Home' Greymouth Star : February 11th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
6 - Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Welsh police investigating the fatal
collapse of a 29-year-old are looking
into whether a controversial drinking
game played a part in his death.
O cers and paramedics were called
to an address in Cardi after receiving
reports that a man had collapsed after
taking part in the "Neknominate"
e craze involves participants
lming themselves downing alcohol,
nominating someone to continue
the game, and posting the video on
Participants are often dared to
outdo the exploits of those who
It is thought to have originated
in Australia and has seen players
consuming alcohol along with dog
food, engine oil and live gold sh.
"We are investigating the sudden
death of a 29-year-old man from
Rumney during the early hours of
February 9," a south Wales police
"O cers investigating his death on
behalf of HM Coroner have received
information regarding the so-called
neck and nominate game.
"Inquiries are continuing and a
post-mortem examination is taking
Police and student groups in Britain
and Ireland have warned people
about the dangers of taking part in
Neknominate amid fears that the
game may have resulted in three
In Ireland, Jonny Byrne and Ross
Cummings both lost their lives after
apparently trying to complete their
Byrne, 19, drowned after drinking
a pint and jumping into the River
Barrow in Carlow.
His brother Patrick later went on
to Facebook to urge others to stop
playing the game.
"He thought he had to beat the
competition and after he necked his
pint he jumped into the river," he said.
"If people have any decency and
respect, they will refrain from any
more of this stupid Neknomination."
Dublin DJ Ross Cummings, 22,
died when he too reportedly carried
out a Neknomination.
According to the Daily Mirror, the
rst British victim of the game died
at the weekend.
e paper's website reported that
youth hostel worker Isaac Richardson,
20, drank a cocktail of wine, whisky,
vodka and lager before collapsing and
dying in the early hours of Sunday.
Welsh police probe 'Neknominate' death
Toyota Australia has completed the
demise of the local car industry less than
a week after its Japanese parent company
forecast a record pro t.
e world's largest car maker
announced yesterday it would stop
building cars in Australia by the end of
2017 and would operate in the country
only as a sales and distribution company.
e decision means the end of at least
2500 jobs among the 4000 employed by
Toyota in Australia, with hundreds more
bound to go among parts makers and
Toyota's departure from Australia after
50 years of car-making follows those of
Ford and Holden, which will both close
down local operations by the end of
Toyota Australia chief executive Max
Yasuda said there was no single reason
for the closure.
"We did everything that we could to
transform our business, but the reality is
that there are too many factors beyond
our control that make it no longer viable
to build cars in Australia," Yasuda said.
"Our manufacturing operations have
continued to be loss-making despite our
best e orts."
Yasuda said the high Australian dollar
made exports no longer viable, as well as
the high costs of manufacturing and the
small domestic market.
Toyota is Australia's biggest vehicle
exporter, with about 70,000 of the
100,000-plus cars it builds here being
sold in foreign markets.
Only six days ago the company's
president, Akio Toyoda, announced
Toyota was on target to bank a pro t of
almost $A21 billion ($22.72 billion).
Toyoda, the grandson of the company's
founder, was in Melbourne yesterday to
make the "painful and heart-breaking"
announcement to his Australian
"I have great respect for what this
country has taught Toyota," Toyoda said.
While Toyota's decision to follow
Ford and Holden out of the Australian
car-making industry is largely seen as
inevitable, federal Opposition leader Bill
Shorten said it brought disgrace on the
He said Labor had $200 million
available to support the automotive
" is is an economic catastrophe with
a terrible human cost," Shorten said.
"Tony Abbott does not give a stu
about jobs in Australia."
Toyoda would not comment on what
assistance the company had sought from
the federal government to remain in
But Abbott said Toyota chiefs had
assured him yesterday they had received
nothing but help and encouragement
from successive Australian governments,
"Nothing that I say can limit the impact
of this devastation and disappointment
today (but) there will be better days
in the future," the prime minister told
Like Shorten, ACTU secretary Dave
Oliver put the blame squarely on the
"Tony Abbott must tell Australians
why he is not prepared to stand up for
local jobs," Oliver said.
" e Abbott government goaded
Holden into leaving. ey've done
absolutely nothing to keep Toyota in
"As a result Australia will lose up to
50,000 direct skilled jobs, $21b will be
wiped from the economy and regions
will go into recession."
Ford, Australia's oldest car maker,
announced last May it would stop
making cars locally by the end of 2016.
It is expected to cut 1000 jobs.
