Home' Greymouth Star : February 12th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Hundreds of homes have been
swamped by floods along the ames
River, while British Prime Minister
David Cameron warned that stricken
communities are "in it for the long haul".
e floods played havoc with rail travel,
with one of Britain s busiest routes,
from London to the commuter town of
Reading, heavily disrupted.
Affluent towns and villages along the
ames to the west of London have
been transformed into lagoons, as the
government faced renewed criticism it
More than 1000 homes have been
evacuated along the ames, in villages
and towns such as Wraysbury, Datchet
and Chertsey, and the situation was set
to worsen with heavy rain and storms on
the way by Friday.
A total of 1600 troops are on standby
to help, and some were already at work
filling sandbags in Wraysbury, where
one resident had a bitter exchange with
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond.
Su Burrows, a volunteer flood warden,
said the relief effort had been left to
residents like her and pleaded with
Hammond for military help to distribute
"I m sorry, I am going to get emotional.
ere are 100 people of this village
currently working together, none of
them (Environment Agency) agents, not
one," she told him in the exchange on
Sky News television.
Burrows said later her blast seemed to
have borne fruit, as 2000 sandbags were
sent to Wraysbury, followed afterwards
by 100 soldiers.
Cameron saw for himself the damage
to the railway line at Dawlish in south-
west England, caused by massive waves
crashing against the coastline.
Train services have been cut off by the
"It is a huge challenge and we have
had the wettest start to a year for 250
years, some of the most extreme weather
we have seen in our country in decades,"
"We have to recognise it is going to
take time before we get things back to
Insurers said overall claims had already
exceeded £500 million ($988.58 million)
and the bill would rise fast.
Cameron said the government would
spend whatever was needed to deal with
flooding in England as he cancelled
a planned visit to the Middle East to
handle the crisis which has left some
homes under water for weeks.
e damage caused by England s
wettest January since 1766 has left
Cameron battling to defend his
government s response against criticism
it did not do enough to prevent flooding
in the first place and then was too slow
to help those affected.
"Money is no object in this relief effort,
whatever money was needed for it will
be spent," he told a news conference
in London, after spending 24 hours
visiting flood-hit areas in south west
England, where major rail links have
Cameron, who has taken control of
the crisis after an escalating blame game
between ministers and the Environment
Agency, said he had no choice but to
shelve a visit to Israel and Palestine
scheduled for next week.
"I m sending my apologies today to
(Israeli) Prime Minister (Benjamin)
Netanyahu and (Palestinian) President
(Mahmoud) Abbas, but nothing is
more important than dealing with these
floods," he said.
government has faced increasing
pressure over the situation, with critics
saying problems have been exacerbated
by years of under-investment in river
dredging and flood defences.
Cameron described the government s
response to the flooding as strong and
rejected calls to divert money from
Britain s foreign aid budget to help
victims of flooding.
"We don t have to make that choice.
We are a wealthy country with a growing
economy, with public finances that are
increasingly coming under control," he
"We will spend the correct money here
at home and we will do that without
interfering with our aid budget."
In the badly-affected Somerset Levels
area in south west England, more than
65 million cubic metres of flood water
is being pumped out at a rate of three
million cubic metres a day. e Met
Office said 16 severe flood warnings,
indicating a danger to life, remain in
place across the south of England.
Doctors in Canada have delivered
a frail but healthy boy from a brain-
dead woman kept on life support for
weeks, the infant s father wrote in a
Dylan Benson, 32, had been
keeping a running on-line account
of his emotions as he grieved for his
wife and prepared for the birth of his
Doctors, who had hoped to keep
the pregnancy going for 34 weeks,
delivered the boy via Caesarean
section at the weekend after 28 weeks.
"On Saturday evening, my beautiful
and amazing son, Iver Cohen Benson,
was born," Benson wrote in a post,
shortly after the birth at a hospital in
Victoria, British Columbia.
Benson added that the day
after delivering the baby, doctors
disconnected the life support
equipment that had allowed his wife s
body to incubate their unborn son.
"On Sunday, we had to unfortunately
say goodbye to the strongest and
most wonderful woman I have ever
met," he wrote.
Robyn Benson, 32, collapsed in late
December when she was 22 weeks
pregnant, and was declared brain-
dead from a blood haemorrhage.
e moving on-line odyssey was
followed by readers who donated
$C152,000 ($165,892) for Iver s
Benson wrote his son was doing well
despite being several weeks premature,
and posted a photo in which he is
shown holding the tiny child in the
hospital s intensive care ward.
e post was captioned, "Immensely
sad, but incredibly proud."
