Home' Greymouth Star : May 5th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
6 - Monday, May 5, 2014
Hundreds of women clergy and
supporters have marched through central
London to celebrate 20 years since the
Church of England first ordained female
The procession began at Westminster
Abbey and ended at St Paul’s Cathedral,
where Archbishop of Canterbury Justin
Welby delivered a sermon shown on big
screens outside the famous church.
“As we celebrate how far we have come,
let us be mindful of the distance yet to
travel,” he said on Saturday.
“In 20 years we have come a long way.
“How did we not see that women and
men are equally icons, witnesses, vessels
of Christ for the world?”
The general synod voted in 1992 to
allow women priests, with the first
ordinations taking place two years later.
All 700 women ordained in 1994 were
invited, and all dioceses in England were
thought to be represented. — AFP
mark 20 years
It sounds like the stuff of vampire
movies, but scientists have shown
that an infusion of young blood can
reverse signs of ageing.
Although the ghoulish experiment
was conducted on laboratory mice,
the next step could involve a study of
The researchers believe young blood
may contain natural chemicals that
turn back the clock to rejuvenate the
In the study, blood from three-
month-old mice was repeatedly
injected into 18-month-old mice near
the end of their natural life span.
The “vampire therapy” improved the
performance of the elderly mice in
memory and learning tasks.
Structural, molecular and functional
changes were also seen in their brains.
Writing in the journal Nature
Medicine, the US team led by Dr
Tony Wyss-Coray, from Stanford
University, said: “O ur data indicate
that exposure of aged mice to
young blood late in life is capable of
rejuvenating synaptic plasticity and
improving cognitive function..
“Future studies are warranted
in aged humans and potentially
those suffering from age-related
neurodegenerative disorders. ”
Evidence was seen of new
connections forming in the
hippocampus, a brain region vital to
memory and sensitive to ageing.
Dendritic spines — finger-like exten-
sions from the branches of neurons
thought to play a role in memory
formation — also became more dense.
Ageing mice given eight infusions
of young blood over three weeks
improved their performance in mental
tests of fear condition and locating a
hidden platform in a water maze.
Infusions of blood from other
elderly mice had no effect.
What caused the changes is still
unknown, but it appears to involve
activation of a protein called Creb in
the hippocampus that helps regulate
certain genes. — PA
Young blood ‘reverses signs of ageing’
Concord (New Hampshire)
The first openly gay bishop in the
Episcopal Church, whose election to lead
the diocese of New Hampshire kicked
off a firestorm of controversy a decade
ago, said overnight he was divorcing his
husband after four years of marriage.
Gene Robinson, who retired as a
bishop in 2013, announced the split
in a letter to the Episcopal Diocese of
New Hampshire and in a personal essay
published in the Daily Beast, where
he wrote that his “ belief in marriage is
“It is at least a small comfort to me,
as a gay rights and marriage equality
advocate, to know that like any marriage,
gay and lesbian couples are subject to the
same complications and hardships that
afflict marriages between heterosexual
couples,” he said.
Robinson’s election in 2003 as bishop
of the New Hampshire diocese stirred
protest in the Episcopal Church, the
United States branch of the worldwide
Anglican Communion. Hundreds of
parishes opposed to his consecration
left the 2.3 million-member Episcopal
Church, saying it was becoming too
The former bishop is now a senior
fellow at the Centre for American
Progress in Washington.
He said details of his divorce from
Mark Andrew, whom he married in
2010 when gay marriage was legalised in
New Hampshire, would remain private.
“ We ask for your prayers, that the
love and care for each other that has
characterised our relationship for
a quarter century will continue in
the difficult days ahead,” he said in
a statement to the Diocese of New
Hampshire. — Reuters
Aab Bareek (Afghanistan)
Six-year-old Abdul Maqsood
stood outside his neighbour’s
simple mud-brick home, staring
aghast at the damage caused by a
landslide which had slammed into
his village in remote north-east
Afghanistan. Then the rumbling
Maqsood had no idea that the
entire side of the bare mountain
above him, drenched by a week of
heavy rain, had fractured and was
about to cave in.
The second, even bigger landslide
happened so quickly that Maqsood
had no time to run. He was
swamped by a wall of mud that
swallowed up his home and some
300 others around him, taking
hundreds, possibly thousands of
lives in Afghanistan’s worst natural
disaster in a decade.