Holden, which has built cars in
Australia for 65 years, said in December
it would close down local manufacturing
by the end of 2017 with some 2900
workers directly a ected.
All three car makers have received
substantial government support since
the mid-1980s when tari s began to be
wound down. --- AAP
2017 closure follows Ford, Holden
Copenhagen Zoo's scienti c director
and other sta have received death
threats after a healthy gira e was
killed to avoid inbreeding among the
long-necked beasts there, the zoo said
But director Bengt Holst said it was
the right decision and he would be ready
to do the same with another animal if
e death of Marius, an 18-month-old
male shot on Sunday and then dissected
in front of crowds at the zoo, has created a
uproar among animal lovers in Denmark
"I got direct threats against the zoo, me
and my family," Holst said. One caller
who telephoned in the middle of the
night told him that he and his family
deser ved to die.
A zoo spokesman said other sta
members had also been threatened but
gave no further details.
Copenhagen Zoo's gira es are part of
an international breeding programme
that aims to maintain a healthy gira e
population in European zoos by ensuring
that only unrelated gira es breed.
"If an animal's genes are well
represented in a population, further
breeding with that particular animal is
unwanted," Holst said. "We could face
the same problem with an elephant if
there are too many males."
Marius was killed despite the pleas of
thousands who signed on-line petitions
to save him. He was given his favourite
breakfast of rye bread and then shot.
After an autopsy, some meat from
Marius's carcase was fed to other zoo
animals and some was sent to research
projects in Denmark and abroad for
Camilla Bergvall, deputy chairwoman
of Animal Rights Sweden, said it was
common for zoos to kill healthy animals
because they were not suitable for
breeding, the zoo lacked room for them
or there was little public interest in them.
"Zoos have to think about their
revenues," she said. "It is important to
understand that this is not just about
Marius. It happens quite often that
healthy animals are killed."
Bergvall said keeping species in zoos
caused the individual animals to su er.
Breeding animals for captivity created
the limited gene pool problem that led
to Marius's death.
" e best thing is not to breed animals
for people to look at," she said. --- Reuters
e River ames oods into a graveyard at All Saints church in Marlow, southern England
River Thames residents on flood aler t
ousands of homes in south-east
England are braced for ooding
after the River ames burst its
banks, as a political row over the
handling of devastating winter
storms erupted into the open.
e Environment Agency issued
14 severe ood warnings ---
meaning lives are at risk --- for the
ames in the a uent counties of
Surrey and Berkshire to the west of
Some areas are already under
water, including parts of the
Great Windsor Park, near Queen
Elizabeth II's castle at Windsor,
which itself is built on higher
London itself is protected by
the ames Barrier, although a
suburb to the south of the capital,
Croydon, announced plans to
divert rising oodwaters caused by
heavy rain away from homes and
businesses by pumping them into a
Parts of the south-west of
England have been under water
for weeks after the wettest January
since 1766, with more bad weather
expected over the coming days.
Forecasters at the Met O ce said
the run of winter storms, which
have brought heavy rain and strong
winds and seen high waves batter
the English coastline, has been
"exceptional in its duration".
But there has been a growing tide
of criticism at the o cial response,
which has erupted into a full-blown
Many people in Somerset,
one of the hardest-hit counties
in the south-west, blame the
devastating oods on the failure
of the Environment Agency --- a
government body --- to dredge
Communities minister Eric
Pickles joined the attack on
Sunday, suggesting the government
"perhaps relied too much on the
Environment Agency's advice" on
"I am really sorry that we took
the advice . . . we thought we were
dealing with experts," Pickles, a
member of Prime Minister David
Cameron's Conservative party, told
Chris Smith, the head of the
Environment Agency, hit back
overnight and accused ministers for
holding back vital funds.
"When I hear someone criticising
the expertise and professionalism
of my sta in the Environment
Agency who know more about
ood risk management --- 100
times more about ood risk
management --- than any politician
ever does, I am not going to sit idly
by," he said.
