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Desperate for employees, US businesses struggle to hire amid COVID-19 pandemic

Fears of Covid-19 and dissatisfaction with work-life balance and pay are among the factors fueling the worker shortage as the US economy has bounced back from the pandemic. (Photo: AFP) NEW YORK— To keep the taps at his recently opened beer tasting room flowing, Peter Chekijian had no choice but to ask his main employees to come in seven days per week. The staffing shortage has also kept Chekijian from realising his goal of brewing beer on site, since he can't find contractors to finish installing the tanks he requires. "That's been a big issue of getting people to actually finish up the job," said Chekijian, who co-founded the small Twin Fork Beer Company in New York state. Even as millions of Americans who lost their jobs to the [...]

October 24th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Immigration NZ staff to be re-trained over one-off residence visa applications

NEW ZEALAND— Immigration New Zealand is not planning to recruit any more staff to take on the processing of the one-off residence visas. Instead, it says it will retrain existing employees to do the work when applications open in December. Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi announced last month that 165,000 people may be eligible for the fast-track residence visabefore applications close in July. The government said the one-off resident visa could see about 110,000 people already in New Zealand apply. The one-off 2021 Resident Visa includes over 5000 health and aged care workers, around 9000 primary industry workers, and more than 800 teachers. Faafoi said some construction and manufacturing workers would also be eligible. Immigration New Zealand says processing the new applications is a priority. Its general manager of border [...]

October 24th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH Covid cases going down fast – OCTA

Local tourists take a group selfie in Fort Santiago in Intramuros, Manila on October 23, 2021. PHOTO BY RENE H. DILAN     PHILIPPINES— Cases of Covid-19 are declining fast, as proven by the 35 percent decrease observed in the past week, OCTA researcher Dr. Guido David said on Sunday. During the seven-day period, infections went down from 8,400 to 5,400. "Mabilis ang pagbaba ng numbers. Ang reproduction rate sa buong bansa ay nasa 0.52 na at ang seven-day average sa bansa ay 5,400. Noong nakaraang linggo, 8,400 so bumaba siya to 5,400 in one week, 35 percent decrease 'yan, or negative growth rate (Numbers are decreasing fast. The reproduction rate nationwide is now at 0.52 with a seven-day average of 5,400 new cases daily. Last week, it was [...]

October 24th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

China to pilot levying property tax in selected cities

Photo taken on May 16, 2016 shows a real estate project in Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province.Photo:Xinhua China has decided to pilot testing property tax levies in selected cities during the coming five years, to garner experiences before proceeding with formal legislation. The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, adopted the decision on Saturday to authorize the State Council, the cabinet, to pilot property tax reforms in some regions, according to a report by the Xinhua News Agency. Industry experts say a trial property tax could be tested by the end of this year in selected first- and second-tier cities that have hot real estate markets, most likely in Guangdong's Shenzhen, Zhejiang's Hangzhou, and the southern island province of Hainan. China's central [...]

October 23rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Christmas bin collections in UK at risk as lorry drivers quit

Local councils face a shortage of refuse collectors who can earn tens of thousands more driving for supermarkets or food hauliers Councils across the country are reducing and delaying domestic waste collections as there are not enough drivers for refuse trucks. Photograph: Michael Heath/Alamy Households are being warned of a “Christmas crisis” in bin collections as drivers quit their jobs for better pay working for supermarkets and food hauliers. Bin lorry drivers are being offered pay deals worth as much as £40,000 a year to switch to jobs in the food industry. One council in Lancashire said last week it had lost almost half of its drivers in the last three months. Residents in councils from Devon to London to Peterborough have already seen some collections suspended or delayed. [...]

October 23rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

One dead after crash at Ruapuna Speedway

One person is dead after a crash at Ruapuna Speedway in Canterbury today. Photo: Supplied   Police said emergency services were alerted to the crash at 10.40am. Enquiries into the circumstances of the crash are under way and WorkSafe has been notified. There are no racing events scheduled for this weekend.

October 23rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Turkey threatens to eject 10 western diplomats over support for activist

President Erdoğan says ambassadors from US, Europe and elsewhere are not welcome after call for freeing of Osman Kavala Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Eskisehir on 23 October, where he ordered the foreign ministry to declare 10 ambassadors ‘persona non grata’. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images   The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has said he has ordered the foreign ministry to declare 10 ambassadors from western countries persona non grata for calling for the release of philanthropist Osman Kavala. Kavala has been in prison for four years, charged with financing nationwide protests in 2013 and with involvement in a failed coup in 2016. He denies the charges. In a joint statement on 18 October, the ambassadors of Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the [...]

October 23rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Saudi Arabia pledges 2060 target of net-zero emissions

One of the world's largest oil producers, Saudi Arabia, announced Saturday it aims to reach “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions by 2060, joining more than 100 countries in a global effort to try and curb man-made climate change. Although the kingdom will aim to reduce emissions within its own borders, there is no indication Saudi Arabia will slow down investments in oil and gas or relinquish sway over energy markets by moving away from the production of fossil fuels. Energy exports form the backbone of Saudi Arabia's economy, despite efforts to diversify revenue as the world increasingly looks to transition away from reliance on fossil fuels. The country is forecast to make US$150 billion in revenue this year from oil alone. The announcement, made by Crown Prince Mohammed bin [...]

October 23rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Robredo supporters go land and sea for #LeniKiko2022

PHILIPPINES— Supporters of presidential candidate and Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo staged a caravan on land and sea nationwide on Saturday. The Tropa ng Pagasa: The National Proclamation Motorcade for #LeniKiko2022 had a livestreaming on Facebook and YouTube hosted by Ben Bernabe and Leah Navarro of Team Leni Robredo (TLR), the official volunteer arm of the Leni Robredo for President Movement. 'LENI FOR YOU' Supporters of Vice President Maria Leonor 'Leni' Robredo and her runningmate Francis 'Kiko' Pangilinan launch #LeniKiko2022 on Saturday on land and sea nationwide on Oct. 23, 2021. The car is part of a motorcade along Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City. The fluvial parade is from Talisay City to Cordova in Cebu. PHOTO BY JOHN ORVEN VERDOTE AND SCREENGRAB FROM LIVESTREAM OF TEAM LENI ROBREDO [...]

October 23rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

China passes law to reduce ‘twin pressures’ of homework and tutoring on children

Law makes local authorities and parents responsible for ensuring children are spared stress of overwork China has passed a law to spare school students the pressures of homework. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images China has passed a law to reduce the “twin pressures” of homework and off-site tutoring on children. The official Xinhua news agency said on Saturday the new law, which has not been published in full, makes local governments responsible for ensuring that the twin pressures are reduced and asks parents to arrange their children’s time to account for reasonable rest and exercise, thereby reducing pressure and avoiding internet overuse. Beijing has exercised a more assertive paternal hand this year, from tacking the addiction of youngsters to online games, deemed a form of “spiritual opium”, to clamping down on [...]

October 23rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Sara Duterte, Bongbong Marcos meet in Cebu City

PHILIPPINES— Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Saturday met in Cebu City to celebrate the birthday of Tingog Party-list Rep. Yedda Romualdez. “Confirmed po na nagkita kami ngayon ni Presidential aspirant at former Senator BBM sa masayang pagdiriwang ng birthday ni Cong. Yedda, maybahay ni House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez sa Cebu,” Sara said in a post on her Facebook page. (It is confirmed that we met with presidential aspirant and former Senator BBM during the birthday celebration of Cong. Yedda, House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez's better half, in Cebu.) For his part, Marcos’ spokesman Atty. Vic Rodriguez said that “presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos and Mayor Sara Duterte finding themselves together in Cebu is just another beautiful coincidence.” On Friday, Sara announced [...]

October 23rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Victoria records 1750 new Covid-19 cases, nine deaths; NSW has 332 cases, two deaths

Victoria has recorded nine further deaths of people with Covid-19 and 1750 new locally acquired cases. Vaccination signs in Melbourne. Photo: AFP     The new infections were found from 72,858 test results processed on Friday, the day Melbourne and Mildura emerged from lockdown. The numbers are down from yesterday when there were 2189 new local Covid-19 cases and 16 deaths in Victoria, while New South Wales yesterday recorded 345 new cases and five deaths. Strict density caps remain in place and most retail is still closed, but hospitality venues and beauty services have been packed with Melburnians enjoying their new freedoms. Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton yesterday warned while people should celebrate the new rules, there would be "more Covid in the community, really than at any other [...]

October 23rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Alec Baldwin ‘heartbroken’ over fatal film set shooting

JIM WEBER/THE NEW MEXICAN Alec Baldwin said he was fully co-operating with the police Actor Alec Baldwin has expressed his shock and sadness after fatally shooting cinematographer Halyna Hutchins with a prop gun on a New Mexico film set. He tweeted that he was in touch with her husband and had offered support. "My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna," he wrote. Ms Hutchins, 42, was shot on the set of the western Rust while working as director of photography. "There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours," he tweeted. "I'm fully co-operating with the police investigation to [...]

October 23rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

US kills senior Al-Qaeda leader in Syria with drone strike

A picture taken during a tour organised by the Syrian Ministry of Information shows a Syrian flag atop damaged buildings in the district of Daraa al-Balad of Syria's southern city of Daraa on Sep 12, 2021. (Photo: AFP/LOUAI BESHARA) The US military killed senior Al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar in a drone strike in Syria on Friday (Oct 22), a US Central Command spokesman said. "The removal of this Al-Qaeda senior leader will disrupt the terrorist organisation's ability to further plot and carry out global attacks threatening US citizens, our partners, and innocent civilians," US Army Major John Rigsbee said in a written statement. The strike comes two days after a US outpost in southern Syria was attacked. Rigsbee did not say if the US drone strike was carried [...]

October 23rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

2 more Covid-19 cases confirmed in Northland

The Northland District Health Board says two more positive Covid-19 cases have been confirmed in the region, bringing the total to four. (Source: 1 NEWS)   The Ministry of Health announced on Friday afternoon two cases  had been confirmed in Northland and they were now isolating near Kaikohe. The cases are not linked to the two women who recently visited Northland. Friday's cases were permitted to travel to the Kaikohe area from Auckland. On Saturday, the DHB said the two newest cases were children under 12. "Support has been put in place for the whānau, who have worked cooperatively with the public health team to identify locations of interest." The Ministry of Health said this afternoon the children were family members. A case investigation had also identified a "limited" number [...]

October 23rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 community case reported in the South Island with positive test in Blenheim

The South Island has its first community case of Covid-19 since the current outbreak began, with a person testing positive for the coronavirus in Blenheim, the Health Ministry has confirmed. Business groups in Blenheim are in talks over a business hub. Photo: LDR / Chloe Ranford     The case flew from Rotorua and arrived in Blenheim on Thursday. They were tested upon arrival after developing a sore throat. "The initial test, including a follow-up swab, returned a weak positive result." The ministry said the case is now isolating awaiting the results of further testing. The case is considered low risk, due to their likely late stage of infection. The ministry said initial case interviews suggested the case was linked to the Te Awamutu cluster. A small number of [...]

October 23rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Drivers, farmers see fuel price pinch ‘worse than pandemic’

MANILA, Philippines — Leaders of farmer and transport groups on Friday sounded the alarm on a threat “worse than the pandemic”—the steady rise in oil prices and the absence of government safeguards for marginalized sectors. At a press conference at the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman, Anakpawis national president Ariel Casilao warned that the spike in oil prices in the past eight weeks would result in price increases for basic commodities, food, and services. Casilao, a former lawmaker, urged the government to push for a price control law or resolution to pull down oil prices, and said the excise imposed by the TRAIN law (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion) should be repealed. He said Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi had neglected the increasing trend in oil prices even [...]

October 22nd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

UK PM Johnson says fresh COVID-19 lockdown not on the cards

FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a protective face mask walks during the morning rush hour, amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in London, Britain, October 20, 2021. REUTERS/Toby Melville LONDON— British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday (Oct 22) a new COVID-19 lockdown is not on the cards, as advisers warned that acting early with lighter measures to cut rising case numbers would reduce the need for tougher restrictions later. Johnson's government has said there is no need yet to introduce a "Plan B" involving mask mandates, work-from-home orders and vaccine passports, though such measures could be introduced if more people do not come forward for COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots. Johnson scrapped England's COVID restrictions in the summer, and he said that, while case numbers [...]

October 22nd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

No Cebu meeting yet between Sara Duterte and Marcos Jr.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and presidential aspirant Ferdinand Marcos Jr. were both in Cebu City on Friday but spokespersons of both politicians said no meeting transpired between the two. “None today,” Sara's spokesperson Liloan, Cebu Mayor Christina Frasco said in a text message when asked if President Rodrigo Duterte's daughter and Marcos met on Friday. “No, tonight no. But both of them are there,” Marcos' spokesman Rodriguez told GMA News Online when asked the same question. Asked if Duterte will meet Marcos in Cebu, Frasco said, “I invited Mayor Sara to attend the inauguration of our new Port in Liloan and to attend our League of Municipalities of the Philippines Cebu General Assembly." "This is her official schedule," she added. In a Facebook post, Sara announced that she [...]

October 22nd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘Serious injuries’ after 2 car crash in Otago

Police are reporting "serious injuries" after a two-car crash in Otago on Saturday morning. A police car (file picture). (Source: istock.com)   A police spokesperson said they were notified of an accident around 9.15am on State Highway 1 just south of Waihola. "Initial indications are that there are serious injuries," the spokesperson said. The road has since been closed and diversions are in place as emergency services attend the scene. Northbound traffic is being diverted along Phosphate Road, and southbound traffic is being diverted through Taieri Mouth. Motorists are asked to avoid the area or expect significant delays.

October 22nd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

AFP told to be non-partisan in 2022 elections

PHILIPPINES— The 145,000-strong Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was reminded not to be biased or partisan to a particular political group in the upcoming May 22 national and local elections. The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) holds its third quarter command conference at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City on Oct. 8, 2021. (Photo: AFP)     Col. Xerxes Trinidad, spokesperson of the Philippine Army (PA), said the directive was issued to the Army, Philippine Navy (PN), and Philippine Air Force (PAF) by Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana. “It’s a guidance from the Secretary of National Defense and we have been reminded that the armed forces, particularly on the level of our Commanding General [Lt. Gen. Andres Centino], to remain non-partisan in this coming national [...]

October 22nd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 update: 129 new cases in the community

There are 129 new cases of Covid-19 in the community today, after hitting triple digits for the first time yesterday. File image. Photo: 123rf.com In a statement, the Health Ministry said 65 of the new cases were still to be linked to earlier cases. Nine of today's new cases are in Waikato, with the rest in Auckland. All of the Waikato cases are linked. There have now been 73 cases in the district linked to the current outbreak. There were also five new cases in managed isolation. A total of 102 community cases was reported yesterday. There are 51 people in hospital with Covid-19, including five in intensive care. The ministry said there have now been 2389 cases in the current outbreak, and 5090 in New Zealand since the [...]

October 22nd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Syria executes 24 people over deadly forest fires

Syria executed 24 people it said had set fires that swept swathes of forests mainly in the coastal province of Latakia, the ancestral home of Syrian President Bashar al Assad, the justice ministry said on Thursday. Syrian state television showed alleged confessions from some of the culprits, who said they were paid to set the huge fires that raged last year. Photo: AFP or licensors   Those executed on Wednesday were charged with committing "terrorist acts that led to death and damage to state infrastructure, public and private property", the ministry said. It said 11 others were sentenced to life in prison on the same charges from dozens arrested at the end of last year who confessed to igniting the fires that began in September 2020 and lasted until [...]

October 22nd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Creation of NTF-ELCAC reduces NPA activities: Duterte

            President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (File photo)     MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said there are now fewer New People’s Army (NPA) activities taking place since the creation of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) and its regional task forces to address armed conflicts at the local level. Duterte acknowledged that the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA (CPP-NPA) continues to perpetuate violence by killing soldiers, police, and civilians in the country, but in “a very small scale” this time. “There has been really quite a reduction of the NPA activities. They are in Mindanao but limited to Northern Mindanao including Davao City. May mga dalawa nalang o almost pawala na. At sana naman ganun ang mangyari sa [...]

October 21st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Govt reveals its Covid-19 Protection Framework

The government has announced details of its Covid-19 Protection Framework, involving the roll-out of a 'traffic-light' system once all DHBs hit 90 percent full vaccination rates. Watch the announcement here: A vaccine certificate will be central to the new framework. The system will involve three settings - green, orange and red. "If you want to be guaranteed that no matter the setting that we are in, that you can go to bars, restaurants and close-proximity businesses like a hairdresser, then you will need to be vaccinated," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told media this morning. She was accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare as the government also announced enhanced financial support for businesses and those families struggling under [...]

October 21st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Duterte eyes deeper ties with Saudi, 7 other countries

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte interacts with Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ambassador-designate to the Philippines Hisham Sultan Al Zafir Al Qahtani after the latter presented his letter of credence to the President at the Malacañang Palace on October 20, 2021. RICHARD MADELO/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO PHILIPPINES— President Rodrigo Duterte sought deeper cooperation and friendship with Saudi Arabia and seven other countries.Duterte expressed this intent as he received the credentials of ambassadors from Saudi Arabia, Belgium, the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Italy, Sweden, Israel and Malta in Malacañang on Wednesday. He told Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to the Philippines Hisham Sultan Al Zafir Al Qahtani that he is looking forward to expanding Manila's cooperation with Riyadh in "various areas of mutual benefit [to the two countries' peoples." "Over [...]

October 21st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Flights cancelled, schools closed as China fights new COVID-19 outbreak

A new COVID-19 outbreak in China has been linked to a group of tourists. (Photo: AFP)   BEIJING— Authorities in China cancelled hundreds of flights, closed schools and ramped up mass testing on Thursday (Oct 21) to try and stamp out a new COVID-19 outbreak linked to a group of tourists. Beijing has maintained a relentless zero-COVID approach with strict border closures and targeted lockdowns, even as other countries tentatively try to ease restrictions. Domestic outbreaks have largely been eliminated, but as China logged a fifth straight day of new cases - mostly in northern and northwestern areas - authorities beefed up coronavirus controls. The latest outbreak was linked to an elderly couple who were in a group of several tourists. They started in Shanghai before flying to Xi'an, [...]

October 21st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

UK’s neighbours criticise Covid policies as cases begin to surge across EU

Several European nations have questioned British response but there are growing signs of fresh wave across continent   People wait in front of a coronavirus testing centre in Berlin. Cases in Germany have leapt by about 40% in a week. Photograph: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images   For the past several weeks, many western European countries have been eyeing Covid case numbers across the Channel with mounting trepidation. “Why does Britain have more than 40,000 Covid cases a day, and why is it the European country with the most infections?” asked Spain’s ABC, while France’s L’Express criticised “disastrous myopia” in London. “Fear returns to London,” said Italy’s Corriere della Sera after the British health secretary, Sajid Javid, suggested cases could hit 100,000 a day over the winter. “How many deaths are [...]

October 21st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Cash grants on way for those hardest hit by Covid-19 restrictions

More low income households struggling because of lockdown will soon be able to get hardship support from Work and Income. The prolonged Covid-19 restrictions are hurting poorer households, who tend to have less certainty around their work, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni acknowledges. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone   The government has decided to temporarily lift the income limits for people who need help to pay for essentials. Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said the prolonged Covid-19 restrictions are hurting poorer households, who tend to have less certainty around their work. The changes will mean people working 40 hours a week on the minimum wage will be able to get grants to pay for food and other bills. For a single person, that's $800 a week, or $1600 a [...]

October 21st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Ardern sets Covid-19 target of 90% fully vaccinated to ease restrictions

(Source: Getty)   Ardern set a target of 90% fully vaccinated for all DHBs that would then allow the new traffic light system to come into play. The Prime Minister said today: "Where we used to say stay home to save lives, we now need to be vaccinated to save lives." She conceded the Government had been hesitant to set a target but now accepted people wanted certainty. Ardern said Auckland will come out of lockdown and go to the new "red" setting when all three DHBs in the region hit 90%. At the end of Wednesday, 72% of eligible people in Aotearoa had had a single dose of teh Pfizer vaccine and 57% had been double-dosed. In Auckland, 88.6% had one jab and 72.5% were fully vaccinated. Ardern [...]

October 21st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Donald Trump to launch social media platform called Truth Social

The former president, who remains banned from Facebook and Twitter, has a goal to rival those tech giants Donald Trump announced plans to launch a social media app called Truth Social. Photograph: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images   Donald Trump has announced plans to launch a social media platform called TRUTH Social that will rolled be out early next year. The former president, who was banned from Facebookand Twitter earlier this year, says his goal is to rival the tech companies that have denied him the megaphone that was paramount to his rise. “I’m excited to soon begin sharing my thoughts on TRUTH social and to fight back against big tech,” Trump said in a statement. Trump announced the news in a press release on Wednesday, saying the platform will be [...]

October 21st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Alert level 3 restrictions for parts of Waikato to remain in place

Alert level 3 restrictions will remain in place in parts of Waikato until at least Wednesday 27 October. Alert level 3 restrictions will remain in place in parts of Waikato until at least Wednesday 27 October. A quiet Hamilton street just after parts of the Waikato region moved to alert level 3 following community cases of Covid-19 (file image). Photo: RNZ / Katie Todd   In a statement, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said: "Based on the latest public health information, maintaining level 3 in those parts of the Waikato continues to be the most prudent course of action. "Alert level 3 will continue till 11.59pm on Wednesday 27 October and will be reviewed on that day. "I know this will be frustrating for people in these areas. It's [...]

October 21st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 update: 102 community cases in NZ today

The number of new community cases has reached triple figures for the first time, with 102 cases reported today. Photo: 123RF   Yesterday there were 60 new community cases, a drop from Tuesday's outbreak record of 94. The Ministry of Health said 56 of those 60 cases were in Auckland and four were in Waikato. Twenty-two of yesterday's cases were yet to be linked to earlier cases, increasing the number of unlinked cases from the past 14 days to 166. There were 43 people in hospital, including five in intensive care.

October 21st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Sara Duterte firm she’s not running under PDP-Laban—Cusi

  PHILIPPINES— Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has been clear that she would not run under the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban), Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said on Wednesday. Cusi, who leads one faction of the PDP-Laban party, said that while they acknowledge that “anything is possible at this time,” the daughter of President Duterte has been firm on her stance. That is why Duterte-Carpio substituting Sen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa is something they won’t consider . “Because Mayor Inday’s Sara’s statement has been very clear that she will not run under the PDP. If she won’t, how will be substitute that?” Cusi said in an interview on ANC Headstart. Duterte-Carpio has been rumored to substitute Dela Rosa, who was chosen by the party as their standard-bearer in a [...]

October 20th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

US blasts China’s harmful industrial policies in WTO review

The US also criticised China's use of "economic coercion" to pressure smaller nations to act in accordance to Beijing's wishes. Photo:Reuters   GENEVA—  The US blasted China's trade policy, accusing its closest economic rival of failing to play by the rules of international commerce for two decades. When China joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO) 20 years ago, nations broadly expected Beijing to dismantle its existing policies and practices that did not comply with the WTO's rulebook, said David Bisbee, the chargé d'affaires at the US mission in Geneva. But "those expectations have not been realised, and "it appears that China has no inclination to change", he said on Wednesday (Oct 20). "Instead, China has used the imprimatur of WTO membership to become the WTO's largest trader, while doubling [...]

October 20th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

New Zealand and UK agree on free trade deal

New Zealand and the United Kingdom have announced they've reached agreement on the terms of a free trade deal, which the Government estimates could be worth $1 billion to the New Zealand economy. (Source: 1 NEWS)   New Zealand would be able to send over its wine, honey, onions and hoki without being hit with tariffs imposed by the UK, while the UK can export its gin, chocolate, motorhomes and caravans and some jewellery without being hit by ours. The in-principle deal with Britain would see it eliminate 97 per cent of its tariffs on the day the agreement comes into force, while New Zealand would also remove its limited tariffs on some UK goods. A tariff is a tax imposed by a country on goods being imported in [...]

October 20th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Auckland hotel to allow only fully vaccinated guests

An Auckland inner city hotel and restaurant operator has decided it will take only guests who are fully vaccinated from November. Photo: 123RF   The Hotel Britomart, including its restaurant Kingi, is introducing a vaccine mandate ahead of any government licence to do so. The hotel's owner also operates The Landing, a luxury holiday accommodation in the Bay of Islands, which is also part of the vaccine mandate. Its general manager Clinton Farley said they were taking the position to keep their staff and guests safe. "We've decided to take a stance on mandating vaccines across our entire team," he said. "We're mandating that all our suppliers and contractors and visitors whether they be guests or restaurant patrons also are double dosed and able to provide evidence of that [...]

October 20th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Health worker MIQ spots a start, but more needs to be done – expert

The government needs to vigorously recruit foreign nurses and pay New Zealand staff to return from overseas, says the Intensive Care Society. Photo: RNZ / Marika Khabazi   The government announced yesterday it will guarantee 300 spots a month in managed isolation for people in the health and disability sectors. Those groups of workers, who are urgently needed in this country, currently have to compete for scarce MIQ spaces with other travellers. Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society spokesperson Andrew Stapleton told Morning Report while the announcement is welcome it's not enough to resolve workforce shortages. "We don't have many nurses, we don't have many beds compared to everyone else, that's well established." A surge workforce is being trained incase they are needed, he said. He said New [...]

October 20th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Flooding death toll passes 100 in Nepal and India’s Uttarakhand

More than 100 people have died after heavy rainfall triggered flash floods in India's northern state of Uttarakhand and parts of Nepal. Homes were submerged or crushed by rocks swept into them by landslides. Some 50 people, including five from a single family, died in Uttarakhand and a similar number in Nepal, with dozens more missing in both nations. Rains further south in India's Kerala state also triggered deadly floods, leaving another 39 dead there. Six more bodies were recovered on Wednesday in Uttarakhand, taking the death toll in the Himalayan state, a popular tourist spot, to 52. Schools have been closed and religious and tourist activities suspended in the state. The Ganges burst its bank in Rishikesh and the popular Nainital region was severely affected. Uttarakhand, which normally [...]

October 20th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Australia hits first major COVID-19 vaccine milestone of 70 per cent

Australia has passed its first major vaccination milestone, with over 70 per cent of the country's population aged over 16 being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The milestone means Australia can now move into phase B of the national plan. "It allows us to really consider what else we can be doing to get back to some sort of COVID normal," Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly said. LIVE UPDATES: Nation hits 70 per cent fully vaccinated The first dose vaccination rate is currently at 85.5 per cent and continuing to climb. Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said just over 16 per cent of Australians aged between 12-15 are now fully vaccinated. Mr Hunt hailed the high level of vaccination in the ACT, which stands at 98.1 per cent. "It [...]

October 20th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH reports 3,656 new COVID cases; few deaths, recoveries due to data system issue

People flock to the Dapitan Arcade in Quezon City to purchase Christmas decorations on October 19, 2021 days after the capital region was put under Alert Level 3 which allows for the opening of more business establishments. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News     MANILA - The Department of Health on Wednesday announced 3,656 new COVID-19 cases, the lowest daily tally in three months. The number of fresh cases is the lowest since July 13 or when the country reported 3,604 infections, according to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group. Of the total 2,735,369 confirmed cases since the pandemic reached the country, 67,061 or 2.5 percent are active infections, according to the latest DOH bulletin. COVID-related deaths increased by five to 40,977, while 228 more recoveries were recorded, raising its [...]

October 20th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Beijing demands end to US operations in South China Sea

China’s defence ministry has demanded an end to US military operations in the South China Sea, saying they pose a threat to regional security and increase the risks of collisions and even nuclear leaks in the strategic waterway. Ministry spokesman Tan Kefei also repeated China’s demand for an explanation of what happened to a US nuclear attack submarine which collided with a mystery object in the disputed waters earlier this month, describing Washington’s statement – issued six days after the incident – as “short and unclear”. “This irresponsible and covert approach lacks transparency, and can easily lead to misunderstanding and misjudgment. China and the neighbouring countries in the South China Sea have to question the truth of the incident and the intentions of the United States,” he said on [...]

October 20th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

North Korea says test was new type of submarine-launched ballistic missile

State media report that device launched on Tuesday had ‘lots of advanced control guidance technologies’ Image released by North Korean state media shows the test fire of what is says is a new type of submarine-launched ballistic missile. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images North Korea says it has successfully tested a “new type” of submarine-launched ballistic missile, as the nuclear-armed country pursues ever more improved weapons. The device had “lots of advanced control guidance technologies”, the official Korean Central News Agency said on Wednesday, adding that it was launched from the same vessel that the North used in its first submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) tests five years ago. The latter point casts doubt on claims by Pyongyang in 2015 that it had launched a submarine-based missile. Wednesday’s report did not mention [...]

October 20th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

New Zealand pension system drops in world rankings

New Zealand's retirement income system has slipped in world rankings, with calls for reform to close the pension gap for women. File image. Photo: 123RF   The annual Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index places New Zealand at 15th, down from 10th place last year. Mercer said the index was a comprehensive study of global pension systems, accounting for almost two-thirds of the world's population. It benchmarked 43 retirement income systems around the world, highlighting shortcomings and suggesting improvements. New Zealand's pension system received a B grade, Mercer said. Mercer senior partner and lead author of the study Dr David Knox said the gender pension gap was not an issue unique to New Zealand. "The principle reason for this is the employment of women - obviously we're talking averages [...]

October 20th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Isko Moreno: In 1986, it was people, not politicians who united PH

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso during the groundbreaking ceremony for the Pres. Corazon C. Aquino General Hospital   MANILA, Philippines — Manila Mayor Isko Moreno sought to refresh people’s memories about the 1986 People Power revolution, saying that when the country got united, it was not led by politicians but by the people themselves. Moreno said this on Tuesday, as he was being asked whether there is still a chance for a united coalition between him and Vice President Leni Robredo, considering that they both voiced displeasure with the way the administration is handling things. But Moreno said that unification should come naturally, with the people leading the way. “Eh may kilala akong ganyan, unification, eh unification lang pala ‘yon para sa kanya.Eh ano na ‘yan, let us just [...]

October 20th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Marcos wins big in Manila Bulletin survey

Former senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. FILE PHOTO   PHILIPPINES— Former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. may end up winning the presidential race next year based on the results of an online survey published by one of the country's leading newspapers. Marcos emerged as the top candidate in the Manila Bulletin's (MB) Facebook online presidential survey conducted from October 15 to 17, beating fellow aspirants Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso and Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo. The poll generated over 800,000 reactions from netizens who were asked to vote by using the assigned emoji for their preferred candidates. Marcos won by a landslide. He garnered 655,000 "heart" emojis, followed by Robredo with 216,000 "care" emojis and Domagoso with 33,000 "like" emojis as they ended up as the [...]

October 20th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Israel detects first case of Covid-19 Delta variant ‘AY4.2’

A healthcare worker takes a swab sample from a traveller at the Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod, near Tel Aviv, Israel, on Oct 13.PHOTO: REUTERS   JERUSALEM — The first case of the new Covid-19 Delta variant "AY4.2" was detected in Israel on Tuesday (Oct 19), the country's Ministry of Health said. This is the variant that was previously detected in several European countries, the ministry noted. It was diagnosed in an 11-year-old boy, who underwent a coronavirus test at Ben Gurion International Airport outside Tel Aviv, upon his return from Moldova. The ministry added that the epidemiological investigation is being conducted, and all types of Covid-19 variants and their development are being constantly monitored in the country. Also on Tuesday, the ministry reported 1,487 new Covid-19 cases, [...]

October 20th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Melbourne welcomes vaccinated Sydney residents without quarantine

FILE PHOTO: A lone woman, wearing a protective face mask, walks across a city centre bridge as the state of Victoria looks to curb the spread of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Melbourne, Australia, July 16, 2021. REUTERS/Sandra Sanders/File Photo SYDNEY— Travel restrictions between Sydney and Melbourne, Australia's largest cities, eased on Wednesday (Oct 20) as Victoria opened its borders to fully vaccinated residents from New South Wales amid a rapid rise in immunisation levels. With cases trending lower in New South Wales, including Sydney, residents will be allowed quarantine-free entry into Victoria for the first time in more than three months. Travellers from Melbourne who wish to enter Sydney, however, must undergo a two-week home quarantine. Daily infections in Victoria rose to 1,841 on Wednesday, up from [...]

