Home' Greymouth Star : December 3rd 2013 Contents Greymouth Star
Collapsing walls at the ancient
Roman city of Pompeii have raised
fresh concerns about Italy s efforts
to maintain one of the world s most
treasured sites, preserved for 2000
years but now crumbling from
Overnight, site officials said part
of a wall had collapsed on one of
Pompeii s major streets after weeks
of heavy rains and wind. Plaster
had also fallen off the wall of the
ornately frescoed House of the
A series of collapses in
Pompeii over the last month led
Italian media to dub it a "Black
November" for the ancient city,
preserved under ash from a volcanic
eruption in 79AD and rediscovered
in the 18th century, revealing a
time capsule of daily life in Roman
e European Union launched
a 105 million euro ($173.65
million) restoration project for
the UNESCO World Heritage
site in February but work has
only partially begun as bids by
companies for contracts are still
being assessed, according to a site
e declaration of a state of
emergency five years ago failed
to halt the deterioration amid
allegations that funds were
being siphoned off by the mafia,
and reports of mismanagement
and looting. e collapse of the
frescoed House of the Gladiators
caused international outcry in
Italy s National Association of
Archaeologists expressed "regret
and anger" at the latest collapse
and criticised the government for
failing to appoint someone to lead
" is is an incomprehensible
delay. If culture is to be a
priority in Italy we must start
with Pompeii, now decimated
by continuous collapses caused
mainly by a lack of routine
maintenance," the group said in a
e fresh collapses come at an
embarrassing moment for the
government which in October
passed a decree to improve access
to Italy s heritage sites in order to
e law ordered the Pompeii
restoration project to be sped up
and for the person to lead the
works to be named.
Responding to the latest collapses,
Culture Minister Massimo Bray
said that person would be named
within a week.
" e work will begin with the
restoration of the wall damaged
yesterday. e damage, albeit
limited, requires inter vention," Bray
said on Twitter.
Italian media have highlighted
the contrast between the
management of Pompeii and a
successful exhibition at the British
Museum in London about the
ancient city, which helped attract
record numbers of visitors this year.
e EU s regional fund spent
7.7m euros on restoration at
Pompeii during 2000-06, but today
just five individual sites are open
at any one time due to damage,
compared to 64 in 1956.
With over two million tourists
each year, Pompeii is one of Italy s
top attractions. --- Reuters
Rome fiddles as Pompeii crumbles
PICTURE: Getty Images
A view of the House of the Gladiators cordoned off in Pompeii, Italy. e Schola Armatorum, a 2000-year-old House of the Gladiators, collapsed
in November 2010, exposing the perilous state of the historical city.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - 7
Further damaging reports of electronic
spying have emerged, with documents
showing Australia s eavesdropping
agency was prepared to share information
on individual citizens to intelligence
Minutes of a meeting in Britain in
April 2008 disclose the apparent offer to
New Zealand, the United States, Britain
and Canada under the "Five Eyes"
e documents were released to
the Guardian Australia by American
whistleblower Edward Snowden, the
former US National Security Agency
contractor whose earlier revelations have
severely embarrassed Australia.
Reports that Australia tapped the
phones of Indonesian President Susilo
Bambang Yudhoyono, his wife and
senior colleagues have triggered a deep
rift between the two countries.
Analysts believe further damaging
revelations are yet to come.
e latest documents referred to a Five
Eyes meeting in London to discuss what
could and what could not be shared
between the different countries, the
e newspaper said the documents
showed that the Australian Signals
Directorate, then known as the Defence
Signals Directorate, was apparently
more prepared than other countries to
share material collected on ordinary
It said the documents showed that
Canada imposed more rigorous privacy
restrictions than Australia, agreeing to
share information on the condition that
information about its citizens first be
"DSD can share bulk, unselected,
unminimised metadata as long as there
is no intent to target an Australian
national," the documents said.
"Unintentional collection is not viewed
as a significant issue."
Metadata is the information generated
when people use technology such as
phones and computers, the Guardian
said. "Bulk, unselected, unminimised
metadata" means the data is in its raw
state, with nothing deleted to protect
people s privacy.
e documents said the DSD had
discussed the option of sharing "medical,
legal or religious" information.
e Guardian said the notes of the
meeting did not indicate whether the
activities under discussion progressed to
final decisions or specific actions.
