Home' Greymouth Star : December 23rd 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Tuesday, December 23, 2014
PICTURE: Getty Images
Emergency ser vices staff at the scene of a crashed rubbish truck in George Square in Glasgow.
Joe Cocker in 2013
Runaway rubbish truck kills six
Joe Cocker, the legendary British singer
of blues and rock behind hits such as You
Are So Beautiful, has died at 70.
Marshall Arts, which represented
Cocker for more than 30 years, confirmed
Cocker, who died overnight in the
United States, was “without the doubt
the greatest rock-soul singer ever to
come out of Britain,” his agent Barrie
Marshall said in a statement.
The singer had a career spanning more
than 40 years, and was perhaps best
known for his cover of The Beatles’ song
With a Little Help from My Friends and
for Up Where We Belong.
The rock and blues veteran died after
a battle with lung cancer, leaving behind
his wife Pam.
Edgar Berger, chairman and chief
executive of Sony Music Entertainment
International, who signed Cocker, said:
“ Joe Cocker is a legendary artist of rock
and blues history and yet he was one of
the most humble men I’ve ever met.
“ His iconic voice will forever be etched
in our memories and our thoughts go
out to Joe’s wife Pam and his family at
this difficult time. Joe will live on in the
hearts of millions of fans around the
Beatles drummer Ringo Starr paid
tribute to his friend, saying: “Goodbye
and God bless to Joe Cocker from one of
his friends, peace and love.”
Cocker came to prominence in the
early 1960s, famous for his distinctive
His cover of With a Little Help from
My Friends reached No 1 in the United
Kingdom in 1968, and a year later
he performed the song at the famous
Woodstock Festival, which helped
launch his career.
He won his first Grammy in 1983
and an Oscar for his duet with Jennifer
Warnes, Up Where We Belong, from
the Richard Gere film An Officer and a
Gentleman, and in 2011 he received an
OBE for his contribution to music.
A prolific artist, he released 40 albums
during his lengthy career. — AFP-PA
dead at 70
Six people were killed when a
rubbish truck ran out of control and
careered down a footpath crowded
with Christmas shoppers in Glasgow,
Scotland, overnight, police said.
“Sadly, six people have died as a result of
the George Square major road incident,”
Police Scotland said on Twitter.
A police spokesman had earlier said
that at least seven people were seriously
injured and the number might rise.
One witness said the truck appeared to
have run out of control along a footpath
in the city centre shopping area, close to
fairground attractions and an ice rink set
up for the Christmas holiday.
George Ieronymidis, 58, owner of the
nearby Elia Greek restaurant on George
Square, said the truck had lost control,
and mounted the footpath, striking
people at a “ very busy ” road crossing
before crashing into a hotel building.
“My thoughts are with the families
of those involved and the emergency
ser vices,” British Prime Minister David
Cameron said on Twitter.
The police spokesman, referring to
the possibility that the incident was an
attack, said: “It ’s a terrible incident but
we don’t believe that there is anything
at this juncture that is sinister about the
Television images showed a large green
truck at a standstill by buildings outside
Queen Street train station.
Two witnesses on a tour bus said the
driver of the truck had been slumped
over the steering wheel as it ploughed
down the street, Ieronymidis said. The
police spokesman said the driver was
receiving treatment in hospital.
It was the second pre-Christmas
tragedy to have hit Scotland’s biggest
city in two years. Just over a year ago a
police helicopter crashed into the roof of
a packed Glasgow pub, killing a total of
10 people. — Reuters
The Vatican’s top administrators
would have been expecting an
exchange of pleasantries at their
annual Christmas meeting with
Pope Francis overnight.
Instead, he chose the occasion
to issue a stinging critique, telling
the priests, bishops and cardinals
who run the Curia, the central
administration of the Roman
Catholic Church, that careerism,
scheming and greed had infected
them with “spiritual Alzheimer’s”.
Francis, the first non-European
pope in 1300 years, has refused many of
the trappings of office and made plain his
determination to bring the Church’s hierarchy
closer to its 1.2 billion members.
