Home' Greymouth Star : January 10th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Migrants sit around the fire during a snowfall outside a derelict customs warehouse in Belgrade, Serbia.
Migrants battle -20degC
“Thundersnow ” and blizzards could
blight parts of the United Kingdom
as an Arctic cold spell blowing in
from the north looks set to cause
temperatures to tumble.
Warnings for wind and snow have
been issued by the Met Office, with
snow showers expected to bring 2cm
to 5cm of snow at lower levels and
10cm to 20cm above 200m to 300m.
Affecting Scotland, Northern
Ireland and parts of the North West
from tomorrow, the warning expands
to include Wales and Eastern England
by Thursday and into Friday.
With the cold air originating
over arctic Canada, Met Office
warned that with high winds and
snow “we could get some blizzard
type conditions, especially at height”.
On the possibility of “thundersnow ”,
where the rain associated with a
thunderstorm falls as snow, she added:
“It is possible, all that really needs is for
thunder to happen at the same time as
the snow. So where you get very active
or vigorous showers — which is what
we are going to see — then we could
well get some thunder as well. It is
definitely possible. ”
Overnight frosts are also set to
develop in most places, with “severe
frost likely where there is snow on the
ground in the north”. — PA
Britain facing ‘thundersnow’ in icy snap
Dozens of Asian, Afghani and
Pakistani migrants, some with children,
are camping out in makeshift tents in
temperatures as low as -20degC on
Serbia’s northern border, waiting their
turn to try to enter Hungary.
They are among 7000 migrants from
Asia and the Middle East stranded in
Serbia. Refugee camps are packed and
only women and children are likely to be
let into them, leaving the men to seek
shelter where they can — in abandoned
warehouses in central Belgrade, or the
fields just south of the border.
By one reckoning, those in the tents
are the lucky ones — those who are
near the front of an unofficial refugee-
administered queue to submit an asylum
application at one of only two recognised
crossing points — Horgos and Tompa.
But in the current, brutal cold snap,
they pay a high price.
Their rickety teepees, lined with
blankets, are heated only with campfire
embers brought inside at nightfall. Many
of the children who crawl outside at first
light are wearing only thin sweaters and
“People are suffering, and get a lot
of respiratory infections,” said Milana
Radosavljevic, a physician from Doctors
All this to be one of the lucky few
allowed to submit a Hungarian asylum
application in tiny container offices
set up for the purpose at Horgos
and Tompa, in the hope of then
being admitted to a Transit Zone,
and eventually becoming one of the
10 refugees a day allowed to enter
Hungary from each post.
“It used to be 15 people every day,” said
Ali Reza, a young Pakistani. “ Families
say there is too much waiting in Serbia,
six or seven months.”
Hungary has made clear that it does
not welcome migrants; Prime Minister
Viktor Orban has fortified the border, an
external frontier of the European Union,
with a razor wire fence, and thousands of
police and soldiers patrol the area with
heat-sensitive cameras and helicopters.
But still the migrants come.
Around 1500 are sheltering in
abandoned warehouses in Belgrade. In
one, hundreds of men, mainly Afghans,
sleep on the concrete floor, relying for
warmth on burning plastic garbage that
gives off choking black smoke.
“It’s so, so cold — we need these
fires,” said Salim Shinuari, 22, from
Afghanistan. “Humanitarian workers
give us food, but it ’s cold inside.”
Authorities say most of Serbia’s
estimated 7000 migrants are from
Afghanistan, Iraq or Syria.
Hungary registered 30,000 asylum
applications last year, according to
the government, of which fewer than
half were accepted. In addition, nearly
20,000 gave up on the tortuous official
process and tried to enter illegally.
Burhan Zadran, 30, from Afghanistan,
said most of the men in Belgrade travel
to the border once or twice a week to try
to cross. But getting into Hungary is not
enough — anyone caught within 8km of
the frontier is sent back.
“I crossed the border illegally, because
the wait was too much in the Pancevo
camp — five months,” said Kashif Raza,
a Pakistani with scars on his face.
“I was all alone without water, without
food, in the countryside, for six days,” he
said. “After that I had to eat something
. . . I went to the road and surrendered to
the police.” — Reuters
Frosts kill dozens in central Europe
Severe frosts and snow storms
killed at least 25 people in central
Europe over the weekend, mainly
in Poland, as temperatures in the
region dropped below -30degC in
The Danube river was slowly
freezing over in Budapest, a rare
sight in recent years.
Air pollution, mostly from
airborne dust particles, forced
production cutbacks at large
polluters in the Czech Republic and
Poland. Authorities made public
transport free of charge in Warsaw
and Krakow to help improve air
In Poland, 17 people died of the
cold over the weekend, according
to the Government Centre for
Security, bringing the death toll
since November to 65.
