Home' Greymouth Star : July 7th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Monday, July 7, 2014
Israel has arrested six Jewish suspects in
the abduction and killing of a Palestinian
teenager whose death sparked violent
protests in Jerusalem and Israeli Arab
towns, a security source said overnight.
With tensions high along the Gaza
border, Israel said its aircraft attacked
10 sites in the Palestinian enclave in
response to persistent rocket strikes on
southern Israeli towns.
But Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu signalled that broader Israeli
action was not imminent.
The burning-alive of 16-year-old
Mohammed Abu Khudair, and the
earlier murders of three kidnapped
Israeli teenagers, have driven relations
between Palestinians and Israelis to their
lowest point since United States-backed
peace talks broke down in April.
The security source gave no details
about the suspects arrested in the
investigation into the abduction and
killing of Abu Khudair, other than to
say they were Jewish and that police saw
“nationalist motives” in the case.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld
said a gagging order had been imposed
on most details of the case, commenting
only that police had arrested a number of
Jewish people suspected of carrying out
Israel’s Shin Bet security agency said
the suspects were being questioned at
one of its installations.
Despite the gag order, Israeli media
said a court had ordered the suspects
remanded in custody for eight days.
Police declined to comment. Israel’s
Channel 2 television said the suspects
were far-right extremists, among them
minors, from the Jerusalem area and a
nearby Jewish settlement.
Abu Khudair’s burned body was
discovered in a Jerusalem forest on
Wednesday. Palestinians believe he was
the victim of far-right Jews avenging
the kidnapping and killing of the three
Israeli teenagers who disappeared while
hitchhiking in the occupied West Bank
on June 12, and whose bodies were
found last Monday.
Israel blames the deaths of Naftali
Fraenkel and Gil-Ad Shaer, both 16,
and 19-year-old Eyal Yifrah, on the
Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas.
The Gaza flare-up began in mid-June
during Israel’s search for the teenagers
in the West Bank, when it arrested some
Hamas has neither confirmed nor
denied involvement in the killings of the
Netanyahu, speaking at a visit to the
Fraenkel family, demanded Palestinian
leaders do everything to find the killers
of the young Israelis.
He said the Palestinian self-rule
government in the West Bank was
“obliged to do everything in its powers
to find them . . . just as our security
forces located the suspects in the murder
of Mohammed Abu Khudair within a
matter of days.”
A post-mortem examination attended
by a Palestinian pathologist showed soot
in the teenager’s lungs, indicating he was
still alive when he was set on fire, the
Palestinian attorney-general said.
Palestinian President Mahmoud
Abbas said he sent a message to United
Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-
moon urging the formation of an
international investigation committee
into “terror crimes conducted against
our people, including the burning alive
of Mohammed Abu Khudair”.
Netanyahu said Abu Khudair’s killers
would face “the full weight of the law,”
adding that in Israeli society “there is no
place for such murderers”.
“ We won’t let extremists on either
side set the area on fire and lead to
bloodshed,” Netanyahu said, while also
condemning violent protests by some
Israeli Arabs in northern Israel.
Dozens of protesters threw stones at
passing cars for a third day in Israel’s
Galilee region, where a majority of
Israel’s Arab citizens live, this time
targeting a highway in the Haifa area
where a fatal accident was reported,
In remarks to his cabinet earlier in the
day, Netanyahu pledged “to do whatever
is necessary” to restore quiet to southern
Israeli communities that have come
under rocket attack from the Gaza Strip,
where Hamas is the dominant force.
He cautioned against any rush toward
wider confrontation with the group.
The Israeli military said more than 20
rockets fired from Gaza struck inside in
Israel overnight. There were no reported
casualties. — Reuters
A paedophile scandal engulfing
Westminster deepened after the
British Home Office confessed to
losing or destroying 114 “potentially
relevant ” files.
The lost files are part of an
investigation into the handling of a
dossier about child abuse allegations
presented to Lord Leon Brittan, a
former Home Secretary.
The dossier, compiled by Geoffrey
Dickens, a late Conser vative MP, is
said to implicate political figures at
the heart of British political life.
A review by the Home Office last
year into its handling of the dossier
found that information it received
between 1979 and 1999 had been
passed to the appropriate authorities.
Mark Sedwill, permanent secretary
to the Home Office, has now
admitted for the first time that his
department had destroyed, lost or
simply “not found” 114 “potentially
He also said four new possible leads
about child abuse had now been
passed on to Scotland Yard.
A senior Tory MP and former
children’s minister accused the
Home Office of a cover-up. Now
Theresa May, the Home Secretary,
is under pressure to “get involved”
in establishing what happened to
the missing records. She will face
demands in the House of Commons
to explain how her department came
to lose the documents.
