Home' Greymouth Star : November 19th 2013 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Tuesday, November 19, 2013
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uLetters to the editor
1703 - Death of the Man in the Iron Mask, a
prisoner in the Bastille prison in Paris.
1863 - US President Abraham Lincoln
delivers the Gettysburg Address.
1893 - e rst newspaper colour
supplement is published in the
Sunday paper New York World.
1947 - Prince Philip of Greece is
given title of Duke of Edinburgh.
1969 - First reports emerge that
US troops shot Vietnamese civilians
in My Lai village in March.
1977 - Egypt's President Anwar Sadat
arrives in Israel on his rst peace mission to
that nation and receives warm welcome from
principal political leaders.
1988 - Christina Onassis, daughter of Greek
tycoon Aristotle Onassis, dies aged 37 in
2005 - Prince Albert of Monaco is
enthroned, succeeding his father Prince
2010 - Twenty-nine miners are trapped
underground at the Pike River Coalmine, in
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Robert Devereux, third Earl of Essex (1566-
1601); Charles I of Britain (1600-1649);
Ferdinand de Lesseps, French builder
of Suez Canal (1805-1894); James
Gar eld, 20th US president (1831-
1881); Indira Gandhi, Indian prime
minister (1917-1984); Larry King,
US tv talk-show host
(1933-); Ted Turner, US media
mogul (1938-); Calvin Klein, US
clothing designer (1942-); Meg Ryan, US
actress (1961-); Jodie Foster, US actress (1962-).
"You are God, ready to pardon, gracious and
merciful." ---Nehemiah 9:17
"It is always brave to say what everyone
thinks." --- George Duhamel, French author
e police search
for the body of
John Pickering, the
youth who fell into the Grey River on Sunday
afternoon, was still continuing today without
Dobson police o cer constable Allan Waters
reported early this afternoon that there had
still been no trace of the body's whereabouts. A
jet boat is on the standby, but this will not be
called in again until the river settles. e river
had risen again, reported constable Waters.
O cially, it will be two years before the
Smith Street deviation skirting the business
area of Greymouth is opened. e borough
engineer, Mr J H McElhinney, said this at
the council meeting last night in reply to a
question from Cr R J Cowan.
Cr Cowan said he had been over the road
recently and had been impressed by the
progress. He asked if motorists could use it
before the two years were up. Works committee
chairman, Cr H Hutchinson, said they could at
their own risk.
After a lull, vandalism has broken out again
on the West Coast, but this time the incident
was out of Greymouth. e owner of a house
on the northern side of the Taramakau River,
Miss J McCormack, discovered nearly all the
windows of the building shattered by stones
when she visited it at the weekend. e house
was locked, but the vandals apparently entered
through one of the windows. Footprints were
noticed on a bench. e owner reported that
she had intended renovating the place, but so
far nothing of value had been shifted in.
A malicious false alarm, which sent a
machine and contingent of the Greymouth
Fire Brigade on a wild goose chase to eight-
miles-away Camerons, was given at 7.35pm
yesterday.It was the rst malicious call the
brigade has received this year.
uToday s birthdays
uFood for thought
Printed and published by the
Greymouth Evening Star Co Limited
3 Werita Street, PO Box 3, Greymouth
03 769 7900 (o ce)
769 7913 (editorial)
768 6205 (fax)
Sports Editor Tui Bromley
Chief Reporter Laura Mills
03 769 7913
03 755 8422
Joe BrockIn the gloom of a hilltop cave
in Nigeria where she was held
captive, Hajja had a knife pressed
to her throat by a man who gave
her a choice --- convert to Islam
Two gunmen from Boko Haram had
seized the Christian teenager in July as
she picked corn near her village in the
Gwoza hills, a remote part of north-
eastern Nigeria where a six-month-old
government o ensive is struggling to
contain an insurgency by the al Qaeda-
linked Islamist group.
In a new development, Boko Haram
is abducting Christian women whom it
converts to Islam on pain of death and
then forces into "marriage" with ghters
--- a tactic that recalls Joseph Kony's
Lord's Resistance Army in the jungles of
e three months Hajja spent as
the slave of a 14-strong guerrilla unit,
cooking and cleaning for them before she
escaped, give a rare glimpse into how the
Islamists have changed tack in the face of
Nigerian military pressure.
