Home' Greymouth Star : November 24th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Tuesday, November 24, 2015 - 5
Syrian army retakes
towns from IS
Suspected explosives belt found
Material believed to be an
explosive belt has been found in
a public rubbish bin in the town
of Montrouge south of Paris, a
source close to the investigation
“It looks like a belt of
the source said
overnight, adding that checks
were under way.
France and Belgium are trying
to hunt down suspects and
would-be assailants following the
November 13 attacks that killed
130 people in Paris.
After the attacks, the cellphone
of one suspected assailant, Salah
Abdeslam, was detected in the
18th district in the north of Paris
and then later in Chatillon in the
south, the source said. — Reuters
French navy aircraft from the Charles
de Gaulle aircraft carrier struck Islamic
State targets in Iraq overnight while
Britain offered France the use of an
air base in Cyprus to hit the militants
behind the Paris attacks.
French President Francois Hollande
met British Prime Minister David
Cameron in Paris overnight as part
of efforts to rally support for the fight
against Islamic State and Hollande
is also due to visit Washington and
Moscow this week.
Cameron offered air-to-air refuelling
ser vices and said he was convinced
Britain should carry out air strikes
alongside France and would be
recommending that Britain’s parliament
vote through such measures.
France has intensified its bombings
in Syria since the November 13 attacks
in Paris claimed by Islamic State that
killed 130 people. The group is also
being targeted from the air by a United
States-led coalition and Russia.
French fighter-bombers taking off
from the country’s flagship in the
eastern Mediterranean destroyed targets
in Ramadi and Mosul in Iraq in support
of Iraqi forces on the ground, the French
armed forces said in a statement.
The arrival of the Charles de Gaulle
aircraft carrier in the area following the
Paris attacks has tripled the French air
force’s firepower by boosting the number
of planes targeting Islamic State to 38.
“I firmly support the action that
President Hollande has taken to strike
Isil (Islamic State) in Syria and it is
my firm conviction that Britain should
do so too,” Cameron said at a joint
news conference after his meeting with
“Later this week, I will set out in
parliament our comprehensive strategy
for tackling Isil,” Cameron said.
Cameron is eager to avoid a repeat
of 2013 when he lost a vote on air
strikes against Syrian President Bashar
al-Assad’s forces. Britain is already
bombing Islamic State in Iraq.
Hollande said France planned to
intensify its air strikes on Islamic State
in Syria, adding that it would focus on
destroying targets that would cause as
much damage as possible.
Besides the aircraft carrier, Britain’s
Cyprus Akrotiri air base could offer
another option for French bombers,
which had been using bases in Jordan
and the United Arab Emirates until
Tonight, Hollande is due to visit
Washington where he hopes to
overcome President Barack Obama’s
reluctance to get sucked further into the
Washington trip, which will be followed
by a visit to Russia later in the week,
French officials made no secret of their
desire to see the US do more.
In between the two trips, Hollande
is due to receive German Chancellor
Angela Merkel on Wednesday night
and Italy’s President Matteo Renzi on
“ We all need each other, so we have
to find ways to co-ordinate,” French
Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian
said yesterday. “ We can do that without
a combined military command structure,
we just need to talk to each other.”
Cameron offers Cyprus RAF base to France
French navy aircraft hit IS Beirut
The Syrian army and allied
militias, backed by Russian
bombardments, took control of
two towns in western Syria after
heavy battles with Islamic State
The Syrian Obser vatory for
Human Rights monitoring group
and Syrian State media reported
the military and a local force
had taken control of Mheen and
Hawwarin towns, to the south-
east of Homs city, and had killed
a large number of Islamic State
The two towns lie to the east of
the north-south highway running
through Syria’s major cities that
is crucial to control of mainly
government-held territory in the
west of the country.
They are also close to roads that
link the Islamic State-held city
of Palmyra in the central Syrian
desert to western cities.
The Obser vatory, which tracks
conflict using sources on the
ground, said Syrian and Russian
aircraft had carried out dozens of
strikes on the areas surrounding
Mheen and Hawwarin.
Russia, a main ally of President
Bashar al-Assad, started carrying
out air strikes in Syria nearly two
months ago in support of the
Syrian army and allied ground
The west has accused Moscow
of mainly targeting rebels
unaligned with Islamic State
during the campaign which
started on September 30.
Last week Russian and Syrian
aircraft bombarded Islamic
State-held areas of eastern Syria.
