Home' Greymouth Star : September 22nd 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Tuesday, September 22, 2015
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uLetters to the editor
1776 - Nathan Hale, American patriot, is
hanged in New York by the British for being a
spy during the American Revolution.
1862 - US President Abraham Lincoln
declares all slaves in rebellious states will be
free from January 1, 1863.
1927 - Gene Tunney successfully
defends his world heavyweight
boxing title against Jack Dempsey
in the famous “ long-count ” fight in
1943 - The German battleship
Tirpitz is disabled by British midget
submarines in a Nor wegian fjord.
1975 - An assassination attempt is made on
US President Gerald Ford in San Francisco by
Sara Jane Moore. It is the second attempt in
1985 - French Prime Minister Laurent
Fabius admits that French secret agents
acting under orders sank the Greenpeace ship
Rainbow Warrior in New Zealand.
1989 - Songwriter Irving Berlin dies in New
York City, aged 101.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Anne of Cleves, queen consort of King Henry
VIII (1515-1557); Louis Botha, South African
soldier-statesman (1862-1919); Ben Chifley,
former Australian prime minister
(1885-1951); Arthur Lowe, British
actor (1915-1982); Fay Weldon,
British author (1931-); Debby
Boone, US singer (1956-); Joan Jett,
US singer-musician (1958-); Phil
Waugh, Australian rugby union
player (1979-); Billie Piper, English
“The autumn always gets me badly, as it
breaks into colours. I want to go south, where
there is no autumn, where the cold doesn’t
crouch over one like a snow-leopard waiting
to pounce.” — D H Lawrence, English author
“ Everything else is worthless when compared
with the priceless gain of knowing Christ
Jesus.” —(Philippians 3:8).
In a stinging
Baillie lashed out
last night at candidate for the mayoralty Dr
B M Dallas for his remarks about “c liques”
on the council and the holding of council
business in committee. The Mayor said Dr
Dallas had made the remarks when his mayoral
nomination was announced. He had said that
there were cliques on the council and these
cliques made the decisions.
“This is a reflection on you as councillors and
me as mayor of the town. The council is not
run by cliques and I think you will agree with
me that it is far from the truth. A lot of people
from the outside say they are going to do this
and are going to do that but when they get
here they find things are totally different,” said
Only possible snag to the use of Greymouth
streets as a car racing circuit would probably be
the incidence of illness where a resident may be
upset because of the noise. Deputy Mayor Cr
J E Stokes told last night ’s council meeting he
believed the Civic Centre Board should notify
the council soon if it wanted to conduct such
At last month’s meeting, the council turned
down a similar application on the grounds that
the Cobden beach circuit would cut off access
to the beach. The new site would be High
Street, Marlborough Street, Shakespeare Street
and Buccleugh Street.
A deputation comprised Messrs A Boustridge
and J Kennedy, Dr K E Kibblewhite and senior
traffic officer Mr I G Coddington. It was
pointed out that the race would be run under
NZ Drivers’ Club jurisdiction.
uFood for thought
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Benjamin Kang Lim
hinese President Xi
Jinping’s attendance at the
funeral earlier this year of
a one-time propaganda
minister was a surprise;
Deng Liqun, who died
aged 99, was never a top-ranked official
and had been a political enemy of Xi’s
Xi’s presence, sources said, was in fact
part of a nascent effort to heal wounds
across China’s ideological divide after
his unrelenting crackdown on corruption
alienated senior officials from the ruling
Communist Party, government and
Xi wants to consolidate support ahead
of the 19th party congress in 2017, when
the seven-member Politburo Standing
Committee, the apex of power in China,
is reshuffled, said the sources, who have
close ties to the leadership.
While Xi is expected to rule until 2023,
he needs to get allies on the committee
who will back his three-year war on
corruption and his plans for reforming
China’s slowing economy, experts said.
Xi has been involved in a number of
funerals this year for ex-officials who
spanned China’s political spectrum.
Funerals of notable figures have a
unique place in Chinese politics and are
carefully choreographed by the party.
Attendance is often scrutinised for clues
as to whether retired officials are among
the mourners, indicating they still have
Xi’s bridge-building shows a different,
more nuanced side of a president who
appears to the outside world as China’s
most top-down ruler since Mao Zedong.
The Chinese leader’s anti-graft
campaign has netted scores of senior
officials, targeted influential families
and frightened a bureaucracy to the
point where some officials will not make
decisions for fear of drawing attention to
It has also traumatised political factions.
That ’s why Xi was among the mourners
at Deng’s funeral in Beijing on February
17, where he bowed three times before
the body of the ultra-conser vative
Marxist ideologue, sources said.
Xi had no obligation to go, the sources
added, requesting anonymity because
they were not authorised to speak to
Deng had also been a nemesis of Xi’s
late father, Xi Zhongxun, a vice premier
in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
“Deng Liqun was a leftist and Xi
Zhongxun a rightist. They were political
enemies since ... the 1950s,” one source
In China, leftists are opposed to
market-oriented reforms and western-
style democracy, while rightists are more
liberal-minded. Precisely where President
Xi sits is fluid, which is how he wants it,
“ Xi went because he needs leftists in his
fight against corruption,” the source said.
Experts believe that, in a worst-case
scenario, conser vatives could try to oust
Xi, especially if the economy falters
further and unemployment sky-rockets.
The president has walked a tightrope
targeting “tigers”, or senior figures, in his
Among them has been former security
tsar Zhou Yongkang, a conservative
heavyweight jailed for life in June.