"As to be expected, it will still
continues to grow under the care of
the wonderful staff at the hospital."
Amid the joy of his son s birth, the
newly widowed Benson wrote that he
grieves the loss of his wife.
"I miss Robyn more than words can
explain," he said. "She will live on
forever within Iver, and in my heart."
Brain dead woman kept alive to give birth
Richard III s DNA to be analysed
Ouled Gacem (Algeria)
A military transport plane
carrying members of the
Algerian armed forces and their
relatives crashed into a mountain
overnight, killing 77 people, the
worst air disaster in the North
African country in a decade.
State television showed footage
of the wreckage of the plane near
the village of Ouled Gacem in
eastern Algeria, smoke rising
from the site and emergency
crews scouring the forested area
for survivors and bodies.
"I saw the military plane
crashing, and it was cut into two
pieces," Mohamed, a fireman
told Reuters at Ouled Gacem,
near the crash site in Oum El
Bouaghi province, 500km east of
Colonel Lahmadi Bouguern
told the APS state news agency
that 99 passengers and four
crew were on board the C-130
Hercules transport plane, which
took off from the southern
Tamanrasset province and was
bound for Constantine.
e Defence Ministry said
77 people were killed and said
the crash was probably due to
bad weather. Initial reports in
Algerian media had put the
death toll at 103.
" e plane crashed into a
mountain and exploded. Several
bodies were burned to ashes and
could not be identified," one
official told Reuters.
State television said President
Abdelaziz Bouteflika had
declared three days of mourning.
e crash was the worst in
Algeria since 2003 when an Air
Algerie jet crashed shortly after
takeoff from Tamanrasset, killing
e Defence Ministry said
it had set up a commission to
investigate the crash. --- Reuters
Algerian air crash claims 77
A Dutch ex-neurologist has
been sentenced to three years
in jail for a series of wrong
diagnoses that led to the suicide
of a patient, in the first case of its
kind in the country.
Ernst Jansen, 68, was overnight
found "guilty of intentionally
compromising the health of eight
patients" between 1997 and 2003,
the Almelo District Court said in
"He wrongly diagnosed the
eight patients and used the wrong
treatments," the court added.
It said Jansen wrongly
diagnosed serious diseases such
as Alzheimer s, multiple sclerosis
In one case a patient was
diagnosed with multiple sclerosis
and confined to a wheelchair
when he was actually suffering
from a hernia, Dutch media
In another, the former specialist
wrongly told a patient she was in
the final stages of two terminal
diseases and she then committed
suicide, the court said.
" e court is convinced the
patient died as a result of her
treatment," it said.
Prosecutors wanted a six-year
sentence in a case that made
headlines in the country and has
been described as the biggest of
its kind by Dutch media.
"It is the first time a doctor
has been sent to jail for mistakes
made in diagnosing patients,"
Dutch news agency ANP
reported. --- AFP
Richard III is to make history by
becoming not only the last English king
to die in battle, but the first to have his
genetic code sequenced.
Scientists want to map the late king s
DNA before his remains and any
samples taken from them are reinterred.
ey hope the work will reveal
information about the dead monarch s
hair and eye colour, shed light on his
ancestry and links to people living today,
and provide more details about his
susceptibility to disease.
Experts have learned that besides being
a hunchback, the king was badly infected
with roundworm, a once-common
parasite in the United Kingdom.
A battle-scarred skeleton with a twisted
spine unearthed by archaeologists from a
Leicester car park was identified as that
of Richard III last year.
"It is an extremely rare occurrence
that archaeologists are involved in the
excavation of a known individual, let
alone a king of England," Dr Turi King,
of the University of Leicester, who is
leading the gene sequencing project, said.
"At the same time, we are in the midst
of a new age of genetic research, with
the ability to sequence entire genomes
from ancient individuals and with them,
those of pathogens that may have caused
Only a small number of individuals
from history have had their genetic
codes sequenced, and none with Richard
III s noble pedigree.
ey include Otzi the "iceman", whose
mummified 3000-year-old remains
were found in the Italian Alps; various
Neanderthals; a Denisovan (an early
human from Siberia); a Greenlandic
Inuit; and a Spanish hunter gatherer.
Results from the analysis will be made
freely available to historians, scientists
and interested members of the public.
Scientists made the roundworm
discovery after finding large numbers
of the parasite s eggs in soil taken from
Richard III s pelvic region.
e find suggests the king s intestines
were riddled with roundworm during
his life. --- PA
Doctor jailed for
A German zoo says one of its
polar bears has died after apparently
swallowing a jacket or bag dropped into
his enclosure by a visitor.
e Wilhelma zoo in Stuttgart says
that zoo keepers realised something was
wrong with 25-year-old Anton when he
started vomiting pieces of fabric.
e bear died early yetserday of severe
e zoo says it is not clear why Anton
ate the object rather than tearing it
apart, as he usually did with things that
landed in his enclosure.
