Home' Greymouth Star : February 17th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
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Benoni (South Africa)
South African rescuers have
started bringing to the surface at
least 30 illegal miners who had been
trapped by debris in an abandoned
gold shaft near Johannesburg, an
emergency ser vices spokesman said.
"So far there are four that
have been removed up," ER24
spokesman Werner Vermaak said,
adding that more of the group were
on their way up.
ey were being medically
checked and then handed over to
the police for questioning. ere
were no immediate reports of
deaths or injuries.
Vermaak later told Reuters
that some of the miners still
underground were refusing to come
up, saying they did not want to be
A police patrol in the semi-rural
Johannesburg suburb of Benoni,
where gold has been mined for
decades, had been alerted by shouts
from the trapped miners.
Rescuers in yellow helmets, dark
blue overalls and boots clustered
around the shaft as the miners
emerged into the late afternoon
Vermaak initially said some of
the trapped group had told rescuers
that 200 more illegal diggers were
deeper in the mine, but later said
this now appeared unlikely.
"At this stage, we doubt there are
any more," he said.
A crane was used to shift a large
concrete slab that was obstructing
the shaft belonging to the Chinese-
owned bullion producer Gold One,
which has prospecting rights to the
mine but is not currently working it.
Illegal mining of abandoned
workings is common in South
Africa, where informal miners
excavate ore to sell, often living
underground in dangerous and
accidents are common, and
underground battles between rival
groups have also been reported.
Gold One spokesman Grant
Stuart said the miners were trapped
in the "New Kleinfontein 6"
" e illegal miners have dug a
tunnel right next to it to access the
shaft and it has collapsed behind
them," he said, adding that heavy
rain may have triggered the collapse.
Gold One delisted last month
from the Johannesburg and
Australian bourses after all of its
share capital was acquired by BCX
Gold Investment Holdings, a
Chinese consortium. --- Reuters
A suspected illegal miner is led away after being rescued from an abandoned gold shaft in Benoni, east of
Rescue under way
for 30 trapped
Britain's ooding crisis has eased with
the arrival of drier weather following
a series of erce storms, while the
government has pledged to have the
army inspect ood defences.
e country is counting the cost of
storms that have claimed several lives
and left tens of thousands of homes
Despite the drier weather conditions,
swathes of Britain remain on high alert
as people struggle to protect homes from
oodwaters still expected to rise.
Britain's Environment Agency has 16
severe ood warnings in place for the
south-west and the ames Valley, with
almost 150 ood warnings and 230
" e response that we are delivering
is a proper response . . . but we are
dealing with an extraordinary set of
weather events. It has taken some time
to mobilise the resources," Defence
Minister Philip Hammond told the
He admitted the government could have
called on the army to assist much earlier.
Hammond said more than 3000 troops
were currently deployed to help, with
another 5000 on standby.
"We o ered troops quite a long while
ago to civil authorities who wanted
them," he added.
"What we have done over the last 10
days is push them a bit more aggressively,
those civil authorities."
He added the Royal Engineers would
be involved to do a "very rapid inspection
of all the nation's ood defences".
"We are going to try and do in ve
weeks what would be a two-year
programme of inspection, just to assess
the level of damage.
" is series of weather events over the
last two months has caused some quite
serious damage to our infrastructure ---
ood defences, rail infrastructure, road
infrastructure --- and we have got to
In a newspaper interview, opposition
Labour leader Ed Miliband blamed
climate change for the run of bad
weather, and urged government
ministers to treat global warming as a
"national security issue". --- AFP
Britain gets relief from flooding
A bomb has torn through a bus carrying
Korean sightseers near an Egyptian resort
town bordering Israel, killing at least three
tourists and wounding 14.
e bus was carrying 33 tourists near
the south Sinai resort town of Taba when
it was hit by the blast, police o cials said
A spokesman for the Israel Airports
Authority, which is responsible for border
security, told AFP the Taba crossing had
been closed in the wake of the blast.
No one immediately claimed
responsibility for the attack.
Militants in the restive peninsula have
waged a deadly insurgency against the
military and police since the overthrow of
Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July.
Scores of policemen and soldiers have
been killed in bombings in Sinai and the
Nile Delta but Sunday's blast is the rst
targeting tourists since Morsi was deposed.