It said they appeared to be a working
In an article in the Guardian
prominent Australian human rights
lawyer Geoffrey Robertson said that if
the DSD had taken action as described
in the notes it would have breached the
Intelligence Ser vices Act.
" ese minutes are further evidence
we are slipping into an Or wellian
world where the state can scoop up
any electronic communication, and in
which DSD thinks it can lawfully tittle-
tattle on Australians to foreign agencies
and is even considering disclosure to
"non-intelligence agencies" --- police,
professional associations, employers and
perhaps even to newspapers," he said.
Aust was set
A far north Queensland man has
admitted causing his wife s death and
dissolving her body in acid.
Klaus Andres, 70, is accused of
murdering his wife, Li Ping Cao, 42,
on October 30, 2011, in Cairns.
He has been charged with one
count each of murder and interfering
with a corpse.
His trial, set down for two weeks,
began yesterday in the Cairns
Yesterday afternoon, Andres lawyer
read out a list of 10 admissions by
Andres to the jury.
He admitted causing his wife s
death on October 30, 2011, buying
acid from a hardware store and
putting her body in a wheelie bin to
dissolve her in it.
He has already admitted to
interfering with his wife s body, but
denies intentionally killing her.
Andres also admitted pouring the
contents of the wheelie bin down
a storm drain outside the couple s
Only Li Ping Cao s prosthetic teeth
were recovered by investigators.
Andres lawyer told the court
Andres admited pushing his wife
during an argument in the couple s
kitchen on October 30, 2011.
Li Ping Cao fell to the ground and
blood began oozing out of her nose
Andres tried to communicate with
his wife and then put a pillow under
her head, but she was unresponsive.
He then panicked as he thought he
would be blamed for her death.
Andres says he pushed his wife
because she had stabbed his knuckles
and fingers with a fork. He had no
intention of killing her, he said.
Principal Crown prosecutor Nigel
Rees told the court Andres killed his
wife to get rid of her so his mistress,
who lived in ailand, could move in
Andres began a sexual relationship
with the ai woman while she was
on holiday in Cairns in August 2011.
In an e-mail penned on the day after
Li Ping Cao died Andres wrote to his
mistress: "Now I have good news, the
other person has finally left."
Andres told police his wife had
packed her things and left him, as she
had on a number of occasions. He said
she had probably returned to China.
Andres fronted a media conference
after Le Ping Cao s death seeking
information about his wife s
e jury will decide whether Andres
intended to kill his wife or whether it
was an accident.
e trial continues. --- AAP
Man dissolved wife s body in acid
Archaeologists in China have unearthed
the skulls of more than 80 young women
who may have been sacrificed more than
4000 years ago, State media has reported.
e skulls were found in what appears
to have been a mass grave at the Shimao
Ruins, the site of a neolithic stone city in
the northern province of Shaanxi.
e women s bodies were not present,
the official news agency Xinhua said,
adding that archaeologists concluded
that the skulls were "likely to be related
to the construction of the city wall" in
"ancient religious activities or foundation
ceremonies" before construction began.
ere may have been an outbreak of
mass violence or ethnic conflict in the
region at the time since "ancient people
were prone to use their enemies or
captives as sacrifices", it added.
e discovery is not the first instance of
researchers unearthing remains related
to human sacrifice in early China. Kings
and emperors were regularly buried along
with their servants and concubines, who
were sometimes killed first --- and on
other occasions buried alive.
e Shimao Ruins cover more than four
square kilometres and were discovered in
e total includes 40 skulls that the
Shaanxi provincial government said
earlier had been discovered at the site
Sun Zhouyong, deputy head of
the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of
Archaeology, told state broadcaster
CCTV that the initial batch "show signs
of being hit and burned".
" is collective burial might also have
something to do with the founding
ceremony of the city," he said.
Archaeologists have also found more
than 100 remains of murals as well as
large amounts of jadeware at the site of
the ancient city, which sits in the Yellow
River basin and is believed to date back
to 2000 BC.
In 2005 archaeologists at Hongjiang in
the central province of Hunan found an
altar devoted to human sacrifice as well
as the skeleton of one victim.
A separate altar was used for sacrificing
animals at the 7000-year-old site, which
is believed to be the earliest human
sacrificial site ever found in the country.
