Home' Greymouth Star : January 7th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Tuesday, January 7, 2014
e bitter chill gripping North
America is a result of Arctic air that has
spilled southwards, and global warming
may be a cause, an expert says.
Arctic air is normally penned in at
the roof of the world by a powerful
circular wind called the polar vortex, said
Dim Coumou, a senior scientist at the
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact
Research (PIK) near Berlin.
When the vortex weakens, the air
starts heading southwards, bringing
exceptional snow and chill to middle
e weather shift is also helped by
changes in a high altitude wind called
the jet stream.
is convection, which usually
encircles the northern hemisphere in a
robust and predictable fashion, starts to
zigzag, creating loops of extremely cold
weather or unseasonably mild weather,
depending on the location.
"We've seen a strong meandering of
the jetstream, and the cold air associated
with the polar vortex has been moving
southwards, and in this case over the
eastern parts of Canada and the United
States, bringing this extreme cold
weather," said Coumou.
e phenomenon has occurred
repeatedly in recent winters, he noted.
What drives the polar vortex is the
di erence in temperature between the
Arctic and mid latitudes, said Coumou.
Once sharp, this di erential has blurred
in recent years as the Arctic --- where
temperatures are rising at about twice
the global average --- warms up, he said.
"We've seen this type of cold spell more
often lately in recent winters, in Europe
but also in the US," Coumou said in a
" e reason why we see these strong
meanderings is still not fully settled,
but it's clear that the Arctic has been
warming very rapidly. We have good
data on this. Arctic temperatures have
risen much more than other parts of the
Last month, European scientists
reported that the volume of sea ice in
November was around 50% greater
compared with a year earlier, following a
recovery in the Arctic summer.
Despite this bounceback, sea ice
remains at near-record documented lows
and its overall trend is one of retreat,
Coumou cautioned that Arctic sea ice
"is just one of the important factors"
behind disruption of the polar vortex.
"Other factors include snow cover,
stratospheric warming events or other
short-lived phenomena," he said.
Other specialists said the link between
warming and the spillover of Arctic air
was still debated.
" ere is no consensus," said Francois
Gourand, a forecaster at Meteo France,
the French national meteorological
" e melting of sea ice can have an
impact on atmospheric circulation but
these e ects are complex and hard to pin
down," he said.
" e overall trend of the sea ice is
downwards, yet in Europe we can have
mild winters sometimes, or cold winters
--- there doesn't seem to be a clear link."
A manager of a Bali resort where a
Queensland mother and her teenage daughter
fell fatally ill, says he and other diners ate the
same sh they did without falling ill.
Noelene Bischo , a senior nurse from
the Sunshine Coast, and her 14-year-old
daughter Yvana died in the early hours of
Saturday, less than a day after checking into
the beachfront resort in Karangasem, Padang
Bai, on Bali's east coast.
ey dined at e Buddha Bar and
Restaurant attached to the resort on Friday
night after checking in that afternoon.
About six hours later, Yvana reportedly
begged for help from security sta , saying she
and her mother had fallen gravely ill.
Ms Bischo died while being transported
by ambulance to a local medical centre and
Yvana was taken by ambulance to the Bali
International Medical Clinic in Denpasar,
where she later died.
eir relatives have been told toxic sh may
have caused their deaths.
However the resort's hotel manager
Giovanni Bareato told AAP he and a group
of others had also eaten the same sh as the
mother and daughter that night.
"It's a big sh so we would have eaten the
same one," Mr Mr Bareato said.
"We haven't fallen ill and I know of no one
else who have fallen ill from the food."
He said he did not believe the sh was toxic
and a doctor had told him he suspected the
mother and daughter had a food allergy.
However, Noelene's brother Malcolm
Bischo says the family doubts that is the
" ere is a bit of speculation about food
allergies or seafood allergies which I don't
believe is true because I've had seafood with
my sister on a number of occasions," Mr
Bischo told Network Seven.
" e thing we are sort of questioning is that
from when they actually appeared to get sick
they were both dead within ve hours."
Tests are being conducted on medicine
found in Noelene and Yvana's hotel room,
which Mr Bischo says is likely to be
standard medication holidaymakers take to
" ey weren't on any major medication,
either of them," he said.
Indonesian o cials say they are yet to
perform an autopsy on the mother and
daughter as they are waiting for permission.
Under Indonesian law, an autopsy can
proceed without permission from today.
