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  • WEDNESDAY Vol. XXXV No. 9427

    July 23, 2014Ramadan 25, 1435 AH www. gulf-times.com 2 Riyals GULF TIMES

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    QATAR

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    SPORT | Page 1BUSINESS | Page 1

    Real Madrid

    sign Golden

    Boot Rodriguez QATAR

    REGION

    ARAB WORLD

    INTERNATIONAL

    COMMENT

    BUSINESS

    CLASSIFIED

    SPORTS

    26, 27

    1 8, 13 16

    9 12

    1 12

    2 7, 28

    8

    9, 10

    11 25

    INDEX

    RAMADAN THOUGHT

    Prayer times

    Fasting times

    Whoever desires everlasting bliss, let him adhere firmly to the threshold of servitude to Allah. [Ibn Taymiyyah]

    Iftar today ............................6.26pmImsak tomorrow.................3.21am

    Fajr....3.30 Zuhr....11.40 Asr....3.06 Maghrib.....6.26 Isha.....7.56

    REGION | Politics

    Kuwait shuts down two media outletsKuwaits information ministry yesterday revoked the licences of pro-opposition Al-Youm television and Alam Al-Youm newspaper and ordered them to shut down immediately. The ministry said in a statement that the licences of the two media outlets had been revoked for losing some of the terms and conditions for obtaining a licence. The decision comes a day after the government revoked the citizenship of the owner of the outlets, Ahmed Jabr al-Shemmari.

    ASEAN | Vote

    Joko Widodo wins Indonesian election Reform-minded Jakarta governor Joko Widodo has won Indonesias presidential election with 53.1% of the vote, the election commission said in Jakarta yesterday. We hereby determine Mr Joko Widodo and Mr Jusuf Kalla as president- and vice president-elect, commission chairman Husni Kamal Manik said. Jokos rival, former general Prabowo Subianto, took 46.9% of the vote, according to the commission. Page 13

    In brief

    QF terminates contract for Sidra facilities construction Qatar Foundation has terminat-ed the contract for design and construction of the Sidra fa-cilities in Doha, which was awarded in 2008 to the OHL Internacional/Con-track (Cyprus) joint venture.

    A statement issued by Qatar Foun-dation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) yes-terday said the Sidra Medical and Research Center (Sidra) is a crucial project for the people of Qatar.

    Sidra is committed to bringing

    state-of-the-art patient care to Qatar, the Gulf region and the world. Sidra has three essential missions: world-class patient care, medical education and biomedical research. When com-plete, the Sidra facilities will set new standards in patient care for women and children in Qatar and internation-ally.

    According to a source, the contract was terminated apparently because of the contractors failure to deliver the project on time. The Sidra Medical and

    Research Center or the Sidra hospital for women and children, as it is popu-larly known, is one of Qatars most ambitious healthcare projects. The medical and academic centre, which was originally scheduled to open in 2011, has failed to meet launch dates since then.

    Hundreds of workers, including en-gineers and technical personnel, were informed yesterday morning to pack and leave the site, a source said. Most of the workers belonged to sub-con-

    tractors who were allotted work by the main contractor.

    Sidra is being built with a Qa-tar Foundation endowment of over QR28bn, one of the largest endow-ments ever provided to a medical and research centre anywhere in the world.

    First announced in June 2004, Sidra represents the vision of HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, who is also its chairperson. The state-of-the-art facility will not only provide world-class patient care but will also help to

    build Qatars scientifi c expertise and resources.

    Unconfi rmed reports said a new contractor may take over the work af-ter the Eid break, with strict terms and conditions to ensure the schedule is met.

    Located in Doha on Qatar Founda-tions 2,500-acre Education City cam-pus, Sidra Medical and Research Cent-er will initially have around 400 beds with infrastructure to enable expan-sion to 550 beds in a subsequent phase.

    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon tells the Security Council by videolink from Ramallah that his eff orts to secure a ceasefire have reached a highly sensitive moment

    AFPNew York

    The Palestinian envoy to the UN held up photographs of children slain in Gaza and read out names of the dead yesterday as he pleaded for action from the Security Council.

    On behalf of the Palestinian people, we ask: What is the international com-munity doing to stop this bloodletting, to stop Israels atrocities? Riyad Mansour said during a debate on the Gaza crisis.

    Wearing a black ribbon, he held up photographs of families overcome with grief and of childrens corpses, and read out the names of young victims who lost their lives. Umama al-Hayyeh, age 9; Dima Isleem, age 2; Mohamed Ayyad, age 2; Rahaf Abu Jumaa, age 4...

    During an emergency session on Sunday, the Security Council called for an immediate ceasefi re and demanded protection for civilians, but it fell short of taking the stronger step of adopting a formal resolution.

    Without decisive action, the Coun-cils resolutions and statements ring hollow as defenceless civilians fi nd no relief from the murderous Israeli war machine, said Mansour.

    Jordan said it would circulate a draft resolution that was expected to en-trench the Security Councils call for an immediate ceasefi re and press for measures to protect civilians.

    It remained unclear when this meas-ure would come up for a vote. Jordan, backed by Arab countries, has been

    pushing for a resolution since last week. Envoys from some 60 countries

    lined up to address the Security Coun-cil as Israel kept up its barrage of shells and air strikes and Hamas fi ghters hit back with rockets, pushing the Pales-tinian death toll to more than 600 in a confl ict now in its third week.

    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the Security Council by videolink from Ramallah that his eff orts to secure a ceasefi re had reached a highly sensi-tive moment and voiced hope for re-sults in the very near future.

    World leaders have expressed alarm over the rising death toll, with US Sec-retary of State John Kerry also holding talks in Cairo to shore up Egypts ef-forts to broker a truce. Page 9

    Palestinians plead for UN action

    Riyad Mansour, Palestines ambassador to the United Nations, holding up a picture from the Israeli operation in Gaza, during the Security Council meeting yesterday.

    Call for investigation

    Palestinians asked the UN yesterday to investigate into all violations of human rights and humanitarian law that have been committed by Israel during its military off ensive in Gaza. The draft resolution is to be debated by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva today at an emergency session also requested by Egypt and Pakistan.

    HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud at the Royal Palace in Jeddah yesterday.

    HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani yes-terday met with the Custo-dian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud of Saudi Arabia at the Royal Palace in Jeddah.

    During the meeting, they re-viewed the fraternal ties between the two countries and ways of strength-ening them, the offi cial Qatar News Agency (QNA) said.

    Discussions also dealt with re-gional and international issues and the latest developments in Palestine, especially the Gaza Strip, the agency said.

    The meeting was attended by HE the Prime Minister and Minister of

    Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani, and members of the offi cial delegation accompanying HH the Emir.

    On the Saudi side, the meeting was attended by Minister of Interior Prince Mohamed bin Nayef bin Ab-dulaziz al-Saud.

    Earlier on arrival at the King Ab-dulaziz International Airport, the Emir and the accompanying delega-tion were greeted by Prince Moham-ed bin Nayef.

    Also present at the airport to greet the Emir were Qatars ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdullah bin Thamer al-Thani.

    The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said that talks between the Emir and the

    Saudi king focused on the situation in Gaza.

    A Doha-based source also told the Reuters news agency that the prima-ry purpose of the Emirs visit was to fi nd a way to reach a ceasefi re agree-ment in Gaza. More than 600 people have been killed in Gaza since Israel launched a military operation there two weeks ago

    Qatar is committed to the Pales-tinian people and wants to do eve-rything to stop the killing, said the source. The Emirs visit to Saudi comes as part of that.

    On Sunday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met the Emir in Doha and in an appeal stressed the unity of the Palestinian people.

    Emir meets Saudi king to discuss Gaza fi ghting

  • QATARGulf Times Wednesday, July 23, 20142

    HE the Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage Dr Hamad bin Abdul Aziz al-Kuwari has visited InterContinental Doha The City to tour the new Alif Art Exhibition by renowned artist Sabah Arbilli. Using calligraphy art, Arbilli has created this collection of works centred around Alif the first letter of the Arabic alphabet and the first letter in the revelation of the Quran. The exhibition is open to the public and will be on display until September 17.

    Minister visits art exhibition

    Speaker reaffi rms Qatarssupport for Palestinians

    HE the Advisory Council Speaker Mohamed bin Mu-barak al-Khulaifi has reaf-fi rmed Qatars support for the Palestinian people.

    Speaking at an Organisa-tion of Islamic Co-opera-tions meeting here yesterday, HE al-Khulaifi referred to the fi rm position of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani supporting and advo-cating the Palestinian cause at all international forums.

    HE al-Khulaifi lauded the tireless eff orts led by the Emir to end the Israeli ag-gression in the Gaza Strip.

    The Advisory Councils Speaker hailed the Palestin-ian peoples historic stead-fastness in the face of un-justifi ed Israeli aggression.

    He called on the Interna-tional community to assume its responsibility in keeping international peace and se-curity, put fi rm pressure on Israel to stop its aggression in the Gaza Strip and end the unjust siege in addition to opening the crossings for the Gazans who have been

    suff ering, for over seven years, from lack of basic hu-man life necessities.

    He also called for releas-ing all the Palestinian pris-oners in the Israeli jails, including the chairman and members of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

    As parliamentarians, we should discuss the most ef-fective means to support and advocate for our broth-ers in Palestine in order to recover their legitimate rights and establish their independent state on their national soil, with its capital in East Jerusalem, HE al-

    Khulaifi said stressing the importance of Palestinian national reconciliation.

    He affi rmed that the Pal-estinian cause is, and will remain, the basic and cen-tral cause for all the Arab and Islamic countries.

    He said: It is deplor-able and hurtful to see that our Palestinian brethren are facing, for over six decades, killings, assassinations, de-struction and displacement due to the aggressive prac-tices of Israels and use of internationally banned le-thal weapons not to mention the settlement activities.

    QNATehran

  • QATARGulf Times Wednesday, July 23 , 20144

    Diabetes centre planning awareness campaigns The National Diabetes Centre under Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) plans to make use of ser-mons delivered at mosques to spread awareness about diabe-tes and other lifestyle diseases, said Professor Abdul Badi Abou Samra, chairman, Department of Medicine and senior consult-ant Endocrinology and Diabetes, HMC yesterday.

    The diabetes centre organ-ised a special screening for dia-betes during the holy month of Ramadan at the Abdul Wahaab Mosque. Around 2,200 people were screened for diabetes at the mosque after Friday prayers as well as Taraweeh (night prayers during the month of Ramadan).

    We expect about 15-20% of the screened people to test positive for diabetes according to the initial assessment, said Professor Samra. Out of them

    one-third are newly discovered diabetic patients.

    He said:People screened af-ter Friday prayers, have been fasting about 10 hours while people tested after Taraweeh had a gap of 3-4 hours after their last meal. This can be done only in Ramadan as they are fasting all through the day and we can get the right data.

    The offi cial commented that

    around 20 HMC staff mem-bers were stationed outside the mosque and they screened the people coming after prayers.

    We screened both men and women who attended the prayers and we had a team consisting of male and female staff for the oc-casion. This initiative was fi rst of its kind in Qatar and was done for two days, he added.

    The professor said that HMC will consult with the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Studies and the Ministry of Education to involve the students and Imams for a major campaign.

    He said: We will provide inputs to the Imams of the mosques so that they can advise the people about lifestyle dis-eases during their sermons in the mosque. Similarly the students also will spread the message of healthy living.

    This will help the people understand better about the

    lifestyle diseases and overcome many of them. We are planning for community engagement and the whole purpose is to engage diff erent sources to educate the public on the issue, said Manal Musallem, special educator, Di-abetes Centre, HMC.

    Musallem also said that the experiment of screening at the mosque will be made a country-wide initiative during the next Ramadan.

    We will cover as many mosques as possible during next Ramadan. The major dia-betes campaigns in the country include World Diabetes Day, diabetes campaigns during Ra-madan and for Haj as well as the campaign in connection with the National Sport Day. Through these campaigns we intend to engage the community for bet-ter understanding of lifestyle diseases and adopt measures to overcome them, she added.

    Transactions in Qatar between July 13 and 17 for the real estate sales contracts registered at the Ministry of justice are worth QR1,309,463,786. The real estate registration department at the Ministry said in its weekly report that the list of properties that were traded by sale includes open plots of land, villas and houses.

    Real estatetransactions

    Al Meera employees distributed Al Harees among people.

    Al Meera revives Ramadan traditions Al Meera Consumer Goods Company has launched a new initiative through which it seeks to revive Qatari traditions between neighbours during the holy month of Ram-adan.

    The initiative involves evok-ing the spirit of compassion and solidarity and the custom of ex-changing food prior to Iftar.

    In keeping with its motto The Favourite Neighbour-hood Retailer, Al Meera formed a team of employees who started visiting families outside Doha in the vicin-ity of some of the companys branches, such as in Abu Na-khla, Al Shahaniya, Al Shamal

    and Al Dhakira, and distrib-uted Al Harees - the most fa-mous traditional Qatari Ram-adan dish - among them.

    The initiative has been carried out by Al Meera in co-operation with Harees al-Walda restau-rant.

    Dr Mohamed bin Nasser al-Qahtani, Al Meera deputy CEO, said: Our initiative for this month comes as part of our keenness to maintain social co-hesion between Al Meera and its customers. Reviving this particular custom is a chance to confi rm that we are holding on to our heritage and an occasion to repay our customers who trust Al Meera and its services.

    The companys social initia-tive seeks to achieve the vision of Al Meera through its distinctive team, innovative approach and dutiful social behaviour.

    Al Meera has taken part in several social activities recently, such as supporting a diabetes screening and awareness cam-paign launched by Action on Diabetes for Ramadan by allo-cating spaces at three of its ma-jor outlets to host stands for the initiative.

    The campaign aimed at early detection of diabetes and at guiding Al Meera customers to-wards healthy lifestyles by off er-ing advice about fasting to those with the condition.

    Ooredoo launches new loyalty initiative

    Ooredoo has launched its latest business loyalty initiative, the Ooredoo Business Club, which will provide exclusive off ers for Ooredoo business customers.

    The Ooredoo Business Club has been designed to off er a new and easy way for business customers to be rewarded for their loyalty to Ooredoo.

    Customers will have the chance to redeem a host of buy one, get one free vouch-ers through a dedicated web-site for selected dining partners in Doha, including Cold Stone Creamery, Dominos Pizza, Maya La Chocolaterie, and six Applebees branches through-out Qatar.

    This is the fi rst phase of a se-ries of exciting new initiatives designed to off er greater value and further reward business customers in 2014.

    To access the site, business customers simply need to com-plete the registration process at

    www.businessclub.ooredoo.qa and enter their unique four digit pin-code that will be received via SMS upon registration.

    Ooredoo plans to introduce more off ers and promotions throughout the year and en-courages customers to check the website regularly for up-dates.

    Once registered, mem-bers can log-in to browse and print their selected vouchers directly from the website or e-mail it to be used at a later date. Validity dates for indi-vidual vouchers will vary and customers are encouraged to check the expiry date before visiting the participating out-let.

    To fi nd out more about Ooredoo Business Club, visit www.businessclub.ooredoo.qa

    Bid to smugglereptiles foiled

    FM receivesphone callfrom Kerry

    Customs offi cials at Hamad Interna-tional Airport re-cently foiled an attempt by a passenger to smuggle a number of reptiles, includ-ing snakes, into the country, local Arabic daily Al Sharq has reaported.

    Inspection of the passen-gers luggage revealed that 52 reptiles were being carried in six cloth bags, the report states.

    Khalid Hamad al-Kaabi, acting director of Customs at the airport, said a seizure record was made against the passenger and the seized reptiles were handed over to the competent authorities to complete the legal proce-dures, according to the re-port.

    Al-Kaabi said the import/export of a number of ani-mals is restricted in accord-ance with provisions of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, the report adds.

    HE the Foreign Minister Dr Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah received a phone call from US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday night. They discussed the situation in the Gaza Strip.

    HE al-Attiyah also held a phone conversation with Turk-ish Foreign Minister Dr Ahmet Davutoglu, during which they discussed the latest develop-ments in the Gaza Strip and ways to stop the Israeli aggression.

    Car showrooms told not to display vehicles on roads The general monitor-ing section of the Municipal Monitor-ing Department, Al Rayyan Municipality, has warned car showrooms against dis-playing vehicles on the road, local Arabic daily Al Sharq has reported.

    The municipality recently sent notices to the owners of car showrooms on Salwa Road, informing them about the need to remove vehicles displayed in front of the showrooms within a week. The municipality warned that they would be charged

    a fi ne of QR10,000 for every vehicle displayed outside the showroom, the report states.

    On their part, the show-room owners expressed resentment at not being given suffi cient time to search for alternative lo-

    cations. Arguing that the showrooms can accommo-date only a limited number of vehicles, they said im-plementation of this deci-sion could even result in the closure of some showrooms that depend on empty spac-es in front of the premises to

    display vehicles that are for sale, according to the report.

    Further, the owners held that preventing them from displaying vehicles in front of their showrooms would lead to losses for them, the report adds.

    In this regard, a car trader has called for the establish-ment of an integrated vehi-cle market with the support of the State, businessmen or a major company. This will help organise the car market and provide relief to business operators from the burden of increasing rents for show-rooms, he argued in the re-port.

    QNADoha

    Prof Abdul Badi Abou Samra

  • QATAR/RAMADANGulf Times Wednesday, July 23, 20146

    Saleh bin Ali al-Mohannadi, and Haqqar Mohamed Ahmed during a meeting.

    QRC sends urgent relief to IDPs in Central Africa Qatar Red Crescent (QRC) has allocated QR2.9mn through its Disaster Response Fund for the urgent relief to af-fected families and will im-plement QR7.355mn worth of projects in Central Africa, according to QRC secre-tary general Saleh bin Ali al-Mohannadi.

    Al-Mohannadi received Haqqar Mohamed Ahmed, president of the Islamic Daawa and Relief Organi-sation in Chad and former

    adviser to the president of the Central African Re-public, to discuss QRC ef-forts for the relief to con-fl ict aff ected victims in Central Africa.

    This is the second visit by Ahmed to QRC head-quarters after the one he made during the April 9 launch of QRC campaign Save your brothers in Cen-tral Africa. The conference came against the backdrop of the humanitarian appeal launched by QRC to save

    internally displaced peoples (IDPs) in Central Africa in March.

    The QRC secretary gen-eral said: A QRC team visited the Central African Republic in April in order to assess the needs and to exchange information with many partners on the ground. The team man-aged to record the devel-opments of the tragic sit-uation of those aff ected, as full Muslim neighbour-hoods are under siege and

    are exposed to constant attacks.

    Commenting on the hu-manitarian situation in diff erent parts of Central Africa, Ahmed said: The humanitarian situation in our country is no more but a tragedy; the situation of refugees and IDPs is getting worse and their problems and needs are increasing a day after another. The in-crease in their number has given rise to famine as a result of lack of food.

    Mashreq Qatar launches off er on credit cards Mashreq Qatar has announced the launch of a special promotional off er on credit card spending during the holy month of Ramadan and the summer holiday season. Mashreq credit card holders can benefit from Triple Salaam loyalty points on Platinum cards and Double Salaam points on Gold cards for each riyal of domestic purchases made until the last day of Eid or international transactions made until August 31. Niranjan Mendonca, head of retail, Mashreq Qatar, said the banks focus is to provide customers with the most rewarding banking relationships. In pursuit of this, we have developed this exciting programme that rewards all types of customers those that stay in the country during Ramadan and Eid, as well as those who have decided to travel abroad, Mendonca said. He added: As Eid approaches, spends will increase and we wanted to ensure our customers are rewarded in a special way. We want to encourage customers to use our cards while travelling since its hassle-free, convenient, and much safer than carrying cash.The additional Salaam reward points on the credit card add to an extensive list of benefits.

    Ministry inaugurates two new mosquesThe Ministry of En-dowments and Is-lamic Aff airs has inaugurated two new mosques at Umm Sanim and Al Sailiya.

    The ministry has an-nounced completion of maintenance work at four other mosques - Al Khor, Umm Sanim, Al Aab and Rawdat Aqdim.

    This was in line with the ministrys plan to increase the number of mosques across the country to cater to the growing population.

    The plots of land for the mosques were allocated by the government, with a ca-pacity for 4,216 worship-pers.

    The mosque at Al Sailiya

    One of the new mosques.

    is large enough for 755 wor-shippers, with two attached houses for the Imam and prayer caller, besides other

    facilities. The mosque at Umm Sanim can accommo-date up to 346 worshippers and features necessary at-

    tachments and facilities.The ministry has also pro-

    vided the necessary staff and clerics to run the mosques.

    Rulings of Zakatul-Fitr The scope of worship in Is-lam is universal, in the literal sense. For the Quran tells us that each and every constituent of creation near or far, seen or unseen, animate or inanimate - worships The True and Only God. Indeed, every being in the heavens and the earth but comes to the All-Merciful as a worshipper. [Quran; 19: 93] It is only human beings, then, that are called upon to voluntarily join in the wonderful symphony of worshipful creation.

    Islams five pillars are the corner-stones upon which we build such an outstanding and worshipful life. But no such establishment of a dignified life of faith on earth, either personal-ly or socially, can take place without one essential pillar that represents the intersection of our professed convictions and our practical lives. Zakaah is that pillar, for it is the primary instrument that Allah has placed at our disposal to spiritually and socially uplift every Muslim and the entirety of our community and thereby to assert a benevolent hand for the commonweal of humanity. Among Zakaahs most blessed mani-festations - and certainly its most widespread - is the obligatory annu-al giving of the Zakatul-Fitr charity, before the solemnising of Ramadan by Eid prayer.

    The overarching meaning of Zakaah

    The Arabic word Zakaah means purity, cleansing, wholesome-ness, and integrity (in both their physical and moral senses). It means, also, growth or increase. Under-standing these linguistic meanings helps our proper appreciation of what Zakaah is as a financial, or fi-duciary rite mandated by Allah. For, indeed, each of these senses finds its native expression in Zakaahs correct function in our lives and in our local communities and socie-ties. It is known also by the term Sadaqatul-Fitr, or the Sincere, or Righteous Charity of Fast Breaking, because it testifies to ones sincerity to Allah and his or her righteousness in seeking to comply with Allahs legislation, or Sanctioned Laws and legislations.

    Zakaahs primary goal is not that of simple charity. Allah has in-stituted other mechanisms for this purpose. Rather, Zakaah is much far-ther seeing and reaching. Its objec-tive is to secure the psycho-spiritual well-being of every single Muslim as an individual servant of Allah, and to safeguard the socio-moral welfare of the entire Muslim nation.

    The reason that the objectives of Zakaah are so profound and sweep-

    ing is that its principle is so univer-sally sound and materially decisive. Zakaah is the incumbent giving of wealth, in all its material manifesta-tions, from all those who have it (and this is its comprehensive aspect) to all those whose need gives them a right to a minimally dignifying sum from it - and this is its deeper sig-nificance. For it means that Allah has chosen to invest the wealth of some of us, for lawful increase, with oth-ers among us as a trust that must be conveyed to its rightful beneficiar-ies, if our own holdings are to remain pure and our societies are to have integrity.

    What is, indeed, so profound about this is that it underscores to humanity that all of its wealth, in fact, is disbursed to it on loan from Allah, who, as the Creator, is the sole Owner of life and all that the living possess. Allah has revealed this pillar of faith to every believing commu-nity in history. But He has expanded it into an inclusive, highly systema-tised institution enjoined upon all who would follow Islam.

    The sum of Zakatul-FitrOriginally, the stated amount of

    Zakatul-Fitr was a Saa of dates, or barley, or wheat. A Saa was a gob-let, or drinking utensil, at the time of the Prophet, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam. There have been periodic in-quiries by Muslim scholars (like the well-known investigation by Abu Yoosuf, the great Hanafi scholar) to determine updated weight-and-measure equivalents to that of the of Saa at the time of the Prophet, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam. There is some minimal discrepancy, or dif-ference, in determining this weight based upon the conversion of quan-tities of varying items (dates and wheat, for example) into a unified measure. Thus a Saa is now esti-mated to be equal to anywhere from 2.176 to 2.25kg, or just under 5lb.

    There is, however, an opinion in the Hanafi school of jurisprudence with regard to determining the cor-rect amount of Zakatul-Fitr that specifies a half a Saa of harvested wheat grain or its flour, but one full Saa for items such as barley, dates, and raisins. However, this was based on the availability, or scarcity, of these items at the time this opinion emerged. Hence, the price of the staple items by which Zakatul-Fitr is determined must be reconsidered in contemporary circumstances to the advantage of the Zakat-Fitr re-cipients.

    The classical Maaliki, Shaafiee and Hanbali positions on the type of Zakatul-Fitr offering discusses payment only in terms of weights

    and measures of provisions, or food-stuffs. It is the Hanafi opinion, how-ever, that holds sway in this matter, which states that Muslims may give the price of Zakatul-Fitr, originally determined for grains and dates, in contemporary currency equivalents. They argue this position on the basis of a higher good or more practicable benefit, saying that money enables the needy person to buy what he or she deems to be most desirable or necessary on the day of Eid. They point out that a person may, for ex-ample, not be in need of a provision of corn, or the like, but rather in want of clothing, or meat, etc.

    Who is liable for the Zakatul-Fitr payment

    As we have noted previously, every Muslim is liable for the pay-ment of Zakatul-Fitr, provided food exists for one, and ones depend-ents, for Eid eve and the following day. Knowing now what a Saa is, in terms of its contemporary weight equivalents, we can be more exact in defining who is liable to make the Zakatul-Fitr payment. Every Mus-lim, whether rich or poor, who pos-sesses (or has stored on his behalf) grains, or similar foodstuffs - or the monetary means of achieving the like of this - sufficient for ones sus-tenance, and that of ones depend-ents for a full night and day, must give Zakatul-Fitr.

    This sum is due not per household, but per person. The Prophet, sallal-laahu alaihi wa sallam, said: Give Zakatul-Fitr on behalf of [all your] dependents [Al-Bayhaqi], for he indicated that Zakatul-Fitr would purify the wealth of the rich and be the cause of Allah giving more to the poor than what they have given. Thus whoever meets the feeding require-ments for his or her family must pay the Zakatul-Fitr payment for each and every household member.

    The Shaafiee and the Hanbali schools of jurisprudence state that a Muslim should give the Zakatul-Fitr payment on behalf of him - or herself and on behalf of every single person under his or her careincluding ones wife; children (even if they are older but still dependent, or ineligi-ble to make the payment according to Zakatul-Fitr requirements); par-ents (if they are poor or dependent); and any others who are established dependents of the household (such as foster children, orphans, and the like). (More on Zakatul-Fitr tomor-row, insha Allah)

    Article source: http://www.is-lamweb.net/emainpage/

  • QATAR7Gulf Times Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    Ramadan Festival at Katara draws big crowds The Ramadan Festival of Katara - the Cultural Vil-lage, Quran and Astron-omy, continues to attract more visitors with its various activities and events.

    The Space Ship, one of the key attractions, has managed to at-tract around 400 visitors a day from all age groups and diff erent nationalities.

    This highly popular activity is being held every evening at the Amphitheatre from 8pm until midnight. It gives visitors an op-portunity to experience what it feels like to be in outer space.

    The Space Ship employs spe-cial sound eff ects and 3D tech-nology to simulate a real space trip for visitors.

    Many visitors from different walks of life and background have expressed great joy and excitement at taking part in the activity, describing the Space Ship as a wonderful, un-matched experience.

    Meanwhile, Katara is giving telescope enthusiasts and other visitors the opportunity to enjoy the night sky and view the stars through eight telescopes sta-tioned by the Amphitheatre.

    The equipment can be used

    by Katara visitors under the su-pervision of qualifi ed specialists who help the users and answer

    their queries on related matters.In addition to the Space Ship

    and telescope show, a wide range

    of other activities and pro-grammes is being held at Katara as part of its Ramadan Festival.

    Doha Bank names winners of Vodafone bills payment promotion Doha Bank has awarded three lucky winners with an iPad Mini for set-tling their Vodafone postpaid bills through the banks Internet banking and ATMs in June.

    Doha Bank Group chief execu-tive offi cer Dr R Seetharaman said the winners are G Chand Balvir, M

    Rashid Rafi q and B Pantagada.We congratulate all the win-

    ners and encourage Vodafone cus-tomers to use our ATMs or Inter-net banking platform to complete their Vodafone bills payments. Our strong partnership with Vodafone ensures that customers have ac-cess to a broad range of self-service

    options across the country through Doha Banks multi-channel net-work, Dr Seetharaman said.

    He added that three lucky winners still have the chance to win three iPad Minis this July.

    Dr Seetharaman explained that each transaction completed in July will enter a raffl e draw to

    win one of the three remaining devices as part of the promotion.

    Any Vodafone Qatar customer, regardless of whether they have a Doha Bank account, can pay postpaid bills using Doha Bank ATMs to enter the raffl e draw.

    Over 123 ATMs in the country, including those situated within

    the banks 32 branches in Qatar, will accept customer payments.

    Doha Bank customers with DBank Online accounts have the additional fl exibility to complete their payments from anywhere in the world using the Internet.

    Suresh Bajpai, head of retail banking at Doha Bank, said: Re-

    cently, there was a tremendous increase in the number of trans-actions on Internet banking and ATMs, fulfi lling our objective of creating awareness about our ATMs and online channels for settling utility bills. In addition to this, cus-tomers can also purchase recharge vouchers through these channels.

    Qualified specialists help visitors enjoy the telescope show.

    Retailers expecting surge in businessBy Ramesh MathewStaff Reporter

    Local retailers are expecting a jump in business over the next 5-6 days in view of the upcoming Eid al-Fitr festivities as well as the travel plans of a large number of expatriates starting from the end of this week.

    Speaking to Gulf Times over the last couple of days, some hy-permarket operators and suppli-ers of consumables said the retail sector was expected to witness considerably good transac-tions this week due to prepara-tions for Eid al-Fitr.

    Some companies have already started disbursing the monthly salaries of their employees owing to the same reason, it is learnt.

    There will be intense spend-ing by residents, including many expatriates, in the coming 5-6 days. Already, it has become evi-dent from the increased levels of business activities at retail out-lets over the last few days, said the operations manager of a mall.

    The last week of the previous month had seen a surge in business as many expatriates lined up at re-tail outlets to buy gifts and goodies before leaving the country for the

    summer holidays. A similar trend is expected this month as well, say industry insiders.

    Meanwhile, the mall offi cial said many affl uent locals were still to travel out of the coun-try owing to Ramadan and their trips would mostly start towards the beginning of next week. As a result, there is heavy spending these days as part of their prepa-rations. Nowhere is this is more evident than in premier outlets that are seeing increased busi-ness in their luggage section, he added.

    The suppliers of Arabic gift

    items, too, have reported a simi-lar rise in business. There is a growing demand for items such as spices, honey, dates, pickles and traditional Arabic sweets at most upmarket retail outlets, es-pecially those places frequented by locals, said a long-time sup-plier of spices.

    There is a similar surge in demand for different kinds of dried foodstuff as well. Many of those who travel during this time usually make their pur-chases in the last 4-5 days be-fore the day of travel, said a senior official at a hypermarket.

    Locals at a sweet shop in Souq Waqif. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam

  • 8 Gulf TimesWednesday, July 23, 2014

    REGION

    Bahraini opposition group challenges suspensionReutersManama

    Bahrains main Shia Mus-lim opposition group has launched a legal challenge against the governments deci-sion to suspend its activities, the group said yesterday.

    Bahrains justice ministry asked a court on Sunday to sus-pend the activities of the Al We-

    faq National Islamic Society for three months so the group could correct its legal status, state news agency BNA reported.

    The ministry said it filed the lawsuit after Al Wefaq insisted on breaking the law and its own statute as well as its fail-ure to amend violations related to its illegal general assemblies and the consequent invalidity of all its decisions, the agency reported, quoting a statement.

    In a letter to the justice min-istry, Wefaq said its structure complied with the kingdoms laws.

    Wefaq also mentioned that it has not received any offi-cial notification of the issue, in which the ministry claims that four of its general assemblies violated the law, it said in a statement.

    Sectarian tensions remain in Bahrain three years after a

    popular uprising by Shias was quashed.

    Bahrains opposition parties say they will boycott parlia-mentary elections due to take place this year unless the gov-ernment guarantees the vote will reflect the will of the peo-ple.

    Talks between the govern-ment and opposition have failed to end the political standoff. Many Shias complain of politi-

    cal and economic discrimina-tion, a charge the authorities deny.

    The justice ministrys move came a little over a week after Sheikh Ali Salman, Al Wefaqs secretary general, and his po-litical assistant, Khalil al-Mar-zouq, were charged with hold-ing an illegal meeting with a US diplomat.

    Tom Malinowski, US As-sistant Secretary of State for

    Democracy, Human Rights and Labour was expelled from Bahrain in June, an incident that has opened a rift between Washington and one of its main regional allies.

    Marzouq had been cleared of terrorism charges in June, rais-ing hopes that suspended rec-onciliation talks between the government and the opposition could get back on track.

    Al Wefaq, which says it advo-

    cates non-violent activism, had boycotted talks with the gov-ernment after Marzouqs arrest in September.

    A meeting between Bahrains crown prince and opposition leaders in January may have pulled the discussions back from the brink of collapse but mutual mistrust runs deep.

    Little progress has been made since then and the opposition has said talks are frozen.

    Irans failureto engage withprobe worriesIAEA: sourcesThe slow pace of co-operation may reinforce an impression in the West about Iranian reluctance to give the IAEA the information and access to sites and people that it says it needs for its investigation

    ReutersVienna

    The UN nuclear watchdog is concerned about Irans current lack of engage-ment with an investigation into its suspected atomic bomb re-search, ahead of a deadline next month for Tehran to step up co-operation, diplomatic sources said yesterday.

    Western offi cials want Iran to address questions by the Inter-national Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on allegations of past ef-forts to develop a nuclear weap-ons capability, something the country denies.

    They say Iran clarifying the IAEAs concerns would also in-fl uence a diplomatic push by six world powers to negotiate an end to a decade-old standoff over the countrys nuclear programme, suggesting some sanctions relief may depend on it.

    Iran says it is a peaceful project to generate electricity.

    It rejects the IAEAs suspicions as based on false and fabricated information from its enemies, but has promised, since pragma-tist Hassan Rohani became pres-ident in mid-2013, to work with the Vienna-based UN agency to clear them up.

    Under a phased co-operation pact hammered out late last year, an attempt to jumpstart the long-stalled IAEA investigation, Iran agreed two months ago to implement fi ve nuclear transpar-ency measures by August 25, two of which directly dealt with the nuclear bomb inquiry.

    However, so far there ap-pears to have been little - if any - movement by Iran to engage on them, the sources said on condi-tion of anonymity.

    They said there was still time for Iran to meet its commit-ments, noting that it in the past occasionally had waited until the last minute, for example when it provided details in May about another issue that forms part of the IAEAs probe.

    But the slow pace of co-oper-ation may reinforce an impres-sion in the West about continu-ing Iranian reluctance to give the IAEA the information and access to sites and people that it says it needs for its investigation.

    There was no immediate com-ment from Iran or the IAEA.

    US offi cials say it is vital for Iran to address the IAEAs suspi-cions if the parallel negotiations between Tehran and the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia on a long-term deal to end the dispute are to suc-ceed.

    Those talks - which were ex-tended by four months after the sides failed to meet a July 20 deadline for an accord - aim to set verifi able, civilian limits to Irans nuclear programme and lift punitive sanctions.

    The IAEAs inquiry focuses specifi cally on what it calls the possible military dimensions (PMD) of Irans atomic activities.

    After years of what the West saw as Iranian stonewalling, Iran as a fi rst step in May gave the IAEA information it had re-quested as to the purpose in de-veloping Exploding Bridge Wire detonators, which can be used to set off an atomic explosive de-vice. Iran says it was for civilian use.

    But, the diplomatic sources said, it does not appear to have started moving on the two PMD issues it agreed to clarify by late August - concerning alleged work on explosives and compu-ter studies related to calculating nuclear explosive yields.

    They were among 12 specifi c areas listed in an IAEA report is-sued in 2011 with a trove of intel-ligence indicating a concerted weapons programme that was halted in 2003 - when Iran came under increased international pressure - but also suggesting some activities may later have resumed.

    A US offi cial described the IAEAs investigation as one among very diffi cult subjects in the Iran nuclear diplomacy.

    That said, we have discussed a way forward on PMD, how we can help leverage these negotia-tions to get the kind of co-oper-ation necessary to meet what the IAEA has set out, the offi cial said, speaking on Saturday after Iran and the six powers agreed to extend their negotiations until November 24.

    Tribute to a fallen general

    People walk past a huge poster of Yemeni military commander Brigadier General Hamid al-Qushaibi, who was killed in recent fighting against Shia rebels, in Sanaa yesterday. Al-Qushaibi was killed on July 9 in clashes between Yemeni troops and Houthi fighters in the northern province of Amran.

    Yemen Qaeda wing seeksto set up emirate in eastReutersAden/Dubai

    Yemens Al Qaeda wing has ordered men and women in the east to obey its strict interpretation of Islamic law, saying it aimed to set up an emirate in the remote area, local media and a resident said.

    The announcement by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Penin-sula (AQAP) will stoke concerns about the territorial ambitions of militant groups weeks after Al Qaeda off shoot Islamic State declared its own caliphate across parts of Syria and Iraq.

    AQAP - one of the most active branches of the global militant network - has been shifting its operations to Yemens east-ern Hadramout province after the army, backed by US drones, helped drive it out of southern

    strongholds this year. The impoverished country is

    also facing southern separatists, northern rebels and political turmoil that surged after 2011 protests unseated president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

    Leafl ets in AQAPs name have been distributed in shops, streets and villages in rural Hadramout over the past two days, said Saleh Barzeeq, a shop owner in Seiyoun, confi rming media reports.

    These leafl ets warned wom-en from going to shops or going out without being accompanied by a mahram (male guardian), he said by telephone.

    According to local media, one statement read: AQAP warns male and female Muslims in Wadi Hadramout that they must adhere to the laws of Islamic Shariah after the debauchery that we have seen in the souqs.

    We warn all women that they have to adhere to the Shariah-enforced hijab and (wear gloves) ... men must not enter womens souqs unless strictly necessary ... Whoever violates this, will have to bear punishment, it said, according to the report in Al Ayyam newspaper.

    The statement also forbade women from taking part in any sports and declared the measures would pave the way for setting up an Islamic emirate in Wadi Hadramout, Barzeeq added.

    Women in Yemen already gen-erally wear full veils that covers their face and body and in rural areas especially, keep a low pro-fi le. The constitution says Is-lamic law, Shariah, is the source for all legislation though the state does not enforce all parts of it.

    Another statement circulated on social media that was at-tributed to Ansar al-Shariah,

    Al Qaedas local name, warned all the corrupt offi cials in Hadramout who have stolen and looted citizens properties ... that we will enforce Gods law on them, which is cutting off their hands, after we kidnap and discipline them.

    In May, suspected Al Qaeda militants raided Seiyoun city in Hadramout and targeted the main military posts, the lo-cal police headquarters, bank branches and the airport, in an attack that left 27 people dead.

    AQAP in 2011 declared a number of Islamic emirates in southern towns, exploiting a security vacuum during the pro-tests.

    The army drove them out a year later. But during their ten-ure, residents said Al Qaeda woke people at dawn to pray and chopped off the hands of thieves.

    Mers virus detected in air samplesfrom camel barn in Saudi ArabiaAgenciesLondon

    Saudi scientists have found gene frag-ments of the deadly Middle East Res-piratory Syndrome (Mers) virus in air from a barn housing an infected camel and say this suggests the disease may be trans-mitted through the air.

    Mers, a serious respiratory illness caused by a virus known as a coronavirus (CoV), has infected at least 850 people since it fi rst emerged two years ago and killed at least 327 of them, according to latest fi gures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

    The vast majority of human cases have been in Saudi Arabia, but isolated Mers cases have been reported across Europe and in Asia and the United States in people who have re-cently travelled in the Middle East.

    Scientists are not sure of the origin of the virus, but several studies have linked it to camels and some experts think it is being passed to humans through close physical contact or through the consumption of camel meat or camel milk.

    However, in this latest study, published in the online journal of the American Society for Microbiology mBio, scientists said the detection of the virus in air samples was con-cerning and needed to be followed up.

    The clear message here is that detection

    of airborne Mers-CoV molecules, which were 100% identical with the viral genomic sequence detected from a camel actively shedding the virus in the same barn on the same day, warrants further investigations and measures to prevent possible airborne transmission of this deadly virus, said Esam Azhar, an associate professor of medical vi-rology at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah who led the study.

    Viruses that spread through air - such as fl u viruses for example - are far more likely to spread swiftly and widely in human popula-tions than those that can only move from an animal to a person, or from person to person, via direct contact.

    For their research, Azhars team collected three air samples on three consecutive days from a camel barn near Jeddah owned by a 43-year-old male Mers patient who later died from the disease.

    Four of the mans nine camels had shown signs of nasal discharge the week before the patient became ill, and he had applied a topi-

    cal medicine in the nose of one of the sick camels a week before experiencing symp-toms.

    Using a laboratory technique called reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to detect levels of particular genes, the scientists found that the fi rst air sample, col-lected on November 7, 2013, contained ge-netic fragments of the Mers virus.

    This was the same day that one of the pa-tients camels tested positive for the disease, they explained in a report of their work.

    The other samples did not test positive for

    the Mers virus - suggesting short or inter-mittent shedding of the virus into the air sur-rounding the camels, Azhar said.

    Further tests of the fi rst air sample con-fi rmed the presence of Mers genetic se-quences and showed that the fragments were identical to fragments detected in the camel and its sick owner.

    This study also underscores the impor-tance of obtaining a detailed clinical history with particular emphasis on any animal ex-posure for any Mers case, especially because recent reports suggest higher risk of (Mers) infections among people working with cam-els, Azhar said.

    The discovery warrants further inves-tigations and measures to prevent possible airborne transmission of this deadly virus, Azhar added.

    The World Health Organisation and the Saudi health ministry have advised camel farm and slaughterhouse workers to take pre-cautions against Mers by ensuring good hy-giene, including frequent hand washing after touching animals, facial protection where feasible, and wearing of protective clothing.

    Experts also advise those who consume camel products to cook the meat thoroughly and pasteurise the milk.

    Previous research has suggested that vi-rus may be jumping directly from camels to people.

    Symptoms may range from fl u-like to pneumonia and kidney failure.

    This study also underscores the importance of obtaining a detailed clinical history with particular emphasis on any animal exposure for any Mers case, especially because recent reports suggest higher risk of (Mers) infections among people working with camels

    Particles of the Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) coronavirus seen in a colourised transmission electron micrograph.

  • 9Gulf TimesWednesday, July 23, 2014

    ARAB WORLD

    Smoke rises after an Israeli air strike in the Shejaiya neighbourhood of eastern Gaza City yesterday.

    Gaza rocket halts fl ights to Israel as toll mounts The death toll in Gaza rises to more than 620 Palestinians, including three children and 10 women, one of whom was pregnant

    AFPGaza

    A rocket fi red from Gaza yes-terday forced airlines to halt fl ights to Israel, as the UN chief urged an end to a confl ict that has killed over 620 Palestin-ians.

    As the violence entered its third week, the United States and Egypt discussed ceasefi re proposals in Cairo, and the Palestinian leader-ship sought to coax Hamas to end hostilities.

    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, on a visit to Tel Aviv, ap-pealed to Israel and the Islamist movement to stop fi ghting and start talking, but neither side appeared willing to do so.

    Israel insisted it would press on with its punishing aerial and ground assault until it destroys cross-border tunnels used by Gaza militants to launch attacks on the Jewish state, while Hamas con-tinued to fi re rockets and infl icted more casualties on the army.

    One rocket that crashed just a few kilometres north of Tel Avivs Ben Gurion international airport

    prompted the US Federal Aviation Authority to ban airlines from fl y-ing to and from Israel for at least 24 hours.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency advised all carriers to avoid Tel Aviv until further notice.

    Following top-level talks in Cairo, Ban headed to Israel to de-liver his message in person as the 15-day confl ict showed no sign of easing.

    My message to Israelis and Palestinians is the same: Stop fi ghting, start talking and take on the root causes of the confl ict so that we are not at the same situ-ation in the next six months or a year, he said.

    In Cairo, US Secretary of State John Kerry discussed ceasefi re proposals with Egypts President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi with both

    voicing guarded hopes of an end to the violence.

    And a senior Palestinian of-ficial said talks were ongoing between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas for a ceasefire.

    Israel initially refused to halt its fi re without fi nishing a ground operation to destroy tunnels used by Hamas for attacks inside Israeli territory, and Hamas has rejected ceasefi re proposals presented by Egypt, saying its own demands must fi rst be met.

    Despite the fl urry of diplomatic activity, the death toll on the ground in Gaza rose to more than 620 Pal-estinians, medics said, including three children and 10 women, one of whom was pregnant.

    Israel pummelled targets throughout the besieged coastal

    enclave, with its tanks even hit-ting a UN school sheltering the displaced, said the United Na-tions Palestinian refugee agency, Unrwa.

    At the time a team, with Israeli clearance, was at the school ob-serving damage from a possible strike the day before.

    While they were there, they came under Israeli shelling, an of-fi cial said, adding there were holes blown through the walls of the school compound, but that no-one was hurt.

    Since the off ensive, more than 100,000 Gazans have fl ed their homes, seeking shelter in 69 schools run by Unrwa.

    The Israeli military said two more of its soldiers had been killed in the fi ghting a day earlier, hiking its overall death toll to 29, among

    them 27 soldiers who died in the past four days.

    Despite its rising body count, Israel said it would only halt its Gaza off ensive after laying waste to a sophisticated network of tun-nels used by militants for cross-border attacks.

    A ceasefi re wont happen be-fore we really fi nish the tunnels project which was laid out as a strategic objective, Justice Min-ister Tzipi Livni said, referring to a ground off ensive launched on Thursday evening.

    She said Hamass completely unacceptable preconditions for a truce had no chance of being ac-cepted by anyone.

    Hamas has laid out a list of de-mands for halting its fi re, includ-ing a lifting of Israels eight-year blockade on Gaza, the release of dozens of prisoners, and the open-ing of its Rafah border crossing with Egypt.

    As he touched down in Tel Aviv, the UNs Ban demanded the two sides immediately hold their fi re.

    Describing Hamas rocket fi re on Israel as shocking, he said it must stop immediately.

    But he also said Israel must exer-cise maximum restraint in Gaza, and he urged it to take a hard look at some of the root causes of the confl ict so people will not feel they have to resort to violence as a means of expressing their grievances.

    Kerry urges Hamas to pursue talks ReutersCairo

    US Secretary of State John Kerry urged Hamas yesterday to pursue a negotiated end to its confl ict with Israel after what he said were construc-tive talks with Egyptian of-fi cials about their ceasefi re proposal.

    After meeting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, whose country has some leverage over Hamas through its control of a border cross-ing from Egypt to the Gaza Strip, Kerry said there was still work to do to resolve the confl ict.

    Israel pounded targets in the Gaza Strip yester-day and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, seen as the most dovish member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahus inner security cabinet, told Israeli Army Radio: A ceasefire is not near.

    Hamas has a fundamen-

    tal choice to make and it is a choice that will have a pro-found impact for the people of Gaza, Kerry told reporters in a joint appearance with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shukri.

    The Egyptians have pro-vided a framework and a fo-rum for them to be able to come to the table to have a serious discussion together with other factions of the Palestinians, he added, calling the US-Egyptian talks constructive meet-ings.

    Hamas has already re-jected the Egyptian initia-tive, saying the plan ignores its demands for the release of prisoners and for a more comprehensive lifting of an economic blockade on the Gaza Strip.

    In a sign of the intensity of the US diplomacy, Kerry spoke to Netanyahu and to the foreign ministers of Turkey and Qatar after his two-hour meeting with Sisi, according to a senior US of-fi cial.

    Question marks overmissing Israeli soldier ReutersJerusalem

    Israel said yesterday it had failed to trace any remains of one of its soldiers who it believes died in the Gaza Strip two days ago and whom Hamas said it had captured.

    The Israeli military named the missing man as Oron Shaul, 21, who was travelling in an armoured vehicle that was hit by at least one anti-tank missile fi red by Palestinian fi ghters in Gaza on Sunday.

    Six other soldiers were in the vehicle at the same time and their remains have all been identifi ed, the army said in a statement. The eff orts to identify the sev-enth soldier are ongoing and have yet to be deter-mined, it added.

    Hamass armed wing announced on Sunday it had captured an Israeli soldier identifi ed as Shaul Aron, revealing his army ID number, but not say-ing whether he was dead or alive.

    The Israeli military has not clearly classifi ed the soldier as missing, dead or alive. There are question marks still left to be an-swered, said Israeli mili-tary spokesman Lieuten-ant-Colonel Peter Lerner.

    He told reporters the APC was in a convoy when it was possibly hit by mul-tiple missiles. The result was dramatic and the dev-astation on the site was huge, he said.

    Over the last few days we have carried out exten-sive forensic examination and we have concluded that we have identifi ed six (bod-ies). But we have not com-pleted our forensic exami-nation, he said.

    Shauls cousin, Racheli Gazit, told reporters that the army had informed the family that its examina-tion of the wrecked APC had so far not turned up any remains of her rela-tive, but that there were more findings still being looked at.

    As far as the family is concerned, as long as there are no conclusive fi ndings, Oron is not dead, she told reporters.

    One Israeli offi cial in-volved in the investiga-tion suggested that Hamas might have the remains of the soldier.

    Everything in our analysis points to the sol-dier not having survived the incident. As far as we are concerned, Hamas is trafficking in human re-mains, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    Jazeera evacuates offi ce as shots fi red Al Jazeera evacuated its bureau in Gaza when it came under fire yesterday, the network said. Two warning shots were fired at the 11-storey Jalaa building in central Gaza City, housing local and international media as well as private apartments, an AFP correspondent reported. Two very precise shots were fired straight into our building, said Al Jazeera reporter in Gaza Stefanie Dekker, according to the channels English-language website. The empty missiles were directed at Al Jazeeras off ice, prompting journalists, along with a number of

    families who had sought refuge there from Sundays fighting in Shejaiya, to leave. We came here from Shejaiya, said a woman standing outside with three female relatives, nine children and an elderly man. There doesnt seem to be anywhere that is safe. Al Jazeera has off ered extensive coverage from Gaza since Israel began its military campaign against the Hamas-controlled coastal strip on July 8. The channel holds Israel responsible for the safety of its team in Gaza after its bureau came under fire, Al Jazeera Arabic-language channel said.

    US off icials checked by security Egyptian security off icers checked US Secretary of State John Kerry and his top aides with a metal detector as they arrived for a meeting yesterday with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, an unusual screening for a senior State Department off icial. Footage taken at the Egyptian presidential palace and seen

    by Reuters showed an off icial briefly raising a handheld metal-detecting wand to the lower part of Kerrys jacket before waving him through for the meeting. The aides included Kerrys deputy chief of staff Jonathan Finer, senior adviser David Thorne and spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

  • Gulf Times Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    ARAB WORLD10

    Syrian opposition dissolves interim government ReutersBeirut

    The Western-backed Na-tional Coalition of Syrian opposition members said yesterday it had voted to force out its interim government and form a new one within a month.

    Attempts to form a viable gov-

    ernment-in-exile for Syrias op-position have been hamstrung by rivalries between its backers and among its members as well as by its inability to establish itself in-side Syria.

    The National Coalition is des-ignated as the main body rep-resenting the opposition by the United States and other major powers, but it has little infl uence

    over rebels fi ghting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.

    The group said in a statement on Tuesday it was dissolving its interim cabinet to create new ground for work on the basis of moving the government into the interior as soon as possible, and employing Syrian revolutionary capabilities.

    Ahmed Ramadan, an opposi-

    tion politician who was against the decision, said the move was rooted in a dispute between in-terim Prime Minister Ahmed Tu-meh and the coalitions former president, Ahmed Jarba, over Jarbas attempts to form a mili-tary government.

    Things are heading toward a crisis that will lead to weakening the oppositions position even

    more, he said, adding it would be almost impossible for an opposition government to work inside Syria, for security reasons.

    There is no clear strategy, he said.

    Critics have accused Tumeh of being ineff ective, and he suff ered a political defeat this month at a coalition general assembly meeting when he had to reverse

    his decision to fi re the military wings chief of staff .

    The coalition statement said Tumeh and other ministers would continue as caretakers until the new government was formed. Nominations would be open for two weeks and a new government formed within 30 days.

    The dissolution of the govern-

    ment comes two weeks after the group elected Hadi al-Bahra, a US-trained industrial engineer, to replace Jarba after he served his maximum two six-month terms.

    Bahra had also been chief negotiator at US and Russian-sponsored peace talks in Swit-zerland, which stalled after two rounds in January and February.

    UN warns ofpolio threatin Mideastamid confl ict AgenciesGeneva

    Thirty-six children in Syria and two in Iraq have been paralysed by polio since October, and the risk of the virus spreading further in the Middle East remains high, UN aid agen-cies said yesterday.

    A crippling and incurable dis-ease, polio erupted in October in the northeast province of Deir al-Zor, marking Syrias fi rst out-break since 1999. The two cases recorded in Iraq this year were in children living in the Baghdad area.

    A polio vaccination campaign reached a record 25mn children in seven countries of the Mid-dle East between December and June, but aid agencies need to go back to them again for follow-up shots in a second phase planned from August, the World Health Organisation and UN Childrens Fund (Unicef) said.

    The ideal is to vaccinate every child between three and six times, but many of the 3mn children in Syria cannot be reached even once, the agencies said.

    It is now even more impera-tive to reach every child multiple times, and to do whatever we can to vaccinate children we could not reach in previous rounds, Unicef regional director for the Middle East and North Africa Maria Calivis said in the report, Outbreak in the Middle East - War in Syria opens the Door to an Old Enemy.

    Children in Syria are at greatest risk as routine immunisation has been disrupted and many health centres are severely damaged af-ter more than three years of con-fl ict, it said. Nearly 3mn Syrian refugees, including many health workers, have fl ed to neighbour-ing countries.

    All but one of the 36 known polio cases in Syria were recorded last year, according to the WHO.

    Most were in Deir al-Zor, but oth-ers were in Aleppo, Idlib, Hama and Hassakeh.

    Polio invades the nervous sys-tem and can cause irreversible pa-ralysis within hours.

    Right now we estimate that there are 765,000 children inside Syria who live in areas that are hard to reach. And as long as we dont get full and regular access to these children, the chances of po-lio spreading further will continue to exist, Unicef spokeswoman Ju-liette Touma told a news briefi ng.

    We got to a point where we had to work with very limited re-sources to defeat what had been a long forgotten enemy in this re-gion, said WHO polio specialist Chris Maher.

    He warned that the disease was one that does not know borders or checkpoints and can travel fast, infecting children not just in war-torn Syria but across the region.

    The government of President Bashar al-Assad and rebel groups have supported vaccination, WHO spokeswoman Sona Bari said.

    We had tremendous co-op-eration across lines, both opposi-tion groups and the government are very committed to have polio vaccination for their children, Bari said.

    There has been good coverage. It is really where active fi ghting is going on where it is hard to reach children and do any humanitarian work. Phase two is about reaching those hard to reach children, she said.

    A UN Security Council resolu-tion last week authorised convoys into rebel-held areas without Syrian government consent at four border crossings from Tur-key, Iraq and Jordan. The mecha-nism is still being set up and con-voys have yet to roll.

    We hope that resolution 2165 will allow us to reach some of the children that we have not reached. We have pre-positioned supplies in warehouses in Turkey and in Jordan, Touma said.

    16 dead asarmy fi ghtsmilitia inBenghazi AFPTripoli

    Sixteen people, most of them soldiers, were killed and 81 injured in clashes between the Libyan army and Islam-ist fi ghters in the eastern city of Benghazi, medical and military sources said yesterday.

    Most of the dead and injured are soldiers. Three civilians, in-cluding an Egyptian, were killed when a rocket hit their house, a hospital source said on condition of anonymity.

    A military offi cial said fi ght-ing broke out after an alliance of Islamist militia attacked an army barrack, killing fi ve soldiers.

    Special forces soldiers battled the Islamists, who have held sway in Benghazi since a 2011 revo-lution which ousted and killed long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi , plunging the nation into turmoil.

    Near-daily clashes take place in Libyas second city between the army and various Islamist groups, including Ansar al-Sha-riah, which has been classifi ed by Washington as a terrorist organi-sation.

    Renegade former general Kha-lifa Haftar launched an off ensive against Islamist militias in Beng-hazi in May.

    Authorities in Tripoli accuse his National Army paramilitary force of trying to mount a coup.

    Libya has been awash with weapons since the uprising three years ago that toppled and killed Gaddafi , and successive interim governments have struggled to establish a strong army and po-lice force, giving former rebel groups a free hand to act.

    Iraq air strikes inFallujah kill 19 ReutersFallujah, Iraq

    Iraqi government air strikes killed 19 people, includ-ing children, in Fallujah on Monday and yesterday, a health offi cial in the militant-held city said.

    The Iraqi army has been shell-ing Fallujah, 70km west of Bagh-dad, for months, trying to drive out Sunni militants from the group now known as Islamic State. The insurgents, backed by discontented local Sunni tribal leaders, overran the city in Janu-ary.

    Ahmed al-Shami, spokesman for the Fallujah health offi ce - the local arm of the health minis-try - said the 19 dead included women and children and that Fal-lujah hospital had also received 38 wounded people since Monday evening.

    Residents of Fallujah and the nearby town of Garma said heli-copters fi red artillery and dropped three barrel bombs on Fallujah and two on Garma.

    Barrel bombs - powerful make-shift weapons made from high ex-plosives, cement and metal parts packed into oil drums, usually dropped from helicopters - have gained notoriety in the region be-cause of their use in neighbouring Syria by President Bashar al-As-sads forces to fl atten buildings in rebel-held areas.

    Scores of people have died since January in what residents de-scribe as massive indiscriminate bombardment. In May, witnesses in Fallujah and a mid-level secu-rity offi cer in Anbar province said barrel bombs had been dropped on the city.

    The government denies indis-criminate attacks, saying it tar-gets insurgents, but a mid-level security offi cer in Anbar province has previously confi rmed that barrel bombs have been dropped on Fallujah.

    Prime Minister Nuri al-Malikis military spokesman, Lieutenant General Qassim Atta, was not im-mediately available to comment on this weeks attacks.

    Some 560,000 people have fl ed Anbar province - the large area

    of western Iraq where Fallujah is located - since the Islamic State takeover in January, according to New York-based humanitarian organisation, the International Rescue Committee.

    Islamic State took a further vast swathe of northern terri-tory last month that caused large numbers of government soldiers to desert their units and run for their lives.

    Malikis offi ce said yesterday he had met Sunni tribal leaders from several provinces where the con-fl ict is raging. Anger with Malikis government has encouraged some Sunni armed groups to stick with the hardline Islamic State despite ideological diff erences, offi cials and tribal leaders say.

    In the town of Abu al-Khaseeb, south of the predominantly Shia city of Basra, gunmen broke into a Sunni mosque yesterday during prayers, killing the preacher and kidnapping four men who were praying, police sources said.

    The body of one of the kid-napped men was found dumped on the side of a road near the mosque, the sources said.

    A displaced Christian woman receives humanitarian supplies at a church in Hamdaniya town, east of Mosul.

    UN council denouncestargeting of Christians AFPUnited Nations

    The UN Security Council has denounced militant persecution of Christians and other minorities in Iraq, warning such actions can be con-sidered crimes against humanity.

    The Islamic State, which last month declared a caliphate straddling large swathes of north-ern Iraq and Syria, has threatened a Christian presence in the region spanning close to two millennia.

    Over the weekend, hundreds of families fl ed Mosul, a once-cos-mopolitan city that is the coun-trys second largest.

    In a unanimous declaration adopted late Monday, the Coun-cils 15 member countries con-demned in the strongest terms the systematic persecution of individuals from minority popu-lations and those who refuse its extremist ideology in Iraq by ISIL and associated armed groups, referring to the groups former name of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

    The members of the Secu-rity Council further recall that widespread or systematic at-tacks directed against any civilian

    populations because of their eth-nic background, religious beliefs or faith may constitute a crime against humanity, for which those responsible must be held ac-countable.

    The Council also asked that the Iraqi government and the United Nations intensify their eff orts to serve the urgent humanitarian needs of people displaced by the confl ict and to tackle the terror-ist threat against minorities.

    On Sunday, the militants took over the fourth century Mar (Saint) Behnam monastery in northern Iraq, one of the countrys best-known Christian landmarks, and expelled its resident monks.

    Christians abandoned their homes and belongings in Mosul after IS fi ghters running the city issued an ultimatum for Chris-tians to convert, pay a special tax, leave or face the sword.

    Before the 2003 US invasion, more than a million Christians lived in Iraq, including more than 600,000 in Baghdad and 60,000 in Mosul, as well as a substantial number in the oil city of Kirkuk and in Basra.

    Until their forced exodus over the weekend, Christians had been continuously present in Mosul for about 16 centuries.

    Egypt warning Egypts foreign ministry warned its citizens yesterday not to travel to Libya after 22 Egyptian soldiers were killed by gunmen near the border on Saturday. In the light of escalating violence... on Libyan soil, especially in Benghazi... the Egyptian foreign ministry calls on all citizens not to travel at all to Libya at the current time for their own safety, it said in an e-mailed statement.

    The air force carried out at least nine strikes on the neighbourhood of Jobar, a monitor says, adding rebels are fighting troops backed by pro-regime paramilitary forces

    AFPDamascus

    Eastern Damascus was hit yesterday by its fi erc-est fi ghting in months, a monitor said, as rebels stepped up a bid to break a siege and pro-regime forces tried to stop them.

    The air force pounded the rebel-held eastern neighbour-hood of Jobar, as opposition fi ghters launched mortars into army-held parts of Damascus, killing one person and wound-ing others, said the Syrian Ob-servatory for Human Rights.

    An AFP correspondent near the area said very loud explo-sions could be heard starting late last night up until Tuesday afternoon.

    Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said: Start-ing dawn Tuesday, Jobar saw

    the fi ercest fi ghting in months, coupled with intense aerial bombardment.

    Jobar is under army control, and the fi ghting is taking place on the neighbourhoods edges, he said.

    The air force carried out at least nine strikes on the neighbourhood, he said, add-ing rebels were fi ghting troops backed by pro-regime paramili-tary forces.

    Jobar, on the eastern edge of Damascus, is important be-cause it is located at the en-trance to the besieged, rebel-held Eastern Ghouta area on the outskirts of the capital.

    It also neighbours Abbasiy-een, one of Damascus main squares where the army de-ployed tanks... and shelled rebel areas of Jobar, said Abdel Rah-man.

    Fighting in the area has in-tensifi ed following a relative lull for months, after rebels launched an off ensive and took an army checkpoint in Jobar.

    The army has since reclaimed the checkpoint.

    Meanwhile, rebel fi ghters fi red mortar rounds at regime-controlled areas of Damascus,

    killing one person and wound-ing several others, the Observa-tory said.

    State news agency Sana also reported the mortar attack, but said 18 people were wounded.

    Mortar shells also hit the mixed Christian-Druze suburb of Jaramana, which is under army control, killing two civil-ians, said the Observatory.

    The air force pounded the nearby rebel-held areas of Irbin and Hammuriyeh, killing a man and a child.

    It also launched three air strikes on Mleiha, a rebel bas-

    tion in Eastern Ghouta that the army has been fi ghting to re-claim for months because of its strategic position near the Da-mascus airport road.

    Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, including Lebanons Hezbollah, have waged a campaign for more than a year to crush rebel posi-tions near Damascus.

    Eastern Ghouta, a rebel rear base that the army has besieged for more than a year, was the scene of a massive chemical at-tack in August that killed hun-dreds.

    Fierce clashes ragein East Damascus

    A rebel fighter sits on chairs as he aims his weapon through a hole inside a house in the town of Morek in Hama province on Monday.

    EU expands sanctions on Syria European Union foreign ministers agreed yesterday to expand sanctions on Syria over the governments violent repression of its civilian population. The ministers added three people and nine entities to the current list of those subject to an asset freeze and a ban on enter-ing the EU, a statement said. They were targeted due to their involvement in the violent repression of the civilian popu-

    lation or their support to the regime, it added. The names added to the list are expected to be published today. The decision brings the total number of people on the EU Syria sanctions list to 192, along-side 62 entities. In May, Brussels extended existing sanctions against Syria for another year, including an oil embargo and asset freezes against allies of President Bashar al-Assad.

