Home' Greymouth Star : May 18th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Monday, May 18, 2015 - 9
back to sea
Koh Lipe (Thailand)
Malaysian vessels have intercepted a
boat crammed with migrants after the
Thai navy towed it away from Thailand,
the latest of a number of vessels pushed
back to sea by governments who have
ignored a United Nations call for an
Thousands of people are adrift in
the Andaman Sea after smugglers
abandoned their vessels following a Thai
crackdown on human trafficking. Many
of the migrants are thirsty and sick.
Migrants aboard the vessel were visibly
distressed on the packed deck under a
blazing sun, a witness said. Women were
crying and some waved their arms and
shouted, he said.
The boat has been towed back out to
sea by the Thai navy twice after drifting
for days. On both occasions, the navy
fixed its engine and supplied it with
food, water and fuel before towing it out
of Thai waters.
The migrants told the Thai navy they
wanted to go to Malaysia, the officer
aboard a patrol boat said.
“ We fixed their engine and showed
them where Malaysia is,” the officer said.
After the Thais released it, the boat
entered neighbouring Malaysian waters
where it was intercepted, he said. He
declined to give his name.
It was unclear what the Malaysian
authorities would do with the migrants.
But Malaysia’s government said this
week it would push boats back to sea as
it did not want to receive large numbers
of illegal migrants.
The International Organisation for
Migration has criticised the region’s
governments for playing “maritime
ping-pong” with the migrants and
endangering their lives.
The UN last week urged governments
to fulfil an obligation to rescue those at
sea and “keep their borders and ports
open . . . to help the vulnerable people
who are in need”.
But there was no sign of a co-ordinated
rescue operation, the UN refugee agency
“ We’re not seeing any such moves from
any governments in the region even
though we’re calling on the international
community to take action because people
are dying,” Jeffrey Savage, who works
with the UNHCR in Indonesia, said.
While many remain at sea, thousands
have made it to land.
Nearly 800 migrants came ashore in
Aceh in Indonesia on Friday, taking the
number that have made land in Indonesia
and the north-west of Malaysia to more
than 2500 over the past week.
Thailand found 106 more migrants
on Friday on an island in the southern
province of Phang Nga, provincial
governor Prayoon Rattanasenee told
Reuters. It was unclear how they got
there, he said.
“Most of them are men but there are
also women and children,” Prayoon said.
“ We are trying to determine whether
they were victims of human trafficking. ”
The Thai clampdown has made the
preferred trafficking route through
Thailand too risky for criminals
fleeing persecution in Myanmar and
Bangladeshis seeking to escape poverty.
An estimated 25,000 Bangladeshis and
Rohingya boarded smugglers’ boats in
the first three months of this year, twice
as many in the same period of 2014, the
UNHCR has said.
The UN said the deadly pattern of
migration by sea across the Bay of
Bengal would continue unless Myanmar
Most of Myanmar’s 1.1 million
Rohingya Muslims are stateless and live
in apartheid-like conditions in Rakhine
State in the west of the predominantly
Buddhist country. Almost 140,000 were
displaced in clashes with ethnic Rakhine
Buddhists in 2012.
Myanmar uses the term “Bengalis” for
the Rohingya, a name most Rohingya
reject because it implies they are
immigrants from Bangladesh despite
having lived in Myanmar for generations.
Thailand is hosting talks on May 29 for
15 countries to discuss migration in the
Myanmar had not received an
invitation to the talks and would not
attend if the word Rohingya was used,
Zaw Htay, a senior official from the
president ’s office, said.
“ We haven’t received any formal
invitation from Thailand officially yet,”
he said. “Another thing, if they use the
term ‘Rohingya’ we won’t take part in it
since we don’t recognise this term. ”
Pope creates first Palestinian saints
Two nuns have become the first
Palestinians to gain sainthood during
an open-air Mass celebrated by Pope
Francis in St Peter’s Square attended
by Palestinian president Mahmoud
The Pontiff urged the faithful to
follow the “ luminous example” of
the two 19th-century sisters and two
others, from France and Italy, who
were canonised along with them on
a sunny spring morning.
