was not owned by the showroom; instead the showroom was only acting as a broker for the real owner. The bill had been manipulated after the car was sold to reflect a price of AED75,000, enabling the showroom to illegally claim a double commission. In a similar case, Hussain Al Rahbi, who sells second-hand cars as a business, pointed out that buyers forget to check the engine when they see clean cars in Sharjah showrooms. He added that he had made a good profit by buying second-hand cars from Sharjah and selling them in the Omani market. However, he eventually found a strange fault in one of the cars. “Nobody could repair that fault, which led me to sell the car for OMR200 to a scrap shop after having paid some OMR6,500 to purchase it,” said Al Rahbi. He added that he had stopped making these purchases after that one major loss. Meanwhile, Al Mahdi wants to impose strict controls on motor vehicle showrooms, with deterrent penalties for vehicle owners who manipulate consumers for quick financial gain.

gation and all media means that worked day and night to provide people with guidance and ensure their safety. The Council of Ministers also thanks members of Majlis Al Shura at the wilayats for their good efforts. It also thanks the governors, walis, municipality councils and citizens who maintained cooperation with the respective authorities. “The Council of Ministers also expresses condolences for families of the bereaved during the overflow of wadis, appealing to Allah to rest their souls in peace and grant their families patience and oblivion. “In continuation of the efforts made to achieve qualitative leaps in the social, economic and health fields, the Council of Ministers discussed during March and April 2013 a number of issues that keep

pace with the developments of the current stage.” Decisions The Council came out with the following decisions: Within the framework of the royal interest of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said to absorb jobseekers in the public and private sectors, the Council of Ministers discussed the recommendations submitted to it on the jobseekers topic. The Council delegated the Supreme Council for Planning with the task of preparing a national program for employment during the forthcoming five years. In light of the Royal blessing of HM the Sultan about supporting role played by Oman Charitable Organisation and expanding its activity, it has been decided that the Authority shall open

branches for it at each of the Sultanate’s governorates. Due to the interest and care being enjoyed by the youth in general and sports in particular, the Council of Ministers approved the Ministry of Sports Affairs’ constructing 13 sports centres in some wilayats that do not have such facilities, alongside with the construction of sports club in the Al Wusta Governorate. The Council of Ministers agreed to host the headquarters of the International Equestrian Tent Pegging Association (IETA). In a bid to increase awareness of health aspects related to safety of food, the Council approved the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources - alongside with other agencies to organise Food Safety Week. Stemming from the status of

the Sultanate of Oman and its pursuance of tolerance, cementing the principles of understanding and dialogue amongst nations and peoples, the Council of Ministers approved the development and expansion of religious tolerance exhibitions abroad, so that they will become under the title ‘The Message of Islam’ . The Council approved the outcome of the consultancy comprehensive study to evaluate the mining sector that includes introducing a legislative amendment to the Mining Law and its executive bylaw, the establishment of an independent entity for the sector, studying the feasibility of establishing an Omani public company of an international nature for the optimum utilisation of minerals to achieve high added value for the Omani national economy. -ONA

OMR70m water, power projects for Amerat AMERAT: The Public Authority for Electricity and Water has launched a number of projects in the wilayat of Amerat in Muscat governorate at a cost of OMR70 million. The water projects include main water supply pipelines (53km) that connect the water tank in Atkiyah to Al Masarh Hospital (in Jahlout village). Work is also underway for the expansion of Al Amerat water network, which would increase the network to more than 240km. The water network will benefit Atkiyah (Seeh Al Timam, Tunis/ Jahlout, Al Jamoud, Al Hajir, Al Alayah, Heem) and other districts.

SQU celebrates 13th anniversary FA M I LY T R A G E D Y

Brain tumour turns dreams into nightmare Times News Service MUSCAT: Grade XII student Jimesh Soni’s life was turned upside down when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour two years ago. Till date, his family continues to struggle with overwhelming medical costs as he fights for survival. Jimesh had spent his life as a normal schoolgoing child. His life was all about his education, sports, and some other extracurricular activities. One day, all of that changed for him and his family. Jimesh had returned home, enthusiastic after attending a fun-filled event at school. At some point during the day, his mother found him lying on the floor. Chiding him, believing he was pulling another of his pranks, she approached him and attempted to pull him up. On closer inspection, she found he was frothing at the mouth. A visit to the doctor and multiple tests later, the diagnosis turned out to be the family’s worst possible nightmare: Jimesh was suffering from a brain tumour. That was two years ago. From the day of his diagnosis onwards, his family’s life was turned upside down. Seeking treatment, Jimesh and his father have returned to India. Meanwhile, his mother, Chetna Narendra Soni, has remained in Oman with her remaining three children and ailing mother-in-law to continue earning a living to support the family and the mounting expenses for Jimesh’s treatment.

MEDICAL CHALLENGES: Apart from the emotional trauma being borne by the family, the boy’s medical

expenses have been far too much to bear. — Supplied photograph

Chetna has also taken over the responsibility of running her husband’s small transport business. As a stoic and determined mother, Chetna fills out part of her day

by doing odd jobs on the side to improve her family’s troubled financial state. “I cook and clean in some houses to earn the extra amount that we

need so badly,” she said. Apart from her sick mother-inlaw, she has to support a daughter, who is “differently abled”. With the lifestyle she leads, Chetna hardly gets a moment to rest. “Even at home, I have to tend to my mother-in-law, who is bedridden,” she remarked. Chetna is not willing to give up on Jimesh or her family. “Despite the hardships, I will continue to work hard to provide

for my family,” she stressed. In Jimesh’s case, the family has recently suffered another setback. They had believed the first surgery performed on him would solve the problem, but it was not to be. “After three months, upon doing further tests, the doctors found that the tumour had returned. The ordeal of running from hospital to hospital has started all over again,” she stated, with tears running down her cheeks. Apart from the emotional trauma being borne by the family, the boy’s medical expenses have been far too much to bear. “His school and some wellwishers have helped us during the ordeal, but treating the tumour has been far too expensive. Surgery, radiation therapy, medicines, and all the associated costs have been difficult to manage,” noted Chetna. Like any mother would, Chetna still dreams of the day when her son would return to leading a normal life. “When he left for treatment in India, he was in Grade XII. He was a student, who was doing very well in school. When he gets better, he wants to complete his education and get on with his life. I sincerely pray that he will do it,” added Chetna. To help the family, you may contact Vinod Panicker, chief patron of Times of Oman Reader’s Club at readersclub@timesofoman. com, on 96077888 or Mohamed Osama Rawat, general secretary of Times of Oman Reader’s Club on 99347941.

MUSCAT: The Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) yesterday celebrated its 13th Annual Day under the auspices of Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Sae’edi, minister of Health. Dr Ali bin Saud Al Bimani, SQU’s vice-chancellor, said that after 13 years of the Royal visit of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said to SQU campus, the university renews its quest to keep up with the time, its sciences and new innovations. He added that a number of research projects had been adopted in the year 2012. Moreover, 63 internal scholarships have been granted in various fields.

RNO conducts naval drill MUSCAT: The Royal Navy of Oman (RNO) yesterday began conducting the annual naval drill Khanjar Haad or a ‘Sharp Dagger’ in the Sea of Oman with the assistance of the Royal Air Force of Oman jets and the participation of a number of ships of the friendly countries’ navies. The drill, which will last till Thursday, is part of the annual training plans pursued by RNO aimed at exchanging naval expertise and sustaining the levels of readiness of RNO fleet and its personnel in various marine disciplines in a manner that comes in line with their national tasks. — ONA

M O N DAY, M AY 6, 2 01 3

OMAN MPPH awarded ISO 9001:2008

LANDMARK ACHIEVEMENT: The ISO 9001:2008 certificate was presented to the MPPH chairman

by Umair Siddiqi, country manager of GCASQC, at the MPPH headquarters. — TIMES OF OMAN

MPPH chairman Mohamed Essa Al Zadjali said: This is an assurance to our clients and customers that we are a qualitydriven company. The certification encourages us to achieve our new goals with greater focus and commitment

Times News Service MUSCAT: The Sultanate of Oman’s leading publishing house, Muscat Press & Publishing House (MPPH), has been awarded the ISO 9001:2008 certificate for quality management systems, after being assessed by GCAS Quality Certifications (GCASQC). MPPH is the first media company in Oman and the second in the Gulf region to have been awarded this certification. ISO 9001:2008 is an internationally recognised standard for quality management systems. Expressing happiness over receiving the certification, Mohamed Essa Al Zadjali, chairman of MPPH, said, “We are proud to have been awarded this certificaROHM PROGRAMME

Argentinian Ballet show to be staged on May 17 Times News Service MUSCAT: The Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM) announced a schedule change in the Argentinian Ballet matinee performance originally scheduled for Thursday, May 16 at 2pm. The performance will now be moved to May 17 at 4pm in light of the Royal directives announcing the change in the weekend for the government sector effective May 1. The first performance will remain as originally scheduled, on Wednesday evening, May 17, 2013 at 7:30pm. The box office will be contacting patrons regarding the collection of their new tickets within the upcoming few days. The performance will feature the ballet of the Teatro Colón from Buenos Aires, Argentina, which is considered to be one of the best opera and ballet companies in the world. The company will be performing an evening of vibrant dance spectacle at the Royal Opera House Muscat including Fuga Tecnica choreographed by Eric Frederic, Vivaldi in Concert and Tango choreographed by Lidia Segni. Choreographer Lidia Segni is a true representative of the most rigorous traditions in Argentine Classic Ballet.

tion, which is a first for a media house in Oman and the second (achievement amongst media houses) in the Gulf. “This is an assurance to our clients and customers that we are a quality-driven company. The certification encourages us to achieve our new goals with greater focus and commitment.” Times of Oman, Al Shabiba, Thursday, Hi, Sabbat Ayam, Faces, and Black and White are among the publications produced under the Muscat Press & Publishing House banner. Congratulating the team that had worked on achieving the ISO 9001:2008 certification for more than six months, the chairman stated, “It is a credit to the team’s dedication towards standardising the entire system and optimising the organisation’s overall performance.” The ISO 9001:2008 certificate was presented to the MPPH chairman by Umair Siddiqi, country manager of GCASQC, at a formal function held at the MPPH headquarters, yesterday. GCAS is a leading certification body that deals with management system certifications, inspections, training, energy management and audits, corporate social responsibility, disaster management, forest steward councils, WRAS approvals, IT solutions, and many other services. With offices in Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Iran, India, and the United Kingdom, GCAS has more than 400 prestigious clients. Congratulating MPPH on the award, Siddiqi remarked, “This is a milestone that will give the group an edge in the competitive market of Oman. With an ‘ISO 9001:2008 certified’ logo on your publication, your product

value certainly increases.” Explaining the function of the certification, Siddiqi stated, “It has different levels of guidelines that make an organisation more systematic and process-oriented, rather than people-dependent. It manages your wastage and improves your overall performance.” Noting that the process takes nearly six months, Siddiqi acknowledged, “It takes that long to create a process-oriented approach. Then, proper maintenance must be done; once a process is implemented, it has to be followed. This means that everybody must adopt a systematic approach. There is a long-term benefit to it.” Declaring that the certification process is a continuous one, Siddiqi said, “The certificate must be renewed every three years. Companies will have to follow the same process of certification, for which they receive a new certificate. Besides this, biannual surveillance audits are held to review the points on which the company obtained its certificate. So, the certificate is about continual improvement.” Siddiqi expressed gratitude on behalf of the GCASQC to Manish Juyal, the management representative, for all his support and his efforts in implementing processes to achieve the ISO 9001:2008 certification. The MPPH chairman thanked GCASQC for its dedicated support and for providing a professional service and verifying that their system met the required standard. The chairman and senior managers also thanked Sital Management Quality Consultants for providing the necessary support for their management-system requirements.



M O N DAY, M AY 6, 2 0 1 3


Libya bans ex-Gaddafi officials from office TRIPOLI: Libya’s parliament passed a law yesterday banning anyone who held a senior position during Muammar Gaddafi’s 42-year rule from working for the new administration, a move that could force the prime minister to step down. Prime minister Ali Zeidan was a diplomat before defecting and joining the opposition in 1980, but the wording of the new law has not made it clear whether or not he was senior enough to be barred from the new government. “I don’t know, the wording is quite unclear,” said a source within the prime minister’s office when asked whether Zeidan would have to step down. It would depend on how the law was implemented, he said. The wording has been wrangled over for months and yesterday’s vote has been prompted by the actions of heavily armed groups who have taken control of two government ministries.

‘Mission impossible’ for Brahimi in Syria If Brahimi quits, UN Secretary General Ban appoint a replacement

Saudi Arabia allows schoolgirls to play sport

quickly and could even

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has given girls at private schools the right to play sport, the education ministry said yesterday, in a step aimed at easing restrictions on women in the kingdom. The ministry directive published in Saudi newspapers says that private schools for girls have been told to “put into effect a number of rules to regulate sports”. The measure appears to have left out the majority of students at state schools. The ministry has, however, requested the schools ensure girls wear “a covering and decent outfit” for sport activities in “suitable areas”. It also demanded that female Saudi coaches get the priority in employment at such facilities.

a UN diplomat said

Killings fuel tension in Abyei area disputed by Sudans KHARTOUM: Tension and anger yesterday gripped the Abyei region disputed by Sudan and South Sudan after the killing of a tribal chief and at least one peacekeeper, residents said, as the UN boosted security. The Sudanese foreign ministry condemned the “isolated incident” which killed Kual Deng Majok, the top Ngok Dinka leader in Abyei. Khartoum said members of the Misseriya tribe, the other dominant group in the area, also died in Saturday’s incident, along with three peacekeepers from the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA). The United Nations earlier said one Ethiopian peacekeeper died and two other Blue Helmets were seriously wounded in the “attack by a Misseriya assailant on a UNISFA convoy”. - Agencies

I think there will be a third emissary who will come up with a solution as there is now a US-Russia tendency to find a compromise Bassam Abu Abdullah

Ki-moon is unlikely to

take on the job himself,

NEW YORK: Veteran Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN-Arab League envoy for Syria, has insisted throughout his career that there is no “hopeless situation”, but he has not managed to find a magical solution to end Syria’s civil war. And the 79-year-old Brahimi, who took on the job last August after predecessor and former UN chief Kofi Annan threw in the towel, is now ready to give up too. Annan resigned on August 2, frustrated by the division between supporters in the West and the Arab world of those fighting to oust Bashar Al Assad and traditional backers of the Syrian president, principally Russia and China. “The decision has been taken, but we don’t know when it will be formalised,” one UN diplomat said of Brahimi on Saturday, speaking on condition of anonymity. Earlier in the week, a senior aide to Brahimi said he “thinks of it (resigning) every day” but would not decide until at least the middle of May. “He thinks that every step he takes is countered with 10 steps backwards by the Arab states. And now it looks like the Americans will increase their military support (to the rebels), so he feels that he is useless in his role,” the aide said. If Brahimi quits, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is unlikely to appoint a replacement quickly and could even take on the job himself, a UN diplomat said on Thursday. Indeed, Brahimi could keep a role as an advisor to Ban on Syria or the Middle East, according to envoys. Additional advantage “He will resign and will remain as a special adviser to the secretary general on the Middle East,” said the UN diplomat. “Ban will not rush to appoint a third person,” added another Security Council diplomat. “You

Director, Damascus Centre for Strategic Studies IN A SPOT: Lakhdar Brahimi

Iran ready to ‘train’ Syria army: Commander TEHRAN: Iran is ready to help “train” the Syrian army if Damascus seeks such assistance, the commander of the Islamic republic’s army ground forces, General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan, was quoted as saying yesterday. “As a Muslim nation, we back Syria, and if there is need for training we will provide them with the training, but

have had Annan, you have had Brahimi — are you going to get someone who can do better than them?” Nikolaos Van Dam, a former Dutch diplomat specialising in the Middle East, said that “Brahimi had the additional advantage of being an Arab personality with enormous political experience”. “His mission was made a kind of ‘mission impossible’... I do not know of any potential successor to Brahimi who could as yet succeed in this extremely difficult job, certainly not as long as the UN and Arab League parties only theoretically support the Geneva principles, but do not do so in practice,” Van Dam said. The Geneva principles were adopted on June 30, 2012 by the Syria action group made up of the five permanent UN Security Council members, the Arab League, Turkey, the United Nations and the European Union. They seek an immediate end to

won’t have any active involvement in the operations,” he said in remarks reported by the official Irna news agency. “The Syrian army has accumulated experience during years of conflict with the Zionist regime (Israel) and is able to defend itself and doesn’t need foreign assistance,” he added. Iran has remained a steadfast ally of President Bashar

the bloodshed in Syria and urge establishment of a transitional governing body, but do not call for Assad to step down. Key role Brahimi, who played a key role as an Arab League emissary in the 1989 agreement that ended the civil war in Lebanon and has carried out various UN missions around the world, has tried everything to resolve the Syrian conflict. It has been a rough ride for him. Soon after his appointment, the opposition demanded he apologise for saying he did not know if the time had come to demand that Assad resign. Then, during his third visit to Damascus last Christmas Eve, his talks with the Syrian president broke down when he asked Assad if he intended to run for the presidency in 2014. Three days later Brahimi drove in the nail. “Change should not

Al Assad’s regime throughout the Syrian conflict which the United Nations says has killed more than 70,000 people since it erupted in March 2011. Tehran sends regular shipment of what it terms as humanitarian aid to Damascus using Iraqi airspace, a move which has prompted Washington to ask Baghdad to inspect such flights. - AFP

be cosmetic; the Syrian people need and require real change, and everyone understands what that means,” he said. “We need to form a government with all powers... which assumes power during a period of transition. That transition period will end with elections,” Brahimi added. The pro-regime daily Al-Watan accused him of being a “pawn to implement the policies of some Western countries and regional states on Syria”. Whoever eventually succeeds him will inherit one of the toughest diplomatic posts going, but some analysts think his successor could broker a breakthrough. “I think there will be a third emissary who will come up with a solution as there is now a US-Russia tendency to find a compromise,” said Bassam Abu Abdullah, director of the Damascus Centre for Strategic Studies, which is close to the regime. - AFP




Egypt, Arab League condemn air strike

The foreign ministry letter said the strikes were evidence that Israel was working with “terrorist groups” including the rebel Al Nusra Front, which has pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda. “The blatant Israeli aggression against military sites in Syria confirms the coordination between Israel and terrorist groups,” the letter said. “This leaves no doubt that Israel is the beneficiary, the engine and sometimes the executor of the terrorist attacks taking place in Syria against the state and the people.” The strikes were staunchly condemned by Egypt as a “violation” of international law while the Cairo-based Arab League demanded UN Security Council intervention to stop such Israeli attacks. Iran’s Defence Minister General Ahmad Vahidi said “the assault, which was carried out with the US green light, unveils the links between the terrorist mercenaries and their masters of the Zionist regime”. Increasing danger Britain warned that the strikes demonstrated the “increasing danger to the peace of that entire region from the Syria crisis just getting worse and worse”. Yesterday’s strike came around 48 hours after a reported Israeli raid on a weapons storage facility

EMERGENCY MEETING: A view shows Syrian cabinet during an

emergency meeting, which discussed the Israeli air strikes, in Damascus yesterday, in this handout photograph distributed by Syria’s national news agency Sana. – Reuters

at Damascus airport, southeast of the capital. Residents of the upscale Damascus neighbourhood of Dumar said yesterday’s strike turned night into day. “It was like an earthquake, the sky was yellow and red,” said 72-year-old Najwa. Video footage on YouTube appeared to show missiles lighting up clouds, blazing fires, and an explosion producing a massive orange fireball. Israel reportedly targeted the Jamraya facility earlier this year, in a January 30 raid that Israeli officials have implicitly acknowledged.

The rebel Free Syrian Army reacted cautiously, saying the country was already under daily attack by regime aircraft. “Of course the Free Syrian Army and any Syrian is bothered that their country is being bombed, but Syria is being bombed every day by Bashar Al Assad, and by Israel,” the FSA’s Louay Muqdad said. “We wonder why there are so many missiles and military installations around Damascus when they should be close to the ceasefire line with Israel on the Golan Heights,” he added. - AFP

M O N DAY, M AY 6, 2 01 3


INDIA China withdraws its troops from Ladakh The Indian side argued that any pull back had to be simultaneous and that the Chinese should vacate their intrusion. The two sides had then agreed to continue their dialogue

It was not clear whether the Chinese would withdraw all the way back across the Line of Actual Control to the position that obtained on April 15 as was demanded by India

FACE-OFF: ‘You’ve crossed the border, please go back’ says a banner held aloft by intruding Chinese

troops at Daulat Beg Oldi sector of Ladakh.

LEH/NEW DELHI: In a sudden development, India and China pulled back their troops from the stand off point at Daulat Beg Oldi sector in Ladakh, where the Chinese forces had intruded nearly three weeks back, official sources said yesterday night. A battalion of Chinese troops estimate at about 50 and accompanied by vehicles and dogs had intruded 19km inside the Indian territory across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Daulat Beg Oldi sector on April 15 and set up five tents. The Indian troops had also established tented posts facing the Chinese forces at a distance of 300 metres. Agreement The troops of the two sides held four flag meetings, the last one being yesterday. However, there was no positive outcome from these meetings, which went hand-inhand with high level diplomatic efforts to break the impasse. An agreement was reached late yesterday for both sides to pull back their troops simultaneously from the face off point, which

was completed at 1930 hours, the sources said. Indian and Chinese commanders at the local level shook hands before withdrawing, the sources said. However, it was not clear whether the Chinese would withdraw all the way back across the LAC to the position that obtained on April 15 as was demanded by India which pressed for restoration of status quo ante. The face off in Ladakh had cast a shadow over the visit of External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid to China on May nine to prepare the ground for the new Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang’s visit to India from May 20. Khurshid had told reporters on his way to Iran on Friday that the progress in dialogue to end the stand off in Ladakh was not satisfactory. India would have liked a “much better response” from China, he had said and emphasised that it wanted reversal of the “adverse incident” in Ladakh and return to the status quo in Depsang Valley where the Chinese troops have intruded. The Chinese side had


earlier refused to budge from the territory occupied by them and insisted that Indian forces must first pull back its troops in the DBO sector. Flag meeting Senior military personnel of the two countries led by Brigadier-level officers held a fourth flag meeting at Chushul yesterday but their discussions lasting 45-minute ended without any positive outcome with the Chinese refusing to restore status-quo ante as it obtained on April 15. The Indian side argued that any pull back had to be simultaneous and that the Chinese should vacate their intrusion. The two sides had then agreed to continue their dialogue. The Chinese side also reiterated their earlier stand that India should dismantle bunkers constructed along the LAC in Phuktsay and Chumar areas to which the Indian side contended that similar activities were being carried out on the Chinese side. Chinese officials maintained that the activities on their side was


Karnataka election sees 69% turnout of voters BANGALORE: Around 69 pe r cent voting was registered yesterday in the 14th Karnataka legislative assembly election in 223 constituencies, with heavy turnout in rural areas but only around 52 per cent balloting in Bangalore, an election official said. “The overall voting percentage will be around 69 across the state. Polling was by and large peaceful barring stray incidents. There was heavy turnout in 24 of the 30 districts, with highest (72 per cent) in Hassan and lowest in Bidar (48.5 per cent),” Karnataka’s chief electoral officer Anil Kumar Jha told reporters here. Bangalore, which has earned notoriety for low polling, lagged behind most of the other districts in vote percentage with only about 55 per cent of the seven million voters exercising their franchise, the official said. Hot weather “The polling began on a brisk note, despite hot weather conditions across the state. The votes will be counted May 8. With the Election Commission advancing commencement of polling by an hour to 7am, hundreds of voters made a beeline to booths in many of the 223 assembly constituencies to cast their vote. But in the first four MAULED

Wild bear kills eight in Odisha BHUBANESWAR: A wild bear mauled eight people, including two women, to death and injured eight others in a forest in Odisha’s Koraput district before being killed by villagers, an official said yesterday. The female bear attacked people on Saturday and yesterday in the forest near their villages in Kotpad area of the district, 550km from Bhubaneswar. -IANS

EXERCISING FRANCHISE: Voters queue up to caste their votes at

Chikmagalur in Karnataka, yesterday. – PTI

hours of voting, polling was just about 15 percent. The EC had also extended the duration of polling by an hour to 6pm, in view of the scorching summer heat across the state, including Bangalore. Polling was held for 223 of the state assembly’s 224 elected seats. Election from the Periyapatna constituency of Mysore district has been countermanded, following the death of ruling Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Sannamoge Gowda on April 29. Polling there has now been rescheduled for May 28. In all, 52,034 polling booths were set up across the 223 assembly segments, with 10,103 of them

declared hyper-sensitive and 14,209 as sensitive. Of the state’s 61.13 million population, 43.6 million are registered voters, comprising 22.22 million men and 21.35 million women. First-time voters in the age group of 18-22 years are 3.55 million. As the state capital, Bangalore had the largest number of voters -- 7.03 million of a total population of 10 million — and the highest number of assembly segments at 28. Among the eligible voters, 534,548 were first-timers, as they enrolled for this election in January. - IANS

more of a developmental work and that India should stop pushing its grazers in Chumar division, south east of Ladakh. On April 15, Chinese troops had intruded nearly 27km deep into the Indian territory but an early detection and aggressive patrolling by the security personnel posted in the sector managed to pull them back to the present position near the old patrol base in the DBO sector, which is still 19km from the LAC. In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying on Saturday told a media briefing that both nations are committed to resolving the border dispute through talks without letting it to “affect” bilateral ties. “We would like to make joint efforts with India to boost China-India strategic cooperative partnership through this visit”, she said. - Agencies

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Pranab says time to reset moral compass of society KOLKATA: Amid the rising instances of atrocities against women in the country, President Pranab Mukherjee yesterday said it was time to “reset the moral compass” of the society. “Dignity of women is inviolable under all circumstances at all times. Can we hold out heads high when we look around ourselves?” said Pranab during an event here. In the city to launch ‘Bichitra’ — an online variorum website comprising works of Rabindranath Tagore — at Jadavpur University, he urged the society to set high moral standards. “Therefore, it is high time for us when we are making Tagore’s wonderful creations available to all through modern gadgets, technology and digitisation. Let us set high moral standards before us. Let us reset our moral compass,” Pranab said. ”Since the dawn of civilisation the only teaching and lesson given to the people was to respect our mothers,” the president added.

Pakistani prisoner remains in a critical condition NEW DELHI: Pakistani prisoner Sanaullah Ranjay continued to be “critically sick” and in “deep coma”, a statement issued by the Pakistan High Commission said yesterday. Pakistani diplomats yesterday visited PGIMER (Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research) where the comatose Pakistani prisoner is being treated after being attacked by a prisoner in a Jammu jail Friday. “The officials were informed by a medical board that Sanaullah’s neurological status continues to be same as of Saturday in deep coma and is on a ventilator. Hence he continues to be critically sick,” the statement said.

Delhi gang-rape verdict expected by month-end NEW DELHI: With the trial in the Delhi gang-rape case “almost 90 per cent complete”, the court verdict is expected to come by the end of May, Delhi Police commissioner Neeraj Kumar said. In an interview to Rajat Sharma on the show Aap Ki Adalat on India TV, Neeraj Kumar said: “The trial of December 16 (2012) case is almost 90 per cent complete and judgment is expected by the end of May.”

‘Metro in Patna by 2016’ PATNA: The Bihar capital city’s dream of a Metro train may come true by 2016 if the state urban development minister is to be believed. The project is set to cover a distance of 40-km stretch at a cost of Rs8,000 crore, he said. Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES) will conduct survey for the construction of the Metro rail in Patna, Urban Development Minister Prem Kumar said yesterday. - Agencies


M O N DAY, M AY 6, 2 0 1 3


Police seize 90,000 fake ballot papers in Lower Dir PESHAWAR: Police seized 90,000 fake ballot papers in Lower Dir, Express News reported yesterday. According to initial details, police stopped a car for a security check and recovered the bogus ballot papers. The police also arrested two suspects involved in the case. DIG Malakand confirmed the incident and said the papers were being transported to a constituency of the National Assembly. The Election Commission of Pakistan had earlier said that the army will help supervise the printing of ballot papers for the upcoming general elections. The ECP had decided to deploy army troops at offices of the Printing Corporation Pakistan Press in Islamabad and Lahore and the Pakistan Security Printing Corporation in Karachi to supervise the printing of ballot papers.

Two soldiers, 16 insurgents killed in Tirah valley clash PESHAWAR: Pakistani troops overran two militant hideouts and killed 16 insurgents after heavy overnight fighting at a flashpoint near the Afghan border in which two soldiers also died, the military said yesterday. The fighting took place in the wake of a fresh military push in the Tirah valley in the tribal Khyber district, where the military has been targeting Taleban and Lashkar-e-Islam militia who threaten the nearby northwestern city of Peshawar. “In a successful operation security forces last night captured Kismat Sur and Sanghar, two strong hideouts of militants in Tirah Valley,” the military said in a statement.

Gunbattle leaves 11 dead QUETTA: Pakistani security forces killed 11 people yesterday in a gunbattle with a criminal gang in the restive southwest in which two soldiers also died, officials said. Police and paramilitaries raided a house in Kachhi district, 120 kilometres southeast of Quetta, and gunned down gang members including the leader, said local administration chief Waheed Shah. — Agencies

Nawaz for talks with Taleban militants Sharif, who is hoping to become PM for a third time, said the US-backed campaign against the Taleban was not the best way to defeat the insurgency

LAHORE: Nawaz Sharif, seen as the front-runner in Pakistan’s election race, said the country should reconsider its support for the US war on extremist militancy and suggested that he was in favour of negotiations with FRONT-RUNNER: Nawaz Sharif, front right, leader of political party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz the Taleban. (PML-N), walks with his party’s staff members outside his house in Lahore, on Saturday. — Reuters Pakistan backed American efforts to stamp out global militancy adequate security for former after the September 11, 2001, atprime minister Benazir Bhutto tacks on the United States and before her assassination that year. was rewarded with billions of dolSharif said Musharraf’s plight lars in US aid. should serve as an example to But many Pakistanis have other top brass who may be plangrown resentful, saying thouning a takeover — a rare warning sands of Pakistani soldiers have in a country that has been ruled died fighting “America’s war”. by the army for more than half Sharif, a religious conservative of its history. who is hoping to become prime Pakistan is undergoing a tranminister for a third time after sition, said Sharif, who was next Saturday’s election, said the groomed by a military dictator in Pakistani military’s US-backed the 1980s but has since become a campaign against the Taleban harsh critic of military intervenwas not the best way to defeat the tion in politics. insurgency. “This accountability which is “I think guns and bullets are alnow taking place is itself a lesson ways not the answer to such probLeader, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz to all those who have any such delems,” he told Reuters in an intersigns in the future,” he said. “Now view in his black armoured car on Musharraf has come back and Saturday. “I think other options look at what he’s going through. His comments are likely to to widespread poverty. need to be explored at the same Born into a family of wealthy Everybody is seeing it on TV and time and see what is workable. anger Washington, which has And I think we’re going to pursue been pushing Pakistan to both industrialists, Sharif reflected reading it in the newspapers and stamp out domestic militancy on Pakistan’s turbulent history, this itself is a lesson to everybody.” all these other options.” Army offensives have weak- — where Taleban militants are especially the army’s habit of ened the Pakistani Taleban, which waging a violent campaign to im- mounting coups and meddling IMF bailout A major challenge for the next is close to Al Qaeda, but they pose their austere brand of social in politics. He became sombre as he re- government, analysts say, will be have failed to break the move- values — and to help defeat the called how a former army chief implementing politically difficult Afghan Taleban. ment’s back. and later president, Pervez Mush- economic reforms to secure anSharif wants a review of the arraf, toppled his government in a other bailout from the Internabacking provided for the US war Widespread frustration tional Monetary Fund (IMF) and on militancy under the previous The United States is hoping the bloodless coup in 1999. “It was a very bad day for Paki- avert a balance of payments crisis. elections will usher in stability government’s approach. “I’m not someone who is against so that Pakistan can help pacify stan,” said Sharif. Musharraf returned to Paki- the IMF. But I am a man who beneighbouring Afghanistan as USBest interest of Pakistan “Someone will have to take this led Nato troops prepare to leave stan from self-imposed exile in lieves that we need to stand on our March, hoping to contest the own feet, that should be our priorproblem seriously,” said Sharif, as by the end of 2014. ity,” said Sharif. “But to work with Sharif’s party, the Pakistan May 11 election. he headed to an election campaign the IMF until such time, I don’t rally. “All stakeholders will have to Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLsee any harm in that.” sit down together and understand N), has capitalised on widespread Musharraf’s example Asked what his most daunting the concerns of all parties and frustration with the outgoing Instead, he has been placed under then take a decision, which is in Pakistan People’s Party, which house arrest in connection with task would be if victorious in the the best interest of Pakistan and has failed to address an array of his decision to sack senior judges polls, he said: “To put the country issues from chronic power cuts in 2007 and for failing to provide back on the rails.” — Reuters the international community.”

