Home' Greymouth Star : April 7th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
6 - Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Radiation from Japan’s 2011
Fukushima nuclear disaster has for
the first time been detected along a
North American shoreline, though
at levels too low to pose a significant
threat to human or marine life,
scientists said overnight.
Trace amounts of Caesium-134
and Caesium-137 were detected in
samples collected on February 19 off
the coast of Ucluelet, a small town
on Vancouver Island in Canada’s
British Columbia, Woods Hole
Oceanographic Institution scientist
Ken Buesseler said.
“ Radioactivity can be dangerous,
and we should be carefully
monitoring the oceans after what is
certainly the largest accidental release
of radioactive contaminants to the
oceans in history,” Buesseler said.
The levels the group detected
are extremely low. For example,
swimming in the Vancouver Island
water every day for a year would
provide a dose of radiation less than a
thousand times smaller than a single
dental x-ray, Woods Hole said.
In March 2011, an earthquake and
tsunami struck the Fukushima nuclear
plant, 209km north-east of Tokyo,
sparking triple nuclear meltdowns,
forcing more than 160,000 residents
to flee from nearby towns, and
contaminating water, food and air. It
was the world’s worst nuclear disaster
since Chernobyl in 1986.
Buesseler said he expects similar
low caesium levels to gradually
reach other North American shores,
possibly extending along the United
States west coast from Washington
State to California.
“ Predicting the spread of radiation
becomes more complex the closer it
gets to the coast,” Buesseler said.
The Woods Hole Oceanographic
Institution said its conclusions were
drawn from research it collected from
community groups and a network
of local academics and aquariums
to collect water samples and fund
Last November, Woods Hole
reported detectable radiation from
Fukushima about 160km off the
coast of northern California, but no
radiation has yet been detected any
closer to US shores.
Tests off the coast of Japan shortly
after the 2011 disaster measured
radiation at 50 million Becquerels
per cubic metre, Buesseler said. A
Becquerel is a unit of radioactivity.
The Canadian water sample
contained 1.4 Becquerels per
cubic meter of Caesium-134 and
5.8 Becquerels per cubic metre of
Caesium-137. — Reuters
Radiation from Fukushima disaster reaches US
Greece’s deputy finance minister said
overnight Germany owes Greece nearly 279
billion euros ($404.44 billion) in reparations
for the Nazi occupation of the country.
Greek governments and also private citizens
have pushed for war damages from Germany
for decades but the Greek government has
never officially quantified its reparation claims.
A parliamentary panel set up by Prime
Minister Alexis Tsipras’s government started
work last week, seeking to claim German
debts, including war reparations, as well as
the repayment of a so-called occupation
loan that Nazi Germany forced the Bank
of Greece to make and the return of stolen
Speaking at parliamentary committee,
Deputy Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas
said Berlin owed Athens 278.7b euros,
according to calculations by the country’s
General Accounting Office. The occupation
loan amounts to 10.3b euros.
The campaign for compensation has
gained momentum in the past few years
as Greeks have suffered hardship under
austerity measures imposed by the European
Union and International Monetary Fund in
exchange for bailouts totalling 240b euros to
save Greece from bankruptcy.
Tsipras has frequently blamed Germany for
the hardship stemming from the imposition
of austerity. He has angered Berlin by
threatening to push for reparations in the
middle of talks to unlock aid for Greece.
Germany has repeatedly rejected Greece’s
claims and says it has honoured its obligations,
including a 115 million deutschmark
payment to Greece in 1960. — Reuters
Greece demands $404b in war reparations
A young Indonesian politician is
rallying support for saving Australians
Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran
from execution, with hopes of spurring a
movement to end the death penalty.
Prananda Surya Paloh, a graduate of
Melbourne’s Monash University, was
last year elected to Indonesia’s house of
representatives for the progressive Nas
After learning about the Bali Nine
pair’s rehabilitation, and examining
arguments for and against the death
penalty, Paloh has come out strongly
against the impending executions.
The Australian men yesterday lost
their appeal to challenge their clemency
rejection in the administrative court, but
their lawyers have vowed to fight on.
Paloh, meanwhile, believes in the
momentum behind their campaign for
The 26-year-old is one of the few
politicians to speak out in Indonesia,
where capital punishment has popular
“ I’ve come to the conclusion that yes,
there needs to be punishment, but there
needs to be a moral background and a
sense of humanity,” he said.
“ In Indonesia it’s a very taboo subject,
especially if you are a public figure, but
I’m willing to make a stand for what I
He is hopeful for Chan, 31, and
Sukumaran, 33, whom he believes are
“capable of having a bright future” if they
can be saved.
