Home' Greymouth Star : January 26th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Monday, January 26, 2015 - 5
Greece’s anti-austerity leftist party
Syriza stood on the cusp of an
outright victory in the overnight snap
election, commanding a 10 point
lead over Prime Minister Antonis
Samaras’s conser vatives, an updated
exit poll showed.
Syriza was on track to take
between 36% and 38% of the
national vote, well ahead of Samaras’
centre-right New Democracy party
which was seen taking 26% to 28%,
according to the updated poll by
Metron Analysis, GPO, Alco, MRB
The updated poll showed Syriza
securing between 148 and 154 seats
in the 300-seat parliament.
An absolute majority for Syriza
will depend in large part on whether
former Prime Minister George
Papandreou’s new centre-left party
manages to cross the 3% threshold
to enter parliament. The updated poll
indicated that seven or eight parties
will make it into parliament, with
Papandreou’s party securing between
2.2% and 3.2% of the vote.
The prospect of a Syriza victory
has worried financial markets which
fear the party’s plan to demand a
debt write-off and end austerity
measures will trigger a new financial
crisis and put Greece on the path to
a euro exit.
Centrists To Potami and far-right
Golden Dawn were tied for third spot
with 6% to 7% of the vote, according
to the exit poll. — Reuters
Anti-austerity party set to win Greek poll
Whiteville (North Carolina)
A 70-year-old man was freed
from prison over the weekend, after
a panel of judges found that he was
wrongly convicted in the stabbing
deaths of a mother and daughter
nearly four decades ago.
The judges heard from a DNA
expert who said none of the
evidence collected in the case
matched Joseph Sledge. A district
attorney apologised to Sledge and
promised to reopen the case into
the 1976 slayings.
“The system has made a mistake,”
district attorney Jon David said.
“The wrong man is in prison.”
After the judges’ decision was
announced, Sledge was still for a
moment, then hugged his lawyer
and family members who attended
the hearing. Sledge said he was
looking for ward to sleeping in a
real bed and maybe swimming in
His nephew Maurice Sledge said
the family planned to take him to
Savannah, Georgia, to live with one
of Joseph Sledge’s brothers.
Sledge was convicted of two
counts of second-degree murder
and sentenced to life in prison
in the September 1976 slayings
of Josephine Davis and her
daughter, Aileen. They were found
stabbed to death in their home in
Elizabethtown, a day after Sledge
had escaped from a prison work
farm where he was ser ving a four-
year sentence for larceny.
Sledge is the eighth person
exonerated after the state set up the
North Carolina Innocence Inquiry
Commission, the only State-run
investigative agency of its kind.
The commission found there was
enough doubt to review Sledge’s
case, and the state Supreme Court
appointed the three judges to hear
In addition to fingerprints, DNA
and hair gathered at the scene
that didn’t belong to Sledge, a
key jailhouse informant, Herman
Baker, signed an affidavit in 2013
recanting trial testimony. Baker
said he lied at the 1978 trial after
being promised leniency in his own
drug case and he said he had been
coached by authorities on what to
The commission began operation
in 2007. It has completed reviews
of about 1500 cases.
The non-profit Innocence Project
said there have been 325 post-
conviction DNA exonerations in
40 years in prison an error — judges
Joseph Sledge will go to live with a brother in Savannah.
A Chinese mother has been charged
with human trafficking for allegedly
conspiring with a doctor to sell her baby
boy for more than $8400, media have
reported, the latest case highlighting the
country’s lucrative child market.
The mother-in-law of the woman
initially notified police in central Henan
province that she suspected the child had
been sold, a report by State news agency
The woman, who was surnamed
Huang, had previously told the family
that the baby died soon after birth, said
the report, which cites local prosecutors.
The woman had a son from a previous
marriage and often “quarrelled” with her
current husband, Xinhua said.
She “was worried that the new baby
would affect the life of her first child”,
A couple paid 42,000 yuan ($9037)
for the child, 7000 yuan of which went
to the obstetrician who helped find the
buyers, according to Xinhua.
The woman has been charged with
human trafficking, other Chinese media
outlets reported, while the doctor has
also been prosecuted.
China has long struggled to rein in a
lucrative market in babies, fuelled by a
preference for male children and the “one
child policy,” which limits the number of
children couples can have.
This month reports said police arrested
more than 100 suspects in a crackdown
on trafficking newborn babies and
children in which 37 babies were rescued.