October 20th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 update: 60 new community cases reported today

The number of new community cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand has dropped from yesterday's record high, with 60 new cases reported today. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas   The Ministry of Health said 56 of today's cases were in Auckland and four were in Waikato. Yesterday the ministry reported 94 new community cases, the highest number since the pandemic began. There were also two cases reported at the border today. Twenty-two of today's 60 cases are yet to be linked to earlier cases. There are 166 unlinked cases from the past 14 days. There are 43 people in hospital, including five in intensive care. The number of community cases connected to the current outbreak is now 2158 and there have now been 4854 cases in this country since [...]

October 20th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 briefing: Years 11-13 students to return to class next week, govt confirms

Secondary school students in Years 11-13 who live in alert level 3 areas will be able to return to the classroom on 26 October, Education and Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has confirmed. Hipkins and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield have held the government's latest briefing on the response to the Covid-19 outbreak in Auckland and Waikato. Watch the Covid-19 update here: There were 60 new community cases today, down from yesterday's record high. Hipkins said the decisions on schools and early learning services in alert level 3 areas were finely-balanced ones. "Exams are racing up for our senior secondary school students in particular and the stresses and strains that learning from home creates become more evident by the day. "We want to get our young people back [...]

October 20th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH Gov’t aims to vaccinate 70% of population by February election period

PHILIPPINES— A little over 30% of the country's eligible population are fully-vaccinated, four months before February 2022 The national government aims to vaccinate 70% of the Philippine population before the start of the election period in February, said vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. on Tuesday, October 20. "Vaccinate at least 70% of the total population before the election period so meaning before February or the election period, we have already vaccinated more or less 70%," Galvez said in a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte in Malacañang. The target is part of government efforts to ensure a safe elections come May 2022, when Filipinos are expected to vote in a new president, vice president, senators, district and party-list representatives, and local government officials. Galvez said the government currently has about [...]

October 20th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

24M Filipinos fully vaccinated against Covid-19: Galvez

MANILA – More than 24 million individuals have so far been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the Philippines, the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 said on Tuesday.              (File photo)       During President Rodrigo Duterte's taped Talk to the People, NTF chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said 24,498,753 Filipinos were fully vaccinated that is around 31.76 percent of the country's eligible population. Galvez said the Philippines has administered 52.7 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines nationwide, 28.2 million of which were given as first doses. The government, he said, is targeting to scale up its vaccination rollout to 1.5 million jabs a day to inoculate at least 50 percent of the country’s target population by yearend. He noted [...]

October 19th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Group of 17 missionaries and family members kidnapped in Haiti

Five children were among group of 16 US citizens and one Canadian abducted by gang members after orphanage visit Police in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince. The country been struggling with a sharp increase in gang-related kidnappings. Photograph: Rodrigo Abd/AP   A group of 17 missionaries, including five children, have been kidnapped by an armed criminal gang in Haiti. The group – 16 Americans and one Canadian citizen – were on their way home from building an orphanage, according to a statement from the Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries, which supports 9,000 children in Haitian schools and sent out a message asking supporters to pray for its members. The statement said the mission’s field director was working with the US embassy, and that the field director’s family and one other unidentified man [...]

October 17th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Over 52M vaccine doses administered in PH

SANITATION. An airport worker disinfects the boxes containing 720,000 doses of the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 in Pasay City on Saturday (Oct. 16, 2021). The Philippines has so far administered 52,157,598 first and second doses. (PNA photo by Robert Oswald P. Alfiler)       MANILA – The Philippines has administered 52,157,598 doses of Covid-19 vaccines as of Sunday. The National Covid-19 Vaccination Dashboard showed 27,921,074 were given as first doses while 24,236,524 were utilized as second doses. Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19, said the government has started to send the bulk of vaccines to areas outside the National Capital Region. "Supply is no longer an issue for our country as of [...]

October 17th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Japan PM says Fukushima wastewater release can’t be delayed

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan. (File photo: AP/Hiro Komae) TOKYO— Japan's new prime minister on Sunday (Oct 17) said the planned mass disposal of wastewater stored at the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant cannot be delayed, despite concerns from local residents. Speaking at his first visit to the facility since taking office, Fumio Kishida said his government would work to reassure residents nearby the plant about the technical safety of the wastewater disposal project. The Fukushima Daiichi plant suffered a triple meltdown in 2011 following a massive earthquake and tsunami. Kishida's brief tour of the facility by its operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, focused on the ongoing decommissioning of the plant, and the massive amount of treated but still radioactive water [...]

October 17th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Household living costs surge 4.9 percent

The Consumer Price Index rose to an annual rate of 4.9 percent in the September quarter Photo credit: GettyImages. Living costs have surged for Kiwi households with the whopping 4.9 percent annual jump in the Consumer Price Index. Released by Statistics New Zealand on Monday, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) uses a set sample of goods and services (e.g. food, housing, health and transport), to measure price changes on a quarterly and annual basis.  As a measure of inflation, latest CPI figures reflect high price rises are hitting the back pockets of Kiwi consumers. Annual price inflation (the difference between the September 2020 quarter and the September 2021 quarter), was 4.9 percent. The quarterly change in prices (June 2021 quarter compared to the September 2021 quarter), was 2.2 percent. [...]

October 17th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

NZ commits $1.3 billion to combating climate change

New Zealand has carved off a sizeable chunk of its foreign aid budget towards combating climate change, committing $NZ1.3 billion to support vulnerable communities. The pledge, over four years, is being made in the run-up to November's climate change conference in Glasgow, known as COP26. Half of the commitment will go towards Pacific nations. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who travelled by boat to the tiny Pacific territory of Tokelau in her first term in office, said the funding would "assist lower income countries to protect lives, livelihoods and infrastructure from the impacts of climate change". "I have seen and heard first-hand the impact of climate change in our region," she said. "We need to continue to step up our support for our Pacific family and neighbours who are on [...]

October 17th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

ACT proposes $250 tax relief for vaccinated Kiwis

ACT wants to give every immunised New Zealander a $250 tax break, which could be redeemed at any time after the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. (Source: 1 NEWS)   Using cash incentives to encourage vaccination has been widely debated - with Sir John Key previously suggesting a $25 voucher for under 30s. Overseas, New York City began a US$100 incentive for people receiving their first dose in July, and a study in Sweden found cash incentives helped with a four per cent increase among reluctant participants. ACT leader David Seymour said their policy was named "vax bucks" and would "reward New Zealanders for doing the right thing and following the rules". "If you’ve had the vax and paid your tax, you deserve some relief." He said ACT's [...]

October 17th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Chinese military condemns US and Canada over warships in Taiwan Strait

Countries ‘colluded to provoke and stir up trouble’ in region that China claims as its territory The Strait of Taiwan. China sent around 150 aircraft into the zone over a four-day period. Photograph: Gallo Images/Getty Images   The Chinese military has condemned the United States and Canada for each sending a warship through the Taiwan Strait last week, saying they were threatening peace and stability in the region. China claims democratically ruled Taiwan as its own territory, and has mounted repeated air force missions into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone (ADIZ) over the past year, provoking anger in Taipei. China sent about 150 aircraft into the zone over a four-day period beginning on 1 October in a further heightening of tension between Beijing and Taipei that has sparked concern [...]

October 17th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Back to school, but still in lockdown for many

Nearly 400,000 children in Auckland, Northland and Waikato are starting the final school term of the year learning from home today. Photo: 123RF     Schools in the three regions are remote learning because they are in alert level 3, though in Northland and Waikato that status was scheduled to change tonight. Auckland principals told RNZ re-engaging children and preparing teenagers for NCEA exams were their priorities for the fourth term. Carmel College principal Chris Allen said her school would start term four with just one student on site. The biggest job ahead was preparing senior students for NCEA exams in November, she said. "There's not many weeks left before the externals start. How do we provide them with the revision exercises. We haven't been able to hold mocks. [...]

October 17th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 update: 41 new community cases reported in NZ today

There are 41 new community cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today as the country tries to push vaccination rates up on Super Saturday. Photo: RNZ // Angus Dreaver   There was no media conference today. In a statement, the Ministry said there were also two new cases in managed isolation. It said 20 of the community cases are linked, and 21 remain unlinked with investigations continuing. There are 124 unlinked cases from the past 14 days. One of today's new cases is in Waikato. The ministry said the case is a household member of two existing cases and is already in a quarantine facility in Auckland. There are now 31 people in hospital, all in Auckland, including six in intensive care. There were 65 new cases yesterday. There [...]

October 16th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Ardern spreads vaccination message at Pasifika event in Porirua

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is urging Kiwis to get vaccinated for Covid-19, kicking off the Super Saturday vaccination push at a Pasifika youth event in Porirua. She thanked community leaders and local youth for their efforts in promoting those around them to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. “There is nothing more important today than making sure we are vaccinating our people for our people to protect our communities," Ardern said. "I want to start by thanking and acknowledging the rangatahi who are here to make sure that their peers, their friends, the community that they share and love are protecting themselves and their whanau." The Pasifika Vax Festival was set up in Cannons Creek by Capital and Coast DHB to help encourage young Pacific people to get the vaccine. [...]

October 16th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Photos: New Zealanders get vaccinated on Super Saturday

Tens of thousands of New Zealanders are taking advantage of Super Saturday to get a Covid-19 vaccination. People at a Pasifika vaccination event at the Manurewa netball courts (Source: 1 NEWS)   Over 500 clinics around the country are open, including on an Air NZ plane in Auckland, and in Dunedin's Octagon. Here are some photos from events. People at a vaccination event in Dunedin's Octagon (Source: 1 NEWS)   Ticket at Auckland's SkyTower on Super Saturday (Source: 1 NEWS)  People at Air NZ's vaccination event at Auckland Airport (Source: 1 NEWS)  Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern chats to health staff at a Pasifika vaccination event on Super Saturday. (Source: 1 NEWS) 

October 16th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Victoria 1993 new cases, 7 deaths; NSW 319 cases, 2 deaths

Victoria has recorded 1993 Covid-19 cases and seven deaths. The new infections were detected from 79,214 test results and bring the total number of active cases in the state to 21,647. An ambulance being cleaned at Royal Melbourne Hospital in Melbourne. (File photo). Photo: AFP   This weekend may be the last Melburnians spend in lockdown, with Premier Daniel Andrews confirming last week that restrictions would be eased when 70 percent of Victorians aged 16 and over are fully vaccinated The state is on track to meet that milestone this week. The latest data shows 87.6 percent of people in that group have received at least one vaccine dose, and 63.8 percent have been fully vaccinated. Under the roadmap laid out by the state government, when the 70 percent [...]

October 16th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

MP David Amess dies after being stabbed at constituency meeting

Man arrested on suspicion of murder after Conservative MP attacked during regular surgery in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex UK- The Conservative MP Sir David Amess has died after he was stabbed several times during a surgery at his constituency in Essex, police have said. Amess, 69, an MP since 1983 who had represented Southend West in Essex since 1997, was attacked at a church in Leigh-on-Sea. He is the second MP to be killed in just over five years, after the murder of Jo Cox. Essex police said a 25-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of murder. Officers were called to the scene at about 12.05pm on Friday, the force said, to reports that Amess had been stabbed, confirming he was the victim. A statement said: “Despite the best [...]

October 15th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

US to lift travel ban for fully jabbed on 8 November

GETTY IMAGES   The US has said that it will reopen its borders to fully vaccinated travellers from 33 countries on 8 November. Under new rules announced by the White House, vaccinated people who have had a negative test in the 72 hours before travelling will be allowed to enter. The move marks the end of the tough restrictions that have been imposed on travellers since early last year. "This policy is guided by public health, stringent and consistent," a White House spokesman said. The new rules will apply to Schengen countries - a group of 26 European nations - as well as the UK, Brazil, China, India, Iran, Ireland, and South Africa. The current rules bar entry to most non-US citizens who have been in the UK, China, [...]

October 15th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

NSW home and hotel quarantine to end for vaccinated residents and tourists

NSW residents and even tourists flying in from overseas will no longer have to enter any form of quarantine in a massive shake-up for travellers. Say goodbye to hotel and even home quarantine, with NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet saying the mandatory measure for vaccinated travellers will be a “thing of the past”. Speaking to media on Friday, Perrottet announced that returning vaccinated Australians will be able to fly into the state from overseas on November 1, and providing they have a negative PCR test, enter society freely. “From November 1, those people returning to Australia … and those who want to come back, who want to visit Australia and come to Sydney, hotel quarantine will be a thing of the past,” he explained. Premier Dominic Perrottet has reopened the [...]

October 15th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 update: 65 new community cases in NZ today

There are 65 new community cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today. Photo: RNZ / Marika Khabazi   There was no media conference today. In a statement, the ministry said 34 of these cases are linked, 10 are household contacts, and 31 remain unlinked with investigations continuing. There have been 107 unlinked cases in the past 14 days. There was also one new case in managed isolation. There were 71 new cases in the community yesterday. Thirty-four people are in hospital, with six in intensive care. There have now been 1855 cases in the current community outbreak and 4538 since the pandemic began. The ministry said 68,003 vaccine doses were given yesterday, including 15,121 first doses and 52,882 second doses. No new cases were reported in Waikato today, although [...]

October 15th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

US, Greece expand defence ties amid Mediterranean tensions

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (R) and Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias shake hands after signing the renewal of the US-Greece Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement at the State Department in Washington, DC, on Oct 14, 2021. (Photo: AFP/Jonathan Ernst/Pool/AFP) WASHINGTON- Greece on Thursday (Oct 14) expanded a defence agreement with the United States days after ratifying a separate deal with France in a tacit signal to Turkey following high tensions. The agreement signed in Washington marks a deepening of US relations with a longstanding European ally, despite a growing focus by President Joe Biden's administration on Asia. Greece and the United States signed a five-year extension of the Mutual Defence Cooperation Agreement, which has been renewed each year since 1990, with an understanding it will remain in force [...]

October 15th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Children’s vaccination begins; regional rollout eyed within Oct.

National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. and United States Embassy Chargé d'Affaires Heather Variava (PNA photo by Avito C. Dalan)     MANILA – Vaccination of minors age 15 to 17 begins Friday, with the initial rollout for provinces targeted before the month ends. National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. on Thursday night said the Department of Health has conducted a simulation after inspecting the eight initial Metro Manila hospitals selected for the pilot. "We are ready. We've given 1,700 Pfizer (doses) to each vaccination site and in fact, there are many hospitals and local government units who are asking also for the pilot," he told reporters upon the arrival of some 862,290 [...]

October 15th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Six dead as Beirut gripped by worst street violence in 13 years

Armed clashes erupt at demonstrations demanding end to judge’s investigation of huge blast last year Gunfire and violence in Beirut as tensions erupt over blast investigation – video   At least six people have died in Beirut’s worst street violence in 13 years, as hundreds of armed militia men took to the streets and much of the city was forced into lockdown by heavy fighting. The bloody violence took on a sectarian tone that invoked images of the Lebanese civil war and alarmed residents who had long feared that the multiple crises ravaging the country could spark a deadly conflagration. The trigger for the clashes in neighbourhoods near the justice courts, which left dozens more injured, was a protest by members of Amal and Hezbollah, two predominantly Shia political [...]

October 14th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Vaccinated NZers overseas demand access to home isolation

Home isolation for low-risk positive Covid-19 cases could become available as early as next week, as high case numbers threaten to overwhelm the country's managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) facilities. Photo: 123RF   A question this raises is: why let Covid-positive people self-isolate at home when fully vaccinated and tested New Zealanders who are stranded overseas due to the lack of MIQ spots cannot? Yesterday there were 71 new cases of Covid-19 reported yesterday, all of them in Auckland. So what do the public think about home isolation as an option? In Takapuna, one woman said it was a good idea, given the government put in place strict protocols. "I guess the devil is in the detail and it depends on the technology that's going to be used and [...]

October 14th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

NZ ranked 9th in net zero emission readiness index

New Zealand has cracked the top 10 in a new index looking at net zero emission readiness, but it is ranked below some of the most heavily industrialised countries in the world. Photo: 123RF   The Net Zero Readiness Index from business advisory firm KPMG, looked at 32 countries from developed and emerging economies. Sector readiness covered the five highest emitting sectors: electricity and heat, transport, buildings and industry and agriculture. New Zealand is ranked 9th, behind countries including France, Germany Japan and the leader Norway. KPMG executive chair Matt Prichard said the 9th placing was partly down to the strength of the other countries. "We've come off less well in the survey in terms of our capacity and our capability. Most of the countries that are ranked ahead [...]

October 14th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19: Ashley Bloomfield says shorter home isolation periods likely for vaccinated

Those who contract Covid-19 despite being fully vaccinated are likely to require shorter periods in isolation, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says. ‘Vaccinating furiously' continues to be an important part of New Zealand's Covid-19 response, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says. Photo: 2021 Getty Images     Bloomfield told Morning Report that vaccinated people appeared to be infectious for a shorter period of time. "They're less likely to pass on the virus and if they are infectious, they are infectious for a shorter period so therefore, especially if they're asymptomatic ... they would only require a shorter period at home." By contrast, those who are unvaccinated - even if they didn't have symptoms - were more likely to pass on the virus, Bloomfield said. "So they would [...]

October 14th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

UN starts vaccinating people against Ebola in Congo

The WHO said officials have begun vaccinating people in eastern Congo against Ebola, after it was confirmed last week that the disease killed a toddler. Photo / AP Photo / Jerome Delay, file   The World Health Organization said on Wednesday that officials have begun vaccinating people in eastern Congo against Ebola, after it was confirmed last week that the disease killed a toddler. The UN health agency said in a statement that people at high risk of catching the disease, including the young boy's family members and health workers, would receive first doses of the vaccine made by Merck. WHO said about a thousand doses of the vaccine arrived in Goma, the capital of Congo's North Kivu province, and 200 doses were sent to Beni, a city near [...]

October 14th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

China set to send 3 astronauts on longest crewed mission yet

The Shenzhou-13 spacecraft is transported to the launching area at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in China's northwestern Gansu province. (Photo: AFP) BEIJING-  China is preparing to send three astronauts to live on its space station for six months - a new milestone for a programme that has advanced rapidly in recent years. It will be China's longest-ever crewed space mission and set a record for the most time spent in space by Chinese astronauts. The Shenzhou-13 spaceship is expected to be launched into space on a Long March-2F rocket early Saturday (Oct 16) morning from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on the edge of the Gobi Desert in northwestern China. The first crew who served a 90-day mission aboard the main Tianhe core module of the space station returned [...]

October 14th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

New Zealand modelling shows Covid cases could peak at 5,300 a week in Auckland next year

Plans for how health system would deal with surge revealed as country records 71 new cases   New Zealand modellers predict Auckland and the neighbouring Northland region could face 5,300 Covid cases a week in 2022 even with a vaccination rate of 90%. Photograph: Xinhua/REX/Shutterstock   New Zealand is preparing to face up to 5,300 cases of Covid-19 a week in Auckland and the neighbouring region of Northland alone next year, even with a vaccination rate of 90%, according to modelling from the Ministry of Health. The minister of health, Andrew Little revealed the plan for how the health system could manage a surge in cases after the current vaccination drive, as the country recorded 71 new cases on Thursday. It includes upping intensive care (ICU) beds, preparing to [...]

October 14th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Norway bow and arrow attack: suspect showed signs of radicalisation, say police

Danish man, who is in custody in connection with deaths of five people, is Muslim convert A forensic expert at the scene of the attack in Kongsberg, south-eastern Norway. Photograph: Terje Bendiksby/NTB/AFP/Getty   A Danish man suspected of killing five people and injuring two more in a bow-and-arrow attack in Norway is a Muslim convert with previous criminal convictions who had been flagged as a possible Islamic extremist, police have said. “We’re talking about a convert to Islam,” Norwegian police chief Ole Bredrup Sæverud said. There were “previously fears linked to his radicalisation” but establishing motive would be “complicated … and will take time”, he said. Five people, four women and one man, aged between 50 and 70 were killed, and two others, including an off-duty police officer, seriously [...]

October 14th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19: Calls for Auckland DHBs to get tough on employees who refuse vaccination

Auckland's district health boards (DHBs) must take a harder line to ensure all staff are vaccinated, an expert in public health says. File image. Photo: 2021 Getty Images   Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced on Monday that high-risk workers in the healthcare sector would need to be fully vaccinated by 1 December and would need to have received their first dose by October 30. It includes general practitioners, community health nurses, midwives, paramedics, and all healthcare workers in sites where vulnerable patients are treated, including intensive care units. Data released by DHBs on Wednesday shows Counties Manukau has the lowest level of staff vaccination in the Auckland region, with 92 per cent of employees fully vaccinated, and 95 percent having had one jab. That compares to 94.3 percent [...]

October 14th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

French study of over 22m people finds vaccines cut severe Covid risk by 90%

Largest study of its kind also finds vaccines appear to protect against worst effects of Delta variant Researchers compared 11m vaccinated over-50s with the same number of unvaccinated from the same age group between 27 December 2020 and 20 July. Photograph: Murdo MacLeod/The Guardian Vaccination reduces the risk of dying or being hospitalised with Covid-19 by 90%, a French study of 22.6 million people over the age of 50 has found. The research published on Monday also found that vaccines appear to protect against the worst effects of the most prevalent virus strain, the Delta variant. “This means that those who are vaccinated are nine times less at risk of being hospitalised or dying from Covid-19 than those who have not been vaccinated,” the epidemiologist Mahmoud Zureik, who oversaw [...]

October 12th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

NZ’s major cities moderately vulnerable to property downturn – study

The country's major cities are moderately vulnerable to a property downturn, according to a new study. Among the main centres Auckland was seen the most vulnerable to a property downturn. Photo: 123RF   Property research firm CoreLogic has used property, credit, and economic data to assess how regions might be hit by a market or economic downturn. The Property Vulnerability Index showed many of the country's most vulnerable markets are smaller centres located in the central North Island, while the upper South Island and Canterbury regions look less vulnerable than most of the rest of the country. "It's also important to note the areas expected to underperform may not necessarily see values fall; but in relative terms they face the greatest economic risks which makes them more vulnerable to [...]

October 12th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19: 43 new cases in the community today

There are 43 new cases of Covid-19 in the community today. Photo: 123rf   Figures supplied by the Ministry of Health show 40 of those are in Auckland and three in Waikato. There are three new cases at the border including one historical case. All three of the Waikato cases were known contact and were already in isolation Of today's new community cases, 24 are epidemiologically linked and 19 are yet to be linked - interviews are ongoing to determine links. There are 74 unlinked cases from the past 14 days. In addition, there are 16 epidemiologically linked subclusters. Of these, five are active, one is contained and 10 are dormant. There are also 14 unlinked subclusters. Of these, five are active, zero are contained and nine are dormant. [...]

October 12th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Māori-led vaccination drive reaches 80 percent of Te Whānau ā Apanui’s population

More than 80 percent of the Te Whānau ā Apanui area population has been vaccinated due to the proactive efforts of a rural general practice in Te Kaha. So far 87.7 percent of people in Te Whānau ā Apanui area have had their first vaccination and 80 percent have been fully vaccinated since they started administering vaccinations on 11 May (File photo). Photo: RNZ / Tom Kitchin     The area consists of the iwi boundaries which encompass from Pōtaka to Hawai on the East Coast. Te Kaha Medical Centre GP Rachel Thomson said, according to their data, there were 1432 eligible to get vaccinated. So far 87.7 percent have had their first vaccination and 80 percent have been fully vaccinated since they started administering vaccinations on 11 May. [...]

October 12th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19: 35 new community cases in NZ today as alert level decision looms

There are 35 new cases of Covid-19 in the community today as Cabinet is set to review the alert level settings this afternoon. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas   In a statement, the Ministry of Health said all of today's new cases are in the Auckland region. Of the new cases, 14 have known links to existing cases (including four household contacts) and 21 remain under investigation, the ministry said. Earlier today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed the positive case identified in Katikati in Bay of Plenty at the weekend has been retested and the result has come back negative. Cabinet will decide at 4pm today whether to change alert levels. Critical decisions for Auckland today include whether schools go back when term 4 starts next week. Last week [...]

October 11th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘Long 100 days’: Sydney reopens as Australia looks to live with COVID-19

People eat lunch on a park bench while surrounded by ibises as a view of the Sydney Opera House is seen in Sydney on Oct 10, 2021, a day before the expected easing of coronavirus restrictions. (Photo: Steven Saphore/AFP) SYDNEY- Sydney's cafes, gyms and restaurants welcomed back fully vaccinated customers on Monday (Oct 11) after nearly four months of lockdown as Australia aims to begin living with COVID-19 through higher vaccinations and to gradually reopen the country. Some pubs in Sydney, Australia's largest city, opened their doors at 12.01am local time on Monday as friends and families huddled for a midnight beer, television footage and social media images showed. "I think everybody across the state is pretty excited for what has been a long 100 days," New South Wales state [...]

October 11th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Czech president in hospital after shock election defeat for PM

Fears of a political crisis as Miloš Zeman, an ally of Andrej Babiš, is admitted to intensive care unit It is unlikely that the Czech president, Miloš Zeman, will be able carry out his customary post-election role while in ICU. Photograph: Koca Sulejmanović/EPA The Czech Republic is facing political upheaval and a possible power vacuum after its billionaire prime minister, Andrej Babiš, suffered a surprise general election defeat and then saw his most powerful backer and sole potential saviour, the country’s president, Miloš Zeman, taken to hospital, apparently gravely ill. In a stunning upset that confounded pollsters’ forecasts, Babiš’ populist Action for Dissatisfied Citizens (ANO) 2011 party finished second in this weekend’s popular vote behind the centre-right Spolu (Together) alliance, which previously vowed not to form a government with [...]

October 11th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

New Zealand signs deal to purchase new Covid-19 treatment

New Zealand is one of the first countries in the world to secure a deal for the new Covid-19 treatment molnupiravir. Molnupiravir is the first oral antiviral treatment for Covid to report clinical trial results. Photo: Merck   Pharmac and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the agreement this morning. Pharmac said the oral antiviral drug would be used to treat New Zealanders with mild to moderate Covid-19 symptoms. The agreement with supplier Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) is subject to the drug being approved by Medsafe. An initial supply of 60,000 courses will be sent to New Zealand after Medsafe approves the drug, Pharmac chief executive Sarah Fitt said in a statement. "MSD recently announced trial results showing that molnupiravir considerably reduced hospitalisations and deaths from Covid-19. While these [...]

October 10th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Singapore to extend vaccinated travel lane scheme to eight more countries, including US, UK, Spain

SINGAPORE- Singapore is extending its vaccinated travel lane scheme to eight more countries, allowing those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter Singapore without having to serve quarantine. From Oct 19, fully vaccinated travellers from Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States will be able to enter Singapore under this arrangement, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) announced on Saturday (Oct 9). This expansion is being conducted in a "cautious and step-by-step manner" to help "reclaim and rebuild" Singapore's status as an international aviation hub with global connectivity, said CAAS. The latest announcement comes after the "experience and confidence gained" from the first two vaccinated travel lanes with Brunei and Germany, which were launched last month, it added. It also comes a day [...]

October 10th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Victoria records 1890 new COVID-19 cases, five deaths

AUSTRALIA- Victoria has recorded 1890 new COVID-19 cases and five further deaths after Saturday set yet another national daily record. A further 39,861 vaccines have been administered and 74,105 tests were conducted. There are warnings daily infection rates could hit keep rising, after 1965 were recorded yesterday. There are fears Victoria's daily case numbers could continue to rise. (Jason South) But Victoria still plans to push ahead and re-open at 70 per cent double vaccination rates, in accordance with the national plan. Already changes have been made to the state's lockdown rules, with Health Department deputy secretary Kate Matson confirming that secondary close contacts will not need to isolate. While it has been the policy in Melbourne for some time, it will now be extended to all of Victoria. [...]

October 10th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 update: 60 new community cases reported in NZ today

The Ministry of Health has announced 60 new community cases of Covid-19 today - 56 in Auckland, three in Waikato and the one in Bay of Plenty announced last night. Photo: 123rf   There have been no cases reported in Northland There was no media conference today. In a statement, the Health Ministry said 41 of today's new cases have been linked to earlier cases. Yesterday, the Ministry reported 34 new community cases, including three in Waikato. None were in Northland. Later in the evening they announced another person had tested positive in Auckland, and had been crossing the border to travel to Katikati in the Bay of Plenty. The person was following rules allowing them to travel to move house, and had been tested regularly. Residents of Katikati [...]

October 10th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

China denounces ‘insane’ former Australian PM Abbott for Taiwan remarks

Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott speaks next to Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen during their meeting in Taipei, Taiwan October 7, 2021. Central News Agency/Pool via REUTERS TAIPEI-  China's embassy in Australia said on Saturday (Oct 9) that former prime minister Tony Abbott was a "pitiful" politician after he denounced Chinese pressure against Taiwan during a visit to the island. Abbott visited Taiwan, which is claimed by China, in a personal capacity this week. He met President Tsai Ing-wen and condemned China for its aggressive actions, aimed not only at his country but also Taiwan. "Its relative power might have peaked with its population ageing, its economy slowing and its finances creaking. It is quite possible that Beijing could lash out disastrously quite soon," he said at a security [...]

October 10th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Man stabbed four times on Flaxmere street

Hawke's Bay police are investigating an assault in Flaxmere where a man received stab wounds to his back and neck. Photo: RNZ / Tom Kitchin   Police received a report just before 5.20am yesterday that a man had been assaulted as he walked along Chatham Road near Chatham Park. The victim received four small stab wounds as a result - three to his back and one to his neck. He remains in hospital in a stable condition. Police want to speak to anyone who was in the Chatham Road area, particularly between Margate Avenue and Omahu Road, early yesterday morning and may have information that could assist. The offender is described as a skinny male in his early twenties, approximately 182cm tall, with short hair and wearing a light-coloured [...]

October 9th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Sara Duterte tests positive for COVID-19

PHILIPPINES- Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte has tested positive for COVID-19, according to her office on Saturday. Her office said she has mild symptoms and is currently in an isolation center with her other family members who needed medical attention. “The family requests for complete privacy at this time and respectfully urge the public to refrain from sending tokens for well wishes,” the Davao City mayor’s office wrote in a Facebook post. Duterte’s office also advised those who came in close contact with the mayor in the last 14 days to self-monitor for symptoms and take an RT-PCR test five to seven days “from your contact with her.” Duterte, who rejected calls for her to run for president next year, is seeking a third term as mayor. — VBL, GMA [...]

October 9th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Trump holds Iowa rally as poll in early voting state shows strong support

Former president stays quiet on possible 2024 White House run Trump at a pre-election rally in Dubuque, Iowa in November last year. A Des Moines Register poll showed 53% of Iowans view Trump favourably. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images   Donald Trump returned to Iowa on Saturday for a campaign-style rally, on the heels of a poll showing strong support in the state which traditionally kicks off presidential elections. Trump has not announced a second run for the White House. Instead, he has maintained control of his party by repeating lies about electoral fraud in his defeat by Joe Biden; attempting to block a congressional investigation of the deadly Capitol attack by supporters seeking overturn that defeat; fundraising strongly; and bragging about how he would defeat potential rivals including the [...]

October 9th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Sebastian Kurz: Austrian leader resigns amid corruption inquiry

EPA / Sebastian Kurz said he would fight the charges against him   Austria's Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has stepped down, after pressure triggered by a corruption scandal. He has proposed Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg as his replacement. Mr Kurz and nine others were placed under investigation after raids at a number of locations linked to his conservative ÖVP People's Party. He denies claims he used government money to ensure positive coverage in a tabloid newspaper. The allegations this week took his coalition government to the brink of collapse after its junior partner, the Greens, said Mr Kurz was no longer fit to be chancellor. The Greens began talks with opposition parties, who were threatening to bring a vote of no confidence against the chancellor next week. Greens leader and Vice [...]

October 9th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Priti Patel’s fury as Johnson blocks public sexual harassment law

Home Office fears PM views aggressive targeting of women and girls as ‘mere wolf whistling’ amid moves to create specific offence A demonstration outside Scotland Yard in London on Thursday highlighting the issue of violence against women. Sources say the PM underestimates public anger. Photograph: Tolga Akmen/Getty Images Boris Johnson has infuriated the home secretary by overruling attempts to make public sexual harassment a crime. This has prompted concern at the Home Office that the prime minister views the issue as mere “wolf whistling”, rather than the aggressive targeting of women and girls going about their daily lives. Sources say tensions have emerged between Johnson and Priti Patel, and other senior Home Office figures, after he blocked plans to make public sexual harassment a specific offence. Patel’s consultation on [...]