A United States animal rights group
overnight filed what it said is the first
lawsuit seeking to establish the "legal
personhood" of chimpanzees.
e non-profit Nonhuman Rights
Project asked a New York State
court to declare a 26-year-old chimp
named Tommy "a cognitively complex
autonomous legal person with the
fundamental legal right not to be
e lawsuit seeks a declaration that
Tommy s "detention" in a "small, dank,
cement cage in a cavernous dark shed"
in central New York is unlawful and
demands his immediate release to a
Chimpanzees "possess complex
cognitive abilities that are so strictly
protected when they re found in human
beings," Steven Wise, the president of
the group, told Reuters.
" ere s no reason why they should
not be protected when they re found in
chimpanzees," he added.
e lawsuit on Tommy s behalf is
among three the group is filing this
week on behalf of four chimps across
New York. e other chimps are
Kiko, a 26-year-old chimp living on
a private property in Niagara Falls,
and Hercules and Leo, two young
male chimps used in research at Stony
Brook University on Long Island, the
Tommy s owners, Patrick and Diane
Lavery, and Stony university did
not immediately return requests for
comment. Kiko s owners could not be
e Nonhuman Rights Project used
its own research to find the chimps, and
Wise first visited Tommy in October
after reading a local newspaper article
about exotic animals kept at the Laverys
used trailer lot in Gloversville, New
York, about 80km north-west of Albany.
"He looked terrible," Wise, who
previously observed healthy, wild chimps
in Uganda, said. "He looked like a caged
chimpanzee --- they don t move, they
don t look at you. ey look depressed."
e lawsuit states that chimps are
entitled to a "fundamental right to
bodily liberty," which Wise said is the
basic right to be left alone and not held
for entertainment or research.
e lawsuit was filed at "the earliest
point at which we have some reasonable
chance at winning," Wise, a well-known
animal rights activist and author of
books including the 2000 title Rattling
the Cage: Toward Legal Rights for
" ese are the first cases in an open-
ended, strategic litigation campaign,"
he said. "We re just going to keep filing
Nonhuman Rights Project in 2007
began a nationwide search for an
optimal venue to file the lawsuits, Wise
said. New York was ultimately chosen
because of its generally flexible view
of requests for a writ of habeas corpus,
the centuries-old right in English law
to challenge unlawful detention, he
David Favre, a professor at Michigan
State University College of Law and an
expert on animal law, said it is the first
habeas petition filed on behalf of an
" e focus here is whether a
chimpanzee is a person that has access
to these laws," Favre said.
e lawsuits come as medical
authorities re-examine the employment
of chimpanzees in research in light of
new technology that renders the use of
chimpanzees less necessary.
In a decision applauded by animal
rights groups, the US National Institutes
of Health in January said it was reducing
its use of chimps in biomedical research,
retiring most to sanctuaries. At the
time, NIH Director Dr Francis Collins
called chimps "very special animals" that
deserve "special consideration."
Lawsuit seeks legal personhood of chimps
e wreckage of a police
helicopter which crashed into a
pub, killing at least nine people,
has been lifted from the building.
ree people on board the
aircraft died when it landed
on the Clutha Vaults bar as it
returned from a police operation
in Glasgow on Friday night.
Six people inside the pub were
killed and police have not ruled
out the possibility that more
bodies could be recovered from
e remains of the three-
tonne Eurocopter has been
lifted from the scene as the
recovery operation and accident
e rotor blades and part of
the tail were removed on Sunday
and the fuselage was secured
and winched slowly through the
roof of the building yesterday.
Specialist officers stood on either
side of the aircraft as it was raised
inch by inch by a crane.
Scottish Fire and Rescue
Service assistant chief officer
David Goodhew said: "Crews
have been tunnelling underneath
the helicopter to try to find
further casualties and remove
those where necessary.
" e helicopter is sheeted up.
It s extensively damaged.
"We will move it out, it will be
in the air for a short while then
be placed on the ground.
"As soon as it is on the ground,
crews will be immediately
put back into the building
to complete their search and
hopefully we will have completed
the search within the next 90
minutes to two hours."
Pilot David Traill, 51, died,
along with officers Kirsty Nelis,
36, and Tony Collins, 43.
Two victims who were inside
the pub have been named as
48-year-old Gary Arthur from
Paisley and Samuel McGhee, 56,
e popular bar was hosting
live music on Friday night and
was packed with more than
100 people when the accident
happened at 10.25pm.
