Home' Greymouth Star : October 20th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Friday, October 20, 2017
Islamic State fanatics and other
terror groups are planning another
massive attack on the scale of 9/11,
a top United States security chief
Elaine Duke, Donald Trump’s
acting Secretary of Homeland
Security, said jihadists were using
crude knife and van attacks to
keep their members engaged and
their finances flowing as they plot
another “big explosion” similar to
the September 2001 atrocities.
Speaking at the US embassy in
London, she said intelligence is
pointing to extremists plotting to
take down planes to inflict mass
Duke said Isis is currently in an
“ interim” period focusing on a
much bigger endgame.
The security chief, who has ser ved
three US presidents, said: “ The
terrorist organisations, be it Isis
or others, want to have the big
explosion like they did on 9/11.
They want to take down aircraft,
the intelligence is clear on that.
“However, in the interim they
need to keep their finances flowing
and they need to keep their
visibility high and they need to
keep their members engaged, so
they are using small plots and they
are happy to have small plots.” She
added: “Creating terror is their
goal and so a van attack, a bladed
weapon attack, causes terror and
continues to disrupt the world —
but does not mean they ’ve given up
on a major aviation plot.”
Yesterday Duke said the prospect
of a terrorist blowing up an airline
using a laptop was just one of the
threats facing airlines worldwide.
She said the free movement of
goods and people means security
has to be tightened in individual
countries around the world.
She said: “ The laptop is one of the
many aviation threats, we will never
be comfortable and we will always
“ What we believe is that because
of the movement of goods and
people, we have to raise the baseline
worldwide, we can’t consider only
She went on: “ We think the level
of terrorist threat against the US
too is extremely high.
“ I think that it is challenging
for you because you have the
proximities to other countries, the
ease of movement from some of the
terrorist safe havens is a little easier
for you, but we feel the terrorist
threat is very high in the US. ”
Asked how the US is tackling the
threat of another 9/11-style atrocity,
she said: “ We have worked on some
strong measures that we can’t talk
about. We are trying to play the
away game and that is working
against them in their terrorist safe
havens and homes.
“ We do have some terrorist groups
on the move, you just saw the take-
over of Raqqa and so if we can keep
them declining and moving they
have less time to sit and prepare. ”
Duke warned that the number
of home-grown violent extremists,
mostly inspired by terrorist
organisations, is increasing in
the US. She said the ability
of IS militants to put terrorist
propaganda on the internet will
appeal more and more to extremists
as they are pushed out of Syria and
Duke said web giants need to do
more to detect extremist content
on-line, and one way of doing this
could be using the same technology
used to identify people in passenger
“ Terrorists are strong, they are
adaptable and the terrorist threat
is the highest it has been since pre-
9/11. We have got to have every
tool that ’s possible,” she added.
A total of 2996 people were killed
during the September 11 attacks,
when al Qaeda suicide attackers
hijacked planes and flew them
into the World Trade Centre in
New York and the Pentagon in
Earlier, she met British Home
Secretary Amber Rudd to discuss
how to force internet giants to do
more to tackle terrorism ahead of
the G7 summit.
Following recent attacks in
Manchester and London, police
chiefs have said the threat facing
the United Kingdom is a “new
norm” that will not change.
Her chilling remarks came 24
hours after MI5 director-general
Andrew Parker warned Britain was
facing its worst terrorist threat in
history in his first major speech since
the UK was hit by a wave of attacks.
The British spy chief said it was
taking terrorists just days to hatch
plots as violent extremists exploit
“safe spaces on-line” to evade
detection. — PA
Maltese journalist ’s bombing remotely triggered—police
Police believe a bomb which killed
a prominent journalist in Malta was
attached beneath her car and triggered
remotely, a government spokeswoman
said overnight, giving the first details of
Daphne Caruana Galizia, a renowned
blogger and fierce critic of the
government, died on Monday in a blast
that wrecked her car as she was leaving
her house, throwing debris and body
parts into a nearby field.
The murder shocked the Mediterranean
island, the smallest nation in the
European Union, and Prime Minister
Joseph Muscat yesterday promised a
reward to anyone who came for ward
with information about the killing.
However, Caruana Galizia’s three
grown-up sons dismissed the offer,
and called instead for Muscat to
resign, saying he should take political
responsibility for the first such murder
of a journalist in Malta since the island
won independence in 1964.
Muscat has ruled out quitting and flew
to Brussels for an EU summit, where his
spokeswoman said investigators were
making some progress.
“ Emerging evidences make us think
that the bomb was placed under the car
and was set off with a remote trigger,”
she said, adding that foreign experts
would be called on to help identify the
cellphone which was used to detonate
In a news conference in Valletta, police
commissioner Lawrence Cutajar denied
British police would join Dutch forensic
experts and a team from the United
States Federal Bureau of Investigation
(FBI) in helping with the case. Muscat ’s
spokeswoman earlier said British officers
would be involved.
