to omani boy - Oman Observer



to omani boy - Oman Observer
VOL. 34 NO. 321 | PAGES 32 | BAISAS 200
P20 . US consumer spending rises core in lation irms slightly
P31 . World irst drone port planned in Rwanda
Chief Executive Officer
P25 . Home wins for Barcelona Bayern
Oman Establishment for Press, Publication and Advertising
PO Box 974, Postal Code 100, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
China letter bombs kill seven 
Myanmar peace talks hit a snag 
Asian nations seek new haze strategy 
[email protected]
Over 500 people offer blood
to save the life of 9-year-old
boy who was injured seriously
in Saham accident
His Majesty sends
cables to leaders
MUSCAT: His Majesty Sultan Qaboos has
sent a cable of greetings to President
Xi Jinping of China on the occasion
of his country’s National Day. In his
cable, His Majesty expressed his sincere
greetings along with his best wishes of
good health and happiness to President
Jinping and the friendly Chinese people
further progress. His Majesty has also
sent a cable of greetings to President
Nicos Anastasiades of Cyprus on the
occasion of his country’s Independence
Anniversary. In his cable, His Majesty
expressed his sincere congratulations
along with his best wishes of good
health and wellbeing to President
Anastasiades and his country’s friendly
people further progress. SEE P2
Five new
hospitals in
the pipeline
Ra’ed al Nakheili
HM condolences
to Saudi King
MUSCAT: His Majesty Sultan Qaboos
has sent a cable of condolences to King
Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud of the
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the death
of Prince Nawaf bin Abdulaziz al Saud,
Special Adviser to the Saudi King. In his
cable, His Majesty the Sultan expressed
his sincere condolences and sympathy
to King Salman, praying to the Almighty
to grant his family patience.
Appreciate more. Forgive easily. Regret little. Life is too short to waste. #qotd #scenery #repost
#PiecesofOman #travel #destination #OmanIbri #WadiAlAlin
An Omani student of Al Baraeim School died
when a school minibus collided with a car in
Mudhaibi at 8.50am, September 30 while 13
others were injured.
Tenants of old apartments in Muscat say
they are facing harrowing time because
landlords refuse to undertake maintenance on
With over 6000 patients diagnosed with
dementia in Oman, the question now is,
“Is dementia hereditary? ”Find out in this interview.
Stories and more at
Shared by:
Abdulaziz al Shukaili
Watch now:
Know a good story ? Submit it at [email protected]
222 food establishments closed in Muscat
Engaging Post
Tweet of the Day
By: Bachelor101
Viral Today
Dearest Mother,
You’d be surprised what more
you can do with canvas
No matter how bad I act, I need not apologize
for I know you would have already forgiven me.
Because such is your weakness and burden.
I made a lot of new friends, mother. And I’d been
busy making them. I let them into my life and every
day the list grows. Some of them stay — some only
for a moment. Yet I share their dreams, their hopes,
their frustrations and failures. And every time they
get their hearts broken, I stay with them, comfort
them. I know what make them tick. And I know
what make them laugh. I paid so much attention
to their worries failing to realize that there is one
friend I yet have to get to know much better.
I’ve always look at you as a parent — someone
who tells me the right from the wrong — my moral
compass. Beyond that shroud of parenthood, I
didn’t see you as someone else — only the person
who nags a lot, who worries when I don’t get home
on time, who keeps asking me about everything
that I do, who most of the time I wish would stop
minding my business and just focus on hers.
I looked at you most days, and all I see is
the uptight person that you have become. But I
don’t know the stories behind the lines on your
face, the scars on your skin that once might
have been lawless. How did you get them?
Who are you, mother? What were you like when
you were younger? What was it like during your
time? What made you swoon? What made you
blush? What were your dreams? What was your
biggest frustration? And how did you overcome that
frustration? Who was your irst love? How was it
like to have your heart broken? If ever it was broken.
What was the name of that guy — that guy that you
think got away — the one who was so perfect but
who was never meant for you; the one you cried for
every night when you were in your teens and the
one who still lingers in your mind up to now.
When did you stop laughing, the laugh that
would have made guys your age crazy because you
were so beautiful? When did you stop becoming
your own person, stop your childish ways, and stop
your experimentation because you have to set an
example for me?
I created so much distance between us because I
wanted to become my own person.
So I’ve never asked, what are the things you really
liked? How was it like to give up on your dreams?
And if you did give up your dreams, was it worth it?
Was I one of the reasons that your dreams have to be
Before, canvas is a medium most artists use just to paint
A duo comprised of Stephen Stum and Jason Hallman
calling themselves as Stallman have found a new use for
canvas. Taking the Internet and their patrons by storm, the
duo create abstract pieces by painting canvas and looping
and swirling them into order. The results are stunning.
We are no artists but those artwork definitely look awesome
to us. And we don’t know about you but we feel inspired all
of a sudden. We know what to do on the weekend. We can’t
guarantee we’d end up making as awesome artwork as this
but a person can hope, can we not?
Subject to completion of pending formalities, the capital will
have a new shopping and leisure destination, with the partial
opening of the Panorama Mall in Bausher on October 12.
let go? What was it like giving birth to me? And was
I worth all the pain — not only of childbirth but of
everything that comes along with raising me?
I’m sorry I was too caught up with growing up
that I didn’t ask about you. Sorry that I didn’t realise
that you too are growing old and that the time we’d
be together has an end. I’m sorry if I always wanted
you to leave me alone and I keep on asking you
to mind your own business. My knowledge is so
limited that I only realized that I was your business.
In a few months, I too will marry the love of my
life. She will become my wife and she will become
the mother of my children. One day soon, we will
become parents too. We will stop becoming children
and for our children’s sake, we too will let go of the
things that right now feel very important to us. We
will stop chasing ater our dreams because one day
soon we will realise that as parents, we must help
them realise theirs — that our interests sometimes
must be let go.
It is possible that in their eyes, we will be how I
perceive you to be right now — uptight, protective,
and illogical. hey will think of us as boring and
don’t know how to have fun. We will sound like
broken record to them constantly reminding them
about responsibility, accountability, integrity and
compassion — above all, faith. hey will hate us
for grounding them, for putting limits to what they
can and cannot do and for disciplining them. Being
the bad guy will be ine with us — only to see them
become a better version of themselves.
We will make sacriices that right now feel very
hard to do. hey will become our business and all
things we’ll do and accept if only to see them happy.
I just hope that one day too, I or my wife will receive
a letter just like this for only then will I know that I
raised a good kid.
I write to you, mother, to apologise for all the
pains that I’ve put you through. I write to you
because there is no reward to parenthood. You will
not receive a plaque or a gold medal and you will not
even receive a standing ovation or even just a pat in
the back. But know this; you have my sincerest and
unending thank you.
Today, I will make a promise to you. I will tell my
kids about you. I will ask you the things I’ve written
here and tell my children your story — of how one
great mother have to let go of her dreams in order
to make mine a possibility- a reality. So even if you
didn’t get an award for being a great parent, you will
always remain living — immortal, for your story
will resonate and echo through the generations of
our family. For it is the only way I can pay tribute to
how great you are. You have my love and devotion,
Your Son
Panorama Mall to open on October 12
Comment of the Day
Sept. 30: It was more than humane,
oten divine for Al Nakheli family in
Saham, when more than 500 people of
diferent nationalities, men and women,
youngsters and elders lined up to save
the nine-year-old boy Ra’ed al Nakheili
who is ighting for his life in the ICU at
Sultan Qaboos University Hospital now.
“It was as if the sea of kindness has
touched our feet,” a family member
recalled while holding back his tears.
Ra’ed was severely injured last Sunday
evening while he was playing with his
friends on his bike near his relative’s
house in Muscat.
A reckless car driver lost control and
hit Ra’ed’s bike, but sped away realising
that the boy was badly injured. Raed
was hurt on head and lost lot of blood
and with a heavy impact on his head, he
was thrown into a state of coma at the
hospital. Soon, doctors realised that he
needs blood to help him survive.
But the ix was that, according to a
family member, the boy’s blood group
was B-Negative, which is quite rare
among all the groups.
In no time, a message was circulated
in the social media and in next few
hours, it went viral and the response
was overwhelming. Several Omanis
and Asians either called on the given
numbers or visited the blood bank and
donated blood to save the boy.
“We received more than 500 calls and
many visits by people willing to donate
blood to save our Ra’ed. God is Great!!!
we are immensely touched by their great
gesture of humanity,” Ali, Ra’ed’s uncle
told the Observer.
“We are willing to donate blood in
case he needs more. All our members
are ready and available on call if they are
requested. Our FB page and WhatsApp
group are available to get in touch with”,
Lakshmi Pai, who administrates Oman
Blood Donors (OBD), an NGO of more
than 3,500 members and their contacts
and relatives across the country, told the
MUSCAT: Within the eforts made
by the government to expand health
services and meet the needs of the
population growth, the Ministry of
Health is going ahead with plans
to build ive new hospitals in the
governorates of Musandam, North
Al Batinah, North Al Sharqiyah and
South Al Batinah, said Dr Ahmed
bin Mohammed al Saeedi, Minister of
Health, in a statement to Oman News
He added that the inal designs for
Khasab Hospital in the Governorate
of Musandam and Al Najat Hospital
which will serve the residents of
wilayats of Shinas and Liwa in North
Al Batinah, have been completed and
sent to the Tender Board.
he contractor will complete the
inal designs for Saham Hospital,
which will serve the residents of the
wilayats of Saham and Al Khabourah,
and Al Nama’a Hospital in the Wilayat
of Al Mudhaibi.
he inal designs for Al Suwaiq
Hospital will be sent to the Tender
Board by the middle of this month.
Regarding other projects, he said
that the ministry is implementing a
number of health projects as per the
preset plans which are revised in light
of the current developments. Work has
already begun on the ive hospitals and
some of them have completed inal
designs. he ministry is waiting for
the remarks from the Tender Board on
the designs.
Letters to the Editor
[email protected]
Oman secures release of hostages in Yemen
(September 21, 2015)
I am proud of Oman and His Majesty for responding
to the request of the US government to help settle the
case of the hostages. I really do agree that His Majesty
deserves the Nobel Peace Prize award. Oman up to
this day has remained as one of the most peaceful
countries in the middle east and my family and I felt
lucky to be here.
Ronald W M
753 stranded Omani Haj pilgrims return
(September 16, 2015)
Shame on those thieving contractors. hey should be
properly penalised. Most people who go to pilgrimage
save money just to observe the Haj with respect and
honour. Nobody deserves to be cheated and especially
not during Haj. It’s already bad enough that going on
pilgrimage is expensive, to be cheated is really really
not good. I hope they will be properly punished.
Hashim A
Iranian carmakers
eye unit in Duqm
manufacturers have stated their desire
to set up motor vehicle assembly
plants at the Special Economic Zone
at Duqm, this was stated during a
visit by Yahya bin Saeed bin Abdullah
al Jabri, Chairman of the Board of
Directors of the Special Economic
Zone Authority at Duqm (SEZAD)
and his accompanying delegation to
Iran Khodro (IKCO), Middle East’s
biggest vehicle manufacturer.
During the visit Al Jabri reviewed
the capabilities of the Iranian carmaker and was briefed about the stage
of manufacturing processes and the
operations that take place at the plant.
IKCO oicials spoke about the
steps being taken for setting up a
vehicle assembly plant at the SEZ in
partnership with the Oman Investment
Fund (OIF) and they said that many
they have agreed on many points.
SEZAD has allocated a plot of
land for the project and the next
step will the signing of a partnership
agreement with OIF. he project,
which is expected to cost $200 million,
targets Asian and African markets, the
oicials said.
Al Jabri said that SEZAD will
provide all facilities that will be
needed by the Iranian car-maker to
set up the proposed project which will
bring about many beneits to both the
Omani and Iranian sides.
The Palestinian flag flies beside the flag of the United Nations after being raised by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a
ceremony during the United Nations General Assembly at the United Nations in Manhattan on Wednesday.
Cars equipped with the software detect and pass emissions tests, then spew 30 to 40 times more NOx than permitted
MAX: 340C
MIN: 270C
MAX: 300C
MIN: 240C
MAX: 350C
MIN: 210C
FAJR: 04:43
DHUHR: 12:02
ASR: 15:27
MAGHRIB: 18:01
ISHA: 19:11
Auto emissions 40 per cent higher than claimed
PARIS: Carbon dioxide (CO2)
emissions from cars registered in
Europe in 2014 were 40 per cent higher
on average than their manufacturers
claimed, said a report prompting calls
on Wednesday for an investigation.
he gap between real-world
pollution and industry lab results has
grown by more than 30 per cent since
2001, said the International Council
on Clean Transportation (ICCT), an
independent research body with oices
Some cars, including mid-range
models were found to exceed stated
emissions levels by 50 per cent, the
ICCT found.
he report comes hot on the heels
of German car giant Volkswagen
admitting to having installed “defeat
device” sotware in some 11 million
cars since 2009 to evade nitrogen
oxides (NOx) pollution standards,
especially in the United States. Cars
equipped with the sotware detect and
pass emissions tests, then spew 30 to 40
times more NOx than permitted when
on the road.
“Like the air pollution test, the
European system of testing cars to
measure fuel economy and CO2
emissions is utterly discredited,”
commented Greg Archer, the clean
vehicles manager of Brussels-based
non-proit group Transport & Energy.
“he Volkswagen scandal was
just the tip of the iceberg and what
lies beneath is widespread abuse by
carmakers of testing rules.”
Factors other than cheating may also
account for the growing gap in Europe
between so-called certiication testing
results and actual emissions, based on
mileage reported by consumers.
“But for some models, the gap is
simply too high to be explained by
test manipulations, and this must be
investigated,” Julia Poliscanova, a policy
oicer at Transport & Energy, said.
Car makers can underestimate road
conditions that reduce fuel eiciency,
such as tyre selection, wind conditions
and gradients. European regulations
also make it possible for manufacturers
to optimise stationary road tests — in
which cars are “driven” on rollers — to
levels not possible in real life.
And features which increase fuel
consumption, such as air conditioning,
are switched of during testing.
hese and other measures have
allowed car makers to legally pass
European Union (EU) pollution tests
even if actual emissions are much
higher, watchdog groups say. — AFP
Dubai Mercantile Exchange
(DME) said that Oman oil price
(November delivery) closed
76 cents higher at $45.01 on
Wednesday. It had closed $44.25
on Tuesday. The average price of
Oman oil (September delivery)
has stabilised at $56.33, thus
$5.51 per barrel lower than
August delivery.
T H U R S DAY l O C TO B E R 1 l 2 0 1 5
HM greets
China, Cyprus
and Nigeria
His Majesty Sultan
Qaboos has sent a cable of
congratulations to President Xi
Jinping of the People’s Republic
of China on the occasion of his
country’s National Day. In his
cable, His Majesty expressed his
sincere congratulations along with
his best wishes of good health and
happiness to President Jinping and
the friendly Chinese people further
His Majesty also sent a cable
of congratulations to President
Nicos Anastasiades of the Republic
of Cyprus on the occasion of
In his cable, His Majesty expressed
along with his best wishes of
good health and well-being to
President Anastasiades and his
country’s friendly people further
In another cable, His Majesty
Muhammadu Buhari of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria on the occasion
of his country’s National Day.
In his cable, His Majesty expressed
his sincere congratulations along
with his best wishes of good health
and happiness to President Buhari
and the friendly people of Nigeria
further progress and prosperity.
Muscat Securities Market (MSM)
general index 30 on Wednesday
added 26.8 points, comprising
a rise of 0.47 per cent to close at
5,787.69 points, compared to the
last session, which stood at 5760.85
points. Trading value stood at RO
7.38 million. An MSM report said
market value rose by 0.44 per cent
to reach about RO 14.59 billion.
Civil Service Council holds third meeting
PROGRESS REVIEWED: Job conditions for some categories of staff, duties and responsibilities discussed
MUSCAT: Civil Service Council on
Wednesday held its third meeting of the
year under the chairmanship of Sayyid
Khalid bin Hilal al Busaidy, Minister
of the Diwan of Royal Court, and
Chairman of the Civil Service Council.
he meeting reviewed the followup report on what has been done
to implement the decisions and
recommendations of its 2nd meeting. It
also reviewed its agenda and discussed
a number of topics from various
government institutions regarding
job conditions for some categories of
staf in line with the terms of reference
of their institutions and the duties
and responsibilities of their jobs
according to the legal provisions in the
Civil Service Law, its implementing
regulations and the job classiication
system. he meeting also discussed a
number of topics relating to requests
for appointment and contracts for
some technical positions in the light of
the jurisdiction of the Council in this
he council discussed the reasons
of such requests in terms of their
importance to the functioning of the
concerned authorities and the exercise
of its terms of reference assigned to it,
particularly in the area of the completion
of the technical aspects associated with
its work and the implementation of
their own projects.
he meeting reviewed the report on
training plans for 2015 for government
units that apply the Civil Service Law.
he report included various indicators
and data linked to this aspect, including
type of programmes, their durations,
ields, number of staf covered by it and
other data.
he meeting also reviewed the
requests on oicial work timing or work
shit to some branches or organisational
divisions of some units of the state
administrative apparatus, in line with
the nature of their work and terms of
reference, and in light of the jurisdiction
of the Civil Service Council in this
he Council also discussed requests
of a number of government units for
their employees on loan by combining
the basic salary of those employees
in their work and the salary received
by them from the loaning entities,
according to the legal provisions
governing this in the Civil Service Law
and its implementing regulations.
he meeting reviewed a number
of other topics on its agenda sent by
various ministries and government
units and took the appropriate decisions
and recommendations.
Module 2 of National CEO
Programme concludes
Sept 30: With the blessings of His
Majesty Sultan Qaboos, in a further
step towards fostering leadership in
the private sector and achieving a
distinctive milestone in the region,
the National CEO Programme (NCP),
sponsored by the Public Private
Partnership Committee, has completed
Module 2, of the 6-module, 12-month
programme, aimed at delivering latest
leadership thinking and research to a
cross-sector, cross-region community of
senior private sector leaders.
he 30 participants on the
programme were selected from
across Oman’s industry sectors and
organisations, of which 34 per cent are
from small and medium enterprises
and with representation from seven
Professor Michael Wade, Professor of
Innovation and Strategy and Cisco Chair
in Digital Business Transformation,
commented on Module 2, “We focused
on two critical areas of development
for Omani executives in this module.
First, the need to think ‘outside of the
box’ and translate those ideas into
successful innovations. We worked
with tools to evaluate innovation across
the entire organisational value chain.”
He continued, “We also focused on
quantitative skills and inancial acumen.
he participants learned to understand
The module looked at
the role of innovation,
entrepreneurship, and
breakthrough thinking in
business. Innovation was
extensively taught from a
variety of perspectives
the fundamentals of inance, value
creation, and mergers and acquisitions.”
NCP Director Lynn Sadler, commented,
“he wealth of tools and knowledge
from our learning partners at IMD are
key enablers of leadership which the
programme participants can deploy
to the beneit of their organisations
and stakeholders. hey are part of the
CEO’s toolbox which we’ll add to as the
learning process continues.”
he National CEO Programme Module
2 concluded a successful week of classes
covering innovation and inance.
he module looked at the role of
innovation, entrepreneurship, and
breakthrough thinking in business.
Corporate innovation was extensively
taught from a variety of perspectives,
including how to innovate across the
organisation value chain, how to build
a culture of innovation, and how to use
innovation to disrupt organisations and
he participants were given the tools to
make well-informed inancial decisions,
including coverage of inancial
statements, inancial ratios, cash low
and inancial value creation. hey also
learnt how to value an organisation, and
understand the valuations of inancial
markets, leading to a discussion of
mergers and acquisitions. Finally, they
considered the inancial trends that
will afect future competitiveness in the
Middle East and across the world.
Under the patronage of the Diwan
of Royal Court, the National CEO
programme is an initiative that
was launched by the Public Private
Partnership platform “Sharaka”. It is the
irst of its kind in the Sultanate and its
goal is to develop the next generation
of private sector Omani leaders and
executives. It is a visible demonstration
of the importance and value that the
Sultanate assigns to the private sector’s
role in the future performance of
Oman’s economy and one which will
deliver clear results.
he National CEO Programme
is designed to address the private
sector’s emerging needs for talented
business leaders and executives who
are empowered to meet the challenges
of the marketplace and embrace the
opportunities that the Sultanate’s
economy will ofer. his exclusive
programme is founded on global
best practice and the latest leadership
thinking and learning methodologies.
OCTOBER 1 l 2015
Drug smuggler
held in Shinas
MUSCAT: he Directorate for
Combating Narcotics and Psychtropic
Substances at the police command in
North Al Batinah Governorate arrested
a GCC national in the Wilayat of
Shinas in connection with possessing
and smuggling drugs for the purpose
of traicking. he accused was found
by police to be in possession of hashish
and cash obtained from drug sales.
NEW YORK: Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdallah, Minister Responsible for
Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, Borg Brende,
Norwegian Foreign Minister and Gebran Bassil, Lebanese Foreign
Minister, in separate meetings on the sidelines of the United Nations
General Assembly in New York.
The meeting reviewed the bilateral relations between the
Sultanate and these countries and means of enhancing and
promoting them in various fields.
The meeting also discussed the latest developments at the
regional and international arenas, particularly what is related to the
UK Defence Secretary in Oman
MUSCAT: Michael Fallon, Secretary
of State for Defence, in the United
Kingdom and his accompanying
delegation, arrived in Muscat on
Wednesday on a two-day visit.
he UK oicial and his
accompanying delegation will visit
the Special Economic Zone in
Duqm. hey will tour its facilities and
installations, and meet with oicials of
the Special Economic Zone Authority
of Duqm (SEZAD).
he British guest and his
received at Muscat International
Airport by head of the Military
protocols and Public Relations at
Oman lays Israeli action at Al Aqsa
MUSCAT: In the Sultanate’s speech before the 30th session
of Human Rights Council which discussed ‘the Status of
Human Rights in Palestine and other occupied territories,
which was delivered by Abdullah bin Nasser al Rahbi, the
Sultanate’s Ambassador and its Permanent Delegate to the
UN and other organisations in Geneva, the Sultanate airmed
the importance of Article 7 at the works of the Human Rights
Council session. he Sultanate added that this Article is
developed for noble human purposes away from politics and
double standards policy.
“While the Sultanate condemned the Israeli violations in
the Arab and Palestinian occupied territories, it appreciated
some countries’ respect for this Article, he added.
“he Sultanate severely condemned the dangerous
escalation by Israel, the occupation force, its recurrent assault
on Al Aqsa mosque, its further limitation of freedom of
worship and systematic attempts to Judaise Al Quds occupied
city, change of its demography and isolating it from the
Palestinian surrounding’, he furthered.
He also pointed out that Gaza Strip , which is part of the
Palestine State, is still under the Israeli siege for years now
without any relief. hese acts are Israeli blatant violations of
the civil, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian
people despite the many international calls to lit this siege.
He also airmed that the Palestinian right to selfdetermination is one of the pillars for a people that have
been deprived of its land and home country. “he Sultanate’s
delegation, thus calls for forcing Israel, the occupation force, to
comply with international calls and resolutions and withdraw
from all the Palestinian and Arab occupied lands including
the Syrian Golan Heights as this will lead to comprehensive
and fair peace, a desire for all in the region. — ONA
refugees issue and the situations in Syria, Yemen and the occupied
Palestinian territories.
The meetings were attended by Lyutha bint Sultan al Mughairiyah,
the Sultanate’s Permanent Representative to United Nations and the
delegation accompanying bin Alawi. — ONA
Four expats
arrested for
MUSCAT: he directorate of
inquiries and criminal investigation
at the police command in
up four expatriates of an
Asian nationality for allegedly
abducting an Asian housemaid
ater she let her employer’s house
in Al Saada area in the Wilayat of
When interrogated by the police
the accused admitted that they tied
the woman and held her in a rented
An update on MEDRC’s ongoing HABS
research project, which aims to bring
together international experts to design
an early warning system for HABS in
the Gulf, was presented as well.
MEDRC also presented details of its
training syllabus and led a discussion on
the strategic training needs of Oman in
the water sector and the need to support
Omanisation. Discussions during the
forum also focused on eforts to reduce
the cost and energy requirement of
MUSCAT: With efect from October 1, Air India’s domestic light operation at Mumbai
is being shifted to the new integrated Terminal 2 (T2). With this both the International
and Domestic lights would be handled from the same terminal T2. This would give
seamless connections to Air India passengers via Mumbai to various onward points.
After this shifting of light operation, there is no need to change the terminal for
onward domestic travel at Mumbai. This will be an added advantage for international
passengers arriving by Air India at Mumbai.
Oman to take part in
Italian stone trade fair
A police patrol in Al Buraimi
Governorate arrested 38 Asian
expatriates 20 of whom had entered
the country illegally and the other
18 were charged for overstaying ater
their visa had expired.
Police oicers from the directorate of
inquiries and criminal investigation
at the police command in
Dhofar Governorate rounded up
people of Asian nationalities including
8 women for prostitution at a
rented house in the Central Salalah
and approaches to the challenge of
providing secure and afordable fresh
water for Oman.
On the occasion, each participating
organization presented a case study
focusing on resolved or ongoing water
he forum also deliberated on the
challenges posed by HABS (Harmful
Algae Blooms) that have menaced water
desalination plants located along the
Arabian Gulf coastline in recent years.
AI’s domestic operations shift to T2
MEDRC hosts irst-ever forum for desal operators
Sept. 30: he Middle East Desalination
Research Centre (MEDRC), a regional
hub for desalination research and
training based at Al Hail in Muscat,
recently hosted a irst-ever forum for
operators of major water desalination
plants in the Sultanate.
As many as 25 entities, which
together account for the bulk of Oman’s
substantial water desalination capacity,
were invited to take part in the daylong Oman Desalination Operators
Notable participants included Sogex
(Ghubrah Power & Water Desalination
Co), Stomo (Barka 2), SMN Power
Company, Rural Areas Electricity
Company (RAECO), and Global
Chemicals & Maintenance Systems.
Also in attendance were representatives
of Oman Water Society (OWS) and a
number of other companies operating
in the Sultanate.
According to MEDRC, the event
served as a unique opportunity for the
participants to share best practices and
discuss innovative new technologies
he department of inquiries and
criminal investigation at the police
station in Shinas apprehended four
people accused for committing thet
in the Wilayat of Shinas.
In one case, two Omani citizens
were arrested for withdrawing RO
600 from an expatriate’s bank account
ater they took his ATM card and
password allegedly to settle a customs
transaction for him. In another case,
the department of inquiries and
criminal investigation arrested an
expatriate cleaner for stealing RO 2,000
from a workers’ accommodation. An
Omani citizen reported to the police
that the accused obtained the keys to
clean up the accommodation but he
stole the money and escaped. Police
also arrested an expatriate worker who
entered his colleague’s room through
the window and stole RO 1,000 and 40
phone cards.
Commenting of the event, MEDRC’s
Centre Director, Ciaran O Cuinn
stated: “MEDRC’s mission is to ind
solutions to fresh water scarcity here in
Oman and across our region. Working
with partners such as the Oman
Water Society, the Universities and
now, through the Operators Forum,
with industry we can hopefully drive
progress in our shared goal of afordable
and sustainable fresh water for all.”
Sept. 30: Many of Oman’s leading
stone and marble producers are
exhibiting this week at the Marmomacc
International Trade Fair for Stone,
Design and Technology in Verona, Italy.
Led by Ithraa, Oman’s inward
investment and export promotion
authority, ive local irms will join stone
and marble industry exhibitors from
over 145 countries for the four-day
international trade fair.
Remarking on the importance of
the Verona exhibition to local stone
and marble producers, Nasima al
Balushi, Ithraa’s Director-General
for Export Development said: “In
2014, Marmomacc attracted 1,502
exhibitors and over 65,000 visitors
from 145 countries. It’s this kind of
high-proile international exposure and
business networking that appeals to
the participating Omani irms. Indeed,
we’ve had a pavilion at Marmomacc
for several years and it’s an event that’s
always delivered strong commercial
returns for colleagues.”
Christopher Vaz, General Manager
of Services & Trade Marble LLC
(FZC) remarked: “We’ve attended
Marmomacc in the past and it’s helped
build international awareness of our
product range and brand. Moreover, it’s
connected us with interior designers,
consultants, project owners, trade
merchants as well as dealers from
around the world. We believe it’s a
trade show that delivers strong results
and helps us grow and strengthen our
market share.”
Oman has signiicant deposits of
gypsum, limestone, marble, laterite,
chromite and kaolin, and the mining
and mineral sector has experienced
robust growth over the past few years. A
key driver is the domestic construction
sector, which despite current crude oil
prices, shows no sign of slowing. Many
in the business community expect the
sector to remain strong particularly
given the government’s economic
diversiication plans as well as the fast
growing middle class which is driving
the sultanate’s housing sector.
Esaam al Qafaf, General Manager
of Hamood al Rashidi & Bros Ltd,
commented: “Given the volume of
exhibitors and trade visitors at the
Verona show we’re able to meet target
groups and establish trade connections.
he show is the ideal platform to
present our product range and secure
new business. We’re excited about our
Al Balushi explained: “Business at
Marmomacc is brisk and from past
experience I fully expect our pavilion to
be very busy. Omani stone and marble
companies attend the show because
they want to display their products,
meet buyers, architects, distributors
and designers.
heir objective is clear, get the
company’s name and product known
and penetrate new markets, on that
front, Marmomacc delivers in every
OCTOBER 1 l 2015
MUSCAT: Dr Abdulmunim bin Mansour al Hasani, Minister of Information, on Wednesday met editors-in-chief of local
newspapers in his office in the presence of the Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Information and the Director-General of
Information. The meeting discussed a number of topics related to information work and the obstacles faced by the local press
at the current stage and to find appropriate solutions. A number of officials at the Ministry of Information attended the
meeting. — ONA
The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China held a ceremony at the Grand Hyatt Hotel Muscat on Wednesday to mark the
66th anniversary of the Republic of China. The ceremony was attended by senior officials in the Sultanate, a number of heads
of diplomatic missions accredited to the Sultanate besides several officials from the Foreign Ministry. — ONA
MoU signed to protect wildlife in Oman
GREEN CONCERN: Under the programme, the Arabian Oryx will be radio collared to study their behaviour
Sept. 30: he Oice for Conservation of the
Environment (OCE) at Diwan of Royal Court on
Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding
with Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) for the
protection of wildlife and the environment in Oman.
he focus of the MoU will be mainly on two
projects — implementing three water wells in the
Nature Reserve in Wusta Governorate and studying
the behaviour of the Arabian Oryx.
Yaser bin Obaid al Salami, Director-General of
the Oice for Conservation of the Environment
stated that this cooperation will help in enhancing
the protection of Nature Reserve especially the
Arabian Oryx which are in the wild. “Electronic
bands will be installed on the Oryx so they can be
traced with the help of satellites. Plus having ground
water sources in the reserve is very signiicant to from these sources.
Abdulalameer al Ajmi, Executive Manager for
sustain wildlife as the climatic conditions there is
Al Salami also indicated that this cooperation Foreign Afairs at PDO pointed out that the memo
very hot and dry” he explained, conirming that will enable researchers to study the behaviour of the articles is compatible with the company policy
even local communities in the region will beneit Oryx and track them.
to preserve the environment. “We launched our
‘Remember Me,’ makes its point –
Alzheimer’s does exist in Oman
Sept. 30: he ‘Remember Me’ event
to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s
condition brought an understanding on
the importance of the right support for
care givers. he World Alzheimer’s Day
was marked by Sultan Qaboos University
Hospital and Oman Alzheimer’s Society
at Muscat Grand Mall on Wednesday.
he winners of the photography
contest were announced on the
occasion with Majid al Amri taking the
irst price, Faheem al Malki the second
place, followed by Abdullah al Saidi in
the third place.
conducted blood sugar and cholesterol
tests bringing in focus the connection
of Alzheimer’s with diabetes and
hypertension. Cognitive tests were also
available for visitors to take part in.
In addition to psychiatrists and
psychologists, there were participation
from the Alzheimer’s patients support
group as well as care givers of patients
who were oten family members.
Alzheimer’s Support Group in Oman
is to educate, empower and support. In
the support group members got to meet
people with similar experiences and
“Once a month we hold a meeting
with the support group who are all
care givers. All of them have a family
member – father, mother, brother or
sister who sufers from Alzheimer’s. It
could be a moderate condition or severe.
We share experiences and follow up on
each other. he senior psychiatrists
guide us in order to take care of the
patients in the right way,” explained
Psychologist Hashil al Hatmi. “It is
important for everyone to know that
Alzheimer’s exist in Oman. here is no
100% cure, instead interventions such as
family therapy and group sessions can
help the care givers,” he added.
Salma al Riyami gave up her job
once her father was diagnosed with
Alzheimer’s three years ago. “In the
beginning we had no idea what was
this disease and what to do about it
until we took him to Sultan Qaboos
University Hospital. He was diagnosed
with Alzheimer’s but we did not know
what Alzheimer’s was. hen we came
to know about the Oman Alzheimer’s
society. Slowly we began to learn about
the situation and how to take care of our
father. Now it is very normal at home,”
said Salma.
When asked what was the most
diicult part of having a family member
alicted with Alzheimer’s Salma said:
“he most diicult part is accepting
that your father does not know you
anymore. He remembers his wife’s
name but not who she is.” Salma’s father
does not recognize any of the family
members but she stressed for the family
he is still the father and that is exactly
how they treat him. But not all patients
are that lucky and that is why health
experts want the people to be aware and
take early actions as Alzheimer’s cannot
be cured, but progression can be slowed
Qutba al Ghafri, specialises in Mental
Health Nursing and extends support to
the care givers. “Care givers are the most
important part of the whole process.
We have workshops called, ‘Friends of
Alzheimer’s’. “We take volunteers and
give them accredited workshop. We
train them to recognize Alzheimer’s
patients. Amongst the elderly there
are signs and symptoms. Once they
recognize the patients the volunteers
will train the care givers how to take care
of the patients with this disorder. Most
importantly volunteers also spread the
awareness on Alzheimer’s,” explained
he experts point out that providing
care to people with dementia is stressful
experience and has been associated with
high burden of care. Such issue has been
under-researched in the Arabic part of
the world, which is why the Behavioural
Medicine at Sultan Qaboos University
Hospital conducted the research.
he study concluded that increased
burden was evidenced to be associated
with higher incidence of mental
Screening and early
intervention will impact positively on
the care giver as well as the patient.
environment initiative for recycling in our oices.
We are also signatories to the UN Global Compact
which make us very committed to enhance
environmental responsibility” he added.
Sea of kindness
to save boy
“Our members are spread across
the country and they can be put into
service any time and anywhere we
need to”, she added.
he condition of the boy, as this
went to print, remains critical.
he family members were asked to
pray for him and the social media too
has been abuzz with prayers for Ra’ed.
Accidents involving bikes, quad
bikes and beach buggies are not
uncommon in the country.
Several residential areas and
Bausher sand dunes area are highly
prone to such incidents.
Children tend to try their hands
on bikes out of a bout of impulse and
controlling them oten proves to be
Before we pass on the buck,
immediate legal measures to safeguard
biking need to be implemented to save
our children.
