Home' Greymouth Star : November 8th 2013 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Friday, November 8, 2013
Wildlife authorities say koalas
are being found in suburban
Sydney backyards after being
driven from their homes by
bush res and land clearing.
National Parks Association
ecologist Dr Grainne Cleary says
the the association has received "a
few" reports of koalas in western
"We're out here looking at
one right now," she said from a
Campbelltown backyard where
a male had taken up residence.
"We saw a mum and baby out
e New South Wales
National Parks Association
kicked o the rst koala census
since 2006 yesterday with the
assistance of 600 volunteer
Cleary says the koalas may be
being forced into urban areas
by the destruction of their usual
It is estimated that NSW has
between 26,000 and 32,000
However, Cleary says she
expects koala numbers in some
areas to have fallen after this
year's hot weather and bush res.
is year's 10-day koala count
is the rst of what the National
Parks Association hopes will be
an annual study helping scientists
track the impacts of climate
change, people and weather.
More than three weeks after
bush res tore through the Blue
Mountains, the region's mayor
says not a single destroyed
property has been cleaned up by
state or federal authorities.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott
and NSW Premier Barry
O'Farrell granted a ected
communities access to disaster
assistance after 203 families
lost homes to res around
and Mount Victoria.
e massive re complex west
of Sydney tore through more
than 50,000ha of bushland,
forcing schools to close and
hundreds of locals to ee.
But Blue Mountains Mayor
Mark Greenhill says none of 210
properties destroyed by re have
He says families that lost
everything are "sitting around
waiting for something to happen"
because rebuilding has stalled.
Koalas head to Sydney
suburbs after fires
A fearsome-looking giant spider
common in Australia has given
workers at a British warehouse a
fright after travelling over from Asia.
e 17cm-long huntsman spider
came over to East Sussex after
stowing away in a shipping container
packed with BMX parts in Taiwan.
It is believed to have been locked up
for six weeks as the container made
its way thousands of miles across the
oceans before reaching the United
Shocked sta at Seventies BMX
Distribution in St Leonards-on-Sea
discovered the arachnid lurking in
their delivery while unpacking the
Warehouse manager Joe Woodburn
said he thought the spider was plastic
at rst as it was not moving.
holding. He froze and couldn't get his
words out fast enough," Woodburn
". . . e minuteitwasinthe
sunlight it started to warm up and it
was running around and jumping up
the side of the box."
RSPCA inspector Zoe Ballard was
called out to deal with the animal, but
admitted she was not the biggest fan
of eight-legged creepy-crawlies.
"I got the call through as collection
of a tarantula, but as soon as I saw
it I knew it wasn't a tarantula," Ms
Ballard said, adding she has been
called out to collect a scorpion in
the past, but has never come across a
spider like it before.
RSPCA inspector Tony Woodley
said it did not generally pose a big
threat. "Huntsman spiders can give
you a nasty bite, but they aren't likely
to cause too much harm unless you
su er an allergic reaction," he said.
A huntsman spider.
Museums and heirs have begun
to stake claims to a vast trove of
priceless paintings, long hidden
in a German at, as calls are
mounting for authorities to
publish a de nitive list of the
Prominent lawyer and art
patron Peter Raue, who works
closely with museums in Berlin,
said Germany must do its
part for transparency, as many
families of Jews stripped of their
assets under the Nazis believed
their works may be among those
"It would be more sensible to
post the paintings on the internet;
why not with the (London-
based) Lost Art Register?" he
told the daily Tagesspiegel.
"Only then can there be a
chance, for example, for the
owners of the breathtakingly
beautiful suspected Matisse
painting presented Tuesday
to come forward. Maybe the
Winterstein family from Ohio
will say, ` at picture was
hanging in our home in Berlin
Despite international pressure,
German prosecutors have refused
to publish a full inventory of the
works, citing a need for more
time to fully catalogue them and
for discretion in their probe.
ey have launched an
investigation on charges of tax
evasion and misappropriation of
assets against Cornelius Gurlitt,
in whose garbage-strewn Munich
apartment the more than 1400
works, including paintings by
Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste
Renoir and Henri Matisse were
found in February 2012.
e case came to light only this
week in a magazine report.
Gurlitt is the son of Hildebrand
Gurlitt, a powerful Nazi-era
art dealer and collector who
acquired the paintings in the
1930s and 1940s and was tasked
by the Nazis with selling them,
but held on to many of them.
e federal cultural ministry
said it was in talks with the
Bavarian State Government
about speeding up the research
and publishing the names
of paintings "as soon as the
provenance of a work is unclear",
a spokesman told German news
Chancellor Angela Merkel's
spokesman Ste en Seibert
also called for openness, while
stressing that the prosecutors
were responsible for the probe.
Heirs stake claims to Nazi art trove
A Hungarian winemaker who ad-
mitted putting antifreeze in his wine to
poison thieves has been charged with
manslaughter after one man died and
ve were admitted to hospital.
e 37-year-old from a town 50km
east of Budapest, told police that people
regularly stole from his cellar so he
contaminated the barrels to "teach them
He denied intending to kill anyone,
however, saying he only wanted to make
the thieves ill.
Police said in a statement that a
30-year-old man, according to media
reports a known thief, took several jugs
of wine from the barrels on October 24,
later sharing them with acquaintances.
He was taken to hospital a few days
later with suspected poisoning and died
on November 1. Experts are examining
the precise cause of death, police said.