Egyptian tour bus bombed near Israeli border
People and security o cials look on as smoke rises from a tourist bus in the Red Sea resort town of Taba. An explosion on a tourist
bus in Egypt's Sinai peninsula killed three Koreans and the Egyptian driver, the Interior Ministry said, an apparent turning point in
an Islamist insurgency that has gained pace since an army takeover in July.
Church of England priests will not
be allowed to bless gay and lesbian
weddings, or marry someone of the
same sex themselves, according to
new guidelines issued by the church,
which is struggling to heal divides
Same-sex marriage becomes legal
in England next month, posing a
dilemma for the Church of England,
which is the mother church of the
world's 80 million Anglicans and
maintains that marriage is between a
man and a woman.
England and Wales legalised
secular same-sex civil partnerships
in 2005. A church working group
suggested last year that clergy allow
gay and lesbian couples to mark
and celebrate marriages held under
the new legislation, as well as civil
partnerships, in a religious service.
But following meetings last
week, the church's bishops released
guidelines at the weekend that ruled
out any kind of blessing for gay
marriages. Instead, they said, clergy
could o er an informal prayer at their
discretion and at the request of the
"Services of blessing should not
be provided. Clergy should respond
pastorally and sensitively in other
ways," said the guidance from the
House of Bishops.
e Anglican Communion, which
links Anglicans across and beyond
the English-speaking world, has
been split for years over gay rights
and Biblical authority, especially
since its United States branch --- the
Episcopal Church --- ordained a gay
bishop in 2003.
African traditionalists are strongly
opposed to growing acceptance
of homosexuality in the Anglican
Communion and to a Church of
England proposal for "facilitated
conversations" on homosexuality.
e House of Bishops --- one of
three parts of the church's General
Synod --- also said people in a same-
sex marriage should not be ordained
as bishops, priests and deacons, nor
should those in the ministry enter
" e House is not willing for those
who are in a same-sex marriage to be
ordained to any of the three orders
of ministry," the bishops said in a
"In addition, it considers that it
would not be appropriate conduct for
someone in holy orders to enter into
a same-sex marriage."
e legislation already forbids the
Church of England and its sister
Church in Wales from conducting
same-sex marriages, although other
religious groups can opt in if they
e Church of England had
announced that it would address the
issue of sexuality, saying it was aware
it needed to re ect rapid changes
in society and to address falling
attendance rates and especially a
failure to attract young people to the
e British parliament passed laws
last year to allow gay marriages from
2014 in England and Wales. Scotland
followed suit this month, becoming
the 17th country to allow same-sex
Copies of the guidelines were sent
to bishops and archbishops in other
Anglican churches around the world,
accompanied by a letter from the
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin
Welby and Archbishop of York John
ey acknowledged the divisions
within the church on homosexuality
but said same-sex marriage was a
"new reality" with implications for
the Church of England which had to
be discussed and addressed.
Church of England rules out blessing gay marriages
It would be "di cult, if not
impossible" for an independent
Scotland to join the European
Union, European Commission
president Jose Manuel Barroso says.
His blunt statement ramps up the
pressure ahead of Scotland's key
referendum on independence from
the United Kingdom, following
Britain's warning that it will not
be allowed to keep the pound if it
votes to break away.
"I believe it's going to be extremely
di cult, if not impossible" because
the formation of a new member
from a member state needs approval
from all other EU nations, Barroso
told BBC television overnight.
Scots are due to vote on the issue
on September 18 in an historic
referendum that could result in the
breaking up of its 300-year union.
"I don't want to interfere on your
referendum here, your democratic
discussion here, but of course it
will be extremely di cult to get the
approval of all the other member
states to have a new member
coming from one member state,"
"We have seen Spain has been
opposing even the recognition of
Kosovo, for instance. So it is to
some extent a similar case because
it's a new country and so I believe
it's going to be extremely di cult, if
not impossible, a new member state
coming out of one of our countries
getting the agreement of the others."
But he added: "It's for the Scottish
people . . . to decide about the future
e comments drew a sharp
rebuke from Scotland's Deputy
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon,
whose Scottish National Party
(SNP) is spearheading the pro-
" is is a preposterous assertion
--- as the ridiculous comparison
with Kosovo illustrates," Sturgeon
"Scotland is already in the EU
and has been for 40 years.
