Home' Greymouth Star : March 19th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
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Chocaholic gut bacteria may be
one of the chief reasons why dark
chocolate is good for the heart,
By breaking down indigestible
chocolate compounds and fermenting
cocoa bre, the bacteria generate a
potent anti-in ammatory e ect.
It is this, scientists believe, that helps
to protect the heart and arteries from
"We found that there are two kinds
of microbes in the gut: the 'good'
ones and the 'bad' ones," researcher
Maria Moore, from Louisiana State
University in the United States, said.
" e good microbes, such as
Bi dobacterium and lactic acid
bacteria, feast on chocolate.
"When you eat dark chocolate,
they grow and ferment it,
producing compounds that are anti-
"Bad" gut bacteria, such as Clostridia
and some strains of Escherichia coli
(E.coli) help to trigger in ammation,
leading to bloating, diarrhoea and
e team tested three types of cocoa
powder, the raw ingredient used
to make chocolate, in an arti cial
digestive tract consisting of a series of
modi ed test tubes.
polyphenol compounds such as
catechin and epicatechin and a small
amount of dietary bre.
Both components are poorly digested
and absorbed, but are readily processed
by the friendly bacteria in the colon.
"In our study we found that
the bre is fermented and the
large polyphenolic polymers are
metabolised to smaller molecules,
which are more easily absorbed," Dr
John Finley, who led the Louisiana
" ese smaller polymers exhibit
anti-in ammatory activity.
"When these compounds are
absorbed by the body, they lessen the
in ammation of cardiovascular tissue,
reducing the long-term risk of stroke."
e ndings were presented at the
American Chemical Society's annual
meeting in Dallas, Texas.
Combining cocoa with prebiotics
--- indigestible food ingredients that
stimulate bacterial growth --- is likely
to enhance the process with bene cial
results, Finley said.
Prebiotics are found in foods such as
raw garlic, raw wheat bran, and cooked
whole wheat our, and are especially
abundant in raw chicory root.
ey can also be obtained from
Combining dark chocolate with
fruits such as pomegranates or acai
may also boost its bene ts, Finley
said. --- PA
More good news on chocolate
Mick Jagger says he is struggling to
understand how his "lover and best
friend" L'Wren Scott could take her
e Rolling Stones frontman was in
Perth with his bandmates yesterday
preparing for the Australasian leg of
their world tour when he was told
the the 49-year-old fashion designer
had been found in her Manhattan
Jagger shared his feelings in a
message on Facebook.
"I am still struggling to understand
how my lover and best friend could
end her life in this tragic way," the
"We spent many wonderful years
together and had made a great life for
"She had great presence and her
talent was much admired, not least by
"I have been touched by the tributes
that people have paid to her, and also
the personal messages of support that I
"I will never forget her."
e New York Post reported
Jagger had dumped Scott, but
this was vehemently denied by his
Jagger and Scott were together for 13
years, longer than Jagger's eight-year
marriage to Bianca Jagger and nine
years with Jerry Hall.
e Rolling Stones have postponed
their entire tour of Australia and New
Jagger is expected to y to New
Scott, who began an international
modelling career after being discovered
as a teenager in Utah, then became a
Hollywood stylist before building a
fashion design empire that branched
out into selling handbags, eyeglasses
Scott's company, however, was
reportedly $US6 million ($6.95
million) in debt.
Australian actress Nicole Kidman,
who has an apartment in the same
Chelsea building where Scott lived and
where her body was found, was the
designer's most devoted A-list client.
Kidman regularly wore Scott designs
to Oscar ceremonies and other red
carpets. --- AAP
Jagger opens up about girlfriend's death
PICTURE: Getty Images
e Rolling Stones during their concert at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo last month. Below: Mick Jagger and L'Wren Scott.
An international land and sea
search for a missing Malaysian
airliner is covering an area the size
of Australia, authorities said early
today, but police and intelligence
agencies have yet to establish a clear
motive to explain its disappearance.
Investigators are convinced that
someone with deep knowledge
of the Boeing 777-200ER and
commercial navigation diverted
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370,
carrying 12 crew and 227 mainly
Chinese passengers, perhaps
thousands of miles o its scheduled
course from Kuala Lumpur to
But intensive background checks
of everyone aboard have so far
failed to nd anyone with a known
political or criminal motive to
hijack or deliberately crash the
plane, western security sources and
Chinese authorities said.
