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Saturday, April 5, 2014 - 3
30 missing after
PICTURE: New Zealand Herald
Debris washed up after the oods.
Flash ooding has killed at least
six people and left 10,500 homeless
in the Solomon Islands' capital
Honiara, with another 30 missing
and the death toll set to rise, o cials
e government declared a state
of emergency after the city's main
river, the Matanikau, burst its banks,
sweeping away entire communities,
bringing down bridges and
inundating the downtown area.
Australia updated its travel
advice for the Solomons, warning
the ooding had closed Honiara's
Henderson International Airport
and cut roads throughout the capital.
e advisory also said there had
been reports of looting in the city's
" is is the worst disaster the
nation has seen," the Solomons Star
newspaper said yesterday.
Save the Children's Solomons
development programme director
Rudaba Khondker described the
situation as "dire".
" is level of rain has never been
experienced before in Guadalcanal
(the island where Honiara is
located)," she said.
Khondker said 16 evacuation
centres had been set up in local
schools to provide shelter for 10,500
homeless people, a huge proportion
of the population in a city of only
"It's a logistical challenge," she
said, adding that roads had been cut
and communications were patchy.
" e east side (of the city) is tough
to reach and in the west side we're
still carrying out assessments."
She said dengue fever, already
common on the Solomons, was a
major concern in the evacuation
camps. New Zealand announced
$300,000 in aid and said it was
ready to provide further assistance if
asked. --- AFP
A strong 6-magnitude earthquake
has struck the Solomon Islandsy, the
United States Geological Survey
said, but there were no immediate
reports of damage.
e tremor, at a depth of 63km, hit
at 10.40pm on Friday, some 30km
west of the city of Kirakira.
e US Geological Survey issued
a 'green alert', indicating there was
a low likelihood of casualties and
e Solomons are part of the Ring
of Fire, a zone of tectonic activity
around the Paci c that is subject to
frequent earthquakes and volcanic
In February last year, the islands
were struck by a major 8.0 magnitude
quake that generated small but
deadly tsunami waves which washed
away houses and reached as far away
as Japan. --- AFP
Strong earthquake adds to misery
An underwater search has begun for
the black box belonging to missing
Malaysia Airlines ight MH370 --- a
slow process that authorities concede is
akin to a shot in the dark.
Australian navy vessel Ocean Shield
and the British oceanographic sur vey
vessel HMS Echo yesterday deployed
'pinger detectors' and began slowly
converging on each other over a 240km
tract of the Indian Ocean.
All of the data that has been used
to determine where the Boeing 777
probably ran out of fuel --- including
the nal ping picked up by satellite,
the likely speed of the plane and the
fuel burn rate --- has now been fully
Search teams are slowly combing
the area using underwater technology,
hoping at the same time that debris
from the plane will be seen on the
surface, which would allow them to
'backtrack' to the crash site.
"I think we've got to the end of the
process of analysis," retired Australian
Defence Force chief, Air Chief
Marshal Angus Houston, who has been
recruited to lead the Perth-based search
co-ordination unit, said.
" e data we've got is the data we've
"Hopefully, the calculations are
putting us in the right area."
Asked whether the search for the
black box was a shot in the dark, US
Navy Captain Mark Matthews said it
was an apt characterisation.
HMAS Ocean Shield and HMS
Echo were listening for a 37.5 kilohertz
signal that repeats every second and has
a detection range of 1.8km.
Captain Matthews said the process
was slow, at about 2-3 knots, meaning
it would take a couple of days to cover
While the battery on the black box
beacon was expected to run out of
power within days, crews could still
search underwater once it had stopped
transmitting, he said. --- AAP
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar
Ibrahim accused the government of
hiding information on Flight MH370,
as a black-box detector nears the search
zone for the missing plane.
Anwar said he was "ba ed" over
the Malaysian military's failure to
respond despite detecting the Malaysia
Airlines Boeing 777 crossing back over
the country's air space following its
"Unfortunately the manner in which
this was handled after the rst few
days was clearly suspect," Anwar said
in an interview with Britain's Daily
"One fact remains.Clearly information
critical to our understanding is deemed
missing. I believe the government
knows more than us."
Malaysia's response to the crisis has
been widely criticised, particularly by
distraught relatives of the 153 Chinese
people on the plane.
e plane went missing in the early
hours of March 8. Malaysia has said
satellite data indicates it crashed in the
Indian Ocean, far o western Australia.
