NO: 16622
150 FILS
THULQADA 12, 1436 AH
US reporter, cameraman
killed in on-air shooting
Gunman kills self after posting attack video online
Saudi suspect in
Khobar Towers
attack arrested
WASHINGTON: A man suspected in the 1996
bombing of the Khobar Towers residence at a US
military base in Saudi Arabia has been captured, a
US official said yesterday. Ahmed Al-Mughassil,
described by the FBI in 2001 as the head of the military wing of Saudi Hezbollah, is suspected of leading the attack that killed 19 US service personnel
and wounded almost 500 people. The June 25,
1996, bombing at Khobar
Towers, a military housing
complex, was the deadliest such attack targeting
US forces since the 1983
bombing of the US
Marines’ barracks in
Beirut that killed 241
American servicemen.
Saudi paper Asharq
Alawsat, which first
reported the development, said he was arrestAhmed Al-Mughassil ed in Beirut and transferred to Riyadh. The
Saudi Interior Ministry had no immediate comment.
Mughassil, also known as Abu Omran, is one of 13
people named in a 2001 indictment in Alexandria,
Virginia, in connection with the bombing. Charges
include murder of federal employees and bombing
resulting in death. None of the 13 has yet been
brought to court to face charges, according to court
documents. The lead prosecutor listed in court
records from 2001 is James Comey, now the FBI
In the Khobar attack, militants parked a fuel trailer truck just outside the shallow perimeter of the
apartment complex, 85 feet away from one of the
eight-story buildings. The blast demolished one
side of the building, leaving a massive crater.
Continued on Page 13
Thirsty Mideast
faces water stress
Kuwait worst affected
BARCELONA: Nearly half of 33 countries
expected to face extremely high water stress
by 2040 are in the Middle East, where surface
water is limited and demand is high, said
experts who ranked 167 nations. Thirteen
Middle Eastern countries plus the Palestinian
Territories are projected to face extremely
high water stress in 25 years’ time, and eight
fell in the global Top 10: Bahrain, Kuwait, the
Palestinian Territories, Qatar, United Arab
Emirates, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Oman.
Researchers from the World Resources
Institute (WRI) - who compiled the first index
measuring competition for and depletion of
surface water, such as lakes and rivers, each
decade from 2010 to 2040 - said the Middle
East is already probably the least watersecure region in the world. It draws heavily
on groundwater and desalinated sea water,
and faces “exceptional water-related challenges for the foreseeable future”, they wrote
in their findings.
Betsy Otto, director of the WRI’s Global
Water Programme, said it was important for
governments to understand the potential
risks they face in terms of the water needed
to run their economies, including rising
demand as populations grow and the still
uncertain impacts of climate change. “The
good news ... is countries can take actions to
reduce that stress and the risk associated
with how they manage water resources,” Otto
told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, citing
Singapore as an example of a state that uses
innovative methods.
Continued on Page 13
In this framegrab from video posted on social media, Vester Lee
Flanagan II aims a gun over the shoulder of WDBJ-TV cameraman
Adam Ward at reporter Alison Parker as she conducts a live on-air
interview yesterday. Thumbnail images at left show (top to bottom)
victims Parker and Ward, and the shooter Flanagan. — AP
Min 30º
Max 46º
High Tide
09:05 & 22:50
Low Tide
02:25 & 16:05
MONETA, Virginia: A TV reporter and cameraman were
shot to death during a live television interview yesterday by a gunman who recorded himself carrying out
the killings and posted the video on social media after
fleeing the scene. Authorities identified the suspect as a
journalist who had been fired from the station earlier
this year. Hours later and hundreds of miles away, he ran
off the road and a trooper found him with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He died at a hospital later yesterday.
The shots rang out on-air as reporter Alison Parker
and cameraman Adam Ward were presenting a local
tourism story at an outdoor shopping mall. Viewers saw
her scream and run, and she could be heard saying “Oh
my God,” as she fell. Ward fell, too, and the camera he
had been holding on his shoulder captured a fleeting
image of the suspect holding a handgun.
WDBJ quickly switched back to the anchor at the station, her eyes large and jaw dropping as she said, “OK,
not sure what happened there.” The station later went
live again, reporting on their own station and staff as
the story developed. Parker and Ward were killed as the
gunman fired about 15 shots. Their interview subject,
Vicki Gardner, was in stable condition later yesterday
after surgery for her wounds.
The gunman was Vester Lee Flanagan II, 41, of
Roanoke, who appeared on WDBJ as Bryce Williams,
authorities said. Jeffrey Marks, WDBJ’s president and
general manager, said Flanagan had to be escorted by
police out of the station when he was fired. Marks
described him as “an unhappy man” and “difficult to
work with,” always “looking out for people to say things
he could take offense to”. “Eventually after many incidents of his anger coming to the fore, we dismissed
him. He did not take that well,” Marks explained.
Video posted hours after the shooting on Bryce
Williams’ Twitter account and Facebook page showed
an outstretched arm holding the handgun and firing
repeatedly at Parker as she tried to run away. The shooter appeared to walk up to the victims and stand a few
feet away from them while holding the weapon. The
three, in the midst of a live TV interview, do not seem to
notice the gunman, who doesn’t start shooting until
Ward points the camera at Parker. Ward was engaged to
a producer at the station, Melissa Ott, who was celebrating her last day on the job and was in the control room,
watching it live, as the shooting unfolded, Marks said.
Continued on Page 13
Basmati grown
at Wafra farm
KUWAIT: A Kuwaiti farmer, Yusuf Swilem Al-Kribani,
has managed to grow basmati rice in Kuwait for the
first time. Despite adverse conditions, he grew the
Indian basmati on his farm in Wafra. Eventual success has capped many failure attempts, Kribani told
KUNA yesterday.
He added that basmati needs a soil capable of
holding water for longer periods, such as heavy
neutral soils (clay, clay loam and loamy), and be
overwhelmed by water. So Kribani used closed cultivation basins with no holes. He pointed to other
personal attempts to produce black tomatoes and
white strawberries. This is a message that Kuwait is
able to grow most crops, he noted — KUNA
AHMEDABAD: Indian commuters pass by a damaged bus which was set on fire
during clashes yesterday. — AP
India’s Hindu population
drops, Muslim ratio rises
9 killed in Gujarat caste protests
TEHRAN: Iranian shoeshine man Mohammad Ali Hassan Khani, whose nickname
is Aliwaxima, drives his racy-red motorized stiletto on a street on Aug 19, 2015
in the capital. — AFP (See Page 37)
KUWAIT: Kuwaiti farmer Yusuf Al-Kribani shows
stalks of basmati rice that he managed to grow
at his Wafra farm. — KUNA
Hindus have dropped below 80 percent
of the population for the first time since
independence and media had speculated the previous government deliberately
delayed the release of the data because
it showed a rise in the Muslim population. Members of Prime Minister
Narendra Modi’s ruling Hindu nationalist
party, which swept to power last year,
have expressed growing concern about
the rising numbers of Muslims. The census data shows that Hindus declined to
79.8 percent of the country’s 1.2 billion
people in 2011, from 80.5 percent a
decade earlier.
The share of Muslims rose to 14.2 percent from 13.4 percent in 2001 - the only
major religious group to record a rise.
Christians stayed at 2.3 percent and Sikhs
fell to 1.7 percent from 1.9 percent.
Sakshi Maharaj, a Hindu priest-turnedpolitician, caused an uproar earlier this
year when he said Hindu women should
give birth to four children to ensure that
their religion survives.
In the first census, conducted after
Britain carved India and Pakistan out of
colonial India in 1947, Hindus accounted
for 84.1 percent of the Indian population.
Although population growth is slowing
in all religious groups, India is still set to
overtake China to become the world’s
most populous country by 2022, according to a United Nations forecast. India’s
population grew by almost a fifth during
the period between the last two censuses, straining supplies of land, food and
water and bloating its underemployed,
poorly skilled workforce.
Separately, at least nine people have
died in the worst violence to hit Narendra
Modi’s home state in more than a decade,
police said yesterday, as the Indian prime
minister appealed for calm.
Continued on Page 13
HH the Deputy Amir and Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah meets
HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.
HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah meets Deputy Prime Minister and
Minister of Defense Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah.
HH the Prime Minister receives a gift from Ambassador
Essa Abdulrahman Al-Essa.
Crown Prince receives
top state officials
KUWAIT: His Highness the Deputy Amir and Crown Prince
Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah received at
Bayan Palace yesterday His Highness the Prime Minister
Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah. Sheikh
Nawaf also received Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of
Defense Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah, Minister of
Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Sheikh
Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah, and Director
General and Chairman of the Board for the Public
Authority for Youth and Sport (PAYS) Sheikh Ahmad
Mansour Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. Separately, Sheikh
Jaber Al-Mubarak received Ambassador Essa Abdulrahman
Al-Essa, who presented a book to him titled ‘Four Decades
of Diplomatic Work.’ — KUNA
Bahrain, Kuwait keen
on cementing ties
MANAMA: The Kingdom of Bahrain and the
State of Kuwait are keen on cementing further the mutual cooperation and brotherly
ties bonding them since a long period of
time, Bahraini Prime Minister Prince Khalifa
bin Salman Al-Khalifa affirmed yesterday. The
Bahraini Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin
Salman Al-Khalifa meets Kuwait’s
Ambassador Sheikh Azzam Al-Mubarak AlSabah.
Prime Minister made his statements during a
reception of the Dean of the Diplomatic
Corps and the State of Kuwait’s Ambassador
to the Kingdom, Sheikh Azzam Al-Mubarak
Al-Sabah, the Kuwaiti Embassy in Bahrain said
in a statement.
Prince Khalifa voiced satisfaction at the
continuing improvement in these ties, during
the meeting with Ambassador Sheikh Azzam,
the statement added. Meanwhile, the ambassador expressed satisfaction at the level of the
bilateral relations, noting that the Prime
Minister is largely credited for the warmth in
the bilateral relations between the two countries. These ties have become “a stark example”
for the inter-GCC relations, he said. Bahrain
and Kuwait are members of the six-seat GCC,
founded in the early 1980s to bolster ties and
mutual cooperation. These two regional countries have particularly maintained warm relations since many years ago. — KUNA
HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah meets Information and Youth Affairs Minister Sheikh Salman AlHumoud Al-Sabah, and PAYS’ Director General and Chairman of the Board Sheikh Ahmad Al-Mansour Al-Sabah.
Project adds 632 beds to Adan Hospital
KUWAIT: Ahmadi Governor Sheikh Fawaz AlKhaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah received a team
from Adan Hospital led by Director Dr Bader AlOtaibi to discuss the latest developments
regarding the hospital’s expansion project.
Officials from the company that is carrying out
the project attended the meeting as well. The
governor underlined the project’s importance
in serving the increasing demands of the government’s residence in light of expansion projects and demographic boom that it currently
witnesses. Meanwhile, Otaibi said that the new
project is set to increase the hospital’s bed
capacity by an additional 632 beds, and will
Ahmadi Governor Sheikh Fawaz Al-Khaled meets a team
from Adan Hospital.
A model of the Adan Hospital expansion project.
also include adding 40 operation rooms and a
strategic medicine storehouse.
Separately, Hawally Governor Sheikh Ahmad
Al-Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah received the
Egyptian Ambassador to Kuwait Abdulkareem
Suleiman yesterday on the occasion of ending
his tenure in the country.
Hawally Governor Sheikh Ahmad Al-Nawaf meets
Egyptian Ambassador Abdulkareem Suleiman.
HH Sheikh Nawaf receives a gift presented by the Kuwait Sea Sports Club during the
KUWAIT: His Highness the Deputy Amir and Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, top officials and participants at the 27th
Pearl Diving Commemorative Trip are pictured in a group photo at the ceremony. — KUNA
HH Sheikh Nawaf is pictured with two young pearl divers.
Crown Prince attends
pearl diving ceremony
KUWAIT: His Highness the Deputy Amir and Crown Prince
Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah attended the
ceremony of the 27th Pearl Diving Commemorative Trip,
which took place recently under the patronage of His
Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah. The ceremony was held at Bayan Palace yesterday.
During the event, His Highness the Crown Prince
received Minister of Information and Minister of State for
Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Sabah Salem Al-Humoud AlSabah, Director General of the Public Authority for Youth
and Sports Sheikh Ahmad Mansour Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah, Deputy Director General of the authority Ahmad AlKhazal, Chairman of Kuwait Sea Sport Club (KSSC) Fahad
Al-Fahad and participants of the expedition, organized by
KSSC from August 6 to 13.
His Highness the Amir pays much attention towards
preserving the old Kuwaiti tradition of diving to teach
youth the values of cooperation and loyalty between society members, said His Highness Sheikh Nawaf in his opening speech. Meanwhile, His Highness praised the efforts of
participants from the UAE and Bahrain to create a successful experience out of the diving expedition.
Struggle and efforts
The Minister of Information on his part noted the
importance of reminding youth of the struggle and efforts
“of our ancestors who faced the dangers of diving to make
a living.” The expedition had taught about 200 youth the
(Second row, from left) Captain Khalifa Al-Rashid, KSSC Chairman Fahad AlFahad, HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and
Information and Youth Affairs Minister Sheikh Salman Al-Humoud AlSabah are pictured with children at the ceremony.
values of patience and unity in facing challenges, amidst
severe weather conditions, he added.
KSSC Chairman Fahad also delivered a speech in the
ceremony, where he noted that the expedition aimed to
attract attention towards protecting marine environment
and fish resources, an initiative presented by Kuwait
Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) last
The trip’s theme ‘Those are my sons’ represents the aim
behind the event, which is brining all segments of the
Kuwaiti society closer, he noted. The theme follows the
famous sentence said by His Highness the Amir upon his
arrival at the scene of Al-Sadeq Mosque terrorist explosion
last June, he added. — KUNA
Young divers display pictures taken from the trip to HH the Crown Prince.
Documentary released on Americani hospital
Celebrating 100 years of Kuwait’s first hospital
By Nawara Fattahova
KUWAIT: On the occasion of the 100th anniversary since
building the first hospital in Kuwait’s history, a documentary was released on the American Hospital, otherwise
known as ‘Americani’ hospital.
This documentary was screened on Tuesday at the
Dar Al-Athar Al-Islamiyyah, the Americani Cultural
Center, and was attended by the Minister of Information
Sheikh Salman Al-Humoud Al-Sabah and other officials.
Also in the event, the National Council for Culture, Arts
and Letters (NCCAL) awarded those who worked on this
This documentary was produced by the Arab
Information Center and was screened in cooperation
with the NCCAL. Jasim Al-Ghareeb, the author of this
documentary gave a short speech about the idea of the
documentary. “Through this documentary we aimed to
appreciate the efforts and services of those who served
in this hospital and saved the lives of hundreds of people during the first half of last century. It’s an hour-long
docudrama narrating the stories that took place in this
hospital,” Ghareeb said during the event.
The Americani Hospital, which is now a historical
building and cultural center lying on the seaside, has
great value for the Kuwaitis and served them from 1914
till 1967. “This hospital was the first concrete building in
Kuwait and a gate to the modern medicine in Kuwait,
although it was originally built for missionary purpose.
This docudrama answers the question why this hospital
continued working although it failed in realizing its
Christian missionary mission. It also speaks about how
the Kuwaiti doctors and pharmacists were working with
their American and local counterparts regardless of cultural and religious differences,” Ghareeb said.
Digital technology
This docudrama was shot with the cinema digital
technology to give it high quality and to make it suitable
to be shown anywhere. It also includes some old documentary scenes to give credibility. Also the scenes were
shot as if it were shot during the past century through
used cameras, technologies and direction, so the audience will live the feeling of its history.
Producing this docudrama took huge efforts. “To
shoot this movie I built an imitation of the hospital. I also
made long research in old documents and photos to get
the correct outfits and accessories, from which some
were antiques. Also I bought some of the medical tools
such as the dentist’s chair, operations’ room and the Xray machine from auctions held in different countries.
And whatever wasn’t found in these auctions were made
locally,” he said.
“When the government preserves this building, it
expresses the loyalty to humanitarian work, far from politics, and addresses the humanitarian message that
Kuwait is the center of humanity and supports it,” concluded Ghareeb.
This documentary included recordings of interviews
made in the past with the real personalities from that
time or their family members.
The Americani Hospital provided great services for
Kuwaitis. It was in this hospital where the injured soldiers in Al-Jahra and Al-Riqqa Battles were treated. Also
many diseases and epidemics were treated there, including the serious epidemic of smallpox in 1930 where it
was treated by American missionary members, including
Drs Miller, Beneath, Eleanor (Khatoon Halima), Iskandar
and others who followed them.
Scenes from the documentary.
KUWAIT: Jasim Al-Ghareeb presents a memento to Information Minister
Sheikh Salman Al-Humoud Al-Sabah. — Photos by Joseph Shagra
Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled is seen in a group photo with Kuwaiti students he met during his recent visit to the United States.
Minister mourns painter
Abdul-Aziz Al-Sayyar
KUWAIT: Minister of Information and
Minister of State for Youth Affairs Sheikh
Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Humoud AlSabah mourned yesterday the passing
of distinguished painter and TV and
stage artist Abdul-Aziz Al-Sayyar. The
minister praised in a press statement
the artistic talents and prowess of the
deceased who started his career in
Kuwait TV where he worked in numerous soap operas as the one in charge of
WASHINGTON: Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled Al-Sabah is seen during a
meeting with US Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson. —KUNA
Interior Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled shakes hands
with US Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson.
Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled welcomes a Kuwaiti student.
props. Furthermore, the minister said
that Sayyar also worked as a producer
on many stage plays at the Al-Araby
Playhouse, where he garnered accolades for some of the plays he worked
on. He moreover was a competent
painter, whose works were shown in
exhibits both inside and outside of
Kuwait, said the minister, noting that
the show business community will miss
his departure. —KUNA
Women to work as security
guards at Parliament: official
KUWAIT: Having women guards at the
National Assembly has come to be a
necessity amid the security conditions and
developments in the country, an official
said yesterday. Opening the door for
female volunteers to join the parliament’s
guards, for the first time, aims to cope with
changes that prompt developing the
security system, Assistant Secretary
General for National Assembly Security
Guard Affairs Major General Khaled AlWaqeet said in a statement.
Their duties will include inspecting
and frisking women, both staff and visitors, Waqeet said, noting that the new
Assembly building that will be opened in
six months’ time will provide all the
needs of the woman guards.
In line with directives by Speaker
Marzouq Al-Ghanem, coordination meetings have been held with Interior Ministry
officials to set the mechanisms and conditions for volunteers to join the guard
force, he said. Women started joining the
ministry seven years ago. The deadline for
those willing to apply for a guard at the
parliament is August 31. —KUNA
Major General Khaled Al-Waqeet
Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled and Secretary Johnson exit the
Interior Minister discusses security
co-operation with US counterpart
WASHINGTON: Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister
and Minister of Interior Sheikh Mohammad AlKhaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah met with US Secretary
of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson in the US capital late Tuesday. During the meeting, the two
sides discussed aspects of bilateral relations and
ways to bolster them, commending solid mutual
security cooperation between the two countries
and expressed satisfaction towards the level of
bilateral coordination in anti-terrorism and ports
security fields.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled
expressed his gratitude to Johnson for facilitations
provided by US security authorities to Kuwaiti citizens, residents, and visitors to the United States,
particularly patients and Kuwaiti students. Sheikh
Mohammad also requested further facilitations in
visa issuances for patients and students in order to
encourage larger numbers of Kuwaiti students to
study in US universities. The meeting was attended
by Kuwaiti Ambassador to the US Sheikh Salem
Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Kuwait’s MoI’s
Assistant Undersecretary for Criminal Security
Affairs Major General Abdulhamid Al-Awadhi,
Assistant Undersecretary for State Security Major
General Issam Salem Al-Nahham and Colonel
Khaled Al-Majed. —KUNA
Kuwaiti policewomen.
Water security forum held at Kuwaiti pavilion
Inventor presents Braille pen at Expo Milano
MILAN: The Kuwaiti pavilion at Expo Milano
2015 organized yesterday a comprehensive
forum dealing with water security in Kuwait in
conjunction with the Kuwaiti Ministries of
Public Works and that of Water and Electricity.
Adel Al-Saffar, a water specialist at the
ministry of Public Works, presented a workpaper at the forum on the functions of the
ministry which involves, among other things,
treating drainage or waste water for multiple
uses, not excluding irrigation and attempts at
forestation. Using waste water for industrial or
agricultural purposes lifts much pressure on
the ministry in its desalination operations
aimed at providing the public with fresh
drinking water, said Saffar.
Suhaila Maarafi, another water specialist at
the ministry presented, a work-paper at the
forum on the history of water in Kuwait, from
early beginnings at acquiring fresh water in
difficult circumstances dictated by the arid
nature of the country’s topography to eventually, after the discovery of oil, building water
desalination plants, numbering currently ten,
to provide the nation with its water needs.
Khadija Bushehri, another specialist at the
ministry, presented yet another work-paper
on the ministry’s efforts to not only desalinate
sea water but also ensure its high potable
quality. She indicated that the ministry has
two specialty centers where this insurance is
constantly maintained.
She made references to the ministry’s labs
that closely monitor water quality through
running chemical and biological tests and issu-
ing special studies for developing effective
approaches to producing high-quality potable
water. In doing so, the ministry keeps abreast
of the newest developments in water production worldwide, she said.
Braille pen
Meanwhile, visitors of Expo Milano 2015
have expressed their admiration for Kuwaiti
MILAN: A scene from a forum held at the Kuwaiti pavilion at Expo
Milano 2015 yesterday. —KUNA
inventor Shaikha Al-Majid’s new tool to help
blind people write, easily and without much
effort. The Kuwaiti youth has presented her
invention at Kuwait’s pavilion in the Expo,
which is a special pen for the blind and a
device to easily print the Braille characters.
The invention had won a patent in the US.
The invention would make writing in
Braille effortless and easier than the traditional way blind people use, Majid said yesterday.
She added that the pen is of regular size
works by pushing it with the thumb, so the
writer can write in the Braille way, easily and
without difficulty. Visitors of the Kuwaiti pavilion applauded the unique Kuwaiti invention
which will be a handy and helpful tool for the
blind to express their thoughts.
Biomedical engineering
In other news, the 37th Annual
International Conference of the IEEE
Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society
(EMBS) kicked off in Milan yesterday with
Kuwait taking part in this event. The theme of
the Conference remarks the central role of
biomedical engineering in the improvement
and innovation of health care. The event will
continue till August 29th. The Kuwaiti delegation, partaking in the event for the first time,
will introduce two papers on Kuwait’s experience with biomedical engineering. The EMBS
was established on September 1st, 2005. A
branch for the EMBS was established in
Kuwait in 2010.
Dubai Expo 2020
Separately, the UAE is preparing to host
the Dubai Expo 2020 capitalizing on the success of the current event held in Milan. Dubai,
a world international hub for business and
tourism, will be the venue for the event which
dates back to the 19th century. The Expo has
been held 34 times since. The UAE won the
honor of hosting the Expo 2020 back in
November 27th, 2013 after beating Russia,
Turkey, and Brazil via voting.
Deputy high commissioner at the UAE
pavilion in Expo Milan 2015 Abdullah AlAidarous said that Dubai will surprise the
world during the holding of the event in 2020.
The location in which the event would be
held is about 20 percent complete, said the
Kuwaiti inventor Shaikha Al-Majid
official, noting that by the time the Expo will
be held, the world should get ready to be
Dubai Expo 2020 is expected to attract
participants from 180 countries with the estimated number of 25 million visitors of which
70 percent are expected to be from abroad.
The event will be held from October 20th to
April 20th, added the official. On the current
UAE participation, Aidarous said that visitors
were delighted to track down Dubai’s development from mostly a desert area into a
colossal/world renowned economic center
and metropolis. —KUNA
Kuwait dismisses any
change in status quo
of Durra oilfield
KUWAIT: An official at the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry affirmed
yesterday that there is no change in the status quo of the AlDurra oilfield, located within Kuwait’s territorial waters. The
official was commenting on a report by the National Iranian
Oil Company (NIOC) regarding the investment opportunities
in the Islamic republic; the report covered areas located near
the Kuwaiti oilfield. The Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry dealt with all
aspects of the matter and called in the Charge D’Affaires of the
Iranian Embassy on Sunday to hand him a protest note, the
official said.
The Ministry is taking all necessary measures to protect
Kuwait’s interests and rights, and maintain neighborly ties
with all countries of the region out of commitment to the provisions of the international laws, he added.
The offshore gas field has been a bone of contention
between Tehran and Kuwait since the 1960s. Iran said in 2012
it planned to develop the portion under its control, and which
it calls Arash field. Kuwaiti newspapers reported on Tuesday
that Iran had offered foreign investors two projects to develop
the extension of the Durra field, despite Kuwaiti objections to
any work in the area before the demarcation of the continental shelf. The reports prompted the speaker of the Kuwaiti parliament Marzouq Al-Ghanem to demand a clarification from
the foreign ministry.
The largest part of the field, which is not demarcated, is
located on the Saudi-Kuwaiti common maritime border, but
part of it lies in Iran. The dispute dates back to the 1960s,
when Iran and Kuwait each awarded an offshore concession,
one to the former Anglo-Iranian Petroleum Co, which became
part of BP and one to Royal Dutch Shell. The two concessions
overlapped in the northern part of the field. Iranian drilling at
Durra in 2001 spurred Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to agree on a
maritime border deal which stipulated that the two countries
jointly develop the natural resources of the offshore zone.
In 2013, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait shelved a project to
develop the Durra field after disagreeing over how to share
the gas back on land. The Durra field is estimated to hold
60 trillion cubic feet ( Tcf ) of gas, according to the US
Energy Information Administration (EIA). Iran has reached a
landmark nuclear agreement with world powers which
could start easing international sanctions on Tehran by
next spring. — Agencies
Kuwait least popular destination for expats
KUWAIT: Kuwait is the least popular destination among
expatriates, according to a recent survey. The survey,
dubbed ‘Expat Insider Survey 2015’ and released by recently, ranks Kuwait in last place behind
Greece, Nigeria, and Saudi Arabia respectively, and falling
three spots compared to 2014 ranking.
In order to complete the survey, InterNations asked
14,000 respondents from 195 countries and overseas territories a range of questions on life abroad. Kuwait occupies
the 64th and last place of the overall ranking, particularly
due to its low score in the Ease of Settling in Index, the sur-
vey reads. “In fact, 53 percent of respondents are unhappy
with the general friendliness of local residents. The opportunities to find new friends also leave a lot to be desired for
one-third of respondents.
Unfortunately, the situation is similarly grim when it
comes to the overall quality of life. Many expats are not satisfied with the available leisure options, while others see
their personal happiness suffering. Only for the Job
Security and Language subcategories does the country
receive some decent results, making it to 26th and 25th
place, respectively.”
M eanwhile, Ecuador came on top as the most
favorite destination among expats for the second
straight year, as it occupies first place in the Personal
Finance and Cost of Living Indices. Mexico came in second place, as the survey says that it “receives top marks
from expats for feeling at home in the local culture and
ranks second in the subcategories of Friendliness and
Finding Friends.” Malta, which came in third place,
scores highest in the Working Abroad Index, mostly due
to the high job satisfaction among survey respondents,
according to the survey.
Manpower Authority
now on Twitter
and Instagram
MP Dr Abdullah Al-Turaiji
By Meshaal Al-Enezi
KUWAIT: The Manpower Public Authority (MPA) is now on Twitter
and Instagram via their social media accounts, on Twitter
@Manpower_KWT and on Instagram @Pr.manpower. Acting
Director of the Manpower Public Authority Abdallah Al-Mutoutah
said that the authority seeks to reach out people as fast as possible through their social media accounts.
‘Let it Spoil’
The price of Zubaidi (silver pomfret) fish settled on KD 8 per
kilogram for the local fish and KD 5 per kilo for the imported on
the fifth day of the ‘Let it Spoil’ campaign. There were a scarce in
the number of buyers, be it citizens or expats. Fishermen said the
number of idle boats reached 120 due to the crises.
Delayed flight
A Kuwait Airways flight bound for Bangkok was delayed for
seven hours after sustaining a malfunction, causing irritation
among its passengers. Flight number 411 was scheduled to fly at
11:00 pm Tuesday night, but it took off at 5:00 am the next morning.
KUWAIT: Interior Ministry’s Undersecretary Lieutenant General Suleiman Al-Fahad received yesterday Major
Dafullah Al-Shemmari, who presented to him a copy of his Master’s degree thesis on the effect of child abuse
on the development of criminal behavior.
The court yesterday renewed the detention of seven suspects
in the case of joining Islamic State (IS).
KD 34.5 million collected from
traffic tickets in six months
By Hanan Al-Saadoun
KUWAIT: The semiannual statistics of the traffic department indicate that KD 34,592,890 in
fines was collected between January 1 and
June 30, while the number of traffic violations
reached 2,619,241. The collected tickets number 1,630,392.
Flames come out of a chalet used as a residence by workers next to Al-Wattiya park.
a fire that in a chalet in the laborers’ residences next to Al-Wattiya park. Meanwhile,
an elevator malfunctioned in a Fintas house,
and Mangaf firemen freed a man who was
stuck inside. He was unhurt.
Airport sleuths at the ready
Kuwait International Airport Customs
Director General Suleiman Al-Fahd spoke
about the monitoring team’s work as they
watch and follow passengers from the
moment they arrive until they leave the airport, while those suspected are searched
thoroughly and manually. He said the team is
highly trained and works day and night. He
said officers discovered 5 kilograms of heroin
hidden in secret pockets in the bottom of an
Asian domestic helper’s bag. Separately, airport customs officers arrested an Indian man
for attempting to smuggle nearly three kilograms of heroin in his luggage.
Tramadol pills and cash found with a drug dealer in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh.
Turaiji wants
answers on
forged passports
By A Saleh
KUWAIT: MP Dr Abdullah Al-Turaiji asked Deputy Prime
Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Mohammad AlKhaled Al-Sabah to investigate the exit of several
expats using forged Kuwaiti passports from Kuwait
International Airport in the past few days. “We trust the
interior minister and he works hard to improve security
systems, but there are some leaders who are not as
competent as they should be,” he charged. He said that
border crossings should be manned by highly responsible men. Turaiji said on August 19 two Iraqis left
Kuwait airport using forged passports, and asked the
minister to question the passport holders on how their
passports reached the Iraqis who left Kuwait and
reached a European country. He added that on May 22,
a five-member family left Kuwait through Kuwait
International Airport using forged Kuwaiti passports
with the help of an official who was able to smuggle
them out, but they were caught later in a Gulf country.
He said on Aug 25, a Kuwaiti citizen got an expat out
using a forged passport and both of them reached
Europe through a Gulf country. The citizen then
returned and was arrested in a Gulf country.
Oil prices
MP Faisal Al-Duwaisan yesterday claimed “[MPs] had
warned against the drop of oil prices in a dramatic
fashion, while the government was assuring citizens
that things will not get worse”. “We asked the government to find an alternative source of income, but they
did not listen, and now what we warned against has
taken place, so the government should shoulder full
responsibility because of its negligence,” he added.
Drug dealer arrested
Farwaniya police arrested a wanted Asian
in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh with 542 narcotic
tablets thought to be Tramadol. The man
admitted of trafficking. Furthermore, police
found out that the man is wanted by authorities over previous charges. He was sent to the
proper authorities for further action.
A fire broke out in a Sulaibiya warehouse,
and Sulaibkhat and Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh fire
centers dealt with the blaze. No injuries were
reported. Also, Nuwaiseeb fire center put out
Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled
An airport officer examines a hidden pocket inside a domestic helper’s suitcase,
where she put drugs that she tried to
smuggle into Kuwait.
Peaceful resolution
Deputy Speaker Mubarak Al-Khrainej said the issue
of the offshore Durra field should be resolved diplomatically with Iran and affirmed his trust in Kuwait’s
diplomacy. He asked Iran to express its good intentions
and comply with international charters and strengthen
good neighborliness with Gulf countries.
Fr om the Arabic press
Unexpected fall!!
R e p o r t
Illegal entry
KUWAIT: Farwaniya police arrested a Yemeni man for
entering the country illegally when he hid on top of a truck
that entered through Nuwaiseeb border crossing. The
arrest was made when police asked to see his ID and he
attempted to escape. Once caught, he told police how he
entered the country. In another story, a Pakistani man was
arrested to serve a one-year jail sentence. He is also wanted
on four civil cases.
By Adel Al-Ibrahim
pr Oil
Do 0 U
lla s
‘Suspicious’ graffiti
A graphologist from the criminal evidence department
was sent to Fintas co-op branch to check a graffiti that
reads ‘Hezbollah brigades passed by this place.’ State
security sent specialists to follow the case and the graffiti was ordered removed.
A man sustained a fractured skull when he was hit by a
pipe on his head during a fight at a project site in Adan.
Detectives are searching for an Indian man who was identified as the culprit.
Repetition of oil accidents
By Kamel Al-Harmy
Kuwait University’s entrance.
Clinical pharmacy
program in Kuwait
University this year
KUWAIT: A new program has been introduced for clinical
pharmacy and will be applied electively by students who
meet the conditions, said Dr Pier Moro, Dean of the College
of Pharmacy at Kuwait University. Dr Moro said the scientific content of the curricula has been upgraded in cooperation with members of the faculty, adding the college’s
page on the Internet was upgraded to become a comprehensive reference about the college.
As for the student and academic affairs, Dr Moro said
the schedule for the new school year is ready and on
schedule for the year, including distribution of teaching
periods and exams, in a way that guarantees the best of
results for students. He added laboratories were maintained and supplied with the required material and said
requests were made for scientific equipment, chemicals,
consumables and glassware. —Al-Qabas
e do not know if the Kuwait Petroleum
Corporation (KPC) board of directors will
discuss the report of the explosion at
Shuaiba refinery, or Kuwait National Petroleum
Company for that matter, but what concerns us is
this: Is there anyone who asks about the number of
oil accidents, be it at refineries or the oil sector during the past five or 10 years? Is there an improvement or is there an increase? What are the total sums
of money spent to prevent oil accidents and the
costs of increased insurance premiums? The answer
we expect is a repetition of accidents in all oil sectors
and an increase in the oil facilities’ insurance chapter.
The stoppage at Shuaiba refinery, the oldest
national refinery that was built in 1967 in the
Arabian Gulf region and among members of OPEC,
will result in a financial loss estimated at between
$200,000 and $300,000 a day. This is the actual difference between selling crude oil directly and refining
it, then selling 200,000 barrels of oil on the instant oil
The reason behind the explosion is directly related to a gas leak in one of the pipes of the breakdown
units, and if this was the case, then why did not the
unit stop automatically? Or what happened was
cracking and corrosion in the unit’s walls, leading to
an explosion due to the old age of Shuaiba refinery?
The refinery is worn out and should be closed,
because it completed its projected lifespan a few
years back. And why the instance on operating the
refinery especially that it is no longer producing oil
derivatives according to international standards?
We said it many times - if we want to limit oil
catastrophes, we must comply totally with safety
systems and apply them precisely. There should an
implementation of the reward and punishment principle, and hold officials accountable, and they
should understand the value of safety and the security culture. Oil accidents will not stop as long as we
do not have the environment and culture of safety
and security and do not comply with the simplest of
traffic laws such as wearing a seatbelt, not using the
mobile phone and sending messages while driving.
The explosion at the Shuaiba refinery is a repeat
like all accidents and fires, and leaks will continue in
the oil sector, while investigations results will remain
piled up in the drawers.
—Translated by Kuwait Times
errorist acts are taking place in Gulf
Cooperation Council (GCC) countries by terrorist groups with different origins, ideologies
and goals. They are tied to more than one sect, be it
by action or by planning, and between them, pens
compete and media rush to incite against this group
or that and generalize the criminal act on the entire
Calls have been made for legislations to tackle it,
as if we are calling for the displacement of an entire
constituent of the society from the arena without
considering the country’s interest or the Amiri moves
to contain any negative act that affects the internal
front and the cohesiveness of its national fabric. But
what is required is limiting the accusation to those
involved or to the planners of the criminal acts, and
that criticism be constructive without using the event
to charge people for achieving group gains we are
not in need of.
Let us be realistic, and more precisely, the fabric of
Kuwait society is made of two main sects Sunnis and
Shiites who co-lived and will continue to do so on the
country’s soil, in love, for many years, and history
bears witness to them and for their effective contributions to building Kuwait society politically, socially
and economically. They defended it with all they had
without regard to ideologies, which is considered a
personal matter, but regretfully some political orientations that are wrapped in religious impressions
with different names, loyalty and ideological aspirations, even within the same sect, that appear in the
local arena due to the regional political events and
attract youth, including extremist groups that have
sympathy, links and even contacts with foreign bodies.
Also, there are extreme opinions and ideas that do
not belong to and are not linked to those sects, that
work on the heinous sectarian aspect and spread
division and strife among citizens of the ‘one’ country.
Yes, difference is the way of life, and what I see as
right, others may see as wrong. Also any opinion can
be wrong and the other’s opinion may be right in all
aspects of life, but to insult any sect and describe
with the worst of terms, then this is the start of dismantling and slipping away, and it is a direct threat
to the social security and peace. We have the right to
ask: Are hearts charged so much with sectarian spirit
and its poisons? And is that due to the government’s
forgiveness in allowing the freedom of opinion and
expression, a way for strife and division?
I say, while I am sure, that the government and
security apparatus will never allow, along with the
entire society, this matter, and that the government’s
stick is thick and can eradicate this sickness, regardless of its source, hoping to fear Almighty Allah for
the sake of our country and realize the danger of
what we say and we should have examples from history. —Translated by Kuwait Times
KUWAIT: Gardeners are seen working near a street in Kuwait City in this file photo. The picture is used
for illustrative purposes only. —Photo by Joseph Shagra
Manpower Authority merges
labor transfer decisions
KUWAIT: The Manpower Public
Authority (MPA) issued a decision to
organize the conditions of transferring labor from one sponsor to
another in many fields, an official
sources at the authority said. The
authority was working according to
several ministerial decisions and
decided to merge all decisions into
one to make things easy, he said.
According to the source, the most
notable of the new conditions
included the government contracts,
as the decision allowed the transfer
of the technical labor on government contract to transfer to another
sponsor with the approval of both
employers. The employer can transfer labor from one government contract to another, while the employer
must cancel the work permit of
workers registered on government
contracts that cannot be transferred.
The decision does allow the transfer of labor who are brought with
work permits to work in the free
trade zone or with foreign investors
who practice economic activities
mentioned in Law 116/2013, with
regards to encouraging direct investment in Kuwait. Sponsors must comply with canceling the work permits
of this labor to leave the country
after the work is over.
Private sector
The decision allows the transfer
of labor in the private sector after
one year and obtaining approval
from the sponsor. The time period
for transferring work permits can be
excluded for labor that is brought
from abroad by a work permit with
the approval of the sponsor in the
following conditions: transfer of
labor used locally in all sectors
except industry, agriculture, shepherding and hunting and labor registered on government contracts
through local transfers with the
elapsing of one year on the issuance
of the work permit. Transfer is
allowed through the liquidation of
the facility or its merger with another.
Transfer is not allowed to outside
the sectors for the labor brought to
work in the industry, agriculture,
shepherding, and hunting, and
transfer is limited to within the same
The decision allows the transfer
of government workers to the private sector and vice-versa taking
into consideration the systems followed at the Interior Ministry.
The decision allows the labor to
transfer the work permit from one
employer to another within the private sector with approval by the
employer when three years elapse,
while the employer must be given
90 days warning period.
The decision said that disputes
in work permits presented by labor
before the elapsing of one year of
the date of issuance, then MPA has
the right to discuss the dispute at
the concerned depar tment to
approve the application or reject
it. The decision allows the transfer
of family residency to work in the
private sector for those who spent
one continuous year in the country, while bearing in mind procedures followed by the I nterior
Ministry. —Al-Anbaa
Merkel faces down far-right mob on refugee centre visit
Page 10
Fear, despair in Kashmir
as India-Pakistan
talks falter
Page 11
BEIRUT: A Lebanese protester smokes a water pipe during clashes with security forces following a demonstration against the ongoing trash crisis on August 25, 2015, in front of the seat of the government in central Beirut. Lebanon’s
cabinet ended an acrimonious meeting with no solution to the trash crisis that has sparked violent protests and calls for the government’s resignation. — AFP
Lebanon charges radical Islamist with ‘terrorism’
Caught attempting to flee through airport
BEIRUT: Lebanon’s military prosecutor charged radical
Islamist cleric Ahmad Al-Assir with “terrorism” yesterday over involvement in deadly clashes with the army,
a judicial source said. Assir was Lebanon’s best-known
fugitive Islamist until his capture on August 15 after
more than two years on the run. He was caught as he
tried to flee through Beirut airport en route to Nigeria,
using a fake passport and travelling in disguise.
“Assir is accused of having formed an armed group
with the goal of committing acts of terrorism, and
having killed and tried to kill Lebanese soldiers,” the
source said. He also stands accused of having
“planned the assassination of a number of political
figures from a religious community,” the source
added, though there was no detail on which community was targeted. The charges carry a potential death
Assir is set to appear before a judge for further
questioning Thursday. Prosecutors in 2014 said they
were seeking death sentences for him and 53 others,
including singer-turned-fundamentalist Fadel
Shaker. The charges were in connection with clashes
40 dead in new
migrant tragedy
ROME: Around 40 people have been found
dead in the hold of a migrant boat off the coast
of Libya, the Swedish coastguard said yesterday,
the latest tragedy in the Mediterranean. The
macabre discovery was made after Swedish
ship the Poseidon was sent to the aid of the
stricken vessel by the Italian coastguard, which
said rescue operations for a number of other
boats were ongoing.
Swedish coastguard spokesman Mattias
Lindholm told AFP the Poseidon had been able
to save 439 people on the wooden boat.
“Unfortunately there were around 40 people
dead in the hold,” he said. “The bodies are currently being transferred to the Poseidon.” The
Swedish ship was in the area as part of the EU
border agency Frontex’s search and rescue mission known as Triton.
Just before the discovery of the bodies, the
Poseidon had picked up 130 migrants from a
rubber dinghy, Lindholm said. Italy’s coastguard, which oversees rescue operations in the
waters between Sicily and Libya, said a total of
just under 1,900 people had been rescued by
mid-afternoon but that hundreds more were
still on board vessels drifting precariously off
Italian media reported that one of the boats
in trouble was carrying 700 people. MOAS, a
Malta-based private organization, said in a
tweet that its boat the Phoenix was taking part
in a complex rescue operation. “Phoenix is
working with Italian and Swedish vessels to
assist thousands,” it said. On August 15, the
Italian navy discovered the bodies of 49
migrants asphyxiated in the hold of a people
smuggler’s boat. Survivors later testified that
the victims had been locked below deck and
constrained to stay there by force.
More than 2,300 migrants have died at sea
this year during attempts to reach Europe,
almost invariably on overcrowded boats chartered by people smugglers. Calm weather this
week appears to have encouraged the smugglers to get as many people as possible out to
sea, knowing that, in most cases, they will be
picked up by Italian or international boats and
taken to Italian ports. Yesterday’s rescue operations will lift to more than 110,000 the number
of migrants to have landed at Italian ports this
year. A further 160,000-plus have arrived in
Greece triggering a crisis for which the
European Union currently appears to have no
Israel frees hundreds more migrants
Meanwhile, Israel released a second group
of around 600 African migrants from a desert
detention centre yestersday after a court order,
the prison authorities said. The supreme court
this month ordered Israel to free illegal migrants
held for more than a year at the Holot
Detention Centre in the Negev desert, in a ruling that affected 1,178 asylum seekers.
A first batch of hundreds was freed on
Tuesday but barred from entering the cities of
Tel Aviv and Eilat in the face of hostility from
many residents. Tuesday’s release completed
compliance with the ruling. “That’s it,” an Israel
Prisons Service spokeswoman told AFP. She said
did not know where in Israel they would go
once outside Holot.
Official figures show 45,000 illegal immigrants are in Israel, almost all from Eritrea and
Sudan. Most of those who have not been
detained live in poor areas of southern Tel Aviv,
where there have been several protests over
their presence. — AFP
between Assir’s supporters and the army that erupted in the southern city of Sidon on June 24, 2013.
The fighting began after Assir supporters opened
fire on a military checkpoint and quickly spread.
Eighteen soldiers were killed, along with 13 armed
men, and dozens of civilians were wounded. Assir was
able to escape and went on the run with some of his
supporters, occasionally issuing audio messages but
largely remaining out of sight. The radical preacher was
virtually unknown politically before the outbreak of
Syria’s civil war in 2011. He began making headlines
after the conflict erupted by criticizing Lebanon’s powerful Shiite movement Hezbollah and its ally, Syrian
President Bashar Al-Assad.
Although he was born to a Shiite mother, his discourse was highly sectarian and he often accused
Lebanon’s army of failing to protect Sunnis and of being
beholden to Hezbollah. He encouraged his supporters
to join Syria’s mainly Sunni rebels and to rise up against
Hezbollah. He also grabbed headlines with media
stunts, such as taking a group of his followers to the
trendy winter ski resort of Faraya in early 2013. — AFP
South Sudan signs peace
deal with reservations
JUBA: South Sudan President Salva Kiir signed
a peace accord yesterday to end 20 months of
civil war, but also issued a list of “serious reservations” warning the deal might not last. The
signing ceremony, held in the capital Juba in
the presence of regional leaders, came hours
after the UN Security Council threatened
immediate action if Kiir failed to put his name
to the accord, which has already been signed
by rebel leader Riek Machar.
“The current peace we are signing today
has so many things we have to reject,” Kiir said
at the ceremony, witnessed by regional leaders, diplomats and journalists. “Such reservations if ignored would not be in the interests of
just and lasting peace.” Although a list of his
concerns was handed out, the deal was welcomed by regional leaders, including Ugandan
President Yoweri Museveni, who had sent in
troops to back Kiir’s forces.
Under the deal, they now have 45 days to
leave. “It is not a Bible it not the Koran, why
should it not be revisited?” Kiir said of the deal.
“Let us give ourselves time and see how we
can correct these things,” he added. The dealbacked by the regional eight-nation bloc IGAD,
as well as the UN, the African Union, China and
the “troika” of Britain, Norway and the United
States-commits both sides to end fighting and
implement a “permanent ceasefire” within 72
Tens of thousands of people are believed to
have died in a war characterized by ethnic
massacres and rape, as well as a major humanitarian crisis that has left aid agencies struggling to pull the country back from the brink of
famine. At least seven ceasefires have already
JUBA: South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir (center) signs the peace agreement. — AFP
been agreed and then shattered within days-if slammed the accord as a “sellout” and said it
not hours-in the world’s newest country, which needed more time for consultations.
But on Tuesday the UN Security Council
broke away from Sudan in 2011.
Both the government and rebels accused piled fresh pressure on Kiir to sign it, warning it
each other of launching attacks against the would “act immediately ” if he did not.
other yesterday. The deal also gives the rebels Diplomats have said punitive measure could
the post of first vice president, which means include an arms embargo and targeted sancthat rebel chief Machar would likely return to tions against senior leaders, including asset
the job from which he was sacked in July 2013, freezes and travel bans. “We will take immedian event which put the country on the path to ate action if he does not sign, or if he signs
war later that year. Machar already signed the with reservations,” said Nigerian Ambassador
deal on August 17, but at the time, Kiir only ini- Joy Ogwu, whose country currently chairs the
tialled part of the text. His government then council. — AFP
Saudi Arabia executes four despite moratorium call
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia yesterday
executed three of its citizens for
murder and a Syrian convicted of
d r u g s s m u g g l i n g, a d a y a f t e r
Amnesty International urged a
moratorium on rising executions in
t h e co n s e r v a t i ve k i n g d o m . Th e
e xe c u t i o n s b ro u g h t t o 1 2 7 t h e
number this year in Saudi Arabia,
compared with 87 in 2014, according to AFP tallies compiled from
interior ministry statements.
Saudi Nawaf Al-Otaibi was executed in the western city of Taif
after being convicted of shooting
dead his father in a dispute, the
i n t e r i o r m i n i s t r y s a i d . Fe l l o w
Saudis Bandar Al-Ghathim and
Abdulaziz Mohammed Al-Zahrani
we re e xe c u te d i n t h e co u n t r y ’s
southwest for murder, the ministry
said in statements carried by state
news agency SPA. Syrian Ezzeddine
A l - S a l e h w a s e xe c u t e d i n t h e
northern Jawf region for trafficking
i n a m p h e t a m i n e s, t h e m i n i s t r y
Under Saudi Arabia’s strict legal
practices, murder, armed robbery,
rape, drug trafficking and apostasy
are all punishable by death. Most
people sentenced to death in
Saudi Arabia are beheaded, but
sometimes firing squads are used.
Amnesty International on Tuesday
criticized Saudi Arabia’s “deeply
flawed judicial system” as it issued
a new report on the rising number
of executions. The London-based
group criticized trials it said “blatantly flout international stand a rd s”, c i t i n g s e c re t h e a r i n g s,
d e ny i n g d e fe n d a n t s a c c e s s t o
lawyers and convictions based on
confessions “obtained under tort u re”. “ S a u d i A r a b i a’s s h a r i a
(Islamic) law-based justice system
lacks a criminal code, leaving definitions of crimes and punishments
vague and widely open to interpretation,” Amnesty said. Amnesty
s ays S a u d i A r a b i a i s o n e o f t h e
world’s most prolific executioners,
along with China, Iran, Iraq and the
United States. — AFP
Palestine may raise flag
at UN before pope’s visit
Move likely to upset Israel’s government
UNITED NATIONS: In a move likely to upset
Israel’s government, the Palestinians are seeking to raise their flag, along with the Vatican
flag, at UN headquarters - just in time for Pope
Francis’ visit next month. Supporters of the idea
hope the UN General Assembly will adopt a resolution on the flag-raising shortly before the
pope arrives. They’re betting that the United
States or other allies of Israel will not block the
plan and risk offending the Holy See on Francis’
first US visit.
