Home' Greymouth Star : January 11th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Saturday, January 11, 2014
Up to 300,000 residents in West
Virginia were left without tap water
yesterday after a chemical spill that
forced the closure of schools and
business in the State capital and led
the federal government to declare a
Health o cials advised residents to
use tap water only for ushing toilets
and ghting res and the company
that runs the state's largest water
treatment plant said it was unable to
predict when the water would be safe
again to drink.
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin declared
a state of emergency for nine counties,
and President Barack Obama issued
an emergency declaration.
e spill of 4-Methylcyclohexane
Methanol, a chemical used in the
coal industry, occurred on ursday
on the Elk River in Charleston, West
Virginia's capital and largest city,
upriver from the plant run by West
Virginia American Water Co.
"We don't know that the water's
not safe, but I can't say it is safe," Je
McIntyre, president of West Virginia
American Water, told a televised news
Tests were being done on the water,
McIntyre said, but he could o er no
timeline for when water would be
declared safe for normal use.
e chemical is not highly lethal, but
since the company does not regularly
see it as a contaminant, the level that
could be considered safe has yet to be
quanti ed, he added.
Water carrying 4-Methylcyclo
hexane Methanol has an odour like
licorice or anise, he said. A company
spokeswoman said the chemical could
be harmful if swallowed and could
cause skin and eye irritation.
McIntyre said the spill originated
at Freedom Industries, a Charleston
company that produces specialty
chemicals for the mining, steel
and cement industries. A company
spokesman did not respond.
Emergency workers and American
Water distributed water to centres
around the a ected area. Local
residents formed long lines at stores
as shelves of bottled water quickly
"It's just ridiculous. ere's nowhere
to buy water and everywhere seems
to be sold out. is isn't going to last
two days," Jaime Cook of Charleston,
who was buying one of the last jugs of
water at a Walmart store, said.
e West Virginia Department of
Environment Protection got a report
of a strange odour and visited the
Freedom Industries site, where they
found a leaking storage unit.
Drinking water for 300,000 poisoned
Hana, the wife of Palestinian prisoner Tamer al-Za'anin (pictured in poster), lies on a bed next to her baby boy al-Hassan, who was conceived with al-Za'anin's
sperm smuggled out of an Israeli prison.
First 'smuggled sperm' baby born
e wife of a Palestinian prisoner
in an Israeli jail gave birth yesterday
to a boy born from sperm smuggled
into Gaza, her family said, the rst
successful pregnancy of its kind in the
embattled coastal enclave.
e procedure follows several similar
cases last year in the West Bank, and
Palestinians view such births as an act
of de ance against Israel's jail policies.
"I am tired and very, very happy,"
mother Hana al-Za'anin said, her voice
weak, hours after delivering baby al-
Speaking from a hospital bed in
Gaza City, she told Reuters Israel had
banned her from visiting her husband
since his arrest in 2006,
citing unspeci ed "security
Most of Gaza's 1.8 million people
are barred from entering Israel for the
same reason, although it allows some
merchants and seriously ill people to
enter its territory from Gaza.
Gaza has been run by the Islamist
group Hamas since 2007.
Israel has enforced a blockade on the
territory and has fought a round of
bloody battles with the militant party.
Al-Za'anin declined to say how the
sperm was conveyed out of prison,
but said its journey to a medical lab
in Gaza, where two specialists were
waiting for it, took about six hours.
Her husband Tamer was arrested
in an Israeli army incursion into the
northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun
and jailed for 12 years for belonging to
the Islamic Jihad militant group.
"Today a hero was born to a hero," the
prisoner's 22-year-old brother Tareq, a
hairdresser, said with a laugh.
Israel regards 5000 or so Palestinian
prisoners in its jails, many imprisoned
for killing civilians, as terrorists.
irty massive tanks lled with
air will lift the hulk of the Costa
Concordia o the seabed in June so
it can be towed away from the Italian
island of Giglio where it capsized two
years ago, o cials said yesterday.
e 114,500-tonne vessel hit rocks
on January 13, 2012, killing 32 people.
It was hauled upright in a complex
'parbuckling' operation in September
but still rests where it capsized, just
outside the holiday island's small port.
e ship's captain Francesco
Schettino is on trial for manslaughter,
causing the wreck and abandoning
ship. He says he was not the only
person to blame for the disaster.
Re oating the Concordia will be one
more phase in the largest maritime
salvage in history. Where the ship will
be dismantled --- the nal step ---
has yet to be decided.
" is incident is part of our DNA
and our mission is to make sure that
it never happens again," Michael
amm, chief executive of Costa
Crociere, a unit of Carnival Corp,
which owns the liner, told reporters at
a news conference.
"We are very con dent we can
remove the ship from the island
within the month of June."
e Concordia salvage is expected to
be the most expensive wreck recovery
ever, costing over 600 million euros
($815 million), more than half the
overall insurance loss of more than
About two and a half times the size
of the Titanic, the Costa Concordia
was typical of the latest generation of
cruise liners, built to carry thousands of
passengers and keep them entertained
with restaurants, cinemas and bars.
