116 die in Indonesia crash
WEDNESDAY | JULY 1, 2015 | RAMADHAN 14, 1436 AH
P20 Petrobras slashes investment plan by $77 billion
VOL. 34 NO. 229 | PAGES 32 | BAISAS 200
P29 Coral gardening beckons ecotourists
Chief Executive Ofﬁcer
The mosque is located in the heart of
Salalah, built on an area of 40,419 sq m.
The main prayer hall can accommodate
3,200 people, while the female oratory can
accommodate 350 women. There is a
lecture hall and a big library.
DR IBRAHIM BIN AHMED AL KINDI
ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI
Oman Establishment for Press, Publication and Advertising
PO Box 974, Postal Code 100, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
FOLLOW US ON:
For details see Page 31
Date for registration
of voters extended
MUSCAT: The Ministry of Interior has
decided to extend registration for the
election record till July 30, 2015, instead
of July 2. The ministry said that citizens
who did not register in the election
record, and are interested to cast their
votes for Majlis Ash’shura eight term
elections, can go to wali’s office in the
wilayat he intends to cast his vote and
register his or her name. Interested
citizens should carry a copy of his/her
valid personal ID. Meanwhile, the higher
committee for the Majlis elections
reviewed appeals on decisions of
elections committees in the wilayats.
Greece seeks rescue
plea for debt crisis
ATHENS: Greece requested a two-year
rescue deal with the EU in a race down
to the wire on Tuesday, after admitting
it would fail to make an IMF payment
with just hours left before its EU bailout
expires. The appeal came amid a
flurry of actions aimed at preventing a
chaotic euro zone exit which could have
untold repercussions on international
markets and the European Union. The
premier’s office said it has requested an
agreement with the European Stability
Mechanism “to fully cover its financing
REPORT ON P10
28 killed in attack
on Yemeni rebels
SANAA: An attack on Houthi leaders
in the Yemeni capital claimed by the
IS group killed at least 28 people,
medics said, the latest deadly assault
on the group. The car bomb targeted
Houthi chief brothers Faycal and
Hamid Jayache during a gathering to
mourn the death of a family member, a
security source said. Eight women were
among the dead. Houthis closed down
the surrounding area, only allowing
emergency services. REPORT ON P11
Search and rescue teams work at the site of an Indonesian military C-130 Hercules aircraft crash in Medan yesterday.
TUNISIA SEES LIBYA LINK TO
BRITAIN LAUNCHES MAJOR
SUNRISE 05.24 AM
116 die in Indonesia crash
POOR RECORD: Sixth fatal crash involving an air force plane in the past decade
MEDAN: At least 116 people were
The manifest shows
killed on Tuesday when an Indonesian
there are 113 people
air force transport plane crashed into
on board the plane.
a major city shortly after take-off and
exploded in a fireball, officials said.
No, no. No survivors,
Buildings were left in ruins and
I have just returned
cars reduced to flaming wrecks when
the Hercules C-130 came down in a
from the site
residential area of Medan, a city of two
million on the island of Sumatra.
Indonesia Air Force Chief
Air force chief Agus Supriatna said
the manifest showed there were 113
people on board the plane — 12 crew
and 101 passengers — when it crashed,
So far 66 bodies had been pulled from
and he did not believe any had survived. the debris and brought to a hospital in
“No, no. No survivors, I have just Medan, said a Red Cross official helping
returned from the site,” he said.
in the recovery effort.
RUWI IN DARK
SUICIDE ATTACKERS STRIKE
out of gear
June 30: Life came to a standstill
late on Monday night when power
supply to Hamriya was disconnected
suddenly forcing people to spend their
night on streets.
The area which lies in the heart
of the city went to sleep at around
12.30 am when the power supply was
disrupted due to a cable error in the
vicinity. Soon, Hamriya was blanketed
by utter silence.
Several hundreds of families were
seen either gallivanting or staying
inside their cars with AC turned on
or heading to their nearest friends and
relatives. Irritated children were seen
crying, while their parents tried to
Many local and expat families
had to give up their suhoor plans
of the holy month as consuming
food in pitch dark was not a good
idea, many told. People were seen
offering morning prayers keeping with
the help of candles.
TURN TO P2
Many passengers were likely to be
family members of servicemen and
women, said a spokesman for Medan
airbase from where the plane departed.
At least one child has so far been
confirmed killed. The local search and
rescue agency also said that three people
were killed on the ground when the
51-year-old plane went down near a
newly built residential area, hitting a
massage parlour and a small hotel.
Police said rescuers were still trying
to get into the ruined massage parlour,
a three-storey building, and they did not
know whether there were people inside.
A rescue operation swung into action
following the crash, with ambulances
ferrying bodies from the site, and crowds
of anxious people gathering around to
view the smouldering wreckage.
Residents described the terrifying
moment just after midday when the
plane came down.
“It was very scary,” said Novi, an
employee of an international school
who goes by one name, describing how
she heard the plane and saw it flying
very low before the crash.
Another local resident Januar, 26,
said the aircraft appeared to be in trouble
just before the accident: “I saw the plane
from the direction of the airport and it
was tilting already, then I saw smoke
Many stop taking orders as they have to ﬁnish the backlog
Tailors busy in run-up to Eid
June 30: Tailors have stopped taking
orders for Eid. This is the case in almost
all parts of the Sultanate as tailors stretch
the days to meet the deadlines. It might
be one of the most stressful time for
tailors but it is also the most profitable.
But from the look of it there is definitely
a demand to be met.
“We usually stop taking orders
even before Ramadhan begins. But we
have been taking assignments as we
did not want to say no,” Ahmed said,
quickly while he continued assisting his
clients — a father and a son. There were
others who came in and had to leave
disappointed as they were informed,
“No more orders.”
There has been rush to Muttrah,
Seeb and other places. No matter where,
if you have been a late bird, it is going
to be challenging to find a tailor to take
the measurements, stich the lines and
deliver it on time. “It is unthinkable,”
said Ali al Ghafri to wear a readymade
dishdasha on Eid. “My Eid clothes are
all stitched. The cost of a dishdasha
depends on the fabric. One of the most
popular fabric is Toyobo from Japan.
MUSCAT: Oman has condemned the
terrorist attack which killed Hisham
Barakat, top public prosecutor in
Egypt. The Foreign Ministry in a
statement said that this terrorist
act calls for the collaboration of
international community to combat
terrorism and eradicate its sources. The
Sultanate also expressed its solidarity
with the government of Egypt.
Meanwhile, Egyptian President
Abdel Fattah al Sisi on Tuesday
attended the funeral of the public
prosecutor, and said he would within
days reveal legal reforms that would
allow a tougher line against militants.
Public prosecutor Hisham Barakat
was the most senior Egyptian official
to be killed in years, and Monday’s
attack has cast doubt on Egypt’s ability
to contain insurgency that is picking
increasingly high-profile targets.
SEE ALSO P11
MUSCAT: The State Council
yesterday approved the report
of the Legal Committee on
Land Transport Law, sent to
the council by the Council of
Ministers. The meeting was held
under the chairmanship of Dr
Yahya bin Mahfoudh al Mantheri
Chairman of the State Council.
The meeting approved the
proposal submitted by the
Social Committee on review of
the governing legislations of
wastewater sector after making
amendments and considering
the remarks of the members.
Speaking on the occasion,
the chairman of the State
Council, extended warmest
congratulations and blessings
to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos
on the occasion of Ramadhan,
praying to the Almighty for the
return of the occasion on His
Majesty, while he enjoys good
health and happiness, and on
our beloved country and the
Islamic nation wellness and
till July 7
The cost of materials could range from
RO 7 to RO 25. The main details are the
embroidery. It could be two lines.”
Fahad al Zedjali joined in saying,
“Or it could be three lines and that
would be the same for the sleeves.” The
colour of Farisha is the dictating factor
for the colour of the mussar or kuma.
The minute detail such as the button
made of plastic or thread is looked into
by the clients.
“This is our studio, but we have a
factory that is where all the work is
being done. We only give finishing
touches here,” added Ahmed.
Ahmed is from Kerala and so is his
colleague. The street taking a left turn at
Hayy An Noor roundabout taking you to
Ruwi is lined with tailoring shops. The
windows of the shops are filled with latest
trends and designs that will be seen in
worn during Eid al Fitr. Tailors are mainly
from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
One of the most interesting parts
of Eid shopping is the hunt for dress
materials. In the 1970s the spotlight
was on Muttrah Souq and Mehdi Stores
and almost everyone agree it is part of
nostalgia. Women begin the scanning of
the new arrivals to choose the colours
they want to sport on the four days of
Eid al Fitr.
TURN TO P2
VIENNA: Iran and six world powers
gave themselves an extra week to reach
a final nuclear accord after it became
clear they would miss a deadline
on Tuesday, with US and Iranian
officials sounding upbeat even though
With all sides accepting that
Tuesday’s original deadline would
come and go without an agreement,
Iran and the six powers agreed to
extend an interim accord until July 7
in order to have more time to negotiate
a comprehensive agreement.
Under the interim agreement,
reached in November 2013 and
known as the Joint Plan of Action, Iran
agreed to take some steps to constrain
its nuclear programme in exchange for
limited relief from economic sanctions
ahead of talks on a final deal.
OMAN OIL PRICE RISES
W E D N E S D A Y l J U LY 1 l 2 0 1 5
New projects will boost
tourism in Dhofar: Minister
MUSCAT: Ahmed bin Nasser al
Mehrzi, Minister of Tourism said
that new tourism projects which are
implemented in Salalah this year
— including the development of Al
Dahaleez beach and the Ateen oasis —
will contribute largely towards boosting
tourism particularly during the khareef
In an interview with Oman daily,
sister publication of the Observer Al
Mehrzi said that the number of visitors
to Dhofar Governorate is expected to
increase in this year’s khareef season
due to disturbances taking place in
the region. On the other side, internal
tourism is on the rise and constituted 75
per cent of the visitors to Dhofar in last
The minister of tourism expressed
satisfaction over the ability of tourism
infrastructure in Dhofar to meet the
demands of visitors. There might be
a problem of shooting rentals but
the Public Authority for Consumer
Protection will play a role in controlling
the rentals. The problem with the rental
of houses will disappear as soon as
the ministry launches its new service
dubbed the Hospitality Houses be
they permanent or seasonal with the
Power cut hits normal life
From Page 1
When contacted the emergency
electricity call centre at the Public
Authority for Electricity and Water
(PAEW), it was informed that a power
cable was cut while carrying out some
maintenance works in the area.
For several years, a private company
has been digging in the area, and quite
often the same place a couple of times,
according to residents.
“I can say it has been more than
some six years that this company is
digging roads and pavements. When
we inquired, we were told that it is for
sewage pipe channellizing and it has
been continuing non-stop for many
years!”, residents of Hamriya told the
“We are simply puzzled seeing the
same place has been dug again and
again and wonder why it is so. These
digging activities are causing major
traffic issues every day,” they further
When contacted, a senior manager of
MEDC (Muscat Electricity Distribution
Company, responsible for this area),
said that there might be disruption to
electricity supply to this area owing to
the ongoing cabling works.
“I believe that our technical team is
on the site working to resume power
supply. We will have a meeting with all
the parties concerned today to assess
the situation,” the official added.
OMAN AT WORLD HERITAGE MEET
Dubai Mercantile Exchange
said that Oman oil price (July
delivery) reached $60.13
on Tuesday. The price of
Oman oil rose 25 cents over
Monday’s price of $59.88. The
average price of Oman oil
(July delivery) has stabilised at
$63.62, thus $4.94 per barrel
higher than June delivery.
The Sultanate, represented by the Ministry
of Heritage and Culture and other relevant
authorities, is taking part in the 39th
session of the World Heritage Committee
being held in Bonn, Germany till July 8.
Among the topics for discussion are the
listing of 37 sites as Unesco world heritage
sites, 31 of which are cultural sites and 5
natural sites, reviewing the conservation
reports of some heritage sites.
SEZAD, OCCI sign cooperation MoU
NEAT ARRANGEMENT: The pact aims to give best services to investors via a one-stop shop
The Special Economic
Zone Authority at Duqm (SEZAD)
and Oman Chamber of Commerce and
Industry (OCCI) on Tuesday signed a
memorandum of understanding (MoU)
to regulate their cooperation towards
the provision of the best services to
investors through the one-stop shop in
SEZAD. This was as stipulated in the
Royal Decree No 119/2011 establishing
SEZAD and the Royal Decree No
79/2013 issuing the SEZAD System.
The MoU was signed by Yahya bin
Said al Jabri, SEZAD Chairman and Said
bin Saleh al Kiyumi, OCCI Chairman.
According to the MoU, OCCI shall
register and renew registration of
projects that are subject to the OCCI
It shall also ratify sale bills after
review, grant and approve certificates
of origin and the source, validate
commercial guarantees and ability
of financial guarantors, certify the
validity of documents it issues and
the signatures of stakeholders on
them. OCCI shall also ratify the other
commercial and industrial certificates
necessary for commercial and industrial
business, state registered members and
their businesses and grades, and register
commercial arbitration documents
submitted to it by appointed arbitrators
or related parties.
OCCI shall carry out the tasks
of commercial or industrial nature,
audit of disputed services, ratification
Yahya bin Said al Jabri, SEZAD Chairman and Said bin Saleh al Kiyumi, OCCI
of reports and certificates prepared by
experts and trade representatives, and
provision of information on the prices
of commodities traded on certain dates
in local commercial markets.
Under the MoU, OCCI will provide
these services through the one-stop
shop in the Zone through its applicable
programmes and regulations.
It will send one or more of its
employees to the one-stop shop in
SEZAD. The MoU also stipulates the
organisation of cooperation between
the two sides in a number of other
aspects, notably promotion of the
Zone inside and outside the Sultanate
through organising lectures, seminars,
workshops and economic conferences
and exhibitions in the Sultanate, as
well as participating in the events held
OCCI is also cooperating with
SEZAD to settle the disputes that may
arise in the Zone and entrusted to it
by means of amicable reconciliation
or arbitration, taking into account the
legislation in force in the Sultanate and
regulating this aspect.
Under the MoU, SEZAD shall provide
an appropriate work environment for
the OCCI staff at the one-stop shop in
SEZAD, including computers, office
tools and necessary technical settings to
connect these devices to OCCI systems
and programmes, in coordination
between the two IT departments on
With regard to coordination and
cooperation between the two sides in
the field of transfer of expertise, the
MoU states that OCCI shall provide the
necessary support for the training of
SEZAD staff to perform the tasks and
responsibilities entrusted to them in
the field of serving investors. This shall
be through informing them of work
procedures, documents and forms used
at OCCI for the purposes of performing
There will be coordination between
the two sides before developing or adopt
any policies, procedures or legislative
changes that would affect the common
affairs between them in the area of
services provided to investors.
This shall be in addition to the
cooperation of both parties in the
promotion of electronic connection
means and the use of computerised
systems to facilitate the exchange of
information and raise the speed of
completion of the transactions. — ONA
Tailors stop taking orders for Eid
From Page 1
Zahra al Azmi is accompanying her sister and sister-inlaw as she is considered the designer of the family. She is calm
about the stitching part. “I have my own tailoring shop and he
is the best tailor so I am totally relaxed,” said Zahra shopping
in Qurum commercial area.
“I usually prefer to have my Eid clothing made by a
specific tailor because I am a loyal customer. Even if I gave
him few days before Eid he would give me priority”. “I look
for materials from different places and sometimes I go to
neighbouring countries, that is if I have time, because they
are cheaper there,” Rahma al Shukaili.
Meanwhile, Muna al Rujaibi has a different plan in place
year after year. She said, “I start looking for materials two
months before Eid because that gives me enough time to
choose the ones I want among the various options in markets.
Once I am done, I look for good tailors who can do the design
perfectly because not all of them are accurate in their work”.
In many occasions I buy ready-made pieces to save time
and effort and actually either ways ‘tailoring or buying the
ready-made’ costs almost the same”.
Fatima al Ruqishi like to play completely safe. “For my
children and me I usually need more time to tailor Eid clothing.
So, even before Ramadhan I give the materials to tailors to
make them ready for us by the middle of the holy month. It
is better to have them this way to avoid any kind of mistakes
that may happen when tailors urgently try to finish hundreds
of requests they have before Eid. Many of them refuse to receive
tailoring requests three weeks or a month prior to Eid.”
The situation is as the saying goes, “A stitch in time saves
SQU takes part in World Submarine Race
MARYLAND: Sultan Qaboos University
(SQU) represented by the Mechanical and
Industrial Engineering Department at the
College of Engineering participated for
the third successive year with the
submarine Sultanah at the world
submarine race, held biannually in
Maryland in the US. In all, 27 submarines
representing universities from the US, UK,
Canada, the Netherlands, Germany,
Mexico, New Zealand and Oman took part
in the race.
Sultanah submarine has made an
impressive achievement this year as it
came 7th on the world level for all
categories and 6th in the special category
in terms of speed. It also came fourth on
country level after the Netherlands, the US
and the UK. The technical report of the
team has been selected among the best
five of the 27 reports submitted to the
W E D N E S DAY
J U LY 1 l 2 0 1 5
Royal Army of Oman music band takes part in Tattoo Festival in Canada
CANADA: The Sultanate, represented by the Music Band of
the Royal Army of Oman (RAO), is taking part in the annual
tattoo festival hosted by the Royal Nova Scotia International
Tattoo within the framework of the strong relations binding the
Sultanate and Canada. The festival which began on June 25
will run till July 8. At the opening ceremony of the festival, the
RAO Music Band presented a set of musical performances and
some arts inspired by the Omani heritage, and some musical
The RAO Music Band is the only Arab music band that takes
part in the festival, along with bands from Canada, Germany,
France, Sweden, USA, Britain, Iceland, and Norway. The
Water use rises in the Sultanate
TAPS IN DEMAND: Public network is the most-used source of drinking water
MUSCAT: The household drinking water sources
had increased at the rate of 24.3 per cent during
the period between 2003 and 2010. The increasing
population resulted in an increasing demand on
the resource, including drinking water equipment,
according to the “Drinking Water Sources and
Household Water” Study issued by the National
Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).
The demand on using the public network
of drinking water increased by 0.76 per cent
according to the censuses conducted in 2003 and
2010. The use of packaged water also increased
by 1.81 per cent while the governmental water
points increased by 0.5 per cent. The change rate
of the other sources for household water usages
decreased in the two censuses. The usages of wells
outside houses slightly decreased by 0.54 per cent.
The usages of the aflaj also decreased by 0.34 per
cent while the usages of private well decreased by
0.05 per cent.
The public water network was used by the
highest percentage of drinking water users in
urban areas (about 41 per cent). The same applies
to the household water sources.
The public network was the most used source
of drinking water for household usages in the
different kinds of residential units by constituting
37.4 per cent and 54.7 per cent respectively.
As much as 51.4 per cent and 55.7 per cent of
Omanis and expatriates respectively use public
water network as a source of drinking water.
The results of the study showed that 53 per
cent of the Sultanate’s population uses government
water network as a source of household water
while 21 per cent of the population depend on
wells, which include private wells with 11 per cent
and the wells outside the house at 10 per cent. The
public water points constitute the third source for
getting household water with 20 per cent.
The drinking water sources that use public
pipes connected to the houses came on top of the
drinking water sources used in the governorates
and wilayats of the Sultanate. About 37.4 per
cent of the people who use drinking water in the
Sultanate opt for such sources.
The study demonstrated that the bottled water
came second on the list of drinking water in the
Sultanate with about 24 per cent. Other water
sources came in next positions like the wells
outside the houses that reached 6.6 per cent and
the private wells that reached 3.7 per cent.
According to the data of the 2010 census, 5
per cent of the Sultanate’s population relied on
unclassified water sources. The rate increases
to more than 6 per cent if the other sources are
taken into account. This raises concern because
not knowing the source of water can cause a lot of
health problems for the population, particularly if
the water includes organic and chemical pollutants.
The Sultanate’s population tends to use bottled
water with 24 per cent. Bottled water comes first
on the list of used water sources in the Governorate
of Muscat with 39 per cent. The use of bottled
water has economic and environmental effects on
the communities. They put a burden on the family
budget. In addition, disposing of plastic bottles in
which water is packed and the inks on the label
pose great risks for the environment.
Despite the spread of the aflaj system that
constitutes an important part of the Omani
communities, they are used by 0.6 per cent of
the population only as a source for providing
the household water. The conventional water
resources include the surface and underground
water; which constitute 84 per cent while the nonconventional water includes desalination water
and treated wastewater that constitute about 16
per cent of the total water resources.
The average total amount of rainfall in the
Sultanate is estimated to be about 9.5 billion
cubic metres annually about 80 per cent of which
evaporates. The annual average of water flow in the
valleys of the Sultanate is estimated to be about 211
million square metres. Fresh underground water
contributes about 85 per cent of the Sultanate’s
water resources. The aflaj produces about 680
million cubic metres of water annually.
The Sultanate contains about 68 water springs
and 167,000 wells. The storage capacity of semisaline underground water reaches 23.5 billion
cubic metres; while the storage capacity of ponds
and basins reaches 78,000 cubic metres.
Since its establishment, dams retain about 997
million cubic metres of water which is equivalent
to 78 per cent of the total annual underground
feeding quantity in the Sultanate that reaches 1.3
billion cubic metres.
In the non-conventional resources, the total
number of desalination plants in the Sultanate
reached 94, including 47 sea water desalination
plants and 47 plants for desalinating saline water.
These plants produce 197 million cubic metres of
The Sultanate has also 360 wastewater treatment
plants with a production capacity ranging between
20,000 - 25,000 cubic metres daily.
It is clear that the current water resources
cannot meet the future demand and that the
Sultanate will virtually face a water crisis unless
efforts are doubled.
opening ceremony was attended by the Commander of
Canadian Forces in Halifax Base, some Canadian officials,
heads and members of the participating delegations, as well
as about 15,000 spectators.
Over RO 39,000 received
through donation portal
MUSCAT: With the spirit of charity and
giving in Ramadhan, the donation portal -www.donate.om -- has collected more than
RO 39,549 since the beginning of Ramadhan.
A total of 1,205 donors have contributed the
amount. Out of the 13 organisations and
associations in the portal, the organisation
that has raised the highest amount is Oman
Charitable Organisation (OCO) followed
by Al Rahma Charity Team — Al Seeb, Dar
Al Atta Charity and Omani Bahjah Orphan
Information Technology Authority (ITA)
has started its promotional campaign for
the portal with the beginning of Ramadhan
by encouraging more people to start
using it through the website or the mobile
app available in Android or IOs. Opting
for the Donations Portal for Charitable
Organisations, www.donate.om as an
alternative would be also secure, transparent
and easy to use.
To date, the portal serves 13 charitable
organisations including Dar Al Atta, Oman
Association for Disabled, Environment
Society of Oman, the Association of the
Welfare of the Handicapped, Al Noor
Association for the Blind, Association of
Early Intervention for Children with Special
Needs, Oman Cancer Association, Oman
Hereditary Blood Disorder Association,
Al Rahma Charity Team, House of Funds
and Zakah, Omani Association for Elderly
Friends, Oman Diabetes Association,
Omani Bahjah Orphan Society, and Oman
Charitable Organisation (OCO).
When donors visit the portal, they can
choose to donate either by cause or by
charitable organisation. There are up to 30
different causes one can choose from.
With the aim of supporting the charitable
organisations and other causes in the country,
ITA’s campaign is still running through its
social media networks accounts and other
media channels, inviting more people to
donate online through the donations portal.
W E D N E S DAY
J U LY 1 l 2 0 1 5
LuLu to open new hypermarket in Sohar today New ﬁrms
MUSCAT: LuLu Group is all set to open an
hypermarket in Sohar, a major industrial hub
in the Sultanate, today. The new store is the
117th hypermarket of the LuLu Group and
Most of the requirement General Manager, Lulu
Oman said, explaining that
is for the Group’s four new
is an initiative to further expand its retail
this need arises as a result
presence in the Sultanate.
of the Group’s aggressive
The hypermarket will be inaugurated
“We will be offering
and Malls, region’s number
by Ahmed bin Hassan al Dheeb, Under“We are planning four
employment to more than
one retail chain, will recruit
Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce
new outlets in the country
1,000 Omani nationals to
more than 1,000 Omani
and Industry, in the presence of Lulu Group
with one in Suwaiq”,
work with us in the four
nationals for its various
Managing Director, Yusufali MA, top officials
expànsion plans, it is learnt. new outlets”, Shabeer KA,
and dignitaries of the Lulu group.
Spread over an area in excess of 200,000
square feet, the new store is specially designed
to offer the residents of Sohar an all-new
shopping experience at affordable prices.
The hypermarket will cater to the needs of
the consumers ranging from fresh vegetables
and fruits to hot food, bakery and grocery, in
addition to garments, electronics and home
There are also special sections for dairy
products, meat and fish. The hypermarket
also has a huge area dedicated for department
store items like electronics, home appliances,
furnishing and furniture. It also offers a range
of high-quality products catering to the needs
of the entire family.
for ladies, gents and kids all under one roof. ample parking spaces to add to a hassle-free
The outlet also has the widest choice of The new outlet also features extensively shopping experience. The hypermarket is also
world-class fashion brands and products laid out counters, attentive services and equipped with play areas for children, food
To recruit 1,000 nationals this year
court, money exchange and bank counters for
Commenting on the latest project Yusufali
said, “LuLu has over the past years become
an integral part of Oman’s landscape and
firmly established itself as one of the most
preferred retail destination for locals and
expatriates. The new outlet in Sohar is yet
another initiative by the group to provide
residents a world-class shopping experience
that also offers great value for money. “We
are very grateful to His Majesty Sultan
Qaboos and the government for its vision
and policies that encourage and provide a
conducive environment for us to continue our
endeavours in this country and contribute to
the economic growth of the Sultanate”.
“We are committed to further boost our
presence in Oman in the coming years. Guided
by core values and principles, Lulu group aims
to set a new benchmark for retail that everyone
else can follow. The support from customers
has always remained a driving force for us to
strive and do better.
The successful integration of several Omani
nationals into our workforce has been helpful
in further strengthening our presence in the
region, and we will continue to ensure that
there is adequate focus in this area,” Yusufali
on MSM 30
MUSCAT: Muscat Securities Market (MSM) 30 index and
the sectoral financial, service and industrial indicators will
begin on Wednesday.
Al Sawadi Power Company and Al Batinah Power, Al
Batinah Investment and Gulf Chemicals have joined the new
index. ONIC Holding Company, Al Madinah Investment,
Aluminium Products and Dhofar International are no more
on the same index.
The MSM 30 index includes Bank Muscat, Omantel,
Gulf Investment, Raysut Cement, Oman Investment, Cable
Industries, Ooredoo, Oman and UAE, DhofarBank, Sohar
Bank, Al Nahdha Services, Al Anwar Holding, National
Bank of Oman, International Investment, Oman Cement,
HSBC Oman, Al Maha Marketing, United Insurance, Shell
Oman, Ahli Bank, A’Sharqiyah Investment, Omnivest,
Sembcorp Salalah, Al Anwar Ceramic, Galfar Engineering,
Nizwa Bank, Al Sawadi Power Company and Al Batinah
Power, Al Batinah Investment and Gulf Chemicals.
The financial sector includes 15 companies, namely Bank
Muscat, Gulf Investment, Oman and UAE, DhofarBank,
Sohar Bank, Al Anwar Holding, National Bank of Oman,
Global Investment, HSBC Oman, United Insurance, Ahli
Bank, A’Sharqiyah Investment, Al Batinah Investment,
Omnivest and Nizwa Bank.
The industrial sector comprises of 15 companies. They
are Raysut Cement, Cable Industries, Oman Cement, Oman
Refreshments, Al Anwar Ceramic, Galfar Engineering,
Aluminium Products, Al Jazeera Steel Products, Al Hassan
Engineering, Al Maha Ceramics, Voltamp Energy, Salalah
Flour Mills, Al Saffa Foods, Oman Fiber Optic and Gulf
The services sector includes 15 companies, namely
Omantel, Oman Investment, Ooredoo, Al Nahdha Services,
Al Maha Marketing, Shell Oman, Oman Oil Marketing,
Sembcorp Salalah, Port Services Corporation, Aqua Power
Barka, Al Jazeera Services, Sohar Power, Al Sawadi Power,
National Gas, and Al Batinah Power.
MSM DOWN SEVEN POINTS
Muscat Securities Market (MSM) general index 30 on
Tuesday lost 6.77 points, comprising a decline of 0.11
per cent to close at 6,424.60 points, compared to the last
session, which stood at 6,431.37 points. The trading value
stood at RO 3.76 million, comprising a decline by 26 per
cent compared to the last session, which stood at RO 5.08
million. The report released by MSM pointed out that the
market value declined by 0.02 per cent to reach about RO
MUSCAT: Ooredoo has
appointed Amaal Hussain
al Lawati as Chief Customer
Experience Officer (CXO),
a release from telecom
company said on Tuesday.
Leading the company’s
strategy, Al Lawati’s role
will focus on continuing
the growth of the Sultanate’s
‘Best Call Centre Service’, in
addition to allocating the
right skillsets to drive the
evolution of its inspiring
Part of the Ooredoo
family for over a decade,
Al Lawati represents one
of the company’s most
senior officers, as well the
most senior female Omani
employee. Her previous
managing over 300 staff and
now as Chief Customer Care
Officer, she will lead staff
from a range of departments.
Her rise within the company
offers credence to Ooredoo’s
dedication to developing
personally and professionally.
“Amaal’s appointment as
CXO reaffirms our passion
for nurturing and inspiring
human growth. Amaal’s
strong contribution to the
Amaal al Lawati
company has been witnessed
across various departments
and we welcome her on
this well-deserved position,”
said Greg Young, Ooredoo
CEO. “Empowering local
talent across all elements of
our operation is important
as we diversify and refine
our offering to customers.
We are confident of Amaal’s
capabilities and look forward
to seeing her do many great
things in her new role as she
leads us towards the future of
focused brand, Ooredoo is
committed to initiatives that
drive the growth of Oman’s
national workforce, using a
variety of training activities,
workshops, update sessions,
and personal development
programmes to harness and
develop employees’ skills.
