Home' Greymouth Star : January 19th 2019 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Saturday, January 19, 2019
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Greymouth Evening Star Co Limited
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Phone 03 769 7900 (office)
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Editor Paul Madgwick
Sports Editor Viv Logie
Chief Reporter Laura Mills
Reporters 03 769 7913
Hokitika reporters 03 755 8422
TODAY IN HISTORY CARL PERKINS
TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS JANIS JOPLIN
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
“If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on
the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will
guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast.”
— Psalm 139:9-10.
350 words or less
No noms de plume. Full name, address and
phone number required
One letter per week
Post to PO Box 3, Greymouth
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“ To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear
life are already three parts dead.” — Bertrand
Russell, British philosopher.
James Watt, Scottish engineer-
inventor (1736-1819); Robert E Lee,
US Confederate general (1807-
1870); Edgar Allen Poe, US writer
(1809-1849); Paul Cezanne, French
artist (1839-1906); James Joyce,
Irish author (1882-1941); Johnny
O’Keefe, Australian rock singer (1935-1978);
Michael Crawford, UK actor-singer (1942-); Janis
Joplin, US singer (1943-1970); Dolly Parton, US
singer-actress (1946-) .
1649 - Trial of England’s King
Charles I begins.
1915 - First casualties to result
from an air raid over Britain occur
when a Zeppelin drops six bombs
on Great Yarmouth; two people die
and three are injured.
1938 - General Francisco Franco’s Nationalist
air force bombs Spanish cities of Barcelona and
Valencia, killing 700 people.
1966 - Indira Gandhi is elected India’s prime
1966 - Sir Robert Menzies retires after more
than 16 years as Australia’s prime minister.
1981 - US and Iran sign agreement leading to
release of 52 Americans held hostage for more
than 14 months.
1983 - Klaus Barbie, notorious SS chief of Lyons
in Nazi-occupied France, is arrested in Bolivia.
1998 - Rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Carl Perkins, whose
hit song Blue Suede Shoes helped lift Elvis
Presley to stardom, dies aged 65.
2010 - Prince William arrives in Australia for a
WEST COAST YESTERYEAR
Greymouth’s newly installed litter bins are
proving effective and further moves in the anti-
litter campaign are expected later in the month.
The bins, mostly in the heart of Greymouth, have
proved popular, with larger items being dumped
in them rather than dropped in the gutter,
according to the street-cleaners.
Worst of their problems over the holiday period,
and particularly on Christmas and New Year’s
Eve, was the large amount of confetti thrown
While a lot of I was cleaned up almost
immediately, particles of confetti lodged in many
difficult places and it is expected to be some time
before the last traces of it have been cleared out.
Though it is a “curse” from the cleaning angle, it
happens “but once a year”, commented Mr A W
Punton, chairman of the Greymouth branch of the
Anti-litter Campaign Committee.
While not at all happy about it, he considers
there is not much can be done about the festive
confetti at this stage.
Bothering him more is the difficulty in getting
people along to the Anti-litter Campaign
Speaking this morning, Mr Punton said he had
been a “bit dispirited” by the small numbers which
had attended the meetings.
The businessmen, the ones he felt should be
concerned, had not attended in the numbers
He has, however, hopes of a “New Year spirit”
being generated when the committee holds its
next meeting later this month. Then, it is hoped.
to “start again”.
A 57-year-old bushman, Thomas Hutchison,
married, with five children, of Kaniere, who was
admitted to Westland Hospital on Wednesday,
died last night from his injures.
Mr Hutchison was working on loading
operations at Stopforth’s mill at Kokatahi, when a
log rolled on him causing spinal, chest and pelvis
He was brought out part of the way by jeep and
then transferred to the ambulance and admitted
to Westland Hospital, where his condition was
initially described as fair.
“ Where America
States Secretary of
State Mike Pompeo
said in Cairo last
week. It is not the
sort of remark you
would expect from an
only three weeks
Donald Trump declared that US troops
were pulling out of Syria. Is it possible
that behind Pompeo’s severe and even
pompous exterior there lurks a secret
Probably not. Pompeo truly believes (like
many American evangelical Christians)
the US is engaged in a struggle of good
against evil in the Middle East. “It is
a never-ending struggle . . . until the
Rapture,” he said three years ago. He
may just be angry at Trump, in a passive-
aggressive way, for abandoning Syria to
the (evil) Iranian and Russian forces that
back Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian dictator.
