Home' Greymouth Star : May 4th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
6 - Monday, May 4, 2015
Earthquake victims search for their belongings at a collapsed house in Sankhu, on the outskirts of Kathmandu.
Royal watchers did not have to wait
long for the Duchess of Cambridge
to give birth after she was admitted to
hospital but they are in for a longer wait
to learn the name of the new princess.
William and Kate yesterday showed off
their daughter to their parents a day after
she was born, however her name might
be kept under wraps until they have also
introduced her to the Q ueen.
Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla,
visited Kensington Palace in London
along with Kate’s parents, Michael and
Carole Middleton, and her sister, Pippa.
Charles has made no secret of the fact
he wanted his second grandchild to be a
girl and he drove himself to the palace
to meet her.
The Prince of Wales jumped behind
the wheel of an Audi station wagon with
Camilla in the passenger seat beside him.
Prince Harry could not visit because
he is in Australia nearing the end of his
month-long attachment with the army.
But he needed only to look at websites
or newspapers to see photographs of his
“S he is absolutely beautiful,” Harry said
in a statement released by Kensington
“ I can’t wait to meet her. ”
That will not be for at least a fortnight,
The prince travels to New Zealand next
weekend for an eight-day tour.
Punters are tipping the new princess
will be called Alice or Charlotte although
Elizabeth and Olivia are also proving
But William and Kate appear in no
rush to reveal the name publicly.
For royal watchers who spent a
fortnight camped outside St Mary’s
hospital waiting for the duchess to go
into labour, the Great Kate Wait has
been replaced with the Name Game.
The Cambridges may be holding fire
until they have travelled to their Norfolk
home Anmer Hall — which is on the
Queen’s Sandringham estate — and told
the monarch the news personally.
That could happen tonight.
If the name was released shortly
after wards it would come two days after
Kate gave birth on Saturday morning.
In mid-2013 the duchess had her
first child on a Monday afternoon and
the royal couple announced they were
“delighted” to name him George on
The couple’s daughter was born on
Saturday at 8.34am local time less than
three hours after Kate was admitted to
the private Lindo Wing at St Mary’s.
William and Kate overnight said they
were “hugely grateful” for the messages
of congratulations they’d received from
all over the world.
“ It means a great deal to them that so
many people have celebrated the arrival
of their new daughter,” a Kensington
Palace spokesman said in a statement.
Gun salutes will be fired in Hyde Park
and at the Tower of London to mark the
birth of the new princess, who is fourth
in line to the British throne.
— A AP-PA
Centenarian pulled from rubble
Rescuers have pulled a 101-year-
old man alive from his ruined
home a week after Nepal’s
earthquake claimed at least 7200
lives, as the government warned
the death toll would climb “much
Funchu Tamang was rescued
yesterday from the rubble of his
house with only minor injuries to
his ankle and hand, after the quake
ripped through the impoverished
country on April 25.
“He was brought to the district
hospital in a helicopter. His
condition is stable,” police officer
Arun Kumar Singh said from
Nuwakot district, about 80km
north-west of Kathmandu.
Overnight two women and a man
were rescued alive in the country’s
“Kanchan Khatri, Gyan Kumari
Khatri, and Dhan Kumari Khatri
were rescued by security forces (on
Sunday) at Kerabari village in the
Syauli area,” Ram Bahadur Nepali,
a police officer in the north-eastern
district of Sindhupalchowk, said.
He said two of them were buried
under a collapsed mud house, while
one was pulled from under the earth
after being swept by a landslide
triggered by the earthquake.
They have been evacuated to the
The rescues were rare good news
for the devastated country after
officials ruled out finding more
sur vivors buried in the ruins and the
focus shifted to trying to deliver aid
to thousands of people in remote
Finance Minister Ram Sharan
Mahat said the death toll was likely
to jump once relief teams reach
mountain villages flattened in the
worst quake to hit the nation in
more than 80 years.
