Home' Greymouth Star : February 2nd 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Thursday, February 2, 2017
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uLetters to the editor
1653 - New Amsterdam (now New York
City), population 800, gains a city charter from
the D utch.
1709 - British sailor Alexander Selkirk is
rescued after being marooned on a desert island
for five years. His story inspired
Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe.
1848 - Mexico signs the Treaty of
Guadalupe Hidalgo, ending a US
invasion and ceding Texas, New
Mexico and California to the US.
1969 - Death of Boris Karloff
(William Henry Pratt), British-born
1970 - Death of British philosopher Bertrand
Russell, aged 97.
1971 - Idi Amin assumes power in Uganda
following a coup that ousted Milton Obote.
1979 - After 14 years of exile, Ayatollah
Ruhollah Khomeini returns from Paris and
becomes the de facto leader of Iran.
1979 - British punk rock musician Sid Vicious
dies of a drug overdose in New York.
1996 - Death of film dancer Gene Kelly, aged
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Eleanor (Nell) Gwyn, English actress (1651-
1687); James Joyce, Irish author (1882-1941);
Graham Nash, English-born pop singer
(1942-); Farrah Fawcett, US
actress-model (1947-2009); Christie
Brinkley, US model (1954-); Fiona
Wood, 2005 Australian of the Year
(1958-); Eva Cassidy, US singer
(1963-1996); Shakira, Colombian
singer (1977-); Gemma Arterton,
English actress (1986-); Gerard
Pique, Spanish football player (1987-) .
“ Truth has no special time of its own. Its
hour is now — always.” — Albert Schweitzer,
German-born missionary and Nobel laureate
“And after He had dismissed the crowds,
He went up the mountain by Himself to pray.
When evening came, He was there alone. “
— (Matthew 14:23).
Keating Bros grocery
store in Mackay Street
closes tomorrow and
will be vacant for
some time befor the Bank of New South Wales
commences building on the site, manager Mr
D Heasley said today. Architect ’s plans for
the new corner building are not yet finalised
and it is unlikely that the grocery store will be
demolished until the contract for the bank is
let, he said.
The store has been used by the Keating family
for the past 47 years, but despite some research
it has not yet been established how old the
building is, said Mr J Keating today. When he
closes tomorrow he has no definite plans apart
from an immediate holiday.
At a meeting of the Cobden Ratepayers’
Association held last night, Mrs C Rawcliffe
said that “the usual old faces” always came
along. “ We want to help the borough by
pointing out to them where work is needed,”
she said. She could not understand why the
councillors living in Cobden did not come
along and support the association.
“They are satisfied with what they are doing,
but there are a lot of people who are not
satisfied,” she said.
A colourful Reefton identity, Mr Ellis ( Jock)
Norris was buried today at the Suburban
Cemetery. He was aged 87. A South African
native, he was a resident of Reefton for the
past 30 years. He was believed to have been a
drummer boy with the Imperial Force in the
Boer War and a member of the same British
regiment as the Governor-General Sir Bernard
Fergusson’s father, and ser ved as batman to Sir
uFood for thought
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The tumultuous response to President
Donald Trump’s executive orders renders
objective political judgment unusually
difficult. Is this an administration
implementing a carefully thought-out
plan? Or is Trump moving “with the
assurance of a sleepwalker” towards goals
he only dimly perceives?
Are we obser ving method? Or madness?
Certainly, from the vantage point of
faraway New Zealand, Trump’s actions
appear to have engendered the very
opposite of what he intended. Far from
“making America great again”, his highly
contentious policy announcements have
provoked scenes of division, recrimination
and rancour. To the rest of the world,
Trumpism looks set to tear the United
To a small and vulnerable country
such as ours, the spectacle of the world’s
policeman beset by domestic strife is
profoundly disturbing. Far too small and
ill-equipped to withstand the attentions
of even a second-rate military power, New
Zealand’s security requires an engaged
and confident America ready and willing
to keep the peace in an unruly and
increasingly dangerous world.