In recent days fresh questions have
emerged about whether enough was
done to investigate the allegations.
Sedwill wrote to Prime Minister
David Cameron yesterday to say a
new investigation would examine
whether the conclusions of last year’s
review “remain sound”.
In a separate letter to Keith Vaz,
the home affairs select committee
chairman, he outlined new details
about the 2013 review, in which he
made the admission about the 114
In his letter, Sedwill told Vaz that
Dickens had submitted allegations
of sexual offences over a number of
years to several home secretaries,
including Brittan, rather than just
one single dossier.
He said the review had analysed a
central database containing 746,000
files from the period 1979 to 1999
and had identified 527 potentially
relevant files, from which nine items
of information about alleged child
abuse were reported to police.
Sedwill said the same analysis of
the central database “identified 114
potentially relevant files had been
presumed destroyed, missing or not
The admission immediately raised
further questions as to whether there
was an attempt inside Whitehall
to cover up the allegations raised
by Dickens when he submitted his
dossier to Lord Brittan.
Vaz welcomed the decision to set
up a new review of the Government ’s
handling of the cases but expressed
deep concerns about the loss of so
“It is a huge amount of files about
a very sensitive issue. We really need
to know who authorised it. How
do we know such a precise figure?
Somebody must have known that
these 114 files existed and they must
presumably know the date that they
went missing or were destroyed.
We know the Home Office loses
passports and a couple of files here or
there but 114 is quite a lot of files to
Tim Loughton, former Con-
ser vative children’s minister, said:
“ To lose one file is unfortunate
but to lose 114 smacks of complete
incompetence or, I fear, some degree
The Home Office said the
original review was satisfied it
had passed to the appropriate
authorities information about child
abuse which was “credible” and
“ had realistic potential for further
investigation”. But it admitted that
for the conclusions to “remain valid”
a new examination of its work by a
senior independent legal figure was
Dickens, who died in 1995, told
his family details in his dossier
would “blow the lid off ” the lives of
powerful and famous child abusers,
his son Barry said.
Brittan has confirmed he received
a “substantial bundle of papers”
from Dickens when he was Home
Secretary in 1983 and said he had
passed them to his officials for
May said she would “examine
the case” for a public inquiry into
historical child abuse in public life,
for which 139 MPs have now called.
More than 10 current and former
politicians are on a list of alleged child
abusers held by police investigating
claims of a Westminster paedophile
MPs or peers from all three main
political parties are on the list,
which includes former ministers
and household names. Several are no
longer alive, but others are still active
The existence of the list was
disclosed by Peter McKelvie, a retired
child protection team manager
and whistleblower whose claims
prompted Operation Fernbridge,
the Scotland Yard investigation into
allegations of a paedophile network
with links to Downing Street. — AP
Gunmen killed at least 29 people
in two coastal areas of Kenya
in raids the deputy president
indicated overnight were the work
of political rivals, despite Somali
Islamists al Shabaab claiming
The raids will hammer Kenya’s
beleaguered tourist industry after
a wave of militant attacks and will
deepen public frustrations about
poor security, a day before a big
opposition rally in the capital.
The Interior Ministry said one of
the Saturday night attacks killed
nine in the trading town of Hindi
in Lamu County, close to where 65
people were killed by gunmen last
month in Mpeketoni.
Another was further south in the
Gamba area, where 20 died.
“They went around shooting
at people and villages
indiscriminately,” Abdallah Shahasi,
a senior official for the Hindi area,
which lies near the old trading port
of Lamu, said.
Militant raids on the coast have
fanned an already tense political
atmosphere in Kenya, which has
sent troops to join African Union
soldiers battling al Shabaab in
Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab,
spokesman for the military
operations of al Shabaab, said in
Mogadishu the group was behind
The group, which attacked
Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi
last year killing 67 people, had
also said it was responsible for the
But, just as President Uhuru
Kenyatta dismissed al Shabaab’s
claim last month and pointed
the finger at local politicians over
Mpeketoni, his deputy overnight
suggested political rivals were again
“ We want to tell our friends they
cannot blackmail us using criminal
elements in our country,” Vice-
President William Ruto said on a
visit to the Lamu area. He offered
“ If you are unable to wait for
the next general election, you
are in a hurry, you want to make
the country ungovernable so you
can get into office through the
backdoor, that will not happen in
Kenya,” he said. “ You can forget
The comments are likely to stoke
an already fierce row with the
opposition, which has denied any
Police deputy inspector-general
Grace Kaindi also cast doubt on al
Shabaab’s role, saying a blackboard
ripped from a school, scrawled with
slogans and placed at a junction
near Hindi could implicate the
separatist Mombasa Republic
The MRC swiftly denied any role.
