MONDAY | JUNE 20, 2016 | RAMADHAN 14, 1437 AH
VOL. 35 NO. 219 | PAGES 32 | BAISAS 200
ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI
Oman Establishment for Press, Publication and Advertising
PO Box 974, Postal Code 100, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
IRAN REACHES DEAL TO PURCHASE 100 BOEING PLANES P20
Last date to submit
works for HM Award
MUSCAT: The Sultan Qaboos Higher
Centre for Culture and Science,
represented by the Office of His Majesty
the Sultan Award for Culture, Arts and
Literature, announced that July 4 will
be the last date for receiving works
participating in the fifth version of the
Sultan Qaboos Award for Culture, Arts
and Literature in three areas namely
Culture in Translation Field, Arts in
Omani Traditional Arts and Literature
in Novel. A winner in each field will be
honoured and granted a medal and a
cash prize of RO 50,000.
No annual bonus
for top officials
MUSCAT: The Ministry of Finance
said that due to the current financial
conditions being witnessed by the
Sultanate and within the precautionary
measures taken by the government in
response to fall in oil prices, the annual
bonuses for ministers, under-secretaries
and their equivalent have been stopped.
The ministry said in a statement, a copy
of which was obtained by Oman News
Agency, that it continues its revision of
the expenditure and that it works hard to
activate the non-oil revenues to reduce
deficit resulting from the sharp decline in
oil revenues and reduce reliance on oil as
the major source of revenue.
GROWTH VITAL FOR
WELFARE OF CITIZENS
VISION FOR THE NATION: Council of Ministers emphasises on the
need to facilitate investments and economic diversiﬁcation
MUSCAT: The Council of Ministers
on Sunday issued a statement on the
outcome of its meetings during which
it studied topics which contribute to
maintaining growth rates in the country
and safeguarding the living standards of
The Council of Ministers agreed that
the number of seats in higher education
institutions should remain the same,
and that the number of students sent to
study technical specialisations should be
The Council updated itself about
steps taken to ensure sustainability of
food security, and urged the departments
concerned to tighten monitoring of food
supplies and to benefit from Oman’s
location and make the Sultanate a centre
for import and re-export of livestock.
The Council of Ministers laid
emphasis on the need to facilitate
investment and economic diversification,
Beware while sharing
content on WhatsApp
June 19: WhatsApp administrators,
beware. You are equally responsible
for any malicious content, including
photographs, being spread online.
And the cyber police are keeping
tabs on you.
The Telecom Regulatory
Authority (TRA) and the
Royal Oman Police
(ROP) have urged
through this medium
administrators to be
vigilant about such messages.
administrators have a responsibility
when sharing the messages,” says
an official at the TRA. “WhatsApp
groups are formed for a purpose.
Chances are people may forward
illegal content. The administrators
MESSI EQUALS RECORD AS ARGENTINA CRUISE P30
or those who have formed the
groups have a moral responsibility
to stick to the lawful purpose for
which they were formed,” he said.
A message is considered harmful,
objectionable or distasteful based
on its content, location, purpose
and motive. Each individual is
responsible for the messages he/
she sends to the receiver,
but he/she should be
more responsible when
sending the same to a
upon its content. A sender
can face legal action for sending
a message that can cause harm.
responsible for the messages they
send, an administrator or the
sender is equally responsible for the
consequences such messages might
have,” he added.
TURN TO P5
Measures to be
taken to ensure food
in the ﬁeld of
All departments to
use ‘Invest Easy’ system
Strategy gets approval
fled war in
FALLUJAH: Aid workers scrambled
on Sunday to cope with a massive
influx of Iraqi civilians who fled
Fallujah after government forces
retook much of the city from the IS
Tens of thousands of civilians
escaped the city, just 50 km west of
Baghdad, on the back of a major
advance that saw Iraqi forces thrust
into central Fallujah in recent days.
The humanitarian community
has been struggling to cope, with
thousands of people already suffering
from hunger and trauma now stranded
in the scorching summer heat with no
“The estimated total number of
displaced from Fallujah in just the
last three days is now at a staggering
30,000 people,” the Norwegian
Refugee Council said.
The UN refugee agency said up
to 84,000 people had been forced to
flee their homes since the start of the
government offensive against the IS
bastion nearly a month ago.
REPORT ON P13
Brexit could have domino effect
BERLIN: A British exit from the
European Union could trigger similar
moves by other member states in Eastern
Europe, Luxembourg Foreign Minister
Jean Asselborn said in a German
newspaper interview published on
Britain votes on June 23 on whether to
stay in the 28-member bloc, a choice with
far-reaching consequences for politics,
the economy, defence and diplomacy on
“It cannot be ruled out that Brexit
leads to a domino effect in Eastern
Europe,” Asselborn told Tagesspiegel am
Sonntag. It had been a “historic mistake”
from Prime Minister David Cameron to
even think about calling a referendum
People wave Union flags as they attend
a rally for ‘Britain Stronger in Europe’ in
Hyde Park in London on Sunday.
about Britain’s membership of the
European Union, Asselborn added.
Even if Britain should decide to stay in
the EU, “this would not solve the problem
that results from the negative attitude
of the British towards the European
Union”, Asselborn said. Asselborn said
he sometimes had the impression that
Cameron and the head of Poland’s ruling
Law and Justice party (PiS), Jaroslaw
Kaczynski, had a silent agreement on
rolling back European integration.
“Both seem do have the same agenda
regarding their critical stance towards
the EU,” he added.
Since winning elections last year,
Poland’s conservative and eurosceptic
government has clashed with EU
regulators on a range of issues, including
freedom of speech and democracy as
well as energy and environment issues.
MORE REPORTS ON P15
urging all government departments to
use the one-stop-shop system ‘Invest
Oman Tourism Strategy was
approved and investment in the field of
health services was considered, and the
private sector was asked to play a greater
role in serving the economy, according to
The Council also stressed the
importance of efforts to upgrade
education system in Oman and approved
introduction of military education
programmes in schools.
The Council of Ministers hailed
the efforts of the media, approved the
formation of a media committee to
study challenges to information in the
The Council also approved the
establishment of an Information Training
Centre and a Social Media Centre.
TURN TO P2
SUSPENSION OF SOHAR FLIGHTS
WILL HAVE NEGATIVE EFFECT
Deal to train 400 Omanis
Development Oman (PDO) and Oman
Air on Sunday joined forces to generate
400 jobs for young Omanis at the new
Muscat International Airport.
The two companies signed a
(MoU) committing PDO to support the
training of the job-seekers in a variety
of cabin and ground staff positions,
along with the up-skilling of a further
100 existing Oman Air customer
The successful completion of the
internationally accredited vocational
courses will lead to guaranteed full-time
positions with the national carrier in
customer relations and ramp services.
The agreement, which was signed
by PDO Managing Director Raoul
Restucci and Oman Air Chief Executive
Officer Paul Gregorowitsch, was part of
the drive to support His Majesty’s call
for sustainable jobs.
Restucci said: “As part of our National
Objectives programme to generate job
and training opportunities for Omanis,
PDO is going beyond our natural
boundaries of the oil and gas sector to
support economic diversification and
DETAILS ON P4
M O N DAY l J U N E 2 0 l 2 0 1 6
Economic growth vital for welfare of citizens
FROM PAGE 1
The statement said that the Council supports the fact that
efforts should be combined in monitoring the implementation
of service projects. It asked the departments concerned to
coordinate with municipal councils in this regard.
The full text of the statement reads as follows.
“Within the context of the keenness of His Majesty Sultan
Qaboos on the continuation of growth rates in the Sultanate
and the stability of living standards of citizens and, in
pursuance of the efforts exerted in this field, the Council of
Ministers has studied a number of topics which contribute to
achieving those objectives, as follows:
Number of seats in higher education to remain the same:
Based on the Royal attention of His Majesty the Sultan to
support to the education sector, to develop national human
resources, to encourage youth by opening up opportunities
for them in the field of higher education and other areas
and providing all requirements for grooming generations of
enlightened citizens capable of obtaining the highest academic
qualifications to bring about a qualitative shift forward in
educational outputs, it has been reaffirmed that the number
of study seats dedicated for the General Education Diploma
(Academic Year 2016-2017) shall remain the same for all
government and private higher education institutions within
the Sultanate, as well as scholarships abroad.
Technical specialisations and entrepreneurship to be
boosted: In its study on the quality of higher education,
the Council of Ministers reached a conclusion that it is
necessary to upgrade the active national programmes and
promote them to improve quality by increasing the number
of students sent to study technical, technological, medical
and industrial specialisations and encouraging major private
sector establishments to contribute to the programme of
scholarships abroad. The Council also urged the departments
concerned to assist youths in launching their own businesses
and facilitate their mission by streamlining procedures of
financing through standard programmes applicable at these
The Council underscored the need to train these youth and
transfer knowledge to them in a manner commensurate with
all their requirements.
Food Security: In implementation of the Royal directives
of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos to accord top importance to
food security during the Council of Ministers’ follow-up of
plans, the Council of Ministers viewed a visual presentation
which covered the basic components of the system of food
production, the percentage of self-sufficiency and the
expected outcome of foodstuff produce after the completion
of the main investment projects.
The Council valued the visions and recommendations
of the Majlis Ash’shura and the studies it forwarded to the
Council of Ministers about mechanisms for achieving security
in food and water and about the ground reality of Najd area
and dams in the Sultanate.
The Council discussed the result of two food security
reports about the Sultanate that were drafted by a global
house of expertise. The reports showed that the Sultanate is
fairly secure in terms of food security and due to the country’s
potentials and strategic location.
In this respect, the Council of Ministers underlined the
significant role of the private sector in undertaking plant,
animal and fishery investment projects.
Promoting Sultanate as import and re-export gateway:
Due to the importance of the livestock sector in supporting the
national economy and achieving food security and, to make
the Sultanate an attractive centre of import and re-export,
the Council of Ministers gave directives to the departments
concerned to speed up the upgrading of animal production
projects and to set up central livestock markets, while at the
same time supporting small and medium enterprises to help
them contribute to live stock growth and transport.
This also envisages establishing value added industries
related to livestock and utilising the economic and commercial
facilities of the Sultanate, including seaports.
In this context, the Council of Ministers urged the
authorities concerned to take all necessary steps to promote
foodstuff monitoring services in all border checkpoints, as
well as seaports and airports of the Sultanate.
The Council also called for expedient action to complete
the electronic link between these departments and border
checkpoints to ensure the effectiveness of monitoring services
and facilitate them.
Call to upgrade institutional capabilities and facilitate
investment procedures: As part of continuous action to
promote the Sultanate’s economy and support infrastructure
so as to increase stability and safeguard the living standards
of citizens, the Council of Ministers emphasised the need for
concerted action to upgrade the capabilities of government
institutions and draft suitable policies for this measure to take
The Council also gave directives to streamline procedures
and remove obstacles facing local and foreign investments. It
called for action to raise competitiveness in the business sector
and to develop related sectors. It also stressed the importance
of expanding the role of the private sector and enabling it to
better contribute to the national economic and investment in
projects, notably value added projects.
Collaboration to overcome the financial crisis hailed: The
Council of Ministers is closely following up the precautionary
measures undertaken by institutions of the state for sake of
ensuring the sustainability of economic conditions.
It highly appreciates and hails the efforts of Oman Council,
the State’s Financial and Audit Institution, government
departments and other establishments for the studies,
recommendations and proposals they make on economic
affairs. The Council also appreciates the commitment of all
for the success of the plan designed to overcome the current
global financial and economic crisis.
The Council of Ministers commends the understanding
of citizens and their participation to achieve the desired goals
of the current plan towards attaining a sustainable economic
status for the sake of Oman and its future generations.
The Council of Ministers underscored the importance
of enhancing the partnership between the government, the
private sector and the civil community towards the realisation
of the overall developmental and social objectives.
Facilitation of Trade and Transport: The Council of
Ministers reviewed the report of the National Committee
for the Facilitation of Trade and Transport. It approved
the preparation of a comprehensive study to plan the
transportation of goods in the Sultanate, to provide periodic
solutions for the existing problems of truck transport, as
well as long-term solutions. It called for the establishment of
database for this sector and urged the private sector to take the
initiative by establishing land transport companies.
E-government: The Council of Ministers studied the
process of electronic government transformation and its
priorities. It reviewed the ‘executive situation’ of the National
Broadband Strategy. It laid emphasis on the continuity,
conformity and complimentation of efforts aimed to expedite
the propagation of the broadband network.
Call to upgrade educational sector, overcome its challenges
and introduce military education programmes in schools: The
Council of Ministers viewed the future vision of the education
sector in the Sultanate. It commended the Education Council
and other ministries and departments concerned for their
efforts to secure the future of education in the Sultanate.
The Council underlined the significance of collaboration of
government establishments in their endeavour to upgrade the
educational sector, address its challenges and contribute to the
success of its strategies and programmes.
In the same context, it was agreed that the Ministry
of Education would coordinate with other departments
concerned to introduce programmes of military education
programmes in schools and to expand the base of students
enrolled in these programmes.
Government departments urged to use one-stop- shop
system: Within the context of its follow up of means of
providing an investment encouraging climate, the Council
of Ministers reviewed the one-stop-shop Invest Easy and
the success this system has achieved. It gave directives of all
government departments concerned to adopt this system.
The Council hailed Invest Easy’s winning awards from
international institutions in the caliber of World Trade
Health: The Council of Ministers approved the charter of
the National Policy for Protection against non-communicable
diseases. It also viewed a visual presentation on social health
insurance titled “For the Introduction of Better Health
Services” through the encouragement of foreign investments
and maximisation of revenue from the health sector.
There exist substitutes to promote and finance health
MUSCAT: The Muscat
Securities Market (MSM)
general index 30 yesterday
lost 0.6 point to close at
5,807.51 points compared
to the last session.
The trading value stood
at RO 1,084,645 comprising
a decline of 52.16 per
cent compared to the last
session which stood at RO
The market value rose
by 0.01 per cent to reach
about RO 17.02 billion.
The value of shares
bought by non-Omani
investors reached RO
27,000 comprising 2.51 per
The value of shares sold
by non-Omani investors
comprising 24.02 per
cent. The net non-Omani
investment declined by
21.52 per cent to RO
services that cater to all segments of society, the Council
Oman Tourism Strategy approved: In pursuance of
efforts to make the Sultanate a preferred tourism destination
of high competitively and capable of attracting investors, the
Council of Ministers approved the general framework of
Oman Tourism Strategy, which seeks to foster the Sultanate’s
status as a pioneering global example in the field of sustainable
The strategy envisions ways to let the Sultanate advance on
the path to transformation into a distinguished international
hospitality destination, besides enhancing economic
diversification, provision of employment opportunities,
promotion of the value of natural and cultural landmarks,
achieving a variety of economic and social benefits and the
provision of necessary revenues for the protection of heritage
and the environment.
Support economic diversification: The Council of
Ministers underscored the significance of all state institutions’
understanding of the nature of economic diversification,
notably tourism, urging these institutions to work to make
tourism a success due to its positive implications to trade,
the economy, investment opportunities and employment of
Nod for Qalhat Historical City: The Council of Ministers
blessed the Heritage and Culture Ministry’s submitting an
application to register the Historical City of Qalhat in the
list of world heritage due to the city’s historical and strategic
importance making it an international cultural park capable of
enriching tourism and the national economy at large.
Approval given to media commission, training centre,
social media centre: In confirmation of the important role
of all types of information in the Sultanate, the Council of
Ministers approved the formation of a committee to study
challenges posed to the Omani media sector within the
context of enforced legislative stipulations to regulate the
sector, develop it and tackle obstacles that obstruct its course.
The Council of Ministers also approved the establishment
of an Information Training Centre and a Social Media
Centre. It entrusted the Ministry of Information with drafting
mechanism for the support of the information sector to enable
it to perform its role in the best possible manner.
Efforts to be combined to oversee service projects: In
consolidation of institutional action, the Council of Ministers
approved cooperation between departments concerned
and municipal councils in all that relates to the process of
implementation of service projects in the wilayats of the
Sultanate, each department acting within its prerogatives. The
Council stressed the important role of municipal councils.
Within the context of its collaboration with the Council
of Oman, the Council of Ministers reviewed the proposals
of the State Council and Majlis Ash’shura and their views on
economic and social aspects.
It valued the two councils’ commendable efforts to
promote the public interest and took appropriate measures in
Commenting on the meetings held with the State Council
Office and the Office of Majlis Ash’shura, His Highness Sayyid
Fahd bin Mahmood al Said, Deputy Prime Minister for the
Council of Ministers, hailed the outcome of these meetings
and highlighted their positive and objective vision on various
matters of relevance to the current stage which, he said,
reflected the keenness of all to intensify consultation and
exchange ideas in all that serves the comprehensive march
On the occasion of the holy Month of Ramadhan, the
Council of Ministers expressed its heartfelt wishes for His
Majesty Sultan Qaboos, praying to the Almighty Allah to
grant him continued good health and a long life. The Council
of Ministers also prayed to the Almighty Allah to endow
the noble people of Oman more prosperity and to grant the
Islamic world plenty of bounties and blessings. — ONA
M O N DAY l J U N E 2 0 l 2 0 1 6
Oman Air’s decision to stop Sohar flights will have negative socio-economic impact: Majlis Ash’shura member
Articles of disagreement to be put to joint vote
MUSCAT: Majlis Ash’shura yesterday
discussed 124 articles of disagreement
between the State Council and Majlis
Ash’shura about the draft Omani Penal
Law which was approved at the 13th
regular session. The draft law includes
Majlis Ash’shura session also reviewed
the report of the joint committee of
Majlis Ash’shura and the State Council
and the conclusion it has reached.
The session was held under the
chairmanship of Shaikh Khalid bin
Hilal al Maawali, Chairman of Majlis
After listening to the views of the
joint committee on the articles of
disagreements between the State Council
and Majlis Ash’shura, it was agreed to
refer the articles of disagreement to
voting at the joint session of the Council
of Oman scheduled to be held on June
Dr Mohammed bin Ibrahim al
Zadjali, member of Majlis Ash’shura,
delivered an urgent statement about
Oman Air’s decision to stop its flights
from and to Sohar Port.
He pointed out that the decision
has negative effects on the social
and economic lives of residents
of the Governorates of North and
South Al Batinah, especially more
growth is expected in the coming
period due to the opening of
Sohar Port and the increase in industrial
He added that the airport plays an
active role in the development process
and is expected to contribute to social,
commercial and tourism activities in the
area. — ONA
40 to get training in ammunition field No cut in number of seats for GED graduates
MUSCAT: The Ministry of Manpower yesterday signed
agreements with the Oman Ammunitions Production
Company to train 40 Omanis holders of general education
diploma in the field of ammunition manufacturing.
The two agreements were signed by Shaikh Abdullah bin
Nasser al Bakri, Minister of Manpower, and Mohammed
bin Nasser al Rasbi, Secretary-General of the Ministry of
Defence and Chairman of Oman Ammunitions Production
The agreements come within the Ministry’s plans to train
and employ national manpower in different professions. The
programme will start after the end of Ramadhan.
Oman Ammunitions Production Company, through a
specialised training institute, implements an internal training
programme for trainees on the basic skills and code of ethics
for 45 days after which the trainees will join an external
training programme for five months.
The external training covers the manufacture of
ammunition, control of production, field training on light
ammunitions equipment and tools, as well as maintenance
and operation of equipment.
MUSCAT: Dr Rawya bint Saud al
Busaidiya, Minister of Higher Education,
said that the declaration of the Council
of Ministers to retain the number of seats
allocated for graduates of the general
education diploma (GED) confirms the
constant attention of the wise leadership
of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos to support
the education sector in this generous
country, and his belief that the creation
of conscious and eligible generations has
been always a means and a goal.
It should be noted that the Ministry of Manpower has
signed an agreement with Oman Ammunitions Production
Company in April 2015 for the training and employment
of 20 Omanis holders of general education diploma. The
trainees have been sent to Pakistan to attend the external
AMAL AL RIYAMI
June 19: Al Smoud team of
Nizwa Club, in cooperation
with Al Smoud Civil
Theatrical Band, organised a
workshop titled ‘commercial
photography’ at Falaj Daris
Hall on Friday. Organised as
part of the third Al Smoud
Ramadhan Forum, the
workshop was conducted by
photographer Mahmoud bin
Said al Aghbari. More than 27
photographers attended it.
Al Aghbari gave
photographers some tips
they could use in commercial
photography. He spoke
about the difference
between amateur and
Al Aghbari told them
about the skills a commercial
photographer ought to
acquire. “It is important to
preserve all your artwork,
which speaks about your
talent,” he said.
He explained the three
stages of photography:
pre-production, which is
the agreement between
the photographer and the
client, and the way ideas are
processed. The agreement
should be satisfactory to
both parties, he said.
The second stage is
production, which deals with
the implementation process.
It includes photographs or
videos that have been shot
at the site, said Al Aghbari.
Dr Abdullah bin Mohammed al
Sarmi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of
Higher Education, said that the number
of scholarships for the academic year
(2016/2017) are 29,359 seats, of them
17,730 seats in government institutions
of higher education in the Sultanate, and
9,638 seats in the internal scholarships,
along with 1,643 seats in the external
scholarships, divided into 143 external
scholarships Group A, and 1,500 external
scholarships Group B.
He added that there are 10
scholarships for the Omani Experts
Programme, in addition to 62 external
grants from the friendly countries, as
well as 174 scholarships for the disabled
students, 10 of them at SQU, 158 at the
colleges of higher technology, and 6 at
the Sharia Sciences College, adding that
50 scholarships have been dedicated to
the disabled students at the private higher
education institutions within the internal
scholarship programs. — ONA
M O N DAY l J U N E 2 0 l 2 0 1 6
Climate Affairs Ministry,
PDO sign MoU
PDO, Oman Air partner
on job opportunities
in May rises
0.56 per cent
MUSCAT: The Sultanate’s total crude
oil and condensates production
during May 2016 stood at 30,994,904
barrels, a daily average by 999,836
barrels, constituting a rise by 0.56 per
cent compared to the daily production
during April 2016 when calculating
the daily average, according to the
monthly report published by the
Ministry of Oil and Gas.
The total quantities of crude oil
exported abroad during May 2016
stood at 26,939,210 barrels, a daily
average of 869,007 barrels, comprising
a decline by 10.45 per cent compared
to April 2016 when calculating the
The report said that while the
imported quantities by China still
constitute the chunk of the Omani
exported crude oil (60 per cent), it
still decreased by 4.61 per cent for the
second successive month compared to
the previous month.
In terms of major countries that
imported Omani crude oil, China
was followed by USA (14.02 per cent),
Japan (13.54 per cent), India (3.76 per
cent) and Taiwan (3.80 per cent).
The report added that the price of
crude oil for the reference oil round
the world witnessed an increase
during May 2016. It continued its
upward trend for the settlement price
in April 2016; up by more than $4 per
barrel compared to the settlement
price in April 2016. The average price
of West Texas crude grade in New
York touched $47.27 per barrel in
April 2016, showing a rise with $5.26 a
barrel. The average price of North Sea
Brent grade reached $47.65 a barrel,
an increase of $4.32 per barrel over
SUSTAINABLE JOBS: The agreement will help training
opportunities for Omanis in cabin and ground staff positions
Environment and Climate Affairs signed
a Memorandum of Understanding
(MoU) with Petroleum Development
Oman (PDO) for mutual cooperation
and exchange of best experiences
and practices on services and process
development and improvement to
aid the achievement of sustainable
The MoU was signed by Mohammed
bin Salim al Toobi, Minister of
Environment and Climate Affairs and
Raoul Restucci, Managing Director of
Al Toobi stated that the Ministry
seeks to develop its services in line
with its vision, mission, values
and programmes for continuous
development through the adoption of
best practices for quality management
to raise the level of customer satisfaction
and achieve the interests of the citizens
and residents. He added that the
Ministry is doing its utmost to protect
the environment, conserve the natural
resources and provide all available
resources to ensure the provision of high
quality services to customers in order to
achieve sustainable development.
PDO Managing Director Raoul
Restucci said: “This agreement will
consolidate and build on the already
excellent working relationship PDO has
with the Ministry.
management methodology, which
centres on the organisation’s ability to
reduce waste in its operations and to
identify practices that add value for the
In this regard, Raoul Restucci said
that “Lean has transformed PDO into
a more streamlined and productive
organisation and sharing our experience
and best practice will undoubtedly help
MECA in its important and valuable
The MoU shall enable the Ministry
to embrace “Lean” principles in a
comprehensive manner and through
the application of a wide range of
practices and training programmes
for its employees, in addition to the
implementation of a number of “Lean”.
MUSCAT: Petroleum Development
Oman (PDO) and Oman Air yesterday
joined forces to create 400 jobs for
young Omanis at the new Muscat
The two companies signed a
(MoU) committing PDO to support the
training of the job-seekers in a variety of
cabin and ground staff positions, along
with the upskilling of a further 100
existing Oman Air customer service
The successful completion of the
internationally accredited vocational
courses will lead to guaranteed full-time
positions with the National Carrier in
customer relations and ramp services.
The agreement, which was signed by
PDO Managing Director Raoul Restucci
and Oman Air Chief Executive Officer
Paul Gregorowitsch, was forged as part
of the drive to support His Majesty’s call
for sustainable jobs.
Restucci said: “As part of our National
Objectives programme to create job
and training opportunities for Omanis,
PDO is going beyond our natural
boundaries of the oil and gas sector to
support economic diversification and
“PDO is proud to support His
Majesty’s call to create sustainable
jobs and will be working even harder
in the future, both on our own and in
collaboration with other organisations,
to reach that goal.
“Despite the oil price environment,
launched as part of Ramadhan
MUSCAT: Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah
Resort & Spa in partnership with Dar
Al Atta’a recently launched a Ramadhan
programme titled “Hand-in-Hand”. The
month-long programme showcases a
series of events and activities that would
bring together families and friends in
the spirit of Ramadhan.
Last weekend, the launch activity
dubbed ‘Achievement and Corporate
Social Responsibility Day’ was a bazaar
and exhibition held at the resort’s Al
The two-day event was held in
partnership with Injaz Oman, a nonprofit, NGO driven by Oman’s private
sector. Through strategic partnerships
with Oman’s business and education
sectors, and with the help of qualified
and dedicated volunteers, Injaz
delivers educational programmes on
entrepreneurial and leadership skills
aimed at inspiring and educating future
The event featured 52 creative
students, entrepreneurs and home
businesses showcasing their products
and services to the public. This initiative
has allowed entrepreneurs to interact
with the visitors introducing their
products and services. All the nonprofit organisations are supported and
sustained by Injaz Oman.
“It is a privilege to partner with Dar
Al Atta’a during Ramadhan. This is the
fourth year that we are hosting such
activities and we are truly happy with
the attendance. We look forward to
more support and participation from
visitors for Qaranqashow and the rest of
the ‘Hand-in-Hand’ programme series
in the next two weekends,” said Mark
Kirk, Area General Manager and Hotel
Manager of the resort.
Today, the featured activity of
“Hand-in-Hand” is the traditional
Qaranqashow. Children can look
forward to an evening of fun games
and lots of sweets at the Al Mazaar
Souk from 8 pm onwards. The public
is cordially invited to attend this
traditional occasion to celebrate with
their families and children.
we continue to ramp up our In-Country
Value drive and ensure Omanis are
equipped with the skills and talents
to forge rewarding careers, either in
our industry or other sectors of the
Gregorowitsch said: “Oman Air’s
partnership with PDO demonstrates
the airline’s continuing commitment to
the Sultanate’s policy of Omanisation.
The overwhelming response to the
programme and the progress made
in training have given us very positive
feedback. We are pleased and proud to
be working together to deliver training
that will enable Omani citizens to pursue
meaningful and rewarding careers.
“Oman Air takes seriously the
responsibility to employ as many
Omani citizens as possible and provide
them with rewarding careers and career
development opportunities. Raising
the skills and experience bases of the
Omani workforce have always been the
focal point of our business. Oman Air
will increase the percentage of Omani
citizens it employs to 63 per cent in
2016, in line with its commitment to the
Sultanate’s policy of Omanisation.
“Not only will this benefit Oman
Air and the broader aviation sector in
Oman, but it will also help the trainees
make a greater long-term contribution
to the Sultanate and its economic
growth. We look forward to welcoming
the first 120 candidates to their ramp
services training very soon.”
The courses will last for up to 12
months and include a mixture of
technical and on-the-job training.
Those who pass customer service and
ramp service training will gain an
International Air Transport Association
(IATA) diplomas and National
Oman Air and PDO have enjoyed
a long and fruitful association and the
airline is the official contractor for
PDO’s internal flights
World-class waterpark planned in Muscat
June 19: Oman Tourism Development
Company (Omran) has announced
that it will facilitate the development of
Oman’s first world class family waterpark
in Muscat; a key project from the outset
of the National CEO Programme
(NCP). The ground-breaking project,
which is set to be a premiere visitor
destination, has been developed by six
graduates of the NCP – an initiative by
the Public Private Partnership taskforce
(Sharaka), under the patronage of the
Diwan of Royal Court.
The all-Omani team consist of six
c-suite executives; Aisha al Kharusi,
Eng Adnan al Alawi, Dr Ali Mustafa al
Lawati, Badar al Hashmi, Ali al Lawati
and including former Omran Chief
Operating Office, Ali al Rasbi, who is
now the CEO of a leading oil and gas
The team come from a range of
Oman’s leading corporate including the
financial sector, oil and gas, aviation,
telecom and tourism.
The team worked on the concept for
a year — spending over 5,000 hours on
the development of a detailed business
plan that included extensive financial
modelling and stakeholder research.
The findings supported the team’s
outcome that the project can generate
significant private investment and, on
completion, will generate extremely
profitable returns for shareholders.
Dr Ali Qassim Jawad al Lawati,
Adviser for Studies and Research to the
Diwan of Royal Court, Chairman of the
Advisory Committee to the National
CEO Programme said: “I would like to
congratulate the graduates from The
National CEO Programme Cohort One
team for their exceptional deliverable
and commitment to the programme.”
