Home' Greymouth Star : March 13th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
Monday, March 13, 2017 - 5
Worldwide study confirms
people spend an average of
40 minutes a day reading a
newspaper, compared to just
30 seconds of on-line news.
v On-line News
Professor Neil Thurman | Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
World wide web inventor Sir Tim
Berners-Lee says the impact of fake
news is increasingly concerning and
has unveiled plans to tackle “unethical”
political advertising and the har vesting
The British computer scientist said
overnight, exactly 28 years after his
invention, the three new trends have
become alarming in the last 12 months.
In an open letter published in Britain,
Sir Tim, 61, said misuse of data has
created a “chilling effect on free speech”
and warned of “internet blind spots” that
are corrupting democracy.
One problem, he wrote, is that most
people find their news and information
through a “handful” of social media
sites and search engines, which are paid
whenever someone clicks a link.
“The net result is that these sites show
us content they think we’ll click on,
meaning that misinformation or fake
news, which is surprising, shocking or
designed to appeal to our biases, can
spread like wildfire,” he added.
“Through the use of data science
and armies of bots, those with bad
intentions can game the system to
spread misinformation for financial or
Companies and governments are using
widespread data collection to “trample
on our rights”, leading to bloggers being
arrested and killed by repressive regimes,
Sir Tim said.
“But even in countries where we believe
governments have citizens’ best interests
at heart, watching everyone all the time
is simply going too far,” he wrote.
“It creates a chilling effect on free
speech and stops the web from being
used as a space to explore important
topics, such as sensitive health issues,
sexuality or religion.”
Sir Tim also criticised politicians for
targeting voters using sophisticated
algorithms to tailor messages to ones
they will approve of.
a campaign to say completely
different, possibly conflicting things to
different groups. Is that democratic?” he
Oxford-educated Sir Tim, who
submitted his original proposal for the
web on March 12, 1989, urged people
to call for greater protection laws and
that Google and Facebook increase their
efforts to tackle fake news.
The “internet blind spot ” in political
campaigning must be closed while
alternative revenue streams must
be explored so data is not sold so
indiscriminately, he said.
He plans for the Web Foundation,
which he founded in 2009, to work on
the issues in a five-year strategy. — PA
Web inventor urges fake news crackdown
Joni Sledge, who recorded the dance
anthem We are Family with her three
sisters, has died at 60.
Sledge was discovered dead at her
home in Phoenix, Arizona, by a friend
The band’s publicist, Biff Warren,
said the cause of death had not been
established and Sledge had not been ill.
The family said in a statement: “On
yesterday, numbness fell upon our family.
We welcome your prayers as we weep the
loss of our sister, mother, aunt, niece and
Sledge and her sisters Debbie, Kim
and Kathy formed Sister Sledge in 1971,
and had their breakout success with the
album We are Family in 1979.
Joni Sledge is sur vived by a son. — EF E
A mountain of rubbish has
given way in a massive garbage
dump on the outskirts of
Ethiopia’s capital, killing at least
46 people and leaving several
Many people at the landfill had
been scavenging to make a living,
but others live there because
renting homes, largely built
of mud and sticks, is relatively
Addis Ababa city spokeswoman
Dagmawit Moges says most of
the 46 dead were women and
children, and more bodies were
expected to be found.
It was not immediately clear
what caused Saturday night ’s
collapse at the Koshe landfill,
which buried several makeshift
homes and concrete buildings.
The landfill has been a dumping
ground for the capital’s rubbish
for more than 50 years.
Hundreds of people rely on the
50-year-old Reppi dump, the
city’s only landfill site, to sur vive.
They sift through the garbage for
food, as well as items they can sell
like recyclable metal.
“ We have been scouring the
site in search of victims since a
landslide at 8pm on Saturday,”
local authority spokeswoman
Dagmawit Moges said.
About 150 people were there
when the landslide occurred,
resident Assefa Teklemahimanot
said. Addis Ababa mayor Diriba
Kuma said 37 people had been
rescued and were receiving
An AP reporter saw four bodies
taken away by ambulances after
being pulled from the debris.
Elderly women cried, and others
stood anxiously waiting for news
of loved ones. Six excavators dug
through the ruins.
“ My house was right inside
there,” said a shaken Tebeju
Asres, pointing to where one of
the excavators was digging in
deep, black mud. “My mother
and three of my sisters were there
when the landslide happened.
Now I don’t know the fate of all
of them. ”
The resumption of rubbish
dumping at the site in recent
months likely caused the
landslide, Assefa said.
Smaller collapses have occurred
at Koshe — or “dirty” in the local
Amharic language — in the past
two years but only two or three
people were killed, Assefa said.
“ In the long run, we will
conduct a resettling programme
to relocate people who live in and
around the landfill,” the Addis
Ababa mayor said. — A AP
Sir Tim Berners-Lee
A London council is to be allowed to
bury people in land on top of war graves
after a Church of England court gave it
The council received 660 objections to
the plans, which involved clearing scrub
from raised land on top of graves where
48,000 people including 48 World War
One and Two soldiers are buried, and
making the space available for more
The case, which is thought to be the
first of its kind, will allow the council
to bury 700 new people in the space,
in Camber well Old Cemetery, south
Campaigners opposing the plans claim
this is a “test case” which could pave the
way for other space-poor boroughs to
make similar provisions. The case is likely
to be referred to by other chancellors in
future cases concerning reuse of land.