In March 2013, Chinese police rescued
92 children and two women and detained
301 people suspected of being involving
with trafficking. — AFP
Epoxy used to glue a blue and
gold braided beard back on to
the burial mask of Egypt’s famed
King Tutankhamun can be
removed and the mask properly
restored, a German expert
summoned to Cairo to examine it
said at the weekend.
Speaking at a packed news
conference at the Egyptian
museum, restoration specialist
Christian Eckmann said the
beard, which has been detached
before from the mask and had
probably loosened over the years,
was accidentally knocked off last
August during work on the relic’s
lighting. The cause of a scratch
discovered on the mask had yet to
“There will be a committee of
experts consisting of conser vators,
archeologists and natural
scientists in order to develop a
plan for re-conser vation,” he said.
“ Up till now we found one scratch
which is visible but it cannot be
said now whether this scratch is
an ancient one, a recent one, or a
modern one which just happened
right now,” he added.
On Wednesday, museum
conser vators speaking on
condition of anonymity for fear
of professional reprisals said that
the beard had been hastily glued
back on with epoxy, a powerful
adhesive extremely difficult to
remove. The 3300-year old mask
remains on display, with epoxy
filling a small gap between the
chin and what is known as a
“model beard” commonly worn by
kings and gods.
Museum administrators at the
news conference declined to
comment on which specific type
of epoxy was used. Experts say
adhesives used in such repairs are
chosen for their reversibility, for
which epoxy is not renowned,
although the difficulty of its
removal varies according to the
type of resin used.
Antiquities Minister Mamdouh
el-Damaty, present at the
conference, said he was only
alerted to the incident two days
The burial mask, discovered by
British archeologists in 1922,
sparked worldwide interest in
archaeology and ancient Egypt
when it was unearthed along
with Tutankhamun’s nearly intact
It is arguably the best-known
piece in the museum, one of the
city’s main tourist sites, which
was built in 1902 and has seen
little change since. — AP
King Tut’s beard glued on in bungled repair
The mask of King Tutankhamun, which was found to have been damaged and glued back together, at
the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
Majuro (Marshall Islands)
A search is under way on a remote atoll
in the Marshall Islands aimed at solving
the mysterious disappearance of aviation
pioneer Amelia Earhart.
A group of researchers travelled
yesterday to Mili Atoll where a small
aluminium cover plate and part of a
landing-gear wheel assembly, believed
to be from Earhart ’s plane, were found
“ We brought more sophisticated
equipment to find other parts,” Jon
Jeffery, director of technology and
business development at United States-
based Parker Aerospace, which is
sponsoring the search, said.
Earhart, the first woman to fly across
the Atlantic solo, disappeared in 1937
with navigator Fred Noonan when
attempting to circumnavigate the world
in a twin-engine Lockheed Electra
Marshall Islanders have long claimed
Earhart crashed on an atoll and a group
known as Amelia Research Inc found
the aircraft parts last year.
“Generations of Marshallese people
have known since 1937 that the famous
fliers didn’t just disappear in the ocean,”
Marshall Islands President Christopher
The aircraft landed “on a small atoll in
the Marshall Islands and (Earhart and
Noonan) sur vived”, he added.
The International Group for Historic
Aircraft Recovery has dismissed the
Marshalls theory. It believes Earhart
went down at Nikumaroro Atoll in the
central Pacific nation of Kiribati near
the Marshall Islands.
A new line of investigation in the
search for Earhart evidence in the
Marshall Islands involves Jaluit
Atoll near Mili. The island was the
headquarters for Japan’s administration
of the Marshall Islands from World
War One to the end of World War
“There is an underground hospital
built by the Japanese on Jaluit,” Jeffery
“ Earhart and her navigator Fred
Noonan were in this hospital after they
crashed. There might be some evidence
Marshall Islanders have claimed they
saw Earhart ’s plane go down on a small
island in Mili Atoll, and others reported
seeing her in Jaluit. — AFP
Search for Earhart plane on remote island
Indian weavers are planning to give
United States First Lady Michelle
Obama 100 hand-woven silk saris
during her visit to New Delhi with her
husband, a local businessman says.
The weavers have spent months
painstakingly making the garments
which they hope will promote their
centuries-old industry in India’s holiest
city Varanasi, as they face threats from
cheaper, mass-produced competition.
