Home' Greymouth Star : November 14th 2013 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Thursday, November 14, 2013
A British spy, whose naked,
decomposing body was found padlocked
in a bag in his bathtub, probably died
accidentally on his own, police said
overnight, rejecting conspiracy theories
that his bizarre death was the work of
In May last year, a coroner concluded
that Gareth Williams, who was working
for Britain's external intelligence service
MI6 when he was found dead at his
home in August 2010, was probably
killed unlawfully by another person.
His spy background and the fact that
expensive, unworn women's clothes
were found at his at provoked a wide
range of "weird and wonderful" theories,
London police Deputy Assistant
Commissioner Martin Hewitt said, but
further investigations now suggested
it was more likely he had not been
"Most probably, it was an accident,"
Hewitt told reporters. "I'm convinced
that Gareth's death was in no way linked
to his work."
Williams, 31, worked as a code breaker
at the Government Communications
Headquarters but was on a three-year
secondment to MI6, which deals with
foreign espionage matters.
e remains of the maths prodigy were
found curled up inside a zipped and
padlocked red hold-all at the London
at --- an intelligence service "safe
house" --- close to MI6's headquarters.
His body was badly decomposed after
remaining in the bag in the August heat
for a full week until he was discovered.
Tests found no traces of alcohol, drugs
or poison in his body.
Detectives found no palm prints on
the side of the bath nor any traces of his
DNA on the padlock.
Instead, they found make-up, a
long-haired wig and unworn women's
clothes and shoes worth about £20,000
($31,900). ey also found images of
transvestites, a picture of Williams
wearing only boots, and evidence of
visits to sexual bondage websites on his
" is is a case where there's been
enormous theorising and speculating
. . . and weird and wonderful stories,"
Hewitt admitted the original police
investigation had been awed and after
the inquest they pursued new lines of
But detectives found no evidence
anyone had been in the at when he
died. Hewitt rejected suggestions the at
could have undergone a "forensic clean"
to remove traces of any killers.
He ruled out any suggestion that
Williams's interest in women's clothing
or his work as a spy had played a part,
and said they did not believe he had
meant to take his own life.
Despite the fact that there had always
been doubt that someone could have
locked themselves in a bag --- a number
of experts tried and failed --- Hewitt
said they now believed this was what
Williams had done.
"It's theoretically possible for someone
to do that. It is a more probable
conclusion that there was no other
person present," said Hewitt, who agreed
Williams's interest in escapology might
have been a factor.
He could not categorically rule out
anyone else being involved and said any
new evidence would be followed up.
In a statement, Williams's family
said they still believed the coroner's
conclusions more accurately re ected
what had happened, and repeated their
anger that MI6 had failed to report
Williams missing for days after he did
not show up at work.
Hewitt denied suggestions Britain's
spies had simply staged an elaborate
"I do not believe I have had the wool
pulled over my eyes." --- Reuters
Former Australian Labor prime
minister Kevin Rudd concludes a 15-
year career in politics when parliament
rises at the end of today.
Rudd has not indicated how he will
spend in his nal day as an MP.
In a surprise move last night, he
announced the time had come to quit
He choked back tears and stopped
to compose himself several times as he
spoke of the heavy toll of politics on his
"I will not be continuing as a member
of parliament beyond this week," he said.
Rudd was elected at the member for
the Brisbane seat of Gri th in 1998,
became opposition leader in 2006, prime
minister at the 2007 election, was rolled
by Julia Gillard in 2010 then resurrected
for the election earlier this year.
He has not yet revealed plans for his
life post-politics. --- AAP
Johannesburg will allow the
installation of security devices on
tombstones from next year in a bid
to curb theft.
Alan Bu , who oversees the city's
cemeteries, said overnight that a deal
has been entered into with a private
company that will install microchip
transmitters into tombstones.
e system is designed to detect
movement and trigger o sirens.
" en we will be able to immediately
locate the area where a tombstone
has been moved and we will be able
to track it down," Bu said.
An SMS will be sent to the family
of the deceased to notify them of any
tampering with the tombstone.
"Obviously there's a lot of
emotional connotation that goes
with it," Mark Pringle, director of
Memorial Alert, the South African
company that has the patent for
the world's rst tombstone security
e system will detect even the
slightest of movements, such as the
shifting of a vase.
Families of the deceased can
choose to install the alarm, at an as
yet undisclosed cost.
"We have to keep a ordability in
mind," Pringle said.
e city's 36 public cemeteries
currently have perimeter sensors
and are patrolled by security guards,
yet on average between 15 and 20
marble or granite tombstones are
stolen a month.
Along with the new technology, it
will also be possible for families to
take out insurance against theft and
vandalism of tombstones.
Pringle said theft from cemeteries
was not only unique to South Africa
but was a worldwide problem.
