Home' Greymouth Star : February 16th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Monday, February 16, 2015 - 5
The Islamic State group has released
a video purportedly showing the
beheading of Egyptian Coptic Christians
the jihadists say they captured in Libya.
The footage released on-line shows
handcuffed hostages wearing orange
jumpsuits being beheaded by their
black-suited captors on a seashore in the
Libyan capital of Tripoli.
In the latest issue of the IS on-line
magazine Dabiq, the group said 21
Egyptian hostages were being held, and
pictures showed a similar background.
The video, titled “A message signed
with blood to the nation of the cross”,
has a scrolling caption in the first few
seconds saying it is directed at “People
of the cross, followers of the hostile
The video comes just days after IS
released a video showing the gruesome
burning alive of a Jordanian pilot it
captured after his F-16 came down in
Syria in December.
The highly choreographed video
showing the killing
al-Kassasbeh triggered global outrage.
In January, the IS branch in Libya
claimed it had abducted 21 Christians.
A spokesman for the Egyptian foreign
ministry confirmed in Cairo that 20
Egyptians had been kidnapped in two
separate incidents in neighbouring
Badr Abdelatty did not say when they
were seized or specify their religious
affiliation, but said seven Egyptians and
13 others abducted separately in Libya
“are still being detained” by their captors.
Meanwhile, Italy closed its embassy in
Libya overnight and stepped up its call
for a United Nations mission to calm the
worsening conflict there as thousands of
migrants approached Italy by boat from
Libya is unravelling, with two rival
governments operating their own armed
forces under separate parliaments, nearly
four years after the civil war that ousted
leader Muammar Gaddafi.
“The deteriorating situation in Libya
made it necessary to close (the embassy),”
Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said.
Embassy staff have been sent back to
Italy, the ministry said.
Violence appears to be intensifying in
Libya, where Islamic State is also active.
The violence is particularly alarming
to Italy because the two countries are
separated only by a narrow stretch of the
Mediterranean, across which migrants
travel looking for a better life in Europe.
Chaos in Libya has made it almost
impossible to police traffickers who
charge up to $US2000 ($2680) for the
Italy’s coast guard, which was involved
in a full-scale search and rescue mission
until last year, has gone to rescue more
than 2000 people since Saturday, days
after more than 300 people died trying
to make the crossing.
Overnight, a speedboat carrying four
people armed with Kalashnikov rifles
approached a coast guard cutter carrying
out a rescue, Italy’s transport minister
Maurizio Lupi said.
The armed people threatened the
mariners to let them take back and re-use
the migrants’ boat, Lupi said, “another
terrible development in the horrendous
trafficking of men, women and children
in the Mediterranean”.
Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti
said in an inter view with Il Messaggero
newspaper that groups in Libya that have
been infiltrated by extremists should be
Italy, which once counted Libya as a
colony, had only made vague statements
about willingness to lead a UN mission
in Libya until Friday, when Gentiloni
said it was “ready to fight” there.
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who
has long called for more help from
the EU to deal with migrants and for
UN inter vention in Libya, said in an
inter view on Saturday: “ The problems
cannot all be left to us because we are
the first, the closest, the people who pick
up the boats.”
League party has made a rallying cry out
of the migrant arrivals, which numbered
more than 160,000 last year.
Party leader Matteo Salvini wrote on
Twitter on Sunday: “I would help them,
but I would not let them disembark: we
have enough already!” — AFP-Reuters
IS widening influence
Super hero vision in zoom contact lens
San Jose (California)
Swiss researchers are developing
contact lenses that contain tiny
telescopes to boost vision and zoom
in and out with the wink of an eye.
The new, 1.55mm-thick contact
lens contains an extremely thin,
reflective telescope, which is activated
Released in 2013 and fine-tuned
since then, the prototype was unveiled
by Eric Tremblay from the Ecole
Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne
in Switzerland at the American
Association for the Advancement of
Science annual meeting in San Jose,
The lenses come with smart glasses
that respond to the wearer’s winks
— but not blinks — so that the user
can switch almost effortlessly from
normal to magnified vision and
The wearer winks with the right eye
to activate the telescope, and with the
left eye to deactivate it.
“ We think these lenses hold a
lot of promise for low vision and
age-related macular degeneration,”
Tremblay said. Age-related macular
degeneration (AMD) is a vision
disorder that affects older people.
“At this point this is still research,
but we are hopeful it will eventually
become a real option for people with
AMD,” he said.
The device magnifies objects 2.8
times, meaning AMD patients can
read more easily and better recognise
faces and objects with its help.
