Home' Greymouth Star : April 2nd 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Sur vivors of a mudslide that virtually
erased a community in Washington
State and left dozens dead or missing
have begun to contemplate the future,
with many saying the disaster site should
be left as a shrine once the bulldozers
and excavators leave.
As stagnant pools of muddy water
receded further after a second straight
sunny day, recovery teams pressed on
with their search for victims of the
March 22 slide, triggered when a rain-
soaked hillside caved in above the north
fork of the Stillaguamish River.
e torrent of mud roared over the
riverbanks and across State highway 530,
engul ng more than two dozen homes
on the outskirts of the town of Oso in
the foothills of the Cascade Mountains,
north-east of Seattle.
e o cial death toll rose to 27
overnight, up from 24 a day earlier,
while another 22 people were still listed
as missing. e Snohomish County
Medical Examiner's O ce said 19 of
the con rmed fatalities have now been
identi ed, including a four-month-old
girl and two other children aged ve and
With the realisation that some remains
may never be recovered from a mound
of mud and debris up to 25m deep
has come growing sentiment that the
site should ultimately be turned into a
memorial or park.
Ruth Hargrave, 67, whose neighbours
were among the dead and missing, said
she could not imagine rebuilding the
beloved riverside vacation house that
was in the path of the slide.
"Oh my God, no," she said. "And not
because of the fear of more slides. But all
of that death and destruction."
Hargrave said the stricken community,
1.3 square kilometres of which lies under
the mud, should be treated as "hallowed
ground". Her view is shared by many
who live in the surrounding area.
" ere ought to be a marker put up
there honouring the people who died,"
Jan Kittleson, 59, a truck driver from
Darrington, 16km to the east, said. " e
river will cut its way through there the
way it always has."
Daniel Miller, a geologist and author
of a 1999 study for the United States
Army Corps of Engineers warning of
the potential for a "large catastrophic
failure" in the vicinity of the collapsed
hillside, said additional slides in the area
"I don't think anybody should be living
there," he said. "It would be okay to do
something like a park, but I don't think
there should be houses down there."
Gary Young, a retired US serviceman
from Darrington, felt that future use
of the site should be left up to those
who own the land. "If they want to put
shrines up or whatever, that's cool. But
it's their property."
Jaime Smith, spokeswoman for
Washington state Governor Jay Inslee,
said it was too soon to make plans.
"We're still in digging-in-the-mud
mode," she said. " at conversation will
happen. It will involve a lot of input
from the residents."
No signs of life have been detected
since the day of the slide, when eight
people were rescued, su ering injuries.
Authorities say that accounting for the
number of dead has been complicated by
the fact that the bodies are not always
found intact. ey acknowledge that
some victims might be forever entombed
under the massive pile of mud and
Still, scores of workers assisted by
dogs were showing steady progress
in recovering remains, zeroing in on
areas where chunks of debris have
accumulated near the surface.
"Where we nd a lot of logjams and
that type of areas, that's where we're
nding the human remains," recovery
team supervisor Steve Harris told
Harris said the pace had picked up
somewhat from yesterday, when he
reported that recovery teams were
retrieving remains at the rate of four to
six times a day. --- Reuters
Calls to leave
Tears as Hillsborough dead named
Relatives have wept with the reading
of the names in a British court of 96
Liverpool supporters killed in the 1989
Hillsborough soccer stadium crush.
Presiding coroner Lord Justice John
Goldring said Britain's worst sporting
disaster was "seared into the memories"
of everyone a ected by it, as he gave
the overnight opening statement at
new inquests into the deaths.
In emotional scenes before the jury
was sworn in, relatives quietly sobbed
as the names of the deceased were
slowly read out over six minutes.
e hearings, taking place at a
purpose-built court on a business park
outside Warrington, east of Liverpool,
are expected to last 12 months.
New inquests were ordered after
the original coroner's verdicts were
quashed by the High Court in
December 2012 amid claims of a
at came three months after an
independent panel examining the
disaster concluded 41 of those who
died would have had the "potential to
survive" if they had received medical
treatment more quickly.
Fans were crushed to death on an
overcrowded terrace at an FA Cup
semi- nal match against Nottingham
Forest, staged on April 15, 1989 at
Hillsborough in She eld.
Goldring told the seven women and
four men of the jury that in conducting
fresh inquests, "we are not concerned
with whether what was decided at the
previous inquiries was right or wrong".
"You will, I anticipate, have to
consider the underlying circumstances
which contributed to the cause of these
deaths, whether opportunities were lost
which might have prevented the deaths
or saved lives."
He added: "While searching fearlessly
for the truth, we should avoid this
hearing degenerating into the kind of
adversarial battle which looking back
on it scarred the original inquests."
Brie y outlining the events of the
day, he said: "Around the time of the
kick-o , a terrible crush developed in
two pens" in the Leppings Lane end of
the stadium, "where the Liverpool fans
" e pressure in the pens built up.
Many of those in the pens su ered
terrible crushing injuries."
e inquest will not sit in the week of
the 25th anniversary later this month.
