Home' Greymouth Star : May 7th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
Wednesday, May 7, 2014 - 5
The unidentified remains of
victims of the September 11,
2001 attacks in New York will
be taken to ground zero, but
the move has sparked strong
opposition from some families.
The attacks — in which
hijacked airliners smashed into
the Twin Towers, the Pentagon
in Washington, and a field in
Pennsylvania — killed 2753
people at the World Trade
Centre, or Twin Towers, alone.
But only 1115 of the bodies
have been identified, according
to figures from the New York
medical examiners’ office.
will be moved from there to a
specially-built repository under
the National September 11
Memorial and Museum on May
10, the mayor’s office said in a
letter to victims’ families.
“This transfer will be conducted
in a dignified and respectful
manner, while also ensuring the
protection and security of the
remains during the move,” the
There will be no religious
ceremony or ser vice, nor will the
event be attended by city officials,
the newspaper added.
According to Susan Dahill,
communications director for
the Voices of September 11, the
event will be open to only family
members of the victims “ because
of the space limitation”.
The repository will be located
20m underground in a basement
of the September 11 museum
and will not be open to the
But the museum itself will be
open to the public from May 21.
That is not a fitting resting
place for the remains of loved
ones, some family members
not be a marketing tool for a
$US24 ($27.56) admission to
that museum, it is a disgrace,
it’s a sacrilege,” the deputy
chairwoman of a group called
9/11 Parents and Families of
Firefighters and WTC Victims,
Sally Regenhard, said.
She complained that the
families were not consulted
about the move. — AFP
Remains of September 11 victims to be moved
Suspected Boko Haram gunmen kidnapped
eight girls from a village near one of the
Islamists’ strongholds in north-eastern Nigeria
yesterday, police and residents said overnight.
The abduction of the girls, aged 12 to 15,
follows the kidnapping of more than 200 other
schoolgirls by the militant group last month,
whom it has threatened to sell into slavery.
Lazarus Musa, a resident of the village of
Warabe, said armed men had opened fire during
“They were many and all of them carried guns.
They came in two vehicles painted in army
colour. They started shooting in our village,”
Musa said by telephone from the village in the
hilly Gwoza area, Boko Haram’s main base.
A police source, who could not be named, said
the girls were taken away on trucks, along with
looted livestock and food.
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau
threatened in a video released to the media
earlier to sell the girls abducted from a secondary
school on April 14 “on the market ”.
The kidnappings by the Islamists, who say they
are fighting for an Islamic state in Nigeria, have
shocked a country long inured to the violence
around the north-east.
They have also embarrassed the government
before a World Economic Forum (WEF)
meeting on Africa, the annual gathering of the
wealthy and powerful, in Abuja from tonight.
Nigerian officials had hoped the event would
highlight their country’s potential as Africa’s
hottest investment destination since it became
the continent ’s biggest economy from a GDP
recalculation in March, but the forum has been
overshadowed by the crisis over the girls and
mystery of where they are.
That has thrown the government ’s failings on
national security into the spotlight just when it
sought to parade its achievements such as power
privatisation and macro-economic stability to
top global business people and politicians.
Boko Haram, the main security threat to
Africa’s leading energy producer, is growing
bolder and appears better armed than ever.
“Many people tried to run behind the
mountain but when they heard gun shots, they
came back,” Musa said. “ The Boko Haram men
were entering houses, ordering people out of
April’s mass kidnapping occurred on the day a
bomb blast, also claimed by Boko Haram, killed
75 people on the edge of Abuja, the first attack
on the capital in two years. Another bomb in
roughly the same place killed 19 people last
The United Nations warned Boko Haram
overnight that if they carried out their leader’s
threat to sell the girls, they would be liable to
prosecution for war crimes, even decades after
“ We warn the perpetrators that there is an
absolute prohibition against slavery and sexual
slavery in international law. These can constitute
crimes against humanity,” UN human rights
spokesman Rupert Colville said in Geneva.