I think guns and bullets are always not the answer. I think other options need to be explored at the same time and see what is workable. And I think we’re going to pursue all these other options Nawaz Sharif


Fazl issues fatwa against PTI that he (Imran Khan) is an agent of the Jews,’ I say there is only one proof and it is my own responsible personality. I am so righteous that I would never talk ill against anyone. This is enough that Maulana Fazlur Rehman says that he is a Jewish agent.”

DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Saturday declared it ‘haram’ to vote in favour of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan and his candidates. Imran Khan, according to Fazl, is being sponsored by the West and the Jewish lobby. Fomenting hatred Fazl used every word that would foment hatred against any person in the conservative masses of Pakistan. He called Imran an agent of “Americans, Jews, Ahmadis and a person of ill character”. “A person who could not make his own children Muslim nor Pakistani, is dreaming of becoming prime minister of Pakistan and

Maulana Fazlur Rehman

making the country an Islamic welfare state,” Maulana said. “The Yahoodi (Jewish) lobby’s money is working (for Imran),” he said. “I am asked, ‘what is the proof

Joint declaration He went on to give a joint declaration of the clerics belonging to the JUI-F. “We the Ulema have agreed that giving vote to PTI is haram. “Anyone who casts his or her vote for Imran or to a person who is contesting election on the ticket on PTI is involved in haram and such a person is going against Sharia,” the chief of the JUI-F said. — Exclusive, in arrangement with Express Tribune

M O N DAY, M AY 6, 2 01 3



Venezuela rebuffs Obama criticism CARACAS: Venezuela brushed off criticism from US President Barack Obama yesterday and maintained its accusation that an American detainee in Caracas is a spy pretending to be a filmmaker. During his visit to Latin America, Obama said on Saturday the allegations against Tim Tracy, 35, were “ridiculous.” But Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres insisted that intelligence agents tracking Tracy since late 2012 had uncovered ample evidence he was plotting with militant anti-government factions to destabilise Venezuela with violence.

TIGHT ELECTION: Voters cast their ballots during the general elections in Pekan, 300km east of Kuala Lumpur, yesterday. — Reuters

Ruling alliance wins Malaysia elections The ruling Barisan Nasional, or National Front, crossed 112 seats, giving it a simple majority in the 222-seat national parliament; the opposition alliance got only 60 seats

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s governing coalition won a tight national election yesterday to extend its 56-year rule, fending off an opposition alliance that pledged to clean up politics and end race-based policies in Southeast Asia’s third-largest economy. As counting went late into the night, the fractious multiracial opposition proved un-

able to unseat one of the world’s longest-serving governments and pull off what would have been the biggest election upset in Malaysia’s history. The ruling Barisan Nasional (BN), or National Front, passed 112 seats, giving it a simple majority in the 222-seat national parliament. The opposition alliance had 60 seats. With more than two-thirds of seat results confirmed, it remained to be seen if Prime Minister Najib Razak would receive a strong enough mandate to continue gradual reforms aimed at boosting investment and easing authoritarian laws. Under pressure He is under pressure to improve on the coalition’s worst-ever result, recorded at the last election in 2008 when it won 140 seats and lost its customary two-thirds parliamentary majority. Failure to do so could weaken his leadership, unnerving investors and raising uncertainty over policy in the multi-ethnic nation of 28 million people. “I hope the opposition accepts the result with an open heart and

will allow the democratic process to continue,” Najib told a news conference. The opposition retained economically important Penang state as its leader Anwar Ibrahim sought to build on stunning gains in 2008, when it took over four state governments and deprived the BN of its two-thirds parliamentary majority. Crucial state of Selangor It also claimed to have retained the crucial industrial state of Selangor, which Najib had vowed to win back, although that could not be confirmed with election officials. The ruling coalition had been expected to win, but opinion polls showed a tightening race with Najib struggling to translate strong economic growth and a deluge of social handouts into votes. The possibility of a disputed result loomed large amid opposition claims of widespread election fraud. Before most votes were counted, Anwar declared victory in a surprise statement that appeared to be a tactic to whip up support. “PR has won,” Anwar wrote on


Protestors commemorate bloody anti-Putin demo MOSCOW: About a thousand Muscovites rallied yesterday in memory of a bloody protest one year ago in which more than 400 were detained after showing their frustration with Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency. The “Spring March of Freedom” was held almost a year to the day since Russian authorities deployed baton-wielding interior ministry troops to disperse a crowd of tens of thousands on the eve of Putin’s May 7 swearing-in ceremony. Dozens of demonstrators and several police officers ended up in hospital in the ensuing clashes. Years in prison More than two dozen people now face years in prison on disturbance of order charges. Several have been jailed already. “I came out to protest against the dictatorship that was installed under the Putin regime and against the political repres-

VENTING IRE: About 1,000

Russian opposition supporters take part in a rally in Moscow, yesterday, in memory of a protest one year ago. — AFP

sions,” a Muscovite named Oleg said as people of all ages around him unfurled banners reading “Freedom to political prisoners” under the heavy grey sky. But the protest movement has grown fractured since its heyday in the winter of 2011-2012 — a time when discontent was at a peak over what were seen as stacked December 2011 parliamentary elections and Putin’s decision to return to the Kremlin

after completing two terms in 2000-2008. Activists can now barely agree on how they should reconcile views that range from the far left — some even openly embracing the late Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin — to those who support a Western-style democracy. Those fissures were embarrassingly laid bare when opposition leaders failed to agree on a date to mark the first anniversary of the now infamous protest. A much smaller group marched yesterday instead of the actual anniversary Monday because they believed that most of its supporters work during the week. Small numbers “I am disappointed with the numbers — I thought there would be more people,” said a 39-year-old woman who identified herself only as Marina. “The opposition has grown more quiet,” she said. — AFP

his Twitter account, urging the ruling party and the country’s Election Commission “not to attempt to hijack the results”. Election officials said voter turnout was about 80 per cent, a record high. The campaign heated up in recent days with Anwar accusing the coalition of flying up to 40,000 “dubious” voters, including foreigners, across the country to vote in close races. The government says it was merely helping voters get to home towns. The 2008 result signalled a breakdown in traditional politics as minority ethnic Chinese and ethnic Indians, as well as many majority Malays, rejected the National Front’s brand of race-based patronage that has ensured stability but led to corruption and widening inequality. Significant gains Partial results from yesterday’s election suggested that the trend of ethnic Chinese deserting the BN had accelerated, with the opposition Chinese party chalking up significant seat gains in the BN stronghold of southern Johor state. — Reuters

‘Facade of a filmmaker’ “When you want to do intelligence work in another country, all those big powers who do this type of spying, they often use the facade of a filmmaker, documentary-maker, photographer or journalist,” he told state TV. “Because with that facade, they

Nicolas Maduro

can go anywhere, penetrate any place.”Obama’s comments about Tracy, and others questioning socialist leader Nicolas Maduro’s democratic credentials after last month’s disputed presidential vote, have infuriated the government and revived accusations of “imperialist meddling.” Late on Saturday, Maduro’s government issued a formal protest note. — Reuters



M O N DAY, M AY 6, 2 0 1 3

COMMEN ARY Founder: Essa bin Mohammed Al Zedjali Chairman and Editor-in-Chief: Mohamed Issa Al Zadjali Deputy Editor-in-Chief: Anees bin Essa Al Zedjali Chief Executive Officer: Ahmed Essa Al Zedjali Editorial: 24726666, Fax: 24813153; E-mail: Advertising: 24726666, Fax: 24812624 Circulation: 24726600, Fax: 24818270; E-mail: Printed and published by: Muscat Press & Publishing House P.O. Box 770, Ruwi, Postal Code: 112, Sultanate of Oman. Subscription: RO70 per year.

Safety of workers in Bangladesh and beyond THE INDEPENDENT


he death toll from the collapse of a building in Bangladesh that housed several garment factories now stands at more than 500, with many still missing. While staggering, this tragedy is, sadly, not rare. Hundreds of women and men have been burned, suffocated and crushed to death in recent years as the country’s garment industry has boomed, with Western clothing brands and retailers making a big shift to Bangladesh from China, where labour costs are rising. These deaths have focused attention on regulations in Bangladesh as well as the responsibility of Western companies that buy clothes from suppliers there. At least one big brand, Disney, has said that its branded merchandise will no longer be made in Bangladesh. But a mass exodus of Western companies from Bangladesh is not the answer. What is needed is direct action by international companies to improve working conditions for the more than 3.5 million Bangladeshi workers — 80 percent of them women — who toil in clothing factories. The garment industry serves as one of the few ladders out of poverty in Bangladesh. While the pay is meagre — the minimum wage is just $37 a month — that is still far higher than wages of farmers or maids. Increased employment opportunities for women have had positive effects. One study found that the presence of garment factories was strongly correlated with higher numbers of girls going to school and delaying marriage and childbirth. Historically, textile production has been a steppingstone in economic development. In Japan, Korea and China, garment work allowed laborers to move from agriculture into semiskilled manufacturing, and then eventually to advanced manufacturing and the services sector. This development path is not easy, but it need not be deadly. Big garment buyers have tremendous power to improve conditions in that market. Industry officials and labor groups have been discussing a legally binding agreement requiring Western brands and retailers to conduct independent factory inspections and to help pay for factory renovations, like adding external fire exits and smoke alarms. Some labour groups estimate it would cost $3 billion over five years to bring Bangladesh’s roughly 4,500 factories into compliance with building and fire standards. That is a small price to pay given the country’s $18 billion in annual clothing exports, or $90 billion over five years. A century ago, it was not uncommon for American seamstresses to lose their lives in sweatshops. Lawmakers began improving industrial safety in earnest after the 1911 fire at New York’s Triangle Shirtwaist factory, which killed 146 workers and horrified the country. The collapse of Rana Plaza should play a similarly galvanizing role now. - The New York Times News Service


Leadership vacuum hasn’t gone unnoticed



War cries return to Iraq


he political structures put in place in Iraq by the United States and its allies following the elimination of Saddam Hussein never appeared very robust. But today, with terrorist violence raging and all three of the country’s main communities at each other’s throats, this tormented country is once again on the brink of civil war. Shia-Sunni hostility is at the root of the bitter conflict in neighbouring Syria, and it is this conflagration which has now swept across the border. With the ascent to power of Iraq’s Shia majority, many see the authoritarian Dawa party as no better than a Shia equivalent of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath party, and just as committed as it was to protecting the interests and privileges of the community from which it emerged. It was state terror and brute force that enabled Saddam to hold the country together. No one would wish Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to go down that road, but he desperately lacks the political skills to persuade the Sunni and the Kurds that he has the interests of the nation as a whole at heart. He lurches between denouncing the Sunni as terrorists and acknowledging that they have real grievances. In so doing, he has steadily lost credibility with the other communities, with the Sunni in particular – one-fifth of the population – who claim that they are treated as second-class citizens. It is in this climate of hostility that the barbaric tactics of Al Qaeda have made a comeback, with the detonation of five car bombs in Shiadominated southern Iraq on Monday, which claimed 21 victims. It was one atrocity among many across the country. With the heady hopes raised by the Arab Spring receding rapidly, what is now in the offing is a pan-regional conflict in which ancient ties of blood and faith are challenging the artificial state structures created by the British and French out of the ruins of the Ottoman Empire. It is a dismal prospect and the US and Britain, fatally tainted by their invasion of Iraq and all that followed, can do little about it but stand on the sidelines and wring their hands. Politics and diplomacy, while desirable, have so far failed to offer an answer. - The Independent

Assaults on women in India are social problems This refers to the Commentary page article, India seems to be at war with its women (May 5). I do not agree with the author’s claim that women in India are at par with men in every aspect of social, economic and professional life. The primary reason for this is that illiteracy still plagues females in India. In his efforts to make an exhibition of wisdom, the author of the referred column appears to have ignored a growing blight that plagues social life in India — the soaring disregard for the country’s traditional values. There is a need to teach those values to our youngsters; to make them understand the importance of ethics. India has lately been witnessing a spurt in aggression towards women and assaults on

their basic rights have been rising in a menacing manner, posing a serious social challenge to the established norms of civility. Ramachandran Nair Ruwi

Zionist zealots want to keep the conflict going The absurdities of comparison need not to be over emphasised; it is evident. Preposterousness ought to have a limit, but a section of the Israeli media seems to have crossed all limits in comparing the ultra right Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with the former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. It would be naive to dismiss the comparison as a sick joke. It is a sinister design to sabotage all future efforts towards restoration of peace in the Mid-

The recent agreement between the PLO and Jordan regarding the holy places in Jerusalem, has revived the hopes of Jerusalemites of a possible formula that will allow a respected party such as Jordan to help the city’s orphaned Palestinians

alestinian residents of Jerusalem have been frustrated for years as they are caught between Israel’s unilateral decision to annex East Jerusalem and the inability of the Ramallah-based Palestinian leadership to help them. Positive home-grown leadership in Jerusalem has not found a way forward due in part to the absence of any mechanism for electoral politics. Ever since the passing away of Faisal Husseini, no leader or leadership structure has emerged for the city Palestinians say will become their eventual capital. The leadership vacuum has not gone unnoticed by many, often by individuals seeking personal gain. While no single person or entity has emerged, scores of de facto groups and gatherings have emerged often around social groups or neighbourhoods. Some of these groups have done positive acts to advance their local communities, but others have made personal fortunes. The absence of the rule of law and a culture of voluntary national cooperation has played into the hands of these groups that have at times terrorised the population. Decades old entities have not done much better as the absence of leadership has resulted in the creation of fiefdoms run by autocratic individuals who often seek Arab and international funding and rule their organisations on the basis of their ability to raise funds and pay salaries. Institutional corruption has skyrocketed because of the contradiction that exists in Jerusalem. On the one hand, Israel, which effectively rules the areas of East Jerusalem, is ambivalent about the state of Palestinians in the city; the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah and Gaza might be more caring, but is unable to implement any policy because of the Israeli repression against any activities stemming from the Palestinian leadership. The same contradiction also exists in terms of simple rule of law issues. If a Jerusalemite is wronged by another Jerusalemite or by a Palestinian institution he or she has little recourse. The prevailing atmosphere makes it politically incorrect to sue a fellow Palestinian or a Jerusalem institute at Israeli courts. Thus they are left with trying to plead their case with the Ramallah leadership. In Ramallah, there is a sense of apathy and exhaustion because of the many unresolved cases that come to them. Even if the Palestinian leadership rules in favour of a particular person, they are unable to execute that decision as they have been barred from having physical presence in the city.


For some time in the 1980s, the Orient House — re-opened and revived by Faisal Husseini — acted as a local government hub where the population could address their grievances and cases were resolved mostly on his power and charisma. The Israeli closure of Orient House and the Chamber of Commerce, as well as Husseini’s unexpected death from an asthma attack in Kuwait, have literally orphaned the 300,000 Palestinians of Jerusalem. The most recent agreement between the PLO and Jordan regarding the holy places in Jerusalem, has revived the hopes of Jerusalemites of a possible formula that will allow a respected party such as Jordan to help the city’s orphaned Palestinians. Jordan, however, has power mostly in the form of the Awqaf Department, which still operates in Jerusalem and is largely involved in issues related with Al Aqsa Mosque and the Islamic waqf institutions (mostly schools) and properties. However, the Islamic waqf which is not an elected group (just like all others including the churches and charities) has not witnessed any new blood for years. Having been in power for so long leads to a lack of accountability for city officials. Some Jerusalemites were hoping that the Royal Court rather than the city take a more direct role in enacting the issues agreed to between the King and President Abbas. Jerusalem governance issues always tend to come back to the local scene. With Palestinians refusing to participate in the municipal elections for the so-called unified city, few opportunities exist to unite and focus the populace. The recent resignation of Salam Fayyad as prime minister has revived hope among some Jerusalemites that the highly respected Palestinian manager — who lives in the city and whose wife is a Jerusalemite — can help the people of Jerusalem design a governance system that can address the inhabitants’ many grievances and draw up plans for the growth and prosperity of the city as a central part of the Palestinian national strategy. When confronted with the idea, Fayyad expressed willingness to help out as long as there is a legitimate request from Jerusalem residents for him to do so. With the city suffering without a leader for decades, and with a well-respected leader becoming jobless within weeks, some feel that this could be a marriage made in heaven. The author is a veteran Palestinian journalist and the director of the Institute of Modern Media at Al Quds University. All the views and opinions expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not reflect those of Times of Oman.

dle East. The Zionist zealots in Israel do not want peace because the longer the trouble remains, the better it will be for them, as they can continue to annex more Palestinian land and keep fishing in the muddied waters. Sumit Chatterjee Qurum

The world must unite to say a firm ‘No’ to wars

The world is full of willing people, some willing to work, the rest willing to let them ROBERT FROST

Our civilisation has never been embellished by wars and conflicts. On the contrary, they wars have only brought misery, hunger and bloodshed destroying lives and civilisations; creating millions of orphans. We are in need of peace, not war, whatever may be the reason. Let us unite to say ‘No’ to war. Erfan Hussain Seeb

Iraq is afflicted by the myopia of Nouri Maliki Central to the affliction that plagues Iraq today is Nouri Al Maliki’s ineptitude and his confused foreign policy. His government has failed to play the role that was certainly expected of it. Sharing a common border with Iran, Syria and Turkey, Iraq today faces some serious dangers to its national interests, stability and security. Its already fractious domestic polity is threatening to split furthermore along its inherent sectarian and ethnic fault lines. And irrespective of what finally transpires in neighbouring Syria, Iraq certainly will be the biggest loser. Iraq could have played a central role in resolving the Syrian crisis. P. R. Swami Wadi Kabir

Letters, containing not more than 200 words with full name, address and telephone number, may be sent by mail (Times of Oman, P.O. Box 770, P.C. 112, Ruwi), by fax (24813153) or by e-mail (


M O N DAY, M AY 6, 2 01 3


PERSPEC IVE Education key to security, prosperity in Arab region T

he Middle East and North Africa is a region experiencing rapid change. But while attention is focussed on political developments in countries like Syria and Egypt, it is important to recognise that the changes most likely to shape the Arab world of tomorrow are not always the ones most likely to make headlines today. Of these, the most important include efforts to tackle the “knowledge deficit” identified a decade ago in the Arab Human Development Report. This is a challenge with profound implications for the future security and prosperity of the region as a whole. The ability to acquire and produce knowledge is a crucial determinant of competitiveness in the modern, globalized economy. Yet Arab countries still lag behind other economies according to key indicators, such as the publication of scientific research papers and the issuing of new patents. Basic literacy and enrolment levels have improved markedly, but standards in maths and science remain stubbornly below the international average, with little or no improvement over the last decade. Compared to our main competitors, examinations put too much emphasis on the ability to recall facts and not enough on the kind of critical knowledge that drives innovation and expands the frontiers of discovery. This is a major concern for business. Companies that want to compete at the top end of the value chain need access to the highest skills, so a failure to improve the quality of human capital will severely limit the region’s economic horizons. There is a well established link between foreign direct investment and levels of educational attainment for the same reason. Business therefore needs to become much more active in the debate about education reform, sponsoring new initiatives and forming


Business needs to become much more active in the debate about education reform, sponsoring new initiatives and forming partnerships with government and civil society

partnerships with government and civil society. More than a third of the Arab population is now below the age of fifteen. This could be a huge source of social dynamism if we harness the energies and meet the hopes of the coming generation. But with youth unemployment standing at around 25 per cent, the risk is that a lack of opportunity will fuel instability and alienation instead. Finding productive and creative outlets for the aspirations of young Arabs is one of the most crucial long-term security challenges we face today. As the Egyptian Nobel Laureate, Professor Ahmed Zewail, has argued, the need for radical improvements in educational standards across the Arab world is a civilisational imperative that will define our future in the world. By drawing on the cultural memory of a time when Arabs were at the forefront of learning and scientific discovery, we could and should build the foundations for an “Arab renaissance”. The alternative would be to risk “a marginal position in the next phase of human history”, as the authors of the Arab Human Development Report put it in 2003. It would be wrong to suggest that nothing is being done. Major efforts have been made to improve educational outcomes with considerable success. Literacy rates, especially among the young, have increased substantially and often stand comparison with some of the best performing countries in the world. So have enrolment rates, including among girls. Some countries still have a lot to do on both fronts, especially on adult literacy, but Western perceptions of the educational challenges facing Arab countries are often outdated. In several countries, equality of access for girls has been achieved and the problem is now lower educational attainment levels among

boys; something normally associated with the West. But with academic results remaining below international standards, the consensus among Arab governments today is that an “engineering” approach to educational reform, focussed mainly on increasing inputs and expanding provision, has reached its limits. More of the same will not enable them to close the academic performance gap and make themselves globally competitive. A new phase of reform must be aimed at raising the quality of education, moving beyond the limitations of rote learning and equipping students with the skills to be innovators and problem solvers – in their careers and in their lives. That commitment was expressed in the Doha Declaration on Quality Education for All signed by eighteen Arab countries in 2010. Oman is a country that typifies this shift in policy focus. It has made enormous progress in rates of educational participation and attainment since the 1970s, with school enrolment increasing from 900 to 600,000 in that time. The priority given to education has enabled Oman to achieve the biggest gains in human development of any country since 1970, according to the UN. Now it has embarked on a Drive for Quality initiative, launched in conjunction with the World Bank last autumn, which aims to raise education standards to a new and higher level. The author is the Vice Chairman of National Bank of Oman, a board member for the Eisenhower Fellowship and an International Advisor to the Brookings Institution. He was previously Chief of the Omani Air Force.. All the views and opinions expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not reflect those of Times of Oman.


It’s crunch time for a climate change deal


couple of years ago the global community came together and set a self-imposed date for agreeing a legally binding deal to tackle climate change. By 2015 we agreed to have a deal signed, and coming into force by 2020. You might think we’ve been here before of course. Copenhagen, Durban, Doha – each annual conference makes incremental steps forward. But, we now have an opportunity, working steadily over this year and next, to seal a deal in 2015. The science demands it. Climate change threatens the wellbeing of every person around the world and can only be addressed through a global response to reduce emissions. Yet with each passing day the global task of keeping the temperature from rising by more than two 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level becomes increasingly challenging and what we still need is the political will to take the action desperately required to protect our climate for the sake of our children and grandchildren. We need to continue to raise

ED DAVEY ambition and match it with action. So today I join colleagues from 37 other countries in Berlin for the fourth meeting of the Petersberg Dialogue. I will discuss respective international and domestic action on climate change, and the way towards achieving the new legally-binding global deal under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2015. We have a long road ahead of us to 2015. With many obstacles to overcome. Climate change is a

With each passing day the global task of keeping the temperature from rising by more than two 2 degrees Celsius above the preindustrial level becomes increasingly challenging and what we still need is the political will to take the action complex challenge, and one that will not be easily solved. While a huge amount of work is already underway around the world and many world leaders are beginning to recognise the need to step up the political commitment to address climate change, we now need a greater sense of urgency. The UK coalition government has pledged to be the greenest government ever. At the Petersberg Dialogue, I will continue to set out

the UK’s excellent emissions reduction framework and policies. For example, the first page of the UK’s Energy Bill makes it clear we will take powers to set a decarbonisation target for 2030. This is crucial work and the Energy Bill will reform the electricity market to keep the lights on and emissions down in a more cost-effective way, while reaping the economic benefits. I also look forward to hearing more about the other ambitious action which is taking place around the world, including in some of the world’s major economies. Tackling climate change is not a luxury for the good times: for good and bad times it has become a necessity - but necessity is the mother of invention. This means taking tough decisions and challenging others – as well as ourselves – to do the right thing and be as ambitious as we can be as the world moves forwards to 2015. The UK has been applauded for playing a strong role in the international negotiations and we will by no means let up on our efforts. - The Independent

A farewell to arms B

etween heroism and history, exist such blood-soaked gashes that can drive any person crazy. In an impressive ceremony commemorating Youm-eShuhada (Martyrs’ Day) this year, these latent scars hiding in the vestiges of our collective subconscious were brought back to life. And my young nation, my nascent underdeveloped overburdened nation, has been through such horrors that cannot be summed up in just a piece or a ceremony. And yet, here it was, all pomp and style, the memory of those who had passed, nerve-shattering sobs of a mother and a rich tribute paid to Bashir Bilour shaheed. It was a welcome relief to listen to our chief of army staff speak so vociferously in support of democratisation and against terrorism. To an outsider, an army chief commenting on political matters might be incomprehensible but a student of Pakistani history, acquainted with the anatomy of our civilmilitary relationship, can appreciate the true potential of this watershed moment. And if there was any doubt about the army’s resolve to fight terrorism, it was cleared in a heartbeat. It was a befitting rejoinder to the apologists of terrorism who keep insisting that it is not our war. However, as we gingerly approach the polling day, fear mounts that our counterterrorism agenda may come in direct conflict with the democratic process, as our two major political parties have time and again shown aversion to the war. And other major parties keep bringing up crimes of the past as the sole cause of our present-day woes. Call them crimes if you will but to this scribe, they were and still are desperate moves of a desperate state. It is a measure of our bewildered sadness, perpetual isolation and tragic history that we have not been able to confront the demons of our past and pledge renewal. But the lives of 40,000 martyrs cannot just amount to nothing. Battle-scarred as we are, we cannot afford to become a prisoner of the Stockholm syndrome and end up bonding with our own assailants. War fatigue is one thing but not to notice the existential threat posed by the Tehreek-e-Taleban Pakistan (TTP) is downright criminal. Yet, let us not trivialise the programmes of the parties hinted above. These parties have presented good answers to a number of national questions. It is only in this crucial sector that they have been reluctant to advance some cogent solutions. There is a serious chance that these two parties may adopt a more prudent course of action against terrorism once they rise to power. But with only seven days remaining in the elections, I implore


Battle-scarred as we are, we cannot afford to become a prisoner of the Stockholm syndrome and end up bonding with our own assailants. War fatigue is one thing but not to notice the existential threat posed by the Tehreek-eTaleban Pakistan (TTP) is downright criminal the leaders of these parties to not let petty thugs of the TTP define who they are. The TTP have already dealt a deathly blow to these parties’ campaigns by implying that there exists an understanding between them and the terrorists. The people of Pakistan, after all, are not fools and can identify the enemies of this country. They also value the blood of their 40,000 brethren killed by the terrorists. The party, viewed as an apologist of terrorists, I am afraid, will not be given the mandate to rule the country, no matter how many people attend its public gatherings. We also need to appreciate the genuine desire to bid farewell to arms and build peace. But peace cannot come when negotiated from a position of weakness. In order to bring the enemy to the dialogue table, one first has to bring it to its knees and squeeze it so hard that it fails to see any other option but to throw in the towel. Leaders of major parties may not think much of each other but to a common voter, they are all national leaders of huge stature. If they really want to do justice to the expectations of their constituents, they need to take ownership of this war and bring it to its logical conclusion. If you don’t want to listen to folks like me, pay some heed to the chief of your own army. And the army also needs to value those who categorically support its struggle. - The Express Tribune

Underwater WWII bomber to be salvaged The only known surviving example of the German Dornier Do 17 bomber is to be salvaged from the English Channel. The retrieval of the World War II aircraft, known as the “flying pencil”, will mark the start of a two-year restoration project by London’s RAF Museum. Bomber crash-landed on sandbank after being intercepted by RAF fighter aircraft during Battle of Britain in 1940

Dornier Do 17

Bomb load Up to 1,000kg

Defensive armament Six machine guns

Dornier Do 17 specifications Length


German troops begin sacking Rome. Libraries are destroyed, the Pope is captured and thousands are killed.


Babur defeats the Afgan Chiefs in the Battle of Ghagra, India.



King Louis XIV moves his court to Versailles, France.


London UK



Strait of Dover

15.8 metres

Wingspan Powerplant

18.0 metres

Goodwin Sands Aircraft lying 6km from coast, at depth of 30m

Twin piston engines, 1,000hp

Maximum speed


Range (full bomb load) Crew

660km Four


1944 The Red Army besieges and captures Sevastopol in the Crimea.

Plane first spotted by divers in 2008, said to be in “remarkable condition” Frame will be used to lift bomber

Bomb bay doors open

Aircraft lying on its back

Undercarriage raised Sonar image of wreck


The first nuclear warhead is fired from a Polaris submarine.

1994 The Channel Tunnel linking England to France is officially opened.

Engine Recovery expected to take four weeks


Graphic News /



MUSCAT: The Ministry of Health organized a workshop on the referral system yesterday at the Royal Hospital under the auspices of Dr Ahmed bin Abdul Qader Al Ghassani, undersecretary for health affairs at the ministry. The workshop, attended by more than 100 doctors and administrators, reviewed the referral system adopted at different levels of the health care system.

Are the institutions in Oman sufficiently disabled-friendly?

Visit to cast your vote





Isn’t it time that subsidy on motor fuel is reduced in Oman?

A 14

M O N DAY, M AY 6, 2 0 1 3

WORLD Bug-eyed camera for better surgery A digital camera with 200 lenses that mimics the compound eyes of ants may help improve endoscopes, the tiny cameras doctors use to explore the insides of patients

NEW YORK: Bugs, the bane of Sunday afternoon picnics, are opening a new horizon for researchers who are mimicking some of their more extraordinary attributes in a wave of research that may save lives in the future. A digital camera with 200 lenses that mimics the compound eyes of ants may help improve endoscopes, the tiny cameras doctors use to explore the insides of patients. A tiny robot that borrows the aerial prowess of a house fly may one day help find injured victims buried in rubble after disasters. Latest advances The two technologies, announced separately in science journals last week, are the latest advances that use biological systems as models to design materials and machines. While copying nature has long been a staple of human innovation, recent technology advances that let scientists look more closely at

INGENIOUS: Borrowing from insects, scientists employ an array of rubber microlenses and silicon

photodetectors in a thin, stretchable sheet that can be inflated like a balloon. — Bloomberg News/ University of Illinois and Beckman Institute

insects and stronger collaboration between engineers and biologists have set off a wave of new discoveries. “The walls that divided the life sciences and the physical sciences are sort of becoming transparent, so we’re trading ideas,” said Kevin Ma, a mechanical engineering graduate student at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., who

helped design the robotic fly. “That also helps with the trend toward biologically inspired technologies, because of the cross-pollination of the fields.” Harvard’s Office of Technology Development is already in the process of commercialising some of the underlying technologies, the university said in a statement. The bug-eyed camera, about the

size of half a grape, was reported last week in the journal Nature. It’s constructed of 200 interconnected rubbery lenses, which together allow a 160-degree field of view. The lenses, linked together in a sheet, can twist and stretch, allowing them to be formed into different shapes for different views, said John Rogers, a study author and a professor at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Infinite depth of field In traditional photography, lenses can focus only on one distance, with a decrease in sharpness on either side of that point. In the compound eye, the depth of field is infinite, so nothing is out of focus, Rogers said in a telephone interview.

