Home' Greymouth Star : December 18th 2013 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Wednesday, December 18, 2013
A kind of rock that often contains diamonds
has been found in Antarctica for the rst
time, hinting at mineral riches in the vast, icy
continent --- where mining is banned.
No diamonds were found, but researchers said
they were con dent the gems were there.
"It would be very surprising if there weren't
diamonds in these kimberlites," Greg Yaxley of
the Australian National University in Canberra,
who led the research, said in a telephone
Writing in the journal Nature
Communications, an Australian-led team
reported nding the kimberlite deposits
around Mount Meredith, in the Prince Charles
Mountains in East Antarctica. Kimberlite is
a rare rock where diamonds are often found;
it is named after the South African town of
Kimberley, the site of a late 19th-century
at does not mean Antarctica will soon see
its own diamond rush. Antarctica is not only
forbiddingly cold and remote but also protected
by a treaty that preserves the continent for
scienti c research and wildlife, from penguins
to seals. e 1991 environmental accord banned
mining for at least 50 years.
"I don't think it's terribly practical that
anyone could actually explore successfully and,
personally, I hope that mining does not take
place," Yaxley said.
Others geologists doubted the nd held much
commercial value. Less than 10% of the deposits
of similar kimberlite are economically viable,
Teal Riley, of the British Antarctic Survey, said.
"It's a big leap from here to mining," he told
e Antarctic Treaty is binding only on its
50 signatories, but it has the backing of major
powers, including the United States and China.
Many expect the ban on mining to be extended
" ere is likely to be little opposition to
an extension of this prohibition, despite the
potential discovery of a new type of Antarctic
'ice'," Nature Communications said in a
But another expert said the future was not
so clear. Gold, platinum, copper, iron and coal
have also been found in Antarctica. Diamonds
are already mined today in some of the world's
colder reaches of northern Canada and Siberia.
"We do not know what the treaty parties'
views will be on mining after 2041 or what
technologies might exist that could make
extraction of Antarctic minerals economically
viable," Kevin Hughes, of the Scienti c
Committee on Antarctic Research, said.
Riley said there was a ne line between
geological mapping and prospecting with an
eye to mining. Russia, Ukraine and China,
among other countries, have been more active
in surveying Antarctica in recent years.
Demand for diamonds is likely to outpace
supply in coming years. Few new mines are
being discovered to provide the newly wealthy
in countries such as China with Western-style
jewellery. e last major nd was Rio Tinto's
Murrow mine in Zimbabwe in 1997.
Diamonds are formed under immense heat
and pressure about 160km down, in the molten
rock of Earth's mantle. Millions of years later,
they are brought to the surface in powerful
eruptions and preserved in the distinctive
igneous rock formations called kimberlites.
e kimberlite deposit is also con rmation
of how continents drift. e region of East
Antarctica was once part of a continent known
as Gondwanaland, connected to what is now
Africa and India, which also have kimberlite.
Mandela family feud raged during funeral
A feud within Nelson
Mandela's family raged even as
the peace hero lay in state, with
members arguing over access
to his rural homestead, a report
e Times daily reported
overnight that family members
had "pushed out" Mandla
Mandela, the statesman's oldest
grandson and heir to his clan
title, from the family home
in the village of Qunu in the
Eastern Cape province where
the anti-apartheid hero was
laid to rest on Sunday.
e newspaper said locks
were changed at the Mandela
house shortly after his eldest
daughter, Makaziwe, arrived
there on ursday --- a week
after her father's death and
three days before his funeral.
Water and electricity were
disconnected on the eve of
Mandela's State burial in Qunu
at the end of a 10-day o cial
mourning period followed by
millions around the world.
" e occupants, including
Mandla, had no water when
they awoke on Sunday," the
Makaziwe had apparently
told Mandla to remove his
cattle, pigs and dogs from the
homestead, and people closely
aligned to the grandson were
refused access to the graveside.
No transport to the remote
burial site was arranged for
Makaziwe is said to
have overseen the funeral
preparations, while Mandla
was the public face of the
family --- remaining with
the co n in a solemn vigil
throughout three days of lying
in state at the Union Buildings
in Pretoria last week.
e two have long been
arguing about control of
In the last months of
the statesman's life, feuds
between his close associates
and family members over the
use of the Mandela name to
sell everything from wine
to art threatened at times to
overshadow re ections on the
great man himself.