James Wilson, CEO of Omran, said:
“Omran’s mission is to seek and support
projects of national significance that can
help position Oman as a leading global
visitor destination. In addition, it is one
of our key performance objectives to
train and develop the future executive
leaders in Omran.
The conference will be the ﬁrst of its kind combining Europe, Middle East and North Africa
IPA to hold EuroMena dialogue
NOUH AL MAMARI
June 19: Sayyid Zaki bin Hilal bin
Saud Al Busaidy, Chief Executive,
Institute of Public Administration,
has revealed that the Institute will
hold a conference on modernising
human resource management and
performance of public institutions on
in October 24-28.
This will be the first of its kind
combining three regions: Europe, the
Middle East and North Africa (EuroMENA).
He said the conference titled
Euro-MENA dialogue will review
experiences in HR management and
public administration, including
experiences from the Sultanate.
Al Busaidy said that the
conference is being organised by the
Institute of Public Administration
and the University of Aix-Marseille,
France, and the Institute of Public
Administration in Bahrain.
The conference aims to promote
the cooperation and the exchange
of government agencies in Europe
and the Arab region and to provide
the opportunity for specialists and
experts to discuss the practices of
modern management tools.
It also aims to promote capabilities
of young researchers, academics and
managers in the Arab region.
“The conference will focus on
how to consolidate the process of
management in the Arab region, and
the role that Euro-MENA policies
can play for the development of these
human resources”, he mentioned.
The conference includes four
themes. The first is providing the
needed training to the public sector
employees to improve government
performance to build the human
resource policies basis.
The second theme discusses
issues related to employment and
careers, government jobs and skills
It also addresses the methods of
recruitment and the competitive issue
for public sector employees.
The third theme discusses the
human resources and all issues related
to this concern like different attitudes
that influence the work, team work,
etc. The last theme discusses the
Al Busaidy pointed out that
the Institute offers two types of
programmes: public and private. The
private programmes are offered by
the request of an authority to organise
a conference and the Institute works
on the design of frameworks, themes
and identifying lecturers.
The second type is the programmes
offered by the Institute in which
many authorities can join in the same
conference and this comes according
to the requirements of the market.
On training programmes for
job-seekers, Al Busaidy commented
“Previously there was no explicit
provision that enables the Institute
to organise programmes for jobseekers. However, lately, the Institute
was given this permission and there
will be some imitative to facilitate the
process of job-seeking”.
In the current year, there are a
lot of challenges including declining
financial amounts allocated for
training programmes despite the
fact that such crises are not supposed
to influence the training of human
resources as they are entitled to find
solutions and alternatives.
M O N DAY l J U N E 2 0 l 2 0 1 6
Diversiﬁcation plans are
yielding good results
b WhatsApp administrators responsible for content
road to be
MUSCAT: The Supreme Council for
Planning held a meeting yesterday
under the chairmanship of Dr Ali
bin Masoud al Sunaidy, Minister of
Commerce and Industry.
The Council reviewed His Majesty
Sultan Qaboos’ royal blessing for the
national programme for enhancing
the economic diversification, which
comes within the framework of
implementing the 9th five-year plan
implementation has been developed
in cooperation with an international
expertise house to follow up the
performance, implementation and
support provided to enhancing the
targeted economic diversification
sectors at the 9th five-year plan namely
the manufacturing industries, the
transport and logistic services, tourism,
SALALAH: The road and
land transport sector in
Dhofar Governorate is
endeavoring to facilitate
networks and linking rural
areas with urban centre
with the aim of developing
the sectors of agriculture,
tourism, trade and industry.
by Engineer Said bin
Directorate General of
Roads and Land Transport
in Dhofar Governorate.
Among the most important projects currently
under construction is the
Taqa-Mirbat dual carriageway, a 36-km dualized road
which starts from Madinat
Al Haq roundabout in the
Wilayat of Taqa and ends
at the gateway of Mirbat
city. It has five flyovers, an
underpass, a bridge to the
south of Wadi Darbat and a
roundabout at the junction
connecting the dual carriageway and the one-lane
road, the cost of the project
is estimated at RO 40.5
million and expected to be
completed in March 2018,
the official said. — ONA
fisheries, mining and the enablers
sectors, such as the labour market and
The programme will start with a
number of intensified seminars in which
experts from the public organisations,
the private sector, the civil society
organisations and all stakeholders will
The seminars will cover details and
will decide the responsibilities, the
resources, and the financial allocation
for implementation, the timetable
for implementation and the accurate
the status of expenditure on the
development budget for the ministries
and governmental units with relation
development projects and compliance
with the ceiling for expenditure during
the financial year 2016.
restructuring plan for the water and
sanitary drainage sector, as well as the
solid waste sector in the Sultanate.
The plan aims at adopting a national
policy based on the shifting to a new
organisational structure that enhances
the efficiency of the use of natural
resources, providing better service to
customers and ensuring better response
to demand for water.
The plan also aims at promoting the
management of the solid wastes and
preserving environment by involving
the private sector in collecting, recycling
and treatment of wastes on proper
The meeting also discussed a number
of other issues for which the Council
took necessary decisions.
CAS Nizwa, Health Services
Directorate sign MoU
AMAL AL RIYAMI
June 19: Within the framework of joint cooperation between
the Faculty of Applied Sciences in Nizwa and the Directorate
General of Health Services in Al Dakhiliyah Governorate,
a memorandum of understanding was signed recently to
exchange experiences and gain mutual benefit. The MoU
will enable the use of the services and expertise available on
both sides bringing a positive impact on everyone’s health,
social and educational aspects.
Dr Said bin Khalaf al Nabhani, Dean of the College and Dr
Saleh bin Saif al Hinai, Director General of Health Services
in Al Dakhiliyah Governorate, signed the memorandum at
the Faculty of Applied Sciences in Nizwa in the presence of a
number of officials from both sides.
The memorandum covers several common aspects
such as the provision of health services within the college,
implementation of awareness and educational programmes,
participate in joint educational activities, contribute to
the preparation of documentaries films and design of
advertising and health posters besides providing possible
consultations by the parties. It also includes creating a
supportive environment for health within the college.
They formed a working group for each side to oversee the
implementation of the memorandum and the stages.
Following the signing of the memorandum, many
of the organisational aspects of the application of this
memorandum, dates of regular meetings and ways to evaluate
the progress of the MoU were addressed. Everyone assured
on the need to prepare a timetable for the implementation of
the aspects of cooperation covered by the memorandum. In
addition to the importance of holding regular meetings to
evaluate the return on educational activities that are carried
The Faculty of Applied Sciences in Nizwa had previously
signed memorandums of understanding with other
government institutions in Al Dakhiliyah.
FROM PAGE 1
Article 30 and 31 of the basic statute of Oman says any citizen of the country has the freedom
of the press, printing and publishing which are within the law. These articles prohibit anything
that is slanderous, including gossip or messages that are against national security, human rights
and personal freedom. All other related laws fall within these broad categories.
The circulation of any message, image or audio clip on the social media, including WhatsApp,
is punishable under Section 19 of the Cybercrime Law, which criminalises the publication or
possession of any material disturbing public order. The section also covers racism and xenophobia.
The number of cyber crimes has dropped in the country. An ROP wing which is alert to
incidences of crimes involving ICT devices has helped bring down cyber crimes by 30 per cent last
year, according to the statistics released by the authorities. Oman has passed two new legislations
to address computer and Internet-related crimes: Electronic Transactions Law and Cybercrime
Law. They have helped in checking offences such as the publication of material affecting public
Thousands protest US bases on Japan’s Okinawa
Pro-democracy singer’s concert cancelled
Hong Kong pro-democracy singer Denise Ho’s concert was cancelled on
Sunday. She spoke at the free concert after Lancome, the face-cream company
owned by French cosmetics giant L’Oreal, cancelled the concert featuring Ho in
M O N DAY l J U N E 2 0 l 2 0 1 6
ANGERED BY ATTACKS: About 65,000 people gathered in the Okinawa prefectural capital of Naha to mark the death of a 20-year-old woman
TOKYO: Anger against crimes
committed by US military personnel
prompted tens of thousands of
demonstrators to rally on Okinawaa on
Sunday to demand that the US Marine
Corps withdraw its forces from the
About 65,000 people gathered in the
Okinawa prefectural capital of Naha to
mark the death of a 20-year-old woman,
who was allegedly raped and killed by a
former US marine in late April.
A message from her father was read
out at the rally.
“Why did it have to be my daughter?
Why did she have to be killed?”the father
“So as not to have another victim, the
people in the [Okinawa] prefecture can
unite and make it possible for all bases
(on the island) to be removed,” read the
Suzuyo Takazato, a leader of
Okinawa Women Act Against Military
Violence, recalled rapes and murders of
local women by US soldiers before the
1972 reversion of Okinawa to Japanese
administration from US occupation.
“Even after the reversion, similar
incidents took place,” Takazato said.
“How can we put into action our
sentiments that no further incidents like
this should occur?”
Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga
attended the gathering organised by
Demonstrators hold placards that read ‘Withdraw Marine Corps’ during a rally against the US military presence in Naha, Okinawa prefecture’ on Sunday. — AFP
local political parties and business and
Many participants held a sign that
read “Our anger has reached the limit,” in
reference to a series of crimes committed
by US military-linked personnel.
In early June, a US sailor was nabbed
for suspected drunk driving after
driving on the wrong side of the road
and colliding with two vehicles, injuring
In March, a US serviceman was
arrested for allegedly raping a Japanese
woman at a hotel in Naha, while she was
visiting Okinawa. He was later indicted.
On Sunday, the protesters also
called for Japan and the United States
to abandon the construction of a new
US military base in northern Okinawa,
which would take over the functions of
US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma,
located in the middle of residential areas
on the island.
In 1996, the US and Japan agreed to
Three dead, four missing in Indonesian landslides, floods
Soldiers search for landslide victims at Caok village in Purworejo, Central Java province,
Indonesia, on Sunday. — Reuters
JAKARTA: At least three people died and four were missing
after heavy rain and landslides hit parts of Indonesia’s
Central Java province on the weekend.
A landslide in Kebumen district left three villagers
missing, the national disaster agency said.
Landslides also occurred in Banjarnegara district after
heavy rain since Saturday.
on MH370 search
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will host
a two-day special meeting to discuss
the next course of action in the search
for the missing flight MH370 that
disappeared more than two years ago,
state media reported.
The meeting of senior officials
from Malaysia, China and Australia, is
scheduled for Monday at the federal
government centre in Putrajaya, the
Bernama news agency said.
The three countries are conducting
the search for the missing aircraft that
disappeared on March 8, 2014, nearly an
hour after it took off from Kuala Lumpur
“Top in the agenda of the meeting
is on the future direction of the search
operation for MH370,” deputy transport
minister Abdul Aziz Kaprawi was quoted
by Bernama as saying.
The Beijing-bound aircraft with 239
people aboard was believed to have
crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.
Searchers have yet to find the main
wreckage, although several pieces of
debris believed to be part of the plane
have been recovered during the past
The search has so far covered 105,000
square kilometres of the 120,000-squarekilometre seafloor search zone. — dpa
A resident walks past a car at a flooded area during heavy rain in Huangshan, Anhui Province
of China, on Sunday. — Reuters
“The villagers were removing soil that blocked a road
when another landslide fell and buried three villagers. A
landslide in a nearby area also buried two houses and an
early school facility,” agency Spokesman Sutopo Purwo
The rising Bogowonto River in Purworejo district
inundated six villages, causing one villager to be dragged
“A rescue operation is still underway to search for the
missing villager and evacuated those affected by the flood,”
Heavy rain is expected to occur in many parts of
Indonesia for the next two days. In China, heavy rain caused
floods in Huangshan, Anhui Province, on Sunday. — dpa
Out on a Lim: Taiwan hard-rocker
finds transition to parliament tough
LONDON: After two decades in make-up
fronting one of Asia’s biggest heavy metal
bands, Freddy Lim is finding the transition to
the more formal surroundings of the Taiwanese
parliament harder than expected.
Six months after being elected legislator in
Taipei’s 5th District, the long-haired political
activist and lead singer of Chthonic is still
trying to get his new colleagues to overlook his
“weird” appearance in parliament.
“It’s not just that I was shocked, I think the
entire system and the office and the people
in the parliament were shocked,” Lim said of
his political arrival before the Metal Hammer
Golden Gods awards in London this week.
Chthonic’s music often focuses on Taiwan’s
identity, with graphic music videos such as
2013 hit ‘Supreme Pain for the Tyrant’.
But he told the London crowd after picking
up the Global Metal Band award that he now
channels “the anger from my metal head and co-founder of the political New Power “strong” and therefore effective at tackling
persona into parliament”.
Party, said he had found the switch to politics issues, even if they impacted on his music.
The human rights campaigner, former more difficult than expected.
“I just can’t tour like I used to,” the 40-yearchairman of Taiwan’s Amnesty International
However, he believed rock stars were old singer said. — Reuters
close Futenma to ease islanders’ anger
after a 12-year-old local schoolgirl was
raped by three US servicemen. Despite
massive local opposition, the two
governments have tried to build new
US military facilities in exchange for the
The project would cost Japanese
taxpayers more than 1 trillion yen ($9.6
billion), according to analysts in Tokyo
A recent poll conducted by the
island’s Ryukyu Shimpo newspaper
showed about 84 per cent of Okinawans
opposed the construction in a coastal
area of Nago city.
Around half of the 53,000 US military
personnel in Japan are stationed on
Okinawa, 1,600 kilometres south-west
of Tokyo, which is less than 1 per cent of
the country’s total land mass.
Okinawans felt displeased on Sunday
after the US Embassy in Tokyo issued a
statement, saying, “Even demonstrations
[on Okinawa] intended to be peaceful
can turn confrontational and escalate
The rally was “precisely opposite to
violent behaviour,” MorimasaGoya, a
local business leader, was quoted by
Ryukyu Shimpo as saying before the
“The US side failed to understand the
gravity of the situation. I want them to
come and see it.” — dpa
on fishing boats,
The foreign ministry in Beijing
launched a strong protest over what
it termed the Indonesian navy’s
harassment of Chinese fishermen. It
said several Indonesian naval ships
opened fire on the boats in a disputed
BEIJING: China accused Indonesia on Sunday of
firing on its fishermen and injuring one of them, in the
latest flare-up of tensions between the two nations in
the South China Sea. The foreign ministry in Beijing
launched a strong protest over what it termed the
Indonesian navy’s harassment of Chinese fishermen.
It said several Indonesian naval ships opened fire
on the boats in a disputed fishing ground on Friday.
One crew member was injured, it said without
giving details, while another fishing boat and seven
crew were detained.
“China strongly protests and condemns such
excessive use of force,” ministry Spokeswoman Hua
Chunying was quoted as saying in a statement carried
by the official Xinhua news agency.
The agency said the incident took place in a
“traditional Chinese fishing ground” where the two
countries have overlapping maritime claims.
Indonesia’s actions violated international laws,
Hua was quoted as saying. “China urges Indonesia to
stop taking action that escalates tension, complicates
issues or affects peace and stability,” she said.
Beijing late last month lodged a strong protest
after the Indonesian navy seized a Chinese boat in
waters near Indonesia’s Natuna Islands for allegedly
The two sides have clashed before over the islands
on the southwestern edge of the South China Sea.
In March Chinese coastguards rammed a Chinese
boat detained near the Natunas and helped it escape
as the Indonesians towed the vessel to shore.
Jakarta responded furiously, lodging a protest and
summoning China’s top envoy in the country.
China asserts authority over almost all the South
China Sea despite partial counter-claims from several
Southeast Asian nations.
Unlike its neighbours Indonesia does not dispute
ownership of reefs or islets in the sea. But it objects
to Beijing’s claims because they overlap with its own
exclusive economic zone around the Natunas.
Indonesia has launched a tough crackdown on
illegal fishing in recent months, sinking foreign boats
after removing the crews. — AFP
M O N DAY l J U N E 2 0 l 2 0 1 6
PANAMA LEAK: Parties not convinced as PM not directly involved
Oppn may be divided
over naming Sharif
ISLAMABAD: Unity among opposition parties following the Panama Leaks
may be dented if the PPP and PTI continue to insist on including the name of
Nawaz Sharif in the ToRs for the judicial
probe as at least four political parties are
not convinced on insisting on this very
point when the premier is not directly
named in the Panama Papers.
Additionally, the re-appearance of
Dr Tahirul Qadri on the political chessboard and growing chances of 2014-like
protest and sit-in politics by the PTI after Ramadhan to force Nawaz Sharif to
quit on the Panama Papers issue, may
also cause cracks among the opposition
Sources said that Jamaat-e-Islami,
MQM, Awami National Party and Qaumi Watan Party have their reservations
about the Nawaz-centric ToRs but for
the sake of the joint oppositions’ platform, none of them is making it an issue
right now. However, the dissenting voices have started coming out in public.
Some of these political parties during
the oppositions’ meetings held recently
have said that instead of making it a
Nawaz Sharif-centric case, focus should
be on the principle of probing all those
named in the Panama Papers or in other
offshore companies or in cases of bank
loan write off and ill-gotten foreign
Sources said that it was suggested by
one of the political parties’ representatives to leave it to the Judicial Commission to decide if it wants to probe family
members of any person named in the
Panama Papers including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who has not been
directly named in the Panama Papers.
This suggestion from one of the opposition parties was, however, strongly
rejected by the vocal and influential PPP
and PTI representatives, who say that
Nawaz Sharif ’s name must be included
in the ToRs.
“For the sake of the oppositions’
unity, we are not making it an issue,” an
opposition voice included in the ToRs
Some of these political
parties during the
oppositions’ meetings held
recently have said that
instead of making it a Nawaz
Sharif-centric case, focus
should be on the principle of
probing all those named
committee said, adding that the Panama
Papers have become more an issue of
political point-scoring than pursuing
the agenda of checking corruption.
Aftab Sherpao who is though no
more a member of the opposition
committee, still occasionally interacts with the opposition parties on the
issue reportedly also supports the inclusion of only those names in the ToRs
which are reflected in the Panama Papers.
MQM’s Farooq Sattar, however, opt-
ed to express his views in public. In a
TV show on Friday, Farooq Sattar said
that it should not look like as if the ToRs
are being formulated only to target one
Initially, Aitzaz Ahsan had indicated
that the opposition may not insist on including the name of Nawaz Sharif in the
ToRs but his statement caused a strong
reaction particularly from within the
PTI and among some PPP leaders from
Such a strong reaction from within
the PTI and PPP led to their strict stance
on the inclusion of Nawaz Sharif ’s name
in the ToRs. On Monday, the opposition
parties’ representatives will hold a press
conference to explain how the government is non-serious in the formulation
of consensus ToRs for a judicial commission.
The government-opposition parleys
on ToRs are facing a deadlock mainly
because of the government’s reluctance
to include Nawaz Sharif ’s name in the
ToRs and the opposition’s insistence
that the probe should start from Nawaz
Afghan refugees are ‘forgotten’, says UN
TEHRAN: Displaced Afghans had
already been “forgotten” by the
international community before they
began arriving in Europe en masse last
year, UN refugee chief Filippo Grandi
said on Saturday in Iran.
Grandi, who on Friday began his
first regional tour as the new UN
High Commissioner ahead of World
Refugee Day on Monday, said his trip
was focused on Afghan refugees. “I
decided that this year, my first year as
High Commissioner, I would use that
opportunity to highlight the unresolved
plight of Afghan refugees,” he said in a
joint press conference with Iran’s Deputy
Interior Minister Hossein Zolfaghari.
“Afghan refugees unfortunately have
been forgotten by the international
community,” said Grandi, who will mark
World Refugee Day in Afghanistan.
“It is only when they started
arriving in Europe together with many
other refugees that the international
community suddenly remembered.”
A record 1.25 million Syrian, Iraqi,
Criminals’ data to go
online in KP province
PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province police in
Pakistan have decided to display data of criminals who are
involved in heinous crimes on its website. The move was made
to prevent recidivism as the police fear some criminals will
resume illegal activities soon after they are released from jails.
The step would provide the public with a database of
criminals which could be accessed online. In addition, they
could also help the police identify the criminals with the help of
the database. If people have fallen victim to a crime, they could
help the police identify the criminal through the database.
On Sunday, IGP Nasir Khan Durrani said they had decided
to put the pictures and all relevant information about criminals
involved in heinous crimes on their official website to make it
easier to identify them.
He said the data of those criminals and terrorists, whose
name had been published in the police red book, were not
“In the red book, we have mentioned the names of wanted
terrorists and criminals who have a head money on their arrest,”
he said. “We are going to place the bio data and pictures of
those people who were previously involved in heinous crimes,
arrested by the police and sent to jails.”
The IGP added, “If these people engaged in criminal
activities again then the data available online would help the
public identify them and inform police about it.”
The official added the decision was taken in a meeting after
the murder of trader leader Haji Haleem Jan, who was killed by
extortionists in Qissa Khwani Bazaar.
Afghan and other migrants have entered
Europe since January 2015.
Iran currently hosts more than three
million Afghan immigrants, one million
of them legally.
Grandi urged the international
community to increase their support for
Tehran’s refugee protection programmes
because “unless we help refugees” more
they will look elsewhere. “We have seen
this happening last year with hundreds
of thousands of Afghans moving toward
Europe,” he said. — AFP
Afghan minister to visit
Islamabad for border talks
ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of
Information Technology of Pakistan is
establishing 150 women empowerment
centres at Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal as part
of ICTs for Girls project.
These centres are being equipped
with state of the art computer labs and
broadband infrastructure. At these
centres thousands of young girls from
disadvantaged background will be
trained by Microsoft led programme.
The Digital Skills programme
by Microsoft comprises 4 Cs
including computing, coding, and
communication and coaching to
increase their employability potential.
Under this programme first phase
of training by Microsoft is completed,
through which 100 Master Trainers
from all across Pakistan have been
As part of Phase I, establishment of
computer labs with allied broadband
infrastructure for 50 empowerment
centres are in process to be placed.
Minister for IT, Anusha Rahman
said the government is committed to
an all-inclusive society with enhanced
empowerment of women through a
well-structured enabling environment
that could guarantee their financial
“We are conscious of our social
responsibility. Through technological
capacity building, the women and girls
under this programme shall prove to
be great asset for the economic engine
of the country.” MD PBM Barrister
Abid Waheed Sheikh said vsteps
have been taken for the up-gradation
of Women Empowerment Centres
during last three years.
An Afghan military checkpoint on the outskirts of Tarin Kot, the capital of
southern Uruzgan province. — AFP
Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat
Khalil Karzai, will visit Islamabad
on Monday for talks to remove
differences over the border
management issues, the Foreign
Ministry in Islamabad said.
Clashes had erupted along
the Torkham, the busiest border
crossing, between the troops of the
two countries on June 12 that caused
casualties on both sides, Xinhua
news agency reported.
Both sides have now declared
ceasefire and the border was opened
on Saturday after its six days closure.
However, both countries have
deployed troops and tanks along the
Pakistan Foreign Affairs Adviser
Sartaj Aziz had invited Afghan
National Security Adviser Hanif
Atmar, and Foreign Minister Syed
Salahuddin Rabbani to visit Pakistan
to discuss the border issues and to
remove any gaps in communication
Afghanistan has accepted the
talks offer but decided to send an
Afghan delegation led by Deputy
Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil
Karzai to Islamabad.
The foreign ministry said
the Afghan delegation will
visit Islamabad on Monday for
“discussions on the issues relating to
Torkham border crossing as well as
other matters pertaining to border
“Pakistan welcomes the visit
and looks forward to meaningful
deliberations through a constructive
engagement between the two sides
with a view to promote bilateral
relations as well as peace and stability
of our two countries and the region,”
a foreign ministry statement said.
Pakistan and Afghanistan have
nearly 2,600 km border, mostly
porous, and the militants take
advantage of the loose control.
Museum of National History home of vast collection
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Museum
of National History (PMNH) at Garden
Avenue is home to a vast collection of
fossils and relics of eons past. A family
trip to the museum in Ramazan can be
an informative and captivating way to
get past the hunger pangs. It presents
a great learning experience for children
and is enjoyable for adults as well.
PMNH was established in 1976
under the patronage of the Pakistan
Science Foundation. It has four
principal divisions — botanical
sciences, earth sciences, zoological
sciences and public services.
The three science divisions
are engaged in collection and
identification, and research activities
pertaining to plants, animals, fossils and
mineral resources of Pakistan while the
latter is responsible for mass education
and popularisation of natural history
through various displays, exhibits and
There are five display galleries the
bio gallery, Tethys gallery, gemstones
gallery, eco gallery, and the Palaeo
gallery which provide information
about unique eras and subjects of the
natural history of the area that is now
These galleries provide information
about flora and fauna of Pakistan, from
the seashores to alpine heights of
Pakistan, salt range, ocean life, minerals
and rocks, fossils and skeletons of
Ranking evaluated on the basis of 9 parameters
Pakistan 56th among world’s best
LAHORE: Pakistan is ranked
56th among the 60 best countries
declared by Wharton School, BAV
Consulting, and the US News and
World Report for the year 2016.
The ranking was evaluated
on the basis of nine parameters
each given a percentage weight to
evaluate overall ranking.
These parameters include
adventure weight 3.24 per cent,
citizenship weight 16.95 per cent,
cultural influence weight 12.93
per cent, entrepreneurship 17.42
per cent, heritage 3.17 per cent,
and movers 10 per cent, open for
business 11.99 per cent, power 7.42
per cent and quality of life 16.89
A set of 65 country attributes —
terms that can be used to describe
a country and that are also relevant
to the success of a modern nation
— were identified.
Attributes by nation were
presented in a survey of more than
16,000 people from across the
globe where participants assessed
how closely they associated one
with the other.
Each country was scored on
each of the 65 country attributes
based on a collection of individual
represents a version of BAV’s
BrandAsset Valuator Model of
Brand Building, a metric developed
by BAV that is predictive of a
country’s future growth in terms of
gross domestic product purchasing
power parity per capita.
The top ranked country was
Germany followed by Canada.
India was at number 22 and China
at number at 17. Scores are based
A set of 65 country
attributes — terms that
can be used to describe a
country and that are also
relevant to the success
of a modern nation —
on scale of 1-10. In adventure
Pakistan’s score was 0.1 in fun, 0.4
in scenic beauty, 0.1 in pleasant
climate and 0.2 in friendliness.
In this parameter it was ranked
58 out of 60 countries.
In the parameter about
citizenship it was again ranked
58 and its scores in different
attributes of citizenship was 0.3
on respect of property rights,
0.3 for progressiveness, 0.3 for
trust worthiness, 0.4 for gender
equality, 0.3 for well distributed
political power, 0.2 for care about
environment, 0.3 for care about
human rights and 0.2 for religious
On cultural influence it ranked
55 based on its scores on different
attributes of cultural influence
that included prestigious 0.5
points, culturally significant in
terms of entertainment 0.3 points,
fashionable 0.2 points, trendy 0.3
points, modern 0.1 points, on
influential culture 0.8 points and
on happiness 0.1 points.
In entrepreneurship the ranking
was better at 47 out of 60 based
on scores in different attributes of
various animals, precious and semiprecious stones, information about
earth sciences, zoological and botanical
sciences, and prehistoric wildlife.
Dinosaurs, ice-age animals, volcanoes,
the solar system, whales, elephants,
and giraffes are all on display.
It is a fascinating journey to go back
in time to rediscover. — Internews
ILO to open
NAY PYI TAW: Myanmar has
requested the International
Labour Organisation (ILO)
to open a country office in the
Southeast Asian country, the
Confederation of the Trade
Union of Myanmar (CTUM)
said on Sunday.
“Only if the request is granted,
can the problems of workers be
acted on extensively,” Chairman
of the CTUM U Maung Maung
said, expecting the appointment
of an ILO country director by
the end of this year. The ILO
currently has a liaison office
and an office focusing on the
elimination of child soldiers in
Myanmar, Xinhua news agency
M O N DAY l J U N E 2 0 l 2 0 1 6
WORRYING IN EUROPE
he UN’s refugee chief says a worrying “climate of xenophobia” has taken hold in
Europe as the continent struggles with the biggest influx of migrants since World
Speaking in Tehran at the start of a regional tour, UN High Commissioner for
Refugees Filippo Grandi said European leaders needed to do more to coordinate
migration policies and to combat negative stereotypes about refugees.
“Refugees don’t bring danger to us, they flee from dangerous places,” said
Grandi, who took office in January.
National leaders need to better explain that immigration “in fact contributes to
the development of societies,” he said.
“Those who do the opposite, who stir up public opinion against refugees and
migrants, have a responsibility in creating a climate of xenophobia that is very
worrying in today’s Europe,” he said.
“It provides a negative example to countries further away.”
Protracted conflicts — in particular Syria’s five-year civil war — have prompted
an unprecedented wave of migration to the continent, with a record 1.25 million
Syrian, Iraqi, Afghan and other migrants entering Europe since January 2015.
The influx has sparked a backlash in some countries, including in
Austria where the anti-immigration Freedom Party nearly won the presidency
last month and in Hungary where authorities have sealed the border with Serbia
with razor wire and made illegal border crossing a criminal offence punishable
Grandi said it was unfortunate that decisions taken last year by the European
Union to better handle the influx “were not implemented”.
It was, he said, “a missed opportunity” because “each country made decisions
separately. Borders closed.”
He called for “a more collective collegial system of managing refugee flows
based on solidarity and burden-sharing
between the states, as opposed to trying to
do it by themselves with the result that only
some countries receive a large number of
refugees and others close the borders.”
