Home' Greymouth Star : December 9th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
6 - Wednesday, December 9, 2015
IS struck by Russian
Russian Defence Minister Sergei
Shoigu said overnight that Russia had
for the first time struck Islamic State
targets in Syria with missiles fired from
a submarine in the Mediterranean.
“The targets were two large terrorist
positions in the territory of Raqqa,”
Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin
in a televised meeting, adding that the
Calibre missiles had been fired from the
submarine Rostov-on -Don.
“ We can say with complete confidence
that fairly serious damage was done
to weapons stores and a factory for
preparing mines and, naturally, oil
Shoigu said Russia had informed Israel
and the United States in advance of its
plan to launch missiles from a submarine.
He said that, over the previous three
days, Russia’s air force had flown more
than 300 sorties over Syria and struck
more than 600 targets of various types.
Russian bombers flying over Syria were
being accompanied by fighters, as Putin
had ordered, he added.
Russia began inter vening directly in
Syria’s civil war at the end of September
with air strikes in support of its ally,
President Bashar al-Assad.
But the inter vention has had
unintended consequences, notably when
Turkey shot down a Russian fighter that
it said had strayed into Turkish air space,
an allegation that Russia denies.
Shoigu presented the flight recorder
of the downed aircraftt to Putin at the
Putin thanked Russian special ser vices
and Syrian government troops for
recovering it, and said it would allow
experts to determine where exactly the
Russian plane was located when it was
hit. He said it should be opened only in
the presence of international experts, “to
carefully document everything”.
Two charged after BBC show lions poisoned
Two Kenyan men have been charged
with killing two lions and poisoning
at least six others in a case involving a
pride of lions which starred in a long-
running BBC wildlife documentary.
Simindei Naurobi and Kulankash
Topotat pleaded not guilty to the
charges overnight, but could face
prison terms and big fines if found
were denied bail as
investigations into the poisonings
were under way.
“The dead lions are feared to have
consumed poisoned meat,” Paul
Udoto, a spokesman for Kenya’s
Wildlife Ser vice, said.
“One of the dead lions was identified
while the other one had been mauled
by hyenas beyond recognition.”
Conservationists say among the
poisoned lions were members of the
Marsh pride, which have featured
in a BBC documentary, Big Cat
The poisonings took place inside
Kenya’s famous Maasai Mara game
park, where human-wildlife conflict
has raised tensions with local Maasai
herdsmen who often complain wild
animals kill their cattle.
“ We worked round the clock to
save them but unfortunately they
succumbed to poisoning. Others are
still on treatment and are in stable
condition,” Dr Campaign Limo, the
head of KWS veterinary team in
Maasai Mara, said.
In 2010 more than a dozen lions
were killed through poisoning in
the Maasai Mara park. Herdsmen
blamed them for devouring their
Nick Murero, chairman of the
County Wildlife and
Environment Forum, condemned the
poisonings and asked locals to desist
from taking law in their hands even
“ Wild animals are important to the
local and national economy. Killing
them is just like killing the goose
that lays golden eggs,” he said.
Russia concerned coalition
bombed Syrian army
Russia is “seriously concerned” by
Syrian reports that a coalition led by the
United States launched air strikes on
Syrian government forces in the Deir
Both Russia and a US-led coalition
are fighting against Islamic State in
Syria but, while Russia supports Syrian
President Bashar al-Assad, western
countries in the coalition say he has lost
“Moscow is seriously concerned over
reports that on December 6 the US-led
coalition made an air strike on Syrian
governmental positions in the Deir al-
Zor area,” the Russian Foreign Ministry
said in a statement overnight.
The ministry said it was also concerned
about “the consequences of an air strike
on erroneous targets . . . in Hasakah
province that led to a significant number
of casualties among civilians”.
On Monday, Syria’s government said
coalition planes had carried out a deadly
air strike on the Syrian camp.
Washington denied the allegation
and a US military official, speaking on
condition of anonymity, said the United
States was certain that Russia was
Russia has also been striking targets in
the Deir al-Zor area.
“In general, these cases indicate that
the situation in the areas of fighting
with so-called Islamic State in Syria and
Iraq is heating up,” the Russian Foreign
The ministry also said it considered the
presence of Turkish forces in Iraq near
Mosul illegal and a serious source of
tension. — Reuters
Hundreds of poor lower-caste
families who lost their homes
and jobs after devastating floods
swept southern India have been
neglected by government relief
efforts, a sur vey conducted by two
charities has found.
