Search under way for 2 missing Jordan Times journalists

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TODAY                                                                        Published by the Jordan Press Foundation                                                                                                                                         Volume 33 | Number 10015




   Thursday, October 9, 2008
                                 Shawwal 10, 1429 Hijri
                                                                             Search under way for 2 missing King to tour
 TOURISM                                                                     Jordan Times journalists       Spain, L. America
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  AMMAN (JT) — His Majesty        discussions, with several
                                   50 Petras                                 By Mahmoud Al Abed
                                                                             and Mohammad Ghazal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  King Abdullah will start an
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  official tour of Spain and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  economic and trade agree-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ments expected to be
                                   to visit Petra                            AMMAN — The search con-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  several Latin American
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  countries on Saturday, Oc-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  signed, the source said.The
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  visits will also aim to ex-
                                   Fifty European women
                                                                             tinued on Wednesday for The                                                                                                                          tober 18, a Royal Court         amine horizons for part-
                                   carrying the name of Jordan’s             Jordan Times editor and re-                                                                                                                          source said on Wednesday.       nerships between the Jor-
                                   rose-red city to visit Petra | 2          porter Taylor Luck, 23, and                                                                                                                            The tour begins in            danian private sector and
                                                                             freelance writer Holli Chmela,                                                                                                                       Madrid and will be fol-         its counterpart in each
                                                                             27, who went missing during                                                                                                                          lowed by a state visit to       country.
 CULTURE                                                                     a vacation in Lebanon during                                                                                                                         Chile and working visits to        King Abdullah will also
                                                                             the Eid Al Fitr holiday.                                                                                                                             Argentina, Brazil, Costa        discuss with leaders in
 Don’t mess with                                                                A statement from the US
                                                                             embassy in Amman yesterday
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Rica, Honduras and Cuba,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  where the tour will con-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Spain and Latin America
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  various regional issues
 our hummus,                                                                 said the families of Chmela
                                                                             and Luck were asking for the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  clude. The King will be ac-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  companied by Her Majesty
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  that top Jordan’s priorities
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  and the role that Latin
 warn Lebanese                                                               public’s assistance in provid-
                                                                             ing information on the possi-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Queen Rania.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    According to the source,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  American countries can
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  play in enhancing the secu-
 Battle of hummus and tabbouleh                                              ble whereabouts of the two                                                                                                                           the objective of the visit —    rity and stability of the
 is shaping up between Lebanon                                               US citizens.                                                                                                                                         the King’s first to Latin       Middle East, with special
 and Israel | 4                                                                 “They have not been heard                                                                                        Photos courtesy of US embassy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  America — is to forge           focus on the conflict be-
                                                                             from since October 1, 2008       Holli Chmela                                          Taylor Luck                                                   strategic relations, partic-    tween Israel and the Pales-
                                                                             when they reportedly depart-                                                                                                                         ularly economic and trade       tinians and the importance
  FINANCE TURMOIL                                                            ed Beirut en route to Byblos     am Holli’s neighbour,” and the    in Lebanon on September 29        work in Jordan on October 4,”                   relations, between Jordan       of realising the Palestinian
                                                                             and Tripoli,” the statement      last contact with her was on      from Amman for vacation.          the US embassy statement                        and Latin American coun-        peoples’ right to an inde-
 Central banks                     Major central banks around
                                                                             said.
                                                                                But an appeal on Facebook
                                                                                                              “the 3rd of October when she
                                                                                                              was still in Beirut”.
                                                                                                                                                   “The two reported to a
                                                                                                                                                friend on October 1 that they
                                                                                                                                                                                  said.
                                                                                                                                                                                    Luck had confirmed to co-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  tries which have emerged
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  as key players in the global
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  pendent state.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     King Abdullah is also ex-
 unleash rate                      world announce coordinated
                                   interest rate cuts | 11
                                                                             by The Jordan Times team led
                                                                             to new information later in
                                                                                                                The neighbour, Jamie Alli-
                                                                                                              son, did not give further de-
                                                                                                                                                were travelling from Beirut to
                                                                                                                                                Tripoli via Byblos that same
                                                                                                                                                                                  workers at The Jordan Times
                                                                                                                                                                                  that he wanted to visit Alep-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  economy and international
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  trade scene.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  pected to discuss ways to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  enhance Arab-Latin Ameri-
 cut offensive                                                               the day.
                                                                                A contact who identified
                                                                                                              tails about the development
                                                                                                              or how the contact was made.
                                                                                                                                                day. They were then to cross
                                                                                                                                                by land to Syria before return-
                                                                                                                                                                                  po, where he had previously
                                                                                                                                                                                  spent a vacation.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Strengthening bilateral
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  relations and recent devel-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  can relations in various
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  fields to support the inter-
                                                                             herself as Chmela’s neighbour      The embassy statement           ing to Jordan. Chmela and                                                         opments in the Middle           est of nations of the two
                                                                             posted a message saying: “I      said Chmela and Luck arrived      Luck were due to report to                   Continued on page 5                  East will top the agenda of     regions.
 FOOTBALL

