Home' Greymouth Star : March 15th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
6 - Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Bowie stamps fall from stratosphere
Special stamps paying tribute
to late music legend David
Bowie have been launched
The 10-stamp set featuring
images from some of Bowie’s
most admired album covers and
of the star on stage, were created
to honour the musician after he
died from cancer in January last
year at 69.
Fifty-two sets of the stamps
have now been propelled into the
stratosphere on special helium
balloons, as a homage to Bowie’s
role in the 1976 film The Man
Who Fell to Earth.
The number was chosen to
represent the 52 years of Bowie’s
professional recording career.
The flight reached 54,800m at
a vertical speed of about 19kph.
After the balloons burst,
the stamps will have started
to descend at nearly 320kph,
slowing to approximately 13kph
by the time they reached the
The Royal Mail stamps were all
postmarked with a special edition
red handstamp of the thunderbolt
from the cover of Bowie’s 1973
record Aladdin Sane.
Fans who correctly guess
where “the stamps that fell to
earth” landed can win one of the
limited edition first day covers.
The Bowie stamps are also on
sale. — PA
Switzerland’s NDB intelligence ser vice
ratcheted up scrutiny of asylum requests
for signs of Islamist militancy last year
as it sought to better identify refugees
who pose a threat, a government report
NDB agents reviewed 5202 asylum
dossiers for possible threats to Swiss
internal security, from the pool of 27,200
people who submitted asylum requests
last year, the report said.
The NDB recommended rejecting 14
of those cases, as well as stripping refugee
status from one other person who had
already been granted asylum.
That compared with 4910 dossiers
being reviewed in 2015, from 39,500
asylum requests. Of 24,000 asylum
requests in 2014, the Swiss intelligence
ser vice reviewed only 2488 files.
The report, by a multi-agency task force
called Tetra formed in 2014 to address
“ jihad travellers” moving between
Switzerland and the Middle East,
concluded that Switzerland remains
an target for militants despite so far
avoiding attacks like those in Germany
“The most likely threat for our country
are attacks that require little logistical
planning and are carried out by lone
attackers or small groups,” the report
Overall, asylum requests in Switzerland
are trending downward after authorities
closed the Balkan land route used by
thousands to flee hot spots in the Middle
East, Asia and Africa. Requests are
forecast to fall to about 24,500 this year.
Through 2016, the NDB had identified
497 internet users it said were spreading
extremist propaganda on-line. Of 70
total cases being investigated by federal
police, the report said, about 60 are the
subjects of a criminal proceeding.
Additionally, 81 people motivated by
extremist ideologies had travelled from
Switzerland to conflict areas including
Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan since Sept.
11, 2001 through February, up from 78 a
Twenty-two of those have been killed
or are believed to be dead, the report said,
while 14 have returned to Switzerland.
Last year, Swiss voters approved
extending the national spy ser vice’s
authority to monitor internet traffic,
deploy drones and hack foreign computer
systems, in large part to counter extremist
The government is reviewing whether
an update is needed to require employees
of private companies who manage asylum
cases to report clients’ possible extremist
behaviour to authorities. — Reuters
Erdogan warned the Netherlands
that he could take further steps
in a deepening diplomatic row,
while a government spokesman in
Ankara said economic sanctions
could be coming.
Incensed by Dutch
German government bans on
his ministers from speaking to
rallies of overseas Turks, Erdogan
also accused German Chancellor
Angela Merkel of siding with the
Netherlands in the fight between
the Nato allies.
Turkey suspended high-level
diplomatic relations with the
Netherlands yesterday, banning
the Dutch ambassador from the
country and preventing diplomatic
flights from landing in Turkey or
using its air space.
Those steps were taken after
Erdogan branded the Netherlands
“Nazi remnants” at the weekend
for muzzling his ministers.
“The cabinet took action but
there are many other things
that could be done against the
Netherlands,” Erdogan said in a
speech broadcast live on television.