Cutajar said no arrests had made so
far and added it was too soon to discuss
possible motives, telling reporters it
would take weeks to collect all the
evidence. He also could not confirm
reports from a Maltese police source
that Semtex explosives were believed to
have been used in the killing.
The island has seen a number of small
bomb attacks in recent years tied to
gangland criminals, but the explosives
used were relatively rudimentary and
did not have the same power as the
device that targeted Caruana Galizia.
The 53-year-old journalist used her
widely read blog to lambast Muscat, his
wife and some of his closest advisers,
accusing them of setting up off-shore
accounts to hide ill-gotten gain.
They denied the charges and Muscat
was suing Caruana Galizia for libel at
the time of her death.
“The police may or may not find out
who ordered the assassination of our
mother but as long as those who led the
country to this point remain in place,
none of it will matter,” her three sons,
Matthew, Andrew and Paul, wrote on
They added the only way for ward was
for Muscat to stand aside: “Resign for
watching over the birth of a society
dominated by fear, mistrust, crime and
The European Parliament said it
would hold a debate next week on
the protection of journalists and
media freedom in Malta, where the
government enjoys sweeping powers
over the judiciary and the police.
“Malta is a Mecca for money launderers
and tax avoiders,” Greens EU legislator
Sven Giegold said.
The prime minister says the financial
ser vices sector is as transparent and
compliant as in any other European
jurisdiction. — Reuters
A high-ranking former member of
the North Korean Government says the
harsh economic sanctions imposed on
the country could be enough to wipe it
out within 12 months.
Ri Jong-ho, a former economic official
appointed by Kim Jong Un’s father and
predecessor Kim Jong Il, says the United
Nations’ trade restrictions are so strong
that it could cripple the isolated nation.
“I don’t know North Korea will sur vive
a year with these sanctions,” he said.
“Many people will die.”
Ri said the sanctions put in place this
year were on a “totally different level”
due to China closing all North Korean
businesses in the country, banning
exports of petroleum products and
cutting off textile imports.
“It has blocked the market going in
and out. Tens of hundreds of companies
have been suspended,” he said. “ The
impact is significant. That ’s why they felt
threatened and launched missiles.”
Ri said “everything had stopped” in
terms of economic activity in North
Korea. “ There is no electricity, yet they
are spending their money on military
arms,” he said. “All of the factories that
require steel have stopped, so it is like a
“There is hardly power generation so
how can the factories run?
“The people are desperate for power
generation. They want to run farms.
“ When you look at the aerial view of
the Korean peninsula, it is pitch black in
North Korea. ”
Speaking in New York this week at the
Asia Society, which is headed by former
prime minister Kevin Rudd, Ri gave a
rare insight into the Kim regime and
the fears and insecurities that makes
it so volatile. Ri — a former official
with Office 39, a secretive trading
organisation under direct control of the
Kim family — defected from the hermit
kingdom in 2014.
He fled to South Korea, then the
United States, as Kim Jong Un was
executing hundreds of high-level
officials, many of whom had been loyal
to Kim Jong Il, like himself.
“It was a big shock to us and some
people collapsed watching that,” Ri said.
“They shot them in so many pieces there
was not enough of a body left for burial.”
He said he had spent 30 years at “centre
stage” in North Korea and watched the
economic decline that has put its people
on the brink of star vation.
Ri said Kim Jong Un’s provocative
nuc lear weapons and ballistic missile
tests were all about protecting his regime
and stopping a South Korean invasion.
“The North Koreans always think the
South Koreans are their biggest enemy
and they are always feeling threatened,”
“They are always thinking there is a
threat that they can be invaded and they
are keeping their eyes on this situation.
“In order for them to have greater
power, they don’t have the economic
power so they built up their naval force.
“Similarly, opening up the economy
presents a grave risk to Kim’s power.
“If they open up their market, the
worry is that they would destroy their
dictatorship regime,” Ri said.
Ri does not believe that Kim is serious
about using his weapons against the US;
instead they are being developed more
as a political tool.
“North Korea has always said, ‘ We
don’t want war but we are not afraid to
engage in a war; we shoot missiles to
keep our freedom. ’
“Therefore, the people are brainwashed
to a great degree.
“Kim Jong Un says the reason for
deploying nuclear weapons is so that we
can sur vive. We need them for defence,
for offence, for politics.
“The talk of war has been present for
decades, it is nothing new. North Korea
has said hundreds of thousands of times
that they were going to blow up the US.