About 280 people have died
and more than 400,000 have
been displaced across Tamil Nadu
State since torrential rains began
in early November, swelling rivers
and reser voirs and inundating
the State capital Chennai and
neighbouring coastal districts.
A study of the first days of
the floods found that although
low-caste or “Dalit ” families
were the group worst hit by the
floods, few had received any help,
National Dalit Watch and Social
Awareness Society for Youth —
Tamil Nadu said.
“ No relief has reached the
community properly until now.
During the distribution of food
relief there has been priority
to the families having concrete
houses, people having connections
with leaders of villages,” the
“Relief camps and medical
facilities have been organised
far away from the villages, or are
in dominant caste areas which
Dalit people cannot access due to
the lack of transport and fear of
discrimination and violence,” it
Government officials in
Cuddalore district said the
report was incorrect and helping
marginalised Dalit communities
was considered a priority after a
“In times of inundation, Dalit
colonies are usually more affected
since they are in low-lying
areas,” Gagandeep Singh Bedi,
Cuddalore’s monitoring officer
for disaster relief, said.
“The State government is
very sensitive to the needs of
Dalits. For them, we have built a
temporary shelter in record time. ”
The rain, the heaviest in a
century, hit Chennai last week,
putting some areas under 2.5m
of water, trapping people on
rooftops with no power or
The rain has now stopped,
water levels are dropping, and
the government has set up relief
camps across Tamil Nadu. Dry
food and tarpaulins are being
distributed, but some interior
areas have been difficult to reach
due to damaged roads.
The sur vey polled 1500 families
in Cuddalore district, more
than 40% of them Dalits, from
November 19 to 21. It found that
95% of damaged houses, 92% of
livestock lost and 86% of crops
lost belonged to Dalits.
was banned in India in 1955, but
centuries-old attitudes persist
in many parts of the country
and low-caste Indians still face
prejudice in every sector.
Scant flood aid for low-caste villagers
Flood-affected people raise their hands to receive free food being distributed by Indian navy personnel
A 3.5m-long alligator has killed
a burglary suspect who apparently
jumped into a Florida lake to evade
United States police say Matthew
Riggins, 22, went missing on
November 13, after telling his
girlfriend he planned to go to the
town of Barefoot Bay to commit
burglaries with another suspect.
Ten days later, divers found
Riggins’s body — missing parts of
in the town.
Authorities also determined that
an alligator in the water appeared
to be behaving aggressively.
After the reptile was removed
from the lake and euthanised,
authorities analysed the contents of
the gator’s stomach and confirmed
the remains were Riggins’.
The night he went missing
authorities had received calls about
two suspicious men trespassing near
homes in Barefoot Bay, which led
police to hypothesise that Riggins
had jumped into the water to avoid
local sheriff ’s office in Brevard
County, called Riggins’s death
“He was at the wrong place at the
wrong time,” he said. — AFP
Fleeing burglar killed by alligator
Drunk priest ‘caught
A drunk Victorian Catholic priest was
caught with his pants around his ankles
in a car with two prostitutes, an inquiry
Former police officer Denis Ryan said
he pulled over a car in St Kilda in early
1956 and saw a drunk man he later
found out was Fr John Day from Apollo
Bay with the prostitutes.
Ryan said a sergeant said priests should
not be charged.
“The common law probably of the
police force was not to charge a priest
short of murder,” Ryan told the child
abuse royal commission.
The car pulled over by police was driven
by a well-known prostitute called Hazel,
the commission heard yesterday.
“There was another prostitute and
laying across, with his head on the driver
and his feet on the other prostitute, was
a man with his pants down around his
ankles, his genitals showing,” Ryan said.
“He was wearing a Catholic priest ’s
collar and on the floor was an empty
“Hazel again said to us: ‘He allows us
to drive the car. He’s a regular customer’.”
Ryan said the drunk priest had to be
carried and dragged into the sergeant ’s
office. Day was later picked up by two
“The priest was completely inebriated
to the extent that he had to be half-
dragged out there.”
Ryan said he asked the sergeant two
weeks later why the priest was not charged.
“(He) explained the Catholics looked
after the Catholics and the Masons
looked after the Masons, and short of
murder you just didn’t charge a priest.”
Ryan said in 1958 or 1959, another
officer asked him to join a group of
police members who looked after the
Catholic Church’s interests, if any priests
got into trouble. He declined.