This may one day provide a boon to camera-guided surgeries, requiring less movement of the camera to provide resolution for doctors, or making more-effective surveillance cameras, he said. “It’s a gut interest on my own part, in insects and the eyes of dragonflies,” said Rogers, who also plans to explore the eyes of shrimp and lobsters. “Insects are wellengineered at the eye and the machinery for flight.” There are a number of hurdles to get the design into commercial production, Rogers said. The next step will be to increase the number of lenses, which would allow for very high resolution. The bug-eyed camera and the robotic fly reflect new technologies that have helped make studying nature easier, according to Sherry Ritter, a research and education specialist at Biomimicry 3.8, a Missoula, Montana-based consulting firm. “One reason we can learn so much more than we have in the past is because we’re looking at micro and nano scales,” Ritter said in a telephone interview. “We have really slow-motion video now that shows how wings move, and at the micro scale, we can see how they’re attached.” A decade of work Getting the robot into the air took more than a decade of work, Harvard’s Ma said in a telephone interview. Its creation, though, offers two immediate benefits, the researchers wrote: Biologists get a new model to study insect flight, and engineers are introduced to some non-traditional materials that may be used to construct other tiny machines. Flies were particularly appealing as a model because they

manoeuvre so deftly, as anyone who’s tried to swat one can attest, Ma said. The robot, which uses about the same amount of power in flight as a living insect, flaps its wings using strips of ceramic that serve as muscles, expanding and contracting when an electric field is applied. For joints, the robot has slim hinges of plastic, and a control system commands the motions in the flapping wings, according to the report recently in Science. Each wing is independent. One of the biggest challenges was figuring out how to manufacture materials at the proper size. Ma said. Ultimately, the group used laser-cut materials that folded like origami into the tiny machines. Fuel cells The prototypes also remain tethered by a slender power cable, as there are no immediate solutions for energy storage small enough to be part of the insect’s body. Fuel cells must be developed before the robots can fly independently, the researchers said in their report. They are also studying how to add a camera or sensors. “Of course, practical applications are a far way out, but if we can imagine autonomous robots of this size, they could help searchand-rescue operations look for human survivors in hazardous environments,” Ma said. Along with search and rescue, applications from the project include the development of a manufacturing process that may enable a new class of complex medical devices, the researchers said. The two initiatives are hardly the first pieces of technology to borrow from nature. — The Washington Post/Bloomberg News Service


Protests greet Hollande after one year as president PARIS: Tens of thousands of protestors took to the streets of Paris yesterday to mark Socialist President Francois Hollande’s first year in office by accusing him of turning his back on the left. On the eve of the anniversary of Hollande’s May 6 win last year over right-winger Nicolas Sarkozy, the Communist-backed Left Front gathered supporters for a march starting at the Bastille, the iconic square of the French Revolution. The demonstrations come with polls showing Hollande as the most unpopular president in modern French history. Many voters are angered by an economy on the edge of recession and unemployment hitting a 16-year high. Jean-Luc Melenchon, the Left Front’s firebrand candidate in last year’s vote, called the protest in Paris last month at the height of a scandal over Hollande’s exbudget minister Jerome Cahuzac being charged with tax fraud. Melenchon, who said he expected 100,000 to attend the rally, told the crowd the Socialist government had betrayed its supporters on the left. “We do not want the world of finance in power! We do not accept the politics of austerity!” he told protesters waving the red flags of left-wing movements. In an interview yesterday with newspaper Le Parisien, Melenchon called on Hollande to “return to the left, where he was when he was elected”. He accused Hollande of contributing to Europe’s economic crisis by focusing on “the interests of shareholders, of big busi-

EXASPERATED: Demonstrators take part in a march calling for a

“sixth republic” to be established with a new constitution in Paris, yesterday. — Reuters

ness and of European austerity policies, to the detriment of the workers.” Melenchon called for a government reshuffle with himself or Industrial Renewal Minister Arnaud Montebourg — considered

one of Hollande’s most left-wing ministers — as premier. Yesterday’s protests follow another demonstration on Wednesday that brought hundreds of supporters of the far-right National Front to the streets of Paris. — AFP

M O N DAY, M AY 6, 2 01 3



Manned mission to Mars ‘possible’ in next 20 years WASHINGTON: Nasa and private sector experts now agree that a man or woman could be sent on a mission to Mars over the next 20 years, despite huge challenges. The biggest names in space exploration, among them top officials from the US space agency and Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, will discuss the latest projects at a three-day conference starting today in the US capital. Renewed interest in the red planet has triggered the launch of several initiatives in recent months, including one proposing a simple one-way trip to cut costs. BRIEFS

Russian plane missing since last year found MOSCOW: The wreckage of a Russian light aircraft that disappeared in June last year with 13 people on board has been discovered by hunters just a few kilometres from the plane’s takeoff strip near the Urals city of Yekaterinburg. Rescue teams were unable to find the An-2 light biplane, which took off without permission on June 11, 2013 from a regional airport in Serov with a pilot and 12 passengers on board. Official search efforts were halted four months later. Investigators had suspected that the group on board, which included Serov’s traffic police chief, could have taken an unscheduled flight to go on a fishing trip or to visit a Russian-style sauna. Two hunters were reported by Russian news agencies to have found the wreckage of the plane in marshlands eight km from the airport on Saturday evening. Body parts of 11 people were also found at the site, with the wreckage identified as that of an An-2 similar to the one lost last year, the regional transport department of the Interior Ministry said on its website yesterday.

Alaska volcano rumbles to life, emits ash, gas ANCHORAGE (ALASKA): A remote but long-restless Alaska volcano rumbled to life on Saturday with three explosions and started emitting a continuous plume of ash, steam and gas in an area important to air traffic, scientists said. The low-level explosions at Cleveland Volcano, which lies below a major air-traffic route between North America and Asia, were not severe enough to cause a significant threat to planes, said experts. But the incident did prompt federal aviation authorities to divert some traffic north of the volcano as a precaution, said Rick Wessels, a US Geological Survey geophysicist at the Alaska Volcano Observatory. “Based on the signals we can see, we think it’s continuously in an eruption right now,” Wessels said of the volcano, located 1,500km southwest of Anchorage.

Blast at Tanzania church kills one; dozens injured DAR ES SALAAM: A suspected bomb attack on a new Catholic church in the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha killed at least one person and wounded dozens of others yesterday, police said. The Vatican’s ambassador to Tanzania, Archbishop Francisco Montecillo Padilla, was attending the opening of the church when the blast occurred, but escaped unharmed. “Some kind of explosion went off at the church. It is believed to have been a bomb but we don’t know what type of bomb it was,” police spokesperson Advera Senso said. One person was arrested after the blast. -Agencies

The American public also favours sending astronauts to Mars, according to a survey by non-profit group Explore Mars and aerospace giant Boeing. The poll in March of more than a thousand people published in March found that 71 per cent of Americans expect that humans will land on Mars by 2033. Seventy-five per cent say Nasa’s budget should be doubled to one per cent of the federal budget to fund a mission to Mars and other initiatives. Nasa receives only 0.5 per cent of the US federal budget, compared to four per cent during the Apollo project to conquer the

moon in the 1960s. The US space agency’s chief Charles Bolden has stressed that “a human mission to Mars is a priority”. But the US financial crisis is a major obstacle to such a project. “If we started today, it’s possible

to land on Mars in 20 years,” said G. Scott Hubbard of Stanford University. “It doesn’t require miracles, it requires money and a plan to address the technological engineering challenges,” added Hubbard, who served as Nasa’s first Mars

programme director and successfully restructured the entire Mars programme in the wake of mission failures. Placing a mass of 30-40 tonnes — the amount estimated to be necessary to make a habitat on the red planet — would be one of the greatest challenges, along with the well-known problem of carrying or producing enough fuel to get back, Hubbard stressed. The Curiosity rover took a nailbiting seven minutes in August to make its descent on Mars. But it only weighed one tonne. The $2.5 billion Curiosity mission, which is set to last at least two years, aims to study the Mar-

tian environment and to hunt for evidence of water in preparation for a possible future manned mission. Robotic missions will therefore be necessary to prove the system works before scientists can even contemplate sending humans aboard. Nasa is developing a Space Launch System and the Orion capsule for distant space exploration. Hubbard said a nuclear engine should be developed for any vehicle headed to Mars because it would provide a continuous thrust and thus reduce travel time by about three months, as well as reduce the risk of radiation. -AFP




OMAN CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF GCC POWER GRID The Sultanate can take advantage of the common Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) power grid by importing and exporting power through the common grid from other Gulf countries, an expert said here yesterday. >B2

Plans afoot to increase power generation capacity by 2500MW The government is planning to float initial tenders for building independent power projects with a combined generation capacity of 2,000-2,500MW by next year

A.E. JAMES MUSCAT: Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) is conducting a detailed study to find a suitable location for an independent power plant in Duqm, which is expected to have a generation capacity in the region of 200-300MW. Also, the government is planning to float initial tenders for building independent power projects (IPPs)

with a combined generation capacity of 2,000-2,500MW by next year. The tendering process and awarding are scheduled in such a way to commission these projects by 201718 to meet the growing demand for power from both residential and industrial consumers within the main interconnected system (MIS), said Dr Hilal Abdullah Al Nasseri of OPWP, while presenting a paper on seven-year demand projection at the Oman Power and Water Summit here yesterday.

Demand growth Dr Al Nasseri said the average power demand growth for the next year years (between 2012 and 2019) is expected around 9.5 per cent in the MIS. In high case scenario, the demand will touch 9133MW by 2019, while in low case scenario, it will be around 7190MW. Referring to the proposed IPPs, he said tenders have been floated for the second IPP in Salalah, which will have a minimum generation capacity of 300MW. This project, planned in Raysut, will be completed by 2017. The tender is clubbed with the existing Dhofar Power Company’s existing project. Also, another IPP may be required in Salalah by 2019. Further, the Sur IPP will add 2,000MW capacity by 2014, but early power generation of 433MW (which is the first phase) is expected this year itself. Dr Al Nasseri said that the total power

generation in the country is expected to touch 7660MW by 2014, while the water desalination capacity will be 186 MIGD. He said three tenders are either floated or to be floated this year for power or water desalination projects. These include an independent water project with a capacity of 40,000 square metres of water per day, which is expected to be commissioned by 2015. Another IWP with a capacity of 180,000 square metres of water per day is planned in Quriyat, which will be commissioned in 2016, while tenders have been floated for generating an additional 101MW of temporary power for the coming summer season. He also noted that a strategic study is going on to see the options for managing expiring independent power projects and independent power and water projects. Dr. Al Nasseri further added that the power demand in

Salalah system is expected to be around 12 per cent, while in low and high demand scenarios, it will be seven per cent and 13 per cent respectively, between 2012 and 2019. Water desalination projects Referring to the ongoing water desalination projects, he said the Al Ghubrah IWP will generate 42 MIGD and will be commissioned by 2014, while work is going on for upgrading the capacity of Barka 1 by 10 MIGD. Another two desalination plants — one each in Quriyat and Suwaiq — are planned with a capacity of 40 MIGD and 50 MIGD, respectively. Quriyat plant is expected to be ready by 2016, while Suwaiq project will go on stream by 2018. The Oman Power and Water Summit, organised by IQPC Middle East along with GEC, has attracted over 70 local and international expert speakers and

panelists. The summit was also attended by over 350 local, regional and international utility industry professionals, whose main interest was to discover the latest projects and tenders, benchmark best practice asset management strategies and determine how the energy policy review. The three-day event also had the official support of Ministry of Regional Municipalities & Water Resources (MRMWR), Authority for Electricity Regulation (AER), Electricity Holding Company (EHC), and Oman Power & Water Procurement Company (OPWP). Dr Rasheed bin Al Safi Al Huraibi, Chairman of the Tender Board officially inaugurated the exhibition. The summit’s opening keynote speech was delivered by John Cunneen, Executive Director and Board Member from AER on the subject of a regulatory perspective on Oman’s Energy Policy Review.


M O N DAY, M AY 6, 2 0 1 3


After six consecutive years of acute recession, with homeless and unemployment rates skyrocketing, Greek society is experiencing an ‘unheard-of fragmentation,’ made worse by fierce austerity measures, said experts. >B3


Oman can take advantage of common GCC power grid A.E. JAMES

Since the establishment of GCC power grid, 700 power trading incidents have been occurred to stabilise the systems. Oman provides or receives support through the UAE power grid MUSCAT: The Sultanate can take advantage of the common Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) power grid by importing and exporting power through the common grid from other Gulf countries, an expert said here yesterday. Among GCC countries, Qatar has the lowest power generation cost at $88 per MWh, while Oman is in the middle with a cost of $225/MWh. The Sultanate can reduce its cost to $155/ Mwh by importing power from Qatar when the country faces power shortage, said Eng Nasser Al Shahrani, Director — Operation and Control, GCC Interconnection Authority (GCCIA). Marginal advantage The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has a power generation cost of $104 per MWh. “The UAE can sell power to Oman, which reduces the marginal cost to Oman to roughly $150/MWh,” he added, while presenting a paper on Gulf Cooperation Council power grid at the Oman Power and Water Summit. Since the establishment of GCC power grid, 700 power trading incidents have been occurred to stabilise the systems. Oman provides or receives support through the UAE power grid. Eng Al Shahrani said the advantage of the common GCC grid

RIBBON CUTTING: Dr. Rashid bin Al Safi Al Huraibi, Chairman of the Tender Board, opening an exhibition, which was held on the sidelines

of the Oman Water and Power exhibition here yesterday. – Picture by Talib Al Wohabi/Times of Oman

include reduction in generating capacity in each system as a result of sharing power reserves and sharing spinning reserves to cover emergency conditions.


Dubai government repays $910m of matured bonds DUBAI: The Dubai government yesterday said that it has repaid in full $910 million of maturing bonds, declaring it reflected a commitment of the indebted Gulf emirate to honour its obligations. “All the outstanding notes were redeemed in full,” upon maturity on April 23, the government said in a statement referring to the bond issue valued at 3.34 billion dirhams ($910 million). The bonds were issued under the government’s Dh15-billion Medium Term Note Programme (MTNP) dated April 14, 2008, it said, adding repayments included all outstanding notes and accrued interest. “This repayment reaffirms Dubai government’s commitment to deal with its repayment obligations in a proactive manner,” said Abdulrahman Saleh al-Saleh, head of the finance department. “It also strengthens the government’s

Dh15b Was the total amount that the government had raised through MTNP in 2008

It also helps to provide emergency support to any system during black out situations, besides lowering operating costs by using most economic generation unit

in the interconnected system. He said the GCCIA is exploring the possibilities to connect renewable energy resources to the grid. “GCCIA has drafted a white pa-

per policy for promoting power trading through the interconnector and is targeted to be delivered to the Gulf Cooperation Council Ministerial Committee

for electricity and water in the fourth quarter of 2013.” Further, GCCIA is exploring the opportunities for interconnections with surrounding regions to Gulf Cooperation Council. Oman is one hour ahead of four of the other Gulf Cooperation Council grid members, which affects the timing of its peak and minimum demand periods “With prudent planning and optimisation, there is scope to import from or export to the other members to make best use of this time difference,” he added. A budget of $1.2 billion was allocated to establish a 400 kV grid connecting the GCC countries, consisting of transmission substations, long distance OHLs, submarine cable and HVDC back-toback substation connecting the 60 Hz system (Saudi Arabia) and the other 50 Hz systems.

Stalemated WTO set to choose new leader VITAL INFO In Mexico’s Herminio Blanco and Brazil’s


While WTO remains deadlocked, bilateral deals predominate


Group risks falling into irrelevance, says expert


Creativity is what the WTO needs from its new chief


Lamy has been unable to break the impasse in global trade talks during his eight-year tenure

Roberto Azevedo, the WTO has a choice between two highly qualified Latin American trade diplomats who would bring very

resolve to honour all its financial obligations on time,” he was quoted as saying in the statement. Dubai rocked global markets in 2009 when its largest group Dubai World signalled a need to freeze payments on debt exceeding $26 billion, before getting government help and reaching an agreement with lenders to restructure $14.7 billion. The economy contracted 2.4 per cent in 2009, but it has since made a comeback, growing 2.8 per cent in 2010 and 3.4 per cent in 2011, as tourism, trade and transport keep expanding. — AFP

differing approaches to the job of replacing veteran WTO head Pascal Lamy

GENEVA: The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has overseen a 12-year stalemate in global trade talks. On Wednesday, it will decide whether an insider or an outsider is better placed to break the deadlock. In Mexico’s Herminio Blanco and Brazil’s Roberto Azevedo, the WTO has a choice between two highly qualified Latin American trade diplomats who would bring very differing approaches to the job of replacing veteran WTO head Pascal Lamy. Azevedo, Brazil’s WTO ambassador and chief trade negotiator, has been closely involved with the trade body for almost its entire history since its creation in 1995. Blanco, a former trade minister who negotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement with the United States and has spent the last 12 years in business, sits on the boards of a Mexican bank and a chemicals firm and advises companies on international trade. The two are the last of a field of nine candidates hoping to succeed Lamy as director general (DG) on September 1. As one of only two non-ministers in the race, Azevedo began as a relatively junior contender. But he was admired for his diplomatic skill, such as his success in getting the body to discuss currencies as a factor in trade — a toxic topic for some because it threatened to

throw a slough of new disputes into the WTO, including simmering suspicions of China in Washington and criticisms of the US policy of “quantitative easing”. Little executive power Creativity is what the WTO needs from its new chief, trade experts say, because the job comes with little executive power and the director general must be able to make things happen without being able to tell the WTO’s 159 members what to do. Lamy has been unable to break the impasse in global trade talks during his eight-year tenure. While Azevedo has pitched himself as a listener who will earn the trust of member countries by understanding their negotiating standpoints, Blanco says an outside force is needed to persuade governments to show flexibility. The catalyst, he says, is business. “One of the first targets has to be the US,” he told Reuters in an interview in February. “The private sector of the United States has to tell the government: You have to move in Geneva ... you have to be more reasonable in your positions, you have to get to the table and you have to negotiate.” The global trade talks that began in Doha in 2001 reached deadlock in 2011, forcing the WTO to focus on a far smaller package

Herminio Blanco. — Bloomberg News

of trade reforms and prompting many countries to pursue bilateral and regional trade deals instead, such as the US-led TransPacific Partnership (TPP). Reforms Even the smaller package of reforms — widely seen as a crucial first step — is proving hard to agree on. At the same time the WTO’s global rules risk getting drowned out by the plethora of regional deals now being negotiated. “Each candidate must give the impression that Doha is fixable, even though the post they seek can’t deliver that,” said Simon Evenett, professor of international trade at St Gallen University in Switzerland. “Both must will the end without the means.” Richard Baldwin, a professor at the Graduate Institute of Geneva, said the United States was unlikely to be interested in any Doha deal until it was clear that TPP had either succeeded or failed, which was likely to take years. “Thus one interesting question is what can the next DG do to keep the lights on in the organisa-

tion and to maintain the WTO’s reputation — to avoid it sliding into obscurity and irrelevance for anything other than dispute settlement,” he said. But Blanco believes the attitude towards trade has changed since Doha’s demise and many countries now see it as a lever for economic growth, as shown by the ambitious plan for a transatlantic trade deal unveiled by the European Union and the United States earlier this year. However such deviations from Doha remain contentious for many countries and if the European Union and United States are seen as backing Blanco, other WTO members are likely to organise in opposition, said Evenett. “My money is on Azevedo winning. Azevedo has marinated in the juices of recent Brazilian protectionism, so can relate better to other WTO foot-draggers,” he further added. — Reuters

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M O N DAY, M AY 6, 2 01 3



Paiped wins top Unctad award for investment promotion AFTAB H. KOLA MUSCAT: The Public Authority for Investment Promotion and Export Development (Paiped), which has developed an investment promotion strategy for Oman, has now identified the Indian Subcontinent, Korea, South Africa, Ethiopia, Morocco, the US, Turkey and the Far East countries including China as target markets for investment promotion, said Faris Nasser Al Farsi, director-general of investment development at Paiped. Speaking at a ceremony held GLOBAL RECOGNITION: Paiped officials along with Marcos Beluco, here yesterday to celebrate chief executive of Vale Oman Pellitising Company (third from left), Paiped’s winning of Unctad award displaying the Unctad award. —Supplied picture for ‘Excellence in promoting export-oriented foreign direct investment (FDI)’, he said, “Oman’s current top five export destina- tional markets was recognised value of its non-oil exports rose to tions include India, UAE, China, in Geneva at an award ceremony OMR3.6 billion in 2012 as com- Saudi Arabia, and South Korea.” recently held by the United Napared to OMR3.3 billion in 2011 He further observed, “Oman’s tions Conference on Trade and registering a jump of 18.5 per cent export to the US has registered an Development (Unctad). Nasima Al over the previous year. This suc- increase of 138 per cent from 2011 Balushi, director-general of export development at Paiped, said, “We cess is in line with Paiped’s export to 2012.” Paiped’s efforts to connect are fully committed to help attract strategy which identified thrust products and target markets. The Omani businesses to interna- and win investment and facilitate

The Unctad Investment Promotion Awards are given annually for excellence in attracting and facilitating investment for sustainable development the export of Omani non-oil products and services. We have representatives in every major market and the global expertise and reach to assist companies set-up in the Sultanate as well as penetrate new markets. The Unctad award will serve as an added motivator and incentive to the team as well as the companies we work with.” Listing out the latest initiatives, she said, “Several Omani companies showcased the Sultanate’s building and construction capabilities at BuildInt Tanzania


Crisis-hit Greece sees rise in social inequality: Expert ATHENS: After six consecutive years of brutal recession, with homeless and unemployment rates skyrocketing, Greek society is experiencing an “unheard-of fragmentation”, made worse by fierce austerity measures, experts say. Battered by the eurozone’s three-year debt crisis and four years of austerity, Greece has the highest unemployment rate in the 27-nation European Union (EU), with more than one in four people out of work. And this economic crisis has now transformed into a social emergency, according to UN expert on debt and human rights, Cephas Lumina. During a recent visit to the country, Lumina said there had been “an estimated 25 per cent increase in the country’s homeless population since 2009” and the poverty rate for under-17s was close to 44 per cent. “Adjusted for inflation and using 2009 as the fixed poverty threshold, more than one out of three Greeks (38 per cent) had

already fallen below the poverty line in 2012,” he estimated. Drastic spending cuts imposed by the country’s international creditors in exchange for multibillion-euro bailouts has made a difficult situation even worse, many believe. One of 13,000 people demonstrating on traditional May Day marches, Yannis Papageorgiou, a teacher specialised in special needs children, said austerity had pushed the country back to levels of care last seen in ancient times. “With the budgetary measures, handicapped children in Greece are being abandoned, like they were in the days of Ancient Sparta,” said Papageorgiou. Another protester, trained archeologist Eleni Mlouke, who has been out of work for two years, said that even a top-level education was no guarantee of progress in today’s Greece. “Having a degree in Greece means no work in the future,” complained the 28-year-old.

Economic pressures have meant that Greek society is experiencing an “unheard-of fragmentation”, economist Dionysis Balourdis told AFP, with output shrinking by some 20 percent during the six years of recession. “The middle class has shrunk and is getting close to the poverty line, while the poor are getting poorer, which makes the inequality worse,” said the expert. According to EU data, Greece ranks close to the bottom of the bloc in terms of poverty, with only Spain, Romania and Bulgaria worse off. Lumina said that what he termed “excessively rigid” austerity measures were endangering citizens’ “right to work, social security, healthcare and housing.” Prompted partly by the election of a new prime minister in Italy, who has vowed to reverse the austerity policy in the eurozone, several staunch opponents of the German-led insistence on budgetary rigour have started to find their voice again. — AFP


2013. Our approach to promote the growth of Omani SMEs by providing them with new income generating streams on regional and international fronts will gather steam in the coming months. The second edition of the highly-anticipated Omani Products Trade Exhibition will be held at the Doha Exhibition Centre, Doha, Qatar from November 10-13. So, we have many activities coming up in the near future.” Creating more opportunities Nasima added, “The next stage is to solidify our gains and maintain growth by creating more opportunities and initiatives that promote Oman’s offer as a manufacturer of quality international products, which in turn will help us attract and win further inward investment. His Highness Sayyid Faisal Al Said, Paiped’s director-general of marketing and media noted: “We’re intent on paving the way for Oman to become a leader in the Innovation Economy and be rec-

ognised as a competitive and proactive, business-friendly environment. The Unctad award says a lot about what Paiped has achieved to date. This accolade belongs to all who have contributed to Paiped’s important work in attracting and winning investment. This is indeed an outstanding achievement for Oman. Vale Oman is one of the many success stories.” Marcos Beluco, ceo, Vale Oman Pellitizing Company, said, that he was delighted to know that paiped has won the Unctad award. The Unctad Investment Promotion Awards are given annually for excellence in attracting and facilitating investment for sustainable development. Apart from the agency from Oman, also awarded were the Jamaica Promotions Corporation and the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia. According to the Unctad, these three organisations managed to attract foreign direct investment “in a highly competitive environment and against the background of a global fall in FDI last year.”


M O N DAY, M AY 6, 2 0 1 3

MARKET MSM index ends higher



INDICES Index .................................................High .................Low..................... Value ............... Prev . Value.......... Diff ...............Diff % MSM30 Index ........................................6,180.31 ............... 6,147.70 ....................6,175.65 ................... 6,145.72................. 29.93 ...................0.49 Financial Index .....................................7,512.28 ............... 7,493.21 ....................7,501.28 ...................7,502.29...................-1.01 .................. -0.01 Industrial Index ....................................8,955.12 ............... 8,817.86 ................... 8,949.35 ...................8,822.49............... 126.86 ................... 1.44 Services Index ...................................... 3,184.60 ............... 3,170.77 ....................3,177.28 ....................3,163.13.................. 14.15 ................... 0.45 Trading Summary Volume ................Turnover ..........Trades .............. Market Cap............. Up............Down ............. Equal .........Sec. Traded 24,857,203 ..................7,996,752 ..................1,689 ................12,571,128,876 ................25 ......................16 ..................... 9 ..........................50

Oman Cables was the top gainer of the day to close up by 8.93%, while HSBC Oman was the top loser and closed down by 2.46%

MUSCAT: The MSM30 Index ended on a positive note to close at 6175.65 points, up by 0.49 per cent. OIFC remained as the most active in terms of volume as well as turnover. Oman Cables was the top gainer for the day to close up by 8.93 per cent, while HSBC Oman was the top loser for the day and closed down by 2.46 per cent. A total number of 1689 trades were executed in yesterday’s trading session generating turnover of OMR7.99 million with over 24.86 million shares traded. Out of 50 traded stocks, 25 advanced, 16 declined and nine remained unchanged. At the session close, GCC & Arab Investors were net buyers for OMR583,000 followed by GCC & Arab investors for OMR137,000 while foreign investors switched to net sellers for OMR720,000 worth of shares. Financial Sector Index was marginally down by 0.01 per cent and closed at 7501.28 points. Ominvest, Transgulf Holding, Taageer Finance, Oman& Emirates and Ahli Bank increased by 1.78 per cent, 0.66 per cent, 0.65 per cent, 0.59 per cent and 0.56 per cent respectively. HSBC Bank Oman, Al Sharqia Investment , Global Financial Investment and Gulf Investment Services declined by 2.46 per cent, 1.46 per cent, 0.89 per cent and 0.62 per cent respectively. The Industrial Sector Index closed at 8949.35 points, up by 1.44 per cent. Oman Cables, Raysut Cement, Oman Fisheries, Gulf International Chemicals and Salalah Mills increased by 8.93 per cent, 3.10 per cent, 2.61 per cent, 1.20 per cent and 1.12 per cent respectively. Construction Material Industries, Oman Cement, National Aluminium Products, Voltamp Energy and Jazeera Steel Product declined by 1.47 per cent, 0.86 per cent, 0.60 per cent,0.51 per cent and 0.33 per cent respectively.

Services Sector Index was up by 0.45 per cent and closed at 3177.28 points. Sohar Power, OIFC, Oman Holding, Renaissance Services and ACWA Power Barka increased by 4.23 per cent, 3.55 per cent, 2.99 per cent, 1.73 per cent and 1.38 per cent respectively. Oman Oil Marketing, Port Services Corp, Al Jazeira Services and Oman Telecom Services declined by 2.08 per cent, 1.00 per cent,0.45 per cent and 0.07 per cent respectively. Dubai index rises Dubai’s benchmark stock index rose to the highest level in more than three years as investors sought cheap valuations amid an economic recovery in the emirate. Dubai Islamic Bank, the United Arab Emirates’ biggest Shariah-compliant lender, soared 3.1 per cent while Emaar Properties, developer of the world’s tallest skyscraper, gained the most in a week. Dubai’s DFM General Index climbed 1.9 per cent to 2,168.80, the highest since November 2009, at the close in the emirate. The measure has surged 34 per cent this year, making it the best-performing index in the Arabian Gulf. “Dubai’s valuations were and are still very undemanding compared to regional markets, and this is particularly apparent in the real estate and the banking sectors,” Amer Khan, a Dubaibased fund manager at Shuaa Asset Management, said in an email yesterday. Dubai stocks trade at a priceto-book ratio of 0.9 times. That compares with 1.9 times for Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index, the Arabian Gulf’s largest bourse. The second-biggest emirate in the UAE is recovering from a property crash and a debt crisis helped by a rebound in the tourism, trade and retail industries.

