You can think of the halo star as being akin to a galactic comet. http://physics.uoregon.edu/~jimbrau/BrauImNew...<quoted text>
Not having read the original story, I appreciate your outline above. Makes a bit more sense to me now (i.e., lack of heavier elements comprising the planet/1st generation/etc).
Still not satisfied with this star/planet/whatever being "*OLDER* than the universe", though.
Either they've found something that is outside of the universe, or they've changed the definition of the word "universe" to exclude this particular object.
Neither seems plausible.
That's where my disconnect is.
It is not fixed in relation to the galactic center, but instead has a relatively high velocity. Since they can't definitely backtrack it and say it was born in this nebula or that, it's origin is something of a mystery. This just adds to the error of speculating its age as predating the CMBR. The only disconnect comes from defending the present system of dating the age of certain stars when faced with an apparent anomaly - which isn't one.