The Palestinians’ proposal has been tabled
and a draft of the resolution has been seen by
The Associated Press. It would allow non-member observer states - there are only two - to display their flags with the 193 member states.
While the Vatican’s mission to the UN earlier
expressed support for the idea, it circulated a
letter this week distancing itself from the draft.
The mission did not comment Wednesday.
The United States and Israel oppose recognizing the Palestinian state, arguing that it undermines efforts to negotiate a peace agreement.
That process, however, has largely been at a
NEW YORK CITY: In this Sept 18, 2007 file photo, the flags of member nations fly outside of the United Nations headquarters. — AP
standstill since the deadly conflict in Gaza a year
ago. Israel’s UN mission did not respond to a
request for comment. Many states have shown
support for the Palestinians’ pursuit of statehood, including the Holy See.
‘State of Palestine’
In May, the Vatican officially recognized the
State of Palestine in their first formal, bilateral
treaty. Israel’s foreign ministry said it was “disappointed.” During Francis’ 2014 visit to the Holy
Land, the Vatican’s official program referred to
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as the
president of the “State of Palestine.”
In 2012, the Vatican welcomed an overwhelming vote in the General Assembly to
upgrade the Palestinians’ status to a UN nonmember obser ver state. Their delegation
promptly unfurled the flag in the chamber. The
pope has not been shy about ambitious diplomacy. He helped bring the United States and
Cuba together for their historic reestablishment
of diplomatic ties. Last year, he invited the Israeli
and Palestinian presidents for a day of peace
prayers at the Vatican.
Most countries in Western Europe have held
off on recognizing a Palestinian state, but some
have hinted that their position could change if
peace efforts remain deadlocked. Most countries
in Africa, Asia and South America have recognized Palestine. Francis is scheduled to address
the General Assembly on Sept. 25, opening a
gathering of world leaders to launch a set of
development goals aimed at ending both
poverty and hunger over the next 15 years.
More than 100 heads of state and government are expected at the gathering, which leads
into the annual UN General Assembly of world
leaders the following week. President Barack
Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin,
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Iranian
President Hassan Rouhani are scheduled to
speak on the first morning. This story has been
corrected to reflect that the Vatican’s mission to
the UN this week sent a letter distancing itself
from the draft. — AP
Qaeda destroys army HQ
in Yemen’s Mukalla city
ADEN: Al-Qaeda militants yesterday blew up an
army headquarters and set up checkpoints in the
jihadist network’s southeastern stronghold of
Mukalla, officials in Hadramawt province said. The
militants had deployed in force across Mukalla
after receiving information of a possible operation
by a Saudi-led military coalition to help government loyalists retake the provincial capital, the
officials said.
The coalition of Arab states has been carrying
out air strikes against Iran-backed rebels in Yemen
since March, but has so far not intervened against
Al-Qaeda. Yesterday’s explosion flattened the
three-storey army building-the command centre
for a zone covering Hadramawt and parts of
neighboring Shabwa province. It came a day after
Al-Qaeda dynamited a headquarters of the secret
police in Mukalla, the officials said.
In Aden a 100-strong Saudi force arrived late
on Tuesday and was deployed at the main south-
ern city’s international airport, military sources
said. “This force’s mission is to help secure the city,
where Al-Qaeda militants surfaced last weekend,”
one of the sources said, referring to Aden. Backed
by arms and troops from Saudi Arabia and the
United Arab Emirates, government loyalists recaptured Aden from Houthi rebels and their allies in
mid-July before retaking four other southern
But security has remained fragile in the port
city, where Al-Qaeda suspects were accused of
blowing up a building used by the secret police.
They also set up checkpoints in one district and
seized five buildings including an intelligence
services facility, a presidential residence and a military hospital, security officials said. On Tuesday,
the International Committee of the Red Cross said
it had suspended its operations in Aden after
unidentified gunmen stormed its office there.
Meanwhile, Riyadh announced its armed forces
on Wednesday intercepted a Scud missile fired
from Yemen at the Saudi region of Jazan, adding
the explosion caused no casualties or damage.
“The air forces responded immediately by destroying the platform from which the missile was
launched” in Yemen, said a statement carried by
the official SPA news agency. The Shiite Houthi
rebels’ website had announced that
Scud missiles had been fired from Yemen at a
power plant in Jazan.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is
considered among the jihadist network’s deadliest
affiliates. It has taken advantage of the chaos since
the Houthis expanded across Yemen since last
year, to seize territory including Mukalla. AQAP
was behind several plots against Western targets,
including this year’s deadly attack on French magazine Charlie Hebdo. The United States has for
years carried out a drone war against Al-Qaeda
militants in Yemen. — AFP
JERUSALEM: In this May 28, 2014, file photo, Ultra-Orthodox Jews watch people
wave Israeli flags outside the Old City’s Damascus Gate during Jerusalem Day celebrations. — AP
In Jerusalem’s culture war,
secular citizens make gains
JERUSALEM: Crowds of angry ultra-Orthodox
Jewish men, wearing long beards, black and
white garb and large black hats, protested in the
streets of Jerusalem earlier this month against a
new cinema opening its doors on the Sabbath.
The demonstration was meant to be a show of
strength in a long-running dispute over the role of
strict Jewish law in the cultural life of Jerusalem.
But in many ways, it was also a sign of desperation after a series of gains by the city’s secular
community in recent years. “No one’s saying we’re
giving up,” said Shmuel Poppenheim, an unofficial
spokesman for the ultra-Orthodox community.
But, he conceded, “We know it’s a lost cause. ... We
know that we can’t stage a war” over every new
establishment open on the Sabbath.
Despite Jerusalem’s image as a city that grinds
to a halt on the Sabbath, which runs from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, more than 200
cafes, restaurants, bars, cinemas, museums, cultural institutions and other entertainment centers
now stay open in non-religious Jewish areas of
the city. That is a major shift over the last 30 years
from a time when only a handful of establishments stayed open and a law forbade cinemas
from operating on the Sabbath. The “Yes Planet”
cinema that drew the recent protests was the second major destination to open with Sabbath
hours in the past two years, after a former train
station reopened as a commercial center in 2013.
Notable shift
These initiatives have contributed to the most
notable shift in secular-religious relations since
the early 1990s, said Shahar Ilan of Hiddush, a
group that advocates for religious equality. For
decades ultra-Orthodox communities have flexed
their political muscle, sometimes violently, to
keep workplaces, businesses and government
institutions in Jerusalem’s Jewish neighborhoods
shut down for the Sabbath. While most Jewish
Israelis are secular, Israel’s founding fathers gave
Judaism a formal place in the country’s affairs, and
Orthodox rabbis strictly govern religious events
such as weddings, divorces and burials for the
Jewish population. The ultra-Orthodox also are
perennial kingmakers in Israeli coalition politics,
though they make up only about 10 percent of
the country’s population.
Their influence is especially pronounced in
Jerusalem, where their numbers are proportionally much larger than the national average.
Jerusalem is split almost evenly into thirds
between secular and modern Orthodox residents,
Muslim Palestinians and ultra-Orthodox Jews who
live in insular enclaves.
Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox communities also
traditionally have held significant power in the
municipal government. They are bolstered by
laws and unwritten agreements that grant them
certain protections, such as barriers to prevent
cars from driving through religious areas on the
Sabbath, said Menachem Friedman, a professor of
Judaism at Bar Ilan University.
Attempts to change Jerusalem’s delicate balance have prompted violent backlashes from the
ultra-Orthodox, who have blocked roads, clashed
with police and sent tens of thousands of activists
into the streets on their rabbis’ orders. But
Friedman said that contrary to the popular perception, the traditional power of the ultraOrthodox is waning in areas where they are not a
demographic majority due to changing geographic and economic pressures.
Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox communities are
often poor and depend on government handouts
because men traditionally study in religious seminaries rather than work. With the cost of living in
Jerusalem on the rise, younger members of the
communities are increasingly moving out, while
public support for their substantial financial aid is
waning, Friedman said.
‘Symbolic opposition’
This month’s protests over the Yes Planet cinema complex were therefore more “symbolic”
opposition rather than a real concerted fight,
Friedman said. The cinema is located in Abu Tor, a
mixed Jewish-Arab neighborhood far from the
city’s ultra-Orthodox areas.
On the first night of protests on Aug 14, several thousand ultra-Orthodox rioted in West
Jerusalem, breaking windows and prompting
police arrests. But the following evening, just a
few hundred demonstrators bothered to show
up. It was a vivid contrast to weekly riots that
rocked the city in 2009 when City Hall allowed a
parking lot near Jerusalem’s Old City to open on
the Sabbath to serve tourists.
The train station-turned-mall known as “First
Station,” meanwhile, has remained open on the
Sabbath without any protests for more than two
years now. The battle is far from over. A week after
Yes Planet opened, the municipality ordered eight
minimarkets in Jerusalem’s city center that now
operate on weekends to close. City councilman
Ofer Berkovitz, a vocal secular activist, accused
Mayor Nir Barkat of making the move to compensate for the new cinema - a charge the mayor
denies. In another recent case, political pressure
prevented a popular cafe chain from opening a
new branch in Jerusalem’s Independence Park,
which is government property. Since a restaurant
cannot receive a kosher license if it is open on the
Sabbath, Israel’s official licensing body threatened
to revoke Landwer Cafe’s certificate nationwide if
the new branch opened on the Sabbath,
Berkovitz said. — AP
Erdogan urges Turkey to
choose stability in polls
SANAA: Yemeni female supporters of the Shiite Houthi rebel movement carry a placard during a rally to protest against a military offensive by a
Saudi-led coalition. — AFP
ANKARA: President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan yesterday urged Turkish voters
to back the ruling party in November
snap elections, saying the polls would
be a choice between “stability and instability”. The repeat elections come after
the ruling Justice and Development
Party (AKP) co-founded by Erdogan
failed to win an overall majority in a June
vote and talks to form a coalition government failed.
“I believe that November 1 will be an
election of stability or instability,”
Erdogan said in a speech in Ankara, a day
after the Turkish election authority confirmed the poll date. “The national will is
going to be manifested in elections. God
willing, this country will reach stability
again... and no instability will emerge.”
The comments were a clear message
to voters to vote for the AKP and return
its overall majority, thus avoiding the
notorious instability that had dogged
Turkish politics before the party came to
power in 2002. Erdogan voiced hope that
“the problems created by the June 7
election results will be solved on
November 1”.
“What’s essential is the will of people.
Our people will have its word once again
on November 1,” said Erdogan.
“Parliament failed to solve this, so who’s
the authority? It’s people. Then people
will solve.” Critics have said Erdogan had
no interest in the coalition negotiations
and had sought early elections right
from the start. But the president denied
he impeded negotiations to form a coalition government and said he played a
“facilitator and encouraging” role for
Turkey to reach a new government “as
soon as possible.”
The June elections also wrecked
Erdogan’s dream of changing the constitution to create an executive-style presidency, which would have required a parliamentary majority of at least threefifths. The campaign will come at a time
of political uncertainty and escalating
violence between Turkey’s security forces
and Kurdish militants which nullified a
2013 ceasefire. Erdogan said the Turkish
military was waging an “effective campaign” against the outlawed Kurdistan
Workers’ Party (PKK) that would continue
as “arms ensure wellbeing.” — AFP
Biden fans see him
as honest, stark
contrast to Clinton
NEW YORK: Often maligned for speaking too frankly, Vice President Joe Biden’s
reputation for shooting from the lip
might be one of his biggest weapons if
he does decide to run against Hillary
Clinton for the Democratic nomination
in the 2016 US presidential election.
Voters in a Reuters/Ipsos survey who said
they were open to backing Biden for the
nomination described him as an honest
and forthright political veteran who is
free of scandal despite decades in
Those perceived attributes could give
Biden an edge over Clinton, whose
“trustworthy ” poll numbers have
dropped as she struggles with perceptions that she has not been completely
open about her use of a private email
account for official business when she
was secretary of state. Clinton says she
did nothing wrong and only used the
private account because of convenience.
The FBI is now investigating the security
of the private server and any classified
information on it.
Reuters spoke to 22 of the poll
respondents who said they would support Biden. More than half used words
like “honest,” “genuine” and “trustworthy”
to describe why they like the former senator. While many opinion polls have
been throwing Biden’s name into the mix
for some months, few have examined
the reasons for his relative popularity
among many Democrats. His fans appear
willing to overlook the 72-year-old’s tendency to commit gaffes, which would be
a handicap on a presidential campaign.
“He says what he means. It’s not
always good, but he’s upfront and honest,” said Mary Lampron, 70, of North
Providence, Rhode Island. “Maybe it’s not
what he should say, but it’s what he
thinks, which I admire,” she said. In 2012,
Biden surprised his boss, President
Barack Obama, when he said he was
“absolutely comfortable” with gay couples getting married, forcing Obama to
publicly declare his own support for
same sex marriage.
Questions about transparency
Eleven of the 22 poll respondents
interviewed mentioned what they saw as
Clinton’s lack of transparency, or controversy surrounding her, as a mark against
her candidacy. According to Quinnipiac
polls, 64 percent of voters surveyed in
August said Clinton is not honest and
trustworthy - up from 54 percent in April.
“I don’t support her because her credibility’s been in question. That’s the main
issue. I don’t trust her,” said Icie
Farnsworth, 53, a lifelong Democrat from
Martinsville, Virginia, who said she liked
Biden’s voting record on the economy,
civil rights and education. Last month
Clinton blamed a “constant barrage of
attacks that are largely fomented by and
coming from the right.” “People should
and do trust me,” she told CNN in an
Biden has not said whether he will
run for president, but speculation grew
at the weekend that he may soon challenge Clinton for the Democratic nomination when he met with Senator
Elizabeth Warren, a power broker among
liberals. It is late in the nomination contest and Biden is still way behind both
Clinton and liberal Senator Bernie
Only 13.3 percent of 690 Democrats
in the Reuters/Ipsos online sur vey
backed Biden while 47 percent supported Clinton and 24.9 percent were for
Sanders, who has been attracting much
larger crowds than Clinton. All the same,
the fact that Biden might be considering
a run compounds Clinton’s headaches.
“At a minimum, he definitely shakes
the race up and makes Hillary’s path to
the nomination arguably more difficult,”
said Democratic strategist Chris Kofinis,
who is not working for any of the campaigns. “People like him, people want to
like him, he’s charismatic, and he’s got a
very powerful personal story to say the
least,” Kofinis said. Several people interviewed referred to Biden’s son Beau, 46,
who died of brain cancer in May. His
death was another tragic chapter in the
life of the vice president, who lost his
first wife and his daughter in a car accident shortly after winning election to the
US Senate in 1972.
Though Clinton has wide policy experience, Biden’s 36 years in the Senate and
almost two terms as vice president count
in his favor among supporters. “I know she
was first lady and has experience in the
White House in that capacity, and I know
she was secretary of state, but I think the
experience he has is closer to what is
needed for the presidency,” said Dee
Garletts, 72, of Bellevue, Washington. Ruby
Ellis, 74, of Lawrence, Kansas said she liked
Biden because he was untainted by scandal. — AP
IOWA: Univision journalist Jorge Ramos, (right) asks Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump a question regarding immigration issues during a news conference. — AP
Trump starts new media feud
with Univision anchor Ramos
DUBUQUE: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has opened up a new
media feud, taking on another popular TV
news personality even as his appearances
continue to draw big ratings. Trump
engaged in a prolonged confrontation
Tuesday with Jorge Ramos, the Miamibased anchor for Spanish-language broadcaster Univision, during a news conference
in Dubuque, Iowa.
Ramos began to ask Trump about his
immigration proposal, which includes ending automatic citizenship for infants born
in the United States to parents in the country illegally. Trump interrupted him, saying
he hadn’t called on Ramos before repeatedly telling him to “sit down” and then saying, “Go back to Univision.”
As one of Trump’s security detail
approached Ramos, the anchor continued
to speak, saying: “You cannot deport 11
million people.” Ramos was referring to
Trump’s proposal to deport all people in
the country illegally before allowing some
of them to return. As he was taken from the
room, Ramos said, “You cannot build a
1,900-mile wall,” another proposal in
Trump’s plan.
Moments later, Trump defended Ramos’
removal, saying: “He just stands up and
starts screaming. Maybe he’s at fault also.”
The Incident happened the day after Trump
resumed his feud with Fox News Channel
anchor Megyn Kelly. Trump noted Kelly’s
return a vacation Monday night by tweeting that he liked her show better while she
was away. He said Kelly “must have had a
terrible vacation” because “she’s really off
her game,” and retweeted a message that
referred to her as a bimbo.
‘Empty promises’
Fox News chief Roger Ailes called on
Trump to apologize. The billionaire businessman’s immigration proposal has
sparked intense debate within the 2016
Republican field. Several candidates,
including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush,
have called it “unrealistic.” Ramos was later
allowed back into Tuesday’s news conference. Trump greeted him politely, though
they quickly resumed their argument, interrupting each other during an extended
“Your immigration plan, it is full of empty promises,” Ramos began. “You cannot
deny citizenship to children born in this
country.” “Why do you say that?” Trump
replied. “Some of the great legal scholars
agree that’s not true.” Citizenship for infants
born in the United States is guaranteed by
the 14th Amendment. Changing that
would require amending the Constitution,
a cumbersome process in which change
must be approved by Congress and then
by two-thirds of the 50 state legislatures.
During the five-minute exchange, Ramos
claimed that 40 percent of people in the
country illegally enter through airports, not
over the Mexican border. “I don’t believe
that. I don’t believe it,” Trump responded. A
2006 report by the Pew Hispanic Center
found that up to 45 percent of the people
illegally in the US entered with legal visas
which since have expired.
Trump said he did not believe that a
majority of immigrants in the US illegally
were criminals, or in the country to commit
crimes. “Most of them are good people,” he
said. But he described recent cases where
people had been killed by assailants later
determined to be in the country illegally.
Finally, Trump reminded Ramos that he was
suing Univision, which dropped Trump’s
Miss Universe pageant after he described
Mexican immigrants in the US illegally as
“criminals” and “rapists.”
“Do you know how many Latinos work
for me? Do you know how many Hispanics
work for me?” Trump said. “Thousands. They
love me.” Isaac Lee, chief executive officer of
Univision, responded to the confrontation
with a written comment: “We’d love for Mr.
Trump to sit down for an in-depth interview with Jorge to talk about the specifics
of his proposals.” — AP
LOUISIANA: A hurricane-damaged boat sits in the Pointe-aux-Chenes bayou in this August 16, 2015 file photo. — AFP
On Mississippi’s shore, memories of
Katrina’s destruction still linger on
Decade later, people still feel the storm’s toll
LONG BEACH: Between Mississippi’s seashore and
the railroad tracks a little ways inland, where
Hurricane Katrina all but erased a neighborhood 10
years ago, Efrem Garza and a handful of other homeowners are still resettling a frontier. Once lined with
houses and a small condominium complex, South
Seashore Avenue in Long Beach was ravaged by wind
and waves in 2005. Running from the beach highway
to railroad tracks paralleling the shoreline - a zone of
maximum destruction along the Mississippi coast - it
was on the front lines of the storm’s fury.
Before Katrina, 10 houses and the condos stood
between Garza’s house and the beach highway, US
90. Now only two houses stand, giving Garza a new,
clear view of the Mississippi Sound from the breakfast
table in his rebuilt home. “It’s come back very slowly,”
he said. The storm leveled Garza’s house and others
near the beach, pushed a giant wall of debris halfway
up the block and flooded the houses closer to the railroad track’s elevated barrier. Empty concrete slabs
from houses swept away still linger on some lots. “For
Sale” signs that sprouted after the storm still dot the
While the plight of a drowning New Orleans
grabbed the nation’s attention after Katrina, the
Mississippi coast suffered its own deaths and destruction - and for miles, the strip between the beach and
the tracks has yet to fully recover. Even a decade later,
the people who lived there feel the storm’s toll.
Empty slabs
Although the overall population of Mississippi’s
three coastal counties - Hancock, Harrison and
Jackson - is now larger than before the storm, in
many neighborhoods closest to the water the overgrown lots and empty slabs speak to a much slower
recovery. Across Mississippi’s coast, one study found
Katrina seriously damaged or destroyed more than
50,000 houses and apartments. In much of Harrison
County, which includes the larger cities of Gulfport
and Biloxi, the crucial line dividing the damage was
the CSX train tracks. More than 1,000 houses were
destroyed or severely damaged in Long Beach, along
with more than 1,000 apartments. Long Beach
Mayor Billy Skellie counts only two or three structures north of the tracks damaged enough to be
Unlike Garza, many former residents didn’t return,
stung by their losses and spurning the gritty rebuilding struggle that followed. Beachside areas are awash
in lots for sale, but potential newcomers face expensive challenges, including mandates to elevate homes
and steep costs of insurance against water and winds.
A federal buyout program for surplus lots has stalled
because Congress hasn’t appropriated money.
“I finally said ‘No, I don’t think I want to go back,’”
said Elaine Brock, who lost her husband John
Noucher to Katrina. “The few people I did know there
weren’t going back, and it just seemed like too much
of a ghost town.” Brock, whose married name then
was Noucher, was in Florida for a doctor’s appointment and couldn’t persuade her husband to flee
before the storm. She spoke to him one last time by
phone on that Monday morning, advising him to
huddle in an interior laundry room. When she and her
son returned, they found their two dogs, but not
John. His body was eventually found in the remains of
a neighbor’s house, six doors north, and identified by
his pacemaker. Noucher’s death certificate says only,
“Hurricane Katrina Related Fatality.”
Noucher was one of five people who died in Long
Beach, and one of 238 Katrina deaths counted by
Mississippi officials. Brock, who has since remarried,
sold the lot in 2007, for what she called a “very low
price.”It remains vacant today.
Even those who lost no loved ones paid a heavy
toll in the months after Katrina, forced to seek shelter
with relatives or friends or in faraway motels and
apartments. Some never bothered to pick through
the rubble. Others who returned still grieve. “My
brothers are dead and they left us a bunch of stuff,
and I’d lost it too,” said Robert Pickett, briefly sobbing
as he recounted the aftermath. He said it was even
harder on his wife, Carolyn.
‘Biggest trauma of our lives’
“It was probably the biggest trauma in our lives
and it was difficult to deal with,” Pickett said. “I was an
orphan and I had been passed around and I was pretty hardened to adversity. But she wasn’t.” Rayetta
Tanguis and her siblings still own the house on South
Seashore that belonged to her mother, Viola Conner.
She bought it before retiring from New Orleans in the
late 1980s. Farther north than the Noucher or Pickett
houses, it withstood the storm but flooded with fourand-a-half feet of water. Tanguis said her mother
returned to Long Beach and lived in a FEMA trailer,
but died in December 2006 at age 82 before volunteers finished renovating her house.
“It just got to be too much for her, Tanguis said.
“That’s what happened to a lot of people who were in
their 80s.” Yet some, including Long Beach Alderman
Gary Ponthiuex, overcame the obstacles and
reclaimed their homes. “You need a certain type of
strength somewhere down deep,” Ponthieux said.
Ponthieux and his son fled the storm atop the railroad
track after their home began to disintegrate. Despite
his losses, there was never any question he would
“This is home,” Ponthieux said. “What else are you
going to do?” He and other neighbors drew from $1.9
billion in federal grants that Mississippi gave to
homeowners who lacked flood insurance or needed
additional aid. Like almost everyone who rebuilt,
Ponthieux has downsized. His house is about a third
smaller than the 3,200 square feet he had before the
That’s partly because it costs more to build elevated structures, as is now required. Insurance costs
more now, too. For a federally backed flood insurance
policy, a state-backed wind insurance policy and a
private policy covering the remainder of homeowners’ risks, Ponthieux said he pays $4,600 a year, compared to $1,600 before the storm. Wind insurance
policies, after a steep climb, have leveled off or even
declined a little. Congress canceled steep increases in
flood insurance for some policyholders in 2014, but
rates continue rising significantly.
Pickett said he’s now going without insurance, an
option for people without a mortgage. “The kids will
be upset. That’s all,” said Pickett, 80, of any future loss.
“Considering our age, we decided it’s not worth it.”
The returning homeowners have been joined by a
trickle of newcomers like homebuilder Chris Patrick,
who just completed a house overlooking the beach
and hopes to build more. Like many other South
Seashore residents, Patrick said he loves living near
the water, and he’s willing to risk another storm.
“For me, the view is what I paid for,” Patrick said,
standing on a porch elevated high above ground. But
he said it cost almost twice as much to build his new
house 17 feet in the air as it would have cost on the
ground. “I don’t think I could do it any cheaper,” he
said of the house, which he’s trying to sell for
$350,000. “It’s expensive just to get the Sheetrock up
this high.”
Elevation and insurance
Some, including Jackson-area auto dealer Mike
Cox, would like to build new houses but say the costs
of elevation and insurance are holding them back.
Cox bought a lot in 2014, with plans for a three-bedroom house. “They said it had to be 15 to 20 feet off
the ground. It had to withstand 150 mph wind. Then
you talk about trying to insure it,” Cox said, “It’s not
that I don’t have the money to do it, it’s just that I
don’t want to do it. I don’t want to take the chance.”
Others can’t sell their property. Paul Kraber of
Yorkville, Illinois, is trying to avoid a “fire sale” of his lot
after losing his house on South Seashore, saying he
needs the money because he didn’t recover the full
value of the house from his insurer. A small “For Sale”
sign brings occasional calls, but no one wants to pay
his $50,000 asking price. Slightly smaller lots on
Buena Vista Drive, a block east, are currently listed at
$19,900 and $15,000.
“Everybody’s looking for a bargain and I don’t
blame them,” Kraber said. “I didn’t get it as a bargain.”
Long Beach sometimes cuts vegetation to keep lots
from getting overgrown and collects the cost on tax
bills. The city is now requiring owners to remove
remaining empty slabs from destroyed structures. “If
lots were like this, cleared, with the grass growing,
we’d have a better chance of selling it, Ponthieux said.
“It’s been 10 years. It’s time for it to come up.”
One buyer could be the federal government. The
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers won Congress’ approval
last summer for a post-Katrina improvements program along the Mississippi coast, including property
buyouts in hazardous areas. — AP
Dust-covered woman from
9/11 photo dies of cancer
WASHINGTON: A survivor of the
September 11, 2001 attacks on New York
who was featured in one of the most haunting photographs of the outrage has died of
stomach cancer. She was 42. The family of
Marcy Borders first announced her death
Monday on Facebook. Borders, who was 28
at the time of the attacks, was just one
month into a job for Bank of America in one
of the Twin Towers.
As one of the towers collapsed, she took
refuge in a nearby office building, where
AFP photographer Stan Honda took a
haunting photo of her completely covered
in a thick layer of ash, which earned her the
moniker “The Dust Lady.” The air appeared
heavy and a distraught Borders was shrouded in a cloud of dust and backlit by an eerie
yellow luminescence. “I can’t believe my sister is gone,” her brother Michael Borders
wrote on Facebook, asking for people’s
prayers. Her cousin Elnardo Borders wrote:
“My emotions are all over the place right
now.” He later wrote: “She @ peace now!!!”
After the attacks, Borders spiraled into a
decade-long deep depression and alcohol
and drug abuse, though she eventually
recovered. She lost her job at Bank of
America, where she ignored repeated
offers of a transfer. She spent much of her
time sequestered in her two-room flat, in
one of the poorer parts of Bayonne, a bedroom community in New Jersey over the
bridge from Manhattan.
Something inside of her had died on
that fateful day. “I still live in fear. I can’t
think about being there, in those targets,
the bridges, the tunnels, the (sub≠way) stations,” she told AFP in a whisper in a March
2012 interview. “The father of my daughter
took her ; I can’t take care of myself, so I
can’t take care of her.”
Her fridge was empty, and her television
had long turned silent. “I used to watch TV
a lot, the TV was never off,” she said. “But
now I fear that what happens in Jerusalem
will happen here. All that violence... so I
leave it off.” Borders was relying on her
mother for food at the time and said no
one had contacted her in the months that
followed the attacks and her photo was
beamed around the world. No aid organizations helped her and no one had told her
that mental services were available for free
for 9/11 survivors.
“I basically do nothing. I stay indoors ; I
feel safe inside,” she said. “I feel like I would
have had to be killed in order for my
daughter to get something. “Sometimes, I
think that you have to be the wife of a firefighter or a policeman to get money. It’s so
depressing, sometimes you’re ready to kill
yourself.” Borders went into rehab in 2011,
and has said that news of the death of AlQaeda leader Osama bin Laden helped her
regain peace and recover from her trauma.
Her family said she had fought cancer for a
year. After her diagnosis, she suggested in
interviews that her exposure to chemical
pollutants emitted by the World Trade
Center collapse likely had a role in her illness. — AFP
NEW YORK: This September 11, 2001 file photo shows
Marcy Borders covered in dust as she takes refuge in an
office building after one of the World Trade Center towers collapsed when commercial planes crashed into
them. — AFP
Ministers to talk security in Paris after train attack
PARIS: European ministers will gather in Paris
for security talks at the weekend following
last week’s “targeted and premeditated”
jihadist attack on a high-speed train that was
foiled by passengers, it was announced yesterday. Prosecutors have charged 25-year-old
Moroccan Ayoub El Khazzani over the attack.
After watching a jihadist video on his
phone Khazzani entered a toilet in the train,
removed his shirt and re-emerged armed
with an assault rifle, 270 rounds of ammunition and a Luger pistol strapped to his chest.
But he was stopped in his tracks by several
French passengers, two young American offduty servicemen, their student friend and a
62-year-old British consultant who have since
been awarded France’s top honor, the Legion
d’Honneur. One of the French passengers
was shot and seriously injured in the struggle
to overpower the gunman and he is recovering in hospital. The thwarted shooting has
raised fears of another large-scale attack in
France, which was already on high alert after
three jihadist gunmen went on a killing spree
in and around Paris in January, leaving 17
people dead. Authorities have foiled several
attacks since then. French Interior Minister
Bernard Cazeneuve announced that interior
and transport ministers from eight neighboring European countries-including Britain,
Germany and Belgium-would gather in Paris
Saturday to discuss security measures following the latest thwarted assault. “We must
examine whether we can implement a system that allows for more systematic checks in
airports, in public transport, in a more coordinated way,” he said yesterday.
‘Attempted murder’
Khazzani was questioned for four days
before being taken barefoot, handcuffed and
with a mask over his eyes to a Paris court-
house to be charged on Tuesday. His lawyer
Mani Ayadi slammed his treatment as “outrageous and disgraceful”, saying he should not
have been left barefoot, but prosecutors said
Khazzani himself refused to wear shoes.
The suspect had been on the radar of several European intelligence agencies after
authorities in Spain, where he lived until
2014, flagged him as a radical Islamist. But
the 26 countries in Europe’s Schengen Area
have abolished border controls, which means
people living in or visiting those nations can
travel virtually undetected if they are not the
subject of random checks.
Khazzani claims that he was homeless and
had stumbled upon the weapons stash in a
Brussels park, which he intended to use to
rob first-class passengers in the AmsterdamParis train. But Paris prosecutor Francois
Molins said the claim was “barely credible”,
giving a raft of evidence for why Khazzani
was being probed for “attempted murder” as
part of a “targeted and premeditated” terrorist plot. He bought his first-class ticket on the
day of the attack at Midi train station in
Brussels, paying 149 Euros in cash-discrediting Khazzani’s claim that he was penniless.
The ticket seller asked if he wanted to travel
earlier, on a less crowded train, but he
refused. Khazzani also travelled to Turkey and
back in May and June this year, creating suspicion he may have spent in war-torn Syria
where the Islamic State group controls
swathes of territory. And his Facebook page
was mysteriously disabled on Saturday-the
day after the foiled attack.
Scant information
Khazzani lived in Spain for seven years
until 2014, where he came to the attention of
authorities for defending jihad, attending a
radical mosque in the southern port of
Algeciras and being involved in drug trafficking. Molins said he had also spent time in
France in 2014 working for mobile phone
operator Lycamobile.
In May, he came to the intelligence services’ attention once more when he boarded a
plane in Berlin for Turkey, a common crossing
point to Syria for would-be jihadists. In June,
he landed back in Albania and on Friday
boarded the Paris-bound train in Brussels.
There is little information so far about
whether Khazzani acted alone or had accomplices. French President Francois Hollande
said what was certain was that “a real carnage” was averted thanks to the courage of a
few passengers. On Monday, he awarded
three Americans-Alek Skarlatos, a 22-year-old
National Guardsman, Spencer Stone, a 23year-old US Air Force member and Anthony
Sadler, a student in Sacramento also aged 23
— the Legion d’Honneur. — AFP
Norway accused of taking
away immigrant children
STAVANGER: One August day, Airida Pettersen
received the news many immigrant mothers have
come to dread: School representatives told the
Lithuanian that child welfare officials removed her
two children from the classroom and placed them
in a foster home. She pleaded to know why - but
she said nobody would give her a straight answer.
Pettersen, who moved to Norway in 2008 after
marrying a Norwegian, is one of hundreds of immigrant parents whose children were taken away by
Norway’s Child Protection Service, or Barnevernet,
ostensibly to protect them from mistreatment.
After a series of highly charged custody disputes,
the oil-rich Scandinavian country now faces accusations of cultural insensitivity at best and child
theft at worst, as increasing numbers of immigrant
children are being seized by officials and handed
over to Norwegian foster families. Of 6,737 children
taken in 2012 - the latest available data - some
1,049 were immigrants or born to immigrant parents. That compares to 744 children of immigrants
taken away, of a total of 5,846, in 2009.
HEIDENAU: German Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses the media after her visit to a refugee shelter that was attacked by far-right protesters
over the weekend. — AP
Merkel faces down far-right
mob on refugee centre visit
Hungary police uses tear gas on migrants
HEIDENAU: German Chancellor Angela Merkel
vowed yesterday there would be no tolerance for
“shameful and vile” anti-migrant violence, facing
down a noisy far-right protest during a visit to a
refugee centre. About 200 people massed in the eastern town of Heidenau, some booing and shouting
“traitor, traitor” and “we are the mob” as she arrived at
the shelter, in a show of defiance over a record influx
of asylum-seekers. But following her visit, Merkel
vowed: “There will be no tolerance of those who question the dignity of other people.”
“The more people who make that clear... the
stronger we will be and the better we will be able to
address this task” of caring for refugees. The showdown in Germany came as chaotic scenes erupted at
Hungary’s border town of Roszke with police firing
tear gas at migrants. Police had sought to stop around
200 people trying to leave the country’s main refugee
processing centre there.
Budapest said it would send in police reinforce ments to stem a record influx of asylum-seekers, as
more than 2,500 people crossed into the EU country
from its southern frontier with Serbia, days before a
vast razor-wire barrier aimed at keeping out migrants is
completed. Europe is struggling to cope with its
biggest migrant crisis since World War II-from thousands of refugees landing on the shores of Italy and
Greece to the hundreds climbing onto trucks to get
from France to Britain. Hamstrung by a lack of a coherent European response to the crisis, governments have
undertaken at times contradictory approaches to the
issue. Hungary is building a wall to keep migrants out,
while the Czech Republic’s deputy Prime Minister
Andrej Babis called for the visa-free Schengen zone be
closed with NATO deployment. Germany, which is
preparing to receive a record 800,000 asylum-seekers
this year, instead eased the asylum application procedure for Syrians fleeing a brutal civil war.
Natasha Bertaud, spokeswoman for the EU
Commission, said Berlin’s move was “recognition of the
fact that we cannot leave the member states at the
external borders alone in dealing with a large number
of asylum-seekers”. Under the so-called Dublin rules,
the first EU country where an asylum-seeker arrives is
usually required to process the claimant’s application.
In practice, this means countries on the EU’s southern
borders like Greece or Italy are overwhelmed with
applications. But Berlin’s largesse was not always welcomed at home, particularly in the east where a spate
of attacks has hit refugee centres. President Joachim
Gauck blasted a “dark Germany” behind the series of
xenophobic attacks, as German leaders went on the
offensive to quell the wave of anti-migrant violence.
Hungary sends in police
Hungary, another country on the edge of the EU,
is rushing to build a vast razor-wire barrier to keep
migrants out. Police fired tear gas at migrants at a
refugee processing centre in Roszke after they tried
to leave without being fingerprinted. Hungary’s
police chief said more than 2,100 police called “border hunters” would be deployed to the border with
Serbia from September 5.
Rushing to get through before Hungary seals its
border are Syrians, Afghans and Pakistanis, including more than 500 children. “We left because we
were scared, we had fear, bombs, war, killing,
death... That’s why we left Syria,” one Syrian man
heading for the Hungarian border told AFP. “If I go to
Europe, I think it’s going to be better... better than
my life in Syria.”
Some of the refugees arriving in Hungary count
among the 7,000 whose gruelling journey to the EU
was temporarily blocked last week when Macedonia
declared a state of emergency and shut its borders
for three days to halt the huge influx. The UN refugee
agency has warned that the situation was also worsening in Greece and Italy, where the number of people arriving after crossing the Mediterranean this year
is approaching 300,000. Since the beginning of 2015,
more than 2,370 people have drowned in the
Mediterranean, already exceeding the death toll for
the whole of 2014, according to the International
Organization for Migration. — AFP
The authorities insist they’re acting in the best
interests of the children. But their perceived heavyhandedness has stirred diplomatic disputes with
several eastern European countries and India. All
Western European countries assert the right to
place children, both of nationals and foreigners, in
foster care when there is evidence of abuse. And
complaints of unfair seizures, allegedly for cultural
reasons, are known to arise. But Norway is the only
country where it has become as major issue - both
due to the scale of the phenomenon and the fierce
criticism of the government. A relative managed to
spirit Pettersen’s children away from their foster
family while they were at school and reunite them
with their mother in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius where they remain today. Morten Moerkved, head
of the agency in the small town of Malvik where
the Pettersens lived, said he could not comment on
any specific case but insisted that the sudden
removal of children happens only in “acute” circumstances, including cases of abuse or “serious deficiencies” in the daily care of a child, citing persistent
drunkenness or drug use by the parents or evi-
dence of malnourishment.
Official guidelines also make a point of ensuring that the special needs of a sick or handicapped
child are adequately met and that parents have to
be able to take sufficient responsibility so that a
child’s health or development is in no way “seriously injured.” Pettersen believes officials took her children partly because of her 10-year-old daughter’s
clothes, which she alleges authorities found too
provocative for a pre-teen.
“I dress my daughter in a pretty dress and make
her comb her hair,” she told The Associated Press in
a telephone interview from Lithuania. “They look at
me like I’m from a Third World country. In my country if you don’t take care of yourself you don’t get a
husband.” The child welfare agency insists children
would never be removed from their families unless
they were considered to be in danger, but
Moerkved said that if children were attending class
badly dressed or in smelly clothes it would be a factor in considering a child’s welfare. “There are some
culture differences between families coming to
Norway,” said Solveig Horne, Norwegian Minister
for Children and Families. “All children who come to
Norway have the same rights as Norwegian children ... If they are neglected or abused or if there is
violence in the family the (child protection) agency
should protect the children first of all.”
Human rights abuses
Statistics show that children born abroad are
more than three times as likely to be removed from
their homes as native Norwegians, with nearly 3
percent of foreign-born children in foster care. In
May, hundreds of people marched in the capital
Oslo to protest alleged human rights abuses by
child welfare officials. The demonstration was
organized by Norwegian human rights campaigner Marius Reikeras, who has denounced his country’s child protection agency in television interviews in the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Turkey.
Reikeras accuses the agency of depriving children
and their biological parents of “their fundamental
human rights.” “The aim should be to reunite children with their families as soon as possible,” he said.
“But Barnevernet too often does the opposite and
seeks to break biological bonds.” —AP
Eu-Russia ties plunge to new
low ahead of Ukraine talks Spain retirees battle
STAVANGER: In this photo taken Friday, May 11, 2015, Feridun Mustafaoglu hold pictures of his children in his small one-room rental during an interview. — AP
BRUSSELS: Ties between the EU and Russia remain at
their lowest ebb over the conflict in Ukraine, ahead of
a series of key talks including a visit by President Petro
Poroshenko to Brussels today. Renewed fighting in
eastern Ukraine between pro-Moscow rebels and
Kiev’s government forces has made a mockery of a
February ceasefire, while the European Union has
renewed tough sanctions against Russia.
Poroshenko is set to call for renewed support from
the European Union when he travels to Brussels, days
after meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel and
French President Francois Hollande in Berlin.
Poroshenko will meet European Commission chief
Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President
Donald Tusk for talks centering on the “implementation of the Minsk agreement” that led to the ceasefire,
the Commission said last week. At the same time, the
EU is due to restart stalled three-way talks with Kiev
DONETSK: A woman walks past her building, destroyed during recent shelling in the small
town Avdiivka. — AFP
and Moscow on Russian gas supplies to Ukraine, and
on a landmark EU-Ukraine free-trade deal accord that
Moscow says will harm its economy.
“These are the only two dossiers that the Russians
agree to discuss with the EU,” said Pierre Vimont, former secretary-general of the EU diplomatic service
and now researcher for the Carnegie Institute. “These
talks are never easy. The Russians are difficult, and for
their part the Ukrainians stick to their ground too.” The
EU’s condemnation on Tuesday of a jail sentence
handed down by a Russian court to Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov for “terrorism” added to the bad
blood ahead of the meetings.
Gas war
The EU wants at all costs to avoid a “gas war” with
Russia as winter looms, with any stand-off threatening
supplies to Europe, around half of which pass through
Ukraine. Experts say a deal is needed by October to
avoid shortages. Maros Sefcovic, the EU’s Vice
President in charge of Energy Union, will on the sidelines of a western Balkans summit in Vienna today to
re-launch talks with the Ukrainian side, which has not
been supplied by Russian giant Gazprom for several
months. A meeting with Russian Energy Minister
Alexander Novak is also scheduled for the start of
September. The trade talks are less urgent but cover
highly sensitive ground, as the trade deal was originally the key part of the EU-Ukraine Association
Agreement that then-president Viktor Yanukovych
backed out of signing in November 2013. That led to
the pro-EU Maidan movement which toppled him,
and which was followed by Russia’s annexation of
Crimea in March 2014 and the fighting in eastern
Ukraine which has claimed 6,800 lives. — AFP
foreign pension tax
MADRID: Eyeing a year-end general election,
Spanish retirees who worked abroad have
stepped up their protests against the cashstrapped government’s bid to collect back taxes
on their foreign pensions. When Spain went
into recession in 2008, the government scrambled to find ways to boost state coffers, and
since 2013 has tapped a new vein: back taxes
on foreign pensions from hundreds of thousands of former expatriate Spaniards who
returned home to live out their retirement. In
some cases people have been given just 15
days to pay up. “These people have suffered
great moral and economic harm,” said Eva
Foncubierta, the president of the Spanish
Federation of Returned Emigrants (FAER).
“These former emigrants greatly contributed to
Spain’s development and they don’t deserve to
be treated this way,” said Foncubierta, whose
parents emigrated from the southern Andalucia
region to the Netherlands and now find themselves targeted by the tax office.
About 800,000 people are affected by conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s measure, according to FAER. Foncubierta points out
that Spanish pensioners are only required to
pay tax on annual income above 22,000 Euros
provided they have only one source for the revenue. The problem is that the tax office considers a basic pension and a supplementary pension, even if they are paid by the same country,
to be two separate revenues, resulting in a lowering of the tax threshold. “We demand that
pensions be considered as a single income,”
said Maruchi Alvarez, the spokesman of a
Galician association of emigrants.
Chained to tax office
By the end of July around 145,000 retirees
had settled their tax bill, increasing state coffers
by 309 million Euros ($352 million), according
to budget ministry figures. “This is robbery and
an injustice,” said Miguel Martinez, who worked
as an autoworker in Paris between 1964 and
1974 and receives a monthly pension of 330
Euros from the French state. He was shocked to
receive a registered letter last year demanding
the payment of back taxes on his French pension for the past five years of around 5,000
Euros-a sum equivalent to one third of his total
yearly income. “Before I paid 85 Euros in taxes
on my Spanish pension of 11,700 Euros. When
the extra 4,000 Euros (in pensions) from France
were taken into account, the amount jumped
to 962 Euros,” he said. Martinez, who lives in the
town of Callosa de Segura in the eastern
Mediterranean province of Alicante, has
chained himself to three different tax offices in
protest. He says his anger is fuelled by the fact
that he has a letter issued in 2011 by the tax
authorities certifying that his French pension
was not taxable. —- AFP
Suu Kyi: Rebels shouldn’t sign peace deal in haste
YANGON: Myanmar opposition leader
Aung San Suu Kyi has warned armed ethnic minority groups not to rush into signing a nationwide cease-fire, a top party colleague said yesterday, a position that pits
her against President Thein Sein, who has
made reaching a deal before November
elections his top priority. Talks between
more than a dozen rebel groups and the
government have been held on and off
again for more than 18 months.
Win Htein, an executive of the opposition National League for Democracy, said
party leader Suu Kyi expressed her opinion
at a Saturday meeting with Maj. Htoo Htoo
Lay of the Karen National Union, which has
announced it is ready to sign. The KNU is
one of the bigger ethnic minority groups
that have been fighting the central government for decades to win greater autonomy.
“Suu Kyi said ethnic groups will have to
consider not signing the nationwide
cease-fire agreement before the Nov 8
general election,” he said. “It has to be
meaningful.” Suu Kyi has so far stayed
largely silent on the issue. But with elections around the corner and her party
widely expected to win a majority of the
seats, she has begun speaking out more
on some issues. Ethnic unrest was long
used as an excuse for the army to exercise
control over the country’s administration,
and is a very sensitive issue because it
relates to the country’s unity.
Veto powers
Some of the larger ethnic parties are
loosely allied with her party, sharing the
perception that the military-backed ruling
Union Solidarity and Development Party is
their antagonist. It is unlikely, however, that
she would have much influence over their
positions, unless they believe her party can
take power and offer a better deal. The military, however, has veto power over any
constitutional amendments, limiting any
major changes her party might try to make.
While the government has been saying
for more than a year that a cease-fire
agreement is imminent, fighting continues
with several groups, and it has refused so
far to accept several demands from the
rebel groups. The latest stumbling block is
the government’s decision to exclude the
Shan state’s Ta’ang National Liberation
Army, the Kokang group and the Arakan
Army from the pact because they are not
among the 15 officially recognized rebel
Ethnic armed groups and government
representatives have signed a number of
cease-fire agreements since independence
from colonial rule in quest of peace, but
the deals have usually fallen apart.
Martyred independence hero Gen. Aung
San - Suu Kyi’s father - in 1947 signed the
Panglong Agreement, which was supposed to serve as a model for allowing
autonomy for ethnic minority groups, but
was ultimately neglected. —AP
Fear, despair in Kashmir as
India-Pakistan talks falter
Cancellation dashes hopes of breakthrough
JHARKHAND: In this photograph taken on August 5, 2015, Indian villager
Anjali Hembrom speaks during an interview with AFP in Giridih district. —AFP
Women Maoists facing
grim life on frontline
GIRIDIH: A shiver runs down her spine each
time Anjali Hembrom recalls the abuse she
endured during six months spent with heavily armed Maoist guerrillas in their “liberated
zone” deep inside India’s remote forests.
Hembrom, 20, was kidnapped four years
ago after the rebels swooped on a tribal village in the state of Jharkhand, looking for
new recruits.
Taken to their self-declared “liberated
zone” inside the jungles where the Maoists
reign supreme, Hembrom endured repeated
rapes as a punishment for refusing to join
their ranks before staging a daring escape. “I
still wake up with cold sweats in the middle
of the night,” Hembrom told AFP in an oncamera interview in Giridih town, her face
silhouetted for fear of being identified.
Before fleeing her captors, Hembrom witnessed women combatants being subdued
into “cooking, cleaning and pleasuring their
seniors” in a cult-like setup.
While Hembrom says she was pressganged into joining the Maoists, hundreds
of women have willingly joined up to fight,
desperate to escape grinding poverty in
their deeply patriarchal communities. But as
well as the risk of sexual abuse if captured
by security forces, the women fighters are
frequently raped by their “brothers in arms”.
“They must have joined the cadres with lofty
revolutionary ideas,” said Hembrom. “It’s not
a life they would have imagined ever.”
‘Horrifying abuse’
The Maoists, who dominate thousands of
square miles of the ‘Red Corridor’ stretching
across central and eastern India, claim to be
fighting for the land rights of marginalised
tribal communities. Their insurgency has
claimed around 10,000 lives, and is considered India’s most serious internal security
threat. Hembrom’s account of life inside
Maoist camps resonates with a former cadre
who has talked about rampant sexual violence in her autobiography.
In “Diary of a Maoist”, Shobha Mandi, who
surrendered in 2010, says she was repeatedly raped by her commanders over seven
years. “Every woman is seen as an object for
satisfying the lust of the male cadres. What I
experienced over there was horrifying,
worse than the oppression that the women
of rural India face,” she wrote.
The women fighters, believed to number
around 4,000, are mainly used for cultural or
support activities although many have had
weapons training. A video recently seized by
police from a rebel camp and shared with
AFP showed young women fighters in olive
green fatigues with machine guns slung on
their hips joining their male counterparts on
assault courses.
‘Robin Hood allure’
Dayamani Barla, a 49-year-old woman
tribal activist and political leader who was
briefly jailed for aligning with the Maoist
cause, said women are often driven to join
the rebels for money and food. “Also, the
Maoists have a certain Robin Hood kind of
allure. The whole idea of taking on the rich
and mighty appeals to women who have
experienced some kind of exploitation at
the hands of either the police or the landlords,” she told AFP. “So it’s a case of the devil
and the deep sea for these women.”
Barla said tribal women had also been
subjected to the most extreme forms of violence by the Salwa Judum, a civil militia created and funded by the state to counter the
Maoists in 2005 but disbanded later.
