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In brief
Latest Figures
4, 20
18, 19
28, 29
January 25, 2013
Rabia-I 13, 1434 AH

www. 2 Riyals
GOLF | Page 36
up Qatar
Safety top priority in
hydrocarbon growth
BUSINESS | Page 21
17th century paintings on show
The 1640 oil painting, titled Imperial Procession is one of the four restored paintings which go on show today when the
Heritage of Art Diplomacy: Memoirs of an Ambassador exhibition by Qatar Museums Authoritys Orientalist Museum opens
for public viewing at the Museum of Islamic Arts fourth floor gallery. The 17th century Austrian oil paintings, restored after a
meticulous and painstaking exercise over the past two years involving a team of up to 10 experts, are currently part of the
Orientalist Museums collection. Page20
All parks to have
high-speed free
Internet service
By Pratap John
Chief Business Reporter
ll public parks in the country
will have high-speed free In-
ternet service by 2014 under
Qatars trend-setting iPark initiative
launched by ictQATAR in association
with the Ministry of Municipality and
Urban Planning (MMUP).
The iPark initiative will reach all
seven municipalities in the country,
according to ictQATAR. Already, seven
parks in the country are getting sus-
tainable high-speed Internet connec-
tionat 8Mbps, which is being used by
thousands of visitors to these amuse-
ment facilities.
This year, two public parks - Al
Shahaniya and Al Shamal - will get the
high-speed free Internet service.
The iPark initiative was launched
in 2007 by providing free wireless in-
ternet access in three public parks in
Doha- near Sheraton, Rumailah, and
Dahl Al Hamam.
The initiative was well received,
prompting expansion into seven
more public parks. It is evident there
has been a signicant increase in the
number of users, ictQATAR said.
Sheraton Park tops the list in terms
of the number of users for the high-
speed free Internet service.
In 2010 two more parks were added
to the project - Al Wakrah andAl Khor,
and in 2012 Simaisma and Dukhan
public parks started beneting from
the initiative.
The iParks initiative will reach its
target of covering all municipalities by
2014 once UmmSalal public park gets
connected, ictQATAR said.
Slawomir Klos, Digital Inclusion
Section manager at ictQATAR, said:
As part of the strategic thrust to im-
prove connectivity under Qatars Na-
tional ICT Plan and to build a world-
class ICT infrastructure ictQATAR
began ofering free wireless Internet
in public parks in 2007 to make the
Internet available to broader segments
of Qatars population, particularly
those without a home or work con-
Based on the popularity and ben-
ets of free wireless Internet, by 2015,
Qatar aims to have a majority of its
public parks and public spaces con-
nected to wireless Internet, with as
many ofering free access as possible.
The success of the initiative is evi-
dent from the fact that eight parks
currently being redevelopedby MMUP
areiParks enabledandwont require
any major civil work to introduce Wi-
Fi connectivity.
The initiative has seen a steady in-
crease in users in the current seven
iParks with an average of 12,867 users
and some 59,346 logins a month and
some 415 users each day, he said.
But we are not only focused on the
numbers. In future, we hope to make
the project more sustainable with a
newbusiness model that could see re-
duced project costs and self-reliance
in further enhancements to equip-
ment and facilities, Klos said.
Visitors to the iParks followa simple
registration and authentication proc-
ess to access the Wi-Fi in each park,
with access information available in
both Arabic and English.
The iParks wireless connection is
completely secure with an authenti-
cation process, which provides users
with a secure PIN code sent by text
once they register for the service. Us-
ers can get technical support if needed
through a dedicated hotline from the
government call centre (44069955).
AMERICA | Diplomacy
Kerry hopes to revive
Israeli-Palestinian talks
Senator John Kerry, nominated to be
the next US secretary of state, said
yesterday he hopes for a revival of
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. The
comment by the Massachusetts
Democratic senator, whose Senate
confirmation is regarded as a virtual
certainty, suggests the US could
consider a new peace initiative
despite the failure of President
Barack Obamas first-term eforts.
US-brokered peace talks broke down
in 2010 amid mutual acrimony.
Since then Israel has accelerated
construction in the West Bank
and east Jerusalem - land the
Palestinians want for a future state
- and the Palestinians have taken
steps to gain greater recognition at
the UN and its agencies. Page 7
AMERICA | Technology
New York police
get X-ray vision
The New York Police Department
already has the long arm of the
law. Now it gets X-ray eyes. NYPD
Commissioner Ray Kelly says oficers
are in the advanced stages of testing
a futuristic new weapon in their
war against gun-toting residents: a
device that can detect the presence
of hidden metal from a distance.
The device measures terahertz,
the natural energy emitted by
people and objects. If something is
obstructing the flow of that radiation,
for example a weapon, the device will
highlight that object, Kelly said in
a speech ON Wednesday. The boxy
machine can be hidden in a vehicle,
allowing oficers to discreetly scan
their target.
WORLD | Curiosity
15,000 crocs escape
from S African farm
South Africas army and police
were called in yesterday to rescue
residents from thousands of
crocodiles that escaped from a farm
whose floodgates were opened due
to torrential rains. Around 15,000
predators sprung from the Rakwena
Crocodile Farm in the far north of the
country when owners were forced
to open the gates to prevent a storm
surge, local daily Beeld reported. A
number have since been recaptured,
but at least half remain on the loose,
scattered far and wide. Some turned
up on a school rugby pitch 120km (75
miles) away. Page 16
UN | Mideast peace
Qatar call to slam
Israeli settlements
Qatar has urged the UN Security
Council to unite to condemn
Israeli settlements and to support
the peace process based on the
related international resolutions in
order to reach political will to push
forward eforts for a just and lasting
solution. This came in a statement
by acting charge dafaires of Qatars
Permanent Delegation to the UN,
Abdul Rahman Yacob al-Hammadi,
at the UN Security Council at its
monthly meeting on the situation
in the Middle East, including the
Palestinian question. Al-Hammadi
stressed that the international
consensus to resolve the Palestinian
issue and achieve peace in the
Middle East through the two-state
solution requires recognition of
Palestine as a full member of the UN.
British PM reaches out to Europe at Davos
ritish Prime Minister David Cam-
eroninsisted yesterday he was not
turning his back on Europe as he
came face to face with world leaders for
the rst time since unveilingplans for an
The global elite gatheredat the World
Economic ForuminDavos discussedis-
sues ranging fromthe civil war in Syria
and the conict in Mali to the need to
counter tax avoidance by multinational
But the hot topic at the snowy Swiss
ski resort was Camerons relations with
his EuropeanUnionpartners one dayaf-
ter he unveiledhis controversial propos-
al to let the British public vote whether
to stay inthe bloc.
Cameron held talks with German
Chancellor and EU powerbroker Angela
Merkel and the prime ministers of Ire-
land, Italy and the Netherlands at the
annual forum as he tried to win their
backing for his plans.
This is not about turning our backs
on Europe - quite the opposite, Cam-
eron told the audience of business lead-
ers, top politicians and journalists.
Its about howwe make the case for a
more competitive, open and exible Eu-
rope, andsecuretheUKsplacewithinit.
His announcement on Wednesday
that he wants to renegotiate Britains
relationshipwithBrussels andthenhold
an in-or-out referendum on mem-
bership by the end of 2017 has delighted
his increasingly anti-EUparty at home.
European leaders in Davos called on
Britain to stay in the 27-nation group
and made encouraging noises in public,
but there were signs he has a mountain
to climb to convince themof his case.
Dutch premier Mark Rutte warned
that without the EU, Britain would be
an island somewhere in the middle of
the Atlantic Ocean, somewhere between
the US and Europe.
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said
the EU would be stronger if Britain is
part of it.
Merkel meanwhile sidestepped the
topic but reached out to Cameron by
vowing more action on one of the key
reforms he wants for Europe - boosting
I say this expressly to my colleague
David Cameron. You too have addressed
competitiveness, see this as a central is-
sue toensure Europes prosperity for the
future,she said.
Former US secretary of state Henry
Kissinger told the forum that the idea
of European unity needs to be resolved
for the continent to fully recover from
the three-year eurozone debt crisis.
But Cameron rejected any idea of a
European superstate or of Britain ever
adopting the euro.
Britains Prime Minister David Cameron
speaks during the annual meeting of
the World Economic Forum (WEF) in
Davos yesterday.
Police, protesters
clash on eve of
anti-Mursi rallies
gyptian police forces and pro-
testers clashed yesterday in
central Cairo on the eve of ral-
lies called by the opposition to protest
President Mohamed Mursis policies
and his Islamist-backed government.
Security forces red tear gas to dis-
perse anti-government protesters try-
ing to remove a concrete wall set up
near the cabinet of ces, said witnesses.
The protesters hurled stones at the
police, added the witnesses.
The Interior Ministry, which over-
sees the police, said that ve policemen
were injured.
The ministry called on protesters to
hold peaceful demonstrations and not
to provoke security forces guarding
state institutions.
The opposition is to hold mass pro-
tests nationwide today, marking the
secondanniversary of a revolt that top-
pled former leader Hosni Mubarak.
The protests are to be ledby the main
opposition bloc, the National Salvation
Front, which demands a repeal of an
Islamist-drafted constitution that was
approved in a controversial referendum
in December.
The mainly secularist bloc claims the
charter could undermine fundamental
rights and that the vote was marred by
massive irregularities.
The main rally is to be held in Cairos
iconic Tahrir Square, the epicentre of an
18-day uprising that eventually forced
Mubarak to step downinFebruary 2011.
Protesters also plan marches to the
presidential palace in Cairo, where
dozens of Mursis opponents have been
camping since early December in pro-
test at the constitution.
HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al-Thani, Chairman of the Organising Committee, and
International Handball Federation (IHF) president Dr Hassan Mustafa signing the
contract to host World Cup Mens Handball Championship - Qatar 2015.
Doha to host World Mens
Handball Championship
he Organising Committee of
the World Cup Mens Handball
Championship - Qatar 2015 yes-
terday signed the hosting contract of
the championship which will be held
in Doha in 2015. The logo of the 24th
edition of the competition was also
The contract was signed by HE
Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al-Thani,
Chairman of the Organising Com-
mittee, and International Handball
Federation (IHF) president Dr Hassan
This came in a press conference
held at Juan Carlos Hotel in the Span-
ish city of Barcelona in the presence
of Secretary General of Qatar Olympic
Committee and Deputy Chairman of
the Organising Committee HE Sheikh
Saud bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, pres-
ident of Qatar Handball Association
and Executive Director of the Organ-
ising Committee Ahmed al-Shaabi in
addition to a number of of cials in the
Organising Committee and the Inter-
national Handball Federation.
HE Sheikh Joaan expressed the Qa-
tari governments pride for hosting
the World Mens Handball Champion-
ship which is expected to be the most
important in the history of this sport
and which will see a quantum leap in
terms of the organising handball world
HE Sheikh Joaan said as one of
the worlds booming countries we are
looking forward to playing a leading
role with all the peoples of the world
under the umbrella of sport.
He said as organising state of World
Mens Handball Championship we aim
to provide class sport complexes to
provide comfort for players.
AMERICA | Military
Pentagon lifs ban on
women in combat
The Pentagon lifted its ban on
women in front-line combat roles
yesterday in a historic step toward
gender equality in the US armed
forces after 11 years of nonstop war,
during which the front lines were
often not clearly defined. Page 7
Gulf Times
Friday, January 25, 2013 4
Qatars fastest woman a proud sports day ambassador
oor al-Malki, Qatars
fastest woman, is one of
the proud ambassadors
of the National Sport Day. The
event is slated to be held across
Qatar on February 12.
From being virtually un-
known, sprinter al-Malki be-
came the talk of the town when
it was announced that she would
represent the State of Qatar
at the London 2012 Olympic
Games. At the age of 18, al-Malki
was given the opportunity to
be among the rst female Qa-
tari Olympians and share a spot
alongside superstars such as Al-
lyson Felix, Veronica Campbell-
Brown, Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce
and Carmelita Jeter.
Unfortunately, fate didnt
treat al-Malki fairly, as she was
forced to retire after a couple of
strides in her Olympic qualify-
ing heat due to a leg injury. This
disappointment, however, could
not prevent her from becom-
ing one of the most recognisable
personalities in Qatars athletics
Today, al-Malki is happy to
support the National Sport
Day celebrations, an initiative
adopted by HH the Heir Appar-
ent Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad
The young athlete is a ne ex-
ample of how people can ben-
et from sports. Al-Malki, who
was lucky to enjoy her familys
guidance and support to full
her ambitions, feels the Na-
tional Sport Day initiative is a
perfect opportunity to promote
sports across the country and
encourage people to put sed-
entary lifestyles behind them
and spend time in gymnasiums
My health is better, I can feel
my body is stronger, my immune
system runs smoothly and my
social life has bloomed. What
else should I ask for? Practising
sports, especially athletics, has
changed my life. Not to men-
tion that I amfar more recognis-
able than before, she says. To
be honest, I havent done many
things yet. I want to keep onrun-
ning and, by Gods will, become
a role model for the next genera-
tion one day.
Al-Malki advises people, par-
ticularly women, to embrace
a sporting lifestyle. I want to
underline the need to practise.
People must not hesitate to put
their sneakers on and join a gym.
Practising sports will make them
feel more energetic, more pow-
erful and healthier.
On Qatars ambition to be-
come an international sports
hub, the Qatar athletics fed-
erations Best Female Athlete for
2011 says, Initiatives such as
the National Sport Day are ad-
vertising Qatars willingness to
become a sporting nation, to en-
courage people to become sport
addicted. We canshowother na-
tions that our society is adopting
the culture of sports and is open
to fresh ideas for a healthier and
robust life.
Asked about her plans, al-
Malki says, I want to run as fast
as I can. I admit that setting a
newnational record in the 100m
with a sub-12 second timing is
my main target along with suc-
cess at the Arab Champion-
Noor al-Malki, who represented
Qatar in the London 2012
Olympic Games.
Noor al-Malki in action.
Leading Canadian builder invites investors
mpire Communities, an
award-winning build-
er of homes in Canada
for two decades, is inviting in-
vestors across the region to ex-
plore the vibrant real estate
market in the North American
The developer behind many
outstanding communities in
North America is also charting
plans to deploy their expertise
to build iconic properties in the
emerging residential hotspots in
the Middle East.
Close on the heels of opening
their of ce in Dubai last month,
Empire Communities has
launched an investor outreach
As part of the programme,
senior executives and real estate
experts will address prospective
investors in a three-day seminar
held at The Address Dubai Mall
fromJanuary 21 to 23.
As the central hub for the
wider Middle East region and
beyond, Dubai is an ideal loca-
tionfor us to expandour investor
prole and geographic coverage.
We see newopportunities inDu-
bais steadily recovering real es-
tate and resilient economy, said
Daniel Guizzetti, president and
CEO of Empire Communities.
Meanwhile, the Canadian
real estate market presents
excellent real estate devel-
opment opportunities. By
opening our Dubai of ce, we
want to demonstrate that we
are long-term players and
will be available locally to
help with the evaluation and
buying process and to devel-
op strategic relationships,he
Empire Communities executives detailing their real estate development plans.
The Manchester United squad with Grand Hyatt Doha oficials.
Grand Hyatt hosts Manchester United
rand Hyatt Doha hosted
the Manchester United
football team during its
recent stay in Qatar. The Eng-
lish Premier League leaders, who
arrived in Doha early on Mon-
day following a 1-1 draw against
Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday,
were in the Qatari capital for a
four-day winter training camp.
The Manchester United
coaching staf had set up a pitch
with cones and training equip-
ment for the rst-team squad,
who swapped the freezing tem-
peratures at Carrington training
complex in Manchester for the
warm sunshine at the state-of-
the-art facilities in Doha.
Grand Hyatt Doha hotel is
committed to the Hyatt cor-
porations global objectives,
which supports an active health
and community strategy, Said
Christoph Franzen, general
manager of Grand Hyatt Doha.
We provide advanced sports
and recreation that are sure to
please even the most discerning
tness buf.
Meet on debate, rhetoric
adopts Doha Declaration
ttendees at the fourth In-
ternational Conference
on Argumentation, Rhet-
oric, Debate and the Pedagogy
of Empowerment, which was
organised in Doha recently by
Qatar Debate, have adopted the
Doha Declaration - a set of rec-
ommendations that advocates
creating awareness of debate
culture globally.
Some of the major recom-
mendations include:
Invest human heritage in the
elds of debate and dialogue and
globalise the principle of dia-
logue as a thought and practice.
Rationalise the theoretical
eforts and invest these eforts in
practical programmes that build
dialogue and communication
bridges between nations and
countries, irrespective of their
language, religion, culture, or
Use and adopt dialogue as a
means of af rming the right to
be diferent while recognising
the need to manage diference in
a peaceful and civil manner and
to create the necessary space for
free discussion and exchange of
Build a network of interna-
tional institutions that promote
dialogue and debate, utilising
the media and communication
technologies to achieve this goal.
Integrate debate and dia-
logue into the educational, cul-
tural and media curricula as
these are the incubators through
which people are taught the val-
ues and skills of dialogue; and
establish relevant centres to
achieve this goal.
Establish partnerships with
civil society and public organi-
sations that work in the area of
dialogue and debate, and sup-
port their eforts in the eld of
upbringing and training young
people in the values of debate
and dialogue and their ethics
and manners.
Make the International
Conference on Argumentation,
Rhetoric, Debate, and the Peda-
gogy of Empowerment a peri-
odic gathering event that un-
derscores the values and culture
of dialogue in diferent counties
across the globe.
Heighten the value of an Ol-
ympiad on dialogue and debate,
so that it becomes a widely rec-
ognised international tradition.
Develop studies and research
on the culture of debate and dia-
Reinforce dialogue between
diferent intellectual and cul-
tural schools through specialised
academic seminars and forums,
and that encourage young peo-
ple to enhance and develop their
dialogue and debate skills.
The conference, which was
held for the rst time in the
Middle East and graced by HH
Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, fo-
cused on the distinctive role that
Qatar plays as a global bridge be-
tween civilisations and religions
and an advocate of the culture
of argumentation, tolerance and
More than 300 researchers
and scholars representing 38
diferent countries, with large
Arabpresence frommore than14
Arab countries took part in the
conference held in co-operation
with the Slovenian Institute for
Culture of Dialogue, Interna-
tional Society for the Study of
World Debate Institute, and the
International Centre for the Ad-
vancement of Political Commu-
nication and Argumentation-
During the inaugural session,
HH Sheikha Moza made a key-
note address, calling for a cul-
ture of dialogue and support to
help young people become fu-
ture leaders.
She also participated in the
rst panel discussion on En-
gaging Youth in Constructive
Dialogue to Promote Peace,
Understanding and Mutual Re-
spect, moderated by Al Jazeera
English Jassimal-Azzawi.
The panelists at the session
were the Doha International
Centre for Interfaith Dialogue
Prof Ibrahim al-Naimi, Qatar
Universitys Dr Aisha al-Man-
nai, Prof Alfred C Snider from
University of Vermont, Dr David
Cratis Williams of Florida At-
lantic University and Carnegie
Mellon University student Dana
Over the three-day confer-
ence, which was held both in
Arabic and English, a total of 120
research papers were presented,
discussing topics on argumenta-
tion, rhetoric and debate.
On the sidelines of the con-
ference Qatar Debate Centre
launched a specialised dic-
tionary on Debating Terms
in both Arabic and English,
during a special ceremony at-
tended by Qatar Foundation
for Education, Science and
Community Development
president Dr Mohammad Fathi
The dictionary was the rst
Arabic dictionary of its kind, and
it is the rst step in fullling the
centres role as a community of
advocates for the leaders of to-
Meanwhile, Qatar Debate
Centre executive director Dr
Hayat Maraf said that she was
proud of the Arab participation
in the conference, and hoped
that it will be a kick-start for
a larger Arab presence in the
global debating arena in the fu-
The panellists at the opening session.
Qatar Duty Free
ofers great deals
at golf tournament
atar Duty Free (QDF)
is the of cial retail
partner at the annual
Commercial Bank Qatar Mas-
ters golf tournament, which is
being held in Doha this week,
for the third year running.
As part of its initiatives,
QDF will sell a range of best-
selling items in the public vil-
lage - including confectionery,
Canon cameras, sunglasses,
binoculars, writing instru-
ments, Samsung smartphones
and Apple products - at ex-
clusive prices for tournament
visitors. In addition, Visitors
who spend more than QR350
will also receive a free gift.
The award-winning QDF is
once again the tournaments
Hole-in-One sponsor, of-
fering the professional players
a chance to win a gift voucher
valued at $155,000. The prize
will go to the rst player who
gets a tee shot in a single at-
tempt on the 17th hole.
One of the highlights of the
QDF stand is a golf simula-
tor where enthusiasts can test
their skills. Visitors can also
buy the simulator from QDF;
installation and delivery will
be arranged.
Some of the worlds leading
golf players have descendedon
Qatars capital for the annual
sporting extravaganza. Thou-
sands of spectators are also
turning up to catch the golfers
in action.
The Qatar Masters gets
better every year, attracting
more international stars who
want to play here as well as
golf enthusiasts who travel to
Doha especially for the four-
day event. As the of cial retail
partner of the event for the
thirdyear running, we are hon-
oured to be part of such a pres-
tigious tournament, said QDF
senior vice-president Keith
Hunter. This year, we expect
to see around 12,000 specta-
tors visit our stand to take ad-
vantage of the wonderful pro-
motions we have on ofer while
enjoying watching some of the
worlds best golf players in ac-
tion, added Hunter.
Qatar Duty Free is the oficial retail partner for the third year
Gulf Times
Friday, January 25, 2013
Assad joins
prayers as
Syrian army
hits Homs
yrias embattled President
Bashar al-Assad yester-
day attended prayers at a
mosque in the capital, making
a rare public appearance, as his
troops blasted rebel districts in
the ashpoint city of Homs.
Appearing in public for the
rst time since a rare speech on
January 6, Assad joined prayers
at Al-Afram mosque in a north-
ern district of Damascus to mark
Prophet Muhammads birthday.
He was shown in a live televi-
sion broadcast, anked by Syrias
Grand Mufti Ahmad Hassoun,
the highest Sunni religious au-
thority in the country, and the
religious endowments minister.
The minister, Mohamed Abdel
Settar, earlier called for million
man prayers at mosques today
to appeal for the re-establish-
ment of security in the country,
rocked by a deadly anti-regime
uprising for the past 22 months.
Prayers will be held after Fri-
day services in Syrias mosques
with the appeal for a return to
security and safety in the home-
land, Abdel Settar said, quoted
by state news agency SANA.
Assads opponents have tra-
ditionally called for anti-regime
rallies each Friday, the Muslim
day of rest and weekly prayers.
After the brief ceremony at
the Al-Afram mosque attended
by dozens of religious clerics and
laymen, the president smiled and
seemed at ease as a crowd gath-
ered to ofer greetings.
On the battleeld, Syrian
troops shelled besieged districts
of Homs as clashes raged for a
fth straight day inwesternareas
of the capital of the revolution.
Thirty-one soldiers, 16 rebels
and 26 civilians have been killed
since Sunday in Homs, said the
Syrian Observatory for Human
Rights, which relies on a network
of activists andmedics across the
country for its information.
Among those killed yesterday
in the province of the same name
were two children and a woman,
the Britain-based monitoring
group added.
The Syrian Revolution General
Authority, a network of opposi-
tion activists on the ground, said
regime troops used heavy artil-
lery and clashed with the rebel
Free Syrian Army (FSA) in a bid
to stormthe west side of the city.
The regime has escalated its
attack on Homs city and its envi-
rons in order to disperse the peo-
ple on sectarian lines and achieve
what it believes will be a nal
victory, said the Syrian National
Council, a key opposition group.
It uses the most heinous
criminal methods against hu-
manbeings... shelling with heavy
weaponry, blocking of areas to
prevent the bare necessities -
food, medicine - from entering,
sending in sectarian militia, the
It called for the FSA all over
Syria to aid their comrades in
Homs with equipment and men
andfor aidagencies to give prior-
ity to the trapped and displaced
residents of Homs.
Elsewhere yesterday, a day af-
ter 109 people died in violence
across Syria, air raids struck the
embattled town of Daraya near
Mazzeh airbase, southwest of
Damascus, and rebel-held Ya-
brud to the northeast, the Ob-
servatory said.
The violence raged as Irans
ambassador to Baghdad, Hassan
Danaie-Far, told AFP that Syria
was unlikely to see peace this year.
I believeit is far-fetched,hesaid.
However, we have also noted
there were some signals in the
past one to two months, he
added of remarks by UN-Arab
League peace envoy Lakhdar
Brahimi that he said Iran inter-
preted as marking the end of the
process of military options.
Danaie-Far said he believed
that not all rebels ghting Assads
forces could be calledterrorists,
a termbroadly used by the Syrian
regime for its opponents.
Tehran has remained steadfast
in its backing for Assads regime
since the Syrian uprising erupted
in mid-March 2011. More than
60,000 people have since been
killed, according to the UN.
(Above) Protesters flee
tear gas fired by riot
police during clashes at
Qasr Al Aini Street, near
Tahrir Square in Cairo.
Riot police fired tear gas
after protesters removed
a concrete barrier on
the street. Egypt today
is marking the second
anniversary of the
uprising that swept Hosni
Mubarak from power, but
the deeply-divided nation
facing an economic
crisis is bracing for more
protests, this time against
a freely-elected leader.
(Right) Protesters burn
a flag of the Muslim
Brotherhood during
a protest in Cairo
Anniversary of an uprising!
Libya condemns UK
warning on Benghazi
ibya said yesterday that
nothing justies a British
warning of an imminent
threat to Westerners inthe coun-
trys second city of Benghazi.
Nothing justies this reac-
tion, Deputy Interior Minister
Abdullah Massoud said, adding
that there are question marks
about this communiqueand ex-
pressing astonishment at the
very strong tone of Londons
Earlier yesterday, the British
Foreign Of ce said: We are now
aware of a specic and imminent
threat to Westerners inBenghazi,
and urge any British nationals
who remainthere against our ad-
vice to leave immediately.
Massoud said: We acknowl-
edgethat therearesecurity prob-
lems in Benghazi and that there
have been for several months,
but there is no new intelligence
that could justify this reaction
On the contrary. We are now
in the process of establishing our
authority in the east and in all of
Libya, and the security forces are
organising themselves little by
little and are more and more vis-
ible on the ground.
He said Tripoli would demand
the remarks.
London did not stipulate the
nature of the supposed threat,
but a Libyan security source said
the warning comes a day after a
visit to Tripoli by British Nation-
al Security Adviser KimDarroch.
Darroch met Prime Minister
Ali Zeidan and Interior Minister
Ashur Shwayel to discuss secu-
rity co-operation between the
two countries, the source said
without elaborating.
Benghazi was the cradle of the
uprising that ousted Muammar
Gadda in 2011 and has since
emerged as a hub for jihadist
The Foreign Of ce alert came
just hours after Prime Minister
David Cameron warned that last
weeks deadly attack in Algeria
was only one part of what would
be a long struggle against mur-
derous terrorists around the
It also came a day after US
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
gave an emotional appearance
before Congress about the attack
on the US mission in Benghazi on
September 11, which killed the
US ambassador and three other
She warned of the challenge
posed by rising militancy after
the Arab Spring, saying the Arab
revolutions had shattered secu-
rity forces across the region.
Around the time of the attack,
Britain advised against all travel
to Benghazi and most of Libya,
with the exception of Tripoli and
a clutch of other towns.
No armsfor Algeria
Libyas former rebels fromthe
town of Zintan yesterday denied
an Algiers newspaper report of
having sold arms to Islamists
who seized an Algerian gas
plant last week.
We deny the information
published by the Algerian
newspaper Echorouk accusing
Zintan revolutionaries of having
sold weapons used by terror-
ists at the In Amenas plant, said
the military council of Zintan,
southwest of Tripoli.
The security of sister Algeria
is inseparable from the security
of Libya, it said in a statement
on the Internet, condemning
the terrorist attack that tar-
geted the interests and security
of the Algerian people.
Fighters fromZintan who
fought the forces of Muammar
Gaddafi in 2011 were among
the first rebel groups to enter
Tripoli in August of that year
and seized a large military
arsenal abandoned by troops of
the former dictator.
warns of
he US has nothing left to
pressure Tehran over its
nuclear programme ex-
cept for war, and if it chooses
conict Iran could close a key
energy chokepoint, its envoy to
Baghdad told AFP yesterday.
Ambassador Hassan Danaie-
Far insisted in an interview that
Tehran retained the right to close
the Strait of Hormuz, through
which a third of the worlds trad-
ed oil passes, in response to any
aggression, militaryor otherwise.
What else (US President
Barack) Mr Obama can do? Da-
naie-Far said through an Iranian
embassy translator.
The only remaining card
on the table is war. Is it to their
benet? Is it to the benet of the
world? Is it to the benet of the
The diplomat said that if it
faced a problem, Tehran would
be within its rights to react and
to defend itself.
Askedif it couldtry to close of
the strait, Danaie-Far replied: If
there is some movement and ac-
tionfromour enemies, including
US, against us, as a part of natu-
ral reaction, that may happen.
Everybody would be a loser
in that case, he added.
On whether only military or
other types of pressure could
spur Irantomake sucha move, he
said: It caninclude all of them.
Iran frequently conducts mis-
sile tests and manoeuvres to
underline its military muscle,
and has repeatedly threatened
to close the Strait of Hormuz to
oil tanker traf c should it be at-
Tribal leaders and loyalists
sweep elections in Jordan
ribal leaders, pro-regime loyal-
ists and independent businessmen
swept Jordans parliamentary elec-
tion that was shunned by Islamists, ac-
cording to preliminary results released
Analysts say the new parliament will
nowbe dominated by loyalists who will re-
sist pressure for real political reform.
The Arab Spring that began two years
ago and toppled four regimes across the
region also sparked regular protests in Jor-
dan, where a combination of youths and
Islamists have been demanding sweeping
reforms. Their protests have become in-
creasingly vocal and, during deadly No-
vember rioting over a sharp hike in fuel
prices, there were unprecedented calls for
the king to step down.
King Abdullah II had touted Wednes-
days election as a focal point for his re-
forms, which he said should pave the way
for parliamentary government.
Among his reforms, he said that he plans
for the rst time to consult MPs before
naming a premier, who should in turn then
consult with MPs before forming a cabinet.
But the Muslim Brotherhood boy-
cotted the election, saying the monarchs
measures fell far short of true democratic
change andthat he shouldnot have any say
at all in naming a prime minister.
The Independent Election Commis-
sion (IEC) put the nal turnout at 56.6%of
the registered electorate of 2.3mn, but the
Brotherhood disputed this gure, saying
there had been widespread fraud and vote-
IECof cials saidsome data entry glitch-
es are delaying the announcement of nal
Also there is a problem related to one
ballot box that we are trying to solve, be-
fore announcing nal results,IECspokes-
man Hussein Bani told reporters without
The results showed that independent
candidate Maryam Luzi, an educationist,
had won a seat outside the quota system
reserving 15 seats for women.
Also among the winners are two women
from Amman, Abla Abu Elbeh, secretary
general of the leftist Jordanian Peoples
Democratic Party, and Rula Hroub, anout-
spoken journalist.
Khalil Atieh, a long-time regime ally,
emerged the winner in an Amman con-
stituency, while reformist researcher
Mustapha Hamarenh secured a seat for his
mainly Christian city of Madaba, near the
At least three candidates, who have been
accused by the authorities of vote-buying,
won seats. Their cases are still before the
courts and if found guilty, they will lose
their seats and face several years in jail.
The turnout does not make any sense.
They could have done a better job to make
people believe, Zaki Bani Rsheid, deputy
leader of the Brotherhood told AFP.
We have closely monitored the elec-
toral process. Vote buying and fake voter
cards were very clear. We will prove that
our boycott was the right decision. The
IECinsisted that its gures were accurate.
Mohamad Abu Rumman, researcher at
the University of Jordans Centre for Stra-
tegic Studies, agreed that the turnout had
been good.
The Islamists got a slap in the face
whenit comes to turnout, which was good.
But thats not all. Parliament faces huge
challenges, he told AFP.
It will be weak because it will have
many MPs who served in past parliaments
as well as businessmen who used their
money to win. These two groups do not
have clear agenda for change.
Other analysts too saw little chance of
real reform. The king... did not at all cede
any of his powers to parliament, which
anyway, will be dominated by loyalists. So
his orders will be implemented in the end,
said political analyst Hassan Abu Hanieh.
It is unlikely that the new MPs will
change anything. It is obvious that there
are clear attempts to make the election
look good. Thats all, he said, adding that
constitutional amendments are neededto
change the kings power.
Ahmed Safadi, who won a seat in parliamentary elections, celebrates with his supporters
in Amman yesterday.
Gulf Times
Friday, January 25, 2013
Argentine superhero
has his cover blown
Buenos Aires
e was a self-styled
superhero, prowling
the gritty outskirts of
Buenos Aires wearing a mask
and cartoonish outfit and
armed only with a flashlight,
compass and pepper spray as
he took on bad guys.
But now his cover is
blown, thanks to an alleged
shootout with muggers, and
the superhero is charged
with carrying an unlicensed
gun, police said.
The man who called himself
Menganno Spanish for Joe
Blow and became famous
in Argentine media is actu-
ally one Oscar Lefosse, 43, a
former cop who served from
1986 to 1996. It turns out his
gun licence expired a year ago.
On Monday, Lefosse told
police that three petty crimi-
nals opened fire on his car
as he drove with his wife. He
returned fire with his Glock
On his Facebook page,
Menganno - 33,000 fol-
lowers posted a photo of
what he said was his bullet
ridden car.
But a policeman quoted by
the news agency Telam said
the shots all came from inside
the car. He could have killed
somebody, an innocent by-
stander. He is irresponsible,
the official said.
In an interview in 2010,
Menganno described himself
as a real, flesh and blood su-
perhero. My goal is for all of
us to be better and show more
solidarity. Injustice makes
me sick.
He said then that he only
defended himself with a
flashlight, pepper spray and a
compass, and had a company
in the security sector. He did
not elaborate.
I do not walk around the
street armed. I keep my gun
at home, he said on Argen-
tine TV.
Lefosse used to hide his
identity behind a mask that
was a mix of dark and baby
blue and co-ordinated nicely
color-wise with a Super-
man style suit he wore, with
a symbol on his chest to boot.
Easing ination fans
Mexico rate cut bets
Mexico City
exican annual ina-
tion eased to its lowest
in more than a year in
early January, nearing the central
bank target and bolstering bets
on an interest rate cut this year.
Annual ination slowed more
than expected to 3.21% in the
rst half of January, the national
statistics agency said yesterday,
its lowest since October 2011
and well below the 3.57% rate
notched by the end of December.
Falling ination in Latin Amer-
icas No 2 economy contrasts
with a spike above 6% in Brazil
and, along with risks to growth,
prompted the central bank to hint
at its Januarymeeting it might cut
rates fromthe current 4.5%.
Traders rmedbets ona 25 ba-
sis point reduction this year after
the data, with yields on Mexicos
two-year interest rate swap bid
downas muchas 7 basis points at
4.66%, its lowest since last July,
when a spike in ination on food
costs drove bets of a rate hike.
Still, analysts were skeptical
of a move by the central bank,
which targets inflation of 3%,
given rates have been on hold
since mid-2009 and policy-
makers have failed to follow up
on hints before.
The market is now pric-
ing in a cut, but what is going
to be the final criteria to push
the central bank to action,
wondered Siobhan Morden, an
analyst at Jefferies & Co.
The market has had these
manic shifts from hikes to cuts,
but the central bank has been
consistent in inaction.
Ination for the 12 months to
mid-January of 3.21% was lower
than the 3.37% forecast by ana-
lysts in a Reuters poll, curbed by
a lower-than-expected rise in
prices early this month.
Consumer prices rose just
0.15%in the rst half of January,
well below the 0.27%notched in
the rst half of December and the
0.31%rise analysts had forecast.
Core prices, which strip out
volatile goods like energy and
food, rose 0.18%, in the rst half
of January, below the 0.26% in
the rst half of December and
compared to an expected 0.23%.
Fresh food prices, which drove
ination to a two-and-a-half-
year high in 2012, fell 2.21% in
the half-month, dragged down
by a fall in the price of tomatoes
and chilies. Annual ination in
services, a key gauge of home-
grown price pressures, acceler-
ated slightly to 1.30% and non-
food core goods ination, the
most sensitive to currency uc-
tuations, eased to 3.87%.
The Banco de Mexico is also
concerned about weaker growth.
Analysts expect growthto slowto
3.5% this year, from an expected
3.9%in 2012, amid a weak global
environment and before prom-
ised reforms by Mexicos new
government have time to kick in.
Brazil mulls
strict budget
surplus goal
razils government faces a
dilemma over how to free
itself of the constraints of
a strict budget surplus target to
boost spendinginasluggishecon-
omy without sending out signals
that its scal discipline is slipping,
senior government sources said.
Economists agree Brazils pri-
mary surplus target xed at 3.1%
of gross domestic product is very
high for a major economy and
could be lowered without harm.
Brazils nances are in healthy
shape, it has reduced its public
debt and brought interest rates
down to historic lows.
So why not ease up on a fiscal
target that it had trouble meet-
ing last year?
Two reasons: Any change in
the government savings target
is bound to raise concerns that
leftist President Dilma Rous-
seff is tinkering with policies
that have been the basis of Bra-
zils financial stability since
1994. Investors watch the pri-
mary surplus closely as they see
it as a gauge of fiscal discipline
in the worlds No 6 economy.
Relaxing the target could
also trigger spending pressures
from state and local govern-
ments who might take it as a
green light to spend more ahead
of next years general elections.
That would fuel inflation which
is already speeding up.
Roussefs government has sig-
naled it is willing to loosen budget
restrictions to boost an economy
that seems impervious to more
thana year of stimulus measures.
The government is consid-
ering two options. One is to go
ahead and formally lower the
primary surplus target to free
up spending for investment. But
that could lead to a slide in s-
cal discipline in state and local
governments that senior of cials
such as Finance Minister Guido
Mantega want to avoid.
The primary surplus - or
revenues minus expen-
ditures excluding debt
payments - is a measure
of a countrys ability to
repay its obligations. A
more relaxed goal allows
the government to cut
moretaxesfor industries
in a bid to boost in-
Accordi ng
to three ad-
ministration sources, Mantega
is opposed to reducing the scal
target this year and would pre-
fer to continue the creative ac-
counting that Brazil has beenus-
ing to meet the target on paper.
This second option involves
excluding more investment of
the national infrastructure pro-
gramme from the primary scal
numbers so that the govern-
ment can say it is still on track
with its scal target. The ac-
counting maneuver is allowed
under Brazilian law, but the cal-
culation is not recognised by the
International Monetary Fund.
The minister is leaning more
in favour of raising the amount
of investments that would be
deducted from the primary
goal, said a government of cial
with knowledge of the talks.
Reducing the primary target
raises spending pressures from
public workers and legislators
who want to increase current
spending. We dont want that.
He added that no decision
has been made on the matter.
News of Mantegas more aus-
tere stance helped lower Bra-
zils interest rate future con-
tracts as traders saw fewer risks
of inflation picking up too fast.
Roussefs position is not
known. Mantega, a powerful
member of her economic team, is
Latin Americas longest serving
nance minister, thoughthere has
been speculation that he may be
on his way out after two years of
disappointingeconomic growth.
Other members of the gov-
ernment blame the high scal
surplus goal for once-booming
Brazils paltry economic growth.
We are one of the few coun-
tries in the world that has such
a high primary surplus target.
That goal is restricting our in-
vestment, it is not allowing us
to grow more, a senior govern-
ment source said.
Mantega has a very stub-
born position on an issue that
is making Brazil the laughing-
stock of the world, he said.
Financial markets see Bra-
zils overall nances as solid at a
time whenEurope andthe US are
struggling to cut their mount-
ing debts. Brazil nearly halved
its public debt to a record low of
35%of GDP in the last decade.
The government missed
its 2012 primary surplus
goal of 139.8bn reais by
a long shot after a slow-
down in tax revenues.
At the last minute, of-
cials tapped into the
countrys sovereign
wealth fund and brought
forward dividend payments
from state-run compa-
nies to meet an already
reduced primary goal.
Firefighters extinguish a blaze in the Santa Ana neighborhood, Panama City. According to local media at least 10 houses were destroyed in the fire. No injuries were reported.
Houses gutted
Spain paper sorry for fake
Chavez hospital picture
pains leading newspaper
El Pais yesterday apolo-
gised after publishing a
front-page photograph sup-
posedly of ailing Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez in his
hospital bed, and then discov-
ering the patient was actually
someone else.
The dramatic photograph,
which claimed to show Chavez
lying in a Cuban hospital af-
ter his cancer operation with
tubes emerging from his
mouth, sparked a furious re-
action from Venezuela.
It is as grotesque as it is
false, Venezuelan Informa-
tion Minister Ernesto Villegas
said in a comment on his offi-
cial Twitter account.
The photograph was actu-
ally taken from a video of an
operation posted on YouTube,
he said.
El Pais, Spains best-selling
newspaper and one of the most
influential in the Spanish-
speaking world, said the pho-
tograph remained on its online
site for about half-an-hour
before being withdrawn when
the error was discovered.
The centre-left newspa-
per also halted distribution of
yesterdays paper edition from
newsstands, though some
copies were sold.
El Pais apologises to its
readers for the harm caused.
The newspaper has opened an
investigation to determine the
circumstances of what hap-
pened and the errors that may
have been committed in veri-
fying the photograph.
El Pais said it received the
photo from the Gtres Online
news agency, which claimed
the image was of the Venezue-
lan leader. It stressed that the
caption on the photograph had
emphasised that El Pais was
unable to independently verify
the circumstances, the place
and date of the photograph.
El Pais said print editions of
the newspaper could be una-
vailable to readers because of
the interruption to distribution.
Senior editors at El Pais de-
clined to add anything to the
statement but a source inside
the paper said there was con-
sternation in the newsroom.
The Venezuelan informa-
tion minister provided a link
to a YouTube video, which he
said was the source of the im-
The video has an upload
date of August 6, 2008 and is
described as showing the in-
tubation of a patient with ac-
romegaly, an excess of growth
The video includes the same
image as appeared in El Pais.
El Pais conservative rival El
Mundo gloated over its com-
petitors mistake.
The papers director, Pedro
J Ramirez, boasted on Twit-
ter that his paper had refused
to buy the picture when it
was offered for 30,000 euros
($40,000), citing his editors
reluctance to show the picture
of the Venezuelan leader in
such a state.
Chavez, who has been con-
valescing in Cuba since his
fourth round of cancer sur-
gery, has not been seen in
public since December 10 and
official information about his
health has been sketchy.
The Venezuelan leader was
too sick to attend his sched-
uled inauguration on January
10, but in recent days officials
have said he has been making
encouraging progress.
Meanwhile Venezuelas vice-
president was back in Havana
to see cancer stricken Hugo
Chavez, as an opposition leader
called for the once ever-present
president to speak out and give
his people peace of mind.
Nicolas Maduro travelled to
Cuba late Wednesday after a
day of dueling marches in Ca-
racas: tens of thousands dem-
onstrated in support of Chavez,
overshadowing a much smaller
rival rally by the opposition.
Chavez has been convalesc-
ing in Cuba since his latest
surgery last month, but his
condition is improving, ac-
cording to Caracas.
Opposition leader Hen-
rique Capriles, who lost to the
58-year-old Chavez in Octo-
bers election, challenged the
ailing leader to speak to the
nation if he is able, saying the
Venezuelan people deserve
peace of mind.
The government has said
that the president is walking,
that he is joking. So why does
he not speak to the nation and
give some peace of mind to
his followers and all Venezue-
lans? he said.
On Monday, Foreign Minister
Elias Jaua had said after a visit
with Chavez that the president
has beentalking with aides, giv-
ing orders and cracking jokes.
The minister is leaning
more in favour of raising
the amount of investments
that would be deducted
from the primary goal
The market has had these
manic shifs from hikes to
cuts, but the central bank
has been consistent in
Menganno: crimefighter.
The front page of the Spanish newspaper El Pais shows a photograph
supposedly of ailing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in his
hospital bed.
Gulf Times
Friday, January 25, 2013
S Senator John Kerry re-
ceived backslaps and lav-
ish praise fromhis Senate
colleagues at a hearing yesterday
that left little doubt he will win
easy conrmation as secretary of
Appearing before the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee
which he has chaired for the last
four years, the ve-term sena-
tor from Massachusetts and Vi-
etnam War veteran was praised
by Democrats and Republicans
I look at you, in being nomi-
nated for this, as someone who
has almost led their entire life,
if you will, for this moment, be-
ing able to serve in this capacity,
said Senator Bob Corker of Ten-
nessee, the top Republican on the
Were honoured to welcome
you as the presidents nominee
for a position you have most-
deservedly earned, said Sena-
tor Robert Menendez, the New
Jersey Democrat who is chairing
the hearing for the committee,
which is still technically chaired
by Kerry.
You will need no introduction
to the worlds political and mili-
tary leaders, and will begin on
day-one fully conversant not
only with the intricacies of US
policy, but with an understand-
ing of the nuancedapproach nec-
essary, Menendez added.
Kerry was greeted with back-
slaps as he arrived for his hearing
and bantered easily with sena-
tors, wryly noting his role revers-
al after spending 29 years sitting
up on the dais and questioning
I dont want this to afect
your opening questions, but let
me say I have never seen a more
distinguished and better-look-
ing group of public of cials in
my life, he said to widespread
Several senators said they were
certain of his conrmation.
The one note of discord during
the hearing came whena protest-
er dressed in pink shouted we
need peace with Iran ... I amtired
of my friends dyingbefore being
removed by police.
Kerry broke no new ground in
his testimony, stressing his com-
mitment to President Barack
Obamas policy of seeking a dip-
lomatic solution to persuade Iran
to give up its suspected pursuit of
nuclear weapons.
Iran says its programme is
solely for peaceful purposes.
The president has made it de-
nitive we will do what we can
to prevent Iran from obtaining
a nuclear weapon. I repeat here
today: our policy is not contain-
ment, Kerry said. He and I pre-
fer a diplomatic resolution to this
challenge and I will work to give
diplomacy every efort to suc-
The senator added: But no
one should mistake our resolve to
reduce the nuclear threat.
The main vehicle for diplo-
macy with Iran has been talks
between Tehran and the ve per-
manent members of the UN Se-
curity Council and Germany, a
group collectively known as the
Kerry said that everybodys
very hopeful that we can make
some progress on the diplomatic
front now and, without dis-
closing US negotiating strategy,
noted Obama had made clear his
willingness to have direct nego-
tiations with Iran if need be.
His critics have said that Kerry
has failed to seek tougher sanc-
tions to discourage the Islamic
Republic from pursuing its nu-
clear programme, but the nomi-
nee signaled that he was ready to
keep the pressure on Tehran.
Kerry told Menendez, one of
the Senates most ardent advo-
cates of tighter sanctions against
Iran, that he was totally com-
mitted to enforcing them.
As a senator, Kerry visited Da-
mascus repeatedly prior to the
outbreak of Syrias devastating
civil war and was a proponent of
US re-engagement with Syrian
President Bashar al-Assad.
Kerry said there was a moment
where Assad, impelled partly by
of his desire to nd jobs for his
burgeoning youthful popula-
tion, had aninterest inimproving
relations with the US but that he
missed the opportunity.
He has made a set of judg-
ments that are inexcusable, that
are reprehensible and I think is
not long for remaining as the
head of state inSyria,Kerry said.
The Yale-educated son of a
foreign service of cer, Kerry,
69, has long been a specialist in
foreign afairs. In the 1960s, he
difered from some of his well-
heeled peers by enlisting in the
US Navy and serving two tours of
duty in the VietnamWar.
He broke from and enraged
the military establishment by
becoming a prominent anti-war
demonstrator after returning
Bitter personal attacks over
that anti-war role helped cost
himthe presidency in 2004 when
he lost to Republican George W
Kerry, who rst testied before
the committee in 1971 to express
his opposition to the Vietnam
War, choked up when recalling
his fathers service as a career
If you conrm me, I would
take of ce as secretary proudthat
the Senate is in my blood but
equally proud that so, too, is the
foreign service, he said.
Praise for Kerry at
US Senate hearing
Kerry (above), Obamas nominee
for secretary of state, faces his
colleagues as he testifies before
the Senate Foreign Relations
committee during his
confirmation hearing on Capitol
thanjust about troops
anddrones: Kerry
Senator John Kerry pledged
yesterday, as he outlined to US
lawmakers his priorities if they
back himas the next secretary
of state.
American foreign policy is not
defined by drones and deploy-
ments alone, he told the Senate
Foreign Relations committee,
sitting across fromthe commit-
tee which he has been a member
of for 29 years, and which he has
also chaired.
American foreign policy is also
defined by food security and
energy security, humanitarian as-
sistance, the fight against disease
and the push for development,
as much as it is by any single
counter terrorisminitiative.
Kerry has been tapped by Presi-
dent Barack Obama to take over
fromHillary Clinton, who is leav-
ing ofice after a four-year term.
Clinton, along with veteran Sena-
tor John McCain, stepped up to
introduce Kerry and recommend
himas the next US top diplomat.
It is a post he has long coveted,
and he is expected to sail through
his hearing.
hree foreign nationals
have been charged with
creating and distribut-
ing a computer virus that in-
fected more than 1mn comput-
ers around the world, including
some operated by the US space
agency, US prosecutors said on
The defendants were charged
with running a cybercrime ring
that released the so-called Gozi
virus, which prosecutors said
was one of the most nancially
destructive computer viruses in
The virus infected at least
40,000 computers in the US,
authorities said. It was used to
access personal bank account
information from computer us-
ers and steal millions of dollars
from customer accounts glo-
bally, according to papers led in
US District Court in Manhattan.
The defendants Deniss
Calovskis, 27, a Latvian; Nikita
Kuzmin, 25, aRussian; andMihai
Ionut Paunescu, 28, a Romanian
were charged with a variety
of counts, including conspiracy
to commit computer intrusion
and conspiracy to commit bank
They ran a modern-day bank
robbery ring that required nei-
ther a gun nor a mask, Manhat-
tan US Attorney Preet Bharara
said at a news conference.
Kuzmin, who helped create
the virus, pleaded guilty in May
2011 and has been co-operating
with the investigation, said
George Venizelos, assistant di-
rector-in-charge for the Federal
Bureau of Investigation (FBI)s
NewYork of ce.
The investigation is still very
much ongoing, Venizelos told
the news conference.
Investigators have collected
51 computer servers and other
equipment with some 250mn
megabytes of information as
part of the probe, he said, adding
that lawenforcement of cials in
several countries were helping
with the investigation.
Kuzminwas arrestedinthe US
in November 2010.
