Home' Greymouth Star : February 3rd 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Monday, February 3, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1660 - General George Monck leads his
army into London.
1867 - Prince Mutsuhito becomes Emperor
Meiji of Japan at the age of 14.
1924 - Death of Woodrow
Wilson, 28th US president.
1931 - Huge earthquake strikes,
almost destroying Napier and
Hastings and killing 256 people.
1959 - Rock singers Buddy Holly,
Richie Valens and J P (Big Bopper)
Richardson die in a US plane crash.
1966 - First controlled landing on the moon
is made by the Soviet unmanned spacecraft
1973 - Fighting in Vietnam comes to a halt
after a cease re goes into e ect.
1984 - A woman in a California hospital
becomes the world's rst to give birth to a baby
from a donated embryo.
2003 - American rock producer Phil Spector
is arrested after an alleged murder.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Felix Mendelsson, German composer
(1809-1847); Norman Rockwell, US artist
(1894-1978); James Michener, US author
(1907-1997); Joey Bishop, member of the
Rat Pack (1918-2007); Shelley
Berman, US comedian (1926-);
Val Doonican, Irish singer (1927-);
Frankie Vaughan, British entertainer
(1928-1999); Dave Davies, British
guitarist of e Kinks fame (1947-
); Melanie, US singer (1947-);
Morgan Fairchild, US actress (1950-
); Lee Renaldo, US musician of Sonic Youth
fame (1956-); Nathan Lane, US actor (1956-).
" ere is a coherent plan in the universe,
though I don't know what it's a plan for."
--- Sir Fred Hoyle, English astronomer-author.
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just
and will forgive us our sins and purify us from
all unrighteousness." --- ( John 1:9).
" is splendid
building is dedicated
to the advancement
and the welfare of
children who are handicapped intellectually,"
was how Mr P Blanch eld, Labour Member
of Parliament for Westland, described the new
IHC society school in Milton Road which he
o cially opened at a ceremony on Saturday
e opening function, which was chaired
by the chairman of the society's Greymouth
branch committee Mr R Bell, attracted over
100 people. Guest speaker was Mr R W S
Botting, Dominion president of the society.
After being closed for 14 years the Webb
underground mine in the Millerton-Stockton
area will soon be reopened. Men are at present
working on clearing up the entrances and
interior in preparation for a resumption of
e coal in that section is of a very high
quality and will be used to supply orders for
the cement works and other concerns.
An oil slick near the mouth of the Buller
River yesterday led a searching vessel to the
location of the wreck of the 35ft Westport
trawler Roma which sank in the river earlier on
Wednesday. e craft is reported to be lying on
the river bottom in 25ft of water, about 300ft
from the bar.
Greymouth breaststroke swimmer Bill Brown
gave an impressive performance in Tasmania
by winning the Tasmanian breaststroke title
for the 220 yards in 2min 53.2sec on Saturday
night. Brown was one of ve in the touring
party to capture titles in Launceston on
e New Zealanders will go to Adelaide for
the Australian junior titles next Friday and
uToday s birthdays
uFood for thought
Printed and published by the
Greymouth Evening Star Co Limited
3 Werita Street, PO Box 3, Greymouth
03 769 7900 (o ce)
769 7913 (editorial)
768 6205 (fax)
Sports Editor Tui Bromley
Chief Reporter Laura Mills
03 769 7913
03 755 8422
On an ancient hill dotted
with 1000-year-old olive
trees, Israelis are busy
excavating in search of
the rst palace of King
David in the heart of the
e Jewish settlers who started the
dig with the help of Israel's Antiquities
Authority say they want to turn it into
an archaeological park to celebrate its
historical signi cance.
But for Palestinians who hope the
West Bank will some day form part of a
Palestinian State, the move is a grab not
only for land but also for their past --- a
ploy to cut them out of history and away
from land they say is rightfully theirs.
e Bible says David, the second king
of the United Kingdom of Israel and
Judah, rst ruled in Hebron before
conquering Jerusalem to the north.
"You come to see where King David
started his rst palace, it blows you away.
