Home' Greymouth Star : April 15th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 7
A bombing at a bus station
packed with morning commuters
on the outskirts of Nigeria's capital
has killed 71 people and wounded
124, with the president blaming the
attack on Boko Haram Islamists.
e explosion rocked the Nyanya
station south of Abuja at 6.45am
local time yesterday, leaving body
parts scattered across the terminal
and destroying dozens of vehicles.
It was the deadliest single attack
ever to hit Nigeria's Federal Capital
Territory, which includes Abuja
and surrounding areas.
O cials had earlier said that
two separate blasts ripped through
the compound, but later said the
damage may have been caused by
just one bomb.
e explosion "emanated from
a vehicle" parked within the
station, Charles Otegbade, head of
search and rescue at the National
Emergency Management Agency,
National police spokesman Frank
Mba put the toll at 71 dead and
124 injured, with the wounded
being treated at area hospitals.
Visiting the site, President
Goodluck Jonathan vowed that
Nigeria would overcome the
brutal insurgency being waged by
Boko Haram, blamed for killing
thousands across the north and
centre of the country since 2009.
" e issue of Boko Haram is quite
an ugly history within this period
of our own development," Jonathan
said. "But we will get over it. e
issue of Boko Haram is temporary."
e Islamists have carried out
several previous attacks in and
around the capital, including a
2011 car bombing at the United
Nations headquarters in the city
that killed at least 26 people.
e explosions left a hole roughly
1.2m deep and spread debris across
the compound, an AFP reporter
and witnesses said.
"I saw bodies taken away in
open trucks," witness Yakubu
Mohammed said. "It is di cult
to count them because the bodies
were burned and in pieces."
A second witness, Suleiman
Aminu, said he believed the initial
blast came from a minibus parked
near larger commuter vehicles, and
that commuters who had queued
up to board were the likely target.
Nyanya is a densely populated
suburb of Abuja, lled with
government and civil society
workers who cannot a ord the
city's exorbitant rents.
Boko Haram violence has cost
more than 1500 lives already this
year, but most of the unrest has
a ected villages in the remote
Last May the military launched
a massive o ensive to crush the
Islamist uprising and has described
Boko Haram as being in disarray
and on the defensive.
Bus parks have been among Boko
Haram's most favoured targets,
including multiple, co-ordinated
bombings at a terminal in the
northern city of Kano last year that
killed more than 40 people.
Jonathan, who is expected to face
a tough re-election battle next year,
has faced intense criticism over the
continuing Boko Haram violence.
Boko Haram's leader, Abubakar
Shekau, who has been declared
a global terrorist by the United
States, vowed in a recent video
message to widen the group's
violence outside its north-eastern
Nigeria is Africa's top oil producer
and largest economy, but more than
80% of the its 170 million people
live on less than $2 per day.
Analysts say that the Boko
Haram unrest has partly stalled
economic growth and scared away
potential investors. --- AFP
Bombs kill 71 at Nigerian bus station
A Red Cross worker and other volunteers help move a body into the mortuary of the Asokoro General Hospital after a bomb explosion, in Abuja.
Pakistani police re-arrested a
convicted cannibal overnight after
nding a young boy's head in his
Mohammad Arif, 35, and his
brother Mohammad Farman, 30,
from the small town of Darya Khan
in central Pakistan, served two years
in jail for cannibalism and were
released last year.
Police said the two had dug up
more than 100 corpses from the local
graveyard and eaten them.
"Residents informed police after a
stench emanated from the house of
the two brothers.
"We raided the house yesterday
morning and found the head of
a young boy," district police chief
Ameer Abdullah told Reuters.
"We have arrested one of the
brothers, Mohammad Arif, and are
conducting raids for the arrest of
the other brother," he told reporters
Police were searching nearby
cemeteries to see if any graves had
been disturbed recently, he said.
Boy's head found in home of convicted cannibal
Australia's coal industry is ring back.
In a call to arms Minerals Council
of Australia boss Brendan Pearson
has launched a campaign to sti e the
catchcries of "noisy extremists" he says
are threatening the industry's future.
Despite growing opposition to fossil
fuels and science which links burning
coal to climate change, Pearson said
a silent majority of Australians still
support the sector.
" e campaign to end coal production
and exports will fail," he said in a
Critics are yet to say what material can
replace coal in the construction process of
vital structures such as bridges, schools,
hospitals and trains, Pearson said.
He said modern coal- red power
stations have cut carbon emissions by
30% and the industry supports 200,000
jobs and generates $40 billion in exports.
Coal will remain the region's primary
source of a ordable energy and the basis
of its energy security, he said.
e council is urging people to visit
its new-look website and endorse an
automated email which will be sent to
MPs and coal opponents, extolling coal's
"Activist groups are openly distorting
the facts and scaremongering," the
e-mail reads. --- AAP
Oscar Pistorius argued with his
girlfriend shortly before shooting her
dead, the prosecution lawyer has alleged
as his gruelling cross-examination of the
sprinter went into a second week.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel overnight
accused the 27-year-old of concocting
evidence in his defence against the
charge of murdering Reeva Steenkamp
on Valentines' Day last year.