Paunescu was arrested this
past November in Romania
while Calovskis was arrested
in December in Latvia, Venize-
los said. He said Paunescu and
Calovskis were awaiting extra-
David Gordon, a lawyer rep-
resenting Kuzmin, did not im-
mediately return a call seeking
comment. Attorney information
for the other defendants was not
immediately available.
The virus infected more than
160Nasa computers, resulting in
more than $40,000 in damage,
prosecutors said in the court
It was unclear if the virus af-
fected Nasas operations, and a
spokeswoman from the agency
had no immediate comment.
Kuzmin conceived of the virus
in or around 2005 and recruited
Calovskis to help write its code,
prosecutors said.
According to the govern-
ments charges, the men sold
the virus online in what Bharara
called an Internet bazaar for
as much as $50,000.
Paunescu is accused of oper-
ating a Web hosting service from
computers in Romania, the US
and elsewhere that helped peo-
ple who bought the virus avoid
detection by authorities, ac-
cording to court papers.
Insteadof this guns for hire,
Kuzmins operation was this vi-
rus for hire, Venizelos said. The
virus was often updated and
improved for customers in what
Venizelos said was their own
version of tech support.
In one scenario, the defend-
ants created fake welcome pages
for banks that asked for custom-
er PINnumbers and other sensi-
tive information, Bharara said.
Authorities charge three
over Gozi computer virus
New York
US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara holds a news conference yesterday
on the Gozi Virus. Federal prosecutors charged three people in as many countries with creating and
distributing the computer virus known as Gozi Virus that infected more than 1mn computers around
the world, including some operated by the US space agency and others by banks.
Ban on
in combat
he US military of cially
droppedits banonwomen
serving in ground combat
yesterday after a policy review
by top commanders, Defence
Secretary Leon Panetta said.
Women have shown great
courage and sacrice on and of
the battleeld, contributed in
unprecedented ways to the mili-
tarys mission and proven their
ability to serve in an expanding
number of roles, Panetta said in
a statement. The departments
goal in rescinding the rule is to
ensure that the mission is met
with the best-qualiedandmost
capable people, regardless of
The decision followed an ex-
tensive review by the chiefs
of all the armed services, who
unanimously concluded that
now is the time to move forward
with the full intent to integrate
women into occupational elds
to the maximum extent possi-
ble, he said.
Panetta was due to hold a
press conference later with the
US militarys top of cer, General
Martin Dempsey, the chairman
of the US Joint Chiefs of Staf.
Under the decision, the armed
services will have until January
2016 to carry out the changes.
A defence of cial, who spoke
on condition of anonymity, told
AFP the issue did not produce
acrimonious debate among the
joint chiefs and that top com-
manders were more focused on
setting out a deliberate process
that would ensure tough stand-
ards were upheld for combat
jobs, including physical strength
US commanders began taking
a second look at the ban in 2010
to reect the changing reality on
the battleeld, as the wars inIraq
and Afghanistan have put wom-
en in harms way.
Women make up about 14.5%
of the active duty US military,
or about 204,000 service mem-
bers, according to the Pentagon.
n indigenous chief whose
supporters threatened to
bring Canadas economy
to its knees to shed light on
squalid living conditions on re-
serves ended her hunger strike
yesterday after 44 days.
Attawapiskat First Nations
Chief Theresa Spence had, since
December 11, been camped out
on a tiny island in the Ottawa
River in view of the Canadian
parliament, refusing to eat until
the government agreed to her
Her spokesman Danny
Metatawabin said she ended
the hunger strike after receiving
commitments from aboriginal
groups andoppositionparties to
take over pressing for the treaty
rights of Canadas 600 tribes.
Shes ne. But her body is
tired and weak, Metatawabin
said, announcing that Spence
was hospitalised overnight and
was being kept for observation
by doctors.
We have awoken the nation,
he added, before returning to
put out a ceremonial re at the
makeshift camp. The journey
continues, the ght continues.
For nearly six weeks, Spence
slept in a teepee on Victoria Is-
land in the heart of the Cana-
dian capital, warming herself
by an open re and drinking a
bit of sh broth to keep up her
Beyond the island, her hunger
strike became the focal point
for an aboriginal rights move-
ment strung together by native
women who met online.
The campaign exploded into
dozens of protests over the past
month, leading to emergency
talks between native leaders and
Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Thousands rallied in cities
nationwide, blocking rail and
roadways, including the Tran-
sCanada Highway and a key
bridge between Canada and the
United States. The demonstra-
tors also targeted oil sands min-
ing in Western Canada.
Solidarity protests were held
as far away as Britain, Egypt and
in the US states of California
and Minnesota.
In the end, Harper agreed to
ongoing high level dialogue
with native leaders, while a
cold Arctic blast plunged tem-
peratures to -40 degrees Cel-
sius across the nation this week,
bringing a swift end to demon-
Spences demands include
addressing a severe housing
shortage on reserves, building
more schools, sharing royalties
from resource development on
natives ancestral lands, and a
review of legislation that abo-
riginals say impacts their treaty
The chief put a ve-year end
point for resolving these issues,
according to a statement.
In addition to complaints
of severe poverty, natives also
blasted changes last month to
environmental and other laws
they say impact their hunting
and shing rights, and allow
tribes to lease reserve lands to
Although the government
insists the latter was meant to
boost economic development,
some fear it will result in a loss
of native control of reserve
lands and eventually lead to the
end of aboriginal communities.
Canadian aboriginal chief ends hunger strike
GULF CINEMA: Karma Yodha (Malayalam) 2.30 & 5.30pm; Jack
Reacher 8.30 & 11pm.
DOHA CINEMA: Race 2 (Hindi) 2.30, 5.30, 8.30 & 11.15pm.
MALL CINEMA (1): Hassal Kheir (Arabic) 3 & 5pm; Bavuttiyude
Namathil (Malayalam) 7 & 10pm.
MALL CINEMA (2): Snowflake: The White Gorilla (2D) 2.30 &
4.30pm; Zero Dark Thirty (2D) 6.30pm; Quartet (2D) 9.30pm;
Gangster Squad (2D) 11.15pm.
MALL CINEMA (3): Deadfall (2D) 2.30 & 4.30pm; Life Of Pi (3D)
6.30pm; Quartet (2D) 8.45pm; Zero Dark Thirty (2D) 10.45pm.
ROYAL PLAZA Cinema Palace (1): Snowflake: The White Gorilla
(2D) 2.30 & 4.30pm; Quartet (2D) 6.30pm; Zero Dark Thirty (2D)
8.30pm; Gangster Squad (3D) 11.30pm.
ROYAL PLAZA Cinema Palace (2): Rise Of The Guardians (2D) 3
& 5pm; Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola (Hindi, 2D) 7 & 10pm.
ROYAL PLAZA Cinema Palace (3): Hassal Kheir (Arabic) 3, 5 &
7pm; Beat The World (2D) 9 & 11pm.
CINEMA LANDMARK (1): Snowflake: The White Gorilla (2D) 2.30
& 4.30pm; Deadfall (2D) 6.30 & 8.30pm; Zero Dark Thirty (2D)
CINEMA LANDMARK (2): Life Of Pi (3D) 2.30pm; Zero Dark
Thirty (2D) 5pm; Texas Chainsaw (3D) 8, 9.45 & 11.30pm.
CINEMA LANDMARK (3): Quartet (2D) 2.30 & 7pm; Gangster
Squad (2D) 4.30 & 9pm; The Last Stand (2D) 11.30pm.
Gulf Times
Friday, January 25, 2013 8
plan failing,
IMF warns
GuardianNews andMedia
he message to George
Osborne from the Inter-
national Monetary Fund
could scarcely have been clearer.
Its time to think about a plan B.
Coming as it did on the eve
of the fourth quarter growth
gures, the intervention of the
funds chief economist Olivier
Blanchard, was particularly ill-
timed for the chancellor, but it
was hardly a surprise.
The IMF has never been wildly
enthusiastic about Osbornes
tough austerity plan for the Brit-
ish economy and has been saying
for at least a year that the Treas-
ury should ease of if recovery
falters. But up until now it has
tended to avoid telling Osborne
that his policy is failing.
No longer, it appears. We said
that if things look bad at the be-
ginningof 2013whichtheydothen
there should be a reassessment of
scal policy, Blanchardsaid.
Fiscal policy involves changes
to tax and public spending, and
Blanchard noted that the chan-
cellor has the perfect opportu-
nity to take stock and make ad-
justments in the March budget,
due in less than two months.
Three factors probably lie behind
Blanchards decision to go public
with his concerns. The rst is that
the IMF, while supporting the need
for budget decits to be reduced,
believes actionshouldnot be soag-
gressiveastoderail growth.
The second reason is that it
has done some recent work on
scal multipliers - the knock-
on efects of tax and spending
changes on the wider economy
- and found themmore powerful
than it previously thought.
The third reason, obviously, is
that Osbornes forecasts of a re-
covery lurking just around the
corner have provedtotallywrong.
The economy has at-lined
for the past two years and if the
City is right about the fourth
quarter 2012 growth gures there
will be fears of a triple dip reces-
sion this winter.
The interesting question is
whether Osborne will heed the
IMFs advice. If he does, any
loosening of policy in the budget
is likely to be modest, and not
just because of the political dam-
age caused by the U-turn.
Osbornebelievesthat anyback-
sliding will come at a price. Looser
scal policy will mean tighter
monetary policy perhaps not from
the Bank of England but fromthe
nancial markets interms of high-
er long-terminterest rates.
His advisers have pointed out
that the IMF believes the scal
multipliers are weaker in open
economies such as Britain than
they are in more closed econo-
mies such as the US or Germany.
The chancellors problem,
though, is that long-term inter-
est rates may go up anyway.
It is not just the IMF but the
credit rating agencies who are
worried about the absence of
growth in the UK.
A credit downgrade looks
likely and, given the dire state of
the economy, would be merited.
Britain does not feel like a coun-
try that deserves its AAAstatus.
As for the scal multipliers, it
might be the case that their im-
pact is less powerful in the UK
than in the US. But austerity is
still having a dampening efect
on the economy, and is making
it harder for the chancellor to hit
his decit reduction targets.
The IMF is right. It is time to
take stock. It would be a risk for
the chancellor to announce tax
cuts and a slower pace of spend-
ing cuts in the budget. But it will
be a risk and probably a bigger
one if he does nothing.
Prime minister pledges
action on tax avoidance
Davos, Switzerland
rime Minister DavidCam-
eron yesterday turned up
the pressure on multina-
tional corporations who seek
to lower their tax bills aggres-
sively, promising action to limit
tax avoidance strategies after a
public backlash in Britain.
The issue of tax avoidance by
big companies has turned toxic
as millions of Britons struggle
against meagre wage growth and
austerity measures to reduce a
budget decit. Firms that are
viewed as paying too little tax
have been targeted by demon-
strators and boycotts.
I am a low-tax Conserva-
tive but Im not a companies-
should-pay-no-tax Conserva-
tive, Cameron told business
leaders and investors in a speech
at the World Economic Forumin
Individuals and businesses
must pay their fair share, he
said, adding that he would use
his presidency of the Group of
Eight industrialised nations to
push the point.
Cameron did not mention
any companies by name. At the
height of the uproar last year,
British lawmakers singled out
Google , Amazon and Starbucks
as companies that pay very lit-
tle tax in Britain on prot from
sales there. Executives from the
three were summoned to testify
before parliament and explain
their operations.
Therms saytheycomplywith
Britishtax law, but under a tide of
public outrage and in-store dem-
onstrations, Starbucks last year
said it would pay around 20mn
in corporation tax in Britain over
the next twoyears.
Any businesses who think
that they can carry on dodg-
ing that fair share or that they
can keep on selling to the UK
and setting up ever-more com-
plex tax arrangements abroad to
squeeze their tax bill right down
- well, they need to wake up and
smell the cofee, Cameron said.
The public who buy from
themhave had enough.
Much of the anger has come
from smaller local retailers who
are unable to take advantage of
international tax arrangements
while they struggle against the
cost of high rents and low con-
sumer spending.
With politicians ramp-
ing up the pressure, Goldman
Sachs also came in for criticism
when it announced plans, since
scrapped, to delay paying bo-
nuses to its bankers in Britain to
exploit an income tax cut for top
earners that is due in April.
The bank changed its plans
after being publicly rebuked by
the Bank of England Governor
Mervyn King.
DavidCameronhas beenquick
to highlight the problem of tax
avoidance but slow to actually do
anything about it, the TaxPayers
Alliance (TPA), a lobby group that
campaigns for lower tax rates, said
Families are left feeling
short-changed and let down by
their politicians because inter-
national corporations can take
advantage of loopholes and re-
liefs not open to them, it added.
It was a view that struck a
chord on the streets of a cold
London yesterday. Its disgust-
ing ... We pay tax, we havent
got a choice, said Clive Read,
a 54-year-old printer. They
should pay their taxes, just like
other companies. The Trades
Union Congress - Britains la-
bour unionfederation- also said
Camerons government needed
to make the British tax system
far more transparent.
Julian Assange doesnt like the movie that is being
made about WikiLeaks, called The Fifth Estate.
It is a lie upon lie, he told Oxford university stu-
dents by videolink from the Ecuadorian embassy.
The movie is a massive propaganda attack on
WikiLeaks and the character of my staf. Assange,
who will be portrayed in the film by Benedict
Cumberbatch, read from a copy of the script as
he accused the movies maker, Dreamworks, of
fanning the flames of war against Iran. He told
the Oxford Union that the opening scene was set
inside a military complex in Iran with documents
containing nuclear symbols and asked: How
does this have anything to do with us?
Two authors whose books have been banned in
their native countries of China and Russia have
made it onto the shortlist for the Man Booker
International Prize, it was announced yesterday.
The Chinese Yan Lianke and Russian Vladimir
Sorokin feature on the list of 10 authors from nine
diferent countries including Pakistan, India and
Israel. Each is the author of a substantial body of
published work, whether novels or short stories,
either written in or translated into English, selec-
tion panel head Christopher Ricks told a literary
festival in the Indian city of Jaipur. The winner,
due to be announced at the Victoria and Albert
Museum on May 22, will receive 60,000.
Burger King has ditched an Irish supplier of beef
that is at the centre of a food scare after horse
meat was discovered in beefburgers sold in
Britain and Ireland, where it is deemed to be a
taboo. The US fast-food giant said it has decided
to replace all Silvercrest beef products in Britain
and Ireland with those from another supplier.
This is a voluntary and precautionary measure,
Burger King said. We are working diligently to
identify suppliers that can produce 100% pure
Irish and British beef products that meet our high
quality standards. It added: We will continue with
our investigations to determine how this situation
occurred and what lessons can be learned.
Support for independence among Scottish voters
has slumped to its lowest level since devolution,
with less than a quarter now in favour of breaking
away from the UK, according to a Scottish Social
Attitudes study carried by The Guardian. It found
only 23% of voters support independence, nine
percentage points down on last year, with voters
less optimistic about an independent Scotlands
chances of tackling poverty and improving its
economy. The findings are a significant setback
for Alex Salmond and the pro-independence Yes
Scotland campaign. The survey found support for
staying in the UK now stands at 72% the highest
An engineer who lost his right hand in a jet ski
accident has become the first person in the UK to
be fitted with a revolutionary lifelike bionic limb.
The 47,000 Michelangelo hand is controlled by
muscle signals from Christopher Taylors brain,
with the four fingers and thumb able to move
independently of each other. Using the device,
Taylor, a married father-of-three, is able to grip
items - vital for his job as a self-employed lifting
equipment engineer. The 58-year-old from Ivy-
bridge, Devon, who returned to work a fortnight
after losing his hand in August 2009, has been
testing the Michelangelo since December and
had his final fitting this week.
Banned writers
on Booker shortlist
Burger King drops supplier
over horse meat scare
Assange attacks
WikiLeaks movie
Support for Scottish
independence at new low
Engineer gets UKs
first bionic limb
Harry thrilled to
be back in Britain
rince Harry said he was
thrilled to be back in
Britain as he returned
home after serving a 20-week
tour of duty in Afghanistan.
The 28-year-old Apache at-
tack helicopter co-pilot arrived
back on home turf after spending
two days mandatory post-de-
ployment decompression time
at a British base in Cyprus.
Harry, third in line to the
throne, said during his tour
that he had killed Taliban ght-
ers, who were taken out of the
game by his unit if they targeted
British soldiers.
Saying he was quite useful
with his thumbs, he light-heartedly
compared pressing the trigger to
playing video games, provoking an
But after landing at Brize Nor-
ton airbase in southern England, he
moderatedhis line whenaskedspe-
cicallyif hehadkilledinsurgents.
You get asked to do things
that you would expect to do
wearing this uniform. Thats as
simple as that, he told report-
Captain Wales, as he is
known in the Army Air Corps,
reflected on returning home
in one piece. Its been great,
its a hell of an experience, he
Just thrilled to be back. A bit
of blue sky in Cyprus, a bit of de-
compression, some comedy and
back to the snow. You do get life
experiences that you would get
nowhere else out there.
The best thing about it is to be
back. I enjoy being a soldier, I en-
joy the guys that I work with. We,
together, the guys wearing the uni-
The army of cer said he was
looking forward to seeing Prince
William and his pregnant wife
Catherine. Im longing to see
my brother and sister-in-law,
he said.
I really am longing to catch
up with people behind closed
doors. You guys arent invited,
he added, in a trademark dig at
the media.
Harry said he had not had
time to think about dropping
fromthird to fourth in line to the
throne once William and Kates
baby is born in July.
The prince is unlikely to get
another turn ying in Afghani-
stan again before all foreign
combat troops withdraw by the
end of 2014.
He did not know what lay in
store for himthis year but said he
wanted to carry out more royal
duties and charitable work.
The army will have an idea, I
presume, and what that is, I will
do, he said.
Given the opportunity, Id
like to take on some more royal
stuf. Hopefully therell be a few
gaps that open up.
PlayStation data hack
costs Sony 250,000
lectronics giant Sony has
been ned by the data
watchdog for a breach that
compromised the personal in-
formation of millions of custom-
ers using PlayStation videog-
ames consoles.
The Information Commis-
sioners Of ce (ICO) said the
April 2011 cyberattack was se-
rious breach of data protection
laws and ned the Japanese elec-
tronics giant 250,000.
Personal information includ-
ing names, addresses, e-mail
addresses, dates of birth and
account passwords were com-
promised, while customers pay-
ment card details were also at
The ICO said the breach was
one of the most serious it had
ever seen.
It found that the attack could
have been prevented if Sonys
software had been up to date,
while technical developments
also meant passwords were not
If you are responsible for
so many payment card details
and log-in details, then keep-
ing that personal data secure
has to be your priority, said
ICO deputy commissioner
David Smith.
In this case that just didnt
happen, and when the database
was targeted albeit in a de-
termined criminal attackthe
security measures in place were
simply not good enough.
It is a company that trades
on its technical expertise, and
theres no doubt in my mind
that they had access to both the
technical knowledge and the re-
sources to keep this information
The case is one of the most
serious ever reported to us.
Following the breach, Sony
rebuilt its network platform to
ensure the personal informa-
tion it processes is kept secure.
The company intends to appeal
against the decision.
Sony Computer Entertain-
ment Europe strongly disagrees
with the ICOs ruling and is
planning an appeal, a spokes-
man said. Prince Harry arrives at the RAF Brize Norton.
Models present creations by the UK Fashion and Textile Association during a fashion show at St Pancras Station in London.
Fashion show at station
We said that if things
look bad at the beginning
of 2013 which they do
then there should be a
reassessment of fscal
I am a low-tax
Conservative but
Im not a companies-
Im longing to see my
brother and sister-in-
Gulf Times
Friday, January 25, 2013
Frenchwoman freed from
Mexican jail after a court
said that police violated
her rights by staging her arrest
for kidnapping on national tele-
vision, arrived in Paris yesterday
to a heros welcome.
A smiling Florence Cassez ar-
rivedona ight fromMexico City
with her father Bernard, a day
after Mexicos Supreme Court
voted for her release after seven
years in prison in a case that
strained Franco-Mexican ties.
Frances foreign minister was
among the many dignitaries
joining her mother and members
of her support committee for her
arrival at Charles de Gaulle air-
Dozens of reporters and cam-
era crews were also in place to
record the arrival of the 38-year-
old whose release was hailed by
President Francois Hollande,
who said it marked the end of a
particularly painful period.
I have sufered as a victimfor
the last seven years, Cassez told
reporters at the airport. This is
also a great victory for Mexicans
in the sense that justice has been
Cassez, who has always pro-
claimed her innocence, was ac-
cused of being involved with a
gang of kidnappers known as
the Zodiacs, allegedly run by her
former boyfriend Israel Vallarta.
The court justices ruled that
the police violated her right to
presumption of innocence and
consular access when it staged
her arrest in a live national tel-
evision broadcast on December
9, 2005.
Mexican television showed
police storming her former boy-
friends ranch near Mexico City,
where they detained Cassez and
freed three hostages as cameras
It was later revealed that she
had actually been arrested on a
road hours before the raid. The
federal police said the re-enact-
ment was made at the request of
the media.
Her treatment caused a dip-
lomatic spat in February 2011,
when Mexican authorities can-
celled a Year of Mexicocultural
event in France after its then-
president Nicolas Sarkozy tried
to dedicate the festivities to Cas-
The case of Cassez, who had
faced 60 years in jail, also put
a spotlight on Mexicos trou-
bled justice system, where most
crimes go unsolved and authori-
ties are often accused of corrup-
tion and abuse.
But her release angered crime
victim rights activists. As Cas-
sez was driven away from prison
after her release, wearing a ak
jacket, some people shouted
Kidnapper! Murderer!
Though all ve Supreme Court
justices agreed that Cassezs
constitutional and human rights
were violated, two of them said
the case should be sent back to
lower courts. The court did not
rule on whether she was guilty or
The Supreme Court already
examined her case last year, but
the panel was split on whether
to release her, even though four
of the ve justices then agreed
that there were irregularities in
the case.
Cassez meanwhile said that
Sarkozy had saved her life by
backing her case.
Teary-eyed but beaming,
Cassez was careful to thank the
current president, Hollande,
but made clear she considered
Sarkozys help had been crucial.
I remember when Sarkozy
took a stand in my case. It was a
crucial moment. He saved my life
because I went through very dif-
cult times where sometimes I
would get up in the morning and
tell myself I was too tired to keep
ghting, Cassez told a sea of TV
cameras at Pariss Roissy airport.
At that moment Nicolas
Sarkozy arrived and then later
on, Francois Hollande. I owe him
a lot, said Cassez.
Cassez spoke to Sarkozy by
phone ahead of the court ruling
and again before boarding her
ight home, but aides saidhe was
unable to meet her at the airport
as he was out of the country.
Sarkozy, who lost power to
Hollande in May last year, had
long fought to secure her release,
pleading in person with then-
Mexican president Felipe Cal-
deron to free the Frenchwoman.
Her surprise release eight
months into Hollandes presi-
dency could instead give a llip
to the incumbents approval rat-
ings, currently mired at around
Hollande hailed the ruling,
invited the Cassez family to the
presidential palace and dis-
patched his foreign minister to
greet her on the airport tarmac.
But some conservatives suggest-
ed he was trying to cash in on her
Its a pity Francois Hollande
didnt mention Nicolas Sarkozy,
who at the end of the day was the
one behind this, Rachida Dati, a
prominent member of Sarkozys
UMP party, told BFM TV.
Cassez said she had not be-
lieved that she was going home
until the last minute.
I have dreamt 10,000 times
of this moment, she said at the
airport after hugging her mother
and brother. Right up until I
boarded the plane, I didnt quite
believe it. Even now Imnot sure
I believe it.
Some Mexican rights groups
said the victims were forgotten in
the Cassez case.
Sadly, today showed that the
rights of victims dont count,
said Isabel Miranda de Wallace,
leader of the Stop the Kidnap-
ping Association. What counts
is power, money and connec-
tions, leaving the victims with
empty hands.
A heros welcome for
freed Frenchwoman
Cassez with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (right) arrives at
Roissy airport outside Paris after being freed from a Mexican prison
the day before.
Turkish court has sen-
tenced a sociologist
to life in prison for in-
volvement in a deadly 1998
explosion after three previous
acquittals, media reports said,
in a case which has raised con-
cerns about judicial process in
Broadcaster CNN Turk said
that the court had issued an
arrest warrant for Pinar Selek,
who lives in France.
Selek had been charged
with planting a bomb in Is-
tanbuls Ottoman spice bazaar,
which killed seven people and
wounded more than 100 in July
Human Rights Watch has
described the case as a trav-
esty of justice, saying there
was substantial evidence that
the explosion had been due to
an accidental gas leak.
Selek worked as a sociologist
researching Kurdish issues in
the mid-to-late 1990s and had
contact with the outlawed mil-
itant Kurdistan Workers Party
(PKK), designated a terrorist
group by Turkey, the European
Union and the US.
She was arrested in July 1998
at the age of 27 and released
two and a half years later after
a team of experts concluded
that the explosion had not
been caused by a bomb but by
the accidental ignition of a gas
Despite these ndings, the
case against Selek continued
and she was acquitted in 2006,
2008andmost recently in2011.
The prosecutor appealed each
time and the appeals court or-
dered a retrial.
Court convicts
sociologist over
deadly 1998 blast
Selek gestures at a support meeting in her honour yesterday at
the University of Strasbourg.
oncerns over Russian
President Vladimir Pu-
tins ability to improve
living standards have pushed
his public approval rating to its
lowest in more than 12 years, an
independent polling agency said
A survey by the Levada agency
found that 62% of respondents
voiced approval for Putins per-
formance in Russias highest of-
ce, down from 65% in Decem-
That is still higher than many
Western leaders. But the gure
from the January 18-21 survey
was the lowest since June 2000,
a month after the start of his rst
presidential term.
His approval rating in the
monthly survey has uctuated
since he started a third term in
May from a high of 69% that
month to 63%in August and No-
This is a very stable trend:
Falling condence, the declining
legitimacy of the authorities,
Levada director Lev Gudkov said.
The most important factor was
the loss of belief that Putin can
guarantee an economic path for
the country that leads to an im-
provement in living standards.
The former KGB of cers ap-
proval rating exceeded 70% for
most of his 2000-2008 presi-
dency, a time of spectacular
growth driven by rising world oil
prices, and at times above 80%.
Ination overtook wage in-
creases in Russia for the rst
time after the global nancial
crisis and economic growth has
not fully recovered, coming in at
3.7%last year after averaging 7%
during Putins rst stint as presi-
The eurozone recession and a
poor grains harvest helped push
ination up last year to 6.6% and
cut the rate at which the spend-
ing power of Russian households
is growing.
Unemployment has also
spread, moving up to a rate of
5.4%of the workforce in Novem-
ber, or 4.1mn people, from 5.3%
the previous month.
After four years as prime min-
ister, Putin won the presidency
again in March 2012 despite a
series of opposition protests that
drew tens of thousands of peo-
ple and underscored discontent
among the urban middle class
with is prolonged dominance.
Despite growing dissatisfac-
tion over corruption and fail-
ings in public services such as
health care, lawenforcement and
schools, Gudkov said that Putin
can count on a broad support
base that ensures his rating will
likely never dip below30%.
Asked to name politicians they
trustedmost, 38%of thosepolled
by Levada in January named Pu-
tin, up from 34% in December.
Levada polled 1,596 Russians
adults nationwide, with a margin
of error of 3.4%.
Putinhas not ruledout seeking
another six-year termin 2018.
He has used choreographed
television appearances to sculpt
the image of a tough, sharp-
minded leader in command of
economic facts and gures but
with a nger on the pulse of the
Pollster says Putin ratings at 12-year low
House of wall ship
A trompe-loeil mural of a ship is seen yesterday on the wall of a house in Berlin. Trompe-loeil is an
art technique creating an optical illusion of an object in three dimensions.
YoungMerkels commandof RussianangeredCommunists, says teacher
Chancellor Angela Merkel has led her Christian
Democrats to victory in two national elections,
earned a doctorate in quantumchemistry and, as a
teenager, won a Russian language competition.
One of those, it turns out, was a source of great
consternation among Communist party oficials.
The chancellors former Russian language teacher
told Cicero magazine in an interviewpublished
yesterday that the 14-year-old Merkels win at the
language competition was almost too good for the
tastes of party oficials, who would have preferred
to see the win go to a student froma family more
closely linked to the party.
Merkel is the daughter of a pastor. Communist party
ideology would have preferred the victor be froma
farming or working class family.
Thus, Merkels 1969 wins in a series of East German
Russian language competitions first in school and
then later at the national level triggered annoy-
ance among the party faithful at a party meeting,
said teacher Erika Benn.
Merkel: as a
14-year-old in East
Germany she won
a series of Russian
language competitions
right up to the national
I cannot help it if she is that good, Benn said she
told an angry school board.
The boards anger even lead Benn to tears, she said.
The 58-year-Merkel grew up in the East German
town of Templin after her family moved to the
former Communist state in 1954 fromHamburg so
her father could take up a post in a local Protestant
A chemist by training, Merkel entered active politi-
cal life as a member of the conservative Christian
Democrat Union following the breaching of the
Berlin Wall in 1989 and the consequent implosion of
East Germany.
reeces government has
ordered striking trans-
port staf back to work,
threatening them with arrest if
they refuse to end an eight-day
walkout that has paralysed the
Athens subway.
Workers said they would defy
the order, issued under emer-
gency legislation the conserv-
ative-led government invoked
for the rst time since taking
power in June.
The strike is the latest test
for Greeces fragile coalition
as it faces down the unions to
implement austerity measures
demanded by foreign lenders as
the price for bailout funds.
Neither the government nor
society can be held hostage to
union mentality, Development
Minister Kostis Hatzidakis said
after ve hours of talks with
Prime Minister Antonis Samar-
as. The government cant ig-
nore this. There is nothing else
we can do.
But in a sign of the coalitions
fragility, the move was criti-
cised fromwithin its own ranks
as the smallest party in the
three-party government called
it extreme.
At a time when society is
under such pressure, every
option to reach an agreement
must be exhausted rst, the
Democratic Left party said in a
statement. Being uncompro-
mising on both sides does
not help.
Samaras, however, refused to
back down.
The Greek people have
made enormous sacrices and
I will not allow exceptions.
Transport does not belong to
the unions it belongs to the
people and they have the right
to use it,he said in a statement.
Public anger has grown
against the strike which afects
more than 500,000 commuters
in the city of 5mn people.
Some Athenians said their
daily commute time had tripled
and many were having to pay
for costly taxi rides.
A hailstorm and a bus strike
worsened disruptions during
yesterday evening rush hour,
causing long queues for taxis
and leaving crowds huddled
under bus shelters.
The workers are taking ad-
vantage of their union power
while the ordinary commuter,
who is unprotected, is being
punished, said Antonis Deme-
triadis, 40, who works ina mar-
keting company. Who is going
to protect me? Would they care
if my pay is cut?
When the same emergency
law was invoked against truck
drivers in 2010, workers obeyed
the order to return to work af-
ter a week-long strike that had
disrupted fuel supplies and
emptied gas stations. But the
subway workers were deant
and other unions voiced their
We will not back down, we
will resist, one union leader,
Antonis Stamatopoulos, told
Reuters after addressing work-
ers at a subway station in the
working-class neighbourhood
of Sepolia.
Subway workers, who have
deed a court order to return to
work, oppose being included in
a unied wage scheme for pub-
lic sector workers that would
slash their salaries.
Its not that subway workers
went crazy over the last eight
days. We exhausted every pos-
sibility before going on strike.
We have reached our limits.
We have run out of patience,
said Manthos Tsakos, general
secretary of the metro workers
Bus, railways workers and
seafarers said they would walk
of the job in the coming days in
solidarity with subway workers
as major unions expressed their
Greeces largest private and
public labour unions GSEE and
ADEDY, representing about
2mn workers, said they would
hold a 24-hour strike in Febru-
ary to protest the governments
belt-tightening policies.
Greek subway workers told
to end strike or face arrest
56bn euros in tax
evasion cases
Italys financial police said
yesterday that they had busted
close to 12,000 people last year
for evading over 56bn euros
($74bn) worth of taxes.
Investigators rooted out 8,617
people who had never paid taxes
and owed the Italian tax man a
total of 22.7bn euros, the financial
police said in a statement.
Police also honed in on those
using fake companies in tax
havens to evade paying their
dues, calculating 17.1bn euros in
Italian taxes were owed.
Some 16.3bn euros in other
forms of evasion brought the
total to 56.1bn euros and police
reported 11,769 people last year
on suspicion of dodging tax.
Film fest scrapped
as budget cuts bite
Hungarys annual film festival
next month has been cancelled
because there are not enough
new Hungarian movies due to
cuts in government funding,
organisers said yesterday.
This is the first time that we have
not been able to organise our
festival, Attila Janish, the head
of the Hungarian filmmakers
association (MFDZ), told
Klubradio. There were simply
not enough films produced in
Hungary last year to compete in
the festival.
The internationally renowned
festival, founded in 1965, had
been scheduled to take place on
February 7-10 in Budapest.
lovenias nance and jus-
tice ministers resigned
yesterday after their party
witthdrewfromthe coalition of
embattled Prime Minister Janez
Jansa, who meanwhile vowed
to carry on despite his govern-
ment losing its majority in par-
This government will con-
tinue working, Jansa told the
rst news conference since jun-
ior coalition partner Civil List
(DL) quit the ve-party coali-
tion late on Wednesday.
He rejected asking for a
condence vote in parliament
which could lead to early elec-
tions, saying this would cost
Slovenia valuable time just as
vital reforms need to be imple-
Slovenia currently cannot
aford four months of stale-
mate. Those who call for that
are not aware of the situation,
Jansa said.
Finance Minister Janez Sus-
tersic and Justice Minister
Senko Plicanic, both members
of the DL party, tendered their
resignations as expected yes-
Both departures come at an
inopportune time for the 2mn-
strong former Yugoslav repub-
lic, once a model newcomer to
the European Union but now
facing serious economic prob-
Sustersic was deeply in-
volved in attempting to rescue
Slovenias banks and thereby
preventing the eurozone mem-
ber from having to apply for a
Plicanic was the chief gov-
ernment negotiator in talks
with unions about austerity
cuts that on Wednesday pro-
voked a devastating general
strike and protests around the
Ministers quit in Slovenia crisis
Gulf Times
Friday, January 25, 2013
Chief of the banned All Tripura Tiger Force
(ATTF), Ranjit Debbarma, shouts as he is
produced at the Chief Judicial Magistrate
Court in Agartala in the northeastern state of
Tripura yesterday. Debbarma, who is wanted
by the Interpol, was arrested in Bangladesh
in December 2012 and pushed back to India
through the Meghalaya border.
An Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter yesterday
airlifted power grid personnel to snowbound
areas near Banihal Pass for repairing transmission
lines to restore electricity supply to the Kashmir
Valley, an oficial said. Due to heavy snowfall in
Jammu and Kashmir, life in the entire region was
thrown out of gear, with Srinagar having partial
power failure due to the high tension (power)
lines at Banihal Pass getting buried under snow,
the oficial said. The IAF pressed into service its
Cheetah helicopter for the mission to airlift a
team to Banihal to carry out repairs on the 300
MW power line. The helicopter airdropped seven
personnel near the spot and brought them back
safely after completion of work.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa yesterday
asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to dismiss
Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister M K Alagiri
and order an investigation into the loss of around
Rs10bn in subsidies. When the Minister of State
for Chemicals and Fertilisers (Srikant Kumar
Jena) himself gave a note to prevent loss in his
department, Union Minister for Chemicals and
Fertilisers Alagiri neglected that resulting in a
loss of around Rs1,000 crore to the government
and the farmers, Jayalalithaa said in a statement.
Alagiri is the son of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
chief M Karunanidhi. Jayalalithaa said the prime
minister should dismiss Alagiri and order a
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe.
Governor Duvvuri Subbarao yesterday met
Finance Minister P Chidambaram to discuss
the macro-economic situation ahead of
the January 29 monetary policy review of
the bank. Our next quarterly review policy
is scheduled for Tuesday. As per standard
practice, I have come to review macro-
economic situation with the finance minister,
Subbarao told reporters outside the finance
ministers office. The central bank is widely
expected to cut key policy rates by at least
a quarter a percent to boost economic
growth. In the previous review announced on
Decembe 18, the RBI had indicated it would
ease monetary policy in January review.
Reliance Life Insurance, a unit of the Anil Ambani-
ledReliance Capital, yesterday launcheda new
endowment planthat ofers guaranteedlife cover
andmaturity benefits. The newproduct called
Reliance Life Insurance Super Endowment Plan
provides life insurance coverage for the full policy
termby payingfor just half of the selectedpolicy
period. Reliance Life Insurance Super Endowment
Planhas beendesignedtoprovide customers, who
have a lower investment risk appetite, withthe
twin-benefits of savingandlife cover for the future,
AnupRau, chief executive oficer, Reliance Life
Insurance, said. This newproduct is inline withour
philosophy toenable customers toinsure their life
andprovide security totheir dependents, Rausaid.
IAF helps restore
power in Kashmir Valley
Sack Alagiri over
subsidy losses: Jaya
Subbarao meets finance
minister ahead of review
Reliance Life launches
new endowment plan
Cultural terror
should stop,
says Kamal
after lm ban
oted actor Kamal
Haasan yesterday ex-
pressed his shock at
the two-week ban ordered by
the Tamil Nadu government
on his film Vishwaroopam af-
ter objections from Muslim
He said he would seek a legal
Ina statement Kamal Haasan
said: I have been ruthless-
ly used as a vehicle by small
groups who seek political pro-
le. Icon bashing is a great way
to be noticed when you are not
one yourself. It is happening
again and again. Any neutral
andpatrioticMuslimwill surely
feel pride on seeing my lm. It
was designed for that purpose.
Now I will rely on law and
logic to come to our support.
This kind of cultural terrorism
will have to stop, he added.
The film, which deals about
the adversities of war, was
mostly shot in the US and Af-
While he is touched by the
support he and his lm gets,
Kamal added he was appalled at
howhis movie was construed to
be against his Muslimbrothers.
I amnot only hurt by these
accusations of denigrating
a community but my sensi-
bilities are truly insulted, said
Kamal who has written, pro-
duced and directed the movie.
He said his statements in
favour of the Muslim com-
munity have marked him as
its sympathiser.
I have always gone beyond
the call of my duty as an actor
to voice my opinion in favour
of what was humane andcivil. I
have been part of an organi-
sation called Harmony
India which worked for
Hindu-Muslim am-
ity, he added.
On Wednesday
the state govern-
ment banned Vish-
waroopam for
two weeks after
around 25 Muslim
organisations ob-
jected to the mov-
ie on the ground it portrays the
community inbad light.
The Tamil and Telugu ver-
sions were slated for release
today, while the Hindi version,
titledVishwaroop, is scheduled
to come out on February 1.
When Muslim organisa-
tions had objected to the
movie, the 58-year-old actor
organised a special show for
them to allay their fears.
However, the organisations
hardened their stance after
watching the movie, alleg-
ing that the community was
shown in bad light.
Earlier, the lm got into
trouble when Kamal an-
nounced he would premiere
it rst on cable channels and
then take to the theatres.
But when distributors ob-
jected, he had to revise his
plans. Now the Tamil and Tel-
ugu versions will be aired on
DTH (direct-to-home) a week
after their release in cinemas.
The ban has left industry
members like Prakash Raj and
Madhur Bhandarkar upset
and angry.
Filmmakers and actors took
to Twitter to share their reac-
tions to the ban, and unani-
mously pondered over the
worth of the Central Board of
Film Certification (CBFC) in
the country.
Prakash Raj: Ban on Vish-
waroopam. Not fair. This cul-
tural terrorism should stop. We
should stand for the right to ex-
press. WearewithyouKamal sir.
Anubhav Sinha: Is the Tamil
Nadu government saying that
they do not recognise CBFC?
Or they cant handle law and
order? Or they subscribe to
the objection? When a govern-
ment needs to ride on a movie
star, you should know how
intellectually and politically
bankrupt they are.
Madhur Bhandarkar:
I am appalled by the
Tamil Nadu govern-
ments decision to ban
Kamal Haasans Vish-
waroopam after the
lm has been
passed by
the censor
board. Not
Children wave to a man dressed as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the Pink Bus which launched the Campaign for Education as the solution to cure Indias rape epidemic
at Munirka Bus Stand in New Delhi yesterday. After a month of lurid reporting on a horrifying gang-rape and murder of a student, women say they are not safe in Delhi.
Judge gags lawyers in
Delhi gang-rape trial
Though sexual harassment
is commonplacein India, the
23-year-old students gang-
rapehas touched anerve
New Delhi
judge hearing the case of
five men accused of the
fatal gang-rape of a stu-
dent on a New Delhi bus barred
lawyers from speaking to the
press yesterday on the second
day of the trial.
The court has strictly or-
dered us to refrain from sharing
details about the case, lawyer V
K Anand said outside the Saket
district court in New Delhi,
where the suspects made a sec-
ond appearance yesterday.
Rape cases are usually held
behind closed doors in India and
the judge has approved an extra
legal measure which prevents
the media from reporting on
court proceedings, despite the
huge public interest in the case.
Yesterday, after a complaint
from the prosecutor that de-
fence lawyers were not com-
plying with the order and were
sharing details with journalists
waiting outside the court, the
judge warned that they could
be breaking the law.
I have already passed an or-
der, Judge Yogesh Khanna told
reporters after the hearing. If
you are not happy with the order
youcanchallenge it inthe court.
The closed hearing began with
prosecutors presenting charges
of murder, rape, kidnapping, de-
struction of evidence and other
ofences against the suspects.
Today, the arguments be-
gan with the prosecution lay-
ing charges against the accused
in the court, lawyer A P Singh
who represents two accused
told reporters.
To support its case, pros-
ecutors also presented crucial
evidence, including the victims
dying declaration to the court.
The judge xed the next
hearing for January 28, when de-
fence lawyers will argue wheth-
er the accused can be tried for
these charges, Singh said.
Defence lawyers said they
had not yet been given copies
of the postmortem reports, and
plan to challenge the murder
charge arguing that the cause
of death is still unknown.
After the arguments, the
court will decide on the charges
and the trial proceedings will
begin, he added.
Though sexual harassment
is commonplace in India, the
23-year-old students gang
rape has touched a nerve,
sparking protests and an out-
pouring of criticism about
the systemic mistreatment of
women in Indian society.
The woman, who was also as-
saulted with an iron rod, died of
massive internal injuries 13 days
after the December 16 attack,
prompting widespread public
demands for India to introduce
the death penalty for rapists.
The five men face charges in-
cluding murder, rape, robbery
and kidnapping, with prosecu-
tors expected to demand the
death penalty. A sixth suspect,
who claims he is 17, will appear
before a juvenile court.
The trial is being held in a
fast-track court to circumvent
Indias notoriously slow and
clogged up justice system. The
victims family is leading wide-
spread calls for quick closure
on the horrifying case.
On Wednesday, a panel ap-
pointed by the government to
examine sexual abuse laws gave
sweeping recommendations for
the reform of the police service
and judiciary, as well as better
enforcement of laws.
Womens groups and law-
yers hailed the committee for
not getting swayed by pub-
lic opinion demanding capital
punishment for rape.
I amglad that he has not got
swayed by the public demand for
hanging, lawyer and womens
rights activist Kamini Jaiswal,
referring to Justice J S Verma,
who headed the committee.
Sheaddedthat sheagreedwith
all the recommendations made
by the three-member panel,
which also had former additional
solicitor general Gopal Subra-
manium and former Himachal
Pradesh High Court chief justice
Leila Seth as members.
Annie Raja of the National
Federation of Indian Women
said: All our concerns have
found place in the report.
We were not in favour of
chemical castration or death
penalty. Our only concern was
that there is fast punishment
for rapists, she said.
She said the government
should immediately accept the
We are anxious as our past
experience shows that good sug-
gestions have been rejected by
the government, she said.
Ranjana Kumari of the Cen-
tre for Social Research said the
report has made a big departure
from the way sexual assault
was viewed. He (Verma) has
made good remarks on marital
rape and womens rights over
their body.
On the issue of death pen-
alty for rapists, she said, during
public hearings womens or-
ganisations were against death
penalty as it was only given in
the rarest of rare cases.
Death penalty goes up to the
president for clemency peti- it might happen that
they escape without getting it
(death) as only 46 people have
been given capital punishment
in India till date, she said.
Harassedbystalker, womankillsself
Harassed by a stalker,
a 20-year-old woman
committed suicide in Kanpur
by consuming a poisonous
substance, police said
yesterday. The man who
troubled her was arrested.
The woman, a final year
undergraduate student from
Bhadwal village of Kanpur
Dehat, consumed the poison
on Tuesday and died in hospital
yesterday morning. Pradeep,
who used to harass her was
arrested in the evening,
Derapur Station House Oficer
R K Saxena said. On the
complaint of the victims family,
a case of assault or criminal
force with intent to outrage
modesty was slapped on the
accused, the police said.
Court grants bail to
Asaduddin Owaisi
Karnataka BJP rebels plan
court action for speakers return
n Andhra Pradesh court
yesterday granted bail to
Majlis-e-Ittehadul Mus-
limeen chief and MP Asaduddin
Owaisi inaseven-year-oldcaseof
riotingandroughingupanof cer.
The Sessions Court in San-
gareddy town of Medak district
near Hyderabad granted bail
to the MIM president, who has
been in jail since Monday.
The court directed himto sub-
mit two sureties of Rs10,000each
andappear beforeit onFebruary2.
Owaisi moved the court after
his two bail petitions were dis-
missed by a lower court.
The MIM leaders lawyer
sought bail on the ground that
he had to preside over a public
meeting being organised by the
party in Hyderabad on the oc-
casion of Milad-un-Nabi.
He told the court that all ar-
rangements were made for
the meeting and some foreign
speakers were also invited.
Owaisi on Monday appeared
before the judicial first class
magistrate, seeking recall of a
non-bailable warrant (NBW)
against him in connection with
a case booked against him in
2005. The court, however, dis-
missed his plea and sent him to
judicial custody until February
2. The MP was later shifted to a
jail in Sangareddy.
ebels in Karnatakas
ruling Bharatiya Janata
Party (BJP) yesterday
said they would petition the
high court to secure the speak-
ers presence in Bangalore.
We will wait for two more
days. If the speaker does not
return to Bangalore, we plan
to le a habeas corpus petition
in the high court to secure his
presence, rebel BJP legislator
Nehru Olekar told reporters,
taking the battle with the ruling
party to another low.
Olekar is one of the 13 BJP
rebels whose plan to quit the as-
sembly on Wednesday did not
come through as Speaker K G
Bopaiahwasnotinhisof ce.Nei-
therhisof cenoranyrulingparty
leader couldsaywherehewas.
The rebels include ministers
C M Udasi and Shobha Kara-
ndlaje, who quit the Jagadish
Shettar ministry on Wednesday.
They said they had informed
Bopaiah on Tuesday that they
would meet him on Wednesday
to submit their resignation.
The speaker is either ab-
sconding or has beenkidnapped
at the behest of the chief min-
ister or deputy chief ministers,
Olekar alleged. Karnataka has
two deputy chief ministers.
We fear that he might have
been kidnapped as there is no
information about his where-
abouts even after wide public-
ity in the media about his ab-
sence, Olekar claimed.
The rebels waited in vain in
Bopaiahs chamber for over an
hour on Wednesday with their
resignation letters.
Later, they met Governor H
R Bhardwaj and sought his in-
tervention to make the speaker
immediately accept their res-
ignations. Udasi, who was the
public works minister, told
reporters that copies of the
resignation letters have been
e-mailed to the speaker.
We have also e-mailed the
speaker a letter signed by all
13 of us seeking appointment
with him, he said.
Actor Siddique to
head new channel
ByAshraf Padanna
opular Malayalam ac-
tor and television pre-
senter Siddique will
head a new regional channel
promoted by a group of non-
resident Indians.
Kerala Chief Minister Oom-
men Chandy released the logo
of Channel Life here.
The promoters said the
channel would ofers a highly
diferentiated content that are
validatedbya credible author-
ity. Health and lifestyle are the
focus areas of the new channel
Channel Life is the flag-
ship project of Life Plus Me-
dia Ltd, which has Siddique
as its chairman. There will
be programmes on health,
food habits, travel, environ-
ment, culture, technology
and fashion beamed 24X7.
The channels studio is
being set up in the Kinfra
complex at Kakkanad, Ko-
chi, using the most modern
technology, according to
Krishnadas K, general man-
ager-operations, who was
previously with Indiavision.
Channel Life will start its
test telecast from March and
the regular telecast will begin
two months later, he said.
The channel is promoted
by a team that includes spe-
cialists in the health sector,
experienced media persons
and prominent business-
men, he said.
Besides, Siddhique, man-
aging director N E Hariku-
mar, joint managing director
Khalid A Backer, and pro-
moters M P Murali and Tho-
mas Varghese also attended
the logo release held at the
chief ministers chamber.
Gulf Times
Friday, January 25, 2013
Eminent Kannada writer U R
Ananthamurthy was yester-
day declared the Man Booker
International Prize 2013 finalist
from India at a special session
at the Jaipur Literature Festival.
He is one of the 10 finalists
shortlisted by a panel of five
judges for the 60,000 award. The list includes
Aharon Appelfeld (Israel), Lydia Davis (US), Intizar
Husain (Pakistan), Yan Lianke (China), Marie
NDiaye (France), Josip Novakovich (Canada), Mari-
lynne Robinson (US), Vladimir Sorokin (Russia)
and Peter Stamm (Switzerland).
Congress legislator Ram Kumar Chaudhary, who faces
murder charges, yesterday took oath in the Himachal
Pradesh assembly after being brought from a jail in
Haryana. Chaudhary has been booked for murder by
police in Haryana. He was brought to Shimla, where a
large number of his supporters were assembled, from
Ambala jail under heavy security cover. He is one of
four suspects in the murder of a 24-year-old woman
in Panchkula in Haryana on November 22. Its a politi-
cal conspiracy by my political rivals. I am innocent,
Chaudhary told reporters after taking the oath. Asked
about his confession, he said: Its a police theory. I have
full faith in the judiciary. I have never confessed that I
committed the crime.
The ruling Congress Party in Andhra Pradesh
yesterday received another jolt with one of its leg-
islators switching loyalties to the YSR Congress.
Perni Venkateshwara Rao, popularly known as
Perni Nani, called on YSR Congress leader Y S Jag-
anmohan Reddy at the Chanchalguda Central Jail.
He later announced he had resigned both as the
government whip and as assembly member. Nani,
who represented Machilipatnam constituency,
said he was a fan of Jaganmohan Reddy. Talking
to reporters, he alleged that the government was
targeting the YSR party leader. With Nanis resig-
nation, the Congress strength has been reduced
to 148 in the 294-member assembly.