Czech media said six Czechs,
mostly homeless people, died over
the weekend, four of them in the
capital Prague. Several weather
stations in the Czech mountains
- 30degC, including -34.6degC
in the south-western Sumava
The Czech hydrometeorological
institute forecast more harsh frosts
across the region for the coming
days, with night temperatures of
- 20degC in the north-east.
Hungarian state news agency
MTI reported yesterday that record
lows were broken both nationally
and in Budapest registering
- 1 8.6degC,
Two homeless men froze
to death in Slovakia over the
weekend as weather caused
train delays and road closures in
northern Slovakia, even shutting
down some cable cars in ski
resorts in the High and Low Tatra
Mountains where temperatures
fell to -30degC.
In Bulgaria, snowfall and high
winds blocked roads and left over
75,000 households in the country’s
north-east without electricity over
the weekend. — Reuters
More than 30 years after being thrust
into Australian folklore as a central figure
in one of the country’s most notorious
murder trials, Michael Chamberlain still
railed against the “gross injustice” that
shaped his life.
Chamberlain, father of Azaria who
was snatched by a dingo at Uluru in
1980, died at 72 in Gosford Hospital
yesterday, losing his battle with acute
Born in New Zealand in 1944,
Chamberlain moved to Australia in
1964, where he became a pastor in the
Seventh-Day Adventist Church.
He married former wife Lindy in 1969.
The young couple were put under the
spotlight when their nine-week-old
daughter Azaria was snatched from a
tent during a family holiday at Ayers
Rock (now Uluru) in August, 1980.
They were ultimately convicted, Lindy
for murder and Michael for being an
accessory after the fact.
Lindy ser ved more than three years
of a life sentence imposed in 1982 —
giving birth to their fourth child Kahlia
in Dar win Prison.
Michael was handed an 18-month
suspended sentence for being an
The pair was later exonerated at a
1987 royal commission, but Michael
Chamberlain remained bitter.
After divorcing, remarrying, earning a
PhD in education, becoming a teacher
and writing several books, he still
lamented the case as a “gross injustice”.
“It was one of the worst per versions of
justice and forensic science in Australian
history,” he said in 2014.
“ We had gone as babes in the woods.
A Catholic lawyer described us as lambs
to the slaughter.
“ We had lived by the credo that if you
have done nothing wrong, you have
nothing to fear. It was dead wrong.”
He also believed the time Lindy spent
behind bars had damaged her.
In 1990 the couple’s marriage fell apart
Michael going on to marry Ingrid
Bergner in 1994 with whom he had
daughter Zahra in 1996.
Lindy Chamberlain also remarried,
becoming Lindy Chamberlain-
Despite the charges against the
Chamberlains being cleared, a coronial
inquest into Azaria in 1995 delivered an
The fourth coronial inquest into the
case, held in 2012, ruled that a dingo was
responsible for the baby’s death.
That was what the first inquest, back
in early 1981, had also concluded, and
what the Chamberlains had steadfastly
said since Lindy yelled those infamous
words: “ That dingo’s got my baby.”
The disappearance of Azaria prompted
one of Australia’s longest-running legal
sagas, and one that has captivated and
polarised the nation.
Chamberlain published three books,
including Beyond Azaria: Black Light
White Light, that detailed his personal
feelings following the death of his
daughter and the severe public scrutiny
he and his family were placed under.
He became Ingrid’s full-time carer
after she suffered a stroke in 2011.
Chamberlain had three other children
with Lindy — Reagan, Aidan and
Kahlia as well as Zahra. — AAP
Dingo case figure Michael Chamberlain dies
Michael Chamberlain in 2012
to force vote
Northern Ireland’s deputy leader,
Martin McGuinness, resigned overnight
in protest at First Minister Arlene
Foster’s handling of a controversial
green-energy scheme, a move likely to
trigger an election in the British province.
The collapse of the relationship between
Irish nationalist leader McGuinness
and Foster, a pro-British Unionist,
risks paralysing the region’s response to
Britain’s planned exit from the European
Union as London prepares to trigger
McGuinness also raised the prospect
of a lengthy renegotiation of the terms
of power-sharing, part of the 1998 Good
Friday peace agreement, saying there
would be “no return to the status quo”
after an election.
The 1998 deal ended three decades of
violence between mainly Catholic Irish
nationalists seeking a united Ireland and
Protestant pro-British unionists who
wanted the North to remain part of the
While the violence, which killed over
3600, has subsided, the two sides of
the sectarian divide have consistently
strained at the confines of their power-
Northern Ireland is widely seen as the
part of the UK most exposed to Brexit
because of the prospect that checkpoints
will be reinstated on its land border with
the Irish Republic.
