Home' Greymouth Star : December 17th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Thursday, December 17, 2015
Licio Gelli, the former head of an
outlawed secret masonic lodge linked
to some of Italy’s biggest and murkiest
scandals of the 20th century, has died, his
family said. He was 96.
Gelli was the grandmaster of the
shadowy Propaganda 2 (P2) group, which
was founded in 1969 and used to be
Italy’s most powerful secret organisation,
boasting prominent politicians, business
leaders and military officers as members.
Exposed in 1981, P2 was accused of
conspiring with right-wing extremists
and the Mafia to destabilise governments
through bombings and violence, often
blamed on extreme leftists.
Gelli was sentenced to 12 years in
jail for fraud in connection with the
collapse of Banco Ambrosiano, whose
boss Roberto Calvi — known as “God’s
banker” for his ties to the Vatican — was
found hanged under a bridge in London
Gelli was also found guilty of
obstructing justice during investigations
into one of the darkest episodes in Italy’s
recent past — the 1980 explosion of a
bomb at the Bologna train station which
killed 85 people.
A Rome judge in 1995 linked Gelli
with a 1970 plot for a military coup in
Italy, but the case was shelved because
a statute of limitations had kicked in,
meaning the crime could no longer be
The P2 was also accused of using
its considerable influence to stymie
efforts to save former prime minister
Aldo Moro, who was murdered by the
Red Brigades leftist guerrilla group in
1978 after a 55-day kidnapping. The
accusations were never proved.
At a news conference in 1999, Gelli
said: “I am a fascist and will die a fascist ”.
Less than a week since signing the
global climate deal in Paris, Japan and
South Korea are pressing ahead with
plans to open scores of new coal-fired
power plants, casting doubt on the
strength of their commitment to cutting
Even as many of the world’s rich
nations seek to phase out the use of coal,
Asia’s two most developed economies
are burning more than ever and plan
to add at least 60 new coal-fired power
plants over the next 10 years.
Officials at both countries’ energy
ministries said those plans were
Japan, in particular, has been criticised
for its lack of ambition — its 18% target
for emissions cuts from 1990 to 2030
is less than half of Europe’s — and
questions have been raised about its
ability to deliver, since the target relies on
nuc lear energy, which is very unpopular
after the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima
nuc lear plant.
“It will not be easy to change the
dynamic for domestic coal use, but I
think Japan cannot continue ignoring
this,” Kimiko Hirata, international
director at Kiko Network, a Japanese
NGO that lobbies for measures to
combat climate change, said.
“Eventually Japanese businesses
will start recognising the meaning of
emissions neutrality and the rapid shift
to renewables in other countries and
start responding,” Hirata, who attended
the Paris negotiations, said.
Analysts say Japan and South Korea
could reduce carbon emissions by much
more than they pledged in Paris.
“The focus in Asia has been more on
China and India, so we haven’t seen
much attempt to put pressure on Japan
and South Korea yet. But I imagine
pressure will start to increase,” said
senior analyst Georgina Hayden at BMI
Research, a unit of ratings agency Fitch
South Korea did scrap plans for four
coal-fired power plants as part of its
pledge to the Paris summit, but 20 new
plants are still planned by 2021.
In Japan, 41 new coal-fired power
plants are planned over the next decade,
and taxes favour imports of coal over
cleaner-burning natural gas.
In South Korea, tax on imported coal
for power generation was raised in July,
but is still only just over a third of the
import tax on natural gas.
Coal-fired power plants there currently
run at about 80% of capacity, compared
with 35-40% for gas plants, according to
calculations based on data from Korea
Electric Power Corp (KEPCO), the
country’s largest power utility.
When asked if the Paris agreement
could lead the Korean government to
reduce the planned number of coal-fired
plants, an energy ministry spokesman
declined to comment, but a ministry
official with direct knowledge of the
matter said on condition of anonymity
that there was no change in the offing.
KEPCO declined to comment.
Japan’s environment ministry also
declined to comment, but an official said,
anonymously, that the Paris climate deal
would have no impact on the ministry’s
assessments of coal plants.
Japan’s Electric Power Development
Co Ltd, the country’s top thermal coal
user, said the Paris deal would have no
impact on its coal plans.