  • AFRICA11Gulf TimesWednesday, July 23, 2014

    Boko Haram rebels in control of town in Nigeria: witnesses ReutersMaiduguri

    An attack on a Nigerian army base in the northeastern town of Damboa and a massacres against civilians in surrounding villages over the weekend have left Boko Haram in eff ective control of a swath of territory, witnesses and security sources said.

    While the insurgents have yet to es-tablish bases in the small garrison town and nearby villages, a power vacuum has existed since Nigerian troops sta-tioned there were pushed out two weeks ago. Raids on Damboa and six surrounding villages on the weekend also drove out 15,000 civilians, leaving the area largely in the hands of the Is-lamists.

    That might represent Boko Harams biggest strategic success since a mili-tary off ensive dislodged it from sev-eral cities and towns in Borno last year. Witnesses said the militants had set up road blocks and hoisted their black Al Qaeda inspired fl ags in some places around Damboa.

    Boko Haram have actually taken over our communities, said Andrew Tada, a resident of Attagara village, one of those that emptied out after the weekend attack. Boko Haram have sacked them and nobody dares go back.

    He said that residents had fl ed to the mountains during the attack. When they returned, the militants had gone but the town was deserted. Boko Haram fi ghters then set up road blocks.

    Boko Haram, which is fi ghting to carve an Islamic state out of Nigeria,

    has ceaselessly targeted civilians this year.

    A soldier posted to the Damboa road said a military off ensive was underway to clear the Islamists out, but there had been no security forces in the Damboa area for two weeks.

    Defence spokesman Major-General Chris Olukolade appeared to deny that Boko Haram had taken over Damboa and the surrounding areas on Mon-day, saying our patrols are active and they are stepping up their activities to reverse any insecurity there. But resi-dents of Damboa fear a total takeover.

    If they can attacked the military the way they did and then come after us, it means they are on the ground in the town and nowhere is safe, said Mo-

    hamedu Birma, who fl ed on Friday. Security sources say Boko Haram are

    eff ectively pursuing a scorched earth policy, driving out authorities and any-one else who does not support their ef-fort to create a de facto Islamic state.

    Relatives scarred by Boko Harams mass abduction of Nigerian schoolgirls recounted their nightmare to president Goodluck Jonathan yesterday, in their fi rst meeting with Nigerias leader 100 days after the shocking attack.

    Jonathan, whose handling of the hostage crisis has been fi ercely criti-cised, held talks in the capital Abuja with the families of the teenagers who are still missing as well as girls who es-caped their Islamist captors.

    Some of those who travelled from

    Chibokthe remote northeastern town assaulted by Boko Haram on April 14 -- burst into tears when the president entered the room, an AFP reporter said.

    The talks were closed to the media but speaking afterwards one partici-pant said the exchange was cordial, if inconclusive.

    It was a very peaceful and loving meeting. No arguments, said Ayuba Chibok, who has nieces among the hostages.

    Jonathan said he would use every capability for the girls to come back... For me, I want to wait to see if there is improvement, Chibok added. I want to see action.

    There was a chance the meeting could turn hostile amid outrage over

    the response by the government and military to the April raid that saw 276 girls carted away on trucks from their school by the Islamist extremists. Fif-ty-seven girls have since escaped.

    Jonathan hardly commented on the attack for weeks, while the military failed to launch a signifi cant search-and-rescue operation and had to re-tract a statement claiming that all but eight of the girls had been freed.

    Global condemnation of the attack then spread, backed the social media and a protest campaign Bring Back Our Girls, which drew support from promi-nent personalities including US First Lady Michelle Obama and actress An-gelina Jolie.

    Nigeria has since accepted Western

    military and technical help with the rescue eff ort, but there have been few signs of progress.

    Jonathan assured the Chibok delega-tion that seeing the hostages brought out alive... is the main objective of gov-ernment, presidential spokesman Re-uben Abati told journalists.

    The president listened as a group of girls described their escape from the Sambisa Forest Reserve, a Boko Haram stronghold in northeastern Borno state, where many believe the hostages are being held, Abati said.

    Various people touched by the crisis spoke their minds, he added.

    Presidential aides tried to organise a meeting in Abuja last week with a small group of the aff ected families, after Jonathan was urged to do so by the Pa-kistani girls education activist Malala Yousafzai.

    Malala, who survived a Taliban as-sassination attempt in 2012, was in Abuja on her 17th birthday to campaign for the girls release.

    The families balked at the invite, saying that if Jonathan was unwilling to travel to Chibok, he should bring all of the relatives to his offi ce to meet with them as a group.

    Ayuba Chibok said the meeting with Jonathan also addressed the deteriorat-ing security situation in the northeast, where the Islamists have seemingly proved capable of attacking at will.

    Civilians have often been left with-out military protection and crudely-armed vigilantes often serve as the only protection against Islamist fi ght-ers carrying anti-aircraft weapons and rocket-propelled grenades.

    Aside from bringing the girls home, Jonathan was urged to make life safer for the families aff ected by the kid-napping, Chibok said. We are tired of sleeping in the bushes, he told AFP.

    President Jonathan and senate president Mark with some of the school girls who escaped from the Boko Haram in Abuja yesterday.

    Members of the South African opposition party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), chant slogans as they storm the Gauteng Legislature building after a march over a ruling against the wearing of red overalls in the Gauteng Legislature assembly in Johannesburg yesterday.

    Economic unrestSA group is to sue over fracking planReutersJohannesburg

    A South African anti-fracking group threat-ened a legal challenge yesterday to govern-ment plans to grant shale gas exploration licences in the pristine semi-desert of the Karoo, saying the regulatory process had been marked by patent ineptitude.

    In a February State of the Nation address, Presi-dent Jacob Zuma described shale gas as a game changer for the economy and said Pretoria would allow hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, within the framework of our good environmental laws.

    The government had been expected to publish regulations overseeing shale exploration before an election in May this year although there is still no sign of the rules.

    Fracking involves digging wells up to 4km deep and pumping in large amounts of water and chemicals under high pressure to crack the shale rock and release the gas. In a dry region such as the Karoo, in the middle of the country, any change in water use causes concern.

    Green groups wanting to protect the Karoo, be-lieved to hold signifi cant shale gas deposits, said Pretoria was incapable of ensuring fi rms such as Royal Dutch Shell, at the forefront of the fracking push, would adhere to the rules.

    They accused the energy companies of already drawing up slip-shod environmental plans and failing to consult communities and landowners, violating fundamental property rights.

    The environmental management plans are fatally fl awed, Jonathan Deal, head of the Treasure the Ka-

    roo Action Group (TKAG), told a news conference.The state is not ready to manage either explo-

    ration or production.If the government failed to heed TKAGs call for

    a moratorium on exploration licences within 30 days, the group would seek a pre-emptive injunc-tion blocking them and was prepared to go to the Constitutional Court, he added.

    Deal declined to reveal TKAGs backers al-though Cartier billionaire Johann Rupert, South Africas richest man and a major Karoo landown-er, told Reuters last year he was prepared to fund a challenge as far as necessary.

    The department of mineral resources did not comment. Shell said it was committed to follow-ing government regulations and listening to the views of Karoo residents.

    The fi rst formal interest in shale gas in the Ka-roo began in 2008, with an application for explo-ration rights by Bundu Oil and Gas, a subsidiary of Australias Challenger Energy.

    The issue hit the headlines three years later, when Shell applied for an exploration licence cov-ering more than 95,000sqkm, almost a quarter of the Karoo. An outcry from farmers led to a mora-torium on the granting of licences.

    The basis for Shells pro-fracking argument is a US Energy Information Administration (EIA) assessment of 390tn cubic feet of technically re-coverable reserves, about two-thirds of deposits estimated in the US.

    Such quantities, if realised, could have a huge impact on an economy that has always been a big oil and gas importer. However, Deal cited other studies that estimated reserves at less than 10% of the EIA assessment. C Africas Seleka group

    seeks partition in talks ReutersBrazzaville

    Seleka rebels have demanded that Cen-tral African Republic be partitioned into a Muslim north and a Christian south, a surprise move at talks aimed at halting re-ligious violence, sources at the meeting said yesterday. Selekas head of delegation to the three-day forum in Brazzaville, General Mo-hamed Moussa Dhaff ane, told a session it was time to formalise the split after tens of thou-sands of Muslims had fl ed the south.

    The talks, bringing together 169 delegates from the transitional government, civil soci-ety and armed groups, are aimed at reaching a ceasefi re and disarmament of the most-ly Muslim Seleka rebels and anti-balaka Christian militia.

    Thousands have been killed and more than a million forced from their homes by months of sectarian violence in the country which

    erupted after Seleka fi ghters seized power in the majority Christian country in March 2013.

    After a 10-month rule marked by looting, torture and murder, Seleka leader and interim president Michel Djotodia stepped down un-der international pressure.

    The Christian militias stepped up revenge attacks on Muslims, driving the rebels along with Muslim civilians northwards, creating a de facto partition.

    Abakar Sabone, a Muslim former minister and leader of the MLCJ movement who was in the meeting, said the Seleka were demanding as a precondition to continue talks that the country should be split in two.

    They (Seleka), represent the Muslim com-munity in the north. The partition is already eff ective because all Muslims are now in the north and the current government has no ac-cess to the north, Sabone said. Seleka are voicing what that community in the north wants, he added.

    The partition calls came as a surprise to

    mediators including Republic of Congos president Denis Sassou NGuesso, who was chairing the session.

    NGuesso threw down his pen in exaspera-tion and leaned back after the partition de-mand was made, another witness of the ses-sion, told Reuters, requesting anonymity.

    Seleka offi cials, Central African Republic interim government authorities and media-tors, were not immediately available to com-ment on the Seleka demands.

    By late afternoon yesterday, the Seleka del-egation had not shown up at the convention centre where the talks were taking place.

    Jean Marie Michel Mokoko, the head of the African Union peacekeeping force in Central African Republic, told Reuters that partition was not up for discussion at the moment.

    Only the future of the talks will us if this idea of the partition of the country is a real wish. Whatever the case, at the moment, we are not interested in that aspect, Mokoko said.

    Congo troops repel attack on military base in KinshasaReutersKinshasa

    Gunmen attacked a major military base in Democratic Republic of Congos capital, Kinshasa, yesterday but the government said the situation had been quickly brought under control.

    Witnesses said shooting died down after about half an hour. Security forces deployed tanks to a busy junction in the city centre but they were withdrawn shortly afterwards.

    The base, known as Camp Tshatshi, was the scene of fi ghting in December last year when gunmen also attacked state television and an airport in the capital.

    Armed men attacked Camp Tshatshi some time between 1400 and 1430 (1300-1330 GMT)

    but they were defeated, government spokesman Lambert Mende told Reuters.

    Kinshasa Governor Andre Kimbuta later said on state television that the 20 to 30 attackers were civilians but did not identify them. He urged residents to return to work.

    A soldier in the camp who asked not to be named said at least four attackers had been killed.

    Kinshasas main Ndjili airport was evacuated yesterday as a precautionary measure and placed under the protection of the presidential guard, according to a staff member.

    President Joseph Kabila scored a major victory last year when his UN-backed forces defeated eastern rebels. However, he does not have a strong grip on the vast nation and there are increased tensions over whether Kabila will try to modify the constitution to stay in power for a third term in 2016.

    The authorities have been unable to assert their authority in insurgency hit areas

  • Gulf Times Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    AMERICAS12

    Climate-change scientists have a beef with beef MCTLos Angeles

    If you want to slow climate change, white meat may be the right meat, according to two studies that tally the envi-ronmental eff ect of the beef in-dustry.

    Raising cattle in the US re-quires 28 times as much land and 11 times as much irrigation water, and pumps at least fi ve times as much planet-warming gases into Earths atmosphere than pro-ducing the equivalent calories of dairy products, poultry, pork or eggs, according to a study pub-

    lished online in the journal Pro-ceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    And from 1961 to 2010, world-wide emissions of planet-warm-ing gases from livestock increased 51%, with the bulk of the increases coming from developing nations that are rapidly adopting the US model of meat consumption, ac-cording to another study pub-lished on Monday in the journal Climatic Change.

    For people, the obvious an-swer is: whenever possible, re-place beef with something else, said Gidon Eshel, a geophysicist at Bard College and lead author of the study in Proceedings of the

    National Academy of Sciences. If you really need it to be from animal sources, thats still OK. You can still have whatever you want. As long as its not beef, you have always made a signifi cant step forward, because beef is so much more intensive than the rest.

    The beef industry, not surpris-ingly, is not impressed.

    The PNAS study represents a gross over-simplifi cation of the complex systems that make up the beef value chain, a point which the authors acknowledge, Kim Stackhouse-Lawson, director of sustainability research for the National Cattlemens Beef Assn.,

    said in a statement. The fact is the US beef industry produces beef with lower greenhouse gas emissions than any other coun-try.

    Indeed, emissions from de-veloped countries, such as the US, topped out in 1970 and have decreased 23%, according to the study published in Climatic Change. But emissions more than doubled in developing countries, largely the result of domestic consumption, said Ken Caldeira, a Carnegie Institution ecologist and co-author of the study, which estimated production of methane and nitrous oxide by 11 livestock populations in 237 countries.

    Beef cattle produced more than half the emissions, followed by dairy cattle (17%), sheep (9%), buff alo (7%), pigs (5%) and goats (4%), according to the Climate Change study. The largest in-creases came in Congo, the Cen-tral African Republic and Oman, the study found.

    More and more of the devel-oping world is adopting the bad habits of the developed world, Caldeira said.

    Caldeira said his study amounts to a broad rule of thumb esti-mate using rough emission factors developed by the Intergovern-mental Panel on Climate Change. But its conclusions parallel those

    of several other studies, according to the report.

    The Proceedings of the Na-tional Academy of Sciences study took a narrower but deeper look at the US industrialised food chain and considered more factors, in-cluding the eff ects of grazing, raising feed crops and the use of irrigation water.

    But the study does not claim to evaluate every factor that goes into producing meat. Several factors that vary widely intro-duce uncertainty into the meas-ures, the authors acknowledge. Among them are wide ranges in how much feed is required by each animal per pound of weight

    gain, and the fraction of pasture in beef and dairy diets, which vary by geography and techno-logical practices.

    Eshel said the study should guide not just consumer choice but also government policies, such as grazing fees on public land.

    It comes to the normal ques-tion that almost all environmental questions come to, and that is the tragedy of the commons - as long as things that belong to all of us are free, we are not going to use them very judiciously and par-simoniously, Eshel said. Were going to use them poorly and wastefully, as we have been.

    Confl ictingrulings onObamacaresubsidies The rulings, handed down by appeals court judges in the D.C. and Virginia, could lead to a new showdown over Obamacare before the Supreme Court

    ReutersWashington

    Two federal judicial panels yesterday delivered con-fl icting rulings on how the government subsidises premi-ums through President Barack Obamas healthcare law, creating more uncertainty over signature legislation that has been dogged by challenges from Republicans and other conservatives.

    The rulings, handed down by appeals court judges in the Dis-trict of Columbia and Virginia, could lead to a new showdown over Obamacare before the US Supreme Court, which in June 2012 narrowly upheld the Demo-cratic presidents healthcare in-surance overhaul.

    The cases deal with the federal governments ability to off er pre-mium tax credits to people who purchase insurance through the federal insurance marketplace that serves the majority of the 8mn consumers who have signed up for private coverage for 2014.

    A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in a 2-1 decision that the Aff ordable Care Act allows subsidies that help pay for insurance premiums to be off ered only to consumers who purchase private health plans through exchanges run by states.

    The judges suspended their ruling pending an appeal by the administration. The Obama ad-ministration said it would ap-peal to the full circuit court, a process that could take up to six months, and stressed the ruling would have no impact on con-sumers receiving monthly sub-sidies now.

    Hours later, a three-judge pan-el of the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia ruled unani-mously to uphold the provision, saying the wording of the law was too ambiguous to restrict the availability of the funds.

    The US Supreme Court up-held the law commonly called Obamacare on constitutional grounds in 2012 but allowed states to opt out of a major provision in-volving Medicaid coverage. Last month, the high courts conserv-ative majority said closely held for-profi t Corps could object to Obamacares contraception pro-vision on religious grounds.

    Yesterdays ruling fell in line with partisan disagreements over the healthcare law, with two Republican-appointed judges ruling against the administration in the District of Columbia court and three Democratic appointed judges ruling in favour in Virginia.

    Obamacares foes in Congress welcomed the D.C. ruling as a decision that would help eff orts to dismantle the law that Obama signed in 2010.

    Todays ruling is also further proof that President Obamas healthcare law is completely un-workable. It cannot be fi xed, House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement.

    Stock market reaction was muted, with health insurance representatives predicting that a fi nal decision would take months or longer to sort out.

    Analysts estimate that as many as 5mn people could be aff ected if subsidies disappear from the federal marketplace, which serves 36 states through the website HealthCare.gov. The subsidies are available to people with annu-al incomes of up to 400% of the federal poverty level, or $94,200 for a family of four.

    Obviously, this has got prob-ably more rounds of appeals and so forth, so nothing is going to re-ally happen right now, said John Holahan of the nonpartisan Ur-ban Institute.

    Some states may jump into action to set up their own ex-changes to qualify as state-based exchanges, Holahan added. Others wont, in which case there will be a large number of uninsured that will remain and possibly grow.

    Plaintiff s in the case, known as Halbig vs Burwell, claimed that Congress did not intend to pro-vide subsidies through federally operated marketplaces because the Aff ordable Care Act speci-fi es only state-run exchanges as recipients. The plaintiff s were identifi ed as a group of individu-als and employers from states that did not establish their own mar-ketplaces.

    Most states including Florida and Texas, which have some of the largest uninsured populations, opted to leave the task of operat-ing a marketplace to the federal government.

    Chocolate too bitter? Swapsugar for mushrooms ReutersNew York

    An upstart US food tech-nology company has developed a unique fer-mentation process using mush-rooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans that it believes will cut sugar content in chocolate candy.

    A year after fi rst launching its fermentation method to reduce bitterness in coff ee beans, one of the worlds biggest commodity markets, MycoTechnology, Inc is expanding into cocoa and was to launch its process yesterday.

    The market is smaller, but the potential may be bigger with health-conscious consum-ers seeking lower-calorie foods amid mounting concerns about obesity and diabetes.

    We use mushrooms that we train specifi cally to remove un-wanted aspects of food and in-

    fuse it with the natural health benefi ts of the mushroom, said Alan Hahn, chief executive of MycoTechnology, Inc, formed in 2013 in Denver, Colorado.

    Particularly with chocolate, the bitterness is a big issue. We remove that bitterness and the need for sugar is reduced drasti-cally.

    About half of the average milk chocolate bar is made of sugar, according to industry experts. Hahn said his MycoS-mooth technology, invented by the companys chief science of-fi cer Brooks J. Kelly, can cut the amount of sugar needed in the average chocolate bar by half, from 31 grams to about 15 grams.

    The company is in talks with major chocolate players in the US, but Hahn declined to name them.

    From its Denver headquar-ters, the company will start processing its own beans as well as those on behalf of its custom-

    ers and will license out the tech-nology.

    The process will compete with other more widely used methods, including the Dutch-ing process that was developed in the 1800s and modifi es the beans taste with an alkalising agent.

    MycoTechnologys chemical-free process reduces the bitter-ness, rather than masking it, at minimal cost. It adds pennies per lb to the cost of cocoa, Hahn said.

    MycoTechnologys chocolate plans may, however, not be as simple as they fi rst appear.

    Cutting the sugar content may pose new hurdles for confection-ery makers if they cut sugar use and replace it with higher cocoa or milk content. Both are more expensive than sugar.

    If you wind up taking sugar out and raising the (cocoa) liq-uor content, you will raise the fat content of the bar, which

    will be higher calories, said Ed Seguine, president of Seguine Cacao Cocoa & Chocolate Advi-sors in Hanover, Pennsylvania, with over 30 years experience in chocolate product research.

    It doesnt make economic sense because youve got to put something in its place, Seguine said.

    After coff ee and cocoa, My-coTechnology is looking at wid-ening the use of its procedure to bulk agricultural markets like rice and other grains.

    In the process, MycoTechnol-ogy takes fermented beans, ster-ilises them and then inoculates them with their unique strains of mushroom root systems that have been trained specifi cally to remove bitterness.

    The beans are then placed in a sealed bag and for the follow-ing seven to 21 days, the roots do their work. Mushrooms natu-rally feed on moisture, oxygen and sugars.

    A white flag flies on the Brooklyn Bridge in New York yesterday. Police are investigating who removed the American flags and changed them overnight.

    Mysterious white flags on Brooklyn Bridge

    US President Barack Obama meets with Apollo 11 representatives including Michael Collins (left) and Buzz Aldrin (second left) on the 45th anniversary of the first mission to land on the Moon, yesterday in the Oval Off ice of the White House in Washington, DC.

    Moon-landing anniversary

    Toronto fi lm festunveils premieres ReutersToronto

    Noah Baumbachs While Were Young and Ed Zwicks Pawn Sacrifi ce will be among the world premieres at this years Toronto International Film Festival, one of the top movie showcases and a favoured plat-form to unveil Oscar contenders.

    The festival yesterday an-nounced about 60 titles, includ-ing many of the high-profi le gala presentations that will unspool at the 39th version of the Sept 4-14 event. Departing with recent practice, festival organisers did not announce the opening fi lm, and said that would be deter-mined closer to the event.

    While Were Young, by in-die darling Baumbach, stars Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts as a mid-dle aged couple whose lives are disrupted when a free-spirited younger couple enters the pic-ture. Pawn Sacrifi ce stars To-bey Maguire as American chess legend Bobby Fischer, locked in a world championship match in 1972 with Soviet rival Boris Spassky, played by Liev Schreiber.

    All told, nearly 300 fi lms are expected to screen at the festival, which ranks with Cannes, Sun-dance, Venice, and Berlin as lead-ing movie events.

    The festival is tightening its scheduling criteria this year to include only true world premieres during its fi rst four days, when media and industry attention

    is brightest, although organis-ers said that was not the cause of the delay of naming the opening night fi lm.

    Absolutely not. We have a lot of movies to watch... and theyre not always ready on our timeline, festival artistic director Cameron Bailey said.

    The tougher criteria is meant to halt recent occurrences of fi lms touted as world premieres ap-pearing days previously at the smaller Telluride Film Festival, a largely industry-only event that unveils its screenings at the last minute.

    Tellurides growing media pro-fi le in recent years has led to some Toronto fi lms billed as world pre-miers having their thunder stolen by the smaller festival.

  • ASEAN13Gulf Times Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    Widodo calls for unity after bitter election ReutersJakarta

    Joko Jokowi Widodo was declared the winner of Indo-nesias presidential election yesterday, bringing the promise of major reforms to the worlds third largest democracy.

    The Elections Commission, known as KPU, said the Jakarta governor had won by just over six percentage points, with 53.15% of the nearly 130mn votes cast on July 9.

    It was the closest and most bitterly fought election in Indo-nesias history, pitting Jokowi against former general Prabowo Subianto, whose promise of strong leadership brought ech-oes of decades under autocratic

    rule. This victory is a victory for all the people of Indonesia, the president-elect told hun-dreds of supporters gathered at a port on the outskirts of the capi-tal Jakarta, chosen to emphasize his commitment to Indonesias maritime potential.

    He and his vice president-elect, Jusuf Kalla, arrived by speed boat.

    With humility, we ask the people...to go back to a united Indonesia, he added.

    In an interview with Reuters before the result was announced, Jokowi promised to simplify life for investors by beefi ng up the countrys threadbare infrastruc-ture, unravel near impenetrable regulations and sack ministers if they were not up to the job.

    His can-do approach, im-patience with bureaucracy and willingness to communicate di-rectly with ordinary people has won him a huge following in a country where close to 40% of

    the population live below or close to the poverty line.

    When he moves into the presidential palace in October he will be Indonesias seventh president, its third to be elected by direct vote and its fi rst to be a businessman and not come from the elite.

    Yesterdays vote count nearly came unstuck after his rival accused the KPU of failing to properly investigate allegations of what his team said was wide-spread cheating.

    But, unexpectedly, Prabowo decided not to challenge the re-sult in the Constitutional Court, his lawyer Mahendradatta said. That could have dragged out the process for several weeks.

    A former furniture business-man, Jokowi has had a meteoric rise through Indonesias politi-cal establishment.

    Born into poverty but now governor of Jakarta, he won over voters with a clean image and

    a reputation for competence in local government, in contrast to the autocracy, corruption and power politics that have weighed down the country for decades.

    The new president, who starts his fi ve-year term on Oct 20, faces huge challenges to boost Indonesias sagging growth, cut an unsettlingly large current ac-count defi cit that is weighing on the currency and meet pledges to improve the lot of its 240mn people.

    Once surging foreign invest-ment has started to taper off , with companies put off by the lack of infrastructure and what are seen as increasingly nation-alist laws.

    Poverty among the worlds biggest Muslim population is also worsening and the budget is too tight to allow heavy spend-ing.

    One of Jokowis fi rst challeng-es will be to cut into fuel subsi-dies which distort the economy

    and eat up about a fi fth of the annual budget.

    Though the KPU has been widely praised for the way it has conducted the vote, the Prabowo camp has alleged mass cheating in the ballot, enough, they say, to overturn Jokowis victory.

    Confusion over Prabowos position regarding the election count was enough to rattle Ja-karta shares, which had been rising on expectations of a win by Jokowi who is seen as more investor friendly.

    At one stage the main index was down 2% on worries that the increasingly shrill dispute could spill over into violence. Prices later recovered.

    There have been no reports of major unrest since the election. Hundreds of thousands of police and military personnel are on heightened alert across the vast archipelago, home to the worlds biggest Muslim population.

    Indonesian presidential candidate Joko Jokowi Widodo (centre) and his running mate Jusuf Kalla (left) celebrate with their party chairwoman Megawati Sukarnoputri ahead of the off icial results announcement in south Jakarta yesterday.

    President-elect urges nation to unite after close race; Prabowo wont challenge result in constitutional court

    Winner rises from bamboo shack to the presidential palace AFPJakarta

    He was raised in a bamboo shack in a riverbank slum on Indonesias main island of Java.

    Now Joko Widodo will become the countrys next president, a remarkable rise for the down-to-earth out-sider in a political scene long dominated by aloof dynas-ties and elites from the era of dictator Suharto.

    Final results yesterday showed that Widodo, known by his nickname Jokowi, won the closely-fought election on July 9 against ex-general Prabowo Subianto, with 53% to 47%.

    Prabowo earlier said he was withdrawing from the race alleging massive fraud, although most independent analysts have said that the election has largely been free and fair.

    Widodo, a former furni-ture exporter, shot to prom-inence when he was elected governor of the capital Ja-karta in 2012 following a successful stint as mayor of his hometown Solo, on Java.

    His hands-on-approach proved wildly popular with a public weary of corrupt and aloof politicians.

    He regularly tours the teeming slums of the sprawling capital, which has a population of around 10mn, in casual clothes, and does impromptu check-ups on offi cials to ensure they are doing their jobs.

    Despite his heavy work-load, the father-of-three still takes time out to indulge his love of heavy metal, and is on occasion spotted head-banging at concerts in Ja-karta.

    His humble demean-our is a stark contrast to the political dynasties and ex-military figures with deep roots in the Suharto

    era who have dominated Indonesian politics since the end of the dictators three-decade rule in 1998. Outgoing President Susi-lo Bambang Yudhoyono is a former general, and Prabowo was a top military figure under Suharto who has admitted ordering the abduction of democracy activists.

    This is something new for Indonesians to have a leader who is also a grounded fi gure, said To-bias Basuki, an analyst with the Jakarta-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

    Widodo completed a for-estry programme at an In-donesian university, started up his own successful fur-niture business, and then entered politics in 2005 as mayor of Solo.

    He is credited with regen-erating the city during seven years in charge, moving slum dwellers into multi-storey fl ats with working toilets, and relocating hundreds of vendors clogging footpaths to a market.

    During his time in charge in the capital, construction started on several new pub-lic transport projects aimed at easing chronic traffi c jams. He also pushed a series of pro-poor policies, such as easier access to free health-care.

    Foreign investors will be relieved at a victory for Widodo, with markets rising whenever there is positive news about his presidential run.

    They believe he will be easy to work with and is more likely to introduce much-needed economic re-forms.

    His time leading the capi-tal has not been without criticism, however, with many of the projects he initiated in Jakarta nowhere near fi nished after such a short stint in charge.

    Vietnam typhoon toll rises to 27 AFPHanoi

    Extreme weather caused by Typhoon Rammasun has killed 27 people in Viet-nam, with the storm unleash-ing fl ash fl oods, landslides and lightning strikes, authorities said yesterday.

    Heavy rain fl ooded 7,200 houses and 10,300 acres of crop-land, with the north of the coun-try worst hit, the national fl ood and storm control committee said. The cost of the damage was estimated at around $6mn.

    Rammasun meaning Thunder God in Thai had earlier barrelled through the Philippines and then hit south-ern China, killing more than 100 people and wrecking over 111,000 homes.

    It was the most powerful storm to strike Chinas south-ern areas since 1973, the coun-trys National Meteorological Centre said, and brought tor-rential rains. The typhoon then weakened into a low-pressure area as it tracked along the China-Vietnam border.

    Syria fl y-over sparks new criticism of Malaysia Airlines AFPKuala Lumpur

    Embattled Malaysia Air-lines faced fresh outrage yesterday as it confi rmed one of its planes fl ew over war-torn Syria, just days after the MH17 disaster laid bare the risks civilian aircraft face in fl ying over war zones.

    The Malaysian fl ag carrier confi rmed that fl ight MH4, bound from London for Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, re-routed over Syria following the clo-sure of the fl ights usual route over Ukraine in the wake of the MH17 tragedy three days ear-lier.

    In a statement issued late Monday, the crisis-hit airline said the Syrian fl ight path was among routes approved by the UNs International Civil Avia-tion Organisation (ICAO).

    As per the notice to airmen (NOTAM) issued by the Syrian Civil Aviation Authority, the Syrian airspace was not sub-ject to restrictions. At all times, MH004 was in airspace ap-proved by ICAO, it said.

    But the move drew disbelief and scorn on social media.

    What is wrong with these guys?! Malaysians are now fl ying over Syria, said one of many Twitter postings on the issue.

    Wanna lose another plane? asked another.

    Pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine -- where a violent rebellion has raged for months - have been accused of shooting down MH17, killing

    all 298 aboard in a tragedy that has triggered world outrage.

    Syria has been convulsed by a far more bloody civil war since 2011.

    The airlines and Malaysias government have previously defended MH17s fl ight path over Ukraine.

    They cited ICAO clearance for the route, and noted that several major carriers used the

    well-travelled Europe-Asia path up until the MH17 attack, though some other airlines had abandoned it months ago.

    Air traffi c tracking site Flightradar24 fi rst reported MH4s fl ight path on its Twit-ter feed Monday.

    As far as we have seen #MH4 was the only transcon-tinental fl ight going over Syr-ia, it said.

    Malaysia Airlines (MAS) did not respond to AFP queries on whether the airline would con-tinue to use the Syria route.

    But Flightradar24 data showed that the path of MH4 on Monday a day after the Syria fl yover skirted just east of Syrian airspace, over Turkey.

    Airlines seek the most direct routes possible to minimise fl ight time and fuel costs, but MH17, which was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, has spectacularly highlighted the potential risks of fl ying over world hotspots.

    Besides Syria and Ukraine, fi ghting in areas such as Af-ghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East make it diffi cult to fi nd confl ict-free routes for al-ready congested air traffi c.

    The International Air Trans-

    port Association (IATA) chief Tony Tyler issued a statement yesterday condemning the MH17 attack and defending Malaysia Airlines.

    Governments and air navi-gation service providers in-form airlines about the routes that they can fl y and with what restrictions. Airlines comply with that guidance. That was the case with MH17, Tyler said.

    Both Moscow and the pro-Russia rebels who seek to break away from Ukraine have denied accusations by Washington and Kiev that MH17 was shot down by the insurgents using a missile system supplied by Russia.

    Malaysia Airlines had al-ready faced withering criticism over the mysterious disappear-ance of fl ight MH370 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8 with 239 people aboard.

    The plane inexplicably veered off course and is now believed to have gone down far to the south in the Indian Ocean, but no trace of any wreckage has been found, and the cause of its disappearance remains unknown.

    Protesters chant slogans demanding justice for the victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 as they follow the lead of organisers of a rally held by UMNOs youth wing outside the Russian embassy in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

    Cambodias main opposition party struck a deal yesterday with strong-man premier Hun Sen to end its year-long boycott of parliament triggered by a disputed election. The Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) said it had agreed to break the deadlock and take up its seats in the National Assembly in return for a promise of electoral reforms. It had refused to join parliament since elections in July 2013, accusing Hun Sens ruling Cambodian Peoples Party of stealing victory with widespread vote-rigging. Today we have reached a common political resolution to end the political crisis, opposition leader Sam Rainsy told reporters after talks with Hun Sen. We have no choice, he added. The only appropriate way is to end the political crisis and the tense situation. Hun Sen, who has held power for nearly three decades, described the deal as a success. Analysts say Rainsys return to the negotiating table may have been spurred by last weeks arrest of eight CNRP politicians for insurrection over a protest in the capital which saw clashes between demonstrators and security forces. The eight were released on bail shortly after the end of the talks yesterday, according to a CNRP lawyer. Rights groups have denounced the charges against the politicians, who could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted. Under the agreement the parties will reform the National Election Committee -- a key demand by the opposition which accused the body of endorsing a vote riddled by fraud.

    Opposition ends year-long parliament boycott in Cambodia

    POLITICS

    Thailands junta won approval from the king yesterday for an interim constitution mapping out year-long political reforms expected to curb the influence of fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra. It was the first time the revered but ailing King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 86, had granted an audience to coup leader General Prayut Chan-O-Cha since the military seized power two months ago. The document, published online late yesterday, off ers an amnesty from prosecution to the generals who seized power in the May coup. It also hands the junta sweeping if vaguely-definednational security powers and allows them to rule in parallel with a national assembly appointed by the king on the advice of the military. Membership of that assembly will be strictly controlled, with many of the main players in Thailands turbulent politics seemingly barred by a clause prohibiting anyone who held a position in any political party in the past three years.

    Thai king backs juntas new constitution

  • AUSTRALASIA/EAST ASIA

    Gulf Times Wednesday, July 23, 201414

    Korea ferry fugitives dead body identifi ed Yoo had been target of South Koreas largest manhunt; Body found with book, empty bottles of alcohol nearby; Failure of police to catch Yoo had been burden for Park government

    ReutersSuncheon, South Korea

    The body of South Koreas most want-ed man, linked to the sinking of a fer-ry in April that killed 300 people, was identifi ed more than a month after being found in an orchard, police said yesteday, with his book and empty bottles of alcohol nearby.

    The police chief in charge of the case in a small city in the south of the country was sacked yesterday for not recognising the book, or putting two and two together, and for not identifying the corpse earlier.

    Police said that DNA and fi ngerprint evi-dence from the heavily decomposed body found on June 12 showed it to be that of Yoo Byung-un, 73, the target for more than two months of South Koreas largest manhunt.

    Beside the body was a book written by Yoo, along with an empty bottle of a shark-liver-oil health tonic, made by a Yoo family company, and three empty bottles of alco-hol, police said.

    The book was called Greater Love has No One Than This and was written in 1995 while Yoo was serving four years in prison for fraud.

    Yoo was a wealthy businessman who headed the family that owned the opera-tor of a ferry that capsized in the countrys worst maritime disaster in 20 years.

    Police said they had not determined a cause of death but said it did not appear to have been foul play. Toxicology tests were under way.

    The Sewol ferry, travelling too fast on a turn, sank on April 16 on a routine trip from the mainland to the holiday island of Jeju.

    Of the 476 passengers and crew on board, 339 were children and teachers from the same school on the outskirts of Seoul.

    Only 172 people were rescued and the re-mainder are all presumed to have drowned.

    Failure of authorities to fi nd Yoo had be-come a political headache for President Park Geun-hye, whose government came under heavy criticism for its handling of the dis-aster.

    The Sewols 15 surviving crew members, including the captain, are on trial on charges ranging from homicide to negligence.

    The disaster prompted an outpouring of grief and anger after some crew were caught on video abandoning ship while children, following instructions, stayed put in their cabins.

    Yoo, also a photographer and co-founder a church which made its own organic ice cream, was accused of embezzlement, neg-ligence and tax evasion.

    Authorities had off ered a reward equiva-lent to nearly half a million dollars for in-formation leading to his arrest and detained several family members.

    Woo Hyung-ho, police chief in Suncheon, told a televised news conference that a book written by Yoo was found at the site, along with an empty bottle of a shark-liver-oil product.

    Woo said police could have conducted forensic tests earlier had they managed to identify the two items.

    We didnt know at that time it was a

    book written by Yoo, said Woo, who later in the day was dismissed from his post, a Korean National Police Agency offi cial said. We admit we were not perfect, Woo said.

    Another police offi cial said the an-nouncement had been delayed as forensic investigation of DNA takes 40 days.

    The time of death was unclear as the body had decayed by more than 80%. Media re-ported that the neck had been separated from the body, although a police offi cial said that may have been the result of decompo-sition.

    Police in Suncheon had suspected that the body might belong to Yoo and had twice tried to collect fi ngerprints, even cutting the fi ve fi ngers off the left hand, but had failed to get usable prints, a police offi cial told Reu-ters.

    At around midnight on Monday, the DNA test results were fi nally returned showing a match with Yoo.

    Another attempt at taking a fi ngerprint from the refrigerated body was made, this time with the right index fi nger, and it matched a print of Yoos that was on fi le, a police offi cial said.

    The body was found about 2km from a retreat that police had raided on May 25 on intelligence that Yoo was there.

    I was roaming around the fi eld and a per-son was dead ... but the body was decayed, Park Yoon-seok, a resident who found the body, told cable news network YTN.

    He looked like a completely homeless person. He was lying straight with only the head turned around.

    The announcement came less than 24 hours after prosecutors apologised for fail-ing to capture Yoo when they released in-terim results of their investigation into the disaster.

    They made no mention on Monday that a body suspected of being Yoos had been found. Also on Monday, a court issued a fresh arrest warrant for Yoo, as an earlier warrant had been due to lapse.

    Prosecutors in Incheon, west of Seoul, who are leading the investigation into the Yoo family, said their probe would continue. Whether Yoo Byung-un is dead or not, we will proceed with the investigation, they said in a statement.

    Another accident!

    Two passenger trains collided in South Korea yesterday, killing one person and injuring dozens, a hospital off icial and police said, in the latest in a string of accidents that has rattled the country.

    A commuter train and a tourist train col-lided in Taebaek, a resort area about 200km southeast of Seoul.

    A police off icial said more than 70 people had been injured, but declined to confirm any deaths.

    In April, a ferry capsized on its way to the resort island of Jeju, killing more than 300 people, most of them children, a disaster that provoked grief and outrage.

    That was followed by a fire at a shopping mall that killed eight and a fire at a hospital for the elderly that killed 21. Nearly 200 people were injured in two subway accidents in Seoul earlier this year.

    South Korea, Asias fourth-largest economy, has developed into a vibrant and technically advanced democracy, but faces criticism that regulatory controls and safety standards have not kept pace.

    A man makes his way through a flooded street with a makeshift boat in Ningming county, Chongzuo, south Chinas Guangxi province after heavy rainfall.

    Flood woes

    Abbott claims tampering of evidence at MH17 site AFPCanberra

    Evidence has been tampered with on an industrial scale at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said yesterday, calling it a cover-up.

    Abbott, whose government was behind a UN Security Council reso-lution that Monday unanimously demanded full access to the site in rebel-held east Ukraine, admitted progress had been made but said more needed to be done.

    There is still a long, long way to go, he told a press conference of the quest to repatriate the bodies of the dead Australians and bring those responsible for the 298 killed to justice.

    After the crime comes the cov-

    er-up, he added. What we have seen is evidence tampering on an industrial scale. That has to stop.

    His comments came as pro-Rus-sian separatists, who are accused of shooting down the plane, fi nally conceded to a furious international clamour for the bodies and the jets black boxes to be handed over to in-ternational investigators.

    It followed days of bitter wran-gling in which rebels hampered ex-perts from gaining access to the site and were accused of tampering with evidence.

    This site has been trampled from the beginning and we havent just seen all sorts of random individu-als roaming around the site, picking over the remains, picking over the wreckage. Weve seen heavy equip-ment coming onto the site, Abbott said.

    The more recent footage suggests

    its more like a building demolition. And this again is unacceptable.

    He said the crash site must be se-cured and suggested it should be po-liced by those countries whose citi-zens had been killed in the disaster.

    Obviously there does need to be security for the site and I would think that the security for the site would best be provided by the coun-tries that have been so wronged here, he said.

    In recent days Abbott had been particularly scathing in his criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin for failing to intervene, but admit-ted he now appeared to be acting following intense international pressure.

    The point I made 24 hours ago is that President Putin had said all the right things. I then went on to say the challenge is to hold him to his word, he said.

    And to President Putins credit, he has thus far been as good as his word. I give him credit for being as good as his word over the last 24 hours.

    A train carrying the remains of 280 people killed in the disaster was fi nally allowed to leave a rebel-held region in eastern Ukraine yesterday as the militants declared a truce around the crash site.

    Abbott said the painstaking and methodical process of identifying the victims could take weeks, a proc-ess he acknowledged would be frus-trating but important to get right.

    It would be terrible to com-pound families grief by risking the mis-identifi cation of their loved ones, he said, adding that Austral-ias Operation Bring Them Home was being coordinated from Ukraine by former Defence Force chief An-gus Houston.

    Radar search to fi nd lost Aboriginal burial site AFPSydney

    Scientists said yesterday they hope that radar technology will help them fi nd a century-old Aboriginal burial ground on an Aus-tralian island, bringing some closure to the local indigenous population.

    Peter Davies, from Queenslands University of the Sunshine Coast, is researching the ancient shoreline of World Heritage-listed Fraser Island, popular with tourists for its sandy beaches and dingo, or wild dog, population.

    He said he was approached by a Fraser Island group earlier this year to help fi nd the graves, believed to be of more than 100 indigenous people, including many children.

    Its completely sand, and the ground penetrating radar works re-ally well in sand, the soil scientist explained of the island.

    The graves are of those who died at the Bogimbah Creek mission, which was established on the west coast of Fraser Island in 1897.

    More than 100 Aboriginal people are thought to have died at the site, where living conditions were ap-palling and many succumbed to dis-

    eases such as dysentery and syphi-lis, as well as malnutrition, before it was abandoned in 1904.

    It seems like it was purely a way to get the Aboriginal mission out of the white settlers hair, Davies said of the establishment of the mission on the island at the time.

    It was obviously quite a nasty period of Frasers history.

    Davies said while elders from the Aboriginal community had found the remains of the mission, it was hoped the scientists could locate the exact burial sites, which had never been marked.

    The radar technology would allow

    the researchers to develop 3-D images of what is below the surface, he said.

    The ground-penetrating radar is the ideal instrument to locate disturbed ground, human remains and artefacts and has been previ-ously used in locating indigenous burial sites up to 20,000 years old, he added.

    Aborigines, who have occupied Australia for 50,000 years but who number less than 500,000 of a total population of 23mn, are the most disadvantaged Australians. They are believed to have numbered around 1mn at the time of British settle-ment two centuries ago.

    Quarantined after plague death

    China has sealed off parts of its northwestern city of Yumen after a resident died of bubonic plague last week, state media reported yesterday.

    A 38-year-old victim was infected by a marmot, a wild rodent, and died on July 16. Several districts of the city of about 100,000 people in Gansu province were subsequently turned into special quarantine zones, Xinhua said.

    It said 151 people who came into direct contact with the victim were also placed in quarantine. None have so far shown any signs of infection, the news agency said.

    The city had set aside 1mn yuan ($161,200) for emergency vaccina-tions, the Jiuquan Daily, a local newspaper, said yesterday.

    The plague is a bacte-rial disease spread by the fleas of wild rodents such as marmots. While the disease can be ef-fectively treated, patients can die 24 hours after the initial infection, the World Health Organisation says.

    Outbreaks in China have been rare in recent years, and most have happened in remote rural areas of the west. Chinas state broadcaster said there were 12 diagnosed cases and three deaths in the province of Qinghai in 2009, and one in Sichuan in 2012.

    Beijings disease control centre sought to dispel worries about a wider outbreak of the disease in China, saying on its website that the risk of the disease spreading to the capital was minimal.

    Taiwan battens down for Typhoon Matmo AFPTaipei

    Typhoon Matmo churned yes-terday towards Taiwan, picking up strength with thousands of tourists evacuated from outlying is-lands as weather forecasters warned of possible fl ash fl oods and landslides.

    Matmo, packing gusts of up to 173kph, is the fi rst tropical storm to hit the island this year and is expected to make landfall on the eastern coast near the city of Hualien, the Central Weather Bureau said.

    The storm will hit further south than previously thought and is set to bring heavy rain to most of the coun-try.

    Currently on waters south of Hualien, the typhoon is approaching Taiwan and threatening the whole is-land, an offi cial at the bureau said.

    At 1300 GMT, the typhoon was

    about 150km south of Hualien city and moving northwest.

    From now on until tomorrow, mountainous areas in the north and east are forecast to receive severe rain-fall of up to one metre, the offi cial said.

    People living in mountainous areas ought to take precautions against pos-sible landslides, and as fl ash fl ooding may happen people should stay away from low-lying areas.

    Residents were also urged to tie down commercial signs and construc-tion scaff olds.

    Financial markets will be closed to-day with some government offi ces and schools also shutting down for the day.

    Around 5,400 tourists were evacu-ated from Green Island and Orchid Is-land, two popular scenic spots off the southeastern Taitung county, earlier yesterday.

    The local government said shipping services between the two islets and

    Taitung have been suspended for three days.

    Several ports were packed with hun-dreds of fi shing vessels that returned from sea following the typhoon alert.

    Television images showed a huge crane lifting a giant infl atable rubber duck from a lake in Hualien county where it had been on display.

    In 2009, Morakot, the worst storm to hit Taiwan in half a century, left more than 600 dead, including 400 people from Kaohsiung who were bur-ied by mudslides triggered by torren-tial rains.

    The disaster plunged President Ma Ying-jeou into his worst political cri-sis since taking offi ce in May 2008, amid widespread public criticism that his governments response was late and ineffi cient.

    Typhoon Soulik battered Taiwan with torrential rain and powerful winds last year, leaving two people dead and at least 100 injured.

    South Korean Confederation of Trade Unions protesters shout slogans and hold placards at a rally against the South Korean governments labour policy in front of the Seoul City Hall.

    Workers protest

  • 15Gulf TimesWednesday, July 23, 2014

    BRITAIN

    Irish government ministers have been warned not to express any opinion on Scotlands independence referendum. Off icial documents also reveal anxiety in Dublin about Prime Minister David Camerons promised vote on whether the UK should remain in or out of the European Union. An exit from the EU would be bad for Northern Ireland, which has benefited immeasurably economically, financially, socially and politically from the alliance, according to off icial briefing files. The papers, seen by the Irish Times, show Cabinet members in Irelands ruling Fine Gael/Labour coalition as well as Irish diplomats have been cautioned against expressing views on Scottish independence.

    Homes across Britain typically added 90 to their value every day during the first half of 2014 as the housing market gathered momentum, according to a property website. London home owners have seen their propertys worth climb by around 238 a day while those in Scotland have seen a much more modest 10 daily increase in values, according to the research by Zoopla. Across Britain, the average property price stands at 260,488, which is 6.5% or 16,265 in cash terms higher than in January, equating to a 90-a-day increase over the first six months of this year, the study found.

    Three former ministers who left the government in last weeks reshuff le have been given knighthoods, while veteran Kenneth Clarke - who quit the front benches after 40 years - has been made a Companion of Honour. Alan Duncan, who resigned as International Development Minister, and Hugh Robertson, who quit the Foreign Off ice, are set to be knighted, as is Oliver Heald, who was sacked as solicitor general. News of the honours leaked out last week, when Labours Michael Dugher accused Prime Minister David Cameron of undermining the system by using hush-hush honours and gongs as golden goodbyes.

    The student children of wealthy foreigners are increasingly outbidding City bankers in the race to snap up the best accommodation in central London. Overseas students at elite institutions such as Imperial College, University College London and the London School of Economics signed 41% of the tenancy agreements in the last 12 months in prime central London, according to figures from investment fund London Central Portfolio. Many rich foreigners are buying or renting in exclusive London addresses and then installing their children while they study in London.

    Undercover reporter Mazher Mahmood is set to be investigated by police for perjury after the collapse of the trial of former X Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos. A judge said on Monday that there were strong grounds to believe the so-called Fake Sheikh had lied on the witness stand and manipulated the evidence at the trial of Contostavlos. She had allegedly boasted she could sort out cocaine for Mahmood in a tabloid sting. Scotland Yard said today it had sent details of the case to the director of public prosecutions and talks were taking place with prosecutors on the next steps. The Sun on Sunday has suspended Mahmood.

    Ministers warned over Scottish vote

    Home values rising 90 a day

    Knighthoods forformer ministers

    Students outbid bankersfor rental flats

    Journalist set to be investigated for perjury

    OFFICIAL PROPERTYCONTROVERSY TREND LEGAL

    GoldenHindetrust underprobe London Evening StandardLondon

    Detectives are investigating allegations of fraud at the Golden Hinde visitor at-traction on the Thames.

    The board of trustees con-tacted police after an analysis of trading records raised concerns about chaotic just-in-time management at the Golden Hinde Trust, which runs the full-sized reconstruction of the ship used by Sir Francis Drake to cir-cumnavigate the globe.

    Troy Richards, the charitys chief executive, and his general manager, Kuku Leadbeater, were suspended pending an internal investigation. They both deny any wrongdoing.

    At a crisis meeting of trus-tees to review the fi ndings of that investigation, Richards and Leadbeater faced questions over the running of the Bankside at-traction, which is visited by 20,000 schoolchildren a year. The trustees main concern was that Richards had set up a pri-vate trading company subsidiary Golden Hinde Trading and made himself a 60% shareholder with Leadbeater holding 20%, which the trustees say was done without their knowledge.

    They said there should have been a paper for the trustees, dis-cussion and a minuted decision before any company was estab-lished. The trustees considered that the arrangement was insuf-fi cient to provide comfort that funds were not being used inap-propriately and put the char-ity at very serious risk with regards to its tax status.

    Richards told the Standard that the establishment of the compa-ny had been discussed with the trustees last October. Trustees also questioned why the trust had paid for a visa application for Leadbeater, an American, to work for the organisation even though she apparently did not have the human resources experience they had identifi ed as a priority.

    Canary Wharf wins nod to build 3,100 homes Guardian News and MediaLondon

    More than 3,000 homes are to be built at the eastern edge of Canary Wharf after Tower Hamlets council gave the green light for the project, the fi rst extension to the fi nancial district since the banking crisis struck in 2008.

    Canary Wharf Group, which is majority-owned by Songbird Estates, has been granted plan-ning permission to build 30 new buildings, comprising 4.9mn sq ft of homes, offi ces and shops, at Wood Wharf, east of the exist-ing Canary Wharf estate.

    Its centrepiece is a cylindri-cal residential skyscraper on the most south westerly corner of the site, designed by Herzog de Meuron, the Swiss architects behind Tate Modern (includ-ing its extension which is being built at the moment) and the Birds Nest Olympic stadium in Beijing.

    About a quarter of homes will be earmarked for aff ordable housing, built around nine acres of parks and public squares, in-

    cluding hundreds of metres of dockside paths.

    Developers have been rush-ing to build more luxury homes in London to exploit booming property prices, with Canary Wharf Group just starting con-struction of its fi rst residential building in the fi nancial district, the 58-storey Newfoundland tower (nicknamed the Diamond tower) with 566 apartments, which is due to be completed in 2018.

    More than 100,000 work-ers commute to Canary Wharf, which opened in the early 1990s, each work day.

    Sir George Iacobescu, chief executive of Canary Wharf Group, reckons the eastern ex-tension will almost double the number of people working and living in the area within the next 10 years.

    Work on the Wood Wharf site is expected to start this autumn with the fi rst buildings occupied at the end of 2018, to coincide with the arrival of Crossrail, which will run east-west across London.

    Homes at Wood Wharf will range from park-side town-

    houses to a selection of towers. The new area will also include offi ces targeted at the creative media, technology and telecom sector, with a 420-place prima-ry school, an NHS medical cen-tre, a hotel and more than 100 shops, restaurants and cafes.

    The project, the biggest in the developers pipeline, is expected to create more than 17,000 jobs during its construction, ranging from architects and planners to electricians, with 3,500 ear-marked for local residents.

    Canary Wharf Group paid 90mn to buy outright control of the Wood Wharf site two years ago from its joint venture partners Waterways and Bal-lymore.

    Canary Wharf is home to the global headquarters of Barclays and HSBC, and the London headquarters of US investment banks JP Morgan Chase and Morgan Stanley.

    Venturing beyond the Dock-lands, Canary Wharf Group, whose parent Songbird is part-owned by Qatar Holding, is also revamping Londons South Bank around the Shell Centre tower in partnership with Qatari Diar.

    Tough carbon target to stay, says ministerReutersLondon

    The government said it would stick with a goal to curb emissions by 2027 to 50% of 1990 levels, a target that has led to political opposition and that its own advisers have said will be hard to meet.

    The country has set binding targets for greenhouse gases over four fi ve-year periods to 2027, known as carbon budg-ets, which aim to put it on track towards cutting emis-sions by 80% from 1990 levels by the middle of the century.

    Retaining the budget at its existing level provides certainty for businesses and investors by demonstrating governments commitment to our long-term decarbonisation goals, Ed Dav-ey, secretary of state for energy and climate change, said in a statement yesterday.

    The fourth carbon budget, covering the period from 2023 to 2027, has been a subject of debate among some politi-cians, who argue for a weaker emissions cut target to prevent

    damage to the economy. Government advisers also

    have said altering the goals will undermine investor confi dence in low-carbon technology. By sticking to its guns on carbon targets, the coalition govern-ment will help bring some much-needed investor confi -dence, and more importantly capital, into funding the tran-sition to a low carbon econo-my, said Jon Williams, partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

    The government has said that around 110bn of invest-ment in energy infrastructure is needed to replace ageing coal and nuclear plants and prevent power shortages into the 2020s.

    The fourth carbon budget was set in 2011 but the gov-ernment said it would decide in 2014 whether the budget should be revised to refl ect progress in cutting emissions in the European Union.

    Any revision now would be premature, especially in light of the ongoing negotiations in the EU to agree a domestic 40% GHG (greenhouse gas) reduction target for 2030 by October, Davey said.

    Govt orders public inquiry into ex-KGB agents death ReutersLondon

    The government yester-day announced it would hold a public inquiry into the death of a former Rus-sian spy who accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of ordering his murder, but de-nied the decision was linked to the Ukraine crisis.

    A year ago, the government declined to order an inquiry into the killing of ex-KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko, who died after drinking tea poisoned with a radioactive isotope in a London hotel in 2006.

    That led to accusations Britain was appeasing the Kremlin, which has always de-nied involvement.

    Yesterdays announce-ment comes as Prime Minister David Cameron leads calls for hard-hitting sanctions against Russia, including freezing the assets of Putins close allies, after the downing of Malay-sian airliner MH17 in a pro-Russian rebel-held part of Ukraine last week.

    A spokesman for Cameron denied there was a connection between the decision to hold an inquiry and the Ukraine crisis. I can very clearly and fi rmly say there isnt a link, he told reporters.

    Litvinenkos wife Marina said she too believed the de-cision had not been taken as a result of events in Ukraine. I am defi nitely sure it was not taken because of this (the Ukraine situation), she told reporters.

    I was waiting for this since February. I believed one day it would happen.

    She told a news conference she did not expect the inquiry would lead to the extradition of her husbands suspected killers from Russia, but would reveal what happened to him. I do this not against Russia. I do this for justice, for truth, she said.

    The inquiry will be chaired by Robert Owen, the judge in charge of the inquest into Litvinenkos death who has said there is evidence indicat-ing Russian involvement in the murder, Home Secretary Theresa May said in a state-ment.

    Owen himself had called for an inquiry, saying the inquest - a British legal process held in cases of violent or unnatu-ral deaths - could not get to the truth because he could not consider secret evidence held by the government.

    Relations between the countries fell to a post-Cold War low following the death of the 43-year-old Kremlin critic who had been granted British citizenship.

    He died days after being poisoned with polonium-210.

    British police and pros-ecutors have said there was enough evidence to charge former KGB agents Andrei Lugovoy and Dmitry Kovtun with murder, but Moscow re-fused to extradite them, and Lugovoy, who denied involve-ment, was later elected a law-maker.

    After Cameron took power in 2010, he made a concerted eff ort to improve relations, with an eye on strengthening trade links. When May reject-ed calls for an inquiry last year, she admitted she had taken into account the interests of Anglo-Russian relations, but said it had not been the main factor.

    However, it led to accusa-tions from Litvinenkos fam-ily that the government was covering up what their lawyers described as state-sponsored nuclear terrorism to protect the Kremlin.

    Marina Litvinenko launched a legal challenge and, in Feb-ruary, Londons High Court quashed Mays decision and told her to reconsider the issue.

    In his formal submission to the High Court as coro-ner, Owen wrote that the se-cret evidence did establish a prima facie case as to the culpability of the Russian state in the death of Alexander Litvinenko.

    Hearings ahead of the inquest also heard that Litvinenko had been working for Britains secret intelligence service MI6 for a number of years. The inquiry will start on July 31 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2015, Camerons spokesman said.

    Rowers pass swans on the lake in Battersea Park in south west London.

    Cityscape

    Pakistani rights activist Malala Yousafzai listens to Prime Minister David Cameron as he speaks at the Girl Summit 2014 in Walworth Academy in London yesterday.

    Girl Summit

    I was waiting for this since February. I believed one day it would happen

  • BRITAINGulf Times Wednesday, July 23, 201416

    Cable: fears sale will not raise amounts forecast

    June public fi nances showgovt slipping off target

    Britains public fi nances showed a bigger than ex-pected defi cit in June, con-tinuing a weak start to the tax year and leaving Finance Minis-ter George Osborne with a lot of catching up to do to meet his fi s-cal goals.

    The government failed to re-duce public borrowing during the fi rst three months of the 2014-15 fi scal year, possibly limiting its ability to off er any tax cuts or oth-

    er voter-friendly surprises ahead of a national election in May next year.

    Defi cit reduction is the cen-tral economic policy of the Conservative-led coalition, which came to power in May 2010 when Britains budget def-icit was 11% of annual economic output - one of the highest for a major economy.

    The Offi ce for National Statis-tics said yesterday that the public sector fi nances, excluding fi nan-cial sector interventions, showed a defi cit of 11.368bn in June. That was up from 7.594bn in

    June 2013 and well above analyst forecasts of a defi cit of 10.65bn in a Reuters poll.

    Stripping out the eff ect of cash transfers from the Bank of Eng-land, the 2014-15 defi cit to date was 36.1bn, 7.3% higher than at the same point a year ago.

    The government is aiming to get the defi cit down to 5.5% of gross domestic product in the 2014-15 fi scal year, from 6.5% of GDP in 2013-14, which will require a near 10% reduction in borrowing in cash terms.

    If the Conservatives are re-turned to power next May, Os-

    borne has said he wants to wipe out the defi cit altogether by early 2019.

    The ONS said yesterday that some factors meant that trends in borrowing in the fi rst three months of the current tax year, which began in April, might not be representative of the year as a whole.

    Income tax payments in the fi rst three months of this tax year were 3.5% lower than a year be-fore, when revenues were higher than usual due to tax changes and there were also receipts from a Swiss tax avoidance deal.

    Payments of grants to local au-thorities also followed a diff erent pattern this year, an ONS offi cial said.

    Sam Hill, an economist with RBC in London, said govern-ment spending and receipts were often volatile and offi cials would probably be hoping for a bigger than usual boost to income in July when revenues are often higher.

    Otherwise, at that point questions on the credibility of the target may just start to become slightly more frequent, even if they will remain far from deafen-ing, Hill said.

    Empty runaway busdestroys part of house

    An investigation was launched yesterday af-ter an empty double-decker bus rolled backwards into a house, destroying its porch and damaging a car parked in the drive.

    Neighbours described a bi-zarre scene as the empty 174 to Dagenham veered across a main road for 20 yards before colliding with the house in Ha-rold Wood.

    They claimed that the bus driver chased after it to try to get behind the wheel after ap-parently leaving the handbrake off , but that it was moving too quickly for him to board.

    Transport for London yes-terday began checking onboard CCTV as part of an investiga-tion which is likely to focus on if the handbrake was properly engaged.

    The bus stop is a turning point and a meeting place for local drivers.

    Neighbour Kimberley Bish, 19, said: People said that the driver was off the bus when

    it started rolling. He realised what happened, ran after it and tried to get on, but it was too late because it was going too quickly. I saw the bus stuck in the house - it was a bizarre scene.

    Another neighbour said: The driver was in a deep state of shock. He was really upset. He said he had turned the igni-tion off and put the handbrake on and had got off and was talking to another driver when the bus started moving.

    My 14-year-old twin daughters were walking up to the house that was hit. Another few moments and they could have been killed. It was a lucky escape. The house was board-ed up and although its owners are believed to be on holiday they have been contacted by neighbours and family mem-bers.

    Police closed the road after the crash at 2.10pm and the bus driver was taken to hospital to be treated for shock and minor injuries. The double-glazed porch of the house in Dagnam Park Square was destroyed and a blue hatchback in the drive was badly dented.

    BBC told totackle genderimbalance

    The BBC has been told to tackle a continued gen-der imbalance among its presenters and talent follow-ing sustained criticism that it is failing to put enough women on air.

    The BBC Trust called on management to come up with a co-ordinated plan to tackle the shortcomings, despite various initiatives announced by direc-tor general Tony Hall since he took on the job last year.

    The trust also fl agged up an unexplained pay diff erential at the corporation although moves have been made to reduce the gender pay gap.

    Earlier this month, Radio 5 Live was criticised after it an-nounced that two of its most well-known presenters, Victoria Derbyshire and Shelagh Foga-rty, would be replaced by Adrian Chiles and Peter Allen.

    The trust, in its review of managements performance published on Monday in the BBC annual report for the 12 months to the end of March, said: Con-tent analysis suggests a contin-uing gender imbalance in BBC output and we consider there needs to be a co-ordinated plan from the executive to address this as part of a wider diversity strategy.

    It said there had been some notable individual examples of attempts to tackle the prob-lem, including Halls pledge to have a female breakfast present-er on at least 50% of BBC local radio stations by the end of this year.

    A BBC report on equal pay, also published on Monday, re-vealed that the overall gender pay gap had fallen by 0.5% since 2012. But it said 10.6% of indi-

    viduals have been identifi ed as having more than a 5% unex-plained pay diff erential.

    Action plans are either in place or under development to address these discrepancies, it said. Hall has also announced a number of initiatives in recent weeks to increase the repre-sentation of black, Asian and minority ethnic people at the BBC, both in its staff and on-screen.

    The BBCs total spend-ing on talent was 194.2mn in 2013-14, down from just over 200.3mn in the previous year. The number of its stars earning between 500,000 and 5mn was steady at 14. The corpora-tion does not break down their earnings any further for data protection reasons.

    The number of people earn-ing between 250,000 and 500,000 fell slightly from 27 to 25, with earners between 150,000 and 250,000 was the same at 83. People earning be-tween 100,000 and 150,000 also fell, from 126 to 123, but there was an increase in people on 50,000 to 100,000, from 645 to 662.

    Another 45,154 people earned less than 50,000, down from 47,020 the previous year.

    The BBC said the bill for top talent, those earning more than 100,000, had been reduced from 71mn in 2008-09 to 49mn in the last year.

    Elsewhere, the trust called on BBC1 to be more innovative and for BBC News to up its game in current aff airs; and said Radio 4 had to do more to reach listeners outside of the south of England. Hall said in the report that the BBC had to do more to nurture and support new talent from all backgrounds. Diversity will be a really important part of my agenda in the coming year, Hall said.

