Home' Greymouth Star : November 26th 2013 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Mushrooms have an extraordinary ability to
control the weather, scientists have learned.
By altering the moisture of the air around
them, they whip up winds that blow away
their spores and help them disperse.
Plants use a variety of methods to spread
seeds, and mushrooms have long been
thought of as passive seed spreaders, releasing
their spores and then relying on air currents
to carry them.
But new research shows they are able to
disperse their spores over a wide area even
when there is not a breath of wind --- by
creating their own weather.
Scientists in the US used high-speed
lming techniques and mathematical
modelling to show how oyster and Shitake
mushrooms release water vapour that cools
the air around them, creating convection
is in turn generates miniature winds that
lift their spoors into the air.
e ndings, presented at an American
Physical Society's division of uid dynamics
meeting, suggest that mushrooms are far more
than mechanical spore manufacturers.
"Our research shows that these 'machines'
are much more complex than that: they
control their local environments, and create
winds where there were none in nature," lead
scientist Professor Emilie Dressaire said.
" at's pretty amazing, but fungi are
e scientists believe the same process may
be used by all mushroom fungi, including
those that cause diseases in plants, animals
and humans. --- PA
Mushrooms 'create own weather'
A mushroom growing in the wild.
Israel should avoid taking any
action that would undermine the
interim nuclear agreement reached
between Iran and world powers at the
weekend, Britain's Foreign Secretary
William Hague said overnight.
Urging world leaders to give the
interim deal a chance, Hague said it
was important to try to understand
those who opposed the agreement.
But he urged Israel and others to
con ne their criticism to rhetoric.
"We would discourage anybody
in the world, including Israel, from
taking any steps that would undermine
this agreement and we will make that
very clear to all concerned," Hague
Hague added that he had not seen
any sign that any country opposed to
the agreement would try to disrupt
it "in any practical way". But he said
Britain would be "on its guard".
He was speaking after Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
denounced the nuclear deal as an
"historic mistake". Netanyahu is
sending his national security adviser
to Washington for talks about the
Hague told parliament he hoped
a comprehensive nuclear agreement
with Tehran could be reached within
a year, but warned that world powers
could swiftly reverse any sanctions
relief they had granted Iran if Tehran
reneged on the deal.
Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab
States, despite their mistrust of Iran,
gave a quali ed welcome overnight
to Tehran's interim deal with world
powers over its disputed nuclear
United States-allied Saudi Arabia,
locked in a struggle with Iran for
in uence across the Middle East, is
worried that its adversary is secretly
seeking atomic weapons, a charge
"If there was goodwill,this agreement
could represent a preliminary step
towards a comprehensive solution
to the Iranian nuclear programme,"
Saudi Arabia's cabinet said in a
statement carried by State news
e kingdom said it hoped further
steps would follow that would
guarantee the rights of all states in
the region to peaceful nuclear energy.
Earlier, Qatar and Kuwait came out
in favour of the deal struck on Sunday
after marathon talks in Geneva, saying
they hoped it would help to preserve
regional stability and security.
Israel condemned the agreement
between Iran and world powers, and
said it would not be bound by it.
e rulers of Saudi Arabia and some
other Sunni-ruled Gulf monarchies
fear western detente with Shi'ite Iran
could relieve pressure on Tehran and
allow it more leeway in the Arab
ey say Iran already dominates
Iraq's Shi'ite-led government of Iraq,
uses Hizbollah to pursue its interests
in Lebanon and Syria, and backs
Shi'ite protests in Bahrain, as well
as Houthi Shi'ite rebels in northern
On Sunday a senior Saudi foreign
policy adviser said he was deeply
concerned that the deal could give
Iran more scope to extend its power
in Arab countries, signalling Riyadh's
unease at the possibility of a western
rapprochement with Tehran.
" e government of Iran, month
after month, has proven that it has
an ugly agenda in the region, and
in this regard no one in the region
will sleep and assume things are
going smoothly," said Abdullah al-
Askar, chairman of the foreign a airs
committee in the Shoura Council,
an appointed quasi-parliament that
advises the government on policy.
Saudi Arabia and Qatar support
Sunni-led rebels ghting to topple
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad,
an ally of Iran and a member of the
Alawite sect, an o shoot of Shi'ite
Iran's only two Arab friends --- Iraq
and Syria --- were quick to praise the
deal, as was the Palestinian Authority,
which welcomed it for putting
pressure on Israel. e United Arab
Emirates and Bahrain also spoke out
Qatar's Foreign Ministry called the
agreement "an important step towards
safeguarding peace and stability in
the region" and said the Middle East
should become a nuclear weapons-
Kuwait's Foreign Ministry Under-
Secretary Khaled al-Jarallah said he
hoped the agreement "would pave
the way for a permanent accord that
would defuse tension and preserve the
stability and security of the region",
State news agency KUNA reported.
Oman, which had hosted US and
Iranian o cials for secret talks that
paved the way for the agreement, said
it "hopes the interim agreement... will
contribute to achieving peace and
stability in the region", according to
State news agency ONA. --- Reuters
Give peace a chance, Israel told
A dentist couple in India have been
found guilty of slitting the throats of
their teenage daughter and a servant in a
murder trial that has gripped the country
for ve years.
