Home' Greymouth Star : March 11th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Wednesday, March 11, 2015
overnight accused Germany of using
legal tricks to avoid paying reparations
for the Nazi occupation of Greece and
said he would support parliamentary
efforts to review the matter.
His comments are likely to heighten
tensions between Athens and Berlin
as Greece’s new, leftist government
struggles to persuade its euro zone
partners to renegotiate the terms of a
240 billion euro ($353 billion) bailout.
Germany last month rejected renewed
calls from Greece for war compensation,
saying the issue had been settled at
world power talks that led to German
reunification in 1990.
But Tsipras said his government
approved plans to revive a parliamentary
commission to look into the issue.
“After the reunification of Germany in
1990, the legal and political conditions
were created for this issue to be solved.
But since then, German governments
chose silence, legal tricks and delay,”
Tsipras told a parliamentary debate.
“I wonder, because there is a lot of talk
at the European level these days about
moral issues: is this stance moral?” he
The campaign for war damages has been
waged for decades both by former Greek
governments and private citizens. But it
has recently gained momentum due to
painful economic measures imposed on
Greece under the international bailout
The Greek government has not
officially quantified its reparation claims,
and Berlin has long said that it has
already honoured all its war obligations,
including a payment of 115 million
deutschmarks (59 million euros) to
Greece in 1960.
Tsipras said the 1960 deal covered
compensation only for the victims
of Nazi horrors, not the destruction
wrought on Greece by the 1941-44
occupation during World War Two.
Greeks have directed much of their
fury over their bailout terms at Germany,
the biggest financial contributor.
Relations have soured further since
Tsipras won a snap election in January
on the back of promises to end to the
worst of the budget rigour. Berlin has
insisted that past commitments must be
Reiterating this tough line, German
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble
said overnight desperately needed
aid would not be handed over until
international lenders had agreed that
Greece had delivered on its reform
Greek ministers bristled at his
“Mr Schaeuble is the main supporter of
failed policies in Greece and in Europe,”
Nikos Pappas, a minister without
portfolio who is viewed as close to the
prime minister, said.
“His obsession and insistence on the
same policy and style are incongruous
with the course toward a united and
democratic Europe,” he told reporters
outside the Greek parliament. — Reuters
Greece to seek
The United States National
Security Agency is being sued by an
array of groups challenging one of its
mass sur veillance programmes that
they said violates Americans’ privacy
worldwide by dissidents living under
The lawsuit, filed overnight in
federal court in Maryland, where
the spy agency is based, said the
NSA is violating US constitutional
protections and the law by tapping
into high-capacity cables, switches
and routers that move internet traffic
through the US.
The lawsuit is a new potential
legal front for privacy advocates
who have brought challenges to
US spying programmes since 2013,
when documents leaked by former
NSA contractor Edward Snowden
revealed the long reach of American
Other lawsuits have challenged the
bulk collection of telephone metadata
and are pending in US appeals courts.
The litigation announced overnight,
however, takes on what is often
called “upstream” collection because
it happens along the so-called
backbone of the internet and away
from individual users. The plaintiffs
include the Wikimedia Foundation,
the conser vative Rutherford Institute
and other organisations.
Bulk collection there violates
the First Amendment of the US
freedom of speech and association,
and the Fourth Amendment, which
protects against unreasonable search
and seizure, the lawsuit said.
An Obama administration official
said: “ We’ve been very clear about
what constitutes a valid target of
electronic sur veillance. The act of
innocuously updating or reading an
on-line article does not fall into that
The US Department of Justice,
which was named as a defendant
along with the NSA, said it was
reviewing the lawsuit. The NSA did
not respond to requests for comment.
“By tapping the backbone of
the Internet, the NSA is straining
the backbone of democracy,” Lila
Tretikov, executive director of the
Wikimedia Foundation, which runs
the on-line encyclopedia Wikipedia,
said in a statement. One potential
roadblock the plaintiffs face is that
the government could try to assert
what is known as the State secrets
privilege, saying that continuing with
the lawsuit would expose classified
information, Carrie Cordero, director
of national security studies at
Georgetown University Law Centre,
Tretikov and Wikipedia founder
Jimmy Wales wrote in the New
York Times’ opinion pages they were
concerned about where data on their
users ends up after it is collected
in bulk by the NSA. Citing close
intelligence ties between the United
States and Egypt, they said a user
in Egypt would have reason to fear
reprisal if she edited a page about the
country’s political opposition.
The seven other plaintiffs in the
suit are Amnesty International USA,
PEN American Centre, the Nation
magazine, Human Rights Watch,
the National Association of Criminal
Defence Lawyers, Global Fund for
Women, and the Washington Office
on Latin America.
The American Civil Liberties
Union Foundation and the law firm
Proskauer Rose are representing the
plaintiffs. — Reuters
Lawsuit claims NSA illegally taps ‘backbone’ of internet
Solar Impulse 2 has landed in India,
completing the first major sea leg of
its epic bid to become the first solar-
powered plane to fly around the world.
The aircraft touched down in the
western state of Gujarat at 11.25pm
local time yesterday to finish its
second leg in a little less than 16
hours after taking off from the Omani
Live footage on its website showed
a faint line of white-and-blue lights
of the plane in the pitch-black night
as the Solar Impulse 2 approached
Gujarat ’s main city of Ahmedabad.
