Home' Greymouth Star : May 26th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Netflix apologises for billing errors
Netflix customers have taken to
Twitter to vent their anger at being
charged several times in one month by
the United States streaming ser vice.
One Netflix customer posted a photo
of his bank account showing seven
debit transactions of $11.99 each on
May 25 although he said it was actually
“ Netflix please fix your billing issues,
I got charged $11.99/month 11 times
until my bank goes insufficient funds,”
Dave2307 posted in Twitter.
Netflix has issued an apology and
promised to rectify the billing error.
“Sorry for the now resolved billing
issues. Authorisations will be lifted
from bank accounts in coming days.
Incoming help via Netflixhelps,” Netflix
ANZ posted on Twitter.
Netflix, which launched in Australia
and New Zealand in March, issued a
statement saying the over-billing issue
was not widespread.
“ We are aware a small percentage of
Australian and New Zealand members
experienced multiple credit card
authorisations for monthly billing,” the
“The issue has been resolved.
“ While no extra money was withdrawn
from users’ accounts, it may take several
days for the authorisations to drop from
users’ bank accounts,” the statement said.
Policemen carry body bags with human remains found at the site of human trafficking camps in the jungle
close to the Thai border after they brought them to a police camp near Wang Kelian in northern Malaysia.
Grisly finds in
Wang Kelian (Malaysia)
Malaysia has found 139 graves,
and signs of torture, in more
than two dozen squalid human
trafficking camps suspected to
have been used by gangs smuggling
migrants across the border with
Thailand, the country’s police chief
The dense jungles of southern
Thailand and northern Malaysia
have been a major stop-off point
for smugglers bringing people
to South-east Asia by boat from
Myanmar, most of them Rohingya
Muslims who say they are fleeing
persecution, and Bangladesh.
“It’s a very sad scene. To us even
one is serious and we have found
139 (graves),” Malaysia’s Inspector-
General of Police, Khalid Abu
Bakar, told reporters in the northern
State of Perlis. “ We are working
closely with our counterparts in
Thailand. We will find the people
who did this. ”
The grisly find follows the
discovery of similar shallow graves
on the Thai side of the border earlier
this month, which helped trigger a
regional crisis. After a crackdown
on the camps by Thai authorities,
traffickers abandoned thousands of
migrants in rickety boats in the Bay
of Bengal and Andaman Sea.
“ We were shocked by the cruelty,”
Khalid said, describing conditions
at the 28 abandoned camps,
scattered along a 50km stretch of
the Thai border, around which the
graves were found in an operation
that began on May 11.
Thousands of Rohingya Muslims
are ferried by traffickers through
southern Thailand each year, and in
recent years it has been common for
them to be held in remote camps
along the rugged border with
Malaysia until a ransom is paid for
Past investigations have shown
ransoms demands ranging from
$1200 to $1800, a fortune for
impoverished migrants used to
living on a dollar or two a day.
Pictures of the camps shown to
journalists by Malaysian police
showed basic wooden huts built in
Khalid said bullet cases were
found in the vicinity and added
there were signs that torture had
been used, without elaborating.
Metal chains were found near some
The first decomposed body was
brought down to a police camp
set up at the foot of the mountains
where the camps were found
last evening, an operation that
took nearly five hours due to the
roughness of the terrain.
“The body was only bones and
little bit of clothing on it,” Rizani
Che Ismail, the officer in charge of
Padang Besar police department,
said, adding the cause of death was
not immediately apparent.
Police chief Khalid said one of
the grave sites was just 100m or so
from the site where 26 bodies were
exhumed from a grave in Thailand’s
Songkhla province in early May.
Residents in the town of Wang
Kelian, on the Malaysian side of
the border, said they were used to
seeing migrants in the area.
“They are often star ving, not
eaten for weeks,” Abdul Rahman
Mahmud, a resident who runs a
small hostel, said. “ They eat seeds or
leaves or whatever they can find. It’s
a real pity and it’s sad to see this.”
Thailand, under pressure from the
United States to do more to combat
people smuggling, launched a
crackdown after finding the mass
grave, since when more than 3000
migrants have landed from boats in
Malaysia and Indonesia.
Thai police said overnight there
were no human trafficking camps
left in southern Thailand after a
But the crisis at sea is not over.
The United Nations refugee
agency UNHCR estimated on
Friday that some 3500 migrants
were still stranded on overloaded
vessels with dwindling supplies, and
repeated its appeal for the region’s
governments to rescue them.
Malaysia and Indonesia have said
they will allow the thousands still
at sea to come ashore temporarily
and ordered their navies to rescue
people found adrift.
Thailand has said it will not allow
migrant boats to land, but Prime
Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said
overnight the Thai navy would help
those in medical need.
“ I have ordered the navy to take
our boats and set up a floating
command centre to help those who
are hurt,” he said. — Reuters
likely in July
Ireland’s new laws on gay marriage will
be enacted by the end of July.
After the country’s resounding support
in a world-first vote, Justice Minister
Frances Fitzgerald said overnight she
was working to fulfil the wishes of same-
sex couples who want to wed as soon as
With the standard three-month
notification to register a wedding day, the
first ceremonies are likely to take place in
the country’s autumn.
