Home' Greymouth Star : September 4th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Thursday, September 4, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1571 - Marian Party in Scotland stages
successful coup in which regent Lennox is
1781 - Los Angeles is founded by Spanish
settlers and named El Pueblo de Nuestra
Senora La Reina de Los Angeles (The Town of
Our Lady the Q ueen of the Angels).
1839 - The seaport which was to become
Dar win in 1911 is first sur veyed by a
commander aboard the HMS Beagle.
1886 - At Skeleton Canyon in Arizona,
Geronimo, Apache chief and leader of the last
great Red Indian rebellion, finally surrenders to
General Nelson Miles.
1929 - German dirigible Graf Zeppelin
completes round the world trip.
1942 - Japanese troops evacuate Milne Bay,
New Guinea — the first defeat of a Japanese
amphibious landing in World War
1965 - Death of Albert Schweitzer,
Nobel Peace Prize-winning doctor.
1970 - In Chile, Salvador Allende
becomes the first Mar xist freely
elected president in the Western
1972 - US swimmer Mark Spitz wins his
seventh Olympic gold medal, a record for a
1996 - New Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu shakes the hand of Yasser Arafat
at a meeting on the Israel-Gaza border to help
clear the air of animosity.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Francois Chateaubriand, French author
(1768-1848); Anton Bruckner, Austrian
composer (1824-1896); Darius Milhaud,
French composer (1892-1974); Leo Castelli,
famous modern art dealer (1907-1999); Mitzi
Gaynor, US actress (1931-); Dawn Fraser,
Australian Olympic swimming champion
(1937-); Darryl Cotton, Australian
pop singer (1949-2012) Damon
Wayans, US actor-comedian (1960-
); Noah Taylor, Australian actor
(1969-); Deni Hines, Australian
singer-songwriter (1970-); Beyonce
Knowles, US singer (Destiny ’s
Child) (1981-); Hamish McIntosh,
Australian football player (1984-) .
“ Labour is the great producer of wealth; it
moves all other causes. ” — Daniel Webster,
American statesman (1782-1852).
“The Light shines in the darkness, and the
darkness did not overcome it. ” — John 1:5
Members of the
Rose Society had
proved that good
roses can be grown on the West Coast, said the
president of the society, the Rev B E Loveridge
in his report to the annual meeting this week.
The president outlined the first year of the
society’s activities, paying special mention to
the work of visiting speakers and members who
had done much to begin this most welcome
and necessary cultural society.
Mrs W Mori who has had a long association
with rose societies, and Mr R Bell were the
co-convenors of the initial meeting and it was
due to their knowledge and enthusiasm that
the Westland society began, he said. He paid
tribute to the late Mr T Howard who was the
society’s first vice-president.
The newly-imported Harbourmaster motors
on the Greymouth Harbour Board’s pontoons
have brought daily ‘drags’ from the Grey River
and lagoon up to 1000 tons in one day. The
efficiency of the 42 horsepower motors can
be gauged when the daily return from the
dredging before the outboards were fitted is
considered. Good daily averages then were
between 400 and 500 tons.
The old dredge, Mawhera, now a relic of
the past, used to ply up and down the Grey
with spoil from the river bottom which was
dumped out to sea. Today the spoil is used for
According to the harbour board’s mechanical
engineer Mr A Tilleyshort, the new motors
are a big improvement. They make the craft
highly manouevrable and are very easy to
steer. Whereas the board previously employed
nine men for the operation only six were now
uFood for thought
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ating fruit every day can
reduce the risk of heart and
artery disease by up to 40%,
a study has found.
Compared with avoiding
fruit altogether, daily
consumption also cut the overall risk
of death by nearly a third in at-risk
individuals, researchers said yesterday.
While previous studies have shown the
benefits of fruit and vegetables to heart
health, few have focused on fruit alone.
The new research led by scientists at
Oxford University involved almost half a
million people from China taking part in a
large health and lifestyle investigation.
Fruit consumption frequency was
recorded at the start of the seven-year
follow-up period. The number of occasions
people ate fruit ranged between never, one
to three days per week, four to six days per
week, and daily.
Around 18% of the participants
consumed fruit daily while 6.3% avoided
The findings showed that compared with
consuming none, eating fruit every day cut
the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD)
A dose response was also seen. The more
fruit that was consumed, the more the risk
of CVD fell.