5 new hospitals in the pipeline
On the other hand, Al Nama’a Hospital
in the Wilayat of Al Mudhaibi will
include outpatient clinic, accident and
emergency department, operation
room, delivery ward, medical labs
and radiology department in addition
to inpatient wards, ICU, pediatric
ICU, service building and other
he new hospital in Al Suwaiq, a
300-bed one, will include 53 outpatient
clinics and other services. Khasab and
Al Najat hospitals, 150 bed each, will
include 35 outpatient clinics each.
he Ministry of Health statistics point
out that as of 2014, there are 67 hospitals
in the Sultanate, 49 of them are run by
the Ministry of Health, ive by other
ministries and public organisations and
13 by the private sector.
he total bed strength of 67 hospital
stands at 6,322.
he number of health centres and
complexes in the country stood at
1,345, including 23 health complexes,
72 health centres with beds, 108 health
centres without beds, all run by the
Ministry of Health, in addition to
49 primary health care centres and
polyclinics run by some ministries and
public organisations, 1,093 polyclinics
in the private sector.
he number of private pharmacies
stood at 550.
An artist impression for Al Nama’a and Saham hospitals.
11,200 pilgrims from Oman this year
MUSCAT: Statistics released by the
National Center for Statistics and
Information (NCSI) reported that
11,200 pilgrims went from the Sultanate
to perform the Haj this year. he
number showed stability during the
period from 2013 to 2015.
he stability of the Sultanate’s
pilgrims (Omanis and residents)
is attributed to the stability of the
Sultanate’s quota, with expectations that
number will remain the same in the
coming years.
he number of Omani pilgrims was
10,015 , forming 89.4 per cent, while
the number of Arab residents was 580
pilgrims and non-Arabs 605 pilgrims,
forming 5.2 per cent and 5.4 per cent,
Statistics showed a 31.6 per cent
decline in the number of Omani
pilgrims between 2012 and 2015. he
number of Omani pilgrims in 2010
totalled about 13,220, fell to 13,045 in
2011, and went up to 14,638 in 2012
before it was ixed at 10,000 pilgrims in
the years 2013, 2014, and 2015.
In contrast, the number of non-Arab
pilgrims was stable in 2014 and 2015.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key
said he sees a good chance of wrapping
up a Paciic trade deal this week and
warned political headwinds may scupper
the pact if negotiations drag on too long.
Trade ministers from the 12 countries
negotiating the Trans-Paciic Partnership
gathered in Atlanta on Wednesday in a
bid to close the pact, which would cut
trade barriers and set common standards.
Japan committed $1.5 billion to counter
the growing Middle East refugee crisis.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been
instrumental in demanding reforms
that would allow Japan — the secondlargest contributor to the UN budget
— to become a permanent member of
the Security Council. His aid package
includes $810 million to assist refugees
from and within Syria and Iraq.
Employees of a money remittance company construct a 252.7 square-meter coin mosaic during a world record attempt in
Manila on September 30, 2015. The Philippine team set a new Guinness World Record for the largest coin mosaic, using some
500,000 pieces of peso coins in different denominations and completed within 25 hours, beating the previous world record of
156 square-meters from the US.
South Koreans
sue VW for
emissions scam
SEOUL: Volkswagen owners in
South Korea are following their US
counterparts in suing the German
automaker over an emissions-cheating
scandal, with hundreds expected to
ile complaints in the coming weeks.
Seoul-based Barun Law said it had
iled two complaints with the court
on Wednesday morning, claiming the
owners were defrauded when they
purchased their vehicles.
“We received at least 100 more calls
from owners today, and expect to start
adding many more plaintifs from next
week,” said lawyer Ha Jong-Sun.
Volkswagen, the world’s biggest
carmaker by sales, has admitted that
up to 11 million diesel cars worldwide
are itted with devices that can switch
on pollution controls when they detect
the car is undergoing testing.
hey then switch of the controls
when the car is on the road, allowing
it to spew out harmful levels of
Ha said the practice amounted
to fraud, and said his clients would
be seeking unspeciied damages, as
well as cancellation of the initial sales
contract and a refund of the full sale
price, with interest from the date of
— Reuters
China arrests 2 Japanese
on suspicion of spying
BEIJING: China said on Wednesday
it has arrested two Japanese citizens
for suspected spying, a move likely to
strain already tense ties between Asia’s
two largest economies.
he detentions — the irst since 2010
involving Japanese on such charges
— come as relations remain clouded
by disputes over islands and Tokyo’s
wartime history, despite close trade
In Tokyo Japan’s top government
spokesman said the two people were
held separately in May, one in the
northeastern province of Liaoning
and another in the eastern province of
he spokesman, Chief Cabinet
Secretary Yoshihide Suga, said he
believed they were private citizens
and Japanese diplomats had “ofered
Japan does not engage in spying, he
had told a brieing earlier in the day.
China’s foreign ministry said the two
Japanese were arrested “on suspicion of
carrying out espionage activities”.
Asked why they had been held for
months without any public statement,
ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a
regular brieing in Beijing that China
had dealt with the case “in accordance
with the law”.His statement came a
week ater China said it was holding
a US businesswoman on suspicion of
Supporters of the woman, Sandy
Phan-Gillis, said she had been held for
six months but denied she had any links
to espionage.
Japan’s Asahi newspaper said the
two Japanese are being held on a string
of charges including violating China’s
anti-espionage law introduced last year.
One was detained near the North
Korean border while the other was
picked up close to a military facility,
public broadcaster NHK and the Asahi
cited sources as saying.
Kyodo News said both are in their
he detentions are thought to be the
irst of their kind since China in 2010
held four Japanese men in the northern
province of Hebei.
he group were employees of Tokyobased construction company Fujita,
which said they had been visiting the
city of Shijiazhuang to prepare a bid
for a project to dispose of chemical
weapons let in China by invading
Japanese forces in the 1930s.
he group were later released and
sent back to Japan ater they admitted
ilming in a military area.
hey said they had no idea they were
in a restricted zone.
Japan and China are locked in
conlict over disputed islands in the
East China Sea, which in recent years
sparked large-scale anti-Japanese
protests in China.
— Reuters
Lawyer for Bangkok bomb
accused says client confessed
BANGKOK: he foreigner accused of
planting a bomb at a Bangkok shrine has
admitted involvement in the deadly attack,
his lawyer said Wednesday, reversing
earlier denials of a confession.
he comments by lawyer Schoochart
the hai authorities’
version of the complex
investigation into the
August 17 blast which
killed 20 people.
Earlier this week
questioned whether the
man — whom police
have named both as
Bilal Mohammed and
as Adem Karadag (pictured) — had
confessed. he lawyer said his client had
previously insisted he was not in the
country on the day of the attack.
But ater meeting his client on
Wednesday, Schoochart reversed his
Seven killed by multiple
letter bombs in China
T H U R S DAY l O C TO B E R 1 l 2 0 1 5
position. “I met Adem this morning for
about an hour and he said he confessed
voluntarily to planting the bomb,” the
lawyer told reporters outside the military
barracks in central Bangkok where the
accused is detained.
On Saturday police said
they were now convinced
that Mohammed, the irst
person to be arrested, was
the same man seen in
CCTV footage wearing a
yellow T-shirt and placing
a backpack at the Erawan
shrine moments before
the explosion.
with other security camera footage and
eyewitness accounts, conirmed they had
the right man -- ater earlier saying DNA
evidence suggested it was unlikely to be
– Reuters
BEIJING: Seven people were killed
on Wednesday when 15 letter bombs
exploded in southern China, state media
said, with blasts reported in multiple
locations including government oices.
Police described the blasts, which
injured 51 people on the eve of China’s
national day, as a “criminal case”, ruling
out a “terrorist act”. hey said a 33-yearold local suspect had been identiied
but gave no immediate motive and were
seeking his arrest.
he explosions occurred in at least 13
locations in the rural county of Liucheng
in the Guangxi region, he Nanguo
Morning News, a local newspaper, cited
police as saying.
hey included a prison, a government
oice and a shopping centre, it said.
Pictures posted online, which could
not be veriied, showed portions of sixstorey buildings gutted and collapsed,
and streets littered with glass, bricks
and other debris. Other photos showed
overturned cars, victims bandaged and
laid on makeshit stretchers and plumes
of grey smoke rising above a residential
district. he explosives were apparently
placed in express delivery packages, the
oicial Xinhua news agency said.
“he public security department has
quickly started to work and has already
determined it was a criminal case,” it
quoted Liucheng police as saying.
A “preliminary suspect” was named
as M Wei, aged 33 and living in the town
of Dapu in the county.
organisations are sparing no eforts to
carry out investigation work,” it added.
Liucheng county is under the
administration of the city of Liuzhou.
In recent years several disgruntled
Chinese citizens have bombed local
government oices and public places
to try to draw attention to their
In 2013 a man set of a series of homemade bombs packed with ball-bearings
outside a provincial government
headquarters in northern China, killing
Damaged explosions hit Liucheng county, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region,
on Wednesday. —Reuters
at least one person and wounding eight.
Xinhua said at the time he sought to
“take revenge on society”.he same year
a street vendor set ire to a bus in east
China’s Fujian province, killing himself
and nearly four dozen passengers
in an act of retaliation against local
authorities. Legal paths for pursuing
justice in China are limited, as courts
are subject to political inluence and
Citizens who lodge complaints
against authorities oten ind themselves
being detained.
Authorities maintain tight control
over public security in the one-party
state and place huge importance on
maintaining social order.
Australian capital irst to regulate Uber
SYDNEY: The Australian city of
Canberra on Wednesday said it would
become the irst capital in the world
to regulate ride-sharing services such
as Uber, even as the controversial apps
face legal challenges elsewhere.
Popular US-based app Uber and
other ride-sharing operators will be
able to legally pick up passengers
from October 30 in Canberra, with the
Australian Capital Territory government
requiring drivers and vehicles to
undergo accreditation and registration.
While Uber has been popular with
commuters around the world, it has
faced backlash from traditional taxi
operators and some governments, and
been hit with legal challenges in cities
including Brussels and Jakarta.
“Canberra will become the irst city
in Australia and the irst capital in the
world to regulate ride-sharing services,”
ACT chief minister Andrew Barr told
“It demonstrates a jurisdiction
like the ACT can take a national, and
indeed an international leadership
role, in working with new technology,
embracing changes in the way services
are delivered to communities.”
The ACT government said legalising
ride-sharing services would help
reduce fares for commuters and
encourage innovation in the transport
To ofset any fall in demand for
taxis, it added fees for taxis and hire
cars would be halved from 2016 and
halved again in 2017.
A man looks on from his boat at the Marina Bay shrouded by haze in Singapore on Wednesday. The 3-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) reached a high of 224, in
the “very unhealthy range”, at 4pm (0800GMT) on Wednesday, according to the Singapore’s National Environment Agency. Slash-and-burn agriculture in
neighbouring Indonesia has blanketed Singapore in a choking haze for weeks — Reuters
Airports to get
$440m facelift
Pakistani Hajj pilgrims are met by relatives as they return home in Lahore on Wednesday. More than 40 Pakistanis died and over 60 are missing following a deadly
stampede near Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Mecca during the annual Haj pilgrimage. — AFP
Sharif ofers
more troops,
drones for UN
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz
Sharif has pledged an additional
infantry battalion and unarmed
Pakistani drones to enhance UN
peacekeeping missions.
“We are pledging an infantry
battalion we also commit to providing
surveillance unmanned unarmed
aerial vehicles,” the prime minister
told a UN peacekeeping summit
conference in New York on Monday
Pakistan, which co-hosted the
summit with the United States and
others began contributing troops to
UN peacekeeping missions in 1960.
Today it has the most troops
serving under the UN lag.
More than 50 countries attended
the summit and pledged 40,000
additional soldiers and police oicers
to the UN force.
Earlier, Chinese President Xi
Jinping told the General Assembly
that his country would build an
8,000-member peacekeeping standby
force and contribute $1 billion over
the next 10 years to a United Nations
“peace and development fund”.
to increase US logistical support,
including air and sealit capacity;
airields and base camps.
He also ofered to train
peacekeepers to counter improvised
explosive devices, which have killed
many UN peacekeepers.
He also played a key role in
persuading other nations to increase
their troop contributions.
Prime Minister Sharif said Pakistan
would also provide transport,
engineering and signals companies
and additional utility helicopters.
he Pakistani drones, he said,
“capabilities to protect civilians and
military personnel”.
— Internews
OCTOBER 1 l 2015
As peace returning,
United Kingdom eyes
investment in Karachi
ISLAMABAD: British Minister for
Pakistan Tobias Ellwood has said its
clear that operation by the Rangers
against criminals in Karachi is “having
its mark” and security situation in
Pakistan has improved a great deal as
compared to what it was like a year ago.
In an interview ater visiting Karachi
and Islamabad last week, the minister
for Pakistan, who became the irst
British minister to visit Karachi ater
2012, has said that in Karachi as well as
in Pakistan militant attacks are down
from ive a day to one per day or even
less which shows that the operation
against militants is going on the right
he minister’s remarks show that
the international community especially
important countries like Britain view
positively the drive against hard-core
criminal elements in Karachi who
had taken the city hostage for years,
blocking its progress and peace.
he British minister told Geo
News that the fact he was able to visit
Karachi himself was a testimony that
the security situation had improved
“and it’s a testimony of how things
are changing.” he minister said that
the UK government fully supported
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz
Sharif ’s commitment to “make Pakistan
a safe place and improve its governance,
security and infrastructure.”
Ellwood said that Karachi was
gateway to Asia and the UK was
very interested in playing its role in
developing the city so that its ambitions
and potential could be realised.
He said that there was desire in
Britain to be of assistance in the
development plans of “bustling and
thriving mega city.”
He said that cities as big as Karachi
faced many challenges but for their
vision to prosper its important that
there should be safety around and there
should be employments for everyone.
He compared Karachi with London
and said that London was able to give
British minister Tobias
Ellwood compared Karachi
with London and said that
“we don’t implode with
sheer weight of ourselves
and we are welcoming
more people to be with us
and not get congested and
lots of people safety and security and
showed that “we don’t implode with
sheer weight of ourselves and we are
welcoming more people to be with us
and not get congested and disorganised.”
He said that he would speak to
London Mayor Boris Johnson about
Karachi and will see what are the
success stories that can be shared with
he minister said that by the end of
this year a large delegation of British
businesses would visit Pakistan to
explore the opportunities that the
country ofers.
He said that UK and Pakistan were
tied in great bilateral relations and
this was valued deeply and relected
through the close connections the two
countries have at many levels.
When asked about Pakistan’s
allegation that the British soil has been
used by the MQM leader Altaf Hussain
to incite violence in Pakistan and
what he made of the latest hate speech
inquiry by the Scotland Yard, he said
that the police were carrying out their
investigations independently and the
political government didn’t have any
inluence over the policing matters.
he minister said that British army
has “growing relations with Pakistan’s
military”.He appreciated the drive
against militancy by Pakistan Army
and said that it was encouraging that
young people were being stopped from
becoming extremists.
— Internews
‘Govt to ind just
resolution to
Kashmir issue’
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is commited
to ind a just and peaceful resolution
to Kashmir dispute, Pakistan’s Adviser
on Foreign Afairs Sartaj Aziz has said.
Pakistan’s position on the Kashmir
dispute is based on the UN Security
Council resolutions, Radio Pakistan
quoted Aziz as saying in a meeting on
Kashmir issue on Tuesday.
Pakistan is steadfast in extending
political, moral and diplomatic
support to the people of Kashmir in
their just struggle for their inalienable
right to self-determination.
Aziz said Pakistan is ready to hold
talks with India at any level without
any preconditions.
he Contact Group of the
Organisation of Islamic Cooperation
on Jammu and Kashmir has expressed
solidarity with Kashmir and extended
support to their cause. — Internews
ISLAMABAD: he government of
Pakistan is planning a massive Rs44
billion ($440 million) overhaul of major
airports over the next two years as part
of its new aviation policy announced
earlier this year.
According to Civil Aviation
Authority (CAA) documents, the
much overdue short and medium
term projects will help renovate
infrastructure, upgrade facilities and
equipment as well as enhance security
at major airports.
While the documents do not
provide speciic project details or
disclose the source of funding for most
of the projects, they outline timelines to
complete them, with most slated to be
completed over the next two years.
In Quetta, a project worth Rs1.6
billion has been earmarked to upgrade
the terminal building at Quetta airport
during the ongoing iscal year.
Work on new passenger bridges,
concourse hall and allied facilities
are expected to start by the end of
Simultaneously, a Rs2 billion revamp
of the terminal building and other
amenities at Bacha Khan International
Airport in Peshawar is expected to
commence in October. Further, a
CAT- I instrument landing system
(ILS) is being installed at the airport
Lahore airport is racing against time
to complete installation of a new ILS,
the US $25 million CAT-3 B - gited by
Qatar. he civil aviation hopes to have
the system in place before the winter
fog rolls in which virtually shut the
airport down last year.
While the ILS at Karachi airport has
already been upgraded, the CAA plans
to replace old radars with new ones at
both Karachi and Lahore airports by
December next year at a cost of Rs1.5
billion he CAA also plans to replace
23 year-old aerobridges at Jinnah
International Airport in Karachi.
he 12 aerobridges at the airport had
been installed in 1992.
Under the Rs1.6 billion project,
all of the boarding bridges will be
replaced with state of the art concourses
manufactured by Spanish engineering
irm Adelte by October 2016.
he government has also decided to
enhance facilities at the new Islamabad
airport, whose construction is expected
to be completed by 2016.
he CAA is planning to increase the
number of boarding bridges from the
nine planned to 15.
Further, instead of the CAT-2 ILS
system, it will install the more advanced
CAT-3/B ILS at the new airport.
With the new international airport
in Multan, inaugurated in March this
year, attracting attention from six
foreign carriers, the CAA plans to
install two more boarding bridges by
December this year.
In light of attacks on airports in
Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta, the
government has decided to enhance
security at the airports through an
integrated system at a cost of Rs400
he CAA will also purchase
armoured personnel carriers (APC)
worth Rs500 million for all major
— Internews
In light of attacks on airports in Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta, the government has
decided to enhance security at the airports through an integrated system at a cost
of Rs400 million.
Over 35 lawmakers stay on court orders
ISLAMABAD: More than 35 federal
and provincial lawmakers belonging to
all major political parties are surviving
in the legislatures on the force of stay
orders or judicial litigation.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)
quickly started taunting and bashing
the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz
(PML-N) after the Supreme Court halted
the October 11 by-election to NA-154
Lodhran and granted stay to Siddique
Baloch, but a number of its own
legislators are already retaining their
seats on similar orders.
Of the total lawmakers, who have
got relief from the apex court after
they were unseated by the election
tribunals, there are 15 members of
the National Assembly (MNAs); eight
members of the Punjab and Sindh
legislatures each; seven members of
the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) assembly
and one member of the Balochistan
legislature, according to an oicial of
the Election Commission of Pakistan
(ECP).These MPs hail from the PTI,
PML-N, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)
and Jamiate Ulemae Islam-Fazl (JUI-F).
Independents also igure among them.
The MNAs whose cases are pending
disposal in the superior courts were
elected from NA-15 Karak, NA-46
tribal area, NA-39 tribal area, NA-66
Sargodha, NA-176 Muzafargarh, NA-47
tribal area, NA-267 Kachhi-cum-Jhal
Magsi, NA-211 Naushero Feroz, NA-261
Pishin-cum-Ziarat, NA-125 Lahore and
NA-215 Khairpur in the 2013 general
elections. Apart from them, the case of
Ghulam Sarwar Khan, PTI MNA elected
from NA-53 Rawalpindi, is also pending
in the apex court.
— Internews
Controversial Nandipur power plant to be privatised
ISLAMABAD: he government of
Pakistan has carved out a plan under
which it will irst operate and maintain
the stalled Nandipur power plant and
then privatise it ater ensuring that
there is no more technical hindrance
in its smooth running, discloses the
latest presentation prepared by the
management of the power plant.
he presentation, which was
discussed in the Ministry of Water and
Power probably on September 19, also
divulges that the government has set
up a commission headed by Justice
(R) Zahid Aslam that will look into the
Nandipur power plant iasco.
he commission will ix those
responsible for the inordinate delaying
in making the plant operational.
he presentation also says the
government has initiated its working
to privatise the plant ater it is properly
operated and maintained for a certain
period and resolution of all the issues
pertaining to its smooth running.
When contacted, spokesman for the
ministry said he knew nothing about
any plan for privatisation of the project
at the later stage.
However, the government is
currently emphasizing its focus purely
on how to make the project operational.
— Internews
Pakistani relatives gather around the caskets of migrants whose bodies were found aboard a boat off the Italian coast, at the
airport in Lahore on Wednesday. More than 101,700 migrants have arrived in Italy by boat since the start of the year, with at
least 2,040 others dying on the crossing, according to the latest figures compiled by the International Organization for
OCTOBER 1 l 2015
An Afghan helicopter carrying security personnel arrives
at the scene of an offensive against Taliban
in Kunduz on Wednesday. — AFP
Myanmar talks collapse
as groups pull out
n Thousands of
government forces
arrive at airport
n Parliamentarians
call for president
to resign
US special forces join Afghans
in fight to retake Kunduz
KABUL: Special forces from the USled military coalition in Afghanistan
battled insurgents on Wednesday near
the northern city of Kunduz that was
captured by the Taliban this week,
a coalition spokesman and Afghan
oicial said.
It was the irst report of on-theground clashes between Taliban
supporting their Afghan allies during
three days of sometimes heavy
ighting for control of the strategic city
of 300,000.
Kunduz is the irst provincial
capital to fall to the Taliban since the
hardline movement was toppled from
power in 2001.
he swit re-taking of the city
promised by President Ashraf Ghani
has failed to materialise, as Taliban
ighters dig into positions around
the city and mine roads to prevent
reinforcements from reaching weary
Afghan forces.
In a major setback, nearly 200
Afghan policemen search passengers and vehicles entering the city of Herat on
Wednesday. — AFP
Afghan security personnel abandoned
Bala Hissar hill, a key outpost in
Kunduz that overlooks the city’s
main roads, ater running out of
ammunition and food supplies, said
an Afghan security oicial.
A senior Afghan security oicial
said about 100 members of US special
forces fought of Taliban attackers
IS advances in Afghanistan
must be rebufed: EU envoy
BERLIN: The European
Union’s special representative
to Afghanistan warned on
Wednesday that the advance of
the IS group in the country must
be “stopped quickly” to avoid the
mistakes made in Syria.
Franz-Michael Mellbin wrote
in German daily Die Welt that IS “is
advancing in areas of Afghanistan
that are the hardest to control” in
a campaign that began one year
ago. “According to the ideology of
the group, the inal decisive battle
leading to their actual goal — the
establishment of a caliphate —
will take place in that part of the
world,” he said.
After setbacks earlier this year,
IS regrouped in recent weeks,
Mellbin said, and “laid waste
to sites in Nangarhar, brutally
murdered tribal leaders, battled
the Taliban, held entire families
hostage and imposed rigid rules
for women,” he said.
Mellbin said Afghan forces
had fought back but were overstretched with operations against
the Taliban. — AFP
threatening to breach the airport in
the early hours of Wednesday.
he heavily armed troops, wearing
night-vision goggles, let the airport
and killed the assailants before
returning, added the oicial, who
spoke on condition of anonymity.
An undisclosed number of
coalition troops were dispatched to
Kunduz this week to support the
Afghan army and police who have
failed so far to retake the city from the
Taliban. “hey are in a non-combat
role. hat said, they also maintain the
right to defend,” Tribus said of the
coalition forces.
Nato had more than 100,000
troops in Afghanistan at its peak, but
most had withdrawn by the end of
2014 and the far smaller mission now
is designed to “train, assist and advise”
local forces.
In Kabul, Afghan lawmakers
called on Ghani to resign over his
government’s “shameful” handling of
the battle, the latest blow to the leader
whose irst year in oice has been
marred by political inighting and
escalating violence.
“It is shameful how they (the
government) have dealt with the
situation in Kunduz,” said Iqbal Sai,
a member of parliament from Kapisa
province, during a televised session of
— Reuters
MSF hospital over-whelmed with
wounded afer heavy ighting
KABUL: Médecins Sans Frontières’
(MSF) trauma hospital here has
been overwhelmed with the
injured following heavy ighting
between Afghan forces and
Taliban militants in Kunduz city.
Since Monday, MSF’s medical
teams have treated 171 wounded,
including 46 children.
Fifty patients arrived in critical
condition. The majority of patients
had sustained gunshot wounds,
with surgeons treating severe
abdominal, limb and head injuries.
The hospital is inundated with
patients, said Guilhem Molinie,
MSF’s representative.
“We have quickly increased the
number of beds from 92 to 110
to cope with the unprecedented
level of admissions but people
keep arriving,” Molinie said.
“We have 130 patients spread
throughout the wards, in the
corridors and even in oices.
With the hospital reaching its
limit and ighting continuing, we
are worried about being able to
cope with any new inlux of the
wounded,” Molinie added.
A man sits on his cart which he attached with National League for Democracy party
flags along a flooded street in Yangon on Wednesday. Myanmar will hold a
general election on November 8. — Reuters
YANGON: A ceaseire agreement soon
to be signed by Myanmar’s armed rebel
groups and the government is likely to
fall short of its goals and will exclude
a major group, oicials involved in the
talks said on Wednesday.
President hein Sein has made a
wide-ranging peace deal a top priority,
and the failure to bring more armed
ethnic groups together is a blow
to the ruling Union Solidarity and
Development Party ahead of a Nov 8
general election.
One group which has continued to
hold out is the Kachin Independence
Organisation, which controls vast areas
of Kachin State.
As recently as this week its armed
wing clashed with government troops
in the northeast.
Peace talks have dragged on for over
two years.
he latest round of negotiations,
among 19 groups, was held in Chiang
Mai in hailand and ended on
Min Zaw Oo, an oicial at the
government-linked Myanmar Peace
Center, which coordinates the talks, said
he expected between seven and nine
groups to sign a ceaseire agreement
following another meeting between
parties on Saturday in Yangon.
He added that other groups would
not be barred from joining at a later
date.”he NCA (nationwide ceaseire
agreement) is an open book,” he said.
Some ethnic organisations agree
to the drat text of the agreement in
principle but are holding out because
they want the Arakan Army (AA),
Ta’ang National Liberation Army
(TNLA) and Myanmar National
Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA)
to be allowed to sign the ceaseire.
hein Sein’s administration has
rejected this request because the three
do not have existing bilateral ceaseire
agreements with the government.
he AA and TNLA helped the
MNDAA, led by ethnic Chinese
commander Peng Jiasheng, ight against
the Myanmar military in the Kokang
area earlier this year. — Reuters
Ex-rebels jailed for attempt on
former Lankan president’s life
COLOMBO: Two former Tamil rebels
who planned a suicide bomb attack to
assassinate a former president of Sri
Lanka were on Wednesday jailed for
a total of 590 years ater they pleaded
guilty, court oicials said.
concurrently, meaning they will only
need to spend 30 years each in jail,
Colombo High Court judge Padmini
Ranawaka decided.
Kumaratunga lost an eye in the blast
during an election campaign meeting
the capital Colombo in December 1999.
Twenty-nine others including a
woman suicide bomber were killed and
80 people were injured.
One of the suspects, V Varadharaja,
was sentenced to 290 years while
the other suspect CI Ragupathy was
sentenced to 300 years.
hey were identiied as rebels of
the former Liberation Tigers of Tamil
Eelam, who were defeated in 2009 at the
end of a 26-year civil war.
he former president, the daughter
of two former prime ministers,
continued as president until 2005
and remains active in politics. — dpa
‘There is no gas, no vegetable supplies, no fuel for vehicles and life is about frozen’
Nepal accuses India of blocking vital supplies
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena addresses the 70th Session of the United
Nations General Assembly at the UN in New York on Wednesday. — AFP
KATHMANDU: A Nepali lawmaker,
tipped to be the next prime minister,
on Wednesday accused neighbouring
giant India of deliberately blocking vital
supplies into the landlocked country, as
the government announced fresh fuel
Scores of Indian trucks have been
stranded at a key border checkpost for
almost a week, halting fuel and other
supplies, following protests by ethnic
minorities over the Himalayan nation’s
new constitution.
K P Oli, chief of the ruling UML party,
said the Indian government, rather than
protesters on the border, was responsible
for the blockade, in an unoicial
protest against Nepal’s adoption of the
constitution on September 20.
“India is saying those people
(protesters) are in no man’s land, they
are blocking the roads so (Indian trucks)
are not being able to supply, that’s not
true,” Oli said.
Public anger is mounting over New
Delhi’s perceived meddling in Nepal’s
internal afairs.
A Nepalese police officer tries to douse the flames during a protest in Kathmandu
on Wednesday against the logjam at the Nepal-India border. — Reuters
constitution, has denied being behind
the blockade and urged dialogue with
the protesters to end the stand-of.
Nepal, which imports all its fuel from
India, announced a three-day ban on
buying fuel for private vehicles from
hursday, as the country faces a looming
shortage and consumers keep up long
queues at petrol stations.
Nepal began rationing supplies
nationwide on Monday, while drivers
have only been allowed on the roads on
alternate days since Sunday.
“here is no gas, no vegetable
supplies, no fuel for vehicles, no fuel
for airlines, and life is about frozen,”
Oli said. “We don’t want this type of
“India should not violate the treaties
and agreements between our two
countries, one.
“Second, India shouldn’t undermine
and violate the international norms and
rights of the landlocked countries in
More than 40 people have been killed
in clashes between police and protesters
representing ethnic minorities who say
a new federal structure laid out in the
constitution will leave them underrepresented in the national parliament.
New Delhi, fearing instability on the
border, has criticised Nepal for rushing
the constitution rather than resolving
the concerns of the minorities, many of
whom have relatives living in India.
Oli is seen as the top candidate
when parliament votes on a new prime
minister to head the government
in coming weeks in the wake of the
constitution’s adoption.
His comments signify a stronger
stand against India which has
traditionally exerted signiicant political
inluence in Nepal. — AFP
OCTOBER 1 l 2015
ortugal heads into a national election on Sunday with a sounder economy than
four years ago. But the austerity that made it more competitive has led to a mass
exodus of youthful talent that will set back the recovery regardless of who wins.
Emigration has become a major campaign issue in a tight-fought election race
that has clear winner in view.
he opposition has promised to bring back the best and brightest. But with
the conditions that caused them to lee seemingly entrenched, notably an
unemployment rate afecting one in three young people and available jobs oten
badly paid and without irm contracts, that promise will be tough to keep.
A total of 485,000 people let Portugal between 2011 and 2014, including
almost 200,000 as permanent emigrants, with most aged 30 or under, according to
oicial data. Even as the main opposition Socialist candidate Antonio Costa poses
with young supporters in “I don’t want to emigrate” T-shirts or opens a “Vote for
Return” portal trying to capture the expatriate vote, many of those who let doubt
that Portugal will provide enough well-paid,
career-building jobs any time soon.
Data shows that a
“My heart is split. I love Lisbon, but I don’t
see myself coming back in the near future,” said total of 485,000
29-year-old postgraduate Mailis Rodrigues, people left Portugal
who works on a music technology project
between 2011 and
in Montreal co-funded by the Canadian
government. “I had no prospects to speak of 2014, including
in Portugal. Had I stayed I guess I would have almost 200,000
found a job, but not with the same conditions,”
as permanent
said Rodrigues. “I’d like policies to change, but
realistically I don’t expect much from any new emigrants, with most
aged 30, reports
Halfway across the globe in Hong Kong,
30-year-old civil engineer Tiago Sacadura
has similar concerns. Like many, he’d prefer
to live in his sun-kissed homeland with sandy
beaches, good food and wine and a laid-back atmosphere.
“It was pondering my prospects in ive years’ time that made me leave. I’m
always thinking about going back — my friends and roots are in Portugal. But it
would mean taking a huge step back in terms of career and pay,” he said.
He had two promotions in the past two years and earns about four times his
last Portuguese monthly wage of 1,300 euros ($1,460) in 2012, still considered a
hety paycheck back home.
“he economy is now better, but I don’t think the situation will change
suiciently for people to stay. And I don’t believe the Socialists can make much of
a diference,” said Sacadura, who describes himself as let-leaning.
Ater years of net immigration into Portugal, EU data shows, the trend inverted
in 2010 and stayed that way to at least 2013 when a net 36,000 let.
hat was the largest outlow in western Europe ater Spain, from where experts
say more non-nationals let for other countries.
At the height of the economic crisis in 2011, oicials in Prime Minister
Pedro Passos Coelho’s government advised citizens to seek work abroad if they
could ind none at home. he pragmatic advice upset many, however, and the
opposition — which promises to prioritise youth job creation and improve
long-term employment opportunities under a plan that is short on detail — has
chastised the government on the issue ever since.
Asia seeks new haze strategy
s a blanket of haze, caused by thick smoke from forest ires
in Indonesia, covers parts of Southeast Asia, the region is
struggling to ind an efective response to the problem,
experts said.
he haze has caused health problems, light delays and
school closures across Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore in
what has become an annual ordeal that has deied attempts
by governments, businesses and green groups to tackle it.
At the heart of the problem are palm oil plantation owners,
who use cheap and easy slash-and-burn techniques to clear
forests and meet rising global demand for the oil used for
cooking and in household products from shampoo to ice
Experts stress that Indonesia, home to the world’s
third-largest tropical forest acreage, holds the key to
the problem and needs to put into practice a long-term
plan to enforce laws, tackle the ires and spend more
on prevention. Margareth Sembiring, senior analyst
at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore,
said the complexity of the issue means it is diicult to make
the region haze-free.
“Strengthening law enforcement in Indonesia is
undoubtedly key in solving the problem,” she said.
Other experts say companies and consumers must
also play a part by pushing for palm oil to be produced
more sustainably.
Environmental groups like Greenpeace have targeted
companies in high-proile campaigns, and some irms have
made commitments to help stop deforestation by palm oil
plantation owners.
Golden Agri-Resources, the world’s second-largest
listed palm planter by acreage, said last week it had stopped
buying from a supplier punished by Indonesia for allegedly
causing forest ires.
Indonesia, the world’s ith-largest emitter of
greenhouse gases, mainly from deforestation, will be
one of the countries under scrutiny at December’s UN
climate change conference, which will try to get legally
binding commitments from the 120 member nations to cut
CO2 emissions.
Under criticism from its neighbours, the government
has investigated more than 200 companies and ordered
four to suspend operations for allegedly causing forest
ires as it scrambles to control blazes on Sumatra and
Kalimantan islands.
Caught between scientiic facts and commercial interests
[email protected]
key bit of information that is crucial
to trace these palimpsests back to
their respective eras is, therefore,
the characteristic calligraphy of the
manuscripts themselves. he non-Arabic
discoverers of the parchments initially
argued that the palimpsests perfectly
match the modern standard Quranic
text. his useful linking tool; the unique
harmony of the palimpsests with the
modern Quran, conjointly with the
glorious Hejazi handwriting, the quality
of ink, palimpsests and binding, chapter
arrangements, clear segregations between
words and verses, the number of words per
line and the number of lines per page all in
all relect the signiicant advancements in
Arabic scripts.
his undoubtedly shits the age of
the palimpsests away from the era of
Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) and brings
it closer to the mid-7th century, the start
of the golden Arabic-Islamic age. his
is plausible as early Arabic calligraphy
during the era of Prophet Mohamed
(PBUH) is characterised by its simplicity
and un-dotted scripts.
Most importantly, the manuscripts
are written in Hejaz Arabic script which
found its way into the Arabic manuscripts
during the reign of the Umayyad’s (661750 CE), decades ater the death of
Prophet Mohamed (PBUH).
By virtue of the trivially developed
scripts of the Egyptian Quran, Uthman
Mushaf, dated between the late 7th and
early 8th centuries, (Central Library
of Islamic Manuscripts, Cairo), the
Birmingham Quranic chapters can
be historically rearranged between
the Egyptian Quran and the Quran
manuscripts written during the UmayyadAbbasid reigns, making the Egyptian
version older than the Birmingham
chapters. In fact, the Egyptian Quran,
which contains almost the full version of
the Quranic text, is believed to be among
Pages from almost full version of holy Quran (Uthman Mushaf).