Malaysian Acting Transport
Minister Hishammuddin Hussein
told a news conference the "unique,
unprecedented" search covered a
total area of 7.68 million square
kilometres, from central Asia to the
southern Indian Ocean.
Flight MH370 vanished from
civilian air tra c control screens
o Malaysia's east coast less than
an hour after take-o early on
Investigators piecing together
patchy data from military radar
and satellites believe that someone
turned o the aircraft's identifying
transponder and ACARS system,
which transmits maintenance data,
and turned west, re-crossing the
Malay Peninsula and following a
commercial aviation route towards
o cials have
backtracked on the exact sequence
of events. ey are now unsure
whether the ACARS system was
shut down before or after the last
radio message was heard from the
cockpit --- but said that did not
make a material di erence.
" is does not change our belief,
as stated, that up until the point at
which it left military primary radar
coverage, the aircraft's movements
were consistent with deliberate
action by someone on the plane,"
said Hishammuddin. " at remains
the position of the investigating
China's ambassador to Malaysia
said his country had investigated
its nationals aboard the ight and
could rule out their involvement.
United States and European
security sources said e orts by
various governments to investigate
the backgrounds of everyone on
the ight had not, as of last night,
turned up links to militant groups
or anything else that could explain
the aircraft's disappearance.
Malaysian police investigations
have also failed to turn up any
red ags on 53-year-old Zaharie
Ahmad Shah, the captain, or
co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27.
Accounts of their lives portray
them as sociable, well-balanced and
happy. Neither ts the pro le of a
loner or extremist with a motive for
suicide or hijacking.
"I've never seen him lose his
temper. It's di cult to believe any of
the speculation made against him,"
Peter Chong, a friend of Zaharie,
said, describing him as highly
disciplined and conscientious.
e New York Times cited senior
US o cials as saying that the rst
turn back to the west was likely
programmed into the aircraft's
ight computer, rather than being
executed manually, by someone
knowledgeable about aircraft
Malaysia Airlines chief executive
Ahmad Jauhari Yahya told the
daily news conference that that was
Malaysian o cials said earlier
that suicide by the pilot or co-pilot
was a line of inquiry, although they
stressed that it was only one of the
possibilities under investigation.
Police have searched their homes
in middle-class suburbs of Kuala
Lumpur close to the airport.
Among the items taken for
examination was a ight simulator
Zaharie had built in his home.
A senior police o cer with direct
knowledge of the investigation said
the programmes from the pilot's
simulator included Indian Ocean
runways in the Maldives, Sri Lanka,
Diego Garcia and southern India,
although he added that US and
European runways also featured.
"Generally these ight simulators
show hundreds or even thousands
of runways," the o cer said. "What
we are trying to see is what were the
runways that were frequently used."
ailand said overnight a re-
examination of its military radar
data had picked up the plane re-
tracing its route across Peninsular
Malaysia. e ai military had
previously said it had not detected
any sign of the plane.
What happened next is less
certain. e plane may have own
for another six hours or more after
dropping o Malaysian military
radar about 320km north-west of
But the satellite signals that
provide the only clues were not
intended to work as locators. e
best they can do is place the plane
in one of two broad arcs --- one
stretching from Laos up to the
Caspian, the other from west of
Indonesia down to the Indian
Ocean o Australia --- when the
last signal was picked up.
China, which, with Kazakhstan, is
leading the search in the northern
corridor, said it had deployed 21
satellites to scour its territory.
Australia, which is leading the
southernmost leg of the search,
said it had shrunk its search eld
based on satellite tracking data and
analysis of weather and currents,
but that it still covered 600,000
"A needle in a haystack remains a
good analogy," John Young, general
manager of the emergency response
division of the Australian Maritime
Safety Authority (AMSA), told
reporters. --- Reuters
Few leads for
When news reached Crimea
that President Vladimir Putin
signed a treaty making the Black
Sea peninsula part of Russia, two
doormen at a Simferopol hotel
could barely conceal their glee.
"We are all Russians here, we feel
Russian, and I am fed up with this
Ukrainian nationalism. Now it'll be
over," one of the doormen, Sergey
Tarasov, 48, said.