“O ur stance on new coal plants is
unchanged,” a spokesman said, adding
that emissions would be cut as ageing
coal plants were replaced by new ones
using the latest technology.
Mutsuyoshi Nishimura, a former
climate negotiator for Japan, said
Japanese industry and the government
had been caught napping by the Paris
agreement and were “awfully reluctant
to visualise the coming of the ‘non-fossil
“They were too caught up in the belief
that industrialisation and economic
growth would entail such huge CO2
emissions in developing countries that
China, India etc. would oppose any
notion of decarbonisation,” he said.
To be sure, China uses vastly more coal
and has nearly a thousand more such
plants in various stages of planning and
But it has also recently reformed its gas
price system to encourage a switch away
“ We haven’t seen that kind of
commitment from Japan or South Korea
yet,” BMI’s Hayden said. — Reuters
Climate change commitment doubt
IS has ‘revolutionised’ terrorism — FBI
Islamic State has “revolutionised”
terrorism by seeking to inspire
around the world through social
media, encrypted communications
and slickly produced propaganda,
Federal Bureau of Investigation
director James Comey says.
“ Your parents’ al Qaeda was a very
different model than the threat we
face today,” Comey said at a counter-
terrorism conference in New York
He said the FBI currently has
“ hundreds” of investigations in all
50 US States involving potential
Islamic State-inspired plots.
His remarks came as Americans
are jittery two weeks after a married
couple shot and killed 14 people in
San Bernardino, California, in an
attack inspired by Islamic State.
The group is based in Iraq and
Syria, where it controls a large area
of territory as it seeks to car ve out
a caliphate. It claimed responsibility
for attacks in Paris on November 13
that killed 130 people.
Comey said Islamic State has
perfected the use of social media,
and Twitter in particular, to contact
potential followers in the United
States and elsewhere.
“ Twitter works as a way to sell
books, as a way to promote movies,
and it works as a way to crowd
source terrorism — to sell murder,”
Islamic State also employs
“end-to-end” encryption when
communicating with individuals
who it believes are willing to carry
out killings in its name, Comey
That has posed a significant
challenge for investigators, who often
find themselves stymied even when
they have court orders giving them
access to electronic communication
Comey said he is convinced
law enforcement and technology
companies can work together to solve
that problem without compromising
“ We are not going to break the
internet,” he said. “ We are not going
to jeopardise people’s security. ”
North Korea’s highest court has
sentenced a South Korea-born
Canadian pastor to hard labour
for life for subversion, the North’s
official KCNA news agency
reported overnight, a punishment
Canada condemned as “unduly
Hyeon Soo Lim, the head pastor
at a Toronto church that is one of
Canada’s largest, has been held by
North Korea since February, and
has appeared on its state media
confessing to crimes against the
Lim admitted during the trial
to “not only viciously defaming
the highest dignity of Korea and
its system but also possessing
the wicked intention of trying to
topple the Republic by staging
an anti-State conspiracy,” KCNA
The court said Lim had attempted
to overthrow the North Korean
government and undermine its
social system with “religious
activities” for the past 18 years,
China’s official Xinhua news agency
The prosecution sought the
death penalty, but the defence
asked for leniency despite the
gravity of his crimes “so that he
can witness for himself the reality
of the nation of the Sun as it
grows in power and prosperity,”
The court sentenced him to hard
labour for life, it said.
In Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin
Trudeau said Canadian officials
would continue to press for access
“The issues of North Korea’s
governance and judicial system are
well known. We are very concerned
about someone being sentenced
to life in North Korea,” he told
KCNA did not specify what
activities Lim engaged in, but
Xinhua reported that Lim
confessed to helping people defect
from North Korea, and had met
the United States ambassador to
Mongolia regarding the plans.
Most defectors fleeing isolated,
repressive North Korea travel to
South Korea via China and South-
east Asia. It is also possible to
defect via Mongolia.
A Canadian source familiar with
the file said there was no reason to
believe any of the allegations were
true, with the trial clearly scripted.
The source dismissed the idea Lim
had been plotting with the US
envoy to Mongolia.
“Is it possible that Pastor Lim
crossed paths with the small
diplomatic community and the
American ambassador while he was
in Ulan Baator at some point on his
numerous travels to the country?
Maybe. Would it be unusual? No,”
the source said.
