Home' Greymouth Star : November 29th 2013 Contents Greymouth Star
6 - Friday, November 29, 2013
A 60-year-old Japanese man switched
at birth says he would like to "roll back
the clock", days after winning a lawsuit
against the hospital that mistakenly cast
him into a life of poverty.
e man told a packed Tokyo press
conference that he was shell-shocked
when he learned the truth, saying his life
would have been starkly di erent.
"I've wondered how on earth could
this happen. I couldn't believe it. To be
honest, I didn't want to accept it," he told
Japanese media yesterday. e man was
not identi ed.
"I might have had a di erent life. I
want (the hospital) to roll back the clock
to the day I was born."
A Tokyo district court this week
ordered the hospital to pay Y38 million
($460,581) in damages over its 1953
blunder which saw the man switched
with another baby boy who was delivered
just 13 minutes later.
e court ruled that Y32m should go
to the man and the remaining Y6m to
his three biological brothers.
It is not clear if the hospital, which has
not commented on the bizarre case, will
e man, an unmarried truck driver,
would have grown up as the eldest of
four brothers in a wealthy family where
the siblings enjoyed a lavish lifestyle
including private tutors.
Instead, he was raised on welfare by
his non-biological mother who also
supported older siblings after her
husband passed away.
e family had few frills in their one-
room apartment except for a radio,
according to the man who studied at
night school while working in a factory.
"It was like she was born to experience
hardship," the man said of the woman
he knew as his mother. She is now also
e man has been helping to take care
of his non-biological brothers, one of
whom had su ered a stroke.
e decades-old mistake was
uncovered when the wealthy family's
three younger brothers had DNA
testing done on their eldest sibling ---
who looked nothing like them --- after
their parents died.
ey checked hospital records and
con rmed the identity of their biological
eldest brother last year.
e four are now working on building
a relationship to make up for lost time.
But the man switched at birth said
he cried daily for several months after
learning the truth.
"As I saw pictures of my (biological)
parents, I wanted to see them alive. I
couldn't hold back tears for months
every time I saw their pictures."
One of his brothers "told me that we
will have 20 more years to live so we
should make up for lost time", he added.
"I was happy to hear that and I want
to do it."
e wealthy family's non-biological
eldest son runs a real-estate company
while his three siblings work for major
rms, media reports said.
e mothers in both families had
seemingly suspected they had been
raising the wrong babies.
"I think my foster mother might have
sensed it," the man said, noting physical
di erences from the siblings he grew up
His real brothers remember their
mother saying her rst baby came back
from his rst bath in hospital wearing
the wrong clothes. --- AFP
Hospital to pay for blunder
Italy has entered a period of
political transformation after Silvio
Berlusconi's historic ousting from
parliament, with the billionaire
tycoon humiliated and assailed
by legal woes, but now a force in
Prime Minister Enrico Letta's ruling
coalition will survive the withdrawal
of support by Berlusconi's Forza
Italia party, thanks to the defection of
some of his former proteges who will
stay on in the government.
But while he is a gure of fun
around the world, Berlusconi is still
a formidable campaigner who can
continue as a gurehead leader even
if he is banned from running for
election for the next six years.
"Silvio Berlusconi's political
story did not end yesterday with
his expulsion as senator," Roberto
D'Alimonte, one of Italy's top
political experts, wrote in the business
daily Il Sole 24 Ore overnight.
" e Cavaliere leaves parliament
but not politics, at least not for now.
In fact we should not forget that he
still has six-seven million loyal voters
on his side."
Berlusconi was in turns de ant and
humble in a speech to thousands
of supporters just minutes before
the Senate declared his expulsion,
donning the mantle of victimhood
and vowing "a ght for liberty" on
He promised to hold another
rally next Sunday to celebrate the
founding of the rst 1000 "Go Silvio"
fan clubs around the country and said
he was staying to protect "our right,
our assets and our freedom".
Some experts are predicting a
populist campaign from Berlusconi,
known for his anti-tax, anti-Europe
rhetoric, but others say Letta's
government could gain as the
"His exclusion from parliament
puts him in a precarious condition
and if this is not the end, it is clearly
the beginning of a decline that could
be quick," the editor of La Stampa
daily, Marcello Sorgi, said.
A bellwether of Berlusconi's
continuing in uence could be the
European Parliament elections in
But the 77-year-old's bid to stay on
could be hampered on the legal front
more than at the ballot box.