False and frivolous complaints to the Lokayukta
(ombudsman) in Goa would attract a fine up to
Rs1mn, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said yes-
terday. Parrikar also said Goa has recommended
the name of former Supreme Court judge B
Sudarshan Reddy as the states first Lokayukta.
False and frivolous complaints with malicious
intention will be fined by the Lokayukta Ofice to
the tune of Rs1 lakh to Rs10 lakhs The Lokayukta
will decide if the complaint is serious or not, Par-
rikar said. We have recommended the name of
the retired Supreme Court judge (to the Bombay
High Court), now it is up to them to decide, Par-
rikar said.
After fashion weeks and wedding exhibitions,
India is now set to welcome a first-of-its-kind Real
Estate Luxury Show (RLS India 2013), which will
serve as a platform for showcasing the properties
of the countrys real estate giants. The two-day
multi-city show, organised by Global Ventures
Media in association with Indicom, will start on
March 9 at Mumbais Four Seasons Hotel. The
show will also tour other luxury destination like
New Delhi and Bangalore. Analysts predict that
the luxury residential market has a potential to
grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of
around 28% during 2011-2013, Tejas Chhatriwala,
director, Global Ventures Media, said.
Murder accused takes
oath as legislator
Andhra Congress
sufers another blow
Kannada writer in
final race for prize
False complaints to
Lokayukta to be fined
Now India to host real
estate luxury show
jail for
avid Coleman Head-
ley, who helped plot the
devastating 2008 Mum-
bai attacks before agreeing to
become an informer, was sen-
tenced by a US judge yesterday
to 35 years in prison.
Headley, 52, had pleaded
guilty to scoping out Mumbai on
behalf of Pakistani militants and
to a second plot to attack a Dan-
ish newspaper, striking a deal to
avoid the death penalty.
The sentence I impose, Im
hopeful it will keep Mr Headley
under lock and key for the rest
of his natural life, Judge Harry
Leinenweber said.
He added that it would have
been much easier to impose the
death penalty, saying thats
what you deserve, but that he
opted for the 35-year sentence
after a motion by the govern-
ment, saying it was not a light
Heavily-armed militants
rampaged through Mumbai in
November 2008, killing 166
people and wounding hundreds
more over nearly three days of
carnage in a prolonged assault
on the Indian nancial capital.
But US attor-
ney Patrick Fit-
zgerald had urged
leniency, telling
the judge that
Headleys deci-
sion to become an
informant saved
In a plot that reads like a spy
thriller, Headley spent two years
casing out Mumbai, even taking
boat tours around the citys har-
bour to nd landing sites for the
attackers and befriending Bol-
lywood stars as part of his cover.
Prosecutors described it as a
supporting but essential role.
The Washington-born son of
a former Pakistani diplomat and
American woman, Headleys
Western appearance and US
passport helped him slip under
the radar for much of the seven
years he spent working with
militant groups.
And while he quickly turned
informant to save his own skin,
prosecutors said Headley was
committed to the cause of ter-
He was so eager to attack Den-
marks Jyllands-Posten newspaper
overitspublicationof blasphemous
cartoons that he beganworkingse-
foretheMumbai attack.
He also had Bollywood and
one of Indias most sacredHindu
temples in his sights as he began
plotting a second India attack
during a March 2009 surveil-
lance trip.
BJP threatens
to disrupt
over Shinde
The BJP steps up its demand
for sacking Home Minister
Sushilkumar Shindeover his
Hinduterror remarks
New Delhi
he Bharatiya Janata Party
yesterday kept up its de-
mand for the sacking of
Home Minister Sushilkumar
Shinde over his Hindu terror
remarks, threatening to disrupt
parliaments budget session un-
til the government is forced to
drop him.
The ruling Congress Party dis-
missed the protests as aimed to
deect attention fromBJPs own
Speaking at a protest rally,
BJPs new president Rajnath
Singh and Leader of Opposition
in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj
demanded that the Congress
leaders apologise over Shindes
The BJP will ght the issue
in both houses of parliament,
said Rajnath Singh, alleging
that Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh will not have the guts to
sack Shinde until Congress chief
Sonia Gandhi speaks on the is-
What is your (Gandhi) view
on Shindes remarks? If you do
not give directions to Manmo-
hanji that Shindeji should be
sacked, I want to tell you, we will
create a situation in both houses
of parliament that Manmohanji
will be forced to sack Shindeji.
No power on earth will be able to
stop it, the newBJP chief said.
The budget session of parlia-
ment is expected to begin in the
second half of February.
He has raised such a big
question on the countrys pres-
tige, even then there is silence.
No power will be able to save him
(from sacking), the BJP will cre-
ate such a situation in the coun-
try, Rajnath Singh said.
Till the time an apology
comes on (Shindes) statement,
our agitation will continue,
Swaraj said.
You have hurt national in-
terest at a time when Pakistan
is coming and beheading our
soldiers. You are not attacking
Pakistan but attacking the main
opposition party, she said.
What do you want to tell the
world? There might be terror
camps in Pakistan, but here the
main opposition party runs a
terror camp? Do you want to say,
terrorists are sitting in parlia-
ment? The leader of opposition
in the Lok Sabha is heading a ter-
ror organisation? she asked.
Swaraj accused the Congress
of double speak on Shindes
remarks, and said one of its gen-
eral secretaries had justied the
ministers remarks and another
had sought to distance the party
Shinde had referred to Hindu
terrorism and safron terrorism
during a Congress conclave in
Jaipur on Sunday.
Whether it is the BJP or the
RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak
Sangh), their training camps are
promoting Hindu terrorism, he
had said.
Congress spokeswoman
Renuka Chowdhury termed the
BJPs nationwide agitation as an
attempt to deect public atten-
tion fromits problems.
Why is the BJP threatening to
agitate over (Shindes) remark?
They are doing this to deect
peoples attention fromtheir in-
house problems and misguide
them, she told reporters here.
Minister of State in the Prime
Ministers Of ce V Narayana-
samy termed the protests by the
BJP as unwarranted.
People who were arrested in
the Malegaon incident and the
Samjhauta Express blast were
found to be members of some
of the Hindu fundamentalist
groups and it was in that con-
text the home minister said this.
I dont see any kind of objection
to any part of his statement,
Narayanasamy said.
Terrorism is terrorism;
whether Hindu fundamentalism
or Muslim fundamentalism, it is
condemnable, he said.
Meanwhile, 21 activists and
intellectuals yesterday demand-
ed a thorough inquiry into a
terror nexus involving Hindu
groups and security agencies.
A statement issued by them
saidagenuineprobewas need-
ed to knowthe nexus straddling
Abhinav Bharat, RSS, VHP, BJP
and Bajrang Dal leaders together
with sections of the Indian intel-
ligence and security agencies.
This was necessary although
the Indian government had be-
latedly acknowledged the hei-
nous terrorist acts of the Sangh
groups, they said.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters burn an efigy and posters of Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde
during a protest in New Delhi yesterday.
India debates raising taxes
on the rich ahead of budget
New Delhi/ Mumbai
ndia should consider the
argument for higher taxes
on the very rich, Finance
Minister P Chidambaramsaid in
comments likely to fuel specula-
tion about steps he may take in
next months budget to boost
tax ows and narrow a yawning
scal gap.
In an of-the-record
pre-budget meeting with
Chidambaram and Finance
Ministry of cials on January 7,
some economists pressed for
higher taxes on the rich to make
sure they are paying their fair
share, alarming business lobby
groups that warn such a move
would stie growth.
The nance ministers com-
ments come against the back-
drop of a global debate, fromthe
US to France, about whether the
very wealthy pay enough taxes.
The growth rate of Asias
third-largest economy is widely
expected to slip to a decade-low
in scal 2012/13 as the govern-
ment grapples with balloon-
ing budget and current account
decits and high ination.
Chidambaram wants to plug
holes in the nations nances
by cutting expenditure and in-
creasing revenues through im-
proved tax collection.
I think we should have sta-
bility in tax rates but we should
consider the argument that very
rich should be asked to pay a lit-
tle more on some occasions, but
that is not theviewI amexpress-
ing. That is simply the argument
I have heard and I amrepeating,
Chidambaram said in a TV in-
terviewaired yesterday.
Chidambaram ofered no
denition of the very rich, but
his comments are likely to please
many in his Congress Party who
feel recent reforms to further
liberalise the economy favour
corporate India at the expense of
the common man.
The Congress is facing a
tough ght to hold
on to power in a
series of state elec-
tions this year and
general elections
due by May 2014.
It is good
electoral poli-
tics but eco-
nomically doesnt make sense,
said Venugopal Dhoot, who
controls Videocon Group and
ranks 38th in Forbes India rich
list with a net worth of $1.5bn.
It was not immediately clear
if Chidambaramwas referring to
higher taxes on income, assets
or capital gains in a regime that
currently makes India a good
place for the rich to live.
At present the top income tax
rate is 30%, which applies to
earnings above Rs1mn ($18,500)
a year. There are just 35mn tax-
payers ina country of 1.2bnpeo-
ple, and of them about 1.5mn
declare annual earnings of more
than Rs1 rupees, according to
the Finance Ministry.
There is no inheritance tax,
an issue Chidambaramraised as
a concern after being appointed
fi - nance minister last
August. In 2009,
his predecessor
withdrew a 10%
surcharge on the
30%rate paid on
earnings above
A govern-
ment of-
cial with
direct knowledge of the debate
in the Finance Ministry said the
focus is onplugging loopholes in
the collectionof income tax paid
by individuals and companies.
There are options of revisit-
ing the inheritance tax and sur-
charge on income tax paid by the
individuals, the of cial said,
declining to say if these were
rm proposals on the table for
the budget to be unveiledaround
the end of February.
Even if they bring (back)
the surcharge that will only
add about Rs15-20bn, which
is a drop in the ocean and will
be lost in the decline of tax
revenues that will arise due to
lower compliance if tax rates
are raised, said Surjit Bhalla,
chairman of advisory firm
Oxus Investments.
Indias richest people tend to
own businesses and other assets
and thus have comparatively
little exposure to salaries tax.
Billionaire Mukesh Ambani, for
example, was paid salary and
perks of Rs150mn ($2.8mn) in
the last scal year by Reliance
Industries, which he controls.
According to Forbes, Ambani is
worth $21bn.
Govt gives nod for
Walmart probe
New Delhi
ndias cabinet yesterday
gave the green light to a
retired judge to investigate
whether US supermarket chain
Walmart hadviolatedany Indi-
an laws through multi-million
pound lobbying.
Walmart said in a report to
the US Senate that it spent
$25mn over four years on is-
sues related to enhanced
market access for investment
in India.
The report sparked a politi-
cal ruckus in New Delhi with
opposition lawmakers - who
are against the supermarket
giants entry into India - call-
ing for an inquiry into whether
paid lobbying, which is banned
in the country, occurred.
Walmart has maintained
that it has done nothing illegal
and the US State Department
has also stated that in its view
no laws have been broken.
But last month the Indian
government said it would ask
a retired judge to probe the
spending, conrming yester-
day that the inquiry wouldpro-
ceed as planned.
The judge will inquire into
recent media reports ondisclo-
sures of Walmart before the US
Senate regarding their lobbying
activities and details, a gov-
ernment press release said.
The judge, who has been
asked to submit his report
in three months, will probe
whether Walmart undertook
any activities in India in con-
travention of any Indian law,
the release added.
Last year, the Indian gov-
ernment allowed foreign su-
permarkets to establish joint
ventures in the country as part
of Prime Minister Manmohan
Singhs policy of seeking out-
side investment.
Meanwhile, Walmart chief
executive of cer Doug McMil-
lon met Commerce and Indus-
try Minister Anand Sharma in
Davos, Switzerland, to discuss
the possibility of opening su-
permarkets in India.
McMillon conveyed to Shar-
ma that Walmart is excited
about India and was studying
the conditions before making
the nal announcement.
Sharma said that Indias
policy on FDI in multi-brand
retail has nality and they need
not be unduly concerned about
any policy reversal, the minis-
try said in a statement.
Jagans bail
plea rejected
The Andhra Pradesh High Court
yesterday rejected YSR Congress
Party leader Y S Jaganmohan
Reddys bail petition in an illegal
assets case. The court, which had
reserved its orders two days ago,
said the petition was not maintain-
able in the light of directions given
by the Supreme Court earlier.
Justice B Seshasayana Reddy also
refused to give any directions to
the Central Bureau of Investiga-
tion (CBI) to fix a time-frame for
completing the investigations, say-
ing the court could not interfere
in the matter. The Kadapa MPs
lawyer had argued that his client
was entitled to get bail as the CBI
failed to complete the investiga-
tions and file the charge-sheet.
Gulf Times
Friday, January 25, 2013 12
The rupee depreciation against the dollar has
adversely hit the pharmaceutical companies
raising cost of their raw materials and packaging
goods in last one-and-a-half-year, making it hard
for industry to continue production of drugs at
the same rates. The average dollar value against
the rupee was close to Rs98 in December 2012
as compared with Rs59.09 in December 2001,
showing an impact of 65% depreciation of
rupee against the dollar. The depreciation cost
impacted negatively on the production cost of
local and foreign pharmaceutical companies,
which have been facing embargo on the price
surge on the medicines since 2002.
The National Assembly of Pakistan (the lower
house) yesterday passed a bill to provide for
the registration, regulation and functioning of
private educational institutions in Islamabad
Capital Territory. The bill on becoming Act of
the Parliament would empower the regulatory
authority to determine and fix rate of fee being
charged by the institution, terms and condition
of appointment of teaching staf including their
salaries and mode of payment of their salaries.
The powers being given to the regulatory
authority may also give relief to the parents who
have to pay increased school fees with the start
of every new academic year.
Contrary to the tall claims of Pakistans Punjab
government to provide state-of-the-art public
transport service in Rawalpindi, the neighbouring
city of Islamabad, the commuters continue to
sufer as reckless, unchecked violation of rules
by transporters is adding to their problems.
The problems being faced by commuters on a
daily basis include overcrowding, overcharging,
non-compliance of routes and over-speeding.
According to a survey, the major problems are
shortage of buses, inequitable fare system,
various routes having no public transport facility
and disinterest of local transporters in investing
in the urban sector.
Pakistans northwest Peshawar city and its
surrounding areas are likely to have a longer
and harsher winter this year as a result the next
summer is expected to set in later than usual,
according to experts.The average night time
temperature (minimum temperature) recorded
during the first 21 days of the current month
reflected a drop by about 2 degree centigrade
as compared to normal, showing a major shift
in the weather pattern this winter. We are likely
to have three to five cold spells this year in an
escape from a normal year when Peshawar
usually experiences two to three cold spells,
said Syed Mushtaq Ali Shah, of Met Department.
Karachis tallest building is all set to open for
public and corporate sector with its objective
to spur business and commercial activities in
the state-of-art safe, secure and world class
environment. The high-rise project is set to
break the record of being the tallest building
in the country with 393 feet height and 28
floors whereas the record is currently held by
a private bank building with the height of 370
feet containing 24 floors situated in Karachi on
I I Chundrigar Road. Ocean Tower is state-of-art
shopping centre and business centre has been
constructed and developed with an investment
of Rs7bn in the economic hub of the country.
Rupee depreciation
afects drug makers
Private educational
institutions bill passed
Pakistani commuters
suferings continue
Peshawar to sufer harsher,
longer winter this year
Karachis tallest
skyscraper ready
SC orders second
action against PM
akistans top court yes-
terday ordered of cials to
register a second criminal
case against the prime minister,
raising the pressure on the gov-
ernment as it nears the end of its
termin of ce.
Last week, the Supreme Court
ordered the arrest of Prime
Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf in
connection with a corruption
investigation that dates back to
energy projects commissioned
when he was water and power
The second case relates to
the former head of the oil and
gas regulatory authority, Tauqir
Sadiq, who ed abroad after be-
ing accused of embezzling Rs-
83bn ($850mn) in kickbacks and
Members of the government
accuse the court of waging a po-
litically motivated witch hunt
against the administration,
which in March 2013 will be-
come the rst elected civilian
government in Pakistan to com-
plete a full termin of ce.
Last June the court sacked
Ashrafs predecessor for con-
tempt over his refusal to ask
Switzerland to reopen corrup-
tion cases against President Asif
Ali Zardari on the grounds that
he has immunity as headof state.
The court in 2011 declared
Sadiqs appointment illegal on
the grounds that he was not
qualied. It ordered the National
Accountability Bureau, an anti-
corruption watchdog, to inves-
tigate him on suspicion of cor-
The NAB reported back that
Sadiq was appointed by Ashraf,
then water and power minister,
in 2009 and allegedly embezzled
In October 2012 the Supreme
Court ordered Sadiqs arrest.
But despite being ona govern-
ment blacklist, Sadiq ed the
country, allegedly with the help
of Interior Minister Rehman
Malik and Jehangir Badar, a rela-
tive and senior member of the
ruling Pakistan Peoples Party.
Why hasnt NAB taken any
action? Judge Jawwad Khawaja
asked NAB of cials in court yes-
terday. NAB of cials asked the
court for an extra week.
File references against all
those involved, including the
minister and other government
functionaries who appointed
Tauqir Sadiq and all those who
facilitated his escape, before
January 31, Khawaja said.
Meanwhile, the Supreme
Court yesterday opened an in-
quiry into the death of an of cial
investigating a corruption scan-
dal involving the prime minister,
giving of cials three days to sub-
mit documents.
Kamran Faisal was found
dead last Friday in a government
hostel three days after the Su-
preme Court ordered the arrest
of Prime Minister Raja Pervez
The initial ndings of an au-
topsy said Faisal committed
suicide, but his family and some
of his colleagues believe he was
Judge Jawwad Khawaja or-
dered police, the Pakistan Tel-
ecommunication Authority and
Faisals employer, anti-corrup-
tion watchdog the National Ac-
countability Bureau (NAB), to
submit documents related to the
case by tomorrow.
Among information demand-
ed are phone records of senior
NAB of cials, and records and
CCTV footage of all meetings
and events at NAB since January
15 the day that the Supreme
Court ordered the prime minis-
ters arrest.
Khawaja said it was important
to determine whether there was
any link between Faisals death
and the order that Ashraf and 15
other of cials be arrested.
And all indications and evi-
dences show that this unnatural
death has a link with the case we
were hearing. This is not an or-
dinary case, he said.
After the order dated Janu-
ary 15 in the Rental Power Plants
(RPP) case, it also becomes im-
portant for the court to ascertain
if there was an attempt to inter-
fere into the proceedings of RPP
case, he added.
Faisals brother-in-law Ha-
mid Munir, who also works at
NAB, appeared before the court
to complain that police had not
registered a case into his death.
Whether its murder or sui-
cide, we dont know, but the po-
lice should have registered the
case, the judge said, adjourning
the case until January 28.
The long-running corruption
probe relates to allegations of
kickbacks during Ashrafs tenure
as minister for water and power.
NAB has suspended the inves-
tigation pending inquiries into
Faisals death.
The second case against
PrimeMinister Pervez
Ashraf related to former
head of oil and gas body
who fled abroad after being
accused of embezzling Rs
83bn in kickbacks
Brother-in-law of deceased Kamran Faisal, formerly of the anti-corruption watchdog, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Hamid Munir
stands along with NAB employees outside the Supreme Court building in Islamabad, after submitting an application for an inquiry into the
death of Faisal.
Afghan forces
to rely on
mortars: US
fghan forces will have
to rely increasingly on
mortars and armored
vehicles instead of air power
once Nato-led forces with-
draw from the country in
2014, a senior US general said
US air strikes in the war al-
ready have begun to decline
and the generals comments
underlined the shift underway
inAfghanistan, as US andcoa-
lition combat forces gradually
depart over the next two years.
With a edgling eet of hel-
icopters, the Afghans will not
have the option of calling in
bombing raids like their Nato
counterparts, who routinely
ask for back-up from war-
planes and attack helicopters.
As a result, US troops are
focused on building up the
Afghan armys arsenal of mor-
tars and howitzers, said Gen-
eral James Terry, the deputy
commander of US troops and
head of the International Se-
curity Assistance Force joint
Giventhe Afghans lackof air
power, what we must do then
is bring the surface re capa-
bility to fruition, and thats the
indirect re observed indi-
rect re,Terry told reporters at
a Pentagon brieng.
The Afghans would be em-
ploying D-30 howitzers and
60 mmmortars, he said.
And so now, instead of, you
know, calling up into the air,
they have those organic ca-
pabilities inside their forma-
tions, he said.
He also said seven Afghan
battalions would use armored
vehicles that would give the
Kabul government forces a
degree of mobility until their
nascent air force expands.
The armored wheeled-
based platform for Afghan
forces currently is not armed
but a gun system possibly
could be added, he said.
The Afghans will have to
evacuate most of their wound-
ed soldiers with vehicles in-
stead of air, as a large eet of
Nato helicopters manned with
medical teams will no longer
be at the ready, he added.
In terms of the casualty
evacuation, were starting to
move toward ground casualty
evacuation, Terry said.
US bombing raids in Af-
ghanistan have begun to de-
crease, according to Pentagon
statistics, apparently reect-
ing the drawdown of Nato
Traditional wrestling loses its grip on Pakistan
or decades, their practice
ring honed the talent of
Pakistans most famous
wrestling family. Today, it is
their graveyard, a tting symbol
of the decline of the sport in the
The Bholu brothers are buried
next to a centuries-old Banyan
tree to the side of their former
ring. Sweepers clean the mau-
soleum, but otherwise the com-
pound of a mud court, aban-
doned gym and small decayed
garden is eerily quiet.
Government neglect and pov-
erty has helped consign the glo-
rious feats of Pakistani wrestlers
to fast-fading memory. Only a
handful carry the torch for the
next generation and few com-
mand the thousands of specta-
tors of days gone by.
From 1954 to 1970, Pakistan
won 18 wrestling gold medals in
the Commonwealth Games, ve
at the Asian Games and a Bronze
in the 1960 Olympics.
There was a gold at the Asian
Games in 1986 and two in the
2010 Commonwealth Games,
but apart fromthat, internation-
al victories have all but dried up.
Rings that once thronged with
thousands of spectators are now
I cant speak about wres-
tling, it hurts me, said Abid
AslamBholu, whose late brother
Jhara was the last of the Bholu
family to win titles. The legacy
ended there, with Abid instead
choosing a career in business as
wrestling faded.
Weve lost all the glory and
its painful to recall the golden
The family were wrestlers
since 1850. The golden genera-
tion brothers Bholu, Azam,
Aslam, Akramand Goga prac-
ticed opposite the independence
monument in the eastern city of
Lahore and behind the shrine of
a famous su saint.
On the worldwide exhibition
circuit, they were champions.
Bholu challenged American
wrestler Lou Thesz and Indias
Dara Singh both world cham-
pions in 1953, although nei-
ther accepted.
In 1967, he ofered 5,000 Brit-
ish pounds to anyone in the
world who could beat him and
that same year won the World
Heavyweight Title ght against
Anglo-French heavyweight
champion Henry Perry in Lon-
Aslamand Azamenjoyed vic-
tories against champions around
the world in the 1950s while
Akram was nicknamed Dou-
ble Tiger in 1953 when he beat
Ugandan champion Idi Amin.
Jhara, who died in 1991 at 31,
was the last big name inthe fam-
Abid has a construction busi-
ness, a money exchange of ce,
a modern residential develop-
ment on the edge of the Lahore-
Islamabad motorway and an
import-export rm and earns
more than he ever could from
There is no respect for the
wrestlers now, there is no more
money in the game, so why
should one wrestle, he said.
Staying at number one is dif-
cult. And when you are number
oneandnobody respects you, the
government doesnt care about
youandyour family doesnt have
enough resources, its better to
do business and earn money, he
For centuries, the rulers of In-
dianstates kept wrestlers to ght
rival teams, feeding and paying
themwell because their victories
brought glory to the state.
But after partition from In-
dia in 1947, authorities in the
newstate of Pakistan ignored its
Those left in the sport say
that of the 300 akharas, or mud
wrestling courts in 1947, barely
30 still operate. The number of
wrestlers has fallen fromaround
7,000 to 300.
Few youngsters are interested
and practice courts in central
and southern provinces Pun-
jab and Sindh, where most are
found, lie deserted.
However, 19-year-old She-
hwar Tahir is an exception.
I have a few friends who
practice with me but young peo-
ple dont want to become wres-
tlers, Tahir said, oiling his body
for a workout.
They say why play this game
when it has no future, no money
and especially when they cant
aford daily meals to gain power
and maintain their weight.
Tahir wakes up at 4 am to do
sets of push ups andsay morning
prayers before going back to bed.
He rises again in the afternoon
and goes to the court to do more
push ups.
Tahir digs up a 30 square foot
mud court with a large hoe, then
ties a woodenbar to his neckwith
a strong rope andpulls the length
and width of the court with an-
other wrestler sitting on the bar,
to press and level the clay.
To do all these exercises and
strengthen his body, he says he
has to eat bread, chicken, pulses,
fruits and two kilos of almonds
everyday to maintain his body
weight of 90 kilos. He drops to
84 kilos for competitions.
But Tahirs coach, Amir Butt,
says many people cant aford it in
a country of huge unemployment
and where Taliban and Al Qaeda-
linked attacks have hit the econo-
my hard over the last decade.
Being a wrestler has become
very expensive. We are unable to
produce many quality wrestlers
because it costs at least Rs1,500
($16) a day for food and not eve-
rybody can aford it.
The Pakistan Wrestling Fed-
eration says the Pakistan Sports
Board (PSB) does not have
enough money, and that provid-
ing grants to private clubs and
courts was a complicated proc-
Calls for the sponsorship of
private akharas are getting loud-
er, said Chaudhary Mohamed
Asghar, secretary of the wres-
tling federation.
He added that a domestic
competition with attractive
prize money was being devised
to try and bring interest back to
the sport and return Pakistan to
the international arena.
There is a realisation that
these courts should be support-
ed in some way, he said.
Pakistani traditional wrestlers hold a picture of famous wrestler
Jhara during training at a practice ring in Lahore.
Measlesoutbreakkillsmore than100children
At least 103 children have
died this month in a measles
outbreak in Pakistan, oficials
said yesterday.
Sixty-two of the deaths were
in the southern province of
Sindh, said Maryam Yunus,
spokeswoman for the World
Health Organisation.
Thirty-three measles-
related deaths occurred
in the south-western
province of Balochistan,
while seven children died
in the eastern province
of Punjab and one in the
capital Islamabad.
The figure reached before the
end of January was already
a third of the total of 310
casualties for the whole of
2012 for the country.
The basic cause of the
measles outbreak is
low immunisation and
malnutrition, Yunus said.
Those killed ranged from
infants under nine months of
age to children up to nine.
She said that UN agencies
have already provided
measles vaccines for around
3mn children.
Authorities in Sindh were
taking measures to control
the outbreak, said Mazhar
Khamsani, a health oficial in
the province.
Gulf Times
Friday, January 25, 2013
Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi arrives
at Yangon International Airport, Yangon, Myanmar,
yesterday. Suu Kyi is leaving Myanmar to visits the US and
South Korea.
Foreign travel
US navy to remove oil
from ship stuck on reef
he US navy yesterday said
it needed to remove thou-
sands of litres of oil from
a minesweeper stuck on World
Heritage-listed coral in the Phil-
ippines, warning it was too badly
damagedtobe towedaway.
The 68-metre (224-foot) USS
Guardian, which became embed-
ded in the Tubbataha Reef a week
ago, will have tobe liftedontoan-
other shipor barge, a process that
might takeanother fortnight, said
Rear Admiral Thomas Carney.
The option that we hoped
to be able to tow the ship of the
reef is not available, said Carney,
whoheads theUSNavys logistics
group in the western Pacic. Its
too badly damaged. Its got hull
penetrations in several places,
and theres a signicant amount
of water inside the ship right
He said the Guardian had list-
ed after being battered by huge
waves, and the most pressing is-
sue was to remove 57,000 litres
of fuel.
The rst priority is to get the
fuel out of theshipassoonaspos-
Carney described the salvage
operation as a very deliberate,
complicated process involving
at least twomore USNavyvessels
that couldtake uptotwoweeks to
It depends on the environ-
mental conditions out there as to
how safely we can proceed, he
saidof the timeline.
American divers had been on
boardtodetermine the ships sta-
bility, as well as secure or remove
crucial equipment inside the ves-
sel to make it lighter for lifting,
While Carney said it was too
early to determine how much
damage the Guardian has caused,
the Philippine government re-
portedthis weekthat about 1,000
squaremetres of coral hadalready
This equates to less than 1%of
Tubbataha, a Unesco World Her-
itage site in a remote part of the
Sulu Sea famous for its rich ma-
rine life and coral that rivals Aus-
tralias Great Barrier Reef.
The incident has stoked anger
in the Philippines, with the US
Navy yet to explain why it was
sailing through a protected ma-
rine sanctuary en route to Indo-
nesia. Under Philippine laws, the
sanctuary is of-limits to ships
except for researchor tourismap-
provedbythe government.
The head of the agency su-
pervising the sanctuary said this
week that the captain of the ship
ignored warnings that it was
nearing the reef. The agency rec-
ommended the US Navy be ned
for unauthorised entry into the
Nod for bill on payout
to Marcos victims
he Philippine Congress has
approved a bill awarding
of victims of human rights abuses
under late president Ferdinand
Marcoss 20-year ironrule.
Under the nal version of the
bill approved by a bicameral com-
mittee, payments amounting to
morethan10bnpesos ($246mn) to
the victims will come from funds
recoveredbythe government from
Marcoss ill-gottenwealth.
The abuses occurred during the
period of martial law from Sep-
tember 21, 1972 up to Marcoss
downfall onFebruary25, 1986.
Victims who can claim com-
pensation include about 10,000
people, subjected to arbitrary ar-
rest, detention, torture and ex-
ecutionduringthe Marcos regime,
and their relatives who led and
won a class-action suit against
Marcos in1995 inHawaii.
Marcos, whowas overthrownin
a popular revolt in 1986, ed the
country and died in exile in Ha-
The bill needs to be ratied by
a plenary session of Congress on
Monday before it is signed into
law by President Benigno Aqui-
no, whose late father, a former
senator critical of Marcos, was
assassinated in 1983 at a Manila
tarmac upon his return fromex-
ile in the US.
We urge Congress to imme-
diately ratify the compensation
bill and for President Aquino to
sign the bill into law so that the
reparation process can start,
Neri Colmenares, a party-list
representative and one of the
proponents of the bill, told re-
Marcoss family has since re-
turned to the Philippines and re-
tains power and inuence in the
country. His wife Imelda, infa-
mous for her collection of jewelry
and shoes, is currently a member
of the lower chamber of Congress
while his sonis a senator.
In 1997, the Swiss Federal
Supreme Court awarded over
$600mn in funds, considered to
be illegally acquired by Marcos,
to the Philippine government.
The bill provides for the crea-
tion of an independent body
that will evaluate and process
payments to the victims, with
compensation to be based on the
gravity of abuse they endured.
Manila holds
key rate over
he Philippines has refrained
from cutting benchmark
borrowing costs and moved
to reduce the rate on special de-
posit accounts to curb capital in-
ows that threatentocreateasset-
price bubbles.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
(BSP) kept the rate it pays lenders
for overnight deposits at a record-
low3.5%, accordingtoastatement
inManila yesterday.
The decision was predicted by
all 20 economists surveyed by
The central bank also set the
rate onall special deposit accounts
at 3%toensureadequateliquid-
Emerging-market policy mak-
ers are grappling with capital in-
ows that threaten to destabilise
their economies as interest rates
near zeroindevelopednations lure
investors seekinghigher returns.
Bangko Sentral last week said
it is considering expanding re-
serverequirements onbanks trust
products, as the pesos rise to a
ve-year high this month hurts
exporters and erodes the value of
Coping with the excessive
inows remains the key chal-
lenge, with the strengthening
peso threatening the competitive-
ness of several industries, Eugene
Leow, an economist at DBS Group
Holdings in Singapore, said before
the decision. More administra-
tive measures may be introduced
term. In the meantime, we expect
The peso was little changed
at 40.627 against the dollar as of
3:59pminManila. The benchmark
Philippine Stock Exchange Index
gained0.4%at the close.
The Philippines $225bn econo-
my grew7.1%in the third quarter,
the fastest pace since 2010andthe
most inSoutheast Asia.
Arisingmiddle class is boosting
spending on Ayala Lands homes
and Jollibee Food Corporations
fried chicken meals, brightening
the outlook for company prots
and helping the benchmark stock
exchange index surge to a record
this month.
The monetary authority is fo-
cused on containing speculative
inows andhas participatedinthe
currency market to restrain the
peso, Governor Amando Tetangco
saidlast week.
Bangko Sentral last month said
it will impose limits on currency
forward positions at banks at 20%
of capital for local lenders and
100%for foreignentities.
The peso has gained more than
6% in the past 12 months, the
best performer among Asias 11
most widely-traded currencies
tracked by Bloomberg. A clear
and present concern is the im-
pact of capital inows, Tetangco
said earlier this month, adding
that they could also feed credit
booms, asset- price bubbles and
other nancial imbalances.
Remittances to the Philippines,
which account for about 10% of
the economy, rose 7.6% in No-
vember, while portfolio inows
surgedtoa record$18.5bnin2012.
The currencys gains are erod-
ing competitiveness, the Busi-
ness Processing Associationof the
Philippines saidinastatement last
Philippine President Benigno
Aquino is increasing spending to
a record this year while seeking
morethan$16bnof investments in
roads and airports to spur growth
toas muchas 7%in2013.
Myanmar launches graft
probe at telecom ministry
yanmars former tele-
communications minis-
ter anddozens of of cials
are under investigation for graft,
a senior government of cial said
yesterday, in a landmark probe in
the fast reforming country long
ranked among the worlds most
The investigation by the home
ministry and auditor general
covers about 50 individuals and
civil servants connected to the
telecommunications ministry
and comes a month after reform-
ist President Thein Sein vowed to
clean up a bureaucracy mired in
corruptionandinef ciency.
A senior government of cial,
who asked not to be identied,
said current and former ministry
staf were being questioned in
connection with malpractice in
the nationwide telecommunica-
tions network. Oneof thoseunder
investigationwas former telecom-
munications minister, Thein Tun,
who stepped down this month for
Presidential spokesman Ye
Htut conrmed that an investiga-
tion was underway, but would not
comment further. Investigations
into corruption are almost un-
heardof inMyanmar, whichended
49 years of military rule in March
Since then, a reformist govern-
ment has freed hundreds of po-
litical prisoners, eased censorship
controls and held free elections.
Its rewards includeasuspensionin
Western sanctions but its reputa-
tionfor graft has lingered.
Thein Sein, a former general,
announced this month the crea-
tion of an anti-corruption com-
mittee. The probe comes as My-
anmar begins to liberalise one of
the worlds most underdeveloped
telecoms sectors to attract foreign
rms in the greeneld market of
The government source said the
home ministry was questioning
eight people, including the general
manager and deputy chief engi-
Other cases were being handled
bythe auditor-generals of ce.
It is unclear whether the inves-
tigationwouldaccelerate telecoms
sector reforms. Myanmars mobile
phone SIM cards are among the
worlds most expensive, costing
around $250, compared to about
$1.50 in neighbouring countries.
A newtelecoms lawis working its
way through parliament and the
government has invited expres-
sions of interest from companies
for twonewlicences.
The telecoms ministry, which
runs the countrys only operator,
Myanmar Post and Telecommu-
nications (MPT), has been criti-
cised for delays in the drafting and
implementation of new laws and
regulations to expand and liberal-
ise the sector. It ummoxed poten
tial investors in April 2011 when it
announced plans to create 30mn
GSM lines by 2016 even before a
draft telecommunications lawwas
International investors have
also expressed unease over the
ministrys opaque agreements
with 23 companies to build com-
munications towers and distrib-
ute SIM cards. Sources were able
to conrma report by US-funded
Radio Free Asia that the ex-tel-
ecoms minister, Thein Tun, was
under house arrest.
Coping with the excessive
infows remains the
key challenge, with
the strengthening
peso threatening the
competitiveness of several
Residents ride improvised rafts to travel in a flooded neighborhood in Jakarta yesterday. Indonesias National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said more than 30,000
people were displaced while 20 people died during the widespread flooding that hit Jakarta as the weather bureau forecast more rains in the coming days.
Flooded Jakarta
A seventh worker from the Philippines has been
confirmed killed in last weeks siege by militants
of a remote natural gas plant in Algeria, the
foreign department in Manila said yesterday. The
remains were identified by his British employers,
foreign afairs spokesman Raul Hernandez told
a news conference. Manila on Monday said six
Filipinos were killed and 12 survived the 72-hour
hostage drama in the north African desert.
Most of them died of gunshot wounds and the
efects of explosions, Hernandez said. Two other
Filipinos remain missing while four more are in
an Algerian hospital recovering from injuries
sustained during the raid.
Myanmar ethnic minority rebels have freed
eight underage military recruits captured and
held as prisoners of war, the International
Labour Organisation said yesterday. The ILO
said it had acted as an intermediary between
the government and the rebels in the recent
release of the soldiers in the northern state
of Kachin. This led to the release of eight
underage recruits by the Kachin Independence
Army (KIA) who were held by the KIA as
prisoners of war, said the ILOs Yangon liaison
oficer, Steve Marshall. He said the organisation
was seeking their formal discharge from the
Police have rescued nine children and arrested
33 suspected members of a child traficking
syndicate in northern Malaysia. The nine
children, aged between two months and eight-
years, were rescued in a police operation that
started in December last year, according to
Penang police chief Abdul Rahim Hanafi. Abdul
Rahim said among the 33 arrested suspects
was a woman in her 50s, who was believed to
be the mastermind of the syndicate. He said
the syndicate would spot desperate pregnant
foreign nationals in hospitals and then negotiate
to buy their babies. The babies were then resold
to childless couples.
Vietnam will produce its own chemicals to carry
out the death penalty by lethal injection after
failing to get shipments from the European
Union, news reports said. The country would start
producing the poison for five prisons under a pilot
programme from next year, Tuoi Tre newspaper
quoted Public Security Minister Tran Dai Quang as
telling the National Assembly. The country has not
been able to execute any convicts since switching
from firing squads to lethal injections in July 2011.
The EU imposed a ban on European companies
selling the necessary chemicals to Vietnam as
part of an efort to pressure the country into
abolishing capital punishment.
Pope Benedict XVI received the secretary general
of Vietnams Communist Party in an unusual
gesture marking a desire for fruitful collaboration
between the Catholic Church and the party,
though some issues remain to be resolved, the
Vatican said. The meeting was rare because the
pope usually reserves private audiences for heads
of state. During talks, themes of interest were
touched upon and the hope was expressed that
certain unresolved situations can be resolved,
the Vatican said. The Vietnamdelegation - 10
Communist party members including secretary
general Nguyen Phu Trong - also met Vaticans
powerful number two, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.
Another Filipino confirmed
dead in Algeria carnage
Myanmar rebels free
eight child soldiers: ILO
33 held as police bust
child traficking syndicate
Hanoi to produce lethal
injection after EU ban
Pope meets Vietnam
Communist Party chief
Its too badly damaged.
Its got hull penetrations in
several places, and theres
a signifcant amount of
water inside the ship right
Gulf Times
Friday, January 25, 2013 14
N Korea to target US
with new nuke tests
orth Korea said yesterday
it would carry out further
rocket launches and a
nuclear test that would target the
US, dramatically stepping up its
threats against a country it called
its sworn enemy.
The announcement by the
countrys top military body
came a day after the UN Se-
curity Council agreed to a US-
backed resolution to censure
and sanction North Korea for a
rocket launch in December that
breached UNrules.
North Korea is not believed
to have the technology to de-
liver a nuclear warhead capable
of hitting the continental US,
although its December launch
showed it had the capacity to
deliver a rocket that could travel
10,000km, potentially putting
San Francisco in range, according
to an intelligence assessment by
South Korea.
We are not disguising the fact
that the various satellites and
long-range rockets that we will
re and the high-level nuclear
test we will carry out are targeted
at the US, North Koreas Na-
tional Defence Commission said,
according to state news agency
North Korea is believed by
South Korea and other observ-
ers to be technically ready for
a third nuclear test, and the deci-
sion to go ahead rests with leader
Kim Jong-un, who pressed ahead
with the December rocket launch
in deance of the UNsanctions.
China, the one major diplo-
matic ally of the isolated and im-
poverished North, agreed to the
US-backed resolution and it also
supported resolutions in 2006
and 2009 after Pyongyangs two
earlier nuclear tests.
Yesterdays statement by
North Korea represents a huge
challenge to Beijing as it under-
goes a leadership transition, with
Xi Jinping due to take of ce in
Chinas Foreign Ministry
called for calm and restraint and
a return to six-party talks, but
efectively singled out North Ko-
rea, urging the relevant party
not to take any steps that would
raise tensions.
We hope the relevant party
can remain calm and act and
speak in a cautious and prudent
way and not take any steps which
may further worsen the situa-
tion, ministry spokesman Hong
Lei told reporters at a regular
press brieng.
North Korea has rejected pro-
posals to restart the talks aimed
at reining in its nuclear capacity.
The US, China, Russia, Japan and
the two Koreas are the six parties
After all these years and nu-
merous rounds of six-party talks
we can see that Chinas inuence
over North Korea is actually very
limited. All China can do is try to
persuade them not to carry out
their threats, said Cai Jian, an
expert on Korea at Fudan Univer-
sity in Shanghai.
Analysts said the North could
test as early as February as
South Korea prepares to install a
new, untested president or that
it could choose to stage a nu-
clear explosion to coincide with
former ruler Kim Jong-ils Feb-
ruary 16 birthday.
North Korea will have felt be-
trayed by China for agreeing to
the latest UNresolution and they
might be targeting (China) as well
(with this statement), said Lee
Seung-yeol, senior research fel-
lowat Ewha Institute of Unica-
tion Studies in Seoul.
Washington urged North Ko-
rea not to proceed with a third
test just as the Norths statement
was published yesterday.
Whether North Korea tests or
not is up to North Korea, Glyn
Davies, the top US envoy for
North Korean diplomacy, said
in the South Korean capital of
We hope they dont do it. We
call on themnot to do it, Davies
said after a meeting with South
Korean of cials. This is not a
moment to increase tensions on
the Korean peninsula.
The North was banned from
developing missile and nuclear
technology under sanctions dat-
ing from its 2006 and 2009 nu-
clear tests.
A South Korean military of -
cial said the concern now is that
Pyongyang could undertake a
third nuclear test using highly
enriched uranium for the rst
time, opening a second path to a
North Koreas 2006 nuclear
test using plutonium produced
a puny yield equivalent to one
kiloton of TNT - compared with
13-18 kilotons for the Hiroshima
bomb - and US intelligence esti-
mates put the 2009 tests yield at
roughly two kilotons North Ko-
rea is estimated to have enough
ssile material for about a dozen
plutonium warheads, although
estimates vary, and intelligence
reports suggest that it has been
enriching uranium to supple-
ment that stock and give it a sec-
ond path to the bomb.
According to estimates from
the Institute for Science and In-
ternational Security from late
2012, North Korea could have
enough weapons grade uranium
for 21-32 nuclear weapons by
2016 if it used one centrifuge at
its Yongbyon nuclear plant to en-
rich uraniumto weapons grade.
North Korea has not yet mas-
tered the technology needed to
make a nuclear warhead small
enough for an intercontinental
missile, most observers say, and
needs to develop the capacity to
shield any warhead from re-en-
try into the earths atmosphere.
North Korea gave no time-
frame for the coming test and
often employs harsh rhetoric in
response to UN and US actions
that it sees as hostile.
The bellicose statement yes-
terday appeared to dent any re-
maining hopes that Kim Jong-
un, believed to be 30 years old,
would pursue a diferent path
from his father, Kim Jong-il, who
oversaw the countrys military
and nuclear programmes.
The older Kimdied in Decem-
ber 2011.
The UNSC(Security Council)
resolution masterminded by the
US has brought its hostile policy
towards the Democratic Peoples
Republic of Korea (North Korea)
to its most dangerous stage, the
commission was quoted as say-
Japan Coast Guard vessel spraying water at a Taiwanese boat (bottom L) after the latter vessel ventured near the disputed Senkaku islands, known as the Diaoyu in Chinese, in the
East China Sea.
Taiwanese boats beaten back by
water cannon in disputed waters
boat with Taiwanese ac-
tivists headedfor disputed
Japanese-controlled is-
lands turned back yesterday after
coastguard vessels from the two
sides converged and duelled with
water cannon.
The boat, carrying seven peo-
ple including four Taiwanese ac-
tivists, gave up a plan to land on
the East China Sea islands after
being blocked by Japanese coast-
guardvessels as it sailedwithin17
nautical miles of the archipelago.
We redwater cannonat each
other, Taiwanese coastguard
spokesman Shih Yi-che said of
the confrontation.
The disputed islands, in an
area where the seabed is believed
to harbour valuable mineral re-
serves, are known as Senkaku in
Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese.
Both China and Taiwan claim
As the standof unfolded, three
Chinese surveillance vessels
were positioned a few nautical
miles of, the Taiwanese coast-
guard said.
It added that it was the rst
time ships from China had been
spotted near a Taiwanese-Jap-
anese incident, and that it had
sent a radio message to the three
boats to keep their distance inor-
der not to complicate matters.
The incident came at a time of
growing regional concern over
the intensied friction over the
islands between China and Ja-
pan, with both Beijing and Tokyo
recently scrambling ghter jets to
assert their claims to the area.
The Japanese coastguard con-
rmed that it took action after
encountering the Taiwanese ves-
Our patrol boat carried out
restrictions on the vessel such as
blocking its path and discharging
water, it said in a statement.
The vessel left our countrys
contiguous zone at around 1:30
pm (0430 GMT) and continued
sailing west-southwest away
fromthe Senkakus.
The activists, who set of in the
early hours and were expected to
return to Taiwan at about 7pm
(1100GMT), had hoped to place a
statue of the Goddess of the Sea
on the islands, to protect Tai-
wanese shermen in the area.
They had also intended to
maintain sovereignty in de-
ance of Japans control, said
Hsieh Mang-lin, the Taiwanese
chairman of the Chinese Asso-
ciation for Protecting the Diaoy-
utais (Diaoyu Islands).
Taiwans coastguard said four
of its vessels on routine patrols in
the area had protected the activ-
ists boat.
The coastguard will protect
our peoples voluntary actions to
defendtheDiaoyuislands. Coast-
guardvessels will go wherever the
shing boat is... to defend our
sovereignty and protect our sh-
ing rights, it said in a statement.
A Japanese foreign ministry
spokesman said of cials at the
nations de facto embassy in Tai-
pei, established in the absence
of formal relations, had been in
touch with the Taiwanese gov-
ernment about the incident.
We have repeatedly called on
the Taiwan side to take proper
action in order to prevent an un-
favourable situation from arising
in the favourable Japan-Taiwan
relations, he said.
Coastguard vessels from Japan
and Taiwan also exchanged water
cannon barrages in September
after dozens of Taiwanese boats
were escorted by patrol ships into
the islands waters.
Previous activist landings have
resulted in the arrest and depor-
tation of those setting foot on
what Japan says has been its in-
disputable territory for more than
a century.
The rocky island outposts have
been the scene of a diplomatic
tussle between Japan and China
for months.
Japans government national-
ised three of them in September
by taking themout of private Jap-
anese ownership.
Since then, Beijing has repeat-
edly sent government ships into
the waters. In December a Chi-
nese government plane overew
them, leading Japan to scramble
ghter jets.
Earlier this month both mili-
taries had jets in the area and Jap-
anese newspapers have reported
that Tokyo is mulling allowing its
pilots to re warning shots.
While most commentators
believe Asias two largest econo-
mies will nd some way to work
around the problem, which has
rattled relations for decades,
some are warning that a mis-step
could lead to armed confronta-
Coastguard vessels will
go wherever the fshing
boat is... to defend our
sovereignty and protect our
fshing rights
NorthKoreahas steppedup
rhetoric as it usually does
after setbacks at global
Japan facing
total nuclear
once again
apanmay face a total nucle-
ar shutdown in the summer
for the second time since
the March 2011 Fukushima dis-
aster as the countrys two op-
erating reactors close for main-
tenance and tough new safety
checks keep the rest of the eet
of ine.
That could force Japan to
import even more fossil fuels
for power generation, adding
to an onerous energy bill that
helped push the country into a
record trade decit in 2012.
It is unlikely that any of the
idled reactors will re-start pri-
or to September due to ongoing
investigations of seismic issues
at certain plants and due to the
fact that safety standards have
still not been nalised by the
Nuclear Regulation Authority,
said Tom OSullivan, a Tokyo-
based energy consultant.
Local approvals will also be
necessary for re-starts, adding
a further layer of complica-
tion, he said.
The previous Democratic
Party of Japan governments
decision last June to restart
two reactors weeks after the
last full shutdown galvanised
the countrys previously dor-
mant anti-nuclear movement,
sparking the biggest demon-
strations in decades and con-
tributing to its downfall in
elections in December.
Media surveys have shown
a majority of Japanese want
to abandon atomic energy by
2030, if not sooner, making
the decision to restart even
reactors deemed safe a risky
proposition for the newLiberal
Democratic Party government.
Utilities and the govern-
ment, however, are keen to
reduce expensive oil and gas
imports. Japan is already the
worlds top liqueed natural
gas (LNG) importer, and vol-
umes rose 11.2% to a record
87.31mn tonnes in 2012 from a
year earlier, according to gov-
ernment data. That is more
than one third of global trade
of about 240mn tonnes in LNG
in 2011.
Crude oil imports rose 2%in
2012 to 3.66mn barrels a day,
from a 22-year low in 2011.
Thermal coal imports were up
6.5%to 107.7mn tonnes.
The NRA, set up in Septem-
ber last year with more inde-
pendence than its predecessor,
this week released a draft of
tough new rules that nuclear
operators must comply with
to get reactors approved for
restart. These may delay any
restarts further. The NRA say
it will nalise the safety stand-
ards by July.
In terms of earthquakes
and tsunamis, Im sure our
safety standards will be the
toughest in the world, NRA
chief Shunichi Tanaka said at
a regular news conference on
Tanaka earlier warned the
government its three-year
deadline to carry out safety
checks of reactors is too ambi-
The only two of Japans 50
nuclear plants operating are
both at Kansai Electric Pow-
ers Ohi plant in western Ja-
pan, and must be for shut for
maintenance 13 months after
resuming commercial opera-
tions, according to Japanese
That means they will be
idled by the middle of Sep-
tember, according to Kansai
Electric spokesman Takahiro
The Fukushima disaster,
the worst nuclear accident in
the world in a quarter century,
prompted the gradual shut-
down of all Japans nuclear
reactors until there were none
left operating in May 2012,
leaving the country without
atomic power for the rst time
since 1970.