In April, teams will begin to t 19
buoyancy tanks to the side of the ship,
adding to the 11 already in place. Once
the tanks are tted and the weather is
good, the Concordia will be ready to
be re oated.
It will take seven to 10 days to slowly
lift the ship from the seabed and
prepare it for towing.
End in sight to massive Concordia salvage operation
A French magazine that revealed an
alleged a air between President Francois
Hollande and actress Julie Gayet says it
will remove the report from its website
at her request.
"Julie Gayet's lawyer contacted us to
request we remove from the website all
mention of this relationship," Laurence
Pieau, editor of Closer, said.
She gave no speci c reason for the
order but hinted at privacy issues, adding
the information would likely be taken
o the site today.
Hollande has reacted furiously to the
allegation --- which was backed up by
photos reportedly showing the 59-year-
old president entering Gayet's at
--- but did not deny it, threatening legal
action over what he called an attack on
his right to privacy.
Pieau however said the magazine had
so far had no contact with the French
France's media is subject to strict laws
on invasion of privacy, which can be
punished with a year's jail and a ne of
45,000 euros ($74,000). --- AFP
Magazine to remove Hollande affair story
Google has apologised after a
major square in Berlin regained its
Nazi-era name 'Adolf Hitler' on its
popular on-line Maps page for a
Spokeswoman Lena Wagner
from the German unit of the
United States internet giant, said
it was not immediately clear how
a street at eodor-Heuss-Platz in
the west of the German capital had
again become 'Adolf-Hitler-Platz'
late on ursday, the name it bore
from 1933 to 1947.
"We were made aware of a false
and inappropriate street name
on Google Maps and corrected it
immediately," she said.
"We apologise for this mistake."
e Nazi leader's name was no
longer visible on Google Maps
yesterday, and a search for Adolf-
Hitler-Platz again redirects users
e square at the centre of a
major roundabout was renamed
after Hitler in 1933 and was to
have played a prominent role in the
planned 'Germania' overhaul of the
city into a 'global capital' planned
under the ird Reich.
Its name was changed after the
war and nally given the name of
e error sparked outrage in
social networks and German
media, with the top-selling daily
Bild demanding, "How could this
Reports said Google Maps for
Germany had been hacked in
the past, with Cologne's famous
cathedral once made to disappear
entirely. --- AFP
Google apologises for
'Adolf Hitler' square error
Fire and health authorities in
Western Australia have both been
placed on red alert as Perth braces
for its hottest day in more than ve
Temperatures in the city are
tipped to soar past 44degC today,
with outlying metropolitan suburbs
warned to expect even more intense
heat over the weekend.
With catastrophic re conditions
to stretch from the Pilbara to the
south-west, bush re brigades
across the State have been told to
prepare for the worst.
Deputy commissioner Lloyd
Bailey, from WA's Department of
Fire and Emergency Ser vices, said
volunteer re ghters have been
rostered on all weekend, and extra
water bombers have been placed on
"We ask people not to just
lock themselves up with the air-
conditioning, but be cognisant of
what is going on around them,"
e elderly, those with young
children and babies and tourists
who might not be used to the heat
have been particularly warned of
the potential e ects of the heat.
"Although we are used to the heat,
it is very important not to become
complacent," Dr Revle Bangor-
Jones, director at WA Health's
Disaster Management Unit said.
"It is very important to keep the
hydration levels up, and recognise
any signs in the body that you are
In anticipation of the scorching
heat, the scheduled race meeting
at Ascot in the city was postponed.
Perth Zoo distributed monster
icy poles to its animals as the
heatwave gripped the city, with
even the otters enjoying icy poles
made from whitebait, blue bait,
prawns and mussels. --- AAP
Perth Zoo animals get ice poles
Poland's conser vative opposition
has called for use of the erroneous
term 'Polish death camp' in
reference to Nazi German facilities
to be punishable by jail time.
Users of the term could get up
to ve years in prison, according
to a bill introduced in parliament
yesterday by the Law and Justice
Politicians voted to have it sent
back to committee for more work.
e phrase, a reference to former
Nazi German death camps located
in occupied Poland during World
War Two, has long been a sore
spot for Poles and was even at the
centre of a high-pro le row with
the United States in 2012.
Warsaw stresses that though
the word 'Polish' may be used as a
simple geographical indicator in
the phrase, it could also give o
the impression that Poland bears
responsibility for the genocide
perpetrated by Nazi Germany
during the war.
Poland ceased to exist as an
independent state after the Nazis
attacked in 1939.
It re-emerged as a Soviet satellite
in 1945 after the USSR drove the
For years, the Polish government
has kept a close eye on references
to the concentration camps located
there, including those made by the
In 2012 alone, the foreign
ministry recorded at least 130 uses
of the term by media around the
at same year, US President
Barack Obama provoked outrage
in Poland when he used the phrase
while posthumously awarding
a medal to a former Polish
underground o cer Jan Karski
who provided early eyewitness
accounts of Nazi genocide.
Obama later expressed regret at
what he called his inadvertent use
of the erroneous term. --- AFP
'Polish death camp' term
could result in jail time
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