Allegations about police brutality and custodial rape abound but very few cases are
reported for fear of retribution and a culture
of impunity for among the armed forces.
The murder in 2006 of a tribal man for
being a Maoist and the subsequent gangrape of his wife over several days inside a
police station in Chhattisgarh state is one of
the few documented cases. Booker Prizewinning novelist Arundhati Roy who has
recounted the time she spent with the insurgents in her book “Walking with the
Comrades”, says women wronged by the
state have no choice but to take up arms.
“When you have 800 CRPF (a paramilitary
force)... marching three days into the forest,
surrounding a forest village and burning it
and raping women, what are the poor supposed to do?,” she said in an interview to
India’s CNN-IBN news network in 2010. —AFP
Two NATO soldiers killed
in Afghan insider attack
KABUL: Men wearing Afghan military uniforms shot dead two NATO soldiers in the
country’s south yesterday, the coalition said,
the first insider attack on foreign troops
since the Taleban’s bitter power transition.
So-called “green-on-blue” attacks-when
Afghan soldiers or police turn their guns on
international troops-have been a major
problem during NATO’s long years fighting
alongside Afghan forces.
No group has so far claimed responsibility for yesterday’s attack in the volatile
province of Helmand. It was the first such
incident since Mullah Akhtar Mansour was
named the new Taleban chief following the
announcement of the death of longtime
leader Mullah Omar.
“Two Resolute Support (NATO) service
members died early this morning when two
individuals wearing Afghan (military) uniforms opened fire on their vehicle at an
(Afghan security forces) compound in
Helmand province,” a NATO statement said.
“Resolute Support service members
returned fire and killed the shooters,” it
added, without revealing the nationalities
of the foreign soldiers.
The statement did not give the precise
location of the attack, which highlights
long-simmering tensions between Afghan
and foreign forces. Western officials say
most such incidents stem from personal
grudges and cultural misunderstandings
rather than insurgent plots. The killings
have bred fierce mistrust between local and
foreign forces even though their number
has declined in recent years. The last insider
attack was in April, when an American soldier was killed in a firefight between US and
Afghan troops in eastern Afghanistan.
Residual force
It was the first apparent “green-on-blue”
attack since Washington announced a delay
in US troop withdrawals from the country.
NATO ended its combat mission in
Afghanistan last December and pulled out
the bulk of its troops although a 13,000strong residual force remains for training
and counter-terrorism operations.
US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter at
the time said the US soldier’s killing showed
that work remains to shore up Afghan
forces in the “dangerous” country. One of
the worst insider attacks took place last
August when US Major General Harold
Greene was killed-the most senior American
military officer to die in action overseas
since the Vietnam War. NATO troops have
adopted special security measures in recent
years to try to counter the threat. The
Afghan military, which has been built from
scratch since the fall of the Taleban regime
in 2001, has also struggled with “insider
attack” killings, high casualty rates and mass
desertions. —AFP
NAKYAL SECTO: India and Pakistan
aborted rare talks this weekend
under a cloud of recriminations,
while on the front line of their festering conflict in Kashmir, villagers
cowering from artillery in mud huts
despair of ever seeing lasting
peace. Pakistan’s National Security
Adviser Sartaj Aziz called off a trip
to New Delhi for a planned “icebreaking” meeting on Sunday with
his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval at
the last minute amid a row over the
agenda for the talks.
The cancellation dashed hopes
of any imminent breakthrough in
the nuclear-armed neighbors’ longfraught relations. Shelling across
the de facto border, known as the
Line of Control (LoC) in disputed
Kashmir, has been on the rise this
month, with several civilians killed.
The Himalayan region has been
divided between India and
Pakistan, but claimed in full by
both, since the two countries
gained independence from Britain
in 1947.
Nahra, in Pakistan-administered
Kashmir, just 400 meters from
Indian army positions, is one of the
worst affected villages, where locals
say they were hit by shells almost
every day last week. With no proper
bunkers in which to take cover
from mortars, residents are forced
to hide in their mud-brick houses.
Villager Muhammad Nazar, 53,
described how his home was
destroyed by an Indian barrage last
“I had just put my children to
bed, they were afraid to sleep, then
the Indian firing started and the
walls of my house came crashing
down,” he told AFP. “My children
were screaming, I wrapped my
arms around the children as we hid
behind what was left of the walls.
“It ended early morning and I took
my family to a neighbor’s house
where we live now-I have nowhere
else to go.”
Beautiful, scarred
Nahra lies in Nakyal sector, a collection of half a dozen small villages
strung out across a lush green valley typical of Kashmir, a region
famed for its beauty but blighted by
decades of conflict. Unfortunately
for the locals in Nakyal, the Indian
and Pakistani troops occupy the
heights on either side of the valley,
leaving the civilian population stuck
in the middle-and badly exposed.
Locals said around 100 families
had fled villages to take cover in
wooded areas on nearby hillsides.
Crops have been destroyed,
been firing mortars and guns without any provocation,” a defense
source in Indian-administered
Kashmir told AFP.
“Our people in border villages
have been suffering as well.”
Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj
said Pakistan was responsible for
“91 ceasefire violations” since the
two countries’ prime ministers
Kashmiri leaders in New Delhi-an
issue that skippered foreign secretary-level talks last year-and India’s
insistence the agenda should focus
on terrorism.
Pakistan’s failure to hand over or
prosecute the alleged masterminds
of the 2008 Mumbai attacks has
infuriated India, particularly when
the suspected ringleader, Zaki-ur-
NAKYAL SECTOR: In this photograph taken on August 18, 2015, Pakistani Kashmiri girls look
through a damaged wall hit by a mortar during cross border shelling on the heavily militarized
Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. —AFP
schools forced to close for weeks
and shops open only long enough
for people to buy essentials. Javed
Budhanvi, a member of the
Pakistani Kashmir parliament from
Nakyal, said at least 15,000 people
in around 10 villages had been
affected by recent Indian firing.
“Children are terrified, they can’t
go to school, they can’t step out of
their homes to play and even in
their homes they are not able to
sleep because of the fear of Indian
firing,” he told AFP. India insists it is
simply returning fire that Pakistan
has started. “Pakistani soldiers have
met at a regional summit in
Russia last month.
Weary pessimism
That meeting, and Indian Prime
Minister Narendra Modi’s agreement to attend another regional
summit in Pakistan next year, raised
hopes of a breakthrough after
months of heightened tensions.
Little of substance was expected
but the very fact that Aziz and
Doval were to meet at all was seen
as progress.
But the plan faltered at familiar
obstacles: Aziz’s intention to meet
Rehman Lakhvi, was freed on bail.
Islamabad, for its part, insists
talks must be wide-ranging and
include thorny issues like Kashmir.
The two sides ended up blaming
each other for the collapse of the
talks, while back on the front line,
retired schoolteacher Muhammad
Farooq, 52, has only weary skepticism for the whole idea of talks.
“Pakistan and India have been
negotiating since 1947 but what’s
the result?” he said. “We are forced
to live the life of a fugitive here in
these forests-what have we done to
deserve it?” —AFP
MH370 search to ramp up
with new sonar equipment
CANBERRA: The deep sea hunt for the missing
Malaysia Airlines jetliner will likely include cuttingedge sonar equipment when it ramps up again in
October after the stormy southern hemisphere winter has passed, the Australian search leader said yesterday. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau,
which oversees the recovery operation on Malaysia’s
behalf, has been criticized by some deep-sea salvage experts for not choosing synthetic aperture
sonar, or SAS, from the outset of the search for Flight
370 that began far off the west Australian coast in
October last year.
With the standard side-scan sonar that has been
used to scour half the search area so far, the sonar
image of a seabed feature becomes less clear the
farther it is away. With SAS, the sonar image remains
sharp regardless of the feature’s distance. Martin
Dolan, the bureau’s chief commissioner, said negotiations are underway to hire SAS equipment to add
to a fourth ship that would join the search during
the approaching summer, with the aim of combing
the entire 120,000-square kilometer (46,000-square
mile) search area in the Indian Ocean by the middle
of next year. Only two ships have continued the
search through the harsh winter months using standard side-scan sonar. “Our preference would be to
get synthetic if we can, but we can make use of conventional side-scan,” Dolan said. “The advantage of
synthetic is that you can get greater resolution, so it
helps in those areas that require closer examination,”
he said.
Fugro Survey Pty Ltd, the Dutch underwater sur-
KUALA LUMPUR: A man walks pasts a mural representing the missing Malaysia
Airlines flight MH370 at an alley in Shah Alam. —AFP
vey company hired by Australia to search for the
plane that vanished on March 8 last year with 239
people aboard, has defended its use of traditional
side-scan sonar. Fugro search director Paul Kennedy
has described SAS as developing technology with
some questions about its reliability. Critics fear that
aircraft wreckage several hundred meters (yards)
from traditional side-scan sonar transponders could
be invisible. Fugro points to its success in March in
finding a 19th century ship wreck more than 300
meters (900 feet) from a sonar transponder as proof
that their equipment works.
‘Data gaps’
The search has covered more than 60,000 square
kilometers of seabed, focusing on flat and featureless expanses where the expensive sonar equipment can be towed quickly with less risk of crashing
into underwater mountains. But the searched area
includes holes that searchers describe as “data gaps
due to shadows caused by geological features.”
These sonar shadows have been catalogued and
will be searched later before any seabed is declared
free of wreckage.
Dolan said these shadows will be searched in
detail from October by an underwater drone
equipped with a video camera. The so-called
autonomous underwater vehicle has spent the winter at the Australian port city of Fremantle because it
does not cope well with mountainous winter seas.
He hopes SAS will also be used to search shadows. But even without SAS, he expects the search
will be completed by June or July if wreckage is not
found. Senior government officials from Australia,
Malaysia and China - which lost 153 Chinese citizens
in the disaster - are to meet in Australia next month
to discuss the future funding of the search.
So far, the underwater search has cost 80 million
Australian dollars ($57 million), with the Australian
and Malaysian governments splitting the cost. China
refused in June a request to pay a third. Malaysia has
so far committed to spending a total of AU$43 million. Australia expects the search will cost another
AU$80 million in the fiscal year that started July 1,
and hopes Malaysia will again pay half. —AP
Obama apologizes to Japan after WikiLeaks spy claims
TOKYO: US President Barack Obama yesterday apologized to Tokyo after WikiLeaks
claimed Washington had spied on Japanese
politicians, a government spokesman said
yesterday. Obama held a telephone conversation with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe yesterday morning, spokesman Yoshihide Suga
said, adding that the pair agreed to work
together on global economic issues in the
wake of a stock market meltdown sparked
by fears over China.
“President Obama said he was very sorry... as the case caused a big debate in
Japan,” Suga told a regular news conference,
without confirming the spying claims. He
added that Abe reiterated his “serious concern” over the case. “Prime Minister Abe told
(Obama) that, if the Japanese people concerned were subject to these activities, it
would risk jeopardizing trusting relations
between allies,” Suga said. In an earlier conversation with US Vice President Joe Biden,
Abe voiced similar concerns if the spying
claims were confirmed.
Last month, WikiLeaks said it had intercepts revealing years-long espionage by the
US National Security Agency (NSA) on
Japanese officials and major companies.
Tokyo’s response has been widely seen as
muted compared to the anger expressed in
France and Germany following similar NSA
spying allegations. Japan is one of
Washington’s key allies in the Asia-Pacific
region and they regularly consult on
defence, economic and trade issues.
Unlike German chancellor Angela Merkel
and French president Francois Hollande, Abe
did not appear to be a direct target of wiretapping-but other senior politicians were,
according to WikiLeaks, including Trade
Minister Yoichi Miyazawa. Obama and Abe
also discussed market turmoil that has seen
a massive global equities sell off after China
cut the value of its Yuan currency in an
apparent bid to boost exports, sparking
fears of an economic slowdown and the subsequent impact on global growth.
“(Abe and Obama) will firmly work
together on the economy issue,” Suga said,
without elaborating. He added that Obama
repeated Washington’s support for Abe’s
speech on the eve of the 70th anniversary
of the end of WWII in which he expressed
regret but also said future generations
need not apologize for Japan’s war record.
“The president said he welcomed (Abe’s
remarks) as a whole,” Suga said, referring to
the speech earlier this month. Allies including the United States and Britain supported
Abe’s statement, but China and South
Korea said he failed to properly apologize
for Tokyo’s war time aggression. Japan’s
neighbors suffered badly from its imperial
march across Asia in the first part of the
20th century. — AFP
i n
b r i e f
China safety chief sacked
as blasts death toll rises
HWACHEON: South Korean soldiers patrol the barbed-wire fence of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating North and South Korea. — AFP
US says North military
easing off war footing
BEIJING: The head of China’s work safety watchdog
has been sacked, state media said yesterday, two
weeks after giant explosions in one of the country’s
largest ports killed 139 and injured hundreds. Yang
Dongliang, director and Communist Party chief of the
State Administration of Work Safety, was fired for “suspected severe violation of discipline and the law”,
according to a one-line report from the official Xinhua
news agency.
The phrase is generally used by the ruling party as
a euphemism for corruption. Yang was put under
investigation less than a week after a series of explosions rocked a chemical storage facility in the northern port of Tianjin on August 12. The death toll rose to
139 yesterday, with 34 still missing and more than 500
people in hospital, local officials announced on Sina
Weibo, a Chinese version of Twitter. It was not clear
whether there was any direct connection between
Yang’s removal and the explosions.
But Yang, 61, worked in the city for 18 years and
rose to be one of its vice mayors before taking office
at the work safety agency in 2012. Industrial accidents
are common in China, with corruption thought to be a
key factor behind lax enforcement of safety regulations. State media said one of the owners of the company which ran the chemical facility was related to a
former high ranking city police officer. The incident
sparked widespread outrage over alleged government collusion with the firm, and fears of pollutants
contaminating the air and water of the city, which is
home to about 15 million people. The State Council,
or cabinet, has vowed to conduct a “rigorous” investigation into the cause of the explosions.
‘We’re readjusting our own defense posture’
SEOUL: The North Korean military is slowly easing its battle-readiness posture, South Korean
and US officials said yesterday after Seoul and
Pyongyang secured a deal allowing them to
step back from the brink of an armed clash.
Under the agreement reached after marathon,
top-level negotiations in the border truce village of Panmunjom, the North undertook to
shift down from a “semi war state” once the
South ended propaganda broadcasts across
the border at midday Tuesday.
The defense ministry in Seoul said it had
noted a number of signs of de-escalation,
including the “re-appearance” of a large part of
the North’s submarine fleet that had been
deployed off-radar over the weekend. “As the
North is easing its combat readiness, we’re
readjusting our own defense posture,” said a
ministry official who declined to be identified.
Both militaries had been on maximum alert
for days, amid an escalating crisis that saw
South Korean and US fighters flying dummy
bombing runs and North Korean heavy
artillery units being wheeled up to the border.
The ministry official said the North had been
observed closing gunports on heavy weapons
installations guarding the Koreas’ disputed
Yellow Sea border.
Handguns, not rifles
And North Korean security guards in
Panmunjom were back to carrying handguns,
rather than the rifles they had shouldered since
Friday, he added. The latest inter-Korean crisis
had its roots in landmine blasts earlier this
month that maimed two South Korean soldiers
on patrol along the border with the North.
Seoul blamed Pyongyang and responded by
switching on banks of giant speakers, which had
lain silent for more than a decade, and blasting
propaganda messages into North Korea. The
North denied any involvement and threatened
to attack the propaganda units as cross-border
military tensions soared. The agreement
Marcos’ son mulls
presidential run
MANILA: The son and namesake of late Philippine dictator
Ferdinand Marcos said yesterday he may run for president
in next year’s elections, offering his once-exiled family the
chance of the ultimate political comeback.
Ferdinand Marcos Jnr, popularly known as “Bongbong”,
said he would not seek a second term as senator and was
aiming for “higher office”, which in the Philippines can only
be president or vice president. “The discussions I have been
having with different groups, with other individuals have
really centred on higher office,” the 57-year-old said on
ABS-CBN television. Asked directly if he would run for president or vice president, Marcos said: “It’s extremely difficult
to make a decision at this point.”
Ferdinand Marcos Snr ruled the Philippines for two
decades until 1986 when millions of people took to the
streets in a famous “people power” revolution. The Marcos
family fled to the United States, and the patriarch died in
exile in Hawaii in 1989. The rest of the family, headed by
controversial matriarch Imelda, returned in 1991 and
began a successful political comeback despite accusations
the presidential couple stole billions in state coffers and
oversaw widespread human rights abuses.
“Bongbong” Marcos won a Senate position in 2010, the
first time since his father’s demise that a family member
had won a nationally elected post. The Marcos matriarch,
famous for her luxurious lifestyle, has also since 2010 been
a member of parliament, representing her husband’s
northern stronghold of Ilocos Norte province.
Imelda, now aged 86, has spoken often of her desire for
her son to take the presidency back for the family.
However, public opinion surveys currently show there is
little support for Marcos Jnr as president. “I always see surveys as a starting point,” he said about his poor poll ratings.
The current Philippine president, Benigno Aquino, is the
only son and namesake of the late strongman’s political
nemesis, whose assassination in 1983 led to the popular
uprising three years later.
The assassinated hero’s wife, Corazon Aquino, led the
revolution and was the nation’s first president after Marcos’s
fall. Highlighting the fickle nature of Philippine politics,
Marcos said he could run for the vice presidency next year
on a ticket with current presidential favourite Jejomar Binay.
Binay was a human rights campaigner during the dictatorship and is now the vice president, but he has faced widespread accusations of corruption in recent years. “This is
Philippine politics, you cannot discount the possibility of
things you did not imagine would happen, could happen.
Never say never,” he said when asked about a Binay union.
Last month, Aquino anointed his unpopular interior minister, Manuel Roxas, as his preferred successor. — AFP
reached in Panmunjom saw the North express
regret-but not admit responsibility-for the
maiming of the two soldiers, while the South
undertook to cease the high-decibel broadcasts.
The United States, which has close to 30,000
troops permanently stationed in ally South
Korea, welcomed the decision to de-escalate
after what it called a “very tense” few days. In a
regular briefing for reporters, Pentagon press
secretary Peter Cook said US surveillance had
also noted a relaxation in the North’s military
‘Efforts to de-escalate’
“As this agreement’s moved forward, we
have seen, at least on the part of the North
Koreans, some efforts to de-escalate ... both on
land and at sea,” Cook said. “It doesn’t mean
we’re back to normal, but we feel better about
this situation,” Cook added. While both North
and South have spun very different interpretations of the joint communique that came out
of the Panmunjom meeting, they have also
made positive noises about an additional
undertaking to hold official talks either in
Seoul of Pyongyang.
South Korea’s Unification Ministry, which
overseas cross border relations, said a broad
range of issues could be discussed at such talksincluding Pyongyang’s demand for the lifting of
sanctions imposed after the sinking of a South
Korean naval vessel in 2010. The South maintains the corvette was sunk by a North Korean
torpedo and has demanded a full apology in
return for lifting the sanctions which cut nearly
all economic and commercial links with the
North. North Korea had repeatedly denied the
charge and frequently cited the sanctions as a
major obstacle to improved relations.
Unification Ministry spokesman Jeong JoonHee said the North might well consider bringing up the sanctions issue at the proposed
talks. “In which case, I think it can be dealt with
through dialogue,” Jeong said. — AFP
Philippines seeks US
help in sea dispute
MANILA: The Philippine defense chief said
he asked the visiting US Pacific commander
yesterday to help protect the transport of
fresh Filipino troops and supplies to
Philippine-occupied reefs in the disputed
South China Sea by deploying American
patrol planes to discourage Chinese moves
to block the resupply missions.
The Philippines has protested past
attempts by Chinese coast guard ships to
block smaller boats transporting fresh military personnel, food and other supplies to a
Filipino military ship outpost at the disputed
Second Thomas Shoal, which is also being
claimed and guarded by Chinese coast
guard ships. The tense standoff at the shoal
has lasted two years.
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said
the commander, Adm. Harry Harris Jr,
assured him of US readiness to provide assistance, adding that the US military has flown
an aircraft at least once when a Philippine
boat delivered supplies last year to Filipino
marines marooned on a rusty naval ship that
ran aground years ago at the disputed shoal.
‘We won’t be troubled’
Journalists witnessing a resupply mission
last year saw a US military plane hovering
above a Filipino supply boat, which a
Chinese coast guard ship tried but failed to
block. Such US flights deter Chinese moves,
Gazmin said, adding that Philippine resupply
boats have been harassed less by Chinese
coast guard ships after the deployment of
the US patrol plane. “If there are Americans
flying around there, we won’t be troubled,”
Gazmin told The Associated Press in an interview. “We need to be helped in our resupply
missions. The best way they could assist is
through their presence.”
Second Thomas Shoal, which is called
Ayungin by Filipinos and Ren’ai by the
Chinese, and the nearby Spratly Islands lie
about 120 miles from the western Philippine
province of Palawan, and about 700 miles
from southern China. China’s foreign ministry
says Beijing has “indisputable sovereignty”
over the shoal. The Philippine navy deliberately ran one of its ships aground at the
shoal in 1999, fearing that
Chinese forces would occupy it after taking control of nearby Mischief Reef four years
earlier. A Chinese frigate and maritime surveillance ships arrived in 2013 and the
uneasy standoff remains unresolved. The
underfunded Philippine military has turned
to the US, a longtime treaty ally, to rapidly
acquire refurbished warships and planes as
the territorial rifts intensified in recent years.
Gazmin said Washington has agreed to provide two C-130 cargo planes previously used
by the US Marines. — AP
MANILA: US Pacific Command chief Admiral Harry Harris (3rd left) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
chief of staff, General Hernando Iriberri (left), inspect an honor guard during a ceremony. — AFP
Thai Elephant kills keeper,
runs off with 3 on its back
BANGKOK: An elephant in northern Thailand went berserk
yesterday, killing his “mahout” keeper before running off
into the jungle with three terrified Chinese tourists still on
his back, police said. “The mahout who was killed was
Karen and he was not familiar with the elephant. They (the
tourists) are safe now,” Colonel Thawatchai Thepboon,
police commander of Mae Wang district in Chiang Mai
province, told AFP.
The Karen are an ethnic minority common in northern
Thailand. Police said the incident took place at 9.30am
(0230 GMT) as a Chinese family of three-a father, mother
and a young child-took a ride on the back of a male elephant. Rides are a popular and lucrative tourist activity but
many animal rights groups say it is cruel and stressful for
the pachyderms. The elephant had not taken easily to his
new keeper and turned on him suddenly, goring him to
death, Channel 3 reported.
The channel broadcast footage of the three frightened
tourists being led back to camp still on the elephant’s back
once it had been calmed down by other mahouts and their
rides. Thailand’s roughly 4,000 domesticated elephants
outnumber an estimated 2,500 remaining in the wild.
Domestic elephants in Thailand-where the pachyderm is a
national symbol have been used en masse in the tourist
trade since they found themselves unemployed in 1989
when logging was banned. Accidents are not unheard of.
In June an elephant killed a Thai man and injured another
as they were eating dinner at a beachside restaurant. The
pair had been talking to the animal’s mahout when it suddenly flipped. Rights groups have documented the more
unscrupulous mahouts using controversial techniques to
crush the animal’s spirit or severely overworking their rides
to make more money.
Flash floods kill 40
people in N Korea
SEOUL: Flash floods caused by heavy rain killed 40
people in North Korea’s northeastern border area over
the weekend, the International Federation of the Red
Cross said yesterday. Particularly heavy rain accompanying Typhoon Goni battered the Rason special economic zone where the borders of North Korea, Russia
and China converge, the IFRC said in a statement. The
floods affected more than 11,000 people, with 153
houses completely destroyed and 849 houses damaged, it said, adding its report was based on information provided by North Korean authorities. The federation said the North’s Red Cross Society had quickly
sent an 80-member team to assist evacuation and
hand out non-food relief goods in cooperation with
IFRC officials.
These included tarpaulins, family tents, cooking
sets, water containers, shelter toolkits, quilts, hygiene
kits and water purification tablets. “More rain is forecast in (North Korea) and many disaster-prone areas in
other provinces are likely to be affected,” Khaled
Masud Ahmed, a IFRC disaster management delegate
in North Korea, said in the statement. The North’s official KCNA news agency confirmed heavy rain caused
40 “human casualties” in Rason and inundated large
swathes of farmland. Up to 250 mm pummeled Rason
from early Saturday to late Sunday, destroying 5,240
houses, 99 public service buildings and 51 railway sections, KCNA said. In June the impoverished country
said its main rice-growing provinces had been badly
damaged by what state media described as the worst
drought for a century. Poor weather makes it harder
for the communist state to feed its 24 million people as
it lacks advanced agricultural technology and infrastructure. Decades of deforestation and decrepit infrastructure have left it vulnerable to floods.
India’s Hindu population drops, Muslim...
Continued from Page 1
Rick Yen is silhouetted as he casts a rod while fishing for salmon near the mouth of the Capilano River off
Ambleside Park at sunset in West Vancouver, British Columbia on Tuesday. — AP
Iran enlists poor Afghan
refugees to boost Assad
KABUL: The fate of two brothers from Kabul, one grievously
wounded, the other killed fighting in Syria, spotlights Iran’s
covert but active recruitment of Afghan refugees to buttress
President Bashar Al-Assad’s steadily depleting forces. Shiite
Iran, Assad’s key military and financial patron, denies enlisting Afghan mercenaries to fight alongside Syrian forces in
the four-year conflict against opposition Sunni rebels that
has left more than 240,000 people dead and millions displaced.
But interviews with Afghan fighters and relatives of combatants killed in Syria point to a vigorous - and sometimes
coerced - recruitment drive of Shiite Hazara refugees by
Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards Corps propping up Assad’s
floundering regime. Tears well up in Jehantab’s rheumy eyes
as she recalls the haunting parting words of her husband,
35-year-old Haider, when he called two months ago from
Tehran: “I am going to Syria - and I may not come back.”
“‘Very few fighters survive Syria’s brutal conflict’, he told me,”
said Jehantab, swaddled in a white scarf and sitting with
three young children on the floor of her Kabul home.
Haider, she said, was lured by the monthly salary of $700
- a tidy sum for a laborer with no combat experience - and
the promise of an Iranian residency permit, an attractive
inducement for refugees who otherwise live in constant fear
of deportation. “I begged him: ‘Don’t go, don’t kill yourself
for money’,” said Jehantab, who asked to be identified only
by her first name in order not to jeopardize her chances of
getting the permit. Haider’s premonition came true - a few
days after he left, an Iranian official informed his relatives,
also refugees in Tehran, that he had been killed in battle.
Haider was part of a growing wave of jobless young Afghans
seeking shelter in neighboring Iran from decades of turmoil
and war tearing their country apart, only to be ensnared in
another conflict.
“In terms of how they are recruited, deployed, and utilized in Syria, many Afghan Shiite fighters have suffered the
fate of being used as cannon fodder,” said Phillip Smyth, an
expert on Shiite militant groups, who estimates there are
2,000 to 3,500 Afghans currently fighting in Syria. “Some are
coerced to fight, others promised residency papers for their
family, and a small salary. It demonstrates Iran’s exploitation
of Afghan Shiite refugees.”
The Iranian embassy in Kabul told AFP it rejects allegations that Tehran is enlisting Afghan refugees as “completely
baseless”. But in a video posted online apparently by antiAssad rebels last year, a dazed and bloodied Afghan militiaman is seen confessing that he was an illegal immigrant in
Iran, where authorities offered him $600 a month to fight in
Syria - or face deportation. It was not possible for AFP to verify the authenticity of the video. — AFP
US reporter, cameraman killed in on-air...
Continued from Page 1
Tweets posted on Williams’ Twitter account yesterday
described workplace conflicts with both victims. They say
Williams filed a complaint with the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission against Parker, and that Ward
had reported Williams to human resources. Marks said
Williams alleged that other employees made racially
tinged comments to him, but said his EEOC claim was
dismissed and none of his allegations could be corroborated. “We think they were fabricated,” Marks said.
ABC News reported on its website that the network
received a 23-page fax from someone claiming to be
Williams. The network said the fax was turned over to
authorities, and did not elaborate on its contents. “This
gentleman was disturbed at way things had turned out
at some point in his life. Things were spiraling out of control,” Franklin County Sheriff W Q “Bill” Overton Jr said at a
news conference.
Both the victims were romantically involved with other
employees at the station, according to Parker’s boyfriend,
WDBJ anchor Chris Hurst. He wrote online that they
hadn’t shared their relationship publicly but “were very
much in love.” He said they had just moved in together
and wanted to get married. “I am numb,” he said. The
shooting happened around 6:45 am at Bridgewater Plaza
in Franklin County, as Parker interviewed Gardner about
the upcoming 50th anniversary festivities for Smith
Mountain Lake, a local tourism destination.
Ward, 27, graduated from Virginia Tech, said WDBJ
spokesman Mike Morgan. “Adam was our go-to guy. He
pretty much was available to do anything that we asked,”
Morgan said. “He did live shots during our morning
show for several years.” Parker had just turned 24 and
had joined the station as an intern after attending James
Madison University, where she was the editor of the
school’s newspaper, The Breeze. According to her
Facebook page, Parker spent most of her life outside
Martinsville, Virginia. She was an avid kayaker and
attended community theater events in her spare time.
The station is based in Roanoke, Virginia, and serves
the southwest and central part of the state. The shootings happened at a mall just off Smith Mountain Lake in
Moneta, about 25 miles southeast of Roanoke. According
to his social media sites, Flanagan attended San Francisco
State University. A university spokesman said he graduated in 1995 with a degree in radio and television.
The White House said the shooting was another
example of gun violence that is “becoming all too common.” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told
reporters that Congress could pass legislation that
would have a “tangible impact on reducing gun violence in this country”. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe
said, “Keeping guns out of the hands of people who
would use them to harm our family, friends and loved
ones is not a political issue; it is a matter of ensuring
that more people can come home safely at the end of
the day.” — Agencies
Authorities in western Gujarat state said the army had
been deployed to try to restore peace after a mass rally
turned violent, with protesters torching cars, buses and
police stations. The violence appears to have been triggered by the detention late Tuesday of the 22-year-old
leader of a mass movement by the Patidar or Patel caste
demanding preferential treatment for jobs and university
Director general of police P P Pande told AFP three
people had been killed in the main city of Ahmedabad,
where an estimated half a million people gathered for a
rally on Tuesday. The violence later spread to other parts
of the state and another two people were killed when
police opened fire on rioters early yesterday in
Banaskantha district. A sixth protester died in Mehsana
district later yesterday, also in police firing, the district
superintendent J R Mothalia told AFP by phone.
The police late yesterday said that the seventh victim
was a police constable, who was beaten by a mob and later succumbed to his injuries in hospital. Two others
injured in the rioting, including a 30-year-old man
detained by the police, succumbed to injuries late yesterday, Ahmedabad police inspector P D Parmar told AFP. “I
appeal to all brothers and sisters of Gujarat that they
should not resort to violence,” Modi said in a statement.
“Violence has never done good for anyone. All issues can
be resolved peacefully through talks,” said Modi, who
served as the state’s chief minister for more than a decade,
in a television address delivered in his native Gujarati.
Media reports said it was the first time the army had to
be deployed in Gujarat since religious violence in 2002
that left more than 1,000 people dead, most of them
Muslims. The streets of Ahmedabad were deserted yesterday with schools, shops and businesses closed. But some
protests continued in Surat, the centre of India’s lucrative
diamond trade, where local media said police used tear
gas to disperse demonstrators.
Political leaders appeared to have been taken by surprise by the scale of the protest movement, which began
earlier this year but has rapidly gathered pace in recent
weeks. The Patidars or Patels are one of the state’s most
affluent communities, but they say they are struggling to
compete with less privileged castes for jobs. India sets
aside a proportion of government jobs and university
places for Dalits, known as “untouchables”, and for socalled “other backward castes” under measures intended
to bring victims of the worst discrimination into the mainstream.
“Gujarat has a long history of communal violence
going back decades, but this phenomenon is something
entirely new,” said Sandeep Bamzai, a veteran political
analyst and journalist. “Every observer is mystified by this
22-year-old boy who is leading the agitation and has
acquired a cult status in so little time.” It remains unclear
how Hardik Patel, the 22-year-old self-styled leader of the
movement, managed to mobilize such huge numbers.
State authorities have already ruled out granting the
Patidars’ request.
But their firebrand leader, who was briefly detained
on Tuesday but has since been released, has vowed to
keep up the pressure. “This is a fight for our rights... we
will continue with our campaign on the roads and the
streets,” he said in a television interview yesterday. At
least a dozen officers were injured in Tuesday’s violence,
prompting the first curfew in the state since 2002. “There
was heavy stone pelting of police vehicles and torching
of police stations in Unjha and Kalol towns,” said
Gujarat’s most senior police officer P C Thakur. As many
as 100 buses were torched and property damaged in the
violence in the cities of Ahmedabad, Surat and Mehsana
and the towns of Unjha and Visnagar, senior local officers said. — Agencies
Thirsty Mideast faces water stress
Continued from Page 1
One measure likely to become more common in the
Middle East and elsewhere is water reuse systems that
recycle waste water. “It doesn’t make a lot of sense to
treat water to a potable standard, allow it to be used by
households and then essentially throw it away,” Otto said.
Some Middle Eastern countries already rely on desalination, a technique to remove salt from sea and ground
water. These and other highly water-stressed nations may
also need to move away from producing their own food
because agriculture gobbles water, Otto noted. Saudi
Arabia, for example, has said its people will depend
entirely on grain imports by 2016, the WRI researchers
While political turmoil may be the top concern in the
Middle East today, drought and water shortages in Syria
likely contributed to the social unrest that stoked its civil
war, the WRI experts said, as some 1.5 million people mainly farmers and herders - moved to urban areas
unable to provide enough jobs and services. Water has
also played a significant role in the decades-old conflict
between the Palestinian Territories and Israel, they noted.
“It’s unlikely that water becomes the cause of the conflict,
but it can become an accelerator or multiplier of those
conflicts,” Otto said.
The analysis singled out four countries whose level of
water stress is due to rise particularly sharply between
2010 and 2040 - Chile, Estonia, Namibia and Botswana putting new pressure on their businesses, farms and
communities. It also warned that national-level rankings
mask large differences within countries. The United
States, for example, is ranked 49 for 2010 and 47 for 2040,
but California is currently grappling with a crippling
That smoothing effect could help explain why some
West African and Central American countries that regularly suffer drought-related food crises in rural areas have
a low water-stress ranking. Otto said some of those countries may also see their future water supply from precipitation increase due to climate change, and that agriculture may be rain-fed rather than relying on irrigation,
avoiding direct demand on surface waters. In southern
Africa and other parts of the world where water supply is
projected to fall as demand grows, policy makers should
act to prevent water stress worsening, Otto said. “We
need to understand the relationship between available
supply and demand for that water, and we need to take
steps to use the water we have more efficiently and more
effectively,” she said. — Reuters
Saudi suspect in Khobar Towers attack...
Continued from Page 1
The US later moved its Air Force contingent to the
Prince Sultan Air Base, a vast compound in a remote
stretch of desert south of the Saudi capital, Riyadh.
The Saudi Hezbollah extremist group was founded by
members of the desert kingdom’s Shiite minority who
fled into exile in the 1980s to escape what they said was
persecution by the kingdom’s Sunni majority. The 2001
indictment placed heavy blame on Iran for nurturing the
attack but stopped short of mentioning any Iranians by
name or linking them directly to Khobar. However, in
2006, US District Judge Royce C Lamberth ruled the
Iranian government financed the bombing, ordering it to
pay $254 million to the attack’s victims. Iran repeatedly
has denied being involved. Joshua Stueve, spokesman
for the U.S Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia,
declined comment.
Shiites in the kingdom have long coplained that Saudi
Arabia’s leadership treats Shiite grievances as a security
problem rather than an issue to be resolved politically.
Four prominent Shiite activists met with the late King
Fahd in 1993 for reconciliation talks after years of violence that included attacks by the Saudi Shiite Hezbollah
group, which the kingdom has branded a terrorist organization. The meeting - the culmination of many discussions between Saudi officials and Shiite activists in exile resulted in the return of some 350 activists to the kingdom, the release of political prisoners and a more relaxed
policy that allowed the building of more Shiite mosques.
After the 1996 attack, members of the Saudi
Hezbollah group were either arrested or fled into exile.
While the group no longer exists in the open and was dismantled after the Khobar attacks, it continues to be popular among some radical pockets of Shiites in Saudi
Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province. The group was created
in 1987 in eastern Saudi Arabia as a pro-Iranian organization modeled after the Lebanese Hezbollah militia. It also
is believed to have operated in Kuwait and Bahrain. The
FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list identifies Mughassil as
having been born in the eastern Saudi city of Qatif in
1967. — AP
Founder and Publisher
: 24833199-24833358-24833432
: 24835616/7
: 24835620/1
: 24833199 Extn. 163
: 24835619
: 24835618
P.O.Box 1301 Safat,13014 Kuwait.
E MAIL :[email protected]
Donors extend
‘shelf life’ of
2016 hopefuls
By Michael Mathes
hris Christie and Rick Perry may have stalled in
the US presidential race but they could struggle
on on to the first primary votes, thanks to the
mega-donors keeping their campaigns afloat. Polling
trends suggest neither is likely to make the 10-candidate cut for the next televised Republican presidential
debate on Sept 16. But in American politics a few generous donors can keep a sputtering campaign alive,
even when the political winds fail to fill a candidate’s
“This is the bring-your-own-billionaire election,”
Chris Gates, president of the Sunlight Foundation, a
non-partisan, pro-transparency group that is tracking
2016 campaign finance, told AFP on Monday. “It does
allow them to hang on,” he said of the largesse. “It
extends the shelf life of candidates who may not be
creating any buzz or fire in the electorate.”
Individuals are limited to contributing $2,700
directly to any candidate in federal elections. But with
campaign finance laws loosened in recent years,
Americans are unbridled when it comes to contributing to “super PACs,” independent political action committees that can raise unlimited funds but cannot
coordinate with a candidate’s campaign. New Jersey
Governor Christie and former Texas governor Perry are
but two of many in the 17-deep Republican field
seemingly propped up by backers with deep pockets.
The pair currently average a combined 4.6 percent
support in the polls. But they have seen a whopping
$24 million already poured into super PACs backing
their bids. Perry’s official campaign raised just $1.1 million in its first month, filings with the Federal Election
Commission show, far less than better-placed rivals
like Jeb Bush or Ted Cruz. Perry can reportedly no
longer pay many staffers, but he insists on soldiering
on, saying it’s not a sprint but a marathon. “It’s my
understanding the super PAC has an extraordinary
amount of dollars,” Perry maintained last week, according to the Texas Tribune. “They’re going to be out
telling our story, so we’ll make this.”
FEC filings show that two pro-Perry super PACs
have raised more than $13 million, including two
monster donations from a pair of Texas billionaires.
One of them, Kelcy Warren, chief executive of pipeline
giant Energy Transfer Partners which has Perry on its
board, ponied up $6 million to the Opportunity and
Freedom PACs. A million-dollar donation to America
Leads, which backs Christie, came from Paul Fireman,
who wants to build a $4 billion casino resort in
Christie’s state.
‘Wild West’ Finance
Four years ago it was former House speaker Newt
Gingrich and conservative ex-senator Rick Santorum
who “kept going beyond what some thought of as
their natural campaign lives” thanks to wealthy benefactors, said Viveca Novak of the Center for Responsive
Politics, a non-profit group that tracks money in politics. “What’s different this time is that many of these
super PACs are undertaking activities previously
thought of as campaign activities,” including voter outreach and door-knocking, Novak said.
The lines have begun to blur, and with the FEC in
perpetual deadlock and offering “zero enforcement,”
according to Sunlight’s Gates, “it’s pretty much the
wild West out there”. Among top donors aiming to
shape the election are Charles and David Koch, billionaire industrialists who, with a network of hundreds of
donors they have cultivated over decades, plan to
spend nearly $900 million through 2016, much of it on
the presidential campaign.
The concept of candidates beating a path to the
Koch door, particularly when the brothers host private
retreats where the likes of Bush, Cruz, Senator Marco
Rubio and former Hewlett Packard chief executive
Carly Fiorina can woo hundreds of wealthy donors
directly, has become known as the “Koch primary”.
Locking up such support could spell the difference
between a campaign’s longevity or an early exit. “What
we’re seeing is the ultra-wealthy picking the field, or
expanding the field,” Novak said. In the case of Donald
Trump, the ultra-wealthy is leading the field. The bombastic real estate mogul says he is beholden to no
super PACs or special interests, and that he could stay
in the race for the long haul, even if his star fades once
voting begins in February. —AFP
All articles appearing on these
pages are the personal opinion of
the writers. Kuwait Times takes no
responsibility for views expressed
therein. Kuwait Times invites readers to voice their opinions. Please
send submissions via email to: [email protected] or via snail
mail to PO Box 1301 Safat, Kuwait.
The editor reserves the right to edit
any submission as necessary.
Germany’s China exports turn into a risk
By Paul Carrel
ermany’s export exposure to China, for years a source of
economic strength, is fast turning into a risk that raises
questions about the health of other sources of growth in
Europe’s largest economy. Germany has the greatest trade exposure to China of the 28 European Union nations, largely thanks to
demand for its cars and the strength of its engineering industry.
For years, its EU peers tried - and failed - to match Germany’s
export prowess in China, where German companies profited from
the infrastructure and consumer spending that have helped
make the Chinese economy the world’s second largest.
But now a slowdown in China means corporate Germany’s
ventures there risk turning profit streams into cost burdens.
Worries about China sent global stocks tumbling on Monday
before they rebounded on Tuesday when Beijing cut interest
rates. “The weaknesses of Germany’s ‘special relationship’ with
China are becoming increasingly apparent,” said Hans Kundnani
at the German Marshall Fund. “I think there is a growing perception among German business people that they are too exposed
to China.”
Germany’s economic ties to China dwarf those of its European
counterparts. Led by the big carmakers, German firms moved into
China faster and more aggressively than many of their rivals, and
China has been a major source of growth for German exporters.
In 2007, the Chinese market accounted for just 3.1 percent of
German exports but that figure rose to 6.6 percent last year,
Federal Statistics Office data shows. By contrast, the share of
exports going to France slipped slightly over the same period.
Growth in China made it Germany’s fourth biggest export
market in 2014, after France, accounting for 9.0 percent of total
exports, the United States (8.5 percent) and Britain (7.4 percent).
However, this year the Chinese market is fading fast for Germany.
In the first half of 2015, export growth to China was just 0.8 percent - the same as to crisis-burdened Greece, figures from the
DIHK chambers of commerce show.
Engineers Hit
German engineers’ exports to China shrank by 4.9 percent in the
first half. Their machine products lag only cars as Germany’s largest
sector of export goods to China. For companies like German industrial
group ThyssenKrupp, the Chinese market is important. China accounts
for 16 percent of ThyssenKrupp Elevator’s sales, or about €1 billion
($1.14 billion) last year. Already some leading German brands are feeling the impact of the slowdown, which saw activity in China’s factory
sector shrink at its fastest pace in almost 6-1/2 years in August as
domestic and export demand dwindled.
Carmaker Volkswagen last month lowered its global sales forecast
and said it was braced for stagnant volumes in China, after years of
double-digit growth in its biggest market. The German government
has been at pains to describe the impact of China’s slowdown for
Germany as “limited”, and Berlin is sticking to its 1.8-percent growth
forecast for this year. That throws the spotlight onto more mature markets like the United States and the EU, which Berlin says are holding up
The United States actually overtook France in the first half of this
year to become Germany’s top export market for the first time since
1961, the DIHK said. But with European economies struggling to pick
up economic momentum, the United States would be a rather singular market for German exporters to depend on.
Leaner Pickings?
Even if Chinese demand does hold up - Beijing still has an official 7percent target for 2015 - China is morphing from a market for German
firms to a source of competition for them. “Chinese companies are
moving up the value chain and are increasingly competing with
German companies,” said Kundnani. “The long-term danger for
German companies is to get pushed out of the mass market into luxury niches.”
This is already having an effect on Germany’s carmakers, which last
year accounted for nearly a third of Germany’s €75 billion in exports
to China. VW said last month profits from its two Chinese joint ventures could even drop this year below 2014 levels amid a shift to lower-
priced cars, as demand in is increasingly driven by rural, less wealthy
Chinese regions. Klaus Wohlrabe, economist at Germany’s Ifo economic institute, said the China factor will grow in importance for businesses
in Germany, which drove economic euro zone growth in the second
quarter as France stagnated and Italy lost momentum.
China’s slowdown also risks hurting other German emerging
export markets. A senior government official in Brazil said on Tuesday
an economic recovery which had been expected later this year could
be delayed due to China. That could pose a problem to German firms
that have poured over 19 billion euros into the struggling Brazilian
economy. Exports remain crucial to Germany’s economic health. In the
April-June period, they grew by 2.2 percent on the quarter, the biggest
increase since the first quarter of 2011 and helped drive economic
growth of 0.4 percent on the quarter, Federal Statistics Office data
But against the uncertain global economic backdrop, Germany
could try to refocus its economy away from foreign trade. “Germany
still has room for manoeuvre and it would be a good thing to focus
more on investment and less on exports,” said Sandra Heep, economic
policy expert at the Mercator Institute for China Studies in Berlin. “With
the slowdown in China, this will become more urgent.”
A breakdown of Germany’s economic performance in the second
quarter highlighted its persistent weakness in investment. Gross capital investment fell in the three-month period and shaved 0.1 percentage points off economic output. “Low investment is the Achilles’ heel
of the German economy,” said Marcel Fratzscher, head of the DIW economic institute in Berlin.
Weaknesses in Germany’s transport and digital infrastructure,
skilled labour shortages and uncertainty around energy policy meant
that companies were holding off investments in Germany, he said.
German productivity already lags that in France, Belgium, the
Netherlands, and the United States, figures from the Organisation for
Economic Cooperations and Development show. By focusing so
intently on export markets like China, corporate Germany risks further
undermining the prospect of the domestic growth engine building
steam. —Reuters
China rate cuts welcome, but not enough
By Kelly Olsen
hina’s latest interest rate cut - the
fifth since November - is not enough
to reverse slowing growth in the
world’s second-largest economy, analysts
say, urging authorities to embrace lower
taxes and other more aggressive measures.
Increasing anxiety about weakness in
China’s economy, which is undergoing a
difficult transition, has sent domestic and
global financial markets into a tailspin and
raised questions about the grip its
Communist Party rulers have on policy.
China accounts for more than 13 percent of worldwide gross domestic product
(GDP) and is the planet’s biggest trader in
goods, making the health of its economy
key to global growth. After the benchmark
Shanghai stock index slid 22 percent over
four days the People’s Bank of China on
Tuesday cut lending and deposit rates by
0.25 percentage points each, and banks’
minimum reserve levels by 0.50 percentage points.
That took its lending rate to a record
low 4.60 percent, which should make it
easier for individuals, companies and local
governments to borrow - essential as
China tries to wean its economy off
exports and investment and move
towards a consumer-driven model. But
four previous cuts since November have
failed to add any sparkle and analysts said
the impact of the latest adjustments
would be limited without structural
changes to accompany them.
China’s state-controlled banks - the vast
majority of the official banking system prefer to lend to state-owned companies,
denying access to funds for private firms,
which are a more effective driver of
growth. The central bank needs to “make
sure the money can go to the real economy”, ANZ economist Liu Li-Gang told AFP.
ANZ said reforms to the bond market were
also needed to ensure firms and authorities can issue debt more easily, giving
them an alternative source of borrowing.
Economists at China International
Capital Corporation said reducing taxes,
especially for the corporate sector, could
be a more efficient way to boost the economy and profitability by freeing up funds
for productive investment. Chinese infrastructure spending has primarily benefited
state-owned companies where some of it
has been squandered.
‘Down the Drain’
The ruling Communist Party needs to
ensure continued growth to create a
steady flow of jobs and raise living standards in the world’s most populous nation,
a key element of its claim to legitimacy.
But GDP grew 7.4 percent last year, its
worst for nearly a quarter of a century, and
slowed further to 7.0 percent in both the
first two quarters this year. Official concerns about economic weakness go back
to 2013, with authorities deploying what
economists dubbed a “mini stimulus”
including tax breaks for small companies,
targeted infrastructure outlays and selected cuts to banks’ minimum reserve levels.
But from November the pace picked up
with more reserve reductions and interest
rate cuts-also designed to reduce high
consumer saving rates and free up funds
to replace investment as the country’s economic driver. Another target for reform is
China’s stock market, which has plummeted more than 40 percent since a spectacular debt-fuelled rally peaked in mid-June,
with broad government interventions failing to halt the decline.
Analysts point out that its rise - fuelled
by enthusiastic but ill-informed “mom and
pop” investors - was not driven by fundamentals, and that the fall is similarly disconnected. “The stock market is sliding,
but the economy is not,” the Global Times
tabloid, which has close ties to the communist party, stressed in an editorial, while
An investor gestures as he checks share prices at a securities firm in Shanghai
yesterday. —AFP
acknowledging that the falls had “made
many people lose heart”.
Despite the white-knuckle ride from
the popping of the China bubble, which
triggered huge losses on global markets,
some hope the government’s failure to
prop up overvalued shares will teach
authorities a valuable lesson. ANZ’s Liu
described the two trillion yuan ($312 billion) they are estimated to have spent in
efforts to support the market as “down the
drain”. “If they had used it to support the
real economy, China’s economy would be
much better now, so would the stock market,” he told AFP.
‘What it Had to Do’
In theory, China still has ample room to
reduce borrowing costs, unlike the major
economies of the US, Japan and the eurozone, where rates are at or near zero. But
interest rate cuts put more downward
pressure on China’s yuan currency, which
was devalued in a shock move earlier this
month and which authorities have since
promised will remain stable. While that
makes Chinese exports cheaper abroad, a
potential economic boost, it also makes
imports more expensive - and raises competition worries for other countries’
exporters. US officials, for example, have
long argued that the yuan is undervalued.
