Home' Greymouth Star : March 19th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Thursday, March 19, 2015
A still image taken from video shows tourists running for cover as armed men stand guard at Tunisia’s national museum in Tunis.
Tourists slain in museum attack
The head of India’s Catholic bishops,
speaking out after a nun was raped in the
east of the country last week, has said the
country should be as concerned about
the welfare of its people as it is about its
The comments appeared directed
against hardline Hindu nationalists who
have stirred up animosity against India’s
Christian and Muslim minorities, while
successfully lobbying for tougher laws
against killing cows.
Cows are considered sacred by many
Indians, but beef is eaten by some poor
and lower-caste Hindus as well as by
Christians and Muslims. Campaigns
to protect cattle are often used to vilify
“The country has a responsibility
towards all of us — every human being
— a nd not just cows,” Cardinal Baselios
Cleemis said. The comments, reported in
newspapers overnight, were confirmed
by his office.
The western State of Maharashtra
banned the selling of beef in February
and the northern State of Haryana has
since imposed stringent penalties for
Cleemis spoke before visiting the
hospitalised nun who was raped at a
convent school in West Bengal, an attack
which has triggered protests on city
streets and in parliament.
Police have not established whether
the assault motive was religion or money.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the
Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP) said he was “deeply concerned”
and demanded a detailed report into
The attack was the most serious in
a series of incidents that have spread
fear among Christians since activists,
emboldened by Modi’s election victory
last year, began their “ghar wapsi”
(homecoming) campaign to convert
followers of “foreign religions” to
Indian Christians emphasise their
religion’s long history in India and say it
is an integral part of the country. Some
Hindu hardliners, however, are seeking
to define the country as primarily an
Hindu nation, in which other religions
Cleemis is head of the Syro-Malankara
Catholic Church, an Indian branch of
the faith that is in communion with
Roman Catholicism and that traces its
roots back to the Thomas the Apostle,
who tradition says arrived here in the
The same weekend as the convent
school was attacked, activists partly
demolished a church being built in the
state of Haryana, near Delhi, replacing
its cross with a Hindu image.
A few days before the demolition, a
member of parliament for Modi’s Hindu
nationalist ruling party, Subramanian
Swamy, was criticised for saying that
churches and mosques were not sacred
buildings. — Reuters
Kalashnikov-wielding gunmen have
killed at least 17 foreign tourists in
a brazen attack on Tunisia’s national
museum before being killed by police,
Polish, Italian, German and Spanish
tourists were among the dead, Prime
Minister Habib Essid said, adding that
two gunmen had been killed.
A Tunisian national and a policeman
were also reported dead.
“There is a possibility, but it is not
certain, that (the two gunmen) could
have been helped . . . and we are currently
conducting extensive search operations
to identify the two or three terrorists who
possibly participated in the operation,”
Essid said overnight.
He said the gunmen, dressed in military
uniforms, opened fire on the tourists as
they were disembarking from a bus and
chased them inside the museum.
Health Minister Said Aidi told
reporters that 38 others had been
wounded in the attack, including
citizens of France, South Africa, Poland,
Italy and Japan.
There was no immediate claim
of responsibility for the attack but
Tunisia — the birthplace of the Arab
Spring revolutionary movement — has
struggled to tackle a rise in attacks from
Some officials, including French
Prime Minister Manuel Valls, had said
hostages were taken at the museum
but this was not confirmed by Tunisian
Aroui said about 100 tourists had been
inside the museum at the time of the
He said “anti-terrorist units” had
entered the museum but refused to
confirm reports of a hostage taking.
In Brussels, Valls said he condemned
“this terrorist attack in the strongest
terms”, adding that there had been a
“ hostage taking”.
French President Francois Hollande
also expressed his country’s “solidarity”
with Tunisia, a former French colony.
The Bardo National Museum, a famed
repository of ancient artefacts, is next
door to Tunisia’s parliament, where work
was suspended during the attack.
An Islamist lawmaker, Monia Brahim,
said gunfire from the initial assault
prompted parliamentary committees
to suspend their meetings as MPs
were ordered to assemble in the main
chamber. — AFP
Mexico is searching for homes for at
least 2000 tigers, elephants, giraffes,
zebras and other exotic beasts that will
soon be banned from the country’s
Circus owners are worried about the
fate of their animals, which they say
are too expensive to keep once the ban
kicks in, while government and zoo
officials are grappling with myriad
difficulties in relocating animals raised
to perform tricks under the big top.