“(He) asked me would I be interested
in joining a group that had allegiance to
the cathedral and they took instructions
from them,” Ryan told the inquiry.
“The idea was to help any priests that
got into trouble, to see whether we could
have the cases withdrawn.
“It was a group within the police force,
they were from very high-ranking police
down. They were mainly detectives. ”
candidate Donald Trump
has defended his proposal
to ban Muslims from
States, comparing his plan
to the World War Two
detainment of Japanese-
Americans and others in
dismissing growing outrage
from around the world.
The White House called
on Republicans to say they
would not support Trump, currently the
party’s front-runner for the November
US Homeland Security Secretary
Jeh Johnson said his comments could
undermine US security.
The prime ministers of France and the
United Kingdom, the United Nations,
and Muslim residents of Asian countries
all denounced the real estate mogul’s
But Trump said his ideas were no worse
than those of then-President Franklin D
Roosevelt, who oversaw the internment
of more than 110,000 people in US
government camps after Japanese forces
bombed Pearl Harbour on December 7,
“ What I’m doing is no different than
FDR,” Trump said on ABC’s Good
Morning America programme.
“ We have no choice but to do this. We
have people that want to blow up our
buildings, our cities.
“ We have to figure out what ’s going
Trump yesterday called for blocking
immigrants, students, tourists and other
visitors, from entering the country
following last week’s California shooting
spree by two Muslims who authorities
said had been radicalised.
It was the most dramatic response by
a presidential candidate following the
San Bernardino, California, shooting
rampage, even as other Republicans
have called for a suspension of
President Barack Obama’s plan to
allow in some refugees
Johnson said Trump’s
proposal could thwart US
efforts to connect with the
Muslim community, and
Secretary of State John
Kerry said his ideas were
White House spokesman
Josh Earnest said Trump’s
comments disqualify him
from being president and
said other Republican
candidates should disavow him “right
In 1988, then-President Ronald
Reagan signed into law a bill providing
payments and apologies for Japanese-
Americans who were interned during
World War Two.
Trump leads the Republican pack
seeking the White House in 2016 with
35% of support in a recent Reuters/Ipsos
His rivals nearly all criticised Trump’s
chairman Reince Priebus told the
Washington Examiner the United
States must combat terrorism “but not
at the expense of our American values”.
House of Representatives Speaker
Paul Ryan, a Republican, said Trump’s
proposal was “not conser vatism”.
Republicans also warned that if Trump
is the nominee, his stance could hurt
in a general election against Democrat
“ Donald Trump is Hillary Clinton’s
Christmas gift wrapped up under a tree,”
Republican presidential candidate Carly
Fiorina said on Twitter.
Republicans for Trump’s extreme
language and warned it could help him
with primary voters.
“ Unfortunately, Trump is leaning into
the kind of fear of progress that very well
could help him win the nomination,”
Huma Abedin, a top aide to Clinton,
said in a fundraising e-mail declaring
her own Muslim faith. — Reuters
Pistorius granted bail
Oscar Pistorius has been
released on bail, as he
vowed to appeal against
his murder conviction for
shooting dead his girlfriend
Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.
South African judges last
week found him guilty of
murder, overturning his
earlier conviction on the
lesser charge of culpable
Steenkamp, a model and
Pistorius, 29, wearing a dark suit, white
shirt and black tie, appeared relaxed at
the bail hearing in the Pretoria High
Court, chatting with his legal team
before standing in the dock to hear the
He was released from jail in October
to live under house arrest at his uncle’s
house in Pretoria after ser ving one
year of his five-year prison sentence for
culpable homicide — the equivalent of
Under the new conviction for murder,
he faces a minimum
15-year jail term which
may be reduced due to time
already spent in jail and the
fact that he is a first-time
“The applicant is released
on bail of 10,000 rand
($1032),” Judge Aubrey
Ledwaba said, adding
Pistorius would remain
under house arrest.
Ledwaba said Pistorius
would be allowed to leave
the house at set times with
official permission, staying within 20km
of his house.
The High Court will reconvene
on April 18 to hear an update from
Pistorius’s lawyers on his attempt to
appeal to the Constitutional Court,
South Africa’s highest court.
After the hearing, Pistorius reported to
the Correctional Ser vices headquarters
to be fitted with an electronic monitoring
tag. Officials said it would be placed on
No date was announced for his
re-sentencing. — AFP
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