Home' Greymouth Star : August 22nd 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
10 - Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Millions of Americans have gazed
in wonder through telescopes,
cameras and disposable protective
glasses as the moon blotted out
the sun in the first full-blown solar
eclipse to sweep the United States
from coast to coast in nearly a
“It’s really, really, really, really
awesome,” nine-year-old Cami
Smith said as she watched the fully
eclipsed sun from a gravel lane near
her grandfather’s home at Beverly
The temperature dropped, birds
quietened down, crickets chirped
and the stars came out in the
middle of the day as the line of
darkness raced 4200km across the
continent in about 90 minutes,
bringing forth oohs, aahs, shouts
In Boise, Idaho, where the sun
was more than 99% blocked, people
clapped and whooped, and the
street lights came on briefly, while
in Nashville, Tennessee, people
craned their necks at the sky and
knocked back longneck beers at
Nudie’s Honky Tonk bar.
At the Nashville Zoo, the
giraffes and rhinos started running
around crazily when the sun
came back. Several minor-league
baseball teams — one of them, the
Columbia Fireflies, outfitted for the
day in glow-in-the-dark jerseys —
briefly suspended play.
At the White House, despite all
the warnings from experts about
the risk of eye damage, President
Donald Trump took off his eclipse
glasses and looked directly at the
It was the most-obser ved and
most-photographed eclipse in
history, with many Americans
staking out prime viewing spots
and settling on to blankets and
lawn chairs to watch, especially
along the path of totality — the
line of deep shadow created when
the sun is completely obscured
except for the delicate ring of light
known as the corona.
The shadow — a corridor just
96km to 113km wide — came
ashore in Oregon then travelled
diagonally across the Midwest to
South Carolina, with darkness from
the totality lasting about two to
three minutes in any one spot.
The rest of North America was
treated to a partial eclipse, as were
Central American and the top of
With 200 million people within a
day’s drive from the path of totality,
towns and parks saw big crowds.
Skies were clear along most of the
route, to the relief of those who
feared cloud cover would spoil this
once-in-a -lifetime moment.
The National Aeronautics and
Space Administration (Nasa)
reported 4.4 million people were
watching its television coverage
midway through the eclipse, the
biggest livestream event in the
space agency ’s history.
Astronomers were giddy with
excitement. Nasa and other
scientists watched and analysed
from telescopes on the ground and
in orbit, the International Space
Station, aeroplanes and scores of
high-altitude balloons beaming
back live video.
Citizen scientists monitored
animal and plant behaviour as day
turned into twilight. Thousands of
people streamed into the Nashville
Zoo just to watch the animals’
reaction and noticed how they got
noisier at it got darker.
The path of totality passed
through 14 States, entering near
Lincoln City, Oregon, at 1.1pm,
moving over Casper, Wyoming;
Carbondale, Illinois; and Nashville,
Tennessee, and then exiting near
Charleston, South Carolina, at
2.4pm east coast time.
Shawnee National Forest in
southern Illinois saw the longest
stretch of darkness: Two minutes
and 44 seconds. — DPA
Eclipse turns day into night across US
People watch the solar eclipse in downtown Hopkinsville, Kentucky.
Police have shot dead the van driver
behind the Barcelona terror attack,
authorities in Catalonia say.
Younes Abouyaaqoub, 22, was
gunned down by officers and appeared
to be wearing what looked like a
The Moroccan was cornered
in Subirats, about 50km west of
Barcelona, early today.
Thirteen people were killed in in
Barcelona on Thursday (Friday NZT),
including seven-year-old New South
Wales boy Julian Cadman.
Joaquim Forn, head of home affairs
in Catalonia’s regional government,
said earlier “everything indicates”
Abouyaaqoub was behind the wheel.
Police have revealed he stole a car
and killed its owner as he made his
getaway after fleeing the carnage in
Las Ramblas on foot.
He had been the only at-large
member of the 12-strong terror cell
behind the attacks in Barcelona on
Friday and in the seaside town of
Cambrils early on Saturday.