Marie Alphonsine Ghattas was
born in Jerusalem in 1843, and died
there in 1927. She was beatified —
the final step before canonisation
— in 2009.
Mariam Bawardy was born in
Galilee, now in northern Israel, in
1846. She became a nun in France
and died in Bethlehem in 1878.
She was beatified by Pope John Paul
II in 1983.
Around 2000 pilgrims from the
Palestinian territories, Israel and
Jordan attended the Mass as well as
Abbas, who had a private audience
with the Pope on Saturday.
The other two new saints are Jeanne-
Emilie de Villeneuve (1811-1854)
and Maria Cristina dell’Immacolata
Although there are several saints
who lived in the region during
Christianity’s early days, Bawardy and
Ghattas are the first to be canonised
from Ottoman-era Palestine.
The canonisation of a third
Palestinian — a Salesian monk — is
still under review by the Church.
Pope Francis urged the faithful to
“follow in the footsteps” of the four
women whom he called “models of
sanctity”. — AFP
IS seizes Iraqi city
The Islamic State group has
sealed its capture of Ramadi after a
dramatic retreat by Iraqi forces.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-
Abadi urged government forces to
hold fast in Ramadi and prevent IS
from making further gains, saying
they would have air cover and
Shi’ite militia reinforcements.
The effective loss of the capital
of Iraq’s largest province of Anbar
marked one of Baghdad’s worst
setbacks since it began a nationwide
offensive last year to reclaim territory
lost to the jihadists in June 2014.
IS said in an internet post it fully
controlled Ramadi, after a local
official admitted the operations
command centre there had fallen.
“God has enabled the soldiers
of the caliphate to cleanse all of
Ramadi . . . after storming the
8th Brigade. They (now) control it
along with a battalion of tanks and
missile launchers and in addition to
the Anbar operations command,”
the IS statement said.
Muhannad Haimour, spokesman
and adviser to the provincial
governor, said: “Anbar operations
command has been cleared.”
A colonel among troops who
had withdrawn added: “Daesh has
just taken full control of all main
security bases”, using an Arabic
acronym for IS.
But Abadi said troops, tribesmen
and elite forces “must hold their
positions and preser ve them and
not allow Daesh to extend to other
areas in Ramadi”, spokesman Saad
“There is continuous air cover
that will help ground troops there
hold their positions while waiting
for support from other forces and
the Popular Mobilisation Units,”
he said of an umbrella group for
The International Organisation
for Migration said two days of
fighting in Ramadi had displaced
about 8000 people.
Haimour said at least 500 people,
both civilians and military, were
killed in the jihadist offensive.
A local Anbar province official said
Abadi had approved the dispatch
of the Popular Mobilisation units
known as Hashed al-Shaabi to
“The provincial council of Anbar
decided to call on Hashed al-
Shaabi which operates under the
umbrella of the commander in-
chief of the armed forces,” Mahdi
Saleh al-Numan, security adviser to
the Anbar governor, said.
He said the forces would be
drawn “from the disciplined
brigades known for their honest
work”, suggesting that some Shi’ite
militias would not be called on.
The move marks a u-turn from
the Sunni province’s previous
opposition to resorting to the
Shi’ite force. — AFP
A United States special forces
raid in eastern Syria has killed
32 members of the Islamic State
jihadist group, including four
leaders, a monitoring group says.
“The US operation killed 32
members of IS, among them four
officials, including IS oil chief
Abu Sayyaf, the deputy IS defence
minister, and an IS communications
official,” Rami Abdel Rahman,
head of the Syrian Obser vatory for
Human Rights, said.
US officials have said “about a
dozen” people were killed in the
operation on Friday night, which
was conducted by Iraq-based US
commandos in order to capture
Rahman said three of the four
leading officials killed in the raid
were from north Africa, but the IS
communications official was Syrian.
US President Barack Obama
approved the special forces
operation, a rare use of “boots on
the ground” by the US, which has
fought the jihadists almost entirely
from the air.
