Home' Greymouth Star : November 28th 2013 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Thursday, November 28, 2013
A brother of prominent Northern Irish
politician Gerry Adams was sentenced
to 16 years in prison overnight for
raping his daughter when she was a
Liam Adams, 58, was convicted in
April of 10 charges of rape and sexual
abuse dating back more than 30 years
against his eldest child Aine, who
waived her right to anonymity. He had
denied all charges.
Judge Corinne Philpott said Liam
Adams was guilty of the "greatest
imaginable breach of trust".
Gerry Adams, president of the
nationalist Sinn Fein party, was for years
the face of republican opposition to
British rule in Northern Ireland and was
once interned as a guerrilla suspect.
He has dissociated himself from his
brother since the allegations, but has
faced questions about what and when he
knew about the abuse of his niece.
e Northern Ireland Attorney-
General is currently reviewing a Public
Prosecution Ser vice decision not to
prosecute Gerry Adams over allegations
of withholding information from the
police on the issue.
e Police Ombudsman has also
begun an investigation into the Adams
case and the police decision not to take
action against the Sinn Fein president.
It launched the probe after a complaint
from Unionist politicians opposed to
Liam Adams ed across the border to
the Irish Republic after Aine made the
allegations in 1987 and was extradited
to Northern Ireland in 2011.
His daughter told the trial the sexual
abuse took place between 1977 and
1983 and started when she was ve and
her mother was in hospital giving birth
to her younger brother.
Aine said she rst made allegations
against her father in 1987 but later
withdrew them because the police at
the time seemed more interested in
gathering information against her uncle
Gerry. --- Reuters
Gerry Adams' brother jailed for raping daughter
Italian parliament expels Berlusconi
Italy's parliament has expelled
Silvio Berlusconi over his tax fraud
conviction in a momentous move
that raises the risk of his arrest but
is unlikely to be the last act of his
e three-time former prime
minister told thousands of supporters
outside his residence in Rome that he
would " ght on" despite the overnight
vote, saying it was "a day of bitterness,
a day of mourning for democracy".
"We are not going to retire to some
convent," Berlusconi said in a de ant
speech, as fellow senators began
voting that ended up forcing him from
parliament for the rst time in his 20-
year political career.
Motions put forward by Berlusconi's
allies in the Senate in an attempt to
block the expulsion procedure were
rejected one by one in a dramatic
session in which dozens of lawmakers
took the oor to support him.
One loyalist senator even compared
the scandal-tainted Berlusconi to
South African anti-apartheid leader
Nelson Mandela and two rival senators
almost came to blows.
Senate speaker Pietro Grasso said
the failure of the motions meant that
a proposal "abolishing the election
of senator Silvio Berlusconi" was
Berlusconi will now be banned
from taking part in any general
election for six years and will lose his
parliamentary immunity, which o ers
safeguards against arrest.
Rumours are rife in Rome that an
arrest could be imminent although
Berlusconi's lawyers have dismissed the
prospect as "absurd" given that he has
already had to give up his passport and
is not a ight risk.
Experts said the expulsion marks
another step in Berlusconi's slow-
motion demise, although he will
continue to wield major clout even as
Opinions were mixed in the streets
"We managed to put an end to 20
years of fascism, we can put an end to
20 years of Berlusconism too. I hope
then we will become a more grown-
up country," Giulio, a passerby in the
trendy Trastevere district, said.
Several polls show that the 77-year-
old Berlusconi's popularity is
undimmed among his core supporters
and that a centre-right coalition led by
him as gurehead could win a future
e political tensions come at an
economically crucial time for Italy,
which is struggling to end its longest
post-war recession, and just as
parliament debates a budget aimed at
slashing high debt and de cit levels.
Prime Minister Enrico Letta has
called for a "non-chaotic situation
in Italy" and said a division within
Berlusconi's ranks "will help stability".
PICTURE: Getty Images
Demonstrators hold ags during a rally in support of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in front of his house, Palazzo Grazioli, in Rome.
British and United States
intelligence o cials say they
are worried about a "doomsday"
cache of highly-classi ed, heavily-
encrypted material they believe
former National Security Agency
contractor Edward Snowden has
stored on a data cloud.
e cache contains documents
generated by the NSA and other
agencies and includes names of US
and allied intelligence personnel,
seven current and former US
o cials and other sources briefed
on the matter said.
e data is protected with
sophisticated encryption, and
several passwords are needed to
open it, said two of the sources, who
like the others spoke on condition
of anonymity to discuss intelligence
e passwords are in the
possession of at least three di erent
people and are valid for only a brief
time window each day, they said.
e identities of persons who might
have the passwords are unknown.
