Home' Greymouth Star : December 13th 2013 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Friday, December 13, 2013
I was ill---sign language man
e sign language interpreter at Nelson
Mandela s funeral said overnight that a
schizophrenic episode was to blame for
him gesticulating nonsense during the
amasanqa Jantjie, 34, was branded as
a scurrilous fake after members of South
Africa s deaf community said his signing
at this week s memorial ceremony
had amounted to nothing more than
"flapping his arms around".
In an interview with the Johannesburg
newspaper the Star, Jantjie put his
behaviour down to a sudden attack
of schizophrenia, for which he takes
medication. He told the newspaper that
he lost concentration, started hearing
voices and hallucinating.
" ere was nothing I could do. I was
alone in a very dangerous situation. I
tried to control myself and not show
the world what was going on. I am very
sorry. It s the situation I found myself
Jantjie said he worked for a company
called SA Interpreters, where he is a
e BBC reported that in a subsequent
radio interview, Jantjie said he was happy
with his performance. "I ve interpreted
in many big events," he told Talk Radio
702. "I think I ve been a champion of
Jantjie s efforts at the memorial service,
during which he translated eulogies by
United States President Barack Obama
among others, triggered outrage in
the deaf community and prompted a
Cara Loening, director of Sign
Language Education and Development
in Cape Town, labelled him a "complete
fraud" whose signing looked like
someone "trying to swat a few flies away
from his face and his head".
Asked why he did not just leave
the stage, Jantjie said that, given the
historic importance of the event, he felt
compelled to stay even though he could
not hear or concentrate properly. "Life is
unfair. is illness is unfair. Anyone who
doesn t understand this illness will think
that I m just making this up."
e South Africa s Translators Institute
earlier said it already had reservations
about the interpreter, who has previously
signed at the ruling ANC party s events,
including its centenary anniversary last
"We suspect there was something
underhand about him," the institute s
chairman, Johan Blaauw, told the
domestic SAPA news agency. "How else
was he working on such an important
occasion when he did not seem to know
what he was doing? I m afraid this thing
has left the whole of South Africa with
egg on its face." He said there had been
complaints over his signing at past ANC
events, yet the ruling party took no
Delphin Hlungwane, a spokeswoman
for the Deaf Federation of South Africa,
said the interpreter was "just gesturing in
the air". She added: "He didn t interpret
at all, he had 0% accuracy."
amasanqa Jantjie put his behaviour down to a sudden attack of schizophrenia.
e South African Government
says it will not release photographs
of Nelson Mandela lying in state,
and has urged people to shun
a purported image of the dead
president posted on the internet.
While tens of thousands queued
to file past the democracy hero s
open coffin in Pretoria, social
media was buzzing overnight with
condemnation of an apparent
sneaked photo of the president s
face that had been posted on-line.
"Government is aware of social
media activity on the existence or
otherwise of a picture of President
Mandela lying in state," an official
It welcomed social media users
widespread condemnation of the
"If this content exists, government
calls on people not to view it and to
delete it from their timelines."
Neither the authenticity nor
the origin of the picture could be
It was a grainy, green-tinted
close-up of a face resembling
Mandela s image, its eyes screwed
Mandela s family had expressly
wished that no photographs of
the body be released, and people
queuing to view the open-top
casket were not allowed to bring
cameras and were requested to turn
off their cellphones.
"With regard to mourners filing
past the casket, government repeats
the caution that no photography is
allowed," the overnight statement
Twitter users largely denounced
the spread of the image, calling
it "shameful" and "totally
disrespectful". --- AFP
Anger over Mandela death picture
North Korea said today Jang Song
aek, the uncle of leader Kim Jong Un
and previously considered the second
most powerful man in the secretive
State, has been executed after a special
military tribunal found him guilty of
" e accused Jang brought together
undesirable forces and formed a
faction as the boss of a modern day
factional group for a long time and
thus committed such hideous crime as
attempting to overthrow the State," the
North s official KCNA news agency said.
e official Rodong Sinmun newspaper
today carried a photograph of Jang in
handcuffs and being held by uniformed
guards as he stood trial.
Earlier this week North Korea
stripped Jang of all posts and expelled
him from the ruling Workers Party,
accusing him of criminal acts including
mismanagement of the State financial
system, womanising and alcohol abuse.
"From long ago, Jang had a dirty
political ambition. He dared not raise his
head when Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong
Il were alive," KCNA said, referring to
leader Kim s grandfather and father, who
were previous rulers of the dynastic State.