October 9th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 Delta outbreak: New locations of interest – Katikati Op shops and hardware store

Katikati secondhand shops, a bottle store, Tauranga dairy and Ngatea service station are some of the latest locations of interest visited by a person who had Covid-19. The person, who had just moved to the small Bay of Plenty town from Pukekohe, was fully vaccinated and had tested negative for the virus five times before making the move south. Two train rides between Middlemore and Papakura have also been listed on the Ministry's website. The latest locations are: Seoul Trading House Dairy Grafton, Tuesday October 5 between 9.25 and 9.35am, Wednesday October 6 between 9.25and 9.35am and Thursday October 7 between 9.25and 9.35am. • Katikati Antiques and Interiors Katikati, Thursday October 7 between 10.45am and 12.15pm, • Mural Town Traders Ltd Katikati, Thursday October 7, between 10.55am and 12.20pm, [...]

October 9th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

South Auckland train stations move closer to construction

Three more train stations in South Auckland are moving closer to construction. New stations are being planned for Drury Central, Paerata and Drury West (file picture). Photo: RNZ / Gill Bonnett   Under the Covid-19 recovery fast tracking law, KiwiRail is seeking planning approval for new stations at Drury Central and Paerata. Its chief operating officer for capital projects David Gordon said in a statement that the stations would provide better access to public transport for the fast growing area. He said additional work is being done to finalise details for the third station at Drury West, with planning approvals to be processed under the Resource Management Act. Subject to approval by a fast-track consenting panel, construction on the first two stations is expected to begin in 2023. "With [...]

October 9th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

NRL: NZ Warriors release troublesome prop Kane Evans from final year of contract

Prop Kane Evans and NZ Warriors have officially parted ways. The NRL club has announced it had released the Australian forward from the final year of his contract, allowing him to pursue a deal in the UK Super League. Evans, 29, was signed from Parramatta Eels on a two-year deal, but struggled to work his way into the rotation, with onfield indiscretions ultimately overshadowing any impact he had as a player for the Warriors. Last season, he gained notoriety during the Warriors' fiery clash with Cronulla Sharks, where he was sin-binned twice, after retaliating to Sharks centre Will Chambers’ provocations, including a blatant punch. Two rounds earlier, Evans was fined $5000 by the NRL for an expletive comment written on his wrist, as he sat on the bench as [...]

October 8th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

New strain of Delta detected in NSW as state records 646 new local COVID-19 cases

A new strain of Delta has been detected in New South Wales - but at this stage there is no indication it is any more transmissible or severe than existing strains. NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant announced today that eight people had a COVID-19 strain that does not match the current variant currently circulating in Sydney. Seven of those cases are within the same household. NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said a new strain had been detected. (Jessica Hromas) "There's no indication that this new strain presents any differences regarding transmission or vaccine effectiveness or severity," Dr Chant said. "We're undertaking some investigations into the source and how the transmission occurred. "We'll update you again when the information is available." The state has recorded 646 new local [...]

October 8th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Secret group of US military trainers has been in Taiwan for at least a year

Small contingent of US special forces and marines training local forces in latest sign of rising US-China tensions Taiwan special forces personnel walk behind an armoured personnel carrier during an annual military drill in Taichung, central Taiwan, in 2017. Photograph: Sam Yeh/AFP/Getty Images The US has been secretly maintaining a small contingent of military trainers in Taiwan for at least a year, according to a new report, the latest sign of the rising stakes in US-China rivalry. About two dozen US special forces soldiers and an unspecified number of marines are now training Taiwanese forces, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. The trainers were first sent to Taiwan by the Trump administration but their presence had not been reported until now. US troops have not been permanently based [...]

October 8th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

World food prices hit 10-year peak

PARIS— World food prices rose for a second consecutive month in September to reach a 10-year peak, driven by gains for cereals and vegetable oils, the United Nations (UN) food agency said yesterday. The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) also projected record global cereal production this year, but it said this would be outpaced by forecast consumption. FAO's food price index, which tracks prices of the most globally traded food commodities, averaged 130 points last month, the highest since September 2011, according to the agency's data. The figure compared with a revised 128.5 for August. The August figure was previously given as 127.4. On a year-on-year basis, prices were up 32.8 per cent in September. Agricultural commodity prices have risen steeply in the past year, fuelled by harvest [...]

October 8th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

9 things you need to know about Merck’s new Covid-19 treatment pill

The pills are meant for people who are sick with Covid-19 but are not in the hospital.PHOTO: NYTIMESNEW YORK (NYTIMES)     American pharmaceutical firm Merck has announced that its new pill to treat Covid-19 reduced the risk of hospitalisation and death by about 50 per cent. Merck plans to seek emergency authorisation for the antiviral pills to be used in the United States. Here's what you need to know. 1. Who will get the pills? The pills are meant for people who are sick with Covid-19 but are not in the hospital. Merck's phase three clinical trial enrolled only unvaccinated people who were considered high risk, such as older people or those with medical conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. Initially, the drug might be available only for [...]

October 8th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 update: 44 new cases in the community today

There have been 44 new cases of Covid-19 reported in the community today, including three in Waikato, the Ministry of Health has reported. Photo: 123rf.com   In a statement the ministry said 12 of the new cases are yet to be linked to earlier cases. Yesterday, there were 29 new cases in the community. Five of those were in Waikato. There have now been 25 cases in Waikato in the current outbreak.

October 8th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Abdulrazak Gurnah wins the 2021 Nobel prize in literature

Zanzibari novelist becomes first black African writer in 35 years to win prestigious award ‘The theme of the refugee’s disruption run throughout his work’ … Abdulrazak Gurnah. Photograph: Simone Padovani/Awakening/Getty Images   The Nobel prize in literature has been awarded to the novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah, for his “uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents”. Gurnah grew up on one of the islands of Zanzibar before fleeing persecution and arriving in England as a student in the 1960s. He has published 10 novels as well as a number of short stories. Anders Olsson, chair of the Nobel committee, said that the Gurnah’s novels – from his debut Memory of Departure, about a failed uprising, to [...]

October 8th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 Delta outbreak: If cases continue to rise, pandemic ‘could be as deadly as Spanish flu pandemic’ – researcher

A leading Māori health researcher says there is now a real risk that the spread of Covid within the Māori community could have devastating consequences if many continue to stay unvaccinated. And if more positive cases start to show up around the country - particularly in places with a high population of Māori - the situation could be as bad as the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918, he said. Dr Rawiri Taonui said evidence showed that the Delta strain of the virus had spread at a much higher rate among Māori after Auckland dropped to alert level 3 just over two weeks ago. Speaking to TVNZ's Breakfast programme this morning, he said: "It's spreading into the marginalised periphery of the Māori community - and that's happened during the second [...]

October 7th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Shortage of NZ wine in the UK amid low grape yields, strong demand

The UK is being hit by a shortage of New Zealand wine as exporters struggle with low grape volumes and strong demand. Wine Marlborough general manager Marcus Pickens said the industry did see the issue coming following two seasons of low grape yields coupled with shipping and labour problems. Photo: Corina Rainer / Unsplash     The UK is New Zealand's second largest export market for wine, but according to a report by the British newspaper The Independent some of the country's favourite brands of sauvignon blanc could disappear from shelves in the run up to Christmas. Wine Marlborough general manager Marcus Pickens said it was a frustrating situation, but one the industry did see coming following two seasons of low grape yields, coupled with shipping and labour problems. [...]

October 7th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Vaccine certificates: Uncertainty over enforcement, extent of essential services

Businesses are asking the government for more clarity on how they will be affected by the rollout of a vaccine certificate for domestic use. Some cafes and restaurants have already stated publicly they do not want to ban unvaccinated customers or staff. Photo: 123rf     From November, the public will be able to download or print their vaccine certificate containing a QR code. The government has confirmed they will be required at large, high-risk events like festivals, while they won't be needed to access essential services. Cabinet is working to determine how widely they will be used and more information will be made available in a few weeks. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said there were there are other critical aspects the government still needs to iron out the [...]

October 5th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Kāwhia case confirmed by mayor

TOM LEE/STUFF Kāwhia is a small town on the Waikato west coast, south of Raglan.   A person has tested positive for Covid-19 in the township of Kāwhia, south of Raglan - where recent community cases have been confirmed. Ōtorohanga district Mayor Max Baxter confirmed the Kāwhia news, telling Stuffhe was alerted to the positive cast on Wednesday. “I got the call from my chief executive, who got the call from the Defence Force.” He said he expected more testing stations to be set up – and that the case might prompt a turnaround for the region’s low vaccination rates. “There has been [low take-up] and that’s really, really disappointing. If there’s a positive, it’s going to open people’s eyes.” He said that while he understood while some people [...]

October 5th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

National Party leader Judith Collins criticises vaccine certificates and mandates

New Zealand's vaccine certificates are coming but they're "far too late", National Party leader Judith Collins says. National Party leader Judith Collins. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone   Yesterday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Cabinet had agreed to the use of vaccine certificates in Aotearoa, and they were likely to be a digital Covid-19 vaccination certificate containing a QR code. Today, National Party leader Judith Collins told Morning Reportthe government should have been working on vaccine certificates a long time ago. "The UK had one since May, the EU since June and now it appears from the roll out that we saw yesterday ... that we now have IT people at the Ministry of Health working on one. "It's just far too late." Covid-19 response Minister Chris Hipkins told [...]

October 5th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

US still committed to Iran diplomacy but has options if it fails: Biden aide

A staff member removes the Iranian flag from the stage during the Iran nuclear talks at the Vienna International Center in Vienna, Austria, on Jul 14, 2015. (Photo: REUTERS/Carlos Barria) WASHINGTON— President Joe Biden's national security adviser told his Israeli counterpart on Tuesday (Oct 5) that diplomacy is the best way to rein in Iran's nuclear program even as he reaffirmed Biden's warning to Tehran that Washington could turn to other options if negotiations fail. Biden senior aide Jake Sullivan hosted Israeli national security adviser Eyal Hulata for talks which, according to a US official, gave the two allies a chance to share intelligence and develop a "baseline assessment" of how far Tehran's nuclear program has advanced. Under a 2015 deal, Iran curbed its uranium enrichment program, a possible pathway to [...]

October 5th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Biden says Republican stonewalling on debt ceiling risks U.S. default

WASHINGTON— President Joe Biden said on Monday the federal government could breach its $28.4 trillion debt limit in a historic default unless Republicans join Democrats in voting to raise it in the two next weeks. Senate Republicans, led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have twice in recent weeks blocked action to raise the debt ceiling, saying they do want action but will not help by voting for the move. Republicans say Democrats can use a parliamentary maneuver known as budget reconciliation to act alone. Top Democrats have rejected that approach. "Raising the debt limit comes down to paying what we already owe ... not anything new," Biden said at a White House news conference. Asked if he could guarantee the United States won't breach the debt limit, the president [...]

October 5th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Bali airport to reopen to travellers from some countries on Oct 14: Indonesian coordinating minister

A traveller walks through the nearly empty international arrivals terminal of Gusti Ngurah Rai airport amid the spread of COVID-19 in Bali on Apr 1, 2020. REUTERS/Johannes P. Christo JAKARTA—  Indonesia will reopen Bali's airport to some international travellers on Oct 14, said Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan on Monday (Oct 4). Speaking at a virtual press conference, Mr Pandjaitan said that the airport on the popular tourist island will be open for travellers from some countries such as South Korea, China, Japan, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates. “Bali's Ngurah Rai Airport will be opened internationally on Oct 14, 2021, as long as it fulfils the provisions and requirements regarding quarantine, testing, and the readiness of the (COVID-19) task force. "Every international arrival passenger must [...]

October 5th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

SG Parliament passes Bill to deal with foreign interference after 10-hour debate

A screenshot of Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam speaking during a debate on the Foreign Interference (Countermeasures) Bill in Parliament on Monday (Oct 4). SINGAPORE: Legislation designed to counter foreign interference was passed in Parliament on Monday (Oct 4), with a majority of 75 to 11. The Foreign Interference (Countermeasures) Bill (FICA), tabled in Parliament three weeks ago, seeks to prevent, detect and disrupt the use of hostile information campaigns and local proxies by foreign entities intending to interfere in domestic politics. All People’s Action Party (PAP) MPs present voted for the Bill, as did four Nominated Members of Parliament (NMPs), while 10 Workers’ Party (WP) MPs and Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Leong Mun Wai from Progress Singapore Party (PSP) voted against it. Two NMPs abstained. The Bill [...]

October 5th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

NZ govt urged to ban seabed mining for Pacific’s sake

A New Zealand Supreme Court ruling against seabed mining has been described as important for the Pacific region. After a long legal process the Supreme Court has ruled against a bid by Trans Tasman Resources to mine the South Taranakiseabed. The ruling was welcomed by Te Paati Māori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer of Ngāti Ruanui iwi in South Taranaki, who led legal challenges against the bid. A map showing the area covered by the South Taranaki Bight Project. Photo: Trans-Tasman Resources   Ngarewa-Packer is wary about seabed mining companies courting Pacific islands governments with promises of money and claims that seabed minerals will help the fight against climate change. "This isn't about the planet and this isn't about people, and I think if there's anything that a pandemic environment has [...]

October 5th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Watch: PM Jacinda Ardern gives briefing on Covid-19 vaccine certificate

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is giving an update on the Covid-19 vaccine certificate planned for New Zealand. Watch here from about 1pm: New Zealand's "vaccine passport" is likely to be a digital Covid-19 vaccination certificate containing a QR code. However, the certificates could be misused because there is no identification needed for the proposed system and people did not have to provide ID when getting their inoculation. Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said venues could ask for ID alongside a vaccine passport to mitigate the risk. Ministry of Health officials Shayne Hunter (Deputy Director-General Data and Digital) and Michael Dreyer (General Manager, National Digital Services) will also outline how the certificate will work. This morning, Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said mandating vaccinations was doubtful, but vaccine certificates were [...]

October 5th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Shares in China property giant Evergrande suspended pending ‘major transaction’

Trading halt sends markets Asian stocks falling amid speculation debt-laden group will sell off property management arm The China Evergrande Centre building sign in Hong Kong, where shares in the debt-laden company have been suspended. Photograph: Tyrone Siu/Reuters   Trading in shares of debt-laden China Evergrande was suspended by the Hong Kong exchange on Monday after the enormous Chinese developer missed a key bond interest payment last week, its second offshore debt obligation in a week. Evergrande, which has $305bn (£225bn) of debts, said trade was suspended “pending the release by the company of an announcement containing inside information about a major transaction”, sparking speculation it could sell its profitable property management unit. Global Times, the Chinese state newspaper, reported that rival property company Hopson Development plans to buy [...]

October 4th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Fumio Kishida becomes Japan’s prime minister

Applause in Japan's Lower House of Parliament after Fumio Kishida was chosen as the new prime minister on Oct 4, 2021. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon TOKYO— Japan's parliament on Monday (Oct 4) voted Fumio Kishida the country's next prime minister, as public broadcaster NHK said he was set to dissolve the body next week and call an election for Oct 31. He is also expected to announce a Cabinet including both holdovers and fresh faces. The soft-spoken scion of a Hiroshima political family, Kishida beat popular vaccine chief Taro Kono to win the leadership of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) last week. He easily won a vote on Monday in parliament's lower house, where the LDP's ruling coalition holds a commanding majority, taking 311 votes to the 124 for opposition [...]

October 4th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19: What Aucklanders can and can’t do outside in new-look alert level 3

With Auckland entering its eighth week of lockdown, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's newly-announced three-step plan to move down alert levels is likely to be a pressure release. Speaking at Monday’s 4pm post-Cabinet press conference, Ardern announced a plan to reduce lockdown restrictions, which will allow people a few more freedoms in New Zealand’s largest city. Step one of the plan comes into effect from 11.59pm on Tuesday, October 5. Not everything is clear about what people can do, but the outlines will see people once again able to mix and see friends – albeit always outside. To help clear some things up here is a list of some of the things Aucklanders can and can’t do under step one of the three-step plan: How big a gathering can I [...]

October 4th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Auckland to remain in alert level 3, some restrictions ease

From midnight tomorrow, Tāmaki Makaurau will remain in alert level 3 but Aucklanders will have some restrictions eased. Photo: POOL / NZME   The prime minister has set out a three-stage roadmap to easing restrictions and has outlined what will change from 11.59pm tomorrow. The Director-General of Health says restrictions will ease in the region over four to eight weeks. "I'm sure like everybody, particularly in Auckland, we're looking forward to a summer where we can enjoy freedoms and our ticket to that is vaccination, so the next four to eight weeks into early December is critical to get our vaccination rates up." Cabinet has agreed the rest of New Zealand will remain at alert level 2 - with the only change being the 100 person limit in hospitality [...]

October 4th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Staff shortages spreading to all corners of UK business, survey finds

Brexit, global supply chain issues and the ‘long tail of Covid-19’ creates ‘perfect storm for UK firms’ One in six jobs in hospitality are vacant but shortages have spread now throughout the entire UK economy.Photograph: Maureen McLean/Rex/Shutterstock   Staff shortages are rippling out from the haulage, farming and hospitality sectors to almost all parts of the economy, putting “severe pressure” on medium-sized business across the UK, a new survey has warned. More than a quarter of the 500 firms polled said the lack of staff was putting pressure on their ability to operate at normal levels, with reduced stock – due to the resulting supply chain disruption – hurting their business. While some firms had considered cutting production, others were planning to raise prices, leading to concerns over rising [...]

October 4th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19: 29 new community cases today as Cabinet prepares to decide on alert levels

There are 29 new community cases of Covid-19 reported in New Zealand today as Cabinet prepares to decide on alert levels. File photo. Photo: RNZ / Marika Khabazi   In a statement, the Ministry of Health said there were also two new cases at the border. It said 28 of the new cases were in Auckland and one was in Waikato. In the Waikato region, Raglan, Te Kauwhata, Huntly, Ngāruawāhia, and Hamilton City https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/business/452846/raglan-s-move-to-level-3-another-kick-in-the-guts-for-local-businesses moved into to alert level 3] today and will stay there for at least five days. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern this morning said Cabinet would be looking to ease lower risk options in Auckland and the cases in the Waikato were not material to that decision. She said there were other options rather than simply [...]

October 4th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Pandora Papers: Secret wealth and dealings of world leaders exposed

The secret wealth and dealings of world leaders, politicians and billionaires has been exposed in one of the biggest leaks of financial documents. Some 35 current and former leaders and more than 300 public officials are featured in the files from offshore companies, dubbed the Pandora Papers. They reveal the King of Jordan secretly amassed £70m of UK and US property. They also show how ex-UK PM Tony Blair and his wife saved £312,000 in stamp duty when they bought a London office. The couple bought an offshore firm that owned the building. The leak also links Russian President Vladimir Putin to secret assets in Monaco, and shows the Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis - facing an election later this week - failed to declare an offshore investment company [...]

October 4th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

US condemns ‘provocative’ Chinese activities near Taiwan

FILE PHOTO: Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen waves to the media aboard the PFG-1112 Ming Chuan, a Perry-class guided missile frigate, after a commissioning ceremony at Kaohsiung's Zuoying naval base, Taiwan November 8, 2018. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu TAIPEI— The United States urged China on Sunday (Oct 3) to stop its "provocative" military activities near Taiwan, after the island scrambled jets to warn away close to 100 Chinese military aircraft entering its air defence zone over a three-day period. Taiwan, a democratically governed island that is claimed by China, has complained for more than a year of repeated missions near it by China's air force, often in the southwestern part of its air defence zone close to the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands. On Friday, Saturday and again on Sunday, Taiwan's defence ministry reported [...]

October 3rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Auckland motorway road rage shooter’s jail term thrown out, gets home detention instead

Auckland's Southwestern Motorway, where a man and his brother chased a couple with young children before shooting at the car. Photo / Google   A road rager who pursued a young family for 10 minutes before shooting at the family's car has had his jail sentence thrown out. Dekota Chase Simpson will instead serve a sentence of home detention after a jail sentence imposed at Manukau District Court was quashed. On May 10 last year, Simpson and his brother were driving along South Auckland's Roscommon Rd in Wiri. A newly-published High Court decision showed Simpson was driving and his brother was in the front passenger seat. An adult couple were in another car with two children, aged 12 and 13. "They pulled out of a service station and on [...]

October 3rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

News North Korea to reopen inter-Korean hotlines on Monday

A North Korea flag flutters next to concertina wire at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia March 9, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su SEOUL - North Korea said on Monday it will restore severed inter-Korean hotlines starting Monday but urged South Korea to step up efforts to improve relations, state media KCNA reported. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un expressed his willingness last week to reactivate the hotlines, which North Korea cut off in early August in protest against joint South Korea-U.S. military exercises, just days after reopening them for the first time in a year. The official KCNA news agency said the lines will be reconnected on Monday at 9:00 a.m. (1200 GMT) but called for Seoul to fulfil its "tasks" to recover strained cross-border ties, without elaborating. [...]

October 3rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Auckland International Airport appoints Carrie Hurihanganui​ as new chief executive

Auckland International Airport has poached Air New Zealand's chief operating officer Carrie Hurihanganui​ as its new chief executive. Carrie Hurihanganui​ was previously Air New Zealand's chief operating officer. Photo: Supplied     US-born Hurihanganui joined the airline in 1999 as an international cabin crew member, and then worked her way up the company. Airport company chair Patrick Strange said Hurihanganui was highly regarded in the industry. "We are confident that her leadership, operational knowledge and focus on customer experience will ensure Auckland Airport's strong recovery from the pandemic and return to growth as the emerging robust recovery in international aviation and travel reaches New Zealand." Auckland Airport chief executive Adrian Littlewood leaves the job in November. Photo: RNZ / Nick Monro   She will succeed Adrian Littlewood, who leaves [...]

October 3rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘There are other options available’ than moving Auckland down an alert level – Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says Cabinet will be looking to ease lower risk options in Auckland and the cases in the Waikato are not material to that decision. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo: POOL / Stuff / Robert Kitchin   The Covid-19 community cases that emerged in Waikato yesterdayhave been genomically linked to the Auckland outbreak. More positive cases have been detected overnight in the household of the Raglan case which was reported yesterday. Raglan, Te Kauwhata, Huntly, Ngāruawāhia, and Hamilton City in Waikato in the Waikato region went back to alert level 3 at midnight and will stay there for at least five days. Ardern told Morning Report the "movement" in the Waikato was not "material" to the alert level decision considerations for Auckland. "For us it is [...]

October 3rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Global Covid-19 deaths hit 5 million as Delta variant sweeps the world

Worldwide deaths related to Covid-19 surpassed 5 million on Friday, according to a Reuters tally, with unvaccinated people particularly exposed to the virulent Delta strain. A man takes photos of some of the more than 670,000 white flags covering 20 acres of the National Mall in Washington in an art memorial for Covid-19 victims by Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg called In America: Remember. Photo: AFP     The variant has exposed the wide disparities in vaccination rates between rich and poor nations, and the upshot of vaccine hesitancy in some western nations. More than half of all global deaths reported on a seven-day average were in the United States, Russia, Brazil, Mexico and India. While it took just over a year for the Covid-19 death toll to hit 2.5 million, [...]

October 2nd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Swap Oktoberfest 2021 for a New Zealand beer festival

Oktoberfest is the world's largest folk festival held in Munich, Germany in late September. Photo / 123rf   Be thankful you're not in Germany right now. For a nation that consumes almost 100 litres of beer per person per year, produces around 91 million hectolitres and churns it out across 1300 breweries, Oktoberfest 2021 – the country's most beer-centric festival – has been cancelled. Contrary to its misleading name, the Munich-based event (which is also the world's largest folk festival) runs from mid-late September for 16-18 days, in which time a belch-inducing seven million litres of beer will be guzzled, alongside copious amounts of traditional Bavarian food. Namely, meat, because it isn't Oktoberfest without the Würstl sausage sweats. Prone to a goblet of the golden stuff ourselves in New [...]

October 2nd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Phuket opens to all vaccinated travellers

BANGKOK: Fully vaccinated travellers from any country can now book holidays to tourism haven Phuket, the Thai government has announced, under tweaks to a struggling quarantine-free travel scheme. Thailand's tourism industry has been on its knees, with the coronavirus pandemic and related restrictions slashing visitor numbers from 40 million in 2019 to a mere trickle over the last two years. Pre-virus, the sector made up a fifth of Thailand's national income, and the travel curbs have fed into the country's worst economic performance in more than two decades. The kingdom launched a "sandbox" scheme in July, which allowed fully vaccinated travellers from countries considered low-to-medium risk to roam free on the popular beach island for a fortnight, and then afterwards travel to the mainland without quarantine. Last week, authorities [...]

October 2nd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Air New Zealand introduces ‘no jab, no fly’ policy for international travellers

Air New Zealand is introducing a “no jab, not fly” policy for international travellers. “Being vaccinated against Covid-19 is the new reality of international travel – many of the destinations Kiwis want to visit are already closed to unvaccinated visitors,” Air NZ chief executive Greg Foran said. ”The quicker we get vaccinated, the sooner we can fly Kiwis to places like New York, Vancouver and Narita.” The policy change will come into effect on February 1, from when any traveller aged 18 or over on the international network would have to be fully-vaccinated. The policy will apply to all inbound and outbound international passengers. A spokeswoman said the airline was reviewing whether the same policy would be rolled out to domestic flight. “We’ll spend the next few months making [...]

October 2nd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

ACC to spend $44.9 million on sexual violence prevention

ACC is spending nearly 45 million dollars on a bid to prevent sexual violence, including $11.7 million for kaupapa Māori approaches. Photo: 123RF   Over the next four years it aimed to tackle the underlying causes of sexual violence and to do work on changing attitudes and behaviours. The agency would work on the problem alongside other government agencies, specialist services, providers, iwi and communities. ACC minister Carmel Sepuloni said Aotearoa-New Zealand had unacceptable rates of sexual violence. Almost a quarter of adults had experienced sexual violence, one of the highest rates for countries in the OECD. And minister Sepuloni said about 16 percent of people are affected by sexual violence before they turn 18 years old. "These high rates cannot continue, we need to put in place systems [...]

October 2nd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Two new Covid-19 community cases reported in Waikato

Two new Covid-19 cases have been reported in Waikato, the Ministry of Health has confirmed this morning. Photo: 123rf.com   One case is in Raglan and the other is in Hamilton East. "Potential links with both cases to the Auckland outbreak are being worked through," said the ministry in a statement. "A number of exposure events for both cases are in the process of being worked through by public health staff. Any that are locations of interest will be listed on the Ministry of Health website." The Health Ministry said the Raglan case is currently self-isolating and will be moved to a quarantine facility. They were tested on 1 October after feeling unwell and their infectious period is determined to be from 27 September. This person has three household [...]

October 2nd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Auckland truck driver who visited Manawatū tests positive

Thirteen new locations of interest including service stations, a supermarket and a Burger King are among locations of interest after an Auckland truck driver who travelled to Palmerston North tests positive. Photo: 123rf   The Ministry of Health announced the positive detection earlier this evening. The case was identified in a routine surveillance test which was done in Auckland yesterday, and which returned a positive result earlier today. The locations of interest include Countdown Three Kings in Auckland, service stations in Taupiri, Hunterville, Palmerston North and Taihape and Burger King in Rangitikei Street in Palmerston North. The Ministry of Health advises that anyone who was at any of the locations of interest needs to stay at home, monitor for symptoms and get tested. All the locations, plus times and [...]

October 2nd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

PRRD drops VP bid, announces he’s quitting politics in 2022

FOR VP. President Rodrigo Duterte raises the hand of Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go (left), who filed his certificate of candidacy for vice president at the Sofitel Harbor Garden Tent in Pasay City on Saturday (Oct. 2, 2021). Duterte also announced his retirement from politics, saying he has opted to listen to the will of the people. (PNA photo by Robert Oswald P. Alfiler) MANILA , PHILIPPINES— President Rodrigo R. Duterte caught not a few by surprise on Saturday when he announced his retirement from politics after he steps down from office in June next year. Duterte made the pronouncement when he accompanied Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, his former longtime aide, who filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for vice president under the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino - Lakas ng [...]

October 2nd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Sara Duterte files COC as Davao City Mayor reelectionist in next year’s polls

DAVAO CITY , PHILIPPINES— Presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio filed her Certificate of Candidacy (COC) as re-electionist for mayor in the city Saturday, October 2. Mayor Sara arrived at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) 11 office on Ramon Magsaysay Avenue on Saturday at around 4:15 p.m. to formally file her certificate of candidacy. Should the incumbent city mayor win the post in 2022 elections, it will be her fourth non-consecutive term, having been mayor for the first time from 2010 to 2013. Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio drops by the regional office of the Commission on Elections to fill up documents as an official mayoralty candidate of Davao City in next year’s national and local elections. (Facebook Page of Sara Duterte/Manila Bulletin)   Mayor Sara is the Regional [...]

October 2nd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Emergency visa scheme extended in major U-turn by Boris Johnson

Threat of Christmas being ruined by driver shortages forces ministers to expand range and duration of visas Government reserve fuel tankers parked in Cambridgeshire on Friday. About 100 army drivers will be used.Photograph: Terry Harris/Rex/Shutterstock   Boris Johnson’s government has made a dramatic U-turn in an attempt to save Christmas – with a raft of extended emergency visas to help abate labour shortages that have led to empty shelves and petrol station queues. New immigration measures will allow 300 fuel drivers to arrive immediately and stay until the end of March, while 100 army drivers will take to the roads from Monday, the government announced late on Friday. About 4,700 further food haulage drivers will arrive from late October and leave by the end of February. The rules mean [...]

October 1st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Biden upbeat on rare Capitol Hill visit but domestic agenda hangs in jeopardy

President meets Democrats for talks and insists ‘it doesn’t matter whether it’s six minutes or six weeks – we’re going to get it done’ Biden on Capitol Hill on Friday. ‘We’re going to get this thing done,’ Biden said, as he exited the caucus room.Photograph: Alex Brandon/AP   Democrats returned to the Capitol on Friday deeply divided but determined to make progress on Joe Biden’s ambitious economic vision, after an embarrassing setback delayed a planned vote on a related $1tn measure to improve the nation’s infrastructure. Biden on Friday made a rare visit to Capitol Hill to meet privately with House Democrats amid a stalemate that has put his sprawling domestic agenda in jeopardy. The visit comes after after the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, delayed a vote on part [...]

October 1st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Merck’s COVID-19 pill cuts risk of death, hospitalization by 50% in study

If authorised, molnupiravir would be the first oral antiviral medication for Covid-19.PHOTO: REUTERS   NEW JERSEY— Merck & Co Inc's experimental oral drug for COVID-19, molnupiravir, reduced by around 50% the chance of hospitalization or death for patients at risk of severe disease, according to interim clinical trial results announced on Friday. Merck and partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics plan to seek US emergency use authorization for the pill as soon as possible, and to submit applications to regulatory agencies worldwide. Due to the positive results, the Phase 3 trial is being stopped early at the recommendation of outside monitors. "This is going to change the dialogue around how to manage COVID-19," Robert Davis, Merck's chief executive officer, told Reuters. If authorized, molnupiravir, which is designed to introduce errors into the [...]

October 1st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

6 presidential aspirants, 3 VP hopefuls submit COCs

MANILA – Twenty-three aspirants for national positions filed their Certificates of Candidacy (COCs) while 18 party-list groups submitted their Certificates of Nomination and Acceptance (CONAs) during the first day of the filing period on Friday. REELECTIONIST. Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto (center) is flanked by his celebrity parents, Connie Reyes (left) and Vic Sotto, when he filed his Certificate of Candidacy at the local Commission on Elections office on Friday (Oct. 1, 2021) morning. His runningmate will be former Pasig congressman Robert Jaworski Jr. (Contributed photo)     Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesperson James Jimenez said the low turnout may not be related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. “We don't think the pandemic is actually an issue here because this is exactly the pattern we see every time we [...]

October 1st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Kaikōura has highest rate of fully vaccinated people

Right now, the Kaikōura District is New Zealand's top town for Covid-19 vaccination. Data supplied by the Ministry of Health shows as of Wednesday, 55 per cent of its population have had both jabs. Kaikōura narrowly beats Marlborough and Central Otago for the top spot, they are tied for second on 54 per cent. An additional 17 per cent of the population have received their first dose only. Health services manager at Kaikōura Healthcare Angela Blunt told the Herald although it was a surprise, she has known for a while they had been doing well. Kaikōura narrowly beats Marlborough District and Central Otago District for the top spot. Photo / George Heard "The community has got behind it. We have done lots of the boring stuff, planning, organising and [...]