“It sounded like a bomb and I
screamed, called my father and
mother for help,” he told Reuters
overnight from a makeshift clinic
in a tent where the injured were
being treated by local and Red
“It was so dark and dusty
everywhere and I didn’t know what
happened,” Maqsood said, his head
and leg wrapped in bandages.
The boy ’s father, a shovel already
in hand after helping victims from
the first landslide, rushed to back to
find his son. Twenty minutes later,
he dragged Maqsood from the
earth and debris.
In one the poorest areas of
Afghanistan — where most people
do not have electricity and roads are
almost non-existent — Maqsood’s
family was lucky: his mother and
brother were also saved.
The United Nations put the death
toll from Friday ’s massive landslide
in Badakhshan province, bordering
Tajikistan, at up to 500. Local
officials say the number killed could
be as high as 2700.
United States President Barack
Obama called Afghani President
Hamid Karzai overnight to express
his condolences and offer additional
assistance, the White House said in
It is unlikely the final figure will
ever be known, as officials say it is
impossible to retrieve the bodies
buried in up to 50m of mud and
“ We cannot continue the search
and rescue operation any more, as
the houses are under metres of mud,”
deputy governor of Badakhshan
province Gul Mohammad Bedaar
said. “ We will offer prayers for the
victims and make the area a mass
Fears of another landslide
prompted officials to evacuate the
remaining 700 families, or about
4000 people, to safer ground nearby.
They may never return to live in
their homes in Aab Bareek.
delivered water, food, medicine and
tents on Sunday, while aid agencies
and local relief workers slowly
arrived after a difficult journey over
a potholed road.
The UN agency in charge of
relief operations, the Office for the
co-ordination of Humanitarian
Affairs, said the displaced were
largely being accommodated with
host families, with some in tents.
But villagers expressed their
anger with the relief effort, saying
that many had already spent two
nights in the open in near-freezing
“At least they should give us a
shelter to live in,” Bibi Nawroz, who
said she had lost eight members
of her family in the disaster, told
Local officials echoed their
concerns, calling on the government
and foreign aid agencies to act more
“There are thousands of families
who are in desperate need of help
and hundreds of other homes are at
risk, or possibly another landslide,”
“The government and relief
organisations must act swiftly and
send us more aid and equipment.
What we have so far is not
Over the past fortnight, about
a third of the country has been
flooded due to heavy seasonal rains
and snow melt, killing 159 people.
The UN said 71,000 have
been affected in a country prone
to natural disasters due to its
geographical location and years of
Despite offers of help from the
US and Nato-led coalition troops
battling Taliban insurgents, the
Afghani government said it could
manage on its own, with the
assistance of aid agencies.
Relations between Kabul and
Washington are at an all-time
low over Karzai’s refusal to sign a
security agreement allowing a small
US force to remain in the country
at the end of the year.
Twelve years after US-led forces
invaded Afghanistan to drive
the Taliban from power, foreign
combat troops will withdraw on
December 31, leaving security in
The US wants to keep a force of
less than 10,000 troops there for
counter-insurgency and training
purposes. — Reuters
may top 2700
Second slip hit rescuers helping victims of first
My arrest was wrong — Adams
PICTURE: Getty Images
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams gestures following a press conference at Balmoral Hotel after he was released from
Antrim police station without charge following questioning over the Jean McConville murder.
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams says
his arrest over the murder of Jean
McConville is wrong but insists the
police in Northern Ireland retain his
After four days in custody Adams
again rejected allegations made by
former republican colleagues that he
ordered the abduction and killing of
the Belfast mother-of-10 in 1972.
Adams’s arrest on Wednesday
triggered a bitter political row at
Stormont, with Sinn Fein accusing an
“anti-peace process rump” within the
police of orchestrating the detention
with the aim of damaging the party.
This was angrily rejected by
Unionists, whose fury intensified when
senior Sinn Fein figures indicated that
their support for the Police Ser vice of
Northern Ireland (PSNI) — a critical
plank in the peace process — would be
“reviewed” if Adams was charged.
Adams last night moved to reaffirm
his party’s commitment to new
policing structures in the region, but he
said his arrest had sent out the “ wrong
“Despite this I want to make it
clear that I support the PSNI, I will
continue to work with others to build a
genuinely civic policing ser vice.
“The old guard which is against
change — whether in the PSNI
leadership, within elements of
unionism, or the far fringes of self-
proclaimed but pseudo republicans
— they can’t win.
“The dark side of the British system
cannot be allowed to deny anyone, any
of our people — Catholic, Protestant
or dissenter — to their entitlement to
a rights-based citizen society as set out
in the Good Friday Agreement.”
