Home' Greymouth Star : May 9th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Friday, May 9, 2014
Former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert
Plant has heaped scorn on talk of the
group reuniting, and took a swipe at
other ageing rockers who go back on the
road just to make money.
Plant, who played a one-off concert
in 2007 with his former band mates in
London, has long made his feelings clear
about a getting back together, rebuffing
overtures from lead guitarist Jimmy Page
and bassist John Paul Jones.
He did not mince his words in an
inter view with Rolling Stone magazine
promoting the release of earlier
recordings by the band, which split up
“ You’re going back to the same old
s—,” he told the magazine in a London
“A tour would have been an absolute
menagerie of vested interests and the
very essence of everything that ’s s—ty
about about big-time stadium rock. We
were surrounded by a circus of people
that would have had our souls on the
fire,” he said.
“ I’m not part of a jukebox,” Plant
Asked if he was not tempted by the
huge fortunes that other ageing rockers
make on tour, he said: “Good luck to
“ I hope they ’re having a real riveting and
wonderful late middle age,” he sneered,
without mentioning any performers by
“Somehow I don’t think they are.”
Last week Led Zeppelin unveiled two
previously unheard recordings ahead of
the re-issue in June of the band’s first
three albums. — AFP
The Roman Catholic Church
in Jerusalem, preparing for a visit
by Pope Francis later this month,
has expressed alarm over threats to
Christians scrawled by suspected
Jewish extremists on church
property in the Holy Land.
In an incident on Monday,
“Death to Arabs and Christians
and all those who hate Israel”
was daubed in Hebrew on an
outer column of the Office of the
Assembly of Bishops at the Notre
Dame Centre in east Jerusalem.
“The wave of fanaticism and intimidation
against Christians continues,” the Latin
Patriarchate of Jerusalem posted on its website,
referring to so-called “pricetag” incidents.
coincidence?” the patriarchate
statement asked. “ The Notre Dame Centre is
property of the Holy See and this provocation
comes two weeks before Pope Francis’s visit to
the Holy Land and Jerusalem.”
Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported that
Israeli security ser vices fear that Jewish radicals
might carry out a major hate crime against the
Christian population or institutions to drum up
media attention during the Pope’s pilgrimage.
Police districts, the newspaper said, were
ordered to produce security plans to protect
Christian sites and gather intelligence on Jewish
A police spokesman declined to comment
directly on the report but said stringent security
measures would be in effect for the papal visit.
In recent years, “pricetag” attacks have targeted
mosques, Palestinian homes and Christian
monasteries in the occupied West Bank and
east Jerusalem, areas Israel captured in a 1967
war and Palestinians seek as part of a future
“Price-tagging” — a reference by ultra-
nationalist Jews to making the government
“pay ” for any curbs on Jewish settlement on
Palestinian land — has also occurred in Israeli
military installations in the West
Bank and Arab villages in Israel.
Pope Francis is due to tour
the Holy Land from May 24
to 26, visiting Jordan, the West
Bank and Jerusalem, where he
will meet Ecumenical Patriarch
Bartholomew, spiritual leader of
the world’s Orthodox Christians.
The pontiff, who, like his
predecessors John Paul and
Benedict, has friendly ties with
Jewish religious leaders, is due
to meet Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu at the Notre
Dame Centre, located just outside the walls of
the old city.
The bishops’ statement said they “are very
concerned about the lack of security” for
Christian property and what they called the
“ lack of responsiveness from the political sector”
after earlier attacks. They feared an escalation of
The frequency of “pricetag” attacks — 14 have
been reported this year — has risen sharply
over the past month since the Israeli military
demolished structures in a West Bank settlement
built without government authorisation.
Aharonovitch and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni
said yesterday they would ask the cabinet to
classify groups behind “price tag” attacks as
terrorist organisations, opening the way for the
possible use of detention without trial against
Despite dozens of arrests over the past year of
suspected “price-taggers”, there have been few
convictions. Police say there are only a few score
culprits, many known by name, but about half of
them are minors to whom courts show leniency.
The patriarchate said that the heads of
churches in the Holy Land are preparing “a
series of actions aimed at informing local and
international public opinion, and to make the
authorities and law officials aware of their
responsibilities”. — Reuters
Russia has ordered crisis-hit Ukraine to
pay upfront for all its future natural gas
deliveries because of billions of dollars in
The largely-anticipated announcement
imperils supplies to a large swathe of
the European Union because nearly
15% of all Russian gas consumed by the
28-nation bloc transits through Ukraine.
Ukraine has refused to meet the
deadline in protest over Russia’s decision
to nearly double the price it charges its
neighbour for gas imports following the
February overthrow of a Kremlin-backed
regime in Kiev.
Russia’s energy ministry said Ukraine
had missed a Wednesday deadline to
pay debts worth $US3.5 billion ($4.049
billion) and that all gas sent to the ex-
Soviet State starting June 1 will have to
be paid in advance.
“ Russia is introducing a pre-payment
regime for gas deliveries to Ukraine,”
Energy Minister Alexander Novak said
in a statement.
Novak noted that President Vladimir
Putin had last month warned in a letter
to 18 EU nations that Russia would
require Ukraine to make pre-payments
unless Europe helped cover its debt to
Moscow ’s government-run natural gas
“ Russia can no longer — and must not
be the only one carrying the burden
of supporting the Ukrainian economy,
offering it discounts for gas and forgiving
debts,” Novak said.
The energy minister said Russia had
“through its subsidies been effectively
covering the deficit in Ukraine’s trade
with EU member States”. — AFP
Russian President Vladimir
Putin will attend ceremonies
in France next month marking
the 70th anniversary of D-Day
despite the Ukraine crisis, the
ambassador to Paris said.