One person was killed in the
Cambrils attack, in which terrorists
wearing fake suicide belts drove an
Audi A3 into pedestrians, bringing
the death toll to 14.
walked around Barcelona for about
90 minutes after the van attack before
hijacking a Ford Focus, stabbing its
owner, Pau Perez, and driving away
with his body still inside.
Abouyaaqoub rammed the car
through a police checkpoint on
Saturday night then dumped the
vehicle about a kilometre away but he
had fled by the time police found it
with Perez’s body still inside.
Four other suspects have been
arrested and at least two extremists
died on Thursday in an explosion at
a house in Alcanar, where explosives
were being prepared.
Police believe the blast in Alcanar
prevented the cell from carrying out
a far more deadly attack.
Police are probing claims the cell
was radicalised by an imam with links
to the Madrid train bombers and an
area in Belgium known as a hot-spot
for Islamic State recruiting.
Spanish newspaper El Pais said
Abdelbaki Es Satty was imam at
one of the two mosques in Ripoll,
in the north-east of Spain near the
French border and about 100km from
Barcelona. All of the main suspects
are believed to have lived in the small
town. — AP
Van driver in Barcelona attack shot dead
London’s Big Ben has sounded the
hour for the last time before falling silent
for repair work due to last almost four
The giant bell atop the United
Kingdom parliament ’s clock tower rang
out at noon, as it has almost every hour
since 1859, becoming a famous sound of
Hundreds of parliamentary staff,
journalists and MPs gathered in a
courtyard under the Victorian clock
tower, while hundreds more tourists lined
footpaths and filled nearby Parliament
Media outlets in Britain and beyond
broadcast the final set of 12 bongs live
“The sounds of London will not be the
same without its chiming heartbeat,”
tweeted the prime minister’s business
ambassador, Stephen Kelly.
Charity The Poetry Society quoted
poem The Bells by Edgar Allen Poe on
Twitter to mark the beginning of Big
Ben’s long silence until 2021.
The break will allow workers to carry
out much-needed maintenance to the
Victorian clock and clock tower, but will
deprive Londoners and tourists of one of
the city’s legendary sounds.
Some MPs have criticised the lengthy
silence, calling Big Ben an important
symbol of British democracy. They want
the time scale for repairs tightened.
Big Ben is not due to resume regular
timekeeping until 2021, though it will be
heard on special occasions such as New
Year’s Eve. — AP
for last time
PICTURE: Getty Images
The Elizabeth Tower with the clock
Big Ben in London. The bell will still
be used for special occasions such as
marking New Year, but will remain
silent on a daily basis, to allow the
work teams to carry out structural
Daniel Leverton was 40 when
he died suddenly, leaving behind
two young daughters. The hard
working Royal Australian Air Force
mechanic had just returned from a
humanitarian mission in Vanuatu,
where he had helped rebuild after the
devastation of Cyclone Pam, when
his life was cut short.
While surfing with friends at
Arrawarra on the mid-north coast
of New South Wales, Leverton
suddenly collapsed after complaining
of chest pains.
He died on April 4, 2015, leaving his
family devastated by his premature
loss. Former partner Angela Watson,
the mother of Leverton’s children,
believed their future would be
secured, having long ago been named
as the executor and sole beneficiary
in his will. What she did not know
was that the vast majority of her
ex-partner’s estate — the $489,315
worth of retirement savings and life
insurance held in his superannuation
account — would be divided up with
little weight given to his written will.
A woman with whom the soldier
had a comparatively new relationship
lodged a claim with Military Super,
and was awarded $381,000 — leaving
just $53,824 each for his daughters.
The family appealed to the
Corporation, which upheld the
decision and found that the woman
had been living in a domestic
relationship with Leverton for nine
months before he died. It relied
on a statutory declaration made by
Leverton in August 2014, declaring
that the woman was living with him as
his partner, evidence of joint bills and
banking activity and a RAAF minute
approving his application naming
the woman as his “interdependent
partner” in November 2014.
