Home' Greymouth Star : March 3rd 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
Monday, March 3, 2014 - 5
Ukraine mobilised for war
overnight and Washington
threatened to isolate Russia
economically, after President
Vladimir Putin declared he had
the right to invade his neighbour
in Moscow's biggest confrontation
with the west since the Cold War.
" is is not a threat: this is
actually the declaration of war
to my country," Ukraine's Prime
Minister Arseny Yatseniuk, head of
a pro-western government that took
power when Russian ally Viktor
Yanukovich ed last week, said in
Putin secured permission from
his parliament on Saturday to use
military force to protect Russian
citizens in Ukraine and told United
States President Barack Obama
he had the right to defend Russian
interests and nationals, spurning
western pleas not to intervene.
Russian forces have already
bloodlessly seized Crimea --- an
isolated Black Sea peninsula where
Moscow has a naval base.
Overnight they surrounded several
small Ukrainian military outposts
there and demanded the Ukrainian
troops disarm. Some refused, leading
to stando s, although no shots were
All eyes are now on whether
Russia makes a military move in
eastern Ukraine, where pro-Moscow
demonstrators have marched and
raised Russian ags over public
buildings in several cities in the last
Russia has staged war games
with 150,000 troops along the
land border, but so far they have
not crossed. Kiev says Moscow is
orchestrating the protests to justify a
Ukraine's security council ordered
the general sta to immediately
put all armed forces on highest
alert. However, Kiev 's small and
under equipped military is seen as
no match for Russia's superpower
e Defence Ministry was ordered
to stage a call-up of reserves ---
theoretically all men up to 40 in
a country with universal male
conscription, though Ukraine
would struggle to nd extra guns or
uniforms for signi cant numbers of
United States Secretary of State
John Kerry condemned Russia for
what he called an "incredible act
of aggression" and threatened "very
"You don't just, in the 21st century,
behave in 19th century fashion
by invading another country on a
completely trumped-up pretext,"
Kerry told CBS programme Face
Kerry said Moscow still had a
"right set of choices" to defuse the
crisis. Otherwise, G8 countries and
other nations were prepared to "to
go to the hilt to isolate Russia".
" ey are prepared to isolate
Russia economically. e rouble
is already going down. Russia
has major economic challenges,"
he said. He mentioned visa bans,
asset freezes and trade isolation
as possible steps. A Kremlin
spokesman declined to comment
after Kerry's remarks.
Ukraine's envoy to the United
Nations said Kiev would ask for
international military support if
Russia expanded its military action
in his country.
At Kiev's Independence Square,
where anti-Yanukovich protesters
had camped out for months,
thousands demonstrated against
Russian military action. Speakers
delivered rousing orations and
placards read: "Putin, hands o
"If there is a need to protect the
nation, we will go and defend the
nation," said Oleh, an advertising
executive cooking over an open re
at the square where he has been
camped for three months. "If Putin
wants to take Ukraine for himself,
he will fail. We want to live freely
and we will live freely."
e new government announced it
had red the head of the navy and
launched a treason case against him
for surrendering Ukraine's naval
headquarters to Russian forces in
the Crimean port of Sevastopol,
where Moscow has a major naval
With Russian forces in control of
majority ethnic Russian Crimea, the
focus is shifting to eastern swathes
of Ukraine, where most ethnic
Ukrainians speak Russian as a native
ose areas saw more
demonstrations overnight after
violent protests the day before,
and for a second day pro-Moscow
activists hoisted ags at government
buildings and called for Russia to
defend them. Kiev said Russia had
sent hundreds of its citizens across
the border to stage the protests.
Obama spoke to Putin for 90
minutes by telephone on Saturday
after the Russian leader declared
he had the right to inter vene and
quickly secured a unanimous yes
vote from his parliament.
e Kremlin said Putin told
Obama Russian speakers were under
threat from Ukraine's new leaders,
who took over after Yanukovich ed
huge protests against his repression
and rejection of a trade deal with the
Ukraine, which says it has no
intention of threatening Russian
speakers, has appealed for help to
Nato, and directly to Britain and
the United States, as co-signatories
with Moscow to a 1994 accord
guaranteeing Ukraine's security.