October 1st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Govt scraps plans for Waitematā Harbour cycle and pedestrian bridge

The government has scrapped plans to build dedicated cycle and pedestrian bridge over Auckland's Waitematā Harbour. An aerial view of the proposed Northern Pathway Waitemata Harbour crossing. Photo: Supplied/Waka Kotahi   Transport Minister Michael Wood had admitted the project didn't get the public support it needed to go ahead, and the $785 million earmarked for the project will now be spent on other initiatives. "The government is committed to providing better access to walking and cycling and reducing greenhouse emissions through our transport investments, but this particular project won't be part of that mix," he said. "It didn't get the public support needed for a project of its scale and we acknowledge that." Work will continue to provide pedestrians and cyclists with other ways to get across the harbour, [...]

October 1st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Business groups say keeping Auckland border shut is ‘not an option’

New Zealand's three largest business groups are calling for the Government to relax the rules around who can move across Auckland borders, after being caught "completely by surprise" by news the Prime Minister had already ruled the changes would not be reviewed. On Thursday Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern caught even Beehive officials by surprise when she announced that when Cabinet considers whether to lower the alert level in Auckland on Monday, it will not even contemplate the removal of the borders to both the north and south of the city. "At the moment, we do have control of the outbreak, but we do have an outbreak, so we will continue to assess the role of the boundary as we go," Ardern said. "But at the moment it is not [...]

October 1st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH Poll season kicks off

PHILIPPINES— The Commission on Elections (Comelec) starts accepting today, October 1, certificates of candidacy (CoCs) for next year's national polls. Thousands of aspirants for elective positions have until October 8 to formalize their candidacy. The Comelec has assured it is prepared to handle the expected heavy volume of CoC filers. On their toes Members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force perform a simulation drill near the Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City on September 20, 2021 in preparation for the filing of certificates of candidacy for the 2022 national and local elections from October 1 to October 8. Quezon City policemen also conduct a drill at Eton Centris where local candidates will file their COCs. Photos by Mike Alquinto and John Orven Verdote     "I can say [...]

October 1st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Australia to reopen borders from November, easing 18-month-old travel restrictions

FILE PHOTO: A mostly empty domestic terminal at Sydney Airport is seen after surrounding states shut their borders to New South Wales in response to an outbreak of COVID-19 in Sydney, Australia, Dec 21, 2020. (Reuters/Loren Elliott) SYDNEY: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Friday (Oct 1) that an 18-month ban on Australians travelling abroad will be lifted from next month, easing one of the toughest COVID-19 restrictions imposed globally. Reopening the international border for citizens and permanent residents will be linked to the establishment of home quarantine in Australia's eight states and territories, Morrison said, meaning that some parts of the country will reopen sooner than others. The first phase of the plan will focus on vaccinated citizens and permanent residents being allowed to leave Australia, with [...]

October 1st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian resigns as corruption investigation launched

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced that she is stepping down from the role after an investigation into her relationship with a former MP. New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian says Covid-19 numbers are stabilising. Photo: AFP   Berejiklian says she will resign as soon as the Liberal Party can elect a new leader. She will also resign from parliament. "I've had to make an extremely difficult decision overnight, one I feel obliged to do because of the love and respect I have are the people of New South Wales and the high regard with which I have the office of Premier." Watch the press conference here: Berejiklian said she had always acted with integrity "My first consideration has always been the well-being and welfare of the people of [...]

October 1st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 in focus: Developments on 30 September

New cases of Covid-19 dropped significantly today - down from a worrying 45 new cases yesterday to 19. Photo: RNZ   One of the new cases was outside Auckland - a secondary school student in Northern Hauraki who had been self-isolating for 10 days and tested positive after becoming symptomatic. The government said it still had a broad control of the Delta outbreak. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said maintaining control was key while vaccination rates climbed. "We simply do not have enough people vaccinated in Auckland or in New Zealand to tolerate a widespread outbreak but maintaining control is not a given," she said. "We still need the restrictions that we're using, I know they're incredibly hard and they will ease but for now they're doing a job for [...]

September 30th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘Seventeen days of hell’: Police piece together past 3 weeks after missing Marokopa family returns home

Police are now trying to piece together the last 17 days after a missing Marokopa family returned home after going missing almost three weeks ago. Thomas Phillips and his three children - Jayda Jin, 8, Maverick, 6, and Ember, 5 - had not been seen since September 11. His ute was found on a nearby beach, facing out to sea. Police and emergency services - as well as hundreds of locals and volunteers - spent days searching for the family in the area of Kiritehere and Marokopa. Phillips and his children returned to a family farm at 8am this morning. Phillips' mother Julia Phillips told Stuff the children were "absolutely fine". "They are as bouncy as ever and very well," she said. Inspector Will Loughrin, Waikato West Area Commander [...]

September 30th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Three hurt as tornado tears through New South Wales

A tornado has ripped through the NSW Central West in Australia, destroying property and causing multiple injuries. The tornado hit Clear Creek, north-east of Bathurst, on Thursday afternoon, whipping up debris and damaging homes. Photos and videos show a huge dark cloud covering the sky with the base of the tornado creating a flurry of damage in its wake. DEAN WHITING VIA BOM NSW The Bureau of Meteorology confirmed a tornado occurred in the Australian state.   At least three people in the region were injured, NSW Ambulance said. A 47-year-old man suffered cuts to his arm at the property destroyed by the tornado at Curly Dick Rd Meadow Flat east of Bathurst. He was taken to Orange Hospital for observation. 9NEWS A tornado has ripped through Central West [...]

September 30th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH-US Mutual Defense Treaty revisions ‘tricky’: Lorenzana

            (File photo)     MANILA – The question on whether to revise or not the Philippines' 70-year-old Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) with the United States is tricky as it has security implications, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Thursday, "I go back to my previous question, is the MDT still relevant or does it need to be appropriated, replaced, or revised? This question is tricky as it has implications for the security of both parties and individually," he said during an online Stratbase ADR Institute for Strategic and International Studies forum titled "70 Years of the 1951 Philippine-US Mutual Defense Treaty". Lorenzana also admitted that while the US is open to the idea of revisiting the MDT, an outside party [...]

September 30th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

1Sambayan picks VP Leni as presidential bet in Eleksyon 2022

Vice President Leni Robredo has been chosen by the opposition coalition 1Sambayan as its presidential candidate for the May 2022 elections. In an online briefing on Thursday, lead convenor and retired Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio said they expect Robredo to make a decision on her political plans soon. “We expect to meet with her and explain to her why we have chosen her. We hope that she will accept the challenge,” he said. In a statement issued shortly after 1Sambayan’s announcement, Robredo thanked the coalition for the endorsement and asked the Filipino people to pray with her so that “our decision will be what is best for our country.” Carpio said Robredo was chosen through a selection process that included a survey among 1Sambayan members and coalition partners, [...]

September 30th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Democrats barrel toward make-or-break vote as crucial 24 hours begins

White House admits talks ‘precarious’ as series of legislative and fiscal deadlines loom for Biden’s $1tn public works measure Nancy Pelosi indicated it was possible she would delay a Thursday vote on the infrastructure bill while Biden worked to secure an agreement with two centrist holdouts on his broader social policy package. Photograph: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA     The next 24 hours will make clear whether Democrats are on the verge of pushing through a once-in-a-generation expansion of the social safety net or nearing a complete collapse of Joe Biden’s ambitious domestic agenda. The stakes are as high as ever as Democrats barrel toward a make-or-break vote on a $1tn public works measure, with almost no margin for error and little time left to break an impasse that threatens [...]

September 30th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Kim Jong-un orders hotline with the South to reopen as he condemns ‘cunning’ US

North Korean leader said Biden offer of dialogue is ‘a facade’ and blamed the US for ‘hostile policy’ North Korean leader Kim Jong-un Photograph: AFP/Getty Images   Kim Jong-un has condemned a US offer of dialogue as a “facade”, state media reported, but said he had ordered officials to restore communication lines with South Korea to “promote peace”. Speaking in parliament on Wednesday, the North Korean leader accused the US of continuing a “hostile policy” against his nuclear-armed country, despite the Biden administration’s offers of negotiations without preconditions. Talks between Pyongyang and Washington have been at a standstill since the collapse of the February 2019 Hanoi summit between Kim and then-president Donald Trump over what the North would be willing to give up in return for sanctions relief. Under [...]

September 30th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Taxi company fined $150,000 for price fixing

A Wellington taxi company has been hit with a $150,000 penalty by the Commerce Commission relating to fare price fixing. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson     Hutt and City taxis admitted to breaching the Commerce Act by agreeing with two competing companies to implement a minimum $25 charge for pick-up trips from Wellington Airport's on-demand taxi-rank. It's been labelled cartel conduct, which the Commerce Commission says harms businesses trying to compete fairly. The Court noted the fact that Hutt and City, and its directors, were aware of the price fixing - and all but one director approved it - spoke to the seriousness of the conduct.

September 30th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 exposure risk at Middlemore Hospital after two patients test positive

Dozens of patients at Middlemore Hospital have been potentially exposed to Covid-19 after two patients with the virus presented last night. Middlemore Hospital Photo: LDR / Stephen Forbes   The two patients turned up at the emergency department for non-Covid-19 reasons but were subsequently tested and returned positive results. "In the first case, the patient answered no to all screening questions but, while in triage, clinical staff noted a very minor cough and took steps to isolate and test them. They subsequently returned a positive Covid-19 result," the Ministry of Health said in a statement. This patient was now in a Covid-19 isolation ward at Middlemore Hospital. "In the second case, the patient answered yes to one of the screening questions, which was also a symptom consistent with the [...]

September 30th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Zespri kiwifruit tests positive for Covid-19 in China

Zespri kiwifruit have been pulled from some supermarket shelves in China after a batch of fruit tested positive for Covid-19. The kiwifruit company on Friday afternoon said it had launched “emergency management plans” in response to the Covid scare, and the Government was supporting its discussions with Chinese authorities. Samples from a batch of New Zealand kiwifruit being sold in a supermarket in the Jiangsu province of China had tested positive for the virus, according to a report published in the Global Times, a nationalist tabloid with strong ties to China's Communist Party, on Friday. The troubling test result came late in the kiwifruit season, and Zespri has confirmed it will not affect exports to China. The fruit which tested positive for the virus was shipped from Tauranga on [...]

September 24th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

US envoy to Haiti resigns over ‘inhumane’ decision to deport migrants

Daniel Foote excoriates Washington in letter addressed to Antony Blinken for deporting hundreds from a border camp Border patrol will no longer use horses in Del Rio, says Psaki – video   The US envoy to Haiti has resigned after just two months in the role, in protest at what he called the Biden administration’s “inhumane” mass deportation of Haitian migrants and asylum seekers to what he said was a highly dangerous “collapsed state”. Daniel Foote’s angry resignation letter is a serious blow for an administration which came to office promising a more humane approach to immigration in the wake of Donald Trump’s policy of child separation. The state departmentsaid he had given a misleading account of his resignation. A senior official said that Foote had advocated sending in [...]

September 24th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

China sends jets and bombers near Taiwan as Beijing opposes island’s trade deal bid

Nuclear-capable bombers entered air defence zone, says Taipei, amid simmering row over competing bids to join regional trade agreement China sent 18 fighter jets into Taiwan’s air defence zone on Thursday amid a growing row over regional trade membership. Photograph: AP   China has voiced opposition to Taiwan joining a major trans-Pacific trade deal as it flew 24 planes – including two nuclear-capable bombers – into the self-ruled island’s air defence zone, the biggest incursion in weeks, Taiwanese officials said. Last week Beijing submitted its own application to become a member of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Taiwan has lobbied for years to join and announced on Thursday that it had officially applied to be part of the CPTPP, which was signed by 11 Asia-Pacific [...]

September 24th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 wrap for 24 September: Single figures for new cases, Auckland’s first weekend at level 3

Auckland is heading into its first weekend in alert level 3 this Friday evening, and the upper Hauraki area in a "bespoke" level 4 is looking forward to dropping back to level 2 at midnight on Saturday. Auckland heads into its first weekend in level 3, Hauraki will move to level 2 at midnight saturday, police have released checkpoint data and Māori and Pasifika should have been prioritised for vaccines, experts say. Photo: RNZ     It's also the first time in weeks that daily case numbers have dropped to single figures, with only nine new community cases reported today. New cases The number of new community cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand dropped to single figures for the first time in weeks, with nine new cases, the Ministry [...]

September 24th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

NZ’s housing market boom ranked second in the world

Low interest rates have fuelled house-buying in New Zealand in the last 12 months. Photo / Getty Images   New Zealand’s housing boom remains the second-fastest in the world in terms of house price growth since the global pandemic, new figures show. Research from global real estate agency Knight Frank found that house prices in New Zealand grew 25.9% in the 12 months to the end of June, the highest rate of growth the country’s housing market had seen since 2003. New Zealand ranked second out of 55 countries on Knight Frank’s Global House Price Index – for the third quarter in a row. Turkey, where house prices have risen 29.2% over the year to June was ranked first. Australia, which has seen annual house price growth of 16.4%, [...]

September 20th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

GDP for September quarter could mirror contraction in June – economist

Activity in the services sector has plummeted during the lockdown, as sales, new orders and deliveries ground to a halt. Sales activity, supplier deliveries, new orders and stock inventories were all in deep contraction over the past month. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas       The BNZ-Businesss New Zealand Performance of Services Index (PSI) for August fell 20.3 points to 35.6, down from 55.9 in July. A reading below 50 indicates the sector is in contraction, while anything above signals the industry is expanding. "While the August result wasn't quite as bad as the 26.0 it plunged to in April 2020, the September 2021 result might be the better marker as the first half of August's trading would have been solid, if July's PSI result of 55.9 was [...]

September 20th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Calls for tougher gambling laws to protect Pasifika in NZ

There are calls for regional New Zealand to bring in tougher laws to protect Pasifika against gambling harm. Photo: RNZ/ Dan Cook     New Zealand's Pacific peoples experience a disproportionate level of gambling harm compared to the rest of the country. Christchurch City Council has renewed its 'sinking lid' policy, in place since 2004, which prevents new gambling licences in pubs and clubs from being approved. It also means existing licences cannot be transferred to other locations. Pasifika peoples in New Zealand make up 21 percent of all people seeking treatment for gambling. 'Saturated by pokie machines' A spokesperson for the Pacific gambling support service, Mapu Maia, Gerhart Berking said in Pasifika were more likely to live in areas with higher deprivation and greater opportunities to gamble, navigating [...]

September 20th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19: 22 new community cases as government to decide on alert levels

There are 22 new cases of Covid-19 in the community today, the Ministry of Health has confirmed. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas   In a statement, the ministry said there was also one new case at the border - from the United Kingdom. The cases arrived on 10 September via United Arab Emirates and is now in a quarantine facility in Auckland. Three of the new cases are in Whakatīwai but are being counted in the Auckland total, the ministry said. That brings the total number of community cases in the current outbreak to 1071. There are 1051 in Auckland (677 of whom have recovered) and 17 in Wellington (all of whom have recovered). The ministry said 17 of today's 22 new community cases have been epidemiologically linked. Five [...]

September 20th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Duterte to speak at UN General Assembly debate on Sept. 21

For the second time since he took office in 2016, President Duterte is expected to address the United Nations (UN) and put forward the Philippines’ stand on urgent issues such as coronavirus (COVID-19) response, and human rights concerns, among others.   President Rodrigo Duterte (Malacañang File Photo)     According to a Malacañang statement on Sunday, September 19, the President will speak on the first day of the High-Level General Debate of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 21. He is set to address the international community on Tuesday, September 21, within the 1600H-1800H window, New York time, or between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. of September 22, Manila time. Malacañang said President Duterte will put forward the Philippines’ interest on many issues [...]

September 20th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Over 18 million individuals in PH fully vaccinated vs COVID-19

A senior citizen in Muntinluap poses with the sign “we got fully vaccinated” after getting the single shot johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine (MunCoVac)   Over 18 million people in the Philippines have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), data from the national government showed. Based on the government’s COVID-19 vaccination dashboard, a total of 18,475,950 people already completed the required vaccine dosage as of Sept. 18. A total of 22,771,602 people were already partially vaccinated. Of the fully vaccinated, more than 2.17 million were healthcare workers, 4.26 million were senior citizens, six million were persons with comorbidities, 4.58 million were essential workers, and 1.45 million were indigents. For the partially vaccinated, 2.50 million were healthcare workers, 3.49 million were senior citizens, 5.76 million were persons with [...]

September 20th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘Highly effective’ ovarian cancer treatment could help thousands of women

New drug combination shrunk tumours significantly in 46% of patients with treatment-resistant form of disease A phase 1 trial of a drug combination, VS-6766 and defactinib, was found to shrink tumours in patients with low-grade serous ovarian cancer. Photograph: Science Photo Library/Alamy   Thousands of women with ovarian cancer could benefit from a revolutionary drug combination after it was shown to shrink tumours in half of patients with an advanced form of the disease. The pair of drugs – which work together to block the signals cancer cells need to grow – could offer a new treatment option for women with a type of ovarian cancer that rarely responds to chemotherapy or hormone therapy. Experts said the “fantastic” results from early trials of the new drug combination, presented at [...]

September 20th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Pro-Putin party wins majority in Russian elections despite declining support

Partial results show ruling United Russia party will retain power in parliament after winning over 45% of the vote Members of the pro-Putin United Russia party greet supporters. Despite its win, polls show a weaker performance than the last parliamentary election held in 2016. Photograph: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images   Russia’s ruling United Russia party, which supports president Vladimir Putin, retained its majority in parliament after a three-day election and a sweeping crackdown on its critics, despite losing around one fifth of its support, partial results on Monday showed. With 33% of ballots counted, the Central Election Commission said United Russia had won just over 45% of the vote, with its nearest rival, the Communist party, at around 22%. Although that amounts to an emphatic win, it would be a [...]

September 20th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘Burnt out’: Philippine nurses battle COVID-19, resignations

About 40 per cent of private hospital nurses have resigned since the start of the pandemic. (File photo: AFP/Maria Tan) MANILA—  Exhausted nurses in the Philippines are struggling to care for patients as colleagues contract COVID-19 or quit a profession that was dangerously understaffed even before the pandemic. The country is enduring a record rise in infections, fuelled by the Delta variant, with the health department reporting a nursing shortfall of more than 100,000 - forcing those left to work long hours for little pay on often precarious short-term contracts. "They are tired and burned out," nursing director Lourdes Banaga, at a private hospital south of Manila, told AFP. "At the start of the pandemic, we had almost 200 nurses," said Banaga, director for nursing services at the Lipa Medix [...]

September 19th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Rainy in many parts of PH due to LPA, ITCZ

(SCREENGRAB FROM PAGASA)   PHILIPPINES— Scattered rain showers may persist over Visayas and some parts of Luzon and Mindanao due to the prevalence of a low pressure area (LPA) and intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ), the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said on Sunday, Sept. 19. PAGASA estimated the location of the LPA at 125 kilometers east of Catarman, Northern Samar at around 3 a.m. Weather specialist Grace Castañeda said the LPA has a slim chance of intensifying into a tropical depression but may bring scattered rain showers and thunderstorms over Visayas, Bicol Region, Caraga, Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, Soccsksargen, and Quezon province. Meanwhile, Metro Manila and the rest of the country will have generally fair weather conditions but with possible isolated rain showers or thunderstorms mostly [...]

September 19th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Migrants in Texas: Thousands moved to processing centres

US officials have moved thousands of migrants away from a Texas border town that has seen an influx of mostly Haitian migrants over the past week. More than 10,000 people have gathered under a bridge connecting Del Rio in Texas to Mexico's Ciudad Acuña. Local officials have struggled to provide them with enough food or services. Some 2,000 people were moved to immigration and processing stations on Friday. The US government says it plans to fly the migrants back to where they began their journeys. Flights are expected to start on Sunday, with the US currently negotiating returns with the countries in question. EPA The US government says it plans to fly the migrants back to where they began their journeys     The makeshift camp at Del Rio [...]

September 19th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 Delta outbreak Australia: NSW record 1083 new cases, Victoria records 507, multiple deaths

New South Wales have recorded 1083 new Covid-19 cases today. During the latest reporting period 13 people have died from Covid. NSW Health's Dr Jeremy McAnulty said there was more than 100 people requiring ventilatiors. "We have 1238 with COVID admitted to hospital, with 234 in intensive care, and 123 require ventilation. Sadly, we have seen 13 deaths from people with COVID yesterday, nine men and four women," he said. Easing of restrictions for NSW Restrictions will be eased in LGAs of concern in Sydney's west and south west. The changes come into effect on Monday September 12 at 12.01am (NSW). Victoria- 507 new cases Victoria has recorded 507 new locally acquired Covid-19 cases today, as new cases continue to rise during lockdown. It's the eighth straight day Victoria [...]

September 19th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Person dies after driving at high speed and hitting power poles

A person has died after a car crashed in the early hours in Mount Roskill, Auckland. Police said in a statement that a car was seen driving at excess speed on Dominion Road around 1.30am. It was not pursued but was observed on cameras. The driver lost control at high speed at the Dominion Road and Mount Albert Road intersection. The car then rolled and continued on hitting power poles and the front of a building. The driver was the only occupant of the vehicle and died at the scene. A scene examination is continuing this morning and the road will remain closed until this is completed, the spokesperson said.

September 19th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 update: PM speaks live from the Beehive

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay are giving a live Covid-19 update from the Beehive. Watch it live here: Yesterday the Ministry of Health reported 20 new community cases of the virus, all in Auckland. The figure was a spike after several days of lower numbers, with 11 cases reported on Friday and 13 on Thursday. At the time all but one of the 20 new cases had been traced and linked to known contacts. Auckland police yesterday complained about lots of people out and about on the roads and at beaches, despite level 4 rules in place for the region that allow only essential travel. They called for everyone to keep to the rules until the outbreak is contained and lockdown [...]

September 19th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 update: 24 new community cases reported in NZ

There have been 24 new community cases of Covid-19 reported in New Zealand today - the second daily increase in a row. Photo: 123RF   The Health Ministry said 21 of today's cases had a known connection with previous cases. All of today's cases were in the Auckland area and all of Wellington's 17 cases have now recovered. There have now been 1050 total cases associated with the current community outbreak. There were 20 community cases yesterday, 19 were household or known contacts of other cases, and only one was unlinked, the ministry said. Eleven and 13 cases were reported on the previous two days. There are 13 people in hospital with the coronavirus, with four in ICU or HDU. There were no new cases in managed isolation today. [...]

September 19th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Canada election in dead heat; Liberals drop candidate

HAMILTON, Ontario— Canada's election is in a dead heat two days before the Sep 20 vote, according to a new poll on Saturday, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Conservative rival both campaigned in the same seat-rich region to scour up votes. The latest Sondage Leger poll conducted for the Journal de Montreal and the National Post newspapers put the Conservatives one percentage point ahead of Trudeau's Liberals, with 33 per cent over 32 per cent. The tightness of the race has put the focus on turnout, with low turnout historically favouring the Conservatives. The Leger poll put the third-place left-leaning New Democratic Party at 19 per cent. Trudeau, 49, called an early election, seeking to convert approval for his government's handling of the pandemic into a parliamentary majority. [...]

September 19th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Japan to reopen borders for some visa holders as part of quarantine policy changes

The arrival zone of the international flight terminal at Tokyo's Haneda Airport in December | REUTERS In a major change to border-control measures, Japan will from Monday allow re-entry to all returnees from six countries blacklisted over the spread of the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus. The six countries — Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka — have been covered by a near-total entry ban on foreign nationals, including those who have been vaccinated and those with a valid residence status in Japan. The entry ban was imposed earlier this year as part of Japan’s quarantine measures on all foreign nationals who spent time in the six countries within 14 days prior to their intended arrival. The government announced Friday evening that the measure, which [...]

September 19th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Baptism of fire as Liz Truss heads to US amid submarine row

As France accuses the US and Australia of ‘lies and duplicity’, new UK foreign secretary faces major diplomatic incident on her first official overseas trip Newly appointed foreign secretary Liz Truss in Downing Street on Friday for the first cabinet meeting of Boris Johnson’s reshuffled team. Photograph: Mark Thomas/Rex   Liz Truss is heading for a furious diplomatic confrontation with France on her first trip abroad as foreign secretary, as anger mounts in Paris over the cancellation of a £48bn nuclear submarine contract. Truss, whose appointment was one of the biggest surprises of Boris Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle last Wednesday, will arrive in the US on Sunday before a four-day visit to New York and Washington during which she is aiming to promote the prime minister’s vision of “global Britain” [...]

September 19th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Philippines tries new tack in COVID-19 curbs to reopen more businesses

A man opens his food stall while the government allowed some business establishments to operate with health restrictions on Sep 16, 2021 in Quezon city, Philippines. (Photo: AP Photo/Aaron Favila) MANILA— Restaurants, salons and other small businesses in the Philippine capital region reopened on Thursday (Sep 16) after being shut for weeks, as the government shifts to localised lockdowns from wide-scale mobility controls in a bid to revive the pandemic-hit economy. The targeted lockdown approach being piloted in Metro Manila, an urban sprawl of 16 cities and home to 13 million people, may be replicated in other parts of the country if it proves successful in boosting business activity while keeping the spread of coronavirus in check. "We are elated that our restaurant has reopened. Our employees will now [...]

September 17th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Asian shares stabilise but global growth fears nag

HONG KONG— Asian shares steadied in early trading on Friday after losses earlier in the week, but China jitters and global growth concerns weighed on investors' minds, while the dollar sat near a three-week high. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan recovered from early losses to trade flat, but was still down 2.7per cent on the week. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 0.5per cent after posting its lowest close in 10 months the day before, as the saga around China Evergrande Group lurched towards a conclusion, unsettling investors. The embattled property developer's shares dropped a further 5per cent on Friday. Australian shares fell 1.03per cent, as a fall in iron ore prices hurt miners. However, Chinese blue chips eked out a 0.26per cent rise and Japan's [...]

September 17th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 update: 11 new community cases in New Zealand

There are 11 new cases of Covid-19 in the community today, the Ministry of Health has announced. Photo: RNZ / Marika Khabazi   All are in Auckland and just two of the new cases are not yet linked to current cases. There has now been a total of 1007 cases linked to the current community outbreak. There were also five new cases in MIQ. Yesterday, the ministry reported 13 new cases in the community, as numbers continued to trend down. Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay said today there are currently nine epidemologically linked sub-clusters. There are also 10 unlinked sub-clusters that have emerged - two are active, three are contained and five are dormant. She said this meant the country can be cautiously optimistic that the current [...]

September 17th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Clinton lawyer charged with lying to FBI during Trump-Russia inquiry

Michael Sussmann is second person to be indicted in William Barr-ordered investigation of the investigators Michael Sussmann is alleged to have falsely told the FBI he did not represent any client when he handed over documents on links between the Trump Organization and a Russia-based bank. Photograph: AP An attorney who represented Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign was indicted on Thursday for lying to the FBI. The development was part of special counsel John Durham’s ongoing examination of the origins of the FBI’s investigation into ties between Russia and former US president Donald Trump’s election campaign. Michael Sussmann, a partner with Perkins Coie who also represented the Democratic National Committee in connection with Russia’s hack of the organization, is accused of making false statements during a 19 September 2016, [...]

September 17th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Fossilised long-legged giant penguin identified as new species

Skeleton found by children in New Zealand helps fill in gaps in natural history A modern-day emperor penguin. The prehistoric penguin found in 2006 in Waikato, New Zealand, was much larger. Photograph: Mark Mitchell/AP   In January 2006 a group of children in summer camp in Waikato, New Zealand, went on a fossil-hunting field trip with a seasoned archaeologist. They kayaked to the upper Kawhia harbour, a hotspot for this sort of activity, and they expected to find fossils of shellfish and the like, as they regularly did on these Hamilton junior naturalist club expeditions. But on this day, just before heading home, close to where they’d left the kayaks and well below the high tide mark, they noticed a trace of fossils that looked like much more than [...]

September 17th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

New South Wales records 1284 new Covid-19 cases, 12 deaths

New South Wales recorded 1284 new Covid-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm yesterday. Premier Gladys Berejiklian Photo: AFP     There were 12 fatalities in the reporting period. Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the state was "inching closer and closer" to the 70 per cent double dose rate. She said half of people in NSW aged over 16 were now fully vaccinated. NSW will trial home quarantine for returning Australians who are fully vaccinated "in the next couple of weeks", the Premier said. The pilot, to be operated and monitored by NSW Health and NSW Police, will trial a seven-day home quarantine program for around 175 people. Currently, people coming to NSW from overseas must quarantine in a hotel for 14 days. Participants in the pilot, which will [...]

September 17th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

China, France denounce US nuclear sub pact with Britain, Australia

The United States and its allies are looking for ways to push back against China's growing power and influence, particularly its military buildup, pressure on Taiwan and deployments in the contested South China Sea   China on Thursday, September 16, denounced a new Indo-Pacific security alliance between the United States, Britain and Australia, saying such partnerships should not target third countries and warning of an intensified arms race in the region. Under the arrangement, dubbed AUKUS, the United States and Britain will provide Australia with the technology and capability to deploy nuclear-powered submarines. France, which loses its own submarine deal with Australia called the plans brutal and unpredictable. The United States and its allies are looking for ways to push back against China's growing power and influence, particularly its [...]

September 17th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Timaru tragedy: Three children dead, woman in hospital as police begin homicide inquiry

Police have confirmed three children have died at a property in Timaru. Detective Inspector Scott Anderson are providing an update and said the deceased were siblings. Two were 3 and the other was 7. The police forensic team have arrived at the property and a scene examination will get underway soon. Photo / George Heard A woman was transported to Timaru Hospital and is in a stable condition. They arrived in Timaru from South Africa in the last week. No one else is being sought in relation to the deaths. Aoraki Area Commander Inspector Dave Gaskin then spoke to the tragedy. He said it was a very difficult time for the community - particularly following the fatal crash recently where five teens were killed. Police would not be drawn [...]

September 17th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 update: Govt gives latest details on current Delta outbreak

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson and Director of Public Health Caroline McElnay are providing a media update on the current Covid-19 outbreak. Watch the government Covid-19 update here: From today, truck drivers and others crossing the Auckland alert level border must show they've had a Covid-19 test within the past seven days. The new rule kicked in as Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare confirmed to Morning Report that a truck driver's positive Covid-19 test result came through after surveillance testing this week. Contact tracing linked an Auckland truck driver to the existing outbreak. He delivered supermarket supplies to Cambridge, Hamilton and Tauranga and four new areas of interest were announced by the Health Ministry this morning, three of those in Tauranga.

September 17th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

AUKUS: Chance of war between China and West ‘low’ but still a risks of ‘incidents’ – former New Zealand Defence Minister

A former New Zealand Defence Minister believes the chances of a major war between Western powers and China in the coming decade is fairly low, but says there is a risk of "incidents". The United States, United Kingdom and Australia on Thursday announced a new defence and security pact which will see the trio share information about technologies and coordinate their efforts to confront emerging challenges in the Indo-Pacific. While none of the official statements made by any of the countries specifically mentioned China, it's widely accepted the new tripartite group is looking to counter the superpower's growing influence in the region. "It's obvious this whole deal is about China, no question about that, and that's obvious to anyone who thinks about it," Wayne Mapp, the former New Zealand [...]

September 17th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

School holiday dates to remain unchanged – Minister Hipkins

School holiday dates in Auckland will not be changed because of the lockdown, Education Minister Chris Hipkins has announced. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone   Some parents had raised concerns that students would have missed too much class time because of the level 4 restrictions, and Hipkins had been seeking advice from ministry officials about the effects of bringing the holidays forward. However, this morning he said he had concluded that the status quo remained the best course of action and the school holidays would remain in line with the rest of the country beginning on 2 October. "Keeping the holidays as they are will avoid disrupting the plans already in place for students, families and educators, including curriculum and activity planning and families planning their holidays, and will [...]

September 17th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19: 13 new cases in Delta outbreak, truck driver case crossed Akl boundary to Waikato

There are 13 new cases of Covid-19 in the Delta community outbreak, bringing the total to 996. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield gave the update in a press conference on Thursday. Among the new cases is a truck driver who crosses the Auckland boundary doing deliveries, stocking supermarkets, Ardern said. Their contact is “limited” to drop-offs and deliveries. CHRISTEL YARDLEY/STUFF The truck driver was carrying out work activities before they had been identified as a contact, and there is “no evidence” they have done anything wrong, officials say.   Bloomfield said the driver was tested after being identified as a household contact of another case. The truck driver went to Hamilton, Cambridge and Tauranga. It is unclear yet whether this was during the [...]