To that end, he has set out to reform the
Italian-dominated Curia, whose power
struggles and leaks were widely held responsible
for Benedict XVI’s decision last year to become
the first pope in six centuries to resign.
“The Curia needs to change, to improve. A
Curia that does not criticise itself, that does
not bring itself up to date, that does not try to
improve, is a sick body,” he said in
a sombre address.
He listed no fewer than 15
“sicknesses and temptations”, from
the “spiritual Alzheimer’s” of those
who had become enthralled by
worldly goods and power to the
“existential schizophrenia” of those
who had succumbed to a joyless,
Pope Francis said some in
the Curia acted as if they were
“ immortal, immune or even
reference to retired cardinals who
remain in the Vatican and continue to exert
He told his audience that too many of them
suffered from “rivalry and vainglory”; superiors
favoured proteges and underlings fawned on
bosses to further careers; others fed gossip or
false information to the media.
But the Pope did finish on an upbeat note.
Before wishing them all a Happy Christmas,
Pope Francis urged the Vatican’s administrators
to be more joyful, saying how much good a
“dose of humour” could do. — Reuters
Vatican administration infected
by ‘spiritual Alzheimer’s’ — Pope
More than 7500 people have now died
from the Ebola virus, as the number of
cases climbs towards 20,000, the World
Health Organisation said overnight.
The United Nations health agency
reported that as of December 20, 19,340
people had been infected with the deadly
virus in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra
Leone, and that 7518 of them had died.
The death toll in other countries
remained the same: six in Mali, one in the
United States and eight in Nigeria, which
was declared Ebola-free in October.
Spain and Senegal, which have both
been declared free of Ebola, meanwhile
counted one case each, but no deaths.
Sierra Leone, which has overtaken
Liberia as the country with most
infections, counted 8939 cases and 2556
deaths on December 20. Four days
earlier the toll stood at 8759 cases and
Liberia, long the hardest-hit country,
has seen a clear decrease in transmission
over the past month. As of December
18, the country counted 7830 cases and
3376 deaths, up from the 7819 infections
and 3346 deaths recorded in the previous
update. — AFP
Ebola toll 7500
Nicaragua broke ground overnight on
its Chinese-led $50 billion shipping
canal, a massive infrastructure project
that aims to rival Panama’s water way and
revitalise the economy of the second-
poorest country in the Americas.
Nicaragua’s government says the
proposed 278km canal, due to be
operational by about 2020, would raise
annual growth to over 10% and help
put an end to endemic poverty in the
country of six million people.
It could also give China a major
foothold in Central America, a region
that for years has been dominated by
the United States, which completed the
Panama Canal a century ago.
Construction of the new water way
will be run by Hong Kong-based
HK Nicaragua Canal Development
Investment Co Ltd (HKND Group),
which is controlled by Wang Jing, a
little-known Chinese telecom mogul
well-connected to China’s political elite.
“This moment will surely go down in
history. I announce the start of work on
the great canal of Nicaragua,” Wang Jing
said at an opening event on Nicaragua’s
Pacific coast, attended by the country’s
Vice President Omar Halleslevens.
Nicaragua’s leftist president, former
Marxist guerrilla Daniel Ortega, is due
to speak about the canal later today.
More than a year since it was first
announced, the project faces widespread
scepticism, with questions still open about
who will provide financing, how seriously
it will affect Lake Nicaragua and how
much land will be expropriated for it.
“Shipping would love for this to
happen, but it’s a luxury not a necessity,”
Greg Miller at consultancy IHS
Maritime said. “Given how much this
will cost, it’s hard to take a stance on
whether it will happen or not until there
is a signal whether that money is not
available or not.”
Nicaraguan officials say they want the
canal to receive international funding and
reject the idea that China’s government
will bankroll the project, which is worth
roughly four times the gross domestic
product (GDP) of Nicaragua. — Reuters
Nicaragua starts canal project
Cristina de Borbon, sister of
Spain’s King Felipe VI, is to
stand trial on tax fraud charges
as soon as next year, becoming
the first Spanish royal to face
Princess Cristina’s father, Juan
Carlos, abdicated in June after
a series of scandals, and his son
Felipe is riding high in opinion
polls. He has tried to modernise
the monarchy and has taken
away rights and duties from his
two sisters, neither of whom is
now formally part of the royal
conducting an investigation into
the affairs of Cristina’s husband,
former Olympic handball player
Inaki Urdangarin, for four years.