Grandi also called for greater efforts to The influx of migrants
help those displaced by conflict within their
has sparked a backlash
“Two-thirds of the world’s displaced are in some countries,
displaced internally,” he said.
including in Austria
“We have millions of them in Afghanistan,
in Syria, in Iraq, in Yemen... they are the most
difficult to reach because they are usually in Freedom Party nearly
the midst of wars therefore it’s dangerous to won the presidency
Grandi, an Italian diplomat long active last month and in
in UN humanitarian work, was due in Hungary where
Afghanistan on Monday to mark World
authorities have sealed
Refugee Day. He said he wanted to use his
first year in office to highlight the plight of the border with Serbia.
that country’s refugees.
“The Afghan refugee crisis has been
unfortunately forgotten repeatedly in its
history,” he said.
It “only gets remembered when something big happens like September 11 and
now the arrival of Afghans in Europe among hundred of thousands others.”
The root cause is instability in Afghanistan, he said, adding: “That’s why my
first message here is let’s make peace in Afghanistan.”
After meeting with Iranian officials including Foreign Minister Mohammad
Javad Zarif, Grandi praised Tehran’s efforts to assist Afghan refugees.
Iran hosts more than three million immigrants from neighbouring Afghanistan,
a million of them legally.
“The space given to the refugees for assistance, to give them opportunities and
protection, is considerable” he said.
He pointed to a decree from Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
last year allowing all Afghan children to be allowed into schools in the
“There are things that have been done here in Iran that are truly examples for
other countries, like giving access for children to the school system,” Grandi said.
It was “one of the most important gestures that any country has expressed for
refugees anywhere in the world in the past few years.”
Mixing business with terror
The Washington Post was quick to interpret the mogul’s
onald Trump patted himself on the back for being right remark with an online article headlined “Donald Trump
about “radical terrorism”. Hillary Clinton said she would be suggests President Obama was involved with Orlando
happy to use the forbidden phrase.
shooting”. Trump’s retribution was quicker.
She and the man in the White House they both want
He simply revoked the influential daily’s credentials
to replace said they got Osama bin Laden without calling even as the Post tweaked its headline “on its own” to read
him any names. And in far off India, a religious outfit “Donald Trump seems to connect President Obama to
celebrated the Manhattan mogul’s birthday as the ‘saviour Orlando shooting”.
of humanity’ for taking up the fight against terror.
A Post writer, who had literally made a meal of his
The would-be Republican standard bearer was the first column predicting that Trump would never be the
to inject politics into tragedy with a twitter message hours nominee, suggested a total blackout of the “Punisher-inafter a son of immigrant parents from
chief ”, as the New York Times called
Afghanistan massacred 49 people in
the billionaire, choosing news over
cold blood in Orlando in the early
ratings. Oh if not total, at least not
hours of last Sunday, in the worst mass
give him “oodles” of free publicity
shooting in American history.
Trump was the first to inject already worth over $2 billion by
“Appreciate the congrats for being
some counts, the Post writer added
right on radical terrorism; I don’t politics into tragedy with
in the next breath, while the editor
want congrats, I want toughness & a twitter message hours
insisted they would keep covering
vigilance. We must be smart!” Trump
the billionaire “vigorously”.
after a shooter massacred
tweeted, chiding both President
An angry Obama himself called
49 people in Orlando in the Trump’s renewed call to temporarily
Barack Obama and Clinton.
Goaded by Trump, “Crooked early hours of last Sunday,
ban minorities as “dangerous” as he
Hillary”, as he calls his Democratic
uttered the phrase four times but
rival, insisted she’s not afraid to say in the worst mass shooting
asserted: “So, there’s no magic to the
“radical.” “It mattered we got Bin in American history.
phrase ‘radical religion’ .It’s a political
Laden, not what name we called him.”
talking point; it’s not a strategy.”
“I have clearly said we — whether
While some Republican bigwigs
you call it radical militancy or radical
decried their nominee’s remarks
religion, I’m happy to say either,” said
about the minorities and the
the former secretary of state in a clear break from her rival president, John McCain, who lost to Obama in the 2008
turned boss for four years.
presidential election, suggested Obama was “directly
Trump upped the ante a day later in suggesting to Fox responsible” for the mass shooting in Orlando.
News that Obama “doesn’t get it or he gets it better than
Amid heated criticism from Democrats, McCain later
anybody understands — it’s one or the other, and either one issued a statement saying he “misspoke” and that he was
referring to “Obama’s national security decisions, not the
“People cannot, they cannot believe that President president himself ” that led to the rise of IS on his watch.
Obama is acting the way he acts and can’t even mention
Put in a quandary by Trump, the Republicans who are
the words ‘radical terrorism.’ There’s something going on,” opposed to any gun control, agreed to vote in the Senate on
Monday on four competing gun control measures.
US military on Okinawa fights to check stigma of crime
rimes by US troops based on the southern
Japanese island of Okinawa have long
angered residents, who for decades
have claimed the American military
was out of control.
Tens of thousands of islanders rallied
on Sunday after anger was rekindled by
the abuse and murder of a 20-year-old
woman in April. A US civilian base worker
— a former Marine — has been arrested.
In a separate incident earlier this
month a US sailor was detained after
injuring two people in a drink-driving
incident. Statistics do not suggest a
major problem with US military crime
on the sub-tropical island. But the cases
have fuelled persistent irritation at the
intrusive American military presence on
The island hosts about 26,000 US troops,
more than half the total Washington
keeps in all of Japan under a longstanding
security treaty, and residents have long
complained at the disproportionately
heavy US footprint.
Okinawa was the scene of a bloody
battle between Japan and the US in the
waning months of World War II, followed
by a 27-year American occupation that
only ended in 1972 with its reversion to
The US military has gone all out to
condemn the recent incidents and take
measures to avoid further trouble, while
the vast majority of its troops try to avoid
the stigma created by their comrades who
break the law.
The island hosts about
26,000 US troops, more than
half the total Washington
keeps in all of Japan under a
security treaty, and residents
have long complained at the
heavy US footprint.
Worried that more crimes could
jeopardise the alliance, the military
has been quick to express sympathy
with Okinawans and taken steps to
curtail problematic behaviour, such as
restricting alcohol consumption and
imposing a curfew.
“The overwhelming majority of
American service members are lawabiding, upstanding members of this
shared community,” First Lieutenant
George McArthur, a Marine public
affairs officer, said in a written
response to questions.
“There is not an Okinawan and an
American way to view horrific crimes —
only one view, and that is that we are all
repulsed, angry and grieving together.”
Troops have been instructed to stay
away from the venue of Sunday’s protest
in the prefectural capital of Naha out
of respect “and to prevent any possible
conflict”, McArthur said.
“We’re doing everything we can to
support the host nation,” said a serviceman
at an American-style off-base shopping
mall in the beachside town of Chatan near
the sprawling Kadena Air Force Base.
Flight deck crews seen during joint military exercise called Malabar, with the US, Japan
and India participating, off Japan’s southernmost island of Okinawa, Japan.
a a ys s
Leave campaign holding on to its momentum of gain
M O N DAY l J U N E 2 0 l 2 0 1 6
ince prior to the three-day suspension of
campaigning on the EU referendum with the
shocking murder of the MP Jo Cox, the Leave EU
campaign has held its lead in the polls and that
gives them an edge going into the voting, while
putting the Prime Minister David Cameron and
Chancellor George Osborne in a tight spot with
their strong backing of Remain.
After the sad event of last week, campaigning
will gradually intensify leading up to Thursday’s
landmark referendum with four million voters
still undecided. Cameron and Osborne’s defence
of the EU is becoming increasingly shrill.
While Cameron is showing anxiety in
attempting to push people, by his speeches,
into voting to Remain, with outlandish claims
to spread fear, Osborne has threatened rise in
taxes, cuts in public spending and is making
predictions about the state of Britain’s economy
in 15 years’ time with a precision that takes away
In order to get the older voters to back
Remain, Cameron warned that Brexit would put
their state pensions at risk and benefits such as
free bus passes and TV licences and National
Health Services could also be at risk with the
strain caused to public finances.
The former work and pensions minister and
a supporter of Leave, Iain Duncan Smith said it
was a “desperate attempt to bully and frighten the
In response to Cameron’s claim that Britain’s
trade will be badly hit on leaving the Union,
yet another businessman, billionaire Sir James
Dyson commented that was “totally rubbish”.
He said: “When the Remain campaign tells us no
one will trade with us if we leave the EU, sorry, it’s
He added: “Our trade imbalance with Europe
is running at nine billion a month and rising. If
this trend continues, that is £100 billion a year. If,
as David Cameron has suggested, they imposed
a tariff of 10 per cent on us, we will do the same
According to Leave, Osborne and Cameron
have taken a very high risk strategy backed by the
financial power of several multinationals.
But equally, there are an increasing number of
other large national and international companies
and particularly small and medium sized firms
giving support to leave the EU.
As a result, a June survey showed a six-point
lead for Leave.
The Leave camp point out that the main
issue for the Remain side is simply that the EU
is clearly failing.
It can only sell abstractions while ignoring the
much more serious social disruptions that EU
institutions have produced across Europe.
At least both camps agree, to a point, that the
EU is flawed.
The evidence is there with low growth,
The question for those who are undecided is:
can the EU be reformed enough to be workable.
Going by the past, the answer is not very
And if it cannot be reformed enough to follow
through on its often repeated aims of delivering
growth, jobs and stability — with several
countries, including Greece, Spain and Italy
still deep in their struggles — then those who
believe in practicality rather than just in theory
to achieve results, ought to have no trouble voting
against the unsuccessful institution.
Former cabinet minister in Labour
government Lord Mandelson issued a warning
about the effects of a Brexit vote on London: the
effect it would have on the financial district of the
Of course, with his experience of the EU from
inside as a Commissioner, he knows what he’s
But for that very reason his views and those
of other members of the EU elite do not have an
effect on the Leave campaigners.
Mandelson’s comments particularly do not
bother voters in the north of England for whom
immigration is the major issue.
People have reasons to be concerned about
increasing numbers but the one fact that
Remain side should emphasise is that most net
immigration — currently running at a third of a
million a year — is from outside the EU.
Yet, this is a point that the Leave camp do not
appear to take much into account.
They are more wrapped up in the numbers
coming from the EU over which they do not have
control because of the free movement.
A SPRINKLE OF STARS!
US President Barack Obama speaks at the White House Summit in Washington last Tuesday.
f celebrity endorsements are what counts, those wanting Britain to stay
in the EU will have an easy victory in this week’s referendum.
Consumer-friendly actors, pop stars, writers and artists have flocked
to the Remain camp. Sherlock actor Benedict Cumberbatch, history
writer Hilary Mantel, film director Steve McQueen and fashion icon
Vivienne Westwood have joined over 280 other A-listers hitting the
campaign trail for the stayers.
In the big-name stakes, the Leave camp is overwhelmed. Only Roger
Daltry, lead singer with 1960s band The Who, and veteran Hollywood
actor Michael Caine are with Leave. But is there any evidence that
celebrity endorsements really work when it comes to voting.
Or is it a turn-off when the rich and famous step out of character and
become politicians themselves?
Hobbit film-trilogy star Martin Freeman, Cumberbatch’s Sherlock
co-star, is not among the Creative Industries Federation list of the 96
per cent of its members signing a letter on the Remain website.
In the lead up to last year’s general election, Freeman defied those
who think millionaire film stars should stay out of politics. He appeared
in Labour Party television broadcasts.
Former Dr Who star David Tennant, who has also fronted Labour
Party propaganda, is another no-show in the federation’s 282-member
castlist. Labour convincingly lost the last election despite superstar
endorsements that included a televised chat between then leader Ed
Miliband and popular loud-mouthed comedian Russell Brand.
Also conspicuously absent from the federation’s list is former James
Bond persona Sean Connery.
The 85-year-old Edinburgh-born actor, who has helped fund the
Scottish National Party that seeks independence from Britain but is
keen for Britain to stay in the EU, has been accused of meddling in the
politics of a country he left almost half a century ago.
Scottish Labour Party politician Karen Gillon said she was unhappy
with his type of activism. “Perhaps we should have actors who are
working and are resident in Scotland rather than an actor who lives in
Los Angeles,” she told a Scottish newspaper.
Susan Douglas, a former police detective, will be voting to leave the
EU. She thinks that celebrity endorsements from the “luvvies” might be
doing the Remain camp harm because people see them as self-serving.
Independent financial adviser Andrew Morrell, who is committed
to Britain staying in the EU, also ignores blandishments from
people in the entertainment industry.
Mounting pressure unlikely to sway Obama
xasperated US diplomats are in open revolt
over Barack Obama’s Syria policy, but
radical change is unlikely in the twilight of
his presidency. More than 280,000 people
have been killed. Millions more have fled
A relentless drumbeat of cluster bombs,
barrel bombs, chemical bombs, murder,
abuse and torture has turned swaths of
Syria to dust. Humanitarian aid sometimes
drips into the beleaguered cities, but
when it does, President Bashar al Assad’s
government makes sure “punishment”
bombings quickly follow. “The government’s
actions defy all definitions of human
decency,” said one US official.
There are ominous signs the regime is
moving to strangle food production.
In Syria, “you think you’ve reached the
bottom and then you hear a faint scratching
from below,” another official said.
Through it all, the Obama administration
has insisted only Assad — and his sponsors
— can end the madness.
But privately, even senior diplomats
admit that their inability to stop five years
of violence has challenged their conscience.
They say that whatever comes next, Syria
will have left an indelible stain on their years
in public service.
In a deliberately leaked memo, 51 serving
US diplomats have now said “enough,”
insisting that Obama has a moral obligation
to stop the carnage.
To force Assad into real peace
negotiations, they say the 44th president
must launch air strikes against the Syrian
regime. Such a policy, they argue, could
increase the cost of Assad’s intransigence
and perhaps stem the suffering.
The White House has quickly signalled
it is not ready to embark on such a
180 degree shift.
“The president has always been clear
that he does not see a military solution
to the crisis in Syria and that remains the
case,” White House spokeswoman Jennifer
Friedman said in response to the memo.
The White House has stuck fast to a
By leaking the memo, the
diplomats would like Obama
to reconsider his position on
Syria. They might find allies
elsewhere in Washington.
CIA and Pentagon efforts
to keep Syrian opposition
afloat are faltering, even as
progress is made in the fight
against the IS group.
credo — borne from the folly of the Iraq war
— that the United States should not, indeed
cannot, solve all the world’s crises.
Above all Obama has tried to avoid
entanglements in the Middle East,
defining US interests in Syria as part of a
counterterrorism effort to dismantle the IS
That has left his Secretary of State John
Kerry with an unenviable — and probably
impossible — task of negotiating an end to
the broader crisis with little or no leverage.
His counterparts in Moscow or
Damascus know Obama’s reticence well,
and have the upper hand on the ground, so
see little incentive to deal.
For years, diplomat frustration with this
perceived fool’s errand has been building.
Frederic Hof, a former Syria adviser
resigned from the Obama administration in
protest in 2012.
Obama’s policy is “morally vacuous and
politically bankrupt” he said.
It “cruelly and gratuitously leaves
innocent civilians at the mercy of a mass
Today, Assad’s government and it’s
Russian allies are running roughshod over
a ceasefire that Kerry helped broker. Critics
say it is increasingly difficult to tell the
difference between an imperfect ceasefire
and no ceasefire at all.
Similarly, Kerry’s efforts to get Russia to
force Assad to step down have run into the
sand. Russia remains either unwilling or
unable to help.
By leaking the memo in an election
year, the diplomats would like Obama to
reconsider. They might find allies elsewhere
in Washington. CIA and Pentagon efforts to
keep Syria’s opposition afloat are faltering,
even as progress is made in the fight against
the IS group.
Russian aerial assaults on moderate
groups have met no response from
Washington, forcing allies to seek
the protection of larger, better-armed
militant groups, including those linked to Al
Might an administration led by
Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary
Clinton be much more willing to push back
against Syrian government, check Russian
influence and bring America’s vast military
power to bear?
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M O N DAY l J U N E 2 0 l 2 0 1 6
Rajan acted as Congress agent
Continuing his tirade against Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan, BJP’s Rajya Sabha
member Subramanian Swamy on Sunday said Rajan has been acting as a “Congress agent” ever
since the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in May 2014.
DU rejects RTI query over Modi degree
DOUBTFUL: Why Modi’s degree should be regarded as a private affair since Shah and Jaitley had made it public?
NEW DELHI: Citing “privacy” reasons,
Delhi University (DU) has rejected
another RTI query on Prime Minister
Narendra Modi’s degree, sparking
criticism from Delhi Chief Minister
The Right to Information query was
filed by Delhi-based lawyer Mohd Irsad.
“DU, as a matter of policy, seeks to
maintain the privacy of every student as
it holds the data pertaining to a student
in a fiduciary relationship with the
student concerned,” the RTI response
from the university read.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader
Kejriwal, who had alleged earlier that
Modi’s graduation degree was fake,
said Delhi University cannot refuse
the information sought on the prime
This deepens the mystery
“This deepens the mystery around
around PM’s degree. If DU
PM’s degree. If DU feels it is private
feels it is private info, then info, then under RTI Act, DU should
write to PM and seek his permission,” he
under RTI Act, DU should
write to PM and seek his
In April, Kejriwal urged the Central
Information Commission (CIC) to make
public the details of Modi’s educational
ARVIND KEJRIWAL qualifications.
Modi graduated from Delhi
Delhi Chief Minister
University and later did a postgraduation course in Gujarat.
The slowest police
R A K SINGH
June 19: Police of some of the Indian
states may well be putting snails
to shame by their slow and tardy
speed in verifying the antecedents
of citizens for issuance of passports.
At a time and age when police
verification has been dispensed
with for certain category of passport
Passport office has acquired the
dubious distinction of being the
slowest in the country in getting the
police verification done, taking 144
days on average for the job.
Ironically Guwahati RPO has
been able to retain its dubious
distinction of being the slowest one
in police verification year after year,
taking 232 days in 2014-15 and 199
days in 2013-14 against a national
average of 32 days, reveals an official
note of the Ministry of External
Affairs examining the RPOs’ speed
in police verification.
On the brighter side, Hyderabad
RPO has emerged as the fastest
in conducting police verification
for the RPO applicants, doing the
job in plain seven days in 201516, improving its own speed of 16
days for the job in 2014-15 and
surpassing that of some of the faster
RPOs like those of Delhi, Goa and
Indian authorities have fixed a
desired deadline of three weeks or
21 days for police verification of the
passport applicants, but country
was able to achieve a national
average of 32 days for the crucial
stage for issuance of passport in
2015-16, the note revealed adding
that on average India got the police
verification of passport applicants
done in 41 days and 47 days
respectively in 2014-15 & 2013-14.
As per the prevalent norms,
from the police verification
point of view, Indian citizens’
passport applications fall under
three categories with the first one
requiring no police verification
on the strength of a certification
by senior government officials
testifying to his acquaintance with
The second category of applicants
are subjected to police verification
at a later stage after issuance of
passport if his or her application is
accompanied by a general identity
document Aadhar card or Income
Tax ID PAN card along with an
affidavit deposing that he had no
All other passport applicants
have to undergo police verification
prior to the issuance of the crucial
document, which also doubles as
the proof of one’s citizenship
Among the RPOs, which stand
out for faster processing of police
verification are Hydrabad (7 days)
Visakhapatnam (10 days), Goa (12
days), Surat (14 days) Delhi and
Jalandhar (15 days), Chandigrah
(17 days), Thiruvananthpuram
(18 days), Jaipur (19) days and
Dehradun (20 days).
On the darker side of the
spectrum are the RPOs like
Srinagar which took 109 days
on average to conduct the police
verification for each applicant. The
other RPOs which put the snail to
shame by their own slow speed in
police verification were Kolkata (77
days), Jammu (71 days), Pune 65
days, Patna (62 days) and Thane (62
days), the note revealed.
Following Kejriwal’s letter, the CIC
asked the DU to make the graduation
Bharatiya Janata Party President
Amit Shah and Finance Minister Arun
Jaitley then made public Modi’s degrees.
But the AAP immediately alleged
that the degrees shown by them were
Kejriwal on Sunday sought to know
why Modi’s degree should be regarded
as a private affair since Shah and Jaitley
had made it public.
“Didn’t Amit Shah and Jaitleyji say
that degree was genuine and anyone cud
take it from DU?” he asked. — IANS
13 new ministers inducted in Karnataka
BENGALURU: Karnataka Chief
Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday
inducted 13 new ministers in his threeyear-old government, while dropping
an equal number.
administered the oath of office and
secrecy to nine new cabinet ministers
and four ministers of state at a simple
ceremony on the lawns of Raj Bhavan
The nine cabinet ministers
are K Thimmappa, K R Ramesh
Kumar, Basavaraja Rayareddi, Meti
Hullappa Yamanappa, Tanveer Sait,
S S Mallikarjuna, M R Seetharam,
Santosh S Lad and Ramesh Laxmanrao
The four ministers of state are
Priyank M Kharge, Eshwara Kandre,
Pramod Madhwaraj and Rudrappa
Their names were cleared by the
Congress high command — President
Sonia Gandhi and Vice-President
Rahul Gandhi — over two days of
consultations with Chief Minister
Siddaramaiah and state party president
G Parameshwara The cabinet ministers
took oath in Kannada in two batches
of five and four, followed by the four
ministers of state as Chief Secretary
Arvind Jadav called them to the dais.
Though 14 lawmakers were shortlisted, M Krishnappa, who represents
a Bengaluru assembly segment, was
left out from the final list without any
reason being specified.
Thimmappa is currently the
assembly speaker while Ramesh Kumar
held the same post during the previous
Congress rule over a decade ago.
Priyank is the son of the Congress
leader in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun
Kharge, while Lad returns to cabinet
nearly three years after he resigned in
November 2013 as minister of state
for information and infrastructure
development over the mining scam
that rocked the state during the then
Among the thirteen dropped from
the 34-member ministry, including
the chief minister, are Srinivas
Prasad, Kimmane Ratnakar, Baburao
Chinchansur, Qamarul Islam, M H
Ambarish, Dinesh Gundu Rao, Sathish
Jarkiholi, Shamanur Shivashankarappa,
P T Parameshwar Naik, Vinay Kumar
Sorake and S R Patil.
The major reshuffle comes a week
after the Congress won three of the four
Rajya Sabha seats and four of the seven
legislative council seats in the biennial
proportionate representation to all the
people across the state, spanning castes
and regions,” a party official said.
Mallikarjun replaced his father
Shivashankarappa from Davangere,
while Ramesh replaced his elder
brother Sathish from Belagavi district.
Karnataka is the only major state
where the Congress is in power after
the party lost in Assam and Kerala in
the recent assembly elections.
Rhino killed in Kaziranga park
GUWAHATI: Poachers killed a onehorned rhino inside the Kaziranga
National Park in Assam and took away
its horn, officials said on Sunday.
“The park guards found the carcass
of a female rhino in Bagori range today
(Sunday) morning. Its horn was missing,
indicating it to be a case of poaching,” an
The animal was poached on Saturday
evening. A manhunt has been launched
to trace the poachers.
It is the ninth one-horned rhino to
be killed this year at the National Park,
a UNESCO World Heritage Site, spread
over Assam’s Golaghat and Nagaon
The poaching incident comes barely one-horned rhino in the park during
a week after new Assam Forest Minister Brahma’s visit to review anti-poaching
Pramila Rani Brahma’s visit to the park. strategies.
Last week, poachers killed another
She then suspended the park director
and appointed a new one. The minister
also instructed the new park director to
take stringent steps to stop poaching of
in Pulwama district
SRINAGAR: A gunfight started on
Sunday between the security forces
and the militants in a village in Jammu
and Kashmir’s Pulwama district, police
“Following specific information
about the presence of some militants
in Ladoo village of Pulwama district
near Pampore town, security forces
started an operation today (Sunday).
“When a cordon was being laid
around the place where militants
were reportedly hiding, security forces
were fired upon. The security forces
retaliated and a gunfight has now
started in the area,” a senior police
“More reinforcements have been
rushed to augment the strength of
the security forces engaged in the
operation,” the officer said. — IANS
Tamil Nadu shuts
500 liquor shops
NEW DELHI: Five hundred liquor
shops were ordered closed from
Sunday in India’s southern state of
Tamil Nadu after its newly re-elected
government pledged to ban alcohol
to curb violence and other problems.
The Tamil Nadu government
issued a statement ordering the
closures as part of staggered plans
to become the latest state in India to
The statement said 500 TASMAN
retail vending liquor shops would be
closed, referring to the governmentrun Tamil Nadu State Marketing
Corporation outlets. Operating hours
of all others would be reduced.
Chief Minister Jayalalithaa
Jayaram and leaders of other political
parties promised prohibition during
campaigning in last month’s state
The pledge was popular with
women voters, who blame alcohol for
much of the state’s domestic violence,
and for depleting the income of poor
Himachal may get
SHIMLA: The hills of Himachal
Pradesh may see heavy rainfall in the
next 24 hours, a weather official said
here on Sunday.
“There are chances of heavy
rainfall in some parts of the state
between June 20 and 21,” an official of
the local meteorological office said.
He said most of the prominent
tourist towns like Shimla, Narkanda,
Kufri, Kalpa, Kasauli, Chamba,
Dharamsala, Palampur and Manali
might saw good spells of rain.
Meanwhile, Shimla recorded a
high of 23.3 degrees, whereas the
minimum was 16.9 degrees.
Kalpa in Kinnaur district saw
the maximum temperature at 25
degrees, while it was 29.8 degrees
in Dharamsala, 32.9 degrees in
Sundernagar. Una was hottest in the
state at 37 degrees Celsius. — IANS
Rajan became RBI Governor in 2013 at a time when the rupee had plunged in value on fears of a spiralling current account deﬁcit
India Inc lauds Rajan’s ‘outstanding contribution’
NEW DELHI: India Inc on Sunday
recalled the “outstanding contribution”
of Reserve Bank of India Governor
Raghuram Rajan following his decision
not to seek the second term, and hoped
an able replacement for him will be
“Contribution made by RBI
Governor Raghuram Rajan is exemplary
and has been a huge factor in confidence
building at a challenging time in the
Neotia, President of Federation of Indian
Chambers of Commerce and Industry
(Ficci), said in a statement here.
“Many structural changes initiated
by the RBI Governor, be it in banking
regulations, monetary policy or
exchange rate, will have positive impact
on the economy going forward and
he will always be remembered for his
outstanding contribution,” he said.
“We are sure government will soon
find an able hand to continue the good
work done by the present RBI governor
Given Rajan’s international
economists have expressed
disappointment at Rajan’s
decision not to seek a second
term and said it would
prove costly for the Indian
when his term gets over,” Neotia added.
Rajan on Saturday told his colleagues
that he is not keen on a second term at
the helm of the country’s central bank
and will return to the academia when
his tenure ends in September.
Rajan became RBI Governor in 2013
at a time when the US Federal Reserve
had declared its intent to wind down
its stimulus programme and the rupee
had plunged in value in respect of the
US dollar on fears of a spiralling current
In a series of measures, Rajan
managed to stabilise the currency that
also brought back investors.
Given Rajan’s international stature,
various policymakers and economists
have expressed disappointment at
Rajan’s decision not to seek a second
term and said it would prove costly for
the Indian economy.
“Raghuram Rajan’s decision not to
seek second term would be very costly
for the economy. Not a good omen,”
tweeted Former Finance Secretary
“We are losing one of the most skilful
financial economic thinkers in the
world. It is sad for the country and it is
sad for the government of the country
too. RBI is not a completely autonomous
institution,” Nobel laureate Amartya Sen
said in a TV interview on Saturday.
“His (Rajan’s) decisive policy
actions based on robust analysis and
deep understanding of the underlying
causes have contributed significantly to
changing perceptions about the strength
of the Indian economy,” Christopher
Jeffery, editor of British magazine
Central Banking, said while giving
Rajan their ‘Central Banker of the Year’
award last year.
Rajan had predicted the 2008 markets
crash caused by the housing market
crisis in the US that put its economy
into deep recession, setting off a global
In 2011, he published the acclaimed
book “Fault Lines: How Hidden
Fractures Still Threaten the World
Economy”.Rajan’s colleague at Chicago
University Booth School of Business,
Luigi Zingales termed it is a “huge loss
“Rajan leaves RBI to come back to
Booth. A great gain for us, a huge loss
for India,” he tweeted.
Terming it as unfortunate, business
chamber Assocham hoped Rajan could
be persuaded to reconsider his decision.
It will be the first time in 24 years that
the RBI governor has departed after a
single three-year term.
In this context, it is being felt that
the government’s failure to retain Rajan
will be seen by the world as India’s nonapproval of his policy against inflation
and the huge stressed assets of the
M O N DAY l J U N E 2 0 l 2 0 1 6
India hopeful of Chinese support on NSG
CHIT FUND SCAM
COMPLICATED: While bilateral ties are ‘jatil’, New Delhi was ﬁrm that talks and terrorism cannot go together
NEW DELHI: India on Sunday hoped
that China will support its bid to get
into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)
while stressing that terror and talks
cannot go together in its engagement
External Affairs Minister Sushma
Swaraj said India will not oppose the
entry of Pakistan or any other country
into the NSG but asserted that the
decision on all applications should be
decided on merits.
“Hum China ko bhi mananey mein
kamyabi hasil kar lenge (We will succeed
in convincing China too),” she told the
Answering media questions, she said
China “is not opposed to India’s entry”
into the 48-nation NSG but it was “only
talking about the criteria procedures”
to New Delhi’s entry to the nuclear
Sushma Swaraj’s remarks came
close on the heels of External Affairs
Secretary S Jaishankar’s visit to Beijing
to discuss India’s NSG bid with Chinese
State-run Chinese media has said that
Beijing was opposed to India becoming
a member of the NSG when it had not
signed the NPT — unless its nuclear
State-run Chinese media
has said that Beijing was
opposed to India becoming
a member of the NSG when
it had not signed the NPT —
unless its nuclear armed rival
Pakistan was also taken on
armed rival Pakistan was also taken on
To a question on Pakistan also trying
to get NSG membership, the minister
said: “Look, India is not a member in
the group. But we will not oppose entry
of any other country. What we want is
all the applications are decided on their
However, Sushma Swaraj countered
Beijing’s stand over “criteria”, saying:
“Instead of talking about criteria in
our case, there should be talk about
She insisted that with regard to India,
the issue of “criteria” vis-a-vis NSG was
addressed in 2008 when the waiver was
granted to it.