    The reach of every BBC TV channel fell in 2013-14 apart from BBC4. Total spending on its TV channels was 2.28bn, down from 2.47bn the previ-ous year.

    Student loan sale U-turnlikely to cost 12bn

    The government decision to abandon the sale of the student loan book is likely to cost the government 12bn over the next fi ve years and will require a review of the government pub-lic fi nances, Graham Parker, the Offi ce of Budget Responsibility (OBR), told the Treasury Select Committee yesterday.

    It may also require a revision of the decision to lift the cap on stu-dent numbers promoted by the Chancellor George Osborne and due to be funded by the sale of the student loan book.

    Parker, an OBR member, was being questioned by Treasury se-lect committee member Pat Mc-Fadden.

    Parker said the OBR had not yet been formally notifi ed of the de-cision to abandon the sale, but the announcement was made by the Business Secretary Vince Cable at a Liberal Democrat meeting at the weekend organised by the Social Liberal Forum.

    Parker told the Treasury se-lect committee: What you have is higher public sector net debt if you dont sell it in the short term, but you will gradually get it back.

    He said a loss of 12bn to the Treasury over fi ve years was a reasonable assumption.

    He also concurred that the lift-ing of the cap on student num-bers announced in the budget was due to be funded by 5.5bn from the sale of the student loan debt over several years.

    He said the receipts from re-taining the student loan book would only come in over a long period of time.

    McFadden pointed out that Wendy Prior, chief executive of the Russell Group of Universi-ties, has already said that if the government no longer intends to use the sale of student loans to fund the uncapping of numbers we would urge them to abandon that idea.

    Osborne announced in the budget that 30,000 extra stu-dents and a complete lifting of the cap would be fi nanced by the

    sale of student loan book. Mc-Fadden, commenting after the hearing, said: The government assumed they would raise 12bn from the sale of the student loan book, an estimate accepted at the time by the OBR. The sale has now been dropped. The OBR confi rmed to the Treasury Com-mittee this would lead to higher public sector debt and the need for a revision in their forecasts. The chancellor must now set out what will do to fi ll this hole in his spending plans.

    Cables decision to abandon the sale stems from fears that the sale would not raise the amounts fi rst forecast. Treasury sources said the Conservatives still planned to go ahead with the sale of student loan book in 2015-16 onwards after the elec-tion, but acknowledge the Lib-eral Democrats do not want any sale in this fi nancial year. They also insist that if the sale did not go ahead the eff ect would be on the profi le net debt and not on student funding, thus ensuring the lifting of the cap on student numbers can go ahead.

    Queen Elizabeth II joined her great-grandson Prince George at his first birthday party in London yesterday as his parents thanked well-wishers the world over for their support. Prince William and his wife Catherine threw a private bash at their Kensington Palace home to mark the occasion, with the 88-year-old monarch top of the exclusive guest list that included only royalty and close friends. To mark the princes birthday Prince William and his wife Catherine released two new photographs of the family, which show toddler George at the Natural History Museum in the capital.

    Prince George turns one

    British terrorism legislation is too broad, potentially incriminating even journalists and bloggers, and must be redefined to avoid potential for abuse, an independent review said yesterday. The public accepts special terrorism laws so long as they are only used when necessary, David Anderson, Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, said in his annual report. But they can currently be applied to journalists and bloggers, to criminals who have no concern other than their immediate victim, and to those who are very distantly connected with terrorism, he added.

    A plan by London-based oil and gas exploration firm Celtique Energie to drill for shale gas in southern England failed to win county government approval yesterday, the latest in a series of setbacks to Britains fledgling shale industry. Citing concerns about noise and the impact on the environment, West Sussex county councils planning committee rejected the firms application for permission to explore for oil and gas in Wisborough Green for three years. There were simply too many highways issues and other issues of concern for any decision other than refusal in this instance, Councillor Heidi Brunsdon, chairman of the committee, said.

    Almost 30,000 criminals including rapists and burglars have escaped the justice system in London by being handed a police caution, it has been revealed. Figures show that 1,356 criminals were cautioned for wounding or grievous bodily harm over 2013-14, while 301 drug traff ickers were given cautions. Criminals responsible for 286 sex off ences, including two rapes, also avoided court by accepting the rebuke. Many off enders get multiple cautions and fines rather than having to face court. In total, 29,560 cautions were handed out to criminals in London in the past year slightly up from 28,998 in 2012-13.

    Opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband met US President Barack Obama at the White House on Monday and said they had a wide-ranging discussion touching on relations with Russia and the Ukraine crisis. Obama dropped by a meeting that Miliband had scheduled with White House National Security adviser Susan Rice. Miliband, whose Labour Party is expected to run a close race with the Conservatives led by Prime Minister David Cameron in elections next May, was in Washington for a roundtable discussion at the Centre for American Progress think tank. It was a wide-ranging and good conversation, said Miliband, who took no questions from reporters.

    Nick Griff in has stepped down as leader of the British National Party, the far-right group announced, following disastrous results at the European Parliament elections. Griff in, 55, stepped aside at a party leadership meeting after nearly 15 years in charge of the anti-immigration group, which campaigns for Britain to leave the European Union. Having won 6.3% of the vote in 2009, the party polled just over 1% in Mays European elections, with Griff in losing his seat, the only one the party held. Recently-appointed deputy chairman Adam Walker has taken over as acting chairman, while Griff in has taken up the newly-created position of party president.

    Parliament must narrow definition of terrorism

    Council rejects firmsfracking proposal

    Thousands of criminalslet off with a caution

    Miliband holdstalks with Obama

    Far-right leaderGriff in steps down

    REVIEW SETBACKLAW AND ORDER MEETING POLITICS

    ReutersLondon

    Guardian News and MediaLondon

    London Evening StandardLondon

    Guardian News and MediaLondon

    Trust review also highlights pay gap at the corporation and calls for management to present co-ordinated plan to address issues

  • EUROPE17Gulf Times Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    Turkish authorities have ar-rested scores of senior po-lice offi cers on suspicion of illegally eavesdropping on top offi cials, including Prime Minis-ter Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    A total of 100 serving and former top police offi cers were arrested as part of two probes, prosecutors said in a statement.

    Most of the arrests were in Is-tanbul but raids were also carried out in the capital Ankara and cit-ies including Izmir and Diyarba-kir.

    The arrests are the latest round in a bitter feud between Erdogan and his former ally Fethullah Gu-len, in the wake of a vast corrup-tion scandal that broke late last year implicating the prime min-ister and his inner circle.

    Supporters of exiled cleric Gulen in the police force were widely blamed for leaking details of scandals.

    The latest wave of arrests is set to further infl ame political ten-sions in Turkey as Erdogan at-tempts to take the presidency in August 10 elections, having been prime minister for more than a decade.

    Most of the suspects report-edly held key positions in the an-ti-graft probe against Erdogan, where some of the evidence came from recorded telephone conver-sations.

    In the huge early morning op-eration, police in Istanbul alone raided almost 200 addresses.

    Among those held were two former heads of the citys elite anti-terror unit, Omer Kose and Yurt Atayun.

    I surrendered but as you see they put the handcuff s behind my back, Atayun told reporters.

    It is all political, he said when asked why he was detained.

    In a show of defi ance, the former deputy head of the intelli-gence department of the Istanbul police, Hayati Basdag, raised his handcuff ed fi sts high above his

    head in front of the press.The suspects are accused of

    espionage, illegal wire-tapping, forging offi cial documents, vio-lation of privacy, fabricating evi-dence and violating the secrecy of an investigation, the reports said.

    The public prosecutors offi ce in Istanbul said in a statement that arrest warrants had been is-sued for 115 suspects and 67 have been detained so far.

    The inquiry is into a police in-vestigation of an alleged terror-ist group called Selam-Tevhid, which prosecutors said was used as a cover to wiretap prominent fi gures since 2010, including Er-dogan, cabinet members, as well as the head of Turkeys National Intelligence Organisation (MIT), Hakan Fidan.

    Prosecutors said that 2,280 people in total of whom 251 were the main targets had been illegally wiretapped for three years despite a lack of evidence about the formation of a terrorist organisation.

    Their real aim was espio-nage, not the states security, they added.

    In his fi rst reaction to the raids, Erdogan hinted that the anti-Gulen probe would widen.

    We are currently watching. We will all see what will come out of this, he told reporters at the Turkish parliament.

    Asked if the drive to purge Gu-lenists from the state apparatus would be expanded, he replied: It appears so, of course.

    Erdogan has accused support-ers of Gulen of holding excessive infl uence in the countrys police and judiciary and of concocting the graft scandal to unseat him ahead of local elections in March.

    After 11 years in power which has seen his government tame the infl uence of the once-power-ful military, Erdogan has declared a war against Gulen, accusing him of running a parallel state.

    In a television interview on Monday, Erdogan vowed bitterly that the fi ght against the Gu-len movement would continue

    non-stop while calling on the United States to extradite the ex-iled cleric from his base in Penn-sylvania. I expect the US to take a stance on the Gulen issue.

    Erdogan faced the worst crisis of his rule after allegations that he and his allies engaged in huge corruption which ranged from bribery to gold smuggling and il-licit trade with Iran.

    It dragged down four ministers and prompted a cabinet shake-up, and posed the most serious challenge to Erdogans govern-ment since it came to power in 2002.

    His Islamic-leaning govern-ment has already sacked thou-sands of police and prosecutors believed to be linked to the move-ment in the wake of the scandal, and tightened controls over the judiciary and the Internet.

    Gulen, who left for the US in 1999 to escape charges of anti-secular activities by the govern-ment at the time, has denied be-ing behind the graft allegations against Erdogan.

    Turkey arrests 100 top police offi cers

    AFPAnkara

    Erdogan: I expect the US to take a stance on the Gulen issue.

    I no longer talk to Obama: Erdogan

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he has stopped talk-ing to US President Barack Obama on the phone, amid growing strains between Ankara and Washington over Syria and the Gaza conflict.Turkey, a fierce opponent of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and an open supporter of armed rebel fighters, felt betrayed when the United States backed away from military action against Damascus in September last year.In the past, I was calling him (Obama) directly. Because I cant get the expected results on Syria, our foreign ministers are now talking to each other, Erdogan said in a live interview on pro-government ATV channel late on Monday. And I have talked to (US Vice-President Joe) Biden. He calls me and I call him.I expect justice in this process. I couldnt imagine something like this from those who are championing justice, Erdogan added without elabo-rating, in an apparent jibe at Washington.The last phone conversation between the two leaders took place on February 20 after which the White House released a statement accusing Erdogan of misrepresenting the content of the conversation.A staunch advocate of the Palestinian cause, Erdogan has recently been at loggerheads with Washington over Israels off ensive in the besieged Gaza Strip that has killed more than 580 Palestinians in two weeks.Erdogan accused the Jewish state of carrying out state terrorism and genocide of Palestinians and criticised the United States for defending Israels disproportionate tactics.The US State Department branded his comments on Israel off ensive and wrong but the prime minister hit back by saying that the United States needed to engage in self-criticism.

    Norway marked the third anniversary of twin bomb and shooting at-tacks that killed 77 people with a low-key ceremony which kicked off the capital, Oslo.

    The commemorations opened at Oslos government quar-ter, where Prime Minister Erna Solberg said her country would continue to fi ght for openness, tolerance and diversity.

    A moment of silence was held after a wreath was laid to com-memorate the victims.

    The responsibility for the July 22 tragedy rests solely with the assailant, Solberg said. Vi-olent extremism can never be excused. But we must do what we can to prevent it. The mutual trust we share in Norway is our strongest asset.

    Right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik was sentenced to 21 years in prison in August 2012 for the bomb and shooting attacks in Oslo and at a political youth camp organised by the La-bour Party near the capital.

    The attacks were the coun-trys bloodiest peace-time acts of violence on record.

    Breivik, 35, said his aim was to punish the then ruling Labour Party for its failure to stem the fl ow of Muslims to Norway.

    Solberg, leader of the Con-servative party, took offi ce last year.

    This is the fi rst time she has been tasked with leading the of-fi cial commemorations.

    She attended a memorial service at Oslo Cathedral with other members of the govern-ment and opposition, as well as next of kin and survivors of the attacks.

    Later, she made her fi rst visit to the small island of Utoya where 69 mainly youths were killed in a shooting spree, and laid a wreath.

    Wreaths were also laid by rep-resentatives of the Labour Party and a support group for the be-reaved.

    In their speeches, Labour Par-ty leader Jonas Gahr Store and outgoing youth wing leader Eskil Pedersen underlined the need to remember the victims and stand up against intolerance, racism and hate speech.

    We have a responsibility never to forget those who we so dearly would have wanted to be here with us, Pedersen said at Utoya.

    Store reminded the audience of how the country had come together and laid diff erences aside in the aftermath of the 2011 attacks, and said his party would support Solbergs eff orts to combat political extremism.

    Among the guests at the cer-emonies was former prime min-ister and former Labour leader Jens Stoltenberg, whom Solberg lauded for his leadership in the aftermath of the devastating at-tacks.

    Norway marks third anniversary of July 22 massacre DPAStockholm

    People attend a wreath-laying ceremony on Utoya, during a memorial day for the 69 people killed during Anders Behring Breivik`s shooting rampage in 2011.

    President Vladimir Putin has signed a law requir-ing Internet companies to store all personal data of Russian users at data centres in Russia, a move which could chill criticism on foreign social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

    These companies, which do not have offi ces in Russia, have become a vital resource for op-position groups and refuse to hand over user data to govern-ments.

    The use of Russian data cen-tres would make them and other Internet companies subject to Russian laws on government ac-cess to information.

    The Kremlin said the law was

    aimed at improving the man-agement of personal data of Russian citizens on computer networks and that companies which do not comply with the legislation would be blocked.

    Lawmakers who introduced the bill had complained that data stored abroad was at risk of be-ing hacked and stolen by crimi-nals.

    The law could also cause

    problems for Russian compa-nies such as tourism websites and airlines that rely on foreign-based online booking services.

    Russias Association of Elec-tronic Communication, a group that lobbies on behalf of Inter-net companies, warned earlier this month that many global Internet services would be im-possible under the new law.

    Internet companies have also

    warned that the two years before the measures come into force is not suffi cient time for them to fi nd or build data centres on which to store the data.

    The Internet data law comes amid a number of measures cracking down on public dissent in Russia, including introduc-ing jail terms of up to fi ve years for repeated participation in un-sanctioned protests and restric-

    tions on the activities of non-governmental organisations.

    It is also in line with other recent Internet restrictions, in-cluding a requirement for blog-gers to register as media if they have more than 3,000 followers and a law directed against ex-tremist language that could see Russians go to jail for up to fi ve years for retweeting off ensive information.

    Putin signs legislation seen as crimping social media AFPMoscow

    Five children and an adult on a day trip were killed in north-eastern France yesterday after their minibus collided with a truck, local media reported.

    The children, who were all in their early teens, were on their way back from the Orient regional for-est park when the minibus slammed headlong into the truck on a mi-nor road near the town of Troyes, the mayor of their hometown told BFMTV.

    The minibus driver was among the victims.

    The driver of the truck and an-other vehicle escaped with minor injuries.

    The minibus was transporting seven children from Nangis, around 140km to the west of the crash site near Courteranges village.

    An image published by the local lEst Eclair newspaper showed the front of the minibus was complete-ly demolished by the impact of the collision.

    Two children and a monitor ac-companying the group were rushed to hospital with serious but non

    life-threatening injuries, interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet told BFMTV.

    Investigators said the minibus appeared to have veered into in-coming traffi c, and speculated that driver may have suff ered a malaise, nodded off or swerved to avoid something.

    President Francois Hollande is-sued a statement expressing his great sorrow and demanded a thorough investigation.

    Interior Minister Bernard Caze-neuve and Junior Transport Min-ister Frederic Cuvillier travelled to the crash site yesterday afternoon.

    Five children killed in minibus crash DPAParis

    Rescue workers inspect the site of the crash in Courteranges, France.

    Ruling on halal food in prison overturnedAFPLyon

    A French court has can-celled a November rul-ing ordering a prison to provide halal meals for Muslim prisoners, in the latest legal bat-tle over an issue that has caused controversy in the secular re-public.

    The French government had sought to overturn the ruling by an administrative tribunal that argued that the Saint-Quentin-Fallavier jail in southeast France should provide the meals on the basis that failing to do so would violate Muslim prisoners right to practise their religion.

    Yesterday a court in Lyon ruled that given the possibility for detainees to get meals without pork or vegetarian meals, to get special meals during the main holidays and given the possibil-ity to buy halal meat, prisoners rights were being respected.

    Many Muslims view France, which is offi cially a secular republic despite being over-whelmingly Catholic, as impos-ing its values on them and other religious minorities.

    There has also been contro-versy in the past over whether schools and holiday camps should be required to provide halal food for Muslim children, as well as higher-profi le dis-putes over the wearing of veils in France.

    Any form of clothing linked to religious observance is banned from French state schools and since 2011 the wearing of full-face veils in public has been out-lawed.

    Centre-right asked to form govt

    BELGIUM

    Belgiums King Philippe has appointed two leading centre-right politicians to lead negotiations on forming a national government, a potentially drawn-out process after elections in May.The Belgian monarch, who plays an important constitutional role, tasked the Flemish Christian Democrat leader Kris Peeters and the head of the French-speaking Liberals, Charles Michel, to try to form a government together, a palace statement said.Belgium is bitterly divided between a Flemish-speaking north, which tends to be more conservative, and a French-speaking, more liberal south.After elections in 2010, it took the politicians 18 months to form a national government, a world record.

  • EUROPEGulf Times Wednesday, July 23, 201418

    President Vladimir Putin said yesterday that Rus-sia would try to ensure Ukrainian separatists co-operate with an investigation into the downing of a Malaysian airliner, but said the West must do more to persuade Kiev to end hostili-ties.

    Putin came out fi ghting in his most detailed comments since the plane was brought down on Thursday, dismissing criticism of Russias role in events in rebel-held east Ukraine and describing the Wests position as strange and unacceptable.

    Accusing the United States in-directly of pulling the strings in Kiev, trying to bully Russia and meddling in Russias domestic aff airs, the president said in tel-evised remarks: Such methods will not work on Russia.

    Reading from notes at the head of a long table fl anked by his top government, parliament, secu-rity and defence offi cials, Putin spoke much more forcefully than during brief televised remarks on the planes downing fi rst released in the early hours of Monday, when he looked tired and less as-sured than usual.

    He did not, however, direct-ly address accusations by the United States and Ukraines pro-Western leaders that Moscow is

    supplying the rebels with arms, including the missile system used to bring down the airliner, and his promise to use Russias infl uence with the separatists was vague.

    We are being called on to use our infl uence with the separa-tists in southeastern Ukraine. We of course will do everything in our power but that is not nearly enough, Putin told a meeting of his advisory Security Council.

    It was a rare acknowledgement that Russia has infl uence over the rebels, echoing a similar remark by his foreign minister, but he made clear Washington should be doing more to use its sway over the authorities in Kiev, de-scribed by a top security aide as the Wests henchmen.

    Ultimately, there is a need to call on the authorities in Kiev to respect basic norms of decency, and at least for a short time im-plement a ceasefi re, he said, re-peating criticism of Kiev for re-suming military operations after a truce.

    The former KGB spy also did not respond directly to calls for Russia to tighten controls at the border with Ukraine, which the West says would help prevent arms reaching the rebels who oppose Kievs rule over the Rus-sian-speaking east.

    Putin had previously made only short comments in public on the downing of Malaysian Air-lines fl ight MH17, killing all 298 people on board the televised

    remarks standing beside a desk early on Monday and comments fi lmed at the start of a meeting on Friday.

    His new remarks appeared partly to respond to US Presi-dent Barack Obama, who urged him and Russia on Monday to pivot away from the strategy that theyve been taking and get serious about trying to resolve hostilities within Ukraine.

    Obama and other Western leaders have painted this as a last chance for Putin to end the worst crisis in Moscows relations with the West since the Cold war, hoping he will distance himself from the rebels and cut off any support for them.

    Putin has an interest in de-

    escalating the crisis to avert more Western sanctions on Russia and reduce the risk of events spin-ning further out of control in east Ukraine.

    He signalled this by renounc-ing powers given to him by par-liament to send Russias army into east Ukraine to protect Rus-sian-speakers.

    But he is also determined not to be seen to make big conces-sions something which would damage his popularity ratings in Russia, which have soared to record highs since the annexa-tion of Crimea in March.

    Hitting back, but repeating earlier vague threats, he said Russia, which has been hit by Western sanctions over Crimea,

    could take steps to protect the economy from external threats and strengthen its defences to counter moves by Nato in eastern Europe.

    Putin also reiterated his be-lief that protests that toppled Ukraines former Russian-backed president Viktor Yanuko-vych in February were an illegal coup instigated and funded from abroad.

    Russia is being presented with what is almost an ultima-tum: Let us destroy this part of the population that is ethnically and historically close to Russia and we will not impose sanctions against you, Putin said. This is a strange and unacceptable logic.

    Putin says hell use infl uence on rebels ReutersMoscow

    Putin: Such methods (bullying and meddling in Russiaa domestic aff airs) will not work on Russia.

    Mortar blasts rocked the outskirts of rebel stronghold Donetsk yesterday as Ukrainian soldiers clashed again with pro-Russian insurgents a day after fi ve ci-vilians were reported killed by shelling in the area.

    AFP reporters heard artillery fi re coming from the Ukrainian side in the village of Oktyabrsky close to the airport, which has now come under full government control.

    Around 30 rebels some in balaclavas or black pirate-style bandanas immediately raised their Kalashnikov rifl es into fi r-ing position and asked reporters to leave.

    Five blasts rang out, each clos-er than the last.

    Theyre fi ring on civilians! These are Ukrainian troops! They have become like wild animals, said one of the fi ghters, who gave his nickname as Black.

    We are expecting a column of heavy armour from the enemy side, he said, adding: Our ef-forts are being hampered by their snipers ... a sniper could take me out right now.

    There is no truce here! he said, as the separatists followed Kiev in pledging a ceasefi re in the area around the crash site of Ma-laysia Airlines fl ight MH17 some 60km from Donetsk.

    Frightened residents of the ramshackle hamlet of unpaved roads and tumbledown cottages could be seen taking shelter, looking apprehensively into the air.

    On a road nearby, there was a bombed-out T-64 tank.

    The charred, deformed bodies of three Ukrainian soldiers could be seen lying side by side next to the wreckage.

    We are defending ourselves. I dont want to kill my brothers but we are under attack, a 39-year-old rebel and Donetsk native who said he fi red the fatal anti-tank rocket that hit the vehicle, told AFP at the scene.

    The man, who declined to give his name, said he hit the tank during intensive fi ghting on Monday.

    We will bury the bodies or maybe exchange them for bodies of our own guys, he said, as fl ies swarmed around the corpses un-der a scorching sun.

    Ukrainian forces have laid siege to the rebel strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk in south-east Ukraine, capturing sur-

    rounding villages and towns in recent days.

    General Staff commander Viktor Muzhenko told President Petro Poroshenko that Severo-donetsk, a town around 120km northeast of Donetsk, was the latest to fall, the presidential ad-ministration said.

    The interior ministry said it found two dead bodies in one of its facilities in the city, as well as four hostages allegedly held in captivity by the rebels for about a month.

    The National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine also said yesterday that 13 soldiers had been killed in the past 24-hour period.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin accused by Kiev and the West of arming the rebels has promised to do everything to in-fl uence the separatists in eastern Ukraine and help ensure a full probe into the Malaysia Airlines crash.

    However, he said this would be absolutely inadequate giv-en fresh attacks by Ukrainian troops.

    Ukrainian authorities must be called upon to abide by el-ementary decency, to introduce a ceasefi re, he said.

    There was little sign of a let-up on the ground however.

    At the site of the blown-out tank in Donetsk, a gaunt rebel with nervous eyes, said there were exchanges of fi re ongoing further up the road, near the vil-lage of Pervomayskoye.

    The man, who wielded a ma-chine-gun painted green to dis-guise it and wore camoufl age uniform, said: I will fi ght until death.

    Clashes near Donetsk city as Ukraine troops make gainsAFPDonetsk

    A boy takes a picture of the damage to the pavement following a mortar attack yesterday in Donetsk.

    The European Union threatened Russia yester-day with harsher sanc-tions over Ukraine, but failed to back tough talk with any imme-diate action after Frances presi-dent signalled that the disputed delivery of a warship to Moscow would go ahead.

    The 28 EU ministers met under pressure from the United States and Britain to step up sanctions after the downing of a Malaysian Airlines plane last week in an area of eastern Ukraine controlled by Russian-backed separatists.

    Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, speaking in Amsterdam, said that attitudes towards Rus-sia had changed fundamen-tally since the disaster, and the EU must put pressure on Moscow to do more to calm the unrest in eastern Ukraine.

    The ministers did agree to widen the list of individuals and entities targeted by asset freezes and visa bans, and to draft pos-sible additional sanctions on access to fi nancial services and technology, including in the en-ergy sector, if Russia does not co-operate with an international in-vestigation into the disaster and act to calm the separatists.

    But they took no immediate additional measures and diff er-ences persisted over taking fi rm-er steps against Europes leading energy supplier.

    The president of the former Soviet republic of Lithuania, now an EU member, accused France of pursuing a policy akin to the 1930s appeasement of Nazi Germany over its decision to go ahead with the delivery of a heli-copter carrier to Moscow.

    EU envoys will discuss the wider target list for existing sanctions tomorrow, Dutch For-eign Minister Frans Timmer-mans.

    The ministers asked the ex-ecutive European Commission to draw up more far-reaching sanc-tions on access to capital mar-kets and high-tech but any such measures would be conditional on approval by EU leaders and not immediate, diplomats said.

    Goods embargoed could in-clude military, energy and dual-use technologies.

    Timmermans opened the meeting after a minutes si-lence was held in memory of the 298 people 193 of them Dutch who died when fl ight MH17 crashed on Thursday en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

    Several ministers called for an arms embargo on Russia to try to stem a fl ow of weapons that is fuelling the confl ict, including surface-to-air missiles suspect-ed of bringing down the airliner.

    Washington says the plane was brought down by a surface-to-air missile fi red from territory in eastern Ukraine held by pro-Russian separatists. Moscow de-nies involvement.

    US President Barack Obama has piled pressure on Europe for a more forceful response, and the three leading EU powers Britain, France and Germany said that they should be ready to ratchet up sanctions.

    But there was no sign of con-sensus, with many governments concerned to protect crucial Russian energy supplies and business ties with Moscow.

    Diff erences between Britain and France burst into the open on Monday when President Francois Hollande said delivery of a fi rst French helicopter carrier built for Russia would go ahead, hours af-ter British Prime Minister David Cameron had said such a delivery would be unthinkable in his country.

    Hollande said the handover of a second Mistral-class warship under a 1.2bn ($1.62bn) con-tract signed in 2011 by his prede-cessor would depend on Russias attitude. Well see if the Rus-

    sians behave badly, he said.Hollande won support among

    both his own Socialists and the conservative opposition UMP for standing up to outside pres-sure. Socialist Party leader Jean-Christophe Cambadelis said Cameron should start by clean-ing up his own backyard, refer-ring to the presence of Russian oligarchs close to Putin in Lon-don.

    Camerons spokesman said Britain was ready to consider sanctions that would aff ect its own interests, notably in fi nan-cial services.

    But when asked about the prime ministers comment that it was time to target cronies and oligarchs around Putin, the spokesman said he had seen lit-tle evidence that London-based Russian tycoons were involved in supporting the Ukraine rebels.

    Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, an outspoken crit-ic of Putin, compared the French attitude to the appeasement of Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

    If European states keep on acting so indecisively, this is a direct invitation for the ag-gressor to be more aggressive and go further, she told LRT public radio. In 1930s Nazism wasnt stopped, and now aggres-sive Russian chauvinism isnt stopped and that resulted in the attack against a civilian plane.

    All European states must un-derstand that after such brutal aggression against the plane we have to stop the Mistralisation of our politics, she said in a play on the warships class.

    Timmermans said the Nether-lands, which until now has been hesitant about imposing tougher measures on Moscow, was not opposed to further sanctions.

    There is no Dutch blockade of further sanctions. The Neth-erlands wants that the European Union makes a united, and also strong, clear, statement against the unrest in eastern Ukraine, he told reporters.

    Any decision to move to tough economic sanctions, including restricting access to capital mar-kets, would require a summit of EU leaders, diplomats said.

    The next summit is not due until August 30 although a meet-ing of heads of state and govern-ment could be convened earlier if there is agreement.

    EU fails to back up tough talkReutersBrussels

    Grybauskaite: In 1930s Nazism wasnt stopped.

    Frances lucrative military business with Russia is back on the radar.EU foreign ministers met yes-

    terday in Brussels to discuss a third round of sanctions against Russia in the wake of the down-ing of Malaysian fl ight MH17.

    Ahead of the talks Britain, which lost nine people in the crash, increased pressure on France to ditch a 1.2bn deal to supply Russia with two helicop-ter carriers.

    The fi rst of the two warships the Vladivostok has nearly been completed at a shipyard in the Atlantic port of Saint-Naza-ire.

    Four hundred Russian sailors arrived in Saint-Nazaire earlier this month for four months of training on how to operate the 22,000-tonne vessel, which is due for delivery in October.

    On Monday, British Prime Minister David Cameron, who is pushing for an EU arms embar-go on Russia, told the House of Commons it was unthinkable that France would honour the contract.

    Frankly in this country it

    would be unthinkable to fulfi l an order like the one outstanding that the French have, he said.

    Britain, which suspended arms exports to Russia in March, would put pressure on its part-ners to say that we cannot go on doing business as usual with a country when its behaving in this way, he said.

    A member of the European Parliament from the Nether-lands, which had 193 citizens among the 298 killed when MH17 was shot down, put it in more di-rect terms.

    MEP Esther de Lange told the Strasbourg assembly that her constituents wanted to know: How come when we are waiting for 300 bodies to come back to the Netherlands, there are at the same time 400 Russians being trained in France to operate the latest warships?

    This is a question as a politi-cian that I cant answer and that makes me mad, she said.

    Questioned on Monday about the deal, which has also been criticised by US President Barack Obama, Franch President Fran-cois Hollande said the Vladivos-tok would be handed over, come what may.

    The Russians have paid. We would have to repay 1.1bn, the

    French leader was quoted by AFP as arguing.

    As for the second vessel, which is named after the Crimean port of Sevastopol, its delivery, which is scheduled for 2015, would de-pend on Russias attitude, he said.

    Well see if the Russians be-have badly, Hollande said, add-ing that at the moment President Vladimir Putin seemed interest-ed in political proposals.

    Furthermore, Hollande de-fended, even if the EU were to decide on an arms embargo, it would only apply to new busi-ness.

    Signed by ex-president Nico-las Sarkozy in 2011, the warships deal was welcomed as guaran-teeing several years work for the

    struggling Saint-Nazaire ship-yard.

    A demonstration to mark the arrival of the Russian sailors mustered only about 50 people.

    From left to right, objections from the likes of Britain or Ger-many are met with rejoinders about Russian oligarch billions stashed in London or Germanys reliance on Russian gas.

    The leader of Frances govern-ing Socialists, Jean-Christophe Cambadelis, warned against throwing stones in glasshous-es.

    Just because the Americans say jump, we shouldnt jump, Xavier Bertrand, a former minis-ter under Sarkozy from the con-servative UMP party added on France Inter radio.

    Hollande: Well see if the Russians behave badly.

    France on the defensive over warships deal By Clare Byrne, DPAParis

    The Red Cross has made a confidential legal assess-ment that Ukraine is off icially in a war, Western diplo-mats and off icials say, opening the door to possible war crimes prosecutions, including over the downing of Malaysia Airlines MH-17.Clearly its an internal conflict and therefore this is most probably a war crime, one Western diplomat in Geneva told Reuters.The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is the guardian of the Geneva Conventions setting down the rules of war, and as such is considered a reference in the United Nations deciding when violence has evolved into an armed conflict.Within the UN system, its the ICRC that makes that de-termination. They are the gate keepers of international humanitarian law, said one UN source.The ICRC has not made any public statement seeking not to off end either Ukraine or Russia by calling it a civil war or a case of foreign aggression but it has done so privately and informed the parties to the conflict, sources told Reuters.The qualification has been shared bilaterally and con-fidentially, ICRC spokeswoman Anastasia Isyuk told Reuters on Friday. We do not discuss it publicly.The designation as a war either international or civil changes the game legally, because it turns both sides into combatants with equal liability for war crimes,

    which have no statute of limitations and cannot be absolved by an amnesty.Suspects may also be arrested abroad, since some countries apply universal jurisdiction to war crimes.Without the designation, Ukrainian government forces would be responsible for protecting civilians and infrastructure under international human rights law, while separatists would only be liable under Ukraines criminal laws.It changes their accountability on the international stage, said Andrew Clapham, director of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Hu-man Rights. This makes individuals more likely to be prosecuted for war crimes.Dutch prosecutors have opened an investigation into the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH-17 on suspicion of murder, war crimes and intentionally downing an airliner, a spokesman said on Monday.Based on the Law on International Crimes, the Nether-lands can prosecute any individual who committed a war crime against a Dutch citizen.The 298 people who were killed when the plane was downed over Ukraine included 193 Dutch citizens.Russian President Vladimir Putin said in May that the country had collapsed into civil war, while Ukraine regards the conflict as a war involving Russian aggres-sion.

    War crimes trials a step closer aft er Red Cross assessment

  • EUROPE19Gulf Times Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    A train carrying the remains of many of the 298 victims of Malaysia Airlines fl ight MH17 arrived in a Ukrainian gov-ernment-held city yesterday on the fi rst leg of their fi nal journey home to be reclaimed by their families.

    Five refrigerated wagons con-taining 200 body bags reached the city of Kharkiv after pro-Russian separatists agreed to hand over the planes black boxes to Malaysian authorities and the bodies to the Netherlands, where many victims had lived.

    The train slowly rolled into the grounds of an arms indus-try plant, where the remains are due to be unloaded and fl own to the Netherlands for the lengthy process of identifi cation.

    A spokeswoman for a Dutch team of forensic experts in Kharkiv said departure was not expected before today.

    The Malaysia Airlines plane was fl ying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down on July 17 near Donetsk, a stronghold of pro-Russian rebels, where fi ghting with Ukrainian troops fl ared again yesterday.

    Malaysia said it would send the black boxes to a British lab for analysis.

    Here they are, the black box-es, separatist leader Aleksander Borodai told journalists at the headquarters of his self-pro-claimed Donetsk Peoples Re-

    public as an armed rebel placed the boxes on a desk.

    A small group of Malaysian air crash experts became the fi rst international accident investiga-tors to reach the site yesterday, escorted by a convoy of inter-national monitors and heavily armed separatist fi ghters.

    The shooting down of the air-liner has sharply deepened the Ukrainian crisis, in which sepa-ratist gunmen in the Russian-speaking east have been fi ghting government forces since pro-Western protesters in Kiev forced out a pro-Moscow president and Russia annexed Crimea in March.

    Shaken by the deaths of nearly 300 people on the Malaysian air-liner, Western governments have threatened Russia with stiff er penalties.

    European Union foreign min-isters were meeting yesterday to discuss further penalties against Russia, but the most they are expected to do is to speed up implementation of sanctions against individuals, and possibly companies, agreed in principle last week before the plane was brought down.

    Diplomats say that more seri-

    ous sanctions against whole sec-tors of the Russian economy will depend largely on the line taken by the Dutch, because of the high number of Dutch victims.

    At the United Nations, the Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on Monday demanding those responsible be held to account and that all states co-operate fully with ef-forts to establish accountability.

    It also demanded that armed groups allow safe, secure, full and unrestricted access to the crash site.

    Putin noted an increased use of language of ultimatums and sanctions towards Russia and called for more dialogue with the West.

    European security monitors said gunmen stopped them in-specting the site on Friday and Ukrainian offi cials have said sep-aratists tampered with evidence at the crash site.

    But the spokesman for the Eu-ropean security monitors said they had unfettered access on Monday, and a Dutch victims identifi cation team was allowed to inspect the storage of the bod-ies in refrigerated rail cars before

    they left for Kharkiv.The Malaysian crash experts

    walked through the wheat fi elds by the wreckage, making notes and taking photographs yester-day.

    Russias defence ministry has challenged Western accusa-tions that pro-Russian separa-tists were responsible for shoot-

    ing down the airliner and said Ukrainian warplanes had fl own close to it.

    The ministry also rejected ac-cusations that Russia had sup-plied the rebels with SA-11 Buk anti-aircraft missile systems the weapon said by Kiev and the West to have downed the airliner or any other weapons.

    MH17 bodies arrive in KharkivReutersDonetsk

    Journalists work after a train carrying the remains of victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17 arrived in Kharkiv.

    OSCE says body parts still on site of plane crash

    There are still human remains on the site where a Malaysian passenger plane hit the ground in eastern Ukraine after being downed, a representa-tive of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) watchdog said yesterday.We observed the presence of smaller body parts at the site, an OSCE spokesman, Michael Bociurkiw, told a briefing in Ukraines eastern city of Donetsk after his group inspected the site earlier in the day. We did not observe any recovery activity in place.

    As Western leaders increas-ingly pointed the fi nger of blame at pro-Russian separatists, and Moscow itself, over the shooting down of a Ma-laysia Airlines plane in eastern Ukraine, the government in Kua-la Lumpur said little.

    The reasons for that reticence which had drawn criticism at home became clear yesterday when Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced shortly after midnight that his govern-ment had negotiated the release of the remains of nearly 300 vic-tims of Flight MH17 from separa-tist-held territory.

    Najib, working through inter-mediaries to reach rebel leader Alexander Borodai, was a key fi gure in brokering the deal, ac-cording to two sources in Malay-sia with direct knowledge of the negotiations.

    The talks were kept under tight wraps, with Najib initiating the

    conversation and bringing only a handful of his closest confi dants into the discussions.

    It was the prime ministers project, one of the sources said. He was the main player and he kept this within a very, very, very tight circle. Even some of his closest advisers were not part of this circle, and were surprised by this deal.

    The agreement was that Ma-laysia would receive the aircrafts black box voice and fl ight data recorders, which were in rebel hands after being recovered from the crash site near the Russian border.

    The bodies would be moved from separatist-controlled ter-ritory so that international in-vestigators could safely conduct DNA tests and later return the remains to families.

    Intermediaries, whom the sources declined to identify, fa-cilitated at least one telephone discussion between Najib and Borodai, via a translator, the sources said.

    Malaysia wanted three things from the separatists: return the

    bodies, hand over the black boxes and assure safe access for inves-tigators to the crash site.

    Borodais people wanted a signed document acknowledg-ing that the black boxes were not tampered with, the second source said.

    They also insisted on hand-ing over the black boxes to the Malaysians because they did not want the devices in the hands of the Ukrainian government.

    The voice and data recorders will be crucial for investigators to piece together exactly what brought down the plane as it fl ew over eastern Ukraine on Thurs-day en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

    As negotiations advanced, Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai, who had been appointed to the job only a few weeks earlier, and other representatives of the airline and government fl ew to Kiev over the weekend.

    A broad agreement took shape on Monday, and Najib broke his silence, telling a small group of offi cials that a deal had been struck, the fi rst source said.

    A press conference he had scheduled for 5.30pm was abruptly cancelled. At 10pm, Najib assembled his advisers and press offi cials at his residence for a briefi ng.

    The public announcement came just after midnight. By morning in Malaysia yesterday, the black boxes were in Malay-sian possession and a train carry-ing the bodies was heading out of separatist-controlled territory.

    Including the 15 crew, 43 Ma-laysians were killed on the plane, and in the days before the deal was made public some of Na-jibs advisers were urging him to make a strong statement, noting

    that leaders of the United States, Australia and Britain had all ex-pressed outrage.

    At home, anger was building over the poor treatment of the victims remains. In the Muslim faith, followed by the majority of Malaysians, funerals are sup-posed to be held within 48 hours of death.

    There was growing pressure on the PM to refl ect some of this domestic anger, the fi rst source said. They felt that they needed the PM to make a strong state-ment to the country to address some of these building concerns, and some of them began to craft a statement on Sunday afternoon.

    But Najib waited. Malaysian offi cials say a carefully cultivat-ed neutrality was key to sealing a deal that had eluded Western powers.

    In recent days, there were times I wanted to give greater voice to the anger and grief that the Malaysian people feel, and that I feel, Najib said when he fi -nally broke his silence yesterday. But sometimes, we must work quietly in the service of a better outcome.

    Transport Minister Liow took two days before acknowledging without assigning any blame that the Boeing 777 appeared to have been hit by a missile over eastern Ukraine on Thursday.

    Not once did he or any other Malaysian offi cials publicly point the fi nger at Russia.

    Thats the position of the Malaysian government. Our pri-ority is not to get involved po-litically. We just want to get the bodies and get investigators to the site, said a government of-fi cial who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    While President Barack Obama blamed Russia for supporting and arming rebels who the West accuses of fi ring a surface-to-air missile that took down the plane, Malaysia kept channels open to both Ukraine and Russia, even-tually getting direct access to separatist leader Borodai.

    That meant when an agree-ment was reached it did not look like the rebels, or their backers in Moscow, were bowing to Western pressure, said one analyst.

    It helps, defi nitely, that Ma-laysia is seen as a non-party to the ongoing confl ict on the ground, said Alan Chong, asso-ciate professor at the Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. Whereas Nato, the US, and Britain are defi nitely partial towards the Ukrainian government. They have posed particular diffi culties to the rebels.

    Malaysia quietly worked back channels to get things moving By Trinna Leong and Siva Govindasamy, ReutersKuala Lumpur

    A Malaysian expert checks one of the two black boxes of the crashed Malaysian Air airliner MH17 after the handover during a press conference in Donestk. Behind him, partially concealed, is Borodai.

    Members of the special Malaysian team of investigators assemble prior to entering Balachovka Cargo Rail Station in an industrial estate southeast of Kharkiv.

    With evidence mounting that a surface-to-air missile brought down fl ight MH17 in Ukraine, experts warned yesterday that that proof remains a long way off and only satellite images can identify who pushed the button.

    Recently published photo-graphs show a piece of fuse-lage from the Malaysian Air-lines plane peppered with a fairly dense but also widespread shrapnel pattern typical for the blast from an SA-11 surface-to-air missile, said defence analyst Justin Bronk.

    Evidence already points to an SA-11 surface-to-air missile having shot down the Boeing 777 over rebel-held territory.

    The shrapnel damage on the airframe parts thats been seen so far is consistent with what you would expect to see from an SA-11 warhead exploding in close proximity, said Bronk, analyst in Military Science at the Royal United Services Institute in Lon-don.

    But to get a conclusive an-swer you would have to take the aircraft away and completely re-construct it as best as you could, he told AFP, as happened with the wreckage of Pan-Am fl ight 103 after it was blown up over Scotland in 1988.

    The Malaysian plane came down in a war zone on Thursday, killing all 298 people on board, 193 of them Dutch.

    While forensics experts tasked with identifying the bodies have arrived at the scene, those prob-ing the cause of the crash are still in Kiev for security reasons, the Dutch Safety Board leading the probe said.

    Rebels, civilians and journal-ists have been walking all over the crash scene, handling ob-jects, while observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) have said some pieces of wreck-age have been sawn in half.

    Separatists promised yester-day to give investigators free ac-cess to the site, and a ceasefi re has been declared in the immedi-ate area.

    Adding to the mammoth task, crash debris is spread over an area of around 12 square miles (35sq km) after the plane disin-tegrated at an altitude of about

    33,000 feet (10,000m).The Dutch Safety Board re-

    fused to say if or where the plane fuselage might be reconstructed.

    People tend to reduce air ac-cident investigations to the black boxes. But while theyre essen-tial, they are not enough, said former test pilot and air crash investigator Robert Galan.

    For instance, in the case of a missile, examining the wreckage allows you to determine whether the impact came from in front or behind the plane, he told AFP.

    But, he warned, it is essential for investigators to gain swift access to the site: If people have been walking over essential evidence for three days, you will never fi nd it.

    Investigators will also be look-ing for pieces of shrapnel or trac-es of explosives from the missile, which was likely to have explod-ed a few metres away from the plane to maximise damage.

    However, it is worth remem-bering, that this crash site does sit in an active war zone. So, theres potential for contamina-tion by explosive residue from other munition sources in the area, said Bronk.

    Pro-Russian separatists have been accused of fi ring a Russian-supplied missile, while Moscow says Kiev shot down the Boeing 777.

    Alleged conversations be-tween rebels discussing the shooting down, intercepted by intelligence agencies, as well as satellite images around the time of the crash will be key to identi-fying who ordered the attack and who pushed the button.

    But, said Bronk, the Russian and the separatist side will al-ways just claim that it is a fake.

    The really conclusive thing will be if eventually satellite im-agery is released, showing ex-actly where the missile launcher was and fi red. And also, crucially, where it went after that.

    Washington, one of the fi rst to suggest a surface-to-air missile was used, has said it has satellite imagery of the missile launch.

    Ben Moores, aeronautical ex-pert at IHS Janes, said the sound recordings on the black boxes, now in the hands of Malaysian authorities, could help prove what kind of missile was used.

    An air-to-air missile makes a small blast, while a ground-to-air missile makes a much bigger one, he said.

    Evidence mounts of missile strike, but proof elusive AFPThe Hague

    A security guard prevents unauthorised entry into the Balachovka Cargo Rail Station in an industrial estate southeast of Kharkiv.

    IATA: governments should lead review of risks

    Governments should take the lead in reviewing how risk assessments for airspace are made, the head of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said, sidestepping calls for a conference of global airlines on the matter.The issue of flying over conflict zones is in focus after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine on Thursday.Geneva-based IATA, which represents around 200 global airlines, said yesterday that it was up to governments and air traff ic control authorities to provide information about routes and restrictions.No eff ort should be spared in ensuring that this outrage is not repeated, IATA director-general Tony Tyler said in a statement.Governments will need to take the lead in reviewing how airspace risk assessments are made, he said, adding that the industry would support governments through the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the aviation safety arm of the United Nations.

    Dutch national day of mourning today

    The Netherlands has declared today a national day of mourning for the 193 Dutch victims of the flight MH17 crash, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a statement.The first bodies recovered from last weeks disaster over rebel-held Ukraine, in which 298 people died, are due to arrive in the Netherlands at 1400 GMT today, where they will be met by relatives.King Willem Alexander, Queen Maxima and Rutte will also be present at Eindhoven airport for the arrival of the bodies, which will be marked by a minutes silence, the statement from the justice ministry said yesterday.Representatives of some of the 10 other nations whose citizens were killed in the crash will also be present.

  • INDIA

    Gulf Times Wednesday, July 23, 201420

    Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy will now finalise his cabinet rejig with the Congress high command in Delhi, a senior party leader said yesterday. Chandy will be in Delhi today and will finalise the additions and deletions by speaking with party president Sonia Gandhi, vice president Rahul Gandhi and senior leader A K Antony. Another interesting development is that K Muraleedharan, son of former chief minister late K Karunakaran is also reaching Delhi. According to the statutory provisions, Kerala can have a cabinet of 21, and Indian Union Muslim League-five, Kerala Congress (Mani)-two while Kerala Congress (Jacob), RSP(B) and the Socialist Janata Dal have one each.

    Taking suo moto cognizance of media reports that a 16-year-old tribal teenager was tortured in police custody in Thane during interrogation and died June 21, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) yesterday sought a report from the Maharashtra government. The NHRC has served notice to the states principal secretary (home) to submit a detailed report within a month. According to reports, the tribal victim, Babu Thakre was detained and tortured in police custody by the police in Bhiwandi town of Thane district last month. The contents of the newspaper report, if true, raise a serious issue of human rights of the teenager and next of his kin, NHRC said.

    A Kerala off icial has been invited by the US Bureau of Educational and Cultural Aff airs to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Programme (IVLP) in August. Kerala State Womens Development Corp Managing Director P T M Sunish is one of the 25 participants from 22 countries who will attend the programme, to be held across the US. The theme of this years programme is Change makers: The impact of Social Entrepreneurs in the US. Sunish is the CEO of Gender Park, an initiative of the department of social justice, government of Kerala and the live wire behind REACH - a professional grooming academy for girls.

    The Kerala government has initiated a number of programmes to create an entrepreneurial mindset in youth and promote such young entrepreneurs, a minister said yesterday. Inaugurating Technopreneur 14 workshop at the Technopark in Thiruvananthapuram, Industries and IT Minister P K Kunhalikutty said the main objective of the initiative was to develop an entrepreneurial mindset among youth on whom expectations for the future are pinned. He also launched the off icial website of Young Entrepreneurs Summit (YES), a key initiative to promote young entrepreneurs that will be held in Kochi in September.

    World Bank president Jim Yong Kim shakes hand with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley before a meeting in New Delhi yesterday. Jim Yong Kim is on a three-day visit to India.

    Oommen Chandy to finalise cabinet rejig in Delhi

    NHRC seeks report on tribal teens custodial death

    Kerala off icial to attend US leadership programme

    Seeking entrepreneurial mindset in Kerala youth

    POLITICAL PLOY TORTURED?INVITED STATE INITIATIVE MONEY ON THEIR MIND

    Three-year-old girl sexually assaulted near Bangalore IANSBangalore

    A three-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by a juvenile in a vil-lage 30km from here while her parents were away from home, police said yesterday.

    The incident occurred on Friday when the 16-year-old accused sexually assaulted the child, taking advantage of her parents absence from home at Thatteguppe village, Ramanagara dis-trict police superintendent Anupam Agarwal told IANS over phone.

    Police registered a case against the accused, who is absconding, under the Protection of Children from Sexual Off ences Act (POCSO) Act, on a com-plaint fi led by the girls mother.

    We have rushed police teams to surrounding villages to hunt for the ac-cused, who stays near the girls home, Agarwal said.

    Her mother lodged the complaint yesterday after she got the child exam-

    ined by a local doctor who found her sexually abused.

    We have admitted the child at St. Johns hospital in Bangalore as she is in a serious condition. We will con-duct a medical test to check if she was sexually assaulted only after she re-covers from illness, as she had recent-

    ly undergone heart surgery, Agarwal said.

    The accused was identifi ed as the son of a Thalgatpura gram panchayat member.

    When the girls parents returned home and asked the accused why he was there and what was he doing, he

    told them he was helping their child pass urine and fl ed the spot.

    The latest heinous crime has out-raged the villagers, coming as it does within three weeks after a six-year-old student was allegedly raped by a skat-ing coach in an elite school in the citys eastern suburb.

    Chief minister miffed by repeated media queries

    Rattled by the non-stop media coverage of the spate of rapes in the city, a miff ed Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah yesterday asked reporters if they had no news other than rape to cover.

    What rape? Is it the only news you have to cover? Siddaramaiah shot back when reporters asked him at the state secretariat for an update on the investigations into the alleged rape of a six-year-old student in an elite school, and that of a teenaged student in a seminary and a 22-year-old post-gradu-ate student near her house.

    Incensed with the relentless telecast by regional and national news channels

    of the developments on the rape cases and rising crimes against women, the chief minister said the state government was doing everything to ensure womens safety and security.

    When told protests were mounting against the government over the failure of police in ensuring safety and security of women, Siddaramaiah said: Investi-gations in the rape cases are going on. We will not spare anyone committing crimes against women.

    We are going to invoke the Goonda Act against all the accused in the rape cases. We have directed police to step-

    up patrolling and act swiftly on anyone indulging in such crimes, he said.

    The chief minister was also upset over repeated telecast of visuals showing him dozing off in the legislative assembly when a discussion on rising crimes against women was underway last week.

    We are taking several measures to ensure safety of students by enforcing guidelines in all schools and col-leges across the city and directing their managements to conduct background checks on teaching and non-teaching staff employed for security, transport and other activities, Siddaraiamah said.

    Children from NGO Child Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting hold placards during a silent protest in Bangalore against sexual harassment of children.

    Delhi restaurant run by convicts wins praise for politeness and hygiene By David Lalmalsawma, ReutersNew Delhi

    As Indias capital baked in a heat wave, banker Gaurav Gupta sat down for lunch at a new air-conditioned restaurant, to be greeted by a smiling waiter who took his order for a traditional thali meal of fl at-bread, lentils, vegetables and rice.

    Nothing unusual, except that the employee, like most of his colleagues, is a convicted murderer serving time in South Asias largest prison complex.

    The Tihar Food Court in west Delhi, a rehabilitation eff ort kicked off by the Tihar prison, opened in the fi rst week of July on an experimental basis while awaiting formal clearances, half a kilo-metre from the prisoners dormitories.

    With a spacious interior lined with wooden tables and walls adorned with paintings done by prisoners, the 50-seat restaurant has been praised for the polite behaviour of its employees, who were trained by a prestigious nearby hotel management school.

    The food is average, said Gupta. But the hygiene factor is really good, very clean. And its a good thing they are employing prisoners.

    Restaurant manager Mohamed Asim said there are around 50 cus-tomers every day, with each worker paid Rs74 ($1.20) for the days work.

    The vegetarian menu features most-ly northern Indian food items, such as samosas and kidney beans with rice. The deluxe thali is the priciest item, costing Rs150 ($2.50), while samosas are among the cheapest, at Rs10.

    Those who come once to have our food come back again, said Asim, who has spent 14-1/2 years in jail for mur-der.

    To be eligible to leave prison and work in the restaurant, inmates must have kept up an unblemished record through at least 12 years of imprison-ment, besides a high school educa-tion.

    Prisoners eligible to be released within two years are picked for the job, to minimise their temptation to escape.

    They travel to work by cycle or on foot, as authorities trust them enough not to need a security escort.

    Comments in the visitors book are mostly encouraging.

    The food was simply delicious, wrote one guest, Bhoomika Dabas. The service provided was also com-mendable ... 10/10 for cleanliness and humble service. Suggestion: include more variety of cuisine.

    Revenue from the non-profi t res-taurant, fl agged under the TJs brand of products made by prisoners, is ear-marked for prisoner welfare and vo-cational training, said Sunil Gupta, a spokesman for the Tihar jail.

    Once notorious for corruption, drug problems and prisoner abuse, the Tihar jail complex has ushered in several reforms, with vocational train-ing and painting featured among the rehabilitation programmes off ered to its 13,552 inmates.

    The restaurant was set up to give employment to the inmates and project the positive aspects of prison work to the public, said spokesman Gupta.

    A similar experiment has run for more than two years in the southern state of Kerala, where prison inmates dish up food sold at a counter near the jail, or distributed by mobile vans.

    Customers had few qualms dealing with the Tihar prisoners.

    I think that Tihar authorities have observed them for years and have de-cided they can be placed in front of the public ... so I dont think there is a need to be worried, said fi rst-time customer Atul Singh, who works with the Indian unit of South Korean elec-tronics giant Samsung.

    Bal Krishan Grover, 49, wearing the restaurant uniform shirt of red and white stripes, said he was an electri-cian before going to prison 13 years ago for accidentally killing someone in a quarrel.

    He says he enjoys working at the restaurant and plans to switch careers as soon as he is a free man.

    My aim is to set up a branch of the Tihar restaurant, said Grover.

    An inmate prepares food inside the kitchen of a restaurant run by the Tihar Jail authorities on Jail Road in Delhi.

    Kerala scientist discovers oil-eating bacteriaBy Ashraf PadannaThiruvananthapuram

    A scientist in Kerala says she has isolated three new species of oil-degrading bacteria from industrial waste.

    She said she discovered a new species of pseudomonas and two new species of burkholderia widely known as good biodegrad-ers of toxic and tough compounds.

    Dr R B Smitha of the Mala-bar Botanical Garden (MBG) in Kozhikode made the discovery as part of the Young Scientist Project - Isolation and purifi ca-tion of Catecol 2,3 dioxygenase, a key hydrocarbon degrading en-

    zyme present in industrial waste.The fi ndings have been sub-

    mitted to GenBank, a nucleotide sequence database, she said.

    The project was funded by the federal Department of Science and Technology. The state-run MBG focuses on the conserva-tion of aquatic plants, medicinal plants and species belonging to the lower plant category.

    The young scientist has pat-ents pending on the extraction of alpha amylase enzyme and in-secticidal toxins from the bacte-rium bacillus thuringiensis kur-staki and tests for their effi cacy in controlling the eriophyid mite parasite (mandari) destroying coconut palms.

    Her current study has re-sulted in the discovery of two new members in the genus bur-kholderia which consists of a number of versatile bacteria that occupy a wide range of ecologi-cal niches.

    Some of them are capable of breaking down toxic compounds found in pesticides and herbi-cides and others found to repress pathogens present in soil and help promote crop growth.

    Burkholderia strains have ex-ceptional metabolic versatility and can also be used for bioreme-diation, a process for removing waste and pollutants from con-taminated sites using microbes or other organisms.

    More than 190 species be-longing to the genus pseu-domonas are targets of con-siderable research for their ability to thrive in diverse and often harsh environments, and their ability to metabolise a va-riety of nutrients.

    Like burkholderia, pseu-domonas bacteria have also been found to be eff ective agents for bioremediation.

    Since the mid-1980s, certain members of the pseudomonas genus have been applied to ce-real seeds or applied directly to soils as a way of preventing the growth or establishment of crop pathogens, a practice referred to as biocontrol.

    Probe into healthcare graft after TV sting operation

    India has ordered an inves-tigation into doctors and laboratories suspected of off ering kickbacks for referring patients for medical tests, fol-lowing a sting operation by a TV news channel.

    Hindi news channel News Nation TV showed laboratories in the national capital off ering commissions as high as 50% to doctors who referred patients to their diagnostic centres.

    The diagnostic market is the fastest growing segment of In-dias $74bn healthcare indus-try, according to consultancy PwC, with the segment forecast to grow to $17bn by 2021 from $3.4bn in 2011.

    Health Minister Harsh Vard-han has vowed to clean up the health system, which he says is riddled with corruption, a

    problem that pervades public life in India.

    India was ranked 94th in a list of 177 countries on Transpar-ency Internationals 2013 global corruption index, lower than China, South Africa and Brazil.

    Offi cials at one laboratory visited by News Nations un-dercover reporters said they had kickback arrangements with 10,000 doctors, with monthly payments running into tens of thousands of rupees for some neurosurgeons who prescribe expensive tests.

    Nation shamed by sting op-eration on doctors taking com-mission for referring tests. Have ordered high level probe. Eth-ics need of the hour, Vardhan wrote on his Twitter account late on Monday.

    Doctors should treat News

    Nation TV expose on commis-sions/kickback as a wake-up call, he wrote.

    In the last few weeks, leading doctors and advocacy groups in India have teamed up to try to eradicate corruption from the industry, forming anti-graft panels at hospitals and writing open letters to Vardhan.

    You cant make a diff erence in one day, said Balram Bhar-gava, a doctor who is forming a Society for Less Investigative Medicine at the All India Insti-tute of Medical Sciences. It has to be a gradual process.

    The anti-corruption debate gained momentum in India after Australian doctor David Berger wrote a column in May describing his encounters with corruption at a charitable hos-pital in the Himalayas.

  • INDIA21Gulf TimesWednesday, July 23, 2014

    Manipuri mans killing echoes in parliament IANSNew Delhi

    The killing of a Manipuri man reverberated in par-liament yesterday with members in both houses ex-pressing concern over violence against people from the north-east. The government assured that eff orts were on to arrest all the accused.

    Manipuri BPO employee Akha Salouni, 29, was beaten to death Monday by fi ve youths, of whom four have been arrested. One ac-cused is still at large.

    Members in both the Lok Sab-ha and the Rajya Sabha expressed concern over incidents of vio-lence against people from the northeast in Delhi.

    Bharatiya Janata Party mem-ber Tarun Vijay raised the issue during zero hour in the Rajya Sabha.

    This is not the fi rst incident. What are people in Delhi doing to the people from the northeast? They are making them feel this is not their home, he said.

    Several other members joined him in expressing concern over the situation.

    Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said it was a very seri-ous matter and the government should make a statement on it.

    In the Lok Sabha, leader of the Congress in the house Mallikar-jun Kharge demanded a state-ment from the home minister on the matter.

    Making a statement in the

    Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Home Aff airs Kiren Rijiju said: Delhi Police have examined all the eyewitnesses as well as the CCTV footage.

    Eff orts are on to arrest the remaining two assailants. A spe-cial investigation team has been constituted, he said, adding that investigations into the incident were on.

    An initial autopsy report into the death said there were multi-ple internal injuries to the neck, abdomen and brain of the victim.

    Meanwhile, Metropolitan Magistrate Ashok Kumar yester-day sent Sanjay Basoya, Shakti Basoya and Raju to police cus-tody till July 24. The three were arrested hours after they beat Salouni to death.

    The quarrel over giving way turned violent when fi ve youths attacked Salouni and his two friends at Kotla Mubarakpur in south Delhi.

    Salouni and his friends were in an auto-rickshaw, while the fi ve youths were in a car.

    While Salounis friends man-aged to fl ee, the 29-year-old was beaten badly resulting in his death later at the Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre, AIIMS.

    While police were able to nab three accused within hours of the attack, two were at large. One of the accused, Azad Choudhary, 24, a driver by profession, was arrested yesterday from his hide-out in Delhi. Police are now look-ing for the fi fth assailant.

    Police said all the four arrested

    belong to Garhi area in south Delhi.The North East MP Forum

    (NEMPF) yesterday condemned the killing and demanded that recommendations by the Bez-baruah Committee report be im-plemented.

    M P Bezbaruah, chairperson of the Bezbaruah Committee formed by the government after Tanias attack to suggest remedi-al measures, told IANS that only police action and reforms cannot lower crime against the people from the northeast.

    He further attributed such in-cidents to mindsets of the peo-ple and the ideology they adopt against a certain community.

    There is a need for the gov-ernment to make policies that prevents the culprits from get-ting away after committing the crime, which does not happen in many of the cases.

    A wide range of policies need to be improved so that crimes against people from the north-east, and equally from against other states, should reduce, Bezbaruah told IANS.

    Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) V K Singh said in a tweet: Strongly condemn killing of Shaloni. The govt. will take measures to en-sure that such incidents dont reoccur.

    Shakeel Ahmad of the Con-gress said: People from the northeast are surprised by the silence of PM Modi on the kill-ing of a Manipuri youth in Delhi, unlike his outburst in the Nido Tania case.

    A horses head is covered with a translucent tarp to protect from monsoon rains in Shimla.

    Protected!

    Party state unit backs Gogoi, lashes out at rebel minister IANSGuwahati

    A day after Assam minister Himan-ta Biswa Sarma resigned from the Tarun Gogoi government and said he would work as a constructive opposition, the Congress state unit said he had violated party discipline and the high commands direction was awaited.

    The Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) said that no member of the Con-gress can identify as a separate group and that all the elected members of the party must follow the instruction of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP).

    Addressing newsmen at the party head-quarters Rajiv Bhavan, chief spokesperson Mehdi Alam Bora said they have intimated the latest developments in the state unit and

    government to the partys central leadership and waiting for their direction in this regard.

    The APCC reaction came a day after Sar-ma, the state health and education minister, tendered his resignation, saying it was not possible to work under Gogoi mentally, physically and politically.

    Once a favourite of the three-time chief minister, Sarma also said that he is not go-ing to withdraw his resignation and that he is not going to come back to the ministry as long as Gogoi continues at the helm.

    Sarma, who had been leading the dis-sidence since last two years, had also said that the party is going to win not more than 10-15 seats in the next state assembly polls in 2016 if Gogoi continues as the chief min-ister.

    Noting Sarma had violated discipline by his actions, Bora said: Whatever has hap-pened is unfortunate and we condemn this.

    However, there is no system in the party that allows any disgruntled member of the party to play the role of a constructive op-position. All elected members of the party must follow the direction of the CLP.

    Whatever the allegations Sarma levelled against the chief minister... it is against the principles and constitution of the party. The health minister had broken all the tra-ditions of the party by meeting the governor with his supporters and tendering his resig-nation, he said.

    Bora noted the Congress high command has decided not to replace Gogoi despite the activity of a section of dissident leaders to dislodge him.

    Under these circumstances, the health ministers decision to defy the high com-mand is against the party discipline, he said while appealing all the members of the party to work unitedly.

    232 teeth extracted from Thane teenagers mouth By Quaid Najmi, IANSMumbai

    Thats really a mouthful. This teenaged boy could bite, but barely chew thanks to his many, many, many teeth - 232 to be precise.