One of only four northern
white rhinos believed left in the
world died on Sunday at the
San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
Nola, a 41-year-old female
which has been at the park
since 1989, was euthanised after
its health took a turn for the
worse, a zoo statement said.
The geriatric rhino had
arthritis and other ailments and
was being treated for a bacterial
infection linked to an abscess
in its hip. Nola had surgery
on November 13 to drain the
abscess but its health began
to deteriorate about a week
ago; its appetite faltered and it
It worsened over the past 24
hours and vets decided they had
to euthanise it, according to the
zoo in Escondido.
“Nola was an iconic animal,
not only at the San Diego Zoo
Safari Park, but worldwide,” the
park statement said.
The remaining three northern
white rhinos, all elderly, are in
a closely guarded reser ve in
The subspecies has been
decimated by poachers,
who kill the rhinos for their
horns. The horns are in high
demand in parts of Asia
where some people claim they
have medicinal properties
for treating everything from
hangovers to cancer.
In an effort to preser ve the
species, the San Diego zoo took
possession earlier this month
of six female southern white
rhinos from South Africa.
Zoo researchers are working
on developing northern white
rhino embryos to be implanted
in the six new arrivals, who will
ser ve as surrogate mothers.
Researchers have said they
hope a northern white rhino
calf could be born from a San
Diego surrogate mother within
10to15years. — AP
Extremely rare white rhino dies at zoo
Northern white rhino Nola receives a veterinary exam from associate veterinarian Meredith Clancy, left, as keepers Kim
Millspaugh and Mike Veale, right, assist at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in California in this 2014 file photo.
A British woman who tried to kill her
husband by poisoning his Christmas
drink of sparkling fruit wine with anti-
freeze was jailed for 15 years overnight
after being undone by a spelling mistake
and a trail of text messages.
Following family arguments, Jacqueline
Patrick, 55, twice tried to kill her
husband Douglas, 70, in October and
on Christmas Day 2013, by spiking his
cherry Lambrini, a drink favoured by
teenagers looking to get drunk on a low
“ Perhaps most shocking of all was the
note she gave to the London Ambulance
Ser vice purporting to be from her
husband, stating that he did not wish
to be resuscitated,” Detective Inspector
Tracey Miller, of London’s Metropolitan
Police, said in a statement.
The forged note showed a misspelling
of the word dignity as “dignerty”. When
police later asked her to write the word,
Jacqueline Patrick made the same
The couple’s daughter Katherine,
21, was sentenced to three years in jail
after admitting to inciting her mother
to poison her father, while Jacqueline
pleaded guilty to two counts of
attempted murder at the family’s south
Douglas Patrick was rushed to hospital
fighting for his life, and tests revealed he
was suffering from anti-freeze poisoning.
“ His wife was informed who then told
doctors she thought Mr Patrick may
have drunk a blue liquid by mistake. The
hospital, finding it strange that she hadn’t
volunteered this information earlier,
called police,” the police statement said.
Mother and daughter’s cellphones
were seized and revealed a series of
incriminating exchanges, including “I
got the stuff I will give him some later
delete txt tell no one ok”, and “He feels
sick again I gave him more delete this”.
Jack the Ripper, the
singer, the Masons . . .
Jack the Ripper was an obscure singer whose
identity was shielded by fellow Masons, new
A book by Bruce Robinson, the director and
screenwriter of the classic film Withnail and
I, claims the notorious Whitechapel killer was
named Michael Maybrick.
In They All Love Jack: Busting the Ripper,
Robinson argues that all of the Ripper killings
bore the stamp of Masonic ritual, citing the
symbol of a pair of compasses car ved into the
face of Catherine Eddowes, and the removal of
metal buttons and coins from her and Annie
Chapman. The cryptic graffiti daubed on a wall
in Goulston Street was “the most flagrant clue
New archives prove for the first time that
Maybrick and his brother James — who has
previously been named as the Ripper — were
They reveal Freemasons were in prominent
positions in the Scotland Yard inquiry, including
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Charles
Warren and Chief Inspector Donald Swanson.
Two coroners who ruled on the murders,
Wynne Baxter and Henry Crawford, and at
least three of the police doctors who examined
the bodies were also Masons.
Maybrick, who was on the Supreme Grand
Council of Freemasons, travelled the country as
His entry in the carefully handwritten records
describes him as a “vocalist ”. It says he was a
member of the St Andrew ’s Lodge from 1863
until 1887 — meaning he left a year before the
nine-week period in 1888 when five women
were murdered in the East End of London, in
one of the biggest unsolved crimes in British
Warren is said to have been a senior member
of the Masonic Society. He was a founder
member of the Q uatuor Coronati Lodge and
an authority on Freemasonic history and ritual.
