Home' Greymouth Star : June 2nd 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
Friday, June 2, 2017 - 9
Scientists aim to identify remains of Argentinian soldiers on Falklands
A robotic policeman which can
help identify wanted criminals
and collect evidence has joined
Dubai’s police force and will patrol
busy areas in the city, as part of a
government programme aimed
at replacing some human crime
fighters with machines.
If the “Robocop” experiment is
successful, Dubai police says it
wants the unarmed robots to make
up 25% of its patrolling force by
Clad in the colours of the Dubai
police uniform, the life-size
robot, which can shake hands and
perform a military salute, is the
lighter side of a government plan to
use technology to improve ser vices
and security ahead of D ubai
hosting Expo 2020.
“These kind of robots can work
24/7. They won’t ask you for leave,
sick leave or maternity leave.
It can work around the clock,”
Brigadier Khalid Nasser Al
Razooqi, director-general of the
smart ser vices department at Dubai
The first automated policeman
in the Middle East, the robot on
wheels is equipped with cameras
and facial recognition software.
It can compare faces with a
police database and flag matches
to headquarters. It can read vehicle
licence plates and its video feed can
help police watch for risks such as
unattended bags in popular areas
of D ubai, a financial and tourism
Members of the public can also
talk to the robot to report a crime
or communicate with it using a
touch screen computer embedded
in its chest. Built by Barcelona-
based PAL Robotics, and
programmed by police, the cost of
the robot has not been disclosed.
Most people are not ner vous
about talking to a robot and some
even seem to prefer it, Razooqi
“ We now see the new generations
who are using smart devices —
they love to use these kind of
tools. A lot of them have seen the
Robocop movie and they said, ‘You
guys, you have done it’. ” — Reuters
Robocop joins Dubai police to fight real life crime
A visitor shakes hands with an operational robot policeman at the opening of the fourth Gulf Information Security Expo and Conference in
Forensic scientists this month will
start trying to identify the remains
of Argentinian soldiers buried in
anonymous graves on the Falkland
Islands after the country’s 1982
conflict with Britain, the head of the
mission said overnight.
There are 123 such graves in
Dar win Cemetery on the South
Atlantic islands, one of which
International Committee of the
Red Cross (ICRC) representatives
overseeing the mission said at a news
The ICRC has been inter viewing
families of dead Argentinian soldiers
since 2012 and about 100 have
consented to DNA testing.
“ I hope we will succeed in matching
some of the graves,” head of the
mission Laurent Corbaz said.
“The plaque on the graves should
not remain ‘Argentina soldier known
only by God’.”
In Britain’s two-month-long war
to reclaim the Falklands, 255 British
and about 650 Argentinian soldiers
died, and it is still a sore point for
Argentina’s President Mauricio
Macri has adopted a softer tone than
his predecessor Cristina Fernandez
but he has not relinquished
Argentina’s claim to the islands it
Argentina and Britain signed an
agreement in December to try to
identify the soldiers, splitting the
$1.5 million cost. The team will
consist of ICRC forensic scientists
as well as two experts each from
Argentina and Britain.
Exhumation and bone sampling is
to begin on June 19 and will likely
continue into August, Corbaz said,
assuming one to three bodies per
day can be analysed and reburied.
The ICRC chose the Southern
interfering with tourism and sheep
farming, Corbaz said.
DNA comparisons and analysis will
be done at a laboratory in Cordoba,
Argentina, and a final report should
be ready by the end of the year, he
added. Families will be informed of a
match in an inter view.
Retired British Army Colonel
Geoffrey Cardozo, who then-Prime
Minister Margaret Thatcher ordered
in 1983 to recover the dead from
various points on the island and set
up Dar win Cemetery, will accompany
part of the ICRC mission, Corbaz
“Fortunately he is still alive and
accepted to accompany us for the
first week” to help explain how he
organised the cemetery, he said.
British Prime Minister Theresa May’s
lead over the Opposition Labour Party
has almost halved to eight points in
the space of a week, an opinion poll
overnight from Panelbase showed.
With a week to go before the
national election, the poll showed the
Conser vatives’ share of the vote had
fallen by four points since last week to
44%, while Labour’s had increased by
three points to 36%.
Support for the Liberal Democrats was
unchanged at 7%, according to the poll
taken between May 26 and June 1.
That left May with an eight-point
advantage compared with 15 points in a
poll that closed on May 23.
The poll is the latest to show a narrowing
lead for May. A You Gov opinion poll
yesterday showed the Conser vatives’ lead
for the June 8 election had fallen to a
fresh low of 3%.