    Ashik Gavai, 17, from Buld-hana, stunned doctors at Sir J J Hospital 10 days ago when he came with an ugly large swelling on the right side of his face.

    A series of tests and examina-tions suggested a rare abnormal growth aff ecting the second molar on the lower right side of his jaw.

    Initially, it was not very clear what it could be and so we decid-ed to go in for surgery (on Mon-day), said Sunanda Dhivare-Palwankar, head of the hospitals dental department.

    As the surgery progressed, the team of medicos was aghast to see scores and scores of tiny teeth popping out of that abnor-mal molar, which was measuring around 3.5cm by 2cm, or the size of a large marble.

    At the fi nal count, we had a total of 232 small pearlies, all in-dependently developing as teeth, coming out of that lone molar! Dhivare-Palwankar told IANS here yesterday.

    Besides, there was another hard, rock-like formation in-side the aff ected tooth in Ashiks mouth which could not be re-moved by a dentists drill.

    We had to resort to the age-old, now outdated, a chisel-mal-let procedure to break down that hard formation as it was putting immense pressures on the jaw bone and surrounding healthy teeth, she explained.

    The entire operation took a whopping seven hours and was the fi rst of its kind case ever han-dled by the hospital, as well by Dhivare-Palwankar in her three decades practice as a dentist.

    Dhivare-Palwankar described the condition as a developmen-tal anomaly, which had aff ected that particular molar at its for-mation stage in Ashiks younger age, probably in the post-milk teeth years.

    Medically, it is termed as Complex Composite Odon-ntom or a benign tumour of the tooth, which can cause some dif-fi culties in eating, swallowing, and lead to a grotesque swelling on the victims face, though it is not life-threatening, Dhivare-Palwankar assured.

    After everything was wound up, the team of medicos com-prising doctors Vandana Thora-vade, Anoop Atakil and Reshma Hanwate checked out global lit-erature and found nothing com-parable anywhere in the world.

    We believe this is a world record, but we will carry out more research before taking any further steps in the matter she smiled.

    Ashik Gavai, a Class X student in a school in Buldhana in Vidar-bha region of eastern Maharash-tra, had noticed and borne the abnormal but painless growth which had swollen his right side in the past few years.

    However, as he came from a very poor family, they could not aff ord the luxury of expen-

    sive dental procedures. Since the growth continued unabated, they came to this government hospital, Dhivare-Palwankar said.

    The boy was found eligible for medical expenses under the Ma-harashtra governments mega-health insurance scheme for the poor the Rajiv Gandhi Jeevdayi Arogya Yojana (RGJAY) - intro-duced last year.

    Gavais entire surgery as well as a fortnights hospitalisation and medical expenses were cov-ered under RGJAY - in a private hospital, it would have cost over Rs200,000, beyond his familys meagre means.

    The medical team found that despite the huge molar tooth growth, the jawbone had thinned but not weakened, and the sur-geons straightened out the crushed wisdom teeth that were in the formative stage.

    Now, his face has changed and he will lead an absolutely normal healthy life after eject-ing so many teeth, Dhivare-Pal-wankar said. Ashik Gavai and the record 232 tiny teeth extracted from his mouth.

    Pune ex-top cop exposed in stingIANSPune

    A day after former Pune police commissioner Gulabrao Pol slapped a Rs1bn defamation no-tice against a popular news magazine, the publication yesterday released a video of a sting operation that showed a tantrik was employed to obtain clues about the killers of renowned rationalist Narendra Dabholkar.

    The sting video by Outlook maga-zine also lays hollow the claims by Pol that he had never met reporter Ashish Khaitan or the tantrik - retired police

    offi cer Manish Thakur.The magazine had run a story in its

    July 14 issue alleging that Pune police had requisitioned the services of the tantrik to summon Dabholkars soul and get clues on his mystery killers.

    Dabholkar was shot dead on August 20 last year. Even after more than 11 months since he was gunned down dur-ing his morning walk, police have failed to solve the killing, and handed over the probe to the Central Bureau of Investi-gation.

    Alleging that the magazine article was defamatory, the 2012 Presidents Medal winner Pol shot off a Rs1bn defa-mation notice to Outlook editor Krish-

    na Prasad and reporter Khaitan.Pols lawyer Harshad Nimbalkar said

    his client (Pol) had already denied the contentions in the magazine article which were per se defamatory, false, frivolous and intended for cheap pub-licity that lowered the public standing of the retired police offi cer.

    He also announced plans to fi le a separate criminal case against Khaitan, who Pol claimed had never met him.

    Pol has denied using supernatural methods like engaging a tantrik to solve the case.

    However, the sting video shows how Pol not only hired Thakurs services last month in his offi ce, but also gave him

    money and a vehicle and discussed ways to communicate with Dabholkars soul to fi nd out who killed him.

    The sting video - running into nearly six hours - also shows Thakur demon-strating to the reporter how he called Dabholkars soul and spoke to him.

    Shockingly, the video also shows how police regularly utilise the help of tantriks and godmen to solve various criminal cases, raising questions about the effi cacy of trained investigators.

    Reacting to the sting operation, a stunned Mukta Dabholkar, daughter of the late rationalist, yesterday demand-ed immediate action by the authorities in the matter.

    No buoys on sea boundary: Jayalalithaa

    Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has urged the federal government to pursue the idea of sustainable fi shing by In-dian and Sri Lankan fi shermen and disagreed with a proposal to install buoys to demarcate the internation-al maritime boundary.

    During the talks between the fi shing communities of two coun-tries, there has been a clear recogni-tion that fi shing by both the coun-tries could co-exist with both sides agreeing over the fi shing days and a thrust given to sustainable fi sh-ing practices like use of gill nets and long liners, said Jayalalithaa.

    This approach has also been de-liberated upon in the India-Sri Lan-ka Joint Working Group and needs to be intensively pursued, Jayalalithaa said in her letter to Prime Minister

    Narendra Modi, text of which was released in Chennai yesterday.

    Disagreeing with the idea of in-stalling buoys on the India-Sri Lan-ka international maritime boundary line (IMBL), Jayalalithaa refered to a suit pending in the Supreme Court against the transfer of Katchathee-vu island to Sri Lanka said the state government does not consider the maritime boundary as a settled is-sue.

    Given the issue is sub judice, it would neither be appropriate nor be feasible to install buoys along the IMBL at this point of time, she said.

    Jayalalithaa expressed concern over some of the points that emerged at the inter-ministerial meeting on India-Sri Lanka fi shermen issue June 17 chaired by federal External Aff airs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

  • 22 Gulf TimesWednesday, July 23, 2014

    LATIN AMERICA

    Panama eyes 7% economic growth AFPPanama City

    Panamas economy will grow by as much as 7% this year, thanks in large part to revenue from its signa-ture inter-oceanic canal, offi -cials said.

    The Central American na-tions coff ers get an injection of about $1bn every year from the canal, according to the economy ministry, which said that the revenue helps buoy the local economy.

    Offi cials said they expect growth of between 6.5% and 7% for 2014. Foreign investors also have been betting on Pan-ama and its canal, investing $15bn over the past fi ve years alone, the ministry said.

    The small nationpopula-tion 3.8mnchalked up 8.4% growth in 2013.

    Completing the widening of the waterway - a massive project which is a year behind schedule and has been mired in contro-versy - tops new President Juan Carlos Varelas agenda.

    The vast construction

    project was to have been com-pleted this year, but delays and cost overruns have pushed back the schedule to early 2016.

    The 80km long canal was completed by US interests in 1914 to provide a much shorter, safer route between the Atlan-tic and Pacifi c.

    Work to expand it was inter-rupted earlier this year over a dispute about who would pay for an estimated $1.6bn in cost overruns.

    And on Monday, workers walked out at one part of the widening work, seeking a raise, a union leader said.

    Construction workers un-ion chief Abelardo Herrera said no progress had been made yet in negotiations.

    Stakes are high for the project, with 5% of the worlds maritime trade already pass-ing through the canal. The ex-panded waterway will be able to process 12,000 container ships in its fi rst year of use, triple the current capacity. The IMF is forecasting an av-erage growth of 2.5% for Latin America and the Caribbean this year.

    Squatters moved out ofVenezuelas tallest slum ReutersCaracas

    Venezuelan soldiers and offi cials yesterday began moving hundreds of fam-ilies out of a half-built 45-storey skyscraper that dominates the Caracas skyline and is thought to be the worlds tallest slum.

    The mass eviction from the Tower of David, originally in-tended to be a bank centre but abandoned since 1994 and later home to some 3,000 needy Ven-ezuelans, proceeded peacefully. Necessity brought me here, and the tower gave me a good home, said Yuraima Parra, 27, cradling her baby daughter as soldiers loaded her possessions into a truck before dawn. I was here for seven years. Im going to miss it, but its time to move on.

    Residents were going to new homes in the town of Cua, south of Caracas, under the states Great Housing Mission project - a fl agship policy of late socialist leader Hugo Chavez.

    Nicknamed after its devel-

    oper, the fi nancier and horse-breeder David Brillembourg, the Tower of David was viewed by many Caracas residents as a fo-cus for crime gangs and a symbol of property invasions encour-aged in the Chavez era.

    Residents, though, said the building became a refuge from the citys crime-ridden barrios and had turned into something of a model commune.

    Inside there was evidence of hyper-organisation everywhere: corridors were polished daily; squatters who had fi rst arrived in tents then partitioned spaces into well-kept apartments; work schedules, rules and admoni-tions plastered the walls.

    Life was far from easy, though. Occasionally, people fell off dan-gerous ledges. There were no el-evators, meaning long daily treks up and down. Makeshift power and water services were a head-ache. And Caracas police did not share the view of a model com-munity, raiding several times to look for kidnap victims.

    The vistas, however, matched those of the citys swankiest

    high-rise buildings. The view was so beautiful, mused caterer Robinson Alarcon, 34, who spent fi ve years on the ninth fl oor and was leaving with his wife and three children yesterday.

    People are excited but sad too. Some dont want to leave Caracas. But this was all dis-cussed and agreed in advance.

    President Nicolas Maduros government has not yet said what it will do with the tower, but one local newspaper report-ed Chinese banks were buying it to restore to its original pur-pose.

    The tower does not meet the minimum conditions for safe, dignifi ed living, Ernesto Ville-gas, minister for the transforma-tion of Caracas, told reporters at the scene, declining to speculate on its future. An initial 160 fam-ilies, out of a total of more than 1,150, were being moved out this week, he added.

    The tower has long piqued in-ternational interest: an exhibi-tion about it won a prize at the 2012 Venice Architecture Bien-nale.

    Mexicos newtelecom lawshit AmericaMovil growth ReutersMexico City

    Carlos Slims America Movil, Latin Americas biggest telecoms com-pany, said that new regulation in its core Mexico market was beginning to weigh on its per-formance.

    Lower exchange rate and fi -nancing costs helped the com-pany increase its profi t by 32.7% to 18.83bn pesos ($1.45bn) in the second quarter.

    Revenue also rose 4% to 202.63bn pesos.

    But the results were below ex-pectations forecast in a Reuters poll of fi ve analysts of a net profi t of 20.74bn pesos ($1.6bn).

    In Mexico, where the company makes almost two-thirds of its core profi t, tough new regula-tions that force it to share infra-structure, stop national roaming charges and slash what it charges competitors to use its network, began to take eff ect.

    Mobile voice revenues in Mexico were down 8.7% year- on-year due to the new rules, the company said, though data reve-nue growth on mobile and fi xed-line slightly outweighed the fall in fi xed-line and voice revenue.

    The telecoms sector overhaul was initiated by President En-rique Pena Nieto to drive com-petition in the sector where Slim controls around 70% of the mo-bile market and more than 60% of landlines.

    Earlier this month, as the new regulations were being fi nal-ised, America Movil surprised the market by saying it aimed to avoid the new rules by selling a chunk of Mexico assets to a new, probably foreign, competitor. It aims to drop below 50% market share in Mexican telecoms by selling an attractive cross sec-tion of the company, Slim told Reuters in an interview this month.

    Slim must now present a plan to the new regulator the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) which, if accepted and ex-ecuted successfully, will allow Slim to avoid the tough anti-trust rules and entry into Mexi-cos pay TV market.

    Since the announcement on July 8, shares in America Movil have jumped 12%, increasing the companys market value by more than $8bn and, according to Forbes, making Carlos Slim the worlds richest man once again.

    But after the share price rally, Morgan Stanley analysts said in a note published that it thought the market was overly optimis-tic about the potential sale it could not see how the decision could unlock value for the com-pany. Its going to be a very fl at year with the impact of the tar-iff s, Monex brokerage analyst Valeria Romo said.

    Were not going to see the asset sale from one day to the next.

    Some investors have hoped other markets, such as Brazil, where America Movil has around 25% of the wireless market and 54% of pay TV, can off set some of the regulatory pressure in Mexico. Brazil earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 18.9% in the second quarter. It also added half a million new pay TV subscribers.

    In Europe, America Movil is still saddled with a multi-million dollar paper loss after it tried and failed to take control of former state-owned Dutch tel-ecoms fi rm KPN. In a statement America Movil said it had re-duced its stake in KPN to 22.6%, from 25.7% in March. The com-pany also said it now owned 50.8% of Telekom Austria after a $1bn buyout off er to minor-ity shareholders. It plans to use the former state monopoly as a basis for expansion into Eastern Europe.

    Colombias Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin (front left) and her Ecuadorean counterpart Ricardo Patino (front second right) ride bicycles in Guayaquil. Holguin is in Ecuador on an off icial visit to improve bilateral aff airs.

    Colombia minister in Ecuador

    Argentina, holdouts toldto meet till deal reached ReutersNew York

    A US judge overseeing Ar-gentinas debt restruc-turing case yesterday ordered negotiators for the country and holdout investors to meet with a court-appointed mediator until a settlement is reached, as time runs short be-fore a potential default.

    Several parties in Argentinas long-running legal battle ap-peared before US district judge Thomas Griesa, who heard a range of requests over how to enforce orders requiring pay-

    ment of $1.33bn, plus interest, to holdout investors.

    Argentina has been pushed to the brink of a fresh debt default by US court decisions.

    The judicial rulings have forced it to negotiate with hold-out investors who declined to restructure their bonds after the country defaulted on about $100bn in 2001-02. The coun-try has until July 30 to settle the case or face a second default.

    Argentina has argued that if the judge did not stay his ruling ordering payment, a settlement is not possible.

    The country has said that if it pays holdouts, it opens the door

    to additional liability that could cost it billions.

    But Griesa said a stay was not necessary and that a deal was realistic.

    In my view, every single problem youve described is susceptible to be handled in a settlement, he said. If we dont, there will be a default, and that is the worst thing. That is about the worst thing I can envision. I dont want that to happen. People will be hurt by that, real hurt. Not vultures be-ing hurt, but real people.

    Griesa ordered the parties to meet with Daniel Pollack, a New York lawyer appointed to

    oversee settlement talks, today at 10am EDT (1400GMT), and to meet continuously until a settlement is reached.

    Jonathan Blackman, a lawyer representing Argentina, said a settlement simply cant be done by the end of this month even with continuous negotiations.

    The country asked Griesa to put a hold on his order requiring payment to both holdouts and negotiated bondholders so the talks can continue without an artifi cial pressure cooker.

    Argentina does not want to pay the holdouts, who are led by Elliott Managements NML Capital and Aurelius Capital

    Management. The country ar-gues doing so would open it up to as much as $15bn in claims from other investors and fur-ther strain its fi nancial condi-tion.

    It said at yesterdays hear-ing that negotiation requires movement on the part of the holdouts, though the investors have levelled a similar charge at the nation.

    The simple fact is that Ar-gentinas leaders have had no in-terest in negotiating - not now, and not during the two and one-half years a stay was in place, Aurelius said in a statement be-fore the hearing yesterday.

    Evicted residents of Tower of David walk out the building to a bus which will transport them to their new house in Caracas.

    A new strike by port workers in Argentinas biggest grains hub prevented shipping in the terminals of major exporters Bunge, Toepfer and Nidera yesterday, a local business group said. The strike is the latest in a flood of protests at the facility in Rosario, which, if prolonged, could have global market implications, as Argentina is a leading exporter of soybeans and corn. A strike last week paralysed exports for several days at a busy time in the harvest cycle. Labour unrest is common in Argentina, where one of the worlds highest inflation rates is eating into wages, but the number of strikes and threatened protests in Rosario over the past two weeks has been unusual.

    Homicides in Colombia fell to their lowest rate in a decade, plummeting more than 9% in 2013 compared to the previous year, off icials said. The government-run Forensic Medicine Institute wrote in its annual report that there were 14,294 homicides across Colombia last year, 1,433 fewer than in 2012. The figures show the continuation in recent years of a steady and significant decline in the murder rate in the country famous for drug-related killings. The decline in homicides notwithstanding, Colombia remains one of the worlds most violent countries. It registered more than 30 murders per 100,000 inhabitants according to United Nations figures.

    Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega has slammed as a massacre an attack on his political supporters that killed five people and left 28 more hurt. This was a genuine massacre, one that has been condemned by the nation, the leftist president said at a memorial for the dead at a convention centre. Unidentified assailants opened fire late Saturday, in Matagalpa department, on buses bringing supporters back from a party in Managua to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the 1979 revolution. The civilian Sandinista party supporters were ambushed on a highway with rifles (by men) who fired on buses, Ortega added.

    A Honduran television journalist who went missing over the weekend has been found dead, Ramon Sabillon, director of Honduras National Police, said. The body of Herlyn Espinal was found Monday near the town of Santa Rita in the northern province of Yoro, Sabillon told Efe news agency. He added that off icial confirmation of the victims identity is being awaited from the medical examiners off ice but said that the reporters relatives have confirmed his death. The victim was shot dead, according to media accounts. Espinal was the co-ordinator of the Hoy Mismo news programme on Channel 3 in San Pedro Sula, the second largest city in Honduras.

    The founder of the shelter where more than 500 children were found living in squalid conditions was taken from one hospital to another for a heart examination after the Mexican attorney generals off ice said she cannot be charged because of her advanced age. Rosa del Carmen Verduzco, known as Mama Rosa, had been in a hospital in Zamora, Michoacan state, since her arrest last week. The 81-year-old has a number of ailments, Alberto Sahagun, the director of the Zamora hospital, said. Verduzco showed a deterioration of her condition due to her arrest, though she was always very lucid, Sahagun told Milenio Television.

    Port workers strike cuts shipping at grains hub

    Colombia posts lowestmurder rate in 10 years

    Ortega calls attack onsupporters a massacre

    Missing Honduranjournalist found dead

    Head of scandal-hitshelter not to face charges

    INDUSTRIAL ACTION DATAVIOLENCE CRIME DECISION

  • PAKISTAN/AFGHANISTAN23Gulf Times Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    Newly established Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of Punjab Police is trying to nab two Lahori females who have been declared as most wanted terrorists for their alleged acts of terror in district Gujranwala of Punjab province. Maria and Taiba both are wanted in connection with their alleged role in placing explosive material at diff erent installations of Gujranwala Police. Both Maria and Taiba had reportedly fled from the scene on February 9, 2011, on the day of the incidents. Both married women had their residential address in Lahore.

    At least five Pakistani girls were wounded in two separate acid attacks by motorcycle riders in the southwestern province of Baluchistan, police said yesterday. In the latest incident, two unidentified assailants on a motorcycle squirted acid on two girls, aged 14 and 15 in the town of Mastung, some 40km east of Quetta, the provincial capital of Baluchistan. One girls face was wounded and the others neck got acid burns, local police off icial Wazir Lango said. The girls were returning from the local market when the attack occurred yesterday, Lango said, adding that doctors have not yet specified how severe the wounds were.

    The Nawaz Sharif government yesterday issued a list of three dozen projects with an estimated cost of $39.6bn to be financed by China in return for access to Gwadar Port. In an unprecedented move, the government submitted details of these projects under the much publicised China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) before a Parliamentary panel. Out of 37 projects, 22 schemes are in the power sector having total estimated cost of $27.3bn, an off icial document tabled before the Standing Committee of National Assembly on Planning and Development revealed.

    The government of Pakistan has decided to cut use of cell phones and Internet services during any national emergency declared by the federal or provincial government. This will be achieved through regulations introduced under the upcoming telecommunication policy. Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) with the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) will develop regulations, and licensees will adopt regulations that apply when a regional or national emergency has been declared by federal government or a provincial government in the legally required manner, it was stated in the draft of telecommunication policy.

    Former Taliban militants attend a ceremony during which they surrender arms under a US-backed Afghan government amnesty programme, in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, yesterday.

    Punjab Police looking for two top women terrorists

    Five girls wounded in acid attacks in Pakistan

    37 mega projects worth $40bn to be given to China

    Cell phone, Internet to be cut during emergencies

    TRADE TERRORISMCRIME SECURITY AMNESTY

    Rising civilian deaths fuel outrage in Pakistan

    When Pakistani air force jets rained down mis-siles on a village in the countrys violence-wracked northwest last week, it was de-scribed as yet another victory over Taliban insurgents in an on-going military off ensive.

    Now a new account has emerged of the killing of dozens of women and children in the air strikes, sparking anger over ris-ing civilian casualties and fears that a new generation of radicals is being created.

    Today early morning 35 fl ee-ing terrorists were killed through aerial strikes in Shawal Valley. That was how the militarys information wing chose to de-scribe the July 16 incident.

    The terse press statement was part of a regular series of updates sent out by the army since the operation in the North Waziristan tribal district, aimed at clearing Taliban strongholds, began in mid-June.

    Almost 500 militants are said to have been killed in the fi ghting so far, which has been enthusiastically backed by Paki-stans major political parties and media, who see it as a means of tackling a decade-long Islam-ist insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives.

    But the offi cial toll has been impossible to verify, raising questions among rights activists over the off ensives true human cost.

    According to multiple ac-counts by residents, 37 civilians were killed in Wednesdays at-tack including 20 women and 10 children.

    While villagers grieve, the in-cident has become a focus of ris-ing anger among tribesmen who have managed to fl ee to border towns inside Pakistan, and who on Monday threatened to march on Islamabad if the operation does not end soon.

    The bombardment in the Sha-wal Valley began just before 1am, lighting up the sky as residents of Zoi Saidgai village sat down to eat their pre-dawn Ramadan meal.

    It continued for hours, tar-geting 11 houses, Malik Mir-zal Khan, an elder who lost his daughter and brother in the strikes, said from a payphone in his village.

    A single bomb dropped from the plane blew up two mud houses and the explosions could be heard 30 km away, Khan, part of a high-level peace coun-cil that attempted to avert the government off ensive before it began, said.

    He added that residents had made a list of the dead, and none of them were militants.

    My 13-year-old daughter, brother, his wife and two of his kids were killed, he said.

    The rest, Khan added, were not local or foreign militants, but innocent civilians who were killed. There were men, women, boys and girls. Those seven men who died were never involved in militancy.

    Noor Wali Khan, a 27-year-old truck driver, said he lost his mother and two-sisters-in-law when his house was bombed, while his brother and father are

    seriously wounded. Both mens accounts were

    backed up by three other wit-nesses and relatives AFP spoke to, but the military has so far re-fused to comment on the matter on the record.

    A senior security offi cial speaking on condition of ano-nymity has said those who were killed had plenty of warning to evacuate.

    If a terrorist is living with his family and does not abandon them even during the time of op-eration and we have solid ground intelligence about the terrorist and we target his hideout, what would you call it, collateral dam-age or what? the source asked.

    If a terrorist is using his fam-ily as human shields what do you expect the military to do?

    Khan, the elder, said his vil-lage was never informed it would be a target.

    In the meetings with military and civil offi cials, we had been assured to stay home as our areas were declared safe and free from militant control, he said, adding that he had conveyed the same

    message to the local population and had forbidden them from leaving their own houses.

    And he said he was furious with the government.

    America is our enemy, but they have never taken such cruel action against us which we had witnessed from the Pakistani government our own country.

    According to the residents, no rescue offi cials were able to reach the remote area and locals dug out corpses using tools and tractors.

    Anti-government sentiment is running high in the village, fuelling fears among observers that the military action could backfi re by creating new recruits for the militants.

    Wali Mohamed, a 28-year-old shopkeeper, said that the nature of Wednesdays strikes meant the facts would eventually be known, despite the armys claims.

    You cant cover up the sun with a fi nger, he said, using a Pashto expression that roughly translates to: The truth will come out.

    Some 500 villagers turned out

    for funeral prayers to mourn the dead. There were tears in the eyes of every person who par-ticipated, Mohamed said.

    Asked whether militants had sought shelter in the village, Umar Khalid, a 35-year-old farmer, grew angry.

    The government is powerful and we cannot stop its brutali-ties. But it was women who were targeted in this strike, not mili-tants.

    In Bannu, where tribesmen held a jirga on Monday, elders said the Shawal Valley attack was not an isolated incident.

    We want the military opera-tion to be completed as soon as possible because civilians are suff ering the most, Malik Nas-rullah, the chief elder of the North Waziristan tribes, told re-porters.

    Malik Mirzal Khan, the elder from Shawal, demanded an in-vestigation into the air strikea request that is unlikely to be met.

    We want to make sure such action should not be repeated for other people who are still living in Waziristan, he said.

    Dozens of women and children have been killed in the air strikes conducted by Pakistans military during the off ensive against Taliban militants in the northwest of the country

    AFPIslamabad

    This file photo taken on July 13, 2014 shows internally displaced Pakistani civilians who fled a military operation against Taliban militants in the North Waziristan tribal agency, queuing outside the World Food Programme food distribution centre in Bannu.

    Taliban suicide attack kills 5 foreign guards in Kabul

    A Taliban suicide attacker riding a motorbike killed fi ve foreign guards in Ka-bul yesterday, the latest blast to rock the Afghan capital during an impasse over presidential election results.

    The attacker struck a com-pound near the outer perimeter of Kabul airport, which was tar-geted last week when insurgents seized a building in the same area and fi red towards the airport using automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades.

    Taliban insurgents oppose the election process, which is cur-rently undergoing an audit of all

    eight million votes due to a dis-pute between the two contend-ers over fraud allegations.

    The US embassy strongly condemns the terrorist attack on Camp Gibson in Kabul this morning which killed fi ve for-eign national security guards, a US statement said.

    We off er our condolences to the families of the victims, and hope for the speedy recovery of the Afghans and foreign nation-als injured in the attack.

    It gave no further details on Camp Gibson, but Kabul police said it was a joint compound used by the interior ministrys counter-narcotics department and foreign forces.

    Our initial reports show the explosion took place inside the

    foreigners compound, Kabul police chief Zahir Zahir said. The foreigners were exercising inside at the time.

    Our teams are on the ground investigating how an attacker on a motorcycle entered the compound. The nationalities of the victims was not known, and there was no immediate comment from Natos Interna-tional Security Assistance Force (ISAF), which is winding down its mission after a 13-year war against the Taliban.

    One government offi cial sad that the victims worked for a private contractor.

    The Taliban used a recognised Twitter account to claim re-sponsibility for the attack, say-ing 15 agents had been killed

    inside a foreign intelligence base. The insurgents often exag-gerate death tolls after attacks.

    Afghanistan is on edge as the election dispute between poll rivals Ashraf Ghani and Abdul-lah Abdullah threatens to trigger instability and revive ethnic ten-sions that ravaged the country during the 1992-1996 civil war.

    Nato combat troops will withdraw from Afghanistan by December, and reports suggest unrest is already worsening na-tionwide.

    Civilian casualties soared by 24% in the fi rst half of 2014, ac-cording to recent UN fi gures, while the International Crisis Group has said the overall trend is one of escalating violence and insurgent attacks.

    AFPIslamabad

    Cricket fans urged to donate to peoplefl eeing fi ghting

    Pakistans cricket stars yes-terday appealed to fans to donate more money for more than 800,000 people dis-placed by a military off ensive in the restive northwest.

    The military last month launched an assault aimed at clearing the Taliban and other militants from hideouts in the North Waziristan tribal area along the Afghan border.

    We feel for the people who are forced out of their homes in this ongoing battle, and we are here to show solidarity with our people and we are with our mili-tary and to hit terrorism out of the country, said Moin Khan, a former wicketkeeper who is team manager and chief of selec-tors.

    He was speaking at an army-run camp where members of the public can donate money and goods, and was joined by new

    head coach Waqar Younis, Test and one-day captain Misbah-ul Haq and several members of the team.

    He also handed over a cheque for Rs400,000 for the cause, and promised that authorities would soon host more exhibition matches to raise more money.

    I appeal to the whole nation and people living outside Paki-stan to give as much as they can to help these IDPs (internally displaced people), Khan said.

    Coach Waqar Younis added: If we do not unite in this mo-ment of distress our troubles will increase, so I appeal on behalf of the whole team to donate as much as possible.

    Pakistan cricket has suff ered from the activities of militants.

    The country has been unable to host any international cricket since an attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009.

    Since then the team have played their homes series on neutral venues like the United Arab Emirates and England.

    AFPIslamabad

    Pakistan cricket team manager and chief selector Moin Khan and team captain Misbah-ul-Haq pose for a photograph as they hand a cheque to a Pakistani army off icial to go towards donations for ivilians displaced by a military operation against Taliban militants in the North Waziristan tribal agency in Lahore yesterday.

    Hindus, Buddhists and Bahais among IDPs

    A total of 165 families of non-Muslims have been displaced from North Waziristan, according to the latest count by the Fata Disaster Management Authority (FDMA). Data gathered by the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) states that 114 Christian, 29 Hindu, 10 Bahai and 4 Buddhist families are among those displaced.Additionally, 10 families have

    been classified as belonging to other religions. The number of ethnic or religious minorities who were living in North Waziristan may increase as we receive more data, a senior FDMA off icial said.Registration of those displaced from North Waziristan has now ended in Bannu and Peshawar. The names and addresses of these families have been kept confidential for security reasons.

    Young Pakistani supporters of the banned Islamic charity organisation Jamat-ud-Dawa, shout slogans and wave flags, banners and toy guns in the air during a rally against ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza, in Peshawar, Pakistan, yesterday.

    Anti-Israel rally

  • PHILIPPINESGulf TimesWednesday, July 23, 201424

    Bishops tell Aquino to uphold constitution

    ReutersManila

    Philippine Catholic bishops warned President Benigno Aquino yesterday to resist temptations to bully the Su-preme Court to reverse a deci-sion that an economic stimulus fund was illegal, asking him to uphold the constitution.

    Aquino, only son of the coun-trys democracy icon, former president Corazon Aquino, has warned the court of a possible constitutional crisis if it does not reverse an earlier decision that the Disbursement Accelera-tion Programme was illegal.

    The president has asked peo-ple to wear yellow to show sup-

    port to his government against the Supreme Court, invoking people power to force the jus-tices to reconsider their ruling

    because it threatened his eco-nomic goals.

    There is a very important distinction between what is

    popular or appears to be so and what is right, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), said in a statement.

    I pray that all our offi cials ever be cognisant of this impor-tant diff erences so that all may resist the temptation of pursuing a course of action only because it seems to be popular. We stand for an independent judiciary.

    The political opposition said Aquino has shown dictatorial tendencies when he refused to accept the court decision and rejected his budget secretarys off er to resign.

    Villegas issued the statement after a retired archbishop, Oscar Cruz, signed an impeachment petition against Aquino for vio-lating the constitution and be-traying public trust.

    He said the CBCP neither supports the fi ling of any im-peachment complaint against the president, but it will neither begrudge anyone, including

    priests, to exercise their right to fi le cases against Aquino.

    Yesterday, a congressman Terry Ridon endorsed another impeachment case against the president filed by a group of university students in Manila. A day earlier, three left-wing congressmen had supported the first valid impeachment motion against Aquino.

    Aquinos ratings have fallen to the lowest level, based on two latest independent poll-sters, after the public doubted Aquinos anti-corruption drive when he protected his own al-lies.

    Analysts said the presidents ratings would continue to slide after the Supreme Court de-clared unconstitutional his creation of an economic stimu-lus fund designed to shore up public spending to boost eco-nomic growth.

    Aquinos communications secretary, Herminio Coloma said they are not worried by the impeachment complaints.

    The Philippine president has warned the court of a possible constitutional crisis if it does not reverse an earlier decision that the Disbursement Acceleration Programme is illegal

    A Filipino boy wades through rising sea water during a downpour at a fish port in Navotas city, east of Manila yesterday.

    Philippines raises storm alert level as Matmo churns toward Taiwan ReutersManila

    The Philippines raised storm alert levels yester-day as Typhoon Matmo threatened to drench the ex-treme north of the main island of Luzon with heavy rain as it churned toward Taiwan and mainland China.

    Packing sustained winds of 130 kph and gusts of up to

    160kph, Matmo was moving at 24kph northwest towards cen-tral Taiwan.

    The storm was estimated to be about 180km north of Ba-tanes group of islands yesterday morning.

    Storm alert number 2 was raised in the Batanes, where 7.5 to 15 mm per hour of rainfall was expected. The typhoon was also expected to bring rain to other parts of Luzon.

    Retired Admiral Alexander

    Pama, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduc-tion and Management Council, said the government had sus-pended sea travel and prevented small fi shing boats from ventur-ing into the area.

    We do not expect the ty-phoon to make landfall any-where in the country but we are still advising our people in the smaller islands in northern Lu-zon to take extra precautions, Pama said.

    We continue to track the ty-phoon and we expect it to exit the Philippine area of respon-sibility on Wednesday after-noon.

    Matmo came days af-ter super typhoon Ram-masun killed nearly 100 peo-ple and destroyed 7.3bn pesos ($168.46mn) of crops and in-frastructure.

    Wide areas of the southern half of Luzon remain without power after the storm toppled

    transmission lines and elec-tric poles. Nearly 600 people were stranded in three ports in northern Luzon after 11 fer-ries suspended service until the storm passes.

    At least 10 domestic flights were also cancelled. Schools were closed in northern Luzon.

    Typhoons are common at this time of year in the South China Sea, picking up strength from the warm waters and dis-sipating over land.

    Army, rebel clash leaves 18 dead AFPCotabato

    An escalation of fi ghting between the Philippine army and a breakaway rebel group in the countrys south killed 18 people in a sin-gle day of violence, the mili-tary said yesterday.

    Seventeen members of the rebel Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and one soldier were slain in the day-long violence Monday in the strife-torn southern island of Mindanao, Brigadier Gener-al Eduardo Pangilinan, the ar-eas military commander, said.

    One of our soldiers was killed during the (initial) at-tack. The 17 enemies were killed when our troops fi red back and during the subse-quent encounters, the general told reporters.

    There was a lull in fi ghting yesterday but the military re-mained on alert, with helicop-ter gunships fl ying overhead and armoured vehicles parked on the streets of Cotabato City, a trading centre in the area.

    There have been no addi-tional encounters but we are continuing our operations on the ground, Pangilinan added.

    Fighting began in the early hours of Monday morning as BIFF guerrillas attacked military outposts in the vi-olence-scarred province of Maguindanao.

    The violence later spread to the neighbouring province of North Cotabato before the rebels pulled back, Pangilinan said.

    BIFF spokesman Abu Misry Mama disputed the militarys version of events, saying only

    four of his fi ghters had been killed.

    Only four have died. We would never lie about our cas-ualties, he said.

    He said the BIFF had launched the attacks in retali-ation for the militarys abduc-tion of a father and son on July 3.

    The military has previously denied his accusation, brand-ing this as propaganda.

    Regional social welfare agencies said that at least nine civilians were wounded and over 300 families had been forced to fl ee due to the new fi ghting.

    The BIFF split from the main rebel group, the Moro Is-lamic Liberation Front (MILF), in 2008.

    The 10,000-strong MILF has entered into a ceasefi re and peace talks with the gov-ernment for the creation of an autonomous region for Mus-lim-dominated areas in the south of this largely Christian nation.

    However the BIFF, which is believed to have just a few hundred fi ghters, has rejected the negotiations and still de-mands a separate state in the southern Philippines.

    It has previously launched attacks in Mindanao in eff orts to disrupt the peace eff orts.

    Various armed groups in-cluding the MILF have waged a rebellion in the southern Phil-ippines since the 1970s aimed at winning independence or autonomy for the countrys Muslim minority in Mindanao, which they regard as their an-cestral homeland.

    About 150,000 people are estimated to have died in the confl ict.

    Aquino: facing call to uphold constitution

    Bangsamoro bill faces delay over MILF concernsBy Catherine Valente Manila Times

    The Bangsamoro draft law is not likely to be submitted to Con-gress anytime soon because the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has refused to accept what it called a drastically altered measure.

    The head of the government peace panel, Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, admit-ted that no fi nal draft has been made because negotiations have stalled over signifi cant disagreements on the pro-posed law that aims to create a Bang-samoro entity that will replace the ex-isting Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

    Ferrer said the approval of the draft measure had been greatly delayed be-

    cause there continue to be signifi cant points of diff erences between the two panels.

    She noted that the government stands fi rm in its stance that the proposed law should withstand po-litical and legal scrutiny and be ac-ceptable to various stakeholders, and the nation as a whole.

    We will not and cannot move for-ward in the roadmap toward the estab-lishment of the Bangsamoro unless we hurdle this crucial stage, Ferrer said.

    Following a surprise meeting be-tween President Benigno Aquino and MILF chairman Murad Ibrahim in Ja-pan last month, the MILFs chief ne-gotiator, Mohagher Iqbal, raised con-cerns over how the version of the bill drafted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) has been heav-

    ily diluted. Because of the stalemate, Aquino and Murad will again meet this week to thrash out contentious issues.

    The MILF confi rmed the holding of the meeting in its website.

    The meeting is necessary in thrash-ing out issues confronting both sides on the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law.

    The purpose of the proposed meet-ing is to save the peace process in the light of major alterations made by Malacanangs legal team on the draft BBL, the MILF said.

    But Ferrer maintained that the changes were made so that the meas-ure will pass through regular legisla-tion in Congress and therefore must fall within the parameters of the Con-stitution.

    She gave assurances that the gov-ernment was not throwing in the

    towel on the peace process. Earlier this month, the two panels met for four days in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, but achieved only modest progress.

    We have been trying to stretch these parameters to accommodate the ideas that have been put in the BBL, in addition to what have been put in the signed documents. But it is very clear we cannot overstep the boundaries of the Constitution, Ferrer said.

    She noted that the draft BBL retains the key features that will distinguish the ARMM from the Bangsamoro, in-cluding the parliamentary form of gov-ernment; a parliament with more than 50 members made up of district, party list and reserved seats; an autonomous government that will enjoy high fi scal autonomy; and a transition arrange-ment where the MILFs brand of lead-

    ership will be tested. All of us want the BBL draft to be submitted to Congress as soon as possible. But we cannot substitute haste with prudence. What-ever delay we are experiencing now is intended to avoid further diffi culties after the bill is submitted to Congress, Ferrer told reporters in an interview.

    We understand the apprehensions of people who have long fought the government and now entering a new stage where they can actually partici-pate in the government. But what we want is a mutually acceptable draft as the two panels have agreed to accom-plish. We ask the MILF to refl ect on how we can arrive at this, she said.

    Aquino earlier said he wants the BBL to be submitted to Congress before the opening of its second regular session on July 28.The delays have raised con-

    cerns the BBL may not be passed in time for a referendum on the creation of the Bangsamoro to be held simul-taneously with the 2016 elections.

    Ferrer admitted that finishing the draft measure will take some time.

    We have not been able to fin-ish the review. There were parts that were fixed, there were parts that were not so we have a lot more to discuss,she said.

    Ferrer added that a delayed sub-mission of the draft law is better than trying to rush the submission in time for the opening of Congress be-cause we feel that there are issues we need to discuss.

    Last week, the draft Bangsamoro law was returned by Malacanang to the transition commission for revision.

    Australian with suspected links to militants deported DPAManila

    The Philippines yester-day deported an Aus-tralian national with suspected links to militants in Syria and Iraq after he was ar-rested for violating immigra-tion laws.

    Robert Edward Musa Cerantonio, 29, was arrested on July 11 in the central prov-ince of Cebu and charged with being an undocumented

    foreigner after Australian au-thorities cancelled his pass-port on July 7. Cerantonio was accompanied by four escorts on a Philippine Airlines fl ight to Melbourne, said Bureau of Immigration chief Siegried Mison. Cerantonios activities pose a risk to public interest, Mison said earlier.

    Police described Cerantonio as a jihadist preacher who has been using social media websites to call for jihad and en-courage Filipinos to support the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

    The Population Commission (Popcom) is expecting that the population of the country will officially reach 100mn on July 27, Manila Times reported. In an information released by the Popcom Western Visayas yesterday, it said it is anticipating that the 100th million Filipino to be born on the said date may be coming from either of the six provinces under the Western Visayas region and Iloilo City. Because of this, the Popcom in the region will award seven starter kits worth P5,000 each, if a baby will be born at least around 12:06 of July 27. The government agency has pre-pared at least one kit each for the six provinces and the city of Iloilo.

    Nation to mark 100mn population

  • SRI LANKA/BANGLADESH/NEPAL25Gulf Times Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    Bangladesh court jails three over drug scam A court yesterday sen-tenced three Bangladesh-is to jail for making and selling a toxic paracetamol syrup that doctors say killed hun-dreds of children in the 1990s, a prosecutor said.

    Judge Abdur Rashid sentenced them to the maximum penalty of 10 years jail after the fi rst ver-dicts into the tragedy that saw children suff er deadly kidney failure after taking the syrup.

    They deserve the highest punishment under the coun-trys drug law as it was a hei-nous crime against humanity, the judge was quoted as saying by prosecutor Shaheen Ahmed Khan.

    The three were employees of a local drug company accused

    of replacing one of the syrups ingredients with a cheaper al-ternative normally used in the leather dyeing industry.

    Helena Pasha, the owner of drug maker Adfl ame Pharma-ceutical, and Mizanur Rahman, the manager, were found guilty of drug adulteration.

    They were taken into custody after the verdicts.

    The court in Dhaka that han-dles drug-related crimes also convicted in absentia Nigendra Nath Bala, an employee in charge of production, who has been on the run since the trial began.

    Finally we see some justice. But I would have been hap-pier had they sentenced them to death, said Nurjahan Begaum, whose son, aged two and a half, died within days of taking the adulterated syrup for a fever.

    They deserve death. They killed so many children that

    there was not enough room in the cemetery for burial, she said.

    The tragedy was fi rst exposed in the 1990s when doctors said hundreds of children died, forc-ing the government to crack down on the local drugs indus-try. But dozens more children died in 2009 when the toxic chemical was again discovered in paracetamol syrup.

    Prosecutors fi led cases against fi ve companies blamed for the tragedies which one top pae-diatrician said dated back to the 1980s and could have killed as many as 2,000 infants.

    The trial of the three fi nally re-started in 2009 after it was halt-ed in 1994 following court-or-dered delays. A series of appeals and other delays have stalled the trials of others charged over the scandal.

    We hope we can now resume the cases against the other com-panies which were involved in the making of adulterated para-cetamol, Khan said. Two people were acquitted yesterday.

    Khandaker Bashir Ahmed, a defence lawyer, said the three would appeal against the verdict which he called faulty.

    The court was told that Ad-fl ame added diethylene glycol, a highly toxic organic solvent used mainly in the leather in-dustry, into its syrup which was marketed in leading hospitals.

    Mohammed Hanif, a top pae-diatric nephrologist, said that Bangladeshi hospitals fi rst start-

    ed seeing children with kidney failure in late 1982.

    But he said it took another 10 years to establish that their deaths were due to diethylene glycol.

    By then several thousand children had died by consum-ing diethylene glycol-laced pa-racetamol syrup, said Hanif, whose research paper on the tragedy was published in the British Medical Journal in 1995.

    Hanif said 339 children died from renal failure in the 35 months alone that he worked at the Dhaka Shihsu Hospital from 1990.

    Although he welcomed yes-terdays verdicts, he said more people should be brought to jus-tice over the tragedy, one of the worst in Bangladeshs history.

    Ill be more happy when all the fi rms have been brought to justice and are made to pay com-pensation to the parents of these hapless children, Hanif said.

    AFPDhaka

    They deserve the highest punishment under the countrys drug law as it was a heinous crime against humanity

    Lankan sailors are investigated for raping Tamil girl

    Sri Lankan police were yesterday investigat-ing the gang-rape of an 11-year-old girl allegedly by seven sailors in the islands former war zone, a spokesman said.

    The victim, who cannot be identifi ed according to Sri Lankan laws, had been repeat-edly raped by more than one man, police spokesman Ajith Rohana said.

    He said she alleged that sailors from a base in the Jaff -na peninsula in the north had attacked her.

    We arrested seven sailors, but the girl was unable to iden-tify the rapists, Rohana said, adding that investigationswere continuing.

    The sailors were arrested over the weekend but freed on bail on Monday.

    Rohana said while the in-vestigations were underway, another girl aged 10 had come forward complaining that she too had been molested by sailors a few months ago.

    The Hong Kong-based Asian Human Rights Council said there were serious grounds to fear that the victims families could be placed under pres-sure by military authorities de-ployed in the region.

    The naval base is within

    the area where the major-ity Sri Lankans fought a 26-year civil war with Tamil separatists.

    Tamil National Alliance, an opposition party and the former political proxy of the now-defeated Liberation Ti-gers of Tamil Eelam, said the alleged attack showed the security forces still based in the area were not protecting residents.

    With this incident, young women are scared to come out of their houses, Suresh Premachandran, a TNA legis-lator, said. This shows they are not protected by security forces.

    Sri Lanka has strict laws protecting women and chil-dren, but there have been few convictions for sexual off enc-es because of the reluctance of the victims to speak out or due to threats of more violence against them.

    However, last week the High Court sentenced four men, including a ruling party politician, to 20 years in jail for murdering a British tour-ist and gang-raped his Russian girlfriend.

    AFPColombo

    Heroin hidden inside grinding machines seized

    Sri Lanka seized a major heroin consignment smuggled from Pakistan, the customs department said yesterday.The heroin was seized when grinding machines imported from Pakistan were checked at a customs yard by off icials, Xinhua reported.The customs department said that 100 kg of heroin was detected inside the machines imported from Karachi in Pakistan.Sri Lanka has been a transit point for heroin smuggled from Pakistan and parts of

    India, which is then sent to other countries or to local dealers.The heroin was hidden in two boxes and was brought to Sri Lanka from Pakistan. The boxes were labelled as hardware items but when the boxes were opened customs off icers found heroin hidden among bolt nails.In March this year, the customs department seized 36kg of heroin at the customs yard after an attempt was made to smuggle it into the country.

    Rajapakse skips Games amid protest threats

    Sri Lanka President Mahi-nda Rajapakse will skip the Commonwealth Games starting this week in Glasgow despite being chair of the bloc, his offi ce said yesterday, after activists threatened to protest at his attendance.

    Rajapakses spokeswoman de-nied he had decided to stay away because of the threat of demon-strations over Colombos alleged human rights abuses.

    No such visit was scheduled, Mohan Samaranayake said.

    Rajapakse is the current chair of the 53-member bloc of mostly former British colonies and last November hosted a summit of Commonwealth leaders that was overshadowed by the allegations.

    Anti-government websites based outside the country have said Sri Lankans in Europe were planning to stage street protests against Rajapakse if he attended todays opening ceremony in the Scottish city.

    Rajapakse was embarrassed in 2010 when an Oxford University debating team cancelled his ad-dress at the last minute due to demonstrations by ethnic Tamils who accuse the Sri Lankan leader of war crimes.

    Rajapakses military crushed rebels fi ghting for a separate homeland for ethnic minor-ity Tamils in 2009 following a decades-long war.

    Sri Lanka has faced interna-tional censure over allegations that troops killed up to 40,000 civilians in the fi nal stages of the confl ict, a charge Rajapakse denies.

    Canada has suspended its funding to the Commonwealth for the two years that Rajapakse is rotating chair of the bloc.

    The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in No-vember was marred by boycotts by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper over the alleged abuses, while the leaders of India and Mauritius also stayed away.

    Sri Lanka has sent a team of athletes to the Games.

    AFPColombo

    Mahinda Rajapakse

    Britains Prime Minister David Cameron greeting Bangladeshs Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina outside 10 Downing Street in London yesterday. Hasina is in the British capital to attend the Girl Summit 2014.

    Hasina at 10 Downing Street

    Monk rejects Dalai Lama as spiritual leader

    A fi rebrand Sri Lankan monk yesterday criti-cised the Dalai Lama for urging the islands Buddhists to halt violence against minority Muslims and rejected him as a global spiritual leader.

    Buddhist monk Galagodaatte Gnanasara said the Dalai Lama was ignorant of the true situ-ation in Sri Lanka and accused the Nobel Peace Prize winner of being a victim of Islamic extremist propaganda.

    The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader earlier this month asked Buddhists in Myanmar and Sri Lanka to imagine an image of Buddha before committing any crimes against Muslims, in a plea to halt the violence.

    We dont accept the Dalai Lama as a world leader of Bud-dhists, Gnanasara told reporters.

    He is a creation of the West. For them, he is to Buddhists what the Pope is to Catholics, but not for us.

    Hardline Buddhists in Sri Lanka have attacked dozens of shops, homes and mosques in violence against minority

    Muslims, whom they accuse of trying to divide the Buddhist-majority country.

    The religious violence, the worst in decades, has left four people dead. It has been blamed on Gnanasara and his hardline group of monks called the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) or Buddhist Force.

    Rights groups have compared

    Sri Lankas Gnanasara to Myan-mars hardline monk Wirathu, who has been accused of fan-ning religious tensions in that country.

    Some 250 people have died in Myanmar since fi ghting broke out in the state of Rakhine in 2012.

    Gnanasara said he had met Wirathu and described both of

    them as peaceful monks with no blood on our hands.

    He said his BBS had initially wanted to visit the Dalai Lama at his headquarters in north-ern India to encourage him to correct his perception of Sri Lankas Buddhists, but later changed their mind.

    We felt there was no point, Gnanasara said. We feel that he is already a victim of Islamic extremism.

    Sri Lankas mostly moderate Buddhists hold the Dali Lama in high esteem. But successive Co-lombo governments have denied him a visa to visit pilgrimage sites in the island, apparently due to Chinese pressure.

    The Dalai Lama, who fl ed Ti-bet for India in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule, has long led a global movement for autonomy in Tibet.

    China accuses him of cov-ertly campaigning for Tibets independence and calls him a splittist.

    Sri Lankan Justice Minis-ter Rauf Hakeem warned last week that his governments failure to restrain militant Bud-dhist monks would foment Is-lamic extremism and threaten national security.

    AFPColombo

    Galagodaatte Gnanasara : Dalai Lama is a victim of Islamic extremist propaganda.

    With this incident, young women are scared to come out of their houses. This shows they are not protected by security forces

    Nepals trade defi cit stands at $5.63bn in 11 months

    Nepal suff ered a total of $5.63bn trade defi cit during the 11-month-period of the fi scal year 2013-14 due to extreme growth in imports and sluggish rate of exports, government data showed yesterday.

    According to data released by central bank Nepal Ras-tra Bank (NRB), the Hima-layan nation recorded 28.6% ($1.25bn) increase in the total trade loss during the review period as compared to the same period in the fi scal year 2012-13.

    During the period the poor South Asian country im-ported goods worth $6.45bn while export remained at $817.3mn.

    The countrys growth in import went up by 27% while exports rose to mere 16.9% during the review period ended in June, 2014. A break-down of the data indicated

    that the country lost $16.9mn a day in trade defi cit.

    According to the NRB, the trade defi cit soared due to the massive import of items including, petroleum prod-ucts, iron and steel, vehicles and auto-parts, machin-ery, electronics and food commodities.

    The country used $12.3bn to import petroleum prod-ucts. With the country reeling under as much as 12 hours long load-shedding a day, the import of petro-leum products has sky-rocketed to keep generators, captive plants, vehicles and even household aff airs in operation.

    Similarly, the country paid $585mn for importing steel and iron products, $363mn for automobiles and parts, $257mn for electronics and $252mn for importing food commodities.

    In terms of export, iron and steel products topped the countrys export chart by supplying products

    worth $109mn. It also earned $66.2mn from ex-porting carpet and $58.5mn from Acrylic yarn, among others.

    Trade defi cit has come to be the biggest threat of Nepals economy. Due to the supply side constraints including low production and obstacles at customs, the South Asian country has not been able to do signifi cant amount of export trade.

    India has been Nepals larg-est trading partner during the review period with Nepal car-rying more than 66% trade with its Southern neighbour. Nepal imported goods and services worth $4.34bn from India while exported goods worth $545mn to the southern market.

    China has appeared the second largest trading part-ner of Nepal where it exported goods worth $23.2mn and imported goods and serv-ices worth $698mn from its northern partner during the period.

    IANSKathmandu

  • Joko Widodo, who was declared the winner of Indonesias presidential election yesterday with 53.1% of the vote, faces tough tasks at the helm of South-east Asias largest economy.

    Indonesia is grappling with a rising fi scal defi cit and slower growth after a years-long economic boom fuelled by high commodity prices.

    The domestic economy expanded by 5.8% last year - the slowest pace of growth since 2009. About 29mn of Indonesias 240mn-strong population live below the poverty line, according to government statistics.

    The World Bank predicted that Indonesias economy will grow 5.2% in 2014 - lower than the 5.3% forecast in March - adding that structural reforms, the reduction of costly fuel subsidies and better infrastructure were needed to reduce poverty.

    In the absence of policy measures to support investment and productivity growth, the risks of a more structural deterioration in growth will mount, according to the bank.

    During his campaign, Joko promised to provide free healthcare and education nationwide as well as to build much-needed infrastructure.

    Joko has captured the imaginations of Indonesians with his folksy lifestyle and hands-on approach to governance.

    He was a little-known politician before he was elected Jakarta governor two years ago on promises to tackle the citys perennial problems, including chronic congestion and fl ooding.

    He has been praised for streamlining the

    bureaucracy and providing free healthcare for the poor.

    Joko needs to reach out to supporters of his election rival, former general Prabowo Subianto, who won 47.1% of the vote in the presidential election.

    Prabowo withdrew from the election process yesterday citing massive and systemic fraud. He has urged his supporters to remain calm and not to resort to violence but fears of unrest are real. But the election commission has ignored Prabowos demands for elections to be held again in thousands of polling stations where he alleges voter fraud took place.

    The 62-year-old Prabowo, who was once married to one of former president Suhartos daughters, is seen as representing the countrys elite old guard.

    He styles himself as a strongman leader but has been dogged by allegations of human rights abuses during his time in the military.

    Outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has urged the election loser to be gracious.

    But fear is rife that violence could erupt unless Prabowos grievances are addressed.

    Joko delivered messages of reconciliation and thanked Prabowo in his victory speech. This victory is a victory for all Indonesians. Diff erences and diversity of views are only natural in a democracy, he said.

    Tough tasks ahead for Indonesias president-elect

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    Chairman: Abdullah bin Khalifa al-AttiyahEditor-in-Chief : Darwish S AhmedProduction Editor: C P Ravindran

    Gulf Times Wednesday, July 23, 2014

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    Joko needs to reach out to supporters of his election rival, former general Prabowo Subianto

    The main reason for the gap is the diff erence in private consumption, which grew in the US, but fell in the eurozone, especially in its periphery

    By Daniel GrosBrussels

    The global fi nancial crisis that erupted in full force in 2008 aff ected Europe and the US in a very similar way at least at the start. On both sides of the Atlantic, economic performance tanked in 2009 and started to recover in 2010.

    But, as the fi nancial crisis mutated into the euro crisis, an economic gulf opened between the US and the eurozone. Over the last three years (2011-2013), the US economy grew by about six percentage points more.

    Even taking into account the increasing demographic diff erential, which now amounts to about half a percentage point per year, the US economy has grown by about 4.5 percentage points more over these three years on a per capita basis.

    The main reason for the gap is the diff erence in private consumption, which grew in the US, but fell in the eurozone, especially in its periphery. A retrenchment of public consumption actually subtracted more demand in the US (0.8 percentage points) than in the European Union (0.1 points). This might appear to be somewhat

    surprising in light of all of the talk about Brussels imposed austerity.

    In fact, public consumption in the eurozone has de facto remained fairly constant over the last three years, whereas it has declined substantially in the US. (The same is true of public investment, though this constitutes such a small proportion of GDP that transatlantic diff erences could not have had a large impact on growth over a three-year horizon.)

    The contraction of private investment in Europe accounts for only a small part (one-third) of the growth gap. Though the fi nancial-market tensions that accompanied the euro crisis had a strong negative impact on investment in the eurozone periphery, investment demand has also remained weak in the US, minimising the overall diff erence.

    The resilience of private consumption in the US, the key to the growth gap, is not surprising, given that American households have reduced their debt burden considerably from the peak of more than 90% of GDP reached just before the crisis. The lower debt burden is also a key reason why consumption is expected to continue to grow much faster in the US than in the eurozone this year and next.

    But the crucial question and

    one that is rarely asked is how US households were able to reduce their debt burden during a period of high unemployment and almost no wage gains while sustaining consumption growth. The answer lies in a combination of no recourse mortgages and fast bankruptcy procedures.

    Millions of American homes that were purchased with subprime mortgages have been foreclosed in recent years, forcing their owners, unable to service their debt, to leave. But, as a result of no-recourse mortgages in many US states, the entire mortgage debt was then extinguished, even if the value of the home was too low to cover the balance still due.

    Moreover, even in those states where there is full recourse, so that the homeowner remains liable for the full amount of the mortgage loan (that is, the diff erence between the balance due and the value recovered by selling the home), Americas procedures for personal bankruptcy off er a relatively quick solution. Millions of Americans have fi led for personal bankruptcy since 2008 , thereby extinguishing their personal debt. The same applies to hundreds of thousands of small businesses.

    Of course, there has also been a surge of bankruptcies in the eurozones periphery. But in countries like Italy, Spain and Greece, the length of a bankruptcy proceeding is measured in years, not months or weeks, as in the US. Moreover, in most of continental Europe a person can be discharged of his or her debt only after a lengthy period, often 5-7 years,

    during which almost all income must be devoted to debt service.

    In the US, by contrast, the corresponding period lasts less than one year in most cases. Moreover, the terms of discharge tend to be much stricter in Europe. An extreme case is Spain, where mortgage debt is never extinguished, not even after a personal bankruptcy.

    This key diff erence between the US and (continental) Europe explains the resilience of the US economy to the collapse of its credit boom. The excessive debt accumulated by households has been worked off much more rapidly; and, once losses have been recognized, people can start again.

    The cause of the transatlantic growth gap thus should not be sought in excessive eurozone austerity or the excessive prudence of the European Central Bank. There are structural reasons for the eurozone economys slow recovery from the fi nancial meltdown in its periphery.

    Most important, compared to the US, the excess debt created during the boom years has been much more diffi cult to work off .

    European offi cials are right to promote structural reforms of EU countries labour and product markets. But they should also focus on overhauling and accelerating bankruptcy procedures, so that losses can be recognised more quickly and over-indebted households can start afresh, rather than being shackled for years. - Project Syndicate

    Daniel Gros is director of the Centre for European Policy Studies.

    The growth gap betweenthe US and the eurozone

    Dying days of fi nancial reform? By Bart ChiltonMCT

    This week marks the fourth anniversary of the most wide-sweeping fi nancial reform since the Great Depression (known as Dodd-Frank). To avoid another 2008 would be great, but at this date and rate, astonishingly, only half the provisions have been implemented. Is fi nancial reform in its dying days? Are we safer?

    Despite regulators being overwhelmed by a complex and convoluted global fi nancial system, and underfunded with resources to dispatch some fairly daunting duties, some important protections are in place to avoid another economic recession or depression.

    Many rules now exist to oversee previously unregulated dark markets with zero, zippity, nada

    supervision. Policies and procedures have been established to avoid systemically important institutions (like large banks) from failing and causing a colossal collapse.

    However, unfi nished work remains. These are global markets, interconnected like never before. What happens in New York or Chicago impacts London, Shanghai, Sydney, Singapore or Sao Paulo ... and vice versa. In fi nancial markets today, we

    are the world. What that means is just because the US has implemented some of the laws (albeit delayed ... and some diminished in strength) others around the world need to step up to the plate and do so as well.

    If the US were the only nation with new fi nancial rules, some fi rms might choose to move business to less regulated nations - perhaps those with thinner rule books. Such market migration wouldnt be good for the US However, others are now moving forward with their own fi nancial reforms. The questions are: Will all regulators get it right, and when?

    The movie Field of Dreams with Kevin Costner came out 25 years ago. In it, Costners character hears a whisper from his Iowa corn fi eld: If you build it, he will come. The he is disgraced old-timey baseball player Shoeless Joe Jackson of the Chicago White Sox - accused of rigging the World Series. Thus, a

    baseball diamond is built. Shoeless Joe and others materialise and play ball. Like the fi lm, if fi nancial regulations are built, appropriately and properly, in the US and the European Union (together comprising roughly 70 of fi nancial markets), the rest of the world will come. That will take a few years. It will require industry input to ensure regulators act in a balanced fashion. Ultimately, what may appear today to be regulatory reforms dying days will come to a close and we will, in fact, be better protected.

    Former Commodity Futures Trading Commissioner Bart Chilton is a senior policy adviser at the global law fi rm DLA Piper LLP and author of Ponzimonium: How Scan Artists Are Ripping Off America. His next book, Theft: The Intersection of Washington and Wall Street, is due out later this year. Readers may send him e-mail at bartchilton@bartchilton.com

    There are structural reasons for the eurozone economys slow recovery

    Many rules now exist to oversee previously unregulated dark markets with zero, zippity, nada supervision

  • COMMENTGulf Times

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014 27

    A study fi nds that a molecule generated during broccoli consumption, and with higher concentrations found in broccoli-sprout tea, helps purge the bodyof air-pollution toxins

    By David TempletonPittsburgh Post-Gazette/MCT

    If you live in a region with lots of air pollution, you might not always breathe easy. So it might help to sit back, relax and enjoy a helping or two of broccoli.

    Better yet, have a stiff cup of broccoli-sprout tea.

    It might not be the advice you expect to protect yourself from pollution.

    But a study that Thomas Kensler and his team began at Johns Hopkins University and completed at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that a molecule generated during broccoli consumption, and with higher concentrations found in broccoli-sprout tea, helps purge the body of air-pollution toxins, including carcinogenic benzene. The molecule works rapidly and with staying power.

    And neither a broccoli-laden diet nor a gallon of tea is necessary.

    A daily cup of the sprout tea or two small helpings totalling 150 grams of broccoli can help rid toxic pollutants from the body, the study found. The vegetable from the cabbage family, often described as a superfood, provides fi bre, vitamins K and C and other nutrients, such as the one that eliminates toxins from the body. Thats what makes it a widely recommended addition to any diet.

    Benzene is a known human

    carcinogen and lung irritant, according to the study published online recently in the journal Cancer Prevention Research. Thus, intervention with broccoli sprouts enhances (detoxifi cation) of some airborne pollutants, with expected reductions in health risks from pollution that raises the risk of lung cancer and cardiopulmonary diseases.

    The study focuses on the molecule glucoraphanin in broccoli that, when chewed or crushed, produces sulforaphane, which is known to help prevent cancer. Glucoraphanin levels are signifi cantly higher in broccoli stems and seeds than in the mature vegetable itself.

    The International Agency for Research on Cancer recently classifi ed air pollution and particulate matter from air pollution as carcinogenic to humans, with outdoor air-pollution levels in China among the worlds highest. The research team led by Kensler, who holds a PhD in toxicology and serves as assistant professor at Pitts medical school, recruited 291 people from a rural area of Qidong in the Yangtze River delta region, 50 miles north of Shanghai, to participate in the study. That region is the fastest growing economic development area of China, the study says. Pollution levels there are steadily in the unhealthy range with fairly common surges into the very unhealthy and even hazardous range - a pollution level that only rarely occurs nowadays in more polluted areas of the US.

    Air pollution from expanding industrialisation in this region masks the horizon on many days, especially during the winter months. Increases in fossil fuels use in Chinas industry, transport and residential sectors have resulted in a steep increase in emissions, the study states.

    During the 12-week human clinical trial, those in the control group drank a beverage - produced commercially

    for the study to guarantee dosage levels - comprising bottled water, pineapple and lime juice - while the beverage for the treatment group additionally included a dissolved freeze-dried powder made from

    broccoli sprouts that contained glucoraphanin and sulforaphane. Urine and blood samples collected throughout the trial were tested to measure and compare air-pollution toxin levels excreted from the bodies

    of study participants from both groups.