Rajesh and Nupur Talwar were
convicted of killing Aarushi, 14, and
Nepalese employee Hemraj Banjade,
allegedly by cutting their throats with
"clinical precision" using a dental scalpel
at their home in an a uent New Delhi
suburb in 2008.
Investigators alleged Aarushi was killed
when her parents found her with the
45-year-old servant in an "objectionable"
situation, while the couple insisted they
were victims of police incompetence and
a media witchhunt.
e Talwars, who may face the death
penalty, burst into tears upon hearing the
verdict but pledged to "continue to ght
Family and friends of the couple
launched an emotional attack against
police, the legal system and the media,
whom they accused of "turning against
us from day one".
e prosecution admits there is no
material evidence against the couple, and
has based its case on the victims having
last been seen with the accused.
Aarushi was found on her bed with her
throat slit in May 2008. Police initially
blamed Hemraj --- only to discover his
decomposing body on the roof a day
His throat was also cut.
O cers then arrested Rajesh Talwar's
Nepalese dental assistant along with two
other local ser vants --- Hemraj's friends
--- who were later released because of a
lack of evidence.
e botched probe prompted police
to close the case in 2010, citing no
e Talwars petitioned the court to
reopen the case, then found themselves
charged with murder.
e defence team said it would appeal
the verdict. --- AFP
Evidence of a previously
unknown wooden structure
unearthed at the Buddha's
birthplace suggests the sage
might have lived in the 6th
century BC, two centuries earlier
than thought, archaeologists say.
Traces of the ancient timber
structure was found under a
brick temple that is itself within
Buddhism's sacred Maya Devi
Temple at Lumbini, in southern
Nepal near the Indian border.
In design it resembled the
Asokan temple erected on top
of it. Signi cantly, it featured an
open area, unprotected from the
elements, from which it appeared
a tree once grew.
" is sheds light on a very,
very long debate" over when
the Buddha was born and, in
turn, when the faith that grew
out of his teachings took root,
archaeologist Robin Coningham
in a conference call said
It is widely accepted that the
Buddha was born beneath a
hardwood sal tree at Lumbini as
his mother Queen Maya Devi,
the wife of a clan chief, was
travelling to her father's kingdom
to give birth.
But much of what is known
about his life and times has its
origins in oral tradition, with
little scienti c evidence to sort
out fact from myth.
Many scholars have
maintained that the Buddha
--- who renounced material
wealth to embrace a life of
enlightenment --- lived and
taught in the 4th century BC
and died in his 80s.
"What our work has
demonstrated is that we have this
shrine (at Buddha's birthplace)
established in the 6th century
BC" that supports the hypothesis
that the Buddha might have lived
in that earlier era, Coningham
Radiocarbon and optically
techniques were used to date
fragments of charcoal and grains
of sand found at the site.
meanwhile con rmed the
existence of tree roots within the
temple's central open area.
Coningham was co-director
of an international team of
archeologists at Lubini, partly
funded by the Washington-based
National Geographic Society.
Its peer-reviewed ndings
appear in the December issue of
the journal Antiquity.
Lumbini today is a UNESCO
World Heritage site, visited by
millions of pilgrims every year.
Buddha may have lived in 6th century BC
e statue of Buddha on Launtau Island, Hong Kong.
Kuwait's supreme court has upheld a
death sentence for a member of the Gulf
state's ruling family convicted of killing
his nephew, also a royal.
Sheikh Faisal Abdullah Al-Sabah
was convicted of shooting Sheikh Basel
Salem Al-Sabah to death at the latter's
palace in June 2010, apparently over a
dispute on board membership at a sports
e sentence is nal but can be
commuted to life in jail by the emir of
the Gulf State where executions are
carried out by hanging.
Sheikh Basel was the grandson of the
late former emir Sheikh Sabah Salem
Al-Sabah and the son of late minister
of defence and interior Sheikh Salem
Courts in Kuwait, which has an elected
parliament and a vibrant political life,
have in the past handed down death
sentences to members of the Al-Sabah
Kuwait resumed executions earlier
this year after a moratorium since 2007.
Around 50 prisoners are currently on
death row. --- AFP
A Chinese thief painstakingly wrote out
11 pages of telephone numbers from a stolen
iPhone and sent them to the owner, State media
e pickpocket is believed to have taken
the Apple handset from Zou Bin when they
shared a taxi, the Xinhua news agency reported
Zou had nearly 1000 contact numbers in the
device and with no backup copy --- like millions
of other people around the world --- he was
more concerned about losing the data than the
phone itself, it added.
"I know you are the man who sat beside me. I
can assure you that I will nd you," he said in a
text message to the thief.
"Look through the contact numbers in my
mobile and you will know what trade I am
in," he added. "Send me back the phone to the
address below if you are sensible."
e tone of the message was unmistakably
threatening --- Zou works in the pub industry,
which in China is widely held to have links with
Days later he received a parcel containing his
SIM card and 11 pages of carefully handwritten
contact numbers, Xinhua said, adding he
was "fossilised" by the result --- a Chinese
colloquialism for astonished.
