Home' Greymouth Star : January 17th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Friday, January 17, 2014
As Adelaide yesterday became
the hottest city on the planet for
a day, the week-long heatwave
that has gripped the west and
south-east of the continent
continues to fry Australia.
Temperatures again hovered in
the mid-to-high 40s in Adelaide
and Melbourne, and across
much of inland South Australia,
Victoria and New South Wales,
stretching emergency ser vices to
Worse may be in store. While
the weekend is expected to
bring relief with a cool southerly
change, re and health authorities
fear today could be their most
critical period as strong, gusty
winds drive through the furnace
ahead of the new front.
Fire authorities have also
warned that the heatwave has
stripped all moisture from
bush and grassland, creating a
volatile, dangerous tinder for the
remaining six weeks of a blazing
is may be just the harbinger
of deadlier summers ahead.
e Climate Council, now a
private organisation after its
federal predecessor, the Climate
Commission, was axed by the
new Coalition Government,
warns Australia is facing hotter,
more frequent, longer-lasting
heatwaves as the planet warms.
e council yesterday released
an interim report on heatwaves,
showing that between 1971 and
2008 the number of hot days
had doubled and the frequency
and duration of heatwaves had
A heatwave is de ned as at least
three consecutive days during
which temperatures reach into
the top 10% of recordings for a
given time of year.
Australia this week has easily
met the de nition, with many
areas enduring four or ve days
Adelaide has reached record
levels, and Melbourne has now
endured its longest run of above-
40degC days in a century.
Inland areas of South Australia,
Victoria and New South Wales
have seen the mercury reach as
high as 48degC.
e council's report said the
frequency of heatwaves would
increase signi cantly, and last on
average up to three days longer
than at present. Maximum
temperatures would also rise.
"As greenhouse gases continue
to accumulate in the atmosphere
from the burning of fossil fuels,
more heat is trapped in the lower
atmosphere," the council said.
" is increases the likelihood
that hot weather will occur and
that heatwaves will become
longer and more intense."
e continent's south-east
would be the hardest hit,
including Adelaide, Melbourne
e council said emergency,
health and medical services
needed to start planning now
for the increasing intensity of
Services are already struggling
to cope. Hospitals in South
Australia and Victoria have
reported a surge in heat-related
admissions, health and welfare
services are being pushed to
ensure the safety of the young,
the aged and the chronically ill,
and rail services have been hit.
All kindergartens and childcare
centres in Adelaide were closed
and power supplies in South
Australia and Victoria have
been disrupted by the surge in
demand for air conditioning
and increased demands on the
national grid from other states.
In Victoria, Premier Denis
Napthene urged people to cut
electricity use to a minimum as
peak electricity demand in the
two states neared record levels.
Power authorities have warned
of more potential cuts that could
a ect 100,000 Victorians and
tens of thousands more in South
Fire services have been ghting
hundreds of outbreaks in South
Australia, Victoria and NSW,
many started by lightning strikes,
with a 20km-wide blaze near the
western South Australian coastal
town of Ceduna, and several in
Victoria potentially threatening
towns in the Wimmera and
Mallee regions. --- AAP
city in the world
Vatican grilled on
abuse by UN watchdog
British actor Roger Lloyd-Pack,
forever known to millions for his role as
amiable dimwit Trigger in Only Fools
And Horses, has died at 69.
His co-star in the BBC1 sitcom, David
Jason, was among those who paid tribute,
saying he was not only a ne actor but "a
pleasure to work with".
Lloyd-Pack, whose other memorable
portrayals included his regular role as
farmer Owen Newitt in e Vicar of
Dibley, died in London.
His agent, Maureen Vincent, said he
had pancreatic cancer and "died at home
surrounded by his family".
Lloyd-Pack clocked up appearances in
dozens of television shows such as e
Borgias and had a recurring role in BBC
series 2 Point 4 Children as well as many
lms including a recent appearance in
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, in addition to
being a respected Shakespearean actor.