    The research team found that those receiving the broccoli-sprout beverage experienced an excretion rate of benzene 61% higher than the

    control group did, beginning the first day of the trial and continuing throughout the 12-week period. The rate of excretion of another airborne pollutant, the nose and throat irritant acrolein, rapidly and durably increased 23% for the treatment group, compared with the control group, during the course of the trial.

    Further analysis by investigators found that sulforaphane may be protective by activating a signaling molecule, NRF2, which elevates a cells capacity to adapt to and survive a broad range of environmental toxins. This strategy may also be eff ective for some contaminants in water and food, the study concludes.

    Particulate matter poses signifi cant health risks to the public, especially fi ne particulates known as PM 2.5, which are so small that they are inhaled deep into the lungs.

    But a recent European study found that particulate matter, irrespective of particle size, contributes to lung-cancer incidence. Such particles include heavy metals, carcinogenic hydrocarbons and volatile organic chemicals that include benzene and aldehydes, which increase the risk of lung cancer.

    Based on the study, broccoli provides a frugal, simple and safe means to reduce long-term health risks associated with pollution, the study states. Next the team plans to evaluate optimal dosage levels and consumption frequency of the broccoli sprout beverage in the same region of China.

    Dr Kensler is a superb scientist and he has strong evidence that broccolis constituents can help detoxify carcinogens and toxins and enhance their elimination from the body, said Gary Stoner, a professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin whose research focus includes cancer prevention. This is excellent science.

    Eat your broccoli to fi ght air pollution

    Live issues

    Letters

    Just sit down and think By Oliver BurkemanLondon

    All of humanitys problems stem from mans inability to sit quietly in a room alone, wrote the French philosopher Blaise Pascal. Its a line repeated so frequently, in the era of smartphones and social media, that its easy to forget how striking it is that he wrote it in the 1600s. Back then, a sentence such as Yo is a messaging app that enables iPhone and Android users to say Yo to their friends might have got you burned as a witch.

    Yet even in 17th-century France, apparently, people hated being alone with their thoughts so intensely, theyd do almost anything else: play boules, start the Franco-Spanish war, and so on. Still, Id wager even Pascal would have been disturbed by a study published recently in Science, showing that people detest being made to spend six to 15 minutes in a room by themselves with nothing to do but think even to the extent of being willing to give themselves mild electric shocks instead. Its natural to conclude that theres something wrong with such people. Which means, all else being equal, that somethings probably wrong with you, too.

    Modern humans spend virtually no time on inward-directed thought, and not solely because were too busy: in one US survey, 95% of adults said

    theyd found time for a leisure activity in the previous 24 hours, but 83% said theyd spent zero time just thinking. The new study, led by Timothy Wilson of the University of Virginia, fi rst asked students to entertain themselves with nothing but their thoughts in an unadorned room. Most said they found it hard to concentrate; half found it unpleasant or neutral at best.

    In further experiments, older people, and those who rarely used smartphones, got similar results. Meanwhile, those given the chance to do something outward-directed, such as reading, enjoyed it far more. And when 42 people got to choose between sitting doing nothing and giving themselves electric shocks, two-thirds of men and a quarter of women chose the latter.

    Are we mad? In his book Back To Sanity, the Leeds Metropolitan University psychologist Steve Taylor answers: yes. The condition he diagnoses, humania, isnt recognised as a disorder, but only because were all victims, he argues, and its part of the defi nition of a mental illness that most people dont have it. The urge to immerse our attention in external things is so instinctive that were scarcely aware of it, he writes. We often speak of e-mails, tweets and texts as if theyre annoyances that wed eliminate if we could. Yet the truth, of course, is that half the time were desperate to be distracted, and gladly embrace the interruption.

    Taylors explanation for this puzzle borrows from Buddhism (among other places). We mistake ourselves for individual, isolated beings, trapped within our heads. No wonder we dont dwell on whats inside: that would underline the loneliness of existence, so obviously watching TV is more fun.

    To sit comfortably with your thoughts fi rst requires seeing that theres a sense in which theyre not real. A less new agey way of putting it is simply that you dont need to believe your thoughts. Whereupon they become fun to watch, and the need for distraction subsides. To quote the title of a book by Sylvia Boorstein, A Meditation Teacher: Dont Just Do Something, Sit There.- Guardian News and Media

    Making money outof Umrah visasDear Sir,

    I would like to bring to the attention of authorities that many Haj and Umrah operators (Hamla) in Qatar are making huge profi ts for arranging Umrah visas, especially during the month of Ramadan.

    It is clearly written on the Saudi Umrah visa page that it is free. But the

    agents charge it in the name of Saudi Arabia.

    This year an amount varying between QR600 and QR1,200 is charged per passport; the price varies depending on your negotiation skills! I wonder, if any authority is charging for the visa, why is it not uniform?

    Another thing that I have noticed is that some groups are not interested in arranging visas for individuals as their main profi t seems to come from organising Umrah packages.

    Thousands of expatriate Muslims depend on private agencies for their Umrah visas. They are ready to pay reasonable service charges. But these agencies must not take advantages of pious Muslims as they dont have direct access to the Saudi embassy.

    So it is of utmost importance that the Haj and Umrah travel sector should be under close observation; otherwise such a facility will benefi t only the rich people.

    Kassim(e-mail address supplied)

    Aviation tragedy Dear Sir,

    Tragedy has struck the aviation sector yet again with the downing of the Malaysian MH17 fl ight over Ukraine. It is one of the few cases where a commercial fl ight has been brought down by non-state players who apparently mistook the Boeing 777 to be a military plane carrying cargo to their adversaries.

    It was the direct consequence of the ongoing war in Ukraine between a pro-West government and pro-Russian separatists groups who have been clandestinely supplied Buk surface-to-air missiles.

    All governments should now co-operate with each other and pay more attention to the danger of fl ying in confl ict zones like Ukraine, Syria and Iraq.

    The cause of the tragedy in which

    nearly 300 innocent people lost their lives must be established and those guilty must be punished.

    Ramesh G Jethwani ramesh.gjethwani@gmail.com

    Please send usyour letters

    By e-mail editor@gulf-times.comFax 44350474Or Post Letters to the EditorGulf TimesP O Box 2888Doha, Qatar

    All letters, which are subject to editing, should have the name of the writer, address and phone number. The writers name and address may be withheld by request.

    Broccoli, often described as a superfood, provides fibre, vitamins K and C and other nutrients, such as the one that eliminates toxins from the body.

    Three-day forecast

    TODAY

    FRIDAY

    High: 44 CLow: 35 C

    High: 45C Low : 33 C

    Weather report

    Around the region

    Abu DhabiBaghdadDubaiKuwait CityManamaMuscatRiyadhTehran

    Weather todayP CloudyClearP CloudyClearP CloudyClearP CloudyClear

    Around the world

    Athens BeirutBangkok BerlinCairoCape Town ColomboDhakaHong KongIstanbulJakartaKarachiLondonManilaMoscowNew DelhiNew York ParisSao PauloSeoulSingaporeSydney Tokyo Clear

    Max/min30/2528/2330/2433/2232/2418/0930/2631/2729/2727/2133/2533/2926/1628/2526/1534/2730/1924/1718/0831/2132/2716/10 30/22

    Weather todayClearP CloudyC StormsP CloudyClearClearC StormsC StormsC Storms C StormsT StormsC RainP CloudyC StormsClearP Cloudy P CloudyT StormsP CloudyC RainC Storms C Rain

    Fishermens forecast

    OFFSHORE DOHAWind: NWLY 18-25/32 KTWaves: 5-7/9 FeetINSHORE DOHAWind:NWLY 12-22/28KT Waves: 1-3/4 Feet

    High: 44 CLow : 32 C

    THURSDAY

    Hot during the day and dusty to blowing dust at times at places with some clouds

    P Cloudy

    Clear

    Max/min41/3141/2742/2846/2939/3433/2745/3240/27

    Weather tomorrowClearClearP CloudyClearP CloudyClearP Cloudy P Cloudy

    Max/min41/3141/2742/2846/3038/3433/2643/30

    Max/min30/2528/2329/2432/2032/2421/0931/2631/2729/2727/2232/2533/2927/1629/2525/1136/2731/2024/1921/1131/2132/2716/1030/25

    Weather tomorrowClearP CloudyT StormsM CloudyP CloudyClearC StormsC StormsC StormsP CloudyC StormsP CloudyP CloudyC StormsP CloudyP CloudyP CloudyC RainP CloudyM CloudyC StormsM CloudyCloudy

    39/28

    C

  • Gulf Times Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    QATAR28

    Porsches Macan: a compact and dynamic SUV By Roshan CherianStaff Reporter

    Porsches latest introduction to its expanding SUV port-folio is the Macan. Hon-estly, with the Porsche front end youre already sold but theres so much more.

    The interior is compact rather than cavernous but theres no doubt its as Porsche as they come inside and out.

    Its classifi ed as a crossover but at QR250,000 with a motor that puts out 340HP is like no other youve ever driven. The fi gures are a little hard to believe looking at the dimensions but a test drive of the Macan S does put a lot of meat on those bones.

    For starters theres the suspen-sion raising that can be done on the fl y and will get the children yelling in excitement as the adults do their best to maintain their composure. You can never get enough of this function which is activated by depressing the off -road button on the centre control pad laid out around the gear stick. The car appears to raise its hackles

    and get all wound up as if its get-ting set to launch itself.

    Theres also the counterpart of this function that allows you to reduce the ride height when you hit the highway for a long stretch of high speed cruising.

    Porsche made the Macan smaller than the hulking Cayenne but the massive performance that is at the heart of everything this brand represents is very much a part of this package. With an out-put of 340HP from its 3-litre six, its putting out more horses than the entry level Cayenne.

    The compact size places a big question mark over traditional thinking while buying SUVs - which puts length of the chassis and the number of rows over all other considerations.

    The boot is impossibly large and there are buttons to increase and reduce loading height so you dont have to wrestle with your groceries when the time comes to fi nally cut the showboating and do something useful with your expensive ride.

    The doors carry an impressive and comforting heft that tell a story about the build quality.

    There are three models in the range. The pack is led by the Ma-can Turbo equipped with a 3.6-li-tre V6 biturbo engine delivering an output of 400HP.

    The Macan S is equipped with a 3-litre V6 biturbo delivering 340HP.

    Also available is the high-torque powerhouse of the trio, the Macan S Diesel thanks to its 258HP turbo diesel engine, which provides a torque of 580NM across a broad engine speed range.

    All of the Macans three six-cylinder engines work in con-junction with the seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) and Porsche Traction Manage-ment (PTM) system.

    Consumption fi gures range between 6.1 litres per 100km for diesel and 9.2 litres per 100km for premium-grade fuel, all three Macan models meet Euro 6 emis-sions standard.

    The engines also feature in-tegrated dry-sump lubrication, a typical feature among Porsche vehicles. This feature enables op-timum engine lubrication even in extreme driving situations. It also contributes to achieving a

    particularly low centre of gravity while allowing the ground clear-ance to be increased.

    The range of equipment fi t-ted on the Macan as standard is extensive, and includes all wheel drive, PDK, multi-function sport steering wheel with shift paddles, large wheels, high performance audio system and an electrically operated tailgate and the air sus-pension system: The Macan is the only vehicle in its segment to fea-ture such a system.

    There is also the Porsche TorqueVectoring Plus (PTV Plus) system, which has been specially tailored to the Macan. This sys-tem distributes varying levels of drive torque to the rear wheels and works in conjunction with an electronically controlled rear-axle diff erential lock.

    The list of Porsche options in-cludes the dynamic high beam forming part of the Porsche Dy-namic Light System Plus (PDLS Plus), which continuously adjusts the headlight level in keeping with the traffi c ahead and any oncom-ing traffi c.

    The Macan is Made in Ger-many, at the Leipzig plant. The Porsche Macan .

    Ayyoub Abouliaqin with Omar Salha at the Ramadan Tent Project Iftar. PICTURES: Rooful Ali

    Participants at the Ramadan Tent Project Iftar in London.

    Qatar Charity UK working to build community bonds

    Woqod has posted a net profi t of QR530mn in the fi rst half of this year, up 12.5% on the same period last year.

    The companys assets exceeded QR10.4bn in the fi rst half of this year, up 9.65% on the same period last year.

    Woqods H1 results were an-nounced last night after a meeting of the companys Board of Directors presided over by chairman, Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman al-Thani.

    Woqod chief executive offi cer, Ibrahim Jaham al-Kuwari said the Board of Directors reviewed and ap-proved the fi nancial results achieved during this period. The BOD also ex-amined Woqods current and future projects and other related issues and gave its directives.

    Despite the capital increase by 30% by 2014 through the bonus shares, earnings per share (EPS) amounted to QR6.28 for H1, 2014, compared with QR5.58 for the same period last year.

    The companys equity dropped by 2% to reach QR6.1bn in the fi rst half of this year.

    Al-Kuwari said Woqod was cur-rently involved in implementation of

    some 39 projects, 13 of which were progressing and the others in design, tendering and approval stages.

    Five petrol stations- Al Wakrah, Al Wajba, Al Jumailia, Lusail and Al Thakeera are currently under con-struction, in addition to a project in Saudi Arabia. Some of these projects are expected to be inaugurated by end-2014, while the others will be completed during 2014.

    Seven petrol stations are in de-sign stages. These will be located at Hamad International Airport (HIA) West, New Mesaimeer, Education City North, Education City Bani Hajer, Smeisma, Al Refaa Street and Al Thomama. The completion of these projects is expected during H1, 2015.

    Nine Projects are under tendering process in the following areas- Um Garn, Lektaifi ah, Al Musahabia, Al Shamal City, New Al Rayan , Sodan-atheel , Ain Jenan, Ben Dirham, And HIA East.

    Woqod has signed seven contracts with a local contracting company to start building these projects very soon.

    Al-Kuwari informed that some 24

    locations are currently under re-view for Woqods future projects.

    Some 10 expansion projects (for existing petrol stations) are being taken up at Al Thayen, Industrial Area, Al Hilal, Muaither, Bu Fasila , Al Seelia, West Bay, Mesaimeer East , Wadi Al Banat, and Al Gharrafa The completion is expected by end-2014.

    Three new projects for establishing C-Store at Hamad Hospital, Aamal Tower and Barwa City are in design stages. These are expected to be com-pleted before end-2014, al-Kuwari said.

    Vehicle inspection centres (Fahes) at Al Mamoura and Wadi Al Banat are already completed and tested. Offi -cial inauguration will take place very soon once the pending issues related to software and connection facilities are fi nalised, Woqod said.

    Three new such centres at Al She-haniah, North City and Al Khor are currently in the design stage and these are expected to be commis-sioned in 2015.

    He said the marketing activities at Sidra C-Stores, car wash (manual and automatic) facility, workshops tires and repair, lubricant change

    and other services were up in the fi rst half of this year. The total vol-ume of sales for all these activities saw an average growth rate of 23% during the period.

    LPG sales grew by 7% in the period under review. The number of cylin-ders refi lled and sold reached 2.6mn units (metal cylinders) and 421,000 (Shafaf) in the fi rst half of this year.

    For Bitumen sales, Woqod signed a contract with Ashghal Authority to supply Bitumen 60/70 and modi-fi ed (Polymer) to its contractors. Wo-qod will invest about QR70mn for increasing storage and distribution capacity of Bitumen, including pur-chasing a new ship for this purpose. This will result in a dramatic in-crease in the sales of Bitumen in the coming period.

    During H1, 2014, the total volume of sales of petroleum products (die-sel, gasoline and jet fuel) reached 3446mn litres, registering an in-crease of 11.6% compared to the same period last year.

    Woqod also provides diesel tank lease and diesel transport vehicles (with driver) services to both busi-ness and individuals.

    Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman al-Thani - Chairman

    Woqod posts H1 profi t of QR530mn

    By Denise MarrayGulf Times Correspondent/London

    Qatar Charity UK (QCUK) is supporting over 20 charitable organisations across the UK with their Iftar events in its bid to build commu-nity cohesion.

    On Monday evening QCUK Director General, Ayyoub Aboul-iaqin, joined the Iftar organised by an innovative student-led charity called the Ramadan Tent Project which this year has ex-tended its reach from the UK to Turkey and Zambia. Each night of Ramadan has seen over 200 participants from across the globe gather in a garden in the heart of London to break fast to-gether. Muslim, non-Muslim all are welcome.

    A special invitation has been extended to the homeless who are invited to share the food pro-vided through the generosity of the supporting charities.

    Omar Salha, the founder of the Ramadan Tent Project, cur-rently studying for his PhD at the School of Oriental & Afri-can Studies (SOAS), University of London, expressed his grati-tude to the sponsors. We are very thankful and grateful for the sponsorship of Qatar Charity UK which is funding part of the project, and to all our supporters

    including our original and long term sponsors the Muslim World League London Offi ce and the International Islamic Relief Or-ganisation. These organisations have been very helpful in provid-ing the food parcels for Iftar, he said.

    This is the second year for the Ramadan Tent Project which started out as a simple desire by Salha to provide a home away from home experience for Mus-lim students studying in London during Ramadan. It proved very popular and has now blossomed into a large scale event with eighty volunteers giving their time to make Iftar an event to be shared and celebrated not just by Muslim students but people of all faiths. A welcome is extended to the homeless through a link up with St. Mungos, a charity that supports homeless people, many of whom have ended up sleeping rough on the streets due to men-tal health, drug or alcohol prob-lems.

    Gulf Times spoke to Shane Harris who lives in a hostel run by St. Mungos; he attends the charitys Broadway Recovery College where he also works as a facilitator. He found out about the Ramadan Tent Iftar evenings from a friend and has attended almost every night.

    Speaking about his experience he said: It doesnt matter here

    about your creed or your colour. Can you imagine if the world was like this? There would be no wars. I think thats what is so beautiful about it.

    Abouliaqin, who has experi-ence of community Iftar events in France where he formerly worked, said the aspect of the Ramadan Tent Project that he most admires is that the fact that it is organised and run by stu-dents.

    Speaking of the numerous other charitable organisations that QCUK is partnering with over Ramadan, he said: The reason we are supporting these projects is to develop community cohesion between people of all faiths.

    The organisations that QCUK is partnering with include: Nadi Park Royal, Mayfair Islamic Cen-tre, Muslim Welfare House, Is-lington, Almanar, West London, Al Furqan and Heraa, Hounslow, Swansea University Mosque, Al Isra, Cardiff , Torquay Mosque, Muaath Trust, Birmingham, Emaan Trust, Sheffi eld, British Muslim Heritage Centre, Man-chester, Doha Mosque, Bradford, Grand Mosque, Leeds and Al Furqan Centre, Glasgow.

    For each of the last 10 days of Ramadan, QCUK is making possible the provision of 4,500 meals per day across the UK.

    Abouliaqin has encouraged the

    respective organisations to invite community leaders, councillors, mayors, local MPs and inter-faith representatives to at least one Iftar during Ramadan in order to strengthen community bonds.

    Ramadan Tent Project vol-unteer Heidi Evans, a US citizen from Hawaii studying for her Masters in International Skills and Diplomacy at SOAS, summed up her feelings about the event: For me its been life-changing; learning so much and meeting so many amazing people.

    Its a sentiment that was ech-oed by many who attended, in-cluding two English work col-leagues, Elena Christie and Lara Hayward, who just happened to be passing by on their way home from work. We were invited in and we feel we should just live like this all the time its abso-lutely fantastic, said Christie.

    They enjoyed the peaceful, happy atmosphere alongside a big international mix that in-cluded people from across the globe. In just one small group there were individuals from Ja-pan, India, Turkey, France, Mo-rocco and the Ivory Coast.

    Ramadan Tent Project founder Omar Salha summed up the spir-it of the evening.

    Its a magical atmosphere; our aim is to discover the com-munity spirit and to share it with others.

    Ramadan pardon for 36 Asianexpatriates

    Some 36 Asian expatriates from three na-tionalities have been pardoned by HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan.

    The pardoned Asian expatriates include 17 In-dians, who had been given sentences of two years or more for various off ences, 14 Nepalese and fi ve Pakistanis. It is, however, not known if people of nationalities other than these three were also among those pardoned.

    When contacted, a senior Indian diplomat said most of the Indians who were pardoned had been serving sentences for cheque-related cases, theft, adultery, rape, unauthorised sale of liq-uor, damage to property, traffi c violations, drug abuse, treachery, prostitution and others.

    The offi cial said his mission had forwarded a list of people seeking pardon for the Indians housed in the Central Prison. It was told at the last monthly community house that more than 75 Indians were serving sentences in various cas-es at the prison.

    The fi nal list of those who have been pardoned will be known only after the mission receives a further communiqu from the ministry con-cerned, it is understood. Ibrahim Jaham al-Kuwari - CEO

  • Wednesday, July 23, 2014Ramadan 25, 1435 AH

    BUSINESSGULF TIMES SOLID UNDERWRITING, INVESTMENTS: Page 16

    Mideast touristarrivals toThailand drop

    POLITICAL ISSUES | Page 4

    Emirates fi rst A380 service to India starts

    SECOND CARRIER | Page 5

    Doha Insurance H1 net profi t jumps 50% to QR54mn

    Vodafone Qatar sees strong growth in Q1;distributable profithits QR73mn in June Driven by continued customer growth and revenue per user, Vodafone Qatar delivered strong growth in its first quarter with distributable profit reaching QR73mn in June.Vodafone Qatars Q1 results announced by chairman Sheikh Dr Khalid bin Thani bin Abdullah al-Thani here yesterday showed the companys mobile customer base reaching 1.35mn in June. This shows an 18% year-on-year (YoY) growth.Vodafone Qatar earned a quarterly revenue of QR585mn; a 27% YoY growth.Mobile average revenue per user (ARPU) increased year-on-year by QR8 to QR131, Vodafone said.Quarterly earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) reached QR159mn; an increase of 61% year-on-year, Vodafone said.Vodafone Qatar also saw its net loss getting reduced to QR 27mn; an improvement of 68% over the same quarter last year. The loss per share is (-QR0.03) compared with minus (-QR0.1) for the same quarter last year.Sheikh Dr Khalid said, Revenue for the quarter grew by 27% year-on-year, driven by a combination of continued customer growth and strong ARPU performance, which resulted in a healthy growth in EBITDA.This quarter also saw a significant milestone for the company with the launch of Vodafone 4G, Qatars newest 4G network that comes with the newest content proposition and best in-store experience. Over the next few months, we will be expanding our 4G network to cover more of Doha, focusing on indoor coverage as well as outside Doha especially the camping areas. Vodafone Qatar switched on its mobile network on March 1, 2009, and started delivering great value to its customers with a range of exciting products and services, shortly after. Having built a world class converged IP network, Vodafone launched fibre-based consumer and enterprise fixed-line services commercially in October 2012 and is expanding its fibre services in conjunction with Qnbn deployment of Fibre to Homes and Corporates.

    GIS H1 net profi t rises 58% to QR463.7mn Registering growth across all portfolios of its busi-ness, particularly drill-ing operations, Gulf Interna-tional Services (GIS) posted a record half yearly net profi t of QR463.7mn, up 58% on QR170.6mn in H1, 2013.

    GIS, the largest service group in Qatar, with interests in a broad cross-section of industries, ranging from insurance, re-insurance, fund management, onshore and off shore drilling, accommodation barge, helicop-ter transportation, and catering services, closed the fi rst half (H1) of this year with a record revenue of QR1.59bn.

    In a statement here yesterday, HE the Minister of Energy and Industry, Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada, also chairman and managing director of Gulf Inter-national Services said, These record results can be mainly at-tributed to the ambitious growth plans in all segments, but most notably within the drilling seg-ment where signifi cant progress was made towards completing that segments medium-term business expansion strategy.

    Al-Sada said, Gulf Inter-national Services continued its excellent progress from the fi rst quarter. I am confi dent that with the companys strong funda-mentals and exciting and ambi-tious capital investment plans, the company will continue to grow and meet shareholders ex-pectations.

    Gulf International Services chief co-ordinator Ebrahim al-Mannai, Signifi cant achieve-ments were noted during the second quarter of 2014 in three critical areas increasing GIS ownership interest in Gulf Drill-ing International, business de-

    velopment initiatives and ex-tensions for expiring onshore drilling contracts. With regard to increasing the groups equity interest in GDI, GIS completed the buy-out of Japan Drilling Company Limiteds 30% share-holding in Gulf Drilling Interna-

    tional for a total consideration of $157.7mn, resulting in GDI becoming a 100% subsidiary of GIS with eff ect from May 1, 2014. The buy-out contributed an additional profi t of QR40mn for two months period that end-ed in June.

    Secondly, progress was made by the subsidiary with respect to several business development opportunities: of the three as-sets expected to be placed into operation during the current year, the fi rst, a conventional jack-up rig, Msheireb, was ac-cepted by Occidental Petroleum and commenced operations in May, 2014. The second, a new accommodation lift-boat, Ru-mailah, has recently been re-ceived and will be utilised by Maersk Oil Qatar following its delivery to them in July, 2014. The third asset, a high specifi ca-tion jack-up rig, Dukhan, is still under construction in Singapore and is on schedule to be utilised by Qatar Petroleum upon its ex-pected delivery to them in the fourth quarter.

    In addition, during the quar-ter, orders were also placed for two, new custom-built land drilling rigs, GDI-7 and GDI-8, following the signing of long-term contracts with Qatar Pe-troleum for the provision of onshore drilling services. These rigs will take up to 12 months to be constructed in the United States, and are scheduled to be placed into service in the third

    and fourth quarters of 2015, re-spectively.

    And, most recently, GDI an-nounced the purchase of an-other, high specifi cation, pre-mium off shore rig following the awarding of a new, fi ve-year contract with Qatar Petroleum for the provision of further off -shore services. This latest ad-dition is expected to commence operations in the second quarter of 2016.

    Al-Mannai said, With these three new assets, GDI expects to have a total of 21 assets un-der operation by mid-2016, up from nine at the beginning of 2012. At that point, GDIs fl eet is projected to be comprised of ten off shore rigs, eight onshore rigs, two lift-boats and one accom-modation barge.

    In the third area exten-sions for expiring onshore drill-ing contracts negotiations were successfully concluded with new, fi ve-year term, en-hanced contracts being signed during the quarter for four of the subsidiarys fi ve onshore rigs.

    Gulf Helicopters recently placed fi rm orders for 15 AW-189 helicopters AgustaWestlands latest generation aircraft. Sub-ject to prevailing market condi-tions, it is expected that 11 air-craft will be deployed in the next fi ve years to bring the total count to 54, with the fi rst two helicop-ters expected to be delivered in the third quarter of 2014.

    HE Dr al-Sada: Ambitious growth plans.

    Sheikh Dr Khalid: Expansion plans.

    Masraf Al Rayan H1 scales up 10.1% to QR904mn

    Masraf Al Rayan has post-ed a half yearly (H1) net profi t of QR904mn, up 10.1% on the QR821mn registered in the same period last year.

    The fi nancial statements for the period that ended in June included the results of Islamic Bank of Britain, which was con-solidated this year.

    Masraf Al Rayan chairman and managing director Dr Hussain al-Abdulla expressed satisfac-tion at the results achieved.

    He considered these in line with the Board of Directors ex-pectations and in accordance to the strategic plans in place and the steady and prudent policy to

    avoid all potential risks and in compliance with Shariah bank-ing, commercial and investment operations, which are reinforced further by strong performance and a promising outlook of Qa-tars economy.

    Group CEO Adel Mustafawi pointed to the growth achieved as a result of the great eff orts ex-erted by the Banks management and staff to sustain the consist-ent growth of Masraf Al Rayans fi nancial position.

    Masraf Al Rayans total as-sets increased by 15.5% to QR74,212mn compared to QR64,271mn in June 2013.

    Financing activities increased

    by 6.3% to reach QR46,955mn compared to QR44,175mn in June 2013.

    Customers deposits increased by 29.9% to reach QR60,335mn compared to QR46,445mn in June 2013.

    Total shareholders equi-ty increased by 7.3% to reach QR10,503mn compared to QR9,793mn in June 2013.

    Earnings per share reached QR1.205 compared with QR1.094 in June 2013; and the book value per share increased to QR14 from QR13.1 in June 2013, while the capital adequacy ratio reached 16.2%.

    Mustafawi also pointed to the

    recently announced sale trans-action made by Masraf Al Rayan of its stake in Seef Lusail Real Estate Development Company, which did not have an impact on the fi nancial statements of the bank for the fi rst half of 2014, as the profi t will be allocated over three years starting from H2, 2014.

    Meanwhile, Masraf Al Rayan continued its eff orts to provide the best quality of customer service through the 12 branches and 57 ATMs, spread out across various areas in Doha, in addition to its series of online products and services; Al Rayan Phone, Al Rayan Mobile services with Ara-

    bic smart phone applications. Mustafawi said Masraf Al Ray-

    an had taken great interests in the development of its growing work force, especially Qataris (who make up 47% of all participants in Human Resources projects), through a variety of training and advancement projects. Mean-while, a group of distinguished Qatari employees attended Mas-raf Al Rayan national talent man-agement programme, designed only for Qataris.

    This group represented the second batch of the programme with the goal to advance and groom them for future leadership positions within the bank.

    The Masraf Al Rayan building in Doha. Masraf Al Rayans total assets increased by 15.5% to QR74,212mn, compared with QR64,271mn in June 2013.

    Saudi Arabia to open bourse to foreignersReutersRiyadh/Dubai

    Saudi Arabia plans to open its stock market, the Arab worlds biggest, to direct investment by foreign financial institutions in the first half of next year, the market regulator said yesterday. The market will be open to eligible foreign financial institutions to invest in listed shares during the first half of 2015, with Gods permission, the Capital Market Authority said in a statement. Currently, foreigners other than citizens of nearby Gulf states are limited to buying Saudi stocks via swaps involving international banks and through a small number of exchange-traded funds, which are expensive and inconvenient options. Foreigners are at present believed to own no more than about 5% of the Saudi market, and to account for a smaller fraction of stock trading turnover. Potential foreign interest in Saudi stocks is huge, because of the countrys strong economy the International Monetary Fund on Monday raised its forecast for Saudi growth this year to 4.6% and the presence of some of the regions top blue-chip firms. These include Saudi Basic Industries Corp (Sabic), one of the worlds largest petrochemicals groups, and National Commercial Bank, the kingdoms biggest lender, which

    plans an initial public off er of shares later this year that could be worth $4bn to $5bn. Foreign investors are estimated to own about 15% of other, much smaller stock markets in the Gulf such as Dubai. If foreigners raise their ownership of Saudi Arabia to that level, it could mean an inflow of some $50bn into the country. In practice, Saudi authorities are expected to use a tight regulatory framework to ensure that inflows are slow. The CMA said it would publish next month draft regulations for the reform; there would then be a 90-day public consultation period. Proposals circulated by Saudi authorities to the financial industry in the past have indicated Saudi Arabia will follow a model similar to China, Taiwan and some other major emerging markets in opening its bourse. Under one set of proposals, foreign institutions would need to have at least $5bn of assets under management globally to obtain licences; each institution could own no more than 5% of a Saudi firm, and all foreigners combined could own no more than 20%.MSCI said yesterday that it might make a decision as early as June 2015 on whether to add Saudi Arabia to its emerging market stock index. The pace of past index changes suggests actual inclusion might then take place in 2016.

  • BUSINESS

    Gulf Times Wednesday, July 23, 20144

    Thailand witnesses 47% drop in touristsfrom Middle EastBy Arno MaierbruggerGulf Times Correspondent, Bangkok

    The month-long political uprising and the subsequent coup detat in Thailand have caused a severe drop in tourism ar-rivals to the country, according to new num-bers released by the Thai Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

    The fi gures are contradicting statements of the Thai Tourism Authority that the tourism outlook has improved since the end of street protests in May when the army took over. In fact, overall tourism numbers were down 10.22% from January to June 2014, making it clear that the country will miss its ambitious target of 28mn visits this year (compared to 26mn in 2013).

    The sharp drop can be attributed to fewer visitors from Asean countries as well as from China and Japan, but percentage-wise, the Middle East as a source region for tourists to Thailand recorded the biggest slump in arriv-als.

    Overall, visits from the Middle East de-clined in the six-months period by almost 47% from 65,427 to 34,911 visits. Among the

    most important source countries, visitor numbers from the UAE dropped by 58%, Ku-wait by 54%, Egypt by 45% and Saudi Arabia even by 78%.

    Qatar is not listed in the ministrys statistics but the trend is likely to be the same. The dis-appointing numbers came even after the Thai Tourism Authority staged a tourism roadshow in various GCC countries earlier this year and was one of the biggest exhibitors at the impor-tant regional industry event Arabian Travel Market held from May 5 to 8 in Dubai, but ob-viously with no immediate eff ect.

    Thailands tourism ministry permanent secretary, Suwat Sidthilaw, conceded that the political tension since late last year continues to impact the countrys tourism industry, with many tourists still have travel warnings and the nationwide curfew in mind. Poor internal transport infrastructure and well-publicised tourism scams are adding to the problem, he says.

    Thailands tourism marketing, in the mean-time, has done a lot to promote the country among GCC tourists, be it as a honeymoon or wedding destination, as a shopping heaven or as a place for high-end tourists who might want to enjoy 5-star city hotels and beach re-

    sorts in the country. However, at the moment, arrival numbers dont refl ect any success of this marketing drive.

    From an outside view, vacationing in a mil-itary-led country might include a risk of get-ting dragged into possible unrests or violent clashes, which might be one of the reasons that holds visitors back from coming to Thai-land. There is also uncertainty whether new curfews may be imposed or not.

    But from the inside, Thailand makes the impression to recover from its inconclusive colour-coded infi ghting towards a better organised society, driven by a number of in-ternal clean-ups and other initiatives by the military, which in the tourism sector in-clude raids to break up local mafi a gangs at popular tourism spots, eliminating tourism scams and improving safety for tourists in general.

    These are the right actions that could re-store trust in a tourism destination which has suff ered too long from travellers exploitation and deteriorating attractions in the past it is just interesting that a democratically elect-ed government was unable to address this long-time problems and a military regime can get hands-on within a few weeks.

    An aerial view of Bangkok at night. The number of visitors from the Middle East to Thailand declined in the six-months period by almost 47% to 34,911 from 65,427.

    Saudi market up 2.8%, biggest gain since October; blue chips, likely targets of foreigners, surge; but smaller firms could also benefit; Egypts CIB surges ahead of Q2 results; bullish property stocks support Qatar

    Reuters, QNADubai

    Saudi Arabias bourse surged yester-day after the financial regulator said it would open the stock market to direct investment by foreign institutions in the first half of 2015.

    The plan is one of the countrys most ea-gerly anticipated economic reforms, and could eventually result in flows of tens of bil-lions of dollars of fresh foreign money into Saudi stocks though the regulator is ex-pected to keep inflows very gradual to avoid destabilising the market.

    The main Saudi index jumped 2.8%, its biggest rise since last October, to a fresh six-year closing high of 10,025 points. Trading volume was the highest in six weeks.

    Petrochemical giant Saudi Basic Industries (Sabic), one of the big blue chips which for-eign investors would be expected to favour, was the main contributor to the rise, surg-ing 6.9%. By itself the company accounts for about a quarter of the Saudi markets total corporate profits.

    Sabic will be the biggest attractor of for-eign capital, said Daniel Broby, chief execu-tive of Gemfonds, a fund manager company which focuses on emerging markets. Re-gardless of the depth of its market, Tadawul (the Saudi bourse) will be viewed by foreign investors as a petrochemicals play.

    Shares in Yanbu National Petrochemicals (Yansab), a Sabic subsidiary which Broby said was more attractive from a valuation per-spective, gained 2.9%.

    Among other blue chips, mobile telecom-munications operator Etihad Etisalat (Mo-bily) rose 5.1%, while Al Rajhi Bank, the king-doms biggest listed lender, added 2.2%.

    Etihad Etisalat is the short-term play. (It is) on a price to earnings ratio of 10 which is low for a wireless company with growth pros-pects and is substantially off its high, Broby said.

    Stocks other than blue chips could also benefit from the market opening, however. At present, foreign investors other than citi-zens of neighbouring Gulf states are lim-ited to buying Saudi stocks through swaps or exchange-traded funds; the cost of swaps makes it uneconomic to invest in some small-er companies.

    Among the smaller counters, one we like is Red Sea Housing , which is a global leader in prefabricated housing, Broby said. The stock edged up 0.03%. Saudi Arabias inclusion in major global equity indexes looks unlikely to happen before 2016 at the earliest. MSCI said yesterday that it might make a decision as early as June 2015 on whether to add the country to its emerging market stock index.

    Elsewhere in the region, Egypts bourse added 1.1% after pulling back in the previous two sessions in response to a surprise interest

    rate hike by the central bank and the deepen-ing crisis in the Palestinian territories.

    Commercial International Bank, Egypts largest listed lender, was the main support, jumping 3.4%. The banks board was due to review its second-quarter results yesterday.

    Qatar Stock Exchange index picked up 168.46 points (+1.29%) yesterday to advance to 13,258.42 points at close of trading.

    The traded value reached QR 687.016bn with a volume of 14,938,110 shares from 8,470 transactions.

    The market capitalisation reached QR 712,786,750,042.45.

    From the 43 listed companies, 26 ended in the green zone yesterday, 16 in red and one remained unchanged. Except the transport sector index, all sectorial indices ended the green zone yesterday.

    Real estate sector indices gained the most, up 68.35 points (+2.37%) to 2,955.61 points. Industrial sector index followed next, up 70.03 points (+1.62%) to 4,402.92 points.

    Banking sector index moved up 32.67 points (+1.03%) to 3,204.17 points.

    Qatar National Bank (QNB) share moved up QR 3.90 (+2.18%) to close at QR 182.

    Islamic lender Masraf Al Rayan added 2.0% after net profit rose 12.1% in the second quar-ter, beating analysts estimates.

    Property developers Barwa Real Estate and United Development added 3.3 and 0.9% re-spectively after the central bank said its real estate price index hit a record high in June 2014, jumping 29% year-on-year.

    From consumer goods and services sector, Medicare share jumped +3.06% to close at QR 101 from the previous days QR 98.

    From industries sector, Gulf International Companys share too moved up +3.54% to close at QR 117 from the previous days QR 113.

    Qatari individual investors bought a vol-ume of 7,373,563 shares of 41 companies worth QR 273.991mn (39.88%).

    Qatari individual investors sold a volume of 8,857,427 shares of 43 companies worth QR 375.305mn (54.63%).

    Qatari institutional investors bought a volume of 2,996,434 shares of 39 companies worth QR 148.097mn (21.56%).

    Qatari institutional investors sold a volume of 2,298,614 shares of 39 companies worth QR 111.189mn (16.18%).

    Dubais benchmark slid 1.0% as builder Arabtec continued to decline and fell 3.4%. The stock plunged this week after Arabtecs key shareholder, Aabar Investments, did not confirm a report which said Aaabar was in talks to increase its stake in Arabtec.

    Abu Dhabis bourse edged down 0.2%. Tel-ecommunications firm Etisalat was the main drag, sliding 1.3%.

    A new direction for the UAE markets after their recent big swings hasnt been defined yet, said Marwan Shurrab, fund manager and head of trading at Vision Investments, adding that recent moves were based on opportunis-tic trades seeking to profit from high volatil-ity.

    Elsewhere, the Kuwait index edged up 0.4% to 7,097 points, the Bahrain index slipped 0.5% to 1,474 points and the Oman index edged up 0.03% to 7,184 points.

    Saudi shares soaron plan to open market to foreigners

    First Gulf Bankprofit rises 16%Abu Dhabi-based First Gulf Bank matched analyst expectations by reporting a 16% rise in second-quarter net profit yesterday, with earnings growth propelled by lending income. The second-largest lender by market value in the UAE made a net profit of 1.35bn dirhams ($367.6mn) for the three months to June 30, it said in an e-mailed statement. The average forecast from six analysts polled by Reuters was net profit of 1.33bn dirhams for the quarter. Earnings growth in the period was boosted by a 12% year-on-year increase in net interest and Islamic financing income, which rose to 1.65bn dirhams on the back of an improved net interest margin and higher lending. Total lending stood at 128.2bn dirhams at June 30, up 4% since March 31 and 6% on the same point of 2013. Deposits at June 30 were 137.5bn dirham on June 30, up 6% and 11% over the same timeframes. Non-interest income also gained in the second quarter, rising 18% year on year to 641mn dirhams on higher contributions from subsidiaries. Our operational and financial performance throughout the first half of 2014 bodes well for the second half of the year and beyond, chief executive Andre Sayegh said in the statement.

    QIMC

    Qatar Industrial Manufacturing Company (QIMC) has announced a net profit of QR80.4mn, marginally low compared to QR80.7 for the same period last year. The companys Earnings per Share (EPS) amounted to QR 1.69 compared to QR 1.7 for the corresponding period in 2013. The total shareholders equity was QR 1.487bn compared to QR 1.409bn in 2013. QIMC said it expects to achieve a profitable growth in the next half of 2014. Set up in 1990, QIMCs equity share is split 20:80 between government-private entities. The companys initial authorised capital was QR 200mn and was fully paid by 2002. The company board increased its capital by 50% to QR 300mn in 2006.

    CORPORATE RESULTS

  • BUSINESS5Gulf Times Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    ReutersBeijing

    Policy insiders are concerned that Chinas ambitious reform agen-da is being sidelined by a focus on stimulus to meet the governments growth target, delaying the planned overhaul of the worlds second-largest economy.

    The government unveiled plans for some of the most comprehensive re-forms in nearly 30 years last November, but since then has only made incre-mental changes as a rapid slowdown in the economy dominated policymaking in the fi rst half of 2014.

    Sources at government think tanks involved in policy discussions said enough had been done to support growth, and now expected to see some progress on economic reforms.

    On policy, we dont need to pre-scribe a strong medicine, said Xu Hongcai, senior economist at China Centre for International Economic Ex-changes, a well-connected think tank in

    Beijing. Its time to push reforms. Potential measures in coming

    months include reforming the fi scal system to deal with massive local gov-ernment debts, a long-awaited deposit insurance system to pave the way for freeing up bank deposit rates, and over-hauling state giants.

    Reforms are likely to quicken in the second half, said an infl uential econo-mist at the cabinets thinktank, Devel-opment Research Centre.

    The possibility of rolling out re-forms will be bigger as detailed plans are being fi nalised, said the economist, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    President Xi Jinping is heading a leadership team that oversees drafting of detailed reform plans by diff erent agencies, sources said.

    The government usually solicits views and proposals from top think tanks before making key policy deci-sions.

    Data last week showed the worlds second-largest economy grew an an-nual 7.5% in the second quarter, recov-ering from an 18-month low of 7.4% in

    the fi rst quarter to deliver a dividend on three months of government stimulus.

    It seems highly likely that GDP growth will pick up further. However, the concern is that, in the absence of market-determined prices and amid an overleveraged economy with weakening productivity, policy easing will again misallocate resources, Rob Subbara-man, chief Asia economist at Nomura, said in a note.

    Stimulus measures have included re-ducing the amount of cash some banks have to hold as reserves, quicker spend-ing by local governments and acceler-ating the construction of railways and public housing.

    Though offi cials describe such meas-ures as fi ne-tuning, Beijing has stead-ily broadened the scope and depth of its assistance, as indicated by a surge in bank lending. The pace of reforms this year has been slow. We should be vigilant about the risk of reforms be-ing delayed, said another government economist who declined to be named.

    The fallout of the 4tn yuan ($645bn) stimulus during the 2008-09 global fi -

    nancial crisis shows the risk of putting off reform. While China got through the crisis largely unscathed, the stimulus created conditions for local govern-ments to build massive debts and sent property prices rocketing.

    Premier Li Keqiang said last week that growth of slightly less than a target of 7.5% would be acceptable as long it led to new jobs and higher wages, sof-tening his tone from earlier that the rate was the minimum level.

    Lis comments signalled the gov-ernment is more comfortable with the economy and intends to push reforms, analysts say. Some government econo-mists have suggested that Beijing could lower its growth target to around 7% in 2015 to help create more room to pursue structural changes.

    The piecemeal changes this year in-clude red-tape cuts, administrative deregulation, tax and fee cuts for busi-nesses, opening up some sheltered sec-tors to private fi rms, and a pilot fi nan-cial reform scheme in Shanghai.

    The governments stimulus policy is strong enough now, but reforms that

    enhance the internal impetus of the economy still lag, said Zhang Bin, sen-ior economist at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a top government think tank in Beijing.

    Central governor Zhou Xiaochuan has pledged to free up interest rates within two years, but analysts see signs of caution given that could lead to high-er borrowing costs.

    The cabinet has recently approved detailed plans on fi scal reforms, which are vital for reducing the need for local governments to borrow heavily.

    And China has ordered six state-owned companies to start revamping their operations as part of reforms to let private capital play a bigger role in the state sector.

    Its unrealistic to expect big changes to take place overnight, said a senior executive at a private electric equip-ment maker in the coastal province of Zhejiang, who did not want to be iden-tifi ed. After all, there are still so many problems in our economy that need to be addressed and of course it will take time.

    China stimulus focus delaysreform drive, warn experts

    Dow JonesHong Kong

    China Huarong Asset Management Co is com-pleting a deal to sell a roughly $2bn stake to a group that includes Malaysias state investment arm and Goldman Sachs Group, according to peo-ple familiar with the matter.

    The potential investment in the state-owned bad bank comes ahead of a planned public off ering by Huarong and signals a growing desire among for-eign buyers to invest in Chinas asset-management fi rms as the government tackles the banking sectors growing pile of bad debt.

    The investor group includes Goldman Sachs, Malaysian fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd., New York-based private-equity fi rm Warburg Pincus, Citic Private Equity, China International Capital Corp, Cofco Corp and Fosun International, accord-ing to people familiar with thematter.

    Representatives for CICC, Goldman and Fosun Interna-tional declined to comment. Representatives for Huarong, Warburg Pincus, Khazanah, Citic and Cofco couldnt imme-diately be reached for comment.

    Huarong is one of four asset-management fi rms the country established in 1999 to clear some 1.3tn yuan ($211bn) of bad assets from Chinas top four state lend-ers. It is currently 98.06% owned by the Ministry of Finance, while China Life Insurance (Group) Co owns the remaining 1.94%.

    The bad bank has already had success in raising cash from in-vestors. In July, it completed its maiden US dollar-denominated bond off ering.

    Huarongs planned share sale would be the second by a Chi-nese bad bank after China Cinda Asset Management Co raised $2.8bn in December, drawing interest from investors that in-cluded New York-based Och-Ziff Capital Management Group and Norwegian sovereign-wealth fund Norges Bank In-vestment Management. Shares of Cinda have gained 16% since listing.

    Huarongs and Cindas main business is buying impaired loans from banks, restructuring the debt and turning a profi t in the process.

    Chinas slower econom-ic growth in recent years has fuelled an increase in bad loans and policy makers in Beijing have been pushing banks to raise new capital and clean up their balance sheets. Already, Chinas biggest lenders have pledged to raise tens of billions of dollars by selling so-called preference shares.

    Huarong in January reported a net profi t of 10.07bn yuan ($1.66bn) in 2013, up 44.7% from a year earlier. It said its purchas-es of bad assets increased dra-matically last year. The buying was roughly four times the total of its purchases between 2010 and 2012, though the company gave no precise fi gures.

    Like Huarong and Cinda, other state-owned bad banks China Orient Asset Management Corp and China Great Wall Asset Management Corp-are making eff orts to become more market-oriented, expanding beyond buying bad loans to operating brokerages, fund-management companies and insurers.

    Huarong to offl oad $2bn stake to investor consortium

    ReutersMumbai/London

    Indian generics firm Lupin, some US drugmakers looking for a tax-saving deal in Europe and private equity funds are planning to bid for a range of older drugs being auctioned by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) , five sources familiar with the matter said.

    GSK is looking to divest the mature products in a bid to improve its growth profile and wants to dispose of off -patent drugs marketed in North America and western Europe with annual sales of around 1bn ($1.7bn).

    Assuming a multiple of between two and three times those sales, the assets on the block could fetch between $3.5bn and $5bn, the sources said.

    Chief Executive Andrew Witty said in April GSK

    was reviewing its portfolio of mature drugs, known as established products, and in May the group invited sector players and private equity firms to consider bidding.

    Non-binding off ers are expected before the end of the month, according to several sources who asked not to be named because the talks are private. GSK brands up for sale include antidepres-sant Paxil, migraine treatment Imitrex, Zantac for stomach acid and Zofran for nausea.

    Off icials at GSK, which is being advised on the auction by Lazard, declined to comment. Britains largest drugmaker will report second-quarter results today. One person with direct knowledge of the matter said yesterday Indias Lupin was seriously looking at the GSK assets and was in talks with the British drugmaker. Lupin Chief Executive Vinita Gupta has said for some months

    the company wanted to enhance its branded generics business in the US and a company off icial confirmed it was looking for deals, while declining comment on specific targets.

    For these billion-dollar companies like GSK, such fringe products add flab. On the other hand, a smallish Indian player can do very focused promo-tion ... and gain scale with increased penetration, an analyst in Mumbai, who did not want to be named because the talks were not yet public, said. This has been Lupins strategy thus far with its US branded business.

    The GSK portfolio could also appeal to US speciality pharma firms, which may be able to use the transaction to reduce their tax bill by moving their tax address outside the US, a practice known as tax inversion.

    Mylan carried out a similar deal last week when

    it agreed to buy Abbott Laboratories branded speciality and generics business in developed markets outside the US for $5.3bn, or around 2.7 times sales.

    Private equity firms are also looking at the GSK products, although GSK does not plan to sell the factories and sales forces needed to make and market the medicines, which may deter some, the sources said. That means private equity would have to outsource manufacturing and distribution operations, or team up with an industry player, unless GSK is persuaded to compromise and off er infrastructure for some of the drugs, sources said.

    An asset combination with a rival large drug-maker selling the same type of non-core assets, like Frances Sanofi , could also be explored if GSK failed to sell the assets in the current auction, one source said. Sales of the 50 or so older medicines

    in GSKs established products portfolio totalled 814mn ($1.4bn) in the first quarter of 2014, down 11% on a year earlier, and revenues are expected to decline further this year due to increased competi-tion from cheaper generic copies.

    Furthermore, around half of GSKs established product sales are generated in emerging markets, where GSK is keen to retain its presence, and in Japan, another market where GSK is not selling up.

    GSKs decision to carve out some of its low-growth, mature drug portfolio is part of a wider industry trend, with companies including Sanofi and Merck & Co also looking to shed older drugs that face shrinking sales.

    Although GSKs sales of established products are declining, they remain extremely profitable, with first-quarter operating margins at 59.6% against 27.3% for the group as a whole.

    Indias Lupin, US firms weigh bids for GSKs mature drugs

    Workers are seen at a textile mill in Beijing. Policy insiders are concerned that Chinas ambitious reform agenda is being sidelined by a focus on stimulus to meet the governments growth target, delaying the planned overhaul of the worlds second-largest economy.

    Emirates starts Airbus A380 services in India Emirates has commenced its fi rst scheduled Airbus A380 service to India with a daily fl ight between Dubai and Mumbai.

    EK500 took off from Dubai Interna-tional Airport at 9.55pm on Monday and arrived at Chhatrapati Shivaji Inter-national Airport (CSIA) in Mumbai at 2.30am yesterday, covering the 2,222km at an average cruising speed of 822km per hour.

    The return fl ight, EK501, took off from Terminal 2 in Mumbai at 4.30am and arrived at Emirates Terminal 3 in Dubai at 6am.

    Ahmed Khoory, senior vice-pres-ident (Commercial Operations, West

    Asia and Indian Ocean), at Emirates, said: Mumbai was one of the fi rst des-tinations on our route network when we launched in 1985. In the past 29 years, we have fl own over 42mn passengers between India and the UAE and so it is quite fi tting that the city becomes our 29th A380 destination.

    Naveen Chawla, vice-president (Aero Marketing), Mumbai International Air-port Private Limited, said: We are de-lighted to welcome the arrival of Emir-ates fi rst A380 to India in Mumbai.

    Passengers on board EK500 and EK501 from Dubai and Mumbai were given a special commemorative certifi -cate and gift. A specially commissioned

    piece of artwork, a traditional Indian rangoli, was created by local Mumbai artists.

    Mumbai is the newest destination on the Emirates A380 network and follows closely on the heels of Kuwait, which started on July 16.

    The A380 off ers passengers travel-ling to and from Mumbai a choice of 14 First Class suites, 76 lie-fl at Business Class seats on the upper deck and 399 Economy Class seats on the main deck.

    Every seat on board is connected to ice, which has just been voted the worlds best in-fl ight entertainment system for the 10th year in a row by Skytrax. The Emirates A380 flight crew.

  • BUSINESSGulf Times Wednesday, July 23, 20146

    Japan govt cuts economicgrowth estimate for 2014 ReutersTokyo

    Japans government slightly lowered its growth forecast for the current fi scal year due to slug-gish exports and a drop in demand after the April sales-tax hike, but the forecasts were largely in line with the Bank of Japans projections.

    Members of the governments top advisory panel did not object to the BoJs view that con-sumer prices will continue to rise under its quan-titative easing programme, showing there is little diff erence between the governments and the BoJs assessment of the economy.

    The convergence of views suggests the BoJ is un-likely to face pressure from the government to ease monetary policy further as the government turns its attention to compiling next fi scal years budget.

    Private sector members agreed that consum-er prices can continue to rise as the output gap moves into positive territory, Economics Minister Akira Amari told reporters after a meeting of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy (CEFP), the governments top advisory panel.

    The government now sees real gross domestic product growth at 1.2% in fi scal 2014/15, versus 1.4% forecast earlier this year. Growth is expected to accelerate to 1.4% in the following year, accord-ing to Cabinet Offi ce estimates.

    The estimates are broadly in line with projec-tions made by the Bank of Japan, which last week cut its economic growth forecast for the current fi scal year to 1%. The BoJ expects growth to pick up to 1.5% the following fi scal year.

    I think the biggest factor was the decline in ex-ternal demand due to a delay in emerging market recovery and less-than-expected export growth, Finance Minister Taro Aso told reporters.

    I still expect that the exports will grow in ac-cordance with a moderate recovery (in the global economy).

    The Cabinet Offi ce estimates also show that overall consumer prices, including those of fresh food and energy, are seen rising 1.2% year-on-year in fi scal 2014/15 and increasing 1.8% in the following year. The consumer price estimates ex-clude the eff ect of the sales tax hike.

    That is little changed from the BoJs CPI esti-mates, which are 1.3% this fi scal year and 1.9% in fi scal 2015/16. The Cabinet Offi ce presented its updated forecasts at a CEFP meeting that focused on monetary policy and consumer prices.

    BoJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda reiterated at

    the meeting that the central banks quantitative easing is working well so far and that the BoJ will continue its eff orts to meet its 2% infl ation target in the coming fi scal year. The BoJ has kept mon-etary policy steady since April last year, when it pledged to double base money via aggressive asset

    purchases to accelerate consumer infl ation to 2% in two years, ending 15 years of mild defl ation.

    During the meeting, some CEFP members ex-pressed concerns about recent labour shortages in the construction industry and how that could hamper growth.

    Cranes load containers on a cargo ship at a pier in Tokyo. Japans government slightly lowered its growth forecast for the current fiscal year due to sluggish exports and a drop in demand after the April sales-tax hike.

    Dow JonesShanghai

    Daimlers Mercedes-Benz is investing $19mn in China to build its biggest training fa-cility in the world for car dealers as it strives to catch up with rivals Audi and BMW.

    It serves as a stone in the founda-tion of the house were building in China, said Nicholas Speeks, head of Mercedess sales and service arm in China. Were cognizant of the fact our competitors are also growing strongly from a much higher base. We need to put our foot on the pedal and gear up.

    Speeks was speaking to report-ers yesterday at the launch of the Mercedes-Benz training centre in Shanghai. He said the German lux-ury-car company will add 100 new distribution outlets for its cars in China this year, bringing the total to around 440.

    The move underscores Chinas emergence as the most important driver of growth for Germanys pre-

    mium brands, which together hold more than 70% of Chinas luxury market for cars.

    It also comes amid a broader anti-trust campaign by the Chinese gov-ernment that has taken aim at a va-riety of foreign brands ranging from pharmaceutical producers to luxury-car makers.

    Chinas Economic Observer on Friday cited unnamed sources as saying that the countrys top eco-nomic planner, the National Devel-opment and Reform Commission, summoned executives of foreign car makers last week as part of an anti-trust probe. The report said that lux-ury-car makers including Mercedes may be targets of the campaign.

    Speeks said he isnt aware of any antimonopoly investigation into Mercedes, but said the company had a number of conversations with the NDRC. Certainly they have ad-dressed some concerns to us, he said. But its an ongoing conversa-tion.

    Speeks acknowledged past criti-cism about the high cost repairs for Mercedes vehicles in China, but said

    it recently introduced a new servic-ing program in the country that could reduce customers repair costs by as much as 20%.

    In the fi rst six months of this year, market leader Audi AG sold 268,666 vehicles, up 18% in the fi rst six months of 2013, compared with a year earlier, while BMW sold 210,765 cars, a 23.4% increase.

    Mercedes, which got off to a slow start in China, has been picking up the pace. It recorded 135,972 sales in the fi rst half of this year, up 38% from the same period a year earlier. The market is solid and I believe it will continue to be that way, said Speeks.

    China is expected to become the worlds largest market for high-end cars by as soon as 2016, according to consultancy McKinsey as the coun-trys middle class expands and more young drivers look to luxury brands when selecting a car.

    Speeks said sales of Mercedes cars in China will exceed 250,000 ve-hicles this year. The company had previously stated a goal of achieving sales of more than 300,000 cars in China in 2015.

    Mercedes picks up speed in China

    Xiaomi hopes Mi 4 smartphone can take on Apple ReutersBeijing

    Xiaomi launched its fl agship Mi 4 smartphone at a glitzy event in Beijing, where the Chinese budget handset makers chief execu-tive sought to challenge larger US ri-val Apple Inc.

    The Mi 4 comes as budget handset makers in China are competing more aggressively on price and generous features, with even high-end manu-facturers feeling the pressure.

    South Koreas Samsung Electron-ics said this month that its disap-pointing smartphone shipments were due to poor sales in China, which had 1.27bn mobile subscribers in June.

    Dressed in a black T-shirt and blue jeans, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun took aim repeatedly at iPhone maker Apple during the presentation yesterday, comparing the design and manufac-turing process of his new 4G handset to the US fi rms more expensive of-ferings.

    Our product really is better than the iPhone, said Lei.

    Our white version is also better than their white version, he joked. Even our white colour is whiter!

    Apple was not immediately avail-able to comment.

    The forthright Jun spent nearly an hour on stage describing the Mi 4 phones construction particularly its bevelled metal rim whose similar-ity with Apples phones drew mur-murs of iPhone from the journal-ists at the event.

    The Mi 4, which goes on sale July 29 for 1999 yuan ($320), has a 5 inch, 1080p screen and a Qual-comm Inc Snapdragon 801 2.5 Ghz processor. An equivalent iPhone 5s costs $650.

    Analyst Neil Shah at technology consultant Counterpoint said that while Xiaomi was gaining swiftly in emerging markets, it did not pose a real threat to Apple just yet.

    Right now its more a big talk rather than real threat to Apple, said Shah.

    In emerging markets they are

    growing in leap and bounds, attract-ing buyers who aspire to Apple but they cant aff ord to buy Apple.

    But if tomorrow Xiaomi raise their price to Apple levels, they wont sell. Theyre trying to build that brand equity by comparing them-selves to Apple.

    Founded in 2010 by Lei and seven others, Xiaomi seeks to cut costs by eschewing brick-and-mortar stores in favour of web-based distribution and word-of-mouth marketing.

    Xiaomi became the worlds sixth-largest smartphone vendor in the fi rst quarter of 2014, according to data fi rm Canalys, after repeatedly doubling its sales. The company was valued at $10bn last year, drawing industry speculation that the fast-rising company could threaten Apple and Samsung, which dominate the premium market.

    Xiaomi sold 18.7mn smartphones in 2013 and yesterday maintained a 60mn sales target for 2014. For com-parison, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd has said it is targeting 80mn smart-phone sales for the year. Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun shows the new features at a launch ceremony of Xiaomi Phone 4 in Beijing yesterday.

    Timing tough for $4.5bn coal rail-port project ReutersBangkok/Maputo

    A Thai-Mozambican consortium has set a 2018 target to commission a $4.5bn coal export railway and port terminal project in central Mozambique, but the depressed global coal prices outlook made the timing tough, the companys president said. Late last year, Mozambiques government picked Bangkok-based contractor Italian-Thai Development to construct the 537 km rail line from the Moatize coal mines in Tete province to Macuse on the coast in Zambezia province. The project forms part of ambitious plans made by Mozambique with foreign investment partners to become a major exporter of metallurgical and thermal coal to the global market, based on estimated reserves of at least 2bn tonnes. These are the worlds fourth-largest untapped recoverable coal reserves. Companies like Vale of Brazil and Rio Tinto have invested billions of dollars, helping Mozambique launch in 2011 as a coal producer and exporter. But a downturn in global prices has now raised serious questions about whether Mozambican coal can be competitive, given the huge costs involved in expanding the southern African nations limited rail and port infrastructure to bring large quantities of new coal to the market. ITD, one of the largest contractors in Southeast Asia, has formed a joint venture with Mozambiques state railways CFM and private company Codiza to develop the Moatize-Macuse rail and port project, which needs to operate at an initial 25mn tonnes per year capacity just to be economically viable. Mozambique is currently exporting around 5mn tonnes of coal, and is developing capacity to rapidly increase this. John Bovard, president of the Thai Mocambique Logistica, S.A. venture, told a conference that the project feasibility study, being carried out by ITD and the China Rail Construction Company, should be completed by the end of this year. Actual construction was seen taking three years. The target is 2018 to have the train line commissioned, Bovard said, speaking at the 5th Mozambique Coal Conference being held in the capital Maputo. With global coal prices depressed and expected to remain so in the next few years, Mozambiques coal mining partners face an uphill struggle to reach profitability and have been lobbying the government to help them ease logistics costs. Mercedes-Benz is investing $19mn in China to build its biggest training facility in the

    world for car dealers as it strives to catch up with rivals Audi and BMW.

  • LATEST MARKET CLOSING FIGURES

    7Gulf TimesWednesday, July 23, 2014

    BUSINESS

    Qatar National BankIndustries Qatar

    Ezdan Holding GroupOoredoo Qsc

    Masraf Al RayanMesaieed Petrochemical Holdi

    Qatar Islamic BankGulf International Services

    Commercial Bank Of Qatar QscQatar Electricity & Water Co

    Qatar Fuel CoBarwa Real Estate Co

    Vodafone QatarDoha Bank Qsc

    Qatar Insurance CoQatar Gas Transport(Nakilat)

    Qatar International IslamicQatar Navigation

    United Development CoAamal Co

    Al Ahli BankAl Khalij Commercial Bank

    Qatari Investors GroupQatar National Cement Co

    Mannai Corporation QscAl Meera Consumer Goods CoQatar General Insurance & Re

    Medicare GroupGulf Warehousing Company

    Salam International InvestmeQatar Industrial Manufactur

    Mazaya Qatar Real Estate DevNational Leasing

    Doha Insurance CoQatar Islamic Insurance

    Dlala HoldingZad Holding Co

    Al Khaleej Takaful GroupWidam Food Co

    Qatar & Oman Investment CoIslamic Holding Group

    Qatar Cinema & Film Distrib

    182.90179.3023.30133.6056.1032.25103.70117.0069.40183.10219.8044.8019.6458.1090.1023.7085.7093.0027.9516.6452.0022.5255.10135.70111.30180.5045.00101.0050.8019.5546.4019.0331.0027.9085.0053.0080.8046.6056.3015.2970.6047.15

    2.181.88-0.211.522.000.000.293.54-0.860.051.103.340.46-1.191.240.42-0.35-1.270.900.85-1.891.210.18-0.220.82-1.10-0.993.061.601.66-0.431.220.324.890.35-3.64-2.30-0.430.90-0.330.86-8.45

    306,360 168,761 832,694 46,024 1,466,265 394,523 146,111 579,701 196,946 112,456 79,923 1,077,220 537,379 314,063 68,420 518,968 100,848 142,215 2,511,170 310,986 3,232 133,221 54,550 9,864 11,004 11,263 4,136 359,412 51,390 2,286,192 6,549 769,025 112,817 203,730 21,324 343,803 5,685 60,621 14,994 280,756 64,463 1,042

    QATAR

    Company Name Lt Price % Chg Volume

    Saudi Hollandi BankAl-Ahsa Development Co.