The airman’s family insists that he
never intended for the woman to
inherit his estate, saying he made
her his de facto only to avoid being
posted inter-State — a fate that
would have taken him away from
his beloved daughters. “ In mid-2014,
the RAAF advised Daniel that he
was going to be posted to Katherine
in the Northern Territory,” father
Geoff Leverton said. “ It put a terrible
burden on Daniel because he did not
want to be away from his girls, and
he asked if there was a way around it.
“ He had a casual relationship with
advised him that even though it was
well below the de facto relationship
civil laws of Queensland which is
two years, that if he signed a stat
declaration, they could be recognised
as de facto — and then Daniel
wouldn’t have to be transferred.”
But the move appears to have
backfired, with the couple’s de facto
status barring Leverton’s daughters
from a bigger slice of his estate, an
outcome the family believes defies
His father dubbed it a “travesty of
justice” that “defies common sense”.
“ Why do we make wills? To look
after the people we love, after we’ve
gone,” he said.
Watson said her ex-partner would
have been horrified to know that
his daughters were missing out on
hundreds of thousands of dollars that
could have been used to pay for their
education and upbringing.
“He’d be so angry to know that this
was happening, which makes it even
worse — but there’s nothing we can
do about it,” she said.
“ When we separated I was the
executor of his estate and sole
beneficiary of his will, because he
knows anything will go to the kids.”
She said she had remained on
amicable terms with Leverton, who
saw his daughters regularly and
that they had continued to spend
Christmas together as a family. He
had never changed the will he made
in 2008, despite being invited to do
so by the RAAF before each overseas
mission he took, she said.
Watson said she wanted to share her
story to help prevent other families
from ending up in the same situation.
While her ex-partner had a valid will,
he had never thought to nominate
a beneficiary on his superannuation
account — a move that may have
ensured a different outcome.
“ We can’t gain anything now, we
can’t get the money back, but I just
want people to be aware,” she said.
“People think that a will covers all
that stuff, but it won’t.”
— News.com .au
PICTURE: News Corp
Daniel Leverton’s daughters were awarded $53,824 each.
Girlfriend beats daughters to $480,000 inheritance
involvement in war games
between the United States
and South Korea as a
“suicidal act ”.
Two dozen Australian
taking part in a 10-day
The annual Ulchi-
Freedom Guardian exercise
began on Monday and
involves more than 17,000
American troops along
with small contingents
from Britain, Canada, Colombia,
Denmark, New Zealand and the
The same exercises in 2016 provoked
North Korea to conduct nuclear tests.
The Australians will work in the
command and control post.
North Korea’s official news agency has
condemned Australia’s involvement in
“This is a suicidal act of inviting
disaster as it is an illustration of political
immaturity, unaware of the seriousness
of the current situation,” the agency said,
according to translations.
“Australia followed the US to the
Korean War, the Vietnamese War and
the war on terrorism, but heavy loss of
lives and assets were all that
it got in return.”
Prime Minister Malcolm
Turnbull earlier this month
said Australia and the
United States were “joined
at the hip”, and pledged
Australia would come to
the aid of its ally if there
was an attack by North
North Korea’s leader Kim
Jong Un has been briefed
on military’s plans to
launch missiles into waters
near Guam as part of an
effort to create “enveloping
fire” near the US military hub in the
Kim said North Korea would
conduct the planned missile launches
if the “ Yankees persist in their
actions on the Korean Peninsula
and its vicinity” and that the US
should “think reasonably and judge
property” to avoid shame, the news
In an editorial published yesterday,
the official North Korean newspaper
Rodong Sinmun criticised the joint
military exercise as an “expression
of enmity,” adding that no one can
guarantee “that the exercise will not lead
to hostilities.” — AAP
Kim Jong Un
A headless female torso was found
overnight in the water’s edge in
Copenhagen, hours after a Danish
inventor charged with killing
a journalist in his home-made
submarine told a court she died on
board, police said.
Peter Madsen told the court that
Swedish journalist Kim Wall had died
in an accident and he had buried her
at sea, changing his earlier statement
the he dropped her off alive in
Police later told a press conference
that it was still too early to identify
the body — missing its head, legs and
arms — that was found by a passing
“ It is clear that the police, like
the media and everybody else, is
speculating whether this female body
is Kim Wall, but it is way too soon to
tell,” Copenhagen police spokesman
Jens Moller said.