"It would take a while to write from one to
1000, let alone names and a whole string of
digits. I suppose (the thief 's) hand is swelling,"
Zou was quoted as saying.
e theft earlier this month is believed to
have happened somewhere between Yiyang and
Changsha in the central province of Hunan.
Chinese internet users gave the thief plaudits
for his e orts, dubbing him "the conscience of
the (theft) industry".
One user of Sina Weibo, a Chinese equivalent
of Twitter, posted: "What a sympathetic and
faithful thief, one who values professional
ethics." --- AFP
Chinese iPhone thief
Afghanistan is considering bringing back
stoning for adultery, Human Rights Watch
and the justice ministry says, possibly
restoring a punishment in force during the
Taliban's brutal regime.
e penalty for married adulterers, along
with ogging for unmarried o enders,
appears in a draft revision of the country's
penal code being considered by the ministry
Ashraf Azimi, the head of ministry's
criminal law department, con rmed to AFP
that stoning to death is included in the draft.
e draft provisions state that the
"implementation of stoning shall take place
in public in a predetermined location".
If the "adulterer or adulteress is unmarried",
the sentence shall be "whipping 100 lashes".
"It is absolutely shocking that 12 years after
the fall of the Taliban government, the Karzai
administration might bring back stoning as
a punishment," Human Rights Watch Asia
director Brad Adams said.
"President (Hamid) Karzai needs to
demonstrate at least a basic commitment to
human rights and reject this proposal out of
In Afghanistan, an extremely conservative
Muslim country, extramarital sex and sex
before marriage are taboo and can lead to
bloody con icts between families.
HRW pointed out that $US16 billion
($19.49 billion) in aid promised to
Afghanistan last year was tied to progress on
human rights issues.
"Donors need to make clear international
support to Afghanistan's government is not a
blank cheque," Adams said.
Azimi said the new law was less than halfway
nished. " e ministry of justice along with
other Afghan judicial organs are working on
a law to punish those who commit adultery,
robbery and alcohol-drinking according to
Islamic sharia law," he said. --- AFP
Kabul considers stoning for adultery
Pope Francis and Russian
President Vladimir Putin met
overnight and discussed the
Middle East and problems faced
by Christians across the world,
but did not touch on the strained
relationship between the Vatican
and the Orthodox Church.
e 35-minute meeting at the
Vatican was the rst between
Pope Francis and Putin, who
met the Ponti 's two immediate
predecessors, Benedict and John
"It was quite a cordial and
constructive meeting," Vatican
spokesman Father Federico
Lombardi told reporters after
the encounter. Putin had arrived
around 45 minutes late because
of transport problems.
Relations between the Catholic
Church and Russia have long been
uneasy because of accusations that
the Vatican has tried to poach
believers from the Orthodox
Church, a charge it denies.
Putin brought a greeting to the
Pope from Patriarch Kirill, the
head of the Russian Orthodox
Church, but did not talk about
inter-church matters, Lombardi
said. ere was also no discussion
of a possible visit to Russia
by Francis. e two leaders
discussed the civil war in Syria
and the Pope stressed the need to
end violence and bring assistance
to civilians. --- Reuters
Pope, Putin discuss Middle East
Terms and Condi ons apply.
See instore for details
SE E S
25 NOVEMBER 2013
gains you 1 entry in the draw for
A CHANCE TO WIN!
GALAXY TAB 3
TO BE WON!*
• 297 litre capacity • Frost free
• LED interior light • Multi
directional air flow system • Vitamin
C fresh filter
Canon Digital Still Camera
• 16 Mega Pixel • 3.0" LCD display • 16x optical zoom
• ECO mode • HD movie shooting • Red eye correction
Panasonic 60cmv (24") HD LED
• High Definition (1366x768) resolution • Integrated
Freeview Digital HD Tuner • Narrow Bezel • Media player
• 2x HDMI inputs • 1x USB input
BONUS $75 Visa
Gift Card by on-line
redemption (offer ends
30th November 2013).
or on-line for full
entry terms and conditions.
Enter online at www.100percent.co.nz
For every $50 spent on
GREYMOUTH: 111 Mackay St, Phone 768 5029
HOKITIKA: 11 Weld St, Phone 755 8086
WESTPORT: 163 Palmerston St, Phone 789 7349
2 year warranty on all
Samsung Galaxy Tab3 10.1
Wi-Fi 16GB White
• 1.6Ghz Dual Core processor
• 3MP rear camera • 1.3MP front camera • Micro SD Slot up to 64GB • All Share Play
• Android Jelly Bean • TVNZ On Demand • 2 year warranty • Dolby Surround speakers
• Raisin/nut dispenser • Specialty bread mode
• Gluten free mode • Diamond-Fluoro coated
bread pan & blade • Delay timer
valued at $49.95
available in store,
offer ends 24th
Links Archive November 25th 2013 November 27th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page