SHARE PRICE BULLETIN FOR SUNDAY, MAY 5 Security Name ....................................................Volume .....Turnover ... Trades ......... High.........Low ..........Close ......... Prev. .......... Diff. ............ Diff .............Last ..........Last ............Last ................Market Cap.........Par ........................................................................................................................................................................................ Pr. ............ Close ........... RO ............... % .................Pr ..............Bid ............ Offer ............................................value

REGULAR MARKET .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... OMAN CABLES INDUSTRY ............................... 152,077 ...........261,528.............. 60 ............ 1.736 .......... 1.600 ............ 1.720..............1.579 .............0.141 .............8.930 ..............1.720 .............1.715...............1.720 ............154,284,000.000 ......0.100 SOHAR POWER .................................................. 13,101 ............. 27,424.................8 ............2.100 .........2.008 ............2.093 ............ 2.008............ 0.085 .............4.233 ............. 2.080 ............2.050 ..............2.100 ...............46,257,393.000 ......1.000 OMAN INVESTMENT AND FINANCE ...........5,257,365 ........1,685,929............348 ............0.322 ......... 0.317 ............ 0.321 .............0.310 .............0.011 .............3.548 ............. 0.320 ............ 0.319 ............. 0.320.............. 44,941,284.000 ......0.100 RAYSUT CEMENT ...........................................460,979 ...........798,370.............. 89 ............ 1.735 .......... 1.700 ............ 1.732..............1.680 ............ 0.052 .............3.095 ..............1.730 ............ 1.730 ..............1.735 ............346,400,000.000 ......0.100 OMAN HOLDING INTERNATIONAL .....................8,000 ................2,760.................3 ............0.345 ......... 0.345 ............0.345 .............0.335 ............ 0.010 .............2.985 ............. 0.345 ............0.000 ..............0.345...............37,950,000.000 ......0.100 OMAN FISHERIES .............................................44,000 ................ 5,179.................7 ............ 0.118 ...........0.116 ............ 0.118..............0.115 ............ 0.003 .............2.609 ..............0.116 .............0.115...............0.116 ...............14,750,000.000 ......0.100 OMINVEST ...................................................1,749,519 ...........699,684............ 190 ............0.409 ......... 0.392 ............0.400 .............0.393 ............ 0.007 ............. 1.781 .............. 0.404 ............0.400 ............. 0.404............122,452,000.000 ......0.100 RENAISSANCE SERVICES ................................ 419,238 ...........222,035.............. 30 ............0.533 ......... 0.519 ............0.530 .............0.521 ............ 0.009 ............. 1.727.............. 0.528 ............ 0.525 ..............0.528 .............149,510,060.620 ......0.100 ACWA POWER BARKA ........................................67,807 ..............39,814.............. 23 ............0.590 ......... 0.580 ............0.587 .............0.579 ............ 0.008 ............. 1.382.............. 0.590 ............ 0.588 ..............0.595 .............. 93,920,000.000 ......0.100 GULF INT. CHEMICALS .......................................13,600 ............... 2,292.................4 ............0.169.......... 0.168 ............ 0.169 .............0.167 ............ 0.002 ............. 1.198...............0.168 ............ 0.168 ..............0.170 .................3,549,000.000 ......0.100 SALALAH MILLS .............................................. 112,500 ........... 151,880.................6 ............ 1.351 .......... 1.350 ............ 1.350 .............1.335 .............0.015 ............. 1.124...............1.350 ............ 1.350 ..............1.399 ...............65,020,136.400 ......0.100 GALFAR ENGINEERING AND CON. ................... 663,231 ...........245,375.............. 68 ............0.375.......... 0.365 ............0.370 .............0.367 ............ 0.003 ............. 0.817...............0.371 ............ 0.370 ..............0.372 .............. 85,470,000.000 ......0.100 OMAN PACKAGING ........................................... 45,000 ..............13,500.................2 ............0.300 .........0.300 ............0.300 ............ 0.298............ 0.002 ............. 0.671.............. 0.300 ............0.292 ..............0.310 ..................9,730,758.000 ......0.100 TRANSGULF IND. INV. HOLDING ....................1,265,483 ........... 192,035.............. 85 ............0.154.......... 0.150 ............ 0.152 .............0.151 ............ 0.001 .............0.662 ..............0.152 ............ 0.152 ..............0.153 ...............10,165,000.000 ......0.100 TAAGEER FINANCE .........................................558,101 ..............86,501.............. 20 ............ 0.155.......... 0.154 ............ 0.155..............0.154 ............ 0.001 .............0.649 ..............0.155 ............ 0.155 ..............0.157 ................36,734,477.650 ......0.100 ASAFFA FOODS ...................................................17,000 ............. 13,940................. 1 ............0.820 ......... 0.820 ............0.820 .............0.815 ............ 0.005 ............. 0.613.............. 0.820 ............0.820 ............. 0.000.............. 94,925,250.000 ......0.100 OMAN AND EMIRATES INV. HOLDING .............. 769,650 ........... 132,166...............51 ............ 0.174.......... 0.169 ............ 0.172..............0.171 ............ 0.001 .............0.585 ..............0.169 ............ 0.169 ..............0.170 .............. 20,962,500.000 ......0.100 AHLI BANK ...................................................... 434,771 ..............77,995.............. 46 ............ 0.181 .......... 0.179 ............ 0.179..............0.178 ............ 0.001 .............0.562 ..............0.181 ............ 0.181...............0.182 ............ 226,236,336.850 ......0.100 BANK SOHAR ..................................................506,095 ............. 94,534.............. 34 ............0.187.......... 0.186 ............ 0.187..............0.186 ............ 0.001 .............0.538 ..............0.187 ............ 0.185 ..............0.187 ............205,700,000.000 ......0.100 AL HASSAN ENGINEERING ............................... 43,448 ................8,454.................6 ............0.197.......... 0.194 ............ 0.195..............0.194 ............ 0.001 ............. 0.515.............. 0.194 ............ 0.192 ..............0.194 ...............14,665,560.000 ......0.100 AL ANWAR CERAMIC TILES ..............................271,164 ............ 117,192.............. 22 ............0.435 ......... 0.430 ............0.432 .............0.430............ 0.002 .............0.465 ............. 0.432 ............ 0.432 ............. 0.434............. 101,558,976.768 ......0.100 BANK MUSCAT ...............................................856,498 ........... 531,060.............. 67 ............0.622 ......... 0.619 ............0.620 .............0.619 ............ 0.001 .............0.162 ............. 0.620 ............0.620 ..............0.621 .........1,263,876,624.080 ......0.100 AL ANWAR HOLDING ...................................... 486,651 ............. 96,537.............. 54 ............0.200 ......... 0.197 ............ 0.198 .............0.198 ............ 0.000 .............0.000 ..............0.197 ............ 0.197 ..............0.198 ...............23,760,000.000 ......0.100 DHOFAR INT.DEV.AND INV. HOLD. ........................... 1,482 ................... 689.................2 ............0.465 ......... 0.465 ............0.463 .............0.463 ............ 0.000 .............0.000 ............. 0.465 ............ 0.457 ..............0.463 ..............92,600,000.000 ......0.100 NATIONAL BANK OF OMAN ............................. 178,960 ..............48,061.................3 ............0.269 ......... 0.268 ............0.269 ............ 0.269............ 0.000 .............0.000 ............. 0.268 ............0.268 ............. 0.269............ 298,058,725.000 ......0.100 NAWRAS .........................................................588,525 ...........288,377.............. 22 ............0.490 ......... 0.490 ............0.490 ............ 0.490............ 0.000 .............0.000 ............. 0.490 ............0.480 ............. 0.490.............318,962,672.700 ......0.100 ONIC. HOLDING .......................................................800 ...................280................. 1 ............0.350 ......... 0.350 ............0.349 ............ 0.349............ 0.000 .............0.000 ............. 0.350 ............ 0.334 ..............0.350...............60,524,714.250 ......0.100 UNITED FINANCE ............................................... 4,840 ................... 774................. 1 ............0.160.......... 0.160 ............ 0.157..............0.157 ............ 0.000 .............0.000 ............. 0.160 ............ 0.157 ..............0.159 ................43,177,075.854 ......0.100 OMAN TELECOMMUNICATION ..................... 123,030 ............176,750...............21 ............1.443.......... 1.430 ............ 1.437..............1.438 ............-0.001 ...........-0.070 .............1.431 ............ 1.430 ..............1.435 ......... 1,077,750,000.000 ......0.100 OMAN FLOUR MILLS ............................................ 9,456 ................5,932.................3 ............0.630 ......... 0.625 ............0.627 .............0.629........... -0.002 ........... -0.318............. 0.625 ............ 0.625 ..............0.629 ...............98,752,500.000 ......0.100 AL JAZEERA STEEL PRODUCTS ........................380,325 ............116,765...............15 ............0.308 ......... 0.306 ............0.307 ............ 0.308............-0.001 ........... -0.325............. 0.307 ............ 0.307 ............. 0.308............... 38,343,673.720 ......0.100 AL JAZEERA SERVICES .......................................68,145 ............. 30,266.............. 25 ............0.450 .........0.440 ............0.444 ............ 0.446........... -0.002 ...........-0.448 ............ 0.441 ............ 0.441 ..............0.445................ 27,174,697.212 ......0.100 VOLTAMP ENERGY ............................................65,493 ..............25,740.................7 ............0.394 ......... 0.393 ............0.393 .............0.395 ........... -0.002 ...........-0.506 ............ 0.393 ............ 0.393 ............. 0.400...............23,776,500.000 ......0.100 NAT. ALUMINIUM PRODUCTS ............................15,000 ................4,950.................4 ............0.330 ......... 0.330 ............0.330 .............0.332........... -0.002 ...........-0.602 ............ 0.330 ............ 0.327 ............. 0.330............... 11,078,578.500 ......0.100 GULF INVESTMENT SER. ............................. 2,564,570 ...........409,509.............. 97 ............0.162.......... 0.158 ............0.160 .............0.161 ............-0.001 ........... -0.621..............0.159 ............ 0.158 ..............0.159 ..................9,414,914.720 ......0.100 OMAN CEMENT ............................................. 414,079 ...........285,330.............. 32 ............0.694 ......... 0.688 ............0.689 .............0.695 ........... -0.006 ........... -0.863............. 0.688 ............ 0.688 ............. 0.690............. 227,971,297.190 ......0.100 GLOBAL FINANCIAL INVESTMENT ..................912,601 ...........102,344.............. 24 ............ 0.113 ...........0.111............. 0.112..............0.113 ............-0.001 ........... -0.885..............0.111 .............0.111...............0.112 .............. 33,600,000.000 ......0.100 PORT SER. CORPORATION ..................................12,858 ................6,365.................2 ............0.495 ......... 0.495 ............0.495 ............ 0.500........... -0.005 ........... -1.000............. 0.495 ............ 0.482 ..............0.495 .............. 47,044,800.000 ......0.100 AL SHARQIA INVESTMENT HOLDING ............. 828,213 ............167,528.............. 66 ............0.208 ......... 0.198 ............0.202 ............ 0.205........... -0.003 ........... -1.463............. 0.205 ............0.205 ............. 0.206...............16,968,000.000 ......0.100 HSBC BANK OMAN .......................................... 501,966 ............. 99,504.............. 20 ............0.199.......... 0.197 ............ 0.198 ............ 0.203........... -0.005 ...........-2.463 .............0.197 ............ 0.197 ............. 0.200............ 396,061,932.420 ......0.100 SUM: ............................................................................... 20,885,621 ........7,275,346.........1,569 ................. .................... ...................... ....................... ...................... ....................... ........................ ....................... ........................ ................................................. ........... ..................................................................................TRADED SEC. ..................... 40................... ................ .................... ...................... ....................... ...................... ....................... ........................ ....................... ........................ ................................................. ...........

PARALLEL MARKET ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ FINANCIAL SERVICES .......................................20,000 ................ 1,720................. 1 ............0.086 ......... 0.086 ............0.086 .............0.085 ............ 0.001 ............. 1.176 .............. 0.086 ............0.084 ..............0.086.................5,590,000.000 ......0.100 ALIZZ ISLAMIC BANK ........................................412,185 ............. 44,514...............14 ............0.108.......... 0.107 ............0.108 .............0.107 ............ 0.001 .............0.935 ............. 0.108 ............ 0.107 ..............0.108 ............108,000,000.000 ......0.100 BANK NIZWA ..................................................302,632 ............. 33,254.............. 22 ............ 0.110.......... 0.109 ............ 0.110..............0.110 ............ 0.000 .............0.000 ............. 0.109 ............ 0.108 ..............0.110 ............165,000,000.000 ......0.100 BANK DHOFAR ................................................ 164,703 ..............61,441...............17 ............0.379 ......... 0.373 ............0.373 .............0.374 ............-0.001 ...........-0.267 ............ 0.373 ............ 0.372 ..............0.373 ..............451,377,789.133 ......0.100 CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS IND. ....................721,167 ............. 48,473.............. 27 ............0.069 ......... 0.067 ............0.067 .............0.068............-0.001 ............-1.471 ............. 0.067 ............ 0.067 ..............0.068.................5,695,000.000 ......0.100 OMAN OIL MARKETING .......................................5,500 ..............11,367.................3 ............ 2.111 .......... 2.050 ............2.067 ............. 2.111 ........... -0.044 ...........-2.084 ............ 2.050 ............2.050 ..............2.100 .............126,655,425.000 ......0.100 AL BATINAH DEV. INV. HOLDING ........................125,000 .............. 11,410.................4 ............0.093 ......... 0.091 ............ 0.091 .............0.093........... -0.002 ........... -2.151 ..............0.091 ............ 0.091 ..............0.093 .................2,730,000.000 ......0.100 SUM: ...................................................................................1,751,187 ........... 212,178.............. 88 ................. .................... ...................... ....................... ...................... ....................... ........................ ....................... ........................ ................................................. ........... ..................................................................................TRADED SEC. ........................ 7................... ................ .................... ...................... ....................... ...................... ....................... ........................ ....................... ........................ ................................................. ...........

BONDS MARKET .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. BANK SOHAR BONDS 4.5 ..................................... 24,570 ................2,579.................3 ............0.105.......... 0.104 ............ 0.105 .............0.104 ............ 0.001 .............0.962 ............. 0.105 ............ 0.104 ..............0.106 ..................7,507,500.000 ......0.100 BANK MUSCAT BONDS-NONGUARANT 7 ....... 300,000 .......... 300,000................. 1 ............1.000 ......... 1.000 ............1.000 .............1.000 ............ 0.000 .............0.000 ............. 1.000 ............0.000 ............. 0.000.............. 25,000,000.000 ......1.000 BANK MUSCAT CONV. BONDS 4.5 ....................1,895,825 ...........206,648.............. 28 ............ 0.110.......... 0.109 ............0.109 .............0.109 ............ 0.000 .............0.000 ............. 0.109 ............ 0.109 ..............0.110 ...............32,999,653.099 ......0.100 SUM: ................................................................................. 2,220,395 ...........509,227.............. 32 ................. .................... ...................... ....................... ...................... ....................... ........................ ....................... ........................ ................................................. ........... ..................................................................................TRADED SEC. ........................ 3................... ................ .................... ...................... ....................... ...................... ....................... ........................ ....................... ........................ ................................................. ...........

— United Securities/Bloomberg News



ADCB raised to overweight by JPMorgan Chase ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), the third-biggest lender by assets in the United Arab Emirates, was raised to overweight at JPMorgan Chase after it cut exposure to low quality assets. “ADCB management has commendably turned around the franchise over the last two-three years by cleaning up the asset book, prudently managing liquidity while conserving spreads better versus

regional peers and strengthening the capital base by disposal of noncore assets,” analysts including Naresh Bilandani wrote in a research report. This has made “the business model much simpler — simplicity receives a plus from bank investors in the current regulatory scenario.” ADCB said last week it settled lawsuits against Morgan Stanley, Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s Investors Service and others over

its purchase of Cheyne SIV notes. The bank reported a four per cent increase in first-quarter profit to Dh830 million, beating analysts’ estimates. JPMorgan raised the recommendation from neutral and increased the price estimate to Dh5.50 from Dh5. The stock closed at Dh4.61 last week. It has surged 55 per cent this year, outpacing the 30 per cent climb for Abu Dhabi’s ADX Banks Index.

JPMorgan also raised the price estimate of First Gulf Bank, its top pick among banks in the Middle East and North Africa, to Dh18 from Dh13.50. The overweight recommendation was maintained. The stock has risen 25 per cent this year to Dh14.55 last week. National Bank of Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s biggest bank by assets, was cut to neutral from overweight at JPMorgan. — Bloomberg News

Sinopec unit and Galaxy Securities to raise $3.6b in Hong Kong IPOs HONG KONG: Sinopec Engineering Group, a unit of China’s biggest refiner, and China Galaxy Securities plan to raise a total of as much as $3.6 billion in Hong Kong’s two biggest initial public offerings this year, according to people familiar with the matters. The Beijing-based unit of China Petrochemical Corp. plans to offer 1.33 billion shares at HK$9.8 to HK$13.1 each, raising a potential HK$17.4 billion ($2.24 billion), two of the people said. Galaxy Securities, a brokerage controlled by China’s sovereign wealth fund, may sell 1.57 billion shares at HK$4.99 to HK$6.77 apiece, raising as much as HK$10.6 billion, according to two separate people. They asked not to be identified because the information is private. The share sales may help Hong Kong IPOs recover after their value dropped to the lowest in four years in the first quarter. Companies raised $1.1 billion from initial share sales in the city in the first three months, the least since early 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Sinopec Engineering builds facilities and provides oilfield services, according to Sinopec Group’s website. The price range values the company at nine to 12 times estimated 2013 earnings, according to the two people with knowledge of the matter. Wison Engineering Services, a Chinese provider of engineering and construction services for the petrochemical industry, raised $239 million from a Hong Kong IPO in December. The company

The share sales may help Hong Kong IPOs recover after their value dropped to the lowest in four years in the first quarter has gained 37 per cent from its offer price, trading at 10.1 times estimated 2013 profit, data compiled by Bloomberg show. An external spokeswoman for Sinopec Engineering declined to comment on the offering. Galaxy valuation Galaxy Securities’s price range values the company at 1.19 to 1.49 times estimated 2013 book value, according to the two people with knowledge of the matter. The valuation is lower than those of the biggest publicly traded brokerages from China, they said. Cornerstone investors of the offer include insurer AIA Group with an investment of $50 million and Khazanah Nasional Bhd, Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, with $100 million, the people said. Cornerstone investors typically agree to hold their stock for six months in return for guaranteed allocation in an IPO. Founded in January 2007, Galaxy Securities is controlled by Central Huijin Investment, a unit of China Investment, according to the brokerage’s website. — Bloomberg News


W W W.T I M E S O F O M A N . C O M MONDAY, MAY 6, 2013





CANON N NOW TAKES ON SMARTPHONE CAMERAS Canon has dreamed up an ingenious response to the phone-camera threat. It emphasises the features that a smartphone can’t match and it imitates the workings and design features of a smartphone. >B6

REARRANGING THE FURNITURE, MINUS THE ACHING BACK Home Design app turns a twodimensional view of your home into a three-dimensional graphic and is so sophisticated you could use it as a starting point for designing a house


f you have ever sat on your couch and wondered how it would look across the room, or whether the walls would look good in red, that was your inner interior designer speaking. Now apps offer a quick and powerful way to indulge your home design fantasies. Home Design 3D ($7 on iOS) is one of the better ones. It turns a two-dimensional view of your home into a three-dimensional graphic that you can view from any angle and even walk around as if inside. It is so sophisticated you

could use it as a starting point for designing a house, rather than just tweaking your interior design. You start in two-dimensional construction mode, adding rooms and adjusting their size and shape to match your place. You can even add measurements and drop in items from a database, like a water fountain or a grand piano. There’s a host of options for doorways, windows and other openings, and you can choose to colour walls or floors with textures that look like wallpaper, car-

pet or wood or simply a uniform colour. A 3-D version When your design is done, you click on the 3-D button to turn it into a 3-D version. While the app tries to be as intuitive as possible, with clear icons for control and some attractively designed screens, it has a steep learning curve. The fact that you have to pay for access to some textures and pieces of furniture might also frustrate you. Build App Pro is a similar Android app that costs $6. The app also has a plan-view design mode that lets you set out the layout of rooms and furniture items, plus a 3-D graphical view. Like Home Design 3D, the app tries to make design simple — it uses icon-driven menus and easy-to-learn gestures. But it has a small number of 3-D furniture models and a tendency to crash. A far simpler app is Houzz Interior Design Ideas,

free on Android and iOS, which will probably be more useful in the early stages of any redesign plans. The app’s main feature is an extensive catalogue of photos, listed by categories like Family Room, Wine Cellar and Exterior. Bookmark designs Tap on a category, select a subcategory like Modern or Tropical and scroll through the photos. You can bookmark designs you like in your own idea book or export them to Twitter or through email. The app also has lists of products for sale and professionals who can help you realise your design. If you are just thinking about changing the colour of your furniture or walls, there are many apps to help. The best-known colour matching system is Pantone, and it has an official MyPantone app for iOS. The app’s main feature is a representation of the famous Pantone colour swatches. Scroll through the rainbow of options by drag-

The app also has lists of products for sale and professionals who can help you realise your design. If you are just thinking about changing the colour of your furniture or walls, there are many apps to help. The best-known colour matching system is Pantone.

ging and then tapping on a colour you like. This brings up a new page of data on that colour, including its official Pantone code number and a tab for “harmonies.” This tab takes you to a graphical display of colours that complement your initial choice. If you are inspired by a colour you see in real life, you can snap a photo of it and have the app recommend the closest Pantone colour. You can save your favourite

colours for a visit to a store to find matching paint. The downside is that the app costs a steep $10. Quick call Swype has been a popular alternative text-entry system for Android. It speeds typing on an on-screen keyboard because you simply glide your finger to the next letter in the word you want to type. — KIT EATON /The New York Times News Service


offers a durable product that is intended to last for years. You can twist the headband and tug the cable, but you would have a hard time breaking either.

Over-the-ear headphones with interchangeable parts SOL REPUBLIC, MAKER OF headphones with interchangeable parts, recently expanded its offerings with the release of its Master Tracks line, which incorporates over-ear headphones for the first time. Like the company’s on-ear headphones, the Master Tracks components can be swapped. You can swap out the headband or cables, for example, for parts that are different colours, for a custom look. Master Tracks are also compatible with Sol Republic’s on-ear headphone lines. Sol Republic updated all the components for Master Tracks. The headband has extra cushion-

ing, and volume controls were added to the inline microphone, which is in the yoke of the cable. According to Sol Republic, the X3 Sound Engines in the headphones are intended to mimic the experience of being in a nightclub. But the pumped-up bass tends to overshadow the subtleties of quieter music. The headphones come in three premium finishes — gray, blue and white — with additional headband colours of green, purple and red. At $200, the Master Tracks headphones are a little expensive, but Sol Republic

New tablet speakers put sound front and centre

ANY TABLET OWNER KNOWS that the sound from the tiny rear-facing speakers is abysmal. Definitive Technology has produced a clip-on improvement, the Sound Cylinder. It has a rubber clamp to attach it to a 7or 10-inch tablet, and a pull-out kickstand so it can sit on a tabletop with the tablet in place. A button on one end turns the Cylinder on and syncs it to Bluetooth. That end also has a volume control. That is it for the features. It produces respectable volume without much distortion, certainly enough for a couch full of friends to watch some YouTube. It reproduces highs and midrange tones well enough, although as you might expect from a speaker 7 1/2 inches long, bass is lacking. It sounds more like a good 1970s transistor radio than a good 1990s boom box. There are some design quirks. On smaller tablets, like the iPad Mini, the clamp covers part of the screen if attached horizontally.

That made it impossible to get to the iTunes controls. On the larger iPad the clamp blocked the magnetic cover from turning off the screen. The Sound Cylinder is priced at $200 from online retailers.

How to take on T-Mobile’s LTE for a spin T-MOBILE HAS ADDED LTE service in Baltimore, Washington, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Phoenix and San Jose, putting it head to head with AT&T, which the independent testing company RootMetrics found to have the fastest LTE network in a March report. Since I am in an LTE market, I took an AT&T LTE iPhone 5 and a T-Mobile LTE iPhone 5 and compared network speed. Using the Speedtest app from Ookla, which records how quickly data moves across

a network, I pinged a Washington server repeatedly and averaged the results. In this test, admittedly highly unscientific, T-Mobile was more than twice as fast as AT&T. AT&T averaged a download speed of 5.8 megabits per second, while T-Mobile achieved 12.7 Mbps. It is impossible to know whether T-Mobile will maintain those speeds when more people are on the network. Keep in mind that T-Mobile still offers LTE in only seven cities.


M O N DAY, M AY 6, 2 0 1 3


Hardware info available now at convenient location

Canon h has dreamed up an ing ingenious response to the phone-camera threat. First, it emphasises the features that a smartphone can’t match, like a zoom lens. Second, it imitates the workings and design features


you can take a shot no matter how you’re holding the camera. Lefthanders might also appreciate this setup; it frees them from the tyranny of right-side shutter buttons. The downside of the shutter ring is that it’s very skinny and right next to the equally thin zoom ring. Often, you snap a shot by accident when you’re just trying to zoom. The upside-down feature also mitigates the limitations of the flip-out screen, which has a hinge that is far less ambitious than the ones on other cameras. When you hold the camera upright, the flipping out aids you only in taking photos of low-down subjects (that’s low down as in “children and pets,” not “yellow-bellied scoundrels”). Because you can use the camera in any orientation, however, the flip-out screen also helps you take pictures holding the camera

over your head or even around corners. Even so, the screen can never face you, so it’s no help when you’re taking self-portraits — a real shame. There are other cellphone similarities. There is no external battery charger; you charge the battery in the camera by connecting a USB cable to your computer or a wall adapter. The battery itself looks like a squaredoff AA battery; it’s tiny. Canon says it’ll give you about 200 shots on a charge, which is very low. Memory card This camera takes the same kind of memory card used on many cellphones, a microSD card, rather than the SD cards used in most cameras. That’s unfortunate, because it means you can’t copy the pictures to your computer by popping out the card and inserting it into your laptop. You’ll have to use

the USBcable or a wireless connection. On the side, a tiny switch moves between Automatic mode and Creative mode, which would be better named Instagram mode. When you press the shutter button — sorry, shutter ring — the camera takes six pictures instead of one. It applies a different filter to each one, of the sort created by the popular Instagram phone app. That is, it degrades each with various degrees of exposure adjustment, colour saturation, tints and even oddball cropping. The results are never the same twice, and sometimes they’re interesting. In Automatic mode, the camera is a basic point-and-shoot, with almost no photographic controls. With a tap on the Menu button, however, you can gain access to a Program mode that lets you make manual adjustments of exposure (brightness), white balance, ISO


Breaking a Bluetooth bond

of a smartphone.

echnologies come and go in waves. And lately the waves are coming and going more quickly. Incoming waves: tablets, e-books, movies online. Outgoing waves: Desktop PCs, landline phones, anything on disc, tape or paper. It’s fascinating to watch outgoing industries struggle to remain relevant. Take, for example, the outgoing wave known as pocket cameras. No wonder nobody is buying them anymore. Your phone takes pictures nearly as well and is far more convenient. You always have your phone with you, and you can transmit the photos wirelessly as soon as you take them. Yet Canon, the world’s No. 1 camera maker, has dreamed up an ingenious response to the phonecamera threat. It’s a camera designed to attack the cellphone threat on three fronts. First, it emphasises the features that a smartphone can’t match, like a zoom lens. Second, it imitates the workings and design features of a smartphone. Third, it can transmit new photos to your phone for immediate sending or posting online. The result, the Canon N ($300), is half pocket camera, half photo-taking accessory for your phone. In the category of features a phone camera lacks, the Canon N starts by offering a powerful zoom lens — 8X, compared with zero X on a smartphone. Digital zoom, where the camera just enlarges a photo to make it seem as if you’re closer, doesn’t count. The N also has a much bigger, more sensitive sensor and lens. Now, the N’s sensor isn’t very big for a camera — it measures 0.4 inches diagonally — but it’s much better than what’s in a typical phone. Finally, the N’s screen flips out 90 degrees, so you can take photos at interesting angles. The second category, imitating a phone’s design and operation, is more intriguing. The Canon N is one of the weirdest-looking cameras you’ve ever seen. It’s a nearly square, nearly featureless block, in black or white. It has only three physical buttons, all tiny: Power, Play and Connect to Phone. As on a phone, the rest of the controls are all on the touch screen. Now, you might have noticed that that list does not include “shutter button”; this camera doesn’t have one. Instead, you take a picture by pressing up or down on the silver plastic ring around the lens, which budges slightly and clicks. And what, you may ask, is the point of that design? Simple: This camera works equally well upside down or at 90 degrees. Like a phone, it detects which way you’re holding it and flips the screen image accordingly. Thanks to this ring-shutter system,

Do you want to buy that cool new video game but you are unsure how much memory or what kind of processor your computer uses — so you can make sure the software will work? Both Windows and Mac OS X keep these details, along with other hardware information, in one convenient place. In Windows 7, go to the Start menu and type “System” into the Search box. Select “System” or “System Information” in the results to open a window listing the computer’s details. For a quicker way to the information, press the Windows key and the Pause key on the keyboard to open the System window; the Win (PLUS) Pause keyboard shortcut works in the newer Windows 8 system as well. On a Mac running recent versions of OS X, go to the Apple menu on the left side of the menu bar and choose “About This Mac.” The box that appears shows the OS X software version, processor and amount of installed memory. Click the “More Info” button to see additional details. For a shortcut to even more data, hold down the Option key on the keyboard and return to the Apple menu, where the “About This Mac” item now says “System Information.” Select “System Information” from the menu to get a big list of specifications.

(light sensitivity) and so on. WiFi is the third unusual feature, although it’s becoming less unusual with every new camera model. On the Canon N, you can do three things with Wi-Fi. First, you can send your photos from the camera to the phone; from there, you can send them wherever fine photos are sent. The setup requires you to install an iPhone, iPad or Android app and connect your phone to the camera — that’s the purpose of the Connect button on the side — which now impersonates a Wi-Fi hot spot. Almost instantly, the thumbnails of your photos and videos show up on the phone. Copying them off the camera requires two taps each, and you must transfer one at a time; you can’t select a batch and say “transfer these.” Still, it sure is nice to have those camera pictures on your phone, ready to send. This is the feature that makes the Canon N feel most like a phone accessory; it almost becomes like a detachable, hand-held external lens. If the camera is in a Wi-Fi hot spot, it can also transfer photos to Twitter, Facebook and so on directly, without requiring a phone. The setup is fairly complicated, but once it’s done, you just tap the on-screen icon of the service you want to post to. Finally, you can send your pictures from the camera to the computer over Wi-Fi instead of using a cable or transferring the memory card. This, too, takes quite a bit of setup. Despite its fairly small sensor, the N takes very good pictures. In many cases, they’re much better than what you’d get from a phone’s camera — after all, that’s the whole point. The colour is terrific and the autofocus works well and quickly. The videos are especially impressive: stable, clear and quick to refocus as you shift to subjects different distances away. Very smart: The Record button is always on the screen. When you want to shoot video, you just tap. There’s no switching modes or digging into menus. At the same time, this $300 camera is no $500 camera. The bright areas in the N’s photos are sometimes blown out, and lowlight shots can be grainy. The Canon N is a refreshing, out-of-thebox idea – especially surprising coming from a huge, conservative corporation like Canon. And it works, in concept and execution, both as a stand-alone camera and a cellphone companion. It may not represent the future of pocket cameras, but if anything can slow the sinking of the pocket-camera industry, it will have to be bold, not-me-too thinking like this. — DAVID POGUE /The New York Times News Service

How do I “unpair” a Bluetooth mouse from my Mac? Bluetooth, a wireless technology often used to replace USB cable connections, requires that the two compatible devices be “paired” before they can communicate with each other. This creates a secure connection and typically involves running a setup program or typing in a code for the new hardware. Once two Bluetooth devices are paired, they stay paired until broken up. To cancel the connection, open the Mac’s Bluetooth settings. In Mac OS X 10.8, one way to get there is to click the System Preferences icon in the Dock and then click on the Bluetooth icon. You may also see a small Bluetooth icon (which resembles the letter B in a runic typeface) on the right side of the Mac’s menu bar. Clicking it reveals a menu with an option for opening the Bluetooth preferences. With the Bluetooth preferences box open, you should see a list of paired devices on the left. Select the mouse to unhitch from the Mac and click the minus sign underneath to remove the device. If you ever wish to use the same mouse with the Mac again, you probably will need to re-pair them. The Bluetooth preferences box also displays information about each paired device and includes a checkbox for turning on the Bluetooth menu bar icon if the Mac does not already display it. The Bluetooth menu bar icon itself has some useful commands for quickly sending files from the Mac to connected devices like phones or other computers, and information like battery-charge levels. Apple has more on using Bluetooth with OS X at

Protecting your Twitter account

How does a Twitter password get hacked? Twitter, like other sites and accounts that require typed passwords, is vulnerable to a number of traditional ploys. These include malicious software collecting personal information on the computer, vulnerable third-party apps, and use of the machine on an insecure network. Clicking on links and inadvertently entering your Twitter name and password on a phishing site can compromise the account. Twitter has a help guide at for those who think their accounts may have been hacked, and general security information at

M O N DAY, M AY 6, 2 01 3


ROUND-UP Lexus named ‘Most Trusted Luxury Brand’ in kbb awards This latest award follows Lexus topping the J. D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study for the second consecutive year

MUSCAT: Continuing on its commendable victory spree, Lexus lapped another prestigious recognition — ‘Most Trusted Luxury Brand’ in’s Brand Image Awards. To many this win would have been expected considering the tremendous efforts Lexus has put in over the years to design, engineer and manufacture some of the finest luxury vehicles in the market today. For’s ‘Most Trusted Luxury Brand’ recognition, a voting data was gathered via kbb’s Brand Watch study, which analyses buyers who carry out new vehicle

research at Officials from kbb confessed that Lexus was an award favourite even before the votes were tallied. “With the most proven and celebrated record of dependability and reliability in the entire industry, it would only be a surprise if Lexus did not win the award for Most Trusted Luxury Brand,” said an official. Lexus Australia chief executive, Sean Hanley said the findings backed up the buying public’s positive perception of the Lexus brand. “Buyers considering a Lexus recognise that our vehicles deliver high quality with peerless reliability and dependability for all conditions,” Hanley said. “Every Lexus vehicle is engineered to the highest standard and backed by award winning aftersales service to ensure long-term customer satisfaction.” This latest award follows Lexus topping the J. D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study for the second consecutive year. In a short period of time, Lexus has established a unique place in the automotive world as a manufacturer of premium vehicles that distil breathtaking design, advanced technology, adrenaline pumping performance and refined levels of luxury into one distinctive

package. The first vehicle to sport Lexus’ bold new design language was the all-new GS. This successful model was then followed by the all-new LX, RX, ES and ES hybrid and the recently introduced LS and LS hybrid. The LS (600hL) The LS (600hL) is classified as a full-size hybrid luxury sedan and is essentially a long-wheelbase version of the conventional LS460. This hybrid is the most expensive model that Lexus makes in large numbers, and as such, comes fully


Berger Paints at Housing Development Summit MUSCAT: Berger Paints participated in the Housing Development Summit 2013 held in Muscat recently. The summit brought together private and government organisations on local and national levels to address the strategies for housing development in the Sultanate. Being a key stakeholder in the housing and construction sector, Berger Paints made a presentation on the best practices involved in managing end-stage project complexities in megaprojects. Berger Paints also shed some insights on how to leverage the same practices to benefit the construction sector in Oman. P. K. Raj, CEO, Berger Paints, Oman said, “With decades of experience in the coatings industry globally, Berger has seen the evolution of the real estate industry and the rising complexities in megaprojects. The Housing Development Summit 2013 gave us a platform to showcase and share our knowledge with industry professionals. The summit presented an opportunity to discuss issues relating to mitigation and avoiding cost and time over-runs.”


