Home' Greymouth Star : February 20th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
6 - Monday, February 20, 2017
United States President
Donald Trump’s suggestion
that Sweden experienced
security incident prompted
a baffled response from the
Scandinavian country early
today as diplomats asked
for an explanation and
citizens responded with
Trump, who in his
first weeks in office has
tried to sharply tighten
US borders on national
security grounds, cited Sweden as a
country that had experienced problems
with immigrants in remarks at a rally
The president was speaking in Florida
when, in connection with the mention of
a need to keep the US safe, he said: “ You
look at what ’s happening in Germany.
You look at what ’s happening last night
“Sweden. Who would believe this?
Sweden. They took in large numbers.
They ’re having problems like they never
Trump did not elaborate on the
Swedish reference, leaving many Swedes
The statement appeared to confuse the
Swedish government, which asked the
US State Department to explain what
the new president meant.
“ We are trying to get clarity,” Swedish
Catarina Axelsson said.
The State Department said it
did not comment on diplomatic
Trump has been widely criticised for
making assertions with little supporting
In recent months, he has argued that
more than three million people voted
fraudulently in the US election, an
assertion that election
officials say is false, and
incorrectly stated that he
won the election by the
most decisive margin in
Swedish news sources
made no mention of a
recent terrorism attack or
other high-profile crime in
happened in Sweden on
Friday,” wrote the Local, an
Fox News, a US cable news channel
that has sometimes been cited favourably
by Trump, ran a report on Friday night
about alleged migrant-related crime
problems in the country.
Sweden’s crime rate has fallen since
2005, official statistics show, even as
the Scandinavian country has taken in
hundreds of thousands of immigrants
from war-torn countries like Syria and
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot
Wallstrom appeared to respond to
Trump’s latest statement by posting on
Twitter an excerpt of a recent speech
in which she said democracy and
diplomacy “require us to respect science,
facts and the media. ”
Her predecessor was less circumspect.
“Sweden? Terror attack? What has
he been smoking? Questions abound,”
former Swedish Foreign Minister Carl
Bildt wrote on Twitter.
Other Swedes mocked Trump’s remark
on Twitter using the hashtag #Last
Night In Sweden, posting pictures of
reindeer, Swedish meatballs and people
assembling the country’s famous Ikea
“#Last Night In Sweden my son
dropped his hotdog in the campfire.
So sad!” Twitter user Adam Bergsveen
wrote. — Reuters
Cape Canaveral (Florida)
A Space X Falcon rocket blasted
off early today from a Florida
launch pad once used to send Nasa
astronauts to the moon, a step
for ward for billionaire entrepreneur
Elon Musk and his company ’s
goal of ferrying astronauts to the
International Space Station. The
70m Falcon 9 soared off a seaside
launch pad at the Kennedy Space
Centre carrying a Dragon cargo
ship that holds supplies and science
experiments for the station.
Nine minutes after blast-off, the
main section of the rocket flew
back to a landing pad at nearby
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station,
the eighth successful touchdown
for Space Exploration Technologies
“Baby came back,” Musk wrote
on Twitter, celebrating the landing.
Space X had decided to delay the
mission on Saturday, 13 seconds
before launch due to concerns
about the steering system in the
rocket ’s upper stage.
The National Aeronautics and
Space Administration closely
monitored today ’s launch to
learn more about the company ’s
operations before it clears Space X
to fly United States astronauts.
The lift-off marked a successful
debut for Space X at Kennedy’s
Launch Complex 39A, originally
built for the 1960s-era Apollo
moon programme and later
repurposed for the space shuttles.
Space X plans to use the pad for
commercial missions, as well as
future manned flights.
The pad was last used for the
final space shuttle launch in 2011.
In 2014, Space X signed a 20-year
lease and has spent millions on
“ It was really awesome to see 39A
roar back to life,” Space X Dragon
programme manager Jessica Jensen
told reporters after the launch.
“This is a huge deal for us.”
It was also Space X’s first launch
from Florida since an accident in
September caused heavy damage
to what had been the company ’s
prime site at Cape Canaveral Air
Force Station, located just south of
the Nasa spaceport.
