Home' Greymouth Star : March 26th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Surrounded by tie-dyed t-shirts
and marijuana pipes at her gift shop
in the Colorado mountain town
of Nederland, veteran pot activist
Kathleen Chippi seems an unlikely
candidate to have voted no when
the State legalised recreational weed
She says the measure was ‘fake’
legalisation because marijuana
remains prohibited by federal law,
and users, including medicinal pot
patients and their caregivers, still
risk having their lives ruined by
prosecution and jail time.
But in what appears to be a largely
symbolic move of her own, Chippi
is now leading an effort to have
Nederland, population about 1500,
declared the world’s first ‘sanctuary’
for therapeutic and spiritual
consumers of the drug.
Based on the ‘sanctuary city’
laws that dozens of United States
cities used to shield Central and
Southern American refugees from
deportation in the 1980s, the
proposal is likely to go to residents
for a vote in the fall.
“Just like with immigration policy,
we need a place where people can
be protected,” Chippi, speaking in
her shop near the foot of the snow-
capped Indian Peaks Wilderness
Protecting the spiritual use of
cannabis is crucial for the 46-year-
old, who bears more than a passing
resemblance to Janis Joplin. Several
years ago she founded the Closer
to the Heart Cannabis Ministry,
which she says has more than 300
members who believe marijuana is
the Biblical Tree of Life, and that
its use is a sacrament.
She opened Nederland ’s first
medical pot dispensary in 2009,
and eventually had more than 2400
patients, she said.
But Chippi shut its doors
the following year, angered by
regulations passed by Colorado
lawmakers that she viewed as a
‘violation of the constitutional
rights of sick people.’ She has since
sued the State six times seeking
changes in the rules and greater
clarity for users and caregivers. At
the same time, she began planning a
The proposal, drafted by Denver
attorney Danyel Joffe, would
prohibit the town from using
funds to enforce any marijuana law
affecting therapeutic or spiritual
uses of cannabis, as long as its use
harmed no one else.
“I wanted to help them because
it’s my belief that cannabis is not an
evil weed. There are people who use
it for spiritual purposes,” Joffe said.
“ Yes, some people abuse it, but that
doesn’t mean other people should
be harmed as a result.”
Nederland, which began life in
the 1850s as a trading post where
European settlers could do business
with local Ute Indians, later
turned into a mining town. In
more recent decades it became a
draw for hippies and those
attracted to its quirky, easy-going
This month the town hosted its
annual Frozen Dead Guy Days
festival, celebrating an effort by a
Nor wegian immigrant to preser ve
his grandfather’s corpse. The event
features music, beer and events such
as coffin races, a polar plunge and
frozen salmon tossing.
Town Administrator Alisha Reis
said the Nederland attorney ’s
office does not have an opinion
on Chippi’s proposed ordinance
yet because she has not formally
“ We are planning to process this
initiative just like any other,” Reis
said. — Reuters
Investigators have retrieved cockpit voice
recordings from one of the black boxes of
the German Airbus plane that smashed
into the Alps, killing everyone onboard, and
they expect a preliminary read-out of their
content in days, an official said overnight.
The development came as French President
Francois Hollande, Germany ’s Angela
Merkel and Spain’s Mariano Rajoy travelled
to the crash site in a remote French Alpine
region to pay tribute to the 150 victims,
mostly Germany and Spanish.
However, while Hollande promised that
authorities would not rest until the causes
of the crash were known, France’s BEA
air incident investigation bureau said it
was still far too early to draw meaningful
conclusions on why the plane, operated by
the Germanwings budget arm of Lufthansa,
“ We have just been able to extract a
useable audio data file,” BEA director
Remi Jouty told a news conference at its
headquarters outside Paris.
“ We have not yet been able to study and to
establish an exact timing for all the sounds
and words heard on this file,” he said.
He expected initial analysis in “a matter
of days” but that rough read-out could be
subject to errors and that more work would
be needed for a full interpretation.
Although he said ‘words’ had been heard
on the tape, Jouty would not confirm
whether that meant the Airbus A320’s pilots
were conscious and he gave no details of the
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve
earlier said a terror attack was not the main
hypothesis being worked on. Jouty said,
however, that no theory could be excluded at
While stressing it was too early to form
a clear picture, he ruled out a mid-air
explosion having taken place and said the
crash scenario did not appear to be linked to
Jouty said the second black box had not
yet been found but could not confirm
Hollande’s remark that its casing had.