360° serves up world class global cuisine SARAH MACDONALD MUSCAT: For scrumptious international cuisine in a unique, classing setting, 360° in Ghala is the place to eat in Muscat. The restaurant, which opened in November, is located in the penthouse of Al Nahda Towers in Ghala. With a 360° domed roof and circular seating arrangement, and two outdoor terraces with spectacular views, the setting itself is meant to complement the food, explained Kishore Singh, spokesperson for the restaurant. “360° is a global approach to food. It’s more than the space; it’s a reflection of the international food. In Oman there is no such restaurant that caters to all tastes, expats and locals alike,” said Kishore. Kishore looked at the market in Oman and soon realised there was a need for more authentic Japanese food, but also wanted to offer other cuisines, so he brought together Japanese, Western, Lebanese and Indian menus. As a customer, one may be concerned when a restaurant features many different types of cuisine. There is always the fear that none of the food will be done well. But Kishore was aware of the preconceptions, and made sure to hire chefs with different specialities, so each type of cuisine is cooked with care. Most of the chefs he had worked with before in India, the UAE and here in Oman. “We have taken a risk… but people have accepted that our cuisine has different sections and they like it,” Kishore explained. Chef Allan Zarandin, who

loaded with features. The LX570 possesses under its hood a 5.7-litre V8 engine that delivers the punch and towing power demanded in this segment. The power plant produces 383 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and peak torque 54 Kg.M at 3,600 rpm. The V8’s advanced Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVTi) system controls valve timing and overlap on both the intake and exhaust valves, helps to optimise power, fuel efficiency and emissions. Tubular stainless steel headers flow into a full stainless

steel exhaust system. The Acoustic Control Induction System (ACIS) switches the length of the intake tract in two stages, based on rpm and throttle angle, to improve torque across the engine speed range. With the launch of the first RX in 1998, Lexus created the Luxury SUV segment, combining, for the first time, all the flexibility, practicality and durability of a sports utility vehicle with the handling, performance, refinement and ride of a luxury sedan. The RX was the first SUV to be equipped with a full hybrid power train in 2005. Today, after three generations, the RX remains a key model for Lexus. Another model that made its presence strongly felt was the GS F Sport. The GS F Sport is more aggressive than the standard GS350. It adds quicker steering, adjustable shocks, stiffer springs, thicker antiroll bars, staggeredwidth Bridgestone Potenza summer tyres, optional rear-wheel steering and larger 14-inch front brakes. The ES on the other hand, just months after being introduced in the global marketplace, has already hit headlines, by being rated with the highest score in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s crash tests.


Chef Allan Zarandin. — Sarah MacDonald / TIMES OF OMAN

learned from top Japanese chefs at the Zuma restaurants in London and Dubai, turns the teppanyaki (Japanese grill) and sushi station into a theatrical show, spinning and tossing his utensils before settling in to fry up succulent steak and scallops on the grill. His Black Angus steak, cooked in truffle-infused oil, served with a mix of vegetables including bamboo shoots and lotus root which 360° has specially imported, is juicy, tender and flavourful. He also offers a variety of homemade sauces, all made from scratch, to accompany the teppanyaki. Chef Allan’s sushi rolls are delicious, too. His crispy California roll is a nice change from regular California rolls, while his vegetarian rolls bring together mango, avocado, asparagus and iceberg lettuce for refreshing, light bites. His steamed wontons and gyoza are also a must-try. From the Indian menu, the dal makhani is warm and rich, accompanied by


crispy naan and paratha bread, while for those who like Middle Eastern fare, Chef Ali from Lebanon makes unforgettable vine leaves. Lightly filled with rice, the grape vine leaves burst with tangy flavour, and thanks to a special secret ingredient, are unlike any other one can taste in Muscat. The menu also features a variety of meat, fish, soups and salads from a number of countries, so each visit can be a culinary adventure. Drinks and desserts are also a treat at 360°. The signature drink Ginger Bite combines fresh orange and lemon juices with the heat of ginger. Another delicious juice is the Green Oasis, which features a blend of avocado, orange and mint. Those with a sweet-tooth will love the gooey, chocolaty goodness of the Melting Mountain, which has a chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream and caramel on top. Whatever one’s tastes, the diverse menu at 360° is sure to have something for everyone.

Telugu Kala Samithi to hold ‘Telugu Suswaralu 2013’ MUSCAT: Telugu Kala Samithi (TKS), the Telugu Wing of Indian Social Club is conducting musical extravaganza Telugu Suswaralu -2013, a three-hour music and mimicry programme, on May 24, 2013 at the Al Bahja Hall in association with Majan Events Management. According to P. J. Mani, convener of the TKS, “Keeping up the tradition of organising good programmes, the TKS is organising Telugu Suswaralu 2013.” Well known playback singers of Telugu movie industry Gangadhara Sastry, Maharajapuram Ramu, and Srinidhi will mesmerise the audience with their immense talent. Adding ice on the cake, Bhaviri Ravi of Naa Vaarthalu Naa Istham and Evadi Gola Vaadide fame and Rekha, a very popular anchor and presenter are going to enthral the audience with their mimicry and comedy skits. In all, it is an event going to be a must watch event for all the Telugu people. Mani has also mentioned that the significance of this event is to provide all the Telugu speaking people in Oman an opportunity to listen to the songs of these popular playback singers besides witnessing the mimicry and comedy skits of the well-known artistes from Andhra Pradesh. This event will definitely mesmerise all the three generations because of the capability of the singers who are going to sing old melodies of Ghantasala (the most popular Telugu playback singer and Gangadhar is known for rendering Ghantasala songs with perfection), S. P. Balasubramanyam (Sri Ramu is well known for rendering the songs sung by SP and his voice matches that of SP

to the hilt) and Srinidhi is capable of singing the latest catchy numbers to the attraction of the younger generation. Besides the singing, Bhaviri Ravi’s mimicry and comedy skits will make the audience spellbound. The entry is through a valid invitation, which has to be obtained from the organisers. According to the convener of TKS, “All the artists are highly talented and are very busy with their schedules. Bringing all of them together on one stage at one time was a herculean task for the Samiti. However, TKS is happy to bring all of them to Oman for the benefit of the Telugu community.” Gangadhara Sastry (popularly known as Ghantasala Gangadhar), started his music career with Telugu movie industry in the year 1994 and that year itself he got the Best New Playback Singer Award for his songs in the movie Nannagaru directed by Dasari Narayana Rao. In 1995, he has been conferred the AP State Nandi Award for the best singer. As on date Gangadhar has sung in more than 200 movies both in Telugu and Kannada. He is not only a singer but a composer also composing music for movies and TV serials. Maharajapuram

Ramu, got introduced to the music world with SP Balu’s Padutha Teeyagaa TV programme in 1997 and he was a winner in Nava Raagam competition programme on Gemini TV in 1998. Srinidhi, the budding talent in Telugu music industry has made her name into the Guinness Book of World Records at the age of three years itself for recognising the ragas of Carnatic music. Bhaviri Ravi, the famous mimicry artiste in the Telugu industry is the man behind comedy shows like Evadi Gola Vaadide in TV9, Naa Vaarthalu Naa Ishtam, Modren Mama Live Show and Lallu Brothers in N TV. Rekha, the young singer, presenter and anchor can bring the attraction to the stage with her wit and command on the language while presenting the programme. TKS management committee thanks its sponsors and well-wishers who have already committed their support for the programme. TKS has invited each and every member of Telugu fraternity in Oman to come to the programme and enjoy the event at Al Bahja Hall, next to Jungle Restaurant, Qurum. The entry is by a valid invitation only.


Zahara launches online travel souq with a unique single window platform Barr Al Jissah Resort observes Earth Day 2013 MUSCAT: Barr Al Jissah Resort Company along with the residents of Barr Al Jissah, the most exclusive freehold property in the Gulf, celebrated Earth Day recently. This initiative aimed at being part of the global community, who on the occasion of Earth Day acknowledge the amazing planet, by contributing positively to its well-being. Maimunah Shebani, marketing manager — Real Estate and Hospitality Division, Barr Al Jissah Residences stated, “Cli-

mate change may seem like a remote issue to a few but we at Barr Al Jissah understand that it is already affecting real people, innocent animals and our environment. “Hence, the owners, the residents and the management of Barr Al Jissah came together with fervour at the customer relation centre to plant their own saplings. This Earth Day initiative was designed to take action and give back to the planet that we so fondly call our home.”

MUSCAT: Buying a holiday has now got much easier. Zahara has introduced a virtual travel portal, where you can purchase any service related to travel and holiday at the click of a mouse on a secure payment gateway. Otalati is the first of its kind to have opened in Oman with pricing in Omani rials that can be paid for by using a credit card issued in the Sultanate. A unique concept especially developed for Oman and the GCC, Otalati is a Travel Meta Search site with real time inventory, availability and booking capabilities. Once online, the customer can browse various holiday options, within the GCC or internationally, and confirm bookings

for multiple services ranging from airline booking, hotels room nights, tour packages, airport transfers, rent-a-car, sightseeing tours and even meals at select destinations. Add it all to your shopping cart, review your itinerary, make a final payment and exit. It is as simple as that. More important, the online service gives you manifold options to suit your pocket. All in one solution You can view and compare prices, filter options from a hotel apartment to a five-star hotel without having to browse through various portals. Hence, for a trip to Paris, you can book your return ticket, confirm hotel, pick a rent-a-car

from the airport or book a transfer, opt for a half / full day sightseeing tour and make a reservation for dinner at the Eiffel Tower as well as book a day trip to Disneyland Paris! The portal employs a unique single window platform so that the viewer does not have to enter and exit different systems. It is quick and easy, saves time and helps to draw cost comparisons making sure the client has the best deal available at that time. The payment can either be made using a credit card through a secured gateway or in cash at the Otalati counter in Zahara office in Al Khuwair or Qurum City Centre. Interested customers could consult with the professional and

dedicated support team in Oman or call on the number mentioned on the website. “Customers can book using our introductory promotional discount code and avail of special discounts on bookings of hotels, cars, sightseeing and holidays. We are also tying up with corporate companies in Oman that will entitle them to a corporate deal code. The users will be eligible to a pre-determined upfront discount using their special code,” explained Suraj Shroff, manager, Holidays. The portal will keep enhancing its product range on a regular basis as more suppliers come on board that will translate into providing much wider options to the customers.


M O N DAY, M AY 6, 2 0 1 3

ROUND-UP Mandoos savings scheme relaunched Customers transferring their salaries to HSBC Bank Oman have an opportunity to win two prizes worth OMR30,000 each every three months

MUSCAT: HSBC Bank Oman has re-introduced the popular Mandoos savings scheme, which was the Sultanate’s first-ever personal banking product that gives customers the opportunity to win lucrative cash prizes. The new scheme is available

to new and existing HSBC Bank Oman customers who now stand a chance of winning on a monthly and quarterly basis. Alan Jarman, head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management at HSBC Bank Oman said the new and improved Mandoos scheme strengthens the bank’s retail banking proposition and further enriches the HSBC Bank Oman customer experience. “The Mandoos Savings

Scheme was first introduced more than 25 years ago and has since been a favourite among Omani customers. Today, we have re-designed the scheme based on a market-wide study, valuable customer feedback and insights from industry experts in order to meet changing market dynamics,” said Jarman. He added, “Winning with Mandoos could not be easier. Customers simply need to open a Mandoos


Redtag offers up to 50% discount MUSCAT: Redtag, the popular value fashion, lifestyle and home ware retailer, recently launched its end-of-season promotion offering shoppers discounts of up to 50 per cent. And while stocks last, customers can benefit from unbelievably low-priced and stunning deals all through the month of May on all items from fashion to homeware to home accessories, and more! “At Redtag we believe in offering an enjoyable shopping experience to our value-conscious customers while providing maximum return on their engagements with the brand. The end of season sale is an aim to do just that along-side providing our consumers a platform to choose from the best available,” commented Nasser Kunnumal, country manager of Redtag.

account or transfer their salaries to HSBC Bank Oman and maintain a minimum account balance of OMR100. They can increase their chances of winning depending on the balance maintained in their accounts at the end of each month.” The prizes available to customers with the new Mandoos savings scheme include rewards of OMR1,000 for 100 winners per month, OMR20,000 for five customers per month and OMR100,000 for one lucky winner every quarter. In addition, customers transferring their salaries to HSBC Bank Oman have an opportunity to win two prizes worth OMR30,000 each every three months. HSBC Bank Oman serves more than 200,000 retail customers and 10,000 corporate customers through more than 80 branches and over 130 ATMs spread across the country. Customers can make use of a comprehensive suite of local and international products and services that aim to fulfil all their banking and financial needs.

Significant factor Redtag has always focused on shopper’s satisfaction and this has been the single most significant factor for its phenomenal

support and loyalty we will continue to give them an unparalleled experience throughout the year with the best of promotions, offers and activities.” There were many eager customers who were anticipating their name as the lucky winner for the raffle draw. One of the customers said, “I am a regular at Splash and have been shopping here for a while. I hope I am one of the lucky winners. I have always been particular about dressing smart but now with this promotion, Splash has taken it to a whole new level. I’ve never felt this excited about looking good! ” Founded in 1993 as a single brand store in Sharjah, Splash has grown to over 150 stores and 50


growth and popularity. Being a value-focused retailer offering a range of fashions for the entire family and home-ware for budget-conscious shoppers, the brand offers the latest in fashion and accessories for men, women, kids, infants and newborns, supplemented by comprehensive range of merchandise for the home like dining, bed, bath as well as home décor items and toys. Adding to the one-stop shopping destination concept and Redtag becomes a compelling proposition in the retail market.

brand stores across 12 countries. Splash is the Middle East’s largest fashion retailer and has its finger on the global fashion industry’s pulse. With an eye for the latest global trends, Splash captures the essence of fashion in everyday life. Over the past two decades Splash has launched many of the region’s firsts in terms of the most sought after brands. Alongside its inhouse brand, Splash also houses a gamut of international brands under its portfolio like Lee Cooper, Bossini, UMM, ELLE and Being Human. Now on their 20th anniversary, who would not want to support them when they are giving away such grand prizes. Head down to your nearest Splash store to start winning.

Youngsters take the lead in Sohar for ‘Football for Future’ SOHAR: Saif Bin Hubaira School in Sohar was the venue for a very special presentation recently as the innovative ‘Football for Future’ project continued to gather pace in the Governorate of North Al Batinah. The project, which aims to change the lives of thousands of young people in Oman by providing education and employment opportunities through football, has been made possible by the support of four of the Sultanates most respected companies. Nawras, Orpic, Sohar Aluminium and Vale have joined forces to provide the funding for the project which has already benefitted more than 10,000 young people in North Al Batinah. The ‘Football for Future’ project is being delivered by UK Company Kickworldwide, on behalf of the sponsors and the Oman Football Association. Having already helped to educate thousands of young Omani children about the importance of a healthy lifestyle and road safety while at the same time warning of the dangers of alcohol, cigarettes and drugs, the project is now creating young leaders for the local communities in cities such as Sohar, Saham and Liwa.

During each school day, between 30 and 50 teenagers aged between 13 and 16, have been encouraged to participate in a special leadership course delivered by former English footballer Neil Ross and local sports coach Isaaq Al Baloshi. The course equips the youngsters with the skills to deliver basic football coaching to the younger children in their community. The successful candidates also become role models for their peers. The success rate has been excellent with around 80 per cent of the teenagers completing the leadership course. The first 25 graduates received their leadership certificates last week at Saif Bin Hubaira School in Sohar and will now be given the opportunity to further develop


Knowledge Oman celebrates five years of success talent and welcoming a multinational team to create, share and promote knowledge across the Sultanate. Tariq Al Barwani, founder and president of Knowledge Oman says, “We are very proud of our accomplishments throughout the past five years and strive to make bigger and more impactful strides in the coming years. Knowledge Oman is a platform created by the people, run by the people and done for the people of this beautiful community.” “Many community members have found their passion in Knowledge Oman and are committed to giving back to society through our portfolio of initiatives and we hope many more do in the coming years. We also wish to expand this exposure to make our presence and impact worldwide,” adds Tariq.

MUSCAT: Al Maskry rent-a-car, one of the leading rent-a-car operators in Muscat has recently added more Hyundai cars to their existing fleet. A ceremony was held to mark the delivery of the new cars at their office in Al Ghubra. Amur Al Maskry, managing director of Al Maskry rent-a-car company received the keys of the new Hyundai cars from the representatives of OTE Group, the exclusive dealer of Hyundai range of vehicles in Oman. The newly added models include Hyundai’s best-seller Sonata and the uncompromising subcompact car Accent. The well crafted stylish looking Sonata has won over 30 international awards so far and the number keeps increasing, this is in recognition to its emotionally-driven design, state-of-the-art technology and superior build quality. The Sonata is packed with

their coaching skills at the Kickworldwide/OFA Regional centre at the Sohar Sports Complex. The graduates will also be given the opportunity to sample a number of sports related courses including Sports Business Management, Sports Event Management and Sports Business Development. These courses are to be delivered at the Kickworldwide/ OFA Institute within the Modern College of Business and Science later this year. A number of graduates will be granted scholarships for these courses creating a range of new education and employment options for the youngsters. OFA Chairman, Khalid Al Busaidi was quick to praise the support of the sponsors and acknowledge the success of the project. NEW EVENT

Al Maskry rent-a-car adds more Hyundai cars to its fleet

MUSCAT: Knowledge Oman has proudly marked its fifth anniversary, celebrating half a decade of being the country’s leading knowledge based community platform. In a team gathering ceremony, Knowledge Oman acknowledged the significant role of its volunteers who have led initiatives both online and offline to spread free learning across Oman and serve the vision of building a knowledge society. Established in April 2008, the platform was launched as a mission to solidify the vision of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said to transform Oman into a knowledge based society. With a team of dedicated voluntarily professionals from various backgrounds and nationalities and over 15,000 registered members, Knowledge Oman set foot towards this vision while nurturing community

Redtag has always focused on shopper’s satisfaction and this has been the single most significant factor for its phenomenal growth and popularity


20th anniversary: Splash picks raffle draw winner MUSCAT: Splash, the Middle East’s largest fashion retailer and part of the billion dollar Landmark Group announced the first draw for its recent Splash BMW promo. The brand, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, has partnered with BMW to offer a GCC, Jordan and Egypt wide promotion which comes loaded with 20 2013 BMW 520i Executive sedans. The draw was held at Centrepoint Al Khuwair and three lucky winners won Samsung 32’’ LED TV, Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Note II. The mega draw for BMW car will be held on May 11 at Centrepoint Al Khuwair. Apart from the cool car, Splash will also offer its customers a lucky chance to win gifts like Apple laptops, and iPhone 5’s as part of the lucky draw. Splash will mark its 20th anniversary with exciting offers and exclusive promotions throughout the year. Speaking at the occasion, Clive Freeman, COO, Landmark Group said, “Our entire team is extremely proud of this achievement and we cannot thank our customers enough for supporting us over the years and helping us to develop the brand as one of the leading fashion providers in the Middle East. To thank them for their continuing


loads of safety, comfort and luxury features. The interior is dynamic, echoing the stylish tone set by the outer shell with a generous flair of comfort and high levels of exclusivity. Each of the features of Sonata first surprise then delights, time after time. It easily surpasses its peers who don’t even come close to its build quality. Fit and fitments are excellent and that lifts the Sonata to where it needed to be. The Accent offers modern design, surprising interior space and an abundance of comfort and safety features while maintaining the delivery of advanced technology, fuel efficiency and performance. The addition of a distinguishing sculptured character line running through the side profile of Accent combined with a cab-forward design and coupélike sweeping roof line creates the impression of a larger car.

The rear of Accent is modern and uncluttered with the wide rear bumper emphasising volume and stability. Accent’s eye-catching sculptured lines are highlighted by Hyundai’s signature hexagonal front grille. The swept-back headlights incorporating a two-piece black bezel design and bonnet character lines provide for a unique look. Accent redefines expectations in the subcompact category by offering Hyundai’s distinctive and upscale ‘Fluidic Sculpture’ design, best-in-class standard fuel economy, exceptional roominess and a full complement of standard safety features. Convenient storage spaces are included throughout the cabin, including bottle holders in the front doors and a storage tray at the base of the centre console. Not only does Accent have multiple storage areas, but it delivers more useable storage capacity.

OITE Trade Fairs announces Ghedex Autumn MUSCAT: Following the phenomenal success of Ghedex 2013 which attracted a total of 15,000 visitors, OITE Trade Fairs announced the dates for Ghedex Autumn from October 28 to 29, 2013 at the Oman International Exhibition Centre. The exhibition will once again take place under the patronage of the Ministry of Higher Education. “The unprecedented demand, both from higher education providers and prospective students has compelled OITE Trade Fairs to organise a second exhibition for higher education in the same year under the auspices of the Ministry of Higher Education,” says Sadiq Ahmed Khan, director — B2B events and marketing, OITE. With expected participation from these universities at Ghedex Autumn, the event will provide greater significance to the promotion of higher education and encourages Omani and expatriate students to broaden their horizons. “OITE Trade Fairs encourages students who were not able to make a decision of enrolment for any reason and for those who could not visit Ghedex 2013 to ensure that they do not miss out on this opportunity,” concluded Khan.

M O N DAY, M AY 6, 2 01 3



Bank Nizwa sponsors Islamic Economic Forum

Nawras to offer Facebook recharge, payment portal Customers need to simply visit the Nawras Facebook

MUSCAT: Bank Nizwa was a platinum sponsor at Oman Islamic Economic Forum, held at Al Bustan Palace. The sponsorship is part of Bank Nizwa’s initiative that aims at hosting conferences and seminars on Islamic finance. The conference hosted high calibre attendees including Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, crown prince of Malaysia and financial ambassador of Malaysian International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC).

Celebrate Akshaya Tritiya in style with SeaPearls MUSCAT: Celebrate Akshaya Tritiya with SeaPearl’s special offer. For any purchase of jewellery from SeaPearls worth OMR200 customers are entitled to get a gold coin free. Choose from a stunning collection of ‘Fella’ uncut diamond necklace and bangles, ‘Ishana’ — antique jewellery or ‘You N Me’ — love and valentine collection. So if you are looking at inviting prosperity, visit SeaPearl.

Tibiaan Properties walks away with gold at OWA

MUSCAT: At a glittering event held at the Al Bustan Palace, Oman Web Awards 2013 announced the winners from nearly 300 entries spanning 26 categories. Tibiaan Properties was adjudged the gold honour and received a trophy for the best website of the year. Early this year, Tibiaan Properties relaunched its attractive website to provide a user-friendly, up-to-date and comprehensive platform to its clients for all their real estate needs. From new listings to the latest update on property, including progress reports on buildings under construction, the website has endeavoured to be a one-stop domain for real estate in Oman. “We are extremely delighted for this recognition. It is to the credit of the entire team that we have emerged winners as each one actively gave viable suggestions to make our website stand out and meet the high standards that our customers have come to expect of us,” said Fahad Al Ismaili, executive director, Tibiaan Properties.

McDonald’s next ‘Tastes of the World’ is the French MUSCAT: McDonald’s Oman announced the next destination on its ‘Tastes of the World’ tour with a visit to France. The highly anticipated fourth sandwich — the French — is now available across McDonald’s restaurants. The French promises a satisfying taste of France with its 100 per cent pure Halal beef patty dipped in black pepper sauce, garnished with slivered onions and nestled in a sesame seed bun. The French will be available in all McDonald’s restaurants for a limited period only. Ali K. Daud, development licensee and president of McDonald’s Oman said: “The fourth phase of our ‘Tastes of the World’ campaign begins with the debut of the French. This is a new product for our customers, and we are confident they will enjoy the balance of its simplicity and bold punch of flavour from the delicious black pepper sauce. Our third ‘Tastes of the World’ sandwich, the Mexican, was well-received; we surpassed our projected targets and we expect the French to be no different.”

Protiviti seminar highlights challenges for businesses

MUSCAT: Regulatory changes and increased regulatory scrutiny, economic conditions and global political and economic volatility are three of the biggest challenges facing businesses in 2013 according to Bob Hirth, senior managing director and global internal audit leader of Protiviti, a global consulting firm. This was highlighted by Hirth during the corporate seminar ‘2013 Business Challenges and How to Respond Effectively’ held in Muscat recently at InterContinental Hotel. Summarising Protiviti’s recommendations and guidelines, Hirth mentioned that the audit committee agenda for the year ahead should include at a minimum compliance infrastructure, mandatory auditor rotation and ensuring that the company’s risk profile is up-todate. He further particularised that companies should closely monitor changes in regulations and implement changes in their business systems accordingly and board/committee agendas should be responsive and regularly enhanced to meet the unique needs of the organisation.

page and click on the MyNawras tab next to Customer Care, Offers and Careers tabs

MUSCAT: Nawras is introducing a new way to recharge and settle bills through the popular social networking site, Facebook. Another Nawras first in Oman, prepaid customers can now access MyNawras through their Facebook account to conveniently buy credit

while postpaid customers can pay their bill online using a locally issued credit card or Bank Muscat debit card. This latest payment channel joins a long list of options for Nawras customers who can use selfservice machines, recharge cards, electronic vouchers, credit transfer, OIFC, and MyNawras on the company’s website. “We are very excited to unveil this new payment channel,” said Ammar Al Lawati, Nawras senior product manager — Finance. “This is a reflection of the company’s commitment to making life easier for customers who are buying, paying or using our services as well as looking for assistance. “Nawras is not only first in Oman to offer this convenience but also probably first in the region to offer this convenient service.” To take advantage of this new tool, customers simply need to visit the Nawras Facebook page

Nawras customers can also use the service to recharge accounts for friends and family or to pay bills of other Nawras customers. For instance, one customer could easily take care of all the accounts in their family. Likewise, the owner of an SME would find the service useful to ensure that communication flows smoothly in their business.

and click on the MyNawras tab next to Customer Care, Offers and Careers tabs. A quick and simple registration gives immediate access to the payment channel.

One-of-a-kind Nawras Director of IT and Information Systems Management, Abdulaziz Jaafar, said, “We continue to provide one-of-a-kind technological services to make communications easier and simpler to use. The new Facebook payment portal is a great one click step for customers to get closer and stay in touch without the need to go and pay or recharge personally. We will continue to seek the latest and friendliest technologies to enhance the Nawras customer experience.”


Advance your business with the latest hi-tech PoS machine from BankDhofar MUSCAT: BankDhofar is introducing a new a point of sale (PoS) device which utilises the most up to date technology currently on the market providing businesses in Oman with advanced functionality and capabilities. The unique PoS machine will allow retailers to process payments through GPRS, no telephone line required. The payment process is secure, from credit cards and debit cards and smart chip cards. Taking advantage of the latest General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) wireless communication technology, the devises will have an extended coverage area and increased flexibility. The new PoS machine accepts all major cards

with 100 per cent security for business and customers. They will incorporate a near field communication infrared scanner which removes the need to swipe thus making the payment process for

both the retailer and the customer much more efficient. The scanning system makes it easier to service customers in a quick yet effective manner and decreases the amount of time they have to spend waiting in line. BankDhofar PoS machine will make life easier and comfortable for both retailers and customers. Speaking about this unique PoS machine, a businessman from Al Batinah commercial centre said, “It’s important that we can offer our customers a convenient and hassle free means of paying for their purchases. BankDhofar offers us the best technologically wireless machine which will make life easy for us and for our customers, I am sure wireless PoS



Oman UAE Exchange opens 42nd outlet in Adam MUSCAT: Oman UAE Exchange, the largest remittance service provider in Oman opened its 42nd outlet in the country. The branch was inaugurated by Nasser Al Mahrooqi (Ex-Al Shura member for Adam) in the presence of company officials and the public. The inauguration of the Adam branch took place on April 29 (Monday). “This is our third outlet in the year 2013 and we are glad that we are able to reach across to more people to avail our services. We have been getting requests from customers to open a branch in Adam and we are glad to serve the community in Adam. “Oman UAE Exchange has always taken cognizance of the need of the community in each of the locations where we have ventured enabling us to serve the society,” Tonny George Alexander (chief executive) said. Oman UAE Exchange, within

a short time from inception, has become the largest and the much sought after remittance solution provider in the country. The only exchange company in Oman to be recognised as a Superbrand, the company maintained its Superbrand status for four consecutive years (2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012). Oman UAE Exchange also was adjudged as the top brand among exchange and remittance companies and as the seventh best brand in Oman through a survey conducted by Oman Observer, among 180 Omani brands. Being the only exchange company to be

IMS Certified (ISO 9001:2008 for quality, ISO 14001:2004 for environment and OHSAS 18001:2007 for occupational health and safety) in Oman and GCC, the company also has been accorded with Bizz 2012 and Bizz 2013. “We have been customer centric from the time we started operations in Oman and now after 17 years, our customers have helped us to emerge as the champion among exchange companies with varied products and services, largest number of outlets and largest worldwide banking arrangements,” a company official said.


NBO to support Al Harthy for racing project MUSCAT: As part of its continuing commitment to encourage and support talented Omani youths, and pursuant to its on-going endeavours to promote responsible corporate citizenship, National Bank of Oman (NBO) announced its partnership with brand ambassador, Ahmad Al Harthy, for a unique venture, titled: ‘National Bank of Oman Racing Project-2013’. The “National Bank of Oman Racing Project” is a venture in which the bank sponsors Ahmed Al Harthy in two events. The first event is the British GT, an ongoing project launched in March 2013, which is a continuation of the bank’s 2012 two-year arrangement with Ahmad Al Harthy. The other event is the Blancpain Championship that commenced in April 2013, in which Al Harthy will be racing with the bank as his title sponsor.

machine is the best in the market. I am sure businesses in Oman will benefit a lot by using the new PoS. Usually our customers will have to wait for sometime to get their cards approved because of traditional communication using the telephone lines, now with the new machine it takes few seconds for your payment to get through. BankDhofar is always at the forefront in introducing technology driven solutions to allow for greater experience for customers. The new PoS machine facilitates greater speed, efficiency and cost effectiveness as well as adhering to the highest international security standards and are Oman switch certified.

The British GT Championship is taking fast strides to become one of the most favourite and renowned sports car championships in the UK, while Blancpain is associating itself with the series as official partner of the British GT Champion, thereby earning itself a strong presence in the field of English GT Racing. Featuring a mix of professional and amateur drivers, this championship offers various race formats on the various weekends. As part of the sponsorship arrangement, Ahmad Al Harthy will be racing with the bank as his title sponsor. Ahmad has already delivered an outstanding performance in his debut performance at the Blancpain 2013 Endurance Series, held in Monza, Italy recently. Not only is the bank providing vital support for a true homegrown talent, the confirmation of Ahmad’s ambassadorial

role for the bank also means he will be working hard on and off track to consolidate Oman’s place on the international sports map. Supporting talented youth Commenting on the tie up, Ahmed Al Musalmi, deputy chief executive officer said: “National Bank of Oman firmly believes in the importance of supporting and encouraging talented young Omani citizens. Ahmad Al Harthy has established himself as a top Omani racing driver and has repeatedly placed Oman on the international map. He is indeed an ideal role model for the younger generation. “We already partner Ahmad in the British GT Championship and are proud to back him for the high profile Blancpain Endurance Series as well — a reiteration of our commitment to Omani talent and the Sultanate of Oman.”