But he will be best known as dopey road-
sweeper Trigger in Only Fools, a show
which continues to hold a fascination
with viewers long after it ended.
"I was very saddened to hear of Roger's
passing," co-star Jason --- who led the
cast as Del Boy Trotter in the comedy
--- said. "He was a very quiet, kind and
unassuming actor who was a pleasure to
"Although he played the simple soul
of Trigger in Only Fools and Horses, he
was a very intelligent man and a very ne
actor capable of many roles.
"I shall remember him with fondness
and for all the good times we had
In a 2012 interview, he said: "People
will never stop shouting 'Trigger!' at me
in the street. e other day I jumped
some lights on my bike because someone
was hollering at me. A police van pulled
me over, and when I stopped they
also shouted 'Trigger!'. It can be very
He was also politically active and a
prominent campaigner for left-wing
causes in the capital. --- PA
Roger Lloyd-Pack in 2011
e Vatican insists it is committed
to stamping out sexual abuse by the
clergy, as top Church o cials were
grilled before the United Nations'
child rights watchdog.
e hearing came as Pope Francis
said all Catholics should feel
"shame", in an apparent reference
to the scandals that have rocked
the Church for more than a decade.
Under the spotlight at the
UN Committee on the Rights
of the Child in Geneva, the
Vatican delegation insisted that it
understood what it had to do to root out sexual
" e Holy See gets it, that certain things have to
be done di erently," Monsignor Charles Scicluna,
the Vatican's former top prosecutor, said.
"It's not words, it has to be commitment on the
ground, on the level of the local churches," he
told the committee overnight.
e Roman Catholic Church has faced a
cascade of scandals involving child sexual abuse
by priests and Catholic lay o cials, from Ireland
to the US and from Australia to Germany.
Pope Francis, who has vowed zero tolerance of
abuse since he was elected last March, said the
scandals "are the shame of the Church".
"Do we feel shame? ere are so many scandals
that I do not want to name them individually but
everyone knows about them," the Pope said in a
Like other signatories of the 1989 UN
Convention on the Rights of the Child, the
Vatican agrees to submit regular reports on its
respect for the rules, and to be scrutinised by an
18-member watchdog panel.
e overnight session --- a regular review of
the Holy See's rights record, and not exclusively
focused on the abuse issue --- marked the Vatican's
second appearance before the committee.
UN committee member Hiranthi Wijemanne
charged that perpetrators were too often shielded
by the Church hierarchy.
"Why is there no mandatory
reporting to a country's judicial
authorities when crimes occur?
Taking actions against perpetrators
is part of justice," she asked the
Past cases of abuse were often
covered up by priests' superiors,
who typically transferred o enders
to new parishes, rather than turn
them over to police.
Scicluna insisted this was not
"It is not a policy of the Holy See
to encourage cover-ups," he said.
"Our guideline has always been that domestic law
of the countries where the churches operate needs
to be followed," he added.
e Vatican's UN ambassador, Monsignor
Silvano Tomasi, said the Holy See was legally
responsible only for implementing the UN
Convention on the tiny territory of Vatican City
--- a position long criticised by campaigners.
But he said that as the central body of the
Church the Vatican was working with its local
branches to develop measures to stem sexual
It was up to nations to crack down, Tomasi
"Priests are not functionaries of the Vatican.
Priests are citizens of their own State and fall
under its jurisdiction," he underlined.
Pope Francis has vowed to take things further
by setting up a special committee to investigate
crimes, enforce prevention measures and care for
UN committee member Sara Oviedo
questioned the Vatican's e orts.
" e Holy See has not established any
mechanism to investigate those accused of
perpetrating sexual abuse, nor to prosecute
them," she said, calling for a "new approach".
Victims' groups say the issue is far from settled
with cases of ongoing abuse emerging regularly
and the total tally potentially in the hundreds of
thousands. --- AFP
Only Fools and
Relations between Germany
and the United States are worse
now than during the US-led
invasion of Iraq a decade ago, a
leading ally of Chancellor Angela
Merkel said overnight, in a sign
of mounting anger in Berlin over
American spying tactics.