September 16th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 briefing: Gathering limits could increase under level two

If Auckland does move down an alert level next week, the rest of the country will also see some easing of the alert level 2 rules, according to the prime minister. Jacinda Ardern and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield have given an update on Covid-19 case numbers and the response. Watch it here: There were 13 new community cases reported today. Ardern addressed the current alert level system and said as long as Auckland is at alert level 3 or 4, the rest of the country should stay at alert level 2. She said Cabinet has considered the settings at level 1, and had decided that alert level 1 will remain the same. "At this level, we remain prepared," she said. "We don't have Covid in the community, [...]

September 16th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

All set for granular lockdown, alert level system- PNP

PHILIPPINES— All is set for the Philippine National Police (PNP) as the governments begins the implementation of the granular lockdown and the alert level system in Metro Manila tomorrow, Sept. 16. PNP chief General Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar said personnel of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) have already been instructed to familiarize the guidelines and continuously coordinate with the local government units of Metro Manila for the enforcement of the rules and even for necessary adjustments. “We are continuously coordinating with the LGUs in Metro Manila for proper enforcement of these rules—from the identification of areas that would be placed under lockdown up to the distribution of assistance to the affected residents,” he added. Part of the security adjustment, according to Eleazar, was the shortened curfew hours that [...]

September 16th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Air NZ offered free flight change from Auckland to Hamilton departure

A man is surprised Air New Zealand suggested travelling out of lockdown in Auckland to Hamilton to take advantage of the offer of a free-of-charge flight change. Photo: camfoto/123RF   The man, who RNZ has agreed not to name, says he was helping a family member rearrange flights previously booked from Auckland to Wellington set for this week. The flight was cancelled due to lockdown and converted into credit. The man then messaged Air New Zealand on Facebook asking about its policy towards waiving fare differences when rebooking flights. It replied its policy did not allow that, but if they wanted to keep the same travel dates it could offer a free change to a flight out of Hamilton at the same cost out - as long as they [...]

September 16th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 lockdown: Auckland businesses question how ‘essential’ is defined

The issue of which businesses are and aren't essential during Auckland's level 4 lockdown has some businesses frustrated and disheartened as their finances continue to dwindle. A deserted Auckland on the first day of the current lockdown on 17 August. Photo: RNZ / Robert Smith     If all goes well and Covid-19 case numbers continue to drop, the government has announced Auckland could move to alert level 3 as early as Tuesday. Until then non-essential businesses around the city are sitting tight and waiting for the storm to pass. But the question of what constitutes an essential business is increasingly a grey area. Why, for example, can you get a box of donuts and a bottle of gin delivered to your house but not a book or a [...]

September 16th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Reopened MIQ bookings welcomed but ‘still the same number of needles in the haystack’

At 8am on Monday the new MIQ 'lobby' system will open its virtual doors with 3000 spots on offer. Barriers outside a managed isolation facility. Photo: RNZ / Marika Khabazi   New Zealanders stuck overseas will have one hour to get in, where they'll be put in a randomised queue and given a spot when they reach the front. Mike Newell, spokesperson for the Grounded Kiwis group which advocates for a fairer MIQ system, said lifting the pause was a good start. But he said the timing might be off for some New Zealanders overseas. "It's not a great time for people that are, say, in the Middle East or in Asia, and it might not be a great time for somebody that is working on an oil rig. [...]

September 15th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

UK, US and Australia launch landmark security pact

Britain, the US and Australia have announced a special security pact to share advanced technologies including nuclear-powered submarine know-how. An Astute-class British Navy nuclear submarine (file). The new defence partnership will initially focus on a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines for the Australian Navy Photo: AFP   The partnership, labelled Aukus, aims to "defend our shared interests in the Indo-Pacific", the leaders of the three nations said in a joint statement. Along with technology, industrial bases and supply chains will also be shared. The defence pact could see Australia scrap a deal to build French-designed submarines, Australian media report. France won a $A50 billion contract to build 12 submarines for the Australian Navy in 2016. The deal was Australia's largest-ever defence contract. However, the construction of submarines has been hit [...]

September 15th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

New Zealand bill to ban LGBTQ conversion practices receives record 100,000 submissions

Activists hopeful the majority of submissions will be in favour, amid previous signs of support and large social media campaign New Zealand’s Labour party is likely to have the numbers to ban LGBTQ conversion practices without support from the opposition National party. Photograph: Lukas Coch/EPA   More than 100,000 people have sent in submissions on New Zealand’s plan to ban LGBTQ conversion practices – more than have ever been made on a piece of legislation. “We’ve already made history with this movement and we’re not even done,” said Shaneel Lal, an activist and organiser in the movement to ban conversion practices. “People really and truly care about this because in 2021 it is not appropriate to erase queer identities.” The government received a total of 106,700 submissions on the [...]

September 15th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

North Korea fires two ballistic missiles into sea, South Korea military says

Launch comes as Chinese foreign minister is in Seoul to discuss stalled nuclear diplomacy and two days after North tests a new long-range cruise missile Reports North Korea has launched two ballistic missiles came as China and South Korea met to discuss stalled nuclear diplomacy efforts. Photograph: 朝鮮通信社/AP   North Korea fired two ballistic missiles into the sea off its east coast on Wednesday, South Korea’s military has said, two days after the North claimed to have tested a new missile in its first weapons test in six months. South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff (JCS) said the missiles flew from a central inland area towards the waters off the Korean Peninsula’s east coast and that further analysis with US officials was under way. “Our military maintains a full [...]

September 15th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Pak’nSave security guard assaulted by woman who refused to wear mask

Two people, including a Black Power gang member, have been charged for assaulting a Takanini Pak'nSave security guard after a woman refused to wear a face mask and took exception to being offered one. A file image of supermarket checkouts. Source: 1 NEWS   Police said a woman became aggressive at the guard when she was offered a face covering. She left the Auckland store and later returned to the supermarket with two other men. The woman allegedly punched the guard and the two men chased the guard with weapons. Police were called and arrested two people in the nearby area. A 26-year-old woman has been charged with assault and was also issued an infringement for failing to wear a face mask. A 33-year-old man, a patched Black Power [...]

September 14th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Chinese property giant Evergrande under ‘tremendous pressure’

FILE PHOTO: An exterior view of China Evergrande Centre in Hong Kong, Mar 26, 2018. (Reuters/Bobby Yip) BEIJING: Embattled Chinese property giant Evergrande on Tuesday (Sep 14) conceded it is under "tremendous pressure", a day after insisting it will avoid a bankruptcy that many fear could have a huge impact on the world's number-two economy. The Hong Kong-listed developer is sinking under a mountain of liabilities totalling more than US$300 billion after years of borrowing to fund rapid growth. The group was downgraded by two credit rating agencies last week while its shares tumbled below their 2009 listing price, as a battery of bad headlines and speculation of its imminent collapse ran out across Chinese social media. On Monday anxious investors protested at the Shenzhen headquarters of the sprawling [...]

September 14th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Chinese students hit by US visa rejections amid tension

Chinese students are joining companies and individuals whose plans have been disrupted by U.S.-Chinese tension After a semester online, Wang Ziwei looked forward to meeting classmates who are returning to campus at Washington University in St. Louis. But the 23-year-old finance student said the U.S. revoked his student visa on security grounds. Wang is among at least 500 students the Chinese government says have been rejected under a policy issued by then-President Donald Trump to block Beijing from obtaining U.S. technology with possible military uses. Students argue it is applied too broadly and fume at what they say is an accusation they are spies. “The whole thing is nonsense,” Wang said. “What do we finance students have to do with the military?” The students join companies and individuals whose [...]

September 14th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Putin watches huge display of firepower during Zapad war games

The Zapad exercises are likely Russia's largest in Europe since the Cold War. MULINO FIRING RANGE, Russia -- Russian President Vladimir Putin watched a huge display of firepower put on by his military Monday when he attended the finale of what is believed to be the largest Russian war games held in Europe since the Cold War. The joint exercises with Belarus -- called Zapad -- take place every four years and their main phase began last week, involving tens of thousands of troops and hundreds of tanks, aircrafts and warships at sites across western Russia and in Belarus. Zapad -- which means "West" in Russian -- is intended to test the country's ability to fight a major war with NATO on its western border. The exercise has its [...]

September 14th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Malaysian govt, PH opposition sign historic bipartisan deal; polls not expected before Aug 2022

Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob (centre) inking the cooperation deal with Pakatan Harapan on Sept 13, 2021.PHOTO: PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE, MALAYSIA   KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia is not expected to go to the polls for at least another year, under a historic bipartisan deal signed between the government and main opposition bloc Pakatan Harapan (PH) on Monday (Sept 13) that paves the way for political stability and institutional reforms. Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, accompanied by several members of his administration, inked the deal with PH, led by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Anwar Ibrahim, at a signing ceremony in Malaysia’s Parliament, hours after the Lower House sat for the first time under Datuk Seri Ismail’s administration. Mr Ismail said in a statement that the deal, which is [...]

September 14th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Judith Collins questions Jacinda Ardern’s ‘short and sharp’ COVID-19 lockdown plan as Auckland enters fifth week

National leader Judith Collins is questioning Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's plan for a "short and sharp" lockdown as Auckland enters its fifth week of heavy restrictions. Ardern announced on August 17 that New Zealand would enter alert level 4 lockdown after the highly infectious Delta variant of COVID-19 was discovered in the community. "We want to be short and sharp rather than light and long. We've seen what happened in Sydney," she said at the time. "We don't want that experience here. If we all comply, it lifts our chances of getting out of this earlier." But as Auckland enters its fifth week still under alert level 4 restrictions, businesses are getting impatient, and the Opposition is calling for answers. "This lockdown will now be the longest ever since [...]

September 14th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19: ‘There is nothing holding us back in Auckland when it comes to vaccines’ – PM

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield are giving an update of the government's Delta outbreak response. Watch the government Covid-19 update here: There are 15 new cases of Covid-19 in the community today, Dr Bloomfield said. Meanwhile, Ardern says the theme of the past few days has been "vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate with a particular focus on Tāmaki Makaurau in what we intend to be their last week in level 4". "There is nothing holding us back in Auckland when it comes to vaccines. "There's capacity to administer 220,000 doses of vaccine in the region this week." Ardern says if 130 people get their first dose this week, "Aucklanders will hit 80 percent coverage of first vaccinations in one week's time". She reiterates that vaccinations [...]

September 14th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 update: 15 new cases in the community

There are 15 new cases of Covid-19 in the community, the Ministry of Health has announced. Photo: AFP     Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield says there are no unlinked cases today. The one case from yesterday that was not linked to the outbreak, has now been linked, Dr Bloomfield said. He said 10 cases in the outbreak are yet to be epidemiologically linked. Bloomfield says the focus for testing is in the following suburbs - Massey, Māngere, Favona, Papatoetoe, Manurewa and Ōtara. Anyone with cold and flu symptoms is urged to get a test. He says families with children are urged to get tested together. So far this month, 15,685 essential workers in the Auckland region have been tested with no positive cases identified. "On contact tracing we're [...]

September 14th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Facebook: some high-profile users ‘allowed to break platform’s rules’

XCheck system ‘whitelists’ well-known users who are given special treatment, says Wall Street Journal report Facebook users are placed on the XCheck list if they meet criteria such as being newsworthy, influential or popular. Photograph: Dado Ruvić/Reuters     Facebook gives high-profile users special treatment, which includes immunity from its rules for some, and allowed Brazilian footballer Neymar to post nude pictures of a woman who had accused him of rape, according to a report. The XCheck or “CrossCheck” system steers reviews of posts by well-known users such as celebrities, politicians and journalists into a separate system, according to an investigation by the Wall Street Journal. Under the programme, some users are “whitelisted” – not subject to enforcement action – while others are allowed to post material that violates [...]

September 13th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Kiwibank customers still facing money access issues following cyberattack

The bank has promised to reimburse customers out of pocket due to the DDoS attack. Photo credit: Getty Images   Kiwibank customers are still facing internet banking and app issues five days after a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack first took out its website. The New Zealand state-owned bank had issues last week during the cyberattack, along with ANZ Bank, Metservice and NZ Post. And while ANZ customers had ongoing issues until the weekend, it had appeared Kiwibank's problems had been resolved. But that wasn't the case. A social media update from the company this morning said it was "expecting Internet Banking and our App to be intermittent today". "Some customers may be able to access our services and some may have issues from time to time. We’re [...]

September 13th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Suspicious parcel arrives at Parliament, fire crews on scene

Fire crews are assessing a suspicious package at Parliament. Photo / Michael Neilson.   NEW ZEALAND— The fire department is on-site at Parliament after the delivery of a suspicious parcel. A spokesman for Ardern confirmed it's not an explosive but precautions are being taken nonetheless. Several fire engines and the hazmat unit are at the scene. A police spokeswoman said they were notified just after 10am about reports of "an item of interest" located at Parliament. "Inquiries are underway to determine what the item is and assess any risk." One area of Parliament has been isolated as a precaution, she said. A spokesman for the Prime Minister said the item was sent in the post and received on level eight of the Beehive, the floor below Jacinda Ardern's office, [...]

September 12th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Auckland can’t afford to wait in level 4 for high vaccination rates – immunologist

A leading immunologist says although widespread vaccination is the only long-term way to curb Covid-19, the immunisation rate should not be the only factor in ending the elimination strategy. Central Auckland at midday on 27 August. Photo: RNZ / Robert Smith   Director of the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research and the programme director of the Vaccine Alliance, professor Graham Le Gros, says social and economic pressures and how much people can withstand restrictions should also determine when to abandon elimination. "This is only one event that got across the border and look at the mayhem, one month lockdown, a billion dollars a week that's just not sustainable in the long term and all the pressure that people are under ... the family issues, the schools, the devastation to [...]

September 12th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Asean ministers to start talks on regional digital economy agreement by 2025

The roadmap highlights digital initiatives that are expected to boost the region's competitiveness over the immediate and longer term.PHOTO: ST FILE     SINGAPORE — As Asean continues to grapple with Covid-19 cases and an uncertain recovery, its economic ministers have committed to conducting a study on a region-wide digital economy pact by 2023. They also agreed to start negotiations on the Asean Digital Economy Framework Agreement by 2025. A focus on digital transformation to enable the smooth flow of goods and services and data will help ensure the region continues to draw global trade and investments, and better position itself for future growth, Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong said at meetings with his counterparts last week. "Asean remains fully committed to free and open [...]

September 12th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

FBI releases declassified 9/11 document after Biden’s order

The American flag is unfurled at the site where a hijacked plane crashed into the Pentagon 20 years ago, on Sept 11, 2021.PHOTO: NYTIMES   WASHINGTON— The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Saturday (Sept 11) released the first document related to its investigation of the Sept 11, 2001, attacks on the United States and allegations of Saudi government support for the hijackers, following an executive order by President Joe Biden. Relatives of the victims had called on Mr Biden to skip memorial events to mark Saturday's 20th anniversary if he did not declassify documents that they have contended will show Saudi Arabian authorities supported the plot. The partially redacted 16-page document released by the FBI outlined contacts between the hijackers and Saudi associates, but no evidence the government [...]

September 12th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

U.N. seeks $600 million to avert Afghanistan humanitarian crisis

A family from Afghanistan walk next to fence to cross into Pakistan at the Friendship Gate crossing point, in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border town of Chaman, Pakistan September 6, 2021. REUTERS/Abdul Khaliq Achakzai GENEVA— The United Nations is convening an aid conference in Geneva on Monday in an effort to raise more than $600 million for Afghanistan, warning of a humanitarian crisis there following the Taliban takeover. Even before the Taliban's seizure of Kabul last month, half the population - or 18 million people - was dependent on aid. That figure looks set to increase due to drought and shortages of cash and food, U.N. officials and aid groups warn. An abrupt end to billions of dollars in foreign donations following the collapse of Afghanistan's Western-backed government and the ensuing victory [...]

September 12th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Granular lockdowns to be implemented ‘without warning,’ says DILG

Granular lockdowns will be implemented by surprise, according to Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, contrary to earlier pronouncements that residents will be informed in advance. The remark comes just days before the government targets to release the guidelines for the new COVID-19 alert system, either on Monday, September 13, or Tuesday, September 14. “Wala namang warning, hindi mo malalaman. Ang nakakaalam lang kasi ng datos ay ang City Health office,” Malaya said in a Super Radyo dzBB interview that was featured in a report by Mav Gonzales on GMA’s “24 Oras Weekend” on Sunday. “Kasi it would defeat the purpose kung may warning, o di mag-aalisan ‘yung mga tao, may clustering nga doon,” he added. [There will be no warning, you will not know. Only the City Health Office has [...]

September 12th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

DepEd ‘not ready’ for SY 2021-2022 school opening, teachers’ groups say

PHILIPPINES— Teachers’ groups maintained that the Department of Education (DepEd) is “not ready” for the Sept. 13 school opening as concerns under the distance or blended learning set-up, which was first implemented last school year, remain “unaddressed.” (Photo from ACT Philippines Facebook Page)   The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) and the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), in separate statements, challenged the DepEd and the Duterte administration to address their concerns as they feared that the new school year might be just a “repeat” of the previous one. Citing reports from the ground, TDC National Vice Chairperson Olivia De Guzman said that days before classes start, “we receive, many teachers are still waiting for the provided modules while others are doing their last-ditch effort of printing and reproduction using their [...]

September 12th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

UK vaccine volunteers to help prepare for next virus at new Pandemic Institute

The Liverpool site will work with other international centres to research the threat of emerging disruptive diseases Liverpool’s new Pandemic Institute will be based in the Paddington Village area of the city. A new scientific institute which aims to prevent future pandemics might have been able to save thousands of lives by accelerating vaccine development had it existed before December 2019, its researchers believe. Liverpool’s new Pandemic Institute will include a new human challenge facility, where volunteers will test new vaccines and treatments under controlled conditions. If vaccine candidates could have been tested during the first wave of infections, the jabs would have been ready months earlier, according to Professor Daniela Ferreira, the head of clinical sciences at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), and one of the [...]

September 12th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

France’s former health minister charged over handling of Covid crisis

Agnès Buzyn accused of ‘endangering the lives of others’ after early statements minimised risk of pandemic   Agnès Buzyn, a former doctor, resigned as France’s health minister in mid-February 2020 at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Photograph: Lucas Barioulet/AFP/Getty Images   France’s former health minister Agnès Buzyn has been charged over her handling of the Covid-19 pandemic after investigators at a special court in Paris concluded there were grounds to prosecute her. Buzyn has been charged with “endangering the lives of others”, according to the prosecutor in a special court that deals with ministerial accountability. A second possible offence of “failure to stop a disaster” was not brought. The former doctor, who will be able to appeal against the charge, attended a hearing at the court on Friday, [...]

September 11th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Hong Kong Tiananmen vigil organisers charged under national security law

GETTY IMAGES Chow Hang Tung, a human rights lawyer, was arrested earlier this year and charged with promoting unauthorised assembly   Three members of a pro-democracy group in Hong Kong have been charged with subversion after the group was accused of working as a "foreign agent". The Hong Kong Alliance is known for organising the city's famed annual vigil for victims of the deadly 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown. The group said chairman Lee Cheuk-yan and vice-chairs Albert Ho and Chow Hang Tung were charged on Thursday. The alliance itself was also charged and hit with financial penalties. The arrests were made under a controversial new national security law which China imposed on Hong Kong last year. Mr Lee and Mr Ho are currently serving jail sentences for their roles [...]

September 11th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 update: 23 new community cases reported today

There have been 23 new cases of Covid-19 in the community reported in New Zealand today, more than double the amount reported yesterday. Photo: 123rf.com   There was no media conference today. In a statement, the Ministry of Health said some volatility in the case numbers was likely at this stage as "we expect some changes in the numbers as day 5 and day 12 tests for contacts of cases are due, and we do further investigations of any new unlinked cases". "This does serve as a strong reminder of the importance of following the Covid-19 alert level rules wherever you are, and to get tested if you have any symptoms or have been at a location of interest at the specified times." Yesterday, there were 11 cases reported [...]

September 11th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

A case of money laundering? AMLC check sought on Pharmally’s transactions

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee has asked the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to look into the financial dealings of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation as lawmakers doubted that it can take on billions-worth of government contracts. Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation Huang Tzu Yen attends the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee’s virtual hearing on the government’s purchase of COVID-19 supplies on September 7, 2021 (Screencapture from Senate livestream/YouTube)   At the resumption of the Senate panel’s inquiry Friday, September 10, on the purchases made by the Department of Health (DOH) during the COVID-19 pandemic, senators continued to question the over P8 billion in contracts awarded to Pharmally despite the foreign firm having a small paid-up capital of P625,000 when it was incorporated in 2019. Based on its financial statements submitted to the Securities and [...]

September 11th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Signal No. 4 still in effect as ‘Kiko’ moves towards Batanes

(PAGASA)   PHILIPPINES— Typhoon “Kiko” (international name “Chanthu”) has passed to the east of Babuyan Island and is now heading towards Batanes, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said in its 5 a.m. bulletin on Saturday, Sept. 11. As of 4 a.m., the center of the eye of the typhoon was located 75 kilometers (km) south of Basco, Batanes. It may pass close or make landfall in Batanes in the next 12 hours, PAGASA said. Kiko has maintained its maximum sustained winds of 215 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 265 kph while moving north-northwest at 15 kph. “The typhoon is forecast to maintain its strength while traversing the Babuyan-Batanes area in the next 12 hours but is forecast to begin weakening later [...]

September 11th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Filipino talent to spur BPO sector’s growth

BPO TALKS (Clockwise from top left) Institute for Labor Studies senior officer Ellah Delerio, The Manila Times President and CEO Dante ‘Klink’ Ang 2nd, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd, IT & Business Process Association of the Philippines lead for talent attraction and academe linkages Zoe Diaz de Rivera, and Times business columnist Ben Kritz during the Times forum Resiliency and adaptability at all times of the BPO industry — bedrock of PH employment, held online on Sept. 10, 2021. SCREENGRAB FROM FACEBOOK LIVE     The country has a deep bench of talent that could help its business process outsourcing (BPO) industry attract more foreign clients. Speaking Friday at The Manila Times online forum, "Resiliency and adaptability at all times of the BPO industry - bedrock of Philippine employment [...]

September 11th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Memorial held in Christchurch for 9/11 terror attacks

A service to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks has been held Christchurch today. Photo: RNZ / Belinda McCammon   The memorial is marked by steel salvaged from ground zero from tower two of the World Trade Centre and was gifted to the Fire and Emergency New Zealand acknowledgement of there help at the scene in the weeks that followed the attack. Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel told the small gathering she was overwhelmed with the memory of the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent terror attack that had happened in Christchurch since then and acknowledged the trauma the city had been through. Fire and Emergency NZ head Paul Henderson paid tribute to the first responders of 9/11 and to those in Christchurch, saying the city had had [...]

September 11th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

US Biden and China’s Xi hold first call in seven months

GETTY IMAGES This is only the second call between the leaders since President Biden took office   Chinese President Xi Jinping has spoken with his US counterpart Joe Biden for the first time in seven months. A White House Statement said both leaders had "discussed the responsibility of both nations to ensure competition does not veer into conflict". This is only the second call between them since President Biden took office. US- China relations have been tense, with clashes over issues like trade, espionage and the pandemic. "The two leaders had a broad, strategic discussion in which they discussed areas where our interests converge, and areas where our interests, values, and perspectives diverge," the White House Statement added. "This discussion, as President Biden made clear, was part of the [...]

September 11th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Singapore facing increasing likelihood of ‘exponential rise’ in COVID-19 cases, quick action needed: MOH

People wearing protective face masks in a public place on Jul 7, 2021, amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Singapore. (File photo: Marcus Mark Ramos) Health Risk Warnings will be sent out to people linked to COVID-19 clusters requiring them to be tested and to self-isolate Frequency of rostered routine testing for people working in higher-risk industries to be increased from once a fortnight to once a week Companies not subject to mandatory rostered routine testing will get eight antigen rapid test kits per employee for routine testing Ang Hwee People wearing protective face masks in a public place on Jul 7, 2021, amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Singapore. (File photo: Marcus Mark Ramos) Health Risk Warnings will be sent out to people linked to COVID-19 clusters requiring them to be tested and to [...]

September 9th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Nurses’ organisation horrified at hundreds of daily visitors to patients at Auckland DHB

Hundreds of visitors are being allowed to visit Auckland DHB hospitals every day, despite the region being at the highest Covid-19 alert level due to the Delta outbreak. Auckland City Hospital. Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook   The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) says it is absurd that the DHB has the softest visitor policy of any DHB in the country, despite the heightened risk in Auckland. NZNO has been raising concerns about the inconsistent visitor policies as well as poor visitor behaviour, including people refusing to wear masks and turning up in groups. WorkSafe is now involved and Auckland District Health Board (ADHB) says it will now be involving health and safety representatives in further decision making. NZNO acting nursing and professional services manager Kate Weston told Nine [...]

September 9th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte to stand as vice-president

REUTERS Rodrigo Duterte became president of the Philippines in 2016   Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has accepted his party's nomination to run as vice-president in the next election. The constitution bars Mr Duterte from a second term and rivals have accused him of seeking to cling onto power. But Mr Duterte claimed that he is driven by love of his country. There has been speculation he would seek a politically weak running mate in order to rule from the number two role, the BBC's Celia Hatton reports. Mr Duterte has also mused publicly that as vice-president, he would be immune from prosecution by the International Criminal Court for ordering what he's called "a war on drugs" that has killed thousands. But it is unclear whether he would retain legal [...]

September 8th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Afghanistan: A new order begins under the Taliban’s governance

REUTERS The Taliban's spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid announced the new government in a press conference on Tuesday   The phrases have tripped off the tongues of Taliban for quite some time. "We're working to establish an inclusive government that represents all the people of Afghanistan," promised Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar when he recently arrived in Kabul to start talks aimed at forming a leadership to move the movement from guns to government. "We would like to live peacefully," vowed Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid at the first press conference in the capital after the Taliban suddenly swept into power on 15 August. "We don't want any internal enemies and any external enemies." Judge them by their actions, not their words, has become the mantra of a fast-expanding league of [...]

September 8th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Auckland terrorist’s bail not opposed by police, despite PM saying everything was done to keep him jailed

Police did not oppose bail for the Auckland terrorist when charged with assaulting two prison officers last year, Stuff can reveal. Ahamed Aathill Mohamed Samsudeen was shot dead by police on Friday after he stabbed shoppers in LynnMall Countdown. At the time, he was serving a sentence of supervision in the community for possessing Islamic State propaganda videos, depicting extreme violence. He was also on bail for an attack on Corrections officers in June 2020, which left one officer requiring surgery on a broken nose. On Thursday, the Crown filed a stay of proceedings in the matter, allowing Stuff to reveal how Samsudeen got bail. Court documents released to Stuff show that on July 9 last year, a joint memorandum from the prosecutor for police and his defence lawyer [...]

September 8th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Australia to have vaccine passport system ready within weeks for international travel

The Morrison government is developing internationally recognised vaccination certificates, trade minister Dan Tehan says   The Australian government is working on a QR code with the International Civil Aviation Organisation so travel can resume as vaccination rates rise. Photograph: Jason Reed/Reuters The Morrison government will have a system in place within weeks to support the resumption of international travel as vaccination rates rise, the trade minister, Dan Tehan, says. With senior federal ministers meeting on Wednesday to continue work around vaccine passports, Tehan told reporters the resumption of international travel would require “a system that can enable recognition of vaccination – a vaccination certification scheme”. “We’re in the process of planning that so that in the coming weeks we will have a system up and ready so when we [...]

September 8th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19: Delta outbreak could push NZ’s reopening back by months, expert says

Plans to reconnect New Zealand with the rest of the world will be set back, potentially by months, by the current Covid-19 Delta variant outbreak in the country. File image. Photo: 123RF   University of Otago epidemiologist professor Michael Baker told Morning Report that was partly due to Aotearoa's limited capability to launch new initiatives - but there were multiple reasons reopening would be pushed back. "The most obvious one is exactly what we've been talking about, that our capacity to launch new initiatives is limited," Baker said. "It's a finite capacity, and so much of it is now being taken up with this … battle against this outbreak, so that has occupied probably a couple of months of effort by the time it's finished, so that will inevitably [...]

September 8th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

PEZA to hold a Focused Group Discussion with Chinese Business Community

PHILIPPINES— In time with China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) 2021, Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), in collaboration with Philippine Embassy in China, Philippine Trade and Investment Center- China, and 86 Links Group will be holding its Global Biz with PEZA: A Focused Group Discussion with Chinese Business Community on September 9,2021 at 10AM-12:NN (PST). The forum will be conducted via Zoom. Details are provided below: Topic: PEZA at CIFIT2021 Time: Sep 9, 2021 10:00 AM Beijing, Shanghai Zoom Meeting Link: https://zoom.com.cn/j/87141477591 Meeting ID: 871 4147 7591      

September 8th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Biden to visit New York, New Jersey to survey Hurricane Ida’s destruction

President Joe Biden speaks about hurricane response efforts amidst the aftermath of Hurricane Ida in La Place on Sept. 3, 2021.PHOTO: NYTIMES WASHINGTON—  US President Joe Biden will visit New York and New Jersey on Tuesday (Sept 7) to view the destruction wrought by last week's Hurricane Ida, which has left at least 57 dead and four missing in the eastern United States. Biden will travel to New York City's Queens borough and Manville, New Jersey, the White House said on Monday. He has approved disaster declarations for Louisiana, where Ida hit on Aug 29 with sustained winds of 240km per hour (240 kph), and for New York and New Jersey, which were deluged with rain and intense flooding that killed dozens in the Northeast. Biden's disaster declarations qualify [...]

September 7th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

4 areas remain under Signal No. 3 as Jolina crosses Samar

PHILIPPINES— Four areas remained under Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) No. 3 on Tuesday as Typhoon Jolina continued to move west northwestward over Samar Sea toward Masbate. In its 8 a.m. bulletin, PAGASA said Jolina -- which made its fourth landfall at Almagro, Samar at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday -- is seen to make another landfall in the vicinity of Masbate within 12 hours. "Beyond the next 12 hours, 'JOLINA' will move northwestward towards Burias Island and the vicinity of Ragay Gulf before making another landfall in the vicinity of southeastern Quezon tonight or tomorrow early morning," it added. Jolina first made landfall in the vicinity of Hernani, Eastern Samar at 10 p.m. on Monday. After that, it made landfalls at Daram and Sto Niño, both in Samar. Jolina is [...]

September 7th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Testing workers at regional borders ‘the price of more freedoms’ – Jacinda Ardern

Essential workers between regional borders getting tested every week will allow other New Zealanders the freedom of lower alert levels, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone   Arden told Morning Report the Delta variant of Covid-19 had generated "more mystery cases for us a little later on in a level 4 environment than what we've had before". It is one of the reasons the borders are being tightened and those crossing will need a weekly test. "We're looking to work with employers, particularly in the freight industry to try and make it as easy as possible." Some companies were already using saliva testing for surveillance of staff, but Ardern said the government was looking at whether to contract specifically providers to [...]

September 7th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Watch live: Jacinda Ardern and Ashley Bloomfield give Covid-19 update

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield are providing an update on the Covid-19 outbreak. They are due to speak at 1pm. Watch the Covid-19 update here: Twenty cases have been reported every day for the last three days, so hopes are pinned on seeing figures in the tens or lower. Ardern announced yesterday that regions outside of Auckland will move to alert level 2 from 11.59pm. But it is not level 2 like in previous lockdowns, instead "delta 2", as she coined it, comes with new rules. They also confirmed essential workers crossing alert level boundaries will be required to undergo weekly testing.

September 7th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Thousands gather for pro-Bolsonaro rallies as critics fear for democracy

Followers arrive in Brasília and São Paulo in hope of staging show of support for beleaguered Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro reacts to supporters outside the presidential palace in Brasília on Monday. Photograph: Eraldo Peres/AP   Thousands of diehard Jair Bolsonaro followers have converged on Brazil’s political and economic capitals hoping to stage a colossal show of support for their beleaguered president amid mounting fears over the future of Brazilian democracy and of possible skirmishes with the government’s opponents. The rightwing nationalist, who recently warned Brazil could face a political “rupture”, is expected to address packed independence day rallies in Brasília and São Paulo on Tuesday in what observers say is an increasingly weak politician’s attempt to project strength. Bolsonaro’s approval ratings have plummeted in recent months as corruption allegations [...]