His keepers suspect there was
something tasty inside that the bear
could not resist.
e zoo appealed to visitors to report
the loss of large objects --- allowing
zookeepers to remove them quickly.
It says it previously lost an elephant
seal that swallowed a toy animal.
e rapid pace of climate change could
lead to a swift decline in the number
of fish living near the equator, an
Australian-led study has found.
Researchers say rising sea temperatures
may cause fish in these areas to head to
cooler waters, significantly affecting the
communities that rely on them.
Lead researcher Dr Jodie Rummer of
James Cook University said the study
found at least one species could not
survive in waters 3degC warmer.
Many fish living near the equator are
unlikely to adapt to changes in their
environment, because they generally
experience only slight changes in
" ere are dire consequences ahead if
these fish cannot adapt to the pace at
which oceans are warming," Rummer
As temperatures rise, fish may lose
their ability to evade predators, find food
and breed, the study by an international
team of researchers found.
Rummer says many equatorial fish
populations are already living close to
their thermal limits.
She says one outcome may be a decline
in fish populations as species move away
from the equator in search of cooler
" is will have a substantial impact
on the human societies that depend on
these fish," Rummer said.
Rummer said more research needed
to be carried out to better understand
the link between an organism and its
environment to ensure strategies are in
place to better protect marine life.
Climate change puts fish at risk
Polar bear s zoo snack proves fatal
PICTURE: Getty Images
Chiefs Robbie Robinson leads team-mate Tom Marshall and Hurricanes
Cory Jane out on the race track during the Super Rugby Season Launch at
Extreme Karts yesterday in Auckland.
King Richard III
While a lot of attention has focused on a couple
of ageing stars of the past, it is the stars of the
present and future who are likely to decide the
outcome of this weekend s inaugural Auckland
Nines at Eden Park.
All 16 clubs named their 16-man squads
yesterday and all featured a sprinkling of familiar
faces and new talent.
Most of the talk, however, has centred on
42-year-old Brad Fittler, who retired in 2004
but will play for an understrength Roosters this
weekend, and 40-year-old Steve Menzies, who
retired at the end of the last UK Super League
season and will play for Manly. Both needed
dispensation from the NRL to take part.
Strict rules mean clubs are required to send
one of their top-five earners as well as 12 of
their top 25 in their 16-man squads. Some clubs
will field strong outfits, with the Titans and
Sharks naming close to their best available, but
others like the Storm, Rabbitohs, Raiders and
Roosters have opted to leave out some of their
biggest names as they focus on the upcoming
Sonny Bill Williams, Greg Inglis, Billy Slater,
Cameron Smith, Johnathan urston and Jarryd
Hayne are all missing but fans will still see the
likes of Ben Barba, Todd Carney and Daly
Cherry-Evans during the two-day event.
e Warriors have named a decent side headed
by Shaun Johnson, Sam Tomkins and Konrad
Hurrell and will be among the favourites for a
tournament with $A2.25 million ($NZ2.44m)
e tournament is close to a sell-out, with a
few hundred of the 46,000 tickets remaining.
Broncos (two to be omitted).--- Ben Barba,
Dale Copley, Jordan Drew, Matt Gillett, Alex
Glenn, Jake Granville, Josh Hoffman, Ben
Hunt, Martin Kennedy, Todd Lowrie, Andrew
McCullough, Stewart Mills, Kodi Nikorima, Joe
Ofahengaue, Corey Parker (c), David Stagg, Zac
Strasser, Sam aiday.
Bulldogs.--- Mitch Brown, Tim Browne,
Lachlan Burr, Michael Ennis (c), Dale Finucane,
Josh Jackson, Drury Low, Moses Mbye, Ed
Murphy, Pat O Hanlon, Lloyd Perrett, Sam
Perrett, Tyrone Phillips, Chase Stanley, Corey
ompson, Tony Williams.
Cowboys.--- Javid Bowen, Gavin Cooper,
Lachlan Coote, Kyle Feldt, Rory Kostjasyn,
Kane Linnett, Robert Lui, Michael Morgan, Joel
Riethmuller, Curtis Rona, Zac Santo, Tariq Sims,
James Tamou, Jason Taumalolo, Ray ompson,
Dragons.--- Leeson Ah Mau, Jack de Belin,
Josh Dugan, Dylan Farrell, Tyson Frizell, Craig
Garvey, Nathan Green, Bronson Harrison, Trent
Merrin, Brett Morris (c), Jason Nightingale,
Adam Quinlan, Mitch Rein, Joel ompson,
Sam Williams, Michael Witt.