Media surveys have
shown a majority
of Japanese want to
abandon atomic energy
by 2030
Chinas Zemin
takes step back
ormer Chinese leader
Jiang Zemin has request-
ed a lower rank in the
Communist Party protocol,
according to state media, with
experts saying yesterday he
bowed to pressure fromoutgo-
ing President Hu Jintao.
The 86-year-old, who re-
tired as Chinas top leader a
decade ago, is widely seen as
a kingmaker within the top
echelons of power in Beijing,
particularly after a surprisingly
prominent appearance at last
Novembers 18th Party Con-
Jiang was seated alongside
Hu at the gathering where a
new set of leaders was un-
veiled, but his waning power
was evidenced in an of-
cial press release on Mon-
days funeral of communist
veteran Yang Baibing, the
Xinhua news agency said.
The release listed Jiangs
name behind those of the
partys current leaders, in-
cluding party general secre-
tary Xi Jinping, it said.
Jiang had been named at
number two behind Hu since
his retirement, the state-run
Global Times said.
Jiang had asked party
leaders to group him with
other retired comrades in the
leaderships protocol order
in the future, Xinhua said,
citing a statement from rel-
evant authorities that said
the move reected Jiangs
noble character, sterling
integrity and broad-mind-
edness of a communist.
Some analysts said Hu
may have pressured Jiang
to lower his prole at the
high-level meeting.
Unlike Jiang, Hu gave up
the powerful position of
chairman of the Central Mil-
itary Commission when he
handed control of the party
over to his successor.
It was a sign that he want-
ed other elders to make a
clean break from party afairs
on their retirement, accord-
ing to Willy Lam, a politics
expert at Chinese University
of Hong Kong.
Jiang stepped down as
leader in November 2002,
but took another two years to
relinquish control of the mil-
itary. He has since remained
in the public eye through
writing books and attending
high-prole events.
I think Jiang has been put
under a lot of pressure to do
this, mainly from Hu and the
people around Hu, including
Xi, said Lam, author of The
Era of Jiang Zemin.
Hu set an example for to-
tal retirement, of naked re-
tirement. This puts pressure
on Jiang to follow suit and
stop interfering in party af-
fairs, particularly personnel
Jiang may have realised
it was now time to show
some magnanimity and
let others rule the party, he
I think Jiang has been put
under a lot of pressure to
do this, mainly from Hu
and the people around Hu,
including Xi
Gulf Times
Friday, January 25, 2013
Bangladesh Navy to
procure submarine
ByMizan Rahman
rime Minister Sheikh Hasina yester-
day said a submarine would be soon
commissioned into the Bangladesh
We are planning a modern tri-dimen-
sional naval force for the future genera-
tion, which will be able to face challenges
during any war or aggression, she said.
The prime minister was speaking at a
function marking the commissioning of
BNS Padma, the rst locally-made war-
ship at Naval Base Titumir in the south-
western port city of Khulna.
Hasina also called upon the countrys
navy to remain prepared to face any kind
aggression.The prime vinister said steps
have been taken to build an air base at the
harbour, a training school as well as ac-
commodation for sailors and of cers.
Besides, a special force called SWADS
has been formed to deal with situations
in the countrys maritime boundaries, she
Hasina said her government is rmly
committed to further developing and
modernising the Navy to protect the coun-
trys sea resources by mounting round-
the-clock patrolling as well as operations
against arms traf cking and smuggling.
Hasina said the movement of commer-
cial ships is increasing signicantly in In-
dia, Myanmar and China.
She said that foreign trade would ex-
pand signicantly through sea routes as
the government is going to set up a deep
seaport at Sonadia.
Hasina also mentioned that her gov-
ernment has already opened Chittagong
and Mongla Port to neighboring counties
aiming to enhance political, economic and
diplomatic cooperation with them.
In this context, she stressed the need
for a strong naval force to ensure security
of the maritime border.
Recalling the contribution of Father of
the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur
Rahman in establishing a modern, capable
and ef cient navy, the prime minister said
he had collected a number of patrol crafts,
including Padma, Palash, Teesta and Kar-
nafuli fromIndia and Yugoslavia.
Bangladesh was the rst country to en-
act the Territorial Waters and Maritime
Zone Act 1974.
Referring to the maritime boundary
verdict victory at the International Tri-
bunal- ITLOS, Sheikh Hasina said the re-
sponsibility of the Navy has signicantly
The Prime Minister said her govern-
ment has made short and long-termplans
to be implemented by 2020 to make Bang-
ladesh Navy a more efective force.
As part of the short-termplan, two hel-
icopters and missiles have been procured
to make BNS Bangabandhu fully opera-
Hasina mentioned that three ships have
beenprocuredas well as a number of mod-
ern boats and anti-ship missiles have been
added to the Navy arsenal in the last scal.
The eforts of the present government,
the premier said have seen a frigate and a
large patrol craft of Bangladesh Navy join-
ing the UN Mission for the rst time at
UNIFL in Lebanon.
Earlier on her arrival at the naval base,
the prime vinister was received by Chief
of Naval Staf Admiral Zahir Uddin Ahmed
and commander of the Khulna, Commo-
dore M ARazib.
Later, a contingent of the Bangladesh
Navy presented a guard of honour to the
prime minister.
Hasina handed over a Commissioning
Warrant to commander of the BNS Padma,
Lt Commander Shaul Azam.
She also went on board the ship.
The newly-built BNS Padma, which
is 50m long and 7.5m wide, is capable of
44kph. It is armed with four 37mm and
two 20mm cannons. Besides, the ship is
capable of planting mines at sea andinriv-
ers to check intrusion.
During peace time, the ship would be
engaged in patrolling in the Sundarbans
under the Khulna Navy command.
The present government which took
over in 2009, has contracted for the pur-
chase and construction of 11 warships.
As part of this drive, the prime minister
inaugurated the building of ve warships
at Khulna Shipyard run by Bangladesh
Navy on March 5 last year.
Sheikh Hasina
Sri Lankan Sandhya Eknaligoda, wife of missing Sri Lankan cartoonist Prageeth Eknaligoda, and relatives of other missing people demonstrating in Colombo yesterday.
Eknaligoda has been missing since January 2010.
Missing man
Lanka to
curb export
of maids
ri Lanka said yesterday it would bar women of all ages
from travelling abroad to work in menial jobs, following
an international outcry over the beheading of a young
nanny in Saudi Arabia.
Information Minister Keheliya Rambukwella an-
nounced that women under 25 were now banned from
going to the Arab state to work as maids, adding that it
was the rst step towards a worldwide travel ban for low-
paying jobs.
The move was in response to the execution earlier this
month at a prison in Riyadh of Sri Lankan maid Rizana Nak,
who was only 17 when she was charged with smothering a
four-month-old baby in Saudi Arabia in 2005.
As a rst step we are raising the age limit to 25. We will
gradually move towards a total ban on our women going
abroad to do low-paying jobs, Rambukwella told reporters.
He did not say by when the total ban would kick in, but said
the authorities have started to discourage women from go-
ing to the Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia where most
maids are paid less than $300 a month.
Nak was beheaded after she was found guilty of smother-
ing an infant in her care after an argument with the childs
mother, the Saudi interior ministry has said.
The US and the UN led international condemnation of the
Saudi authorities over the January 9 execution.
Nearly 1.7mn Sri Lankans are employed abroad and the
$6bn they sent home last year is a key source of foreign ex-
change for the government.
US ban
on of cer
he US has refused train-
ing for a Sri Lankan gen-
eral in a move that un-
dermined military co-operation
and prompted Colombo to turn
to China and other nations for
help, a top defence of cial said
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya
Rajapakse said US authorities
had refused to enrol Major-Gen-
eral Sudantha Ranasinghe and
Colombo was concerned that the
decision was based on wrong
He did not give details of
the course the of cer had been
nominated to follow, but said he
would take up the issue with a
senior US delegation visiting the
country at the weekend. I want
to tell themthat they arewrong...
every time they (US diplomats
and of cials) meet me, they say
they want to strengthen the co-
operation with our military, Ra-
japakse said.
If the US stops military train-
ing (completely), thenSri Lankan
of cers will only go to China, In-
dia and Pakistan.
Rajapakse did not specify why
Ranasinghe had been rejected.
The US refuses entry to any for-
eign military personnel suspect-
ed of human rights violations.
The US and other nations have
been highly critical of Sri Lankas
military for its nal onslaught
on Tamil rebel areas in 2009,
which left an estimated 40,000
civilians dead. Ranasinghe had
been the commissioner-general
of rehabilitation responsible for
reintegrating into society some
12,000 Tamil rebels who sur-
rendered in the nal stages of the
war, Rajapakse said.
He said the of cer had not
been involved in direct combat
The US stopped selling mili-
tary hardware to Sri Lanka
throughout much of its 37-year
ethnic war against the Tamil
rebels, pushing Colombo to make
purchases from China, Pakistan
and several East European na-
Military of cials said 200 jun-
ior Sri Lankan of cers contin-
ued to receive opportunities for
short-term training in the US,
but the issue was with senior of-
cers who had held command
positions during the height of
the ghting.
US Deputy Assistant Secretary
of Defense VikramSingh and two
senior state department of cials
are due inColombo tomorrowfor
Sri Lanka Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse speaks with
reporters in Colombo yesterday.
Dhaka upset over
World Bank stand
on Padma bridge
ByMizan Rahman
inance Minister AMA
Muhith yesterday said
the government of Prime
Minister Sheikh Hasina is frus-
trated with the World Bank for
its present stance about the
Padma Bridge project.
World Bank is examining if
it wishes to continue with the
project, but they havent said
when they will decide. Thats
why were frustrated, he told
reporters after a meeting of the
Cabinet Purchase Committee.
Muhith, who turned 80
yesterday, reiterated that the
government is looking for al-
ternative donors for the Padma
Bridge project, but didnot name
the possible donors. Muhith
said Except the World Bank,
the other donor agencies like
ADB, JICA and IDB are still on
board . Besides, one or two more
donors are showing interest.We
dont want to make their names
Echoing Prime Minis-
ter Sheikh Hasina, Muhith
said the World Bank has been
asked to clear its position on
the Padma Bridge project this
month.Since there is not much
time we want a deadline on the
About other interested coun-
tries, Muhith said: Malaysias
present ofer is incomplete and
he have no knowledge of a re-
vised ofer.
The minister toldthe journal-
ists that China has long been
showing interest.
But it wont fund until the
present situation with World
Bank is resolved.
He said the World Bank at the
initial stage had approved some
engineering rms for the con-
struction of the bridge and now
the government can seek ofers
Then, we can start. Muhith
Only ve contractors in the
world can build something like
the Padma Bridge as it is the
most complicated project in the
world by its nature. Its not a
huge river, its a sea.
Replying to a question on dif-
ferent ministers comments on
the bridge project he said most
of his colleagues do not know
much about the project as most
of its documents are secret. So,
theyre making those comments
on their own.
He said the World Bank pro-
vided some new documents on
the matter on which a new in-
vestigation has been carried out
by the Anti Corruption Com-
mission (ACC).
In the new document it was
stated that an of cial of the
Canadian consulting rm kept
a secret note in his dairy about
sharing money,
BNP MPs threaten
to quit parliament
ByMizan Rahman

hief whip of the opposi-
tion in parliament Zainul
Abdin Farroque yester-
day said his party lawmakers
would resign fromparliament if
the government of Prime Min-
ister Sheikh Hasina fails to ap-
point a caretaker government
for supervision of the next par-
liamentary elections.
The parliament session be-
gins on January 27. You place
the caretaker billits a settled
matter. It just needs to be rein-
stated. If not, BNP will consider
quitting parliament, if needed,
he said at a protest rally in front
of the National Press Club inthe
Jatiyatabadi Desh Bachao
Manush Bachao Andolon, a
pro-opposition body, arranged
the rally demanding the release
of BNP acting secretary general
Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir
andprotesting anattack by rul-
ing party activists on the home
of BNP leader Altaf Hossain
Farroque said : The proper
atmosphere for a return to par-
liament is lacking.
We cant go to parliament
leaving our chairperson Khale-
da Zia in the dock and with our
leader Mirza Fakhrul still injail.
On January 15, a Dhaka court
took cognisance of charges
against the BNP chairperson
Khaleda Zia and three others
in the Zia charitable trust graft
case, while Fakhrul is held for a
number of cases. Zainul accused
the government of attempting
to hold the next general elec-
tion under its own supervision,
andreaf rmedthat they will not
take part inthe general elections
if it is not heldunder a non-par-
ty caretaker government.
On awarding of a medal to
controversial Police Commis-
sioner Harun-ur- Rashid, he
said the prime minister should
remove the home minister from
her cabinet for using the police
for political purposes.
Referring to the prime min-
isters speech that her govern-
ment does not believe in using
the police as a political weapon,
Zainul, also a BNP lawmaker,
said: Just two minutes after the
premiers speech, Home Min-
ister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir
said Harun had been decorated.
The PM should have instantly
sacked the home minister.
Sheikh Hasinais keen to raisethe
militaryprofileof thenation
Gulf Times
Friday, January 25, 2013 16
15,000 crocs
escape from
S Africa farm
outh Africas army and
police were called in yes-
terday to rescue residents
from thousands of crocodiles
that escaped from a farm whose
oodgates were opened due to
torrential rains.
Around 15,000 predators
sprung from the Rakwena Croc-
odile Farm in the far north of
the country when owners were
forced to open the gates to pre-
vent a storm surge, local daily
Beeld reported.
A number have since been re-
captured, but at least half remain
on the loose, scattered far and
Some turned up on a school
rugby pitch 120kmaway.
The surrounding province of
Limpopo province has been hit
by serious oods which have
killed 10 people and made many
more homeless.
Before there were only a few
crocodiles in the Limpopo River.
Now there are plenty, said Zane
Langman, the son-in-law of
Rakwenas owner.
We go catch them when
farmers phone us and say crocs
are around.
Langman earlier used a mo-
tor boat to rescue some local
residents who had climbed onto
the roof of a garage to escape the
rising oods. When we arrived
there, the crocodiles were cir-
cling them, he said.
The army has been called in
to help track down the reptiles,
according to police spokesman
Hangwani Mulaudzi. Police, the
army, and people fromthe com-
munity are assisting, he said.
No incidents involving croco-
dile attacks have been reported,
he said.
Hundreds of kilometres
downstream the Limpopo River
oods have also savaged neigh-
bouring Mozambique, were tens
of thousands of people were be-
ing evacuated fromtheir homes.
South African rescuers yes-
terday freed a 9m humpback
whale that was entangled in
seven fishing ropes north of
Cape Town.
The juvenile whale was found
south east of Dassen Island
near Yzerfontein with its mouth
snared by one heavy rope.
We had to first cut away the
line through the mouth... as this
would have afected the whales
ability to feed in the future, said
Mike Meyer of the Department
of Environmental Afairs.
During the nearly five-hour
rescue operation, the team
attached a large flotation buoy
to the whale to prevent it from
diving belowsurface as the
rescue boat approached.
The large floatation buoy,
kept the whale buoyant
enough, and high enough in
the water for us to success-
fully cut away that particular
rope that entangled through
the mouth, said Meyer.
The rest of the ropes in a
bundle on top of the flukes
and around the tail stem were
also removed.
The whale was not seriously
injured and appeared to be
spritely and healthy, Meyer
said in a statement released by
the SA Whale Disentanglement
Mali Islamists split,
leader seeks talks
Tuaregnegotiator calls for ceasefire
and talks; French planes destroy
Islamist bases in the desert
rench warplanes destroyed two Is-
lamist bases in northern Mali as a
leading Al Qaeda-linked group in
the regionsplit yesterday, with the break-
away group saying it wantedtalks to enda
Paris-led ofensive against the militants.
The French bombing raids overnight
targeted Ansongo, about 80km from
the town of Gao and extremist bases in
the nearby village of the Seyna Sonrai,
a Malian military source said on condi-
tion of anonymity.
French military planes success-
fully attacked Islamist positions at
Ansongo and nearby areas, the source
said. The strikes were very success-
ful and caused damage to the enemy.
A security source in Niger conrmed
the raids, saying two main bases of the
Islamists were destroyed as well as their
fuel stocks and armoury.
A faction of one of the armed Islamist
groups occupying the north of the Mali
has split of from its al Qaeda allies and
says it is willing to hold talks with the
government, the leader of the new group
said on ysterday.
Alghabass Ag Intallah, a senior mem-
ber of the Tuareg-led Ansar Dine group
which helped seize northern Mali last
year from government forces, said he
had created a new organisation, the Is-
lamic Movement of Azawad (MIA), and
was ready to seek a negotiated solution to
Malis conict.
AFrench-ledmilitaryoperationis under-
way in Mali to drive back the Islamist ght-
toward the capital Bamako two weeks ago.
support FrenchandMaliantroops.
We want to wage our war and not that
of AQIM, Ag Intallah said by telephone,
referring to Al Qaedas North African
wing which has been at the heart of the
takeover of the vast desert north by Mal-
ian and foreign Islamist ghters.
There has to be a ceasefire so there
can be talks, he said, speaking from
the town of Kidal, a Tuareg stronghold
in northeast Mali seized by Ansar Dine
last year. The aim is to speak about the
situation in the north.
He said the new group, which would
be based in Kidal, had been in touch
with mediators in Burkina Faso and
Algerian authorities. He said rebel de-
mands would be for a broad autonomy
rather than independence for the north.
Ansar Dine had formed a loose alliance
with AQIM and a third group, Mujwa, to
impose Shariah in the desert and moun-
tain area the size of Texas.
It was not immediately possible to con-
rm how many ghters would leave the
ranks of Ansar Dine to jointhe newgroup.
International negotiators have long
sought to prize apart the Islamist alliance
by ofering talks to Ansar Dine and Tuar-
eg separatists, on the condition that they
broke with AQIM. Ag Intallah was a senior
Ansar Dine negotiator intalks last year.
But preliminary negotiations broke
downlast monthafter Ansar Dinecalledof
a ceasere, amid reports of splits between
moderates seeking a political solution and
radicals withdeeplinks toAl Qaeda.
Ag Intallah would not give a figure
for his supporters, as he said a list was
still being drawn up, but he said most
Malians in the ranks of Ansar Dine had
joined his faction. Estimates for the to-
tal number of Islamist fighters in Mali
vary but do not exceed roughly 3,000.
Ag Intallah said some members of the
Tuareg separatist MNLA movement,
which has fought AQIM in the north, had
also joined his group.
A spokesman for the MNLA was not
immediately available for comment.
Separately, more than 2,000 Chadian
soldiers and 500 troops from Niger are
being deployed at Ouallamin Niger, near
the Mali border, to open a second front
against the Islamists as part of a UN-
mandated African force to boost, and
eventually take over, the two-week-long
French-led campaign.
The battle-hardened Chadian soldiers
are adept at desert warfare and are ex-
perienced in putting down rebellions at
home and in neighbouring countries.
The rst of the 6,000 troops pledged
by African nations to support France
started heading north yesterday.
The UN has authorised the deploy-
ment of a 3,300-strong force under the
auspices of 15-nation West African bloc
Ecowas. The involvement of non-mem-
ber Chad could boost its numbers by an-
other 2,000.
Most of the estimated 1,000 African
soldiers now in Mali are still in Bamako
but a Malian defence source said a group
of 160 troops from Burkina Faso had
started making its way to central regions
nearer the frontline.
But there has been increasing alarm
about reports of rights abuses by Malian
soldiers on ethnic Tuaregs and Arabs.
The International Federation of Hu-
man Rights Leagues said at least 31 peo-
ple were executed in the central town of
Sevare, andsome bodies dumpedinwells,
according to local researchers.
Two Tuaregs were also executed by
Malian soldiers in the central town of
Niono, it said, calling for an immedi-
ate independent inquiry to determine
the scale of the abuses and to punish the
Human Rights Watch said its investi-
gators had spoken to witnesses who saw
the executions of two Tuareg men in the
village of Siribala, near Niono.
It also said witnesses had reported
credible information of soldiers sex-
ually abusing women in a village near
Sevare, and called on the government to
urgently investigate.
Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou (left) welcomes Chadian President Idriss
Deby in Niamey yesterday after Deby visited Chadian soldiers based in a military
camp on the outskirts of Niamey prior to their departure to Mali.
Perilous Shackleton Antarctic voyage bid sets of
ByMartin Perry, AFP
British-Australian expedition
recreating Ernest Shackletons
perilous 1916 crossing of the
Southern Ocean in a small boat set off
yesterday, braced for fearsome seas
and icy, bleak conditions.
Led by renowned adventurer Tim
Jarvis, the team of six plans to sail 800
nautical miles (1,480km) in a Spartan
lifeboat from Elephant Island of the
Antarctic Peninsula to rugged South
Georgia, their support teamsaid.
While there were unusually moderate
winds and a small swell as they pushed
of, the team was heading for looming
pack ice to the east as they bid to relive
part of what is widely regarded as one
of the greatest ever survival tales.
They plan to only use the equip-
ment, navigational instruments and
food available to Shackleton during his
16-day voyage before facing a two-day
climb to 900m over the mountainous,
crevassed interior of South Georgia.
That will take them to the old whal-
ing station at Stromness on the other
side of the island, where Shackleton
and his crew, with little more than
the clothes on their backs, raised the
alarm about the sinking of their ship,
the Endurance.
We are well aware of the dangers
but believe we have a good little boat
(an exact replica of the original James
Caird), a great team and the spirit and
courage to be able to honour the legend
of Shackleton, Jarvis said.
I hope this expedition not only
does his memory justice but also re-
minds us all of how incredibly beauti-
ful, yet fragile, this part of the world
is, the environmental scientist and
polar explorer added as the boat left.
He said he was expecting constant
hardship and the crew would need to
be vigilant, with icebergs and whales
among the obstacles they expect to face.
Along with Norways Roald
Amundsen, the first man to reach the
South Pole in 1911, Australian explorer
Douglas Mawson and Briton Robert
Falcon Scott - his patron-turned-ri-
val - Shackleton was among the great
Antarctic explorers.
Whenhe set of onhis thirdtrip to the
region in 1914 with the ship Endurance,
he planned to cross Antarctica via the
South Pole.
But the vessel became trapped in
1915, and sank 10 months later as it was
crushed by the advancing ice. Shack-
leton and his crew lived on the oating
ice until April 1916, when they set of in
three small boats for Elephant Island.
From there, Shackleton and five
crew made the treacherous voy-
age to South Georgia, reaching their
destination 16 days later to face the
mountainous trek. All members of the
Endurance mission were eventually
rescued with no fatalities.
Shackleton died of a heart attack
off South Georgia in 1922 during his
fourth Antarctic expedition, aiming
to circumnavigate the continent, and
is buried on the island.
His granddaughter Alexandra initial-
ly approached Jarvis, who in 2007 re-
enacted Mawsons 1912 odyssey across
the frozen continent, and said she was
condent of a triumphant conclusion.
The expedition will be incredibly
demanding both at sea and on land,
but I have every confidence that the
men will remember my grandfathers
words: Difficulties are just things to
overcome, she said.
A support vessel, the Australis, a
modern and fully equipped steel-
hulled motor boat will trail the life-
boat, but will only go to its aid in the
event of a serious emergency.
The Shackleton Epic team departs from Elephant Island off the Antarctic
Peninsula for their exhibition across the Southern Ocean to Antarctica in this
photo released to AFP yesterday.
European monitors calls for
peaceful elections in Kenya
he head of the European Union
election monitoring mission in
Kenya yesterdaycalledfor credible
and fair voting in March without a repeat
of the ethnic bloodbath that followed the
presidential vote of December 2007.
At least 1,000 people died and more
than 600,000 were displaced in months
of inter-ethnic violence after the last
vote. The UN estimates some 450 peo-
ple were killed since early 2012 because
of ethnic disputes and politics, sparking
concern of a renewed wave of unrest.
Alojz Peterle, the EU chief observer and
former prime minister of Slovenia, said
he will deploy about 70 monitors to keep
track of voting stations and major media
outlets in the run-up to the rst-round
presidential vote on March 4.
Kenyas Independent Electoral and
Boundaries Commission (IEBC) faces an
extremely challenging task because it
will also hold elections for governors, par-
liamentarians and other posts, he added.
We wish that these elections are
credible and fair and rst of all done in a
peaceful atmosphere, Peterle told jour-
nalists in Nairobi. We are pleased that
all stakeholders we met in recent days are
sharing these views on the importance of
a peaceful atmosphere and also call peo-
ple or their supporters to speak in that
way. Peterle said the EU was deploying
fewer monitors than in 2007.
Hanna Carlsson, ananalyst for the Kon-
rad Adenauer Foundation - a centre-right
German think tank associated with the
Christian Democratic Union party - said
of cials in Brussels are concerned about
Kenya, an important ally of the West in
countering terrorism. Kenya is a linchpin
of stability for East Africa, and there are
concerns that arepeat of 2007-08political
violence could undermine security across
a region that encompasses Somalia and
South Sudan,Carlssontold DPA.
Both President Mwai Kibaki and his
rival Raila Odinga claimed victory and
accused the other of rigging the vote in
the December 2007 election, leading to
a wave of ethnic bloodshed that pushed
East Africas biggest economy to the
brink of civil war. International mediators
eventually struck a power-sharing deal in
which Kibaki retained the presidency and
Odinga became Prime Minister.
Kibaki is steppingdownafter twoterms,
leaving the presidential vote as a contest
betweenOdinga andUhuruKenyatta, who
is accused by the International Criminal
Court of orchestrating rape and murder
against opponents after the last election.
SAfricanschool toldtolif
A South African school was told
yesterday by education oficials to
allowtwo Muslimsiblings to return to
classes after the pair were sent home
for wearing religious headgear last
week. Sakeenah Dramat, 16, and her
brother Bilaal, 13, missed several days
of school after being asked to remove a
headscarf and a traditional Islamic hat
at a Cape Town high school.
The issue came to a head last week
when the school principal told the
learners that they were not allowed to
wear their Muslimheadgear at school
and sent themhome, said Western
Cape education department spokes-
man Paddy Attwell.
South Africas school dress code
guidelines stipulate that pupils cannot
be prohibited fromwearing religious
attire according to the countrys
Oficials held discussions with the
parties and instructed the school
principal verbally and in writing to al-
low the two students to return to class.
A meeting was then held yesterday
morning with the school and the par-
ents where the education department,
a local imam and the South African Hu-
man Rights Commission were present.
The two learners are back at school
and they are wearing their Muslim
attire so the issue at this stage has
been resolved, Attwell told AFP. The
siblings mother Nabila Dramat told
the Cape Times that her children had
missed six days of school.
Country Fire Authority fire fighters work to mop out hot spots from back burns protecting Heyfield in
Gippsland, Victoria, Australia. A large fire front is burning in remote areas to the north and firefighters
are doing all they can to prepare areas around towns that might be in the path of the fire should weather
conditions change.
Bushfire alert!
Gulf Times
Friday, January 25, 2013
Waste not
Reading and reecting over the Book of Allah
The prohibition of abusive
language, insults and curses
ave you ever got upset whenyou werent able to
buy something that you really wanted? Or, have
you ever bought something that you could have
done without?
The answer to these two questions is yes, anunequivo-
cal yes. It is pat of our humannature. We want and we
desire constantly. Whenwe allowthis to go unchecked
our desire for more becomes insatiable and overtakes the
dictates of our souls.
Any kind of addictionor extreme act emanates from
our desire. Satanever whispers to our Nafs (self) to go
after our desires. He encourages us to be greedy and to
overindulge ourselves. Inthis way we become slaves to
our desires instead of incontrol of them. One enslaved to
his desires cannot freely and truly worship his Lord. It is a
matter of our Eemaan(faith) that we hold ourselves back
fromwasteful spending.
If we nd dif culty parting with our money intimes of
charity, thenwe knowwe have become victims of over-
consumption, or excessive spending. The Prophet, , said:
Cursed is the slave of gold and silver.[Al-Bukhari] When
we allowourselves to lust after money, thenwe knowthe
shackles have tightened.
Money and power are always aligned. Like sirens they
call out to our desires. Today, the media is their infamous
recruiter. It constantly throws inour faces more things to
desire and to get and to admire. This only leads to further
blinding ourselves fromour purpose inlife, which is to
worship Allah The Almighty. Allah warns us by saying
(what means): Competitionin[worldly] increase diverts
you (fromthe more serious things).[Quran102:1]
We must remind ourselves that worldly desires are
mere illusions, transitory pleasures, that Allah is test-
ing us with. Allah Almighty warns us of this by saying
(what means): Knowthat the life of this world is but
amusement and diversionand adornment and boasting
to one another and competitioninincrease of wealth and
childrenlike the example of a rainwhose [resulting]
plant growth pleases the tillers; thenit dries and you see it
turned yellow; thenit becomes [scattered] debris. And in
the Hereafter is severe punishment and forgiveness from
Allah and approval. And what is the worldly life except the
enjoyment of delusion.[Quran57:20]
Guardyourself fromgreed
As consumers we must be mindful of Allah and thank
Himfor blessing us with the nancial ability to purchase
the things we need. Remembering Allah whenshopping
will help us humble our hearts and be grateful for all that
he has already givenus. This canhelp prevent us from
becoming upset whenwe are unable to buy something we
We must also seek to instill inspending habits of the
Islamic practice of moderation. I cannot stress enough
the importance of the Prophet Muhammads (sallallaahu
alaihi wa sallam) injunctionto the MuslimUmmah:
Eat, drink, spend, and dress without extravagance or
We must strive for a balance betweenthe extremes
of spending too much (Israaf) and being stingy. The
righteous are those who, whenthey spend, do so not
excessively or sparingly but are ever, betweenthat, [justly]
This verse encourages moderationand balance inour
spending. Instead of succumbing to our habits of spend-
ing onourselves, we ought to give more thanwe take.
Whenwe give for the sole purpose of pleasing Allah we
purify our souls. The Prophet was the most generous of
menand gave the majority of his belongings away. The
Prophet understood what was real and what was passing:
He valued his humility, the afterlife, and his connectionto
Allah over worldly pleasures.
Whenwe become entangled inthe supercial, our
materialistic values will override our spiritual connection
to our Lord. We must guard ourselves against this and
instead spend our resources and time so that we may in-
crease our spiritual wealth. This is the struggle against the
Nafs which our beloved Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu
alaihi wa sallam) always emphasised.
Striver for good deeds that will multiply themselves
rather thanhoard worldly goods that will perish into the
earth and become dust.
Article source:
hanks be to Allah Who
prohibited harming the
Muslims in all cases
and said in this regard
which means: And those who
annoy believing men and women
undeservedly, bear (on themselves)
a calumny and a glaring sin. (Al-
Ahzaab: 58).
I testify that there is no God but
Allah, Who ordered us to perform
good deeds and prohibited us from
evil acts, and that Muhammad
sallallaahu alaihi wa sallamis His
Prophet and Messenger who never
hurt nor humiliated others. He, as
well as his Companions, may Allah
be pleased with themall, never
cursed any person.
When we examine closely our
Islamic laws, we nd that they are
most protective of the purity of
Muslims, in both the abstract[1]
and real sense of the word. They
cover every type of moral lth and
impurity, even extending to the act
of insulting people, cursing them
or calling themabusive names.
These laws also prohibit scof ng at
or ridiculing individuals or Muslim
societies. Speaking unfavourably
of others is lawful in a fewessential
cases, such as declaring a witness
unreliable in a case of law, expos-
ing one or more narrators of the
Prophets Ahadith if any of them
are inaccurate, speaking frankly
about a Muslimwhen marriage is
involved, in matters of nancial
or real estate trust, or employ-
ment. In such necessary cases, it is
lawful to expose the truth even if
such persons have moral defects.
This is not a formof slandering or
Unfortunately, on the streets, in
of cial organisations or popular
gatherings, one may hear peo-
ple reviling others, calling them
names, or scof ng at them. All
this happens despite the fact that
the Prophet sallallaahu alaihi wa
sallamsaid: Abeliever is never a
person who scofs at others, calls
themnames, or utters vulgar and
obscene phrases (Tirmithi).
This Hadith indicates that
slandering people, belittling them
and cursing themare all prohibited
acts. Atrue believer is a decent
person who uses polite phrases
when he talks. The Noble Quran
taught us to use decent phrases as
evidenced in its discussion of deli-
cate acts, such as expressing the
act of having marital relations with
ones spouse is described by the
use of the termtouch your wife.
Abu Tharr al-Ghifaari reported
that the Prophet sallallaahu alaihi
wa sallamsaid: If a person ac-
cused another person of depravity
or atheism, such an accusation
applies to the accuser unless the
accused is actually immoral or
rejects faith. (Bukhari).
The Prophet sallallaahu alaihi
wa sallamalso said: Reviling[2] a
Muslimis an act of outrage (moral
depravity) and ghting against
himis an act of disbelief (Kufr).
(Bukhari and Muslim).
In the case of a dispute aris-
ing between two persons, neither
should have recourse to using
vulgar and obscene phrases, revil-
ing the other party or calling him
names. Acting in this manner
makes the dispute more complex
and dif cult to settle. One of the
disputants may have been the vic-
timof injustice, but this does not
grant himthe right to abuse the
other party or call himnames.
The Prophet sallallaahu alaihi
wa sallamsaid: The one who
starts abusing his fellowMuslim
and calling himnames bears the
sin of both, unless the abused
person uses more vulgar phrases
than the rst. (Muslim) Imaamal-
Nawawi explained this prophetic
saying as thus: This means that
the person who starts insulting a
Muslimor calling himnames will
bear the sin incurred by such an act
for both of them, unless the second
party uses more severe and vulgar
phrases than the rst. Yet, sticking
to patience and forgiving people
is far better for the Muslim. Allah
said which means: But indeed
if any showpatience and forgive,
that would truly be an exercise of
courageous will and resolution in
the conduct of afairs. (Al-Shoo-
raa: 43)
Our religion does not even
allowus to revile and abuse the
sinner. Abu Hurairah, may Allah
be pleased with him, reported:
Aman drank alcohol so he was
brought before the Prophet sal-
lallaahu alaihi wa sallamwho
said: Beat him(according to the
rules set by Allah). Abu Hurairah,
said: Some of us beat himwith our
hands, others with their sandals
and still others with pieces of
cloth. When the man went away,
some said: May Allah humiliate
you! Whereupon, the Prophet sal-
lallaahu alaihi wa sallamsaid: Do
not say that. Do not support Shay-
taan against your fellowbrother.
ImaamIbnIllaan al-Siddeeqi,
may Allah have mercy on him, said:
The meaning of this prophetic
saying is that the aimof Shaytaan,
when he opens the gates of sins to
the believers, is to heap humili-
ation upon them. Invoking Allah
against the sinner, as the Com-
panions did, leads to humiliating
the sinner, which is the very aim
of Satan. Therefore, the Prophet
sallallaahu alaihi wa sallampro-
hibited themfrominvoking Allah
against the drunkard.
The Prophet sallallaahu alaihi
wa sallamalso said: If a person
accused his slave of adultery, he
will be punished with the retri-
bution set by Allah on the Day
of Judgment unless his slave is
really an adulterer. (Bukhari and
This great prophetic saying
points out the crime of the person
who accuses others of adultery
even if the accused is a slave. So
what about those people who
consider that one of the proofs
of a strong relationship between
themis their reviling and abusing
each other? Such a person may
accuse the others mother or sister
of adultery while the other side
is content and he may even laugh
considering that this is a sign of
a lasting friendship and strong
Servants of Allah! Cursing peo-
ple as well as calling themnames is
a type of verbal abuse.
Abu Hurairah, may Allah be
pleased with him, reported that the
Prophet sallallaahu alaihi wa sal-
lamsaid: Atrue believer is never
used to cursing others. (Muslim)
Abu Ad-Dardaa, may Allah be
pleased with him, also reported
that the Prophet sallallaahu alaihi
wa sallamsaid: People who curse
others will never be witnesses or
intercessors on the Day of Judg-
ment (Muslim).
The Prophet sallallaahu alaihi
wa sallamalso said: Do not curse
each other and do not summon
the wrath of Allah or His Hell on
each other. (Abu Daawood and
Thaabit Ibn Al-Dahhaak, may
Allah be pleased with him, re-
ported that the Prophet sallallaahu
alaihi wa sallamsaid: If a person
perjures himself by swearing by
a religion other than Islam, then
he is as he professed. Whoever
kills himself with a tool, he will be
punished with the very same tool
on the Day of Judgment. Aman
should not make a vowregarding
things that he does not possess.
Cursing a believer is just like the
act of killing him (Bukhari and
The meaning of the rst
sentence of the abovementioned
prophetic saying is as follows: If a
person said, If I have done so and
so, I ama Jewor a Christian and
he did, he is a Jewor a Christian as
he professed. If he meant this and
insists that hes telling the truth,
then he becomes a disbeliever
(Kaar). However, if he just wanted
to exaggerate so as to prevent him-
self fromdoing a certain act and
therefore never intended to desert
the Islamic religion, then he is just
a sinner who should ask Allah for
forgiveness because of the sin he
has committed.
The meaning of the last sentence
in the above Hadith is that the
crime of cursing a believer is simi-
lar to the crime of killing him.
Also, a Muslimmay not curse
his riding animal, car, house or any
of his personal belongings. This is,
again, a prohibited act in Islam.
Imraan Ibn al-Husayn, may Al-
lah be pleased with him, reported:
The Prophet sallallaahu alaihi
wa sallamwas traveling when a
woman of the Ansaar cursed her
she-camel because it made her
furious. The Prophet sallallaahu
alaihi wa sallamheard the curse
and upon this he said: Take away
the luggage which the she-camel
carries and let her away, because
she is cursed. Imraan said: I have
seen the she-camel walking in the
streets and nobody ever pays at-
tention to her (Muslim).
It is allowed to curse sinners in
general (and not in particular) as
Allah said which means: Behold!
The curse of Allah is on those who
do wrong! (Hud: 18).
The Prophet sallallaahu alaihi
wa sallamcursed the one who
indulges in usury, the agent, the
witness and the one who writes up
the contract. (Bukhari).
The Prophet sallallaahu alaihi
wa sallamsaid that Allah curses
the person who changes the
boundaries of the land (as a sort of
deceiving others).
He also said: Allah curses the
thief who steals (even) an egg.
The Prophet sallallaahu alaihi
wa sallamalso said: Allah curses
the one who curses his parent
He sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam
invoked curses on the tribes of
Ral, Thakwaan and Aseyyah who
disobeyed Allah and His Messen-
ger (Muslim).
He sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam
also said: Allah cursed the men
who imitate women and the wom-
en who imitate men (Bukhari).
In all these Ahaadith, the
Prophet sallallaahu alaihi wa sal-
lamdid not curse a certain person,
rather he cursed whoever commits
such evil deeds as a sort of warning
against them.
I seek refuge in Allah and hope
that we will not be damned. I
invoke Allah, the All Merciful, to
guide us so that we could escape
the path of the damned.
Thanks be to Allah, the All Mer-
ciful, the Most Compassionate. I
thank Himand repent to Himand
ask Himfor forgiveness.
I testify that there is no God but
Allah and that Muhammad is His
Prophet and Messenger sallal-
laahu alaihi wa sallamwho said:
Indecency and obscene words
distort any act, while courteous-
ness embellishes any good act.
The Islamic lawprohibits the act
of unjustiably reviling and abus-
ing the dead and it warns against
harming the dead because of his
innovation in religion or immoral-
Aaishah, may Allah be pleased
with her, reported that the Prophet
sallallaahu alaihi wa sallamsaid:
Do not revile the dead, because
they have already faced their des-
tiny (be it good or bad). (Bukhari).
The meaning of the Hadith is
that the dead has already been
commissioned with the conse-
quences of his deeds, whether
good or bad; accordingly, the
Hadith warns against reviling them
especially if they are Muslims.
Sadly, some people may insult
or verbally abuse their children as
well as invoke Allah against them.
Some may even curse themselves,
their servants and even invoke ruin
against their property.
Jaabir binAbdullaah, may Allah
be pleased with him, reported that
the Prophet sallallaahu alaihi wa
sallamsaid: Do not invoke ruin
against your property for when you
do so, it may be an hour of accept-
ing invocation (and you face such
disaster) (Muslim).
Ubay, may Allah be pleased with
him, reported that the Prophet
sallallaahu alaihi wa sallamsaid:
There are three invocations which
Allah will undoubtedly accept:
the invocation of the oppressed,
that of the traveler and the fathers
invocation against his son (Tir-
Glory be to Allah. What a great
religion! What a supreme law!
Only the pious people will stick
to this religion that gives us a full
account of even minute details
of this life. Are we going to stick
to this religion? Yes, God willing.
We shall stick to the path of Allah
and followthe example of Prophet
Muhammad sallallaahu alaihi wa
[1] Abstract concepts of purity,
such as purity of intentions (ni-
yyah), heart, language or relation-
ships, etc. Real concepts of purity
refer to the physical sense which
would include making ablution,
wearing clean clothes, etc.
[2] The word revile includes
in its meaning: to call bad names,
abuse with words, to speak abu-
sively, to insult, to blaspheme,
curse, to swear or to exchange
insults or abusive language.
ndeed to reect about Allahs verses is a
formof worship that will drawone close
to Allah Most High. This reectionis not
a reckless and wandering one, rather it
includes a study of the classical tafseer of the
verses being pondered over, as this would full
Ibnul-Qayyims great advice, Such as reecting
over a book which a personhas memorised and
he expounds it so that he may understand what
its author intends by it.
Indeed the Book of Allah is not a book like any
other, it is the timeless Speech of Allah, not a
created thing, the study guide for life and death
and what comes after. Therefore it deserves a
more careful study thananyone elses speech.
It necessitates that its reader returnto the early
narrations of those who witnessed its revelation
and heard its explanationby the one deputed
by Allah to rehearse and explainHis Words to
humanity (sallallaahualaihi wa sallam). For if
one would try to ponder over the meanings of
the verses without having done this study, then
surely the lth of the time that he lives inand his
ignorance of the correct applicationand under-
standing that the early Muslims had would cause
himto understand some things not intended
by Allah Most High, and therefore he would
go astray, thinking to be worshipping Allah. So
every sincere Muslimwho hopes to earnAllahs
Love by reciting and reecting over Allahs
Book, thenlet himhold tight to the meanings
explained by the Prophet (sallallaahualaihi wa
sallam), and those taught by the companions and
their immediate followers, and the early scholars
of Islam.
Sodear brother andsister Muslim! Knowthat
recitingandponderingover the Bookof Allah,
devotingyour time regularlytoits studyand
implementationhas tremendous benets inthis
life andthe Next, solet us nowlooktojust a few
of themtoattachourselves more rmlytoAllahs
Majestic Words. Eachbenet stands as enoughof
anencouragement toshunanylaziness we have
anddedicate ourselves tothe Quran.
1 -Readingandreectingover theQuran
fullls anIslaamicduty.
Indeedthe Prophet (sallallaahualaihi wa sal-
lam) summarisedthis Religionwithhis state-
ment: The Religionis naseehah(sincerity)!So
thenTameemibnAws, mayAllahbe pleasedwith
him, thensaid, We asked, Towhom?He said:
ToAllah, HISBOOK, His Messenger, the leaders
of the people, andtheir commonfolk.[Muslim]
The sinceritythat is due tothe Bookof Allahin-
cludes its regular recitation, learningthe rules of
tajweedandrecitingit beautifully, learningabout
its tafseer andthe reasons for its revelation, af-
rmingthat it is the Truth, the perfect Speechof
Allahandnot part of the creation, honoringit and
defendingit, abidingbythe orders andprohibi-
tions foundinit, teachingit andcallingtoit. [See
Jaamiul-Uloomwal-Hikamof IbnRajabAl-
Hambalee] Sobyreadingandreectingover the
Quran, one fullls anobligationandis rewarded
for that. Uponfulllingthis obligation, the Quran
thenbecomes a proof for himonthe Dayof Judg-
ment! Andthat is our secondbenet we will take
byembracingthis Noble Book...
2 - The Quranwill be a proof for us onthe
Dayof Judgment.
This is due to the statement of the Messenger:
And the Quranis a proof for you or against
you.[Muslim] So one of two things will occur
with this proof, the Book of Allah. It will either
be inyour favor, a proof for you onthe Day when
you will need every single good deed, or it will be
something standing against you, the very Speech
of your Creator, a proof against you! Who could
be saved fromthe terrors of that Day if Allahs
ownSpeech is against him?! Think carefully,
dear Muslimbrother or sister, about your posi-
tionwith the Quran! Are you neglecting it,
contradicting it, being heedless of its orders
and prohibitions, are you thinking deeply over
it?! Will it be onyour side onthe Day of Judg-
ment.?! OAllah! We ask you, by Your Glorious
Speech and the rest of your beautiful Names and
Attributes, to make the Qurana proof for us! O
Allah! Dont make the Qurana proof against us
onthat Day, and save us fromthe hellre! For if
Allah makes the Qurana proof inour favor on
that Day, thenit would also be anintercessor for
us, whenNOintercessionwill take place except
by His Permission.
3 - The Quranwill intercede for us onthe
Dayof Judgment.
The proof: Aboo Umaamah relates that the
Prophet (sallallaahualaihi wa sallam) said:
Read the Quran, for verily it will come onthe
Day of Standing as anintercessor for its com-
4- Your status inthis life will be raised.
In Saheeh Muslim, we nd a lovely story,
about howa man fromthe people of Jannah,
Umar ibn Al-Khattaab, understood this princi-
ple. Some men came to question himduring his
khilaafah about the leadership of Makkah, they
asked, Who do you use to govern Makkah?
He said, Ibn Abzaa. They asked, And who
is Ibn Abzaa? Umar replied, Afreed slave
fromthose we freed. They remarked, You
left a freed slave in charge of the people of the
Valley (the noble tribes of the Quraysh)!?!? So
he answered them, Verily he is a reader of the
Book of Allah and is knowledgeable about the
obligations of the Muslims. Havent you heard
the statement of your Messenger: Verily Allah
raises some people by this Book and lowers
others by it.
5 - Youwill be fromthe best of the people.
Uthmaan, may Allah be pleased with him,
said that the Prophet (sallallaahualaihi wa
sallam) said: The best of you are the ones who
learnthe Quranand teach it to others[Al-
6- There are tenrewards for eachletter
yourecite fromthe Quran.
As anauthentic hadith inAt-Tirmithee
proves: Whoever reads a letter fromthe Book of
Allah, he will have a reward. And that reward will
be multiplied by ten. I amnot saying that Alif,
Laam, Meemis a letter, rather I amsaying that
Alifis a letter, laamis a letter andmeemis
a letter.So increase your recitationof the Quran
to gainthese merits, and to gainthe following
merit as well.
7 - The reciters of the Quranwill be inthe
companyof the noble andobedient angels.
Aaishah, may Allah be pleased with her,
relates that the Prophet (sallallaahualaihi wa
sallam) said: Verily the one who recites the
Quranbeautifully, smoothly, and precisely, he
will be inthe company of the noble and obedi-
ent angels. And as for the one who recites with
dif culty, stammering or stumbling through its
verses, thenhe will have TWICEthat reward.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
So dear brother or sister Muslim, do not let
the Shaytaangive you false excuses, such as I
amnot anArab,or Its not my language.This
hadith is a rmproof against these whisperings.
Dedicate yourself to the Book of Allah, whether
you are anArab or not! The excuses have been
eliminated and the pathway has beencleared for
you to embrace the Book of Allah without hold-
ing back or ofering excuses! And surely you will
not hesitate to seek a teacher or a study circle for
the Quranonce you hear the last and perhaps
greatest benets of reading and contemplating
over the Quran...
8- Your positioninParadise is deter-
minedbythe amount of Quranyoumemo-
rise inthis life!
Abdullaah ibnAmr ibnAl-Aas heard the
Prophet (sallallaahualaihi wa sallam) saying:
It will be said to the companionof the Quran:
Read and elevate (through the levels of the
Paradise) and beautify your voice as you used to
do whenyou were inthe dunyaa! For verily, your
positioninthe Paradise will be at the last verse
you recite![Aboo Daawood and At-Tirmithee,
9- The Quranwill leadyoutoParadise!
The Prophet (sallallaahualaihi wa sallam)
said: The Quranis anintercessor, something
givenpermissionto intercede, and it is right-
fully believed in. Whoever puts it infront of
him, it will lead himto Paradise; whoever puts it
behind him, it will steer himto the Hellre.[An
authentic hadith found inAt-Tabaraanee, onthe
authority of Abdullaah ibnMasood]
Know, dear brother or sister, that these nine
benets fromthe many benets available can
only be attained by a sincere commitment to the
Book of Allah, not by a persons mere state-
ment, I love the Quran, its beautiful.Rather
the heart must be sincerely attached to Allahs
Book and the limbs and tongue will followin
this attachment. You must knowthat we only
mentioned a fewof the numerous benets of
reading and reecting over the Quran. There
are many benets that await your reading inthe
Quranand books of hadith, like the chapter of
the Quranthat will argue onyour behalf inthe
grave, and that it is a physical healing, a source of
rest and relaxationfor your heart, among many
other things. And Allah knows best.
Khutbah byShaykh Abdul-
Hameed Ad-Daaghistaani
rime Minister David Cameron
has taken a risky path with
his delicately balanced
position on Britains future in
Europe - seeking to mend ruptures in
his party, reassure business and win
public backing without alienating EU
In his much-anticipated speech,
Cameron said the EU was no longer
working in Britains interest, calling on
the one hand for a far looser union -
acting more like a network - while also
promising a referendumthat could see
Britain leave the bloc.
However, analysts were quick to
point out that renegotiation of EU
treaties would open a Pandoras
box and unleash a process that few
could control. If he fails to win the
demanded concessions, Cameron
may have little choice but to advocate
leaving the EU.
While stating that he wants the
UKto remain part of the EU, the
risk is that the EU may not agree to
the changes he wants to see, raising
the possibility that he may actually
campaign to withdrawfromthe EU,
analysts at ING bank wrote.
On the other hand, British demands
could prompt other countries to call
for caveats of their own, threatening to
unravel the 27-member bloc.
Back home, the speech brought
Cameron sorely needed recognition
fromthe large eurosceptic bloc in
his Conservative party, while also
appearing to win back a political
narrative driven by the steadily
growing anti-European UK
Independence Party.
But outside Britain, it provoked an
onslaught of anger at the idea that one
member state could fundamentally
change the rules of the European club.
Foreign ministers in Berlin,
Paris and Madrid red a volley of
metaphors, insisting that: Britain
cannot cherry-pick; should not join
a game of football and switch midway
to rugby; and that Cameron was
slowing the EU engine.
Attempting to revisit major parts
of the (EU treaties) and picking and
choosing the bits of which the UK
approves sets a dangerous precedent,
said European Parliament President
Martin Schulz, warning of its potential
to break up the union.
Luxembourgs premier, Jean-
Claude Juncker, said that you
couldnt arrange dinner at an Italian
restaurant and then say, but Imonly
eating Chinese - and then smash the
furniture when you dont get Chinese
Further aeld, even Washington has
registered fears of a Brexit which
prompted US President Barack Obama
to telephone Cameron ahead of his
speech and urge caution.
