Home' Greymouth Star : January 31st 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
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Phone hacking was an "open secret"
on the editorial oor of the News of the
World and former editor Andy Coulson
knew "exactly what went on on his
watch", a jury at the Old Bailey heard.
Dan Evans, the former Sunday Mirror
and News International sta journalist
who has pleaded guilty to hacking
phones during a seven-year period at the
Mirror Group and the Murdoch-owned
title, said his activities at the News of the
World were "completely understood" by
e court heard that despite daily news
conferences at the paper maintaining
a pretence that hacking was not used,
there was no other concealment. Even
the "o ce cat" knew about the illegal
practice, Evans said.
e jury has been told that Evans was
hired from the Sunday Mirror by the
News of the World because of his phone
Giving evidence for a third day, Evans
was questioned by Coulson's lawyer,
Timothy Langdale, QC.
e court heard how in 2009, after a
self-imposed moratorium on hacking
following the arrests of the News of the
World's investigator Glenn Mulcaire
and former royal correspondent, Clive
Goodman, Evans tried to hack into the
voicemail of designer Kelly Hoppen.
e attempt was spotted, the police were
noti ed and News International faced
Evans told the jury that his excuse,
that "sticky keys" on his cellphone had
contributed to his dialling Hoppen's
number, was "completely untrue".
Questioned by Langdale about his
reliability and truthfulness, Evans said
that when he was rst quizzed by a
News International executive about
what had happened, he mentioned that
his phone was worn out and had sticky
keys. He said this detail then appeared in
a draft document drawn up for him by
News International's lawyers.
Evans told the court: " ere was an
enormous conspiracy that I was caught
up in. I was toeing the company line."
He described himself as "being a very
frightened man at the time. I did not
know what to do. I'm very sorry for lying
at the time".
Earlier, Evans denied lying when
he said that his former editor had
reacted by saying "brilliant" to a hacked
voicemail obtained from the phone of
actor Daniel Craig, but said he might
have paraphrased the exact term used.
e message had been left by actress
Sienna Miller, who was having an a air
with the Bond star.
Addressing Evans, Langdale said: "You
are prone to making sweeping assertions
that are not based on fact."
He also said Evans took to "blaming
others for things you have done".
Much of Langdale's questioning was
devoted to Evans' attempts to secure
"full immunity" from prosecution if he
co-operated with the phone hacking
e court heard details of negotiations
between Evans's solicitors and
prosecutors in 2011 and 2012, in which
complete immunity appeared to be his
target. He did not succeed.
Evans also said that phone hacking,
which he had rst started to do at the
Sunday Mirror, had led him down a
path of alcohol and drug abuse. He told
how he had taken an 18-month period
of therapy, and revealed that during his
time at the News of the World he used
cocaine "every couple of weeks".
"I was self-medicating," he told
the jury. He said this was because he
knew he was doing something illegal,
adding, "delving deeply into the lives of
people who do not deserve it made me
Coulson, with six others, is accused
of conspiracy to phone-hack, bribing
public o cials, and of involvement in
a conspiracy to pervert the course of
justice. All seven defendants deny all
e case continues. --- PA-AP
American student Amanda Knox
and her former Italian boyfriend
Ra aele Sollecito were found guilty
for the second time today of the
2007 murder of Briton Meredith
Kercher, in a retrial that reversed an
earlier appeal judgment.
e verdict, after 12 hours of
deliberations, con rmed Knox and
Sollecito's original 2009 conviction.
Knox's sentence was increased to 28
years and six months and Sollecito
was sentenced to 25 years. Knox
did not attend the retrial, however,
having gone home to the United
States after the previous appeal.
Knox said later she was frightened
and saddened by what she called an
"unjust" verdict in Italy convicting
her in the murder of her British
roommate Meredith Kercher.
"Having been found innocent
before, I expected better from
the Italian justice system. e
evidence and accusatory theory
do not justify a verdict of guilt
beyond a reasonable doubt," Knox
said in a statement released by her
"We didn't know what to
expect. We are still in shock," said
Stephanie Kercher, Meredith's
sister, after the ruling was read.