Spokesmen for both NSA and
the US O ce of the Director of
National Intelligence declined to
One source described the cache
of still-unpublished material as
Snowden's "insurance policy"
against arrest or physical harm.
US o cials and other sources
said only a small proportion of
the classi ed material Snowden
downloaded during stints as a
contract systems administrator for
NSA has been made public. Some
Obama Administration o cials
have said privately that Snowden
downloaded enough material to
fuel two more years of news stories.
" e worst is yet to come," one
former US o cial who has followed
the investigation closely said.
Snowden, who is believed to have
downloaded between 50,000 and
200,000 classi ed NSA and British
government documents, is living
in Russia under temporary asylum,
where he ed after travelling to
Hong Kong. He has been charged
in the United States under the
Cryptome, a website which
started publishing leaked secret
documents years before the group
Wikileaks or Snowden surfaced,
estimated that the total number of
Snowden documents made public
so far is over 500.
Given Snowden's presence in
Moscow, and the low likelihood that
he will return to the US any time
soon, US and British authorities say
they are focused more on dealing
with the consequences of the
material he has released than trying
to apprehend him.
It is unclear whether US or allied
intelligence agencies --- or those of
adversary ser vices such as Russia's
and China's --- know where the
material is stored and, if so, have
tried to unlock it.
One former senior US o cial said
that the Chinese and Russians have
cryptographers skilled enough to
open the cache if they nd it.
government secrets have brought
to light extensive and previously
phone, e-mail and social media
communications by the NSA and
allied agencies. at has sparked
several diplomatic rows between
Washington and its allies, along
with civil liberties debates in
Europe, the United States and
Among the material which
Snowden acquired from classi ed
government computer ser vers,
but which has not been published
by media outlets known to have
had access to it, are documents
containing names and resumes
of employees working for
NSA's British counterpart, the
Headquarters (GCHQ), sources
familiar with the matter said.
e sources said Snowden
started downloading some of it
from a classi ed GCHQ website,
known as GC-Wiki, when he was
employed by Dell and assigned to
NSA in 2012.
Snowden made a calculated
decision to move from Dell Inc
to another NSA contractor, Booz
Allen Hamilton, because he would
have wide-ranging access to NSA
data at the latter rm, one source
with knowledge of the matter said.
Glenn Greenwald, who met with
Snowden in Hong Kong and was
among the rst to report on the
leaked documents for the Guardian
newspaper, said the former NSA
contractor had "taken extreme
precautions to make sure many
di erent people around the world
have these archives to insure the
stories will inevitably be published."
"If anything happens at all to
Edward Snowden, he has arranged
for them to get access to the full
archives," Greenwald said in a
June interview with the Daily
Beast website. He added: "I don't
know for sure whether has more
documents than the ones he has
given me. I believe he does."
In an e-mail exchange with
Reuters, Greenwald, who has
said he remains in contact with
Snowden, a rmed his statements
about Snowden's "precautions" but
said he had nothing to add.
O cials believe that the
"doomsday" cache is stored and
encrypted separately from any
material that Snowden has provided
to media outlets.
Conservative British politicians,
including Louise Mensch, a
former member of parliament,
have accused the Guardian, one of
two media outlets to rst publish
stories based on Snowden's leaks,
of "tra cking of GCHQ agents'
No names of British intelligence
personnel have been published by
any media outlet. After o cials
informed the Guardian it could
face legal action, the newspaper
disclosed it had destroyed
computers containing Snowden
material on GCHQ, but had
provided copies of the data to the
New York Times and the US non-
pro t group Pro Publica.
Sources familiar with unpublished
material Snowden downloaded said
it also contains information about
the CIA --- possibly including
personnel names --- as well as
other US spy agencies such as
the National Reconnaissance
O ce and National Geospatial-
Intelligence Agency, which operate
US image-producing satellites and
analyse their data. --- Reuters
Spies fret over
A comet that left the outer edge
of the solar system more than
5.5 million years ago will pass close
by the sun tomorrow, becoming
visible in Earth's skies in the next
week or two --- if it survives.
" ere are three possibilities when
this comet rounds the sun," Donald
Yeomans, manager of Nasa's near-
Earth object programme o ce at
the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in
Pasadena, California, said in an
inter view posted on Nasa's website.