Nato ambassadors met in Brussels
to discuss next steps. Secretary
General Anders Fogh Rasmussen
accused Russia of threatening peace
and security in Europe.
Washington has proposed sending
monitors to Ukraine under the
ags of the United Nations or
Organisation for Security and
Cooperation in Europe, where
Moscow has a veto.
So far, the western response has
been largely symbolic. Obama and
others suspended preparations for a
G8 summit in Sochi, where Putin
has just nished staging his $50
billion winter Olympic games. Some
countries recalled ambassadors.
Britain said its ministers would stay
away from the Paralympics due next
Britain's International Institute of
Strategic Studies estimates Kiev has
fewer than 130,000 troops under
arms, with planes barely ready to
y and few spare parts for a single
Russia, by contrast, has spent
billions under Putin to upgrade
and modernise the capabilities of
forces that were dilapidated after
the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Moscow's special units are now seen
as equals of the best in the world.
In Crimea, Ukraine's tiny
contingent made no attempt to
oppose the Russians, who bore
no insignia on their uniforms but
drove vehicles with Russian plates
and seized government buildings,
airports and other locations in the
past three days.
Kiev said its troops were encircled
in at least three places. It pulled its
coastguard vessels out of Crimean
ports. Ukraine said its naval eet's
10 ships were still in Sevastopol and
remained loyal to Kiev.
Scores of Russian troops with no
insignia were camped outside a base
of Ukrainian troops at Perevalnoye,
on a road from Crimea's capital
Simferopol towards the coast.
A representative of the base
commander said troops on both
sides had reached agreement so no
blood would be shed.
"We are ready to protect
the grounds and our military
equipment," Valery Boiko told
Reuters television. "We hope for
a compromise to be reached, a
decision, and as the commander has
said, there will be no war."
Igor Mamchev, a Ukrainian navy
colonel at another small base outside
Simferopol, told Ukraine's Channel
5 tv that a truckload of Russian
troops had arrived at his checkpoint
and told his forces to lay down their
"I replied that, as I am a member
of the armed forces of Ukraine,
under orders of the Ukrainian navy,
there could be no discussion of
disarmament. In case of any attempt
to enter the military base, we will
use all means, up to lethal force."
A unit of Ukrainian marines
was also holed up in a base in the
Crimean port of Feodosia, where
they refused to disarm.
Elsewhere on the occupied
peninsula, the Russian troops
assumed a lower pro le after the
pro-Moscow Crimean leader said
overnight that the situation was now
Putin's justi cation --- the need to
protect Russian citizens --- was the
same as he used to launch a 2008
invasion of Georgia, where Russian
forces seized two breakaway regions.
In Russia, State controlled media
portray Yanukovich's removal as
a coup by dangerous extremists
funded by the west and there has
been little sign of dissent with that
ew Russian ags at government
buildings in cities including
Kharkiv, Donetsk, Odessa and
Dnipropetrovsk. In places they
clashed with anti-Russian
protesters and guards defending the
Hrygory Nemyriya, a spokesman
to foreign journalists for the new
authorities, said the pro-Moscow
marchers were sent from Russia.
e worst violence took place in
Kharkiv, where scores of people were
hurt on Saturday when thousands
of pro-Russian activists, some
brandishing axe handles and chains,
stormed the regional government
and fought pitched battles with a
smaller number of supporters of
Ukraine's new authorities.
In Donetsk, Yanukovich's home
city, the local government building
was ying the Russian ag for the
second day. e local authorities
have called for a referendum on the
region's status, a move Kiev says is
illegal. A pro-Russian "self-defence"
unit held a second day of protest,
attracting about 1000 demonstrators
carrying Russian ags.
Ludmila Petrova, 35, described the
new authorities in Kiev as "slaves of
the European Union" and said she
favoured Putin's declaration of the
right to intervene.
"Maybe this will stop the hotheads
in Kiev from bringing war to
the Don basin and the Crimea.