As part of the tax fraud conviction
for which he was booted out of
parliament, Berlusconi will have
to ser ve 12 months of either house
arrest or community service in which
his freedom of movement will be
e sentence is to be implemented
early next year and at the end of
2014 Berlusconi could face de nitive
conviction for having sex with an
underage prostitute and abusing the
powers of the prime minister's o ce
--- which could force him into house
arrest for years.
As an ex-senator, he has also lost
his parliamentary immunity which
makes him more vulnerable to arrest
in any of the other legal proceedings
Berlusconi's defeat at the hands of
fellow senators instead of through
the ballot box left a bitter taste even
among some of his most virulent
" ere is no doubt that yesterday
marked the end of an era that has
lasted for 20 years," Stefano Folli, a
columnist for Il Sole 24 Ore, said.
But he added: "We would have
preferred a di erent and less bitter
end, for us and for our national
Letta's more immediate danger
could be "friendly re" from an
ambitious centre-left politician,
e 38-year-old mayor of Florence
is almost certain to be voted in as head
of the main Democratic Party next
Sunday and has become increasingly
critical of Letta's government in his
quest for the party leadership.---AFP
Berlusconi ousting seen as turning point for Italy
China's response to United States
B-52 bombers in its newly-declared
air zone was "too slow", State-run
media say, fuelling the clamour for
Beijing to get tough against Japan
and the US.
Beijing's declaration of a new air
defence identi cation zone (ADIZ)
islands at the centre of a tense dispute
between the two neighbours has
provoked global concern.
e US has a security alliance with
Japan and announced it had sent
two Stratofortresses into the zone
without obeying Beijing's rules, in
an unmistakable message ahead of a
visit to the region by Vice-President
China's defence ministry issued
a statement 11 hours later saying
the military "monitored the entire
process" of the B-52 ights, without
expressing regret or anger or
threatening direct action.
e Global Times, which is close
to China's ruling Communist Party
and often strikes a nationalist tone,
criticised the reaction as "too slow" in
an editorial overnight.
"We failed in o ering a timely and
ideal response," it said, adding that
Chinese o cials needed to react to
the "psychological battles" by the US.
e Government-run China Daily
added that Washington's move
risked fuelling Tokyo's "dangerous
belligerence" and putting China and
the US "on a collision course. Which
will prove much more hazardous
than sending military aircraft to play
chicken in the air".
China's Communist Party uses
nationalism as a key part of its claim
to a right to rule, tapping into deep-
seated popular resentment of Japan
for its brutal invasion of China in the
early 20th century.
Such passions are quickly aroused,
and Chinese social media users
called for Beijing to retaliate against
" e US's bomber wandered around
the edge of our ADIZ, I gure we
should respond in kind. One good
turn deserves another, right?" wrote
one poster on Sina Weibo, a Chinese
version of Twitter.
Another said the bomber ights
"can only be called a provocation".
One suggested that Beijing should
cancel Biden's invitation, saying that
if it "now announces that it was not
the right time for Biden to visit
China, would the US military still
enter the ADIZ in the future as they
e Chinese ADIZ requires aircraft
to provide their ight plan, declare
their nationality and maintain two-
way radio communication, or face
"defensive emergency measures".
e US and Japan accuse China
of raising the stakes in the row
over islands known as Senkaku in
Japan and Diaoyu in China, and
senior administration o cials in
Washington said that Biden plans to
raise Washington's "concerns" about
the zone during his visit to Beijing
e trip will allow him to "make the
broader point that there's an emerging
pattern of behaviour by China that is
unsettling to China's own neighbours
and raising questions about how
China operates in international
space", an o cial said.
China's new zone also overlaps
South Korea's zone, incorporating
a disputed, submerged, Seoul-
controlled rock, and the South
Korean military said overnight one
of its planes had own through it
without informing Beijing.
In Tokyo, an o cial and a report said
Japanese military and paramilitary
planes had own through the air
zone without any resistance from
e country's air force went
unopposed into the zone, the Asahi
Shimbun reported, citing unnamed
defence ministry sources.
A ministry o cial could not
immediately con rm the report,
coastguard said it had also own in
the area over the East China Sea.
Australia yesterday refused to back
down from criticism of the new air
zone after Canberra summoned
China's ambassador earlier this week,
prompting a furious response from
e Philippines also voiced concern
that China may extend control of
air space over disputed areas of the
South China Sea. --- AFP
Chinese media ramping up air zone rhetoric
e Professionals star Lewis Collins
has died aged 67, his agent says.
e actor, who played Bodie in the
crime drama alongside co-star Martin
Shaw, died in Los Angeles yesterday
after a ve-year struggle with cancer.
