Home' Greymouth Star : May 26th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
6 - Monday, May 26, 2014
PICTURE: Getty Images
A woman casts her vote in a polling booth in Kiev.
Chocolate baron Petro
Poroshenko has claimed
victory in Ukraine’s
vowing to bring peace after
months of turmoil and a
that thwarted voting across
much of the separatist east.
The 48-year-old self-
made billionaire, who exit
polls said had won almost
56% of the vote, swiftly
declared he would work to
bring peace to Ukraine.
“My first decisive step will be aimed
at ending the war, ending chaos, and
bringing peace to a united and free
Ukraine,” he said at a press conference
“I am certain that our decisive actions
will bring fairly quick results,” he added.
“The presidential election showed that
Ukrainians have chosen the path of
European integration,” Poroshenko said.
The results put him far ahead of his
nearest rival Yulia Tymoshenko, the
former prime minister who spearheaded
the 2004 pro-democracy Orange
Revolution but then became embroiled
in corruption scandals that saw her put
behind bars by the old pro-Russian
If confirmed by election officials, the
results will avoid the need for a June
15 run-off that would have extended
political uncertainty at the most painful
moment in Ukraine’s 23-year-old post-
Poroshenko vowed to pay his first
trip outside the capital to the eastern
industrial rust belt where pro-Moscow
insurgents have proclaimed the creation
of their own independent republic.
Ukrainians had voted en masse in the
capital Kiev and the west of the country
but the insurgency thwarted voting
across most of the separatist east.
The ex-Soviet nation on the European
Union’s eastern frontier is fighting for
its very sur vival after Putin responded
to the popular overthrow of a Kremlin-
backed leader by seizing Crimea and
threatening to invade the rest of Ukraine
to “protect ” the country’s
ethnic Russian community
from alleged mistreatment.
The insurgency in the
rust belt — home to seven
million of Ukraine’s 46
million people and most
of its heavy industry —
has claimed more than
150 lives and unleashed
the worst chill in east-west
relations since the the Cold
Turnout was strong in
Ukrainian speaking areas of the country
but was down to a trickle in eastern
cities such as Donetsk where masked
gunmen patrolled the streets and
The ballot was called after Kremlin-
allied president Viktor Yanukovich
his corruption-stained regime long
a source of discontent — was ousted in
February in the bloody climax of months
of protests sparked by his rejection of a
historic EU pact.
But his fall set off a rapid succession
of tumultuous events that threatened
not only Ukraine’s integrity but also
Russian President Vladimir Putin,
facing the threat of more United States
and EU sanctions, appeared to make a
major concession on Friday by saying
he was ready to work with the new Kiev
“ We understand that the people of
Ukraine want their country to emerge
from this crisis. We will treat their
choice with respect,” he said.
Russia also said it had started
withdrawing from Ukraine’s border
around 40,000 soldiers whose presence
had raised deep western suspicions
and prompted Nato to send additional
fighters to former Soviet satellite nations
such as Poland and the Baltic states.
The Kremlin appeared set on
underscoring its right over Ukraine
on election day by dispatching Prime
Minister Dmitry Medvedev to Crimea
for a surprise visit that Kiev immediately
denounced as “particular impudence and
a deliberate provocation”. — AFP
Pope Francis made a surprise stop
overnight at the wall Palestinians
abhor as a symbol of Israeli
oppression, and later invited
presidents from both sides of the
divide to the Vatican to pray for
In an image likely to become
the most emblematic of his trip
to the holy land, Francis rested
his forehead against the concrete
structure that separates Bethlehem
from Jerusalem, and prayed silently.
He stood at a spot where
someone had sprayed in red paint
“Free Palestine”. Above his head
was graffiti in broken English
reading: “Bethlehem look like
Warsaw Ghetto”, comparing the
Palestinians’ plight with that of the
Jews under the Nazis.
Such imagery seemed likely to
cause unease among Israel’s leaders,
who say the barrier, erected 10 years
ago during a spate of Palestinian
suicide bombings, is needed to
secure its security. Palestinians see
it as a bid by Israel to partition off
territory and grab land.
On the second leg of a three-
day trip to the Middle East, Pope
Francis delighted his Palestinian
hosts by referring to the “state of
Palestine”, giving support for their
bid for full statehood recognition
in the face of a paralysed peace
But, speaking at the birthplace of
Jesus in the Palestinian-run city of
Bethlehem in the Israeli-occupied
West Bank, he made clear that
a negotiated accord was needed,
calling on leaders from both sides
to overcome their myriad divisions.