Rosa Balfour, of the European Policy
Centre think tank, said the speech
was not so much about the future
relationship of Europe - but rather
about getting Cameron re-elected in
two years time.
I think the key thing is that, in
substance, he hasnt really said very
much. Hes pushing the big decisions
to a later date, Balfour said, adding
that those decisions may fall to his
Inthe meantime, she saidthe speech
wouldnot make relations inBrussels
easier for Cameronat a time whenbig
decisions loom-suchas settlingthe
next seven-year EUbudget.
In Brussels, there isnt really that
big an appetite for accommodating
such an awkward partner, who has
such trouble at home and therefore
has to use the EU for domestic
purposes, Balfour said.
Camerons threat to leave an
EU that does not adapt to British
demands will likely fall on deaf ears,
noted left-wing EU parliamentarian
Hannes Swoboda.
The British prime minister is ...
mistaken if he thinks he can blackmail
European institutions and leaders into
granting the UKendless individual
exemptions, he said.
Britain has already antagonised
its EU partners in recent years by
blocking legislation seen as crucial to
resolving the blocs economic crisis,
obstructing budget talks and deciding
to opt out of a raft of common police
and justice measures.
But, despite the temptation to rid
itself of a troublemaker, there is a
strong current of EU opinion that
the bloc would be better served by a
Britain driving change fromwithin.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel
showed willingness to engage in
discussions with Britain about its
wishes, but warned of the need for
fair compromises.
The Netherlands, which has
previously found itself on the sidelines
with Britain, called for Britain to
invest in a better EU fromwithin.
Areformed, more democratic,
ef cient and economically stronger
EU is the best recipe to convince
all European citizens of the use and
necessity of this singular peace
project, said Dutch Foreign Minister
Frans Timmermans.
The way to reformthe EU is from
the inside, and not by running away,
he added. - DPA
Journalism of the future
should be less concerned
with the present
ByJohn Lloyd
constant and frequent
complaint about journal-
ismis that it concentrates
almost exclusively on what
is happening now, and not the future.
Why didnt journalists see the nan-
cial crash coming? Why didnt they
knowthere were no weapons of mass
destruction in Iraq? Why didnt they
warn about Enrons house of cards?
Why didnt they do more, in advance,
on the climate changes that helped
cause Hurricane Sandy in the US
last October? Journalists sometimes
join in on this to beat themselves up
- especially on the Iraqi WMDissue -
because they feel foolish about giving
credence to claims that turned out
to be wrong, or about not asking the
right questions.
Besides, the trend in a lot of the
media is toward more scandal, more
controversy and more opining. There
are publications and broadcasts and
news agencies (such as this one) that
are wedded to objective reporting,
investigation and rational analysis,
but they are in the minority, and a lot
of themare nding it hard to make a
living these days.
The Web allows news
organisations to make much more
multimedia and source material
available to audiences that have
swollen in size (though many visit
websites only briefly). But most
new media accentuate the trend of
covering the here and now, since
they allow reporting and publication
in, or much closer to, real time.
Of course, thats in large part
what the function of news is. But
journalists own assessment of their
mission is that it must hold power
to account, informthe citizenry of
all issues in the public interest and
adequately cover the signicant
institutions and events of society and
the world. You can say it has never
adequately done so. Regardless, it has
the tools to do better now.
Fullling that Sunday best
denition of our job means, more than
ever, looking into the future. Not to
pronounce on things we cant know
- whether or not there were WMDs
in Iraq, just when the nancial crash
would come, etc. - but to focus on the
long-termstrategic issues that set the
context within which politicians and
institutions plan and which will be of
enormous importance to us, and even
more, our children. Understanding,
describing and making intelligible
these large questions is holding power
to account, is informing the citizenry,
is covering the signicant.
Heres a short list of critical issues
that journalists should be working on:
Ecological dangers, especially
global warming.
Demographic issues - where some
populations are shrinking and ageing,
others are growing fast.
Weapons of mass destruction -
nuclear, chemical, biological - and the
greater danger if they are possessed by
rogue states or groups.
Rapidly spreading pandemics for
which there is no cure.
Terrorismand howit is
Water, food and energy shortages.
Crime - maas, cybercrime,
corruption - increasingly organised on
a global basis.
Armed conict - over resources,
land, religious and ideological
quarrels, border disputes, ethnic
US global hegemony giving way
to multi-polarity and the uncertainty
as to what world system(if any) will
succeed it.
An emerging global middle
class and its efect on economies,
resources and ecology.
Greater individual empowerment,
which allows space for the exercise
of greater initiative but also for less
inhibited destructive behaviour.
Burgeoning cities, with urbanised
populations becoming the majority.
Growing dif culties that
governments at every level experience
in providing authoritative leadership,
especially in those areas where
governments are not trusted.
Acceleratingspeedof change and
the problems administrations and
institutions experience inadaptingtoit.
Areas of great instability, within
and between states, especially in the
Middle East, Southeast Asia and the
former Soviet Union.
The breakdown or degradation of
health, education and social welfare
The breakdown or degradation of
nancial and banking systems.
The increased pressure on rich
countries because of immigrants
frompoor or war-torn countries and
Awidespread outage of
information-technology systems
caused by an attack or other failure.
The development of increasingly
intelligent machines and of 3D
printing, and their efects on
Mostof theelementsof thisincomplete
listcarryopportunitiesaswell asrisks.
orameliorateproblemsof foodandwater;
thediscoveryof newenergyresourcesand
thedevelopmentof alternativeenergy
sourcescancel oratleastdelayshortages;
threatof warfareandsoon.Bill Clinton,
Yet the long-termchallenges of
a rapidly globalising world in which
many of the pillars of the postwar
systemare nowat least in question are
greater than ever. The most popular
media, though, do little to reect them
or promote knowledge of them. As you
will see if you use the links in each of
these categories and then expand your
search, theres a very large amount of
easily accessible material on them. But
they tend to be written by and speak
to circles of experts, policymakers and
enthusiasts, and are frequently arcane
for most readers.
We should nd some way of
making this stuf part of a real global
conversation - one that is vivid,
comprehensible and more democratic.
Another self-made injunction to
journalists is to make the signicant
interesting, and theres no dispute
that most of what Ive laid out
above is signicant. But interesting?
Thats rst of all our job - and we
owe it, if not to ourselves and our
trade, to the kids. And then theres
another responsibility that belongs
to the public: to read and watch and
understand it. - Reuters
(John Lloyd co-founded the Reuters
Institute for the Study of Journalism
at the University of Oxford, where he
is Director of Journalism. Lloyd has
written several books, including What
the Media Are Doing to Our Politics
(2004). He is also a contributing editor
at FT and the founder of FT Magazine.)
The Obama administration is likely to rely mostly on
existing rules and on exing executive power to execute
its second-term environmental agenda, sidestepping
Congress as it sets about radically reducing greenhouse
gases generated by major polluters.
Just a day after President Barack Obama said in his
inaugural address that for the US not to respond to the
threat of climate change would betray our children
and future generations, White House spokesman
Jay Carney tamped down expectations for bold new
Carney declined to dene specic policies,
suggesting the White House will expand its current
strategy to regulate and reduce carbon emissions.
The president will build on, when it comes to
climate change, the progress that was achieved in his
rst term, Carney said at a press brieng.
More details on climate initiatives could come out of
the presidents State of the Union address on Feb 12.
Environmentalists have judged Obama as too timid in
his rst term, especially after a congressional stalemate
ended legislative eforts.
The White House has pointed to its drafting of
emissions standards for the construction of new
power plants and, along
with the auto industry,
setting stringent fuel
ef ciency standards for
new cars.
The US is undergoing
a boom in domestic
energy production, from
the oilelds of North
Dakota to hydraulic
fracturing, or fracking, that has unlocked massive gas
reserves in several states. Taking strong environmental
steps while still supporting aggressive drilling and
exploration will be a balancing act.
Fracking is a mixed blessing, prompting local protests
over concerns about possible water pollution but also
lowering emissions by displacing coal at power plants.
Obama is expected to name an entirely new energy
policy team in the next few weeks. Environmental
Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson and
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar are departing. Secretary
of Energy Steven Chu is widely expected to leave soon.
Carol Browner, Obamas former White House climate
and energy czar, said whoever steps in for Jackson and
the others would be following a path has already been
charted by the president.
I think its an agenda that has been set under
presidential leadership and I think that will continue,
Browner said.
Climate analysts guess that the EPA could soon
announce a move to use its authority under the federal
Clean Air Act to regulate heat-trapping greenhouse
By April the agency is expected to complete carbon
emission standards for building new power plants
that would efectively prevent any new coal-red
facilities from being built. Next would come a more
controversial efort, setting standards for existing
coal-red plants, which account for 40% of US
greenhouse gases. The measure is sure to provoke
industry lawsuits.
A 2009 executive order required federal agencies
to develop and implement sustainable energy plans
and review them annually to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions, energy, water and waste.
The Department of Energy has issued 16 new
or updated energy ef ciency standards for home
appliances, commercial buildings and industrial
facilities that would reduce carbon dioxide emissions
by 6.5bn tonnes - the equivalent of taking 1.4bn cars
of the road for a year - by 2030.
Obamas 2nd-term
climate initiatives
apt to be temperate
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I think its an
agenda that has
been set under
Cameron takes risky path with EU speech
Issues that journalists
should be working on
The EU and the Union flags fly outside The European Commission Representation in the United Kingdom in central London
on Wednesday.
US decit onus on Democrats
Firm takes aim at mining asteroids
revious budget dramas in
Washington produced bar-
gains that made it look like
Congress was making great
strides, without actually doing so.
Wednesdays vote by the
Republican-controlled US House
of Representatives to extend the
governments borrowing power until
May 19 was no diferent.
It temporarily removed a hazard
- a potential default within the next
month - that only existed because
Republicans created it. They initiated
Wednesdays vote after taking a
beating in public opinion polls for
engaging in budget brinkmanship over
the scal clif, a series of budget
deadlines that came together at the
end of 2012, which could have resulted
in huge tax increases and spending
cuts had Congress not acted to either
eliminate or postpone most of them.
ButtheHouse-passedbill doesnot
The bill did not: cut government
spending; extract commitments from
President Barack Obama or Democrats
in the US Senate to cut government
spending; or avoid three potentially
jarring scal confrontations a few
months down the road.
Automatic budget cuts postponed
fromthe scal clif around NewYears
Day kick in on March 1. Abill that
temporarily funded the government
will expire on March 27, threatening
a potential shutdown of some federal
operations. In May, the borrowing
authority approved on Wednesday will
run out.
While Republicans sayeachof these
will present anopportunityfor themto
engage Democrats, includingObama,
indecit reductionnegotiations, their
trackrecordis not promising.
I dont think it (the House debt
limit bill) has much to do with decit
reduction at all, said Robert Bixby,
executive director of the non-partisan
Concord Coalition, a budget reform
advocacy group. Its a way of
defusing a political crisis.
Our base case remains a series of
endless clifs, Chris Krueger of the
nancial services rmGuggenheim
Partners wrote in a note. Short-term
extensions of these clifs could result
in an endless game of kick the can -
until the can kicks back.
As for decit reduction, he wrote:
Dont hold your breath, though hope
springs eternal.
Ethan Harris of Bank of America
Merrill Lynch said, It is another
example of where politicians bark
seems worse than their bite.
Welcome to the latest chapter in a
two-year battle between Obama and
congressional Republicans over how
the worlds largest economy can gain
control of a $16.4tn national debt.
There was the 2010 presidential
commission to nd budget solutions, a
2011 congressional super committee
that was supposed to put the
government on a sound scal path and
a scal clif of late 2012 designed to
force big decisions. All sputtered.
Now, Republicans have crafted a
debt limit increase without setting a
specic newceiling on borrowing that
they could be blamed for.
In a tough-looking move, their
legislation aims to withhold
lawmakers pay if the Senate or House
fail to produce a non-binding budget
plan this year. Some lawmakers
argue that the pay provision violates
the Constitution, which restricts
Congress ability to vary its own
Wednesdays bill does not require
the Senate and House to agree on a
budget, only to pass their own budget
bills. If the Republican-controlled
House and Democratic-controlled
Senate manage to pass proposals, they
are likely to be vastly diferent.
Last year, Democrats in the Senate
rejected a House Republican budget
that projected a plan to bring the
budget into balance gradually over a
30-year period.
In pledging to eliminate budget
decits within 10 years, House
Republicans are putting themselves on
a path to writing a budget that will cut
even more deeply into Medicare and
Medicaid healthcare for the elderly,
disabled and poor, and the Social
Security retirement program.
Budget experts think the 10-year
pledge will be a steep climb for
Republicans, especially if they refuse
to use any tax increases for decit
reduction and if they stick to previous
proposals to slowly phase in benet
cuts for programmes like Medicare.
Meanwhile, Senate Democrats are
talking about defending those social
safety net programmes, investing in
other programmes and further raising
taxes on the rich and big corporations,
despite Republican insistence that tax
increases are of the table.
Whether or not there is a sweet spot
for compromise remains to be seen. -
Cape Canaveral, Florida
teamof entrepreneurs and
engineers have unveiled
plans for a space mining
company that would tap
nearby asteroids for rawmaterials to
fuel satellites and manufacture com-
ponents in orbit.
Deep Space Industries, based in
Santa Monica, California, said its
inaugural mission is targeted for 2015,
when it would send a small hitchhiker
spacecraft called Firey on a six-
month expedition to survey an as-yet-
unidentied asteroid.
The 55-lb (25-kg) satellite, about
the size of a laptop computer, would
be launched as a secondary payload
aboard a commercial rocket carrying
a communications satellite or other
robotic probe.
About 1,000small asteroids relatively
close toEarthare discoveredeveryyear.
Most, if not all, are believedtocontain
water andgases, suchas methane,
whichcanbe turnedintofuel, as well
as metals, suchas nickel, whichcan
be usedinthree-dimensional printers
tomanufacture components, David
Gump, chief executive of DeepSpace
Industries, said.
Gump is a co-founder of three
previous space and technology start-
ups, including Astrobotic Technology,
which is focused on exploration and
development of lunar resources.
There is really nothing in the
business plan that Deep Space
Industries is pursuing that cannot be
done with technology research already
accomplished in laboratories across
the planet, said John Mankins, a
former Nasa Jet Propulsion Laboratory
manager who is the start-up
companys chief technical of cer.
The technology may not have been
used in space for the exact purposes
that we propose, but the fundamental
technologies are really at hand,
Mankins said.
Company officials, who unveiled
their plans at a press conference
at the Museum of Flight in Seattle
that was also webcast, did not
comment on their financial backing
except to say they were looking for
Deep Space Industries is the second
company to unveil plans to mine
asteroids, rocky bodies of various sizes
that orbit the sun. So far about 9,500
asteroids have been found in orbits
that come near Earth. Small fragments
of asteroids regularly pass through
the planets atmosphere, lighting up
the night sky as they incinerate and
occasionally surviving to become
Last year, Planetary Resources, a
Bellevue, Washington-based company
backed by high-prole investors
including Google executives Larry
Page and Eric Schmidt and advisers
like lmmaker James Cameron,
announced a programme that would
begin with small, low-cost telescopes
to scout for potentially lucrative
Firefly, as well as a follow-on line
of planned asteroid sample-return
satellites called Dragonfly, would
be based on miniature research
spacecraft known as CubeSats
that are built from commercially
available, off-the-shelf electronic
The cost of a Firey mission would
be about $20mn, half of which the
company expects will come from
government and research institute
contracts and half fromcorporate
advertising, sponsorships and other
marketing ventures, said Gump.
Live issues
Gulf Times
Friday, January 25, 2013 19
Concern grows that France
could become ensnared
in a protracted
conict in Mali
wo weeks into Frances
intervention in Mali the
scale of the challenge facing
French troops as they take on
thousands of jihadists in a newfront in
the ght against terrorismis starting
to sink in.
President Francois Hollandes
decision to answer Malis call to
combat the fundamentalists who
threatened to overrun the country
in mid-January still enjoys broad
international consensus.
For evidence that Mali is becoming
a staging post for international
terrorismall he has to do is point to
last weeks attack on a gas complex in
neighbouring Algeria.
We cannot permit northern Mali
to become a safe haven, US Secretary
of State Hillary Clinton agreed on
Tuesday as the US, which had three
nationals among the 38 workers killed
in Algeria, began airlifting French
troops to battle.
British Prime Minister David
Cameron, whose country lost at least
three nationals in Algeria, warned
the British public to prepare for a
generational battle that would take
years, even decades, rather than
And yet, for all the shaking of
sts, there was no rush to battle in
the US and Britain, two countries
that have been at the forefront of the
ght against the original Al Qaeda,
but who have ofered to play only a
support role in Mali.
Hollande put on a brave face as
he met German Chancellor Angela
Merkel in Berlin on Monday, insisting
the best thing the world could do
was to provide training and logistical
But Hollande still cast a lonely
gure as he prepared for the most
dif cult part of the ofensive: Chasing
the rebels, whomMalian and French
forces have routed fromthe centre
of the country, out of their northern
The task for the combined African-
Malian force that is being quickly
cobbled together to lead that ultimate
battle is daunting.
Apart fromChad, none of the West
African countries that have supplied
about 1,500 troops so far have
experience in desert combat.
Many are also woefully
undertrained and under-resourced.
In December, a French television
report showed a group of Malian
soldiers in target training. Pam,
pam, pam. Brrrt, brrrt, brrrt, the
soldiers intoned, forced to mimic
the sound of gunfire for lack of real
And then theres the sheer
immensity of the territory they aim
to recover - an area twice the size of
France with porous, poorly guarded
borders through which the rebels slip
back and forth with ease.
Even if they do manage to chase out
the estimated 3,000 rebels who have
established a reign of terror in the
towns of Timbuktu, Gao and Kidal this
past year, howlong until they return?
As concern grows that France could
become ensnared in a protracted
Afghanistan-style conict, the call
for Hollande to establish a clear line
in the sand in terms of Frances role is
It was about stopping the
jihadists and terrorists penetrating
south towards Bamako. Now I have
the feeling we are engaged in a
general reconquest of Mali, which is
immense, former foreign minister
Alain Juppe said on Monday,
calling for Frances position to be
Hollandes response has been both
categoric and vague.
People often ask howlong this will
last. I reply, the time it takes. The time
it takes to vanquish terrorismin this
area, Hollande said at the weekend.
Analysts say that vanquishing
terrorismthat has ourished on a
bedrock of underdevelopment in the
Sahel will require more than military
might alone, as the experience of
Afghanistan has shown.
It will require soft power and
patient negotiation with the semi-
nomadic Tuaregs, whose decades-
long quest for greater autonomy from
Bamako the jihadists have sought to
Even if the north does regain
a certain tranquility I think the
fracture between the north and
south has become irreparable,
Pierre Boilley, a Sorbonne
University professor and director of
African studies at Frances National
Centre for Scientific Research,
Even if the military operation is
successful all parties will be obliged to
negotiate increased autonomy of the
north. - DPA
Where to draw the line in the sand?
A French armoured vehicle drives towards the recently liberated town of Diabaly, in Mali, yesterday.
Al Wakrah
UmmSaid Al Kiranah
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Gulf of
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Three-day forecast
High: 28 C
Low: 18 C
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Low : 19 C
Abu Dhabi
Weather report
Around the region
Abu Dhabi
Kuwait City
M Sunny
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Around the world
Cape Town
Hong Kong
New Delhi
New York
Sao Paulo

M Sunny
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Fishermens forecast
Wind: SW-SE 3-10/15 KTS
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High: 28 C
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Fog at first to hazy and modearte
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M Sunny
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P Sunny
P Sunny
S Showers
M Sunny
C Storms
P Sunny
C Storms
US House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and members of the House Republican
leadership speak to the media shortly after the House passed a bill that would
suspend the debt ceiling on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on Wednesday.
Gulf Times
Friday, January 25, 2013 20
17th century oil paintings the
highlight of new exhibition
ByBonnie James
Deputy News Editor
he magic of art restoration will
go onshowtoday whenthe Her-
itage of Art Diplomacy: Memoirs
of an Ambassador exhibition by Qatar
Museums Authoritys Orientalist Mu-
seum opens for public viewing at the
Museum of Islamic Art fourth oor
Four very rare 17th century Austrian
oil paintings, restored after a meticu-
lous and painstaking exercise over the
past two years involving a team of up
to 10 experts, and currently part of the
Orientalist Museums collectionare the
key attractions.
Twelve gouache works froma collec-
tion in Austria the original inspira-
tion for the paintings will also be on
display at the exhibition, being held
until March 18 under the patronage of
QMA chairperson HE Sheikha Al Ma-
yassa bint Hamad al-Thani.
The behindthe scenes work of muse-
umresearchers and restorers shares the
limelight with the four paintings com-
missioned by the Habsburg Ambassa-
dor Hans-Ludwig von Kuefstein after
his diplomatic mission to Istanbul.
The House of Habsburg, also known
as House of Austria, is one of the most
important royal houses of Europe andis
best known for being the source of all
formally elected Holy Roman Emperors
between 1438 and 1740, as well as rul-
ers of the Austrian Empire and Spanish
Empire and several other countries.
On the 9th of July 1628, the Grand
Embassy of Holy Roman Emperor Fer-
dinand II, led by Kuefstein, departed
fromVienna to Istanbul to the court of
the Ottoman Sultan Murad IV.
Ambassador Kuefsteins delegation
included staf from all categories apart
from artists who made the gouache
works, said Orientalist Museum di-
rector Dr Olga Nefedova, the curator of
the exhibition at a media preview yes-
terday. She was accompanied by Con-
servation Department head Dr Hyejung
Yumand Ambassador Kuefsteins fam-
ily member Elisabeth Kuefstein.
In addition to its diplomatic and
political success, the embassy of Kuef-
stein is remembered and known nowa-
days for its artistic legacy and docu-
mentation of diferent aspects of its
mission to Istanbul, Dr Nefedova ex-
These documents include the am-
bassadors diary, the draft of a nal re-
port to the emperor, some diplomatic
correspondences, a list of the gifts
presented and received, and a series of
gouaches executed in Istanbul, as well
as a number of oil paintings. The latter
serve as illustrations of various aspects
of Ottoman 17th century life and pro-
vide a detailed account of the ambas-
sadors mission.
The restoration process is often de-
scribed a voyage of discovery, and the
investigation and treatment of these
four 17th century paintings was no ex-
ception, as the conservation and res-
toration of not one but a group of four
very rare, large-scale paintings were
both challenging and exciting.
The restoration started in early 2010,
and as the paintings were uncrated and
unpacked, a unique voyage of discovery
began. The restoration process, docu-
mented on video, is also being screened
as part of the exhibition. The paintings
are titled Dinner given by the Grand
Vizier in honour of the Ambassador
Kuefstein, Imperial Procession, Ja-
nissary, and Sbahi.
Speaking about the restoration proc-
ess, Dr Yumsaid a detailed study about
all aspects of the painting(s) was un-
dertaken before starting the work. We
learnt about the techniques used by
the artist(s), the original materials and
tried to recreate them while cleaning
and preserving the original work.
Dr Nefedova recalled that the paint-
ings were in a state of neglect and had
been stored for many years, perhaps
centuries even, in the bowels of a cha-
teau in France where humidity and
temperature were unchecked.
Layers of thick grime and insect de-
bris, holes, tears, patches and massive
deformations of the canvases came to
light. Heavy layers of varnish, consid-
erably discoloured over the years, also
covered the paintings.
The original paint layers were fur-
ther obscured by large areas of over-
paint from past restorations, which
were obvious even under the heavy lay-
ers of surface dirt and varnishes.
However, despite the poor state
of preservation, much of the original
material seemed to have survived the
centuries and justied an elaborate
treatment with the objective to both
structurally and aesthetically improve
the paintings and meet long-term
preservation goals.
The blackened frames, when
cleaned revealed a golden colour, with
intricate patterns. They have been re-
stored with gold leaves, she added.
All the four paintings are attributed
to Franz Hormann and Hans Gem-
minger and assisted by Valentin Muller.
A comprehensive education pro-
gramme will complement the exhibi-
tion including an international con-
ference on March 7. Distinguished
scholars and specialists from art his-
tory, conservation science, and cultural
studies will explore the subject of mu-
seumscientic activities in the elds of
restoration and preservation.
Janissary (c.1640).
Dinner given by the Grand Vizier in honour of the Ambassador Kuefstein (c.1640).
Sbahi (c.1640).
Dr Olga Nefedova (centre) speaks about the exhibition yesterday. Also seen are Dr
Hyejung Yum and Elisabeth Kuefstein.
Friday, January 25, 2013
Rabia-I 13, 1434 AH
Apple misses Wall
Street forecast for the
third straight quarter as
iPhone sales come in
below expectations
Safety top priority in Qatars
hydrocarbon growth: al-Sada
QPhas never compromisedon
environmental safety or health
of thesocietyat large, says the
Minister of Energyand Industry
ByPratap John
Chief Business Reporter
afety has played a very impor-
tant role in the development of
Qatars hydrocarbon industry
and will continue to occupy key posi-
tion in the oil and gas sectors future
growth, said HE the Minister of En-
ergy and Industry, Dr Mohamed bin
Saleh al-Sada.
While carrying out its operations,
QP has never compromised on the
overall environmental safety or health
of our society at large. It is one of the
most critical aspects of our industry,
al-Sada said in his opening remarks at
the Operational Safety Challenges in
the Oil and Gas Industry forum or-
ganised by Qatar Petroleum Dukhan
Operations in Doha yesterday.
QPs operations range from explo-
ration, drilling, production, rening
to distribution of hydrocarbon prod-
ucts to the world market, he said.
Safety measures, practices and
issues such as process safety (PS),
emergency & crisis management
(ECM), permit to work system (PTW)
and safety leadership will become all
the more critical for our continued
success, al-Sada said.
Good engineering and safety prac-
tices in operation and maintenance
not only protects employees, con-
tractors, communities and environ-
ment by preventing hazards such as
res, explosions, toxic gas clouds and
oil spills, it helps in addressing and
overcoming safety challenges of the
organisations, thereby ensuring busi-
ness continuity and the protection
of our corporate assets, the minister
Basic behavioural safety at work-
place is a combination of processes,
personnel, environment and their
interaction in the workplace, al-Sada
said. I expect this forumwill promote
best practices in behaviour-based
safety and behavioural techniques.
It should serve as a venue for shar-
ing practical ideas and case studies
on safety management in workplaces
which can go a long way in improv-
ing the theoretical andpractical safety
culture and overall safety within an
organisation, said.
QP and its subsidiaries, al-Sada
pointed out, have had several
achievementsindealing with various
operational safety challenges.
They include Qatargass safety
milestone of zero loss time incidents
(LTIs) on its Plateau Maintenance
Project (PMP) covering some 3mn
man-hours; RasGas performance of
four planned shutdowns at the Ras
Lafan site in 2011 considering a wide
range of safety related factors when
managing the shutdowns and devel-
opment of pre-planned scenarios for
dealing with emergency cases in 2011
by Qafac covering re, rescue and
hazardous spill incidents.
Although Qatars current safety
record remains satisfactory, al-Sada
emphasised the need to do more.
I would like to encourage all of you
not to rest on our laurels but rather
proactively make safety a conscious
attitude and guiding principle in eve-
rything you do. We also need to avoid
being complacent in our behaviour
and attitudes when it comes to safety.
It must be our goal, collectively, to
ensure that each employee and con-
tractor returns home safely. Each of
you should use this forum as an op-
portunity to build and extend our ex-
isting safety culture.
Safety will always remainour main
goal in all of our operational loca-
tions, al-Sada added.
Ahmad Saif al-Sulaiti, QP opera-
tions manager (Dukhan Fields) said,
This forum is the rst of its kind in
Qatar and it primarily aims to facili-
tate the exchange of experiences and
ideas among the many oil and gas
companies operating in Qatar. Qatar
Petroleum has always been very par-
ticular about the safety of its employ-
ees and contractors, and I am con-
dent that this forum will drive us all
to achieve even better results and will
be very benecial and rewarding as
we continuously work to improve our
safety culture.
The two-day forum was organised
by the Best Practice Technical Com-
mittee (BPTC) of the Dukhan Opera-
tions. The main objective of the event
is to provide a platform for industry
professionals and stakeholders to
share their experiences, strategies and
achievements related to operational
European banks need more cash
to cover bad loans, says Moodys
anks in Spain, Italy, Ireland and
Britain need to set aside much
more money to cover poten-
tially bad loans, credit ratings agency
Moodys said yesterday, meaning Eu-
ropean taxpayers may again be tapped
for cash.
European banks have already raised
hundreds of billions of euros to cover
possible losses fromloans that soured
in property and nancial market cri-
ses. Much of the funding has come
We believe that many banks, in
particular in Spain, Italy, Ireland, and
the UK, require material amounts of
additional provisions to fully clean up
their balance sheets, Moodys said in
its global banking outlook for 2013.
Some banks have in recent years
delayed full recognition of embedded
loan losses, partly by restructuring
loans, the report added. This strat-
egy of buying time (often tolerated by
regulators) limits a banks capacity for
newlending and poses risks for credi-
tors of European banks.
Moodys did not say howmuch ex-
tra money banks would need.
Rival agency Fitch also warned
yesterday that British banks could be
underestimating the riskiness of their
property loans and may need more
capital to correct this.
Moodys believes 2013 will be a
volatile year for Europes banks, but
expects their credit ratings to remain
relatively stable after a raft of down-
grades in 2012.
The agencys outlook for US banks
is negative due to a challenging home
market, while its outlooks for Asia/
Pacic, Emerging Europe and Latin
America are stable.
Most banks in Spain will take the
last hit from property-related writ-
edowns in fourth-quarter results,
putting the worst of the crisis behind
them. But a deep recession is still
hurting their loan books and there is
little sign of a quick recovery.
Fitchs view on British banks as-
sessment of risk chimes with com-
ments fromthe Bank of England(BoE)
in November.
The BoE said Britains four biggest
banks - HSBC, Barclays, Royal Bank
of Scotland and Lloyds could be over-
stating their capital levels by between
5bn and 35bn pounds ($55bn) because
of the way they measure risk.
Britains Financial Services Au-
thority is reviewing howbanks weight
the riskiness of their loan books and
lenders will be told by March if they
need to beef up their capital reserves
to protect against loans going sour.
The results of the review are not ex-
pected to be made public.
We expect that banks will have to
set aside more capital andthat this re-
quirement will probably be addressed
either by way of additional capital
bufers or higher risk-weightings for
certain classes of loans, Claudia Nel-
son, senior director of nancial insti-
tutions at Fitch, told Reuters.
The measures are likely to be in-
troduced gradually.
A Fitch study showed how retail
lenders assessment of their loan
books has grown rosier since the -
nancial crisis despite rising unem-
ployment and a poor economic out-
Fromthe end of 2007 to the end of
June 2012, the banks risk weighted
assets (RWAs) nearly halved to 35%
from 65% despite their loan books,
comprised mainly of mortgages, stay-
ing relatively stable.
The lower the RWA weighting the
greater the chance the loan will be re-
paid and the less capital a bank needs
to hold on its books.
A study of banks with a higher ex-
posure to residential mortgages re-
vealed an even sharper fall in their
perceived risk, despite a weaker prop-
erty market, Fitch said.
Egypt banks
under review
for downgrade
China, Europe
data upbeat
Qtel prices
$1bn bond
atar Telecom (Qtel), which has
a signicant presence in the
Middle East and North Africa
region and Southeast Asia, has priced
its two-tranche $1bn bond.
The $500mn 15-year notes (matur-
ing on January 31, 2028) will be issued
at a coupon of 3.875%, which is priced
2.15% over the 10-year US Treasury
rate, a Qtel spokesman said.
The $500mn 30-year notes (due
January 31, 2043) carry a coupon of
4.5%, which is priced 4.50% over the
US Treasury rate.
The bonds are to be issued by its
wholly owned subsidiary, Qtel Inter-
national Finance under the $3bn Glo-
bal MediumTermNote Programme es-
tablished on the Irish Stock Exchange.
The net proceeds from the sale of
the notes will be used for Qtels general
corporate purposes, including re-
nancing the existing debt, the spokes-
man said. Qtels businesses operate
under various brands, including Qtel,
Indosat, Asiacell, Wataniya, Nawras,
Nedjma and Tunisiana.
In a communiqu to the Qatar Ex-
change, Qtel said it mandated RBS
(global co-ordinator), together with
Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi,
JP Morgan and QNB Capital to act as
joint lead managers and book-runners
for the proposed dollar-denominated
benchmark notes.
The settlement of the ofering is
expected to occur on January 31, 2013
and is subject to customary settlement
Qtel has a signifcant presence
in the Middle East and North
Africa region and Southeast
Top executives of various QP subsidiaries and afiliates who were honoured for their performance in safety with HE al-Sada. PICTURES: Noushad Thekkayil
HE al-Sada addressing the forum organised by QPs Dukhan Operations in Doha
Commerzbank logo is pictured at a branch in Dortmund, Germany
yesterday. Commerzbank, Germanys second-biggest lender, plans to cut
up to 12% of staf by 2016 in a bid to slash costs and revamp its ailing retail
Business. The bank would cut 4,000-6,000 full-time positions, with the
exact figure to be negotiated with labour representatives in talks starting
February. The bank currently employs 56,000 staf at group level, with
49,000 full-time positions.
Commerzbank to cut 6,000 jobs
Gulf Times
Friday, January 25, 2013 22
Egypts prime minister met the head of the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) yesterday
and said an IMF mission would return to Cairo
within two weeks for talks on a $4.8bn loan
for the financially troubled country. Hisham
Kandil told a news conference he had told IMF
Managing Director Christine Lagarde that Egypt
would carry out some of the reforms required by
the global lender before a general election due
in April, and others would come later. He said
he hoped the frequently delayed IMF talks were
now on track and a loan agreement could be
concluded in the next round of talks.
Mongolias giant Tavan Tolgoi coal project is
facing financial problems and an up to $3bn
initial public ofering for the mine will not go
ahead this year as originally scheduled, the
chief executive of the company in charge of the
deposit said yesterday. Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi,
the state-owned firm running the much-delayed
7.5bn-tonne development, is shelving the issue
until the mine has more infrastructure in place,
chief executive Batsuuri Yaichil told Reuters.
The company will receive government funds of
$350mn to help repay its debts and will also seek
to renegotiate a supply contract.
Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer yesterday
clinched a deal worth up to $4bn to supply
larger regional jets for American Airlines
fleet, providing relief for its depleted backlog.
Embraer and Republic Airways Holdings
signed a deal for 47 E-175 jets, with an option
to acquire an additional 47 aircraft. The new
aircraft will be operated by Republic under AMR
Corps American Eagle brand. The deal is the
latest order for bigger jets in US regional fleets
under renegotiated labour deals. In December,
Canadian Bombardier booked a deal for up to
$3.29bn in new regional jets for Delta Air Lines.
Federal Reserve chairman Ben S Bernanke and
his fellow policy makers will probably forge
ahead with their unprecedented bond buying
when they meet next week, even as they pick
up a debate that began in December on when
to end the purchases. The job market has yet
to show the substantial gains Bernanke said
he wants to see before halting asset purchases.
Unemployment has persisted at 7.8% or higher
since January 2009, while Bernanke held the
main interest rate near zero. Meanwhile, all 19
FOMC participants see no immediate threat from
inflation, now at 1.4%.
Losses relating to derivatives and other trades
at Italys Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena are
about 720mn ($956mn), the banks chief
executive said in an interview yesterday. Yes.
The actualised shortfall is around that amount,
Fabrizio Viola told Il Messaggero when asked if
the amount was a certain loss rather than simply
a maximum risk. The bank said it was reviewing
three loss-making structured trades made in
2006-09. The deals in question are the so-called
Alexandria trade with Japanese bank Nomura,
the Santorini trade with Deutsche Bank and a
derivative called Nota Italia.
IMF to return to Cairo
within 2 weeks
Giant Mongolian coal mine
puts $3bn IPO on ice
Embraer books $4bn deal
for American Eagle fleet
Bernanke seen pressing
on with stimulus
Monte Paschi derivative
losses around $950mn
Japan logs record
trade gap in 2012
apan logged a record annual trade decit in
2012 as exports extended a slide in December,
signalling that Prime Minister Shinzo Abes
eforts to weaken the yen have been slow to gain
A Reuters monthly poll showed Japanese man-
ufacturing sentiment is improving but the 2012
trade gap of 6.93tn ($78.27bn) and a seventh
consecutive monthly drop in exports show that
has yet to translate into hard economic data.
The secondconsecutive annual trade decit re-
corded by a nation that for decades had racked up
hefty surpluses, helping to nance its ballooning
debt, underlines the need for Abes government
to strike a balance between economic growth and
scal reform.
The 2011 shortfall was the rst annual trade
decit since 1980, as exports struggled and Japan
shifted away fromnuclear power in favour of fos-
sil fuels after the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami
and subsequent nuclear crisis.
The December data, however, is seenas the low
point and analysts expect the economy to gradu-
ally regain momentum this year. A Reuters poll
shows the trade decit is expected to narrow in
the year ending March 2014to 5.6tnfrom6.2tn
in the year ending March 2013.
I dont think the shortfall will persist as a
trend, said Takeshi Minami, chief economist at
Norinchukin Research Institute in Tokyo. As the
US and Chinese economies pick up and the yen
weakens, Japans trade balance will return to sur-
plus by around the end of this year.
The data from the Finance ministry yesterday
showed that exports fell 5.8% in the year to De-
cember, more than economists consensus fore-
cast of a 4.2%drop.
Imports rose 1.9%, against a projected 1.5%
increase, resulting in a trade decit of 641.5bn
compared with a forecast decit of 534.0bn,
and marking a sixth straight month of trade
Japans exports have continued to weaken even
though the yen started to fall sharply in Novem-
ber in expectations of bold central bank stimulus
to pull the worlds third-biggest economy out of
its fourth recession since 2000.
Since early November the yen has fallen 11%
against the dollar and 15%against the euro.
The Bank of Japan on Tuesday doubled its in-
ation target to 2% and made an open-ended
commitment to buy assets from next year after
weeks of relentless pressure fromAbe for a great-
er push to combat deation.
Earlier this month, the cabinet approved
$117bn in extra spending in the biggest stimulus
since the global nancial crisis to try to lift the
Still, some signs of economic improvement are
A Reuters monthly poll, released yesterday
and which closely correlates to the BoJs tankan
survey, showed the manufacturers sentiment
index rose by a point to minus 17 in January, up
2 points from a three-year low registered in No-
Chinas manufacturing leaps
ahead; Europe nears recovery
at 2-year high; eurozone
economymoving closer to
recovery; USPMI expected to
showcontinued expansion
rowth in Chinese manu-
facturing acceleratedto a
two year high this month
and a buoyant Germany took
the eurozone economy a step
closer to recovery, business sur-
veys showed yesterday.
HSBCs ash China PMI rose
to 51.9 in January, the highest
since January 2011. The earliest
preview of Chinas economic
health in 2013, the ash PMI is
the latest indication that the
worlds second-largest econo-
my is steadily recovering from a
near two-year cool-down.
The eurozone data, mean-
while, supports European
Central Bank President Mario
Draghis assertion that the
17-nation currency union is
beneting from positive con-
But the data still hints at eco-
nomic contraction in the rst
quarter of 2013 as the downturn
in France went the opposite di-
rection to Germany and deep-
Markits Flash Composite
Eurozone Purchasing Managers
Index, which surveys around
5,000 rms and is viewed as a
good growth indicator, jumped
to 48.2 from Decembers 47.2,
smashing expectations for a
more modest rise to 47.5.
The index has now held be-
low the 50 mark that separates
growth from contraction in all
but one of the last 17 months.
But it is rising, prompting
Markit to say the data suggests
conditions in the bloc are im-
proving but still consistent with
GDP shrinking at a quarterly
rate of about 0.2-0.3%.
At this stage the trajectory
counts more than the absolute
level, and here the main story
is that the pace of recession is
clearly easing, said Marco Valli,
chief eurozone economist at
The drivers of the current
and expected improvement re-
main the usual three: improving
world trade - as shown by the
further increase in the Chinese
manufacturing PMI, slightly
less scal tightening, and a less
dysfunctional monetary policy.
The eurozone economy con-
tracted in the second and third
quarters of last year, meeting
the general denition of re-
cession. It is expected to have
deepened at the end of 2012.
A Reuters poll published on
Wednesday predicted a 0.4%
contraction in the nal months
of 2012 and only a at outlook
for the current quarter, with
tepid growth at best through to
at least the middle of next year.
While todays (Thursday)
PMI data conrm that the
steepest phase of the recession
is nowbehind us, they still indi-
cate that the eurozone economy
is contracting, said Martin van
Vliet at ING.
That being said, an end to
the recession may not be far
of. Indeed, todays data clearly
support the view that Germany
might lead the eurozone out of
recession in the rst of half of
this year.
The PMI data for Germany,
Europes largest economy and
the blocs growth engine, sug-
gested its economy grew at its
fastest pace in a year. But in
neighbouring France, the euro-
zones second biggest economy,
conditions got a lot worse.
Germanys composite PMI
rose to a 12-month high of 53.6
from Decembers 50.3, while
Frances fell to 42.7 from44.6 -
its lowest since March 2009.
The improvement in euro-
zone PMIs might be just a Ger-
man story, a sign that the euro-
zone economy is far from being
out of the woods, said Annalisa
Piazza at Newedge Strategy.
But there were signs that the
global economy may be gaining
some traction.
The rate of decline in newex-
port orders for European goods
eased to an 18-month lowwhile
it stabilised in China.
Indeed, the view that recov-
ering growth in Asia will gradu-
ally overpower the political and
economic malaise in the West
was reason for optimism in the
latest round of Reuters polls of
more than 600 economists.
Despite the still tepid ex-
ternal demand, the domestic-
driven restocking process is
likely to add steam to Chinas
ongoing recovery in the com-
ing months, Qu Hongbin,
said chief China economist
at HSBC, commenting on the
China PMI.
A woman working in a textile factory in Jiujiang, east Chinas Jiangxi province. Chinas manufacturing activity expanded in January at its fastest pace in two years, HSBC said
yesterday, the latest sign of recovery in the worlds second biggest economy.
The Kremlin is seen from the ofices of the Moscow Exchange in Moscow yesterday. The Moscow Exchange, Russias biggest bourse,
plans to raise more than $500mn in an initial public ofering, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The benchmark
Micex trades at about 5.7 times estimated earnings and has added 4% this year. That compares with a multiple of 10.8 times for the MSCI
Emerging Markets Index, which has gained 1.7% this year. Russian equities have the lowest valuations based on estimated earnings
among 21 emerging markets tracked by Bloomberg.
Moscow bourse eyes $500mn in IPO
US joblessclaims
dropto5-year low
The number of Americans filing
newclaims for unemployment
benefits unexpectedly fell to its
lowest since the early days of
the 2007-09 recession, a hope-
ful sign for the sluggish labour
Initial claims for state unem-
ployment benefits fell 5,000 to
a seasonally adjusted 330,000,
the lowest level since January
2008, the Labor Department
said yesterday.
Claims have now fallen for two
straight weeks, suggesting that
if employers are concerned
tax hikes enacted this year will
afect consumer demand; this is
not leading to more layofs.
Analysts polled by Reuters
had expected claims to rise to
355,000 last week.
Economists have cautioned
about reading too deeply into
this months figures, as claims
tend to be volatile around this
time of the year. This is because
of large swings in the model
used by the department to iron
out seasonal fluctuations.
A measure of labour market
trends nonetheless pointed to
an improvement in the labour
markets health. The four-week
moving average for newclaims
fell 8,250 to 351,750, the lowest
since March 2008.
A Labor Department analyst
said claims data were estimated
for three states last week, but
there was nothing unusual in
the state level data.
Claims are now at roughly the
same level they were in much of
2006 and 2007.
Claims started trending higher
around December 2007, the
month that the countrys reces-
sion began.
However, while employers have
pulled back on layofs, they
have only added jobs to the
economy at a lacklustre pace.
Employers adding 155,000 new
positions in December and the
unemployment rate held steady
at 7.8%.
Job gains averaged 153,000
jobs per month in 2012, lit-
tle changed from2011. The
sluggish labour market and
subdued inflation pressures
appear likely to keep the Fed-
eral Reserve on its ultra easy
monetary policy course.
The claims report showed the
number of people still receiv-
ing benefits under regular
state programs after an initial
week of aid dropped 71,000
to 3.16mn in the week ended
January 12.
Gulf Times
Friday, January 25, 2013
Barclays looks to remain big
player in investment banking
UKbank to cut 70-90investment bankers
in Asia: sources; bank will keep significant
and large investment bank: CEO; he says
comfortable with capital position
Hong Kong/London
arclays wants to remain a big player in in-
vestment banking even though the British
bank is cutting costs andjobs inthat busi-
ness, including at least 70 in its Asian division.
The bank has not nalised the number of jobs
to go in Asia but it could be as high as 90, ac-
cording to people familiar with the plans, who
declined to be identied because the matter is
Antony Jenkins, who took over as Barclays
chief executive at the end of August, is expected
to cut about 2,000 investment banking jobs
globally in a review of the banks business due
on February 12. The bank told UK staf of pos-
sible cuts earlier this week.
Barclays will continue to be a universal bank
and it will continue to have a very, very signi-
cant and large investment bank as part of that
universal banking model, Jenkins told CNBCin
an interviewfromDavos yesterday.
He declined to specify the scale of cuts in
Asia, but said: We still see opportunities for us
in Asia in investment banking and equities, but
we also see opportunities for us in other parts of
the world so its a relative, rather than an abso-
lute statement.
We live in a world where capital is scarce and
we have to deploy it against our best opportuni-
Banks globally are having to cut costs to cope
with this more hostile climate, partly the result
of tougher regulation on the industry after the
nancial crisis.
The CEO said more regulation and national-
ismand a tough economic backdrop would limit
revenue growth across the industry and was
forcing banks to shrink, pick areas of strength
and focus far more on cost-cutting. The future
shape and size of Barclays investment bank is
considered the most critical part of Jenkins re-
viewas the business contributes more than half
of group prots.
Jenkins took over from Bob Diamond, who
left the bank after a scandal over interest rate
rigging for which Barclays was ned $450mn.
The CEO is also attempting to drive through
a change in culture and standards after a string
of scandals, including Barclays ne for ma-
nipulating Libor interest rates, and mis-selling
problems in Britain.
The industry and Barclays got it wrong on
occasions. We were too aggressive, we were too
short-termfocused and we were too self-serv-
ing, he said.
Jenkins said he was condent in his banks
capital strength, after warnings from the Bank
of England that UK banks may need to raise
We are very comfortable with our capital
position through the course of this year. We
have ongoing discussions with our regulators
so were comfortable with our capital position.
In Asia, Barclays had spent heavily to hire a
team of veteran investment bankers after the
2008 nancial crisis, with the hope of creating
a business in the region that would put the Lon-
don-listed bank in the same league as Goldman
Sachs and Morgan Stanley.
But the Asian operation was hit by delays in
establishing its equity business, stifer than
expected competition from local rms, and a
quick rebound in Asian markets that allowed ri-
vals to regain momentum.
A spokesman for Barclays declined to com-
ment on the scale of cuts there.
Barclays has about 3,000-4,000 investment
banking staf in Asia, out of 23,300 globally.
Barclays ranked 8th in investment banking
fees earned globally last year, but was only 20th
in Asia, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Jenkins said his review - dubbed Project
Transform - will have repercussions for the
banks corporate structure.
iPhone disappointment fans doubt on Apple growth
Apple missed Wall Streets revenue forecast for the
third straight quarter after iPhone sales came in be-
low expectations, fanning fears that its dominance
of consumer electronics is slipping.
On Wednesday, Apple said it shipped a record
47.8mn iPhones in the December quarter, up 29%
froma year earlier. But that lagged the 50mn that
analysts on average had projected.
Apple shares slid 9.9%to $462.96 in early trade
yesterday, extending the decline fromrecord highs
above $700 last year.
Expectations heading into the results had been
subdued by news of possible production cutbacks
by some component suppliers in Asia, triggering
fears that demand for the iPhone, which accounts
for half of Apples revenue, and the iPad could be
But some investors clung to hopes for a repeat of
years of historical outperformance, analysts said.
Its going to call into question Apples domi-
nance in the space. Its still one of the strong play-
ers, the others being Samsung and Google. Its still
a two-horse race, but Android continues to grow
rapidly, said Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu.
If you step back a bit, its clear they shipped a lot
of phones. But the problem is the high expectations
that investors have. Apples conservative guidance
highlights the concerns over production cuts com-
ing out of Asia recently.
Apple is forecasting revenue of $41bn to $43bn
in the current, second fiscal quarter, lagging the
average Wall Street forecast of more than $45bn.
Fiscal first-quarter revenue rose 18%to $54.5bn,
below the average analyst estimate of $54.73bn,
though earnings per share of $13.81 beat the Street
forecast of $13.47, according to Thomson Reuters
Apple also undershot revenue targets in the pre-
vious two quarters, and these results will prompt
more questions on what Apple has in its product
pipeline, and what it can do to attract new sales and
maintain its growth trajectory, analysts said.
Net income of $13.07bn was virtually flat with
$13.06bn a year earlier on higher manufacturing
costs. The year-ago quarter also had an extra week
compared to this year.
Gross margins consequently slid to 38.6%, from
44.7% previously.
You cant just keep rolling out iPhones and iPads
and think that everybody needs a newone, said
Jefrey Gundlach, who runs DoubleLine Capital, the
$53bn bond firm. The mini? What is that all about?
It is a slightly smaller iPad - so what? So that is our
newdefinition of innovation?
There are plenty of competitors like Samsung
and other legitimate competitors like them, added
Gundlach, one of the highest-profile Apple bears.
He maintains a $425 price target.
United Continental Holdings posted a bigger
fourth-quarter loss yesterday, hobbled by higher
costs, lower revenue and charges.
The airline has been working to win back cus-
tomers who turned to rival carriers after technol-
ogy changes it made to unify operations following
its 2010 merger hurt service last year.
The worlds largest carrier said its quarterly net
loss widened to $620mn, or $1.87 a share, from
$138mn, or 42 a share, a year earlier.
It took charges of $430mn in the quarter, with
much of that tied to paying of pension debt and
costs for systems integration and training and
Excluding items, United said the 2012 quarterly
loss was 58 a share, compared with a 61-cent loss
expected by analysts on average, according to
Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue fell 2.5%to $8.7bn. Passenger revenue
per available seat mile, a measure of pricing power
and how full planes are, rose 0.6%in the quarter.
Operating costs rose 3.2%. Although fuel costs
edged down 0.3%, expenses for salaries and
maintenance materials were 4%and 9.2%higher,
Baxter International yesterday reported higher
quarterly earnings as sales strengthened, especially
in the US, and forecast sales growth of 10% for 2013.
