Home' Greymouth Star : September 7th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Monday, September 7, 2015
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uLetters to the editor
1548 - Catherine Parr, sixth and last wife of
King Henry VIII of England, dies soon after
giving birth to a daughter.
1776 - The first submarine used in warfare
makes an unsuccessful attempt to attach a mine
to a British flagship in New York harbour.
1813 - The nickname Uncle Sam is
first used as a symbolic reference to
the United States in an editorial in
the Troy Post of New York.
1892 - First boxing match under
Marquess of Queensberry rules:
Gentleman Jim Corbett beats John
1901 - Peace of Peking ends Boxer Rebellion
1936 - What was said to be the last Tasmanian
tiger dies in Hobart Zoo.
1940 - In World War Two the Germany
begins its Blitz bombing campaign on London.
1943 - A liberator aircraft crashed on take-
off into five trucks at Port Moresby, killing 59
Australian servicemen of the 2/33rd Battalion.
1978 - Death of Keith Moon, drummer with
British rock group The Who, after an overdose
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
England ’s Q ueen Elizabeth I (1533-1603);
C J Dennis, Australian poet (1876-1938); Elia
Kazan, US film director (1909-2003); Belgium’s
King Baudouin (1930-1993); Sonny
Rollins, US jazz musician (1930-);
Buddy Holly, US singer (1936-1959);
Gloria Gaynor, US singer (1949-);
Julie Kavner, US actress (1950-);
Chrissie Hynde, US singer (1951-);
Corbin Bernsen, US actor (1954-);
Shannon Elizabeth, US actress
“ My definition of an educated man is the
fellow who knows the right thing to do at the
time it has to be done ... You can be sincere
and still be stupid.” — Charles F Kettering,
American inventor (1876-1958).
“ For the Lamb at the centre of the throne will
be their shepherd; He will lead them to springs
of living water. And God will wipe away every
tear from their eyes.” — (Revelation 7:17).
drowned in the
Grey River yesterday
afternoon while trying to save Ross Albert
Hannah, 25, who also died after being tipped
out of their jetboat in turbulent waters.
Clinging to the only lifejacket that was aboard
the craft, Mr John Joseph Hahn, after also
trying to save Mr Hannah, managed to get to
The tragic trip began as a pleasant jaunt along
the Ahaura River and then into the upper
reaches of the Grey. The jetboat owned by Mr
Hannah was drifting into the Grey when it
hit turbulence of three streams joining. At the
time the three men were standing up as Mr
Hannah fired a shot at a shag. At the drifting
speed, the craft lurched and in a split second
the three men were in the water which at this
spot is at least 20 feet deep.
Mr Hannah was a non-swimmer and wearing
gumboots. Constable Ruston was last seen by
Mr Hahn swimming around looking for Mr
Hannah. By the time Mr Hahn had made the
bank and looked back, there was no sign of
either man. Neither body has yet been found.
A well-known resident of Ruru, Mr Percy
Reuben Feary died at Greymouth on Saturday,
aged 79. Born at Feilding, Mr Feary came to
Greymouth as a child. He was educated at
Stillwater and later employed in Greymouth
at the Silver Pine butter factory. He then
transferred to Ruru where he conducted the
general store for 27 years.
Predeceased by his wife Janet six years ago,
Mr Feary is sur vived by one son, Harold (Te
Kinga) and two daughters, Madlena (Mrs
Skelton, Cobden) and Margaret (Mrs Gordon,
uFood for thought
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Odd lizard earliest turtle
It was a creature that one scientist said
resembled “a strange, gluttonous lizard
that swallowed a small frisbee.”
But a sophisticated skull analysis showed
that this reptile called Eunotosaurus
africanus that lived in southern Africa 260
million years ago is actually the earliest-
known turtle, even though it had no shell,
researchers said last week.
Eunotosaurus, about 30cm long,
possessed wide and flat ribs that gave
it a distinctly rounded and turtle-like
profile. It mixed features of its lizard-
like ancestors with emerging turtle-like
characteristics that evolved over tens of
millions of years into familiar turtle traits,
the researchers said.
“Think of your neighbourhood box turtle,
but much more flattened and with scaly
skin and a long tail,” New York Institute
of Technology anatomy professor Gaberiel
Bever said, describing Eunotosaurus. “And
teeth, it had a mouthful of them.”
Only later did turtles become toothless.
Eunotosaurus lived during the
Permian period 20 million years before
pappochelys, a creature from Germany
that in June was identified as the earliest-
known turtle, and 30 million years before
the first dinosaurs. The earliest-known
turtle with a fully formed shell lived
around 210 million years ago.
Eunotosaurus fossils were first
unearthed in South Africa in the late 19th
century. There has been a long debate
about whether it was part of the turtle
Bever’s team used advanced scanning
technology to perform a detailed analysis
of its skull anatomy, digitally dissecting
each cranial bone in four fossil specimens,
to help demonstrate eunotosaurus was the
oldest-known member of the turtle group.
“ Where turtles came from, evolutionarily
speaking, and how they are related to the
other major groups of living reptiles —
lizards, snakes, crocodiles and birds — has
been a topic of vigorous debate for as long
as we’ve had a theory of evolution,” Bever
Fresh insight into the turtle lineage
came in 2008 when scientists described a
primitive turtle from 220 million years ago
called odontochelys from China.
“ Turtles have been missing their
archaeopteryx, their missing link to the
rest of the vertebrate tree, since Dar win
told us that we should be looking for one,”
said Bever, mentioning the oldest-known
“ With odontochelys, pappochelys
and now eunotosaurus, we now have a
remarkable series of transitional forms that
take us from an almost lizard-like creature
to the modern turtle body plan that is so
interesting and bizarre.”