“But North Korea is not competitive
against the US . . . It developed nuclear
power not to confront the US but to
make their power greater than South
Korea’s. Not to attack the US; it’s too
big.”North Korea wants to keep the
truth very secretive so other countries
would not know what they really think.”
US President Donald Trump has
responded to North Korea’s increasing
weapons development by threatening to
rain “fire and fury” down on the nation.
While both Trump and Kim have been
belligerent, Ri believes their comments
cannot be compared.
“This is not peer to peer belligerence.
This is like a child and adult dispute,” he
said. — News.com .au
Sanctions will cripple North Korea —defector
Prince Harry has taken his girlfriend,
Meghan Markle, to see the Q ueen for
afternoon tea, according to reports.
The widely anticipated announcement
of an engagement between the 33-year-
old and the American actress appears
to be a step nearer following the
The Daily Mail reported that Harry
took Markle to Buckingham Palace last
Thursday, with the couple arriving in a
people carrier with blacked-out windows.
The late afternoon meeting meant the
36-year-old actress, who appears in the
hit show Suits, was treated to tea with
the Queen in her private apartments.
Speculation about an engagement is
likely to increase as the meeting with the
Queen will be seen as the prince seeking
his grandmother’s approval.
Many bookmakers have already
stopped taking bets on the couple getting
engaged this year and are accepting
wagers only on what month next year the
announcement will be made.
Harry and Markle’s public show of
affection at the Invictus Games in Canada
in September prompted comments
that a wedding announcement could
be imminent. The prince was pictured
kissing his girlfriend on the cheek during
the closing ceremony in Toronto.
Kensington Palace declined to
comment on the reports. — PA
The public must be protected from the
significant risks armed gang members
pose, Rotorua judge Tony Snell has said.
He was sentencing three men in the
Rotorua District Court yesterday, on
charges of either possessing firearms
or ammunition following a shootout
between Black Power and Mongrel
Mob members in the Rotorua suburb
of Western Heights in late November
Judge Snell noted the three being
sentenced belonged to a Black Power
off-shoot, the Mangakaha gang.
Before him were Cramer McMeeking,
Grant McMeeking and Thomas Te Aho
senior who had earlier pleaded guilty to
the charges they faced, after a police raid
on a Mamaku property in December
Judge Snell said it was clear the three
had gathered with others at the Mamaku
property, heavily armed, because they
expected retaliation for the earlier
When police arrived Te Aho and
another man were acting as sentries. Te
Aho fled, tossing the sawn-off shotgun
he was carrying into a neighbouring
property. He had subsequently given
Cramer McMeeking had a .22 pump
action rifle hidden under a mattress.
“It was obviously ready to fire,” Judge
Grant McMeeking had been found
with 43 rounds of ammunition and a
The judge said he did not accept “for a
minute” McMeeking’s claim he was only
present to diffuse the situation.
Te Aho was sentenced to just over 20
months jail time, Cramer McMeeking
to just over 21 months and Grant
McMeeking to five and a half months
“In the context of gang activity
sentences of denunciation and deterrence
must be imposed for the protection of
the public because it is widely accepted
that gangs with firearms are a significant
risk to members of the public,” Judge
Snell said. — N ZN
Bring on the battalion, this
year Clyde is getting a taste of
For the first time, locals are
celebrating the birthday of the
town’s namesake, Field Marshall
Colin Campbell, 1st Baron Clyde,
also known as Lord Clyde, at
Clyde’s Cuisine at Clyde festival
this Labour Weekend.
On October 22 about 20 people
will parade down the main street
of Clyde to celebrate the life of
Lord Clyde was born 225 years
ago, on October 20, 1792, in
Historic Clyde Inc member and
parade convener John Cockroft
knows almost all there is to know
about Lord Clyde.
“He was just a lad from the back
streets of Glasgow, (which was)
pretty common at that time,” Mr
“Queen Victoria made him a
lord because she was so impressed
There will be a bagpiper,
side drummer, men dressed
up in military uniforms,
women dressed up as Florence
Nightingale-era nurses and
maybe children from Clyde
“ We’re being silly buggers for
half an hour. It’s a bit of fun. It’s
a commemoration as well,” Mr
Lord Clyde is most famous for
his involvement in the Crimean
War in the 1850s, the First
Opium War in the 1830s and
1440s and the Indian Mutiny in
He died in 1863 in Kent.
He was one of the few
non-royals to be buried in
Mr Cockroft said if the parade
had a good reception, Historic
Clyde Inc might expand it over
the next few years.
The Cuisine at Clyde festival
runs until Monday.
— Otago Daily Times
Clyde parade celebrates namesake baron
PICTURE: Otago Daily Times
John Cockroft strikes his best military pose in the uniform that will feature in the Lord Clyde Parade in
the Cuisine at Clyde Festival.
