Home' Greymouth Star : June 16th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Tuesday, June 16, 2015
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Queen Elizabeth II unveils a plaque at a Magna Carta 800th anniversary commemoration event in Runnymede, near London. The Magna Carta is
widely recognised as one of the most significant documents in history and its influence, as a cornerstone of fundamental liberties, is felt around the
world in the constitutions and political traditions of countless nations.
Four candidates have registered to lead
Britain’s opposition Labour Party after
its former chief Ed Miliband resigned in
the wake of a devastating election defeat
last month, the party says.
Shadow health minister
Burnham, a member of former Labour
Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s
government, is the bookmakers’ favourite.
He has vowed to be “a leader whose
voice can carry into all the nations
and regions of the United Kingdom”
following the collapse of support in the
party’s traditional heartlands, especially
Reformer Liz Kendall, 44, is second
favourite, despite having been elected to
parliament only in 2010.
She has been critical of the party’s
shift to the left under Miliband, saying
“fundamental reform is essential to the
future sur vival of our party.”
Yvette Cooper has long been tipped as
a potential leader, but her close ties with
leading figures associated with Labour’s
recent losses — including her husband
Ed Balls — could count against her.
Veteran left-winger Jeremy Corbyn
completes the line-up after a successful
last-minute attempt to secure the
support of at least 35 of Labour’s MPs
— 15% of the total.
Labour Party representatives, members
and affiliates will decide the result, which
will be announced at a special conference
on September 12.
The rules have been changed since
the last leadership election to give less
influence to trade unions in deciding the
Some party supporters have also asked
for the possibility to change leader before
the next general election in 2020 in case
the winner of the current contest fails to
measure up to the task.
The party now has only 232 MPs after
it was all but wiped out in Scotland by
Scottish nationalists and lost voters in
its northern working-class strongholds
during a general election defeat for
which Miliband took responsibility.
The party is locked in debate about
whether it should maintain its leftward
shift, or return to the centrist platform
of former leader Tony Blair, and how to
counter the image of being dominated by
its London-based members. — AFP
800 years of Magna Carta marked
Queen Elizabeth led
celebrations overnight to mark 800 years
since the sealing of the Magna Carta,
one of the world’s most significant
historical documents and credited with
paving the way for modern freedoms
and human rights.
On June 15, 1215, in fields by the banks
of the River Thames at Runnymede to
the west of London, England’s King John
agreed to the demands of his rebelling
barons and accepted the Magna Carta,
Latin for “Great Charter”, which for the
first time placed the monarch under the
rule of law.
In the centuries since, it has taken on
huge global significance, becoming the
basis for the United States Bill of Rights,
the US Declaration of Independence
and the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights. Three of its 63 clauses
still remain on Britain’s statute book.
“ What happened in these meadows
eight centuries ago is as relevant today as
it was then. And that relevance extends
far beyond Britain,” British Prime
Minister David Cameron said.
He said the document had changed
the world, inspiring people from the
founding fathers of the US and Indian
independence leader Mahatma Gandhi
to Nelson Mandela in South Africa.
“Its remaining copies may be faded, but
its principles shine as brightly as ever,”
Cameron told the ceremony attended
by the Queen, other royals and global
figures including US Attorney-General
The Magna Carta came into being
during a period of great political
upheaval in England with conflict
between King John, his nobles and the
It was essentially a peace deal to
address the problems of the day and was
annulled by the Pope shortly after wards.
But updated versions, which included
two original clauses regarded as pivotal
in establishing the rule of law, were re-
released regularly by or on behalf of
The clauses read: “No free man shall
be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of
his rights or possessions, or outlawed
or exiled, or deprived of his standing
in any way, nor will we proceed with
force against him, or send others to do
so, except by the lawful judgment of his
equals or by the law of the land.
“To no one will we sell, to no one deny
or delay right or justice.”
Four original copies of the document,
written on a single sheet of parchment
about the size of A3 paper, still exist.
At the overnight ceremony, a new
art installation was unveiled and the
American Bar Association’s Magna
Carta Memorial, which was erected at
the site in 1957, was re-dedicated.
Lynch said the charter was a bedrock
to free societies globally, while Cameron
also used the anniversary as a political
opportunity to underpin his plan to
overhaul human rights laws and reduce
the influence of Europe.
However, John Dyson, chairman of the
Magna Carta Trust, said King John and
the barons would have been bemused
that the document would garner such
interest hundreds of years later.