September 7th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Japan PM candidate Kishida calls for $270 bln-plus stimulus package -media

Fumio Kishida, Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lawmaker and former foreign minister, announces his candidacy for the party's presidential election at a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, August 26, 2021. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo   Summary BOJ must maintain price goal, stimulus - Kishida Govt must prop economy with big fiscal, monetary support Stimulus package to be funded by bond issuance TOKYO, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Fumio Kishida, a strong contender to succeed Yoshihide Suga as Japan's prime minister, called for a stimulus package of more than 30 trillion yen ($273 billion) to cushion the economic blow from the coronavirus pandemic, a magazine reported. Kishida also said that if he were to become prime minister, he would have the Bank of Japan maintain its 2% inflation target and massive [...]

September 7th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

U.S. Justice Dept. says will protect Texas abortion clinics that come under attack

An exam room at the Planned Parenthood South Austin Health Center is shown in Austin, Texas, U.S. June 27, 2016. REUTERS/Ilana Panich-Linsman WASHINGTON— The U.S. Justice Department on Monday said it would not tolerate attacks against people seeking or providing abortions in Texas, as the agency explores ways of challenging the state's recently enacted law that imposed a near-total ban on abortion. The law, known as SB8, leaves enforcement up to individual citizens, enabling them to sue anyone who provides or "aids or abets" an abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy. U.S. Attorney Merrick Garland said in a statement the department would “protect those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services” through a 1994 law known as the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE Act). [...]

September 7th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

NZ outside Auckland to drop to ‘Delta level 2’

With the exception of the Auckland region, the country will move down the lockdown ladder tonight, and this time alert level 2 comes with tougher rules. Indoor venues have a limit of 50 people and restaurant diners have to mostly remain seated. Photo: 123rf   Cinemas, restaurants, bars, and night clubs can open up, but indoor venues have a limit of 50 people and face coverings are mandatory in most public venues. Kelly Rogers, who owns cinemas in Tauranga, Upper Hutt and Auckland, says it'll be a different movie experience than people are used to. "With the new protocols where there are fewer people able to be in the cinema at any one time, we'll have bigger social distancing, so there'll be two to three seats between everyone, maybe [...]

September 6th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Robredo gets support in Northern Mindanao

A file photo of Vice President Leni Robredo during the Women2020 in Taguig City. TMT FILE PHOTO   PHILIPPINES— Multisectoral groups from different parts of Northern Mindanao launched on Saturday "Northern Mindanao for Leni" as their support for the possible presidential bid of Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo. "Northern Mindanao for Leni" was launched online at 5 p.m. "Northern Mindanao for Leni" is composed of multisectoral groups from Cagayan de Oro City, Bukidnon, Camiguin, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental and Lanao del Norte. "We support the candidacy of VP Leni Robredo to run for [the] presidency to better our ailing country," said Carl Cesar Rebuta, one of the convenors of "Northern Mindanao for Leni." "Kami'y naniniwala na tanging sa ilalim lang ng liderato ni VP Robredo magkakaroon ng tunay [...]

September 5th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘Duterte won’t tolerate corruption with appointees’

President Rodrigo Duterte SIMEON CELI/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO   Malacañang on Saturday reiterated that President Rodrigo Duterte would not tolerate corruption among his appointees, responding to Sen. Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao's statement that the Chief Executive is "too defensive" when his people are tagged in corruption issues. "Senator Pacquiao, I can tell you I've had personal experiences with the President. ... It does not matter to the President if you are close to him - and I've proven that," Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said in a virtual press briefing. "All of them were sacked. So, I have personal knowledge that when there is data and proof on allegations of corruption, the President does not look the other way," he added. Pacquiao earlier called on Duterte to "stop tolerating" his appointees [...]

September 5th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Second Afghan evacuee boy dies in Poland after eating toxic mushrooms

Six-year-old pronounced dead a day after his younger brother also died after eating soup made from death cap mushrooms Death cap mushrooms are extremely toxic and responsible for 90% of all mushroom poisoning deaths.Photograph: William West/AFP/Getty Images   A second child of an Afghan family evacuated from Kabul to Poland has died after eating soup containing death cap mushrooms, which the family had unknowingly gathered in a forest outside their quarantine centre. The six-year-old boy received an emergency liver transplant but doctors were unable to save him. His five-year-old brother died on Thursday at Poland’s main children’s hospital in Warsaw, where both were treated. The boys’ 17-year-old sister was treated at the hospital and released, in good condition. Doctors said the dose of toxins was less damaging to an [...]

September 5th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Ministers face showdowns on post-Brexit green bill weeks before Cop26

Peers’ challenge to government may see it arguing for lower environmental standards at home while hosting global summit Air pollution over London. Campaigners are concerned that the new Office for Environmental Protection will not be able to hold the government to account in the same way as the European court of justice. Photograph: Nick Ansell/PA   Ministers are facing a fortnight of showdowns with peers over weak post-Brexit green protections just weeks before the Cop26 summit on the environment. An alliance of crossbench and opposition peers has tabled more than 100 amendments to the environment bill in an attempt to beef up protections for nature, air quality and water standards and give the new green watchdog more powers. With four sessions of parliamentary debate over the next two weeks, [...]

September 5th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Immigration New Zealand shuts its Beijing office

Visa processing at what used to be New Zealand's largest immigration centre has closed. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone   Before the pandemic, the Beijing office decided half of all temporary visas - about 10,000 a week. Withdrawing visa processing from China ends a long programme of overseas office closures, including in India, South Africa and the Philippines in March. The only Immigration New Zealand offices that now process visas abroad are those in the Pacific. Immigration New Zealand says most staff have been able to work remotely during lockdown on online visas, including work visas since Tuesday. But waiting times for paper applications, such as residence and variations of conditions, have been affected. Staff decided 82,000 visas last summer, compared to 200,000 in the summer before the first [...]

September 5th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 briefing: ‘We’ve got to do this once, and we’ve got to do it right’ – deputy PM

Case numbers might be falling, but deputy prime minister Grant Robertson says the government will not be relaxing restrictions until it is confident there are no unknown cases lurking in the community. Robertson and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield have given a briefing on the latest Covid-19 situation. Watch it here: Dr Bloomfield said there were 20 new cases of Covid-19 in the community today. Yesterday, the death of a woman from Covid-19 was reported, along with 20 new cases of Covid-19 in the community. Dr Bloomfield said anyone with any symptoms were the most important group to get tested. "Please don't just put this down to a cold, or decide for yourself it is something minor. Please do get a test. "So saying, two weeks of alert [...]

September 5th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

LynnMall attacker ‘brainwashed’ by neighbours, mother says

The mother of the LynnMall attacker says he was brainwashed by neighbours from the Middle East. Armed police at LynnMall on Friday, the day of the attack. Photo: RNZ / Marika Khabazi   Ahamed Aathill Mohamed Samsudeen, a 32-year-old refugee originally from Sri Lanka, was shot dead by undercover police after stabbing six people inside Countdown in LynnMall on Friday. His mother, Ismail Fareeda, has told a TV channel in Sri Lanka that neighbours from Syria and Iraq radicalised Aathil Samsudeen when he was injured in a fall in Sri Lanka in 2016. She said her son then started posting radical views on social media. Fareeda said there was a change in her son after he left Sri Lanka and settled in New Zealand in 2011. She said her [...]

September 5th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 update: 20 new community cases reported in New Zealand, one new death

The number of new community cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand has fallen to 20 today, but there has been one further death, the Health Ministry has revealed. Photo: RNZ / Marika Khabazi   There were 28 new community cases reported yesterday. There was no media conference today. In a statement, the Health Ministry said a woman in her 90s who was a confirmed case of Covid-19 died in North Shore Hospital last night. It said she had a number of underlying health conditions, which meant it was not clinically appropriate for her to receive ventilator or ICU care. The woman was admitted to hospital on 28 August from home. She was a household contact of a case and had been confirmed as a case before admission to hospital. [...]

September 4th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Biden orders declassification of Sept. 11 investigation documents

The order lays out specific timelines over the next six months for the release of the documents with some set to be released as early as next week’s 20th anniversary of the terror attack. WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is ordering the widespread declassification of information collected during the U.S. investigation of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks following growing pressure to do so from family members of the victims. The order lays out specific timelines over the next six months for the release of the documents, with some set to be released as early as next week’s 20th anniversary of the terror attacks. Information should only remain classified if its release would pose a clear national security risk, and shouldn't remain classified “in order to conceal violations of law, [...]

September 4th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Ida victims: What we know about those killed in N.Y., N.J.

"Ayúdame por favor" — help me please. Those were some of the last words of Roberto Bravo of Brooklyn, a family member said. Remnants of Tropical Storm Ida battered the East Coast late Wednesday and early Thursday, causing record rain, powerful flash floods and devastating tornadoes. In New York and New Jersey, at least 42 people were killed. New Jersey had the highest death toll, at 25. Gov. Phil Murphy said on NBC's "TODAY" show that six people are missing. "All of these deaths are related either directly or indirectly to flooding and water, either in cars or homes," Murphy said. "It's an absolute tragedy." A majority of New York state's 17 deaths were in New York City. Mayor Bill de Blasio called the deaths a "tragic loss." "We're [...]

September 4th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Late Chinese scientist paves way for PH hybrid-rice production

MANILA – Former and current leaders of the Philippine government paid tribute to the contribution of Chinese scientist and professor Yuan Longping to Filipino farmers who benefited largely from his hybrid rice varieties. RICE GENIUS. The late Chinese scientist Yuan Longping (left) visits a rice farm in Laguna on April 17, 2003. The agronomist who introduced hybrid rice production in the Philippines died at 91 years old last May in China's Hunan province. (Photo courtesy of Henry Lim Bon Liong/Xinhua)     In a virtual conference on Friday, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said Longping’s successful agricultural research paved the way for the Philippines to increase its rice sufficiency, among others. “The Philippine government, especially in the agriculture sector, will be forever grateful for his [Longping’s] involvement in teaching the [...]

September 4th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

The Mu Covid-19 variant: What is it and why does WHO list it as ‘variant of interest’?

The Mu variant, also known scientifically as B1621, was first identified in Colombia in January this year.PHOTO: AFP   A new coronavirus variant known as Mu, first identified in Colombia in January, is being closely monitored. About 4,500 cases of the Mu variant have been reported across the globe, with more than half of them discovered in the United States. It has also been reported in other South American countries, Europe, Japan and Hong Kong. Here is more information on the variant: What is it? The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Aug 30 added the Mu variant - known by scientists as B1621 - to the list of “variants of interest” because of preliminary evidence that it can evade antibodies. The Mu variant has a “constellation of mutations that indicate [...]

September 4th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Japan’s struggling PM Suga steps down, sets stage for new leader

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who took over after Shinzo Abe resigned last September citing ill health, has seen his approval ratings drop below 30% as the nation struggles with its worst wave of COVID-19 infections ahead of a general election this year. Nicolas Datiche/ Pool via REUTERS/ File Photo     TOKYO, Japan - Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said in a surprise move on Friday he would step down, setting the stage for a new premier after a one-year tenure marred by an unpopular COVID-19 response and sinking public support. Suga, who took over after Shinzo Abe resigned last September citing ill health, has seen his approval ratings drop below 30% as the nation struggles with its worst wave of COVID-19 infections ahead of a general election [...]

September 4th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

LynnMall terrorist’s name suppression revoked, but remains secret for now

Name suppression for the man responsible for yesterday's terror attack at a west Auckland supermarket has been revoked, but his name cannot be published yet, with the High Court giving his family at least 24 hours to seek further suppression orders. Photo: RNZ / Marika Khabazi   The Sri Lankan national was shot dead by police after stabbing six people inside Countdown in LynnMall. Suppression orders prevented details about his identity and background from being made public. The Crown filed an urgent application last night to have the court orders lifted, so details about the man's identity and background could be made public. In a judgment last night, Justice Wylie said there was no longer any proper basis for the suppression orders. But he said the man's family live [...]

September 4th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Highest number of new COVID-19 community cases in Singapore, with 210; new cluster at Changi General Hospital

File photo of Changi General Hospital. (Photo: Facebook/Changi General Hospital (CGH)) SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 216 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases as of noon on Friday (Sep 3), including 210 community infections. According to data from the Ministry of Health (MOH), this is the highest daily number of COVID-19 community cases in Singapore since the start of the pandemic, surpassing the 182 community cases recorded on Jun 20 this year. The remaining six locally transmitted cases reported on Friday were infections in dormitories. Of the 216 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases, 109 were unlinked to previous infections. Fifty-six of the new infections were linked to previous cases and had been placed on quarantine, said MOH. Another 51 linked infections were detected through surveillance testing. This is the fourth consecutive day where unlinked locally [...]

September 4th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

New Zealand stabbings: man shot dead by police after ‘terrorist attack’ in Auckland

Jacinda Ardern says attack was carried out by a ‘violent extremist’ who followed Islamic State ideology and was being monitored by police Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks during a press conference after a man injured six people at an Auckland supermarket on Friday in a terrorist attack Photograph: Robert Kitchin/AAP   An attack at a New Zealand supermarket was “a terrorist attack” by a “violent extremist” who follows Islamic State ideology and who had been under heavy surveillance by police, prime minister Jacinda Ardern has said. A man was shot dead on Friday afternoon by police after entering a West Auckland supermarket and stabbing at least six people, who are now in hospital. The alleged terrorist was a Sri Lankan national who arrived in New Zealand in 2011 and [...]

September 3rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

China’s Alibaba to invest billions by 2025 for ‘common prosperity’

Move comes on back of Beijing encouraging firms to share wealth as part of a drive to ease inequality Alibaba’s funds will go towards areas such as subsidies for small and medium-sized enterprises and improving insurance protection for gig economy workers. Photograph: Thomas Peter/Reuters   China’s Alibaba Group will invest 100bn yuan ($15.5bn) by 2025 in support of “common prosperity”, it said, becoming the latest corporate giant to pledge support for the initiative driven by the president, Xi Jinping. Beijing has been encouraging companies to share wealth as part of the effort to ease inequality in the world’s second-largest economy. Other companies that have made similar announcements include Tencent Holdings, which also pledged 100bn yuan, and Geely Automobile. The government-backed Zhejiang News website said Alibaba’s funds will go towards [...]

September 3rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Victoria records 208 new local cases of Covid-19 and one further death

Victoria has recorded 208 new locally acquired cases of Covid-19 and one more person has died with the virus in the state. Central business district in Melbourne. (File photo). Photo: AFP   Of the new cases, 96 are linked to known outbreaks. The health department has not provided information about the number of new cases who were in isolation for their infectious period. The death recorded overnight is the third fatality this week from Victoria's Delta outbreak, which now stands at 1180 active cases. The new cases were identified from 48,572 test results received yesterday, while there were 33,511 doses of vaccine administered at state-run sites. According to federal health department figures, 58.1 percent of the eligible Victorian population has received their first dose of a vaccine, while 36 [...]

September 3rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 live update on 3 September: Grant Robertson, Caroline McEnlay speak to media

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson and Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McEnlay are holding a Covid-19 update. Watch the update here: Today is the first day in alert level 3 for Northland, while Auckland remains the only region in the country to remain at alert level 4. Yesterday, there were 49 new cases of Covid-19 linked to the Delta outbreak.

September 3rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Afghanistan: Taliban expected to announce new government

Official says ceremony is being prepared at presidential palace in Kabul – two weeks after Islamist militia seized control Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid (centre, holding shawl) is accompanied by officials before addressing a media conference on 31 August. Photograph: Wakil Kohsar/AFP/Getty   The Taliban are expected to announce a new government in Afghanistanwithin hours, as chaos in the country deepened and aid experts warned of imminent economic collapse. More than two weeks after the Islamist militia seized control, sources told Agence-France Presse that the cabinet could be presented after morning prayers on Friday and Ahmadullah Muttaqi, a Taliban official, said on social media that a ceremony was being prepared at the presidential palace in Kabul. The private broadcaster Tolo said an announcement was imminent. The movement’s supreme leader, Haibatullah [...]

September 3rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Thousands join protest in Bangkok demanding prime minister’s resignation

Demonstrators show the three-finger salute during a protest over the Thai government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and to demand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's resignation, in Bangkok, Thailand, Sep 2, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Chalinee Thirasupa) BANGKOK: Thousands of people protested in central Bangkok on Thursday (Sep 2) to call for the resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and said they would return every day until he leaves office. The demonstration at the Asoke intersection in central Bangkok was one of the biggest such gatherings this year despite a warning from the police earlier in the day that protests are banned due to COVID-19 restrictions. Protests against Prayut have gained momentum since late June as groups who sought his removal last year return with broader support from people angered by a worsening [...]

September 3rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Pharmally bags P2B more pandemic deals in 2021 | Evening wRap

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Pharmally's financial statement for 2020 shows that its sales that year was a whopping P7.49 billion – indicating that all these may have come solely from the P7.9 billion contracts that it got from the government. After the Duterte government awarded Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation P7.9 billion worth of contracts in 2020 despite the latter having only P625,000 in paid-up capital, the newly registered company declared a net income of P264.7 million that year. The company – whose executives have links to an ex-adviser of President Rodrigo Duterte and some of them wanted in Taiwan – is poised to earn more as the government has awarded them at least four additional contracts in 2021 totalling P2.3 billion. These are: P507.3 million for 517,613 PPE (personal protective equipment [...]

September 3rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Robredo may consider running for president in 2022 due to public clamor—spox

The outpouring of support for Vice President Leni Robredo over the past few weeks did not fall on deaf ears as her spokesman said on Thursday, September 2, that she will consider these when she soon makes her decision about the 2022 polls. (Vice President Leni Robredo/Facebook)   Robredo’s spokesman Barry Gutierrez said that they are thankful for the volunteer groups that came out to support the vice president, and they are hoping that she will let them know this September if she intends to run as president. “Mahigit 200 groups itong nakaraang linggo ang lumabas at nananawagan kay VP Leni na siya ay kumandidato. At definitely, pakikinggan niya iyan, iko-consider niya sa kaniyang desisyon (More than 200 groups in the past week came out to call on VP [...]

September 3rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Watch live: Covid-19 update for 2 September

The prime minister and director-general of health are giving a Covid-19 update, ahead of Northland's potential move to alert level 3 at midnight tonight. Watch the update here: There were 75 new cases of Covid-19 announced in the community yesterday. At yesterday's briefing, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said almost 70 percent of the eligible population had received at least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine or had booked to had one.

September 2nd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

WHO monitoring new Covid-19 variant named ‘Mu’

All viruses mutate over time and most mutations have little or no effect on the properties of the virus.PHOTO: REUTERS     GENEVA — The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said it is monitoring a new coronavirus variant known as "Mu", which was first identified in Colombia in January. Mu, known scientifically as B1621, has been classified as a "variant of interest", the global health body said on Tuesday (Aug 31) in its weekly pandemic bulletin. The WHO said the variant has mutations that indicate a risk of resistance to vaccines and stressed that further studies were needed to better understand it. "The Mu variant has a constellation of mutations that indicate potential properties of immune escape," the bulletin said. There is widespread concern over the emergence of new virus [...]

September 2nd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH surpasses 2 million COVID-19 cases

The Philippines has marked another grim milestone in its fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as confirmed cases already exceeded two million on Wednesday, Sept. 1. Department of Health (DOH) (MANILA BULLETIN)   The country has recorded 2,003,955 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began last year, based on the latest case update of the Department of Health (DOH). The DOH recorded 14,216 new cases on Wednesday. It took 128 days for the country’s total tally to hit two million since the country hit the one-million mark last April 26, 2021. Based on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) COVID-19 dashboard, the Philippines is on the 20th spot among countries with the high number of confirmed cases as of Aug. 30. Seven percent or 140,949 of the total case count are [...]

September 2nd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Sara Duterte: Bong Go, Win Gatchalian offered to run as my VP in Eleksyon 2022

  PHILIPPINES— Senators Bong Go and Sherwin Gatchalian have personally offered to run as Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte's vice presidential candidate in Eleksyon 2022, the daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte said on Wednesday. In a statement on her official Facebook page, Sara again denied Duterte's claim on national television that Senator Imee Marcos visited her in Davao to discuss Marcos' wish to run as her vice president. "I can confirm the people who have personally expressed their offer to run as my vice president: Senator Sherwin Gatchalian [and] Senator Bong Go," Sara said. Duterte has said that he would run for vice president but would not do so if Sara would run for president. Sara answered 'yes' in early July when she was asked if she was open [...]

September 2nd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Japan finds another Moderna COVID-19 vial suspected to contain foreign substance

FILE PHOTO: Vials with a sticker reading, "COVID-19 / Coronavirus vaccine / Injection only" and a medical syringe are seen in front of a displayed Moderna logo in this illustration taken October 31, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic TOKYO: Japan reported a fresh contamination case involving Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine, the fourth such incident in less than a week, threatening to slow the country's sputtering inoculation campaign. Kanagawa prefecture said on Tuesday (Aug 31) several black particles in one Moderna vaccine vial were found upon checking for foreign substances before its use, and it has put the rest of the lot on hold. Japan suspended the use of 1.63 million doses of Moderna shots last week after being notified of contamination in some of the supply. Moderna and Spanish pharma company Rovi, which [...]

September 2nd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Taiwan says China can ‘paralyse’ its defences, threat worsening

A Taiwan domestically-built Indigenous Defense Fighter (IDF) releases flares during annual Han Kuang military drill simulating the China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) invading the island, in Pingtung county, southern Taiwan Aug 25, 2016. (Photo: REUTERS/Tyrone Siu) TAIPEI: China's armed forces can "paralyse" Taiwan's defences and are able to fully monitor its deployments, the island's defence ministry said, offering a stark assessment of the rising threat posed by its giant neighbour. Beijing is stepping up military activities around the island, which it views as Chinese territory. It has never renounced the use of force to bring democratic Taiwan under its control. In its annual report to parliament on China's military, a copy of which was reviewed by Reuters, Taiwan's Defence Ministry presented a far graver view than it did last [...]

September 2nd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Democrats condemn supreme court for failing to block Texas abortion law

Critics denounce law as unconstitutional and a threat to women’s health Senator Mazie Hirono: ‘They’re hoping we don’t notice.’ Photograph: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/REX/Shutterstock     USA— Top Democrats across the country are condemning the US supreme courtover its silence on Texas’s latest and most extreme abortion law to date after it came into effect on Wednesday. The so-called “Heartbeat Act”, which was signed into law by Greg Abbott, the state’s Republican governor, in May, bans abortions at six weeks and does not make exceptions for incest and rape. Furthermore, it empowers private citizens to sue any abortion provider who violates the law. Texas is the first state to ban abortion this early in pregnancy since Roe v Wade, and last-minute efforts to halt it through an appeal to the [...]

September 2nd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Auckland’s three main hospitals build more specialist rooms for Covid-19 patients

All three of Auckland's main hospitals are building more negative pressure rooms to keep up with the Delta strain of Covid-19. Middlemore Hospital. Photo: LDR / Stephen Forbes   The city's district health boards have revealed details of the work that is going on at the same time as they treat 32 Covid-19 patients between them, eight in intensive care. A DHB spokesperson said the negative pressure rooms were being built at Middlemore, Auckland City and North Shore hospitals in general wards, intensive care units and emergency departments. They were adding more of the rooms, which prevent the virus spreading to other areas because of the increased transmissibility of Covid, she said. The work included engineering to create the ability to have negative pressure, and more minor building work [...]

September 2nd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

New Zealand in ‘uncharted territory’ attempting to keep Delta R number below 1 – Covid-19 modeller

New Zealand is in "slightly uncharted territory" as it attempts to drive the R number of the Delta variant outbreak down under 1 for a sustained period, a Covid-19 modeller says. The R number (reproduction number) is the average number of people infected by someone with the virus. If the R number's bigger than 1, the outbreak grow. If it's less than 1, the number of cases goes down. Photo: 123rf.com     The Ministry of Health reported 75 new cases in the community yesterday, a number that was no cause for alarm, according to Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield, despite being up from the 49 reported the day before. Bloomfield said the R value, based on the latest modelling, continued to be promising. There was a 90 [...]

September 2nd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 lockdown day 14: How it happened

As the rest of the country outside Auckland and Northland prepare to drop down alert levels at midnight, a further drop in Covid-19 community cases today added to optimism Aotearoa is getting on top of the Delta outbreak. Photo: RNZ   The Ministry of Health announced 49 new infections, all in Auckland, which brings the total number of cases to 612. "Of the cases yesterday, only 23 percent are considered to have been infectious in the community," Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said this afternoon. Bloomfield was less optimistic about locating the original source of the Delta variant outbreak, admitting today health officials may never find it. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she wanted "the tail of this outbreak to be as short as possible". "Every day for me [...]

August 31st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

54.5M Covid-19 jabs arriving in Sept.-Oct.

MANILA – The National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 said 54.5 million doses of the coronavirus disease vaccines are slated for delivery within the next two months. During President Rodrigo Duterte's pre-recorded Talk to the People aired Tuesday morning, NTF chief Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said 25 million doses are expected in September and 29.5 million in October. The vaccines, procured and donated, are 22 million doses of Sinovac, 15 million doses of Pfizer, five million Moderna, two million each of AstraZeneca and Sputnik Light, six million from the COVAX Facility, and 2.5 million doses donations of countries. As of Aug. 30, Galvez said the Philippines has a total of 48,885,590 doses About 137 million more doses may be delivered in the remaining months this year, he added. (Screenshot [...]

August 31st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Watch live: PM Jacinda Ardern and Dr Ashley Bloomfield give a Covid-19 update

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield are speaking to media about the latest case numbers and Covid-19 response. Watch it live here: Dr Bloomfield says there are 49 new cases of Covid-19 today, all in Auckland. Bloomfield yesterday welcomed the lower number of new cases - 53, down from 83 the previous day - but with lower testing numbers on Sunday cautioned against putting too much stock in it, saying it was just one data point. Ardern also announced Auckland would remain in lockdown until at least 14 September, and Northland would likely move into level 3 just two days after the rest of the country's Tuesday night change. Today Ardern says alert level 3 for all of Aotearoa south of Auckland is progress [...]

August 31st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 update on 31 August: 49 new cases in the community

There are 49 new cases of Covid-19 in the community, bringing the total number of cases to 611. Photo: 123rf.com Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said all of the new cases are in Auckland. "It does provide further reassurance that our public health efforts are slowing the spread of the virus," Bloomfield said. Of the new cases, 66 percent are family contacts, he said. "Of the cases yesterday, only 23 percent are considered to have been infectious in the community." Bloomfield said a Corrections officer at Springfield Corrections facility has tested positive for Covid-19 and 23 staff had contact with that person. All were isolating. About 120 people in the Waikato facility were in contact with the person and they had been separated now, he said. Inmates were [...]

August 31st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

China urges nations to ‘actively guide’ Taliban government

US should work with international community to help Afghanistan run government functions, Wang Yi says Wang Yi: ‘If the US side also hopes to bring bilateral relations back on the right track, it should stop blindly smearing and attacking China.’ Photograph: Tingshu Wang/Reuters   China’s top diplomat has urged the international community to engage with Afghanistan’s new Taliban government and “guide it actively”, in a phone call with the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, according to the Chinese foreign ministry. Wang Yi, Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, also said that Washington should work with the international community to help the new regime run governmental functions normally, according to a statement. He added that the US’s “hasty withdrawal” could allow terrorist groups to “regroup and come back stronger”. [...]

August 31st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

EU removes six countries including US from Covid safe travel list

Travellers from Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, and North Macedonia also affected by move Henri-Coanda international airport, in Otopeni, Romania. The EU’s ‘white list’ necessitates countries having fewer than 75 new cases daily for every 100,000 people over the previous 14 days. Photograph: Robert Ghement/EPA   The EU has removed six countries, including the US, from a Covid “white list” of places whose tourists should be permitted entry without restrictions such as mandatory quarantine. A majority of EU countries had reopened their borders to Americans in June, in the hope of salvaging the summer tourism season although most required a negative test ahead of travel. The move was not, however, reciprocated by the US. The EU’s white list necessitates having fewer than 75 new cases daily for every 100,000 people [...]

August 31st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Auckland remains in level 4 for 2 weeks, Northland likely to move to level 3 from midnight Thursday

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says if the country had not moved into lockdown, daily case numbers could have been around 550. Cabinet has confirmed all of New Zealand south of Auckland will move to level 3 from 11.59pm on Tuesday night. Ardern says this will be for at least a week, to be reviewed at Cabinet next week. Northland will likely join the rest of the country at alert level three from 11:59pm on Thursday, Ardern says. Cabinet has also confirmed Auckland will remain at alert level four until 14 September. Cabinet will consider next steps for the region on 13 September. Ardern says level 4 "is making a difference". "The job is not yet done and we do need to keep going." For Auckland and Northland, Ardern says [...]

August 31st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

New C.1.2 COVID variant may be highly transmissible, reduce vaccine protection — expert

The new coronavirus variant, C.1.2, could be more infectious and reduce vaccine protection, an expert said on Monday, Aug. 30. (JANSEN ROMERO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) In an interview with DZBB, infectious diseases and tropical medicine expert Dr. Rontgene Solante said the new variant has an implication that it might be highly transmissible. “Mayroon siyang mutation sa spike protein, kagaya noong nakita sa Alpha, Beta, at Gamma. Ibig sabihin mabilis kumakapit doon sa host cell… so ibig sabihin na may implication siya na puwede maging highly transmissible siya (It has mutation in its spike protein just like Alpha, Beta and Gamma. It means it sticks quickly to the host cell… so it means there is an implication that it might be highly transmissible),” he told DZBB. The [...]

August 31st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH’s Maya-3, Maya-4 cube satellites reach Int’l Space Station

The Philippines’ Maya-3 and Maya-4 cube satellites have been successfully delivered to the International Space Station (ISS) on Monday night, Aug. 30. Photo captured from NASA’s live stream   The country’s first Philippine university-built satellites were among the cargos that hitchhiked aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket that left Earth on Aug. 29. In a tweet, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said the SpaceX’s Cargo Dragon successfully docked at the ISS at 10:30 a.m. Eastern time (10:30 p.m. Manila time). “@SpaceX‘s Dragon spacecraft arrived at the @Space_Station, delivering over 4,800 pounds of @ISS_Research, equipment, supplies, and cargo to the crew,” it added. The Mayas were designed and developed by the first batch of scholars under the Space Technology and Applications Mastery, Innovation, and Advancement (STAMINA4Space) Program’s Space Science [...]

August 31st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

US military completes withdrawal from Afghanistan

A US Airforce aircraft takes off from the airport of Kabul on August 30, 2021 (Photo: AFP/Aamir Quereshi)   KABUL: The US military has completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan to end a brutal 20-year war - one that started and ended with the hardline Taliban in power, despite billions of dollars spent trying to rebuild the conflict-wracked country. Celebratory gunfire rang out in Kabul in the early hours of Tuesday (Aug 31), and elated senior Taliban officials hailed the event as a watershed moment. The withdrawal came after the fraught final days of a frantic mission to evacuate tens of thousands of Americans and Afghans who had helped the US-led war effort - and which left scores of Afghans and 13 US troops dead in a suicide attack last week. [...]

August 31st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH records highest single day COVID-19 case tally at 19,441; death toll surpass 33K

(MANILA BULLETIN / FILE PHOTO)   The Philippines saw another record for the number of new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in a single day as the Department of Health (DOH) reported 19,441 new infections on Saturday, Aug. 28. This latest count beat the previous highest daily count last Aug. 23 with 18,332 cases then. Active COVID-19 cases in the country stood at 142,679, the DOH said. Of these cases, 95.5 percent were mild, 1.8 percent were without symptoms, 0.6 percent were in critical condition, 1.1 percent were severe, and 0.99 percent were in moderate condition. The DOH previously reported that most of the new cases were found in the National Capital Region (NCR), Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal,Quezon), and Central Visayas. The Philippines cumulative tally of confirmed cases already [...]

August 29th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

NSW announces six deaths, new case total of 1218

New South Wales has recorded 1218 Covid-19 cases and six deaths in its update today. It's the largest number ever recorded by an Australian jurisdiction in a 24-hour period. A health worker collects a swab sample to test for Covid-19 at a drive through testing site in Sydney earlier this month. Photo: AFP   "To 8pm last night, there were 1218 cases of community transmission, and we extend our deepest condolences to six families of loved ones who died of Covid," NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said at a press conference in Sydney. Gladys Berejiklian Photo: AFP "Three people in their 80s, three people in their 70s, four of them were unvaccinated and two of them had only had one dose of the vaccine. "So again, we extend our deepest [...]