Mistal sponsors Dudchenko’s exhibition MUSCAT: Franck Muller and the designer watch and jewellery boutique — Mistal, will be the main sponsor for Anna Dudchenko’s new exhibition, Sublime and Ridiculous. After successfully exhibiting her art in London and Abu Dhabi last year, she is back in Muscat for her new exhibition. Anna, an Omani artist of Russian origin has been living and working in the Sultanate since 1999. Her exhibitions have grown to become a major attraction for art collectors and art lovers alike and she now holds her art exhibitions annually in Muscat. For this exhibition she has created 30 new artworks. Ten of them are large pencil drawings which are based on some of the most famous and ridiculously rich contemporary artists and their work. Apart from the pencil drawings, there will be 20 new epoxy paintings on display, where the artist tries to build a parallel with the viewer’s childhood memories. “When we grow up, we forget about all those small things that made us happy. It takes a very long time to become young again. My intention is to submerge the viewer into that carefree, bright, imaginative, and blissful atmosphere of our childhood,” said Anna about her artwork. Dharmesh A. Khimji, the managing director of Mistal said, “We are proud to be a sponsor of Anna’s art exhibition. Transforming a blank canvas into a masterpiece involves sheer genius. Apart from being unique in concept, it has to jump out of the canvas, grab the viewer, tell them something and make them feel it. “It is a powerful paradox. The kind of iconic luxury brands Mistal is associated with and the whole Mistal experience, the art exhibition is a parallel of what we do and hence the association.” The Franck Muller brand, in 20 years of existence, has become a reference in the Haute Horlogerie world because of its technical expertise and innovative designs.


M O N DAY, M AY 6, 2 0 1 3

ROUND-UP Sentra strengthens Nissan’s position The C-segment is the largest single car category in the Middle East with 24 different models currently vying for the top spot, held by the Nissan Sentra

MUSCAT: The popularity of the new Sentra among Middle East customers has strengthened Nissan’s position as market leader in the highly competitive C segment. Impressively, in the first 50 days of sales, nearly 1,500 Nissan Sentras have been sold, underlining the appeal of the compact sedan which offers spaciousness and comfort usually found in the segment above, as well as spirited 1.6-litre or 1.8-litre engines. The C-segment is the largest single car category in the Middle East with 24 different models currently vying for the top spot, held by the Nissan Sentra. Nissan will now use the strong initial response from the region’s

car buyers as a platform on which to build towards an ambitious sales target of 25,000 Sentra sales per year in the GCC region in the next three years. “Nissan Sentra was launched with the clear intent to reinforce our strong leadership position in the C segment and the start of sales is living up to our expectations,” said Samir Cherfan, managing director, Nissan Middle East. “Since its launch, on average more than one Sentra is sold every hour. This proves customers recognise that we are producing cars of the highest quality, cars that people are buying in ever-increasing numbers.” “Nissan has a proven record of success in this segment with Sentra being its 13th generation sedan,” continued Samir. “This high-value choice features unexpected spaciousness and many technologies

not seen before in cars of this class, along with an ability to over-deliver on the basics. These qualities have immediately found favour with Middle Eastern customers looking for an aspirational and upscale compact sedan.” “I recently purchased a brand new Nissan Sentra and was extremely happy. The all new Sentra is a class apart,” said Rohan Kumar, a proud owner. “Expect more and pay less. The Nissan Sentra has so much space and is comfortable. I am also connected with all the technologies like navigation and bluetooth that the car offers,” he concluded. Scott Dylan another Sentra buyer added: “I commute every day from Sharjah to Jabal Ali and am quite impressed with my Sentra’s fuel consumption. The drive experience itself is enjoyable with comfortable leg space, latest technology, and I now enjoy driving.”


Sohar Aluminium committed to supporting Omani talent MUSCAT: Sohar Aluminium invited five highly regarded figures of North Al Batinah for an on-site visit to the smelter, meet the workers and experience their working conditions. Muhana bin Saif Al Lamki, governor of North Al Batinah, walis and other government officials gladly accepted the invitation of Said Al Masoudi, acting CEO of Sohar Aluminium and spent around three hours visiting the site and meeting Sohar Aluminium workers who greatly appreciated this initiative and acknowledged Sohar Aluminium’s pursuit for excellent working conditions and pleasant environment. The dignitaries were taken to the Carbon Plant followed by Reduction Pot line and ended at the Cast House, during which they were familiarised with the entire process of manufacturing aluminium. This also provided the dignitaries with an insight into the excellent level of safety measures provided and respected by the workforce. Al Masoudi stated, “Safety of our workforce is at the essence of Sohar Aluminium’s operations. We believe that our employees are our greatest asset and thus we all strive to ensure the safety and well-being of each and every individual working at Sohar Aluminium.” After the smelter tour, the visitors were taken to the Sohar Aluminium Training Academy, which meets the

Training academy The academy offers continuous training and development programmes at different levels right from short courses to post graduate certification. The training academy is currently conducting training programmes to accelerate SA’s Omanisation process in the plant by developing operators to technician levels. The dignitaries were also shown the training centre for the project that SA has undertaken jointly with Public Authority for Craft Industries where women from the local community are trained in skills on manufactur-

ing aluminium handicrafts and are taught entrepreneurial skills. The dignitaries were impressed with Sohar Aluminium’s high Omanisation level of 73 per cent in particular its preference to offer employment to locals from North Al Batinah as well as its commitment towards the development of North Al Batinah governorate by procuring local services and goods as much as possible. Sohar Aluminium has also committed 60 per cent of its total production towards its downstream industries which will help to create further jobs and facilitate development of the entire region. Sohar Aluminium is committed to becoming a benchmark smelter worldwide while contributing significantly to the progress of Oman.



2013 Toyota Avalon offers ‘5-star safety’ Dual VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing with intelligence) to help offer superior power and efficiency by optimising the intake and exhaust valve events. This robust V6 produces 273 horsepower and provides the new Avalon with competitive acceleration. The V6-powered Avalon offers three drive modes: Eco, Normal and Sport. Steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters help actuate fast, responsive shifts while keeping both hands on the wheel.

MUSCAT: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in the USA, has the role of testing, qualifying and scoring automobiles as per a stringent 1 through 5 scale of safety standards. New and re-designed models have to undergo fresh testing and amongst these, the 2013 Toyota Avalon has scooped up the highest — the five-star safety rating. The 2013 Avalon’s overall fivestar score was composed of five and four stars across the different areas of crash testing: It earned four stars in frontal testing, five stars in side-crash testing and a four-star score in rollover tests. The hybrid model received the same scores. Toyota’s largest sedan was redesigned for 2013 with more exciting styling, a luxurious interior and new comfort and convenience features. Compliments Proud owners will fondly recall that the 2013 Toyota Avalon was also named as “one of the most upscale cars in the class”, by the prestigious US News. This ranking was based on its analysis of seven published reviews and test drives of the Toyota Avalon; and of reliability and safety data. The reviewers at US News and Ranking credited the updated styling and a spacious, comfortable interior to making 2013 Toyota Avalon one of the most upscale cars in its class. Kelley Blue Book also complimented the Avalon for its luxury and performance, “This latest it-

highest levels of educational and training standards and will provide internationally recognised qualifications in the future.

eration preserves the high levels of luxury and comfort that made the Avalons of yesteryear such a success, but adds a dose of athleticism and panache to the mix.” Popular Mechanics went on to say that the “Handsome interior treatments plus quiet operation and attractive pricing, and the Avalon’s appeal expands well beyond its previous limits.” Advanced sophistication The Avalon represents advanced sophistication. Inside Out. A stronger, more expressive frontfascia design with larger grille opening creates an aggressive appearance. The industry-first Quadrabeam™ headlight cluster

offers outstanding lighting performance. Avalon’s interior has a rich, premium feel. It is an ambience created by leading-edge technology, meticulous craftsmanship and delightful creative flair. The panel for example, is covered in supple, hand-stitched premium soft-touch material with the seam traversing across the dash panel. The driver is engaged by an Optitron-type combination meter, which produces a sharp, high quality display and 3.5-inch Thin-film Transistor colour multi-information display (gear position, fuel consumption, navigation direction, and ECO driving indicator. The Avalon utilises a 3.5-litre, six-cylinder engine that features

RECRUIT QUOTES Every ceiling, when reached, becomes a floor, upon which one walks as a matter of course and prescriptive right. — Aldous Huxley Impatience never commanded success. — Edwin H. Chapin

Audio system The Avalon’s advanced audio system comprises a 6.1-inch Enhanced Graphics Adapter TFT touchscreen that offers audio system operation, bluetooth compatibility, customisable vehicle settings, available rear-camera display, driving information such as fuel consumption, and operation of iPod® and USB devices. The top-of-the-line Avalon Limited model features a Premium HDD (Hard Disk Drive) navigation system that includes a seven-inch, high resolution touchscreen display that helps enhance operability. A smart key system locks and unlocks the Avalon’s front doors. A trunk opening feature enables opening of the doors when the key fob is within a short distance of the door handle. Advanced safety features include 10 air bags as well as vehicle stability control, traction control, anti-lock brake system, electronic brake force distribution and brake assist.

Sohar firm adds Mazda3 to its fleet MUSCAT: In order to provide the best quality cars to its customers, Al Adaily International in Sohar has recently taken delivery of three Mazda3 from Towell Auto Centre (TAC), the exclusive dealer for the Japanese brand in Oman. Adel Al Adaily, MD of Al Adaily International is extremely happy with this latest addition to their fleet of over 60 vehicles. Test drive “I took a test drive of Mazda3 and found the car’s performance really impressive. Its strength and on-road stability is reassuring. This is important for us as our company believes in providing only the best and the latest quality vehicles to our customers. I must say investing in the Mazda range has been the most favourable to us. Last year we bought six Mazda2 vehicles and this year we added value to our fleet with Mazda3 and its great qualities such as superb handling, overall ride comfort, excellent overall packaging and well-proportioned design, values that are well-liked by the automobilists.” Safety performance “Available in four-door sedan and five-door hatchback models with a 1.6 litre DOHC SVT four cylinder engine, the Mazda3 features top class environmental and safety performance and offers evolved sporty driving

performance, dynamic styling elements and a high-quality interior. Available features include cruise control, multi-information display, push button start and keyless entry system, dual-zone climate control, xenon head lamps, 16 inch alloys, power retractable mirrors and remote opening and closing of sunroof and windows and a high quality CD and MP3 player. Apart from the Mazda vehicles’ stunning features and sturdy performance, what is also commendable about Mazda is its state-of-the-art workshop facility, where the maintenance and service needs of my cars are well looked after and addressed in a timely manner,” Al Adaily adds. Humbled Paul Valiyaveetil, head of sales; passenger cars and LCVs, TAC, says: “Once again we are humbled to learn about the overwhelming response that our Mazda vehicles are receiving at Sohar. We are thankful to Al Adaily International and our other customers who have appreciated the Mazda range. Mazda3 embodies all the elements of Mazda’s DNA: distinctive design, exceptional functionality, responsive handling and driving performance. It also symbolises Mazda’s ZoomZoom philosophy in terms of the feeling of motion, exhilaration and excitement that it enhances.”





The surest way not to fail is to determine to succeed. — Richard Brinsley Sheridan


M O N DAY, M AY 6, 2 0 1 3

ROUND-UP Eventful launches new division to present unique events imitable actors Rajit Kapur and Shernaz Patel, Rage Productions has continued to present acclaimed theatre productions nationally and internationally.

While Eventful, the original brand, will continue to host large-budget events and be a trailblazer that sets new trends, Eventful Plus will concentrate on shows that are unique in presentation but are moderately sized

Times News Service MUSCAT: Leading event management company Eventful has added a new division to its firm: Eventful Plus. Talking about the entity, Dr Satish Nambiar, managing director of Eventful, said, “The new unit will cater to moderate to large shows, covering different genres.

“While Eventful, the original brand, will continue to host large-budget events and be a trailblazer that sets new trends, Eventful Plus will concentrate on shows that are unique in presentation but are moderately sized.” Eventful presented A. R. Rahman’s memorable Jai Ho concert in January 2010 and Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani, and Loy Mendonsa’s Senorita concert in June 2012. “We have set a trend by hosting large-budget events, and now, we would like to make a mark through the new division by launching unique events through Eventful Plus,” stated Dr Nambiar. Eventful Plus is all set to launch its first event with a difference: Studio Muscat. “Our first outing will be a novel venture called Studio Muscat. We plan to invite renowned musicians in different genres including folk, Sufi, classical, pop, jazz, and rhythm and blues,” he noted. Similar to the popular television series featuring live music performances, Studio

Muscat will host 12 episodes in the next two years. The first event will be held on June 6 at the Oman International Exhibition Centre and will host singers Arif Lohar, Harshdeep Kaur and Benny Dayal. “We chose the artists because of their calibre,” explained Dr Nambiar, adding, “Pakistani folk and Sufi singer Arif Lohar is currently making waves across the subcontinent with his unique brand of singing.” Harshdeep Kaur is an amazing talent; she is a rising star in Bollywood’s playback singing world. She is also a recognised Sufi singer too. The renowned Benny Dayal will complete the trio with his rendering of popular Bollywood songs and light Hindi music. “The combination of this trio, who have clearly defined individual strengths, will ensure that this event will be one to remember,” Dr Nambiar asserted. Arif Lohar was awarded the Pride of Performance Award by the government of Pakistan —the highest civil award in Pakistan. To date, he has more than 150 albums to his credit and has recorded more than 3,000 songs, mostly in the Punjabi language. Harshdeep has performed with some of India’s leading music directors, including A. R. Rahman and Salim Suleiman, and has performed some of the top Bollywood songs in the 21st century, including Katiya Karun from Rockstar, Heer

from Jab Tak Hai Jaan, and Bari Barsi from Band Baaja Baaraat. Benny Dayal has also worked with top music directors, including A. R. Rahman, Amit Trivedi, Salim Sulaiman, Vishal Shekhar, Pritam, and Himesh Reshammiya. His popular songs include Pappu Can’t Dance Sala, Mastam Mastam, Kaise Mujhe, and Choomantar. “Other Eventful Plus events are also in the pipeline, which we will announce soon,” Dr Nambiar said. Meanwhile, Eventful has numerous events lined up. The Original Theatre Festival Theatre buffs in Oman have many reasons to rejoice this June. Eventful will present the fifth edition of the Original Theatre Festival between June 9 and 14 at Al Bustan Palace Hotel. Talking about the event, Dr. Nambiar stated, “The much-discussed and muchhyped product of Eventful, Original Theatre Festival, has been in constant and persistent demand, and its fifth episode is now on the anvil.” A new format for the theatre festival was introduced last year and will continue in the fifth episode too. Popular production house Rage Productions has been invited to perform five plays in Muscat. Founded by the renowned director Rahul Dacuhnia and in-

Dr Nambiar acknowledged, “Rage Productions has been part of the first, second, and third episodes of the theatre festival. Due to popular demand, their play Love Letters will feature this time around too. Although Eventful promotes different genres of theatre, emphasis is now being placed on comedy and ‘feel-good’ theatre.” The other plays include The Bureaucrat, Pune Highway, One On One, and All in the Timing. The Bureaucrat is rollicking political satire, in the spirit of Yes Prime Minister meets Aap Ki Adalat. It takes a laugh-outloud look at the times in which we live, focusing on deceitful Delhi bureaucratic intrigues, corrupt backroom deals, hidden pasts, the convolutions of Indian politics, and a man trying to come to terms with his own son and, eventually, himself. Pune Highway is about three friends who are holed up in a seedy hotel room, off the Bombay–Pune Highway. They have just witnessed a fourth friend being stabbed during a robbery attempt by gangsters. They desperately need to get back to Bombay but are constantly thwarted by obstacles. The play is a comic thriller that explores the survival of friendship under extreme circumstances. It is filled with tension, nostalgia, and humour. One on One is a unique theatrical evening that brings together some of Bombay’s finest actors, many talented playwrights, and well-known directors. These monologues and dialogues in English and Hindi address subjects as varied as inedible airline food, the politics of road-naming cer-

emonies, the experience of being a junior artist in Bollywood, and the experience of living in a big city. These are stories of modern India that amuse, annoy, and concern us all.” Love Letters is a heart-warming, poignant play about two people, Andy Ladd III and Melissa Gardner, who write letters to each other over a period of 50 years. Andy is a serious, down-to-earth attorney. Melissa is a lively, free-spirited artist. But these two opposites have a definite attraction. They are childhood friends, who share a lifetime of experiences through a lengthy series of letters and notes, written while they were aged six to 60. The play opened in 1993 and has completed more than 250 performances. All in the Timing is a collection of short comedies by David Ives. They play with the idea of how one’s chances in life can change, depending on the timing. Each play deals with this issue in different ways, whether through wordplay, perspectives on life, or relationships between characters. Dr Nambiar observed, “At Eventful, we believe that theatre portrays the essence of acting. It is demanding for the performers, and only those who have a passion for histrionics can emote to a level of popular acceptability. “Theatre is a medium that extracts the best from an actor, and thus, for enthusiasts, it becomes an audiovisual treat. Theatre has withstood the ravages of time and the advancement of technology. It still retains the aesthetic charm of storytelling.” Femme Fatale In the month of October, Eventful plans to unveil a unique event: Femme Fatale.

The women-centric event will host four top actresses, singer and comedienne. It will be an out and out woman’s show. “The event is tentatively slated for October 17, 2013. We will soon announce the complete details,” he noted.


Bank Muscat hosts seminar on global currency trends MUSCAT: Bank Muscat Treasury and Capital Markets division, as part of its constant endeavour to add value to corporate services, conducted a seminar in Sohar on ‘Watching the dollar turn: The end of risk on, risk off ’ by Peter Kinsella, senior foreign exchange strategist at Commerzbank in London. The initiative was aimed at equipping clients with the necessary insights to keep abreast with the latest trends in world economy and financial markets. Kinsella shared insights into the performance of the USD, Euro zone crisis, Bank of Japan’s ap-

proach towards the price movements in JPY and other relevant market trends related to currency movements. The presentation also deliberated at length about the US economy, fiscal cliff and debt ceiling, appropriateness of the QE3, results of austerity efforts in the European Monetary Union countries, Bank of Japan inflation target and room to expand its balance sheet and other important trends in the foreign exchange market. The seminar was well received with more than 50 corporate clients attending the event. The

Q&A session turned out to be the most interesting with questions on price movements of Euro, GBP, JPY, gold and crude oil. The event turned out to be a success with clients appreciating the efforts of the bank to add value to their business. Bank Muscat is the only bank in Oman that offers the full suite of treasury products and services — whether hedging foreign exchange requirements or managing interest rate risks or eliminating commodity price risks from businesses to offering fixed income investment opportunities.


Mars ‘Home Making’ mega promotion winner announced BARKA: Mars Hypermarket conducted the raffle draw to conclude their mega promotion Mars ‘Home Making’ here at Mars Hypermarket Barka. The grand prize of Mega Home Package was won by Haridas (Coupon No: 208085). The first prize, Samsung 40” LED TV with Samsung Home Theatre was won by Sultan Ahmad Al Mawali (Coupon No: 286812), Dinesh Babu (Coupon No: 113420), Mohdarif (Coupon No: 082882) and U. Santhoshkumar (019449). The winners of the second prize, 10 Samsung Galaxy Tab and third prize of 20 Samsung 32” LED TVs were also announced. The event was conducted under the patronage of members of the

Municipal Council Barka State and Delegates of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, in the presence of senior management and staff of Mars International LLC. Mars Home Making is a successful promotion campaign that Mars is conducting every year. The grand prize of Mega Home Package consisted of Samsung 40” LED TV, 5.1 home thea-

tre, 540l refrigerator, front load washing machine, vacuum cleaner, microwave oven, 1.5TR split AC, Galaxy S3 smartphone and Galaxy Tablet PC. The list of winners’ names and details are published in all Mars outlets across Oman for reference and they will announce the date and place of prize distribution ceremony very soon.






First win for Pedrosa The 27-year-old Honda rider came home clear of his teammate Marc Marquez while defending world champion Jorge Lorenzo was third on a Yamaha

JEREZ: Spanish rider Dani Pedrosa gained his first win of the season yesterday taking the Spanish MotoGP. The 27-year-old Honda rider came home clear of his team-mate Marc Marquez while defending world champion Jorge Lorenzo was third on a Yamaha. Marquez, who went top of the standings on 61 points three ahead of Pedrosa and four of Lorenzo, once again showed his class at just 20-years-old as he passed Lorenzo on the final bend for second spot. However, it left Lorenzo furious as they came together on the bend and he refused to accept Marquez’s apology immediately afterwards. Lorenzo maintained a diplomatic facade once he dismounted from his bike. “I prefer not to comment on that I would rather talk about my race,” said Lorenzo, who turned 26 on Saturday. “It was a perfect race for my bike and the team. I am pretty sore about what happened but I prefer not to make any further comment.” Marquez, who a fortnight ago became the youngest ever winner

GOOD WIN: Honda MotoGP rider Dani Pedrosa of Spain celebrates

after winning the Spanish Grand Prix. – Reuters

of a MotoGp, accepted that he had been in the wrong. “I wanted to say sorry to Jorge but it wasn’t possible,” said Marquez, who has had a history in the other categories of upsetting his rivals with risky manoeuvres. “Sure if I had been him I would be angry but I entered the last lap and I knew that I could pass him and so I went for it,” he added. Pedrosa, who has yet to add the MotoGP title to his 125cc and 250cc world crowns, was de-

lighted to have broken his duck for the season. “It was a good race and I am delighted to have got a win under my belt,” said Pedrosa, who has finished title runner-up on three occasions. “Jorge was very strong but once I got past him I let myself establish a decent lead and then eased off as I didn’t want to destroy my tyres.” Lorenzo produced an excellent manoeuvre after losing first place on the first corner, coming

on the inside to pass Pedrosa on the first lap. Rossi too was in sparkling form on the first lap overtaking Marquez, but the young rider displaying the class he showed in the previous race by reclaiming third spot on the second lap. Both Lorenzo and Pedrosa opened up a bit of a gap on the pursuing pack led by Marquez and Rossi while behind the race saw four riders exit with 24 laps still remaining. The highest profile casualty was Honda rider Stefan Bradl, who went too wide on a bend and rode to a standstill in the gravel which leaves the highly-rated German with just one finish in the three races this season. Up ahead Pedrosa took the lead with a neat pass of Lorenzo with 22 laps to go while Marquez put some space between himself and Rossi, who was being chased down by British rider Cal Crutchlow. Marquez upped the pressure on Lorenzo by hanging onto the four-time world champion’s wheel attempting to pass him on several occasions with the older rider having to draw on all his experience to stave him off. Oblivious to this Pedrosa established a lead of over two seconds on them and seemed to be well set for a comfortable victory. However, even though Lorenzo was being hounded all the way through the race by Marquez it didn’t stop him from eating into Pedrosa’s lead. Alarm bells started ringing for Pedrosa as his lead was slashed by a second with two laps remaining but it was enough in the end as the real drama unfolded between his two compatriots and which could have ramifications further down the line. The next race is the French MotoGP at Le Mans in a fortnight. — AFP

HUMMING SONGS HELPSS DHONI ‘KEEP THE FOCUS’ This and several other nuggets find a mention in a new book — ‘Think Like a Champion’ written by Rudi Webster, a former West Indian team manager who worked with Team India. >C3


MATCH HERO: Sean Williams in full flow against Bangladesh. – AFP

Williams’ best helps Zimbabwe go level BULAWAYO: Sean Williams smashed a career-best unbeaten 78 as Zimbabwe levelled their One-day International series against Bangladesh with a sixwicket victory yesterday. Put into bat by the hosts, Bangladesh rallied late in their innings to post 252 for nine wickets, a par score on a good batting track. Despite some jitters along the way, Zimbabwe chased down the runs with 13 balls to spare. Zimbabwe were outclassed in the series opener at the same venue on Friday when they were thumped by 121 runs, but showed much more mettle in the second match. Williams came in with his side teetering at 94 for three, but worked the ball around the ground expertly, hitting six fours and a six in his 75-ball knock. He got support from Malcolm Waller (39 not out) as the pair put

on 86 for the fifth wicket to see their side through to the win. “I wanted to bat through the innings, it is a great batting track so you want to pad up and bat on this. The guys have put in a lot of work in the last few days and it has paid off,” man of the match Williams said in a television interview after the game. Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor played his part with a steady 37, while opener Vusi Sibanda struck 49. “We showed a lot of character to bounce back from Friday,” Taylor said. “Sean Williams was fantastic along with Malcolm Waller. For 45 overs of their innings we were excellent with the ball and then let it slip at the end.” Bangladesh slumped to 124 for five in their innings before a swashbuckling unbeaten 53 off 22 balls from No 9 Abdur Razzak helped the side to 252. — Reuters


M O N DAY, M AY 6, 2 0 1 3


Dravid, Rahane guide Rajasthan Royals to victory

TRIUMPHANT: Rajasthan Royals’ Stuart Binny, James Faulkner and

Dishant Yagnik celebrate team victory over Pune Warriors. -PTI

JAIPUR: Half-centuries by skipper Rahul Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane and sensible show by Stuart Binny in death overs helped Rajasthan chase beat Pune by five wickets in the IPL match at Jaipur yesterday. Chasing a huge 179, Rajasthan got off to a flying start as Dravid and Rahane furstrated the visitors with their gritty show. The duo shared 98-run opening stand to lay a solid platform for the win. Angelo Mathews gave Pune Warriors first breakthrough by dismissing Rajasthan skipper Rahul Dravid (58) in the 12th over. After Dravid’s dismissal, Rahane completed his half-ton and took the side cross 100-mark.

Rahane’s innings came to an end in the 16th over with 43 still required to win. However, Binny held his nerve to take the side to the target, inflicting sevnth consecutive defeat to the Warriors. Earlier, Robin Uthappa followed his 75 against Bangalore with another solid 54 off 41 balls to help Pune Warriors to a formidable total. Aaron Finch too displayed fine form hitting 45 off 32 balls and combining to add 97 for the first wicket with Uthappa. Mitchell Marsh’s cracking 21-ball 35 towards the end added impetus after Rajasthan bowlers fought back mid-innings with back-toback wickets. Shane Watson was the most economical of the bowl-

ers with figures of 0/29 from his four. All others — James Faulkner, Ajit Chandila, Kevon Cooper, Siddharth Trivedi and Stuart Binny — returned expensive figures. Rajasthan bowlers were not too disciplined either with Kevon Cooper, brough back into the side, giving away 5 wides off the first ball of his opening over. Uthappa and Finch carried on till 97 when Finch was cleaned up by Cooper trying to bring up his fifty with a big hit. Uthappa though batted on merrily and was joined by Yuvraj Singh. Not included in the national side for the Champions Trophy, Yuvraj came to the middle in slam-bang mode to hit Binny for a four and a

demoralising six in the same over. Meanwhile, Uthappa completed another fifty this season with a boundary off Siddharth Trivedi. Angelo Mathews and, in particular, Mitchell Marsh, then combined to hit some lusty blows at the end to take the Pune side to a formidable total. Speaking after the win a delighted Dravid said: “We came back with the ball really well. At one point, 200 looked possible, but we could pulled them back. It’s a good cricket wicket. There is something in it for the bowlers, but if you play well you can play your shots. Good to see the youngsters finish it off in the end. Just the way everyone constructed it.” - Agencies

Humiliation for the Super Kings

JUBILANT: Mumbai Indians celebrate their win over Chennai Super Kings yesterday. – PTI


Mitchell Johnson took three wickets in one over to help restrict the league leaders to their lowest ever total and the fourth lowest total in IPL history of 79 all out

MUMBAI: Mumbai Indians moved into the top four in the standings of the Indian Premier League (IPL) with a comprehensive 60-run win over Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium here yesterday. With the win, Mumbai leapfrogged Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad into third place with 14 points. The Super Kings lost their first match in seven games but with 18 points they still sit pretty at the top of the table. Mumbai Indians scored 139 for five with captain Rohit Sharma top scoring with 39 off 30 balls. Mitchell Johnson took three wickets in one over to help restrict the league leaders to their lowest ever total and the fourth lowest total in IPL history of 79 all out. Pragyan Ojha and Lasith Malinga too chipped in with three and two wickets, respectively. Super Kings got off to a fortuitous start with Kieron Pollard

MUMBAI INDIANS D Smith c & b Bravo 22 S Tendulkar lbw b Jadeja 15 D Karthik c Raina b Jadeja 23 K Pollard c Raina b Jadeja 1 R Sharma not out 39 A Rayudu b Ashwin 10 H Singh not out 25 Extras (w -4) 4 Total (for 5 wkts, 20 overs) 139 Fall of wickets: 1-40, 2-42, 3-45, 4-66, 5-82 Bowling: Ravindra Jadeja 4-0-29-3; Mohit Sharma 4-0-20-0; Chris Morris 3-0-14-0; Dwayne Bravo 3-0-19-1; Ben Laughlin 4-046-0; Ravichandran Ashwin 2-0-11-1 CHENNAI SUPER KINGS M Hussey c Smith b Ojha 22

Rohit Sharma once again played the captain’s innings and together with Harbhajan Singh forged a crucial unbeaten partnership dropping Michael Hussey (22) thrice in Mitchell Johnson’s first over. However, the Australian picked up three wickets in his next over to send the visitors into panic. Pollard somewhat made up for the dropped chances by taking a stunning catch to dismiss Suresh Raina (0) giving Johnson his second wicket. The Super Kings never recovered from this point and kept losing wickets at regular intervals.