“ We have used pure gold and silver
threads for the sari that we have prepared
for Michelle,” Per vez Matin, whose
family has been in the weaving business
for three generations, said.
“It was woven on a hand loom by our
workers over two months,” he said.
Matin’s cream-coloured sari, which
would normally cost 150,000 rupees
($3151), is among 100 that Varanasi’s
weavers are planning to send to Obama,
who arrived with the US president
yesterday on a three-day visit to India.
The stylish First Lady stepped off Air
Force One wearing a tailored dress and
matching jacket with splashes of blue,
black and white, by Indian-American
designer Bibhu Mohapatra.
“ We know about the First Lady’s love
for our hand-woven fabric. We will send
all the saris and she can pick and choose
what she likes,” Matin said.
Varanasi’s mainly Muslim weavers
have long been famous for their high
quality silk products which take days
and sometimes months to make and
fetch up to $US10,000 ($13,452) apiece.
But craftsmen say the traditional Banarasi
silk industry is hanging on by a thread and
could be killed off within a generation by
factory-made Chinese imports.
“Our industry is suffering. We thought
it (gifting the saris to Obama) is a good
way to highlight the problems that we
are facing,” Matin said.
“If she likes our saris and decides to
wear them, it will be a great gesture of
beauty with purpose. ” — AFP
Michelle Obama gets
100 hand-woven saris
In a glow of bonhomie, United States
President Barack Obama and Indian
Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled
plans to unlock billions of dollars in
nuc lear trade and to deepen defence
ties, steps they hope will establish an
enduring strategic partnership.
The two countries reached an
understanding on two issues that, despite
a groundbreaking 2006 agreement, had
stopped US companies from setting up
reactors in India and had become one of
the major irritants in bilateral relations.
“ We are committed to moving towards
full implementation,” Obama told a
joint news conference with Modi. “ This
is an important step that shows how
we can work together to elevate our
The new deal resolved differences
over the liability of suppliers to India in
the event of a nuclear accident and US
demands on tracking the whereabouts
of material supplied to the country, US
ambassador to India Richard Verma told
“U ltimately it ’s up to the companies
to go for ward, but the two governments
came to an understanding,” he added.
Signalling warmth and determination
to take ties to a higher level, Modi
broke with protocol to meet and bear-
hug Obama as he landed in New Delhi,
then referred to him as Barack. It was a
remarkable spectacle, given that a year
ago Modi was persona non grata in
Washington and was denied a visa to the
Between a working lunch that included
kebabs made with lotus stem, figs and
spices and an evening banquet where
Obama spoke a smattering of Hindi, the
two leaders got down to talks.
They emerged with a 10-year
framework for defence ties and deals
on co-operation that included the
joint production of drone aircraft and
equipment for Lockheed Martin’s C-130
Hercules military transport plane.
Other deals ranged from an Obama-
Modi hotline — India’s first at a
leadership level — to financing initiatives
aimed at helping India use renewable
energy to lower carbon intensity.
But Modi cautioned that work was
still needed to create a solid partnership
between the world’s two largest
“ We have to convert a good start into
lasting progress. This requires translating
our vision into sustained action and
concrete achievements,” he said, standing
next to Obama.
Tonight, Obama will be the first US
president to attend India’s Republic
Day parade, an annual show of military
might long associated with the anti-
Americanism of the Cold War. He will
also host a radio show with Modi.
His presence at the parade at Modi’s
personal invitation marks the latest upturn
in a roller-coaster bilateral relationship
that just a year ago was in tatters.
Up to 40,000 security personnel have
been deployed for the visit and 15,000
new closed-circuit sur veillance cameras
have been installed in the capital,
according to media reports.
The US views India as a vast market
and potential counter weight in Asia to a
more assertive China, but has frequently
been frustrated with the slow pace of
New Delhi’s economic reforms and
unwillingness to side with Washington
in international affairs.
Elected last May, Modi has injected
a new vitality into the economy and
foreign relations and, to Washington’s
delight, has begun pushing back against
China across Asia.
In a veiled reference to China, the
leaders reiterated the “importance of
safeguarding maritime security and
ensuring freedom of navigation and
overflight throughout the region,
especially in the South China Sea”. They
also called for the peaceful resolution of
Obama will depart slightly early from
India to travel to Saudi Arabia following
the death of King Abdullah, skipping a
planned visit to the Taj Mahal.
over policy is being
overshadowed in the final days of
following Premier Campbell Newman’s
repeated claims of a link between Labor,
unions and bikie gangs.