              Jordan up in FIFA rankings                                     WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM
               National team up to 112th globally in latest
               rankings and down to 15th in AFC zonal
               ranking | 15
                                                                             Jordan’s ranking improves on Global Competitiveness Report
 WEATHER                                                                     By Omar Obeidat                  when it came in the 49th          on 12 pillars of competi-         and innovation.                                internal security in which         In the field of ability of
                                                                                                              place on the list of 131          tiveness including institu-         Nsour added that the                         the Kingdom was among            latest technologies, Jordan
                                                                             AMMAN –– Jordan’s rank-          countries.                        tions,       infrastructure,      Kingdom held an advanced                       the first 15 countries,          came in the 31st place,
               It will be fair with winds northwesterly                      ing improved in the Global         Jordan Investment Board         macroeconomic stability,          position in the quality of                     “which is instrumental to        Nsour indicated.
               moderate. In Aqaba, it will be fair with winds                Competitiveness Report           (JIB) Chief Executive Officer     health and primary educa-         its educational system                         the investment environ-            “The government is ex-
               northerly moderate and seas calm.                             2008-2009, released on           Maan Nsour told The Jor-          tion, higher education and        (27th among the 134 stud-                      ment”.                           tremely keen on enhancing
                                                                             Wednesday by the World           dan Times on Wednesday            training, goods marketing         ied countries), on top of                        Jordan also ranked 27th        the macroeconomic stabili-
  Min./Max. temp.
                                                                             Economic Forum.                  “the ranking is fair but Jor-     efficiency, labour market         countries such as the Unit-                    in terms of time required to     ty of the Kingdom which
  Amman           14/27              Jordan Valley        21/33                The Kingdom ranked             dan has the potential to oc-      efficiency, financial market      ed Kingdom, Japan, South                       start a business, while it       will reflect on future rank-
  Aqaba           23/32              Hilly Areas          11/22              48th on a list of 134 coun-      cupy a higher rank”.              sophistication, technologi-       Korea, the UAE and Israel.                     came 90th in the field of        ings,” he noted.
  Deserts         14/30                                                      tries in this year’s report,       The Global Competitive-         cal readiness, market size,         He pointed to the relia-                     brain drain, which the JIB
                                                                             compared to last year,           ness Index (GCI) is based         business sophistication           bility of police force and                     chief labelled as a problem.               Continued on page 5


MIDEAST                                                                                                                                         HUMAN RIGHTS