Nasa hired Space X to fly cargo
to the station after the shuttle
programme ended. Space X and
Boeing Co are scheduled to begin
flying crews to the station by the end
of 2018, but a US government report
last week said technical hurdles likely
will delay both companies.
Last month, Space X resumed
flying its Falcon 9 rockets using a
second launch pad in California,
where the first stage of the rocket
also succeeded in relanding.
The company plans to reuse the
rockets to slash costs and reduce
Space X aims to have the Florida
launch pad damaged in last year’s
explosion up and running by this
summer. — Reuters
Space X launches rocket from historic pad
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off on a supply mission to the International Space Station from historic launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space
Centre in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
British officials believe Russian
authorities were behind a plot in October
to kill Montenegro’s pro-western
prime minister, the Sunday Telegraph
newspaper reported, citing senior British
A special prosecutor in the former
Yugoslav republic said in November that
a group of “Russian nationalists” had
planned to assassinate Prime Minister
Milo Djukanovic to get an opposition
party into power.
Moscow denied involvement in any
plot, and Montenegrin opposition
parties have said the plot was fabricated
and accuse Djukanovic of using the
security ser vices to help extend his
quarter century of dominance.
The British newspaper reported senior
British officials believed there had been a
plot to kill Djukanovic, and that Russia
had constructed it in a way that it could
be blamed on rogue Russian nationalists
“ You are talking about a plot to disrupt
or take over a government in some way.
You can’t imagine that there wasn’t some
kind of approval process,” the newspaper
quoted one unnamed source as saying.
The newspaper said Britain and the
United States’s intelligence agencies had
gathered evidence of high-level Russian
involvement in the plot for Montenegro’s
Asked about the newspaper report,
Montenegro had identified Russian
nationals as behind the plot.
“ Montenegro must itself deliver a
competent, transparent judicial process
and trial of the coup suspects,” a foreign
ministry spokeswoman said.
“Success would be a major step in
convincing the international community
of real progress in Montenegrin rule
of law reform and compatibility with
NATO and EU standards,” she added.
The head of Britain’s domestic spy
agency said in November that Russia was
pushing its foreign policy in increasingly
aggressive ways including cyber-attacks
and espionage, posing a growing threat
to Britain and the rest of Europe.
Moscow has denied this, and challenged
Britain to produce hard evidence.
One of the last sur viving World
War Two Dar win bombing
veterans remembers the day war
came to Australia’s back yard on
the wings of 188 Japanese planes
a lifetime ago.
At the 75th anniversary
memorial yesterday, South
Australian Mer vyn Ey listened
as air raid sirens rang out to mark
the moment bombs were already
raining destruction down on the
The alarm came too late three
quarters of a century ago, when
the then 20-year-old private and
the rest of the undermanned
Allied defence forces were taken
“There wasn’t any warning.
everywhere,” Ey said.
“ We were absolutely shocked
by the force of it. We said, ‘If this
is war, God help us’.”
brought a distant war to home
soil, and the Northern Territory
had become the front line.
It was the largest and most
mounted by a foreign power on
Australia and led to the worst
death toll from any event in the
The assault was more savage
than Pearl Harbour; more bombs
fell on Dar win, more civilians
were killed, and more ships were
Governor-General Sir Peter
Cosgrove paid tribute to the 88
sailors killed on the USS Peary
in Dar win Harbour — the
American navy ’s greatest loss of
life in Australian waters.
“Although over whelmed by
Japanese dive bombers, the Peary
went down all guns blazing, her
crew full of spirit and defiance,
fighting and firing to the very
end,” Sir Peter said.
Ey can still picture smoke
billowing from the ship wreckage,
and men burning to death in the
fiery, oily water. “One boat just
blew to pieces,” he said.
The 96-year-old said the
government played down the
scale of the devastation and it
has remained a buried chapter in
“The people hadn’t been told
the whole truth about what
happened . . . they didn’t want to
scare the public,” he said.
He was among 29 diggers
who made the pilgrimage back
to ground zero to make sure
the horror of war would not be
Turnbull and Opposition Leader
Bill Shorten joined dignitaries
from Japan and the United States
at the commemorative ser vice.
