Home' Greymouth Star : June 18th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Thursday, June 18, 2015
A tiger that killed a man in the
central square of Georgia’s capital
Tbilisi was shot dead, officials
say, four days after hundreds of
animals escaped from the city’s
zoo after deadly floods.
The interior ministry had
initially said the animal was a
lion and deployed special forces
to hunt down the beast.
Giorgobiani later said, “It was
one tiger. It has been liquidated.”
Eyewitnesses told Georgian
television overnight they saw a
person getting mauled by a white
“It was a white tiger, a big
one. It attacked a man, it seized
him by the throat,” one agitated
eyewitness told the Imedi
The Georgian government had
initially warned residents to stay
indoors after the disaster, which
flooded the zoo after the Vere
River burst its banks after heavy
Lions, bears and a hippopotamus
were seen roaming the flood-
ravaged streets, but Prime
Minister Irakli Garibashvili
announced on Monday that all
the escaped animals were either
killed or recaptured.
Georgian media said the tiger
had been hiding in a warehouse
and escaped the citywide hunt
for the escaped creatures.
Floods hit Tbilisi on Sunday,
killing at least 17 people and
causing massive damage to the
city’s central districts including
the zoo, where hundreds of
Over half of the zoo’s animals —
some 300 animals — were either
drowned in the muddy waters or
were later shot by police. — AFP
Escaped tiger from
Federal authorities have accused three United
States postal workers of being Scrooges, by
writing fake letters to Santa Claus to get
Christmas gifts meant for poor children.
Terry Jackson, 22, Mahogany Strickland,
23, and Nickyeves Saintalbord, 28, all worked
on the US Postal Ser vice’s Operation Santa
programme in 2013, according to a criminal
complaint made public overnight in federal
court in New York.
Under the programme, underprivileged
children write letters to Santa asking for
holiday gifts, which are received and processed
by the postal ser vice. Individuals can “adopt ” the
children and buy them gifts.
In 2013, according to the complaint, the postal
ser vice received more than 300,000 letters and
processed more than 7000 requests. Fewer than
half were fulfilled.
According to authorities, Jackson, Strickland
and Saintalbord wrote numerous letters
pretending to be poor children and brought them
to the main post office facility in Manhattan, the
centre of the Operation Santa programme.
The three workers made copies of the letters
to ensure they would be available at the desk
where customers adopt gift requests, the
complaint said. The three ended up receiving
laptop computers, tablets, clothing and other
items, according to the complaint.
In inter views with an agent with the US
Postal Ser vice’s Office of Inspector-General,
all three workers admitted writing letters, the
They were arrested and expected to make an
initial court appearance today.
In addition, Strickland and Saintalbord were
also accused of relabelling gifts for children with
their own addresses, and redirecting packages to
All three face mail fraud and conspiracy
charges, while Strickland and Saintalbord also
face a count of receiving stolen mail. — Reuters
Poor children miss
out as postal workers
swindle Santa scheme
Prison inmates Richard Matt, 48, left, and David Sweat, 35, are seen in a combination of enhanced pictures
released by New York State police, showing how they might look after escaping 12 days ago.
Nearly two weeks after
their elaborate escape from
a New York prison, more
than 1400 leads have failed
to locate two dangerous
murderers on the run, US
Richard Matt, 49, and
David Sweat, 35, escaped
12 days ago from a
maximum security jail
in New York State, in
elaborate prison break that has been
likened to a Hollywood movie.
New York police released doctored
photographs of the two escapers
showing how they could look 12 days on
with facial hair growth.
They used hacksaw blades supplied
by a 51-year-old married female
prison worker, who reportedly had
a relationship with both men, and
equipment stolen from a toolbox left by
Joyce Mitchell, who worked in the
tailor shop at the Clinton Correctional
Facility in the village of Dannemora, is
in custody charged with facilitating their
She told investigators the two escapers
also plotted to kill her husband, Lyle,
Clinton County District Attorney
Andrew Wylie said.
Lyle Mitchell has been questioned but
there is no information he had prior
knowledge of the escape or helped,
Officials said his wife had been moved
240km south to a jail in the town of
Plattsburgh to Rensselaer County where
she is under constant super vision.
She allegedly confessed to giving the
pair tools and to planning
to meet them with a
getaway car, but changed
her mind at the last minute
and checked into a hospital
suffering from a panic
Local, State and federal
law enforcement have
scaled back the ground
search in the immediate
prison, turning the focus
nationwide and alerts have
gone out on the Mexico border, while
Canadian police are also on the look-
Police said 600 officers were on the
ground — a reduction of 25% from 800
earlier in the week — in a search that has
reportedly cost $US1 million ($1.431
million) a day.
Despite more than 1400 leads, there
have been no confirmed sightings of the
There is a $100,000 ($143,100) reward
for information leading to the murderers’
“ We still need the assistance of the eyes
and ears giving us your information,”
Clinton County sheriff David Favro
Matt was ser ving a sentence of 25
years to life for the 1997 kidnapping and
dismembering of his former boss in a
He fled to Mexico after the murder
and killed another American there,
before being sentenced to 20 years and
extradited back to New York.
Sweat was ser ving a life sentence
without parole for murdering a sheriff ’s
deputy in New York State in 2002 when
hewas22. — AFP
Quads’ mum at 65
dismays IVF doctors
Experts at a top fertility conference
are dismayed at the case of a German
woman who after having 13 children has
had IVF quadruplets at the age of 65.
The episode damages the reputation of
in-vitro fertilisation, which has enabled
millions to know the joy of parenthood,
“ It’s the kind of tale which makes
headlines around the world and skews
the image of our field,” Francoise
Shenfield, a specialist in reproductive
medicine and bioethics at University
College London, said.
Annegret Raunigk, a Berlin teacher near
retirement age who is the oldest woman
to have given birth to quadruplets.
After going to Ukraine for IVF
treatment from anonymous donors,
Raunigk gave birth last month to three
boys and a girl, delivered by Caesarean
about 15 weeks early.
The babies weighed between 655g
and 960g at birth, but have since gained
between 30 and 50% in weight “and
are developing well”, Berlin’s Charite
Hospital said overnight.
One is on respiratory assistance
and the others “require milder aids
for breathing”, it added, but medical
confidentiality barred it from saying
One baby required surgery for an
intestinal problem, doctors said last
Specialists inter viewed at the annual
conference of the European Society of
Human Reproduction and Embryology,
c losing in Lisbon overnight, highlighted
ethical concerns about the mother’s age
and risks for the babies.
There is no international regulation
of fertility treatment and national
guidelines are based on medical opinion.
A general age limit for IVF is about 50,
c lose to the typical onset of menopause,
the experts said.
Women in Germany today live to
about 85, “so you could argue that a
65-year-old’s got 20 years and could
see that child through to adult life”,
Adam Balen, a professor of reproductive
medicine and chairman of the British
Fertility Society, said.
A much bigger concern, he said, was
that the clinic had implanted numerous
embryos to boost chances of a live birth.
“ Multiple pregnancies are dangerous.
They ’re dangerous for the mother, but
they ’re more dangerous for the babies,”
Fertility clinics in advanced economies
stopped routine transfers of multiple
embryos about six years ago.
The evidence shows that babies born
from such transplants generally enter
the world with lower birthweight and
higher risk of ill health and cognitive
Most western watchdogs recommend
single embryo transfers, which are now
much more likely to succeed than a
The German Society for Reproductive
Medicine describes Raunigk’s case as
“extremely questionable”. — AFP
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