Home' Greymouth Star : February 25th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 7
Mayor puts Hungarian village up for rent
A Hungarian mayor is putting his
entire village up for rent to put it on
the map and bring in some cash, even
offering the deputy mayorship as part
of the bargain.
For 210,000 forints ($1064) a day,
interested parties can rent out all
facilities in the pretty but largely
deserted village of Megyer, which
has a population of 18 and is located
180km south-west of Budapest.
An advertisement posted on-line
says rental includes use of Megyer’s
four streets, two of them sealed and
two gravel, as well as the mayor’s
office, the cultural centre, the bus
stop, and seven furnished “peasant-
“A law I brought in means an
outsider can also become the
deputy mayor for a weekend, and
even change the street names if you
want,” Megyer Mayor Kristof Pajer
Tenants can also use the village
co-operative’s six horses, two cows,
three sheep, poultry house and four
hectares of arable land.
A 42-year-old engineer from
Budapest, Pajer said he fell in love
with tiny Megyer when he first
passed by it by chance 10 years ago.
A year later, soon after buying
a property there, he was elected
Pajer said his goal was to save
Megyer from the slow death suffered
by many remote Hungarian villages
whose young people leave for
Budapest or abroad as soon as they
“ Megyer was always poor, but it has
kept its charming rustic atmosphere,”
says Pajer, who lives and works mostly
in Budapest but visits the village once
“ I hope the advertisement will bring
Megyer some revenue, but more
importantly some attention. ” — AFP
Jihadists from the Islamic State group
have kidnapped at least 90 Assyrian
Christians in north-east Syria, after
overrunning two villages, a monitor
The abductions appeared to be the first
time the group has kidnapped Christians
en masse in Syria, though the jihadists
have taken thousands of prisoners as
they have advanced in the country and
The Syrian Obser vatory for Human
Rights (SRGC), a Britain-based
monitor, said IS kidnapped the 90
Assyrians yesterday after seizing two
villages in Hassakeh province.
The group had no immediate details
on those kidnapped, including whether
women and children were among them,
or where they were being held.
There were just 30,000 Assyrians
in Syria before the country’s conflict
erupted in March 2011, with most
of them living throughout Hassakeh
They represent a tiny percentage of the
country’s overall Christian population,
which numbered about 1.2 million
people before the war.
The 90 Assyrians were kidnapped
after IS fighters overran the villages of
Tal Shamiram and Tal Hermuz, which
had been under the control of Kurdish
People’s Protection Unit (YPG) fighters.
Fierce clashes broke out yesterday
between IS and YPG forces for control
of the two villages as well as the nearby
town of Tal Tamr, which remains under
After the clashes, IS forces set fire to
part of a church near Tal Tamr, before
installing some of their fighters in the
remains of the building, the Syrian
activist network reported.
The US-led coalition fighting IS, which
has backed Kurdish forces battling
the group, then bombed the building,
destroying it and killing IS forces inside,
the SRGC said.
Control of Hassakeh province is largely
divided between Kurdish forces, who in
some places patrol with regime troops,
and IS fighters.
YPG fighters have since last week been
advancing in the province, expanding
on their gains further west in Raqa and
Since recapturing the strategic border
town of Kobane in Aleppo from IS
fighters on January 26, YPG forces have
taken dozens of nearby villages.
They have also seized 19 villages from
IS in Raqa, where the jihadist group
has its de facto capital, and another 30
villages and hamlets in Hassakeh.
A herd of 19 manatees have been
rescued in Florida after becoming
trapped in a drain pipe while they
searched for warm waters.
A 10-hour rescue by Florida
Fish and Wildlife Conser vation
Commission and Sea World took
place yesterday off the shore of
Officials applauded the rescue
team after the lengthy mission to
free the manatees, some of which
were injured during the ordeal.
“A ‘Job Well Done’ to the Satellite
Beach Fire Department ’s technical
rescue staff who spent hours
inside the small storm water pipes
underground assisting FWC and
Sea World to locate and assess
each manatee,” Satellite Beach fire
department posted on Facebook.
“Thank you to the hundreds of
citizens who came to support and
cheer the team during this 10 hour
The animals were given some
time to rest before being returned
to Indian River Lagoon off the east
coast of Florida.
Manatees, which are common in
Florida’s waters, can measure up
to 4m long and weigh as much as
Nicknamed “sea cows” for their
large size, the aquatic mammals
are herbivores and like warm
Recent cool temperatures in
Florida probably pushed the herd
to seek warmer wading water,
Satellite Beach fire chief Don
“ It’s been cold lately and these
canals are all filled with manatees,”
“They will go wherever there’s
warm water.” — AFP
19 manatees rescued from drain pipe
A Polish court is set to hear a United
States extradition request for Oscar-
winning film director Roman Polanski
over a 1977 conviction in a child sex
If the District Court in Krakow rejects
the request, the ruling is final, but if
the judge allows the extradition to
move for ward, the Justice Ministry will
then decide whether Polanski will be
transferred to the US.