The prohibition does not take effect
until July 8, but many circuses have
already shut down. The legislation
stipulates that such animals should
evolve in their natural habitat and
aims to avoid animal cruelty that
civil organizations have long lobbied
“ We are waiting for a response
from the government about what will
happen to our animals,” Armando
Cedeno, president of the national
association of circus owners and artists,
Cedeno estimates there are about
4000 circus animals in Mexico, double
the government ’s tally.
In Tizayuca, near Mexico City,
45-year-old animal tamer Bruno Raffo
begins his work day at 7.30am, tending
to 13 tigers in his charge.
It costs 3000 Mexican pesos ($264)
daily just to feed the tigers, he said,
and there are also his own salary and
bills from specialised veterinarians for
Hundreds of circus workers have
been laid off, but Raffo is sticking
around, for now.
“I ’m going to stay here with the
animals to see what can be done,”
Raffo, whose arms are laced with
scratch marks from a lifetime working
with the giant cats, said.
Several circus owners have properties
in the area. Nearby, jaguars, zebras,
horses, and camels languish in cages
next to trailers filled with circus
An official from Profepa, the federal
agency for environmental protection,
said the government was evaluating
which facilities can take the animals.
But zoo officials do not see any
easy alternatives for Raffo’s tigers and
others like them.
Juan Arturo Rivera, Mexico City’s
director of zoos and wildlife, said it
was “not feasible” to add so many new
animals that were raised in a different
environment and maintain decent
living conditions for them.
Privately owned zoos have offered to
help but also say the transition would
“ It depends in great measure on the
physical and mental condition of the
individual (animals) themselves, to be
able to adapt,” Frank Carlos Camacho,
director of Africam Safari, said.
Located in the central city of Puebla,
the zoo allows visitors to obser ve wild
animals roaming the park from the
safety of their cars.
While conser vation programmes
are well-informed about zoo animals’
genetic, medical and family histories,
he said, “ little or nothing is known
about circus animals. ” — Reuters
Homes needed for banned Mexican circus animals
Tigers are seen in a cage during a media tour organised by circus workers
union, to show animals from some circuses that have already shut, in a town
called Tizayuca, near Mexico City. The prohibition does not take effect until
July 8, but many circuses have already shut down.
Bardo Museum has unique
collection of treasures
The Bardo National Museum in Tunis,
where gunmen have killed at least 17
foreign tourists, is Tunisia’s national
showcase for ancient treasures and is
renowned for its exceptional collection
Unique in the scope of its holdings,
the museum boasts objects from
prehistory, the Phoenician period and
Punic and Numidian times, as well
artefacts from the Roman, Christian
and Islamic eras.
A new wing opened in 2012, doubling
the floor space to 23,000 square metres,
after a $14.5 million face lift.
The Bardo also reorganised its
collection, to better highlight its
Among the most prized works of the
collection is The Triumph of Neptune, a
2nd century mosaic.
Originally exhibited on the floor, it was
put on the wall of the new entrance hall,
making it the largest vertical mosaic in
Adjoining the parliament building
in Tunis, and housed in a 19th century
palace, the museum greets hundreds
of thousands of visitors each year. The
record was 600,000 in 2005.
In 2011 — the year of the popular
revolt that toppled president Zine El
Abidine Ben Ali and triggered the Arab
Spring — only 100,000 people visited
Tourism, a key sector for the Tunisian
economy, has been severely affected
by the political crisis unleashed by the
revolt and by the expansion of jihadist
In 2014, tourism revenues rose 6.4% to
1.6 billion euros, but that increase was
far from the 14.5% record achieved in
In contrast, the number of tourists
dropped by 3.2% to 6.07 million.
seven for 1995
Serbian police have detained
seven people suspected of taking
part in the execution of about
1000 people at a warehouse
during the 1995 Srebrenica
The arrests are the first by
Serbian authorities over mass
killings during the atrocity.
The seven, identified only by
initials, were said to be members
of a Bosnian Serb wartime
police unit who carried out
the killings near Srebrenica in
eastern Bosnia on a single day in
About 8000 Muslim and
boys were killed and their
bodies dumped in mass graves
during the Srebrenica massacre,
considered the worst
European soil since World War
The detained men are alleged
to have “committed war crimes
against the civilian population”,
in particular at the Kravica
warehouse, the prosecutor said in
The prosecution was also
searching for several more people
believed to be in neighbouring
countries, the statement said
“This is the first case in which
our office is dealing with mass
killings that were directly part
of the Srebrenica massacre,” war
crime prosecutor’s spokesman
Bruno Vekaric said.
