Home' Greymouth Star : August 17th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
10 - Thursday, August 17, 2017
Police in Rome say they are
investigating a suspected murder
after hacked-off legs, apparently
of a woman, were found in a
rubbish bin and a head and torso
were found in rubbish elsewhere
in the Italian capital.
Police are questioning the
brother of the victim.
A woman rummaging through
the bin in the upmarket
residential neighbourhood of
Parioli yesterday evening spotted
the legs and alerted police.
She was reported to be in shock
after the grisly discovery.
sur veillance camera at a nearby
store apparently recorded a man
throwing something into the bin
where the legs were found. — AP
Severed legs found
in rubbish bin
Venezuelan authorities are
investigating the theft of animals
from a zoo in the western State of
Zulia that were likely snatched to
be eaten, a further sign of hunger in
a country struggling with chronic
A police official said two collared
peccaries, which are similar in
appearance to boars, were stolen
over the weekend from the Zulia
Metropolitan Zoological Park in
the sweltering city of Maracaibo
near the Colombian border.
“ What we presume is that they
(were taken) with the intention
of eating them,” Luis Morales, an
official for the Zulia division of the
National Police, said yesterday.
The chaotic collapse of the
country’s socialist economic model
has created chronic food shortages
that have fueled malnutrition and
left millions seeking food anywhere
they can find it, including in
rubbish bins and skips.
President Nicolas Maduro blames
food shortages on opposition
protests that have blocked streets
and highways and a broader
“economic war” led by adversaries
with the help of Washington.
Zoo head Leonardo Nunez said a
wave of thefts that in recent weeks
had affected 10 species including a
buffalo, which he said was cut into
pieces, was orchestrated by “drug
dealers” seeking to sell the animals.
“They take everything here.
The animals weren’t stolen to be
eaten,” Nunez said in an inter view
Mauricio Castillo, a former zoo
director, said thieves had made off
with two tapirs, a jungle animal
that is also similar to a pig that
is described as vulnerable to
extinction by the International
Union for Conser vation of Nature.
Shortages have also left zoos
without sufficient food to feed
animals, with some 50 animals
star ving to death last year at a
Caracas zoos, according to a union
The government denied the
animals had star ved, insisting they
had been treated “like family.”
Venezuelan zoo animals stolen to eat
Tapirs are seen at the Zulia’s Metropolitan Zoological Park in Maracaibo, Venezuela.
Australian researchers have made
a breakthrough in the treatment of
deadly peanut allergies in children.
A small clinical trial conducted at
the Murdoch Children’s Research
Institute resulted in two-thirds of
the children being treated with
an experimental immunotherapy
treatment being rid of their allergy.
Importantly, their desensitisation to
peanuts persisted for up to four years
“These children had been eating
peanut freely in their diet without
having to follow any particular
programme of peanut intake in the
years after treatment was completed,”
trial leader Professor Mimi Tang said
Peanut allergy is the most
common cause of anaphylaxis, a life-
threatening allergic reaction, and one
of the most common causes of food
Tang has pioneered a new form of
treatment that combines a probiotic
with peanut oral immunotherapy,
known as PPOIT.
Instead of avoiding the allergen,
the treatment is designed to
reprogramme the immune system
response to peanuts and over the
longer term develop tolerance.
It’s thought combining probiotics
with the immunotherapy gives the
immune system the “nudge” it needs,
Prof Tang said.
A total of 48 children were
enrolled in the PPOIT trial and
were randomly given either a
combination of the probiotic,
Lactobacillus rhamnosus, together
with peanut protein in increasing
amounts, or a placebo, once daily for
At the end of the first stage of the
trial in 2013, 82% of children who
received the probiotic and peanut
oral immunotherapy treatment
were deemed tolerant to peanuts
compared with just 4% in the
Four years later, the majority who
gained initial tolerance were still
eating peanut as part of their normal
diet while 70% passed a further
challenge test to confirm long-term
tolerance to peanut.
Tang said the results were very
exciting and had been life-changing
for the children.