“The government should stop
using us as a scapegoat,” Randu
Nzai Ruwa, the MRC secretary-
In a separate criminal incident
in the port city of Mombasa, a
Russian woman tourist who was
with two companions was killed by
a gang, which robbed them, police
said. — Reuters
Gunmen kill 29 in Kenyan raids
A Bible placed by gunmen is seen on the back of the slain body of a man after an attack in Hindi village, near Kenya’s coastal town of Lamu.
Voter support for the federal
government has dropped three
points to 37%, but more heavily in
stronghold States Western Australia
and Queensland, according to the
In findings being attributed to
displeasure with the coalition’s first
budget, government support in WA
has slipped six points to 40% and by
four points to 37% in Queensland.
Men generally continue to back the
government, but its support among
females has dropped two points to 35%.
There has also been a significant fall
in backing from older voters, with
support among those aged between
35 and 49 tumbling three points to
34%, and among those 50 and older
falling from 48% to 45%.
Tony Abbott has also taken a hit,
with only 38% of voters in the prime
minister’s home state of New South
Wales preferring him in the top job,
compared to 42% who say they would
back Bill Shorten.
The prime minister’s personal rating
has fallen sharply in all States and
every demographic group.
Nationally, he is preferred as prime
minister by 37% of voters (a drop
of four points) while nationwide
approval for Shorten has jumped
from 36% to 41%. — AAP
Govt continuing to lose favour: poll
Greek police say they are baffled by the
mysterious appearance of a 2m crocodile
spotted lounging near an artificial dam
on the tourist island of Crete.
“Clearly crocodiles do not occur
naturally here, so the owner probably
wanted to get rid of it,” a local police
The reptile, which is about 2m long,
was sighted by a team of local fire officers
on patrol near Rethymnon, on the north
of the island, overnight.
Crocodiles are not native to Europe.
Two reptile experts from the Heraklion
Natural History Museum are due to
arrive today to help capture the animal.
The official said police were also
planning to circle the dam with a fence
to protect local residents.
While police said there was no sense
of panic, Athens Press Agency said
authorities were concerned by rumours
of the presence of a second crocodile.
The Crete crocodile is not the first
to make an unexpected appearance in
European waters. In 2001, fire officers
in Austria were called to rescue a South
American crocodile from the Danube.
Westminster child abuse files vanish Slaviansk (Ukraine)
Ukraine’s government said it would
quickly seize more territory from
pro-Russian separatists after retaking
their stronghold of Slaviansk in what
President Petro Poroshenko called a
turning point in the fight for control
of the country’s east.
“ My order is now in effect — tighten
the ring around the terrorists,”
Poroshenko tweeted overnight.
“Continue the operation to liberate
Donetsk and Luhansk regions,” he
said, naming Ukraine’s two major
eastern parts which have boiled with
separatist rebellion since April.
There were no immediate figures for
casualties caused by the government
offensive in Slaviansk, launched
after Poroshenko refused to renew a
unilateral ceasefire and ordered the
resumption of a government offensive
on June 30.
In Slaviansk, where Ukrainian
forces had been tightening their grip
for more than a month, around 200
residents lined up in the city’s central
square for meat, potatoes, onions and
bread distributed by troops.
“ Everything is different now.
Tonight is the first night with no
shelling,” Mikhail Martynenko, 58, a
guard at a local market near Slaviansk,
“ People are in a better mood and
there are more people on the streets.
Everyone was afraid. They had no idea
when another mortar would come
flying,” he said.
Under rebel commander Igor
Strelkov, a Muscovite declared defence
minister of the self-proclaimed
Donetsk People’s Republic, Slaviansk
had put up some of the fiercest
resistance to Ukrainian forces,
bringing down at least three military
helicopters and one Antonov-30
Slaviansk’s re-capture represents
Kiev’s most notable military victory
in three months of fighting in which
more than 200 Ukrainian troops have
been killed as well as hundreds of
civilians and rebels.
Rebel commander Strelkov said
between 80 and 90% of the rebels in
Slaviansk had escaped the city but
that a mistake had cost the lives of
a number of the militants who had
carried out a diversionary attack
during the escape, Interfax reported.
Ukrainian troops take key town
People wait for food aid from Ukrainian soldiers in Slaviansk after pro-
Russian rebels were forced out of the city.
found in raid
Four people have been arrested after
police found gold, diamonds, drugs and
weapons at a property south of Brisbane.
Queensland police say officers who
searched the Greenbank address on
Saturday also found cash, ammunition
Two men aged 51 and 38 have been
charged with drugs, property and
weapons offences, and are due to appear
in the Beenleigh Magistrates’ Court
today and tomorrow.
A 44-year-old man and a 36-year-old
woman will appear in the same court on
drug possession charges. — A AP
London buses will no longer accept
cash payments for tickets, the British
capital’s transport authority says.
