Home' Greymouth Star : January 12th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Monday, January 12, 2015 - 5
More than a million people have
flooded Paris in an unprecedented
rally against terrorism, led by dozens
of world leaders walking arm in arm
as cries of “Freedom” and “Charlie”
President Francois Hollande linked
arms with world leaders, including
the Israeli prime minister and the
Palestinian president, in an historic
display of unity.
A sea of humanity flowed through
Paris’s iconic streets to mourn the
victims of the three days of terror
that began with the slaughter of
12 people at the offices of satirical
magazine Charlie Hebdo.
“Freedom! Freedom”, “Charlie!
Charlie!” chanted the vast crowd,
in honour of the cartoonists and
journalists killed at Charlie Hebdo
over its lampooning of the Prophet
The crowd was also marking the
death of four Jews killed when an
Islamist gunman stormed a kosher
supermarket, and a policewoman
gunned down in cold blood.
The interior ministry said turnout
for the Paris rally was “unprecedented”
while French television said rallies
across the nation were unseen since
the 1944 liberation of Paris from Nazi
The grieving families of those who
died in the shootings led the march,
alongside the representatives of
around 50 countries.
Patrick Pelloux, a Charlie Hebdo
columnist, fell sobbing into the arms
of Hollande in an emotional embrace.
With dozens of world leaders
present, security in the jittery French
capital was beefed up, with police
snipers stationed on rooftops and
plainclothes officers among the
crowd in a city still reeling from the
Islamist attacks. “ Today, Paris is the
capital of the world,” Hollande said.
“The entire country will rise up. ”
At least 3.7 million people
demonstrated in France.
A ministry spokesman said 1.2
million to 1.6 million people had
marched in Paris and about
2.5 million people in other cities
across the country. The ministry
said it was the biggest popular
demonstration registered in France.
Marches were held in several cities
across Europe, including Berlin,
Brussels and Madrid. — AFP
Four million rally across France
PICTURE: Getty Images
People hold panels to create the eyes of late Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane Charbonnier, known as “Charb”, as hundreds of thousands of French citizens take part in a solidarity march (Marche Republicaine) in the streets of Paris.
Four people have been killed in
the north-east Nigerian city of
Potiskum after two female suicide
bombers blew themselves up in a
The blasts at the Kasuwar
Jagwal cellphone market in the
commercial capital of Yobe State
came just a day after a young girl
thought to be aged only 10 killed
19 in Maiduguri, in neighbouring
Also on Saturday, two people were
killed when a car exploded outside
a police station in Potiskum.
A security source involved in the
rescue operation overnight said one
of the bombers looked 23 and the
“The first bomber — the 23 year-
old — detonated her explosives just
outside the entrance of the market,
where volunteers were sweeping
people going inside the market
with metal detectors.
“The second bomber was terrified
by the explosion and she tried to
dash across the road but she also
Both the security official and a
nurse at the Potiskum General
Hospital said six people were
confirmed dead and 21 were
Witness Ibrahim Dambam said
the second blast went off as people
fled the first.
Sunday is Potiskum’s market day
and attracts traders and shoppers
from all over Yobe State and
Panicked shoppers fled and
traders abandoned their stalls at
both the cellphone market and the
city’s main market, which is just
There was no immediate claim
of responsibility for the latest
attacks but suspicion is likely to
fall on Boko Haram, which have
increasingly used female suicide
bombers since last June.
On Saturday, as shoppers bustled
through the market in the Nigerian
city of Maiduguri, a device worn by
a 10-year-old girl exploded near the
entrance. A witness said the child
probably had no idea that a bomb
had been strapped to her body.
The explosion just before lunch
killed 20 including the girl and
injured 18, according to the police.
Boko Haram’s latest conquest was
the fishing town of Baga on the
shores of Lake Chad, which fell to
the Islamists last Thursday.
“ For 5km, I kept stepping on
dead bodies until I reached Malam
Karanti village, which was also
deserted and burned,” fisherman
Yanaye Grema said.
Boko Haram’s fighters have
control over 11 local government
areas with a total population
exceeding 1.7 million.
Boko Haram gunmen stormed the
town of Baga last Thursday, killing
about 100, district head Baba Abba
Hassan said. But Hassan dismissed
reports circulated on internet social
media sites that 2000 people had
“ To say 2000 people were killed
is on the high side. The death toll
could run into several hundreds,”
Hassan said, adding that no head
count had been made.
Nigerian military authorities say
they plan to launch a counterattack
to regain control of Baga, a fishing
community on the shores of Lake
Chad adjacent to a military base.
The base is part of an effort to fight
the Islamist militants with troops
from Nigeria, Niger and Chad. But
forces from Chad had not yet been
deployed and Niger’s forces had
withdrawn before the Boko Haram
attack took place.
Gruesome images have sprung
up on Twitter, including ones
showing hundreds of badly burned
corpses laid out on a village square.
One image showed a woman and
her baby, both burned to death.