Fielding questions on India-Pakistan
relations, she said while bilateral ties are
“jatil” (complicated), New Delhi was
firm that talks and terrorism cannot go
“Earlier whenever there used to be
any terrorist activity, Pakistan used to
go in denial mood. But after Pathankot
attack, Nawaz Sharif himself called our
Prime Minister and he said you give me
proof, I will definitely take appropriate
The minister, however, maintained,
it will be erroneous to suggest that
“in order to maintain a harmonious
relation, we will be either careless or
She said India’s approach towards
Pakistan was essentially based on three
key aspects: all problems should be
resolved through talks, no involvement
of a third party, and terror and talks
cannot go together.
“In all these three aspects, our
government has been successful.”
The external affairs minister denied
that South Asia was not getting adequate
priority in the Modi government’s
“In the last two years, India has
emerged as a strong supporter and
a friend in crisis to neighbouring
countries,” she said, referring to New
Delhi’s help to Nepal during the massive
earthquake of 2015. — IANS
Will show film
stars door if
BHUBANESWAR: Odisha’s film stars
who are members of the ruling Biju
Janata Dal (BJD) will be shown the
door if they are found to have been
complicit in the chit fund scam, party
Vice President Damodar Rout said on
“We did not invite them (cine actors)
to join our party. They came with
somebody else’s recommendation. If
we get an iota of proof, they will be
shown the door,” said Rout, who is also
Odisha’s Excise Minister.
They were given membership of
the BJD as crowd-pullers during the
elections, he added.
Industry Minister and BJD leader
Debi Prasad Mishra said Chief Minister
Naveen Patnaik has always taken
the right decision when it comes to
members who bring disgrace to the
However, the allegations of
opposition parties that BJD politicians
are involved in the chit fund scam
should be based on facts, he said.
Actor-turned-BJD MP Anubhav
Mohanty said the media had little
reason to link his name with the
chit fund scam. “You (media) are
unnecessarily dragging the issue. This
is not based on truth,” Anubhav told
Shipment arrives in Tripura under
new India-Bangla transit protocol
Participants perform yoga during full dress rehearsal ahead of World Yoga Day in Chandigarh on Sunday. — Reuters
Government chalks out plans to
make 35 airports operational
BATHINDA: Union Finance
Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday
said the central government
would chalk out a plan to make
35 airports operational in smaller
Speaking a public rally here
to mark completion of two years
of the National Democratic
Alliance government, he said it
has constructed 10,000 km of
highways in the past two years
besides devising a strategy to redevelop 400 railway stations in
Taking a dig at state Congress
chief Capt Amarinder Singh, he
said: “Now Captain is behaving
like a cry baby when his family’s
foreign accounts have been
Jaitley said that NDA
government would always help
Punjab in every hour of need and
the SAD-BJP would make a hattrick in next year’s assembly polls.
Training guns at the opposition
Congress and the AAP, he said it
was crucial to save Punjab from
falling prey to the hands of these
two political outfits.
“The grand old party
(Congress) is shrinking whereas
the Arvind Kejriwal-led party is
busy accusing the centre instead
of working for development of
Delhi,” he added.
She said there was “sehejta”
(simplicity) in the chemistry involving
Prime Ministers Narendra Modi of
India and Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan.
“This warmth and simplicity in
relations between two Prime Ministers
were never there in the past,” she said.
“To resolve problems, you also need
Sushma Swaraj said unlike in the
past, there had been a significant change
in Pakistan’s policy towards terror strikes
Industries Minister Harsimrat
Kaur Badal, who is also the
local MP, said the previous UPA
government had never paid
any heed to the development of
Punjab in general and Bathinda
in particular, but the NDA
government has selected it
amongst the 200 cities where the
achievements of the two years
of the government would be
She said in the past six months,
the foreign direct investment has
increased to a great extent in the
country whose growth rate has
climbed up to 7.9 per cent.
Terming the UPA as a
government of scandals, she
dared the Congress to list a single
achievement during its decadelong rule at the centre.
Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir
Badal said during the previous
nine years, the SAD-BJP has
carried out record development
in the state, and exhorted the
people to again vote for it in the
2017 assembly elections in order
to ensure that the rapid pace of
progress initiated in urban, rural,
industrial and social sectors
He said this was a golden
period for Punjab as alliance
partner of the SAD, the BJP is
ruling at the centre and thus the
SAD-BJP would be able to take
Punjab to further heights of glory
owing to better coordination with
the NDA government. — IANS
AGARTALA: A consignment of 1005
tonnes of steel rods arrived on Sunday
in Tripura from West Bengal through
Bangladesh as part of revised ‘Inland
Water Transit and Trade Protocol’
between the two countries.
The protocol was signed during
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to
Dhaka in June last year.
“A Bangladeshi ship from Kolkata
carrying 1005 tonnes of steel rods
meant for Tripura governemnt’s Rural
Development Department reached
Ashuganj river port in Bangladesh on
June 15,” an Indian custom official said.
“Bangladeshi trucks then carried the
goods from Ashuganj port to Tripura’s
Akhaura checkpost, from where the
transporter would arrange to have the
goods delivered to six places in Tripura,”
the customs official said.
Akhaura checkpost, just along
Agartala city, is the second largest
trading point and land port between
India and Bangladesh after the
Benapole-Petrapole land port with West
Bengal. Ashuganj port on Meghna river
in Bangladesh is about 40 km from
Tripura’s capital Agartala.
“Four Bangladeshi trucks arrived
here on Sunday. Then Indian trucks
carried the freight to their destinations
inside Tripura. More such trucks would
carry the goods from Ashuganj port to
Tripura in subsequent days,” Sujit Roy,
the company’s manager, said.
The transit facility with provision
of third-country access was formally
inaugurated on Thursday at Ashuganj
port by Bangladesh Shipping Minister
Shahjahan Khan in the presence
of Indian High Commissioner in
Bangladesh Harsh Vardhan Shringla
and Bangladesh Prime Minister’s
Economic Affairs Adviser Mashiur
The custom official said KolkataAshuganj-Tripura route cuts the
Kolkata-Agartala distance via Siliguri’s
‘chicken neck’ and Assam and
Meghalaya from 1,600 km to 500 km.
“The reduced distance substantially
cuts transportation costs from mainland
India to the northeastern region and the
time from 15 days to just 10 days.”
The revised Inland Water Transit
and Trade Protocol also gives India and
Bangladesh the right to use each other’s
territory for transiting goods to third
Some varieties are selling in retail in cities in the range of Rs 180-200 per kg
Crackdown on hoarders, more
action to check pulses’ prices
NEW DELHI: About 1.30 lakh tonnes of
pulses have been seized from hoarders in
Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, New Delhi and
other parts of northern India in the last few
months, official sources said here on Sunday.
The crackdown is part of government
efforts to rein in the spiralling prices of
pulses, of which some varieties are selling in
retail in large cities in the range of Rs 180-200
“Hoarding is a hard fact and this is
reported from parts of north India including
Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. So far,
adequate actions have been taken in Gujarat,
Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu,” an official
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told a TV
channel in an interview telecast on Saturday
that action against hoarders last year helped
the government bring the prices of pulses
down by about Rs 50 per kg in the retail
This year the Directorate of Revenue
Intelligence, Income Tax department and
local police have been conducting raids
on people who are suspected to have been
hoarding pulses to take advantage of the high
prices, according to sources.
The high prices of pulses, however, arise
from the long-term issue of supply falling
short of demand by “about five million
tonnes”, Jaitley said in his TV interview,
terming the shortfall a “serious challenge” for
the government to tackle.
The demand-supply gap could be even
wider than five million tonnes.
A source in the food ministry said: “As
against the average supply of 17 million
tonnes of pulses, the national demand is
about 24 million tonnes. India is largest
producer of pulses but also largest consumer
and a very large importer.”
The ministry confirms that about 5.5
million tonnes of pulses were imported in
the last financial year.
This year too the government is looking to
import pulses from Myanmar, Mozambique
and other countries, the source said.
He said pulses are generally imported
by private traders as well as public-sector
government-to-government contracts have
been planned with countries like Myanmar
to import the stuff for enhanced buffer
stocks,” the source said.
The government decided on June 16 to
enhance pulses’ buffer stock from 1.5 lakh
tonnes to eight lakh tonnes. At the same
time, the government is looking for ways
to boost domestic production, especially by
better incentivising the farmer to shift to
cultivation of pulses.
M O N DAY l J U N E 2 0 l 2 0 1 6
Rome set to elect first female mayor
Voters in the Italian capital headed to the polls on Sunday with all signs indicating that
they will elect Virginia Raggi as the first female mayor of the Eternal City. Raggi, a 37-yearold lawyer and local councillor, has leapt from anonymity to become one of the bestknown faces in Italian politics in the space of only a few months on the campaign trail.
TERROR HUNT: Belgian prosecutors charge 3 with terrorist
offences; overnight searches lead to 12 arrests
Brussels central station
evacuated amid fears
13 children drown in Russia lake tragedy
MOSCOW: At least 13 children and one adult on a
summer camp in northeast Russia drowned when their
boats capsized in a storm on a lake, investigators said on
The accident happened overnight on Lake Syamozero,
close to the border with Finland, according to Vladimir
Markin, a spokesman for Russia’s investigative committee.
Updating an earlier toll of 12 dead, a source in the
local emergency services said that “two more bodies
of adolescents have been found”, taking the number of
drowned to 14.
The children, who were aged between 12 and 15, were
“apparently not wearing life jackets”, Russia’s children’s
rights watchdog, Pavel Astakhov, said. The group was
taking part in a summer camp close to the lake,
The emergencies ministry said that the children were
sailing on two boats and a raft when they got caught in a
storm after nightfall.
Rescuers saved more than 30 people but were still
searching for four others, the ministry told RIA Novosti.
Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin wrote on Twitter
Sunday that 10 of the dead children were from Moscow.
Investigators have opened a criminal probe into the
incident to determine whether water safety rules were
An instructor at the summer camp has been detained
for questioning, investigators said. — AFP
RALLY AGAINST CRUELTY
A soldier stands guard inside the
central train station in Brussels on
Sunday. — Reuters
Belgian soldiers patrol outside the central train station where a suspect package was found, in Brussels on Sunday. — Reuters
BRUSSELS: Brussels central train
station was evacuated for about an
hour on Sunday because of a suspicious
suitcase amid heightened security fears
in the Belgian capital after a huge antiterror operation led to three men being
charged with terrorism offences.
The suitcase later turned out to
be a false alarm but shows Belgium’s
high state of alert as the Euro 2016
soccer tournament is under way in
neighbouring France, three months
after bombers killed 32 people in
Brussels. Investigators say the attackers
had links to militants who carried out
attacks in Paris in November.
Belgian police searched 40 houses
and 152 garage lockups between Friday
night and Saturday, arresting 12 people
following reports of possible attacks
targeting soccer fans watching the
matches in Brussels. They later released
nine after questioning.
The three Belgian men charged
with “having attempted to commit a
terrorist murder and for participation
in the activities of a terrorist group”
were identified by prosecutors only
as 27-year-old Samir C., 40-year-old
Moustapha B, and 29-year-old Jawad B.
Belgian media reported they had
links to the men prosecutors believe
carried out the Brussels twin bombings
in March, brothers Ibrahim (‘Brahim’)
and Khalid El Bakraoui and Najim
Without citing sources, RTBF said
police listened to phone conversations
between the three men in which they
said they planned attacks in Brussels
over the weekend.
Neither prosecutors nor Prime
Minister Charles Michel confirmed
reports of the arrested suspects planning
to attack soccer fans.
The Belgian federal prosecutor’s
office said only that the investigation
required immediate action.
Michel appealed to the country to
stay calm after chairing a meeting of
the government’s security council on
Investigators have found links
between the Brussels attackers and
militants who killed 130 people in a
spate of shootings and suicide bombings
in Paris in November. — Reuters
The anti-secrecy campaigner walked into embassy on June 18, 2012
People hold a banner reading ‘Collective of the Mantois region Mosques, let’s rally against cruelty’ and a picture of the French
police officer Jean-Baptiste Salvaing and his partner Jessica Schneider stabbed to death on June 13 by a convicted extremist,
as they gather by the Mosque of Mantes-la-Jolie for a silent march in memory of the couple on Sunday. — AFP
AROUND THE GLOBE
Artist Christo’s fans face disappointment
Angry Assange starts 5th year
cooped in London embassy
LONDON: WikiLeaks founder Julian
Assange started his fifth year camped
out in the Ecuadoran embassy in
London on Sunday, an occasion his
supporters were to mark with events
Supporters said they were planning
to stage songs, speeches and readings in
several cities worldwide at 1830 GMT.
Assange was due to speak to his
followers on a live video stream from
inside the embassy.
The 44-year-old is wanted for
questioning over a 2010 rape allegation
in Sweden but has been inside Ecuador’s
UK mission for four full years in a bid to
The anti-secrecy campaigner, who
denies the allegation, walked into the
embassy of his own free will on June
18, 2012, with Britain on the brink of
sending him to Stockholm, and has not
His lawyers say he is angry
that Swedish prosecutors are still
maintaining the European arrest
warrant against him.
The Australian former computer
hacker fears that from Sweden he could
be extradited to the United States over
WikiLeaks’ release of 500,000 secret
military files, and could face a long
prison sentence there.
WikiLeaks said events were
planned for Athens, Belgrade, Berlin,
Brussels, Buenos Aires, Madrid, Milan,
Montevideo, Naples, New York, Quito,
Paris and Sarajevo.
Listed participants in Sunday’s
anniversary events include Patti Smith,
Brian Eno, PJ Harvey, Noam Chomsky,
Yanis Varoufakis, Ai Weiwei, Vivienne
Westwood, Michael Moore and Ken
Croatian philosopher Srecko Horvat,
of Russia sanctions
This file photo taken on August 18, 2014 shows Julian Assange gesturing during a
press conference inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. — AFP
an event organiser, said: “We live in
a critical time. We are gathering all
around the world on June 19 to speak
out for Julian, because he has spoken
out for all of us.”
Veteran leftist film-maker Loach
said: “He should be able to leave his place
of safety without fear of deportation or
being handed over to those who intend
In a video message, French composer
Jean Michel Jarre said: “We have to
question the power in place, to improve
“This is why Julian Assange has to be
freed right away.”
A hero to supporters and a dangerous
egocentric to detractors, Assange
founded WikiLeaks in 2006 and has
been portrayed in two movies in recent
Assange has compared living inside
the embassy — which has no garden
but is in London’s plush Knightsbridge
district, near Harrods department store
— to life on a space station.
His 15 feet by 13 feet room is divided
into an office and a living area. He has
a treadmill, shower, microwave and sun
lamp and spends most of his day at his
He got a cat in May to give him some
Last month a Stockholm district
court maintained a European arrest
warrant against Assange, rejecting his
lawyers’ request to have it lifted.
“The court considers that Julian
Assange is still suspected of rape...
and that there is still a risk that he will
abscond or evade justice,” it said in a
Assange will appeal the ruling, one
of his Swedish lawyers, Per Samuelsson,
“He is not surprised but very critical
and angry,” he said.
BERLIN: The European Union should
gradually phase out sanctions
imposed against Russia over the
Ukraine crisis if there is substantial
progress in the peace process,
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter
Steinmeier was quoted on Sunday as
saying. His comments reflect divisions
within Germany’s ruling right-left
coalition over policy towards Russia.
Steinmeier’s Social Democrats (SPD)
back a more conciliatory stance
towards Moscow than Chancellor
Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc.
Merkel has repeatedly said that
sanctions imposed against Russia
can only be lifted once the peace
agreement to end the conflict in
Ukraine is fully implemented, not only
Steinmeier struck a different
tone. “Sanctions are not an end in
themselves. They should rather give
incentives for a change in behaviour,”
he told the RedaktionsNetzwerk
Deutschland, a network of local
The minister said he was in favour
of lifting sanctions gradually if the
Russian government showed it was
doing its part in implementing the
Minsk peace plan for Ukraine, adding:
“An all or nothing approach, even if it
sounds good, doesn’t work.”
Steinmeier rejected criticism that
he was acting like an “advocate for
the Kremlin”. “We must still be able to
have a joint reflection if we want to
find solutions for other big conflicts,”
Steinmeier added, pointing to the civil
war in Syria where Russia is actively
backing President Bashar al-Assad
against various rebel groups.
ROME: Fans of renowned artist Christo faced disappointment for a second day on
Sunday after his latest work in northern Italy was partly closed by rain.
His ambitious three kilometre-long walkway of 200,000 floating cubes covered in
orange fabric floating atop Lake Iseo was evacuated on Saturday evening after wind
and rain made it unstable.
“Given the influx of people and potentially bad weather, it is advisable to rethink
your trip,” said a manager at the installation in a statement. Local authorities have also
cancelled train services to the lake to limit the numbers able to reach the project.
After being closed throughout Saturday night, the project only partly reopened
Sunday morning with one of the two walkways still closed to the public.
Crowds of visitors hoping to visit Christo’s “The Floating Piers” have been gathering
around the lake since it opened on Saturday, with organisers hoping that 500,000
people will experience it by July 3 when the pontoons close to the public.
But the walkways can only hold 11,000 people at any one time — and only if
weather conditions allow. More than 55,000 visitors attempted to cross the walkways
on Saturday, forcing organisers who had anticipated just 40,000 to ask that they return
another day. — AFP
Children stretch as hundreds of people take part in a yoga session as part of
the International Day of Yoga at the amphitheatre lawns at North Beach in
Durban, South Africa, on Sunday. — AFP
Bemba to be handed war crimes sentence
THE HAGUE: Judges at the world’s only permanent war crimes court will on Tuesday
pass sentence on former Congolese leader Jean-Pierre Bemba, with prosecutors calling
for a minimum 25-year sentence. If the judges agree with the prosecution, it will be the
highest jail term ever imposed by the International Criminal Court in a case that was
the first there to focus on rape as a weapon of war.
Prosecutors blamed the former vice president of the Democratic Republic of Congo
for turning a blind eye to a reign of terror by his troops in the Central African Republic
from October 2002 to May 2003.
He was found guilty in March of five charges of war crimes and crimes against
humanity, after sending some 1,500 troops from his private army into CAR to help
quash a coup against the then president.
Bemba’s Congolese Liberation Movement (MLC) carried out a series of rapes and
murders as they sought to prop up then president Ange-Felix Patasse.
Experts testified that the brutality of the events would have long-term traumatic
effects on the victims and their communities. — AFP
Turkish opposition party meeting
Candidates for the leadership of the opposition Nationalist Movement Party
(MHP), Umit Ozdag (L) and Koray Aydin talk before the opening of MHP congress
in Ankara, on Sunday.
M O N DAY l J U N E 2 0 l 2 0 1 6
Iraq faces humanitarian disaster
after Fallujah breakthrough
CRISIS: The number of displaced in the last three days is now at a staggering 30,000 people
A convoy of Syrian Red Crescent trucks carrying aid drives amidst
destruction in Harasta, a besieged rebel-held suburb of Damascus, on
Sunday. — AFP
Syrian forces surge
towards IS-held Tabqa
BEIRUT: Pro-government Syrian
fighters backed by Russian air
power surged on Sunday towards a
key town and adjacent air base held
by the IS group, a monitor said.
Government forces were now
within seven kilometres of the
IS-held airport at Tabqa, said the
Syrian Observatory for Human
“There are fierce clashes now
and at least nine pro-government
fighters were killed,” said the
Abdel Rahman had no
immediate toll for the number of
IS militants killed.
Government fighters had been
stuck at about 15 kilometres from
the airport for more than one week.
air strikes on Sunday and
reinforcements from the elite
Republican Guard unit allowed
them to advance, the Observatory
Earlier this month, government
fighters backed by Moscow began
pushing north towards Tabqa,
whose dam, military air base, and
strategic transit town have been
held by IS since 2014.
The town lies some 50
kilometres west of the militant
group’s de facto Syrian capital of
Raqa city, and recapturing it would
sever the supply road from the
IS fighters had mounted their
own counter-attack last week,
bringing in reinforcements of
fighters and weapons and briefly
blocking the government advance
before Sunday’s renewed push.
jet flight recorders
CAIRO: The memory units of both
flight recorders from crashed EgyptAir
flight MS804 are severely damaged
and will require “lots of time and
effort” to fix, Egyptian aircraft accident
investigation committee sources said
The committee is analysing the
memory units from the Cockpit Voice
Recorder (CVR) and the Flight Data
Recorder (FDR) before determining if
they can be repaired in Egypt or will
need to be sent abroad.
Search teams retrieved the CVR
on Thursday and said at the time that
they found it damaged but that the
memory unit was intact. They found
the FDR on Friday.
The two black box recorders are
crucial to explaining what went wrong
on the Airbus A320, which crashed
early on May 19 on its way from Paris
to Cairo killing all 66 people on board.
The crash is the third blow since
October to Egypt’s travel industry,
which is still suffering from the 2011
uprising that ended Hosni Mubarak’s
A Russian plane crashed in the Sinai
Peninsula last October, killing all 224
people on board in an attack claimed
by Islamic State.
In March, an EgyptAir plane was
hijacked by a man wearing a fake
suicide belt. No one was hurt.
Syrian warplane crashes: A
Syrian jet bomber crashed just after
take-off from Syria’s Hama airport
after it encountered a technical
problem, a Syrian military source
told state media on Sunday.
The military source, quoted by
Syrian news agency SANA, did not
say when the crash had occurred.
A separate statement from a
military source on state television
said the pilot had deliberately
crashed into an empty area to
prevent civilian casualties.
The city of Hama, in western
Syria, is controlled by the Syrian
warplanes have crashed since the
start of the year, mostly due to
technical failures which defence
analysts have generally attributed
Meanwhile, three people were
killed in northeast Syria on Sunday
when a suicide bomber attacked
an event commemorating the
massacre of a section of people
more than a century ago, state
media and a security source said.
A photographer working with
AFP and attending the event
said he heard the blast and saw
pieces of flesh lying next to
“The suicide attacker tried to
enter the hall where people were
gathered but was stopped by local
security forces, and he detonated
himself among them,” a security
source at the scene said.
The security forces belonged to
the Sotoro, a militia based in Syria’s
FALLUJAH: Aid workers scrambled on
Sunday to cope with a massive influx
of Iraqi civilians who fled Fallujah after
government forces retook much of the
city from the IS group.
Tens of thousands of civilians
escaped the city, just 50 kilometres west
of Baghdad, on the back of a major
advance that saw Iraqi forces thrust into
central Fallujah in recent days.
The humanitarian community has
been struggling to cope, with thousands
of people already suffering from hunger
and trauma now stranded in the
scorching summer heat with no shelter.
“The estimated total number of
displaced from Fallujah in just the last
three days is now at a staggering 30,000
people,” the Norwegian Refugee Council
The UN refugee agency (UNHCR)
said up to 84,000 people had been forced
to flee their homes since the start of the
government offensive against the IS
bastion nearly a month ago.
“Agencies are scrambling to respond
to the rapidly evolving situation — and
we are bracing ourselves for another
large exodus in the next few days as
we estimate that thousands more
people remain trapped in Fallujah,” the
“We implore the Iraqi government
to take charge of this humanitarian
disaster unfolding on our watch,” NRC’s
Iraq director Nasr Muflahi said.
NRC said it could no longer provide
the required assistance, with water
rations drying up fast.
It cited the case of a newly opened
camp in Amriyat al Fallujah, south of
Fallujah, that houses 1,800 people but
has only one latrine for women.
“We need the Iraqi government to
take a leading role in providing for the
A tribal fighter helps civilians, who fled from Fallujah because of IS violence, during a dust storm on the
outskirts of Fallujah. — Reuters
needs of the most vulnerable civilians
who have endured months of trauma
and terror,” Muflahi said.
An Iraqi aid worker employed by
the government at a camp in Amriyat
al Fallujah said the resources were
inadequate to deal with the scope of the
“Four hundred families have reached
my camp in the last four days, they don’t
have anything,” said the camp manager,
speaking on condition of anonymity.
“We were shocked by the number
of displaced people and we weren’t
prepared to receive them,” he said.
“We secured tents for some of them
but the rest, including women and
children, are sleeping on the ground
under the sun,” he said. “Their situation
is a tragedy.”
The temperature in Baghdad has
been hovering above 40 degrees Celsius
and it often gets hotter in Anbar
province, where inhabited areas along
the Euphrates River are flanked by
Prime Minister Haider al Abadi has
promised to support the displaced.
On Friday evening, after Iraqi forces
raised the national flag above the main
government compound, he declared
that Fallujah had been “brought back to
Yet Iraqi forces have some work
Turkish troops ‘kill’ 11 Syrians trying to cross border
AMMAN: Turkish border guards shot
dead at least 11 Syrians, mostly from one
family, as they tried to cross into Turkey
from northwestern Syria, activists and a
monitoring group said on Sunday.
At least two women and four children
were among those killed in the shootings
overnight as the refugees sought to cross
into Turkey from the border village
of Khirbet al Jouz, the Britain-based
Observatory for Human Rights said in
a report backed up by several activists in
The monitor, which tracks violence
across Syria, said it had documented
the deaths of nearly sixty civilians while
trying to flee from Syria since the start
of the year in shooting incidents by
Turkish border guards.
immediately available for comment.
Turkey, a major sponsor of groups
fighting to topple Syrian President
Bashar al Assad, has now closed its
borders to Syrian refugees, but it is also
hosting some 2.7 million registered
Syrian refugees, about 280,000 of whom
live in camps.
Rockets launched from Syrian
territory controlled by IS militants have
regularly struck Turkish border towns
and have killed at least 20 people in
Humanitarian bodies have urged
Turkey to reopen its borders to admit
Syrians fleeing the conflict.
In May, Human Rights Watch
accused Turkish border guards of
shooting and beating Syrian asylum
PLO leader Saeb Erekata says it is a ‘slap in the face of the international community’
Israel approves $18 million in
West Bank settlement spending
JERUSALEM: Israel’s government on
Sunday approved some $18 million in
additional financing for West Bank settlements, calling it a response to security concerns, though the money is to be
used in a variety of ways.
The decision by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing cabinet
will see some 70 million shekels ($18
million) allocated to settlement-related
According to Haaretz newspaper, the
amount is in addition to an already allocated $88 million.
Israeli settlements in the occupied
West Bank are considered illegal under
international law and major stumbling
blocks to peace as they are built on land
Palestinians view as part of their future
The United States, the European Union and many others in the international
community have called for a halt to settlement building.
Netanyahu’s government is however
left to do, with hundreds of IS fighters
still holed up in the city’s northern
Despite facing less resistance
than expected from IS in Fallujah,
an emblematic militant stronghold,
sniper fire, car bombs and booby traps
remained a risk for Iraq’s forces.
“Our forces are cleansing central
Fallujah of pockets of Daesh (IS),”
federal police chief Raed Shaker Jawdat
said, using an Arabic acronym for the
In the Officers neighbourhood of
Fallujah, IS snipers shot at an Iraqi
flag pole until it broke, a photographer
reported. — AFP
An Israeli border policeman detains a Palestinian as Israeli troops demolish sheds
belonging to Palestinians near the West Bank village of Yatta, south of Hebron, on
Sunday. — Reuters
considered the most right-wing in IsThe premier faces steady political
rael’s history, with key members of his pressure to support settlements and setcabinet strong supporters of settlement tlement building, which receive a range
building and opponents of a Palestinian of government assistance.
The government argued the increase
was needed due to security concerns.
Speaking at the start of the cabinet
meeting, Netanyahu called it “an assistance plan to strengthen communities” in the West Bank, saying it would
“strengthen security, assist small businesses and encourage tourism.”
Beyond security, it will include
spending on tourism infrastructure,
sport facilities and cultural events, ministers said.
Palestine Liberation Organisation
secretary general Saeb Erekat called the
move a “slap in the face of the international community.”
“Israel is doing everything possible
to sabotage every effort to achieve a just
and lasting peace,” he said in a statement.
Opposition lawmaker Amir Peretz of
the Zionist Union accused the government of “wasting money on political
settlements” instead of helping families
Turkish President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan denied the reports, and the
Turkish army says it only fires at armed
smugglers, not at civilians.
But in its statement, the National
Coalition expressed its “surprise and
condemnation after this terrible tragedy
against our brothers fleeing the regime.
“The deaths of defenceless Syrians
contradicts the hospitality of the Turkish
government and the Turkish people,” it
Houthis free 276
ADEN: Houthis in Yemen announced
on Sunday the release of 276
government loyalists who had been
held captive for months, in a gesture of
The rebels’ sabanews.net website
said 200 detainees were set free in
Rada, a town in the central province of
Baida, and another 76 were let go in
nearby Dhamar province.
The move was a sign of “good will”
on the occasion of Ramadhan, said the
website, citing officials.
The detainees in Rada had been
captured for allegedly “cooperating
with the Arab military coalition and
being loyal to the government” of UNbacked President Abedrabbo Mansour
Hadi, an official there said.
Those freed in Dhamar had been
taken in on accusations they had been
preparing to join government forces,
the official added.
The releases come a day after the
exchange of 194 prisoners in Taez,
in southwestern Yemen, following
tribal mediation unconnected to UNbrokered peace talks in Kuwait.
Those negotiations, now in their
ninth week, have made no major
breakthroughs, even on the issue
of prisoners. Earlier this month, the
Houthis freed 187 captives while Saudi
Arabia released 52 children it was
holding. Those negotiations, now in
their ninth week, have made no major
breakthroughs, even on the prisoners
issue. — AFP
US to release police calls transcripts of Orlando killer
M O N DAY l J U N E 2 0 l 2 0 1 6
TERROR ALLEGIANCE: The transcripts talk about Mateen’s motivations for why at that time he was committing his horriﬁc act
WASHINGTON: US officials will on
Monday release partial transcripts of
three phone conversations the man
who killed 49 people in a Florida gay
nightclub last week had with police
as the massacre unfolded, Attorney
General Loretta Lynch said on Sunday.