Mr Bischo says the family is waiting to
hear from the Department of Foreign A airs
and Trade to make arrangements for the
Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod
Bleijie is a friend of the Bischo family and
says the tragedy has left the Sunshine Coast
community reeling. --- AAP
Fish did not kill Bali pair --- manager
Flying fox colonies dying in Queensland heatwave
Dead ying foxes have been falling
from the sky in droves because of
the heatwave sweeping south-east
Hundreds of thousands of the large
bats may have died as temperatures
soared to 43degC over the weekend,
Bat Conservation and Rescue
Queensland (BCRQ) says.
In Ipswich, south-west of Brisbane,
more than a thousand dead ying
foxes had to be cleared from a single
park on Saturday.
e council has been issuing gloves
and wheelie bins to residents and
started daily rubbish collections to
take the carcases away before they
start to smell.
"Even today we have situations all
over Ipswich. ey are just falling
out of the sky on to residential
properties," Ipswich mayor Paul
Pisasale told AAP yesterday.
"People are concerned about their
water tanks and their roofs."
Pisasale praised the community
response to the clean-up e ort in a
city where the presence of the bats
often divides people.
BCRQ says colonies from Gympie,
north of the Sunshine Coast, down
to Yamanto south-west of Brisbane,
have been devastated.
Grey-headed and black ying foxes
have been a ected and BCRQ has
more than 200 young in care after
trained volunteers rescued them.
It expects the death toll to increase
in coming days as baby ying foxes
whose mothers died at the weekend
succumb to dehydration.
Storms last night are expected to
bring some relief from the heat in
"We have never seen this type of
heat event devastation before and the
massive amount of casualties as a result,"
BCRQ president Louise Saunders
said. "From the initial call onwards, the
(bat) camps fell like dominoes."
People should avoid trying to help
living bats themselves as they can
bite and scratch and some carry
Australian bat lyssavirus. --- AAP
A 10-year-old Afghani girl has
been detained at a police border
post before she could detonate
the suicide vest she was wearing.
e girl was stopped yesterday
in the Khanshin district of
southern Helmand province,
the Interior Ministry said in a
She had been forced by her
brother into committing the
attack, a local police o cial
"She was confused and scared at
the time," the o cial said, adding
that she was transferred to the
provincial capital Lashkar Gah.
e Taliban has used children
as suicide bombers in the past.
Last year, President Hamid
Karzai pardoned a number of
children who had attempted the
attacks. --- DPA
bomber, 10, held
Kiss frontman Paul Stanley has
disappointed fans after telling them
it is "unlikely" the original members
of the rock group will reunite for a
performance when they are inducted
into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
this year. e colourful rockers will
join Peter Gabriel, Cat Stevens
and Nir vana, among others, in the
museum's class of 2014, in April.
Stanley said the rock group would
be performing at the ceremony, but
when asked by a fan if there would be
an original line-up reunion with Ace
Frehley and Peter Criss, he replied,
Frehley has reportedly said that he
is keen to perform and replace current
Kiss star Tommy ayer on stage.
"You can't have me and Tommy both
in make-up," Frehley said.
"I don't have a problem with Tommy
and (current drummer) Eric (Singer)
being there out of make-up, if I'm in
make-up, because they're a big part of
Kiss today. (But) they had nothing to
do with the beginning of Kiss, or the
designs or the costumes or the make-
up. is is about the celebration of Kiss
and how it all began and started, and it
should be honouring the four original
members." --- WENN
Kiss originals won't play Hall of Fame gig
A New Delhi judge says pre-
marital sex is "immoral" and
against the "tenets of every
Judge Virender Bhat made
the remarks while acquitting
a man accused of rape, ruling
that sex between two adults on
the promise of marriage did not
amount to rape, the Hindustan
Times reported overnight.
e complaint was led by a
woman who alleged wrongdoing
by a 29-year-old man working at
a multi-national rm with whom
she had sex after he promised
to marry her. e judge said a
"grown-up, educated and o ce-
going woman" who has sex on the
assurance of marriage "does so at
her own peril".
"She must understand the
consequences of her act and must
know that there is no guarantee
that the boy would ful l his
promise," the ruling said.
"She must understand that she
is engaging in an act which not
only is immoral but also against
the tenets of every religion. No
religion in the world allows
Pre-marital sex has been
traditionally disapproved of in
the largely conser vative and
religious Indian society.