"As Mr Barroso rightly says, the
question of Scotland's independent
membership of the EU is a matter
for the democratic wishes of the
people of Scotland and the views
of other member States --- not the
European Commission," she said.
" e fact of the matter is that
no member State has said that it
would veto Scotland's continuing
membership." --- AFP
'Difficult' for independent
Scotland to join EU
Two Catholic priests have been
stabbed to death and a third
wounded by young assailants who
broke into a school residence in
Venezuela during an apparent
A school spokesman said two
suspects, one of whom has been
caught, climbed a wall to enter the
Don Bosco school in the central
city of Valencia late on Saturday
and entered an area where the
priests' rooms were located.
"We have arrested one of the
two people suspected in the
crime, a juvenile . . . and we're
still looking for the other one,
who apparently was around 12 or
13 years old," Interior Minister
Miguel Rodriguez Torres said
Rodriguez earlier told reporters
the murders occurred "under very
" ere was no forced entry and
that school is di cult to get into,"
Nelson Pena, a seminarian
and spokesman for the school,
identi ed the dead priests as Jesus
Plaza, a 79-year-old Colombian
and Luis Sanchez, an 84-year-old
Pena said the priests were killed
"with knives taken from the school
e school's director David
Martin, who was wounded,
underwent surgery, while another
school administrator was lightly
injured, Pena said. --- AFP
Priests killed in Venezuelan attack
would do well to ease
back on the sweets, but
this popular Australian is
still going strong despite
consuming 20 tonnes of
chocolate each day.
Tim Tam, the world's
most popular biscuit,
turned 50 yesterday.
To celebrate the biscuit's
anniversary, Tim Tam and
Qantas ew people to
Winton, in central west
Queensland, for a reunion
with the loved ones they
are not able to see often.
"Aussies have loved and
connected over Tim Tam
biscuits for 50 years. To
celebrate this milestone,
in 2014 we're launching
a year of togetherness,"
People from across
Australia and as far away
as the United Kingdom
ew to the remote
town, which is also the
birthplace of Qantas, for a
"chocolate- lled birthday
Each day the Arnott's
factory uses 20 tonnes
of chocolate to pump
out 3000 biscuits each
minute. --- AAP
A warmer Arctic could permanently
a ect the pattern of the high-altitude
polar jetstream, resulting in longer and
colder winters over North America and
e jet stream, a ribbon of high
altitude, high-speed wind in northern
latitudes that blows from west to east, is
formed when the cold Arctic air clashes
with warmer air from further south.
e greater the di erence in
temperature, the faster the jetstream
According to Jennifer Francis, a
climate expert at Rutgers University, the
Arctic air has warmed in recent years as a
result of melting polar ice caps, meaning
there is now less of a di erence in
temperatures when it hits air from lower
" e jetstream is a very fast moving
river of air over our head," she said
over the weekend at a meeting of
the American Association for the
Advancement of Science.
"But over the past two decades
the jetstream has weakened. is is
something we can measure," she said.
As a result, instead of circling the
earth in the far north, the jetstream has
begun to meander, like a river heading
is has brought chilly Arctic weather
further south than normal, and warmer
temperatures up north. Perhaps most
disturbingly, it remains in place for
e United States is currently enduring
an especially bitter winter, with the
midwestern and southern States in the
United States experiencing unusually
In contrast, far northern regions like
Alaska are going through an unusually
is suggests "that weather patterns
are changing," Francis said.
"We can expect more of the same
and we can expect it to happen more
Temperatures in the Arctic have
been rising "two to three times faster
than the rest of the planet," said James
Overland, a weather expert with the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Francis says it is premature to blame
humans for these changes.
"Our data to look at this e ect is very
short and so it is hard to get very clear
signal," she said. --- AFP
Jetstream shift could
prompt harsh winters
e next time you try to take a
picture of your dinner in a posh French
restaurant, do not be surprised if an
angry chef comes storming out of the
Fed up with patrons snapping
photographs with their smartphones
to post on social networks, several
Michelin-starred French establishments
are trying to crack down on so-called
Food bloggers, and even some chefs,
defend the pictures as free publicity, but
for many the sharing has just gone too
" ere's a time and a place for
everything," Alexandre Gauthier, chef at
La Grenouillere in the northern town of
La Madelaine-sous-Montreuil, said.