Robinson said: “It was endemic in the way
England ran itself. At the time of Jack the
Ripper, there were something like 360 Tory
MPs, 330 of which I can identify as Masons.
“The whole of the ruling class was Masonic,
from the heir to the throne down. It was part of
being in the club.
“Part of the whole ethic of Freemasonry is
whatever it is, however it ’s done, you protect the
brotherhood — and that ’s what happened.
“They weren’t protecting Jack the Ripper, they
were protecting the system that Jack the Ripper
was threatening. To protect the system, they had
to protect him. And the Ripper knew it.” — PA
Bacon, sausage sales fall in UK
The world’s on-line population
will double to five billion by
2020, presenting huge business
opportunities for tech start-
ups on the cutting edge of the
unprecedented expansion, says
the head of Google Europe.
“The connected population is
going to double in five years.
Five billion on-line. Everyone
with the entire internet in their
pockets,” Matt Brittin said in
Warsaw, opening Google’s fifth
“c ampus” for IT start-ups.
“That ’s a huge opportunity. This
is a transformational period.
“Five years where we’ ll go
from a minority to a majority of
the people on the planet being
“That ’s why the moment is now
for start-ups to look up and out
and think about that market of
five billion people you can connect
with in the next five years.”
Google chose a renovated
vodka distillery in a poorer area
of the Polish capital for its first
“campus” for IT business start-
ups in eastern Europe.
It is one of five tech hubs the
global IT giant has created
worldwide, with a sixth planned
to open in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in
the first half of next year. — AAP
Sales of pre-packed sausages
and bacon fell sharply at
Britain’s top grocers in the
weeks following a World Health
Organisation report saying that
eating processed meat can cause
bowel cancer, new data shows.
The France-based International
Agency for Research on Cancer
(IARC), part of the WHO,
last month put processed
meat in its group 1 list, which
includes tobacco, asbestos and
diesel fumes, for which there is
“sufficient evidence” of cancer
sales of bacon and sausages at
Britain’s major grocery stores
in the week ended October 31
of the IARC announcement,
and the following week ended
November 7, estimating the
value of sales declines at about
£3 million ($6.96 million) over
the two weeks.
“ While there have been links
between certain types of meat
and some forms of cancer before,
this announcement from a highly
respected global body was picked
up widely by the media and has
had an immediate impact on
some people’s shopping choices,”
Martin Wood, head of strategic
insight, retail solutions and
innovation at IRI, said.
IRI said sales of pre-packed
sausages on a value basis fell
15.7% in the week to October
31 compared with the same week
the previous year, while pre-
packed bacon sales were down
IRI estimated the incremental
fall in sales due to the cancer
scare at about 10%.
It said sausages and bacon sales
fell 13.9 and 16.5% respectively
in the following week.
IRI said overall spending on
meat stayed broadly consistent,
switching to other meat products.
Five billion on net in five years
Weather disasters toll 600,000: UN
Weather-related disasters have grown more
frequent over the last 20 years, claiming more
than 600,000 lives, the United Nations says.
The report from the United Nations agency
for disaster risk reduction (UNISDR) said
floods, storms and other extreme weather events
have killed 606,000 people since 1995, “with
an additional 4.1 billion people injured, left
homeless or in need of emergency assistance”.
The report noted that while there was no
way to establish how much of the rise in such
disasters was caused by climate change, the
link between the planet ’s changing climate and
extreme weather was clear.
“The contents of this report underline why
it is so important that a new climate change
agreement emerges from the COP21 in Paris”,
UNISDR chief Margareta Wahlstrom said,
referring to crunch climate talks starting next
The talks that open in the French capital
on November 30 are charged with crafting
a 195-nation pact to curb greenhouse gas
emissions blamed for dangerous levels of
Between 2005 and 2014, the leading database
that tracks weather-linked disasters recorded
335 such incidents, a 14% increase compared
with the previous decade and nearly double the
number recorded from 1985 to 1994.
Overall, the report said, the planet has seen
“a sustained rise in the numbers of floods and
storms”, noting that drought, heatwaves and
extreme cold were also growing concerns.
According to UNISDR data, flooding
accounted for 47% of all weather disasters over
the last 20 years, affecting more than 2.3 billion
people, the vast majority of whom live in Asia.
A full 75% of the 4.1 billion people affected
were in either China or India, underscoring the
extent to which densely populated areas in those
countries were disproportionately vulnerable.
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