    Al-Baha Development & InvestAce Arabia Cooperative InsurAllied Cooperative Insurance

    Arriyadh Development CompanyFitaihi Holding Group

    Arabia Insurance CooperativeAl Abdullatif Industrial Inv

    Al-Ahlia Cooperative InsuranAl Alamiya Cooperative Insur

    Dar Al Arkan Real Estate DevAl Babtain Power & Telecommu

    Bank AlbiladAlujain Corporation (Alco)

    Aldrees Petroleum And TranspFawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair & C

    Alinma BankAlinma Tokio Marine

    Al Khaleej Training And EducAbdullah A.M. Al-Khodari Son

    Allianz Saudi Fransi CooperaAlmarai Co

    Saudi Integrated Telecom CoAlsorayai Group

    Al TayyarAmana Cooperative Insurance

    Anaam International HoldingAbdullah Al Othaim Markets

    Arabian Pipes CoAdvanced Petrochemicals Co

    Al Rajhi Co For Co-OperativeArabian Cement

    Arab National BankAsh-Sharqiyah Development Co

    United Wire Factories CompanAstra Industrial Group

    Alahli Takaful CoAseer

    Axa Cooperative InsuranceBasic Chemical Industries

    Bishah AgricultureBank Al-Jazira

    Banque Saudi FransiUnited International TranspoBupa Arabia For CooperativeBuruj Cooperative Insurance

    Saudi Airlines Catering CoMethanol Chemicals Co

    City Cement CoEastern Cement

    Etihad Atheeb TelecommunicatEtihad Etisalat Co

    Emaar Economic CitySaudi Enaya Cooperative Insu

    United Electronics CoFalcom Saudi Equity Etf

    Filing & Packing Materials MWafrah For Industry And Deve

    Falcom Petrochemical EtfGulf General Cooperative Ins

    Jazan Development CoGulf Union Cooperative Insur

    Halwani Bros CoHail Cement

    Herfy Food Services CoAl Jouf Agriculture Developm

    Jarir Marketing CoJabal Omar Development Co

    Al Jouf CementSaudi Kayan Petrochemical Co

    Knowledge Economic CityKingdom Holding Co

    Saudi Arabian Mining CoMalath Cooperative & Reinsur

    Makkah Construction & DeveplMediterranean & Gulf Insuran

    Middle East Specialized CablMohammad Al Mojil Group Co

    Al Mouwasat Medical ServicesThe National Agriculture Dev

    Najran Cement CoNama Chemicals Co

    National GypsumNational Gas & IndustrializaNational Industrialization C

    MaadaniyahNational Shipping Co Of/The

    National Petrochemical CoRabigh Refining And Petroche

    Al Qassim Agricultural CoQassim Cement/The

    Red Sea Housing Services CoSaudi Research And Marketing

    Riyad BankAl Rajhi Bank

    Saudi Arabian Amiantit Co

    45.3617.6613.5069.8425.6822.8025.2817.3243.8220.28125.6913.6037.8547.8225.1157.65107.4319.7963.7565.5451.0452.3872.7424.3024.80130.7128.6139.31108.5325.5149.5744.0176.3629.1084.7249.9047.9862.8632.4742.9139.5269.7532.5533.6779.14106.4052.75193.5516.4928.8561.2412.6386.9616.8937.80124.2535.3062.3055.9834.5042.8420.9128.2382.8027.33105.0048.94200.0052.3620.9915.1023.8023.8237.2021.5081.5638.9316.4812.55108.2542.2131.0515.8234.6830.1535.7641.4334.1234.3833.6215.9297.4559.4520.2018.3667.7518.11

    3.091.150.001.600.750.880.68-2.700.39-8.034.731.952.270.461.45-0.24-0.444.762.230.85-1.242.522.830.000.040.32-1.040.430.600.552.611.24-1.901.36-0.295.500.151.980.840.30-2.110.005.724.273.728.269.924.621.731.370.00-3.445.053.87-0.452.472.320.45-1.530.001.16-0.383.67-1.441.002.191.542.047.430.573.071.230.003.280.892.220.62-2.370.001.690.671.011.410.030.843.500.221.521.155.890.06-0.05-0.050.551.772.160.44

    342,346 1,625,831 - 176,765 442,490 1,539,480 1,058,324 568,370 608,783 1,194,830 424,093 25,744,783 1,983,093 658,525 1,695,022 439,868 694,324 50,844,318 175,220 208,461 1,330,315 188,015 963,881 - 1,061,425 835,501 936,863 213,828 309,467 501,297 2,538,886 172,892 590,132 1,932,283 474,825 800,407 536,461 682,143 2,133,910 331,550 876,888 - 3,135,320 546,225 519,463 1,082,223 482,782 134,620 5,383,719 592,722 369,091 6,422,346 7,884,595 5,645,374 205,375 115,004 21,374 441,109 899,073 - 477,748 1,317,105 760,789 162,000 936,847 285,780 199,307 245,667 10,524,498 3,528,480 27,325,109 2,459,501 577,123 14,750,243 408,030 386,855 603,695 1,625,658 - 167,979 342,932 828,035 4,414,576 298,996 186,802 5,100,295 1,584,076 2,225,232 3,228,271 8,585,287 776,934 70,985 160,366 106,016 3,745,755 6,555,407 1,591,527

    SAUDI ARABIA

    Company Name Lt Price % Chg Volume

    Saudi British BankSabb Takaful

    Saudi Basic Industries CorpSaudi Cement

    SascoSaudi Dairy & Foodstuff CoSaudi Arabian Fertilizer Co

    Al Sagr Co-Operative InsuranSaudi Advanced Industries

    Saudi Arabian Coop Ins CoSalama Cooperative Insurance

    Samba Financial GroupSanad Cooperative Insurance

    Saudi Public Transport CoSaudi Arabian Refinery CoHsbc Amanah Saudi 20 Etf

    Saudi Re For Cooperative ReiSavola

    Saudi Cable CoSaudi Chemical Company

    Saudi CeramicSaudi Electricity Co

    Saudi FisheriesAl-Hassan G.I. Shaker Co

    Saudi Hotels & ResortArabian Shield CooperativeSaudi Investment Bank/The

    Saudi Industrial DevelopmentSaudi Industrial Export Co

    50.0045.26123.35110.6331.80110.80160.8041.2826.7947.7030.8442.0113.4037.5576.2734.4011.9880.3112.4471.35139.5816.2538.2883.9638.3555.8727.0021.3161.25

    2.081.186.720.570.762.531.56-0.55-0.410.15-4.376.09-9.76-0.480.433.611.016.080.24-0.061.400.991.273.040.66-0.551.73-0.050.91

    839,274 836,835 10,794,574 91,165 1,444,973 74,029 470,427 360,086 939,365 167,949 302,943 4,977,904 85,561 407,856 745,285 52,151 1,351,691 1,545,047 931,501 616,065 111,622 5,907,674 485,524 380,459 281,520 291,059 505,456 961,658 207,768

    SAUDI ARABIA

    Company Name Lt Price % Chg Volume

    Aayan Leasing & InvestmentAayan Real Estate Co

    Burgan Co For Well DrillingAl Ahli Bank Of Kuwait

    Abyaar Real Eastate DevelopmAcico Industries Co Kscc

    Al-Dar National Real EstateAfaq Educational ServicesAl Arabi Group Holding Co

    AgilityAl-Ahleia Insurance Co

    Ajwan Gulf Real Estate CoAviation Lease And Finance C

    Al Aman Investment CompanyKuwait Real Estate Holding C

    Al-Deera Holding CoAl-Eid Food Co

    Alimtiaz Investment Co KsccAlkout Industrial Projects C

    Al Madina For Finance And InAl Mal Investment CompanyAl Mudon Intl Real Estate Co

    Ahli United Bank (Almutahed)Al-Nawadi Holding Co K.S.C

    First Investment Co KsccAl-Qurain Petrochemicals Co

    Alrai Media Group CoAl Salam Group Holding Co

    Alshamel International HoldCommercial Real Estate CoAmar Finance & Leasing Co

    Amwal International InvestmeAqar Real Estate Investments

    Arab Real Estate CoAjial Real Estate Entmt

    Alargan International RealArkan Al Kuwait Real Estate

    Arzan Financial Group For FiAutomated Systems Co

    Advanced Technology CoAhli United Bank B.S.C

    Al Bareeq Holding Co KsccBayan Investment Co Kscc

    Boubyan Intl Industries HoldBahrain Kuwait Insurance

    Boubyan Bank K.S.CBoubyan Petrochemicals Co

    Burgan BankGulf Cable & Electrical Ind

    Kuwait Cable Vision SakLivestock Transport & Tradng

    Commercial Bank Of KuwaitCombined Group Contracting

    City GroupNational Cleaning Company

    Coast Investment DevelopmentDulaqan Real Estate Co

    Danah Alsafat Foodstuff CoEducational Holding Group

    Egypt Kuwait Holding Co SaeEkttitab Holding Co S.A.K.C

    Energy House Holding Co KsccEquipment Holding Co K.S.C.C

    Al-Enmaa Real Estate CoKuwait Bahrain International

    Eyas For High & Technical EdCommercial Facilities Co

    Fujairah Cement IndustriesFirst Dubai Real Estate Deve

    Flex Resorts & Real EstateKuwait Foods (Americana)First Takaful Insurance Co

    Future Communications CoFuture Kid Entertainment And

    Gulf BankGulf Cement Co

    Gulf Franchising KsccGulf Finance House Ec

    Gulf Glass Manuf Co -KsccGulf Investment House

    Gulf Insurance Group KscGulf North Africa Holding Co

    Gulf Petroleum InvestmentKuwait Gypsum Manufacturing

    Hayat CommunicationsHilal Cement Co

    Hits Telecom HoldingHuman Soft Holding Co

    Intl Financial AdvisorsIfa Hotels & Resorts Co. K.S

    Ikarus Petroleum IndustriesInjazzat Real State Company

    Inovest Co BscInvestors Holding Group Co.K

    Independent Petroleum GroupInternational Resorts Co

    Housing Finance Co S.A.K.CIthmaar Bank Bsc

    Jazeera AirwaysJeeran Holdings

    Kipco Asset Management CoKuwait Building Materials

    Kuwait Business Town Real EsKuwait Cement Co

    Kuwait China Investment CoKuwait National Cinema CoKuwait Medical Services Co

    Kuwait Co For Process PlantKuwait Finance & Investment

    Kuwait Finance HouseKuwait Foundry Co

    Kuwait & Gulf Link TransportKuwait Hotels Co

    Kuwait International BankKuwait Insurance Co

    Kuwait Investment CoKuwait & Middle East Fin Inv

    Kout Food GroupKuwait Packing Materials Mfg

    Privatization Holding CompanKuwait Projects Co Holdings

    Kuwait Real Estate CoKuwait Slaughter House Co

    Kuwaiti Syrian Holding CoKuwait Invest Co Holding

    75.0090.00240.00410.0045.00315.000.00170.00186.00780.00485.0048.50260.0075.0039.5031.00116.0071.000.0043.500.0085.00650.00118.0090.00255.00110.0093.00104.0096.0063.0045.000.0049.50206.00174.00116.0064.00430.00910.00228.00146.0080.0087.000.00510.00760.00520.00770.0046.50206.00660.00960.00390.00110.0052.00310.0074.00146.00280.0049.0095.00122.0081.000.00315.00275.0082.0094.0067.003,020.0093.00136.00118.00340.00104.0071.0040.50530.0021.50550.0042.0078.000.0078.00140.0048.00395.0055.00220.00188.0078.0070.000.00450.0054.0034.0042.00450.0073.00112.000.0026.00410.0056.00920.000.00280.0079.00810.00315.0079.00160.00300.00310.00160.0052.00880.000.0059.00730.0074.000.0023.500.00

    7.142.270.00-1.201.12-1.560.000.000.00-1.270.00-3.000.002.740.001.649.431.430.004.820.000.000.000.000.00-1.920.003.330.000.000.00-1.100.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.00-0.870.000.00-3.330.000.001.330.000.000.000.000.00-4.000.000.001.960.002.780.000.004.260.00-1.610.000.000.001.850.001.084.690.670.004.620.001.491.960.00-3.570.000.000.000.002.630.004.000.004.350.001.851.855.621.300.000.000.001.891.49-2.331.120.000.000.000.000.00-1.750.000.001.820.001.251.61-3.660.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.002.170.00

    3,565,318 1,571,961 1,000 10,000 1,645,135 90,030 - 25,000 2,000 373,348 17 17,980 2,500 1,014,749 7,000 2,683,155 1,000 1,391,000 - 2,321,376 - 165,256 5,425 13,000 110,956 29,014 371 1,981,100 1 82,017 1,000 1,550 - 144,149 33,269 17,565 146 49,561 10 17,579 835,100 40,000 4,888,600 80,000 - 468,736 10,120 50,000 13,200 700 10,000 9,689 22,809 8 117,000 457,000 100 236,370 54,439 62,513 333,914 15,055 470,739 158,524 - 5,000 1,000 207,600 52,500 9,647 23,674 1,000 1,230 50 238,441 85,000 50 30,943,234 3,700 7,096,515 264,700 276,800 3,764,987 - 204,637 700 982,086 5,900 1,605,000 11,212 947,103 170,400 135,556 - 1,000 1,413,484 171,200 4,178,407 233,307 17,950 20,000 - 8,623,130 66,564 288,012 900 - 100 24,000 477,791 15,255 86,300 28,844 343,419 8,500 220,000 1,000 2,136 - 240,000 250,000 1,247,670 - 1,043,500 -

    KUWAIT

    Company Name Lt Price % Chg Volume

    Voltamp Energy SaogUnited Finance Co

    United Power CoUnited Power/Energy Co- Pref

    Al Madina Investment CoTaageer Finance

    Salalah Port ServicesAsaff a Foods Saog

    Sohar PoultryShell Oman Marketing

    Shell Oman Marketing - PrefSmn Power Holding Saog

    Al Shurooq Inv SerAl Sharqiya Invest Holding

    Sohar Power CoSalalah Beach Resort Saog

    Salalah Mills CoSahara Hospitality

    Renaissance Services SaogRaysut Cement Co

    Port Service CorporationPackaging Co Ltd

    Oman United Insurance CoOman Textile Holding Co Saog

    Oman Telecommunications CoSweets Of Oman

    Oman Orix Leasing Co.Oman Refreshment Co

    Oman PackagingOman Oil Marketing Company

    0Man Oil Marketing Co-PrefOman National Investment Co

    Oman National Engineering AnOman National Dairy Products

    OminvestOman Medical Projects

    Oman Ceramic ComOman Intl Marketing

    Oman Investment & FinanceHsbc Bank Oman

    Oman Hotels & Tourism CoOman Holding International

    Oman Fiber OpticsOman Flour Mills

    Oman Filters IndustryOman Fisheries Co

    Oman Education & Training InOman & Emirates Inv(Om)50%

    Oman & Emirates Inv(Emir)50%Oman Europe Foods Industries

    Oman Cement CoOman Chlorine

    Oman ChromiteOman Cables Industry

    Oman Agricultural DevOmani Qatari Telecommunicati

    National SecuritiesOman Foods International Soa

    National Pharmaceutical-RtsNational Pharmaceutical

    National Packaging FacNational Mineral Water

    National Hospitality InstituNational Gas Co

    National Finance CoNational Detergents/The

    National Carpet FactoryNational Bank Of Oman Saog

    National Biscuit IndustriesNational Real Estate Develop

    Natl Aluminium ProductsMuscat Thread Mills Co

    Muscat Insurance CompanyModern Poultry Farms

    Muscat National HoldingMusandam Marketing & InvestAl Maha Petroleum Products M

    Muscat Gases Company SaogMajan Glass Company

    Muscat FinanceAl Kamil Power Co

    Interior HotelsHotels Management Co Interna

    Al-Hassan Engineering CoGulf Stone

    Gulf Mushroom CompanyGulf Invest. Serv. Pref-SharGulf Investments Services

    Gulf International ChemicalsGulf Hotels (Oman) Co Ltd

    Global Fin InvestmentGalfar Engineering&Contract

    Galfar Engineering -PreferFinancial Services Co.Flexible Ind Packages

    0.400.141.611.000.000.150.650.950.212.101.050.541.040.220.371.381.442.450.612.070.500.480.400.281.721.250.142.420.282.260.250.470.300.000.420.000.450.520.270.000.230.004.850.640.020.090.140.230.001.000.740.593.642.551.450.630.160.520.000.100.000.042.050.800.160.700.000.373.750.000.250.160.000.001.650.002.430.860.270.150.310.001.250.150.080.420.250.260.2411.500.140.260.430.160.06

    0.000.000.000.000.002.740.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.00-0.240.000.000.000.000.590.000.000.000.00-0.220.00-2.100.000.002.930.000.000.000.380.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.00-1.730.000.00-1.060.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.00-1.320.000.000.00-1.120.000.000.000.000.00-1.820.00

    - - - - - 52,000 - 105 - - - - - - 1,000 - 1,433 - 276,000 25,885 96,382 - 138,000 - 366,436 - - 1,000 - 19,577 - 222,582 - - 640,966 - - - 539,535 - - - - - - - - 1,072,651 - - 629,753 - - 35,100 - 167,800 - - - - - 8,000 - - - - - 117,000 - - - - - - - - 7,577 - 1,287 - - - - 712,146 - - - 348,820 37,055 - 39,587 - - 25,000 -

    OMAN

    Company Name Lt Price % Chg Volume

    Financial Corp/TheDhofar Tourism

    Dhofar PoultryAloula Co

    Dhofar Intl DevelopmentDhofar Insurance

    Dhofar UniversityDhofar Power Co

    Dhofar Power Co-PfdDhofar Fisheries & Food Indu

    Dhofar CattlefeedAl Batinah Dev & Inv

    Dhofar Beverages CoComputer Stationery Inds

    Construction Materials IndCement & Gypsum Pro

    Marine Bander Al-RowdhaBank Sohar

    Bankmuscat SaogBank Dhofar Saog

    Al Batinah HotelsMajan College

    Areej Vegetable OilsAl Jazeera Steel Products Co

    Al Sallan Food IndustryAcwa Power Barka Saog

    Al-Omaniya Financial ServiceTaghleef Industries SaogGulf Plastic Industries Co

    Al Jazeera ServicesAl Jazerah Services -Pfd

    Al-Fajar Al-Alamia CoAhli Bank

    Abrasives Manufacturing Co SAl-Batinah Intl Saog

    0.151.000.180.530.570.241.300.000.001.280.200.200.260.330.050.000.000.270.690.391.130.475.000.420.000.730.340.000.390.410.550.750.200.050.00

    0.000.000.000.003.620.000.000.000.000.00-4.780.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.00-0.480.00-0.550.000.000.00-3.740.000.000.000.000.00

    - - - - 620,000 - 385 - - - 34,965 25,000 - - - - - 191,375 596,461 60,900 - - - 59,600 - 6,688 - - - 364,500 - - 40,000 - -

    OMAN

    Company Name Lt Price % Chg Volume

    National Takaful CompanyWaha Capital Pjsc

    Union Insurance CoUnion National Bank/Abu Dhab

    United Insurance CompanyUnion Cement CoUnited Arab Bank

    Abu Dhabi National Takaful CAbu Dhabi National Energy Co

    Sudan Telecommunications Co$Sorouh Real Estate CompanySharjah Insurance Company

    Sharjah Cement & Indus DevelRas Al Khaima Poultry

    Ras Al Khaimah CoRak Properties

    Ras Al-Khaimah National InsuRas Al Khaimah Ceramics

    Ras Al Khaimah Cement CoNational Bank Of Ras Al-Khai

    Ooredoo QscUmm Al Qaiwain Cement IndustOman & Emirates Inv(Emir)50%

    National Marine Dredging CoNational Corp Tourism & Hote

    Sharjah Islamic BankNational Bank Of Umm Al Qaiw

    National Bank Of FujairahNational Bank Of Abu Dhabi

    Methaq Takaful Insurance#N/A Invalid Security

    Gulf Pharmaceutical Ind-JulpInvestbank

    Insurance HouseGulf Medical Projects

    Gulf Livestock CoGreen Crescent Insurance Co

    Gulf Cement CoFoodco Holding

    Finance HouseFirst Gulf Bank

    Fujairah Cement IndustriesFujairah Building Industries

    Emirates Telecom CorporationEshraq Properties Co Pjsc

    Emirates Insurance Co. (Psc)Emirates Driving CompanyAl Dhafra Insurance Co. P.S.

    Dana GasCommercial Bank Internationa

    Bank Of SharjahAbu Dhabi Natl Co For Buildi

    Al Wathba National InsuranceIntl Fish Farming Co-Asmak

    Arkan Building Materials CoAldar Properties Pjsc

    Al Ain Ahlia Ins. Co.Al Khazna Insurance Co

    Agthia Group PjscAl Fujairah National Insuran

    Abu Dhabi Ship Building CoAbu Dhabi National Insurance

    Abu Dhabi National HotelsAbu Dhabi Islamic Bank

    Abu Dhabi Commercial BankAbu Dhabi Aviation

    1.003.171.206.702.001.406.597.661.100.860.004.051.151.521.491.043.453.201.268.80147.001.221.557.646.501.953.654.0014.701.080.003.002.901.292.744.461.161.306.003.1017.851.401.5011.751.367.254.307.450.722.001.850.955.357.001.903.6043.000.665.80300.002.305.763.506.357.953.15

    0.000.000.001.980.000.000.000.00-1.791.180.000.000.000.000.00-0.950.00-2.741.610.000.000.000.00-9.910.000.520.000.00-0.68-0.920.000.000.00-9.790.000.0014.850.000.000.000.280.000.00-1.260.000.000.000.00-1.370.000.00-4.040.000.000.00-1.370.003.130.000.007.980.009.380.000.001.29

    217,676 19,597,985 - 586,616 - - - - 1,464,225 535,929 - - - - - 11,604,402 - 85,873 252,286 2,599 - - - 3,500 20,550 203,000 - - 201,782 530,775 - 211,000 - 25,000 - - 25,100 - - - 4,456,296 - - 2,759,522 15,278,902 - - - 16,958,715 130,000 - 309,296 - 1,050 - 19,600,943 - 18,916 104,159 - 45,419 - 1,048,966 214,273 - 322,391

    UAE

    Company Name Lt Price % Chg Volume

    United Paper Industries BscUnited Gulf Investment Corp

    United Gulf BankUnited Finance Co

    Trafco Group BscTakaful International Co

    Taib Bank -$UsSecurities & Investment Co

    Seef PropertiesSudan Telecommunications Co$

    Al-Salam BankDelmon Poultry CoNational Hotels Co

    National Bank Of BahrainNass Corp Bsc

    Khaleeji Commercial BankIthmaar Bank Bsc

    Investcorp Bank -$UsInovest Co Bsc

    Intl Investment Group-KuwaitGulf Monetary Group

    Global Investment House KsccGulf Finance House Ec

    Bahrain Family Leisure CoEsterad Investment Co B.S.C.

    Bahrain Duty Free ComplexBahrain Car Park Co

    Bahrain Cinema CoBahrain Tourism Co

    Bahraini Saudi Bank/TheBahrain National Holding

    Bankmuscat SaogBmmi Bsc

    Bmb Investment BankBahrain Kuwait Insurance

    Bahrain Islamic BankGulf Hotel Group B.S.CBahrain Flour Mills Co

    Bahrain Commercial FacilitieBbk Bsc

    Bahrain Telecom CoBahrain Ship Repair & Engin

    Albaraka Banking GroupBanader Hotels Co

    Ahli United Bank B.S.C

    0.000.000.230.000.000.000.000.000.200.000.220.230.300.840.170.050.160.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.260.78`1.400.230.000.000.000.830.000.700.160.000.000.000.460.382.100.810.060.83

    0.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.441.050.00-1.220.000.00

    - - 950,000 - - - - - 100,000 - 150,443 4,200 52,000 5,480 25,000 215,000 - - - - - - - - 12,371 109,059 - 3,000 100,000 - - - 120,000 - 5,500 25,000 - - - 19,917 38,873 75 5,000 111,500 1,107,852

    BAHRAIN

    Company Name Lt Price % Chg Volume

    Kuwait Reinsurance Co KscKgl Logistics Company Kscc

    Mabanee Co SakcAl-Madar Finance & Invt Co

    Manafae Investment CoManazel Holding

    Real Estate Trade Centers CoMarkaz Real Estate Fund

    Marine Services CoKuwait Financial Centre

    Al Masaken Intl Real EstateMashaer Holdings

    Al-Massaleh Real Estate CoNational Ranges Company

    Al-Mazaya Holding CoMena Real Estate Co

    Al Mowasat Health Care CoAl Maidan Dental Clinic Co K

    Metal & Recycling CoMushrif Trading & Contractin

    Mubarrad Transport CoMunshaat Real Estate Project

    Kuwait Resorts Co KsccNafais Holding

    National Petroleum ServicesNational Bank Of Kuwait

    National Consumer Holding CoNational Industries Co

    National International CoNational Industries Grp Hold

    National Investments CoNoor Financial Investment K.

    National Real Estate CoNational Slaughter House

    National Mobile TelecommuniOsoul Investment Kscc

    Oula Fuel Marketing CoPalms Agro Production Co

    Shuaiba Industrial CoKuwait Portland Cement CoPearl Of Kuwait Real Estate

    Kuwait Pipes Indus & Oil SerKuwait United Poultry Co

    Umm Al Qaiwain Cement IndustQurain Holding Co

    Real Estate Asset ManagementRefrigeration Industries & S

    Kuwait Remal Real Estate CoRas Al Khaimah Co

    Al Safat Real Estate CoAl-Safat Tec Holding Co

    Safwan Trading & ContractingSalbookh Trading Co K.S.C.C

    Sanam Real Estate Co KsccSharjah Cement & Indus Devel

    Securities House KsccAl Safat Energy Holding Comp

    Securities Group CoHeavy Engineering And Ship B

    0.00136.001,020.0050.000.0054.0041.500.00124.00136.0075.00188.0082.000.00118.0042.50172.000.00122.0088.0073.00154.0095.0091.00570.00970.00104.00216.0068.00222.00150.00110.00142.00152.001,620.0073.00166.00120.00246.001,360.0015.500.00180.0092.0030.00108.00340.0088.00122.0036.0055.00450.0083.0057.0092.0070.0036.00104.00148.00

    0.000.000.00-3.850.001.891.220.00-1.591.490.00-5.050.000.000.00-1.160.000.000.000.005.801.320.001.110.00-1.026.120.00-2.861.830.001.850.000.00-1.220.006.410.000.00-1.45-13.890.000.002.223.450.000.004.765.172.860.000.005.06-1.721.102.94-2.700.002.78

    - 81,500 101,250 5,000 - 555,151 35,000 - 30,700 95,000 55,000 6,300 151,000 - 1,220,703 500 60,000 - 59,350 19,051 1,604,780 808,400 100,223 14,000 74 1,296,485 92,202 5,476 190,000 1,573,484 15,000 145,300 151,022 20,000 1,568 100 657,394 9,034 10,000 5,000 10,000 - 239,820 19,321 322,000 50 4,952 81,000 24,200 576,300 60,000 5,000 1,306,763 124,000 4,280 1,923,882 4,217,602 10,000 5,010

    KUWAIT

    Company Name Lt Price % Chg Volume

  • 8 Gulf TimesWednesday, July 23, 2014

    BUSINESS

    Exxon Mobil CorpMicrosoft Corp

    Johnson & JohnsonGeneral Electric Co

    Chevron CorpWal-Mart Stores Inc

    Jpmorgan Chase & CoProcter & Gamble Co/The

    Verizon Communications IncPfizer Inc

    Intl Business Machines CorpAt&T Inc

    Coca-Cola Co/TheIntel Corp

    Merck & Co. Inc.Walt Disney Co/The

    Cisco Systems IncVisa Inc-Class A Shares

    Home Depot IncUnited Technologies Corp

    American Express CoMcdonalds Corp

    3M CoBoeing Co/The

    Unitedhealth Group IncGoldman Sachs Group Inc

    Caterpillar IncNike Inc -Cl B

    Du Pont (E.I.) De NemoursTravelers Cos Inc/The

    103.8944.93102.3225.89132.8876.4658.7180.2450.9130.64193.4035.9241.1234.5058.6786.3526.04221.7680.63110.8193.5495.85145.40129.2086.70174.44110.4277.2465.2891.55

    0.780.221.04-0.341.21-0.400.80-0.060.410.961.34-0.13-3.021.291.150.710.741.161.15-1.920.71-1.740.760.701.921.580.170.55-0.40-3.89

    2,477,859 18,961,042 2,614,943 16,961,852 1,961,819 1,991,209 4,450,837 3,258,699 7,874,004 7,687,824 2,089,781 7,751,795 14,127,347 19,830,034 2,530,273 2,284,005 15,691,547 1,242,225 2,980,542 6,443,814 1,158,761 7,849,582 738,395 2,121,829 1,551,611 1,614,096 1,478,580 1,043,276 2,577,573 3,931,139

    DJIA

    Company Name Lt Price % Chg Volume

    Whitbread PlcWpp Plc

    Wolseley PlcWeir Group Plc/The

    Vodafone Group PlcUnited Utilities Group Plc

    Unilever PlcTui Travel Plc

    Tesco PlcTravis Perkins Plc

    Tullow Oil PlcSevern Trent Plc

    St Jamess Place PlcStandard Chartered Plc

    Sse PlcSports Direct International

    Smith & Nephew PlcSmiths Group PlcStandard Life Plc

    Shire PlcSage Group Plc/The

    Schroders PlcSainsbury (J) Plc

    Sabmiller PlcRsa Insurance Group PlcRandgold Resources Ltd

    Rolls-Royce Holdings PlcRoyal Mail Plc

    Rio Tinto PlcRexam Plc

    Reed Elsevier PlcRoyal Dutch Shell Plc-B ShsRoyal Dutch Shell Plc-A Shs

    Royal Bank Of Scotland GroupReckitt Benckiser Group Plc

    Pearson PlcPersimmon Plc

    Prudential PlcPetrofac Ltd

    Old Mutual PlcNext Plc

    National Grid PlcWm Morrison Supermarkets

    Mondi PlcMarks & Spencer Group Plc

    Meggitt PlcLondon Stock Exchange Group

    Lloyds Banking Group PlcLegal & General Group PlcLand Securities Group Plc

    Kingfisher PlcJohnson Matthey Plc

    Itv PlcIntertek Group PlcIntu Properties Plc

    Imperial Tobacco Group PlcImi Plc

    3I Group PlcIntercontinental Hotels Grou

    Intl Consolidated Airline-DiHsbc Holdings Plc

    Hammerson PlcHargreaves Lansdown Plc

    Glaxosmithkline PlcGlencore Plc

    Gkn PlcG4s Plc

    Fresnillo PlcFriends Life Group Ltd

    Easyjet PlcExperian Plc

    Diageo PlcCrh Plc

    Capita PlcCompass Group Plc

    Centrica PlcCarnival Plc

    Coca-Cola Hbc Ag-CdiBt Group Plc

    British Sky Broadcasting GroBurberry Group Plc

    Bp PlcBunzl Plc

    Bhp Billiton PlcBritish Land Co Plc

    Bg Group PlcBarratt Developments Plc

    British American Tobacco PlcBarclays Plc

    Babcock Intl Group PlcBae Systems PlcAstrazeneca Plc

    Aviva PlcArm Holdings Plc

    Antofagasta PlcAshtead Group Plc

    Aggreko PlcAberdeen Asset Mgmt Plc

    Admiral Group PlcAssociated British Foods Plc

    Anglo American Plc#N/A Invalid Security

    4,315.001,240.003,201.002,748.00195.65901.002,688.00372.00277.351,620.00770.001,952.00774.501,216.001,541.00712.501,048.001,249.00382.804,955.00381.002,496.00313.803,411.00458.505,135.001,044.00450.003,337.00529.50933.002,538.002,418.50322.305,090.001,103.001,302.001,377.501,210.00199.506,505.00869.00171.501,051.00442.60536.501,946.0073.30234.901,051.00337.303,059.00207.402,623.00322.602,628.001,427.00388.602,471.00333.30604.90613.501,092.001,555.00369.50347.40258.70937.50335.501,397.001,038.001,820.001,460.001,155.001,010.00311.902,132.001,393.00389.10910.001,444.00498.501,607.002,054.50732.501,202.50368.503,528.50210.601,125.00423.704,426.00495.60881.00831.00937.501,733.00459.201,548.002,831.001,600.500.00

    0.511.311.94-0.070.641.181.741.53-3.911.760.060.463.200.910.781.061.261.541.32-0.320.471.88-1.410.650.840.591.16-3.431.441.240.590.790.621.031.50-0.274.491.142.720.660.700.29-1.271.640.801.131.780.980.092.040.841.191.520.882.45-0.721.210.620.533.161.311.910.65-0.133.110.551.172.400.843.871.170.44-0.210.791.00-0.291.621.091.750.660.001.31-0.062.062.732.654.040.810.191.530.880.821.585.701.902.242.302.111.240.823.560.00

    293,204 5,163,684 360,636 384,465 50,854,124 1,177,356 2,613,587 2,237,396 34,084,562 778,023 1,570,579 370,027 1,309,075 2,892,010 1,659,248 843,918 1,408,563 858,848 2,669,931 5,034,047 2,814,668 304,810 6,454,226 1,505,313 1,569,483 244,153 2,324,090 4,800,160 3,780,378 1,148,458 3,873,962 1,420,991 2,063,768 6,918,272 698,952 2,120,499 1,356,020 2,659,637 898,366 8,138,879 264,274 3,810,209 7,945,864 980,159 3,083,188 2,851,170 511,768 82,870,497 12,936,273 1,968,677 5,546,207 304,316 18,431,305 284,216 2,604,397 1,508,813 617,171 999,053 485,986 9,016,364 14,273,286 1,232,291 654,314 6,093,409 41,324,580 4,955,729 2,906,544 741,766 1,814,122 2,917,461 1,801,482 2,758,627 2,504,370 1,064,211 2,142,777 8,324,592 723,141 241,358 8,130,295 2,081,391 883,408 19,391,611 621,952 5,028,577 3,289,697 4,234,234 3,870,913 1,911,462 26,325,971 1,581,609 5,079,917 1,463,953 4,961,161 10,720,336 1,226,302 1,508,526 405,687 1,697,207 514,426 555,533 7,143,132 -

    FTSE 100

    Company Name Lt Price % Chg Volume

    Inpex CorpDaiwa House Industry Co Ltd

    Sekisui House LtdKirin Holdings Co Ltd

    Japan Tobacco IncSeven & I Holdings Co Ltd

    Toray Industries IncAsahi Kasei Corp

    Sumitomo Chemical Co LtdShin-Etsu Chemical Co Ltd

    Mitsubishi Chemical HoldingsKao Corp

    Takeda Pharmaceutical Co LtdAstellas Pharma Inc

    Eisai Co LtdDaiichi Sankyo Co Ltd

    Fujifilm Holdings CorpShiseido Co LtdJx Holdings Inc

    1,584.002,123.501,399.001,448.503,741.004,404.50692.00796.20380.006,299.00439.404,230.004,673.001,404.004,229.501,886.502,896.502,021.50539.00

    0.96-0.35-0.070.871.030.951.171.170.261.65-0.810.520.061.590.320.940.781.180.19

    3,405,700 1,633,000 2,154,900 2,195,900 2,813,900 1,459,100 4,510,000 6,093,000 6,262,000 1,107,100 5,394,800 1,820,100 1,380,500 5,028,000 672,400 1,647,100 1,647,000 2,500,100 5,375,300

    TOKYO

    Company Name Lt Price % Chg Volume

    Bridgestone CorpAsahi Glass Co Ltd

    Nippon Steel & Sumitomo MetaSumitomo Metal Industries

    Kobe Steel LtdJfe Holdings Inc

    Sumitomo Metal Mining Co LtdSumitomo Electric Industries

    Smc CorpKomatsu LtdKubota Corp

    Daikin Industries LtdHitachi Ltd

    Toshiba CorpMitsubishi Electric Corp

    Nidec CorpNec Corp

    Fujitsu LtdPanasonic Corp

    Sharp CorpSony Corp

    Tdk CorpKeyence Corp

    Denso CorpFanuc Corp

    Rohm Co LtdKyocera Corp

    Murata Manufacturing Co LtdNitto Denko Corp

    Mitsubishi Heavy IndustriesNissan Motor Co Ltd

    Toyota Motor CorpHonda Motor Co Ltd

    Suzuki Motor CorpNikon Corp

    Hoya CorpCanon Inc

    Ricoh Co LtdDai Nippon Printing Co Ltd

    Nintendo Co LtdItochu Corp

    Marubeni CorpMitsui & Co Ltd

    Tokyo Electron LtdSumitomo CorpMitsubishi Corp

    Aeon Co LtdMitsubishi Ufj Financial Gro

    Resona Holdings IncSumitomo Mitsui Trust HoldinSumitomo Mitsui Financial Gr

    Bank Of Yokohama Ltd/TheMizuho Financial Group Inc

    Orix CorpDaiwa Securities Group Inc

    Nomura Holdings IncNksj Holdings Inc

    Ms&Ad Insurance Group HoldinDai-Ichi Life Insurance

    Tokio Marine Holdings IncT&D Holdings Inc

    Mitsui Fudosan Co LtdMitsubishi Estate Co Ltd

    Sumitomo Realty & DevelopmenEast Japan Railway Co

    West Japan Railway CoCentral Japan Railway Co

    Ana Holdings IncNippon Telegraph & Telephone

    Kddi CorpNtt Docomo Inc

    Tokyo Electric Power Co IncChubu Electric Power Co IncKansai Electric Power Co Inc

    Tohoku Electric Power Co IncKyushu Electric Power Co Inc

    Tokyo Gas Co LtdSecom Co Ltd

    Yamada Denki Co LtdFast Retailing Co Ltd

    Softbank Corp

    3,788.00595.10313.100.00159.002,127.001,767.501,495.5027,175.002,318.001,353.506,854.00771.10468.001,336.006,714.00389.00790.601,215.00323.001,681.505,000.0042,910.004,744.0017,330.005,920.004,907.509,829.004,688.50653.20982.006,027.003,585.503,301.501,571.503,425.503,401.001,165.501,056.5012,925.001,303.00726.801,640.007,142.001,364.502,161.501,152.50594.40580.20452.704,047.00594.50200.001,607.00835.30659.102,662.502,335.001,416.003,311.501,265.003,406.002,568.004,251.508,616.004,757.0015,590.00249.006,881.006,231.001,803.50408.001,236.50989.601,179.001,200.00604.906,260.00360.0032,350.007,696.00

    -0.390.352.990.001.922.463.181.050.440.040.192.012.00-0.432.852.082.911.101.840.620.090.40-0.440.911.051.370.811.250.910.80-0.510.350.460.662.381.080.320.210.913.440.39-0.30-0.301.650.480.58-0.39-0.601.26-0.07-0.471.450.00-0.560.040.022.171.300.211.800.24-0.29-0.270.080.800.741.531.222.181.040.750.990.04-2.500.68-1.401.661.26-1.91-0.020.55

    2,352,500 2,896,000 45,614,000 - 24,900,000 4,256,400 4,621,000 2,691,400 108,300 2,722,700 4,763,000 1,081,400 17,007,000 22,162,000 6,226,000 2,250,100 26,974,000 14,174,000 6,786,900 9,436,000 4,426,300 711,800 148,900 1,225,500 882,500 365,900 983,500 644,300 959,100 13,794,000 9,515,300 4,701,700 3,620,800 1,125,600 6,797,900 1,241,900 3,422,100 2,695,400 924,000 960,000 3,107,000 10,688,000 6,022,400 986,600 2,881,600 4,777,100 3,703,000 45,462,800 9,851,400 9,711,000 6,431,300 4,421,000 191,400,500 4,424,800 8,937,000 17,423,500 1,190,900 1,204,400 7,599,800 3,134,800 3,079,400 3,397,000 3,636,000 1,732,000 1,557,100 777,600 495,000 9,527,000 2,785,300 1,508,000 6,003,300 4,467,500 1,097,600 3,386,200 572,600 1,871,600 10,974,000 650,400 6,478,700 453,600 5,780,300

    TOKYO

    Company Name Lt Price % Chg Volume

    Aluminum Corp Of China Ltd-HBank Of East Asia

    Bank Of China Ltd-HBank Of Communications Co-H

    Belle International HoldingsBoc Hong Kong Holdings Ltd

    Cathay Pacific AirwaysCheung Kong Holdings Ltd

    China Coal Energy Co-HChina Construction Bank-H

    China Life Insurance Co-HChina Merchants Hldgs Intl

    China Mobile LtdChina Overseas Land & Invest

    China Petroleum & Chemical-HChina Resources Enterprise

    China Resources Land LtdChina Resources Power Holdin

    China Shenhua Energy Co-HChina Unicom Hong Kong Ltd

    Citic Pacific LtdClp Holdings Ltd

    Cnooc LtdCosco Pacific Ltd

    Esprit Holdings LtdFih Mobile Ltd

    Hang Lung Properties LtdHang Seng Bank Ltd

    Henderson Land Development

    3.3232.203.535.288.8523.7014.38139.604.165.6820.8525.5083.3521.457.4822.0015.6822.5021.2012.7814.7863.8513.7211.1611.564.5023.60129.5046.35

    7.440.941.152.131.261.070.001.602.211.792.960.392.084.383.601.853.161.122.661.111.930.551.931.821.05-2.391.070.470.98

    57,354,623 1,020,943 362,078,656 24,602,117 19,098,936 10,486,596 2,168,906 4,005,518 14,185,812 285,415,097 36,238,094 11,634,526 30,894,776 54,224,748 121,604,592 2,667,796 24,241,002 7,089,876 19,460,031 22,038,828 25,504,160 1,779,988 55,968,419 5,357,876 2,330,069 15,509,734 2,490,759 1,407,731 2,184,466

    HONG KONG

    Company Name Lt Price % Chg Volume

    Hong Kong & China GasHong Kong Exchanges & Clear

    Hsbc Holdings PlcHutchison Whampoa Ltd

    Ind & Comm Bk Of China-HLi & Fung Ltd

    Mtr CorpNew World Development

    Petrochina Co Ltd-HPing An Insurance Group Co-H

    Power Assets Holdings LtdSino Land Co

    Sun Hung Kai PropertiesSwire Pacific Ltd-A

    Tencent Holdings LtdWharf Holdings Ltd

    16.94157.0080.10103.905.0510.2829.909.1710.4859.7069.5012.58106.8097.30124.1058.00

    0.832.151.26-0.481.610.590.500.773.152.580.800.160.470.882.142.20

    4,968,248 8,659,733 12,381,870 7,572,322 360,056,944 17,960,835 2,388,353 11,076,180 96,201,616 13,489,163 2,360,634 3,444,134 3,040,181 709,738 23,328,403 7,527,104

    HONG KONG

    Company Name Lt Price % Chg Volume

    Wipro LtdUltratech Cement Ltd

    United Spirits LtdTata Motors Ltd

    Tata Power Co LtdTech Mahindra Ltd

    Tata Consultancy Svcs LtdTata Steel Ltd

    Sun Pharmaceutical IndusSesa Sterlite Ltd

    State Bank Of IndiaReliance Industries Ltd

    Power Grid Corp Of India LtdPunjab National Bank

    Oil & Natural Gas Corp LtdNtpc Ltd

    Nmdc LtdMaruti Suzuki India Ltd

    Mahindra & Mahindra LtdLarsen & Toubro Ltd

    Lupin LtdKotak Mahindra Bank Ltd

    Jindal Steel & Power LtdItc Ltd

    Infosys LtdIndusind Bank Ltd

    Idfc LtdIcici Bank Ltd

    Hindustan Unilever LtdHindalco Industries Ltd

    Hero Motocorp LtdHdfc Bank Limited

    Housing Development FinanceHcl Technologies Ltd

    Grasim Industries LtdGail India Ltd

    Dr. Reddys LaboratoriesDlf Ltd

    Coal India LtdCipla Ltd

    Cairn India LtdBharat Petroleum Corp Ltd

    Bank Of BarodaBajaj Auto Ltd

    Bharat Heavy ElectricalsBharti Airtel Ltd

    Axis Bank LtdAsian Paints Ltd

    Ambuja Cements LtdAcc Ltd

    558.752,520.652,387.15486.70104.402,135.352,532.40562.20750.60297.252,524.201,030.95135.75920.45408.90149.85175.102,513.401,179.501,654.951,097.30949.20296.05352.903,233.70558.10161.151,483.25633.60188.252,520.35839.851,041.051,528.903,394.00440.702,723.60216.85387.55441.25343.10582.75832.002,070.15234.05354.152,016.30603.60223.101,489.05

    2.53-0.08-0.572.470.531.242.79-0.090.930.750.043.34-0.84-0.860.541.25-0.31-1.10-0.77-0.921.400.850.100.871.03-0.290.280.040.962.390.161.503.041.38-0.410.662.630.952.400.67-0.650.23-0.64-0.03-0.495.03-0.351.680.970.36

    2,004,448 344,023 342,312 4,551,437 3,598,546 312,005 1,291,788 4,745,125 836,816 3,950,439 1,158,978 7,128,905 4,284,053 701,946 3,305,571 5,620,087 1,918,179 264,108 613,783 1,140,995 638,308 942,694 1,567,373 5,553,265 1,133,952 969,010 12,822,558 1,889,144 718,264 14,316,033 167,725 1,872,447 2,926,439 919,208 83,430 1,841,865 296,747 6,480,801 5,020,625 983,750 1,634,492 763,460 963,098 433,259 3,699,642 10,336,876 1,232,575 2,253,739 2,408,285 150,565

    SENSEX

    Company Name Lt Price % Chg Volume

    WORLD INDICESIndices Lt Price Change

    GCC INDICESIndices Lt Price Change

    Dow Jones Indus. AvgS&P 500 Index

    Nasdaq Composite IndexS&P/Tsx Composite Index

    Mexico Bolsa IndexBrazil Bovespa Stock Idx

    Ftse 100 IndexCac 40 Index

    Dax IndexIbex 35 Tr

    Nikkei 225Japan Topix

    Hang Seng IndexAll Ordinaries Indx

    Nzx All IndexBse Sensex 30 Index

    Nse S&P Cnx Nifty IndexStraits Times Index

    Karachi All Share IndexJakarta Composite Index

    17,123.171,985.104,463.4915,339.4344,346.2057,792.596,795.344,369.529,734.3310,648.90

    15,343.281,273.2723,782.115,534.001,046.9026,025.807,767.853,316.9122,281.815,083.52

    +71.44+11.47+38.78+89.44+220.47+158.67+66.90+64.78+122.28+166.90

    +127.57+9.98+394.97+5.27+1.10+310.63+83.65+2.64-15.24-43.60

    Doha Securities MarketSaudi Tadawul

    Kuwait Stocks ExchangeBahrain Stock Exchage

    Oman Stock MarketAbudhabi Stock MarketDubai Financial Market

    13,258.4210,025.147,096.981,474.227,183.954,977.224,678.72

    +168.46+275.12+25.62-6.89+1.93-10.61-46.23

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

    CURRENCIESDOLLAR QATAR RIYAL SAUDI RIYAL UAE DIRHAMS BAHRAINI

    DINARKUWAITI

    DINAR

    Jacques Gounon, Eurotunnels chairman and chief executive, speaks during a news conference to announce the companys results in Paris yesterday. Eurotunnel shares closed down 0.10% after the company posted a loss in the first half of this year.

    Europe stocks jump on plane crash probe deal AFPLondon

    Europes main stock markets jumped yesterday as investors welcomed news that pro-Rus-sian rebels had handed over the black boxes from downed fl ight MH17, easing concerns over the disaster.

    Frankfurts main DAX index gained 1.27% to end at 9,734.33 points, com-pared to Mondays close.

    Londons benchmark FTSE 100 in-dex closed 0.99% higher at 6,795.34 points, while in Paris the CAC 40 end-ed the day up 1.50% at 4,369.52.

    Markets in Europe were recuperat-ing losses from the past few sessions due to events in Ukraine and Gaza, despite a disappointing result from Credit Suisse, said Japer Lawler at CMC Markets. The feeling is start-ing to creep in that the repercussion on markets is not going to be too long-lasting.

    The downing of the Malaysia Air-lines jet last Thursday in Ukraine in-

    fl amed tensions with Russia, with Western governments saying it was shot down by pro-Moscow separatists.

    Those tensions eased yesterday on news rebels had handed the planes two black boxes to Malaysian offi cials and announced a ceasefi re to provide safe access for an international probe.

    That helped Russian stocks to bounce back from three days of loss-es in which Moscows main index lost some 8% and boosted the rouble against the euro and the dollar.

    Wall Street was also given a kick by a stream of generally solid earnings re-ports that suggested the US economy, the worlds largest, is continuing to pick up momentum.

    In mid-afternoon trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.40% to 17,120.44.

    The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.56% to 1,984.72, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.83% to 4,461.55.

    Shares in Credit Suisse closed down 0.96% after the bank posted an unex-pectedly big net second-quarter loss of

    700mn Swiss francs due to a huge US tax evasion fi ne.

    French advertising giant Publicis sank 4.69% after reporting a sharp fall in profi ts for the fi rst half of the year and warned of a cautious outlook for the year.

    And Eurotunnel shares closed down 0.10% after the company posted a loss in the fi rst half of the year, despite re-iterating its targets for this year and next.

    But the upbeat sentiment weighed on the price of gold, which is often seen as a safe-haven investment in times of trouble.

    In commodity deals, gold fell to $1,310.25 per ounce from $1,311.50 on Monday.

    The European single currency fell to $1.3470, down from $1.3523 late in New York on Monday.

    The euro fell against the British pound, dipping to 78.97 pence from 79.19 pence

    The British pound lost ground against the dollar to $1.7056 from $1.7075 on Monday.

  • BUSINESS13Gulf Times Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    G20 watchdog orders Libor alternative by 2016 in benchmark reform ReutersLondon

    Global regulators will implement a twin-track approach to ensuring interest rate benchmarks are less prone to manipulation, recommending safeguards to the current system as well as developing alternatives. Ten banks and brokerages including Barclays and UBS have paid a total of around $6bn to date to settle US and European regulatory allegations that they manipulated the London Interbank Off ered Rate, or Libor, a benchmark against which around $450tn of financial products from derivatives to home loans are priced worldwide. The Financial Stability Board (FSB), which coordinates financial regulation

    for the Group of 20 economies (G20), has looked at how Libor could be made less prone to rigging, such as by basing the benchmark to the greatest extent possible on actual market transactions. Libor is currently based on banks quoting rates at which they think they could borrow from another bank. The FSB, which has been working on the plans since last year, has agreed with market practitioners - mainly banks and brokerages - on a so-called multiple-rate approach to reforming Libor over the coming two years. This will involve strengthening Libor - and its continental European counterpart Euribor and Japanese rate Tibor - by underpinning them with market transactions data, the FSB said on Tuesday. Administrators of the benchmarks have

    until the end of next year to consult on any changes to the current system. Alongside this, the regulator said work should also start on developing alternatives, such as so-called nearly risk-free reference rates, which would be entirely based on verifiable market transactions. The FSB wants at least one risk-free rate by the second quarter of 2016. Developing such alternative reference rates meets the principle of encouraging market choice, the FSB said. Alternatives could be based on government bond rates, the overnight indexed swap rate, or compounded overnight interest rates. Shifting a material proportion of derivative transactions to a risk-free rate would reduce the incentive to manipulate

    rates, the FSB said. EONIA, or euro overnight index average, an overnight interest rate, was a viable, actively used, nearly risk free and available, the FSB added. Having a range of benchmarks would better fit the needs of diff ering market participants and reduce possible systemic risk from relying on just one type of rate, the FSB said. Yet some participants remain concerned of possible market disruption as a result of the reforms and one expert group - made up of banks - said in a report to the FSB that in most cases, fall-back provisions are not suff iciently robust for a permanent discontinuation of any key ibor rate and the transition to any new rates must be coordinated. Meanwhile the FSB is also seeking to

    bridge a divide among regulators. One US agency, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), wanted to scrap Libor and replace it with a market-transactions based benchmark. Others, including Martin Wheatley, chief executive of Britains Financial Conduct Authority and who co-headed the FSBs taskforce on benchmarks, have been more cautious, saying such a sweeping change carried risks. Some financial products based on Libor, Euribor and others in the same family stretch out many years, making a quick change legally tricky. The FSB expects there will be diff erences in how countries implement the twin-track approach to reform, for several reasons - including the diff ering availability of underlying transactions

    data and diff erent markets for near-risk-free rates. The FSB also said there were diff erent levels of willingness to use supervisory or other means to encourage market participants to adapt to a multiple-rate approach. Separately, the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) published a review of how the administrators of Libor, Euribor and Tibor - Intercontinental Exchange Inc for instance in the case of Libor - had complied with new standards for the benchmarks that it introduced last year. IOSCO said none of the three could show that data used was suff iciently accurate and reliable. The administrators must say by the end of 2014 how they will address the failings ahead of more checks next year.

    US housing turns corner; infl ation edges higherReutersWashington

    US home resales hit an eight month-high in June, suggesting the housing market was gradually regaining momentum and would help the economy to stay on a higher growth path this year.

    The third straight month of home sales gains, reported by the National Asso-ciation of Realtors yesterday, added to employment and retail sales data that have indicated economic growth ended the second quarter on a fi rmer note. A separate report showed infl ation moving slightly higher.

    The economy is normalizing from whatever went wrong in the fi rst quar-ter. Growth is up and running, said Chris Rupkey, chief fi nancial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in New York.

    Existing home sales rose 2.6% to an annual rate of 5.04mn units last month, with the median house price hitting its highest level since 2007.

    The housing market stumbled in the second half of last year, raising concerns it could undermine the economys recov-ery. Now, its rebound is bolstering fore-casts for stronger growth.

    Growth is expected to have accelerated to above a 3.0% annual rate in the second quarter and is forecast maintaining an even stronger pace for the rest of the year.

    Housing had been stymied by higher interest rates, a shortage of properties

    for sale and slow wage growth. With the labour market tightening, mortgage rates easing and the pace of house price in-creases moderating as supply improves, the foundation is being laid for further gains in home sales.

    We may see a late season summer push in housing activity. Inventory is picking up and mortgage rates are hover-ing around lows for the year, which make things a bit easier for fi rst-time buyers, said Nela Richardson, chief economist at Redfi n.

    US homebuilder stocks rose on the

    data, with the Dow Jones index for home construction up about 1.5% at mid-day.

    A second report from the Labor De-partment showed a surge in gasoline prices pushed up infl ation in June, but the underlying trend remained consist-ent with only a slow and modest build-up of infl ationary pressures.

    The Consumer Price Index increased 0.3% last month, with gasoline account-ing for two-thirds of the gain, after Mays 0.4% rise. In the 12 months through June, the CPI was up 2.1%, the same as in May. The rise is a welcome development for

    some Federal Reserve offi cials who had worried that price pressures were too low.

    While a separate inflation gauge watched by the Fed is running below the US central banks 2% target, some economists believe it will start bump-ing against that level later this year as an acceleration in job growth lifts wages.

    On the back of projections for strengthening domestic demand and lessening labor market slack, we expect to see wage infl ation pick up from its dis-appointing post-recession pace, said Sam Bullard, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte, North Carolina.

    Gasoline prices jumped 3.3% last month, the largest rise in a year, after increasing 0.7% in May. Food prices ad-vanced for a sixth straight month, but the pace moderated sharply, with only a 0.1% gain as the eff ects of an earlier drought in California start to fade.

    Stripping out food and energy prices, the so-called core CPI rose 0.1% after an increase of 0.3% in May, held back by de-clines in prices for motor vehicles.

    The cost of shelter moderated a bit as did airline fares and medical care serv-ices, which were fl at.

    There were big increases in tobacco prices and the cost of household furnish-ing and operations rose for the fi rst time in a year.

    In the 12 months through June, the core CPI increased 1.9% after rising 2.0% rise in May.

    Bulgarian central bank governoroff ers to step down ReutersSofia

    Bulgarias Central Bank Governor Ivan Iskrov told parliament yesterday he was ready to step down if it can agree on a successor fi rst.

    In a letter, fi rst reported by Reuters and then subsequently published with a statement on the central banks website, Iskrov said he would not let the bank be used as a political toy ahead of a general election due to be held in October.

    The central bank has been at-tacked for its handling of Bul-garias worst banking crisis since the 1990s, in which Corporate Commercial Bank (Corpbank), the countrys fourth largest lender, shut after a run on de-posits in June.

    Depositors, unnerved by re-ports of shady deals involving Corpbanks main owner, with-drew more than a fi fth of de-posits in a week-long bank run. The owner, who was also locked in a public feud with a business rival at the time, denied wrong-doing and said the run was a plot hatched by his competitors.

    During the run, news also leaked that the central bank deputy governor in charge of banking supervision was being investigated for abuse of offi ce. Iskrov said at the time that the

    leak was tantamount to a delib-erate attack on Corpbanks credibility. The deputy has taken a voluntary leave of absence and has not commented publicly on the investigation.

    The central bank and the gov-ernment have pursued various options to put Corpbank back on its feet, including a rescue package under which the banks healthy assets and liabilities would be hived off into a sub-sidiary.

    However, that plan was re-jected by lawmakers in July. The main opposition GERB party, which is tipped to win the October election, has demanded Iskrovs resigna-tion and said the central bank should take responsibility for the Corpbank crisis.

    Prime Minister Plamen Ore-sharksis technocrat government is expected to step down on Wednesday, after the ruling So-cialist partys poor performance in Mays European elections.

    The governor of the Bulgar-ian National Bank has sent a let-ter to the National Assembly, in which he expresses his readiness to resign if the assembly musters an agreement to choose a new governor, the central banks spokesman said.

    The aim is not to leave the central bank without manage-ment during a continuing politi-cal crisis, he said.

    Nigeria apex banks new chief favours rate cuts overnext fi ve years, not now ReutersAbuja

    Nigerias new central bank governor said yesterday he favoured a gradual re-duction in interest rates over the next fi ve years, but infl ation risk meant there was no room to ease policy immediately.

    Governor Godwin Emefi ele, leading the fi rst Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting since he was sworn in last month, fl agged underlying infl ation-ary pressure as one reason to be cautious and keep the policy rate at 12%, a level unchanged for the past two years.

    Consumer infl ation in Africas largest economy rose for the fourth straight month in June to hit 8.2%, a 10-month high - within the banks current target of between 6 and 9%, but trend-ing upwards due to higher food prices.

    All measures of infl ation have witnessed a progressive upward trend since February ... this trend should be monitored closely to achieve a reversal.

    Emefi ele stayed the course of his respected predecessor, La-mido Sanusi - a critic of gov-ernment corruption who was suspended from the bank by President Goodluck Jonathan in February - in keeping monetary policy tight.

    The MPC also kept the corri-dor for borrowing from or lend-ing to the bank at 200 bps plus or minus its benchmark rate, and retained banks liquidity ratio of 30%.

    The private sector cash re-serve requirement (CRR) stays at 15%, while the public sector CRR remains at 75%.

    The rate decision was an-nounced after fi nancial markets closed.

    Emefi ele said the bank was satisfi ed that the economy was relatively stable and that it wel-comed a moderation in core in-fl ation.

    Emefi ele at his fi rst press con-ference last month said he would seek to gradually reduce rates, in comments that sent bond yields and the naira down against the dollar.

    But in an interview with Reu-ters the following day he clari-fi ed that there could be no rate cut until after the February 2015 presidential elections, when fi s-cal spending has a chance of get-ting under control.

    Accordingly, at yesterdays MPC meeting his plan to seek lower rates at a later date was aspirational, and he did not in-dicate whether a rate cut before the election was a possibility. He said the committee was con-cerned about the impact of high interest rates on employment levels, wealth creation and the growth of businesses.

    However, this had to bal-anced against the risk posed to the naira by increased govern-ment spending ahead of 2015 elections and by a possible fur-ther tapering of the US Federal Reserves bond-buying pro-gramme again hurting portfolio fl ows, he said.

    We are going to pursue a gradual reduction in interest rates. That is a fi ve-year agenda, Emefi ele said.

    We are going to continue to monitor the situation ... and if we see that the macroeconomic variables are moving in a direc-tion we expect, youll begin to see the reversal of interest rates in the direction of going low.

    Investors have feared that the departure of Sanusi would mean government interference in monetary policy.

    Sanusis tight policy was op-posed by Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala because of its impact on businesses.

    At the same time, analysts said that while Emefi ele favoured gradual policy easing he would also face continued pressure from fi scal authorities for the central bank to tackle the eff ects of high government spending by tightening policy.

    Emefiele: Cautious approach.

    Hungarian central bank ends two-year run of its interest rate cuts at record low ReutersBudapest

    Hungarys central bank said yesterdays 20 basis point cut in its benchmark interest rate was the last in a 2-year campaign to help the economy and it planned to keep the rate at 2.1% until the end of next year. The bank has reduced borrowing costs from a 7% peak in 2012 to record lows, helped by the flood of capital from the US Federal Reserve which many investors have diverted into riskier emerging markets including Hungarys. Government-imposed energy price cuts have held down Hungarian inflation, smoothing the way for the central bank, run by a close ally of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, to support the governments eff orts to bolster economic growth. Unless there is a negative shift in inflation trends, then the central bank will keep the base rate at 2.1% until the end of 2015, Governor Gyorgy Matolcsy told a news conference. Of course we are looking at market developments thoroughly, prudently, conservatively and responsibly, but we have only one anchor, namely the medium-term inflation target. Last weeks Reuters poll had predicted the base rate would reach a floor at 2.1%. Matolcsy said that in theory the Monetary Council does not rule out starting a new rate cut

    cycle sometime in the future if inflation trends justify this. But today this does not seem either realistic or necessary, Matolcsy said, adding that beyond 2015, neither a rate increase, nor a new cutting cycle could be ruled out. Low inflation and sustained monetary easing by the European Central Bank have kept the regions policymakers focussed on supporting economic recovery. However, only the National Bank of Hungary has kept cutting rates steadily in 2014 despite

    wobbles in emerging markets and a crisis in neighbouring Ukraine. The forint has eased gradually, by about 10% since the start of the steady stream of rate cuts in 2012, while government bond yields have dropped to record lows. Yesterday the forint jumped to a 4-week high of 307.55 per euro after the bank said the rate cut cycle was over. Government bonds gave up early gains, but with yields rising 4-5 basis points they were almost unchanged from Monday.

    Yesterdays last cut was double the 10 basis points forecast by all 18 analysts in a July 15-17 Reuters poll. Most analysts had expected the bank to stop cutting before the government goes ahead with a conversion of some $15bn worth of foreign currency mortgages into forints at the end of this year. That could add substantially to the costs of mostly foreign-owned banks who already face substantial losses from other government moves to help Hungarian borrowers this year. These measures increase the risks for foreign investors who finance a large chunk of Hungarys debt, at a time when the turn in Fed policy could suck capital from emerging markets. As inflation is also expected to climb back towards the Hungarian banks medium-term target by the end of next year, most analysts expect it to start reversing its rate cuts in 2015. UBS analyst Gyorgy Kovacs said before yesterdays rate decision that the bank would likely raise its base rate to 3.5% by the end of next year. In last weeks Reuters poll, analysts median forecast was for 2.8%. A key risk to our rate call is that earlier rate hikes might be necessary if the normalisation of US monetary policy and a stronger dollar start to put pressure on the forint, given the still very high share of local currency debt owned by non-resident investors, UBSs Kovacs said in a note.

    Matolcsy: Focus on economic recovery.