“ We will show those who think they can get
away with an apology that they are making a
mistake,” Erdogan, who is campaigning for an
April 16 referendum on boosting his powers
and has been looking to the large number of
Turks living in Europe to help secure victory,
Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus
later told broadcaster CNN Turk that economic
sanctions could be in the works.
will continue against the
Netherlands until they make up for what they
did. We’ve started with the political, diplomatic
sanctions, and economic sanctions may follow,”
Erdogan has threatened to take the
Netherlands to the European Court of Human
Rights over the ban on his ministers, which
both the D utch and Germans have imposed
citing fears of unrest.
Dutch police used dogs and water cannon
on Sunday to disperse hundreds of protesters
waving Turkish flags outside the consulate in
Rotterdam. Some protesters threw bottles and
stones and several demonstrators were beaten
by police with batons, a Reuters witness said.
Mounted police officers charged the crowd.
The small western German State of
Saarland said it would ban
political campaigning by foreign
“ Internal Turkish conflicts have
no place in Germany. Election
appearances which put at risk
domestic peace in our country
must be banned,” State Premier
said in a statement.
“The atmosphere that has been
created by Nazi comparisons and
insults must not be allowed to
escalate,” she said.
The Belgian city of Antwerp
said it would not allow a politician
from the nationalist MHP party
to speak at an event, although Ali
Guler was still set to appear on
Sunday at a Turkish restaurant in
Genk, in the east of the country.
While Turkish law forbids
election campaigning abroad and
in diplomatic missions, ministers
are circumventing the ban by
holding what they say are cultural
events with Turkish citizens.
Erdogan has said that those
who oppose the referendum, are
aligning themselves with terrorists.
He has also accused European
states, including Germany, of harbouring
terrorism, an allegation they deny.
EU States are also unhappy with what they
see as an increasingly authoritarian tone from
Turkey and the spat is likely to further dim
Ankara’s prospects of EU membership.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini
and EU enlargement commissioner Johannes
Hahn called on Turkey to moderate its language
and avoid further escalating the dispute.
Erdogan renewed his attack on Merkel after
she criticised his “Nazi remnants” jibe against
“The countries that have embraced this
thuggery have lost all their credibility. The
chancellor of Germany has come out and said
she supported the Netherlands. We know that
you are no different than them,” Erdogan said.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the
Turkish sanctions, while “not too bad”, were
inappropriate as the Dutch had more to be
Ankara’s foreign ministry said the European
Union was exercising democratic values
“It is very grave for the EU to hide behind
member country solidarity and stand by the
Netherlands, which has clearly violated human
rights and European values,” it said. — Reuters
Swiss step up
Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Boko Haram executes ‘spies’
Islamist militant sect Boko Haram released
a video overnight purporting to show the
execution of three men the group accused of
being Nigerian military spies.
The seven-minute clip, the first on-line video
posted in two years of an execution said to be
by Boko Haram, showed three men wearing
orange jumpsuits. One is decapitated by masked
men while the other two are shot.
The masked men criticise President
Muhammadu Buhari and Nigeria’s military
campaign against Boko Haram’s eight-year long
insurgency in the north-east of the country. The
militant group has killed more than 15,000
people and forced more than two million to flee
“These are your boys you sent,” says one
militant in a message aimed directly at Buhari,
as the three men kneel on the ground.
Boko Haram aims to create a state that
adheres to strict Islamic laws in the north-east
of Africa’s most populous nation.
In December, Buhari said the group had been
pushed out of its last enclave in the Sambisa
forest. Days later, a militant who identified
himself as Boko Haram leader Abubakar
Shekau denied the government ’s assertion.
Shekau did not appear in the latest video,
narrated in a mixture of Arabic and the Hausa
language spoken widely in northern Nigeria
and sent to a number of media.
A Nigerian army spokesman gave no answer
when asked if the executed men were military
intelligence officers as Boko Haram claimed.
“ We are focusing on stabilisation and
consolidating our counter-terrorism and
spokesman Sani Usman said in a text message.
“Let them mention that part of Nigerian
territory they are holding,” he said.
In a separate development, the leader of
Ansaru — a splinter faction of Boko Haram —
and six others appeared in court overnight to
face charges of terrorism, murder, kidnapping
and the illegal possession of firearms.