Previous prosecutions in
connection with mass killings
at Srebrenica have all been
mounted by either the Bosnian
authorities or the International
Criminal Tribunal for the former
Yugoslavia (ICTY ).
Bosnian Serb wartime political
and military leaders Radovan
Karadzic and Ratko Mladic
are currently on trial before the
ICTY for genocide, war crimes
and crimes against humanity,
some related to Srebrenica.
The seven arrested were
allegedly members of the
Bosnian Serb “Jahorina” special
police unit that carried out the
killings on July 13, 1995. — AFP
Palestinians gloomy on future
Ramallah (West Bank)
Palestinian leaders are calling for
international pressure on Israel and
support for their unilateral moves
toward statehood after Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s
Netanyahu’s surprise victory, after
pledging in the final days of the
campaign that there would be no
Palestinian state as long as he was
in power, left Palestinians grim
about prospects for a negotiated
solution to a decades-old conflict.
“ It is clear Israel has voted for
burying the peace process, against
the two-state choice and for the
continuation of occupation and
settlement,” Saeb Erekat, chief
Palestinian negotiator in talks with
Israel that collapsed in April, told
Voice of Palestine radio.
Seeking to shore up right-wing
votes and saying that Islamist
militants would move into any
territory relinquished by Israel,
Netanyahu also vowed to keep
building settlements on occupied
land Palestinians seek for a state.
Palestinian leaders said a fourth
term for the Likud party leader
meant they must press for ward
with unilateral steps toward
independence, including filing
charges against Israel at the
International Criminal Court.
The Palestinians are due to
become ICC members on April 1.
Erekat called in a statement
on the international community
to back Palestinian efforts “to
internationalise our struggle for
dignity and freedom through the
International Criminal Court and
through all other peaceful means”.
In the West Bank city of
Ramallah, taxi driver Zeyad Maaly
said Palestinians should now rise
up against Israel in the occupied
“There will never be peace, not
even in dreams,” he said.
Ismail Ahmed, who drives a taxi
in Hamas Islamist-run Gaza, where
Israel and Palestinian militant groups
fought a 50-day war last summer,
said Palestinians should now put
aside their differences and join in a
common front against Israel.
“This is the only way we can make
them recognise us,” Ahmed said.
Netanyahu’s stand against a
Palestinian state had already
threatened to strain ties with the
United States and Europe.
The parliaments of several
European countries, including
Britain and France, have called on
their governments to recognise an
independent state of Palestine in
the past year, reflecting exasperation
at continued settlement building
on occupied land. Sweden formally
recognised Palestine in October.
Netanyahu, who in 2009 had
endorsed the two-state solution,
seemed on course to form a coalition
government leaning further to the
right than his outgoing cabinet,
which had included two centrist
parties and engaged in the US-
brokered peace talks.
In his new coalition, Netanyahu
is expected to include his natural
allies, religious and far-right
parties, as well as one centrist party
which campaigned on internal
social-economic issues rather than
on matters of war and peace.
The United Nations said
overnight it expects Israel to
continue with the Middle East
peace process to negotiate a
Palestinian state after Israeli Prime
Minster Benjamin Netanyahu was
re-elected on a pledge to abandon
In the final days of campaigning
ahead of Israel’s election yesterday,
Netanyahu said he would not
permit a Palestinian state to be
created under his watch and
also promised to go on building
settlements on occupied land.
Ki-moon welcomed the preliminary
results of the Israeli election and
hoped for the rapid establishment
of a new government, spokesman
Farhan Haq said.
“ It is incumbent on the new
Israeli government, once formed,
to create the conditions for a
negotiated final peace agreement
with the active engagement of
the international community —
that will end the Israeli occupation
and realise the creation of a viable
Palestinian state, living in peace
and security alongside Israel,” Haq
He said this also included the
“cessation of illegal settlement
building” in the occupied
Palestinian territories. Palestinians
seek a state in Gaza, the West Bank
and east Jerusalem, lands Israel
captured in the 1967 war.
“The secretary-general firmly
believes this is also the best and only
way for ward for Israel to remain a
democratic state,” Haq said.
Ban again urged Israel to resume
transfer of tax revenue to the
Palestinians. Israel is withholding
critical tax revenue in retaliation
for Palestinian moves to join the
International Criminal Court.
Continue peace process, says UN
Turkey marks Gallipoli
Turkey has marked 100 years since the
start of the Gallipoli Campaign by the
Allies in World War One, an event seen
now as a glorious victory by Ottoman
forces and a crucial moment in the
formation of the modern Turkish state.