“They would surely have been
astonished that over time Magna Carta
came to be regarded as one of the most
important constitutional documents in
our history,” he said.
“They would not have believed that
barons’ lists of demands would become
a symbol of democracy, justice, human
rights and perhaps above all, the rule
of law for the whole world. But that is
exactly what has happened.” — Reuters
Document seen as basis for rule of law
More than 1200 Indonesian
villagers have been evacuated
from their homes close to a
rumbling volcano on Sumatra
island, an official said.
Authorities raised the alert
status of Mount Sinabung — a
highly active volcano — at the
start of this month after detecting
a sharp increase in activity.
The volcano erupted at the
weekend, sending trails of hot ash
tumbling down the mountain. No
injuries were reported.
The overnight evacuations
took to almost 4000 the number
of villagers ordered from their
homes this month.
“ Two villages with 1274
people were evacuated today
to safer locations about 10km
away,” local military commander
Asep Sukarna said, adding the
settlements were south of the
“ We plan to evacuate five to six
more villages in the coming days,
that ’s about 2500 residents.”
Sinabung rumbled back to
life in 2013 after a period of
inactivity, since when about
10,000 people have had to
evacuate their homes.
While some were able to return
once volcanic activity died down,
others have been forced to remain
A massive eruption in February
2014 killed at least 16 people and
sent thousands more fleeing for
Sinabung is one of 129 active
volcanoes in Indonesia, which sits
on the Pacific Ring of Fire, a belt
of seismic activity running around
the basin of the Pacific Ocean.
Residents on a motorcycle watch Mount Sinabung, near Namanteran village in Karo Regency,
Indonesia’s North Sumatra province.
1200 evacuated as volcano rumbles
Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic
cancelled his first official visit to Bosnia
overnight after a Muslim Bosniak
member of the country’s inter-ethnic
presidency opposed it over the arrest of a
wartime Bosniak commander.
Swiss police last week arrested Naser
Oric on a Serbian arrest warrant over his
role in the alleged killings of Serbs around
Srebrenica during Bosnia’s 1992-95 war.
Oric is currently being detained, pending
extradition, which he will contest.
The visit of Nikolic, once a firebrand of
the Greater Serbia ideology that fuelled
the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s, was
aimed at easing ties between the two
former rivals still struggling with the
bloody legacy of the war which killed
But Bosnian presidency member Bakir
Izetbegovic said the visit, scheduled for
tonight, should be postponed because
Serbia had requested Oric’s extradition,
despite judicial co-operation agreements
under which the case should be
transferred to Bosnia.
Bosnia’s Muslims see the arrest of Oric
as an attempt by Serbia to overshadow
the commemoration next month of the
20th anniversary of the 1995 Srebrenica
massacre of about 8000 Muslims by the
Bosnian Serb forces.
The country’s tripartite presidency,
consisting of a Serb, a Croat and a
Bosniak, could not reach consensus on
the issue, prompting Nikolic to cancel
“President Nikolic will always go on
an official visit to Bosnia when all three
members of the presidency demonstrate
unity and readiness,” the statement from
Nikolic’s office said.
“Unfortunately . . . a request for the
postponement of the visit followed, so
that individuals could make political
points among ultra-nationalists,” the
Oric was indicted by The Hague-
based International Criminal Tribunal
for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY ) for
crimes against Serbs and was acquitted
in 2008. The ruling angered the Bosnian
Serbs and Serbia, who see the tribunal as
biased against them.
Mladen Ivanic, the Bosnian Serb
chairman of the presidency, said the
cancellation of Nikolic’s visit might
worsen relations between the two
neighbours. “ I think this is not good and
takes us several steps backwards,” Ivanic
said. — Reuters
Three British sisters are feared to have
travelled to war-torn Syria with their
nine children, one of whom is aged as
young as three. The news emerged as calls
mounted for more to be done to tackle
radicalisation of teenagers on-line after
17-year-old Talha Asmal was reported
to have become Britain’s youngest ever
It was also revealed overnight that
Thomas Evans, a Muslim convert from
Buckinghamshire, is believed to have
died fighting in Kenya fighting for
extremist group Al Shabaab.
It is feared 12 members of the Dawood
family, from Bradford in west Yorkshire,
travelled to Syria where it is understood
one of their relatives is fighting for
According to Balaal Khan, a lawyer
acting for the fathers of the missing
children, sisters Khadija Dawood, 30,
Sugra Dawood, 34, and Zohra Dawood,
33, left Britain on May 28 to go on an
Islamic pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.