Maybe now they will think there
is someone willing to defend these
people." --- Reuters
Ukraine mobilises for war
Members of Crimean self-defence units stand guard near local government headquarters in Simferopol.
e media circus outside the North
Gauteng High Court in Pretoria is fully
Satellite trucks, gazebos under
which many of the world's leading
broadcast organisations have established
temporary studios, and an entire set, on
which construction was only nished at
the weekend, for the 24-hour channel
that will start rolling tonight in South
Africa, are dedicated exclusively to the
trial of Oscar Pistorius.
Pistorius' uncle, Arnold Pistorius, who
has become the family's spokesman,
said yesterday that the family would not
comment on any more media stories.
" e focus is now entirely on a very
serious trial," he said. "We love Oscar,
and believe in him, and will be standing
by him throughout the coming trial."
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel has called
Pistorius, 27, a man "willing and ready
to re and kill" as the State charged him
with the premeditated murder of Reeva
Pistorius gives a totally di erent story,
saying he was terri ed in the mistaken
belief that there was a dangerous
intruder in his home. "I knew I had to
protect Reeva and myself," Pistorius
said in an 11-page a davit, his only
testimony so far.
e attention that the case has attracted
has drawn the criticism that Pistorius is
facing trial by media. He is, in fact, facing
trial by Judge okozile Masipa. But it
is not overly sensationalist to say that it
is the South African justice system that
will face trial by media.
Masipa, only the second black woman
to sit on the Transvaal High Court when
she was called in 1998, understands this
better than anyone. Under apartheid she
worked as a crime reporter and did not
pass her bar exams until the age of 43.
She has a strong history of tough
sentences for crimes against women.
On handing down life sentences to two
rapists she argued that the crime was
on the rise to such an extent that it was
undermining the fabric of society.
Masipa will be assisted by two
"assessors", legal experts who can
come from varying backgrounds, often
solicitors. ere will be no jurors. Trial
by jury was abolished in South Africa
under apartheid in 1969.
No stone in the accused's life left
has been left unturned. Britain's Sun
newspaper reported that Pistorius had
a new girlfriend, Leah Skye, a 19-year-
old student paramedic labelled "blade
stunner" by the paper.
If Pistorius is convicted of intent to
kill he will receive a life sentence with a
minimum of 25 years.
--- New Zealand Herald
Reeva Steenkamp with Oscar Pistorius.
An emotional Mercedes Corby
says she had to feed, medicate and
bathe her sister during her time
behind bars in Bali.
In an inter view with the Seven
Network's Sunday Night programme
following Schapelle Corby's release,
Mercedes says her sister is "broken
"I feel that now she really relies on
me," she said in the interview, aired
"She has had to rely on me so she
has lost her strength.
"She was such a strong person
"She is di erent."
ere has been widespread
speculation about how much would
be paid for an inter view with
Schapelle Corby, who was convicted
in 2005 of drug smuggling into Bali,
but Seven has denied paying any
e programme captured
Schapelle's rst moments out of jail,
including a sunset swim with her
brother at a Bali beach.
Mercedes cried as she described
acting as a nurse for her sister in
" ere were times I was allowed
inside her room and I would bathe
her," she said.
"For months we had to hand feed
"I would have to stick her medicine
with my nger down her throat, hold
a straw to her mouth so she could
drink. She could not speak.
" ey would have to carry her, she
was like a zombie walking to and
from her room."
Schapelle was not inter viewed but
some of her rst words after her
release were recorded.
After she was led from custody to
a waiting black van and through a
bustling crowd of media last month,
Schapelle said she felt used.
"I started crying because I just
feel so used," she says with her face
covered with a scarf.
" ey just use me. People judge me
and say I am a really bad person but
look at this.
"I don't like to judge but
that's wrong," she said, as the
photographers swarmed all over her
Mercedes also dismissed rumours
her late father Michael Corby was
linked to the four kilograms of
marijuana in Schapelle's body board
"All those rumours that have been
said about my dad are wrong," she
told Sunday Night.
" ey are untrue and if my dad
was alive now, they would have never
" ey would have never been
said because he could defend
She reiterated a defence
used in the case, alleging airline
baggage handlers were involved in
planting the drugs in Schapelle's bag.
"I don't know who put it in that
bag but I am pretty sure something
to do with someone who worked in
the airports," Mercedes said.