I don't know, it blows me away!" said
David Wilder, spokesman for the Jewish
community in Hebron.
e dig, located on a plot of Jewish-
owned land that is part of an island
of 500 settlers among some 250,000
Palestinians, takes place under the
protective eyes of Israeli soldiers toting
Most countries consider the settlements
Israel has built on land captured in the
1967 Middle East war as illegal, and
Palestinians fear the enclaves will deny
them a viable state made up of East
Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.
e promotion of archaeological sites
on this disputed land goes to the heart
of the most explosive issues in Israel-
Palestinian peace talks being brokered by
Washington --- building on
occupied land, the status of Jerusalem
and the future of Israel as a "Jewish
"I want people to visit Hebron and
leave with the cultural and religious
signi cance of the site to the Jewish
people, the State of Israel and people
around the world," Wilder said.
"You don't live in the past, but the past
is an arrow showing where you've come
from and where you can go to."
Shuaib al-Tamimi, a 22-year-old
Palestinian watching the excavation from
behind a new chain-link fence around the
site next to his family home, voiced his
contempt for the plan.
"Of course there are antiquities here,
Roman antiquities. To say Solomon's
palace or whatever was here is a
conspiracy and a big lie," he said.
" ey come and plant the stones here,
just to ser ve their own interests and take
away our rights."
e rst big marriage of settlement
and archaeology tourism was the "City
of David" theme park in occupied East
Jerusalem, where densely packed Arab
homes stand cheek-by-jowl with settler
houses, surveillance cameras and private
Many of the homes are subject to
demolition as they were built without
Israeli government permits, which can be
di cult for Palestinians to obtain.
e City of David welcomes Israeli
school children, soldiers and evangelical
Christians, among others, to the
purported location of another of David's
palaces, which scholars believe is the
Holy City's oldest inhabited area.
Israel cites such roots in laying its claim
to all of Jerusalem, including the eastern
area captured in 1967, and in designating
the city its "eternal and indivisible
e pro-settler organisation Elad owns
much of the land on which the City of
David is located, including several houses
for Israeli settlers that are scattered next
to the ruins.
Since January 12, Israel has started
extending the area of the park with a
new Israeli dig on its fringes, drawing the
anger and frustration of Palestinians who
lack the authority to do anything about it.
Demolition orders were also given to
eight Palestinian structures in the same
neighbourhood, around a plot slated by
Jerusalem's Israeli-run municipality for
a Bible-themed park and shopping area
called " e King's Garden".
Activist groups have gone to court to
challenge the way the City of David is
run --- it is managed by the Israeli Parks
Authority as a national park but operated
"It was our claim that a private political
and very right-wing organisation misused
these powers to advance its political
agenda, part of which is to Judaise East
Jerusalem," said Michael Sfard, an Israeli
lawyer involved in the legal action.
e court threw out the petition, but
the parks authority promised to review
how the site is operated.
In the West Bank hills north of
Jerusalem, Judy Simon stands by a
modest ruin and ancient oak at Beit
El settlement, where the Bible says the
patriarch Jacob dreamed of a ladder
reaching to heaven, making the spot, she
says, "a connection between heaven and
Wearing a head scarf in the manner
of Orthodox Judaism, Simon, who is
the settlement's tourism manager, reads
Hebrew Bible verses, slowly closing the
book and kissing it.
"We read here that the Land of Israel
was promised to Abraham and Jacob . . .
and the irony is that, today, it's considered
disputed," she said.
Her tours around the site aim to
impress upon visitors the centrality of the
West Bank to Jews' religion and history.
Palestinians' own e orts to showcase
their past are stymied by their lack of
direct control over around two-thirds of
the West Bank, as well as a lack of cash
and internal political divisions that push
the issue deep down the list of priorities.
However one attempt has been made
in the Palestinian village of Beitin,
which scholars say preserves the Biblical
name of Beit El next door. Excavations
begun late last year are hoped to turn the
remains of a Byzantine monastery and
medieval mosque into a tourist site.
"We think archaeology is being used as
a cover for settlement policy, and (Israel's)
lack of coordination with Palestinian
authorities is a political decision," said
Hamdan Taha, head of the Palestinian
Authority's Department of Antiquities in
"We intend to present the cultural
history of Palestine, whether Jewish,
Christian or Muslim, as an integral
whole, while one-sided excavations in
Hebron and Jerusalem will only deepen
the con ict and make a negotiated
Simon, in Beit El, said she thinks
Israel should annex the West Bank and
give Palestinians full citizenship, but
maintain the State's Jewish character. e
settlement issue for her is an existential
question of Jews' past and future.