Featuring verses segregation, the mushaf dated between late 7th
to early 8th CE century rests at the central library of Islamic
manuscripts, Cairo.
A letter of the Prophet Mohamed (PBUH)
to the two kings of Oman showing early
blank Arabic scripts and text simplicity with
un-dotted script, 629 CE.
the books ordered to be copied from the
irst version of the Holy Quran book and
distributed in Arabia.
Similar arguments can be also applied
to other Quranic palimpsests, such as the
Sana’a or German versions.
here are no linear patterns to follow
the developments of Arabic scripts with
the rise of Islam. However, one can track
this evolution from Prophet Mohamed’s
(BPUH) letters to world rulers, Islamic
architecture, and earliest Islamic metal and
ceramic objects. Many of these ancient bits
and pieces can be also found in Europe’s
universities, museums and castles – most
of them are from unknown sources!
Figure 2 A) shows a letter sent by
Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) to the kings
of Oman characterised by dots-free scripts
and simplicity. B) shows Quranic texts from
Uthman Mushaf almost free of dots (minor
dots are also reported in some parts of the
manuscript) but coloured segregations
between verses have been introduced.
Arabic scripts developed remarkably as
the Islamic state developed and expanded
Modern holy Quran scripts.
to meet the needs of the legislative and
commercial correspondence. Figure 2 C)
presents pages of the Birmingham Quran
chapters highlighting the advancements
of the Arabic script, and D) features the
modern Holy Quran pages. If the Prophet
(PBUH) would have met with the skillful
Hejazi hand writer of the Birmingham
parchments (C), why wouldn’t he (PBUH)
have engaged him (MABPWH) in
Birmingham Quran, Dated by ‘’undatable’’ palimpsests as 568 and
645 CE but reflects the era of developed Islamic state during late 7th
to 13th CE century.
writing any of his letters to the world
rulers (Chosroes II the Khosrau of Persia,
Heraclius the Caesar of Byzantium, the
Negus of Ethiopia, Muqawqis the ruler
of Egypt, Harith Gassani, the governor
of Syria, Munzir ibn Sawa, the ruler of
Bahrain) in 628 CE and onwards? Why
is this civility in writing not appearing
in all of the documents produced during
Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) reign, which
are well documented in history?
Figure 2. he progressive developments
of Arabic scripts with the rise of Islam and
Quran spread, early 629 CE onwards.
Although researchers have started
reporting cases where radiocarbon
technique had practically failed to ofer
acceptable results, in the case of the
Birmingham Quran chapters, considering
all points argued above and assuming
professional testing procedures were
applied to a well-represented sample, the
radiocarbon dating results are meaningful
and much appreciated by Muslims with the
dating interval to be ‘slightly’ right shited
toward the late Umayyad (661-750 CE)
to early Abbasid (750–1258 CE) reigns.
he Holy Quran will not only remain
unchanged in its written manuscripts,
but it will be read by Muslims readers
from East to West, regardless of race, sex
and age with the exact speech style of
Prophet Mohamed (PBUH), a fact that
cannot be understood by close- minded
and mean-spirited individuals. In this
respect, the efort and time spent by pettyminded individuals in questioning great
Islamic civilisation can be rather served
in fascinating the world with the treasure
trove of misappropriated ancient Islamic
items lying neglected on the dusty shelves
of European universities, museums, and
he author works at
Higher College of Technology, Muscat
l Leaman, Oliver (2006). “Manuscript and
the Qur’an”. he Qur’an: an Encyclopedia.
New York. pp. 384–389. ISBN 0-41532639-7.
l Al-Jubouri, I. (2004). History of
Islamic Philosophy: With View of Greek
Philosophy and Early History of Islam.
l Burleigh, R. and A. Baynes-Cope
(1983). “Possibilities in the dating
of writing materials and textiles.”
Radiocarbon 25(2): 669-674.
OCTOBER 1 l 2015
Time gasoline subsidy is lifted in the Sultanate
[email protected]
question which is most frequently asked now is will
Oman lit subsidies on petroleum products such as
gasoline and diesel in the light of falling oil prices in
the world markets, and if so what will be its direct
impact on state revenues and general budget, and
how public spending may be restructured.
Whatever be the answer, the government has
clearly signalled its intent to allocate subsidies
for more important development sectors such
as education and health, in a bid to stimulate
the economy. Many people consider this as
an important step towards identifying and reprioritising the interests of citizens in line with
future stages of developments.
However, the government seems to be
worried about the strategy and mechanism of
implementing this with regard to certain social
segments. Another governmental unease relates
to how efectively it can address the concerns and
reactions of various stakeholders. Raising such
questions by lawmakers and economists indeed
helps prepare the society for such structural
changes to the economy.
Indeed, increasing expenses and decreasing
revenues is a big challenge faced by the state, and
the issue should be made known to the society
which obviously has an efective role in tackling
the challenge.
Raising awareness about the current unstable
he state’s inancial resources are continuously
economic condition and inding efective strategies depleted through withdrawal from the reserve
to manage it are very crucial at this stage.
fund and issuance of development bonds for
he need for close cooperation between the internal borrowing as well as other such methods;
government and the public can’t be overstated at and these obviously can’t be considered a longthis stage.
term solution.
Our dependence on oil, a fast depleting
Now time has come for the public to bear its
resource, poses threat to our
share of burden the same
economy since it constitutes
way it shared the beneits
84 per cent of state revenues.
from surging revenues when
Oman’s dependence
In the past, while the world
prices exceeded $100 per
on oil, a fast depleting oil
oil prices were tanking, the
resource, poses threat
government reformulated its
Citizens across Oman
policies in a way that did not
must be made aware of
to the economy since
directly afect the citizens or
the magnitude of the
it constitutes 84 per
the basic public services.
responsibilities they have
cent of state revenues. to shoulder in exceptional
However, given the gravity
of the current scenario, liting
circumstances such as these.
Falling oil prices will
One of the advantages of
affect the citizens and
products is a necessary action
this approach is that it helps
basic public services.
the government should take as
change the consumption
soon as possible to take of the
culture among the citizens. For
burden on the state budget.
instance the public may feel
Financial data clearly shows that subsidies on encouraged to use alternative means of transport
fuel in the Sultanate exceed RO 2 billion annually.
such as mass transport and car-pooling.
Indeed, it is a big amount compared to the state
Use of own cars can be limited to purposes of
budget and the subsidies allocated for other, more utmost urgency only.
important development sectors.
In return, regulatory authorities such as
the Public Authority for Consumer Protection
should provide suicient protection against any
unreasonable attempts to increase prices of goods
and services by those who try to exploit the current
situation for their own beneit.
With just 120 baisas, or nearly 30 cents, per litre,
the Sultanate is regarded as the 8th country for
cheapest gasoline worldwide (Venezuela 2 cents,
Libya 14 cents, Saudi Arabia 16 cents, Kuwait 21
cents, Algeria 22 cents, Qatar 26 cents and Bahrain
27 cents). he gasoline subsidy burden increases
in proportion to the non-rational use of cars,
the latter also contributing to increased traic
congestion and carbon emissions.
herefore, removal of oil subsidies would also
reduce the excessive consumption of oil at the local
level. his, in return, may increase oil exports in
the future, which means additional revenues for
the state treasury.
he domestic consumption of oil is huge and
is 20 to 22 per cent of the total production in the
Sultanate. In addition, the state subsidies cover 60
per cent of the petroleum products, pointing to the
massive impact of the subsidy scheme.
his step will contribute in addressing
to an extent the deicit in national economy
resulting from various subsidies allocated across
economic sectors.
eacekeepers and protesters on Wednesday removed barricades set up in
the Central African Republic capital Bangui during a wave of violence
that killed at least 36 people and forced 30,000 to lee.
Interim president Catherine Samba Panza was on her way home
from the UN General Assembly ater cutting short her visit to New York
amid fears of a return to sectarian conlict.
For the irst time however since the latest wave of unrest broke out at
the weekend, looting abated overnight.
Four petrol stations reopened, as did several shops.
A tense calm returned ater Samba Panza made an appeal for peace
and urged citizens to return to their homes in an address over national
radio late on Tuesday. UN peacekeepers and French soldiers deployed
in the country since December 2013 began on Wednesday removing
the barricades blocking the roads around Bangui international airport,
where some 20,000 people have taken refuge near French and UN
bases. International and Central African troops patrolled the streets
side by side, asking protesters to clear the roads.
Fear still gripped the streets ater at least 36 people were killed and
27,400 led their homes in just three days since the latest violence
erupted on Saturday, according to UN igures.
he trigger was the murder of a motorcycle-taxi driver in central
Bangui’s PK-5 neighbourhood, angering people who carried out
reprisals attacks in nearby districts using grenades and guns.
Around 100 people were wounded in the bloodshed, prompting the
government to impose a curfew on the capital.
he murder also prompted widespread protests against Samba
Panza, with activists setting up barricades on many of Bangui’s main
thoroughfares. he inter-religious violence raised fears of a return to
the conlict that erupted more than two years ago in the landlocked,
country ater president Francois Bozize was ousted by Seleka rebels,
triggering the worst crisis since independence in 1960.
Unlike other parts of the city, the PK-5 and the eighth districts were
still very tense on Wednesday, residents said.
In 2013 and early last year, the PK-5 area was the epicentre of an
unprecedented wave of violence pitting groups.
On Monday members of the feared “anti-balaka” (anti-machete)
militia, which sprang up in 2013 to ight the Seleka rebels, had begun
gathering in Bangui. Some 20,000 terriied residents led to camps by
the airport, where French and UN peacekeepers from the 10,000-strong
MINUSCA force are based.
A woman walks past graffiti in the Bogside area of Londonderry in Northern Ireland last week.
— Reuters
Voters alienated as crisis hits Northern Ireland
hen Northern Ireland leaders last month
warned of the imminent collapse of the
power-sharing government that helped end
decades of sectarian killings, the reaction on
the streets of Belfast was apathy not panic.
Ater almost two years of perpetual
crisis there is a growing exasperation at the
pro-British Protestants and Catholic Irish
nationalists who have called in international
mediators to solve a Cabinet dispute for the
third time in three years. Frustration has
shown up in voter turnout, which has fallen
from the highest of the United Kingdom’s
four nations in general elections in the 2000s
to the lowest at the last two votes.
he paralysis is already afecting public
services and damaging the investment
climate in one of the poorest parts of Britain,
which aims to attract multi-nationals to build
an economy hurt by decades of conlict.
If Northern Ireland’s government falls,
London may be forced to reimpose direct
rule, which politicians say could even bring
back violence by dormant paramilitaries.
“Stormont is a shambles... it’s a political
joke,” said Belfast tour guide Owen Hamilton,
who in the past voted for the largest proBritish Party, the Democratic Unionists, but
is considering giving up voting. “hey are like
children in a playground.”
A compulsory power-sharing government
created under a 1998 peace deal is now
frozen, ater the pro-British First Minister
Peter Robinson stepped aside in protest at
reports by police that the Irish Republican
Army (IRA) was still active. he peace
agreement led to the disarming of the mainly
Catholic IRA, which fought for decades
against British rule.
Its political allies Sinn Fein have since
shared power in government alongside
their mainly Protestant pro-British foes. But
members of both main parties have been
regularly warning of collapse for almost three
years, during which the government has
failed to agree on budget cuts mandated by
London. he frustration is particularly sharp
among members of a more liberal younger
generation, less focussed than their parents
on the sectarian battles of old.
Sixty per cent of 18-29 year olds said they
don’t vote, a University of Liverpool survey
showed this month.
“Young people have diverse opinions but
there is a prevailing opinion that we are fed
up, and it’s not just young people: everyone
is,” said Robert Murtagh, 19, a volunteer with
the Public Achievement youth organisation
in Belfast.
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness
of Sinn Fein said a collapse of the powersharing government would lead to a vacuum
that could be exploited by dissident militants
opposed to the peace deal.
Security analysts see little appetite for a
return to the kind of violence that killed 3,600
people in the three decades before 1998.
he laws of forced coalitions have become
more apparent in recent years, with the
parties gridlocked over divisive issues like the
monitoring of paramilitaries and rules about
the lying of lags, distracting them from dayto-day governing.
While the system avoids one side of the
sectarian divide dictating terms to the other,
The paralysis is already
affecting public services and
damaging the investment
climate in one of the poorest
parts of Britain, which aims
to attract multi-nationals,
each knows it can blame the other for any
political failure, destroying trust.
A system designed to protect minorities
allows parties from either side of the sectarian
divide to veto measures they don’t like.
An attempt to cut corporate tax, to better
compete with the Irish Republic, has been
frozen for over a year due to disagreement
over implementing social welfare cuts.
he system resembles power-sharing
agreements in other post-conlict countries
like Bosnia and Lebanon, which provide a
basic level of security but can be fragile and
create gridlock, said Neil Jarman, Director of
the Institute for Conlict Research, a Belfastbased think tank.
“here needs to be some form of
rethinking of the process. Whether collapsing
the agreement would act as a stimulus for that
or if it would set the whole process back” is
not clear, he said.
Still, the freezing of the old sectarian
political process could create more room for
newer parties that emphasise other issues.
While parties traditionally associated with
the two religious groups accounted for more
than 80 per cent of votes at the last general
election in May, there are signs that Northern
Irish voters are looking past sectarian
loyalties. he non-sectarian Alliance Party
saw the biggest hike in support.
he Green Party and hard-let People
Before Proit roughly doubled their small
support base.
“We hear constantly about the ‘two
communities’ in our society. But rarely
in political discourse do we hear about
the rich and the poor communities,” said
Gerry Carroll, a People Before Proit
councillor who secured a 20 per cent of the
vote in Sinn Fein’s west Belfast heartland in
May’s election and sees support growing as
austerity policies bite.
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A man walks past a billboard advertising a mobile service provider in Mumbai on
Wednesday. India has around 952 million mobile subscribers according to figures
from telecoms regulator TRAI.
3 babies petition Court
over New Delhi pollution
NEW DELHI: hree babies have been
named on a petition urging Supreme
Court to ban air-polluting ireworks
in New Delhi, saying the city’s choking
smog poses a “clear and present danger”
to their health.
he parents of the three babies, all
residents of the world’s most polluted
capital aged six months and under,
argue that they have a constitutional
right to breathe clean air — a hot topic
ahead of UN-led talks in Paris on
reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
hey say children are particularly
vulnerable to air pollution, which can
cause a range of problems from lung
disease to retarded development of the
nervous system, and want the court to
ban the sale and use of smoke-belching
irecrackers. Supreme Court allows
minors to ile petitions through their
parents where there is a threat to their
fundamental rights.
he petition was iled on Tuesday,
six weeks before the Hindu festival of
light known as Diwali, when Delhi
with acrid smoke from celebratory
irecrackers set of day and night.
“he imminent advent of festivals
that involve widespread ireworks are a
clear and present danger to the health
of the applicants and the other children
Delhi has the world’s
highest annual average
concentration of small
airborne particles known as
PM2.5 — higher even than
who are residents of Delhi,” it said.
“he ill-efects on the lungs and
the central nervous systems of the
applicants will be irreversible as against
the ephemeral and supericial joy that
obtains when a irecracker is employed.”
A World Health Organization study
of 1,600 cities released last year showed
Delhi had the world’s highest annual
average concentration of small airborne
particles known as PM2.5 — higher
even than Beijing.
hese extremely ine particles of
less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter
are linked to increased rates of chronic
bronchitis, lung cancer and heart disease
as they penetrate deep into the lungs
and can pass into the bloodstream.
India will on hursday unveil its
carbon emissions pledges before the
start on November 30 of the Paris
conference, which aims to seal a farreaching new global climate agreement.
OCTOBER 1 l 2015
India needs to make use
of Iranian deal: President
CHANDIGARH: President Pranab
Mukherjee on Wednesday said
India needs to make full use of the
opportunities ofered by the recent
Iranian nuclear deal, including pursuing
the TAPI pipeline project and reviving
the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas
“We need to make full use of the
opportunities ofered by the recent
Iranian nuclear deal which opens the
possibility of establishing connectivity
with the region through the
development of Chahbahar Port in Iran,”
Mukherjee said ater inaugurating the
concluding conference of a programme
on “Cooperative Development, Peace
and Security in South and Central Asia”,
organised by the Centre for Rural and
Industrial Development here.
“his also opens up the possibility of
implementing the International North
South Corridor for a competitive and
quick route to Eurasia for India. India’s
future dependence on imported energy,
mainly oil and gas, is a stark reality that
will also require creative and diversifying
sources of supply. he Central Asian
States have considerable surplus and
the TAPI (Turkmenistan-AfghanistanPakistan-India) pipeline project is worth
pursuing both for sourcing energy
supplies and its collateral geo-strategic
beneits. he Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI)
gas pipeline can also be revived since
Iran has already built the section of the
pipeline in its territory.
Such energy projects could also prove
to be game changers for geo-strategic
stability,” Mukherjee pointed out.
“While India enjoys goodwill and a
cultural connect with the Central Asian
nations, the lack of physical connectivity
so far has hindered the realisation of
full potential of trade and economic
cooperation with the region,” he said.
While admitting that regional
integration had eluded countries in
South Asia and the goals of SAARC had
been undermined, Mukherjee said:
“his approach of foreign policy for
economic progress and development
is nowhere more relevant than in our
TAPI (TurkmenistanAfghanistanPakistan-India)
pipeline project is
worth pursuing both for
sourcing energy supplies and
its collateral geo-strategic
beneits. The Iran-PakistanIndia (IPI) gas pipeline can
also be revived since Iran has
already built the section of
the pipeline in its territory.
South Asian neighbourhood and the
extended neighbourhood, including
Central Asia. “Both South and Central
Asia face enormous challenges with
regard to development as well as
security. hese range from ensuring
economic growth and stability to
dealing with transnational security
threats such as the scourge of drugtraicking and terrorism. Our approach
to both the regions has been to build
bridges of friendship and cooperation,
establish greater physical and peopleto-people connectivity and foster closer
integration for overall progress and
well-being,” he said.
“South Asian neighbours are clearly
our highest priority in keeping with
our neighbourhood irst policy. Our
approach to South Asia has always been
one of seeking shared prosperity and
security. Our South Asian neighbours
are our most indispensable partners.
However, it is also a fact that the region
remains amongst the least integrated
and developed.
Clearly, there is need for greater
efort and energy to meet our many
shared challenges,” he pointed out.
Commending the Narendra Modi
government for trying to foster closer
ties with neighbouring countries in
South Asia by inviting leaders for the
swearing-in ceremony in May 2014,
Mukherjee said the government had
“articulated a desire to pursue a policy
of three Cs — greater connectivity,
closer cooperation and broader contacts
to promote closer ties in the region”.
“It has conveyed a clear message that
India wishes to use its size and scale to
pull the entire subcontinent along on
the path to growth and development,”
he said.
“All this has yielded positive results.
he resolution of the decades-old Land
Boundary Agreement and settling the
maritime boundary with Bangladesh,
supply of water to the Maldives sufering
from breakdown of water supply
system, India’s immediate assistance to
Nepal ater the devastating earthquake,
continuing its close cooperation
with Bhutan, and pursuing proactive
cooperation with the new government
in Sri Lanka have all signalled India’s
willingness to pursue this strategy. With
Pakistan, our eforts have not yielded
the desired progress for reasons that are
known to all of you,” he said.
“he South Asian landscape and
its geo-politics present its own set
of challenges. Despite geographical
contiguity, the promise of regional
integration has eluded us and
undermined the goals of SAARC,
solemnly adopted at summit-level
meetings. Hence, India must push ahead
with sub-regional cooperation such as
through the BBIN Growth Quadrangle
and pursue its bilateral ties with likeminded countries in the region in areas
such as road transport, energy and
water resources,” he said.
President to host dinner for over 50 African leaders
New Delhi: Rashtrapati Bhavan may
be used to hosting lavish banquets
for visiting dignitaries, but when an
unprecedented 50-plus heads of state
and government from Africa all come
together to meet President Pranab
Mukherjee next month, it could get a
little overwhelming.
Preparations are afoot on the
protocol to be followed when the over
50 leaders come for the dinner banquet
to be hosted by Mukherjee on October
29. Rashtrapati Bhavan has never
entertained so many foreign dignitaries
at one go.
An artisan works on idol of the Hindu goddess Durga ahead of the Durga Puja festival in Kolkata on Wednesday. The Durga
Puja festival will be celebrated from October 19 to 22, which is the biggest religious event for Bengali Hindus. Hindus believe
that the goddess Durga symbolises power and the triumph of good over evil.
— Reuters
But “we are prepared and ready with
every courtesy and care for our guests”,
said an aide at Rashtrapati Bhavan, the
presidential mansion.
There was a small preparatory run
in the form of entertaining the leaders
of 14 Paciic Island nations who were in
India to attend the second Forum for
India-Paciic Islands Cooperation (FIPIC)
Summit in August.
“Yes, we’ve never entertained so
many foreign dignitaries at one go.
But we are prepared with every
necessary protocol and courtesy to be
accorded to our foreign guests from
Africa,” Gaitri Kumar, the president’s
social secretary, told IANS.
According to Kumar, who was
earlier joint secretary in the Americas
division of the external afairs ministry,
entertaining the 14 Paciic Island
leaders was like a practice run for the
upcoming mega banquet.
Another time that Rashtrapati
Bhavan entertained many foreign
dignitaries at one go was during the
Asean-India Commemorative Summit
in December 2012.
The Association of Southeast Asian
Nations has 10 members.
Andhra plans
for new capital
VIJAYAWADA: he Andhra Pradesh
government plans to launch a crowdfunding initiative for development of
new state capital Amaravati.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
will launch the unique initiative while
laying the foundation stone for the
new capital on October 22.
Under the initiative, there will be
a digital brick on which people can
have their names engraved and make
a contribution to the new capital from
any place in the world.
Presiding over a meeting in
Vijayawada on the arrangements for
the foundation stone laying ceremony,
Chief Minister N.
Chandrababu Naidu discussed the
proposed initiative with the oicials.
“his will bring a sense of
ownership of the capital,” the chief
minister said.
As many people from across the
state will be willing to attend the event,
the chief minister asked oicials to
expand the capacity of the event to
over one lakh people.
he event will also have a
special performance called “Raithu
Vandanam”, thanking farmers for their
contribution to the capital.
Naidu also asked oicials to ensure
that all the pots in which the soil from
16,000 villages will be brought are
placed properly to retain the holiness.
He suggested that the capital should
relect the ‘blue and green’ theme,
indicating water and greenery.
“he people’s capital will be
a symbol of sustainability and
simultaneously relect the historic
roots to Buddhism,” he said. — IANS
Kerala mulls
bill to curb
Kerala government is mulling a bill
to curb ‘hartals’ (shutdowns), Home
Minister Ramesh Chennithala said on
“he frequent calls of hartals have
become a menace to the people and the
society at large. Even the Kerala high
court has said that it’s high time to rein
in hartals and hence, I have decided to
seek the opinion on this from all, as we
are now getting ready to prepare a new
bill to curb hartals,” Chennithala wrote
on his Facebook page.
he proposed bill would include a
clause that says any hartal call should
be announced three days ahead.
“During such hartal days, forceful
closure of shops and establishments
will be punishable with an
imprisonment term of six months, a
ine or both.”
Hardik Patel forms new group
to include other communities
NEW DELHI: Patidar Anamat
Andolan Samiti leader Hardik Patel on
Wednesday announced the formation
of a new group, Akhil Bhartiya Patel
Navnirman Sena, with the aim to unite
the Kurmi, Gujjar, Maratha and Patel
Patel, who has been spearheading
protests in Gujarat to demand
reservations for the Patel community,
said at a press conference here that the
new organisation would try to mobilise
support of these communities on the
issue of reservation.
Akhilesh Katiyar will be the general
secretary of ABPNS.
Katiyar was earlier with the Rashtriya
Lok Samata Party, which was led by
Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha.
he former was expelled from RLSP
ater he organised Patel’s irst public
meeting here. Patel plans to organise
a ‘Mahasabha’ (grand meeting) in the
national capital next month to further
his cause. “he Akhil Bhartiya Patel
Navnirman Sena will ight for the cause
of farmers, labourers and youth of the
Convenor of the ‘Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti’ movement Hardik Patel addresses
a press conference in New Delhi on Wednesday.
country. We’ll organise a huge rally of all
the communities from Delhi, Rajasthan
and neighbouring states at Ramlila
Maidan next month,” he said.
he Patel Navnirman Sena will
organise a ‘Mahasammelan’ (grand
conference) of ive lakh women in
Gujarat on October 4.
On October 11, another Mahasabha
of 10 lakh Patidars will be organised in
Madhya Pradesh.
Patel said he would ight for
reservation in government jobs on the
basis of castes.
Earlier, he had indicated that he
would ight for reservation in jobs
according to the economic condition
of the candidate. We are not breaking
the unity of various communities, Patel
OCTOBER 1 l 2015
Five get death for 2006
train blasts in Mumbai
JUSTICE FOR VICTIMS: 189 people lost life, over 800 injured
A leopard walks through a field after getting a pot stuck on its head in Sardul Kheda, Rajsamand, Rajasthan on Wednesday. A
leopard who spent between four to five hours with a pot stuck on his head was freed after being tranquilised by the forestry
Tax sleuths raid Vijay and Nayanthara
oicials on Wednesday conducted
search at the residences and oices of
actors Vijay, Samantha Ruth Prabhu
and Nayanthara following
investment made in a
ilm was unaccounted for,
oicial sources said.
According to the
sources, 32 places were
raided by the authorities
in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and
he searches were
conducted at Nayanthara’s
home in Kochi as well
as her ancestral home in
hiruvalla in central Kerala, besides in
According to income-tax department
sources, the actress cooperated during
the raid and she was present at her
residence in Kochi.
he reason for the raids, according
to the sources, was understating of her
income tax oicials. hey also raided
the houses of the producers of Vijay’s
forthcoming Tamil ilm Puli, which
releases on hursday. “he raids were
conducted following
reports that some
investment made
unaccounted for,” a
source said.
Puli, a big-budget
fantasy drama, is
believed to be the
most expensive ilm
in the Vijay’s career.
Puli, a big-budget
fantasy drama, is
believed to be the
known sources of income.
most expensive ilm in the career of
he houses, oices and other Vijay. Directed by Chimbu Deven, the
properties of the three leading actors ilm also stars Sridevi, Hansika Motwani
were searched simultaneously by and Shruti Haasan.
Taj needs mud pack to tackle pollution
Mob kills
man over beef
New Delhi: The Taj Mahal will need
nine years of mud packs to remove
yellow stains from its white marble walls
caused by air pollution, The Times of India
reported on Wednesday.
The process is modelled on a
traditional beauty cleansing treatment
used by Indian women who apply Multani
mitti’ (Fuller’s earth) on their faces to
retain skin’s glow.
Archaeologists said the lengthy period
was needed to properly and safely clean
particles from the four minarets and the
main dome of the famed monument to
Authorities have taken numerous
steps in recent years to try to protect the
17th-century monument from pollution
coming from the busy city of Agra nearby,
including banning local coal-powered
industries. The mud pack cleaning was
announced last year, followed by a local
ban on the common practice of burning
cow dung for fuel, in order to reduce the
carbon deposits on the Taj’s walls.
The Times of India newspaper outlined
an action plan by authorities after
submitting a Right To Information request
to access government documents.
The Taj — India’s top tourist attraction
— was built by Mughal emperor Shah
Jahan as a tomb for his beloved wife
Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth in
It has drawn a string of world leaders
and royalty including former US president
Bill Clinton, while Diana, the late British
princess, was famously photographed
alone on a marble seat there in 1992.
NEW DELHI: Police said on
Wednesday they had arrested six
people ater a 50-year-old man was
beaten to death over rumours he had
eaten beef.
Mohammad Akhlaq was dragged
from his house on the outskirts of
the capital and attacked by around
100 people on Monday night, a
police oicer said. “When our team
reached the spot a crowd was there
outside his house. hey (police)
managed to rescue him and take
him to the hospital, but his life could
not be saved,” said senior police
superintendent Kiran S.
“We have arrested six people and
deployed additional personnel to
contain any further repercussions.”
Akhlaq’s 22-year-old son was also
seriously injured in the attack and was
in intensive care at a nearby hospital.
Killing cows is banned in many
states of India.
In March, Maharashtra toughened
its ban to make even possessing
beef illegal, a move seen by religious
minorities as a sign of the growing
power of Prime Minister Narendra
Modi came to power. he rumours
that the family had eaten been began
when a calf was reported missing in
Dadri village, 35 kilometres (22 miles)
from New Delhi. “An announcement
about the family consuming beef was
made at a temple, ater which the mob
descended on the man’s house,” said
he Indian Express quoted Akhlaq’s
daughter Sajida as saying the family
had mutton in the fridge and not beef.
“hey accused us of keeping cow
meat, broke down our doors and
started beating my father and brother.
My father was dragged outside and
beaten with bricks,” she told the daily.
MUMBAI: An Indian court sentenced
ive men to death on Wednesday for
a series of bomb blasts that ripped
through packed trains in Mumbai in
2006, killing nearly 200 people and
injuring many more.
Another seven people found guilty
of involvement in the attacks in India’s
inancial capital were sentenced to life
imprisonment by the special court, their
defence lawyer told reporters.
he 12 men were convicted of
murder, conspiracy and waging war
against the country over the coordinated
attacks that killed 189 people and
wounded more than 800.
Defence lawyer Wahab Khan said all
12 would appeal the verdict.
“We still believe they have been
framed and the court has relied on
confessions and not on mitigating
evidence,” he told reporters outside the
he bombs were packed into
pressure cookers and then placed in
bags and hidden under newspapers and
umbrellas in the trains.
he seven blasts ripped through the
suburban trains during the evening rush
hour on 11 July 2006.
breadwinners that day and this
judgement brings some amount of
relief,” Mahendra Pitale, who lost his let
hand during one of the explosions, said.
In all, police charged 30 people over
the bombings including 13 Pakistani
nationals, who along with four Indian
suspects have yet to be arrested.
Krishna Raghuvanshi, who led the
investigation while head of Maharashtra
state’s anti-terrorism squad, said he
wished all of the alleged conspirators
had been caught.
“here is, however, satisfaction that
we could get some justice and closure
for the victims and for the city of
A prisoner, convicted of involvement in the 2006 Mumbai train blasts, looks for his
relatives from a police van on his way to a special court in Mumbai on Wednesday.
Mumbai,” he added. Prosecutors said
the devices were assembled in Mumbai
and deliberately placed in irst-class
coaches to target the city’s wealthy
Gujarati community.
hey said the bombings were
intended as revenge for riots in the
western state of Gujarat in 2002 that let
some 2,000 people dead, most of them
Prosecutors accused Pakistan-based
militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba of being
behind the 2006 attacks, although a
little-known outit called Lashkar-eQahhar claimed responsibility.
Over the course of the nine-year
trial, the court examined nearly 250
represented by Shahid Azmi, a Muslim
rights activist and lawyer, who was
mysteriously killed by unidentiied
gunmen in 2010.
Wednesday’s ruling is believed to be
the largest number of death sentences
handed down in one go since 2006,
when 11 people were sentenced to hang
for deadly bomb blasts in Mumbai in
Ten of those sentences were later
commuted to life in prison, however.
Only Yakub Memon, who was
hanged in July, had his death sentence
upheld on appeal.
he men convicted on Wednesday
can appeal to Mumbai’s high court and
then India’s Supreme Court.
If those appeals fail they also have the
option of making a mercy plea to India’s
“he whole process could take a
year,” terrorism and security expert
Sameer Patil at think-tank Gateway
House said.
he Supreme Court has said that
capital punishment should only be
carried out in “the rarest of rare” cases
in India, among a dwindling group of
nations that still have the death penalty
on their statute books.
$439.59 billion reportedly left India from 2003 to 2012
Govt hopes hidden billions
will see light as deadline ends
NEW DELHI: When an Indian deadline
for declaring illegal assets expires on
Wednesday, billions of rupees hidden in
foreign bank accounts or funnelled into
property abroad will emerge into the
light — or so the government hopes.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
took power last year pledging to crack
down on the “menace” of so-called
black money — vast piles of wealth kept
secret from the tax authorities — with a
battalion of new measures.
A three-month window ending
on September 30 allows tax evaders
to declare their stash and pay a
soter penalty, with immunity from
prosecution, or risk up to ten years in jail
if they get caught.
“he era of tax havens has come
to an end. It is no longer safe to keep
your assets overseas illegally,” Finance
Minister Arun Jaitley said in May, shortly
ater the Black Money Act was passed.
On the campaign trail two years
ago, Modi claimed 1.5 million rupees
($23,000) could be given to every citizen
if illegal funds were brought back from
overseas. But the challenge of cajoling
back into the economy the $439.59
billion that led India illicitly from
2003-2012, according to estimates from
the Global Financial Integrity group in
Washington, is dizzying.
India is one of the most cash-intensive
societies in the world, corruption is
endemic, and strict tax laws encourage
people to keep money of the oicial
he wealthy channel money to tax
havens such as Switzerland or Singapore,
convert it into jewellery, antiques,
paintings or property, or send a relative
abroad for half the year to avoid tax.
“he intention is clearly to target
Indian citizens who have stashed wealth
overseas and want to come clean,” Sonu
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took power last year pledging to crack down on the
“menace” of vast piles of wealth kept secret from the tax authorities with a
battalion of new measures. — AFP
Iyer, partner for India tax services at EY
(Ernst & Young) said of the declaration
“It is a warning before the government
brings in a very harsh law.”
he Black Money Act is the latest
in a widening crackdown by India’s
government, which has set up a team of
regulators and ex-judges to identify illicit
account holders and repatriate hidden
It has started bringing in biometric
identity cards tied to bank accounts
and last year handed a secret list of 627
people suspected of concealing money
abroad over to the Supreme Court.
he tough stance comes as the global
net tightens on tax evaders, with new
information-sharing accords between
countries and even secretive Switzerland
releasing the names of suspect account
holders in May.
“hose days when people could hide
things abroad and think they will never
be found out are largely behind us,”
V Anandarajan, Joint Secretary of the
Central Board of Direct Taxes, told a
forum last week.
On the domestic front, targets for
investigation include temples and
ashrams, where lavish donations can be a
front for money laundering, and cricket
he property sector too is awash with
black money, with analysts saying cash is
a component in most transactions.
“Realty is one area where black
money is huge. Politicians, investors,
entrepreneurs park money, then cash
it out later,” Pankaj Kapoor, managing
director at Liases Foras, a real estate
research irm in Mumbai, said.
But the Black Money Act and another
new law that seeks to stop properties
being acquired in another person’s name
have spooked buyers, with sales already
taking a hit, Kapoor said.
Opinions on the law range from
punitive to draconian, with business
body Assocham lambasting it in August
for spreading “confusion, fear and panic”
among investors.
— Reuters
Disabled demonstrators and their
supporters make their way to the
European Commission during a
protest, passing by other European
institutions leading to the European
Parliament in Brussels, on Wednesday.
The demonstrators staged the protest to
lobby European deputies calling on them
to improve the situation of people with
reduced mobility around Europe.
T H U R S DAY l O C TO B E R 1 l 2 0 1 5
UK to attempt
irst womb
LONDON: Britain will attempt to
carry out its irst womb transplants
ater a clinical trial enabling 10
women to undergo the procedure was
approved, doctors said on Wednesday.