"It could be tough enough to
sur vive the passage of the sun and be
a fairly bright, naked-eye object," he
e second possibility is that the
sun's gravity could rip the comet
apart, creating several big chunks.
"As long as there are pieces there,
we'll see something," Carey Lisse,
senior research scientist at Johns
Hopkins applied physics laboratory
in Laurel, Maryland, told reporters.
e third option: If the comet is
very weak, it could break up into a
cloud of dust and be a complete bust
" is comet is giving us quite a
ride. It's going to be hard to predict
exactly what's going on," Lisse said.
"As a betting man, I think it's not
going to survive solar passage," he
Comet Ison, as the object is known,
was due to pass just 1.2 million km
from the surface of the sun at 7.37am
At that distance, the comet will
reach temperatures approaching
2760degC --- hot enough to vaporise
not just ices in the comet's body, but
dust and rock as well.
"While it may seem incredible that
anything can survive this inferno,
the rate at which Ison will likely lose
mass is relatively small compared
to the actual size of the comet's
nucleus," Lowell Observatory
astronomer Matthew Knight said in
a Nasa interview.
Scientists estimate that Ison needs
to be about 200m to survive its close
encounter with the sun. e most
recent measurements indicate the
comet is more than twice that size,
and perhaps as big as 1.2km.
It helps that Ison will not be staying
in the solar furnace for long. When it
zips around the sun, it will be moving
about 349km a second.
e comet was discovered last year
by two amateur astronomers using
Russia's International Scienti c
Optical Network, or Ison.
It was extraordinarily bright at the
time, considering its great distance
beyond Jupiter's orbit, raising the
prospect of a truly cosmic spectacle
as it approached the sun.
Heat from the sun causes ices in
a comet's body to vaporise, creating
bright distinctive tails and fuzzy
looking, glowing bodies. e closer
comets come to the sun, the brighter
they shine, depending on how much
ice they contain.
Comets are believed to be frozen
remains left over from the formation
of the solar system some 4.5 billion
e family of comets that Ison
is from resides in the Oort Cloud,
which is located about 10,000 times
farther away from the sun than Earth,
halfway to the next star.
Occasionally, an Oort Cloud comet
is gravitationally nudged out of the
cloud by a passing star and into a
ight path that millions of years later
brings it into the inner solar system.
Computer models show Ison is a
"You need comets in order to build
the planets and this comet has been
in deep freeze in the Oort Cloud for
the last 4.5 billion years," Lisse said.
"Comet Ison is a relic. It's a dinosaur
bone of solar system formation," he
Oort Cloud comets have passed by
Earth before, and sun-grazing comets
are common. Comet Ison, however, is
"We have never seen a comet
like this, a comet that is both
dynamically new from the Oort
Cloud and in a sun-grazing orbit,"
astrophysicist Karl Battams, with
the Naval Research Laboratory in
"It has been behaving strangely,"
Battams said, noting recent ares and
changes in brightness that could be
signs the comet is fragmenting.
Regardless of what happens, "it's
already been a huge victory for
science," he said. --- Reuters
Comet may be visible from Earth
ree women allegedly held as
slaves in London are to be formally
inter viewed by police for the rst
O cers have had indirect contact
with the trio, who it is claimed
were e ectively brainwashed into
remaining in a political collective
for more than three decades, but
have had to wait until trauma
experts gave them the go-ahead to
take their accounts in person.
Commander Steve Rodhouse
police did not yet fully understand
the "nature of the allegations".
"We are moving to a point where
we will be able to inter view the
victims and our plan is actually
to do so today," Rodhouse said
He said there may have been
"many and varied o ences" against
the women, who were allegedly
held captive at various addresses in
London, but their ordeal may not
be de ned as modern day slavery.
"We need to maintain an open
mind on what this particular
incident is before we jump to those
conclusions and labels," Rodhouse
" e crucial issue for us is that,
on the basis of the information that
we've had indirectly from victims,
clearly criminal o ences have been
committed. What we need to do
now is to understand that in much
more detail." --- PA
Detectives quiz 'slavery' trio
Nigella thanks backers with cake
Nigella Lawson has
reached out to her fans by
posting a recipe for Holiday
Hotcake on Twitter, which
she described as "the
perfect recipe to show
thanks for all your support
and to those who hashtag
retweeted hundreds of
times in the hours after she
Messages of support have
been pouring in for the celebrity cook,
who has more than 470,000 followers on
e hashtag "team Nigella" has been
adopted by her fans, amid allegations
heard in court from her ex-husband
Charles Saatchi that she was a habitual
Rosa Monckton, Lawson's sister-in-
law, wrote: "A man scorned is much
more dangerous than a
Stuart Nathan tweeted:
"Nigella Lawson brought
us the caramel croissant
pudding. Charles Saatchi
brought us the atcher
Another fan, Peter
Rush, said: "Nigella,
your reputation remains
untarnished for me and
millions of others too."