Lynch, speaking on CNN’s “State of
the Union” talk show, said the Orlando
shooting incident was “an act of terror
and an act of hate”, but she declined to
say what charges may be filed nor who
may be charged in the case.
The transcripts of the conversations
between deceased gunman Omar
Mateen and law enforcement negotiators
will “talk about what he told law
enforcement on the ground as the events
were unfolding,” Lynch said.
“As we have said earlier, he talked
about his pledges of allegiance to a
terrorist group. He talked about his
motivations for why he was claiming at
that time he was committing his horrific
act,” the Attorney General said.
Lynch said, however, that the
transcripts would be edited to “avoid Lucyvette Padro (C) accompanied by family and friends attends the funeral of her son Angel Candelario, one of the victims of
revictimising those who went through the shooting at the Pulse club in Orlando, at his hometown of Guanica. — Reuters
this horror, but it will contain the
substance of his conversations.”
programme the transcripts would not
Lynch also said she would travel investigators and meet survivors of the
She told ABC’s “This Week” include his pledge of allegiance to IS.
to Orlando on Tuesday to confer with worst domestic shooting incident in
Car hits funeral procession for
Orlando massacre victim
WASHINGTON: A Florida driver hit two
police officers on Saturday as she tried
to cut through a funeral procession for a
victim of the mass shooting in Orlando,
The two Osceola County Sheriff’s
deputies were on motorcycles escorting
the funeral procession south of
Orlando when they were hit at 11:30
am (1530 GMT), Florida Highway Patrol
spokeswoman Sergeant Kim Montes
said. “We think it was impatience,” she
said. ”It wasn’t intentional. We see this
happening with funeral processions
and this was an especially long one,” she
Both deputies are in the hospital in
stable condition, according to Montes.
She declined to say whether a federal
grand jury was likely to charge Mateen’s
second wife, Noor Salman.
US officials have said Salman knew
of her husband’s plans to carry out the
“Because this investigation is open
Police identified the driver as Ivonne
Robles Morales, 44.
Morales “stated that she thought
someone waived her out to cross
the procession, and she entered the
intersection,” a police statement said.
Her car then struck a first police car
head on, causing the front of a second
police car to strike the left rear of
She was ticketed for failing to yield
to a funeral procession and has been
ordered to appear in court.
Police have not identified the police
officers involved in the crash.
It was not immediately clear whose
funeral procession was taking place
during the accident. — AFP
and ongoing, we’re not commenting on
anyone else’s role in it right now, except
to say that we are talking to everyone
who knew him, and that of course
includes his family, to determine what
they knew, what they saw in the days and
weeks leading up to this,” the attorney
US may take action on
Blue Origin conducts fourth rocket booster test
state assault weapon bans
WASHINGTON: The US Supreme
Court may weigh in this week on
gun control, an issue smouldering
again following the June 12 Orlando
massacre, with the justices due to
decide whether to hear a challenge by
gun rights advocates to assault weapon
bans in two states.
The Connecticut and New York laws
prohibit semiautomatic weapons like
the one used by the gunman who fatally
shot 49 people at a club in Orlando in
the deadliest mass shooting in modern
The Supreme Court will announce
as soon as Monday whether it will hear
the challenge brought by gun rights
groups and individual firearms owners
asserting that the laws violate the US
Constitution’s Second Amendment
guarantee of the right to bear arms.
The court has not decided a major
gun case since 2010.
If they take up the matter, the
justices would hear arguments in their
next term, which begins in October.
A decision not to hear the challenge
would leave in place lower-court rulings
upholding the laws.
The court’s action in another recent
appeal indicated it may be disinclined
to take up the matter. The justices in
December opted not to hear a challenge
to a Highland Park, Illinois ordinance
banning assault weapons and largecapacity magazines.
A national assault weapons ban
expired in 2004.
Congressional Republicans, backed
by the influential National Rifle
Association gun rights lobby, beat back
efforts to restore it. — Reuters
Record heat sparks
warnings, boosts fires
A Hotshots member from the US Forest Department sets a back fire while battling
the so-called 'Sherpa Fire'in the hills near Goleta, California. — Reuters
CALIFORNIA: Fire warnings were
in place across three western US
states on Sunday as record-breaking
heat threatened to feed wildfires that
have blackened thousands of acres
(hectares), especially in California and
The National Weather Service said
temperatures of 120 Fahrenheit (49
Celsius) were possible in southwestern
deserts through Wednesday.
“Red flag warnings” for potential
fires covered an area stretching across
southern California, southern Nevada
and southern Arizona.
can be life-threatening,” the weather
service said on its website. The high
temperatures have joined with a
prolonged dry spell to worsen the fire
The agency declared an elevated
threat in California’s Santa Barbara
County from dry conditions and
evening winds. More than 2,000
firefighters there are battling the socalled Sherpa Fire, which had burned
7,811 acres (3,161 hectares) in coastal
Firefighters estimated the fire was
45 per cent contained. The Sherpa Fire
broke out on Wednesday and has forced
mandatory evacuations in some areas.
Another blaze, the Dog Head Fire,
southeast of Albuquerque, New Mexico,
has destroyed about two dozen homes
and forced evacuations.
Almost 1,000 personnel were
fighting the blaze that has burned
through about 17,615 acres (7,129
hectares) of timber and logging zones.
In Alaska, a fire warning was also in
place for the eastern part of the Alaska
Range, with winds forecast to gust to 60
miles per hour (96 km per hour).
Saturday’s high temperature was
112F (44C) at Death Valley, California,
the weather service said. — Reuters
WASHINGTON: US space firm Blue
Origin conducted a successful fourth
test Sunday of its reusable New Shepard
rocket, which dropped back to Earth for
a flawless upright landing seen on a live
Blue Origin, the space travel company
founded by Internet entrepreneur Jeff
Bezos, is trying to cut the costs of space
travel by developing reusable rockets to
boost manned capsules into suborbital
“Careful engineering plus of course
the lucky boots, successful mission,”
Bezos quipped in a Tweet with a photo
of his cowboy boots propped up on a
desk. The rocket landed at the Texas
launch site at 9:44 am local time (1444
GMT), followed one second later by
the capsule, which lofted back to Earth
under parachutes. “Amazing,” said the
announcer at Blue Origin’s mission
control. “Another picture perfect landing
for the New Shepard rocket booster.”
The rocket rose to 331,500 feet
(100,000 metres), clearing the boundary
between the Earth’s atmosphere and
space and releasing the capsule before
dropping back for the controlled
It reignited its engines at 5,000 feet,
braking its descent to a speed of five
miles per hour and then deploying its
landing gear. It was the fourth time the
rocket has successfully landed upright
after soaring into space.
The feat was first accomplished in in January and February.
November, and repeated in test launches
One of the main objectives of this
Obama wants to revive his 2014 proposal to protect 4m immigrants
Obama immigration policy
win could benefit Trump
WASHINGTON: If the US Supreme
Court in the coming days decides a
high-profile immigration case in favour
of the Obama administration, the ruling
could have an unexpected beneficiary:
Republican presidential contender
The Obama administration is
asking the high court to revive its 2014
proposal to protect up to 4 million
people from deportation, a plan that
was blocked by lower courts. The court
could rule that a president has broad
authority to interpret and enforce
federal immigration law.
Such a ruling would allow Obama
to implement his signature executive
action on immigration, aimed at the
parents of US citizens’ children, before
he leaves office. It could also help Trump,
who has put forth his own sweeping and
controversial plans on immigration
ahead of the November 8 election.
“To the extent the court has language
about the president’s wide authority in
immigration law generally, that would
certainly strengthen Trump’s hand,” said
Stephen Yale-Loehr, an immigration law
expert at Cornell Law School.
The Supreme Court’s ruling will
come at a key phase in the presidential
election cycle, with candidates Trump
and his Democratic rival Hillary
Clinton trading jabs over immigration
policy. Trump has proposed curbing
immigration from countries with a
history of terrorism and deporting
US President Barack Obama speaks
while celebrating the 100th anniversary
of the US National Parks system at
Yosemite National Park. — AFP
the estimated 11 million people in the
United States who entered the country
If he wins the race for the White
House, Trump might need to invoke
his own executive authority if the
US Congress does not approve his
proposals, which have sparked outrage
at home and abroad.
The current case is unlikely to provide
any support for Trump’s proposal to bar
immigrants, which legal experts say
would face other legal hurdles because
it targets people on the basis of religion.
But legal experts say it could help
Trump if he seeks to block entry from
certain countries under a provision
of immigration law that gives the
president the power to suspend entry
of noncitizens whose entry “would
be detrimental to the interests of the
Trump has proposed curbing
immigration from countries
with a history of terrorism
and deporting the estimated
11 million people in the
United States who entered
the country illegally.
That provision has previously only
been used block entry of small groups
of people, such as officials linked with
foreign governments hostile to the
United States. Applying it to entire
countries could prompt a similar lawsuit
to the one filed against Obama.
Clinton could also seize on an
Obama victory in the case, but her
own immigration proposals are more
modest. She has said that absent action
by Congress to reform the system
entirely, she would keep Obama’s
programme in place and seek to expand
Under the US Constitution,
Congress passes laws and the executive
branch enforces them. Congress
has traditionally given the president
considerable leeway to interpret how to
implement the laws. — Reuters
launch was to see whether the capsule
could still land safely if one of its three
strings of parachutes failed.
After the two parachutes deployed,
the capsule could be seen rocking like a
bell as it came down.
A larger chute was released seconds
before the capsule landed, stabilizing
it. A second before touchdown, rocket
thrusters on the capsule were activated
to cushion the landing.
Blue Origin’s long-term goal is to
send people into space, using reusable
Its breakthroughs and parallel efforts
by rival Internet mogul Elon Musk’s
SpaceX open up the potential for cutting
costs for space travel and making rockets
as reusable as aeroplanes. — AFP
ARIZONA: Republican Donald
Trump said on Sunday the United
States should consider more racial
profiling in law enforcement, after
urging harsher policies following last
week’s mass shooting in Orlando.
“I think profiling is something that
we’re going to have to start thinking
about as a country,” Trump said when
asked on CBS whether he supported
more profiling of immigrants in
“You look at others, and they do it
and they do it successfully. And you
know, I hate the concept of profiling,
but we have to start using common
sense,” he added.
Republican nominee for president,
has drawn criticism from many in his
party for his racial comments after the
Hillary Clinton, the presumptive
Democratic nominee, has said the
comments show Trump is unfit to be
House of Representatives Speaker
Paul Ryan endorsed Trump but has
said a ban is not in US interests. In
excerpts of an NBC interview released
on Friday, Ryan said Republicans
weighing whether to vote for Trump
should follow their “conscience.”
Trump brushed off the criticism
on Sunday and said he would put
up his own money for his campaign
if needed. “It would be nice if the
Republicans stuck together,” Trump
said in an ABC interview. “I can win,
one way or another.” — Reuters
e e e du
Hungary wades into Brexit debate
Hungary’s controversial Prime Minister Viktor Orban will publish an open letter in
British media this week urging Britons to vote to remain in the European Union,
his government said on Sunday.
M O N DAY l J U N E 2 0 l 2 0 1 6
Campaigning resumes after MP’s murder
WARNING: Cameron warns there will be no ‘turning back’ for Britons after leaving EU
LONDON: Campaigning for Britain’s
EU referendum resumed on Sunday
following a pause after the shock murder of MP Jo Cox, with the latest opinion poll average putting the rival camps
Prime Minister David Cameron
warned there was no “turning back” if
Britons vote to leave the European Union, saying it would be a “humiliation”
for the nation.
As polls showed the Remain camp
gaining ground just four days from
Thursday’s critical in-or-out vote, leading Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage said
Cox’s murder had cost the Leave campaign momentum.
Her alleged killer, 52-year-old Thomas Mair, shouted “Death to traitors,
freedom for Britain”, when he appeared
in court on Saturday.
“Her humanity was powerful and
compelling and we would do well to recognise her as an amazing example: a 21st
century Good Samaritan,” Reverend
Paul Knight said at the church service.
After a three-day pause, political
leaders hit the stump again on their final
push for votes in a referendum that will
shape not only the future of Britain but
also the EU.
The What UK Thinks website’s average of the last six polls, conducted
between June 10 and Saturday, put the
If you’re not sure, don’t take
the risk of leaving. If you
don’t know, don’t go.
Britain Prime Minister
Hand-written notes from British Prime Minister David Cameron (bottom (L), and
Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corby, are pictured in a book of condolence at St
Peter’s Church in Birstall. — AFP
Remain and Leave camps level at 50-50,
excluding undecided voters.
The Leave camp had been a few percentage points ahead in recent polling,
but fresh surveys showing a rise in support for remaining brought the average
A Survation poll conducted on Friday and Saturday put Remain at 45 per
cent and Leave at 42 per cent — the reverse of its findings on Thursday.
UK Independence Party (UKIP)
leader Farage said Cox’s killing had halt-
EU banking watchdog to
leave London in case of exit
BERLIN: The European Union’s
banking watchdog will move from
London to another European
capital if Britain decides to quit
the bloc in a referendum this week,
its chairman said in an interview
published on Sunday.
founded in 2011 as a reaction to
the global financial crisis, operates
as a pan-EU regulator, writing and
coordinating banking rules across
“If the British should decide to
leave the EU, we actually would
have to move to another European
capital,” Andrea Enria, head of
the European Banking Authority
(EBA), told the German newspaper
Welt am Sonntag.
While betting odds have
consistently indicated a vote to
remain in the EU, opinion pollsters
have so far painted contradictory
pictures of how Britons will vote.
The EBA is currently working
on an EU single rulebook aimed at
ensuring a level playing field for all
banks across the 28-country bloc’s
“This work needs to be
completed irrespective of the result
of the referendum,” said Enria, an
Italian national. “We must ensure
that there are no different rules
between the countries that have
the euro and those that do not
Enria said the European
banking sector was more stable
now than five years ago, but there
was still need for consolidation.
“If you look at the balance
sheets of banks, you could actually
ask yourself whether such low
profitability and such low return
on investment are sustainable in
the long term,” he said.
Banks should speed up
their efforts to deal with nonperforming loans and change their
internal business culture in order
to avoid future scandals and fines,
That banks have hardly made
any progress in these two areas
is the reason why the European
Central Bank (ECB) is struggling
to boost lending and generate
more growth despite its bondpurchase programme, he added.
ed Leave’s upward trajectory.
“We did have momentum until this
terrible tragedy,” he told ITV television.
The Sunday Mirror newspaper said
there was a “dramatic swing in ‘mood’”,
calling it “The Jo effect”, citing its own
Cameron said Britain was facing “an
existential choice” from which there
would be “no turning back”.
“If you’re not sure, don’t take the
risk of leaving. If you don’t know, don’t
go,” he wrote in The Sunday Telegraph
newspaper. “It would be a one-off and
permanent diminution in our standing
in the world; an abject and self-imposed
humiliation for a proud and important
country like ours.”
His Finance Minister George
Osborne told ITV television that Britain
would be “a lot poorer” outside the EU,
saying the economy could shrink by at
least five per cent to six per cent.
“You can’t predict the enormous uncertainty that exiting the EU means for
While the Remain camp has tried to
focus on the economy, the Leave campaign has made a key issue out of EU
mass immigration to Britain in the increasingly divisive campaign.
Main opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who backs the Remain
campaign, hit out at the EU’s “appalling”
treatment of Greece and told BBC televi-
sion “I don’t think you can have” an upper limit on migration “while you have
the free movement of labour”.
Osborne said he hoped Cox’s death
would lead to “a less divisive political
debate in our country” with “less baseless assertion and inflammatory rhetoric
and more reasoned argument and facts”.
Mair, who has been charged with her
murder, was remanded in custody and is
due to appear in court again on Monday.
A psychiatric report has been requested.
Meanwhile, Britain’s Sunday newspapers picked sides in their final editions
before the vote. The Mail on Sunday and
The Observer gave their support to the
Remain camp, while The Sunday Times
and The Sunday Telegraph broadsheets
backed quitting the EU.
The Mail on Sunday warned it was
“not the time to risk the peace and prosperity” of the UK.
“Those who would have you believe
in the plucky Little England of the past
are selling a dangerous illusion,” it said.
The Observer said: “For an international, liberal and open Britain, we need
to be part of the EU.”
The Sunday Telegraph however, declared that the EU “belongs to the past”.
The Sunday Times said: “Yes, we
must be prepared for difficulties, but we
should hold our nerve” in voting Leave.
Tracing the thread of Brexit
LONDON: If Britons vote to take their
country out of the European Union
on June 23, no corner of the global
financial market complex will emerge
The invisible thread that links assets
as diverse as gold, bank stocks, the
Japanese yen and government bonds
would be yanked sharply by Brexit,
an event the Bank of England said on
Thursday risks “adverse spill-overs to
the global economy”.
With global interest rates and
bond yields the lowest on record,
central banks running low on crisisfighting tools and the post-2008
economic recovery flagging, that thread
could quickly unravel, with serious
consequences for all markets.
So why will the will of one country’s
people in one referendum have such a
profound impact on global markets?
The answer is partly how
interconnected global markets are, and
partly timing — the world economic
cycle is already very long in the tooth
and central banks have far fewer options
open to them after nearly a decade of
extraordinary policy support.
Global interest rates are their lowest
for 5,000 years, according to Bank of
America, but central banks could still
cut them further. That could mean the
US Federal Reserve reversing its slowstarting tightening cycle, and European
Central Bank and Bank of Japan rates
going deeper into negative territory.
Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron (C) poses with supporters in the Liberal
Democrat Vote Remain campaign bus, in east London. — AFP
Lower rates would also depress bond
yields even further, tightening the screw
on central and commercial banks.
Over $8 trillion worth of sovereign
bonds already carry a negative yield,
according to JPMorgan.
This means holders of Japanese,
German and Swiss debt are paying
these governments for the privilege of
lending to them, in some cases out to
Flat yield curves are bad news
for banks, who make money from
borrowing short-term at low rates and
lending longer-term at higher rates.
Financial stocks have been hit hard
this year as the curve flattening has
Euro zone banks are down 30 per
cent this year, Japanese banks 35 per
cent, UK banks 20 per cent, and US
banks 10 per cent.
Banks are also being squeezed by
negative deposit rates. The ECB, Bank
of Japan and Swiss National Bank all
charge banks for depositing cash.
It may even become cheaper for
banks to put billions of yen, euros
or francs of their customers’ cash in
vaults — a possibility German lender
Commerzbank is examining.
As for central banks, any move
deeper into the uncharted world of
negative interest rates would be taken
LONDON: Donald Trump told Britons he supported Brexit, repeating
just days before the vote on June 23
that he thinks the UK would be better
off outside the European Union.
As the campaign to decide Britain’s EU membership restarted
Trump, the presumptive Republican
US presidential candidate, said in a
newspaper interview he was backing an “out” vote. “I would personally
be more inclined to leave, for a lot of
reasons like having a lot less bureaucracy,” he told the Sunday Times. “But
I am not a British citizen. This is just
The billionaire businessman also
told the newspaper that he would
seek to have good relationships internationally if he were elected president in November, including with
David Cameron. Trump said in May
that Britain would be better off outside the EU because of high levels
of migration. Trump, whose mother
was Scottish, is due to be in Britain
the day after the referendum, when
he visits two golf courses he owns in
Scotland. — Reuters
to stay in UK
WARSAW: Eighty per cent of the
estimated 800,000 Poles living in
Britain want to stay there even if it
leaves the EU, while just three per
cent want to return home, a poll
published on Sunday said.
More than half of the Polish
migrants surveyed by Poland’s IBRiS
pollsters also said they intend to
apply for British citizenship.
The study conducted on June 1517 is the largest ever involving Polish
migrants in Britain, which could vote
to leave the EU in a referendum on
A further 10 per cent of Polish
migrants said they would move to
another EU state if a Brexit meant
they would have to leave Britain.
“Almost nobody wants to leave
Britain,” IBRiS chief Marcin Duma
wrote in a commentary summing up
the survey results.
As non-citizens, the vast majority
of Poles in Britain are not entitled to
vote in Thursday’s referendum.
Seeking a better life, Poles were
the largest group of migrants to head
to Britain after the EU’s 2004 ‘Big
Bang’ eastern expansion.
The IBRiS survey also found that
nearly 80 per cent of Polish migrants
agreed with reforms pushed through
by conservative British Prime
Minister David Cameron to limit
their child benefits, a hot-button
issue in the referendum. — AFP
p ctu es
M O N DAY l J U N E 2 0 l 2 0 1 6
DESIGNER BALCONY: The balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in central London
where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has hold up for four years. — AFP
OLYMPIC FEVER: A boy plays on the letters that spell the name Olympic City in
Portuguese at Maua Plaza in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. — AFP
WHALE BREACHES: A humpback whale breaches off the
coast at Clovelly Beach in Sydney, Australia. — Reuters
FIREFIGHTING: A firefighting DC-10 Air Tanker drops fire retardant at the Sherpa Fire near Santa Barbara, California. — AFP
RACE FASHION: Women wearing hats attend the 167th ‘Prix de Diane’, a 2100metre flat horse race, in Chantilly, north of Paris. — AFP
5 RIBBONS: Ukraine’s gymnasts
compete during the apparatus final — 5
ribbons during the 32nd Rhythmic
Gymnastics European championships at
the Holon Toto Hall. — AFP
SHIP ON BARGE: Wreckage of trawler ‘Bugaled Breizh’, is installed on a barge, as
it is being escorted by military ships towards a French military port of Brest. — AFP
MEN’S SLALOM: Deutsch Behling Robert and Becker Thomas compete on their way to win the final of the men slalom of the
Worldcup Canoeing biplace championships in Pau. — AFP
GHANDHI SELFIE: An African-American visitor poses for a selfie with the statue of Indian independence icon Mahatma Gandhi
at the ashram in Ahmedabad. — AFP
MONDAY | JUNE 20, 2016 | RAMADHAN 14, 1437 AH
ORPIC’S ITQAN PROGRAMME GARNERS GOOD RESPONSE P19
QATAR PREDICTS AT LEAST THREE YEARS OF BUDGET DEFICITS P21
INDIA BEGINS SEARCH FOR CENTRAL BANK CHIEF P24
Pvt sector credit by banks up 15.1 pc Stay the course despite
BORROWERS: Personal loans account for a massive 46 pc followed by non-ﬁnancial sector
June 19: Banking sector in Oman has
continued the positive growth path so
far this year marked by increases in the
aggregates including credit, deposits
and provision coverage.
Of the total assets of the commercial
banks, which increased by 7.7 per
cent to RO 28.6 billion this year from
RO 26.5 billion a year ago, credit
disbursement accounted for 67.2 per
cent and increased by 9.4 per cent at end
April this year to RO 19.2 billion.
According to the Central Bank of
Oman, (CBO), credit to the private
sector registered an increase of 15.1
per cent to RO 18.8 billion as at the
end of April 2016. Of this, the share
of the household sector, mainly under
personal loans, stood at a massive 46
per cent, closely followed by the nonfinancial corporate sector at 45.8 per
cent, financial corporations at 5.3 per
cent and other sectors the remaining 2.9
“In the recent period, the Omani
economy had to contend with the
challenges associated with the global and
regional slowdown in economic activity,
lower oil prices and fiscal and current
oil price rally, says Aufi
Total deposits held
with Islamic banks and
windows also registered
a significant increase to
RO 1.72 billion in April
2016 from RO 0.8 billion
outstanding as at the end
of April 2015
account deficits. Notwithstanding these
challenges, the banking sector registered
significant growth”, the CBO said in its
monthly bulletin for April.
The CBO said that there have been
major increases in industrial activities
electricity and water supply and
construction, which grew by 13.8 per
cent 11.0 per cent and 8.6 per cent,
respectively, during the period.
Islamic banking entities provided
financing to the extent of RO 1.95
billion as at the end of April 2016 when
compared to RO 1.3 billion a year ago.
Total deposits held with Islamic
banks and windows also registered a
significant increase to RO 1.72 billion
in April 2016 from RO 0.8 billion
outstanding as at the end of April 2015.
The total assets of Islamic banks
and windows combined, amounted to
RO 2.5 billion as at the end of April 2016
which constituted about 8.3 per cent of
the banking system assets.
Banks invested RO 368.6 million
in government treasury bills as at the
end of April 2016. Commercial banks’
investments in foreign securities stood
at RO 853.1 million in April 2016,
registering an increase of 61.3 per cent
over the year. Aggregate deposits held
with conventional banks registered a
modest increase of 2.8 per cent to RO
18.3 billion in April 2016 from RO 17.8
billion a year ago. Government deposits
with conventional banks declined by 8.4
per cent to RO 4.7 billion. Investment
in government development bonds
and Government Sukuk increased by
37.7 per cent over the year to RO 923.1
million at the end of April 2016.
TO PAGE 19
June 19: The recent upswing in
international oil prices, which has seen
the price of Omani crude more than
double to over $46 per barrel since
the start of the year, is no cause for
celebration just yet, according to a top
official of the Ministry of Oil and Gas.
Salim bin Nasser al Aufi, UnderSecretary, urged the nation’s energy
producers “to stay the course” as they
continue to deliver on their production
targets while operating in a low oil price
“It’s too early to start feeling
comfortable now that prices are
picking up,” Al Aufi warned. “We have
a programme and strategy set for low
oil price challenges. We are still in a
low oil price scenario. The (recent)
improvement in the oil price is shaky.”
adopted by oil and gas producers
in the wake of the oil price collapse
have seen budgets pared to the bone,
several capital-intensive mega schemes
and production costs and wastage
significantly reduced, in a far-reaching
effort to sustain operations in a low oil
“It’s too early to start celebrating,
and even if the price picks up I want
the companies to continue to be very
resilient and scrutinise every dollar they
spend,” the Under-Secretary noted.
“Our message to the companies is to
stay the course, capture all the benefits
gained by scrutinising all our activities
and our spends, and building on it to
make sure we don’t allow waste to creep
back in again into the business. There is
still a lot of work that needs to be done,
and I think they should continue on
that journey. Of course, a lot has been
done, but we need to make sure we hold
on to it,” Al Aufi stated.
TO PAGE 19
M O N DAY l J U N E 2 0 l 2 0 1 6
Alargan Towell participates in Dar
Al Atta’a Ramadhan initiative
GMC Yukon packages stand
unbeaten this Ramadhan
its efforts towards social
responsibility in the local
community, Alargan Towell,
one of the Sultanate’s leading
real estate development
companies, extended its
support to Dar Al Atta’a
packs to families in need.
Commenting on the importance of participating in such initiative, Abeer Khamis
al Balushi, Head of Marketing at Alargan Towell said: “Providing support to the
local community, especially those in need, is at the core of our CSR initiatives. At
Alargan Towell we believe that it is our responsibility to support such important
Alargan Towell staff in partnership with Dar Al Atta’a volunteered and
participated in the distribution of Ramadhan ration packs to families in the
Wilayat of Barka. The packs were delivered to the Omani Women Association at
Barka. In total 33 families in Barka received the ration packs.
Moosa Abdul Rahman, the sole
distributer of the premium GMC
vehicles in Oman, is all set to
spawn a revolution this Ramadhan
with the proficient, luxurious and
roomy Yukon models at amazing
prices starting from RO 16,995.
Popular for an array of efficient
features from spacious interiors,
bold styling and premium
materials to inspiring capability,
the Yukon, Yukon XL and Yukon Denali are meticulously crafted to enhance style,
comfort and durability providing its customers pure joy in driving experience.
Across the range, customers have a lot to look forward to while purchasing a
Yukon — complimentary installation of 3M sun control film on select models,
500 litres of petrol or RO 77 worth with the purchase of each vehicle, 30,000
km service, five years unlimited km warranty, three years roadside assistance
and complimentary registration on all models. To top it, select models will be
accompanied with a 40-inch Samsung LED TV and RO 100 Lulu gift vouchers.
One of the most coveted vehicles in the GMC profile, Yukon is known for its
uncompromising style. The interiors present the perfect blend of craftsmanship
and functionality. The details include an authentic aluminium trim, three distinct
heating and cooling zones that can keep a car-full of eight passengers through all
three rows, cool and comfortable. The pedals in SLT are power adjustable while
In celebration of
Ramadhan and the heated steering wheel is an optional feature. The experience of travelling is
the football season, Bank Sohar has unparalleled to for its customers due to the valved exhaust system that drastically
launched its second Facebook contest reduces interior noise and vibration.
of the year titled ‘Ramadhan Euro Cup
Competition’. The competition will
revolve around the recent Euro Cup
football season; the competition started
in June 12 till June 30 on the Bank’s
Facebook page (www.facebook.com/
excel.banksohar) and boasting a prize
pool of RO 1,500 split amongst 15
winners. In order to participate, Bank
Sohar Facebook followers need to log
into their Facebook accounts and visit Bank Sohar’s Facebook Page. Once the
page has been ‘Followed’, they then need to look for the competition related post
on Bank Sohar’s wall on each day of the contest, beginning from June 12, and
correctly answer the posted multiple choice question. The first correct entry from
each user per question will be entered into a computerised draw to be conducted
after the competition ends. The draw will see a total of 15 lucky winners, one for
The joy and excitement continued at Lulu as the third set of Dream Drive
each of the fifteen questions; each receiving a cash prize of RO 100.
Commenting on the launch of the contest Munira Abdulnabi Macki, GM campaign winners were announced on last week. The draw took place at the
of HR and Corporate Support at Bank Sohar said: “As the national sport of the Nizwa outlet in the presence of the officials from the Ministry of Commerce and
country, football holds a special place in the heart of the people and events such Industry and the senior management of Lulu who announced the winners to a
group of eager customers.
as the Euro Cup football season are always looked forward to.”
