Home' Greymouth Star : January 8th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Princess Cristina, the
younger daughter of Spain's
King Juan Carlos, has been
charged with tax fraud
piling further scandal
on the once-beloved but
Palma de Mallorca
Jose Castro said in a 200-
page ruling after a lengthy
investigation that there was evidence
that Cristina, 48, had committed crimes.
He summoned her to appear in court
on March 8, possibly paving the way
for an unprecedented trial of a Spanish
e princess's defence lawyer, Miguel
Roca, told Spanish television he would
appeal the summons, saying, "I am
absolutely convinced of her innocence."
Her husband, former Olympic
handball player Inaki Urdangarin, was
earlier charged with fraud, tax evasion,
falsifying documents and embezzlement
of six million euros ($8 million) in public
funds through his charitable foundation,
which put on sports business conferences
in Mallorca and elsewhere in Spain.
Urdangarin has denied any wrongdoing.
e case is one of many high-level
corruption scandals in Spain that have
undermined faith in public institutions
at a time of economic crisis marked by
deep cuts in public spending.
Opinion of the royal family in particular
has sunk to its lowest recorded level.
A Sigma Dos poll published on Sunday
showed almost two-thirds of Spaniards
want King Juan Carlos to abdicate after
38 years on the throne and hand over to
Prince Felipe, who is still well regarded
and is not implicated in his sister's case.
Juan Carlos became king with the
restoration of the monarchy in 1975
following the death of the dictator
General Francisco Franco. He won
respect from Spaniards for his role in
the transition to democracy, notably his
actions in foiling a coup attempt in 1981.
But various scandals, shows of
extravagance, and incidents such as an
elephant-hunting trip to
Africa at the height of
the crisis in 2012 have
tarnished his standing,
along with the Urdangarin
While they have been
Princess Cristina and
her husband have ceased
to participate in public
appearances. She and the
couple's four children
moved last year to Geneva
where she works for a Spanish bank's
charity. Urdangarin remains in Spain.
e case is centred on Urdangarin's
non-pro t Noos Foundation. He is
accused of using his connections to
win public contracts to put on events in
Mallorca and elsewhere in Spain. Judge
Castro has said there is evidence the
foundation overcharged for organising
conferences and hid the proceeds abroad.
In his ruling, Castro detailed dozens
of personal items the princess paid for
--- from Harry Potter books to home
redecorations --- out of a shell company
the judge said was used to launder
proceeds from the Noos Foundation.
" ese sums were used on strictly
personal spending . . . and they should
have been declared in income tax
statements. But it is evident that neither
Inaki Urdangarin nor Mrs Cristina de
Borbon ever did so, which means they
repeatedly defrauded the tax authority,"
he wrote in his ruling.
However, he also said it was not clear
whether the princess had evaded more
than 120,000 euros in taxes a year, the
division between an infraction and a felony.
e charges brought overnight are
known as an "imputacion" in Spanish,
and could be thrown out before trial.
An "imputacion" is not as strong as
an indictment that would immediately
precede a trial, but it is more signi cant
than a subpoena of an accused party
because the judge argues there is
evidence of speci c criminal activity.
Castro, who opened his investigation
into the royal couple three years ago, has
struggled to make charges stick against
Princess Cristina. --- Reuters
Taliban butchers six for visiting shrine
Six bodies have been dumped at a
Su shrine in Pakistan's southern city
of Karachi, accompanied by a note
purporting to be from the Taliban
saying the men were killed for visiting
the shrine, police said.
Most Pakistanis are Su s, a form of
worship that emphasises a personal
relationship with Allah. e Taliban
espouse violent Wahhabi Islam,
which rejects many traditional forms
of Su worship, including worship at
Sectarian violence is increasing
across Pakistan, with two Su shrines
bombed last year in Sindh.
e six bodies were found outside
the shrine in Karachi yesterday
morning, with a note claiming to be
from the Tehreek-e-Taliban Fazlullah
Group, a senior police o cer said.
"People visiting shrines will meet
the same fate," he quoted the group
as saying in the note.
Two of the men had been beheaded,
while the rest had their throats slit,
the policeman said, in the rst such
instance of a mass killing at a shrine
that he knew of.
e violent port city of Karachi is
heavily in ltrated by the Taliban and
has been the site of Taliban-style
Mullah Fazlullah was elected
head of the Taliban last November
and is notorious for directing mass
Su sm is a non-violent form of
Islam characterised by hypnotic
rituals and ancient mysticism that
has been practised in Pakistan for
centuries, but the insurgents see Su s
as irredeemable heretics who deserve
to die. --- Reuters
Sharon Stone says she was left
stunned when she watched her
provocative leg-crossing scene in
Basic Instinct for the rst time with a
cinema full of people.