Last year, a court in New
Delhi said live-in relationships
were immoral and an "infamous
western cultural product".
In 2010, the Supreme Court
dismissed 22 criminal cases
against Tamil actress Khushboo
who spoke in support of the right
of women to have pre-marital
e court also backed the right
of unmarried couples to live
together. --- DPA
Pre-marital sex immoral,
says Indian judge
accidents kill 1049
Accidents in Chinese coal
mines killed 1049 people last
year, down 24% from 2012,
China is the world's largest
consumer of coal and its mining
industry sometimes skirts safety
regulations, although authorities
have shut small operations in
recent years to try to improve
Accidents left 1049 people dead
or missing in 2013, the central
government said on its website,
down from 1384 the year before
and 1973 in 2011.
"Safety in coal mining
continues to steadily improve," it
said, citing measures taken by the
State Administration of Work
But some rights groups argue
the actual gures are signi cantly
higher due to under-reporting by
Last month, 21 of 34
miners died in an explosion at
Baiyanggou coalmine in China's
western Xinjiang region, the
o cial news agency Xinhua
reported at the time.
In May, a total of about 40
miners died in two accidental
blasts in Sichuan and Guizhou
provinces in the south-west.
An explosion at a coalmine in
the north-eastern province of
Jilin killed 28 people in March.
A Taiwanese man has
miraculously survived a 60-hour
ordeal drifting on a co n lid in
rough seas o the island's east
coast even though he cannot
Tseng Lien-fa was catching
baby eels on a beach in Hua
lien County early on Friday
when he was swept away by an
unexpectedly large wave.
"I managed to hold on as the
rst wave hit me on the chest, but
I was overwhelmed by the second
and bigger wave," the 42-year-
old told the United Daily News.
Media reports said Tseng
managed to grab a oating
wooden co n lid to which he
clung until early on Sunday.
ere was no explanation of why
the lid was in the sea.
"On the lid, I was drifting and
drifting . . . during that period I
hoped I could be picked up by
any ships passing by," he said.
Strong waves eventually swept
him on to a beach in the south-
eastern county of Taitung, 75km
away from where his ordeal
began, the reports said.
Coastguards mobilised to
search for Tseng found him
lying on the beach about noon
Doctors said he had su ered
slight dehydration and developed
sores on his arms due to seawater
"Considering the fact that
he had not taken in any food
or water while drifting at sea
for 60 hours and he remained
conscious, all I could say about
him was that this was a miracle,"
said Chen Tien-su, a doctor at
Tseng had been catching eels
to make extra money since his
ancee is expecting a baby next
month. He has now promised
her the shing expeditions will
stop. --- AFP
A Dutch Catholic bishop
burned alive in 1937 by Japanese
troops for protecting Chinese
girls from rape may become the
patron saint of sex abuse victims
Frans Wiertz, who is bishop
of Roermond in the south-
eastern Netherlands, has sent a
dossier to the Vatican requesting
martyred bishop Frans Schraven
be beati ed, one step away from
becoming a saint, the bishopric
said on its website overnight.
Bishop Wiertz "suggests that
he be considered as the patron
saint of victims of sexual abuse",
Dutch-born Schraven was killed
in October 1937 in Zhengding,
260km south of Beijing, for not
handing over Chinese girls the
invading Japanese army wanted
to turn into sex slaves also known
as "comfort women".
e 200 girls were among
around 5000 people who had
sought refuge at Schraven's
bishopric soon after the start of
the the Sino-Japanese war.
According to witness accounts,
when Japanese troops came to
ask for the girls, Schraven said:
"You can kill me if you want but
you will never get what you ask
e soldiers returned hours
later, handcu ed Schraven and
eight other priests, doused them
in petrol and burned them alive.
"Fortunately there are people in
the Church who chose the right
side, who condemned abuse and
who sacri ced their lives when it
was necessary," Wiertz wrote.
" ere have in recent years
been many reports about abuse
within the Church. It's shameful
to see that even the faithful can
be guilty of such things," he said.
Tens of thousands of people were
victims of sexual abuse at the hands
of the Roman Catholic Church in
the Netherlands between 1945
and 2000, with an independent
commission identifying 800
Proli c sexual abuse by priests
has shaken the Catholic church
in recent years, including a string
of paedophile scandals from
Australia to the United States.
may be made saint
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