Pope Francis invited the Israeli
and Palestinian presidents to come
to the Vatican to pray for an end to
the enduring conflict, just a month
after the collapse of United States-
backed peace talks.
“In this, the birthplace of the
Prince of Peace, I wish to invite
you, President Mahmoud Abbas,
together with President Shimon
Peres, to join me in heartfelt prayer
to God for the gift of peace,” the
Pope said at an open-air Mass in
Both accepted, their respective
staff said. Palestinian official Hana
Amira said the meeting would take
place on June 6, just under two
months before the veteran Israeli
leader leaves office.
But it seemed unlikely that Peres
would receive any mandate from
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu to negotiate with Abbas
on renewing direct talks.
Netanyahu has said Israel would
not consider resuming negotiations
unless Abbas reneged on a unity
pact with Hamas, one of its most
bitter enemies which rules in Gaza.
Abbas has said a new government
envisaged by the accord would be
committed to peace.
From Bethlehem, where the Pope
also visited a Palestinian refugee
camp, he flew by helicopter to
Tel Aviv airport where he was
welcomed by Peres and Netanyahu,
before flying back over the Judean
hills to Jerusalem.
In a speech at the ceremony,
Pope Francis invoked “the right
of the State of Israel to exist and
to flourish in peace and security
within internationally recognised
At the same time, he said there
must be “recognition of the right
of the Palestinian people to a
sovereign homeland and their
right to live with dignity and with
freedom of movement ”.
The Pope also recalled the
Holocaust, using the Hebrew word
for the term, Shoah, and said that
“ever mindful of the past ” there can
be “no place for anti-Semitism”.
“A particularly moving part of
my stay will be my visit to the
Yad Vashem Memorial to the six
million Jews who were victims of
the Shoah,” the Argentinian pontiff
said. “I beg God that there will
never be another such crime, which
also counted among its victims
many Christians and others. ”
Peres, welcoming the Pope
in blustery winds but warm
sunshine, said: “ We are grateful
to you for assuming your sensitive
and resolute stand against all
expressions of anti-Semitism,
against all manifestations of
Pope Francis started the day in
Jordan and had flown straight to
Bethlehem, becoming the first
pontiff to travel directly to the
West Bank rather than to enter via
Israel — another nod to Palestinian
He later met refugees from camps
set up after the 1948 creation of
Israel, when hundreds of thousands
of Palestinians fled or were forced
to abandon their homes. Children
held up printed signs in English
and Arabic saying “the right of
return is our sacred right” and
“injustice and oppression must end”.
In the evening, Francis prayed
for Christian unity with Patriarch
Bartholomew of Constantinople,
spiritual leader of Orthodox
Christians, in the Basilica of the
It was first time various branches
of Christianity prayed together
inside the centuries-old structure
where Christians believe Jesus was
buried and rose from the dead.
They usually are governed by strict
rules of separation dating back to
the Ottoman Empire.
The meeting was the main
religious purpose of the trip,
timed to commemorate the 50th
anniversary of a historic meeting
of Catholic and Orthodox leaders,
whose churches split in 1054.
Pope prays next to Israeli security wall
Pope Francis touches the wall that divides Israel from the West Bank, on his way to celebrate a Mass in Manger Square next to the Church of the
Nativity in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.
General Wojciech Jaruzelski, Poland’s
last communist leader who imposed
martial law to crush the Solidarity
movement only to hand over power less
than a decade later, died at 90 overnight
after a long illness, a military hospital in
In public a stern, enigmatic figure in
his trademark dark glasses, Jaruzelski’s
record defies easy judgment and still
divides Poles almost a quarter century
after the fall of communism.
Lech Walesa, who was detained
by Jaruzelski as Solidarity leader but
eventually succeeded him as president,
described the communist as a tragic
figure who should be judged only by
For many Poles, Jaruzelski was a Soviet
stooge who, with Moscow ’s backing,
announced military rule on December
13, 1981, after the first independent
trade union behind the Iron Curtain,
Solidarity, threatened communist rule.
Others accepted his argument that
the decision helped to avert a Soviet-
led military inter vention like those that
crushed similar protests in Hungary in
1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968.
“The general was accompanied by his
daughter Monika until the last moment,”
the Military Medical Institute hospital
in Warsaw, where he died, said in a
Under martial law, which lasted until
1983, dozens of demonstrators were
killed and thousands more, including
Walesa, were jailed.
Decades later, on trial for declaring
martial law and for human rights
violations, Jaruzelski defended his
“Martial law was evil but it was a
far lesser evil than what would have
happened without it,” he told a court in
2008, adding that he regretted the “social
costs” of the decision.