W E D N E S DAY
J U LY 1 l 2 0 1 5
Sohar Port gives
375 vouchers for
SOHAR: Sohar Port and Freezone
is continuing its commitment of
supporting the local community
through the distribution of hundreds of
vouchers for families in need as part of
the company’s Ramadhan celebrations.
The first of the 375 vouchers were
presented to families by Shaikh Said
bin Humaid al Harthy, Wali of Liwa,
along with Sohar Port CEO Andre
Toet. A total 375 of vouchers will be
hand delivered to local homes.
Sohar Port and Freezone also
donated vouchers to families in need,
last year. Speaking on the success of
the month-long aid campaign, Andre
Toet said: “Ramadhan is an extremely
special time for charity in Islam. It
is also a time for understanding and
compassion. Helping those in need is
closely aligned with our commitment,
here at Sohar Port and Freezone, to
creating a responsible and sustainable
business which supports the local
He added: “Since moving to Oman
and experiencing the great culture of
this country, I cannot help but admire
the compassion and generosity that
people demonstrate during this holy
month. I am incredibly proud that we
are doing our bit and giving something
back to the community during this
time so that everyone can join in the
Families were selected from the
Sohar and Liwa areas, based on
household income. The final selection
was made by the Wali’s Office in
coordination with Social Development
North Al Batinah Directorate. With
an average of seven people per
household in the area, the campaign
will reach over two and a half thousand
Institute to train Omanis for auto sector jobs
DEVELOPING LOCAL SKILLS: First Specialised Automotive Higher Institute to give hands-on training opened
ZAINAB AL NASSRI
June 30: National Automotive Higher
Institute (NAHI), the first specialised
automotive higher institute in the
country, was launched on Tuesday. The
institute will provide hands-on training
and academics in multiple automotive
specialisations to provide skilled Omani
talent for employment in the automotive
The institute was launched by NAHI
Chairman, Maqbool Ali Sultan at the
Grand Hurmoz Hotel, in the presence
of members from Royal Court Affairs,
the Ministry of Manpower and Oman’s
leading car dealerships.
Speaking on the occasion, Maqbool
Ali Sultan said, “NAHI was founded by
Royal Court Affairs and seven leading
dealerships in the Sultanate as an
educational and training institute aimed
at empowering the national workforce
in various automotive specialisations.
As a response to the growing economic
prospects available to Omanis in the
automotive sector, NAHI was created to
fulfil the market’s demand for training
opportunities in this particular field.”
NAHI will admit 390 students in
the first batch of its graduating class
by September 2015. The institute is
internationally certified and accredited
by the Institute for Motor Industries
(IMI), City and Guilds (C&G) and the
Ministry of Manpower. NAHI also
signed an agreement with GUtech
during the launch ceremony. The
partnership with GUtech will assist
in designing NAHI’s curriculum,
programme evaluations and assisting
in recruiting trainees. Students will
also have the opportunity to complete
their higher education at GUtech upon
graduating from NAHI.
“The number of employees currently
in the automotive sector is more than
ABOVE: Invitees and dignitaries at the
National Automotive Higher Institute
launch ceremony in Muscat on Tuesday.
RIGHT: NAHI General Manager, Haji Al
Baloshi signing an agreement with
GUtech’s Michael Modigell in Muscat
50,000 spread among all the companies
and their entities across varying
designations. However, Omanis account
for less than 30 per cent of that total,”
Through identifying the gap in the
local market for specialised Omani
technicians, the leading car dealerships
in the Sultanate have come together to
create this institute to meet this demand
and creating job opportunities for
prospective youth. The institute aims
Mohammed Abdallah al Kharusi,
to allow trainees to build their careers Group Director- Business Development
in the automotive sector and sustain at Mohsin Haider Darwish and a
constant growth in the field.
NAHI board member, said: “NAHI can
prove to be a haven of opportunities
for both employers and job seekers.
The programmes offered by NAHI
include both coursework and hands-on
automotive training to equip trainees
with all theoretical and practical aspects
of this field. NAHI can prepare Omani
youth for a variety of jobs that are
required by the fast growing automotive
industry of Oman.”
NAHI is unique in its varying
learning-based courses; the institute
competency-based training and short
courses. Moreover, NAHI provides
students with key specialisations in
a number of primary fields in the
automotive industry, including light and
heavy vehicle services and maintenance;
vehicle body repair; vehicle painting;
sales; parts management and customer
Hani al Zubair, vice chairman of
NAHI, said: “This is the first step towards
an integrated training institute for all
disciplines within the automotive sector.
I strongly encourage the Omani youth
to take advantage of this opportunity
to learn a skill that will start them on a
rewarding career path.”
Mohammed Saud Bahwan, Chairman
of Bahwan Group, said: “NAHI is a
unique joint initiative by the founding
members to develop professional
training based on international
practices. The graduates will be met with
excellent job opportunities and career
prospects in the automotive sector upon
successfully completing their training.”
Atul Dhagat, director on NAHI
board, Bahwan International Holding
Group, added: “In line with the group’s
commitment to develop a strong pool
of competent national workforce, NAHI
will continue to develop future leaders
who would be ready to take on the
challenges of the automotive industry.”
Registration for classes will be open
from July to August. The institute’s first
semester of classes is set to start on the
Technical Military College board approves regulations
MUSCAT: The Board of the Technical Military College has held
its regular meeting under the chairmanship of Mohammed bin
Nasser al Rasbi, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Defence.
The Board approved a number of recommendations
including issuing a standard document of the College
regulations and system, as well as a student manual.
It also approved the design of the new foundation
programme which extends from one to two years depending
on the level of the student and the new academic timeline
which provides students with better environment.
It approved the IELTS certificate issued by the recognised
MUSCAT: Certificates of
deposit tender was held at
the Central Bank of Oman
(CBO) this week. The total
amount allotted for issue
No 924 was RO 300 million.
A bulletin issued by
the CBO stated that the
average interest rate of these
certificates was 0.09 per
cent while the maximum
accepted interest rate was
0.10 per cent.
The tenor of these
certificates is 28 days, so
their maturity date is on
The certificates of deposit
issued to licensed banks
by the CBO as a monetary
policy instrument aimed at
absorbing excess liquidity
at the banking sector in
particular and maintaining
stability of the interest rate
and the money market in
The Repo rate during
July 1 till July 7 is 1 per cent.
The Board approved a military training programme that
matches the academic study programme to enable students
get the military rehabilitation before being admitted to the
On the other hand, the Board approved opening the
field for students to compete for admission at the bachelor
programme as per the academic requirements without
limitations on the number of admitted students. It also
approved the career development for the graduates of the
bachelor and advanced diploma.
The same was reflected on the employment contracts that
will be signed by students. — ONA
DISCUSSION WITH A DIFFERENCE
W E D N E S D A Y l J U LY 1 l 2 0 1 5
DHOLPUR PALACE FOR RAJE’S SON
Protesting workers of the Corporation
of the City of Panaji (CCP) will organise
a different kind of Chai pe charcha event
from today, , wearing black clothes
and brewing black tea to convey their
grievances to the people. Hundreds of
daily wage workers of the CCP, who have
been demanding higher wages and
regularisation of service, will stage such
protests in all the 30 wards in the state.
The Bharatiya Janata Party
yesterday maintained that the
Dholpur Palace in the state
belonged to Rajasthan Chief
Minister Vasundhara Raje’s son
Dushyant Singh and challenged the
Congress to prove it to the contrary.
Dushyant Singh is a Bharatiya
Janata Party (BJP) MP from the
state’s Jhalawar-Baran constituency.
Jayalalithaa juggernaut rolls down opposition
CRUSHING WIN: The chief minister bagged 65 per cent of all the votes polled with a victory margin of a whopping 150,722 votes
CHENNAI: AIADMK general secretary
and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa
returned to the Tamil Nadu assembly
on Tuesday crushing the opposition
by a record victory margin from the
Radkhakrishnan Nagar constituency
Jayalalithaa polled 160,432 votes
while her nearest rival, Communist
Party of India’s (CPI) C Mahendran, got
just 9,710 votes — a victory margin of a
whopping 150,722 votes.
The total electorate in the
constituency was around 245,000, and
the chief minister bagged 65 per cent of
all votes polled.
Going by the votes polled by
Jayalalithaa, it is clear the vote banks of
the opposition parties which boycotted
the polls fell into her kitty and did not
go to the CPI.
Mahendran was followed by
independent candidate and social
activist K R Ramaswamy, popularly
known as “Traffic Ramaswamy” (4,590
votes) while 2,376 people opted for
`None of the Above’ category.
While there were 28 candidates in the
fray, only CPI’s Mahendran was viewed
as a serious opponent for Jayalalithaa.
As noisy celebrations erupted at the
AIADMK headquarters and outside
Jayalalithaa’s residence, Tamil Nadu
Governor K Rosaiah congratulated her
over her landslide win.
Central Minister of State for Road
Transport, Highways and Shipping Pon
Radhakrishnan of the Bharatiya Janata
Party conveyed his “heartfelt greetings”
to Jayalalithaa on her mega victory.
AIADMK activists and leaders
generously distributed sweets to all and
Supporters of India’s All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party celebrate
sundry and burst crackers to celebrate.
after victory in the R K Nagar by-election in Chennai. — AFP
An elated Jayalalithaa thanked voters
and AIADMK supporters for her victory the 2016 assembly election.
for the AIADMK since it came to power
and said the result was a forerunner for
This is the seventh by-election victory in 2011.
HUMAN THREAT TO ELEPHANTS
A mahout uses an elephant to transport leaves along a street in Amritsar. The country is home to around 25,000 Asian
elephants but their numbers are dwindling mainly due to poaching and the destruction of their habitats by human
populations. — AFP
Chief Minister says an elected representative need not be educationally qualiﬁed
Another Goa minister accused of
faking educational qualification
PANAJI: Goa Tourism Minister Dilip
Parulekar was on Tuesday accused of
“faking” his educational qualification
in his poll-related affidavit but Deputy
Chief Minister Francis D’Souza said
an elected representative “need not be
Francis D’Souza said that while
lying on oath was wrong, even “zero
standard” was acceptable as educational
qualification for a public representative.
Parulekar is the second cabinet
minister and third legislator in the
40-member Goa legislative assembly
to be accused of faking educational
qualification in a sworn affidavit
submitted to the Election Commission
of India before elections.
Earlier, the Aam Aadmi Party in
Goa accused Public Works Department
Minister Ramakrishna alias Sudin
Dhavalikar of having a ‘fake’ Bachelor of
In his defence, Chief Minister
Laxmikant Parsekar said educational
qualification was not a criteria to be a
“Information obtained under the
Right To Information Act shows that
Parulekar is the second
cabinet minister and third
legislator in the 40-member
Goa legislative assembly
to be accused of faking
educational qualiﬁcation in
a sworn afﬁdavit submitted
to the Election Commission
of India before elections
Dilip Parulekar claimed in his affidavit
filed before the 2007 assembly elections
that he passed B.Com from Goa
University in 1988,” civil society activist
“However, in an affidavit filed before
the 2012 assembly election, Parulekar
said he passed higher secondary (Class
12) from the Goa Board in 1985,”
Rodrigues told a press conference on
Tuesday, where he furnished documents
to support his point.
Rodrigues said that RTI replies from
Dnyanprassarak Mandal’s College near
Mapusa, 10 km north of the state capital,
showed that Parulekar failed in BCom,
First Year in 1986-87 and failed again in
the subsequent academic year.
“He simply could not have passed
BCom in 1988, as mentioned in the
2007 affidavit,” the civil society activist
While Parulekar could not be
contacted for comments, Deputy Chief
Minister Francis D’Souza told reporters
that “one did not need any qualification
to be a people’s representative”.
“How does it matter? For being a
The party has won all the by-elections
held since 2011.
In 2006, AIADMK’s P K Sekarbabu
polled 84,462 votes in Radhakrishnan
In 2011, P Vetrivel of AIADMK got
83,777 votes and defeated Sekarbabu,
who by then was in the DMK.
Vetrivel’s victory margin was over
Major opposition parties like the
DMK, the PMK, the DMDK, the
Congress, the BJP and the MDMK
stayed away from the contest on different
The CPI and the CPI-M fielded
Mahendran as their joint candidate.
The Radhakrishnan Nagar seat fell
vacant after AIADMK’s Vetrivel resigned
from the house to facilitate Jayalalithaa’s
re-election to the assembly.
Jayalalithaa, elected from Srirangam
in 2011, lost that seat and the chief
minister’s post after a trial court
in Bengaluru convicted her in the
disproportionate assets case.
The Karnataka High Court upheld
her appeal and acquitted her of all
Jayalalithaa was again sworn in as
chief minister, but she has to get elected
to the assembly within six months.
The Karnataka government has gone
on appeal against the high court order in
the Supreme Court. — IANS
UDF win boosts Chandy
— BJP gains too
HYDERABAD: Andhra Pradesh
Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu
and Governor E S L Narasimhan
on Tuesday met President Pranab
In their separate meetings with
the president at Rashtrapati Nilayam
at Bolarum, they understood to
have discussed with him latest
developments in the wake of cashfor-vote scam, telephone tapping
and implementation of section 8 of
Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act.
Naidu spent nearly half-an-hour
with Mukherjee, who is on 10-day
southern sojourn here.
Though officials described it a
courtesy call, the meeting assumed
significance in the wake of recent
developments, which led to tension
between Andhra Pradesh and
Telangana. Earlier, Narasimhan who
is governor of both the states met the
president. — IANS
An elated Jayalalithaa
thanked voters and AIADMK
supporters for her victory
and said the result was a
forerunner for the 2016
public representative, I do not require a
I could be just zero standard,”
The deputy chief minister said a lot
of “practical issues” crop up while filing
affidavits and completing other prepoll formalities which, he claimed, are
voluminous and taxing.
“Some people are not that careful.
If you miss out something, it is an
offence. If you add something, that is
also an offence.
So you have to be very careful, while
filing returns and affidavits because
the whole world is scrutinising your
affidavits,” D’Souza said.
The deputy chief minister, however,
said that lying on a sworn affidavit was
not the right thing and that efforts must
be made to maintain probity in public
Atanasio Monserrate — currently an
unattached MLA — was also involved
in a controversy over his educational
qualification. While the legislator
claimed he was a matriculate, he was
accused of clearing only Class 8. — IANS
K A Sabarinath (pictured), of
the Congress was on Tuesday
elected to the Kerala assembly
from Aruvikara, trouncing
former speaker M Vijayakumar
of the CPM by over 10,000
votes. The result came as a relief
to Chief Minister Oommen
Chandy, and also provided
reasons for the BJP to smile.
Although the CPM, which
heads the Left Democratic
Front, came second, veteran
BJP leader O Rajagopal polled 34,145 votes, an impressive five-fold growth over
the party’s vote share of 2011.
Allegations of corruption flew thick and fast during the campaign, and a
Congress defeat would have been seen as a personal setback for Chandy.
But Sabarinath won by a handsome 10,128 votes, triggering celebrations by
the Congress activists and supporters. Sabarinath, son of G Karthikeyan, who
represented the constituency for 24 years and died in March, bagged 56,448
votes. Vijayakumar of the CPM got 46,320 votes.
Chandy told reporters that the victory would make the Congress-led United
Democratic Front more humble. “The people in Aruvikara have bestowed upon us
a huge responsibility to take forward their dreams and aspirations.
The people voted for us because they saw through the negative campaign of
the Left,” he said. “The Left fails to learn from mistakes.
This victory is a pointer that in less than a year from now when the assembly
polls are held, we will retain power,” said Chandy.
Sabarinathan dedicated the victory to his late father.
“For 24 years my father represented this constituency, and the electorate
gave this victory for the work he did,” he said.”This victory is also for Chandy’s
Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan, who was the star campaigner for the
Left and whose rallies drew massive crowds, accused the Congress of abuse of
power during the campaign. “Minority appeasement and the ground covered by
the BJP also helped the Congress victory,” said the former chief minister.
CPM politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan added that the Congress “misused
office to win this election.
This loss will help us to regroup and work harder for the coming local body
elections this year”.CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said: “A loss in one
election means nothing because it will help us to work much harder for the
coming elections.” There were 16 candidates in the fray and 184,210 voters. The
voter turnout was 70 per cent. — IANS
BJP launches campaign
over Nabakalebar fiasco
BHUBANESWAR: Protesting the gross deviation in the ‘Brahma Parivartan’ ritual
of the deities in Shree Jagannath temple, the Odisha BJP on Tuesday kicked off a
weeklong ‘Shree Jagannath Sanskruti Suraksha Yatra’ from Puri.
The yatra was flagged off from the Grand Road of Puri in the presence of
party’s senior leaders will move across the state to protest gross mismanagement
in Nabakalebara rituals and the Naveen Patnaik-led government’s failure to
conduct the festival as per Jagannath temple tradition.
The yatra will continue till July 6, party leaders said.
“It will create public opinion on lapses in the sacred rituals and the failure of
the Naveen Patnaik government in managing the Nabakalebara festival on all
We will make the people aware about the government, which is playing
with the Jagannath culture,” said state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president K V
Criticising the state government for the ‘Brahma Paribartan’ fiasco, union Tribal
Affairs Minister Jual Oram demanded resignation of the chief minister and a
judicial probe into the mess that was created around it.
However, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) claimed it was taking every possible
step for smooth functioning of the Nabakalebar rituals.
“The opposition parties are playing politics over the religious issue to revive
their political fortunes.
The state government is inquiring into the delay in Brahma Paribartan
and would take appropriate action against the guilty,” said BJD spokesperson
Sashibhusan Behera. Brahma Paribartan is ceremonial exchange of soul substance
from the old idols into the new ones of Lord Jagannath and His siblings. — IANS
W E D N E S DAY
J U LY 1 l 2 0 1 5
SUMMER OFFENSIVE: Three killed and 60 injured as Taliban launches major assault
Suicide attackers strike in Afghanistan
KABUL: Suicide attackers on Tuesday
targeted Nato troops in Kabul and a
police headquarters in restive southern
Afghanistan, killing three people and
wounding at least 60 as the Taliban’s
bloody summer offensive showed no
signs of letting up.
A powerful blast echoed around the
Afghan capital as a suicide car bomber
hit a Nato military convoy on the main
road to the airport, around 500 metres
from the US Embassy, killing at least one
Afghan civilian and wounding around
20. Hours earlier at least two civilians
were killed when a suicide truck bomb
detonated at the gate of the police
headquarters in Lashkar Gah, the capital
of volatile Helmand province.
Afghan troops and police are battling
the Taliban alone in the first “fighting
season” since Nato ended its combat
mission and left local forces to take
charge of security.
Tuesday’s violence came less
than two days after 11 soldiers were
killed in a Taliban ambush in the
normally relatively peaceful western
province of Herat.
“It was a suicide car bomber targeting
a convoy of foreign forces in Kabul,”
Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq
“In the aftermath of today’s terrorist
attack in Kabul, one was killed and 22
more injured, all civilians,” he said.
A spokeswoman for the Nato
mission in Afghanistan, Captain Susan
Harrington, confirmed a convoy had
been attacked and said two coalition
personnel had been wounded.
The Taliban claimed responsibility
Afghan troops and police
are battling the Taliban
alone in the ﬁrst ‘ﬁghting
season’ since Nato ended
its combat mission and left
local forces to take charge of
security in the country.
US soldiers attend to a wounded colleague at the site of a blast in Kabul yesterday.
for the attack in Kabul on their official
In Helmand, provincial police
spokesman Farid Ahmad Obaid said the
police headquarters attack left at least
two civilians dead and 40 wounded.
Provincial police chief Nabi Jan
Mullahkhil told reporters three attackers
“Two attackers were killed in the
explosion while the third one was
injured and as he tried to escape the
police shot him,” he said.
Provincial spokesman Omar Zhwak
said most of the wounded were hit
inside their homes by flying glass.
A doctor at the emergency hospital
in Lashkar Gah said 40 civilians were
brought to the hospital.
The Taliban launched their annual
spring-summer offensive in late April,
vowing nationwide attacks in what is
expected to be the bloodiest summer for
After the Helmand attack a small blast
hit a military vehicle in Kabul, police
said, though there were no casualties.
“A small sticky bomb attached to a
military vehicle detonated in western
Kabul this morning. Only the car was
damaged,” Kabul police spokesman
Ebadullah Karimi Kabul said.
Nato’s combat mission formally
ended in December after 13 years, but
a small follow-up foreign force named
Resolute Support has stayed on to train
and support local security forces.
Stretched on multiple fronts and
facing record casualties, Afghan forces
are struggling to rein in the militants
even as the government makes repeated
efforts to jump-start peace negotiations.
The Taliban’s annual summer
offensive has sent civilian and military
casualties soaring and threatened major
cities for the first time in a decade.
A fierce battle has been going on in
the northern province of Kunduz, where
Afghan forces last week recaptured a
key district from Taliban fighters who
had threatened to overrun their first
provincial capital since being toppled
from power in 2001.
Last week also saw the militants
launch a brazen assault on parliament
in Kabul, detonating a car bomb at the
entrance and trading fire with security
forces. Police and soldiers beat back the
attack with only two civilians killed, but
the incident highlighted the Taliban’s
continuing ability to strike even at the
heart of the heavily-secured capital.
Myanmar students protest military’s political role
YANGON: Students in Myanmar led
a peaceful march of between 50 and
200 protesters on Tuesday, urging
Myanmar’s military to remove itself
from politics, days after lawmakers
voted down a measure to scrap the
military’s effective legislative veto.
Myanmar emerged from 49 years
of military rule in 2011 and now has
a quasi-civilian government, but its
2008 constitution reserves a quarter
of parliamentary seats for unelected
members of the military.
Any proposed change to the
UNFIT TO EAT
constitution must win support from at
least 75 per cent of lawmakers, giving
the military an effective veto power.
Last Thursday’s change would have
cut the support threshold to 70 per
cent, but the measure failed, as had
been expected. Even if accepted it
would still have needed to win support
at a national referendum.
“The military has no dignity,” Aung
Thaw Win, one of the demonstration
leaders and a student from Yangon’s
Dagon University, told supporters in
front of city hall on Tuesday.
“Going against amendments to the
constitution is insulting the people and
disrespectful to the country,” he said, to
Police remained on the fringe of
the protest, although a demonstration
against Myanmar’s education law in
March was broken up violently by
police and plainclothes men.
The protest stayed peaceful, despite
lacking formal police permission such
an event requires, with cops outfitted
in helmets and riot shields patrolling
alongside the marchers.
Student protesters and policemen push each other as the students try to pass a police
line during a protest in Yangon yesterday.
A FESTIVE MOOD
Nepal tells UN
to destroy low
KATHMANDU: The United Nations
must destroy hundreds of tonnes
of substandard food it imported for
distribution to survivors of the recent
earthquakes in Nepal, a senior Nepali
government official said.
Two quakes, on April 25 and May
12, killed 8,844 people, injured more
than 22,000 and destroyed 500,000
homes forcing tens of thousands into
temporary shelters and in need of food
and medical care.
The UN’s World Food Programme
has distributed more than 6,500 tonnes
rice, high energy biscuits, pulses and
oil to more than two million people in
areas hit by the disaster.
But Nepal’s Food Technology and
Quality Control Department said
laboratory tests of some rice and pulse
samples showed they were “unfit for
That included more than 500 tonnes
of split peas stored in Nepalgunj in the
southwest of the country, and 6 tonnes
of rice in Laprak, a village in the badlyhit central Gorkha district.
WFP said none of the problem
food was distributed and the stocks
would be returned to suppliers once
the government cleared necessary
papers because they had failed to meet
the quality specifications.
“We are investigating all the steps
the damaged food passed through,”
Richard Ragan, said.
A woman smiles as she takes part in ‘Asar Pandhra’ festival in Pokhara valley, west of Nepal’s capital Kathmandu,
yesterday. Farmers celebrate the festival to mark the commencement of rice crop planting in paddy fields. — Reuters
Pakistan telecom sector gets $127m FDI
KARACHI: The telecom sector of
Pakistan attracted foreign direct
investment (FDI) of $81.9 million
against a disinvestment of $184.9
million in the corresponding period
last year, said a State Bank’s recently
The improvement came on
the back of rise in the number of
subscribers to 3G/4G services,
from 1.9 million in July 2014 to 7.7
million in December. The situation
further improved as the FDI in
the sector rose to $126.9 million
during the first 11 months (JulyMay) of 2014-15.
“The cellular service providers
have started rolling out a range of
new products to their customers
following the spectrum auction of
3G/4G licences in April 2014,” the
This also includes existing
customers who have converted
to packages offering high speed
data usage, said the report, adding
that at the same time the launch of
3G/4G services is also supporting
the broadband services in the
Firms have been investing
in upgrading their systems and
network, which is reflected in an
increase in foreign direct investment
and a surge in telecom imports, said
ISLAMABAD: Petrol prices across
Pakistan are likely to rise by an
average of 5.5 per cent from today as
global oil prices stabilise and begin to
Sources in the petroleum
ministry say they have received
recommendations from the Oil and
Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) on
Tuesday to hike oil prices to keep
pace with global price changes.
The products likely to see their
prices go up include petrol, kerosene
and high-octane blended component.
Diesel prices, however, are likely
to come down as are those of jet fuels.
However, the government may
make significant changes to these
prices before final approval, since
Ogra has recommended not passing
on the full effect of global increases
in petrol prices to consumers, and
instead absorbing some of the
increase by cutting petroleum levies.
Cost of tax
ISLAMABAD: In what appears to be
a blatant case of creative accounting,
the government claims the cost of
tax exemptions to politically wellconnected industries for the outgoing
fiscal year is Rs 412 billion, insisting
the Rs 665 billion figure it released
earlier this month was a ‘printing error’.
The government has revised
the figure downwards after foreign
lenders, particularly the IMF, began
questioning Islamabad’s sincerity in
its efforts to end the practice of issuing
executive Statutory Regulatory
Orders that bypass parliament to
make changes to tax code for the
benefit of politically well-connected
industries or companies.
The government has lowered its
estimates of tax exemptions at a time
when the Federal Board of Revenue
is set to miss its thrice downward
revised tax collection target of
Rs 2,605 billion despite, levying Rs
360 billion in additional taxes in a
W E D N E S DAY
J U LY 1 l 2 0 1 5
BRITAIN WRONG IN
he first shock of a great earthquake had, just at that period, rent the whole
neighbourhood to its centre, is how Charles Dickens described the coming of the
railroads to north London.
“Houses were knocked down; streets broken through and stopped; deep pits
and trenches dug in the ground; enormous heaps of earth and clay thrown up;
buildings that were undermined and shaking, propped by great beams of wood,”
Dickens wrote of the railroad driven through Camden Town to connect London
“In short, the yet unfinished railroad was in progress; and from the very core of
all this dire disorder, trailed smoothly away, upon its mighty course of civilisation
and improvement” he wrote in Dombey and Son, published between 1846 and
1848, at the height of the country’s railway building mania.
The railway is now part of the West Coast Main Line, Britain’s busiest longdistance passenger route, connecting the capital with Coventry, Birmingham,
Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow.
Dickens was ambivalent about the social
and economic changes wrought by the
railways but there is no doubt they ushered decision to reject a plea
in the modern world and today are extolled to drill and hydraulic
as a more climate-friendly alternative to
fracture up to four wells
Britain’s railroads would never have at a site in the borough
been built, however, if their promoters of Fylde is a symbol of
had had to deal with the country’s modern
everything that is wrong
planning bureaucracy, which has left the
country with a chronic shortage of housing with the planning
and mostly paralysed the development of control system,
reports JOHN KEMP
Lancashire County Council’s decision
on Monday to reject an application to drill
and hydraulic fracture up to four wells at
a site in the borough of Fylde on the grounds of “noise” and “visual impact” is a
symbol of everything that is wrong with the country’s planning control system.
The planning application has already been reviewed by council officials against
almost 50 different planning policy documents and criteria set by local councils,
health and safety authorities, national government and the European Union. It
has been tested for compliance with everything from national energy policy and
core planning principles to local policies on nature reserves and development in
But in the end elected local councillors voted to reject the application against
the advice of their own planning officers, who recommended it should be
accepted subject to stringent conditions on traffic movements, control of noise,
dust, landscaping, ecology and other matters designed to protect local residents
and the environment.
The decision will almost certainly be appealed on the grounds of
unreasonableness and end up being reviewed by an independent planning
inspector, national government ministers and ultimately the courts.
Councillors responded to a mix of community concerns about disruption and
a strong campaign by outside environmentalists opposed to hydraulic fracturing
in particular and the production of fossil fuels in general.
Britain’s planning system is a byzantine hybrid of national policies implemented
by elected local councils subject to review by a national planning inspectorate,
ministers and the courts, which ensures it is neither democratic nor efficient, and
decisions are subject to endless and costly delays.
In one view, the county council’s decision is a welcome demonstration of
localism and democracy in action: communities successfully opposing drilling
for natural gas in their area.
The problem is that energy production is a national as well as local concern and
the energy has to be produced somewhere. There are 496,000 separate household
spaces in Lancashire of which 412,000 (83 per cent) rely exclusively on gas central
heating, according to Britain’s Office for National Statistics.
In Fylde, the borough in which gas company Cuadrilla applied to drill wells,
more than 81 per cent of households rely on gas to heat their homes, slightly
higher than the average for England and Wales.
Gas became the most popular home-heating fuel in Britain following the
discovery of extensive reserves in the North Sea during the 1960s and 1970s,
replacing dirty coal and expensive electricity.
But the North Sea fields are depleting, leaving the country increasingly reliant
on imported gas from the Middle East and perhaps, in future, North America.
Can Tunisia avoid the crisis?
But he said that it would not necessarily halt the
n assault on a Tunisian resort, which killed 39 people,
has sent holidaymakers fleeing and dealt a major blow to country’s recovery, and would not have direct impact on
the country’s tourism industry, but the broader economy Tunisia’s credit worthiness. “We are comfortable with the
should be robust enough to withstand the shock.
The turmoil unleashed by Tunisia’s 2011 revolution
European tour operators are evacuating thousands of
tourists after last Friday’s attack by a lone militant on a beach slashed foreign currency tourism receipts by a third.
By 2014 they had regained their pre-revolution level,
in Sousse and many foreigners are likely to shun Tunisia in
the months ahead until they feel it is safe to return. This, in but 2015 has been a dire year for the industry.