Separately, Baxter said it had agreed to acquire
an investigational hemophilia compound for an
upfront payment of $50mn and additional pay-
ments of up to $20mn based on winning regulatory
approvals in the US and elsewhere.
Baxter, a maker of blood therapy products,
medical infusion pumps and equipment for kidney
dialysis, said fourth-quarter net profit was $494mn,
or 89 per share, up from$463mn, or 82 per share,
a year earlier.
Excluding one-time items, Baxter earned $1.26
per share, matching the average estimate on Wall
Street, according to Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sales rose to $3.75bn from$3.59bn.
For the current quarter, Baxter forecast earnings
of $1.03 to $1.05 per share before special items, with
sales growth of 2%to 3%.
For the full year, it expects earnings of $4.60 to
$4.70 per share before special items, and cash flow
fromoperations of $3.3bn.
British budget airline easyJet said quarterly
revenue rose 9.2%, after it attracted more business
travellers by adding flights on routes where rivals
have cut capacity.
EasyJet also benefited fromextra services, such
as flexible tickets and allocated seating, it has
started ofering in a bid to steal business customers
from legacy carriers such as IAGs British Airways.
Demand for flights between London, Geneva,
Milan, Paris and Rome were especially strong dur-
ing the three months to December - easyJets first
quarter, a spokesman said on Thursday.
Europes second-largest budget airline behind
Ryanair said first-quarter revenue rose to 833mn
($1.2bn), with passenger numbers up 6.2%to
13.7mn. Costs per seat, excluding fuel, rose 0.5%.
The airline, which will start services between
London, Manchester and Moscowlater this year,
said it was now carrying 10mn business passengers
LG Display Co, a major supplier of iPad and
iPhone screens, said its LCD panel shipments would
slide this quarter, underscoring worries about
weaker growth for Apple Inc products, and taking
the shine of forecast-trouncing results.
Fears that demand for the iPhone and the iPad
could be slowing have been triggered by news of
possible production cutbacks by some component
suppliers in Asia and were exacerbated after Apple
reported weaker-than-expected iPhone sales in its
quarterly earnings.
The South Korean company said some clients
were cutting orders and it expect LCD panel ship-
ments to decline by around 15%in the first quarter
fromthe previous quarter.
A first-quarter fall in profits will come, however,
after a very strong fourth quarter that sawLG Dis-
play book 587bn won ($550mn) in operating profit,
one-third higher than the market consensus and up
froman operating loss of 155bn won for the same
period a year earlier.
Hyundai Motor
South Koreas Hyundai Motor reported a 12%
increase in net profit for 2012, despite the twin
challenges of a strengthening won and a global
downturn that sapped demand.
Consolidated net profit was 9.05tn won ($8.4bn)
last year, compared with 8.1tn won in 2011, the
countrys top automaker said in a statement.
Operating profit reached an annual record of
8.4tn won, up 5.1% from a year ago. Sales rose 8.6%
to also reach an annual record of 84.4tn won.
Sluggish domestic sales that lasted through last
year, the wons strength and the yens weakness put
pressure on the quarterly results, the statement
The company sawits fourth-quarter net profit
fall 5.5%froma year ago to reach 1.8tn won. Operat-
ing profit for the October-December period also
tumbled 11.7%to 1.8tn won.
Hyundai, together with its smaller afiliate Kia, is
the worlds fifth-largest automaker.
The Seoul-based auto giant sold 4.4mn cars
worldwide in 2012, up 7.0%from2011, and said
Thursday it planned to sell 4.6mn cars this year.
Sales in China, the worlds top auto market,
soared 12% to reach 847,000 units last year, while
sales in the number two market, the US, rose 8.9%.
Sales in recession-hit Europe also climbed 10.2%
to 444,000 units.
The firmalong with the Souths other major ex-
portersfaces the challenge of a strong won, which
threatens to further erode profits and weaken its
competitiveness against Japanese rivals like Honda
and Toyota.
Tiger Airways
Budget carrier Tiger Airways Holdings, one-third
owned by Singapore Airlines, reported a third-
quarter net profit of S$2mn ($1.6mn), the first time
in seven quarters it made money.
Despite a boost from its Singapore business,
Tiger expects its operating performance to be
weaker in the fourth quarter and forecast an
operating loss for the year to March 2013, said the
carrier, which has associate airlines in Indonesia
and the Philippines.
After taking charge in August, newgroup chief
executive Koay Peng Yen struck a deal to sell a
stake in its loss-making Australian unit and entered
into other partnerships, but faces a big challenge in
a fiercely competitive Southeast Asian market.
Tiger reported a third-quarter profit compared to
a net loss of S$17.4mn a year earlier. Its nine-month
loss contracted to S$30mn, fromS$87.9mn a year
Amgen on Wednesday projected revenue for
2013 that exceeds Wall Street estimates and said
it was on track to deliver on its 2015 forecasts well
ahead of schedule.
The worlds largest biotechnology company
forecast 2013 revenue of $17.8bn to $18.2bn and ad-
justed earnings of $6.85 to $7.15 per share. Analysts
on average are looking for revenue of $17.7bn and
earnings of $6.99 per share, according to Thomson
Reuters I/B/E/S. The 2013 forecast suggests that
they expect good momentumfrom2012, RBC
Capital Markets analyst Michael Yee said. They
have a history of guiding conservatively and then
The company was true to that history on a call
with analysts and investors.
Amgen previously targeted 2015 revenue of
$16bn to $18bn and adjusted earnings of $7.25 to
$8.60 per share. On Wednesday, Amgen manage-
ment said it was on track to hit the upper end of its
2015 revenue guidance two years early and the EPS
forecast at least one year early.
Net profit for the fourth quarter fell as sales of
some key products declined and R&D spending and
other costs jumped.
Excluding items, Amgen had adjusted earn-
ings of $1.40 per share, topping analysts average
expectations by 2 cents. Net profit fell to $788mn,
or $1.01 per share, from$934mn, or $1.08 per share,
a year ago.
Nokiapostsproft, waivesdividend
Nokia, once the worlds biggest mobile phone
maker, yesterday posted a net profit of 202mn
($269mn) in the fourth quarter, its first quarterly
profit for 18 months.
The beleaguered company, which is trying to cut
costs, said that it would not pay a dividend to share-
holders for the first time for more than 20 years.
We are very encouraged that our teams execu-
tion against our business strategy has started to
translate into financial results, chief executive
Stephen Elop said in a statement.
In the three months ending December 31, Nokia
made a net profit of 202mn compared to a loss
of 1.07bn in the same quarter a year ago, when
results were hit by a goodwill impairment charge in
its Location and Commerce unit.
An average of 11 analysts polled by Dow Jones
Newswires had expected a fourth-quarter net loss
of 156mn euros.
Shares in Nokia soared earlier this month when
it revealed an 8%increase in fourth quarter sales in
its Devices and Services unit to 3.9bn ($5.14bn).
The company sold a total of 86.3mn devices
during the quarter, including 4.4mn Lumia smart-
phones, its new flagship product developed with
The companys net cash position, which is close-
ly watched by investors, stood at 4.4bn, compared
with 3.6bn at the end of last quarter.
Nokia dominated the international mobile mar-
ket for more than a decade but has of late lagged
behind smartphone rivals such as Apple and Sam-
sung, and credit rating agencies have downgraded
the company due to concerns over its profitability
and its cash position.
Antony Jenkins, who took over as Barclays chief executive at the end of August, is expected to cut about
2,000 investment banking jobs globally.
LNG trade
shrank in
12 on tight
Dow Jones
he global trade in lique-
ed natural gas likely
shrank last year due to
lower overall gas output, and gas
producers will focus on meet-
ing a supply shortfall for the
next couple of years, a senior BG
Group executive said yesterday.
Preliminary data show the
volume of LNG changing hands
declined for the rst time in
the industrys history by 2.5mn
metric tonnes in 2012, com-
pared with a 19mn-tonne jump
a year earlier, Steve Hill, vice
president of global LNG and
oil marketing at BG Group, said
at the LNG Supplies for Asian
Markets conference in Singa-
BGGroup is one of the worlds
largest suppliers of LNG. Ac-
cording to its 2012 data book, it
had contracted LNG supply of
around 13mn tonnes a year.
He said higher gas output
from some producers was ofset
by production problems at other
companies inIndonesia, Algeria,
Malaysia, Egypt and Yemen.
Analysts estimate global LNG
trade will grow from its current
size of 240mn tonnes to around
450mn tonnes by 2025.
LNG currently accounts for
10% of global natural gas con-
sumption, with a total of 18 ex-
porting and 26 importing coun-
tries, and around 365 ships for
Gulf Times
Friday, January 25, 2013 24
Turkish Airlines to buy over
100 narrow-body planes
urkish Airlines, the
worlds fastest-growing
carrier, plans to order
more than 100 narrow-body
planes by the end of March, un-
derlining its positionas a key cli-
ent for global plane makers after
buying billions of dollars worth
of larger models in 2012.
Chairman Hamdi Topcu told
Reuters the airline would nal-
ise ve new Airbus A330-300
orders this week on top of the 35
wide-body aircraft ordered from
rivals Airbus and Boeing last
year, then focus on expanding its
eet of smaller planes.
I cannot give an exact
number for the narrow-body
plane orders, but it will very
likely be over 100. We aim to -
nalise this order by the end of
March, Topcu said in an inter-
viewin his of ce in Istanbul.
Industry sources had said
Turkeys ag carrier was ex-
pected to seek a large number
of narrow-body jets, such as the
150-seat Airbus A320, this year
after ordering larger models in
French Trade Minister Nicole
Bricq used an of cial visit to
Turkey this month to press Air-
bus case for the business.
We ordered 20 Boeing 777-
300 and 15 Airbus A330-300
(last year). We want them as
soon as possible and are in talks
to add ve more (A330s) to this
order. We aim to nalise it this
week, Topcu said.
Turkish Airlines nalised an
order worth $4.7bn at list prices
for 15 Boeing 777-300ER aircraft
last month, the biggest order by
value in the airlines history, and
which the US plane maker said
at the time included options for
a further ve of the 365-seat air-
Turkish Airlines also an-
nounced in October that it
would buy 15 Airbus A330-300
planes between 2014 and 2016.
After launching 33 new des-
tinations in 2012, the carrier
hopes to openas many as 40new
routes in 2013, around a quarter
of themto Africa, andwill be y-
ing to every country inEurope by
the end of the year, Topcu said.
The carrier, which aims to
have 219 aircraft in its eet by
the end of the year from a cur-
rent 202, plans to lease seven
planes until the delivery of the
ordered aircraft, Topcu said.
Inour eet projectionwe will
have over 350planes in2023, and
this number could be even 380,
Topcu said.
The company, 49% owned
by the government with the re-
mainder oated on the Istanbul
stock exchange, is considering
issuing a bond to nance its ex-
pansion, he said.
But he said a secondary public
ofering for the airline was not
currently on the governments
Topcu said Turkish Airlines
was open to closer ties with
Lufthansa, but that there were
currently no rmplans.
We are ready for any such co-
operations ... but there is noboard
decision taken, he said. If the
model to be formed is going to be
benecial for both companies, we
are opentoanykindof talks.
Turkish Airlines and Lufthan-
sa have been working together
for some time, bolstered by Ger-
manys large Turkish popula-
tion, the pairs membership of
the Star Alliance marketing ven-
ture and a 50-50 joint venture in
charter carrier SunExpress.
Speculation about plans for
closer ties between the two air-
lines was triggered in November
when Turkish Prime Minister
Tayyip Erdogan said he had dis-
cussed the issue with German
Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Analysts have said any new
cooperation could involve a
deeper code share agreement,
a new joint venture on routes
where cost savings could be
achieved, or in the longer terma
potential equity swap.
Before any co-operation
with Lufthansa we have to in-
vestigate the Turkish, German
and EU legal and regulatory
framework. This is going to be
one of the most important as-
pects, Topcu said.
Turkish Airlines fnalised an order worth $4.7bn at list prices for 15 Boeing 777-300ER
aircraf last month, the biggest order by value in the airlines history.
Moodys reviews ve Egyptian
banks for possible downgrade
Zawya Dow Jones
oodys Investors Serv-
ice placed its ratings on
ve Egyptian banks on
reviewfor a possible downgrade,
after taking a similar action on
Egypts sovereign-debt ratings
last week.
Moodys said it is reviewing
its ratings on National Bank of
Egypt, Banque Misr, Banque du
Caire, Commercial International
Bank (Egypt) and Bank of Alex-
The rmsaid its reviewwill fo-
cus onrisks posedby these banks
very highandincreasing exposure
to government securities as well
as the risk of further deteriora-
tioninthe operating environment
and its impact on banks asset
quality and capitalisation. For
the government-owned banks
National Bank of Egypt, Banque
Misr and Banque du Caire
Moodys said its review also will
focus on an assessment of the
governments capacity to provide
support, incase of need.
The three government-owned
banks and Commercial Interna-
tional Bank currently have long-
termlocal-currency deposit rat-
ings of B2, ve notches into junk
territory. Bank of Alexandria has
a long-term local-currency de-
posit rating of Ba3, three notches
into junk territory.
Last week, Moodys placed its
ratings for Egypt on review for a
potential downgrade, citing the
unsettled political conditions
and uncertainty around the gov-
ernments ability to get an In-
ternational Monetary Fund loan.
Egypt currently has a B2 govern-
ment bond rating fromMoodys.
Egypts continuing political
violence has hurt its economy.
President Mohamed Mursis
decision to issue a decree last
November, which granted him
supreme powers that cant be
challenged by the judicial sys-
tem, triggered violent demon-
The North African country,
the most populous state in the
Arab world, hopes also to clinch
a much-delayed $4.8bn loan
from the IMF to replenish its
fast-dwindling foreign-currency
reserves, plug a gaping budget
decit and restore investor con-
Moodys noted Egypts op-
erating environment is subject
to high volatility and said a fur-
ther deterioration in operating
conditions, stemming from the
governments inability to secure
nancial support from the IMF,
unsettled political conditions or
the imposition of further capi-
tal controls, likely would exert
additional pressure on banks
asset quality and capitalisa-
tion. Moodys said the govern-
ment-owned banks are more
vulnerable, given their lower
capitalization levels and limited
loss-absorption capacity, while
the rated private-sector banks
maintain relatively stronger
capitalisation bufers and more
robust risk-management prac-
Moodys expects to conclude
its review of the banks rating
following the conclusion of its
sovereign-rating review.
Ratings of National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, Banque du
Caire, Commercial International Bank (Egypt) and Bank of
Alexandria are to be reviewed by Moodys.
Airbus, Boeing eye worlds
fastest-growing major
carrier; possible bond
issue to fund expansion; no
board decision yet on closer
Lufthansa ties
Davos, Switzerland
raqi Kurdistan has awarded
Chevron Corp a stake in
the Qara Dagh oil block,
the regions energy minister
said yesterday, building on the
companys exploration play in
the autonomous northern re-
Kurdistan has upset the cen-
tral government by signing deals
directly with oil majors such
as Chevron and ExxonMobil,
providing lucrative production-
sharing contracts and better
operating conditions than in the
Baghdad says it alone has the
right to do oileld deals and
to control exports of the Opec
members crude.
We informed them that we
awarded them a eld called
Qara Dagh, Ashti Hawrami
told Reuters. It is an im-
portant and big exploration
project. Weve agreed all the
Hawrami said Chevron was
rmly committed to all its
projects with the Kurdistan
Regional Government (KRG).
Jay Pryor, Chevrons vice-
president for business devel-
opment, met with Kurdistan
President Masoud Barzani at
the World Economic Forum in
During the meeting, Chev-
ron expressed strong com-
mitment to all its projects in
Kurdistan, Hawrami said.
Unlike its larger rival Exxon,
Chevron has no stake in oileld
projects in southern Iraq. Even
so, Baghdad hit out at Chevron
last summer barring it from
any oil agreements with the
central government.
The company found the
commercial terms of Iraqs
service contract unworkable,
but like other investors
found Kurdistans production-
sharing contracts more attrac-
Slim margins at its $50bn
West Qurna-1 oileld project
in southern Iraq had led Exx-
onMobil to seek to quit the
service contract and focus
rmly on Kurdistan.
But Exxon may be moving
closer to Baghdads side in its
bitter feud with Kurdistan
with a sweeter deal to keep it
table, saidindustrysources.
Iraqi Kurdistan
awards Chevron
stake in oil block
Bullish spell
continues on
Qatar bourse
By Santhosh V Perumal
Business Reporter
ocal retail investors net
buying interest yesterday
extended the bullish spell
on the Qatar Exchange for the
third day. Large and mid cap
equities attracted most of the
buying as the 20-stock QE In-
dex (based on price data) rose
0.43%to 8,689.76 points.
The banking sector outper-
formed the market, which is up
The 20-stock Total Return
Index also gained 0.43% to
11,760.39 points, All Share In-
dex (comprising wider con-
stituents) by 0.35%to 2,090.41
points and Al Rayan Islamic In-
dex by 0.2% to 2,528.55 points.
All the three indices factored in
dividend income as well.
Under the All Share Index
category, the index of banks
and nancial services gained
0.8%, telecom (0.21%), indus-
trials (0.14%), consumer goods
(0.11%) and transport (0.03%);
while the indices of insurance
and realty fell 0.74%and 0.58%
The market breadth hung
in perfect balance with major
gainers being QNB, Doha Bank,
Masraf Al Rayan, Al Meera, Gulf
International Services (GIS), Vo-
dafone Qatar and Nakilat; even
as United Development Compa-
nyandBarwa buckedthe trend.
Market capitalisation
was up 0.15% or QR70mn to
QR475.53bn with large and mid
cap equities notably gaining
0.6% and 0.17% respectively;
whereas small caps lost 0.29%.
Of the 42 stocks, 18 each ad-
vanced and declined, while ve
were unchanged and one was
not traded.
Qatari individual inves-
tors net prot booking sunk to
9.67% or QR17.78mn. A higher
37.25% of them purchased
equities compared to 30.6%
on Wednesday while a lower
46.92%sold against 49.23%.
Non-Qatari retail investors
turned net buyers to the tune of
0.52% or QR0.96mn. A higher
16.78%of them were into buy-
ing against 10.5% the previous
day and a higher 16.26% com-
pared to 11.34%.
Domestic institutions net
buying rose marginally to
3.44% or QR6.32mn. A mar-
ginally lower 26.05% of them
were into buying against 27.12%
onWednesday and a marginally
lower 22.61%of theminto sell-
ing compared to 23.79%.
Foreign institutions net
buying shrank to 5.71% or
QR10.50mn. A much lower
19.91%of thembought equities
compared to 31.78% the previ-
ous day and a lower 14.2% of-
oaded against 15.63%.
Total trading volume fell 15%
to 3.73mn shares, value by 22%
to QR183.85mn and deals by
13%to 2,682.
The real estate sectors trad-
ing volume plunged 38% to
0.38mn shares and value by
14%to QR7.81mn even as there
was a marginal less than 1%
gain in transactions to 202.
Thebanks andnancial serv-
ices sectors trading volume
tanked 26% to 1.79mn shares,
value by 37% to QR92.50mn
and deals by 17%to 1,281.
The telecom sectors trad-
ing volume declined 21% to
0.26mn shares, value by 43%to
QR9.12mn and transactions by
60%to 110.
The transport sectors trad-
ing volume shed 18% to 0.27mn
anddeals by27%to206.
However, the industrials
sectors trading volume surged
87%to 0.43mn shares, value by
46%to QR26.48mn and trans-
actions by 22%to 358.
The consumer goods and
servicessectorstrading volume
soared 37% to 0.37mn shares,
value by 12% to QR23.60mn
and deals by 11%to 374.
The insurance sectors trad-
ing volume was up 5% to
0.23mn shares and value by 3%
to QR15.74mn while transac-
tions were down 3%to 151.
Actively traded stocks (in
terms of volume) were Rayan
(603,595 shares); Doha Bank
(336,023); GIS (282,670); Inter-
national Islamic (250,414) and
Qatar Insurance (210,050).
ndebted Dubai property
developer Nakheel posted a
57% rise in full-year prof-
it, saying its earnings growth
showed the emirates real estate
sector was in recovery.
House prices plunged about
60%froma2008peakas aprop-
erty boom turned to bust, with
Nakheel among the most high-
prole corporate casualties.
The government-owned de-
veloper agreed a $16bn debt
restructuring in 2011 and scaled
back grandiose plans, such as
building a one-kilometre high
This has helped turn around
Nakheels operations and it
prot last year, on revenue up
91%to 7.8bn.
It is proof that investor
condence is back, chairman
Ali Rashid Lootah said, add-
ing Nakheels strong nancial
performance ... is a clear sign of
a recovery in Dubais real estate
Aside from Nakheel, Du-
bais property sector has shown
other signs of improvement, in
part helped by an inux of peo-
ple and money from countries
afected by the Arab Spring.
Prices have levelled out and
even increased in some dis-
tricts, although the sector re-
mains dogged by an oversupply
of commercial and residential
Nakheel owns and operates
shopping malls in Dubai, with
retail revenue up 23%in 2012. It
did not provide gures in cash
The company made interest
and prot payments of around
Dh800mn to lenders last year
and has now paid around Dh-
10bn to various trade creditors
and contractors since the start
of its debt restructuring.
Nakheel has cut its long-term
liabilities by about Dh7.3bn and
will hand over 3,000 units to
customers in 2013. It plans to
invest Dh6.5bn over the next
three years on newprojects.
Dubais Nakheel prot up 57%
he World Bank has ap-
proved a $500mn loan
to Tunisia to support
its 2013 budget and help its
economy after the first Arab
Spring uprising that toppled
its former ruler, a minister said
Two years after the revolu-
tion that ousted President Zine
al-Abidine Ben Ali, increasing
numbers of Tunisians are stag-
ing street protests to demand
jobs and economic develop-
The new loan follows another
of the same amount last No-
vember to support economic
recovery by providing funds to
improve the business and nan-
cial sectors and reform social
The World Bank approved a
loan of $500mn to support Tu-
nisias budget in 2013, Riadh
Bettaib, minister of investment
and international cooperation,
Tunisia, whose uprising
sparked political changes across
North Africa, said in November
it is seeking a $2.5bn loan from
the IMF, and Fund of cials said
last Friday discussions were un-
der way to establish what was
Tunisias Islamist-led gov-
ernment has sought to revive the
economy hit by a decline intrade
with Europe and by policy dis-
putes between secularists and
hardline Sala Islamists.
Jim Yong Kim, the presi-
dent of the World Bank, said on
Wednesday in Tunis he was op-
timistic about the future of Tu-
nisia though it needed painful
reforms to revive its economy.
World Bank approves
$500mn loan for Tunisia
We informed them that
we awarded them a feld
called Qara Dagh. It is
an important and big
exploration project
Etisalat weighs
fnancing for $6bn
Vivendi Marocstake
Emirates Telecommunica-
tions, the Middle Easts
second-biggest phone com-
pany by market value, said it
was weighing finance options
for the potential acquisition of
Vivendis $6bn stake in Maroc
We are very much underlev-
eraged and we have the cash;
that leaves us with all options
open, group chief executive
oficer Ahmad Julfar said in an
interviewin Davos yesterday.
We can fund with all the
cash we have, partly with the
cash we have, or completely
through debt financing, he
The Abu Dhabi-based com-
pany, known as Etisalat, said
this month it submitted a
preliminary expression of in-
terest for Vivendis 53% stake
in Maroc Telecom. Etisalat
had about Dh12.2bn ($3.3bn)
in cash at the end of the third
An investment in Morocco,
home to about 32mn, would
expand Etisalats presence
in the Middle East and North
Africa as mobile phone pen-
etration in its home market,
the UAE, after climbing to
about 200%.
There are two other bidders
who have expressed interest
in the shares and the deal is
expected to close this year,
Julfar said yesterday. KT Corp,
South Koreas second-largest
mobile-phone company,
has indicated interest in the
Moroccan operator. Qatar
Telecomchief strategy oficer
Jeremy Sell said in October
the company was looking
very closely at Morocco.
Novartis, Europes biggest drugmaker by sales, said its Alcon
eye-care unit is under US government investigation related
to the export of products to Iran and other countries subject
to trade sanctions. Alcon was notified last year that the US
Attorneys ofice for the Northern District of Texas is conducting
an investigation into its sales, Novartis said in a regulatory filing
yesterday. The unit, run from Fort Worth, Texas, received a grand
jury subpoena for documents dating back to 2005.
The US government has programmes that prohibit or limit
products made or held in the US from being sold to certain
countries, including Iran, Syria and North Korea.
Gulf Times
Friday, January 25, 2013
Wheres the growth? Eurozone still lacks investor appeal
Davos, Switzerland
ncouragedbythe eurozones resil-
ience last year in the face of severe
doubts about its survival, some
outside investors have snapped up as-
sets in the strongest corners of the re-
Yet even the most enthusiastic euro
proponent would concede theres plen-
ty more to do to strengthen the curren-
cy bloc. Fundamentally, theres a need
for economic growth to start to revive
for many investors to risk a more deci-
sive push into bonds, equities or more
tangible assets in a swathe of crisis-hit
After last year, one should consider
that the likely outcome for Europe in
the next decade is 1% annual growth,
said Ontario Teachers Pension Plan
CEO Jim Leech, who is not planning
to venture into Europes wine-belt
countries such as Spain and Italy for
Its going to take a long time to
mend itself. One has to look (instead)
at emerging markets, added Leech,
whose fund is looking to open an of-
ce in Hong Kong and hopes to teamup
with local players for large China trans-
Go back a year and the prospect of a
disorderly Greek exit, leading to the eu-
ros possible implosion, was the central
subject of debates between bankers,
investors and policymakers meeting in
Davos for the annual World Economic
Twelve months on, the euro is still
standing and has regained ground
against the dollar and the Swiss franc,
after European Central Bank head
Mario Draghi showed in the summer he
was determined to prevent a breakup of
the 17-nation currency.
The single biggest factor that has
contributed to changing the invest-
ment outlook is obviously Mario Draghi
and the stance of the ECB, said David
Novak, a partner with Clayton, Dubilier
and Rice, one of the oldest US private
equity rms.
Knowing that a backstop is there
has led to a level of stability in the mar-
ket, said Novak, whose rmacquired a
signicant interest in British discount
retailer B&M last year.
Novak, who expects 2013 to be a
transition year for Europe, said his rm
would continue to look for investments
in businesses with strong exports lo-
cated in Britain and northern Europe.
But more evidence of long-termstabil-
ity was needed to make deals in south-
ern Europe attractive, he added.
The ECBs pledge to buy unlimited
quantities of bonds of weaker nations
has led to the near-halving of Italian
andSpanish borrowing costs fromtheir
euro crisis peaks, with some fund man-
agers dipping back into hard-hit sover-
eign bonds after months of absence.
Herbert Scheidt, chairman of Swiss
private bank Vontobel, said Draghis
actionhadbeena potent antidote to the
bets many hedge funds had been plac-
ing on the collapse of the euro and was
a stabilising factor in the market.
But the prospect of prolonged, aus-
terity-led stagnation in the region is
making assets inplaces like Italy, Spain,
Germany, Portugal and Greece still un-
palatable for many long-term overseas
Bankers and investors agree these
countries need to continue to push
through painful labour and welfare re-
forms to improve the regions competi-
But some are skeptical about politi-
cians ability to use the breathing space
the ECB has ofered them to lead a re-
turn to a path of growth, with many
saying economic retrenchment in these
countries looked too aggressive.
Even if Greek bonds might have
generated 80% for you last year, it
didnt change anything on the unem-
ployment front where 50% of young
people are unemployed, said Alex-
ander Bazarov, a member of the man-
agement board and vice-president of
Sberbank, Russias biggest bank.
I dont see any major appetite
among Russian businessmen for in-
vesting in the European Union. An
hotel here and there. But there are no
major, mainstreamdeals,Bazarov said.
While some investors, especially in
North America, are wary of moving
back decisively into Europe, others will
be well aware that fortune can favour
the brave.
Davide Serra, a founder of hedge
fund Algebris, is placing his bets on be-
ing long in 2013 on bank and insurance
stocks, much shunnedby investors over
the past ve years of crisis.
And some cash-rich players from
Asia and the Gulf with a longer-term
perspective have been actively look-
ing for bargains in what remains one of
the richest regions of the world. These
investors are shunning bonds andequi-
ties and rather looking to snap up qual-
ity companies at attractive prices. We
see opportunities both in Europe and
the US. Despite the crisis these are the
most developed, most trustedandmost
liquid markets of the world, said Scott
Freidheim, Europe CEO of Investecorp,
a manager of alternative assets for Gulf
We dont dismiss the headwinds
that Europe still faces, but it creates
opportunities, said Freidheim, who
bought Spains Esmolglass in the sum-
mer and is targeting other private com-
panies with a strong exposure to export
Even though many European com-
panies are on average worth around the
half of levels seen before the subprime
crisis, some of these investors say the
best buying opportunities may already
be over.
Opportunities are everywhere in
Europe, but at the end of the day it has
to be priced right, said Chen Feng,
chairman of Hainan Airlines Group,
which bought 48% of French airline
Aigle Azur in October.
If you cant agree on the price, the
deal is not going to happen, no matter
what the economic situation is like ...
If somebody thinks that everything is
ne nowand wants to price higher than
what the market canpay, thenobvious-
ly theres going to be no deal.
So far then its mainly the most risk-
tolerant buyers who have bought into
eurozone assets. For everyone else,
there has to be a clearer sign that eco-
nomic growth is returning before they
open their wallets.
I think we are on the way up, said
Charles Dallara, managing director at
the Institute of International Finance.
But if we do not pick up the slack in
the real economy, then the market will
Steelmaking giant ArcelorMittal announced
yesterday that it would shut down six cold-
processing facilities in the Liege region of eastern
Belgium, eliminating 1,300jobs, infuriating the
prime minister and triggering a strike call by
trades unions. The news, which the company said
resulted fromweak European demand for steel,
left Socialist Belgian premier Elio Di Rupo livid
ahead of a meeting with Indian metals magnate
Lakshmi Mittal who owns the company, at the
World Economic Forumin Davos, Switzerland.
ArcelorMittal blamed weak demand for cars and
cutbacks in plants for the fall in demand for steel.
Mitsubishi Motors Corp said it would recall about
14,700 electric vehicles (EV) globally due to a
brake problem unique to the electric-motor
powered cars in one of the biggest callbacks
involving the new generation of eco-friendly
cars. Mitsubishi Motors said that in Japan
it would recall nearly 3,400 i-MiEV electric
vehicles, as well as more than 2,400 MINICAB-
MiEV vehicles. Overseas, mostly in Europe, it
said it was recalling about 8,900 i-MiEV vehicles.
Some of those are sold as Peugeot Citroens iOn
and C-Zero, though Mitsubishi declined to say
how many.
Toyota and Germanys BMW yesterday said
they were deepening ties on developing
fuel-cell technology and vehicle batteries as
the auto giants push into the green market.
The automakers said they reached binding
agreements on several strategies which also
include the possible joint development of a
mid-sized sports vehicle, with a feasibility study
expected to be completed by the years end.
Toyota and the BMW Group are seizing this
unique chance to lead the industry towards the
future of mobility, Herbert Diess, a member of
BMWs management board, said in Tokyo.
Japanese industrial giant Toshiba and General
Electric (GE) yesterday announced plans to
widen a thermal power generation alliance,
after rivals Hitachi and Mitsubishi Heavy joined
forces. The firms, which have co-operated on
power-generation projects since 1982, said that
they would further expand their joint work in
so-called combined-cycle power generation. The
technology combines gas and steam turbines
to produce power with higher fuel-eficiency
and reduced carbon emissions, compared with
conventional thermal power plants. No financial
details were released. w
Spains unemployment rate surged to a
modern-day record of 26.02% in the final
quarter of 2012 as nearly six million people
searched in vain for work in a biting recession,
oficial data showed yesterday. The jobless rate
climbed from 25.02% the previous quarter,
reaching the highest level since Spain returned
to democracy following the death in 1975 of
General Francisco Franco. The result shattered
even the modest expectations of Prime
Minister Mariano Rajoys government, which
had been forecasting an unemployment rate of
24.6% by the end of 2012.
ArcelorMittal cuts 1,300
jobs in Belgium
Mitsubishi recalls about
14,700 electric cars
Toyota, BMW expand tie-up
on green technology
Toshiba, GE expanding
power generation ties
Spanish unemployment
rate shoots to 26%
Large banks seen dodging
EU nancial trading tax
nancial trading tax
(FTT) planned by a group
of eurozone nations could
leave major banks, its main tar-
get, relatively unscathed while
less nimble smaller trading
houses, pension funds and asset
managers bear the brunt.
Germany, France and nine
other countries are pushing
ahead with the tax on trades in
stocks, bonds and derivatives,
keen to show voters they can
clawback some of the taxpayers
money used to bail out banks
during the 2007-2009 nancial
However, bankers and nance
industry experts are sceptical
about a tax that will not be im-
posed even in all 17 eurozone
members, let alone in Europes
biggest nancial centre, Lon-
The idea of anFTTjust with-
in a small group of countries and
leaving out the rest of the world
is not the brightest, said Chas
Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxa-
tion at the ACCA, an interna-
tional accounting body.
Banks in countries that have
adopted the FTT will have the
minimum level of transactions
and will shift as much as possi-
ble to London.
Under a previous proposal,
which will be used in designing
the tax, the levy would be im-
posed on both buyers and sell-
ers if either party is in a partici-
pating country. But Britain and
Switzerland will remain on the
outside its scope.
Major banks such as Deutsche
Bank, BNP Paribas and Unicred-
it already have big London le-
gal entities and operations that
handle much of their wholesale
operations and could shift more
to themif it proved cheaper.
This is not a questionof eva-
sion. They (banks) have a duty
to their customer to ensure they
are operating in the most ef -
cient manner, said one nancial
industry source, declining to be
named because of the sensitivity
of the topic.
By contrast, smaller opera-
tors without an international
network would have fewer op-
portunities, if any, to move their
transactions out of the partici-
pating countries.
Centres such as London and
Zurich or further aeld in the
US and Asia could benet, but
the tax is likely to be bad overall
for the nancial industry, par-
ticularly as vital details, such as
whether market-making will be
exempt, are unclear.
An EU of cial told Reuters on
Wednesday that the European
Commission had yet to decide
whether the tax would also cover
securities issued by a company
within a participating country.
If this were included, trad-
ing houses in Asia and the US
would have to pay a tax on bonds
and stocks issued by companies
and governments in the par-
ticipating countries Germany,
France, Spain, Italy, Belgium,
Estonia, Greece, Austria, Portu-
gal, Slovenia and Slovakia.
Estimates of how much in-
come will be raised range from
10bnto 35bnannually. Hadall
27 European Union states opted
to participate, 57bn was ex-
Even 35bn loose change
when set against the $4.6tn
committed to the EUs banks by
taxpayers may not be achiev-
able if the tax hits trading vol-
However its applied, it will
be damaging, said Marco Stur-
lese, fund manager at Luxem-
bourg-based fund Fenice, sug-
gesting volatility could increase
if trading volumes drop.
Currently, the tax is set at
0.1%for bonds and equities and
0.01% for derivatives. As it is
levied on each transaction, it is
expected to afect high frequen-
cy trading disproportionately.
Germany and France have
criticised high frequency trading
which uses technology and
computer algorithms to carry
out huge numbers of transac-
tions rapidly as purely specu-
lative with no economic value.
As prots per trade are often
tiny, such strategies rely on the
very high volumes to be succeed.
High frequency traders ac-
count for up to 40% of share
transactions, according to Bank
of England estimates, and even
a 10 basis point levy would wipe
out prots for many of them.
Equities will sufer but the
traders will nd a way and if
they dont they will just move to
other asset classes or jurisdic-
tions which are exempt fromthe
tax, said Hirander Misra of Fo-
rumTrading Solutions, a trading
The International Swaps and
Derivatives Association (ISDA)
expects derivatives activities
to drop by between 60-90% in
countries where the tax is intro-
Swedens relatively short ex-
periment with nancial trans-
action taxes in the 1980s shows
howthey can backre if they are
not implemented universally.
The tax was introduced for
political reasons after nancial
overheating as a way to pun-
ish yuppies in the nance sec-
tor who were opening cham-
pagne and having parties, said
Knut Hallberg, an economist at
Swedbank who worked on dis-
mantling the tax for the Swedish
Finance Ministry.
It was a bit of a play to the
gallery, people were annoyed at
bankers and politicians tried to
nd a way to punish them. But
the tax was negative for Sweden,
trade worsened and moved to
London and it cost jobs. Greater
volatility also meant that inter-
est rates rose.
Swedens tax on the purchase
or sale of equities and bonds
prompted more than half of all
Swedish equity trading to move
to London by 1990. The volume
of bond trading fell by 85% in
the rst week, and futures and
options trading almost disap-
Trading volumes recovered
and grew substantially in the
1990s after thetaxwas scrapped.
Unsurprisingly, tax income was
disappointing and ofset by a fall
in capital gains tax.
More recently, the imposition
of EU rules restricting short sell-
ing of sovereign credit default
swaps led to a surge in futures
contracts trading, while French
investors have turned to deriva-
tives after a 20 basis point tax
was applied to equities last year.
In the European market, in-
creasingly clients are moving
fromholding cash positions into
synthetic, and thats partly been
driven by the nancial transac-
tiontax, most notably inFrance,
said the head of the European
prime nance division for a US
Italy is expected to bring in a
tax on equities from March and
on derivatives from July, and
Britain has a 0.5% stamp duty
on share transactions, which has
also helped a shift to equity de-
But the proposed new FTT
is broader in scope than the
UK and French taxes and while
the European Commission has
said the tax could be in place by
January next year, this could be
delayed and much of the detail
The tax is one of the symbol-
ical measures in the post-crisis
context just to showthey are do-
ing something, said Karel Lan-
no, an expert in EU regulation
at Brussels-based think tank,
the Centre for European Policy
But I dont expect a quick
agreement even amongst the 11
on how they will introduce and
execute the FTT. It remains to
be seen whether they will agree
a common tax rate and common
tax base. Banks will nd ways to
get around it thats for sure.
Only11 eurozonecountries
to impose planned tax; UK,
Swiss financial centres will
be outside the scheme; vital
details of tax remain to be
A European Union flag flies outside the European Central Bank headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany.
Germany, France and nine other countries are pushing ahead with the a tax on trades in stocks, bonds and
derivatives, but bankers and finance industry experts are sceptical about the tax that will not be imposed
even in all the 17 eurozone members.
Eurozonebusinessactivityrallies, analystscautious
Private business activity across the eurozone
rose to a 10-month high level in January, a
leading growth indicator showed yesterday,
but analysts were cautious about underlying
recovery of the economy.
The Purchasing Managers Index published by
London-based Markit researchers, a survey of
thousands of eurozone companies, logged 48.2
points in compared to 47.2 points the previous
January marked a third rise running for the
index, even though it remains below the
50-point line indicating economic growth or
contraction a 16th reading of less than 50 in
17 months.
Manufacturing production fell for the 11th
month in a row, with both the manufacturing
and services sectors each registering their
smallest retreat in 10 months.
The key eurozone economy of Germany
powered back to growth, but No 2 economy
France is still in contraction.
Markit chief ecomist Chris Williamson said
forward-looking indicators suggest that the
rate of decline will continue to slow in the
coming months, and a return to growth looks to
be on the cards during the first half of 2013.
However, he underlined that worrying signs
of weakness persist, however, with companies
cutting staff at a faster rate, reflecting the need
to keep costs as low as possible in the face
of ongoing uncertainty about the economic
While the surveys add to the mounting
evidence that eurozone economic activity
turned the corner in late-2012, they indicate that
it is not out of the woods yet, said London-
based IHS Global Insight analyst Howard Archer,
who highlighted worries about France.
Jonathan Loynes of Capital Economics also in
London said the improvement on the concensus
forecast among economists of 47.4 points
is nonetheless consistent with quarterly
contractions in eurozone GDP of about 0.2%,
compared to a likely drop of perhaps 0.5% in the
fourth quarter last year.
He added that it would be premature to
conclude that a sustained recovery is now
underway. For now, at least, the indices are still
consistent with recession.
JPMorgan in
bid to block
proposal on
New York
federation of US labour
unions is looking to
force JPMorgan Chases
board to consider breaking up
the company after the disas-
trous London Whale afair,
but the bank is trying to ensure
that its shareholders do not get
to vote onthe unions proposal.
The largest US bank is seek-
ing permission from the US
Securities and Exchange Com-
mission to omit the proposal
from the measures that share-
holders vote on this spring, ac-
cording to a letter sent to the
agency on January 14.
The AFL-CIOs Reserve Fund,
a union fund that owns JPMor-
gan shares, wants the banks
board to form a committee that
would explore extraordinary
transactions that could enhance
stockholder value, including
breaking of one or more of the
should hire third-party advisers
and make a report to sharehold-
ers 120 days after this springs
annual shareholder meeting, ac-
The bank has become too big
manage, the proposal said, cit-
ing more than $6bn in losses
last year by a trader nicknamed
the London Whale in the
banks Chief Investment Of ce
in London.
In our view, the evidence is
mounting that JPMorgan has
reached the point where stock-
holders would benet from
restructuring, the AFL-CIO
said in its proposal.
In its letter to the SEC, law-
yers for JPMorgan said the pro-
posal should be blocked from
being included in the banks
proxy ling because it involves
the companys ordinary busi-
ness, anexclusionallowedunder
SEC rules. The letter also says
the proposal includes false and
misleading statements and is
vague andindenite.
Spokespersons for JPMorgan
and the SEC declined to com-
ment on the proposal.
In response to a question in
an interview on Fox Business
News yesterday, JPMorgan
CEO Jamie Dimon said there is
no reason for the bank to break
up or spin-of businesses.
There is a lot of cross-sell.
We have good returns on capi-
tal, third year of record prof-
its. There is no reason for us
to contemplate something like
Gulf Times
Friday, January 25, 2013
Qatar National Bank
Industries Qatar
Qatar Telecom (Qtel) Q.S.C
Commercial Bank Of Qatar Qsc
Masraf Al Rayan
Qatar Islamic Bank
Qatar Fuel Co
Qatar Electricity & Water Co
Doha Bank Qsc
Barwa Real Estate Co
Qatar Gas Transport(Nakilat)
Qatar International Islamic
Aamal Co
Al Ahli Bank
Qatar Navigation
Vodafone Qatar
Qatar Insurance Co
Al Khaliji Bank
United Development Co
Qatar National Cement Co
Gulf International Services
Mannai Corporation Qsc
Qatari Investors Group
Al MeeraConsumer Goods Co
Qatar General Insurance & Re
Qatar Industrial Manufactur
National Leasing
Gulf WarehousingCompany
Salam International Investme
Mazaya Qatar Real Estate Dev
Qatar Meat & Livestock Co
Qatar Islamic Insurance
Zad Holding Co
Al Khaleej Takaful Group
Qatar & Oman Investment Co
Qatar Cinema & Film Distrib
Qatar German Co For Medical
Islamic Holding Group
CompanyName Lt Price %Chg Volume
Saudi Hollandi Bank
Al-Ahsa Development Co.
Al-Baha Development & Invest
Allied CooperativeInsurance
Arriyadh Development Company
Fitaihi Holding Group
Al Abdullatif Industrial Inv
Al AlamiyaCooperativeInsur
Dar Al Arkan Real EstateDev
Al Babtain Power & Telecommu
Bank Albilad
Alujain Corporation (Alco)
Aldrees PetroleumAnd Transp
FawazAbdulazizAlhokair & C
Alinma Bank
AlinmaTokio Marine
Al Khaleej Training And Educ
Abdullah A.M. Al-Khodari Son
Allianz Saudi Fransi Coopera
Almarai Co Ltd
Saudi Integrated Telecom Co
Alsorayai Group
Al Tayyar
AnaamInternational Holding
Abdullah Al Othaim Markets
Arabian Pipes Co
Advanced Petrochemicals Co
Al Rajhi Co For Co-Operative
Arabian Cement
Arab National Bank
Ash-Sharqiyah Development Co
United Wire Factories Compan
AstraIndustrial Group
Alahli Takaful Co
Basic Chemical Industries
Bishah Agriculture
Banque Saudi Fransi
United International Transpo
BupaArabiaFor Cooperative
Buruj CooperativeInsurance
Saudi Airlines Catering Co
Methanol Chemicals Co
City Cement Co
Etihad Atheeb Telecommunicat
Etihad Etisalat Co
Emaar Economic City
Saudi Enaya Cooperative Insu
United Electronics Co
Falcom Saudi Equity Etf
Filing & Packing Materials M
Food Products Company
FalcomPetrochemical Etf
Gulf General CooperativeIns
JazanDevelopment Co
Gulf UnionCooperativeInsur
Halwani Bros Co
Hail Cement
Herfy Food Services Co
Al Jouf AgricultureDevelopm
Jarir MarketingCo
Jabal Omar Development Co
Al Jouf Cement
Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co
Knowledge Economic City
Saudi Arabian Mining Co
Malath Insurance
Makkah Construction & Devepl
Mediterranean & Gulf Insuran
Middle East Specialized Cabl
Mohammad Al Mojil Group Co
Al Mouwasat Medical Services
National AgricultureDevelop
Najran Cement Co
Nama Chemicals Co
National Gypsum
National Gas & Industrializa
National Industrialization C
National Shipping Co Of/The
National Petrochemical Co
Rabigh Refining And Petroche
Al Qassim Agricultural Co
Qassim Cement/The
Red Sea Housing Services Co
Saudi Research And Marketing
Riyad Bank
Al Rajhi Bank
Saudi Arabian Amiantit Co
CompanyName Lt Price %Chg Volume
Saudi British Bank
Sabb Takaful
Saudi Basic Industries Corp
Saudi Cement
Saudi Dairy & Foodstuf Co
Saudi Arabian Fertilizer Co
Al Sagr Co-Operative Insuran
Saudi Advanced Industries
Saudi Arabian Coop Ins Co
Salama Cooperative Insurance
SambaFinancial Group
Sanad Cooperative Insurance
Saudi Public Transport Co
Saudi Arabian Refinery Co
Hsbc Amanah Saudi 20 Etf
Saudi Re For Cooperative Rei
Saudi Cable Co
Saudi Chemical Company
Saudi Ceramic
Saudi Electricity Co
Saudi Fisheries
Al-Hassan G.I. Shaker Co
Saudi Hotels & Resort
Arabian Shield Cooperative
Saudi Investment Bank
Saudi Industrial Development
Saudi Industrial Export Co
CompanyName Lt Price %Chg Volume
Aayan Leasing & Investment
Aayan Real EstateCo
Burgan Co For Well Drilling
Al Ahli Bank Of Kuwait
Abyaar Real EastateDevelopm
Acico Industries Co Kscc
Al-Dar National Real Estate
Afaq Educational Services
Al Arabi Group Holding Co
Al-AhliaHolding Co
Ajwan Gulf Real Estate Co
Aviation LeaseAnd FinanceC
Al Aman Investment Company
Kuwait Real EstateHolding C
Al-DeeraHolding Co
Al-Eid Food Co
AlimtiazInvestment Co Kscc
Alkout Industrial Projects C
Al MadinaFor FinanceAnd In
Al Mal Investment Company
Al Mudon Intl Real Estate Co
Ahli United Bank (Almutahed)
Al-Nawadi Holding Co K.S.C
First Investment Co Kscc
Al-Qurain Petrochemicals Co
Alrai MediaGroup Co
Al Safat Investment Co
Al Safwa Group Co
Al Salam Group Holding Co
Alshamel International Hold
Commercial Real Estate Co
Amar Finance& Leasing Co
Amwal International Investme
Aqar Real Estate Investments
Arab Real EstateCo
Ajial Real Estate Entmt
Aref EnergyHoldingCoKscc
Alargan International Real
Arkan Al Kuwait Real Estate
Automated Systems Co
Advanced TechnologyCo
Ahli United Bank B.S.C
Al Bareeq Holding Co Kscc
Bayan Investment Co Kscc
Boubyan Intl Industries Hold
Bahrain Kuwait Insurance
Boubyan Bank K.S.C
Boubyan Petrochemicals Co
Burgan Bank
Gulf Cable & Electrical Ind
Kuwait Cable Vision Sak
LivestockTransport &Tradng
Commercial Bank Of Kuwait
Combined Group Contracting
City Group
National Cleaning Company
Coast Investment Development
Dulaqan Real Estate Co
Danah Alsafat Foodstuf Co
Educational Holding Group
Egyptian Kuwaiti Holding Co
Ekttitab Holding Co S.A.K.C
Equipment Holding Co K.S.C.C
Al-EnmaaReal EstateCo
Kuwait Bahrain International
Eyas For High & Technical Ed
Commercial Facilities Co
Fujairah Cement Industries
First Dubai Real EstateDeve
Flex Resorts & Real Estate
Kuwait Foods (Americana)
First Takaful InsuranceCo
FutureCommunications Co
FutureKidEntertainment And
Gulf Bank
Gulf Cement Co
Gulf FranchisingKscc
Gulf FinanceHouseEc
Gulf Glass Manuf Co -Kscc
Gulf Investment House
Gulf InsuranceCo
Global Investment HouseKscc
Gulf North AfricaHolding Co
Gulf PetroleumInvestment
Kuwait GypsumManufacturing
Hayat Communications
Hilal Cement Co
Hits Telecom Holding
Human Soft Holding Co
Intl Financial Advisors
Ifa Hotels & Resorts Co. K.S
International FinanceCo
Industrial & Financial Inves
Ikarus Petroleum Industries
Injazzat Real State Company
Inovest Co Bsc
Investors HoldingGroupCo.K
Independent PetroleumGroup
International Resorts Co
Housing Finance Co S.A.K.C
Ithmaar Bank Bsc
Jeeran Holdings
Kipco Asset Management Co
Kuwait Building Materials
Kuwait Business Town Real Es
Kuwait Cement Co
Kuwait ChinaInvestment Co
Kuwait National CinemaCo
Kuwait Medical Services Co
Kuwait Co For Process Plant
Kuwait Finance& Investment
Kuwait FinanceHouse
Kuwait FoundryCo
Kuwait &Gulf LinkTransport
Kuwait Hotels Co
Kuwait International Bank
Kuwait InsuranceCo
Kuwait Investment Co
Kuwait &MiddleEast FinInv
Kout FoodGroup
Kuwait PackingMaterials Mfg
Privatization Holding Compan
CompanyName Lt Price %Chg Volume
Voltamp Energy Saog
United FinanceCo
United Power Co
UnitedPower/EnergyCo- Pref
Transgulf Investment Hldg Co
Taageer Finance
Salalah Port Services
Asafa Foods Saog
Sohar Poultry
Shell Oman Marketing
Shell Oman Marketing - Pref
Smn Power Holding Saog
Al Shurooq Inv Ser
Al SharqiyaInvest Holding
Sohar Power Co
Salalah Beach Resort Saog
Salalah Mills Co
Sahara Hospitality
Renaissance Services Saog
Raysut Cement Co
Port ServiceCorporation
Packaging Co Ltd
Oman United InsuranceCo
Oman Textile Holding Co Saog
Oman Telecommunications Co
Sweets Of Oman
Oman Orix Leasing Co.