“ We had children who came into
the study allergic to peanuts, having
to avoid peanuts in their diet, being
very vigilant around that, carrying a
lot of anxiety,” she said.
“At the end of treatment, and
even four years later, many of these
children who had benefited from
our probiotic peanut therapy could
now live like a child who didn’t have
The results have been published in
The Lancet Child and Adolescent
If confirmed by larger clinical
studies, the broader hope is that the
treatment can impact more food
allergies among children.
“This is a major step for ward in
identifying an effective treatment to
address the food allergy problem in
western societies,” Tang said. — AAP
Australian breakthrough for peanut allergy
A mother who lost her son during the mudslide is consoled by a sympathiser
near the entrance of Connaught Hospital in Freetown.
Facing the threat of disease, Sierra
Leone began burying hundreds of
victims of a mudslide that swept away
homes on the edge of the capital, one
of Africa’s worst flood disasters in living
Hundreds of Freetown residents
queued to identify relatives crushed
by the mud on Monday in a valley on
the outskirts of Freetown. Aid workers
warned of an impending health crisis
caused by about 400 corpses left out in
the warm, fetid climate.
Dumbuya said the burial of 297 of the
bodies was under way. They were being
transported to the Ebola cemetery
at Waterloo, about 30km outside of
Freetown, Dumbuya said.
“ We cannot wait for tomorrow for the
burial, as was suggested by government,
because most of the bodies are
decomposing,” he said. “ The burial will
continue up till night.”
Dozens of houses were buried when
a mountainside collapsed in the rainy
season in the town of Regent.
The country of six million people is
one of the poorest in the world and was
ravaged by west Africa’s 2014-16 Ebola
outbreak, which killed 4000 people in
the former British colony.
Emergency response teams have raced
to dig out sur vivors and dispose of bodies
but the central morgue is over whelmed
and many bodies are feared trapped
under mud and rubble.
Sobbing and covering their noses from
the stench, relatives stepped around
corpses lying on the ground outside
the morgue as the sheets covering them
“I came to identify my uncle in particular,
but I couldn’t find him,” 30-year-old
Hawanatu Sesay said after her turn came
to look through the morgue.
“Let his soul rest in peace,” she said
Another man said he had identified his
wife’s body but had no news of his two
young daughters. All had been buried
when their house was engulfed in mud,
Chief coroner Seneh Dumbuya said
yesterday that nearly 400 bodies had
been brought in and that he anticipated
more than 500 as the search continued.
Authorities did not have an updated
The government summoned families
to the morgue in a statement and said
all unidentified corpses would be buried
today and tomorrow.
Aid workers said there was a high risk
of disease outbreaks such as cholera, as
corpses are lying in the open in the heat.
conditioning units to keep the bodies
cool and are in need of more protective
gear such as masks, aprons and glove
disposal stations, Idalia Amaya, an
emergency relief co-ordinator for
Catholic Relief Ser vices, said.
“The morgues are just overflowing
with corpses and it is becoming a public
health emergency,” Amaya said. “ They
need to get the bodies out. ” — Reuters
Britain’s most advanced and
biggest warship, the 65,000-tonne
aircraft carrier HMS Queen
Elizabeth, berthed for the
first time at its home port of
The 280m vessel entered the
harbour on England’s southern
coast, greeted by thousands of
HMS Queen Elizabeth is the
largest warship so far built for
the Royal Navy, according to the
Ministry of Defence.
“ Today we welcome our
mighty new warship, HMS
Queen Elizabeth, to her home
for the very first time,” Defence
Secretary Michael Fallon said.
“S he is Britain’s statement to
the world: A demonstration of
British military power and our
commitment to a bigger global
The ship is currently undergoing
sea trials. It cannot yet deploy
planes, but flying trials from its
deck are due to begin next year.
It took eight years to build
HMS Queen Elizabeth, with
construction taking place in
six cities and involving 10,000
Along with its sister ship,
HMS Prince of Wales, it is part
of a defence programme worth
£6 billion ($10.58 billion).