Stone was initially reluctant to
remove her underwear for the famous
scene, but director Paul Verhoeven
assured her that nothing would be
However, when she watched the
movie in the cinema, the US actress
was angered by how much was
She says: "When we did it, it was
going to be an innuendo and the
director said, 'We're seeing the white
of your under wear, I need you to take
them o .' And I'm like, 'I don't want
you to see anything and he's like, 'No,
no you're not going to.'
"So I gave him the underwear, put
them in the pocket of his shirt, and
he said, 'Now watch on the monitor
"In those days . . . it's not like now
where everything is high de nition,
and when I looked at the monitor you
really couldn't see anything.
"So when I saw it in the theatre,
with a bunch of other people, I was
like (in shock). When the lm ended
I went in the booth and I slapped him
(Verhoeven) and I said, 'You could
have showed this to me by myself '."
Despite her anger, Stone admits
she would have kept the scene in the
movie if she was the director.
"It's so right for the movie and so
right for the character but if I would
have gotten that (perfect shot), even
by accident, I would have had the
courtesy to show it to my actor.
"But, I would have kept it in the
movie," she says. --- WENN
Actress angry over Basic Instinct scene
Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct.
Syria's Information Minister said
overnight the Syrian people have decided
President Bashar al-Assad should be
nominated for another term and would
pressure him to stand in elections this
e comments were the strongest
indication yet that Assad intends to
extend his rule and are sure to anger
opposition politicians and ghters who
have been waging a nearly three-year
struggle to end his rule.
Assad's status in any future political
order in Syria has been a stumbling
block to bringing both sides to a peace
conference scheduled to be held in
Geneva on January 22.
In a televised press conference,
Information Minister Omran Zoabi
said Assad's decision was personal and
had not been announced yet, but that
the "Syrian street" wanted him to run.
Syrians 'want Assad to stay'
A comfortable, middle-class
Parisian life may be the envy of
many people, but Florence Porcel
would give it all up to be among the
rst Earthlings to settle on Mars ---
even with no option of return.
"I have always felt a bit cramped
on Earth," the self-confessed
space junkie says, delighted to be
shortlisted with some 1000 other
aspiring voyagers for Mars One ---
a private project to colonise the red
planet from 2024.
"I have always dreamed of
exploring other worlds," the
30-year-old journalist said.
"I am not a pilot, nor a doctor, nor
an engineer; I was never going to
become an astronaut through the
Porcel is among about 200,000
people from around the world who
volunteered for the extraordinary
It would see two dozen pioneers
abandon Earth for a new start
on a cold, dry, oxygen-less planet
some 55 million kilometres (or six
months' travel) away.
e cost of the project, estimated
at $US6 billion ($7.2 billion),
precludes the option of a return trip.
e trial resettlement is meant
to be mainly funded by a reality-tv
show about the project.
e nal 24 would be sent to the
red planet in six separate launches
starting in 10 years, according to
the Dutch-based non-pro t group
behind the endeavour.
A short-listed 1058 candidates
from 140 countries were informed
on December 30 they had made the
rst cut after going through an on-
line vetting process that included
an extensive questionnaire.
e criteria, according to Mars
One, include an "indomitable
spirit", "good judgment", and "a
good sense of play".
e inter-planetary pioneers must
also be disease- and drug-free and
e list will be nalised next
year after further medical and
psychological tests. --- AFP
Queue for one-way ticket to Mars
A judge in Chile has ordered the
arrest of nine former military o cers
accused in the disappearance of a
French priest during the Augusto
Judge Mario Carroza ordered the
former air force o cers held in the
case of missing leftist cleric Etienne
Pesle de Menil, who went missing
in 1973, during the early days of the
e priest, an activist on land
reform issues in Chile, is presumed
to have been killed by the Pinochet
regime which took the life of
thousands during its 1973-90 reign.
A French court in December
2010 convicted 10 Chilean o cers
in absentia for the torture and
disappearances of Pesle de Menil
and three other French nationals,
but Chile's court system refused to
extradite the men.
e 10 Chilean o cers were
sentenced in France to prison terms
ranging from 15 years to life on
charges that included kidnapping,
arbitrary detention, torture and
In addition to the charges relating
to Pesle de Menil, the men were
convicted by the French justice
system in the disappearances of
Alphonse Chanreau, a leader
of Chile's Revolutionary Left
Movement (MIR); Jean-Yves
Claudet-Fernandez, a MIR
member; and George Klein, an
advisor to leftist president Salvador
Allende, who was deposed and
killed in the coup that brought
Pinochet to power.