Funded by the Pentagon’s main
research arm DARPA, the lenses
were originally meant to ser ve as a
form of bionic vision for soldiers.
“Small mirrors within bounce light
around, expanding the perceived
size of objects and magnifying the
view, so it’s like looking through
low magnification binoculars,” the
researchers said. — AFP
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu has urged European
Jews to move to Israel after a
Jewish man was killed in an
attack outside Copenhagen’s main
“Israel is your home. We are
preparing and calling for the
absorption of mass immigration
from Europe,” Netanyahu said in
a statement, repeating a similar
call made after attacks by Islamic
extremists in Paris last month that
killed 17 people, including four Jews.
Two police officers were also
wounded in yesterday’s attack,
one of two fatal shootings in the
normally peaceful Danish capital
on the weekend.
In the first attack yesterday a
55-year-old man was killed at a
panel discussion about Islam and
free speech attended by a Swedish
cartoonist behind controversial
caricatures of the Prophet
“ Extremist Islamic terrorism has
struck Europe again. Jews have
been murdered again on European
soil only because they were Jews,”
Netanyahu said in the statement.
The Israeli prime minister said
his government was to adopt a 39.5
million euros ($60.15 million) plan
“to encourage the absorption of
immigrants from France, Belgium
“ To the Jews of Europe and to the
Jews of the world I say that Israel
is waiting for you with open arms,”
Officials in Copenhagen
described the attacks as an act of
terror and said the man believed to
be behind the shootings was shot
dead after opening fire on police at
a rail station. — AFP
Move to Israel, Netanyahu urges Jews
The gunman behind two deadly
attacks in Copenhagen may have
been inspired by last month’s
Islamist shootings in Paris, police
The man, believed to be the sole
perpetrator of what Denmark’s
prime minister is calling “a cynical
act of terror”, was previously known
to intelligence ser vices.
He “may have been inspired by
the events that took place in Paris
a few weeks ago”, Jens Madsen
from the Security and Intelligence
Ser vice said overnight.
He added the man may “generally
have been inspired by militant
Islamist propaganda issued by
Islamic State and other terror
He also said police were looking
into the possibility the gunman had
travelled to Syria or Iraq.
The shooter, who was not further
identified, is believed responsible
for two separate attacks that have
shocked Denmark’s usually peaceful
Yesterday, a 55-year-old man was
killed at a panel discussion about
Islam and free speech attended by
Lars Vilks, a Swedish cartoonist
behind a controversial caricature of
the Prophet Mohammed.
In the second attack, a 37-year-
old Jewish man was killed outside
Copenhagen’s main synagogue later
in the day.
Five police officers were wounded
in the two incidents.
“ We believe the same man was
behind both shootings and we also
believe the perpetrator who was
shot by the police action force at
Noerrebro station is the person
behind the two attacks,” senior
police official Torben Moelgaard
The first lethal attacks on Danish
soil in decades were branded
“deplorable” by the United States
and triggered condemnation
around the world.
“ We have experienced the ugly
taste of fear and powerlessness
which terror hopes to create,”
Prime Minister Helle Thorning-
Schmidt told a briefing, saying
Denmark was experiencing “a day
of sorrow ”.
“ We will defend our democracy
and we will defend Denmark at any
time,” she said.
The killing of the suspected
attacker capped a massive police
The shootout took place shortly
before dawn in the neighbourhood
of Noerrebro, where police had
been keeping an address under
They said video sur veillance had
led them to believe the man killed
by officers was behind both attacks
but they were still investigating
whether he was acting alone.
The shooting came at the end of
a night of fear that had gripped the
city of about one million.
The central area of Copenhagen
that is home to both the synagogue
and Noerreport station, the
country’s busiest rail hub, was
cordoned off by police carrying
Swedish security ser vices said
they were on alert for any attempt
by a suspect to cross the bridge
linking Denmark with Sweden.
Michael Gelvan, chairman of the
Nordic Jewish Security Council,
said the victim at the synagogue
was a young Jewish man who
had been providing security for a
ceremony. — AFP
Copenhagen attack inspired by Paris shootings
Investigative personnel work at the scene of a cafe shooting in Oesterbro, in Copenhagen
Two cats came within a whisker of
losing all nine lives after they were
successfully resuscitated by an ambulance
crew at a deliberately-lit fire in in Port
A 10-year-old boy, a 12-year-old girl
and a 42-year-old woman have been
charged with arson.
Firefighters were called to a home at
5am yesterday to find it ablaze.
