Home' Greymouth Star : August 27th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 5
1400 children abused in English town
A new report concluded that
some 1400 children were sexually
exploited in one northern
England town — a damning
account of the collective failure
by authorities to prevent children
as young as 11 from being beaten,
raped and trafficked.
Report author Alexis Jay cited
appalling acts of violence between
1997 and 2013 in Rotherham, a
town of some 250,000.
The independent report came
after a series of convictions of
sex offenders in the region and
ground-breaking reports in the
Times of London that prompted
the local council to launch an
“The collective failures of
political and officer leadership
were blatant,” said Jay, a former
chief social work adviser to
the Scottish government.
“ From the beginning, there was
growing evidence that child
sexual exploitation was a serious
problem in Rotherham.”
Attention first fell
Rotherham in 2010 when five
men received lengthy jail terms
after convictions of grooming
teens for sex. Later, investigations
began into why authorities failed
to act even after front-line social
workers suggested things were
Police “regarded many child
victims with contempt,” Jay
said, adding that the first report
that described the situation
in Rotherham was “effectively
officers did not believe the data.
Even more damming was the
fact that victims described the
perpetrators as “Asian” and yet
the council failed to engage with
the town’s Pakistani community.
“Some councillors seemed to
think it was a one-off problem,
which they hoped would go
away ” Jay said.
“Several staff described their
ner vousness about identifying
the ethnic origins of perpetrators
for fear of being thought racist;
direction from their managers
not to do so.”
Jay cited examples of “children
who had been doused in petrol
and threatened with being set
alight, threatened with guns,
made to witness brutally-violent
rapes and threatened they would
be next.” — AP
A ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians
aimed at ending their seven-week conflict in
Gaza appeared to be holding today as the focus
shifted to securing an arrangement for the long
No clear victor emerged from what had
become a war of attrition between the Middle
East ’s most powerful armed forces and the
dominant Hamas militant movement in the
Exacting a heavy toll in Palestinian lives and
property, Israel said it dealt a strong blow to
Hamas, killing several of its military leaders and
destroying the group’s cross-border infiltration
But Israel also faced persistent rocket fire for
nearly two months that caused an exodus from
a number of border communities and became
part of daily life in its commercial heartland.
Palestinian and Egyptian officials said the
deal, which was mediated in Cairo and took
effect last evening, called for an indefinite halt
to hostilities, the immediate opening of Gaza’s
blockaded crossings with Israel and Egypt and
a widening of the territory’s fishing zone in the
A senior official of the Islamist group Hamas,
which runs Gaza, voiced willingness for the
security forces of western-backed Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas and the unity
government he formed in June to control the
Both Israel and Egypt view Hamas as a
security threat and are seeking guarantees that
weapons will not enter the territory of 1.8
Under a second stage of the truce that would
begin a month later, Israel and the Palestinians
would discuss the construction of a Gaza sea
port and Israel’s release of Hamas prisoners in
the West Bank, possibly in a trade for body parts
of two Israeli soldiers believed held by Hamas,
the officials said.
After the ceasefire began, crowds and traffic
filled the streets of Gaza. Car horns blared and
recorded chants praising God sounded from
mosque loudspeakers. Celebratory gunfire
killed one Palestinian and wounded 19 others.
Israel gave a low-key response to the truce,
saying it would facilitate the flow of civilian
goods and humanitarian and reconstruction aid
into the impoverished territory if the “open-
ended” ceasefire was honoured.
“ We have no problem with civilian support
for Gaza,” a spokesman for Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu, Mark Regev, said. “ We
don’t want to see Hamas rebuild its military
Many residents of southern Israel remained
sceptical. “ We had ceasefires in the past that
didn’t succeed or work out well, and (Hamas)
continued with their terror, destruction, with
all their craziness, and we no longer believe
them,” Israeli Meirav Danino said outside a
supermarket in the border town of Sderot that
for years has been hit by rockets.
The United States and United Nations urged
both sides to comply with the agreement.
Australian mining magnate and
politician Clive Palmer has apologised
to China’s ambassador to Australia for a
tirade in which he referred to the Chinese
government as “bastards”, setting off a
firestorm in Canberra and Beijing.
The apology, in the form of a letter
to Ambassador MA Zhaoxu, came
after Australian Prime Minister Tony
Abbott and China’s Ministry of Foreign
Affairs condemned his remarks aired on
television on Aug 18.
“ I regret any hurt or anguish such
comments may have caused any party and
I look for ward to greater understanding
for peace and co-operation in the future,”
Palmer, whose Palmer United Party holds
the balance of power in parliament ’s
upper house, wrote in a letter addressed
to the ambassador.
Palmer released the letter dated August
25 to the public yesterday. The Chinese
embassy could not be reached for
comment. — Reuters
Foley murder suspect
son of alleged bomber
A British extremist who is one of
the suspects in the murder of James
Foley is the son of an alleged al
Qaeda terrorist awaiting trial over
the bombing of two United States
embassies that killed 224 people.
Adel Abdel Bary, 54, is the
father of Abdel-Majed Abdel
Bary, a 23-year-old former rapper
from London who shares several
physical attributes with “Jihadi
John”, the man who beheaded
Foley in a video released by ISIS
(Islamic State) last week.