More than 3200 people were
killed or "disappeared" during the
1973-1990 Pinochet dictatorship,
and 28,000 were subjected to
torture. --- AFP
Nine held over Pinochet-era disappearances
e Turkish government has
sacked 350 police o cers in
Ankara, including heads of major
departments, amid a vast corruption
scandal that has ensnared key allies
of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip
e o cers were sacked by a
government decree published at
midnight (local time) and included
chiefs of the nancial crimes,
anti-smuggling, cyber crime and
organised crime units, the private
Dogan News Agency reported
e decree also appointed
replacements for 250 of the sacked
o cers, it said.
e move comes as the
government is trying to contain the
high-level corruption investigation
that poses the biggest threat to
Erdogan's 11-year rule.
e inquiry is believed to be
linked to simmering tensions
between Erdogan's government
and followers of in uential Muslim
scholar Fethullah Gulen, who lives
in exile in the United States.
Gulen followers hold key
positions in various government
branches including the police and
Erdogan has denounced the
investigation as a foreign-hatched
plot to bring down his government
and has responded by sacking
dozens of police chiefs across the
country since the probe rst burst
into the open in mid-December. ---
Turkey sacks 350 corrupt police
Rwanda has begun commemora-
tions marking 20 years since
its genocide, with a ame of
remembrance due to make a
nationwide tour ahead of the
anniversary of the horri c events of
Government o cials
survivors assembled at the main
genocide memorial in Kigali
overnight where the ame was lit
in the presence of Foreign A airs
Minister Louise Mushikiwabo.
e ame will then go on a tour
of towns and villages in the central
African nation, ahead of a period
of o cial mourning that begins on
"From today, activities of the
commemoration of the 20th
anniversary of the genocide will
formally commence," Mushikiwabo
ree ageing genocide survivors
took several minutes to make a re
by rubbing a stick against a rock.
ey handed the blazing stick to
a group of 20 children holding a
metal torch and the children lit it.
"We are keenly aware of the
hurdles and challenges as well
as the length of the road ahead.
E ective nation building is no easy
task; a genocide legacy makes it
much harder," the minister said.
ose assembled listened to
survivors talking about how they
have managed to get their lives
back on track over the course of the
past two decades.
Marcel Mutsindashyaka, now 24
and studying in North America,
recounted how he was hidden by
a Hutu neighbour and grew up
in an orphanage. From a job in a
cybercafe he went on to set up a
news agency, Umuseke.
An estimated 800,000 people,
essentially from the Tutsi minority,
perished in the genocide, carried
out by Hutu extremist militias and
troops in the three months from
April to June 1994.
Most of the masterminds of the
genocide have been tried at the
International Criminal Tribunal for
Rwanda set up in Arusha, Tanzania,
with the backing of the UN.
A further two million ordinary
Rwandans were tried in grassroots
courts known as "gacaca" for their
alleged role in the killings, with
some two-thirds of the accused
Beginning this month, memorial
activities will start at both the
grassroots and national levels,
leading up to April 7 when the
national mourning period will start,
on the date the slaughter began two
decades ago. --- AFP
Rwanda marks 20 years since genocide
Dinosaurs have been identi ed
in Saudi Arabia for the rst time,
highlighting how widespread the
creatures once were.
Scientists unearthed tail bones from a
giant plant-eating "titanosaur" together
with teeth from a 6m-long predator,
thought to be a distant relative of
e 72 million-year-old fossils were
discovered in the north-west of the
kingdom along the Red Sea coast.
When the dinosaurs were alive, the
Arabian landmass was largely under
water and formed the northern coastal
edge of the African continent.
Dr Benjamin Kear, from Uppsala
University in Sweden, led the team of
scientists studying the remains.
"Dinosaur fossils are exceptionally rare
in the Arabian Peninsula, with only a
handful of highly fragmented bones
documented this far," he said.
" is discovery is important not only
because of where the remains were
found, but also because of the fact that
we can actually identify them.
"Indeed, these are the rst
taxonomically recognisable dinosaurs
reported from the Arabian Peninsula."
e titanosaur identi ed by the
researchers was a lumbering giant with
a long neck and tail that stood on four
In contrast, the meat-eating abelisaurid
whose teeth were recovered was a fast-
moving, bipedal theropod.
Similar dinosaurs have been found in
North Africa, Madagascar and South
e nds are described in the on-line
journal Public Library of Science One.
Dinosaur find near Red Sea
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