August 29th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 update: 83 new community cases reported in New Zealand

There have been 83 new community cases of Covid-19 reported in New Zealand today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield leaving after the Covid-19 response and vaccine update at Parliament Photo: Pool / NZME   Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says 82 of the new cases are in Auckland, with one new case in Wellington. The Wellington case is a close contact of an existing case, and was in isolation with no exposure in the community while infectious. Dr Bloomfield and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern have held a media briefing on the latest developments in the government's fight against the Covid-19 Delta outbreak. Watch the briefing here: Dr Bloomfield said 34 people are now in New Zealand hospitals with the coronavirus, including [...]

August 29th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Afghanistan drone strike targeted Islamic State ‘planner’ in car, US says

US says there were no known civilian casualties but community elder claims women and children among victims   US armed forces personnel at an evacuation control checkpoint at Hamid Karzai international airport.Photograph: US Marines/Reuters   The US drone strike in Afghanistan targeted two “planners and facilitators” from the Islamic State’s local affiliate who was travelling in a car near the eastern city of Jalalabad, US official sources said on Saturday. The strike came two days after Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing outside Kabul airport, as western forces running the airlift braced for more attacks. The US president, Joe Biden, has promised to hunt down those responsible, striking in a place and time of his choosing. In a statement last night, Biden promised further [...]

August 29th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Chinese university appears to ask for lists of LGBTQ+ students for ‘investigation’

Survey by Shanghai University that asked colleges to research the political stance and ‘state of mind’ of members of LGBTQ+ communities has sparked alarm China authorities have a worsening intolerance for gender and sexual minority groups, particularly those engaged in activism. Photograph: How Hwee Young/EPA A well-known Chinese university appears to have asked its colleges to make lists of their LGBTQ+ students and report on their “state of mind”, according to a purported internal directive published online on both Chinese and foreign social media platforms. Shanghai University has not confirmed the request or responded to queries about its intention, but it has sparked alarm among young Chinese people, coming after a crackdown on campus groups and organisations supporting LGBTQ+ and feminist communities. The “Campus Survey”, citing “relevant requirements”, asked [...]

August 29th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Final British troops leave Afghanistan to end 20-year campaign

Last civilian flight left earlier, with 14,000 people evacuated from Afghanistan in past fortnight UK has not forgotten those who still need to leave Afghanistan, says ambassador – video   The final UK flight carrying troops and diplomatic personnel has left Kabul airport, bringing to an end Britain’s 20-year campaign in Afghanistan. The last evacuation flight left earlier on Saturday. About 14,000 people were airlifted out of Afghanistan by British forces in less than two weeks, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed. The prime minister, Boris Johnson, said now was a time to reflect on the UK’s mission in Afghanistan. “Twenty years ago, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the first British soldier set foot on Afghan soil aiming to create a brighter future for the country and all [...]

August 29th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Two arrested after alleged car thefts, property damage

Two youths have been taken into custody after an early morning crime spree across Christchurch. The youths were spotted in Rolleston near Christchurch but failed to stop for police. Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon   Police say two cars were stolen before 6am today. The first was taken from the Hoon Hay area, before it was ditched, and a second car taken. The police were then called to an attempted burglary in Rolleston, south of the city. Although the offenders fled the scene, they returned and allegedly used the car to damage property. Just before 7am, the car was spotted by police on Rolleston Drive, but it failed to stop. It eventually came to a stop almost 30 kilometres away. The youths were taken into custody and the stolen [...]

August 29th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 outbreak: 20,000 contacts identified

More than 20,000 contacts in the Auckland outbreak have now been identified, Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield has confirmed. Dr Bloomfield said more than 12,000 of them have been contacted, and 62 percent have returned a test result. He says there will be more than 1200 contact tracers in call centres around the country over the next few days. Dr Bloomfield and Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins are now providing an update in regards to the current outbreak. Watch the update here: There were 62 new cases of Covid-19 in the community reported in New Zealand in the past 24 hours. A record 80,000 New Zealanders got a vaccine yesterday, while testing numbers also reached a record high - nearly 50,000 across the country. "Every test that is [...]

August 25th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Duterte: I will run for vice president

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday night declared that he would run for vice president in Eleksyon 2022. "Gusto talaga ninyo? Oh, sige, tatakbo ako ng bise presidente. Then I will continue the crusade. I'm worried about the drugs, insurgency, and criminality," Duterte said in his weekly public address. "I may not have the power to give direction or guidance but I can always express my views in public for whatever it may be worth in the coming days," he added. Earlier in the day, the PDP-Laban faction headed by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said Duterte agreed to run for vice president "[a]fter being presented with popular calls from PDP Laban regional, provincial, and down to barangay councils aspiring for a transition of leadership that will guarantee continuity of the [...]

August 25th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19: Nearly 1000 new community cases in Australia’s worst day of pandemic

Nearly 1000 new cases of Covid-19 have been found in Australia as outbreaks in Sydney and Melbourne worsen. Health authorities in New South Wales on Wednesday announced 919 new locally acquired cases, marking Australia’s highest total since the coronavirus pandemic began. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian also confirmed two deaths, including a woman in her 30s and a man in his 80s. LISA MAREE WILLIAMS/GETTY IMAGES Police are seen patrolling Victoria Park in Sydney, Australia. NSW has reported more than 800 new local cases each day since Sunday. Meanwhile, the state of Victoria announced 45 new Covid-19 cases as the spread continued in Melbourne. The new cases announced on Wednesday take the state’s total number of active coronavirus cases to 538. Health authorities worry Victoria is on course to fall [...]

August 25th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Vaccination saline error: Parties demand transparency from government

The government must explain to New Zealanders what it knows, what it doesn't, and what it will do after people were potentially given saline instead of a vaccine, opposition parties say. National Party Covid-19 Response spokesperson Chris Bishop says the biggest worry is that the Ministry of Health does not appear to know who the five people are that may be affected. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone     RNZ understands an investigation has begun after staff at the Highbrook vaccination centre last month realised there was an extra vial left over at the end of a day of 732 vaccinations. It indicates people may have been given saline - a salt water solution - instead. Vaccinologist Helen Petousis-Harris, a member of the government's Covid-19 immunisation implementation advisory group, [...]

August 25th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Taliban could close Kabul airport if allies delay exit, says Wallace

The Taliban could use armed force to close Kabul airport if the US and its allies try to extend the 31 August deadline for the evacuation from Afghanistan, the UK defence secretary, Ben Wallace, has said. Speaking a few hours before the start of a virtual G7 leaders’ summit chaired by Boris Johnson, Wallace confirmed Britain would still like the deadline to be extended to allow more time for British nationals and Afghans who have worked with the military during the past 20 years to be flown out. But, in a series of media interviews, Wallace said extending the rescue operation into September was “unlikely” because of Joe Biden’s desire to stick to the 31 August deadline and the Taliban’s strong opposition to revising the timetable. In an interview [...]

August 25th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Biden rejects allies’ pleas to keep troops in Afghanistan beyond end of August

Joe Biden has rejected the pleas of domestic and international allies to keep troops in Afghanistan for evacuation efforts beyond the end of the month, citing the growing threat of a terrorist attack. In a move likely to fuel criticism that America is abandoning Afghan partners to the Taliban, the US president made clear that he is resolved to withdraw forces from Kabul airport by next Tuesday’s deadline. “We are currently on a pace to finish by August the 31st,” Biden said at the White House on Tuesday. “The sooner we can finish, the better. Each day of operations brings added risk to our troops.” The president acknowledged that completing the airlift – one of the biggest in history – by 31 August depends on the Taliban continuing to [...]

August 25th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19: Contact tracing system under pressure as outbreak grows

Auckland health authorities are urgently recruiting more contact tracers as the national system hits capacity just five days into the outbreak. Some laboratories have gone from processing hundreds of tests a day to thousands Photo: AFP   The tracers are vital to the Covid-19 response because they get people who have been in contact with the virus isolated before they can infect others. Laboratories, testing sites and vaccination centres are also straining at the seams as the health system struggles to keep pace with the Delta incursion. Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the country's contact tracing system was working at 100 percent, with its Covid surge plan in full use. Auckland, home to the vast majority of the 8667 contacts identified so far, is now looking [...]

August 23rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘Habagat’ to bring scattered rain showers, thunderstorms over western PH

(PAGASA)   PHILIPPINES— The southwest monsoon or “habagat” will bring cloudy weather and some rain showers over the western section of the country, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said on Monday, Aug. 23. Rain showers are expected over Palawan, Occidental Mindoro, Aklan, Antique, Iloilo, Guimaras, Negros Occidental, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi. Meanwhile, Metro Manila and the rest of the country will have partly cloudy to cloudy conditions with isolated rain showers due to localized thunderstorms. PAGASA warned the public against flash floods or landslides that may occur during severe thunderstorms, which are often associated with short-lived heavy rain, lightning, thunder, gusty winds, and sometimes hail. Weather specialist Loriedin dela Cruz said PAGASA has not monitored a weather [...]

August 23rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

32 Filipinos still in Afghanistan, 22 await repatriation, DFA says

Screengrab image of chaos in evacuation site near Kabul Airport that leaves seven people dead. From Agence France-Presse tweet accessed on August 22, 2021.   An estimated 32 Filipinos are still in Afghanistan, majority of whom have requested for repatriation, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported Sunday. According to the DFA Situation Bulletin released Sunday afternoon, out of the 32 Filipinos in Afghanistan, there were 22 who requested company or government repatriation after the Taliban forces took control of capital Kabul. advertisement There were  eight who do not wish to be repatriated at this time, even as the country was placed under Alert Level 4 — the highest security warning given by the government — on August 15. Under Alert Level 4, the Philippine government undertakes mandatory evacuation [...]

August 23rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Delta outbreak investigations done by physicians throughout NZ – Verrall

High-risk contact tracing is being managed by doctors and nurses around the country, Associate Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall says, as more tracers are recruited for Auckland. Associate Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone   RNZ has reported the contact tracing system has hit capacity and Auckland health authorities are recruiting more staff to do the vital work while laboratories, testing sites and vaccination centres are also straining at the seams. Associate Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall said the system with this outbreak is to call everyone a close contact, and there is a wide range of different risk within that. Many cases just need daily calls, and more people are being recruited to help with that part of the work, she said. "Rest assured [...]

August 23rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Taliban searching for people who worked for NZ, interpreter says

An interpreter who worked for the New Zealand Defence Force in Afghanistan says time to leave is running out, with reports of the Taliban going door-to-door looking for those who worked with the government. Newly absorbed personnel in the Afghan security forces take part in a military training in Bandejoy area of Dara district in Panjshir province on August 21, 2021, days after the Taliban took over Afghanistan. Photo: AFP   Basir Ahmad is in hiding in Kabul. He and 34 others from the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) have been promised a flight out. They were becoming increasingly anxious over how that would actually happen, he said. "Each person calls me 10 or 20 times each day asking for that information and I don't have it. They say how [...]

August 23rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Philippine new COVID-19 cases may exceed 20K daily —UP team

Checkpoint in Pasay City during NCR ECQ on August 6, 2021 (DANNY PATA)   New coronavirus cases in the Philippines may surpass 20,000 daily if government interventions to avert the further spread of the highly infectious Delta variant fail, an official of the University of the Philippines COVID-19 response team said Sunday. Dr. Jomar Rabajante, spokesman for the UP team, said their projections were based on the continued spike in COVID-19 cases all over the country, with more than 16,000 on Saturday and the highest ever tally at 17,231 the day before. "Inaasahan natin na sa mga susunod na araw, posible pang tumaas, umabot ng more than 20,000" (Daily cases could possibly reach more than 20,000 in the coming days), Rabajante said over Dobol B TV. Also, Rabajante said that [...]

August 22nd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Trump stages Alabama rally as state struggles with Covid surge

Ex-president backs Mo Brooks, who is running for Senate and sympathised with man who threatened to blow up US Capitol Donald Trump arrives at a rally in Sarasota, Florida, in July. Photograph: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images Donald Trump was due to stage a rally in Alabama on Saturday night, in a city that has declared a Covid emergency and in support of a congressman who both backed Trump’s attempt to overturn the election and this week sympathised with a man who threatened to blow up the US Capitol. The former president will speak in Cullman, Alabama, in part in support of Mo Brooks’ bid to swap his place in the US House for a Senate seat. Like other southern, Republican-run states, Alabama is struggling with a surge in cases [...]

August 22nd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 update: 21 new community cases reported in New Zealand today

There have been 21 new community cases of Covid-19 reported in New Zealand today - 20 in Auckland and one in Wellington. Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield and Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins have given the latest Covid-19 update this afternoon. There were also three new cases in managed isolation. Dr Bloomfield said there were now a total of 72 cases associated with the Auckland outbreak. The Wellington case was first reported yesterday but is included in the national tally today. There are now six confirmed cases in Wellington Dr Bloomfield said there are 8677 contacts that have been formally identified and virtually all of those are considered 'close contacts'. "The number of contacts has increased significantly, something we had expected as we identify more cases and locations of [...]

August 22nd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Israeli aircraft strike Hamas sites in Gaza as hostilities escalate

Cross-border gunfire earlier on Saturday seriously injured an Israeli soldier and wounded 41 Palestinians Palestinian protesters evacuate an injured youth on a stretcher amid the clashes with Israeli security forces.Photograph: APAImages/Rex/Shutterstock Israeli aircraft struck Hamas sites in Gaza late on Saturday, the military said, in an escalation of hostilities after earlier cross-border gunfire seriously injured an Israeli soldier and wounded 41 Palestinians, including two critically. The injuries came during a Gaza protest organised by the enclave’s Islamist rulers, Hamas, and other factions in support of Jerusalem, where Palestinian clashes with Israeli police helped spark an 11-day Israel-Hamas conflict in May. Hundreds of Palestinians gathered near the strip’s heavily fortified border, where some tried to scale the border fence and others threw explosives towards Israeli troops, the Israeli military said. [...]

August 22nd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Morrison defends Afghanistan withdrawal as ADF evacuates 300 more on four flights

Prime minister says Australia had no choice but to leave as presence ‘entirely conditional’ on US Australian citizens and visa holders on board an air force flight departing from Kabul. A further 300 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan. Photograph: SGT Glen McCarthy/Department of Defence The prime minister, Scott Morrison, has defended Australia’s withdrawal from Afghanistan and its evacuation of citizens and visa holders, saying Australia was left with no choice once the United States made its decision to leave. The Australian Defence Force evacuated another 300 people on four flights overnight, including Australian citizens, and Afghan visa holders for Australia, the UK, the US and New Zealand. But Morrison did not match a guarantee given by Joe Biden to citizens that they would all be safely evacuated, saying [...]

August 22nd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Singapore, US relations have always been ‘on track’, says Vivian Balakrishnan

Singapore Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan at an interview with CNA. (Photo: Marcus Marc Ramos)   SINGAPORE: The relationship between Singapore and the United States has always been “on track”, said Singapore Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan ahead of US Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to Southeast Asia. “I think it's worth emphasising the point that through successive administrations, both Democrats and Republicans, we've actually had excellent relations with them,” said Dr Balakrishnan in an interview airing on CNA on Sunday (Aug 22). He said that there has been a “steady tempo of meetings and interactions” through the administrations of presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, including state visits and the Trump-Kim Summit in 2018, but the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted such interactions. “To be honest with you, diplomacy does need [...]

August 22nd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus Delta outbreak: Ashley Bloomfield gets vaccine jab

Director general of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield received his first dose of Covid-19 vaccine this morning. Bloomfield said afterwards he was "feeling great, actually". "It's really nice to have got to this point," Bloomfield said. Bloomfield received his jab at Wellington's Pipitea Marae, which had only just been stood up as a vaccination centre to cater for increased demand for jabs and greater social distancing. He said he had not received Sunday's latest case numbers, which will be announced at 1pm. Bloomfield acknowledged there was increased demand on the system. "Last Sunday if you were booking your vaccination there were a lot of slots - that's not the case now. "One of the things we've seen of course with the outbreak is huge interest in people getting their vaccination [...]

August 22nd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Country’s largest drive through vaccination centre set up at airport

A drive through vaccination centre will open today in Auckland to make up for appointments pushed out due to the alert level 4 lockdown. US health workers prepare to vaccinate a motorist at a drive through event in Deltona, Florida earlier this year. Photo: AFP   The centre, set up at the park and ride site at Auckland Airport, will be open for a week. Matt Hannant from the Northern Region Health Co-ordination Centre said the spots were by invitation only and would prioritise those who missed their appointment as well as including some essential workers. "You're going to drive into the site, a few screening questions, get you registered and then there's a series of vaccination tents in the carpark - pop up to one of those, quick [...]

August 22nd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Positive Covid-19 case among staff at Pukekohe High School

A staff member at Pukekohe High School has tested positive for Covid-19. Photo: Pukekohe High School   An email, seen by RNZ, was emailed to students' families on Saturday. Seven Auckland schools now have a positive Covid-19 case linked to them. The Catholic girls' secondary school McAuley High School in Ōtāhuhu and Catholic boys' secondary school De La Salle College in Māngere have each confirmed that one of their students has tested positive. Avondale College, Northcote College and Lynfield College have one case each as well. Meanwhile, another positive case has been found linked to Western Springs College/Ngā Puna o Waiōrea in Central Auckland. In an email read by RNZ, parents were notified on Saturday evening that a student at the College had tested positive for Covid-19. The student [...]

August 22nd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

163 new COVID-19 cases drive up total cases at PNP to 33,184

The total confirmed COVID-19 cases at the Philippine National Police went up to 33,184 on Saturday after 163 new infections were reported, data from the PNP Health Service showed. Recoveries went up to 31,317 after 152 new cases recovered. Active cases totalled 1,768 while the death toll remained at 99, same as on Friday. The Philippines on Friday logged a new all-time high 17,231 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the nationwide tally to 1,807,800. The country’s active cases climbed to 123,251, the highest since April 20. The Department of Health also announced that total recoveries climbed to 1,653,351 after 5,595 more patients recovered from the illness. Meanwhile, 317 new fatalities brought the death toll to 31,198. —KG, GMA News

August 21st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Delta variant community transmission present in the country —Philippine Genome Center

The Philippine Genome Center (PGC) on Saturday said there is already a community transmission of the Delta variant of the coronavirus in the country. "Para sa amin sa Philippine Genome Center, mayroon ng community transmission ng Delta variant sa bansa. Marami nang kaso na hindi alam kung saan nagmula," PGC Executive Director Dr. Cynthia Saloma said in an interview on Dobol B TV. (For us at the Philippine Genome Center, there is community transmission of the Delta variant in the country. The source of the transmission of a lot of the cases could no longer be traced.) "Sa aking palagay, may kinalaman ang Delta variant sa pagtaas ng mga kaso ng COVID-19," she added. (In my opinion, the Delta variant is a factor in the increase of COVID-19 cases.) [...]

August 21st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

UK government makes U-turn on Afghan embassy guards

All of the 125-member security team will now be given the right to enter the UK Afghans board a military plane at the Hamid Karzai international airport in Kabul. Photograph: Spain Ministry Of Defence/Reuters The government has made a dramatic U-turn on its refusal to offer support to a team of 125 Afghan guards who protected the British embassy in Kabul, and has promised they will all be granted the right to enter the UK. The decision followed growing criticism of the government’s rejection of applications for help for all the Afghan national members of the embassy security team, because they had been hired through an outsourced contractor. The Guardian reported on Thursday that most of the 125-member security team had been informed they were ineligible for the UK’s [...]

August 21st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Long waiting times for Healthline despite 300 staff taking calls

Healthline has brought on more than 300 extra staff over the last few days, in response to the huge increase in calls. Some people have had to wait 50 minutes to speak to someone. Photo: freestocks / Unsplash But people are still reporting lengthy wait times as they try to get advice about covid-19. Whakarongorau Aotearoa runs the Covid-19 healthline services. Chief executive Andrew Slater said Thursday was Healthline's busiest day on record, with almost 33,000 calls across the various services. The Covid-19 vaccination helpline is answering about 1700 calls an hour. As at 4pm Friday, there were over 900 staff taking calls. "We continue to activate our surge plans and increase our resources across the Covid-19 Healthline services. For example, in the last three days we have bought [...]

August 21st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Australia’s Victoria reports 61 local COVID-19 cases

FILE PHOTO: A lone man wearing a protective face mask sits at an unusually quiet State Library as the state of Victoria looks to curb the spread of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Melbourne, Australia, July 16, 2021. REUTERS/Sandra Sanders MELBOURNE: Australia's second most populous state Victoria reported 61 new locally acquired coronavirus cases in the 24-hour period to Friday (Aug 20) evening, health officials said on Saturday. There were an additional 16 local cases that were recorded on a rapid testing platform and will be reported in Sunday's numbers, officials said. Melbourne, home to five million people, entered into its sixth lockdown since on Aug 5, just weeks after exiting the last one, to quell an outbreak of the highly transmissible Delta variant.

August 21st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Ismail Sabri Yaakob is Malaysia’s next prime minister: Palace statement

Ismail Sabri Yaakob waves to media as he leave after meeting with the King at national palace in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Aug 19, 2021. (Photo: AP/FL Wong)   KUALA LUMPUR: Mr Ismail Sabri Yaakob will be the next prime minister of Malaysia, the palace said on Friday (Aug 20), following several days of political uncertainty. Comptroller of the Royal Family and Household Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin, in a statement said that as 114 lawmakers have nominated Mr Ismail Sabri as their candidate for prime minister, the majority is sufficient to form a new government. “With that and in line with Article 40(2)(a) and 43(2)(a) of the Federal Constitution, His Majesty has consented to appoint Ismail Sabri Yaakob (Bera MP) as the ninth prime minister of Malaysia," the statement read. [...]

August 21st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Coronavirus: Latest on COVID-19 community outbreak – Saturday, August 21

New Zealand is currently at alert level 4 nationwide, until at least 11:59pm Tuesday. Experts generally expect it to be lengthened - particularly in Auckland, where most of the cases are. More cases were reported late on Friday - one each at the University of Auckland, De la Salle College and McAuley High School. Earlier that day, 11 new community cases of COVID-19 were announced by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Friday, three of them in Wellington. The official total - not including the cases reported later on Friday - is 31, 19 confirmed as linked to the cluster. The rest are under investigation, but there are "plausible" links in most cases. Finance Minister Grant Robertson told Newshub Nation we should expect more cases today and "things will get worse before [...]

August 21st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Coronavirus: Latest on COVID-19 from around the world overnight – Saturday, August 21

Here's the latest on the pandemic from around the world overnight. Americas United States The US Transportation Security Administration on Friday extended its requirements that people wear face masks on planes, buses and trains, as well as in airports, through January 18. Jamaica Jamaica will prohibit residents from leaving their homes for seven days spread over three weekends to contain an upsurge in coronavirus infections and shield its healthcare system, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said.   Asia-Pacific Nations from Australia to Vietnam announced more drastic curbs and longer lockdowns for citizens on Friday, as authorities struggle to rein in outbreaks of the highly infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus. Australia In Sydney, 2 million residents, or roughly 40 percent of its population, face curfew from 9pm to 5am next [...]

August 21st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19: Two Auckland schools confirm students test positive

Two South Auckland secondary schools have confirmed that one of their students has tested positive for Covid-19. Two students, one at De La Salle College and one at McAuley High School, have tested positive to Covid-19. Photo: Google Maps   Catholic girls' secondary school McAuley High School in Ōtāhuhu, and Catholic boys' secondary school De La Salle College in Māngere both have students who have tested positive for Covid-19 and were at school when infectious on 17 August. All staff and students of both schools are now considered close contacts and must stay in isolation at home for 14 days. They are being told they must isolate for the full 14 days even if New Zealand moves out of alert level 4. De La Salle College principal Myles Hogarty [...]

August 21st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Biden to ‘mobilize every resource’ to get Americans home from Afghanistan

Embattled president promises: ‘We will get you home’ Biden endeavors to evacuate Afghans who supported US Joe Biden at the White House on Friday. He said: ‘Let me be clear. Any American who wants to come home, we will get you home.’ Photograph: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/Rex/Shutterstock   Joe Biden, under mounting pressure to evacuate American citizens from Afghanistan, has said the US is considering “every means” to get people to Kabul airport, promising: “We will get you home.” The embattled president again defended his decision to end the 20-year intervention by withdrawing US forces, which resulted in the Afghan government’s total capitulation to the Taliban, and denied that it hurt Washington’s standing with allies. Media reports from Kabul have described outbursts of chaos and violence in which Taliban [...]

August 20th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Afghanistan reports of torture and killing contradict Taliban’s promises

Fighters tortured Hazara men to death, say witnesses, and relative of journalist killed Afghans gather on a roadside near the military part of Kabul airport hoping to flee the country after the Taliban’s takeover. Photograph: Wakil Kohsar/AFP/Getty Images Evidence of Taliban killings, detentions and intimidation is emerging across Afghanistan, ominously contradicting the hardline Islamist group’s promise earlier this week not to take revenge against its opponents. With reports of the Taliban going door to door searching for people who worked with the former Afghan government or western countries, claims have also emerged of Taliban fighters torturing and killing members of an ethnic minority in Afghanistan after overrunning their village last month. Amnesty International said its researchers had spoken to witnesses in Ghazni province who recounted how the Taliban killed [...]

August 20th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Biden says he did not see a way to withdraw from Afghanistan without ‘chaos ensuing’

In an exclusive ABC News interview, Biden opens up on his decision to withdraw. EXCLUSIVE: Biden remarks on Afghanistan exit President Joe Biden told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that he does not know how he could have prevented chaos while withdrawing American troops from Afghanistan. In an exclusive interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, and the president's first since the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, President Joe Biden stood firm in his defense of the United States' withdrawal, but asserted for the first time that he believes the chaos was unavoidable. "So you don't think this could have been handled -- this exit could have been handled better in any way, no mistakes?" Stephanopoulos asked Biden. "No, I don't think it could have been handled in a way [...]

August 19th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

DOST eyes PH Ivermectin clinical trials to begin in September

PHILIPPINES— The clinical trials on the use of Ivermectin as a treatment for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) will begin next month, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said on Wednesday, Aug. 18. (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)   DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña said the eight month-long study could be expected by September. “It has yet to start in September,” he told the Manila Bulletin in a Viber message. The project was initially eyed to be implemented by the first week of June this year to January 2022. It is expected to be conducted by a research team from the University of the Philippines (UP) Manila- Philippine General Hospital (PGH), led by Dr. Aileen Wang. The study aims to provide data on the efficacy, safety, and effect [...]

August 19th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Over 365,000 doses of government-bought Pfizer vaccine arrive in Philippines

PHILIPPINES— A total of 365,040 doses of the Pfizer vaccine have arrived in the Philippines. According to the National Task Force Against COVID-19, a total of 313,560 vaccines doses landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 at around 8 p.m. The NTF said the 51,480 of the 365,040 doses earlier arrived in Cebu past 6 p.m. Of the total count, 51,480 doses will be flown to Davao from NAIA on Thursday morning. The vaccines, procured by the Philippine government, were welcomed by vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. and United States Chargé d’Affaires John Law. “‘Yung karamihan dito ‘yung bibigyan natin are those areas na hindi pa nabibigyan ng Pfizer. We are trying to roll out to them,” Galvez said in a press conference. (Most of these [...]

August 19th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

WHO condemns rush by wealthy nations to give Covid vaccine booster

Move likened to handing out lifejackets to those who already have them while letting others drown Millions of people around the world haven’t received a first Covid-19 vaccine. Photograph: Léo Corrêa/AP     “We’re planning to hand out extra lifejackets to people who already have lifejackets, while we’re leaving other people to drown without a single lifejacket,” said Dr Mike Ryan, the director of the WHO’s health emergency programme. “The fundamental, ethical reality is we’re handing out second lifejackets while leaving millions and millions of people without anything to protect them.” Earlier this month, the WHO called for a moratorium on Covid vaccine booster shots to help ease the drastic inequity in dose distribution between wealthy and poor countries. That has not stopped a number of countries moving forward [...]

August 19th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Chinese president vows to ‘adjust excessive incomes’ of super rich

Chinese Communist party to crack down on almost weekly creation of billionaire company bosses Xi Jinping told officials that the government should ‘regulate excessively high incomes’. Photograph: Xinhua/Rex/Shutterstock   China’s president has vowed to “adjust excessive incomes” in a warning to the country’s super-rich that the state plans to redistribute wealth to tackle widening inequality. According to reports in state media, Xi Jinping told officials at a meeting of the Chinese Communist party’s central financial and economic affairs commission on Tuesday, that the government should “regulate excessively high incomes and encourage high-income groups and enterprises to return more to society”. The commission said it would pursue its “common prosperity agenda”, which has become the main focus of China’s policymaking after reports of discontent within the party’s central committee over [...]

August 19th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Watch live: Covid-19 outbreak linked to Australian case taken to Middlemore Hospital

The current cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand have been linked to an Australian case who was taken to Middlemore Hospital earlier this week. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield are providing a Covid-19 update on day two of the nationwide lockdown. Ardern said the current positive cases have been linked via genome sequencing to a traveller who arrived from NSW on a managed red zone flight. That person returned a positive day one test on 9 August and was transferred to Middlemore Hospital on 16 August. Watch the live update here: She said the period in which cases were in the community was relatively short, but new information could change this conclusion. Ardern said primary lines of investigation are staff at the Crown [...]

August 19th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 update: 11 new community cases today

There are 11 new cases of Covid-19 in the community today, Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield says. There are 11 new cases of Covid-19 in the community today, Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield says. Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone This afternoon, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said genome sequencing shows the Auckland outbreak is linked to a person who travelled to New Zealand from NSW on a managed red zone flight. That person returned a positive day one test on 9 August and was transferred to Middlemore Hospital on 16 August, she said. Officials are now investigating staff at the Crown Plaza MIQ facility and Jet Park quarantine hotel. They do not believe the virus slipped into the community via Middlemore Hospital. Meanwhile, new locations [...]

August 19th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 NZ: How the coronavirus cases in Auckland’s Delta variant outbreak are connected

It’s been reported around the world: New Zealand went into lockdown after a single case of Covid-19 in Auckland. But as case numbers climb, and with fewer than 1 million Kiwis fully vaccinated, experts are convinced it was the right decision. On Tuesday afternoon, the Ministry of Health said officials were investigating a new case of Covid-19 in the community, dubbed Case A. That evening, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a nationwide alert level 4 lockdown for at least three days from midnight. Auckland and the Coromandel, where the infected person recently visited, would be in lockdown for seven days. Overnight, the ministry confirmed the first case detected – a 58-year-old tradesman who lives in Devonport, on Auckland’s North Shore – had been infected with the Delta variant of [...]

August 19th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

IMF suspends Afghanistan’s access to funds

GETTY IMAGES Afghan people line up outside AZIZI Bank to take out cash as the bank suffers amid money crises in Kabul   The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said Afghanistan will no longer be able to access the lender's resources. The move follows the Taliban's takeover of the country last weekend. An IMF spokesperson said it was due to "lack of clarity within the international community" over recognising a government in Afghanistan. Resources of over $370m (£268m) from the IMF had been set to arrive on 23 August. These funds were part of a global IMF response to the economic crisis. Access to the IMF's reserves in Special Drawing Rights (SDR) assets, which can be converted to government-backed money, have also been blocked. SDRs are the IMF's unit of exchange [...]

August 19th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

UAE hosting Afghan ex-president Ashraf Ghani ‘on humanitarian grounds’

Afghan president Ashraf Ghani said he fled to avoid a "flood of bloodshed".PHOTO: REUTERS     ABU DHABI - The United Arab Emirates said on Wednesday (Aug 18) that it is hosting former Afghan president Ashraf Ghani "on humanitarian grounds", after he fled his country amid a Taleban takeover. Mr Ghani's whereabouts had been unknown after he fled Afghanistan at the weekend in the face of a sweeping advance by the Taleban. "The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation can confirm that the UAE has welcomed President Ashraf Ghani and his family into the country on humanitarian grounds," the ministry said in a brief statement. Mr Ghani left Afghanistan on Sunday as the Taleban closed in on Kabul, before the insurgents walked into the Afghan capital unopposed. [...]

August 19th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

US lawmakers to probe Biden administration over ‘horrifying’ Afghanistan withdrawal

Afghans gather outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport to flee the country on Aug 17, 2021.PHOTO: EPA-EFE   WASHINGTON— Members of the US Congress, including many of President Joe Biden's fellow Democrats, said on Tuesday (Aug 17) they were increasingly frustrated with events in Afghanistan, vowing to investigate what went wrong. "The events of recent days have been the culmination of a series of mistakes made by Republican and Democratic administrations over the past 20 years," Senator Bob Menendez, Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement. "We are now witnessing the horrifying result of many years of policy and intelligence failures," Mr Menendez said. Mr Menendez said his committee would hold a hearing on US policy toward Afghanistan, including negotiations between former Republican President [...]