Among the new details, he said the airliner
had flown in a straight line directly into the
mountain — but would not say whether that
suggested at the hand of a pilot or auto-
Germanwings said 72 Germans were
killed in yesterday ’s crash, the first major air
passenger disaster on French soil since the
2000 Concorde accident just outside Paris.
Spanish officials said 51 Spaniards were
among the victims.
As well as Germans and Spaniards, victims
included three Americans, a Moroccan and
citizens of Britain, Argentina, Australia,
Belgium, Colombia, Denmark, Israel, Japan,
Mexico, Iran and the Netherlands, officials
said. However DNA checks to identify them
could take weeks, the French government
Hollande, Merkel and Rajoy thanked
search teams and met residents in the village
of Seyne-les-Alpes, where the salvaging
operation has been set up.
A tribute ceremony took place on a site
with a view in the distance of the mountain
against which the Airbus crashed.
Earlier, Lufthansa said it could not
explain why the Airbus run by its low-cost
Germanwings unit crashed.
“It is inexplicable this could happen to a
plane free of technical problems and with
an experienced, Lufthansa-trained pilot,” its
chief executive, Carsten Spohr told reporters
Lufthansa said the 24-year-old plane
had just had repairs to the hatch through
which the nose wheel descends for landing.
A spokeswoman said that was not a safety
issue but that repairs had been done to
Police and forensic teams on foot and
in helicopters investigated the site about
100km north of Nice where the airliner
slammed into mountains in what aviation
officials was a sharp descent but not freefall.
“ When we go to a crash site we expect
to find part of the fuselage. But here we
see nothing at all,” pilot Xavier Roy, co-
ordinating air operations, said of the confetti
Roy said teams of investigators had been
dropped by helicopter onto the site and
were working roped together at altitudes of
Germanwings said it cancelled one flight
yesterday and was using 11 planes from
other carriers for about 40 flights after some
of its crew members had refused to fly.
Employees laid candles and flowers by
Germanwings headquarters at Cologne/
Bonn airport, while Lufthansa and
Germanwings staff worldwide held a
moment of silence at 10.53am local time —
the moment the plane went missing.
Among the victims were 16 teenagers
and two teachers from the Joseph-Koenig-
Gymnasium high school in the town of
Haltern am See in northwest Germany. They
were on their way home after a Spanish
exchange visit near Barcelona.
Germanwings said yesterday the plane
started descending a minute after reaching
cruising height and lost altitude for eight
minutes. Experts said that while the Airbus
had descended rapidly, it did not seem to
have simply fallen out of the sky.
The A320 is one of the world’s most used
passenger jets and has a good safety record.
At 24-years-old, the plane was older than
many others at Lufthansa, where the average
for its fleet is 11-and-a -half years. It was
delivered to Lufthansa in 1991 and had
clocked up around 58,000 flight hours over
46,000 flights, Airbus said. — Reuters
8 - Thursday, March 26, 2015
Crash black box
damaged but viable
Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, left, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, centre, France’s President Francois Hollande and
officials walk on a field near the crash site of Germanwings Airbus A320 near Seyne-les-Alpes.
Debris at the crash site of the Airbus A320.
Activist wants town to be made ‘sanctuary’ for drug users
Kathleen Chippi in her shop in Nederland, Colorado.
Plans to demolish Perth’s infamously
unfinished mansion, dubbed the Taj
Mahal on the Swan, will be fought by the
owners who still plan to live there one day.
The $70 million doomed eyesore
regularly attracts trespassers and has been
covered in graffiti since being abandoned
by fertiliser magnates Pankaj and Radhika
Oswal in 2011.
The Shire of Peppermint Grove voted
unanimously on Tuesday night to
demolish the derelict structure, which
had been planned to include a temple,
gym, obser vatory with a revolving roof
and parking for 17 cars.
When their empire collapsed in 2010,
the Oswals left Australia and still owe
millions of dollars in taxes.
Shire chief executive John Merrick said
that lawyers for the Oswals had 21 days
to appeal the demolition order to the
State Administrate Tribunal.