"He began revealing his true colours,
thinking that it was just the time for him
to realise his wild ambition in the period
of historic turn when the generation of
the revolution was replaced."
e execution caps a spectacular
downfall of the husband of leader Kim s
aunt. Jang had previously suffered purges
but fought his way back to the power
circle to hold influential positions in the
ruling party and the military. --- Reuters
North Korean leader s
uncle executed for treason
Living to the ripe old age of 500
might be a possibility if what works
for worms can apply to humans, a
study has shown.
Experts tweaked two genetic
pathways in the tiny laboratory worm
Caenorhabditis elegans and boosted
the creature s lifespan by a factor of
"What we have here is a synergistic
five-fold increase in lifespan," United
States lead scientist Dr Pankaj
Kapahi, from the Buck Institute of
Age Research, said.
" e two mutations set off a positive
feedback loop in specific tissues that
amplified lifespan. Basically these
worms lived to the human equivalent
of 400 to 500 years."
While living for hundreds of
years might be a tall order, the
research raises the prospect of anti-
ageing treatments based on genetic
interactions, according to Dr Kapahi.
"In the early years, cancer
researchers focused on mutations
in single genes, but then it became
apparent that different mutations in a
class of genes were driving the disease
process," he said. " e same thing is
likely happening in ageing."
C elegans, the first animal to have
its whole genome, or genetic code,
mapped, has been widely used in
studies of ageing and lifespan.
e new research, reported in
the journal Cell Reports, involved
blocking key molecules that affect
the action of insulin and a nutrient
signalling pathway called Target of
Single mutations in the TOR
pathway were known to extend the
lifespan of C elegans by 30%, while
insulin-signalling mutations could
double the amount of time they
Adding the two together might have
been expected to extend longevity by
130% --- but the combined impact
turned out to be much greater.
e research may explain why it has
proved so difficult to identify single
genes responsible for the long lives
enjoyed by human centenarians.
"It s quite probable that interactions
between genes are critical in those
fortunate enough to live very long,
healthy lives," Dr Kapahi said.
Future research is expected to use
mice to see if the same effects occur
" e idea would be to use mice
genetically engineered to have
suppressed insulin signalling, and
then treat them with the drug
rapamycin, which is well-known
to suppress the TOR pathway," Dr
Worm research gives old age clue
Queen Elizabeth was "upset" that
police officers deployed to Buckingham
Palace were eating nuts left out as
snacks, Britain s phone hacking trial has
e revelation was included in an
e-mail sent by Clive Goodman, former
royal editor at the News of the World
newspaper, to the tabloid s then editor
Andy Coulson, a co-defendant in the
Prosecuting lawyer Andrew Edis said
the March 2005 e-mail claimed the
monarch was "upset" about the officers
behaviour, as "apparently they were
helping themselves to nuts".
" ey were all being scoffed by police.
at irritated Her Majesty apparently,"
Edis told the Old Bailey court in
In the e-mail Goodman wrote:
"Problem is that police on patrol eat the
lot. Memo now gone around to all palace
cops telling them to keep their sticky
Amid laughter in court, the judge
joked with the jury that the suggestion
that police officers were stealing nuts
was "an unproven allegation".
Coulson was editor of media baron
Rupert Murdoch s News of the World
weekly between 2003 and 2007, and
went on to work as Prime Minister
David Cameron s communications chief.
He is accused of conspiring to hack
phones and of conspiring with Goodman
and others to commit misconduct in
Murdoch shut down the News of the
World in July 2011 following allegations
of widespread phone hacking.
e trial is the first time criminal
charges have been put to those accused
e court also heard overnight that
former News of the World news
editor Ian Edmondson is no longer fit
to continue standing trial on phone
hacking conspiracy charges.
" e consensus of opinion of doctors
instructed both by the defence and the
prosecution is that he is currently unfit,"
judge John Saunders told England s
central criminal court.
He ruled that Edmondson, 44, should
be tried by a different jury at a later date.
Queen upset over
A Japanese man went on a year-long
burglary spree, making off with a haul
worth $US185,000 ($224,222) to feed
120 cats a gourmet diet, police said.
Mamoru Demizu, 48, is suspected of
breaking into houses to steal cash and
jewels on 32 separate occasions.
He told police that he stole things to
come up with the money to feed scores
of his feline friends, spending up to
Y25,000 ($293) a day, an officer said.
"He said he felt happiest when he
rubbed his cheek against cats," the officer
Unemployed Demizu kept one
animal at his home in Izumi city,
western Japan, and about 20 in a
nearby warehouse, while feeding
100 more strays which lived in the
neighbourhood, police said.
