Home' Greymouth Star : June 19th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Friday, June 19, 2015 - 9
Police lead suspected shooter Dylann Roof into the courthouse in Shelby, North Carolina.
Church shooting suspect held
Conflicts and violence raging around
the world sent the number of people
forced to flee their homes soaring to a
record 60 million last year, the United
That is 8.3 million more refugees and
internally displaced people (IDPs) in the
world than in 2013 — the highest-ever
increase in a single year, the UN refugee
agency said overnight in a report titled
World at War.
“ We are witnessing a paradigm
change, an unchecked slide into an
era in which the scale of global forced
displacement as well as the response
required is now clearly dwarfing
anything seen before,” UN High
Commissioner for Refugees Antonio
Guterres said ahead of the launch of
UNHCR’s annual report.
A massive 59.5 million individuals
were displaced from their homes
worldwide at the end of 2014, “as a result
of persecution, conflict, generalised
violence, or human rights violations”, the
That is up from 51.2 million in 2013
and from 37.5 million a decade ago, and
if these people were lumped together as
a nation, it would be the world’s 24th
Of the total, 19.5 million were refugees,
1.8 million were asylum seekers and 38.2
million had fled their homes but stayed
in their country, the report said.
More than half of the world’s refugees
are children, up from 41% in 2009, while
the total number of people who fled their
homes has surged by 40% in just three
“Things are getting out of control
simply because the world seems to be
at war,” Guterres said, stressing that the
conflicts in Syria and Iraq alone had
forced 15 million people to flee their
But they are far from the only conflicts
forcing people to seek safe haven.
In the last five years, at least 14
conflicts have erupted or resumed
worldwide — more than half of them
“ We do not have the capacity, the
resources for all victims of conflicts,”
“ We are no longer able to pick up the
pieces,” the commissioner said, adding
that “impunity and unpredictability” in
war seem to have become “the name of
Guterres meanwhile urged European
countries “to keep the borders open”.
“ In Europe, more than 219,000 refugees
and migrants crossed the Mediterranean
Sea during 2014.
“That is almost three times the
previously known high of about 70,000,
which took place in 2011,” the report
Despite fears expressed in European
countries and other wealthy nations
over the growing refugee and migrant
influx, the report showed that developing
countries are hosting a full 86% of all
those who had fled war or persecution in
At the end of 2014, the world’s top host
for refugees was Turkey, sheltering 1.59
million people, followed by Pakistan
(1.51 million) and Lebanon (1.15
The number of Syrian refugees taking
shelter in Turkey has further risen this
year to more than 1.7 million, according
to the latest UN data, since war broke
out in Syria in 2011. — AFP
Charleston (South Carolina)
A white man was arrested overnight
on suspicions he killed nine people at
a historic African-American church in
South Carolina after sitting with them
for an hour of Bible study in an attack
United States officials are investigating
as a hate crime.
The mass shooting set off an intense
14-hour manhunt that ended when
21-year-old Dylann Roof was arrested
in a traffic stop about 350km north of
Charleston, South Carolina, where the
shooting occurred, officials said.
Yesterday ’s mass shooting at the
almost 200-year-old Emanuel African
Methodist Episcopal Church, comes
after a year of turmoil and protests over
race relations, policing and criminal
justice in the US. A series of police
killings of unarmed black men has
sparked a renewed civil rights movement
under the “Black Lives Matter” banner.
Four pastors, including Democratic
State Senator Clementa Pinckney, 41,
were among the six women and three
men shot dead at the church nicknamed
“ Mother Emanuel,” which was burned
to the ground in the late 1820s after a
slave revolt led by one of its founders.
“The fact that this took place in a
black church obviously raises questions
about a dark part of our history,” US
President Barack Obama said. “Once
again, innocent people were killed in
part because someone who wanted to
inflict harm had no trouble getting their
hands on a gun.”
The US has seen a series of mass
shootings in recent years, including
the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook
Elementary School, where a gunman
killed 20 children and six adults. Efforts
to reform the nation’s gun laws, protect
by the Second Amendment of the US
Constitution, failed after that incident.
A man who identified himself as
Carson Cowles, Roof ’s uncle, said that
Roof ’s father had recently given him a
. 45-calibre pistol as a birthday present
and that Roof had seemed adrift.
“I don’t have any words for it,” Cowles,
56, said in a telephone inter view.
“ Nobody in my family had seen anything
like this coming.”