M Vijay b Johnson 2 S Raina c Pollard b Johnson 0 S Badrinath lbw b Johnson 0 D Bravo c Rayudu b Suyal 9 R Ashwin b Harbhajan 2 MS Dhoni c Pollard b Ojha 10 R Jadeja c Rayudu b Ojha 20 C Morris b Malinga 1 M Sharma c Suyal b Malinga 0 B Laughlin not out 4 Extras (lb-1, w-8) 9 Total (all out in 15.2 overs) 79 Fall of wickets: 1-9, 2-9, 3-9, 4-18, 5-34, 7-52, 8-54, 9-54, 10-79 Bowling: Mitchell Johnson 3-0-27-3; Pawan Suyal 3-0-21-1; Harbhajan Singh 4-0-13-1; Lasith Malinga 3-0-6-2; Pragyan Ojha 2.2-0-11-3

Hussey failed to make use of the reprieve given to him and was sent back packing by Pragyan Ojha. However, till the time captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (10) was at the crease, Chennai still had a sniff. Dhoni, though, could not produce a miracle innings and got out tamely to Ojha. The tailenders hardly put up a fight and served as easy prey for Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga, who bowled his first over in the 14th over of Super Kings’ innings. Earlier, Mumbai Indians found themselves in a spot of bother with the score on 66 for four. Sachin Tendulkar (15) once again failed with the bat while Dwayne Smith (22) and Dinesh Karthik (23) failed to capitalise on a good start.However, Rohit Sharma once again played the captain’s innings and together with Harbhajan Singh forged a crucial unbeaten partnership of 67 for the sixth wicket. — IANS

M O N DAY, M AY 6, 2 01 3


SPORTS Humming songs helps Dhoni ‘keep the focus’ This and several other nuggets find a mention in a new book — ‘Think Like a Champion’ written by Rudi Webster, a former West Indian team manager who worked with Team India

NEW DELHI: Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s mind wanders in several directions while he is batting but he manages to keep the focus by humming songs even when the bowler is running in from the other end. This and several other nuggets about top Indian cricketers such as Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman find a mention in a new book — “Think Like a Champion” (published by Harper Collins) — written by Rudi Webster, a former West Indian team manager who worked with the Indian team as a psychologist in 2006-07. According to the author, Dhoni wants to chip in for the Indian Army and set up a Sports Academy in his city Ranchi after retiring from international cricket. “When I am batting, I focus on the ball. Sometimes my mind wanders off to places where it is not supposed to be but as soon as I notice it bring it back to the ball. Singing helps me to stay focussed,” Dhoni is quoted as saying in the book. “When the bowler is running in to bowl, I start to sing but as soon as he gets to his delivery stride, I

focus on the ball. Singing when the bowler is running in, empties my mind of unwanted thoughts.” Dravid, on the other hand, offers a more serious view on how to stay focussed. “ is the ability to play one ball at a time and not go too far ahead of yourself and get caught up in the past. I guess that would be concentration for me.” Laxman’s take on the issue is: “many different thoughts pass through my mind when I am batting but as soon as the bowler is about to deliver the ball, my concentration focusses sharply on the ball for that fraction of a second. That is concentration for me.” Commenting on the sport in general, Dhoni feels to learn from mistakes is what makes a good player great.“...the difference between a great batsman and a good batsman is often the interval between mistakes. The good batsman will make a mistake and repeat it soon but the great batsman will eliminate it for the rest of the game.” To a question on leadership and team work, Dhoni asserts he is not a “lone wolf. I am a team man...If

Singing when the bowler is running in, empties my mind of unwanted thoughts MS Dhoni Captain, Team India


Bravo replaces Sammy as West Indies captain JAMAICA: All-rounder Dwayne Bravo has replaced Darren Sammy as West Indies’ One-day International captain and will lead the team in next month’s Champions Trophy in England. Sammy, who led the Caribbean team to the World Twenty20 title in Sri Lanka last year, would continue to captain the test and T20 teams, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) said in a statement yesterday. “Our results in Tests and T20s have been showing consistent improvement and Sammy deserves every kudos for the work he has done in leading and mould- NEW ROLE: Dwayne Bravo. ing the team in these formats,” Clyde Butts, the chairman of freshen the leadership of the selection panel, said. “We remain confident in his team in this format.” A medium-pace bowler and a leadership in these formats and will recommend that he contin- hard-hitting batsman down the ues as the captain for test and order, Bravo, led the side when Sammy was rested for the home T20 cricket. “However, our ODI results One-dayers against Zimbabwe. The 29-year-old, a long-time have not been as strong and we believe that it is best that we vice-captain, said he was honoured

to get the opportunity. “To be named captain of the West Indies One-day team is one of the highest honours and I am truly humbled to have been appointed to this most prestigious position,” Bravo said. “The brand of cricket that I intend to bring is a never-say-die attitude and I am really looking forward to the opportunity.” While Sammy kept his place in the 15-man squad for the Champions Trophy as an all-rounder, Kieran Powell was not considered due to a finger injury, the WICB said. West Indies are in Group B of the June 6-23 tournament alongside India, Pakistan and South Africa. Squad: Dwayne Bravo (captain), Denesh Ramdin, Tino Best, Darren Bravo, Johnson Charles, Chris Gayle, Jason Holder, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Darren Sammy, Marlon Samuels, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Devon Smith. — Reuters

you give me the toughest assignment possible and I have people with me, I would definitely give it my best shot. The leader must be able to blend and balance the expertise in the team and create a learning atmosphere,” says Dhoni, emphasising the importance of simple communication. On how he makes the transition from the shorter formats cricket to Tests, Dhoni replies, “I have the habit of going hard at deliveries if I play too much Twenty20 cricket and ODI formats. Technically, I am not the most gifted batsman and when it comes to Test cricket, I have to adjust to suit the Test format. So, I practise hard to make those adjustments to be ready for the game.” Dhoni refuses to consider pressure as a negative force, saying that it actually brings out the best in him. “...I view it as a positive force that lifts me to better performance. Pressure to me is just like added responsibility ...It’s not pressure when God gives you an opportunity to be a hero for your team and your country,” he argues. Laxman, meanwhile, detailed his early days in the game and what motivated him to take it up. “When I was young, I wanted to be a doctor. Both of my parents are doctors and my father was my role model. Like any young kid in India, I played cricket but never thought that I would play it as a professional.” Answering the same question, Dravid said, “My motivation to play the game was my love of the game, the love of being outdoors and having fun.”— PTI


Must-win situation for Kings XI Punjab MOHALI: It would be a battle of un-equals when tournament laggards Kings XI Punjab take on the formidable Royal Challengers Bangalore in a desperate bid to stay afloat in the Pepsi IPL today. With IPL-6 approaches the playoff stage Punjab have managed to win just four out of 10 games so far and they will look to win all of their remaining games. A loss today will virtually bring the curtains down on Punjab’s campaign this season. Against the star-studded RCB, which boasts of the big-hitting Chris Gayle and skipper Virat Kohli, Punjab are once again likely to be without regular skipper Adam Gilchrist. On paper, Bangalore appears to be overwhelming favourites with seven wins in 11 games. On April 23, Bangalore had posted the highest team score of 263 and Gayle massacred the Pune Warriors bowling for a record 66-ball 175. Punjab would hope that the Jamaican does not click against their bowlers. But in the days after defeating Pune by 130 runs, Bangalore lost two games in a row and the visitors got back to the winning ways, inflicting yet another defeat on Pune a couple of days back. RCB have won all their matches at home and also shrugged off the tag of not being able to win the away games by securing a 17run victory at Pune against Pune Warriors in the last encounter. In contrast, Punjab, in their previous game, went down to Chennai by 15 runs. Gayle has amassed 500 plus runs and is the leading run-

scorer in the tournament and KXIP are well aware of his hardhitting abilities. Kohli has also been in good touch and with A B de Villiers up their ranks, Bangalore’s batting looks solid against KXIP. But the visitors’ bowling attack is relatively young and experienced pacers — Vinay Kumar and R P Singh — have been unable to restrict the opposition batsmen in a few games. Murali Kartik and Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan lead the spin attack for RCB. Punjab have shown the stomach for a fight with some close finishes in a few games, but that alone would not be enough against aggressive the RCB. Punjab are coming into the game after being outsmarted by Mumbai and Chennai. David Hussey is leading the team in the absence of an under-performing Gilchrist, who dropped himself from the team in the last couple of matches. Australian Shaun Marsh is a key player in the batting department, who along with Mandeep Singh and David Miller can take on the opposition bowling attack. Former Pakistani all-rounder Azhar Mahmood can be dangerous on his day and bowlers like Piyush Chawla and even Praveen Kumar have shown they are no novice with the bat. Punjab’s bowling has been their strength, with Praveen Kumar bowling at a decent economy rate in the shorter version of the game while Parvinder Awana will need to put his best foot forward to contain the Bangalore batters. — PTI


M O N DAY, M AY 6, 2 0 1 3

SPORTS Juve champs; Lazio’s Klose nets five Klose’s extraordinary performance began when the 34-year-old Germany international opened the scoring in the 22nd minute although there were suspicions of offside OVER THE MOON: Juventus’ players celebrate at the end of their Italian Serie A soccer match against

Palermo at the Juventus stadium in Turin. – Reuters

TURIN: Juventus clinched their second successive Serie A title with three games to spare by beating Palermo 1-0 yesterday while Miroslav Klose hit five goals in Lazio’s 6-0 demolition of hapless Bologna. Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal, Juve’s leading scorer with 10 goals, wrapped up the title by converting

a 59th-minute penalty amid Palermo protests after Mirko Vucinic was pushed by Massimo Donati. Juve’s afternoon was dampened when midfielder Paul Pogba was sent off for spitting at Salvatore Aronica in the 84th following a clash between the pair. A pitch in-

vasion at the end also poured more cold water on the celebrations. Klose’s extraordinary performance began when the 34-yearold Germany international opened the scoring in the 22nd minute although there were suspicions of offside. Hernanes scored a

brilliant second with a dipping 30-metre shot, then Klose grabbed two in three minutes to complete a first-half hat-trick, finishing off a counter-attack and then tapping in Abdoullay Konko’s pass at the far post. Klose was allowed a free header

from Antonio Candreva’s cross as he added a fourth goal early in the second half and he was again unmarked as he turned in a Sergio Floccari pass just after the hour. Bottom club Pescara were relegated after one season in the top flight when they lost 4-1 at fellow strugglers Genoa with Marco Boriello scoring twice. Antonio Di Natale scored a brilliant brace for Udinese, who beat Sampdoria 3-1, and Argentine forward Gonzalo Bergessio got a hattrick to give Catania a 3-0 win over Siena, pushing their opponents closer to Serie B. Di Natale’s second was a stunning effort as he ran on to a long ball and volleyed his shot over the oncoming Sergio Romero, his 20th goal of the season. Third-placed AC Milan edged closer to the Champions League playoff spot when a late Mario Balotelli goal, his ninth since he joined from Manchester City at the end of January, gave them a 1-0 win over Torino. They moved four points clear of Fiorentina who lost 1-0 at home to



Cheers for Casillas MADRID: Real Madrid fans appeared to give their backing to Iker Casillas over Jose Mourinho on Saturday when they cheered their benched goalkeeper and captain and whistled the Portuguese coach before the 4-3 win at home to Real Valladolid in La Liga. A hero to Real fans and club captain for more than a decade, Casillas has barely featured since recovering from a broken hand, with Mourinho preferring to stick with Diego Lopez, who was brought in as cover from Sevilla in January. Mourinho has hinted he may leave at the end of the season and he appeared to confirm reports his relationship with Casillas had broken down with a series of barbed comments in a news conference on Friday. He said he regretted not buying Lopez earlier in his three-year stint in the Spanish capital and that he could not work with players who “think they are above the rest”. Fans at the Bernabeu on Saturday made their feelings clear when Casillas’s name was roundly cheered when it was read out among the list of substitutes,

AS Roma on Saturday. Juventus, needing only a point to clinch a record 29th title and their second in coach Antonio Conte’s two seasons at the club, had a lucky escape when Fabrizzio Miccoli hit the post for Palermo early in the second half. Juventus, who won their eighth successive league game, have 83 points from 35 games, 14 clear of Napoli who were hosting Inter Milan in a later game. Milan have 65 and Fiorentina 61. “The difference from last year is that we had nothing to lose, whereas this time we were under an obligation to win because otherwise it would have been treated as a failure,” goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon told the Mediaset Premium channel. “There was a lot of responsibility on our shoulders as it isn’t easy to win in that situation.” At the bottom, Palermo dropped back into the relegation zone with 32 points, swapping places with Genoa who have 35 while Torino are not out of the woods on 36. Siena, 19th in the 20-team table, have 30 and Pescara 22. — Reuters

while Mourinho was whistled by a significant section of the crowd. The sense that all is not well at the club following on Tuesday’s elimination from the Champions League was heightened after the game when Pepe, Mourinho’s Portuguese compatriot, criticised the coach in a television interview. Pepe’s comments were particularly surprising given that he and Mourinho share the same agent. As has become customary when Real win a league match, Mourinho sent out his assistant Aitor Karanka to give the postmatch news conference on Saturday. Asked about the fans’ reaction to Mourinho, Karanka said it had to be respected. He declined to comment on why Mourinho had unusually elected not to emerge from the dugout during the match. With Barcelona closing in on the La Liga title and their reign as champions all - but over, Real still have one more shot at silverware this season in the King’s Cup final against Atletico Madrid on May 17. — Reuters

Chelsea sink United with late Mata goal LONDON: Spaniard Juan Mata’s late strike secured Chelsea a 1-0 victory at Manchester United yesterday to leave the Londoners poised for a top-four finish and a Champions League place next season. Mata settled a poor game when his left-foot shot in the 87th minute took a slight deflection off United defender Phil Jones and beat keeper Anders Lindegaard. Chelsea moved up to third place on 68 points from 35 games, one ahead of Arsenal, who have played a game more, and three ahead of Tottenham Hotspur, who have also played 35 matches. In the earlier game, Everton’s slim hopes of playing European football next season receded further after they drew 0-0 at city rivals Liverpool in a derby short on entertainment. Everton, remain sixth on 60 points. Liverpool are seventh on 55 points. — Reuters

M O N DAY, M AY 6, 2 01 3



Oman stun Uganda to register second win of the League

THANK YOU: Zeeshan Siddiqui receiving the man of the match

after Oman defeated Uganda. – Supplied photo

MUSCAT: Oman shocked the previously undefeated Uganda by taking down seven wickets at Somerset CC in its second win of the ICC World Cricket League Division 3 tournament. While Uganda had already qualified for the final after defeating the United States by 82 runs, Oman was playing for victory to try and avoid finishing outside the top four and being relegated to Division 4. It is worth noting that Uganda and Nepal have secured promotions to the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2014 after their final group matches. After electing to bat, Uganda lost three early wickets to be left struggling at 32 in the ninth over. Opener Arthur Kyobe top scored with 42

before Syed Amir Ali trapped Laurence Sematimba and Deusdedit Muhumuza lbw to push it to 73 for 6 in the space of four overs. Captain Davis Arinaitwe again steadied the ship with a well-made 23, and a resurgence by the lower order saw Richard Okia (18) and Frank Nsubuga (31) add vital runs to help Uganda reach a total of 163 for 9 in its 50 overs. Oman’s Ansari, Amir Ali, and Aamir Kaleem took 2 wickets each. In response, Oman overcame the loss of two early wickets to chase down the total in 39 overs. An unbeaten 69 from Zeeshan Siddiqui and 47 from captain Vaibhav Wategaonkar ensured that Oman secured the only victory over Uganda in the tournament.  Siddiqui was


Percy in semifinal MUSCAT: The top three seeds in the veterans’ singles, Percy Pereira, Ronnie Pereira and K. Philip Joseph all advanced to the semi-final stage at the Bank Muscat-sponsored Annual Badminton Tournament organized by the Indian Social Club Muscat. Top seed and veteran Percy Pereira was in good nick and proved too strong for B. Chakrapani whom he defeated with a

convincing 21-5, 21-8 margin, second seed Ronnie Pereira struggled in the first game before downing K. Sashindran 21-18, 21-12 and third seed K. Philip Joseph registered a 21-11, 21-11 win over Rajan Philips. Earlier, Babu Said Mohamed rallied to score a hard-fought 1721, 22-20, 21-15 victory over Ravi A. to line-up a quarterfinal clash against fourth seed Francis PT.

MUNEER ATTENDS KIDS CUP Oman’s Muneer Al Rawahi attended the Kid’s Cup U-10 round-robin tournament in Portugal, Oman Tennis Association (OTA) said in a statement yesterday. Muneer met Spanish star David Ferrer, Stanislas Wawrinka and Marion Bartoli of France. —Supplied photo


named the man of the match. Despite the victory, the wins for Bermuda and Nepal resulted in Oman remaining in fifth position. Looking forward to tomorrow’s fifth–sixth place play-off against Italy, Wategaonkar is confident that his side will continue to improve. 

against Uganda. Electing to bat United States posted a score of 220 for 9 from its 50 overs, setting a run rate of almost 4.5 for the host to win. In response, Bermuda reached its target of 221 in the 45th over for the loss of five wickets.

Big win for Bermuda In the most anticipated match of the day, it was a case of saving the best for last as host Bermuda defeated the United States by five wickets at the National Sports Stadium. The United States needed to win the match to guarantee a toptwo finish, while Bermuda needed to win the encounter to avoid the possibility of being relegated if Oman were to win its match

Nepal beat Italy Elsewhere, Nepal defeated Italy by eight wickets at St. David’s CC to secure a spot in tomorrow’s final, as well as a position in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2014. Chasing 128 for victory after restricting the European side to 127 from its 50 overs, Nepal reached 129, and victory, in the 15th over.  Nepal  now faces Uganda in the final tomorrow.


M O N DAY, M AY 6, 2 0 1 3

SPORTS Don’t waste a beautiful country like OMAN. Ensure proper disposal of garbage.

The Wave on top again in Quingdao


THE CHIEF: Khalid Zubair.

New OOC board to meet tomorrow

NUMERO UNO: The victorious Oman Sail team The Wave, Muscat pose with the trophy they won at

the Extreme Sailing Series in Quindao, China. – Supplied photo

The Qingdao win leaves The Wave, Muscat in second place overall on the 2013 Extreme Sailing Series leaderboard, trailing Alinghi by just one point

QUINGDAO: A nerve-wracking final day of racing in Fushan Bay saw The Wave, Muscat lock horns with rivals Alinghi and emerge triumphant to retain their China crown in the Extreme Sailing Series 2013 Act 3 in Qingdao. It was the hardest and closest racing they had ever been part of, said Musab Al Hadi, one of the five Oman Sail crewmembers who fought hard on all four days to return The Wave, Muscat to the top of the podium, following their frustration in Singapore. Going into the final doublepointer race, The Wave, Muscat had a slim four-point advantage over the Swiss team, with their overnight lead having been whittled down by some outstanding light-air tactics and manoeuvres from skipper Morgan Larson and his team. A classic match race between Larson and Oman Sail’s Leigh McMillan in the final race saw the lead—and Qingdao honours—

change hands at crucial times, and before the final leg, lying in fourth place, The Wave, Muscat looked to be defeated before they made a late surge into second to earn the win. “It was a bit tense, but we are massively relieved to get back on top,” noted an exhausted but happy McMillan. “Morgan, in his typical style, took us by surprise when we were placed second or third; we weren’t expecting him to get a move on up, and we were caught unaware and took a penalty. “From there, it was a real battle with him having a dig at us and us having a dig at him, but through it all, they were eating into our lead. In the end, they pushed us down to fourth at the top mark, which would have cost us the trophy. We managed to pull back into second, which gave us the win, but it was nerve-wracking.” McMillan paid tribute to his winning team of Pete Greenhalgh, Ed Smyth, Musab Al Hadi, and Will Howden, saying the disruptions at the start of the week, where regular Omani crewmember Hashim Al Rashdi was taken ill with appendicitis and was replaced by Howden, had made little difference to the team dynamics. “We are a strong team with Hashim, and we are a strong team with Will, but we are looking forward to having Hashim back on the boat when he has recovered,” he stated. The high tensions involved in successfully defending their Qingdao title while being chased hard by Alinghi made the contest the hardest and closest the crew had ever experienced in their Extreme careers,

according to Musab Al Hadi. “It wasn’t easy, and we were a bit nervous at the start. We were watching Alinghi, and they were watching us, and the pressure was intense. But this was what we had been planning for. “It was the hardest and closest racing I have ever been part of. But we enjoyed it in the end. The support I received from my friends and family in Oman helped me a lot. There were messages telling me we should keep on pushing, and we did.” Earlier in the day, McMillan, who plays a vital role as the skipper of The Wave, Muscat in teaching young sailors at Oman Sail about what it takes to compete at the top level, took part in an educational session at the Extreme Club in the Race Village in Fushan Bay. He gave a sailing lesson to 20 Chinese students from Qingdao’s Laoshan Zhonghan and Fushan elementary schools, and using Oman Sail’s championship-winning Extreme 40, The Wave, Muscat, showed the children a range of basic sailing manoeuvres to encourage their interest in the sport. The Qingdao win leaves The Wave, Muscat in second place overall on the 2013 Extreme Sailing Series leaderboard, trailing Alinghi by just one point. The two boats will resume their duel in Act 4 of the Extreme Sailing Series in Istanbul (Turkey) from June 20 to 23. “It looks as if we could have a nice little tussle with Alinghi for the rest of the series, but they seem to have a magic touch with very light airs, so we need to look at how we can reduce that advantage,” McMillan said.

MUSCAT: The first meeting of the board of directors of the Oman Olympic Committee (OOC), following the recent board elections, will be held tomorrow. The meeting will be held at the OOC headquarters under the auspices of newly elected chairman Khalid Al Zubair. The first meeting of the newly elected board will be an introductory one for members to learn more about each other and familiarise themselves with the tasks of the new board and other working committees. The board will review methods of effective cooperation to realise their expectations and aspirations for the future of Oman’s sports and Olympics Movement. The board will also review the record of the Elective General Assembly, which convened on April 25 to elect the board of directors, and the final report submitted by the Preparatory Committee, which worked out the General Assembly’s procedures and requirements, chaired by Sheikh Ahmed bin Hashil Al Maskari. An important topic to be reviewed by the board is the approval of the formation of the executive office and the definition of its jurisdictions, assignments, and roles. The executive office is intended to support the board in the upcoming period. The agenda also includes an item related to the OOC’s participation in the 27th meeting of the Chairmen of GCC Olympic Committees, the 77th meeting of the Executive Office of the Council of the GCC Olympic Committee, and associated meetings that are scheduled to be held in the Kingdom of Bahrain on May 10–15. The board will also review the invitation extended to the OOC to participate in the meeting of the ANOC Extraordinary General Assembly, which will be held in Lusanne, Switzerland, on June 14–16. At its first meeting, the board will also discuss the OOC’s participation in international events in 2013 and the already-approved teams that were proposed for participation in these events.






M ONDAY, M AY 6, 2 0 1 3




hings are all good in Gwyneth Paltrow-land, but then aren’t they always? Iron Man 3 came out two weeks ago, and in a role that was initially dismissed as peripheral, she’s garnering great reviews. Or at least better ones. “Paltrow has not been this likeable in 10 years,” wrote Robbie Collins in the Daily Telegraph. Last month she was crowned “World’s Most Beautiful Woman” by People magazine, and her third cookbook, the healthand family-orientated It’s All Good, is out and on the Amazon bestseller list. This last achievement is perhaps the most surprising. Despite all the scoffing (and there was a lot of it), Paltrow’s career reinvention as a food writer and lifestyle guru is beginning to stick. Infuriatingly for the Paltrow-haters (and there are many of them), you don’t even need to buy the book or sign up to her newsletter to get the benefit of Gwyneth’s wisdom. You need only glance at any newspaper or magazine or website. This past month, her views on everything from how to save a marriage to British television (Blue Peter is best) have been spun into breaking news and quoted ad nauseum. Is this the beginning of the

Paltrow backlash backlash? The frontlash, if you will? It will be interesting if it is, because Paltrow, now 40, is the original annoying actress. Before Anne Hathaway started grinning inanely at award shows, when Keira Knightley was still perfecting her pout, there was Paltrow. Just being Paltrow and saying things like “I would rather die than let my kid eat Cupa-Soup” and “When I pass a flowering zucchini plant in a garden, my heart skips a beat”. These days, Paltrow is not known not as Brad Pitt’s girlfriend, or Ben Affleck’s girlfriend, and especially not Chris Martin’s wife. These days, she’s an Academy Award-winning actress, food writer and internet business mogul, but she still prefers to define herself first as daughter, mother and wife. On a recent US chat show appearance, she related an exchange she had with an actress friend seeking advice on how to maintain a relationship. “I said, this may not be feminist, but you have to compromise. It’s been all about you and you’re a big deal. And if you want what you’re saying you want — a family — you have to be a wife, and that is part of the equation.” So far, so starry, but where Paltrow transcends other obnoxious A-listers is her daring combination of a fla-

A LIFE IN BRIEF Born: Gwyneth Kate Paltrow, 27 September 1972, Los Angeles. Family: Daughter of director Bruce Paltrow and actress Blythe Danner. Married Chris Martin in 2003; they have two children. Education: Spence School, a private girls’ school in New York. Briefly studied anthropology at University of California, Santa Barbara. Career: Cast in her godfather Steven Spielberg’s 1991 film Hook. First lead was in 1996’s Emma and she won the best actress Oscar for 1998’s Shakespeare in Love. Other credits include The Royal Tenenbaums, Sylvia and the Iron Man trilogy. She runs the lifestyle website Goop and has published two cookbooks.

grantly celebrity lifestyle with the insistence that she’s down to earth. Either on its own is fine. We’re entertained by the diva demands of Mariah Carey and we’ll buy Jennifer Lawrence’s self-deprecating shtick because, after all, everyone saw her take that embarrassing tumble at the Oscars. These are the two roles open to female celebrities who want to be liked — entertaining diva or adorable klutz — and Paltrow does not fit comfortably into either. Not only is she thinner than you, richer than you and a far superior parent, but she insists on presenting all this as normal. In short, she’s showing us all up. It was in a 1996 adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma that the world first risked blindness by contemplating Gwyneth’s gleaming perfection. She played Emma, of course. It was her first lead role and the lively, slightly snobby, but well-intentioned character helped to crystallise the public image, which has been Paltrow’s ever since. If we’re feeling charitable, we’ll remember her acting heyday as a series of roles projecting this persona: an icy, cut-glass blonde in the Grace Kelly mould. She was American aristocracy as Marge Sherwood in The Talented Mr Ripley (1999) and desir-

able yet inaccessible as Estella in Great Expectations (1998), and just in case you weren’t getting the message, she also played Kelly’s role in a 1998 remake of Dial M for Murder. If we’re not feeling charitable, there’s the spectacularly ill-judged fat-girl comedy Shallow Hal (2001). As research for the role, skinny Paltrow wore a 200lb fat suit out to a bar to see what dating is like for the overweight. She was reportedly “saddened by the injustice”. That same year she won her first and — to date — only Academy Award for the role of Viola De Lesseps in Shakespeare in Love (1998). It represented a peak, not only in her acting career, but also in her part-time job of annoying people. The overlong speech, the glistening tears, the baby-pink prom dress; it wasn’t quite Sally Fields’s “you like me, you really like me”, but it was close. Perhaps Gwyneth (or, more likely, a savvy member of her vast publicity team) sensed this too. By the early 2000s, Paltrow had already begun to withdraw from acting and, as she puts it in her weekly email newsletter for Goop. com, “nourish the inner aspect”. In 2002, she met her partner in nourishment, Exeter-born Chris Martin, backstage at a concert

for his band Coldplay. Their 10th wedding anniversary this year will commemorate not only the love of two individuals, but also the consummation of Gwyneth’s even more long-lasting love affair with Britain. She was raised in Los Angeles by two parents in the industry. Her mother Blythe Danner is also an actress, and her younger brother Jake has directed two films. “I don’t fit into the bad side of American psychology,” she told the world in 2006. “The British are much more intelligent and civilised than the Americans.” Unlike her fellow anglophile and close personal friend Madonna, Paltrow also has the distinction of being able to pull off a very convincing British accent as heard in 1998’s Sliding Doors. Naming her first-born after a piece of fruit (Apple, born 2004), however, is proof of Paltrow’s enduring connection to Hollywood. It could also have been taken as an early indication of her interest in food. This lifestyle and her insistence on sharing it is exactly the kind of thing that drives the Gwyneth-haters to distraction, but perhaps they should see it instead in the context of an Emmalike desire to improve the lives of others. — Ellen E Jones/The Independent

M O N DAY, M AY 6, 2 0 1 3





n the spring of 2010, a new patient came to see me to find out if he had attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. He had all the classic symptoms: procrastination, forgetfulness, a propensity to lose things and, of course, the inability to pay attention consistently. But one thing was unusual. His symptoms had started only two years earlier, when he was 31. Though I treat a lot of adults for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, the presentation of this case was a violation of an important diagnostic criterion: Symptoms must date back to childhood. It turned out he first started having these problems the month he began his most recent job, one that required him to rise at 5 am, despite the fact that he was a night owl. The patient didn’t have ADHD, I realised, but a chronic sleep deficit. I suggested some techniques to help him fall asleep at night, like relaxing for 90 minutes before getting in bed at 10 pm. If necessary, he could take a small amount of melatonin. When he returned to see me two weeks later, his symptoms were almost gone. I suggested he call if they recurred. I never heard from him again. Many theories are thrown around to explain the rise in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD in children and adults. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, 11 per cent of school-age children have now received a diagnosis of the condition. For some people — especially children — sleep deprivation does not necessarily cause lethargy; instead they become hyperactive and unfocused. Researchers and reporters are increasingly seeing connections between dysfunctional sleep and what looks like ADHD, but those links are taking a long time to be understood by parents and doctors. We all get less sleep than we used to. The number of adults who reported sleeping fewer than seven hours each night went from some two per cent in 1960 to more than 35 per cent in 2011. Sleep is even more crucial for children, who need delta sleep — the deep, rejuvenating, slow-wave kind —for proper growth and development. Yet today’s youngsters sleep more than an hour less than they did a hundred years ago. And for all ages, contemporary daytime activities — marked by nonstop 14-hour schedules and inescapable melatonin-inhibiting iDevices — often impair sleep. One study, published in 2004 in the journal Sleep, looked at 34 children with ADHD. Every one of them showed a deficit of delta sleep, compared with only a handful of the 32 control subjects. A 2006 study in the journal Paediatrics showed something similar, from the perspective of a surgery clinic. This study included 105 children between ages 5 and 12. Seventy-eight of them were scheduled to have their tonsils removed because they had problems breathing in their sleep, while 27 children scheduled for other operations served as a control group. Researchers measured the participants’ sleep patterns and tested for hyperactivity and inattentiveness, consistent with

Sleep is even more crucial for children, who need delta sleep – the deep, rejuvenating, slowwave kind – for proper growth and development. Yet today’s youngsters sleep more than an hour less than they did a hundred years ago

standard protocols for validating an ADHD diagnosis. There is also some promising research being done on sleep in adults, relating to focus, memory and cognitive performance. A study published in February in the journal Nature Neuroscience found that the amount of delta sleep in seniors correlates with performance on memory tests. And a study published three years ago in Sleep found that while subjects who were deprived of sleep didn’t necessarily report feeling sleepier, their cognitive performance declined in proportion to their sleep deprivation and continued to worsen over five nights of sleep restriction. Sometimes my patients have resisted my referrals for sleep testing, since everything they have read (often through direct-to-consumer marketing by drug companies) identifies ADHD as the culprit. People don’t like to hear that they may have a different, stranger-sounding problem that can’t be fixed with a pill — though this often changes once patients see the results of their sleep studies. Beyond my day job, I have a personal interest in ADHD and sleep disorders. Beginning in college and for nearly a decade, I struggled with profound cognitive lethargy and difficulty focusing, a daily nap habit and weekend sleep addiction. I got through my medical school exams only by the grace of good memorisation skills and the fact that ephedra was still a legal supplement. I was misdiagnosed with various maladies, including ADHD. Then I underwent two sleep studies and, finally, was found to have an atypical form of narcolepsy. This was a shock to me, because I had never fallen asleep while eating or talking. But, it turned out, over 40 per cent of my night was spent in REM sleep — or “dreaming sleep,” which normally occurs only intermittently throughout the night — while just 5 per cent was spent in delta sleep, the rejuvenating kind. I was sleeping 8 to 10 hours a night, but I still had a profound delta sleep deficit. It took some trial and error, but with the proper treatment, my cognitive problems came to an end. Today I eat well and respect my unique sleep needs instead of trying to suppress them. My recovery has been amazing (though my wife would argue that weekend mornings are still tough — she picks up the slack with our two kids). Attention-deficit problems are far from the only reasons to take our lack of quality sleep seriously. Laboratory animals die when they are deprived of delta sleep. Chronic delta sleep deficits in humans are implicated in many diseases, including depression, heart disease, hypertension, obesity, chronic pain, diabetes and cancer, not to mention thousands of fatigue-related car accidents each year. Sleep disorders are so prevalent that every internist, paediatrician and psychiatrist should routinely screen for them. And we need far more research into this issue. Every year billions of dollars are poured into researching cancer, depression and heart disease, but how much money goes into sleep? —Vatsal G. Thakkar/The New York Times News Service

M O N DAY, M AY 6, 2 01 3


ENTERTAINMENT With more points, support even higher



CITY CINEMA, AL SHATTI Telephone: 24607360 (after 2pm)

CITY CINEMA, SUR Telephone: 25545544

Iron Man 3 - 3D (Action/Sci-Fi /Thriller) (PG) Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce 3:30, 6:15, 7:00, 9:00 & 11:45pm; CP No: 391 Scary Movie 5 (Comedy) (12+) Cast: Simon Rex, Ashley Tisdale, Charlie Sheen 3:00 & 5:00pm; CP No: 384 Emperor (Drama/History /War) ( 12+ ) Cast: Matthew Fox, Tommy Lee Jones 9:30pm; CP No: 375 The Call (Thriller) (12+) Cast: Halle Berry, Abigail Breslin, Morris Chestnut 3:15 & 11:30pm; CP No: 396 Samir Abu El Nile (A) (Comedy) (PG) Cast: Nicole Saba, Hussein El Emam 5:15pm; CP No: 405 Shootout at Wadala (H) (Action/Crime/ Drama) (PG) Cast: John Abraham, Anil Kapoor, Kangna Ranaut 7:30 & 10:30pm; CP No: 399

Pain & Gain (Action /Comedy/Drama) (15+) Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Rebel Wilson 6:45pm; CP No: 374 Iron Man 3 - 3D (Action /Sci-Fi/Thriller) (PG) Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce 5:30, 9:00 & 11:30pm; CP No: 395 Shootout at Wadala (H) (Action/Crime/ Drama) (PG) Cast: John Abraham, Anil Kapoor, Kangna Ranaut 7:45 & 10:30pm; CP No: 403