Yao Wei, Paris-based economist at
Societe Generale, said in a note that the
central bank “did what it had to do”, but
that the impact of the interest rate and
bank reserve cuts would depend on
whether authorities continue spending
foreign reserves to defend the unit. China
may have used more of its reserves to
prop up the currency since the Aug 11
devaluation than the almost 700 billion
yuan of added liquidity expected from the
bank reserve cut - neutralising the impact.
The People’s Bank of China should either
defend the currency to the hilt or let it
float freely, she said. “The PBoC has to
decide its currency strategy first.” —AFP
Air Force clause for Balotelli
Digne seals Roma move
Bid to plug leaky defence
MILAN: Maverick striker Mario Balotelli will have a good behaviour clause inserted
into his contract with AC Milan, banning extravagant haircuts and clothing and committing him to a healthy lifestyle.
Italian sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport said on Wednesday that the club’s chief
executive Adriano Galliani had based the clause on regulations which are applied to
people who serve in the Italian air force. The 25-year-old, repeatedly criticised for his
poor work rate, is set to return to Milan a year after leaving for
Liverpool, where he had a dismal season.
He underwent a medical in Milan on Tuesday ahead of
an unexpected loan move, although the deal has not yet
been officially confirmed. Yesterday the controversial
Italian said a fond farewell to Liverpool on his Facebook
page. “I’m grateful to Liverpool FC and Liverpool fans for
the time and opportunities you gave me,” he wrote. “It’s
not a goodbye but rather a farewell. “I’ll be supporting you
guys all the way in every competition... unless you face AC
Milan.” According to Gazzetta, Balotelli must not damage
the image of the club and his Twitter, Facebook and
Instagram posts will be closely monitored. He will be
banned from extravagant haircuts and clothing, from smoking and from visiting night clubs and must turn up on time for
training. His drinking will also be limited.—Reuters
MILAN: Serie A side Roma continued to shore up their defence yesterday with Paris
Saint Germain French international left-back Lucas Digne completing his loan move
to the capital club. After completing a medical, Digne, 22, signed with the
Giallorossi in a one-year deal that will see Roma pay PSG 2.5m euros and could end
up with the 22-year-old making the move permanent.
Key to the transfer was Roma coach Rudi Garcia, who while in charge of PSG’s
Ligue 1 rivals Lille handed Digne his first-team debut for the club in 2011.
Digne, who was a member of the France Under-20 side crowned world champions in 2013, told Roma TV: “I chose Roma because it’s a legendary club with a great
history. I know that in this city and at this club there’s everything you need to succeed.” It was at Lille that Digne, despite still being a teenager, first impressed and in
his second season with the northern French club he made seven appearances in
the Champions League.
Digne signed a five-year deal with PSG two seasons ago and in his short time
with the capital club won two league titles and the French Cup. Garcia-who has
guided Roma to two successive runners-up finishes behind Juventus in Serie A —
admitted two weeks ago strengthening his defence was a priority after the club
sold Greek international Jose Holebas to newly-promoted English Premier League
side Watford and French defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa joined Lyon. Since then
they have signed Slovakian Norbert Gyomber from Catania on a season-long loan
deal, which includes an option to make the transfer permanent. VfB Stuttgart
defender Antonio Ruediger was also signed on a similar deal last week. —AFP
LONDON: Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat says he needs more reinforcements to fix the Black Cats’ leaky defence which has conceded 11 goals
in four games this campaign.
Sunderland, who added three defenders this summer, let in three goals
against League Two side Exeter City in the League cup on Tuesday before
Jermain Defoe’s hat-trick secured their 6-3 win.
“I’m happy with the six goals, but totally unhappy with the way we gave
three goals away. That has to improve and the players
know that,” the 67-year-old Dutchman was quoted
as saying by the Sunderland Echo. “I am wondering
if it is to do with concentration, sharpness it cost
us three goals, and that’s a worry. And it’s not the
first time,” the former Netherlands manager added.
The Black Cats have been heavily linked with
Man City’s Belgian international defender Jason
Denayer, but Advocaat played down the
move. “There has been talk about the
young guy from Manchester City, but he
is going to another club,” said Advocaat.
“ We are still looking, but when
(Younes) Kaboul is fit, he’s a very good
player.”— Reuters
Astros demolish Yankees, Jays win
NEW YORK: Carlos Gomez and Evan Gattis both homered
and drove in four runs, sending Dallas Keuchel and the
Houston Astros to a 15-1 blowout of the New York
Yankees that briefly got testy Tuesday night. Keuchel (156) held New York scoreless for the second time this season and became the first 15-game winner in the
American League.
Gomez busted out of a hitting slump along with several teammates and rankled the Yankees with his flashy
style. The center fielder jawed with players in New York’s
dugout after flipping his bat aside when he flied out in
the sixth inning, then stood nose to nose with young
catcher John Ryan Murphy before they were separated.
Both benches and bullpens emptied, but the teams
quickly went their respective ways without any pushing
or shoving. His next time up, Gomez launched a three-run
homer into the Yankees’ bullpen in right-center to cap a
six-run seventh.
Troy Tulowitzki had a game-tying RBI single in the ninth
inning before Adrian Beltre’s throwing error allowed another Toronto run to score as the AL East-leading Blue Jays rallied for a victory over the Rangers. Rangers closer Shawn
Tolleson walked two of the first three batters he faced.
After pinch-hitter Justin Smoak flied out, Tulowitzki looped
a single to left to tie the game 5-5. Josh Donaldson then hit
a high chopper to Beltre, the four-time Gold Glove third
baseman who fielded the ball before a wide throw to first
It was only the second blown save this season for
Tolleson (5-3), who has 25 saves and had converted his last
12 chances. LaTroy Hawkins (3-1) gave up three singles in a
scoreless eighth before Roberto Osuna worked the ninth
for his 15th save in 16 chances.
Albert Pujols homered and the Angels scored three
times on wild pitches in a victory over the Tigers.
Both teams came into the game with four-game losing
streaks, dropping the Angels 1 1/2 games behind Texas for
the second American League wild card spot and the Tigers
to sixth, 5 1/2 games back.
Jered Weaver (6-9) picked up the win, despite allowing
six runs on seven hits in 5 2-3 innings. Weaver struck out
one batter and didn’t issue a walk. Huston Street got the
final four outs for his 30th save. Alfredo Simon (11-8) struggled badly, giving up eight runs on nine hits, four walks
and three wild pitches. He struck out two.
Josh Tomlin shook off three home runs and lasted six
innings to win his season debut at home and Michael
Brantley homered twice, leading the Indians to a win over
the Brewers.
Tomlin (2-1) allowed solo homers in the first and second
innings before retiring 12 straight until the sixth, when
Ryan Braun hit a two-run shot. The right-hander was making his third start since being activated from the disabled
list following shoulder surgery in March. He had been 0-5
in eight starts since his last win at Progressive Field.
Brantley hit a pair of two-run shots for the Indians, who
chased Wily Peralta (4-8) in the third inning. Jason Kipnis,
who came in tied for the AL batting lead, had three hits
and rookie Francisco Lindor had three RBIs for Cleveland.
Jonathan Lucroy homered twice and Domingo Santana
connected for Milwaukee.
Brian Dozier, Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario all homered as Minnesota beat the Rays for the Twins’ fifth straight
win. Dozier gave Minnesota a 7-5 advantage on a two-run
drive off reliever Matt Andriese (3-4) in the fourth. It was
the one-run lead for the final two innings. Jake Petricka (43) picked up the win in relief and combined with Zach
Duke and David Robertson to close it out.
Robertson pitched the ninth to earn his 26th save in 32
opportunities. Wade Miley (10-10) allowed five runs and 13
hits in 6 2-3 innings.
Tommy Pham had his second career three-hit game,
Jaime Garcia pitched six strong innings and St. Louis
cruised past Arizona. Three days after his first three-hit
game, Pham singled twice and got his second career triple.
He scored three times. Six players had RBIs for the
Cardinals, two apiece for Jhonny Peralta, Jason Heyward
and Yadier Molina. The Cardinals’ Peter Bourjos’ got his first
career pinch-hit home run.
Garcia (6-4) allowed a run and four hits, striking out six
and walking one. The Cardinals, 35 games above .500,
earned their MLB-best 80th victory and lengthened their
lead to five games over second-place Pittsburgh in the NL
Central. Robbie Ray (3-10) lasted three innings plus two
batters. He allowed six runs and five hits. Ray walked five,
hit a batter and struck out one.
NEW YORK: Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (1) keeps his foot on the bag as he reaches for a wide throw to put
out New York Yankees’ Brett Gardner during the ninth inning. — AP
his third homer in 11 at-bats against Tampa Bay this season. Eduardo Escobar hit a two-run double during a threerun fifth that extended the Twins’ lead to 10-6.
Tampa Bay catcher Curt Casali made it 10-7 on his ninth
homer since the All-Star break and 10th overall later in the
fifth, but appeared to take an awkward step near first base
and had to leave the game after slowly going around the
bases. Sano opened the scoring on a towering three-run
drive to center off Nathan Karns in the first. JR Graham (11) allowed one run over two-thirds of an inning for his first
major league win.
Michael Cuddyer hit a go-ahead two-run, pinch hit single in the sixth inning and Noah Syndergaard finally won
on the road as the Mets beat the Phillies for their fifth
straight victory. Yoenis Cespedes homered for the Mets,
who have won 17 of their last 23 to remain 51/2 games up
on the Nationals in the NL East. Ryan Howard and Freddy
Galvis homered for Philadelphia, which has lost seven
straight to the Mets.
Syndergaard (8-6) did just enough to earn his first road
victory of the season in his 10th try. He entered 0-5 with a
5.05 ERA away from Citi Field while 8-1 with a 1.82 at
home. In five innings, Syndergaard allowed four runs, two
earned, and four hits with nine strikeouts and two walks.
Jerome Williams (4-10) took the loss.
Stephen Strasburg allowed two hits over six innings,
Ryan Zimmerman hit a grand slam and the Nationals beat
the Padres. Wilson Ramos also homered for the Nationals,
who are chasing the first-place New York Mets in the NL
East. Strasburg (8-6) struck out seven and walked one. The
right-hander retired the final 15 batters he faced. Strasburg
is 5-1 with a 1.51 ERA in his last seven starts and 5-1 in his
career against the Padres.
Zimmerman connected in the sixth off Bud Norris for an
8-2 lead. It was his fifth career slam, the first since 2013.
Jedd Gyorko homered twice but San Diego lost its second
straight after five consecutive wins. James Shields (9-6)
gave up four runs, eight hits and four walks in 5 2/3
innings. San Diego has lost 12 of his 15 starts since June 9.
Chad Bettis pitched five solid innings in his return from
the disabled list and the Rockies scored four unearned
runs, taking advantage of three errors by Atlanta third
baseman Adonis Garcia in a victory over the Braves.
Bettis (6-4) allowed five hits, walked two and struck out
four in his first big league start since July 18. He was coming back from right elbow inflammation.
The Rockies scored two runs in the first after Garcia misplayed a grounder to his left that could have been an
inning-ending double play. Garcia let Nick Hundley’s
grounder get right through him to start the fourth, allowing the Rockies to tack on two more runs when DJ
LeMahieu came through with a two-out, bases-loaded single. Garcia made another error in the fifth. Atlanta starter
Mike Foltynewicz (4-6) went five innings and took the loss.
Alex Wood took a shutout into the sixth inning, and
Justin Turner and Jimmy Rollins each hit two-run home
runs as the Dodgers snapped their five-game losing streak
with a win over the Reds. Rollins also doubled and scored
while the NL West-leading Dodgers matched their run total
from their previous four games combined. The Reds have
lost 10 of their last 11 games.
Cincinnati got its leadoff batter on base in four of the
first five innings, but never pushed anybody past second
with Wood (9-8) on the mound. He left after Brandon
Phillips singled with two outs in the sixth, and reliever
Chris Hatcher then gave up Todd Frazier’s RBI double. John
Lamb (0-2) allowed three runs in five innings.
Major-league batting leader Dee Gordon tied a career
high with four stolen bases, had two infield hits and scored
twice, helping the Marlins beat the Pirates.
Miami’s Brad Hand (4-3) pitched into the ninth inning.
He came into the game 7-20 as a starter, worst among all
active pitchers, according to STATS, but has won three of
his past four starts. AJ Ramos came on with two on and no
outs in the ninth and earned his 22nd save in 27 chances.
Gordon scored the Marlins’ first run and reached on a
bunt single to begin their three-run sixth against Charlie
Morton (8-5). Gordon turned two double plays at second
base, including a nifty one started by third baseman
Martin Prado. Gordon hiked his average to .333, and he
leads the majors with 156 hits.
Kendrys Morales hit a solo homer, Mike Moustakas and
Eric Hosmer also drove in runs and the Royals leaned on
their bullpen to beat the Orioles.Danny Duffy (7-6) dodged
trouble for most of 5 2-3 innings, allowing two runs on five
hits and two walks. The left-hander struck out five in a start
that began in crisp efficiency and ended with the Orioles
threatening to pull ahead in the sixth inning. Luke
Hochevar calmed things down with an inning of relief,
though. Kelvin Herrera had no trouble with the rest of the
seventh and eighth, and Wade Davis pitched a perfect
ninth in place of closer Greg Holland to earn his 12th save.
Miguel Gonzalez (9-10) allowed all three runs on six hits
and three walks in 4 1-3 innings.
DETROIT: Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols throws from his knee after fielding a Detroit Tigers’ James
McCann ground ball during the seventh inning of a baseball game. — AP
Rookie Trayce Thompson drove in three runs, including
a go-ahead, two-run double, and the White Sox beat the
Red Sox. Thompson, who was called up Aug. 3, finished 3
for 4 and was a home run shy of hitting for the cycle. His
two-out double sparked a three-run seventh inning, when
the White Sox erased a 4-2 deficit.
Melky Cabrera added an RBI single in the seventh for
Chicago, which had 15 hits. The Chicago bullpen protected
Austin Jackson’s bases-loaded, two-run single in the
fifth inning capped Seattle’s rally from a five-run deficit and
led the Mariners past Oakland. Down 5-0 entering the
fourth inning, Nelson Cruz sparked Seattle’s comeback
with his major league-leading 38th home run, a solo shot
off Jesse Chavez. He extended his streak of reaching base
safely to 35 straight games. Logan Morrison, on his 28th
birthday, finished the fourth-inning rally with a two-run
shot, his 13th, off the foul pole in right. The Mariners added
three runs in the fifth, finishing with Jackson’s two out, goahead single that chased Chavez (7-13).
Kyle Schwarber, Miguel Montero and Starlin Castro all
hit home runs in support of another solid outing from Jake
Arrieta, and Chicago won its sixth straight.
Schwarber’s towering, three-run homer in the third set
the tone for the Cubs, who have won 21 of 25 games to
pull 7 1/2 games ahead of the Giants for the second wildcard spot. Arrieta (16-6) had his 13th consecutive quality
start, the longest streak by a Cubs pitcher in 23 years. He
allowed an unearned run on four hits in six-plus innings.
Arrieta, who took over the major-league lead for wins,
walked one and struck out eight, lowering his ERA to 2.22,
second in the NL behind Los Angeles Dodgers’ Zack
Greinke’s 1.67. Hector Rondon pitched the ninth for his
24th save Matt Cain (2-4) lasted five innings, giving up six
runs and eight hits. — AP
MLB results/standings
Houston 15, NY Yankees 1; Washington 8, San Diego 3; NY
Mets 6, Philadelphia 5; LA Angels 8, Detroit 7; Colorado 5,
Atlanta 1; LA Dodgers 5, Cincinnati 1; Minnesota 11, Tampa
Bay 7; Cleveland 11, Milwaukee 6; Miami 5, Pittsburgh 2;
Toronto 6, Texas 5; Chicago White Sox 5, Boston 4; Kansas
City 3, Baltimore 2; St. Louis 9, Arizona 1; Seattle 6, Oakland
5; Chicago Cubs 8, San Francisco 5.
American League
Eastern Division
NY Yankees
Tampa Bay
Central Division
Kansas City
Chicago White Sox
Western Division
LA Angels
NY Mets
St. Louis
Chicago Cubs
LA Dodgers
San Francisco
San Diego
National League
Eastern Division
Central Division
Western Division
D-Day looms for England squad hopefuls
LONDON: A handful of players vying for the last
available slots in England’s rugby World Cup squad
will have their last chance to state their case in a
full-scale practice match yesterday before Stuart
Lancaster unveils the 31-man group today.
The most intriguing dilemma is in midfield,
something of a weak area for England for years,
where Lancaster has to find the right blend of power and panache, experience and potential.
Certain of his place in the squad and the starting
team is Jonathan Joseph, whose electric performances over the last year have softened the blow of
losing the banned Manu Tuilagi.
Also in is Brad Barritt, the defensive enforcer who
Lancaster holds in very high esteem. Until this
month it was assumed that Luther Burrell, Joseph’s
regular partner in the Six Nations, was another certainty but it seems he might be still in the TBC
department after a late run by Henry Slade and Sam
Burgess, both of whom made impressive test
debuts in the home warm-up win over France earlier this month. Slade, who also covers the flyhalf
position, is a classy performer with an eye for a gap
and is reportedly pencilled in for a slot, whereas
rugby league convert Burgess is still grasping the
rudiments of the game but brings with him huge
physicality and proven big-match temperament.
That was something sorely missing for much of
England’s dire display in Paris last week but an
impressive performance off the bench by Nick
Easter may have been enough to earn the 37-oldold a berth. Ben Morgan made his first appearance
in eight months against France at Twickenham following a broken leg and though he was a key part
of the set-up last year, his lack of match fitness
might open the door for Easter to back up Billy
Easter’s case is helped by the fact he can play at
blindside flanker and even lock. Versatility is not
always the advantage it seems, however, as
flyhalf/fulback Danny Cipriani seems likely to discover.
Despite showing plenty of invention off the
bench in Paris it would appear there is no room at
the inn for the reformed bad boy of English rugby,
with George Ford and Owen Farrell filling two flyhalf spots and Mike Browne and Alex Goode probably in as specialist fullbacks.
There is a tight call in the second row between
the more athletic George Kruis and oak-hewn Dave
Attwood while Jamie George looks set to claim the
third hooker berth ahead of Luke Cowan-Dickie.
Lancaster is due to announce his squad at 12.45
GMT today and he is likely to play his first-choice
team in the final warm-up match against Ireland on
Sept. 5. — Reuters
FINA clears Sun
over ‘altercation’
SPAIN: Australian cyclist Caleb Ewan (right) celebrates ahead of German cyclist John
Degenkolb (center) and Slovenian cyclist Peter Sagan, winning the fifth stage of the 2015
Vuelta Espana cycling tour. — AP
Ewan clinches
Vuelta stage win
SPAIN: Caleb Ewan celebrated the biggest
win of his career yesterday, the 21-year-old
Australian claiming the fifth stage of Spain’s
Vuelta with Dutch rider Tom Dumoulin the
new overall leader.
Ewan, tackling his debut Vuelta, prevailed
in a dash for the line after a 167.5 kilometre
ride from Rota to Alcala de Guadaira.
His teammate, Johan Esteban Chaves,
started the day in possession of the leader’s
red jersey but by the end of the stage he’d
been relegated to second in the general classification, albeit by only one second to Team
Giant-Alpecin’s Dumoulin.
Dumoulin came in 15th with Chaves in
20th in the stage. In third, 16sec back, was
Team Sky’s Irish rider Nicolas Roche. Ewan’s
win was made all the sweeter as he crossed
the line with specialist sprinters John
Degenkolb of Germany - whose big race wins
include the Milan-SanRemo and ParisRoubaix - and Slovakia’s Peter Sagan - a four
time winner of the Tour de France points classification - in his wake.
Ewan was set up for his breakthrough success in perfect style by other members of his
team in the final 50 metres. “This is by far the
best day of my career,” he smiled.
“To beat some of the top sprinters in the
world, especially riders like Degenkolb or
Sagan, on a climbing finish like that, that
means a lot to me.” Ewan, for whom this is a
first shot at one of the Grand Tours, added:
“It’s an honour to compete against riders like
that.” Sagan was well placed in second but he
was put in his place by the promising Aussie
who came round the German to take the
honors. Today’s sixth stage is a 200.3km ride
from Cordoba and Sieera de Cazorla with a
finish on a third category summit. —AFP
SINGAPORE: Swimming’s world governing body
has cleared Chinese Olympic champion Sun
Yang of any wrongdoing following complaints
over his behavior at this month’s world championships in Russia.
FINA executive director Cornel Marculescu
told Reuters the altercation that led to a complaint against Sun was the result of overcongestion in the warmup pool in Kazan and did not
warrant further action. “There was a misunderstanding in the pool,” Marculescu said. “In Kazan,
we have over 1,000 swimmers, so the preparation pool became very crowded.”
The Brazilian Aquatic Sports Federation said it
made a formal complaint to FINA about Sun following a confrontation with a Brazilian female
competitor during a warm-up session on the last
day of the championships. A Brazilian coach said
Sun had tried to kick and elbow Larissa Oliveira
after they collided with each other in the
warmup pool.
Sun later withdrew from the final of the 1500
metres freestyle, an event he won at the previous world championships and at the London
Olympics - and in which he holds the world
record - citing a heart problem. Sun apologised
for pulling out of the race but neither he nor the
Chinese Swimming Federation commented on
the warmup pool incident. He was later named
as the best male swimmer in Kazan after winning the 400 metres and 800 metres.
“ This is not, for me, anything special,”
Marculescu said. “(In the future) we need two
preparation pools because one is not enough.”
Sun’s shock withdrawal from the 1500 metres
caught most people by surprise, including FINA
officials, who spoke to Sun before the race was
due to start.
“We discussed it with the (Chinese) delegation and the federation and finally with him
and he said it was some health problem,”
Marculescu said. “His coach was also debating
with him, a little bit stronger, to make him
swim but he said he can’t. “He’s a great star,
he’s a great swimmer. But with the young peo-
Brilliant Bonhomme wins Ascot stop
with third victory of the season
ASCOT: Britain’s Paul Bonhomme was crowned the winner
of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship stop at the
famous Ascot Racecourse, flying brilliantly under pressure in
the world’s fastest motorsport series. The victory was
Bonhomme’s third this season and second straight win at
Ascot to the delight of more than 40,000 spectators.
Bonhomme’s final run was flawless and he stopped the
clock in 1.06.416 seconds. Australia’s Matt Hall took second
place in 1.09.024, while Yoshihide Muroya got his first podium of the season with third place.
With the hard-fought victor y in the Final Four,
Bonhomme picked up 12 points to widen his lead at the top
of the Red Bull Air Race Championship to eight points (46
points) ahead of Hall (38 points) in second going into the
final three races. Reigning Red Bull Air Race World
Champion Nigel Lamb of Britain, who last year finished second at the race over the historic Ascot Racecourse, finished
back in 5th place, a result that eliminated his chances of
defending his title. “It was a hard day at the office but today
was great fun - I enjoyed that ,” said Bonhomme after hitting
speeds of near 370 km/h on a challenging course made up
of 12 air gates standing 25 metres high on the infield of the
track. “All I can say is this was due to teamwork, teamwork,
teamwork. I’m only the pilot. I just point the plane in the
right direction.” It was the second time the Red Bull Air Race
was staged in Ascot, just west of London, that has quickly
become one of the most attractive air race locations in the
world and a favourite of the pilots, who relish taking off and
landing on the grassy strip in front of the big crowd.
Austria’s Hannes Arch, who struggled in the training session and was last in Saturday’s Qualifications, finished a disappointing eighth after winning the last two races in
Budapest and Rovinj, Croatia. Arch had a great run in the
Round of 12, just beating Bonhomme. However, Arch was
unable to get his engine started before the Round of 8 and
was forced to retire. “It’s frustrating if you can’t race but
that’s life,” said Arch, who slipped to third overall with 30
In the Red Bull Air Race, which is the official world championship of the FÈdÈration AÈronautique Internationale
(FAI), the world’s top pilots hit speeds of 370 km/h while
enduring forces of up to 10G as they navigate as precisely as
possible through a low-level slalom track marked by 25metre high air-filled pylons. The Red Bull Air Race World
Championship moves to its next stop to Spielberg, Austria
on September 5-6.
ple, you never know.”
Sun became the first Chinese man to win an
Olympic swimming gold medal when he took
the 400 metres and 1,500 metres freestyle double in London, but has courted controversy several times since.
have imposed a longer suspension but opted for
a lenient punishment because Sun had been
given medication, which had only just been
added to the banned list, to treat a heart issue.
Marculescu, in Singapore for the world junior
championships, also said no action would be
Sun Yang in action in this file photo.
In 2013 he found himself in hot water with
Chinese swimming officials for missing training
sessions and was suspended from engaging in
any commercial activities, which had flooded in
following his Olympic success.
He then fell foul of the law and spent a week
in jail for crashing a car that he had driven without a licence. In 2014, it emerged that Sun had
secretly served a three-month ban after testing
positive for a banned stimulant. China could
taken against Mexico for entering the wrong
times for some of their swimmers in Kazan.
Marculescu said there were no rules to punish
countries who falsified entry times and he did
not consider the matter serious because none of
the nation’s swimmers made it past the heats.“No
entry time or entry time, it’s not a big issue,” he
said. “There’s no rules to tell I have to punish him.
He swims but he (doesn’t) qualify (for finals). “He’s
welcome to swim at the championships. It’s not
so strict as the Olympics.” — Reuters
Irish look to take shine off Aussie World Cup win
BELFAST: Australia play their first oneday international as world champions in
Belfast today with a new captain and
three uncapped players in the 14-man
squad which meets Ireland in a one-off
game at Stormont. Although their World
Cup victory was just five months ago, it
will be Steve Smith leading Australia, not
Michael Clarke and Matthew Wade keeping wicket instead of Brad Haddin who
has retired from one-day cricket.
The newcomers are Joe Burns, who is
in line to replace Aaron Finch at the top of
the order, while the World Cup opener
recovers from a fractured foot, all-rounder
Marcus Stoinis who come in for the suspended James Faulkner, and the sole specialist spinner in the squad is Ashton Agar,
returning to an Australia side for the first
time since the 2013 Ashes tour.
Five of the World Cup winning team and eight of the squad - are still around
despite Mitchell Johnson and Josh
Hazlewood being sent home to prepare
for the domestic season, leaving the
world No 1 ODI bowler Mitchell Starc to
lead the attack.
Three years ago, on their last visit to
Belfast, rain washed out the game after
just 10.4 overs but not before Pat
Cummins was clocked at 94mph, and with
Nathan Coulter-Nile and James Pattinson
both returning to the squad for the first
time this year, Cummins (22), who took
five wickets in his two World Cup games,
will likely share the new ball with Starc.
Shane Watson may have lost his Test
place but he is still a key member of the
one-day squad, along with Glenn
Maxwell who is the only Australia batsman in the world’s ODI top 10, just
ahead of former captain George Bailey
with Smith down in 13th place.
The bowling is even starker with
Maxwell, at No 70, rated the second
best Australia bowler in this squad so
they have much to prove.
The game against Ireland, the leading Associate nation which defeated
West Indies and Zimbabwe at this year’s
World Cup, may be seen as a ‘warm-up’
for the five-match series against
England which starts next week but the
world champions will have to be fully
focused against an experienced team
which revels in the underdogs tag.
Captain William Porterfield is one
of six playing regular county cricket
while Andrew Balbirnie, who scored
97 in the Zimbabwe win and slow left
armer George Dockrell are with
Middlesex and Somerset respectively.
All 13 were in the World Cup squad as
new coach John Bracewell, the former
New Zealand off spinner who took
over from Phil Simmons, eases himself
into the job.
Australia is one of the teams Ireland
have yet to beat, but five years ago, in
Dublin, Porterfield and Paul Stirling put
on 80 for the first wicket, in reply to
Australia’s 231 for nine, to empty the
hospitality tents.
The introduction of James Hopes
sparked a collapse which saw all 10
wickets fall for 112 but if Ireland get
into the same position again, they
will be confident of finishing the job
this time.
Ireland: W Porterfield (capt), A
Balbirnie, G Dockrell, E Joyce, J Mooney, T
Murtagh, A McBrine, K O’Brien, N O’Brien,
P Stirling, S Thompson, G Wilson, C Young.
Australia: S Smith (capt), A Agar, G
Bailey, J Burns, N Coulter-Nile, P
Cummins, G Maxwell, M Marsh, J
Pattinson, M Starc, M Stoinis, M Wade, S
Watson, D Warner. —AFP
Smith ready for ‘new era’
LONDON: Newly-appointed Australia captain Steven Smith said he was ready for a
“new era” as he prepared to lead them for
the first time since Michael Clarke’s retirement.
Australia face Ireland in Belfast today in
what will be the first one-day international
since beating New Zealand in the World
Cup final in Melbourne in March.
It will also be Australia’s first match since
Clarke retired from all international cricket
after the fifth and final Test against England
at The Oval last week.
Australia won by an innings and 46 runs
but victory in south London came too late
to save the Ashes, with England winning
the five-match series 3-2.
The 26-year-old Smith, who had
deputised as skipper in both Test and oneday cricket when Clarke was injured, was
long seen as Australia’s captain in waiting
and is looking forward to taking up the role
full time. “I’m very excited,” Smith told travelling Australian media in Belfast yesterday.
“Obviously, I’ve known for a little while now
that I was going to be taking over the oneday squad, so I’ve been working pretty
hard and preparing (for) everything coming up,”
He added: “The last time this group was
together, we won a World Cup, so I don’t
think we have to change a whole heap.
We’re currently No.1 in the world. I think
for us now, it’s just about raising that bar
and continuing to get better each day.”
Although Australia’s squad contains several World Cup-winners in Smith, David
Warner, Shane Watson, Glenn Maxwell and
Mitchell Starc, it also includes the likes of
uncapped players such as Joe Burns and
Marcus Stoinis. “I guess it’s a new era in a
way for Australian cricket,” said Smith. “But
they’re really excited and I’m really excited
to see them do well on this tour.”
And Smith added the presence of the
newcomers could help ease the pain of an
Ashes defeat. “It’s been a tough tour for us.
It’s disappointing to have lost the Ashes,”
Smith said.
“(But we have a) new group now with
some younger, newer guys who hopefully
can bring some exuberance and energy to
help lift the spirits a bit and help get back
on track (and) hopefully start my career in
captaincy on this one-day tour on a winning note.”
Ireland, however, have a deserved reputation as one-day giant-killers, although
they’ve yet to beat Australia. The non-Test
nation only missed out on a place in the
World Cup quarter-finals on net run-rate,
being pipped to a last eight place by a West
Indies team they beat in pool play.
“I think they’re an improving side,” Smith
said. “They’ve got some good players that
can take a game away from you a little bit.
“We’re going to continue to try and emulate what we did in the World Cup.”
With Aaron Finch currently sidelined
with a broken foot, Burns is set to make his
ODI debut on Thursday, having made his
Test bow against India in Melbourne in
Impressing at one-day level could help
bolster Burns’s chances of filling the spot at
the top of the Test order left vacant by the
retirement of Chris Rogers.
“You’ve seen (chief selector) Rod Marsh
say it before-if you’re scoring runs at the
one-day international level, you can put
your hand up for other formats of the game
as well,” said Smith.
The Ireland fixture precedes Australia’s
lone Twenty20 international against
England in Cardiff on August 31. Smith’s
men then face their Ashes conquerors in a
five -match one -day series starting in
Southampton on September 3. —AFP
Steven Smith
Warburton desperate
to go ‘one step further’
LONDON: Wales captain Sam Warburton
is eager to improve on the country’s
World Cup performance four years ago
as he tries to lead them out of the socalled ‘group of death’ at next month’s
edition in England. The Welsh reached
the semi-finals in New Zealand in 2011
only to lose 9-8 to France-a match where
they lost scrum anchor Adam Jones early
in the first half before Warburton was
sent off before half-time. Now they find
themselves in a pool featuring World
Cup hosts England and two-time champions Australia-a team that have won
their last 10 Tests against Wales.
At least one of the three major
nations will miss out on a quarter-final
spot, with Fiji-who knocked Wales out of
the 2007 World Cup-also in the same
Only the top two teams from each of
the four pools will qualify for the last
eight. “We definitely want to go one step
further,” back-row forward Warburton
said yesterday.
“All the players get asked questions
about the last World Cup, and it’s always
the ‘what if’ question. “No one really
knows what would have happened. It’s
impossible to say.
“With Adam Jones going off pretty
early-he was arguably the number one
tighthead in the world at that time, and
the scrum is so important against
France-that was probably as much a
killer blow as my red card, really,”
Warburton added.
“It is impossible to answer what
would have happened, but the spine of
the team this time is pretty similar, with
everyone probably 30 or 40 caps better
“The leadership group we’ve got in
the squad as a whole is so much better
than it was four years ago, which makes
my job a lot easier as well.
“In a World Cup, you have got to
string six or seven games together to be
able to make sure you can win it. It’s
about that consistency of performance
week in, week out.”
Meanwhile the 26-year-old paid tribute to Wales coach Warren Gatland for
giving him an early introduction to Test
rugby in 2009, which in turn led to the
Cardiff Blues flanker captaiing both
Wales and the British and Irish Lions.
“I doubt I would be in the position I
would be in if it wasn’t for Warren,” said
Warburton of the New Zealander.
“Another coach probably wouldn’t have
put his faith in a 22-year-old kid who
only had 14 or 15 caps when he picked
me as captain (in 2011). He stuck by me.
“I do feel that I am a slightly different
player when I am playing under Warren
for Wales. He gives me a heck of a lot of
confidence, and I think that brings out
some of my better rugby.
“Some of the best games I’ve played
have been under Warren’s guidance. A
lot of the things I have achieved in my
career, a massive part of that is due to
Warren.” —AFP
Virat Kohli
India, Sri Lanka set
for thrilling finale
COLOMBO: Virat Kohli’s buoyant India will chase
their first series win in Sri Lanka in 22 years when
the third and decisive final Test starts in Colombo
The tourists thrashed the hosts by 278 runs in
the second Test at the P. Sara Oval in Colombo on
Monday to level the series after Sri Lanka had
won the opening match in Galle by 63 runs.
But before they step on the field at the
Sinhalese sports club, both camps will attempt to
sort out injury and personnel issues to find the
right combination for the decider.
India, who have not won a Test series on the
island since 1993, will be without the injured trio
of regular openers Murali Vijay and Shikhar
Dhawan, plus wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha.
Sri Lanka will begin a new era following the
retirement of batting great Kumar Sangakkara
from international cricket after the second Test
looking to fill a major void in the top order. With
Mahela Jayawardene quitting Test cricket last
year, Sri Lanka find themselves short of experience. Veteran left-arm spinner Rangana Herath
has played 62 Tests and skipper Angelo Mathews
51, but no others in the squad have more than 22
Test caps.
Sangakkara’s decision not to play all three
Tests in a series as he wound down his career had
already cost Sri Lanka two months ago. He elected to miss the decider against Pakistan in
Pallekele in June, a game the hosts lost by seven
wickets. Mathews said he regretted not giving
Sangakkara a winning farewell, but vowed to
fight back and win the series for him.
“It really pains me that we could not give him
a good farewell, but I promised him that we will
play the next game well and try to win the series
for him,” the Sri Lankan captain said.
Sri Lanka are expected to replace the 134-Test
veteran with another left-hander, Upul Tharanga,
who has scored 1,113 runs in 20 Tests at an average of 31.80.
India, meanwhile, are likely to play top-order
batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, for the first time in
the series, as opening partner for Lokesh Rahul in
the absence of Dhawan and Vijay.
Uncapped 32-year-old Naman Ojha, a wicketkeeper-batsman who reinforced the injury-hit
touring squad on Monday along with young batsman Karun Nair, could come in for Saha.
“Pujara is pretty solid with the new ball,” said
Kohli. “He has done the job in the past and we are
very confident he will do the job in the next game
as well.”
India will once again bank on their spin twins,
Ravichandran Ashwin and Amit Mishra, who
shared 14 of the 20 wickets in the second Test to
fashion the team’s emphatic win.
Mathews conceded Sri Lankan batsmen needed to find a way to tackle off-spinner Ashwin, who
followed his 10-wicket haul in the first Test with
seven scalps at the P. Sara Oval.
“We have a lot of left-handers in our line-up
and it makes it easier for Ashwin to be aggressive
against them,” Mathews said of Ashwin, who dismissed Sangakkara in all four innings in the series.
“We need to find a way to counter-attack him.
We can’t just hang around. He will bowl the odd
good ball anyway in an over, so we need to score
The last time Sri Lanka played a Test at the SSC
a year ago, they swamped Pakistan by 105 runs to
break a sequence of four successive draws on a
traditionally high-scoring pitch.
India have lost two and drawn three of their
last five matches at the venue. Their lone success
at the SSC was the series-clinching 235-run victory in 1993. —AFP
PCB halts early return for Butt and Asif
LAHORE: Pakistan cricket authorities yesterday set out a path for
spot-fixing convicts Salman Butt
and Mohammad Asif to return to
the international game, but effectively ruled out any chance of
them playing in next month’s
national event.
Butt and Asif attended a lecture from the Pakistan Cricket
Board (PCB) officer on vigilence
and corruption as the first step in
a rehabilitation process towards
playing at domestic level.
“The two players were invited
to a lecture on anti-corruption as
part of their rehabilitation,” PCB
chairman Shaharyar Khan told
AFP. “Under the process they will
have to attend lectures, accept
guilt at various forums, show
remorse and give lectures to
future players,” he said.
In a statement issued later in
the day, the PCB said the players
will not be able to use the
National Cricket Academy (NCA)
and will be barred from practising
with players from the national
In 2011, the International
Cricket Council (ICC) banned Butt,
Asif and Mohammad Amir for five
years over a spot-fixing case happened during Pakistan’s tour to
England a year earlier.
The three players-along with
their agent Mazhar Majeed-were
charged and later jailed for
arranging deliberate no-balls in
return for money during the
Lord’s Test against England.
The ICC lifted sanctions on Butt
and Asif last week, making them
eligible for domestic and international cricket from 2 September
this year.
Amir’s sanctions were lifted in
January after the ICC amended its
code of conduct, a reward for the
young paceman who pleaded
guilty during the criminal proceedings in UK in November 2011.
Khan said PCB will monitor
Butt and Asif’s progress at a lower
level, just as it did for Amir. Both
Butt and Asif were included in the
Lahore and Sialkot teams for the
National Twenty20 event starting
in Rawalpindi from 1 September
this year. Asif said he has agreed
to complete the rehabilitation
course the PCB has set out for
“Of course, its a detailed
process but I will try to complete
it as soon as possible and agree to
it. I will play at lower level and
then in first-class cricket,” he told
reporters. —AFP
LAHORE: Pakistani cricketer Mohammad Asif arrives at Pakistan
Cricket Board’s headquarters in Lahore. —AP
Serena makes case for all-time women’s legends
NEW YORK: Serena Williams enters the
US Open making a case for herself not
only as the greatest women’s tennis
player in history, but possibly the greatest woman in sports history.
The 33-year-old star has sustained a
level of excellence few can rival, from
winning her first Grand Slam singles
title as a teen prodigy at the 1999 US
Open to collecting her 21st last month
at Wimbledon, completing her second
career “Serena Slam” of holding all four
major trophies at once.
Winning a record-tying fourth consecutive US Open women’s title, a feat
last achieved by Chris Evert in 1978,
would give Williams something she has
never achieved before-a calendar year
Grand Slam-and link her with only a
handful of the game’s greatest legends,
men or women.
But it’s not something world number
one Williams wants to contemplate just
yet. It’s like pondering a good book
before the last chapter is written, especially as Williams is penning an epic tale
that doesn’t appear set to end anytime
“I just want to play tennis,” Williams
said. “I don’t necessarily want to hear
about this history and that history,
because I just want to be able to do the
best that I can. I want to be able to win
and I don’t want any distractions. That’s
how I’m going to handle it.”
When the year’s final Grand Slam
event starts Monday in New York,
Williams will be a huge favorite. She has
won Wimbledon, the US Open and the
Australian Open six times each and collected three French Open crowns. “I
compete a lot against my standards,”
Williams said. “I have such high standards for myself and I expect the best
from me and nothing less.”
Matching her “Serena Slam” run from
the 2002 French Open through the
2003 Australian Open required Williams
to endure numerous three-set fights on
London grass, but she emerged triumphant.
“To have all four at the same time,
two times in one career, that totally
means a lot,” Williams said. “It was really
important for me to do that.”
Williams is only one shy of Steffi
Graf’s Open Era career record of 22 titles
and the retired German legend tweeted
that Williams’ feat was “incredible” and
an “amazing accomplishment.”
“I see her post things about me and
that’s pretty awesome,” Williams said. “I
really am still like a kid when I see her or
I see posts. I get super excited. I’m still
living the dream.”
At 33, Williams is the oldest women’s
world number one-no man so old has
won a Grand Slam title since 1972 —
and her best might be yet to come. “I’ve
definitely gotten a little better,” Williams
said. “I really don’t feel my age. It’s gratifying at whatever age you achieve it.”
Williams is three Slam singles titles
shy of matching Australian Margaret
Court’s all-time record and would join a
rare calendar-year Slam list that includes
Graf, Court, Maureen Connolly, Don
Budge and Rod Laver by winning at
Flushing Meadows.
“I feel OK about my game,” Williams
said. “I’m always looking to improve. I’m
never comfortable. That’s when I think
you are susceptible to losing.”
She became a US Open champion at
age 17, only the second AfricanAmerican woman after Althea Gibson to
claim a Grand Slam title. Williams,
coached by her father Richard, was
toughened on the streets of Los Angeles
and by practices with older sister Venus,
a seven-time major champion.
Maturity brought a fashion design
business and a foot in the entertainment realm as an actress, but her domination when focused on tennis has
made Williams the likely target for a
new generation of record chasers yet to
“I think it will be great,” Williams said
of such days. “I think it’s amazing. I
think I would be really supportive, like
Steffi is of me. It’s such a great feeling. I
always want to see people do well and
be successful. I think it will be really
cool.” —AFP
Amir Khan vows to help
Pakistan produce boxers
KARACHI: British boxer Amir Khan yesterday vowed to help Pakistan produce champion pugilists with a network of academies
in his family’s country of origin.
The former two-time world champion is
currently touring the South Asian giant of
200 million people better known for its
prowess in cricket, and plans to set up boxing schools in the western Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa province, eastern Punjab,
and the southern city of Karachi.
“I think we have the talent to produce
boxing champions,” the 28-year-old told
media during a visit to Karachi’s troubled
Lyari area, which is frequently hit by gang
violence but also known for producing talented footballers and boxers.
“I have made a promise to the nation
that I will pay back what I have achieved in
boxing,” added the highly-rated fighter
from Bolton, England who has a record of
31 wins including 19 knockouts, and three
Khan was accompanied by a heavy
security contingent to the neighbourhood,
which has long been a hub of political, ethnic and criminal violence.
“I am here to meet potential champions
and I am not afraid of anything, we will...
beat terror and produce boxers of top quality,” he said.
Pakistan’s sole Olympic boxing medallist
is Hussain Shah, who won a middleweight
bronze in the Seoul Games in 1988. The
country has also produced an Asian Games
gold-medallist in Mehrullah Lassi, who won
the featherweight division at Busan, South
Korea in 2002.
Khan, who became Britain’s youngest
Olympic boxing medallist when he won silver at the 2004 Athens Olympics, said he
was keen to train Pakistani boxers.
“I will pass my tricks to them and will do
my best to help them qualify for the
Olympics, if not the 2016 in Brazil then the
next one in Japan in 2020,” he said.
Known for his speed and aggressive
style, Khan won the last of his fights against
US boxer Chris Algieri in New York in May
before once again challenging the welterweight world champion Floyd Mayweather.
But Mayweather announced earlier this
month he would aim to match the 49-0
career record of the legendar y Rocky
Marciano in his final bout against fellow
American Andre Berto on September 12,
effectively ruling out a highly anticipated
clash with Khan. Five - division world
champion May weather beat Manny
Pacquiao of the Philippines in May of this
year in what was described as the “fight of
the century”. —AFP
Rafael Nadal celebrates in this file photo.
Federer and Nadal at
US Open crossroads
Amir Khan
Wilson tributes flow
among calls for safety
PENNSYLVANIA: Tributes continued to
pour in on Tuesday following the death of
British IndyCar driver Justin Wilson the
previous day, along with renewed calls
throughout the motor racing world for a
review of driver safety in the sport.
Wilson, a former Formula One driver
and seven-time winner in IndyCar racing,
died at the age of 37 after suffering a
severe head injury during a wreck in the
closing laps of an IndyCar race at Pocono
Raceway in Pennsylvania on Sunday.
“Can’t describe the sadness I feel for
the loss of such a wonder ful person,”
Wilson’s Andretti Autosport team mate
Ryan Hunter-Reay, who went on to win
Sunday ’s race, wrote on his Twitter
account. “Justin was inspiring in so many
ways & still is.”
Graham Rahal, son of 1986 Indy 500
winner and former Jaguar Formula One
manager Bobby Rahal, said in a statement:
“Some things in life just don’t make sense.
I know there’s always a plan, but this one
doesn’t make any sense to me.
“Justin was the epitome of a great guy,
an incredible teammate, great father and a
wonderful friend.” The death of Wilson,
who never regained consciousness after
he was struck in the helmet by debris from
a car he was following before he slammed
into a wall, has sparked widespread calls
for the introduction of closed cockpits, or
“Its not only safer, it is more aero efficient, therefore, the future,” former
Formula One driver Lucas di Grassi of
Brazil said on Twitter.
“Canopies will be used in every single
formula (open-wheel) series in the future.
Not only for safety, but for aerodynamic
Hunter-Reay, who won the Indy 500
last year, felt that his sport was continually
working harder on safety issues but that
more could still be done.
“These cars are inherently dangerous
with the open cockpit like that, head
exposed,” said the 34-year-old Texan.
“Maybe in the future we can work toward
something that resembles a canopy ...
something that can give us a little protection and still keep the tradition of the
Since 1966, there have been 18 deaths
in IndyCar (which includes the series’ previous incarnations as Champ Car, CART
and Indy Racing League). Eight alone have
come at the famed Indianapolis Motor
Speedway and all but two on ovals.
Wilson was the first IndyCar driver to
die following a race accident since fellow
Briton, Dan Wheldon, was killed in a fiery
crash in Las Vegas in October 2011.
Wheldon’s death also triggered calls for
safety reviews in a sport that involves
tightly-bunched cars competing on highspeed, high risk ovals unique to American
open wheel racing.
Safer Walls, collapsible barriers
designed to cushion impact, are now standard at ovals like the Indianapolis Motor
Speedway while the mobile hospitals and
state-of-the-art trauma centres pioneered
by IndyCar are fixtures at every race.
The HANS (Head and Neck Support)
device was developed in the United States
and is now mandatory in most levels of
motor racing from Formula One to
Monster Trucks.
“The high speed ovals certainly represent the greatest risk because of the speed,
because of the concrete wall and lately
because of the closeness of the racing,
which is far closer than it is in Formula
One,” Bobby Rahal told Reuters last year.
“The cars are very safe today but there
is still that ultimate risk regardless and that
will always exist. When you are side-byside or three abreast it doesn’t take much.
“A little movement on a road course
wouldn’t mean very much but a little
movement on an oval might take out four
cars.” —Reuters
NEW YORK: Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal,
with 31 major titles between them, head for the
US Open with their Grand Slam careers at the
Despite turning 34, Federer was an impressive
winner of a seventh Cincinnati Masters title last
weekend, seeing off world number one-and US
Open favourite-Novak Djokovic in the final.
It was the Swiss star’s 87th tour title and
revenge for losing a second successive Wimbledon
final to the Serb last month. But Federer has stumbled badly in New York in recent years.
A five-time champion from 2004-2008, he was
runner-up to Juan Martin del Potro in 2009 but
hasn’t been back to the final since.His record at
the Grand Slams in 2015 has also been mixed.
The seven-time Wimbledon champion may
have at least reached the final at the All England
Club, but that run was preceded by a shock third
round exit to Italian journeyman Andreas Seppi
at the Australian Open, his earliest in Melbourne
in 14 years. He then endured a quarter-final loss
at Roland Garros to compatriot Stan Wawrinka.
Federer’s last Grand Slam title came at
Wimbledon in 2012 and if he wins the US Open
this year, he would be the oldest champion since
35-year-old Ken Rosewall back in 1970.
“I haven’t been in a final (in New York) since
2009. So I got my work cut out,” said Federer, who
was beaten by eventual champion Marin Cilic in
the semi-finals last year.
In contrast to the Swiss player’s staying power
is Nadal’s swift, brutal decline. The 29-year-old
Spaniard, the 2010 and 2013 champion in New
York, has endured a tough year, the knee joints
and wrists looking stiffer and weaker.
After being deposed as French Open champion-his quarter-final loss to Djokovic was only his
second ever defeat in Paris-Nadal slumped to 10
in the world, his lowest ranking for a decade. He
has recovered to eight, but he is no longer the
player that once struck terror into rivals.
Nadal has lost 14 times already this year compared to 11 in the whole of 2014, seven in 2013
and just six in 2012. He sat out the 2012 and 2014
US Opens because of injury.
At Wimbledon, he was knocked out in the second round by Germany’s Dustin Brown while his
North American hardcourt season ended in a
quarter-final loss to Kei Nishikori in Montreal and
a third round exit against Feliciano Lopez in
“I never consider myself a big, big star. So I
appreciate when all the good things are happening to me,” said Nadal. “I am having a tough year,
yes. Not a terrible year. I cannot make a drama
about these kind of things. This is not the
moment to cry.”