Khalid al-Barnawi, who was arrested
last April, and the other defendants pleaded
not guilty. The case was adjourned until
Nigeria has witnessed an increase in attacks
or attempted attacks bearing the hallmarks of
Boko Haram in crowded areas, such as markets
and refugee camps, since the end of the rainy
season in late 2016.
Most of the attacks have either been foiled or
the suicide bombers have managed only to blow
themselves up. — Reuters
Dar es Salaam
Tanzania has started to re-map and
demarcate its national parks, game
and forest reser ves in an effort to curb
conflicts between humans and wildlife
that have been stoked by drought.
A scorching drought in many parts of
east Africa has forced nomad pastoralists
searching for water and fresh pastures for
their cattle into protected wildlife areas,
Tanzania’s minister for tourism and
natural resources, Jumanne Maghembe,
said the exercise to redraw boundaries
of protected sites would be led by the
country’s National Parks Authority
(TANAPA) to safeguard wildlife
sanctuaries from illegal cattle grazing,
logging and poaching. “ We would like
to see borders of our national parks and
protected areas clearly marked so that no
one can trespass,” the minister said.
“Stern legal measures will be taken
against anyone who would cross into
About 37% of Tanzania’s land is
covered by conser vation rules with
almost 400,000 square kilometres of
protected land contained in national
parks, game and forest reser ves famous
for spectacular landscapes and herds of
wildebeest and elephants.
Illegal herding of cattle into national
parks due to drought has placed a new
strain on wildlife, endangering the lives
of animals including wildebeest in the
Serengeti. Conser vationists said the
local wildebeest population has declined
from two million to 1.5 million in the
past decade. In 2015, Maasai pastoralists
poisoned six lions that had strayed from
Tarangire national park into their village,
killing cattle and goats.
“ We are frequently facing these
territorial disputes between conser ved
areas and villages whose inhabitants
also need land for farming, grazing, and
housing,” said George Waitara, chairman
of TANAPA said last week. — Reuters
Thailand seizes $7m of rhino horn
Thai customs agents have confiscated 21
rhino horns with an estimated value of nearly
$US5 million ($7.2 million) in the biggest
such seizure in Thailand for years, officials said
Thailand has become a major transit point for
the trade in endangered species to other Asian
The seizure of the nearly 50kg of rhino horn
came days after 300kg of elephant ivory was
impounded and a month after the discovery of
almost three tonnes of pangolin scales destined
“It’s the biggest confiscation of rhino horns in
five to 10 years,” Somkiat Soontornpitakkool,
director of Thailand’s Wild Fauna and Flora
Protection division, said.
The rhino horns were found in luggage sent
from Ethiopia to Thailand.
Two Thai women who travelled from
Vietnam and Cambodia to pick up the
luggage ran off when it was subject to a random
check, police said. Warrants are now out for
Global trade in rhino horn is banned by a
United Nations convention, but in some fast-
growing Asian countries it is prized as an
ingredient in traditional medicines to treat
everything from fever to cancer.
It is estimated that only some 29,000 rhinos
are left in the wild today compared to 500,000
at the start of the 20th century, according to the
International Rhino Foundation.
Africa is home to 80% of the world’s remaining
rhinos. — Reuters
Prices valid until only Thursday 16th March 2017. Trade not supplied. Deals valid while stocks last. Due
to current Licensing Trust laws, liquor not available at Elles Road, Windsor & Gore. Specials may not be
available at all stores. Club Deals are only available to Clubcard Members at New World South Island
stores when they scan their Clubcard at the time of purchase.
Plus scan your Clubcard to get
4x points when you spend $50 or more.
Spend $50 or more in a single transaction and scan your New World Clubcard, Airpoints card or Fly Buys card on
Thursday 16 March 2017 to collect 4x points. Applies to standard points only. Qualifying spend excludes tobacco,
cigarettes, Lotto, Gift Cards, Phone top ups, Christmas Club top ups and payment of accounts.
(Excludes Glazed Drums)
Chit Chat or
Special K Original 535g,
Coco Pops 650g or
Bouton D’Or Brie or
Export Gold or Tu i
330ml 24 Pack Bottles
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