They travelled with their nine children,
aged from three to 15, and were supposed
to return to the United Kingdom on
Their family have not heard from them
in almost a week, and it is believed that
on June 9 they boarded a flight from
Madina in Saudi Arabia to Istanbul in
Turkey — a commonly used route into
Khan said: “ They are concerned that
their children’s lives are in danger.
“The concern is for the well-being and
safety of the children. The fathers are
distraught, they feel helpless and they
don’t know what to do. They want the
children out of harm’s way.”
“The suspicion, and main concern,
is that the women have taken their
children to Syria,” Khan said.
He said police were notified five or
six days ago, but are limited in what
they could do because it is out of the
A west Yorkshire police spokeswoman
confirmed they have received a missing
persons report concerning the Dawood
family. — PA
of 12 feared
to be in Syria Serb president cancels
A United States civil rights activist
has resigned from the leadership
of a leading African American
advocacy group, amid a “firestorm”
over allegations that she was a
white person who masqueraded for
years as black.
The Washington State chapter
of the National Association for
the Advancement of Coloured
People (NAACP), posted Rachel
Donezal’s resignation letter on its
Facebook page overnight.
In it, she writes that her
commitment to the
and social justice movement ”
is undiminished but that “the
dialogue has unexpectedly shifted
internationally to my personal
identity in the context of defining
race and ethnicity”.
Dolezal, 37, built a career as an
activist in the black community of
She rose to become the president
of the city’s branch of the NAACP
and ser ved as an independent
mediator for the city’s police force.
Neither position required that
she be black, but media reports
said Dolezal identified herself in
application forms as black.
She resigned apparently under
pressure from the civil rights group.
“I have always deferred to the State
and national NAACP leadership
and offer my sincere gratitude for
their unwavering support of my
leadership through this unexpected
firestorm,” Dolezal wrote.
Her parents, who are both white,
said their daughter is as well,
providing local media with a birth
certificate and photographs of a
Dolezal — who now appears tawny
skinned and dark haired — as a
blonde, fair-skinned child. — AFP
‘Black’ head of US rights group resigns
Residents on a street in Sydney
south have been allowed to return
to their homes after being evacuated
when a sink hole unexpectedly
Three town houses in Illawong
were evacuated yesterday afternoon
after a 3m-deep sink hole measuring
10m metres by 6m appeared in
examining the site,
structural engineers declared the
homes safe for return at 9.15pm.
Sink hole opens up in Sydney
18 migrants die in Sahara
The bodies of 18 mainly west African
migrants trying to reach Europe have
been found in Niger in the Sahara
desert, the International Organisation
for Migration says.
The 17 men and one woman are
believed to have lost their way in a sand
storm after setting off from the desert
town of Arlit, IOM said yesterday.
“They succumbed after having lost
their route from Arlit, Niger to Algeria
due to a sand storm,” IOM Niger’s
mission chief said in a statement.
“Then the heat and lack of water did
The organisation said the migrants
were from Niger, Mali, Ivory Coast,
Senegal, the Central African Republic,
Liberia, and Guinea, with one reportedly
They are thought to have died on June
3, but their bodies were discovered over
a week later.
While there has been much
international focus on the flood of
migrants and refugees attempting
to cross the Mediterranean to reach
Europe, the boat voyage is often just one
step in a long and treacherous journey.
The discovery of the 18 bodies gives a
rare glimpse of the hidden side of the
The 18 bodies “highlights a feared but
hitherto little-known danger too many
migrants face long before they risk
their lives at sea,” IOM director-general
William Lacy Swing said in a statement.
“The Sahara may be as deadly as the
Mediterranean for this wave. All too
tragically many of these deaths go
IOM estimates that some 100,000
people are likely to attempt the same
journey across the Sahara this year alone.
Swedish Princess Madeleine gave birth
to her second child, a son, overnight, the
Royal Court said.
The 33-year-old princess, fourth in line
to the throne, and her newborn baby,
which is sixth in line, were both well,
the court said in a brief statement on its
Madeleine and her husband, banker
Christopher O’Neill, had their first
child, Princess Leonore in February last
Sweden is a constitutional monarchy
and the king has no political power.
Public support for the royal family has
waned somewhat in recent years, but
remains fairly broad.
Swedish princess gives birth
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