Lead researcher Dr Huaidong Du,
from O xford University, said: “O ur data
clearly shows that eating fresh fruit can
reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease,
including ischaemic heart disease (IHD)
and stroke. Not only that, the more fruit
you eat the more your CVD risk goes
down. It does suggest that eating more
fruit is beneficial compared to less or no
She pointed out that the pattern of
CVD is different in China and western
In China, stroke was the main cause of
cardiovascular illness whereas in the west
IHD, which can lead to heart attacks, was
The study, presented at the European
Society of Cardiology ’s annual meeting in
Barcelona, Spain, showed that eating fruit
also had a significant impact on blood
Blood pressure readings were up to
4.1mm of mercury lower for people who
ate fruit every day than for those who
never ate fruit.
In a separate analysis, the researchers
looked at associations between fruit
consumption and death rate in more than
61,000 patients with CVD or high blood
pressure at the start of the study.
Compared with eating no fruit, daily
fruit consumption cut the overall risk of
death for this group of at-risk patients by
It also reduced the risk of dying from
ischaemic heart disease by 27% and from
stroke by around 40%.
Principal study investigator Professor
Zhengmeng Chen, also from Oxford
University, said: “Patients with CVD and
hypertension (high blood pressure) should
also be encouraged to consume more fresh
“Many western populations have
experienced a rapid decrease in CVD
mortality during the past several decades,
especially stroke mortality since the early
1950s, for reasons that are not yet fully
explained. Improved access to fresh fruit
may well have contributed importantly to
that decline. ” — PA
Fruit helps heart
‘Boris Island’ sinks
London mayor Boris Johnson’s grand
plan for a new airport in the Thames
Estuary has been rejected, leaving few
options on the cards for the city to stay an
The Airports Commission turned down
the idea in a report, with its director
Howard Davies saying the island airport
proposal had “attraction”, but would be too
costly and complicated.
Johnson had backed replacing Heathrow
with the construction of four runways
about 50km east of the city by 2030 — a
project referred to as “Boris Island”.
Davies was quoted in the report
saying the proposal would “remove the
aviation noise nuisance from many west
London residents” and would be far from
But the report concluded that “in view
of the obstacles to delivery, high costs and
uncertain benefits we will not shortlist the
scheme for further consideration”.
Among the obstacles identified by the
commission were the land expropriations
that would be required, the need to protect
wildlife in the area and the proximity of
the site to a liquefied natural gas (LNG)
It also underlined the enormous cost of
the work — between £67 and £120 billion
($132.8 to $237.9 billion).
The commission said some expenses
could be offset by selling Heathrow and
potentially the new airport itself, but the
cost to the taxpayer would still be £30b to
“ We are not persuaded that a very large
airport in the Thames Estuary is the
right answer to London’s and the United
Kingdom’s connectivity needs,” Davies
Johnson criticised the commission’s
findings as “myopic” and lacking in a long-
“The Airports Commission has set
the debate back by half a century and
consigned their work to the long list
of vertically filed reports on aviation
expansion that are gathering dust on a
shelf in Whitehall,” he said on Tuesday.
The three options left on the table
are either building a new runway at
Heathrow or expanding an existing one or
alternatively enlarging Gatwick.
Johnson said Gatwick was “not a long-
term solution” and expanding Heathrow
“ would create unbelievable levels of noise,
blight and pollution”.
The mayor, who wants to run for
parliament in next year’s general election
and is rumoured to have ambitions to
replace Prime Minister David Cameron
as Conser vative leader, also argued a new
airport to the east of London would create
“ jobs and growth”.
A final political decision is only due by
the end of the next parliament, which
would be in 2020, and construction is
planned to be completed by 2030.
The aim is to retain London’s status as
the world’s top international air travel hub.
The Confederation of British Industry
lobby group has warned that Heathrow
is under pressure from competition from
Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris for
lucrative emerging market destinations
like the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia,
India, China and South Africa).
Heathrow is the world’s biggest airport
in terms of passenger traffic, with
67.3 million passing through in 2013.
An artist ’s impression of “Boris Island” in the Thames estuary.
Even for a freelance journalist covering
the tumult in the Arab world, Steven
Sotloff ’s travels seemed non-stop.
In October 2012, the American reporter
was in Benghazi, Libya, covering the
aftermath of the deadly raid on the United
States diplomatic compound there. In
December, he was in northern Syria, writing
about the lives of destitute, displaced Syrians
and the war, according to his published
reports and his communications with
colleagues and editors.