Roof was armed with a pistol but
surrendered peacefully at his arrest,
Charleston police chief Greg Mullen
In a Facebook profile apparently
belonging to Roof, a portrait showed
him wearing a jacket emblazoned
with the flags of apartheid-era South
Africa and of the former Rhodesia,
now Zimbabwe, both formerly ruled by
white minorities. Many of his Facebook
friends were black.
Roof was arrested on two separate
occasions at a shopping mall earlier this
year for a drug offence and trespassing,
according to court documents.
Roof ’s mother, Amy, declined to
comment when reached by phone.
“ We will be doing no inter views, ever,”
she said before hanging up.
Sylvia Johnson, a cousin of Pinckney,
told MSNBC that a sur vivor told her
the gunman reloaded five times during
the attack despite pleas for him to stop.
US Attorney-General Loretta Lynch
said her office was investigating whether
to charge Roof with a hate crime
motivated by racial or other prejudice.
Under federal and some State laws, such
crimes typically carry harsher penalties,
but South Carolina is one of just five
States not to have a hate-crimes law.
Other victims included three church
pastors: DePayne Middleton Doctor, 49,
Sharonda Coleman Singleton, 45 and
Reverend Daniel Simmons, 74; Cynthia
Hurd, a 54-year-old employee of the
Charleston County Public Library,
and Susie Jackson, 87; Ethel Lance,
70, Tywanza Sanders, 26, and Myra
Thompson 59, an associate pastor at the
church, according to the county coroner.
Roof was born about three years after
his parents had divorced and grew up
shuttling between his parents’ homes
in South Carolina, according to his
uncle and the parents’ divorce papers.
His father, Ben Roof, runs his own
construction business, and he remarried
after divorcing Dylann Roof ’s mother.
Roof and his older sister, Amber, lived
part of the time with their father and the
father’s wife, Paige, until Ben and Paige
Amber Roof, 27, is engaged to be
married and a profile on TheKnot.com
shows her wedding is scheduled for
Sunday in Lexington, South Carolina.
Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar
Vucic says he was “surprised
and shocked” by the Hungarian
government ’s plan to close the border
with Serbia and erect a 4m-high
fence to keep out migrants.
“I am surprised and shocked. We
will discuss this decision with our
Hungarian colleagues,” Vucic said
live on RTS State television during
a visit to Oslo.
“Building walls is not the solution.
Serbia can’t be responsible for the
situation created by the migrants, we
are just a transit country. Is Serbia
responsible for the crisis in Syria?”
The prime minister asked whether
Serbia should “in turn build walls (on
its frontiers with) Macedonia and
Bulgaria”, which migrants travelling
overland cross before reaching the
“Serbia will not build walls, it will
not isolate itself, I do not understand
this decision and I intend to talk
about the issue with our European
Union partners,” he said.
Vucic added that migrants who
cross into Serbia have come through
European Union states such as
Bulgaria and Greece.
“ We give them assistance and food,
but these people do not want to stay
in Serbia, they are passing through,”
announced yesterday they planned
to build a barrier that will run all the
way along the 175km border with
Some 54,000 refugees have entered
Hungary since January this year, a
sharp rise from the 2000 who entered
the central European state in 2012.
Relative to its population, the
latest figures mean Hungary has
received the second-highest number
of refugees in Europe this year after
Authorities say 95% cross over into
Hungary via the frontier with Serbia,
which is not an EU member.
Some 75% of refugees arriving in
Hungary are fleeing war in Syria, Iraq
In January and February, several
thousand impoverished Kosovans
also arrived in Hungary.
Hungary, a landlocked central
European country of 10 million
people, is in the EU’s visa-free
Schengen zone and thus an attractive
destination for tens of thousands of
migrants entering Europe through
the Balkans from the Middle East
and Africa. Most of them then move
on to wealthier western Europe.
“The EU’s countries seek a solution
(for the problem of immigration) . .
. but Hungary cannot afford to wait
any longer,” Foreign Minister Peter
Szijjarto told a news conference.
“ We are talking about a stretch of
border 175km long, whose physical
closure can happen with a 4m fence,”
The fence will evoke memories of the
Cold War-era barriers — including
the Berlin Wall — that separated
communist east Europe, including
Hungary, from the capitalist west.
Szijjarto said the fence would not
violate any international agreements
and the government would hold a
high-level meeting on July 1 with
Serbia, which is not in the EU but
wants to join, to discuss the plans.