Goldring warned that witnesses'
memories "will inevitably have faded"
in the years since the disaster.
Inquests set out simply to determine
the circumstances of how the deceased
came by their deaths. ey do not
apportion blame. --- AFP
Donna Miller carries a portrait of her brother Paul Carlile who died at
Hillsborough, as she arrives for the opening day of the Hillsborough inquest in
Warrington, northern England.
A British sniper in Afghanistan killed six
insurgents with a single bullet after hitting
the trigger switch of a suicide bomber whose
device then exploded, e Daily Telegraph
e 20-year-old marksman, a lance corporal
in the Coldstream Guards, hit his target from
850m, killing the suicide bomber and ve
others around him caught in the blast.
e incident in Kakaran in southern
Afghanistan happened in December but has
only now been disclosed as Britain moves
towards the withdrawal of all combat soldiers
by the end of the year.
Lieutenant Colonel Richard Slack,
commanding o cer of 9/12 Royal Lancers,
said the unnamed sharpshooter prevented
a major attack by the Taliban, as a second
suicide vest packed with 20kg of explosives
was found nearby.
e same sniper, with his rst shot on the
tour of duty, killed a Taliban machine-gunner
Several hundred British and Afghani
soldiers were carrying out an operation in
December when they were engaged in a gun
battle with 15 to 20 insurgents.
" e guy was wearing a vest. He was
identi ed by the sniper moving down a tree
line and coming up over a ditch," Slack said.
"He had a shawl on. It rose up and the sniper
saw he had a machine-gun.
" ey were in contact and he was moving
to a ring position. e sniper engaged him
and the guy exploded. ere was a pause on
the radio and the sniper said, 'I think I've just
shot a suicide bomber'. e rest of them were
killed in the blast."
It is understood the lance corporal was
using an L115A3, the army's most powerful
sniper ri e.
e armed forces are gradually decreasing
their presence in Helmand, handing over
security of the country to the Afghani armed
forces. Last month, three major bases were
closed or handed over to Afghani control. At
the height of the campaign, there were 137
bases across Helmand --- now there is only
one base outside Camp Bastion, Sterga 2,
which is sta ed by a company from 4 Scots
and the 9/12 Royal Lancers.
e sniper incident was one of a dwindling
number of gun battles between British forces
and the insurgents. In total, 448 British
soldiers have died since 2001, but far fewer
have been wounded in the most recent tour,
with Afghani forces now leading 97% of the
security operations across the country.
Abandoned forti cations --- Russian
installations from the 1980s and older --- dot
Inside the camp, a company of servicemen
and women were working to gather
intelligence about the surrounding area.
e information is passed on to the Afghani
security forces and intelligence from Sterga 2
aided the sniper attack in December.
Cameras mounted on balloons monitor the
elds and compounds for several kilometres
around, feeding into an operations room and
providing protection for Bastion. e Taliban
thought that the large balloon was a "white
whale in the sky" when it was rst launched.
Sniper kills six Talibs with one shot
Gay wedding on Days of Our Lives
e voices of popes from as
long ago as 1884 can now be
heard following the digitising
of 8000 tapes from the Vatican
Radio's ponti cal archives.
e initiative is part of
preparations for the sainting of
John Paul II and John XXIII
(1958-63) on April 17, the
rst double papal canonisation
ceremony in Church history.
" is way, the popes remain
among us thanks to their voices,"
Vatican spokesman Federico
Lombardi said overnight.
Radio Vatican has been storing
up the unique patrimony since
it was set up under Pope Pius
XI in 1931 but also holds older
recordings such as Leo XIII's
Humanum Genus encyclical,
which the Ponti recorded on a
dictaphone in 1884.
Some of the clips in the on-
line collection capture historic
moments, such as Pope Pius XII's
speech in August 1939 calling
for restraint on the eve of World
War Two, saying " e danger is
imminent but there is still time.
Nothing is lost with peace, all can
be lost with war!"
People can also listen to Pope
John XXIII's impromptu 1962
"Speech to the Moon" in St
Peter's Square, where he spoke in
answer to requests from a huge
crowd and told them: "When you
head home, nd your children.
Hug and kiss your children and
tell them, ' is is the hug and
kiss of the Pope'."
Latin bo ns can also revel
in the same ponti 's dramatic
Second Vatican Council speech
in 1962, in which he rejected
the "prophets of doom" who
forecast the Church's decline and
called on the council "to use the
medicine of mercy rather than
the weapons of severity" in their
Other highlights include
Pope Paul VI's anguished words
following the kidnapping and
murder of Italian Prime Minister
Aldo Moro in May 1978,
culminating in his public address
to God: "You did not grant our
plea for the safety of Aldo Moro,
of this good and gentle man . . .
who was my friend."
Pope John Paul II's
emotionally-charged attack in
1993 on the ma a's "culture of
death" following a spate of high-
pro le killings can be listened
to again, as can Pope Benedict
XVI's 2013 resignation speech,
where he said he "will simply be
a pilgrim starting the last phase
of his pilgrimage on this earth".