A lawyer for Ms Oswal, Rebekah Giles,
said they had been in talks with the shire
since November and were disappointed
they had not yet been officially informed
of the council’s resolution.
Ms Giles said her client ’s efforts to
resolve the council’s concerns were
frequently frustrated by the shire’s media
campaign against the structure.
Any attempts to have the structure
demolished will be resisted, she said.
It is Ms Oswal’s intention to finish the
construction of her family home and
reside in it.
Ms Giles said her client would continue
to engage contractors to deal with the
health and safety concerns raised and talk
with the council to resolve all outstanding
issues. — AAP
Israeli President Reuven
Rivlin has taken Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu to task
over an attempt to ramp up
right wing votes by playing the
anti-Arab race card.
In a statement released shortly
before he was to publicly task
Netanyahu with forming the
next government, Rivlin took
aim at remarks in which he tried
to galvanise right wing voters by
saying Arab Israelis were “going
to the polls in droves”.
The remark sparked a huge
backlash, with United States
phoning Netanyahu to express
“ We were fortunate to see
a higher voter turnout than
the last election. A high voter
turnout is the realisation of
democracy, and a blessing
to democracy,” said Rivlin,
formerly a veteran member
Likud but also one of Israel’s
most outspoken defenders of
“How awful would it be, if the
democratic duty to vote, were to
be seen as a curse, or something
from which to be warned off ?
“One who is afraid of votes
in a ballot box will eventually
see stones thrown in the
Voter turnout in the March
17 election reached 72.4%, the
highest figure in decades.
Among Israel’s Arab minority,
who make up a fifth of the
population, turnout was over
65%, up more than 10 percentage
points on the previous election.
This week, Netanyahu issued
an apology, saying: “I know
that the things I said a few days
ago hurt Arab Israelis. I had
absolutely no intention that that
would happen. I’m sorry about
But his words were given short
shrift by Ayman Odeh, head
of the Joint List which groups
Israel’s main Arab parties that
won 13 of Knesset ’s 120 seats,
becoming the third largest
grouping in parliament.
“His excuses are not acceptable
because not only does Benjamin
Netanyahu plan to bring in
racist legislation but his words
challenged the very right of
Arab Israelis to vote for the
Knesset,” he said. — AFP
Netanyahu chastised over Arab voter remark
A team from a Spanish university has
discovered what Egyptian authorities
are calling the world’s oldest evidence
of breast cancer in the 4200-year-old
skeleton of an adult woman.
el-Damaty said the bones of the
woman, who lived at the end of the
6th Pharaonic Dynasty, showed ‘an
“The study of her remains shows the
typical destructive damage provoked
by the extension of a breast cancer as
a metastasis,” he said in a statement
Despite being one of the world’s
leading causes of death today, cancer
is virtually absent in archaeological
records compared to other diseases
which has given rise to the idea
that cancers are mainly attributable to
modern lifestyles and to people living
But the finding, along with evidence
reported last year by British researchers
of metastatic cancer in a 3000-year-old
skeleton found in a tomb in modern
Sudan, suggests cancer was around in
the Nile Valley in ancient times.
The anthropological team from the
University of Jaen said the Egyptian
woman was an aristocrat from
Elephantine, the country’s southern-
Her remains were discovered in the
necropolis of Qubbet el-Hawa, west
of the southern city of Aswan, the
According to the World Health
Organisation’s cancer research agency,
new cancer cases rose to an estimated
14m a year in 2012, a figure seen rising
to 22m within 20 years. — Reuters
United States food
giants Heinz and Kraft
will merge to become
third largest food and
The two firms
announced the deal
in a joint statement
shareholders will retain
a 51% stake in the new
Kraft Heinz Company,
and Heinz’s controlling
Buffet and 3G Capital
of Brazil, will reinvest
$12.70 billion in
the new group, the
Heinz and Kraft to merge
Oldest evidence of
breast cancer found
A father who says he tried to
stop his 12-year-old daughter
marrying a 26-year-old man,
“could not stop her”, a court has
But he denied the marriage
celebrant had asked whether the
couple were adults before the
The man has been charged
with procuring a child aged
under 14 for unlawful sexual
activity and being an accessory
before the fact to a serious
On Wednesday, Muhammad
Tasawar, the sheikh who
conducted the girl’s ‘marriage’,
said he asked the couple whether
they were adults.