Oman Refreshment Co
Oman Packaging
Oman Oil Marketing Company
0Man Oil Marketing Co-Pref
Oman National Investment Co
Oman National Engineering An
Oman National Dairy Products
Oman Medical Projects
Oman Ceramic Com
Oman Intl Marketing
Oman Investment & Finance
Hsbc Bank Oman
Oman Hotels & TourismCo
Oman Holding International
Oman Fiber Optics
Oman Flour Mills
Oman Filters Industry
Oman Fisheries Co
Oman Education & Training In
Oman & Emirates Inv(Om)50%
Oman & Emirates Inv(Emir)50%
Oman EuropeFoods Industries
Oman Cement Co
Oman Chlorine
Oman Chromite
Oman Cables Industry
Oman Agricultural Dev
Omani Qatari Telecommunicati
National Securities
Oman Foods International Soa
National Pharmaceutical-Rts
National Pharmaceutical
National Packaging Fac
National Mineral Water
National Hospitality Institu
National Gas Co
National FinanceCo
National Detergents/The
National Carpet Factory
National Bank Of Oman Saog
National Biscuit Industries
National Real Estate Develop
Natl Aluminium Products
Muscat Thread Mills Co
Muscat Insurance Company
Modern PoultryFarms
Muscat National Holding
Musandam Marketing & Invest
Al Maha Petroleum Products M
Muscat Gases Company Saog
Majan Glass Company
Muscat Finance
Al Kamil Power Co
Interior Hotels
Hotels Management Co Interna
Al-Hassan Engineering Co
Gulf Stone
Gulf MushroomCompany
Gulf Invest. Serv. Pref-Shar
Gulf Investments Services
Gulf International Chemicals
Gulf Hotels (Oman) CoLtd
Global Fin Investment
Galfar Engineering&Contract
Galfar Engineering -Prefer
Financial Services Co.
Flexible Ind Packages
CompanyName Lt Price %Chg Volume
Financial Corp/The
Dhofar Tourism
Dhofar Poultry
Dhofar Intl Development
Dhofar Insurance
Dhofar University
Dhofar Power Co
Dhofar Power Co-Pfd
Dhofar Fisheries & Food Indu
Dhofar Cattlefeed
Al Batinah Dev & Inv-50%
Dhofar Beverages Co
Computer Stationery Inds
Construction Materials Ind
Cement & GypsumPro
Marine Bander Al-Rowdha
Bank Sohar
Bankmuscat Saog
Bank Dhofar Saog
Al Batinah Hotels
Majan College
Areej VegetableOils
Al JazeeraSteel Products Co
Al Sallan Food Industry
AcwaPower Barka Saog
Al-OmaniyaFinancial Service
Taghleef Industries Saog
Gulf Plastic Industries Co
Al JazeiraServices
Al Jazerah Services -Pfd
Al-Fajar Al-AlamiaCo
Ahli Bank
Abrasives Manufacturing Co S
Al-Batinah Intl Saog
CompanyName Lt Price %Chg Volume
National Takaful Company
Waha Capital Pjsc
Union InsuranceCo
Union National Bank/Abu Dhab
United InsuranceCompany
Union Cement Co
United Arab Bank
AbuDhabi National Takaful C
AbuDhabi National EnergyCo
Sudan Telecommunications Co$
Sorouh Real Estate Company
Sharjah InsuranceCompany
Sharjah Cement & Indus Devel
Ras Al KhaimaPoultry
Ras Al Khaimah Co
Rak Properties
Ras Al-Khaimah National Insu
Ras Al Khaimah Ceramics
Ras Al Khaimah Cement Co
National Bank Of Ras Al-Khai
Qatar Telecom (Qtel) Q.S.C
UmmAl Qaiwain Cement Indust
Oman & Emirates Inv(Emir)50%
National MarineDredging Co
National Corp Tourism& Hote
Sharjah Islamic Bank
National Bank Of Umm Al Qaiw
National Bank Of Fujairah
National Bank Of Abu Dhabi
Methaq Takaful Insurance
#N/A Invalid Security
Gulf Pharmaceutical Ind-Julp
Gulf Medical Projects
Gulf LivestockCo
GreenCrescent InsuranceCo
Gulf Cement Co
Foodco Holding
First Gulf Bank
Fujairah Cement Industries
Fujairah Building Industries
Emirates Telecom Corporation
EshraqProperties CoPjsc
Emirates Insurance Co. (Psc)
Emirates Driving Company
Al DhafraInsuranceCo. P.S.
Commercial Bank Internationa
Bank Of Sharjah
AbuDhabi Natl Co For Buildi
Al WathbaNational Insurance
Intl Fish Farming Co-Asmak
Arkan Building Materials Co
Aldar Properties Pjsc
Al Ain AhliaIns. Co.
Al KhaznaInsuranceCo
Al Fujairah National Insuran
AbuDhabi Ship Building Co
AbuDhabi National Insurance
AbuDhabi National Hotels
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank
AbuDhabi Aviation
CompanyName Lt Price %Chg Volume
United Paper Industries Bsc
United Gulf Investment Corp
United Gulf Bank
United FinanceCo
General Trading & Food
Takaful International Co
Taib Bank -$Us
Securities & Investment Co
Seef Properties
Sudan Telecommunications Co$
Al-Salam Bank
Delmon PoultryCo
National Hotels Co
National Bank Of Bahrain
Nass Corp Bsc
Khaleeji Commercial Bank
Ithmaar Bank Bsc
Investcorp Bank -$Us
Inovest Co Bsc
Intl Investment Group-Kuwait
Gulf MonetaryGroup
Global Investment HouseKscc
Gulf FinanceHouseEc
Bahrain FamilyLeisureCo
Esterad Investment Co B.S.C.
Bahrain Duty Free Complex
Bahrain Car Park Co
Bahrain Cinema Co
Bahrain Tourism Co
Bahraini Saudi Bank/The
Bahrain National Holding
Bankmuscat Saog
Bmmi Bsc
Bmb Investment Bank
Bahrain Kuwait Insurance
Bahrain Islamic Bank
Gulf Hotel Group B.S.C
Bahrain Flour Mills Co
Bahrain Commercial Facilitie
Bbk Bsc
Bahrain Telecom Co
Bahrain Ship Repair & Engin
Albaraka Banking Group
Banader Hotels Co
Ahli United Bank B.S.C
CompanyName Lt Price %Chg Volume
Kuwait Projects Co Holdings
Kuwait Real EstateCo
Kuwait Slaughter HouseCo
Kuwaiti Syrian Holding Co
Kuwait Invest Co Holding
Kuwait ReinsuranceCo Ksc
Kgl Logistics Company Kscc
Mabanee Co Sakc
Al-Madar Finance& Invt Co
ManafaeInvestment Co
Manazel Holding
Real EstateTradeCenters Co
Markaz Real Estate Fund
Marine Services Co
Kuwait Financial Centre
Al Masaken Intl Real Estate
Mashaer Holdings
Al-Massaleh Real Estate Co
National Ranges Company
Al-MazayaHolding Co
Mena Real Estate Co
MenaHolding Group
Al Mowasat Health Care Co
Al Maidan Dental Clinic Co K
Metal & Recycling Co
Mushrif Trading & Contractin
Mubarrad Transport Co
Munshaat Real Estate Project
Kuwait Resorts Co Kscc
Nafais Holding
National Petroleum Services
National Bank Of Kuwait
National Co For Consumer In
National Industries Co
National International Co
National Industries Grp Hold
National Investments Co
National MobileTelecommuni
Noor Financial Investment K.
National Real Estate Co
National Slaughter House
Osoul Investment Kscc
OulaFuel Marketing Co
Palms AgroProductionCo
ShuaibaIndustrial Co
Kuwait Portland Cement Co
Pearl Of Kuwait Real Estate
Kuwait Pipes Indus & Oil Ser
Kuwait United PoultryCo
UmmAl Qaiwain Cement Indust
Qurain Holding Co
Real Estate Asset Management
Refrigeration Industries Co
Kuwait Remal Real EstateCo
Ras Al Khaimah Co
Al Safat Real EstateCo
Al-Safat Tec Holding Co
Safwan Trading & Contracting
Salbookh Trading Co K.S.C.C
CompanyName Lt Price %Chg Volume
India shares fall as valuations
increase to 20-month high
ndian stocks fell after valua-
tions on the benchmark in-
dex increased to a 20-month
high. Carmakers, metal produc-
ers and property developers led
the retreat.
The BSEIndia Sensitive Index,
or Sensex, lost 0.5%to 19,923.78
at the close, with volumes on the
gauge exceeding the 30-day av-
erage by 58%. The BSE Mid-Cap
Index dropped 2.5%, the most
in 11 months, while the BSE In-
dia Realty Index sank 4.2%, the
sharpest loss among the 13 sec-
toral gauges.
Tata Motors declined the most
since May after its Jaguar Land
Rover unit said prot growth
stalled. Copper producer Sterlite
Industries (India) and aluminum
maker Hindalco Industries lost
more than 2.5%each.
The Sensex advanced 3% this
year through Wednesday, push-
ing up valuations to 16.8 times
reported earnings, the most
expensive since May 2011. The
International Monetary Fund
pared its 2013 estimate for India
to 5.9% from 6%, the Washing-
ton-based lender said in a report
Tata Motors, the best-per-
forming stock on the Sensex last
year, plunged 6.3% to Rs293.45.
Maruti Suzuki India, the biggest
carmaker, slid 2.2%to Rs1,538.8.
Larsen &Toubro, Indias larg-
est engineering company, gained
1.5%to Rs1,585, erasing a loss of
as much as 4%, after earnings
beat estimates. Net income rose
to Rs11.2bn in the third quarter,
exceeded the 11bn-rupee me-
dian of estimates in a Bloomberg
Only two out of 12, or 17%, of
Sensex members that have re-
ported December-quarter earn-
ings have missed forecasts, com-
pared with 40% in the previous
two quarters.
Sterlite retreated 2.6% to
Rs109.75. Hindalco lost 3.4%
to Rs113.9. State Bank of India,
the nations biggest lender, slid
0.9% to Rs2,459.15. ICICI Bank,
the second-biggest, fell 1.4% to
The BSE Mid-Cap Index
dropped 2.5%, the most since
February, with 34 of the 250
companies on the gauge declin-
ing more than 5%. The fth day
of losses took the indexs 14-day
relative strength index to 31.6,
the lowest since July 7. Some in-
vestors see readings below 30 as
a signal to buy.
Housing Development & In-
frastructure sank 23%, the most
since January 2009, extending
this weeks losses to 38%. The
sell-of was triggered by the
sale of 5mn shares in the market
by Managing Director Sarang
Wadhawan January 22. Wadha-
wan sold stock to make urgent
payments, Finance Vice Presi-
dent Hari Prakash Pandey told
Bloomberg TVIndia yesterday.
The stock led 9 of the 11 mem-
bers on the BSE India Realty
Index lower. Developer Unitech
plunged 7% to Rs34.05, the
third-biggest loser on the MSCI
Emerging Markets Index yester-
day. The shares soared 74% in
The S&P CNX Nifty Index on
the National Stock Exchange of
India lost 0.6% to 6,019.35. The
India VIXindex, which measures
the cost of protection against
losses in the Nifty, jumped 5.8%
to 14.46, the most since Decem-
ber 31.
The rupee was little changed
at 53.6850 per dollar in Mumbai,
having dropped as much as 0.4%
earlier. One-month implied vola-
tility in the rupee, a gauge of ex-
pectedmoves inthe exchange rate
used to price options, fell 10 basis
points, or 0.10 percentage point,
to 9.85% yesterday, taking this
weeks decline to30basis points.
Three-month onshore ru-
pee forwards traded at 54.75 per
dollar, compared with 54.64
Wednesday. Ofshore non-
deliverable contracts were un-
changed at 54.46.
uropean stock markets
climbed yesterday and the
euro gained against the
dollar as traders welcomed posi-
tive economic data from China,
the eurozone and the US, though
Apple shares crumbled in mid-
day trading on Wall Street.
Londons FTSE 100 index of
top companies jumped by 1.09%
to close at 6,264.91 points,
Frankfurts DAX30 added 0.53%
to 7,748.13 points andinParis the
CAC40 won 0.7%to 3,752.17.
Evena further rise inSpanish
unemployment to new record
highs has not been enough to
dampen the mood, while a sur-
prise drop in US weekly jobless
claims to their lowest levels in
ve years gave markets extra
momentum in the afternoon
session, said Michael Hewson
at CMCMarkets.
In trading in New York, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
was 0.67% higher, while the
broad Standard &Poors 500 in-
dex had gained 0.37%.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Com-
posite was of by a slight 0.06%,
though investors dumped Apple
stock, which showed a loss of
10.34%to $460.86.
Apple said on Wednesday that
it made a prot of $13.lbn on
revenue of $54.5bn in the scal
quarter that ended on December
29 as sales of iPhones and iPads
set quarterly highs.
In foreign exchange trade,
the European single currency
climbed to $1.3375 from $1.3315
late on Wednesday in NewYork.
On the London Bullion Mar-
ket, gold prices dropped to
$1,671 an ounce from$1,690.25.
In the eurozone, pri-
vate business activity hit a
10-month high in January, ac-
cording to a leading growth in-
dicator released yesterday. The
Purchasing Managers Index
published by London-based
Markit researchers, a survey of
thousands of eurozone com-
panies, logged 48.2 points in
compared to 47.2 points the
previous month.
The fact that this PMI data
were better than expected has
been suf cient to give risk ap-
petite another llip, said Jane
Foley, senior currency strategist
at Rabobank.
However, these data contin-
ue to point to further contrac-
tion across both manufacturing
and services sectors, she added,
and revealed a sharp diferences
between the two biggest euro-
zone economies, with Germany
showing strong improvement,
while France showed a marked
The IMF said on Wednesday
that the global economy would
grow slightly less in 2013 than it
previously expected, held back
by a weak eurozone that will stay
mired in recession for a second
straight year.
Downside risks remain sig-
nicant, including prolonged
stagnation in the euro area and
excessive short-term scal
tightening in the US, the Inter-
national Monetary Fund said, in
an economic outlook update.
The IMF projected global
gross domestic product (GDP)
annual growth of 3.5%this year,
a dip of 0.1 points fromits Octo-
ber forecast, and 4.1%in 2014.
European stocks,
euro gain on
positive data
weak yen lifsTokyo
Asian markets were mixed yes-
terday, despite a positive lead
fromWall Street and news that
Chinese manufacturing activity
hit a two-year high in January.
The yen retreated after a two-
day rally as Japan logged a
record trade deficit for last year
with exports hit by the ongoing
territorial spat with China and
Europes long-running debt
Tokyo reversed early losses
thanks to the yens dip, with
the Nikkei up 1.28%, or 133.88
points, at 10,620.87, while Syd-
ney rose 0.47%, or 22.4 points,
to 4,810.2, but Seoul shed 0.8%,
or 15.93 points, to 1,964.48.
Shanghai fell 0.79%, or 18.31
points, to 2,302.60, with profit-
takers moving in after the index
hit an eight-month high in intra-
day trade, while Hong Kong
shed 0.15%, or 36.20 points, to
In afternoon currency deals
the greenback bought 89.32,
compared with 88.56 in New
York late Wednesday. The dollar,
however, is still down from the
two-and-a-half-year high 90.24
before the BoJ move.
The euro bought 118.70 from
118, and $1.3298 from$1.3315.
South Korean shares were
also hurt by data showing the
economy grew2%in 2012, its
slowest pace in three years, ow-
ing to overseas turmoil and soft
demand at home.
Oil prices were mixed. New
Yorks main contract, WTI light
sweet crude for delivery in
March gained 15 to $95.38 a
barrel in the afternoon while
Brent North Sea crude for
March delivery dropped 18 to
Gold was at $1,682.70 at 0830
GMT compared with $1,691.66
late Wednesday.
In other markets, Taipei fell
0.62%, or 48.19 points, to
7,695.99; Manila closed 0.41%
higher, adding 24.74 points to
6,117.27; Wellington was flat,
edging up 2.19 points to 4,189.91
and Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur
were closed for public holidays.
A customer sits next to a Tata Motors Nano automobile at a showroom in New Delhi, India (file). Shares in
Tata Motors, the best-performing stock on the Sensex last year, plunged 6.3% to Rs293.45 yesterday.
Gulf Times
Friday, January 25, 2013
Exxon Mobil Corp
Wal-Mart Stores Inc
Microsoft Corp
Intl Business Machines Corp
General Electric Co
Johnson & Johnson
Pfizer Inc
Procter & Gamble Co/The
Jpmorgan Chase& Co
Coca-Cola Co/The
Merck & Co. Inc.
Bank Of America Corp
Verizon Communications Inc
Cisco Systems Inc
Intel Corp
HomeDepot Inc
Walt Disney Co/The
Mcdonalds Corp
United Technologies Corp
American Express Co
Caterpillar Inc
Unitedhealth Group Inc
Boeing Co/The
DuPont (E.I.) DeNemours
Hewlett-Packard Co
Travelers Cos Inc/The
CompanyName Lt Price %Chg Volume
Whitbread Plc
Wpp Plc
WoodGroup(John) Plc
Weir Group Plc/The
Vedanta Resources Plc
United Utilities Group Plc
Unilever Plc
Tui Travel Plc
Tesco Plc
TullowOil Plc
Tate& LylePlc
Severn Trent Plc
Serco Group Plc
Smith & NephewPlc
Smiths Group Plc
Sage Group Plc/The
Schroders Plc
Sainsbury (J) Plc
Sabmiller Plc
Resolution Ltd
RsaInsuranceGroup Plc
Randgold Resources Ltd
Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc
Reed Elsevier Plc
Royal Dutch Shell Plc-B Shs
Royal Dutch Shell Plc-A Shs
Royal Bank Of Scotland Group
Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc
Pearson Plc
Prudential Plc
Polymetal International Plc
Old Mutual Plc
Next Plc
National Grid Plc
Wm Morrison Supermarkets
Melrose Industries Plc
Marks & Spencer Group Plc
Meggitt Plc
Lloyds Banking Group Plc
Legal &General GroupPlc
Land Securities Group Plc
Kingfisher Plc
Kazakhmys Plc
Johnson MattheyPlc
Itv Plc
Intertek Group Plc
Imperial Tobacco Group Plc
Imi Plc
Intercontinental Hotels Grou
Intl Consolidated Airline-Di
Hsbc Holdings Plc
Hammerson Plc
Hargreaves LansdownPlc
GlencoreInternational Plc
Gkn Plc
G4s Plc
Fresnillo Plc
Experian Plc
EurasianNatural Resources
Diageo Plc
Capital Shopping Centres Gro
Crh Plc
CrodaInternational Plc
Capita Plc
Compass Group Plc
Centrica Plc
Carnival Plc
Bt Group Plc
British Sky Broadcasting Gro
BurberryGroup Plc
Bp Plc
Bunzl Plc
Bhp Billiton Plc
British Land Co Plc
Bg Group Plc
FTSE 100
CompanyName Lt Price %Chg Volume
British American Tobacco Plc
Barclays Plc
Babcock Intl Group Plc
Bae Systems Plc
ArmHoldings Plc
Amec Plc
Aberdeen Asset Mgmt Plc
Admiral GroupPlc
Associated British Foods Plc
Anglo American Plc
#N/A Invalid Security
FTSE 100
CompanyName Lt Price %Chg Volume
Aluminum Corp Of China Ltd-H
Bank Of East Asia
Bank Of China Ltd-H
Bank Of Communications Co-H
Belle International Holdings
Boc Hong Kong Holdings Ltd
CathayPacific Airways
Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd
ChinaCoal EnergyCo-H
China Construction Bank-H
China Merchants Hldgs Intl
ChinaOverseas Land & Invest
China Petroleum & Chemical-H
ChinaResources Enterprise
ChinaResources Land Ltd
ChinaResources Power Holdin
ChinaUnicomHong Kong Ltd
Citic Pacific Ltd
Clp Holdings Ltd
Cnooc Ltd
Cosco Pacific Ltd
Esprit Holdings Ltd
Foxconn International Hldgs
Hang Lung Properties Ltd
Hang Seng Bank Ltd
Henderson Land Development
Hong Kong & ChinaGas
Hong Kong Exchanges & Clear
Hsbc Holdings Plc
Hutchison WhampoaLtd
Ind & Comm Bk Of China-H
Li &FungLtd
Mtr Corp
NewWorld Development
Ping An InsuranceGroup Co-H
Power Assets Holdings Ltd
Sino Land Co
Sun Hung Kai Properties
CompanyName Lt Price %Chg Volume
Ultratech Cement Ltd
Tata Motors Ltd
Tata Power Co Ltd
Tata Consultancy Svcs Ltd
Tata Steel Ltd
Sun Pharmaceutical Indus
Siemens Ltd
Sesa Goa Ltd
State Bank Of India
Reliance Industries Ltd
Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd
Power Grid Corp Of India Ltd
Punjab National Bank
Oil & Natural Gas Corp Ltd
Ntpc Ltd
Maruti Suzuki IndiaLtd
Mahindra& MahindraLtd
Larsen & Toubro Ltd
Lupin Ltd
Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd
Jindal Steel & Power Ltd
Jaiprakash Associates Ltd
Itc Ltd
Infosys Ltd
Idfc Ltd
Icici Bank Ltd
Hindustan Unilever Ltd
Hindalco Industries Ltd
CompanyName Lt Price %Chg Volume
Indices Lt Price Change
Indices Lt Price Change
Dow Jones Indus. Avg
S&P 500 Index
Nasdaq CompositeIndex
S&P/Tsx Composite Index
Mexico Bolsa Index
Brazil Bovespa Stock Idx
Cac 40 Index
Dax Index
Ibex 35Tr
Nikkei 225
Hang Seng Index
All Ordinaries Indx
Nzx All Index
BseSensex 30Index
Nse S&P Cnx Nifty Index
Straits Times Index
Karachi All ShareIndex
Doha Securities Market
Saudi Tadawul
Kuwait Stocks Exchange
Bahrain Stock Exchage
Oman Stock Market
Abudhabi Stock Market
Dubai Financial Market
Information contained herein is believed to be reliable and had been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. The
accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. This publication is for providing information only and is not intended
as an ofer 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.
Gulf Times
Friday, January 25, 2013
Marian hat-trick in Rangers win
Los Angeles
arian Gaborik completed his hat-
trick with an overtime game-
winner as the New York Rangers
recorded their rst victory of the
seasonwitha 4-3 triumphover the BostonBru-
ins onWednesday.
Gaborik tipped in his own shot just 27 sec-
onds into the extra session as the Rangers cel-
ebrated in front of their home fans and avoided
losing their rst three games of a campaign in
14 seasons. We were concerned with the 0-2
start, New Yorks Marc Staal told reporters.
We didnt like the way we were playing. I think
we were a lot better tonight, so if we hadlost we
wouldve felt better about our efort.
Prior to his winning contribution, Czech
winger Gaborik had helped New York forge a
2-0 lead with a pair of goals in the rst period.
After the Bruins (2-0-1) had rallied to tie the
game in the second, Taylor Pyatt restored New
Yorks lead before Nathan Horton forced over-
time with his snapshot at 15:37 in the third. The
goal was Hortons rst in more than a year after
he missed half of last season due to a concus-
sion. It was good to see us battle back after the
start that we had, said Bostons Milan Lucic,
who scored along with teammate Brad March-
andinthe second.
Theywereabletoget that two-goal lead, and
thats what endedupcostingus inthe end.
NewYork (1-2-0) gained a degree of revenge
with the win after sufering a season-opening
defeat to Boston on Saturday. Reining Vezina
Trophy winner Henrik Lundqvist also bounced
followingagamewherehewas pulledinaloss to
Pittsburgh. Tuukka Rask made 29 saves for the
Bruins. Meanwhile James van Riemsdyk could
feel the pressure increasing when the Toronto
Maple Leafs forwardwent scoreless his rst two
games with his new club.The Pittsburgh Pen-
guins didtheir best toease vanRiemsdyks load.
The speedy forward scored twice and added an
assist in Torontos surprisingly easy, 5-2 win
over the Penguins on Wednesday. Both those
goals, I really didnt have to do too much, van
Riemsdyksaid. Not thewaythesloppyPenguins
were handlingthe puck. VanRiemsdykgave To-
ronto the lead for good late inthe second period
when a weak clearing pass by Pittsburghs Ev-
geni Malkin ended up right on van Riemsdyks
stick at the top of the left circle. The quick
shot that followed whizzed over Marc-Andre
Fleurys glove and highlighted a night that sent
the Penguins crashing back to earth after rous-
ing opening weekend road wins in Philadelphia
Clarke MacArthur, Mikhail Grabovski and
Tyler Bozak also scored for the Maple Leafs.
Nikolai Kulemin added three assists, and James
Reimer stopped 28 shots in his rst start of the
season. I think weve showed we can play the
rugged defensive game and tonight we have the
ability to score as well, MacArthur said. If we
can nd a way to use both things every night,
youve got a good teamand a good chance every
night. The victory took some of the sting out
of losing forward Jofrey Lupul to a fractured
forearmin the second period. The 29-year-old,
who signed a ve-year contract extension on
Sunday, got drilledbyaslapshot fromteammate
Dion Phaneuf and did not return. Its tough,
but what can you do, youve got to move on,
MacArthur said.
Horton scores first goal in more than a year, Lundqvist bounces back with 26 saves
Toronto 5 Pittsburgh 2
NY Rangers 4 Boston 3 (OT)
Vancouver 3 Calgary 2 (SO)
Phoenix 5 Columbus 1 New York Rangers right wing Marian Gaborik battles for the puck with Boston Bruins centre Chris Kelly (R) in third period action during their NHL game at
Madison Square Garden in New York. (Reuters)
Gulf Times
Friday, January 25, 2013 30
Howard hurt as Lakers
routed in Memphis
Los Angeles
os Angeles Lakers centre
Dwight Howard again
injured his right shoul-
der on Wednesday in the
second quarter of their 106-93
loss at Memphis, the struggling
clubs 10th loss in 12 games.
Hours after Howard vowed
to bring it against the Griz-
zlies to show that the inju-
ry-hit Lakers could achieve
the greatness once expected
of them, the big man reag-
gravated a torn labrum in the
shoulder 2:21 before half-
Howard played only 14 min-
utes, managing a mere two
points and two rebounds, and
with him gone, Memphis out-
rebounded the Lakers 52-34
and scored a season-high 60
points inside the paint.
The shoulder, which Howard
injured January 4 when he tan-
gled with Caron Butler of the
Los Angeles Clippers, will be
examined by doctors in Los
Angeles on Thursday.
The Lakers fell to 17-25,
their second-worst 42-game
start to a season since moving
from Minneapolis to Califor-
nia in 1960.
The only worse start was a
14-28 effort in 1993-94 and
that team failed to reach the
It was the fourth loss in a
row for the Lakers and their
seventh consecutive road de-
feat, the teams worst los-
ing streak away from home in
eight seasons.
Kobe Bryant, who led the
Lakers with 29 points, was so
angry at having a shot blocked
in the fourth quarter that he
swung his right fist in the air
in frustration to draw a tech-
nical foul.
Memphis improved to 27-14,
fourth in the Western Con-
ference, with Darrell Arthur
coming off the bench to lead
the Grizzlies with 20 points.
He also contributed nine re-
bounds and was pleased with
his teams effort.
We came out and started
playing slow. We needed to get
aggressive with these guys,
Arthur said. We just had to
attack. The pace of our game
was great. We just had to hang
in there. We have to stay posi-
We have a goal in mind.
Its to win the whole thing. We
have to stay confident.
Mike Conley added 19
points while Rudy Gay, Zach
Randolph and Tony Allen each
scored 12 points for Memphis.
Gay grabbed a game-high 11
rebounds and Randolph pulled
down 10 rebounds for the
Lakers center Pau Gasol, a
former Grizzlies center, faced
his brother Marc of Memphis
with the parents of the Spanish
siblings watching in the stands.
Marc Gasol had eight points,
seven rebounds and four as-
sists while Pau had 13 points
and eight rebounds off the
Lakers bench.
We came out and started playing slow. We needed to get aggressive with these guys
Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Wroten (C) elevates for a dunk over Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol (L) of Spain, centre Dwight Howard (2nd L) and guard Kobe Bryant
(24), as Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph (50) looks on, during the first half of their NBA game in Memphis, Tennessee.(Reuters)
New York
t is no mystery why the Na-
tional Football Leagues
(NFL) Ravens have been em-
braced by the city of Balti-
more after being imported from
Cleveland 17 years go.
ASuper Bowl triumph in2001,
nine playof berths and a shot
at hoisting the championship
Lombardi Trophy for a second
time on February 3 when they
face the San Francisco 49ers in
NewOrleans has helpedthe Pur-
ple-and-Black win hearts in the
Jilted by their long-beloved
Colts, three-time champions of
the old NFL and winners of the
1971 Super Bowl who relocated
to Indianapolis overnight in
moving vans, Baltimore took a
while to warmto their newteam.
Baltimore, home of the Colts
for 30 years, waited 13 years for
the NFLs return, provided when
the late Cleveland Browns owner
Art Modell moved his team to
Maryland. It was renamed the
Ravens after a telephone poll
chose the moniker, alluding to
the famous poem The Raven
by mystery and horror tale au-
thor Edgar Allan Poe, who spent
the early part of his career inBal-
timore. It would be a fresh start
for the team, who took Universi-
ty of Miami linebacker Ray Lewis
with the 26th pick in the rst
round of the 1996 NFL Draft.
It was all so new then, of
course, for both Lewis and the
Ravens. In 1996 when they
drafted me, the rst thing I asked
was, Do we have a team name?
What are our jersey colours go-
ing to be and all that? Lewis
recalled asking Ravens Gen-
eral Manager Ozzie Newsome
over the telephone. Lewis, the
Ravens senior citizen in NFL
years, will crown 17 seasons in
Baltimore with a retirement par-
ty after playing the Super Bowl.
While the Baltimore Colts be-
came famous on the golden arm
of quarterback Johnny Unitas,
the sure hands of Raymond Ber-
ry and the uid running of Lenny
Mooreall three members of the
Pro Football Hall of Famethe
Ravens were built on defense.
They went 4-12 in their de-
but season under coach Ted
Marchibroda, a former Colts
head coach, and in their fourth
season, the Ravens replaced
him with Brian Billick, who had
been ofensive co-ordinator for
the high-scoring Minnesota Vi-
Billick improved the Ravens
from 6-10 to 8-8 but in the next
season the defense blossomed
into a terrorising force under
defensive co-ordinator Marvin
Lewis while number one draft
pick Jamal Lewis fromTennessee
emerged as anelite running back.
After a 5-4 start to the 2000
season, Billick switched quarter-
backs from Tony Banks to Trent
Dilfer, anda conservative ofense
paired with the ferocious de-
fense to dominate the NFL.
They won 11 straight games
fromthat point, culminating in a
34-7 thrashing of an intimidated
New York Giants team in the Su-
per Bowl played in early 2001.
Baltimores defense set an
NFL record for fewest points al-
lowed in a 16-game season (165),
Lewis was named Defensive
Player of the Year and Made the
Pro Bowl along with defensive
teammates SamAdams and Rod
Billick remained in charge
for seven more seasons that in-
cluded three more trips to the
postseason, but was replaced af-
ter a 5-11 season in 2007 by John
Harbaugh, getting his rst head
coaching job after years as a spe-
cial teams co-ordinator for the
Philadelphia Eagles.
The Ravens had relied on their
staunch defense, fueled by the
likes of Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Ed
Reed and Haloti Ngata, and their
list of defensive co-ordinators
has includedMarvinLewis, Mike
Nolan, Rex Ryan and Chuck Pa-
gano - all of whom graduated to
head coaching jobs.
By contrast, their list of quar-
terbacks was much less impres-
sive, numbering Banks, Dilfer,
Elvis Grbac, Jef Blake, Kyle
Boller anda fading Steve McNair.
The revolving door at quarter-
back changed with the drafting
of Joe Flacco from the Univer-
sity of Delaware, who arrived the
same year as Harbaugh.
Ravens arrival helps Baltimore
forget sting of losing Colts
for tax
San Diego
hil Mickelson has de-
scribed his insensi-
tive public comments
about his tax concerns
as dumb, and on a par with the
last-hole gafe that cost him the
chance to winthe 2006 U S Open
at Winged Foot.
The four-times major cham-
pion hinted after last weeks Hu-
mana Challenge he was consid-
ering making drastic changes
because of soaring federal and
state tax rates but has since said
he should have kept his thoughts
to himself.
This reminds me a lot of
Winged Foot in 2006, where I
hit a drive way left of the tents,
Mickelson told reporters yes-
terday on the eve of this weeks
Farmers Insurance Open at Tor-
reyPines. Sothis happenedtobe
way right, but way of the tents.
You know, Ive made some dumb,
dumb mistakes, and, obviously,
talking about this stuf was one
of them.
Mickelson led the 2006 U S
Open by two shots with three
holes remaining but fell back
into a three-way tie for second
after an aggressive approach at
the last led to a double-bogey.
The American left-hander
had hit the roof of a hospitality
tent with his drive on 18, then
bounced backwards of a tree
with a three-iron for his second
shot on the way to a closing 74.
Seven years later, I realised I
should have just wedged back,
a smiling Mickelson said of his
second shot on the nal hole. I
could have tried to make a par
from the fairway, and maybe
made a bogey and at worst be in
a Monday playof.
Like Winged Foot, where
I tried to carve a three-iron
around a tree and get it up by the
green, I make double bogey and
lose the U S Open, I think Imgo-
ing to learn my lesson and take a
wedge and get it back in play.
I made a big mistake talk-
ing about this stuf publicly,
and I shouldnt have done that,
he added, again apologising for
publicly venting his feelings
about soaring tax rates for mil-
lionaires in his native California.
One of the most popular g-
ures in the game, Mickelson
signs more autographs for fans
than most of his peers and is
nicknamed Phil the Thrill be-
cause of his bold and, at times,
outrageous shot-making.
However, he accepts that the
comments he made on Sunday
after he tied for 37th place at the
Humana Challenge in his rst
PGA Tour event of the season
were, at best, polarising.
Money can wait, says Kiwi
schoolgirl sensation Ko
TOKYO: Money can wait, says Kiwi schoolgirl sensation Ko.
New Zealand schoolgirl golfing sensation Lydia Ko, still at the
tender age of 15, has said the financial rewards for her astonish-
ing success can wait - for now.
Ko opens the defence of her NSW Open title in Sydney this week,
a victory which opened the floodgates on a record-breaking 2012
At 14 she became the youngest player, male or female, to win a
professional tournament and after turning 15 the youngest ever
winner on the LPGA Tour at the Canadian Open.
When I went to prize givings and people say what I have done
for that year it was like Oh my God I actually did that? Ko told
Australian media yesterday.
Im not a person that when I get a win it sinks in straight away,
added Ko, who also won the the U S amateur championship.
I was really shocked after seeing what I did. Having an LPGA win
as an amateur, it doesnt come that often, so it was a year thats
nearly impossible to repeat.
The South Korean-born Ko was also the leading amateur at the
British and U S Open, rounding off a remarkable 2012 by winning
the individual title at the world amateur championship.
I think I was meant to be the richest sportswomen in New Zea-
land and it would have been great to have that money, said Ko,
also set for a flood of endorsements in the future.
But especially after the NSW Open because I knew that I wasnt
going to get any money anyway, I didnt really have interest.
I didnt know how much it was until the media said you could
have got $300,000 at the Canadian Open. That could have been
a nice house.
Ko, who began playing golf in Auckland when she was five,
insisted she will turn professional when the time is right.
Theres no point in me going in there when I dont think Im
ready and Im not that confident, she said. I think there will be a
point in time where I think its the right time.
That doesnt mean Im going to wait many many years. A certain
time will come suddenly without me noticing.
Not old enough to drive, Ko was given a parking spot for the
defence of her NSW title.
It gives me a little bit of pressure, especially after they gave me
a parking spot, she said. I was thinking Oh my god, I should
play well.
I came second two years ago, last year, I came first, so my goal
at this tournament is top five.
Baltimore Ravens Torrey Smith (L) and Ray Rice (R) gesture into the
stands following their win over New England Patriots in the AFC
Championship game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. (EPA)
Gulf Times
Friday, January 25, 2013
Injured Bresnan out
of New Zealand tour
nglands Tim Bresnan
has been ruled out of the
tour of NewZealandwith
an elbow injury while
wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter
was dropped from the one-day
National selector Geof Miller
announced yesterday a 15-man
squad for the three Test series,
with uncapped Warwickshire
seamer Chris Woakes replacing
Bresnan, who has been strug-
gling with a right elbowproblem
for over a year.
Miller hopes the Yorkshire-
man will be t in time for a
packed schedule on home soil
later in the year that sees Eng-
land staging a return series
against NewZealand, the Cham-
pions Trophy and an Ashes con-
test with Australia.
Kieswetter who played in 34
successive one-day interna-
tionals until Englands defeat by
India in Mohali on Wednesday,
was included in the original ODI
squad for NewZealand.
But a run of lowscores, as well
as some indiferent performanc-
es with the gloves, have seen the
Somerset man leapfrogged by
county colleague Jos Buttler and
Yorkshires Jonathan Bairstow
in the revised squad announced
England have also added two
players to their 50-over party in
top-order batsman Joe Root and
seamer James Harris.
Former England of-spinner
Miller, explaining Bresnans ab-
sence, said: Its not necessarily
an operation at this stage and we
feel hell be absolutely ne; our
medical staf say hell be ne for
the (English) summer.
Turning to Woakes, a near
like-for-like replacement for
Bresnan in that he too is a use-
ful lower-order batsman, Miller,
in an England and Wales Cricket
Board (ECB) statement, said:
He is coming in for all parts of
the New Zealand tour because
hes shown with the (second-
string England) Lions what he is
capable of.
As for Kieswetter, Miller said
hed failed to make the most of
his chances. Craig has had an
extended opportunity in ODI
and T20 cricket and while he has
shown evidence of delivering
performances on the interna-
tional stage, we dont feel these
have been consistent enough.
We discussed it with himand
felt the best way forward was for
himto go back to Somerset, work
on his game and get a lot of runs
early in the season.
Root has made his debut in
all three international formats
in India, with the Yorkshireman
helping Alastair Cooks men
clinch a 2-1 series win in the
drawn fourth Test in Nagpur last
Hes already shown us what
he can do and hes shown he is
very, very easy in the interna-
tional arena, Miller said. Were
excited about him.
Spinner Samit Patel andmiddle-
order batsman Eoin Morgan were
England last played a Test
series in New Zealand in 2008,
winning the three-match con-
test 2-1.
A Twenty20 side led by Stuart
Broad start a three-match series
in Auckland on February 9, with
the rst ODI inHamiltononFeb-
ruary 17.
The first of three Tests is
due to start in Dunedin on
March 6.
Its not necessarily an operation at this stage and we feel hell be absolutely fine
RULED OUT: Tim Bresnan
oss Brawn says he
remains in charge at
Formula One team
Mercedes despite the
arrival of Toto Wolf as execu-
tive director.
Mercedes parent company
Daimler have decided to shake
up the management structure
in the Britain-based team,
with Wolf arriving from Wil-
liams and taking a stake in
Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix
(MGP) Ltd.
Three-time world cham-
pion Niki Lauda, a current
non-executive chairman of
MGP, will also acquire shares
in the company, but Brawn is
adamant that his authority has
not been undermined.
Toto is coming in and there
is another side of the busi-
ness that, quite frankly, I dont
want to get involved in, he
said yesterday.
I dont want to get in-
volved in the commercial ac-
tivities and with the support
we need to give Daimler on a
day-to-day basis. There are
a lot of things Toto will be do-
ing which are complementary
to what I amdoing in terms of
running the team.
But you have to have one
reference. Everybody knows
the only way a racing teamwill
work is to have one reference,
and Imthat reference.
I am the team principal
and I amin charge of sporting,
technical and racing matters.
new driver Lewis Hamilton ad-
dressed his Mercedes colleagues
for the rst time at their base in
Brackley,central England.
The 2008 world champion,
who left McLaren at the end of
last season, said he had been
given assurances by Brawn
that the 58-year-olds role
would not be changing.
I dont read all the sto-
ries that come out, but if Ive
any problems or I do hear any
whispers then I can give him
a call, which I did, and he
set me straight right away,
Hamilton said. We already
have that kind of good re-
lationship. We have had a
respectable relationship for
some time now.
From the beginning I said
Ill always be blunt. Its impor-
tant we have an open relation-
ship. Thats the way best way
to start and he was positive
about that.
The British driver said he
did not feel as if he was joining
a teamin turmoil.
No, I dont think it is, he
said. Everything feels really
positive for me. While today
is the day I get to speak to the
team, I have been around and
about and there is a great spirit
here. The guys seemhungrier
than any group of people Ive
seen before. They seem seri-
ously hungry to win and ex-
cited they have another shot at
it this year.
Mercedes have won just one
grand prix since returning to
F1 three years ago but Ham-
ilton says he is prepared to be
patient while the team strive
to improve. This is a mara-
thon, not a sprint. Its the long
haul, he said. I just hope this
year we can be competitive. If
we arrive at the rst race and
we are in front, its going to be
spectacular. But if we are not,
we know we just have to keep
working at it.
Im the boss
at Mercedes,
says defant
England squads
Test squad
Alastair Cook (capt), James Anderson, Jonathan
Bairstow, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, Gra-
ham Onions, Monty Panesar, Kevin Pietersen, Matt
Prior (wkt), Joe Root, Graeme Swann, Jonathan
Trott, Chris Woakes
Twenty20 squad
Stuart Broad (capt), Jonathan Bairstow (wkt),
Danny Briggs, Jos Buttler (wkt), Jade Dernbach,
Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Michael Lumb, Stuart
Meaker, Eoin Morgan, Samit Patel, James Tredwell,
Woakes, Luke Wright
ODI squad
Alastair Cook (capt), James Anderson, Jonathan
Bairstow (wkt), Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler
(wkt), Steven Finn, James Harris, Eoin Morgan,
Samit Patel, Joe Root, Graeme Swann, James Tred-
well, Jonathan Trott, Chris Woakes
Twenty20 series
Feb 09: 1st Twenty20, Eden Park, Auckland
Feb 12: 2nd Twenty20, Seddon Park, Hamilton
Feb 15: 3rd Twenty20, Wellington Regional Sta-
dium, Wellington

ODI series
Feb 17: 1st ODI, Seddon Park, Hamilton
Feb 20: 2nd ODI, McLean Park, Napier
Feb 23: 3rd ODI, Eden Park, Auckland

Test series
Mar 06-10: 1st Test, University Oval, Dunedin
Mar 14-18: 2nd Test, Basin Reserve, Wellington
Mar 22-26: 3rd Test, Eden Park, Auckland
he all-French xture
between Clermont Au-
vergne and Montpel-
lier at Stade Marcel
Michelin on April 6, will be the
opening match in a weekend
of European Cup quarter-nal
action, of cials said yesterday.
Saracens will face last sea-
sons losing nalists Ulster in
the other April 6 quarter-nal
but tournament organisers
European Rugby Cup said the
venue for that match would be
announced at a later date.
Sarries want to play the tie
on their new articial pitch
in north-west London, rather
than take it to Twickenham or
Wembley instead.
But they need to get permis-
sion from their local authority
to temporarily increase capac-
ity from10,000 to 15,000 the
minimum needed for a Euro-
pean Cup quarter-nal.
And they may also have to
overcome concerns about stag-
ing such an important tie on a
non-grass pitch, although Sa-
racens competitive debut on
the surfaceagainst Cardif in
the Anglo-Welsh Cup on Sun-
daycould allay doubts.
Meanwhile English Premier-
ship title-holders Harlequins
will welcome Irelands two-
time European champions
Munster to their Twickenham
Stoop ground for the rst of
Sundays quarter-nals, with
Toulon taking on English giants
Leicester, European Cup win-
ners in 2001 and 2002, in the
nal last eight clash.
Former champions Glouces-
ter will face Frances Biarritz in
the rst of the second-tier Eu-
ropean Challenge Cup quarter-
nals when the clubs meet at
Kingsholmon April 4, organis-
ers announced Thursday.
English side Gloucester,
who won the Challenge Cup in
2006, are the only side in this
seasons last eight whove yet to
appear in a nal of the Europe-
anCup, the continents premier
club rugby union tournament.
Wasps, previous winners
of both European Rugby Cup
(ERC) events, face last seasons
European Cup winners, Lein-
ster, when they welcome the
Irish province to Adams Park
on April 5. That day also sees
the all-French clash between
Perpignan and Toulouse at Sta-
de Aime Giral.
Bath, the pool stage No 1
seeds, and Stade Francais com-
plete the quarter-nal action
with a match at the English
clubs Recreation Ground on
April 6.
Samoas Fotualii joins
Welsh exodus
Samoa scrum-half Kahn
Fotualii has become the latest
player to turn his back on the
cash-strapped world of Welsh
club rugby after English side
Northampton announced hed
be joining themnext season.
However, the 30-year-old,
capped 13 times by Samoa, will
remainwith Welsh regional side
the Ospreys for the remainder
of the current campaign having
rejected a new deal that would
have kept himin south Wales.
Auckland-born Fotualii,
now regarded as one of the
worlds leading No 9s, joined
the Swansea-based Ospreys
after impressing at the 2011
World Cup.
Prior to his time with the
Celtic League champions,
Fotualii played in NewZealand
for Canterbury-based Super
Rugby side the Crusaders.
Kahn is a player who has at-
tracted a lot of positive head-
lines and attention throughout
his career, Northampton rugby
director JimMallinder saidyes-
terday. He has a superb set of
skills and is a powerful and dy-
namic runner who will add to
our options in one of the teams
crucial positions.
Scotland unveil multi-
million pound kit deal
The Scottish Rugby Union
(SRU) announced yesterday
the most valuable kit deal in its
history, saying it had signed a
multi-million pound agree-
ment with Italian sportswear
company Macron.
The four-year deal will also
see Bologna-based Macron
supply the strips for Edin-
burgh and Glasgow, Scotlands
two professional rugby union
clubs, as well as the Test sides
dark blue kit. But the new ar-
rangement will not start until
the end of year internationals
with Canterbury of New Zea-
landcontinuing to manufacture
Scotlands matchday outts for
the forthcoming Six Nations.
Macron are a hugely ambi-
tious company and very strong
in football, said SRU chief ex-
ecutive Mark Dodson. But the
thing that clinched it for us its
that they want to make Scot-
land their agship brand in the
rugby market.
All-French clash to kick-of
European Cup quarters
he Indian cricket team
is very average at the
moment and is lucky
to have a captain like Ma-
hendra Singh Dhoni, who is cop-
ing the blame for lack of quality
in the side, feels former England
skipper GeofreyBoycott.
...Do you judge captains on
their win and loss ratio, or do you
take into account or considera-
tion the quality, or lack of qual-
ity, in his team? If youre thinking
about India, theres a lackof qual-
ity at the moment, lack of quality
seambowling, lack of quality spin
bowling, and in some cases your
best players are beginning to re-
tire after getting past their sell-by
date. Arent they? Boycott told a
sports website.
(Rahul) Dravidand(VVS) Lax-
man are gone, (Sachin) Tendulkar
hasnt got any runs recently, so is
it his (Dhonis) fault? he asked.I
dont think so. I dont judge peo-
ple onthe loss andwinratioof the
team. Youhavetolookat theteam.
Youaredamnluckyyouvegot MS
Dhoni,he asserted.
Dhoni has been under severe
scrutiny after the recent home
Test debacle against Englandeven
thoughhehasbeenindecent form
Boycott said Dhoni has his
limitations as a Test skipper but
the Indians dont have a quality
replacement at the moment.
I think he is a brilliant one-
day captain. Like a lot of people, I
think he has goodleadershipskills
of the players but, tactically, in
Test matches, theres quite a bit
to be desired. But you havent got
anybody else you can call upon,
he explained.
Anice set of lads, but in terms
of other quality sides around the
world, you are very average and
you are not going to win with av-
erage teams. And the captains al-
ways get blamed. Captains tendto
get plaudits when the team wins,
which I think is unfair, Boycott
said.The former batsman said
Dhoni cannot be held responsi-
ble for the slide because India is a
teamintransitionright now.
...the captain always gets the
blamewhenyoulose. Itslikeinthe
war, losing generals always got the
sack. Its like that with Dhoni; be-
cause India have hit a sticky situ-
ation, with some of the best play-
ers retiring or getting to the end
of their careers...Zaheer Khans
gone, Harbhajans gone, Dravid
and Laxman have gone, Sachin is
towards the end of his career, he
pointed out. Its very dif cult to
kids and do well, and Dhonis get-
ting the ak for it, hes getting the
blame. I dont think its Dhonis
fault. So youve to be careful about
blaming people for the lack of
Talking about other Indian
players, Boycott said star opener
Virender Sehwag, who has been
dropped from the ongoing ODI
series against England, was lucky
to hold on to his place for so long.
The Englishmanfelt Gambhir was
also fortunate to be continuing
despite deterioratingtechnically.
Sehwag is lucky to be in the
team, really. Hes an explosive,
fascinating, unpredictable, bril-
liant batsman, absolutely keeps
youonthe edge of your seats. But,
Im afraid, father time comes to
everybody, and hes getting to-
wards the end.
India lucky to have
Dhoni: Boycott
MS Dhoni
ADAMANT: Ross Brawn
he United players and
coaches have told Ma- how much
they have enjoyed this
weeks training camp in Qatar
and feel it has provided excellent
preparation for the upcoming
challenges at home and abroad.
The Reds ewout to the Mid-
dle East on Sunday night after
the 1-1 drawwith Spurs and have
trained at the renowned Aspire
Academy in Qatar for the last
Nemanja Vidic andRyanGiggs
says the players have thoroughly
enjoyed their break in the sun
and have praised the facilities on
ofer at Aspire.
Its been excellent since
weve been here, said Vidic.
The weather has been nice and
the facilities have also been fan-
Working in the sun has been
a nice change, especially with
the weather in Manchester at
this time of year. We were here
three years ago and on both
occasions we have had great
Giggs echoed those senti-
ments. Its beenreally enjoyable
- the weather has been good, the
facilities are excellent and its
been good to be in the sun!
We hope it will benet us
over the season as the training
has been great and the lads have
had some down-time relaxing
on the beach and watching the
golf at the Qatar Masters which
was enjoyable.