“ When they were arrested they were
very young, they still didn’t have the
right frame of mind, and they’ve ser ved
enough time now to think about what
they were actually doing,” he said.
President Joko Widodo believes
Indonesia needs “shock therapy” to
solve its drug problem, and, in the face
of diplomatic pressure, says enforcing
the death penalty is also a matter of
Paloh says strict punishments for drug
crimes that do not include the firing
squad would suffice.
He worries also about Indonesia’s
ability to save 229 Indonesians on death
row overseas, should plans to execute
more than 50 drug offenders from
various countries go ahead.
The Nas Dem party is open to
considering the broader issues of
sentencing and rehabilitation, he says.
The party’s view is significant given
its chairman and Paloh’s father, media
mogul Surya Paloh, is a key backer of
Attorney-General H M Prasetyo is
also a party member.
Asked about his conversations with
them, Paloh stresses that ultimately,
clemency is the president ’s call. — AAP
Prince Harry, also known as
Captain Wales, has begun his first
full day as a stand-in member of
the Australian Army.
The 30-year-old veteran of two
Afghanistan deployments kicked
off his month-long military
exchange to Australia in Canberra
The prince flew north from the
nation’s capital that afternoon
after meeting Royal watchers at
the Australian War Memorial and
reporting for duty at the Royal
Details of his schedule are being
kept under wraps. However,
he will be attached to units in
Dar win, Perth and Sydney.
He will train with special forces,
patrol with Aboriginal soldiers
and possibly fly helicopters in
Sydney. — AAP
Prince Harry star ts first day with Australian army
PICTURE: Getty Images
Prince Harry and Australian Defence Force chief Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, second left, meet
senior personnel after arriving at the Royal Military College, Duntroon in Canberra yesterday.
Oktoberfest beer tent
bookings selling out
Islamist fighters have kidnapped
some 300 Kurdish civilians at
a checkpoint in north-western
Syria, holding them several hours
before setting them free.
Newaf Khalil, a spokesman for
the Kurdish Democratic Union
Party (PYD), said the group had
been detained by Jaysh al-Islam,
a powerful Islamist group allied
to al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda’s
Khalil said the Kurds were
released in exchange for three
Islamist fighters who had been
detained in Afrin by Kurdish
forces. He gave no other details.
“A group of 300 people on five
coaches and a mini-bus coming
from Afrin were kidnapped at
a checkpoint as they went to
Aleppo to collect their salaries,”
Khalil had said after their
The release was also reported
by the Syrian Obser vatory for
The Britain-based monitoring
group also reported that eight
people were killed overnight and
28 others wounded in shelling
by the Islamic State group in the
central province of Hama.
The shelling targeted the village
of Salamiye, which has a majority
Ismaili community, who belong
to the Shi’ite branch of Islam, the
Obser vatory said, adding that the
Syrian army retaliated.
Jaysh al-Islam — one of the
numerous armed groups that
has surfaced in Syria since the
conflict emerged four years ago
fights alongside al-Nusra in
Idlib but also operates in Eastern
Ghouta, near Damascus.
More than 215,000 people have
been killed in Syria since the
conflict began in March 2011
with anti-regime protests that
spiralled into a bloody civil war
after a government crackdown.
Islamists capture, then
free 300 Kurds
Reser vations for tables in
the beer tents at Munich’s
Oktoberfest are already changing
hands on-line for thousands of
euros, according to newspaper
The October beer festival —
which, contrary to its name,
actually starts on September 19
draws six million visitors to
the Bavarian capital each year,
and some are prepared to dig
deep into their pockets for a
If you are not an annual
customer, it is very difficult to get
a place in the big beer tents.
Evening and weekend places
are no longer available on-line,
according to the Muenchner
Merkur newspaper. Web forms
are allowing potential guests to
book only lunch spaces.
Meanwhile, beer landlords have
not yet received permits from the
city authorities, so they can take
only provisional bookings.
Toni Roiderer, spokesman for
the landlords and landladies, said
recently they were only taking
conditional pre-bookings for
vouchers worth 25 to 85 euros
However, unofficial on-line
resale portals are taking table
reser vations for 500 euros a
person and up to 10,000 euros
for two whole tables.
“ We call on people not to
pay these astronomical prices,”
Thomas Reiner, a spokesman
for beer festival organiser Josef
Roiderer also warned people
away from the on-line reser vation
“ We say to people don’t touch
them as you won’t get anything
from it,” he says.
People who use such sites often
arrive to find their place has not
been reser ved at all.
The situation has become worse
since 2013, when then festival
chief and current mayor of
Munich, Dieter Reiter, changed
the rules to restrict the number of
seats that could be pre-booked.