Sollecito's lawyer Giulia
Bongiorno con rmed that her
client would appeal to Italy's
highest court, and Knox's lawyer
Carlo Dalla Vedova said he was
"stunned". e court will publish
the reasons for its verdict in 90
If nal appeals are heard, neither
Knox nor Sollecito would face
arrest or jail time until a nal
verdict by the highest court.
Knox is in the United States
and would have to be extradited
to serve her sentence. e court
banned Sollecito from leaving Italy.
Kercher, 21, was found stabbed
to death in her bedroom in the
apartment she shared with Knox
in the Umbrian city of Perugia in
2007, where the two were students.
Investigators quickly pointed to
Knox and Sollecito as suspects,
building a narrative that the two
killed Kercher in a sex game gone
awry. Both were convicted in 2009
and spent four years in prison.
ey were cleared on appeal,
but Italy's highest court last
year quashed that verdict due to
"inconsistencies" and ordered a
repeat of the appeal trial. It was this
trial that concluded today.
Knox, former boyfriend found guilty again of murder
PICTURE: Getty Images
Relatives of Meredith Kercher brother Lyle Kercher, left, and sister Stephanie Kercher react after the nal verdict of the Amanda Knox and
Ra aele Sollecito retrial at the Courthouse of Florence of Nuovo Palazzo di Giustizia in Florence.
A McDonald's worker accused of
dealing heroin in Happy Meal boxes
to customers using the code phrase "I'd
like to buy a toy" was being held on bail
in Pittsburgh, a spokesman for a local
Police arrested Shantia Dennis, 26,
yesterday on charges of drug distribution
after undercover o cers conducted a
controlled buy under the Golden Arches,
according to a statement from the
Allegheny County District Attorney's
ey also seized a 50-unit bag of
heroin from Dennis as well as 10 units
purchased by the plainclothes o cers,
DA spokesman Mike Manko said.
mentioned the code phrase into the order
microphone were directed to the rst of
two drive-through windows, where they
would be handed a Happy Meal box
with heroin inside, Manko said.
Police do not know how long drug sales
had been occurring at the Pittsburgh
McDonald's. ere was no indication
that the franchise owner knew the drug
deals were taking place, Manko said.
Dennis is being held on $30,000 bail
at the Allegheny County Jail. --- Reuters
ieves accused of stealing a
religious relic stained with Polish
Pope John Paul II's blood threw it
away thinking it worthless, local
media have reported.
ree people detained by Italian
police "did not understand the
relic's value" and "cannot remember
where they threw away the precious
loot", the ANSA news agency said
overnight, citing police sources.
Police recovered the object's metal
frame but could not nd the cloth,
which is believed to be part of the
robe the ponti was wearing when
he was shot in an assassination
attempt in St Peter's Square in
It was stolen on Saturday along
with a cross, which has also been
found, from the San Pietro della
Ienca church in the mountainous
Abruzzo region in central Italy
where the late Pope loved to go on
e PrimaDaNoi.it Abruzzo news
website said two of those arrested
are 23 and 24 years old and are
drug addicts known to the police
for other petty crimes. Police were
interrogating the men.
e relic is a framed, tiny square of
e relic was given to the small
church in 2011 by Stanislaw Dziwisz,
a cardinal who served as John Paul
II's personal secretary until his death
Local media said some 50 police
o cers and sni er dogs were
deployed in the search for the
missing relic in an area famed for
its weathered stone houses and
the little church where the head of
the Roman Catholic Church once
reportedly took refuge during a
John Paul II and the Italian pope
John XXIII, known as "Good Pope
John", are set to become saints in a
ceremony at the Vatican in April
--- an event which will substantially
increase the value of the stolen relic.
ieves threw away papal blood relic
United States actress Scarlett
Johansson has ended her role as
a dispute over her advertising
campaign for a rm operating in an
Israeli settlement in the occupied
Johansson's departure was welcomed
by Palestinian activists, although
some criticised Oxfam for not acting
itself to sever ties with the Hollywood
star they branded the "new poster girl
for Israeli occupation".
In a statement, Oxfam con rmed
accepting Johansson's decision to
step down, saying her promotion
of drinks rm Sodastream, which
has a factory in a settlement east of
Jerusalem, was "incompatible" with
her role at the international aid
"Oxfam believes that businesses,
such as Sodastream, that operate
in settlements, further the ongoing
poverty and denial of rights of the
Palestinian communities that we
work to support," it said.
e 29-year-old actress, who has
worked with Oxfam since 2005 and
was recently crowned the "sexiest
woman alive" by Esquire magazine,
came under scrutiny earlier this
month after she was named global
brand ambassador for Sodastream.