Tombstone alarms for Johannesburg cemeteries
e Prince of Wales is set to
celebrate his 65th birthday --- a
milestone for the man who will
one day be king.
Charles's birthday today falls
on the eve of the start of the
Commonwealth Heads of
Government Meeting he will
host in Sri Lanka.
It will be one of his most
signi cant duties to date as a
future monarch as he will be
deputising for the Queen on the
Charles has been heir to the
throne since he was three and
today will o cially become a
Like thousands of others he will
be claiming his pension this year
--- but will be donating it to an
unnamed charity which supports
e prince is entitled to the
state bene t because he paid
National Insurance contributions
while in the Royal Navy in
the 1970s and made voluntary
is year, he has also
experienced the joy of welcoming
his rst grandchild, Prince
George, into world.
A king in waiting for more
than 60 years, he has carried out
countless royal engagements over
the decades, undertaking 480 in
Britain and 112 overseas in 2012
e prince is the oldest heir to
the throne for almost 300 years
and the longest serving heir to
Charles recently told the US
magazine Time he wanted to
make the most of his position.
"I've had this extraordinary
feeling, for years and years, ever
since I can remember really, of
wanting to heal and make things
better," he said.
"I feel more than anything
else it's my duty to worry about
everybody and their lives in this
country, to try and nd a way of
improving things if I possibly
As well as being patron of more
than 400 charities, he has set up
e Prince's Charities, a group
of not-for-pro t organisations
which raise over £100 million
($194.08 million) a year. He also
founded e Prince's Trust youth
e prince, who is known for
his strong opinions, particularly
on the environment, architecture
and farming, has faced criticism
in the past over his "black spider
memos" to ministers --- the name
given to the handwritten letters
he penned expressing his views.
In July this year, the Attorney-
General's decision to block public
disclosure of letters Charles
wrote to ministers in 2004 and
2005 was upheld by three High
In the 1990s, Charles faced
turmoil in his private life, played
out on a public stage when he
split from Diana, Princess of
Wales, and anguish when Diana
--- mother to sons William, now
the Duke of Cambridge, and
Prince Harry --- died in a car
Now nearly two decades later,
life is more settled for the future
king who has been married to
Camilla for eight years.
She was once derided as the
"other woman" in Charles and
Diana's relationship, but has
established herself as a senior
member of the royal family,
attending the State opening of
parliament and travelling with
the Queen in her Diamond
Jubilee carriage procession.
To mark his 65th birthday
the prince has guest-edited a
special edition of Country Life,
highlighting his fears for the
Charles expressed concerns
that farming ranked as one
of the least desirable careers
for young people and that the
average age of a British farmer is
58, and questioned why farmers
have to act as a "bu er for the
retailer and consumer against all
the economic uncertainties of
He added: "It cannot be
right that a typical hill farmer
earns just £12,600, with some
surviving on as little as £8000 a
year, whilst the big retailers and
their shareholders do so much
better out of the deal, having
taken none of the risk."
e edition features a full-page
photograph of Camilla, which
editor Mark Hedges said was
e Country Life editor told
Daybreak that when they were
going through the pages of the
magazine at the end, Charles
suddenly said, "My darling
"It was just so touching," he
said. "I really realised that they
have a wonderful marriage."
e royal couple are coming to
the end of their nine-day tour of
India which has already taken
them to the shores of the River
Ganges in the north, New Delhi,
Mumbai and Pune. --- PA
An abandoned puppy rescued from a
rubbish dump in India has trekked to
Everest Base Camp, becoming what
is believed to be the rst dog to tackle
the peak, its owner says.
Former professional golfer Joanne
Lefson said overnight she adopted the
11-month-old dog, called Rupee, in
the mountainous Indian town of Leh
last September and decided to take
him on a trip to base camp at 5364m.
e pair began "Expedition Mutt
Everest 2013" in the Himalayan town
of Lukla on October 14, intending
to raise awareness about the plight
of homeless dogs and promote pet
ey accomplished their record-
making feat 13 days later, describing
it as "one giant leap for dog-kind" on
"I thought I might have to carry him
on some days, but instead, he took the
lead and pulled me along," Lefson said.
When she rst saw the puppy, she
said, he was dehydrated and close to
"He was really skinny, he looked like
he had had no food or water for days.
I just couldn't leave him there to die,"
Lefson nursed Rupee back to health
and, after checking with a vet, the
pair embarked on their successful
Despite missing part of his right
ear and being close to death only a
few weeks ago, Rupee had no trouble
adjusting to the altitude and relished
his rst taste of snow.
Photographs on Facebook show
him enjoying the sights and sounds of
Nepal, cuddling with bearded Hindu
monks in Katmandu and playing with
children in the Himalayan town of Na
"I hope his accomplishment will
compel people to be kinder to animals,
especially strays. We need to realise
that every life matters," Lefson said.