“The Irish people have chosen decisively
to extend the right to marry to same-sex
couples,” Fitzgerald said.
“ I am particularly proud that the
right to marriage equality will now
be enshrined in our constitution as a
result of a popular vote. I would like
to compliment all of those who voted
and who campaigned on both sides for
what was a passionate and yet civilised
“ I am very conscious that many couples
will want to get married as soon as
possible. I am working to make that
Government officials are currently
drafting the Marriage Bill to reflect the
vote and constitutional change.
It is expected to be finalised in June
when it will go to cabinet before passing
through both Houses of the Parliament
The new laws will also give same-sex
couples who have already made plans to
enter a civil partnership to switch their
notification to a planned marriage.
“This means that couples who have
already registered their intention to enter
a civil partnership will be instead able
to get married once the law is enacted
on the basis of the same registration of
intent,” the minister said.
The referendum made Ireland the only
country where same-sex marriage reform
was backed by popular vote. — PA
A volcano in the Galapagos islands
has erupted for the first time in more
than 30 years, sending streams of lava
flowing down its slopes and potentially
threatening the world’s only colony of
The Galapagos National Park warned
on Twitter overnight that Isabela
Island, where the Wolf volcano erupted
at dawn, holds “the world’s only
population” of the iguanas, Conolophus
marthae, also known as the Galapagos
Park officials say they were not
immediately able to establish whether
the iguanas are at risk from the
A tourist boat passing by the
uninhabited island informed
authorities the 1707m volcano was
Park officials then flew over the area
to assess the impact of the eruption.
Pictures released by the park showed
fiery streams of lava trickling down the
side of the volcano as a puff of smoke
rose into the air and tongues of fire
darted from the crater.
Wolf volcano last erupted in 1982.
Isabela Island is the largest in the
Galapagos, the Ecuadoran archipelago
made famous by Charles Dar win’s
studies of its breathtaking biodiversity,
which was crucial in his development
of the theory of evolution by natural
The island chain, which sits about
1000km off the coast of Ecuador, is
one of the most volcanically active
regions in the world.
Isabela island, which strides the
equator, also has four other volcanoes:
Dar win, Alcedo, Cerro Azul and Sierra
Negra. — AFP
Fears for iguanas after Galapagos eruption
The Wolf volcano erupts overnight.
Syrian government aircraft have
launched at least 15 strikes in and around
the ancient city of Palmyra following its
fall to the Islamic State group.
The Syrian Obser vatory for Human
Rights says at least four civilians have
been killed in the raids, which were the
most intense since the jihadists overran
the city on Thursday.
“Government aircraft have carried out
at least 15 air strikes in Palmyra and the
areas around it,” obser vatory director
Rami Abdel Rahman said.
He said that dozens of people had also
been wounded in the overnight raids,
and that IS was believed to have taken
losses when a military security building
The strikes targeted several areas of the
city, including some close to the city’s
famed Greco-Roman ruins, a UNESCO
world heritage site, he said.
A military source confirmed operations
were under way in and around Palmyra.
“ Military operations, including air
raids, are ongoing in the area around Al-
Suknah, Palmyra, the Arak and Al-Hail
gas fields and all the roads leading to
Palmyra,” he said.
“ We are pursuing Daesh wherever
they are,” he added, using the Arabic
acronym for IS.
IS is accused of executing hundreds of
people in and around Palmyra since it
swept into the oasis city last week after a
lightning advance across the desert from
its stronghold in the Euphrates Valley to
The obser vatory said on Sunday that
it had documented the executions of
at least 217 people, among them 67
civilians, including 14 children.
Some of those killed had been
beheaded, Abdel Rahman said, adding
that the jihadists had also taken some
600 people prisoner.
Syrian State media said at least
400 civilians had been killed by IS in
Palmyra, most of them women, children
and old men.
The pro-government Al-Watan daily
reported overnight the number of
executions had risen to 450. — AFP
Syria launches 15 Palmyra air raids
Art Garfunkel has stunned fans
by revealing he became friends with
longtime partner Paul Simon only
because he felt sorry for him.
In one of his most candid
inter views, the Bright Eyes singer
tells Britain’s Sunday Telegraph he
initially quit Simon and Garfunkel
and turned his back on showbusiness
to become a teacher because he could
no longer work with his sidekick
He says, “I don’t want to say any
anti-Paul Simon things, but it seems
very per verse to not enjoy the glory
and walk away from it instead. Crazy.
(But) he was getting on my ner ves.
The jokes had run dry.
“A rest of a year was all I needed.
I said, ‘I ’m not married yet. I want
to jump on a BMW motorbike and
tour round Europe chasing ladies’.”
But it is his candid remarks about
the start of his friendship with
Simon, which led the duo to a
recording deal as teenage act Tom
and Jerry, that will surprise fans the
He admits he felt sorry for the
singer-songwriter because he was so
short, and adds, “ That compensation
gesture has created a monster.