“There are still villages where we
know that all houses have been
destroyed, but have not yet been
able to reach,” Mahat said in a
“The aftershocks have not receded
and we expect the final casualty
numbers to climb much higher,”
the minister said, as he appealed
for hundreds of millions of dollars
in foreign donations to help rebuild
The 7.8 -magnitude quake
wreaked a trail of death and
destruction, reducing much of the
capital Kathmandu to rubble and
triggering a deadly avalanche on
In the worst-hit districts of
Gorkha and Sindhupalchowk,
almost 90% of the mostly stone and
mud homes have been destroyed,
the United Nations said in its latest
“Our priority now is really to try to
reach those people (in remote areas),
get immediate assistance to them,”
the UN’s head of humanitarian
affairs Valerie Amos said.
The relief effort received a boost
late yesterday when a United
States Air Force C-17 aircraft and
four tilt-rotor Ospreys landed in
“They ’re going to make an
Brigadier-General Paul Kennedy
“ We’ve got search and rescue
teams waiting to go out to the
remote areas, we’ve got relief
supplies, especially shelters. Most
people don’t understand that a
shelter is the most pressing need,
so we’re going to take these things
out starting tomorrow morning,” he
International planes loaded with
relief supplies have poured into
landlocked Nepal, but there have
been numerous reports of many
getting stuck at Kathmandu’s
small airport, and customs officials
stopping trucks filled with aid from
Tribhuvan International Airport
has also been closed to heavy planes
over concern about the condition of
the single runway after the quake
and a series of strong aftershocks,
the airport’s manager, Birendra
Prasad Shrestha, said.
“ We have issued a notice saying
that aircraft with a total weight
exceeding 196 tonnes will not be
allowed to land at Kathmandu
airport,” Shrestha said.
“There are no visible cracks in
the runway but there have been so
many tremors recently that we have
to take precautions — we don’t
know what ’s happening below the
The death toll from the disaster
has hit 7250, according to the
Emergency Operations Centre,
with more than 14,000 injured.
More than 100 were also killed in
India and China.
Fifty-one bodies, including those
of six foreigners, have been found
in the popular Langtang trekking
region hit by a quake-triggered
“ We estimate about 100 foreigners
might still be missing in the area,”
senior local official Uddav Prasad
Bhattarai said. — AFP-DPA
Peter Hillary and Jamling
Tenzing Norgay, whose fathers
scaled Everest for the first time,
witnessed the Nepal earthquake
and avalanche first-hand.
The two men, old friends for
decades, were, unbeknown to each
other, leading separate trekking
parties to Everest Base Camp when
the earthquake hit.
By chance, they ended up taking
refuge in the same monastery
“ I pushed open the curtain that
was in front of the door and he was
sitting there in front of me,” Hillary
“ He jumped up and we gave each
other a hug.”
The two men then spent the
evening reminiscing and describing
their experiences of the earthquake
Hillary was with a party of his
old school friends about two hours’
trek from base camp having lunch
in Gorakshep when the ground
started to shake.
Tenzing had been leading a
group of 10 young Indian women,
winners of a competition whose
prize was a trek to the base camp.
They had reached the bottom of the
mountain beneath Tengboche on
Saturday morning. — AP
Reunion for Hillary, Tenzing
desperate to reach Europe were
rescued this weekend as they
tried to cross the Mediterranean
on rickety boats, the Italian
The number rescued was one
of the highest recorded in recent
years, raising fears that the tide of
people risking their lives to reach
Europe from Africa and the
Middle East has not been slowed
by recent disasters.
On April 12 and 13 alone, more
than 6000 people were rescued.
On Saturday 3690 migrants
were rescued and another 2150
Not all those trying to reach
Europe made it, as the bodies
of eight migrants were found
on board two of the vessels on
Sunday, the coastguard said.