Rescued dog tackles Everest
Rupee the dog is set to go from the dump to the roof of the world.
Pleyel, the illustrious French
piano maker that crafted
instruments for Ravel, Stravinsky
and Chopin, has closed its
factory doors, squeezed by high
costs and competition from
While an existing stock of
nished pianos will allow it to
keep selling in the near future, it
is looking at "alternate solutions"
to continue production, Pleyel
said in a brief statement, without
e company's factory in Saint-
Denis, a northern suburb of Paris,
employed 14 artisans.
e French Confederation
of Arts and Crafts paid tribute
to Pleyel's "rare and detailed
know-how that today is at risk of
Founded in 1807 by Ignaz
Pleyel, a student of Haydn,
the company was a renowned
supplier of pianos to European
courts including that of Empress
Josephine, wife of Napoleon. It is
said to have been the rst rm to
introduce metal framework into
Pleyel produced up to 3000
pianos per year in its heyday,
but output trickled to about 20
in recent years as it focused on
high-end instruments costing
up to 200,000 euros ($326,047),
requiring about 5000 pieces and
up to 1500 hours of labour to
Other piano manufacturers have
similarly struggled to fend o
lower-cost competition from Asia
in a tight sales market.
In July, United States brand
Steinway was acquired by hedge
fund rm Paulson and Co after
struggling to keep its production
margins competitive. e last
piano manufacturer in Britain,
Kemble, closed its doors in
2009 but its pianos are still
made today in Yamaha's Asian
Even if Pleyel pianos become a
thing of the past, the name will
survive in the Carrefour Pleyel,
a Paris Metro stop named in its
honour, and in the Salle Pleyel
concert hall near the Champs-
Elysees. --- Reuters
Funeral march sounds for
Chopin's piano maker
A Pleyel piano.
Gun re has forced the cancellation of
a mass burial in the typhoon-ravaged
Philippines as authorities struggle to
dispose of the dead, while anger among
survivors at the slow trickle of aid has
ousands of people jostled and
begged for seats on scarce ights out
of the ruined city of Tacloban, where
putrefying corpses compounded a
growing health menace after one of
the strongest storms on record killed
Attempts to bury some of the victims
of Typhoon Haiyan su ered a setback
when gunshots halted a convoy travelling
towards a communal grave.
"We had nished digging the mass
burial site. We had the truck loaded with
bodies . . . but there was some shooting,"
Tacloban mayor Alfred Romualdez said.
" ey could not proceed."
Adding to the grim body count, news
emerged that eight people were crushed
to death when a huge crowd of survivors
from the typhoon rushed a government
"One wall of our warehouses collapsed
and eight people were crushed and killed
instantly," the National Food Authority's
Rex Estoperez said of the incident in
Alangalang town, 17km from Tacloban.
Six days after Haiyan ripped apart
entire coastal communities, the situation
in Leyte's provincial capital Tacloban
was becoming ever more dire with
essential supplies low and increasingly
desperate survivors clamouring to leave.
"Everyone is panicking," captain Emily
Chang, a navy doctor, said.
" ey say there is no food, no water.
ey want to get of here," she added,
saying doctors at the airport had run out
of medicine, including antibiotics.
e World Health Organisation said
there were signi cant injuries that
needed to be dealt with, even as medics
worked to prevent outbreaks of diseases
caused by cramped living conditions and
dirty drinking water.
It cautioned regular health needs also
had to be met, including the 12,000
babies expected to be born this month
to the more than 11.3 million people
e United Nations estimates 10,000
people may have died in Tacloban
alone, where 5m waves attened nearly
everything in their path as they swept
hundreds of metres across the low-lying
However, Philippine President
Benigno Aquino said he believed that
number was "too much", adding that
2500 "is the gure we're working on",
despite the rapidly climbing toll and
the bodies still littering the streets of
Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras
admitted authorities had been over-
whelmed by the sheer number of corpses.
" e reason the body recovery stopped
is because we ran out of body bags," he
said. "But we now have 4000 bags. I am
not saying the casualties are 4000. We
are making sure there is an oversupply."
At Tacloban airport, AFP journalists
witnessed exhausted and famished
survivors pushing and shoving each
other to get on one of the few ights out
of the city.
Philippines Airlines said it was laying
on six planes a day, each with 75 seats.
"We have been here for three days
and we still cannot get to y out," a frail
Angeline Conchas, who was waiting for
space on a plane with her seven-year-old
daughter Rogiel Ann, said.