The case has drawn a lot of
attention in Canada’s large Korean
community and Christian churches.
Rev Imki Park, general secretary of
the Council of Korean Churches
of Ontario, said Ottawa should
“ launch a much greater effort ” to
get Lim out.
The court held that Lim
fabricated anti-North Korean
propaganda as part of a U.S. and
South Korean-led “human rights
racket ” against the country, Xinhua
North Korea had previously
missionary Kenneth Bae to 15
years of hard labour but released
him last year after holding him for
Lim’s church, the 3000-member
Light Korean Presbyterian Church,
has said Lim had visited the North
more than 100 times since 1997
and helped set up an orphanage
and a nursing home.
Lim, who has lived in Canada
since 1986 and is a Canadian
citizen, has a “very serious health
problem, very high blood pressure,”
his church said. He was 60 at the
time of capture.
He is the only western citizen
known to be held currently in
Both North Korea and
neighbouring China have clamped
down on Christian groups in recent
Last year, Pyongyang released
three detained Americans,
including Bae and another man
who had left a copy of the Bible
at a club. It freed a South Korean
national with a US green card in
October this year after holding him
for six months.
In June, the North’s highest court
sentenced two South Koreans
accused of spying for Seoul to hard
labour for life. The pair are among
three South Koreans known to be
held by the North. — Reuters
South Korea-born Canadian pastor Hyeon Soo Lim stands during his trial at a North Korean court in this
photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency in Pyongyang.
Canadian pastor sentenced to hard labour for life
Japan’s Supreme Court has upheld
a law requiring spouses to use the
same surname, the only such law in
the big developed nations forming
the Group of Seven, rejecting a suit
saying this was unconstitutional
and violated human rights.
The ruling coincides with Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe’s efforts
to draw more women into a
shrinking workforce — though
his conser vative party was against
changing the 19th century law,
warning that separate surnames
would destroy family ties.
The statute does not specify
which name a couple must take,
but in practice, 96% of married
women take their husband’s name,
a reflection of Japan’s still male-
dominated society. Many say this
takes away their identity.
“ My tears
overflowing when I heard the
an 80-year-old plaintiff who uses
her maiden name but took her
husband’s name to have children
and says she wants to resume her
maiden name legally, said.
“Now I won’t be able to die as
Kyoko Tsukamoto,” she told a news
conference overnight, her voice
In 2011, five plaintiffs filed suit
against the law, which means that
many working women have faced
the hassles of juggling two names —
their maiden name for professional
use and their legal married name,
required on official documents.
Some couples opt not to register
the marriage so they can keep
separate names, but doing so creates
legal headaches including parental
and inheritance rights.
The Supreme Court said in its
ruling that “it is only reasonable
for family members to have the
same name”, Kyodo news agency
The court also noted that many
women are able to use their maiden
names in daily life, so their situation
has improved, and it called on
parliament to debate the issue.
Support for separate surnames
is much higher among younger
people, but public opinion is
“I understand changing my
surname is part of the changes that
marriage brings, but I think it’s
wrong for that decision to be forced
on you,” 23-year-old Hiromi Sasaki
In a separate case, the court
declared unconstitutional a law
forbidding only women from
remarrying for six months after a
divorce. — Reuters
Top court upholds law on surnames
used for cricket
Spanish PM punched in face
Pope Francis warned Catholics
against fraudsters who would have
them pay to pass through “holy
doors” at cathedrals around the
world, a ritual in the Church’s
current jubilee year.
“Be careful. Beware anyone who
might be a little fast and very clever
who tells you have to pay. No! You
don’t pay for salvation. It is free,” he
said in unscripted remarks to tens
of thousands of people in St Peter’s
Square for weekly audience.
During the year-long celebrations
that began last week and are one of
the most important events in the 1.2
billion-member Church, the faithful
will make pilgrimages to Rome
and other religious sites around the
world, mostly local cathedrals.
By passing through a holy
door of a church, which remains
closed except during a Holy Year,
Catholics symbolically pass from
sin to grace.