Eels.--- Kenny Edwards, Bureta Faraimo,
John Folau, Manu Ma u, Fuifui Moimoi, Ryan
Morgan, Corey Norman, Pauli Pauli, Joseph
Paulo, Nathan Peats, Api Pewhairangi, Semi
Radradra, Chris Sandow, Ken Sio, Peni Terepo,
Willie Tonga (c), Vai Toutai.
Knights.--- Adam Clydsdale, Michael Dobson,
Dane Gagai, Chris Houston, Joseph Leilua, Jake
Mamo, Willie Mason, Chanel Mata utia, Alex
McKinnon, Jarrod Mullen (c), Tyrone Roberts,
Robbie Rochow, Beau Scott, Jeremy Smith, Zane
Tetevano, Akuila Uate.
Panthers.--- Lewis Brown, Reagan Campbell-
Gillard, Adam Docker, George Jennings, Isaac
John, Kevin Kingston, Jeremy Latimore, Josh
Mansour, Sam McKendry, Matt Moylan, Etonia
Nabuli, Kevin Naiqama, Wes Naiqama, Tyrone
Peachey, Jamie Soward, Isaah Yeo.
Rabbitohs.--- Beau Champion, Alex Johnston,
Luke Keary, Apisai Koroisau, Ben Lowe,
Cameron McInnes, Chris McQueen, Nathan
Merritt, Joel Reddy, Irae Simone, John Sutton,
Ben Te o (c), Lote Tuqiri, Kyle Turner, Dave
Tyrrell, Dylan Walker.
Raiders.--- Jack Ahearn, Luke Bateman,
Glen Buttriss, Mitch Cornish, Jarrod Croker
(c), Mitch Cronin, Joel Edwards, Jake Foster,
Andrew Heffernan, Jarrad Kennedy, Tom
Learoyd-Lahrs, Matt McIlwrick, Mark Nicholls,
Reece Robinson, Lagi Setu, Bill Tupou.
Roosters.--- Kane Evans, Brad Fittler, Jake
Friend, Aidan Guerra, Jackson Hastings, Shaun
Kenny-Dowall, Samisoni Langi, Isaac Liu, Nene
Macdonald, Rhyse Martin, Dylan Napa, Mitchell
Pearce, Jonathan Reuben, Paul Rokolati, Siosiua
Taukeiaho, Daniel Tupou.
Sea Eagles.--- Cheyse Blair, Jamie Buhrer,
Michael Chee-Kam, Daly Cherry-Evans,
Clinton Gutherson, James Hasson, Peta Hiku,
Justin Horo, Jack Littlejohn, Steve Menzies,
Ligi Sao, Tony Satini, Jesse Sene-Lefao, Tom
Symonds, Jorge Taufua, David Williams.
Sharks.--- Blake Ayshford, Fa amanu Brown,
Todd Carney, Sosaia Feki, Andrew Fifita, Paul
Gallen, Nathan Gardner, Wade Graham, Daniel
Holdsworth, Ricky Leutele, Michael Lichaa,
Matt Prior, Tupou Sopoaga, Nathan Stapleton,
Sam Tagataese, Jonathan Wright.
Storm.--- Will Chambers, Matt Duffie, Mahe
Fonua, Mitch Garbutt, Slade Griffin, Tohu
Harris, Ryan Hoffman (c), Richie Kennar,
Matthew Lodge, Kurt Mann, Cameron Munster,
Justin O Neill, Kevin Proctor, Joel Romelo, Young
Tonumaipea, Sisa Waqa.
Titans.--- Luke Bailey, Greg Bird, Maurice
Blair, Paul Carter, Anthony Don, Kalifa Faifai
Loa, Kevin Gordon, Ashley Harrison, Albert
Kelly, Siuatonga Likiliki, David Mead, Mark
Minichiello, Brad Takairangi, David Taylor, Brad
Tighe, William Zillman.
Warriors.--- Jayson Bukuya, Raymond Faitala-
Mariner, Glen Fisiiahi, David Fusitua, Charlie
Gubb, Konrad Hurrell, Sebastine Ikahihifo,
Shaun Johnson (c), Solomone Kata, Ngani
Laumape, Tuimoala Lolohea, Sione Lousi, Suaia
Matagi, Dominique Peyroux, Sam Tomkins,
Wests Tigers.--- Blake Austin, Adam Blair,
Manaia Cherrington, Robbie Farah (c), James
Gavet, Marika Koroibete, Mitchell Moses, David
Nofoaluma, Cory Paterson, Pat Richards, Kurtis
Rowe, Curtis Sironen, Martin Taupau, James
Tedesco, Bodene ompson, Aaron Woods.