"We made it out, but now we may die
Overwhelmed and under-resourced
rescue workers have been unable to
provide food, water, medicines, shelter
and other relief supplies to some of
the 673,000 made homeless, and
desperation has been growing across the
e international community
continues to pledge help. e United
States and Britain are sending warships
carrying thousands of sailors to the
Philippines, and US amphibious craft
were also being deployed. --- AFP
Mass burial cancelled in shattered city
Bismarck (North Dakota)
Craig Cobb, a white supremacist who
wants to ban all blacks from a small
North Dakota town, has discovered that
he has African ancestry.
e results of DNA testing did not go
quite the way Cobb had hoped, when he
appeared on Trisha Goddard's Race in
To the delight of a packed studio
audience, Cobb was told that DNA
tests showed he was 14% sub-Saharan
African. is of course means he
could have some di culty meeting the
standards he set for those wishing to
live in Leith, a town just over 80km
from the State capital Bismarck. Having
extolled the virtues of what he described
as a "racially conscious community" he
dismissed the ndings of the test as
A black guest could not resist seizing
on his embarrassment --- addressing
Cobb as "bro".
Neo-Nazis have been moving into the
town since Cobb began buying derelict
properties. According to Cobb they have
been willing sellers who support his
belief that like-minded people should
be able to live together. e United
States National Socialist Movement,
the country's largest neo-Nazi party,
has ambitions to seize control of Leith's
town council. --- AP
DNA testing backfires
ieves in Salerno in southern Italy
have come up with a novel way of
stealing money from an automatic petrol
station cash register, using a vacuum
cleaner to suck the notes out.
e thieves made a hole in the cash
register in the town of Sala Consilina
before sucking out 3000 euros ($4889)
in cash, according to the Corriere del
Mezzogiorno daily overnight.
e automatic alarm system was set o
but by the time the police arrived at the
crime scene, the only thing left was the
vacuum cleaner, the newspaper said.
ieves suck up cash with vacuum
e "Pink Star", a huge awless pink
diamond, was auctioned for 68 million
Swiss francs ($89.83 million) in Geneva
overnight, a world record price for a
gemstone, Sotheby's said.
e oval-shaped diamond, mounted on
a ring, weighed in at 59.60 carats. It was
bought by a man bidding in the room,
who told reporters that he was buying
it on behalf of an anonymous person
whom he represented.
"Ladies and gentlemen, 68 million is
the world record bid for a diamond ever
bid and it's right here," Sotheby's David
Bennett said to applause as he brought
down the hammer in the Geneva
Sotheby's said it was still calculating
the nal price, which will include the
It was the star lot at Sotheby's semi-
annual jewellery sale in Geneva, held in a
heavily-guarded hotel showroom, which
followed strong Hong Kong auctions
e previous record was held by the
"Gra Pink", a 24.78 carat fancy intense
pink diamond bought by Laurence
Gra , the London-based jeweller known
as " e King of Diamonds", in 2010 for
45.44 million Swiss francs. --- Reuters
Rock and soul music
diva Tina Turner, who
has lived in Switzerland
for nearly two decades,
is giving up her United
States citizenship, the
Washington Post reports.
Citing a report from
the US embassy in Bern
overnight, it said Turner,
73, signed a statement
to relinquish her US citizenship at the
embassy in October.
She married German record producer
Erwin Bach in July, three months after
taking Swiss citizenship.
Turner topped the charts
in the 1960s with then-
husband Ike Turner with
hits like River Deep,
Mountain High, before
a successful run as a solo
artist that included Private
Dancer in 1984.
Quoting a knowledgeable
source, the Post said
relinquishment is simpler
than renouncing US
citizenship and entails no tax or other
penalties. e US is one of the few
countries that requires its citizens who
live permanently abroad to declare and
pay income tax. --- AFP
Tina Turner giving up US citizenship
Former pop star Gary Glitter has had
his bail extended until February after his
arrest over alleged sex o ences.
e 69-year-old was rst held at his
home in central London in October last
year by o cers from Operation Yewtree,
the national investigation launched in
the wake of abuse claims against Jimmy
Scotland Yard did not name Glitter
overnight, but said that a man in his 60s
known as Yewtree 1 had been re-bailed
until February next year.
e allegations against Glitter, real
name Paul Gadd, are linked to the late
He was the rst person to be arrested
as part of Operation Yewtree, in which
a total of 16 people have now been
questioned by police.
Of those, six people have been told
they will face no further action, and
another six are on police bail. ey
include Glitter, comedian Freddie Starr
and presenter Paul Gambaccini, who all
deny any wrongdoing.
e remaining four have been charged
--- Max Cli ord, Rolf Harris and Dave
Lee Travis are all facing separate court
proceedings, while ex-driver David
Smith was due to face trial at Southwark
Crown Court but was found dead at his
home last month. --- PA
Gary Glitter bailed again
in sex abuse probe
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