On March 18, 1915, joint British-
French naval forces sought to force
their way through the Dardanelles
Straits separating Europe from Asia in
a bid to take Istanbul, then known as
However the attack was repelled by
fierce Ottoman resistance, forcing the
Allies to stage a land campaign in April
that the Ottoman forces would also
defeat in a months-long battle.
Although the Ottoman Empire, allied
with Berlin, was on the losing side
in World War One and subsequently
collapsed, the Gallipoli campaign is
regarded by Turks as a seminal moment
in their history.
Addressing a ceremony overnight
marking the 100 years at the town of
Canakkale on the Dardanelles Straits,
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
described the battle as a unifying
moment in the history of Turkey.
“The heritage of the Ottoman soldiers
who sacrificed themselves will always be
carried by all Turkey,” he said.
Davutoglu paid tribute to the quarter
million Ottoman troops who took part
in the campaign.
“The battle showed that there is
nothing stronger than a nation ready
to die for their homeland and it is
impossible to capture such a nation.”
Turkish warships staged sail-by salutes
in the Dardanelles while fighter jets
performed aerobatic displays.
The resistance of the Ottoman forces is
seen as playing a key role in giving birth
to a national conciousness and leading to
victory in the War of Independence and
the creation of the modern Turkish state
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
described the battle — which would
last nine months with tens of thousands
dead on both sides — as a turning point.
“The unity, brotherhood and solidarity
displayed in Canakkale — in addition to
bringing victory — helped bolster the
fighting spirit required especially for our
independence war,” he said.
The March 18 commemorations
kicked off a large programme of events
leading up to ceremonies in April,
marking when Ottoman forces repelled
landings by combined Australian,
British, French, New Zealand and
Turkey will host the main ceremony
expected to be attended by several
world leaders — on April 24 which is
a day ahead of the anniversary of the
actual landings on April 25, marked in
Australia and New Zealand as Anzac
Day. — AFP
Facebook users in the United States
will soon be able to send their friends
money using the social network’s
The new tool announced yesterday
joins a crowded field of ser vices aimed
at an increasingly wireless and cashless
generation that let people beam money to
their friends and family using smartphones
linked to bank accounts or credit cards.
To send money, Messenger users can
tap a new “$” icon that ’s next to the
buttons that let you send photos, stickers
or a thumbs up sign.
Then, enter the amount you want to
send, tap “pay” on the top right corner
and enter your debit card number.
To receive money for the first time,
enter the card number.
Sending or receiving money is free and
only works with debit cards. — AP
Pay by Facebook
Internet Explorer to be scrapped
Microsoft is killing off Internet
Explorer and will rebrand its internet
browsing software under what is
currently code-named Project Spartan,
later this year.
Speaking at a Microsoft conference
this week, the company ’s marketing
chief Chris Capossela said Microsoft
was working on a new name and brand,
tech website The Verge reported.
“ We’re now researching what the new
brand, or the new name, for our browser
should be in Windows 10,” Capossela
“ We’ ll continue to have Internet
Explorer, but we’ ll also have a new
browser called Project Spartan, which is
codenamed Project Spartan. We have to
name the thing.”
Internet Explorer will still exist in
some versions of Windows 10, but its
replacement Project Spartan will be
named separately and will be the primary
way Windows 10 users browse the web.
Internet Explorer was designed to
counter browser pioneer Netscape at the
dawn of the internet and accounted for
an estimated 95% of browser usage after
the turn of the millennium, at one stage
being used by almost one billion people,
the Financial Times reported.
complacency and the failure to anticipate
the shift to mobile sealed the browser’s
fate and its usage has now dropped to
about 20%, the same as open-source
Google’s Chrome browser has taken
over its market and is now used by nearly
50% of web users, The Financial Times
reported. — AP-PA
Woman probed over placenta smoothies
A British woman who makes
smoothies from raw human placenta for
new mothers is under investigation by
public health officials.
Kathryn Beale, 41, from Swindon,
Wiltshire, makes the drinks blended
with fruit and juices for new mothers,
who have supplied her with their own
Last week Swindon Borough Council
applied for a hygiene emergency
prohibition order against Beale but the
application was refused.
Beale said she had voluntarily stopped
making smoothies pending a visit
from health officials to inspect hygiene
standards but insisted she operated safely.
“I understand that they have to make
sure that all food business are running
safely,” she said overnight. “I think they
have been a bit over-zealous in trying
to shut me down without doing a full
inspection.” — PA
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