Bank Sohar announce Ramadhan
Euro Cup FB competition
Lulu’s third set of Dream Drive winners
This time Sara Salim al Halrami was the lucky winner to drive home the
grand prize, the third of the 6 brand new Land Rover Discovery Sports SUV cars.
The other lucky ones to win a range of useful products from Ikon were Tarteeb
Said Zahar who won the 5 Burner Cooking Range, Ahlam bin Thani Khalfan al
Amriya who won the Automatic Washing Machine, Shaikh Abdullah who took
home the Air Cooler, Sooraj and Ahmed Saeed Salim Al Hinai who won the VIO
Smart Phone and 3D Air Fryer, respectively.
The next draw will be held on June 26.
Rewards time for Nissan Patrol customers
As part of Nissan Oman’s
Rewards” offer, customers
of Nissan Patrol can enjoy
a host of benefits this
Ramadhan. Nissan Oman
is offering a plethora of
rewards for the patrons
of Nissan Patrol, a
vehicle that promises an
experience. Offering a
wide range of attractive
value schemes, Nissan
Oman, from the house of Suhail Bahwan Automobiles (SBA), has worked out
offers that patrons are sure to find appealing. Attractive cash gift, free periodic
maintenance service package, fuel card, free registration and extended mileage
warranty are among the choice of benefits customers of Nissan Patrol can enjoy.
Moreover, they also get a chance to participate in a grand raffle. In addition, there
are extra benefits on purchase of second vehicle in family as well as a part of
loyalty scheme. Under the “Season of Rewards” offer, customers can avail an
assured cash gift of RO 1,000 on buying Nissan Patrol.
Customers buying Nissan Patrol will get a scratch and win card which will
entitle them to two assured gifts comprising of free periodic maintenance service
upto lifetime of the car (minimum assured 1 year/ 10,000 km PMS; offer includes
new service intervals of (10,000 km) and free fuel up to RO 1,000 (minimum
assured of RO 50).
Nissan Patrol buyers can enjoy extra benefits such as free registration, 6 years
unlimited mileage extended warranty and loyalty card benefits among others.
Loyal customers stand to enjoy additional benefits on purchase of a second
Nissan vehicle in the family. To avail additional benefits under the scheme, the
second car can be purchased either in the name of existing Nissan owner or his/
her immediate family members (wife/husband/son/daughter/brother/sister).
Customers can avail a special EMI rate starting from RO 279 on Nissan Patrol
XE VK56 K-0 V8 5AT P16.
SBA has designed some easy and convenient financing options to ease the
convenience of owning a Nissan Patrol. Flexible EMIs can also be tailor-made for
any individual requirement from in-house auto finance team.
For test drive options call Nissan Toll free 80050011. For more details on the
Nissan Patrol visit their new website: www.nissanoman.com
Oman United Exchange
celebrates 2 years of
operations in Duqm
Oman United Exchange Company (OUE), established in
1983 is one of the leading exchange houses in Oman and is
celebrating its second anniversary in Duqm. Speaking at the
event Syed Faraz Ahmed, the General-Manager of OUE said:
“At Oman United Exchange, we were among the pioneers
to recognise the potential of Duqm, two years ago. With
government’s efforts to develop the Duqm Special Economic
Zone combined with the rapid development of the port,
upcoming rail network and the huge investments which
are pouring in every day, we at Oman United Exchange are
confident about the future growth and we wish to be a part
of this success story.”
With branches spread throughout the Sultanate, Oman
United Exchange provides services such as remittances,
purchase & sale of foreign currency, instant money transfer,
drafts, telegraphic transfer and provides bank account
opening facilities for select countries.
In addition, when clients remit money from Oman United
Exchange to Pakistan, the beneficiaries can instantly collect
it from any of the 3,000 bank locations across Pakistan. The
company plans to commence a similar service for India and
Bangladesh in the near future.
AHLIBANK’S RAMADHAN CHARITY
Parviz al Balushi, Branch Manager of ahlibank Main Branch,
presents a cheque to an official from Oman Cancer Association
as part of the bank’s annual Ramadhan campaign.
Dreams come true with
Chevrolet this Ramadhan
It is that time of the year again when Chevrolet makes
dreams come true with exciting Ramadhan offers on their
exciting range of vehicles. The Ramadhan Promotion
Scheme of Chevrolet now makes it even more easy to own
your favourite Chevrolet this season. Anil Dua, Managing
Director of OTE said: “Chevrolet is a highly aspirational
brand and this Ramadhan, we look forward to welcome
many more fans of the brand into the Chevrolet family. Our
promotional offer from Chevrolet is reflective of the spirit
of Ramadhan.” With cash gift up to RO 2,000, customers
can choose to add it to the down payment thus making
the monthly installments lower and even more affordable.
The availability of insurance & registration on saloon
models further add to the convenience of customers. While
purchasing any Chevrolet as part of the promotion scheme,
customers will also receive gift shopping vouchers.
M O N DAY l J U N E 2 0 l 2 0 1 6
VAT, Excise Tax treaties get GCC
ﬁnance ministers’ nod
Pvt sector credit by
banks up 15.1 per cent
REVENUE STREAM: GCC ﬁrms must act now to prepare for VAT and Excise Tax, says PwC
According to the CBO, deposits of
public enterprises increased by 45.9 per
cent to RO 1.2 billion during the same
period. Private sector deposits, which
constituted 66 per cent of total deposits
with conventional banks, increased by
4.7 per cent to RO 12.1 billion in April
2016 from RO 11.5 billion a year ago.
The core capital and reserves of
conventional banks stood at RO 3.7
billion as at the end of the April 2016,
a rise of 17.7 per cent over the previous
Total deposits also registered a
significant growth of 7.4 per cent to RO
20 billion as at the end of April 2016.
Private sector deposits of the banking
system registered a growth of 7.8 per
cent to RO 13 billion as at the end of
June 19: The GCC Ministers of Finance
held an extraordinary meeting on
Thursday, June 16, in Jeddah and
approved in principle the Value Added
Tax (VAT) and Excise Tax treaties. Some
administrative matters still need to be
resolved, notably with regards to the
tax collection mechanism related to
intra-GCC trade. The GCC Committee
has been tasked to provide its
recommendation by the end of summer
in view of the formal announcement of
The Excise Tax and VAT treaties
constitute the common framework for
the introduction of these taxes in the
GCC which is expected to occur by
January 1, 2017 and January 1, 2018,
respectively. The treaties will form the
basis for the issuance of national VAT
and Excise Tax legislation by each GCC
Commenting on this Jeanine Daou,
Middle East Indirect Taxes Partner,
said: “The introduction of VAT and
Excise Tax constitute an important
policy reform aiming to help GCC
Governments achieve medium to long
term social and economic policy goals,
and reduce reliance on hydrocarbon
revenues. Approval of the treaties is
an important development as it sets
out common principles that will guide
the application of VAT and Excise Tax
at a national level by each individual
Member State. Companies should take
action now, if they have not already, to
prepare for the implementation of the
new tax systems and be ready by go-live
Upon the ratification of the treaties,
each Member State will need to issue
its own national VAT and Excise Tax
legislation based on the agreed common
principles. This will entail the issuance of
national VAT and Excise Tax laws along
with the implementing regulations in
accordance with each Member State’s
national legislative process. This should
happen ahead of the expected go
live date, allowing sufficient time for
businesses to get ready.
In any case, businesses need to start
preparing in advance to be able to
comply with the new tax obligations
including charging, collecting and
paying VAT and Excise Tax to the Tax
Authority in a timely manner. It is the
Orpic’s ItQan programme
garners good response
right time to start creating awareness
and increase knowledge throughout the
organisation, as well as start assessing
the potential impacts of the new taxes
on the business, including impact on
margins and cash flow. It is also essential
to ensure the right systems and processes
are in place to apply the tax correctly
and generate the required reporting and
The formal announcement of the
GCC common VAT and Excise Tax
treaties is expected now in the last
quarter of this year and this will pave
the way for the adoption of the new tax
systems by GCC Member States by the
expected dates. Businesses should start
adopting VAT and excise tax compliant
strategies now to ensure a smooth
transition at a later stage.
FROM PAGE 17
Stay the course despite
oil price rally, says Aufi
FROM PAGE 17
The theme was also echoed at
presentations made by the management
of Petroleum Development Oman
(PDO), which accounts for the bulk of
the nation’s oil output as well as almost
all of its gas production, to senior
company executives recently.
Managing Director Raoul Restucci
urged company staff to redouble efforts
to curb costs and increase cashflow
across all areas of PDO’s business.
MUSCAT SECURITIES MARKET
June 19: As a responsible corporate,
Orpic firmly believes in bringing the
potential of its people by offering
training and development opportunities
for employees to grow within Orpic. It
launched a new initiative to support the
development of a competent workforce
to run its plants reliably and meet its
future growth plans.
The ItQan programme aims to build
a functional system to expand employee
competencies in order to improve
operations and maximise the plants’
utilisation. The project has targeted
around 870 employees. At a first step, six
positions were identified in operations,
wherein employees were evaluated and
their competencies would be nurtured
Kamil al Shanfari, General Manager,
Sohar Operations, Orpic, explained:
“When we started the ItQan programme,
our objective was to identify gaps and
assess training needs in line with the
employee’s career path. After intensive
sessions with employees, we are happy
to note that we engaged with more than
700 employees, certified 124 employees
for foundation, 128 employees taking
on more complex jobs and a learning
culture actively introduced.”
He further added: “Not only that,
we have on-going engagement and
awareness sessions with clearly defined
roles and responsibilities. This in turn
has led employees to take on more
ownership and commitment which
is crucial in making Orpic a leading
performer in its sector.”
Experience Prius on Virtual Reality
at Toyota Wattayah showroom
MUSCAT: There is something
special happening at the WattayahMuscat Toyota showroom. “A thrilla-minute Virtual Reality fantasy ride
on the Toyota Prius is waiting for you
right here in Muscat — at the iconic
Toyota showroom,” says the Toyota
spokesperson. “Come and visit the
showroom with your family and you’ll
be treated to a special ride of a hi-tech
platform (as pictured) for an experience
you won’t forget!” The ride experience
is free and open to all at the Toyota
Wattayah showroom until June 30.
Visitors who have taken the ride have
been extremely thrilled with it: “It was
like…like I was driving a Toyota Prius
in real life,” exclaimed a visitor while
describing the ride,
“So real… I looked up and saw the
sky, I looked around and there were
cars….it totally blew my mind! I really
have no more words…wow…what an
experience,” said he, with a huge smile.
The spokesperson explains: “The
moment a visitor steps into the Prius
Virtual Drive Zone, he or she is able to
explore Hybrid Technology like never
before with different units of the set up.
To begin with, there is a kiosk “What is
a hybrid vehicle?’” that explains how the
Prius works with twin-power. There is
then an exciting giant 84” Touch-Screen
interface, which provides easy answers
to 13 Frequently Asked Questions in an
There also is a real cutaway of the
hybrid battery used in the actual car,
showcased for the visitors. Made of
a special Nickel Metal Hydride, this
original equipment Hybrid battery is
covered for a period of whopping 8
years or 160,000 Kilometres (whichever
comes first). So in a short glance, one
can quickly understand how the Prius
works and what hybrid technology
At the ‘Hybrid Virtual Driving’ kiosk,
as mentioned earlier, you experience
a magical drive in the virtual world,
which is one of the most exciting parts.
There also is a Prius car at the display to
explore the car in detail apart from a Test
Drive car that demonstrates the surging
experience of twin-power coming to life
Regarded by the industry experts as the
‘New Era Hybrid’, the Toyota Prius has a
striking, new design that complements
its refined interiors. It stands out as a
global hybrid icon.
Therefore, there is no need to wait,
head for the Muscat Toyota showroom
with your family and join the joyride!
Please log onto www.toyotaoman.com,
www.youtube.com/ toyotaoman or
www.facebook.com / toyotaoman for
test drive requests and the latest press
Sector-wise, the share of households
was 50.6 per cent of the total
private sector deposit base, followed
by non-financial corporations at 26.1
per cent, financial corporations at 19.2
per cent and the other sectors at 4.1 per
In respect of domestic interest rate
structure of conventional banks, the
weighted average interest rate on rial
deposits firmed up from 0.908 per cent
in April 2015 to 1.083 per cent in April
2016, while the weighted average rial
lending rate decreased from 4.945 per
cent to 4.796 per cent during the same
The overnight rial Omani domestic
inter-bank lending rate firmed up to
0.401 per cent in April 2016 from 0.197
per cent a year ago.
He also reaffirmed the need for PDO
to stay the course on its key objectives,
which include early monetisation
in exploration, adding more lowcost barrels to PDO inventory, and
maintaining world class standards in
project delivery, and Well, Reservoir
and Facilities Management.
al Marhubi also emphasised the
importance of greater collaboration
AirAsia online systems to close on June 21
AirAsia will shut down its online systems on June 21 for 27 hours due to maintenance, the
Malaysian low-cost airline announced on Sunday. “Self check-in and ‘manage my booking’
will not be available from 12 midnight on June 21 to 3 am on June 22 for scheduled
maintenance of our online systems,” the budget carrier said in a statement here.
M O N DAY l J U N E 2 0 l 2 0 1 6
ADEPTIO AGREES TO BUY AMERICANA STAKE AT 26 PC PREMIUM
UAE-based investor group led by
Emaar Properties Chairman
Mohamed Alabbar said it agreed to buy
Kuwait Food Co shares from its majority
stockholder for $2.36 billion. Adeptio AD
Investments SPC Ltd, the group led by
Alabbar, will pay 2.65 Kuwaiti dinars
($8.80) per share to buy a stake in the
company known as Americana from Al
Khair National for Stocks and Real Estate
Co, the companies said in a statement.
That represents a 26 per cent premium in
a sales process that has stretched back at
least two years. Adeptio will launch a
mandatory takeover offer for the
remaining shares of Americana at the
same price, according to the statement.
Al Khair owns a 67 per cent stake in the
company that operates KFC and Pizza
Hut restaurants in the Middle East and
North Africa, according to data compiled
by Bloomberg. Throughout the years,
suitors have included Singapore’s
Temasek Holdings Pte, KKR & Co and
CVC Capital Partners Ltd. “We are
delighted to have acquired one of the
crown jewels of the Middle East,” Alabbar
said in the statement. “With its long and
successful history as the leading food and
restaurants business in MENA, Americana
is uniquely positioned in the region.”
Adeptio hired Goldman Sachs Group for
advice on the transaction. — Bloomberg
In crude trade war, S Arabia
emerges the next winner
audi Arabia is poised to boost its share
of Opec oil production in the coming
months, as Iran’s rapid recovery runs
out of steam and the kingdom raises output as
summer temperatures soar.
Opec’s biggest exporter has seen its share of
the group’s production chipped away despite
its landmark decision in November 2014 to
no longer support crude prices by holding
back supply. The strategic shift was driven by
a desire to protect its own market share, but
that’s been restrained by rising production
from Iraq, Indonesia’s return to Opec and the
easing of sanctions on Iran.
Outsiders won’t be too fussed about
Riyadh’s share of Opec output, but within the
kingdom and the group this matters. Saudi
Arabia wants to stay dominant in its biggest
export markets, plus it desperately wants to
avoid losing ground to Iran.
In April, Saudi Arabia’s share of Opec
production (excluding recently returned
Indonesia) was no higher than before the
policy shift. That may be about to change.
The circumstances that have eaten into its
market share since last summer are changing,
while the kingdom holds almost all the world’s
readily available spare production capacity,
leaving it the only country that can raise output
quickly. Iraq, whose daily output has risen by
1 million barrels since November 2014, will
struggle to maintain growth. The collapse in
oil prices and a costly war against the IS have
left the government unable to meet its share of
the cost of developing fields in Iraq’s south. It
has asked partner companies to cut spending
and output is now 140,000 barrels a day lower
than January’s peak.
More recently, it’s been Iran nibbling
away at the Saudi market. Since the easing
of sanctions, Iran has surprised analysts with
the speed of its recovery. Observed crude
exports, monitored by Bloomberg tanker
tracking, jumped from 1.3 million barrels a
day in January to more than 2 million barrels
in April and May.
Yet, as Bloomberg News pointed out
last week, the spectacular rise may have
come to an end already. Further growth will
depend on foreign investment that’s far from
certain. Bloomberg tanker tracking suggests
the situation could be even more serious.
Observed crude exports in the first half of June
slumped to just 1.37 million barrels a day. This
could just be a matter of scheduling tankers,
but Iran will need a very strong upturn in the
rest of June to match the average sales of the
past two months.
Of greater concern, the shipment slump
could show the surge has been driven, at least
in part, by sales of crude from storage tanks. If
that’s the case, recent export levels will prove
unsustainable. Iran remains an opaque place
and official sources assert that May’s daily
output reached 3.8 million barrels. The IEA
pegged May production at 3.64 million barrels
a day, while Bloomberg’s survey put it at 3.53
If Iranian exports do keep faltering, don’t be
surprised if those of its rival across the Persian
Gulf head in the opposite direction. Even
as Riyadh eyes a post-oil future through its
“Vision 2030” plan to diversify the economy,
expect it to seize advantage of any slowing
rival. The game is still about grabbing longterm markets for its own crude. — Bloomberg
Iran reaches deal to purc
TEHRAN: Iran said on Sunday
it has reached an agreement with
American aerospace giant Boeing
to purchase 100 aircraft to renew
its ageing fleet, though the deal
must still be approved by the US
government. The Islamic republic
has ordered about 200 planes from
three Western manufacturers since
mid-January, when economic
sanctions were lifted following
a deal on Tehran’s nuclear
Ali Abedzadeh, head of Iran’s
civil aviation authority said in
remarks published by the daily
Iran newspaper that an agreement
had been reached with Boeing
for the purchase but said the deal
was contingent on US Treasury
Deputy Transport Minister
Asghar Fakhrieh Kashan, however,
said on Sunday that he hoped the
initial accord could be completed
within a month. He told the Fars
news agency that the deal would
be “the largest and most important
contract” with the United States
— barring military deals —
since before Iran’s 1979 Islamic
A nuclear agreement in July with
six world powers, including the US,
has lifted some of the economic
sanctions on Iran in return for
limits on the Islamic republic’s
controversial atomic programme.
Many of Iran’s ageing civil
aviation fleet — 230 planes out of
250 according to Abedzadeh — are
in desperate need of replacement.
Alibaba banking on
demand in China
for German goods
ESSEN: Internet giant Alibaba is banking on a
rise in demand for German products in China,
thanks to a growing middle class, the head of
the Chinese company’s Germany branch said
“There is a very high demand for German
products in China,” said Terry von Bibra, who
since November has been Managing Director of
Alibaba Group Germany.
The company is still in the development
stages in Germany, he said, but Europe plays an
important part in Alibaba’s long-term strategy.”
Our goal is to make it easier to do business
across the world.”
One of the strategy’s main points is to
expand the number of Germany-produced
consumer goods being offered to Chinese
customers,especially brand products falling in
the medium to high price range.
Alibaba’s business model is to offer German
companies a platform to enter the growing
Chinese online marketplace, which is showing
no signs of slowing down, said von Bibra, despite
a recent cooling off in China’s overall economic
Alibaba began in 1999 when Jack Ma founded
the website Alibaba.com, a business-to-business
portal to connect Chinese manufacturers with
overseas buyers. — dpa
Boeing has fallen behind the
race to restock Iran because as an
American company it has to obtain
the greenlight from the US Office
of Foreign Assets Control before
completing any contracts with Iran.
authorisation for the sale, according
He said the contract’s reported
value of $17 billion was not final
and that more details will be
iat Chrysler Chief Executive Officer
Sergio Marchionne is considering
adding full electric vehicles to the
carmaker’s line-up including the Maserati
Alfieri sportscar and a small city car.
“I’ve always thought the economic
model that supports Tesla is something
that Fiat Chrysler could replicate as we
have the brand and the vehicles to do it,”
Marchionne told Bloomberg Television
in Venice. “I think that to use one of
our potential cars as an experiment in
this area is interesting.” Fiat Chrysler
Automobiles NV’s expansion into the
electric car business would follow
Volkswagen AG’s plans to accelerate
efforts to adapt to the
toward self-driving el
Earlier this month, Vo
out a sweeping strate
on electric cars, autom
services such as ride-h
to emerge from the d
scandal that’s weighe
Fiat is considering
electric city car for the
which would be the fi
sold in the region, sai
who turned 64 on Frid
sells an electric versio
subcompact only in it
UAE for greater trade ties with Germany
The UAE and Germany are to strengthen economic relations and develop partnerships
between their business communities. Mohammed Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz al Shehhi,
Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Economy for Economic Affairs, and Felix Neugart, CEO
of German Emirati Joint Council for Industry and Commerce, at a meeting held in Dubai.
chase 100 Boeing planes
provided after further negotiations.
Wednesday that it was in talks with
Iranian airlines interested in buying
its passenger planes.
“We have been engaged in
discussions with Iranian airlines
approved by the (US government)
about potential purchases of
Boeing commercial passenger
aircraft and services,” the company
said in an email.
In February, the American
company was granted approval
from the US government to
explore resuming sales to Iran
after sanctions were partially lifted
in January. Iran and the US broke
diplomatic ties in 1980 following
a hostage crisis at the American
embassy in Tehran.
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini,
the father of modern Iran, dubbed
the US the “Great Satan” and his
s Tesla competitor
e industry’s shift
egy overhaul focused
mated driving and
hailing in an effort
ed on the company
e European market,
first electric model
d the executive,
day. Fiat currently
on of its iconic 500
ts North American
market. Marchionne said in 2014 that
the carmaker was losing at least $10,000
on every 500e it sells to comply with
California emission rules.
Marchionne also said the carmaker
will introduce more hybrid vehicles,
including the Maserati Levante sportutility vehicles. He expects carmakers to
offer hybrid versions on most models to
meet emission targets by 2021. Maserati,
which showed an Alfieri prototype at the
Geneva car show in 2014, doesn’t plan
to introduce a full electric version of the
model before the end of the company’s
five year plan which ends in 2018.
successor supreme leader Ayatollah
Ali Khamenei has kept Tehran on a
stridently anti-American path.
negotiations with Washington,
Khamenei has repeatedly warned
of American and Western
“infiltration” in the post-sanctions
Although the nuclear deal lifted
most economic sanctions, the US
and the European Union have
kept up some measures due to
Tehran’s support for certain groups
in Lebanon, as well as its ballistic
This means major international
banks, particularly in Europe,
are still reluctant to do business
with Iran for fear of punitive
US measures. Iran in January
reached a memorandum of
understanding with European
aircraft manufacturer Airbus for
the purchase of 118 planes.
That agreement is also still
pending permission from the US
Treasury, since more than 10 per
cent of Airbus components are of
American origin. — AFP
phase out 40 car
FRANKFURT: Volkswagen will stop producing
more than 40 car models in the coming years
as part of a new strategy by Europe’s biggest
automaker, German newspaper Handelsblatt
reported on Saturday.
Citing company sources, Handelsblatt said
the overhaul will involve ceasing production of
more than 40 models.
Volkswagen currently makes 340 car models
across its portfolio, which includes brands such
as Audi, Skoda and Seat.
A Volkswagen spokesman, however, said the
number of models that will be discontinued has
not been decided yet.
“A decision on how many models will be
phased out or ceased has not been taken as yet,”
Volkswagen also plans to launch more than
30 all-electric models by 2025 as the scandal-hit
auto giant tries to reposition itself as a leading
player in environmentally sustainable modes of
VW, currently entangled in a global enginerigging scandal, said in a statement that it plans
to launch “more than 30 fully electric models”
by 2025, which will account for an annual sales
of between two and three million vehicles or 2025 per cent of the group’s global sales. — Reuters
M O N DAY l J U N E 2 0 l 2 0 1 6
VALE IN TALKS WITH ASIA BUYERS FOR STAKE IN BRAZIL IRON ORE
ale SA is holding discussions with Asian
mining companies about a potential
sale of a minority stake in its Brazilian ironore assets that could fetch as much as $7
billion, according to people familiar with
The world’s top iron-ore producer may
also consider streaming deals, the people
said, asking not to be identified as the
information is private. No agreements have
been reached, and the talks may not result
in a deal, the people said.
The Rio de Janeiro-based company joins
other global miners such as FreeportMcMoRan Inc, Glencore Plc and Anglo
American Plc who are trying to pay down
debt through asset sales. Chief Executive
Officer Murilo Ferreira raised the prospect
of selling some of the company’s most
prized assets in February after Vale
reported its first year of losses since 1997.
The company has said it wants to raise
about $10 billion through next year.
A representative for Vale declined to
Vale has held early talks with bankers
about selling some assets, including all or
part of its fertiliser business and partial
stakes in its Brazilian copper operations,
people familiar with the matter said last
month. The company also discussed
putting more precious-metal streams on its
mines, they said. — Bloomberg
Qatar predicts at least 3
years of budget deﬁcits
atar’s government expects to run
a budget deficit for at least three
years as low natural gas and oil
prices weigh on its revenues, the Ministry
of Development Planning and Statistics said
In a long-term report on the Qatari
economy, the ministry forecast a fiscal
deficit of 7.8 per cent of gross domestic
product (GDP) this year, which would be
the first deficit in 15 years and bigger than
the deficit of 4.8 per cent predicted for 2016
in the ministry’s last report published in
The deficit is expected to total 7.9 per cent
of GDP next year before shrinking to 4.2 per
cent in 2018, the ministry said. Qatar, the
world’s biggest liquefied natural gas exporter,
is one of the richest of the Gulf states but
like its neighbours, it has been pushed into
austerity measures this year in an effort to
stabilise its finances. More austerity will be
needed to achieve the ministry’s projections,
the report said.
“This estimate assumes that the
government pares recurrent spending and
caps growth of capital spending below
previously programmed levels; that there are
effective cost reductions in the hydrocarbon
sector, which support transfers to the budget;
and additional non-oil and gas revenues
accrue to the budget.” Some of the projected
improvement in the fiscal balance depends
on a hoped-for rise in energy prices; the
ministry assumed the average crude oil
price would climb to $48.91 a barrel in 2018
from $45.49 in 2017 and $37.88 this year.
The ministry predicted Qatar’s economy
would grow 3.9 per cent this year, down
from a previous 4.3 per cent forecast. It
expects growth of 3.8 per cent next year and
3.2 per cent in 2018.
Liquidity in the Qatari banking system
has tightened and money market rates have
risen because of reduced inflows of gas and
oil money. The ministry said the central
bank might take several steps to reduce
pressure on liquidity.
It could cut official interest rates, continue
to suspend domestic Treasury bond issuance
while resuming its suspension of Treasury
bill issues, or adopt unconventional
measures used by central banks in other
countries such as direct purchases of
commercial bonds and extraordinary loans
to, or equity injections in, individual banks,
the ministry said without specifying which
steps were likely to be chosen.
In early 2014, the central bank announced
a new loan-to-deposit requirement for
banks of 100 per cent by the end of 2017.
The deposit side of the ratio includes only
customer deposits and not long-term
wholesale funds, which have recently been
the primary source of funding for banks.
The banks are still negotiating with
regulators to change the loan-to-deposit
formula to include long-term wholesale
funds, and the deadline for compliance may
be postponed until the end of 2018 due to
liquidity issues at Qatari banks, the ministry
said. — Reuters
MONDAY l JUNE 20, 2016 l RAMADHAN 14, 1437 AH
RENTING & LEASING
Tours and Airport Transfer
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M O N DAY l J U N E 2 0 l 2 0 1 6
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McDonald’s may shift some jobs to India
M O N DAY l J U N E 2 0 l 2 0 1 6
Fast food giant McDonald’s may be planning to outsource jobs to India
as part of a $500 million cost reduction plan it announced last November, a
media report said. A report in the New York Post said the cost reduction plan
is being spearheaded by Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook.
India begins search for central bank chief
ith Indian central bank Governor Raghuram
Rajan heading back to academia after his
term ends in September, the search for his
replacement has begun. Finance Minister
Arun Jaitley said on Saturday that a successor would be
announced shortly. India’s central bank chiefs are appointed
by the prime minister in consultation with the finance
Below are potential candidates to succeed Rajan as governor
in the world’s fastest growing major economy, according to
Ambit Capital Pvt and media reports.
Urjit Patel, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India
Urjit Patel, like Rajan, has spent several years overseas and
has about 25 years of experience in economic policy making.
With a doctorate in economics from Yale University, Patel
has been a key architect of reforms at the Reserve Bank of
India, including the establishment of an inflation targeting
A panel headed by Patel, 52, had proposed a shift to
consumer-price inflation to anchor monetary policy. As part
of this, the government agreed last year to adopt a 4 per cent
inflation target with a band of plus or minus two percentage
points, and to have a monetary policy committee set interest
“Urjit Patel appears to be best placed as he possesses the
appropriate skills from a macroeconomics perspective besides
holding the promise of independence,” Ambit analysts Ritika
Mankar Mukherjee and Sumit Shekhar wrote in a report in
Rajan raised borrowing costs after he took over in 2013,
citing the Patel Committee report as a road map to ease one of
Asia’s highest inflation rates. Patel joined the central bank in
2013 from The Boston Consulting Group, where he served as
an adviser. He worked with the International Monetary Fund
for five years until 1995, and also served in India’s finance
ministry as a consultant in the economic affairs division.
Patel didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking
Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairman, State Bank of India
Arundhati Bhattacharya, 60, took over as head of India’s
largest lender in 2013 and revamped its operations. If
appointed, she would be India’s first female central bank
governor. In 2014, Bhattacharya was ranked among the 50
Most Influential people in global finance by Bloomberg
She was also ranked as the fifth-most powerful woman in
finance by the Forbes magazine.
Bhattacharya has overseen State Bank’s expansion to about
17,000 branches, 330 million customers across 36 countries. It
was one of the only two state-controlled banks among 28 that
expanded loans by more than 10 percent in the year to March
31, data compiled by the finance ministry shows.