Mandla Mandela, accusing
some of his aunts of trying to
gain control over the Mandela
millions, moved the remains
of his late father, Makgatho,
who died of Aids in 2005, and
Mandela's two other deceased
children to Mvezo, a village
near Qunu where the anti-
apartheid hero was born and
Mandla is the tribal chief.
His family claimed this was
a bid to force the statesman's
burial there --- as Mandela had
wanted to be buried with the
remains of his children --- to
cash in on the ensuing tourism.
Mandla was forced by a court
order to return the remains to
Approached for comment,
Mandla's spokesman Freddy
Pilusa declined this week to
con rm, or deny, the report.
"All I can say is that Chief
Mandela would prefer to focus
on upholding and preserving
the legacy of Madiba. His
priority going forward will
be to concentrate on doing
good for his community and
contribute to ser ving the
people of this country."
Nelson Mandela's con dant
and lawyer, George Bizos,
said last week that an
announcement on the contents
of his will would be made "in
due course", and described it as
a "sacred document". --- AFP
PICTURE: Getty Images
A military y-past takes place above a statue of former South
African president Nelson Mandela shortly after its unveiling
at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. South African president
Jacob Zuma unveiled the 9m bronze statue as part of the Day of
Woman busy on phone walks off pier
Walking and social media is no "LOLing"
matter, Victoria police say.
A tourist is lucky to be alive after she fell
into Melbourne's Port Phillip Bay while
browsing on Facebook, police said.
e woman was walking along St Kilda pier
engrossed in social media, when she walked
o the pier into the icy waters of the bay
about 11.30pm yesterday.
A quick-thinking witness raised the alarm
and police rushed to the scene.
Police on land were able to point out
the position of the distressed woman,
oundering in the water, to water police
o cers who rescued her about 20m from
It is believed the woman did not know
how to swim. She was taken to hospital for
ere will be no need for a lost property
report as the woman kept hold of her
cellphone throughout the entire ordeal.
Germany's highest court has
thrown out a lawsuit against
plans for an enormous open-
cast coalmine for which entire
villages will have to be uprooted.
e Constitutional Court
threw out a suit by one resident
who had argued that the
Garzweiler II mine near the
town of Moenchengladbach in
North Rhine-Westphalia is not
indispensable for Germany's
e Garzweiler II mine is to
measure a staggering 48 square
It is believed to hold 1.3 billion
tonnes of lignite or brown
coal, to be extracted by energy
company RWE over the next
three decades and which will
emit 1.2 billion tonnes of the
greenhouse gas carbon dioxide
into the air when burned.
Garzweiler II is an expansion
of an existing mine which, taken
together, would cover 112 square
Work on the extension began
About 7600 people will be asked
to move to accommodate the
gigantic project in North Rhine-
Westphalia, Germany's most
populous State, which comes as
the country steps up the use of
coal to compensate for a complete
phase-out of nuclear power.
While the Constitutional
Court upheld the legality of
the Garzweiler II mine, the
judges nevertheless awarded
homeowners and residents
greater rights for their cases to be
heard in future.
e private interests of residents
must be taken more into account
in future when authorisations for
such projects are considered and
awarded, the court ruled.
e ruling is likely to make
it more di cult for potential
producers of shale gas --- in a
controversial process known as
fracking --- in Germany.
Fracking consists of pumping
water and chemicals at high
pressure into deep rock
formations to free oil and gas,
but environmentalists warn the
process can contaminate ground
water. It is currently not used in
Germany. --- AFP
German court rejects anti-coalmine case
Pope skips rules
Pope Francis, who is a Jesuit, overnight
skipped the Vatican's customary
procedures and bestowed sainthood by
decree on Father Pierre Favre, a 16th
century priest who was one of the rst
Favre, who is sometimes known in the
English-speaking world as Peter Faber,
was a close companion of St Ignatius
Loyola, the Spaniard who founded the
Pope Francis, the rst Jesuit pope in
history, applied a little-used procedure
called "equivalent canonisation".
is meant Favre was proclaimed
a saint by decree without a formal
ceremony and without the need for a
miracle to have been performed through
Francis, who has often spoken of his
devotion to Favre and his admiration
for the early Jesuit's spirituality, signed
a decree that added Favre's name to the
universal calendar of Roman Catholic
Favre, who was born in France in 1506
and died in Rome in 1546, was beati ed,
or declared a blessed of the Church, in
He spent much of his adult life
preaching to Protestants in Germany
during the Reformation.
e "equivalent canonisation"procedure
has been used by popes to bestow
sainthood on a person who died long ago
and who the Church has revered as holy
Pope Benedict used it three times, Pope
John Paul used it once and Pope Francis
himself used the procedure in October
to canonise an Italian nun, Angela of
Foligno, who died in 1309. --- Reuters
Forty-two Swedes have legally
changed their names to Klaus-Heidi to
participate in a Lufthansa competition
o ering a ight to Berlin and a one-
year free apartment rental, the German
" is was on one condition: you had
to change your name to Klaus-Heidi,"
Lufthansa marketing specialist Magnus
e Swedes' response to the initiative,
which was intended to promote the
German airline's Stockholm-Berlin
route, exceeded all expectations the
company had at the outset.