An attack on the Bardo museum in Tunis in March
turn, will hit Tunisia’s foreign exchange reserves and could
killed 23 people, scaring away some tourists. Then came
lead to a weakening of its currency.
However, analysts say the economy should avoid a the Sousse killings.
Khaled Abdel Majeed, founder of MENA Capital, an
repeat of the recession which followed the 2011 revolution.
Inflation appears steady below 6 per cent, tax collection investment manager focusing on the Middle East, drew
is improving and authorities have started to rein in a parallel with a 1997 attack at Luxor in Egypt that killed
over 60 people. Egypt’s tourism sector
spending, which may offset the blow
took two to three years to recover, he said.
from any tourism slump.
Foreigners are likely
A repeat of the 2011 slump would
Just as importantly, elections in late
to shun Tunisia in the blow a hole of about 1.2 billion dinars
2014 led to a ruling coalition with a large
months ahead until ($615 million) in Tunisia’s annual
foreign earnings, expanding a current
This may let the government push
they feel it is safe to account deficit that totalled 7.39 billion
through long-delayed reforms to attract
return. This will hit
dinars in 2014.
This would not amount to a balance of
“Although over the short term there
the country, writes
payments crisis, however.
will be negative shocks to tourism
The deficit has been shrinking, by 38
income, the economy has made some
per cent year-on-year in the first quarter
important positive steps,” said John
of 2015, because of rising exports and
Sfakianakis, Riyadh-based director for
lower oil prices. Tunisia is also more able to handle pressure
global fund manager Ashmore Group.
“The parliamentary majority should enable approval on its balance of payments than it was just a year ago.
It has rebuilt net foreign currency assets from 10.39
of structural reforms delayed by the 2011-14 political
transition, including financial sector reforms and laws on billion dinars worth 93 days of imports in April 2014 — a
level which the central bank governor called “dangerous”
competition, bankruptcy and public-private partnerships.”
Financial markets reopened on Monday after the attack — to 13.51 billion dinars or 117 days, which bankers see
and indicated investors weren’t panicking. The stock as comfortable.
The central bank responded to last year’s foreign
market dropped 1 per cent and the dinar fell only modestly
reserves crunch by reducing its sales of hard currency and
against the dollar.
Arnaud Louis, director at Fitch Ratings, which in March allowing a controlled fall of the dinar, to about 2 against the
raised its outlook for Tunisia’s BB- foreign debt rating to dollar in March this year from around 1.57 in April 2014.
The bank may resume its policy of controlled falls if
stable from negative, said the attack would slow economic
reserves shrink sharply again.
growth and damage a key source of foreign exchange.
Do global statesmen help or hinder charity world?
ith friends in high places and international
celebrity status, the transformation
of former political leaders into global
statesmen able to influence the world
agenda and charity spending is raising
some concerns, experts say.
While some prime ministers and
presidents retire quietly, Jimmy Carter,
Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, among others,
have developed second acts as global
philanthropists, setting up organisations to
drive their chosen agendas.
“They break the mould of former leaders
that focused much more on national
politics and explicit ideological concerns,”
said Andrew Cooper, author of Diplomatic
Afterlives and political science professor at
Canada’s University of Waterloo.
He said these former political masters
are “hyper-empowered individuals” with
access to current and former national
leaders as well as celebrities from the
worlds of entertainment, business and
While Angelina Jolie, George Clooney
and others from the entertainment world
attract attention as ambassadors for a
humanitarian agency or a cause, former
political leaders can bring both celebrity
status — and a record of getting things done.
Since leaving power, Carter, Clinton
and Blair have set up foundations to tackle
global problems from disease to climate
change, conflict and extremism to poverty.
“But what it means is there’s a huge
amount of messiness, a tilting towards
informality (so) the legitimacy of present
leaders is somewhat undercut,” Cooper said.
In the past, public policy was mostly
shaped by national governments and, to
some extent, by donors, UN agencies and
other multilateral organisations.
“Now you’ve got a whole array of actors
that don’t have classic legitimacy but are
involved in healthcare, education, even to
some extent environmental issues,” said
The furore over whether the Clinton
transparent in revealing its donors as
Hillary campaigns for the presidency
has thrown a spotlight on the charitable
endeavours of political heavyweights.
Former leaders also often take lucrative
positions in the commercial sector
after leaving politics which has, in itself,
In the past, public policy
was mostly shaped by
national governments and,
to some extent, by donors,
UN agencies and other
notes ALEX WHITING
George Bush Sr and former British
prime minister John Major both worked for
US-based investment firm Carlyle Group.
Tony Blair and Bill Clinton both worked
for international business consultancy
Teneo — which has employed former
British foreign minister and Conservative
party leader William Hague in the past
month — before creating their own global
entrepreneurial freelance roles.
Tamasin Cave, from the transparency
lobbying group Spinwatch, expressed
concern about companies hiring outgoing
“How is the public interest served by
ex-ministers taking the skills and insider
knowledge they gained in government and
flogging them to private interests?” she told
the Sunday Times.
“There is a reason why companies hire
outgoing ministers. It has become another
way of buying influence.”
Cooper said it is sometimes unclear
which hat ex-politicians like Clinton or
Blair are wearing — whether they are
working for their charitable organisation or
“They give speeches, they’ve made
money on their books, but also they have
these kind of fixer roles that get a bit murky
and a bit blurry in terms of their roles,”
Former British prime minister and head of the Middle East Quartet meets with Gazan
business men in Gaza Strip during a brief visit to Palestine.
W E D N E S DAY
J U LY 1 l 2 0 1 5
Need to protect interests of Omani shareholders
HAIDER AL LAWATI
he method of distributing shares of Phoenix
Power Company did not satisfy many Omanis,
especially small investors. The maximum limit for
share distribution was 3,000 shares for each small
subscriber, totalling RO 330 only as the value of the
initial public offering (IPO) of the single share was
110 baisas. The company distributed a ratio of 8.57
per cent of the rest of the subscription amount.
This raises a question for the Capital Market
Authority (CMA) a need to allow foreigners to
subscribe to the IPO in such profitable companies.
We see many countries allow IPOs only to citizens.
The questions before a citizen are: Why was the
initial subscription in such companies not limited
to Omani citizens only. Why they cannot benefit
from the sale of their shares to others?
Today we see large number of citizens investing
in IPOs of such companies. It is more than three
decades since the establishment of the Muscat
Securities Market (MSM), thus deepening this
However, we notice that there is a rush of
foreigners for IPOs and sometimes the investments
exceed ten folds than those of Omani institutions
and individuals. Currently, there are foreigners
buying shares of such blue-chip companies. They
do this in their individual capacity and through
their institutions. Some of these institutions operate
through hidden identity and have a shadow trade Changing the laws would allow subscriptions in
in Oman and abroad. This kind of practice creates IPO of the shares of these companies dedicated to
great competition among Omani citizens, financial Omani citizens and institutions alone. Otherwise,
the biggest beneficiary of these companies would
institutions, companies and funds to grab stocks.
Foreign investors accordingly sell those shares be foreign investors and who subsequently own
to interested Omani citizens and institutions the largest ratio of the shares in these companies.
A foreigner can thus make use of them in
immediately, making huge profits and later they
daily trading in the Muscat
transfer these profits abroad.
Securities Market, especially
Transferring such huge
in such companies which
amounts undoubtedly affect
Omanis have begun
put a small portion of their
the economies of the countries.
to recognise the
shares for public subscription
Several years ago, His
importance of savings following their incorporation
Majesty Sultan Qaboos spoke
in an earlier stage.
on this subject during one of
and investing in
In such subscriptions, we
his meetings with citizens,
should be aware that there are
and urged them to reduce the
bonds and equities.
many methods carried out
amounts of annual remittances
to support the national
Laws should be changed by some Omani citizens or
foreigners to obtain the largest
economy. This is where the
to ensure that citizens
number of offered shares.
CMA and other stakeholders
beneﬁt from IPOs.
These people collect tens
can enter and make a study of
or even hundreds of passports
and ID cards of foreign workers
Omanis have begun to
recognise the importance of savings and investing and issue them trading numbers from the Capital
in such securities, including bonds or equities. Market Authority. Subsequently, they buy stocks
If the Omani society has started showing keen in their names. After the allocation of shares, they
interest in buying shares of these companies, sell them and collect their cheques from financial
Omani laws should correspondingly be changed. brokerage firms. Consequently, they collect the
accrued accumulated profits and transfer them out
of the Sultanate.
Companies must restrict the IPOs to Omani
citizens and institutions to stop this kind of
CMA could produce and distribute a
questionnaire in this regard to know the views
of Omanis who trade in securities regarding the
desired change in laws.
Today we read a lot about the desire of the
Sultanate to encourage foreign investment in the
country. Thus, this means the country allows
foreign companies to come with their projects,
investments and expertise to set up new ventures
in the country. They should help in providing
employment for citizens in various occupations.
However to open gates for foreign companies
and individuals merely to take advantage of the
IPOs as a form of foreign investment, is far from
what we mean by “foreign investment”. Such kind
of business only opens way for foreigners to make
easy profits which should have otherwise been
earned by citizens.
We have seen the volume of subscription
offered by the Phoenix Power Company’s IPO has
multiplied by 18 times. This huge volume shows
that large institutions applied for the company’s
shares leading to fierce competition.
SKY NOT A LIMIT
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras looks at his watch during a parliamentary session in Athens, Greece, on Tuesday.
asa’s Voyager programme, which sent two probes to study the outer solar
system and beyond, has cost $860 million and counting. Launched in
1977, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, each weighing close to 800 kg, have now
become the first manmade objects to enter interstellar space.
The days of projects like this, with almost unlimited budgets and timescales, appear for the present to be over. Planning for space projects is
now overshadowed by limited objectives and limited funds.
The German Aerospace Center (DLR) based in Cologne sees the aim
of more recent missions as seeking to cut costs while increasing their
scientific significance. The motto is “low cost.”
At the beginning of the 1990s, space projects costing less than 500
million euros ($5.6 million) were barely conceivable, according to DLR
executive board member Hansjoerg Dittus, speaking during a recent
conference in Berlin. Now they are the norm.
“Space always meant that everything had to be as complicated as
possible,” Dittus says. But simplifying the systems has gained priority at
the space agencies. Still, what’s modest at a state-funded agency remains
way out of reach for university-student space explorers.
“By ‘low cost’ we mean something rather different,” says Klaus Briess,
who heads the Center for Nano Satellites at Berlin’s Technical University,
which was founded just last year.
“For us, even a budget of $200 million is way above what we could
afford, whereas agencies might consider that level of funding for an
interplanetary mission very shoestring,” the professor says.
His most extensive programme to date, with a budget of around 3
million euros, is currently under way.
Its satellites, just 24 centimetres wide on the longest edge, are extremely
small and intended to fly in formation. They are testing new ideas for
monitoring the environment, the climate and road traffic.
The smallest of the so-called pico-satellites are the size of an espresso
saucer: a 10 by 10 centimetre square that is 2 centimetres thick, weighing
little more than 300 grams. The absolute entry-level price of a space
project is about half a million euros, Briess says.
“We once got away with paying just 250,000 euros for launch, landing
and personnel. But we were paying less than the true economic value of
the resources we used.”
Launch costs have risen steadily since the start of space travel.
The lighter a satellite, the cheaper to launch. The first satellite sent
up by the university in 1991 was a relative heavyweight at 35 kg, but
times have changed.
Tsipras is an unlikely hero for eurosceptics
uropean anti-establishment parties of all
political colours are rallying behind Greek
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in his standoff with creditors, which threatens to force
Athens out of the euro zone and undermine
the single currency.
Parties with virtually nothing in common
except a rejection of EU-imposed austerity
are hoping public sympathy for Greece and
its radical leftist leader will translate into a
backlash against traditional parties and a
boost in their own support.
Tsipras’s battle has united parties as
diverse as Spain’s left-wing Podemos, the
anti-immigrant Northern League and the
grassroots 5-Star Movement in Italy, France’s
far-right National Front and the anti-EU
United Kingdom Independence Party
They all cheered Tsipras for rejecting the
creditors’ cash-for-reforms offer on Saturday
and calling a referendum on the proposal, a
move that appalled the mainstream parties
represented in the other 18 euro zone
Podemos (We Can), which vies for
supremacy with the Popular Party and
Socialists in Spain and triumphed at
mayoral elections in May, said Tsipras was
“exemplary” in calling a referendum in the
face of “blackmail” on the part of the lenders.
“Today in Europe there are two
opposing forces: austerity and democracy,
government by the people or government
by the markets and unelected bodies. We
are with democracy, we are with the Greek
people,” the party said in a statement on
Podemos, led by charismatic, pony-tailed
politics professor Pablo Iglesias, is at least
ideologically close to Syriza, unlike many
parties now clambering onto its bandwagon.
Both movements are left-wing and say
they support the euro but want to change
the economic policies that underpin the
Marine Le Pen’s National Front (FN), one
of the main opposition forces in France, is
on the other end of the political spectrum
but also welcomed Tsipras’s election victory
in January in the hope it would help
undermine the euro.
Its reaction on Monday to the latest
rupture between Greece and its creditors
“I hope we will soon be seeing the first
historic setback for the European Union,”
FN’s vice-president Florian Philippot said,
adding that a Greek euro exit would “show
that the progress of this devilish project is
In Italy, where anti-euro sentiment
has grown steadily during seven years of
stagnation and recession, the two main
opposition parties both want Rome to quit
the single currency.
Northern League leader Matteo Salvini,
who in the last year has eclipsed former
prime minister Silvio Berlusconi as the
dominant figure on Italy’s right, said
Greece’s difficulties were “first and foremost
the failure of Europe.”
“With a currency that doesn’t work there
is nothing that can be done,” he said, while
applauding Tsipras for “holding his head
Parties with virtually nothing
in common except a rejection
of EU-imposed austerity are
hoping public sympathy for
Greece and its radical leader
will boost their own support
base, writes GAVIN JONES
high” and not bowing to the demands of
The 5-Star Movement, which opinion
polls say is Italy’s second largest party
behind Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s
Democratic Party (PD), said Tsipras was
paving the way for a broader revolt against
austerity on Europe’s southern rim. “Very
soon southern Europe will definitively break
the chains of the euro and austerity,” 5-Star’s
parliamentarians wrote on the blog of the
party’s leader Beppe Grillo.
Berlusconi’s Forza Italia says the EU is
trying to undemocratically force Tsipras
from power just as they say it forced
Berlusconi out of office in Italy at the height
of the euro zone debt crisis in 2011.
It is too early to say whether these
disparate movements can really galvanise
support from the Greek crisis.
Much will depend on whether Greece
actually leaves the single currency and how
it fares on its own if it does.
Moreover public opinion towards Athens
is divided and varies strongly around the
euro zone countries.
Portugal, which exited its own 78 billion
euro bailout last year, has held a tough line
on Greece and has seen no significant antiestablishment movements.
The only anti-euro party are the
Communists, with less than 10 per cent of
In Ireland, an austerity poster child which
has returned to strong growth after exiting a
64 billion euro ($71 billion) bailout in 2013,
the leftist opposition has fiercely criticised
the government’s tough line on Greece,
while public opinion appears divided.
Even more hostile to Greece are the
Baltic states, which have far lower average
salaries and pensions and resent what they
see as Athens’ fiscal irresponsibility.
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W E D N E S D A Y l J U LY 1 l 2 0 1 5
A serviceman of the Eastern Corps,
Special company of the Ukrainian
Ministry of Internal Affairs, holds his
daughter during a farewell ceremony
in the northeastern Ukrainian city of
Kharkiv prior to leaving for the front
line in the eastern part of the country.
Several of them took oath during
the farewell ceremony in a grand
Greece in last-minute rescue
appeal as default looms
ZERO-HOUR: There has been a ﬂurry of actions aimed at preventing a chaotic euro zone exit
People queue to withdraw cash from an ATM machine in central Athens.
ATHENS: Greece requested a two-year
rescue deal with the EU in a race down
to the wire Tuesday, after admitting it
would fail to make an IMF payment with
just hours left before its international
The zero-hour appeal came amid a
flurry of actions aimed at preventing a
chaotic eurozone exit which could have
untold repercussions on international
markets and the European Union.
The Greek premier’s office said
Athens has requested an agreement with
the European Stability Mechanism “to
fully cover its financing needs and the
simultaneous restructuring of debt”.
The ESM, created in 2012, is designed
as a means to handle financial crises
in the eurozone and keep the single
currency region stable.
reaction from Eurogroup chief Jeroen
Dijsselbloem who tweeted that the
eurozone finance ministers would hold
a teleconference later Tuesday to discuss
the Greek request.
Athens’s proposal followed European
Juncker’s attempt to clinch a “lastminute” solution before the referendum.
Juncker told the Greek premier
that a deal would involve accepting
reform proposals that Greece’s EUIMF creditors made at the weekend
and backing a ‘Yes’ vote in Sunday’s
plebiscite. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras
has urged Greeks to reject creditors’
tough reform demands in a referendum
on Sunday, but has also pleaded for a
bailout extension to keep Athens afloat.
The programme from the “troika”
of lenders — the EU, European Central
Bank and International Monetary Fund
— expires Tuesday.
Chancellor Angela Merkel of
Germany, Europe’s paymaster, said
she would not discuss any new Greek
request until after Sunday’s referendum.
“Before the referendum Germany
can’t negotiate a new request” for
assistance, Merkel was quoted as saying
by a lawmaker of her conservative
Whether an accord was in the offing
or not, Greece said it would miss a 2200
GMT deadline to make a debt repayment
of about 1.5 billion euros ($1.7 billion)
to the International Monetary Fund.
Zookeepers used ‘cross-fostering’ technique hoping to keep the marsupial alive AROUND THE GLOBE
Rare case of wallaby fostering
tree kangaroo in pouch
We’ve had great
success over the
species, but the specialised
breeding technique has
never been used on a tree
Sydney Zoo veterinarian
Zoos South Australia photo shows a pair of yellow-foot rock wallabies with a female
carrying a baby Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo in their enclosure at Adelaide Zoo.
Tuesday said they had successfully
fostered an orphaned tree kangaroo with
a surrogate wallaby in a rare case after its
mother was crushed by a branch.
The Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo,
named Makaia by its carers at Adelaide
Zoo in South Australia, was just five
weeks old and at risk of dying after its
three-year-old mother was killed by a
falling tree branch in November.
The incident was widely reported by
the local media.
In a bid to save the joey, which was
too young to be hand-reared, zookeepers
placed the baby marsupial in the pouch
of a female yellow-foot rock wallaby in a
“cross-fostering” technique they hoped
would help it stay alive.
“We were so excited when we
confirmed the joey had made it past
the first critical 24-hour period,” said
Adelaide Zoo’s team leader of natives,
“We were uncertain as to whether
the joey was going to be accepted.
head out of the pouch around the end
“It was certainly a sight to see a tree
kangaroo joey, with its reddish-tan fur,
bright blue eyes and long claws riding
around in a wallaby.”
Goodfellow’s tree kangaroos, named
after British zoological collector Walter
Goodfellow, are found in the rainforests
of New Guinea.
They are classified as endangered
by the International Union for the
Conservation of Nature, with the
species under threat from habitat loss
The zoo’s veterinarian David
McLelland said, as far as he knew, crossfostering had not been attempted with a
tree kangaroo before.
BOOST TO BILATERAL TIES
“We’ve had great success over the
years’ cross-fostering between wallaby
species, but the specialised breeding
technique has never been used on a tree
kangaroo,” McLelland said.
“Not only are tree kangaroos
distant relatives of wallabies, they also
have many behavioural and physical
We had no idea if the yellow-foot
rock wallaby would accept the tree
kangaroo joey, but if we wanted to save
the joey we had to try our luck.”
Makaia lived with his surrogate
mother for three-and-a-half months
before Males took over caring for him.
Gestation takes about 45 days for
Goodfellow’s tree kangaroos.
The babies spend their first few
months in their mother’s pouch,
suckling, and then leave for progressively
longer periods of time until fully
“He’s certainly a cheeky little fellow
and loves running amok,” Males said
LIVINGSTON: New Jersey Governor
Chris Christie formally launched his
2016 presidential run on Tuesday,
vowing to bridge the partisan divide
in Washington with blunt talk and a
willingness to tackle tough issues.
Christie, once seen as a top
2016 White House contender but
now viewed as a long shot, told the
launch rally at his old high school
that he would bring a dose of New
Jersey straight talk to a dysfunctional
“I mean what I say and I say what
I mean, and that’s what America
needs right now,” Christie said. “Truth
and hard decisions today will lead to
growth and opportunity tomorrow.”
The announcement gave Christie,
whose approval ratings and political
fortunes have sagged badly in
the past year, a chance to reframe
his battered image and reset the
plummeting expectations campaign.
After the announcement, Christie,
52, will head out on the campaign trail
to New Hampshire. He will hold the
first of what is expected to be a crush
of town hall sessions, where he will
try to turn his reputation for plainspeaking into an asset.
“You’re going to get what I think
whether you like it or not,” Christie
said during his launch rally, which
did not feature a prepared text or a
Christie was the 14th Republican
to enter the race for the nomination
ahead of the November 2016 election,
and he faces a difficult challenge
regaining his former status near the
top of the heap.
Barack Obama and
shake hands during
a meeting in the
Oval Office of the
White House in
EU roaming charges to
be abolished in 2017
BRUSSELS: The European Union said
Tuesday it had struck a deal to abolish
mobile phone roaming charges in
2017, ending fees loathed by millions
of holidaymakers and business
travellers across Europe.
The agreement will end the
frustration of EU citizens on holiday
or business who face steep charges
for using their phones for calls and
Internet browsing when in the bloc but
outside their home country.
Coming into force on June 15, 2017,
the deal means “you can use your
mobile device when travelling in the
EU paying the same prices as at home,”
the European Commission said in a
“If you pay for a monthly volume
of minutes, SMS and data in your
country, any voice call, SMS and data
session you make while travelling
abroad in the EU will be deducted
from that as if you were at home, with
no extra charges,” it added.
The deal was reached following
wider discussions stretching back to
2013 in overnight talks between the
Latvian presidency of the EU and the
It still needs formal approval by the
bloc’s parliament and 28 governments
and was described as “provisional”.
“This is the end of a long process
and we’re delighted we managed
to produce a result that will mean
concrete improvement for citizens
in the single market,” European
Commission spokesman Margaritis
Schinas told reporters at a briefing in
Brussels here yesterday.
British Prime Minister David
Cameron, who is in the process of
negotiating EU reforms ahead of a
referendum on membership of the
bloc, described the move as “fantastic
But some analysts questioned
whether the major structural changes
to the industry necessary before
roaming charges are actually abolished
could be brought in within two years.
“I’m not convinced that 2017 is
going to be the final date,” said Dario
Talmesio, Europe practice leader at
telecoms, media and IT research group
“The devil is in the detail about how
to go about it.
There’s a lot that needs to be
Before the full deal comes into
effect, data roaming charges will be
slashed from April 2016 to 0.05 euros
per minute for calls, 0.02 euros per
SMS and 0.05 per megabyte of data.
Under current EU rules, the cap
stands at 0.19 euros per minute for
calls, 0.06 euros per SMS and 0.20
euros per megabyte of data.
Providers would still be allowed
to apply a “fair use policy” to prevent
“abusive” use of roaming, the European
Talmesio said that the detail of
this would be key to determining
how and when the policy can be
Bert Van Roosebeke, a political
analyst from the Centre for European
Policy think tank said it was “possible
that domestic prices rise” as telecoms
companies respond to the ruling.
Canada spy agency website hacked
OTTAWA: Hackers shut down the Canadian intelligence agency’s website Tuesday,
The intrusion came two weeks after several Canadian government websites were
disrupted by the hacker collective Anonymous in protest of a new anti-terror law that
critics say tramples civil rights.
The suspect or suspects in this new case mused on Twitter about whether to “let
CSIS back online and hit another government website”, or continue attacking the
Canadian Security Intelligence Service website with what appeared to be a denial of
service attack -- flooding a network with useless traffic.
“How is a government/police supposed to protect you, if they can’t even protect
themselves,” said another Twitter post, adding that the next target was the Royal
Canadian Mounted Police website.
Jean-Christophe de Le Rue, spokesman for Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney,
said the hack on the CSIS website is “another reminder of the serious security
challenges and threats that we are facing.”
“Security officials have confirmed that no personal information was compromised
in this attack,” he added. — AFP
US ambassador to France Jane D Hartley, US magnate, philanthropist, and
UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, Michael
Bloomberg, and Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo pose during the launching of the
Climate Summit for Local Leaders at the Paris city hall.
Mexico to boycott Miss Universe over remarks
MEXICO CITY: Mexico said Tuesday it will boycott the Miss Universe beauty pageant
over “racist” comments by real estate magnate and TV personality Donald Trump.
“We will not take part in Miss Universe,” Lupita Jones, director of the pageant
Nuestra Belleza Mexico, whose winner represents Mexico in Miss Universe, said on
The decision followed the one that Mexican TV network Televisa, the organiser of
the Mexican pageant, made late Monday to break its business ties with Trump.
On June 16, during his Republican presidential campaign announcement, Trump
said that Mexican immigrants were “rapists” who bring crimes and drugs to the United
States and vowed to build a wall on the US border to stop them from entering the
In response to the comments, Univision said it would not air the Miss Universe
beauty pageant on July 12 and would end its partnership with any projects tied to the
Trump is a co-owner of the Miss Universe Organisation.
W E D N E S DAY
J U LY 1 l 2 0 1 5
Tunisia sees Libya link to resort attacker
VITAL BLOW: Investigations show the gunman was in contact with Libyan ﬁghters and was likely to be trained in a camp
TUNIS: The Tunisian gunman who
attacked a resort hotel on Friday killing
39 people, mostly British holidaymakers, likely spent time in a training
camp in Libya and had been in contact
with fighters over the border, a security
source said on Tuesday.
The attack on the Imperial Marhaba
beach hotel in the popular resort town
of Sousse came just months after fighters
attacked the Bardo museum in Tunis,
killing 21 people and delivering a blow
to the vital tourism industry.
Investigators were verifying whether
the gunman, student Saif Rezgui, had
received militant training in a fighter
camp across in Libya.
Authorities have also arrested three
others for helping to plan the attack, a
security source said.
“Investigations show Saif Rezgui was
in contact with terrorists in Libya and
he likely trained in a Libyan camp,” an
official source said.
Libya, caught in a multi-sided battle
between two rival governments and
their armed factions, has become a
The Sousse attacker, who had
shown little sign of radicalization by
fundamentalist recruiters, was shot dead
by police outside the hotel.
Tunisia’s health ministry said on
Tuesday it had so far identified 27 bodies
from Friday’s gun attack, including
19 British, three Irish, one Belgian,
two German, a Russian citizen and a
The massacre was the worst of its
kind in Tunisia, one of the Arab world’s
most secular countries, which has been
praised for its transition to democracy
after a 2011 uprising.
Tunisia expects to lose at least $515
million this year, or about a quarter of
its estimated annual tourism earnings,
following last Friday’s attack.
“The attack had a great impact on
the economy, the losses will be large,”
Police officers patrol at the beach near the Imperial Marhaba Hotel, which was attacked by a gunman in Sousse, Tunisia. — Reuters
Tourism Minister Salma Loumi told
reporters late on Monday, giving a
target for IS supporters and other fighter
The two gunmen who carried out training late last year, investigators said. preliminary estimate from the Sousse
groups who have taken advantage of the the March attack on the Bardo had also
Rezgui had taken out his passport last attack.
clandestinely crossed into Libya for year, but there were no exit stamps in it,
28 people killed in
Syria air strikes
A wounded boy cries at a make-shift
hospital in the rebel-held area of
Douma, east of the Syrian capital
BEIRUT: At least 28 people were killed
on Tuesday in Syrian government air
strikes on a village in northwestern Idlib
province and a suburb of Damascus, a
At least 18 people died in
government raids on the village of
Ehsim in northwestern Idlib province,
the Syria Observatory for Human
Rights said. The Britain-based monitor
said the toll was expected to rise,
with the Syrian Revolution General
Commission activist group saying the
raids had hit a market.
Most of Idlib province is now
under rebel control, after an alliance of
opposition groups including Al Qaeda’s
local affiliate evicted regime forces from
their last strongholds.
Elsewhere, the Observatory said at
least 10 people, including two children,
were killed in strikes on the rebel-
held Damascus suburb of Douma on
The monitor said another 50 people
were wounded, and that the death toll
was likely to rise because a number of
those hurt were in serious condition
and other residents were still missing
An AFP photographer at a field clinic
in the suburb saw the body of a young
girl lying on a stretcher, with her hand
protruding from under a makeshift
shroud fashioned from a blanket.
Wounded people flooded into the
clinic, with one man whose face was
caked in white dust bleeding from the
scalp through a gauze dressing.
Most of the floor was covered with
the injured, some receiving treatment
and others waiting, with the rare empty
spaces smeared with blood. Douma lies
in the opposition bastion area of Eastern
Ghouta, which has been subjected to
continuous aerial bombardment for
Rebels regularly fire missiles into
Damascus from the region, but many
civilians remain in the area as well.
Earlier in June, at least 24 people,
including five children, were killed in
government strikes and rocket fire on
Douma as the UN’s peace envoy Staffan
de Mistura visited the capital.
De Mistura condemned that
exchange of fire and urged civilians
to be protected on both sides of the
conflict, which began in March 2011
with anti-government protests.
More than 230,000 people have been
killed in Syria since its conflict erupted.
Sisi pledges tougher laws
CAIRO: A visibly angry Egyptian
President Abdel Fattah al Sisi pledged
tougher laws against fighters and
suggested fast track executions at
the funeral on Tuesday of the state
prosecutor assassinated in a car
Hisham Barakat died in hospital after
a car bomb tore through his convoy in
Cairo on Monday morning, the most
senior official killed by insurgents who
have bedevilled the country.
The attack, as Barakat was en route
to his office, was a blow to former army
chief Sisi, who won elections after
ousting President Mohamed Mursi on
July 3, 2013.
Barakat’s funeral coincided with the
second anniversary of mass protests that
preceded Morsi’s overthrow.
“The arm of justice is chained by the
law. We’re not going to wait for this.