At any rate, Pompeo is right about the
chaos that will follow, but it would be
wrong to blame it all on Trump. Turkey ’s
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is much
better informed than the American
president and probably a lot smarter too,
but he is just as impulsive, just as ruthless,
just as much a bringer of chaos.
It was Erdogan, in a telephone
conversation in mid-December, who
persuaded Trump that pulling all the US
troops out of Syria would be a good idea.
Turkey would be happy to take the strain
Trump has always opposed America’s
endless Middle Eastern wars, so he
swallowed Erdogan’s suggestion hook, line
and sinker — and tweeted his decision to
pull the US troops out without discussing
it with anybody. Only later did the
remaining grown-ups in the White House
explain to him that Erdogan planned to
subjugate or kill America’s main allies in
Syria, the Kurds.
To his credit, Trump hated the idea of
betraying the Syrian Kurds, whose militia,
the People’s Protection Units (YPG),
suffered thousands of deaths while
helping US forces to defeat the fanatical
jihadis of Islamic State.
Trump still wanted to bring the US
troops home, but now he had one
condition. The Turks must promise not to
invade north-eastern Syria and crush the
YPG as soon as the US troops leave.
Erdogan replied that nothing Trump
said or did could stop him from
destroying these Kurdish “terrorists” (who
have never attacked Turkey). At which
point, on Monday past, Donald Trump
tweeted the US “will devastate Turkey
economically if they hit Kurds”.
All clear so far? Good.
You would never guess, from the story
thus far, that the US and Turkey have
been close allies for the past half-century,
but the alliance is fading fast. Erdogan has
been playing his own hand in the Middle
East, and playing it quite badly.
The “Sultan”, as his admirers call him,
wants to secure his own one-man rule and
re-Islamise Turkey, which had evolved
into a secular and democratic republic
over the past 80 years. He also wants
to promote Sunni Islam throughout
the region. The two goals are not fully
compatible, so he shifts position a lot.
When the revolt in Syria broke out in
2011 during the Arab spring, Erdogan
supported it because Bashar al-Assad’s
regime is dominated by Alawites, a Shi’ite
Muslim sect. He kept the border open
and let supplies and recruits flow into the
rebels, including even the Islamic State
When Russia inter vened militarily
to save Assad in 2015, Erdogan was so
angry that he even had the Turkish air
force ambush and shoot down a Russian
bomber. But he was almost equally
angry with the US, which had made a an
alliance with the Kurds of northern Syria
to fight against Islamic State.
The Kurds gradually choked off the aid
coming in to Islamic State from Turkey,
and IS (aka ‘Isis’) has now lost almost all
its territory. So Erdogan told Trump he
could bring the US troops home now, and
Trump believed him. But what Erdogan
actually wants to do is crush the Syrian
Kurds, which he can do once the US
Erdogan thinks the Syrian Kurds are
allied with the Turkish Kurds, who make
up one-fifth of Turkey ’s population, live
just across the border from Syria, and are
currently at war with Erdogan’s regime.
(That is why he calls them terrorists).
The weird thing is that four years ago
Erdogan was on the brink of making
peace with the Kurds. There was a
ceasefire, the Turkish Kurds were no
longer demanding independence, and he
was negotiating a compromise settlement
that enhanced Kurdish rights within
Then he lost a parliamentary election in
2015, mainly because the Kurds stopped
voting for him. So he reopened the war
against the Kurds, wrapped himself in the
Turkish flag, and won the next election on
an ultra-nationalist platform. All Kurds
are now the enemy, they are all terrorists,
and they must be crushed.
Given Erdogan’s ruthlessness and
Trump’s volatility, I have no idea how
all this works out. Badly, I suspect. But I
actually admire Trump’s refusal to betray
his allies, once he realised what Erdogan
was up to. You do not see that much in
the Middle East.
Of course, it probably will not last.
Gwynne Dyer is an independent
journalist whose articles are published in
Trump and Erdogan: bringers of chaos
WORLD IN FOCUS
with Gwynne Dyer
Donald Trump with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Here we are again at the start of another
new year and already it seems as if the
days are rushing by. What are our plans
for the year ahead? Where is God in the
midst of all our reflecting and planning?
In Luke’s account of the birth and
youth of Jesus there are two occasions
when he writes that Mary, as the Mother
of Jesus pauses and reflects.
In the birth story itself when the
shepherds have come to the stable and
talked about what it was that had brought
them there, after they have gone, Luke
writes, that “Mary treasured all these
words and pondered them in her heart.”