The aircraft carrier’s
commanding officer Captain
Jerry Kyd told the BBC the vessel
“sends the right signals to our
allies and, indeed, potentially
to our enemies that we mean
business.” — Reuters
UK’s biggest warship sails into home port
The Royal Navy ’s new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, arrives in Portsmouth.
Zimbabwe’s first lady Grace Mugabe
has sought diplomatic immunity in South
Africa, where she is under investigation
over the assault of a 20-year-old model
in an upmarket hotel, South African
police said overnight.
Police also confirmed that Mugabe,
the 52-year-old wife of Zimbabwe’s
nonagenarian leader Robert, had failed
to appear at a court hearing yesterday
relating to allegations she attacked
Gabriella Engels with an electric
Engels’ mother Debbie said that her
daughter had received 14 stitches on her
head from Sunday’s assault — which
the mother did not witness — and
demanded Mugabe face justice.
“ I just want justice for my daughter.
It ’s not about money. It ’s about justice.
She attacked my child for no reason,” she
The police statement said Harare had
sought diplomatic immunity for Mugabe
which if granted would exempt her
from prosecution — but said she would
be “processed through the legal system”.
Reuters has not been able to verify
key aspects of the assault allegations
independently, and multiple requests for
comment from Mugabe’s spokesman in
Harare and from Information Minister
Chris Mushowe went unanswered.
Mugabe, a potential successor to her
93-year-old husband, was in South Africa
to receive treatment to an injured foot,
according to local media. A Zimbabwean
intelligence source said she was not
travelling on a diplomatic passport.
Criminal lawyer Riaan Louw said
diplomatic immunity would not apply if
Mugabe had indeed entered on private
“ If she wasn’t here on official business,
that rules out the possibility of diplomatic
immunity,” Louw said.
However, given the potential for
diplomatic fallout, South African
prosecutors could yet decide not to
prosecute if they thought the injuries
were not too severe, he added.
“They can fail to prosecute her,” he said.
“They ’ve got the powers to decide that
it ’s not in the interests of the community
or it might create animosity between us
Police said yesterday ’s abortive court
hearing was designed to obtain a
statement from Mugabe, along with her
version of the events, but she failed to
appear as arranged.
Police spokesman Vish Naidoo did not
comment on the specifics of the case,
other than to say it related to assault with
intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
Baltimore removed four monuments to
the pro-slavery Civil War Confederacy
before dawn, working quickly so the
city could avoid protests like the one
organised by white nationalists that
turned deadly in Charlottesville,
The statues, including one of General
Robert E Lee and another of General
Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, were taken
off their bases in Wyman Park Dell,
beside the Baltimore Museum of Art,
and carried away on a flatbed truck.
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said
she and the city council decided to remove
the monuments “quickly and quietly”.
“I think any city that has Confederate
statues (is) concerned about violence
occurring,” she said.
City councillor Brandon Scott had
called for immediate action following
the “domestic terrorism” carried out
on Saturday by white supremacists in
Following the violence, calls increased
for removal of Confederate memorials,
flags and other symbols from public
places around the United States.
Maryland was a slaveholding State
during the Civil War.
In Los Angeles, the United
Daughters of the Confederacy asked
the Hollywood Forever Cemetery
to remove a monument that since
1925 honoured Confederate veterans.
Cemetery spokesman Theodore Hovey
said the organisation made the request
after hundreds of people demanded it be
“I think the owner’s main concern
was for the monument ’s well-being in
light of the current atmosphere, and we
were concerned about maintaining the
tranquility and peace of the cemetery,”
Hovey said, adding the United Daughters
would find a new location for the statue.
In Birmingham, Alabama’s largest city,
Mayor William Bell ordered workers to
obscure a Confederate monument in a
city park using wooden boards. The State
Attorney-General, Steve Marshall, sued
the city in response, saying the barriers
broke a State law passed in May that
banned local governments from moving
or altering historical monuments that
have been on public property for more
than 40 years.
The mayor said the city will fight the
lawsuit and ultimately try to get the
monument removed from the park.