Members in the control room
applauded as pilot Bertrand Piccard,
who was at the controls on the
1465km journey over the Arabian Sea,
landed at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
The Solar Impulse will be in
Ahmedabad for four days during
which “several events are planned on
the theme of renewable energy and
sustainable development ”, according
to the Swiss embassy.
The aircraft will embark on its fourth
leg to Myanmar on March 16 after
making a short stop at the Hindu holy
city of Varanasi in northern India.
The sea legs pose the greatest
challenge for the Solar Impulse team
as any loss of power over the water
would leave the pilot no alternative
but to bail out and await rescue by
Much bigger crossings lie ahead
as Piccard and fellow Swiss aviator
Andre Borschberg, who alternate at
the controls of the single-seat aircraft,
traverse the great oceans.
The longest single leg will take one
of them flying solo non-stop for five
days and nights across the Pacific from
Nanjing, China to Hawaii, a distance
of 8500km. — AFP
Solar plane lands in India
Pilot Andre Boschberg, right, chats with pilot Bertrand Piccard after
Boschberg landed Solar Impulse 2 in Muscat. Piccard piloted the flight to
Three London schoolgirls who
fled to Syria to join the Islamic
State group are believed to have
funded their travel by stealing
jewellery from relatives, British
MPs have been told.
Kadiza Sultana, 16, Shamima
Begum and Amira Abase, both 15,
flew to Istanbul on February 17
and are feared to have continued
to Syria to become so-called “jihadi
brides” with IS militants.
The three paid more than £1000
($2069) in cash to a travel agent for
their flights to Turkey, the Home
Affairs Select Committee heard
Asked how they raised the funds,
Metropolitan Police Assistant
Commissioner Mark Rowley, the
national police lead for counter-
terrorism, told the committee it was
believed they had stolen from their
families. “ We think it’s linked to
taking jewellery from one of their
family members,” he said.
Earlier, Met Commissioner Sir
Bernard Hogan-Howe apologised
for failing to communicate more
directly with the families, but
insisted there was nothing more the
force could have done to stop them
It has since emerged the trio were
among seven schoolgirls handed
letters by the police about another
15-year-old who ran away to Syria
Earlier, relatives of the girls
demanded an apology from the
police for failing to hand the crucial
letter directly to their parents.
Sir Bernard said he was sorry the
family was in such a situation, and
that the letter never got through.
“I don’t think we would go as far
as saying therefore that caused the
girls to go. There was nothing more
we could have done to prevent
that,” he said.
“In hindsight, we now know that
these girls were planning to go and
neither the family, the police, the
school nor anyone else realised that.
“That ’s the sequence of events,
the circumstances the parents find
themselves in is a terrible situation
and they must be worried sick,
about how those girls are.” — PA
Syria-bound girls stole jewellery
Clinton regrets not using official e-mail
Probable White House candidate
Hillary Clinton has admitted she
made a mistake in choosing for
convenience not to use an official
e-mail account when she was
Secretary of State.
But, in remarks to reporters
overnight after attending a United
Nations event, she insisted that her
e-mail set-up had been properly
secure and she had turned over all
professional communications to the
“ Looking back, it would have
been better for me to use two
separate phones and two e-mail
accounts,” Clinton said, amid a
political uproar over her decision to
operate a personal e-mail ser ver.
and first lady, the presumptive
frontrunner for the Democratic
Party’s presidential nomination in
2016, has been accused of trying to
improperly keep her e-mails out of
the public domain.
“ I opted for convenience to use my
personal e-mail account, which was
allowed by the State Department,
because I thought it would be easier
to carry just one device for my work
and for my personal e-mails instead
of two,” she said.
After she left office, she said, “we
went through a thorough process
to identify all of my work-related
e-mails and deliver them to the
State Department ”.
She welcomed the news that
the State Department has begun
the process of declassifying about
30,000 professional e-mails that
she had handed over to them.
But she admitted that another
approximately 30,000 personal
e-mails had now been deleted — a
fact that will probably be seized on
by her critics.
“About half were personal that
were not in any way related to my
work. I had no reason to save them,”
“The ser ver will remain private,
and I think that the State
Department will be able over time
to release all of the records that
were provided.” — AFP
The orange overalls worn by cleaners in
Jordan’s capital Amman will be replaced
because they look the same as those
of hostages murdered in Islamic State
group videos, city authorities say.
The overalls — believed to be meant as
a symbol of the United States detention
facility at Guantanamo Bay — have been
worn by hostages killed by the IS group
in grisly videos, including a Jordanian
pilot burned alive last month.
Starting from March 20, Amman’s
more than 6000 street cleaners will trade
in their orange jumpsuits for turquoise
uniforms, city authorities said overnight.
The decision was taken at the request
of city residents and the brother of Maaz
al-Kassasbeh, the deceased pilot, because
“the colour orange is now associated
with the terrorist practices of Daesh,”
the statement said, using an Arabic
acronym for IS.
Turquoise was chosen after a poll
conducted on the city’s website and
though social media, the statement said.
Jordan is a member of the US-led
coalition carrying out air strikes against
IS and intensified its campaign after the
killing of Kassasbeh. — AFP
Jordanian cleaners dump orange overalls
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