Surgeons hope to replicate the
success of the world’s irst-ever
efective womb transplant, conducted
on a 36-year-old woman in Sweden
who gave birth last year.
More than 100 women have been
approved as potential recipients ahead
of the trial which is set to start in the
irst half of next year, ater ethical
approval was granted by the Imperial
College London.
he procedure has previously also
been attempted in Saudi Arabia and
Turkey but in both cases did not lead
to live births.
Richard Smith, a consultant
Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital in
London, will lead a team of surgeons
carrying out the trial following 19
years of research.
“here’s an innate desire for many
women to carry their own baby and
this procedure has, potentially, the
capacity to satisfy that innate desire,”
Smith told BBC radio.
Around one in 5,000 women is
born without a womb, while others
lose the organ as a result of cancer.
Smith said it was “heartrending” to
meet those women afected.
Ten women will be selected for the
trial subject to certain criteria being
met. hey must be aged 38 or under,
have a long-term partner and be a
healthy weight.
Thousands of curiosity
seekers lined up in the
blustery, dark Chicago
Botanic Garden on Tuesday
night to catch a rare
glimpse of the 4½-foot tall
Amorphophallus titanum
plant — also called the
corpse lower — in full
bloom, but not in full stench.
Australia bids for seats on Security
Council, human rights body
SYDNEY: Australia has launched a new
bid to be elected to the United Nations
Security Council, with Foreign Minister
Julie Bishop saying the nation hoped
to maintain its focus on international
Bishop said in a statement on
Wednesday that Australia would be a
candidate for a Security Council seat in
2029-30 as she signalled the country’s
intention to also seek a spot on the UN
Human Rights Council for 2018-20.
he foreign minister, who is in New
York for UN meetings, said that Australia
served with distinction when it last held
a non-permanent seat on the Security
Council from 2013-14, “most noticeably
through our advocacy of the downing of
“Had we not been on the Security
Council, I doubt very much we
would have been able to achieve that
unanimous resolution that led to the
presence of Australian authorities and
Australian Federal Police in Ukraine to
People gather during the inauguration of ‘A place for the climate’ (Un espace pour le climat) exhibition at France’s environment
ministry on Wednesday in Paris. The exhibition promotes the Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21), organised by the
French government from November 30 to December 11, 2015. — AFP
recover the bodies and the remains of the
Australians killed on that light,” Bishop
told reporters in New York on Tuesday.
Malaysia Airlines MH17 was downed
by a suspected ground-to-air missile over
Ukraine in July last year, killing all 298 on
board including 38 Australian citizens
and residents. Australia has vowed to
keep pushing for the prosecution of
those who shot down the light.
Bishop added that the decision to bid
for a Security Council seat was taken by
new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull,
who ousted Tony Abbott in a political
party coup two weeks ago.
he 2029-30 term is the irst available
opportunity to nominate for a seat that is
uncontested, giving Australia the greatest
chance of success and minimising the
cost, she added. Opposition Labor
spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek supported
the moves, saying “when we participate
in these multilateral organisations we
enhance Australia’s reputation as a good
global citizen”. — AFP
Obama to veto any bill blocking Iran deal
WASHINGTON: US President Barack
Obama will veto any legislation that
prevents the successful implementation
of the Iran nuclear agreement reached
in July, the White House said on
he announcement was in response to
a Republican bill introduced in Congress
that would prevent the president from
providing sanctions relief to Iran until
$40 billion in restitution has been paid
to American victims of terrorism.
Govt shutdown averted: Meanwhile,
the US Senate on Wednesday
overwhelmingly passed legislation
to avert a government shutdown,
sending the measure to the House
of Representatives just hours before
funding for federal agencies runs out at
Passed by a 78-20 vote, the bill would
keep federal agencies funded at current
levels through December 11. It does not
include a controversial provision to cut
of money to Planned Parenthood that
many conservative Republicans had
American woman executed in
Georgia, despite papal appeal
Supporters of Kelly Gissendaner hold signs with an image and quote from Pope
Francis as they wait for the execution of Gissendaner at the Georgia Diagnostic and
Classification Prison in Jackson, Georgia. — Reuters
WASHINGTON: he US state of
Georgia executed its irst woman in 70
years early on Wednesday, despite an
appeal for clemency by Pope Francis.
Kelly Gissendaner, 47, made a
statement and requested a prayer before
she was put to death by lethal injection
ater a lurry of last minute appeals.
“At 12:21 am (0441 GMT) the courtordered execution of Kelly Gissendaner
was carried out in accordance with
state law,” said Gwendolyn Hogan,
a spokeswoman for the Georgia
Department of Corrections.
Gissendaner was the irst woman to
be executed in the southern state since
1945, and the 16th nationwide since the
Supreme Court re-established the death
penalty in 1976.
She was sentenced to death ater being
found guilty of conspiring to murder her
husband in 1997.
Her execution was initially scheduled
for 7 pm on Tuesday (2300 GMT), but
was delayed as her lawyers sought an
11th hour reprieve in ilings before a
federal court of appeals, the Georgia
is the first
woman to be
executed in
the southern
state since
Supreme Court
and the US Supreme Court, to no avail.
Dozens of supporters and death
penalty opponents kept vigil outside
the state prison in Jackson, Georgia as
Gissendaner awaited her fate.
“If you wanted proof that the death
penalty is torture, look no further than
#KellyGissendaner waiting hours to
see if she’ll live or die,” Helen Prejean,
a Catholic nun and anti-death penalty
advocate, wrote on her Twitter account.
Hers was the irst execution of a US
inmate since Pope Francis called for the
global abolition of the death penalty in
his speech to the US Congress last week.
he pope’s personal representative
sent a letter to Georgia’s parole board on
Tuesday making “an urgent appeal” to
commute Gissendaner’s sentence to “one
that would better express both justice
and mercy.”
“Please be assured of my prayers
as you consider this request by Pope
Francis for what I believe would be a
just act of clemency,” Archbishop Carlo
Maria Vigano wrote.
Gissendaner’s supporters have argued
she was a changed woman who found
God behind bars.
Yet, she watched from her car as her
boyfriend Gregory Owen murdered
her husband, and she had planned to
proit from the death by cashing in an
insurance policy.
Owen confessed to beating and
stabbing Douglas Gissendaner and then
trying to make the murder look like a
robbery. He negotiated a plea deal with
prosecutors and was given a life sentence
with the possibility of parole ater 25
Gissendaner turned down the deal,
which meant her case went before a jury.
“he outcome illustrates one of the
fundamental laws with the death penalty
— it’s applied arbitrarily,” said Steven
Hawkins, executive director of Amnesty
International, which is among a number
of groups that called for her sentence to
be commuted to life in prison.
Gissendaner’s daughter and two sons
urged oicials to spare their mother’s life
in a statement earlier this month.
“We’ve lost our dad. We can’t imagine
losing our mom too.”
his was the third time Gissendaner’s
children and supporters had gone
through the ordeal of a death watch.
Gissendaner was set to die in
February, but the execution was cancelled
due to a snow storm. A month later it
was again called of because the lethal
injection drug oicials planned to use,
pentobarbital, was uncharacteristically
cloudy. — AFP
he funding bill aims to give
congressional negotiators and President
Barack Obama about 10 weeks to work
out a longer-term budget deal that lasts
at least through the new iscal year
ending on September 30, 2016.
But irst, the House needs to approve
the measure in time for Obama to sign
it into law before a midnight deadline.
Timing for that vote was still uncertain
but House Republican aides said they
were aiming for an aternoon vote.
he House Rules Committee was
expected to consider whether any allow
amendments to the funding bill at a
meeting late on Wednesday.
Conservative Republicans were
making a last-ditch efort to amend
the Senate funding measure to restore
a controversial provision that would
cut of all federal funds to Planned
Many hard-line conservatives want to
punish Planned Parenthood because of
allegations that the women’s healthcare
organization improperly sold fetal tissue
harvested from abortions.
Planned Parenthood has denied
wrongdoing and the defunding
provision was blocked by Senate
Democrats, backed up by an Obama
veto threat.
he 172-member Republican Study
Committee’s proposed amendment
also would prohibit Obama from liting
anti-nuclear sanctions on Iran during
the duration of the stopgap funding
measure. — Reuters
Australian sheep breaks world record
Snowden draws
crowd with
Twitter debut
WASHINGTON: Edward Snowden has
come in from the cold — on Twitter.
Snowden, the fugitive former
National Security Agency contractor
who leaked details about the US
government’s massive surveillance
programmes, started a Twitter account
on Tuesday from exile in Russia with a
simple handle — @snowden.
He attracted more than 171,000
followers in about an hour and had
740,000 by Tuesday evening. But
Snowden himself was following only
one other Twitter account — his
former employer’s.
“Meanwhile, a thousand people
at Fort Meade just opened Twitter,”
Snowden said in a tweet, referring to
the US Army base in Maryland that is
the home of the NSA.
Snowden’s initial tweet was “Can
you hear me now?” The message,
a take-of on a cellphone provider
television commercial, was retweeted
25,000 times within an hour. In his
Twitter proile, Snowden described
himself by saying: “I used to work for
the government. Now I work for the
Supporters see Snowden as a
whistleblower who boldly exposed
government excess. But the US
government has iled espionage
charges against him for leaking
intelligence information. Snowden
led the United States in May 2013 and
has been living in Russia since being
granted asylum there later that year.
Initial reaction on social media
to Snowden was more positive than
negative. — Reuters
SYDNEY: An Australian sheep that underwent a life-saving shave after being found
with a massive leece has entered the Guinness World Records for having the most
wool sheared in a single sitting.
The merino sheep, which was nicknamed Chris after it was found wandering alone
just outside Australia’s capital Canberra in early September, had 41.1 kilogrammes of
wool taken of in one piece by a champion shearer.
Guinness World Records said on its website that it had veriied the record, which
displaced the previous woolly champion Big Ben, an animal shorn of 28.9 kilograms in
New Zealand in 2014. “We certainly didn’t have the world record as priority when we
sheared Chris, but we appreciate the recognition,” Tammy Ven Dange, the head of the
RSPCA in the Australian Capital Territory, said in a statement Wednesday.
“We can only hope that record is never broken again because it would be unlikely
that the animal would live to tell the story.”
Chris’ plight made global headlines following Ven Dange’s tweet appealing for help
from a shearer after the overgrown animal was spotted by bushwalkers.
Ven Dange said that merino sheep were bred for their wool and they could face
health issues, or even die, if not sheared regularly. — AFP
German Chancellor Angela Merkel holds a hippopotamus toy figure on
Wednesday at the Chancellery in Berlin, where she received prize winners of
the “Jugend Forscht” (Youth researches) science competition for young
people. A special prize was awarded to two pupils from Hamburg for their
research results on the finding of a fossil pygmy hippopotamus from Western
Cyprus. — AFP
CIA pulled staf from China after govt hack
WASHINGTON: The United States withdrew several CIA oicers from its embassy in
Beijing to protect them from being uncovered through a hack of US federal employee
records, The Washington Post has reported.
Two cyberthefts targeting the US Oice of Personnel Management this year have
been widely blamed on China. Beijing has denied all involvement.
The Washington Post said senior US oicials have described the intrusions as
spying aimed at identifying agents, potential recruits for espionage or people who
could be blackmailed to obtain information.
OPM records include background checks of State Department employees, such as
embassy stafers.
The Chinese could thus compare those records against the names of the people
working at the US embassy in Beijing, and conclude that anyone working at the
embassy but not showing up in the OPM records is in fact a spy, the Post said late
Tuesday, quoting US oicials.
The Central Intelligence Agency acted to protect CIA oicers at the embassy from
being discovered, the Post said. — AFP
OCTOBER 1 l 2015
Russia starts air strikes in
Syria, tells US to steer clear
Turkish ambassador Faruk Kaymakci
welcomes Turkish workers at Baghdad
embassy following their release
on Wednesday. — AFP
Remaining 16
in Iraq freed
BAGHDAD: Sixteen Turkish workers
who had been kidnapped in Iraq
nearly a month ago were freed on
Wednesday and are in good health,
Turkish oicials said.
he men were among 18 employees
of major Turkish construction irm
Nurol Insaat abducted on September 2
in the Sadr City area of north Baghdad,
where they were working on a football
stadium project.
Two of them were released in the
southern city of Basra two weeks later.
he release of the other 16 had
been expected ater a video in which
the kidnappers said their demands
had been met was posted online on
“Our 16 workers have just been
received by our Baghdad ambassador.
I talked to some of them on the phone,”
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet
Davutoglu wrote on Twitter.
“hankfully, they are in good health
and are preparing to return (home) as
soon as possible,” he said.
Ankara’s ambassador in Baghdad,
Faruk Kaymakci, said they were
released south of the capital on
Wednesday morning.
“I can conirm they were released,
around 60 kilometres south of
Baghdad, on the road to Karbala,” he
“hey are now in embassy vehicles,
the Iraqi authorities will probably have
a few questions to ask them,” he said.
Kaymakci later showed some of the
hostages to the press in front of the
embassy. Some looked tired but they
seemed in generally good health.
contributing to the development
of Iraq,” he said, referring to the
construction of the stadium in
“hey are serving the people
of Iraq.” he kidnappers had said
Turkey must order rebel forces to stop
besieging villages in northern Syria,
stop militants from travelling from
Turkey to Iraq, and cut the low of
“stolen oil from Kurdistan through
Turkish territory”.
Over the past 18 months, dozens of
Turks have been kidnapped but later
released in Iraq by the IS group, which
overran large parts of the country last
year. — AFP
FRONT LINE: Moscow says it targets IS n Washington queries Russian
operation n Russia’s most dramatic Middle East move in decades
Russia launched air strikes against
targets in Syria on Wednesday in
the Kremlin’s biggest intervention
in the Middle East in decades,
telling the US air force to steer
clear while its warplanes were in
Moscow’s assertion that it
had attacked IS was immediately
challenged by Washington and by
rebel sources in Syria.
A US oicial said Moscow gave
Washington just an hour’s notice of
the strikes, which the Kremlin said
were designed to help President
Bashar al Assad, its closest regional
ally, push back IS militants.
Notice of the attack came from
a Russian oicial in Baghdad who
asked the US air force to avoid
Syrian airspace during the mission,
US State Department spokesman
John Kirby said.
Russia and the United States
ofered conlicting accounts of
which targets had been struck,
underlining growing tensions
between the two former Cold War
foes over Moscow’s decision to
US oicials said targets in the
Homs area appeared to have been
struck, but not areas held by IS.
Areas of the province of
Homs struck by the Russians are
controlled by an array of rebel
groups including several operating
under the banner of the “Free
Syrian Army”, activists, locals and
rebels said.
None of the sources named IS
Picture shows damaged buildings and a minaret in the central Syrian
town of Talbisseh in the Homs province. Russian warplanes carried out
air strikes in three Syrian provinces, including Homs, on Wednesday.
as one of the groups operating in
the areas hit on Wednesday.
he Russian Defence Ministry
said however that its attacks were
directed at IS military targets.
It said it had hit IS
weapons depots, ammunition,
communications infrastructure,
and fuel.
he head of the Westernbacked Syrian political opposition
said the Russian strikes had killed
at least 36 civilians and targeted
areas where IS and Al Qaeda-
linked ighters were not present.
According to a pro-Syrian
government military source,
there were “ive strikes against
ive areas in Syria’s Homs”. He said
other areas may have been
bombed too.
he Homs area is crucial to
Assad’s control of western Syria.
Insurgent control of that area
would bisect the Assad-held
west, separating Damascus from
the coastal cities of Latakia and
Tartous, where Russia operates a
naval facility.
Striking Homs and opposition
groups but not IS showed the
Kremlin’s primary aim was to prop
up Assad, a French diplomatic
source said.
Moscow’s intervention means
the conlict in Syria has been
transformed in a few months from
a proxy war, in which outside
powers were arming and training
mostly Syrians to ight each other,
to an international conlict in
which the world’s main military
powers except China are directly
involved in ighting.
hat raises the risks of military
accidents between outside powers
and raises pressure for a diplomatic
solution, without making it any
Russian jets went into action
ater the upper house of the
Russian parliament gave President
backing for strikes following a
request for military assistance
from Assad.
— Reuters
Garbage is seen, from the window of a building, piled up at a temporary dump on a beach in Zalka north of Beirut on Wednesday. — AFP
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the
70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
at the UN in New York on Wednesday. — AFP
Palestinian lag
lies at UN
for irst time
NEW YORK: he Palestinians raised their lag at
the United Nations on Wednesday for the irst time,
a symbolic gesture approved by a General Assembly
vote at the world body earlier this month.
he red, black, white and green Palestinian lag
was erected around 1:15 pm (17:15 GMT) in the rose
garden of the UN headquarters.
“In this historical moment, I say to my people
everywhere: raise the lag of Palestinians very high
because it is the symbol of our identity,” Palestinian
president Mahmud Abbas told a huge crowd.
“It is a proud day.”
Ominous dark clouds gathered in the sky,
threatening to mar with rain an occasion condemned
by Israel and the United States as a gesture that would
not serve the cause of peace.
he General Assembly voted September 10 to allow
the lags of Palestine
and the Vatican -- “In this historical
both have observer moment, I say to my
status -- to be raised
at the world body people everywhere:
alongside those of raise the flag of
member states.
Palestinians very
was backed by 119 high because
countries, with 45 it is the symbol of
and our identity.”
eight votes against,
including Australia,
Israel and the US.
Earlier, addressing the UN General Assembly
Abbas launched a searing attack on Israeli policy saying
Palestine deserves full membership and recognition as
a state at the United Nations.
“Palestine, which is an observer state in the
United Nations, deserves full recognition and full
membership,” he said.
Abbas appealed to “those countries that have not
yet recognized the state of Palestine yet, to do so.”
Abbas told the General Assembly that Israel’s refusal
to commit to past agreements and release Palestinian
prisoners, and continued Jewish settlement activity
in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, was sapping
Palestinian hopes of ever achieving an independent
“hey leave us no choice but to insist that we
will not remain the only ones committed to the
implementation of these agreements, while Israel
continuously violates them,” he said.
Gaza is filled with desperation, particularly following last summer’s conflict that left more than 100,000 homeless and 2,200 dead
Signs of increasing suicides in devastated Gaza Strip
GAZA CITY: Muammar Quider was
set to marry, but he reached his breaking
point as he dealt with the unique
pressures of life in the Gaza Strip.
he 21-year-old Palestinian recently
tried to kill himself by swallowing rat
“All doors were closed for me,” he said
ater having survived and been treated,
explaining that police had repeatedly
arrested him and shut down his fruit
stand, depriving him of an income.
Signs have emerged of an increase
in suicides and suicide attempts in the
Gaza Strip, the Palestinian enclave run
by Hamas and devastated by three wars
with Israel since 2008.
It is impossible to obtain oicial
igures on the subject, which remains
taboo in a territory. Police insist that it
has not become widespread.
But a source within the security
services said that the numbers were
“frightening”, saying there were cases on
a “near-daily” basis.
Doctors have also expressed alarm
over the number of patients having
ingested toxic substances, but they say
the police have the inal word on the
causes of such poisonings.
Mohammed Abu Assi has been
among them, having spent several days
in a coma ater swallowing poison.
He said that “at 30 years old, I did
not even have enough to feed my young
“I preferred to die instead of seeing
them die in front of me,” he said.
Gaza is illed with desperation,
particularly following last summer’s
conlict that let more than 100,000
people homeless and killed more than
Palestinian farmers harvest dates in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip, on
he small territory of 1.8 million Wednesday. — AFP
people faces an Israeli blockade and
a closed border with Egypt, and
rebuilding following the 2014 war has
been extremely slow.
Access to water and electricity is
limited, while the unemployment rate
is among the highest in the world at 42
percent, according to the World Bank.
More than 60 per cent of young
people do not have work, while 39
percent of the population lives below the
poverty line and 80 percent depend on
various forms of aid.
he United Nations development
agency said recently that Gaza could
become uninhabitable for residents
within ive years.
“he social, health and securityrelated ramiications of the high
population density and overcrowding
are among the factors that may render
Gaza unliveable by 2020,” it said.
he crisis is so acute that 52 percent
of Gazans want to leave the territory, a
recent poll showed, but closed borders
prevent many from doing so.
Some have attempted the treacherous
journey across the Mediterranean to try
to reach Europe.
Abu Assi said that the last straw for
him was when police closed his small
seaside cafe named “Poor People’s Roots”
-- a play on the name of the fancier
“Roots” hotel and restaurant nearby.
Hamas authorities regularly close
stalls or shops they deem to be illegal.
Abu Assi said he had lost all hope of
providing for his family, who live in a
tiny lat of 30 square metres.
“Everyone here, young or old, lives
in poverty,” he said.”When someone
reaches the point of preferring death
over life, it means that nothing is let for
us.” — AFP
Appreciate more. Forgive easily. Regret little. Life is too short to waste. #qotd #scenery #repost
#PiecesofOman #travel #destination #OmanIbri #WadiAlAlin
An Omani student of Al Baraeim School died
when a school minibus collided with a car in
Mudhaibi at 8.50am, September 30 while 13
others were injured.
Tenants of old apartments in Muscat say
they are facing harrowing time because
landlords refuse to undertake maintenance on
With over 6000 patients diagnosed with
dementia in Oman, the question now is,
“Is dementia hereditary? ”Find out in this interview.
Stories and more at
Watch now:
Shared by:
Abdulaziz al Shukaili
OCTOBER 1 l 2015
Know a good story ? Submit it at [email protected]
222 food establishments closed in Muscat
Engaging Post
Tweet of the Day
Viral Today
By: Bachelor101
Dearest Mother,
You’d be surprised what more
you can do with canvas
Before, canvas is a medium most artists use just to paint
A duo comprised of Stephen Stum and Jason Hallman
calling themselves as Stallman have found a new use for
canvas. Taking the Internet and their patrons by storm, the
duo create abstract pieces by painting canvas and looping
and swirling them into order. The results are stunning.
We are no artists but those artwork definitely look awesome
to us. And we don’t know about you but we feel inspired all
of a sudden. We know what to do on the weekend. We can’t
guarantee we’d end up making as awesome artwork as this
but a person can hope, can we not?
No matter how bad I act, I need not apologize
for I know you would have already forgiven me.
Because such is your weakness and burden.
I made a lot of new friends, mother. And I’d been
busy making them. I let them into my life and every
day the list grows. Some of them stay — some only
for a moment. Yet I share their dreams, their hopes,
their frustrations and failures. And every time they
get their hearts broken, I stay with them, comfort
them. I know what make them tick. And I know
what make them laugh. I paid so much attention
to their worries failing to realize that there is one
friend I yet have to get to know much better.
I’ve always look at you as a parent — someone
who tells me the right from the wrong — my moral
compass. Beyond that shroud of parenthood, I
didn’t see you as someone else — only the person
who nags a lot, who worries when I don’t get home
on time, who keeps asking me about everything
that I do, who most of the time I wish would stop
minding my business and just focus on hers.
I looked at you most days, and all I see is
the uptight person that you have become. But I
don’t know the stories behind the lines on your
face, the scars on your skin that once might
have been lawless. How did you get them?
Who are you, mother? What were you like when
you were younger? What was it like during your
time? What made you swoon? What made you
blush? What were your dreams? What was your
biggest frustration? And how did you overcome that
frustration? Who was your irst love? How was it
like to have your heart broken? If ever it was broken.
What was the name of that guy — that guy that you
think got away — the one who was so perfect but
who was never meant for you; the one you cried for
every night when you were in your teens and the
one who still lingers in your mind up to now.
When did you stop laughing, the laugh that
would have made guys your age crazy because you
were so beautiful? When did you stop becoming
your own person, stop your childish ways, and stop
your experimentation because you have to set an
example for me?
I created so much distance between us because I
wanted to become my own person.
So I’ve never asked, what are the things you really
liked? How was it like to give up on your dreams?
And if you did give up your dreams, was it worth it?
Was I one of the reasons that your dreams have to be
let go? What was it like giving birth to me? And was
I worth all the pain — not only of childbirth but of
everything that comes along with raising me?
I’m sorry I was too caught up with growing up
that I didn’t ask about you. Sorry that I didn’t realise
that you too are growing old and that the time we’d
be together has an end. I’m sorry if I always wanted
you to leave me alone and I keep on asking you
to mind your own business. My knowledge is so
limited that I only realized that I was your business.
In a few months, I too will marry the love of my
life. She will become my wife and she will become
the mother of my children. One day soon, we will
become parents too. We will stop becoming children
and for our children’s sake, we too will let go of the
things that right now feel very important to us. We
will stop chasing ater our dreams because one day
soon we will realise that as parents, we must help
them realise theirs — that our interests sometimes
must be let go.
It is possible that in their eyes, we will be how I
perceive you to be right now — uptight, protective,
and illogical. hey will think of us as boring and
don’t know how to have fun. We will sound like
broken record to them constantly reminding them
about responsibility, accountability, integrity and
compassion — above all, faith. hey will hate us
for grounding them, for putting limits to what they
can and cannot do and for disciplining them. Being
the bad guy will be ine with us — only to see them
become a better version of themselves.
We will make sacriices that right now feel very
hard to do. hey will become our business and all
things we’ll do and accept if only to see them happy.
I just hope that one day too, I or my wife will receive
a letter just like this for only then will I know that I
raised a good kid.
I write to you, mother, to apologise for all the
pains that I’ve put you through. I write to you
because there is no reward to parenthood. You will
not receive a plaque or a gold medal and you will not
even receive a standing ovation or even just a pat in
the back. But know this; you have my sincerest and
unending thank you.
Today, I will make a promise to you. I will tell my
kids about you. I will ask you the things I’ve written
here and tell my children your story — of how one
great mother have to let go of her dreams in order
to make mine a possibility- a reality. So even if you
didn’t get an award for being a great parent, you will
always remain living — immortal, for your story
will resonate and echo through the generations of
our family. For it is the only way I can pay tribute to
how great you are. You have my love and devotion,
Your Son
Subject to completion of pending formalities, the capital will
have a new shopping and leisure destination, with the partial
opening of the Panorama Mall in Bausher on October 12.
Panorama Mall to open on October 12
Comment of the Day
Letters to the Editor
[email protected]
Oman secures release of hostages in Yemen
(September 21, 2015)
I am proud of Oman and His Majesty for responding
to the request of the US government to help settle the
case of the hostages. I really do agree that His Majesty
deserves the Nobel Peace Prize award. Oman up to
this day has remained as one of the most peaceful
countries in the middle east and my family and I felt
lucky to be here.
Ronald W M
753 stranded Omani Haj pilgrims return
(September 16, 2015)
Shame on those thieving contractors. hey should be
properly penalised. Most people who go to pilgrimage
save money just to observe the Haj with respect and
honour. Nobody deserves to be cheated and especially
not during Haj. It’s already bad enough that going on
pilgrimage is expensive, to be cheated is really really
not good. I hope they will be properly punished.
Hashim A
OCTOBER 1 l 2015
Tempers lare in Germany’s crowded refugee centres
BERLIN: A food queue ight in an
overcrowded German refugee centre
this week escalated into a mass brawl
pitting 70 Pakistanis against 300
Albanians, ighting with ists, sticks and
pepper spray.
By the time it ended, 14 people were
injured, including three of the 50 police
called in to contain the riot in a former
airport building housing 1,500 asylumseekers from 20 nations near the central
city of Kassel.
Such disturbances have been rare,
considering that Germany has taken in
around half a million asylum-seekers
this year and put them up in lats, army
barracks, sports halls and tent cities.
Nonetheless, the mayhem on Sunday
served as a warning of how tensions
can escalate between oten traumatised
people from diferent cultures sharing
densely packed spaces as they battle
Germany prints
its constitution
in Arabic for
refugees to learn
BERLIN: Germany has translated
the irst 20 articles of the country’s
constitution, which outline basic
rights like freedom of speech, into
Arabic for refugees to help them
Germany is struggling to cope
with an expected inlux of some
800,000 people this year, both
economic migrants and asylum
seekers leeing war in the Middle
East and Africa.
Aside from the cost and
practicalities of looking after so
many people — almost one percent
of Germany’s population — many
voters are worried about how they
will integrate into society.
Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel,
also chairman of the centre-left
Social Democrats (SPD), told Bild
daily that refugees were welcome
but that they have to make an efort
to it in.
“People who come here must not
only learn the German language,
but also learn the rules of the game
of living together,” Gabriel told the
“I am convinced that the irst 20
articles of our constitution are what
shape our culture,” he said, adding
Germany had printed 10,000 copies
for distribution among refugees at
registration centres.
Germany’s “Basic Law” was
adopted in 1949 and sets out the
principles which underpin the legal
system and the division of power
between central government and 16
regional states.
“No one is forced, when he
comes to Germany, to change his
religion, to alter his private life. But
what is important for our culture is
that the principles of our democratic
society apply to everyone,” Gabriel
Refugees had to accept
principles such as the division of
church and state, and equal rights
for men and women. — Reuters
tedium and uncertainty.
here has been trouble before. Six
weeks ago a 25-year-old refugee started a
riot in Suhl, central Germany, according
to police.
he ensuing violence let six police
and 11 refugees injured. Police this
week, ater viewing video footage of
the altercation, arrested 15 suspects
on charges including attempted
Germany’s police union on Tuesday
called for refugees to be separated by
religion and by country of origin, to
minimise the potential for conlict.
Groups banding together by ethnicity,
creed or clan were “attacking each other
with knives and homemade weapons,”
said union chief Rainer Wendt.
Critics argued segregating migrants
sends the wrong signal as Germany
seeks to integrate them into a pluralistic
“hey may have led the IS and fear
those people are watching them in
Berlin too.”
In the courtyard, laundry hung
from the windows of oices-turnedbedrooms, children played football and
men stood idly, smoking cigarettes and
killing time.
In the foyer, dozens crowded a stand
of the city’s migrant oice seeking, with
the help of Arabic translators, health
service cards, monthly cash payments,
political asylum, residency and work
Looking on from a distance, dejected,
stood three Africans, who said they
had waited for weeks in vain as Syrian
refugees got fast-tracked.
“African people, no. No paper,
nothing — only eat, sleep, everyday
stress,” said Bamba Jaiteh, 19, of Guinea
Bissau, in halting English. — AFP
PERILOUS JOURNEY: Woman, child drown as migrant boat sinks off Greece’s Lesbos
Police clear camp of migrants,
activists on France-Italy border
leader slams
lawsuit over
breakaway vote
police cleared a camp of migrants and
activists from the border of France and
Italy on Wednesday, with the occupants
moving to rocks on the shoreline to
avoid arrest and refusing to move.
he camp of around 50 people at
Ventimiglia — the town which became
a lashpoint at the start of Europe’s
migrant crisis earlier this year — was
cleared because its occupants were using
electricity and water without paying for
it, a police spokesman said.
Some 30 migrants and 20 Italian
activists, who had been warned ahead
of the evacuation, moved to the coastal
rocks before dawn to be well clear once
police arrived, deputy police chief
Giuseppe Maggese said.
A cordon of about 30 policemen
stood along the shoreline in front of
the migrants, some of whom were
threatening to jump into the sea, while
others held up a banner in English
reading: “We want freedom to cross the
“hey have to move, I’m not sure at
the moment where they’ll be taken...
but this situation could not go on. We
understand why they are protesting but
the camp was illegal,” Ventimiglia mayor
Enrico Ioculano told Italian media.
he camp holds up to 250 people
depending on the day, according to local
oicials, who said a number of people
had let on Tuesday ater news of the
impending evacuation broke.
Tents and personal belongings from
the camp — which sprawls under an
overpass some 100 metres from the
French border — were being removed by
garbage trucks.
Woman, child drown: A migrant
BARCELONA: Catalonia’s president
Artur Mas on Wednesday accused
the Spanish government of suing him
because its “pride was hurt” by his bids
to let his region vote on independence
from Spain.
A court on Tuesday summoned
Mas to face possible charges for
holding a 2014 symbolic ballot on
Catalan independence, which is
iercely opposed by Madrid.
he case dates back to last year but
the summons came just two days ater
separatist groups won an absolute
majority in the Catalan parliament in
a separate regional election.
“It was the reaction of a proud
government whose pride was hurt,
a rabid, clumsy one incapable of
dialogue, which acts brutishly and is
doing all it can to try to get rid of me,”
Mas said in a radio interview.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano
Rajoy rejected Mas’s claims of victory
in Sunday’s election, in which Mas and
fellow separatists won control of the
regional parliament but fell short of an
absolute majority of votes.
he separatists claimed Sunday’s
regional election result gave them
a mandate to push on towards a
declaration of independence by 2017.
he Catalonia high court on
Tuesday called Mas to go before a
judge on October 15 for questioning
on accusations of civil disobedience,
abuse of power and embezzlement of
public funds in last year’s vote.
He and two other oicials are
accused of breaking the law by
organising the ballot on November 9
in deiance of an injunction by Spain’s
Constitutional Court. — AFP
Ukraine, rebels give backing
to small arms withdrawal
KIEV: Kiev said on Wednesday it had
struck an initial agreement with proRussian insurgents to withdraw smaller
weapons from the bufer zone splitting
eastern rebel lands from the rest of
International monitors said the
two sides’ February commitment to
pull back heavy weapons from the
500-kilometre line separating the forces
was only observed laxly and led to more
than 1,000 deaths.
But a new truce that went into efect
on September 1 has been observed
strictly and driven up hopes that ighting
that has claimed at least 8,000 lives since
early last year was inally approaching an
A spokeswoman representing Kiev
said the new deal inked at talks chaired
by the Organization of Security and
Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in
the Belarussian capital Minsk covered
mortar shells and rockets with a calibre
of less than 100 millimetres.
“his means that President Petro
Poroshenko’s dream has been brought
idea that an “explosive mix” had been
brewing as the “populist chatter” of
Most mainstream politicians agreed
with her, and Interior Minister homas
de Maiziere later shot down the
segregation idea as “almost impossible
right now in practical terms”.
One of Germany’s new refugee
centres is the former town hall of Berlin’s
Wilmersdorf district, an ivy covered
Nazi-era building that houses 850
refugees, most of them men from wartorn Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Burly security guards stood outside
this week, checking the IDs of anyone
walking in or out, next to a sign reading
Migrants wait in Berlin on Wednesday on the premises of the State Office for Health “no photography”.
and Welfare for registration and allocation of a shelter. — AFP
“People really don’t want to be
society, and that portraying refugee
Islamic Studies expert Lamya Kaddor photographed,” said the camp’s deputy
centres as powder kegs fed the arguments said mediators could help defuse director Gerd Schickerling of the charity
of far-right agitators.
simmering conlicts and rejected the Workers’ Samaritan Federation.
to life,” Kiev spokeswoman Dariia Olifer
wrote on Facebook.
She said the elusive agreement was
initialled late Tuesday by Poroshenko’s
personal envoy Leonid Kuchma — a
former Ukrainian president who still
carries tremendous political clout —
and the representatives of Russia and the
Rebel negotiators said the heads of
the self-proclaimed “people’s republics”
of separatist Lugansk and Donetsk
would sign the pact when they receive it
later on Wednesday.
“he moment (the rebel leaders) sign
the deal, it will come into force,” Donetsk
negotiator Denis Pushilin told the local
separatists’ oicial news site.
News of the impending deal
should add impetus to talks between
Poroshenko and Russian President
Vladimir Putin that will also include the
leaders of Germany and France in Paris
on Friday. he warring sides still remain
far apart over rebel plans to soon stage
their own local elections that Kiev calls
illegal. — AFP
A mother sits with her children as refugees and migrants arrive on the Greek island of Lesbos after crossing the Aegean sea
from Turkey on Wednesday. — AFP
woman and a child drowned of the
Greek island of Lesbos ater their
boat sank, police said on Wednesday,
adding 45 other passengers had been
he Greek harbour police did not give
the victims’ ages or nationalities and it
was not clear if the two were related.