"I can't sleep when I think of being
there," the 19-year-old told Reuters,
recounting forced mountain marches,
rebel intelligence gathering --- and
watching her captors slit the throats of
prisoners Hajja had helped lure into a
Nigerian security o cials say the
Islamists have pulled back after army
assaults since May on their bases on the
semi-desert plain and are now sheltering
in the Mandara mountains, along the
Cameroon border around the city of
Gwoza. From the hills they have been
launching increasingly deadly attacks.
e rugged mountain terrain
--- as fellow al Qaeda allies found
in Afghanistan --- has proven an
advantageous base for a movement that
once styled itself the 'Nigerian Taliban'
and sees all non-Muslims as in dels who
must convert or be killed.
e United States designated Boko
Haram a terrorist group last week.
Western governments are increasingly
concerned about the wider threat posed
by the group, which wants to create
an Islamic state in a religiously mixed
country of 170 million and which has ties
with al Qaeda's north African wing.
Hajja's account of how Boko Haram has
adapted and survived in recent months
underlines the di culties governments in
the region face. e spread of the threat
was underscored by the kidnap last week
of a French priest in Cameroon, an attack
France believes may have involved Boko
e following day, Nigerian troops
raided a base for the group in the
Gwoza hills. e army said it killed 29
Boko Haram ghters and was
"closing in" on the rebels.
e group, whose name broadly
translates as "western education is sinful",
has killed thousands during a four-year
insurgency against the Nigerian state,
targeting the police and armed forces as
well as politicians and then turning on
Christians in the predominantly Muslim
north of the country.
e military o ensive launched in mid-
May, and the fact that large numbers of
civilian vigilantes have supported it, has
triggered a erce backlash against local
people by Boko Haram. e militants have
killed hundreds in the past few weeks,
including massacres of school children.
e Islamists dragged Hajja along rocky
mountain paths and slept in caves in
the hills, a landscape unfamiliar to most
Nigerian soldiers, recruited from the
She ceremonially converted to Islam,
cooked for the men, carried ammunition
during an attack on a police outpost and
was about to be married to one of the
insurgents before she managed to engineer
a dramatic escape. She says she was not
"If I cried, they beat me. If I spoke, they
beat me. ey told me I must become a
Muslim but I refused again and again,"
Hajja told Reuters in an interview. Her
family name is withheld to protect
relatives still living in the Gwoza area.
" ey were about to slaughter me and
one of them begged me not to resist and
just before I had my throat slit I relented.
ey put a veil on me and made me read
from the Koran," she said in the Nigerian
capital, Abuja, where she is now living.
At least a dozen teenagers like her
remain in captivity, Michael Yohanna, a
councillor in Gwoza's local government
told Reuters. Some have married
commanders, recalling Kony's LRA, which
abducted thousands of "wives" in a 20-year
war in Uganda before a truce in 1986.
Kony remains a fugitive.
A man called Ibrahim Tada Nglayike led
the group Hajja was with. On one mission,
Hajja was sent to stand in a eld near a
village to attract the attention of civilians
working with the army. When ve men
approached her, they were ambushed.
" ey took them back to a cave and tied
them up. ey cut their throats, one at
a time," Hajja said. "I thought my heart
would burst out of my chest, because I was
Among those who did the killing was
the Muslim wife of the leader Nglayike,
the only other woman in the band of
Reuters veri ed Hajja's account of having
been abducted with independent gures
in the region. Boko Haram shuns the
media and none of its members could be
contacted for comment.
Hajja says the long-bearded insurgents
lived a basic lifestyle, eating corn, millet
and occasionally meat from animals they
stole and which she slaughtered.
e group, armed with AK-47 ri es
and pistols stolen from police they killed,
moved every day around the hills to avoid
being tracked by the army and slept in
the caves to shelter from the cold and for
protection against air assaults.
" ey didn't use phones but they had a
radio," Hajja said.
" ey would listen to BBC Hausa or
Voice of America and jump and shout if
they heard about Boko Haram attacks."
Convert or die
Hajja, 19, who was kidnapped by al Qaeda-linked Islamist group Boko Haram.
Nearly four decades have passed since
the end of the Vietnam War. Bill Simon,
a 65-year-old combat veteran, thought he
had had long ago escaped the nightmares
and ashbacks that haunted him after his
"For many years, I never had any issues,"
He had all the trappings of a successful
life: a loving wife, three children and
a house in Arlington Heights, Illinois.
But about 10 years ago, the nightmares
Night after night, they became more
vivid and more bizarre.
"Regardless of whatever I start dreaming
about, the dream always mutates into some
Vietnam incident," said Simon, a research
specialist at a petrochemical company.
" ey've gotten progressively worse.
Right now, I barely sleep."