His agent said: "He died peacefully at
his LA home surrounded by his family.
Privacy is asked for at this very sad time."
e Professionals, which made stars of
Collins and Shaw, was based around the
adventures of a ctional crime ghting
unit called CI5.
Its memorable theme tune and action-
packed plots made it a huge hit on ITV
in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Collins's other most notable role came
in 1982's Who Dares Wins, when he
played a member of the SAS.
He was born on Merseyside and
worked as a drummer in local bands and
as a hairdresser before acting.
Shaw said: "I was very sad to hear
today that Lewis has died. We spent a
very tough four years together in making
e Professionals. I send my love and
condolences to his family, and the great
many who will miss him." --- PA
star dies at 67
Employees select and dispatch items in the huge Amazon "ful lment centre" warehouse in Peterborough, England. e on-line retailer is
preparing for "Cyber Monday", as it predicts the busiest day for on-line shopping in the United Kingdom this year will fall on Monday.
On Cyber Monday in 2012 amazon.co.uk recorded over 3.5 million individual items ordered, which equates to 41 items purchased per second. e
Peterborough ful lment centre is 46,500 square metres, equivalent to approximately seven football pitches in oor area. Amazon is due to employ
more than 1000 seasonal sta to cope with increased demand in the run up to Christmas.
Amazon gears up for 'Cyber Monday'
PICTURE: Getty Images
e grand mufti of Saudi Arabia
says a ban on women driving in the
conservative Gulf State protects society
Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah al-
Sheikh, in a speech delivered yesterday
in the western city of Medina, said the
issue of giving women the right to drive
should not be "one of society's major
e kingdom's most senior cleric called
for "the matter to be considered from the
perspective of protecting society from
evil" which, according to him, included
letting women drive.
His comments came as activists said
they had been assured by Interior
Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef
that authorities were reassessing the
controversial Saudi ban on women
"Rest assured that the issue is being
discussed, and expect a good outcome,"
the minister was quoted as saying by
Aziza al-Yusef, who met him along with
fellow activist Hala al-Dosari.
e absolute monarchy is the only
country in the world where women
are barred from driving, a regulation
that has drawn condemnation from the
Prince Mohammed stressed that the
ban was "a matter to be decided by the
legislative authority", Yusef told AFP.
Saudi Arabia has an all-appointed
consultative Shura Council, with no
elected parliament. e council makes
recommendations to the government,
but the king remains the absolute
"We expect a royal decree that gives us
this right," Yusef said.
At least 16 women were stopped by
police during a driving protest day last
month, and were ned and forced along
with their male guardians to promise to
obey the kingdom's laws. --- AFP
India is planning a new tiger sanctuary
inside the world's largest mangrove
forest after a previously undiscovered
group of the endangered beasts was
discovered, wildlife o cials say.
e reserve is planned inside the
Sundarbans, a forest which straddles the
border of India's West Bengal State with
Bangladesh, to protect the tigers from
poachers and try to boost their numbers.
" e Indian government has agreed
in principle to set up a new sanctuary
to protect the tigers in the mangroves,"
Pradip Vyas, director of the government's
Biosphere Sundarbans Project, told AFP
India is home to most of the world's
tigers and the Sundarbans, a UNESCO
World Heritage Site spanning a total of
10,000 square kilometres, already has a
tiger reser ve.
But a survey of the forest this year
using hidden cameras found some 22
tigers outside that reserve, prompting
government moves to set up the new and
Vyas said the 22 could indicate a boost
in overall tiger numbers in India, which
was home to 1706 tigers nationwide
according to the last census in 2011.
"We have found the presence of 102
tigers, of which 80 were in the tiger
reser ve project near Sajnekhali and 22
in the forest on the western bank of the
river Malta, site of the new sanctuary,"
"What is more encouraging is that six
cubs were photographed, besides the
grown-up tigers, during the six-month-
e WWF welcomed plans for the
new sanctuary, which would cover 538
square kilometres, but called for tougher
measures including better infrastructure
to stop poachers entering the reserve.
India's overall tiger population still
remains a long way o the estimated
3700 in 2002, as authorities across Asia
battle against poachers. --- AFP
India plans new
A News International "private wire"
phone line attempted to hack the
voicemails of two senior royal aides
hundreds of times in less than a year, a
British court has heard.
e cellphones of the right-hand
men to the Prince of Wales, the Duke
of Cambridge and Prince Harry were
targeted by the line hundreds of
times between October 26, 2005, and
August 5, 2006, the Old Bailey heard
e private wire, which allowed desk-
based landlines to route calls through
a cellphone number, tried to access the
voicemail of Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton,
private secretary to William and Harry,
416 times and attempted to hack the
phone of Mark Dyer, former private
secretary to Charles, 296 times, it was
Both men have close personal ties to
the royal family.