A rapturous welcome afforded to the
republican veteran — as he gave his
first public reaction to his detention in
a Belfast hotel — was in stark contrast
to the angry Loyalist protest staged
outside Antrim police station when
news of his release filtered through.
Adams, 65, urged people to
acknowledge the feelings of the
McConville family with the intense
focus on the 37-year-old widow ’s
But he said claims that he was
involved were part of a “sustained,
malicious, untruthful and sinister
The decision to release Adams
and send a report to the Public
Prosecution Ser vice (PPS) means the
ultimate decision whether to charge
him with any offence will be made
by prosecutors at a later date after
reviewing evidence presented by police.
Jonathan has ordered a stepped-up
drive to free 223 schoolgirls whose
abduction by suspected Islamists has
ignited a global outcry, as two girls who
escaped told of their dead-of-night
Jonathan has come under mounting
pressure since gunmen believed to be
Boko Haram extremists stormed the
girls’ boarding school on April 14,
forcing them from their dormitories
on to trucks and driving them into the
Anger at his government ’s ineffectual
response has fuelled protests at home
and abroad, including in New York
where dozens of Nigerians staged a
demonstration yesterday demanding
that more action be taken.
A meeting overnight brought together
for the first time all key players in
the search for the missing girls, from
Nigeria’s military and security ser vice
chiefs to Borno State’s governor and
police chief, and the head of the girls’
school in Chibok.
Police earlier said kidnappers were still
holding 223 out of 276 girls seized from
the north-eastern school — higher than
previous estimates of the number being
A Nigerian newspaper overnight
published an inter view with two of the
girls who got away, who told of their
abduction and “desperate” escape.
Both girls told of how they summoned
the courage to jump off the trucks
driving them into the bush.
“O ur vehicle developed a problem
and they were forced to stop. I took the
opportunity with some girls to run into
a dark bush,” Thabita Walse told The
“I have heard a lot about Boko Haram,
the bad things they do and how they
have killed many people in the state,”
Sawok said. “I was afraid and I became
“I felt getting to their camp could be
dangerous for me, and it would be better
if I escaped. That gave me the courage to
jump out. ”
Boko Haram’s name translates as
“ western education is forbidden”, and it
has repeatedly attacked schools during
an insurgency aimed at creating a strict
Islamic state in mainly Muslim northern
Nigeria. — AFP
Search steps up for abducted girls
Princes visit home
of the ‘king’
Prince William and Prince Harry
toured the home of the King — Elvis,
that is — and then went to a friend’s
wedding during their trip to Tennessee.
Their visit inspired dozens of fans,
paparazzi and news media to wait for
hours outside the Memphis Hunt and
Polo Club for the chance to see royalty.
Instead, they saw police and several black
sport utility vehicles pull into the club.
For 15-year-old Danny Harp, that was
enough. Just being metres from a future
king was a dream come true, he said.
“Absolutely blown away. I feel like I
waited three years since the wedding to
see this in person,” Harp said, referring
to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s
Harp drove about 320km from
Nashville with his mother and a friend.
They waited for the royals for about five
hours as he held a small England flag
and magazines with Princess Diana and
the royal wedding on them.
“ I thought I’d rather be here and not
see anything than be at home and feel
like I missed something,” he said.
He did get to see the bride, Lizzy
Wilson, drive up in a 1950s-style
Wilson is the granddaughter of the late
Holiday Inn founder Kemmons Wilson.
She married London night club owner
The royal brothers took a private tour of
Graceland, the home of Elvis, on Friday.
Mankind has come a long way
since the days of hunters and
gatherers — but the modern
British man’s sur vival gene could be
in danger of becoming extinct.
According to a new television
sur vey, ready meals and toiletries are
the luxuries more than a quarter of
British men could not live without
on a remote island, above taking a
hunting knife or fishing line.
Some 26% named toiletries as a
must-have item and 29% said they
could not do without their pre-
prepared tucker, the Channel 4
sur vey of 2000 British men found.
And 62% said they wouldn’t be
able to start a fire without the aid
of a lighter — so they may have
trouble heating up their tv dinner
When asked to rate their practical
DIY skills, Welsh men were the
least-educated in the United
Kingdom, with 83% claiming they
were never taught the skills.
The sur vey found just one in 10
spend their spare time playing sport,
only 9% pursue outdoor activities
and 15% tend to their house or car.
The top recreation was lazing
around and watching television,
with more than a third admitting to
spending their free time in this way.