Assistant manager Mike Phe-
lan and rst team coach Rene
Meulensteen could not speak
highly enough of the facilties at
Aspire and the way the squad
have been looked after.
We are proud to have been
here and very privileged to have
worked with Aspire again. The
staf have been excellent and the
facilities are rst class, added
Wenger relieved as Arsenal bounce back
Reds refreshed
afer Qatar trip
Its been excellent since weve been here
layers and ex-professionals spoke out
in support of Eden Hazard yesterday
after the Chelsea winger was sent of
for kicking a ball boy in a League Cup
game at Swansea City.
Hazard was shown a straight red card by ref-
eree Chris Foy in the 80th minute of Wednes-
days semi-nal second leg after attempting to
kick the ball from beneath a ball boy who was
lying on top of it, apparently deliberately.
The pair later apologised to each other, but
Hazard could still face charges from the Foot-
ball Associationafter receiving the rst redcard
of his career.
The boy was identied in media reports as
Charlie Morgan, the 17-year-old son of Swan-
sea director Martin Morgan.
In a message on his Twitter account written
before the game, Charlie Morganappearedtojoke
that he wouldtrytowaste time ina bidtohelpthe
home side protect their 2-0aggregate lead.
The king of all ball boys is back making his
nal appearance #needed #for #timewasting,
he wrote.
By 1130GMT yesterday, the account had at-
tracted over 84,000 followers, although Char-
lie Morgan had not written anything since the
Stoke City striker Michael Owen defended
Hazards actions on Twitter, writing: Both the
kid and Hazard were in the wrong. Not hav-
ing (accepting that) Hazard tried to hurt him
though. He just tried to toe poke it out of his
Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale also
sided with the Belgian international, tweeting:
Unbelievable decision by the referee to send
Hazard of but congrats to Swansea.
Hazard, 22, was Chelseas star close-season
signing, arriving fromFrench club Lille for a re-
ported fee of 32 million ($50.7 million, 38 mil-
lion euros).
He has made an impressive start to life at
Stamford Bridge, scoring eight goals and laying
on 12 assists in 37 games, and one of his Chelsea
predecessors, Pat Nevin, believes he was more
sinned against than sinning at Swansea.
I would have kicked the ball out from un-
derneath the ball boy if he had been lying like
that, 100 per cent, Nevin told BBC Radio 5
The former Chelsea winger also branded
Charlie Morgans behaviour disgraceful.
I was very, very disappointed by the way the
ball boy acted, and I say acted, he said.
He must have beenwatching footballers, the
way he rolled around and pretended to be more
injured. He only has one job and his job is to go
and give the ball back, and what did he do? He
keeps the ball.
I have to say I was absolutely amazed this
morning to nd he is 17 not 12, not 13. He
should know what his action should be in that
situation. His behaviour was disgraceful.
However, former Premier League referee
Dermot Gallagher said Foy had made the right
decision in showing Hazard a straight red card.
The referee has taken the correct action, he
Its against the laws of the game to commit
violent conduct on anyone under the jurisdic-
tion of the game.
I cant reinforce how switched on the of-
cials were. It would have been so easy for the
assistant referee not to pick that (incident) up
but he did.
rsene Wenger believes Arse-
nals 5-1 demolition of West
Ham proves they are men-
tally strong enough to cope
with the pressure of battling to nish
in the Premier Leagues top four.
After error-strewn performances in
successive defeats against Manches-
ter City and Chelsea, Arsenals season
appeared to be in danger of implod-
ing and Wenger reportedly held crisis
talks with his players earlier this week.
But the Gunners temporarily si-
lenced their critics with an emphatic
victory at the Emirates Stadium on
Wednesday which ended a troubling
run of three games without a win
and lifted them within four points of
fourth placed Tottenham.
We got a good response, I watched
the Chelsea game again and felt in the
second half we were good and we con-
tinued that here, Wenger said.
In the rst half we controlled it but
West Hamwere dangerous onset pieces
and we got punished. In the second we
playedwithgreat pace, hadtremendous
movement and created a lot of chances.
I never felt the players didnt know
how important these matches were. I
was just worried they were a bit inhib-
ited in the big games.
They have fantastic mentality and
ability. That is what we want to show
until the end of the season.
Although Arsenal recovered from
a 10-point decit to nish in the top
four last season, Wenger had conced-
ed the teams position was beginning
to concern him.
And when Jack Collison red West
Ham into a shock lead in the 18th
minute, it appeared the north Lon-
doners were set to hit a new low.
But, at the moment of maximum
stress, Arsenal, so often accused of
lacking character, nally showed
some guts to equalise four minutes
later through Lukas Podolskis ne
Olivier Giroud put Arsenal ahead
with a close-range nish from a cor-
ner in the 47th minute and that was
the rst of four goals in 10 minutes as
the Hammers were blown away.
Santi Cazorla got the third with a
sublime ick and Theo Walcott added
the fourth before Giroud sealed the
victory with a clinical strike, leaving
Wenger to salute his players attitude.
At 1-0 down if you concede the
second goal it can go the other way.
The Premier League is like that. You
are in trouble as soon as you are not at
your best, he said.
I thought it was an interesting test
at that moment. It was vital to equal-
ise before half-time.
When Lukas Podolski is in that
form then he is very important. He
can nish and give assists, he is a team
Wenger also revealed Belgian de-
fender Thomas Vermaelen is likely to
miss Saturdays FA Cup fourth round
tie at Brighton with an ankle injury,
but he doesnt expect the Arsenal
captain to be sidelined for long.
Vermaelen was kicked and he
twisted his ankle. He is a doubt for
Saturday, but it is nothing major,
Wenger added.
For West Ham manager Sam Al-
lardyce, the defeat became second-
ary to his concern over the health of
young defender Daniel Potts, who was
taken to hospital after being knocked
unconscious following a clash of
heads with Arsenals Bacary Sagna in
the second half.
Danny has gone straight to hos-
pital with a concussion. He couldnt
give the correct answers to the ques-
tions the doctor asked.
It was a clash of heads. I think that
knocked him unconscious and then he
hit the oor a a dead weight so it was a
double blow.
You are concerned about the time
it took to get him treated, but they
have to make sure they get him on the
stretcher the right way to protect the
We think he will be ok. Hopefully
there is no more damage to the neck or
the spine.
Manchester Uniteds Ryan Giggs signs autographs for fans before a training session at the Aspire
Academy for Sports Excellence in Doha yesterday. The top EPL side are on a four-day training trip in Doha.
Players back Hazard over ball boy scuf e
Gulf Times
Friday, January 25, 2013
eal Madrid have become the rst club
in any sport to generate more than 500
million euros in revenue in a single year,
according to the business advisory rm
The companys Football Money League, pub-
lished for the 16th time yesterday sees Spanish
champions Madrid retain their hold on rst place
ahead of perennial rivals Barcelona.
In an unchanged top six, Manchester United
remain third, Bayern Munich fourth, European
champions Chelsea fth and Arsenal sixth, but
English champions Manchester City soar ve
places to seventh.
AC Milan fall one place to eighth, with Liv-
erpool remaining ninth and Italian champions
Juventus rising three places to complete the
top 10.
Madrids revenue rose by seven percent to
512.6 million euros in the 2011-2012 season,
equivalent to 414.7 million or $644.7 million at
June 2012 exchange rates.
It enabled the nine-time European champions
to hold onto top spot in the ranking for an eighth
successive year, matching Uniteds record from
1996-1997 to 2003-2004.
It is an impressive achievement for Real
Madrid to have surpassed 500 million euros in
revenue in a single year, said Dan Jones from
Deloittes Sports Business Group.
Real have led the way in the phenomenal rate
of revenue growth achieved by the games top
clubs, with the double-digit (10-percent) in-
crease by the top 20 clubs representing contin-
ued strong performance inthese tough economic
The combined revenues of the top 20 clubs
have quadrupled since we began our analysis in
Madrid triumphed in the Spanish Liga in 2011-
2012, ending three years of dominance by arch-
rivals Barcelona, but lost out in the Champions
League after being beaten by Bayern in the semi-
Overall, the combined revenue of the worlds
20 highest-earning football clubs grew by 10
percent on the previous year to reach 4.8 billion
Citys climb of ve places was matched by
German champions Borussia Dortmund, who
rose to 11th, and Italian side Napoli (15th).
Manchester Citys Premier League title-
winning season, combined with participation
in the UEFA Champions League, helped drive
51-percent revenue growth to 285.6 million eu-
ros, the largest absolute and relative growth of
any Money League club, said Deloittes Austin
The clubs progress to the top of the English
andEuropeangame means that they are set to re-
maina top 10Money League club for the foresee-
able future.
The only newentry in the list was English side
Newcastle United, who moved into the top 20 at
the expense of Spanish club Valencia after a sur-
prise fth-place nish in the Premier League last
The English top ight remains the most well-
represented league in the ranking, with seven of
the 20 clubs hailing fromthe Premier League.
Real Madrid set
earnings record
TheReds few out tothe
MiddleEast onSunday
night afer the1-1 drawwith
Spurs andhave trained
at therenownedAspire
AcademyinQatar for the
last few days.
The Deloitte Football Money League 2013
(position, previous years position, club, country,
revenue in 2011-2012):
1. (1) Real Madrid (ESP) 512.6mn (414.7mn)
2. (2) Barcelona (ESP) 483mn (390.8mn)
3. (3) Man United (ENG) 395.9mn (230.3mn)
4. (4) B Munich (GER) 368.4mn (298.1mn)
5. (5) Chelsea (ENG) 322.6mn (261mn)
6. (6) Arsenal (ENG) 290.3mn (234.9mn)
7. (12) Man City (ENG) 285.6mn (231.1mn)
8. (7) AC Milan (ITA) 256.9mn (207.9mn)
9. (9) Liverpool (ENG) 233.2mn (188.7mn)
10. (13) Juventus (ITA) 195.4mn (158.1mn)
Casillasout for amonthwithfnger fracture
Madrid: Spanish champions Real Madrid said
yesterday that veteran goalkeeper Iker Casillas
will be out of action for around a month, with a
broken finger in his left hand.
Casillas, 31, sufered the injury on Wednesday
after a collision with defender Alvaro Arbeloa in
a 1-1 cup draw at Valencia. Real advanced 3-1 on
aggregate into the semi-finals where they will
meet Malaga or Barcelona.
Casillas will miss Spains friendly against Portu-
gal on February 6 and Reals Champions League
round of 16 first leg clash at home to Manches-
ter United on February 13.
According to media reports yesterday, the objec-
tive of the Real doctors is to have Casillas back for
the second leg at Old Traford on March 5.
Real will now have to consider whether to sign
a goalkeeper in the January transfer window
or place their faith in understudy Antonio
When the collision (with Arbeloa) happened I
realizes something was wrong ... The finger is
hurting a lot and I cannot move it. Lets see what
the tests reveal, Casillas said before he went to
hospital. The injury occurred in the 16th minute
of the game, when Casillas and Spain teammate
Arbeloa both went for the same loose ball. Arbe-
loa get his foot to it first but also kicked Casillas
left hand. He was immediately replaced by Adan,
who looked a little slow on Valencias equaliser
from Argentine midfielder Tino Costa.
Adan, 25, has made only six league appearances
for Real since being promoted to second-choice
keeper in 2010.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
(L) speaks with Theo Walcott during
their English Premier League match
against West Ham on Wednesday.
ByChris Hoover
ousef Bentaher trained Nasir
Al Naif waged a strong bat-
tle and managed to thwart the
challenge of Faria in the dying
moments of the race to win the Abdul-
lah Bin Hamad al- Attiya Cup, a local
bred Pure Arabian Stakes, the main
event of the races at the Qatar Racing
and Equestrian Club yesterday.
Al Adaid settled down to lead the
way as the eld settled down for the
2,000 metres trip with Al Yarmouk
racing in close attendance while Nasir
Al Naif was in about the fth or sixth
Rounding the nal turn, Al Adaid
continued to maintain his supremacy
even as Al Yarmouk weakened to fade
out of contention. Nasir Al Naif who
was well positioned came through
alongside to essay a strong challenge
even as David Bouland was hard at
work. Though Faria (Pier Convertino
up) covered ground along the rails with
a ourish, Nasir Al Naif had reached
the safety of the winning post. A neck
separated the two at the nish.
Trainer Julian Smart recorded only
his fourth win of the season when the
well bred youngster from his stables,
Al Anga (Amer-Kerbelle Du Loup)
bounced back to win the Pure Ara-
bian Restricted Stakes for Fillies and
Mares, in resolute fashion.
After nishing a credible second on
debut in France, Al Anga has nally
made her presence felt in Qatar. She
has all the makings of a champion.
However without any races in the pro-
gramme for her age group had made
things dif cult for her but she proved
that she has not lost her zest for racing
as she proted from the forward run.
Al Anga had nished second to the
formidable Muntasar in the Derby in
her previous outing. This much need-
ed win has enabled her trainer Smart
who was going through a lean patch to
get some respite.
Al Anga is a very good horse in the
making. She ran a great race at Saint
Cloud in Paris, when she ran second
behind our other lly. She has come
here and ran second behind Muntasar,
who is a super star from Umm Qarn.
All our horses have been out of form
as we have been struggling a bit with
their tness right now. Hopefully we
will come into form in the second half
of the season, trainer Smart told Gulf
This was an easy race for Al Anga
and I was lucky to nd one for her. She
has done what we expected of here
and she did it quite professionally. It is
a pity that there are no races for four
year olds here. That needs to be looked
at in our racing programme, Smart
Since there are no races in her age
group, Al Anga will have to run in the
big races. It will be very dif cult to
run against the older horses at such
a young age. I will have to nd some-
thing easier for her as that is the di-
rection we have to go because there is
nothing else we can do. We bring them
to Doha to race and not make them sit
in a box. QREC need to have a relook at
their programme. These horses which
have run in the Guineas and Derbys,
should have some races for four-year-
olds because Pure Arabians will nd it
tough to run against older horses. Al
Anga is a champion in the making and
I need to take good care of her, Smart
added. Mohamed al-Ramzanis Invin-
cible Prince (Invincible Spirit-Forest
Prize) who had gone winless in his 35
starts, showed plenty of acceleration
in the last 300 metres while winning
the Thoroughbred Handicap for hors-
es rated 60 and below. Adabi set the
pace with Invincible Prince in chase
and tucked in along the fence. As they
came into the last two furlongs, jockey
Sylvain Ruis pulled the Ramzani train-
ee out, to make way for a clear run and
once shown the daylights, Invincible
Prince raised a quick gallop to leave
the eld and draw away.
Jassim al-Ghazali schooled Al
Shaqab shed his maiden status with
a runaway victory in the local Thor-
oughbred Maiden Plate. Al Shaqab
had run an eye catching second to Al
Rayyan Al Shaqab and had displayed
his willingness to strike. The speedy
son of Kheleyf, Al Shaqab was taken
on a start to nish mission by jockey
Yanis Aouabed and the four-year-old
chestnut colt kept a vice like grip on
the race to check in well clear of Majd
who chased without hope. Marikh n-
ished third while Blonde Arrow was a
beaten cause, not raising a uent gal-
lop when it mattered most.
Ghazali had another through Al
Falak who showed a clean pair of heels
as he easily accounted for the oppo-
sition in the 1,200 metres local bred
Pure Arabian Handicap for horses
rated 40 and below. After being ridden
in check by jockey Gerald Avranche, Al
Falak came into contention at the top
of the straight. Once alerted to the task
on hand, the Ghazali trainee skipped
away from the rest and won without
being unduly stretched. Waddah took
the second place ahead of Shujaa.
In the days other action, Abeer
came through with a good run along
the rails in the nal two furlongs to
win the Thoroughbred Handicap and
give its trainer Ghazali, his third win
for the day.
1st race: Al Shaqab (Yanis Aouabed) 1,
Majd 2, Marikh 3, Napolean 4. Won by: 5, 1
, 1. Time: 1:14.31. Trained by: Jassim al-
Ghazali. Owned by: Mohammed bin Ahmed
bin Mohammed al-Attiya
2nd race: Al Falak (Gerald Avranche) 1,
Waddah 2, Shujaa 3, Sibeh 4. Won by: 2 , 2,
4. Time: 1:20.17. Trained by: Jassimal-Ghazali.
Ownedby: Ms Haya MohammedAbdullah
3rd race: Invincible Prince (Sylvain Ruis)
1, Miss Clodia 2, One More Roman 3, Speed-
t Girl 4. Won by: 1 , Nk, 1. Time: 1:55.31.
Trained by: Mohammed al-Ramzani. Owned
by: Mohammed Nasser al-Ramzani
4thrace: Al Anga(DarrenWilliams) 1, Mog-
ida 2, Ziraya 3, Fiha 4. Won by: 5, , 3. Time:
1:46.33. Trained by: Julian Smart. Owned by:
HHSheikhMohammedbinKhalifa al-Thani
5th race: Abeer (Marvin Suerland) 1,
Trompettiste 2, Majd Al Shajaa 3, Sandbe-
tweenourtoes 4. Won by: 1 , , Shd. Time:
1:11.55. Trained by: Jassim al-Ghazali. Owned
by: Abdullah Mohammed Al Kuwari Sons
6th race: Nasir Al Naif (David Bouland)
1, Faria 2, Al Muntakhab 3, Jarrah 4. Won by:
Nk, 6, 2 . Time: 2:13.54. Trained by: Yousef
Bentaher. Owned by: Sheikh Nasser bin Ab-
dullah bin Nasser al-Thani
Nasir Al Naif prevails
in thrilling fnish
The team controlled the race well
QREC chairman HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Faleh al-Thani (right) presents a memento to Chairman of Administrative
Control and Transparency Authority HE Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah at the QREC yesterday.
Sports Reporter
trength in depth rather
than actual numbers is
the feature of the Qa-
tar International Rally,
round one of the 2012 FIA Mid-
dle East Rally Championship,
which will take place in Qatar
Qatars premier international
rally, organised by the Qatar
Motor and Motorcycle Federa-
tion (QMMF), will open the cur-
tains to an exciting new season
of Middle East rallying as the
new Al-Shabhana desert special
stage will get proceedings un-
A nine-time winner of his
home event Nasser Saleh al-
Attiyah will be chasing his 46th
individual MERC event victory
as he tops the 18-driver entry
Nasser, who was forced to
pull out of the Dakar Rally due
to a water pump failure when
he was second in the standings,
will be keen to erase the dis-
appointment in Argentina by
putting up a good show in his
home event.
Its all part of the big journey.
You win some, you lose some.
But youve to move on. I was dis-
appointed when I had to pull out
from Dakar due to a mechanical
problem. But theres no point in
sulking over it now, Nasser told
Gulf Times yesterday.
The newseason is starting. It
will be a test for our car and Im
ready for it, said Nasser, who
is reuniting with his Italian co-
driver Giovanni Bernacchini in a
Ford Fiesta for the event.
Several good cars are taking
part in the rally and all the driv-
ers will need to use their mind
more during this tough rally, he
Last years event marked the
rst career MERC victory for
Abdulaziz and Nasser al-Ku-
wari and the rst international
rally victory for Prodrives Mini
Al-Kuwari is one of several
Qatari drivers keen to win the
event and begin what promis-
es to be a thrilling season with
a maximum haul of 25 cham-
pionship points. His victory
in 2012 brought to an end a
nine-year winning streak of
Spearheading a ve-car chal-
lenge by Abu Dhabi Racing in the
rally, Sheikh Khalid al-Qassimi
is also a top title contender.
I am feeling no pressure, but
I amexcited for the rally. This is
the only championship where
you will nd world level chal-
lenges and I am looking forward
to the start, Khalid al-Qassimi
This years regional series will
be fought out over further rallies
in Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Cy-
prus and Dubai and the FIA have
introduced new class catego-
ries for young drivers, Group N
showroom type cars and two-
wheel drive machines, although
sevenRRCs (Regional Rally Cars)
are being driven by the top seeds
in Qatar.
On behalf of the QMMF I
welcome everyone to Qatar for
the start of another season of
rallying, said Qatar Motor &
Motorcycle Federation president
Nasser Khalifa al-Attiyah.
We have new stages, one of
the strongest entries in terms of
the quality of the cars and the
performances of the drivers and
I am sure it is going to be a fan-
tastic start to the new rallying
UAE co-driver Khaled al-
Kendi has one of the busiest
programmes of anyone in in-
ternational rallying this sea-
son. Fresh from finishing 31st
overall with Abdullah al-Heraiz
with a Toyota in the Dakar Ral-
ly, al-Kendi is teaming up with
Qatars Abdullah al-Kuwari
this weekend in a Mitsubishi
Lancer Evolution before em-
barking on a hectic season of
Dakar was fantastic, said
al-Kendi. Maybe a little easier
than last year but we managed
to reach the nish. Nowwe have
the MERC and I amlooking for-
ward to teaming up with Abdul-
lah this weekend. We will also
race together in the national ral-
lies in Qatar.
I will also work with Abu
Dhabi Racing in Sweden and
then I have a programme of
WRC events with Rashid (al-
Ketbi) in WRC2 with the Skoda
and the cross-country rallies
with Yayha (al-Helai). Abdul-
lah al-Heraiz and I are also
looking ahead to the Dakar
again in 2013 and maybe some
testing in France and a rally lat-
er in the year in Morocco. Its a
busy year, for sure.
A selection of the leading
drivers on the entry list joined
QMMF president Nasser Kha-
lifa al-Attiyah, QMMF board
member Sultan al-Muraiki and
visiting FIA vice-president Mo-
hammed Ben Sulayemat the of-
cial pre-event press conference
yesterday afternoon.
Leading starters:
1. Nasser Saleh al-Attiyah (QAT)/Gio-
vanni Bernacchini (ITA) Ford Fiesta
3. Khalid al-Qassimi (UAE)/Scott Martin
(GBR) Citron DS3
4. Abdulaziz al-Kuwari (QAT)/Killian
Dufy (IRL) Ford Fiesta
5. Khalid al-Suwaidi (QAT)/Nicola Arena
(ITA) Ford Fiesta
6. Abdullah al-Qassimi (UAE)/Steve
Lancaster (GBR) Ford Fiesta
7. Yazeed al-Rajhi (KSA)/Michael Orr
(GBR) Ford Fiesta
8. Alaa Rasheed (JOR)/Joseph Matar
(LEB) Ford Fiesta
9. Mishari al-Thefiri (KWT)/Mubarak Al-
Thefiri (KWT) Mitsubishi Lancer
10. Abdullah al-Kuwari (QAT)/Khalid Al-
Kendi (UAE) Mitsubishi Lancer
11. Burcu Cetincaya (TUR)/Ozlem
Akguc (TUR) Mitsubishi Lancer
12. Michele de Nora (ITA)/Sergio Secchi
(ITA) Subaru Impreza
Drivers face new challenges in Qatar event
Gulf Times
Friday, January 25, 2013
beat Al
Qatar SC
ByDanotzki Santos
l Rayyan pushed hard late in
the nal canto to upstage a
ghting Qatar Sports Club,
87-75, in the main game
last night of the Qatar Mens Basket-
ball League at the Al Gharafa Indoor
Qatar came out blazing at the start
of the match, leading 10-2 with ex-Al
Rayyan import Chauncey Leslie tak-
ing charge.
Al Rayyan clamped down on de-
fense to limit their foes output in
the next stage and went on to cut the
decit at 24-20 at the end of the rst
Rayyan picked up speed at the
onset of the third and equalized at
24-all but Qatar ran the brakes and
rolled out a 10-2 run for a 34-26 lead
after 3 minutes. The cat-quick Boney
Watson would then lead a 9-3 as-
sault to put Al Rayyan a basket closer
at 37-35 before giving his team their
rst taste of the lead, 39-37, with 3
minutes left in the second quarter.
Qatar tied the game in the ensuing
play but Watson and No 3 exchanged
bombers for 42-all count at haf time.
Al Rayyan pushed hard in the third
canto to wrest the lead but Leslie
kept the re burning for Qatar and
gave them a 66-63 advantage after
three quarters.
Watson carried the scoring for Al
Rayyan with 24 points.
Leslie had 34 points to lead Qatar.
Earlier in the evening, Al Gharafa
came back from an 11-point decit
early inthe thirdperiodandheldof a
determined Al Wakrah, 66-58.
Al Gharafa needed a strong push
before the start of the fourth quarter
to equalize after being down, 42-31.
The blue shirts took the rst quar-
ter 19-13 and were up 28-20 in the
middle of the second period but Ay-
eni Olatukombo and Temi Soyebo
joined forces to lead a 14-3 assault to
put in the drivers seat, 34-31, at the
half. Ayeni went on to spearhead an
8-0 in the rst four minutes of the
third to push Wakrah way ahead at
42-31. Gharafa would erase the lead
in the remainder of the period un-
leashing a 15-4 run to tie the game at
46-all. Gharafa scattered a string of
baskets right at the start of the nal
period to peg a 6-point cushion at
52-46, and went on to keep the up-
perhand at 62-54 with under 2 min-
utes of play.
Coach Hatem and his charges im-
proved to 7 wins and 5 losses while
Wakrah are nowat 4-9.
Chairman of Administrative Control and Transparency Authority HE Abdullah
bin Hamad al-Attiyah (right) presents the Abdullah Bin Hamad al-Attiya Cup to
trainer Yousef Bentaher after his ward Nasir Al Naif had won the event at the
Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club yesterday. PICTURES: Juhaim
All set: Qatar rallying ace Nasser Saleh al-Attiyah (third from right) poses with fellow drivers yesterday. At right Khalid al-Suwaidi poses with his QMMF-backed Ford Fiesta.
Azarenka row
as Djokovic
storms to fnal
Chinas Li Na ends Sharapovas dream in Melbourne
smiling Li Na has
pledged simply to
enjoy her tennis af-
ter earning a second
shot at the Australian Open
title, two years after being out-
gunned by KimClijsters.
The Chinese world number
six said she did not feel the
pressure of 2011, when she
reached her rst Grand Slam
nal at Melbourne Park and
raised expectations to strat-
ospheric levels in her home
And after doing the hard
work in training, Li, who
stunned Maria Sharapova 6-2,
6-2 in the semis, said she had
nothing to worry about in to-
morrows nal, when she will
face defending champion Vic-
toria Azarenka.
Right now, what should I
worry about? I worked so hard
in winter training. I think now
everything is just down to me,
said Li. So I go to the court,
pick up my racquet, enjoy the
Li, 30, has been a revelation
under her new coach Carlos
Rodriguez, former handler
of seven-time major-winner
Justine Henin, and she has al-
ready taken one title this year,
in Shenzhen.
In Melbourne, the former
French Open champion has
ousted four seeds on the way
to the nal including world
number four Agnieszka
Radwanska, who was on a
13-match unbeaten run.
On Thursday, she domi-
nated Sharapova, the Russian
second seed who had dropped
only nine games en route to the
semi-nal, setting a newtour-
nament record. Li admittedthe
victory was almost the perfect
After playing for 20 years,
this is the rst time in my life,
she said, adding: I dont know
what happened today. I just
came to the court, feeling like,
OK, just do it. Yeah.
Li lost 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the
2011 nal, but then went on
to become Asias rst Grand
Slam singles champion at that
years French Open. She said
she did not realise how much
she wanted the Australian title
until she lost.
I was really hungry for the
title, yeah. Its really the rst
time I felt I was really near or
close to the title, she said.
So, yeah, I think this time
should be, I dont know, maybe
a diferent story or maybe same
story. But I will try.
Despite a large contingent of
Chinese media, Li said public
expectations were lower than
in 2011, when she was the rst
Asian to reach a Grand Slam
singles nal.
I think the second time
they think, Oh, she won again.
Shes in the nal again. May-
be its not so interesting any
more, said Li.
And she said part of her
training with Rodriguez had
involved learning how to keep
her emotions in check, to avoid
giving her opponent an edge
and remain cool under pres-
Why worry?
Li pledges to
enjoy fnal
ovak Djokovic in-
stalled himself as
red-hot favourite for a
third straight Austral-
ian Open title with a semi-nal
demolition of David Ferrer yes-
terday after Victoria Azarenka
had controversially set up a -
nal against Li Na.
Serbian world number one
Djokovic was brutally dominant
as he pulverised the Spanish
fourth seed 6-2 6-2 6-1 in 89
minutes in Rod Laver Arena to
race into Sundays nal against
Roger Federer or Andy Murray.
This was denitely one of
the best matches of my career,
he said. Tonight I just played
Chinas Li could only be less
convincing despite the impres-
sive 6-2 6-2 win over Russias
2008 champion Maria Shara-
pova but it was the second
womens semi-nal that pro-
vided the main talking point of
the day.
There was no doubt that de-
fending champion Azarenka
was a worthy 6-1 6-4 winner
over American teenager Sloane
Stephens but the spectre of
gamesmanship was raisedwhen
the Belarussian took a lengthy
medical timeout after failing to
convert ve match points.
I almost did the choke of
the year right now, the world
number one said at courtside
after she had wrapped up her
place in tomorrows nal.
At 5-3, having so many
chances, couldnt close it out
but Imglad I could close it out.
Nerves got into me for sure.
Stephens, playing in her rst
grand slam semi-nal after
upsetting Serena Williams on
Wednesday, was not about to
make an issue of it and Azaren-
ka clariedher comments inthe
face of a barrage of questions at
her post-match news confer-
Im telling you what hap-
pened right now honestly, that
my back was bothering me,
Azarenka said, blaming a rib
injury for the problem. It took
me too long of a time to call the
trainer, which was my mistake.
I took it to the point where
I couldnt breathe, which was
(caused by) my back problem,
and I couldnt really gure out
what was going on on the court.
I was really panicking, not
because I couldnt convert my
match point. Thats not the
case, she added.
Former mens number four
Jonas Bjorkman was among
many who took to social media
to call for a change to the rules
over medical timeouts.
Azarenka took a medical
timeout after all her missing
matchpoints or because of an
injury? Time to change that
rule! No sportsmanship there!,
he tweeted.
Djokovic looked like he bare-
ly wanted to take a break even
at changeovers as he delivered
a one-sided masterpiece of a
performance against the fth
best player in mens tennis.
The 25-year-old Serbian won
91% of his rst serve points,
converted all seven of his break
points and hit 30 winners as he
thrashed Ferrer, who will rise
to number four in the world on
Monday in the absence of his
injured compatriot Rafa Nadal.
self on the court at this moment,
Djokovic said. Now I have two
days of before the nals which
gives me enough time to get ready
Perhaps deciding that he
had not spent enough time
on the main showcourt,
Djokovic later reappeared
during a seniors doubles
match dressed as a doctor
to give Henri Leconte mock
medical treatment.
While Djokovics perform-
ance had the tennis purists
purring, Lis victory would have
had the tournaments market-
ing department grinning from
ear to ear.
The self-titled Grand Slam
of the Asia-Pacic has never
had an Asian singles champion
and Li, whose rst trip to the
Melbourne Park nal ended in
defeat to Kim Clijsters in 2011,
has a second chance to put that
At the beginning of the
match I was nervous, said the
30-year-old Chinese. I was
happy to be back in the semis
Chinas Li Na plays a return during her womens singles semi-final
match against Russias Maria Sharapova at the Australian Open in
Melbourne yesterday.
TOP SHOW: Djokovic belts a backhand against Ferrer yesterday.
and sour
for Shara
aria Sharapova ad-
mitted shed been
blown away by Li
Nas bristling ag-
gression yesterday after her
record-breaking run at the Aus-
tralian Open was brought to a
screeching halt by the Chinese
Sharapova, who hogged the
limelight with her new line of
sweets anddebut onTwitter, had
starred on the court too as she
rampaged to the semi-nals for
theloss of onlyninegames, anew
tournament record.
But the Russian world number
two was unable to respond to
a barrage of probing ground-
strokes from Li as Chinas world
number six dominated play and
the scoreline, 6-2, 6-2.
I think she played a re-
ally great match, said Shara-
pova, who fell short of her eighth
Grand Slam nal. She was cer-
tainly much more aggressive
than I was, dictating the play. I
was always onthe defence.
When I had my opportuni-
ties and break points in games
that went to deuce, I dont think
any of them really went my way
Sharapova had been in de-
structive mood as she reached
the third round without drop-
ping a game, and then swept
aside multiple major-winner
Venus Williams, KirstenFlipkens
and Ekaterina Makarova.
But in sweltering conditions,
the intense Russian was imme-
diately on the back foot against
Li as she double-faulted twice in
the rst game to give up an im-
mediate break.
And Li, the 2011 French Open
championandformer Melbourne
nalist, did not let up as she ran
through Sharapova in1hr 33min.
Afterwards, Sharapova con-
ceded shed been found lacking
inher rst real test of the tourna-
When I go into any match,
Im trying to win with the best
scoreline I can. Thats my goal,
she said.
Like I mentioned before, if
Imtested, I have to pull through
it. Then, yes, thats great if I win
witha goodscoreline, move onto
the next one, try to do the same
Today I felt like I had my fair
share of opportunities. Its not
like they werent there. I just
couldnt take themtoday.
Americas Bryantwins beat
Italians Simone Bolelli and Fabio
Fognini yesterday to reach the
Australian Open nal and move
one victory from a record 13th
Grand Slamdoubles title.
Top-seeded Bob and Mike
Bryanwon6-4, 4-6, 6-1 toset up
a nal against Robin Haase and
Igor Sijsling, the Dutch duo who
ousted Spanish third seeds Mar-
cel Granollers and Marc Lopez
7-5, 6-4inthe semi-nals.
The Bryans, 34, are gunning
for their 13th Grand Slam title
and sole ownership of the all-
time record. They are currently
on 12 alongside Australias John
Newcombe and Tony Roche.
Jarmila Gajdosova and Mat-
thew Ebden kept Australian
hopes alive in the mixed dou-
bles as they beat Nadia Petrova
and Mahesh Bhupathi 6-3, 3-6,
(13/11) inthe quarter-nals.
Czech pair Lucie Hradecka
and Frantisek Cermak are also
through after beating Bob Bryan
and Indias Sania Mirza 7-5, 6-4
Womens singles semi-finals
Li Na (CHN x6) bt Maria Sharapova (RUS x2) 6-2, 6-2; Victoria Azarenka
(BLR x1) bt Sloane Stephens (USA x29) 6-1, 6-4
Mens singles semi-final
Novak Djokovic (SRB x1) bt David Ferrer (ESP x4) 6-2, 6-2, 6-1
Mens doubles semi-finals
Bob Bryan (USA)/Mike Bryan (USA x1) bt Simone Bolelli (ITA)/Fabio
Fognini (ITA) 6-4, 4-6, 6-1; Robin Haase (NED)/Igor Sijsling (NED) bt Marcel
Granollers (ESP)/Marc Lopez (ESP x3) 7-5, 4-6
Mixed doubles quarter-finals
Lucie Hradecka (CZE)/Frantisek Cermak (CZE) bt Sania Mirza (IND)/Bob
Bryan (USA x3) 7-5, 6-4; Jarmila Gajdosova (AUS)/Matthew Ebden (AUS) bt
Nadia Petrova (RUS)/Mahesh Bhupathi (IND x5) 6-3, 3-6, (13/11)
Gulf Times
Friday, January 25, 2013
oger Federer is bidding to
maintain his Grand Slam
dominance over a rejuve-
nated Andy Murray in their
much-anticipated semi-final show-
down at the Australian Open today.
Federer trails the British world
number three 10-9 in their matches,
yet significantly the Swiss great has
claimed all three of their Grand Slam
exchanges, all in finals, with two of
them leaving Murray in tears.
Murray sobbed after pushing Fed-
erer to three hard-fought sets in the
2010 Australian final, and at Wim-
bledon last year the Scot wept during
his on-court interview, blubbering
the words getting closer.
It all changed for Murray with his
breakthrough triumph over Novak
Djokovic at last Septembers US Open
final to become the first British man
in 76 years to win a Grand Slam.
Federer, at 31, is looking to add to
his record 17 Grand Slam victories
but Murray looms as a major obsta-
cle ahead of Sundays final against
Djokovic, who crushed David Ferrer
in straight sets in yesterdays semi-
I dont go into it with a mindset
that Ive never lost to him in Slams,
Federer said. Hes beaten me so
many times. Hes beaten me more
times than Ive beaten him.
Ill try to remember that when I
walk out, but it doesnt play a huge
role for me.
Federer said although Murray has
changed to a more offensive style un-
der the coaching of taskmaster Ivan
Lendl, he is looking forward to the
tactical battle.
I always enjoyed the match-ups
with him because it gets to be very
tactical, it wasnt a straightforward
match, he said.
He would make you doubt and
play very different to the rest of the
guys. I always enjoyed that when its
just not every points the same. We
used to mix it up against each other.
Now its changed a bit because
hes playing more offensive. The ral-
lies arent as long and gruelling as
they used to be. We both can do that.
Federer, who needed five match
points before overcoming French
seventh-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
in a five-set quarter-final, is into his
10th straight Australian semi-final
among a record 33 appearances in the
last four of a Grand Slam.
He is bidding to become only the
second man to win five Australian
titles, after Australias Roy Emerson
won six in the 1960s.
Murray, a runner-up twice in Aus-
tralia, has yet to drop a set in the
tournament and has been on court
almost two hours less than Federer in
reaching the semi-final.
His quarter-final win over French-
man Jeremy Chardy took his winning
streak at the majors to 12, including
his US Open triumph, and he will be
playing in his 12th Grand Slam semi-
For me the Chardy match was a
decent test. I played a lot of tennis in
December. I had some good (lead-up)
matches in Brisbane.
So I cant be disappointed about
being in the semis of a Slam without
dropping a set. That would be silly,
Murray said.
I think you have to trust yourself
that when you are tested youre go-
ing to play better tennis. You never
know for sure. But in the build-up to
the tournament I played very well. I
havent lost a set here yet.
Ive done a good job so far in this
tournament. I cant be disappointed
with where my games at and I hope
the next round I play better again.
Murray is on a nine-match win-
ning run so far this year after defend-
ing his Brisbane title and is looking
to become the only first-time Grand
Slam winner to immediately claim a
second major at the next opportunity.
I feel probably a little bit calmer
maybe than usual, Murray said. But
I still have an understanding of how
difficult it is to win these events.
With the players that are still left
in the tournament, its going to be a
very tough, tough few days if I want
to do that.
Federer seeks to extend mastery over Murray
Gulf Times
Friday, January 25, 2013
Stenson and four fellow European golfers win the penalty shootout 8-7
By Sports Reporter
anish golfer Thorbjorn
Olesen was yesterday pre-
sented with a Wayne Roon-
ey-signed, personalised
Manchester United jersey following
his four-under 68 at the Commercial
Bank Qatar Masters.
The Red Devils players Wayne
Rooney, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Ra-
fael among others who were in Doha
for a winter football camp, had visited
the Doha Golf Club on Wednesday.
On the second day, Olesen also
spoke about how it was a dream come
true to be playing with his childhood
idol Thomas Bjorn at the Qatar Mas-
ters. Its an honour for me. If you
had said that to me five years ago, I
wouldnt believe it, but yeah, its a
great honor for me to play these two
rounds with him, he said.
By Sports Reporter
he 2013 Commercial
Bank Qatar Masters golf
tournament will play
host to a number of in-
ternational music stars, who
will perform live shows in the
Public Village at Doha Golf Club
this weekend. The concerts will
take place following the end of
play today and tomorrow, from
around 6pm.
Headlining is global star Na-
tasha Bedingeld, who will play
a full concert for golf fans today
as part of the entertainment
provided by tournament organ-
isers the Qatar Golf Association
(QGA), Qatar Olympic Commit-
tee (QOC) and Commercial Bank
of Qatar.
Grammy-nominated Beding-
eld has sold over two million
albums worldwide and was the
rst British female solo artist in
almost 20years to have a number
one single in the USA, with her
huge hit, Unwritten. Famous for
tracks including Single, These
Words, Pocketful of Sunshine
andSoulmate, Bedingeldis sure
to wow audiences at Doha Golf
Club with her rst ever perform-
ance in Qatar.
Bedingeld, who is based in
London and LA, will be followed
by Dublin band the Stars From
The Commitments, who will
perform following the Champi-
onship trophy presentation to-
morrow. Distinctive blues band
Congo Faith Healers and popular
party group Madhen will also
performtoday and tomorrowre-
Evening entertainment will
begin at approximately 6pm to-
day and tomorrow. The days
entry tickets and weekend sea-
son tickets include entry to the
evening concerts.
Tickets are available to pur-
chase online from www.vir-, and in-store
from Virgin Megastore shops in
Villaggio Mall and Landmark
Mall, Doha, as well as Doha Golf
Club. Regular entry tickets for
adults are priced as follows:
Today: QR125
Tomorrow: QR125
Children under 15 enter for
free; evening entertainment is
for over 18 only.
the fan,
Bedingfeld to
perform today
By Sports Reporter
enrik Stenson and four fel-
low European Tour golfers
edged Al Sadd youngsters
8-7 in a fun-lled football
penalty shootout after yesterdays
secondroundof the Commercial Bank
Qatar Masters at Doha Golf Club.
Stenson and fellow Swede Alexan-
der Noren, Spaniards Pablo Larraza-
bal and Rafa Cabrera-Bello, and tow-
ering Englishman Chris Wood each
took two penalties.
Al Sadds towering goalkeeper Mo-
hammed Jamal, 19, faced shots from
both sets of players, including his
teammates Hisham Mohammed (19),
Ossama Mowlood (16) and Iss Al Arab
Mowlood (12). The youngsters led 4-3
after the rst round of penalties, before
each of the golfers converted their sec-
ondattempts towinbya goal.
Stensons victory inthe South Afri-
can Open last November was his sev-
enth European Tour title, while he has
also won twice in the US, competed in
the 2006 and 2008 Ryder Cups, and
tied for third in the 2008 and 2010
Open Championships. Noren, Lar-
razabal and Cabrera-Bello are also
multiple winners on the European
Tour. The third and fourth rounds of
the Commercial Bank Qatar Mas-
ters will be held today and tomorrow.
Wood nished the second round at
seven-under, two shots behind the
leaders, while Noren (six-under),
Stenson (ve-under) and Cabrera-
Bello (one-under) will also compete
this weekend.
Team Golf edge Al Sadd
in football challenge
Doha Golf Club president Hassan al-Nuaimi (centre) watches the proceedings on the second
day of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters yesterday. PICTURE: Jayaram
The second day of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters saw many fans making
their way around the Doha Golf Club. PICTURES: Jayaram
uropean Ryder Cup stars Ser-
gio Garcia and Martin Kaymer
have bolstered their chances
at the Commercial Bank Qatar
Masters with awless second rounds
of 66 and 67 respectively at the Doha
Golf Club yesterday.
They now share the lead with Aus-
tralian Marcus Fraser and overnight
leader Ricardo Santos with an ag-
gregate of nine-under par 135, while a
bunch of ve golfers were in joint sec-
ond spot with 136.
However, it is curtains for defend-
ing champion Paul Lawrie, who was
eyeing a hat-trick of titles here in
Doha. The Scot failed to make the cut
after nishing the rst two rounds on
Lawrie started his second round
with birdies on the rst, third and
fourth holes but struggled on the back
nine with a bogey on the 12th and a
double bogey on the par four 15th hole
to nish on72 for the day.
A dejected Lawrie later tweeted:
Another shockingdaywiththeputter
34 putts for 72 hit it awesome going to
miss the cut by one. Unbelievable.
World No 4 Justin Rose, the top-
ranked player in the eld, carded a 71
to share 20th place atve-under, one
ahead of World Number Five Louis
Oosthuizen, who signed for a 69.
Santos, who started the day with
a score of seven under, missed out on
the opportunity to pull away fromthe
rest of the pack after starting the day
ona high.
The 30-year-old birdied on the
rst, third, fourth, 10th and 12th holes
but bogeys on the seventh, 11th and
15th let himdown.
Despite having a mixed day, San-
tos was pretty pleased with his per-
formance saying, I was feeling really
well today and played quite well also.
Struck the ball very well, I just missed
a few shots but still happy with the
round. The afternoon wind was a lit-
tle bit stronger than the morning, so
Imhappy with two-under this after-
Ryder Cup-winning teammates
Garcia and Kaymer were simply ex-
ceptional yesterday. Garcia shot a 66
and Kaymer returned a 67 to be with
Fraser and Santos.
While the German played in Abu
Dhabi last week and came joint sixth,
this is Garcias rst appearance of the
I denitely feel like I played a little
bit better than yesterday. Hit a good
amount of good shots,Garcia said.
Overall it was good. I gave my-
self a lot of good chances for birdies.
Hit some good putts that didnt go
and then made some nice ones, too.
So overall, cant be disappointed, he
said, adding that the afternoon wind
madeit toughenoughtochoosesome
of the right cubs and it made some tee
shots a little bit tougher.
Kaymer revealed that he had bet-
tered his performance from the last
few rounds he played in Abu Dhabi.
It was okay. I played a lot better. But
I was a little fortunate today. A few
putts I dropped but on those greens
that happens sometime and I think
9-under is a good position to be in,
felt Kaymer.
Most of the golfers were not happy
with the greens and Kaymer was also
of the view that it could have been a
little better.
You come here and its a beau-
tiful golf course and this year,
the greens are struggling a little
bit. But overall to play with Justin
(Rose) and Louis (Oosthuizen) was
fun. We had a good time and now
we look forward to the weekend,
said Kaymer.
Australias Fraser, starting fromthe
back nine on four under, managed
a bogey-free round with birdies on
rst, second, fourth, sixthandseventh
I played well but it was a little
bit scrappy down the last hole and
somehow managed to scramble a par.
Made few birdies once I got on the
back nine, which was the front nine,
so that was nice, said a delighted
Fraser adding, It was denitely one
of those courses where you need to
be patient and just take your chances
where you can get them. Denitely
did that on the second nine so that
was nice.
New Zealander Michael Campbell
made his presence felt for the second
week running with a front-nine 32
that took himto eight under.
Among the big names who failed
to make the cut were 2003 champion
Darren Fichardt (two over), 2007
winner Retief Goosen (one over).
Jose Maria Olazabal of Spain and Co-
lin Montgomerie of Scotland also saw
their campaign come to a premature
Friday, January 25, 2013
Rabia-I 13, 1434 AH
India lucky to
have Dhoni:
Page 34
NBA | Page 30 CRICKET | Page 31
Reds refreshed
afer Qatar
Howard hurt as
Lakers routed in
FOOTBALL | Page 32
Azarenka row as
Djokovic storms
to fnal
Hat-trick chasing Paul Lawrie misses the cut
Jaidee keeps
hopes alive,
SSP makes cut
Garcia, Kaymer
light up Qatar
ByMikhil Bhat
fter two days of impressive
golf at the Doha Golf Club,
Thailands Thongchai Jaidee
is in with the best chance to
become the rst Asian to win Com-
mercial Bank Qatar Masters.
The 2009 AsianOrder of Merit win-
ner carded a 3 under 69 on the second
day yesterday to take his total to a 5
under 139 with two more rounds to go.
The 43-year-old had a bogey-free
day with three birdies on the front
nine on the third, fourth and the
eighth holes to comfortably make
the cut and stay within four shots of
the lead.
Compatriot Prom Meesawat also
made the cut with a 1-under score for
the day and a 2-under overall. Start-
ing on the back nine, Meesawat began
with two birdies and another one on
the 18th. The front nine, however, un-
did his work with two bogeys pulling
Indias SSP Chowrasia had an
anxious second half yesterday af-
ter he carded a 1 over yesterday
morning settling for a 1 under for
the two days. With the likes of Marcus
Fraser and Martin Kaymer going at 9
under, the 34-year-old just made the
I neither hit the irons very well nor
the putts. I couldnt get the iron shots
closer to the hole, which meant that
my birdie chances took a hit, Chow-
rasia told Gulf Times. And whatever
birdie chances I got, I couldnt putt
Chowrasia managed two putts on
the back nine, but it was the one on
the 17th that gave himat least a chance
to make the cut after having hit three
bogeys on the front nine.
Thankfully, I managed a putt
on the 17th, giving me a birdie, he
said. The situation is very tight. My
progress now depends on someone
else nowand I do not like that one bit.
Hopefully I will make it. That he did.
Compatriot Jeev Milkha Singh,
however, had only half his Wednes-
days wish granted yesterday. The
41-year-old had told Gulf Times that
he would have been happy with a
birdie each on the rst and the last
While he did manage a birdie on
the 18th, and three more birdies on
the back nine, he had started his day
with two consecutive bogeys. Another
bogey on the fth and two double bo-
geys, on the ninth and 14th didnt help
his cause at all.
It was not too good today. Lot
of errant shots. Hit birdies on the
back nine but obviously wasnt good
enough to take me through to the
weekend, he said.
I will have to work hard on my iron
play and a bit of driving too consider-
ing I havent practiced much on my
driving with my nger niggle. Thats
what I plan to do next fewdays.
When asked if his nger niggle
hampered his game, he said, It was
paining a little bit. But you know you
get into wrong habits with the injury,
and you want to start doing the right
stuf and trusting yourself on the
course more.
I have exemptions on the Euro-
pean Tour, the Asian Tour and also on
the Japan Tour, so I amnot under any
pressure to play but I just dont like
sitting and home and do nothing, he
Meanwhile, the two Qatari ama-
teurs, Saleh al-Kaabi and Ghanim al-
Kuwari didnot makethecut at the$2.5
million tournament with the scores of
15 over and 17 over respectively.
THE PERFECT SWING: Sergio Garcia of Spain in action during the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters Golf Tournament at the Doha Golf Club here yesterday.
PICTURE: Jayaram
135 -Martin Kaymer (GER) 68-67, Ricardo Santos (POR) 65-70, Sergio Garcia (ESP) 68-
67, Marcus Fraser (AUS) 68-67 ; 136 -George Coetzee (RSA) 69-67, Felipe Aguilar (CHI)
69-67, Michael Campbell (NZL) 68-68, Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN) 68-68, Gary Lockerbie
(ENG) 67-69; 137 -Garth Mulroy (RSA) 69-68, Andreas Harto (DEN), Alexandre Kaleka
(FRA) 66-71, Chris Wood (ENG) 67-70, Anthony Wall (ENG) 66-71; 138 -Jbe Kruger (RSA)
70-68, Paul Casey (ENG) 70-68, Brenden Grace (RSA) 70-68, Alexander Noren (SWE) 71-
67, Andy Sullivan (ENG) 67-71; 139 -Michael Hoey (NIR) 70-69, Lorenzo Gagli (ITA) 68-71,
Justin Rose (ENG) 68-71, Thomas Aiken (RSA) 71-68, Anders Hansen (DEN) 68-71, Henrik
Stenson (SWE) 70-69, Gregory Havret (FRA) 70-69, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (SPA)
69-70, Mikael Lundberg (SWE) 72-67, Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 70-69, Peter Whiteford
(SCO) 66-73.
Overall it was good. I gave
myself alot of goodchances for
birdies. Hit somegoodputts that
didnt go andthenmade some
nice ones, too. Sooverall, cant