Home' Greymouth Star : April 28th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Quake toll tops 4000
Indonesia has told Australia it
will execute the two Bali Nine
ringleaders, despite desperate
last-minute appeals by Foreign
Minister Julie Bishop.
Bishop received a letter from
her Indonesian counterpart last
night but it offered no hope of
a reprieve for Andrew Chan and
Myuran Sukumaran, who are
believed to be living out their
final 24 hours.
“They gave no indication that
President ( Joko) Widodo would
change his mind and grant the
clemency that we have sought,”
she told the Nine Network today.
Indonesia has not said exactly
when the pair will face the firing
squad but it is understood the
men’s families have been told to
say their last goodbyes by 2pm
today (5pm AEST) before the
executions are carried out on
Nusakambangan island, Central
Java, after midnight.
Bishop has again pleaded with
Indonesia to delay the executions
after the Constitutional Court
said it would hear an application
by the pair, but not until May 12.
She said the men must not be
executed until that case is heard,
and until serious legal questions
about the integrity of the men’s
trial are resolved.
“ Both these legal processes
could impact on the outcome,”
“They reflect the integrity of
the sentencing process and the
clemency process, and so we
urge the Indonesian government
to allow these legal processes
to proceed because of course
executions are irrevocable.”
Bishop said she was in regular
contact with the condemned
men and their families in what
was a raw and difficult time.
She also defended Prime
Minister Tony Abbott, after
celebrities produced a video
calling on him to show
leadership, step up and save “our
boys”, and travel to Indonesia to
apply pressure on Indonesia.
“Clearly, if travelling to
difference, we would have gone
there,” Bishop said. — AAP
Thailand makes second
big ivory seizure
Thai customs officials overnight
announced their second big
seizure of African ivory in two
weeks, amounting to around
three tonnes of tusks worth about
The ivory was hidden in a
shipment of tea leaves originating
from Kenya, General Dapong
of natural resources and the
environment, said. Police had
made arrests over the seizure, he
added, but did not say how many.
Thailand, a top destination for
smuggled African ivory, has until
the end of March to take steps
to shut down domestic trade in
ivory or face sanctions under the
Convention on the International
Trade of Endangered Species
The seizure was Thailand’s
second largest, the Thai Customs
Department said in a news
release, following just over a week
after the largest.
On April 20,
announced it had seized four
tonnes of ivory hidden in bags
containing dried beans that
originated from the Democratic
Republic of Congo.
The shipment from Kenya
passed through Sri Lanka,
Malaysia and Singapore and
was destined for Laos, director-
general of customs Somchai
In January, Thailand passed a
new law to regulate and control
the ivory trade, which requires
large items of privately owned
ivory to be registered with wildlife
and conser vation officials.
More than 20,000 African
elephants were killed for ivory
in 2013, a CITES monitoring
programme showed, leaving a
population believed to be about
500,000. — Reuters
A woman carries her belongings as she walks over collapsed house after earthquake in Bhaktapur, Nepal. Nepalese
officials scrambled to get aid from the main airport to people left homeless and hungry by a devastating earthquake two
days earlier, while thousands tired of waiting fled the capital Kathmandu for the surrounding plains.
The number of people confirmed dead
in the weekend’s powerful earthquake in
Nepal has passed 4000, and aid efforts
are being ramped up as the country
struggles to provide relief to sur vivors.
The Interior Ministry said early today
that 4138 had died and many thousands
more were injured in Saturday ’s
Besides the fear caused by numerous
aftershocks, thousands of people
camping in open spaces were suffering
a combination of rain, hunger and thirst.
Nepal’s army deployed 90% of its
forces on search and rescue missions,
with military official Jagdish Chandra
Pokharel saying the army was “working
on a war footing”.
Prime Minister Sushil Koirala said
authorities were struggling with their
limited capacity to respond to the crisis.
The government has only six
helicopters, with 20 other helicopters in
private hands. “ We are expecting more
foreign help now and now need to work
on cremating people, on sanitation, on
clean drinking water,” Koirala said.
Hospitals damaged by the quake were
treating patients in improvised outdoor
clinics, while streets near Kathmandu’s
Teaching Hospital were lined with
vehicles as people continued to bring the
Pramod Karki, who was staying in
a camp near his house in the capital’s
Kalanki district, said: “ There is no space.
So at least 50 people are crammed in an
open area in our neighbourhood. ”
Chief Secretary Lilamani Poudel has
asked all government employees to work
to help the injured and the displaced.
Mass cremations were being held
in some places in the capital, with
the government saying they were a
necessary measure to prevent disease
The Tourism Ministry said it was also
focusing on rescuing the foreigners
trapped around the country, including
people on climbing expeditions.