The operation targeted an IS
compound at al-Omar, one of
Syria’s largest oil fields, which is
located in the eastern Deir Ezzor
A US official said the commandos
engaged the jihadists “at very close
quarters. There was hand-to-hand
US raid ‘kills 32 IS members’
Prosecutors in a Mexican border
State say a group of youths aged
11 to 15 have tortured, killed and
buried a six-year-old boy as part of
what they considered “playing”.
The Chihuahua State prosecutors’
office said the minors admitted
Thursday’s killing in a poor
neighbourhood of the State capital.
It says two 13-year-old girls, an
11-year-old boy and two 15-year-
olds caught Cristopher Raymundo
Martinez, tied him up, nearly
asphyxiated him with a bar, stoned
him and then stabbed him in the
back. Then they buried the boy in a
shallow grave. The body was found
expressed concern over a killing
that shows “social decomposition”
and an “absence of values”.
The two 15-year-olds face criminal
charges. The younger children were
turned over to juvenile authorities.
Mexican youths torture, kill boy, 6
Serb goes on shooting spree
after son’s wedding
A Serbian man has run amok after
his son’s wedding, killing six people
including the bride before committing
suicide, police say.
The 55-year-old, reportedly opposed to
his son’s marriage, went on the shooting
spree with a hunting rifle overnight, a
day after the wedding took place near
Kanjiza, 200km north of Belgrade.
He had been drinking heavily the
entire previous day and overnight,
The bride and her parents were among
The news comes two years after a
similar mass shooting in which a war
veteran, reportedly also disturbed by his
son’s relationship, killed 13 people, many
of them relatives. — D PA
EU decries Morsi death sentence
The European Union has denounced
the death sentence handed down against
Egypt ’s ousted president Mohamed
Morsi and at least 100 others, noting the
penalty stemmed from a flawed trial.
“The court decision to seek the death
penalty was taken at the end of a mass
trial that was not in line with Egypt’s
obligations under international law,” the
EU’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini,
She added that Egypt has to guarantee
defendants’ rights to a fair trial and
to an independent investigation. Her
statement said the EU believes the
sentence will be revised upon appeal.
“The EU opposes capital punishment
under all circumstances,” Mogherini
said. “ The death penalty is cruel and
Morsi was among more than 100
defendants ordered by a court on Saturday
to face the death penalty for their role in a
mass jailbreak during the 2011 uprising.
He ruled for only a year before mass
protests spurred then-army chief and
now President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to
overthrow him in July 2013.
The United States expressed alarm
at the death sentences, saying it has
“consistently spoken out against the
practice of mass trials and sentences”.
A government crackdown under Sisi
has seen hundreds of Morsi’s Islamist
supporters killed, thousands jailed and
dozens sentenced to death after mass
trials which the United Nations has
described as “unprecedented in recent
history”. — AFP
Real-time translation on Skype
Microsoft-owned Skype has cleared
the way for anyone to use a new feature
that translates video chats or instant
messages in real time.
People no longer need to sign-up to use
a preview version of Skype Translator,
which handles spoken English, Spanish,
Italian and Mandarin.
The number of languages translated
jumps to 50 for written instant messages,
with missives written in one language
arriving converted into a preferred
language, according to Skype.
“ We are breaking down language
barriers that have historically made it
challenging for friends and families to
connect,” Yasmin Kahn of Skype said in
a blog post.
Skype Translator was made available as
a free download at the Windows Store
for computers or tablets running on the
latest version of Microsoft ’s operating
software, according to Kahn.
Skype Translator preview debuted
late last year, but was invitation-only to
allow time and testing for refining the
“O ur goal for Skype Translator is to
translate as many languages as possible
on relevant platforms, and to deliver the
best speech translation experience to our
more than 300 million connected Skype
customers,” Kahn said. — DPA
New Zealand kayakers are
celebrating one of their best world
cup hauls after striking double
gold on the final day in Portugal
The new women’s crew of Jaimee
Lovett, Aimee Fisher, Caitlin
Ryan and Kayla Imrie capped a
memorable morning session on the
Montemor-o -Velho course with
a debut victory in the K4 500m,
holding off teams from Poland and
Their win came minutes after
Marty McDowell’s bronze in
the K1 500m final, with world
and Olympic champion Lisa
Carrington adding the K1 200m
title to the K1 500m crown she
collected a day earlier.