"He would give them fresh fish and
chicken, not cheap canned food," he
said. --- AFP
Man stole $224,000
for cats gourmet diet
A man has been charged with
operating a website that let
people anonymously post explicit
photographs of others so that he
could extort hundreds of dollars
Kevin Christopher Bollaert, 27,
was arrested on 31 felony counts
of conspiracy, identity theft and
Bollaert created the so-called
"revenge porn" website ugotposted.
com a year ago, according to court
e site let people anonymously
post more than 10,000 nude
and explicit photographs of
others without their permission,
Unlike most such sites,
investigators said ugotposted.
com required that the victim be
identified by name, age and other
information, leading to the identity
He is charged with obtaining
identifying information with the
intent to annoy or harass.
Bollaert s lawyer, Alexander
Landon, did not return a telephone
message seeking comment.
e documents say Bollaert
charged victims a fee ranging
from $249.99 to $350 to remove
the images, using e-mails sent
through a second website,
at led to the extortion charges.
Both websites were inactive as of
His activities "turned their public
humiliation and betrayal into a
commodity with the potential to
devastate lives," Attorney General
Kamala Harris said in a statement.
Bollaert was being held in jail in
lieu of $50,000 bail.
e department says he told
investigators during a six-month
investigation that he received
about $900 each month from
on-line advertising. However, the
department said records from his
changemyreputation.com Pay Pal
account show that he received tens
of thousands of dollars.
Photographs used as revenge porn
can be obtained during a consensual
relationship, investigators said, or
can be stolen or hacked from on-
e practice resulted in a new
Californian law that makes it a
misdemeanor to post identifiable
nude pictures of someone else
on-line without their permission
and with the intent of causing
serious emotional distress or
humiliation, although that law was
not cited in the charges against
Bollaert. --- AP
US man facing charges over
Speak Russian or be silent.
Nationalist lawmakers want to ban
foreign languages at the workplace ---
a rule that would leave some foreigners
speechless, from menial labourers from
former Soviet States to western business
executives in suits and ties.
Two deputies from flamboyant
ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky s
party introduced a bill overnight that
would bar Russians and foreigners from
speaking foreign languages on the job
during working hours, State-run RIA
news agency reported.
It cited a summary of the proposal as
saying that many foreigners do not know
Russian and "speak among themselves
in their own language at the workplace
during work hours, which makes the
native (Russian) population indignant".
at explanation suggested the bill is
aimed mainly to control the speech of
migrant workers from former Soviet
republics of Central Asia and the
Caucasus, whose growing presence in
Russia has led to ethnic tension.
Some Russians accuse migrants of a
lack of respect for Russian culture and
say they should assimilate or leave.
Mindful of those opinions, President
Vladimir Putin promised in a state-of-
the-nation speech overnight to tighten
control over labour migration, but he
also said Russia must not undermine ties
with the ex-Soviet states.
e concern about damaging relations
with Moscow s closest geopolitical allies
suggests the proposal is unlikely to pass in
its present form. It would be seen by some
in the west as draconian, casting further
chill on Russia s investment climate.
Parliament is dominated by the United
Russia party, which is loyal to Putin.
Zhirinovsky and his misleadingly named
Liberal Democratic Party, LDPR,
support most Kremlin initiatives.
ey sometimes produce initiatives that
reflect popular opinion in exaggerated
form, but which can then be repackaged
in more acceptable terms and made into
law. --- Reuters
Speaking in foreign tongues
ruled out in Russia
An outage at Yahoo Mail has hit its
fourth day, prompting thousands of
furious users to ratchet up their criticism
on social media.
Many people said they could not
retrieve e-mails from their inboxes or
complained that e-mails were not being
"We are continuing to work on
resolving this and ask that you stay
tuned for further updates," Yahoo said in
a message fired off on Twitter.
e California-based firm yesterday
apologised and promised a fix by the
end of that day, but problems have
Yahoo would not disclose the number
of e-mail accounts knocked out of service
since late on Monday night (California
time). It is estimated there are about 280
million Yahoo Mail users, including Xtra
in New Zealand.
"We are very sorry for recent difficulties
with Yahoo Mail," the company s senior
vice-president of communication
products Jeffrey Bonforte said in a short
message posted on Tumblr.
He blamed the outage on a "hardware
problem" at one of Yahoo s data centres.
Some functionality was returning to
the free web-based e-mail ser vice as
Yahoo scrambled to get it back in full
operation. Yahoo Mail users turned
to Twitter and on-line chat forums to
unleash frustration at being cut off from
e-mail and threatening to switch to a
free service offered by Google. --- AFP
Yahoo Mail trouble continues
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