The research appears in the journal
Nature. — Reuters
An illustration of a reptile named eunotosaurus that lived 260 million years ago and that scientists say is the earliest-known
turtle, even though it did not have a shell.
assan and Saba
al-Jedwa’s five children
play in the gravel at
Minia Syrian refugee
camp — a collection
of cramped white tents
off the main highway on the outskirts of
northern Lebanese city Tripoli.
Aid cuts have aggravated their already
squalid living conditions, and have
pushed some of Lebanon’s 1.2 million
Syrian refugees to seek illegal passage to
Europe, including by sea.
But widely-broadcast footage of
dead children lying on the shores of
Mediterranean islands or dying in trucks
on Europe’s mainland are putting off
those who might already have fled.
“There’s no aid here, and no prospects,”
said 43-year-old Hassan, trying to
console a wailing toddler.
“If there were a chance to migrate safely,
we would. But not illegally. We’re scared
after seeing what ’s happened in Europe
— m any people have died doing that.”
Hassan and his family fled western
Homs province at the start of Syria’s
four-year-old civil war, heading for
Lebanon, where many Syrians would like
to move on from a deepening refugee
“I’d take my children and go today if
there were a legal and organised way to
emigrate,” his wife, Saba, said.
“But we’ve heard the stories about
people travelling illegally, and children
dying on those journeys. I would not take
that risk with my children, so for now
we’re confined to this camp.”
Deteriorating conditions for the nearly
four million Syrian refugees living in
neighbouring countries have pushed
many to seek asylum in Europe, as record
numbers of migrants have headed for its
More than 2500 migrants have died in a
number of smuggling incidents at sea and
At Minia camp, residents said some 400
people live in 32 tents, which consist of
little more than mats for furniture and
gas canisters for cooking.
Severe lack of funding has forced the
United Nations to scale back aid this year,
with the World Food Programme cutting
by half the amount of food assistance
it can give to hundreds of thousands of
Syrian refugees in the region.
In Lebanon, many refugees are receiving
half their initial food entitlement at $13.5
per month, and some say they are getting
nothing at all.
“ When we first arrived we were getting
aid and pre-paid food vouchers, but then
the value of that went down and now
there’s nothing for many people,” said
Thiryal Qasim Dibis, another Minia
She said impoverished refugees
who cannot afford to renew
six-month residency permits face
arrests by Lebanese security forces,
discouraging men to go out in search of
In addition, growing hostility against
refugee populations in the region has
led to an increase in physical attacks on
Syrians in Lebanon.
While many are unwilling to risk
dangerous migration routes, others see no
Images of dead refugees have failed
to deter 35-year-old mother-of-two
Manal al-Naji, a resident of al-
Baddawi Palestinian refugee camp in
Tripoli — a concrete jungle that is now
hosting thousands of additional Syrian
Palestinians who have fled the conflict,
according to a camp official.
“I want to migrate, even if it’s
dangerous,” Manal said, crouching on a
thin mattress in her windowless living
“I never thought I would one day be
willing to put my four-year-old daughter
at risk. We hear about many, many people
who drown trying to make the journey.
But our situation gives us no other
Manal has contacted smugglers, seeking
to travel by boat from Tripoli to Turkey,
but still cannot afford the $2000 fee.
According to Baddawi camp officials,
some 200 families have sought to be
smuggled towards Europe, with the fate
of many unknown.
A middleman involved in smuggling
operations from Tripoli, who spoke on
condition of anonymity, said a number
of journeys had been organised from the
port city, with Palestinian and Syrian
refugees making up the majority of
They will pay thousands of dollars to try
and reach Europe, he said.
But the dangers faced in smuggling
journeys are becoming ever more
apparent as the numbers of refugees
Back at Minia, 65-year-old Yusef
Mustafa said most were no longer willing
to take the risk.
“It ’s better for me to stay here than to
die,” he said. — Reuters
Syrian refugees stand in front of a tent at their makeshift settlement in Saadnayel in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.
Fear grips refugees
The art collection of late
United States mall developer
A Alfred Taubman, who ser ved
prison time in an auction house
price-fixing scandal, is being put
up for sale in what was described
as the most valuable private
collection ever offered at auction.
Sotheby’s said the collection,
to be sold in November in
New York, is valued at more
than $500 million. The 500
works stretch from antiquity to
contemporary art and include
paintings by Pablo Picasso,
Jackson Pollock and Amedeo
Taubman, a billionaire who
founded the shopping mall
business Taubman Centres Inc,
died in April at the age of 91.
In 1983, he bought Sotheby’s
and became its chairman. He
is credited with revolutionising
the way auction houses did
business by pioneering such sales
as the jewels of the D uchess
of Windsor and the Jacqueline
Kennedy Onassis estate in the
1980s and 1990s.
But in the early 2000s,
Taubman was convicted and
jailed for 10 months over
an international price-fixing
conspiracy with competing
auction house Christie’s. He
was also fined $7.5m, and left
jail in 2003 still proclaiming his
Some of the top works in his
collection include Modigliani’s
Portrait de Paulette Jourdain,
and Willem de Kooning’s
Untitled XXI, which have
estimated prices of $25 million
to $35 million each.
The Taubman collection will
be auctioned in a series of sales
starting in November. Proceeds
will be used to settle estate tax
obligations and fund the
A Alfred Taubman Foundation,
Sotheby’s said. — Reuters
Mall developer’s art collection up for auction
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