She insisted the company was
committed to "building a bridge to
peace between Israel and Palestine",
sparking a restorm of criticism.
e Palestinian Boycott,Divestment
and Sanctions (BDS) movement
demanding Oxfam immediately
sever ties with the Hollywood star
over her "vocal support for illegal
Following Johansson's announce-
ment that she was leaving Oxfam, the
movement accused her of abandoning
her principles to become "the new
face of Israeli apartheid".
"Scarlett Johansson has
consciously decided to be the new
poster girl for Israeli occupation
and apartheid," co-founder Omar
Barghouti also had a few choice
words for Oxfam, describing its
failure to take its own action to end
the relationship with Johansson as an
"astounding moral failure". --- AFP
Scarlett Johansson quits Oxfam role
North Queenslander Bruce Marshall
reckons his 150-year-old pub is the
safest place to be when a tropical cyclone
"She's been through a fair few cyclones.
She's real sturdy," Marshall told AAP
as he poured a beer at the Grandview
Hotel in Bowen, north of Mackay.
e 51-year-old, his partner Toni
Bradtke, 42, her daughter Emma, 12,
and the family dog Maggie will be
camped out at the hotel when Cyclone
Dylan makes landfall today.
e category two cyclone is expected
to reach the mainland at Ayr or Bowen,
bringing with it furious winds, torrential
rain and storm surges.
Forecasters predict winds up to 150kph.
Mr Marshall, who has managed
the Grandview for about three years,
reckoned it was the safest place to
be because it has survived numerous
cyclones and a couple of res.
Last night, hours before the cyclone
was expected to hit, locals sat at the bar
sipping beer making predictions about
the severity of the storm.
It will be Bowen chef John Williams's
rst cyclone experience.
"We don't get anything like this in
England," Williams, who has lived in
Australia for the past three years, told
He said it would be something to write
"I've heard a lot about cyclones but I've
never witnessed one."
Meanwhile, Marshall and his family
have laid out mattresses on the ground
oor of the pub ready for what they say
will be a sleepless night.
ey've decided to stay at the pub
because their house, just down the road,
often oods during severe storms and
they're not taking any risks.
"It was terrible here today, we had two
big boats come up on the foreshore," he
" e glass here has been covered in
seaspray and the windows have been
"We've just got to see how it goes."
Family sleeps in pub
to escape cyclone
Coulson aware --- witness
Russian former chess great and erce
Kremlin critic Garry Kasparov says
the Sochi Winter Olympics promoted
"dictatorship" in the country and called
on athletes to protest.
Kasparov, in Ghana to push his bid to
be head of the world chess federation,
has previously slammed the staging
of the Games in the Black Sea resort,
claiming infrastructure would not be
e games open on February 7 but
have faced concerns about security
and boycott threats after international
condemnation at Russia's passing
of a controversial law banning gay
"Participating in this event, especially
the opening ceremony, gives a boost
to the dictator because that's all he
needs, just to be sort of in the centre
of public attention," Kasparov said in
Accra overnight, referring to President
Kasparov, 50, has been a relentless
critic of Putin and last year organised
protests against the government for its
passing of the gay law, which has led to
claims of a rise in hate crime.
e grand master, a former world
No 1 widely considered the greatest
chess player in history, singled out the
International Olympic Committee for
not taking a stand.
" ey (the IOC) did statements all the
time, 1968 in Mexico, for instance," he
said, referring to the "Black Power" salute
of US athletes Tommie Smith and John
Carlos during their medal ceremony.
"We are witnessing the Olympics that
are blatantly used for the promotion of
the dictatorship," he added.
Smith and Carlos, gold and bronze
medallists in the 200m, raised a gloved
st each during the playing of the US
national anthem in support of the civil
rights struggle in their homeland.