"What kind of peace would it be if
we're made to leave our homes?" she said.
A boy rides his bicycle near an archaeological site in the Jewish settler neighbourhood of Tel Rumeida in the divided city of Hebron in the occupied West Bank.
Sixteen-year-old Owen Fairchild does
not hang out at Facebook as much as he
did when he was just a kid.
It is not that he and his friends are
abandoning the social network. ey are
spreading their love to rival networks like
Twitter, Pinterest, Snap Chat, Instagram
and blogging platform Tumblr.
"I've moved on," the teenager said.
"I go to Tumblr a lot more; there is a
lot of funny stu . Snap Chat is super-fun
because you can send really unattractive
pictures of yourself and they will delete
after a few seconds."
Contrary to what grown-ups might
think, teens sometimes prefer to catch up
on life face-to-face in the real world, he
"I think Facebook is still very popular
even though some people might be losing
interest," said the 11th-grade student at
Alameda Community Learning Centre, a
charter school in Alameda across the bay
from San Francisco.
" ere is no talk among my friends
saying Facebook is for old people."
Facebook, born on a college campus
a decade ago, has grown to 1.23 billion
active users worldwide.
But as it prepares to celebrate its 10th
anniversary, Facebook is now facing
challenges in keeping its original base of
young users as new social networks vie to
be the coolest on the internet.
A social networking trend set in motion
by Facebook has been accelerated by
soaring popularity of smartphones that let
people share images, videos, thoughts or
observations at any moment.
Hot young services such as Pinterest,
Twitter and Snap Chat have sparked
concerns that Facebook is losing teens and
may follow predecessor My Space into
social networking obscurity.
Facebook's demographics appear to
be shifting as adults, even seniors, use
the network to catch up with long-lost
friends and stay connected to family and
Princeton University student Susannah
Sharpless says she and friends have
stopped letting Facebook consume their
"Everyone in my friend group went
through this stage where we hated
Facebook and deleted it," Sharpless said.
"I was one of the rst people to get it
back. Slowly, everyone did."
Breaking from Facebook served as a
detox period during which she and friends
got a better handle on what was a daily
habit, the college junior said.
"I realised how to live without the
mindless Facebook stalking that I used to
do," Sharpless said.
"I check my Twitter feed all the time;
there is nothing that I de nitely need to
know on Facebook."
She also nds more interesting fare on
Instagram, which Facebook bought about
two years ago in a billion-dollar deal.
"Facebook isn't done," Sharpless said. "I
think it is just changing in the way people
Social media network analytics company
Socialbakers on ursday posted ndings
indicating that "the sky is not falling"
when it comes to Facebook's appeal to the
Interactions at Facebook by people
ages 13 to 24 grew about 29% last year,
according to Socialbakers.
"Teens are de nitely not leaving en
masse as some reports would have you
believe," Socialbakers data specialist Ben
Harper said in a blog post.
During an earnings call this week,
top Facebook executives sidestepped a
question about whether the social network
was losing teens.
"We are working on great products that
all our users, including teens, will take
seriously," said Facebook chief nancial
o cer David Ebersman.
Forrester Research analyst Nate Elliott
dismissed Facebook gloom-and-doom
talk as "silly." He argued that, unlike the
defunct My Space, Facebook innovates
relentlessly and copies winning features
For example, Facebook has woven
Twitter-style real-time status updates into
the service and introduced a new mobile
app aimed at becoming a social newspaper
Young people might change how they
use Facebook, but they aren't leaving,
according to the Forrester analyst.
"It is not a zero-sum game," Elliott said.
"You don't stop using one network because
you start using another."
Forrester is preparing to release results
of a youth sur vey that the analyst said
contradict the "breathless proclamations of
doom" about Facebook.
"When you strip away the hyperbole
and just look at the numbers, Facebook
is absolutely crushing all the other social
networks in terms of young users who go
there," Elliott said.
Independent Silicon Valley analyst Rob
Enderle countered that some studies in
recent months indicate young people are
departing Facebook in a shift that should
worry the social network.
" e youth is your seed corn to make
sure your service grows; they drive
something like this," Enderle said. " e
trendy kids at school need to be at
Facebook." --- AFP
Facebook battles to stay young and cool
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