Home' Greymouth Star : March 31st 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Friday, March 31, 2017
Floodwaters filled the streets of a
major Australian town of more than
25,000 people today, as a storm system
generated by the powerful cyclone that
pummelled the nation’s north-east three
days ago swept down the coast with
Cyclone Debbie hit as a category
four storm in the north of tropical
Queensland State on Tuesday, smashing
tourist resorts, bringing down power
lines, flattening canefields and shutting
down coal mines.
Authorities today told almost 20,000
people to evacuate to higher ground as
driving rain in hinterland and coastal
areas either side of the Queensland state
capital, Brisbane, swelled rivers to record
heights across the region.
“ We have everything happening,
we’ve got people on rooftops, we’ve had
people stuck in vans, it ’s a disaster, an
utter disaster,” New South Wales State
Emergency Ser vices controller Ian
Leckie told Australian Broadcasting
The cyclone was downgraded to a
tropical low depression on Wednesday
and yesterday it unleashed squalls with
torrential rain across a 1200km stretch
of Australia’s east coast, before slowly
moving out to sea today.
No deaths were reported, but
authorities feared fatalities after logging
more than 100 flood rescues during the
night. Gales and huge surf swells lashed
the coast still around Cape Byron.
At Lismore, the rising Wilsons River
over whelmed a levee protecting the
rural hub in the Northern Rivers region
of New South Wales, home to at least
25,000 people, and floodwaters flowed
downtown, filling streets and swamping
dozens of shops.
“The CBD is being flooded and
because it’s now very dark and it’s also
windy, there are a lot of people who’re
scared as well,” former Lismore mayor
Jenny Dowell told the ABC.
Tens of thousands of people in the
affected areas are without electricity.
In the cyclone-hit zone further
north, military helicopters, ferries and
planes yesterday evacuated hundreds of
holidaymakers from the resort islands
along the world-famous Great Barrier
Reef and the Whitsunday coast that
bore the brunt of the storm with wind
gusts stronger than 260kph.
In the Bowen Basin, the world’s single
largest source of coal used to make steel,
major miners Glencore and BHP , said
they were still assessing the extent of any
disruption to shipments.
About 2500 insurance claims have been
filed but Queensland’s top two insurers,
Suncorp Group Ltd and RACQ, said it
was too early to put a dollar figure on
One female tourist was killed in a car
crash on Monday that police said was
due to wild weather as Cyclone Debbie
approached. — Reuters
Apple could render the iPhone 5 obsolete
Owners of older iPhones might
soon be forced to upgrade, with
Apple tipped to cease support for
previous versions of their phones —
making them essentially useless and
vulnerable to hacking.
Despite being supported by the iOS
10.3 update Apple released earlier
this week, the tech giant is tipped to
drop the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c and the
fourth-generation iPad later this year.
Eagle-eyed analysts made the
discovery when looking into the code
of the iOS 10.3.2 beta, which was
made available to developers shortly
after the iOS 10.3 release.
Such a move has already been hinted
at by Apple, with users opening 32-
bit software in iOS 10.3 being met
with a message saying the app will
not work with future versions of iOS.
IT specialist Zeph McLearan
tweeted a picture of Apple’s code
showing it makes no mention of any
of the older 32-bit devices in the iOS
update — including only modern
iPhones with 64-bit processors.
This would not be the first time
Apple has killed support for older
devices, although such a move usually
comes with a new major release of iOS.
An example of this is when Apple
killed support for the iPhone 4S, first
iPad mini and the fifth-generation
iPod touch when it introduced iOS 10.
For this reason it would be strange
move for Apple to end 32-bit device
support during such a minor update
such a practice would seem more
likely to coincide with Apple’s iOS
11 when it is announced at this year’s
worldwide developers’ conference on
While this news might be upsetting
for iPhone 5 owners, it is part of
Apple’s continued push toward
getting all of its users on to 64-bit
Although the gadgets would still
function in theory, it would be
impossible to install the latest apps
or downloads official Apple patches
to protect hackers from exploiting
security holes. — n e w s .com .au
hits 5 million
The footpath once regarded as
the world’s deadliest is calling on
daredevils with a head for heights
to book their hiking slots for this
Access to the Caminito del Rey
in southern Spain near Malaga was
restricted in 2000 after five walkers
fell to their deaths in two years. The
walkway, which clings to the side
of the El Chorro gorge, had fallen
into a state of disrepair, with parts
of the route crumbled away and
reduced to just metal skeleton rails.