“ We rescued around 82 people from the
Everest Base Camp yesterday,” ministry
secretary Suresh Man Shrestha said.
Australian Renu Fotedar was among
19 people killed on Mount Everest, the
world’s highest peak. The other dead
included two United States nationals
and one Chinese, while the other victims
were Nepalese. Sixty people were injured
and were receiving treatment at various
hospitals, Shrestha said.
Dramatic footage from the disaster
on Everest emerged today, with video
showing an avalanche rising like a cloud
of smoke and then crashing down and
engulfing the camp site.
According to the Tourism Ministry
more than 1000 climbers, including over
490 foreigners, were present at the Base
Camp when the earthquake struck.
Shrestha said helicopters were deployed
to rescue about 200 climbers trapped at
camps one and two.
Across the country efforts were under
way to fix phone lines and restore power,
the prime minister said.
India had so far dispatched 400 tonnes
of relief materials and basic supplies,
according to the Indian embassy in
Kathmandu. Pakistan had set up
temporary medical camps.
Chinese rescue teams began searching
for victims and sur vivors in the capital.
The Asian Development Bank pledged
up to $US200 million ($281 million) in
credit for the first phase of rehabilitation
and said it was sending $3 million as
a grant for tents, medicines, food and
Britain has pledged $US7.5m and
Canada has promised $US4.1m.
Fourteen of the European Union’s
28 member States have offered to
send first aid teams and equipment, a
spokeswoman for the bloc’s executive
There was also high-tech help from
Facebook and Google, which added
functions to their on-line platforms to
help people find friends and relatives
caught in the quake. — D PA
The Maryland National Guard has
been placed on alert after riots and
looting broke out in the streets of
Baltimore following the funeral of
Freddie Gray, an African American man
who died in police custody.
“ Today’s looting and acts of violence
in Baltimore will not be tolerated. In
response, I have put the Maryland
National Guard on alert so they can be
in position to deploy rapidly as needed,”
State Governor Larry Hogan said in a
statement early today.
Violent street clashes erupted after
25-year-old Gray’s funeral, and local and
state police in riot gear were struggling
to restore order, with rioters refusing to
heed dispersal orders.
Police said at least seven officers were
injured — one of them was unresponsive
as youths hurled bricks and bottles
and destroyed at least one police vehicle
in the vicinity of a shopping mall not far
from the church where Gray ’s funeral
“ We have seven officers injured during
the course of this. They have broken
bones, one is unresponsive,” Baltimore
police captain Eric Kowalczyk said.
“ You’re going to see teargas . . . we ’re
going to use appropriate methods to
ensure that we’re able to preser ve the
safety of that community. ”
Smoke rose from a CVS pharmacy
store that had been earlier looted by
rioters. Police had not inter vened in the
looting, according to images broadcast
by CNN from a helicopter camera.
A lawyer for Gray ’s family said the
rioters were teenagers.
Reverend Jamal Bryant, who delivered
Gray ’s funeral eulogy earlier in the day,
said he was trying to convince “these
black children on the streets” to go home.
“This is not what the family asked
for today of all days,” Bryant said in
broadcast remarks. “ This was a day of
sacred closure. ”
Baltimore police also tweeted, “ We are
asking for parents to please bring your
children home. We don’t want to see
anyone get hurt.”
The riots were happening less than
5km from Baltimore’s Inner Harbour,
an entertainment district popular with
tourists, and 56km from the White
House in nearby Washington.
The violence followed both Gray’s
funeral and a message on social media
announcing a “purge” — street slang
for random acts of lawlessness — when
schools let out for the day. — AFP-DPA
Police struggle to control Baltimore riots
Elvis’s planes staying put
Elvis Presley ’s two personal jets are
staying at Graceland, his estate has
confirmed, ending months of jitters
among his legion of fans that they were
about to be sold off.
The Lisa Marie, a vintage Convair 880
airliner, and Hound Dog II, a Lockheed
Jet Star executive jet, have been on display
at the late King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s estate in
Memphis, Tennessee since 1984.
In a brief statement overnight,
Graceland said “an agreement has been
reached for Elvis’ two aeroplanes . . . to
remain at Elvis Presley’s Graceland in
Memphis permanently”. — AFP
1. Treat every firearm as loaded
2. Always point firearms in a safe direction
3. Load a firearm only when ready to fire
4. Identify your target beyond all doubt
5. Check your firing zone
6. Store firearms and ammunition securely
7. Avoid alcohol and drugs when handling firearms
7 Basic Firearms Safety Rules
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