Holy Years usually take place only
every 25 years and the next one was
due in 2025. But the Pope, who wants
a more inclusive and less judgmental
Church, called an extraordinary one
on the theme of mercy, compassion
To underscore that the Church
should show additional concern for
the poor this year, he has taken the
tradition beyond houses of worship
and will open a symbolic “holy
door” at a Rome homeless shelter on
Friday. — Reuters
Pope warns of jubilee year fraudsters
A $500,000 set of “cricket stumps” will
finally be put in its rightful place at the
Australian Museum’s new gallery for
The stumps were actually a 10.7kg gold
nugget in a box that was used for hallway
cricket matches by New South Wales
Treasury staff. But no one knew what
was in the box, until 1956 when an audit
prompted someone to wedge open the
box to find the forgotten treasure.
It has been displayed in different places
over the years, but the nugget will be in
the spotlight among 200 precious natural
and historical items on display in a newly
restored Long Gallery at the Australian
Museum. The museum is about to have
a $9 million refurbishment of its three-
level gallery, with the cost shared equally
by the NSW government, Westpac bank
and museum donors.
To be opened in 2017, the new Westpac
Long Gallery will also display Australia’s
first bank note, printed in 1817.
Premier Mike Baird joked he would
not mind a few more gold nuggets to
help the State’s finances. “I have asked
Treasury to open any box they can find,”
he said. — AAP
Spanish Prime Minister
Mariano Rajoy has been punched
in the face during a campaign
event for Sunday ’s general
election in his home region of
The prime minister, 60, was
unhurt in yesterday ’s incident, a
People’s Party spokesman said,
but Rajoy appeared later with a
deep red mark on his face.
A young man punched Rajoy
hard on the side of his head,
knocking his glasses off, as he
walked through the town of
Pontevedra, television footage
showed. The young man, a minor,
was subsequently arrested, police
The aggressor had been
standing next to Rajoy when he
suddenly struck out, catching the
premier by surprise.
He continued with his agenda
unchanged after the incident.
His ruling People’s Party is
expected to win the election, even
though it has presided over one
of the worst economic slumps
in decades. Spain has one of the
highest youth unemployment
rates in the European Union,
with almost half of all job-seekers
under 25 unable to find work.
This beautiful boy is called Sox. We think he is around
7 years old. He is neutered and microchipped and
desperately in need of a new home. Sox would
need to be rehomed outside of the Blaketown and
Greymouth area as he lived in his old house his
whole life and has a great attachment to it.
So if you live outside of Greymouth or Blaketown and
would love a new addition to your household then
come on in and meet Sox.
This absolutely stunning girl is called Matilda. She
thinks she is a bit of a princess and has an attitude
to go with it. Does not like other cats or dogs. Would
need to be an ONLY PET HOME. Her one saving
grace is that she loves people and would make the
best companion. She is about 3 years old, speyed,
microchipped and vaccinated and ready for a new
This little sweetheart is Bonnie, an 8 month old
border collie x. She is very eager to please and is very
intelligent, responding quickly to basic commands
and clicker training. She has lots of energy and is in
need of a very active household or could be suitable
as a working dog as she would love a job to do!
Someone with a gentle manner would be ideal as her
confidence continues to grow each and every day.
This is Dozer, our 2 year old american bulldog x. He
is registered, microchipped, desexed and vaccinated.
Dozer has a friendly nature and is looking for
that perfect someone to take him on great new
adventures. In his time here he has been making a
lot of progress, learning to walk nicely on lead, and
finding companionship in one of our other dogs
which has helped him settle in. We would prefer that
he be rehomed outside of the Greymouth area.
Please contact the Greymouth SPCA
Centre for all animal welfare concerns,
surrenders, adoptions, inquiries.
21-27 Preston Road, Greymouth
Phone 03 768 5223
Would you like to become a member?
Family $15 Single $10
Contact us on 03 768 5223
The Greymouth SPCA would like to thank all of
our hardworking volunteers
for all their time and support this year.
Without dedicated volunteers the SPCA would not be
able to function.
We would also like to thank the Greymouth Community
for their support over the last year.
The Community Spirit in this town is simply amazing and
something Greymouth should be very proud of.
Please note over the Christmas and New Year period we
will only be open weekend hours 9.30 -10am and again
at 4.30 – 5pm for Boarding customers and urgent animal
welfare issues only.
We hope everyone has a safe and Happy Christmas and
New Year and look forward to working together with you
all next year.
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