Djokovic already has the Australian Open and
Wimbledon titles under his belt in 2015, taking
his majors total to nine. The US Open champion
in 2011, Djokovic was runner-up in 2012 and
2013 before suffering a shock semi-final loss to
Nishikori 12 months ago.
The 28-year-old boasts a 56-5 record this year
but two of those defeats have come this month-
to Andy Murray in the Montreal Masters final and
then against Federer in Cincinnati.
He has also been troubled by an elbow injury.
“I played a couple good matches and couple notso-good matches,” said Djokovic, whose
rolleroaster career at the majors has also seen
him lose eight finals. “The conditions in New York
suit me a little bit better, so I look forward to it.”
Murray, the world number three, won in New
York in 2012, ending Britain’s 76-year wait for a
Grand Slam men’s singles champion.
He has made at least the quarter-finals in New
York in the last four years. The 28-year-old could
set a record for the largest payout in tennis history at the US Open — $4.3 million.
That would be $3.3 million for winning the
tournament and a $1 million bonus for winning
the US Open Series title for performances in the
hardcourt warm-up events.
Outside of the ‘Big Four’, Stan Wawrinka, the
French Open champion, has made the semi-finals
in New York on just one occasion in 10 visits.
Defending champion Cilic faces the task of
proving he’s not a one Slam wonder. The 26-yearold world number nine only started his season in
March after suffering a shoulder injury and has
yet to make a final this year. World number four
Nishikori became the first Asian man to reach a
Grand Slam final in New York last year.
But despite winning in Washington and making the semi-finals in Montreal, the 25-year-old
Japanese was forced to skip Cincinnati with a left
hip injury. —AFP
Double delight for
Japan at judo worlds
ASTANA: Japan won both gold on offer in Astana yesterday on the third day of the world judo championships to take control of the medals table.
Shohei Ono of Japan won the title in the men’s 73kg
category, defeating countryman Riki Nakaya in the final.
The win means that Ono takes the one slot allocated to
Japan for next year’s Olympics in Rio with Nakaya, the
defending champion in Astana and Olympic silver
medallist missing out.
The bronze medals went to South Korea’s An ChangRim and Nyam-Ochir Sainjargal of Mongolia. Olympic
champion Kaori Matsumoto of Japan won the women’s
57kg categor y golf, defeating Romania’s Corina
Caprioriu in the final. The bronze medals went to
Automne Pavia of France and Mongolia’s Sumiya
Dorjsuren. Both Ono and Matsumoto won world championship gold medals for the second time in their
Japan have now won three of the six gold medals
accounted for with Argentina and South Korea taking
one apiece and hosts Kazakhstan the other. —AFP
ASTANA: Japan’s Shohei Ono (bottom) competes against Japan’s Riki Nakaya
in the men’s 73 kg final at the World Judo Championships. —AP
Watford fail difficult balancing act
LONDON: Since Manchester United
caused outrage by throwing a bunch of
youngsters into a League Cup game at
Port Vale 21 years ago, English football
has slowly grown used to the idea of
rotation. As it turned out, the Port Vale
fans who demanded their money back
that night were watching a team including newcomers like David Beckham,
Gary Neville, Nicky Butt and Paul
Scholes, who would become known as
the Class of 1992 and go on to dominate
the decade.
The League Cup in particular has
become a vehicle for managers to give
some playing time to reserves and
squad players. But for some it is a difficult balancing act between resting firstteam regulars and progressing in a competition that ends at Wembley with a
Europa League place for the winners. As
11 Premier League clubs entered the
Capital One Cup this week, all except
Watford got away with an average of
eight changes each by progressing to
the third round.
Watford swapped their whole starting XI and lost 1-0 at Preston. Claudio
Ranieri, known as “The Tinkerman” in his
first spell in England with Chelsea, lived
up to the name with 11 changes for
Leicester’s tie at (third tier) Bury but
came through 4-1 with England Under19 international Joe Dodoo scoring a
hat-trick on his debut.
It was tougher for Stoke City and West
Bromwich Albion, who only won on penalties against lower-division opposition,
while Crystal Palace and Aston Villa, also
much changed, both required extra-time.
The one exception to the general
trend were Sunderland, whose manager
Dick Advocaat wanted to give his firstteam more time together and the confidence of a win after their poor start to the
season. That plan almost back-fired when
they were being held 3-3 at half-time at
home by fourth-tier Exeter City after
more bad defending.
But former England striker Jermain
Defoe rescued them with a hat-trick in a
6-3 win. Managers must now decide on
their strategy for the next round, when all
the eight teams involved in European
football this season enter a draw that has
thrown up a number of local derbies that
players and supporters will be desperate
to win.
Arsenal, whose manager Arsene
Wenger has invariably fielded weaker
teams in the competition, faces a visit to
big north London rivals Tottenham. Villa
must face traditional enemies Birmingham
City, and Palace are at home to neighbours
Charlton Athletic. —Reuters
Scramble for Europa
League group berths
PARIS: Athletic Bilbao need to turn around
a first leg home loss in Thursday’s Europa
League play-off second leg action to book
their spot in the group stage with Borussia
Dortmund, Southampton and Ajax also
looking to advance. AFP Sports picks six
things to look out for among the 22 ties in
the final round before the group stage:
In Bilbao, Athletic will be bidding to turn
around a 3-2 loss at Slovak side MSK Zilina
where the beaten 2012 finalists threw away
a two-goal lead. Athletic were 2-0 up at
half-time thanks to goals by Sabin Merino
and Kike Sola. But Jakub Paur pulled a goal
back for Zilina before Brazilian forward
William, on as a substitute, equalised in the
77th minute and then netted the winning
goal four minutes into stoppage time.
Ernesto Valverde’s side will be looking for a
boost following a loss in their opening
match of La Liga, falling 1-0 at home to
Barcelona last weekend although goalie
Gorka Iraizoz saved a first-half spot-kick
from Lionel Messi.
* In Germany, Borussia Dortmund look to
continue their dream start to the season
under new coach Thomas Tuchel and build
on their remarkable 4-3 comeback win from
three goals down after 22 minutes away to
Norwegian side Odd.
Dortmund’s strong start to the season
continued Sunday as their 4-0 win at newboys Ingolstadt saw them leapfrog Bayern
Munich to top the Bundesliga table on goal
difference. It was Dortmund’s sixth win in all
competitions under Tuchel as defender
Matthias Ginter, Marco Reus, Shinji Kagawa
and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored
second-half goals.
l At Herning, Southampton have work
to do if they want to join Tottenham
Hotspur and Liverpool and make it three
English clubs in the group stage after being
held 1-1 by Danish champions Midtjylland
at St Mary’s last week. Jay Rodriguez’s
penalty gave Ronald Koeman’s men a lifeline and they will need to score in
Denmark. Koeman is hopeful Sadio Mane
will be fit after the Senegalese striker was
forced off with a hip injury as Southampton
went a third game without victory in a 0-0
draw at promoted Watford in the Premier
League on Sunday. Southampton have not
won away from home in the league since
February, but they did at least record a first
clean sheet in nine league outings.
l In Istanbul, Turkish league runners-up
Fenerbahce will be looking to build on their
away-goal advantage after Robin van Persie
scored his first goal for the club since joining the Turkish club from Manchester
United for 4.7 million euros (£3.4m, $5.2m)
last month. The 32-year-old Dutch international striker replaced Moussa Sow 10 minutes from the end of Fenerbahce’s match
away to Greek side Atromitos in Athens and
netted a 90th-minute winner. The 1-0 victory leaves the 2013 semi-finalists primed to
clinch a place in the group stage in the
return leg. Dutch giants Ajax travel to Czech
minnows Jablonec with all still to play for.
Frank de Boer’s side failed to build on a
penalty scored nine minutes into the second half when Arkadiusz Milik converted
after VÌt Benes’s foul on Davy Klaassen in
the box but Jaroslav Silhavy’s side threatened in the later stages. Romanian champions Steaua Bucharest have an uphill battle
at Swedish club Rosenborg who look set to
advance after three late goals from Tobias
Mikkelsen, Pal AndrÈ Helland and captain
Mike Jensen in a 3-0 victory which leaves
the Trondheim side with one foot in the
group stage ahead of their home fixture.
French clubs Bordeaux and Saint-Etienne
bid to join Marseille in the group stage but
with all still to play for. Bordeaux face the
longest journey in the competition as they
carry a 1-0 advantage to Kazakh side Kairat
Almaty thanks to a first half goal from
Tunisian striker Wahbi Khazri in western
France. 10-man St-Etienne earned a valuable away goal in a 1-1 draw at Milsami
Orhei amd welcome the Moldovans. —AFP
Michel Platini
Platini wants football at
forefront of presidency
ZURICH: FIFA presidential candidate
Michael Platini will publish his manifesto in
the next six to eight weeks and wants to
bring football back into the spotlight during the campaign, a source close to the
Frenchman said yesterday.
Although Platini, the UEFA president,
agrees that reform of scandal-plagued FIFA
has to be the priority in the run-up to the
election on Feb. 26, he also believes it
should not completely overshadow the
sport itself, the source told Reuters.
Platini, who announced his intention to
stand on July 29 and will hold his first
media conference since then in Monaco on
Friday, has spent the last few weeks meeting people outside soccer’s European ruling body UEFA to test the water.
He believes the future of the World Cup,
the international calendar, changes to the
laws of the game and the role of the lawmaking body IFAB (International Football
Association Board) should be part of the
debate, the source said.
Platini, a former France captain, who
was one of the most gifted midfield players
of his generation, also wants to discuss the
reform of the transfer system and the role
of agents.
One of Platini’s biggest gripes as UEFA
president has been the so-called triple
punishment in which a player who gives
away a penalty is sent off and receives an
automatic one-match ban.
Earlier this year, UEFA sent a proposal to
IFAB for the end of the “triple punishment”
system. However, the rule-making body
agreed only to consider an end to the auto-
matic suspension.
Platini is against the use of goal-line
technology, which FIFA employs in its tournaments, and prefers the use of so-called
additional assistant referees, one on each
goal-line, to spot penalty-area infringements. FIFA has not adopted the system
and Platini has mockingly said that was
because it was not FIFA chief Sepp Blatter’s
Platini’s proposals on the World Cup
could include expansion of the finals from
the current 32 teams, the source said. As
UEFA president, he has already overseen an
increase in the number of countries at the
European championship finals from 16 to
24, starting from next year’s tournament in
France. The move has been criticised for
diluting the strength of competition, especially after a successful Euro 2012 in Poland
and Ukraine where 16 seemed to be the
ideal number.
Platini is seen as the front-runner in the
bid to replace Blatter who will relinquish
his mandate at the Feb 26. election. The
source said the Frenchman wants to take
his time over his manifesto and added he
would travel widely from October.
Soccer’s world governing body has been
plagued by allegations of corruption for
years. It was thrown into further turmoil in
May when US prosecutors indicted nine
soccer officials and five marketing and
broadcasting company executives over
alleged offences, including fraud, moneylaundering and racketeering. —Reuters
SWEDEN: Celtic’s Kris Commons controls the ball during the Champions League play-off second leg soccer match between Malmo
FF and Celtic at Malmo New Stadium. —AP
Celtic and Monaco stumble
PARIS: A header by Markus Rosenberg and an
own goal from Dedryck Boyata condemned
Scottish champions Celtic to a second successive season without the riches to be accrued
from the Champions League group stage as
Malmo beat them 2-0 on the night and 4-3 on
aggregate in their play-off on Tuesday. They
were not the only high profile casualties as last
season’s quarter-finalists Monaco exited despite
coming from behind to beat Valencia 2-1 at
home-they have lost just once in their last 12
European club games at Stade Louis II-but lost
4-3 on aggregate.
Another side who reached the knockout
stages last season also failed to get over the
play-off hurdle this time round as Basel, who
progressed at the expense of Liverpool in last
season’s competition, exited after a 1-1 draw in
Israel against Maccabi Tel-Avi saw the hosts
progress on the away goals rule, the tie finishing
3-3 on aggregate.
Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk did make it
through-they have appeared in the group stage
on every occasions since the 2009/10 campaign-but were made to work hard for it drawing 2-2 at home to Rapid Vienna to qualify 3-2
on aggregate.
The cost to Celtic may be felt immediately as
it could prompt talented defender Virgil van Dijk
to jump at the chance of a prestigious move to
English Premier League side Southampton.
Celtic manager Ronny Deila, though, is
loathe to part with him. “We don’t have to sell
Virgil van Dijk, but you never know in football,”
said the Nor wegian. “ The hype about the
Champions League is a big thing. Everybody
wants it so badly.
“You have to deal with it but we looked very
stressed. We didn’t look like we wanted to go
out and play football. We have a lot of young
players coming through but this was a hard lesson for us.”
Valencia had all but wrapped up business
after four minutes, Alvaro Negredo chipping
Subasic brilliantly with the ball going into the far
The hosts, needing three goals to even take it
to extra-time, replied almost immediately, Italian
defender Andrea Raggi firing the ball past
Australian goalkeeper Mathew Ryan from the
edge of the area. Monaco gave themselves a
glimmer of hope with 15 minutes remaining as
Nigerian defender Elderson knocked the ball
into the net after Ryan had saved from Thomas
Lemar. “It hurts, but Monaco put up a great performance tonight,” said Raggi.
“It was the game in Valencia that did for us
but our target now is to compete strongly for
the league title,” added the 31-year-old.
Shakhtar Donetsk too looked to have all but
sealed their place in the group stage when
impressive Brazilian Marlos curled a beauty of a
shot past the Rapid Vienna goalkeeper in the
10th minute.
However, the visitors drew level three minutes later 20-year-old Louis Schaub refusing to
be denied as he rifled home his second attempt
for his third goal of the competition.
Their joy knew no bounds just five minutes
later as 34-year-old skipper Steffen Hofmann
curled a superb freekick past the flailing arm of
goalkeeper Ukrainian international Andriy
Pyatov for the two-time Austrian league player
of the year’s 22nd goal in 64 European matches.
A thrilling match-in contrast to the dour
opening leg which saw eight players bookedtook another twist when a day after his 28th
bir thday Olexander Gladk iy nipped in to
score for the hosts and put the match on the
night all square at 2-2 and with the hosts
noses just in front.
The second-half was less of a ripper and the
visitors frustrations ended with Mario
Sonnleitner being red-carded four minutes from
time for a second bookable offence-he hurled
the captains armband that he had assumed after
Hofmann went off to the ground in fury.
Even so there was still time for Pyatov to pull
off a remarkable point blank block to Philipp
Prosenik’s close range shot with the game five
minutes into time-added on and ensured the
Austrian side’s absence from the group stage
was extended to 10 years. —AFP
UKRAINE: Rapid’s Mario Sonnleitner (left), Mario Pavelic (right) and Shakhtar’s Alex
Teixeira challenge for the ball during the Champions League play-off second leg soccer match. —AP
Spurs face Arsenal in League Cup thriller
LONDON: Tottenham will face north London
enemies Arsenal and Aston Villa will take on
bitter rivals Birmingham in a pair of League
Cup third round derby showdowns.
Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham were
paired against Arsene Wenger’s Gunners in
Tuesday’s draw.
Tottenham, who were beaten in last year’s
final by Chelsea, will host the tie of the round
at White Hart Lane in September. It will be the
first north London derby of the season.
There will be more derby intrigue when
Villa clash with Championship side
Birmingham for the first time since January
2011. Birmingham are unbeaten in the last
three meetings with Villa, including a League
Cup tie in 2010. Holders Chelsea travel to
third tier Walsall, while Liverpool host fourth
tier Carlisle. Manchester United face
Championship side Ipswich at Old Trafford
and Manchester City travel to Sunderland.
English League Cup draw made on Tuesday:
3rd rd
Middlesbrough v Wolves
Norwich v West Brom
Hull v Swansea
Leicester v West Ham
Aston Villa v Birmingham
Tottenham v Arsenal
Manchester United v Ipswich
Liverpool v Carlisle
Crystal Palace v Charlton
Fulham v Stoke
Sunderland v Manchester City
Newcastle v Sheffield Wednesday
Reading v Barnsley or Everton
Preston v Bournemouth
Walsall v Chelsea
Milton Keynes Dons v Southampton
Ties to be played in the week commencing
September 21.—AFP
FINA clears Sun
over ‘altercation’
Federer and
Nadal at US Open
Wilson tributes flow among calls for safety
Page 18
BEIJING: (Left to right) USA’s LaShawn Merritt, Dominican Republic’s Luguelin Santos, South Africa’s Wayde Van Niekerk, Grenada’s Kirani James, Botswana’s Isaac Makwala and Britain’s Rabah Yusuf compete in the final of
the men’s 400 metres athletics event at the 2015 IAAF World Championships. — AFP
Van Niekerk lights up Bird’s Nest
BEIJING: Wayde van Niekerk lit up the Bird’s
Nest with a stunning 400 metres run to win a
first sprint gold for South Africa and cap a
night of exceptional performances at the
world championships yesterday. Two of
those came in the men’s javelin and women’s
3,000 metres steeplechase where Kenyans
Julius Yego and Hyvin Jepkemoi added
another two gold medals to the East African
powerhouse’s already considerable haul.
The scourge of doping returned to haunt
the sport, however, when two of their compatriots were provisionally banned for failing
drug tests on the eve of the championships.
Part two of the sprint showdown between
Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin, which for many
has encapsulated the doping crisis that has
tarnished the sport over the last month, also
moved a step closer. The fact that Bolt has
never failed a dope test while Gatlin has
served two drug bans provided the backdrop for their first meeting in Sunday’s 100
metres final, from which the Jamaican
emerged triumphant. Gatlin’s run of 19.87
seconds to win his 200m semi-final yesterday
was the second fastest ever at that stage of a
world championships, however, and will give
him confidence he can end Bolt’s six-year
grip on the title in today’s final.
“I think that I have a lot left in the tank,”
the 33-year-old American said. “I just have to
control the race ... and I think we’ll be able to
bring it home.”
Bolt also looked in fine form, though,
and took time to chat to a fellow competitor as he approached the line to win his
heat with his first sub-20 second time of
the year (19.95).
“I can’t complain,” he said. “I’m happy
with my form. I just did what I had to do.”
For once, though, the 29-year-old was not
the most impressive performer on the track
with that honour going to Van Niekerk.
Racing against a field containing a record
five sprinters who had run under 44 seconds, the 23-year-old dominated the contest from start to finish and crossed the line
in 43.48 seconds.
The effort of running a time that only
American world record holder Michael
Johnson and his compatriots Butch
Reynolds and Jeremy Wariner have bettered
took its toll, however.
Van Niekerk collapsed on the track at the
end of the race and was taken to hospital
with his “vital signs unstable”, the IAAF’s
medical delegate said, leaving runner-up
LaShawn Merritt to hail the quality of the
race. “It’s crazy. We’re warriors. We’re animals,” said the American 2013 world cham-
pion, whose personal best 43.65 was good
enough only for silver ahead of Olympic
champion Kirani James (43.78). Van Niekerk
was discharged just before midnight local
time (1600 GMT).
While Van Niekerk’s time was the best
since 2007, you would have to go back as
far as 2001 to witness a javelin flying as far
as the 92.72 metres Yego managed to give
Kenya its first world title in a field event. To
the diminutive Yego, who learned the
javelin from watching videos on the internet after being rejected as a runner, fell the
duty of reacting to the positive dope tests
of his team mates Koki Manunga and Joyce
Zakary. “It’s a shame,” he said. “I always
believe we can win clean so it’s a shame to
them.” Jepkemoi produced a performance
more typical of her nation to win the steeplechase, outsprinting favourite Habiba
Kenyans fail
drugs tests
Silva soars to
clinch world
pole vault title
BEIJING: Cuba’s Yarisley Silva needed a jump of 4.90
metres to win a thrilling women’s pole vault contest
and claim her first major global title at the world
championships yesterday.
Pushed all the way by Brazil’s Fabiana Murer and
G re e ce’s N i k o l e t a Ky r i a k o p o u l o u, t h e Lo n d o n
Olympic silver medallist won gold with her third
attempt at the winning height before failing three
times at 5.01m. “This was one of the hardest competitions of my career. It was a very close competition
with Fabiana and Nikoleta,” said the 28-year-old.
“Fabiana is getting better and better and always
pushes me.It is always emotional to compete with
her.” Silva needed all three goes to get over at 4.70
and join an unprecedented seven women going for
4 . 8 0 . M u re r a n d S i l v a c l e a re d 4 . 8 5 a t t h e f i r s t
attempt to ultimately leave Kyriakopoulou with
bronze. With the noisy crowd roaring her on, Silva
slid over the bar at 4.90 to win the title.
“This is the result of a lot of sacrifices, hard work
and dedication,” Silva added. “Now I want to do
everything to get the Olympic gold in Rio.”
That will also clearly be the plan for silver medallist Murer, one of her country’s best hopes of a gold
medal in athletics at next year’s Olympics.
H e r c l e a r a n ce a t 4 . 8 5 m a tc h e d t h e S o u t h
American record and personal best she jumped to
win gold in Deagu four years ago.
“The Olympics will be in Rio in less than a year,”
she said. “I have to stay healthy and am looking forward to my home crowd then.”
Ky r i a k o p o u l o u w a s h a p py w i t h b ro n ze a n d
thought competing with her fellow medallists
would drive them all to improve.
“I am not afraid,” she said. “I want to stay at the
top and get higher and higher because I expected
an even better performance here. “I hope I will get
m o re s u p p o r t f ro m s p o n s o r s a f te r t h i s m e d a l
because it is not easy for an athlete nowadays in
Greece.” — Reuters
Ghribi of Tunisia and German Gesa Krause
down the home straight to win Kenya’s sixth
gold in nine minutes, 19.11 seconds.
Zuzana Hejnova already knew her race
was won when she went over the final
obstacle in the 400 metres hurdles and the
Czech, who ran the year’s best time of 53.50
seconds, became the first woman to successfully defend the world title in the event.
A thrilling women’s pole vault contest
featuring Cuba’s Yarisley Silva, Brazil’s
Fabiana Murer and Greece’s Nikoleta
Kyriakopoulou kept the crowd engrossed all
evening in the gaps between the other
events. Silva took the title when she cleared
4.90 metres at the third attempt, leaving
Murer, one of her country’s best hopes of
gold in athletics at next year’s Rio de Janeiro
Olympics, with silver and Kyriakopoulou
claiming the bronze. — Reuters
BEIJING: Cuba’s Yarisley Silva clears the bar to win the final of the women’s pole
vault athletics event at the 2015 IAAF World Championships. — AFP
BEIJING: Two Kenyans have failed precompetition drugs tests at the world
championships in Beijing and have been
provisionally suspended, the IAAF
announced yesterday.
Koki Manunga and Joyce Zakary “have
accepted provisional suspensions following
positive samples provided in Beijing on the
20th and 21st of August respectively”, the
IAAF said in a statement. Track and field’s
world governing body said the Kenyan pair
had been tested at the athletes’ hotel
before their competition started as part of
“targeted tests”.
Zakary clocked a national record of
50.71 seconds in Monday’s first round of
the women’s 400m at the Bird’s Nest, but
did not start the semi-final on Tuesday for
which she had qualified.
African silver medallist Manunga, however, failed to make it out of her first round
of the 400m hurdles on Sunday, timing
58.96sec to finish 35th out of 37 athletes
“It’s a shame for them,” said Kenyan
teammate Julius Yego, who won gold in
the men’s javelin with a monster third
round effort of 92.72 metres, the longest
in 14 years.
“In sport you win clean so it’s a shame
for them. I can’t make any more comment
on that.” Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi, who
pipped hot Tunisian favourite Habiba Ghribi
for the women’s 3000m steeplechase title
shortly after Yego’s heroics, expressed her
disappointment at the doping tests.
“I think that’s an individual thing, it’s not
everybody,” Jepkemoi said. “I’m totally
shocked. “I know I’m clean but I’m not happy about it.”
Athletics Kenya, the nation’s governing
body, confirmed that it had been “informed
by the IAAF of the positive tests returned by
two of its athletes, Koki Manunga and Joyce
“Athletics Kenya has already met with
the IAAF and the athletes involved, and has
begun investigating the situation which led
to these results and appropriate follow-up
action will be taken in Kenya,” track and
field’s governing body in the east African
running powerhouse added in a statement.
“In the meantime, Athletics Kenya will
provide full support and cooperation to the
IAAF during the results management
Kenya was rocked this year when
marathon star Rita Jeptoo was banned for
two years after being caught doping with
the banned blood-boosting hormone EPO.
Jeptoo is the biggest name in Kenyan
sports ever to have been caught, and the
bust has been a major trauma for a country
that idolises its medal-winning and recordbreaking runners.
Top Kenyan athletes earlier this month
called for the national governing body, the
IAAF and the world’s anti-doping body
WADA to take action over reports of widespread doping.
Leaked results cited by German broadcaster ARD and the Sunday Times claimed
that more than 800 athletes, including 18
Kenyans, had “suspicious blood test results”
between 2001 and 2012.
ARD alleged doping was ongoing in
Kenya, and claimed there was “massive corruption” within the Kenyan set-up and “a
desire to cover-up doping... to the summit
of the Kenyan athletics federation”.
Athletics Kenya said it had “watched
with grave concern the German TV ARD
documentary”, calling the broadcast, which
coincided with the national trials for the
world championships in Beijing, “extremely
suspect and ill motivated”. — AFP
Gulf pulls back as global
markets stay fragile
Page 22
Improving US economy shares
blame for worst traffic ever
Page 23
China, Japan battle
to build Indonesia’s
first bullet train
Page 25
Page 25
Turbulent time for Swiss watchmakers in China
NEW YORK: Trader Michael Milano, right, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, yesterday. US stocks are opening sharply higher Wednesday after slumping for six straight days amid concern that growth in China was
slowing more quickly than previously thought. — AP
Strong US spending plans boost outlook
Durable goods orders rise 2% in July
WASHINGTON: A gauge of US business investment
plans recorded its largest increase in just over a year in
July, suggesting the United States was in good shape to
withstand growing strains in the global economy.
The Commerce Department said yesterday nondefense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely
watched proxy for business spending plans, increased 2.2
percent last month, the biggest rise since June last year.
“The economy had a tailwind heading into the recent
market rout. That tailwind will help to carry us through
the turbulent waters that lie ahead,” said Diane Swonk,
chief economist at Mesirow Financial in Chicago.
July’s increase in the so-called core capital goods
orders was on top of an upwardly revised 1.4 percent
increase in June and marked two straight months of
hefty gains. Economists had forecast only a 0.4 percent
rise in July after a previously reported 0.9 percent
increase in June.
The report added to employment, industrial production, retail sales, housing and consumer spending data
in highlighting the US economy’s resilience. The string
of upbeat reports suggests the Federal Reserve could
still raise interest rates this year despite a global markets
sell-off, triggered by worries over China’s slowing economy, and policymakers’ concerns about low inflation.
New York Fed President William Dudley said yesterday prospects of a September rate hike “seems less
compelling to me than it was a few weeks ago.” Stocks
on Wall Street rallied, with all major indices trading
more than 1 percent higher. Prices for US government
debt fell, while the dollar rose against a basket of currencies.
A strong dollar and deep spending cuts in the energy
sector have undercut business investment.
Schlumberger Ltd, the world’s No. 1 oilfield services
provider and rival Halliburton have slashed their capital
expenditure budgets for this year following a more than
60 percent plunge in crude oil since June last year.
While yesterday’s report and recent data on oil
drilling suggest the spending cuts in the energy sector
were ebbing, renewed weakness in oil prices suggest a
turnaround in business investment will only be gradual.
In addition, the dollar’s 16.8 percent gain versus the
currencies of the United States’ main trading partners
since June 2014 remains a challenge for multinational
corporations such as Whirlpool Corp and Procter &
Gamble Co.
Still, the surge in core capital goods orders in July
bodes well for economic growth prospects in the third
quarter. “It points to a sharp acceleration in the pace of
business capital investment activity in the third quarter
and provides some upside risks to our expectation for
growth,” said Millan Mulraine, deputy chief economist at
TD Securities in New York.
Shipments of core capital goods, which are used to
calculate equipment spending in the government’s
gross domestic product measurement, rose 0.6 percent
last month after an upwardly revised 0.9 percent
increase in June.
Core capital goods shipments were previously
reported to have risen 0.3 percent in June and the
upward revision suggests second-quarter GDP could be
bumped up when the government publishes it second
estimate today. June data on business inventories and
construction spending have already suggested secondquarter growth could be revised to as high as a 3.4 percent annualized pace from the 2.3 percent rate reported
last month. Third-quarter growth estimates are around
a 2.8 percent rate.
A 4.7 percent increase in transportation equipment
buoyed overall orders for durable goods - items ranging
from toasters to aircraft that are meant to last three
years or more - which rose 2.0 percent in July.
Transportation was lifted by a 4.0 percent rise in
orders for automobiles and parts, as automakers kept
most assembly lines running during the summer
instead of shutting them down for retooling. That
increase offset a 6.0 percent decline in aircraft orders.
Unfilled orders for durable goods rose 0.2 percent in
July, the largest gain since November, while inventories
were unchanged. — Reuters
Dubai property slowdown
due to tighter rules
DUBAI: Dubai’s tighter property rules aimed at
preventing a housing bubble are the main
cause of a slowdown in the emirate’s real
estate sector rather than a sustained drop in
oil prices, industry experts said.
Dubai has a low reliance on oil despite
hydrocarbons providing three-quarters of the
United Arab Emirates’ consolidated revenue in
2014, according to credit agency Moody’s. Abu
Dhabi is home to the bulk of the UAE’s energy
“Dubai residential property sales have
declined over the past three quarters, but the
drop in oil prices is coincidental and the slowdown is more due to big price increases in
2013 - the market is adjusting to return to
affordable levels,” said Nicholas Maclean, managing director of consultants CBRE Middle
East. “This is a positive trend and will help prevent a bigger correction in the future.” While
housing prices are expected to drift lower this
year, some experts said well-balanced supply
and demand for properties should keep prices
Rival consultancy Cluttons estimates house
prices in Dubai rose 51 percent during 2013
before growth slowed to 3.4 percent in 2014.
This rebound followed a near-50 percent drop
in prices from 2008 as the global financial crisis
and Dubai’s debt troubles sparked a real estate
crash. Last year, Dubai doubled property registration fees and the UAE federal government
raised the minimum mortgage deposits,
dampening demand. “The government was
right to act to curb speculation. It’s just that
these measures have now coincided with a
weakening global economy,” said Faisal
Durrani, head of research at property consultants Cluttons.
The impact of the new rules on house sales
has been acute, said Durrani, predicting further declines in prices in the second half of
2015. Cluttons forecasts about 20,000 new residential units will be completed and handed
over from now until 2017, while Dubai’s population is expected to increase by 400,000 over
the same period from 2.4 million at present.
About 41,000 units have been announced this
“Unit delivery and population expansion
seem well matched, which indicates the residential market should be pretty stable,” added
Durrani. Yet prolonged low oil prices could
lead to a UAE construction slowdown, with the
government the main real estate facilitator
through infrastructure spending and statelinked developers that dominate the market.
“Oil is likely at unsustainably low prices we should see a rebound, which will substantially increase government revenues in
the medium term, but the question is when
will that rebound happen?” CBRE’s Maclean
said. — Reuters
HUAIBEI: A bank clerk counts renminbi banknotes in a bank branch in Huaibei in central China’s Anhui province yesterday. Asian stocks rose Wednesday after a rocky
start following Beijing’s decision to cut a key interest rate to help stabilize gyrating
financial markets and free up more funding to counter short liquidity. — AP
Turkey’s 4G tender outstrips predictions with bids of 4bn euros
ANKARA: Turkey’s auction of 4G mobile
phone frequencies lured a higher than
expected 3.96 billion euros ($4.5 billion)
worth of bids, the agency running the
process said yesterday, showing the
appeal of Turkey’s youthful and growing
The bids from Britain’s Vodafone and
Turkish duo Avea and Turkcell, the only
three operators in Turkey, will be subject
to an approval process before a final
decision on allocations is made.
Turkey’s mobile phone industry is a
growth sector servicing a young and
data-hungr y population, noted
Jonathan Friedman at global risk consultancy Stroz Friedberg.
“Beyond recent political instability,
Turkey is a large market with nearly 80
million consumers, and investors want
to be a part of that,” Friedman said. The
tender had been postponed in May,
weeks after President Tayyip Erdogan
urged Turkey not to waste time with 4G
and move straight to 5G, for which technical standards do not yet exist.
4G and 5G refer to the latest technology standards for mobile devices.
Fourth-generation technology, which
went mainstream worldwide around
2010, enables users to watch videos and
download big documents on their
In an apparent bid to placate
Erdogan, Turkish officials had dubbed
the technology being auctioned as 4.5G,
but subsequently dropped the term.
Wednesday ’s tender was a sale of
mobile spectrum used all over Europe
for 4G, which allows for up to 10 times
faster mobile broadband than 3G technology.
Generally, lower bandwidths offer
faster data speeds but over a shorter
distance and are useful for densely populated areas; larger bandwidths offer
greater coverage but less speed for rural
The fifth-generation technology
Erdogan craves remains years away from
formal definition and is not expected to
be ready for widespread commercial
rollouts until 2020.
Turkey had divided the bandwidths
to be used for its 4G network into packages, to be shared broadly equally
between the operators. For the 800Mhz
bandwidth for instance Vodafone
offered the highest bid of 390 million
euros for the package dubbed A1, Avea
the highest with 380 million euros for
the A2 package and Turkcell’s offer of
372.93 million euros was the largest for
the A3 package, commission chairman
Deniz Yanik said yesterday.
The three operators also each posted
the highest bids in subsequent tenders
for higher bandwidths, Yanik said, with
the total value of the auction 1.5 times
higher than predicted. — Reuters
Global gas demand
mounts: OAPEC chief
RIYADH: A picture shows the construction site of the Saudi capital Riyadh’s $22.5 billion metro system, yesterday. The system, which will have six
lines covering 176 kilometres (109 miles), supported by a bus network of 1,150 kilometres, is due to be completed by the end of 2018. Three foreign consortiums are building the metro, with France’s Alstom, Canada’s Bombardier and Germany’s Siemens among the major participants. — AFP
Gulf pulls back as global
markets stay fragile
KUWAIT: The world is witnessing mounting
demand for natural gas largely because it is a
clean source of energy and relatively friendly
to the environment, according to OAPEC’s
chief. Abbas Al-Naqi, Secretary General of the
Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting
Organization (OAPEC), said in an interview
with KUNA that the globe is witnessing
mounting demand for gas because it is clean
energy resource, cheap and friendly to the
Gas trade has proven largely feasible; its
production cost is low and can easily be transported via networks of pipelines, however in
some regions, establishment of such networks
face snags such as rugged terrain or existence
of waterways. Natural gas can be liquefied and
transported aboard tankers to reach remote
markets and consumption destinations; however this transportation means is costly as
compared to the pipes-that are of various
capacities ranging between six and 36 inches.
Domestic networks are established to
transfer the gas from the fields or processing
plants to the consumers, namely individuals or
industrial installations or houses. Some gasrich nations pump gas to nearby countries
according to accords.
The gas networks in the Arab world, built in
the 80s, comprise seven main lines with a total
capacity of 114 billion cubic meters per year.
The Arab network had been built to secure
natural gas to Europe. Morocco, for instance,
benefits from the pipeline that crosses its territories from Algeria to Spain-that is in the form
of some extracted gas amounts. This line, operated in 2011, has a capacity of eight billion
cubic meters per year.
Libya for its part exports natural gas to Italy
via “the green stream” line, operated in 2004,
part of a mega venture to develop gas fields in
the country’s west. Tripoli transports gas products and condensates from Al-Wafa Gas field
which is linked to the Arab gas line that
stretches from Al-Arish, Egypt, to Keles in
northernmost Syria, via Jordan. Its capacity is
SABIC, Alinma Bank fall back sharply
DUBAI: Most Gulf stock markets fell back yesterday as the region consolidated after a strong
rebound on Tuesday, while foreign investors’
bargain-hunting in blue chips lifted Egypt. The
Gulf’s bounce on Tuesday, after several days of
sharp falls, created a sense that markets in the
region have found at least short-term floors.
Some institutional investors came back into the
markets to buy selected stocks with valuations
that they now saw as reasonable.
But with global oil prices and equities still
unstable and the economic outlook for China
unclear, fund managers do not have any confidence that Gulf bourses have bottomed for the
longer term.
So the Saudi stock index, which had surged
7.4 percent on Tuesday, fell back 2.1 percent on
Wednesday. Trading volume, which had
jumped on Tuesday to its highest level since
May 2014, shrank by more than a third.
Petrochemical producer Saudi Basic Industries,
which had jumped its 10 percent daily limit on
Tuesday, pulled back 4.1 percent. Alinma Bank,
which had also gained 10 percent, slipped 3.7
Selling was not indiscriminate, however, and
there was continued bargain-hunting in some
second- or third-tier stocks, such as healthcare
provider Bupa Arabia, up 2.8 percent. Dubai’s
stock index, which had jumped 4.6 percent on
Tuesday, fell back 1.4 percent. Real estate
shares that had surged on Tuesday saw selling,
with Emaar Properties down 1.7 percent and
DAMAC Properties off 4.4 percent.
Abu Dhabi edged down 0.1 percent as Aldar
Properties , which had added 7.0 percent on
Tuesday, pulled back 5.3 percent. However,
telecommunications blue chip Etisalat gained
0.8 percent.
Qatar’s market bucked the trend and continued to rise, gaining 0.5 percent.
Telecommunications firm Ooredoo , widely
seen as a defensive stock with an attactive dividend yield, was a major reason for the index’s
rise, gaining 3.3 percent.
Egypt’s index .EGX30, which had risen 2.8
percent on Tuesday, climbed a further 0.5 percent as Qalaa Holdings , one of the country’s
largest investment firms, rose 4.7 percent. Real
estate blue chip Palm Hills Development
Abbas Al-Naqi
in the range of 10 billion cubic meters.
However, Naqi explained to Kuwait News
Agency in the exclusive interview that the
Arab gas network has stopped operating since
2013 due to supplies’ stoppage from Egypt. It
had been designed to reach Turkey however it
had to be shut due to the events in Syria.
Egypt has another line, the naval one that
ends up in Palestine. Its capacity is estimated
at seven billion cubic meters per year. Qatar
exports the natural gas to Abu Dhabi and
Oman through Dolphin Pipeline, operated in
2007, with an operational capacity of 21 billion
cubic meter per annum. Its capacity was
recently raised to 33 billion cubic meter per
A feasible distance for gas transportation
via on land networks of pipes is in the range of
4,680 kilometers (some 3,000 miles) for 42-inch
radius pipes. As to those at sea, the reasonable
distance is in the range of 1,560 km (1,000
mile), with a pipe radius of 20 inch.
Naqi explains that there are many gas distribution networks across the globe-many
located in Asia and Eurasia. Trade in natural gas
constitutes two thirds of global trade. —KUNA
added 2.1 percent.
Exchange data showed non-Egyptian Arab
investors were net buyers by a large margin
and other foreign investors were also buyers.
The index fell 2.1 percent to 7,384 points.
The index slid 1.4 percent to 3,507 points.
The index edged down 0.1 percent to 4,330
The index rose 0.5 percent to 10,958 points.
The index climbed 0.5 percent to 6,873 points.
The index fell 0.4 percent to 5,814 points.
The index edged up 0.4 percent to 5,782 points.
The index edged down 0.1 percent to 1,303
points. — Reuters
BEIJING: A man walks past signs for various banks in Beijing yesterday. China’s latest
interest rate cut - the fifth since November - has placated markets but is not enough
to reverse slowing growth in the world’s second-largest economy, analysts say, urging authorities to embrace lower taxes and other more aggressive measures. — AFP
Al-Muzaini Exchange Co.
Japanese Yen
Indian Rupees
Pakistani Rupees
Srilankan Rupees
Nepali Rupees
Singapore Dollar
Hongkong Dollar
Bangladesh Taka
Philippine Peso
Thai Baht
Saudi Riyal
Qatari Riyal
Omani Riyal
Bahraini Dinar
UAE Dirham
Egyptian Pound - Cash
Egyptian Pound - Transfer
Yemen Riyal/for 1000
Tunisian Dinar
Jordanian Dinar
Lebanese Lira/for 1000
Syrian Lira
Morocco Dirham
US Dollar Transfer
Sterling Pound
Canadian dollar
Turkish lira
Swiss Franc
Australian dollar
US Dollar Buying
20 gram
10 gram
5 gram
UAE Exchange Centre WLL
Australian Dollar
Canadian Dollar
Swiss Franc
US Dollar
Sterling Pound
Japanese Yen
Bangladesh Taka
Indian Rupee
Sri Lankan Rupee
Nepali Rupee
Pakistani Rupee
UAE Dirhams
Bahraini Dinar
Egyptian Pound
Jordanian Dinar
Omani Riyal
Qatari Riyal
Saudi Riyal
Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd
Rate for Transfer
US Dollar
Canadian Dollar
Sterling Pound
Swiss Frank
Bahrain Dinar
UAE Dirhams
Qatari Riyals
Selling Rate
Saudi Riyals
Jordanian Dinar
Egyptian Pound
Sri Lankan Rupees
Indian Rupees
Pakistani Rupees
Bangladesh Taka
Philippines Pesso
Cyprus pound
Japanese Yen
Syrian Pound
Nepalese Rupees
Malaysian Ringgit
Chinese Yuan Renminbi
Thai Bhat
Turkish Lira
Bahrain Exchange Company
Belgian Franc
British Pound
Czech Korune
Danish Krone
Norwegian Krone
Romanian Leu
Swedish Krona
Swiss Franc
Turkish Lira
Australian Dollar
New Zealand Dollar
Canadian Dollar
US Dollars
US Dollars Mint
Bangladesh Taka
Chinese Yuan
Hong Kong Dollar
Indian upee
Indonesian Rupiah
Japanese Yen
Kenyan Shilling
Korean Won
Malaysian Ringgit
Nepalese Rupee
Pakistan Rupee
Philippine Peso
Sierra Leone
Singapore Dollar
South African Rand
Sri Lankan Rupee
Thai Baht
Bahraini Dinar
Egyptian Pound
Iranian Riyal
Iraqi Dinar
Jordanian Dinar
Kuwaiti Dinar
Lebanese Pound
Moroccan Dirhams
Nigerian Naira
Omani Riyal
Qatar Riyal
Saudi Riyal
Syrian Pound
Tunisian Dinar
Turkish Lira
UAE Dirhams
Yemeni Riyal
Despite stock fall, financial health of many is still solid
WASHINGTON: Many Americans have just
absorbed a financial beating - at least as measured by their stock holdings. It’s the kind of
blow that can feed a sense of helplessness
about retirement, college savings and higherthan-expected bills. But take a look at other
gauges of Americans’ financial health and a
more nuanced picture emerges: Hiring and
home values are up. Gas prices and mortgage
rates are down. Inflation is low.
The pace of layoffs has dwindled. Add it up,
and the evidence suggests that many
Americans - though certainly not all - are doing
comparatively well. Even the stock-market
swoon can be put in perspective: Yes, the
Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index has tumbled
10.7 percent over the past five days of trading.
Since the end of 2008, though, the S&P index
remains up about 120 percent.
For some, the stock sell-off has been an
occasion to take a breath, recall previous down
markets that eventually recovered and summon the patience to wait for their investments
to rebound.
“Hell, yes, I am worried,” said Shannon Miller,
a 27-year old digital content manager in St.
Louis. “But what goes down.... will probably go
back up.” Here’s a look at key measures of
Americans’ financial well-being
This is a clear bright spot. Employers have
added a total of 11.5 million jobs over the past
58 months. All that hiring has helped cut the
unemployment rate to 5.3 percent from a peak
of 10 percent in 2009. And just about everyone
who has a job is getting to keep it: Applications
for unemployment aid, which reflect the pace
of layoffs, has hit a 15-year low.
It’s true that the solid hiring has yet to provide meaningful pay raises for most people.
Average hourly earnings are up a subpar 2.1
percent over the past 12 months. But there’s
evidence that the job market is being retooled
for occupations and college graduates who
command higher pay. Nearly 44 percent of the
jobs added during the recovery paid a median
income of more than $53,000, according to a
report from the Georgetown University Center
on Education and the Workforce. The economy
includes a greater proportion of these jobs
now than in 2008, after having shed “middlewage jobs” - those that paid $32,000 to
$53,000. “The surge in hiring is not concentrat-
ed in dead-end McJobs,” the report concluded.
No doubt the latest stock market plunge
has dealt a setback to many retirement
accounts. But plenty of people have diversified
their portfolios, as they should, so that stocks
don’t represent an outsized portion of their
holdings. And many individuals have richly
profited from the most recent bull market. A
thousand dollars invested in an S&P 500 index
fund at the end of 2008 would now be worth
roughly $2,200.
The investment company Vanguard reported in June that clients with retirement
accounts at the end of 2009 had enjoyed a
median gain of 137 percent over five years,
reflecting both market returns and additional
contributions. Consider: An Associated Press
analysis last week found that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump would have
multiplied his fortune more by investing in a
generic stock index than in heavily-branded
luxury real estate.
Prices at the pump haven’t been this low at
this time of year since 2004, according to the
American Automobile Association. The average
price for a gallon of regular gasoline is $2.58 a
gallon, down from $3.44 at this point in 2014.
Analysts expect prices to fall further after summer. The price decline has slowed economic
growth because energy companies have
slashed their drilling activity and equipment
orders to manufacturers.
Yet for individual Americans, falling gas
prices are a windfall: Families have more cushioning in their household budgets and can
direct some of their gas savings to pare debt,
invest or spend.
The housing market has solidly recovered
from the depths of the recession, when
defaults on subprime mortgages caused a
crushing wave of foreclosures and depressed
prices. The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price
index is up 5 percent from a year earlier. And
the National Association of Realtors said last
week that sales of existing homes in July
reached an annual rate of 5.59 million, the
strongest pace since 2007.
Homeowners are also behaving more pru-
dently: Mortgage debt remains about $1.3 trillion below the 2008 peak, according to the
Federal Reserve. “While the stock market can
fluctuate wildly, real estate is slow and steady
and has returned to very healthy conditions,”
said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at
The Fed’s low-rate policies have kept mortgage rates near historic lows for much of the
recovery. And even as stocks have tumbled, it’s
become cheaper for homebuyers to borrow.
The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage
dipped to 3.93 percent last week from 4.09 percent in mid-July, according to mortgage firm
Freddie Mac.
The low rates have benefited many homeowners who have adjustable-rate mortgages
from before the recession. Mortgage rates tend
to track the yields on long-term Treasurys. The
declining stock market has held those yields
low - welcome news for homeowners such as
Conal Crawley, a 49 -year-old sales rep from
Boston. “It’ll keep my interest rate down as long
as the economy doesn’t get overheated,” he
said. — AP
Gold falls as nervous
investors monitor China
Palladium, silver at multi-year lows
ISTANBUL: Workers stand in front of a new tunnel construction area in
Istanbul yesterday. The 13.6-kilometre (8.5 miles) will link Kazlicesme on
Istanbul’s European side to Goztepe on the Asian side to reduce the city’s
notorious traffic and will includes the world’s deepest immersed tube below
the seabed at 60 metres (nearly 200 feet) government said. — AFP
Gulf Keystone plans to
double Kurdish field output
LONDON: Iraqi Kurdistan oil producer
Gulf Keystone Petroleum could double
output at its Shaikan field within 18
months but the lack of government
payments for exports makes investing
there impossible, its new chief executive said.
GKP, one of a handful of foreign oil
producers in the autonomous region of
Kurdistan in Iraq, is owed $260 million
by the Kurdistan Regional Government
(KRG) in payments for exported oil as
well as its share of investments in its
The debt and lack of consistency in
payments from the government has
squeezed GKP ’s pockets to a point
where it has just enough cash flow to
keep its operations going. “It’s really
frustrating not to be able to invest right
now,” Jon Ferrier, a former Maersk Oil
executive appointed as GKP chief executive two months ago, told Reuters in
an interview.
“Our costs are exactly in line with
what we’re being paid so we’re down to
the bone.” GKP’s Shaikan oil field, a discovery of 12.5-13 billion barrels in place
made in 2009, has the potential to produce 100,000 barrels of oil per day, but
the lack of money to invest means it is
currently stuttering away at 45,000 barrels per day.
The KRG, embroiled in a dispute with
Iraq’s central government over oil riches
ownership, promised earlier this month
it would start making regular payments
to producers from September.
“Hopefully transparency of these
payments will be very helpful,” said
Ferrier. Once the KRG makes its remaining payments, GKP can start thinking
about investing in Shaikan, he added.
Production at the field could reach
100,000 barrels a day within 18 to 24
months, he said.
GKP, which will repor t first-half
results on Thursday, is still in the
process of finding a buyer for some of
its assets in a bid to raise capital.
“I’ve never known an M&A environment like this. There’s such a gulf
between buyer and seller expectations
on oil price,” Ferrier said. GKP is in talks
with four potential buyers and a start of
regular KRG payments would move the
process forward more quickly, he said.
“If payments turn out to be a fact in
September, that could be a catalyst for
change in the region.” — Reuters
LONDON: Gold slipped yesterday, tracking losses
in other markets as concerns remained about
China’s economic slowdown even after it eased
monetary policy.
Global stocks have lost more than $5 trillion since
China unexpectedly devalued its currency on Aug.
11, but a short-lived recovery on Tuesday, following
the cut in interest rates and bank reserve requirements, had pushed gold down 1.2 percent.
Spot gold fell 0.6 percent to $1,133.56 an ounce
by 1003 GMT, on track for a third day of losses. The
metal’s fall on Tuesday was its steepest since July 20.
US gold for December delivery dropped 0.4 percent
to $1,133.50 an ounce.
“Nothing looks particularly attractive at the
moment, the volatility in equity markets, the very
low level of bond yields,” Capital Economics chief
global economist Julian Jessop said.