It was unclear how they had
died, but migrants face many
dangers and extreme conditions
on board overcrowded, flimsy
vessels that set sail from Libya
Two other people drowned
after they jumped into the sea to
rush towards the rescue teams,
the coastguard said.
The Italian navy said its patrol
ship Bettica picked up more than
570 migrants from four vessels
overnight, among them some 60
women and around 15 children.
The MV Phoenix, a ship
operated by the NGO Migrant
Offshore Aid Station and
Medecins Sans Frontieres
(Doctors Without Borders), also
rescued 369 overnight, a day after
setting sail from Malta for a six-
month aid mission, MSF said.
coastguard intercepted five boats
with some 500 people on board,
some eight nautical miles off the
coast, and ordered them to head
back for the city of Misrata east
of the capital Tripoli.
Colonel Reda Issa of the
Libyan coastguard said most
of the migrants were Africans.
He did not say what would
happen to those intercepted, but
Libya has a detention centre for
migrants in Misrata.
People smugglers have taken
advantage of the chaos gripping
Libya since the 2011 uprising
that toppled dictator Muammar
On April 19, some 750
migrants were killed when their
trawler sank between Libya and
southern Italy, sparking global
outrage and demands for action.
Four days later EU leaders
tripled the bloc’s budget for
patrols off Libya.
EU leaders are now seeking UN
Security Council approval for
military action against smugglers
in chaos-ridden Libya. But rights
groups have blasted the Europe
for focusing on patrols rather
than humanitarian efforts.
Several hundred migrants,
mostly Africans but
including many fleeing the civil
war in Syria, set out from Libya
every day, hoping to make it to
Europe to start a new life.
The number of migrants
entering the EU illegally in
2014 almost tripled to 276,000,
according to Frontex, nearly
220,000 of them arriving via the
Some 1750 migrants have
died crossing the Mediterranean
to Europe this year, 30 times
more than during the same
period in 2014, according to the
International Organisation for
Migration. — AFP
5800 migrants rescued in Mediterranean
‘ We need rice and salt, not tuna and mayonnaise’
Nepal’s government renewed its appeal
to international donors to send tents,
tarpaulins and basic food supplies in
the wake of last weekend’s devastating
earthquake, saying some of the items
being sent are of little use.
The Government also asked donors to
send money to help with relief efforts
if they cannot send things needed
“ We have received things like tuna fish
and mayonnaise. What good are those
things for us? We need grains, salt and
sugar,” Finance Minister Ram Sharan
Information Minister Minendra Rijal
said Nepal would immediately need
400,000 tents and so far had been able to
provide only 29,000 to the people who
A week after the massive earthquake
killed more than 6600 people and
collapsed buildings, temples and homes,
remote villages remain cut off from help.
Aid workers still face “immense
logistical challenges”, United Nations
humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said,
noting that the scale of the devastation
in Nepal would be an obstacle for any
The UN estimates the magnitude-7.8
quake affected 8.1 million people
more than a quarter of Nepal’s
population of 27.8 million.
In Kathmandu rescue
continued to search through collapsed
buildings, but fewer tents were still in
a central part of the capital that had
been packed in the first few days. Some
residents have left the city or moved
More than 130,000 houses were
destroyed in the quake, according to the
UN humanitarian office.
Near the epicentre, north of
Kathmandu, whole villages were in
ruins, and residents desperately needed
temporary shelters against rain and cold.
Isolated hamlets were still cut off
because scarce helicopters could not
land in some mountainous areas, and
roads had been destroyed, said Amos,
who flew over some of those places
during a three-day visit.
“Of course we are worried that it is
taking so long to get to people who
desperately need aid. But it ’s very, very
hard to see how we’re going to get to
them,” she said.
Three New Zealanders are still feared
missing in Nepal but officials do not
hold grave fears for their lives.