Smith, a former minister for
the now opposition Labour
government, said the Treasury had
limited the amount the agency
could spend on ood management
e prime minister last week
announced Â£130 million
($257.9 million) in extra funding
for emergency repairs and
Cameron paid his rst visit to
Somerset, where the Royal Marines
have been deployed to help with
sand-bagging, on Friday and was
due to tour storm-a ected areas in
the south-west counties of Devon
and Cornwall today. --- AFP
e developer of Flappy Bird, the
formerly most popular free mobile
game on the Apple Inc App Store
and Google Inc's Android Play store,
took the game down at midnight on
Sunday as he announced he would do
22 hours earlier.
e game is no longer available
to download for either Apple or
Google users, but its fans still can
have fun with the bird if they already
downloaded the game to their
Nguyen Ha Dong, a Hanoi-based
game developer, announced the
grounding of the addictive game in a
Tweet on Saturday evening in which
he also apologised to Flappy Bird
"Twenty-two hours from now, I will
take 'Flappy Bird' down," Dong said,
adding "it is not anything related to
"I cannot take this any more," he
Flappy Bird caused a sensation
after rising from obscurity to become
one of the most downloaded mobile
games on both Apple and Google's
Users have to steer a bird between
green pipes. e Android version has
been downloaded up to 50 million
times and attracted more than half a
Many people have been questioning
Dong on Twitter about his decision
to take down the game as only a day
earlier he had been talking about
developing the game for Microsoft's
Dong could not be reached for
comment. He turned his telephone
o after cancelling an interview
with Reuters on ursday and not
nalising arrangements for one on
Unlike other successful game
makers like Rovio Entertainment,
which produced the hugely popular
Angry Birds game and has hundreds
of programmers, Dong made Flappy
Bird by himself in a few nights, he
said on Twitter earlier.
e game, which he said was
inspired by Nintendo's Mario Bros,
has been earning on average $50,000
a day from advertising, Dong said in
a media interview.
Two friends of Dong said Nintendo
had sent him a warning letter, but the
Japanese game maker said it was not
considering a lawsuit.
"It sounds very much like a
rumour and if it is, we certainly
can't comment on that," Nintendo's
media representative told Reuters on
One gaming company manager said
Dong's decision to take down the
game was wise.
"Dong is taking one step back
to avoid legal risk because it's too
di cult to deal with legal issues
himself if it happens," Duy Doan,
a senior manager at VTC On-line,
one of Vietnam's leading game
Dong said earlier that he was not
looking for any investors and would
not sell the game. One expert said
investors would not be interested.
"Flappy Bird is not to the taste of
many game investors because it's
just hit-based which will bring very
uncertain cash ow and no recurring,"
Nguyen Hieu Linh, investment
manager at the Japanese Cyber Agent
Ventures Inc, said.
"I doubt he needs to fundraise as
he's already earned a certain amount
of money and he doesn't need more
help to make this kind of mini game,"
Linh added. --- Reuters
Developer shoots down his own Flappy Bird game
Schapelle Corby wondered at
the media scrum outside Bali's
Kerobokan jail and even cried a little,
"in trauma over the journalists",
according to an Indonesian
prosecutor who questioned the
convicted drug smuggler before she
was released yesterday.
Never mind. She could console
herself by contemplating the riches
--- possibly as much as $A3 million
($3.24 million) --- she is set to earn
from her rst tell-all television
inter view, expected to be with
Channel Seven's Sunday Night
Seven's exclusive deal with
Australia's most notorious ex-
prisoner has left the rest of the media
out in the cold, forced to make do
with footage of Corby --- her face
completely obscured by a hat and
several scar ves --- being hustled out
of prison and signing release papers
at the parole o ce in Denpasar.
ere were chaotic scenes outside
Kerobokan, where journalists,
photographers and television
crews had massed last week in
anticipation of an announcement
that she would be freed.
After completing formalities at
the parole o ce and prosecutor's
o ce, Corby was whisked away by
veteran current a airs interviewer
Mike Willese and taken to the
luxurious Sentosa Seminyak resort,
where she was to spend her rst
night of freedom.
Although industry insiders have
dismissed speculation the 36-year-
old could be paid as much as $A3m
--- possibly for a multi-media
agreement including an inter view
with Seven Media's New Idea
magazine --- the gure was still
being bandied around yesterday.
If it proves correct, she will have
pulled o one of Australia's most
Media lawyers said she could
circumvent laws aimed at
preventing people from pro ting
from the proceeds of crime by, for
instance, being interviewed jointly
with her sister, Mercedes, and
having the latter pocket the fee.
Jailed for 20 years in 2005 for
attempting to smuggle 4.2kg of
cannabis into Indonesia in her
bodyboard bag, Corby --- who has
always protested her innocence
--- became eligible for parole
after sentence reduction for good
She was shadowed everywhere
yesterday by a huge media pack.At
the parole o ce, television crews
used cameras on long poles to peer
through the frosted windows.