CITY CINEMA, RUWI Telephone: 24607360

KATEY Sagal, an actress and singer-songwriter, said, “I think we respond well when we do something well.” At the bridge table, we score well when, inter alia, responder rebids well — our theme this week. Look at the North hand. What should North bid on the second round? When the auction begins like this, if responder rebids two hearts, it announces weakness (6-9 points). If he jumps to three hearts, he shows game-invitational values (10-12 points). This hand, though, is worth game. North should jump to four hearts. After West leads the club queen, how should South plan the play? With a different hand, North would have other ways to force to game; we will look at the most important later this week. South has four losers in his hand, one in each suit. He cannot avoid conceding tricks to the missing aces, so he must do something about the club loser — immediately. Declarer must discard a club from either hand. There are two ways to do this. The better is to win the first trick in his hand with the king and to play a spade to dummy’s jack. East takes his ace and returns a club, but declarer wins with dummy’s ace and discards his third club on the spade king. Then it is time to draw trumps as quickly as possible. Alternatively, declarer can win the first trick on the board and lead the diamond jack. West wins this or the next diamond and plays another club. South takes this in his hand and continues diamonds to ditch dummy’s last club. He then ruffs his last club on the board and turns to trumps. — By Phillip Alder

CINEMA 1 Shootout at Wadala (H) (Action/Crime/ Drama) (PG) Cast: John Abraham, Anil Kapoor, Kangna Ranaut 3:30, 6:30 & 9:30pm CP No: 404 CINEMA 2 AASHIQUI 2 (H) (Romance) (PG) Cast: Aditya Roy Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor 3:30, 6:30 & 9:30pm CP No: 387 CINEMA 3 Ek Thi Daayan (H) (Horror) (12+) Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Konkona Sen Sharma, Kalki Koechlin 3:30, 6:00 & 9:30pm CP No: 368

MUSCAT GRAND MALL, BAUSHER Telephone: 22020002

CITY CINEMA, SOHAR Telephone: 26840312/26843510 Iron Man 3 - 3D (Action/Sci-Fi/Thriller) (PG) Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce 4:00, 6:30, 9:00 & 11:30pm; CP No: 393 Scary Movie 5 (Comedy) (12+) Cast: Simon Rex, Ashley Tisdale, Charlie Sheen 3:30, 5:30 & 7:30pm; CP No: 386 Pain & Gain (Action /Comedy/Drama) (15+) Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson 9:15 & 11:30pm; CP No: 372 Sound Thoma (M) (Comedy) (PG) Cast: Dileep, Mukesh, Namitha Pramod 7:30pm; CP No: 388 Moondru Per Moondru Kadal (T) (Romance) (PG) Cast: Arjun, Cheran, Vimal 10:30pm CP No: 407 The Host (Action /Adventure/Romance) (15+) Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons, Jake Abel 3:30 & 5:30pm; CP No: 352 Shootout at Wadala (H) (Action/Crime / Drama) (PG) Cast: John Abraham, Anil Kapoor, Kangna Ranaut 7:45 & 10:30pm; CP No: 401

CITY CINEMA, BURAIMI Iron Man 3 - 3D (Action/Sci-Fi ) (PG) Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow 4:00, 6:30, 9:00 & 11:30pm; CP No: 394 The Call (Thriller) (12+) Cast: Halle Berry, Abigail Breslin 5:30 & 10:30pm CP No: 398 Sound Thoma (M) (Comedy) (PG) Cast: Dileep, Mukesh, Namitha Pramod 7:45pm CP No: 389 Pain & Gain (Action /Comedy/Drama) (15+) Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson 5:30pm; CP No: 373 Shootout at Wadala (H) (Action/Crime/ Drama) (PG) Cast: John Abraham, Anil Kapoor 7:45 & 10:30pm; CP No: 402


BAHJA CINEMA The Call (Thriller) Cast: Halle Berry, Abigail Breslin, Morris Chestnut 2:00, 4:00, 6:00, 8:00, 10:00 & 11:55pm CP No: 491 (12+) Pain & Gain (Action / Comedy / Crime) Cast: Rebel Wilson, Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson 7:30, 9:45 & 11:55pm CP No: 486 (15+) Comedown (Horror) Cast: Adam Deacon, Jessica Barden, Geoff Bell 1:30pm CP No: 467 (18+) Oblivion (Action/Adventure) Cast: Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko 3:15pm CP No: 431 (PG) Sameer Aboo Elneel (Arabic Comedy) Cast: Ahamd Meky, Nicol Saba and Alaa Mursy 5:30pm CP No: 512 (PG)

Film information

24791641 24786776 Sound Thoma (Mal) (PG) Cast: Dileep, Mukesh, Namitha Pramod 3:30, 6:30 & 9:30pm (Main Cinema) CP No: 504 Moondru Per Moondru Kadal (TamilRomance) Cast: Arjun, Surveen Chawla 3:45, 6:45 & 9:45pm (Cinema 2) CP No: 505 Romans (Malayalam) Cast: Kunchako Boban, Biju Menon and Niveditha Thomas 3:45, 6:45 & 9:45pm (Cinema 3) CP No: 160 Celluloid (Malayalam) Cast: Prithviraj, Mamtha Mohandas 3:30, 6:30 & 9:30pm (Cinema 4)




May 6, 2012

May 6, 2007

May 6, 2007



May 6, 2006

May 6, 2004

Film Information - 24540856 / Advance Booking - 24540855 Website:

8 9 1 5 2

ACROSS 1 Film — (grim genre) 5 Titanic message 8 New singles 12 Lahore language 13 Atlas page 14 Undeniable 15 Fellow player 17 Long-eared animal 18 Puppeteer — Baird 19 Colouring stick 21 Scaloppine base 24 Caesar’s tongue 26 Ohio natives 28 Web addr. 29 Dog show org. 32 Architect’s wing 33 Copier setting 35 San Francisco hill 36 Thing, in law 37 Frothy brew 38 Glistened 40 Video game pioneer 42 Amtrak driver 43 Most sporting 46 Kind of sheet 48 Ivan’s refusal 49 As one (2 wds.) 54 Comedian — King 55 Ump’s call 56 Sleeping 57 Hooray for me! (hyph.) 58 Never, to Wolfgang 59 Incline

DOWN 1 Pistachio 2 Miners dig it 3 Ms. Lupino 4 Thunder 5 Pint-sized 6 Cereal grain 7 Prism bands 8 Uma’s “Gattaca” costar 9 Fracture finder (hyph.) 10 Currency in Cologne 11 Witnessed 16 Distance meas. 20 Tiny streams 21 Swerve 22 Della Street’s penner 23 Catches cold 25 Boring tool 27 Blind parts 29 Before long 30 Movie ape 31 “Good buddy” 34 Joy 39 Jazz fan 40 Hartford competitor 41 Riled up 43 No-see-um 44 Jean Auel heroine 45 Beowulf’s drink 47 Room cooler 50 Rapa — 51 Ginza buy 52 Aunt or bro. 53 Banned pesticide



5 6 6

3 5

4 8 7 2 9 1

5 7 9 3 4 6 4 1 2 8 3



3 6 1 6 3

HOW TO PLAY Fill the empty cells with the numbers 1 to 9, so that each number appears once in each row, column and area. — Seven Galaxies

For More Information 24789032, 24786776 Website:


Send us a colour photograph of the child (below 16 years) whose birthday you are celebrating, along with his/her full name, date of birth, address, telephone number and parents’/ your name to Times of Oman, With Love, PO Box 770, PC 112, Ruwi or through e-mail to extra@




Answer to previous puzzle

Iron Man 3 - 3D (Action/Sci-Fi/Thriller) Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow 12:30, 3:30, 9:00 & 11:45pm; CP No: 392 Shootout at Wadala (H) (Action/Crime/ Drama) (PG) Cast: John Abraham, Anil Kapoor 6:15pm; CP No: 400; Scary Movie 5 (Comedy) (12+) Cast: Simon Rex, Charlie Sheen 3:30pm; CP No: 385 Samir Abu El Nile (A) (Comedy) (PG) Cast: Nicole Saba, Hussein El Emam 5:30pm; CP No: 406 Pain & Gain (Action /Drama) (15+) CP No: 371; 7:30pm Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson The Call (Thriller) (12+) Cast: Halle Berry, Abigail Breslin 9:45 & 11:30pm; CP No: 397 Plaza (Gold Class) Iron Man 3 - 3D (Action/ Sci-Fi/Thriller) (PG) CP No: 392 Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow 3:15, 6:00 & 11:30pm Shootout at Wadala (H) (Action/ Crime/ Drama) (PG) Cast: John Abraham, Anil Kapoor 8:45pm; CP No: 400


Previous puzzle Solution


8 5 7 4 6 3

4 2 6 9 1 5

1 9 3 7 8 2


5 7 4 2 9 8

3 8 2 1 5 6

9 6 1 3 4 7

7 4 5 6 3 1

2 1 8 5 7 9

6 3 9 8 2 4

9 7 5 3 4 2 8 6 1 2 3 6 1 7 8 9 4 5 1 8 4 6 9 5 2 3 7



M O N DAY, M AY 6, 2 0 1 3


BORN today, you are seemingly quite normal, with very little to dissuade others from interaction with you on any level — and indeed, you can count on the association of many throughout your life to give you opportunity, enrichment and enjoyment. The idea of being “normal,” however, may actually be subject to debate, for you are often to be caught doing things that mark you as far more conscientious, considerate and deeply caring than most! Indeed, though you may follow a rather ordinary path through life, you are destined to do things that can very much improve the lives of those around you, simply because doing so comes very naturally to you. After a long period of trial and error, in which you may experiment with a great many different avenues of professional endeavour and personal expression, you’re likely to hit upon that one line of work to which you are really suited — and it may actually be one you first tried long before! Your success is likely to be quite lasting. Also born on this date are: George Clooney, actor; Orson Welles, actor and director; Rudolph Valentino, actor; Sigmund Freud, psychoanalyst; Tony Blair, British prime minister.






Max 38 Min 33 Max 17 Min 10

Max 40 Min 25

Max 38 Min 28 Max 22 Min 11

Max 35 Min 26

Max 14 Min 4

Max 39 Min 21

Max 38 Min 24

Max 39 Min 28

[APRIL 20-MAY 20]

You’re likely to make a discovery today that marks the beginning of a long journey that you have been waiting a long time to make.

CANCER [JUNE 21-JULY 22] A certain personal issue is going to demand your attention today, and you may have to split your focus between it and your professional duties.

LEO [JULY 23-AUG. 22] You may have to insist that you be included in a certain endeavour today. Those in charge will eventually be very glad that you did.

VIRGO [AUG. 23-SEPT. 22] You may be wondering whom you can turn to for advice today — but the situation in which you find yourself will make the choice very clear.

LIBRA L [SEPT. [[S S 23-OCT. 22] Courtesy will work wonders for you today; the more polite you can be, the better. Seek out alternative avenues for pursuing your goals.

Max 38 Min 26

Max 32 Min 27

Max 21 Min 14

FROM MUSCAT (RUWI) QURIYAT - SUR - JAALAN (Route 36) Dept Destination Arrival Time Time 15:00 Quriyat 16:30 15:00 Sur 18:00 15:00 Jaalan 19:30 TO AL BURAIMI (Route 41) 06:30 Sohar 06:30 Buraimi 08:00 Buraimi 13:00 Sohar 13:00 Buraimi 16.00 Sohar 16.00 Buraimi TO SINAW (Route 52) 17:30 Sinaw

Max 35 Min 26 Max 20 Min 12

GULF Abu Dhabi Doha Dubai Kuwait Manama Riyadh

34 31 35 32 31 33

23 27 27 24 25 23

WORLD Athens Baghdad Beijing Berlin Boston Cairo Colombo Frankfurt Hong Kong Istanbul Johannesburg Kuala Lumpur Lisbon Paris Perth Singapore Tokyo Toronto

31 33 34 25 20 33 31 22 28 21 16 35 24 24 25 33 24 14

19 20 14 17 8 19 26 14 24 14 8 25 15 13 14 26 15 7

[[OCT. 23-NOV. 21] You may have to do things a little differently today because someone else is doing what you least expect. Your adjustments pay off.

SAGITTARIUS S [[NOV. 22-DEC. 21] You may have to share more information that you had planned on today — but once you do, you’ll realise that honesty is the best policy.

CAPRICORN [DEC. 22-JAN 19] You may find yourself waiting for another’s input with eagerness today. This individual has more for you — when the time is right.

AQUARIUS [JAN. 20-FEB. 18] You’ll have reason to count your blessings today, even when things do not go entirely your way. It’s all a matter of perspective.

PISCES [Feb. 19-March 20] You can get a head start today and leave yourself plenty of time to enjoy activities that are more personal in nature.

ARIES [March 21-APRIL 19] You may think that you have farther to go today, when in fact what you are after may be well within reach already. It can be yours!


Operating Days Daily Daily Daily

FROM JAALAN-SUR-QURIYAT (Route 36) Dept Destination Arrival Operating Time Time Days 05:30 Sur 06:45 Daily 05:30 Quriyat 08:30 Daily 05:30 Ruwi 10:00 Daily

08:50 11:00 14:30 15:45 17:40 18.35 20:20

Daily Daily Daily via Ibri Daily Daily Daily Daily



TO AL BURAIMI (Route 41) 07:00 Sohar 07:00 Ruwi 13:30 Ruwi 13:00 Sohar 13:00 Ruwi 13:00 Sohar 17:00 Ruwi TO SINAW (Route 52) 07:00 Ruwi

08:55 11:40 20:20 14:55 17:40 19:20 22:15

Daily Daily Daily via Ibri Daily Daily Daily Daily



08:40 11:00

Daily Daily

To Yanqul (Route 54) 14:30 Nizwa 14:30 Yanqul

16:50 19:30

Daily Daily

To Yanqul (Route 54) 06:00 Nizwa 06:00 Ruwi

TO IBRI (ARAQI) (Route 54) 08:00 Nizwa 08:00 Al Araqi

10:20 12:30

Daily Daily

TO IBRI (ARAQI) (Route 54) 15:40 Nizwa 15:40 Ruwi

17:55 20:20

Daily Daily

TO SUR (Route 55) 07:30 Sur 14:30 Sur

12:00 18:45

Daily Daily

TO SUR (Route 55) 06:00 Ruwi 14:30 Ruwi

10:45 19:00

Daily Daily

TO FAHUD - YIBAL (Route 62) 06:30 Fahud 06:30 Yibal

10:30 11:15

Daily Daily

TO YIBAL - FAHUD (Route 62) 12:30 Fahud 12:30 Ruwi

13:15 17:30

Daily Daily

TO MARMUL-SALALAH (Route 100) 07:00 Salalah 20:00 10:00 Marmul 20:30 10:00 Salalah 23:30 19:00 Salalah 07:40

Daily Daily Daily Daily

TO SALALAH -MARMUL (Route 100) 07:00 Ruwi 19:50 10:00 Marmul 13:15 10:00 Ruwi 22:30 19:00 Ruwi 07:30

Daily Daily Daily Daily

TO MARMUL (Route 101) 06:00 Marmul


TO MARMUL (Route 101) 06:00 Marmul




DUBAI TO SALALAH (Route 102) 15:00 Salalah 07:00



SALALAH TO DUBAI (Route 102) 15:00 Dubai 07:00


6:37pm 5.30am

High tide Low tide

7:35am 1:10pm

TO DUBAI (Route 201) 06:00 Sohar 06:00 Dubai 13:00 Sohar 13:00 Dubai 15:00 Sohar 15:00 Dubai

08:30 11:30 15:30 18:30 17:35 20:55

Daily Daily Wed,Thur Wed,Thur Daily Daily

TO DUBAI VIA FUJIRAH & SHARJAH (Route 204) Dept Destination Arrival Operating Time Time Days 07:00 Fujairah 11.45 Daily 13.30 Daily L07:00 I S T I N G Sharjah S 07:00 Dubai 14.00 Daily PHARMACIES Round the clock Al Hashar Pharmacy, Ruwi: 24783334; Appolo Medical Centre, Hamriya: 24782666; Muscat Pharmacy, Ruwi: 24702542, Salalah: 23291635; Atlas Pharmacy, Ghubra: 24503585; Ruwi 24811715 Muscat Region Apollo, Al Hamriya. Tel: 24787766 Muscat, A Seeb Market. Tel: 24421691 Muscat, Al Khuwair. Tel: 24485740 Muscat, Al Hail South. Tel: 24537080 Dhofar Region Muscat, Al Nahdha Road, Salalah. Tel: 23291635 HOSPITALS Al Amal Medical & Health Care Centre: 24485052 Atlas Hospital: Ruwi: 24811743/ Ghubra: 24504000 Al Musafir Specialised Medical Clinic: 24706453 Hatat Polyclinic LLC, Ruwi: 24563641, Azaiba: 24499269, Sohar: 2683006 Al Raffah Hospital: 24618900/1/2 Al Massaraat Clinic & Laboratory: 24566435 Al Makook Medical Coordinance Centre: 24499434 Apollo Medical Centre, Hamriya: 24787766, 24787780 Capital Polyclinic: 24707549 Badr Al Samaa Polyclinic, Ruwi: 24799760/1/2 Capital Clinic, Seeb: 24420740 Ceregem National Raak: 24485633 Dr Harub’s Clinic: 24563217 Elixir Health Centre: 24565802 Emirates Medical Centre: 24604540 1st Chiropractic Centre: 24472274 Hamdan Hospital: 23212340 International Medical Centre LLC: 24794501/2/3/4/5

Kims Oman Hospital: 24760100 24 Hrs Emergency: 24760123 Lama Polyclinic, Sohar: 26751128, MBD: 24799077, Al Khuwair: 24478818 Magrabi Eye and Ear Hospital: 24568870 Muscat Private Hospital: 24583600 Welcare Diagnostic and Treatment Centre, Al Khuwair: 24477666 Al-Hayat Polyclinc LLC: 22004000 ROYAL OMAN POLICE Emergencies and inquiries: 9999 General Directorate of Passport and Residence: 24569603 Directorate General of Customs: 24521109 Traffic violations inquiries: 24510228 Public Relations Admin: 24560099 ACCOMMODATION Al Bahjah Hotel: 24424400 Al Bustan Palace: 24764000 Al Khuwair Hotel Apartments: 24478171 Al Madina Holiday Inn: 24596400 Al Maha International Hotel: 24494949 Al Fanar Hotel: 24712385 Al Falaj Hotel: 24702311 Al Qurum Resort: 24605945 Azaiba Hotel Apartments: 24490979 Beach Hotel: 24696601 Bowshar Hotel: 24491105 Coral Hotel Muscat: 24692121 Crowne Plaza Muscat: 24660660 Crystal Suites: 24826100 Golden Tulip Seeb: 24510300 Grand Hyatt Muscat: 24641234 Haffa House Hotel: 24707207 Hotel Muscat Holiday: 24487123 InterContinental Muscat: 24680000 Majan Continental Hotel: 24592900 Marina Hotel: 24711711 Midan Hotel Suites: 24499565 Mina Hotel: 24711828 Muttrah Hotel: 24798401

TO DUBAI (Route 201) 07:30 Sohar 07:30 Ruwi 13:00 Sohar 13:00 Ruwi 15:30 Sohar 15:30 Ruwi

10:50 13:40 16:15 19:10 18:45 21:35

Daily Daily Thur-Fri Thur-Fri Daily Daily

FROM DUBAI VIA FUJIRAH & SHARJAH (Route 204) Dept Destination Arrival Operating Time Time Days 16:00 Sharjah 16:30 Daily 16.00 Fujairah 18.15 Daily 16.00 Ruwi 23.00 Daily Nuzha Hotel Apartments: 24789199 Oman Dive Centre: 24824240 Park Inn: 24507888 Qurum Beach House Hotel: 24564070 Radisson Blu Hotel: 24487777 Ramee Dream Resort Seeb: 24453399 Ramee Guestline Hotel: 24564443 Ruwi Hotel: 24704244 Safeer Hotel Suites: 24691200 Sheraton Oman Hotel: 24772772 Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa: 24776666 The Chedi Muscat: 24524400 The Treasurebox Muscat Hotel: 24502570 AIRLINE OFFICES Muscat Airport Flight information (24 hours): 24519456/24519223 Aeroflot: 24704455, Air Arabia: 24700828, Air France: 24562153, Air India: 24799801, Air New Zealand: 24700732, Biman Bangladesh Airlines: 24701128, British Airways: 24568777, Cathay Pacific: 24789818, Egypt Air: 24794113, Emirates Air: 24404400, Ethiopian Airlines: 24660313, Gulf Air: 80072424, Indian: 24791914, Iran Air: 24787423, Japan Airlines: 24704455, Jazeera Airways: 23294848, Jet Airways: 24787248, Kenya Airways: 24660300, KML Royal Dutch Airlines: 24566737, Kuwait Airways: 24701262, LOT Polish Airlines: 24796387, Lufthansa: 24796692, Malaysian Airlines: 24560796, Middle East Airlines: 24796680, Oman Air: 24531111, Pakistan International Airlines: 24792471, Qatar Airways: 24771900, Qantas: 24559941, Royal Jordanian: 24796693, Saudi Arabian Airlines: 24789485, Singapore Airlines: 24791233, Shaheen Air: 24816565, SriLankan Airlines:



L O N G D I S TA N C E B U S T I M I N G S ( O M A N NAT I O NA L T R A N S P O R T C O M PA N Y S A O C ) * S U B J E C T T O C H A N G E

[MAY 21-JUNE 20]

Sunset Sunrise (Tomorrow) 6:41pm 1:04am

SEA STATE: Slight to moderate along most of the Oman’s coasts with maximum wave height of 1.5 metres. HORIZONTAL VISIBILITY: Good over most of the Sultanate. THE NEXT 48 HOURS OUTLOOK: Mainly clear skies with existence of high clouds.



12.09pm 3.33pm 6.42pm 7.59pm 4.08am


Mainly clear skies with existence of high clouds. EXPECTED WIND: Along Arabian sea coastal areas the wind will be southwesterly light to moderate occasionally fresh and over rest of the Sultanate it will be northerly to northwesterly light to moderate occasionally fresh over governorate of Musandam and Oman sea coasts.

Max 40 Min 25

You may want someone else to stand in for you today while you learn the ropes. Very soon you’ll be able to play your part with confidence.

Dhuhr Asr Maghrib Isha Fajr (Tomorrow)

24784545, Swiss International Airlines: 24796692, Thai Airways: 24705934, Turkish Airlines: 24703033 MUSEUMS Bait Al Baranda: Corniche (seafront opp fish market), Open from Saturday to Thursday 9am to 1pm and 4 to 6pm Natural History Museum: Al Khuwair, Tel: 24604957, Open from Saturday to Wednesday: 8am to 1:30pm; Thursday: 9am to 1pm Museum of Omani Heritage: (former Omani Museum), Madinat Al Alam, Sat-Wed 8am to 1:30pm, Thursday 9am to 1pm, Tel: 24600946 Armed Forces Museum: Bait Al Falaj, Tel: 24312651, Open from Sat to Wed: 8am to 1:30pm; Thurs 9-12pm and 3-6pm; Fri 9-11am and 3-6pm. Al Hoota Caves 24498258; Turtle Beach 96550606/96550707 Children’s Science Museum: Shatti Al Qurum, Tel: 24605368, Open from Saturday to Wednesday: 8am to 1:30pm, Thursday: 9am to 1pm Oman-French Museum: near Muscat Police Station, Tel: 24736613, Open from Sat to Wed: 8am to 1:30pm, Thurs: 9am to 1pm Bait Al Zubair, Muscat: Tel: 24736688, Al Saidiya St., Muscat Open from Sat to Thurs: 9:30am to 6pm. National Museum Ruwi: Tel: 24701289, Open from Saturday to Wednesday: 8am to 1:30pm, Thursday: 9am to 1pm Sohar Fort Museum: Tel: 26844758, Open from Saturday to Wed: 8 to 1:30pm Thurs: 9am to 1pm Muscat Gate Museum: at Al Bahri Road, Muscat open from Sat to Wed 8am to 2pm




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M O N DAY, M AY 6, 2 0 1 3


Anurag Kashyap’s ‘silent’ relationship with Nawazuddin Siddiqui FILMAKER Anurag Kashyap says that actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui holds a special place in his heart and that they share a “silent” relationship. Kashyap, who has worked with Nawazuddin in films like Black Friday and Gangs of Wasseypur, opened up about his bond with the actor on UTV Stars’ show Yeh Hai Meri Kahaani. “Nawazuddin is a very good man. I like him a lot. With him, I share a silent relationship. We can even sit in a plane without talking for three hours straight,” said Kashyap, who sometimes finds it hard to express himself. “I have trouble expressing myself where it is essential to,” he added on the show.

Vikram Bhatt, my saviour: Mahaakshay Chakraborty


ne of the biggest names in the world of fashion is to go into Britain’s secondary schools to reveal the trickery behind the glossy images it sells. Vogue magazine is making a film exposing the chicanery of a fashion shoot, to be screened to teenagers around the country in an attempt to promote healthier attitudes towards eating and body image. The film, a project of the Vogue editor, Alexandra Shulman, will go behind the scenes at a fashion shoot to show “the difference between fashion and reality and how a fashion image is constructed,” she told The Independent on Sunday. Ms Shulman, who wrote to designers in 2009 complaining that the tiny clothes samples they sent were forcing magazine editors to

shoot them on models with “no breasts or hips”, hopes that the new schools programme will stop “a 12-year-old looking at a fashion model in Vogue and thinking, ‘Why don’t I look like that?’“ Digital retouching of models — where details like fat, blemishes and wrinkles are removed after the shoot — is only a “tiny part” of what happens, according to Ms Shulman. “It’s basically a huge team of people that go in to create the image, of which retouching is the icing on the cake,” she said. The Vogue editor was wary of giving details about the film, which will be edited and distributed next month. “I’m hoping that it will be fun for the pupils but, actually, it will make some serious points,” she said. “Schools will get it at the

The ‘Vogue’ editor was wary of giving details about the film, which will be edited and distributed next month

end of this term so that they can slot it into their programme for the autumn term.” Vogue’s publisher, Conde Nast, is keen to court British teenagers. Ms Shulman launched a fashion magazine for teenage girls this week, Miss Vogue, packed with adverts for high street labels and luxury brands. Initial reaction to the Vogue film was warm. “Alexandra Shulman is clever enough to see the benefits where honesty is concerned for her brand,” said Caryn Franklin, co-founder of All Walks Beyond the Catwalk, which campaigns for healthy body images. “The high levels of confusion that young women display about what is and isn’t real need to be tackled by our industry.” A year ago Vogue announced a code of conduct in which Conde Nast and the editors of Vogue’s 19 international editions agreed to “encourage a healthier approach to body image within the industry”. Last weekend, the models Daisy Lowe and David Gandy took part in a discussion about body image as part of a fashion festival run by the magazine at London’s Southbank Centre. Mr Gandy claimed male models are under the “same pressure” as women.

ACTOR Mahaakshay Chakraborty is not a part of the sequel of Vikram Bhatt’s Haunted 3D, but he isn’t complaining. “Vikram is my saviour. Haunted 3D became successful and gave me a new position in the industry. I have had a great time working for the film and it is a great memory,” Mahaakshay, son of veteran actor Mithun Chakraborty, said in a statement. The 2011 film, Haunted 3D was declared a hit at the box office. Bhatt is now working on a sequel of the film. Haunted 2 should go on floors by the end of the year. But, it won’t have Mahaakshay. Instead, the sequel will have new actors,” said Bhatt.

John’s Priya goes clicketyclick at National awards JOHN ABRAHAM turned up for the 60th National Film Awards ceremony in the capital with his girlfriend Priya Runchal, dressed in a sober gold ensemble. She was more than excited when her beau went onto the stage, and she couldn’t stop taking his pictures on her phone. Priya was spotted sitting on one end of the Vigyan Bhavan auditorium in New Delhi Friday evening, while John took his seat on the awardees’ side with Vicky Donor director Shoojit Sircar. The movie, John’s debut production won the best film providing wholesome entertainment award. When John went up on the stage to collect the honour from President Pranab Mukherjee, Priya immediately took out her phone and went on clicking pictures, instead of joining the entire crowd in clapping and cheering for her beau. However, her happiness was visible in the gleam in her eyes. John was also being the perfect beau by taking care of Priya. He didn’t go to his seat until she was comfortable.

No starry dreams for ‘Filmistaan’ director

—The Independent


Making online pirates pay THOUSANDS of light-fingered gamers had a frustrating time this week. They’d downloaded Game Dev Tycoon, a new title from tiny start-up Greenheart Games, on Sunday. It’s a SimCity-alike that challenges players to build a games developer and turn it from a tiny operation to a mighty studio capable of turning out hits like Call of Duty and Assassins Creed. Their problem was that they’d downloaded a pirate version of the game from an online forum instead of forking out $7.99 for the official version. And no matter how well they managed their assets, their in-game funds dwindled as the new games they created were pirated by unscrupulous crooks. Eventually their

virtual game development firm went bust. Oh, the irony. The irony gets even sweeter, and the whole thing very meta, when you discover it was Greenheart Games’ founders, brothers Patrick and Daniel Klug, who released this self-defeating pirated version to highlight the challenges budding games developers face. Game Dev Tycoon is the brother’s first release. “Our initial thought was simply, how do we deal with piracy?” Patrick, 30, tells Trending. “We knew it was inevitable that our game would be pirate, so we decided that it was best to release a cracked version ourselves, since then we could at least control the experience the pirates would have.” —The Independent

DIRECTOR Nitin Kakkar says he has never dreamt of working with any specific Bollywood stars as he is more keen to work with “brilliant minds” “I am into hardcore filmmaking. There is no Bollywood celebrity whom I would like to work with in specific, but yes I want to work with brilliant minds and there are so many of them. My cast and crew is story-driven, so I take them as it comes,” Kakkar told IANS. Filmistaan won the best Hindi film honour at the recently held 60th National Film Awards May 3. Born in Mumbai, Kakkar made his debut with award winning short film Black Freedom in 2004.

Alia Bhatt eager to hit ‘Highway’ set, again ONE-FILM-OLD Alia Bhatt is enjoying shooting for Imtiaz Ali’s Highway so much that she can’t wait to resume shooting for the movie. “We are travelling a lot. It’s a journey. I am having a great time. I can’t wait to go back and shoot more. Working with Imtiaz keeps getting better,” she told IANS. Alia is paired with Randeep Hooda in Highway, about two people and their road trip. The actress, who debuted last year with Student Of The Year, will also be seen in 2 States and likes the fact that both the films challenge her as an actress. “Everyone loves looking for change and challenges. I am so grateful to work on these two films. I am very excited. I could not have asked for anything better,” she said.

For Lara Dutta, daughter is the boss ACTRESS Lara Dutta is enjoying her stay in Madrid, Spain, and says her daughter Saira is the boss when it comes to choosing food when they go out to eat. She is just over 16-month-old, but Saira seems to have taken a liking for Chinese food. “Enjoying some fantastic weather in Madrid! My daughter seems to enjoy Chinese food though over Spanish Tapas! And right now she’s the boss,” Lara, who is married to tennis ace Mahesh Bhupathi, posted on Twitter.

Manish Paul bags best anchor trophy MANISH PAUL was excited as well as sad while wrapping up Grand Masters. He anchored several shows on the small screen. Manish Paul not only proved his skills, but also won the best anchor trophy at the 12th Indian Telly Awards. The 31-year-old got maximum votes from fans and walked away with the winner’s trophy Saturday. He was competing with the likes of Amitabh Bachchan (Kaun Banega Crorepati), Salman Khan (Bigg Boss) and Aamir Khan for (Satyamev Jayate) the title. Karan Kundra (Gumrah) and Anup Soni (Crime Patrol) were also nominated in the category.

Shooting of ‘Grand Masti’ concludes AFTAB SHIVDASANI was excited as well as sad while wrapping up Grand Masti shooting as he will miss the fun and craziness on the movie’s set. “So the last day of shoot of Grand Masti is about to begin. The crazy joyride coming to an end. Will miss the madness,” Aftab posted on Twitter. — IANS


timesofoman news paper

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