We’re going to amend the law to
allow us to implement justice as soon as
possible,” Sisi said in a televised speech
surrounded by Barakat’s mourning
“Do courts in these circumstances
work? Do these laws work? They work
with normal people,” said Sisi, shaking a
clenched fist for emphasis.
Hundreds of policemen and soldiers
have been killed since Mursi’s ouster by
fighters based in the sparsely populated
Sinai Peninsula. The IS group’s affiliate
there has claimed responsibility for the
Meanwhile, thousands of people,
mostly fighters but also including
secular dissidents, have been jailed and
hundreds sentenced to death.
Most of those sentenced to death are
appealing the verdicts, a lengthy and
convoluted process, but Sisi suggested
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sisi is greeted after a military funeral service for
Egyptian public prosecutor Hisham Barakat at the Field Marshal Mohammed
Hussein Tantawi Mosque in Cairo.
The arm of justice is
chained by the law.
We’re not going to
wait for this. We’re
going to amend the law
to allow us to implement
justice as soon as possible.”
ABDEL FATTAH AL SISI
President of Egypt
it would be fast tracked. “If there is a
death sentence, a death sentence will be
implemented,” Sisi said.”The law! The
“We’re not going to wait five or
10 years to try the people killing us,”
Sisi said. Outside the mosque where
the funeral was held, a crowd of 50
protesters chanted: “The people demand
the execution of the Brotherhood.”
Inside, Justice Minister Ahmed al
Zind, a recently appointed hardliner,
told judges to avenge Barakat’s killing.
“The ball is now in the judges’
court. Take your revenge using the
law. Effective, swift law that doesn’t
take five years.” Politicians and pro-Sisi
media — virtually all the channels and
newspapers in Egypt — have called for
an even harsher crackdown on Mursi’s
Brotherhood and fighters.
Rights groups and liberal politicians
have warned of a further erosion of
A newspaper editor and former
parliamentarian close to Sisi said he
expected a raft of toughened laws to
be presented at a cabinet meeting on
Turkish oppn leader warns against intervention in Syria
Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu speaks during the parliamentary group
meeting of his Justice and Development Party in Ankara.
leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu warned
against military action while coalition
“Even before a government has been
established, the drums of war are being
beaten for vested interests.
War is not a child’s game nor a vehicle
to renew one’s image,” Kilicdaroglu
wrote on his official Twitter account.
“A good politician knows that feeding
off chaos and war will bring disaster
instead of success. This country is not a
Trial opens in
TUNIS: The trial opened on Tuesday
of 24 people accused of links to the
2013 assassination of prominent
Tunisian opposition figure Chokri
Belaid, against the backdrop of last
week’s beach massacre.
Almost 200 lawyers, as well as
police in plainclothes and journalists,
attended the hearing, as dozens of
people protested outside, chanting:
“Tunisia is free! Terrorism out!”
To avoid the crowds, the session
was held in a hall on the first floor of
the Palace of Justice in Tunis, rather
than in a main courtroom.
“We will find out today whether or
not justice will be served. There will
be signs on whether there is a will to
serve justice,” Belaid’s widow Basma
Khalfaoui said. Belaid, who was
gunned down outside his home on
February 6, 2013, was a staunch leftwing critic of the then ruling Ennahda
party, a moderate movement.
The suspects, one of them being
tried in absentia, face several
charges, including “incitement
to commit terrorist crimes” and
“membership of groups linked to a
terrorist organisation”, one of their
28 dead in
Republican People’s Party leader Kemal has warned against military action while coalition talks proceed
ISTANBUL: Turkey’s main opposition
party leader warned on Tuesday
any military intervention in Syria
would spell disaster for Turkey and in
comments clearly aimed at President
Tayyip Erdogan said the country could
not be “a plaything for your ambition”.
Turkish newspapers have carried
reports Erdogan is considering creation
of a buffer zone across the border, where
Kurdish militia and fighters vie for
The reports come as the AK Party he
formed seeks to re-establish its authority
after losing its overall majority in June
7 elections. Erdogan chaired a meeting
on Monday of the National Security
Council, which voiced concern about a
‘terrorism’ threat from across the border.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
spoke of measures by Nato member
Turkey to tackle security threats.
Republican People’s Party (CHP)
plaything for your ambition,” he said.
A grand coalition between the AK
Party and Kilicdaroglu’s CHP is seen as
a possible option, though the CHP has
made clear it would not back Erdogan’s
ambition to change the constitution and
create for him the powerful executive
presidency he envisaged when he
surrendered the post of prime minister.
Critics of Erdogan believe he would
prefer to allow coalition talks to fail
and call new elections in the hope a
population wary of political paralysis
or chaos would restore the AK Party’s
majority in full.
Speculation about possible military
moves grew after Erdogan said on
Saturday Turkey would never allow the
formation of a Kurdish state along its
Syrian Kurdish forces have made
military advances against Islamic
State fighters with Ankara fearing the
creation of an autonomous Kurdish state
in Syrian territory that would further
embolden Turkey’s own 14 million
Kurds. Abdulkadir Selvi, a columnist
close to the government, wrote in the
pro-government Yeni Safak newspaper
on Tuesday that Turkey was set to create
a buffer zone in Syria 110 km long and
33 km deep in the Jarablus region, which
is currently under control of Islamic
State, also known as ISIL.
“Are we going to war with Syria? No.
Are we going to war with ISIL? No. Are
we going into Syria? Yes, probably. So
what will we do? Establish a buffer zone,”
he said. Artillery from within Turkey’s
borders will aim to secure control, but
the deployment of military units within
Syria is also envisaged, he said.
He said the military was seeking a
written directive for such a deployment
and that Davutoglu was getting it
SANAA: An attack on Huthi rebel
leaders in Yemen’s capital claimed by
the IS group killed at least 28 people,
medics said on Tuesday, the latest
assault by the extremists.
Yemen was previously the preserve
of IS’s rival Al Qaeda, which controls
swathes of the south and east, but since
March the group has claimed a string
of high-profile attacks.
The car bomb late on Monday
targeted Huthi rebel chief brothers
Faycal and Hamid Jayache during a
gathering to mourn the death of a
family member, a security source said.
Eight women were among the dead.
Huthi rebels closed down the
surrounding area in the centre of
Sanaa after the attack, only allowing
through emergency services to help
evacuate the victims, witnesses said.
The explosion blew a crater in the
road, took chunks out of nearby walls
and left debris strewn across the street.
In a statement posted online, IS
said it had organised the attack on
what it called a “nest”.
The fighter group considers heretics
and has repeatedly targeted them not
only in Yemen but in countries across
the region. Just Friday, a Saudi IS
bomber killed 26 people and wounded
227 in a mosque in Kuwait.
In Yemen, IS claimed a car bombing
that killed two people outside a
mosque in Sanaa on June 20 and a
series of attacks in the capital four days
earlier that killed 31.
The fighter group, which on
Monday marked the first anniversary
of the declaration of its “caliphate” in
Iraq and Syria, launched its Yemen
campaign in March with a series of
bombings of mosques that killed 142
people. AQAP has taken advantage of
the Huthi rebellion to consolidate its
grip of the southeastern province of
Hadramawt, overrunning its capital
Mukalla in March.
And it is still regarded as the
network’s most dangerous branch
by Washington, which has kept up a
drone war against its leaders inside
Yemen. But analysts said that IS was
now clearly in the ascendant.
IS is “in the process of supplanting
AQAP, which is becoming just one of
a number of forces in the tribal camp
in southern Yemen,” said Mathieu
Guidere, professor of Islamic studies at
the University of Toulouse in France.
China’s emissions to peak ‘around 2030’
W E D N E S DAY
J U LY 1 l 2 0 1 5
NEW PLEDGE: Beijing will work hard to achieve the target at an even earlier date
PARIS: China, the world’s biggest
greenhouse gas polluter, pledged on
Tuesday to peak carbon emissions
“by around 2030”, Prime Minister Li
Keqiang’s office announced.
Beijing’s long-awaited contribution
to a roster of global carbon curbs
was detailed at a meeting in Paris
between Li and French President
Francois Hollande, Li’s office said in a
Hollande will preside over a yearend UN conference in Paris tasked with
producing a world pact on curbing
“China’s carbon dioxide emission
will peak by around 2030 and China
will work hard to achieve the target at
an even earlier date,” said the statement.
Carbon dioxide emissions per unit
of GDP will drop 60-65 per cent over
2005 levels by 2030, and the share
of non-fossil fuel in primary energy
consumption will grow to about 20 per
The pledge closely echoes and
formalises undertakings made by
Beijing after a US-China summit last
It will now be entered into a
roster of pledges kept by the UN
Framework Convention on Climate
Change (UNFCCC), which lists 13
other commitments to date from the
convention’s 195 parties.
These pledges, known as “intended
nationally determined contributions”
(INDCs), are at the heart of the highlyanticipated Paris pact, due to take effect
Its goal will be to limit average global
warming to two degrees Celsius (3.6
degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-Industrial
China will try to curb its carbon
emissions before a 2030 target, its prime
minister said during a visit to Paris
where he announced the world’s biggest
greenhouse gas emitter’s contribution
to United Nations Climate talks.
“China’s carbon dioxide emission
will peak by around 2030 and China
will work hard to achieve the target at
an even earlier date,” Chinese Prime
Minister Li Keqiang said in a statement
after meeting with French President
China aims to reduce its CO2
emissions per unit of gross domestic
product by 60-65 per cent from 2005
levels, it said.
The world’s second largest economy
also aims to increase the share of
non-fossil fuels in its primary energy
consumption to about 20 per cent by
2030, the statement added. — AFP
French President Francois Hollande and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang at a meeting at the Elysee palace in Paris. — AFP
Police launch major counter-terror drill
PROTEST IS A RIGHT
Greenpeace activists hang with a banner from a crane above the Spanish
parliament in Madrid, Spain. Spanish government’s new security law, which
toughens fines for unauthorised street protests, comes into effect on July 1. Critics
consider it a violation of the right to protest and a limit to free expression and have
labelled it “Ley Mordaza” (Gag Law). The banner reads “Protest is a right”. — Reuters
Navy recovers 8 bodies
from migrant shipwreck
ROME: Eight more bodies have been recovered from what is believed to have
been the worst-ever migrant shipwreck in the Mediterranean, the Italian navy said
on Tuesday. A 25-metre fishing boat sank on April 18 on the way from Libya to
Italy. At the time, rescuers found only 24 bodies and 28 survivors, who reported
that hundreds more people were on board, locked inside the vessel and unable to
escape after it capsized.
Italy’s navy said bodies located near the wreck, which is lying some 375 metres
below sea level, are being picked up using a remotely operated device.
Rescue operations will continue in the coming days, taking advantage of favourable meteorological conditions.
The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, described the April 18 shipwreck as “the
deadliest incident in the Mediterranean. — dpa
LONDON: British police on Tuesday
launched a major counter-terror
exercise in London partly influenced
by the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris in
January, just days after an Islamist gun
massacre in Tunisia.
The exercise including all emergency
services also comes ahead of the 10th
the July 7, 2005 attacks on London’s
transport system, when four suicide
bombers killed 52 people.
“We are taking part in a 999 exercise
today which will test the emergency
services’ response to a marauding
terrorist attack in London,” the police
The exercise, codenamed “Operation
Strong Tower”, was being held in a
disused London Underground station
at Aldwych in the West End theatre
Officers said that much of the exercise
would be held out of public view but
warned that passersby might hear loud
Rare outing for
Members of the police walk as they take part in exercise Strong Tower, a counterterror exercise held in and around the disused London Underground station at
Aldwych in central London. — AFP
noises and see streets cordoned off.
“If you are out & about near the
Strand today — there is a 999 exercise
happening close by — not a real
incident,” the police tweeted.
A total of 1,000 people including
emergency medical services and
transport workers will be involved
in the drill, which will continue on
Wednesday. — AFP
French prosecutor confirms IS link to factory beheading
PARIS: A French prosecutor confirmed
on Tuesday that the man who beheaded
his boss and tried to blow up a gas
factory had a “terrorist motive” and links
to the Is group in Syria.
Yassin Salhi, 35, confessed to the
crime but has maintained it was purely
for personal reasons and had nothing
to do with his religious beliefs, even
though it bore all the hallmarks of a
“The one does not exclude the
other and the choice to kill someone
against whom he held a grudge does
not exclude a terrorist motive,” said Paris
chief prosecutor Francois Molins.
Molins pointed to several facts
uncovered during the investigation,
including links between Salhi and a
known French fighter in Syria, who
asked permission from the IS group
to publish gruesome photos from the
The 35-year-old Salhi, long known
to security services for his radical views,
was arrested on Friday after an attack
in which he rammed a delivery van
laden with gas bottles into a warehouse
containing dangerous chemicals,
causing an explosion.
Firefighters alerted by the blast
found him trying to open gas bottles
inside the Air Products factory, shouting
“Allahu Akbar, before making the grisly
discovery of the severed head of Salhi’s
54-year-old boss Herve Cornara.
“Salhi decapitated his victim, he
hung the head on a fence to get
maximum publicity, as he told us during
interrogation,” said Molins.
“Yassin then tried to blow up gas
bottles in what appears to be a martyr
operation that could have left a large
number of victims,” he said, adding there
were 75 people on site at the factory.
The prosecutor said Salhi had
convinced Cornara, the owner of a
delivery company for which he worked,
to get into the van with him and later
strangled him “with one hand”.
VATICAN CITY: Castel Gandolfo, a
summer residence of popes since the
17th Century, pulled up its shutters on
Tuesday for a two-week visit by retired
pontiff Benedict XVI.
Pope Francis, who eschews the
charms and comforts of the palace
in the Alban hills southeast of Rome,
invited his 88-year-old predecessor
to spend time there over the summer
and visited him on Tuesday morning
to wish him a happy holiday, Vatican
spokesman Federico Lombardi said.
The trip represents a rare outing
for Benedict from the Mater Ecclesiae
monastery in Vatican City where he
has spent his time in prayer and study
since his 2013 resignation on the
grounds of failing health.
Unlike Francis, who does not take
holidays, Benedict has long enjoyed
Castel Gandolfo’s cooler air and
He retired there for two months
after his historic decision to step
down and during his time as pope he
regularly had long summer stays there.
He has described long walks in
the gardens as an aide to meditative
thought, although these days he is only
capable of short strolls.
Francis’s reluctance to leave the
Vatican except on official trips has
been a blow to tourist businesses in the
small town of Castel Gandolfo but this
has been partly offset by his decision
to open the gardens to visitors. — AFP
Newspapers offered tips on how to sleep in the heat, including eating a light dinner, turning off all electrical devices and ‘sleep alone’
Spain warns of risk to elderly as it bakes in heatwave
MADRID: Spain remained locked in a
heat wave on Tuesday with most of the
country on high alert for forest fires and
the elderly urged to take extra care.
Spain’s national weather office put
40 of the nation’s 50 provinces on
either “yellow” or “orange” alert due to
the scorching temperatures which are
forecast to dip on Wednesday before
rising again at the weekend.
The highest temperatures were
expected to be recorded in the central
province of Toledo where the mercury
was forecast to rise to 41 degrees Celsius.
In the Spanish capital Madrid
temperatures were expected to soar to 39
degrees Celsius prompting local officials
to recommend people remain in the
shade and drink plenty of liquids.
“The excessive heat can harm
people’s health, especially if they are
elderly, chronically ill or children,” the
regional government of Madrid said in
Emergency services said they have
treated 30 people for heatstroke in the
Madrid region since the heatwave began
Nearly all of Spain faced an “extreme”,
“very high” or “high” risk of forest blazes
on Tuesday, according to the nation’s
Nightime temperatures in many
cities remained well above 20 degrees
Celsius, making sleep difficult.
In Madrid night temperatures were
forecast to remain at 26 degrees Celsius
against an average of 16 degrees for the
time of the year.
Newspapers offered tips on how to
sleep in the heat, including eating a light
dinner, turning off all electrical devices
and “sleep alone (if this does not cause
In France, where thermometers
were set to reach nearly 40 degrees, the
government called on air-conditioned
public spaces to allow the public in for
respite from the heat.
In Lourdes, a hotspot for millions
of particularly vulnerable religious
pilgrims hoping to be cured of illnesses,
the authorities cancelled the daily
procession through the main esplanade,
shifting the ceremony underground.
A man pushes a toddler in his pram through the middle of a pavement fountain in
England declared a Level 2 health Liverpool, north-west England, yesterday. — AFP
The excessive heat
can harm people’s
health, especially if
they are elderly, chronically
ill or children.”
alert, and authorities raised particular
concern during daylight hours for
Fearful that railway tracks would
buckle under the heat, Britain’s Network
Rail ordered trains to go slow.
Animal rights charities also put out
a national appeal “warning people of
the devastating consequences of leaving
dogs in hot cars.”
The Royal Society for the Protection
of Animals said it had already received
96 calls last weekend for animal heat
For a continent unaccustomed to
such warmth, the threats go beyond
embarrassing wet patches on shirts and
terrible body odour on commuter trains.
A heatwave in 2003 caused 20,000
deaths above the normal death rate
From Holland to Italy, governments
warned of the risks to older people,
young children and those with serious
Former pope Benedict, 88, headed
for the hills of Castel Gandolfo south of
Rome to escape “il grande caldo” which
threatened temperatures of 37 degrees in
Rome and 40 in Sardinia.
Civil servants in the Belgian region
of Wallonia had their hours cut so they
wouldn’t have to swelter in traffic jams.
British trade unions said workers
should be allowed to ditch tights, ties
and suits wherever possible.
Authorities in Brussels were also
preparing to cancel all major public
and sporting events should the
mercury remain high or pollution
levels hit dangerous levels — a measure
introduced after the 2003 heatwave but
so far never used.
W E D N E S DAY
J U LY 1 l 2 0 1 5
Champions League final
2017 in Cardiff, first time
United make $45-m bid for Ramos
interested in signing United goalkeeper
David de Gea, prompting speculation
that a transfer of Ramos could form part
of the deal. Ramos joined Real from
Sevilla in 2005 and scored their injurytime equaliser in their Champions
League final victory over Atletico
Madrid in 2014. He has 128 Spain caps
and was in the starting line-up as they
won Euro 2008, Euro 2012 and the
2010 World Cup. Defender Phil Jones
has signed a contract extension with
Manchester United to keep him at Old
Trafford until at least 2019, the Premier
League club said on Monday.
international joined United from
Blackburn Rovers in 2011 for a reported
fee of 16.5 million pounds ($26 million).
“We are delighted that Phil has
signed a new contract,” United manager
Louis van Gaal told the club’s website.
“He is a talented footballer with great
versatility and can play in a number of
positions. “Phil is a relatively young
defender who is developing all the time.
He missed some of last season due
to injury but I was impressed by his
professionalism and attitude during
those periods.” Jones has played over 100
games for United despite a succession of
fitness issues, winning a Premier League
title winner’s medal in 2013.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time
here so far and am looking forward
to continuing my development as a
player,” he said. “This a great club to
be part of and I cannot wait to start
the new campaign.” Van Gaal has been
linked with moves for central defenders
including Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos
and Mats Hummels of Borussia
Dortmund to increase the experience of
United’s back line.
Stadium will host the 2017 Champions
League final as the showcase match
comes to Wales for the first time, the
European ruling body UEFA said on
UEFA said that the 74,500-seat arena
opened in 1999 was picked the previous
day at an executive committee meeting
to host the game on June 3, 2017.
The Millenium Stadium hosted the
2014 European Super Cup between
Real Madrid and Sevilla.
It was also the site for matches from
the 2012 Olympic football tournament,
and for the FA Cup final between 2001
and 2006 during the reconstruction of
It is a regular home venue for the
Wales football and rugby teams.
“These are exciting times for Welsh
football,” said Wales and Real Madrid
star Gareth Bale in a statement issued
by the Football Association of Wales.
“I know how passionate the Welsh
football fans are so it’s great the
Champions League final is coming to
my home city of Cardiff.
I loved playing in the Super Cup
last year and it would be fantastic to be
involved in front of a packed crowd at
such an iconic stadium in 2017.”
The 2016 Champions League final is
UEFA also awarded the 2017 Europa
League final to Solna, Sweden, and the
European Super Cup match that year to
Europe’s ruling body was meeting
in Prague ahead of Tuesday night’s
under-21 European championship final
between Portugal and Sweden.
UEFA on Monday also eased some
restrictions in an updated version of
its Financial Fair Play (FFP) scheme in
order to attract potential investors - a
move welcomed by the European Club
“The new version of the rules is
perfectly in line with the Financial
Fair Play principles, develops the
system further and strengthens those
principles,” ECA chairman Karl-Heinz
Rummenigge said in a statement
published Tuesday, naming FFP an
“important tool” for clubs.
“ECA calls on clubs to keep on
supporting the financial fair play system
and to work within the framework of
the new financial fair play rules.”
FFP was created in 2009 to cut losses
of clubs, with a break-even rule applied
Overall debt has dropped 70 per cent
from 1.67 billion euros (1.85 billion
dollars) in 2011 to 487 million euros
last year, according to UEFA.
Under the modified rules clubs can
overspend again as long as they aim to
break even over the following years via
a voluntary agreement.
LONDON: Manchester United have
made a 28.6 million pound ($45
million) bid for Real Madrid defender
Sergio Ramos, British media reported
Media reports said the 29-year-old
Spain international was keen to move to
Old Trafford, despite having two years
left on his Real contract.
United manager Louis van Gaal is
seeking to shore up the Premier League
club’s defence to help improve on last
season’s fourth-place finish.
United confirmed earlier on Monday
that defender Phil Jones had signed a
contract extension until at least 2019.
Ramos had told the club he wanted to
leave after falling out with its president
Florentino Perez, media reported, saying
Manchester United were interested in
buying the player.
Spain’s major sporting and general
dailies reported that Ramos met top
club officials on Wednesday and asked
them to listen to offers from other clubs.
Real have yet to renew Ramos’s
current contract, which expires in 2017.
The 29-year-old is a hero at Real,
having scored a decisive goal in the
historic 10th European championship
final victory last year.
But his tense relations with Perez have
been widely reported. Ramos notably
defended ex-coach Carlo Ancelotti who
was fired by Perez last month.
Numerous rumours about salary
demands and interest from other clubs
have circulated over recent days.
Various Spanish and British media
had said Manchester United had made
an offer for Ramos, but neither club nor
the player have commented publicly on
the possible transfer.
Real Madrid are widely reported to be
Six players to
Champions Japan face England threat to world title
MUSCAT: The technical staff of the
Olympic team picked six players
for the coming training camp on
July 6 to prepare for the West Asian
Championship due to be held
on September 30 and the GCC
Championship in November.
The Oman Olympic team will
hold its fourth training camp during
July 23-30 and the technical staff is
striving to organise some international
The six players who were selected
by couch Ahmed al Azani are Yasin al
Shiadi, Mahmoud Mabrouk, Omar al
Fazari, Nadir Awadh, Basil al Rawahi,
and Ahmed al Siabi. They will join
the 28 players who have already been
picked and the best players will be
picked for the fourth training camp.
Meeting in Kuwait to
of 2016 Gulf Cup
MUSCAT: Omani football delegation
headed by President Khalid bin Hamad
bin Hamoud al Busaidi accompanied
by Secretary-General Sultan bin Amin
Zadjali will go to Kuwati to attend the
meeting to review preparations for the
Gulf Cup soccer, which will he held in
Kuwait in December 2016.
Edmonton, Canada: Champions Japan face a real
threat from England as the Asian giants look to
keep their Women’s World Cup title defence on
track in Wednesday’s semi-final in Edmonton.
Japan’s ‘Nadeshiko’ are the only unbeaten team
left after opening their campaign with a 1-0 win
over Switzerland three weeks ago in the sunshine
of Vancouver’s west coast.
England by contrast started their quest for a
maiden title with a 1-0 loss to France in windy and
wet conditions on the east in Moncton.
But England’s ‘Lionesses’ have been gaining
momentum, beating Mexico, Colombia, 1995
champions Norway and hosts Canada all by 2-1
scorelines, to reach their first semi-finals.
Japan overran Australia 1-0 in the quarterfinals and have won all their games by a one-goal
margin with the impressive depth of their team
demonstrated by their seven goals having come
from different players.
The ‘Nadeshiko’ defence is also solid — they
have conceded just two goals in five matches.
But England’s front line have put in eight goals
with Lucy Bronze and Karen Carney both scoring
England coach Mark Sampson believes his sixthranked side can take heart from being unbeaten
against the Japanese, ranked fourth, in their three
England were the only team to beat Japan at the
2011 World Cup, winning 2-0 before the Asian side
went on to claim the title. They also played out a 2-2
draw in 2007 tournament. “I’m not sure there are
underdogs any more,” said Sampson.
“They’ve been one of the most exciting teams
to watch, they haven’t scored many goals but they
havent conceded many, we’re playing the current
world champions, it’s going to be a huge challenge.”
Japan coach Norio Sasaki brushed aside talk of
And the Japan coach also said expectations of
delivering back-to-back titles were high at home.
“We would like to fight very hard thinking of the
people who support us back in Japan,” he said.
“The emotion that we created in 2011 we
certainly would like to be able to recreate that for
the Japanese people.”
And Sasaki believes his side have an advantage
having played their previous game in Edmonton’s
Commonwealth Stadium with England travelling
1,160km from Vancouver.
“The opponents will be coming from Vancouver
and I strongly feel that will be an advantage for us,”
The winner will play one of the world’s top two
teams — either Germany or the United States —
with the former two-time winners clashing in
Montreal on Tuesday.
Japan and England’s paths to the semi-finals of
the Women’s World Cup on Wednesday (FIFA
ranking in brackets):
Japan’s Homare Sawa heads the ball during the team’s FIifa Women’s World Cup training session in
Edmonton. Japan is set to meet England in the semi-finals on Wednesday.
“We will not think of negative past results just
focus on those on front of us,” he said.
But Bronze warned: “Japan are the favourites,
we know that, but we’re confident. We know how
we can beat them. England are going all the way!”
Sampson is hopeful goalie Karen Bardsley will
be fit after leaving the quarter-final against Canada
in the second half with swelling under her right
eye, and being replaced by Siobhan Chamberlain.
Bardsley has started each of England’s five
games and conceded a goal in each.
Both sides have high expectations at home with
England’s historic run to the semi-finals attracting
millions of viewers.
The team have been overwhelmed with
messages on social media - from former England
men’s captain David Beckham to current skipper
Kelly Simmons, FA director of women’s football,
told BBC Sport: “It feels like the nation has fallen in
love with the Lionesses.
“It’s a tipping point as many millions have got
“Awareness levels have never been higher
surrounding the quality of women’s football and all
the work that has gone into helping them get where
they are now — which is competing at the very top.”
JAPAN (holders, 4)
Japan 1 Switzerland 0
Japan 2 Cameroon 1
Ecuador 0 Japan 1 Last 16:
Japan 2 Netherlands 1
Australia 0 Japan 1
France 1 England 0
England 2 Mexico 1
England 2 Colombia 1 Last 16:
Norway 1 England 2
England 2 Canada 1
Australia-New Zealand to play first day-night match in Test history
SYDNEY: Australia and New Zealand
will play the first day-night match in
Test cricket’s 138-year history, cricket
chiefs announced on Tuesday, in a
bid to drive up dwindling spectator
numbers for the five-day game.
Despite misgivings among players,
officials from both countries decided to
proceed this year with the experimental
format — played under lights and with
a pink ball — which they hope will drive
up attendance and television ratings.
“To be brutally honest, if you look
at Test cricket around the world, it is
challenged,” Cricket Australia (CA)
chief executive James Sutherland said.
“We believe this is an opportunity
that can breathe new life into Test
cricket.” He said the Test day-nighter,
to be staged at the Adelaide Oval from
November 27-December 1, would
allow fans to watch or attend the game
CA, backed by broadcaster Channel
Nine, has promoted the idea for years
and trialled day-night first-class cricket
during the past two Sheffield Shield
seasons. The historic first international
in Adelaide will be the third and final
Test in a series between the trans-
Australia coach Darren Lehmann
said it was a way to boost the popularity
of Test cricket, which is seen by purists
as the pinnacle of the game but has been
overshadowed by limited-overs formats
in recent years.
New Zealand Cricket chief David
White said the day-night format would
not take over from regular Test cricket,
describing it as part of the game’s
“Since the first Test in 1877, there
have been numerous changes to the
laws and rules in an effort to ensure the
game remains relevant — and this is
another,” he said. The pink match ball
has been developed by manufacturer
Kookaburra to be more visible to
players under lights than the traditional
Despite administrators’ enthusiasm,
many players fear for batsmen trying
to play the ball under lights and are
concerned the game’s traditions are
being trampled A survey of New
Zealand’s top players last month found
most senior Black Caps were sceptical
about taking part in an experiment they
feared could “devalue” the Test. — AFP
W E D N E S DAY
J U LY 1 l 2 0 1 5
for heat breaks
but only for
Defending champion and second seed Petra Kvitova
took just 35 minutes to reach the Wimbledon second
round on Tuesday with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Kiki Bertens of
the Netherlands. Kvitova, also the 2011 champion,
dropped just one point on serve and next meets Kurumi
Nara of Japan for a place in the last 32.
Kvitova enters second round in 35 minutes
LONDON: Defending champion Petra
Kvitova took just 35 minutes to reach the
Wimbledon second round on Tuesday
as the tournament sweltered in near
Second seed Kvitova raced to a 6-1,
6-0 win over Kiki Bertens, the world
number 138 from the Netherlands, on
Kvitova, also the 2011 champion,
dropped just one point on serve and
next meets Kurumi Nara of Japan for a
place in the last 32.
“It’s great to be back on Centre Court
and unbelievable to see all the people
clapping,” said the Czech, who had been
laid low by illness in the week before the
Kvitova’s only dropped point on serve
came on a double fault in the final game
of the match.
The powerful 25-year-old lefthander would have been relieved to
have enjoyed a brief first round outing
as temperatures rocketed to around 30
Wednesday is expected to see a
Wimbledon record high of around
35 degrees which would require the
heat index, where matches are briefly
suspended, to be introduced. The
highest-ever temperature recorded at
Wimbledon was 34C in 1976.
Williams sisters withdraw from doubles
Roger Federer began his 63rd consecutive grand slam tournament with a majestic
6-1 6-3 6-3 first-round win over little-known Bosnian Damir Dzumhur at Wimbledon
Joining Kvitova in the second round
was 10th seeded German Angelique
Kerber who handed compatriot Carina
Witthoeft a 6-0, 6-0 drubbing.