The military’s inability to find the girls in
three weeks, has led to protests in the north-
east, Abuja and Lagos, the commercial capital.
Britain and the United States have both
offered to help track down the girls, but neither
has given specifics, and neither has Nigeria
specified what help, if any, it wants.
British Foreign Minister William Hague
reiterated an offer of help to Nigeria overnight,
after calling the abductions “disgusting and
Worsening violence so close to the capital has
also put the spot light on security arrangements
for the WEF, with a few delegates cancelling,
although organisers still expect most to arrive as
planned. — Reuters
A British lord is putting a mountain
hefty inheritance tax bill.
Hugh Lowther, the Earl of Lonsdale,
has put Blencathra, a 868m peak in the
picturesque Lake District in north-west
England, on the market for £1.75 million
Lowther felt forced to sell the the
1083ha mountain, known as Saddleback
due to its shape, to help pay off the
reported £9m he owes the Treasury from
his father ’s inheritance.
Inheritance tax, set at 40%, is payable
on the amount of an estate above a
“ My family have owned Blencathra and
its manor for over 400 years, so the sale
of this property will be a great loss,” the
“ However, we need to realise capital
for inheritance tax following the death
of my father in 2006 and our aim is to
retain the core portions of the Lonsdale
estates intact as far as is possible. ”
The buyer will be entitled to use
the feudal title Lord of the Manor of
Threlkeld, which will allow the owner to
apply for an individual coat of arms.
The buyer also obtains grazing rights
for 5471 ewes, 732 hoggets and 200
lambs. — AFP
to pay tax bill
The Vatican told critics of its
sexual abuse record overnight
it had developed model child
protection policies over the past
decade and that its accusers
should not stay “fossilised in
the past ” when attitudes were
Nations Committee on Torture,
the papal ambassador in
Geneva admitted the Roman
Catholic Church had in the past
protected priests who molested
minors but had not done so in
years because it understood the
Archbishop Silvano Tomasi
was responding to questions
from the committee, which
grilled him on the Vatican’s
record yesterday and called for a
permanent investigation system
to end what it called a “climate
of impunity” within the Church.
Groups representing victims
of clerical sexual abuse said after
yesterday ’s hearing that predator
priests were still being moved
to other parishes, sometimes
to other countries, to protect
them against possible criminal
Referring to that accusation,
Tomasi said: “ We must not be
fossilised in the past.”
The “culture of the time” in the
1960s and 1970s viewed such
offenders as people who could
be treated psychologically rather
than as criminals, he said.
“Unfortunately, that was a
mistake, as experience has
shown. We have to appreciate
the evolution of the culture and
the enormous amount of work
that has been done in 10 years by
an institution called the Catholic
Barbara Blaine, founder and
president of the Sur vivors
Network of those Abused by
Priests (SNAP), accused Tomasi
of dodging the issue by claiming
the Church simply went along
with what was the common view
of experts decades ago.
“That is ludicrous. Everyone
knew that raping children was
a crime and it should have been
reported to the police,” she said.
“They are not committing
themselves to remove the sexual
predators from the priesthood
or from ministry. They are not
punishing the bishops who
conceal and cover up the sex
The sexual abuse scandal has
haunted the Catholic Church for
over two decades but became a
major issue in the United States
about 10 years ago. Since then it
has also disgraced local churches
in Ireland, Germany, Belgium,
the Netherlands and other
countries and badly tarnished the
ambassador accused of sexual
abuse in the Dominican Republic,
Tomasi said Archbishop Jozef
Wesolowski would be tried at the
Vatican but his case was delayed
because not all the necessary
documents had arrived yet.
Anti-abuse policy ‘a model’ — Vatican
Oscar Pistorius allegedly made a “very
sinister” remark to a State witness and
friend of the late Reeva Steenkamp in
court, a lawyer for the woman said.