It has since reopened to the
public, in 2015, after extensive
renovations and the installation of a
sturdy path and railings, at a cost of
($8.39 million. Nevertheless,
Caminito del Rey, which translates
as the King’s Little Walkway, still
requires some handsome ner ves.
The new path was built above
the old route, which remains as
evidence of its early 20th century
beginnings. The walkway was
originally built to provide workers
at the hydroelectric plant at nearby
Chorro and Gaitanejo alls with a
means to cross between them. It
was about a metre wide and some
80m to 100m above the river below.
Even the modern walkway
provides several heart-in-mouth
moments and the operators remind
would-be hikers that a level of
physical effort is required.
Advanced booking is required
to walk the 2.9km route, with the
approach and finish adding further
distance, making a walk time of
some four hours.
Visitors to the new route are
required to wear a helmet. About
600,000 tourists have completed
the walk in the last two years.
The new path is connected to the
wall with steel pins and supported
by metal poles.
The operators warn visitors the
path is not suitable for anyone who
might suffer from dizziness. Rules
also prohibit smoking, littering and
the scattering of ashes. — D PA
World’s scariest walkway reopens
PICTURE: Getty Images
Tourists on the El Caminito del Rey walkway in Malaga, Spain .The path was built in 1905 and winds through the Gaitanes Gorge. The
restoration started in 2011 and reportedly cost $8.39 million.
Sydney’s population has officially hit
five million people after a surge in new
residents in the past dozen years.
Sydney is no longer Australia’s fastest-
growing city, and will be overtaken
by Melbourne as the country’s largest
metropolis in the mid-2050s if current
growth rates continue.
Figures released by the Australian
Bureau of Statistics yesterday reveal
Melbourne’s population grew by 2.4% in
2015-16, ahead of Brisbane (1.8%) and
Melbourne had the largest population
growth of all capital cities last financial
year, increasing by nearly 108,000 people
to hit 4.64 million.
Australia’s slowest growing capital city
was Adelaide, with a growth rate of less
The fastest growing region in Australia
was the south-west of the Australian
Capital Territory, which grew by 38%.
ABS director of demography Beidar
Cho said that as of June 30, 2016 there
were 5,005,400 people living in the New
South Wales capital, up 82,000 from the
“ It took Sydney almost 30 years, from
1971 to 2000, to grow from three million
to four million people, but only half that
time to reach its next million,” she said.
Terry Rawnsley, an economist at
consultancy SGS Economics and
Planning, told the Sydney Morning
Herald the city’s population rise is being
driving by robust economic growth.
He predicted the city would reach
a population of 6 million by 2028 at
current growth rates.
Victoria was the fastest growing state,
increasing by 2.1%, followed by New
South Wales and Queensland (both
1.4%), the Australian Capital Territory
(1.3%) and Western Australia (1.0%).
The Northern Territory had the slowest
growth (0.2%), followed by South
Australia and Tasmania (both 0.5%).
Malaysia put the body of the estranged
half-brother of North Korean leader
Kim Jong Un on a plane to Pyongyang
overnight, in a deal that secured the
release of its citizens there and ended a
drawnout diplomatic spat.
United States and South Korean
intelligence sources say North Korea
masterminded the deadly attack on Kim
Jong Nam last month using VX ner ve
agent, a chemical so toxic that it is on a
United Nations list of weapons of mass
The attack outraged Malaysia and
sparked a diplomatic row with North
Korea, resulting in travel bans on both
sides and a collapse in their long-
standing friendly ties.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak
said the nine Malaysians barred from
leaving North Korea had been allowed
to board a plane out.
The Malaysians left Pyongyang in a
Royal Malaysian Air Force business jet,
which headed immediately west out of
North Korean air space before turning
south towards Malaysia, according to
flight tracking website planefinder.net.
“ Following the completion of the
autopsy on the deceased and receipt of
a letter from his family requesting the
remains be returned to North Korea, the
coroner has approved the release of the
body,” Najib said in a statement.
The statement did not mention Kim
by name. Kim was assassinated at Kuala
Lumpur airport on February 13.
Earlier, sources said authorities were
preparing to transport Kim’s body on
Malaysia Airlines flight MH360 to
Beijing. That flight lands in Beijing after
The swap agreement brings to an
end nearly seven weeks of diplomatic
standoff between the formerly friendly
Najib has said the return of the nine
Malaysians in Pyongyang was Malaysia’s
North Korea had been demanding the
handover of Kim’s body and that three
remaining suspects inside its embassy be
returned to Pyongyang in exchange for
an end to the travel ban on Malaysians,
diplomatic sources have said.
It was not immediately clear if the
suspects were also allowed to leave
Malaysia, although some local media
reported that they were taking the same
flight to Beijing.