But as Polish president in 1989,
Jaruzelski also convened talks that led
to the legalisation of Solidarity and the
first partially free elections in the Soviet
bloc that finally broke the communists’
monopoly on power.
Walesa, who succeeded Jaruzelski
as president in 1990, had partially
reconciled with his former arch-foe and
visited Jaruzelski at hospital and his
home in recent years.
“Judging is always hard. We should
leave it in God’s hands,” Nobel Peace
Price winner Walesa told TVP Info.
“In private talks he was a different man.
A joker, he told beautiful jokes, he was
at ease, sympathetic, and very intelligent,
not at par with his other image. There
were two images. A tragic figure, because
he lived in times of treason.”
Walesa compared Poland’s negotiated
democracy favourably with Ukraine,
which has been plagued for months by
deadly violence in a struggle between
pro-Western and pro-Moscow political
“ We had to take responsibility for
Poland and for the people. It could have
ended like in Ukraine. We acted wisely,
but in the direction of freedom so that
Polish blood was not spilled,” he said.
A Chinese woman has become
the first person to reach the summit
of Mount Everest this season, but
the climb is clouded by controversy
because she took a helicopter part of
Wang Jing, 41, reached Everest
summit late on Friday, accompanied
by five Nepalese sherpas, tourism
“ Wang is the first climber to scale
Mount Everest from Nepal side and
they are now on way back,” he said.
But he said the Nepalese officials
had not yet decided whether to log
the climb as an official ascent of
8848m mountain because she used a
helicopter for a big part of the way.
The ascent comes just over a month
after an avalanche killed 16 Nepalese
guides in the deadliest accident in
history on Mount Everest, spurring a
virtual shutdown of the world’s tallest
Wang and a United States woman
climber had decided to fly to camp
two on Everest because the route
below, normally prepared by sherpas
beforehand with ropes and ladders,
had not been completed this season.
The climbers were thought to be
the first back on the mountain since
expeditions left in controversy over
the April 18 disaster.
“ We have not yet made any decisions
whether to recognise the ascent by
using helicopters,” Burlakoti said.
But he added that, “ We are positive
with the attempt she (Wang) made.”
“ We are happy to acknowledge that
Wang and Sherpas took the risk and
made the dangerous attempt this
season,” Burlakoti said.
Wang flew to camp two, an advance
base camp at an elevation of 6400m
where climbers spend time to adjust to
the increased altitude. Earlier, flights
were made to camp two to transport
equipment or in event of medical
emergencies, not to transport climbers.
“ With this successful summit to
Mount Everest this season, we hope
to see other climbers to scale Mount
Everest this season,” Burlakoti added.
But the window for climbing
Everest lasts until May 25, after
which the temperature gets warmer
and the mountain more dangerous.
The government has stressed the
mountain is still open for business
despite the effective closure of the
season, normally a key revenue earner
for the impoverished country.
Most climbers abandoned plans to
ascend Everest from the Nepalese
side — the easiest and most popular
route up the world’s highest peak —
after the avalanche.
The tourism ministry official said
there was yet to be any contact with
the US climber, Cleonice Weidlich,
51, who landed at camp two on May 8.
The US mountaineer was heading
alone for neighbouring Lhotse peak.
Lhotse and Everest share the same
route as far as camp three.
Meanwhile, a female Indian
climber Chhanda Gayen and two
sherpas were still missing after being
hit on Tuesday by an avalanche while
climbing on Mount Kanchenjunga,
the world’s third-highest mountain.
Chinese woman climbs Everest — with helicopter
Chinese fighter aircraft flew
within a few dozen metres of
Japanese military planes over the
East China Sea, Japanese officials
said overnight, prompting the
defence minister to accuse Beijing
of going “over the top” in its
approach to disputed territory.
Chinese SU-27 fighters came as
close as 50m to a Japanese OP-3C
sur veillance plane near disputed
islets on Saturday and within 30m
of YS-11EB electronic intelligence
aircraft, the ministry said.
“Closing in while flying normally
over the high seas is impossible,”
Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera
told reporters in comments
broadcast on the Asahi television
“This is a close encounter that is
outright over the top.”
Onodera said Japan conveyed
its concerns to the Chinese side
through diplomatic channels.
He also said the Chinese fighter
planes were carrying missiles.
A ministry official said it was
the closest Chinese warplanes had
come to aircraft of Japan’s self-
China’s foreign ministry could
not be immediately reached for
Tensions have been running high
between China and its neighbours
over Beijing’s assertive stand on
claiming land and sea territory.