But no debris indicating a crash site
has been found despite an extensive
search, as time runs out on the "black
box" locator signal, which lasts about 30
Malaysia's armed forces said soon after
the plane disappeared that its radar had
picked up a unidenti ed object moving
toward the Indian Ocean, but did not
respond because it was not deemed
hostile. --- AFP
Underwater search starts as time runs out
MH370: is it a cover-up?
McDonald's announced yesterday it
had closed its restaurants in Crimea,
prompting fears of a backlash as a
prominent Moscow politician called
for all the United States fast food
chain's outlets in Russia to be shut.
Crimea's annexation by Russia,
which Ukraine and the west do not
acknowledge, has worried companies
with assets in the Black Sea peninsula
as it is unclear how the change may
e ect their business.
While McDonald's did not mention
the political situation in its statement,
its decision to leave the region is likely
to be seen as emblematic of the rift
in Western-Russian relations, now at
their lowest ebb since the end of the
"Due to operational reasons beyond
our control, McDonald's has taken the
decision to temporarily close our
three restaurants in Simferopol,
Sevastopol and Yalta," a spokeswoman
e Crimean outlets are not
franchises, but owned and operated by
e closures follow Geneva-based
Universal Postal Deutsche Post's
announcement that it was no longer
accepting letters bound for Crimea as
delivery to the region was no longer
Economic relations between Russia
and Ukraine have worsened since
Russia annexed Crimea last month in
response to the ousting of Russian-
backed president Viktor Yanukovich
after months of street protests in Kiev.
Michael Schumacher has "moments
of consciousness and awakening", his
It is a sign of progress months after
the Formula One legend su ered
devastating brain injuries in a ski
Doctors put Schumacher in a
medically-induced coma after the
December 29 accident in which he
slammed his head on a rock while
skiing at the French resort of Meribel
with his son and friends.
Little information has since been
released about his condition since.
"Michael is making progress .... he
shows moments of consciousness and
awakening," Sabine Kehm said in a
e 45-year-old remains in hospital
in the French Alpine city of Grenoble,
where he underwent two operations
to remove life-threatening blood clots
before being placed into a coma.
His family said at the end of January
that drugs used to keep him in his deep
sleep were being reduced with a view to
bringing him back to consciousness.
Kehm once again asked that the
privacy of Schumacher's wife Corinna
and their two children be respected,
while thanking well-wishers for their
"We again ask for understanding that
we do not intend to disclose details.
is is necessary to protect the privacy
of Michael and his family and to
enable the medical team to work in full
calmness," she said. --- AFP
Schumacher has 'moments of consciousness'
McDonald's exits Crimea
A woman makes her way under a barrier tape outside a McDonald's restaurant in Simferopol.
United States senator Dan Coats
had a quick explanation for how
he ended up speaking at the wrong
hearing --- the Russians made him
e Indiana Republican went
to what he thought was an
appropriations hearing on the
defence budget this week and was
posing an appropriate question on
that subject when someone handed
him a piece of paper.
"I just got a note saying I'm at the
wrong hearing," Coats said.
He was instead at a gathering of
the Financial Services and General
"I think the Russians have been
messing with my schedule," he
tweeted. --- Reuters
It was the Russians, says US senator
by Dave Green 1221 Di culty Level
QUICK QUIZ 427
1. What breed of beef cattle, popular in New Zealand, has the same name
as a city on the English-Welsh border?
2. In Muslim countries, which organisation is the equivalent of the Red
3. At the end of the Vietnam war, what did Saigon become?
4. How many players does a team have on the ice in ice hockey?
5. The Comets were the backing group for which singer?
6. What are the two most popular types of Dutch cheese?
7. To the nearest year, what is the difference in life expectancy between
male and female newborns in New Zealand?
8. The Italian name Giovanni corresponds to which English name?
9. What is the name for a word or phrase that reads the same forwards
10. In Maori mythology, what is the name of the sky father?
ANSWERS: 1. Hereford, 2. Red Crescent, 3, Ho Chi Minh City, 4.
Six, 5. Bill Haley, 6. Edam and Gouda, 7. Four years (3.9), 8. John, 9.
Palindrome, 10. Rangi/Ranginui.
1 Group of birds (5)
4 Desert a friend in
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33 One actively involved in
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50 Sixth note (2)
51 Column base (8)
55 Leg support (5)
58 Made clear (9)
59 Ring (6)
61 Floor covering (3)
63 Caprice (4)
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66 Large juicy gourd (10)
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