Home' Greymouth Star : January 10th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
Friday, January 10, 2014 - 9
Russia has launched a counter-
terror operation after ve bodies
riddled with bullets were found
in a southern region bordering
the Winter Olympics host Sochi,
less than a month before the start
of the games.
Two districts in the Stavropol
region were placed on high
alert after the bodies were
found in four cars, one of them
apparently booby-trapped, in the
area yesterday, the Interfax news
agency quoted the FSB security
service as saying.
As police examined one of the
cars, which contained the body
of a local resident who had been
shot in the head, an improvised
explosive device went o in
a nearby ditch, causing no
injuries. O cers then defused
another device nearby, the FSB
A security source told Interfax
the two devices were packed with
small metal elements such as
screws to cause maximum injury
and resembled those previously
used by insurgents in southern
Two other bodies were
identi ed as local taxi drivers
and were found in the back seat
and in the boot of their cars. e
remaining two bodies were found
close to a parked car, Interfax
cited the FSB as saying.
e Investigative Committee,
which probes major criminal
cases in Russia, opened
investigations into murder, arms
tra cking and attempts on the
lives of law enforcement o cials.
e Stavropol region borders
the Krasnodar region where
the Black Sea resort of Sochi is
Russia this week launched
the largest security operation in
Olympic history, a month before
the Winter Games start on
Security measures around
Sochi include special permits
for cars to enter the city or
access Olympic venues, as well
as drones monitoring the region
and patrols by troops. --- AFP
near Olympic city
in 12 days
A wild tiger has killed four villagers in
northern India in 12 days, prompting
searches for the big cat and protests from
villagers, an o cial says.
e animal attacked and killed a
40-year-old woman yesterday in a village
in the State of Uttar Pradesh, its fourth
victim since it is thought to have strayed
from a tiger reser ve, the o cial said.
State forest o cials and police, aided
by two elephants, have been searching
for the tiger in Moradabad district in
the hope of driving it back to the Jim
Corbett National Park, popular with
"We have identi ed four bodies that
were killed by the tiger as they bore teeth
and claw marks," senior Moradabad
administrative o cial O P Narain Singh
"We have launched a thorough search
and hope it will go back to its natural
e State government also "began a
process to declare the animal a man-
eater as soon as possible", which means
the protected tiger can be killed, Singh
Frightened villagers have been
protesting against the failure to capture
the animal since the rst death was
reported on December 29.
O cials suspect it strayed from the Jim
Corbett National Park --- home to about
200 tigers --- although the boundary is
about 110km from Moradabad district.
India is home to about 1700 tigers
--- half of the world's rapidly shrinking
wild tiger population --- but has been
struggling to halt the big cat's decline
in the face of poachers, international
smuggling networks and loss of habitat.
copter drama revealed
A helicopter carrying Britain's Prince Charles
and his wife Camilla had to make an emergency
landing after it began lurching to one side,
investigators have revealed.
e pilot of the Sikorsky S-76C chopper,
which was carrying the 65-year-old heir to
the throne and ve other passengers to Wales
on May 23 last year, had to land at Denham
aerodrome west of London, a report by the Air
Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said.
It landed safely and the royal couple made
the rest of their journey to Wales' Hay-on-Wye
literary festival by car, arriving three hours late.
At the time, a royal source described the
emergency landing as "quite a hairy incident".
e AAIB said the helicopter's 53-year-old
captain had declared a 'Pan' emergency, a less
serious warning than a Mayday.
He carried out a "running"landing --- used if an
aircraft has a problem --- and the "abnormality"
was still apparent as the helicopter taxied on the
ground, the report said.
e AAIB said the fault was later traced to
the splitting of a metal ball within a system that
helps control "yaw", or veering, which caused a
leak in hydraulic pressure.
Once at Hay, Charles and Camilla were
reported to be relaxed and smiling, with neither
alluding to the drama.
e report comes after two fatal helicopter
crashes in Britain in recent weeks.
Four United States airmen were killed
in eastern England on Tuesday when their
helicopter ditched on marshland while ying
low on a training exercise.
In Scotland's biggest city Glasgow, a police
helicopter crashed into a busy pub on November
29, killing all three crew and seven people on
the ground. --- AFP
Sta in a Kenyan hospital have been
gripped by panic after a man who was
pronounced dead after committing
suicide woke up a day later.
" e victim was saved before be
could be embalmed," explained the
superintendent in charge of Naivasha
district hospital, Dr Joseph Mburu.
He said Paul Mutora, 24, attempted
to kill himself by drinking insecticide
following a row with his family.
After being rushed to hospital he
was given medication that slows the
heart, and Mburu said this might have
"confused the medical personnel" into
believing the patient was dead.
Sta then heard sounds coming from
one of the bodies in the mortuary and
ran away in terror as he woke up, the
doctor said, adding the hospital was
investigating the incident.
" is was a mistake from the start and
I apologise," said the patient, who is now
recovering. --- AFP
Afghanistan says it will release
scores of alleged Taliban ghters
from jail as there was no evidence
against them, despite United
States objections that the men
could return to the battle eld as
Nato troops withdraw.
e releases are set to further
strain US-Afghani relations as
pressure mounts for the two
countries to sign a long-delayed
security deal allowing some
American soldiers to stay in the
country after 2014.
A meeting chaired by Afghani
President Hamid Karzai
"ordered the Bagram prisoners'
dossier review board to free
those prisoners who are innocent
and against whom there is no
evidence", a statement said.