Less troubled will be the United
States’s principal competitors — China
and Russia. Indeed, an America
preoccupied with the destabilising effects
of rising economic inequality, decaying
infrastructure, and faltering institutions
from which the trust and confidence of its
citizens is fast being withdrawn, is exactly
what these rising powers want.
Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin have
a vested interest in American disunity
and unease. A distracted US will feel
increasingly disinclined to fulfil the
obligation it took upon itself in the
aftermath of World War Two to prevent
the return of the great power politics that
had triggered the carnage of the first half
of the 20th century.
The liberal democracy America believes
itself to represent poses a deadly threat to
both the Russian Federation’s managed
democracy and the Chinese government ’s
peculiar combination of free-market
capitalism in a one-party State.
But if the lustre of the liberal democracy
over which American stands guard could
somehow be tarnished — made to seem
worthless — then the durability of both
the Russian and the Chinese regimes
could be extended indefinitely.
Viewed in this light, China’s embrace of
the free market can be seen to have had
long-term political as well as economic
motivations. By luring American
capitalists to China with the promise of
cheap labour and minimal regulation,
the Chinese communists were not only
able to lift millions of their own people
out of rural poverty, but also trigger the
hollowing-out of America’s industrial
heartland and the demoralisation of the
American working class.
American capitalists intensified this
process by using their new found ability to
locate US production offshore to rip apart
the social and economic consensus which
had underpinned Americans’ freedom
and affluence since the end of World War
Two. The soft power that made the US so
attractive to the citizens of its totalitarian
competitors — and such a powerful
solvent of their loyalty — began to wither.
The collapse of the Soviet Union — so
much the product of its own abject failure
to deliver freedom and affluence — should
have delivered the universal triumph
of liberal democracy and free-market
capitalism that its cheerleaders predicted.
That it failed to do so is almost entirely
attributable to the refusal of American
capitalism to share the bounty of its success
in anything like an equitable fashion. The
rapid improvement in the lives of ordinary
people that had made America great in
the 1950s and 1960s ground to a halt in
the 21st century as globalisation made two
Americas out of one.
The nation that Ronald Reagan once
described as “a shining city on a hill” took
on an altogether darker aspect. Its politics
became more strident and its population
more divided. The US ceased to pay even
lip-ser vice to the universal principles it had
embraced in the first flush of its victory
over fascism in 1945. When it rolled across
the Iraqi border in 2003 the only power
America valued was hard power.
If the American people could not see
this change in themselves, then their
geo-political rivals certainly could. The
Russians, in particular, had learned some
hard lessons from the so-called “colour
revolutions” which the Americans had
unleashed along their borders. False
fronts, fake news, the use of social-media
to mobilise carefully primed audiences.
It had worked in Serbia, Georgia and the
Ukraine — why not in America itself ?
If there is method in Trump’s madness it
has a Russian accent.
Chris Trotter is a left-wing
The Siberian candidate?
cting attorney general Sally
Quillian Yates, a long time
prosecutor from Atlanta,
began her tenure as an
Obama appointee two
years ago by saying that
pursuing justice was more important to
her than bringing Federal cases in court.
“ We’re not the Department of
Prosecutions or even the Department
of Public Safety,” Yates said in May,
2015, the week after she was confirmed
as deputy attorney general, the second-
highest ranking position in the Justice
Department. “ We are the Department of
Yesterday, only days away from
stepping down from her 27-year career
in the Justice Department, Yates defied
President Donald Trump, ordering Federal
attorneys not to defend the controversial
immigration order issued at the weekend.
Within hours, Trump fired her.
Yates, 56, struggled with her decision
over the weekend, said an official who
spoke on the condition of anonymity
given the sensitivity of the situation. By
yesterday, though, she had concluded that
she could not ask her Federal attorneys
to defend the order. Yates could not be
reached for comment.