Kerber, a semi-finalist in 2012 and
who won the Birmingham tournament
on grass in the run-up to Wimbledon,
took just 45 minutes to clinch victory,
firing 21 winners past the world number
It was the third so-called “double
bagel” result of the women’s first round.
Later Tuesday, former champions
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy
Murray get their 2015 campaigns
under way. Second seed Federer, the
seven-time champion, faces Damir
Dzumhur of Bosnia, who he beat at the
French Open this year; 2013 winner
Murray takes on Mikhail Kukushkin of
Kazakhstan, while Nadal, the 2008 and
2010 champion, plays Brazil’s Thomaz
Federer, bidding for his 18th major,
says he is in the perfect condition to win
Wimbledon for a record eighth time as
LONDON: Serena and Venus Williams
on Tuesday withdrew from the
Wimbledon women’s doubles, a title
they have won five times.
No immediate reason was given
for the withdrawal although both
sisters are still involved in the singles
tournament and could meet in the
fourth round. Their place in the draw
was taken by lucky losers Misaki Doi
of Japan and Switzerland’s Stephanie
Vogt. Serena and Venus have won
13 doubles majors together and, on
Monday, Venus said they were hoping
to play more in the run-up to the Rio
Olympics. “We’re looking forward to
the Swiss great bids to avenge last year’s
painful defeat in the final.
Federer’s last appearance at the All
England Club 12 months ago ended
in the despair of a five-set loss against
Novak Djokovic that left him shedding
“If I look at last year, I see more
the positives than actually the heartbreaking loss in the final,” said Federer,
fresh from his eighth Halle grasscourt
title last week.
“It goes to show that last year, I wasn’t
Rio 2016. We’re trying to get a early
start on preparing, start playing some
doubles matches, get the hang of it,”
said Venus after her opening singles
match. The sisters also withdrew
from the Australian Open this year.
Last year, they were forced to quit
the Wimbledon doubles mid-match
when Serena suffered a virus which
left her dizzy, unsteady on her feet
and unable to hit the ball over the net.
World number one Serena is bidding
for a sixth Wimbledon singles title and
could meet Venus, who has also won
the title five times, in the last 16.
playing great and I made the finals.
Whereas now I feel my game is better. I
can really aim for Wimbledon this year.
I feel like I see a big picture more now.”
World number 87 Dzumhur is
the first Bosnian man to play in the
Wimbledon main draw. The 23-yearold from Sarajevo had two of the biggest
wins in his career — over former top 10
players Mikhail Youzhny and Marcos
Baghdatis — to reach the third round
at the French Open where he lost to
Federer in straight sets.
London: Wimbledon, long associated
with depressing rain delays, will
introduce emergency playing rules
for hot weather for the first time on
Wednesday when temperatures are
expected to reach the mid-30s.
Organisers say a heat rule,
which allows for a 10-minute break
between the second and third sets of
women’s matches, can be used when
temperatures rise above 30.1 degrees
Celsius (86.2 degrees Fahrenheit).
However, the rule which has been
adopted by Wimbledon after lobbying
from the WTA, does not apply to men
even though they have to slug it out
over the best of five sets.
Tuesday’s heat is expected to hover
around the 30C mark, but is expected
to surge to around 35C on Wednesday.
The highest-ever temperature
recorded at Wimbledon was 34C in
Despite the heat, All England Club
chiefs said that the Centre Court roof
would not be closed to preserve the
tournament’s integrity as an outdoor
Maria Sharapova, the highest
earner in women’s sport and the 2004
champion at Wimbledon, said it was
wrong to describe the heat index
rule being invoked only for women
as sexist, but admitted the men too
should be allowed the same courtesy.
“I think if it’s something that
they’re concerned about it, they can
reevaluate,” said the Russian.
“If it does get quite hot for us, we’re
able to use it, then why not?”
Women’s world number one
Serena Williams, who like Sharapova
is scheduled to play on Wednesday in
the second round, said the heat would
not concern her as she regularly trains
in temperatures of over 40C at her
“I don’t think I’ve ever played in
34, 35 degrees here, but I do in other
countries. I just was training in Florida
— it was like 42 degrees. This will be
okay,” said the American, a five-time
champion at Wimbledon.
In a country often overly fixed
on day-to-day climate fluctuations,
there is a mass of data reflecting the
tournament’s highs and lows.
The hottest average maximum daily
temperature — 30.8C -- was recorded
in 1976 while the lowest minimum
recorded was 4.9C on June 24, 1999.
Only five Wimbledon tournaments
have seen no rain whatsoever, the
most recent of which was in 1993.
Spectators more accustomed to a
wet and cooler Wimbledon can rest
easy with rain expected on Thursday
with temperatures expected to drop by
around 10 degrees Celsius. — Reuters
Nadal fires early warning to big guns with straight-sets victory
Rafael Nadal of Spain shakes sweat of his
head after winning his match against
Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil at the
Wimbledon Tennis Championships in
London on Tuesday.
LONDON: Rafa Nadal might have been
condemned to a lowly 10th seeding at
Wimbledon but he remains a floater everyone
will want to avoid after getting his campaign
off to an impressive start with a straight-sets
dismissal of Thomaz Bellucci on Tuesday.
The twice champion, who has slipped down
the sport’s pecking order after 18 months of
injury and below-par performances, showed
glimpses of his power and determination in a
6-4 6-2 6-4 win over Brazil’s Bellucci on a sundrenched Number One Court.
If the draw goes to plan Nadal will have to
get past Andy Murray and Roger Federer to
earn a shot at a third title, potentially against
top seed Novak Djokovic in the final.
Those mouth-watering match-ups would be
certain to be tighter than Tuesday’s encounter,
though it would have a surprise if it had been
Through his eight-year career Bellucci had
played 306 matches, exactly split between
victories and defeats, but it has always been
one-way traffic against Nadal.
The two had met five times previously and
the nearest the Brazilian came to taking a set
was when he forced a tiebreak — which he
lost to love — during his first-round defeat at
Wimbledon three years ago.
Nadal had warmed up for this year’s
tournament by winning on the grass of
Stuttgart, though he went out in the first round
Bellucci has been allergic to grass for four
years, failing to win a single match on the
surface since 2011.
Nadal initially struggled to calibrate his
forehand and was wayward with his serving
but he eventually settled and began smashing
Bellucci into submission with his heavyweight
The Brazilian must have known it was not to
be his day when, fighting to stay in the first set,
he allowed an under-hit Nadal lob to bounce
and planted his smash into the net from two
The crowd gasped in sympathy and duly
accorded him a very British ovation when he
responded to the gaffe with an ace on his next
It was all a mere diversion, however, as Nadal
warmed to his task, with the full repertoire of
grunting, shorts-fiddling, headband-adjusting
and hair-stroking ticks on display.
The match fell into a pattern of Bellucci
holding his own early in the rallies before
finding himself stretched and eventually beaten
by Nadal’s superior power and accuracy.
It reached its natural conclusion in just over
two hours, the ideal preparation for Nadal as
he attempts to nurse his battered 29-year-old
body through two gruelling weeks. — Reuters
WEDNESDAY | JULY 1, 2015 | RAMADHAN 14, 1436 AH
Australia-NZ to play ﬁrst day-night Test Kvitova in 2nd round in 35 minutes Wimbledon set for heat breaks FOLLOW US ON:
Vargas double takes hosts Chile into Copa ﬁnal
SANTIAGO: Chile took another step
towards their dream of winning a first
Copa America on home soil with a 2-1 win
over Peru on Monday but Eduardo Vargas’
match-winning double was overshadowed
by an early refereeing decision that turned
the game the hosts’ way.
Carlos Zambrano’s harsh sending off
for a high tackle after 20 minutes was the
second game in a row that Chile’s rivals
have been hit with controversial red cards.
The decision was a hard one to swallow
for Peru, who in spite of being underdogs
had started well in front of a capacity
crowd at Santiago’s National Stadium.
“I think Zambrano’s expulsion was a bit
tough,” Peru striker Paolo Guerrero told
“I don’t want to complain about
the refereeing but there were a lot of
unexpected decisions. If it had been 11
against 11 it would have been a different
Chile’s opponents in last week’s quarterfinal, Uruguay, were reduced to nine men
in controversial fashion with Edinson
Cavani and Jorge Fucile being sent off in
Cavani’s red card came after Chile
defender Gonzalo Jara stuck his finger
up the striker’s backside and when he
responded with the slightest of touches Jara
fell to the ground theatrically, prompting
the referee to send the Uruguayan off.
Chile got the decisive goal shortly
after. Jara later had a three-game ban
for provoking Cavani cut to two by the
governing body of South American
Peru refused to cave in after Zambrano’s
dismissal and matched their hosts in a
pulsating first half.
But just when it looked like the teams
would go in all square at half time Chile
took the lead when striker Vargas poked
the ball home from three yards after an
Alexis Sanchez cross had come back off the
Television replays showed Vargas was
marginally offside, but justice seemed to
be done seconds into the second half when
he had what looked like a legitimate goal
chalked off for offside.
Peru came back into the game and
equalised on the hour mark when Guerrero
split the Chilean defence with a pass for
He whipped in a cross from the right
that Gary Medel turned into his own net.
Peru’s lead lasted just four minutes,
however, and again it was Vargas who did
the damage as he picked up the ball in
midfield and lashed home an unstoppable
strike from 30 yards. Chile, who have
never won the Copa America in its 99year existence, will play the winners of
Tuesday’s semi-final between Argentina
Chile’s forward Eduardo Vargas (C) strikes the ball during
their 2015 Copa America football championship semifinal
match against Peru, in Santiago, on Monday. — AFP
WEDNESDAY | JULY 1, 2015 | RAMADHAN 14, 1436 AH
Sony to raise nearly $4 billion GE to sell ﬂeet services to Element ‘Brexit would be disaster for UK’ FOLLOW US ON:
Oman’s OTI mulls fuel storage capacity in Africa, ofﬁce in US
MAJOR BOOST: Infrastructure investments in Africa and a presence in US vital for the ﬁrm to extend its reach beyond traditional markets in Asia
June 30: Non-Opec member Oman is
weighing moves to invest in fuel storage
capacity in East Africa with the aim of
boosting sales in key markets in this
rapidly developing continent, according
to a report by Bloomberg.
The international news agency
quoted the head of Oman Trading
International Ltd, the fuel trading arm
of the Omani government, as saying that
the company plans to invest in facilities
to store fuel in Mozambique or Tanzania
to cater to potential markets unserved by
seaports and marine terminals.
“We’ve seen fundamental changes
in the market,” Chief Executive Office
Oman sells most of its oil
to China, where Middle
Eastern crude producers face
growing competition from
suppliers outside Opec.
Talal al Aufi was quoted as saying
in an interview. “Asia as a market is
now enjoying a period where there
are options with all the growth in oil
Oman Trading is seeking storage
capacity in Africa for up to 100 million
cubic meters (26 billion gallons)
of refined products, and it plans to
complete a transaction before the end of of those barrels are now flowing to Asia,
the year, Al Aufi said. The company also where Middle Eastern crudes were
sees an opportunity to expand trading in traditionally dominant, he said.
Infrastructure investments in Africa
Iraq, where it supplies gasoline, he said.
Significantly, OTI, which is a joint
venture between Oman Oil Company
and Vitol Group, the world’s largest
independent energy trader, is also
mulling plans to set up an office in the
United States sometime during the first
half of 2016.
An office in the US will give Oman
Trading a base to buy and sell Latin
American crude, said Al Aufi. Exports
from Colombia and Venezuela,
among other regional suppliers, have
been pushed out of the US market by
increased local production, and many
and a physical presence in the US are
vital for the company to extend its
reach beyond traditional markets in
Asia, according to the CEO. Oman sells
most of its oil to China, where Middle
Eastern crude producers face growing
competition from suppliers outside
New 2016 Chevrolet Cruze comes to Oman
happy!,” he remarked, as he complimented the scheme and underlined that fact
that not merely his own family, but that his friends too were eager to make the best
of the Toyota offer. Toyota’s offer has been greeted by a wholehearted customer
response, “What that means for you as a customer,” says the spokesperson, “is that
the biggest excitement has returned with Toyota models now being available with
a host of exciting model-specific benefits.”
These include Insurance for a year (Oman only), a service package for up to 3
years/30,000 kms service (whichever is earlier; covering three services at 10,000
kms. Service intervals for Petrol models based on normal operating conditions
and 6 services at 5000 kms. Service interval for Diesel models), 1st year of
registration and 1000 litres of fuel.
In lieu of the above, customers can choose to avail of a Cash Gift up to RO
1000. And that’s not all. Every Toyota customer gets a gift voucher and a chance to
take part in an amazing raffle which has nine units of 16YM Camry GL Executive
as a part of the campaign, to be won.
Free silver nos for Mada’s new subscribers
MUSCAT: The latest model of Chevrolet’s popular global car Cruze was launched
in Oman recently. The New 2016 Chevrolet Cruze is currently available across
Chevrolet showrooms in the Sultanate. The 2016 Cruze has dynamic and
sophisticated new exterior styling. Inside, it comes with a luxurious new colour.
It maintains the same high level of safety that the nameplate has enjoyed since its
domestic market debut in 2011.
The main focus during the design process was to make the model more
sophisticated, with a more refined and mature look. The 2016 Cruze is targeted
at customers who have a focused, goal-oriented lifestyle that matches the design
intentions of the model.
The 2016 Cruze has a wide and low stance. It comes with a new fascia and new
grille design, which offer a hint of Chevrolet’s next-generation design identity.
The car has balanced proportions, details, and a stylish yet stable and confident
Style and technology come together in the 2016 Cruze. Thanks to the Keyless
start feature, Cruze can be started by simply pushing a button. With Chevrolet
MyLink, all the favourite requirements are in one place, conveniently displaying
on the 7-inch diagonal colour touch-screen. Compatible smartphone can be
connected just via Bluetooth® wireless technology or USB port. Using voice or
steering wheel controls, the touch-screen features such as hands-free calling and
texting, as well as playing music can be accessed.
With the BRINGGO™ smartphone app that delivers plenty of easy-to-use
functions, one can also instantly-access the navigation features. With an IPHONE,
an array of hands-free tasks can also be accessed using SIRI Eyes Free — one can
text, make calls, ask for directions and even send e-mails.
A new level of entertainment can also be experienced on the go with access to
over 70,000 radio stations from around the world by connecting the free TUNEIN
app on the smartphone to the available Chevrolet MyLink system.
LED daytime running light (DRL) positioning lamps, projection fog lamps and
dual square-type tail lamps strengthen the Chevrolet character while providing
value to the customer. Sophisticated design accents include chrome details on the
front grille and garnishes, and boomerang-shaped chrome bezels.
First winner in Toyota offer
AS an exciting week goes by, more and more
people try their luck in Toyota’s ‘extra large
benefits! Extra large happiness!’ campaign.
Now comes the eagerly awaited news about
the first lucky winner — it is none other than
Mohammed Sulaiman Al Amri from Sinaw.
A loyal Toyota user over the last 5 years,
Mohammed previously owned a Hilux S/C
2011YM model. He was so happy with its
performance that he went in for a new Hilux
S/C 2.7 SR LTD. His faith in Toyota was
rewarded when he won a new 2016 Toyota
Camry during the campaign.
Naturally, his joy is boundless, “I am very
silver number offer for all new
subscribers to Mada 10 , Mada 20
, Mada liberty and Mada infinity
plan. The offer that combine the
special data packages and the
special silver number for free.
Shadily Al Abdul Salam, Senior
Manager Product Development
at Omantel Consumer Business
Unit said “in Omantel we focus on
enhancing the services we provide
to our customers through the special offers that add value and benefits to their
experience. And Mada silver number offer comes to give our valued customer the
uniqueness and special identity to their own personality. “
He said, “The new offer includes a free silver number for all new subscribers
to any of the four Mada packages; Mada 10, Mada 20, Mada liberty and Mada
infinity plan, when committing to a 12 months contract, and the validity of this
offer is three months or when the silver numbers are out of stock.”
He also added “The Mada packages offer Mobile internet supported by a wide
coverage of Omantel’s 4G, 3.5G network and considered unique in terms of value,
coverage and its additional benefits, which allow the subscribers to select the plan
that suit their needs.”
Omantel is the pioneer provider of the integrated telecommunications
services in the Sultanate of Oman connecting individuals, enterprises and
government across the country through a state-of-the-art network. Omantel is
listed on the Muscat Stock Market and trades under the name OTL.OM. For
more information, please visit our website www.omantel.om, meet us in one of
our counters or call 1234.
Nissan Altima with unmatched benefits
THE Nissan Altima, which
breaks new ground for the
mid-size sedan segment
is hands-down the most
engaging vehicle in its class.
And if you’ve never driven
an Altima before, get ready
to have your notion of a midsize sedan redefined.
t 4DSBUDI BOE 8JO UXP
assured gifts): Customers
buying the Nissan Altima will
receive a ‘Scratch & Win’ card
which will entitle them to two
assured gifts comprising of
Free service up to Lifetime of
Suzuki Motor CEO names son to succeed him as president
TOKYO: Suzuki Motor Corp’s 85-year-old
CEO Osamu Suzuki named his eldest son as
the new president of Japan’s fourth-biggest
automaker, easing investor concerns over
the firm’s succession plan and boosting the
company’s shares by more than 5 per cent.
Executive Vice President Toshihiro Suzuki
took over the role from his father as president
and chief operating officer effective Tuesday.
Osamu Suzuki remained as CEO and
Suzuki Motor on Tuesday also laid out
financial targets under a new five-year business
plan, including a goal to raise revenue to a record
in the year ending March 2020. Osamu Suzuki
has helmed the Japanese automaker since 1978,
and the question of who would succeed him,
and when, has been one of the biggest issues
confronting the automaker.
Suzuki had previously attempted to groom
his son-in-law Hirotaka Ono to succeed him,
but that plan was derailed when Ono died of
pancreatic cancer in 2007. Two other executives
had briefly held the post of president in the
Both resigned after a few years, citing health
reasons. Toshihiro Suzuki, 56, was named one
of Suzuki Motor’s four executive vice presidents
in 2011, raising speculation that he would
eventually take the top post.
Before joining Suzuki Motor in 1994, he
had worked at the company that became Denso
Corp. Fellow Executive Vice President Yasuhito
Harayama will become vice chairman, Suzuki
Motor said in a statement.
Harayama, a former bureaucrat at the
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry,
was hired by the elder Suzuki to oversee the
automaker’s dealings with Volkswagen AG,
with which it formed a capital tie-up in 2009.
Suzuki Motor is now trying to dismantle
those ties by buying back the 19.9 per cent stake
held by the German giant in an international
arbitration court after the partners fell out.
Shares in Suzuki Motor rose as much as 5.5
per cent after news of the management changes,
before ending up 2.7 per cent.
After the market closed, Suzuki also
announced new financial targets, saying it aimed
to boost sales to 3.4 million vehicles in the year
through March 2020. It is also targeting record
revenue of 3.7 trillion yen ($30.24 billion) in the
same year, versus 3.1 trillion yen projected for
the current business year. — Reuters
W E D N E S DAY
J U LY 1 l 2 0 1 5
the car (minimum assured 1 year/ 10,000 km PMS) and Free fuel up to RO 1000
(minimum assured of RO 50).
on any Altima Variants.
t 6OMJNJUFE CFOFĕUT /JTTBO BTTVSFT DVTUPNFST GSFF SFHJTUSBUJPO ZFBST
extended warranty, easy financing options, a loan term up to eight years and
attractive interest rates.
another exciting line up of Ramadhan benefit for their valued customers.
Customers who already own a Nissan model and are making a second purchase
will receive additional incentives from SBA where customers enjoy 10,000 kms
additional service, they will receive special interest privilege card and also be
eligible for any trade-in benefits.
on the Nissan Altima
The grand raffle draw from Nissan is being held in association with Al Wisal
and Merge FM where participants can enter the draw to win a sleek Nissan
Altima (2 vehicles to be won.
SBA designed the Ramadhan scheme to add to the pleasure and convenience
of owning a Nissan model and ensure hassle and worry-free driving at all times.
Nissan customers can also avail easy financing option of a loan term up to 8 years
with attractive interest rates from Bank Muscat. Flexible EMI’s can also be tailor
made for any individual requirement from in-house Auto Finance team.
Nissan vehicles are known to offer smoother ride comfort, more refinement
and benchmark fit and finish, while delivering breathtaking performance and
road-holding. Their ‘multi-dimensional performance’ means the driver can
enjoy the full depth of a Nissan’s capabilities whether navigating the corners of a
winding mountain road, cruising on a motorway or even travelling in an urban
Iconic Italian style: The charming Fiat 500
AN expression of style and
character, the Fiat 500 is an
all-Italian invention created to
satisfy anyone who loves to have
fun and go anywhere behind
the wheel of an exciting car full
of charm. And what better time
to gift yourself or a loved one
this delightful car than that of
the month of Ramadhan, that is
packed with special offers and gifts galore.
Aimed at a whole new generation of drivers in Oman who want their vehicle
to be as engaging, individualised, ecologically responsible and technologically
savvy as they are; the Fiat 500 offers safety, fuel economy, quality and advanced
technology perfectly balanced with iconic Italian style. Its city-friendly fourpassenger A-segment size, engaging driving dynamics, all-new fuel-efficient
1.4 litre Fiat MultiAir® engine, standard state-of-the-art Blue&Me™ Handsfree
Communication technology, seven standard air bags and six-speed automatic
transmission combine to deliver a driving and ownership experience.
“With customers becoming more and more selective, individualisation has
become imperative for the automotive industry”, said a spokesperson from
Dhofar Automotive. “Today’s discerning customers choose a vehicle that has
a unique and emotional connection to them in the endeavour that their own
distinctive personality is complimented by their car.
With the arrival of the Fiat 500, the discerning young, fun loving, trendy and
individualistic customer now has a vehicle that can do just that. Since seeing
the car and its
Sony to raise nearly
$4 bn, ramp up
TOKYO: Japan’s Sony
Corp plans to raise nearly
$4 billion via new shares
and bonds to plough
into image sensors as it
reinvents itself as a niche
component maker, pulling
back from consumer goods
like TVs that dragged it
In Sony’s first new share
issue in 26 years, the firm
said on Tuesday it expects
to raise 321 billion yen
($2.62 billion) from a
public stock offering after
a rally that has seen its
market value double in a
It will raise a further
119 billion yen from a
convertible bond issue
to fund a boost in sensor
output capacity at its
advanced plants in Japan.
Worth close to a tenth
of its current market value,
the share issue provides
the clearest signal yet that
Chief Executive Kazuo
Hirai is prioritising the
sensor business to anchor
The firm has long
been plagued by losses
in branded goods like
smartphones, hit by fierce
competition from both
cheaper rivals in Asia
and industry giants like
Apple Inc and Samsung
Electronics Co. — Reuters
W E D N E S DAY
J U LY 1 l 2 0 1 5
OAMC begins tender process for duty free, other outlets
June 30: The Oman Airport Management
Company (OAMC) has begun the first
stage for the forthcoming tender process
for its duty free, luxury retail and food
& beverage contracts at New Muscat
In its announcement, the OAMC
invited qualified businesses with airport
concessions experience to respond to its
Request for Qualifications (RFQ), with
Request for Proposal documentation
released to short-listed companies.
“The duty free and luxury retail
package will offer the successful bidder
an area of 5,320 sqm to provide core
duty free products in addition to luxury
fashion and accessories, watches, toys
and gourmet foods and confectionery”,
the OAMC said in its request for
The food and beverage package offers
3,560 sqm of space to the winner.
At stake are ten-year contracts for each
of the key categories, with over 18,000
sqm of commercial space available in the
OAMC is responsible for managing
and operating Muscat International and
Salalah Airports in Oman.
The total gross floor area for the new
Muscat International terminal building
is reported to be 344,995 sqm, with an
overall airport land area of 21 sq km.
Artist’s impression of the passenger terminal of the new airport
Three subsequent expansion phases
are planned to increase the airport’s
The new cargo terminal will have a flights at the Muscat International
annual capacity to 24 million, 36 million capacity to handle 260,000 tonnes of Airport during the first quarter of this
and 48 million passengers when projected freight annually.
year registered a rise of 9.2 per cent
demand requires it.
At the same time, the number of compared to the same period last year,
resumes trading at MSM
June 30: Renaissance Services has
resumed its shares trading at the bourse
after three days of suspension since last
Thursday, according to a statement from
the CEO of the company. Renaissance
Services had announced that BP
had awarded its Consolidated Camp
Facilities Management contract to their
subsidiary, Tawoos Industrial Services
Company LLC (TISCO) last week.
On Thursday afternoon, the Muscat
Securities Market (MSM) suspended
trading of Renaissance Shares, pending
disclosure of the contract value. Late on
Sunday, Renaissance issued a statement
that the contract value for the initial
phase of the contract covering the 29
months commencing August 2015;
has an estimated contract value of $ 48
“Renaissance has many contracts with
major local and international clients,
where the contract details are subject
to strict confidentiality. This is normal,
and it is the case in this instance. We
announced that we had won the contract
as soon as we were able to do so; and we
put in place the formal contract process
to announce contract value”, Stephen
Thomas, CEO, Renaissance (pictured),
explained when asked why the company
announced the contract without full
disclosure of the contract value.
According to the CEO, the company
has made many similar announcements
before “We always release the maximum
information simultaneously to all
stakeholders. In this case, as soon as
we were able to announce the contract
value, we did so.”
commitment to contract compliance.
trust in our
and value of
our services, is
the true source
and driver of
challenges in the future. Renaissance
operates on a global market platform
winning sophisticated contracts with
major clients. In all cases we shall honour
our contractual obligations, and in all
cases we shall announce to the market the
maximum information allowed under
the terms of our contracts. Renaissance
always acts in the best interests of all its
Thomas continued, “We recognise
that this contract is an important award,
but we are a large, international company
and $ 48 million represents 3 per cent
of our group’s contract pipeline of $ 1.5
billion, in addition to our sustainable
non-contract income stream of $ 100
million per annum.”
Stephen further explained that
Renaissance is committed to the best
in governance and transparency and
that the company’s Annual Report and
Sustainability Report, the Quarterly
Chairman’s Statement and quarterly
analysts and broker’s conference calls,
annual meeting with stakeholders
after the AGM are all testament to how
Renaissance governance compares with
the best in this market.
taking off from last year’s 20,235 to
22,102 flights this year, which include
both international and domestic ones.
The number of international
passengers at the Muscat International
Airport grew by 9.5 per cent, reaching
nearly 2.21 million in the first quarter
of this year, while domestic passenger
growth touched 2.9 per cent with 200,666
arrivals at the Muscat International
Airport this year touched 1.12 million
in the first quarter in contrast to 1.01
million during the same period last year,
marking a 10.1 per cent growth.
According to statistics issued by
the National Centre for Statistics and
Information, nearly 2.41 million people
used the Muscat International Airport
for international or domestic travel in
the first quarter of this year, as against
2.21 million during the same period in
2014. During the first quarter, there was
an increase of 8.4 per cent in the number
of international flights at the Muscat
International Airport touching 19,467,
compared to 17,961 flights in the same
quarter last year.
Domestic flights on the other hand
logged a year-on-year growth of 15.9
per cent in the period reaching a total of
At the Salalah Airport, international
passengers including transit passengers
witnessed a significant growth of 42.1
per cent, with their numbers soaring to
78,265 this year, while domestic passenger
volume recorded a marginal 0.8 per cent
rise to reach 139,404 compared to first
quarter figures last year.
Oman Air and Mercedes-Benz Oman
unveil premium partnership
More Omani pilots recruited
MUSCAT: Oman Air offers its premium
passengers in Muscat, flying in First
Class an even greater comfort and
Oman Air’s First Class passengers
will now be able to make use of brand
new, chauffeur-driven Mercedes-Benz
S400 L AMG limousines between
Oman Air’s First Class lounge at Muscat
International Airport and their aircrafts.
In addition, upon landing at Muscat,
First Class customers will also be met
with the limousines at the aircraft and
whisked away to Arrivals in style and
The service is the result of a new
partnership between Oman Air and
Mercedes-Benz Oman. It was celebrated
at an official handover ceremony at
Oman Air Headquarters. The ceremony
was attended by Oman Air’s Chief
Executive Officer, Paul Gregorowitsch
and Mercedes-Benz Oman’s Chief
Executive Officer Automotive, Clive
Paul Gregorowitsch welcomed the
new service, saying, “This partnership
reflects the very high quality that Oman
Air is committed to offering all our
customers. It also reinforces the powerful
brand image of our national airline. Our
First Class passengers deserve only
the best and they can now enjoy the
luxury of an exclusive transportation
service using Mercedes-Benz limousines
between the First Class lounge and the
“We look forward to a lasting and
productive partnership with MercedesBenz Oman, and to exceeding
the expectations of our invaluable
Clive Hammond, CEO of MercedesBenz Oman, added,“I am delighted that
Mercedes-Benz S400 L AMG limousines
will now be part of the service for Oman
Air’s premium customers at Muscat
“The S-Class embodies the ‘Essence
of Luxury’ of Mercedes-Benz like no
other model series and will complement
Oman Air’s renowned high standards
and award winning service. I look
forward to a close working relationship
with Oman Air through this luxurious
service to their customers,” he added.
FOLLOWING the graduation in
March of ten Omani cadet pilots,
Oman Air is now recruiting more
candidates from within the Sultanate
The recent graduates trained at
l’École Nationale de l’Aviation Civile
(ENAC), the prestigious flying school
based in Toulouse, France.
They were personally congratulated
on behalf of Oman Air by Captain
Moosa Al Shidhani, Acting Chief
Officer — Flight Operations.
A further 13 Omani candidates
have now been enrolled at ENAC
and are expected to graduate in 18
Now Oman Air is recruiting
further cadet pilot candidates, who
will receive flight training and be
considered for roles with Oman
Air’s operational flight crews. Each
of the cadet pilots will be carefully
selected according to their cognitive
skills and ability to multi-task, before
undertaking an intensive programme
of instruction. The cadet pilots will
be offered support by Oman Air
throughout their training at ENAC.