She is also credited with ushering in technology in the 200
year-old institution. Bhattacharya has demanded more power
for bankers to tackle bad loans, and pushed for the merger of
State Bank with five subsidiaries.
Urjit Patel, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India.
Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairman, State Bank of India.
After Rajan’s announcement on Saturday, she said: “Dr Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic Adviser, Finance
Rajan is a person of very high calibre, who has built ably on Ministry
Arvind Subramanian, 57, replaced Rajan as chief economic
the reputation of our central bank and given it a very large
adviser in the finance ministry in October 2014. The Oxford
measure of credibility.”
University-educated economist is a proponent of lower
Shaktikanta Das, Economic Affairs Secretary, Finance interest rates and has supported an easier budget deficit goal
to boost public expenditure.
Shaktikanta Das, 59, is a career bureaucrat with almost four
In his current job, Subramanian gives input on the economy
decades of service. His job requires him to closely coordinate and authors the Economic Survey, an annual report card of the
with the central bank, and he’s involved with discussions on finance ministry. He is also a member of the finance minister’s
setting up a new monetary policy committee. As a director on expert group on the Group of 20. He prepared a report on
the board of the Reserve Bank of India, he understands how potential rates for India’s long-delayed goods-and-services tax,
Shaktikanta Das, Economic Affairs Secretary, Finance Ministry.
the institution functions.
which is still stuck in parliament.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi initially brought Das into
Modi’s appointment of Subramanian was seen as a surprise
the finance ministry to head revenue department, which because he was critical of the government’s move to block a
was battling perceptions of “tax terrorism.” In that role, Das World Trade Organization deal and called some of its budget
proposed lowering the corporate tax rate, and led government numbers “implausible.” After taking up the post, Subramanian
efforts in curbing black money by negotiating a deal with said it was a “great honour” to serve in a government that has a
Switzerland for more disclosure and announcing an amnesty mandate for “reform and change.”
A senior fellow on leave from the Centre for Global
Das has been a key figure in putting together India’s budget, Development and the Peterson Institute for International
often acting as a crucial link between the finance ministry and Economics, Subramanian has expertise on topics including
other departments. He also actively promotes government growth, trade, oil and intellectual property. He has also served
initiatives on Twitter, a trait Modi appreciates among his as an assistant director in the International Monetary Fund.
ministers and bureaucrats. Das, due to retire in February 2017, He declined to comment when contacted on Saturday.
didn’t answer two calls to his mobile phone on Saturday.
— Bloomberg Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic Adviser, Finance Ministry.
Vanke’s $6.9 bn share-sale plan
opposed by China Resources
hina Vanke Co Chairman Wang Shi’s bid to
fend off a takeover has been thrown into
doubt after the property developer’s secondlargest shareholder, China Resources (Holdings) Co,
said the proposal failed to get enough votes from
Vanke’s 45.6 billion yuan ($6.9 billion) plan to
buy assets from Shenzhen Metro by issuing new
shares didn’t pass the board because it needs
approval from two-thirds, or eight, of the 11
members, China Resources said on Saturday in a
statement on its official WeChat account. Shenzhenbased Vanke said on Friday its board voted 7-to-3
in favour of the plan after one director chose to
abstain, citing a conflict of interest.
The opposition from a long-term major
shareholder adds uncertainty to Wang’s effort
to counter little-known Baoneng Group, which
overtook China Resources as the company’s largest
shareholder last year in what Vanke management
labelled as a “hostile takeover.” If the current
proposal goes ahead, Baoneng’s shareholding in
mainland China’s largest listed property developer would be diluted to 19.27 per cent, while Shenzhen Metro would own 20.65
per cent, according to Friday’s exchange filing.
“If Vanke doesn’t reconsider the problems in the restructuring proposal and submits the same plan for a vote at board
or shareholder meetings in future, China Resources would continue to vote against it in order to protect the interests of all
shareholders,” the state-owned conglomerate said in the statement.
Vanke has a low debt burden and can use either cash or debt to finance the deal and doesn’t need to sell new shares, said
China Resources, which owns 15.24 per cent of Vanke. The proposed price of 15.88 yuan per A share implies a discount of 24 per
cent to Vanke’s net assets, and the land being bought, which wouldn’t contribute profit for the next two to three years, would
dilute earnings, it said.
Zhang Liping, an independent director on Vanke’s board who’s currently employed by Blackstone Group, didn’t vote on the
proposal because the two companies are in talks about a commercial property project, according to the exchange filing. Only
members directly affiliated with the companies involved in the resolution being voted on — in this case, Shenzhen Metro —
should be excluded from voting, China Resources said.
The three directors from China Resources voted against the deal, although the company agreed the assets being bought
could benefit Vanke’s business, according to its statement. The proposal doesn’t give Vanke ownership in Shenzhen Metro itself
and won’t secure cooperation opportunities in other projects with the subway builder, China Resources said. The land price also
doesn’t include taxes, which would significantly push up eventual costs for Vanke, it said.
Vanke defended the proposal in a separate statement, saying it expected the deal to bring “continuous quality project
resources” in key Chinese cities at “reasonable” prices, and that becoming a major Vanke shareholder, was the only consideration
Shenzhen Metro would accept.
The two projects being acquired were the “best two land sites in Shenzhen” — a city where developers are finding it
increasingly difficult to obtain land — and would become an important source of profit for Vanke, board secretary Zhu Xu
said in the statement. “Through this transaction, what Vanke is buying is not two land sites, but the future,” Vanke said in the
statement, citing the words of an unidentified independent director. — Bloomberg
Abu Dhabi banks in talks to form
largest Middle East lender
ational Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC and First Gulf
Bank PJSC said they’re in talks to merge in a deal
that would create the largest lender by assets in the
Middle East. A working group of senior executives from
each bank is reviewing the commercial, structural and legal
aspects of a potential transaction, according to a filing to the
Abu Dhabi stock exchange on Sunday. Bloomberg News was
first to report the two banks were considering a potential
merger on June 16.
A deal would create a lender with assets of about $170
billion and mark the first major banking merger in the United
Arab Emirates’ since National Bank of Dubai and Emirates
Bank International combined to create Emirates NBD PJSC
in 2007. The country’s fragmented banking industry is ready
for further consolidation and a deal could prompt further
mergers among lenders, according to investment bank EFGHermes Holding SAE.
“There’s no doubt it will lead to synergies and would give
them a competitive edge, considering there are more than
40 banks in the UAE,” Chiradeep Ghosh, a banks’ analyst
at Securities & Investment Co in Bahrain, said by phone on
Sunday. “The combined entity will have a bigger equity book.
That will help them to lend to larger entities and take up a
greater share of the syndicated loan book.”
First Gulf Bank could pay a premium of as much as 14 per
cent to buy National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Arqaam Capital Ltd
said in a note to investors on Thursday. NBAD shares surged
15 per cent on Sunday, the maximum allowed in a day, to
9.2 dirhams as of 10:52 am local time. First Gulf Bank also
soared, rising 7.8 per cent to 12.7 dirhams. NBAD is the UAE’s
second-biggest bank by assets, while FGB is third-ranked. A
combination would help them overtake Emirates NBD as the
country’s largest lender and represent nearly a quarter of the
system’s loans and deposits, according to EFG-Hermes.
The UAE is home to about 9 million people and has
about 50 banks, including the local units of Citigroup,
HSBC Holdings and Standard Chartered. Both NBAD and
FGB have pushed to expand in other countries to beat the
limitations of a small home market and build investment
banking businesses to compete with bigger foreign rivals.
NBAD was the fifth-biggest arranger of syndicated loans in
the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council last year, while FGB
ranked seventh, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
NBAD was also the second-largest arranger of bonds and
sukuk sales last year. The league tables are dominated by
foreign lenders including HSBC Holdings Plc, Citigroup Inc
and Sumitomo Mitsui.
NBAD, with a market value of about $11.3 billion at the
end of Thursday, is 69 per cent owned by sovereign wealth
fund Abu Dhabi Investment Council. State-owned investment
fund Mubadala Development is the biggest shareholder in
FGB, whose market capitalization is $14.4 billion, according
to data compiled by Bloomberg. The news “was a surprise
considering, they have a very contrasting style of management
and business strategy,” Ghosh at SICO said. “One is a publicsector focused bank, while FGB is an aggressive private
sector bank, with reasonable focus in consumer lending. FGB
primarily operates within the UAE, while NBAD is looking to
expand outside the UAE”. — Bloomberg
MONDAY | JUNE 20, 2016 | RAMADHAN 14, 1437 AH
A traditional event to
Bring out the candies! Bring out the sweets! The children are coming, and they will be singing:
Qaranqasho yo nas, atoni shwayat halwa. Doos doos ﬁ almandoos, hara hara ﬁ a’sahara. Here’s what you
have to know about today’s fun celebration... P26
SHAIKH AHMED BIN HAMAD AL KHALILI
Grand Mufti of Oman
Is using toothpaste in the morning and
evening of Ramadhan breaking the fast?
Thoughts for the Day
Hatim Al Abdissalaam
Check out our videos on Youtube of Hatim Al Abdissalam
sharing important and meaningful insights daily
regarding the holy month and how you can make your
Ramadhan a meaningful one. Enter this link on your
search bar to get to our channel: http://bit.ly/1L1GAFK
Don’t forget to subscribe!
Toothpaste should not be used either in the
morning or evening. Allah knows best.
Verse of the Day
This is a reminder; so whoever wills,
let him take a path to his Lord. Yet you
cannot will, unless God wills. God is
Knowing and Wise. He admits into His
mercy whomever He wills. But as for the
wrongdoers, He has prepared for them a
painful punishment. (al Insan)
M O N DAY l J U N E 2 0 l 2 0 1 6
Q MAI AL ABRIA
aranqasho is a timehonoured
and observed on the
14th and 15th day
of Ramadhan and
is celebrated in Oman along with other
countries in the region.
In Oman, this beautiful social event has become a traditional
Omani heritage activity with children celebrating by going around
the village and singing special songs for sweets or money.
They sing Qaranqasho yo nas, atoni shwayat halwa (Hey people,
Qaranqasho time, give us some sweets, please). Then they continue
singing saying: doos doos fi almandoos, hara hara fi a’sahara.
This song roughly translates to the children asking for candies.
The neighbours welcome them with open arms and give them the
treats or money of which they will sing another song to praise them
for their treats. For many Arabs, this is a part of their nostalgic
Other names are given to this special event in the Gulf countries.
Some call it Graigaan in Kuwait and KSA, Qaranqao in Qatar and
Qaraoon in Bahrain. All children wear traditional dresses and all
ask for candies when going around the village.
In the modern days, most of the corporates and other business
houses celebrate this evening event too with colourful activities
mainly aimed at children.
This Ramadhan, Majid Al Futtaim’s shopping malls in Oman
— City Centre Muscat and City Centre Qurum — will host
The celebrations, which sees families dress their little ones in
traditional clothes and receive sweets and treats to take home, will
be hosted on June 20-21 from 8 pm to 11 pm.
The initiative highlights City Centre malls commitment to
fostering the Sultanate’s culture and traditions and reinforcing the
company’s vision to creating great moments for everyone every day.
Qaranqasho has become an integral part of the Omani heritage
and not only marks the middle of the blessed month but is a unique
practise to motivate and encourage young children to observe
During the much awaited celebrations, children and families
visiting the malls will be able to enjoy special engaging activities
and singing special songs for sweets as is traditionally done in
neighbourhoods throughout the Sultanate.
Muscat Municipality holds the celebration tonight in three
locations: The Qurum Park, Al Naseem Park and the Qurayat Park
at 8:30 pm.
The municipality has finished all the arrangements to make a
success out of this annual event that will include different activities
and programmes to entertain the children.
There will be some traditional music played as well. Have a great
reached out to a few people to ask them three
questions regarding how they spend the holy month.
What does fasting mean to you?
Fasting in Ramadhan is a cleansing process physically, mentally
and indeed spiritually. It’s a God-given opportunity to find
oneself in re-invention and set straight things, which at ones
ability, every Muslim attempt to do. It gives more impetus to
do good deeds beyond the regular five time prayers every day
in Charity, Community Service, Social Causes and Nation
Building which is part of Islamic faith.
How do you feel during the fasting period?
I feel light and energetic during the fasting period. During
fasting, the mind is more sober and soft towards others.
What activities do you have during the holy month?
I eat light, drink more and feast little. I say a prayer for others
who have nothing to eat and also say a prayer for those who
fasted to be rewarded abundantly. I also make the ‘eating
exercise’ short and sweet.
An aspect of dressing that’s often overlooked
SHRUTI CHOWDHARY DALWAI
In general, accessories are
what can make or break one’s
outﬁt and if used correctly,
they can elevate each and every
individual’s lifestyle and look.
There is one rule I would want
to emphasise on though. Never
Over Do It.
oday, we’re going to delve into the magical
world of jewellery — an aspect of dressing
that’s often overlooked.
Arts and crafts has always been one of the
most important industries in the Sultanate
of Oman. From a very early age, they have
always intrigued me that the journey to much loved souqs
and different villages was and is such an educational and
exciting excursion. There’s so much to see, learn and absorb!
The one that has always been imprinted on my mind when
I left these places is how culture has played a major role in
uplifting the lifestyle of both men and women here.
For example, silver! This versatile metal has been used
for thousands of years to make eye-catching and stunning
ornaments for Oman. Silver in Omani society is practically a
gateway into the country’s opulent characteristics — used for
adorning oneself and even for religious reasons.
Silver is most often used to make the omani khanjars
(daggers) worn by men or the exquisite jewellery worn by
women which brings me to a subject very dear to me and that
is how Accessories are symbolic of dressing here. It’s almost
In general, accessories are what can make or break one’s
outfit and if used correctly, they can elevate each and every
individual’s lifestyle and look.
Today with emerging trends within the fashion industry
here in the Sultanate — our talented designers have made the
use of accessories important and something that is practically
indispensable because they’re like the cherry on the cake.
Once you’re dressed and looking at yourself in the mirror, the
addition of an accessory is what makes your look complete.
The versatility of jewellery is what makes it beautiful! It’s
almost poetic what a necklace or a ring can do to your outfit.
There’s no restrictions here so think pretty and delicate —
or statement and striking, this accessory works for everyone’s
tastes. Add to that the intricate culture and rich heritage the
people of the Sultanate have, and you’ve lifted your outfit to
a different level that speaks of elegance and culture and your
innate fashion style.
And here’s the beauty of it — the inheritance of the
Sultanate is so lush in itself that its no surprise as to how
the fashion industry has progressed keeping its roots and
I often admire how the men adorn the khanjar with
sophistication and aplomb. “The Omani Khanjar” is the
traditional, curved, defensive dagger worn by the centre
belt by Omani men as a badge of office and as head of the
family. Omani Khanjars are status symbols also worn by civic
dignitaries, heads of government, scholars of religion, VIPs
and Omani ministers including the leader of the country, His
Majesty Sultan Qaboos.
The Khanjar is truly an “ Iconic “ Omani emblem.
The women on the other hand, adorn themselves with
striking necklaces, rings, belts and charms that further
accentuate their outfits since jewellery has been an essential
part of Arabian dress for thousands of years. More than
just personal decoration, jewellery epitomizes social and
economic status. In the past, it was also an easily transportable
form of wealth and security.
However, today, traditional jewellery uses stones such
as turquoise, garnets and amber from the Sultanate and its
neighbouring countries’ rich mines, and pearls and coral
from the coastal areas. Tiny bells, coins and chains are also
used for embellishment. Designs primarily have evolved
from Islamic calligraphy and motifs, and featured intricate
patterns of geometric shapes, leaves, crescents and flowers.
This is reflected in the souqs and villages where craftsmen
work hard on designs and I’m often left wondering about
But when you look around it’s easy to see that design has
been around for years here. The arch and symmetry of a
building, the intricate jaali work and trellises are all indicative
of how these design concepts have flowed almost organically
to society’s popular culture.
Jewellery is often given a gold plating as well to adhere
to different looks and outfits worn by women here and they
know just how to accessorize correctly. I absolutely love the
idea of moulding and creating new pieces in different designs
and then seeing them worn at lifestyle events or at work or for
a dinner out with the family because this aspect of fashion is
versatile enough to take you from work to a dinner.
There is one rule I would want to emphasise on though.
Never Over Do It.
Stick to layering delicate pieces or wear that one statement
piece and let it be the centre of attention. I guarantee you
that the luxurious feel of that perfect piece of jewellery on you
will elevate your confidence level and will help you spread the
word on just one more aspect of lifestyle — jewellery as an
Shine on readers and stay well dressed always :)
M O N DAY l J U N E 2 0 l 2 0 1 6
A day that changed the course
of South African history
June 16, 1976
One image, the
photograph of 12-year-old
Hector Pieterson being
carried away after being
shot dead by police,
remains an enduring
symbol of the Soweto
Uprising and a reminder
of the sacriﬁce that
schoolchildren made in
1976 towards ending the
une 16, 2016 is a day of recollection and
remembrance in South Africa. It is the
40th anniversary of the Soweto Student
Uprisings, a date that marks a significant
shift in the struggle against apartheid.
June Sixteen is a day violently etched
on the South African collective conscience.
Commemorated years later as Youth Day, an
official holiday, this is the day that honours the
deaths of hundreds of Soweto schoolchildren —
a day that changed the course of the history of
On the 16th of June in 1976 a protest, led
by high school students, erupted in response
to the introduction of Afrikaans as a medium
of instruction in local schools. They tried a
peaceful march but they were stopped and many
of them were killed. The police and armed forces
responded to the protest violently and the first
photographed fatality of the day was Hector
Pieterson, a 12-year-old pupil who was shot by
the police. It is believed that 175 others were also
killed that day.
One image, the photograph of 12-yearold Hector Pieterson being carried away after
being shot dead by police, remains an enduring
symbol of the Soweto Uprising and a reminder
of the sacrifice that school children made in 1976
towards ending the apartheid regime.
The explosion of protest in Soweto served as
a precursor to later historical and political events
in South Africa. It drew the attention of the
international community to the atrocities of the
apartheid regime, began the processes that led to
the end of apartheid, and paved the way for the
1994 election of Nelson Mandela as South Africa’s
first black president
This year marks the 40th anniversary of that
fateful day which profoundly changed the sociopolitical landscape in South Africa.
The South African National Youth Day is a
moment of thanksgiving dedicated to the young
people of our country for the contribution they
made to free South Africa from the tyranny of
apartheid. It provides us with the opportunity to
salute the courageous actions of our youth, whose
struggle made it possible for us to begin the
labour of love, to build a non-racial, non-sexist,
democratic and prosperous South Africa.
The country has embarked on a monthlong programme to commemorate the 40th
anniversary of June 16 1976, under the
theme ‘Youth Taking South Africa Forward’,
coordinated by the National Youth Development
Agency (NYDA). The programme is dedicated to
enabling and encouraging South African youth to
take up opportunities across various sectors, so as
to better their lives and to effectively contribute to
the development of the economy and the country.
During Youth Month South Africans from
Thailand’s king continues treatment
for ‘water on the brain’ - palace
hailand’s 88-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej,
the world’s longest reigning monarch, has shown
signs of improvement following treatment
for “water on the brain”, the Royal Household
Bureau said in a statement on Sunday.
The king has been treated for various ailments during a
year-long hospitalisation in the Thai capital.
He was last seen in public in January, when he spent
several hours visiting his Bangkok palace.
The king, who celebrated 70 years of his reign on
June 9, is seen as a unifying figure in a country that has
faced decades of often deadly political upheaval. On a few
occasions he has stepped in when events threatened to
plunge the country into crisis.
Nervousness over his health and the succession has
formed the backdrop to more than a decade of political
crisis in Thailand, where the military took power in a coup
more than two years ago.
The royal palace said the medical examination of
the king showed he had more “water on the brain”, or
hydrocephalus, a build-up of the cerebrospinal fluid that
surrounds the brain.
Fluid was drained from the king on Saturday with
“satisfactory results”, the palace said in a statement.
In a June 12 statement, the palace said the king had
shown signs of improvement following surgery for
narrowing of the arteries.
News about the royal family is tightly controlled in
Thailand. Laws protecting the royals from insult make it a
crime to defame, insult or threaten the king, queen, heir to
the throne or regent.
all walks of life participate in various rallies to
commemorate June 16, to remember the difficult
days of struggle that claimed many lives, and to
salute the courageous young people who helped
to accelerate the pace of our struggle for freedom.
Last Saturday hundreds of South Africans of
all races walked in the footsteps of the thousands
of young heroes and heroines who died, were
maimed and persecuted in 1976 as they fought
the apartheid forces of repression four decades
ago. They gathered in Soweto’s Orlando Stadium,
where it all started, to complete, in 2016, the
journey the students could not complete in 1976,
and to pay homage to the young people who
intervened 40 years ago to speed up our advance
In 1976 the students carried placards that read
“Afrikaans stinks” and “To hell with Afrikaans”.
This year survivors waved placards reading
“Unity in diversity” and “Let’s all stand together
We South Africans remember the youth
of 1976 because they have left us a lesson that
it is possible for young people to stand up
and confront the challenges facing them. We
remember them because they have left a legacy
of bravery and determination in the face of what
appeared to be insurmountable difficulties.
We remember them because we would like
the youth of today to follow their example of
unwavering commitment as they confront
modern day challenges of poverty and
unemployment, alcohol and drug abuse, AIDS
and other diseases, illiteracy, women and child
abuse, and other problems that make the lives of
the youth difficult.
The message from the apartheid government
was clear on June 16, 1976: Young people did not
matter. They were seen as a threat to the status
quo. There was no belief in the inherent worth
of young people and their creativity, imagination
and resilience. There was no active engagement
with young people. There were no programmes
to unearth the immense potential possessed by
South Africa is a very different place today. The
South African National Youth Policy 2020 clearly
portrays the youth as assets whose power must be
harnessed for the advancement of society.
An important message to the young people
of today would be that each one must take
responsibility for their own development and
for their own path towards economic freedom.
While government and business can provide the
opportunities, young people themselves must
take the initiative to develop themselves and
those around them.
We, therefore, urge the youth of today to play
their role in building a better South Africa and a
stronger, united nation.
Flavour of the season: Watermelon
becomes king of summer
emember how mangoes ruled the menu cards
last summer? This year the king of the fruits
has been dethroned by refreshing watermelons.
Full of health benefits and not burning a hole in
your pocket, watermelons are now turning to be a preferred
ingredient for restaurants and are used in salads, paired with
cheese, juiced or slushed.
“Watermelon is a seasonal fruit and has a lot of benefits.
During summers it keeps you hydrated as it has a lot of
water content. Mango on the other hand is a very traditional
choice,” says Ashish Singh, a Corporate Chef.
“With its cool appearance and refreshing taste, the
watermelon flavour goes best with even in the desserts.
This summer watermelon would be crowned as the ruler
of the menu. Watermelons are more refreshing and easy
to modify and mix with other flavours. Watermelon has
become the “flavour of season and is being widely preferred
in beverages, salads, appetisers and desserts.
“Chilled watermelon dominates the salad section of any
buffet — be it a five star hotel or a casual dining restaurant.
Watermelon makes a refreshing snack, says Rahis Khan,
“It can be eaten in many ways. You can skewer it on
kebabs, make a salsa, toss it in salads, whiz it to make soup,
or juice it for a refreshing cocktail,” Khan added.
Watermelon is also cost-effective. “Unlike watermelons,
mangoes are highly priced and are available only in
summers. Hence, the availabilty and health benefits of
watermelon have made it the popular choice this season,”
says Rajat Chandna, executive sous chef.
“Since most people are getting conscious about healthy
eating, I think that’s the primary reason for watermelon
taking over as the summer fruit over mangoes. Not to forget
most girls also get acne with consumption of mangoes,
plus watermelon is cheaper on the pocket in comparison to
Russian sports minister wants IAAF disbanded
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Sunday the world athletics’ governing body, IAAF, had unfairly
shifted blame for the doping scandal to Russia’s athletics federation and should be disbanded, R-Sport agency
reported. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Saturday backed the IAAF’s decision to extend its ban
on Russia for systematic doping, ending any slim hopes that Russian athletes might have had of competing.
M O N DAY l J U N E 2 0 l 2 0 1 6
NBA: James and Curry have won six league MVP Awards between them but that will not help them at Oracle Arena when they clash
Curry, LeBron in all-or-nothing Game 7
CLEVELAND: The two best storylines
of the National Basketball Association
season will produce only one happy
ending in Sunday’s all-or-nothing NBA
Finals Game Seven between Stephen
Curry and the Warriors and LeBron
James and the Cavaliers.
James and Curry have won six league
MVP Awards between them but that
will not help them at Oracle Arena when
Golden State strive to cap the NBA’s
greatest single season and the Cavs
set out to end Cleveland’s 52-year title
The city of Cleveland has not had a
professional team sports title since the
NFL Browns in 1964, and James left the
Miami Heat to return to his home state
two years ago on a mission to deliver a
“I’m going to give everything that I
got,” four-time MVP James told reporters
at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif on
James has shown what he has to
offer in the last two games, when facing
elimination trailing 3-1 in the best-ofGolden State Warriors guard
seven, twice scoring 41 points.
Stephen Curry (left) shoots
Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said
over Cleveland Cavaliers
guard JR Smith (right) during
James simply has to be himself. “He’s
Game 6 of the NBA Finals in
very capable of being special every
Cleveland, Ohio. — AFP
James, playing in the Finals for a sixth
year in a row including four in Miami,
did not view Game Seven as pressurepacked.
“It’s an opportunity for us to do regular season record (73-9) ever in the in six games last year in the Finals, Thompson that losing the NBA Finals already and haven’t gotten it done,”
something special,” said James.
would suck the joy out of an otherwise would make the season a “failure”.
Curry said on Saturday.
Golden State has already done
But failing to crown that achievement wondrous campaign.
“That was our goal from the
“We have 48 minutes to do it, so if we
something special, producing the best with another title, after beating the Cavs
Curry agreed with team mate Klay beginning. We had two other chances come up short we’ll all be very, very, very
Ronaldo ‘sad’ after night to forget
PARIS: Cristiano Ronaldo crashed a
penalty against the woodwork, blowing
the chance to write his name into
European Championship history, as
Portugal stumbled to a second draw
Ronaldo was foiled again in his bid to
become the first player to score at four
consecutive European Championship
He at least set a new national record,
making his 128th appearance for
Portugal on Saturday to overtake Luis
Figo. But the Real Madrid superstar will
have bitter memories of the night after
missing the 79th-minute spot kick.
Austrian goalkeeper Robert Almer
went the wrong way, but Ronaldo’s shot
came off the post.
“Obviously it was a goal to be the
most capped international player, and
also to be the national team’s top scorer,”
“But obviously I’m a bit sad, because
this wasn’t the way I wanted to break
this record. The most beautiful way
would have been ...,” he added shaking
his head. “Obviously it wasn’t something
we wanted,” he said of the result. “We
had a lot of chances and we did well, but
we weren’t able to finish. “I also missed
some chances — a penalty and some
other chances. But that’s part of football.
We need to continue to believe.”
The 0-0 draw at the Parc des Princes
leaves Hungary, who gained a point in
a 1-1 draw with Iceland, as the surprise
Group F leaders with a game to play.
Austria must win their final match to
avoid going home.
While it was a frustrating night for
Portugal’s forward Cristiano Ronaldo reacts after missing an opportunity on goal during the Euro 2016 group F match at the
Parc des Princes in Paris. — AFP
Ronaldo, Belgium finally clicked after
losing their opener to Italy as they
crushed the Republic of Ireland 3-0
in Group E. Everton striker Romelu
Lukaku scored a classy opener and
added a second in Bordeaux while Alex
Witsel also netted as Belgium finally
showed why some observers have tipped
them as outsiders for the title.
Despite being outclassed, Ireland
and captain John O’Shea expressed
confidence they could still beat group
winners Italy in their final group game
on Thursday to reach the last 16.
“We have a big chance now against
Italy,” O’Shea said. “With a bit more
discipline and control we can get
something against Italy.
“We dust ourselves down, see how
everybody is and go for Italy in Lille.”
In Paris, Portugal coach Fernando
Santos refused to say how Ronaldo was
feeling after his second disappointing
display in the tournament.
“I prefer not to talk about this
subject,” Santos said.
At the end of the match, Ronaldo
made a fan who ran onto the pitch
happy by allowing him to take a selfie
before the man was bundled away by
It would also brand the Warriors as
the first NBA Finals team to squander a
3-1 lead. All 32 other teams that led 3-1
won the title.
It has been a hot-cold series, with
none of the games coming down to the
Yet the aggregate score of the six
games could not be closer, 610 points
apiece, and the prospect of a compelling
finale has reportedly raised the price
for premium courtside tickets to nearly
Last year, the Cavs were decimated
by injuries to guard Kyrie Irving and
forward Kevin Love.
Now the Warriors are wounded,
having to soldier on without Australian
center Andrew Bogut, out with a knee
injury. His loss has allowed the Cavs and
James in particular to drive aggressively
to the hoop.
Golden State forwards Andre
Iguodala, last year’s Finals MVP and the
Warriors’ choice to defend James, has
been hobbled by a back injury.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said
Iguodala should be ready to go. “It’s
Game Seven, and he’s Andre Iguodala so
we know he’ll be out there.”
Curry said he had to produce his best
game of the season, if not his career.
“I need to take it up another notch for
Game Seven,” he said. “That’s what the
greats do.” The prospect of a compelling
finale has reportedly raised the price
for premium courtside tickets to nearly
‘Nice’ Iceland fans prefer
hugs to hooliganism
MARSEILLE: A week after England
and Russia supporters clashed and
while flare-throwing and fighting
have marred games elsewhere, fans
of tiny Iceland say they prefer hugs to
hooliganism at Euro 2016.
Having the time of their lives,
Icelanders said in Marseille they have
come to their first ever European
Championships to have fun and feel
part of Europe.
“I’m not sure life can get any better,
it’s historic, great to be here,” Louise
Ragnarsdottir said on the seafront of
the southern city.