Both the council and the
Commission, which advised on the
plans, said that they will not bury anyone
directly on top of a war grave.
But the graves are currently unmarked,
and locals say they are concerned that the
proposals are not sufficiently respectful.
A spokesman for the commission said:
“ We have agreed with Southwark LBC
that war graves will not be disturbed
during the process and that no burials
will take place above the war graves.
“ We have responsibility only for the
war graves and these have all been
identified and will not be affected.
“ We follow a similar process at other
sites where the war graves are exempt
from any reuse scheme.”
The other people buried in this area,
who are generally poor residents who
were buried in mass graves, will have
burials made on top of them.
The commission’s rules say that war
graves must be marked where possible.
But in his judgment Philip Petchey,
Chancellor for the Southwark Diocese,
suggested that some of the graves could
be left unmarked.
He said: “It occurred to me that in
the present case it might be better for
all 48 graves to remain unmarked both
as reflecting the position at the time of
burial and also as of now not seeking to
make distinctions between the remains
of those buried in the same area.”
Blanche Cameron, chairwoman of
Friends of Camber well Cemetery, said
that the group did not know about the
war graves until the Church’s judgment
came out, and was concerned that the
commitment not to put further graves
in the same place as existing war graves
might not be kept. They have been
campaigning against the plans for
“It’s a pretty serious aspect to come out
this late in the day. The detail is not at all
clear,” she said.
In a blog post the linked campaign
group Save Southwark Woods said:
“The lack of respect for the nation’s
heroes is just one of many reasons why
Southwark’s burial project is not fit for
While the graves are not in a
churchyard, some of the ground is
consecrated, so the council had to ask the
Church of England court for permission
The council said it is trying to add to
the limited burial space in the borough.
A spokesman said: “ The burial plots
created mean that local people will
continue to have the option to be
buried in their local communities and
avoid paying for more expensive burials
outside of the borough.
“The council is considering all available
options including reuse, which other
councils have already done, but this will
require public consultation.”
The borough’s burial strategy, which
may include opening some graves to
add further bodies, will create 4,865 new
plots in total.
It has been legal to reuse graves in
London since 2007, but it is still against
the law in the rest of England. It has been
legal in Scotland since March last year.
The capital faces a critical shortage
of burial space. Two boroughs —
Hackney and Tower Hamlets — have
stopped burying people in the borough
altogether. Residents have to go to
The City of London has already reused
1500 graves in an effort to deal with the
Tim Morris, chief executive of the
Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium
Management, said burial policy needed
reforming to give all councils permission
to reuse graves. “ The law is a nonsense at
the moment. We need to wipe it all aside
and make provisions that prioritise the
bereaved,” he said. — PA
London council to recycle graves Erdogan renews
attack on Netherlands
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan
says the Netherlands is acting like “Nazi
remnants” and a “ banana republic” and
should face sanctions for barring Turkish
ministers from speaking in Rotterdam.
Erdogan is hoping the large number
of Turks living in Europe, especially
in Germany and the Netherlands,
will help secure victory next month
in a referendum that would give the
presidency sweeping new powers.
The Netherlands barred Turkey ’s
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu
from flying to Rotterdam on Saturday
and later stopped Family Minister Fatma
Betul Sayan Kaya from entering the
Turkish consulate there, before escorting
her out of the country to Germany.
The Dutch government — set to lose
about half its seats in elections this week
to the anti-Islam party of Geert Wilders
says the visits are undesirable and
hold fears that tensions in Turkey
might spill over into their expatriate
In a speech in France, Cavusoglu
described the Netherlands as the “capital
Meanwhile speaking in Kocaeli
province, near Istanbul, Erdogan called
for sanctions on the Netherlands.
“ Has Europe said anything? No. Why?
Because they don’t bite each other. The
Netherlands are acting like a banana
republic,” Erdogan said.
A day earlier, Erdogan described the
Netherlands as “Nazi remnants” and he
returned to the theme on Sunday by
saying “Nazism is still widespread in the
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has
described the remarks as inflammatory
and called for an apology from Turkey’s
president. — AAP-Reuters
Dyer opinion, p4
Magician blacks out in show
Illusionist Criss Angel lost
consciousness during a show at
a Las Vegas hotel, according to a
The incident took place as
Angel attempted to escape
from a straitjacket “while
suspended by his feet,” the
“ He was lowered to the stage
and rushed to the hospital
where he was evaluated and
released early this morning,” the
Angel’s Friday night show was
cancelled about 15 minutes in,
after the incident took place,
the Las Vegas Review-Journal
reported. — DPA
Mass grave found in Iraq
The remains of hundreds of mainly
Shi’ite inmates killed by Islamic State
militants when they overran a prison in
northern Iraq overtwo years ago have
been unearthed by forces retaking the
area from the group, a spokesman said.
An Iraqi Shi’ite paramilitary group
made the discovery after driving the
militants from the Badush area where the
prison is located, as part of a wider United
States-backed campaign to dislodge
Islamic State from the city of Mosul.
As an array of forces dismantle Islamic
State’s self-proclaimed caliphate across
Iraq and Syria, more evidence is emerging
of the war crimes committed by the
Sunni Islamist militants. — Reuters
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