A faulty spark plug caused a fire
which forced a helicopter to make an
emergency landing in a Rotorua field
The pilot was on a solo navigation
training flight in the central North Island
in a Helicopteres Guimbal Cabri G2
craft on April 15. Shortly after take-off
he heard a loud bang and a continuous
clattering noise before smoke began to
enter the cabin.
The uninjured pilot landed immediately
in a paddock on Hawthornden Drive in
Tikitere and sprinted from the helicopter
before flames destroyed it.
An investigation by the Transport
Accident Investigation Commission
found that the fire was started by a
ceramic insulator and centre electrode
that ejected from one of the engine spark
plugs. The loss of the spark plug allowed
its combustion flame to ignite the engine
The commission also found that the
failed spark plug was a genuine part
that had been approved by the relevant
airworthiness authority for use in the
helicopter’s ignition system, but it failed
because it had not been “swaged’’ during
the manufacturing process.
Swaging bent the cold metal into place
to hold in the insulator.
The type of failure that caused the
helicopter fire is so rare that it does not
have significant implications for aviation
The investigation praised the pilot ’s
actions, describing them as appropriate
and commendable. The immediate
landing, combined with the protection
provided by the engine bay firewall,
prevented a more serious outcome.
The commission said the key lesson
arising from the inquiry was that
maintenance personnel need to be
vigilant for product anomalies when
putting components on to aircraft,
even when the components come
from approved suppliers. It made no
— NZ ME-Rotorua Daily Post
Seven years’ jail,
deportation for rape
Two men will spend seven years in
prison and then be deported after a jury
found them guilty of raping a drunk
teenage girl in Christchurch.
Parampreet Singh, 27, and Amritpal
Singh, 25, were sentenced in the
Christchurch District Court yesterday,
after being found guilty following a
second retrial last month.
Parampreet was convicted on two rape
charges and Amritpal was convicted
on a rape charge and a sexual violation
The men, who are not related, contacted
the then 17-year-old through social
media and met with her on December
23, 2013, around the New Brighton Surf
Crown prosecutor Deidre Orchard
told the court that the men encouraged
the woman to drink copious amount of
alcohol and took her to a roof where
they subjected her to a series of sexual
“S he was in a state where she could
not defend herself, she was dizzy
and vomiting ... there was no pity or
compassion shown by the defendants,”
Ms Orchard said.
The court heard that “deportation is
inevitable” for the men, who both arrived
in New Zealand from India in 2010.
Judge David Saunders said while the
men may have brought shame on their
family, there was no real remorse shown
and he did not believe remorse had been
The pair’s first trial was mistrial.
A second trial took place in 2015
and resulted in sentencing but they
The second retrial took place in
Yesterday, Parampreet was sentenced
to seven years and nine months in prison
and Amritpal was jailed for seven years
and six months. — NZ N
More drinking fountains
to tackle obesity
Only 6% of Wellington City children’s
playgrounds have drinking fountains,
and more are needed, according to a new
Having more drinking fountains would
lead children to drink water rather
than sugary drinks, which is a factor in
New Zealand’s obesity problem, says
researcher Professor Nick Wilson.
The University of Otago, Wellington,
study looked at all 47 of the publicly
accessible Wellington City Council
drinking fountains, and found problems
such as discolouration from algae or
metal degradation in almost half of
“For example, the large suburb of
Karori, which has many parks, has only
one drinking fountain in a park. The
only other two public fountains in all of
Karori were near a shopping centre and
in a cemetery,” Prof Wilson said.
“As sugary drinks are often very cheap
and are marketed at children we need
alternatives such as good access to
well-designed and maintained drinking
fountains in public places.
“But it is also important to address
quality issues, as people are likely to be
put off drinking fountains with algae
growth near the nozzle,” he said.
Meanwhile, positive findings from the
study included that all of the nozzles
delivered water, and almost half had taps
for filling bottles and seven fountains
had bowls for dogs to have a drink.
Jetski owners in Bay of Plenty will
join those in Waikato, Auckland
and Northland in needing to
register their vessels.
The change was introduced as part
of the new Navigation Safety Bylaw
for identification and safety reasons,
says Bay of Plenty Harbourmaster
Peter Buell. “ Jetskis are incredibly
powerful, fast and manoeuvrable
machines,” he said.
“ For the most part, users play safe
and follow the rules, but we do get
a lot of speed-related complaints
about them. Registration will help
us to locate the owners or users
of machines seen breaking the
rules.” Having a jetski registered is
helpful if it is stolen or one is found
unattended, Mr Buell said.
Registration can be done on-line
and costs $73.50, which is valid for
the lifetime of the jetski. — N Z N
Jetskis in BOP to be registered
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