Later on in the story of the 12 year-old
Jesus staying behind in Jerusalem to talk
with the priests and the temple officials,
rather than going home with his family
and community, so that Mary and Joseph
have to go back to Jerusalem to find him;
only for him to respond by saying that
he was where they should expect him to
Luke writes this time “His mother
treasured all these things in her heart.”
What do we treasure? What do we
ponder in our hearts? I just think these
are words that conjure up images of a
depth of reflecting; of making memories;
of real wondering.
I think too that they probably continued
to be treasured and pondered on by Mary
as Jesus became the man that he did and
started to fulfil the words of the angel
messengers and his own words. Bringer
of peace and justice; God’s son; merciful
There must have been many times when
she wondered again about the meaning
and the implications of all that she had
experienced and all that her son was
now doing and causing to happen. A lot
of our work as a faith community is to
ponder and treasure these same things
— and then to act out what it is that
will continue Jesus’ words and works in
bringing peace and justice; proclaiming
God ’s son; and being merciful and
Greymouth Uniting Church
Pausing to ref lect
round 300 couples and
individuals are waiting
and hoping to adopt a
baby in New Zealand
at any one time. But in
the past year the number
available for adoption is down to around
Figures show the number of actual
adoptions was around 130 but most of
those were under different circumstances
such as overseas adoptions and
surrogacies, and step parents adopting
Paula Attrill is general manager care
support at Oranga Tamariki, she has
worked for the department for almost
30 years, the last 10 closely involved in
adoptions — and she says there have
been a lot of changes since the Adoption
Act of 1955.
It was in the decades of the 1950s and
1960s that the most domestic adoptions
happened in New Zealand, she says.
“At its peak, the greatest number of
children adopted domestically was in the
vicinity of 3500 to 4000.”
Now 20 to 25 children are given up for
adoption, she says.
“The social norms of the day back in
the 1950s and 1960s were much different
than they are these days and birth mums
have far greater opportunities to make
Society is more open these days to
children born out of wedlock and there
is a social security safty net, she says.
Despite that some mothers do make the
decision to give up their child for all
manner of reasons.
“It’s an enormous life-changing decision
to decide that the child that you’ve given
birth to is not is not the child you want
to be their mother for life.”
These days though adoption is an open
process without the secrecy and shame of
days gone by, she says.
“Birth mums who went through those
kinds of experiences have got some very
painful memories to tell about what that
was like and the life-long consequences it
had for them.”
And an open approach is better for the
children too, she says
“Eventually children who grow up in
the context of closed adoptions will have
questions about who they are, who made
what choices, who my birth mum is, who
my birth dad is and what happened back
in the day.
“ We really encourage people to be as
open as possible right from the outset.”
There are 300 adoptive applicants
on the books in New Zealand and Ms
Attrill says they look for families that are
healthy, have the financial wherewithal
and can provide a safe, happy home.
It is a rewarding, but also emotional
area in which to work, she says.
“It is a difficult area, you have the
greatest of rewards where children are
adopted and that ’s their new family for
life and that ’s absolutely fantastic, and
the more open it is the better for the kids
and there are some magnificent outcomes
— that ’s a really great experience for our
staff to be involved with.
“Through to absolutely the other
extreme whereby adoption involves some
of the hardest decisions anybody could
possibly make in life.”
Adoption in New Zealand
Nike has unveiled a new pair of
connected shoes which are self-
lacing and can be controlled from a
The new Nike Adapt BB contain
what the sportswear firm called
power laces, which tighten or loosen
the shoes at the press of a button
either on the shoes or through a
connected smartphone app.
The company says the shoes, which
are designed for basketball, can be
programmed to remember different
fit settings that users can switch
between in different situations, such
as moving from playing a game to
resting on the sidelines, as well as
being able to customise light settings
and “download updates” on the shoes.
However, Nike confirmed the
shoes will require charging, and a
recharging mat will come with each
pair of shoes.
The firm said the shoes will initially
go on sale in the United States for
$350, but will be made available
globally on February 17.
It added that it plans to expand the
technology used in the shoes to other
sports and shoe ranges in the future.
Nike has previously experimented
with the technology, having launched
a range of automatically lacing
shoes in its Hyper Adapt range in
The firm has also previously
launched a limited edition pair of
self-lacing shoes inspired by those
worn by Michael J Fox’s character
Marty McFly in the 1989 film Back
to the Future Part II. — PA
Nike unveils app for self-lacing shoes
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