  • BUSINESSGulf Times Wednesday, July 23, 201414

    Credit Suisse posts big loss after US tax settlement

    Credit Suisse Group will quit commodities trading after chalking up its biggest loss since the financial crisis in 2008, the result of a 1.6bn Swiss franc ($1.78bn) fine from US authorities for helping its clients evade taxes. The Swiss bank reversed a recent vow to stick with its commodi-ties unit, and thus joins the ranks of trading firms answering regulatory demands for more capital by significantly reducing or even shuttering their natural resource trading arms. Credit Suisses fixed income unit outshone both its wealthy client unit and its US rivals with a 4% rise in sales and trading, flouting its own downbeat guidance in May. That compares to drops of at least 10% at American banks like Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan last week. Credit Suisse said the commodities cuts, set to save $75mn, would allow resources and funds to be reassigned to its private bank, which disappointed investors with a 39% drop in revenue and weaker margins, and swung to a loss due to the fine. I want to reiterate that we deeply regret the past misconduct that led to this settlement and that we take full responsibility for it, Brady Dougan, chief executive of the Zurich-based lender, said yesterday. Credit Suisses private bank has been under scrutiny since the banks guilty plea to the US criminal charge, with investors wor-ried about clients pulling money out of its wealth management business as a result. Pretax profit at Credit Suisses investment bank, where it cut back underperforming areas like its interest rate trading arm, was near unchanged on the year at 752mn francs.

    Verizon

    Verizon Communications, the largest US wireless telecommunica-tions company, reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue on a jump in wireless customers and a surge in tablet sales. The dramatic increase in customers is a boost for Verizon, which has moved cautiously amid some of the deepest promotions the industry has seen. Profit in the second quarter also topped Wall Street estimates. Net additions of wireless subscribers with contracts surged 53% to 1.4mn in the second quarter ended June 30. Verizon also sold a record 1.14mn tablets. Wireless companies have been weaning customers from plans that subsidize equipment financing over two years, and off ering plans that separate service charges from equipment purchases. Verizon has not been aggressively promoting its installment plans, and said only 18% of wireless customers signed up for them. We want our customers to have choice. We did not abandon the legacy model when we launched our instalment plan as other carriers have, said Fran Shammo, Verizons chief financial off icer. Still its Mothers Day and Fathers Day promotions drew an increase in traff ic to legacy handset subsidy plans. The company has focused on holding on to customers who bring the company more monthly revenue and switching them to products such as smartphones and tablets that generate more revenue.

    Netfl ix

    Netflixs planned expansion in Europe will set the video streaming company up for growth, but will increase content and marketing expenses in the near term, analysts said. At least 14 brokerages raised their price targets on the companys stock by as much as $75 to a high of $550 yesterday, a day after the company said profit more than doubled in the quarter ended June 30. Netflix said it planned to expand into Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg in September, taking its international addressable market to more than 180mn broadband households - double the current US market. The launch into the six new European markets appears costlier than anticipated, Janney Capital Markets analysts wrote in a research report. Netflix, which now has over 50mn subscribers, already has pres-ence in European countries such as the UK, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland. The company added 1.12mn customers in international markets in the second quarter, more than the 570,000 customers it added in the US. Netflixs international business is likely to post losses or stay in early-stage margin mode for the next several years, RBC Capital Markets analysts wrote in a note.

    United Tech

    United Technologies Corp posted an 8% increase in quarterly profit, topping estimates, as sales of its elevators and aircraft parts helped off set a sluggish performance in its Pratt & Whitney engine business. The diversified US manufacturer also gave a more bullish profit outlook for 2014. The maker of Sikorsky helicopters and Otis elevators said second-quarter net income rose to $1.68bn, or $1.84 per share, from $1.56bn, or $1.71 per share, a year earlier. Analysts on average were looking for $1.71 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Revenue rose 7% to $17.19bn. United Tech posted organic revenue growth of 3%, which excludes sales from a helicopter agreement with Canada and net divestitures. The company said last month that it had signed a revamped agreement to provide Canada with maritime helicopters from its Sikorsky unit, with the deal leading to higher revenue in the second quarter but also to a $438mn charge against earnings. Although EPS was a beat in the quarter, we think results on an

    underlying basis were essentially in-line, with restructuring and one time charges/gains...clouding expectations, RBC Capital Markets analyst Robert Stallard said in a research note. Spare part orders at United Techs aerospace components unit, UTC Aerospace Systems, jumped 28%, but spare commercial en-gine orders dropped 6% at Pratt & Whitney. Sales at Pratt edged down 0.9% to $3.59bn.

    Omnicom

    Omnicom Group, the largest US advertising company, reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit as ad spending rose, particularly in the US. US ad spending has been gaining momentum as consumer goods companies try to encourage reluctant consumers, suff ering from stagnant wages, to crack open their wallets. The growing popularity of private label brands has also pushed national brand owners such as Kraft Foods Group to increase marketing budgets. Global ad spending rose nearly 6% to $545.4bn in 2014 and is ex-pected to reach $662.7bn by 2018, according to statistics website Statista. Revenue from the US, which accounts two thirds of the total, rose 7.8%, while international revenue increased 4.9%. Net income available for common shareholders rose to $318.9mn, or $1.23 per share, from $281.7mn, or $1.09 per share, a year earlier. Excluding items, the company earned $1.20 per share, compared with the average analyst estimate of $1.17 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

    Coca-Cola

    Coca-Cola yesterday reported that second-quarter earnings dipped, as it notched strong volume growth in Asia but flat vol-umes in North America, Europe and Latin America. Net earnings at the US beverage giant came in at $2.6bn, down three% from the year-ago period. The year-over-year drop reflected in part a Venezuelan law cap-ping profit margins. As we now reach the midpoint of the year, we have delivered sound financial performance year to date and demonstrated sequential improvement in our global volume growth, said chief executive Muhtar Kent. While I am pleased with our progress to date, we remain focused on the work required to return our business to the level of sus-tainable growth we and our shareowners expect. Worldwide volumes grew three%, with an eight% jump in Asia Pacific thanks to strong results in China, India and other markets. In North America, brand Coca-Cola volume grew one%, but the gain was tempered by softness in Diet Coke, the company said. In Europe, growth in Northwest Europe, Germany and Iberia was off set by declines in Central and Southern Europe. Overall volume in the region was unchanged. Revenues dipped 1.4% to $12.57bn, under the $12.93bn projected by analysts.

    Comcast

    Comcast Corp, the largest US cable operator, reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by strong growth in high-speed internet subscribers. The companys shares rose 2% to $54.96 in premarket trading yesterday. The stock has gained 3.6% so far this year through Mondays close. Net income attributable to Comcast rose to $1.99bn, or 76 cents per share, in the second quarter ended June 30, from $1.73bn, or 65 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding items, the company earned 75 cents per share, higher than the average analysts estimate of 72 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Revenue at Comcasts high-speed internet business rose about 10% in the quarter, helped by 203,000 net customer additions. That was above the 161,000 analysts were expecting, according to market research firm StreetAccount. The companys total revenue rose 3.5% to $16.84bn, but fell short of the average analysts expectation of $16.95bn due to weakness in its cable business and at NBC Universal.

    Lockheed Martin

    Lockheed Martin Corp, the Pentagons largest defense supplier, reported a 3.5% rise in quarterly profit as it benefited from a change in pension plans for some non-union employees. The maker of the F-35 fighter jet, satellites and coastal warships also raised its 2014 earnings forecast to $10.85-$11.15 per share from $10.50-$10.80. Lockheeds shares were up 2.4% before the bell. Lockheed has amended some of its pension plans for non-union employees to freeze future retirement benefits and will instead transition them to a contribution retirement savings plan. The company said it recorded pension income of $85mn for the second quarter ended June 29, compared with an expense of $120mn a year earlier. Lockheed also said it expects to resume share repurchases in the current quarter. The company had ceased buybacks while it was considering amendments to its benefit pension plans. The companys net income rose to $889mn, or $2.76 per share, from $859mn, or $2.64 per share, a year earlier. Lockheed reported a 13% rise in revenue at its aeronautics business - its largest unit - due to a larger number of production contracts for the F-35 fighter jet.

    Beazley

    Lloyds of London insurer Beazley reported a 61% rise in first-half profit, thanks to a surge in investment income and a drop in catastrophe payouts.

    The companys stock rose as much as 6.6% on Tuesday morning, making it among the top percentage gainers on the London Stock Exchanges FTSE-250 midcap index. Beazley, which writes marine, casualty and property cover, said its pretax profit rose to $132.9mn in the first-half ended June 30 from $82.3mn a year earlier. Investment income jumped to $46.8mn from just $300,000 a year earlier. Last year we had US interest rates rising in May and June and therefore had mark-to-market losses in our bond portfolio at the end of June, which meant no investment income, Chief Execu-tive Andrew Horton told Reuters. About 90% of the companys $4.38bn portfolio is invested in sov-ereign and corporate bonds, which together contributed about $33mn to first-half investment earnings.

    Norsk Hydro

    The global aluminium market is in its strongest shape since the financial crisis of 2008-2009 and the price of the lightweight metal could move higher this quarter, Norsk Hydro, a top global producer, said. The company, one of Norways biggest industrial companies and also a big producer of hydro-electric power, has ridden a deep downturn in the global aluminium sector, but its shares have surged this year on the back of rising prices for the metal. Posting second-quarter results that fell short of expectations after all units except for primary aluminium, its biggest division involved in smelting, performed weaker than expected, Hydro Chief Executive Svein Richard Brandtzaeg said he expected global demand for aluminium to exceed production in 2014 after six years of oversupply. Brandtzaeg said the market was being supported by moves by some key industries such as car manufacturing to use more aluminium instead of steel and copper. Hydros second-quarter underlying operating profit rose to 544mn crowns ($87.8mn) from 520mn a year earlier, but missed an average forecast of 698mn in a Reuters poll of analysts. Most of the miss was on lower power prices, as ample rain filled Norways hydro-electric power reservoirs, and on weak alumina margins as the group is locked into long-term contracts and was unable to take advantage of improved market conditions.

    ARM

    ARM Holdings posted a 9% rise in second-quarter profit as licensing of its processor technology compensated for a slow-down in high-end smartphone sales that decimated growth in royalties. The Cambridge-based company, which sells blueprints for chip designs and receives royalties on every chip shipped by partners such as industry leader Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, reported pretax profit of 94.2mn pounds ($161mn) on revenue also up 9% to 187.1mn pounds, both beating analysts expecta-tions. With the smartphone industry in the doldrums, nearly all of ARMs revenue growth, measured in dollars, was the result of chipmak-ers signing 41 new licences for its processors. That prompted a 42% rise in revenue, to $125.8mn, across applica-tions from micro-controllers to wearable technology. Royalty revenue from chips shipped in products like Samsungs and Apples smartphones, grew just 2% in dollars, and once trans-lated into sterling fell 8%. The smartphone market is suff ering a period of slowing growth as penetration rates in some major Western and Asia markets start to exceed 50%, and consumers upgrade their devices less often. Samsung, the market leader, said earlier this month that its second quarter earnings would be hit by a build up of unsold products in Europe.

    Arbuthnot Banking

    Britains Arbuthnot Banking Group reported a nearly five-fold rise in first-half pretax profit, boosted by strong loan growth in its Secure Trust Bank retail unit. Arbuthnot, which has its roots in 181-year-old private bank and wealth manager Arbuthnot Latham, said net interest income rose to 41.1mn pounds ($70.2mn) in the six months ended June 30, from 30.1mn pounds a year earlier. Pretax profit rose to 9.5mn pounds from 2mn. The companys underlying profit rose 83% to 13.2mn pounds, after adjusting for costs, as lending by Secure Trust Bank jumped 22% to 447.8mn pounds. Arbuthnot said it had agreed to sell some intellectual assets of its structured products business Gilliat Financial Solutions to Mariana Capital Markets for an undisclosed amount. Structured products are financial instruments that typically use derivatives to allow clients to bet on market movements or reduce risk.

    Premier Foods

    Premier Foods, the British maker of Mr Kipling cakes and Bisto gravy, posted a 2.1% rise in first half trading profit, though its sales fell, reflecting a tough market for its supermarket customers. The company, which last month cut annual sales growth forecasts at its key brands due to Britains gloomy grocery market, said on Tuesday it was maintaining its trading profit expectations for the full year. Premier Foods underlying trading profit for the six months to June 30 was 48.1mn pounds ($82.1mn), up from 47.1mn pounds in the same period last year. But its sales fell 6.1% to 364.4mn pounds, with its core higher-margin power brands such Bisto, Mr Kipling, Batchelors soup

    and Ambrosia custard, down 4.9% to 240.8mn pounds. Lower volumes were off set in part by a raft of cuts to manufacturing and procurement costs. The retailers who sell Premier Foods products are facing the slow-est rate of growth in Britains grocery market since 2005, illus-trated by a profit warning from market leader Tesco on Monday.

    McDonalds

    Quarterly profit at McDonalds Corp fell more than expected after established restaurants in its struggling US division turned in a third straight quarterly sales decline and results from Europe also logged a surprise drop. Weakness in the worlds biggest hamburger chains two top markets, coupled with its warning of a global fall in same-res-taurant sales for July, also helped send McDonalds shares down yesterday.McDonalds gets about 30% of its revenue from the US, where sales at restaurants open at least 13 months fell 1.5% in the second quarter. Traff ic remained depressed amid tough competition from a range of rivals, which include Wendys Co, Burger King World-wide and privately held Chick-fil-A. Analysts had expected McDonalds US comparable sales to fall just 0.3%, according to research firm Consensus Metrix. McDonalds results stood in sharp contrast to Chipotle Mexican Grill, which on Monday reported a 17.3% jump in same-restaurant sales at its predominantly US burrito restaurants. McDonalds said ongoing weakness in Germany was partly to blame for the 1% same-restaurant sales decline in Europe, which just beats out the US as the fast-food chains top revenue market. Analysts had expected a gain of 0.7%.

    Harley-Davidson

    Harley-Davidson reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit yesterday but cut its full-year forecast for motorcycle shipments, citing weaker-than-expected US retail sales and a delay in getting its newest bike into dealer showrooms. The news sent the companys shares down 1.6% to $66 in premar-ket trading. Harley-Davidson posted a second-quarter profit of $354.2mn, or $1.62 a share, up from $271.7mn, or $1.21 a share, a year earlier. Analysts on average expected the Milwaukee-based company to report a profit per share of $1.46, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Consolidated sales, which include revenue from the companys financing business, rose nearly 12% to $2bn. But Harley cut its full-year shipment forecast, saying second-quarter sales had suff ered from prolonged poor weather across parts of the US and soft demand for its low-priced Sportster motorcycles. The company said it now expected to ship between 270,000 and 275,000 bikes to its worldwide network of independent dealers in 2014, down from a previous forecast of 279,000 to 284,000. The low end of the new range translates into year-over-year worldwide shipment growth of just 3.5%.

    Swatch

    Swatch Group yesterday warned of an uncertain outlook for its major market Hong Kong after reporting an 11.5% fall in first-half profits due to a strong Swiss franc, costs linked to the Sochi Olym-pics and a factory fire. Chief Executive Nick Hayek said he was concerned about the situation in Hong Kong, where pro-democracy protesters have clashed with police in past weeks. Theres a lot of uncertainty because of this ... conflict. Fewer peo-ple visit Hong Kong and our stores there. But the main problem is with wholesale. Retailers are worried and buy fewer watches. This uncertainty will persist for some time, he said. Hong Kong accounted for nearly a fifth of total Swiss watch exports in the first half, worth some 2bn Swiss francs. Last year, Swatchs sales to Greater China were 3.2bn francs, 38% of total group sales. Swatch, the worlds largest watchmaker, has already been grap-pling with sluggish demand for high-end watches in the Chinese market where a crackdown on gifts for favours has hurt watch sales. Barclays analysts said of Hong Kong: Given that this a high margin and important region for the sector and has seen weaker retail sales data recently this may be a focus today. Gross sales rose 4% to 4.347bn francs, also short of a 4.438bn forecast in the poll. When excluding currency swings, they rose 8.5%. The fire at Swatch Groups Swiss production facility ETA knocked about 200mn francs off gross sales and also hit profitability. Hayek said things had returned to normal in July.

    CORPORATE RESULTS

  • BUSINESS15Gulf Times Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    BBVA eyes profi t boost from Catalunya Banc acquisition ReutersMadrid

    Lender BBVA said yesterday its ac-quisition of bailed-out Spanish peer Catalunya Banc would add an average 300mn ($404mn) annually to its group profi t from 2018, as it made a show of confi dence in its recovering home market.

    BBVA, which makes most of its rev-enue overseas in regions such as Latin America, on Monday said it was buy-ing the Barcelona-based lender off the state for around 1.2bn.

    The banks latest domestic purchase in the wake of a 2008 property market crash, which crippled many smaller peers, will bulk up its presence in the countrys wealthiest region and make it Spains biggest lender by assets.

    It beat big rival Santander to buy Catalunya Banc as well as Caixabank, which is also based in the Catalonia re-gion and was seen as a frontrunner for the purchase.

    As Spain emerges from a six-year recession banks are trying to ramp up revenues even though credit demand remains weak and soured debts are still high.

    That is heightening competition to lend to viable small companies and win over depositors - a pressure that could spark more consolidation in the bank-ing sector, BBVA said.

    Competition dynamics will prob-ably generate further opportunities. It is something to be analysed in the fu-ture, Jaime Saenz de Tejada, the banks fi nance director, told analysts on a con-ference call.

    He told journalists it should not be a problem to increase our exposure to a region with very positive prospects and said the bank was confi dent about the countrys growth potential.

    The Spanish government expects economic output to grow 1.2% this year. BBVA, meanwhile, declined to

    comment on potential risks from a Cat-alan referendum this year on breaking away from Spain, which local leaders are pushing for.

    BBVAs stock was up 2% at 1005 GMT at 9.1 per share.

    BBVA, which also bought rescued Catalan bank Unnim in 2012, said re-structuring costs from the Catalunya Banc deal would reach around 450mn.

    It expects 1.2bn in synergies from the operation, most of them on the cost front.

    Catalunya Banc needed part of a 41.3bn bailout Spain took from Eu-rope for its weakest banks, and has tak-en a total of 12.6bn in state aid.

    The government recently slimmed the bank down even further to rid it of its most problematic mortgages and a

    property management unit. BBVA said it still expected about 15% losses on Catalunya Bancs total credit portfolio, but said non-performing loans were well covered by provisions.

    The bank had just over 28bn in gross loans at the end of 2013, though it has just sold a big home loan portfolio to US private equity fi rm Blackstone.

    The price paid by BBVA is not too

    high ... particularly considering the Spanish state has kept a number of risks on its side, analysts at Espirito Santo bank said on a note.

    Spains FROB, which handles the governments stakes in banks, will give guarantees under the deal to cover po-tential litigation costs, mis-selling claims from customers and a fee for breaking an insurance contract.

    Talks for Austrian chipmaker AMS to buy Dialog collapse ReutersFrankfurt/Vienna

    Talks for Austrian chipmaker AMS to buy German peer Dialog Semiconductor have collapsed, with the two fi rms blaming diff erences over price and future strategy.

    Dialog and AMS said last month they were in very preliminary talks over a deal that could have created a European chipmaker with a market value of about $4.7bn, and potentially

    a stronger business to tap the burgeon-ing market for web-connected devices.

    AMS makes electronic sensors, which can measure everything from air pollution to the human heartbeat, while Dialogs chips manage power consumption.

    Both fi rms supply chips to Apple for iPhones and iPads. We had detailed discussions over the period after the fi rst announcement but in the end there wasnt a common understand-ing, a spokesman for AMS said yes-terday. Terms and valuation played

    a role but also the strategic direction going forward, he said, declining to elaborate. The chipmaking industry is seeing a wave of deals as fi rms look for alternatives to saturated mobile phone markets.

    Last month, Analog Devices Inc said it would buy Hittite Microwave Corp in a deal valued at $2bn and Cirrus Logic said it would buy Wolfson Microelec-tronics for an agreed 291mn pounds ($497mn) in cash.

    DZ Bank analyst Harald Schnitzer said he believed the sticking point was

    the valuation of Dialog, keeping his buy recommendation on the Ger-man companys stock. Dialog seems to see itself more valuable compared to AMS since its expected growth rates are quite high and Dialog has a more fl exible fabless business model, which has some advantages compared to AMS, which owns production facili-ties, he added.

    Dialog trades at 17.7 times estimated 12-month forward earnings, according to Thomson Reuters data, at a premi-um to AMSs multiple of 15.4.

    Shares in Dialog, which have more than doubled in value over the past year, erased early losses yesterday, trading 0.8% higher at 23 euros by 0755 GMT. Switzerland-listed AMS was 0.7% higher at 143.40 Swiss francs, in line with the European technology in-dex. Dialog said it would now focus on its strategy of becoming a leading pro-vider of analogue mixed signal semi-conductors for fast-growing markets including smartphones, tablets, solid state lighting as well as the wearable and smart home segments.

    With the end of these discussions, it is business as usual, namely delivering increasing value for our shareholders, Dialog Chief Executive Jalal Bagherli said.

    Nonetheless, the company said it remained committed to exploring stra-tegic moves to beef up its product port-folio and expand its market. Given its fi nancial strength and FCF (free cash fl ow) generation capacity, we are con-vinced Dialog will acquire a diff erent sensor asset next year, Kepler Cheu-vreux analyst Bernd Laux said, also sticking with a buy recommendation.

    A woman walks past a CatalunyaCaixa branch, the trademark of Catalunya Banc, in Barcelona. BBVA said yesterday its acquisition of Catalunya Banc would add an average 300mn annually to its group profit from 2018, as it made a show of confidence in its recovering home market.

    Russia bourses stem losses AFPMoscow

    Russian stocks yesterday bounced back after three days of losses, with inves-tors buoyed by signs of greater international co-operation as a probe into the Malaysian air crash begins.

    After falling around 8% be-tween Wednesday and Monday evening, Moscows benchmark ruble-denominated Micex had gained 1.37% and the dollar-de-nominated RTS had risen 2.17%.

    Overnight, the UN Security Council unanimously backed a resolution calling for all coun-tries to co-operate with an in-vestigation into the Malaysia Airlines plane crash.

    The ruble also rose slightly against the euro and the dollar, with the euro worth 47.08 rou-bles and the dollar worth 34.92 roubles at around 1230 GMT.

    Over the last 24 hours the news fl ow over the MH17 inci-dent has started to turn the cor-ner towards a more co-operative interaction between the parties, said VTB Capital analysts in a research note.

    Russian markets nosedived after the US on Wednesday stepped up sanctions to tar-get Russian energy giants and banks, followed by the news of the air catastrophe in rebel-held eastern Ukraine on Thursday.

    Rebels along with the Ukrain-ian forces have since agreed a ceasefi re around the crash site to allow the bodies of victims to be moved and given the black boxes to international investigators.

    The market has (a) little breathing room on the back of Germanys comments in oppo-sition to sanctions as well as US President Barack Obamas focus on gaining access to the site in-stead of sanctions, Alfa Bank said in a research note.

    Asia stocks rise as Ukraine fears ease AFPTokyo

    Asian markets picked up yesterday with traders welcoming news that pro-Russian rebels had handed over the black boxes from downed fl ight MH17, helping to ease geopolitical con-cerns.

    While Wall Street started the week Monday on a low, Japans Nikkei led Asias gainers yesterday as it reopened after a long weekend, with exporters sup-ported by a weaker yen.

    Tokyo closed up 0.84%, or 127.57 points, at 15,343.28, Seoul ended 0.52% higher, adding 10.43 points to 2,028.93, and Sydney ended up 0.06%, or 3.4 points, at 5,543.3.

    Hong Kong was up 1.29% in the after-noon and Shanghai was 1.00% higher in late trade.

    In other markets, Taipei rose 0.62%, or 58.39 points, to 9,499.36; Taiwan Semi-conductor Manufacturing Co was 0.81% higher at Tw$124.5 while leading chip design house MediaTek gained 1.97% to Tw$517.0.

    Wellington added 0.14%, or 6.97 points, to 5,133.87; Fletcher Building was up 0.14% at NZ$8.94 and Contact Energy gained 0.18% to close at NZ$5.45.

    The downing of the Malaysia Airlines jet last Thursday in Ukraine fanned fears that a regional crisis could become an international one, with Western govern-ments saying it was shot down by pro-Russian separatists.

    Those tensions eased yesterday after it emerged the rebels had given the planes two black boxes to Malaysian offi cials.

    They also announced a ceasefi re in an area around the crash site to provide safe access for an international investigation.

    And they allowed a train carrying the

    remains of 280 of the people killed in the disaster to leave the region.

    The improved sentiment fi ltered through to currency markets, with the yen easing as investors grow more confi -dent in higher-risk assets. The Japanese unit is considered a safe haven in times of uncertainty.

    The dollar was worth 101.52 yen com-pared with 101.38 yen in New York, while

    the euro rose to 137.28 yen from 137.10 yen.

    The single currency bought $1.3521 against $1.3523.

    Wall Streets three main indexes end-ed in the red Monday on concerns over Ukraine before news of the black box breakthrough emerged.

    The Dow fell 0.28%, the S&P 500 eased 0.23% and the Nasdaq lost 0.17%.

    US dealers were also spooked by the ongoing battle in Gaza, where Israel has mounted a ground assault against Ha-mas, leading to the deaths of hundreds of civilians.

    On oil markets, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for August delivery was up 54 cents at $105.13 at midday, and Brent crude for September climbed 26 cents to $107.95.

    Employees work at the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Japanese stocks closed up 127.57 points to 15,343.28 yesterday.

    Sensex surges over 1% ReutersMumbai

    Indian shares rose more than 1% yesterday, approaching their record highs hit earlier this month after telecom stocks surged following Idea Cellular

    better-than-expected earn-ings while stronger Asian shares also bolstered sentiment.

    Gains were also helped after energy conglomerate Reliance Industries rallied for a second day after its quarterly earnings out on Saturday beat estimates.

    Indian shares gained for the sixth consecutive session, helped by buying from foreign investors.

    Overseas investors bought Indian shares worth Rs1.61bn ($26.73mn) on Monday, mark-ing infl ows of $539.4mn over four consecutive days of buying, exchange and regulatory data showed. Asian shares gained as well yesterday, helped by the

    fi rst signs of co-operation from Ukraines pro-Russian separa-tists over the downed Malaysian Airlines plane.

    Markets have digested pre-budget expectations and post-budget worries. Now, the focus would be on fl ows and delivery of earnings, said Vijay Kedia, managing director at Kedia Se-curities.

    The broader NSE index rose 1.1%, or 83.65 points, to end at 7,767.85. The index is not too far from its record high of 7,808.85 hit on July 8, a couple of days before the new governments maiden budget.

    The benchmark BSE index rose 1.21%, or 310.63 points, to end at 26,025.80, closing above the psychologically important 26,000 level.

    Telecom stocks rose after Idea Cellulars April-June profi t beat estimates while sector regula-tors guidelines for mobile phone spectrum sharing also helped sentiment.

    Rupee edges higher on dollar sales

    The rupee edged higher on the back of dollar sales by custodian banks acting on behalf of foreign funds, but broader gains were capped by greenback demand from importers.With few domestic factors at play, the rupee remains stuck in a broad range, with support from overseas investors who were net buyers of Indian shares worth $40.62mn on Monday, marking their fourth consecutive session of inflows.

    Appetite for debt also remains robust, with foreign investors buying $132.01mn worth on Monday, taking total inflows so far this year to $12.59bn. South Indian Bank.The partially convertible rupee closed at 60.24/25 per dollar compared with 60.30/31 on Monday. The unit moved in a tight range of 60.18 to 60.2850 during the session.Traders will continue to monitor moves in other Asian currencies for clues in the near-term.

  • Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    BUSINESSGULF TIMES

    Doha Insurance H1 net profi t jumps 50% to QR54mn Driven by income from solid underwriting and invest-ments, Doha Insurance has posted a 50% increase in its half year-ly net profi t to QR54mn, compared with QR36mn in H1, 2013.

    The companys earning per share (EPS) amounted to QR1.37 as of June 30 this year, compared with QR1.25 in the corresponding period in 2013.

    The results were announced by Doha Insurance chairman Sheikh Na-waf Nasser bin Khaled al-Thani, after a meeting of the companys Board of Directors here.

    Sheikh Nawaf said the company had been able to maintain a steady growth in operating performance and net profi ts for the fi rst half of this year, as part of its goals and carefully-drawn plans, stressing that the man-agement of the company would go ahead in achieving the aspirations of Doha Insurance shareholders.

    On Standard & Poors Ratings Serv-ices (S&P) recently raising Doha Insur-ance ratings to A- from BBB+ with

    a stable outlook, Sheikh Nawaf said it helped the company to be extremely competitive and equipped it to partici-pate in major national projects in Qatar.

    At the same time, the new A- rat-ings helped Doha Insurance negotiate stronger with international insurance and reinsurance companies. The A- rating will also help Doha Insurance in its proposed expansion plans.

    In its recent report, S&P stated The upgrade refl ects our view that Doha Insurances fi nancial risk pro-fi le has signifi cantly and sustainably improved following the injection of QR437mn in April 2014.

    Doha Insurance CEO Bassam Hus-sein said, We are very pleased with the A-rating. We believe this will further enhance our commitment to play a leading role within Qatar, the region and the Arab World.

    Doha Insurance Board of Direc-tors has also decided to donate QR500,000 to the aff ected people of Gaza Strip on account of the Israeli aggression there. Doha Insurance chairman Sheikh Nawaf, managing director Adel Ali Bin Ali and CEO Hussein : Steady growth in operating performance and net profits .

    Ezdan Holding Group H1net up 50% to QR718.1mn Ezdan Holding Group has posted a 50% increase in its half yearly net profi t to QR718.1mn compared with QR478.6mn in the same period last year.

    The earnings per share (EPS) reached Dh27 in the fi rst half of 2014, compared with Dh18 in the same period last year.

    Ezdan Holding Group chair-man Sheikh Dr Khalid bin Thani bin Abdullah al-Thani said, We are proud of the Groups outstanding success over the past period, which clearly showed the massive development witnessed by us at all levels. Such remarkable performance came as a result of the great eff ort made and defi ned strategy and vision set to steadily achieve their goals, noting that fruition came in a short period.

    He said Ezdan represented a real example of the positive outcome that can be achieved by the business sector, contrib-uting to the support of the Qa-tari economy as a whole. Sheikh Dr Khalid emphasised on the social role of this important sector, which operates within an integrated system in line with the social responsibility princi-ple.

    He said the Group was di-vesting itself from real estate with the aim of contributing to other vital sectors. This will be achieved by studied acquisi-tions of equities of companies

    listed on the Qatar Stock Ex-change.

    Last year, Ezdan Holding Group sold properties amount-ing to QR600mn, and aimed to exit from real estate projects worth QR3bn by end-2014.

    Ezdan Holding Group CEO Ali al-Obaidli said that the fi -nancial results achieved by the Group during the fi rst half of this year represented a new episode in the series of succes-sive accomplishments.

    He noted that these results came within the framework of

    a well planned strategy drawn by Ezdan Holding, stress-ing that Group was expected to continue to achieve record profi ts for a long time based on investments in several vital sec-tors after dissociating from the real estate sector.

    Obaidli stated that the huge revenues achieved by the Group during that period would be uti-lised in the formation of a well diversifi ed investment portfo-lio of Shariah-compliant local companies listed on the stock exchange.

    Ezdan CEO pointed out that property sales were going ahead according to plans.

    Ezdan Holding Group an-nounced during the last period the sale of fi ve housing villages, while the Groups policy was to put all of its properties for sale during the next fi ve years. There are residential villages that were off ered recently for sale to Qa-taris at very aff ordable prices and thereby contributing to the provision of housing units to the local market. The initiative has seen a huge response, which

    is expected to continue for the coming period.

    Ezdan has endowed as much as QR605mn, representing 22.8% of the total shares of the Group for charity. The total number of shares of the Ezdan Holding Group was 2.65bn. The endow-ment initiative was launched by Sheikh Thani bin Abdullah al-Thani in 2011, in a move to stress his keenness to ensure a sustain-able source of humanitarian and charitable works not only in Qa-tar, but also for aff ected people worldwide, Ezdan said.

    Sheikh Dr Khalid and al-Obaidli: Outstanding success.

    International Islamic appoints new COO

    International Islamic (QIIB) has announced the appoint-ment of Ehab Eshehawi as the lenders new chief operating offi cer.

    The appointment of a new COO was part of the banks con-tinuous eff orts to strengthen its core management team with top international professionals, said QIIB chief executive offi cer Ab-dulbasit A al-Shaibei.

    Al-Shabei said Eshehawi has a proven track record with consid-erable years of banking experi-ence and several high qualifi ca-tions in the industry.

    I am confi dent that his wealth of experience can add value to our bank, especially in the fi elds of operations, Information Technology (IT), and banking transformation, al-Shabei said.

    He added that QIIB is striving to make a diff erence through a team of professionals that pos-sess talent, skills, expertise, knowledge, and creativity.

    These, we believe, are ab-solutely essential in the current volatile global economic condi-tions and the rapidly-evolving banking landscape as our cus-tomers demand value-driven and high-quality products and services, al-Shabei noted.

    Eshehawi has more than 25 years of experience in managing technology and operations in the US, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, including a 14-year experi-ence with US-based Fortune 500 companies and a 15-year experi-ence with international banking institutions.

    He spent the last 15 years with Arab Banking Corporation and Ahli United Bank, where he fo-cused on supporting banking

    Mergers & Acquisitions. Eshe-hawi holds a bachelors degree in Business Administration, minor in Business Computers Infor-mation Systems and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the US.

    Eshehawi said: It is an hon-our for me to join QIIB, which is a solid fi nancial institution with history of long track record. The bank has earned resilient reputa-tion as a highly-valuable Shari-ah-based fi nancial institution, not only locally, but also region-ally and internationally.

    I will spare no eff ort at ad-vancing the process of devel-opment and transformation at QIIB. International Islamic is al-ready on a growth trajectory and I am happy to be part of this, he stressed.

    Eshehawi also said he is look-ing forward to working with the QIIB team in creating a focused growth strategy and building a prudent and diversifi ed re-gional banking institution that supports the strategy laid down by the QIIB Board of Directors and executive management.

    Eshehawi: Focused strategy.

    Commercial Bank fund wins Qatar Equity Fund of the Year Commercial Banks Al Waseela fund (F-Class) has won the prestigious Qatar Equity Fund of the Year award for 2013 at the Zawya Mena Asset Management Awards.

    The Al Waseela Fund (Q-Class) was also ranked the second best Qatar Equity Fund, which capped a successful evening for Commercial Bank and EFG-Hermes at the awards ceremony held in Dubai recently.

    Commercial Banks Al Waseela Fund (F-Class) is managed by EFG-Hermes and provides re-turns on a diversifi ed portfolio of equities listed on the Qatar Stock Exchange and GCC stock markets.

    Since its inception in April 2007, the Al Wa-seela Fund has gained 114.35%, achieving an im-pressive 30.8 % recorded in 2013, and a further 16.68% gain this January to June 2014.

    Commercial Bank chief executive offi cer Ab-dulla Saleh al-Raisi said: This is the second year in a row the Al Waseela Fund (F-Class) has come fi rst in its category among conventional Qatar Equity Funds. The fund continues to perform exceptionally well for our customers and I con-gratulate EFG-Hermes on this award in their role as fund manager.

    The ranking system for the Zawya Mena As-set Management Awards was based on returns, risk, fees to returns, and management style. The awards are calculated on an annual basis and have a set of fi xed criteria for a fund to take part in the analysis, including a minimum size of $5mn and a minimum three-year track record.

    Zawya provides news, research, and data on the Mena region capital markets and is part of Thomson Reuters, a leading source of intelligent information for business and professionals. The Qatar Equity Fund of the Year award by Zawya.

    Jaidah Automotive appoints new MDJaidah Automotive, a subsidiary of Qatari conglomerate Jaidah Group, has announced the appointment of Khaled Hassan as its new managing director, as part of a strategy to realise Jaidah Groups vision.Hassan joined Jaidah Automotive in June 2014 and is expected to impart his expertise from some of the worlds top automotive companies.As managing director of the exclusive importer and distributor of the Chevrolet brand in Qatar, Hassan said: As Jaidah Automotive opens this new chapter, I feel honoured to have the opportunity to take this position and take the company forward.Hassan has more than 25 years of automotive

    experience, including 15 years of senior management and five years of automotive franchise ownership.He is also a turnaround specialist with expertise in the fields of General Dealership Management, Strategy Development and Implementation, Training and Motivation, Asset and Cash Flow Management, Internet Marketing, and Data Management Systems.We are excited to welcome Khaled Hassan on board and trust his vision to position Jaidah Automotive as a leader in the industry by building on strong business networks, location, and technologies, said Mohamed al-Jaidah, Group executive director of Jaidah Group.

    Hassan: New role.

  • Wednesday, July 23, 2014Ramadan 25, 1435 AH

    SPORTGULF TIMES

    Guardiola warns foes not to copy Germany

    FOOTBALL | Page 3

    ATHLETICS

    Bolt fi t and raring to go in GlasgowPage 10

    BASEBALL | Page 8

    Duvall and Kontos help Giants beat Phillies

    Real sign Golden Boot Rodriguez

    SPOTLIGHT

    The Colombian striker is Reals second major signing in five days as they prepare for a new season of confrontation against eternal rivals Barcelona

    AFPMadrid

    Real Madrid yesterday signed Colombian striker James Ro-driguez, the top scorer at the World Cup, from Monaco on a

    six season contract. Spanish media said Real paid about

    EUR80 million ($108mn) for Rodriguez, making him one of the most expensive players ever. Neither club gave a fi gure, but Monaco said it was one of the big-gest transfers in football history.

    Rodriguez, 23, scored six goals for Colombia at the World Cup to win the Golden Boot award. A spectacular volley against Uruguay went down as one of the best goals of any World Cup.

    Shortly before the announcement, Ro-driguez posed for pictures and gave the thumbs up sign as he left a Madrid clinic where he passed a medical test.

    I am very happy. We will talk later, he told reporters.

    The Colombian striker is Reals second major signing in fi ve days as they prepare for a new season of confrontation against eternal rivals Barcelona.

    German midfi elder Toni Kroos moved from Bayern Munich on Thursday, just days after the 24-year-old helped Ger-many win the World Cup.

    Real have also been linked with a move for Keylor Navas, the goalkeeper whose

    heroics helped Costa Rica reach the World Cup quarter fi nals. Navas plays with Levante in the Spanish fi rst divi-sion.

    Rodriguez had only been at Monaco for one year but his sizzling performance at the World Cup made him the number one

    target for many European clubs. In a FIFA.com poll released Monday,

    his volley against Uruguay in the last 16 was declared goal of the World Cup by more than four million votersthree quarters of those who took part.

    Monaco paid EUR45 million ($60mn) when he signed from FC Porto of Portugal.

    Monaco said in a statement that it had not wanted to sell Rodriguez but that it was proud to have carried out one of the biggest transfers in football history.

    A NEW SPECIAL ONE Spanish sports daily Marca, which has close ties with Real Madrids board, said Real will pay EUR75 million straight away and up to fi ve million more in add ons.

    If confi rmed, the fee would make Ro-driguez the fi fth most expensive player in history behind Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo (both of Real) and Neymar and Luis Suarez of Barcelona.

    Rodriguez went to the World Cup as Colombias second best known striker. But Radamel Falcao was injured in Janu-ary leaving the starring role to his Mo-naco teammate as Colombia reached the last 16 for the fi rst time.

    Uruguays coach Oscar Tabarez com-pared Rodriguez to Argentine legends Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi, the players who succeed in doing things be-cause they are special.

    The Colombian has made it clear for a long time that it was the Spanish league

    that he wanted to get to. The Spanish league is a league that

    Ive always watchedits diff erent from the English League, which is very physi-cal, he told FIFA.com in an interview in November.

    The game in Spain is more about tech-nique, and about getting more touches on the ball. Thats why I like it so much.

    Rodriguez started his career at 16 for Colombian second division side Envi-gado FC and built up an immediate repu-tation.

    In 2008, he was signed by Argetinian side Atletico Banfi eld where he became known as James Bond of Banfi eld after scoring an extraordinary left-footed lob for the unfashionable side in February 2010.

    He moved to FC Porto in Portugal where more spectacular goals brought three league titles in three seasons. Mo-naco bought him in May 2013.

    Rodriguez prides himself most in hav-ing been dubbed El Pibe Nueva (the New Kid) in place of Carlos Valderrama, Colombias star of the 1990s, who was called El Pibe.

    Its an honour to be considered the heir to El Pibe at my age, he told FIFA.com.

    Since I was little, I admired Val-derrama and I always wanted to be like him. He was my hero and I am proud to wear the number 10 for Colombia while helping the national team return to the World Cup.

    File picture of Colombias James Rodriguez celebrating after scoring against Ivory Coast during their 2014 World Cup Group match at the Brasilia national stadium.

    Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez leaves the hospital Sanitas La Moraleja after undergoing a medical examination, in Madrid, Spain, yesterday.

    AFPRio de Janeiro

    Dunga won the World Cup as a player for Brazil and now the country is giv-ing him a second chance

    to get the trophy as a coach. The Brazilian Football Con-

    federation (CBF) named Dunga, 50, to run the national team after Luis Felipe Scolaris humiliation at the World Cup this month, in-cluding a devastating 7-1 defeat by Germany.

    Dunga was previously in charge from 2006 until 2010, when he paid the price for World Cup failureBrazil were beaten in the quarter-final. He did win the 2007 Copa America and the Confederations Cup in 2009 however after he replaced Carlos Alberto Parreira.

    Football has changed. It changes every moment and every day. We like to talk here about tal-ent and playing off the cuff . But we also praise German organisa-tion. So we have to harness our talent with planning, Dunga said as he accepted the post yesterday.

    Brazil has a history of giving coaches two tries at the national team. Scolari guided Brazil to a World Cup triumph in 2002 in his first stint. Parreira won the World Cup at USA 94 and then came back for a less successful stint in 2006.

    Dunga, a close friend of Gilmar Rinaldi, Brazils new technical coordinator overseeing a football revolution after the World Cup humiliation, is better known as a player and captain.

    He is hardly the archetypal Brazilian samba football star. As a combative midfielder he never earned the effusive plaudits of-fered to Romario, Ronaldo or Ronaldinho. He was a pillar of the 1994 world champions though.

    His usefulness behind strikers Romario and Bebeto is illustrated by his 91 caps for his country after making his debut in 1987. Dunga skippered the under 20 side to world success in 1983.

    By 1989, he was an established fi gure, having won the Copa Americathough his tough style sat uneasily with fans who point-ed to a poor 1990 World Cup when Brazil were beaten by Argentina in the second round, as proof of his ineff ectiveness.

    But in 1994, Parreira recognised the leadership qualities of a man christened Carlos Caetano Ble-dorn Verri, making him skipper after Rai was dropped.

    Having ended a six-year spell in Italy to play for Germanys VfB Stuttgart, Dunga kept his nerve in the penalty shoot out against the Italians and Brazil won the trophy, ending a 24-year drought stretch-ing back to Pele.

    In 1998, he was again captain, despite by then playing in Japan with Jubilo Iwata. But he could not prevent a 3-0 loss to France in the Paris fi nal. Dunga then ended his international career, also quit-ting Japan to wind down his career with fi rst club Internacional.

    Once he stopped playing, it was not long before the CBF put out feelers for him to replace Vander-lei Luxemburgo as head coach.

    He distanced himself from the idea amid reports he believed the CBF needed the overhaul which Brazil is now tentatively trying to kick-start. Dunga accepted when the CBF came calling with more urgency in 2006 despite his lack of coaching experience.

    Success of a kind came with the Copa America and Confed-erations Cup winsin the latter in 2009, Brazil recovered from two goals down to defeat the United States in the fi nal.

    In 2010, Dunga decided not to take a teenage prodigy named Neymar to the World Cup in South Africaa decision which met with the disapproval of Pele, among others.

    But it was a mistake from goal-keeper Julio Cesar which ended his reign. Brazil went down 2-1 to the Netherlands in the quarter-fi nals and he left with 42 wins for six defeats in 60 games in charge.

    Now Brazil are again turning to a devil they know as they look to next years Copa America in Chile, the fi rst stepping stone on the road to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

    And then Dunga will need all the determination that he vaunted as a player.

    Dunga gets second chance as Brazil coach

    CHANGE AT THE TOP

    Brazils 1994 World-Cup winning skipper Carlos Verri, better known as Dunga, speaks during his presentation as new coach of the Brazilian national football team in Rio de Janeiro. (AFP)

    Football has changed. It changes every moment and every day. We like to talk here about talent and playing off the cuff . But we also praise German organisation. So we have to harness our talent with planning

  • Gerrard leaves England with tears for souvenirsAFPLondon

    As Steven Gerrard soaked up thunderous applause from Eng-lands supporters at

    full-time in Belo Horizonte, he looked surprised and relieved by the generous response to his teams dismal World Cup cam-paign.

    The 17-minute substitute ap-pearance in a meaningless draw against Costa Rica proved to be Gerrards last England ap-pearance after the Three Lions captain announced his retire-ment from international duty on Monday.

    The 34-year-old took his last curtain call on the global stage when he waved in response to the England cheers that seemed so out of place in a tournament in which Roy Hodgsons team took only one point from three matches.

    It was a symbolic epitaph for Gerrards England career, which left the player himself and his legion of admirers frustrated that he never quite dominated in the manner he has for Liverpool.

    After winning 114 caps, be-hind only Peter Shilton (124) and David Beckham (115) on his countrys all-time appearance list and captaining England at two World Cups, Gerrard will rightly be remembered as a loyal and proud servant.

    But while Gerrards applica-tion in an England shirt could never be questioned, the qual-ity of his performances often fell short of the stratospheric standards he reached in Liver-pool colours.

    While Gerrards signature moments for Liverpool are many and variedfew will ever forget his heroics in Istanbul in the 2005 Champions League fi nal and his 2006 FA Cup fi nal mas-terclass against West Hamfor England he was mostly diligent but lacking inspiration.

    He scored 21 times for Eng-land, starting with a blistering strike from outside the pen-alty area in the memorable 5-1 thrashing of Germany in Sep-tember 2001.

    Yet he never netted against another top-level international opponent, with his remaining goals coming against a motley

    crew including the likes of Mac-edonia, Andorra, Belarus and Trinidad and Tobago.

    That chilly night in Mu-nich when Gerrard inspired the German demolition seemed to promise such a bright future for the midfi elder, who was making only his sixth England appear-ance. That was my favourite England game, Gerrard said. We had to get a result and we completely played them off the park.

    But he failed to scale those heights for England again, in-stead becoming one of the now tarnished golden generation who never made it past the last eight at a major tournament.

    Gerrard was handed his fi rst England cap by Kevin Keegan against Ukraine in 2000 and he insisted from that moment on he enjoyed every minute of representing his country.

    If that is really the case, Ger-rard must have some masochis-tic tendencies.

    He made his tournament de-but at Euro 2000 when England bowed out in the group stages, then missed the World Cup two years later due to a groin injury.

    Gerrard, whose failure to es-tablish a strong midfi eld part-nership with Frank Lampard was a constant problem, was unable to stop England crashing out of Euro 2004 on penalties against Portugal in the quarter-fi nals.

    Two years later Gerrard would miss a penalty against the same opponents in Germany, where England again lost on spot-kicks in the World Cup quarter-fi nals.

    Gerrard was made vice-cap-tain by Steve McClaren, but England failed to qualify for Euro 2008 after a 3-2 loss to Croatia.

    He went on to take the arm-band for the 2010 World Cup, but a 4-1 last 16 exit against Germany brought a chastening end to that campaign.

    Gerrard hinted before the World Cup in Brazil that it would be his international swansong and he wanted to go out on a high.

    But he struggled to hit top form and cried tears of frustra-tion after his critical mistake led to Luis Suarez scoring the late winner for Uruguay that eff ec-tively eliminated England.

    For that to be Gerrards last signifi cant contribution for England is hardly fair to such a decent and dignifi ed man, but somehow it was in keeping with the sombre mood of his interna-tional career.

    SPOTLIGHT

    We had to get a result and we completely played them off the park

    AFPSeoul

    The South Korea Foot-ball Association hope to appoint a new techni-cal chief this week, the

    fi rst step in a overhaul that will end with a new head coach after their disappointing World Cup showing in Brazil.

    Former skipper Hong Myung-bo stepped down as coach after the Koreans managed just one point in their group stage exit in Brazil following losses to Belgium and Algeria, with technical head Hwangbo Kwan following him out of the door. The Korean FA met on Monday with Hwangbos succes-sor the top priority, followed by a restructuring of the technical com-mittee and the inclusion of former national team coaches to it before they appoint a new manager.

    The consensus at todays

    meeting was that we must nev-er rush to pick the new head coach, KFA offi cial Lee Hae-doo was quoted as saying by Yonhap News on Tuesday.

    I understand it may seem as though we might be taking too much time, but we all agreed that wed rather err on the side of caution.

    Former Celtic player and head coach Neil Lennon has been linked with the role as has ex-Croatia international Robert Prosinecki. Northern Irishman Lennon coached South Korea internationals Ki Sung-yueng and Cha Du-ri during his time in Scotland. South Korea play friendly matches against Vene-zuela and Uruguay in September, with the Asian Cup in Australia fast approaching in January.

    Fernandez heads list of possible Ivory Coast coaches

    Four Frenchmen, includ-

    ing former international Luis Fernandez, have been named on a shortlist of fi ve prospective candidates to take over as na-tional coach of the Ivory Coast, the countrys football federation said.

    Francis Gillot, Frederic An-tonetti, Herve Renard and Fern-andez are joined on the shortlist by Manuel Jose, the Portuguese coach who won four African Champions League titles dur-ing his time at Egyptian club Al Ahli.

    The shortlist was put to-gether from a list of 37 prospec-tive candidates, unusually all named on the Ivorian Football Federations website (www.fi f-ci.com).

    A decision on the new coach must now be taken by the fed-erations executive committee, who have previously promised to announce their fi nal choice by the end of the month.

    Fernandez, who won 60 caps and a European Championship title with France, last worked as national team coach of Israel but has been a radio pundit for the last three years.

    Renard won the African Na-tions Cup with Zambia two years ago but last season, failed to save Sochaux from relegation from Ligue 1 after being brought in for the second half of the campaign.

    Gillot was coach of Girondins Bordeaux last season while An-tonetti has had a long career as a coach in Ligue 1, most recently with Stade Rennes.

    The new Ivory Coast coach will take over from Sabri Lam-ouchi, whose two-year con-tract was not renewed after the country failed to reach the sec-ond round at the World Cup in Brazil. In September, the Ivori-ans begin the qualifi ers for next years Nations Cup in Morocco.

    S Korea in no rush to appoint new coach FOCUS

    ReutersLondon

    Southampton are look-ing to sell their record signing Italian Dani Os-valdo who has been at St

    Marys for less than a year, the Premier League clubs new man-ager Ronald Koeman said.

    The Saints paid AS Roma a club record fee of 15 million pounds ($25.6 million) for the 28-year-old striker last August, but he only made 13 appearances and scored three goals before joining Juventus on loan after a training-ground fi ght.

    Koeman told BBC Radio So-lent the board was now looking to offl oad him permanently after he failed to arrive back for pre-season training and is now on leave of absence.

    It was a diffi cult situation for him to come back to. He was too late, The decision of the board was to allow him not to come back, the Dutchman said.

    We have to look for opportu-nities for him to play in a diff er-ent team.

    Osvaldo scored his fi rst goal for the Saints in a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace at the end of September and was on target for Italy in a World Cup quali-

    fi er against Denmark two weeks later.

    But he only scored more two goals for Southampton in the next two months before was suspended for three matches and fi ned 40,000 pounds af-ter being found guilty of violent conduct in a 1-1 draw at Newcas-tle in December.

    He was then involved in a training bust-up with team mate Jose Fonte and returned to Italy on loan with Juventus.

    Although Juve won the Serie A title, he scored only three goals in 18 matches and Italian coach Cesare Prandelli left him out of his World Cup squad.

    Koeman also confi rmed that Croatian defender Dejan Lovren, who also joined the club a year ago, had asked to leave.

    He said he would like to go, we will wait for the bid, but if there is no bid we will continue. I know the situation, he said.

    Southampton have sold de-fender Luke Shaw to Manchester United and midfi elder Adam La-llana and striker Rickie Lambert to Liverpool since the end of last season.

    Lovren has also been linked with a move to Liverpool, who face Southampton on the open-ing day of the new season at An-fi eld on August 16.

    Englands Steven Gerrard after the FIFA World Cup 2014 group D preliminary round match between Costa Rica and England at the Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte, Brazil on June 24. (AFP)

    FOOTBALLGulf Times Wednesday, July 23, 20142

    Dani Osvaldo.

    Dutchman Advocaat to take over as Serbia coach, says KaradzicReutersBelgrade

    Dutchman Dick Advo-caat will take over as Serbia coach to lead the teams bid to qualify for

    the 2016 European Champion-ship, the Balkan countrys Foot-ball Association (FSS) president Tomislav Karadzic told Reuters.

    The agreement we have reached with Advocaat is a re-sult of month-long negotiations weve had with him and we will offi cially unveil him as the new coach in the next few days, Ka-radzic said yesterday.

    The 66-year old Advocaat, who has coached a myriad of clubs and national teams in-cluding his native Netherlands, Belgium, South Korea and Rus-sia, will replace caretaker Ljubi-nko Drulovic who stepped in for Sinisa Mihajlovic after Serbia failed to qualify for this years 2014 World Cup.

    Advocaat won the 1999 do-mestic treble in Scotland with Rangers as well as the 2007 Rus-sian Premier League and the 2008 UEFA Cup with Zenit St. Petersburg but the last six years

    of his career have been barren. He will be the second foreign-

    er to coach Serbia after Spaniard Javier Clemente failed to qualify for Euro 2008.

    The Serbians reached the 2010 World Cup under Radomir Antic but missed out on Euro 2012 as well as this years World Cup in Brazil.

    Serbia has a very good team and the focus will be on qualify-ing for Euro 2016, Advocaat told Dutch media. The FSS showed a lot of initiative in the talks and I agreed to take over.

    ANNOUNCEMENT

    Southampton ready to sell record signing Osvaldo

    TRANSFER

    Luis Fernandez.

    Aft er winning 114 caps and captaining England at two World Cups, Gerrard will rightly be remembered as a loyal and proud servant

  • Guardiola warns foes not to copy GermanyAFPMunich

    Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola warned yesterday that those seeing Germany as a

    model for success after their World Cup triumph need great-er dedication and patience with their own philosophies.

    Speaking ahead of the reign-ing Bundesliga champions up-coming US tour, the 43-year-old Spaniard said teams who try to reboot their football program af-ter World Cup failures risk falling further behind.

    Any system is good. Any sys-tem is wrong, Guardiola said in a conference call.

    Im not convinced because England is out and Italy is out their system is bad or because Germany won that the philoso-phy is right.

    Every federation has to be-lieve in what they have and make the best facilities and (opportu-nities) for the players to develop their talents.

    While World Cup results every four years weigh heavily upon football squads worldwide, Guardiola says one bad game can doom your dreams in any event, noting how his ideas were copied during a successful run at Barce-lona before his Bayern move.

    All the people went and cop-ied that. Its a big mistake, he said. You copy that and because of that one day you won. But one day you are going to lose.

    Be patient with the coach and be patient with the players and you are going to be good.

    Guardiola cited his homeland Spains early exit after winning the title in 2010 and the decision not to toss out the entire coach-ing staff and philosophy.

    Spain lost and they will keep going with the same coach and same style of play. And maybe they will go back, he said. Its a matter of believing in what you do.

    For now, Guardiola believes his squad will have tough match-es against Mexican club Chivas on July 31 in suburban New York and the Major League Soccer All-Stars at Portland, Oregon, on August 6 in warm-up match-es for the upcoming Bundesliga campaign.

    In addition to fi tness issues, several Bayern players had key roles in Germanys run to the World Cup title.

    We want to make a good

    game and win but we are not in the best moment, Guardiola said. Nine of the most impor-tant players on the team they are still on holidays. I know in this moment (opponents) are fi tter than us.

    Were going to play in the best way possible, the way we believe. Forget about the results and whats going on with the score. We play our best for the people who come to see us and make the best game possible.

    Green to stay at Bayern Guardiola says he expects

    19-year-old winger Julian Green, who scored a spectacu-lar goal for the United States against Belgium in a World Cup defeat, will stay on Bayerns top squad for the coming campaign.

    My fi rst idea, hes going to stay for the rest of the season, Guardiola said while noting that other factors could change that decision before the season starts.

    Green is nursing a sore knee but will tour with Bayern in America.

    We were really impressed with his talent, his movement to the goal, said Guardiola.

    Hes going to travel in the US and I hope hes going to be fi t and be able to play for us.

    Its not easy moving up to the senior team but he deserves to try to keep going here and play with us.

    Beyond Green, Guardiola was

    impressed with the US World Cup side of German legend Ju-rgen Klinsmann.

    United States is making a lot of steps forward in their concept about football, he said.

    They play so aggressive and are physically stronger and I was impressed with their backline.

    United States is a reality in the world football. In the next few years, they will be stronger in the World Cup and can make it better and better.

    FOCUS

    Be patient with the coach and be patient with the players and you are going to be good

    ReutersKiev

    One of the six Shakhtar Donetsk players refusing to return to Ukraine has said he is not abandoning the club,

    but is scared of putting his life at risk. Douglas Costa - along with fellow

    Brazilians Alex Teixeira, Fred, Dentin-ho and Ismaily, plus Argentine striker Facundo Ferreira - refused to travel from France to Ukraine following a friendly against Lyon on Saturday.

    The players action came two days after 298 people aboard a Malaysian Airlines fl ight died when their plane was shot down by a surface-to-air

    missile over eastern Ukraine. I wish to clarify that I am not aban-

    doning the club. I am scared. Every-thing that we read, see or hear is that the situation in the country is not good, a statement posted on Costas Instagram account said.

    We dont know what kind of condi-tions we would train in and even less play in.

    To play, we need to travel. What kind of security will we have? I have no problem with Shakhtar. I like the club, the people, the city, but I am afraid about other confl ict situations and possibly, when we are travelling, when we are not with our families, that something worse could happen.

    Sergei Palkin, Shakhtars CEO, gave

    assurances that UEFA is on the clubs side, coming up with offi cial docu-ments from the governing body of Eu-ropean football.

    We held consultations with UEFA following this situation when some of Shakhtar players refused to come back to Ukraine due to safety concerns and a threat to their well-being, he said.

    UEFA recommended that the play-ers who left the team without permis-sion come back to Ukraine as soon as possible. We will fi le the copies of these documents to the players and their agents.

    Players safety is the main prior-ity for our club. No one is going to take them to the cities facing the military operations or if there is the least shred

    of safety concerns, Palkin told the clubs website.

    NEW SEASON Shakhtar are scheduled to open the

    new season with a Super Cup match against Dynamo Kiev later in Lviv in the far west of the country.

    When the regular season kicks off , the Donetsk-based team are likely to play their home games in one of four cities - Kiev, Lviv, Dnipropetrovsk or Odessa - until the confl ict between the army and pro-Russian rebels in the re-gion is resolved.

    We have an offi cially confi rmed list of the cities where, in the view of UEFA, games can be held with the safety guaranteed. These are the cities

    authorized to stage Champions league and Europa league games, namely Kiev, Lviv, Dnipropetrovsk and Odessa, Palkin said.

    We are evaluating all pros and cons to decide where Shakhtar are to be based. Anyway, this is going to be one of these four options, Palkin added.

    The whereabouts of the six play-ers was still unknown on Tuesday, although at least some of them are thought to be in Switzerland.

    French sports daily LEquipe report-ed that Teixeira and Costa had been proposed to French Ligue 1 club AS Monaco by agent Kia Joorabchian. The club, however, refused to confi rm the report when contacted by Reuters.

    Shakhtar president Rynat Akhmetov

    has warned the players they would be in breach of their contracts with Sha-khtar whose home in Donetsk is close to the current confl ict in the country.

    He said on Shakhtars offi cial web-site that they had no reason to worry about returning to Donetsk.

    Club captain Dario Srna, a 32-year-old Croatia international, believes the situation will not shatter the teams spirit but instead makes it even strong-er.

    Im not ready to comment on this matter. It will take some time to under-stand everything. Whatever happens, it can only unite us, Srna said.

    I am grateful to all the players - Ukrainians, Brazilians - who are here. They are the real Shakhtar!

    Shakhtar six still missing, scared of returning to Ukraine SPOTLIGHT

    ReutersLondon

    England coach Roy Hodg-son retains the support of the Football Associa-tion despite the teams

    dismal showing at the World Cup last month, FA Chairman Greg Dyke said yesterday.

    Dyke said he thought Hodgson did quite a good job in Brazil and repeated his view that there were too many foreign players in the Premier League for the na-tional team to thrive.

    Ive got a lot of time for him (Hodgson), Dyke told MPs when asked about the England teams performance during a parlia-mentary hearing.

    Dyke said deep-rooted prob-lems in English soccer would make it tough for the national team to repeat their sole World Cup success on home soil in 1966. The real problem is there is no pathway for 17 or 18-year-old English boys to get through the system, he said.

    I think its going to get tougher and tougher unless we do something about it, he said,

    lamenting the fact that only around 30 percent of Premier League players are English.

    He said that world champi-ons Germany had an unwritten rule over the number of foreign players in the Bundesliga, creat-ing room for talented German youngsters to come through.

    The other problem weve got is that none of our players play overseas, added Dyke.

    Hodgson has also said that English players would ben-efi t from gaining experience by playing abroad and might get more opportunities than they do in the Premier League.

    England made an early exit from the World Cup in Brazil last month, picking up only one point from three group games.

    However, there has been lit-tle clamour for Hodgson to go, with the media and many fans acknowledging the limitations of the current squad.

    An FA commission set up by Dyke proposed allowing Premier League clubs to fi eld B teams in lower leagues to help foster young talent but the plan has run into a lot of opposition from smaller clubs and traditionalists.

    Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola.

    AFC chief to addressSport Business Summit

    Kuala Lumpur: Asian Football Confederation President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifah will be one of the top speakers at the Sport Business Summit to be held from October 8 to 9 at Stamford Bridge, Fulham in London. Other off icials scheduled to speak at the event or-ganised by Leaders include, CONCACAF President Jeff rey Webb; Ger-man Bundesliga CEO Christian Seifert, and FC Internazionale Milano Owner and President Erick Thohir, the AFC said yesterday. Committed to boost the solidarity of the Asian football community while safeguarding and promoting the game, Salman will talk about the future of football in Asia, including the forthcoming AFC Asian Cup in Australia. He will also talk about the continued development of the AFC Champions League and other AFC tournaments, the importance of strengthening the foundation of football development including social responsibility as well as the challenges and opportunities of governing the worlds most populous football region. The AFC is now more determined than ever to oversee the growth of Asian football through the many initiatives and development programmes that we have designed for the long term, said Shaikh Salman. Attending the Leaders Sport Business Summit gives us a great opportunity to inter-act and share ideas on our plans for the future of Asian football with leading figures and decision makers in the game and the wider world of sports. The seventh edition of the Sport Business Summit expects to attract around 1,500 of sports leading executives come together for two days of knowledge exchange and networking.

    FOOTBALL3Gulf Times Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    UEFA shuts PSG stands over abuse of disabled Chelsea fans French club Paris Saint-German were ordered by UEFA to close part of their stadium as punish-ment for their supporters abuse of disabled Chelsea fans during their Champions League quarter-final match in April. UEFA said that it had ordered a one-match closure of sectors 104 and 105 of the Parc des Princes, the clubs home stadium in the French capital. The sanction has been imposed for the discrimina-

    tory conduct of some Paris Saint-Germain supporters towards disabled fans of Chelsea, UEFA said. The sanction applies to the next European club competi-tion match in which PSG play as hosts. The Parisians have an automatic berth in the group stage of this seasons Champions League and therefore go into action in September. During the April 2 first-leg

    quarter-finalin which PSG beat the Londoners 3-1 -- a group of disabled Chelsea fans were seated among the home sup-porters due to a lack of facilities in the visitors stands. They were subjected to a hail of abuse, spat on, and pelted with plastic bottles. It seemed like I was sitting in hell and it was something that I had no control over, Chelsea supporter Lisa Hayden, a wheel-

    chair user, recently told the BBC. I felt no-one had our backs: there were 10 of us and thou-sands of them and I didnt think we were going to get out of there, she added. Chelsea won the April 8 second leg at Stamford Bridge 2-0, eject-ing PSG due to the away goals rule. In May, Mike Penning, then Britains disabilities minister, called on UEFA to consider throwing PSG out of this seasons

    Champions League. He also pointed to the problem of seating for supporters with dis-abilities, which has likewise been flagged up at several English Premier League clubs. Disabled fans are fans and they shouldnt be treated any diff erently. They should be sat with their own fans and be able to enjoy the game like everyone else, Penning, now the policing minister, told the BBC at the time.