“The goal was to put a race plan
together and see how we went,” a
jubilant Lovett said.
“ We went pretty well in the heat
and stuck to that plan and the
final was just about enjoying it,
embracing it and putting a good
race together, which we managed
Although some of the top
European crews were missing from
the first world cup of the season,
New Zealand’s five-medal tally was
memorable, particularly with the
emergence of the new crews.
Lovett said the surprise K2 500m
silver medal won by Ryan and
Fisher on the second day had given
the team a huge boost.
“ We thought they might get
through to the final but they
learned so much from their heat
and just nailed their final. It was
awesome to watch and so exciting.”
World and Olympic Carrington
was all class in her favoured 200m
final, easing her new Nelo boat
away from the chasing pack and
finishing nearly a full second clear
of Cuba’s Yusmari Rodriguez.
Carrington clocked 39.524secs,
with Rodriguez just edging Sarah
Guyot (France) into third.
Although McDowell’s K1
500m medal came in a non-
Olympic event, it was still a
major confidence-booster for the
28-year-old, who also finished
seventh in the K1 1000m final.
He got off to a flier in the shorter
distance and held on to finish
behind France’s Cyrille Carre and
former Olympic champion Adam
Van Koeverden (Canada).
“ I can feel things starting to
come together with my paddling
although I still feel I can do a lot
more, which is pretty exciting,”
McDowell said. “ That was a really
good eye-opener and it was good
to get some racing in.”
There was also a quality finish
from the final member of the team,
K1 200m sprinter Scott Bicknell,
who overcame the disappointment
of missing the A final by winning
the B final.
Even more significant for
Bicknell was his time, cracking the
35sec barrier for the first time with
a 34.976, which would’ve been
good enough for eighth in the A
final. France’s Maxime Beaumont
won that race in 33.996secs,
pipping world champion Canadian
Mark de Jonge by just 0.14secs.
Canoe Racing New Zealand
chief executive Mark Weatherall
knows next weekend’s world cup
in Germany will provide a much
tougher test for his paddlers but
believes things are building nicely,
heading into an Olympic year.
“ We’re still a long way out
from Rio and there is still a huge
amount of hard work to do but this
is an emphatic statement that we’re
on the right track,” Weatherall
said. “ We’re seeing the result of
significant investment from High
Performance Sport New Zealand
and significant commitment from
the athletes and we want to keep
building on that in the next year
but I really couldn’t have hoped for
a better start to the international
— New Zealand Herald
PICTURE: New Zealand Herald
New Zealand medal-winners Lisa Carrington, left, Caitlin Ryan, Aimee Fisher, Kayla Imrie, Jaimee
Lovett and Marty McDowell.
NZ kayakers gold
PICTURE: Ben Aulakh
Speights Alehouse Cobden A goal attack Jess Belton takes a pass against Lyndale on
Speights Alehouse Cobden A just edged
the top game in the West Coast inter-centre
netball premier A competition on Saturday,
beating Hokitika’s Lyndale team by a single
Star United ran out convincing winners
over CSC A, 38-22 .
In the premier B competition, Kotare A
easily accounted for CSC B, 30-18.
Inter-centre (premier A): Speights
Alehouse Cobden A 27, Lyndale 26; Star
United A 38, CSC A 22; Star United B 39,
Stumpers Blue 27; Beachfront Old Girls
Black 25, WHS A 22.
Premier B: Kotare A 30, CSC B 18;
Speights Alehouse Cobden B 30, Speights
Alehouse Cobden C 20; HSOG A 26, Star
United C 29; Paroa A 32, GHS Senior A 16.
Senior: HSOG B 37, GHS Junior A 21;
Star United D 22, CSC C 15; Tui Central A
32, Cobden D 11; Paroa B the bye.