The sur vey findings come as
Channel 4 launches the five-part
series, The Island with Bear Grylls,
featuring the real-life experiences
of a group of men struggling to
sur vive on a remote island.
Grylls said: “ What happens when
you strip man of all the luxury and
conveniences of modern living and
then force them to fight for their
“ When pushed to the extreme
do they still have what it takes to
sur vive? I believe the spirit is still
there and in us all.
“ It’s not until it ’s squeezed and
put under pressure that we find
that spirit of resourcefulness and
courage again.” — PA
Male survival gene ‘under threat’
President Bashar al-Assad is to
face two challengers in Syria’s June
presidential election, which he is
assured of winning.
“The supreme constitutional court
announces . . . the acceptance of
candidacy bids registered by . . .
Maher Abdel Hafiz Hajjar, Hassan
Abdallah al-Nuri and Bashar
Hafez al-Assad,” a court official
Twenty-three candidates had
initially registered to run against
Assad but most did not meet
criteria to run for office in a vote
mocked by the opposition and the
west as a “farce”.
Both Hajjar and Nuri are largely
unknown to the Syrian public.
Candidates whose bids were
rejected have until May 7 to appeal
the court ’s decision, Majed al-
Khadra of the constitutional court,
whose statement was carried by
State television, said.
While the election is the country’s
first multi-candidate vote, the rules
effectively rule out any opponents
to Assad’s regime from running.
Among them is the stipulation
that anyone who has lived outside
Syria in the past decade is excluded,
effectively barring most prominent
opposition figures, who live in exile.
At the same time, the vote
will only be held in areas under
The election is being held amid a
brutal civil war that has killed more
than 150,000 people since March
2011 and made millions homeless.
The regime has barred from voting
those refugees who left the country
illegally. — AFP
Assad facing two challengers
Las Cruces (New Mexico)
comedian Cheech Marin says he
and long-time comedy partner
Tommy Chong may soon reunite
The Las Cruces Sun-News
reports Marin made the comments
while launching an exhibit of his
art collection at the Las Cruces
Museum of Art in southern New
The 67-year-old, known as one
half of Cheech and Chong, says
there have been discussions about
starting a project within the next
Meanwhile, the two have been
An avid collector, Marin met
with artists and local high school
students before the exhibit’s
Chicanitas: Small Paints from the
Cheech Marin Collection features
70 paintings by 29 Chicano artists.
Marin has plans to open similar
exhibits in other cities as part of a
Chicanitas tour, including one in
France. — AP
Suspected Jewish extremists have
uprooted dozens of olive trees in a
Palestinian-owned field in the West
Bank, Israeli police say.
“ Twenty-five olive trees were uprooted
and sawn up in a field belonging to
Palestinians near Bat Ayin” in the
Gush Etzion settlement bloc south of
Jerusalem, police spokeswoman Louba
She said graffiti reading “price tag” and
“Arab thieves” was found at the scene.
“ Price tag” is a term used by Israeli
extremists for attacks on Palestinians
and their property, often in response to
Israeli moves to dismantle settlements.
Similar graffiti was found on Friday on
a Muslim grave near the northern Israeli
coastal city of Haifa.
The State Department ’s 2013 Country
Reports on Terrorism included “price
tag” attacks for the first time, citing
United Nations figures of some “399
attacks by extremist Israeli settlers
that resulted in Palestinian injuries or
Such attacks were “ largely not
prosecuted”, it said.
Yesterday, a former chief of Israel’s
domestic intelligence agency, Shin
Bet, condemned the refusal of security
ser vices to deal with Jewish fringe
groups the same way as any terrorist cell.
“ In the Shin Bet, the expression ‘we
can’t ’ does not exist, it’s more a case of
‘ we don’t want to’,” Carmi Gillon was
quoted as saying by public radio. — AFP
uproot olive trees
Cheech hints at Chong reunion
A bridge under construction in a
village in southern China has collapsed,
killing 11 people and injuring several
State-run Xinhua News Agency says
the stone arch bridge being built in
Liangkengkou village in Guangdong
province collapsed yesterday.
A man at the information office of
Maoming city government, which is
carrying out rescue work, said overnight
that rescuers had pulled out 26 people
from the debris. Five of them were
confirmed dead at the scene. Eight
others were seriously injured, six of
whom died later in the hospital. One
other person had managed to get out.
He said the construction of the
unlicensed bridge had been arranged
by the village committee, and that three
people were in police custody. — AP
Chinese bridge collapse kills 11
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