Kim Jong Nam, the eldest son of the
late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il,
had spoken out publicly against his
family’s dynastic control of the isolated,
The young, unpredictable Kim Jong
Un had issued a “standing order” for
his elder half-brother’s assassination,
and there was a failed attempt in
2012, according to some South Korean
Malaysian police say Kim was killed
by two women who smeared the super
toxic ner ve agent VX on his face. An
Indonesian woman and a Vietnamese
woman have been charged.
North Korea reacted angrily when the
Malaysian authorities identified North
Korean suspects and sought to question
others including a diplomat at their
embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
Pyongyang has maintained that the
body was that of Kim Chol as stated in
his passport, and not Kim Jong Nam.
Malaysia expelled North Korea’s
ambassador for being “diplomatically
rude”, although Najib later said that ties
with Pyongyang would not be severed,
in a bid to calm relations.
A statement by the North Korean
government released simultaneously
said both countries managed to “resolve
issues arising from the death of a DPRK
national” in Malaysia at a meeting in
DPRK stands for North Korea’s official
name, the Democratic People’s Republic
“The importance of bilateral relations
was reaffirmed. In this connection, both
countries agreed to positively discuss the
re-introduction of the visa-free system
and work towards bringing the relations
to a higher level,” read the statement
from North Korea.
Malaysia imposed a travel ban on
North Koreans leaving the Southeast
Asian country in a tit-for-tat move after
Pyongyang barred Malaysians from
leaving its borders.
Najib said overnight North Koreans
will now be allowed to leave Malaysia.
Deal ends spat with Nor th Korea
Dead shark found in puddle
A bull shark has become an unexpected
victim of Cyclone Debbie after it was
found in a puddle after flooding in north
WIN News Townsville journalist
Philip Calder found the 1.5m bull
shark yesterday morning in a puddle in
Ayr, just north of where Debbie made
landfall earlier this week.
The shark was found dead after
possibly becoming stranded as water
surges through the area caused pockets
of flooding. — AAP
Ivanka Trump said yesterday she would
work in the White House in an unpaid,
informal advisory role to the president as
she sought to allay ethics concerns about
“I have heard the concerns some have
with my advising the president in my
personal capacity while voluntarily
complying with all ethics rules and I
will instead ser ve as an unpaid employee
in the White House office, subject to
all of the same rules as other federal
employees,” she said in a statement.
Questions about possible conflicts of
interest arose after it was announced
on March 20 that Trump, 35, would
become an informal adviser to her father,
President Donald Trump, with an office
in the West Wing.
She has been an increasingly influential
adviser to the president and her husband,
Jared Kushner, is a powerful Trump
adviser. — Reuters
White House role
for Ivanka Trump
Trump ‘may lose climate leadership to China’
The Vatican urged United States
President Donald Trump to listen to
“dissenting voices” and reconsider his
position on climate change, saying the
US risked losing its environmental
protection leadership to China.
Pope Francis has made defence of
the environment a key plank of his
papacy, strongly backing scientific
opinion that global warming is
caused mostly by human activity.
“This is a challenge for us,”
Cardinal Peter Turkson, the Pope’s
point man for the environmental,
immigration and development, said
when asked about Trump’s executive
order dismantling Obama-era
c limate change regulations and his
“ Fortunately, in the US, there
are dissenting voices, people who
are against Trump’s positions,”
Turkson, who is from Ghana and
was one of the driving forces behind
the Pope’s 2015 encyclical letter on
environmental protection, said.
“This, for us, is a sign that little by
little, other positions and political
voices will emerge and so we hope
Trump himself will reconsider some
of his decisions,” Turkson said.
The Pope and the Vatican, which
has diplomatic relations with more
than 180 countries and a permanent
obser ver status at the United
Nations, have strongly backed the
international Paris Agreement in
2015 to curb world temperatures.
“ We as a Church, are full of hope
(Trump’s positions) will change,”
Turkson said, adding he hoped “the
president realises there sometimes
can be dissonance between reality
and things said during a campaign”.
After Trump signed his executive
order on Tuesday, keeping a
campaign promise to bolster the
coal industry, nations led by China
and the European Union rallied to
support the Paris accord. — Reuters
Community Funding is Available in
The Lion Foundation is looking for more great causes to support in
Greymouth. If you’re a school, charity, community group, health provider or
sports organisation in the Greymouth area then we’d like to hear from you.
For more information head to www.lionfoundation.org.nz or call us on 0800 802 908
and we’ll walk you through the process.
Application forms can also be picked up from The Union Hotel
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