“Currencies on the other hand seem to be more
driven by perceptions of what the Fed might do on
interests, while there haven’t really been major and
obvious big moves in safe havens.”
The dollar cut earlier gains against a basket of
leading currencies, while European stocks fell as worries lingered on whether China’s actions would be
enough to stabilise its cooling economy or halt a collapse in its stock markets.
“Drip-feed of stimulus might not be sufficient to
arrest aggressive bears, or significantly lift the economy in a demand-constrained world,” Miluho Bank
said in a note on China’s policy action.
That could put the focus back on a potential US
interest rate increase this year, dampening gold’s
appeal. “The key factor that underpins the bearish
view for gold is very much the Fed rate hike expectation and that possibility is not off the table,” said
Barnabas Gan, analyst at OCBC Bank in Singapore.
US data on Tuesday showed consumer confidence hit a seven-month high in August, while new
single-family home sales rebounded in July, suggesting underlying strength in the economy that could
still allow the Federal Reserve to hike rates this year.
OCBC’s Gan said gold, which touched a near seven-week high of $1,168.40 last week, could only rally
towards $1,200 “if there is confirmation that a US rate
hike will not happen this year”.
Palladium fell 0.6 percent to $532.75 an ounce
after tumbling more than 6 percent overnight, its
steepest fall since April 2013. The metal, mainly used
in emissions control systems for cars, trucks and other vehicles, hit a five-year trough of $528.50 on
Tuesday and has lost around 9 percent so far this
week. Platinum rose 0.6 percent to $981 an ounce
and silver dipped 0.9 percent to $14.56. — Reuters
GCC corporate earnings1
fall by 7.2% in H1 of 2015
KUWAIT: Kuwait Financial Centre
“Markaz” stated that during 1H15, GCC
corporates posted a negative 7.2%
growth over H1 of 2014. Total earnings
inH1 of 2015 came in at USD 34Bn. 1H15
earnings were driven by strong performance from banks and real estate.
Aggregate net profits for banks came
in at USD 16.7bn in 1H15, a rise of 9%
over H1 of 2014. Earnings from real
estate came in at USD 3.7Bn recording a
growth of 44.5% (YoY). Robust growth in
the earnings of banking sector, which
accounts for 49% of earnings, could not
prevent overall corporate earnings from
declining by 7.2% (YoY ) in 1H15.
Telecom sector continued its negative
run from 2014, with overall profits
declining by 35%.
Qatar had the highest earnings
growth in 1H15 at 13%, with the rest of
the GCC countries recording a decline. Fall
in oil prices, strengthening US dollar and
company specific issues were responsible
for the poor earnings in the first half of
2015. Earnings in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia
contracted by 19% and 16%, respectively,
(1H15, YoY basis), while UAE, Bahrain and
Oman also registered negative earnings
growth of 2%, 5% and 7%, respectively.
H1 of 2015 earnings
Real Estate and Banking sectors have
been the star performers in the region for
1H15 registering growth of 44.5% and 9%,
respectively. Despite signs of slowing
down towards the end of last year, the
real estate sector had a great run in the
first half of 2015. The commodities sector,
which is the second largest sector in
terms of net earnings, was impacted by
lower oil prices. Telecom sector, the 4th
largest in terms of net earnings was affected by the reduction in ARPUs (Average
Revenue per User), as well as company
specific losses. Real estate boom in major
markets such as UAE (Dubai & Abu Dhabi),
Qatar and introduction of mortgage lending reforms in Saudi Arabia have led to
significant earnings growth of the sector.
Telecommunications sector’s earnings
were affected by strengthening of the US
dollar (Ooredoo), the earnings restatement of Mobily and its continued dispute
with Zain Saudi. Falling ARPU across the
region was also a reason behind the fall in
telecom earnings.
GCC corporate earnings are expected
to contract by 0.3% in 2015 over FY14 and
reach USD 69.7Bn by the end of the year.
UAE, Qatar and Bahrain earnings growth
are expected to be robust at 8.0%, 6.2%
and 6%, respectively, for the full year of
2015 as against 2014. Corporate earnings
in other GCC countries are also expected
to decline, during the same period, with
earnings in Saudi declining the most at
7.9%. Corporate earnings in Kuwait and
Oman are expected to fall moderately by
1.6% and 0.4% respectively.
Improving US economy shares blame for worst traffic ever
WASHINGTON: More jobs and cheaper
gasoline come with a big, honking downside: US roads are more clogged than ever
now that the recession is in the rearview
mirror. Commuters in Washington, D.C., suffer the most, losing an average of 82 hours a
year to rush hour slowdowns, a new study
finds. Los Angeles, San Francisco and New
York come next on the list of urban areas
with the longest delays.
But the pain reaches across the nation.
Overall, American motorists are stuck in traffic about 5 percent more than they were in
2007, the pre-recession peak, says the
report from the Texas A&M Transportation
Institute and INRIX Inc., which analyzes traffic data. Four out of five cities have now surpassed their 2007 congestion. Rounding
out the Top 10 worst commuting cities are
San Jose, Boston, Seattle, Chicago, Houston
and Riverside-San Bernardino.
Cities with fast-growing economies and
the most job growth are the most plagued
by traffic. Other factors: Urban populations
are increasing and lower fuel prices are
making driving less expensive, so more people are taking to city roads.
Congestion increased in 61 of the
nation’s 101 largest cities from 2012 to 2013,
the data showed. The following year, nearly
all cities - 95 out of 101 - experienced
greater congestion.
The findings are based on federal data
about how many cars are on the roads and
on traffic speed data collected by INRIX on
1.3 million miles of urban streets and high-
ways. The growth is outpacing the nation’s
ability to build the roads, bridges, trains and
other infrastructure to handle all these people on the move. Congress has kept federal
transportation programs teetering on the
edge of insolvency for nearly eight years
because lawmakers have been unwilling to
raise the federal gas tax and haven’t found a
politically palatable alternative to pay for
needed improvements.
Higher fuel taxes
Frustrated by Washington’s inaction,
nearly a third of states have approved measures this year that could collectively raise billions of dollars for transportation through
higher fuel taxes, vehicle fees and bonds.
But that’s just a down payment on decades
of delayed maintenance, repairs and
replacements. “Our growing traffic problem
is too massive for any one entity to handle state and local agencies can’t do it alone,”
said Tim Lomax, a co-author of the report.
The report recommends a mix of solutions,
including making existing road and transit
systems more efficient, encouraging more
flexible work schedules, adding capacity to
high-growth travel corridors, and creating
more high-density neighborhoods where
homes, offices, stores and other development can be reached through walking, biking or public transit.
Transportation analyst Alan Pisarski said
the nation missed a “tremendous opportunity” to catch up on building additional
transportation capacity during the reces-
sion, when construction costs plummeted.
“We didn’t take advantage of it and now
we’re back in the soup again,” he said.
The national average time that commuters wasted stuck in traffic last year was
42 hours, about the same as in 2007 and
more than twice the delay in 1982, when
the transportation institute first began
assessing urban mobility. But because
there are so many more commuters today
and far more congestion in off-peak hours,
total delay across the country has
increased over 2007.
Overall, Americans experienced 6.9 billion hours of traffic delays in 2014 compared to 6.6 billion in 2007 and 1.8 billion
in 1982. The problem has become so bad
in major urban areas that drivers have to
plan for more than twice as much travel
time as they would normally need to
account for the possibility of congestion
delays caused by bad weather, collisions,
construction zones and other impediments, the report said.
Trucks account for about 18 percent of
urban congestion, although they represent
just 7 percent of urban travel. The cost of
congestion to the average auto commuter
was $960 in lost time and fuel in 2014, compared to an inflation-adjusted $400 in 1982.
About 40 percent of delays occur in midday and overnight hours, making it more
difficult to avoid delays by avoiding commuter rush hours. Severe or extreme con-
gestion levels affected one of every four
trips in 2014, up from one in nine trips in
1982. The report comes on the heels of other evidence that Americans are embracing
driving more than ever. The Department of
Transportation said Americans drove more
than 3 trillion miles in the last 12 months,
surpassing the previous record set in 2007.
And the National Safety Council said preliminary data for the first six months of this year
shows traffic deaths are up 14 percent, a
turnaround after years of fewer fatalities.
If the economy remains strong, congestion will continue to worsen, the report proj-
ects. In the next five years, the annual delay
per commuter would grow from 42 to 47
hours, the total delay nationwide would
grow from 6.9 billion hours to 8.3 billion
hours, and the total cost of congestion
would jump from $160 billion to $192 billion, researchers estimated. — AP
NEWCASTLE: This photo taken on April 25, 2015 shows coal stockpiled at the coal port of Newcastle in Australia’s
New South Wales state. Australia’s city of Newcastle, which claims the world’s biggest coal export port, said yesterday it will pull money out of fossil fuel industries as it shifts into more sustainable enterprises. — AFP
Indonesia’s plunging cement shares signify new economic reality
JAKARTA: Investors in Indonesia’s cementmaking giants have much to grieve about - blue
chips like PT Semen Indonesia Tbk and PT
Indocement Tunggal Prakasa Tbk have fallen
victim to massive overcapacity, and things are
not expected to get better soon.
Shares of the country’s largest cement maker Semen Indonesia have plunged 51 percent
so far this year, surpassing the 20 percent
decline in the main stock index. Domestic rivals
Indocement and PT Holcim Indonesia Tbk have
slumped 33 percent and 57 percent, respectively. Some people in the industry say the
domestic sales growth outlook this year could
be the worst in a decade.
Indonesian cement makers in the last four
years have enlarged their production capacity
in anticipation of higher demand from infrastructure projects and a property boom. Even
Thailand’s Siam Cement Pcl has opened its own
cement plant in Indonesia, as well as acquiring
a local ready-mix concrete maker, to access the
market. China’s Anhui Conch Cement Co Ltd has
built a cement plant in Kalimantan and is setting up another in Papua. Indocement itself is
majority-owned by Heidelbergcement AG,
while Holcim Indonesia is a unit of
LafargeHolcim Ltd.
Cement production capacity in Indonesia is
expected to rise to 75.5 million tonnes a year by
2016, up about 67 percent from 2011. Yet
demand is far from catching up, with infrastructure spending on roads, bridges and ports
delayed by bureaucratic red tape and the economy growing at its slowest pace in six years. In
January-to-June, cement consumption fell 4.3
percent to 27.7 million tonnes, its worst firsthalf since 2009, according to industry association data. Heightened competition from new
players has not helped. Costs related to transportation in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy
have also remained high.
The negative outlook for cement makers has decoupled their shares from property stocks. Both segments of the stock
market usually move in tandem, but the
plunge in cement counters this year has
far exceeded the 18 percent drop in the
sub-index for property and construction.
“Property stocks will have more support
since price valuation can be justified by
more stable valuation of land banks and
recurring assets. On the other hand,
cement stock valuations are based on
cement demand - a less stable variable in
the slowing economy and increasing competition,” said Jeffrosenberg Tan, a director with Sinarmas Asset Management who
helps manage about 6 trillion rupiah
($433.53 million) in funds. — Reuters
Pakistan’s economy facing
revenue generation crisis
ISLAMABAD: Despite recent optimism
surrounding Pakistan’s economy, the
country is facing an “existential crisis”
stemming from its woeful tax collection
rates and inability to finance itself, a
report said yesterday.
Pakistan’s economy grew at 4.24 percent during the 2014-2015 fiscal year
with per capita income rising a significant 9.25 percent, markers that come as
investor confidence in the long-underperfoming South Asian giant have also
But according to the report by nonprofit organisation Raftar, funded by
Britain’s Department for International
Development (DFID), Pakistan’s economy continues to rely heavily on “commercial loans, concessionar y donor
loans and aid”.
The country’s tax-to-GDP ratio of 9.4
percent is among the lowest in the
world, leading to a public debt of 17 trillion rupees ($163 billion). This an almost
three-fold increase since 2008 for the
$232 billion economy, with 44 percent
of tax revenue going toward interest
The report blamed the lack of a “tax
culture” on non-revenue sources of funds
the country has historically enjoyed in
the form of foreign aid and loans.
It said 68 percent of tax revenue was
being generated through indirect taxes
on fuel, food and electricity, which
unfairly penalises the poor. The lack of
revenue collection also negatively affects
infrastructure development including
power generation, with the country facing a massive shortfall of up to 4000 MW
in the summer that shaves about $15 billion off the country’s GDP. Pakistan is currently in a $6.6 billion loan programme
with the International Monetary Fund,
which was granted on condition that
Islamabad carried out extensive economic reforms, particularly in the energy
and taxation sectors. — AFP
Kuwait: Strong credit gains in June, growth at 5.2%
KUWAIT: Credit growth in June was
strong, but annual growth eased
slightly to 5.2% y/y on basis effects.
Lending was up by KD 453 million
during the month. While much of
the gain came from lending for
securities purchases and household
borrowing, other sectors also saw
notable growth. Meanwhile, real
estate saw a third month of decline
in outstanding credit. Private
deposits were flat on the month,
while money supply growth continued to ease on basis effects.
Meanwhile, interbank and deposit
rates held steady.
Household borrowing remained
robust adding KD 115 million, with
growth accelerating to 12.3% y/y.
While growth in June was largely
from installment loans, consumer
loans also rose for the first time in
five months. Of the KD 1 billion credit added in the first six months of
2015, half was accounted for by
household borrowing.
Credit to non-bank financial companies continued to decline, losing
KD 6 million. While still in deleveraging mode, the net monthly declines
in this sector’s credit have been
diminishing over the last year. This
sector’s credit has declined by 7.4%
All remaining credit rose by a solid KD 343 million, though growth
eased to 2.9% y/y on basis effects.
The bulk of the gains were in lending for the purchase of securities,
which rose by KD 206 million,
though the segment remained
down by 2.5% y/y. Trade, oil & gas,
“other sectors”, and construction
were other areas of growth, with the
sectors contributing for most of this
year’s business sector credit gains.
Real estate saw the largest decline of
KD 20 million, which was also its
third consecutive monthly decrease.
There has been a marked pickup
in the growth momentum of business credit over the last few months.
The annualized 3-month growth
rate of credit excluding personal
facilities and lending to nonbanks
and the real estate sector has accelerated gradually over the last six
months from a low reached in
December. In June, 3-month growth
accelerated to an annualized 17%.
Private deposits were flat in June
largely on a drop in foreign currency
deposits;as a result, Money supply
(M2) growth eased to 4.1% y/y.
Private deposits saw a small KD 14
million decline, with a KD 64 million
increase in KD deposits more than
offset by a KD 77 million decline in
foreign currency deposits. There was
also a move to KD sight deposits in
June at the expense of KD time
deposits. Narrower money supply
(M1) actually declined by 0.9% y/y
due to a basis effect; it was a year
ago that the CBK introduced the
new currency which temporarily
increased the amount of currency in
Average customer deposit rates
on dinar time deposits, and interbank rates were steady in
June.Average rates onthe1-month,3month, and 6-month time deposits
were steady at 0.61%, 0.77%,and
0.97%, while 12-month rates added
5 bpsafter a drop last month. KD
interbank rates held steady at1.00%,
up 21 basis points year-to-date.
Turbulent time for
Swiss watchmakers
ZURICH: Swiss watchmakers are
facing turbulent times in one of
their top markets, as the already
shrinking luxury sales in China are
compounded by the recent devaluation of the yuan.
Global financial markets are still
reeling from the Chinese central
bank’s sudden devaluation of the
yuan earlier this month, which
allowed the currency to plunge nearly five percent against the dollar in a
matter of days.
In Switzerland, the move rattled
the Alpine country’s luxury watchmakers, who have already seen their
once booming sales in China take a
hit as Beijing began to crack down on
corruption in the country by banning
extravagant gifts like prestigious
watches to public officials.
Even before the yuan move, Swiss
watch exports to China had contracted nearly 40 percent in July. When the
yuan devaluation was announced on
August 11, investors were clearly
bracing for the worst, recalling the
impact on watch sales when
Switzerland’s central bank in January
let the Swiss franc float and sent it
Shares of Swiss luxury goods giant
Richemont, which owns brands like
Cartier, Piaget and IWC, immediately
shed more than 4.0 percent of their
value after the Chinese currency cut.
The world’s biggest watch group
Swatch, which carries brands like
Tissot, Longines and Omega, saw its
stock price plunge 3.9 percent.
‘Positive’ view
But so far there is no indication
the yuan devaluation will cause the
same level of havoc for the watch
industry as the move by the Swiss
central bank did earlier this year,
industry insiders say.
When it suddenly stopped artificially holding down the value of the
Swiss franc, allowing the currency to
soar 20 percent against the euro in a
matter of hours, the impact on watch
sales was felt immediately, JeanClaude Biver, luxury giant LVMH’s
watch guru, told AFP.
“But today, we are not feeling the
same effects from China’s devaluation,” he said, explaining that the
Swiss watch industry would be able
to absorb any rising costs linked to
the Chinese central bank’s move.
And both analysts and the watchmakers themselves have warned
against overreacting, insisting the
yuan devaluation will not have a big
impact on sales and could even
improve them.
Swatch for instance said it viewed
the move as “positive” since it would
likely stimulate consumption, and
insisted there were no plans to hike
the brand’s prices in China.
While the yuan devaluation makes
it more expensive to import luxury
goods into China, it also pushes down
costs onsite. For a company like
Swatch, which employs around 2,600
people in China, mainly in its marketing, sales and client services divisions,
that could mean big savings.
Grey market
Still, the impact of China’s devaluation is difficult to quantify, analysts
say. “If the devaluation of the yuan is
limited and takes place on a controlled basis, it would be a positive for
the Swiss watch industr y,” Kepler
Cheuvreux analyst Jon Cox told AFP
in an email.
“I t narrows the differential
between Europe and China prices,
meaning more watches would be
bought in China and there would be
less of a grey market,” he added. Stark
currency differences since the Swiss
franc took flight in Januar y had
pushed Chinese consumers to purchase more of the luxury watches
they covet when travelling abroad.
But they have also boosted a “grey
market”, where watches are bought in
one market and quickly sold in another at more advantageous rates. In
response, some brands had opted to
lower their prices in China before the
yuan devaluation in a bid to rein in
such parallel markets.
This can prove painful now, since
they do not want to be seen raising
their prices again so soon to compensate for the dwindling value of the
yuan, said Luca Solca, an analyst with
Exane BNP Paribas.
To protect their reputations, these
watchmakers will opt to stick to low
yuan prices, allowing their high Swiss
franc costs to eat into profits, and
they “will suffer,” he told AFP in an
email, suggesting though that those
who had not already lowered their
prices would fare better.
In a note, he also maintained that
the yuan devaluation would only have
a moderate impact on the bottom line
of luxury goods makers. It would take
a devaluation of 20 percent or more to
shrink profits in the sector by 5.0-10.0
percent, he said. — AFP
JAKARTA: This photo taken on August 13, 2015 shows Indonesian models with scale models of Chinese-made bullet trains on exhibition at a
shopping mall in Jakarta. China and Japan are locked in an increasingly heated contest to build Indonesia’s first high-speed railway, with the
Asian giants sweetening deals and turning up the charm as time runs out to woo Jakarta. — AFP
China, Japan battle to build
Indonesia’s first bullet train
Widodo to announce successful bidder on Aug 31
JAKARTA: China and Japan are locked in an increasingly heated contest to build Indonesia’s first highspeed railway, with the Asian giants sweetening deals
and turning up the charm as time runs out to woo
Jakarta. The rivalry over this major project is just the latest to flare up as China challenges Japan’s long-standing dominance in Southeast Asia as a key source of
infrastructure funding. Japan, a top-three investor in
Indonesia with huge stakes in the automotive and mining sectors, seemed destined to build the high-speed
railway until China muscled in with a counter offer earlier this year.
President Joko Widodo stoked the competitive spirit of the two Asian powerhouses as he toured China
and Japan in April trying to drum up much-needed
investment for a multi-billion dollar overhaul of
Indonesia’s ageing infrastructure. In both Beijing and
Tokyo, he boarded bullet trains and declared his vision
for high-speed rail in Indonesia: a line connecting the
sprawling capital Jakarta with Bandung, a mountainfringed city famed for its universities and IT expertise
about 160 kilometres (100 miles) away. If it was a stunt
to grab the attention of his hosts, it certainly worked. A
steady stream of diplomats and envoys from Tokyo and
Beijing have been pouring in since April to pitch the
Widodo administration, and Jakarta is enjoying the
limelight. “Let them race to invest in Indonesia. It’s good
for us,” Luhut Panjaitan, chief political minister and a
close aide to Widodo, told AFP. “It’s like a girl wanted by
many guys, the girl then can pick whoever she likes.”
The line, if completed, will not only slash travel time
between Jakarta and Bandung but pave the way for an
expanded network linking the capital with Indonesia’s
second-largest city Surabaya in East Java.
Upping the ante
The schmoozing has been ratcheting up ahead of
August 31, when Widodo is expected to announce the
successful bidder. China is not seeking any funding
guarantees from the Indonesian government and has
promised construction would begin this year, with the
network up and running no later than 2019.
Beijing recently showcased its high-speed rail
prowess in an exhibition at a plush Jakarta mall, where
China’s ambassador to Indonesia likened the project to
a child reared by Jakarta and Beijing.
“Our number one priority is to ensure the baby’s
health and growth, rather than to rush him to make
money to support the family,” Xie Feng said, playing
down suggestions China’s main motive in this project
was profit. Japan’s proposal is slightly more expensive
than its rival, and it is only promising trains will hit the
tracks in 2021. On the plus side, it has offered a lower
interest rate of 0.1 percent, a fraction of the 2.0 percent
China has put forward.
Japan also has history on its side. The country is
famous for its legendary shinkansen, its impressive
high-speed network that for decades has whizzed com-
muters between cities at great speed without a single
fatal accident on the rails. China has countered this by
arguing it has built 17,000 kilometres of high-speed
railway-or 55 percent of the world total-in the 12 years
since it began constructing bullet trains.
However, a 2011 crash that killed at least 40 people
and injured 200 more highlighted what critics say is a
tendency to overlook safety in the rush to lay track.
Japan’s glowing record
Indonesian officials are aware of Japan’s glowing
record in this space, and are wary of elements of
Beijing’s pitch. A government source tasked with
assessing the two proposals told AFP China’s slowing
economy had fostered doubt about whether Beijing
could deliver on its ambitious promises.
China’s economy expanded 7.4 percent last year,
the weakest pace since 1990, and slowed further to 7.0
percent in the first two quarters of this year. Indonesia
had also “learned the lessons” of dealing with China, the
source said, with past investment pledges failing to
materialise and newly-constructed power plants lacking the capacity promised on paper. Indonesia has
hired the Boston Consulting Group as a third party to
assess the bids but in the end the decision falls to
Widodo. A senior official described the matter as “sensitive”, acknowledging the importance of both China
and Japan to Indonesia, while other voices are also urging the president to tread carefully.— AFP
Bets grow HK may scrap peg
after China’s yuan devaluation
HONG KONG: Bets are growing of a possible
scrapping of a historic peg of the Hong Kong
dollar against the greenback, after China’s surprise devaluation of the yuan this month sent
financial markets into a tailspin and stoked fears
of a global currency war. One month implied
volatility on the Hong Kong dollar an indicator of
expected price swings - jumped to 2.23 on
Monday, the highest level in a decade. It was
much higher than 1 on Aug. 11 when the
People’s Bank of China weakened the yuan by 2
“The Hong Kong dollar is seeing a classic
flight to safety bid. Investors are de-risking their
portfolios and moving funds into Hong Kong
dollar bonds and cash,” said Hayden Briscoe, Asia
AllianceBernstein, who is part of a team that
manages $250 billion globally in fixed income.
The flight-to-safety bid has made the Hong
Kong dollar expensive versus rivals. “Given cur-
rency slides across Asia, the Hong Kong dollar
now looks significantly overvalued,” said Kevin
Lai, an analyst at Daiwa, adding that the peg
would come under tremendous pressure in case
of severe credit stress in China and capital outflows following the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy
normalisation. Many emerging market currencies, including the Malaysian ringgit, Indonesian
rupiah and Brazil’s real , have slumped to their
weakest levels against the dollar in over 10 years
as capital fled their slowing economies.
The latest country to join the currency war,
Kazakhstan, devalued its tenge by more than a
quarter last Thursday. The Hong Kong dollar rose
close to its strong end of trading on Wednesday
and traded at 7.7506 per dollar, up from 7.7616
on Aug. 11. The local currency has been pegged
at 7.8 to the US dollar since 1983, but can trade
between 7.75 and 7.85.
“Hong Kong is caught in a pincer movement
between a prospective US monetary policy
tightening and the continued slowdown and travails of the mainland economy with whom Hong
Kong’s economic cycle is increasingly more correlated,” said Mole Hau, Asia Economist at BNP
The so-called currency board arrangements
means the Hong Kong Monetary Authority
(HKMA) is unable to use independent interest
rate policy to influence the domestic economy
and may have its work cut out if the Fed’s eventual tightening triggers big capital outflows.
In the last round of mass capital outflows in
1998, Hong Kong’s economy contracted 6 percent and endured deflation for years after the
Asian finiancial crisis, but the dollar peg survived.
Government officials have reassured that the
peg will be retained. “I don’t think the Hong
Kong dollar has come to a stage that the peg has
to be changed with no choice like what happened to the Swiss franc,” said Raymond Yeung,
an analyst at ANZ. — Reuters
HONG KONG: A woman walks past an electronic board showing Hong Kong share index outside a
local bank in Hong Kong, yesterday. Shares fell yesterday in Europe and Asian markets were mixed
as an initial burst of euphoria over an interest rate cut by China the day before succumbed to lingering worries over longer-term problems with its economy. — AP
Fadel Sayed Ali wins KD 125,000 in NBK’s Al Jawhara monthly draw
KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK)
announces the winner for August’s KD
125,000 Al Jawhara monthly prize, Fadel
Sayed Ali. The draw was held under the
super vision of the Ministr y of
Commerce and Industry. The winner’s
name was announced live on Marina
NBK has re -launched Al Jawhara
account recently by doubling chances
to win in the weekly, monthly and quarterly draws if customers do not withdraw or transfer from their accounts.
NBK customers have chances to win
KD 5,000 weekly, KD 125,000 monthly
and a grand prize of KD 250,000 quar-
terly. Each KD 50 in a customer ’s
account entitles them one entry into
the draw, thus more money in an
account means more chances into each
draw. This new added feature enables al
Jawhara Account holders’ to double
their chances through maintaining their
Al Jawhara is the most popular prizegiving account in Kuwait. Al Jawhara
account entitles account holders to
enter the weekly, monthly and quarterly
Al Jawhara draws. All prizes are automatically credited to the winners’
accounts the day after the draw.
Al Jawhara account is available for
both Kuwaitis and expats and can be
opened at any of NBK’s numerous
branches around Kuwait, or safely and
easily through NBK’s website for existing customers.
For more information please contact
NBK Call Center at 1801801 or visit NBK
official website
Cityscape Global sees 30%
growth in exhibition space
Demand for housing continues to grow
DUBAI: The continued confidence in Dubai’s maturing real
estate market has been underlined by a 15% increase in
exhibitors at the Middle East’s
largest proper ty showcase,
Cityscape Global.
While the 14th edition of the
event prepares to host more
than 300 exhibitors in a significantly expanded exhibition are-
tive nature of the market, organisers of Cityscape Global, which
takes place from 8-10 September
at the Dubai World Trade Centre,
confirmed today that the event
has been extended by two additional exhibition halls - four
more halls since the 2013 event covering more than 40,000sqm
of exhibition space.
Headline exhibitors returning
Business Unit, said: “ Today ’s
modern families want to live in
sustainable living environments
designed for life -long value,
where owners, residents and
tenants will feel the added value”. He further added: “At Majid
Al Futtaim, we not only create
great moments for everyone,
every day, but we also meet the
region’s growing demand for real
DUBAI: Cityscape Global prepares to host more than 300 exhibitors as three day show returns
with double digit growth for the fourth consecutive year.
na, global property experts, JLL’s
Q1 2015 residential market
overview has reported the delivery of approximately 730 residential units across Dubai.
An additional 22,000 residential units are expected to enter
the market by the end of 2015,
another 13,000 units in 2016 and
10,000 units in 2017, reinforcing
the sentiment that the UAE’s real
estate sector is continuing to
grow at a sustainable rate as the
demand for housing rises.
According to JLL, a combination of governmental regulatory
changes implemented in the last
year across the region has
ensured market conditions in the
residential sector remain stable.
Further highlighting the posi-
for 2015 include Emaar, Dubai
Properties, Dubai World Central,
Meydan, Meraas and Nakheel
while first-time exhibitors include
Kleindienst Group, DMCC and Al
Majid Al Futtaim Properties,
another newcomer to the event,
will showcase its major community projects, displaying three
amenity-rich neighbourhoods
that can accommodate people’s
modern lifestyles where they can
live, work and play, and even
learn in the same place. These
community developments are Al
Zahia in Sharjah, UAE, Waterfront
City in Beirut, Lebanon, and The
Wave Muscat, Oman.
Simon Azzam, CEO, Majid Al
Futtaim Properties Communities
living environments.”
According to Azzam, the past
10 years have witnessed a huge
demand by homebuyers across
the regional real estate market
for gated mixed use residential
communities, with the aim to
develop and deliver premier
development opportunities in
the region.
Majid Al Futtaim will provide
commercial returns through
delivering superior quality retail,
hospitality, leisure, business and
community offerings within an
attractive, contemporary and
diverse destination.
Cityscape Global is the annual
meeting point for key real estate
investors, developers, investment promotion authorities,
architects, designers and other
real estate professionals to drive
growth in real estate investment
and development across emerging markets globally.
Wouter Molman, Director of
Cityscape Group said: “ The
demand for exhibition space has
been remarkable and as such,
we have increased the floor area
and adjusted the lay out to
ensure visitors can conveniently
navigate their way around the
“The need to add two additional halls this year has stemmed
from both new exhibitors as well
as previous exhibitors requesting
larger stands to accommodate
their existing and new projects
which will be showcased to thousands of visitors in September.
“In 2014 we welcomed more
than 47,000 participants; a 42%
year-on-year increase. With
Cityscape Global set to be the
largest it has been for six years, we
expect a very strong turnout of visitors from all over the world, as
they look to maximise their investment potential in this lucrative
Also new to Cityscape Global is
a complete overhaul of the colocated conferences, now taking
place the day before the exhibition, the dedicated convention will
bring together more than 800 senior real estate professionals who
will explore opportunities and find
solutions to key challenges affecting the industry today.
The Facilities Management conference, jointly organised with
Middle East Facilities Management
Association (MEFMA), and the Real
Estate Brokers will run alongside
the ‘Dubai Market Overview’ on
September 7 at the Conrad Hotel,
Also running in tandem with
the exhibition is the Cityscape
Awards for Emerging Markets.
The awards programme attracts
hundreds of entries from developers and architects behind real
estate developments across
emerging markets globally.
Winners will be announced at an
elaborate ceremony taking place
at the Conrad Hotel, Dubai on 8
Cityscape Global 2015 returns
with support from Foundation
Partners; Emaar Properties, Dubai
Properties and Nakheel; Gold
Sponsor; Arma Properties; Project
Marketing Sponsor; Aqua Properties
and Property Registration Trustee
Partner; Tamleek Property Transfer.
ABK receives STP excellence award
from Standard Chartered Bank
KUWAIT: Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait (ABK) was
recently presented the STP Excellence
Award for the year 2014 from Standard
Chartered Bank - New York, for its exemplary execution of electronic payments.
Fawzy Al Thunayan, General Manager of
Board Affairs at ABK received the award
saying: “We are delighted to see ABK’s commitment to international quality standards
being recognized by Standard Chartered
Bank. ABK’s partnership with correspondent banks such as Standard Chartered
underlines our dedication to evolve as an
institution that constantly provides our
customers with international standards of
In its role as an international financial
institution, ABK utilizes the latest internationally approved systems and methods to
facilitate transactions on a global scale
such as Straight-through-Processing (STP).
STP automates financial transactions and
involves the capturing and processing of
transactions in a single cost-effective system, effectively simplifying them.
ABK was recently also recognized by its
EUR correspondent, Commerzbank for
Excellence in STP for 2014.
VIVA launches new data packages
for postpaid customers
Enjoy using more mobile internet for less!
KUWAIT: VIVA, Kuwait’s fastest-growing
and most developed telecom operator,
announced that it has enhanced its
postpaid data packages presenting its
customers with an expanded array of
revamped and new data plans at the
most competitive prices.
VIVA launched the revamped and
new range of Internet packages so customers can enjoy more internet data for
less subscription fees.
The new monthly packages include:
Monthly KD 13 presenting customers
with 300GB monthly internet capacity,
and monthly KD 18 presenting customers with 500GB monthly internet
capacity. In addition, customers subscribing to the KD 18 package will be
eligible to have a PlayStation 4 or Xbox
One for free.
The new data packages are a convenient and affordable way for postpaid
customers to enjoy surfing the internet
while on the go. Through the launch of
the revamped and new data packages,
VIVA reiterates its commitment to provide the most competitive offers
designed to exceed the customers’
VIVA continuously presents its customers with exciting packages that
offer excellence in quality of service
with added value for money.
To find out more about VIVA’s new
postpaid packages, visit one of the 69
VIVA branches, or the VIVA website at, or call VIVA’s 24 hour
call center on 102.
UAE Debt Settlement Fund in cooperation with
Al Hilal Bank awards ‘Nasaeh Maleya’ winners
DUBAI: As part of its broad Corporate Social
Responsibility agenda, Al Hilal Bank in cooperation with the UAE Debt Settlement Fund
on Monday, August 24, 2015 awarded a total
of AED 600,000 courtesy of the Fund to 120
winners from the ‘Nasaeh Maleya’ financial literacy program held live on television during
The first awarding ceremony, held under
the theme of ‘Financial Knowledge always
pays off,’ was conducted at Al Hilal Bank’s
Headquarters in Abu Dhabi in the presence
of members of the bank’s management team
as well as representatives from the UAE Debt
Settlement Fund and Mernah Production
Company, the producer of the ‘Nasaeh
Maleya” (Financial Advices) TV program.
Al Hilal was the sole Official Sponsor of the
UAE Debt Settlement Fund’s rewards initiative undertaken in cooperation with ‘Nasaeh
Maleya,’ a socially- and economically themed, 5-7 minute TV program that provides advice to the public to raise awareness
on the various financial issues they face on a
daily basis.
The tips and suggestions given aim to help
viewers achieve financial stability by highlighting best practices and investments for a
stable life away from debt and its associated
burdens. Questions about the day’s topic
were asked per episode during the program’s
daily airings on Abu Dhabi Al Emarat TV and
Al Noor TV throughout the Holy Month. Four
lucky viewers with the right response won
AED 5,000 each per telecast courtesy of the
UAE Debt Settlement Fund.
Sari Arar, Acting CEO of Al Hilal Bank, said:
“Ramadan is a period of reflection, so it is an
ideal moment to direct the attention of the
public towards issues of prime individual and
societal importance such as financial literacy
and responsibility. Al Hilal Bank found the
UAE Debt Settlement Fund’s initiative of raising awareness on financial management
through ‘Nasaeh Maleya’ a perfect platform
for advancing our own advocacy of a financially-aware society. We shall continue to suppor t such activities that emphasize the
importance of being financially conscious
and prepared in order to secure a bright
Al Hilal Bank’s support for ‘Nasaeh Maleya’
forms part if its initiatives to help mold a
more financially responsible and prosperous
future for the UAE and its citizens. It also
reflects the bank’s support for the UAE Debt
Settlement Fund’s vision of a debt-free society. Al Hilal’s two previous Ramadan campaigns were ‘Heart to Heart,’ a initiative that
drew medical and moral support for children
with congenital heart diseases, and ‘A Safe
Ramadan 4’ a campaign that helped enhance
safety before Maghrib prayer timings by distributing Iftar meals to drivers.
Malabar Gold & Diamonds launch
showroom in Shivamogga, Karnataka
SHIVAMOGGA: Malabar Gold & Diamonds,
one among the world’s leading jewellery
retailers and flagship company of Malabar
Group has expanded its network in
Karnataka with the inauguration of new
world class showroom in Shivamogga. This
is the 14th showroom in Karnataka.
The spacious and artistically done showroom was inaugurated by popular South
Indian actor PuneethRajkumar in the presence of Malabar Gold and Diamonds,
Managing Director, O. Asher on Saturday,
22nd August, 2015.
The showroom is located opposite to
State Bank of Mysore, B.H. Road,
Apart from displaying jewellery specific
to the culture and celebrations of
Karnataka, the store displays the exclusive
range of sub brands from Malabar Gold &
Diamonds: Mine - Diamond jewellery, Era Uncut Diamond Jewellery, Precia - Precious
Gem Jewellery, Divine - Indian Heritage
Jewellery, Ethnix - Handcrafted designer
Jewellery Starlet - Kids’ Jewellery and Hi-
casual jewellery. The showroom also has an
impressive stock of platinum jewellery apart
from gold and diamond and silver jewellery.
According to O. Asher, Managing
Director, Malabar Gold and Diamonds,
“Apart from showcasing latest collections in
traditional as well as contemporary designs,
understanding the cultural ethos and ornamental preferences of a region has played a
pivotal role in making the retail jeweller
popular among the masses, cutting across
cultures and geographical boundaries.”
Having 134 showrooms in nine countries, expansion plans in India include new
showrooms in Nellore (Andhra), Vadodara
(Gujarat) Nagercoil (Tamil Nadu) and on the
international front more showrooms in
Middle East, South Asia, US and UK.
Apart from being a successful business
entity, Malabar Group has always been in
the forefront of social responsibility initiatives, earmarking five percent of its annual
profit for CSR initiatives in the field of health,
education, housing, environmental conservation and women’s empowerment.
Love them or loathe them, emails are here to stay
NEW YORK: If seeing an inbox full
of hundreds of emails fills you with
dread, get used to it, because they
are here to stay and will remain a
constant in the workplace, according to a survey released yesterday.
Despite the popularity of instant
m e s s a gi n g, te x t i n g a n d s o c i a l
media, the poll showed that email
is the top communications tool at
work and will grow in importance
over the next five years.
In the online survey, comprising
400 U.S. white-collar, adult workers,
nearly half of the respondents said
they think their use of emails for
work will increase in coming years.
Nineteen percent said it will go up
M o re t h a n 9 0 p e rce n t o f t h e
workers admitted they checked
personal emails at work and 87 percent looked at business emails outside of working hours.
“Email is and will remain a cornerstone of the workplace culture,”
said Kristin Naragon, of computer
software company Adobe Systems
Inc, which commissioned the poll.
“Certainly, lots of companies are
trying to break into that space with
productivity tools, but email is not
going anywhere,” she added in an
The workers questioned in the
poll estimated they spend 6.3 hours
a d ay c h e c k i n g e m a i l s, w i t h 3 . 2
hours devoted to work emails and
3.1 hours to personal messages.
Naragon said Americans are so
concerned about keeping in touch
they monitor emails around the
clock, in socially unacceptable settings and during potentially dangerous times.
Nearly 80 percent said they look
a t e m a i l s b e fo re g o i n g i n to t h e
o f f i ce a n d 3 0 p e rce n t s a i d t h e y
checked their inbox while still in
b e d i n t h e m o r n i n g. H a l f o f t h e
respondents also monitored emails
during their vacations.
The numbers were even higher
for 18-34 year olds, with 45 percent
opening emails upon waking up.
More than a quarter of millennials
a l s o a d m i t te d c h e c k i n g e m a i l s
while driving.
“Millennials are so addicted to
emails that half can’t even use the
bathroom without checking their
e m a i l ,” s a i d N a r a g o n . B u t s h e
added that people are aware of
their addiction and have tried to
regain a better life balance. Forty
percent said they had tried a selfimposed email detox, of which 87
percent lasted an average of five
days. When asked about the most
annoying thing about emails, 28
percent said it was scrolling down
too far to read the entire message.
Nearly 40 percent of workers also
said they would prefer to get fewer
emails. — Reuters
Uber to work with UofA on
mapping, self-driving cars
TUCSON: Uber is par tnering with the
University of Arizona to develop mapping
technology as the ride-hailing company
expands its research of driverless car technology.
The partnership announced Tuesday
between the San Francisco-based company
and the university includes a $25,000 grant
to UofA’s College of Optical Sciences.
“We’ll work with some of the leading
experts in lens design here at the university
to improve the imagery of what we capture
and use to build out mapping and our safety features,” said Brian McClendon, vice president of advanced technology for Uber.
Uber will test mapping vehicles on Tucson
roads. McClendon wouldn’t elaborate on
how many Uber employees would be working with university researchers but said he
considers this a long-term collaboration.
“I think the College of Optical Sciences is
one of the leading in the world, and we are
looking for improving the technologies that
mapping and driverless vehicles are
dependent on, and this is a great place to
start,” McClendon said. Gov. Doug Ducey
hailed the new partnership during a news
conference at the university Tuesday. “It’s in
Arizona’s best interest to embrace new technology,” Ducey said. “This is about economic
growth. It means new jobs, new research
opportunities here at the UofA.”
Ducey has been a big proponent of Uber
since tak ing office in Januar y. The
Republican governor stopped state regulators from enforcing regulations that
required Uber drivers to have commercial
insurance and licenses, saying the policy
wasn’t working and was hampering job creation. Then he backed a bill overhauling
rules for ride-hailing companies like Uber
and Lyft. The new law, which Ducey signed
in April, removed regulatory roadblocks to
the growing services.
In June, Ducey praised Uber at the formal
opening of a new customer service center in
Phoenix that is expected to eventually
employ several hundred people. Ducey said
at the time that Uber creates jobs and helps
grow the economy, and the state should be
helping it, not hindering it.
Uber has made other efforts to boost its
research into driverless cars. The company
partnered with Carnegie-Mellon University
in Pittsburgh in February on a driverless
car research lab. I n M arch, Uber also
bought digital mapping specialist deCarta,
which provides maps for many consumer
produc ts, including General M otors’
OnStar system.
This story has been corrected to show
that Uber plans to use mapping vehicles,
not self-driving vehicles or map-testing
vehicles, on Tucson streets. — AP
SAN FRANCISCO: In this Dec. 16, 2014, file photo a man leaves the headquarters of
Uber in San Francisco. —AP
After riding Internet
wave, top China investor
bets on hardware
BEIJING/HONG KONG: Long before she
became the first woman to figure in the top-10
on Forbes “Midas List” of leading venture capital
investors this year, GGV Capital’s Jenny Lee cut
her teeth as an engineer on Singapore’s fighter
She went on to make millions of dollars betting on China’s software and Internet boom including buying into Xiaomi five years ago
when the company had only a prototype of the
smartphones that have since catapulted it up
the global rankings and turned it into a $45 billion enterprise.
Now, Lee, 43, is going back to her hardware
roots, predicting a renaissance for start-ups as
China boosts technology and skills at factories,
potentially triggering a wave of new inventions
- from drones and robots to smart cars and
beyond. “Finally, after 15 years of investment in
China, we’re starting to see the real ‘makers’
come to play,” Singapore-born Lee, who moved
to China in 2005 to set up GGV’s Shanghai
office, said in one of several interviews with
GGV, founded in 2000 as Granite Global
Ventures, has nearly $2.7 billion across six
funds, with early investments in e-commerce
giant Alibaba Group Holding, ride-hailing app
Didi Kuaidi and Tujia, a Chinese vacation rental
firm similar to Airbnb Inc.
The venture capital firm invested in Alibaba
when Jack Ma’s group was valued at just $200
million. It’s now worth $171 billion. Lee also
invested in UCWeb, which Alibaba bought for
$4 billion last year in China’s biggest Internet
sector deal.
China’s cabinet this year unveiled the
‘Internet Plus’ and ‘Made in China 2025’ plans to
boost output through new investments and
innovation as breakneck growth slows in the
world’s second-largest economy and labour
costs rise. Lee sees a particularly attractive
opportunity in China with these sweeping
plans to digitize and automate the economy.
“China reinvents itself every 10 years, and you
can see this in their policies - from the migration from low-cost labour to software-based IT
personnel in 2000-05, to now precision manufacturing and automation,” said Lee, who
worked briefly as a banker at Morgan Stanley.
Lee, a junior college doubles kayaking
champion, recently invested in Chinese smart
notebook start-up Xiaoniu and EHang, a drone
maker that specialises in flight control software
and is looking to expand into agricultural and
industrial applications.
She has also looked into electric cars and
autonomous driving and flight technologies, as
an extension of the investments in EHang and
electric scooter NIU. Together with Hans Tung,
another managing partner at GGV, Lee has
focused on hardware start-ups with a presence
or founders in both China and the United
States - firms better able to marry Chinese supply chain know-how with Western product
design skills, Tung told Reuters.
Lee, a trailblazer in the male-dominated
world of venture capital, says the industry is
“gender agnostic,” though she quips that she’s
as much at home with the guys on the golf
course - “I drive 250 yards” - as she is having dinner with entrepreneurs at home with their family and kids. Beyond crunching numbers on
start-up businesses, Lee says she works to simple metrics. “Have you invested? Have you
helped companies? Have you made money for
“Start-ups aren’t an object. They’re successful because of the people behind them. It’s
about understanding the motivation behind
the person. When we talked to (Xiaomi
founder) Lei Jun, it’s not saying ‘oh, are you
making a phone? What’s in it?’ He has this passion, he has to win. That’s very important.”
Executives who have worked with Lee say she
has strong analytical skills and a steely, decisive
edge. Tiak Koon Loh, CEO of Chinese tech consultancy Pactera and a longtime business partner, recalled when Lee fired a group of executives at a portfolio business in the early 2000s,
something relatively unheard of at the time in
the region. “For her, business is business,” he
said. For Lee, though, there’s more to it than
that. “I’m a very gut feel type of investor and my
background is pretty unique. I’m a hard core
engineer. I have a real love for the industry. I
just love pulling up products and seeing things
come to life.” —Reuters
MARYLAND: This photo shows a Yuneec Typhoon drone and controller. — AP
Europe faces flight safety
threat posed by drones
zones, software to block flights
into sensitive areas and registration rules are among proposals
from European regulators and aviation experts to ensure growing
numbers of drones don’t case dangerous run-ins with passenger aircraft. The use of civil drones,
whether for commercial purposes
such as crop surveillance, monitoring of natural disasters, photography or just as a fun leisure activity,
is rising.
That popularity has led to
increasing reports of near-misses
with commercial aircraft, such as
when a Lufthansa plane was
approaching Warsaw airport last
month. The UK’s CAA issued a
warning last month after seven
incidents where drones had flown
near planes at different British airpor ts in less than a year.
Recognising the threat, the
European Commission conceded
this year that “drone accidents will
happen” and has charged its aviation safety agency arm with developing common rules for operating
drones in Europe.
Aviation concerns focus on
smaller drones, operated like model planes and flown for recreation,
because their users are often not
familiar with the rules of the air.
“The problem is that encounters
with drones usually take place during the most critical phases of a
flight, such as during take-off or
landing when a drone strike could
have potentially devastating consequences,”
Schoeppenthau, Secretary General
of the European Cockpit
Association, said. Schoeppenthau
told Reuters drones had the potential to be more dangerous to an aircraft than a bird strike. “While aircraft engines have been tested
against bird strikes, there is no data
yet on engine resistance, for example, against a 4 or 5 kilo drone
being sucked into an engine,”
Schoeppenthau said.
Recreational drones, relatively
easy to fly thanks to their four
rotors, cost as little as $25 for
micro-versions and up to thousands of dollars for more
advanced versions fitted with HD
video cameras.
Pilots’ associations and others
have called for drones to be fitted
with geo-fencing technology,
which uses GPS software to stop
them straying into certain areas,
along with height and distance
limits. They also call for registration
of drones.
“We need a requirement for registration. That would allow us to
identify those abusing the rules
and stop them from flying,” KlausDieter Scheurle, head of the DFS
German air traffic authority, told
Reuters in an interview.
Many cities have no-fly areas for
drones already, but that has not
stopped people from sending
them up. Just this year, police have
investigated drones over restricted
areas in France, and, across the
Atlantic, over the White House.
In much of Berlin, for example,
operators need a licence to fly
higher than 30 metres. Scheurle
said the DFS awarded 125 permits
for people seeking to fly drones on
the city’s disused Tempelhof airfield on one sunny day, but estimates around eight times as many
were actually flying.
The problem is not going to go
away. Scheurle expects drones will
proliferate as the technology gets
cheaper. “It’s fun to fly them,” he
said. — Reuters
‘Until Dawn’ adds clever
twists to teen horror genre
NEW YORK: Years of horror movies
have taught us the proper response
to an invitation to spend a weekend at a cabin in the woods: No
If anyone followed that advice,
we wouldn’t have “Friday the 13th,”
“The Evil Dead” or, well, “The Cabin
in the Woods.” But the kids in “Until
Dawn” (Sony, for the PlayStation 4,
$59.95) have even more reason to
stay home: The last time they went,
two of their friends vanished.
A year later, eight teenagers
decide to return to the site to try
and get some closure on the
tragedy. Of course, in this genre,
“closure” means running around
half-naked while an axe-wielding
maniac chases you. “Until Dawn”
steers right into the clichés, so
you know that as soon as two of
the teens start making out, at least
one of them will end up on the
wrong end of something pointy.
And yet, the story (co-written by
horror vet Larry Fessenden) introduces some clever twists on those
hoary genre tropes, then throws in
a bunch more to keep you off balance. There’s a creepy psychiatrist.
There’s an ancient Native American
curse. There’s an abandoned sanitarium, and a 50-year-old tragedy
that may explain all the mayhem.
Don’t get too comfortable once
you think you’ve pegged the psycho killer, because there are still
many hours to go before sun-up.
“Until Dawn” benefits from a
game, appealing young cast, led by
Hayden Panettiere of “Nashville”
and Rami Malek of “Mr. Robot.”