"I remember when the Soviet
Union was falling apart, that was
awful, suddenly all this talk of being
Ukrainians came about. Now things
will be back to what they should
be," said the ethnic Belarussian
who rst came to Crimea for his
military service years ago and has a
In his speech to the Russian
lawmakers in Moscow, Putin also
referred to the 1991 collapse of
the Soviet Union in portraying
the move to make Crimea part of
Russia as restoration of historic
Natalia, a saleswoman in a kiosk
in central Simferopol was ecstatic.
"Putin's done what our hearts
were longing for. at nally brings
things back to what they should be
after all those years. For me, for my
family, there can be no bigger joy,
for us this is sacred."
e Putin speech has also
reassured Feride Kurtbedinova,
an ethnic Tatar and member of
the Crimean minority that has
been largely loyal to Kiev and
wary of Moscow having su ered
repressions under the Soviet Union.
She said Putin's meeting with
Tatar leaders was a sign of respect
and a promise of security, noting
how much room the Russian
president dedicated to the group in
his remarks overnight.
"Crimea will be better with Russia
just because it is a stronger State
than Ukraine. Ukraine didn't even
stand up for us. Most importantly,
we are now united with Russia
and that came without any wars
or violence," said the high school
But the initial positive reaction
had no immediate e ect on
lengthy queues by cash machines
in central Simferopol where banks
have introduced low daily limits
on payouts, triggering fear among
many residents that they may not
be able to access their funds.
Alla Sergeyeva, an ethnic
Moldovan who has lived in Crimea
since the early 1980s after marrying
a local, said she hoped her pension
of 1000 hryvnias would now be
raised to match those in Russia.
"I don't have any trust in the
authorities in Kiev any more, I'm
tired of them, they've done nothing
good over the decades," the retired
nurse said as she was waiting to
get money from a Privatbank cash
machine. " ey sell away everything
only to enrich themselves and ee
"I hope we'll be better o as part
of Russia, that my two adult sons
will have better lives."
Others have echoed the hope for
higher living standards and more
social spending --- requests Moscow
will now have to take into account
and, possibly, assign resources from
increasingly strained State co ers.
"It cannot be any worse than
it has been so far, I voted in the
referendum for Russia, we have
su ered under Kiev for 23 years
and again they have raised the
communal fees lately, lowering
living standards for people. at
is just not right, this must stop,"
24-year-old student Sergey Kotov
Only a few in Simferopol
" is is more than awful. Judging
by Putin rhetoric, this won't stop
with Crimea, with Ukraine. He is
saying it straight that he is bringing
the former Soviet Union together,"
Anton Romanov, a local theatre
director, said. --- Reuters
Joy, hope for
many in Crimea
Oscar Pistorius's defence team has
picked through the testimony of a
police photographer who took images
of the bloodied crime scene where the
Paralympian shot dead his girlfriend.
e court was shown graphic
photographs of a bloody cricket bat and
bathroom oor and the 9mm pistol used
to shoot Reeva Steenkamp, with the
athlete later weeping during testimony
by a ballistics expert.
Defence lawyer Barry Roux said
police photographer Bennie van
Staden caused a "great disturbance" by
moving evidence and suggested police
testimony contained suspicious timing
Van Staden, who was visibly tiring
under Roux's torrent of questions, said
he always took pictures of an original
crime scene, but that he moved bloodied
towels and a duvet in order to check for
Roux argued that bungles by police
had tainted the scene to such an extent
that the evidence could not be used.
e defence insists these changes
make it di cult to prove the sequence
of events in the early morning hours of
Valentine's Day last year.
"How does it happen there was such
great disturbance in that scene?" Roux
asked about the pictures in the hopes of
discrediting the witness.
e lawyer also claimed data on the
photos suggested a "great overlap" in
when photographers documented the
scene, contradicting testimony that they
worked at di erent times.
"You were taking photos together in
the bedroom and bathroom," Roux told
Van Staden, who had earlier testi ed
that he was alone when he documented
the bathroom where Steenkamp was
Pistorius, 27, denies intentionally
killing Steenkamp, saying he shot the
model through a locked toilet door
thinking she was an intruder and then
used a cricket bat to bash through to
His defence team has pointed out
several police mistakes at the crime
scene, including an o cer handling
the suspected murder weapon without
gloves and another stealing a watch.