According to testimony from the
survivors, 49 people were on board the
dinghy when it capsized in the Aegean
Sea of the northern coast of Lesbos.
Twenty-year-old Nilofa Ghonami, an
Iranian-born Afghan woman, said that
the boat they were sailing in -- which was
only supposed to hold 14 people — had
broken in half.
Migrant killed by Channel Tunnel
train: An Eritrean man was killed by
a freight train near the entrance to the
Channel Tunnel in France Wednesday,
a local of icial said making him the
13th migrant killed trying to reach
Britain since June.
“A migrant was found dead by a
security guard at around 1:00am. He
ENRICO IOCULANO was hit by a freight train,” said the
Ventimiglia Mayor of icial — AFP
They have to move,
I’m not sure at the
moment where
they’ll be taken... but
this situation could not go
on. We understand why they
are protesting but the camp
was illegal.
There is no standing on the sidelines any more, there is one struggle, says UK Labour leader
Radical let comes out of shadows
BRIGHTON: Addressing an antiausterity meeting on the fringes of the
British Labour conference this week,
a rabble-rousing MP led boisterous
comrades in a chant of “the workers,
united, will never be defeated”.
In the past, this would have been
an anachronistic curiosity, but the tubthumping politician was John McDonnell,
Britain’s new shadow inance minister and
darling of the hard-let.
“he wave of emotion in our
movement at the moment is absolutely
tremendous,” he told the sweltering
Brighton Friends Meeting House on the
sidelines of the party’s annual conference
on the English coast.
“here is no standing on the sidelines
any more, there is one struggle. We want
peaceful, non-violent direct action,” he
said at the meeting, attended by a mix
of trade union stalwarts and youthful
Just months ago, such comments
would have been unthinkable from a
Far-left events were the
new hottest ticket in town,
with noticeably stronger
attendance than at meetings
held by the centre-left
think tanks of former prime
minister Tony Blair’s “New
Labour” era.
leading British politician, relecting the
seismic shit on the country’s let.
But activists inspired by protest
movements across Europe who have taken
to Britain’s streets to ight public spending
cuts now have some genuine clout with
Jeremy Corbyn as their new leader.
“You’ve got Podemos in Spain and
Syriza in Greece, Bernie Sanders in
America and people looked at England
and thought ‘where’s the let-wing
expression?’” said Julian Kett, 19, as he
sold Marxist newspapers outside the main
Labour’s London mayoral candidate
Sadiq Kahn receives applause after
addressing delegates on the final day of
the annual Labour party conference in
Brighton on Wednesday. — AFP
conference hall.
Far-let events were the new hottest
ticket in town, with noticeably stronger
attendance than at meetings held by the
centre-let think tanks of former prime
minister Tony Blair’s “New Labour” era.
Gunputh, 22, said: “It would be great if
we had Britain leading the push against
austerity”. “It’s sad that things are worse
in other places like Spain and Greece, but
a lot of bad places in Britain are shuled
under the carpet.”
Owen Jones, a political commentator,
said that “the Corbyn phenomenon is
part of a wider trend of discontent that’s
sweeping the western world.”
Despite the evangelical mood,
winning over the British public remains
an overwhelming challenge given its
resounding rejection of Ed Miliband’s
moderate-let policies in May’s general
he new Labour leadership has
promised to cut the deicit while ending
austerity, but faces a tough job convincing
the electorate — or even some of its own
MPs — on its more letist economic
strategy. With Corbyn and his allies now
in charge of the party’s levers of power,
many of the party’s MPs — particularly
those loyal to the Blair legacy — are
nervous, predicting decades out of power.
OCTOBER 1 l 2015
Journalists look at a tent
owned by the late 18th
century Indian ruler of
Mysore Tipu Sultan
during a press preview of
‘The Fabric of India’
exhibition at the Victoria
and Albert Museum in
London. — AFP
Members of the
Iranian forces
perform during a
ceremony for
Iranian Navy
cadets in the
northern city of
Nowshahr on
— Reuters
A gallery employee poses next to ‘Sweet, Light, Crude’ by Jimmie Durham at the
Serpentine Gallery in London on Wednesday. — Reuters
Faskally Wood is illuminated at the launch of the annual ‘Enchanted Forest’ sound
and light show near Pitlochry in Scotland. — Reuters
A youth jumps from a waterfall in Wadi El-Rayan, near the end of the summer
vacation at the desert of Al Fayoum Governorate, southwest of Cairo. — Reuters
A woman takes a morning run along the seafront at Brighton in southern England.
— Reuters
Models take a selfie backstage before the Guy Laroche Spring/Summer 2016
women’s ready-to-wear fashion show during Paris Fashion Week. — Reuters
Villagers place persimmons in the shape of a Chinese national flag, ahead of
China’s upcoming National Day, in Shangrao, Jiangxi province, on Wednesday.
— Reuters
CRH380 (China Railway High-speed) Harmony bullet trains are seen at a highspeed train maintenance base in Wuhan, Hubei province. — Reuters
[email protected]
Insurance plan for Islamic
banking deposits: CBO
Sept 30: he Central Bank of Oman
(CBO) is launching insurance scheme
for Islamic banking deposits in the
he apex bank has already issued a
notiication announcing its proposal for
appointing a consultant in this regard.
“With the introduction of Islamic
banking in 2012 and the ever-increasing
portfolio of deposits under Islamic
banking at various banking institutions,
it has been decided to implement
appropriate insurance scheme for
Islamic banking deposits”, the CBO said.
It may be recalled that the CBO in
July last constituted he Central Bank
of Oman has announced the formation
of a new department exclusively meant
to deal with all matters concerning
with Islamic banking operations in the
According to CBO, the combined
assets of Islamic banks and window
operations surged ahead by 64.08 per
cent to RO 1.832 billion by end-June
2015, from RO 1.116.9 billion for the
same period last year.
At the same time, the entities
provided inancing to the extent of RO
1.4 billion as at the end of June 2015
when compared to RO 0.7 billion a year
A signiicant increase has also been
registered by the Islamic banking
entities in their total deposits reaching
RO 1.2 billion in June 2015 from RO 0.3
billion in the corresponding period.
About 6.3 per cent of Oman’s
banking system now is constituted by
Islamic banks and windows combined,
“Islamic banks are opening
up new segments and
players and thus adding
to the competitive
environment not only in
terms of efficiency and
innovations, but by also
providing the consumers the
benefit of choosing between
both conventional and
Islamic banking products.’
amounting to RO 1.8 billion during the
same period.
“Islamic banks are opening up new
segments and players and thus adding
to the competitive environment not only
in terms of eiciency and innovations,
but by also providing the consumers
Japan factory output
slides unexpectedly
TOKYO: Japan’s factory output unexpectedly fell for the
second straight month in August, fuelling worries the
economy is slipping back into recession and raising more
doubts about whether the government can reignite growth
and end decades of delation.
As a slowdown in China chills global growth, hitting
export-reliant Asia particularly hard, analysts say the Bank
of Japan may be forced to ofer fresh stimulus as early as
next month in a bid to get the faltering economy back on
“In the absence of growth engines due to weakness in
external and domestic demand, the possibility is growing
that the economy has shrunk for a second straight quarter in
July-September and it may be slipping into a recession,” said
Hidenobu Tokuda, senior economist at Mizuho Research
“Given weakening of the economy, the BoJ could ease
policy again next month, even though Governor (Haruhiko)
Kuroda remains bullish and the government is wary about
further yen weakening boosting the cost of imports.”
he economy shrank an annualized 1.2 per cent in AprilJune. August factory output fell 0.5 per cent month-onmonth, trade ministry data showed on Wednesday, short of
a 1.0 per cent increase expected by analysts.
Not surprisingly, exporting industries led the decline.
hese included general-purpose machinery, cars and
China-bound auto parts. he cooling China economy has
been adding to global delationary pressures in the form of
crumbling commodity and
oil prices.
he Bank of Japan has
been pumping billions of
dollars into the economy to
spark inlation towards its 2
per cent goal by September
2016, and has remained
will move up over time
despite faltering external
and domestic demand.
— Reuters
the beneit of choosing between both
conventional and Islamic banking
products’, CBO said in a statement.
here are two full-ledged locally
incorporated Islamic banks operating in
the Sultanate. Six out of the seven locally
incorporated conventional commercial
banks were also ofering Islamic banking
services through dedicated windows.
he Islamic banks and windows
together operated with 46 branches at
the end of 2014. Islamic banking entities
in total had 43 on-site ATMs and 19 onsite cash deposit machines as at the end
of 2014.
According to Global Islamic
Economy Report, there are about $1.35
trillion of Sharia-compliant commercial
banking assets outstanding globally,
roughly equivalent to 1.3 per cent of
global banking assets.
he report indicated that the Shariacompliant commercial banking assets
are still set to increase at a compound
annual growth rate of 9.8 per cent
between 2014 and 2020.
OCTOBER 1 l 2015
Sohar Aluminium rolls out Bank Sohar extends support to Al
Fresh Graduate Programme Noor Association for the Blind
Sept 30: As part of its commitment
to developing local talent, Sohar
Aluminium (SA) has launched the
company’s inaugural Fresh Graduate
Programme to give selected high
achieving young Omani students an
intensive training and may become SA’s
future Engineers.
he programme is open to
Engineering Bachelor degree holders
in the disciplines of Mechanical,
Electrical, Mechatronic, Chemical,
Civil or Computer Science who have
completed their education in 2014 or
2015. SA’s existing employees who have
recently completed their undergraduate
education can equally apply to the
Said bin Mohammed al Masoudi,
CEO of Sohar Aluminium, said, “We
are proud to introduce a course tailormade for young and ambitious Omanis
who are looking for an opportunity to
work for one of the Sultanate’s leading
organisations. Such initiatives will
strengthen the prospects of Omanis
in the local industrial sector and train
them to compete at global levels.
his is the chance of a lifetime for
these recent graduates to develop their
capabilities, gain an enriched personal
experience, and obtain the skills needed
for them to become the leaders of
He added, “he programme will also
support the company’s Omanisation
eforts, which currently stand at an
impressive 73 per cent at all levels.”
he Fresh Graduate Programme was
launched with an aim to provide Omani
students with on-the-job experience,
the chance to be mentored by seasoned
professionals and develop into future
ISM India conducts Supply Chain
Management Training Course
MUSCAT: Al Osool Al Arabia, the leaders in
corporate business solutions and trainings is
organising for the irst time in Oman, the much
awaited Supply Chain Management Training
Course in association with Institute for Supply
Management (ISM-India) an ailiate of ISMUSA.
his exclusive course titled “Transform
Yourself ” will be conducted by Krishan K Batra,
President and CEO of ISM-India on October 12
and 13, 2015 at Hafa House, Muscat.
Krishan K Batra
he Challenges Positioning yourself as a
strategic innovator in Supply Chain Management
with this novel training programme. he Training Course objectives are to
develop, implement and manage a risk proile and strategies in accordance with
existing contracts, applicable laws, regulations and organisational policy.
he training programmes are very interactive. hey are case studies based
along with Q&A at the end of each session. his challenges the participants to use
disciplinary knowledge & team participation skills”, according to Jose Chacko,
CEO, Al Osool Al Arabia. he trainer Krishan K Batra, is President and CEO of
ISM-India. An innovative and dynamic supply chain management professional
with 40 years of leadership experience of transforming procurement & supply
chain activities across private sector, public sector and UN organisations.
KR’s irresistible Eid ofer continues
KHIMJI Ramdas Group
is extending its Samsonite
Eid ofer so customers
can bag the chance for
a free cabin size luggage
with every purchase of
a Samsonite full-size
Commenting on the
ongoing promotion, Rohit
Shah, General Manager
and Lifestyle Division
said, “Samsonite is the world leader in quality travel and business luggage. he
company has maintained its exceptional quality standards for over a century, and
we are very pleased to represent the brand in Oman. We are glad to come up with
an ofer that is packed with value for our customers; this ofer is not one that you
would want to miss out.”
Renowned worldwide for its exceptional quality, Samsonite is an international
luggage manufacturer and retailer, with products ranging from suitcases and
backpacks to travel accessories. In Oman, the brand is represented by the Khimji
Ramdas Group. Customers can buy their Samsonite products from any of KR’s
lifestyle stores such as House of Samsonite at Oman Avenues Mall, Aalami —
Qurum, Samsonite — Muscat City Centre and at Khimji’s store — Salalah.
‘Kia owner once, Kia owner, always’
LOVE, as they say, has no limits. Moreover, the love between you and the vehicle
that makes your life easier and happier only grows with each passing day! Small
wonder then that Qais Hassan Ibrahim al Bahrani who works at the PDO, owns
three Kia vehicles. hat is not all. he love for Kia runs deep within their family
— his family now owns 9 Kia vehicles.
“Kia to us means very nice and reliable vehicles, which makes my family &
MUSCAT: Having already supported
the Dhofar and Nizwa branches of the
Al Noor Association for the Blind, Bank
Sohar has now extended its support to
the Muscat Branch; marking its third
contribution to the Association this
year. his latest donation will contribute
towards the purchase of iPhones to be
used by the Association’s beneiciaries
through the phone’s built in ‘VoiceOver’
feature. he donation cheque was
handed over at the Association’s Head
Oice to Rashid Suleiman al Farsi,
Chairman of the Al Noor Association
for the Blind, by Mazin Mahmood al
Raisi, Senior AGM — Marketing and
Customer Experience at Bank Sohar.
Speaking on the rationale behind
this donation, Munira Abdulnabi
Macki, GM of Human Resource
and Corporate Support, Bank Sohar
commented, “Modern technology
has come a long way in facilitating the
needs of the visually impaired, enabling
them to use a phone and its applications
to enhance their communication
and mobility. ‘VoiceOver’ is one such
me very conident
when travelling long
distances. I have
no issues with the
cars purchased and
since the vehicles
are so reliable, we
keep purchasing Kia
vehicles only,” says
He tells us of
the Kia models that
he owns namely
Carnival EX 2007, Cerato EX 2009, Carnival EX 2016 and the recently purchased
All New Carnival EX 2016. About the Kia vehicles in his family, he seems to have
the most of the models, Carnival 2005, Cerato 2009 and Cerato 2013, Carens 2007
and Carens 2012, Picanto 2013, Cadenza 2012, Sorento 2016 and the 2015 Optima.
People like Bahrani have a lot to choose from because in Oman, Kia has a
wide and thrilling line-up . he range includes the Picanto — a fresh and vibrant
car to turn up the colour in your life; the Rio — a smartly styled car that makes
absolutely no compromises; the Cerato, to help you step into the good life; the
Cerato Koup — a car in tune with your emotions; refreshed Optima the car with
sporty stance & style that conveys conident individuality; Cadenza, a car that
attracts and reassures with its innovative attention to detail; Kia Soul — gives you
the freedom to express your personality and to connect with an urban lifestyle;
Sportage — for appeal that’s ahead by many miles; Carens — a car that lets you
live life to the full; Sorento — an SUV built for urban living; Mohave — that
puts you at the peak of performance; Carnival — an elegant all-in-one tool that
makes your life a whole lot easier; K- 4000G — A highly polished work horse
and of course, Kia’s new game changer, the Quoris, that pushes the horizons
of its segment by inviting drivers to experience what we call “New Luxury,” a
breakaway and brand new take of what it means in modern terms — feature rich
Reliable International Automotive (RIA), the distributor for Kia in Oman
provides a rewarding ownership experience for customers.
Land Rover backs No Man’s Land expedition
LAND Rover is
supporting a Royal
Geographical Society
expedition (with the
Institute of British
Geographers) which
will investigate the
political efects of
No Man’s Lands on
modern day society,
their origins and
development throughout history.
he No Man’s Land expedition team, led by Dr Alasdair Pinkerton, of Royal
Holloway University of London and Dr Noam Leshem of Durham University,
will travel from the hamlet of Nomansland in Devon, England, to Bir Tawil, a
disputed territory on the Egypt-Sudan border, oten described as ‘the last truly
unclaimed place on earth’.
he six-week research expedition is funded through a Royal Geographical
Society (with IBG) hesiger-Oman Fellowship and supported by Land Rover
with the loan of a Discovery Sport. With an aim to build on the current research
and understanding of No Man’s Lands throughout history, its research indings
will also be used to develop educational materials for secondary level geography
students in the UK (aged 15+).
‘No Man’s Lands’ have existed within the English language for over 1000 years
feature of the iPhone that makes the
device easier to operate for people with
low vision capabilities; reading out to
them what’s displayed on the screen
including buttons, icons, links and other
interface elements. With the voice over,
beneiciaries can use the smart device
more efectively as well as use it to
navigate. We are glad to be in a position
to donate funds for these devices to
members of the Al Noor Association; I
am conident they will be of great help
to them in all aspects of their lives.”
hanking Bank Sohar for its
support, Rashid Suleiman al Farsi said,
“What makes us proud at the Al Noor
Association is the fact that, together
with the support of organisations such
as Bank Sohar, we can make lasting
positive changes in people’s lives. We
can genuinely help people with vision
impairments and give them tools to
make their journey towards a normal
life a little easier.”
to describe pieces of un-owned or abandoned land, the cracks between uncertain
international borders, or the disputed ground between opposing militaries.
Whilst many associate the term with war or think that No Man’s Lands are a thing
of the past, Dr Pinkerton and Dr Leshem will use academic ieldwork to link
together multiple No Man’s Lands through the expedition, while documenting
the lives of those still afected by these challenging spaces.
A Discovery Sport support vehicle will play a crucial role in the expedition.
he highly capable and versatile premium compact SUV will be essential in
negotiating the challenging route across 19 countries. Its class-leading all-terrain
credentials will be put to the test as it transports the team and their equipment
across epic landscapes in extreme conditions, covering thousands of miles of
varied, inhospitable terrain.
All-new Mazda2 #SuperStriker displayed
at shopping malls in Oman
THE fourth generation awardwinning Mazda2 #SuperStriker is on
display at the Muscat Grand Mall and
Barka Grand Centre and is drawing
the attention of scores of mall visitors.
Winner of the 2014-2015 Car of the
Year Japan award, the all-new Mazda2
is stylish yet sophisticated and is much
bigger in size ofering a lot more space,
comfort and stability for both driver
and passengers.
Available in Comfort and Prestige sedan and hatchback models at Towell Auto
Centre (TAC), the sole distributors of Mazda range in Oman, the all-new Mazda2
brings a level of functionality and added-values that exceeds the expectations for
a car of this class.
A senior spokesperson of TAC comments: “he all-new Mazda2 brings
you chic style, and its Skyactiv technology unlocks quick-witted agility and
outstanding fuel economy. his excellent performance is enhanced with elegantly
lowing KODO — Soul of Motion design — that relects the dynamic beauty of
an animal leaping into action. he all-new Mazda2 guarantees a comfortable and
pleasurable ride in a compact vehicle, thus it is truly a #SuperStriker in its class”.
Pizza Hut holds food safety training
AS a part of its ongoing employee development initiatives, Pizza Hut organised
an intensive internal training and development programme for its national cadre.
he workshop was conducted at Pizza Hut Al Hail for employees from across
Pizza Hut Oman.
Sulaiman Rashid al Hosni, and Salim Saleh al Balushi, from the Pizza Hut
Human Resource and Operations team showcased the basic standards and best
practices in both Food Safety and Customer Service to the new recruits. he
teaching duo drew on their combined experience of over 17 years to deliver an
interactive training programme that was followed by a Q&A session.
Commenting on the initiative, Abeer Khalfan Mubarak al Siyabi, one
of the participants, said, “his workshop was both thought provoking and
complementary to our immediate TEAM goals. We will surely use the expert
advice in our daily activities.”
OCTOBER 1 l 2015
Bank Muscat baituna home
finance with 6-month
repayment holiday a big hit
Sept 30: he irst-of-its-kind home
inance ofer launched by Bank Muscat
granting customers the option to buy
their dream home and start repayment
in 2016 has evoked big response across
the Sultanate. he limited period ofer
was launched by the lagship inancial
services provider in step with its ‘Let’s
Do More’ vision and commitment to
partnership in facilitating a home for
every family. he attractive ofer is
available for purchasing ready homes
and apartments across Oman with
add-on beneits, including free Home
Contents Insurance worth RO 13,500.
Baituna facilitates access to
prime residential projects in Oman
as all leading property developers
are associated with the bank. he
attractive features of baituna home
inance include low interest rates with
maximum loan tenure up to 25 years
for Omani customers. he low interest
rate is a big attraction to avail the best
home inance deals in the Sultanate.
Citizens and residents can obtain easy
and convenient credit approval across
the bank’s 140 branches and dedicated
baituna centres in the Sultanate.
Bank Muscat reckons the real estate
sector as a major component of the
national economy and is committed
to extending all possible support to
achieve the objective of a ‘home for
every family’, especially youth. Baituna
home inance is tailored to ofer
citizens and residents easy access to
mortgage inance, thereby contributing
to revitalisation of the real estate
sector and enhancing its role in the
national economy. he attractive home
inance ofer with repayment holiday
is positioned to give a boost to the real
estate sector and beneit citizens across
Oman to fulil their dream homes.
Baituna ofers convenient mortgage
plans to suit everyone’s needs with
simpliied documentation, lexible
repayment options, insurance coverage
and processing across the bank’s
extensive network of branches and
dedicated centres. Omani and GCC
nationals can avail baituna inance
for purchase and construction of new
homes as well as land for residential
use while expatriate customers can
avail home inance for properties in
integrated tourism complex. he bank
also undertakes reinancing of home
he baituna tie-up with leading
property developers include he Wave,
Muscat, Al Argan, Bader Al Qurum,
Bader Al Hamra, he Links, Dar Al Zain,
Zain Properties, Yassmin Complex
Taameer, Muscat Hills, National Mass,
Vintage Modern, Evening Homes,
Omani Homes, Palm Residence, Bait
Yousif, Arabian Properties, Al Nujoom,
Al Firdous and Amlak with the list of
tie-ups continuously growing. Ofering
inance for a gamut of requirements,
Bank Muscat fulils the aspirational
needs of people.
A dozen managers are suspected of involvement
VW revs up recall plan,
hunts for culprits
FRANKFURT: German auto giant
Volkswagen shited up a gear on
Wednesday in its plans to recall millions
of cars itted with pollution-cheating
sotware as it stepped up eforts to ind
the masterminds behind the scam.
Following the departures of chief
executive Martin Winterkorn and
sales chief Christian Klingler in VW’s
deepest-ever crisis that broke 12 days
ago, further heads look set to roll ater
the new CEO Matthias Mueller vowed
to be “ruthless” in getting to the bottom
of the afair.
he steering committee of the
carmaker’s supervisory board was
scheduled to meet later on Wednesday
to discuss the preliminary indings of
the internal investigation into a scam
that has rocked the automobile sector
and wiped 29 billion euros of VW’s
market capitalisation, AFP has learned.
A dozen managers suspected of
helping to develop and install the
sophisticated sotware, known as a
defeat device, or simply aware of the
fraud have been suspended pending an
internal inquiry, the monthly Manager
Magazin reported.
board member Olaf Lies said, “hose
people who allowed this to happen, or
who made the decision to install this
sotware — they acted criminally. hey
must take personal responsibility.
“Huge damage has been done
because millions of people have lost
The logo of Volkswagen is seen at
Northern Virginia dealer in
Woodbridge, Virginia. — AFP
their faith in VW. We are surely going to
have a lot of people suing for damages,”
Lies, also economy minister of the
northwestern German state of Lower
Saxony, told broadcaster the BBC.
Several countries, including
Germany itself, have launched
probes into the scandal and German
prosecutors have also launched
an inquiry against the 68-year-old
Winterkorn. VW’s inance chief HansDieter Poetsch, who has been tipped to
take over as supervisory board chief,
could also ind himself in the iring
line, given his close relationship with
Winterkorn and his key role on VW’s
executive board.
“Poetsch’s possible nomination
as new supervisory board chief is
looking increasingly questionable,”
the business daily Handelsblatt quoted
a fund manager, Hans-Christian
Hirt, as saying.
Legal probes are
underway not only
in Germany, but
also elsewhere, to
ind out who knew
what and when.
OCTOBER 1 l 2015
Asia markets rebound, Glencore surges after crash
Pedestrians walk in front of a share prices board showing the numbers on the Nikkei 225 at the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo
yesterday. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange gained 457.31 points to 17,388.15 at closing. — AFP
HONG KONG: Asian stocks recovered
on Wednesday from a mass sell-of
in the previous session and emerging
currencies ended a tough quarter on
a high, but analysts warned of further
volatility ahead.
Mining giant Glencore almost halved
Tuesday’s 30 per cent losses ater it
moved to reassure investors its business
remains robust, following rumours in
inancial circles it might soon be delisted
as it is bufeted by weak commodity
prices and China’s slowdown.
he next focus point is on a speech
due to be given by Federal Reserve boss
Janet Yellen later in the day, with hopes
she will shed more light on the timing
for raising US interest rates.
Regional equities and risky assets
sufered a sharp reverse on Tuesday,
tracking a slump in New York and Europe
ater another batch of disappointing
Chinese data fanned fresh fears about
the world’s number two economy.
But buying picked up on Wednesday,
the last day of a torrid quarter that has
seen trillions wiped of global valuations,
sparked by Beijing’s shock devaluation
of its yuan currency last month. Traders
got a mostly positive lead from Wall
Street, while the Dow and S&P 500
edged up.
Hong Kong-listed shares of
Glencore, which has been hammered by
sot resources demand in China that led
brokerage Investec to question its future,
were the stand-out winner as they rallied
ater Tuesday’s crash.
he shares inished 15.1 per cent
higher ater the debt-laden Swiss
company insisted its business was
“operationally and inancially robust”.
In Asian trade on Wednesday Tokyo
surged more than three per cent at one
point before ending 2.7 per cent higher.
Sydney jumped 2.10 per cent and Seoul,
which was closed on Monday and
Tuesday for a holiday, ended 1.03 per
Toshiba executives face investor wrath
CHIBA: Toshiba executives on
Wednesday faced the wrath of
shareholders who demanded an
explanation ater one of Japan’s bestknown companies was hammered by a
billion-dollar accounting scandal.
Nearly 2,000 shareholders turned up
to an investor meeting outside Tokyo,
peppering a new management team
with questions about the afair which led
to the resignation of Toshiba’s president
and seven other top executives in July.
“here are many admirable people
working at Toshiba who must have
expressed concerns about what was
going on — who ignored them, who
killed their opinions?” demanded one
shareholder who identiied himself by
Shareholders arrive at a Toshiba
shareholders meeting at the Makuhari
Messe in Chiba yesterday. — AFP
the surname Kodama.
New president Masashi Muromachi’s
deep bows to the audience — a
common act of contrition among
Japanese executives — seemed to do
little to persuade investors that he
could overhaul the 140-year-old irm’s
corporate culture.
Shareholder Takayuki Otake called
on Toshiba’s new boss to reveal what
he knew about the scheme, sparking
applause among other investors.
“I truly regret what happened,” said
Muromachi, who temporarily cut his
salary in response to the afair, and who
noted he was cleared of any wrongdoing.
A company-hired panel found top
executives pressured underlings to
inlate Toshiba’s bottom line for years.
Mitsuro Nagai blamed the problem
on Japan’s rigid “salaryman” culture
and a general tendency not to challenge
The data underscores the ongoing health of the consumer sector
US consumer spending rises;
core inlation irms slightly
spending grew briskly in August and a
key measure of inlation irmed a bit,
signs of strength in America’s domestic
economy that could lead the Federal
Reserve to tighten interest rates despite
weakness abroad. he Commerce
Department said consumer spending
increased 0.4 per cent ater an upwardly
revised 0.4 per cent rise in July.
he igures give a bullish sign for
economic growth in the third quarter.
“hese data underscore the ongoing
health of the consumer sector,” said
Michelle Girard, an economist at RBS
he report could help convince
investors of Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s view,
most recently expressed on hursday,
that the economy was strong enough to
warrant a rate increase this year.
New York Fed President William
Dudley also said a hike was likely this
year and could come as soon as October.
Investors have been doubtful, with
many betting that the Fed’s irst rate
increase in a decade won’t come until
But the US dollar irmed following
the consumer spending report, as did
yields on US government debt, signs
that some investors were bringing
forward their bets on a rate increase.
Economists polled by Reuters had
A customer looks at merchandise in a Best Buy store in Denver. — Reuters
forecast consumer spending rising
0.3 per cent last month. Consumer
spending accounts for more than twothirds of US economic activity.
It was the latest report indicating
momentum in the economy as it
confronted recent global inancial
markets turbulence, sparked by
concerns over a slowing Chinese
economy, which pushed the Fed to hold
of hiking rates earlier in September.
he economy grew at a robust 3.9
per cent annual rate in the second
quarter. Last month, spending on
long-lasting goods such as automobiles
increased 0.9 per cent. Outlays on
services like utilities rose 0.5 per cent.
Personal income increased 0.3 per cent
in August. Overall inlation remained
muted, relecting low oil prices.
Inlation, which has persistently
run below the Fed’s 2 per cent target
in annual terms, rose just 0.3 per cent
in August from the same month a year
earlier. However, prices were up 1.3 per
cent when excluding food and energy, a
key metric used by the Fed to gauge the
trend rate of inlation.
In July, core prices rose 1.2 per cent
— Reuters
cent higher.
Hong Kong inished up 1.41 per cent
and Shanghai gained 0.48 per cent.
However, Raiko Shareef, a markets
strategist in Wellington at Bank of
New Zealand, warned clients “the
stabilisation in risk sentiment looks
relatively tentative to us. We’d be wary
of another deterioration in Asia today as
funding costs spike in China ahead of a
week-long holiday.”
Chinese markets are closed from
hursday for the National Day holiday
he International Monetary Fund
warned on Tuesday that global markets
face a liquidity squeeze ater years of low
interest rates and monetary easing by the
world’s leading central banks — the US,
Europe and Japan — that encouraged
more risk-taking.
In a semi-annual report on global
inancial stability the Fund said bond
markets could be starved of funds when
the Fed eventually raises rates, causing
more volatility and undermining
inancial stability.
It asked whether borrowers, most
importantly those in emerging markets,
are prepared for higher borrowing costs
and for falls in their home currencies.
On forex markets some conidence
returned to trading loors as safe-haven
assets retreated, with the dollar slipping
1.4 per cent against the South Korean
won and 0.3 per cent against the Indian
he Indonesian rupiah added
0.19 per cent against the US unit and
Australia’s dollar gained 0.11 per cent.
However, the greenback has
surged against all currencies in recent
months on expectations the Fed will
lit borrowing costs by 2016. his has
UK house price
growth picks up
in September
LONDON: British house price growth
accelerated in September and there
were signs the market in London is
heating up again, mortgage lender
Nationwide said on Wednesday,
adding to evidence the housing
market has regained momentum.
House prices rose 0.5 per cent
month-on-month in September,
slightly more than expected in a
Reuters poll and up from 0.4 per cent
in August. An annual basis, they rose
3.8 per cent, from 3.2 per cent last
month. The igures are the latest
to show Britain’s housing market
is picking up after a dip last year.
Oicial data this week showed British
mortgage lending increased last
month by the greatest amount since
2008. Nationwide said house price
growth in London accelerated sharply
in the third quarter, hitting 10.6 per
cent compared with 7.2 per cent in
the second.
“The data in recent months
provides some encouragement that
the pace of house price increases
may be stabilising close to the pace
of earnings growth,” Nationwide Chief
Economist Robert Gardner said.
“However, the risk remains that
construction activity will lag behind
strengthening demand, putting
upward pressure on house prices and
eventually reducing afordability.”
Last week the Bank of England’s
Financial Policy Committee said they
expected house price inlation to pick
up in the coming months and would
be closely monitoring Britain’s buyto-let market, dominated by small
Housing market activity cooled
after tighter rules on mortgage
lending took efect last year, requiring
banks and building societies to make
more rigorous checks on whether
borrowers can aford their loans.
But mortgage approvals have
risen in six out of the last eight
months. House price igures from
rival mortgage lender Halifax are
due over the next week or so. It said
house prices rose strongly last month,
pushed up by a lack of property
coming onto the market. — Reuters
Asian emerging currencies
rebound against dollar
TOKYO: Asian currencies from the South Korean won to Malaysian ringgit
strengthened against the dollar on Wednesday with conidence returning to
trading loors as regional equity markets recovered ater a global rout.
But the greenback losses were likely to be short-lived as the Federal
Reserve readies to lit near-zero interest rates for the irst time in almost
a decade, analysts said. “It’s hard to see how any Asian currency will post
sustained, substantial gains in the fourth quarter, with losses versus the US
dollar likely to be the norm,” Sean Callow, a senior currency strategist at
Westpac Banking in Sydney, told Bloomberg News.
“We expect volatility to remain elevated as Asian policymakers struggle
with regional deceleration in growth, and yet more weeks and months of
debate over the Fed policy outlook.”
he won rose almost 1.5 per cent against the dollar, the Taiwan dollar
added 0.72 per cent, and the ringgit was 0.48 per cent higher.
he Indonesian rupiah gained 0.17 per cent, the Singapore dollar rose
0.16 per cent, and the hai baht was up 0.22 per cent. he Australian dollar
rose 0.12 per cent.
Dealers will be keeping an eye on a speech by Fed boss Janet Yellen later
in the day for a cue on the bank’s plan for monetary policy, her irst since
indicating last week that a hike in interest rates remains on the table for
2015. — AFP
seen dealers withdraw cash back to the
United States in search of better and
safer returns than in emerging markets.
“It’s hard to see how any Asian
currency will post sustained, substantial
gains in the fourth quarter, with losses
versus the US dollar likely to be the
norm,” said Sean Callow, a senior
currency strategist in Sydney at Westpac
Banking Corp.
“We expect volatility to remain
elevated as Asian policymakers struggle
with regional deceleration in growth,
and yet more weeks and months of
debate over the Fed policy outlook.”
he chances of a rise were
enhanced on Tuesday by data showing
US consumer conidence grew in
September, confounding forecasts for
a fall and following August’s strong
rebound as the economic recovery picks
Eyes are now on Yellen’s speech on
Wednesday. And on Friday the Labour
Department releases its employment
data for September, which will give a
clearer idea of the strength of the US
Sainsbury’s on course to beat proit forecasts
LONDON: British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s raised its full-year proit forecast on
Wednesday after posting a better than expected quarterly performance, raising hopes
that the battered sector could be hitting the bottom and sending its shares soaring.
Sainsbury’s, which has shown greater resilience to the rise of German discounters
Aldi and Lidl than its big four rivals, said its sales were still down in the 16 weeks to
September 26 but not as much as feared.
That put the group on course to beat its forecast for 2015-16 underlying proit
before tax and sent its shares up 11 per cent.
The bullish news, following nearly two years of caution, also boosted the shares of
rivals Tesco and Morrisons.
Asda, the inal member of the big four supermarkets, is owned by Wal-Mart.
“During the quarter we saw an improvement in our key trading metrics.
Both volume and transactions grew as the decline in average basket spend in
supermarkets continued to stabilise,” said Chief Executive Mike Coupe.
“Whilst the market is clearly still challenging, with food delation impacting many
categories, we are making good progress on delivering our strategy.”
The grocer said on Wednesday it now expected its 2015-16 underlying proit before
tax to be moderately ahead of the published consensus of £548 million ($831 million)
if current market trends continue.