Images are accompanied by the
hashtag “Boko Haram Killed 2000
But, according to an African fact-
checking agency, the picture of the
corpses was taken after a fuel tanker
explosion several years ago in the
Republic of Congo. The burned
baby photo has been circulating
since 2011, according to security
analyst Yan St-Pierre.
Access to Nigeria’s troubled
north-east region is difficult
for security reasons, and those
displaced by fighting tend to flee
in different directions, making it
impossible to confirm how many
died in the recent attacks. Senator
Maina Ma’aji Lawan said the death
toll of the attacks was “impossible
to quantify at the moment ”.
The Baga defeat was a serious
blow for regional efforts to contain
Boko Haram. Nigerian troops
resisted the attack for several hours
before running out of ammunition
and fleeing, according to agency
Abdullahi Bawa Wase, security
analyst, said the loss of Baga was a
devastating blow to Nigeria’s efforts
to defeat Boko Haram.
“ It has put a lie to the Nigerian
Government claim that it is on top
of the situation.
“ Baga as an agricultural and
fishing centre will provide huge
economic benefits to Boko Haram,
who will no doubt exploit its rich
potential for restocking and arming
its fighters for its operations.
“Their next move is predictable,
which is expanding their territory
The Council on Foreign Relations,
which tracks security in Nigeria
based on media reports, said Boko
Haram had killed about 11,000
people in 2014, and more than
16,000 since 2011. — AFP-AP
Pope says concern for poor is Gospel, not communism
Pope Francis is insisting that his
concern for the poor and critique of
the global economic system is not some
novel, communist-inspired ideology but
rather the original and core “touchstone”
of the Christian faith.
Some United States conser vatives
have branded the first Latin American
pope a Marxist for his frequent
critiques of consumerism and focus
on a church “that is poor and for the
poor”. But in an inter view contained
in a new book, Francis explains that his
message is rooted in the Gospel and has
been echoed by church fathers since
Christianity’s first centuries.
“The Gospel does not condemn the
wealthy, but the idolatry of wealth, the
idolatry that makes people indifferent to
the call of the poor,” Francis says in This
Economy Kills, a study of the pope’s
economic and social teachings, excerpts
of which were provided to AP.
Specifically, Pope Francis summarised
a verse from the Gospel of Matthew
which is the essential mission statement
of his papacy: “I was hungry, I was
thirsty, I was in prison, I was sick, I was
naked and you helped me, clothed me,
visited me, took care of me.”
“Caring for our neighbour, for those
who are poor, who suffer in body and
soul, for those who are in need: this is
the touchstone. Is it pauperism? No. It
is the Gospel.”
He cites church fathers dating to St
Ambrose and St John Chrysostom as
expressing the same concerns, and noted
somewhat wryly that if he had said the
same “some would accuse me of giving a
Mar xist homily.”
“As we can see, this concern for the
poor is in the Gospel, it is within the
tradition of the church, it is not an
invention of communism and it must
not be turned into some ideology, as
has sometimes happened before in the
course of history,” an apparent reference
to the Latin American-inspired
This Economy Kills, by two seasoned
Vatican reporters, comes out this week
in Italian. — AP
Sri Lanka’s Catholics hope
to heal war’s wounds
Colombo (Sri Lanka)
On the road into the capital from the
main airport, dozens of the faithful have
turned out in recent days to clean and
decorate the Catholic churches that
Pope Francis will pass on his drive into
Colombo this week.
“ It is a privilege to see him with our
own eyes,” Sister Mary Cleophus, a nun
and longtime teacher who was hanging
decorative cloths of white and yellow “
the papal colours “ at Saints Peter and
Paul Church, said.
Like many in the Indian Ocean
island nation, she had feared last week’s
elections, which pushed aside longtime
President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a
stunning upset. Politics has often meant
violence in Sri Lanka, and Rajapaksa
had rarely been subtle about amassing
his immense power.
But when he was defeated by a former
ally, Maithripala Sirisena, he quietly
stepped down on Friday morning. All
“ It is a miracle,” said Cleophus. “ We
Catholics make up less than 7% of Sri
But the Vatican hopes that the
Catholics can help heal the wounds of
the country’s 25-year civil war, during
which the Tiger rebels fought to create
a separate homeland in the north for
the minority Tamils, who are mostly
Hindu. The war came to a bloody end
in 2009, and since then many Tamils
say they remain forgotten by the central
government, which is dominated by the
country’s ethnic Sinhala majority, which
is over whelmingly Buddhist.
Sri Lanka’s Catholics, though, come
from both the Tamil and the Sinhala
communities, making them a natural
bridge between the two sides.
“ I was a teacher for 20 years and we
had Buddhist, Muslim and Tamils in
our schools,” said the nun. “ We had no
Now, “every community is interested in
the Pope,” she said. “ It is a great thing. ”
Hundreds of miners
Ukrainian emergency rescue workers
have begun pulling up hundreds of
miners trapped in a pit that lost power
when a shell hit a regional electric
The accident occurred in rebel-
controlled Donetsk city’s Zasyadko coal
mine — one of eastern Europe’s largest
and currently operating in the middle of
a war zone.