Roux quizzed Van Staden about the
policeman who handled the murder
"I was informed that Colonel Motha
handled the rearm and put it on 'safe',"
Van Staden said.
"What did you do about that?" Roux
"I spoke to him and reprimanded him,"
the police photographer said.
Following Van Staden's testimony,
prosecutor Gerrie Nel called police
ballistics expert Chris Mangena, a 20-
year veteran of the force with 19 years in
the ballistics division.
His testimony made Pistorius cry,
tears running down his face, and cover
his ears as lawyers tried to determine
whether he was on his fake limbs when
breaking the door down or still on his
stumps, as prosecutors allege.
Mangena said he measured the height
of the bullet holes in the door and
calculated the angle of the shots.
" e angle that I can determine,
which is between ve and six degrees,"
"Downward," clari ed Gerrie Nel,
hoping to suggest the athlete was on his
"It's a downward angle," Mangena
e ballistics expert, who is still
to give his conclusions, said he took
measurements of Pistorius with and
without his prosthetic legs.
Mangena also described Steenkamp's
bullet wounds to her head, arm, hip and
hand and bruising on her body. --- AFP
Pistorius defence challenges police photos
e National Security Agency has
technology capable of recording all the
phone calls of an entire country and
replaying them later, a report based on
leaked documents says.
e Washington Post, citing documents
leaked by former NSA contractor
Edward Snowden, said the technology
functions like a time machine by being
able to reach into the past.
e report said the NSA can collect
100% of the calls of a country and reach
as far back as one month with the tools
called Mystic and Retro.
e leaked documents say the tools can
"retrieve audio of interest that was not
tasked at the time of the original call".
e Post said that at the request of
United States o cials, it withheld details
that could be used to identify the country
where the system is being used or other
countries where it may be used in the
If accurate, the programme would be
more powerful than any other NSA
programme by allowing the spy agency
to tap into the entire network from a
Dozens of documents leaked by
Snowden have sparked outrage in the
US and abroad about the vast capabilities
of the intelligence programmes.
United States o cials have defended
the programmes as needed to thwart
terrorist attacks, but President Barack
Obama has ordered reforms for the
surveillance programmes. --- AFP
Teen drops lawsuit against parents
A New Jersey teenager who drew
international attention when she sued
her parents for nancial support after
leaving home in a dispute, dropped the
case against them, according to court
Rachel Canning, 18, led papers to
dismiss the lawsuit in New Jersey family
court, saying the decision was voluntary.
e lawsuit's dismissal ends a public
battle between Canning and her parents
that raised questions about the obligations
of non-divorced parents in New Jersey
to continue to nancially support adult
children after they leave home.
Canning returned to her parents' home
in Lincoln Park, New Jersey, last week
after a four-month estrangement that
began when she turned 18, the legal age
She had sued her parents, Sean and
Elizabeth Canning, for her private high
school tuition, living expenses and access
to a college fund, arguing that though
she did not reside with them, she was
not legally emancipated and therefore
was entitled to their nancial care.
Her parents said they would continue
to pay for their daughter's education
and expenses if she returned home to
complete high school.
Canning contended in her lawsuit she
was emotionally abused and e ectively
abandoned. Her parents argued that
their daughter had disciplinary problems
at home and school and would not
conform to house rules that included
curfews and chores.
Lawyers for Rachel Canning and her
parents did not respond to a request for
comment. --- Reuters
ieves detached and stole a section
of fresco in the ancient Roman city
of Pompeii last week, adding to the
degradation of one of the world's
outstanding archaeological sites after
heavy rain caused sections of wall to
O cials from Pompeii's archaeology
service said the thieves chipped o a
20cm-wide section of fresco depicting
the goddess Artemis from a site
known as the House of Neptune and
Amphitrite, which is not currently open
to the public.
Police said news of the theft, which
occurred on March 12, had been
withheld so as not to compromise their
investigation of the case, which they
described as "particularly delicate".
e latest theft occurred two weeks
after sections of wall at the site collapsed
during heavy rain, prompting new
Culture Minister Dario Franceschini to
promise to step up maintenance work at
One of Italy's most popular attractions,
Pompeii was preserved under ash
from a volcanic eruption in 79 AD
and rediscovered in the 18th century.
It has become a symbol for decades
of mismanagement of Italy's cultural
sites after a series of collapses that have
brought an international outcry.
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