"It's the State's case, Mr Pistorius, that
she wanted to leave and that you weren't
sleeping, you were both awake," Nel said.
" at's not correct my lady, that's
untrue," Pistorius replied softly.
" ere was an argument," Nel said,
drawing another denial.
Nel repeatedly described the athlete's
explanation that he accidentally shot
Steenkamp through a locked bathroom
door as "so improbable that it cannot be
e prosecutor's relentless questioning
has elicited tears and taut replies from
the world-famous double amputee, who
insists he and the 29-year-old model
were in a loving relationship.
During the relentless back-and-forth
Pistorius and Nel at times appeared to
come close to bickering.
Nel complained that Pistorius was
being evasive and challenged him:
"Today I pick up you're not sure about
things, is anything wrong?" Nel asked.
Pistorius grew increasingly restless
during the morning, wiping his face,
pinching the bridge of his nose and
clenching his jaw.
Jumping from one event or piece of
evidence to another, Nel sought to keep
Pistorius o balance.
e athlete could not explain why the
model and law graduate had undigested
food in her stomach up to eight hours
after the couple ate under his version of
A forensic pathologist earlier testi ed
that she must have eaten about two hours
before her death, which contradicts the
accused's version they were sleeping at
e defence has disputed the science
that stomach contents could accurately
indicate the time of the last meal.
e athlete was also asked to explain
why Steenkamp's jeans were lying on the
oor while the rest of her possessions
were neatly arranged.
Nel has openly called the athlete's
version "a lie" contending Pistorius knew
exactly what he was doing when he red
the lethal shots.
"You knew Reeva was behind the door
and you shot at her!" he said on Friday,
with Pistorius replying softly "It's not
Pistorius claims he woke up in the
early morning hours, brought in two fans
from his balcony, then armed himself
after hearing the noise in the bathroom.
Steenkamp's older sister branded
Pistorius a "disgusting liar" after
attending some of his evidence in court
with her mother.
"He is trying to convince the court
that they were really close and that he
cared for her. It's not true," Simone
Steenkamp, 48, said.
Pistorius will likely remain in the
witness box for another few days as a
witness in his own defence.
His lawyers have said it will call up to
17 witnesses, including ballistics experts.
Militants have closed down a
Euphrates River dam they control
in Iraq, blocking a major water
source, with another 15 people
killed in violence across the war-
Militants have "completely closed
the gates of the Fallujah dam
since yesterday morning," Water
Resources Minister Muhanad al-
Saadi said in a statement overnight.
e move blocks a major source
of water for central and southern
e militants, who seized the dam
several weeks ago, had previously
cut the ow of water through
the dam near the city of Fallujah
but reopened it when water
accumulated and caused the area to
In a sign of both the reach of
anti-government ghters and the
weakness of security forces, all of
Fallujah and shifting parts of Anbar
provincial capital Ramadi, to its
west, have been out of government
control since early January.
e US embassy issued a
statement overnight condemning
"ongoing terrorist acts" by powerful
jihadist group the Islamic State of
Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and the
dam closure in particular.
"Targeting dams and other vital
infrastructure victimises innocent
Iraqi citizens. In the past week,
hundreds of thousands of innocent
Iraqis have su ered from water
shortages as a result of ISIL's
actions," the embassy said.
shoulder- red rockets killed two
people and wounded seven in
Fallujah, while clashes in Ramadi
left ve militants dead.
Bombings in three areas close to
Baghdad killed ve people, among
them two Sahwa anti-al Qaeda
militiamen, and wounded nine.
And north of the capital, a
rebomb thrown at a checkpoint
killed a policeman in the city of
Tikrit, while gunmen killed a
Kurdish security forces member
and a civilian in Kirkuk. --- AFP
Militants block Iraqi water supply
Heads of state attending the 70th
anniversary of World War Two's
Normandy landings will lunch together
at a chateau which played a celebrated
role in French resistance to the Nazis.
Dignatories including Queen
Elizabeth, Barack Obama and Vladimir
Putin have been invited to sit down
together on the anniversary of D-Day
( June 6) at the 18th Century Chateau de
Benouville, organisers said overnight.
e chateau is situated just a few
kilometres from the landing beaches
where the liberation of continental
During the war, it was used as a
maternity hospital and its female
director, Lea Vion, was famed for
o ering a refuge for fugitive Allied
airmen and local resistance activists, as
well as relaying crucial intelligence on
German forces to the Allies.
e full programme for the anniversary
commemorations has yet to be
announced but United States President
Obama and Britain's monarch have
already con rmed their participation.