McGuinness said Sinn Fein would not
nominate anyone to fill his role, which
will cause the power-sharing government
to collapse after seven days. It would
then be up to London’s Northern Ireland
secretary, James Brokenshire, to propose
a date for the election. — Reuters
solely on pilot
United States president-elect Donald
Trump will appoint his son-in-law,
Jared Kushner, to the position of senior
adviser to the president, two media
outlets reported overnight.
reported by NBC and the New York
Times, had been anticipated but it was
unclear what his official role would be.
The Times reported his title could be
Kushner, like Trump, is a major New
York-based real estate developer with a
wide net of business dealings that could
pose potential conflicts of interest.
Kushner, who married Trump’s eldest
daughter, Ivanka, in 2009, helped guide
Trump to victory over Hillary Clinton
in the November 8 presidential
Kushner, 35, emerged as an important
voice early in Trump’s campaign and
was involved in almost every aspect of it,
from key personnel decisions to strategy
Kushner spearheads his family’s real
estate development company, Kushner
Companies, and is the publisher of the
New York Obser ver weekly newspaper,
which he acquired at 25.
It was unclear how any Kushner
appointment would be affected by a
federal anti-nepotism law that prohibits
a president from hiring family members
to ser ve in his administration.
Kushner is working with lawyers
on how he would have to divest and
distance himself from his family’s
business if he were to take a role in the
Trump administration, the New York
Times reported. — AAP
Key advisory role for Trump’s son-in-law
German prosecutors have decided that
nobody other than pilot Andreas Lubitz
could be held accountable for the crash
of a Germanwings plane in March 2015,
a spokesman for the public prosecutor’s
office said overnight.
Co-pilot Lubitz deliberately flew the
Germanwings Airbus A320 airliner
into a French mountainside on March
24, 2015, on a flight from Barcelona to
Duesseldorf, killing all 150 people on
Prosecutors have said Lubitz was
suffering from a suspected “psychotic
depressive episode” that started in
December 2014, months before the
fatal crash, but that he had concealed
his illness from his employer, part of the
They had been looking into whether
anyone still alive could also be held
accountable for the crash, but the
spokesman said investigations had not
shown cause for fault, whether on the part
of doctors, Lufthansa, Germanwings, or
the German aviation authority.
Lawyers representing the families
of those killed have previously said
Lubitz, who had temporarily halted his
pilot training to receive treatment for
a depressive episode, should have been
more closely monitored.
The crash has led to authorities in
Europe proposing new laws on screening
and monitoring of pilots.
Germanwings is now being integrated
into Lufthansa’s Eurowings budget unit.
Trump: Meryl Streep ‘overrated’
Donald Trump called Meryl Streep
an “overrated actress” after the three-
time Oscar winner launched a blistering
attack on the United States president-
elect that again exposed the rift between
Hollywood liberals and conser vative
Streep turned a lifetime award
acceptance speech at yesterday ’s Golden
Globe awards into an indictment of
Trump’s personality and his tough
stance on immigration.
Trump responded on Twitter: “Meryl
Streep, one of the most overrated actresses
in Hollywood, doesn’t know me but
attacked last night at the Golden Globes.
She is a Hillary flunky who lost big.”
Trump also repeated his denial he had
mocked Serge Kovaleski, a New York
Times journalist who has a congenital
joint condition, when he flailed his arms
and slurred his speech at a rally in South
Carolina in November 2015.
Global digital marketing company
Amobee said it sparked some 627,000
Tweets in four hours. Not all the
responses were complimentary.
“This Meryl Streep speech is
why Trump won. And if people in
Hollywood don’t start recognising why
and how — you will help him get re-
elected,” Meghan McCain, daughter
of Republican Senator John McCain,
wrote on Twitter. — Reuters
(Streep attack, p10)
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said
his government was ready to negotiate
on “everything” in proposed peace talks
in Kazakhstan but it was not yet clear
who would represent the opposition and
no date had been set.
Assad also said a truce brokered by
Turkey and Russia, his most powerful ally,
was being violated and the army would
recapture all of Syria including a rebel-
held area near Damascus where a water
supply had been bombed out of ser vice.
He made the remarks in comments to
French media that were published by
the Syrian State news agency SANA.
Russia said last month it had agreed
with Assad, Iran and Turkey that the
Kazakh capital of Astana should be the
venue for new peace talks after rebels
suffered their biggest defeat of the war
by being driven from eastern Aleppo.
Russia and Turkey, a major sponsor
of the anti-Assad opposition, have
also brokered a truce as a step towards
reviving diplomacy, though the warring
sides have accused each other of many
Assad said the government delegation
was ready to go to Astana “when the
time of the conference is set ”.
“ We are ready to negotiate about
everything,” he said. Asked if that
included his position as president, Assad
said, “ Yes but my position is linked to
“If they want to discuss this point they
must discuss the constitution,” he said.
He indicated that any new constitution
must be put to a referendum, and it was
up to the Syrian people to elect the
president. — Reuters
Syria ready for ‘everything’ at talks
Solutions Page 9
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