A failure to win the June 8 election
with a large majority would weaken May
just as formal Brexit talks are due to
begin, while the loss of her majority in
Parliament would pitch British politics
Panelbase changed its methodology in
its previous sur vey — it now includes
only those certain to vote. It also tweaked
its weightings for age and regional
turnout. — Reuters
May’s lead over
Polish authorities said overnight they
had found the remains of two other
people in the coffin of former president
Lech Kaczynski while investigating the
plane crash in Russia that killed him and
95 others in 2010.
The caskets of 11 further victims
also contained body parts of others,
prosecutors said after examining 24
coffins from the crash, which some
officials of the ruling right-wing party
have blamed on an explosion aboard,
without providing evidence.
The April 2010 crash near the western
Russian city of Smolensk — the worst
such disaster for Poland since World
War Two — has left Polish society
deeply divided over the cause despite
the previous, centrist government ’s
conclusion from its own investigation
that pilot error was at fault.
Poland’s current government under the
Law and Justice (PiS) party, led by Lech
Kaczynski’s twin brother Jaroslaw, took
direct control of the prosecutors office
and moved to re-examine the Smolensk
crash after coming to power in late 2015,
saying the previous investigation was not
Deputy Prosecutor-General Marek
Pasionek told reporters that in 12 of 24
coffins reopened since last year, bodies
had been swapped in two, one contained
half the body of another person while
nine other caskets held scattered remains
of other victims.
He said the coffin of Archbishop
Miron Chodakowski contained only the
upper half of his body while the lower
half belonged to late General Tadeusz
In the coffin of General Bronislaw
Kwiatkowski there were 14 body
parts belonging to seven other people,
Pasionek said, adding that post-mortem
examinations would be finished by April
In Moscow, the Kremlin and Russia’s
foreign ministry did not immediately
respond to calls and e-mails asking for
“ Today we know that there was
no diligence in (the post mortem
examinations conducted in Russia).
There was nonchalance in the best
case, and ill-will in the worst case,”
Magdalena Merta, the widow of Tomasz
Merta, a senior culture ministry official
who died in the crash, told the Polish
state agency PAP.
She accused Russia of “displaying a
filthy attitude towards our dead”.
The current government ’s move to
reopen the coffins had split families of
victims between those who mistrusted
the post-crash procedures conducted
in Russia and those who wanted their
loved ones to be left to rest in peace.
While some high-ranking PiS officials
repeatedly suggested that a bomb
onboard brought down the plane, the
PiS-led investigations has not produced
supporting evidence, but have turned
up the apparent failure of post mortems
conducted in Russia to correctly identify
The plane crash occurred as pilots tried
to land the Polish delegation in a Soviet-
made TU-154 plane near Smolensk
to take part in commemorations of
thousands of Polish officers executed
there by Soviet secret police in 1940.
The victims’ coffins were sealed in
Russia and returned to Poland within
two weeks of the plane crash. Last year,
Polish prosecutors ordered the coffins to
The current commission’s findings
could worsen relations with Moscow
already strained over the conflict in
Ukraine — but may also ease divisions
in Polish society.
“It seems that these post-mortem
examinations have been conducted
diligently and they finally seem to have
convinced some of our compatriots that
there was no assassination,” Radoslaw
Sikorski, who was foreign minister
under the previous government, told
TVN24 on Monday when some of the
findings were leaked.
Russia has so far refused to return
the wreckage of the aircraft to Poland,
a member of Nato and the European
Union, citing its own continuing
conducted by Poland before 2016 and
showed that six bodies were in coffins
that did not bear their names, officials
said at the time. — Reuters
A former nurse has pleaded guilty
to first-degree murder in the deaths
of eight nursing home residents in
one of the worst serial-killer cases in
Elizabeth Wettlaufer also pleaded
guilty to four counts of attempted
murder and two counts of aggravated
The 49-year-old, who appeared in
a Woodstock, Ontario, courtroom,
admitted to killing eight seniors and
hurting six others.
Wettlaufer acknowledged under
questioning from the judge that she
injected all 14 with insulin for no
All the incidents allegedly occurred
between 2007 and 2014 in three
Ontario long-term care facilities
where Wettlaufer worked as a
The prosecution read from an
agreed statement of facts, saying that
Wettlaufer told police she knew that
“ if your blood sugar goes low enough,
you can die”.
In at least one case, Wettlaufer was
spurred to act by growing rage over
her job and her life, which built up
inside her until she felt an “urge to
kill,” the prosecution told the court.
Wettlaufer deliberately injected
James Silcox, an 84-year-old man
with diabetes and Alzheimer’s
disease, with insulin the night of
August 11, 2007, “hoping he would
die,” the prosecution said.