That would be down from £681 million made in the 2014-15 year. — Reuters
A model poses with a 14kg gold violin and a 2004 1,000-ounce Vienna
Philharmonic gold bullion coin (L) during a press preview at the Ginza Tanaka
Jewellery shop in Tokyo yesterday. The gold violin made by Ginza Tanaka,
based on the Yamaha musical instruments company’s “YVN500S Stradivariustype” violin, is valued at 150 million yen ($1.25 million). — AFP
German inlation back to zero in September
FRANKFURT: Consumer prices in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, did not rise in
September, data showed on Tuesday, raising pressure on the ECB to prevent the wider
euro area from slipping into a dangerous cycle of falling prices. Germany’s national
inlation yardstick, the consumer price index, showed zero change this month, after
rising by a meagre 0.2 per cent the previous month, the federal statistics oice Destatis
And using the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) — the barometer used
by the European Central Bank — the inlation rate in Germany actually declined by
0.2 per cent year-on-year in September, the statisticians said. The ECB regards annual
inlation rates of close to but just under 2.0 per cent as conducive to healthy economic
growth and has recently launched a raft of measures to kickstart prices and push areawide inlation back up nearer that level.
A controversial programme of sovereign bond purchases, known as QE or
quantitative easing, was rolled out in March and initially appeared to work.
But the economic slowdown in China and depressed oil prices have pushed
inlation expectations back down again. The inlation data on Tuesday were a
preliminary lash estimate calculated from consumer price data for six of Germany’s
16 regional states. Final data based on all 16 states were scheduled to be published
on October 13. Analysts said the data will raise the heat on the ECB to step up its
anti-delation measures. “With inlation lirting with negative territory, the ECB should
get a little bit more nervous, although the fresh weakness in inlation looks to be a
temporary blip due to oil prices,” said Natixis economist Johannes Gareis. — AFP
OCTOBER 1 l 2015
India backs solar energy as Paris climate talks loom
nder a blistering
sun, workers install
a sea of solar panels
in a north Indian
desert as part of the
government’s clean
energy push — and its trump card at
upcoming climate change talks in Paris.
Ater years of betting big on highly
polluting coal, India is under huge
pressure to commit to cutting carbon
emissions ahead of the major meet
aimed at forging a global climate pact.
But the world’s third largest emitter
argues the burden should lie with
industrialised countries, which have
been accused of hypocrisy in heaping
demands on poorer nations.
Instead, Prime Minister Narendra
Modi’s government is banking on
increasing solar capacity ive-fold to help
cut crippling blackouts and bring power
to 300 million Indians currently living
without. he government is expected to
hike its renewable energy targets again
on hursday night when it becomes the
last major economy to release its pledges
for the Paris talks.
A cornerstone of its climate change
policy, the solar plans come even as
India boosts coal production to meet its
growing needs, ignoring calls to slash its
dependence on fossil fuels.
With its year-round sunshine, barren
plains and low-cost labour, the northern
desert state of Rajasthan lies at the heart
of Modi’s renewable energy ambitions.
“Solar gives you a steady income,
steady return. Here the main raw
material is the sun,” Ramakant Tibrewala,
chairman of Roha Dyechem, a local
company making food colours which
has jumped on the solar bandwagon.
A general view shows construction taking place at Roha Dyechem solar plant at Bhadla some 225 kms north of Jodhpur in the western Indian state of Rajasthan. — AFP
Ater investing Rs 800 million
($12 million), Tibrewala has built 67
glistening rows of panels in a Rajasthan
solar park, shared with four other local
companies and spread over 10,000
hectares (25,000 acres).
Tibrewala said he expects to be
connected to India’s main grid in the
coming weeks, producing 25 megawatts
of power, and hopes to see a return in
several years.
$100 billion needed:
With the
cost of manufacturing panels falling
and consumer demand rising, foreign
irms are also turning to India. Japan’s
SotBank, US-based SunEdison and
China giant Trina Solar have all pledged
investments in recent months
But much more money is needed
to reach the government’s current goal
of 100,000 megawatts of solar power by
2022, up from 20,000 at the moment.
Modi, a green energy enthusiast who
helped create solar parks in his home
state of Gujarat, has called for $100
billion in investment.
His government has pledged to
smooth the path in a country known
for its infuriating levels of red tape, as
well as providing tax breaks and other
incentives for interested companies.
“We do need money,” Upendra
Tripathy, the top oicial in the new and
renewable energy ministry, said.
Tripathy denied the government
was under international pressure to
transform its energy sector, saying
instead the “whole world” was impressed
by India’s ambitions.
“On its own, it (the government)
thinks it is good for the globe. And it
thinks it is good for the country,” he said.
‘Catastrophic’ coal: But even as India
hikes up solar power, the government
has vowed to double coal production
by 2020 to one billion tonnes to meet
the needs of its burgeoning economy,
which grew by seven per cent in the irst
quarter, matching China.
India, which sits on the world’s ith
largest coal reserves, already relies on
coal-ired power stations for 60 per cent
of its electricity.
Ater storming to victory at elections
last May, Modi pledged to bring
electricity to the millions of poor who
are not connected to the country’s overstretched power grid.
Experts warn India’s continuing
dependence on coal will be
environmentally devastating, and call
for a cap on emissions which are blamed
for climate change.
“For a growing country like India,
which will be requiring enormous
amounts of energy in the coming years...
to base its primary resource on coal
is going to be catastrophic, not only
for India but also for the world,” said
Krishnan Pallassana, India Director of
the nonproit Climate Group.
Modi came under pressure over the
issue during his trip to the US for the
ongoing UN General Assembly.
But the premier told a forum that the
focus should be “climate justice” rather
than climate action, saying rich countries
should help poorer ones which sufer the
most from rising sea levels and droughts
blamed on global warming.
US President Barack Obama, who
piled pressure on Modi during his visit
to New Delhi in January, urged world
leaders on Sunday to step up eforts for
a “strong” climate agreement at the yearend talks.
But Modi has said India will not be
forced into committing to a timeline on
curbing emissions.
“Developed countries must share
clean technology, provide inancial
assistance to the developing world to
combat climate change,” Modi said at
a September meeting of developing
countries in Delhi.
Central America cofee growers struggle Volkswagen’s home
to adapt to climate change
town announces
budget freeze
drian Hernandez says he
can’t remember a year
as dry as 2015, which
has nearly cost him his
farm and turned him
from a climate change sceptic into a true
Hernandez, who runs a cofee
plantation in northern Costa Rica, says
he is just barely scraping by ater tripling
the amount of fungicide he uses, paying
high irrigation bills and still harvesting
just a meager crop from his desiccated
“I didn’t used to believe much in
climate change, but now it’s plain to see.
Never in 23 years of running this farm
have we had a winter without rain,” said
Hernandez at his plantation in Barva de
Heredia, just north of the Costa Rican
Ironically, when the drought irst
began, it solved one of his problems:
the outbreak of cofee rust that has
devastated Central American crops for
the past three years — another sign of
climate change, according to experts.
Cofee rust, a fungus, thrives in hot,
damp conditions, so Hernandez said
he was initially happy to get some help
from the weather in ighting it.
But the rains didn’t just come late.
hey never came at all. he drought
lasted so long it threatened to wipe out
his crop, leaving him with ields full of
gaunt, withered plants.
“It’s hard to stay in business. We’ve
had to increase our fungicide treatments
from one to three a year. And if it doesn’t
rain, we pay high irrigation bills. We
end up just barely breaking even,” said
Hernandez, a 60-something man with
salt-and-pepper hair.
NEW NORMAL: Central America
is lanked by both the Atlantic and
Paciic Oceans, and bears the brunt of
the weather phenomena associated with
both: tropical depressions, hurricanes,
droughts and torrential rains.
As those phenomena become
more extreme, it is taking a heavy toll
on agriculture, said Rocio Cordoba, a
biologist who heads the regional climate
change program at the International
Union for Conservation of Nature
Coffee producer Adrian Hernandez inspects plants at his farm Altamira, in Barva Heredia, Heredia, 17 km north of San Jose.
Hernandez does not remember a year as dry as this one and says that only a rigorous management plan has allowed him to
stay afloat. — AFP
“We see signs that the climate is
changing,” she said.
“Before when farmers planted their
crops, they did it in line with the months
of the year. hat alignment doesn’t exist
anymore. he May rains arrive later, and
the dry spells don’t match the periods
we’re used to anymore.”
he key word in the new normal is
“adaptation,” she said — starting with
sound water management.
Millions of Central American
farmers were already facing the
devastating efects of cofee rust, which
broke out in 2012. Since then, 60 per
cent of the region’s plantations have been
hit, particularly on the Paciic coast.
hen came the drought, and things
got even worse.
“Because of the aggressiveness of
the rust and now the drought, a lot of
cofee growers have abandoned their
plantations. Some are thinking of selling
their land to be parcelled up,” said
Francisco Ayala, a cofee grower from
“Because of the
aggressiveness of the rust
and now the drought,
a lot of coffee growers
have abandoned their
plantations. Some are
thinking of selling their land
to be parcelled up.”
the Tecapa Chinameca mountain range
in eastern El Salvador.
bean prices have meanwhile been
slumping along with those of many
other commodities — hitting their
lowest level in 19 months in August,
according to the International Cofee
In Central America, which produces
about nine per cent of the world’s cofee,
farmers struggle to ind the money to
invest in adapting to climate change.
Experts say the new conditions
require more intensive care of the plants
— pruning, weeding, fungicides and
other treatments — which is of course
more expensive.
“We have to monitor and renew our
crops to have plants that are primed
to produce. We haven’t paid enough
attention to that,” said agricultural
engineer Ricardo Rodriguez of the
Costa Rican Cofee Institute.
Growers are increasingly trying out
new, more resistant varieties like Ovata
from Brazil and Geisha from Ethiopia.
But it’s a slow and expensive process
to switch. he industry employs some
two million people in the region, and
governments have launched various
programs to ofer inancial and technical
“hat helps,” said Rodriguez.
But governments and international
organisations need to do more, he said.
“We need to understand that to deal
with climate change, cofee plantations
will have to be managed very diferently
than they have been in the past.” — AFP
olkswagen’s home town of Wolfsburg in northern Germany
has imposed an immediate freeze on spending and hiring
in case its inances are hit by the massive pollution test scam
enguling the carmaker, city oicials announced.
“Even if our town is debt-free and we’ve been able to build up reserves,
we can expect to see a sharp drop in business tax,” Wolfsburg’s Mayor
Klaus Mohrs said in a statement.
“It is still too early to talk about concrete numbers. But it seems clear
to us that we can already expect a sharp drop in business tax revenues this
year,” Mohrs said.
Wolfsburg’s budget amounted to nearly 430 million euros ($484
million) this year and the business tax VW has to pay, calculated on the
basis of its annual turnover, is an important source of revenue for the
town’s cofers.
“As an immediate measure, I have ordered an immediate budget
freeze and a hiring
freeze for the town
Projects which
had already begun
would continue,
but new ones will
be put on ice for
“For the time
being, the town
will not hire any Activists hold up a sign reading “Stop Lying” at a
Greenpeace protest outside Volkswagen headquarters
new employees. in Wolfsburg. — AFP
But no-one must
fear for their job,”
Mohrs said. he mayor said he had a number of talks with Volkswagen
in the last few days.
“I set great trust in the management. In our town’s interest, I hope that
the situation will be cleared up quickly and thoroughly. Volkswagen will
ind its way out of the crisis,” he said.
he town of Wolfsburg, situated around 200 kilometres west of Berlin,
was founded in 1938 with the construction of the irst factory to build the
carmaker’s iconic Beetle model.
It has a population of around 124,000, more than half of which works for
VW. And the town’s skyline is dominated by the sprawling manufacturing
plant and a massive version of the group’s blue-and-white circular logo.
Volkswagen also sponsors and inances a long list of sporting and
cultural activities in the town, including its premiere league soccer club,
VfL Wolfsburg. hanks to the corporate giant, Wolfsburg boasts an
unemployment rate that is lower than the national average.
“Here we say that when Volkswagen catches a cold, we get pneumonia,”
one of the town’s residents, Carsten Steinbach, said last week. — AFP
For Sale
DENTAL Clinic (modern
class) at Sohar.
Excellent condition.
AUTOMOTIVE batteries
for sale in bulk. Contact
in Yanqul, Buwairdah
area irst line on the
main road. No 79.
Area 37,947 m2 the
land is near Yanqul,
Buraimi, Sohar and Ibri
crossroad. Preliminary
approval for division
into 51 plots including
8 commercial and
43 residential. In the
process of transferring
it into one commercial
plot. Price RO 240,000.
Approx. RO 6 per
metre. (94056332/
Equipment for sale
seater Toyota Coaster
2011 — 12 Nos. MAN
Prime movers 4x2.
Ton cranes
For Sale
USED portacabin
(5 Nos) for sale.
Interested parties
may contact
Mr Arif on GSM
No 99259157/
92332088 at NTS
Ghala Camp for
inspection. Sealed
offers should be
submitted on or
before 17.03.2015.
Forklift Fuel Tanker
Vacuum Tanker
Ton Mt Pick up
Contact (99465358,
behind GUtech is
offered for sale. The
land enjoys a permit for
twin villa
2) A LAND is for sale
in Al Maabela 8 owner.
in Al Hajir Wilayat
Al Amerat square
(3) plot No. (219),
For Sale
area of 600 square
metre price RO
6800. (94056332/
DELUXE fast food
restaurant in Prime
location in Muscat.
maintained Household
items for immediate
sale at throw away
price (99047440
PRIME location in
Shatti Al Qurum
for Sale. Ideal for
restaurant/ Coffee
Shop Fast Food
E mail
[email protected]
commercial plot at
Seeb Souq irst line
on the main road) area
309m2 No. 157, open
corner from four sides.
Permit for ground loor
+ 3 levels + penthouse.
Final Price RO
(approx. RO 900 per
metre). (94056332/
1) 2 bedrooms, 2
bathroom, kitchen, living
room, store with split unit
Air conditioner in Ruwi
Rex road.
LAND in Amerat,
3,000sq with petrol
pump permission.
2 FLOOR house at Al
Hail North. Each floor: 3
bedrooms, 3 bathrooms,
kitchen, store, 1 sitting
room. (92133551,
excellent location
in Salalah with
equipment and
workers. (93397812.
A VILLA in Al Ansab 3, 7
rooms, 7 toilets, two
kitchens, living room +
annex, RO 750.
VILLA next to Lulu,
Sohar (94354993.
A FLAT for rent in Al
Ghubra North, adjoined
to Masjid A’Safa —
outstanding location. The
flat after the crossroad of
the Indian School towards
Al Athaiba. The flat,
which is on the first floor,
consists of 2 vast rooms
— each with its toilets,
wide/big majlis/living
room with attached toilet.
The area and floor of the
building is clean and
luxurious. Only for
families. Price: 350/-.
VILLA in Al Ansab
Three Phase, 7 bedrooms,
7 toilets, majlis, hall, 2
kitchen and external
extension. RO 800 per
month. (99220443.
by Bill Watterson
by Jim Davis
by Brian Basset
AN apartment consists of
two bedrooms, two toilets,
a kitchen and a living
room is offered for rent in
Sidab. (99455397,
TWO big bedroom flat
with two bathrooms,
dining hall and kitchen in
Darsait near to
Indian Schools (beach
face). Monthly rent:
RO 260/- including
water and electricity.
Call (95131026,
FULLY furnished
apartment Bareeq Al
Shatti. (99888417.
Situation Wanted
SEMI furnished 2 & 3
BHK flats at Bausher near Atlas Hospital.
(99348493/ 93200424/
2) Basement 580 square
metre (new building).
Contact. (99833369.
LAND (Residence)
in Qantab Muscat
governorate irst row
on the beach
price 280,000
(900 Omani Rial
per square metre).
OCTOBER 1 l 2015
Looks at books, iguratively (6)
Note the genuine but wraithlike
nature (8)
A noted loch — one to cross? (6)
In short, a bit of better service (5)
Pay out around the end of
October, please (4)
A photograph should be sharp (4)
She’s groovy at the fashion centre
Benjamin’s predicament (3)
Circular enclosure easy to get into
Scandinavian style of loaf (4)
Timberland gang needing to be
driven home (9)
He has record support (4)
One with branches everywhere?
A well-known weedkiller (3)
Victim of ‘13 Across’, it’s said (4)
With which to beat one’s golf
opponent? (4)
Can he look right into the future?
Run ater Charlie East (5)
Are you a quarter of an hour in
picking the irst? (6)
In bed, you could eat it for
something to do (8)
Might one leave close friends for
these old hags? (6)
In which, presumably, there is hot
competition (5)
Name for a girl or hat maybe (5)
Being let out raises some
cheerfulness (4)
Not all subalterns maybe so
vigilant (5)
A squirrel is quite at home in one
Junior service organized by father
City wherein a little house is in a
real mess (6)
Finish up in Harpenden (3)
here’s something about it going
round and round (5)
he chap who said I scream for ice
cream? (7)
SALES or store in
charge, Indian male,
31, looking for
suitable vacancy in
any reputed company,
7 years of experience
with driving licence
willing to work in any
GCC country. Contact
E mail
[email protected]
NETWORK engineer,
2 years experience
with ability to work in
ield CCNA
background. Contact
MALE, 24 years, BCom
IT having 3.5 years
experience in Accounts
& IT. Good knowledge
of computer hardware,
Tally MS Word
Excel, Powerpoint &
Photoshop etc. Looking
for suitable job,
currently on visit visa.
Contact (91298960.
E mail usman ali Can join
PIPING design
engineer, Indian
4 Drinking tubes (6)
HSE operations,
10 years, logistics
site co ordination
seeking placement,
NOC available. Contact
Bellow (4)
Wavy (6)
Portly (6)
Delve (3)
Errand (5)
Earn (7)
Objection (3)
Sick (3)
Clergyman (6)
Sounds surprised (5)
Charge (3)
Fish eggs (3)
Courteous (6)
Fish (3)
Corner (5)
Shotgun (5)
River-mouth (5)
Suggestion (4)
Curved structure (4)
ACROSS: 1, Tumble 7, Template 8,
Trio 10, Sharon 11, Canape 14, Ton
16, Rites 17, Stew 19, Gavel 21, Rebel
22, Remit 23, Blot 26, Divan 28, See
29, United 30, Curate 31, Read 32,
Entrance 33, Whence.
DOWN: 1, hesis 2, Barrow 3, Eton
4, Apparel 5, Carat 6, Cedes 8, Tate
9, Ion 12, Nil 13, Pesto 15, Rabid 18,
Train 19, Gem 20, Vet 21, Renewal
22, Rat 23, Berate 24, Lead 25, Twelve
26, Dunes 27, Vista 28, Sue 30, Crew.
by Jan Eliot
Muttrah . . . . . . . 24797602
Quriyat . . . . . . . 24845001 . . . . 24845003
SQH, Salalah. . . 23211555 . . . . 23211151
Police. . . . . . . . . 24603988 . . . . 24603980
Al Nahda . . . . . . 24831255 . . . . 24837800
Ibn Sina. . . . . . . 24876322 . . . . 24877361
Nizwa. . . . . . . . . 25439361 . . . . 25425033
Al Rustaq. . . . . . 26875055 . . . . 26877186
Samayil . . . . . . . 25350055 . . . . 25350022
Izki . . . . . . . . . . . 25340033 . . . . 25340033
ACROSS: 1, B-light 7, Williams 8,
Lid-O 10, Guid-ES 11, Act-IÕve 14,
Sew 16, Kites 17, R-oar 19, D-oyen
21, Tiber 22, Dud-ES 23, F-E-AR 26,
Witan 28, Tar 29, A-cum-EN 30,
Decant 31, Rats 32, Con-Vince 33,
DOWN: 1, Banger 2, Glider 3, Twos
4, Slacker 5, Can it 6, (the) A-sheÕs
8, Lisa 9, Dew 12, Tin 13, Vesta 15,
Sober 18, Optic 19, Did 20, Ye-s 21,
Tune-d in 22, Dam 23, F-actor 24, ERAS 25, R-otter 26, Wat-Ch. 27, Tunny
28, Tea 30, Drew.
Health Services Department
A very special
relationship will
go through an
important and
decisive phase
in the coming
year. You will
have the chance
to see things
in their proper
perspective and
weigh the good
and bad against
each other. New
will give the
you crave.
male, 27, looking for
suitable placement
in piping design and
engineering. Having 7
years of experience in
AutoCad, also familiar
with PDMs (11.6
version), (CAESAR II).
Contact (97351786/
E mail
[email protected]
Day after today (8)
Fruit (6)
Decree (5)
Entrance (4)
Accompanied by (4)
Crooked (4)
Kind (3)
Work (4)
Unattractive (4)
Brotherly (9)
Nobleman (4)
Staffs (4)
Female deer (3)
Rescue (4)
Poke (4)
Sharpen (4)
Stage whisper (5)
Generous (6)
Arthurian knight (8)
Colonise (6)
Scatter (5)
Entire range (5)
Worry (4)
Faint (5)
15 A ruddy Letist! (3)
16 Hardly unhinged talk! (3)
18 he darling of a very sot-hearted
bard (6)
20 Old doctor’s assistant or general
companion (5)
21 Little less than seven days (3)
22 Weep not in silence (3)
23 Such ilms can be pretty frightful
25 Transport from Wembley Central
to the States (3)
28 Lies in a forest, secluded (5)
30 Creature said to have emerged
from a volcano (5)
31 Manly sign of warm-heartedness
in bed? (5)
32 Indication of light-heartedness in
crime? (4)
33 Some buccaneers from Malacca
INDIAN male,
27 years, BCom,
pursuing inal
with 5+ years
of experience,
seek suitable
placement in
Finance Accounts
Holding valid
Saudi D/L. Contact
Haima . . . . . . . . 23436013 . . . . 23436055
Sohar . . . . . . . . . 26840022 . . . . 26840099
Al Buraimi. . . . . 25650855 . . . . 25652319
Sur . . . . . . . . . . . 25440244 . . . . 25461373
Tanam . . . . . . . . 25499011 . . . . 25499033
Masirah . . . . . . . 25404018 . . . . 25404018
Ibra. . . . . . . . . . . 25470533 . . . . 25470535
Adam. . . . . . . . . 25434167 . . . . 25434055
Bidiyah . . . . . . . 25483535 . . . . 25483535
Ibri . . . . . . . . . . . 25491011 . . . . 25491990
Saham . . . . . . . . 26854427 . . . . 26855148
Khasab . . . . . . . 26830187 . . . . 26830187
Daba . . . . . . . . . 26836443 . . . . 26836443
Bukha . . . . . . . . 26828397 . . . . 26828397
Sinaw. . . . . . . . . 25474338
September 23October 22
October 23November 21
November 22December 21
December 22January 20
January 21February 19
February 20March 20
Don’t begrudge the time needed
to train a youngster. he sooner
he becomes proicient, the sooner
he will be in a position to relieve
you of some of your work.
A very harmonious collaboration
could easily be spoiled if you let
your temper get the better of you
on the slightest provocation.
A friend who is grateful to you for
your past help will come up with
a generous ofer which you should
accept if you feel that it is sincerely
Don’t tie yourself down to a strict
schedule today, as there is the
chance of an unexpected visitor
with whom you might want to
spend some time.
Try to settle an argument with a
neighbour before it gets serious.
Give and take must be a part
of life, as no one can have their
own way all the time.
A member of your social circle
seems to bear you a grudge for
reasons unknown to you and
could do you some harm unless
you are on your guard.
March 21April 20
April 21May 20
May 21June 21
June 22July 21
July 22August 21
August 22September 22
he awareness of having some spare
cash tucked away should not tempt
you to go and make an extravagant
purchase, which you would regret in
a few days’ time.
You may be called upon to come
to the assistance of a close relative,
and by responding immediately
you will not only give badly needed help but also peace of mind.
Although you may be tempted to
gamble on a “sure thing” don’t spend
more than you can truly aford to
lose. he information may not be all
that reliable.
If you are ofered an opportunity
for quicker advancement than you
can hope for in your present job,
don’t let misplaced loyalty keep you
from accepting it.
The company of someone you met under rather unusual circumstances may
be very pleasant, but it would be very
risky to rely too much on is judgement
until you know him better.
A friend whom you consider to
be very loyal may let you down
badly, and you must not let this
afect your relationship with everyone else.
OCTOBER 1 l 2015
Situation Vacant
LEADING Manpower
Agency, Required to
hine local agent to
recmuit Housekeeping
workers from India.
Salary offer RO 1000.
[email protected]
URGENTLY required
Expatriate Heavy
Duty Drivers JCB
Operators with valid
Omani licence. Send
your CV to [email protected]
Contact: (99890076,
93894018, Fax:
Waitresses & Male
Housekeepers in
Dolphin Hotel, Muscat.
contact: (24488192.
Please send CV to:
[email protected]
required: SME
contractors interested
in telecom side — civil
and underground
telephone cable
laying work — may
contact Mr S Ravi
(99424605 or Mr
Sayed .(99358733
of National Telephone
Services Co LLC
THE Arabian Training
and Safety Co is looking
to hire trainers holders
of NABOSH. Kindly
communicate through
[email protected]
REPUTED Industrial
Service irm looking for
Omani nationals for the
following placement:
1) PRO (Omani male).
2) Of ice
Administrator cum
Accountant (Omani
male). a) Good
knowledge of English
reading, writing and
speaking. b) Good
computer skill.
3) Driver light vehicle
(Omani male).
Send your CV to:
alzul i eim ae
WE are hiring Dental
Lab Technicians.
Please send your CV
to [email protected] or fax to
AL Hikmani for
— With a host of
services including
the following: Hiring
luxurious coaches,
arranging weekly
trips, preparing
visas for expats
at cost-effective
price, including
transport, housing,
meals and visits to
shrine locations.
Land and air trips
weekly. (99311310,
99361982, 99707248,
Situation Vacant
1. AC maintenance
and servicing.
2. Fridge, washing
machine and dish
washer repairing.
3. Painting and
cleaning services. 4.
Electrical, plumbing
and carpentry
work (97014234,
If you would like to
know more about
Islam, please call:
Tel : 99425598, 96050000,
99353988, 99253818,
99341395, 99379133, For
ladies: 99415818,
99321360, 99730723
Or visit:
Commercial Building
and Civil Projects.
Al Waseet Manpower
Supply, healthcare,
hotel management,
restaurants and
coffee shops and
many others skilled
E-mail: [email protected]
WE offer you the
Business Services:
Maintenance of
buildings and villas for
paint and carpentry
and decoration works
and installation of
material water proof
and cleaning services
building management
and leasing of real
estate (Out motto is
to provide quality
in all our business).
Muscat Renaissance
and Investment.
A/C Maintenance &
Servicing; 2. Fridge,
Washing Machine
& Dish washer
repairing; 3. Painting
& cleaning services; 4.
Electrical & Plumbing
Carpentry work.
Contact: (99447257,
97014234, 24504281.
Nurse General
Nurse preferably MoH
licence, Al Khoudh.
E-mail: [email protected]
com (24540056
URGENTLY required
Site Foreman/
Supervisor for Ajadeer
United Co. E-mail:
[email protected]
com (94477485
A WELL reputed
company in Muscat
looking for immediate
Factory manager
Steel Rolling Mill
Marketing Manager
Finance Manager
IT Supervisor
URGENTLY required
Filipina female
Cook, 35-40 above.
(999660847, [email protected]
(: 24785668 Behind
Oman Police Adjacent to
Dhofar Building, Ruwi
Contact 99754857
For Rent
Situation Wanted
7. Driver
Quali ication Speci ied
Degree with minimum
of 10 years experience.
Those who meet
the above and who
are self motivated
can send their CV to
[email protected]
AutoCAD, 3DMax,
Stadpro, primavera,
Computer basics, Advaced
Excel,, Become
GRAPHIC Designer
required in Bausher
with 2 to 4 years
experience, excellent
knowledge in
Coreldraw, Illustrator
and Photoshop. Please
send your resume with
professional portfolio
to: [email protected]
Filipino housemaids
and all kinds of
workers. (24489268
Tel:/Fax: 24478153,
Al-Sinani Manpower —
labourers & housemaid
from Indonesia, Kenya,
Uganda and other
countries. Al Suwaiq.
To communicate
INDIAN male, 26 years,
Business Management,
knows MS Of ice
Arabic, 5 years in Oman.
Contact (93931935
11 YEARS experience
in Oman in leet
purchasing of ice work
hotel and transport.
10 years Oman driving
licence seeking
immediate placement.
Situation Wanted
Engineer, having
PG diploma in oil
& gas piping and
level two NDT,
seeks immediate
placement in any
industry at present
on visit visa. Contact
INDIAN female, 26
years, B Com, CA,
Inter with 4 years
HAVING A LTV licence,
experience, seek
5 years old, B.Com +
placement in Accounts.
Familiar in Computer,
currently doing mobiles Contact (94045427
marketing looking for
job in sales or related.
Contact (97784041,
[email protected] foreman looking for
a suitable position
in ield real estate or
production. Contact
Master Degree from
British Universities in
INDIAN male, 28 years
Project Planning and
National Development, wanted opportunity in
IT Certified in redhat
long experience in
linux (RHCE) and oracle
Oman in planning,
DBA, have 3 years of
preparation of
hand on experience in
feasibility studies,
economic and inancial Networking, Clisco
routers and swithces,
analysis of companies,
Outlook, S/W
identi ication
Installations. Contact
and evaluation
(95406864. E-mail:
of investment
[email protected]
implementation and
follow up of projects,
various administrative · · · · ·
activities. (99246820 INDIAN male
Accountant with 15
years experience in
INDIAN, male, BE
Oman available for
in Electrical and
immediate joining,
electronics with Post
NOC available.
Graduate Diploma
Contact (99881355,
in Power Systems
(Transmission and
distribution), seeks
placement. Presently in
INDIAN lady Chartered
Oman on visit. Contact
Accountant is looking
(94669679. E-mail:
for part-time job.
[email protected] Having very good
INDIAN female, 26
years, BSc, MSc,
Worked as senior
systems engineer
at infosys for 2.5
years. Seeking
suitable positions
in computer/ IT
ield currently on
family visa. Contact
WORKERS’ Campus,
shops, workshops,
stores in a building
in Al Misfah, Wilayat
Bausher based in a
300 square-metre
industrial no-man
land and surrounded
with a street. The
building includes 10
lats four of which
have two bedrooms,
sitting room, toilet,
kitchen four lats
have a bedroom,
sitting room, toilet,
kitchen and two lats
have a bedroom,
toilet and kitchen.
(95671070. E-mail:
[email protected]
Engineer, 24 years.
Indian male looking
for immediate job.
Presently in Oman
(NOC available) Contact
BE computer science,
Indian male, looking for
suitable job in the field
of software or in
information technology
having good knowledge
in Java, ASP Net, MSSLL,
MS Word. Contact
[email protected]
Good News
Treatment, Yoga
Massage & slimming.
Web address: www.
(Partnership) registered
experience in accounts, under the Commercial
audit, banking,
Register of the
budgeting, project
Commerce and Industry
(pursuing), having 10+ financing etc. (more
years work experience than 7 years experience Ministry, No 1225419
brings to your attention
in sales, marketing,
in Oman. Visa needed.
that it’s transforming
customer service &
Contact: (93134506.
its legal form from
hospitality holding valid
Partnership company
UAE D/L, seeks suitable · · · · ·
to Limited Partnership
opening. Contact
company as per the
(90155937, [email protected]
supervisor, Indian male, article (13) bis of the
30, looking for suitable Commercial Companies
vacancy in any reputed Law No. 4/74 and its
company. Having 5
amendments. It is also
CSIT Computer
years of Gulf experience changing its commercial
Engineering B-Tech
willing to work in any
name to Gulf Leadership
presently working as
GCC country. Contact
Enterprises Trad. Those
a Network & System
(97756269. E-mail:
who are objecting the
Engineer Having
[email protected] transformation shall ile
excellent experience
reasons of objection at
looking for a placement · · · · ·
the Secretariat of the
(968 91006851
Commercial Register
INDIAN male, 26
Mohd Nadeem
of the Ministry of
years MBA inance
Ullah Khan. E-mail:
Commerce and Industry
[email protected]
within 2 months
of publishing this
currently working.
NOC available. Contact
FOR rent Al Khuwair
17/1 two storey
building semi
furnished with total
9 rooms, 7 bathroom,
2 kitchens and car
park, monthly rent
RO 1400/= can be
used as a single
villa as two lats
Contact owner
FLAT in Sidab, 2
bedroom, 2 toilets,
2 kitchen and 2 hall.
Contact (98158008.
2 BHK at Rex Road
behind Muscat
Bakery and Al Falaj
Height RO 400/-. One
BHK at Ruwi Police
Station RO 300/-. 3
BHK behind Technical
college RO 400/- and
2 BHK Wattayah
near the Mosque
RO 400/- all with
split A/C. Contact
(24790449. E-mail:
[email protected]
A FULLY equipped
Turkish interlocking
concrete paver and
bricks factory and
Turkish machinery
for rent. Contact
3 NEW spacious
lats in Al Amerat
(3 rooms, 3 toilets,
kitchen, store)
Vehicle for Sale
PORSHE Cayenne S
2004 white, 16,500
kms, valid
30/12/2015, very
good condition RO
4,750. (94056332.
For Rent
HOUSE in old Muscat
town on the Bab
Muthaib street,
consists of 5
bedrooms, living
room and kitchen.
BRAND new building
in Walja with 1 BHK,
2 BHK, office space
and shops available
and fitted with split
AC. (98218279.
FOR serious people only
— Flat in Al Khuwair, 2
bedrooms, sitting room
and kitchen. Opposite
Badr al Samaa Hospital.
(91979580, 98003444
SINGLE bedroom flat
near to Indian School Al
Ghubrah. (99203954.
FURNISHED lats with
daily and monthly
rent. (93204595,
93203481-2, 24487827.
FAMILY only)
Flats in a new building
in Al Hamriya, airconditioned (two rooms,
kitchen, two toilets) for
RO 220 per month.
A flat (bedroom sitting
room, toilet, kitchen) for
RO 180 per month).
NON cooking bachelor
available at Darsait near
ISD. (99346813.
FULLY furnished
apartment Bareeq Al
Shatti. (99888417.
FLAT in Al Hamriya.
HOUSING complex
consist of 4 new villas
spacious with high
quality materials in Al
Qurum, with car parks
inside and out, each
villa consists of 4 floors
(basement, ground, first
and penthouse). All
villas have 8 bedrooms
+ 2 sitting + 2 living + 1
dining + 1 large kitchen
+ preparation kitchen,
overlooking the beach
and Crowne Plaza.
Monthly cost of rent RO
2,900 per villa.
(94056332, 24702522
commercial building for
rent — flats, offices and
showroom (656 sqm
suitable for clinics).
Location: Sohar, Al
Wagaba Round Port,
Near to Bank of Sohar.
Call: (99064566 &
LINCOLN Navigator 4
WD 1998, silver and
black, 200,000 kms,
valid 25/12/2015,
good condition RO
1,600. (94056332.
36 FLATS and 8 shops +
basement for rent in
Ghala, Ghubra & Wadi
Kabir, near Indian
School after Bahwan
residential complex. All
Flats with one bedroom
and sitting room.
Reasonable price.
95098103, 92283444.
[email protected]
Gel (Cockroaches),
Public Health
Snake repellent, Rodent
other insect
repellent from
Ltd UK.
Rent a Car
SPECIAL Rates on
New Cars & 4 WDs
Tours and Airport Transfer
Tel: 24582663
GSM: 95859497,
Fax: 24582664,
[email protected]
Tel: 24787606 / 24787503
Fax: 24787607
E-mail: [email protected]
P. O. Box: 565, Wadi Kabir,
Postal Code: 117,
RUWI (: 24785668
BUTTER Cup Rent a
Car Competitive
prices — New cars
2016. ( 97249449
attractive prices
for all cars and car
renting with driver.