There was a military depiction
of the day ’s events in 1942,
before a four-aircraft flyover and
a minute’s silence to remember
those who lost their lives.
Before laying a wreath at the
ceremony, Turnbull praised
the enduring bond between
Australia and the US which was
forged through battles like the
bombing of Dar win.
“ Here in Dar win and around
the world our two nations
continue to ser ve shoulder to
shoulder, partners,” he said.
“ Your sacrifice and the sacrifices
of the people of Dar win will
never be forgotten.” — AAP
Survivor recalls Japanese bombing of Darwin
US defence chief says
no problems with press
Zimbabwe’s people and the ruling
ZANU-PF party see no viable alternative
candidate to President Robert Mugabe
for general elections in 2018, State media
quoted him as saying overnight.
“They want me to stand for elections,
they want me to stand for elections
everywhere in the party. The majority
of the people feel that there is no
replacement, successor who to them is
acceptable, as acceptable as I am,” he said
in comments to State media ahead of his
93rd birthday this coming week.
“The people, you know, would want
to judge everyone else on the basis
of President Mugabe as the criteria,”
Mugabe, who is Africa’s oldest leader,
Mugabe has been in power in the
southern African country since 1980 and
in December his party confirmed him
as its candidate for the next presidential
election expected in mid-2018, when he
will be 94.
“Of course if I feel that I can’t do it any
more, I will say so to my party so that
they relieve me. But for now I think I
can’t say so,” Mugabe said.
Mugabe, known for his combative
style, said he agreed with United States
President Donald Trump’s “America for
“ When it comes to Donald Trump,
on the one hand talking of American
nationalism, well America for America,
America for Americans — on that we
agree. Zimbabwe for Zimbabweans,” he
The State-run Sunday Mail newspaper,
which published the comments, said he
added Trump might review the sanctions
imposed on Mugabe and members of his
inner circle by Washington in 2003.
United States Defence Secretary
Jim Mattis distanced himself
from President Donald Trump’s
assessment of the media as “the
enemy of the American people,”
saying during his first trip to
the Middle East that he had no
problems with the press.
Mattis, a retired Marine general
seen as one of the most influential
voices in Trump’s cabinet, did not
mention his boss by name. But
asked about Trump’s weekend
tweet that branded the media as
America’s enemy, Mattis took a
different position entirely.
“I’ve had some rather contentious
times with the press. But no, the
press, as far as I’m concerned, are a
constituency that we deal with,” he
told reporters travelling with him
in the United Arab Emirates.
“And I don’t have any issues with
the press, myself,” Mattis added.
Since his January 20
inauguration, Trump has fiercely
criticised various news outlets
that have reported unflattering
revelations of dysfunction or other problems in
the White House.
He has described them as “ lying”, “corrupt”
and “failing,” and late on Friday he said the
news media was “the enemy of the American
Asked about the latest salvo, White House
chief of staff Reince Priebus told CBS’s Face
the Nation programme, “I think you should
take (Trump’s Twitter statement) seriously.”
“Certainly we would never
condone violence. But I do think
that we condone critical thought,”
Priebus said, adding the media, in
some cases, needed to “get its act
Mattis spoke after talks with
European leaders at a security
conference in Munich, Germany,
where Senator John McCain
warned that suppressing the
free press was “how dictators get
“ If you want to preser ve
democracy as we know it, you have
to have a free and many times
adversarial press. Without it, I am
afraid that we would lose so much
of our individual liberties over
time,” McCain told NBC’s Meet
the Press programme overnight.
On Friday McCain told the
Munich forum that the resignation
of Trump’s national security
adviser, Michael Flynn, over his
contacts with Russia reflected
“disarray” in Washington.
But Mattis played down any
concerns about the reshuffling
within the administration.
“ Welcome to democracy. It’s at times wildly
contentious, it ’s at times quite sporting. But
the bottom line is this is the best form of
government that we can come up with,” he said.
Mattis added the military was very ready to
“ hold the line” as the political process played out.
“ We don’t have any disarray inside the military
and that ’s where my responsibility lies,” he said.
‘What has he been smoking?’
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