Bary, an Egyptian who was
granted asylum in Britain in 1993,
was extradited from there to the
US at the same time as the hook-
handed imam Abu Hamza. He is
said to have been one of Osama
bin Laden’s key lieutenants in the
He is being held at the Metropolitan
Correctional Centre in New York, where he is
due to be tried in November over the al Qaeda
bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and
Tanzania in 1998. He faces 213 counts of
premeditated murder over the bombing in
Nairobi and 11 over the attack in Dar es Salaam.
He is also accused of conspiracy to use weapons
of mass destruction, among other charges.
Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, who posted a
picture on Twitter of himself holding a severed
head, went to Syria to fight with ISIS after
leaving his family’s $1.9 million home in Maida
Vale, west London.
Whitehall sources have also said it is possible
that the man whose voice is heard in the video,
identified as “John”, may not be the hooded
figure shown in it.
ISIS may have used a British voiceover to add
shock value and make it harder for the security
ser vices to identify the killer.
Some experts who have analysed the video of
Foley ’s death have concluded that at least two
people took part in killing him.
Two different knives appear, one held by the
British jihadist who speaks in the video, and a
second on the ground next to Foley ’s body.
One forensic analyst has suggested the
British killer is only pretending to cut Foley ’s
throat, as no blood is seen, despite
the knife being drawn backwards
and for wards six times, and Foley
does not struggle, which could
mean he had been told the film
was a stunt.
Foley wrote a last letter home
in which he wrote of a “yearning
for freedom” and detailed his most
cherished memories of home.
He also described how he and
other hostages passed the time
playing chess using scraps in their
cell and, aware that he might be
killed, gave instructions on who
should inherit his possessions.
Foley, 40, asked his family to
“stay strong” for him in the letter,
which was memorised by a fellow
hostage who dictated it to the
Foley family when he was released
The hostage could not pass on the
letter itself because the kidnappers confiscated
all such documents.
The Foley family released the letter yesterday
on their Facebook page. The journalist said he
was being held in a cell with 17 other hostages,
which had made his time in captivity more
Foley said the hostages would spend days at a
time preparing lectures to deliver to the other
men being held.
He went on: “I have had weak and strong days.
We are so grateful when anyone is freed; but of
course yearn for our own freedom. ”
Foley told his family who should inherit his
savings “ if there is any money left in my bank
account ” and said he was “so proud” of his
To his brother John, ser ving in Germany with
the US Air Force, he humbly passed on his
thanks for being so welcoming when he stayed
with him and his wife, Cress.
He described his sister Katie, 26, as “the
strongest and best of us all”.
The letter was dictated to the Danish
photographer Daniel Rye Ottosen, who was
released in June after committing the words to
When he was freed, he phoned Foley ’s mother
Diane and repeated the lines. — PA-AAP
Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary
The Indonesian parliament has passed
a long-awaited law to bolster the
geothermal energy industry and tap the
power of the vast archipelago’s scores of
Made up of thousands of islands
stretching from the Indian to the Pacific
Oceans, Indonesia is home to some
130 volcanoes and is estimated to hold
around 40% of the world’s geothermal
However, it produces only a tiny fraction
of its energy by converting underground
heat into electricity, and lags far behind
others such as the United States and the
Red tape and legal uncertainty
have long held back the industry and
obstructed much-needed investment, but
the government hopes the new law will
speed up the development of the sector.
Most importantly, it stipulates that
exploration for geothermal energy and
development of plants is no longer
It was regarded as such previously,
which meant the industry faced
problems working in Indonesia’s vast
tracts of protected forest, where there is
much geothermal potential but mining
The law also stipulates higher prices
for electricity produced by geothermal,
following complaints from companies
developing plants that tariffs were
not enough to cover the high cost of
“Indonesia’s need for energy keeps
Kiemas, who headed a parliamentary
committee on the new law, was quoted as
saying on the legislature’s website.
“There is abundant potential for
geothermal energy. ”
Outgoing President Susilo Bambang
Yudhoyono must sign off on the new law,
but that is expected to be a formality.
Indonesia is estimated to have more
than 28,000MW of geothermal potential
but is currently producing just over
1300MW of its electricity from the clean
Most of its electricity comes from coal
High cost has long been one of the
major obstacles. A geothermal plant costs
about twice as much as a coal-fired power
station, and can take many more years in
research and development to get on-line.
But once established, geothermal plants
like the one built in Kamojang on the
main island of Java in the 1980s can
convert the endless supply of volcanic
heat into electricity with much lower
overheads — and less pollution — than
coal. — AFP
passes law to
In welcome news for flyers who love their
devices, no longer will work, movies or music be
interrupted during take-off and touch down.
Qantas and Virgin have revised their electronic
device policies to allow passengers to use their
smartphones, tablets and laptops in flight mode
Previously devices could only be switched on
when the aircraft was cruising and had to be
turned off during taxiing and through much of
the climb and descent.
It comes after the Australian Civil Aviation
Safety Authority released new guidelines on the
safe use of personal electronic devices on planes.
The authority found, on the advice of airline
experts, manufacturers and pilot associations,
that devices in flight mode did not interfere with
However, cellphones still cannot be used to
make calls or send texts from the air.
Both major Australian airlines are bringing the
change in from Tuesday afternoon.
The new policy applies to all domestic and
international Qantas flights, while Virgin
Australia domestic and short-haul international
flights will be allowed gate-to-gate device access.
Electronic devices now allowed
on take-off and landing
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Red or Green
Seedless Grapes Loose,
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Medal Ale or Summit
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Specials valid Monday 25 August - Sunday 31 August 2014 or while stocks last.
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