Simon does not know what triggered
the return of his nightmares. But experts
say his experience is not uncommon. As
Vietnam veterans age, many discover
they have more time to contemplate their
lives. e time for re ection --- as well
as retirement, reunions with war buddies
and the deaths of loved ones --- can stir
memories from a long-ago war.
An estimated 2.7 million American
men and women served in Vietnam. eir
average age is 64, according to Vietnam
Veterans of America.
"Most are approaching retirement," said
Tom Berger, director of the health council
at Vietnam Veterans of America.
"Once they retire, their spouse has passed
and the kids have left home, without
that structure, they begin to think about
Anniversary dates and holidays such as
Veterans Day may begin to bother people.
But even when a veteran seeks treatment
late in life, experts say, in many cases the
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) had
been there all along.
at was likely the case for Steve Aoyagi,
63, who said that when he returned from
war, he struggled with anger and anxiety.
"I buried myself in my work," he said.
"I worked 50 to 60 hours a week. A lot
of overtime. Whatever time I didn't spend
at work, I would occupy myself with my
When a neuromuscular disorder forced
him to retire in 2002, he began thinking
more about the war.
"I started having nightmares about the
time I spent in Vietnam. e bombs we
dropped, the people who were left behind,
my best friend getting killed, not being
there for him."
When his son deployed to Afghanistan,
Aoyagi began to dream of the body bags
that were once loaded onto his C-130
aircraft in Vietnam. In his dreams, he
looked down at one of the bags and
realised it carried the body of his son.
Now, he goes to group therapy three
times a week at Captain James A Lovell
Federal Health Care Centre in North
" e way that I'm dealing with my
PTSD now --- this is so true for the others
--- is by occupying my time," he said.
"Keeping busy keeps me going."
Memories form a complex web of images
and emotions. It is hard to know how one
event might trigger recollections from
decades before, experts say.
At Lovell, more Vietnam veterans are
reporting symptoms of late-onset PTSD.
"I think that's due to the fact that
Vietnam veterans are at an age when
they're experiencing more loss and all the
life changes that can be triggers," said
Anthony Peterson, who runs the centre's
treatment programmes for post-traumatic
e passing of a spouse can stoke feelings
of sur vivor guilt. A serious illness can force
a veteran to confront death in the same
way he once did in Vietnam.
So carers, doctors and veterans
themselves need to be aware of he capacity
for PTSD to strike for the rst time or
strike again, at a later stage of life. --- AP
Stress hits some Vietnam veterans late
Accelerating ice loss from the Antarctic
icesheet could be due in part to active
volcanoes under the frozen continent's
eastern part, a study suggests.
From 2002 to 2011, the average annual
rate of Antarctic icesheet loss increased
from about 30 billion tonnes to about
147 billion tonnes, the United Nation's
panel of climate scientists reported in
e icesheet is a mass of glacial land
ice --- one such sheet covers most of
Greenland and the other Antarctica,
and together they contain most of the
freshwater on Earth.
e sheets are constantly moving, slowly
owing downhill and seawards under
their own weight. Portions that extend
out over the water are called ice shelves.
Previous research has blamed warmer
seas swirling in a circular
fashion around Antarctica
for the quicker pace of
icesheet loss from the
ese waters erode ice
shelves, went the theory.
And as more of the
shelves disappeared, the
quicker the sheet would
ow and lose ice to the
But in a new paper
in the journal Nature
led by Amanda Lough at
in St Louis, Missouri,
suggested that, in West
Antarctica, the faster ow
may be also be due to
ese heat the underside
of the ice, causing melting
that lubricates the ow,
Evidence for this comes
from recently deployed
sensors that recorded
two "swarms" of seismic
activity under Mary Byrd
Land, a highland region
of West Antarctica, in
2010 and 2011.
radar, the team found an
shaped deposit, measuring
about 1000 square
kilometres in the area, at
a depth of 1400m.
e deposit is believed to be volcanic
ash, spewed out by an enormous eruption
some 8000 years ago --- an estimate
reached on the assumption it has since
been covered by ice accumulating at the
rate of 12.5cm a year.
"Together, these observations provide
strong evidence for ongoing magmatic
activity and demonstrate that volcanism
continues to migrate southwards."
Several volcanoes were known to
exist in West Antarctica, but none were
thought to be active.
"Eruptions at this site are unlikely to
penetrate the 1.2 to 2km-thick overlying
ice, but would generate large volumes of
melt water that could signi cantly a ect
ice stream ow," said the study.
Could volcanoes be causing Antarctic ice loss?
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