Five others are in hospital in a "serious"
condition, police said. --- AFP
Man charged over
tainted wine death
A strange asteroid that appears to have several
rotating tails has been spotted between Mars
and Jupiter by Nasa's Hubble telescope.
Instead of appearing as a small point of light,
like most asteroids, this one has half a dozen
comet-like dust tails radiating out like spokes
on a wheel, a report in Astrophysical Journal
"It's hard to believe we're looking at an
asteroid," lead investigator David Jewitt, a
professor in the University of California Los
Angeles Department of Earth and Space
"We were dumbfounded when we saw it.
Amazingly, its tail structures change dramatically
in just 13 days as it belches out dust."
e object has been named P/2013 P5 and
astronomers believe it has been spewing dust
for at least ve months.
e asteroid may have started spinning so fast
that it began to disintegrate, scientists say.
ey do not think the tails are a result of an
impact, because that would cause dust to spray
out all at once.
Its multiple tails were discovered in images
taken by the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration's Hubble space telescope on
September 10, 2013, after rst being spotted
with a telescope in Hawaii.
Jewitt said the object may have come from
an asteroid collision 200 million years ago. Its
pattern of dispersing dust in ts and bursts may
be how it slowly dies.
"In astronomy, where you nd one, you
eventually nd a whole bunch more," he said.
" is is an amazing object and almost certainly
the rst of many more to come." --- AFP
Family told son too fat to fly
A French family who came to the United
States for medical treatment say they are
stranded in Chicago after British Airways
determined their son was too fat to y.
Kevin Chenais, 22, spent a year and a half at
the Mayo Clinic for treatment of a hormone
disorder which led him to weigh 227kg.
His mother was near to tears as she described
the family's problems to the local CBS a liate.
"We blame British Airways because now
they just leave us and they brought us here,"
Christina Chenais told the station.
"If they could bring him here with that
problem in economy, there was a way to take
him back by economy, but just get him back
home for his medical treatments to continue."
e family spent a week in an airport hotel
trying to resolve the matter and, running out of
money, has decided their only option is to take
a train to New York and get back to France on
the Queen Mary cruise ship.
Kevin Chenais requires round-the-clock
oxygen and medical attention.
"I'm sure a lot of big people like me or bigger
cannot travel because they have the same
problem," he told the station, head hanging
down as he sat up in bed.
" is time before leaving I knew something
would go wrong."
A British Airways spokesman told CBS that
its customer service team "worked diligently to
nd a solution."
"Unfortunately, it is not possible to safely
accommodate the customer on any of our
aircraft," he said in a statement. --- AFP
Italian archaeologists say they have recovered
an ancient Roman marble statue, spotted by a
diver in an imperial palace that is now under
water in the Bay of Naples.
" e discovery is signi cant and quite
important for us because of the quality of the
marble and the excellent workmanship of
the sculpture," Paolo Caputo, a local heritage
o cial, said.
e statue is of a woman and was discovered
in October, just o the shore near the town
of Baia, in what is already an underwater
e gure is headless and without arms.
"We do not yet know whether it is a divinity or
a member of the imperial family," Caputo said.
e area around Baia was a thermal resort that
was popular in Roman times and has several
One of them was con scated by the Emperor
Nero (37-68 AD) and turned into a summer
residence and it was there that the statue was
found. --- AFP
Roman statue found in underwater palace
Olympic torch set for space walk
Russia has launched into space a trio of
Russian, Japanese and United States astronauts
carrying an unlit Olympic torch that will for the
rst time be taken on a space walk to mark the
2014 Winter Games in Sochi.
e Soyuz-FG rocket and Soyuz-TMA
capsule, emblazoned with the symbols of the
Sochi Games and the Olympic rings, blasted
o from Russia's Baikonur cosmodrome in
Kazakhstan for the International Space Station
(ISS) at 8.14am (3.14pm AEDT) yesterday.
e Soyuz-TMA capsule, carrying Nasa
astronaut Rick Mastracchio, Russia's Mikhail
Tyurin and Japan's Koichi Wakata, then docked
with the ISS after four orbits of the Earth
just over six hours later, Russian space agency
In an unprecedented move, two Russian
cosmonauts on board the ISS are set to take the
torch on a spacewalk tomorrow to promote the
e torch will remain unlit at all times for
e cosmonauts will hold a photo session
in open space with the torch, which will be
tethered with a special strap and spend more
than ve hours outside the ISS. --- AFP
Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke was secretly
buried in an anonymous grave in a cemetery
inside the walls of an Italian prison complex, an
Italian newspaper reported overnight.
La Repubblica said the co n of the man
convicted of one of Italy's worst wartime
atrocities was taken from a military airport and
buried on the grounds of the undisclosed prison
late last month.
It said the grave was marked by a simple
wooden cross with no name but merely a number
so family members would be able to identify it.
e prison graveyard had been abandoned for
years and was overgrown with weeds.
e former SS o cer died last month, aged
100, in Rome, where he spent the end of his life
under house arrest for his role in the killing of
335 civilians at the Ardeatine Caves in Rome
e Catholic Church denied him a public
funeral Mass and neither Italy nor his native
Germany wanted the body, fearing his burial
site could become a place of pilgrimage for neo-
Priebke, who called himself "the last prisoner
of war," was extradited to Italy in 1995 from
Argentina. --- Reuters
Nazi war criminal Priebke buried
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