They will receive financial
assistance, as well as help with
accommodation, insurance, fees and
Oman Air will also take an ongoing
interest in the cadet pilots’ progress
and will receive regular updates on
cadet pilots, Oman Air is seeking
applications from Ab Initio pilots —
trainee pilots who are self-sponsored.
Successful applicants are likely to
be enrolled as Second Officers on a
type rating course in one of the Oman
Air’s narrow-body aircraft, depending
on company requirements. The
number of Omani pilots employed by
Oman Air has increased consistently
over the last four years, as the airline
experienced steady growth. In 2012,
212 of a total of 382 pilots were
This increased to 224 out of 425
pilots in 2013, and 235 out of 517
pilots in 2014.
The number of Omani pilots
operating in Oman Air as end of
March 2015 is 252, out of a total of
Full steam ahead for ship-to-ship transfers at Sohar Port
June 30: Sohar Port and Freezone
completed another successful shipto-ship (STS) transfer of fuel oil at the
The delicate operation was conducted
by one of the world’s leading marine
cargo transfer companies, Fendercare
Marine. Accredited by no less than ten
national and international regulatory
bodies, Fendercare handles around
2,800 transfers per year and has an
immaculate safety record. In 2013,
Fendercare managed close to half a
billion barrels globally without incident.
Sohar Port has taken an active role
as a regional pioneer of ship-to-ship
transfer services in its anchorage areas.
Especially with the current high demand
for floating storage solutions, shipto-ship movements of liquid bulk are
critical. Bigger is better when it comes to
economies of scale, so although smaller
vessels may bring in oil supplies, supertankers are the more cost effective mid
to long-term floating storage solution.
At present, some VLCCs (Very Large
Crude Carriers or super-tankers) are
being booked up to one year ahead by
traders to facilitate additional, offshore
storage space until global oil prices
recover and physical stocks can be sold
As always in Sohar Port, safety and
environmental protection are paramount
to any marine side operations. As a 50:50
partnership with Port of Rotterdam,
Sohar Port prides itself on some of the
strictest and best policed environmental
policies in the region, both above and
below the water. Sohar Port has invested
in an artificial reef project to help protect Light and heavy fuel oil were transferred safely between MVs Hafid and M Spirit
and grow fish stocks in the area around during a successful STS operation over the weekend
At present, some VLCCs are
being booked up to one year
ahead by traders to facilitate
additional, offshore storage
space until global oil prices
recover and physical stocks
can be sold off
the Port and to help support local
“Thursday’s transfer demonstrates
that the marine side of our business
is still booming,” said SOHAR Chief
Executive, Andre Toet. “With all our
recent successes and the phenomenal
growth in investments we’ve seen on
the landside of the SOHAR operation,
it is sometimes easy to overlook what
is happening out at sea. on Thursday
also marked International Day of the
Seafarer, and we celebrated the day by
handing out 500 goody bags to mariners
at our berths or moored in our anchorage
areas,” he concluded.
SOHAR will also be handling
liquefied natural gas (LNG) ship-toship transfers in the near future. The
pioneering STS transfers in SOHAR will
combine the latest technologies with
international best practices to offer a
revolutionary service, currently only
available at the Ports of Rotterdam and
A recent set of deadlines set by the
International Maritime Organisation
(IMO), will require ships passing
through so-called Emissions Control
Areas, to reduce the level of sulphuroxide in their fuel supplies to just 0.1
per cent. This has led to an increase in
research and investment into LNG as
bunker fuel and LNG transfer facilities.
W E D N E S DAY
J U LY 1 l 2 0 1 5
Asia markets rebound, Shanghai sees more volatility
EURO FALLS: The euro edged down and analysts warned of sharp movements this week as Greece prepares for a Sunday referendum
rebounded on Tuesday after the
previous day’s rout, despite Greece
being just hours away from default,
while Shanghai surged in volatile
trading that saw swings of more than
eight per cent.
The euro edged down and analysts
warned of sharp movements this
week as Greece prepares for a Sunday
referendum on creditors’ bailout
reform proposals, which European
chiefs say boils down to a vote on
whether the nation wants to stay in
the euro zone.
Tokyo rose 0.55 per cent in the
afternoon, Hong Kong climbed 1.62
per cent, Seoul put on 0.51 per cent
and Sydney was 0.13 per cent higher
in late trade.
Shanghai’s roller-coaster ride
continued, plunging more than
5.1 per cent in the morning before
bouncing back to sit 3.22 per cent
higher in the afternoon as bargainbuyers moved in after a recent hefty
sell-off. Shenzhen was up 2.00 per
cent, having sunk more than six per
Mainland Chinese markets are
swinging wildly after plunging more
than 20 per cent over the past two
weeks and analysts warned of further
wide sharp movements in future.
The crisis sent markets tumbling
across Europe and in New York.
The euro ended on Monday higher
but edged down on Tuesday.
It bought $1.1194 and 136.92 yen
in Asia, against $1.1247 and 137.82
yen in New York.
“Right now the biggest surprise is
that the euro is not materially weaker,”
Matthew Sherwood, head of investment
markets research in Sydney at Perpetual
Ltd, which manages about $21 billion,
wrote to clients.
“Market expectations are that
the Greek situation is manageable
even if they exit the union,” he said,
according to Bloomberg News.
The dollar edged up to 122.32 yen
from 122.55 yen.
With talks between Athens’
leaders and creditors now completely
broken down after Prime Minister
Alexis Tsipras called the July 5
plebiscite, Greece is widely expected
to miss its payment to the IMF due
later on Tuesday.
“(How) is it possible the creditors
are waiting for the IMF payment
while our banks are being suffocated?”
Tsipras said in a late-evening interview
on ERT television in Greece.
Failure to pay will leave the
country in default, which could lead
to it leaving the euro zone. However,
top European leaders including
Germany’s Angela Merkel, France’s
Francois Hollande and Italy’s Matteo
Renzi called on the Greek people to
vote for the creditors’ proposals.
“A ‘No’ would mean, regardless of
the question posed, that Greece had
said no to Europe,” said EU chief JeanClaude Juncker, previously Tsipras’s
closest — and sometimes only — ally
in five months of debt talks.
The decision to push ahead with
the vote led Standard & Poor’s rating
agency to downgrade Greece’s credit
A businessman passes before a share prices board in Tokyo yesterday. Japan’s share prices rose 23.05 points to close at
20,133.00 points at the morning session of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, rebounding slightly after sharp losses in the previous
session as investors brace for an expected Greek default. — AFP
rating deeper into junk territory,
saying it was now closer to default.
“The political timetable is now
unclear due to the surprise of the
referendum. We do not know the
wording of the question or the
questions that will be asked, and
Brazil’s Petrobras slashes multi-year
investment plan by $77 billion
RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil’s state oil
giant Petrobras slashed its five-year
investment plan by a whopping $77
billion — 37 per cent — as it tries to
recover from a massive corruption
scandal. A new, leaner business plan
presented by the company was also
seen as reflecting today’s lower crude
oil prices and other factors that are bad
news for Petrobras.
The cuts to the 2015-2019 plan will
reduce Petrobras’s investment spending
over the period to $130.3 billion, the
Petrobras has been reeling from a
kickback and political payoffs scandal
that cost the company more than $2
billion in 2014.
Prosecutors say Petrobras executives
colluded with construction companies
to massively overbill the oil giant.
The extra money went to company
executives, politicians and political
parties that include the ruling Workers’
Party. Most investment — 86 per cent —
through 2019 will go toward exploration
and production of oil.
The company, mired in debt, plans
business restructuring and assets sales
to the tune of $42.6 billion in 201718. This year and next, it foresees
divestment of $15.1 billion. Although
the investment cut and overall business
plan was seen as reflecting the impact
of the corruption scandal, analyst
Luiz Pereira of consulting firm Guide
Investments saw something else fuelling
the changes: today’s reality of sharply
lower oil prices and a Brazilian currency
that has plummeted against the dollar.
Much of the company’s debt
is denominated in now-expensive
dollars. But its revenue comes in largely
Brazilian reals, from production for
“It is a plan that is more aware of the
premises of the current market, such
as crude prices and exchange rates,”
Pereira said. The corruption scandal
has already seen eight former company
executives jailed. A former treasurer
of the ruling Workers’ Party is also in
prison. Several dozen lawmakers are
under investigation. The scandal has
also pushed the company’s share price
down and forced a complete change in
senior management. — AFP
Contracts at highest level since April 2006
US pending home sales hit
nine-year high in May
WASHINGTON: Contracts to buy
previously owned US homes rose to
their highest level in just over nine years
in May, in a further boost to the housing
market and the broader economic
The National Association of Realtors
said on Monday its Pending Home
Sales Index, based on contracts signed
last month, increased 0.9 per cent to
112.6, the highest level since April 2006.
Contracts have now increased for five
Pending home contracts become
sales after a month or two, and last
month’s increase pointed to further
gains in home resales after they hit a
5½ year high in May. Economists had
forecast pending home sales rising 1.2
per cent last month.
“The recent trend suggests that we
will see continued strength in resales in
the months ahead.
However the current low inventory
levels, which are placing upward
pressure on home prices, remain a
A home for sale and ‘under contract’ is seen in Maryland in this file photo. — AFP
downside risk,” said Derek Lindsey, an
analyst at BNP Paribas in New York.
The housing market recovery is back
on track after being slammed by bad
weather at the start of the year.
It is being bolstered by a tightening
labour market, which is helping to spur
some pick-up in wage growth.
US financial markets were little
moved by the report, with investors
warily watching developments in Greece
as Athens moved closer to a defaulting
on its debt. US stocks fell at the open,
while the dollar was little changed
against a basket of currencies. Prices for
US government debt were higher.
The pending home sales report
added to robust building permits,
housing starts, new home sales and
home resales data in painting a bullish
picture of the housing market. It also
joined strong retail sales, consumer
sentiment and employment data in
suggesting a building up of momentum
in the economy after a mild contraction
in output in the first quarter. Pending
home sales increased 10.4 per cent from
a year ago. — Reuters
so the outcome risks creating even
more uncertainty,” David Gaud, is a
senior fund manager at Edmond de
Rothschild in Hong Kong, said.
“The next big deadline is the
payment expected on July 20 — to the
ECB this time. With the IMF payment
GE to sell fleet
NEW YORK: General Electric said
it had agreed to sell its vehicle fleet
management and financing services
in the United States and three other
countries to Canadian firm Element
Financial for $6.9 billion.
GE, which is restructuring to
focus on its core industrial business,
also said it had signed a preliminary
agreement to sell its European fleet
businesses to Arval, a subsidiary of
French banking giant BNP Paribas and
a partner of Element.
The announcement is the latest
step in GE’s plan to sharply pare back
GE Capital in the wake of the 20082009 global financial crisis.
The transactions announced on
Monday would bring total GE Capital
asset sales to $63 billion. The total
could reach $100 billion by the end of
the year, said Keith Sherin, GE Capital
chairman and chief executive.
“We continue to demonstrate
speed and execution on our strategy
to sell most of the assets of GE
Capital,” Sherin said.
GE Capital Fleet Services provides
fleet management services and
commercial car and truck financing
around the world for more than 1.5
Element bought GE Capital’s
Canadian fleet business in 2013.
The transaction announced on
Monday includes the transfer of the
employees, systems, offices and
other assets required to operate the
GE Capital businesses in the United
States, Mexico, Australia and New
Arval’s planned purchase of the
European fleet operations would
expand the Element-Arval Global
Alliance’s management of customer
fleets to more than 40 countries, the
Toronto-based company said.
The US and Mexico transaction
with Element is targeted to close in
the third quarter of this year, followed
by the Australia and New Zealand
transaction in the fourth quarter, GE
said. — AFP
already outstanding, the coming
month will remain very volatile”.
In Shanghai dealers bought on
the dip after heavy morning selling.
The index had run up gains of 150
per cent in the year to June 12,
when profit-takers moved in and
authorities started tightening rules
on margin trading, in which dealers
borrow cash to invest.
The index lost more than three per
cent on Monday, putting it in a bear
market and economists warned of
further losses as retail investors cash
up and margin trades are called in.
China’s central bank at the
weekend cut interest rates for the
fourth time since November and also
lowered the amount of cash lenders
must keep in reserve.
Speculation is also swirling that
officials are planning to halt initial
public offerings in a bid to settle
investors as they are often blamed for
sucking up cash from markets.
“No one can tell for sure where the
market’s bottom is,” said Castor Pang,
head of research at Core PacificYamaichi in Hong Kong.
“The government will need to take
more measures to stop the market’s
freefall,” Pang told Bloomberg News.
“The market started to show signs
of stabilisation with blue chip stocks
starting to resist the market plunge,”
Yingda Securities chief economist Li
“Positive effects from rate cut, as
well as news of pension fund planning
to enter stock market, have started to
kick in to support the market.”
On oil markets US benchmark
West Texas Intermediate for August
delivery fell nine cents to $58.24
while Brent added five cents to $62.06
in late-morning trade.
Gold fetched $1,177.05 compared
with $1,177.05 late on Monday. — AFP
Ocado reiterates 2015 global deal target
LONDON: British online grocer Ocado on Tuesday reiterated its target of signing a first
agreement with an overseas retailer during 2015, as it reported an 11.4 per cent rise
in first half core earnings. Ocado signed its first third-party deal with Britain’s fourth
biggest supermarket Morrisons in 2013.
That helped the firm to report in February a pretax profit for the 2013-14 year,
the first in its 15-year history. It also said at the time it aimed this year to seal its first
technology deal with an overseas retailer.
“Discussions continue with multiple potential international partners to adopt
Ocado Smart Platform with (a) target to sign (a) first agreement in 2015,” the firm said
on Tuesday. For the 24 weeks to May 17, the firm said that it made earnings before
interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of £ 38.2 million ($60 million).
That compared with analyst forecasts of about £36 million and is up from £34.3 million
made in the same period last year.
Ocado, whose range includes products supplied by upmarket grocer Waitrose, said
gross retail sales rose 15.7 per cent to £ 511.9 million, having been up 15.2 per cent in
its first quarter.
Ocado shares, which have had a roller-coaster ride since they debuted at 180 pence
apiece in 2010, closed on Monday at 430 pence, valuing the business at £ 2.53 billion.
The stock has risen 30 per cent over the last three months on hopes an international
deal will soon be announced. — Reuters
A Japan Post van is seen past its office in Tokyo yesterday. Japan Post
Holdings and its two subsidiaries announced to file with the Tokyo Stock
Exchange for the state-owned companies’ listing at the stock market. — AFP
Australia, NZ reap $843m World Cup dividend
SYDNEY: The economies of Australia and New Zealand benefited from A$1.1 billion
($843.59 million) in direct spending as a result of co-hosting the cricket World Cup
earlier this year, according to a report released on Tuesday.
The report, prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers, said the tournament created
the equivalent of 8,320 full time jobs across the two economies and attracted 145,000
unique visitors to the host countries, mostly from Asia.
“This was the biggest event in Australia since the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and
it has changed cricket in New Zealand forever,” tournament chief executive John
Harnden said in a news release.
“The cricket World Cup generated two million bed nights across the two countries
and around $855 million in visitor spending, which is great for the tourism industries
of both countries.” The Feb. 14-March 29 tournament attracted more than a million
spectators to the 49 matches played in 14 cities, of which 20, not all involving the
host nations, were sell-outs. The final, in which Australia beat New Zealand, attracted
a crowd of 93,013 to the Melbourne Cricket Ground, while a dedicated television
audience of over 1.56 billion watched the tournament around the world.
The report pointed out the benefits to the host nations of the funding model,
under which the International Cricket Council (ICC) and its sponsorship partners
“contribute significant foreign investment” towards the delivery of the event.
“This is a point of difference when compared to other international sporting events,
such as the Olympic Games, rugby World Cup and the Asian Cup, where host nations
must self-fund a significant portion of their events,” it read. — Reuters
W E D N E S DAY
J U LY 1 l 2 0 1 5
Puerto Rico, crushed by debt, seeks moratorium
rushed by liabilities
it now cannot repay,
Puerto Rico is seeking
to reschedule its $73
billion debt, the US
c o m m o n w e a l t h’s
governor said on Monday.
Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla
earlier made the admission in a New
York Times interview, rattling stock
markets and quickly knocking 10 per
cent off prices of Puerto Rican bonds.
“The goal is going to be a moratorium
that is negotiated with bondholders
to delay debt payments for a number
of years, so money is available to be
invested here in Puerto Rico, to create
jobs,” the governor said in a televised
“By sharing the sacrifice with our
creditors, we will be able to move
forward. But “Puerto Rico is unable to
keep making payments under current
terms,” he added, speaking in Spanish.
The governor of the US territory of
3.5 million people — a former Spanish
colony where citizens have a US
passport but their own Olympic team —
said he would urge the US government
to change its bankruptcy regulations so
that Puerto Rico can declare bankruptcy
He said he was creating a task force
to work on overhauling the island’s
finances. And the governor promised
some cutbacks, though not in education
or job creation.
“I am going to fight for jobs as a
central goal of this process,” he said.
And “we are not going to let the
crushing weight of debt passed down
by others put us on our knees,” Garcia
“We are not going to be forced to
make a choice between paying the police,
or paying teachers and nurses, and
paying the debt. “There is another way.”
He warned that “it’s not in anybody’s
best interest for this strategy to fail.”
UNSUSTAINABLE: On Monday, the
government released a study by exofficials of the International Monetary
Fund and the World Bank that says
Puerto Rico’s debt load is unsustainable
and needs to be rescheduled.
The country’s “true fiscal deficit is
much larger than assumed,” it said.
“Even a major fiscal effort leaves
residual financing gaps in coming
years, which can be bridged by debt
restructuring,” which, it proposed,
would mean creditors exchanging
existing bonds for new ones with a
longer and lower debt service profile.
“The debt cannot be made sustainable
without growth, nor can growth occur
in the face of structural obstacles and
doubts about debt sustainability.”
The White House, which has had a
special task force working on the island’s
finances for months, said it was not
contemplating any bailout of Puerto
“But we do remain committed to
working with Puerto Rico and their
leaders as they address the serious
challenges,” said spokesman Josh
Garcia Padilla and senior staff
members told the Times the island
would likely seek concessions from its
creditors, possibly deferring some debt
payments for up to five years.
The economy of Puerto Rico
has posted negative growth
for eight years. Ratings
agencies like Moody’s
classify Puerto Rican debt as
junk bonds. The ﬁnancial
problems of the Caribbean
island have shaken the large
market for US municipal
bonds, especially after
Detroit declared bankruptcy
People sit in a restaurant while listening to an address by Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla during a televised speech in San Juan,
Puerto Rico. Garcia Padilla on Monday called for the commonwealth to be allowed to restructure its debts under US bankruptcy
code, while a newly appointed adviser to the US territory said it is “insolvent” and will soon run out of cash. — Reuters
ECONOMY STILL SHRINKING:
The economy of Puerto Rico has posted
negative growth for eight years. Ratings
agencies like Moody’s classify Puerto
Rican debt as junk bonds. The financial
problems of the Caribbean island
have shaken the large market for US
municipal bonds, especially after Detroit
declared bankruptcy in 2013.
Puerto Rico has been able to sell
huge amounts of debt due to its taxfree status in the US municipal bonds
market, making its debt more valuable
than other city bonds.
But unlike Detroit, which declared
itself broke to force creditors to write
off some debt, as a commonwealth, the
island cannot file for bankruptcy.
That means any default on its debt
could take years to resolve.
Meanwhile, island natives and
residents of working age increasingly
have packed up and moved to the US
mainland in droves to work. Florida
and the New York City area remain key
draws for them.
The Puerto Rican announcement
came a day before Greece, likewise
struggling with economic contraction
and unsustainable debt, is expected to
default on its official bailout loans from
the International Monetary Fund.
The report on the Puerto Rican
economy, released by the Government
Development Bank, the main issuer of
the island’s debt, said the economy is
caught in a vicious cycle: weak public
finances fuel investor wariness and low
growth, and that in turn increases the
budget deficit and debt.
It recommended structural reforms
like cutting civil servants’ salaries and
the costs of providing public services
like electricity and transport.
The local electric company alone
is saddled with debt to the tune of $9
All along it has strongly pushed the
idea of a debt restructuring, which will
not be easily achieved with creditors.
Late on Monday, ratings agency
Fitch lowered its debt rating to CC,
saying that some kind of default seemed
likely. — AFP
‘Brexit would be
World ﬁnancial fears keep
Asia ﬁrms in holding pattern A
entiment at some of
Asia’s biggest firms has
deteriorated as a slowing
Chinese economy, Greek
sovereign debt crisis
and looming US interest
rate hike create deepening concern
about the state of the world economy,
a Thomson Reuters/INSEAD survey
The Thomson Reuters/INSEAD
Asian Business Sentiment Index fell
to 70 for the June quarter, from 71 in
March and 74 in the same period last
year. A reading over 50 indicates an
overall positive view.
Though gradual, the decline suggests
the wait-and-see approach of top
businesses is evolving from a passing
phase to ingrained cautiousness as
questions persist about the structural
soundness of economies in China,
Europe and the United States.
“Progress in some areas is
compensated by increasing risks in
another,” said INSEAD Professor
Antonio Fatas recently.
“There is increasing concern for
China and possibly for other emerging
markets in the region as the US Federal
Reserve starts raising rates.
There is no great excitement to
compensate for the risks of the region
and the broader world economy.”
Companies in India recorded the
steepest fall in confidence, logging
84 from 97 in the previous quarter,
as fervour over the election of probusiness Prime Minister Narendra
Modi last year gives way to anxiety
about whether two rate cuts this year
can reignite a sluggish economy.
The biggest gainer was Thailand,
scoring 94 versus 79, as firms adjusted
to the disruption of a May 2014 military
coup as well as two rate cuts which the
central bank said had stabilised the
Chinese firms were the least
optimistic for the first time in nine
quarters, with a score near flat at 55.
The world’s second-largest economy
so far this year has grown its slowest in
A worker cycles past cars made by South Korea’s automakers Hyundai Motor and affiliate Kia Motors parked at the company’s
shipping yard at a port in Pyeongtaek, about 70 km south of Seoul in this file photo. — Reuters
over half a decade dogged by concerns
of a property bubble and soft data on
retail sales, industrial output and fixed
Thomson Reuters and global
business school INSEAD conducted
the poll from June 8 to 20.
Of 117 respondents, 40 per cent
were positive — from 45 per cent
in the previous quarter — while 60
per cent were neutral. None were
The biggest risk respondents cited
was global economic uncertainty,
followed by rising costs.
Other risks included regulatory
uncertainty and rising competition.
PROPERTY BUBBLE: Property
saw the steepest fall in sentiment of any
sector, scoring 77 from 88.
Record-low interest rates lifted
demand, but a consequent surge in
prices has led to speculation that the
sector has become over-valued.
Adding to concerns is the impact
Unlike property developers,
builders are less susceptible
to ﬂuctuation in property
on demand of the first Fed rate hike in
a decade, which is widely expected in
“Normally property sentiment goes
down when interest rates start to go up,
and we haven’t seen any of that,” said
AMP Capital chief economist Shane
“This is a global phenomenon where
we’ve got very low interest rates and
that’s helped buoy property markets
and development activity, but by the
same token there’s been a lot of talk that
property bubbles might reinflate.”
The building sector meanwhile
latched onto immediate demand
spawned by low rates, recording
the survey’s brightest outlook of 86,
from 79. Unlike property developers,
builders are less susceptible to
fluctuation in property retail prices.
The shipping, finance and auto sectors
logged the lowest readings of 56, 57 and
Financials comprised a quarter of
respondents citing global economic
uncertainty as a risk, followed by
technology firms which made up a
Nick Hawkins, chief financial
officer at survey respondent Insurance
Australia Group Ltd, the country’s
largest general insurer, said his firm’s
plans to grow in China, India and
Southeast Asia won’t be affected by a
decline in sentiment.
“We really see our investment and
our strategy into those markets as a
long-term venture so I don’t think
any slow-downs or (changes to)
current economic conditions are really
impacting our views.” — Reuters
British exit from the European Union would be disastrous for the
UK financial industry and could prompt companies to leave the
country, the sector’s main lobby group said on Tuesday.
TheCityUK also said the British government should hold the
referendum on whether to leave the bloc next year, rather than wait until
2017, so companies who are drawing up contingency plans could make
investment decisions as early as possible.
The group represents Britain’s financial industry, widely known as “the
City”. Its warning about a possible British exit from the EU is one of the
strongest yet from a sector which accounts for 12 per cent of the national
“If we left the single market, I think it would be disastrous for the City,”
TheCityUK Chairman Gerry Grimstone (pictured) said.
“If there was a referendum tomorrow on whether we should leave
the single market, I think you would get
unanimous rejection of that in the City,”
he said. Prime Minister David Cameron
has pledged to renegotiate Britain’s
relationship with the bloc before holding
an in-out referendum on EU membership
by the end of 2017.
“There is a strong mood in the City
of ‘let’s get on with this’, with a lot of
people waiting to take decisions about
investment,” said Grimstone, who also
chairs Standard Life Investments. “People
are beginning to hedge their bets by keeping alternative locations available.
They are working out what to do if Britain does leave and setting up
parallel structures that would allow them to leave.”
Eurosceptics and some businesses say Britain could flourish outside the
EU but Grimstone said it was “dangerous” when people outside finance
claim to speak on behalf of the City.
TheCityUK is seeking to shape the debate ahead of the referendum by
proposing 25 EU reforms that would not need treaty change - something
it said was unrealistic before the vote.
Its “modest rather than revolutionary” proposals focus on completing
the single market, a work in progress since the bloc’s founding Treaty of
Rome came into force in 1958 and which could boost the British economy
by around 110 billion pounds ($173 billion), it said.
Many of the proposals chime with two major reforms already underway
in Brussels: “better regulation” to cut down on rule-making, and the
creation of a capital markets union (CMU) to boost funds for companies.
Grimstone hopes the referendum will add urgency to these EU reforms.
“The problem with the Brussels pipeline is it’s like an enormously long
python,” Grimstone said.
“People would like to see these things actually done and the single
market improved. People are fed up with talking about it and want things
to come out of the python rather than being swallowed by it.”
Calls for radical reforms such as a British veto on EU rule-making
are not realistic and a string of modest changes would have a beneficial,
cumulative impact and allow the industry to get on with doing business,
Grimstone said. Britain’s finance minister George Osborne wants the
relationship between countries inside and outside the euro changed to
avoid the single currency countries acting as a group to impose rules on
those outside. — Reuters
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What the impatient haven’t got
A ‘light’ blue? (8)
Might Harry have looked odd in
Like a miser’s wad (5)
She’s company for a boy (4)
Fruit is the sole possibility here (4)
Given a start in life (4)
Able to go in that round hole (3)
Like transport to Lima, perhaps by
Capital place to play solo? (4)
Just the man for the World Health
The road from Llanelly (4)
There’s nobody like a good woman
Agreement number 500 (3)
That’s the Orient for you! (4)
Possibly sell obsolete measures
using the right angles in certain
Face a laid-back couple (4)
Posed as a potter (5)
Show some rude pictures (6)
Matched with a peer? (8)
Where sailors can get stoned (6)
In a recent survey, hundreds were
The French got upset when laid
Let it stand the test, possibly (4)
A bit of fancy decoration on the
Praise a prelate, historically (4)
Slow to make fuss about a soldier
Fame either some children or
parents possess (6)
Being indisposed, the Italian left
Flier fond of fish (5)
If he lost only one pound he’d be
The little that sank in (3)
She’s in flower (3)
Sour as a complaint at good
They may take a healthy dip (5)
Pop, you’ll observe, is built rather
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CR O S S W OR D
Religious festival (6)
Conductor’s stick (5)
Go in (5)
Organised sound (5)
ACROSS: 1, Custer 7, Accident 8, Bali
10, Dea-Co.-n 11, Re-peal 14, Reg 16,
Nerve 17, Ever 19, Tosca 21, Title 22,
Re-p-ly 23, Rode 26, Enter 28, Rib 29,
Asides 30, Depart 31, Eve-N 32, Test
case 33, Passes.
22 Animal on toast? (3)
23 Are they passionate about a match
of 50 overs? (6)
25 Not all schooldays are for the
28 The ad, misprinted, is much
30 Sucker’s money? (5)
31 View a comedy’s ending as
32 Many have a wrath that is terrible
33 When soft, may fall pleasantly to
the ear (4)
4 Ambled (6)
7 Art form (8)
8 Game bird (6)
10 Clan (5)
13 Source (4)
DOWN: 1, Cur-dle 2, Tracer 3, Rain
4, Silence 5, N-ewer 6, Stale 8, Bare
9, Log 12, Pea 13, A-void 15, Ho-t-ly
18, Veins 19, Tip 20, S-ly 21, Ter-e-nce
22, Red 23, Rip-EN-s 24, O-ban 25,
Extras 26, Earth 27, Tips-y 28, Rev 30,
Sparkling water (4)
Was seated (3)
Give out (4)
Woman’s name (4)
YESTERDAY’S EASY SOLUTIONS
ACROSS: 1, Stacks 7, Commerce 8,
Saga 10, Beaten 11, Secure 14, Net 16,
Ropes 17, Eggs 19, Rapid 21, Mogul
22, Debit 23, Rill 26, Nomad 28, Red
29, Amends 30, Baboon 31, Opal 32,
Travesty 33, Steers.
DOWN: 1, Stable 2, Crates 3, Scan 4,
Imperil 5, Group 6, Cedes 8, Sang 9,
Get 12, Cod 13, Repel 15, Magic 18,
Groom 19, Rob 20, Put 21, Meddled
22, Dan 23, Rebate 24, Idol 25, Lances
26, Nasty 27, Medal 28, Rap 30, Boys.
Hospital. . . . . Board . . . . . . . Emergency
Royal . . . . . . . 24599000 . . . 24590491
Health Services Department
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
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
Bidiya . . . . . . . . 25483535 . . . . 25483535
Ibri . . . . . . . . . . . 25491011 . . . . 25491990
Saham . . . . . . . . 26854427 . . . . 26855148
Khasab . . . . . . . 26830187 . . . . 26830187
Daba . . . . . . . . . 26836443 . . . . 26836443
Bukha . . . . . . . . 26828397 . . . . 26828397
Sinaw. . . . . . . . . 25474338
W E D N E S DAY
J U LY 1 l 2 0 1 5
who want to go
to Haj (non arab),
by air and road.
