Home' Greymouth Star : July 8th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Wednesday, July 8, 2015 - 7
Canadian held over chair balloon flight
A man has been arrested for
flying over the Canadian city of
Calgary on a chair, strapped to
more than a 100 helium-filled
balloons, in a scene straight out
of the computer-animated film
Calgary police said Daniel
Boria, 26, was arrested and
charged with mischief causing
danger to life.
In a press conference yesterday,
the police said Boria used a
parachute to land, spraining his
ankle in the process.
Boria was released on a
$US1200 ($1805) bail and will
appear before a judge on July 13.
Police said the incident was a
publicity stunt for his cleaning
According to the Calgary Sun
daily, the chair used by Boria
was found some 65km south of
Speaking to the newspaper,
Boria said he did not know what
height he managed to reach, but
at one point he was flying over a
Boeing 747 airliner.
“ It was the most surreal
experience you can ever imagine,”
Boria’s stunt on Sunday
coincided with the celebration
of the Calgary Stampede,
considered the world’s largest
rodeo event and attended by a
million people annually. — EF E
10 years on
German prosecutors are seeking three
and a half years’ jail for a former SS
officer known as the “Bookkeeper of
Oskar Groening, 94, stands accused
before a court in the northern city
of Lueneburg of 300,000 counts of
“accessory to murder” in the cases of
deported Hungarian Jews sent to the
gas chambers between May and July
Public prosecutor Jens Lehmann said
in closing arguments overnight that his
sentencing request was based on the
“nearly incomprehensible number of
victims”, but mitigated by “the limited
contribution of the accused” to their
Lehmann also argued that the court
should consider viewing some of the
sentence as already ser ved because
Groening had been
investigated in recent decades with no
charges brought until last year.
Groening’s trial, expected to be one of
the last of its kind, began in April.
He ser ved as a bookkeeper at
Auschwitz, sorting and counting the
money taken from those killed or
used as slave labour, collecting cash
in different European currencies and
shipping it back to his Nazi bosses in
Groening, whose frail health has led
to several delays in the proceedings, has
acknowledged “moral guilt” but said
it is up to the court to rule on his legal
Lehmann said the court faced a historic
decision with its verdict, which could
come as early as this month.
“ We are confronted with events that
push the limits of human imagination,”
In a statement read out by one of his
lawyers in court last week, Groening said
he did not feel entitled to ask Holocaust
sur vivors to forgive him.
“I can only ask my Lord God for
forgiveness,” he said. — AFP
Britons have laid flowers at the sites of the
2005 London suicide bombings and held a
nationwide minute of silence for the 52 victims
on the 10th anniversary of the attacks.
Prime Minister David Cameron led the
tributes by placing a wreath at a memorial in
Hyde Park and petals were released from the
dome of St Paul’s Cathedral during a ser vice
The Hyde Park ceremony began at exactly
8.50am local time — the time the first of four
homegrown jihadists detonated his device on
London’s transport system on July 7, 2005.
“It’s still raw 10 years on,” Mark, a 40-year-old
train driver said, fighting back tears on the plaza
outside King’s Cross train station, near two of
the four blast scenes.
“ You see things you don’t want to see again,”
he said, adding that he was on duty at the time
and was involved in rescue operations.
Bouquets of flowers were laid in nearby
Tavistock Square, on the spot where one of the
bombers detonated his device on a red double-
decker bus, killing 13 people.
“O ur precious daughter Shyanu. When heaven
took our angel back, they left two broken hearts,”
read one message left in memory of 30-year-old
At Russell Square Underground station where
a second device was detonated on a train, a tent
was erected near the station entrance where
mourners could sit and pay a silent tribute.
Spectators at the Wimbledon tennis
tournament joined in the minute of silence, as
did tourists outside St Paul’s where families of
the victims and sur vivors had gathered.
“ Ten years on from the 7/7 London attacks,
the threat from terrorism continues to be as real
as it is deadly,” Cameron said.
“The murder of 30 innocent Britons while
holidaying in Tunisia is a brutal reminder
of that fact. But we will never be cowed by
The Britons were among 38 people killed when
a gunman went on the rampage at a popular
Tunisian beach resort on June 26, Britain’s worst
terror incident since the 2005 bombings.
Prince William joined the ceremony in Hyde
Park where several sur vivors spoke of their
Emma Craig, 24, was just a schoolgirl on one
of the trains targeted as she made her way to a
work experience programme.
“All of us lost our innocence on that day,” she
“It might not have broken London but it
broke some of us.” — AFP
seek jail for
Two prestigious British literary prizes
for foreign fiction announced their
merger overnight as part of an effort to
get more works translated into English.
The biennial Man Booker International
Prize is joining forces with the annual
Independent Foreign Fiction Prize,
the Booker Prize Foundation said in a
statement. From 2016, it will be awarded
“One of the persistent obser vations
of Man Booker International Prize
judges has been that a substantial body
of important literary fiction has not
been translated into English,” Jonathan
Taylor, chairman of the Booker Prize
Foundation, said. “ We very much hope
that this reconfiguration of the prize
will encourage a greater interest and
investment in translation.”