Newman has defended his allegations
that ALP rivals were backed by
unions linked to criminal motorcycle
gangs, saying it is a hot topic with
The debate has taken centre stage
over the final weekend of the election
campaign ahead of Saturday’s poll.
Annastacia Palaszczuk again called for
Mr Newman to show some evidence
to support his claims and stated she
had “zero tolerance” when it came to
She also dismissed Newman’s
comment that Google searches showed
the Construction, Forestry, Mining and
Energy Union, which supports Labor,
was linked to bikie gangs.
“If you have evidence, send it to the
appropriate authorities for investigation,”
she said. “ I’m sorry, I don’t think Google
stacks up. ”
Queensland premier links
bikies, unions to Labor
launches caffeine strip
Imperial Tobacco Group, the world’s
third largest cigarette maker, is moving
into caffeine as more people kick the
deadly smoking habit, launching a melt-
in-your-mouth strip designed to give an
energy boost in seconds.
The product, called Reon, comes in
flavours such as “grapefruit and zing”
and “black currant and fresh”. For now
it is only sold in the English city of
Manchester and on-line.
Developed by Imperial’s Fontem
Ventures subsidiary, Reon comes in
packs of eight strips, each with 20mg
of caffeine, or less than a third of the
amount in a shot of Starbucks espresso.
A pack costs £2.50 ($4).
“ We spent a lot of time with industry
experts and consumers testing various
product ideas and this one, caffeinated
strips, always came back as No 1,”
Olga Rusnak, Fontem’s lifestyle energy
category director, said.
“People just love the idea of being able
to have products that contain moderate
amounts of caffeine right in your pocket,
on the go.”
Big tobacco firms are increasingly
diversifying away from cigarettes, a
market worth over $700 billion a year
at retail but shrinking in many countries
for health reasons.
Manchester was selected because
it has the second highest per-capita
consumption rate of energy drinks in
Britain after London and the company
has good relations with retailers there.
The rollout elsewhere depends on how
Reon fares in Manchester.
Reon is being officially launched
with a morning “rise ‘n rave” dance
party featuring a DJ, massages, yoga
instructors and breakfast. Rusnak says
the product targets “young professionals”
aged 25 to 45.
Like other caffeinated products, Reon
is not recommended for children but
there are no restrictions on sales to
Among other caffeine mouth strips
already on the market is Sheets, launched
by American basketball star LeBron
James. Similar products have prompted
concern among some health experts in
Australia about the risks of overdose.
Caffeine strips tap into booming
demand for energy drinks like Red Bull
and Monster. Euromonitor International
expects the global energy drink market
to be worth more than $47b by 2019
from nearly $31b today. — Reuters
Dar es Salaam
A local leader in Tanzania has
been attacked and beheaded by
a gang of men, who then cooked
some of his body parts, following
accusations of adultery, police say.
The attack took place on Friday
night in the southern Katavi region
of the east African nation, local
police chief Dhahiri Kidavashari
said, naming the dead man as 31-
year old Richard Madirisha.
“Five people stormed Madirisha’s
room wielding machetes, beheaded
him, chopped off legs, hands
and genitals,” Kidavashari said
overnight, adding there were
reports implicating Madirisha with
acts of adultery.
“The assailants later cooked the
chopped off body parts outside the
house,” he added.
Three men are being questioned
by police, Kidavashari said. — AFP
Tanzanian man beheaded, cooked
Be frugal, Pope tells new cardinals
Pope Francis has told the men he will
elevate to the high rank of cardinal next
month to be humble and shun lavish
parties in their honour, saying they can
do more damage than alcohol on an
“It is not easy to be humble ser vants
if you see the role of a cardinal as a
position of power or superiority,” he
said in a letter written to each of the
cardinals-to-be and published in the
Vatican newspaper at the weekend.
He also told them to beware that
parties held for them by faithful from
their countries do not become fancy
social events that can disorient them and
“stun someone more than grappa on an
empty stomach.” Grappa is a very strong
Pope Francis, who has insisted that
Roman Catholic Church leaders should
ser ve the poor and not be career oriented,
will induct the 20 new cardinals at a
Vatican ceremony on February 14.
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