"We had scenarios of zero people when
we rst started with the idea," Engvall
e airline said on its competition
website it chose the name Klaus-Heidi
simply because it was "a fusion between
two very German names".
Less than a week after launching the
campaign in October, the Swedish
authorities con rmed the rst name
In addition to o cial proof of their
new identity, participants had to send
a motivation letter explaining why they
wanted to move to Berlin.
e winner of the competition, Michael
Klaus-Heidi Andersson, 24, will also get
free private German lessons and a bike
"I was incredibly happy when they
said I had won," Andersson, whose
motivation letter was a poem dedicated
to Germany, said.
Andersson has no intention to change
his name back.
"Even if I hadn't won, I would have
kept the name," he said.
"It's a great ice-breaker." --- AFP
PR stunt coaxes
42 Swedes to
Gaddafi aide faces
Libya plans to allow British and American
investigators to question Muammar Gadda 's
former intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi over
the 1988 Lockerbie airliner bombing, the Libyan
justice minister has told Britain's ITV news.
"In order to learn the lessons of history and
give rest and assurances and comfort to the
families of the victims --- we should know
everything about what happened to their loved
ones during that terrible, terrible crime," Salah
Margani told the channel in an interview.
ITV said on its website that when asked
whether former Senussi could be questioned,
Margani said: "Yes this is the intention.
"What we are working on is nalising the
arrangements for this as much as obtaining
the evidence that's available with the United
Kingdom and United States authorities.
"We all need to know the facts," Margani
e 1988 bombing of a Pan Am ight over
Lockerbie in Scotland killed 270 people. Libyan
intelligence o cer Abdel Basset al-Megrahi,
who always denied involvement in downing the
aircraft, was convicted of the bombing.
He was released from jail in 2009 amid huge
controversy in Britain and died of cancer last
Senussi was director of Libya's feared military
intelligence wing as well as the brother-in-law
of the deposed former leader Gadda .
e 64-year-old played a key role in the
military response to the 2011 uprising against
Gadda and was eventually captured by ghters
a month after the former ruler's death.
In June 2011, the International Criminal
Court issued an arrest warrant for Senussi over
alleged crimes against humanity.
He is also accused of involvement in the
bombing of a French airliner in 1989, and the
Abu Salim prison massacre two years before in
which an estimated 1200 prisoners were killed.
Senussi has been held in jail in Libya where
has been held since he was extradited from
Mauritania 16 months ago. --- Reuters
Australian Lotto record at $75m
Two deaths and a birth top Google searches
Two celebrity deaths and a royal birth
dominated Australian Google searches this year.
e late actor Paul Walker was the year's top-
trending search, the company said today.
e 40-year-old star of the Fast and the Furious
movies died in late November when the the sports
car in which he was riding smashed into a tree.
Another showbiz death, that of actor Cory
Monteith, propelled the Glee star to the second
top-trending search of the year. He died from a
drug overdose on July 13, aged 31.
In a welcome break from the morbid top two,
"Royal Baby" was the year's third top-trending
search. Prince George, the son of the Duke and
Duchess of Cambridge, arrived in July, nine
days after Monteith's death.
e iPhone 5S, Apple's agship smartphone
released in September, placed fourth, while
North Korea was fth. --- AAP
Someone has just won the $A70 million
($NZ75.4 million) Oz Lotto jackpot just a
week before Christmas.
Oz Lotto says it does not know the identity
of the owner of the winning ticket sold in
Queensland, but whoever has it will be written
into the record books as the largest lotto winner
in Australia's history.
Queensland players are being urged to check
their tickets for the winning numbers 26, 24,
20, 17, 34, 39 and 36, with the supplementary
numbers 22 and 23.
Oz Lotto will o er a $2m division one prize
in next week's draw on Christmas Eve.
Lotto players still have another opportunity
to win big this week with a $40m Powerball
jackpot tomorrow. --- AAP
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