Home' Greymouth Star : August 20th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
6 - Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Cliff Richard pulls out
of charity event
A ceasefire in the Gaza Strip collapsed today,
with Palestinian militants firing dozens of
rockets at Israel and Israel launching air strikes
that health officials said killed three people
including a woman and a young girl in Gaza.
Accusing Gaza Islamists of breaking the truce,
Israel promptly recalled its negotiators from
talks in Cairo, leaving the fate of Egyptian-
brokered efforts to secure a lasting peace
hanging in the balance.
Rockets were fired from Gaza nearly eight
hours before a ceasefire — extended by a day
yesterday — was due to expire. Later dozens
of rockets took aim at a number of cities and
one missile hit open land in the greater Tel Aviv
area, causing some damage but no casualties.
Gaza witnesses said Israeli aircraft launched
35 attacks, including one on a house in Gaza
City, where hospital officials said a woman
and a two-year-old girl were killed. A third
unidentified person also died in the strike,
Israeli media said Israel had targeted a senior
Hamas figure at the house that was bombed,
possibly the head of a rocket launching
operation. The army declined to comment on
the bombing of that particular home in Gaza
City, saying only that it had bombed 30 sites
Hamas’s armed wing vowed Israel would “pay
a heavy price” for its air strikes. — Reuters
Gaza truce collapses
Jihadist group the Islamic State
has claimed to have executed
American journalist James Foley
in revenge for United States air
strikes against its fighters in Iraq.
The Islamist group released a
video overnight showing a masked
militant purportedly beheading
the reporter, who has been missing
since he was seized by armed men
in Syria in November 2012.
“ Find James Foley,” the campaign
run by his family to secure the
40-year-old freelancer’s release,
posted a public message on-line
following the release of the video
asking for time “to seek answers”.
Foley was an experienced
correspondent who had covered
the war in Libya before heading to
Syria to follow the revolt against
Bashar al-Assad ’s regime for the
Global Post, AFP and other outlets.
According to witnesses, Foley
was seized in the northern Syrian
province of Idlib on November 22,
2012. His family has not heard
from him since, despite a public
campaign for information.
In the five-minute video,
distributed on-line by known
Islamic State sources, the group
formerly known as ISIL or ISIS
declares that Foley was killed
after US President Barack Obama
ordered air strikes against IS
positions in northern Iraq.
The purported execution is
carried out in an open desert area
with no immediate signs as to
whether it is in Iraq or Syria, by
a black-c lad masked militant who
speaks in English with a British
accent. — AFP
Jihadis claim US journalist ’s beheading
Sir Cliff Richard has pulled out
of a charity event after finding
himself at the centre of a police
sex abuse investigation.
The veteran singer was due to
appear at Canterbury Cathedral on
September 26, but his spokesman
said Richard does not want the
event to be overshadowed by the
allegation against him.
The statement adds: “He is
sorry for any disappointment or
inconvenience caused. ”
Sir Cliff ’s apartment was searched by officers
from South Yorkshire and Thames Valley
police last week as part of an investigation into
an alleged sexual assault on a young boy at a
religious event in 1985. Sir Cliff, who was in
Portugal when the search took place, has firmly
denied any wrongdoing.
Fellow showbiz veteran Cilla Black has
rallied to Sir Cliff ’s defence saying she thinks
allegations that he sexually assaulted a boy in
the 1980s are “without foundation”.
In a statement, Black said: “Cliff is a very close
friend of mine and has been for a
“I, like everyone else, was shocked
to hear of these allegations and I
am absolutely positive that they
are without foundation.”
The raid on the pop star’s
controversy when the BBC broke
news of the search, with a film
crew reportedly arriving on the
scene before the police.
general Tony Hall and chief
constable of South Yorkshire Police David
Crompton will face a grilling by MPs over
the affair, and the force’s police and crime
commissioner has launched an independent
review of what happened.
Crompton and L ord Hall have been warned to
stand ready to give evidence to the Home Affairs
Select Committee after Parliament returns from
recess. Committee chairman Keith Vaz has
written to both men asking about how the BBC
found out about the planned search, and asked it
to reply by midday on Friday (local time). — PA
Sir Cliff Richard
Liberia is battling to halt the spread
of the Ebola disease in its crowded,
run-down oceanside capital Monrovia,
recording the most new deaths as
fatalities from the world’s worst outbreak
of the deadly virus rose above 1200.
The epidemic of the haemorrhagic
disease, which can kill up to 90% of
those it infects, is ravaging the three
small west African States of Liberia,
Sierra Leone and Guinea, and also has
a toehold in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest
As the Geneva-based World Health
Organisation rushed to ramp up
the global response to the outbreak,
including emergency food deliveries to
quarantined zones, it announced that
deaths from it had risen to 1229 as of
August 16, out of 2240 cases.
Between August 14 and 16, Liberia
recorded the most new deaths, 53,
followed by Sierra Leone with 17 and
Guinea with 14.