Industry sources said the "slam-
dunk" deal with Seven might have
been struck long ago. ey also
suggested it enabled Corby and her
family to gain revenge on Channel
Nine for airing a movie they detested.
--- AAP-New Zealand Herald
Corby to tell all for a cool $3m
Bush res in eastern Victoria will
continue to burn out of control until the
State receives signi cant rain, the State's
chief re o cer warns.
Residents at several communities
north of Melbourne faced another night
of emergency warnings as a grass re
burned out of control on two fronts.
A re burning at a coalmine in the
State's east is threatening vital electricity
infrastructure and is a key concern for
Fire conditions are not tipped to reach
the extreme levels of the weekend.
However, the temperature is forecast to
reach 35degC in central Victoria today
and 39degC tomorrow.
Fire Services Commissioner Craig
Lapsley said it would take a major
change in the weather for some of the
res to be put out.
"We'd like to think that with these
milder conditions in this next number of
days we'll get a handle on most of the
res," he said.
" ere's a couple in east Gippsland that
will take longer and will actually require
rain to bring them to nal suppression."
A 2500ha re which has already
destroyed homes burned into an opencast
coal mine near Morwell yesterday.
A grass re that started on the city's
northern fringe was burning on two
fronts and threatening homes around
Kilmore, Romsey and Wallan.
Lapsley said more than 20 properties
had been impacted in res since Sunday,
with at least seven homes completely
Police chief commissioner Ken Lay
said arson was suspected in at least a
dozen of the 200 res that started in
Victoria on Sunday. --- AAP
'until it rains'
Nine people were arrested and some
3000 ghting roosters and hens rescued
when New York authorities busted a
cock ghting ring they said was one of
the biggest ever uncovered in the United
New York Attorney-General Eric
Schneiderman announced the arrests
and said in a statement: "Cock ghting
is a cruel, abusive and barbaric practice
that tortures animals, endangers the
health and safety of the public and is
known to facilitate other crimes."
O cials simultaneously raided
an apartment building in the New
York City borough of Queens where
70 people were attending a ght
overnight on Saturday, and also a pet
shop in Brooklyn that dealt in ghting
chickens as well as a 36ha farm in
Plattekill, New York, where thousands
of roosters and hens were kept and
"Operation Angry Birds," named
after a popular mobile game, targeted
a gambling operation where people bet
up to $10,000 on a single ght to see
roosters, often tted with knives, battle
to the death, according to the American
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to
Some 70 people at the Queens
apartment building, where cock ghts
had been held twice a month since May,
were detained and questioned, and about
65 birds seized, the Attorney-General's
o ce said.
It was the biggest cock ghting bust in
New York history, authorities said.
Nine people were charged with
felonies, punishable by up to four years
in prison and a ne up to $25,000,
authorities said. Cock ghting is illegal
in every US state.
Spectators paid admission and a
seat fee for the all-night ghts in the
basement, where alcohol and drugs were
sold, prosecutors said.
In some of the locations, authorities
found cock ghting paraphernalia, such
as fake rooster spurs, candle wax and
syringes used to inject the birds with
performance-enhancing drugs, ASPCA
o cials said.
Humane societies and animal rescue
groups in seven States are helping with
the shelter and transfer of the animals,
o cials said.
"Our primary goal was to immediately
remove these birds from a cycle of
violence and su ering," Stacy Wolf,
senior deputy president of the ASPCA's
Anti-Cruelty Group, said. --- Reuters
Major US cockfighting bust
60 dead in Burundi
Rio De Janeiro
A television news cameraman injured
while covering clashes between protesters
and police in Rio last week has been
declared brain dead, health o cials say.
Santiago Ilidio Andrade, 49, who
worked for Bandeirantes tv network, was
hit in the head by a projectile on ursday
during violent protests against bus fare
increases. About 1000 people stormed
a bus and metro station, trashing ticket
machines and battling police who red
teargas to disperse the crowd. --- AFP
Cameraman brain dead
At least 60 people have perished in
ooding and landslides in a night of
torrential rain that has swept away
hundreds of homes and cut o roads and
power in the Burundi capital, o cials say.
Police in Bujumbura said the toll was
the highest in living memory from a
disaster caused by freak weather, with
scores of people injured.
"So far we have registered 60 people
killed, 81 wounded and more than 400
houses destroyed," Alexis Manirakiza, a
spokesman for the Burundi Red Cross,
said. --- AFP
Links Archive February 10th 2014 February 12th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page