She sent a memo to the civil division of
the Justice Department and US attorneys
across the country saying she was not
“convinced” the order was lawful, and
that the department “ will not present
arguments in defence of the executive
order, unless and until I become convinced
that it is appropriate to do so”.
Hours later, Yates received a hand-
delivered letter from the White House
saying the President was removing her
“S he did what she believes was the right
thing to do and then she gets fired for it,”
the official said.
“This is not how she would have
preferred to end her 27-year career. But
she did what she had to do.”
Those who know Yates well said that
her action was consistent with the
independence and commitment to the
rule of law they say she has exhibited
throughout her career.
“For nearly three decades, acting
attorney general Sally Yates has ser ved
presidents of both parties, defending
the Constitution and holding terrorists
and other criminals accountable,” former
Labour Secretary Tom Perez, who was
head of the civil rights division in the
Obama Administration said. “Acting
Attorney General Yates’s record is simply
beyond reproach,” Perez, who is running
to be chair of the Democratic National
But Trump’s senior policy adviser,
Stephen Miller, blasted Yates on Fox
News after the acting attorney general
“It can’t be stated strongly enough how
reckless, irresponsible and improper the
behaviour was of the acting attorney
general, Sally Yates, in refusing to defend
the President ’s order,” said Miller, who
accused Yates of “refusing to defend the
lawful power of the President ”. He added
that he had no doubt about the legality of
For the past two years, Yates has been
responsible for the day-to-day running of
the 113,000-employee Justice Department.
She was also been responsible for
overseeing the Justice Department ’s work
on the prior White House’s c lemency
initiative, in which the President granted
commutations to thousands of non-violent
drug offenders who met certain criteria set
out by the administration.
She also wrote a new policy two years
ago that became known a ‘the Yates
memo, which made the prosecution of
individual executives — not just the
corporations that employ them — a top
priority for Federal prosecutors.
Last month, Yates was one of the Justice
officials who announced that Federal
prosecutors indicted six executives at
Volkswagen in connection with the
company ’s diesel emissions scandal; the
company agreed to pay $5.9 billion in
criminal and civil penalties.
Former Justice Department
spokeswoman Emily Pierce said that
Yates was known in the department
for voicing her opinions when she
thought the administration was going
in the wrong direction. Pierce said
Yates was particularly vocal during
a debate over government access to
encrypted communications during
criminal investigations, when some
officials wanted to make it harder for
law enforcement to access the locked
“She advocated very strongly as a
one-woman show for law enforcement
and made the Obama Administration
pause on policies she thought would be
harmful,” Pierce said.
— New Zealand Herald
Who is Sally Yates?
If you enjoy the odd glass of
beer or wine, the jury is still
out on whether it is good for
you, a new study has found.
Researchers from Massey
University say while medical
experts commonly advise
that drinking alcohol in
moderation is good for your
health, their study was unable
to find evidence to support
Studying more than 2900
New Zealanders with an
average age of around 65, the
team initially found those who
drank in moderation generally
had better health.
“However, we also found that
these same moderate drinkers
had higher socio-economic
status than non-drinkers
or heavier drinkers,” lead
researcher Dr Andy Towers
“This makes it hard to
conclude whether good health
was due to moderate drinking
or better socio-economic
status.” Using data from the
government ’s Health, Work
and Retirement Longitudinal
Study, Dr Towers said his
study was one of the first to
examine whether older people
can experience health benefits
He said the study found
about 45% of men drank daily,
while less than 25% of women
“Our research suggests that
older adults’ health doesn’t
reflect how much they are
drinking, it reflects who is
drinking,” he said. “Moderate
drinkers tend be wealthier
with lifestyles that encourage
good health, so it looks like
there is a relationship between
their drinking and their
health status. Given that older
drinkers are more at risk from
alcohol-related harm than
younger drinkers, this is an
important finding.” — NZN
Health benefits of drinking unclear — study
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