While no one was home, the two cats
had to be revived when they were found
Police arrested and charged the woman
and two children, all from the South
The woman was refused police bail to
appear in the Port Augusta Magistrate’s
The girl and boy have been bailed to
appear in the Youth Court at a later date.
Michele Ferrero, Italy’s richest man
and the owner of a global chocolate
and confectionery empire, died
yesterday aged 89, the company said.
His death opens the question of
succession and potential tie-ups at
the family-controlled Ferrero group,
which has sales of about eight billion
euros ($9 billion) and continued to
grow through Italy’s longest recession
since World War Two.
Ferrero dreamed up the chocolate-
hazelnut Nutella spread, Ferrero
Rocher pralines, Kinder eggs and
Tic Tac sweets, turning a provincial
chocolate factory into what is widely
seen as Italy’s most valuable privately-
The billionaire died at home in
Monaco after months of illness, the
group said in a statement.
Italian President Sergio Mattarella
said he was deeply touched by
Ferrero’s death, calling him a “born
Twitter was flooded with messages
from people who thanked Ferrero for
“sweetening up” their lives.
Ferrero’s son Giovanni became chief
executive of the chocolate empire
after his older brother Pietro, the
chosen heir, died of a heart attack in
2011 while cycling in South Africa.
In late 2013, Giovanni denied
suggestions that the company had
been approached by the Swiss-based
multinational Nestle, saying Ferrero
was not for sale. But industry
insiders say he is less interested
than his brother was in running the
Ferrero senior was a man of few
words who shunned publicity, turning
a local business from the Piedmont
region into a global giant. He had
a reputation as a forceful leader, but
also as one who maintained generous
working conditions and gave back to
Until a few years ago, Ferrero
commuted by helicopter every
day from his Monte Carlo villa to
company headquarters in Alba,
north-west Italy, to taste and help
design new products.
He never let outsiders buy into
the company, which his father set
up in 1946. The group, which toyed
with the idea of making a bid for its
British rival Cadbury a few years ago,
is present in 53 countries.
Forbes magazine described Ferrero
as “the richest candy man on the
planet ”, putting him and his family in
30th place on their list of the world’s
wealthiest people, with a net worth of
$23.4 billion. — Reuters
Chocolate, Nutella tycoon Ferrero dies
An ex-girlfriend of Prince Andrew has
spoken out in his defence in the wake of
allegations the Queen’s second son slept
with a teenage sex slave.
Virginia Roberts, who lived for a time
in New South Wales with her Australian
husband, claims she was trained by
billionaire and convicted paedophile
Jeffrey Epstein to be an underage sex
slave to him and his powerful friends —
including Prince Andrew.
But Koo Stark, who dated Andrew
after his return from the Falklands war
in 1982, says the allegations, made in
legal papers filed in the United States,
amount to an “assassination of his
Writing in British tabloid The Mail on
Sunday the American-born actress, 58,
said she was furious when she heard the
“ lurid allegations” made against a man
she had known for more than 30 years.
“ He was being accused of the very
worst kind of behaviour,” Stark wrote.
“The stain on his reputation is spilling
across his life like blood from a new
“ I know too much about the media and
the law courts to allow the disgrace of an
“That is why I have decided to
now reveal some of the details of my
relationship with Andrew. I believe him
to be a good man.”
The former actress argued that the
Duke of York was very attractive to
women so “what need would he have
for any women to be supplied for forced
She writes he had “impeccable
manners” and did not drink alcohol
which contradicts Ms Roberts’s
Stark dated dated Andrew for 18
months before he went on to marry
Sarah Ferguson in 1986.
Roberts claims Epstein kept her as a
sex slave between 1999 and 2002 when
she was aged between 15 and 17.
Buckingham Palace did not comment
on Stark’s inter vention.
Prince Andrew, 54, vehemently denies
the claims and the palace has stated they
are “false and without foundation”.
Prince Andrew’s ex
speaks in his defence
If sales are anything to go by, the floor-
length skirt is on its way to becoming
a fashion trend by popular acclaim,
according to Germany’s fashion trade
Pleated skirts, long common as festive
dress in hotter, more conser vative
countries, are seeing strong sales
Even in cold climates, the pleated skirt
is being adapted to keep the wearer
warm: combined with boots, a woollen
pullover and a parka jacket, the skirts
make a very striking fashion statement.