US General Joseph Dunford,
commander of Nato forces in
Afghanistan, had earlier lodged
an o cial objection to the
releases, saying it was against an
agreement signed when Bagram
jail was handed over by the US
Bagram jail was passed to
Afghani control after a public
stand-o with Karzai, who has
depicted the jail as a symbol of
Afghanistan's e orts to regain its
e statement from Karzai's
o ce overnight said that of the
88 prisoners at the centre of the
dispute, there was no evidence
against 45 of them and only
e remaining 16 will be
kept in prison and their cases
But US o cials say the 88 men
were responsible for over 60 Nato
coalition and 57 Afghani deaths.
"At least 59 of the 88 cases
could be sent directly . . . for
prosecution in an Afghani court,"
a US o cial said ahead of the
" e remaining 29 cases have
signi cant investigative leads
necessitating immediate referral
to NDS (intelligence services)
Washington and Kabul are
edging closer to signing the
troubled Bilateral Security
Agreement (BSA), which would
see several thousand US troops
remain in Afghanistan to provide
training and assistance after the
Nato combat mission ends in
Presidential spokesman Aimal
Faizi said the prison releases
would not a ect US ties, which
hit another low in recent months
when Karzai made a surprise
decision not to sign the BSA
promptly despite having vowed
Afghanistan to free 72 Taliban fighters
Fierce battle near key oil town
Juba (South Sudan)
South Sudan's government says it is battling
to retake the key rebel-held town of Bentiu, as
thousands of civilians continued to ee ghting
across the country.
e ongoing ghting, mainly in the oil-rich
north and around Bor in the centre, came as
peace talks being held in neighbouring Ethiopia
appeared to be deadlocked.
e rebels say they will only agree to a cease re
if the government frees a group of alleged coup
plotters detained after the ghting began more
than three weeks ago, although the government
has ruled this out.
Army spokesman Philip Aguer said overnight
that troops loyal to President Salva Kiir were
now "next to Bentiu", capital of Unity State and
one of South Sudan's main oil-producing areas,
and that clashes were continuing.
He added that government troops were also
some 15km from Bor, capital of the restive
Jonglei State and situated 200km north of Juba
the only other major town in rebel hands.
An AFP correspondent in Minkammen, on
the other side of the swamps of the crocodile-
infested White Nile river from Bor, said
hundreds of people are making a perilous
journey by boat and on foot to escape the
ghting, joining 80,000 others --- the single
largest concentration of people displaced by the
Many recount tales of horror, including
civilians mown down with machine-guns as
they ed, and gunmen torching entire villages
and looting the crops.
" ey had a machine-gun raised up on a
sandbank, and they red and red and red as
we swam," Gabriel Bol, a cattle herder, said.
" e bullets were hitting the water, but we
knew we could not stop or they'd shoot us."
e unrest began on December 15 as a clash
between army units loyal to Kiir and those loyal
to former vice-president Riek Machar.
It has escalated into war between government
troops and a loose alliance of ethnic militia
forces and army units who have defected to the
e exact toll of the con ict is unclear, but the
United Nations says well over 1000 people have
died. --- AFP
e mobster father of British celebrity chef
Nigella Lawson's two assistants, who were
acquitted at a high-pro le fraud trial in London
last month, has been arrested for allegedly
extorting nightclubs in Milan.
Michele Grillo, 66, previously served 15 years
in prison for a kidnapping in the 1980s by the
'Ndrangheta organised crime syndicate but
claimed he had changed his ways and was now
working honestly as a truck driver.
Prosecutors who ordered his arrest yesterday
said he is in fact the right-hand man of
Agostino Catanzariti, who was also detained
and is alleged to be the ring-leader of the group
taking protection money from some of Milan's
"In this particular case the link between
business owners and 'Ndrangheta goes
back a decade with a sort of 'insurance' that
was periodically renewed," Paolo Storari, a
prosecutor in charge of the investigation, was
quoted as saying.
Police wiretaps of phone conversations
between Grillo and Catanzariti have also led
to the re-opening of an investigation into a
murder in 1976, prosecutors said.
Grillo's two daughters, Elisabetta and
Francesca Grillo, worked for Lawson and
her ex-husband, the millionaire art collector
ey were cleared of defrauding the couple at
a trial in which they alleged Lawson let them
spend lavishly on designer handbags, rst-
class ights and other luxuries in exchange for
keeping quiet about her drug use. --- AFP
Father of Nigella's ex-aides nabbed
Qantas downgraded to 'junk'
Debt-laden Qantas Airways' credit rating has
been downgraded to 'junk' and pressure on the
airline and the federal government to x its
woes is rising.
e national carrier faces a $100 million jump
in interest payments on its $829.39 million
in a ected debt, after ratings agency Moody's
downgraded its credit rating, the second
downgrade in a month.
A market strategist at IG, Evan Lucas, said
the airline was "in a complete freeze".
"Qantas is worrying about paying interest
rather than spending where it should be going
--- a new eet, upgrading facilities," he said.
Federal Liberal MP Dan Tehan has promoted
a lifting of the foreign-ownership caps to help
Qantas, but Labor rejected that, calling for
public investment. Either change would have to
be passed by parliament.
Moody's attributed its move to a surprisingly
sharp fall in the airline's core domestic business
due to rival airline Virgin Australia's aggressive
attack on Qantas's 65% market share. Standard
and Poor's downgraded Qantas' rating to junk
status in December. --- AAP
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