Twelve of the 32 people taken
to hospital continue to receive
treatment, with three in intensive
Goodhew said: " e building
has been totally devastated. It s
totally unrecognisable in most
" ere s a large amount of debris
that s underneath the helicopter
and therefore you have to dig in
slowly and methodically.
"Crews have been working
tirelessly. We ve been rotating
crews, we ve used specialist crews,
urban search and rescue, every
" ey have been committed
to the building the whole time,
trying to search.
"Crews have not stopped
working to get everybody out."
He described the operation as
He said: "It s one of the most
difficult operations, I think, of
this type in the country.
" e helicopter has landed in a
building that s fully packed.
"It has been damaged in such a
way that it couldn t just be lifted."
Copter wreckage lifted from pub
PICTURE: Getty Images
Rescuers lift the police helicopter wreckage from the roof of the
e Clutha Pub in Glasgow.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
says a subway train that derailed, killing
four passengers and wounding 67 others,
was probably travelling too fast.
ere are three possibilities behind
Sunday s crash, which struck during
America s post- anksgiving shopping
frenzy, Cuomo said: "Problem with the
track, equipment problem or operator
"Working with the experts over the
past day, I think it is going to be speed-
related," he told NBC, adding that the
sharp curve where the train veered off
the tracks was not enough to explain the
" is was a tricky turn on the system,
but it s a turn that s been here for decades
and trains negotiate all day long," he said
"I think it s going to turn out to be
about the speed more than anything, and
the operator s operation of the train at
After retrieving the train s two "black
boxes" --- one from the front and one
from the rear --- investigators from the
National Transportation Safety Bureau
were continuing their probe at the
scene, in the Bronx borough north of
e train, carrying between 100 and
150 people, crashed about 7.20am
(local time) as it headed south to Grand
Central Station in Manhattan.
e train s seven carriages derailed just
before it reached Spuyten Duyvil station
and flew across a grassy bank separating
the railway from the Hudson and
Harlem rivers, which meet at that point.
e front car came to rest only a few
metres from the water, and two cars
toppled on their side.
Speaking on CNN, Cuomo described
the horror the passengers experienced as
the train skidded at high speed.
" e windows broke out, the doors
opened and they were picking up stones,
rock, dirt, tree limbs were flying through
the cars," he said.
Some passengers were "impaled" by
debris as train cars flew into the air,
officials have said, while others had to be
cut free from tangled metal. --- AFP
Speed blamed in
NY train crash
A male contraceptive pill could
be available within a decade, after
Melbourne scientists discovered a
chemical that acts as a temporary
Monash University scientists say they
have discovered a way to make male
mice temporarily infertile by deleting
two proteins essential for sperm
"Our technique is good because
it s not hormonal, so males won t be
afraid to take it," Monash Institute of
Pharmaceutical Sciences senior lecturer
Dr Sab Ventura told the Herald Sun.
"It s easily reversible, so young people
could take it and still have viable sperm;
and it s not going to have any future
effects on offspring."
A second drug to stop the second
sperm transport protein still needs to be
Should that happen, a male
contraceptive pill could be ready within
five to 10 years, Ventura said. --- AAP
It appears that the English were
feasting on frogs legs up to 8000 years
before the French acquired a taste for
A dig at the Blick Mead site
about 1.6km from Stonehenge, near
Amesbury, Wiltshire in England, led
to the discovery of a charred toad s leg
alongside small fish vertebrate bones
of trout or salmon as well as burned
aurochs bones (the predecessor of cows).
According to the researchers from the
University of Buckingham, the find,
which dates back to between 6250BC
and 7596BC, is the earliest evidence of
a cooked toad or frog anywhere in the
world and 8000 years earlier than the
French and even before the Czechs who
recently claimed it as a traditional dish.
"It would appear that thousands of
years ago people were eating a Heston
Blumenthal-style menu on this site, one
and a quarter miles from Stonehenge,
consisting of toads legs, aurochs, wild
boar and red deer with hazelnuts for
main, another course of salmon and
trout and finishing off with blackberries,"
David Jacques, a senior research fellow
in archaeology, says.
" is is significant for our
understanding of the way people were
living around 5000 years before the
building of Stonehenge."
e latest information is based on
a report by fossil mammal specialist
Simon Parfitt, of the Natural History
Museum in Britain, who examined
the discoveries from the dig which has
resulted in 12,000 finds, including 650
animal bones, all from the mesolithic
era. --- PA
English beat French
to frogs on menu
Pill could replace vasectomy
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