Pope John Paul I, who lived for
just 33 days, can be heard at one
of the few Angelus prayers he led
describing the terror he felt as he
realised the conclave of cardinals
had decided to elect him as pope.
Kenyan police have arrested
more than 650 people in a
crackdown on suspected Islamist
insurgents a day after six people
were killed in bomb attacks in
the capital Nairobi.
" is act of cowardice
perpetrated against innocent
and peace-loving Kenyans who
were going about their normal
activities is barbaric," Interior
Minister Joseph Ole Lenku said
in a statement issued overnight.
"So far 657 suspects have been
apprehended," he added.
Kenyan police regularly arrest
scores of people after similar
attacks in sweeping security
operations but release most after
e three blasts on Monday
evening targeted two small
restaurants and a local clinic in
a particularly densely populated
area of Eastleigh, an area often
known as Little Mogadishu
because of its predominantly
responsibility for the blasts but
Eastleigh has in recent years been
the scene of several explosions
usually attributed by the police to
e attack comes a week after
six people died when assailants
burst into a church near the port
city of Mombasa and opened re
on worshippers. --- AFP
Kenyan police arrest
657 after blasts
United States drama Days of Our
Lives will make television history by
becoming the rst daytime soap to
feature a wedding between two gay
e character of Will Horton, played
by Guy Wilson, will marry on screen
partner Sonny Kiriakis, portrayed by
Freddie Smith, in a storyline which
will take place over the course of three
consecutive episodes later this week.
It is not the rst same-sex wedding to
be part of a US soap --- lesbians Bianca
Montgomery and Reese Williams,
played by Eden Riegel and Tamara
Braun respectively, exchanged vows on
All My Children in 2009. --- WENN
An asylum seeker being
deported on a ight from
Germany has forced the
Lufthansa plane to turn
back after threatening an air
stewardess with a broken razor
e 28-year-old man from
Kosovo did not want to be sent
back to Hungary where he was
seeking asylum, and forced the
plane to return to Munich airport
where he was arrested, police said
e aircraft carrying 82
passengers and crew had
departed the southern German
city earlier in the evening headed
for Budapest but turned around
shortly after take-o .
On landing, the passengers and
some crew members were able
to safely leave but the pilots and
50-year-old stewardess were still
being threatened on board, police
With the help of an interpreter,
they talked to the man who gave
ree air stewardesses were
slightly hurt, including one
su ering marks on her neck
where she was grabbed. --- AFP
Flight turns back after threat Stones to resume
tour next month
e Rolling Stones are
heading back on the road after
postponing the Australian leg
of their 14 On Fire world tour
in the wake of L'Wren Scott's
death, the girlfriend of frontman
e band has announced new
shows in Europe, starting May
26 in Oslo, Norway.
On Tuesday, the Stones
announced that they also will play
Portugal, Switzerland, Israel, the
Netherlands, Germany, France,
Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain,
Belgium, Sweden and Denmark
as part of the 14 On Fire tour.
e Stones called o a seven-
date tour of Australia and New
Zealand after fashion designer
Scott was found dead in her
New York apartment on March
17. e New York City medical
examiner's o ce ruled her death
Scott, 49, had been Jagger's
girlfriend since 2001. --- AP
Nato steps up sabre
rattling against Russia
Nato studied new steps to
bolster its military presence
in eastern Europe overnight
while saying it saw no sign that
Russia was withdrawing tens of
thousands of troops from the
Foreign ministers from the 28
members of the Western military
alliance met in Brussels for the
rst time since Russia's military
occupation and annexation
of Ukraine's Crimea region
triggered the worst east-west
crisis since the Cold War.
ey were discussing ways to
boost Nato's military presence in
former communist central and
eastern Europe to reassure allies
rattled by Russia's moves.
ey will also step up co-
operation with Ukraine and
decide whether to cut the
alliance's relations with Moscow
beyond the steps it has already
taken, which include halting
lower-level meetings with
Anders Fogh Rasmussen said:
" rough its actions, Russia
has undermined the principles
on which our partnership is
built, and has breached its own
international commitments. So
we cannot go on doing business
Russian President Vladimir
Putin told Germany's Angela
Merkel in a phone call yesterday
he had ordered a partial
withdrawal of Russian troops
from the eastern Ukrainian
border, the German chancellor's
But Rasmussen said Nato saw
no sign of this.
"Unfortunately, I cannot
con rm Russia is withdrawing
its troops. is is not what we are
seeing," he told reporters.
As Nato ministers met,
Russia warned Ukraine against
integration with Nato, saying
Kiev's previous attempts to move
closer to the defence alliance had
had unwelcome consequences.
Ukraine's Prime Minister
Arseny Yatseniuk has said the
country's new pro-western
leadership is not seeking
membership of Nato, but Nato is
expected to step up co-operation
with Ukraine's armed forces by
training o cers, holding joint
exercises and promoting reforms.
e United States and its allies
have made clear they have no
military plans to defend Ukraine.
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