In New York, Governor Andrew
Cuomo wrote to the US Army urging it
to remove the names of Jackson and Lee
from streets on Fort Hamilton Army
Base in Brooklyn.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
said on Twitter that, following the
violence in Charlottesville, the city will
conduct a 90-day review “of all symbols
of hate” which may be on its property.
Confederate monuments shifted under darkness
Allies round on Trump
America’s closest allies condemned
United States President Donald Trump
in unusually strong and personal terms
overnight after he put part of the
blame for violent clashes in the State of
Virginia on those marching against gun-
British Prime Minister Theresa May,
widely criticised at home for cultivating
close ties to Trump during his first
half year in office, spoke out after the
president repeated his view that the
white nationalists and counter-protesters
were both to blame.
“There’s no equivalence, I see no
equivalence between those who
propound fascist views and those who
oppose them and I think it is important
for all those in positions of responsibility
to condemn far-right views wherever we
hear them,” May said.
The leader of the centrist Liberal
Democrats said May should rescind her
invitation to Trump to pay a state visit
whitewash of murder and hatred by
#WhiteSupremacists why is he still on
list of invited official guests to UK?”
Vince Cable tweeted.
Politicians in Germany, which has
tough laws against hate speech and
any symbols linked to the Nazis who
murdered six million Jews in the
Holocaust, expressed shock at the images
of people in Charlottesville, Virginia
carrying swastikas and chanting anti-
Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned
the “racist, far-right violence”.
Her challenger in next month’s election
called Trump’s comments the “confused
utterances” of a dangerous man.
“ We should not tolerate the
monstrosities coming out of the
president ’s mouth,” Martin Schulz told
the RND newspaper group.
German Justice Minister Heiko Maas,
like Schulz a member of the centre-
left Social Democrats which rules in
coalition with Merkel, accused Trump
of trivialising anti-Semitism and racism.
His Israeli counterpart, Ayelet Shaked,
a member of the ultra-nationalist Jewish
Home party in Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu’s government, tweeted: “ The
neo-Nazis in the United States should
be prosecuted. This was not what the
American constitution was meant for.”
In a heated news conference yesterday,
Trump said there was “ blame on both
sides” for the violence, which culminated
in the death of a 32-year-old woman,
Heather Heyer, after a car crashed into
anti-racist demonstrators. A 20-year-old
Ohio man has been charged with her
Trump’s remarks were praised by David
Duke, a former leader of the Ku Klux
Klan, who applauded the president ’s
“ honesty and courage”. — Reuters
Aust minister clears
air over citizenship
Michael Keenan has rejected reports
he is the latest Turnbull government
minister to run foul of the citizenship
The justice minister took to social media
this morning to insist he renounced his
British citizenship in 2004 and before he
“I am an Australian citizen and I do not
hold citizenship of any other country,”
Fairfax Media had reported Keenan
may be a British citizen courtesy of his
father Peter, who was born in England in
1943 and emigrated to Australia, where
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton
defended his colleague.
“Michael Keenan has been very clear
about his status,” he told reporters in
Canberra. “ Frankly I don’t know why it
is being traversed.”
Dutton batted away questions about a
broader audit of all MPs by saying the
coalition is focused on national security,
border protection and the economy.
Islamic State ‘finished’
The probable death of Australia’s most
notorious terrorist and his two sons in
Syria further confirms Islamic State is
“finished”, a terrorism analyst says.
Greg Barton was responding to reports,
which the federal government has yet to
publicly confirm, that Khaled Sharrouf
died in a United States air strike while
driving in Raqqa with sons Abdullah,
12, and Zarqawi, 11, on August 11.
“It is further news that the allure and
myth of the so-called romantic jihadi
fighting for a utopian state has been
punctured,” he told the Nine Network
The Deakin University professor said
everyone would feel for the Sharrouf
“Is the tragic part of the news. Sharrouf
himself was a thuggish nobody, his life
meant nothing, his death meant nothing
either,” Barton said.
“He really wasn’t a mastermind or even
a recruiter. He was just a sick lost boy. ”
The federal government yesterday said
it could not immediately confirm the
deaths given the difficulty of getting
information from war zones like Syria.
However, Barton said it was likely
Australian intelligence was involved.
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