“George (Harrison) came up to me
at a party once and said, ‘My Paul is
to me what your Paul is to you’. He
meant that, psychologically, they had
the same effect on us — the Pauls
sidelined us. I think George felt
suppressed by Paul (McCartney)
and I think that ’s what he saw with
me and my Paul.
“Here’s the truth: McCartney was
a hell of a music man who gave the
band its energy, but he also ran away
with a lot of the glory.”
During his inter view with the
Telegraph, Garfunkel also calls
Simon a “jerk” and agrees with
the inter viewer that the You Can
Call Me Al singer has a Napoleon
complex, linked to short people
hooked on power.
Despite his comments, Garfunkel,
who last toured with Simon in
2010, is open to another Simon and
Garfunkel tour: “ Will I do another
tour with Paul? Well, that ’s quite do-
able. As far as this half is concerned,
why not?” — WENN
Garfunkel did not like Simon at all
Two B B King heirs who have been
most outspoken about the blues legend’s
final days are accusing King’s two closest
aides of poisoning him.
Daughters Karen Williams and Patty
King allege in documents provided by
their lawyer to Associated Press that
King’s business manager, LaVerne
Toney, and his personal assistant, Myron
Johnson, killed their father.
Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg
said overnight that a post-mortem
examination was performed yesterday on
King’s embalmed body, and test results
will take up to eight weeks.
Las Vegas police lieutenant Ray Steiber
confirmed that homicide detectives were
Toney and Johnson each declined to
The coroner said King’s body had
been returned to a mortuary, and the
investigation should not delay planned
memorials this week in Memphis,
Tennessee, and Indianola, Mississippi.
Stones kick off
Zip Code tour
Producers behind director Cameron
Crowe’s new film Aloha have been
criticised for “ whitewashing” the movie’s
The romantic comedy, starring Bradley
Cooper and Emma Stone, takes place in
Hawaii, but bosses at the Media Action
Network for Asian Americans claim
casting directors failed to include enough
Asian-Pacific islanders in the film.
A press release issued by network
representative Guy Aoki to the New
York Post reads, “Caucasians make up
only 30% of the population (of Hawaii),
but from watching this film, you’d think
they made up 99%.
“This comes in a long line of films —
The Descendants, 50 First Dates, Blue
Crush, Pearl Harbour — that uses
Hawaii for its exotic backdrop but goes
out of its way to exclude the very people
who live there. It’s an insult to the
diverse culture and fabric of Hawaii.”
Crowe and bosses at Sony Pictures,
the studio behind Aloha, have yet to
comment on the allegations.
It is not the first time movie producers
have come under attack for such casting
Ridley Scott faced similar backlash
upon the 2014 release of his Egyptian
epic Exodus: Gods And Kings after
selecting British actor Christian Bale
and Australian star Joel Edgerton to
play historic figures Moses and Ramses,
respectively, instead of using actors of
Middle Eastern descent for the lead
roles. — WENN
Director ‘whitewashing’ Hawaiian movie cast
Strands of hair belonging to two
master composers are expected to fetch a
total of at least £12,000 ($25,396) when
they go under the auctioneer’s hammer
in London this week.
A lock of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart ’s
fair hair has been valued at an estimated
£10,000 by Sotheby’s auction house,
while a small lock belonging to Ludwig
van Beethoven could reach £2000 in a
separate lot that also includes a printed
invitation to the German’s funeral.
Contained in a 19th-century gilt
locket, the snip of Austrian maestro
Mozart ’s mane passed from his widow
Contanze to the German conductor
Karl Anschutz before it was given to the
English composer Arthur Sommer vell,
whose descendent now owns the
Mozart died in 1791, after composing
classic operas such as the Magic
Flute and The Marriage of Figaro,
while Beethoven, known for his nine
symphonies, passed away in 1827.
Locks of hair were frequently taken as
keepsakes from the bodies of recently
The item is similar to another lock
of Mozart’s hair, passed down from
the mistress of one of Mozart’s sons,
which sold in 2002 at Sotheby’s for
£38,240 — double the current pre-sale
The pieces are on public exhibition at
Sotheby’s galleries in New Bond Street,
London until tomorrow night, ahead of
the auction on Friday. — PA
Mozart’s hair goes under hammer
The Rolling Stones have launched
their Zip Code North American tour in
San Diego with more than two hours of
In front of a sold-out crowd at the
Petco Park stadium on Sunday night, the
stalwart foursome rocked hit after hit
from their 50-year catalogue.
Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie
Wood and Charlie Watts opened with
Jumpin’ Jack Flash before Show opener
Gary Clark Junior joined them for Bitch
from the band’s Sticky Fingers album,
which is being reissued this week.
A long catwalk extending from the
stage allowed Jagger to dance, run and
skip into the centre of the crowd.
The tour next moves to Ohio. — AP
The most challenging
leg of Solar Impulse 2’s
landmark flight around
the world powered only by
the sun has been delayed
because the weather.
The single-seater aircraft
was due to leave Nanjing,
in eastern China, for the
8500km flight over the
Pacific Ocean to Hawaii
But the much-
anticipated seventh and
longest section of the
was delayed once again
due to concerns about the
weather issues. — AFP
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