China lays claim to Japanese-
administered islets in the East
China Sea, known as Senkaku in
Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese. It
is also pressing its claim to almost
all the South China Sea, brushing
aside claims by several South-east
November of an air defence zone
covering disputed islands and areas
in the South China Sea have raised
concerns that a minor incident
in disputed areas could quickly
Sino-Japanese ties have long been
strained by allegations in China
that Japan has not properly atoned
for its wartime aggression and
by the spat over the uninhabited
Japan scrambled fighters against
Chinese planes 415 times in the
year ended in March, up 36% on
the year, while in waters near the
disputed islands, patrol ships from
both countries have been playing
cat-and-mouse, raising fears of an
Japanese land, sea and air forces
joined last week to simulate the
recapture of a remote island,
underscoring Tokyo’s concerns
about the security of the islets.
Tensions between China and its
neighbours have also risen sharply
in the South China Sea in recent
weeks, following the deployment
of a Chinese oil rig in waters
also claimed by Vietnam. The
deployment sparked anti-Chinese
riots in Vietnam.
The Philippine foreign ministry
this month accused China of
reclaiming land on a disputed reef
in the South China Sea and said it
appeared to be building an airstrip.
Chinese fighters buzz
Japanese military aircraft
Chinese sphinx copy demolished after complaint
A Chinese replica of the famous
Sphinx will be dismantled after an
Egyptian ministry complained about
The massive copy of the ancient
statue has been erected in the northern
province of Hebei.
antiquities has complained to the
United Nations Educational, Scientific
and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)
about the imitation, the official Xinhua
news agency reported overnight.
The agency is quoting an official with
a cultural park on the outskirts of the
provincial capital Shijiazhuang as saying
the imitation would ser ve only as a
temporary scene for shooting movies
and television dramas.
“ We are very respectful to world
cultural heritage and express our
apologies for any misunderstanding,”
added the official, who declined to be
The replica, about 80m long and
30m tall, is made of steel framing and
Already notorious for copying western
goods ranging from running shoes to
champagne, China is building up its
replica reputation with a miniature
Mount Rushmore, an Eiffel Tower and
an entire Austrian village.
In the south-western mega-city of
Chongqing, a park is scattered with
sculptures including Michelangelo’s
David, Rodin’s Thinker and the gigantic
heads of four American presidents in a
trend known as “duplitecture”.
An assemblage of Parisian monuments
including the Eiffel Tower and a
fountain from Versailles stand in the city
of Hangzhou, as does a French village.
Among the most
examples are a copy of the Austrian
alpine village and UNESCO World
Heritage Site of Hallstatt in the
southern province of Guangdong, which
even State media called “a bold example
of China’s knock-off culture”. — AFP
Santa Barbara (California)
The gunman who has killed six people
when he opened fire from his car in a
bustling California college town was the
mentally-disturbed son of a Hollywood
director, reports say.
At least seven people were injured and
the suspect also died during the drive-
by shooting on Saturday in Isla Vista,
near the campus of the University of
California Santa Barbara.
Peter Rodger, an assistant director of
the 2012 Hollywood blockbuster The
Hunger Games, said the attacker was
his 22-year-old son Elliot, lawyer Alan
Shifman told reporters, although that
was not confirmed by police.
On the eve of the Memorial Day
holiday weekend, the gunman sprayed
bullets from his black BMW on
pedestrians at several locations in the
small seaside town.
“The problem with an incident like this
is it’s obviously the work of a madman,”
Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill
Brown told a news conference.
“ We have obtained and we are currently
analysing both written and videotaped
evidence that suggests that this atrocity
was a premeditated mass murder. ”
Authorities said there were nine
separate crime scenes in what was a
Shifman, the family lawyer, said
Elliot Rodger had been diagnosed as
being a “ highly functional Asperger’s
Syndrome child” and was being treated
by “multiple” professionals.
Police are investigating a video entitled
Retribution apparently posted on You
Tube by Rodger in which a man sitting
in a car rants about women who rejected
and ignored him for the past eight years,
vowing to “punish you all for it ”.
Andrew Jun, a third-year economics
and accounting student, said the
situation was “pretty surreal”.
“It ’s unbelievable that this kind of
thing can happen,” he said.
Other witnesses said they initially
mistook the gunshots for fireworks or
When officers approached him,
the suspect “ was dead of an apparent
gunshot wound to the head,” according
to sheriff Brown. — AFP
Gunman was Hollywood director’s son
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