Peter Joseph Curreen, 63, from
Marlborough; Doug Erin Sealy, 31, from
Wellington, and Peter Donald McLeod,
62, from Taupo, are still believed to
be unaccounted for. The Ministry of
Foreign Affairs and Trade said it “does
not hold grave concerns” for the missing
men, but “is continuing its attempts to
locate those still missing”. — AP
Prison for airport conman who
made $30,000 a month
Dressed in a smart suit and tie, a flustered
Andrew Gradon pleaded for help to get home.
Stranded at an airport, he explained that he
had just missed his flight but just 40 euros
($59) would be enough to change his ticket and
get him back to Newcastle to see his wife and
children before bedtime.
Apologising profusely, he said he needed the
cash because his credit card did not seem to be
working. He provided a phone number, address
and e-mail details and a promise to repay the
money on arriving home. But everything
the Briton told passengers was a lie. He was
operating a simple scam — one earning him up
to £15,000 ($30,000) a month.
Last week, the law finally caught up with
him. A court in Munich jailed Gradon, 42,
nicknamed “The Airport Man”, for 10 months
for fraud and banned him from entering
Germany for three years.
His victims were usually businessmen or
women who appeared wealthy.
He operated in several countries, flitting
most frequently between Germany, Italy,
Spain, France, Poland and the Czech Republic.
Passengers were ripped off in Frankfurt,
Hamburg, Prague, Cologne, Bremen, Lyon,
Sicily, Milan, Barcelona and Munich.
Five years ago, Gradon picked on a Swede
in Frankfurt. Tommy Forsell grabbed the
conman’s passport, took a photo on his phone
of the identity page and distributed it on
internet forums. Gradon carried on scamming
until January this year when one victim found
Gradon’s details on the web. She complained to
Munich police and two days later Gradon was
caught. — PA
French tug of war over Lourdes saint
For many visitors to Lourdes it
comes as a surprise that the saint
whose visions of the Virgin Mary
made the French town a major
Catholic pilgrimage site is not
actually buried there.
The remains of revered saint
Bernadette Soubirous are now
the subject of a tug-of-war
between those who want her
brought home, and the town
of Nevers where her body is
preser ved in a shrine.
Lourdes, in south-western
France, draws six million people
a year to visit a shrine in a grotto
where Mary is said to have
appeared to the poor shepherd
girl Bernadette 18 times in 1858,
and to bathe in the purportedly
healing waters of a spring in the
“It was to this French town
that Bernadette went to join a
convent aged 22 to escape the
crowds and attention after her
visions, and it was there that she
died aged 35.
“The time has come” to return
her remains to Lourdes, argues
Jose Marthe, a regional councillor
who formed an association with
descendants of the saint ’s family
to lobby for her return.
“O ur intentions are pure.”
But Nevers Mayor Denis
Thuriot is not so sure.
“It’s obvious the association,
even if it denies it, is only
looking to draw more tourists” to
Lourdes, he said this week.
He deplored that “neither the
association nor the descendants
of Saint Bernadette have the
heart to defend her memory
or the wish of a woman who
wanted to remain simple and
anonymous, and found in Nevers
a refuge and peace that today is
Marthe and the 300 members
of the association, however,
argue that Bernadette would
have wanted to be laid to rest in
Benoit Casterot, a descendant
of Bernadette’s mother, is one
of the association’s leaders and
says it “is absolutely logical that
this local girl, our idol, return to
Another distant relative Francis
Bayoumeu — who married
Bernadette’s great grand-niece
and runs her parents’ house as
a museum — insists the saint
“never wanted to leave Lourdes”.
“Bernadette left under duress
because of the media pressure,”
However the Sisters of Charity
nuns charged with looking after
her remains insist Bernadette
came to Nevers of her own
volition “to hide” and wanted to
“In 1957 Pope Pius XII
definitively ratified the Church’s
position by confirming that
Bernadette would be kept in
Nevers,” the convent ’s Mother
Superior Elisabeth de Tonquedec
Fill out your GST
through myIR, and
the calculations are
done for you
Links Archive May 2nd 2015 May 5th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page