AL Hikmani for
HAJ and UMRAH
— With a host of
the following: Hiring
visas for expats
meals and visits to
Land and air trips
consultancy firm in
Muscat looking for
1. Omani Secretary
2. Autocad Technician
3. Civil Engineer: Min
5 years experience
having driving licence
4. Electrical Engineer
3 years experience.
E-mail: [email protected]
gmail.com/ [email protected]
in telecom side — civil
laying work — may
contact Mr S Ravi
99424605 or Mr
of National Telephone
Services Co LLC
Designer, worked for
magazines and other
Bachelor of Computer
with C, C++, Java, VB,
vb.net, HTML, XHTML,
LOOKING for jobs, Civil Php, IndesignCS3, CS4,
Engineer Diploma, 5 years CS5, CS6, Illustrator CS5,
DBMS, Tally and CSS.
experience in Oman,
Looking for immediate
driving licence Oman.
AN Omani looking for
job in the private sector as
an agent or debt coeelctor
has experience and a car
in Muscat area. Contact
INDIAN female architect
knowledge in AutoCAD,
Revit, Adobe Photoshop,
3D Max Studio, Adobe in
design, Google sketch up,
Miscrosoft Office etc..
Currently on family
dependent visa up to
13 YEARS experienced
in MNC & reputed
for a suitable placement,
on visit visa. Contact
ARCHITECT 4 years
experience, 36 MAX,
and auto cad. Contact
INDIAN female, BE,
with 2 years experience
in IBM India Pvt lld.
Currently residing in
Muscat, seeking job
in a reputed company,
4.7 YEARS experienced
graduate + MBA
seeking job, presently
in Oman on visit
For information, please call:
92721879 - 99639264
Tel: 24649597, Fax: 24649590
BankMuscat account: 0397003776610011
Bank Dhofar account: 01040141195001
E-mail: [email protected]
W E D N E S DAY
J U LY 1 l 2 0 1 5
Pharmacy Graduates with minimum 3 years experience as
Pharmacist, Prefers Ministry of Health licence holders.
Pharmacy Graduates, minimum 3 years experiecne in a reputed National/Multinational Pharmaceutical Company and
excellent communication skills in English. Omani driving. Licence holders preferred.
Fax: 24708671 or E-mail: [email protected]
Medical Centre is
presently seeking a
Paediatrician to join our
multi disciplinary team
Centre is a well
oriented clinic with a
focus on providing
and well-bein services.
School in Oman begins
in Sept 2015. The
are as follows: 1.
Principal, 2, Early Years
& Foundation Stage and
and Co-teachers), 3.
4. Parents Relationship
Manager, 5. Admission
Manager. Please submit
a resume/CV and open
letters of references to:
1. General Practitioner [email protected]
kw or contact us on:
MoH licence is
All those intersted
contact [email protected] CIVILCO requires
A LARGE IT & Telecom
Forward CV with
company, belonging to
the country’s Premier
and passport copy to
with salary expectations.
& Communication/IT) · · · · ·
1. WANTED an
relevant experience and Tint and body paint
Omani driving licence
protection installer to
will be preferred.
work for a well known
We are also looking for brand.
Omani nationals with 2. Wanted an
willing to work on part- and Marketing
employee to work for
Attractive package will a well known window
be offered to the right
candidates. Mail your
3. Wanted an
resume immediately to experienced Engineer
to manage a new
elevator installation and
A DRIVER with valid
Company in selling
sweets and fresh
flowers, opining its
first branch in Muscat.
1. Sweets and
2. Flower arranger
Company in Muscat
looking for an
Accountant. 1-2 years
English and Hindi.
E-mail: [email protected]
MALE, B.E in
Engineering with 4
years experience in
engineer in Networking
in Egypt, UAE and
suitable placement in
INDIAN male, 27 years
experience as site
and experience in
CAD drawings seeks
Visa will expire on July
25th and NOC available
USED portacabin (5
Nos) for sale.
may contact Mr Arif
on GSM No
92332088 at NTS
Ghala Camp for
offers should be
submitted on or
LADIES Salon located
in Barka Souq for sale,.
Salon is functioning
INDIAN, ACA, ACMA
and ACS qualified with
rich experience in
finanace and account,
more than 14 years in
Gulf, seeks suitable
If you would like to
know more about
Islam, please call:
Tel : 99425598, 96050000,
99341395, 99379133, For
English to Arabic and
vice versa. Contact
INDIAN male 26
years, B-Tech ECE
having 4 years
experience (2 years
in Oman). Seeks
and can join
INDIAN CA, (Finance
Manager) more than
8 years experience
(Oman, UAE and
India) in accounts,
seeking a suitable
senior position in
Muscat, can join
in fabrication and
erection of heavy
structures as a
project engineer now
on visit visa seeks
INDIAN male 29 years
Civil Engineer diploma
holder, 4 years
experience in Oman, 2
years in road division
seeks placement. NOC
having 3 years
for a job. Contact
(BAMS) with 7 years
experience, looking for
job. Now in family visa.
CIVIL engineer (DCE,
Indian male with 20
years experience, ten
years in Oman, worked
with reputed companies
as RE, PE, PM and did
projects for MoD and
PDO, seeks suitable
MALE 26, MBA +15
years experience in
accounts, proficient in
peachtree and tally
looking for job in
accounts. On family visit
till September 5, 2015.
INDIAN, male, 26
engineer, having 4
years experience in
B TECH mechanical
engineer, Indian, one
year experience in
HVAC (MEP), available
in Muscat on visit
visa, seeks suitable
93670280, Email: jinu.
PRIME location in
Shatti Qurum for Sale.
Ideal for restaurant/
Coffee Shop/ Fast
Science C++, Core,
Virtual Basic and
Net web designing,
DELUXE fast food
Prime location in
BSC degree civil engineer,
looking for a suitable job
with one year experience
and GCC driving licence
NOC is available. Contact
GENERAL manager, with
21 years experience in
Hotel, Restaurant and
10 years in Oman
release, NOC available.
Looking for a challenging
Engineer, networks and
experience in Oman
for the past three years
has a driving licence.
CSIT Computer Engineering B-Tech presently
working as a Network &
System Engineer Having excellent experience
looking for a placement
968 91006851 Mohd
Nadeem Ullah Khan. Email: [email protected]
enginer, 7 years
experience (5 years in
Oman), expert in
exterior and interior
presinted by (3d maxray and autocad and
photoshop) fluent in
English and Arabic
valid driving licence.
INDIAN female, 27, BE
5 years experience
in SAP and Quality
in reputed companies.
MALE, 19 years of
currently on visit
visa, seeks suitable
INDIAN male, diploma in
fire and safety BCom, 2
years experience in
safety and sales. Seeks
suitable job in Oman.
Currently on visit visa.
diploma in Computer
Engineering 1.1 years
experience in ASP.
Net, SQL Server seeks
immediately. Now on
visit visa. Contact 97317844/92580948
For information, please call:
92721879 - 99639264
Tel: 24649597, Fax: 24649590
BankMuscat account: 0397003776610011
Bank Dhofar account: 01040141195001
E-mail: [email protected]
WEDNESDAY l JULY 1, 2015 l RAMADHAN 14, 1436 AH
RENTING & LEASING
Tours and Airport Transfer
We provide Filipino
all skilled workers.
housemaids and all
kinds of workers.
— labourers &
Uganda and other
countries. Al Suwaiq.
Available on very GOOD prices
Snake repellent, Rodent
in Pest Control Service,
Bedbug Treatment, Rodent
Treatment, Snake Treatment
and Termite Treatment
(Pre and Post Construction).
Tel: 24787606 / 24787503
GOOD PRICE!!! GOOD PRICE!!! GOOD PRICE!!!
SPECIAL Rates on
New Cars & 4 WDs
GOOD PRICE!!! GOOD PRICE!!!
OMAN CO. LLC.
OFFICE SPACE — 660 sq meters
on one floor at Al Ghubra
House Building, behind Porsche
Showroom, opposite Bangladesh
E-mail: [email protected]
Please Call: 99310269 OR 99344304
P. O. Box: 565, Wadi Kabir,
Postal Code: 117,
SULTANATE OF OMAN
Laptops & PC’s
CD’s, DVD’s & Flash Drives
AII HP, Epson, Canon,
GOOD PRICE!!! GOOD PRICE!!! GOOD PRICE!!!
Rent a Car
Cartridges also available
RUWI : 24785668 Behind Royal
A NEW apartment
for rent in Darsait.
We have available
new apartment for
rent in Darsait
Sahel area near
Indian School and
near the Sea. Tow
toilet for each one
and kitchen. New
apartment RO 250
and electricity. For
sent a text message.
A FLAT consits of a
bedroom and living
room located near Al
Ghubra Health Centre is
for rent. 99346417/
3 INDUSTRIAL lands
2 BEDROOM flat, new
building - Ruwi,
BRAND new villa for
rent Bausher 37, 4
A FLAT for rent (family
only) — two bedrooms,
majlis, living room and
three toilets, ground
floor in Al Hail Al
Shamaliyah, behind Al
RO 400 99889798
FLATS in a new
residential building in
Al Hamriya. AC, 2 rooms
+ small hall + kitchen +
2 toilets, RO 220.
FAMILY flats in Wadi
Kabir, MBD, Ruwi,
Muttrah, Al Khuwair, Al
Hail and Seeb.
A FLAT for rent, 2
bathrooms, 1 sitting
room, kitchen for RO
350. Location: At Al
Ghubrah North, near to
Al Ghubrah Health
VILLA in Al Khoudh
NEW villa at Al Amerat
4 phase. 91321655.
GOOD PRICE!!! GOOD PRICE!!!
3 FLATS for rent, 1
BHK in Al Khuwair
GOOD chance. A flat in
Darsait As’Sahil, 2
bedrooms. 2 toilets.
Spacious sitting room
bedrooms with facilities
and a centeral air
conditioner in South
OFFICE space in new
building at MBD South.
VILLA for rent Al
Mawaleh South. 3
bedrooms, 1 living
room, kitchen, 3 toilets
and car park.
FLATS in Al Ghubrah,
2 bedrooms, hall, near
Indian School, Way No.
4039, building No.
AN apartment consists
of two bedrooms, two
toilets, a kitchen and a
living room is offered
for rent in Sidab
2 FLOOR house at Al
Hail North. Each floor:
3 bedrooms, 3
store, 1 sitting room.
CAMPS for rent in Sur,
different sizes in many
NEW villa in Al Khoud
6 is offered for rent.
comprises 6 bedrooms,
male majlis, female
majlis, a split unit airconditioned family
living room and 8
2 BEDROOM flat in Al
Ghubra near Oman Oil
18 November Street,
RO 330 monthly.
FLATS for rent in
Wadi Adai, new
Technology in Halban
is offered for rent. The
house contains 4
bedrooms, living room,
a kitchen and 3 toilets.
A FLAT for rent in Al
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
with attached toilet.
The area and floor of
the building is clean
and luxurious. Only for
families. Price: 350/-.
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
ROOM + sitting room
+ kitchen + two bath
in Al Ansab.
complex of new and big
4 villas with high
located in Al Qurum.
The complex has in-and
Each villa has 4 floors
(basement, lands, first +
upper floor). Each has 8
bedrooms, two living
rooms, dining room,
subordinate kitchen, 8
toilets and annex). The
complex overlooks the
sea and Crown Plaza
Hotel. Rent is RO 2,900
2 BEDROOM flat in
Wadi Kabir, new
A BUILDING in Seeb
offered for rent. The
premise contains 11
shops and 8 flats.
Ali al Maashari: 99639264 [email protected]
Mohammed al Rashdi: 99841230 [email protected]
SEMI furnished 2 & 3
BHK flats at Bausher near Atlas Hospital.
VILLAS for sale/
rent/ Al Khuwair)
(Flats for rent/
RUWI : 24785668
Behind Royal Oman
Police Adjacent to
Dhofar Building, Ruwi
DIRECT: 24649595 — FAX : 24649590
JULY 1, 2015
FOLLOW US ON:
man was away
country for years
and did not fast
while abroad, then
returned to his
country and fasted
almost all the days
he missed; does he
also have to atone?
incumbent on a
returns to his
country and did not
fast during his travel
apart from making
up for the days he
did not fast. And
Allah knows best.
Q HASAN KAMOONPURI
n his 412-page book ‘Allah’s Miracles
in The Quran’ (published by
Goodword Books), Harun Yahya,
says the Glorious Quran is the
only divine book that has only one
version, and is unadulterated.
The Glorious Quran contains within
its words many miracles which prove it
to be Allah’s word. In this book there are
innumerable scientific truths humanity have
only been able to uncover by the technology
of the 20th and 21st centuries.
In addition to the scientific miracles, the
Quran also contains prophecies about the
future, which have proven true.
Ruling over the world of science in the
19th century, the materialist philosophy had
proposed that the universe is an uncontrolled
heap of matter that existed since infinite time.
The discoveries made in the 20th century,
however, entirely refuted this materialist
Today, science has proved that the universe
had a beginning; it was created from nothing.
With this beginning called the Big Bang, both
matter and time were created from nothing.
Time and space are relative not absolute.
Moreover, all physical balances of the
universe from the rate of the explosion (Big
Bang), from the nuclear reactions in stars to
the structure of atom, are tailored to support
human life. In a nutshell, there is no room for
coincidence in the universe.
The entire universe is created according to a
certain purpose and in a glorious equilibrium,
harmony and order. The Glorious Quran
revealed all these points in the 7th century
when it was sent down.
Until the mid-20th century, the prevalent
view across the world was that the universe
was infinite, had existed forever and that it
will continue to do so for all time. According
MIRACLES OF THE GLORIOUS QURAN
The Glorious Quran contains within
its words many miracles which
prove it to be Allah’s word. There
are innumerable scientific truths
humanity have only been able to
uncover by the technology of the
20th and 21st centuries.
to this view, known as the “static universe
model,” the universe had no end or beginning.
This view constituted the basis of materialist
philosophy and consequently rejected the
existence of a Creator.
However, as science and technology
progressed during the 20th century, the
static universe model has been completely
uprooted. Modern science has proven that the
universe did indeed have a beginning, that it
came into being from nothing in a single
moment in a huge explosion. Furthermore,
it has been established that the universe is
undergoing a constant process of movement,
change and expansion. The origin of the
universe is described in the Quran:
“He created the heavens and the Earth from
nothing”. (Quran, 6:101)
Astrophysics has reached today the
conclusion that the entire universe, together
with the dimensions of matter and time, came
into existence as a result of the “Big Bang,”.
This fact, only recently discovered by
modern physics, was announced to us in
the Quran 1,400 years ago. In the Quran, the
expansion of the universe was described in
the following terms:
“Do not the unbelievers see that the heavens
and the Earth were sewn together and then We
unstitched them and that We made from water
every living thing? So will they not believe?
“And it is We Who have constructed the
heaven with might, and verily, it is We Who are
steadily expanding it. (Quran, 51:47)
The word “heaven,” is used in various
places in the Quran. It is referring to space and
the wider universe. This is the very conclusion
that science has reached today.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the
Russian physicist Alexander Friedmann and
the Belgian cosmologist Georges Lemaître
theoretically calculated that the universe is
in constant motion and that it is expanding.
This notion was confirmed by the use of
observational data in 1929. While observing
the sky with a telescope, Edwin Hubble
discovered that the stars and galaxies were
constantly moving away from each other. This
discovery is regarded as one of the greatest in
the history of astronomy.
In short, the stars are moving further
and further away, all the time. The stars and
galaxies are not only moving away from
us, but also from each other. A universe
where everything constantly moves away
from everything else implied a constantly
In the Quran Allah employs different
words when referring to such celestial bodies
as the Moon, the Sun and the stars. This is
how the differences between the structures
of the Sun and Moon are expressed in the
“Don’t you see how He created seven
heavens in layers, and placed the Moon as a
light in them and made the sun a blazing lamp?
In the above verse, the word “light” is used
for the Moon (“noor” in Arabic) and the
word “lamp” for the Sun (“siraaj” in Arabic.)
The word used for the Moon refers to a lightreflecting, bright body. The word used for the
Sun refers to a celestial body which is always
burning, a constant source of heat and light.
“It is the star that pierces through darkness!”
We now know that the Moon does not
emit its own light but reflects that reaching
it from the Sun. We also know that the Sun
and stars do emit their own light. These facts
were revealed in the Quran in an age when
mankind simply did not have the means
to make scientific discoveries of their own
accord. It was an age when people’s knowledge
of celestial bodies was severely restricted,
to say the least. This further emphasises the
miraculous nature of the book of Islam.
It is stressed in the Quran that the Sun and
Moon follow specific trajectories:
“It is He Who created night and day and
the Sun and Moon, each one swimming in a
sphere”. (Quran, 21:33)
These facts set out in the Quran were
only discovered by means of astronomical
advances in our own time. According to
astronomers’ calculations, the Sun moves
along a path known as the Solar Apex in the
path of the star Vega at an incredible speed of
720,000 kmph (447,000 mph).
In his book, author discusses many
issues described with exacting details in the
Glorious Quran such as, the formation of the
Universe, the expanding Universe, the End of
the Universe and the Big Crunch, Creation
from Hot Smoke, the separation of the
Heavens and the Earth, the Creation of What
Lies between the Heavens and the Earth, the
Perfect Equilibrium in the Universe, and so
W E D N E S D A Y l J U LY 1 l 2 0 1 5
VAST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ISLAM AND ACTUAL PRACTICE OF SOME MUSLIMS
If Islam is the best religion, why are many of
the Muslims dishonest, unreliable, and involved
in activities such as cheating, bribing, dealing in
1. Media maligns Islam
a) Islam is, without doubt, the best religion but
the media is in the hands of the westerners who
are afraid of Islam. The media is continuously
broadcasting and printing information against
Islam. They either provide misinformation about
Islam, misquote Islam or project a point out of
proportion, if any.
b) When any bomb blast takes place
anywhere, the first people to be accused without
proof are invariably the Muslims. This appears as
headlines in the news. Later, when they find that
non-Muslims were responsible, it appears as an
insignificant news item.
c) If a 50-year-old Muslim marries a 15-yearold girl after taking her permission, it appears
on the front page but when a 50-year-old nonMuslim rapes a 6-year-old girl, it may appear in
the news on the inside pages as ‘Newsbriefs’.
2. Blacksheep in every community: I am aware
that there are some Muslims who are dishonest,
unreliable, who cheat, etc, but the media projects
this as though only Muslims are involved in
such activities. There are black sheep in every
community. I know Muslims who are alcoholics
and who can drink most of the non-Muslims
under the table.
3. Muslims taken on the whole, yet form
the best community in the world. We are the
biggest community of teetotalers as a whole, ie
those who don’t consume alcohol. Collectively,
we are a community which gives the maximum
charity in the world. There is not a single person
in the world who can even show a candle to the
Muslims where modesty is concerned; where
sobriety is concerned; where human values and
ethics are concerned.
4. Don’t judge a car by its driver. If you want
to judge how good is the latest model of the
“Mercedes” car and a person who does not know
how to drive sits at the steering wheel and bangs
up the car, who will you blame? The car or the
driver? But naturally, the driver.
To analyse how good the car is, a person
should not look at the driver but see the ability
and features of the car. How fast it is, what is its
average fuel consumption, what are the safety
measures, etc. Even if I agree for the sake of
argument that the Muslims are bad, we can’t
judge Islam by its followers! If you want to judge
how good Islam is then judge it according to its
authentic sources, ie the Glorious Quran and the
5. Judge Islam by its best follower i.e. Prophet
Muhammad (pbuh). If you practically want to
check how good a car is, put an expert driver
behind the steering wheel.
Similarly the best and the most exemplary
follower of Islam by whom you can check how
good Islam is, is the last and final messenger
of God, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Besides
Muslims, there are several honest and unbiased
non-Muslim historians who have acclaimed that
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the best human
According to Michael H. Hart who wrote the
book, ‘The 100 Most Influential Men in History’,
the topmost position, ie the number one
position goes to the beloved Prophet of Islam,
Muhammad (pbuh). There are several such
examples of non-Muslims paying great tributes
to the prophet (pbuh), like Thomas Carlyle, LaMartine, etc.
— Compiled by Kabeer Yousuf
Diabetes and Ramadhan
Q SUMAIRA FATIMA
is a great
t i m e
to build selfdiscipline,
fasting helps one’s
body to get rid of
toxins. Diet plays
a major role as
a person, especially a diabetic, is
fasting. So, the choice of food for
suhoor and iftaar is very important.
Diet should include good amount
of complex carbohydrates, foods
which will release energy slowly
during long hours specially at suhoor
with good proteins and healthy fats,
patients should always choose high
fibre foods like brown rice, whole
wheat breads, oats, barley, millets
with lots of vegetables, fish and lean
meats. Tea, coffee without sugar,
qahwa, green tea, black tea are all
good choices to get refreshed.
Suhoor is important for diabetic
patients to avoid hypoglycemia (low
blood sugar levels). Never skip your
suhoor. You can have:
t 8IPMF XIFBU CSFBE XJUI MPX GBU
cheese or egg.
t 8IPMF XIFBU QJUB CSFBET XJUI
beans or hummus.
Kids all set for Qaranqasho
Q MAI AL ABRIA
he beautiful tradition
tion of ‘Qaranqasho’
is celebrated in Oman along with
other countries in the region on
the 14th night of the blessed
month of Ramadhan
This social event, which has different
names in the Gulf region, is one
ne of thee
occasions that Omani children celebratee
in traditional style; they go around
village singing special music seeking
nuts, sweets or money.
They sing Qaranqasho yo nas,, atoni
shwayat halwa (people, it is Qaranqasho
time, give us some sweets, please).. Then
they continue singing: doos doos
almandoos, hara hara fi a’sahara.
This song is to ask for candies.
Neighbours welcome them
with open arms and give them
sweets and money for which the
children will sing another song
praising them, and for those who
don’t give them the sweet, they
sing a song to disparage them.
While singing, children in
the coastal areas of Oman bang
two seashells and the sound of
rubbing the two seashells resembless
the name ‘Qaranqasho’, hence the name of the event.
With a little change, children in Al Dakhiliyah
r o c k s
make a sound
the word (too
(tooqtooq), which is
the other name ffor
Th i s
ceremony has a different name in Al Dhahirah
Governorate. They call it Al Talmees (seeking) as
children seek to get more sweets from the houses in
front which they stop. In Al Khabourah, people call it
Al Ra’boob which is inspired by the name of seashells
banged by children.
The children have to wear the Omani traditional
outfit. The boys wear dishdasha and kumma (cap),
while girls wear the Omani traditional female dress,
each according to the governorate they belong to.
Despite the different names by which this special
occasion is known, it remains a traditional event in
the Gulf that kindles the best of memories. It brings
the whole community closer, not only children, as
people stand out of their houses enjoying the sights of
children asking for halwa and other sweets. Children
come back with bags full of sweets and they compete
to get more and for most beautifully made sweets.
Qaranqasho, a purely a social event that has
nothing to do with religion, gives space for recreation.
Originated more than 50 years ago, the tradition has
over the years undergone some changes in the way it
is practised, but the purpose is still the same.
In the past, it was simple as children would carry the
same bags and go knocking at doors. Today, children
have different bags from different international
brands. Each bag carries the child’s favourite cartoon
character and they ask for toys along with candies.
In the region, the event is known in different
names. It is called Garga’in in Kuwait and Saudi
Arabia. People in the UAE call it ‘Min Haq Al Laila’,
Garangaoh in Qatar and Bahrain, and ‘Al Majeena’ in
and at iftar with lots of fluids, fruits
and vegetables. Avoid refined flour, t%POUGPSHFUUPJODMVEFMPXGBUNJML
or low fat curds in your meal.
fried foods, French fries, cakes,
sweets and excessive use of ghee and t 5SZ UP BWPJE PVUTJEF CBLFSZ
Some of the healthy choices at
2-3 dates with low fat laban or
fresh fruit juice (limited quantity)
with listed choices.
Drink plenty of water to quench
your thirst and avoid dehydration
as it is summer. Its very important
to have a light dinner as majority of
the people prefer to have food after
the prayers which is quite late, hence
eating heavy and spicy meals causes
gastric discomfort, heart burn,
belching and high sugars. Diabetic
products specially pizza, burger as
it causes acidity and gastritis.
Always consult your doctor
regarding change in medicines and
insulin dose before Ramadhan.
Low sugars are dangerous if you
experience dizziness, trembling,
excessive sweating, disorientation
immediately take fasting acting
sugars like fruit juice, dates.
monitoring, control diet, proper rest
and normal (not strenuous) exercise
plays a major role in keeping you
healthy in Ramadan.
Healthy food reflects healthy
mind healthy mind reflects healthy
prayers and soul.
— The writer is dietitian &
Apollo Sugar (IMC)
W E D N E S D A Y l J U LY 1 l 2 0 1 5
THE BEST-LOVED SON
Welcome to Ramadhan, the month of
CHILDREN’S STORY OF THE DAY
Avoiding the Mid
he Prophet Yaqub,
or Jacob , was a
pious man. He lived
in Canaan, some
thirty miles north of
Jerusalem. He and
his family lived in tents. He had twelve
sons. Yusuf was the second youngest
of them. One day, Yusuf had an
unusual dream, in which eleven stars
and the sun and the moon all bowed
down to him. When his father heard
about this dream, he understood that
great things lay in store for his young
and best-loved son. For their part,
being aware of their father’s love for
Yusuf , the ten big brothers became
so resentful that they began to hate
him. They would go off to look after
the family’s flocks, grumbling and
muttering. They became so jealous
of their father’s love for this younger
brother that they banded together and
hatched a plot to kill him.
One day they took him with them
pretending that they were going out
for a picnic. Coming close to a well,
they took him unaware, and seizing
him from behind, they dragged him
to the well and threw him down into
it. He screamed as he fell, but they
paid no heed.
The well was deep, but it was dried
up. Yusuf landed on the dry bottom
of the well with a thud. There would
be no climbing those slippery sides to
escape. But he was a brave boy, and
did not cry. His courage never failed
him. He turned towards his Lord for
While his dear father sorrowed for
him, Yusuf lay at the bottom of the
dark well for about three nights. In
the meanwhile, a caravan from Syria
heading for Egypt camped near the
well. One of the caravan people threw
his bucket into the well to fetch some
But, to his surprise, when he
pulled up his bucket, there was a good
looking boy clinging to it. The caravan
people took him to Egypt and sold
him to an Egyptian prince, who was
called the Aziz.
The Aziz took this innocent and
good natured boy to his wife and told
her to take good care of him. The years
passed and Yusuf grew into a young
man of remarkable beauty and charm.
The Aziz’s wife, whose name was
Zulaykha, felt very attracted to Yusuf
, but he kept his distance and never
responded to her advances. Zulaykha
threatened to have him sent to prison.
In great anguish, Yusuf prayed: “O
Lord, prison will be better than
what I am being asked to do.” But,
even although Yusuf was innocent,
Zulaykha decided to imprison him.
Above story taken with special thanks
from Good night Stories from the
Quran by Good Word Books.
ongratulations on making it to the half way mark. Thing about
all the positive changes that you have managed to achieve
and this will give you strength to go for more. Ask Allah for
persistency and acceptance of these positive changes. Make a written
note of these and the great feeling that you experience. Think about how
great it would be to have this feeling all year around. It will help you
to visit these written notes if and when you start to feel the ‘dip’… the
feeling of ‘well I have done enough, I don’t think I can do it anymore’…
yes this can be during Ramadhan or even afterwards. Excitement and
momentum can take a hit.
Symptoms include falling behind in your Qur’aan reading schedule,
feeling too tired or demotivated to go to Taraweeh, becoming too drained
to wake up forSuhoor, shortening your time in Qiyaam because you did
pretty ok yesterday, saying to yourself: “I’ll take a break now so that I
can be fully energised for the last 10 days” and more!
The cure, ask Allah for strength (remember without His blessing, you
cannot worship Him), and try to stay together with like-minded crowd.
This way, if one of you starts to experience the ‘dip’, others can come
to his/her rescue. Try to be a role model to others and this will make
it easier to overcome the ‘dip. Try to re-visit your objectives that you
had written for Ramadhan, read the Quranic ayah about the reward
of fasting and Ahadith of Muhammad (pbuh) — how he acted during
Ramadhan. This will definitely give you a boost.
Finally reflect about your friends and family members who were
with you last Ramadhan, but are no more. Think of this Ramadhan as
your last one! Prepare for the last 10 nights of Ramadhan. This will put
things in perspective.
May Allah keep us all strong and persistent, in our good deeds and
our intentions, in Ramadhan and beyond. Ameen.
INFOGRAPH OF THE DAY
AYAH OF THE DAY:
OF THE DAY
“ O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed
for you as it was prescribed for those before
you, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the
pious).” [Surah al-Baqarah (2):183].”
u h a m m a d
Alshareef discusses how to overcome the motivation dip in
the middle of Ramadhan.
Ramadhan is like a 3-lap
NASCAR race that most
kick off with a well-oiled and
fuelled machine only to discover it needs maintenance
by the time it hits Lap 2. Because they haven’t prepared
for the middle slack before
they rev again into the last 10
days of Ramadhan, they’ve
suffered a major loss in being
the foremost in ‘ibaadah.
In this video, Muhammad
Alshareef gives a fantastic
lecture on fasting and not
falling into the dip. He reminds us to keep motivated
and provides tips on how to
stay healthy and focus on
your ibadah in this special
LINKS OF THE DAY
Guide us to
are angry; Nor
those who go
DUA OF THE DAY:
“ “Whoever fasted the
month of Ramadhan
out of sincere Faith (i.e.
belief) and hoping for
a reward from Allah,
then all his past sins
will be forgiven, and
whoever stood for the
prayers in the night
of Qadr out of sincere
Faith and hoping for
a reward from Allah,
then all his previous sins
will be forgiven .” (Abu
W E D N E S D A Y l J U LY 1 l 2 0 1 5
CIGUATERA ﬁsh poisoning
more common than thought
THE BOSS IS
Q KERRY SHERIDAN
Bahamas last December
when she ate the almondcrusted grouper that
changed her life. “It was
so good. I ate every bite of it,” Calvert
But half an hour later, her stomach
began to hurt. She went to lie down after
dinner, then woke in the middle of the
night feeling sick. Her lips were swollen.