The intention was to allow
more Munich residents to turn
up spontaneously and find seats
in the beer tents.
Beer sellers say the opposite has
happened — whoever gets a seat
in a tent stays there and does not
move, while with reser vations
there is greater turnaround and
more people get a chance to have
a seat. — DPA
Canadian glaciers set to
vanish in three generations
Canada, one of the world’s most
picturesque mountain regions, are
likely to largely melt away over just
three generations, scientists say.
By 2100, the glaciers of Alberta
and British Columbia are set to
shrink by 75% in area compared
to 2005 levels, and by 70%
in volume, according to their
But in two out of the three
regions that were studied, the
decline could be even more
dramatic — over 90%.
The loss will hit many sectors,
from agriculture, forestry and
tourism to ecosystems and water
quality, the investigators warned.
The study, published in the
was headed by Garry Clarke, a
professor at the University of
British Columbia in Vancouver.
“The disappearance of (the)
glaciers . . . will be a sad loss for
those who are touched by the
beauty of Canada’s mountain
landscapes,” Clarke said.
“ When the glaciers have gone,
we lose the important ser vices
they provide — a buffer against
hot, dry spells in late summer
that keeps headwater streams
flowing and cool, and sustains
cool-water aquatic species.”
The team used a computer
model that combined four well-
known scenarios for global
warming this century, with data
regions and dynamics of ice melt.
Even at the lowest projected
warming, most of the glaciers are
essentially doomed, according to
“ Few glaciers will remain
in the Interior and Rockies
regions, but maritime glaciers,
in particular those in north-
western British Columbia, will
sur vive in a diminished state,” the
investigators said. — AFP
A bizarre search is unfolding
on the Gold Coast after a South
American boa constrictor was
released by police who wrongly
believed it was a harmless python.
Police say officers were called
to The Esplanade at Surfers
Paradise on or about March 26,
to respond to reports of a large
snake spotted at the base of a tree
on a footpath.
The officers released the reptile
into bush at the Southport Spit,
but the incident has since sparked
an operation by Biosecurity
Queensland officers who say the
snake was not a harmless python
It has been identified as a 2m
South American boa constrictor,
a large predatory snake that could
pose a threat to other reptiles and
even domestic pets.
“These snakes could wipe out
entire species of reptiles and they
have been known to eat cats and
dogs,” Gold Coast snake catcher
Tony Harrison said.
“ We have been told to capture
it so the State government can
euthanise it. It makes me really
angry that people import these
snakes as pets and release them
when they get too big. They carry
heaps of diseases.”
Biosecurity Queensland is
working with the Gold Coast
City Council in a bid to find the
snake. “Police originally caught it
in a sheet after spotting it under
a tree in Surfers Paradise before
they released it in bush at The
Spit,” a spokesman said. — AAP
Snake freed in error
100% Ellerys—The Vodafone Experts That Do It All
Phone and Broadband Connections from $75/month
Rural Phone and Broadband from $95/month
Free SIM Swaps for Vodafone Customers
Vodafone Smart 4 Fun
1GHz Dual Core Processor
Large 3.5” Screen
4” Touch Screen
Sony Xperia E1
1.2 GHz Dual Core Processor
Large 4” Screen
Samsung Galaxy Ace Style
1.2 GHz Dual Core Processor
5MP Auto Focus Camera
Large 4” Screen
On a new connection $69 per month 24 month term
Each month you get
500 minutes to std NZ and AUS Numbers
Unlimited Texts to NZ and AUS Numbers
1.25GB Data, $5 Daily Roaming
FROM THE VODAFONE CELLPHONE EXPERTS
iPhone 6 16GB
On a new connection$129 per month 24 month term
Each month you get
Unlimited Calls and Texts to std NZ & AUS Numbers
5GB Data, $5 Daily Roaming, Optional Share Data
Unlimited NZ txt’s
PLUS GREAT PREPAY SPECIALS...
EVERYTHING FOR YOUR HOME
Cnr Boundary & Herbert Sts,
GREYMOUTH Ph: 768-4205
BLM=Broadloom metres. Carpet is sold in broadloom
metres. One metre of carpet is 3.66 metres wide i.e.
3.66 square metres.
THAT’S JUST $27.29 PER SQM
THAT’S JUST $46.42 PER SQM
WE’LL COME TO YOU TO GIVE YOU A FREE IN-HOME MEASURE & QUOTE. CALL US TODAY ON 0800 SMITHS
INSURANCE & CREDIT FEES.
Links Archive April 4th 2015 April 8th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page