According to the Hungarian Office
of Immigration and Nationality
(BAH) about 57,000 people have
crossed into Hungary illegally so far
this year, up sharply from 43,000 in
all of 2014. Migration began to spike
in the middle of last year.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor
Orban’s government, which is losing
voters to the far-right Jobbik party, is
under fire from the EU and human
rights groups over its handling of
Orban has said an EU proposal to
distribute migrants evenly across the
28-nation bloc “ borders on insanity”.
The UN Refugee Agency ’s regional
condemned the fence plan.
“The right to seek asylum is an
inalienable human right. So we
are concerned that erecting a fence
would place too many barriers to this
right,” McKinsey said.
Szijjarto said Budapest would
designate all EU member states and
EU candidates such as Serbia as “safe
countries”, putting the onus on them
to take responsibility for migrants
crossing their territory. Of the seven
countries bordering Hungary, only
Ukraine is neither an EU member
nor a candidate.
Hungarian government ministers
have said they will block migrants
arriving in the country from safe
Most illegal migrants arrive in
Serbia from Bulgaria, which is an EU
member, or from Macedonia, which
Bulgaria has built its own fence
along a section of its 240km border
with Turkey with the same aim of
keeping out migrants and it has plans
to extend it. — AFP-Reuters
Serbia slams Hungarian fence plan
They washed in by the thousands:
tiny red crabs covering the Orange
County shoreline much further north
than their typical home.
The 2.5cm to 7.5cm Pleuroncodes
planipes are usually concentrated off
the Baja California coast, Linsey Sala,
collection manager at the University
of California San Diego’s Scripps
Institution of Oceanography, said.
The crabs are washing up further
and further north because the water is
unusually warm, she said.
“They have this ability to transition
from the sea floor through the water
“They’re subject to current and
internal waves and tides, so they can
be pushed along with different water
masses,” Sala said.
“ Typically, when we do see larger
numbers of tuna crab, it ’s during warm
Fishermen first spotted the little red
crabs in Southern Californian waters
last year, Sala said, and reports came in
earlier this year of sporadic strandings
on Catalina Island and elsewhere.
Starting in mid-May, thousands
washed up on San Diego beaches.
The warmer water could be due to
a combination of factors, Sala said,
including an El Nino, a large-scale
oceanic climate phenomena.
A giant patch of warm water,
nicknamed “The Blob” by researchers,
has formed in the Gulf of Alaska
and off California’s coast as weather
patterns have failed to suck the usual
amount of heat from the ocean.
— Washington Post-Bloomberg
Red crab tide swamps Orange County
Thousands of red tuna crabs are shown washed ashore in Dana Point,
California. Linsey Sala, collection manager for the Pelagic Invertebrates
Collection at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, said the
strandings happen periodically and are not necessarily a threat to the species.
European royals and diplomats
have gathered in Belgium to
mark the 200th anniversary of
the Battle of Waterloo, a turning
point for the continent which
still touches a ner ve and stirs
“ Waterloo, the folly and the
grandeur. The horror and the
genius. The tragedy and then the
hope,” Belgian Prime Minister
Charles Michel said in an opening
address under leaden skies.
The stress was on modern-day
reconciliation and the sacrifice of
some 47,000 dead or wounded
soldiers on the fields around the
small drab town just south of
Brussels, the target of Napoleon’s
ill-fated drive north in June 1815.
France and Germany, however,
sent only their ambassadors to
a ceremony that attracted kings
Michel called for reconciliation
through the “European project ”
and its promise of peace despite
conflict on its borders in Ukraine
and economic worries.
“The enemies of yesterday are
the allies of today,” he said. “ This
reality, it is the European project.”
The battle was a pivotal
moment in European history, as
some 93,000 French troops led
by Napoleon fought 125,000
British, German and Belgian-
Dutch forces under the D uke of
Wellington and Field Marshal
Defeat saw Napoleon exiled to
St Helena in the south Atlantic
Ocean, where he died in 1821.
The victors redrew the map of
a Europe which enjoyed almost a
century of relative peace until the
carnage of World War One.
In London, Prince Charles
attended a ser vice at St Paul’s
Cathedral in full military regalia
as a field marshal, accompanied
by his wife Camilla.
“This anniversary means a great
deal,” squadron sergeant major
Tony Gray, 76, who ser ved with
the Light Cavalry, said. “ The
battle changed history. Had we
not won, we would probably be
speaking French now. ”
Yesterday, Charles unveiled a
memorial at the Hougoumont
Farmhouse, where allied forces
fought off repeated French
attacks as Napoleon desperately
sought to break their lines.