Currently, Putin is also expected to
attend after French President Francois
Hollande said last month his invitation
to the Russian leader would not be
withdrawn in protest at Moscow's
conduct in Ukraine. --- AFP
Discovery Channel has set the date
for its live coverage of the rst wingsuit
ight o the summit of Mount Everest.
e network plans to air Everest Jump
Live on May 11, weather permitting. It
will also be telecast globally.
High-altitude climber Joby Ogwyn
will make the attempt. Discovery will air
a live two-hour broadcast showing the
California native as he battles conditions
on the way to the summit of the world's
tallest mountain, then takes the plunge.
His custom-made wingsuit will be
equipped with cameras to capture the
descent of more than 10,000 vertical feet
at speeds exceeding 240kph.
e event will be preceded by ve
nights of live programmes from
Everest covering Ogwyn's training and
preparation. ey begin on May 5. --- AP
Fire raging on
in Chilean city
Fire ghters backed by police
and soldiers have battled for a
third day a massive blaze that
killed 12 people and ravaged a
huge swath of Chile's historic
port city of Valparaiso.
O cials say it could yet be
another two or three days before
they succeed in extinguishing
the re, the worst to hit the city,
consuming 2000 homes and
forcing thousands of people to
ee for their lives.
Some who refused to leave
homes were killed when the
inferno swept in.
Hardest hit have been
Valparaiso's poorer neighbour-
hoods, perched precariously
on the coastal city's tinder-dry
hillsides, where dwellings built
mostly of tin and wood quickly
became engulfed in ames.
ick smoke settled over
Valparaiso overnight, and ash
from the re rained down on the
city's historic port, which so far
has been spared the wrath of the
President Michelle Bachelet
has declared the ravaged area a
disaster zone, allowing the armed
forces to assist in relief e orts
and take control of security.
"We are in a situation of
Bachelet's Defence Minister
Jorge Burgos told local radio,
adding that the re poses "a very
At least 11 helicopters, six
planes and 2000 p olice and
soldiers, in addition to battalions
of re ghters, are battling the
ey have been heartened by a
forecast of cooler temperatures
and higher humidity.
e city, an architectural gem
located about 120km from the
capital Santiago, is famous for
its UNESCO-listed centre
with cobblestone streets and
e re broke out on Saturday,
and whipped up by winds,
quickly became a fast-moving
inferno. So far it has destroyed
850ha and forced 10,000 people
to evacuate. --- AFP
e Washington Post and e
Guardian have won the Pulitzer Prize
in public service for revealing the
United States government's sweeping
surveillance e orts in stories based on
thousands of secret documents handed
over by National Security Agency leaker
e Pulitzer for breaking news has
been awarded to e Boston Globe
for its coverage of the deadly Boston
e awards, which were announced
overnight, are American journalism's
e winning entries about the NSA's
spy programmes showed the US
government has collected information
about millions of Americans' phone
calls and e-mails based on its classi ed
interpretations of laws passed after the
September 11 attacks.
e disclosures touched o a furious
debate in the US over privacy versus
security and led President Barack Obama
to impose limits on the surveillance.
e prosecution has accused Oscar
Pistorius of feigning emotion to dodge
tough questions about the death of his
girlfriend at the opening to the second
week of his murder trial in Pretoria.
Frustrated with his frequent crying in
the witness box, prosecutor Gerrie Nel
overnight toughened his questioning
and accused the Paralympic star of
"Mr Pistorius, you're not using your
emotional state to escape, are you?" he
said after the athlete broke down under
questioning on one of several occasions.
"You're getting frustrated because your
version is improbable and you're getting
emotional," he said.
During six days of testimony, Pistorius
has often appeared harrowed when
evidence has turned to the moments
before and after he red the four shots
that killed Steenkamp.
Overnight he again burst into tears
when he re-enacted his high pitched call
for supposed intruders to "get the f---
out of my house!"
Nel claimed Pistorius was crying
because he knew he was shouting at
Steenkamp and not a supposed intruder,
putting the State's case that she was
preparing to leave after an argument
when she was shot.
Pistorius often looked pale in the
witness stand, his shoulders hunched
forward. --- AFP
Pulitzer Prize for
'Crocodile tears' accusation
Bulgaria's State security agency said it
had recovered a trove of 15,000 priceless
gold artefacts dating back to the third
millennium BC from a smuggling ring.
O cials said the collection, which
included three gold necklaces worn by
women of high social status, would be
given to Bulgaria's National Museum of
" ese amazing golden ndings are
1500 years older than the Trojan War
and 2500 years older than all racian
treasures we know," Bozhidar Dimitrov,
the director of the museum, told a news
Security o cials declined to
provide any further details, saying
the investigation into the smuggling
operation was still going on.
"We have managed to protect a cultural
heritage of historic value and global
signi cance," the head of the security
agency, Vladimir Pisanchev, said.
Hunting for treasure with the aim of
selling it abroad is widespread in the
Culture Minister Petar Stoyanovich
said that Bulgaria is considering setting
up a special police unit to combat
tra cking in cultural artefacts.
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