“It was his time to go because of
the way he acted,” the former nurse
told police, according to the agreed
statement of facts.
She also told investigators that
after wards she felt, “like a pressure had
been relieved from me, like pressure
had been relieved from my emotions”.
told police that
dissatisfaction with her life led her
to inject Clotilde Adriano, 87, with
insulin, though Adriano sur vived.
The other victims were Maurice
Granat, 84; Gladys Millard, 87; Helen
Matheson, 95; Mary Zurawinski, 96;
Helen Young, 90; Maureen Pickering,
79, and Arpad Hor vath, 75.
The attempted murder victims have
been identified as Wayne Hedges,
57, Michael Priddle, 63, Sandra
Towler, 77, and Beverly Bertram, 68.
Wettlaufer was also charged with
aggravated assault against Adriano
and 90-year-old Albina Demedeiros.
The police investigation into
Wettlaufer began last September
after Toronto police became aware
of information she had given to a
psychiatric hospital in Toronto that
caused them concern.
Some family members
Wettlaufer’s victims broke down in
the courtroom as Wettlaufer entered
Friends and relatives of the seniors
who died said earlier they were
warned the hearing would reveal
information that might be difficult
for them to handle. Some, however,
expressed relief that the case would
come to a swift conclusion. — AP
Former nurse admits eight murders in Canada
A 95-year-old former Auschwitz
guard, who was sentenced to jail in
Germany last year for being an accessory
to murder of at least 170,000 people, has
died before his conviction became legally
binding, his lawyer said on Thursday.
In what is likely to be one of
Germany ’s last trials for World War
Two-era atrocities, Reinhold Hanning
was convicted last June by a judge who
branded him a “willing and efficient
henchman” in the Holocaust.
His lawyer, Andreas Scharmer, said he
had found out about Hanning’s death
on Tuesday evening, but declined to
comment on the cause of death beyond
pointing to the man’s advanced age.
Scharmer said the verdict against
Hanning is not legally binding as appeals
were still pending at Germany’s highest
Thomas Walther, a lawyer for more than
20 joint plaintiffs in the Hanning case,
said he was disappointed Hanning had
died before the conviction was binding,
especially as he had expected the higher
court to rule in the next month or so.
“ If the judiciary had not been silent for
decades, then there would not have been
this disappointment,” he said, adding
he had expected the conviction to be
A precedent was set in a similar case in
2011, when camp guard Ivan Demjanjuk
was convicted, but he also died before
the German Federal Court of Justice
could rule on his appeal.
Germany ’s highest court last November
rejected an appeal by Oskar Groening,
known as the “bookkeeper of Auschwitz”,
to his conviction for being an accessory to
the murder of 300,000 people.
Hanning was silent and emotionless
for much of his trial but at one point he
did apologise to the victims and said that
he regretted being part of a “criminal
organisation” that had killed so many and
caused so much suffering.
Hanning was not charged with
direct involvement in any killings. But
prosecutors and dozens of joint plaintiffs
from Germany, Hungary, Israel, Canada,
Britain and the United States said he had
helped Auschwitz function. — Reuters
guard dies at 95
A new novel by Lord of the Rings
author J R R Tolkien was published
overnight a century after it was first
written, prompted in part by the horrors
he witnessed in World War One.
Beren and Luthien, edited by Tolkien’s
son Christopher Tolkien, presents two
characters — a man and an elf — taken
from Tolkien’s fictional world, Middle
The story centres on a series of daunting
quests and forbidden love, extracted
from a longer novel that Tolkien revised
and developed several times, according
to Harper Collins Publishing.
Written after the author came back
from France in 1916, the book ser ved as
an “exorcism” of the appalling experiences
he had on the battlefields of World War
One, Tolkien scholar John Garth said in
a BBC inter view.
The book’s illustrations are by Alan
Lee, who won an Academy Award for
work on Peter Jackson’s film adaption of
the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Those books have sold over 150 million
copies worldwide, while the Lord of the
Rings films of the books have grossed
over $1 billion altogether.
Tolkien died in 1973 at age 81.
Aust native plant kills Zika virus
Queensland researchers have
found a way to kill the Zika virus
using compounds found in an
Australian native plant.
The compounds halt the virus,
which causes birth defects, and stop
it replicating without damage to
host mammalian cells, Q ueensland
University of Technology scientists
“The research is in the early stages,
but we are aiming to ultimately
synthesise the compounds in
question and turn our attention to
preclinical testing,” lead researcher
Dr Trudi Collet said in a statement.
She did not name the plant,
presumably for commercial reasons,
but said it was fairly common, and
its compounds were found to kill
100% of the Zika infection in cells.