“President Putin has been
invited by President (Francois)
Hollande to take part in the
ceremonies to commemorate the
Normandy landings on June 6.
He has accepted the invitation.
He will be coming on June 6,”
Alexander Orlov told BFM
Hollande had said earlier that
Putin was welcome in Normandy,
despite the stand-off between
Moscow and the west over
Ukraine, and the Russian leader’s
decision was also welcomed by
German Chancellor Angela
“ We may have differences with
Vladimir Putin but I have not
forgotten and will never forget
that the Russian people gave
millions of lives” during World
War Two, Hollande told France
“I told Vladimir Putin that as
the representative of the Russian
people, he is welcome to the
Western leaders, including
United States President Barack
Obama and Britain’s Q ueen
Elizabeth, are also due to
attend the events on June 6 to
commemorate the Normandy
landings that marked the
beginning of the liberation of
continental Europe from the
Nazis in World War Two.
Merkel said she was pleased
Putin would be taking part in the
She said at a forum on Europe
in Germany that she had wanted
possible to commemorate a
“difficult” time in World War
Two “despite the different
opinions which we now have and
also the big conflicts”.
Merkel also stressed the need
to press on with dialogue to
defuse the crisis in Ukraine,
underlining the importance of
a planned presidential election
being organised by Kiev ’s interim
leaders on May 25.
The west has taken some steps
to punish Moscow a over its
stance on Ukraine, a former
Soviet republic where pro-
Russian rebels are fighting in the
restive east, including cancelling
a G8 summit with Russia
planned for June and replacing it
with a G7 meeting to be held in
Brussels. — AFP
Putin to join D-Day ceremonies
Rolf Harris stood unmoving in
the glass-walled dock of a L ondon
court as graphic details of a string
of indecent assaults he is alleged
to have committed against four
teenage girls were read out.
The veteran entertainer, 84,
rested his hands on a wooden
bench and listened intently as a
clerk listed the 12 charges for the
first time before a jury.
subsequently told the six men
and six women of the jury that
they would learn a lot more
about the case tonight.
That is when prosecutor Sasha
Wass, QC, delivers her opening
address at Southwark Crown
Harris, dressed in a light blue
suit, striped pink shirt and red
tie, used a hearing loop as the
charges were read out.
The first count dates back to
the late 1960s, when it is alleged
Harris assaulted a girl aged seven
or eight “by touching her vagina”.
The court heard in 1975 Harris
assaulted another victim aged 14
“ by rubbing her buttocks”.
A third victim was aged
between 12 and 15 in the late
1970s and early 1980s when
penetrated her vagina on more
than one occasion and twice
performed oral sex on her.
In 1984, when that complainant
was 19, it is alleged Harris
indecently assaulted her by
touching her breasts and vagina.
The final victim was aged 14
when she was allegedly assaulted
in May 1986.
Harris touched her leg, vagina
and breasts, as well as digitally
penetrated her, the court heard.
Harris has pleaded not guilty to
all 12 counts.
Justice Sweeney explained to
the jury members their job was
to eventually reach true verdicts.
“It is your duty to try the case
on the evidence you hear in the
courtroom and nowhere else,” he
The judge said they should not
be influenced by external matters,
including any media reports.
Earlier, Harris arrived at court
again accompanied by his wife,
Alwen, daughter Bindi, and
They were protected by private
Asked how he was feeling on
his way into the building, Harris
The trial is expected to run until
late June. — AAP
Rolf Harris sex case detailed
Islamic scholars and human rights officials
of the world’s largest Muslim organisation
overnight denounced the mass kidnapping of
Nigerian schoolgirls by the militant group Boko
Haram as “a gross misinterpretation of Islam”.
The statements from a research institute and
human rights committee of the Organisation
of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) echoed
denunciations of the radical Islamist group by
religious leaders and officials in Nigeria and
several Muslim countries.
Boko Haram says it wants to establish a “pure”
Islamic state in Nigeria and its leader Abubakar
Shekau declared in a video on Monday that
“Allah has instructed me to sell . . . on the
market ” the more than 200 girls abducted from
their school on April 14.
That video appears to have prompted Islamic
officials to speak out against Boko Haram’s
radical religious views.
“This crime and other crimes carried out
by such extremist organisations negate all
human principles and moral values and stand
in contradiction to the clear teachings of the
blessed Koran and the rightful examples set
by the Prophet (Mohammed),” the OIC’s
International Islamic Fiqh Academy said.
“The secretariat of the academy, shocked by
this ugly act, strongly demands the immediate
release of these innocent girls without causing
any harm to any of them,” said a statement
posted on the website of the academy in Jeddah,
The OIC’s human rights commission
condemned “the barbaric act of abducting the
innocent schoolgirls” and the “misguided claim
of Boko Haram” that selling them as slaves was
Islamic. This was “a gross misrepresentation of
Islam,” it said.
Jama’atu Nasril Islam, Nigeria’s national
umbrella group of Muslim organisations,
denounced the kidnapping as an “act of
barbarism” on April 16, shortly after it became
Al-Azhar, the prestigious Cairo-based seat
of Sunni learning, said the kidnapping “has
nothing to do with the tolerant and noble
teachings of Islam.” Egypt’s Religious Affairs
Minister Mohammed Makhtar Gomaa called
it “a terrorist act.”
Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot
in the head by the Taliban in 2012 for defending
girls’ education, said the Nigerian girls were
her sisters and their Boko Haram kidnappers
“should learn Islam”. — Reuters
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