Philipp Missfelder, foreign
policy spokesman for Merkel's
Christian Democrats (CDU) in
parliament, said Berlin should
bar US access to a database
of international nancial
transactions unless Washington
promises to stop spying in
Germany. He is expected to be
con rmed soon as the government
co-ordinator for US ties.
Reports this week have
suggested talks on a "no spying"
deal, launched after revelations
last year that the US National
Security Agency (NSA) had
monitored Merkel's cellphone,
are near collapse because
Washington refuses to rule out
eavesdropping on one of its
closest post-war allies.
" e year 2003 is generally
seen as a lowpoint in German-
American relations," Missfelder
said, referring to the clash over
former US President George W
Bush's invasion of Iraq.
"But if you look at the current
situation the loss of trust is not
smaller than it was then. Indeed
it's probably bigger because this
issue is preoccupying people
longer and more intensively than
the invasion of Iraq."
e comments, among the
strongest from a senior German
gure since leaks of a massive US
spying programme rst emerged
last year, come a day before US
President Barack Obama is
expected to unveil reforms of the
Reuters reported last week that
Obama is unlikely to announce
major changes to a programme
which has collected masses of
raw data on the telephone calls
of Americans and bugged foreign
leaders including Merkel, who
in 2011 received the Presidential
Medal of Freedom from Obama,
America's highest civilian honour.
"We can see that we are not seen
as loyal friends any more, rather
we are confronted with a great
deal of mistrust," Missfelder said.
"I am not saying we are on a level
with countries that are outside
of Nato, but there has been a
qualitative change, at least from
the American side."
If talks on the "no spying"
agreement fail, Berlin should
support suspending a deal
clinched in the aftermath of the
September 11, 2001 attacks that
gives the United States access
to SWIFT, a global nancial
database, he said.
e European Parliament voted
last year to suspend the SWIFT
agreement over concerns the US
was snooping on the database for
nancial gain, but the vote was
symbolic and not binding.
Missfelder listed three main
German demands for the US:
an agreement not to spy on
each other; the end to targeted
bugging of politicians; and
general agreement on how the
US handles the bulk "metadata"
it is collecting.
He said he opposed holding
a trans-Atlantic free trade deal
hostage to the spying talks, and
described the US as a "friend".
But he added that there were
"huge expectations" tied to an
upcoming visit by Merkel to the
US and spoke of disillusionment
with Obama, feted in Berlin last
June on the 50th anniversary of
John F Kennedy's "Ich bin ein
"A lot of people had big
hopes. e hopes have been
disappointed," Missfelder said.
Spying plunges US-German ties to new law
Almost two years to the
day since Captain Francesco
Schettino invited a Moldovan
dancer on to the bridge of the
Costa Concordia moments
before it hit the rocks, a
captain from the same cruise
line has been reprimanded for
allowing a Romanian woman
to pose with a machine-gun
on the bridge of his ship.
e Costa Atlantica was
sailing through the Gulf of
Aden with an armed escort
to ward o potential attack
by Somali pirates when
the skipper invited Sasha
Alexandra on to the bridge.
Smiling and wearing a
cocktail dress, she posed for
photographs while holding a
machine-gun that apparently
had been handed to her by
one of two Italian marines
who accompanied the cruise
ship as it sailed through
She was anked on one side
by the marine and on the
other by the captain in his
white uniform. e a air is
an embarrassment for Costa
Cruises, the company that
owns both cruise liners.
To make matters worse, the
company was blackmailed by
someone who got hold of the
photographs and demanded
e captain, who has not
been named, has been accused
of "inappropriate conduct"
and of violating the rules on
who is permitted to access
the bridge. He had been
the company said, although
a spokesman declined to
divulge the nature of the
sanctions. --- AP
Second Costa Cruises captain in gun
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