Floor-length skirt back in fashion
Troubled British supermarket giant
Tesco could axe as many as 10,000 jobs
under plans to shut 43 British stores in a
Tesco, which revealed the closures
in January, has already confirmed that
2000 jobs are under threat but the
Sunday Telegraph reports the figure
could be five times higher as boss
Dave Lewis attempts to reverse sliding
About 6000 of the job losses would
be from head office and the 43 store
closures, with the rest coming from an
overhaul of the supermarket ’s operating
Tesco, which has a British workforce of
more than 310,000, had unveiled plans
to shut unprofitable branches, sell assets
and axe its shareholder dividend in a bid
to revive its fortunes after an accounting
The group also decided to slash capital
expenditure, revise its store building
program and sell its broadband internet
arm, its television-streaming ser vice
Blinkbox and its Dunhumby data
Lewis hopes to cut head office costs
by 30%, saving £250 million ($515.6
Tesco, suffering from fierce competition
in Britain from supermarket price wars
and German-owned discounters Aldi
and Lidl, also faces various probes after
the giant admitted in October to having
overstated its profits by £263 million.
The European Space Agency
(ESA) says it has destroyed its last
supply ship to the International
Space Station, bringing a seven-
year venture to a successful close.
The last of five robot delivery
vessels that ESA pledged for the
United States-led ISS project,
the Georges Lemaitre, burned up
in a planned plunge into Earth’s
atmosphere, the agency said.
At the control centre in Toulouse,
the end of the project was greeted
with emotional scenes, according to
an ESA tweet, while Nasa sent its
congratulations, also via Twitter.
The spaceship had separated from
the ISS on Saturday at the end of
a six-month mission to bring air,
water, food and other essentials to
the space station’s crew.
Nearly 11m long and weighing
about 20 tonnes at launch, the so-
called automated transfer vehicles
(ATVs) have been a testbed for
After launch by an Ariane 5 rocket
from ESA’s base in Kourou, French
Guiana, they navigated their way
to the ISS by starlight and docked
During their mission, they were
used for storage and habitation, and
their onboard thrusters boosted
the altitude of the ISS, which is
in low Earth orbit and plucked by
lingering atmospheric molecules.
The ATVs were filled with rubbish
and human waste for their final trip.
First launched in March 2008, the
five vessels brought up a total of 32
tonnes in resupplies, accounting for
ESA’s 8% share of the ISS’s running
costs under a barter arrangement.
They were all named after
inspirational Europeans in space
The first, the Jules Verne, was
named after the 19th-century
French forerunner of science
fiction, who wrote Journey to the
Centre of the Earth and From the
Earth to the Moon. The following
three were named after astronomer
Johannes Kepler and physicists
Edoardo Amaldi and Albert
Einstein. George Lemaitre, a
Belgian priest and cosmologist, was
father of the “Big Bang” theory of
the creation of the universe.
The cylindrical ATV design is to
be adapted to become the ser vice
module of Nasa’s Orion spacecraft,
a rocket-and-capsule successor to
the space shuttle. — AFP
Last space station supply ship destroyed
The federal government is set to crack
down on who qualifies for residency,
citizenship and welfare in a bid to
tighten national security.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has taken
to You Tube to warn there will be no
more “ benefit of the doubt” for those
who might want to harm Australia.
He has also indicated tougher
enforcement of bail laws.
“It’s clear to me, that for too long, we
have given those who might be a threat
to our country the benefit of the doubt,”
“There’s been the benefit of the doubt
at our borders, the benefit of the doubt
for residency, the benefit of the doubt for
citizenship and the benefit of the doubt
“And in the courts, there has been bail,
when clearly there should have been jail.”
The comments come with Abbott
to next week make a detailed national
He is also expected within days to
deliver the government ’s response to an
inquiry into the handling of the Sydney
Lindt cafe siege.
News Corp Australia said one item being
considered as part of the statement is a
proposal by newly-appointed government
whip Andrew Nikolic for Australia to
follow moves in Britain, France and
Canada on suspending the citizenship of
anyone involved in terrorism or revoking
the citizenship of dual nationals.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has
denied that ending the benefit of the
doubt means ending the presumption of
innocence until proven guilty.
Authorities needed to bring “fresh eyes”
to overseeing border protection, she said.
The cafe siege gunman Man Horan
Monis had been given the benefit of
the doubt many times and had made
fraudulent claims, Bishop said. “ We
will be looking at the procedures and
processes in place and how we can better
check out stories that are presented to
Australian Greens leader Christine
Milne said the prime minister’s
comments showed his desperation.
“He’s trying to press the terror button,
press the fear, anxiety, difference, division
button, in order to shore up his own
position,” she said today. — AAP
Abbott flags security crackdown
Links Archive February 14th 1015 February 17th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page