A spokesman for the local coal miners’
union said 331 miners had been working
in the shaft when it lost power yesterday
“The power went back up at 3.31pm
and they started pulling up the miners in
groups,” Independent Ukrainian Miners’
Union chairman Mykhailo Volynets
said. “ They have pulled out more than
150 people so far,” he said by telephone.
Zasyadko employs 10,000 people when
fully operational and has been beset by
problems in the past.
A 2007 disaster at the site claimed
the lives of more than 100 people and
remains post-Soviet Ukraine’s worst
The pro-rebel Donetsk News Agency
earlier said on its website that 390
miners had been working in the pit
when the accident occurred.
The nine-month east Ukrainian war
between pro-Russian militants and
government forces has claimed more
than 4700 lives. — AFP
Divers locate crashed
airliner’s black boxes
Pangkalan Bun (Indonesia)
Indonesian divers have found the
crucial black box flight recorders of the
Air Asia plane that crashed in the Java
Sea a fortnight ago with 162 people
aboard, the transport ministry says.
But they failed to retrieve it
immediately from the seabed because it
was stuck under debris from the main
body of the plane, the ministry added.
“The navy divers in Jadayat State
boat have succeeded in finding a very
important instrument, the black box
of Air Asia QZ8501,” senior ministry
official Tonny Budiono said.
The recorders were at a depth of
30m-32m, he said in a statement.
Divers will later today try to shift the
position of the wreckage to gain access
to the black box.
“ However, if this effort fails, then the
team will lift part of the main body using
the same balloon technique used earlier
to lift the tail,” Budiono added.
After a frustrating two-week search
often hampered by bad weather, officials
earlier raised hopes by reporting that
strong ping signals had been detected by
three vessels involved in the search.
Those signals were coming from the
seabed less than 1km from where the tail
of the plane was found, Malaysian Navy
chief Abdul Aziz Jaafar said in a post on
Twitter. Malaysia’s navy is helping in the
The Indonesian meteorological agency
has said stormy weather likely caused
the Airbus A320-200 to crash as it flew
from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to
Singapore on December 28.
But a definitive answer is impossible
without the black box, which should
contain the pilots’ final words as well as
various flight data.
Peruvian authorities say a bus carrying
more passengers than was permitted fell
off the road into a ravine in a remote area
of the Andes, killing at least 23 people
and injuring 44 others.
Prosecutor Hilario Ramos said
ovenight that the bus was travelling on
Saturday in the San Pablo district of
Cusco state when it left the rural road
that was damaged by recent rains and
fell more than 100m into a ravine.
Edwin Licona, the Cusco regional
president, says the bus was carrying
67 people, almost double the allowed
23 die in Peruvian bus plunge
An Episcopal bishop will be charged
with vehicular manslaughter, drunken
driving and texting in a hit-and-run
crash that killed a bicyclist on a sunny
weekend afternoon, Baltimore’s top
prosecutor said at the weekend.
Bishop Suffragan Heather Cook,
58, the second-highest leader of the
Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, has
been arrested and is in custody. Her
blood-alcohol content was .22 after
the smash, nearly triple Maryland’s
legal limit for driving, Baltimore State
Attorney-General Marilyn Mosby said
at a news conference.
Cook’s lawyer, David Irwin, said he
had not received the charges but was
working on the details of her surrender.
Cook, the diocese’s first female bishop,
was driving a car that hit Tom Palermo,
41, on December 27. Palermo died from
Cook veered into a bike line, hitting
Palermo from behind and throwing him
on to the car’s hood and windshield,
Mosby said. He then landed on a curb
in a residential neighbourhood in
northern Baltimore. Mosby said Cook
left the scene for about 30 minutes,
going to her nearby apartment, before
returning. Mosby said Cook then spoke
with detectives and was taken to a police
station, where she took a breath test.
In addition to felony vehicular
manslaughter, Cook is being charged
with criminal negligent manslaughter,
failure to remain at the scene of an
accident resulting in serious injury and
death, using a text messaging device
that resulted in an accident and three
drunken driving charges. If convicted of
all charges, Cook could face more than
20 years in prison.
The national Episcopal Church
started investigating Cook last week to
determine whether she violated church
law, diocesan spokeswoman Sharon
This is not the first time Cook has
been charged with drunken driving. In
2010, a sheriff ’s deputy on Maryland’s
Eastern Shore wrote in a police report
that Cook was driving on the shoulder
with a shredded front tyre. The car
smelled of alcohol, Cook had vomit
down the front of her shirt, and there
was marijuana, a bottle of wine and a
bottle of liquor in the vehicle, the report
said. Cook’s blood-alcohol content was
Cook pleaded guilty to drunken
driving, and the drug possession charges
were dropped. Tillman said Cook
disclosed the earlier case when she was
vetted by a search committee while
seeking the office of bishop. She was
elected as bishop in September. — AP
Bishop on manslaughter charge
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