She had diarrhoea and fought the urge to
“I went to the refrigerator to get a drink.
And the cold can was burning my hand,”
she said. “I went and told my husband,
‘Something is not right.’” Though Calvert,
40, did not know it at the time, she had
come down with a dangerous form of food
poisoning from fish, known as ciguatera.
The illness is caused by a toxin that
can be found in some large saltwater
fish, including barracuda, grouper and
amberjack. And researchers now say
ciguatera poisoning may be more common
than previously thought, according to a
study out on Monday in the ‘American
Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene’.
Researchers found that in Florida,
cases of ciguatera are under-reported to
public health authorities. Until now, there
was an estimated 0.2 cases per 100,000
people, according to the state Department
of Health. But it may actually be closer to
5.6 cases per 100,000 people statewide,
according to Beth Radke, a researcher at
the Emerging Pathogens Institute at the
Ciguatera, an illness caused by a toxin found in some large saltwater fish. — AFP
University of Florida.
Radke analysed 291 ciguatera reports
from 2000 to 2011 and conducted a survey
of 5,352 recreational fishermen to see if
they had ever experienced any symptoms
of ciguatera from eating fish that they had
caught in saltwater.
Areas around Miami and the Florida
Keys were particularly affected by
ciguatera, with rates ranging from 28 to 84
per 100,000 people, the study found.
“Hispanics are at higher risk and we
believe that may be because of different
certain cultural preferences for eating
high-risk foods like barracuda,” Radke
said. “They are a fish we really recommend
not eating at all.”
The reasons behind the underreporting of ciguatera are unclear. Radke
said it may be that people are not accurately
diagnosed, or that doctors do not report
the illness to health authorities as they
should. Previous research has suggested
that 10,000-50,000 people are sickened by
ciguatera poisoning each year worldwide.
Unlike other kinds of food poisoning
which may come from raw or undercooked meats, there is no way to tell while
eating a fish if it is tainted by ciguatoxins,
which are found in algae that grow in coral
reefs. Nor is there any lab test to confirm
a diagnosis in people, though the fish
themselves can be tested.
OABC launches charitable initiatives for Ramadhan
n its latest Corporate Social
Responsibility (CSR) initiative, the
Oman-American Business Council
(OABC) recently conducted a series
of charitable initiatives to celebrate the
joys of Ramadhan. The council initiated
its activities by co-sponsoring the third
Al-Wafa Forum to support children
with special needs in Ad Dakhiliyah
Governorate. OABC, in partnership with
Wadi Kalbooh Team and the Ministry of
Sports Affairs, organised a week of fun for
the children to give back to the community.
More than 350 children from the Nizwa,
Bahla, Jabal Akhdar, Izki and Bidbid
branches of Al Wafa Social Centre for
Children with Disabilities participated in a
week filled with competitions, workshops,
and other activities. OABC Board
representatives also joined the children for
Sports Day at the Nizwa Sports Complex,
where participants were treated to a host of
sporting performances and received gifts.
“We are proud of our efforts to share
the joys of giving during the holy month
of Ramadhan with the amazing children
of Al Dakhiliyah. Reaching them was a
key part of our CSR efforts to expand our
activities outside the city of Muscat to
touch more lives than ever before. I would
like to thank our inspiring volunteers and
staff, alongside all those that participated,
for their contribution,” said Fouad Eid,
OABC Board Executive Secretary and
Vice-President of Dover Middle East.
Additionally, OABC Board of Directors,
including members from McDonalds
Oman, Dover Middle East, Grand Hyatt
Muscat and US Embassy conducted a visit
to Royal Oman Hospital’s Oncology Ward to
comfort patients. Gifts and well wishes were
given to 30 cancer sufferers who expressed
happiness and gratitude for the visit.
Garry Friend, OABC Board Vice
President and General Manager of Grand
Hyatt Muscat, added: “At the OABC, we
are committed to establishing ties with
the local community and support them
through CSR initiatives that bring US
business communities in the Sultanate and
Omani nationals together for a common
good. Since the beginning of 2015 and
throughout the month of Ramadhan, we
have launched multiple campaigns to foster
the development of local communities and
Cranberry juice may
rinking low-calorie cranberry
juice cocktail may help lower
the risk of chronic diseases, including
heart disease, diabetes and stroke, says
The World Health Organisation
estimates the trio of diseases annually
claim 15.6 million lives around the
globe. Cranberries provide a rich source
of protective compounds — called
polyphenols — that support our body’s
natural defences and help us achieve a
balanced lifestyle to improve health.
To find the effectiveness of
researchers from the United States
Department of Agriculture (USDA)
provided eight weeks’ worth of meals to
56 healthy adult volunteers (average 50
years of age).
The study appeared in the Journal of
Nutrition. — IANS
Mohammed Hamed Salim al Ruzaiqi, the chairman of Ruzaiqi Group, has hosted an iftar party for more than 1,500 people in the
Sultanate as part of his services during Ramadhan. This is the 22nd year of his generous gesture during the holy month.
t the end of this week my former boss moves out of Oman
and shifts to the land of Tulips — a place I was more
enthusiast about rather than he when he had friendly
consultations with me on the options to decide upon to mark his
preferences. With his departure many in Oman, including the large
and learned Indian community, would lose a fine gentleman and
a seasoned diplomat, while my erstwhile colleagues would miss a
very kind and affable officer and a strong captain who always cared
for and took along his team to the goal. He was very confident
in his work and we had never found ourselves challenged in our
assignments as he was ever there to fall back upon.
In fact, with his diverse and long experience, he would
himself voluntarily toil hard if he found any assignment from
headquarters or any particular demanding case but would always
consult the concerned officer before he would give final shape to
the work, not necessarily for the completeness but in the spirit of
coordination so that none felt left out. He was so placid; we always
found him smiling and there were no occasions when we saw him
losing his temper. As I moved, we have ever remained in touch
and I retained in him one avid reader and admirer of my writings,
and he has very kindly been arranging to send cuttings of those
publications. Well, they say the boss is always right. But I say one
is fortunate if one gets the right boss. We all were. My salute to
him and his gentleness and to the very kind and understanding
boss in him!
Bosses come in different natures and intensities of
temperament, sense of understanding of others, accommodation,
cooperation and compassion, and of course, competence. As
such, with each boss there is a different experience. Some officers
like to boss around and be nasty, thereby creating a tense and
vicious atmosphere at the place of work, while some are nice and
accommodative and make it a pleasant experience to work with
them. I have though generally been lucky to have bosses of the
latter category but was never complacent to lag behind in giving
the best of my competence and dedication to earn them. This
makes me recall some of my other bosses whom I served in my
Our hard posting of Kabul had many perils. There were
frequent bomb blasts around us. There were missile attacks too.
There were curfews, electricity cuts, scarcity of fresh food, and
confinement to the city limits. As if this was not enough, we had
the peril of this stern, dry and very demanding boss. It was a unique
experience when all the security guards deployed at his residence
had struck work against his strict and idiosyncratic regime and
still survived the prospects of sure recall to headquarters. While
we were thinning down our establishment, he never came with
new challenges for us and posed us with tasks which seemed
impossible to achieve within the deadlines set by him.
While we were exploring the ways to safely secure our surplus
furniture, on a joint inspection of the modestly sized living room
of an accommodation vacated by a repatriated officer, he suggested
to my bewilderment that I fit in heavy wooden furniture from a
dozen houses there. But then his replacement was altogether
different in temperament. He was so polite and inspiring that rather
than the staff standing stiff and bending forward to greet him, it
was he who would first greet his subordinates. I had a short but an
unforgettable period of service under him and had the privilege to
accompany him on his golf trips to the nearby Paghman area. No
wonder, he rose to the second highest constitutional post in India.
In an ideal situation, a desirable quality for a boss from human
resource development angle is that he should motivate the
subordinates and share with them his knowledge and experience
as part of their training towards career progression. But early in
my career I saw some intriguing manifestations of this ideology. A
boss of mine, who had risen from clerical ranks, would summon
us greenhorns to register his disagreement with our naïve ways
of file submission and demonstrate to us as to how to perfect the
art of perpendicular hoisting of flags on FRs or the Fresh Receipts
on files while remaining in ignorant bliss on the contents of the
noting and drafting, which should normally form the core issues.
In contrast, his young successor was once so much impressed by
one of my analytical drafts that he came to the division with that
file in his hand and while complimenting me told the others to
emulate that stuff. Surely, it was part of a motivational exercise of
a right boss for his subordinates.
Reverting to the training, I recall the embarrassing moment
when during my experiment as a customs and central excise
officer in Bombay, on my joining the field office after training, my
boss, who was about to retire but with no replacement decided in
his case, as against my expectation for a briefing on the important
issues on hand, gave me the gems of his ‘training’ with insight of
the ledger folio on the then monthly ‘returns’ from different units
being assigned to my charge. No wonder, I extracted myself out of
that muck at the earliest opportunity.
While a boss should conduct himself in an above board
manner and also be efficient enough to command respect of his
juniors, there were others as well who did not surely fit in that
mould. Working with such bosses had neither been inspiring
nor rewarding with any worthwhile experience. Due to their
inefficiency and incompetence for their elevated positions,
they had rather been subservient in their disposition towards
many of their subordinates and while dealing with them it was
so embarrassing and difficult for me and others to balance
the strappings of superiority with the refrain of the sense of
W E D N E S D A Y l J U LY 1 l 2 0 1 5
Coral gardening beckons
Sugary drinks kill around 2
lakh people a year globally
onsumption of sugary
drinks may lead to diabetes,
heart disease, and cancers
and an estimated 184,000 adult
deaths each year worldwide, shows
a study by a team of researchers led
by an Indian American.
In the first detailed global report
on the impact of sugar-sweetened
beverages, researchers estimated
deaths and disabilities caused by
diabetes, heart disease, and cancers
“Among the 20 countries with the
highest estimated sugar-sweetened
beverage-related deaths, at least
eight were in Latin America and
the Caribbean, reflecting the high
intakes in that region of the world,”
said lead author Gitanjali Singh,
an Indian-American assistant
professor at Friedman School of
sugary drinks such as frescas, that
contained at least 50 kcal per 8oz
The estimates of consumption
were made from 62 dietary surveys
including 611,971 individuals
conducted between 1980 and 2010
across 51 countries.
In 2010, the researchers estimate
that sugar-sweetened beverages
consumption may have been
responsible for approximately
133,000 deaths from diabetes,
45,000 deaths from cardiovascular
disease, and 6,450 deaths from
The impact of sugar-sweetened
beverages varied greatly between
The estimated percentage of
deaths was less than one per cent
in Japanese over 65 years old, but
Nutrition Science and Policy in
Of the 20 most populous
countries, Mexico had the highest
death rate attributable to sugarsweetened beverages with an
estimated 405 deaths per million
adults (24,000 total deaths) and
the US ranked second with an
estimated 125 deaths per million
adults (25,000 total deaths).
In the study, sugar sweetened
beverages were defined as any
sweetened iced teas, or homemade
30 per cent in Mexican adults
younger than 45. About 76 per cent
of the estimated sugar-sweetened
beverage-related deaths occurred in
low- or middle-income countries.
“The health impact of sugarsweetened beverage intake on
the young is important because
younger adults form a large sector
of the workforce in many countries,
so the economic impact of sugarsweetened beverage-related deaths
and disability in this age group can
be significant,” Singh said.
The study was outlined in the
journal ‘Circulation’. — IANS
A diving instructor plants coral and scrubs algae off a coral gardening project. — AFP
Q KERRY SHERIDAN
oral reefs are fragile
worldwide, but a
to restore them is
based on the science
of breaking off pieces in order to grow
more, known as coral gardening.
It works like this: marine biologists
cut off the tips of live branching
corals, hang the pieces on man-made
underwater trees where they grow, and
later “outplant” them on real reefs on the
After years of trial and error, scientists
in Florida are now bringing their
methods to the public — via diving trips,
ecotourism outings and summer camps
for teens — to counter the harmful
effects of climate change, pollution and
“It is just like if you had a rosebush in
your garden. As you prune that rosebush
back, it grows back healthier, bushier,
a little more lively,” explains Stephanie
Schopmeyer, senior research associate
at the University of Miami Rosenstiel
School of Marine Science, which runs
a programme called Rescue a Reef
that allows citizen scientists to join the
“Corals that are fragmented actually
grow back faster and with more
branches,” she said.
On a recent outing, Schopmeyer
and about a dozen other divers and
CORALS MAY LOOK LIKE ROCKS OR PLANTS BUT
THEY ARE ACTUALLY ANIMALS IN THE SAME FAMILY
AS JELLYFISH AND ANEMONES. EACH INDIVIDUAL
CORAL IS CALLED A POLYP, AND THE REEF GROWS AS
POLYPS GROW COPIES OF THEMSELVES
snorkellers spent a sunny spring morning
on the water, travelling first by boat to
an underwater nursery in Biscayne Bay
where they scrubbed algae off the manmade trees on which Staghorn corals
hang, and later to another area where
they planted nursery-grown bits of coral
on an existing reef.
Certified scuba divers did the
underwater work, while a handful of
tourists and students helped make
cookies — small discs on which they
use epoxy to affix finger-sized pieces of
coral. Then, the volunteers snorkelled,
watching the divers nail their handiwork
on the ocean floor.
Nicole Besemer, a graduate student
at the University of Miami, says she was
surprised to learn that corals can survive
and thrive after being cut and nailed in a
“As a diver in south Florida, I want to
make sure that my reefs are as healthy as
they can be,” Besemer says. “I know they
are not what they used to be.”
Corals may look like rocks or plants
but they are actually animals in the same
family as jellyfish and anemones. Each
individual coral is called a polyp, and
the reef grows as polyps grow copies of
themselves. Most corals reproduce by
releasing eggs and sperm into the water.
Coral reefs are important because
they provide habitat and food for fish,
turtles, seahorses, sea urchins and other
creatures. But the reefs are struggling,
with their numbers down 50-95 per cent
in some parts of the world.
Pollution cuts off their light and
food supply, over-fishing removes the
creatures that keep them clean and
healthy, development and dredging cause
sediment to smother them, and ocean
acidification makes it harder for them to
Storms can also kill them. Diego
Lirman, an associate professor of marine
biology and ecology at the University
of Miami, did his dissertation some 30
years ago on the impact of hurricanes on
a place nearby called Elkhorn Reef.
Now, he says, there are no Elkhorn
corals left there.
“It got to the point where I was
getting tired of just watching things die
and learning about them in the process.
I wanted to be able to do something to
recover them,” says Lirman.
He credits scientists in nations like
Fiji, Indonesia and the Philippines for
coming up with the coral gardening
techniques that Florida researchers are
now using, and says sharing knowledge
across borders helped everyone perfect
“We are now reaching ecologically
meaningful scales,” Lirman says. “We
realised it is all about the numbers — the
numbers you can grow, the numbers you
can put back.”
A major part of the movement in
Florida and the Caribbean is led by the
Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF),
which employs about 10 staff and
leads an army of volunteers on regular
CRF and the University of Miami’s
reef programmes were initially funded in
large part by the Recovery Act of 2009,
a White House initiative to kickstart
the US economy following the global
financial crisis. Donations have poured
in as well. “We are kind of at the explosive
growth stage,” says CRF president Ken
A few years ago, the foundation
planted a few thousand corals per year.
Now they have 500 underwater trees in
Florida that are growing 40,000-50,000
corals at any one time, he says. — AFP
‘Babbler’ birds use
primitive language: study
Californians struggle for ‘normal life’ sans water
Q VERONIQUE DUPONT
washing machine stands in
the middle of Maria Jimenez’s
California yard, like a redundant
relic of modern life. Nearby are several
rented mobile toilets, no longer in use.
For four months, she and her family
have had no running water.
“We are trying to live a normal life,” the
52-year-old said in the town of Monson,
200 miles north of Los Angeles. Hers is
one of a growing number of generally lowincome households with no direct access
to water in central California’s Valley,
known as America’s food basket, where
four years of extreme drought have left
many residents high and dry.
Jimenez and her husband use plastic
plates and cups in order to save using
water for washing the dishes, all the while
generating piles of garbage and extra
To take a shower, they’ve created an
elaborate system that pumps bottled
water up to the roof of their rented house
and back down to the shower head. But
whenever possible, they try to wash at the
homes of friends and family.
Even before the well that supplied their
house dried up, they couldn’t drink its
water, which was polluted with pesticides
from nearby fields. Now they have no
A dead tomato bush is seen in the vegetable garden of local resident in California.
water at all, and things aren’t likely to
change anytime soon.
“We don’t have water in a country
that is rich,” Jimenez’s neighbour Laura
Garcia said. Born in Mexico, she recalled
how as a girl living in a small village near
Guadalajara, she would haul water more
than a mile to her house.
Today, even her childhood hamlet in
Mexico has running water. She doesn’t
dare tell her family back in Mexico about
her situation in the United States. “They
would tell me ‘Come home! What are you
doing there?’” she said in Spanish.
Servando Quintanilla, who owns the
two women’s houses, said the situation is
a nightmare. The retired farmworker said
the drying up of his well was a financial
disaster. He can no longer charge rent
to those living on his properties, which
represent a $200,000 investment on his
His only option is to dig a new well,
which would cost $35,000 and likely also
be polluted. Due to the drought, farmers
are unable to rely on surface water and
have become totally dependent on their
wells, pumping much more groundwater
than in the past.
Ryan Jensen, spokesman for the
Community Water Center, which works to
make sure all communities have access to
water, estimated that some 5,000 people in
Tulare County, where Monson is located,
don’t have access to drinkable water.
Monson is now part of a list of dry
communities — among them Highland
Acres, Porterville, Woodville and Terra
Bella — where many residents have not
had running water for nearly two years.
Maria summed up her feelings with a
mix of anger and powerlessness. She said
she was mad because the small children
in her family needed water. She also said
her family’s livelihood in agriculture was
dependent on it, as is the produce they eat.
The problem is specific to California’s
sophisticated systems of aqueducts and
other supply routes to bring water from
northern California or from the Colorado
River to the east.
California authorities are studying
long-term solutions to link isolated
communities to larger cities. But that
requires costly solutions, and lots of time.
bird in Australia is able to
string together sounds and
mix them up in order to
communicate different meanings to
others, a skill previously attributed
only to humans, researchers said on
The study in the journal ‘PLOS
biology’ focuses on the chestnutcrowned babbler, found in the
Researchers have long known
that birds can put together different
sounds and patterns for the songs
they sing, but these are not believed
to hold meaning, said lead author
Sabrina Engesser from the University
“Changing the arrangement of
sounds within a song does not seem
to alter its overall message,” she said.
But the babbler bird does not sing.
“Instead its extensive vocal
repertoire is characterised by discrete
calls made up of smaller acoustically
distinct individual sounds,” she said.
Researchers studied the bird calls
and found that different patterns were
used in certain circumstances.
For instance, two sounds that
scientists named “A” and “B” were
combined for a flight call (“AB”) and
for a feeding call (“BAB”).
When the researchers played the
sounds back, birds showed different
reactions — such as looking at their
nests when they heard a feeding
prompt call and by looking out for
incoming birds when they heard a
flight call, the study said.
“This is the first time that the
capacity to generate new meaning
elements has been shown to exist
outside of humans,” said co-author Dr
Simon Townsend from the University
“Although the two babbler bird
calls are structurally very similar,
they are produced in totally different
behavioural contexts and listening
birds are capable of picking up on
this.” Researchers said their findings
“reveal a potential early step in the
emergence of the elaborate language
systems we use today.” — AFP
W E D N E S D A Y l J U LY 1 l 2 0 1 5
Emilia Clarke injured hip
his new role
Q SHAUN TANDON
oger Hodgson no
longer packs stadiums
and doesn’t even use
the name of his old
band, Supertramp, but
that doesn’t bother
him. Music, he says, should be seen as a
Supertramp, the English progressive
rockers, in 1979 shattered attendance
records in a number of countries on an
extravagant world tour to promote the
album ‘Breakfast in America.’
But Hodgson, known for bringing
spiritual reflection to the music, quit
four years later, saying he wanted to get
out of the music industry and raise his
family in California.
As his estranged former co-frontman
Rick Davies keeps playing as Supertramp,
Hodgson has been touring consistently,
but more quietly, for the past 15 years
and says he feels more comfortable on
the smaller stages.
“To be honest, I don’t really pay
much attention to what’s happening in
the music or entertainment industry,”
he said as he embarked on his latest
tour that started in Germany and
includes 14 dates in Canada, where he
and Supertramp have been especially
“To me, I look at my job very
differently. I actually think of music as a
service industry,” he said.
“Life is not easy for most people right
now. We’re all facing major challenges in
our personal lives and globally,
y, and to
give people a respite from thatt for two
hours is a real service.”
Hodgson, 65, said that the model
his era — a record company investing
in an artist in hopes of eventual
success — had collapsed, with
labels now seeking immediate
“So basically you have
these ‘American Idol’ type
shows and very little else,” he
In contemporary music,,
“there is nothing touching my
heart and soul, or touching me in
any way, really.
“It’s all very average and banal,
and unfortunately the focus
more about being a star and being
famous than about being an artist.
In contrast, Hodgson has used
music to explore the nature of the
divine on songs such as ‘Even in
the Quietest Moments,’ ‘Babaji’
and ‘Lord Is It Mine,’ which begins
with the line, “I know that there’s
reason why I need to be alone.”
Hodgson said he found musicc a way to
address questions he first contemplated
at an English boarding school,l where
“what they taught me didn’t make any
“I wasn’t the kind of songwriter who
just sat down and said, ‘What am I going
to write about?’
“These songs came from a very pure
place in me. They are me — they express
my questions, my joy, my longing for
love, my longing
to know God.”
underpinnings to his
music help explain his anger at former
bandmate Davies, for whom he does not
Hodgson insists that when they split,
they reached a gentlemen’s agreement
that Davies could keep performing as
Supertramp so long as he does not play
w i t h
plays the band’s
greatest hits and is
returning to the road later
this year with an arena tour of
Hodgson said he no longer
speaks to Davies and called
the current Supertramp
the equivalent of a cover
“There is such a love
for (Supertramp), and
knowing that I and my
gs created that love,
d to see
ee iitt abused,”
He owns the trademark
of the name, so he can basically
put five plumbers together and go
outt on ttour with
d callll them
Supertramp, and that’s basically what
But Hodgson insisted he made the
right choices. Leaving the limelight
allowed him to “get my inner compass
“I’m singing much better — because
I’m feeling better inside,” he said. — AFP
AVRIL LAVIGNE ‘doing a lot better’
Gomez reportedly ignored Justin Bieber
when they found themselves at the same
party in Los Angeles.
According to a source, Gomez
was too busy with her friends and Ed
Sheeran to “engage” with the ‘Boyfriend’
“Justin and Selena saw each other
and didn’t engage whatsoever. Selena
was too busy enjoying herself with Ed
and her girlfriends.
“Selena came with Ed and left with
him shortly after Justin arrived. It was
obvious she wanted to avoid any drama,”
a source told pagesix.com.
The party, which was thrown by
Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun, was as
a celebration for Tori Kelly on the release
of her new album ‘Unbreakable Smile’.
During the evening, guest Meghan
Trainor reportedly took to the stage
for a spontaneous performance of ‘All
about that bass’ while other partygoers
included Cody Simpson and Ashley
inger Avril Lavigne says she is
“doing a lot better” since being
struck down with Lyme disease
and will make a “100 per cent recovery”.
The ‘Complicated’ hitmaker found
herself bedridden last October when
she contracted the infection, but says
she is doing much better now, reports
“I’m about halfway through my
treatment. I’m doing a lot better. Seeing
a lot of progress... I’m just really grateful
to know that, like, I will make a 100 per
cent recovery,” she said on TV show
‘Good Morning America’.
The 30-year-old pop star also shared
the difficulties she suffered when trying
to get a diagnosis.
She said: “I literally became
bedridden last October. They would pull
up their computer and be like, ‘chronic
fatigue syndrome’ or, ‘Why don’t you try
to get out of bed, Avril, and just go play
the piano?’ It’s like, ‘Are you depressed’.”
Selena ignores Justin: Singer Selena
milia Clarke has revealed that the
real cause behind her hip injury
that left her unable to walk
without the help of crutches, is a
break dance with her ‘Terminator
The 28-year-old star opened
up about the injury while
attending a premiere of the
science-fiction movie in Los
break dancing with Arnold
Schwarzenegger,” she told etonline.
When attending the event, Clarke was
still aided by crutches.
She also spoke about her experience of playing Sarah Connor, which was
originally played by Linda Hamilton in the previous two ‘Terminator’ films.
Asked if she had spoken to Hamilton about the character, Clarke said: “I
haven’t at all. I just really hope she watches it and likes it.”
‘Terminator Genisys’ releases on Friday.
Sandra Bullock’s Minion
shoes to be auctioned
ctress Sandra Bullock is auctioning
off her quirky Minion inspired
shoes for charity.
The 50-year-old, who plays
villain Scarlett Overkill in the new
‘Despicable Me’ spin-off ‘Minions’,
has revealed the bright-yellow
pumps she wore to the Los Angeles
premiere on Saturday, will go
under the hammer at non-profit
Los Angeles-based organisation
Art + Practice.
The high heels, costing $800,
were designed by Rupert Sanderson
in tribute to the cute dungareewearing creatures with eye designs on
the toes and heels, reports femalefirst.
“We’re going to give all the proceeds to Art +
which is a non-profit organisation here in LA,” Bullock told Entertainment
Tonight Canada as she walked the yellow carpet.
The Academy Award winner was accompanied by her five-year-old son
Louis at the premiere.
Taylor Swift reaches out
to sick fan
aylor Swift offered the “biggest
hug” to a fan named Emily
after she detailed how the
singer’s music had helped her while
battling medical problems caused
by a congenital heart defect.
After her Barclaycard British
Summer Time show at Hyde
Park here, she posted on Twitter:
“I think it’s amazing that you’re
so honest about how it’s affected
“It’s impossible to be positive
all the time about something that
completely terrifies and confuses you,
and I’m glad you’re not putting that kind
of weird pressure on yourself. Sending you
hug from my hotel room, where I’ve just raided the snack bar and eaten
everything in the style of a raccoon rummaging through a trash can.”
Emily later said she was “grateful” for her icon’s kind words.
“What she said to me was so incredibly kind and almost unbelievable,
and I can’t believe she replied with such empathy and understanding. I’m
so grateful for what she said. It means the world to me,” she told eonline.
com. — IANS
LARRY KRAMER FILM CELEBRATES HIS LIFE
Q MARIA CASPANI
arry Kramer’s confrontational
style has mellowed. Now 80, the
playwright, novelist and Aids
activist, speaks softly and looks almost
frail in a big leather armchair in his New
York apartment overlooking Washington
Kramer, co-founder of the ACT UP
movement that made Aids a national
issue during the US epidemic of the
1980s and 90s, just published his latest
book and is the subject of ‘Larry Kramer
in Love & Anger’, a documentary about
his life that premieres on Monday on
“I didn’t originally want to do it
(the documentary) because there’s
something final about it, and I still have
work to do,” the author of ‘The Normal
“I still have it. It’s my motivation,”
Kramer said of the anger that made him
the loudest voice in a movement against
government inaction as Aids proceeded
to kill hundreds of thousands of people,
many in a particular community.
His activism helped lead to the first
effective Aids antiretroviral treatments
and prompted changes in US public
“Plague, we’re in the middle of a
plague...and nobody acts as if it is,”
KRAMER, CO-FOUNDER OF
Kramer screams at a New York City forum
THE ACT UP MOVEMENT THAT
in 1991 featured in the documentary. The
disease had already killed over 150,000 MADE AIDS A NATIONAL ISSUE
DURING THE US EPIDEMIC OF
people in the United States.
“Larry Kramer had a reputation
THE 1980S AND 90S, JUST
as a naysayer,” fellow activist Rodger
PUBLISHED HIS LATEST BOOK
McFarlane, who died in 2009, says in
AND IS THE SUBJECT OF LARRY
the film directed by Kramer’s longtime
KRAMER IN LOVE & ANGER, A
friend, Jean Carlomusto.
Kramer’s 1978 novel ‘Faggots’, in DOCUMENTARY ABOUT HIS LIFE
which he wrote about the drugs, discos
and drag queens of the community
in New York City, had made him a
As the Aids epidemic spread and
controversial, if not hated, figure within was linked to the community, Kramer’s
that same community.
activism sounded like an “I told you so
to the community who had so violently
refused his novel...which turned out to be
prophetic,” he says in the documentary.
However, Kramer’s public work isn’t
the only focus of the film that delves into
his lonely childhood and his long battle
Talking about the other kind of
movements, Kramer decried the absence
of a powerful national organisation.
As for the future, Kramer keeps busy
with a sequel to ‘The Normal Heart’
commissioned by HBO - and fights on.
“It’s heartbreaking when people won’t
die, or won’t fight for their own rights.”
The mosque is located in the heart of Salalah, built on an area of
40,419 sqm. The main prayer hall can accommodate 3,200 people, while
the female oratory can accommodate 350 women. There is a lecture hall
and a big library.
What is the name of this mosque?
A. Sultan Qaboos Mosque
B. Al Rawas Mosque
C. Al Al Bait Mosque
W E D N E S D A Y l J U LY 1 l 2 0 1 5
A man prays inside a mosque in Kabul,
Afghanistan. — Reuters
Boys recite Quran verses from wooden boards at a school in Benghazi, Libya. — Reuters
A displaced man reads the Quran at a mosque in Baghdad. — Reuters
Villagers offer prayers at a mosque in Thailand’s southern province of Narathiwat. — AFP
A vendor pushes his cart past a mosque decoration in Jakarta, Indonesia. — AFP
A man prays inside the shrine of Khawaja Naqashband in Srinagar, India. — Reuters
Displaced people from Anbar receive free food at a mosque in
Baghdad. — Reuters
A man calls for the evening prayer after having his iftar meal at the ruins of the Feroz Shah Kotla mosque in New Delhi, India.
A Middle East decoration for Ramadhan is placed at a lobby of Indonesia stock exchange in Jakarta, Indonesia. — AFP