“ My client, Kim Myers, was approached
by Oscar Pistorius in court today and in
a very sinister tone was asked ‘how can
you sleep at night?” lawyer Ian Levitt
said in a statement overnight.
“O bviously he wasn’t asking her if she
got her full eight hours sleep,” Levitt
said. “It was obviously in a sinister way ”.
The Myers family, which includes father
Cecil, known as Steenkamp’s Joburg
Dad, mother Desi, and sisters Kim and
Gina, hired Levitt to represent them
soon after the 29-year-old model and
law graduate was shot dead by Pistorius.
Lawyers representing Pistorius denied
the 27-year-old Paralympic gold
medallist said anything threatening to
“ I’m not even going to dignify that with
a comment,” Pistorius defence lawyer
Brian Webber said to reporters after
court adjourned for the day.
“ It ’s grossly untrue. He never said
anything of the sort.”
But Levitt said Myers is adamant she
heard those words. “S he stands by what
she says,” Levitt said by phone from
“He did say it. I can tell you my personal
view is he is in a state of denial and he’s
been so for a long time. ”
Throughout the athlete’s murder trial,
State prosecutor Gerrie Nel has worked
to show Pistorius is unable to accept
blame for his actions.
Nel has openly called the athlete’s
version “a lie” contending Pistorius knew
exactly what he was doing when he
fired the lethal shots at Steenkamp and
discharged a firearm twice in public.
Pistorius has denied intentionally
killing Steenkamp and has pleaded not
guilty to other charges. — AFP
Rolf Harris relaxed as trial opens
Rolf Harris appeared relaxed on the first day
of his indecent assault trial in London as the
process of selecting a jury that will eventually
decide his fate got under way.
The veteran entertainer spoke only briefly in
court overnight when asked to confirm he was
indeed Rolf Harris.
“I am,” the famous 84-year-old said from the
glass-walled dock at Southwark Crown Court.
Harris denies indecently assaulting four girls,
one as young as seven or eight, between 1968
The man who gave the world the wobble
board earlier arrived at court accompanied by
his wife, Alwen, and daughter Bindi.
Dressed in a dark blue suit, white shirt, red
braces and a colourful tie, Harris was protected
by private security personnel.
The artist held his wife’s hand as they walked
slowly past a large media pack into the court.
The pair smiled and chatted together but
Harris offered no comment to reporters.
Inside, the 84-year-old carried what appeared
to be a lunchbox with him as he took his place
in the dock.
He listened to proceedings with the aid of a
During numerous delays, Harris chatted with
a court officer.
At one point he closed his eyes as if asleep.
Justice Nigel Sweeney told potential jurors
that sitting in judgment on a fellow citizen was
“one of the most important duties that any of us
can be called upon to perform”.
He said they should have no prior connection
to the case so they could “reach true verdicts
based on the evidence rather than any
preconceived ideas, beliefs or prejudices”.
Potential jurors were excused if they had
family or friends who lived in Australia or New
Zealand or would be visiting in the next few
Justice Sweeney said the evidence “includes
events in Australia and New Zealand”.
Harris in mid-January formally pleaded
not guilty to 12 counts of indecent assault in
the United Kingdom against four girls aged
between seven and 19.
He is also facing four counts of making
indecent photographs of a child in 2012 but is
yet to be arraigned on those charges.
The trial is expected to take two months and
hear from dozens of witnesses. — AAP
Diver dies in ferry search
A diver lost consciousness and died overnight
during the search for victims still missing after
last month’s South Korean ferry disaster.
The diver lost radio contact five minutes after
diving to fix guide ropes on the fifth deck of
the sunken ferry, according to Ko Myung-seok,
spokesman for the government ’s emergency
The dead man had been working for Undine
Marine Industries, the company leading search
efforts on the Sewol ferry, which capsized and
sank about 20km off the south-west coast of
South Korea on April 16 with 476 passengers
and crew on board. Only 174 people were
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