“All my life I watched the
tournaments on TV, now we are part
of Europe’s party!” said the 28-year-old
accountant from Reykjavik.
Some 27,000 Iceland fans have
travelled to France, almost 10 per cent
of the Nordic island’s 330,000-strong
population. No smaller country has
ever featured at a Euro finals.
“We live on a faraway island, just to
go abroad at all is an experience,” said
After the Group F tie with Hungary
on Saturday pockets of Iceland fans
gathered in Marseille’s Vieux Port
district to chant “Boom-BoomHoooo!”, leaping in unison on the
“It’s our Viking song, synchronised
and terrifying,” laughed Arni Gardar,
an IT consultant from Reykjavik.
“But we don’t mean to be scary,
we are good Vikings not marauders,
actually very nice, we come in peace,”
“Iceland is N-Iceland!” cried another
fan, Jonina Unnur Gunnarsdottir.
‘Best fans yet’ “They are the best fans we have seen
yet,” said Karim, a cafe owner watching
the revelry on the Quai des Belges. “It
was different last week,” he recalled.
Nearly a week ago England and
Russia fans conducted pitched battles
in the worst violence at a football
tournament since the 1998 World Cup,
prompting police to respond with tear
gas and baton charges.
For fans of the Nordic minnows the
Euro 2016 violence has been an eyeopening experience.
“We are a peaceful nation, we have
no army, no guns, we’re just not into
fighting,” Atli Gudmundsson said. “At
home families go to football, no-one
dreams of ever causing trouble.”
The 29-year-old attended the
Croatia-Czech Republic tie in Saint
Etienne on Friday where Croatian fans
fought among themselves and lit flares,
forcing a temporary stoppage in play.
“Torches on the pitch, fighting in the
stands, that kind of thing is new to us, it
was quite shocking to see,” he said.
‘Share the love’ “We just want to hug people, I mean
come on, just share the love,” said his
friend Daniel Ma’sson.
Hungary brought some 20,000 fans
to the game in Marseille. Some scuffled
with security guards before the game
and threw flares on the pitch.
Bale ‘over’ England defeat as Wales eye more history
DINARD, France: Real Madrid star
Gareth Bale insists Wales have overcome
the disappointment of losing out to
rivals England as he looks to fire his
country into the last 16 of Euro 2016
with victory over Russia on Monday.
Bale is tied for top scorer at the
tournament having scored free-kicks
in both Wales’ 2-1 opening win over
Slovakia and heart-breaking, lastgasp defeat to neighbours England on
“Obviously after the game we were
very disappointed, especially to lose in
that manner, but we have to forget about
it. It’s over,” Bale said on Saturday.
“Our fate is in our own hands, and
if you’d given us this at the start of the
tournament we would have taken it.”
Wales are appearing in their first ever
European Championship, but just need
to beat a hugely disappointing Russia
side — who have taken a solitary point
from their opening two games — to
guarantee progression to the knockout
Chris Coleman’s side nearly withheld
a second-half onslaught from England
after Bale had given them the lead in
Lens until Daniel Sturridge fired home
the winner deep into stoppage time.
And Bale wants to have an even
more central role against Russia rather
than relying on their defence, with a
point also likely to be enough to seal
qualification as one of the four best
third-placed sides. “We’ve spoken about
when we’re on the ball. We need to be
better, more relaxed, move the ball like
we have been in qualifying.
“Maybe we haven’t done that as much
and that’s an area we need to improve.
“We’ve defended amazingly but, if
we can get the ball down and play more,
hopefully I can influence it a bit more.”
Bale was at the Millennium Stadium
as a 15-year-old when Russia beat Wales
to seal a place in Euro 2004. However, he
insists revenge isn’t on a new generation
of Welsh players’ minds.
“No one’s even thinking of that
experience, we want to go in with a fresh
mind,” he added.
“It would mean everything to us to
make the last 16 and hopefully we can
grab the chance.”
Iceland’s supporters react as they watch the Euro 2016 group F match between
against Hungary in the Paris fan zone. — AFP
M O N DAY l J U N E 2 0 l 2 0 1 6
O’Shea laments lacklustre Irish display
Republic of Ireland captain John O’Shea said his side lost their composure as two goals from Romelu
Lukaku handed a rampant Belgium a 3-0 Euro 2016 Group E win in Bordeaux. Lukaku’s opener three
minutes into the second half put Ireland on the back foot before Axel Witsel and another goal from the
Everton striker rounded off a much-improved Belgian performance, after their opening 2-0 defeat to Italy.
Vargas stars as Chile thrash Mexico
COPA AMERICA: The 7-0 drubbing was Mexico’s worst ever defeat in the ﬁnals of a major tournament
SANTA CLARA, United States:
Eduardo Vargas scored four goals as
holders Chile sent Mexico spinning to
a historic 7-0 defeat to reach the semifinals of the Copa America Centenario
here on Saturday.
completed a hat-trick in 13 devastating
minutes either side of half-time to send
Chile into a semi-final against Colombia
in Chicago on Wednesday.
performance to his mother, who was
earlier this week diagnosed with a heart
problem in his homeland.
“I’m very happy with the
performance, I dedicate it to my mum
and my family,” Vargas said.
“We started this tournament badly
but we’re getting stronger and stronger
with every match,” he added.
The drubbing was Mexico’s worst
ever defeat in the finals of a major
tournament. Their previous biggest loss
was a 6-0 rout by West Germany at the
1978 World Cup in Argentina.
The rout was also only one goal
away from equalling Mexico’s heaviest
ever defeat in any international, an 8-0
thrashing by England in London in
“I offer my sincere apologies to the
Mexican fans, to all the Mexican people,”
Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio said
afterwards. “What we saw today was
a disgrace, an accident of football,”
he added. “Obviously there are more
important things in the world than
football, but that was a very poor display.
“Chile had a great collective
performance from its stars,” Osorio
added. “But there is not seven goals
difference between Chilean and Mexican
Vargas grabbed his fourth goal in the
74th minute to give Chile a 6-0 lead.
Chile’s Eduardo Vargas shoots to score against Mexico during the Copa America Centenario quarterfinal in Santa Clara, California, United States, on Saturday. — AFP
But the punishment did not finish
there with Edson Puch adding a seventh
in the 88th minute for his second of
the match. Chile, winners of last year’s
Copa America on home soil, had faced
an intimidating atmosphere in front of
a crowd of 70,547 people at the Levi’s
Stadium, home of the San Francisco
But despite the overwhelmingly pro-
Slovakia can beat
England, says Weiss
DOHA: Slovakia forward Vladimir
Weiss is backing his country to beat
England in their crucial Euro 2016
Group B game.
The teams meet on Monday in SaintEtienne with both sides looking to book
a place in the last 16 of the competition.
“We have beaten big teams before
and if we play at our best we can beat
anyone, even England,” said Weiss.
England currently top the group
with four points, one point ahead of
A draw could be enough for both
teams to progress but a defeat for either
team in the high-stakes match could
see one of them return home. The sides
will approach the game with confidence
having both won their second group
matches 2-1 — England against Wales
and Weiss’s Slovakia against Russia.
“The win against Russia gives us a lot
of confidence going into the last game.
“We needed a win and we’re very
happy that we got it.
“I am sure England have seen our
game against Russia and they know we
will give it everything to get something
from the final game to qualify,” he
told the website of Qatar’s World Cup
organising committee, the Supreme
Committee for Delivery & Legacy,
Weiss currently plays his team
football in Qatar with Al Gharafa.
With the opening goal against Russia,
Weiss made history by becoming the
first ever player based outside Europe to
score at the championships since they
were first contested in 1960.
The 26-year-old former Rangers and
Manchester City player said he knew
was going to hit the net before he shot.
“Once I turned inside the two
defenders, I knew I was going to score.
“I was already thinking where I
would go to celebrate the goal and I
went to my parents.
“I dedicated the goal to my mum,
she knew I wasn’t happy after the first
game. “She said my time will come, and
it did,” he said.
Slovakia’s midfielder Vladimir Weiss (right) dribbles past Russia’s Alexander
Kokorin during the Euro 2016 group B match at the Pierre-Mauroy Stadium in
Villeneuve-d’Ascq, near Lille, on June 15, 2016.
Mexico crowd, Chile were quicker to
settle, with Puch opening the scoring
on 16 minutes when he steered in a
rebound from Marcelo Diaz’s shot after
Guillermo Ochoa could only parry away.
Vargas grabbed a second a minute
before half-time to stun the crowd into
silence as the teams headed in for the
Chile then cut loose early in the
second half with slick inter-play ripping
apart a feeble Mexican defence at will.
Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez made it
3-0 in the 49th minute before two more
goals from Vargas in the 52nd and 57th
minutes piled on the agony for Mexico.
Several Mexican players visibly
wilted in the face of the onslaught,
and for periods the game resembled a
training exercise for Chile as they swept
Vargas’s fourth made it 6-0 on the
night before Puch then toe-poked home
to complete the scoring.
Brazilian referee Heber Lopes
spared Mexico the possibility of greater
humiliation, whistling for full-time
almost on the stroke of 90 minutes, with
no time added on.
Day surges but
Lowry leads as
OAKMONT, United States: Ireland’s
Shane Lowry was clinging to the lead
on five-under par when darkness
halted play in the third round of the
US Open at Oakmont on Saturday.
Lowry was holding off a bevy of
players pushing for a first major title,
starting with 624th-ranked Andrew
Landry at three-under.
England’s Lee Westwood, Spain’s
Sergio Garcia and 36-hole leader
Dustin Johnson of the United States
three back at two-under on the back
nine when night fell.
All of the top five are chasing a
major breakthrough, as is clubhouse
leader Branden Grace of South Africa
— who had six birdies in an impressive
four-under par 66 for 209.
But world number one Jason Day
was on their heels, surging up the
leaderboard with a 66 that included
four birdies in his first five holes and
an eagle at the par-five fourth — his
13th of the day.
Day moved from 45th at the start
of the round to tied for eighth on oneover.
World number two and defending
champion Jordan Spieth’s bid to make
up ground was less successful.
Spieth birdied three of his first
four holes but made two bogeys and
a double-bogey and just one more
birdie the rest of the way to reach the
clubhouse where he started — on fourover. — AFP
Lowry was holding off a
bevy of players pushing for
a first major title, starting
with 624th ranked Andrew
Landry at three-under
Messi equals record as Argentina cruise
FLORIDA: Lionel Messi scored one and
created two in his first Copa America
Centenario start to lead Argentina to
a 4-1 win over Venezuela — and into a
semifinal against the United States.
Argentina 4-1 Venezuela: Copa
América — as it happened Gonzalo
Higuain scores two and Lionel Messi
gets his 54th international goal as
Argentina ease past Venezuela, who
played well but missed a penalty.
Messi’s goal after an hour gave
Argentina a 3-0 lead and was his 54th for
the national team, equalling the record
set by Gabriel Batistuta. The Barcelona
star also became the leading scorer in
this year’s Copa America with his fourth
goal of the tournament.
Argentina now have two days to
rest before playing USA in Houston in
a mouthwatering semifinal on Tuesday
night. The Americans have been off
since beating Ecuador on Thursday.
With many fans in Gillette Stadium
wearing Argentina and Barcelona
shirts with “Messi 10” on the back, the
five-time Fifa world player of the year
started the game after playing a total of
just 74 minutes in the three group stage
matches. Just eight minutes in, he found
Gonzalo Higuain with a brilliant long
pass, and the Napoli striker made it 1-0.
Messi gathered it in from the right
touchline and lofted a beautiful pass
to Higuain, who split two defenders
and beat Dani Hernandez with a wellstruck low shot. Higuain scored again
in the 28th to make it 2-0, picking up an
errant backpass by Venezuela midfielder
Arquimedes Figuera and sidestepping
Hernandez before slotting home.
In the 42nd minute, Argentina
goalkeeper Sergio Romero tripped
Josef Martinez in the box, but from the
resulting penalty, Luis Manuel Seijas
got it all wrong: he tried to chip it down
the middle, but Romero stood tall and
caught it with ease. Salomon Rondon
had earlier hit the post with a header.
Messi made it 3-0 when he took a
pass from Nicolas Gaitan just outside
the six-yard box and poked home. It
followed another defensive error.
Argentina’s Gonzalo Higuain
celebrates after scoring
against Venezuela during the
Copa America Centenario
quarterfinal in Foxborough,
Massachusetts, United States.
on Saturday. — AFP
Argentina’s Lionel Messi
controls the ball during the
Copa America Centenario
quarterfinal in Foxborough,
States, on Saturday. — AFP
M O N DAY l J U N E 2 0 l 2 0 1 6
Rosberg on pole in Baku City
EUROPEAN GP: Lewis Hamilton suffered a crash damaging the front right tyre
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team’s driver Nico Rosberg (left) and Red Bull Racing’s Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo steer their cars during the European Formula One
Grand Prix at the Baku City Circuit in Baku. — AFP
BAKU: Nico Rosberg will start on
pole for the inaugural European Grand
Prix in Baku with his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton only 10th after
a calamitous qualifying session on the
tricky street circuit on Saturday.
Hamilton was quickest in all
three practice sessions but the world
champion had an error-strewn
qualifying culminating in him crashing
his Mercedes in Q3.
Rosberg took full advantage of
The championship-leading German
clipped the wall on his fastest lap in Q3
on his way to a lap in one minute and
42.758 seconds after Hamilton did the
same, but more severely in the track’s
narrowest section, damaging his front
Hamilton was forced to pull up and,
as he walked away, the session was
red-flagged to a halt with two minutes
remaining as marshals cleared the
“I couldn’t tell you what the
possibilities are for tomorrow,” he said.
“It’s damage limitation from here.
The team made a change to something
overnight, but I just wasn’t was on it
“It was great,” he said. “That was one
of the more challenging sessions out
there, but everything worked out well.
“All weekend, we have been building
towards this and qualifying was really
When the action resumed, Sergio
Perez wound up second fastest for
Force India, but the Mexican will start
from seventh after picking up a fiveplace penalty for a gearbox change after
crashing in the final free practice.
This meant that Australian Daniel
Ricciardo, who was third for Red
Bull, will start Sunday’s race alongside
Sri Lanka’s stricken
for illegal action
LONDON: Hospitalised Sri Lanka
paceman Shaminda Eranga has been
banned from bowling in international
cricket with immediate effect because
of an illegal action, the International
Cricket Council announced on Sunday.
The ICC’s statement came just
hours after Eranga had been taken to a
Dublin hospital to undergo tests on an
elevated heartbeat after he fell ill during
Sri Lanka’s 136-run win over Ireland
in the second one-day international at
Malahide on Saturday.
“The International Cricket Council
today (Sunday) announced that an
independent assessment has found the
bowling action of Sri Lanka’s Shaminda
Eranga to be illegal and, as such, the
fast bowler has been suspended from
bowling in international cricket with
immediate effect,” said a statement
issued by the global governing body.
“The assessment revealed that all
deliveries exceeded the 15 degrees
level of tolerance permitted under the
regulations,” the statement added of a
test carried out at the National Cricket
Performance Centre in Loughborough,
central England, an ICC accredited
testing centre, on June 6.
“Eranga’s international suspension
will also be recognised and enforced
by all National Cricket Federations for
domestic cricket events played in their
own jurisdiction, save that, with the
consent of Sri Lanka Cricket, Eranga
may be able to play in domestic cricket
events played in Sri Lanka under the
auspices of Sri Lanka Cricket.”
Eranga, who turns 30 on Thursday,
will be able to return to international
cricket if he passes a fresh test after
modifying his bowling action
He had his action reported after the
second Test against England at Chesterle-Street last month.
Eranga opened Sri Lanka’s bowling
in the first innings of that match,
taking none for 100 in 27 overs during
England’s 498 for nine declared.
The right-armer then bowled just
one over in England’s second innings
as they chased down a target of 79 for
Under ICC regulations, Eranga
was allowed to continue playing until
the results of his test were known and
he featured in the drawn third Test at
Lord’s, a result that saw England to an
overall 2-0 series win, where he took
one for 94 and three for 58.
Saturday saw Eranga, who has now
appeared in 19 Tests and the same
number of ODIs, come out to face
the final ball of Sri Lanka’s innings
at Malahide but he did not bowl and
instead went to hospital.
“Eranga had an elevated heartbeat
prior to the innings commencing and
was taken to hospital for tests,” Sri Lanka
team manager Charith Senanayake told
the ESPNcricinfo website. “He’s doing
good but in hospital till Monday to
complete all tests.”
The ICC’s ban means Eranga will
take no part in the upcoming five-match
one-day international series against
England, which starts at Nottingham’s
Trent Bridge ground on Tuesday.
Rosberg on the front row.
The two Ferraris of four-time
champion Sebastian Vettel and Kimi
Raikkonen were fourth and fifth ahead
of Felipe Massa of Williams, Daniil
Kvyat of Toro Rosso and Valtteri Bottas
in the second Williams.
Dutch teenager Max Verstappen was
ninth in the second Red Bull ahead of
Hamilton, who after wins in Monaco
and Montreal has trimmed Rosberg’s
lead inh the drivers’ title race to nine
On a hot dry afternoon in the
Azerbaijan capital, where the track
temperature fell gradually from 41 to 36
degrees Celsius, Jenson Button failed to
make it past Q1 in his McLaren.
Unhappy about the safety of
the circuit, the 2009 champion was
eliminated along with Indonesian Rio
Haryanto, who was a creditable 17th
for Manor and his team-mate Pascal
Button exited Q1, for the first time
this year, in 19th.
Behind them, Swede Marcus
Ericsson of Sauber was 20th ahead of the
two Renaults of Dane Kevin Magnussen
and Briton Jolyon Palmer.
In Q2, a spectacular spin by Force
India’s Nico Hulkenberg at Turn 16
wrecked his lap and, with it, Hamilton’s,
as the champion was behind him.
Rosberg rammed home his advantage
with an impressive lap in 1:42.520,
nearly two seconds faster than the rest.
This left Hamilton under pressure
and it worsened when he locked up at
Turn Seven on his next lap, leaving him
with only seconds to spare to clock one
that counted to lift him back to second
amid a spate of yellow flags.
Out went Romain Grosjean of Haas,
Hulkenberg, Carlos Sainz of Toro Rosso,
Fernando Alonso of McLaren, Esteban
Gutierrez in the second Haas and Felipe
Nasr of Sauber.
Hamilton refuses to
blame Baku track
for qualifying crash
BAKU: Lewis Hamilton insisted that
it was his own mistake that caused
him to crash out of the third session
of qualifying for Sunday’s European
Grand Prix in Baku.
The defending world champion
quelled concerns over the track in
the Azerbaijani capital on Friday, and
refused to blame the set-up after his
error gave him just 10th place on the
grid, while Mercedes team-mate and
title rival Nico Rosberg stormed to pole
position. Hamilton’s accident happened
as he came out of a narrow complex of
corners around Baku’s Old City walls,
where he clipped a barrier at turn 11.
The impact broke his front suspension.
“I don’t think Baku bit me, I think I
tried to take too much and I tried to bite
it — and it didn’t work,” he said.
“It’s me, it’s nothing to do with the
track and nothing to do with the team. I
just wasn’t driving well.”
Hamilton had topped all three
practice sessions, but admitted he was
off-form when it came to qualifying.
“I’ve not too much to say,” the Briton
said. “I just wasn’t on it.
Radwanska has a decent
pedigree on grass, winning
junior Wimbledon in
2006, taking Eastbourne
honours two years later
and also playing the 2012
Wimbledon final as well as
making two semifinals at
the All England Club
“It’s a fine line between being on
it and not being on it and today was
just one of those days. “I don’t have an
answer for it, but I will try and make up
for it tomorrow. It’s always difficult, but
I’ll give it my best shot.
“The other times were not my fault,
but today was my fault so apologies for
the team and I’ll try and make up for it.”
He added that overnight changes
to his set-up had made him feel
uncomfortable with his car.
“I wasn’t getting the groove — one
corner was good, one corner was bad. It
was the most uncomfortable I have been
in the car for a long, long time. I can’t
really express or understand it exactly.
“I just couldn’t get into any rhythm.
I’ll try to get away from the hustle and
bustle here, as early as possible, and get
a good night’s sleep.
“Then I’ll come back tomorrow and
try and pick it up.”
ROSBERG WARY OF HAMILTON
Rosberg warned that he still expects
a serious challenge for victory from
Hamilton, who he leads by nine points
in the drivers’ standings.
Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain at the pit lane during the qualifying
session. — Reuters
seeks seaside tonic
Struggling top seed Agnieszka Radwanska
will be searching for her first victory of the
pre-Wimbledon grass court season when the
Eastbourne International begins on Monday.
The world number three has played
only one match so far this season on the
lawns, going out in Birmingham to CoCo
“The first match is always tricky pretty
much without practice on grass,” Radwanska
said. “I need a couple of more days to adjust.
Hopefully Eastbourne will be better.”
Radwanska has a decent pedigree on grass,
winning junior Wimbledon in 2006, taking
Eastbourne honours two years later and also
playing the 2012 Wimbledon final as well as
making two semi-finals at the All England
But so far in 2016 results have been
modest for the Pole, who lost in the
Australian Open semi-finals and went
out in the Roland Garros fourth round.
Her only title in 2016 came in Shenzhen
just after Australia.
The field at Devonshire Park features
seven former tournament champions -Swiss Belinda Bencic (2015), Madison Keys
(2014), Elena Vesnina (2013), Ekaterina
Makarova (2010), Caroline Wozniacki (2009),
Radwanska (2008) and Svetlana Kuznetsova
The top of the draw is populated by five
of the world’s top 10 — Radwanska, US Open
finalist Roberta Vinci, Bencic, fellow Swiss
Timea Bacsinszky and double Wimbledon
winner Petra Kvitova who, like Radwanska, is
also scratching for form.
All 16 seeds have byes into the second
round for the final tune-up week prior to the
start of Wimbledon on June 27.
Italian Vinci takes the second seeding
while number three Bencic will be testing
her fitness after making a return this
month after missing more than
two months with back pain.
a semi-final in
during the first
round. — Reuters
19-year-old was unable to
complete her first-round match
in Birmingham against Irina Begu.
Bacsinszky is seeded fourth, ahead of
Kvitova and Russia’s two-time Grand Slam
winner Kuznetsova (sixth).
Australian Samantha Stosur takes the
seventh seeding as she works with a temporary
coach after parting company for the second
time with longtime mentor David Taylor.
MONDAY | JUNE 20, 2016 | RAMADHAN 14, 1437 AH
RONALDO SAD AFTER NIGHT TO FORGET P29
VARGAS SCORES FOUR AS CHILE THRASH MEXICO P30
ROSBERG ON POLE IN BAKU AS HAMILTON CRASHES P31
twice as Belgium
Combination of four pictures shows Portugal’s forward Cristiano Ronaldo gesturing on the pitch during the Euro 2016 group F match against Austria at the Parc des Princes in Paris on
Saturday. — AFP
Portugal draw 0-0 with Austria
as Ronaldo misses penalty
PARIS: Cristiano Ronaldo missed
a penalty as Portugal drew 0-0 with
Austria at Euro 2016 on Saturday,
leaving both sides winless and in
danger of missing the knock-out
Ronaldo’s spot kick in the 78th
went against the left post as the
Real Madrid star’s frustration
culminated after several earlier
misses in his Portuguese record
128th cap and Euros-record
equalling 16th appearance.
Nani headed against the left
post at the Parc des Princes in
front of 44,291 fans as Portugal
dominated but were frustrated
again after an opening 1-1 against
Austria, who had lost their first
game 2-0 against Hungary, came
closest from Martin Harnik’s early
header and a second-half drive
from Stefan Ilsanker.
Both must now finally deliver
in the last round in Group F
Wednesday if they want to stay
in the tournament, with Portugal
(two points) up against group
leaders Hungary (four) and
Austria (one) facing Iceland(two).
Austria missed playmaker
Zlatko Junuzovic with an ankle
injury and defender Aleksandar
Dragovic on suspension, with
Ilsanker and Sebastian Proedl
taking their places. In addition,
coach Marcel Koller brought in
Marcel Sabitzer for Marc Janko,
moving David Alaba further up in
midfield and Martin Harnik right
Portugal coach Fernando
Santos made two changes, with
William Carvalho and Ricardo
Quaresma on for Joao Mario
and Danilo - after he had already
said Friday that Ronaldo, Nani
and Quaresmo could be fielded
Portugal earned two early
corners but the first chance came
on the other end, Sabitzer’s cross
from the right a touch too high
for the unmarked Harnik to head
dangerously towards Rui Patricio’s
Austrian goalkeeper Robert
Almer then made a crucial double
save, first sticking out his left leg
to deny Nani from a left angle,
and then diving to palm away
Vieirinha’s long-range effort on
The first moment of Ronaldo,
who had made himself unpopular
with some remarks directed
against Iceland after the first game,
finally arrived in the 22nd but his
low shot breezed just wide left off
Nani’s cross from the left.
Seven minutes later Nani
headed against the left post as a
goal seemed only a matter of time
against a more and more nervous
Austrian defence, with Almer then
thwarting a header and a tame
shot from Ronaldo.
The last chance of the half
however belonged to Austria as
Vieirinha needed to clear away
a dangerous free-kick from the
otherwise below-par Alaba with
So did the first after the break
as Ilsanker unleashed from long
range with Rui Patricio just getting
his fingertips on it. — dpa
BORDEAUX, France: Belgium rediscovered their most
blistering form to batter group E rivals Ireland 3-0 thanks
to a brace from Romelu Lukaku and an Axel Witsel header
The victory of the world’s second-ranked team was in
stark contrast to their limp defeat in their opening Euro 2016
match against Italy.
Despite dominating the opening half, it still took until the
opening minutes of the second period for Belgium to take
the lead when Lukaku finished a counter-attack by rifling a
shot into the far corner.
Ireland had a brief positive spell but Witsel made it two
for Belgium with a pinpoint header after 61 minutes, and
Lukaku completed the
rout with a simple finish
after another counterattack nine minutes later.
With Italy having
beaten both the Belgians
and Sweden to win the
group, the victory puts
Belgium in second place
on three points with the
Irish and Sweden stuck
on a point apiece. “We
were under pressure
before today,” Belgium’s
Kevin De Bruyne, the
player, said. “And we
came out with the right
Belgium’s forward Romelu
Lukaku celebrates his team’s
Coach Marc Wilmots
third goal during the Group E
made three changes to
match against Ireland. — AFP
the Belgium line-up that
struggled against Italy,
and they immediately appeared more vibrant and cohesive.
Their speed and fluidity improved, with the introduction
of Thomas Meunier and Yannick Carrasco giving them a
menace out wide which had been missing in their opener.
De Bruyne kept his place despite a subdued showing
against Italy and, vastly improved, he set the tone with
a searing 13th-minute corner which Toby Alderweireld
headed wide, before finding his range with a free kick.
Ireland were not without their own threat, as Meunier’s
adventures down the right flank left space for Shane Long
to exploit, although Martin O’Neill’s side ultimately failed to
register a single shot on target during the entire 90 minutes.
Late own goal saves Hungary
from being frozen out
MARSEILLE: An own-goal by
Iceland’s Birkir Savarsson in the
dying seconds rescued a draw for
Hungary in a frenetic Euro 2016
clash that keeps both team’s hopes
alive of a second round berth.
A first-half penalty by Gylfi
Sigurdsson put little Iceland on
course for a fairytale win. But
newcomers succumbed to waves of
late Hungarian pressure.
With 88 minutes gone, substitute
Nemanja Nikolic sent a low ball into
the area and the onrushing Savarsson
touched the ball into his own net. “It
feels like a loss, we were so close, we
were going for the three points, but
we failed to finish the game off,” said
man of the match Iceland striker
Kolbeinn Sigthorsson. “Any team
that concedes a goal that late, we were
happy with a point agaist Portugal
but we are disaapointed with a draw
against Hungary,” said joint Iceland
coach Heimir Hallgrimsson.
“The dressing room was silent
ater the game, we were so close to
securing (qualification) but we were
Iceland’s defender Birkir Saevarsson (centre) scores an own goal during the
Group F match against Hungary at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille on
Saturday. — AFP
playing a very good team, maybe
tomorrow we will be happy with a
point against Hungary,” he added.
The Magyars’ coach Bernd Storck
said his side deserved the point
against an Iceland side that Portugal
also struggled to break down.
“We never gave up, we always
believed, we had so much possession,
my side always tried to play football
and create chances,” he said.
Prior to the tournament both
teams viewed this Marseille tie as
their best opportunity to get a win.
But unfancied Hungary’s shock 2-0
victory against Austria on Tuesday
meant a slot in the last-16 beckoned
if they could beat the Scandinavians.
Hungary had more of the ball
throughout, but, more used to
playing a counterattacking game,
they failed to craft clearcut openings
against a physical Iceland defence.
No time for regrets
draw, says Santos
PARIS: Portugal boss Fernando Santos
demanded his players keep their spirits
high going into their final Group F game
at Euro 2016 despite a frustrating 0-0
draw against Austria on Saturday.
Portugal fired 23 shots at the Austria
goal in Paris, six of which were on target,
but again failed to take three points after
Cristiano Ronaldo missed a 79th-minute
Nani also hit the post with a header
in the first half of a game Portugal
dominated throughout, only to find
themselves with just two points after
“We’re going through a tough time
right now but we need to switch tack
immediately. We can’t wallow in despair
right now, that cannot happen,” said
Santos. “This draw was unfair but it’s
useless to discuss it like that,” he said.
“We can’t concentrate on what
chances we missed and how many
chances we missed.
“We have to build on the positives
and put it all together in the next game.
This is our first ‘final’ of the Euros.”
Following a 1-1 draw with Iceland
in their opening game, Portugal’s
wastefulness again proved costly and
defeat to surprise leaders Hungary on
Wednesday would result in a shock
elimination. But Santos believes his side
are one good performance away from
clicking into gear in France.