“ It ’s also exciting because of the
implications of this work for other
viruses. Zika, dengue, West Nile,
Japanese encephalitis and yellow
fever are all from the same family
of viruses — flaviviridae.”
Researchers would spend the next
three to five months working to
synthesise the compounds, and will
then to go on to test them on the
Zika causes severe disability in
babies by attacking developing stem
cells in the brain — but in adults,
whose brains are fully formed, it
often causes no more than mild flu-
QUT researchers have been
working in collaboration with
Australian-based biotech company
Health Focus Products Australia.
Health Focus chairman and
founder Dr Mark Baldock said
Zika was becoming more prevalent
and had been shown to remain in
human sperm for six months.
He said the breakthrough offers
promise of one day being able to
eliminate the virus from people
who contract it in the very early
stages, thereby reducing risks
around conception. — A AP
Grande benefit concert sold out
Tickets for an all-star benefit concert
in aid of the victims of the Manchester
bomb attack sold out within minutes of
going on sale overnight.
The One Love Manchester concert
will be headlined by Ariana Grande,
the United States singer whose concert
in the northern English city on May 22
was hit by a suicide bombing that killed
22 people and wounded 116.
Coldplay, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus,
Pharrell Williams, Take That and the
Black Eyed Peas will also perform at the
concert at the Emirates Old Trafford
Cricket Ground on Sunday.
Fans who attended Grande’s previous
show are being offered free tickets to
the concert which will be broadcast on
British television. Proceeds from tickets
sold will go to the We Love Manchester
Emergency Fund set up to aid grieving
families and victims of the attack.
In a statement announcing the benefit
concert, Grande said she hoped to
“ honour the ones we lost, their loved
ones, my fans and all affected by this
tragedy”. — Reuters
Ethiopia cuts internet after exam leaks
Ethiopia has cut off internet
access nationwide until at least June
8 to try to stop cheats from posting
high school exam papers on social
media, a government official said
Hundreds of thousands of students
will take the tests throughout the
Horn of Africa country with grade
10 exams taking place from May
31 until June 2, and Grade 12 tests
from June 5 until June 8.
Last year, exam papers were
widely posted on-line, prompting
the government to reschedule the
tests, which are the main public
exams for 16 and 18-year-olds to
secure places at university and on
“The shutdown is aimed at
preventing a repeat of leaks that
occurred last year,” Mohammed
Seid, public relations director of
Ethiopia’s Office for Government
Communications Affairs, said.
“ We are being proactive.
“ We want our students to
concentrate and be free of the
distractions that this brings. ”
Seid did not give a precise date
regarding when the shutdown
would be lifted, but added it would
last throughout the exam period.
He said only access to social
media outlets was cut off and that
ser vices such as airline bookings
and banking requiring internet
access remained intact.
A witness confirmed that wifi
and cellular internet access had
been cut off. Access at embassies
and international organisations
It is not the first time that Addis
Ababa has pulled the plug on the
internet. At the height of protests
in late 2015 and 2016, Ethiopia
imposed a blanket ban for weeks
before disrupting only social media
outlets such as Facebook and
At that time, rights group
Amnesty International slammed
the disruption as an “intent
on stifling expression and free
exchange of information”.
Critics say Ethiopia, an important
Horn of Africa ally of the west
Somalia and Sudan, often clamps
down on freedoms under the
guise of national security. The
government denies the accusations.
Bomber Command marks 75 years
About 50 war veterans will be
honoured this weekend for their role
in deadly bombing raids over Germany
during World War Two.
Sunday marks 75 years since Royal
Australian Air Force squadrons joined
Bomber Command operations.
An estimated 10,000 Australians
ser ved with Bomber Command. About
half died ser ving.
The broader death toll was 55,573
and included British, Canadians, New
Zealanders and crews from other
The operations were marred by
controversy surrounding the very high
civilian death toll in German cities such
as Hamburg and Dresden.
The United Kingdom only unveiled its
official memorial in 2012.
The Australian War Memorial’s last
post ceremony on Saturday will tell the
story of flying officer Charles Rowland
Williams who was a member of Bomber
On Sunday morning veterans, widows
and families will participate in a wreath-
laying ceremony in the war memorial’s
There will a RAAF F/A-18A/B
Hornet flypast at 11.45am. — A AP
44 die of thirst in Sahara Desert
At least 44 migrants, including babies,
have died of thirst after their vehicle
broke down in the Sahara Desert as they
were making their way to Libya.
Niger is a major route for west African
migrants making their way toward
Most of the dead migrants were
from Ghana, the prefect of Dirkou
locality, Bachir Manzo, said. The victims
included three babies, two children and
17 women. The official said six people
sur vived. — AP
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