Egypt briefs Hamas on plan to end internal split PSD says HRW prisons report ‘inaccurate’
                                                                             CAIRO (Reuters) — Hamas of-      “Egypt will prepare a detailed
                                                                             ficials met Egyptian media-      paper on what has been            Watchdog calls for civilian prosecutors to take over abuse probes
                                                                             tors in Cairo on Wednesday       agreed, for discussion in the
                                                                             to hear proposals for resolv-    comprehensive meeting to          By Hani Hazaimeh                  correctional centres.                          cuting abusers, and in partic-   Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW’s
                                                                             ing the Palestinian Islamists’   which the Palestinian groups                                          “The report did not include                  ular to transfer investiga-      Middle East director. “The
                                                                             standoff with President Mah-     will be invited in Cairo.”        AMMAN — Authorities have          the names of prisoners who                     tions into prison abuse from     mechanisms for preventing
                                                                             moud Abbas’ secular Fateh                                          rejected as “inaccurate and       alleged being ill-treated by                   police to civilian prosecu-      torture by holding torturers
                                                                             group, a Hamas official said.                                      full of contradictions” a re-     police and thus we could not                   tors.                            accountable are simply not
                                                                                The meeting, ahead of a         ‘We are interested              port by Human Rights Watch        verify their claims,” Khatib                      Titled “Torture and Im-       working,” she added.
                                                                             planned gathering of Pales-                                        (HRW) alleging “routine and       said in a statement respond-                   punity in Jordan’s Prisons:        Khatib said the report “in-
                                                                             tinian factions in Cairo next      in ending the                   widespread torture” in Jor-       ing to an HRW report that                      Reforms Fail to Tackle Wide-     cludes lots of contradictions,
                                                                             month, was presented as a                                          danian prisons.                   was issued on Tuesday and                      spread Abuse”, the report        was based on miscalcula-
                                                                             step on the way to ending a        internal divisions                Public Security Depart-         sent to The Jordan Times yes-                  documents allegations of ill-    tions and lacks accuracy”,
                                                                             schism that has crippled           and restoring                   ment (PSD) Spokesperson           terday.                                        treatment, often amounting       adding that the number of in-
                                                                             Abbas in US-sponsored peace                                        Major Mohammad Khatib               The 95-page report was                       to torture, from 66 prisoners    terviewed prisoners consti-
                                                                             talks with Israel. But there       unity to the                    questioned the methodology        based on interviews with 110                   interviewed at random in         tutes 0.002 of the total num-
                                                                             are few signs that the rivalry     people and                      the US-based watchdog used        prisoners in seven of the                      2007 and 2008.                   ber of prisoners in PSD-over-
                                                                             between Hamas and Fateh is                                         in gathering information.         Kingdom’s 10 correctional                         “Torture in Jordan’s prison   seen detention centres which
                                                                             becoming any less bitter.          the homeland’                     The organisation’s report       centres and recommended                        system is widespread even        receive an average of 2,000
                                                                                Echoing the positions of                                        included harsh criticism of       that the government overhaul                   two years after King Abdul-      inmates on an annual basis.
                                                                             both sides, Hamas official                                         prison authorities over the       mechanisms for investigat-                     lah called for reforms to stop
                                                                             Ayman Taha told Reuters:           Egypt has proposed a gov-       conditions of prisoners in        ing, disciplining and prose-                   it once and for all,” said                 Continued on page 5
                                                                             “We are interested in ending     ernment of technocrats for
                                                                             the internal divisions and       the Gaza Strip, controlled by
                                                                             restoring unity to the people    Hamas since fighting with         IRAQ
                                                                             and the homeland.” Beyond        Fateh 16 months ago. That


                                                                  AP photo
                                                                             that, however, common
                                                                             ground is hard to discern.
                                                                                After Wednesday’s meeting
                                                                             between Hamas officials and
                                                                                                              would prepare parliamentary
                                                                                                              and presidential elections
                                                                                                              there and in the West Bank,
                                                                                                              where Abbas’ movement
                                                                                                                                                Gov’t ready to replace US troops in Baghdad
A Palestinian woman sorts olives during the harvest in a grove next          Egyptian intelligence chief      holds sway.                       Female suicide bomber kills 10 in Baqouba
to Israel’s separation barrier near the West Bank village of Abu Dis,        Omar Suleiman, Egypt’s state
on the outskirts of Jerusalem, on Wednesday                                  news agency MENA said:                     Continued on page 5     Agencies