Kasparov's call echoes groups such
as Amnesty International, which
said the IOC's silence in the face of
Russia's crackdown on free speech and
fundamental rights made a mockery of
its charter. --- AFP
Hollande faces tell-all threat
Valerie Trierweiler has threatened
to lift the lid on bed-hopping and
back-stabbing at the top of the French
State after being dumped by President
In interviews that would have set
alarm bells ringing at the Elysee Palace,
the former rst lady made it clear
overnight she had been hurt by the curt
manner in which Hollande ended their
She said she has not ruled out writing
about her time with the Socialist leader,
a decade-long love story that started
and ended with the Socialist leader
embroiled in illicit a airs.
Trierweiler is well-quali ed for the
task of producing a work that would be a
e glamorous 48-year-old is a career
journalist who met Hollande and began
a secret liaison with him while working
as a political reporter for Paris Match.
He subsequently left the mother of his
four children for her.
Match continued to employ Trier weiler
as a literary columnist after Hollande's
2012 election victory and her elevation
to the quasi-o cial rst lady role.
In interviews with the glossy weekly
and the weekend magazine of the Le
Parisien tabloid, she claims she was
taken by surprise by the revelation that
Hollande, 59, had been having an a air
with actress Julie Gayet, 41.
"I heard rumours of course but you
hear rumours about everyone," she said.
"I hear them about myself all the
time. I paid no attention. When I
found out, it was as if I had fallen from
Trierweiler was admitted to hospital for
a week after Closer published pictures of
Hollande arriving for secret trysts with
Gayet at a borrowed at.
Hollande nally announced the
relationship was over on Saturday in an
18-word statement that was devoid of
regret or remorse for the woman he had
described as "the love of my life" in 2010.
A woman has been killed in Montreal
in Canada after her hair and scarf
became entangled in a subway escalator,
o cials say.
e 48-year-old victim, whose name
was not released, was riding on the
moving staircase during her morning
commute when the garment got snagged,
"She tried to pull the scarf free but
her hair got entangled and she was
apparently strangled to death," a police
spokesman said, citing witnesses and
Authorities, who said the woman
died at the scene, are investigating the
incident. --- AFP
British Prime Minister David
Cameron said overnight he was
unhappy that newspapers were still
publishing sensitive information
leaked by former United States
intelligence operative Edward
Snowden and urged them to stop.
Disclosures about the activities
of Britain's GCHQ eavesdropping
agency and its co-operation with
America's National Security
Agency (NSA) have embarrassed
the British Government and
angered many lawmakers in
Cameron's ruling Conservative
party who believe they have harmed
"I'm worried about the damage
that Snowden has done to
our security," Cameron told a
parliamentary committee. "I would
encourage the newspapers that are
endlessly dallying in this to think
before they act because we are in
severe danger of making ourselves
Cameron has in the past
threatened to act to stop the
publication of material linked
to Snowden and has accused
unnamed newspapers of assisting
Britain's enemies by helping them
avoid surveillance by its intelligence
He has previously named Britain's
Guardian newspaper as printing
such material. e Guardian says it
has been careful in choosing what
to publish and has not printed any
e British police said in
December it was checking to see
if the newspaper's sta should be
investigated for terrorism o ences
for their handling of the Snowden
data, but have not brought any
Cameron said overnight the
leaks had inevitably prompted
Britons to ask themselves how their
con dential data was being used.
Earlier this week, the Foreign
O ce announced that the head
of GCHQ, the British electronic
eavesdropping agency featured in
some of Snowden's leaks, would
step down at the end of this year. It
denied his departure was linked to
the scandal. --- Reuters
PM unhappy Snowden data published
A United States mother and eight
children have been killed after a re
swept through their rural home in
the State of Kentucky.
Only two members of the family
--- the father and an 11-year-old
child --- managed to escape and
they were being treated for serious
e re broke out in the early
hours of yesterday in a wooden
frame house outside the town of
"When rst responders arrived
the residence was totally engulfed
in ame," Kentucky State Trooper
Stu Recke told WDRB news.
"At the present time, it does not
look to be suspicious so foul play is
not suspected at all," he said. "But
so far as what actually caused the
re it's too early to tell right now."
Fire crews had recovered the
bodies of ve of the victims and
were searching the charred rubble
for the remaining four, he added.
e children ranged in age from
four to 15, Muhlenberg County
Coroner Tony Armour told CNN.
Neither the State police nor the
re department were available for
further comment. --- AFP
Mother, eight children die in fire
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