They have ordered Cristina,
49, Urdangarin and 15 others to
stand trial in the case involving
his Noos Foundation charity,
the High Court of the Balearic
Islands said overnight.
Graft investigations in
Spain have exposed high-level
corruption among politicians,
trade unions and bankers among
others, and have eroded Spaniards’
faith in their institutions after
a major economic crisis and a
government austerity drive.
As Spain heads into a general
election year, corruption will
be high on the political agenda.
Polls show the issue as Spaniards’
second biggest concern after sky-
New anti-establishment party
Podemos — “ we can” in Spanish
— has already benefited from the
disaffection, and threatens to eat
away at support for mainstream
political leaders, including those
from the ruling centre-right
People’s Party (PP) and the
Cristina and her husband have
both denied any wrongdoing in
the case, triggered by a complaint
from anti-graft campaigners
Manos Limpias — “clean hands”
Urdangarin has been charged
with breach of legal duty,
embezzling public funds, fraud,
influence-peddling and money-
laundering. The princess is
accused of two tax crimes.
Her lawyer Miquel Roca
said overnight said she had
been surprised by the court
order. Spanish law can allow
the accused to escape trial if
the victim of a crime — in this
instance, the Spanish State —
does not back the charges, as was
the case here.
He said Cristina would be
launching an appeal based on that.
“It ’s a serious, surprising and
exceptional situation,” Roca said.
The couple have been ordered
to deposit funds with the court
to cover possible liabilities —
($4.115 million) in the case of
Cristina, and nearly 15 million
euros for Urdanganrin.
They now have 20 days to
deposit the money, according to
a written court ruling, or face
having assets seized.
Cristina remains sixth in line
to the throne. A spokesman for
the royal household declined
to comment on whether the
princess would give up her
succession rights. — Reuters
Spanish princess faces fraud trial
Pakistan to execute 500 terror convicts
Pakistan plans to execute about 500 militants
in coming weeks after the government lifted a
moratorium on the death penalty in terror cases
following a Taliban school massacre.
Six militants have been hanged since Friday
amid rising public anger over Tuesday ’s
slaughter in the north-western city of Peshawar,
which left 149 people dead including 133
After the deadliest terrorist attack in Pakistani
history, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ended
the six-year moratorium on the death penalty,
reinstating it for terrorism-related cases.
“The Interior Ministry has finalised the cases
of 500 convicts who have exhausted all the
appeals, their mercy petitions have been turned
down by the president and their executions
will take place in coming weeks,” a senior
government official said.
A second official confirmed the information.
Of the six hanged so far, five were involved in
a failed attempt to assassinate the then-military
ruler Per vez Musharraf in 2003, while one was
involved in a 2009 attack on army headquarters.
Police, troops and paramilitary Rangers have
been deployed across the country and airports
and prisons put on red alert as the executions
take place and troops intensify operations
against Taliban militants. — AFP
Poor sleep, cancer risk link to iPad
Reading an iPad or a Kindle
before bed instead of a printed
book can cause sleep deprivation
and increase the risk of cancer,
They claim it disrupts normal sleep
patterns and can lead to waking up
earlier and drowsiness the next day.
The light from the devices
suppresses the hormone melatonin,
low levels of which have been linked
to increased risk of breast, prostate,
and bowel cancer, scientists in
Dr Anne-Marie Chang, who led
the study, said the body’s normal
rhythms were interrupted by the
short-wavelength enriched light,
other wise known as blue light, from
these electronic devices.
“ Participants reading a light-
emitting e-reader took longer to
fall asleep and had reduced evening
secretion, later timing of their
circadian clock and reduced next-
morning alertness than when
reading a printed book.”
Dr Charles Czeisler, head of the
Sleep and Circadian Disorders unit
at Brigham and Women’s Hospital,
where the study was carried out,
said that sleep length and quality
has been declining for 50 years.
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