Lowther-Pinkerton, who stood aside
from his full-time roll as private secretary
last year but still works with William,
Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge, is
so close to the family he was appointed
godfather to Prince George earlier this
Dyer, former equerry of Charles, was
appointed the Prince of Wales's private
secretary with responsibility for William
and Harry in the eight years following
the death of their mother Diana,
Princess of Wales.
e private wire also tried to intercept
the phone messages of former culture
secretary Tessa Jowell, former glamour
model Katie Price, rival journalists at the
Mail on Sunday and former News of the
World deputy editor Neil Wallis, the trial
of several former News International
employees has heard.
Jurors were shown a document
detailing the alleged hacking attempts.
e log showed 850 calls from the
private wire to the phone numbers or
voicemails. --- PA
Court hears of
bid to hack
royal aides' phones
Lady Gaga has earned herself a place in
France's famous Louvre museum as part
of an art piece by Robert Wilson.
e pop superstar has collaborated
with a number of famous artists to mark
the release of her latest album Artpop
this month, including Je Koons who
made a sculpture of the singer to feature
on the record's cover.
She also worked with theatre director-
artist Wilson and their collaboration
has gone on show in the legendary Paris
museum as part of his Living Rooms
Gaga recreated Jacques-Louis David's
famous painting e Death of Marat
as part of the piece, while she was also
lmed hanging upside down naked and
tied up in rope for a performance art
video. --- WENN
Lady Gaga in Louvre
Nigella Lawson's recipe books
top bestseller lists and her cookery
programmes are watched by
millions, but her latest success, a
hit United States tv show, could be
derailed by events in a British court.
She is expected to give evidence
in the trial of two of her former
personal assistants accused of
defrauding her and her ex-husband
Charles Saatchi to the tune of
£685,000 ($1.378 million).
Allegations made by Saatchi that
the tv chef has a serious drug habit
are already attracting attention with
the US media speculating she could
fall foul of the country's tough visa
e next series of e Taste,
shown on US network ABC, which
she co-hosts with three other chefs,
has already been lmed and is
scheduled to return in January.
US rules mean someone can be
denied a visa if they have "not been
convicted" or even "not admitted" a
drugs o ence.
A failure to get a visa would stop
Lawson publicising the show in
the US and throw her role on any
future shows into doubt.
It remains to be seen how the
case will a ect her popularity in
the UK, where Channel 4 says its
plans for a UK version of the show
will go ahead and fans have rallied
to declare their support for Team
Nigella on Twitter. ---AAP
Court case could derail Nigella's success
Two high-pro le Egyptian trials,
both arising from years of turbulent
protests, have delivered sharply
contrasting sentences in the space
of just a few months.
In March, a policeman was
convicted of shooting at protesters,
deliberately aiming at their
eyes, during demonstrations in
November 2011. e man dubbed
the "eye sniper" was sentenced to
three years in prison.
is week, 21 women and
teenage girls were found guilty of
obstructing tra c during a pro-
Islamist protest last month. e
14 women were imprisoned for 11
years, while the seven under the age
of 18 were sent to juvenile prison.
e verdicts stunned the
opposition and rights campaigners,
even by the standards of a
crackdown in which security
forces have killed hundreds of
Islamists and arrested thousands
since the army overthrew President
Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim
Brotherhood in July.
" e ruling was shocking. We
could not believe that Egypt would
lock up its girls with the excuse
that they are a threat to security,"
Ramadan Abdel Hamid, whose
15-year-old daughter Rawda and
wife Salwa were among those
sentenced, said. "Is this what is
going to calm Egypt?"
As army chief General Abdel
Fattah al-Sisi implements a
promised roadmap towards
elections, the United States is
watching closely and has repeatedly
urged the interim government to
treat its opponents with restraint.
Since Morsi's fall, it has frozen
some military aid to Cairo.
e European Union has been
encouraging political reconciliation
in a bid to stabilise Egypt, which
has a peace treaty with Israel and
controls the strategic Suez Canal.
e security forces have been
lionised by State and private media
which denounce the Brotherhood
as terrorists. But convicting women
and girls who back Morsi has raised
the campaign to a new level that
could risk provoking a backlash.
Shock at Egyptian women's sentences
Links Archive November 28th 2013 November 30th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page