Robbie Robinson s day usually
goes something like this: Go to
Chiefs headquarters at Ruakura, do
a weights session, go home and sit
on the couch.
A hip problem which he has
managed for the past two years and
which flared up painfully after he
returned from the New Zealand
Maori tour of North America in
November has him on restricted
duties and the frustrating thing
for the outside back is he does not
know when they will end.
"No one really knows how long it
is going to take which is frustrating
for a rugby player," he said.
"Normally you get injured and you
can say you ll be back in three, four,
six weeks or a couple of months.
"I ve seen specialists and I ve got a
surgeon who has sent my scans to a
few of his mates around the world.
"I m on minimal duties. I go in and
do a weights session than go home
and sit on the couch for the rest of
the day. I m finding myself getting
really bored at the moment which is
not a good thing."
e 24-year-old, who moved to
the Chiefs for the 2012 season
after two years at the Highlanders,
has had a history of groin
problems and thinks the hip issue is
He feels pain just by walking or
standing for too long, so it s fair to
say there is a big question mark over
2014 and even beyond for him.
He did not respond to surgery at
the start of last year.
Last year he played 10 games for
the Chiefs as they won their second
title. Opta statistics reveal his worth
on the counter-attack, his 6.65m
average gain with the ball the fifth
best among the squad.
" ey (past two years) are probably
the prime years of my rugby career
and to play them injured... in saying
that I was lucky to get some good
game time and play some good
games --- I ve
played in two finals so far. I ve been
pretty lucky but if I could have these
last two years again injury-free that
would be nice."
Some of the stars bypass Auckland Nines
Team New Zealand skipper Dean
Barker last night conceded questions
were asked over team boss Grant Dalton s
position on the catamaran and that
Dalton s decision to agree to a lay day
during the America s Cup was "clearly a
In a candid inter view on why Team
New Zealand blew an 8-1 lead --- and
eventually lost the Cup regatta 8-9 to
Oracle Team USA --- Barker told TV3 s
Paul Henry: " ere s a lot of things we d
He agreed that grinder Winston
Macfarlane --- who sailed several races
in place of Dalton during the final series
--- was bigger, stronger and fitter than
"Grant was there (on the boat) for
reasons other than his physical presence,"
Barker said. "He was there for leadership
and everything else, from him wanting to
be in that position."
Asked by Henry whether he had
concerns about Dalton s position on the
boat, Barker said: " ere certainly was
questions asked but it was dealt with
internally and I was more than happy
with the team we put on the boat to go
racing. "We made decisions all the way
through the campaign ... maybe yes there
were people that weren t happy with
Grant being on the boat. In the end I m
skipper ... Grant and I talked a lot and I
was accepting of him being on the boat."
Barker also conceded that Dalton s
decision to agree with Oracle that the
teams have a rest day on September 16
was an error --- and that Dalton made the
call without consulting the skipper.
" at was clearly a mistake. It was a
decision that was made outside of our
knowledge. Grant ultimately made the
decision which is his right within the
" ere was a lot going on at the time. I
think it was one of those things that we
obviously, on reflection we would had
done differently. at s certainly one of
e rest day came as Oracle had started
making big improvements in its boat
speed --- and Henry pointed out to
Barker that was even more of a reason
not to give the American team more time.
Team NZ was leading 7-1 at the time,
and won only one more race after the lay
e decision surprised many because
all the momentum was with Team New
Zealand. It gave Oracle an extra day in
the shed to make more modifications to
Asked whether the decision to have a
rest day would normally have been a joint
one, Barker said: "Yes, but there s a lot of
other factors ... as a commercial team, a
lot of our return is on race days, having
our sponsors there with their hospitality,
it s important we don t undermine that
Barker said it was easy to apply hindsight
to some decisions.
" ere s lots of things we d do differently
... it wasn t always holding hands and
talking kindly ..."
Dalton could not be contacted.
Barker s comments come after the
announcement last month that Dalton
would take a step back in the day-to-
day running of the syndicate, as part
of plans to overhaul the management
structure after a review into the failed
Dalton has revealed the changes will
not be restricted to the sailing team and
that the management of the syndicate
will also be modified.
Chief operating officer Kevin
Shoebridge is to assume a more
hands-on role, and Dalton will take a
director-type role. Barker will lead the
sailing programme. --- APNZ
Mystery injury frustrates Robinson
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