( 93204595,
MONIR Ahmed has
lost Bangladeshi
passport No
B1051087. Finder
please handover to
AMJAD Hussain
has lost Pakistani
passport No
EP6891292. Finder
please handover to
in Pest Control Service,
Bedbug Treatment, Rodent
Treatment, Snake Treatment
and Termite Treatment
(Pre and Post Construction).
Behind Royal Oman Police
For Sale/Rent
Watching Tour.
Every Day 8 am
and 10 am. For
91162534. E-mail:
[email protected] Web:
coraloceantours. com
VILLAS for sale/
rents WADI
Shops of ices
for rent/ Al
(Flats for rent/
Wadi Kabir).
For Rent
FLATS for rent at
FLATS for rent in Al
Khuwair, Al Hail, Wadi
Kabir, Al Falaj, MBD
and Muttrah.
95250300/ 24813002.
FLATS in Al Ghubra, 2
bedrooms, hall, near
Indian School, Way
No. 4039, building No.
4250. Contact
2 STOREY villa in South
Al Maabela consists of
2 sitting rooms, 4
bedrooms each of
which has their own
toilet, two living rooms
and a kitchen and
located near
a source of water
supply is offered for
rent. Contact
2 STOREY villa
encompasses 2 majlis
along with toilets, 2
living rooms and 3
bedrooms along with
toilets and located in a
nearby place in
Maabela supplied
with water
service. Contact
FOR rent industrial
area land with all
facilities in
Rusayl. Contact
has 11 outlets
and 8 flats is
offered for rent.
Available on UNBEATABLE prices
Rent A Car
with 3 in 1 Printer
RO 13.300 only
All Cartridge also
on UNBEATABLE prices
AII HP, Epson, Canon,
Lexmark, Samsung
Cartridges also available
 Rent a car for 10
days and get an
extra free day.
 Rent for one month
and get 5 days free.
All the cars are
2016 brand new
special prices for
public departments,
companies and longterm contracts.
Guest House
Ruwi: 24792-792
[email protected]
For Rent
luxurious flat is for rent.
The flat consists of 3
large bedrooms + 3
sitting rooms + 5 toilets
+ kitchen and furnished
store + 2 big balconies +
heat and soundproof
walls and roof + airconditioned, decorated,
independent entrance
and elevator.
Total area is 3,250 sq
metres. It is located in
Murtaf’at al Ansab,
Bausher. It is offered
against a final price of
RO 550. Contact
(92851519, 97714433.
SPACIOUS outlets and
offices (commercial
building) in Suq A’Seeb
opposite to Al Ma’wali
Complex (second line of
the public road),
equipped with toilets for
RO 250 per a month for
outlet and RO 150 per
month for office.
(94056333, 24702522.
Car For Rent
For Rent
FULLY furnished 3
BHK accommodation
with all spacious
rooms in a villa at
Darsait near ISD.
VILLA for rent: 6
bedrooms, 1 sitting
room, 2 halls, 1
kitchen and 1
pantry. Al Mawaleh
South phase 3 close
to Al Sahwah
roundabout, first
line behind Amwag
perfume factory.
A ONE floor house
behind German
University of
Technology in Halban
is offered for rent.
The house contains 4
bedrooms, living room,
a kitchen and 3 toilets.
3 BEDROOM flat at Al
Khuwair. Contact:
LUXURIOUS residential
complex of new and big
4 villas with high
quality finishing,
located in Al Qurum.
For Rent
executive flats in Al
Khuwair opposite
Grand Mall. Each,
three bedrooms,
maid’s room,
laundry sitting,
dining and large
family hall. Parking,
security system and
elevator. Penthouse
gives splendid view
of Al Khuwair.
2) SIX bedroom twin
villa, Athaiba near
Health Centre.
The complex has in-and
out-housing parking.
Each villa has 4 floors
(basement, lands, first
+ upper floor). Each
has 8 bedrooms, two
living rooms, dining
room, large kitchen
subordinate kitchen, 8
toilets and annex). The
complex overlooks the
sea and Crowne Plaza
Hotel. Rent is RO 2,900
Ali al Maashari: 99639264 [email protected]
Mohammed al Rashdi: 99841230 [email protected]
For Rent
FLAT for rent in
3 master rooms.
per month.
NEW villa in Al Khoudh
6 is offered for rent.
The premise comprises
6 bedrooms, male
majlis, female majlis, a
split unit airconditioned family
living room and 8
toilets. (99668686.
A 2-STOREY villa with 5
bedrooms each of
which has a toilet + two
sitting rooms and
kitchen, located near a
source of water is
offered for rent. Contact
FLATS in a new
residential building in
Al Hamriya. AC, 1 room
+ small hall + kitchen
+ 1 toilet, RO 190.
Contact. (94056333,
2 BEDROOM flat in Al
Ghubra near Oman Oil
18 November Street,
RO 330 monthly.
(99333479 or
FLATS for rent at
Darsait near to Ministry
of Sports interested
candidates please
contact: (92225523.
DIRECT: 24649595 — FAX : 24649590
Prayag dazzles at ISC badminton 
Verstappen speeds past new milestone 
Becker upsets Chardy in Malaysia Open 
[email protected]
MADRID: Barcelona and Bayern
Munich enjoyed encouraging home wins
on Tuesday in the Champions League,
against Bayer Leverkusen and Dynamo
Defending champions Barcelona,
without the injured Lionel Messi, came
from behind to beat Leverkusen 2-1,
on late goals from Sergi Roberto
and Luis Suarez.
Bayern caned Zagreb 5-0
with a hat-trick from
the in-form
ENGLISH WOES: Chelsea crashed 2-1 at Porto
on goals from Andre and Maicon, and Arsenal
lost 3-2 at home to lively Olympiakos
L e w an d ow s k i
plus goals from Douglas
Costa and Mario Goetze.
English woes in the competition
Chelsea crashed 2-1 at Porto on goals
from Andre and Maicon, and Arsenal
lost 3-2 at home to lively Olympiakos
— partly thanks to a shaky display from
Arsenal keeper David Ospina, who
scored a clumsy own goal.
“he most basic thing in football is
a defensive set-play,” said Chelsea boss
Mourinho ater the defeat in Porto,
where he irst made a name for himself
as a coach.
“We had chances to get a positive
result, and we had a clear penalty —
so for me I am not here to criticise the
players. I am not going to point the
inger, but two mistakes cost us the
game. he team played well against
a diicult opponent. he Champions
League brings a diferent atmosphere.”
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger whose team have yet to pick up their irst
point — said ater the meltdown against
Olympiakos: “It is still possible of course
to qualify, but it is diicult to swallow
losing a game like that. We lost it on a
lack of defensive concentration and bad
luck. hey had four shots on goal, and
we conceded three goals.”
He lamented the concession of the
decisive goal one minute ater Arsenal
had leveled at 2-2.
“We give them a goal again straight
away,” Wenger said. “If it stays 2-2 for
ive minutes we win the game.”
Valencia won 1-0 on Tuesday in Lyon
on a goal from Sophiane Feghouli;
Roma crashed 3-2 at BATE Borisov,
for whom Filip Mladenovic bagged a
brace; Dynamo Kiev won 2-0 at Maccabi
Tel Aviv; and Zenit beat Gent 2-1.
champions had to work hard to
overcome the absence of Messi plus an
injury to captain Andres Iniesta.
Yet another blunder from young
goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen gave
Leverkusen the lead, when Ter Stegen
allowed Kyriakos Papadopoulos to head
in a corner in the 23rd minute.
Barca then dominated, but Neymar hit
the post and Leverkusen keeper Bernd
Leno pulled of several spectacular saves.
In the 80th minute, supersub Sergi
Roberto made it 1-1 ater a clever
sweeping move.
Just two minutes later Suarez hit
the winner with a powerful irst-time
drive, ater good work down the right by
youngster Munir.
he late win put Barca atop Group E
with four points, with Leverkusen and
Borisov on three and Roma with one.
“he great news is that we are now
top,” Barca hero Suarez said.
“It was normal that we should miss
Messi, but we showed a lot of character
and persistence tonight.”
Barca coach Luis Enrique complained
about some fans in the Camp Nou
jeering their own team when they were
“I would understand that if the team
was not running or trying,” he said.”But
they never stopped trying, and in the
end they were given their just reward.”
In Group F, Bayern’s Lewandowski
continued his sensational form with a
hat-trick against hapless Zagreb.
“here is just no stopping Robert at
the moment — he is really magniicent
now,” Bayern midielder hiago
Alcantara said.
“But this win was not just down to
him, I think. We all played our part
tonight. It was another great team
performance from us.”
Bayern are top with six points, then
come Olympiakos and Zagreb on three
and Arsenal — whose next match is in
Munich — at zero.
Dynamo Kiev leapt to the top of
Group G with their win in Israel.
hey are level on four points with
Porto, while Chelsea have three and
Maccabi zero.
In Group H, Zenit are top with six
points, followed by Valencia on three,
then Lyon and Gent with one apiece.
— dpa
Group E
At Barcelona: Barcelona (ESP) 2 (Sergio Roberto 80,
Suarez 82) Bayer Leverkusen (GER) 1 (Papadopoulos
At Barysaw: BATE Borisov (BLR) 3 (Stasevich 8,
Mladenovic 12, 30) AS Roma (ITA) 2 (Gervinho 66,
Torosidis 82)
Group F
At Munich: Bayern Munich (GER) 5 (Costa 13,
Lewandowski 22, 28, 55, Goetze 25) Dinamo Zagreb
(CRO) 0
At London: Arsenal (ENG) 2 (Walcott 35, Sanchez
65) Olympiakos (GRE) 3 (Pardo 33, Fortounis 40,
Finnbogason 66)
Group G
At Porto: Porto (POR) 2 (Andre Andre 39, Maicon 52)
Chelsea (ENG) 1 (Willian 45+2)
At Tel-Aviv: Maccabi Tel-Aviv (ISR) 0 Dynamo Kiev
(UKR) 2 (Yarmolenko 4, Junior Moraes 50)
Group H
At St Petersburg: Zenit St Petersburg (RUS) 2 (Dzyuba
35, Shatov 67) Gent (BEL) 1 (Matton 56)
At Lyon: Lyon (FRA) 0 Valencia (ESP) 1 (Feghouli 42)
The national champion is returning to action with the Asia Pacific Amateur Golf Championship in Hong Kong starting on October 1
Oman’s Azaan returns to competitive golf ater surgery
Azaan in Hong Kong
MUSCAT: Azaan al Rumhy, Oman’s
top golfer and the national champion,
is returning to competitive goling
with the Asia Paciic Amateur Golf
Championship, to be held in Hong Kong
starting on October 1. he competition
will take place at the scenic course of the
Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club
and will conclude on October 4.
Azaan said from Hong Kong, “his is
the irst competitive tournament that I
am going to take part ater undergoing
a knee surgery earlier this year. I have
recovered well. I started practising a
month ago and I took part in monthly
medal tournaments in Muscat.
However, those cannot be compared to
this tournament.”
he Asia Paciic Golf Championship
is one of the world’s premier goling
tournaments in amateur golf. Over
140 golfers from 37 countries are
participating in this tournament at Hong
Kong’s iconic Clearwater Bay course.
Azaan has been grouped with two
Saudi Arabian players, along with
Aidarali Asanov from Kyrgyzstan. He
is expected to tee of on the opening
morning with Phetnoy Siboupha from
Laos and Soti Dinki from Papua New
“My ultimate goal in this competition
would be to make the cut because I
haven’t been practising enough for
the tournament because of injury layof and the surgery. So it will be a very
challenging goal to achieve. Some top
golfers from around the world are
participating in this tournament, so it
would be nice to gain some valuable
experience by playing alongside them,”
the Omani golfer said.
Mundhir al Barwani, the Chairman
of the OGC (Oman Golf Committee)
said, “We cannot put too much pressure
on Azaan as he has recovered from
surgery very recently. It’s good to see that
still he has been very keen to participate
in this tournament.”
Oman had been selected to take part
in this prestigious tournament only last
year. he OGC became a member of the
APGC (Asia Paciic Golf Confederation)
in 2014, ater which Oman debuted in
the Asia Paciic Amateur Championship
later that year in Australia.
OCTOBER 1 l 2015
PACKED HOUSES: Attendances near one-million mark as fans flock to watch 20 matches; Australia lose Palu and Skelton on injuries
Tonga outclass Namibia, fans embrace World Cup
LONDON: he Rugby World Cup pool
stage reached the halfway point on
Tuesday with fans and television viewers
embracing the showpiece in record
numbers as teams continued to feel the
bite from injuries ater two rounds of
bone-crunching matches.
Exeter’s Sandy Park in south-west
England was packed to the raters with
12,500 spectators shoe-horned in to see
Tonga beat Namibia 35-21 and pick up
their irst win in Pool C.
he Paciic Islanders sparkled with
ive tries, including two apiece for winger
Telusa Veainu and lanker Jack Ram, and
Namibia captain Jacques Burger also
crossed twice as the Africans failed to
secure their irst win in 17 World Cup
Fans have locked to the 20 matches
staged across England and in Cardif
with organisers saying total match
attendance was approaching the one
million mark.
housands more have attended
the oicial Fanzones to soak up the
atmosphere while Japan’s shock victory
over South Africa on the opening
weekend prompted a nation to park
itself in front of the television for their
next game.
Japan could not repeat their heroics
against Scotland but last week’s match
attracted a broadcast audience of 20
million — the second-highest ever
national TV audience in Rugby World
Cup history.
England’s battle with ierce rivals
Wales on Saturday in which the hosts
came of second best at Twickenham was
watched by an average of 10.4 million
viewers, the largest rugby audience in
the UK since the 2007 inal.
hose same armchair England
fans will be desperately hoping for a
change in fortune this weekend when
hosts England, who have lost injured
forward Billy Vunipola for the rest of
the tournament, face a crunch game
against Australia.
Windies fail to
qualify for 2017
CL Trophy
SINGAPORE: he declining fortunes
of West Indies cricket hit a new low
on Wednesday when the Caribbean
team failed to qualify for the 2017
Champions Trophy in England.
Restricted to the world’s top
eight-ranked sides, the West Indies
missed out on the lucrative event
ater slumping to ninth place on
Wednesday’s cut-of date.
heir failure to qualify marks
the irst time the West Indies will be
missing from any of cricket’s three big
limited-overs events — the 50-overs
World Cup, the Champions Trophy
and the Twenty20 World Cup.
West Indies are one of just three
teams to have captured all three titles,
winning the 50-over World Cup
in 1975 and 1979, the Champions
Trophy in 2004 and the Twenty20
World Cup in 2012, but have fallen
on hard times.
— Reuters
Tonga’s Vunga Lilo in action with Namibia’s Eneill Buitendag and Torsten van Jaarsveld during their Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool C match. — Reuters
he unbeaten Wallabies have injury
issues of their own to ponder with
injured forwards Wyclif Palu and Will
Skelton facing an early light home.
Number eight player Palu has a
hamstring strain, Skelton a pectoral
muscle injury and they have Been
replaced in the squad by hooker James
Hanson and lock Sam Carter. “Both
James and Sam have been part of the
team at various stages this season and
I am conident they will be able to step
up and grasp the opportunity they have
been given,” Australia coach Michael
Cheika said.
Wales paid a high price for their
memorable comeback win over England
when they sufered yet more injuries and
coach Warren Gatland was again forced
to plug the gaps when he named his side
to face Fiji on hursday.
In a reshuled backline, Matthew
Morgan replaced the concussed Liam
Williams at fullback, Tyler Morgan will
start at outside centre in place of Scott
Williams and Alex Cuthbert is on the
wing instead of Hallam Amos with
George North switching to the other
here was also a place on the bench
for recalled utility back James Hook
whose international career appeared to
be over when he was let out of Gatland’s
original squad.
Captain Sam Warburton said Wales
were totally focused on winning a game
that would leave them poised for a place
in the quarterinals.
“he players won’t be in the mindset
of letting it slip,” he said.”here will be
no complacency whatsoever from our
here are no matches on Wednesday.
— Reuters
Aussies players sent back
to states, tour in limbo
The Oman under-19 after arriving in Qatari capital of Doha for the AFC U-19 Championship Bahrain 2016 Qualifiers. The
Sultanate squad, which won the Under-19 GCC Championship in Doha recently, has high hopes to clinch a spot in the AFC
Championship. Doha is hosting the Group D Qualifiers from October 2 to 6. Group D consists of Qatar (hosts), Oman,
Lebanon and Kyrgyzstan. On October 2, Oman begin their campaign with a match against Lebanon.
cricketers have been sent back to their
home states to train while awaiting
a decision on whether their tour
of Bangladesh will proceed amid
increasing security concerns.
he team was scheduled to depart
on Monday for a two-test series but was
told to stay back ater the Australian
government warned of a potential
security risk from militants in the Asian
A security delegation sent by Cricket
Australia to Bangladesh over the
weekend has since returned home and
was to report to local authorities on
Wednesday, prompting speculation the
tour will be cancelled.
he Bangladesh Cricket Board
(BCB) has ofered a higher level of
security for Australia’s players and
urged the tour to go ahead.
But at the same time the Australian
security delegation was in the country,
an Italian aid worker in Dhaka was shot
dead in an attack claimed by Islamic
“he situation is now diferent ater
the death of the Italian national,” BCB
president Nazmul Hassan Hassan told
reporters in Dhaka on Tuesday.
“he UK and US governments have
also given out alerts. his is a very rare
incident in Bangladesh but one has to
understand the diference between this
and a cricket team that is given blanket
Australia captain Steven Smith,
wicketkeeper Peter Nevill and spinner
Nathan Lyon were among those who
turned out for training for New South
Wales state on Wednesday ahead of a
domestic one-day tournament.
A decision on whether the tour will
go ahead has to be made soon because
Australia is scheduled to host New
Zealand in a three-Test series, starting
in early November.
— Reuters
Prayag dazzles at ISC badminton with double title
Prayag Mohanty (left) and Tarun Jayadevan before the boys under15 final of the ISC badminton tournament.
MUSCAT: Prayag Mohanty put in a dazzling
act at the on-going National Bank of Oman
(NBO)-sponsored Annual Badminton
Tournament organised by the Indian Social
Club Muscat and won the boys under-15
singles title to clinch a double crown.
Winner of the under-13 title, thirteenyear-old Prayag, who moved to Muscat a few
months back from Hyderabad, added the
under-15 singles crown to his collection ater
putting in a brilliant act of recovery to stun
giant-killer Tarun Jayadeven. In the inal,
when Tarun won the irst game, it looked
like Prayag’s ine run was coming to an end.
But Prayag played with maturity beyond his
young shoulders and scripted a marvellous
ightback and rallied to win the crown with
inal scores of 15-21, 21-14, 21-6. Prayag
gave away negative points as Tarun raced to
a 11-5 lead in the second game. A change of
strategy saw Prayag dominate the rallies and
levelled at 14-all. From there, Prayag rattled
the next seven points to level the score at
one-game-all. Prayag’s determination and
skill was evident in the way he controlled the
rallies. He created scoring opportunities and
was equally skilful at the net. Tarun toiled
under pressure but could not stop Prayag
from claiming the under-15 singles title.
Second seed Mohamad Harouz faced stif
resistance in the irst game before advancing
to the second round of the Open Men’s
Singles with a 23-21, 21-13 victory over VT
Nair. In another irst round match, No. 3
seed Percy Pereira overcame a sluggish start
before overcoming a deiant Girish Pillai 2119, 21-6. In second round action of the same
event, Shebaz Nasar looked in good nick and
registered a conident 21-18, 21-13 win over
Manoj Varghese, Mathew homas denied
the hard-working Prabhu AR any liberties
with a 21-17, 21-18 victory, talented teenager
Leon D’Souza scored a ine 21-11, 21-13 win
over Mohamad Amir and Geemon Baby
beat Sharath Kumar 15-21, 21-14, 21-15.
On the previous day, Prayag Mohanty
prevailed over Mohamed Iman 21-19, 2113 to claim the under-13 title in a thrilling a
high-quality inal.
Prayag and Iman played a high level of
badminton and exchanged rallies that drew
accolades from the spectators. Southpaw
Mohamed Iman started on a positive note
and gained an early 10-6 lead. Prayag
opened up and rattled the next seven points
before Iman rallied to level at 15-all. Brilliant
rallies were exchanged as scores went neckand-neck until 19-all when Prayag produced
a delicate drop to gain game point which he
converted to win the irst game. Prayag oten
caught Iman on the wrong foot with clever
placements and went on to win the second
game and the boys under-13 crown.
Top seed Prabhu AR advanced to the
semiinals of the Mens-A Singles event ater
defeating Justin homas 21-9, 21-15, while
second seed Niyas N downed VA Francis
with a 21-9, 21-15 score. hird seed Bishen
Singh Bhalla played a heroic match before
scraping past Vinod Abraham in three
thrilling games 21-23, 21-17, 21-19. Fourth
seed Shivadas P completed the semiinal
line-up when he coasted to a 21-18, 21-3
victory over Domnic Kennedy.
In the irst round of the veterans
singles, Sunil Kumar overcame a ighting
Ameenuddin with a 21-14, 22-20 win,
Haridas P showed doggedness and fought
against all odds to pull of a thrilling 21-13,
12-21, 22-20 win over Shibu John, Babu Said
Mohammed defeated K Sashindran 21-15,
18-21, 21-13 and Yogesh Narula was a 21-9,
21-8 winner over VA Francis.
OCTOBER 1 l 2015
Haas recruit Grosjean as ‘lead driver’
US TEAM: Ferrari-powered Haas are the first US-owned entrants in Formula One since 1986
Toro Rosso driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands
prepares to start the third practice session of the
Japanese Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit. — AFP
I like the idea,
this partnership
with Ferrari, I
like the way everything
has been going, I like
the fact that it’s going
slowly but nicely and
I’m very happy that I
made that decision
Lotus driver Romain Grosjean of France leads Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado of Venezuela during the Japanese Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit. — AFP
States: France’s Romain Grosjean
is leaving Lotus at the end of the
season to become ‘lead driver’ at the
new US-owned Haas Formula One
team in 2016.
Team founder and chairman
Gene Haas, who is also co-owner of
the successful Stewart-Haas Nascar
outit, presented a smiling Grosjean
at a news conference at their
Kannapolis headquarters in North
Ferrari-powered Haas, who have
a close technical partnership with
Maranello, are the irst US-owned
entrants in Formula One since 1986.
“He’s going to have a lot of work
to do, he’s going to be our lead
driver and we are going to depend
heavily on him to help us with our
strategies with the car, with the
racetracks and learning the whole
operations of an F1 team,” Haas told
Grosjean said he had been
interested in the Haas project from
the outset and liked the fact that they
were taking a diferent approach to
other new teams in the past.
“I think it’s an approach that can
be pretty quickly successful,” added
the Frenchman.
“I like the idea, this partnership
with Ferrari, I like the way everything
has been going, I like the fact that it’s
going slowly but nicely and I’m very
happy that I made that decision.”
Grosjean, 29, has 10 podium
inishes from 78 grands prix ater
starting his career with Renault
— Lotus’s predecessors who are
in the process of buying back that
inancially struggling team — in
Most recently, he was third in
Belgium last month.
he Ferrari connection will have
been the clincher for the Frenchman
however, with the Italian team likely
to be looking for a replacement for
Finland’s Kimi Raikkonen at the end
of next season.
Being at Haas, who are expected
to announce Ferrari’s Mexican
reserve Esteban Gutierrez as
their second race driver, will give
Grosjean plenty of scope to show
what he can do.
“We should be able to run straight
away without having the problems
of a new team,” he said.”I think it will
be really good to score a few points
early in the season for a newcomer
American team.”
“I have spent 10 years in Enstone
(the Lotus factory), I know the guys
very well and it would have been
easy and comfortable to stay,” he
“On the other hand, I want to try
to win races and championships and
French Formula 1 driver
I thought that coming here to Haas
was a good step and a good direction
to achieve that.”
Haas said there had been
pressure to sign an American
driver but, with Alex Rossi only
this month becoming the irst US
racer in Formula One since 2007,
the team needed someone more
“he reality was that a rookie
driver with a rookie team just isn’t a
good it,” he said.
”he primary purpose here
is to show that as an American
manufacturer we can compete in the
most diicult competitive series in
car racing in the world.” — Reuters
Vettel needs lottery winner’s luck
to claim the title, says Arrivabene
LONDON: Sebastian Vettel would
have to be as lucky as a lottery
winner to clinch this year’s Formula
One championship ater another
dominant display by Mercedes at the
weekend, according to Ferrari boss
Maurizio Arrivabene.
With ive races let and a
maximum 125 points to be won,
Ferrari’s German driver is 59 adrit of
reigning champion Lewis Hamilton
who chalked up his eighth win of the
season in Japan on Sunday.
“If you win the lottery, you
become a millionaire,” Arrivabene
told reporters when asked whether
Vettel still had a chance of a ith
career title this year. “To win the
lottery you need to be lucky.”
“So if we are lucky, yes. But we
need to be really lucky,” he added.
Vettel, who won his four titles
with Red Bull, has won three races
so far in his irst season with Ferrari
and hopes rose that he might have
an outside chance ater Mercedes
slumped in Singapore.
However, Suzuka showed the
reigning champions were back to
their old ways, with Hamilton leading
closest rival and team mate Nico
Rosberg in a one-two inish ater
locking out the front row in qualifying.
Hamilton now has a 48-point
advantage over Rosberg and is
heading for his third title and second
in a row.
Vettel was under no illusions about
his chances, even if he was not giving
up all hope until mathematically
ruled out. “It’s not done until it’s
done,” said the man who won his irst
title in 2010 despite not leading the
championship at any point until the
inal race. he chance is there — and
what kind of racing driver would I be
if I stopped believing?
“Of course I know it’s diicult
because the opponent is very strong...
but you have to keep believing
otherwise I guess it’s pointless
rocking up and trying to ight.”
“Being realistic I think it will be
very, very diicult but who knows
what’s going to happen? We have to do
our thing and that’s the maximum we
can do. Everything else is not in our
hands, it’s probably in their hands.”
Second placed Ferrari are 169
points behind Mercedes in the
constructors’ standings with a
maximum 215 still to be won.
— Reuters
First-placed Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton and third-placed Ferrari
driver Sebastian Vettel (right) hold their trophies after the Japanese F1
Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit in Suzuka, Japan. — Reuters
speeds past
new milestone
LONDON: Formula One’s irst 17-year-old racer
became the sport’s irst 18-year-old driver on
Wednesday and Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen
celebrated his birthday by passing his test at the irst
As he said on his Twitter feed: “Legal to drive, born
to race #driverlicense.”
“It’s great to be 18 and to have a driving license,” the
Dutch teenager added on his personal website.
“hat I’m inally allowed on the road on my own
gives me more independence, which is great. I have to
say it’s a relief to pass the test. I was a bit nervous to
make mistakes, but the exam went well.”
Verstappen, who scored points in Japan last
weekend with ninth place at Suzuka from 17th on
the starting grid, had told reporters then that he
would have to wait to sit his test because of his intense
he desire for secrecy clearly had more to do with
it, however.
He had passed his driving theory test before the
start of the season but still needed to do mandatory
lessons at home in Belgium before taking the test.
Flying straight back from Japan, the son of former
racer Jos took his irst lesson on Monday.
Despite his success, Verstappen insisted he still
preferred to be a passenger on public roads: “It’s a
moment of peace and I still think that way,” he said.
On track, Verstappen has disarmed his critics
entirely in just 14 races.
hose who said he was too young, and pushed for
the super-licence qualifying criteria to be changed to
prevent anyone under 18 racing in Formula One, now
have to admit he is a phenomenon.
he youngest driver ever to score points — seventh
place in his second outing in Malaysia — Verstappen
has a string of other records in his sights and plenty of
time to achieve them.
No teenager has ever led a race or set a fastest
lap and no driver under 21 has ever started on pole
position, stood on the podium — though Verstappen
came close with fourth in Hungary — or won a Grand
Prix. he youngest world champion was Sebastian
Vettel at the grand old age of 23.
Red Bull and sister team Toro Rosso have yet to
secure an engine supplier for next season, with Ferrari
the most likely candidate, but Verstappen’s future looks
bright regardless.
Already there has been speculation about where he
might end up and how soon. he Italian media and
others have linked him to Ferrari, who are likely to
have a vacancy in 2017 when Kimi Raikkonen reaches
the end of his contract, possibly as part of a deal for
competitive engines.
— Reuters
The smaller teams say the system is skewed unfairly for the big ones who are guaranteed millions of dollars regardless of how they perform
Force India, Sauber ile complaint to EU authorities
LONDON: he Sauber and Force India teams
have iled a complaint to European Union
(EU) authorities about what they see as unfair
and “unlawful” practices in Formula One’s
governance and distribution of revenues.
“We have received a complaint and will assess
it,” a competition commission spokesman said
on Tuesday.
Force India deputy principal Bob Fernley
conirmed separately that his team and Swissbased Sauber, two of the smallest competing
against rivals with far greater resources, were
he complaint comes at a delicate time for
Formula One, with several teams struggling to
stay aloat while a major rules revamp is under
discussion for 2017.
he sport’s ownership has also been in the
spotlight, with media speculation that RSE
Ventures, the investment vehicle of Miami
lining up a lotation in New York.
Financially-troubled Lotus, who joined Force
India and Sauber in November by writing to
F1 commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone,
are being taken over by Renault and were not
signatories to the complaint iled on Monday.
hat November letter to Ecclestone had
spoken of “a questionable cartel” controlling
“both the governance of Formula One and,
apparently, the distribution of...funds.”
Top teams Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren,
Williams and Red Bull receive special payments
and sit with the commercial rights holder and
governing FIA on the sport’s core decisionmaking ‘strategy group’ — which this year
Force India’s Sergio Perez is seen after fighting for position with Williams driver Felipe Massa (not
includes Force India.
pictured) at the start of the Japanese GP. At left is Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg. — Reuters
he smaller teams say the system is skewed
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, and Qatar are
Ferrari, whose team receive special payments unfairly in favour of the big ones who are
lining up a potential $7 billion-$8 billion takeover to relect their status as the oldest and most guaranteed millions of dollars regardless of
successful in Formula One, are meanwhile how they perform on the track and also get to
determine future changes.
Britain’s Autosport magazine reported last year
that Ferrari’s share of the revenues came to an
estimated $166 million in 2013, including a $32
million bonus and $62 million special payout.
Force India were paid $59 million, Sauber $52
A brieing note to the EU complaint,
published in the Times newspaper on Tuesday,
spoke of “unfair” side payments which put the
independent teams “at a perpetual sporting and
economic disadvantage”.
It said the Strategy Group allowed the biggest
teams to “steer the rules and technological
developments to their own advantage, further
entrenching their sporting chances and further
undermining equality between the teams.
Ecclestone, 84, has dismissed talk of a
‘cartel’, and played down the signiicance of any
complaint to Brussels.
— Reuters
OCTOBER 1 l 2015
Ivanovic, Kvitova join Wuhan top-seed exodus
GIANT KILLERS: Ivanovic fell to Garbine Muguruza, while Kvitova fell to this year’s shock finalist at the US Open, Roberta Vinci
WUHAN, China: Former world number one Ana Ivanovic
and defending champion Petra Kvitova joined the list of
upsets at the Wuhan Open on Wednesday, both falling in
the third round.
he pair’s losses come on the heels of a series of medical
problems and injuries at the tournament that have seen Maria
Sharapova, Caroline Wozniacki and Victoria Azarenka exit
as the long season begins to take its toll.
Sharapova announced her withdrawal from next week’s
China Open in Beijing, raising questions over whether the
ive-time Grand Dlam winner will manage a comeback
this season — injuries have kept her of the court since
Ivanovic fell to Garbine Muguruza, winning the irst set
but only taking only one game of the Spanish youngster in
the second two.
“I had some chances to come back in the second set
which I didn’t use, and she played well in the big points,”
said Ivanovic.
he 21-year-old has had a breakout year, joining the ranks
of the top 10 for the irst time ater reaching the Wimbledon
inals this year.
Muguruza is in the running to make it to the top-eight
Women’s Tennis Association
Finals in Singapore at the end of
this month, with the ield looking
(third round):
increasingly open ater the Wuhan
Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (Slovakia)
beat Kristina Mladenovic (France) 6-4,
“First set, I lost. I was a little
6-2; 15-Roberta Vinci (Italy) beat 3-Petra
bit disappointed. I said, look, I’m
Kvitova (Czech Republic) 7-6(3), 6-2;
going to ight again and see what
Venus Williams (US) beat 7-Carla Suarez
Navarro (Spain) 6-3, 6-4; 5-Garbine
happens. I found my game again,”
Muguruza Blanco (Spain) beat 9-Ana
said Muguruza.
Ivanovic (Serbia) 4-6, 6-1, 6-0
Kvitova fell to this year’s shock
inalist at the US Open, Roberta
Vinci of Italy, in two sets.
champion got of to a strong start, establishing a 4-0 lead
over Vinci.
But the Italian clawed back, taking the irst set in a tie
break, and Kvitova struggled in the second — eventually
losing on a break of serve.
“I think she’s playing with a lot of conidence right now
ater such a big win against Serena (Williams), playing the
(US Open) inal,” Kvitova said of Vinci, who returned to the
top 20 ater her performance at Flushing Meadows.
he Czech was diagnosed with glandular fever this
year but has continued to compete, and looked tired as she
walked of court.
She said she would now travel to Beijing for next week’s
China Open, the inal tournament before the season inale
in Singapore.
Venus Williams took just two sets to dismiss Carla Suarez
Navarro of Spain 6-3, 6-4 — potentially setting her up to
meet her sister Serena’s US Open nemesis Vinci in the semis,
if they both make it through the quarterinals.
withdraws from
China Open
WUHAN: Maria Sharapova on
Wednesday announced her
withdrawal from next week’s
China Open in Beijing, citing a left
forearm injury that forced her to
retire from the Wuhan Open two
days earlier.
The world number three has
been plagued by injury since
July, after she lost the Wimbledon
semiinal to Serena Williams in July.
“I am very disappointed to have
to pull out of the China Open this
year and not have the chance to
defend my title,” Sharapova said in
a statement on Wednesday.
The Russian had been hoping
to launch a comeback at the
Wuhan Open after missing three
events, including the US Open,
with a leg injury.
But she lasted less than three
sets against unseeded Barbora
Strycova, retiring with a new left
forearm injury.
Sharapova’s withdrawal from
the China Open leaves a question
mark over whether she will be it
to play the year-ending WTA Finals
in Singapore at the end of next
Maria Sharapova of Russia hits a
shot to Barbora Strycova of Cezch
Republic at the Wuhan Open in
China’s Hubei province. — AFP
Becker upsets Chardy Injury fears for drawcards at Hong Kong WTA
in Malaysia Open
Benjamin Becker persevered through
early struggles to outlast his sixth
seeded French rival Jeremy Chardy
5-7, 6-1, 7-5 in Kuala Lumpur on
on Wednesday at the Malaysian
Open, which sees the 34-year-old
advance into his irst ATP World Tour
quarterinal of the season.
Chardy’s strong record on the
hardcourt had made the French player
an early favourite in the tournament.
However, Becker fought hard to
claim his 10th tour-level win of the
season as he prevailed in two hours
and six minutes, withstanding 13 aces
and breaking his French opponent
four times.
Ater losing the irst, the German
dominated in the second set with
his precise forehand returns to level
proceedings, before clinching the
match in the third set.