Senior reserve: HSOG C 17, Kotare B 25;
Greymouth WMC 24, Kotare C 12.
First division: GHS Green 15, Paroa Junior
A 29; Tui Central B 16, CSC D 16; Cobden
E 25, Grey Valley 21; HSOG D 32, GHS
Second division: CSC E 18, HSOG Junior
B 6; HSOG Junior A 22, Paroa Junior B 10;
Karoro A the bye.
Third: HSOG Junior C 15, Grey Valley
Junior A 5; Cobden Junior A 11, Karoro B 1.
CSC Junior A the bye.
Cobden edge out Lyndale
The Warriors have won back to
back matches for just the second
time this season, with a thrilling
17-13 golden point win over the
Just like last week, there was
incredible drama and Bodene
Thompson is the latest Houdini
hero for the Auckland club,
scoring the winning try in the
Earlier the Warriors could have
won the match in normal time
but a late Parramatta field goal
sent the match into the extra
monumental effort, as he forced
his way through four defenders
to ground the ball on the try line.
The video referees took an
age to confirm the touchdown,
which sealed the Warriors’ fifth
win of the season.
It was a courageous effort
by the visitors, who lost Ryan
Thomas Leuluai (knee) inside
the first 20 minutes which forced
the other for wards to play many
more minutes than they would
The Warriors seemed to tire
badly in the second half, as the
Eels came back into the match
in a big way.
unanswered tries in the second
half, and only poor goal kicking
from Luke Kelly (0/3) prevented
them from taking the lead.
The Warriors led 12-0 at
halftime but it probably should
have been more. The Eels, who
had won just one of their last
five matches, were down on
confidence and it showed. They
were plagued by bad decisions
completed at just 47% in the first
half. Parramatta were trapped in
goal, forced over the sideline,
passed to the ‘invisible man’
with the try line beckoning and
even came up with a top class
It would not have made for
easy viewing for coach Brad
Arthur, nor a certain Kieran
Foran, who must be wondering
what he is walking into next
season, when coupled with the
ongoing dramas at board level.
The Auckland club were good
enough to capitalise. They were
not short of errors themselves,
with Chad Townsend, Solomone
Kata and Ken Maumalo all
guilty of loose carries at crucial
occasions in the first half. But
they got away with it and Shaun
Johnson was the inspiration for
some early magic. He produced
a lovely cut out ball to set
Jonathan Wright free, then an
improbable pick up at full pace
from the winger’s clever kick. But
what about what happened next?
Just like last week, Johnson
stepped through a maze of
There was physical intent
from the Warriors — the 105kg
Semi Radradra being forced
back into his in goal epitomised
that — and clean execution,
as Townsend came up with a
wonderful cut out pass to allow
Kata to power over for his eighth
try of the season.
Unfortunately for the visitors,
everything turned in the second
half. With just 15 available
players, they were always going
to tire but they did not help
themselves. Wright dropped a
bomb on his try line to allow
Anthony Watmough to dive
over and begin Parramatta’s
comeback. Moments later newly
installed centre Dominique
Peyroux misread badly to allow
Semi Radradra to score near
the right sideline. When Ryan
Morgan scored the Eels third try
in the 63rd minute the Warriors
looked unlikely victors but pure
grit on defence followed by
Thompson’s heroics saw them
— NZ ME-New Zealand Herald
Warriors win in
Top seed Novak Djokovic has warmed up for
the French Open with a comprehensive 6-4 6-3
victory over Roger Federer to claim his fourth
Italian Open title.
In the absence of seven-time champion Rafael
Nadal, ousted in the quarter-finals, the Serbian
produced a near flawless performance on centre
court to defend his title and hand Federer his
fourth final defeat in Rome.
With Roland Garros a little more than a week
away, Djokovic could emerge as the favourite to
claim an elusive title in Paris, especially in light of
Nadal’s current woes. — AFP
Djokovic beats Federer to win Italian Open
Links Archive May 16th 2015 May 19th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page