French Prime Minister Manuel
Valls was ambiguous at best
about the ceremonies.
“I heard it said this morning that
President (Francois Hollande)
and myself should have been
there so that we could shed our
tears over this fearsome moment
for our country,” Valls said.
As for Napoleon, French
Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le
Drian appeared to sum up the
dilemma — he had many great
achievements but also “certain
failures, this drive for power and
extending borders which was not
About 200,000 spectators are
expected to make their way to
Waterloo, starting with today ’s
commemorative ser vice and
ending with battle re-enactments
at the weekend.
Belgium’s King Philippe led the
attendance, which included the
Grand-D uke of Luxembourg
and the D uke of Kent, the
cousin of Queen Elizabeth II,
along with Frans Timmermans,
the first vice-president of the
European Commission. — AFP
Obama urges action
A clearly frustrated
President Barack Obama
has said the United States
should look again at how
killers get their hands on
guns, after what he called
“senseless murders” at a
historic black church.
“Now is the time for
mourning and for healing,
but let ’s be clear — at some
point, we as a country will
have to reckon with the
fact that this type of mass
violence does not happen
in other advanced countries,” Obama
“It doesn’t happen in other places with
this kind of frequency. And it is in our
power to do something about it. ”
The president expressed anger over the
attack, in which a white suspect opened
fire on a Bible study group in a church
in Charleston, South Carolina and
killed nine members of the mainly black
“I ’ve had to make statements like this
too many times,” he said,
in brief remarks from the
White House podium,
flanked by an equally
ashen-faced Vice President
“Once again, innocent
people were killed in part
because someone who
wanted to inflict harm
had no trouble getting
their hands on a gun,” he
But Obama immediately
admitted the difficulty of
passing legislation or even
addressing the issue of gun control in a
gridlocked Washington of entrenched
“I say that recognising the politics in
this town foreclose a lot of those avenues
right now, but it would be wrong for us
not to acknowledge it,” he said.
“And at some point, it ’s going to be
important for the American people to
come to grips with it and for us to be able
to shift how we think about the issue of
gun violence collectively.” — AFP
Woman dies at 116
Jeralean Talley, the world’s oldest-
known person, has died in Michigan 26
days after her 116th birthday, a family
spokeswoman said overnight.
Born on May 23, 1899, Talley
climbed to the top of a list kept by
the Gerontology Research Group,
which validates the ages of the world’s
longest-living people, after Gertrude
Weaver died at 116 in Arkansas in
Talley died on Wednesday night in her
home in Inkster, a Detroit suburb, which
she shared with her daughter, Thelma
Holloway, 77, a family spokeswoman,
Christonna Campbell, said.
“S he was just a beautiful woman,”
Campbell said. “ We enjoyed her words
Talley was born in Georgia and moved
to Michigan in 1935 with her husband,
Alfred Talley, for his job at a Ford plant.
He died in 1988.
Robert Young, director of the
Database Division, said Talley’s death
came as a surprise as she lived an active
“She was walking around as of a few
weeks ago,” Young said.
The next person who could possibly
claim status as the oldest in the world
is Susannah Mushatt Jones, who is 115,
Young said. Born in Alabama, she is
living at the Vandalia Senior Centre in
Brooklyn, New York, a representative for
the centre confirmed overnight.
Talley was an active member in the
New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist
Church in Inkster. Ser vices for Talley
will be held on June 27 at the church.
Boko Haram kills 30 villagers
Boko Haram militants attacked two
villages in southern Niger’s Diffa region
overnight, killing at least 30 civilians,
two security sources said overnight.
It was the second major cross-border
attack by the Nigerian Islamist group
this week, following twin suicide
bombings in Chad’s capital on Monday
that killed at least 34 people.
The attackers drove into the villages
in the Gueskerou area with cars and
motorcycles and shot residents before
setting fire to the mostly straw thatched
houses where others were hiding, the
“In all, at least 30 were killed. Some
of them died when the houses were set
alight,” said one of the security officials.
The source said he expected the death
toll to rise because a number of sur vivors
had serious burns.
Gueskerou is along the banks of the
Komadugu River separating Niger from
Despite a regional military operation
to beat back Boko Haram, southern
Niger has been attacked dozens of times
this year. Its government has declared a
state of emergency for the region and
has arrested more than 600 people it
accuses of links to the group. — Reuters
Links Archive June 18th 2015 June 20th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page