Despite that balancing act and China’s
plunging stock markets, Xi is sure to
display confidence when he holds talks
with United States President Barack
Obama in Washington this week and give
little ground on issues that bedevil ties,
from cyber security to China’s territorial
Xi has also paid tribute to those on
China’s political right.
Zeng Yanxiu, the first party member
purged in the 1957 anti-rightist
movement against liberal intellectuals,
died in Beijing on March 3, according to
sources close to the family. He was 96.
The party banned the holding of a
public ser vice because Zeng’s death
coincided with the annual full session of
parliament, the sources said.
Neither Xi nor his father were close to
Zeng, but the president sent a wreath,
“ Xi has been courting both the left
and the right in the party,” a second
source with leadership ties said. “ Xi is a
pragmatist, neither a rabid conser vative
nor excessive liberal.”
In the living room of Zeng’s flat at the
time, a Reuters reporter saw visitors bow
before a portrait of Zeng, flanked by
wreaths from Xi and other leaders.
“ Xi draws strength from convincing
both sides of the ideological divide that
he’s their guy,” said Christopher Johnson,
a China expert at the Centre for Strategic
and International Studies in Washington,
referring to Xi’s focus on funerals.
Another notable funeral Xi attended
was for Qiao Shi, 90, a former chairman
of parliament and once head of the
party’s anti-corruption watchdog who
was a proponent of strengthening the
legal system. Qiao died in Beijing on
Xi also went to the funeral of General
Zhang Zhen, former vice-chairman
of the powerful Central Military
Commission, who died in Beijing on
September 3 aged 100.
Anti-graft investigators have focused
particular attention on the military,
causing much disquiet throughout the
ranks, sources have said.
While Xi appears to have attended no
public weddings since assuming power,
his own showed his penchant for keeping
his cards close to his chest.
Xi, then 34, and his wife, Peng Liyuan,
then 24 and a popular army singer,
exchanged vows in a simple ceremony at
Xi’s home in the south-eastern port city
of Xiamen in 1987 where he was a vice-
mayor, official media reported last year.
Xi then informed the mayor, who
invited colleagues to a dinner.
The first to arrive recognised Peng and
asked, while shaking Xi’s, hand: “ Why is
Xi replied: “She is my wife”, official
Four funerals and a wedding
Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, shakes hands with relatives of Deng Liqun, a former senior official of the Communist Party of China, at Babaoshan Revolutionary
Cemetery in Beijing, China.
If you are in an earthquake in New
Zealand, drop, cover and hold is still the
right action to take.
This is the drill that has been taught to
school children for many years, and is what
is promoted around the country.
The advice can be summarised as:
â–a If you are inside a building, move no
more than a few steps, then drop, cover and
hold to protect yourself from falling objects.
Stay indoors till the shaking stops and you
are sure it is safe to exit. In most buildings
in New Zealand you are safer if you stay
where you are until the shaking stops.
â–a Not all people may be able to easily
drop. If you are unable to drop the best
action is to stop moving and brace yourself
against a wall or furniture.
â–a If you are outside, move away from
buildings, trees, streetlights, and power
lines, then drop, cover and hold. Stay there
until the shaking stops.
â–a If you are driving, pull over to a clear
location, stop and stay there with your
seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops.
Once the shaking stops, proceed with
caution and avoid bridges or ramps that
might have been damaged.
In a severe earthquake it is absolutely
vital that people respond immediately. Be
clear about what actions to take in the
environments where you spend most of
your time. L ook around you now, before
an earthquake. Identify safe places such as
under a sturdy piece of furniture or against
an interior wall in your home, office or
school so that when the shaking starts you
can respond quickly.
New Zealand experiences more than
20,000 earthquakes every year. Most are
too small or too deep to be noticed but over
100 earthquakes a year are big enough to be
felt, and a severe one can occur at any time.
In 1931 the 7.8 Hawke’s Bay earthquake
caused significant damage and loss of
life, and resulted in New Zealand’s first
earthquake-resistant building design code.
Several times since 1931 the code has
been upgraded and buildings strengthened.
The code has been further upgraded with
lessons identified from the Canterbury
earthquakes of 2010 and 2011.
Fixing problems in older buildings from
before modern codes — retrofitting — is in
most cases the responsibility of the building
Planned well, small improvements can
make big differences.
The higher a building’s design limits —
from when it was built and retrofitting
— the safer the building.
Most earthquake-related injuries and
deaths are caused by collapsing walls,
and falling glass and
objects caused by the
shaking. Many injuries
are caused by people
moving during or
immediately after the
Even after earthquake
shaking stops, move
with care as debris can
cause further injuries.
In a major earthquake,
masonry and glass falls
off buildings and into
If you are inside, drop,
cover and hold — do
not run outside or you
risk getting hit by falling
masonry and glass. If
you are outside, move
away from buildings,
trees, streetlights, and
power lines, then drop,
cover and hold.
Stay there until the
* Discredited earthquake safety
You will find other information on the
internet about what to do in an earthquake.
Much of it has been discredited, and should
not be followed.
One e-mail (which has been widely
discredited), often known as the ‘triangle of
life’, goes as far as discouraging people from
taking cover under sturdy furniture.
Research from the United States, Taiwan,
Japan and Christchurch (all places with
modern, earthquake resistant building
design codes), supports and recommends
the core message for New Zealand: drop,
cover and hold is the right action to take in
Sign up at www.shakeout.govt.nz/
Drop, cover and hold still the right action to take
Everyone, everywhere should know the right action to take before, during and after
an earthquake. Thursday, October 15 is the International Shake Out Day of Action.
New Zealand will be the first country to participate this year, at 9.15am. Do the drop,
cover and hold drill to participate.
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