The case is being followed
particularly closely by Danish and
Swedish media but has drawn interest
from around the world.
The body had been sent for forensic
analysis while divers continued to
search the area where it was found,
Madsen has been charged with the
manslaughter of Wall who has been
missing since he took her out to sea in
his 17m submarine on August 10. He
denies the charge.
He was rescued a day later after
his UC3 Nautilus sank. Police found
nobody else in the wreck.
Danish and Swedish maritime
authorities are using divers, sonar and
helicopters in the continued search
for the body in Koge Bay, south of
the city, and in the Oresund Strait
between the two countries.
Madsen, an entrepreneur, artist,
submarine builder and aerospace
engineer, went before a judge on
Saturday for preliminary questioning.
The case is not open to the public to
protect further investigation, police
said. — Reuters
Body found as sub man changes story
Kim Wall on the conning tower of the home-made submarine UC3 Nautilus
along with its builder, Danish inventor Peter Madsen.
die in air strike
Ten United States sailors were
missing after a collision between a
destroyer and a tanker near Singapore
yesterday, the second involving a US
warship and a merchant ship in Asia
in about two months, triggering a
fleet-wide probe of operations and
The guided-missile destroyer John
S McCain and the tanker Alnic
MC collided while the warship was
heading to Singapore for a routine
port call. The collision tore a hole
in the warship’s waterline, flooding
compartments that included a crew
sleeping area, the US Navy said.
“Initial reports indicate John S
McCain sustained damage to the
port side aft,” it said in a statement.
“There are currently 10 sailors
missing and five injured.”
US Defence Secretary James
Mattis said chief of naval operations
Admiral John Richardson would
conduct a broad investigation into
naval operations after the collision.
Richardson said he was calling an
“operational pause” worldwide “to
make sure that we are taking all
appropriate immediate actions to
ensure safe and effective operations
around the world.”
The McCain’s sister ship, the
Fitzgerald, almost sank off the
coast of Japan after colliding with a
Philippine container ship on June 17.
The bodies of seven US sailors were
found after that collision. The US
Navy said last week it had removed
the two senior officers and the senior
enlisted sailor on the Fitzgerald
following an investigation.
Retired Admiral James Stavridis, a
former Nato supreme commander,
said it was “shocking” to see two fatal
collisions in such a short time.
He said the need for an operational
pause and the loss of two front-line
ballistic missile defense destroyers
for months to come was “deeply
worrisome,” especially at a time of
high tension with North Korea.
“The navy has some real soul-
searching ahead, and this appears to
be a systemic failure of some kind,”
The navy said there was significant
damage to the hull of the McCain.
It said crew members were able to
stop the flooding and the ship made
its way to Singapore’s Changi Naval
Base under its own power. Video
footage showed an area of impact
about 6m wide in the ship’s port side.
A crew member on the Alnic MC
said there was no oil spilled from
the Liberian-flagged, 183m tanker,
which was carrying almost 12,000
tonnes of fuel oil from Taiwan to
discharge in Singapore.
Singapore’s Maritime and Port
Authority said no injuries were
reported on the Alnic, which suffered
some damage above the waterline.
10 sailors missing as tanker, US destroyer collide Moscow
Russian warplanes killed more than
200 militants from the Islamic State
extremist militia in a recent air strike in
Syria, the Defence Ministry says.
The planes destroyed an armed convoy
of at least 20 vehicles that were heading
to the eastern Syrian city of Deir al-Zour,
the ministry said in comments carried by
state news agency Tass.
Islamic State has been trying to regroup
and establish a stronghold at Deir al-
Zour, the ministry said. It did not specify
the date of the attack.
The Syrian Obser vatory for Human
Rights, a Britain-based organisation
monitoring the conflict, confirmed at
least 70 Islamic State militants were
killed in a Russian airstrike on a convoy
in countryside west of Deir al-Zour on
Friday. — DPA
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