    FA chairman backs manager Hodgson despite WC fl op

    SUPPORT

    England coach Roy Hodgson.

  • CRICKETGulf Times Wednesday, July 23, 20144

    AFPLondon

    England seamer James Ander-son could be banned from the fourth Test at his Old Traff ord home ground after the Interna-

    tional Cricket Council (ICC) announced yesterday that a full hearing into allega-tions he had abused and pushed In-dias Ravindra Jadeja would take place by video conference on August 1.

    Anderson is free to play in the third Test against India in Southampton starting on Sundaywith his hear-ing due to take place the day after the scheduled fi nish of that match.

    But the severity of the charge that has been levelled against him by India means Anderson is facing a possible ban of up to four Tests, should ICC code of conduct commissioner Gordon Lewis, a retired Australian judge, fi nd against him.

    A four-Test ban would rule the Lancashire seamer out of both next months Old Traff ord fi xture and the fi nale of the fi ve-match India series at The Oval in south London.

    But the ICC added the counter-charges laid by England against Jadeja would be heard not by Lewis but by match referee David Boon, the former Australia batsman.

    However, the details of this hearing are being worked out and will be an-nounced in due course, the global gov-erning body said in a statement after Lewis held a preliminary hearing via a teleconference, involving the England and Wales Cricket Board, the Board of Control for Cricket in India and their respective lawyers on Tuesday.

    Last week India charged Anderson the ICCs code of conduct for what they said was his physical, as well as verbal confrontation with all-rounder Jadeja during the lunch break on the second day of the drawn fi rst Test at

    Trent Bridge on July 10. India team manager Sunil Dev ac-

    cused Anderson of committing a Level Three off ence under the ICC code.

    England team manager Phil Neale charged Jadeja in response, but only with a lesser Level Two off ence in what appeared to be a move designed to avoid admitting a physical confronta-tion had taken place.

    Level Three off ences can see a player banned for up to four Tests.

    A Level Two off ence carries a ban of up to one Test, or two one-day inter-nationals, depending on which type of match is scheduled next for the sus-pended player.

    India are due to play fi ve one-day internationals in England after the end of their Test series, so the timing of Jadejas hearing could have a bearing on what type of ban, if any, he receives should Boon fi nd him guilty.

    After yesterdays preliminary hear-ing the ICC said that, under the code,

    Lewis, as a judicial commissioner, had the option to punish Anderson for a lesser off ence should he fi nd him not guilty of the one with which he had been charged.

    Under ICC regulations, Lewiss judgement will be delivered within 48 hours of a hearing at 9:00am local (0800GMT).

    However, Anderson has the right of appeal against a decision by Lewis, who will also set the date from which any suspension will commence.

    The fourth Test is scheduled to start on August 7.

    Jadeja and Anderson were pho-tographed shaking hands after the former ran the latter out to complete Indias 95-run in the second Test at Lords on Monday.

    Victory, only their second in a Test at Lords and their fi rst overseas for three years, put India 1-0 up in the series ahead of this weekends encounter at Southamptons Ageas Bowl.

    ICC sets Anderson hearing date for August 1SPOTLIGHT

    ALL THE BEST MATE: Indias Ravindra Jadeja (left) shakes hands with Englands James Anderson after India won the second Test at Lords on Monday. (Reuters)

    Proteas aim to end 21-year-old jinx by winning series in SL

    AFPColombo

    An upbeat South Africa will look to carry their winning momen-tum in the second Test against Sri Lanka, beginning tomorrow,

    and break a 21-year-old jinx on the island. The Proteas, the current world number

    two, have not won a Test series in Sri Lan-ka since 1993 when they fi rst toured the country and beat the hosts 1-0. On their next three tours, they won one Test while losing two series and drawing one.

    But a new dawn seems to be beckoning for the visitors after they won the fi rst Test in Galle on Sunday by 153 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the two-Test series, and hand Hash-im Amla a winning start to his captaincy.

    Not many teams have come here and won a Test series so its obviously on the back of our minds, said Amla, the fi rst non-white player to lead South Africa in a full-time capacity.

    Amla, 31, was named captain last month following the retirement of Graeme Smith who led the Proteas in a record 109 Tests.

    Amlas debut leadership was uncon-ventional and daring, evident in the way he declared the innings at tea on the fourth day rather than take the safer op-tion of batting out the last session.

    It meant the hosts needed to score 370 runs in four sessions to win the match.

    At one point, it appeared the game was slipping away from South Africa but fast bowlers Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel ripped through the top order on the fi fth morning to ensure a well-deserved win.

    Steyn will again be crucial at Colombos Sinhalese Sports Club ground, where South Africa won by an innings and 208 runs in 1993 thanks to fast bowlers Al-lan Donald and Brett Schultz. Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews conceded that Steyn would be a big factor in Colombo.

    Steyn is an unbelievable bowler, any captain would love to have a guy like him in his side, he said.

    On that fl at wicket (in Galle), he came out really hard and bowled fast. Not too many fast bowlers end up with nine-wicket hauls in Galle.

    The other concern for Mathews, apart from Steyn, was the middle order that has failed to click, even in the preceding one-dayers which South Africa won 2-1, their fi rst ODI series win in Sri Lanka.

    Right from the ODI series, our middle-order batting has not been delivering, the Sri Lankan skipper said.

    We have seven batters in the side and to expect only one player to deliver all the time is wrong.

    Mathews can rely on at least one play-er to come good with the bat in the de-ciderMahela Jayawardene has scored 10 hundreds at Colombothe most by any batsman at a single venue. Jaya-wardene, 37, is due to retire next month after a two-Test series at home against Pakistan.

    A victory at Colombo will see Amlas men reclaim the number one ranking they lost to Australia recently after two years at the top. The last time South Africa played a Test series in Sri Lanka in 2006, they lost 2-0, but only three players from that tour are part of the current side.

    SECOND TEST/ LANKA vs SOUTH AFRICA

    Not many teams have come here and won so its obviously on the back of our minds

    ReutersSydney

    Australia batsman Shaun Marsh is to have surgery on an injured elbow next

    week and will miss Octobers Test series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, Cricket Australia said in a statement yesterday.

    The 31-year-old, who played in the fi rst two Tests of the series win in South Africa that put Australia back on top of the world rankings, suff ered the ligament injury while play-ing Twenty20 cricket in India.

    Its a pretty signifi cant injury, team physiothera-pist Alex Kountouris told the Cricket Australia website.

    Shaun has had a short pe-riod of rest, but its still a prob-lem and we know that surgery takes a long time to recover.

    Theres a three-to-four month recovery period and

    weve chosen to go ahead with that because it gives him time to play for Western Australia and prepare for the World Cup and the Ashes next year.

    Left-hander Marsh, son of Australian opener Geoff , was a relative latecomer to Test cricket and made his debut against Sri Lanka in Pallekele in 2011. In nine Tests since, he has scored 493 runs at an aver-age of 32.86 with a high score of 148 against South Africa in the fi rst Test victory at Centu-rion in February.

    A pair of ducks in the second Test, however, saw him lose his place in the team for the decider in Cape Town to allow for the return of all-rounder Shane Watson.

    A more regular presence in the Australia one-day side with an average close to 40, Marsh is, if fi t, likely to be in-cluded in the squad for the World Cup, which takes place next year in Australia and New Zealand.

    Shaun Marsh to be out for four months due to elbow injury

    SETBACK

    Sri Lankas batting hopes in the second Test, beginning in capital Colombo from tomorrow, rest on former captain Mahela Jayawardene, who has scored 10 hundreds at Colombo the most by any batsman at a single venue. The veteran middle order batsman, 37, is due to retire next month after the two-Test series at home against Pakistan.

    Sri Lanka pacer Eranga ruled out of 2nd TestSri Lankas frontline seamer Shaminda Eranga was yesterday ruled out of the deciding second Test against South Af-rica due to a hand injury, dealing a fresh blow to the beleaguered hosts.

    Eranga, 28, tore the webbing between the thumb and index finger of his right hand while fielding on day one of the first Test in Galle which Sri Lanka lost by 153 runs to go down 1-0 in the two-Test rubber. He bowled just nine overs in the game, with his injury requiring eight stitches.

    Eranga is definitely out of the second Test. The selectors are deciding whether to rope in a replacement for him in the squad, Sri Lankan media manager Rajith Fernando said.

    Erangas absence will be sorely felt by Sri Lanka as he has been the most eff ec-tive bowler for them this year, taking 25 wickets at an average of 27.64.

    Sri Lanka, who recently lost the one-day series against South Africa 2-1, have Dhammika Prasad and left-armer Chana-ka Welegedara as fast-bowling cover.

    Meanwhile, South Africa have called in former coach Gary Kirsten for some batting and strategic advice as they seek their first Test series win on the island in 21 years. Kirsten relinquished his head coach position with the national team last year but he has been used as a con-sultant on an ad hoc basis.

    The arrangement (for him to join the team in Sri Lanka) was confirmed prior to the start of the two-Test series, and will continue throughout the season, Cricket South Africa said in a release.

    Kirsten, a former South Africa bats-man, will be with the team in Colombo until the second day of the Test match which is set to begin tomorrow.

    AFPBulawayo

    Afghanistan beat Zim-babwe by two wick-ets in a thrilling one-day international

    yesterday to keep alive hopes of squaring the series.

    Zimbabwe scored 261-8 off 50 overs at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo and Afghan-istan reached 264-8 with two balls to spare.

    Afghanistan, who lost the fi rst two matches by six wickets and eight wickets re-spectively, can draw the four-match series by winning again at the same venue tomorrow.

    The cricket minnows are us-ing the matches to prepare for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next February and March.

    Opener Hamilton Masa-kadza top-scored for the hosts with 84 runs and his 93-ball stand included nine fours and two sixes.

    Captain Brendan Taylor (53) and Sean Williams (49) were the other Zimbabwe batsmen to impress while Aftab Alam (2-44) and Dawlat Zadran (2-49) returned the best Afghan

    bowling fi gures. Openers Javed Ahmadi (56)

    and teenager Usman Ghani (43) contributed most to the visitors run chase followed by Mohamed Nabi (42) and Samiullah Shemwari (41).

    However, it was the lower-order pair of Dawlat Zadran (24) and Shapoor Zadran (5) who sealed victory in a tense fi nish with an unbeaten ninth-wicket stand.

    Zadran hit 24 runs from seven balls to play a stellar role in the two-wicket win, only the second time the war-torn country has beaten a Test-playing nation.

    Zadran hit four sixes as he reached his highest ODI score, helping his side chase down the target with two balls re-maining.

    At one stage, Afghanistan looked as though they would fall well short of their target until they took 25 from the 46th over bowled by Zimba-bwe spinner Sikandar Raza, with Zadran securing the win in the fi nal over with a six off Shingi Masakadza.

    Williams (2-33) and Natsai Mshangwe (2-50) were the most successful among the Zimbabwe bowlers.

    Afghanistan turn the tables on Zimbabwe

    THIRD ONE-DAYER

  • CRICKET5Gulf Times Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    Former England captains advise Cook to step down

    ReutersLondon

    Beleaguered England captain Alastair Cook (pic above) should step down and take a break from the sport to avoid suff ering from a

    damaging burnout that could end his ca-reer, a number of former England captains said yesterday.

    For all the resolve... to carry on regard-less, common sense should prevail in the interests of the man and his team, former captain Mike Atherton wrote in the Times a day after England fell to a humiliating 95-run defeat to India at Lords.

    Cook has gone 27 Test innings without a century and presided over Englands 5-0 Ashes capitulation in Australia which was followed by a 1-0 home loss to Sri Lanka ahead of the current fi ve-match series against India.

    On Monday, Indias modest attack ripped through Englands paper-thin de-fences to take a 1-0 lead in the fi ve-match series, prompting calls for Cooks sacking after the Essex cricketer stubbornly re-fused to step down.

    It gives no pleasure to write it, but the tap on the shoulder for Alastair Cook

    should come, Atherton added. The cru-ellest cut would also be the kindest cut, as it would be in this fi ne cricketers best interests, so that he can fi nd a way to score runs and enjoy his cricket again.

    Batting is not coming easily, and he is not a natural leader of men, so both parts of his game require huge reserves of men-tal energy. It is hard to see that changing any time soon, so the problems will not miraculously disappear.

    Cook appears to enjoy the backing of

    his board and head coach Peter Moores despite a winless streak that stretched to 10 matches following Indias second Test victory at Lords.

    Many are not sure whether England have an alternative choice as captain, al-though Atherton is not one of them.

    There is always an alternativeIan Bell, Joe Root, Stuart Broad, Eoin Morgan are names that would be worthy of close scru-tinyand, more than that, people can sur-prise you when given extra authority and

    responsibility, wrote Atherton, who played 115 Tests for England from 1989-2001. England lose more than they gain by hav-ing an out-of-form Cook leading the side.

    Writing in the Daily Telegraph, another former skipper, Michael Vaughan, felt Cook badly needed a break.

    I believe Cook wants the selectors to step in and pull him out of the fi re, before it gets so hot that we lose him for good. This is a man with the capacity to score 13,000 test runs, wrote Vaughan, who played the last of his 82 Tests in 2008.

    For me, Cook would be best off taking a six-month break and chilling out with his family. Shane Warne missed a year of cricket in 2003 thanks to the diet-pill controversy, and some of his best per-formances came after that suspension. Geoff Boycott skipped a lot of series dur-ing his many years with England and look how many runs he fi nished up with.

    Never one to shy away from expressing a frank opinion, Boycott was even harsher in his assessment of the situation.

    Only Alastair Cook, his wife and fami-ly want him to remain as captainnobody else. Hes being stubborn and its going to take six wild stallions to drag him out of that job, the former opener told BBC Test Match Special.

    FOCUS

    Only Alastair Cook, his wife and family want him to remain as captain, nobody else

    AFPLondon

    Alastair Cook retained the England captain-cy while the selectors brought in uncapped

    Lancashire wicketkeeper Jos Buttler (pic below) to a 13-man squad announced yester-day for the third Test against India, beginning at South-ampton on Sunday.

    After Englands 95-run defeat in the second Test at Lords on Monday, struggling wicketkeeper Matt Prior an-nounced he was taking a break from international cricket in order to regain full fi tness, with the Sussex gloveman set to undergo surgery on an Achilles injury.

    Although uncapped at Test level, the 23-year-old Buttler has long been earmarked for a debut in the fi ve-day game af-ter impressing in the course of 63 limited overs appearances for England.

    Cook insisted on Monday he had no intention of stand-ing down as captain despite the heavy loss representing Englands 10th successive Test without a wintheir worst run in more than 20 years.

    The left-handed opener has also seen his own form decline, with Cook now having gone 27 innings since scoring the last of his England record 25 Test hundreds.

    India lead the fi ve-match series 1-0 after the fi rst Test at Nottinghams Trent Bridge ground was drawn.

    Their win at Lords was only Indias second Test match vic-tory at the home of cricket.

    Englands seventh defeat in their past nine Tests was espe-cially galling as it took place on a pitch that at the start of the match was a classic English green top.

    Yet they were outplayed in all departments, the match ending in what former Eng-land captain Michael Atherton called ridiculous fashion as several batsmen succumbed to a hooking trap baited by India

    paceman Ishant Sharma, who fi nished with Test-best fi gures of seven for 74.

    England national selector James Whitaker called for a much-improved team display this weekend before congratu-lating Buttler on his call-up.

    The result of the second Investec Test at Lords was very disappointing, he said.

    One or two of our players had encouraging perform-ances. However, it is vital the squad learns quickly and ar-rives in Southampton this week refreshed and ready to perform well in what will no doubt be another tough Test match, he added.

    England have largely given the same group of players, in-cluding below-par pacemen James Anderson and Stuart Broad, a chance to redeem themselves, with only Prior and specialist spinner Simon Kerriganwho didnt play at Lordsomitted from the 14-man squad selected for the second Test.

    Whitaker added: Con-gratulations to Jos Buttler, who comes into the squad following some very exciting limited-overs performances for England and a good record with Lancashire this season and fully deserves this oppor-tunity.

    Matt Prior has contributed a huge amount to the Eng-land side over the years and should be proud of his record throughout his 79 Tests.

    He has decided to take time out of the game to work on his fi tness, and we will continue to follow his progress over the coming months.

    England squad Alastair Cook (Essex, capt), Sam Robson (Middlesex), Gary Ballance (Yorkshire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Moeen Ali (Worces-tershire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Jos Buttler (Lancashire, wkt), Stuart Broad (Nottingham-shire), Liam Plunkett (York-shire), James Anderson (Lanca-shire), Chris Jordan (Sussex), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)

    Cook stays captain; keeper Buttler set to make Test debut

    THIRD TEST SQUAD

    AFPLondon

    England wicketkeeper Matt Prior has said that he will not play any more Tests this season and hinted that he may have ended his international career.

    Prior, 32, said he needs time off to treat in-juries, including an Achilles problem that will need surgery, which has hit his form.

    The Sussex player revealed his decision to step away from England action just hours after his country slumped to a 95-run defeat in the second Test against India at Lords.

    Prior has had a torrid season behind the stumps and his rash dismissal, unwisely hook-ing Ishant Sharma, played a key role in Eng-lands second innings collapse.

    He has dropped six catches of varying diffi culty this season and with the bat he has averaged just 25.

    Prior attributes his poor form to injury com-plaints. Im not doing justice to myself and more importantly the team and that is what matters fi rst and foremost, Prior said.

    I tore my quad before the fi rst Test and my right hand has been beaten to a pulp, but the main issue is the Achilles.

    Now we have the time, I want to be pro-ac-tive about how we deal with it so I imagine that Ill have an operation.

    Ive always said as long as I can do my job I

    will manage the pain and get on with it, but it has now got to the point where I cant do my job to the level I expect of myself.

    An emotional Prior is reported to have

    told his England teammates of his decision in the Lords dressing room following their defeat.

    He feels he has no choice but to have a spell

    out of the fi ring line, but is hopeful of regaining his fi tness and challenge for his place ahead of next years World Cup.

    For now though he accepts that with 79 Test caps to his name he may have played his last game for England.

    That is especially diffi cult to take as he was keen to play his role in rebuilding a team strug-gling badly after a miserable run of 10 consecu-tive Tests without a victory.

    It is a huge decision and not one Ive taken lightly obviously because I could have played my last game, Prior said.

    Playing for England is the greatest honour you can have in the game and that is my motiva-tion to come back and try and play again in the best possible condition.

    Ive made my decision for the good of the team and whoever comes in I genuinely wish them the best of luck and hope they go well and perform and help the team win. That is all I want.

    If that happens and I dont play again, then that was my lot. Ill be disappointed because there are a few things that I wanted to achieve and thought I would, but I can also look back and know I did some pretty good things, Prior said.

    Injury-plagued Prior takes break from England dutySPOTLIGHT

    Matt Prior has had a torrid season behind the stumps. He has dropped six catches of varying diff iculty this season and with the bat he has averaged just 25.

    HE WILL NEVER IMPROVE, SAYS PONTINGFormer Australia captain Ricky Ponting piled more pressure on under-fire Eng-land skipper Alastair Cook yesterday by saying he will not improve as a player for the rest of his career.

    Englands 95-run defeat by India in the second Test at Lords on Monday made it 10 successive Test matches without victory for the teamtheir worst winless streak in the format for 21 years.

    Cook, 29, has failed to score a Test hun-dred in 27 innings and has totalled a meagre 129 runs in nine Test innings this calendar year, sparking calls for him to be fired.

    Ponting, who retired last year after playing 168 Test matches, said most play-ers find it hard to perform after their first 100 Tests.

    Hell try and find ways to sort of hang on and maintain a certain level, he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

    Theres no doubt that the struggles of his team will be having a big impact on the way that hes playing. I dont think hes going to get any better as a player.

    Former England captain Nasser Hus-sain too urged Cook to stand down.

  • SNAPSHOTS6 Gulf Times Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    EYE ON THE BALL: Roberta Vinci of Italy hits a return to Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their Istanbul Cup womens singles final in Istanbul. (Reuters)

    IN MEMORY: Newcastle United coach Alan Pardew (left) and team captain Fabrico Coloccini carry wreaths in memory of two fans who lost their lives in the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash, during the football match between Sydney FC and Newcastle United in Dunedin yesterday. Two Newcastle fans from Britain were en route to New Zealand to watch the club in the pre-season tournament when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was apparently shot down by pro-Russian rebels over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people. (AFP)

    REFLECTING ON IT: British cyclist Bradley Wiggins leads a training session of the pursuit team at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow yesterday, ahead of the start of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. (AFP)

    MEET YOUR HERO: Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo meets a Japanese fan during an event in Tokyo. (AFP)

    EXTREME FANS: Supporters cheer in a nacelle above a banner reading Pinot [Frances FDJ rider Thibaut Pinot], the Ariege department is with you, along the road during the sixteenth stage of the the Tour de France yesterday. (AFP)

    BEST SEATS: A couple watches the pack of riders cycle on its way during the 16th stage of the Tour de France cycling race yesterday. (Reuters)

    TAKE A BOW: Australias Michael Rogers celebrates before crossing the finish line at the end of the 237.5 km sixteenth stage of the 101st edition of the Tour de France cycling race yesterday between Carcassonne and Bagneres-de-Luchon, southwestern France. (AFP)

    24 hours in pictures

  • Williams looking ahead with Bottas in the fast lane

    FORMULA 1

    After years of disappointment, the Williams team can finally celebrate a run of success again, with Finnish driver Valterri Bottas leading the charge

    DPABudapest/Berlin

    Before Valtteri Bottas fl ew to Bu-dapest for the next stop in the Formula One season, the Wil-liams driver sent some quick

    greeting to the world. Found this beauty in Frankfurt air-

    port, the Finn tweeted with a picture of a replica Williams racing car. And its no wonder Bottas is proud of his company vehicle - after years of disappointment, the famous Williams team is dreaming of a return to the top of the sport.

    We defi nitely want more, weve not hit the maximum, Bottas said ahead of Sundays Hungarian Grand Prix.

    Bottas has been a key fi gure in the Wil-liams revival in the fi rst half of the season with the team currently third in the con-structors championship. The last three

    races have brought podium fi nishes for Bottas and with 91 points he is fi fth in the drivers championship, ahead of world champion Sebastian Vettel.

    I am delighted for all the team who really have had a few bad years, Red Bulls Vettel said of Williams. They have earned it, to be at the front again.

    Red Bull are second in the construc-tors race but aware Williams, backed with a Mercedes engine, are a genuine threat to their current position.

    They have a fast car which cannot be ignored, Red Bull team chief Christian Horner warned.

    For nearly a decade, Williams have been wishing for a summer of perform-

    ances like what they have produced in 2014. With the exception of Pastor Mal-donados sensational victory in Spain 2012, glory for the team has been in short supply.

    It was in 2005 that the team last had more than one podium fi nish in a season, the last top three fi nish in the construc-tors championship was 2003, and the last world title, from Jacques Villeeuve, was in 1997.

    Weve stuck together through thick and thin - and fi nally getting to where we are now is a fantastic reward for all the hard work, Claire Williams, the deputy team principal, told the Formula One homepage.

    We are hopefully sailing into a suc-cessful future!

    The only negative presently is the ill fortune suff ered by driver Felipe Massa, who has been forced to retire through the fault of others in various recent races.

    With 30 points, the Brazilian veteran is 61 behind his younger team-mate.

    I know what I can do, Massa said. That doesnt worry me, Im just as good as he is. But the future belongs to Bottas.

    The boy is so cool, hes wonderful, Claire Williams said. After only 29 races, he already drives like a veteran, as seen at last Sundays German Grand Prix when he held off the challenge of Lewis Hamil-ton in a Mercedes to claim second.

    We believe he is a world champion in the making - it is so exciting to have him with us, said Williams.

    After such a long time in the doldrums, confi dence is fi nally high in the Williams camp once more.

    Asian stars excited for LPGA team showdown BOTTOMLINE

    AFPBaltimore, USA

    After two decades of watch-ing US and European women golfers play for the Solheim Cup, top worldwide rivals

    have their chance at a team title in the LPGA International Crown.

    The inaugural edition of the event will begin tomorrow at suburban Bal-timores Caves Valley Golf Club with eight teams of four women seeking global bragging rights and the richest share of $1.6 million in prize money.

    Every time I was watching Solheim Cup, I always wish I can be there play-ing, Taiwans third-ranked Yani Tseng said. This is the only time I can play for my country. It means a lot for me. I always feel like I play for my country, but I never really played for my country, so this is a time I can. I think its great.

    Five-time major champion and former world number one Tseng will join Teresa Lu, Candie Kung and Phoebe Yao for Taiwan in Group A,

    which also includes Spain, Thailand and the overall top seed United States.

    The Americans feature world number one Stacy Lewis, fi fth-ranked teen Lexi

    Thompson, former world number one Cristie Kerr and veteran Paula Cream-erall ranked in the world top 12.

    But the US women are coming off an 18-10 Solheim Cup loss to Europe last year on home soil, the most lopsided rout in the Ryder Cup-style events his-tory. The International Crown off ers a chance at redemption.

    Im so excited. Really look forward to being part of a team event and hope-fully win and redeem ourselves, said 19-year-old Thompson, who won her fi rst major title at this years Kraft Na-bisco Championship.

    Lewis says the US women welcome another team challenge from beyond Europe. Its fun whenever you get those opportunities, especially when we are playing good golf, Lewis said.

    I think were all going to enjoy the pressure. There is always pressure playing a team event at home. But I think thats where we want to be.

    Group B is led by South Korea, which features former world number ones Choi Na-Yeon, the 2012 US Womens Open winner, and Park In-Bee, who won three of her four major titles last year. Ryu So-Yeon and I.K. Kim complete a squad that ranks within the worlds top 23.

    We are going to play for our coun-try, which means a lot to us, Choi said. We will do our best to make some good results and I hope all of the Korean fans are proud of us.

    Usually Im not showing my emotion to people, but at that mo-ment, I think I could with my team-mate, both hands up or something like that.

    South Korea is joined in Group B by Japan, Sweden and Australia. The Japanese squad includes former world number one Ai Miyazato while the Aus-

    sies are led by former world number one and seven-time major winner Kar-rie Webb.

    Teams will play four-ball matches against group rivals Thursday, Friday and Saturday with the top two in each group and the best third-place team advancing to Sundays fi nal singles matches, with the trophy going to the nation accumulating the most points over all four days.

    MUNOZ LIKES THE LAYOUT Spains Beatriz Recari, who has played in the Solheim Cup, relishes the chance to play for her homeland instead of all Europe.

    Its your country as opposed to your continent, Recari said. In Europe its a lot of small countries. Even though we feel as one as a whole, you still grow up independently. So its a slight diff er-ence, but just as much an honor to be in the Solheim Cup and part of the Span-ish team.

    The Spaniards have a secret weapon in Azahara Munoz, who helped Arizona State win a US national college golf title at Caves Valley.

    I have great memories. Its actually one of my favorite courses, she said.

    DPABerlin

    Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton is to undergo physiotherapy this week after crashing

    in qualifying for Sundays Ger-man Grand Prix, a newspaper reported Monday.

    My knees are no problem, but my back and my neck has been the issue really, Mer-cedes driver Hamilton was quoted on saying by the English

    Daily Telegraph newspaper. I do need some physiother-

    apy as my back is in more pain than normal. But theyll be okay, Ill get some work done on them this week.

    Hamilton crashed due to a break defect in Saturday qualify-ing at Hockenheim but fi nished third in the race having moved up from 20th on the grid.

    The Briton trails Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg by 14 points in the world champion-ship before Sundays Hungarian Grand Prix.

    Hamilton suff ering back pain ahead of Hungarian GP

    INJURY

    Kirilenko calls off engagement with Capitals Ovechkin

    SPLIT WIDE OPEN

    ReutersToronto

    Russian tennis player Maria Kirilenko has called off her engage-ment to Washing-

    ton Capitals captain Alexan-der Ovechkin, R-Sport said on Monday, as another high-profi le sporting romance hit the rocks.

    Just two months after newly crowned British Open champion Rory McIlroy and Danish tennis star Caroline Wozniacki called it quits, Ovechkin, a three-time National Hockey League most valuable player, and Kirilenko have also split.

    I have decided to terminate the engagement, said Kirilenko, who announced the breakup through the Russian Tennis Fed-eration press service. There are many reasons but do not want to go into details.

    I respect Sasha as a person

    and athlete and I sincerely wish him continued athletic success.

    Kirilenko, winner of six WTA singles titles, and Ovechkin met in 2011 and were engaged in 2012.

    Perhaps things will look up professionally for each of them, as McIlroy went on to lift the Claret Jug at Hoylake for his third major championship tri-umph, while Wozniacki claimed the winners trophy in the Istan-bul tournament on Sunday.

    Finnish Formula One driver Valtteri Bottas of Williams celebrates on the podium after taking the second place in the German Formula One Grand Prix

    Maria Kirilenko and Alexander Ovechkin during happier times .

    Yani Tseng of Taiwan is a five-time major champion and former world no. 1

    Stacy Lewis is the current world no. 1

    SPORT7Gulf Times Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    I am delighted for all the team who really have had a few bad years, Red Bulls Vettel said of Wil-liams. They have earned it, to be at the front again

    Weve stuck together through thick and thin - and fi nally getting to where we are now is a fantastic reward for all the hard work, said Claire Williams

    This is the only time I can play for my country. It means a lot for me. I always feel like I play for my country, but I never really played for my country, so this is a time I can. I think its great

    Querrey, Sela advance while Monfi ls withdrawsIsraels Dudi Sela and American Sam Querrey advanced to the second round of the ATP Atlanta Open with victories Monday while French third seed Gael Monfils withdrew from the event. Sela ousted American Donald Young 6-3, 6-0 while Querrey blasted 20 aces in eliminating countryman Steve Johnson 7-6

    (7/3), 7-5 in the $568,000 hard-court event, an early warm-up tournament for the US Open. Querrey, who won in 92 minutes after taking the only break of the match in the final game, and Sela will meet in the second round with the winner in line to face Canadi-an fourth seed Vasek Pospisil in the quarter-finals.

  • SPORTGulf Times Wednesday, July 23, 20148

    Duvall and Kontos help Giants beat Phillies

    Adam Duvall hit a two-run homer to spoil Cliff Lees return from the disabled list and Giants beat the Phila-delphia Phillies 7-4 on Monday night.

    Hunter Pence had three hits and two RBIs, Buster Posey drove in two runs and the Giants are two percentage points ahead of Los Angeles for fi rst place in the NL West.

    George Kontos (2-0) gave up one hit and struck out three in two innings in relief to earn the win. Santiago Casilla pitched the ninth for his sixth save in nine tries.

    Duvall and Kontos both ar-rived from Triple-A Fresno after midnight to replace Matt Cain and Brandon Belt on the roster.

    Any time you get up here, it doesnt matter how late, Du-vall said.

    Philadelphia Kontos hopes his third trip to the big leagues this season is his last. Every time I come up I expect to be here for the rest of my career, he said.

    Giants starter Ryan Vogel-song gave up four runs - three earned - and 11 hits in three-plus innings. But San Francis-cos bullpen combined for six scoreless innings.

    Making his fi rst start since May 18 because of an elbow in-jury, Lee (4-5) had a rare rough outing against San Francisco. Lee was 5-0 with a 0.88 ERA in six career games against the Giants. He allowed fi ve earned runs in 51 innings in those six starts before giving up six runs and 12 hits in 5 2-3 innings in this one with several scouts watching in the stands.

    If Lee shows hes healthy and pitches eff ectively, he is a prime candidate for a trade before the July 31 non-waiver deadline. The four-time All-Star and 2008 AL Cy Young Award win-ner already was traded once by the Phillies in December 2009 on the same day they acquired Roy Halladay in a separate deal.

    Meanwhile, David Ortiz hit two home runs and had four runs batted in, and Stephen Drew hit one homer and also had four RBIs to help the Bos-

    ton Red Sox defeat the Toronto Blue Jays 14-1 and extend their winning streak to fi ve games on Monday. It was the third mul-tihomer game of the season for Ortiz and the 44th of his career

    Right-hander John Lackey (11-6) allowed two hits, no walks and one run in seven innings to earn the win in the opener of a four-game series between American League East rivals.

    The pair of two-run hom-ers by Ortiz, both against left-handed reliever Brad Mills, took

    the Red Sox (47-52) designated hitter past former Red Sox left fi elder Carl Yastrzemski into 36th place on the all-time home run list with 453.

    Elsewhere, Adam Jones hit a pair of two-run home runs to give the Baltimore Orioles a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.

    Right-hander Bud Norris (8-6) induced nine groundouts and eight strikeouts in six 2/3 innings while allowing two runs (one earned), eight hits and two walks.

    The Orioles (54-44) third victory in fi ve games enabled them to expand their lead over the New York Yankees and To-ronto Blue Jays to four games in the American Leagues East. The Angels (59-39) fell two games behind the idle Oak-land Athletics in the American League West.

    Detroit Tigers right fi elder Torii Hunter and center fi elder Austin Jackson homered and Justin Verlander extended his dominance in interleague play

    in the Tigers 4-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

    Verlander (9-8) gave up three runs on six hits and struck out fi ve and is 24-2 in interleague play. Detroits (55-41) Verlander has won all six of his decisions against the NL West.

    Gerardo Parra hit his fourth homer of the season and sec-ond baseman Aaron Hill had his third straight two-hit game for Arizona (43-57), which was seeking a season-high fourth straight victory.

    BASEBALL

    Every time I come up I expect to be here for the rest of my career

    AgenciesNew York

    Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Edinson Volquez delivers during the second inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Pittsburgh on Monday.

    Results

    Texas 4 NY YANKEES 2

    San Francisco 7 PHILADELPHIA 4

    LA Dodgers 5 PITTSBURGH 2

    Boston 14 TORONTO 1

    Miami 3 ATLANTA 1

    WHITE SOX 3 Kansas City 1

    MILWAUKEE 5 Cincinnati 2

    MINNESOTA 4 Cleveland 3

    Washington 7 COLORADO 2

    Detroit 4 ARIZONA 3

    Baltimore 4 LA ANGELS 2

    SEATTLE 5 NY Mets 2

    The moment of reckoning for Kenyas Alfred Kipketer comes Friday when he lines-up for the heats of the men 800m at the 10th IAAF World Junior Champi-onships in Eugene, Oregon.Kipketer, 17, is aiming to progress from the first hurdle and the semis before landing his place in the medal race Sunday so he can add World Junior gold to the World Youth top medal he won last year in Donetsk, Ukraine, reports Xinhua.The talented teenager has already served notice for his capabilities this season by running a World Junior leading 1:44.2 at the high altitude of Nairobi besides anchoring the Kenyan 4x800m relay team to gold at the inaugural IAAF World Relay Championships in Bahamas in March.The sixth-born in a family of eight opted out of the Com-monwealth Games senior squad to fulfill his dream of bidding farewell to age running with the greatest prize of all available in the sport for a run-ner aged 20 and below.After Bahamas, I was called for the Commonwealth Trials and even given a lane at the final after I decided not to run in the semis but I told them I want to finish my running as a junior in Eugene since I have many years ahead of me to run as a senior, said Kipketeron Monday before they departed for Oregon for the biennial IAAF showpiece that starts Tuesday.

    Alexey Ni, head coach of the national weightlifting team of Kazakhstan, has said his team aim to win three gold medals at the Asian Games this year in Incheon, South Korea.Alexey Ni stressed that for the first time the Kaza-khstani athletes will be rep-resented in all the weight categories at the upcom-ing Asian Games, reports Xinhua.According to him, the team aims to gain by three gold med-als at both the Asian Games and the World Championships that will be held in Almaty in November, 2014.During the Asian Games 2010 Zulfiya Chinshanlo became the silver medalist that is why she is confident of winning the gold medal in South Korea, Alexey Ni said.Kazakhstan will send a team of 16 weightlifters, including reserves, to compete in the Incheon Games, slated for Sep 19 to Oct 4.

    Kenyas Kipketer pursues World Junior glory

    Kazakh weightlifters eye three gold medals

    ATHLETICS

    ASIAN GAMES

    Three days after losing one of the National Basketball Associations best young players on the free agent mar-ket, the Indiana Pacers gained a welcome boost by signing sev-en-year league veteran Rodney Stuckey on Monday.

    Though Stuckey lacks the all-round talent of fellow shooting guard Lance Stephenson, who opted to leave the Pacers for more money with the Charlotte Hornets, he will certainly give Indiana plenty of athleticism and vigor.

    Rodney is a very talented player who can create and score in a variety of ways, Pacers president of basketball opera-tions Larry Bird said in a stata-ment.

    Were very happy to get a player with his experience and who has made it very clear of his desire to win.

    Stuckey, a 28-year-old who has averaged 13.4 points per game in seven NBA seasons with the Detroit Pistons, is looking forward to a fresh start in In-diana and the chance to com-pete much more regularly in the playoff s.

    I want to win; I want to go to the playoff s, Stuckey told reporters at Bankers Life Field-house after signing a one-year contract with the Pacers.

    Its not fun having the whole summer to do nothing, said the 6-foot-5, 205-pound guard who reached the playoff s in only his fi rst two seasons with the Pis-tons.

    I just want to play basket-ball. This is a good opportunity to come and do that. Its a fresh start and Im excited for it.

    HEAD SCRATCHER While Bird welcomed the ar-

    rival in Indiana of Stuckey, he is still scratching his head over the departure last week of Stephen-son, a richly talented 23-year-old who was selected by the Pac-ers as the 40th overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft.

    I really feel bad about losing him, Bird told The Indiana-polis Star on Monday. I hope it doesnt interfere with our rela-tionship. But I did what I could possibly do to keep him here.

    Even if he didnt have any other off ers, I was committed to giving him that $44mn because I believe in the kid.

    Stephenson turned down a fi ve-year, $44mn contract with the Pacers and accepted a deal with the Hornets that guaran-tees him two years and $18mn, along with a team option for the third year.

    Its just disappointing, Bird said. When Id go to practices, when he (Stephenson) was on, he was by far our best player. And he worked. If you work as hard as he does, youre going to get better

    Im going to miss the kid, no question. And hes growing up ... I knew how good Lance was and the value he brought to our team.

    The Pacers, beaten by the Mi-ami Heat in the Eastern Con-ference Finals for the past two seasons, still possess a well-bal-anced starting lineup which in-cludes All-Star Paul George, Roy Hibbert, David West and veteran George Hill.

    Cavaliers keen to sign Wiggins

    The Cleveland Cavaliers plan to sign No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Wiggins to a contract this week, according to ESPN.com.

    The delay in signing the rook-ie shooting guard is reportedly not related to speculation that the team may trade him to the Minnesota Timberwolves for All-Star power forward Kevin Love.

    Instead, the Cavaliers have been looking for ways to use their remaining $1.4mn in salary cap space before signing Wig-gins to a contract that will pay him about $5.5mn this season.

    The Cavaliers and Timber-wolves have been in talks about a trade involving Wiggins and Love since star forward LeB-ron James decided to return to Cleveland.

    NBA rules dictate that once Wiggins is signed, the Cavaliers

    must wait at least 30 days before they can trade him.

    Nick Young signs deal to stay with Lakers

    The Los Angeles Lakers of-fi cially re-signed guard Nick Young to a multi-year contract, the team announced Monday.

    Terms were not released, but the Los Angeles Times reported previously that Young agreed to a four-year, $21.5mn deal.

    Young had a career year in 2013-14 after originally signing with the Lakers as a free agent in July 2013. The Los Angeles na-tive averaged a career-high 17.9 points in his fi rst season with the Lakers.

    The Lakers also re-signed free agent forward Ryan Kelly. In 2013-14, his rookie NBA season, the 23-year-old Kelly averaged 8.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 22.2 minutes per game, and started 25 contests while appearing in 59 total games.

    Meanwhile, Last season, the veteran averaged 10.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 27.0 minutes while shooting 45% from the fl oor and 40.9 from 3-point range in 82 games for the Utah Jazz.

    The Indiana Pacers signed free agent guard Rodney Stuck-ey. Last season, Stuckey aver-aged 13.9 points and 2.1 assists in 73 games with the Detroit Pistons.

    Pacers acquire Stuckey, rue loss of Stephenson NBA ROUND-UP

    ReutersNew York

    Seven-year league veteran Rodney Stuckey.

  • COMMONWEALTH GAMES9Gulf Times Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    India riding on Olympic glory to conquer Glasgow

    India will be expecting a lions share of medals from shooters, boxers, wrestlers and shuttlers at the 2014

    Commonwealth Games starting here today but it would be dif-fi cult to match the record medal haul of 101 in the last edition at home.

    The 2010 Commonwealth Games was marred with allega-tions of corruption and missed deadlines but the stupendous success of the Indian athletes and the excellent delivery of the Games made up for all the con-troversies.

    The Indians are riding high on their historic success at the 2012 London Olympics, where they won a record six medals, includ-ing two silver. But sans home advantage it would be diffi cult to replicate the success of 2010 Commonwealth Games in Glas-gow.

    This time around India have a sizeable contingent of 224 ath-letes and their main medal hopes will be from shooting, boxers, wrestlers, badminton and hock-ey.

    In the last two Games, shoot-ers have won the major chunk of medals for India. They won 27 medals including 16 golds in Melbourne and 30 medals, in-cluding 14 gold medals in Delhi in 2010.

    The shooting team comprises an Olympic champion in Ab-hinav Bindra and two Olympic medallists in Gagan Narang and Vijay Kumar, who will also be In-dias fl agbearer in todays open-ing ceremony.

    Gagan, who won four gold medals in the 2010 Games, how-ever, will not be seen in action in his pet 10m air rifl e event, where he won the bronze in the Olym-pics in 2012. He will be taking part in the 50m 3-position rifl e and 50-m prone events.

    In badminton, with defending champion Saina Nehwal skip-ping the event, India will be pin-

    ning their hopes on P.V. Sindhu, Parupalli Kashyap and the pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Pon-nappa to repeat their success in badminton.

    Despite top seed Sainas ab-sence from womens singles, In-dia could still end up victorious in the category, thanks to second seed Sindhu.

    This time, Sindhu, ranked four places below Saina at No.11, may

    breathe a little easier as she con-templates her path to glory.

    However, 2010 editions bronze medallist Kashyap, who is seeded second, will be eager to break Malaysias stranglehold, who have won every gold in the category since 1990.

    Expectations are also from the womens doubles defending champions Ashwini and Jwala, who surprised all to clinch the

    gold four years ago, Indias fi rst yellow metal in the discipline since 1982.

    In the last couple of years, In-dian wrestlers have also become a force to reckon with ever since Sushil Kumar won his second Olympic medal, a historic silver, and his buddy Yogeshwar Dutt the bronze in London.

    The sport was on the verge of being excluded from the Olym-

    pics and the Indian wrestlers both Sushil and Yogeshwar also had to grapple wiith their new weight categories. The Com-monwealth Games are the fi rst major events when both Sushil and Yogeshwar will be fi ghting it out in new weight categories.

    The onus is also on the boxers, especially on the male boxers, after their disappointing show in London. The saving grace was

    M.C. Mary Koms bronze medal with the introduction of wom-ens boxing.

    India also had a great out-ing in the track and fi eld in 2010 with discus thrower Krishna Poonia winning the fi rst gold medal in athletics for India in 52 years since Milkha Singhs tri-umph at the 1958 Cardiff Games. This time also the focus will be on Krishna and fellow discus

    thrower Vikas Gowda, who fi n-ished an impressive eighth in the London Games.

    Last but not the least, the mens hockey team will be look-ing to salvage some pride after their disappointing show at the World Cup. The mens squad settled for the silver in Delhi but also had to endure the ignominy of a 0-8 loss against Australia in the fi nal.

    FOCUS

    Indiasmain medal hopes will be from shooting, boxers, wrestlers, badminton and hockey

    IANSGllasgow

    The Indian Men Hockey Team is all set to undertake the challenges of the forthcoming tournament during the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

    Commonwealth Games shooting gold medal-list Nur Ayuni Farhana Abdul Halim has been

    left devastated after being ruled out of competing in Glasgow because her competition jacket was lost en route to Scotland.

    Malaysian Ayuni, who won the gold medal with Nur Sury-ani Taibi in the 10 metre air ri-fl e pairs in New Delhi four years ago, was due to compete in the 10 metre air rifl e and 50m rifl e prone events.

    Team manager Musa Omar said he was left with no choice but to withdraw Ayuni from competition after the missing luggage, believed to be in Lon-don, failed to show in time for Mondays registration ahead of Thursdays start of competition.

    She was a gold medallist last time and now she wont even get a chance to compete. It is re-ally painful for her. I just feel so sorry for her, Musa was quoted as saying by Malaysian media on Tuesday.

    We made a report when her bag did not arrive with the other luggage. We waited for three days... today is the last day for us to confi rm the names.

    The rules clearly state that a

    rifl e shooter must wear a jacket. We tried to borrow one but it

    did not fi t her. We tried to make a new one but she said that she would need two months to get used to it.

    Musa said Ayuni had been un-able to stop crying and wanted to fl y home immediately upon be-ing told she would not be able to compete.

    However, Musa said she would have to stay with the team in

    Scotland and watch Muslifah Zulkifl i take her place in the 10m air rifl e and Suryani, who com-peted in the 2012 London Olym-pics while 30 weeks pregnant, take over for the 50m prone.

    The licence for all her fi re-arms is under her name. We can-not send her back immediately, Musa said.

    This is all so unfortunate. Shes taking it badly. She is sad, we are all sad.

    Shooting champion withdrawn aft er jacket goes missing

    SPOTLIGHT

    ReutersKuala Lumpur

    Commonwealth Games shooting gold medallist Nur Ayuni Farhana Abdul Halim.

    World number one Nicol David is sure she can deliver Malaysias fi rst

    womens doubles gold medal as well as another singles title at the Commonwealth Games.

    David, 30, the worlds top-ranked player since 2006 is look-ing to retain the singles title she won in New Delhi four years ago in Glasgow, where fi ve of the worlds top seven will be competing.

    She claims she is full of confi -dence after overcoming Englands world number two Laura Massaro at the British Open in May.

    But David maintains the doubles, where she and world number seven Low Wee Wern are seeded fourth, is also a ma-jor priority ahead of her fourth Commonwealth Games.

    Winning the British Open was a great feeling because of its prestige. I really wanted to get the title back and it was tough as Laura was playing su-perb squash, she told the Ma-laysia Star.

    It is going to be very similar in terms of intensity in Glas-gow. I believe everyone will be gunning for the gold too.

    It is tougher in the doubles. We have to adjust our playing style as the court is wider. At the end of the day, its down to us to do what needs to be done.

    I think Wee Wern is a good partner because she is solid and

    she just keeps going. She will do her part well and I just need to reduce the mistakes I make.

    In singles, David comes up against Vanessa Florens of Mauritius in the fi rst round, while the mens top seed Nick Matthew faces another Mauri-tian, Xavier Koenig.

    Englands Matthew, winner of the mens singles and mens doubles titles four years ago, is the strong favourite to take gold

    the mens event. The reigning world cham-

    pion and world number two underwent knee surgery in June but will be ready to compete in Glasgow.

    The 33-year-old claims his recent injury worries mean he should not be considered a cer-tainty for gold but feels his experi-ence at three previous Common-wealth Games will be crucial.

    I obviously hope to still win

    gold but theres no way that I can be the favourite having not played for this amount of time, Matthew said.

    If they want to consider me the favourite thats up to them, but I certainly wont be in my own mind, so that will take the pressure off . This is my third Games, Im on to the experi-enced end of things now. Ive got a lot of experience and its about time I used it.

    Nicol confi dent of doubles sweep for Malaysia

    SQUASH

    AFPGlasgow

    World number one Nicol David.

  • Bolt fi t and raring to go in Glasgow

    Five alive thanks to withdrawal of world No. 1 Lee

    Waratahs coach Cheika draws on Leinster lessons

    CWG / ATHLETICS

    CWG / BADMINTON

    RUGBY

    I know what it takes to get back so Im just pushing on

    SPORTGulf Times Wednesday, July 23, 201410

    ReutersKingston

    Six-times Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt says he is ready to put on a good show in the sprint re-lay at the Commonwealth Games

    after recovering from minor foot surgery and a hamstring injury.

    The Jamaican, who missed nine weeks of training after surgery on his left foot in March, told Reuters he is back in sub 10-second shape after training twice a day to get ready for the event in Glasgow which starts today.

    Its been rough, but Ive been through it a couple times so I know what it takes to get back so Im just pushing on and work-ing towards whats necessary for this sea-son, Bolt told Reuters yesterday morning during a training session.

    His coach Glen Mills said that twice a day workouts were necessary to get Bolt ready to compete after he missed a lot of foundation work.

    We usually train in the morning when it is necessary, but its not the routine, Mills said, noting that this years setback was a bit more severe than 2012 leading

    up to the London Olympics. Usain has lost quite a signifi cant

    amount of training time and in his de-sire to at least run a couple races in the

    summer, in order to get in the suffi cient amount of sessions, we have to double up training morning and evening, Mills said.

    The lanky sprinter, who also has eight world championship gold medals in his collection, said the surgery was necessary in this off year.

    I went to see my doctor and he said the best thing to do was to actually get the surgery done because it would bother me over my career, so it was best to get it done now, so I just did it because I con-sidered this my off season. It defi nitely one of those things so I got it out of the way and right now Im just trying to get back and thats the key right now and thats the focus, Bolt said.

    The 27-year-old, who has penciled in four 100m races over the next six weeks, says he did not want to miss the Com-monwealth Games.

    I really wanted to run at the Com-monwealths Games over the years and although I got injured I see where I can run the 4x100 I see where Im getting back into shape to actually compete in the 4x100 Bolt said, adding that he did not want to take anyones spot in the 100m having missed the trials.

    Im going there for my fans and Im go-ing there to show that Im getting back into shape and they can look for great things now and for the years to come, he said.

    ReutersMelbourne

    Michael Cheika overcame a defl ating rookie campaign before guiding Leinster to Heineken Cup glory and

    believes the experience has him in good stead to prepare the New South Wales Waratahs for a tilt at a maiden Super Rugby title.

    In his fi rst year in charge, the fi ery Australian took the Irish side to the semi-fi nals of Europes premier club competition in 2005-06, but their tournament ended at Lansdowne Road with a stinging 30-6 loss to eventual champions Munster.

    Three years later under Cheika, Lein-ster avenged the defeat in the 2008-09 semi-fi nals at Croke Park before claim-ing their fi rst European trophy with a tight win over Leicester at Murrayfi eld.

    When I started with Leinster and we got to the Heineken semi-fi nal in the fi rst year, I didnt have a clue what I was doing, Cheika told Reuters in a phone interview.

    Id experienced it as a player but I didnt really know what to do. I defi -nitely think I got that part, that little last week of the season wrong.

    I was just maybe too hyped up and maybe too focussed on the wrong

    things, but I was only young. It was my fi rst year as a professional

    coach. I didnt even really know what the Heineken Cup was, really, let alone being in a semi-fi nal against Munster at Lansdowne Rd. It was just a totally dif-ferent thing.

    Cheika will take the Waratahs into their fi rst playoff s campaign in three years, having lifted the Wallabies-lad-en team out of a funk and into a force in less than two seasons in the southern hemisphere tournament.

    Once harangued by their demanding fans, the Sydney team are now the toast of Australia for topping the regular sea-son table for the fi rst time and will play last years fi nalists, the ACT Brumbies, at home on Saturday for a place in the title-decider.

    The rare occasion of two local sides facing off in the Super Rugby semi-fi nals is a mouth-watering prospect for Australian rugby fans, and a big contingent of Brumbies supporters are tipped to make the three-hour drive up the Hume Highway from Canberra to roar on their team at Sydney Football Stadium.

    MEDIA HYPE

    The Waratahs are favoured to advance to a third fi nal after fi nishing the regu-lar season in ominous form and will be eager to get back on the pitch after a

    two-week rest period fi lled with media hype.

    At the end of the day, (the hype) has no net eff ect as to what happens inside the white lines over 80 minutes, Chei-ka added.

    None. So, you just deal with the

    things as you would any game normal-ly. You understand when kickoff comes, youve got to turn up the volume a bit on the match, not on all the stuff that goes around the match.

    I access the stuff Ive learnt (from Leinster). I defi nitely didnt know that

    all the time... Youre allowed to make a mistake here and there. I think that ex-perience there should help us down the track.

    Variously described as a strict disci-plinarian, a visionary and, by his former Leinster players, a madman, Cheikas

    straight shooting and occasional emo-tional outbursts have generated almost as many headlines as his winning team.

    The former Randwick and Stade Francais backrower was sent a damage bill by the Brumbies for breaking a glass door in the coaches box at Canberra Stadium after a season-opening loss.

    He was handed a suspended six-month ban by Super Rugbys tourna-ment organisers in April after a heated confrontation with a cameraman dur-ing a spiteful loss to the Sharks in Dur-ban.

    Fans at Sydney Football Stadium might be advised to steer clear of the Waratahs coaches box if defeat befalls the hosts on Saturday, but Cheika said if his team were to go down, they would be going down swinging.

    They would not go conservative and change their high-tempo, attack-ing style for anyone, Cheika said, not least the Brumbies, who boast a potent backline of their own and showcased their scoring power in recent weeks.

    From our point of view were just going to play our style, Cheika said.

    I dont think it needs to be more at-tritional. I think it will get more physi-cal, thats for sure. I know its not smart of me to go and talk about strategy but we wont be changing.

    I think its important to our support-ers that we keep playing the same way.

    British cyclist Bradley Wiggins leads a training session of the pursuit team at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow yesterday, ahead of todays start of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. (AFP)

    In preparation of the Games

    AFPGlasgow

    Englands Rajiv Ouseph believes there are as many as fi ve potential winners of the mens

    badminton singles at the Com-monwealth Games following the withdrawal of Malaysias world number one Lee Chong Wei.

    Lee, winner of four gold med-als at the last two Games, aggra-vated a thigh problem at the start of the month and was forced to pull out of the Glasgow games.

    His absence leaves fellow Ma-laysian Wei Feng Chong, Indias Kashyap Parupalli and Ouseph, 20th, 22nd and 26th respectively, as the top-ranked players in the tournament.

    Ouseph, who lost to Lee in the singles fi nal in New Delhi four years ago, thinks the absence of the world number one will make it a far more competitive tourna-ment.

    He told AFP: It defi nitely opens it up for everyone else. Its a massive loss to the tournament not having the world number one here and its nice to put yourself up against the best in the world.

    But there are probably four or fi ve singles players here who are thinking this is their chance to go out and win and Im one of those.

    Getting a medal is the fi rst

    priority but, now that Lees out, after that anything can happen.

    Were all at a fairly similar level so it will just come down to who plays well on the day, deals with the pressure the best.

    The womens event will also be without its top player and reign-ing champion after Indias Saina Nehwal pulled out the week be-fore the tournament due to leg blisters.

    It leaves Indias 19-year-old PV Sindhu as the top seed, while Scotlands Kirsty Gilmour is the second-highest ranked player in the tournament.

    Despite Nehwals absence, Gilmour will still be happy with a medal of any description and is wary of the challenge of Michelle Li of Canada and Malaysias Tee Jing Yi.

    Ive lost three times to (Ne-hwal) this season and Ive played Sindhu once and beaten her once so Ive got a decent record there, she told AFP.

    The competition is so strong. You never rule out the Malay-sians and Singapore have an-other couple of good players so I would be happy with a medal of any colour.

    In the past Ive used crowds to my advantage and Im hop-ing they will help me rather than hinder me. To win a medal in front of my home crowd would be the highlight of my career.

    After withdrawal of Indias Saina Nehwal, 19-year-old compatriot PV Sindhu is the top seed in the womens section.

  • Rory McIlroyRory McIlroy

    POSTER11Gulf Times Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    Northern Irish professional golfer | Former world No. 1 | Three Majors | 7 PGA Tour wins, 7 European Tour wins

  • Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    GULF TIMES SPORT

    Elite Force Choudhary, Al Feroz reach semis

    Al-Anabisuff er double fi rst-round loss in Denver

    Van Garderen andBardet suff er asRogers wins stage 16

    CRICKET / WEST END PARK RAMADAN TOURNAMENT

    DRAG RACINGCYCLING / TOUR DE FRANCE

    Nibali of Italy retains yellow jersey ahead of Spains Valverde

    ReutersBagneres De Luchon, France

    Frenchman Romain Bardet and American Tejay van Garderens Tour de France podium hopes suff ered a major blow yesterday

    when they lost considerable ground in the 16th stage won by Australian Michael Rogers.

    Rogers gave his Tinkoff -Saxo team their second stage win this year by pow-ering away from a breakaway group in the 237.5-km mountain trek from Carcas-sonne.

    Vincenzo Nibali of Italy retained the overall leaders yellow jersey ahead of Spains Alejandro Valverde while Frances Thibaut Pinot, who was the strongest in the intimidating ascent to the Port de Bales, moved up to third at the expense of compatriot Bardet.

    AG2R-La Mondiale rider Bardet, who had promised to blow the race open in the Pyrenees, was unable to sustain the pace in the climb and lost over 1:40.

    Van Garderen could not follow either and lost more than three minutes, but Bardets teammate Jean-Christophe Per-aud could not be shaken off .

    World champion Rui Costa of Portu-gal did not start the stage as he withdrew suff ering from pneumonia.

    He was forced to withdraw after an X-ray examination, carried out during the rest day at a clinic in Pezenas, showed an outbreak of pneumonia, his Lampre team said in a statement.

    A 21-man breakaway took shape after about 60 kilometres and built a 12:30 gap that started to shrink when they hit the fi rst slopes of the ascent to the Port de Bales, a 11.7-km climb at an average gra-dient of 7.7 per cent.

    Astana and Movistar set the tempo of

    the peloton in the climb while Rogerss acceleration in the break reduced the group to seven men.

    Thomas Voecklers attack skimmed it down to four before his Europcar team-mate Cyril Gauthier burst away, but he quickly paid for it and was dropped.

    Rogers, Colombian Jose Serpa and Voeckler were on their own three kilome-tres from the summit.

    That is where Pinots teammate Ar-nold Jeannesson upped the pace in front of the yellow jersey group as Bardet dropped out. Van Garderen was long gone already.

    Pinot fi nished it off in the last kilome-tre, dropping Valverde, Peraud and even Nibali.

    However, they all came back in the de-scent and worked together with several teammates who had been dropped from the mornings breakaway and they all fi n-ished together.

    Stage 16 results1. M Rogers (TCS) 6:07:102. T Voeckler (EUC) +93. V Kiryienka (SKY)4. J Serpa (LAM)5. C Gautier (EUC)6. G Van Avermaet (BMC) +137. M Kwiatkowski (OPQ) +368. M Montaguti (ALM) +509. T-J Slagter (GRS) +2:1110. T Gallopin (LTB)

    Overall classification1. V Nibali (AST) 73:05:192. A Valverde (MOV) +4:373. T Pinot (FDJ) +5:064. J-C Peraud (ALM) +6:085. R Bardet (ALM) +6:406. T van Garderen (BMC) +9:257. L Koenig (TNE) +9:328. L ten Dam (BEL) +11:129. M Kwiatkowski (OPQ) +11:2810. B Mollema (BEL) +11:33

    AgenciesMorrison, Colorado

    It was a diffi cult weekend in the Mile-High City for the Qatar Al-Anabi Racing Top Fuel Team, the three-time

    and defending World Champi-onship team owned by HE Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad al-Thani. Both Khalid al-Balooshi and reign-ing World Champion Shawn Langdon lost in the fi rst round of eliminations on a day when four of the top-fi ve drivers in the standings went out in the fi rst round at the 35th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals yes-terday, the 14th of 24 races that make up Americas 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing season.

    Langdon, who was ill over the weekend, was the No. 5 qualifi er and raced Australian driver Richie Crampton in the fi rst round. Both cars launched well, and Langdon was slightly ahead when the silver Al-Anabi car smoked the tires. Langdon pedaled the car, and it hooked up to the race track, but he was un-able to catch Crampton before he reached the fi nish line. Langdon remains third in the NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel point standings; he trails second-place Antron Brown by 164 and leads fourth place Tony Schumacher by 143 points.

    We made some good runs in qualifying, but the Al-Anabi team didnt have that good a weekend, Langdon said. We just struggled to fi nd the right tune-up here on the mountain with this high elevation. You have to change a lot of things on the car to run at this elevation,

    and weve been in the midst of changing so many things in our tune-up for normal elevations, that we were kind of guessing at some things up here in this high elevation. We just kind of miss-judged the track a little bit in the fi rst round. We still have four more races to get things fi g-ured out before the Countdown (Countdown to the Champion-ship NHRA Playoff s) starts.

    Al-Balooshi had a very simi-lar result. As the No. 8 qualifi er, he raced No. 9 qualifi er Brittany Force in the fi rst round. The third-year Top Fuel driver, who left the starting line well before Force, was leading the race when the gold Al-Anabi car smoked the tires. Al-Balooshi pedaled the car and tried to track down Force who had problems late in the run, but he could not catch her, and al-Balooshi was elimi-nated. With the fi rst-round loss, al-Balooshi drops one spot to ninth place in the NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel point standings. He trails eighth-place J.R. Todd, todays race winner, by 20 points and leads 10th-place Richie Crampton by seven points.

    It was a rough weekend in Denver; it is very hard on the cars here, al-Balooshi said. A lot of the people were good, but the No. 1 qualifier lost to the No. 16 qualifier. No. 1 in the points went out in the first round. A lot of people have been struggling. So the main thing is you need to forget what happened here in Denver and go to the next step when everything is back to nor-mal. Next week in Sonoma, we can go back to working on the tune-up we have been working on for this year.

    By Sports ReporterDoha

    Elite Force Choudhary forced a massive 150-run win over Rawal County to burst into the semi-fi nals of the West End Park Ramadan Tournament on Monday

    evening.The second team to make it to the semi-fi nal

    of the tournament are Al Feroz Youngsters, who posted a seven-wicket victory over Al Hanzab.

    The tournament is being hosted under the pa-tronage of Qatar Olympic Committee secretary general HE Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman al-Thani.

    In the fi rst match, Elite Force hit a mammoth 200 for six after they were put into bat by Rawal County. Choudhary Iqbal scored an impressive century putting 128 runs on the board. He was supported by Imran, who pitched in with 41 runs.

    In what turned out to be a diffi cult bowl-ing inning, Jambeel and Shajar were among the wicket takers for Rawal County.

    In reply, Rawal County was bundled out for a paltry 50 runs in 10 overs courtesy some tight and eff ective bowling by Usman (5 wickets) and Khalid (3 wickets).

    While match offi cials commended Usmans

    bowling performance, the Man of the Match award was presented to centurion Iqbal.

    In the second match of the day, Al Hanzab won the toss and chose to bat fi rst posting 112 for nine on board, with Arif (28 runs) and Istiaq (25 runs) among the run scorers. For Al Feroz, Inam and Nadeem scalped two wickets each.

    Al Feroz batsman Faisal (59 runs) and Boota (29) ensured that their team reached the 113-run target with four overs to spare.

    The next two quarter-fi nal matches will be played between Wings Doha CC and Ramaco CC, and Doha CC and Bangladesh CC.

    The semi-fi nals are scheduled to take place today, with the fi nal tomorrow.

    While the winners of the tournament will re-ceive QR 50,000 in prize money, the fi rst run-ners-up will receive QR 25,000.

    The matches begin at 7:45pm and entry is free for the public.

    The organisers appreciate the support of event partners Vodafone, Doha Bank, Sprite, Century 21, U Save Cars, Solo Events, Green Fa-cilities and Gulf Bridge Services.

    Tinkoff -Saxos Australian rider Michael Rogers celebrates as he crosses the finish line at the end of the 237.5 km 16th stage of the Tour de France in Bagneres-de-Luchon, south-western France, yesterday. (AFP)

    Elite Force Choudharys Iqbal received the Man of the Match award for an impressive 128-run knock, while teammate Usman was commended for his five-wicket haul in the 150-run win over Rawal County.

    Qatar Al-Anabi Racing driver Khalid al-Balooshi greets the fans during driver introductions prior to Sundays Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals near Denver, Colorado.

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