Schapelle Corby 'broken now' --- sister
Saudi women activists have
petitioned the country's consultative
council to back a demand to curb the
"absolute authority" of male guardians
over women in the ultra-conser vative
Sunni Muslim kingdom.
Saudi Arabia imposes a strict
interpretation of Islamic law,
forbidding women to work or travel
without the authorisation of their
It is also the only country in
the world that bans women from
driving, and a woman cannot obtain
an identi cation card without the
consent of her guardian.
Activist Aziza Yousef said that
"rights activists have petitioned the
Shura (consultative) Council on
the occasion of the International
Women's Day (on March 8)
demanding an end to the absolute
authority of men over women".
ey demanded "measures to
protect (women's) rights," in their
petition to the Shura Council, she
Laws in the kingdom enforcing
such restrictions on women "are not
based on religious" teachings, said
e petition, signed by 10 female
activists, also calls for allowing
women to drive.
Women in Saudi must obtain
permission from a male guardian to
perform "certain surgeries" and to
"leave the university campus during
study hours," she added.
She cited a recent case in which a
pregnant student had to give birth
on campus after a women-only
university in Riyadh denied access
And a university student died in
February after paramedics were
prevented from entering her campus
because they were not accompanied
by a male guardian, a must according
to the strict segregation rules in the
Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia
suspended a noti cation programme
that had been running since 2012,
which alerted male guardians once
women under their custody left the
country, even if they were travelling
ree female members of
the Shura Council presented a
recommendation that women
be given the right to drive in
October, but the male-dominated
150-member assembly blocked the
e Shura Council is appointed by
the King and advises the monarch
on policy, but cannot legislate.
Saudi women demand end to male control
Witnesses of a horrifying attack at a
Chinese train station which killed 29 people
and wounded more than 130 have described
how injured victims ed in panic amid the
sound of gunshots.
A heavy police presence was in place at
Kunming station in the south-western
province of Yunnan after knife-wielding
attackers slashed indiscriminately as
people queued to buy tickets late on
Saturday, an incident blamed by authorities
on separatists from the restive Xinjiang
A station cleaner, who gave his surname
as He, said police red on the assailants
for about half an hour as scores of people
were being carried out on stretchers with
State media said at least four attackers
were shot dead, while one was arrested. e
hunt for others continues.
"I saw ve of them leaving ... en I
heard gunshots. It was likely to be going
on for half an hour," said He, adding he
felt terri ed returning to work the morning
after the bloodshed.
Recalling the horror felt by people at the
station the previous night, the cleaner said:
"I felt frightened, everyone ran out. e
streets were blocked (by police).
"I saw ve people holding knives, walking
slowly down there to the bus station,"
he added, pointing in the distance at the
busy intersection that fronts the main rail
terminal for Yunnan province.
e 49-year-old said he saw some of the
130 people who were said by authorities
to have been wounded in the attack being
taken away on mobile stretchers, their heads
"wrapped in bandages".
"I saw adults, no kids," he said, adding:
" e ambulances must have been too busy,
as the buses and taxis were being used."
A shop worker nearby said some of the
victims took refuge in her store.
"Many were crying and some looked like
they had been cut. We were terri ed," she
said, pointing to a space behind a row of
instant noodles where the panic-stricken
victims had sought shelter.
"Everyone in Kunming is still in shock."
Parts of the sprawling train station were
still cordoned o by police the next day,
as locals took pictures of the scene with
their phones, many shaking their heads.
Panic and fear on
China's night of terror
A Welsh brewer has
created a new beer with
lamb avour to mark St
David's Day, the national
day of Wales.
Conwy Brewery said its
Sunday Toast has infused
lamb in the brewing
process, combining the
aromas of a Sunday roast
with a dark ale.
e North Wales
Welsh lamb before
adding the dissolved
meat juices and sugar
and keeping the brew
warm for a week.
"Seasonal beers are a
speciality of ours, but we
wanted to do something
really di erent to
celebrate our country's
national day," spokesman
Gwynne omas said.
Saint David's Day is
the feast day of Saint
David, the patron saint
of Wales, and falls on
March 1 each year.
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