Transport for London (TfL), which
runs public transport in the city, said in
a statement that dwindling numbers of
passengers were using money to pay for
Travellers on London’s signature red
buses must from Sunday use Oyster
transport swipe cards, prepaid or
concessionary tickets, or contactless
payment cards. TfL added that more
than 99% of bus passengers were already
using these payment methods.
Tourists will be largely unaffected
because the vast majority tend to use a
prepaid ticket such as a Visitor Oyster
card to get around London, according to
the transport authority.
“The way our custome rs pay for goods
and ser vices is evolving, so we need to
ensure our ticketing evolves too,” Mike
Weston, TfL’s director of buses, said.
“Removing cash from our bus network
not only offers customers a quicker and
more efficient bus ser vice but it enables
us to make savings of £24 million
($47 million) a year which will be re-
invested to further improve London’s
transport network.” — AFP
German ministers have called for
a swift response from the United
States to allegations of spying by
a suspected double agent, which
have raised fears of fresh tensions
between the two allies.
“ If reports are correct, we are not
talking here about small potatoes,”
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter
Steinmeier said overnight in a
tweet, following reports of US
spying that have sparked anger in
Germany after revelations the NSA
allegedly tapped Chancellor Angela
The US ambassador, who was
called to a meeting at the foreign
ministry late on Friday, had been
told Washington is expected to
shed light on the reports “as quickly
as possible,” he added.
Interior Minister Thomas de
Maiziere in pre-released excerpts
from tonight’s Bild newspaper called
for a “quick and clear” statement by
the US on the allegations.
The 31-year-old employee of
the German foreign intelligence
agency known as the BND arrested
last week had been working for
the CIA for about two years, local
“All signs indicate that he
was acting for the Americans,”
Sonntagszeitung (FAS) newspaper
quoted an unnamed senior official
at Germany ’s foreign intelligence
ser vice as saying.
The weekly Bild am Sonntag
newspaper, citing information from
security authorities, also said the
man had worked for the CIA and
handed over secret documents as
recently as July 1.
Germany’s federal prosecutor-
general confirmed a man was
arrested last Wednesday on
suspicion of acting for a foreign
intelligence ser vice, but did not
specify which one.
Both newspapers said the suspect
had passed on two documents about
a parliamentary panel established
earlier this year to investigate
NSA sur veillance after revelations
by fugitive former intelligence
contractor Edward Snowden.
German authorities were alerted
to the suspect when he sent an
e-mail with attached files at the end
of May to the Russian consulate
offering to supply information,
President Joachim Gauck said
in excerpts from an ZDF public
television also released early that,
should the suspicions about the
US be confirmed, “then it probably
really has to be said, now it’s
Bild am Sonntag reported the
suspect had confessed to handing
more than 200 documents to the
Americans over the course of two
years for which he was paid 25,000
euros ($38,878), during questioning
Germans were outraged by
revelations last year that the NSA
had allegedly eavesdropped on
Merkel’s conversations, as well as
wider US sur veillance of internet
and phone communications.
The revelations strained ties
between Washington and Germany,
a key European ally, which both
countries’ leaders have been at pains
to repair. — AFP
over US spy claims
A Jeddah court has sentenced
prominent Saudi rights lawyer Walid abu
al-Khair to 15 years in prison on charges
that included seeking to undermine the
State and insulting the judiciary, the
State news agency reported.
Abu al-Khair had been on trial on
sedition charges that included breaking
allegiance to King Abdullah, showing
disrespect for authorities, creating an
unauthorised association and inciting
The rights activist was also fined
200,000 Saudi riyals ($61,016), banned
from travelling outside the kingdom for
another 15 years and had all his websites
closed down, the SPA said.
Apart from the overnight conviction,
he had been sentenced by a Jeddah court
last October to three months in jail for
signing a petition in 2011 against the
imprisonment of a group of activists
demanding political reforms.
Abu al-Khair, the founder and director
of an organisation named the Monitor
of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, was
critical of a new anti-terrorism law
passed by Saudi Arabia at the start of the
year which was widely condemned by
rights activists as a tool to stifle dissent.
The anti-terrorism law states that
terrorist crimes include any act that
“disturbs public order, shakes the
security of society, or subjects its national
unity to danger, or obstructs the primary
system of rule or harms the reputation
of the state”.
In the past year Saudi authorities have
been criticised by international rights
groups for jailing several prominent
activists on charges ranging from setting
up an illegal organisation to damaging
the reputation of the country.
The world’s top oil exporter has
regularly dismissed criticism of its human
rights record by Western countries and
campaign groups. — Reuters
Saudi human rights lawyer jailed
Links Archive July 5th 2014 July 8th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page