Peter Stormare - from “Fargo” and
too many other movies to list - also
shows up to deliver his special
brand of sublime creepiness.
The motion-captured performances and animation are solid
throughout, and the lighting and
sound designers at the British studio Supermassive Games have
done a terrific job capturing the
ambience of classic teen horror
The gameplay is more reminiscent of “Choose Your Own
Adventure” than action-heavy horror games like “Resident Evil” and
“Silent Hill.” At times, the game
presents a decision - say, between
firing off a flare gun or saving it for
later - that may seem innocuous
but could have fatal consequences
hours later. There’s much chatter
about the “butterfly effect,” and
there are so many decision points
that you’ll want to replay some scenarios to see how things might
have turned out differently.
There are also occasional
sequences where, in order to survive, you need to press buttons in
synch with onscreen prompts.
There’s no room for error: Mess up
and you’re dead, and the perspective shifts to one of the other
teenagers. Suffice to say that not
everyone here gets out alive.
More trigger-happy gamers will
find fault with the limited control
you have over the characters, and
there are scenes where all you can
do is yell at the screen while the
kids do something dumb. But isn’t
that the same way you felt watching “Friday the 13th”? Three stars
out of four. —AP
NEW YORK: This video game cover image released by Sony Computer
Entertainment America LLC shows “Until Dawn.” (Sony Computer
Entertainment America LLC ). —AP
H E A LT H & S C I E N C E
Thailand destroys more than 2 tons of illegal ivory
BANGKOK: Thai authorities destroyed
more than 2 tons of seized and smuggled
ivory yesterday, in the latest move by the
government to avoid possible economic
sanctions over a perceived failure to tackle the illicit trade. Tusks from more than
200 dead African elephants and other
items made from ivory, such as jewelry
and statues, were spread across viewing
tables before being crushed by a
machine into small pieces that were to be
incinerated later in the day.
“This event shows the international
community that Thailand intends to tackle the illegal ivory trade,” said Nipol
Chotiban, head of the Department of
National Parks, Wildlife and Plant
Conservation. To emphasize the point,
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha
presided over the event, loading the first
tusk into the crushing machine.
Thailand’s record on ivory is poor. The
United Nations body that tries to tackle
the illegal ivory trade, known as CITES,
lists Thailand as the world’s secondbiggest end-user market, behind China.
The Southeast Asian country is a major
transit hub and destination for smuggled
tusks, which are often carved into tourist
trinkets and ornaments.
Part of the problem has been a Thai
law that allows ivory from its own domesticated elephants to be worked into
ornaments and sold. The law has created
a loophole through which ivory from
African animals can be laundered. In
2013 CITES put Thailand on notice to sort
out the situation or face economic sanctions.
Since then Thailand has passed new
laws and made major seizures at ports
and airports. But the pressure remains. In
less than a week, Thailand must submit
an update of its progress to CITES.
Several wildlife and conservation
groups audited the stockpile before it
was destroyed and welcomed the event
while noting that there is still much to do,
including continuous law enforcement
and the tackling of the gangs behind the
trade. “This is not over yet,” said Tom
Milliken, one of the world experts on the
illicit trade in ivory.
“This is just one event that will definitely signal to the world that the Thai
government is committed but the
impact on the market is really the critical
element.” More than 14 tons of ivory
remains in Thai stockpiles, kept as part of
court cases against smugglers. — AP
Tanorexia: When getting a
tan becomes an addiction
Australia has world’s highest rate of melanoma
MADRID: On a warm August evening in
Madrid a steady stream of tanned customers parade out of a tanning saloneven in sunny Spain, the need to catch
some rays can turn into an addiction.
The Spanish capital receives an average
of 2,749 hours of sunshine per year,
according to the Spanish weather
agency, double the amount received by
London. That does not stop Macarena
Garcia, a university student, from seeking
out UV rays.
“My family does not like it, they tell
me it is not healthy... but they live near
the beach! I work here and I also want to
tan,” she said as she left the Solmania tanning salon in the centre of Madrid. She is
not alone. Jose Manuel Rodriguez, a
handsome 36-year-old dancer, said he
comes to the salon up to three times a
week “in order not to lose (his) natural
tan”. Jose Carlos Moreno of Spain’s academy of dermatology, (AEDV), does not
hesitate to call this need to be tanned an
addiction. “They are people who never
feel that they are tanned enough,” he
said before comparing them to “anorexics who always feel like they are too fat”.
Their profile: mainly women and people
under the age of 40 — based on study
participants-who tan more than two
times a week to the point of obtaining an
excessively orange or chocolatey skin
‘Steal money to tan’
Tanning salons emerged in the 1980s
in the United States, and researchers in
the United States have been talking
about tanning addictions-dubbed
“tanorexia”-since the 2000s. The symptoms are similar to those of heroin addic-
MADRID: A tanning bed or sunbed is pictured at a salon in Madrid yesterday. On a warm August evening in
Madrid a steady stream of tanned customers parade out of a tanning salon — even in sunny Spain the
need to catch some rays can turn into an addiction with some people continuing to use tanning beds even
though they have skin cancer. — AFP
tion, according to Joel Hillhouse, a professor of public health at East Tennessee
State University in the United States who
has studied the psychology of tanning.
They include a desire to tan on waking, a
needed for increasingly bigger “doses”,
feelings of anxiety when not tanning and
annoyance when friends and family
comment on their excessive tanning, he
said. Some people continue to using
tanning beds even though they have
skin cancer, Hillhouse said.
“We even had a few that were willing
to admit to us that they had done things
like steal money in order to do indoor
tanning. They would actually take their
roommate’s or their parents’ money,” he
said. Researchers say that exposure to
ultraviolet rays itself can be addictive.
“One of the reasons why the tanners tan
is not only how they look, but how it
makes them feel,” said Steve Feldman, a
professor of dermatology at Wake Forest
University in South Carolina. Sunlight
stimulates the release of endorphins,
hormones that result in feelings of relaxation or euphoria very similar to that
generated by morphine, Feldman said.
Banned in Brazil, Australia
The World Health Organization has
since 2012 classified UV-emitting tanning devices as carcinogenic to humans.
Brazil became the first country in the
world to ban indoor tanning bed in 2009,
followed by Australia in 2014. Australia
has the highest rate of melanoma in the
world with 11,000 cases per year.
Melanoma is the deadliest kind of skin
cancer, and is highly linked to sun exposure. According to Vanessa Rock, the
chair of the National Skin Cancer
Committee in Australia, studies have
shown that sunbeds increase melanoma
risk by 20 percent, regardless of age at
first use. — AFP
With many Ebola survivors ailing,
doctors evaluate situation
DAKAR: Lingering health problems
afflicting many of the roughly 13,000
Ebola survivors have galvanized global
and local health officials to find out how
widespread the ailments are, and how to
remedy them.
The World Health Organization calls it
an emergency within an emergency.
Many of the survivors have vision and
hearing issues. Some others experience
physical and emotional pains, fatigue
and other problems. The medical community is negotiating uncharted waters
as it tries to measure the scale of this
problem that comes on the tail end of
the biggest Ebola outbreak in history.
“If we can find out this kind of information, hopefully we can help other
Ebola survivors in the future,” Dr. Zan
Yeong, an eye specialist involved in a
study of health problems in survivors in
Liberia, told The Associated Press.
About 7,500 people will enroll - 1,500
Ebola survivors and 6,000 of their close
contacts - and will be monitored over a
five-year period in the study launched by
Partnership for Research on Ebola
Vaccines in Liberia, or PREVAIL.
Only about 40 percent of those
infected have survived Ebola, according
to WHO estimates. But while the survivors beat the odds, preliminary
research shows that many are still suffering. Around half those who received
post-recovery check-ups have joint pain,
said Dr. Daniel Bausch, an Ebola expert
and consultant for WHO.
“We don’t have the capacity yet - we
wish we did - to follow every survivor,” he
said. Consequently, the percentage of
survivors who have complications isn’t
known, he said. He described the joint
pain as “very debilitating and a very serious problem that can prevent people
from going back to work and providing
for their family.” Some degree of changes
in vision has been reported by roughly
25 percent of the survivors who have
been seen by medics, he said, including
severe inflammation of the eye that if
untreated can result in blindness, he said.
The Ebola virus has been found, in at
least a few cases, to linger in the eyes,
though experts say it is not transmitted
through tears.
Blurred vision
Morris Kallon, 34, a health worker
who survived Ebola in a village in
Liberia’s Grand Cape Mount County, said
he had fevers, headaches, lower abdominal pain and red eyes after he returned
home. “I have been experiencing whole
lot of problems within my body system,”
he said. “I still feel pains in my back. It is
very difficult for me to swing my arms. ...
My vision is always blurred, like dew on
my face.” Lab technician Mohamed SK
Sesay was working at a hospital in
Kenema, a town in eastern Sierra Leone,
testing blood samples for Ebola when he
fell sick with the virus. About eight members of his team got infected and he was
among the few survivors, WHO said.
After he recovered, he was discharged from an Ebola treatment unit in
September. He was still weak, and says
he was shunned by his community.
Then his health deteriorated.
“Sleepless nights. Joint pain. Muscle
pain,” he said. “I started experiencing loss
of weight. .. Loss of sight was the worst
one that set me off. I used to cry. I
couldn’t see my computer.” He was
attended to by one of Sierra Leone’s few
eye doctors and his health improved
overall, but he still has bad days. “My
HONOLULU: Scott Muranka, of the Hawaii Department of Health, takes a water quality sample at Ala
Moana Beach Park in Honolulu, Tuesday. Stretches of Waikiki’s white sands and blue waters were deserted
Tuesday after officials warned that heavy rains triggered a half-million-gallon sewage spill near Hawaii’s
world-famous tourist district. — AP
biggest challenge is now my health,” he
said. He loses vision from time to time.
Sometimes if people call out to him
on the street he can’t hear them. Eye
problems were noted in some survivors
of Ebola outbreaks in Congo in 1995, in
Uganda’s Gulu district in 2000 and in
Uganda’s Bundibugyo district in 2007.
But with such small numbers, past outbreaks haven’t provided sufficient
opportunities for extensive study,
Bausch said.
Now, with thousands of survivors,
doctors want to learn why people are
experiencing these ailments, how they
affect the body, what percentage of survivors has issues and how to treat them.
Experts also want to learn whether
the physical problems are directly
caused by the virus, whether they existed before, are side-effects or perhaps
autoimmune reactions, Bausch said.
Better care plans
“It’s too early ... to know what the
direct effect or link is to Ebola, if at all,”
Bausch said. In early August, WHO gathered experts in Sierra Leone who concluded that more needs to be done to
provide better care plans for survivors,
and more research and specialist help is
Post-recovery problems haven’t been
confined to West African survivors,
whose health might not have been
strong to begin with considering the
poor state of health care in Liberia, Sierra
Leone and Guinea - the three impoverished countries most affected by Ebola even before the epidemic.
Dr. Ian Crozier, an American who
became infected while working in Sierra
Leone for WHO, developed an inflammation and high pressure in one eye
months after being released from treatment. His iris temporarily changed color
from blue to green; doctors found his
eye contained the Ebola virus. He is still
recovering, but his vision has improved,
according to Emory University Hospital
which has been treating him.
Nancy Writebol, who last year
became the second American infected
with Ebola, said she suffers joint pain,
mostly in her knees. She said she had
problems with her vision, but they seem
to have gone away.
She assists a weekly survivor clinic in
Liberia at ELWA hospital run by Serving
In Mission, a North Carolina-based
Christian organization. — AP
NYIRAGONGO: Steam and spurts of molten rock are pictured in the lava lake of
Mount Nyiragongo, an active volcano in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, on
August 3, 2015. Nyiragongo, a 3470 metre (11,384 feet) peak and a steep and stiff
five-hour hike from lush rain forests, is part of a chain of volcanoes in one of the
world’s most active regions. The last major eruption in 2002 saw fast flowing lava
devastate the nearby city of Goma, covering the city of a million inhabitants in a river of molten rock flowing as fast as 100 kilometres (60 miles) per hour. — AFP
Gorillas not guerrillas:
Tourism hope in Congo
NYIRAGONGO: Tourists perch perilously on a
volcano’s edge as swirling smoke belches from
the fiery cauldron of lava below, the latest
unlikely visitors holidaying in war-torn
Democratic Republic of Congo.
Below, sounding like a roaring sea, spurts
of molten rock fly high into the air, as one of
the world’s largest lava lakes and most active
volcanos puts on its mesmerising show.
Eastern DR Congo has been mired for decades
in rebel battles, but such sights are helping
bring tourists back to Virunga National Park,
which reopened last year after the battle lines
shifted in its favour. Surrounding misty forests
in green hills of the vast park-stretching for
7,800 square kilometres (3,010 square miles)
— are home to a quarter of the world’s critically endangered mountain gorillas.
The tourists are vital: the income they
bring funds the park’s survival. “The frontlines,
they were down there,” one porter says, peering down from the volcano through the jungles towards the lights of the lakeside city of
Goma, some 20 kilometres (12 miles) southwards, referring to a rebel force who briefly
took control in late 2012.
Nyiragongo, a 3470 metre (11,384 feet)
peak and a steep and stiff five-hour hike from
lush rain forests, is part of a chain of volcanoes
in one of the world’s most active regions.
Tourism ‘vital’ to Virunga’s future
“Holiday on Mount Doom,” said Fabian, a
teenage Belgian tourist visiting with his mother, referring to the volcano in the fantasy
world of British author J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord
of the Rings” epic. “Some things can only be
believed by seeing,” he added quietly, peering
down from the cliff’s edge in hushed awe at
the raging fire below, the night sky turned red
from the glowing lava.
The tourist industry in the region-needed
to keep the UNESCO world heritage site running and its animal inhabitants safe-collapsed
in 2012. Militia forces remain active, and
Virunga’s chief warden Emmanuel de Merode
was himself wounded by gunmen by 2014.
But the well-trained and armed guides say
it is now safe, and visitors are coming back. For
tourists, an hour with a gorilla family costs
$400, while a night on the volcano costs $250.
Tourism revenue is “vital” to the future of
Virunga, helping to benefit some four million
people in and around the vast park, as well as
“peace and prosperity” in general, Merode told
AFP. It gives people an alternative income
than cutting down the forests for charcoal,
and a motivation to protect the park.
“Every tourist that visits Virunga is contributing,” Merode said. In 2011, over 3,000
visitors came to Virunga, but violence forced
the park shut the next year, and only fully
reopening in late 2014. But tourist numbers
have bounced back, with almost 3,000 visiting
already so far this year, bringing in much
needed revenues to pay rangers. A total of 16
tourists can hike up the mountain a day - on a
recent trip in torrential rain and hail storms up
the peak made by AFP, a dozen tourists took
part, with nationalities including Americans,
Belgians, British and Israelis. The last major
eruption in 2002 saw fast flowing lava devastate the Goma, covering the city of around a
million in a river of molten rock flowing as fast
as 100 kilometres (60 miles) per hour.
Oscar-nominated 2014 documentary
“Virunga”-which showed the efforts to protect
Africa’s oldest national park from war, poachers and oil companies-has also brought back
‘I saw how the Earth was born’
“We saw the film, and said, we have to see
that,” said Jacques, a Belgian businessman
working in Congo, after trekking into the
steamy jungles to see the gorillas, the symbol
of the park.
Rangers communicate with the gorillas,
exchanging heavy grunts to reassure the
groups, including the massive male “silverback” weighing an estimated 160 kilos (350
“With each person coming to visit Virunga,
there is a little bit more hope that things will
get better,” said MÈlanie Gouby, a French
investigative journalist, whose work to expose
oil company expansion into the park is a key
part of the film.
“It’s wonderful that so many tourists have
come back in such a short time after the end
of the conflict - to hear that the documentary
is part of the reason why they are coming to
Virunga is both incredibly exciting and humbling,” Gouby added.
As night falls and temperatures drop
below freezing, the warmth from the molten
lava warms the hands of the tourists, dangling
their legs over the sheer drop into the crater,
watching plate tectonics in action.
“I saw how the Earth was born,” one entry
from an American couple read in the park’s
visitor’s book. “How often can you climb a
mountain and come back with an understanding of how we are all here?” — AFP
MANAGUA: An elderly woman has her mouth and nose covered with a piece of cloth
as Health Ministry workers fumigate against the Aedes aegypti mosquito to prevent
the spread of dengue fever and chikungunya in Managua, yesterday. The
Nicaraguan government issued a health alert as a dengue fever and chikungunya
epidemic have killed 9 people and infected nearly 200,000 between January and
August this year in Central America. Alerts have been declared in Nicaragua, El
Salvador and Guatemala. — AFP
H E A LT H & S C I E N C E
Size matters for science
paper writers, study finds
PARIS: Short really is sweet when it
comes to scientific paper titles, according to researchers looking for the
secret to academic stardom. A succinct title made a study more likely to
be cited by fellow academics the gold
standard for measuring its reach, the
British team wrote in a study published Wednesday by the Royal Society
Open Science journal.
“These results are consistent with
the intriguing hypothesis that papers
with shorter titles may be easier to
understand,” and thus more eye-catching, according to researchers from the
data science lab at Britain’s Warwick
Business School.
The study itself was entitled: “The
advantage of short paper titles”-a
terse offering in the verbose world of
scientific publishing.
More common are such tonguetwisters such as: “Compartmentalization
of membrane trafficking, glucose transport, glycolysis, actin, tubulin and the
proteasome in the Hermes Body of epididymal sperm b”, the title of another
paper carried by the same publishing
group. To illustrate the “short is sweet”
phenomenon, researcher Adrian
Letchford offered a tale of two studies
published in 2010 in the prestigious
journal Science.
“The role of particle morphology in
inter facial energy transfer in
CDSE/CDS heterostructure nanocrys-
tals,” was cited 68 times, and “A draft
sequence of the neandertal genome”
700 times.
The researchers waded through
some 140,000 papers, focusing on
those most-cited between 2007 and
2013, with titles ranging from one to
55 words. They found a strong correlation between the length of a paper’s
title and the number of times it was
quoted by fellow scientists.
“In 2011, each character added
onto a paper’s title had a tendency to
reduce the number of citations by
approximately 1.78 percent,” said
Letchford. But he argued there was
also a risk in excessive economy of
“My colleagues and I could have
called it ‘Paper Titles’, or if we were
really bold, ‘Titles,’” Letchford said of
the team’s own study. “But this really
doesn’t help anyone to understand
what the paper is about,” he added. “A
paper might be better off with a title
that is short as well as informative.”
Letchford stressed that ultimately,
“a piece of research’s quality and
intrinsic significance should have the
most impact on its success.” But previous studies have shown that an
author’s reputation, the prestige of
the journal, the field of study and
the use of a colon in the title can
also play a role in whether it succeeds or fails. — AFP
Coral gets bailed out
by an enemy: Study
PARIS: Under attack from hordes of ravenous starfish, Pacific coral is getting
help from an unexpected source-seaweed, an arch enemy, researchers said
yesterday. Seaweed is no friend of the
fragile ecosystems of coral reefs, pumping out harmful chemicals, blocking out
life-giving sunlight and rubbing up
against and damaging the threatened
marine invertebrates.
But it turns out the plants also fend
off coral-munching crown-of-thorns
starfish, which pose an even bigger
threat, according to a study published in
Proceedings of the Royal Society B:
Biological Sciences.
So being covered in seaweed represents the lesser of two evils for coral:
“better than being eaten,” said study coauthor Cody Clements, a graduate student at the Georgia Institute of
Technology in the United States.
“Corals surrounded by seaweeds were
virtually immune to attack by the sea
stars, essentially converting seaweeds
from enemies to friends,” said co-author
Mark Hay, a professor at the university.
The research could be helpful in managing coral reefs, which are under
increasing threat from climate change,
chemical run-off from farming, and the
crown-of-thorns starfish.
Sea stars have a unique feeding
mechanism by which a sack-like stomach emerges from their mouth to envelop and externally digest the corals’ living
tissue, killing them. “All they leave
behind are the coral skeletons,” said
Tardy tax filers risk loss
of health care subsidies
Thousands risk of losing financial aid
WASHINGTON: Sign-up season for
President Barack Obama’s health
care law doesn’t start for another
couple of months, but the next few
days are crucial for hundreds of
thousands of customers at risk of
losing financial aid when they
renew coverage for 2016.
Call them tardy tax filers: An estimated 1.8 million households that
got subsidies for their premiums
last year but failed to file a 2014 tax
return as required by the law, or left
out key IRS paperwork.
Because of coordination issues
between the IRS and marketplaces
like, consumers
who keep procrastinating into the
fall are taking chances with their
financial aid, according to insurers
and the tax agency. That means, for
example, that someone who’s been
paying a monthly premium of $90
could suddenly get hit with a bill
for $360.
Government officials say they
have a backstop planned that
should help many procrastinators.
Nonetheless, insurers and advocacy
groups say they’ve been told the
best way returning customers can
avoid hassles is to file their taxes
correctly by Aug. 31.
“You don’t want to get to
December and realize that your
subsidy amount isn’t there,” said
Clare Krusing, spokeswoman for
the industr y group America’s
Health Insurance Plans. Sign-up
season starts Nov. 1, and insurers
typically send bills for January in
The last thing insurers want is
consumers blaming them. They’re
particularly concerned that satisfied customers just waiting for their
coverage to automatically renew
might get a nasty surprise.
Hoping to stave off problems
that could get amplified in an election year, the IRS started notifying
tardy filers in mid-July. The form letters spell out in bold type that filing
an electronic tax return within 30
days “will greatly reduce the risk of
an interruption” in health care subsidies.
Obama’s health care law created
tax credits to help people afford
private insurance. Nationally that
aid averages $272 a month, covering roughly three-fourths of the
premium. By funneling dollars
through the income tax system,
Democrats were able to call the
overhaul the largest middle-class
tax cut for health care in history.
But in doing so, they also spliced
together two really complicated
areas: Health insurance and taxes.
That’s led to confusion for many
consumers. For example, lowincome people who weren’t previously required to file tax returns
must do so now if they received
health care tax credits, which
means dealing with complex new
forms. Although 2015 is the second
year of the program’s coverage
expansion, is the first year for tax
The program is also complicated
to administer for its two lead government agencies, the Centers for
Medicare and Medicaid Services,
which runs, and the
IRS. Federal law imposes strict privacy safeguards for tax returns, and
there are limits to information the
IRS can provide to other agencies.
Tax returns take time to process,
and can’t get realtime updates.
So even if a procrastinator realizes his mistake and files a tax
return in October,
might not reflect that information
until much later.
The administration says it has a
backstop for consumers who get
tripped up by the time lag. They
will be able to attest that they filed
their tax returns and continue to
receive their subsidies in 2016. “We
want to make sure they don’t have
a gap in affordable coverage,” said
Lori Lodes, communications director for will also recheck
IRS data in late December. But the
backstop only works if the cus-
tomer actually filed. If they did not,
the system will catch up to them
eventually. Those who lie about
having filed a tax return would violate perjury laws.
Republican critics say the
administration bends the rules to
keep enrollment numbers up and
are sure to find fault with the backstop. As of the start of the summer,
the IRS estimated that up to 1.8 million households were at risk of losing subsidies. Although some of
those probably followed through,
it’s still the latest official number. It
breaks down as follows: About
760,000 households that got tax
credits and filed their tax returns,
but omitted a new form that is the
key to accounting for the subsidies.
Called Form 8962, it was new for
this year’s tax filing season.
About 710,000 households that
did not file a 2014 return by the
tax-filing deadline, although they
were legally required to account for
health insurance tax credits. Some
360,000 households that got tax
credits and requested an extension
to file their returns.
Under tax law, they have until
Oct. 15 to file and that would still
be considered timely. But to avoid
problems with their health insurance subsidies, they really need to
act much sooner.
Crown-of-thorns sea stars are a major
problem in the Pacific, which is home to
the world’s biggest coral reef ecosystem,
the Great Barrier Reef. Its coral has
declined by more than 50 percent over
the past 25 years with sea stars getting
much of the blame, the researchers said
in a statement.
Stopped cold by seaweed
In a two-year study in a protected
marine area off the coast of the Fiji
islands, Clements examined what sea
stars and seaweed did to coral.
He used portable coral samples to
test their reaction to different sizes of
seaweed growth.
In the absence of seaweed, coral mass
more than doubled in about four
months. But coral which shared its habitat with multiple seaweed fronds grew a
mere 40 percent over the same period.
Researchers then moved on to studying sea star attacks and found they targeted exposed parts and not those protected by plant growth.
The frequency of attacks was 50 percent lower on coral surrounded by two
seaweed fronds. The scientists placed
two coral colonies in separate cages
with a sea star one containing seaweed,
the other without. “The sea stars were
deterred,” said Hay. “They wouldn’t eat
the coral surrounded by the seaweeds.”
The reason the plants work as a deterrent was not known, but the team speculated the seaweed may present a physical barrier, hiding the coral or making it
harder to get to. — AFP
This August 24, 2015 image released by NASA shows the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Kounotori 5 H-II Transfer
Vehicle (HTV-5) during final approach towards the International Space Station. The HTV-5 is delivered more than 8,000 pounds of
equipment, supplies and experiments in a pressurized cargo compartment. The unpressurized compartment will deliver the
1,400-pound CALorimetric Electron Telescope (CALET) investigation, an astrophysics mission that will search for signatures of
dark matter and provide the highest energy direct measurements of the cosmic ray electron spectrum. — AFP
W H AT ’ S O N
The Sultan Center opens at the Promenade Mall
he Sultan Center held an opening ceremony on Monday, August 24th to
celebrate the opening of its thirtythird store in Kuwait and it sixty-fifth in the
region at The Promenade Mall located in
Hawally on Tunis Street opposite Third Ring
Road. The opening was held under the
attendance of TSC management, suppliers,
customers and media representatives.
With over 35 years of experience and
expertise in the retail industry, TSC continues to pave the way for customers to enjoy
a unique shopping experience. The new
TSC store features the largest variety of
fresh fruits and vegetables from around the
world, a full- service meat and seafood
counter featuring an abundant variety of
meat cuts with the freshest seafood and a
deli featuring local favorites, specialty
cheeses, meats, salads and a variety of
ready- to- serve entrees to serve at home or
enjoy in the stores cozy dining section.
In addition, the store features an in-store
bakery where customers can select from a
range of freshly baked artisan breads, croissants, cakes and pasties there is also a coffee
bar where customers can sit back relax and
enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee.
Shoppers will also find everyday supermarket and home center items they are accustomed to buying.
Commenting on the new opening,
Ayman Sultan, Vice Chairman and Group
Managing Director said, “The opening of
The Sultan Center at The Promenade elevates our services to new heights in order to
exceed our customers’ expectations. We
look forward to offering the neighborhood
community an inspiring new shopping destination and we are committed to providing
quality, variety, value and service that are
customers expect from TSC”. The store has
highly trained staff ready to assist, ample
parking and carry-out service is available.
The store is opened daily from 7:00 am to
12:00 am.
Farwaniya Governor Sheikh Faisal Al-Humoud Al-Malek Al-Sabah attended the closing ceremony of a summer training program for people with special needs, which was organized by the Kuwaiti Society for
Guardians of the Disabled. Sheikha Sheikha Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah, the honorary chairperson of the Kuwait Disabled Sport Club attended the ceremony.
Director General of the General Department of Civil Defense welcomed a students’ delegation from the summer club of Sabah Al-Salem’s Social Development Center. The students were taken in a tour around
the department to learn about the process of work there.
W H AT ’ S O N
Bayt Lothan hosts Mexican artist’s Alebrijes workshop
By Athoob Al-Shuaibi
exican Artist Polina Porras organized during her visit to Kuwait an ‘Alebrijes’ workshop on puppets, masks and sculptures
at Bayt Lothan on Tuesday. The workshop began
by presenting historical information about puppets and sculptures making in Mexico. Then,
Porras explained how vivid colors and patterns are
connected to her country’s culture. Following her
instructions, participants from all ages started to
create their own sculptures accompanied with
Mexican music. The sculptures created by using
paper maiche techniques that are based on recycled papers, colored tissue papers and glue. The
workshop was fully booked and both the artist
and her sister were assisting the participants to
come up with more creative ideas. Artist Polina
Porras is visiting Kuwait as part of her world tour. “I
did not ache from a jet lag because I came to
Kuwait from Germany,” she said. Porras has
received large commissions from a leading institution in Latin American art in the United States and
grants by the Department of Cultural Affairs of
New York. Her artwork is determined by her
Mexican and Russian origins which she is always
Sheraton, Four Points welcome LoYAC Trainees
he Sheraton Kuwait and Four Points by Sheraton
Kuwait welcomed Lothan Youth Achievement Center
(LoYAC) trainees for this year which is part of the
hotels’ responsibility toward the society that has accompanied and supported their activities since its inception.
The LoYAC summer program continues for a period
of six weeks where the hotel provides the trainees
with the opportunity to explore different departments
and involve them in practical training, different activities and supportive workshops to help the young generation grasp the spirit of working as a team, achieve
the highest standard of excellent hospitality which
adds valuable work experience to their knowledge.
Sheraton Kuwait and Four Points by Sheraton Kuwait
believe that these students are the key that will lead
this country towards prosperity in the future.
On this occasion, Fahed Abushaar, Area Director and
General Manager of Sheraton Kuwait and Mounir Amer,
General Manager of Four Points by Sheraton Kuwait
praised the importance of the great relation and support
that binds the hotels with Lothan Youth Achievements
Center (LoYAC), because it aims to provide the youth of
today with a way to use their time more productively to
benefit themselves and the society in advance. Fahed
Abushaar addressed the LoYAC students saying: “The
future generation is you, soar high!”
Qatar Airways hosts trip to Kidzania Kuwait
Carrier supports Qatar’s children’s charities to reward students
wenty children from the Shafallah Center for Children
with Special Needs and the Qatar Orphans Foundation
Dhreima recently spent a day at Kidzania, Kuwait,
sponsored by Qatar Airways.
Kidzania is a child-sized replica city featuring miniature
buildings, transport and shops, which provides them the
opportunity to practice working as an adult and earning
Fadi Gdayyan Hijazin, Qatar Airways Country Manager
Kuwait, said:”Qatar Airways’ office in Kuwait was delighted
to welcome the children from Shafallah and Dhreima to
enjoy some well-deserved time at Kidzania. We hope that
this initiative was a memorable one for them, and Qatar
Airways is proud to be able to provide such wonderful activities in our local community.”
The children were invited to attend two days of fun festivities in Kuwait City, in collaboration with the Residence
Inn by Marriott hotel, where they enjoyed an exclusive event
on the afternoon of Wednesday 19thAugust, followed by a
special dinner complete with FC Barcelona and Qatar
Airways gifts.
Kidzania Kuwait, which opened in 2013, was built on the
concept of ‘edutainment’, providing education and entertainment that embraces the educational potential in having fun.
Qatar Airways sponsors the aviation activities provided by
Kidzania Kuwait, where children can explore the inside of an
aircraft, learn about the cockpit and control panels as pilots,
and safety procedures and hospitality services as cabin crew.
The non-profit organization, Shafallah Center was founded by Shaikha Moza bint Nasser to provide comprehensive
services to children with limited capabilities from birth to
adulthood. The first facility of its kind in the world, it offers
state-of-the-art technologies including an on-site genetic
research centre, cutting-edge therapies and expert learning
support services and counselors.
Dhreima, the Qatar Orphan Foundation, was founded in
2003 as an independent organization dedicated to provide
an integrated Islamic system of care and shelter to orphans
in the state of Qatar, where it offers residential and non-residential services. The foundation also helps families to find
solutions to domestic crises, and provides support for social,
psychological, legal, educational and health conditions for
foster children.
As one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, Qatar
Airways has experienced rapid growth in just 18 years of
operation. Today it flies a modern fleet of 164 aircraft to 151
key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the
Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South
AOU announces
drop/add dates
he Arab Open University (AOU) announced that registration for current students for the first semester starts on
Sunday, September 6, 2015 for business management section, and Monday, September 7, 2015 for the information technology and English literature sections. Meanwhile, the
drop/add period will take place from October 3, 2015 to
October 8, 2015, head of the registration department at AOU
Nahid Al-Sheikh said.
00:45 Tanked
01:40 Bull Shark: World’s Deadliest
02:35 Into The Lion’s Den
03:25 Into The Lion’s Den
04:15 Gator Boys
05:02 Treehouse Masters
05:49 Bull Shark: World’s Deadliest
06:36 My Pet’s Gone Viral
07:00 My Pet’s Gone Viral
07:25 Groomer Has It
08:15 Bull Shark: World’s Deadliest
09:10 Treehouse Masters
10:05 Tanked
11:00 Groomer Has It
11:55 Treehouse Masters
12:50 Turtleman’s Kentucky
13:45 North America
14:40 Gator Boys
15:35 Tanked
16:30 Turtleman’s Kentucky
17:25 Bull Shark: World’s Deadliest
18:20 Big Fish Man
19:15 Gator Boys
20:10 Tanked
21:05 Shark Girl
22:00 Big Fish Man
22:55 I Was Bitten
23:50 Gator Boys
00:05 Masterchef: The
01:00 Tareq Taylor’s Nordic
01:30 Bargain Hunt
02:15 Marbella Mansions
03:00 DIY SOS: The Big Build
03:55 Come Dine With Me
04:20 Bargain Hunt
05:05 Homes Under The Hammer
06:00 Masterchef: The
07:00 Homes Under The Hammer
07:50 Kirstie’s Fill Your House For
08:40 Michela’s Classic Italian
09:05 Bargain Hunt
09:50 Tareq Taylor’s Nordic
10:15 Masterchef: The
11:10 Come Dine With Me
11:35 Homes Under The Hammer
12:25 Kirstie’s Fill Your House For
13:15 Michela’s Classic Italian
13:40 Bargain Hunt
14:25 Come Dine With Me
14:50 Tareq Taylor’s Nordic
15:15 Masterchef: The
16:10 Come Dine With Me
16:35 Homes Under The Hammer
17:25 Masterchef: The
18:20 Kirstie’s Fill Your House For
19:10 Michela’s Classic Italian
19:35 Homes Under The Hammer
20:30 Bargain Hunt
21:15 Kirstie’s Fill Your House For
22:05 Michela’s Classic Italian
00:20 Fast N’ Loud
01:10 Mythbusters
02:00 The Carbonaro Effect
02:25 Magic Of Science
02:50 Return Of The Great White
Serial Killer
03:40 Auction Hunters: Pawn Shop
04:05 Auction Hunters
04:30 Savage Family Diggers
05:00 What Happened Next?
05:30 How Do They Do It?
06:00 Gold Rush
06:50 Fat N’ Furious: Rolling
07:40 Fast N’ Loud
08:30 Auction Hunters: Pawn Shop
08:55 Auction Hunters
09:20 Savage Family Diggers
09:45 What Happened Next?
10:10 How Do They Do It?
10:35 Mythbusters
11:25 The Carbonaro Effect
11:50 Magic Of Science
12:15 The Island With Bear Grylls
13:05 Auction Hunters: Pawn Shop
13:30 Auction Hunters
13:55 Savage Family Diggers
14:20 Gold Rush
15:10 Fat N’ Furious: Rolling
16:00 Fast N’ Loud
16:50 What Happened Next?
17:15 How Do They Do It?
17:40 Deadliest Catch
18:30 Treehouse Masters
19:20 Flip Men
19:45 Property Wars
20:10 Auction Hunters
20:35 Savage Family Diggers
21:00 Big Giant Swords
21:50 Fast N’ Loud: Demolition
22:40 Cuban Shark
23:30 Hellriders
00:00 Violetta
00:45 The Hive
00:50 Sabrina: Secrets Of A
Teenage Witch
01:15 Sabrina: Secrets Of A
Teenage Witch
01:40 Wolfblood
02:30 Violetta
03:15 The Hive
03:20 Sabrina: Secrets Of A
Teenage Witch
04:10 Wolfblood
05:00 Violetta
05:45 The Hive
05:50 Mouk
06:00 Lolirock
06:25 Hank Zipzer
06:50 Girl Meets World
07:15 H2O: Just Add Water
07:40 Jessie
08:05 Wizards Of Waverly Place
08:55 Sabrina: Secrets Of A
Teenage Witch
09:20 Sabrina: Secrets Of A
Teenage Witch
09:45 Austin & Ally
10:35 Wizards Of Waverly Place
11:25 Jessie
12:15 Sabrina: Secrets Of A
Teenage Witch
13:05 Good Luck Charlie
13:55 Dog With A Blog
14:25 H2O: Just Add Water
14:55 Lolirock
15:25 Austin & Ally
16:00 Jessie
17:00 The Next Step
17:25 Austin & Ally
17:50 Gravity Falls
18:15 Girl Meets World
18:40 Liv And Maddie
19:05 The Next Step
19:30 Lolirock
19:55 Hank Zipzer
20:20 Binny And The Ghost
20:45 H2O: Just Add Water
21:10 Good Luck Charlie
21:35 Wizards Of Waverly Place
00:00 Keeping Up With The
00:55 Extreme Close-Up
01:25 Keeping Up With The
02:20 E! News
03:15 #RichKids Of Beverly Hills
04:10 E!ES
05:05 The E! True Hollywood Story
06:00 Keeping Up With The
06:55 Keeping Up With The
07:50 Style Star
08:20 E! News
09:15 Giuliana & Bill
10:15 Giuliana & Bill
11:10 #RichKids Of Beverly Hills
11:35 #RichKids Of Beverly Hills
12:05 E! News
13:05 Wags
14:05 Extreme Close-Up
14:30 Style Star
15:00 Keeping Up With The
16:00 Keeping Up With The
17:00 Fashion Bloggers
17:30 Fashion Bloggers
18:00 E! News
19:00 House Of DVF
20:00 #RichKids Of Beverly Hills
21:00 Stewarts And Hamiltons
22:00 E! News
23:00 The Soup
23:30 Sex With Brody
00:00 Chopped
01:00 Chopped South Africa
02:00 Kitchen Inferno
03:00 Roadtrip With G. Garvin
03:30 Roadtrip With G. Garvin
04:00 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives
04:30 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives
05:00 Chopped
06:00 Iron Chef America
07:00 Roadtrip With G. Garvin
07:30 Roadtrip With G. Garvin
08:00 Chopped
09:00 Guy’s Grocery Games
10:00 The Kitchen
11:00 Easy Chinese: San
11:30 Easy Chinese: San
12:00 Chopped
13:00 Guy’s Big Bite
13:30 Guy’s Big Bite
14:00 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives
14:30 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives
15:00 Roadtrip With G. Garvin
15:30 Roadtrip With G. Garvin
16:00 Chopped
17:00 The Kitchen
18:00 Easy Chinese: San
18:30 Easy Chinese: San
19:00 Chopped
20:00 Iron Chef America
21:00 The Freshman Class
21:30 The Freshman Class
22:00 Australian Food Adventures
With Matt Moran
23:00 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives
23:30 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives
00:40 More Tales From
Northumberland With Robson Green
01:05 Who’s Doing The Dishes?
02:00 Emmerdale
02:25 Emmerdale
02:55 Coronation Street
03:25 Agatha Christie’s Poirot
05:15 Murdoch Mysteries
06:10 Who’s Doing The Dishes?
07:05 Coronation Street
07:30 Agatha Christie’s Poirot
09:20 The Doctor Blake Mysteries
10:15 Come Dine With Me Ireland
10:40 The Chase
11:35 Who’s Doing The Dishes?
12:30 Murdoch Mysteries
13:25 Emmerdale
13:50 Come Dine With Me Ireland
14:15 Coronation Street
14:40 The Chase
15:35 The Doctor Blake Mysteries
16:30 Autopsy:the Last Hour Of
17:25 Come Date With Me
17:45 Come Date With Me
18:20 Murdoch Mysteries
19:10 Coronation Street
19:35 The Doctor Blake Mysteries
20:30 Autopsy:the Last Hour Of
21:25 Come Date With Me
00:10 Cesar To The Rescue
02:00 Hacking The System
02:55 Innovation Nation
03:20 Innovation Nation
03:50 Wicked Tuna
04:45 Battleground Brothers
05:40 Killer Shots
06:35 Megastructures
07:30 The Known Universe
08:25 My Brilliant Brain
09:20 D-Day Sacrifice
10:15 Mega Factories
11:10 Innovation Nation
11:35 Innovation Nation
12:05 Cosmos: A Spacetime
13:00 And Man Created Dog
14:00 The Known Universe
15:00 Megastructures
16:00 Mega Factories
17:00 Innovation Nation
17:30 Innovation Nation
18:00 Mission Pluto
19:00 Traveler’s Guide To The
20:00 Mega Factories
20:50 Innovation Nation
21:15 Innovation Nation
21:40 Mission Pluto
22:30 Traveler’s Guide To The
23:20 Killer Shots
01:00 The Nightly Show With Larry
01:30 Jonah From Tonga
02:00 The League
02:30 It’s Always Sunny In
04:30 The Tonight Show Starring
Jimmy Fallon
05:30 Til Death
06:30 Cristela
07:00 Late Night With Seth Meyers
08:30 Til Death
10:30 Cristela
11:00 The Tonight Show Starring
Jimmy Fallon
13:00 Til Death
16:00 The Nightly Show With Larry
17:00 Late Night With Seth Meyers
18:30 Last Man Standing
19:00 Modern Family
19:30 Modern Family
20:00 The Tonight Show Starring
Jimmy Fallon
21:30 The Nightly Show With Larry
22:00 Big Time In Hollywood, Fl
22:30 The League
23:00 It’s Always Sunny In
23:30 Late Night With Seth Meyers
00:00 Grimm
01:00 The Flash
Coronation Street
Coronation Street
Covert Affairs
The Flash
Good Morning America
The Strain
Good Morning America
Coronation Street
Chicago Fire
Coronation Street
Live Good Morning America
Chicago Fire
Chicago Fire
The Strain
Plunkett & Macleane-PG15
Beast Of The Bering Sea
Android Cop-PG15
The Legend Of Hercules
Born To Race: Fast Track
Android Cop-PG15
The Legend Of Hercules
A Stranger In Paradise-PG15
Desperate Measures-PG15
Red Sky-PG15
Maximum Risk-18
00:00 The Right Kind Of Wrong
02:00 So Undercover
04:00 Cuban Fury
06:00 Admission
08:00 Zoolander
10:00 So Undercover
12:00 Admission
14:00 The Adventures Of Rocky
And Bullwinkle
16:00 Zoolander
18:00 The Love Punch
20:00 Svengali
22:00 The First Time
01:15 InSight-PG15
03:00 Seeking A Friend For The
End Of The World-PG15
05:00 Upside Down-PG15
07:00 Peace, Love &
09:00 A Promise-PG15
11:00 Upside Down-PG15
13:00 Little Red-PG15
15:00 Step Up Revolution-PG15
17:00 A Promise-PG15
19:00 Parkland-PG15
21:00 Trespass-PG15
23:00 Killer Joe-18
04:15 Cinderella
06:00 Tom And Jerry: The Lost
07:45 Miffy The Movie
09:45 Ghatothkach - Master Of
11:30 Unstable Fables: Tortoise vs.
13:00 Scooby-Doo! Ghastly Goals!
14:30 Patoruzito: The Great
00:30 He Got Game
03:00 1911
16:00 Home Alone 3
05:00 Eternal Sunshine Of The
18:00 Ghatothkach - Master Of
Spotless Mind
07:00 The French Minister
20:00 Daddy I’m A Zombie
09:00 Atlas Shrugged Part 2: The Strike 22:00 Patoruzito: The Great
11:00 The French Minister
13:00 Jack And The Cuckoo Clock
23:45 Marvel’s Next Avengers:
Heroes Of Tomorrow
15:00 Yellow Rock
17:00 Atlas Shrugged Part 2: The Strike
19:00 August: Osage County
21:00 Knife Fight
23:00 The Wolf Of Wall Street
00:00 Babylon A.D-PG15
01:45 Guardians Of The Galaxy
04:00 Breakout-PG15
06:00 10 Years-PG15
01:00 The Double-PG15
08:00 Percy Jackson: Sea Of
03:00 Lucy-PG15
05:00 Seven Days In Utopia-PG15
10:00 Planet 51-PG
07:00 How To Train Your Dragon 211:45 Guardians Of The Galaxy
09:00 Divergent-PG15
14:00 The Wolverine-PG15
11:30 Diana-PG15
16:15 Percy Jackson: Sea Of
13:30 Great Expectations-PG15
16:30 Divergent-PG15
18:00 The Monuments Men-PG15
19:00 Hercules-PG15
20:00 Endless Love-PG15
21:00 John Wick-18
22:00 Without Men-18
23:00 Deliver Us From Evil-18
01:15 The Elf Who Stole Christmas
02:45 Scooby-Doo! Ghastly Goals!
Golfing World
Live PGA European Tour
European Tour Weekly
Live PGA European Tour
European Tour Weekly
09:00 Golfing World
11:00 AFL Premiership Highlights
12:00 NRL Full Time
12:45 Live NRL Premiership
18:00 ITU World Triathlon
19:00 WWE NXT
20:00 WWE SmackDown
22:00 Golfing World
23:00 NRL Premiership
00:30 ICC Cricket 360, Episode 33
18:30 ICC Cricket 360, Episode 33
19:00 Women’s Ashes: ENG v
AUS, 1st T20I H/Ls
20:00 CPL T20 H/L: 1st Semi Final
21:00 CPL T20 H/L: 2nd Semi Final
22:00 CPL T20 H/L: Final
Nuclear Family
John Rabe: Part 1
John Rabe: Part 2
Out Of Reach
The Foreigner
The Station Agent
Inside Out
Death At A Funeral
Beyond A Reasonable Doubt
The Foreigner
The King’s Speech
Gangs Of New York
American Idol
MasterChef Australia
The Bridge
Desperate Housewives
Desperate Housewives
Melissa & Joey
Melissa & Joey
The Simpsons
The Simpsons
American Idol
MasterChef Australia
The Bridge
Desperate Housewives
Desperate Housewives
Melissa & Joey
Melissa & Joey
The Simpsons
The Simpsons
American Idol
MasterChef Australia
The Listener
The Listener
Happy Endings
Happy Endings
The Simpsons
The Simpsons
Adventures Of Don Juan
2001: A Space Odyssey
Adventures Of Don Juan
The Outriders-FAM
Son Of A Gunfighter-FAM
The Prisoner Of Zenda-FAM
Raintree County-PG
The Naked Spur-PG
Where The Spies Are-PG
Anchors Aweigh-FAM
Les Girls-PG
An American In Paris-FAM
03:20 Total Drama World Tour
03:42 Total Drama World Tour
04:05 Ninjago: Masters Of
04:28 Ninjago: Masters Of
04:50 Teen Titans Go!
05:00 Teen Titans Go!
05:10 Grojband
05:35 Grojband
06:00 Regular Show
06:11 Regular Show
06:20 New Regular Show
06:31 Regular Show
06:40 Uncle Grandpa
06:50 Uncle Grandpa
07:00 Adventure Time
07:25 The Amazing World Of
07:36 The Amazing World Of
07:47 The Amazing World Of
07:58 The Amazing World Of
08:10 Ben 10
08:55 Ninjago: Masters Of
09:15 New Regular Show
09:26 Regular Show
09:40 The Amazing World Of
10:00 Uncle Grandpa
10:12 Uncle Grandpa
10:25 Steven Universe
10:36 Steven Universe
10:45 Total Drama: All Stars
11:10 Adventure Time
11:20 Adventure Time
11:30 Johnny Test
12:25 Teen Titans Go!
12:40 New Regular Show
12:51 Regular Show
13:00 Regular Show
13:11 Regular Show
13:25 Adventure Time
13:35 Adventure Time
13:45 Uncle Grandpa
14:10 Steven Universe
14:21 Steven Universe
14:30 Total Drama World Tour
14:55 Ben 10: Omniverse
15:15 Ben 10: Omniverse
15:40 Ninjago: Masters Of
16:00 Matt Hatter Chronicles
16:25 Teen Titans Go! New
16:35 Teen Titans Go!
16:45 Teen Titans Go!
17:10 Uncle Grandpa
17:21 Uncle Grandpa
17:30 New Regular Show
17:41 Regular Show
17:55 Regular Show
18:06 Regular Show
18:15 Adventure Time
18:40 The Amazing World Of
18:51 The Amazing World Of
19:02 The Amazing World Of
19:13 The Amazing World Of
19:25 Clarence
19:45 Uncle Grandpa
19:57 Uncle Grandpa
20:20 Teen Titans Go!
20:30 Teen Titans Go!
20:41 Teen Titans Go!
20:55 Ben 10: Omniverse
21:17 Ben 10: Omniverse
21:40 Adventure Time
21:51 Adventure Time
22:02 Adventure Time
22:13 Adventure Time
22:25 Johnny Test
23:10 Regular Show
23:55 Total Drama World Tour
00:20 Total Drama World Tour
00:40 Grojband
Teen Titans Go!