Boyd Tonkin, a senior writer for The
Independent newspaper for which
one of the merged prizes was named,
will chair the judges for the 2016
prize, a spokeswoman for the Booker
“As a further acknowledgment of the
importance of translation, the £50,000
($116,332) prize will be divided equally
between the author and the translator,”
the foundation said.
This year’s winner of the Man Booker
International Prize was Hungarian
writer Laszlo Krasznahorkai. He was
chosen for what the judges said were
“magnificent works of deep imagination
and complex passions, in which the
human comedy verges painfully onto
The Booker Foundation also runs the
Man Booker prize for works of fiction
written in English and published in Great
Britain. The prize, originally limited to
writers living in Britain, Ireland or the
Commonwealth, was opened up in 2014
to authors who have been published in
Britain, a move that allowed American
writers to be considered for the first time.
A French court has jailed a woman for three
years for conning thousands of Chileans into
buying a kit to make “magic cheese” they could
sell back to French cosmetics companies for use
in luxury beauty products.
Gilberte Van Erpe, 74, also received an
additional three-year suspended sentence for
her vast scam in which she told victims the
product they could make at home was a prized
ingredient used in creams favoured by celebrities
such as Michael Jackson.
But the goop was worthless and the scam
became one of the biggest pyramid schemes
ever seen in South America.
The “case of the magic cheese”, as it is known in
France, began in 2005 when the businesswoman
dubbed “Madame Gil” held conferences around
Chile urging people to become home producers
of the fermented product.
Her company, Fermex Chile, had some 20
branches around Chile.
For 369 euros ($610) investors could buy
a kit containing filters and a special powder
which when mixed with milk and fermented,
produced a small cheese pat they were told was
highly sought after by the cosmetics industry.
Fermex promised that companies like French
cosmetics giant L’Oreal would snap up the
cheese for use in whitening creams and other
That is, after they were sold to a company in
Congo-Brazzaville which would sell them on to
Victims were told they could double their
initial investment in four months.
To entice the first victims, the kits were given
away for free, and people were paid for their first
batches of exported “magic cheese”, convincing
them to reinvest their earnings.
The success of the business initiative spread
rapidly and a Chilean investigation showed
some 5500 people were ensnared.
Many families mortgaged their houses or
became heavily indebted to invest in the
pyramid scheme, which raked in 14.5 million
euros for the alleged scammers.
Like most pyramid schemes the scam relied
on rapid growth, with initial investors telling
their friends, neighbours and family about its
profitability and getting them to join.
Victims were spurred to sign up friends and
family with the promise of gifts and reward
As for the “magic cheese”, it never even left
the country and a Chilean journalist later found
tonnes of it rotting in a warehouse.
The scam collapsed in July 2006 and Van Erpe
was arrested in the southern French city of Nice
in 2008, but it was not possible to extradite her.
Chilean authorities thus pursued her in France
where she stood trial alongside three alleged
Van Erpe had allegedly used the same scheme
to trick thousands of Peruvians a few years
earlier. — AFP
Woman jailed over
‘magic cheese’ scam
A United Nations Security Council vote on a
resolution to condemn the Srebrenica massacre
as genocide, marking the 20th anniversary of the
mass killing, has been delayed until tomorrow as
Britain and the United States try to convince
Russia not to veto the commemoration,
Russia has deemed the British-drafted
resolution unbalanced and does not want the
1995 massacre of 8000 Muslim men and boys
described as genocide. Instead it proposed
condemning “the most serious crimes of
concern to the international community”.
A vote by the 15-member council had been
scheduled for today, but has been delayed
as talks between Britain, the US and Russia
continue on the draft, diplomats said.
Asked if Russia planned to veto, Russia’s
Deputy United Nations Ambassador Vladimir
Safronkov declined to comment.
A spokesman for the British UN mission said
discussions “have gone right to the wire”.
“Given the significance of the anniversary,
we’re committed to getting the broadest level
of support from council members. We hope this
delay will allow us to do so,” he said.
On July 11, 1995, towards the end of Bosnia’s
1992-95 war, Bosnian Serb forces swept into the
eastern Srebrenica enclave, a UN-designated
They executed 8000 Muslim men and boys in
the days that followed, dumping their bodies
Serbia acknowledges that a “grave crime” took
place and adopted a declaration condemning
the massacre in 2010 as it sought closer ties
with the west, but stopped short of describing
it as genocide.
Serbia warned earlier the resolution would
only widen ethnic divides in neighbouring
Bosnia. — Reuters
Srebrenica vote put off
An F-16 fighter has collided
in mid-air with a small civilian
training aircraft over South
Carolina, United States officials
said, casting fiery debris over a
Administration (FAA) said the
collision occurred late in the
morning local time, about 20km
north of Charleston.
Shaw Air Force Base in central
South Carolina, via Twitter, said
the F-16’s pilot “is accounted
for” as local media, quoting
rescuers, reported he was alert
There was no immediate word
about sur vivors aboard the
two-seat Cessna 150, a popular
Debris was spread across an
area near the lakeside town of
Moncks Corner, where residents
told local media they had seen a
“fireball” fall from the sky.
The crash site, near a small
civilian airport, lies near a swath
of South Carolina identified on
aviation charts as a “military
operation area” where fighter
aircraft are known to exercise.
The National Transportation
Safety Board (NTSB) said it was
investigating. — AFP
F-16, Cessna 150 collide in ‘fireball’
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