                                                                                                                                                IRAQ SAID ON Wednesday it
FINANCIAL MARKET                                                                                                                                was ready to take over secu-
                                                                                                                                                rity responsibilities from US
                                                                                                                                                security forces in Baghdad
‘Transparency best cure for stumbling ASE’                                                                                                      as both countries say they
                                                                                                                                                are nearing a deal on a con-
                                                                                                                                                tested military pact.
By Mohammad Ghazal                   Certified Capital Market Pro-           day to raise awareness           the Comprehensive Land De-           Interior          ministry
                                     fessionals, told The Jordan             among investors on the ASE       velopment and Investment          spokesman Major General
AMMAN — The Amman                    Times on Wednesday.                     and the “good” performance       by 5 per cent, Arab Interna-      Abdul Karim Khalaf said
Stock Exchange (ASE) index              Kharouf said the Jordan-             of the Jordanian economy,        tional Hotels (5 per cent),       Iraqi police are capable of
dropped by some 15 per cent          ian banks should disclose               the profits of the companies     Specialised Investment Com-       handling security duties
over the past four days,             their financial situations to           and their performance and        pounds (4.67 per cent), Zahrat    across the capital, a respon-
which prompted the Associa-          the public to bring an end to           financial positions, Kharouf     Alurdon       Real      Estate    sibility now held by US
tion of Certified Capital Mar-       the widespread panic and                told The Jordan Times in a       and       Hotels Investment       troops.
ket Professionals to call on         the fear among investors                telephone interview.             (4.56 per cent), and Palaces         “We have the ability to
the Central Bank of Jordan to        who do not know how the                    Yesterday’s trading volume    Real Estate and Development       take over the internal securi-
disclose the financial status        Jordanian banks were affect-            stood at JD32.7 million as       (3.28 per cent).                  ty responsibility in Baghdad
of Jordanian banks and their         ed and to help stop the de-             10.6 million shares were            The top five losers were the   if American forces pull out
links with the foreign banks.        cline in the ASE.                       traded through 7,862 trans-      General Arabia Insurance by       of the city,” he said in a                                                                                                                 AP photo
   “Only two banks have                 On Wednesday, the ASE                actions and the share prices     5.04 per cent, Al Tajamouat       statement. “The interior
made their financial status          index dropped by 3.91 per               index closed at 3,493 points.    for     Touristic      Projects   ministry is able to take re-      Prayer beads are seen at the site of a suicide bomb attack in Baqouba, 60 kilometres northeast of
clear in light of the global fi-     cent, on Tuesday it plunged                The shares of 172 compa-      (5.04 per cent), Ittihad          sponsibility for protecting       Baghdad, on Wednesday
nancial crisis and they are          by 3.87 per cent, Monday by             nies were traded. Of these,      Schools (5.04 per cent), Arabi-   Baghdad.” His remarks came
the Arab Bank and The Hous-          4.28 per cent and on Sunday             the share prices of 11 com-      an Steel Pipes Manufacturing      a day after Foreign Minister      on the presence of American                    ideas and new language that      political decisions now,” Ze-
ing Bank for Trade and Fi-           by 3.08 per cent.                       panies rose and of 157 de-       (5.03 per cent) and Jordan        Hoshyar Zebari said Wash-         troops in the country beyond                   could be acceptable, but no      bari said on Tuesday.
nance,” Jawad Kharouf, pres-            The association also                 clined.                          Press Foundation/Al Rai           ington and Baghdad are now        this year.                                     final decision has been
ident of the Association of          kicked off a campaign yester-              The top five gainers were     (5 per cent).                     “very close” to an agreement        “There have been new                         made. This needs some bold                 Continued on page 5