The 81-year-old film-maker is expected
to attend the Krakow hearing.
It is not clear how long the proceedings
Polanski, who holds French and Polish
citizenship, pleaded guilty 37 years ago in
California to unlawful intercourse with
then 13-year-old Samantha Geimer.
He fled to Europe in 1978 before his
sentencing and has since lived in France,
Switzerland and Poland.
Polanski rents an apartment in Krakow,
where he lived as a child in the 1930s.
Prosecutors in the US have repeatedly
pressed for Polanski to be handed over.
Polish authorities have argued that the
crime falls outside the country’s statute
of limitations, but asked the courts to
decide on the legality of the US request.
Swiss authorities detained Polanski in
September 2009, but released him on
bail two months later and in 2010 they
announced he would not be sent to the
The court is to decide early tomorrow
whether the hearings will be open to the
public and Polanski’s lawyers have asked
for the media to be banned from the
Polanski is set to begin shooting
a movie in Poland in July about the
Dreyfus affair, a political scandal that
rocked France in the late 19th century.
Polish court set
to hear Polanski
Sir Cliff ’s privacy
An agreement between the BBC and
police which led to a raid on Sir Cliff
Richard’s home being broadcast live
around the world “certainly interfered
with his privacy and may well have
independent report says.
A former chief constable has said
South Yorkshire Police should never
have a made a deal with the broadcaster
a decision taken after BBC reporter
Dan Johnson went to the force saying he
knew they were investigating the veteran
In his report, Andy Trotter said: “ The
search at Sir Cliff Richard’s apartment,
and the nature of the allegation,
generated considerable publicity across
the world, certainly interfered with
his privacy and may well have caused
“ Whatever the motivation and good
intentions of those involved from
South Yorkshire Police, the outcome
has been bad publicity for the force,
the chief constable being summoned to
the Home Affairs Select Committee,
criticism from the media and politicians,
complaints from the public, abuse on
social media and a public spat with the
“More importantly, people have seen a
search on Sir Cliff Richards’s apartment
unfold on television with details of a
serious allegation put into the public
domain prior to him being inter viewed
by the police.
“The force can argue that the search
was carried out successfully and there
was no interference to the investigation
that the threat of prior publication was
“That is true but at considerable cost to
the reputation of the force which could
have been avoided by the individuals
Trotter’s report was ordered by former
South Yorkshire Police and Crime
Commissioner Shaun Wright after
detectives searched the 74-year-old
star’s Berkshire apartment in August
while film crews from the corporation,
including one in a helicopter, caught the
event on camera.
It was released by the PCC’s office
following a freedom of information
Following the raid, Sir Cliff was
inter viewed by detectives investigating a
claim of a sex crime involving a young
boy, but was not arrested or charged.
The report concluded South Yorkshire
Police should not have confirmed “highly
sensitive and confidential” details to the
BBC or facilitated a meeting between
a senior detective and a corporation
In October, MPs on the Home Affairs
Committee branded South Yorkshire
Police “inept ” over their handling of the
event and said the force should have
refused to co-operate with the BBC.
An apparently unstable armed man
has burst into a restaurant in an eastern
Czech town, killing eight people before
killing himself, officials say.
It was the worst shooting attack in the
The interior minister ruled out
terrorism as a motive for the overnight
rampage at the Friendship restaurant in
the town of Uhersky Brod, which saw
panicked diners flee through a back door
as two dozen shots rang out.
Ner ves are running high in Europe
after the deadly Islamist attacks in Paris
in January that left 17 people dead, and
the Copenhagen shootings earlier this
month that claimed two lives.
“According to the available information,
this was not a terrorist attack, but one
carried out by an imbalanced individual,”
Interior Minister Milan Chovanec said
Mayor Patrik Kuncar said the assailant,
identified as a resident of the town in his
60s, who turned the gun on himself after
the shooting spree, was carrying two
weapons and fired 25 rounds. — AFP
Nine shot in restaurant
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The local network companies charge energy retailers like us to
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Each year New Zealand’s 29 local network companies re-evaluate
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This year, most of the network companies across New Zealand
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will be increasing their charges (some will remain the same,
while others will actually go down), there will be changes to most
With this in mind, all of our customers can rest assured that
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discount and for consistency and compliance for low user pricing.
We will be putting the new prices online as they become available
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