Regular Show
Johnny Test
03:10 Henry Hugglemonster
03:20 Calimero
03:35 Zou
03:45 Loopdidoo
04:00 Art Attack
04:25 Henry Hugglemonster
04:35 Calimero
04:50 Zou
05:00 Loopdidoo
05:15 Art Attack
05:35 Henry Hugglemonster
05:50 Calimero
06:00 Zou
06:15 Loopdidoo
06:25 Limon And Oli
06:35 Art Attack
07:00 Calimero
07:10 Zou
07:25 Minnie’s Bow-Toons
07:30 Jake And The Never Land
07:55 Sofia The First
08:20 Doc McStuffins
08:45 Loopdidoo
09:00 Limon And Oli
09:10 Sheriff Callie’s Wild West
09:35 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
10:00 Sofia The First
10:30 Jake And The Never Land
10:55 Miles From Tomorrow
11:20 Doc McStuffins
11:45 Henry Hugglemonster
12:00 Henry Hugglemonster
12:10 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
12:35 Sheriff Callie’s Wild West
13:00 Sofia The First
13:30 Loopdidoo
13:40 Limon And Oli
13:50 Cars Toons
13:55 Jake And The Neverland
14:20 Miles From Tomorrow
14:45 Messages From Miles
14:50 Doc McStuffins
15:15 Sofia The First
15:40 Art Attack
16:05 Nina Needs To Go
16:10 Lilo & Stitch
16:35 Adventures Of The
Gummi Bears
17:00 Chip n Dale Rescue
17:25 Ducktales
17:50 Jake And The Neverland
18:00 Miles From Tomorrow
18:25 Messages From Miles
18:30 Sofia The First
18:55 Doc McStuffins
19:15 Jake And The Never Land
19:35 Sheriff Callie’s Wild West
20:05 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
20:35 Sofia The First
21:00 Adventures Of The
Gummi Bears
21:25 Chip n Dale Rescue
21:50 Ducktales
22:15 Lilo & Stitch
22:40 Zou
22:55 Limon And Oli
23:05 Henry Hugglemonster
23:20 Calimero
23:35 Zou
23:50 Loopdidoo
00:05 Art Attack
00:30 Henry Hugglemonster
00:45 Calimero
01:00 Zou
01:15 Loopdidoo
01:30 Art Attack
01:55 Henry Hugglemonster
02:05 Calimero
(27/08/2015 TO 02/09/2015)
12:45 PM
3:15 PM
5:45 PM
7:45 PM
10:00 PM
12:30 AM
11:30 AM
1:45 PM
4:00 PM
6:15 PM
8:30 PM
10:45 PM
1:00 AM
1:15 PM
3:30 PM
6:00 PM
9:00 PM
11:30 PM
11:45 AM
2:15 PM
5:00 PM
7:45 PM
10:15 PM
12:30 AM
12:45 PM
3:15 PM
5:30 PM
7:30 PM
10:00 PM
12:30 AM
11:30 AM
2:00 PM
4:30 PM
6:45 PM
9:15 PM
11:30 PM
1:15 PM
3:30 PM
5:45 PM
8:00 PM
10:15 PM
12:30 AM
12:45 PM
3:00 PM
5:15 PM
7:30 PM
9:45 PM
12:05 AM
12:15 PM
2:30 PM
4:45 PM
7:00 PM
9:15 PM
11:30 PM
12:15 PM
2:30 PM
5:00 PM
7:30 PM
9:45 PM
12:15 AM
12:30 PM
3:00 PM
5:30 PM
8:00 PM
10:30 PM
1:00 AM
1:15 PM
3:30 PM
6:15 PM
8:15 PM
10:30 PM
12:45 AM
360º- 1
12:30 PM
3:00 PM
5:30 PM
8:00 PM
10:30 PM
1:00 AM
360º- 2
12:15 PM
2:30 PM
4:45 PM
7:00 PM
9:15 PM
11:30 PM
1:15 PM
3:30 PM
5:45 PM
8:15 PM
10:45 PM
1:00 AM
360º- 3
12:45 PM
3:00 PM
5:15 PM
7:30 PM
9:45 PM
12:05 AM
12:15 PM
2:45 PM
5:00 PM
7:15 PM
9:30 PM
11:45 PM
11:30 AM
1:30 PM
3:45 PM
6:00 PM
8:15 PM
10:30 PM
12:45 AM
11:30 AM
2:00 PM
4:15 PM
6:30 PM
9:30 PM
12:30 AM
11:45 AM
1:45 PM
4:15 PM
6:45 PM
9:15 PM
11:45 PM
12:00 PM
2:30 PM
5:00 PM
7:30 PM
9:45 PM
12:15 AM
12:45 PM
3:00 PM
5:45 PM
8:00 PM
10:15 PM
12:30 AM
12:30 PM
2:45 PM
5:00 PM
7:15 PM
9:30 PM
11:45 PM
12:15 PM
2:30 PM
5:15 PM
Sharing accommodation
immediately available for
vegetarian Indian small
family or working women
near Al-Rashid hospital,
Salmiya, from 23rd August
onwards. Contact:
99838117 / 99315825.
(C 5026)
Inviting marriage proposals for CSI Christian girl 24
years/155cm/BDS from central Travancore, staying with
parents in Kuwait. If interested please contact with
full details
[email protected]
I, Rashida, holder of Indian
Passport No K7043040
hereby change my name to
Rashida Inayat Hussain
Laljiwala. Address: Pune,
Nibm road, Mayfair
Eleganza Phase 2. Kondhwa
411048, Maharashtra, India.
(C 5028)
Pushkar Dass Vairagi S/O
Jagdish Indian national
Passport No G9941310 new
name Raju Das Bairagi S/O
Jagdish Das Village
Bhuwasiy Dist Pratpgarh
Rajasthan. ( 5027)
Automated enquiry
about the Civil ID card is
Prayer timings
Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (
Arrival Flights on Thursday 27/8/2015
Addis Ababa
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
New York
Muscat/Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Chennai/Abu Dhabi
Sharm el-Sheikh
Departure Flights on Thursday 27/8/2015
Addis Ababa
Abu Dhabi/Chennai
Abu Dhabi
London/New York
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi/Muscat
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Sharm el-Sheikh
Abu Dhabi
Aries (March 21-April 19)
Today, clever Mercury enters Libra, your seventh house of one-onone relationships, putting you in cooperative, sweet-talking spirits. In both your
professional and personal lives, your fiercely independent sign can sometimes
forget that there’s, um, another party involved. This diplomatic mood, which
lasts until November 1, is especially helpful for smoothing over rough edges.
Schedule thoughtful dates and make meaningful sacrifices, e.g. turning your
smartphone off during important conversations. Put agreements in writing now,
since Mercury rules contracts—now is the time to hold people (and yourself)
accountable to what they say.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Analyze this! Your thoughts may be in overdrive as communicative Mercury enters Libra, your sixth house of evaluation, from now until
November 1. Anything that requires well-considered opinions and attention
to detail—especially in writing—will go well now. This is a great time for
devising practical solutions: whether that means reorganizing your home or
streamlining your work process. Overall, you’re in a fix-it phase—and that
extends to your health, too. Find ways to get to the gym and sweat out
stress. With all this cerebral action, you need to get out of your head and
connect with your body.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
1. Relating to a recently developed fashion or
4. Agile long-tailed nocturnal African lemur
with dense woolly fur and large eyes and ears.
12. Time for Earth to make a complete rotation on its axis.
15. A federal agency established to coordinate programs aimed at reducing pollution
and protecting the environment.
16. A person who is interned.
17. A sweetened beverage of diluted fruit
18. Relieve from military service.
20. The local time at the 0 meridian passing
through Greenwich, England.
21. Congenital absence of the heart (as in the
development of some monsters).
23. Toward the mouth or oral region.
24. A communist nation that covers a vast territory in eastern Asia.
25. Profane or obscene expression usually of
surprise or anger.
26. Of or relating to the heart.
29. Voluntary contributions to aid the poor.
31. Productive work (especially physical work
done for wages).
33. Veloute or brown sauce with sauteed
chopped onion and dry white wine and sour
37. Forming viscous or glutinous threads.
40. A soft white precious univalent metallic
element having the highest electrical and
thermal conductivity of any metal.
41. The part of the large intestine between
the cecum and the rectum.
42. The second larges of the four main islands
of Japan.
43. Young of domestic cattle.
47. Outer bark of the cork oak.
49. Hardy breed of cattle resulting from crossing domestic cattle with the American buffalo.
51. A bivalent and trivalent metallic element
of the rare earth group.
52. (prefix) Opposite or opposing or neutralizing.
53. A soft silvery metallic element.
54. A card game in which each player is dealt
6 cards and discards one or two to make up
the crib.
57. The state prevailing during the absence of
59. Alsatian artist and poet who was
cofounder of Dadaism in Zurich.
60. Relating to the deepest parts of the ocean
(below 6000 meters).
63. A Powhatan Indian woman (the daughter
of Powhatan) who befriended the English at
Jamestown and is said to have saved Captain
John Smith's life (1595-1617).
67. Tropical starchy tuberous root.
70. In bed.
71. In the Roman calendar.
72. Of or relating to the lips of the mouth.
76. (informal) Of very poor quality.
77. Tall marsh plant with cylindrical seed
heads that explode when mature shedding
large quantities of down.
80. (British) Your grandmother.
81. The compass point that is one point south
of due east.
82. A town in southeastern New Mexico on
the Pecos River near the Mexican border.
83. A loose sleeveless outer garment made
from aba cloth.
1. Red Bordeaux wine from the Medoc district
of southwestern France.
2. A drama set to music.
3. Any of various hard resins from trees of the
family Dipterocarpaceae and of the genus
4. Top part of an apron.
5. An organization of independent states to
promote international peace and security.
6. A plaster now made mostly from Portland
cement and sand and lime.
7. The 8th letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
8. A nonmetallic largely pentavalent heavy
volatile corrosive dark brown liquid element
belonging to the halogens.
9. A genus of tropical American plants have
sword-shaped leaves and a fleshy compound
fruits composed of the fruits of several flowers
(such as pineapples).
10. Make steady.
11. An affirmative.
12. An informal term for a father.
13. A nearly horizontal passage from the surface into a mine.
14. Not only so, but.
19. In a manner differing from the usual or
22. A seaport on the Don River near the Sea of
Azov in the European part of Russia.
27. A state in midwestern United States.
28. The jurisdiction or office of an abbot.
30. Typically having large ears and feeding
primarily on insects.
32. A flat float (usually made of logs or planks)
that can be used for transport or as a platform
for swimmers.
34. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike
part of an organism.
35. A constitutional monarchy in northern
Europe on the western side of the
Scandinavian Peninsula.
36. Give qualities or abilities to.
38. A colorless gas (O3) soluble in alkalis and
cold water.
39. An aperture or hole opening into a bodily
44. 1 species.
45. Living quarters reserved for wives and
concubines and female relatives in a Muslim
46. American prizefighter who won the world
heavyweight championship three times (born
in 1942).
48. A member of a Caddo people formerly living in north central Texas.
50. A crystalline metallic element not found in
55. Cooking by direct exposure to radiant
heat (as over a fire or under a grill).
56. The great hall in ancient Persian palaces.
58. (Akkadian) God of wisdom.
61. Indigo bush.
62. United States tennis player (born in
Czechoslovakia) who won several singles
64. Any of several tall tropical palms native to
southeastern Asia having egg-shaped nuts.
65. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a
skewer usually with vegetables.
66. (Hindu) A manner of sitting (as in the practice of Yoga).
68. Material used to daub walls.
69. A software system that facilitates the creation and maintenance and use of an electronic database.
73. Electrical conduction through a gas in an
applied electric field.
74. A sharp hand gesture (resembling a blow).
75. Having leadership guidance.
78. A trivalent metallic element of the rare
earth group.
79. A chronic progressive nervous disorder
involving loss of myelin sheath around certain
nerve fibers.
Stand proud, Gemini. Your self-confidence soars today, as clever
Mercury enters Libra, your expressive fifth house, until November 1. There’s nothing wrong with plainly stating your desires, especially in love. Don’t play small or,
worse, do the "humblebrag" routine (false modesty is such a turnoff). If you don’t
love yourself royally, you can't expect anyone else to do that job. While there
could be some fireworks during this theatrical transit, you’ll also enjoy some passionate and flirtatious exchanges. Your emotions are colorful and dramatic now,
so remind yourself not to take things quite so personally. Channel your intensity
into a creative outlet instead.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
From now until November 1, you’re extra nostalgic, thanks to thoughtful Mercury’s spin through Libra, your fourth house of home, family and roots. Pore
over old photos, research your family tree online and add some comfy new touches
to your decor. If you haven’t been nurturing your most cherished ties, you can
change that now. Women are especially important now, so call up your mother or
another female relative, just because. Don’t forget to apply that TLC to yourself, too,
by fine-tuning your self-care routine.
Leo (July 23-August 22)
Good luck holding back your thoughts, Leo. With communicative
Mercury entering Libra and your chatty third house until November 1, it’s hard to
make your brain (or your running commentary) stop. Take full advantage of this
talkative boon by scheduling important pitch and brainstorming meetings. If you
need to negotiate, diplomacy and grace will surely be on your side. Find an outlet
for all this mental stimulation, perhaps in a journal, blog post or even a book. Since
the third house rules local action, you may also ensconce yourself in a community
Virgo (August 23-September 22)
Libra (September 23-October 22)
Grab the talking stick, Libra, and don’t let go. With clever Mercury
entering your sign today, you have plenty of reason to share. Until November 1,
think carefully about your personal agenda and how you can move it forward. It’s
okay to be a little competitive. Usually, you put others first, but now the cosmos
give you the green light to be "selfish." After all, if you don’t express your most
cherished goals and passions, how will they ever manifest? Make yourself top priority at least once a day, even if that means declining a coffee date with the
coworker who just wants to gossip. You have bigger fish to fry.
Scorpio (October 23-November 21)
Time to set sail on the emotion ocean, Scorpio. Today, communicator
Mercury enters Libra, your sensitive and soulful twelfth house. Until November 1,
you may need more downtime and solitude. It’s not that you don’t want to be
social; your psyche needs some space. Carve out time to journal or meditate.
Listening to dreamy music can put you in a compassionate space, too. If an old
hurt is eating you up inside, it’s seriously time to let it go. Have patience with the
process; you don’t always get to dictate the timeline for your healing. Set your
internal compass toward forgiveness…and watch as your deepest pain is transformed.
Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)
Today, clever Mercury shifts into Libra, your eleventh house of group
activity, activating your social life (both online and IRL) until
November 1. Focus on group projects, which could pick up steam. Instead of going
it alone, tap into the power of the collective. The eleventh house rules humanitarian efforts: What can you do to make this world a better place? Let others’ grand
visions educate and enliven you, and team up in the name of change. You could
even plan this year’s birthday party to be a benefit, raising funds for an important
cause. This is an excellent time for networking and online ventures, so work the
social media circuit to spread your unique message.
Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
Put your attention on those #goals, Capricorn. Today, communicator
Mercury enters Libra, your tenth house of status and success, giving you a one-track
mind: achievement or bust. Until November 1, this diligent attitude will carry the
day, and your greatest inspiration may even come from staying glued to your desk
for an extra hour or two. Call up a mentor and put some quality time on the schedule. The influence of someone who’s “been there-done that” could really help you
get ahead or clarify your path. A leadership opportunity could also land in your lap.
Aquarius (January 20- February 18)
Spit it out, Aquarius! A #nofilter cycle begins today as expressive
Mercury enters Libra, your ninth house of full-throttle honesty. Until November 1,
you're not holding back. Careful: you could be a bit TOO blunt or tactless at times,
offending people with that truth-telling. Channel your energy into living YOUR
truth—which may require you to broaden your horizons, especially if you’ve been
playing small. A life-changing trip or a daring risk could open your mind in important new ways. Keep asking: what else is possible?
Pisces (February 19-March 20)
Buckle down, Virgo. Today, clever Mercury enters Libra, your second
house of security, putting your attention on the basics: work, money and stability.
Until November 1, you have added motivation to break any barriers around selfsufficiency. Repair a work relationship if it’s on shaky ground. Revamp your budget
so that you can really conquer any money woes and not end up in a tight spot
again. Align your self-esteem with your paycheck: if you earn a living doing something that boosts your confidence, you’re moving in the right direction.
It's getting hot in here, Pisces. Today, communicator Mercury
burns into Libra, your eighth house of soul-merging and sex, where it will stay
until November 1. While your fantasy-fueled sign can really get taken with
romantic notions of love, this attitude can be a hindrance to finding lasting
love. In truth, everyone has issues and Mercury in this psychological zone of
your chart helps you accept that. During this period, seek out ways to be more
vulnerable and to heal from old wounds. You might benefit from therapy, as
Mercury here will help you rapidly process any past pain.
Yesterday’s Solution
Yesterday’s Solution
Daily SuDoku
Yesterday’s Solution
i n f o r m at i o n
For labor-related inquiries
and complaints:
Call MSAL hotline 128
Sabah Hospital
Amiri Hospital
Maternity Hospital
Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital
Chest Hospital
Farwaniya Hospital
Adan Hospital
Ibn Sina Hospital
Al-Razi Hospital
Physiotherapy Hospital
Kaizen center
Sama Safwan
Abu Halaifa
Danat Al-Sultan
Fahaeel Makka St
Abu Halaifa-Coastal Rd
Mahboula Block 1, Coastal Rd
Modern Jahra
Madina Munawara
Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1
Jahra-Block 92
Marshall Islands
Khaldiya Coop
Fahad Al-Salem St
Khaldiya Coop
New Shifa
Ferdous Coop
Modern Safwan
Farwaniya Block 40
Ferdous Coop
Old Kheitan Block 11
Hawally & Rawdha
Ibn Al-Nafis
Mishrif Coop
Salwa Coop
Salmiya-Hamad Mubarak St
Salmiya-Amman St
Hawally-Beirut St
Hawally & Rawdha Coop
Jabriya-Block 1A
Jabriya-Block 3B
Salmiya-Hamad Mubarak St
Mishrif Coop
Salwa Coop
Myanmar (Burma)
Netherlands Antilles 00599
New Caledonia
New Zealand
Cape Verde
Cayman Islands
Central African
Norfolk Island
N. Ireland (UK)
Abdullah Salem
Industrial Shuwaikh
North Korea
Bneid Al-Gar
Cook Islands
Costa Rica
Papua New Guinea 00675
Cyprus (Northern)
Czech Republic
Puerto Rico
Diego Garcia
Russian Federation 007
Ayoun Al-Qibla
Maidan Hawally
Dominican Republic 001809
Saint Helena
Saint Kitts
El Salvador
Saint Lucia
England (UK)
Saint Pierre
Equatorial Guinea
Saint Vincent
New Jahra
Samoa US
West Jahra
Samoa West
South Jahra
San Marino
Falkland Islands
Sao Tone
North Jahra
Faroe Islands
Saudi Arabia
North Jleeb
Scotland (UK)
French Guiana
Sierra Leone
French Polynesia
W Hawally
N Khaitan
Solomon Islands
South Africa
South Korea
Sri Lanka
Dr. Abidallah Al-Mansoor
Dr. Samy Al-Rabeea
Dr. Masoma Habeeb
Dr. Mubarak Al-Ajmy
Dr. Mohsen Abel
Dr Adnan Hasan Alwayl
Dr. Abdallah Al-Baghly
Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT)
Dr. Ahmed Fouad Mouner
24555050 Ext 510
Dr. Abdallah Al-Ali
Dr. Abd Al-Hameed Al-Taweel 25646478
Dr. Sanad Al-Fathalah
Dr. Mohammad Al-Daaory
Dr. Ismail Al-Fodary
Dr. Mahmoud Al-Booz
General Practitioners
Dr. Mohamme Y Majidi
24555050 Ext 123
Dr. Yousef Al-Omar
Dr. Tarek Al-Mikhazeem
Dr. Kathem Maarafi
Dr. Abdallah Ahmad Eyadah 25655528
Dr. Nabeel Al-Ayoobi
Dr. Dina Abidallah Al-Refae 25333501
Dr. Ali Naser Al-Serfy
Dr. Fawzi Taher Abul
Dr. Khaleel Abidallah Al-Awadi 22616660
Dr. Adel Al-Hunayan FRCS (C) 25313120
Dr. Leons Joseph
Plastic Surgeons
Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf
Dr. Khaled Hamadi
Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari
Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rashed
Dr. Abdel Quttainah
Family Doctor
Dr Divya Damodar
Dr. Esam Al-Ansari
Dr Eisa M. Al-Balhan
Dr. Zahra Qabazard
DrAdrian arbe
Dr. Verginia s.Marin
2572-6666 ext 8321
Dr. Sohail Qamar
Dr. Snaa Maaroof
Dr. Pradip Gujare
Dr. Zacharias Mathew
Gynaecologists & Obstetricians
Dr. Mohammed Salam
Bern University
Dr Anil Thomas
Dr. Majeda Khalefa Aliytami
Dr. Shamah Al-Matar
Dr. Ahmad Al-Khooly
Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed
Dr. Salem soso
Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer
Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan
Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash
Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan
Dr. Bader Al-Ansari
Dr. Amer Zawaz Al-Amer
Dr. Mohammad Yousef Basher
Internists, Chest & Heart
Dr. Adnan Ebil
Dr. Mousa Khadada
Dr. Latefa Al-Duweisan
Dr. Nadem Al-Ghabra
Dr. Mobarak Aldoub
Dr Nasser Behbehani
Soor Center
Tel: 2290-1677
Fax: 2290 1688
[email protected]
Dr. Kamal Al-Shomr 25329924
Physiotherapists & VD
Dr. Deyaa Shehab
Dr. Adel Al-Awadi
Dr. Ahmad Al-Ansari 25658888
Dr. Musaed Faraj Khamees
Dr. Fozeya Ali Al-Qatan
General Surgeons
Dr. Abd Al-Naser Al-Othman
Dr. Sohal Najem Al-Shemeri
Dr. Jasem Mola Hassan
Dr. Sami Aman
Dr. Mohammad Al-Shamaly
Dr. Foad Abidallah Al-Ali
Kaizen center
Noor Clinic
Dr. Khaled Al-Jarallah
Internist, Chest & Heart
DR.Mohammes Akkad
24555050 Ext 210
Dr. Mohammad Zubaid
Assistant Professor Of Medicine
Head, Division of Cardiology
Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital
Consultant Cardiologist
Dr. Farida Al-Habib
Inaya German Medical Center
Te: 2575077
Fax: 25723123
William Schuilenberg, RPC 2290-1677
Zaina Al Zabin, M.Sc. 2290-1677
Holland (Netherlands) 0031
Hong Kong
Ibiza (Spain)
Indian Ocean
United Arab Emirates 00976
Ivory Coast
United Kingdom
Virgin Islands UK
Virgin Islands US
Wales (UK)
F e a t u r e s
In this Sept 14, 1984 file photo, Madonna poses at the
MTV Video Music Awards where she was nominated ‘Best
New Artist’ in video, at Radio City Music Hall, in New York.
This Sept 14, 1984 file photo shows, Dan Aykroyd, left, and
Bette Midler, hosts of the MTV Video Music Awards, held
at Radio City Music Hall in New York.
In this Sept 13, 2009 file photo, singer Kanye West takes the microphone from singer Taylor Swift as she accepts the
“Best Female Video” award during the MTV Video Music Awards in New York.— AP photos
Method to madness of MTV Video Music Awards
here really is a method to the madness that is the MTV Video
Music Awards. “I like to say, ‘Let’s put the crazy in the room,
and we throw the match in the middle of the audience and
artists, and we see what happens,” said Van Toffler, who has been
associated with the show for most of its three decades. Toffler, a
55-year-old New Yorker, left his post as MTV Networks President
this spring to start his own production company, but is acting as
executive producer for the VMAs one last time. In a recent interview, Toffler reflected on the most memorable moments and
legacy of the show, which airs live Sunday from the Microsoft
Theatre in Los Angeles.
In the beginning
Before there was Miley, there was Madonna. “She’d like to say
she put the M in MTV,” Toffler said with a sly smile. He said she set
the standard for wild behavior in the inaugural awards in 1984,
hosted by Dan Aykroyd and Bette Midler: “Her rolling around in
the wedding dress was quite memorable.” Madonna and producers agreed she would perform a new song, “Like a Virgin,” as she
emerged from a wedding cake, wearing a wedding dress, bustier
and a belt buckle sporting the words “BOY TOY.” One of Madonna’s
white stilettos slipped off as she descended from the cake, and
thinking quickly, she dove to the floor and rolled around. While
reaching for the shoe, the dress went up, putting her undies on
full display, and the VMAs were on the map.
Madonna makes out
Some 20 years later, there was Madonna again - this time making out with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. “It wasn’t necessarily Madonna, Britney and Christina,” Toffler recalled. “J. Lo was
in the mix for a little while, but then dropped out, and I thought
the whole thing was going to disappear.” Toffler was on vacation
when he got a call from the show’s director. “And she said, ‘Van,
you’re not going to believe this. They’re rehearsing now. They’re all
together. And Madonna actually kissed Britney on the lips.’ And I
said, ‘Please do me a favor. Don’t tell any other human on the planet that this is happening.’”
In this Aug 29, 2002 file photo, Bruce Springsteen and the
E Street band perform “The Rising” off his new album of
the same name at the MTV Video Music Awards at the
American Museum of Natural History, in New York.
MTV announces
2015 Video
Music Awards
TV has announced that Pharrell,
Demi Lovato, Macklemore &
Ryan Lewis, Tori Kelly, A$AP Rocky
and Twenty One Pilots will perform live at
the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards on
Sunday. The Weeknd will also perform his
blockbuster single “Can’t Feel My Face,” as
previously announced. Additional performers and presenters will be announced closer
to the ceremony. MTV also announced earlier yesterday that Kanye West will receive
the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award
during the presentation. Past recipients of
the award include Madonna, Justin
Timberlake, Beyonce and Jackson himself.
Whether West will perform at the ceremony
has yet to be confirmed.
Miley Cyrus will host the proceedings.
Jeremy Scott, one of Cyrus’ favorite designers, has given the VMAs’ Moonman statue
a bit of a makeover, including splashes of
colored metals, the Society of Motion
Picture and Television Engineers’s TV test
pattern bars on the MTV logo flag, Scott’s
signature winged sneakers and a peace
sign necklace. This year’s nominees
include Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar, Ed
Sheeran, Taylor Swift and Mark Ronson,
who will duke it out for the evening’s highest honor, Video of the Year. Additional
nominees include Nicki Minaj, Nick Jonas,
the Weeknd and Maroon 5. The VMAs will
air Aug 30 at 9 pm. — Reuters
Kanye the crasher
In the 2009 show, as Taylor Swift accepted the award for best
female video, Kanye West walked onstage, grabbed Swift’s micro-
In this Sept 13, 2009 file photo, Beyonce, left, holds her “Video of the Year” award while Taylor Swift addresses the crowd
at the MTV Music Video Awards, in New York.
phone and ranted about how Beyonce was more deserving. “So, as he performed “Blurred Lines” on the 2013 telecast. “Cyrus
we have an artist who was disrupted from her speech. We had danced provocatively, but everybody knew her as Hannah
Beyonce, who looked like a deer in the headlights. And we had Montana,” Toffler said. “She chose that moment to say, ‘I’m an
Kanye, who was a little bit opinionated and let’s say a little bit lit,” adult. Look at me.’” “I believe the next day on the Today show, one
Toffler said. Worse yet, a tearful Swift was slated to perform live of the hosts called for me to be fired ... And I’m like, ‘Really?’” he
just three minutes later, following a commercial break. Producers recalled. “For Miley dancing with Robin Thicke that way?”
dealt with West, who left the venue. They convinced Beyonce to
Let’s get serious
stick around and later escorted Swift back out onstage to conFor all of the fun and frivolity, the VMAs have no problem getclude her speech. And Toffler helped Swift pull herself together
and get through her performance. “I think being a nurturing ting serious - providing Toffler with what he said were some of his
father, not just to my own children, comes in handy,” he said. proudest moments as producer. In 2000, Metallica drummer Lars
Toffler credits Beyonce’s father and Swift’s mother for helping put Ulrich skewered file-sharing site Napster in a skit. The show has
out the fire, but said Beyonce was the night’s MVP: “She was the included moving tributes to Michael Jackson, Princess Diana and
Aaliyah. And who could forget Bruce Springsteen opening the
best influence at the time.”
2002 show by performing his Sept 11-inspired “The Rising” outside the American Museum of Natural History in New York City Miley’s moment
Perhaps the biggest backlash to a VMAs moment came after punctuated by a mist of rain. — AP
Miley Cyrus, host of this year’s show, gyrated around Robin Thicke
Salif Keita says Africa albino
attacks ‘unacceptable’
frican music legend Salif Keita has called for people with albinism to be protected, as Tanzania
begins campaigning for general elections with
fears growing over a rise in witchcraft attacks. “It is completely unacceptable for humans to sacrifice other
human beings, it comes from ignorance,” the Malian
musician, himself an albino, told AFP in an interview during a visit to East Africa.
Malian afro-pop singer-songwriter Salif Keita
speaks during a press conference in Nairobi, ahead
of the Safaricom Jazz festival 2015. — AFP
“Albinos are born, they grow up just like everyone
else. It is unacceptable to attack them.” Rights groups
have warned of the risk of a rise in attacks against albinos
in Tanzania, which has just begun campaigning for general and presidential elections on October 25. Some
politicians have been accused of buying albino body
parts for witchcraft and lucky charms. At least 76 albinos
in Tanzania have been murdered since 2000, with their
dismembered body parts selling for around $600 (528
euros) and entire bodies fetching $75,000, according to
United Nations experts.
Dozens more have survived having parts of their bodies hacked off. Keita said he hoped that by speaking out,
and by playing his world-acclaimed music, he could send
a message to stop the attacks, which often target children. “When people hear me on the microphone and see
me on the camera, that has an impact, because I show
that I am a complete human being, just like everyone
else,” Keita said. “Just like every human, albinos need to be
loved, and seen as normal people.”
This photo provided by Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate shows, Chris Pine, from left, as
Caleb, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Loomis, and Margot Robbie as Ann Burden, in the film, ‘Z for
Zachariah.’ — AP
‘Black people with white skin’
Keita was speaking in the Kenyan capital where he is
to play a concert to raise money for a music foundation
for a Nairobi slum, as part of Kenya’s Safaricom Jazz
Festival. His Afro-pop music, nominated for several world
music awards, fuses both African and Western styles. “I
am proud to be an albino and I am proud to be who I
am,” added Keita, who runs a campaign to support people with albinism. “I work to promote acceptance and
understanding of people with albinism.”
Outgoing Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete said in
March that attacks against people with albinism were
“disgusting and a big embarrassment for the nation”. But
the problem is not confined to Tanzania alone. Kenyan
lawmaker Isaac Mwaura, who also has albinism, said
Tanzanian gangs have carried out abductions in Kenya,
and he looks after two children he rescued from attempted kidnappers. “Africa has had a long history of racial discrimination, but we work to stop that,” said the MP as he
met Keita.
“Albinos are black people with white skin.” Albinism is
a hereditary genetic condition which causes a total
absence of pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes. As
well as discrimination, associated risks include skin cancer-expensive sun creams are often difficult to obtain-as
well as eyesight problems. — AFP
powder-keg plot setup triggers an underwhelming display of dramatic fireworks in
“Z for Zachariah,” a post-apocalyptic survival tale propelled by male-female emotional
dynamics. Set in a remote valley spared from
radioactive contamination after a presumed
global catastrophe, the film from director Craig
Zobel effectively sets all its surface parts in
motion but, crucially, doesn’t sufficiently develop the turbulent undercurrent of tension and
intrigue that are called for in the hothouse circumstances. This, despite the solid efforts of the
only actors in the piece, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Margot
Robbie and Chris Pine.
Based on the 1974 novel of the same title by
Robert C. O’Brien, the film does possess something of that last-days-of-man-on-Earth feeling
of numerous sci-fi ventures of that period. The
film begins with a young woman and her dog
emerging from a contamination-proof suit on
high ground above what is otherwise apparently an unlivable world.
Stereophonics stay true to their roots with new album
ess high-profile but more durable than some of
their Britpop rivals, Stereophonics are back
with their ninth studio album which harks back
to their roots in a small Welsh mining village. In the
small brick house in west London where the band
have their studio, the classic Beach Boys album “Pet
Sounds” drifted out of the stereo as singer and guitarist Kelly Jones reflected on his band’s past and
“In the grand scheme of rock’n’roll, we are pretty
young,” the boyish 41-year-old joked in an interview
with AFP. “We’re still, like, into it. We’re still playing
really well live and we’re still making better records
than the rest of them.” Known for hits such as
“Maybe Tomorrow” and “The Bartender And The
Thief”, Stereophonics broke through as Britpop
bands such as Oasis were at their peak. While they
never achieved the global stardom of some of their
peers, regular gigs and a steady output of an album
every two years on average have allowed them to
sell millions of records.
They are one of the select group of bands to
have five consecutive British number one albums,
starting with “Performance And Cocktails” in 1999
and ending with “Pull The Pin” in 2007. With their
new album, “Keep The Village Alive”, the band are
going back to their origins in the former coal mining
village of Cwmaman in south Wales. “We scavenged
in the gravel to find this title,” Jones said. “It was a
phrase I heard when I was a kid which kind of
means, you know, ‘keep the spirit up, work hard, play
Jones originally formed the band with his
neighbor Stuart Cable on drums and bass player
Richard Jones. Cable left the band in 2003 and
died in 2010 at the age of 40 after choking to death
on his own vomit after a heavy drinking session. As
well as the two Joneses, Stereophonics now also
includes Jamie Morrison on drums and Adam
Zindani on guitar.—AFP
Review: ‘Zachariah’ a drama
about last 3 people on Earth
Mutual alarm
For her part, Ann (Robbie) has self-sufficiently persevered. She lives in the spacious rural
house where she grew up, is surrounded by
thousands of books and LP records, and industriously tends to her crops. She even has a cow
that gives milk and finds solace in religion, playing the organ in the small chapel nearby that her
preacher father built. She’s also quite a beauty,
not that it matters. Not at the moment, anyway.
All this changes with the startling arrival of a
man who also emerges from a protective suit,
but in hysterics and desperately afraid of contamination. This is John (Ejiofor), who, after the
initial moments of mutual alarm have passed,
accepts Ann’s hospitality and takes to a bed to
recover. A research scientist who claims to have
designed the resistant suit, he soon applies his
expertise to getting her freezer and tractor
working again and eventually works out a plan
to build a waterwheel to generate power.
What are a man and woman going to do
together to pass the time if they believe they’re
the last two people on Earth? Despite the obvious answer, this pair proceeds slowly. Having
achieved a certain intimacy while Ann nursed
John back to health, they eventually share a
romantic dinner at which she gets tipsy and
pushes things to the brink of sex. Surprisingly,
John puts her off, insisting that going further
would change everything and that they should
take their time. No sooner does this cooling take
place than a third wheel turns up to change the
dynamics entirely. Caleb (Pine) is a scruffy young
guy with traces of radiation on him, but the other two agree to let him stay for a bit. The men
sniff each other out about their mutual intentions, of course, but the situation seems defused
when Caleb agrees to help John finish the big
project of building the waterwheel.
Mutual suspicions
However, even if the men decide that they
can co-habit, Ann is eventually going to have
something to say about it, leading one to suspect that one-third of the world’s known
human population won’t be around that much
longer. The effectiveness of the piece, especially
in its final half, is almost entirely dependent
upon subtext, mutual suspicions, underlying
tensions, sexual tipping points, self-control and
all manner of other human impulses that lie just
beneath the surface. Unfortunately, screenwriter Nissar Modi and director Zobel don’t
manage to draw these out in a palpable way so
that the drama really flattens out during the climactic stretch on its way to a very ho-hum conclusion. —AP
F e a t u r e s
Mohammad Ali Hassan Khani, whose nickname is Aliwaxima, drives his racyred motorized stiletto on a street in the capital Tehran. — AFP photos
Mohammad Ali Hassan Khani works next to his racy-red motorized stiletto.
Mohammad Ali Hassan Khani talks with people as he sits in his racy-red motorized stiletto.
Tehran’s shoe-shine man in a red stiletto
Mohammad Ali Hassan Khani works next to his racy-red
motorized stiletto.
giant, racy-red motorized stiletto is not what you
expect to see cruising down the avenues of Iran’s
capital but it certainly attracts attention, and business, for intrepid shoe-shine man “Aliwaxima”. In conservative Tehran where veils for women are mandatory and
Islamic morality police still mount patrols, 42-year-old
Aliwaxima proudly plies his trade unhindered, in his
coquettish scooter.
“I am the only shoe shine man in the country who
works from his vehicle,” says Mohammad Ali Hassan Khani,
his real name, who could pass for a bespoke tailor on Savile
Row with his immaculate shirt, sober tie and-of course
spick-and-span loafers. He even has fans in this city of near
13 million residents little used to public flights of fancy like
his motorized high-heel.
Be they on foot, car or motorcycle, people stop in awe
and clamor for selfies both in and outside the threewheeled fibreglass stiletto. “Eight years ago, I decided to
create a vehicle from which to propose my services as a
shoe shiner,” he explained, in language as elegant as his
dress. His business moniker merges his name and the
English word “wax” tweaked into an Iranian superlative to
give “Aliwaxima”, the man who gives the best shine. In sync
with digital times, Ali has customer service 2.0 down pat.
He carries a mobile phone, of course, for client calls but
also has an Internet site, an Instagram account and a
Mohammad Ali Hassan Khani talks with people, including journalists, sitting in his racy-red motorized stiletto.
Facebook page-with scores and scores of friends-featuring
his red high heel as the cover photo.
Daringly, he has displayed these addresses on his vehicle, notably the one for Facebook, a site officially blocked
in Iran-though residents bypass the ban by downloading
VPNs, networks that can transfer information via secure
servers in other countries. And on the driver’s side is the
understated slogan, “The first shoe shape car in Iran”. “It’s
wonderful,” raved an onlooker spotting Aliwaxima for the
first time while another asked if it was an ad for a brand of
shoes. After working the streets of central Tehran for 18
years, Ali is, however, known to many.
Women clients now
“At first, I had a simple, three-wheel motorized scooter.
Then I gave it the form of a man’s loafer. Three months ago
I decided to change this to a red high heel,” he says. “And I
have a lot more clients since. More than 1,500 people follow me on Instagram. “Before, I had mainly men clients
but now I also have women clients encouraging me.” The
idea came from abroad after Ali saw pictures of giant shoes
used to advertise shoeshine stands. “But they were not
motorized,” he notes with a mischievous glance behind his
dark glasses.
It took him two-and-a-half months to build the red
Mohammad Ali Hassan Khani works next to his racy-red motorized stiletto.
stiletto shape and “people adore my vehicle. They love to
sit in it and take photos.” It also turned into a wise-and
lucrative-business move. “I have all sorts of new requests.
I’ve already been asked to five marriages. The newlyweds
have their pictures taken in my car. “For weddings, I get
paid five million rials,” a handy sum at $140 (120 euros)
compared to what Ali says is his usual take of “700,000 rials
($20 ) a day” — still more than the usual worker’s average
daily pay of $15. When asked if police have ever bothered
him or tried to prevent him from working, Ali lets out a big
laugh. “The police, they’re the first ones to want to have
their picture taken in my car!” he says. And his next plan?
Though he doesn’t speak a word of French, his big dream is
to work in France, to drive his red stiletto down the
Champs-Elysees in Paris where-even in the city of no holds
barred-he would likely attract attention also. — AFP
Organic options to fix raccoon eyes
e all try to survive through our crazy schedules;
sometimes 24 hours a day are just not enough to
get everything you want done. Exhausting days
and nights will gradually start showing on your face. You’ll
start to realize how your skin feels and looks tired, and
most of us start having darker circles under our eyes.
Darker circles can be a result of many things, not only
exhaustion, but it can also be hereditary, from having dry
skin as well as lack of sleep. Men and women can both
experience darker circles, and we can always drive to
any store and get products that’ll vanish these darker circles or cover them with make up.
It takes a while for you to start noticing the
darker circles fading away, as it took just as long
for you to notice them. They take a while to
react to better sleep and a more relaxed
body and mind. However, there are a
few extra things you can do at home to
help vanishing these circles faster.
One thing I can swear by and
I literally do this every morning
is “depuffing”- which basically
is icing your face and the area
around your eyes. Don’t apply
ice directly to your face, but put it
in a plastic bag and onto a small
towel then depuff! The cold from
the ice will allow any swelling to
do down, and temporarily tighten
your skin leaving you looking all tight and fresh.
Almond oil
Almond oil has many benefits that you can literally add
it to anything and it’ll be good for it! You can add a few
drops of almond oil under your eyes every night to help
moisturize that area which will gradually lighten the darker
circles until they disappear.
Raw potatoes
Raw potatoes is another suggestion for your raccoon
eyes, you can cut thick slices of potato and apply them on
your eyes. This helps because potatoes have natural
bleaching agents which will make your darker circles disappear. You can also grate potatoes and use the potato
juice on a cotton ball to apply it on your eyes for 10-15
Rose water
You can also use rose water as it has a soothing effect
on tired eyes, and it can also be used as a skin toner which
will also help the darker circles. Soak a cotton ball into pure
rose water and place it on your eyes, you can do this twice
a day for a few weeks.
Lemon juice
A tricky method to try is with lemon juice. Apply lemon
juice around your eyes with a cotton ball and leave it for 15
minutes. This will allow the vitamin C in the lemon juice to
lighten up any darker circles or spots on your face.
We’ve all heard and probably tried out cucumber. Many
spas and treatments include cucumber as a relaxing element. Place cucumber slices on your eyes for 15 minutes.
For a stronger skin-lightening effect you can add lemon
juice and make a paste out of it to apply on your eyes.
These simple and organic options can definitely help a
lot with refreshening your skin and toning your skin tone.
You also need to make sure you drinks loads of water and
have enough sleep to have glowing and healthy skin, not
only for dark circles.
Stressing over work or issues you have in your personal
life will eventually start showing on you, and at the end of
the day you need to take care of yourself in order to do the
best you can in whatever you do, whether it was being a
mother, running your business, or even finishing your studies. We should always avoid stress and the harmful illnesses
stress can cause.
Trying out these homemade recipes will be fun and you
can get to see the difference it makes in a few weeks, not
days. As I mentioned earlier it will take just as long to
remove the dark circles. If this issues was hereditary then
maybe make up will help you with covering them up
before going out, as well as these recipes!
F a s h i o n
Claudia Schiffer
Claudia Schiffer
keeps her old clothes
laudia Schiffer never gets rid of her old clothes. The 45year-old supermodel - who became a household name
in the 90s - has confessed she’s held on to most of the
garments she’s acquired throughout her career as a lot of the
pieces come back into style or can be worn at any time. She
said: “I have kept all my clothes from over the years, so I have a
great archive to go in and out for each season. For example, I
found an amazing red Chanel bag from 20 years ago, which is
timeless, and then I update with a new pair of shoes or dress.
“Trends always come around again, so a pair of great Stella
McCartney jeans from four years ago can be worn again this
summer. When I design a collection I always think about
longevity - will I still be wearing this in five or 10 years time?”
The blonde beauty has teamed up with the luxury cashmere label Tse to create her own collection and has revealed
she felt like it was time to try her hand at designing after years
of modeling. She told Vogue magazine: “I have always been a
model and after more than 25 years in the fashion and beauty
industry, it felt natural to dip my toes into design. “I am hoping
my message is getting across: timeless, effortless clothes for
every day casual chic living, inspired by influences from my
life in England.”— Bang Showbiz
denim staple
endall Jenner’s fashion staple is a pair of jeans. The
‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’ star thinks every girl
should own a pair, whilst sister Kylie Jenner’s essential
garment is a leather jacket. Of her go-to gear, the 19-year-old
model said: “A pair of mid- or high-rise jeans that look good on
the butt, with straight or skinny legs.” Whilst Kylie added: “A
good leather jacket. Everyone needs a good leather jacket.”
And Kendall has admitted she likes to keep her day wear “simple” compared to Kylie who prefers a more glamorous look.
She shared: “I like to keep it simple and classy. I’m not like
[Kylie]. She can wear a full-blown gown to lunch. I like a whole
Saint Laurent look. I’d call it cool.” And despite being known
for their fashion-forward looks, it hasn’t stopped either of the
pair having a fashion faux pas in the past. Of what pattern
she’d never wear again, Kylie said: “Zebra. Growing up, I was
obsessed with zebra. In middle school, I had zebra carpet, pillows, and clothing - everything you could imagine. “So I am
zebra’d out. I don’t care what company it is or who it is, I’m
over zebra.” However, Kendall is much more open to different
styles as fashion “evolves”. She added to Harper’s Bazaar magazine: “I never say never. Fashion is always evolving. And you
just never know.”— Bang Showbiz
Kendall Jenner
Lakme Fashion Week
Indian models showcase creations by designer ilk at Lakme
Fashion Week (LFW) Winter/Festive 2015 in Mumbai yesterday.
— AFP photos
Indian models showcase creations by designer Huemn.
F a s h i o n
Indian models showcase creations by Sahil Kochhar.
Indian models showcase creations during the Gen Next show.
Kristen Stewart
Stewart to play
Coco Chanel
broth for youthful skin
risten Stewart will play Coco Chanel in an upcoming
short film. The movie will feature the actress as the
label’s founder and will be directed by Karl Lagerfeld,
the creative director for Chanel. It tells the story of a fictional,
behind-the-scenes look at preparations for a biopic about
Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel. Karl’s short movie will be shown at the
French fashion house’s next Metiers d’Arts show, which will
take place in Rome on December 2.
Speaking to WWD, Karl said about Kristen: “She played it
really, really mean. You only see her in tests and she’s complaining about everything. She’s mean with the director; mean
with the producer.” When asked why he decided to make a
movie about Chanel, he said: “They make so many movies
about Chanel, why can’t I make one?” Kristen recently revealed
there are many perks to being Lagerfeld’s inspiration, including being allowed to “chop” up designer gowns. She told the
September issue of Nylon magazine: “He lets me chop dresses,
he lets me steal a belt from that dress and wrap it around
another ... I’m really into the performance aspect of it, but I still
have to make it my own. I don’t want to feel like I’m wearing a
costume.” — Bang Showbiz
Hayek drinks bone
alma Hayek credits bone broth for her youthful
appearance. The 48-year-old actress, who previously
admitted she isn’t a fan of cosmetic surgery and
Botox, regularly drinks the concoction because she
believes it helps her to maintain her good looks. She said:
“It’s sort of disgusting. You take a bunch of bones from a
cow and slow-cook them for many hours. It’s full of gelatin
and fat, and I think it’s very good to keep yourself young.”
Although she relies on strange techniques to remain
youthful, the ‘Everly’ star never uses the gym and prefers
doing more relaxing forms of exercise. She explained: “I don’t
do cardio, I mean, I didn’t do it when I was young. I’m not
going to start jumping now. But I do like yoga.” The brunette
beauty added she has a positive mental outlook about her life
as well as her appearance and feels very grateful for everything in her life. She told People magazine: “I count my blessings every day.”My father taught me to treat everyone the
same and to stay close to your family. My mom taught me
only stupid people get bored.” — Bang Showbiz
Salma Hayek
Aliwaxima, Tehran’s
shoe-shine man
in a red stiletto
A Malaysian Muslim woman walks past a mural of an owl at an alley in Shah Alam, on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur yesterday. — AFP
Annual tomato battle paints
streets of Spanish town red
housands of half-naked revelers pelted
each other with tomatoes yesterday in
the town of Bunol in eastern Spain,
bathing the streets with red goo in the annual “Tomatina” battle. A string of trucks laden
with 170 tones of tomatoes rolled through
the town’s narrow streets, as teams on board
distributed their load to surrounding crowds
for people to throw at each other during the
hour-long festivities. The iconic fiesta-which
celebrates its 70th anniversary and is billed at
“the world’s biggest food fight”-has become a
major draw for foreigners, in particular from
Britain, Japan and the United States.
The bang of fireworks set off the bedlam
at 11 am. Revelers jammed shoulder-toshoulder, many wearing just bathing suits,
bent down to pick up tomatoes from the
ground to throw while others lay in the pulp.
“I am going to go three months without eating tomatoes, I’m disgusted but it doesn’t
matter,” a Spanish woman in her 20s, who
wore a red T-shirt and whose hair was covered in scarlet mush, told reporters. One
young man could be seen using a plastic pail
to scoop up red pulp from the streets and
pour it over the heads of others. Bunol city
hall estimates that only one-fifth of the
roughly 22,000 participants this year are from
Mayor Rafael Perez said the event had
become so successful by allowing anyone
participating to let off steam. “There are countries where maybe people have a harder time
expressing their feelings,” he told Spanish
radio. “The Japanese for example are very
reserved, solemn, and transform themselves
when they come here,” he added. Bunol officials estimate that ten percent of the participants come from Japan. Organizers recommend revelers squish the tomatoes before
throwing them — “the hit will be less
painful”-wear old clothes and use goggles to
protect their eyes from the fruit’s acid.
‘Wear tight fitting bra’
This was the third year non-resident participants were charged 10 euros ($11.50) to
take part. The town of around 10,000 people
hired a private company to sell tickets in 2013
to help pay off debts and control the growing
crowds who were flocking to the event. A
total of 17,000 tickets were sold to foreigners
with the rest given away free to locals. Before
ticket sales were introduced the food fight
drew over 45,000 revelers to the town. Young
tourists flocked to the town for the festival on
specially charted buses from Benidorm and
other seaside resorts along Spain’s coast, as
well as from Madrid and Barcelona. One travel
agency that organized a trip to the fiesta,
PPtravel, recommended that “girls wear (a)
tight fitting sports bra and/or singlet and
“All passengers take a change of clothes
to Bunol and plan on throwing out everything you wear to the tomato fight,” it added
on its website. After the tomato throwing
ended, fire trucks hosed down the streets
while revelers headed to public showers or
jump in a local river to get cleaned up. The
Tomatina started in 1945 when locals brawling in the street at a folk festival seized
tomatoes from a greengrocer’s stall and let
loose. Officials tried to ban the event in the
following years during the dictatorship of
General Francisco Franco-even going as far
as arresting participants-but eventually
came to embrace it. Spain’s tourism secretary named the Tomatina a “festivity of international tourist interest” in 2002 because of
its popularity. The Tomatina has inspired
similar celebrations in Colombia, Costa Rica,
Chile and the United States. — AFP
Revelers throw tomato pulp at each other during the annual “tomatina” festivities in the village of Bunol, near Valencia yesterday. Some 22,000 revelers hurled 150 tones of squashed tomatoes at each other drenching the streets in
red in a gigantic Spanish food fight marking the 70th annual “Tomatina” battle. — AFP photos

US reporter, cameraman killed in on-air shooting