Ruth Cherry said:
"Seriously, other than
Charles Saatchi, is there anyone who
isn't Team Nigella?"
is is not the rst time Lawson
has enlisted the support of a wider
community of well-wishers.
Lawson revealed Team Cupcake in
back 2010 --- the a ectionate name for
the group of assistants who help look
after her children and make sure her
business is running smoothly. --- PA
Evidence held by the British
government relating to the poisoning
of former Russian spy Alexander
Litvinenko with radioactive polonium
should remain secret on grounds of
national security, the High Court in
London ruled overnight.
Litvinenko, 43, was an outspoken
critic of Russian President Vladimir
Putin who died in London in 2006 after
drinking tea that had been laced with
a rare isotope, polonium-210. From his
deathbed, he accused Putin of ordering
his murder, a charge the Kremlin has
e ruling was a blow to his family,
which has accused Britain of trying to
cover up embarrassing details to protect
lucrative business deals with Moscow.
Relations hit a post-Cold War low after
the murder, but are slowly improving.
Seven years on, no inquest has yet been
held because of the legal wrangling.
Preliminary hearings were told that
Litvinenko, who had been granted
British citizenship, had worked for
Britain's MI6 intelligence service, and
that the government had evidence which
established a "prima facie case" that
Russia was behind his murder.
However, ministers subsequently
claimed "public interest immunity" from
releasing documents to the inquest,
arguing that to do so would put national
security at risk.
In May, Robert Owen, the coroner
overseeing the inquest, partly upheld
that claim in relation to documents
alleging Russian State involvement, but
rejected other parts, prompting Foreign
Secretary William Hague to seek a
judicial review of that decision.
At the High Court overnight, three
senior judges announced they had
backed Hague and ruled the coroner was
wrong not to rule all the PII documents
should remain secret.
A further pre-inquest ruling is due to
take place on Saturday. --- Reuters
Secrecy ruling on
Latvia's prime minister has resigned in
the wake of a supermarket roof cave-in
that killed 54 people, just weeks before
the country enters the euro zone.
e political thunderbolt announced
by Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis
overnight e ectively put an end to
Latvian President Andris Berzins said
he would "begin negotiations on the
formation of a new government next
week", ruling out an immediate election.
e next parliamentary elections are set
for October 2014.
e November 21 store collapse was
Latvia's worst peacetime disaster in
history, leaving the Baltic State of two
million people reeling.
"Considering the tragedy and all related
circumstances . . . a new government
is needed that has the clear support of
parliament," Dombrovskis told reporters
as he fought back tears.
" erefore I have submitted my
resignation from the post of prime
minister," he said after a meeting with
Latvia enters the euro zone on January
1, an unpopular move that Dombrovskis
made a policy cornerstone for his
He insisted overnight that euro
adoption played no part in his decision
to leave and denied media speculation
Berzins had demanded he step down.
"I've given a great deal of thought to
the political and moral consequence
of what happened," Dombrovskis said
referring to the disaster, adding that
he would stay on as a caretaker prime
minister until a new administration was
Dombrovskis said that although
he was not prepared to head another
government himself, he wanted his
centrist Unity party to be part of the
future governing coalition.
"I'll probably resume my duties as a
member of parliament but that matter
requires more thought," he added,
Analysts said his surprise resignation
only ramped up political instability
as the country is poised for a currency
switch. --- AFP
Latvian PM quits over tragedy
Taliban militants gunned down
and killed six people in Afghanistan
working on a government-backed
literacy project in the northern
province of Faryab, o cials said
e insurgent group is stepping up
attacks on State workers ahead of
presidential elections due in April
2014, fanning security concerns as
foreign troops prepare to withdraw
by the end of next year.
" ey were travelling this morning
to observe a literacy project when
the Taliban stopped their car and
shot them," provincial police chief
Nabi Jan Mullahkhil said.
e victims worked for a French
aid group involved in the project,
and just one of the seven workers
gunned down sur vived, the
Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation
and Development said. --- Reuters
Taliban kills literacy workers
Links Archive November 27th 2013 November 29th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page