“I ’ve been here over a week and no
one wants freelance because of the
kidnappings. It ’s pretty bad here,” he
e-mailed another journalist. “ I’ve been
sleeping at a front, hiding from tanks the
past few nights, drinking rain water.”
In August 2013, telling colleagues he
understood the dangers, Sotloff returned
to Syria, slipping across the border from
Turkey. He was quickly kidnapped and fell
into the hands of Islamic State, the violent
militant group that wants to establish
a jihadist hub in the heart of the Arab
Islamic State said in a video released by
a monitoring group yesterday that it had
beheaded Sotloff, 31, in retaliation for US
air strikes against the group, the second
such killing of a US journalist in two
His family said in a statement they
believed he had been killed.
Colleagues and acquaintances recalled
Sotloff as a generous man fascinated by
journalism and the changes gripping
the Middle East, and determined to tell
stories from the perspective of average
people, not army movements on the
“He struck me as a very, very decent guy.
He wasn’t chasing headlines, he wasn’t
hyping a pitch,” James Denton, publisher
and editor of the Washington-based
journal World Affairs, one of several
publications that hired him for freelance
work, said. Others included Time and
“He wanted to get the story, he wanted
to peel away the layers,” said Denton, who
met Sotloff over coffee in Washington
in May 2013, and published two of his
dispatches from Cairo the following July.
The precise circumstances of Sotloff ’s
abduction in the first week of August 2013
remain unclear, as does the identity of his
One individual familiar with the case
said the family’s theory had been that
Sotloff was grabbed by a criminal gang,
and later transferred or “sold” to Islamic
State. This could not be confirmed by his
family, which declined inter view requests.
His plight burst into the open on August
19, when he appeared at the end of an
internet video depicting the execution of
fellow American journalist and hostage
His mother, Shirley Sotloff, issued a
direct video appeal last week to Abu
Bakr al-Baghdadi, Islamic State’s self-
proclaimed caliph, to spare her son. Her
son, she said, was an “ honourable man and
has always tried to help the weak.”
Colleagues said Sotloff was well aware
of the dangers of reporting from Syria
but was determined to return there
nonetheless. At least 70 journalists have
been killed covering Syria’s civil war since
it erupted in 2011, and more than 80
have been kidnapped, according to the
New York-based Committee to Protect
“He was very eager to go to Syria,” Lee
Smith, a senior fellow at the Hudson
Institute think tank who crossed paths
with Sotloff several times in the Middle
Mutual friends in Lebanon tried to
discourage Sotloff from going to Syria,
Smith said. “He was very insistent,” he
Preparing for the trip, Sotloff asked a
fellow reporter in June 2013: “ What type
of lawlessness in Aleppo? Should I keep
my eyes open for anything regarding
“Can you meet with ISI,” he asked,
using an earlier acronym for Islamic State.
“And the quality of life? Is there still
plenty of food available? Gas?”
Little is known about Sotloff ’s year in
captivity before his murder, although
there have been persistent reports that
western hostages were abused, and some
were subject to waterboarding, a form of
Didier Francois, a French journalist who
was held hostage by Islamic State fighters
and released this year, said he had been
held with Sotloff for nine months, as well
as with Foley, suggesting foreign captives
were kept at a common site, at least for a
A person familiar with contacts between
Sotloff ’s family and his kidnappers said
the captors originally demanded a ransom.
“They wanted money,” said this person,
who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Sotloff, who grew up in the Miami
area, attended Kimball Union Academy,
a boarding school in Meriden, New
Hampshire, from 2000 to 2002. He
revitalised the school’s newspaper
and received a journalism award upon
graduation, the academy said.
He studied journalism at the University
of Central Florida from 2002 to 2004
and wrote for an independent student
newspaper. He did not graduate.
“ Devastated and crushed. Steve was
an amazing friend. Lucky to have him
in my life. Heart is heavy for his family,”
Emerson Lotzia, who roomed with Sotloff
at UCF, said via Twitter.
Sotloff was an avid basketball fan. When
it came to journalism, he focused on
human angles, whether it was a mother
of nine in a refugee camp in northern
Syria or protesters in Cairo’s Nasser City
neighbourhood demonstrating against the
military’s ouster of Egyptian President
Mohamed Morsi. — Reuters
Slain reporter knew of danger
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