“I’ve lost in a few close matches
before, so it was good to get the win
and it helps my game and conidence,”
Becker, who is bidding for his irst ATP
title since 2009, told reporters in Kuala
For the second year in a row, Becker
has secured a quarterinal berth at the
Malaysian Open.
Meanwhile, defending champion
Joao Sousa of Portugal scored a
commanding 6-2, 6-2 victory over
Poland’s Michal Przysiezny to advance
into the quarters.
Malaysian Open Results (second
round): Benjamin Becker (GER) bt
Jeremy Chardy (FRA x6) 5-7, 6-1,
7-5; First round: Joao Sousa (POR)
bt Michal Przysiezny (POL) 6-2, 6-2;
Mischa Zverev (GER) bt Rajeev Ram
(USA) 7-6 (7/2), 3-6, 6-3
Benjamin Becker of Germany fought hard to claim his 10th tour-level win of the
season as he prevailed in two hours and six minutes.
HONG KONG: What seems like a mass
injury jinx is haunting organisers of the
WTA Hong Kong Open, with 2014
holder Sabine Lisicki out for the rest
of the season and drawcards Victoria
Azarenka and Eugenie Bouchard also
looking doubtful.
he tournament will be starting its
second edition a week from Monday
under a cloud ater Belarussian
Azarenka was forced to quit a match
in Wuhan, China, with a thigh injury
and Canadian Bouchard unable to play
ater arriving in Asia due to lingering
efects of a concussion sufered in a
locker room slipping fall at the US
Open a month ago.
he South China Morning Post
reported on Wednesday that both
Azarenka and Bouchard are hoping to
be it, but their participation will be
last-minute decisions.
“I will rest in Wuhan for the next
few days to determine how I progress,”
said the 2014 Wimbledon inalist
Bouchard who withdrew from Hong
Kong a year ago in what ended up
as a misunderstanding over entry
Hong Kong Tennis Association
boss Chris Lai said his oice is staying
in close touch with Bouchard and
he German Lisicki was forced
to end her season early due to a knee
problem which has bothered her for
“I’ve been struggling with a knee
injury before and during the US Open.
Doctors have tried everything in order
to get me ready for the Asian swing,”
Lisicki said.
“But unfortunately my knee is
not ready and I will not compete at
tournaments this season,” she said on
Lisicki is being treated by Munichbased sports doctor Hans-Wilhelm
Victoria Azarenka of Belarus returns a shot to Lauren Davis of the US at the Wuhan Open in Hubei province, China. — Reuters
Lisicki was able to
take her mind of of
her tennis troubles by
donning a local dirndl
dress and posing with a
mass of beer at Munich’s
Oktoberfest last week.
Williams remains a
Hong Kong starter
ater winning her 700th
career match this week
in China. — dpa
Canadian Bouchard was unable
to play after arriving in Asia
due to lingering efects of a
concussion sufered in a locker
room slipping fall at the US Open a
month ago. ‘I will rest in Wuhan for
the next few days to determine how I
Canadian tennis player
OCTOBER 1 l 2015
George, Amal celebrate
irst anniversary
Konkona Sen in a scene from Kadambari
Bengali ilm ‘Kadambari’,
centred around Kadambari
Rabindranath Tagore with
whom he is supposed to have
had a close relationship and
who eventually committed suicide, won the Best
Film award at the 4th Washington, DC, South
Asian Film Festival.
he ilm was directed by the National Awardwinning ilm-maker Suman Ghosh.
Chaitanya Tamhane won the Best Director
award for ‘Court’, a Hindi and Marathi ilm, which
is India’s oicial entry to the upcoming Academy
Some of the biggest and most famous names
in South Asian independent cinema lent glitter to
the September 25-27 festival of alternative cinema
screening 14 features, 10 short ilms and one
documentary from India, Pakistan, the US and
Award winners: Best Film — Kadambari, Best
Story — Rough Book, Best Director — Chaitanya
Tamhane (Court), Best Actor — Kishor Kadam
(Partu), Best Actress — Konkona Sen Sharma
(Kadambari), and Best Short Film — Bonjour ji.
he audience rated ‘Partu’ as the Best Film and
‘Billu’s Flight’ as the Best Short Film.
Aparna Sen received the Special Achievement
Award, while Huma Beg from Pakistan (‘Veils
and Walls’) got the Special Appreciation Award
Sarmad Khoosat received the Special Award for
Contribution to Pakistan TV and Films.
A number of directors, including Sen and Ghosh,
attended the festival. Another notable presence was
popular Bollywood and Bengali actress Riya Sen.
philanthropist Frank Islam inaugurated the festival
saying this year’s theme, “Art and culture transcend
boundaries” relects a reality.
“his is so even though we live in a deeply
divided world. hese are unsettling times — wars,
refugees, terrorism, hate crimes of all types, and
boundary disputes. Events such as these dominate
the headlines daily,” he said.
“Yet, art and culture elevate and unite all of us.
Whether it is a young boy in Afghanistan, or an old
woman in Zimbabwe, there is not a soul that doesn’t
enjoy a good movie, or a lovely piece of music.”
“he fact that we have with us today some of the
inest collection of talents from India and Pakistan
under one roof is proof that art and culture indeed
transcend all the boundaries.”
Marketing is a big challenge for indie ilms as
well, he said facing what he called the “curse of
Bollywood” — extravagant, studio-backed and starstudded ilms from Bollywood.
In order to succeed, indie ilms from India, in
their quiet way, must overcome this stereotype and
sea of noise, Islam said.
“his year there was more awareness about the
ilm festival here in the US and in South Asian
countries,” said DCSAFF Executive Director Manoj
Singh noting more non-South Asians came to see
the movies. ‘Saari Raat’, Sen’s ilm adaptation of
Bengali playwright Badal Sircar’s drama, was the
opening ilm.
here were three ilms from South Asian
Americans: ‘Partu’, a ilm by Nitin Adsul; ‘Miss
India America’ by Ravi Kapoor; and ‘For Here or To
Go’ by Rucha Humnabadkar.
he festival also featured two Pakistani ilms,
‘Manto’ and ‘Shah’ based on the lives of short-story
writer Sadat Hassan Manto and Pakistani boxer
Hussain Shah, who won the bronze medal at 1988
Summer Olympics.
Islam and his wife Debbie Driesman also hosted
a dinner for the visiting artists at their home Norton
Promoting art and culture is one of the
missions of the Frank Islam and Debbie Driesman
ctor George Clooney and wife Amal attended the New York Film
Festival’s 15th anniversary screening of the actor’s movie ‘O Brother,
Where Art hou?’ in belated celebration of their irst wedding
anniversary. he celebrity couple completed a year of marriage on Sunday.
“We sure are having fun. We had a beautiful anniversary, and we’re having
fun,” Clooney, 54, told of his irst wedding anniversary at the
screening on Tuesday.
As for what the star has learned in his irst year of newly-wed bliss, he
said: “hat’s a good question, but I can’t oicially tell you any of those things
because that would be wrong, and she would be upset that I told anyone what
I’ve learned.” Amal, 38, is a distinguished human rights activist and lawyer.
Ater Clooney made his way down the red carpet, he joined Amal in a
lounge where they “held hands and were arm in arm”, and then were “super
casual” talking to up-and-coming ilm-makers at a Film Society of Lincoln
Centre reception held in the same space, an onlooker said.
hey then made their way to another theatre to enjoy the ilm with the rest
of the audience — even so, Clooney feigned nerves going into the screening.
“I mean going in there to watch myself 15 years ago. On a big screen?
hat’s pretty rough,” he said. George and Amal exchanged wedding vows in
Venice last year in front of a star-studded assortment of friends, including
celebrities Matt Damon, Cindy Crawford, Bono and Emily Blunt.
Cotillard had panic attacks on
he role of Lady Macbeth in
‘Macbeth’ pushed Marion
Cotillard so physically and
psychologically that the actress
sufered from panic attacks on the
ilm’s set.
he 39-year-old plays Lady
Macbeth opposite actor Michael
Fassbender in the titular role in
the big screen adaptation of the
Shakespeare play.
Although she has been
making movies for the past
three decades, Cotillard started
sufering from bouts of fear.
“When I start a movie I usually
freak out. his time it was pretty
physical and intense. Panic attacks...
I never had panic attacks before.
What was funny is I didn’t know what
a panic attack was, but I had studied it
for the role I did before (in ‘Two Days,
One Night’),” Cotillard told ‘Porter’
Although Cotillard had never had panic
attacks before her research for ‘Two Days,
One Night’ helped her cope with them.
South Korean ilm highlights the price students pay for success
An image from the documentary ‘Reach for the Sky’
he emotional and physical trauma
inlicted by over-zealous parenting and
South Korea’s education system form
the focus of two movies receiving their
world premieres at this year’s Busan International
Film Festival (BIFF).
he documentary ‘Reach for the SKY’ and the
feature ilm ‘4th Place’ both tackle sensitive issues
that are only too familiar to many South Koreans.
Co-directed by Choi Woo-Young and Belgium’s
Steven Dhoedt, ‘Reach for the SKY’ follows three
teenagers and a teacher through the individual and
collective roller-coaster that is the country’s annual
college entrance test.
Success in the exam — to which young South
Koreans devote most of their teenage years —
means a place in one of the elite universities seen as
key to future careers and marriage prospects.
he ilm’s title is an acronym referring to the
three most-coveted schools — Seoul National,
Korea and Yonsei universities (SKY) — to which
only one per cent of high school graduates gain
Choi said the movie tried to capture the “dark
side” of an education system that is oten held up by
other countries as a model of rigorous meritocracy.
he pressure to score well has been blamed
for teenage depression and suicide rates that are
among the highest in the world.
“Some people outside South Korea praise
the achievement of our education system and
the excellent math and science scores of our
youngsters,” Choi said.
“But I wanted to show this reality in which less
than one per cent of teenagers can be winners and
the rest call themselves miserable losers,” he said.
Two of the students in the documentary are
“repeaters” — studying for the exam a second time
at special cram schools run with near-military
eiciency and discipline in the hope of improving
their score.
Ubiquitous surveillance cameras monitor the
students 24 hours a day, most of which are taken
up with classes punctuated by meditation sessions
where teachers intone “Your brain will improve...
You can focus...” South Korea’s private education
market is worth a staggering $27 billion, with the
likes of “rock star” English teacher Kim Ki-Hoon at
the top of the food chain.
he ilm shows Kim taking the stage at a giant
sports stadium packed with thousands of teenagers
and their parents who listen with studied attention
to his tips on how to score well in the college exam.
A teacher, or more precisely a swim coach, is
also a pivotal character in ‘4th place’ — the tale
of a young swimmer, Jun-Ho, and his fanatically
competitive and over-bearing mother.
Frustrated with Jun-Ho’s repeated failure to
secure a podium inish, his mother hires a coach
known for his uncompromising physical approach
to forcing the best out of his charges.
OCTOBER 1 l 2015
[email protected]
Seeking solutions for
world’s problems
s the Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM)
enters its ith year of operation, the
inaugural opera, Giacomo Puccini’s
Turandot, returns in all its glory. he
original production was commissioned
from the famous Italian ilm-maker and set
designer Franco Zeirelli. One of the world’s most important
opera interpreters, Zeirelli is renowned for gorgeous
productions with authentic detailing. Following the inaugural
performance of Turandot on October 12, 2011, His Majesty
Sultan Qaboos who graced the occasion with his presence,
conferred the Order of Oman, First Class, on Franco Zeirelli
to honour him for a lifetime of outstanding achievement in
the arts, and to recognise the excellence of his contribution
to the inauguration of the Royal Opera House Muscat. he
magniicent sets and costumes that Zeirelli designed remain
the property of the ROHM and will be used for the upcoming
performances on October 1st, 3rd and 4th of this month.
he opera will be performed once again by the prestigious
Fondazione Arena di Verona.
Turandot is loved most of all for its beautiful and evocative
music. Puccini (1858-1924) was ahead of his time as a master
of innovative orchestration, using new, powerfully expressive
motifs along with evocative Oriental melodies to give the
music greater drama and an exotic lavour. Set in ancient
imperial China, the opera unfolds a compelling story based on
a twelth-century tale by a Persian poet. Turandot is a princess
of legendary beauty whose heart is cold as ice. She believes
that Princess Lou-Ling, a powerful ancestor who once ruled
the kingdom, is part of her own psyche. Lou-Ling reigned in
peace and happiness until the fateful day when a conquering
His Majesty Sultan Qaboos conferring the Order of Oman, First Class, on Franco Zeffirelli
prince seized the throne and savagely murdered her.
Vowing never to let a man into her life, Turandot is bent
on revenge and self-protection. An imperial law decrees
that any man who desires to marry Princess Turandot must
irst attempt to solve three almost impossible riddles; and if
he fails, he will be executed. he fair young Prince of Persia
has just sufered this fate when the heroic Calaf, Prince of a
vanquished realm, arrives on the scene and falls in love with
the princess. he morning ater his famous declaration “I
shall win. I shall win!”, Calaf solves the riddles, but an enraged
Turandot refuses to marry him. Calaf ’s love is so great that
he ofers to sacriice his life for Turandot’s satisfaction. What
happens next is quite unexpected.
he 2011 production was of a grandeur seldom seen in
recent times on the great opera stages of the world. Indeed,
the regal splendour of the sets might well have surpassed the
decoration of the imperial court in ancient China. An imperial
palette of burnished gold, ethereal blue and pale ivory was
chosen for the sets as well as the costumes.
A cast of more than 250 opera stars, singers, actors,
musicians and chorus have arrived in Muscat from Verona.
But this time, the ity extras did not come from Verona as
they were locally recruited.
ROHM’s 2015 Turandot features exciting new talent,
including the twenty-seven-year-old rising star, Andrea
Battistoni who conducts the orchestra, along with the
fabulous Italian tenor, Carlo Ventre who sings Calaf, and
Swedish soprano Iréne heorin, who has been hailed by as ‘the world’s reigning Turandot’, in the
title role.
Carlo Ventre is a spinto tenor, that is, a singer whose voice
has both lyric and dramatic capability and can ‘slice’ through
the sound of the orchestra. When the plot reaches its irst great
climax Carlo will sing one most beautiful arias in all of opera.
Nessun Dorma (None shall Sleep) which became ‘immortal’
as the signature aria of Luciano Pavarotti.
Marah Land circus attractions lure visitors
arely any circus shows frequent
Oman except for now and then
at one of the empty lands in
the capital city where people
lock to the tent to see the daredevils who
entertain the mass sometimes at the cost
of their lives.
he residents have a rare opportunity to
witness the breath-taking performances of
skilled acrobats of Vegus Circus, a famous
troupe at the Marah Land Amusement
Park. Visitors can witness experienced
clowns, cubs and other animals in the
heart of the city, next to the Qurum
Natural Park.
he circus, which hosts two shows per
day, is known for its entertainment value
for the whole family.
he circus will also feature the walk on
a wire, lion show, textile show, wheel of
death, magic show, clowns, jugglers, robe
act, smart dog show, lying trapeze, mono
cycle, and elastic man.
“he applause of the audience means
more to us than anything else. Our
happiest moments are those when they
stand up from their seats and clap for us
and believe me, this is happening all the
time during our show,” said one of the
“We have been receiving overwhelming
response and the venue is a convenient
destination for children and their parents
to visit,” he added. Vegus Circus ofers
diferent entertainment activities and
presents global cultures.
He further said that hosting the Circus
Vegus at the Marah Land comes in the
framework of providing recreational and
tourist activities to attract more visitors
and to transform the place to one of
the tourist and recreational places for
families. he daily shows begin at 5 pm
and 8 pm.
Muscat Icon ‘Singing Little Gems’ show on Nov 6
he stage is set for another
edition of high-quality talent
Omani artistes, as well
as expatriate singers resident in the
Organised by Talent Hunters Oman,
Muscat Icon — Minara Singing Little
Gems 2015 is the latest in a string of
highly successful talent shows held in
Muscat over the past several years. he
list includes: Muscat Idol 2006, Muscat
Idol — Little Gems 2007, Muscat Idol
— Teen Sensation 2008, Dance Muscat
Dance 2009, Muscat Singing Icon 2012,
International Dance Festival 2013 and
Khafeef Youth Icon —Singing 2014.
Talent Hunters Oman groups music
enthusiasts known for unearthing local
talent and giving them a platform to
perform and win recognition for their
musical and stage skills.
he group also trains and grooms local
talents with the objective of bringing out
the best in them, said Founder-Director
Dr Sanjay Dalal.
he group is also credited with
organising popular musical shows, such
as Musical Journey I — Black & White,
Musical Journey II — Golden Greats,
Musical Journey III — Mehil, and
Musical Journey IV — Romance.
he latest ofering, Muscat Icon —
Minara Singing Little Gems 2015, drew
entries from around 80 gited children
of various nationalities competing in the
Hindi category.
Ater two weeks of auditions, the
following eight inalists made the cut:
Sreerag Menon, Shreeya Menon, Rose
Dinto, Sreedevi Babu Menon, Sradha
Prasannan, Vishnu Vinod Nair, Ananya
Prasad and S A S Sanjeev.
hey will compete for top honours
at a mega inale scheduled to be held
on Friday, November 6 at the City
Amphitheatre, Qurum. Clips of the
competition will also be telecast by a
prestigious Indian TV channel, according
to the organisers.
here is little doubt that the world economies
may not be able to think clearly and take
correct decisions under the current political
dilemma. How can we ind new economic solutions?
Whether true or false, there seems to be more weapons
factories in the world than that of food and other stuf
required for decent living. How else can we explain the
proliferation of arms and weapons of mass destruction
in the face of rising drought conditions, hunger and
scarcity of water. What do economists think of the
demand and supply in the weapons industry? Do
countries gain economically in such trade? Of course,
some countries will see a boom in their economy due
to this trade. Will the theory of ‘demand and supply’
fail if there is no trade in destructive weapons? What
new economic theory can be applied to stop people
dying over this ‘power and politics’ game? Are we to
believe that economists are also involved in such games
along with politicians? Are we also right in thinking
that politicians are making money through the advise
of economists by investing in diferent projects with no
thought as to whether some projects are legal or illegal,
right or wrong?
“he entire world has been exposed to reading daily
news of deaths and suferings of ordinary people. At
the same time the leaders and politicians concerned
are least bothered and they go about living their own
lifestyle. What can a man like me do,” said an angry
man on one of the TV channels.
Everybody’s eyes are on the world leaders, hoping
they can bring peace and justice in the world so that
all nations can be treated equally in their own land and
they can enjoy the culture and religion that suits them.
All this seems like a dream in the face of the unfolding
world situation. “I am neither a born leader nor am I
someone who can lead people. I didn’t study economics
either so that I can play a role of an economist who can
ind economic solutions to economic problems,” said
one of the refugees who migrated to Germany.
“It has become diicult to do trade and business
today. In the past when the transportation system was
poor and there were no trade unions, goods were easily
traded and consumers were happy as they received
what they demanded for and traders fearlessly crossed
the borders. Today, in spite of all facilities trading has
not become easy due to many restrictions and fears.
It has really become diicult to ind new trade and
economic destinations,” said a businessman from
“I am a poet. One of the diiculties in this ield is
that my poetic expressions are not feeding me. I can’t
think or bring stimulating words into my writing with
an empty stomach. here should be better economic
opportunities, solutions, and systems and practices,”
said Manzoor Bismel, a poet.
hough there are so many reports about individual
suferings on a daily bases being reported by
journalists from diferent parts of the world, things are
still not moving as hoped. “I might not be somebody,
but try to look at me with a warm heart as I may have
something in me as a human being,” said a Baloch
writer, addressing the world on what is happening in
their area.
“here was a day when tourists did not worry about
where to go. Today, everyone is looking for a country
where there are no crises as a tourist destination,” said
one of the tourists in Muttrah.
It is still not late to start something new for a better
and peaceful world. Economic solutions can also be
easily found if it is properly sought.
Brain prosthesis to aid
people with memory loss
esearchers have developed a brain prosthesis
that can replace or support a damaged part of
the brain and help people with memory loss
problems form memories as eiciently as any other
he prosthesis, which includes a small array of
electrodes implanted into the brain, has performed
well in laboratory testing in animals and is currently
being evaluated in human patients.
he device that relies on a new algorithm was
designed originally at University of Southern
California and tested at Wake Forest Baptist Medical
Centre in North Carolina.
he researchers explained that when your brain
receives the sensory input, it creates a memory in the
form of a complex electrical signal that travels through
multiple regions of the hippocampus, the memory
centre of the brain. At each region, the signal is reencoded until it reaches the inal region as a wholly
diferent signal that is sent of for long-term storage.
If there is damage at any region that prevents this
translation, then there is the possibility that long-term
memory will not be formed.
OCTOBER 1 l 2015
[email protected]
Compromises in
make ‘good stuff’
razil has reduced deforestation in the
Amazon by 82 per cent, the country’s
president, Dilma Roussef, said at
the United Nations on Sunday, as she
announced Brazil’s contribution to an
anticipated new global deal to curb
climate change.
In the next 15 years, the Latin American nation aims
to eliminate illegal deforestation, restore and reforest 12
million hectares, recover 15 million hectares of degraded
pastures, and establish 5 million hectares of land on
which crops, livestock and forests co-exist, she said.
Brazil is oten lauded internationally as an example
of how political will, legislation and the right incentives
combined can stop forests being cut down.
But even there, the battle is not won, as deforestation
spiked in 2013, mainly in areas where agricultural
expansion is happening.
“We’ve been deforesting our planet for the last
40 years — don’t expect it to change overnight,” said
Andrew Mitchell, Founder and Executive Director of
the Global Canopy Programme (GCP), a tropical forest
think tank.
According to a new GCP report, more than 50 per
cent of the world’s tropical forests have been lost over the
last half-century, with Indonesia having replaced Brazil
as the country with the highest rates of deforestation.
In the last decade, around two thirds of global
deforestation has been driven by the production of
agricultural commodities: palm oil, timber and paper
products, soya, beef and leather, and to a lesser extent
bio-fuels, the report said.
But more recently some of the world’s biggest
companies that produce and trade those commodities
have “got it”, realising that destroying rainforests doesn’t
make sense for their business in the long-term, Mitchell
hat recognition has given rise to a rat of promises
by corporations to stop their operations causing forest
loss, in many cases by 2020 or earlier.
Some are joint eforts. he 2014 New York Declaration
on Forests, signed by businesses, governments and
indigenous peoples, aims to cut natural tropical forest
loss in half by 2020 and end it by 2030.
he new Sustainable Development Goals, adopted
by 193 countries on Friday, promise to advance the
sustainable management of forests, halt deforestation,
restore degraded forests and plant substantially more
trees by 2020.
While the deforestation target has not received much
attention, it is one of the few the world is on track to
achieve with an extra push to cover the last mile,
according to research from the London-based Overseas
Development Institute.
While deforestation is expected to continue in the
short-term, by 2020 the share of the world’s land that is
forest is set to start increasing, so that by 2030 there will
be almost as much forest as there is today, it said.
To meet goals to end deforestation, the GCP argues
that companies must apply their pledges across all
commodities, and along their entire supply chains.
Today, only 7 per cent of 250 major businesses it
tracks have signed up to zero or zero-net deforestation
pledges covering their supply chains, while 59 per cent
have no speciic policy for commodities.
And pledges vary by commodity. A separate report
this month from Supply Change, a project led by
Washington-based non-proit Forest Trends, found
that of 41 companies that had endorsed the New
York Declaration on Forests, 94 per cent had publicly
committed to reduce deforestation risk tied to palm
For soy, however, the igure was only 41 per cent and
for cattle, 50 per cent.
Certiication systems for soy and cattle have yet to
catch on, while the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil
certiies 20 per cent of global palm oil production, the
report noted.
he GCP’s Mitchell urged reforms that would boost
demand for sustainable commodities that do not harm
the environment. — Reuters
t is common knowledge in our neighbourhood that the mother
of junior is a master when it comes to handling a husband. his
has resulted in many women locking to our house to get irsthand
information from the mother of junior on this delicate yet sensitive
subject. Many wives tend to undergo some frustration when it’s time to
deal with their husbands. he husbands fail to entertain an overly feminine
space and they (the wives) are never comfortable in a masculine space.
Majority of women ind it diicult to let go of their natural leaning towards
the feminine feel in their homes.
It is at this point that the advice and direction of the mother of
junior comes handy. So, last weekend almost all the women in our
neighbourhood congregated at my home for a special meeting with the
mother of junior to get some wisdom on how to decorate the house in such
a way that the husbands are satisied and at the same time they can keep
the feminine feel of their home intact. As usual, the mother of junior, out
of her courtesy is always willing to help her fellow wives, especially when it
comes to domestic afairs. She gathered them around her in a semi-circle
and immediately started to lecture them in her usual charismatic style.
“You don’t have to ight with your husbands over whose design should
dictate your home décor; it’s easy to create a balanced space, comfortable
and stylish for both of you.” She said in a clear voice high enough to reach
all her audience.
“Money is the source of friction in many relationships. he two of you
must agree on a budget that you are comfortable with. When you shop for
your décor pieces together you are likely to make level-headed decisions
about what to buy. When it comes to buying furniture the ideal way is
to go in for comfortable but not elaborately decorated furniture. Go for
pieces that are streamlined and appeal to both of you. Do not, however,
mess your home with too many colours; stick to two or three that both of
you love. Men have diferent tastes from women. To make them happy,
you need to choose the right fabric of your furniture. Try to always go for
neutral patterns that do not lean towards one gender. Large loral patterns
are too feminine while traditional checked ones are masculine. Make sure
you strike the right balance. For example, if your couch is checked, try
adding some beautiful throw pillows so that each of you feels represented.”
he mother of junior continued to lecture her guests while warning
them never to buy curtains without their husbands. “Men like them
simple; they love streamlined curtains, those without much decorations. If
you learn to ind neutral ones, you will score big. When you go shopping
together, each of you gets to choose accessories they fancy, thus avoiding
overly gender-biased accessories. his way you make the home belong
to both of you. And remember to always vary the shapes, textures and
styles of the decorative pieces. However, with all that said, avoid overthe-top feminine and masculine items. Remember, it’s all about balance.
Although you two will have diferences in opinions, each one of you must
be willing to compromise. It is crucial to be open so that you ind the best
aspects of your varying tastes to create a look that is cohesive and relects
your uniqueness as a couple.” he mother of junior concluded her talk
with an advice — “always work for a win-win situation”. If your man
loves a particular antique rocking chair that you don’t, do not get rid of
it, try to make it appealing to you by having it covered in some fabric.
he willingness to compromise from both parties in marriage holds the
potential for happiness, joy and celebrations in life.
World irst ‘drone-port’ planned in Rwanda
t sounds like science iction: unmanned
drones carrying emergency medicine
zooming above the rolling hills of Rwanda.
But proposals — including one by
eminent British architect Norman Foster — plan
exactly that, to set up “cargo drone routes capable
of delivering urgent and precious supplies to
remote areas on a massive scale”, with the East
Africa nation of Rwanda chosen as a test case.
“Specialist drones can carry blood and
life-saving supplies over 100 km at minimal
cost, providing an afordable alternative that
can complement road-based deliveries,” the
proposal reads.
Rwanda, let in ruins ater genocide in 1994,
has rapidly rebuilt with the government pushing
initiatives to boost technology and the powerful
ruler President Paul Kagame dreaming of
turning the capital Kigali into a regional hub for
investors and multinational companies.
Government eforts have rapidly pushed
mobile phone and Internet coverage across the
landlocked nation, but the rolling landscape of
a nation dubbed the “land of a thousand hills”
means physical access to some areas is more of
a challenge.
he proposal — by architecture irm Foster
+ Partners, the Swiss Federal Institute of
Technology in Lausanne and its linked Afrotech
company — hopes to see drones with a threemetre wingspan able to carry deliveries weighing
10 kg.
Drones with a six-metre wingspan, capable of
carrying payloads of 100 kg are planned to follow
by 2025.
“Africa is a continent where the gap between
the population and infrastructural growth is
increasing exponentially,” Foster said at the
project launch earlier this month.
“he dearth of terrestrial infrastructure has a
direct impact on the ability to deliver life-giving
supplies, indeed where something as basic as
blood is not always available for timely treatment.
We require immediate bold, radical solutions to
address this issue,” Foster said.
he pilot project is slated to begin next
year, with three “drone-port” buildings due for
completion by 2020, enabling the drones to cover
almost half of Rwanda’s countryside.
While Rwanda’s government has yet to
comment on the proposals, people have
welcomed the plan.
“he introduction of drones can add to
the many solutions we have available to tackle
infrastructure challenges in Rwanda,” Junior
Sabena Mutabazi wrote in a the pro-government
‘New Times’ newspaper.
Rwanda, small, tightly controlled and where
there is only modern infrastructure in key hubs,
ofers the chance to test case cargo drones before
possible expansion into wilder, less developed
countries on the continent.
“he Drone-port project is about doing ‘more
with less’, capitalising on the recent advancements
in drone technology — something that is usually
associated with war and hostilities — to make
an immediate life-saving impact in Africa,”
Foster said. hose developing the project
point out that in many parts of Africa, too
remote to establish telephone landlines, mobile
technology leapfrogged that step, with mobiles
now common across the continent even in the
remotest of places.
Drones, it is argued, could do the same where
a lack of roads has made access tough.
“Cargo drone routes have utility wherever
there is a lack of roads,” the project proposal said.
“Just as mobile phones dispensed with
landlines, cargo drones can transcend
geographical barriers such as mountains, lakes,
and unnavigable rivers without the need for
large-scale physical infrastructure.”
Jonathan Ledgard, from Swiss-based
Afrotech — an initiative aiming to “help pioneer
advanced technologies in Africa at massive
scale” — knows the challenges, having worked as
a journalist in trouble spots across the continent
for the past decade.
Ledgard is convinced cargo drones will be
the future, but is also determined the technology
will beneit those who need it most.
“It is inevitable on a crowded planet, with
limited resources, that we will make more
intensive use of our sky using lying robots to
move goods faster, cheaper, and more accurately
than ever before,” Ledgard said.
“But it is not inevitable that these crat or their
landing sites will be engineered to be tough and
cheap enough to serve poorer communities who
can make most use of them,” he said.
“Drone-port is an attempt to make that
happen, and to improve health and economic
outcomes in Africa — and beyond.”
Stage set for Turandot 
Price students pay for success 
World first ‘drone-port’ planned 
[email protected]
Blending Echoes:
Nizar’s artwork
Amin S Shahab (centre)
group of artists were in Muscat
recently for an exhibition called
‘Blended Echoes’ organised by the
Malaysian Embassy. he exhibition
also featured established and
upcoming artists of Oman. For the
artists from Malaysia it was echoes of stokes, colours,
messages and most importantly cultures. “Oman was a
new experience,” they all agree.
hen there was an artist who was here to include
Oman as part of his one km art work of the world —
Amin S Shahab, an artwork once completed could
even break a world record.
So how was the experience like to be painting in
Oman? Poojitha Menon relects, “Humans, through
hearsay sometimes have this unpleasant habit of
generalising and boxing things. More so when it comes
to new cultures and places and prematurely presume
all nations of a certain region to be the same.
“For me Oman was a jaw dropping experience. It
was a revelation. I peeked into her ancient rich culture
and I glimpsed her modern and contemporary mind.
Oman was hot, exceptionally kind and stunningly
beautiful. So many aspects of her yet to be explored.”
“Oman came across as this multifaceted enigma
that I am dying to experience in full glory,” Poojitha
said from Malaysia, while going back in her memory
of visiting and at the same time working on a
commissioned piece.
he event was managed by Sheila Menon an
entrepreneur from Malaysia who wants to do a series
of inter-cultural events between both the countries.
Poojitha Menon’s work presented in Muscat was
part of a theme she had been working called ‘Prana’.
he three pieces on display were part of the collection
of 19 artworks. “Prana literally means life breath.
Breath is the main focus of Prana. Prana starts and ends
with you. I just chose just three for the convenience of
bringing them to Oman.’’
he collection had taken her two years to inish
with sizes varying from two-and-a-half feet to seven
For Christine Das this was the irst trip to the region.
At her corner of the exhibition held at Opera Galleria,
the canvases was echoing nature. “My canvases
are a voice for nature. I speak through my canvas
promoting respect for nature because nature is actually
Artist Colony village at Craft Complex Kuala Lumpur
disappearing at a very fast call. I am very concerned
that habitats for the wildlife are actually disappearing
so they are losing their homes. We humans cannot
forget the fact that we are very much connected to the
nature. We need nature for our own survival.’’
Amin Shahab while in Muscat had completed 890
metres of his painting of one km world. While he was
here he was taking in the features of Oman. he irst
strokes on the white canvas began to shape up to a date
palm tree.
Once the one km world is completed it is going
to be exhibited in Kuala Lumpur. He had visited the
Muttrah Souq, enjoying the scenery of Muttrah, Sultan
Qaboos Grand Mosque and few more places he could
manage to it in with the short trip.
“Once in Malaysia I will see what comes through
my mind,” he had said while continuing with the
sketching at the exhibition.
‘he World Is Whispering,’ title almost puts one
into the thinking process and so does the collection of
artwork by Nizar Kamal Arriin. He has been painting
for 30 years and he has his own presence at the
Malaysian artists’ village. His work has intricate designs
but when one steps back the calligraphy shapes up. He
explained the meaning of his title, “People in the world
are whispering to each other. People think no one is
able to hear, but everyone knows what they are talking
about. he whole world is going through problems,
something is wrong and I am on the interpretation of
social comments.”
“So my canvas is not just my world or my country
but the whole world,” he pointed out. here is hope
that is being conveyed through Nizar’s art because
the calligraphy expresses phrases such as ‘Insha
Allah’. “Eventually the world is all about God’s will,”
concluded Nizar.
More auto tech could curb road accidents: Researchers
technologies available today
could sharply reduce road
accidents in the United States,
saving thousands of lives and billions in
societal costs, researchers have said.
he study by Boston Consulting Group
said available systems like automatic braking
and lane control assistance technology could
reduce the number of accidents by 28 per
he researchers said broader adoption of
these technologies could pave the way for
fully autonomous vehicles and lead to a 90
per cent reduction in accidents over time.
“Because the vast majority of crashes in
the United States are caused by driver error,
the lack of adoption of these technologies
within the US leet is a signiicant missed
opportunity,” said Xavier Mosquet, a coauthor of the study funded by the Motor
& Equipment Manufacturers Association
he report noted that roughly 33,000
people are killed and 3.9 million injured each
year in automotive accidents in the US — at a
cost to society of $910 billion annually.
As a result, the researchers said adopting
these available technologies would save
9,900 lives and $251 billion in societal costs.
he study focused on auto features which
are available in many vehicles as options such
as forward collision warning, surround view,
adaptive cruise control — which adjusts
speeds to maintain a safe distance, blind
spot detection, night vision, lane departure
warning and parking assist.
Adoption of these “Advanced Driver
Assistance Systems” or ADAS has been slow
because many consumers are unwilling to
pay the extra costs. For example, car owners
in a recent survey said they would be willing
to pay $100 to $400 for blind spot detection,
but the current cost is nearly $600.
he report calculated that the available
technologies would add $8,240 to the cost of
a vehicle, but would save $16,307 in societal
costs over 20 years. “We possess the knowhow and technology to save nearly 10,000
lives on America’s roads annually,” said Steve
Handschuh, president and chief executive
of the association of auto equipment
“What’s lacking is the urgency to increase
consumer education and the political will to
get it done today. he way forward should
include a mix of federal tax incentives
and discounts on insurance premiums to
steer consumers toward available safety