On a more hopeful note, the WHO
expressed “cautious optimism” that the
spread of the Ebola outbreak in Nigeria,
Africa’s most populous nation where
four deaths out of 12 confirmed cases
have been recorded since July, could be
It also described the situation in
Guinea, where the virus made its first
appearance in West Africa in December,
as currently “less alarming” than in
Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The WHO said it was working with the
United Nation’s world food programme
to ensure food delivery to a million
people living in Ebola quarantine zones
cordoned off by local security forces in
a border zone of Guinea, Liberia and
“ Providing regular food supplies is a
potent means of limiting unnecessary
movement,” it said in a statement.
Besides infection in border zones,
Liberia is fighting to stop the spread of
the virus in the poorest neighbourhoods
of its capital, such as the West Point
slum where at the weekend a rock-
throwing crowd attacked and looted a
temporary holding centre for suspected
Ebola cases, 17 of whom fled.
The government imposed a nationwide
curfew between 9pm and 6am in an
effort to curb the disease, which is
spread by contact with the bodily fluids
of infected persons. It also sent police to
track down the fugitive suspected cases.
“ We are glad to confirm that all of
the 17 individuals have been accounted
for and have now been transferred to
JFK Ebola specialist treatment centre,”
Liberia’s Information Minister Lewis
Brown said overnight.
He added that after meetings with
religious and community leaders, a task
force was being set up to go door to
door through West Point, a labyrinth of
muddy alleys, to explain the risks of the
disease and the need to isolate infected
Lewis said the Liberian authorities
were considering imposing even tougher
restrictions on movements.
Liberia and Sierra Leone’s weak health
systems have been over whelmed by the
multiplying numbers of cases and deaths.
WHO has said it is co-ordinating a
“massive scaling up” of international
assistance to the worst affected countries.
But a Liberian health ministry report
said its Ebola-hit Lofa County had
stopped burials due to a lack of body
bags. “Absolutely no body bags,” the
It said the ministry warehouse had only
three pairs of rubber boots remaining
and no more bottles of hand sanitisers.
The WHO declared the outbreak a
“public health emergency of international
concern” on August 8, triggering global
The UN health agency this month
gave the green light to use untested
pharmaceuticals to treat Ebola patients.
healthcare workers were given the rare
experimental ZMapp drug, which has
already been used on two American aid
workers being treated in the United
States after being evacuated from
Liberia with Ebola.
Lewis said the three Africans treated
with ZMapp were showing “remarkable
signs of improvement ”.
The WHO has told countries affected
by the outbreak to screen people
departing at airports, seaports and major
land border points and stop any with
signs of the virus.
It has argued against further travel
restrictions, but several international and
regional airlines have cancelled ser vices
to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
Shipping companies operating on
Africa’s west coast, as well as port
authorities, were also on high alert.
Nigeria said its confirmed Ebola cases
had reached 12, up from 10 last week,
but five had almost fully recovered. Four
people have died from the virus in Lagos.
Although WHO said the situation
in Lagos looks “reassuring”, Cameroon
closed its borders with Nigeria as a
precaution. — Reuters
Texas Governor Rick Perry, a possible
Republican presidential candidate in the
2016 race, was fingerprinted and had his
mug shot taken by judicial authorities
today after being indicted last week on
two felony charges of abusing power.
“The actions that I took were lawful.
They were legal and they were proper.
This indictment is fundamentally a
political act that seeks to achieve at the
courthouse what could not be achieved at
the ballot box,” Perry said after finishing
the 15-minute processing at the Travis
County criminal justice centre, a short
walk away from the governor’s mansion.
The indictment has cast a shadow
over a presidential run for Perry, who
has ranked near the bottom of possible
Republican candidates. Experts predict
that legal wrangling in the case is likely
to stretch into the 2016 election cycle.
Perry was indicted on Friday by a grand
jury in Travis County, a Democratic
stronghold in the heavily Republican
State, over his veto of funding for a State
ethics watchdog that has investigated
prominent Texas Republicans.
Perry, the longest-ser ving governor in
the State’s history, became the target of
an ethics probe last year after he vetoed
$7.5 million in funding for the State
public integrity unit run from the Travis
County district attorney’s office.
The veto was widely viewed as intended
to force the resignation of county
District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg,
a Democrat, after she had pleaded guilty
to drunken driving but remained in
Democrats have said Perry may have
been looking to put an ally in charge
of the unit, extending what they say is
cronyism in his administration.
The more serious of the two felony
charges carries a prison sentence of five
to 99 years.
“This may be a sideshow to Rick Perry
but no amount of spin can cover up two
felony charges,” Democratic National
Committee spokesman Michael Czin
After flaming out in a gaffe-strewn
campaign for the 2012 Republican
presidential nomination, Perry has
been attempting a political comeback
that gained him national attention for
accusing President Barack Obama of
doing too little to secure the United
He will step down as governor when
his term ends early next year. — Reuters
Texas governor indicted
for abuse of power
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