"We are trying to give our clients a
break in their lives. For that, you need to
turn o your mobile," he said.
Short of formally banning photographs
in his restaurant, Gauthier has put an
image of a camera with a strike-through
on his menu.
"People just won't disconnect any
more," he told AFP.
"Before they used to take photos of
their family, of their grandmother, but
now it's photos of dishes," he said.
"It is gratifying, but we're a restaurant
without very much light, so they have
to use a ash. And with each dish it's
'stop everything', or the photo has to be
retaken three times.
"It's tweeted, liked, comments are
made and replied to --- by then the dish
Gilles Goujon, chef at the three-
starred L'Auberge du Vieux Puits in
the southern town of Fontjoncouse,
said he is increasingly frustrated with
the poor etiquette of amateur food
He said food pictures "take away the
surprise" of some of his dishes and "take
a bit of my intellectual property".
Not to mention that "a photo taken
with a not-so-good smartphone is rarely
"It doesn't give the best image of our
work. It's annoying," he said.
One blogger at his restaurant several
months ago posted a complaint about
the doneness of her pigeon, complete
with a picture, but had not cut the bird
"You couldn't even see how the pigeon
was cooked!" said the still-fuming chef.
"It's complicated to ban it," Goujon
said. "I'm trying to nd the right way to
say it on the menu but haven't found the
proper formula so it doesn't make people
French chefs are hardly alone. ere
has been a growing backlash in the
United States to intrusive photo-taking,
with some top-tier restaurants banning
French food blogger Stephane Riss
said critics of food photographs are
"For chefs, the more they are talked
about, the better," he said. "Photos
boost visibility and revenues . . . It's free
Riss even suggested that some chefs
fear the scrutiny of photographs, which
make a badly presented dish undeniable.
" e chefs have to be in top form every
day because if there is one mistake, it
goes on the internet," he said. --- AFP
French chefs rebel
against 'food porn'
Cate Blanchett's chances of winning
a second Oscar have been given a boost
after she won a third British lm award
for her turn as a fallen Manhattan
socialite in Woody Allen's tragic comedy
Blanchett was an almost unbackable
favourite to take out the leading actress
Bafta and duly beat four other nominees
including British stars Judi Dench and
e 44-year-old dedicated the win to
fellow Oscar winner Philip Seymour
Ho man who died a fortnight ago of an
apparent heroin overdose.
Blanchett --- who previously won
Baftas for e Aviator in 2005 and
Elizabeth in 1999 --- did not speak to
reporters as she walked the red carpet
before the awards ceremony.
She has reportedly been keen to avoid
questions about recent sexual abuse
accusations directed at Allen by his
adopted daughter Dylan with ex-partner
Chiwetel Ejiofor took out the leading
actor award for his performance in 12
Years a Slave. e 1840s slave trade story
directed by Steve McQueen also picked
up the best lm Bafta.
While Baz Luhrmann missed out on a
best director nomination for e Great
Gatsby his wife, Catherine Martin, won
Martin picked up the production
design award along with compatriot and
Gatsby set decorator Beverley Dunn,
before going on to take the best costume
design award too.
Best lm: 12 Years A Slave. Leading
actor: Chiwetel Ejiofor. Leading actress:
Cate Blanchett. Director: Alfonso
Cuaron for Gravity. Supporting Actor:
Barkhad Abdi for Captain Phillips.
Supporting actress: Jennifer Lawrence
for American Hustle. Fellowship:
Dame Helen Mirren. Outstanding
contribution: Peter Greenaway.
Outstanding British lm: Gravity.
Adapted screenplay: Je Pope and
Steve Coogan for Philomena. Original
screenplay: Eric Warren Singer and
David O.Russell for American Hustle.
Original music: Gravity. Production:
Catherine Martin for e Great Gastby.
Costume: Catherine Martin for e
Great Gatsby. --- AAP
Blanchett boosts Oscar
chances after winning Bafta
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