The father’s defence barrister
Mario Licha said Mr Tasawar
never asked his client about
“I did,” the sheikh replied
through an interpreter.
During his judge-alone trial
yesterday, the Sydney District
Court heard the father told a
child protection worker he tried
to prevent his daughter from
marrying the man.
had concerns for my
daughter but couldn’t stop her,”
the protection worker said she
was told by the father during an
“I said she can’t have sex
outside of marriage.”
The ‘husband’, who cannot be
named, was earlier this month
sentenced to at least seven and
a half years in jail for persistent
sexual abuse between January 11
and February 5 last year.
After he was arrested in
February last year, the girl was
taken to hospital suffering a
sharp abdominal pain, the court
heard during his trial.
She was having an ectopic
pregnancy and miscarried.
The father told the bride on
her wedding day neither she
nor her husband should use
contraception, the crown alleged
earlier in the trial.
He hosted the pair at his home
the weekend after the wedding
and allegedly arranged a marital
The next morning he asked
his daughter if she needed to
shower before prayers, in line
with Islamic practice after sexual
intercourse, the court has heard.
The trial continues. — A AP
Dad tried to stop 12-year-old girl from marrying
Bosworth Battlefield (England)
King Richard III’s closest
known relatives have set foot
on Bosworth Battlefield where
was slain, feeling the historic
moment come to life on the eve
of his reburial.
In the spring sunshine, four
relatives of the last Plantagenet
king stood in the quiet rolling
Leicestershire fields, imagining
the brutal clash that changed
the course of English history.
All direct female line
descendants of Richard’s eldest
sister Anne of York, they were
given a tour of the battlefield
by expert archaeologists, and
shown artefacts that helped
researchers identify the site.
University genealogists linked
the four relatives to the skeleton
found beneath a car park in
Leicester, central England three
years ago, and their positive
DNA tests confirmed the bones
belonged to the last English
king to die in battle.
Siblings Michael, Jeff and
Leslie Ibsen from Canada —
nephews and nieces 16 times
removed — and Australian-
born Wendy Duldig, a niece 18
times removed, were told how
Richard’s forces succumbed.
“It’s an interesting experience
to be standing on the edge of
a farmer’s field and to be told
that it ’s highly likely Richard
was killed within a few hundred
metres of where I was standing,”
Michael Ibsen said.
“It all becomes much more
tangible,” said the London-
based carpenter, 58, who,
fittingly, built Richard’s new oak
“Some 530 years ago, he was
here and cut down, with chaos
raging around. History is
leaping up and coming alive.”
Richard, the last of the
Plantagenet dynasty, ruled from
1483 until his death at the Battle
of Bosworth near Leicester,
central England, in 1485.
It was the last major conflict
in the Wars of the Roses and
Richard’s defeat aged 32 saw the
crown pass to the Tudor dynasty.
Richard’s remains will be
reburied at Leicester Cathedral
Richard III’s family visit Bosworth battlefield
A primary school head teacher
has been charged with having
tricked blindfolded pupils into
oral sex during a workshop on
experiencing new tastes.
Grenoble prosecutor Jean-Yves
Coquillat said overnight the
suspect, a 45-year old father, had
been charged with “aggravated
rape, sexual assault on minors
procurement and possession
of child pornography,”
remanded in custody.
The move came a day after
the school principal confessed
to accusations he manipulated
pupils into performing oral sex
acts on him during the workshop.
The children were blindfolded
and asked to describe items they
were given to taste.
Coquillat added that nine
complaints have been filed
against the suspect by two boys
and seven girls — aged six and
seven — who had been pupils
in his class in Villefontaine, near
the city of Lyon in south-eastern
The shock and horror at the
Mas de la Ras school and across
France in reaction to the assaults
deepened further with revelations
yesterday that the principal had
obtained his job despite a 2008
conviction for possessing child
which carried a six-month
suspended jail term and an order
to receive specialised treatment
did not prohibit him from
working with children.
Authorities responsible for the
school said they had received
no information about the 2008
conviction when the suspect was
hired in late 2014.
They also said they had gotten
no indication his name was in
a national database of child sex
offenders, but noted systematic
consultation of that list was
limited to entry-level hires and
interns. — AFP
Teacher admits tricking pupils in to sex act
Australian $70m mansion
to be demolished
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