August 18th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Afghanistan: Who’s who in the Taliban leadership

AFGHAN ISLAMIC PRESS Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada is a political and religious leader who is the third Supreme Commander of the Taliban   The Taliban took many by surprise as it swept across Afghanistan in just 10 days, quickly taking control of towns and cities. It is not yet known who will take charge of the new government. But what do we know about who is leading the Taliban today? 1. Hibatullah Akhundzada Hibatullah Akhundzada became the supreme commander of the Taliban in May 2016. In the 1980s, he participated in the Islamist resistance against the Soviet military campaign in Afghanistan, but his reputation is more that of a religious leader than a military commander. Akhundzada worked as head of the Sharia Courts in the 1990s. After first seizing power in [...]

August 18th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Photos: New Zealand wakes up to first day of the Covid-19 level 4 lockdown – again

Typically bustling streets were empty, traffic jams ceased to exist and only a handful of people could be seen out and about as the country entered day one of the level 4 lockdown. Auckland CBD's Queen Street. Photo: RNZ / Jordan Bond Auckland's CBD was unrecognisably subdued compared to the usual bustling activity on its streets with just a few buses and rubbish trucks making use of the near-empty roads. RNZ reporter Jordan Bond said there was barely anyone in the central city this morning. While standing on Queen street, he could see just three people, "This is far far quieter than the level 3 lockdowns," he said. Only rubbish trucks and buses can be seen on Queen Street in Auckland's CBD. Photo: RNZ/Jordan Bond   Meanwhile in the [...]

August 18th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

132 Filipinos await airlift from troubled Afghanistan as 35 arrive in PH

OUT OF KABUL As chaos swept the Afghan capital on Sunday following the Taliban’s advance, some 640 Afghans managed to make it inside a US Air Force transport aircraft that flew them to safety in Doha, Qatar. —REUTERS   MANILA, Philippines — Thirty-five Filipinos who were airlifted out of Afghanistan by the United States government and their employers have arrived in Manila, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Tuesday. The DFA said there were 132 other Filipinos still in Afghanistan waiting to be repatriated as the Taliban swiftly seized Kabul after US-led foreign military forces withdrew from the country after 20 years. The 35 Filipinos, not 32 as earlier reported, were flown by their respective companies from Afghanistan to Doha, Qatar, where they boarded the DFA-chartered plane [...]

August 18th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

China holds live-fire exercises near Taiwan in response to ‘provocations’

Army says warships, anti-submarine aircraft and fighter planes sent to the south-west and south-east of island A Chinese PLA J-16 fighter jet. The country’s military activity towards Taiwan has increased over the past year. Photograph: AP   China has launched live-fire air and sea exercises near Taiwan in response to what it called “external interference and provocations by Taiwan independence forces”. According to a statement from Col Shi Yi, the spokesperson of the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Eastern Theatre Command, warships, anti-submarine aircraft and fighter planes were dispatched to the south-west and south-east of Taiwan on Tuesday. In response, Taiwan’s defence ministry said: “The nation’s military has a full grasp and has made a full assessment of the situation in the Taiwan strait region, as well as related developments [...]

August 18th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Pacquiao son joined nat’l party to prepare for dad’s 2022 presidential bid –Matibag

PDP-Laban Secretary-General Melvin Matibag on Tuesday claimed that Senator Manny Pacquiao’s son, Jimuel, is currently active in a national political party to prepare for his father’s 2022 presidential bid.   PHILIPPINES— PDP-Laban Secretary-General Melvin Matibag on Tuesday claimed that Senator Manny Pacquiao’s son, Jimuel, is currently active in a national political party to prepare for his father’s 2022 presidential bid. In a virtual interview, Matibag said Jimuel Pacquiao is sitting as the Youth Affairs Committee chairman of the Labor Party of the Philippines. “We also got hold of a document learning that the son of Senator Manny Pacquiao is very active in one of the national political parties,” he said. “Mukhang there’s a plan sa group nila Senator Manny Pacquiao to put up a lot of national political parties [...]

August 18th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Bill legalizing absolute divorce gets nod of Lower House panel

PHILIPPINES— The bill legalizing absolute divorce in the country hurdled committee approval on Tuesday, August 17 and is headed for the second time for plenary delbierations in the House of Representatives.                      Divorce wedding   Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, one of the principal authors of the bill, said “no less than Speaker Lord Allan Velasco” is supportive of the enactment of the still unnumbered measure. The House Committee on Population and Family Relations chaired by Guimaras Rep. Ma. Lucille Nava approved the measure during a zoom meeting that was allegedly off-limits to the media. The committee-approved measure consolidated three separate legislative measures proposing absolute divorce as an alternative for the dissolution of marriage. A similar bill had been introduced for [...]

August 17th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Infra improvements boost e-commerce growth

MANILA – Infrastructure improvements are among the factors that will further boost electronic commerce (e-commerce) in the country, along with demographics and people’s ability to adapt to innovations. In a virtual briefing on Tuesday, Foxmont Capital Partners Managing Partner Franco Varona said while a lot of investors are focusing on Singapore for technology-related investments, the Philippines is starting to attract some of these businesses. He said Indonesia’s experience about a decade ago, when it dominated the Southeast Asian technology-related inflows, can also happen in the Philippines since the volume of funds that entered the former are now looking at other areas to be invested in. “So what does that actually mean for the Philippines? That actually means that the Singaporeans are sitting in Singapore with a lot of capital [...]

August 17th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Muhyiddin resignation: Some Malaysians weary of politicking, hope for improved COVID-19 response

An electronic shop staff wearing a face mask watches live broadcast of Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin speak at a shopping outlet in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, Aug 16, 2021. (AP Photo/FL Wong) KUALA LUMPUR: The resignation of Mr Muhyiddin Yassin as Malaysian prime minister this week has plunged the country into political uncertainty, with ordinary Malaysians weary of politicking and concerned that this would be an unnecessary distraction as COVID-19 rages. Those interviewed by CNA also claimed that the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government had underperformed in handling the pandemic. Mr Muhyiddin, 74, who stepped down on Monday (Aug 16), is currently Malaysia’s shortest-serving prime minister at just over 17 months. Throughout his tenure, he faced leadership challenges not just from the opposition parties, but also from an ally [...]

August 17th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19: Four new community cases include nurse at Auckland City Hospital

New Zealand has four new cases of Covid-19 in the community, all connected to the case discovered yesterday, which is confirmed as the highly transmissible Delta variant. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone   One of the new cases is a nurse at Auckland Hospital. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told RNZ's Morning Report the health worker was fully vaccinated "The health workforce are very well versed and mapping these issues and have done in the past. We have had Covid-positive cases in our health workforce before. What's different on this occasion is that we have this individual who is fully vaccinated." Ardern said the four new cases were the workmate of the 58-year-old Devonport man and the workmate's close or household contacts. "It confirms level 4 [...]

August 17th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 community case: Nationwide level 4 lockdown

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced an alert-level 4 lockdown starting at 11.59pm tonight for seven days in Auckland and Coromandel, and three days elsewhere. Ardern and Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield briefed media after a Cabinet meeting on the Covid-19 community case identified in Auckland today. Watch the media briefing here: Vaccinations have also been paused for 48 hours. The Ministry of Health announced about 2.30pm today a new case had been found in the community in Auckland, saying a link between the case and the border or managed isolation had not been established. Health officials had been interviewing the case so contacts could be traced and any locations of interest identified. This evening health officials released five locations of interest in the Coromandel, which has been published [...]

August 17th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

First Lambda infection a local case – DOH

THE pregnant woman who is the country's first case of the Lambda variant of Covid-19 never travelled abroad, an indication that she was infected by someone in her community, the Department of Health (DoH) said. Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said on Monday the 35-year-old patient came from a cluster of cases in Western Visayas. She tested positive for Covid-19 on July 22 and genome sequencing further revealed that she was infected with the Lambda variant, Vergeire said in a television interview. Vergeire said backtracing has begun to determine the patient's close contacts, which could be someone who had recently returned to the Philippines after travelling abroad. The World Health Organization classifies Lambda as a "variant of interest," meaning that further investigation is being done to determine just how [...]

August 17th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

New community case of Covid 19 in Auckland

Health officials are investigating a new community case of Covid 19 in Auckland. Photo: 123rf.com   In a statement released this afternoon, the Ministry of Health said further updates would be provided once additional information came to hand. The link between the case and the border or managed isolation is yet to be established. The Auckland Regional Public Health unit is now undertaking interviews with the case for contact tracing purposes. The statement urged Aucklanders to exercise social distancing and caution. "While we collect more specific information all New Zealanders are reminded of the basic public health measures of mask wearing and hand washing," it said. "In particular anyone in Auckland catching public transport this afternoon or who cannot socially distance in public spaces should wear a mask as [...]

August 17th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Afghanistan: striking image appears to show 640 people fleeing Kabul in packed US military plane

Image obtained by Defense One shows hundreds of Afghans inside US military cargo plane C-17 Globemaster III, flown from Afghanistan to Qatar on 15 August 2021, following the fall of the capital Kabul to the TalibanPhotograph: Courtesy of Defense One   Hundreds of people crammed into a US carrier in a desperate attempt to escape Kabul after Taliban forces took control of the capital An extraordinary image has emerged that appears to show hundreds of Afghans packed into a US military cargo plane, in a desperate attempt to flee Kabul after the fall of the capital to the Taliban. The picture obtained by US defence and security news site Defense One is believed to show 640 people crammed into a C-17 Globemaster III, among the highest number of people [...]

August 17th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Body of newborn baby found at Auckland recycling facility

LAWRENCE SMITH/STUFF The body of a newborn baby was discovered at Visy Recycling’s material recovery facility in Onehunga, Auckland.     The body of a newborn baby has been found at an Auckland recycling facility. Police are “extremely concerned” for the wellbeing of the baby's mother, who may need urgent medical attention. Officers were called to Visy Recycling in Onehunga on Monday night and are currently carrying out a scene examination. Auckland City Police Detective Inspector Scott Beard said numerous enquiries are underway, and the priority is to identify and locate the mother. Police have checked with hospitals, and continue to work closely with them, he said. The baby's death was referred to the coroner's office on Monday, and a post-mortem examination for the baby will be carried out [...]

August 17th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

New Zealand to trial new Covid-19 vaccine

New Zealand has been chosen to be part of a late-stage trial for a new European Covid-19 vaccine. New Zealanders can currently access the Pfizer vaccine. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone   The VLA2001 vaccine, created by French biotech company Valneva, has already been trialled on approximately 4000 volunteers in Europe. The company is now looking for 300 adults across New Zealand. The participants must be older than 56 and not have previously had Covid-19 or received a Covid-19 vaccine. Director of Southern Clinical Trials Christchurch Dr. Simon Carson is the lead coordinating investigator for the New Zealand trial. He said New Zealand's low case numbers and slower vaccine rollout is a large part of the reason for the trials being conducted here. "The trial began in the UK [...]

August 17th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Afghanistan: PM says situation is ‘distressing’, focus is on bringing NZers home

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she has spoken with families in Afghanistan and the immediate focus is on bringing New Zealanders, those at risk, and their immediate families to New Zealand. Watch the PM speaking here:   Afghanistan has been in global headlines after US and other western forces pulled out of the country, leaving the Taliban to retake control of the country. Yesterday, Ardern announced New Zealand would try to bring New Zealanders and those who helped New Zealand's forces in Afghanistan to leave the country, sending a C-130 Hercules aircraft to assist in evacuations. Today, Ardern says the New Zealand Defence Force is working alongside other countries and partners, and is talking about deploying a significant number of personnel to secure landing sites. "Certainly I am aware [...]

August 17th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Muhyiddin Yassin’s 17 months in office marked by COVID-19 and dissent within ruling coalition

File photo of Muhyiddin Yassin speaking in parliament. (Photo: Malaysia's Department of Information)   KUALA LUMPUR: Mr Muhyiddin Yassin stepped down as Malaysia’s eighth prime minister on Monday (Aug 16). He is the shortest-serving prime minister in the country’s history, having occupied the top office for less than 18 months. The 74-year-old was sworn in as prime minister in March last year after the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, but lost parliamentary majority this month when one of his Perikatan Nasional (PN) allies, United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), withdrew its support for him. His time in office has been marked by an unprecedented health and economic crisis as well as infighting within his ruling bloc. Here’s a look back at his tenure: COMING INTO POWER Mr Muhyiddin came [...]

August 17th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Delta now dominant coronavirus variant, says Genome Center head

PHILIPPINES— The more transmissible Delta coronavirus variant has overtaken the other variants detected in the Philippines, Dr. Cynthia Saloma, executive director  of the Philippine Genome Center (PGC), said Monday. "The Delta variant really has overtaken the other variants of concerns," Saloma said in a Palace briefing when asked if the Delta variant is already the dominant variant in the country. "Dati marami tayong Beta at saka Alpha, ngayon po yung ating mga sampling na nai-sequence pinakamarami na po ang Delta variant [Before we have many Beta and Alpha cases, now based on samplings that we sequenced it's mostly Delta variant]," she added. In a separate briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the Delta variant, which was first detected in India, has been detected in nearly all regions of [...]

August 16th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Donald Trump demands Joe Biden ‘resign in disgrace’ over Afghanistan

Donald Trump has issued a statement saying United States President Joe Biden should "resign in disgrace" over the situation in Afghanistan. In his statement, Trump blamed Biden for the Taliban's swift surge in Afghanistan, as the US continues the process of pulling out its troops from the country. "It is time for Joe Biden to resign in disgrace for what he allowed to happen in Afghanistan, along with the tremendous surge in Covid, the border catastrophe, the destruction of energy independence, and our crippled economy," the statement said. "It shouldn't be a big deal, because he wasn't elected legitimately in the first place," Trump added, despite no evidence of any voter fraud. The former US President has been critical of Biden's handling of the situation in Afghanistan and this [...]

August 16th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘A serious problem’: Vaccination rates not tracked at east Auckland border facility

A public health expert is flabbergasted the government cannot provide specific vaccination information for a new Auckland border facility. It comes as questions remain over how many workers at Tamaki Marine Park - some of whom are now considered border staff - have been vaccinated. The marina, surrounded by a busy commercial area, is being used as a transfer zone for shipping crew stepping off international flights or out of MIQ. On Friday there were two crew transfers. One was ferried offshore from MIQ after a negative Covid-19 test, and another back to shore to isolate. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) told Checkpoint it is business as usual. But it is also business as usual for border workers to get a vaccine as a priority. For [...]

August 16th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Haiti earthquake: Rescuers search for survivors as death toll climbs to 1,297

REUTERS  There are reports of hospitals being overwhelmed in the city of Les Cayes Officials in Haiti have confirmed at least 1,297 people are dead after a powerful 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit the Caribbean nation on Saturday. Rescuers are picking through rubble in a desperate search for any survivors. Homes, churches and schools were among buildings flattened in the quake. Some hospitals were left overwhelmed and in need of supplies. An unknown number of people are missing and about 5,700 have been injured, officials say. The disaster compounds problems facing the impoverished nation, which is already reeling from a political crisis following the assassination of its president last month. The south-west of Haiti appears to have suffered the worst of the damage, especially around the city of Les Cayes. Footage [...]

August 16th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Trudeau calls for snap election in hopes of winning back voters

Polling suggests Canadian PM’s Liberals are in the position to capture close to the 170 seats needed for majority government Justin Trudeau in Montreal on 5 August. Photograph: Canadian Press/REX/Shutterstock Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, has called a snap election, gambling that voters will reward his administration’s handing of the coronavirus pandemic with a parliamentary majority as he pulls the plug on a two-year minority government. On Sunday morning, Trudeau met with Governor General Mary Simon to request she dissolve parliament — a request she approved. “The decisions your government makes right now will define the future your kids and grandkids will grow up in,” Trudeau told reporters after meeting with Simon. “So in this pivotal, consequential moment, who wouldn’t want a say?” For the last two years, Trudeau [...]

August 16th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

The fall of Kabul: a 20-year mission collapses in a single day

President Ashraf Ghani flees Afghanistan as Taliban sweep into city to seize control of country   Chaos at Kabul airport as Taliban seize control of Afghan capital – video The final collapse of the 20-year western mission to Afghanistan took only a single day as Taliban gunmen entered the capital, Kabul, on Sunday, President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, and America abandoned its embassy in panic. Even the militants themselves were surprised by the speed of the takeover, co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar admitted in a video statement in the evening. Now the group faces the challenge of ruling, he added. They are expected to proclaim a new Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan soon. Many in Kabul do not trust promises made by the former insurgents of an amnesty for [...]

August 16th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19: Five new cases in managed isolation

There are five new cases of Covid-19 in managed isolation. Three of the cases travelled from Fiji, one travelled from Russia via Singapore and another travelled from the UK, the Ministry of Health announced in a statement on Monday. There are two historical cases in managed isolation. New Zealand’s total number of confirmed cases is 2,570. Further wastewater samples from Tauranga and Mount Manganui last Wednesday have returned negative results, said the ministry in the update in relation to the Rio De La Plat ship where 11 crew members had Covid-19. FIONA GOODALL/GETTY IMAGES There are five new cases of Covid-19 in managed isolation, the Ministry of Health announced in an update on Monday. (File Photo)   Meanwhile, wastewater testing is scaling up, now reaching 26 sites in total. [...]

August 16th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19: NSW records seven deaths and 478 new cases

There have been 478 locally acquired cases of Covid 19 and seven deaths were recorded overnight, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said at a briefing today. A health worker takes a swab at a drive-through Covid-19 testing station in the Sydney suburb of Smithfield. Photo: AFP Four of those who died were aged in their 80s, two were in their 70s and one was a man in his 40s. A 15-year-old boy also died - he was receiving treatment for a serious medical condition and was also a confirmed Covid-19 case. Today's figures are the highest number of Covid-19 cases and deaths recorded in a single day since the beginning of the pandemic. There are currently 391 Covid-19 cases admitted to hospital, with 66 people in intensive care, 28 of [...]

August 16th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Last major Afghan city in the north falls to the Taliban

Mazar-i-Sharif was a government stronghold and its loss leaves only Kabul and another city unconquered Displaced Afghans in Kabul on 14 August, desperate to have their travel documents confirmed. Photograph: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images   The Taliban captured Mazar-i-Sharif, the country’s fourth-largest city and the government’s last major stronghold in the north on Saturday, as they tightened their grip on the country and closed in on Kabul. The US president, Joe Biden, said America would not reverse its decision to leave Afghanistan, despite the Taliban advances. “I was the fourth president to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan – two Republicans, two Democrats. I would not, and will not, pass this war on to a fifth.” He pledged only an increased deployment of 5,000 troops to accelerate the [...]

August 15th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Foreign Affairs considers how to help NZers in Afghanistan as cities fall to Taliban

The foreign affairs Ministry (MFAT) is looking into how to help New Zealanders who are in Afghanistan as more cities fall under control of the Taliban. The Taliban now controls much of Afghanistan, pictured a Taliban fighter with a rocket-propelled grenade in Herat. Photo: AFP   New Zealand does not have diplomatic staff in Afghanistan, but the Government said 17 New Zealanders have registered as living there, though there may be others who have not registered. More than half of the country has now been captured by Taliban fighters, including most regional capitals, as US-led forces leave the country. Taliban fighters are moving closer to the capital Kabul, and have just captured Mazar-i-Sharif, the last major city in northern Afghanistan which was an anti-Taliban bastion and had been under [...]

August 15th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Australia’s Victoria reports 21 new local COVID-19 cases

FILE PHOTO: Healthcare workers administer coronavirus disease (COVID-19) tests at a drive-through testing centre on the first day of a seven-day lockdown, as the state of Victoria looks to curb the spread of an outbreak in Melbourne, Australia, May 28, 2021. REUTERS/Sandra Sanders SYDNEY: Australia's Victoria state on Saturday (Aug 14) reported 21 locally acquired cases of COVID-19, up from 15 a day earlier, while Melbourne, the state capital, is in its second week of an extended lockdown. Of the new cases, 10 have spent time outside while infectious, the state's health department said. All cases were linked to a current outbreak. Victoria, Australia's second-most populous state and home to nearly 7 million people, entered into its sixth lockdown since the pandemic began on Aug 5, weeks after a brief [...]

August 14th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Police launch homicide investigation after death of 16-year-old in Fendalton, Christchurch

NEW ZEALAND— There were 80 people at the Christchurch party which ended last night with a fatal stabbing, in a Fendalton house that had been rented for the event. The scene of the fatal stabbing on Medbury Terrace, in the suburb of Fendalton Photo: RNZ / Belinda McCammon   Police were called to the scene and found three people with serious stab wounds, including a 16-year-old who later died in Christchurch Hospital. The two other victims - aged 14 and 17 - are in a serious, but stable condition. Police use a drone at the scene of the fatal stabbing. Photo: RNZ / Belinda McCammon   Police said this morning the house in Medbury Terrace, in the upmarket suburb of Fendalton, had been rented specifically for the gathering. They [...]

August 14th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

174 new COVID-19 cases drive up PNP total infections to 32,239

PHILIPPINES—The Philippine National Police (PNP) recorded 174 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, which increased the total tally of infections in the organization to 32,239. Of this number, 1,915 cases are active, data from the PNP Health Service showed. Total recoveries climbed to 30,235 after 100 new recoveries were reported. The death toll remained at 89. The Department of Health (DOH) meanwhile on Friday reported 13,177 new COVID-19 cases, the highest daily infections reported since April 2 when over 15,000 new cases were logged. The new infections also pushed the country’s active cases to 96,395, marking the first time that active cases surpassed 90,000 since April 24. The DOH also announced that total recoveries climbed to 1,587,069 after 4,322 more patients recovered from the illness. Meanwhile, 299 new fatalities brought [...]

August 14th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Meet the 7 Pinoy virologists who will be ‘at heart of anatomy’ of soon-to-rise PH Virology and Vaccine Institute

Balik Scientists. Balik Puso. Balik Pilipinas. (Photos from DOST)   PHILIPPINES— Seven Filipino virologists who were trained abroad responded to the call of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to be part of the first-of-its-kind Virology and Vaccine Institute of the Philippines or VIP. As they are scheduled to pay a courtesy call on Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña on Friday, Aug. 13, they are expected to share their expertise in the study and development of local vaccines against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and their scientific researches on virology and other diseases. It has been noted that from 1975 to 2020, the DOST was able to work with 564 Balik Scientists through 716 engagements under its ‘brain gain’ flagship initiative, [...]

August 13th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

UK and US send troops to aid evacuation from Afghanistan as Taliban advance

Pentagon aims to send in 3,000 soldiers to ‘aid reduction’ of nationals and Afghans with visas Displaced Afghans in Kabul. The Taliban are advancing towards the capital, after claiming to have captured Kandahar on Thursday. Photograph: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images The US and UK have scrambled reinforcements to Kabul to help evacuate their diplomats, soldiers and citizens as well as thousands of Afghans who have worked with them, as the Taliban advance towards the capital. The Pentagon announced it would send three battalions, about 3,000 soldiers, to Kabul’s international airport within 24 to 48 hours of the announcement on Thursday. The defence department spokesman, John Kirby, said the reinforcements would help the “safe and orderly reduction” of US nationals and Afghans who worked with the Americans and consequently had been [...]

August 13th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Child sex abuse couple committed ‘worst possible violation’

The actions of a couple who teamed up to sexually abuse children aged between three and 14 have been described as sickening and depraved and offending that grossly violated society's norms. Andrew Alan Williams left, Laken Maree Rose right, in the High Court in Rotorua. Photo: RNZ / Andrew McRae   Andrew Alan Williams, aged 54 and 32 year old Laken Maree Rose have been sentenced to long prison terms after appearing in the High Court in Rotorua on Friday. Williams received a sentence of 23-years 5-months, with a non-parole period of 9-years 4-months. Rose was given 19-years 5-months and she must serve of 7-years 9-months before parole can be considered.. The now former couple were active within the equestrian world and the offending often took place either at [...]

August 13th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

NSW reports 345 new local Covid cases, two deaths, Victoria reports 21, police arrest 73 at Melbourne anti-lockdown protest

New South Wales has reported 345 new locally transmitted cases of Covid-19 on Thursday, at least 60 of whom had been infectious in the community. Two men in their 90s who had tested positive for Covid died in the Australian state overnight. One of the men had one shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine, and the other had both doses of the Pfizer vaccine, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said. A record of nearly 152,000 Covid tests were carried out in NSW in the 24-hour reporting period. DARRIAN TRAYNOR/GETTY IMAGES A man is arrested by members of Victoria Police as anti lockdown protesters rallied in Melbourne on Wednesday night.   Victoria reported 21 new cases of Covid-19 acquired in the state on Thursday, of which 17 were linked to current outbreaks in [...]

August 12th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Who is Kathy Hochul? What to know about Cuomo’s lieutenant governor

With New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's resignation amid accusations of sexual harassment and criticism over his handling of coronavirus in nursing homes, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will become New York's next governor. Hochul, a Buffalo Democrat, will be the state's first woman governor. A former member of Congress, Hochul supported abortion rights and same-sex marriage in one of the state’s more conservative congressional districts. As Erie County clerk, she once garnered attention for opposing a plan to grant driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants, a plan Cuomo later embraced and helped pass a decade later. Cuomois mired in dueling scandals, which includes accusations from three women that he sexually harassed them or otherwise made them feel uncomfortable. In one case, former aide Lindsey Boylan accused him of delivering a kiss on the lips without consent. [...]

August 12th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Thailand to start human trials on nasal spray for Covid-19 vaccines

About 6.8 per cent of Thailand's population have received two doses of a vaccine.PHOTO: EPA-EFE     BANGKOK — Two coronavirus vaccines administered using a nasal spray being developed in Thailand are due to start human trials by the end of this year, after promising results in trials involving mice, a government official said on Wednesday (Aug 11). Developed by the National Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, the vaccines are based on the adenovirus and influenza, deputy government spokesman Ratchada Thanadirek said. After conducting trials in mice, the first phase of human trials should start by the end of this year, pending approval from the food and drug regulator, she said. The trials will also test protection against the Delta variant, Ms Ratchada said, with the second phase [...]

August 12th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

New Zealand moves closer to passing ‘self-identification’ law

WELLINGTON— New Zealand progressed with its plans to make it easier to change a person's sex on their birth certificate on Wednesday (Aug 11) as legislation moved through Parliament with support from all political parties. The self-identification Bill was introduced to ensure that New Zealand has the best process for transgender, non-binary and intersex people to formally acknowledge their gender, the government said in a statement, after the Bill had its second reading in Parliament on Wednesday. "There has been strong, ongoing public interest in this Bill and I am excited to see it moving towards becoming law. I look forward to hearing from everyone interested in the proposals," Internal Affairs Minister Jan Tinetti said in a statement. The Bill will now go back to a parliamentary select committee [...]

August 12th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

China court sentences Canadian Michael Spavor to 11 years in prison for spying

Michael Spavor (right, on screen) was detained in 2018 along with compatriot Michael Kovrig.PHOTO: REUTERS BEIJING  - A Canadian businessman charged with spying after the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou has been sentenced to 11 years in prison, a day after another Canadian’s death sentence was upheld. Michael Spavor, who has been under arrest since Dec 2018, was handed the jail sentence in Dandong city in north-east Liaoning province on Wednesday (Aug 11) morning. A day earlier, another Canadian, Robert Schellenberg, had his death sentence for drug trafficking upheld by a court in Shenyang city, also in Liaoning. Spavor, whose hearing had taken place behind closed doors in March, was found guilty by the Dandong Intermediate People’s Court of stealing and supplying state secrets to other countries. In a statement, [...]

August 12th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Magnitude 7.1 quake shakes Governor Generoso in Davao Oriental, nearby provinces

Intensity V was felt in General Santos City while Intensity IV was felt in Koronadal City and Tampakan, South Cotabato. An earthquake of magnitude 7.1 struck off the coast of Governor Generoso, Davao Oriental early Thursday morning, PHIVOLCS reported. Earlier, PHIVOLCS reported that the epicenter was off the coast of Mati City, also in Davao Oriental, with a 7.3 magnitude. The quake, which occurred at 1:46 a.m., was at a depth of 39 kilometers and tectonic in origin. The earthquake was felt in the following areas: Intensity V - Governor Generoso, City of Mati, Baganga, and Lupon, Davao Oriental; City of Tagum, City of Panabo, Carmen, and Nabunturan, Davao del Norte; General Santos City; Alabel, and Malungon, Sarangani. Intensity IV - City of Davao; Kiblawan, Davao del Sur; City [...]

August 12th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine: rare blood clot syndrome has high mortality rate

Researchers found that clots occurring after first dose of Oxford jab affected otherwise young and healthy people In the under 50s, blood clots occurred in one in 50,000 people who received the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine. Photograph: Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/REX/Shutterstock   Although extremely rare, a blood clot syndrome after the first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine carries a high risk of death and can occur in otherwise young and healthy people, UK researchers have found. In those aged under 50, blood clots occur in around one in 50,000 people who have received the vaccine, data suggests. Researchers examined the symptoms, signs and outcomes in 220 confirmed and probable cases who presented in UK hospitals between 22 March and 6 June. “It’s important to stress that this kind of reaction to [...]

August 12th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Polish parliament passes controversial new media ownership bill

Government wins vote despite losing majority after coalition partner walks out and widespread national protests The Polish prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki. Opponents see the media bill an attempt to silence an often critical broadcaster. Photograph: Olivier Matthys/AP   Polish MPs have passed a controversial new media ownership law that could lead to the country’s largest remaining independent TV station losing its licence, but at the cost of several key votes that put the government’s longterm future in doubt. After a night of protests in Warsaw and 80 other towns and cities against the bill, which opponents see as an attempt to silence an often critical broadcaster, the law passed on Wednesday by 228 votes to 216 in the 460-seat lower house. The vote came amid stormy scenes after the [...]

August 12th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19: Risk-based border to open from early 2022 – PM Jacinda Ardern

New Zealand will begin testing self-isolation instead of MIQ for vaccinated people this year, with a new border system based on low, medium and high-risk entry paths kicking in from early 2022, the government has announced. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone   Vaccinations will also be open to all eligible ages from 1 September and the gap between first and second doses will be moved to six weeks instead of three, as the government continues with its elimination strategy. People should also expect the rules around mask wearing and QR code scanning to change at higher alert levels. The government has been responding to the Skegg report on reconnecting New Zealand with the rest of the world. The report was based on work by a group of public health [...]

August 12th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH joins 20 other countries in US-led SEACAT maritime exercise in Singapore

PHILIPPINES—Maritime forces from 21 countries in the Indo-Pacific region, including the Philippines, kicked off with the 20thiteration of the Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) in Singapore on Tuesday, August 10.   Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (US Pacific Fleet) SEACAT is a multilateral exercise aimed to enhance cooperation among Southeast Asian countries and provide mutual support and a common goal to address crises, contingencies, and illegal activities in the maritime domain using standardized tactics, techniques, and procedures. The 10-day exercises will be broken up into two phases: the Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) seminar which will be conducted virtually, and the sea phase which will be in-person. According to a statement provided by the United States Pacific Fleet, SEACAT scenarios are designed to encourage countries to use maritime forces [...]

August 10th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH to join investment, trade fair in China

MANILA – The Philippines will be joining the China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) 2021 from Sept. 8 to 11 in Xiamen, China. PH PAVILION. The Philippine Pavilion at the China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) 2020. The Philippines will again join the international fair as a Guest Country of Honor at the CIFIT 2021 in Xiamen, China from Sept. 8 to 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BOI) “For the second year in a row, the Philippines is once again given the distinct recognition as CIFIT’s Guest Country of Honour in 2021 to showcase the best of our country as a leading investment destination. This recognition is not surprising given that the Philippines and China share a long and rich history steeped in both culture [...]

August 10th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Andrew Cuomo resigns in wake of damning report on sexual harassment

New York governor announced that he was stepping aside and said his resignation will be effective in 14 days   Andrew Cuomo resigns after sexual harassment allegations – video   The New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, has resigned following an investigation by the state attorney general that found he sexually harassed multiple women, most of whom worked for him, and also retaliated after some made complaints. The governor made a public announcement on Tuesday morning that he was stepping aside and said his resignation will be effective in 14 days. He began defiantly by criticizing Attorney General Letitia James’s report and warning New Yorkers about the dangers of “a bias or a lack of fairness in the justice system”, then said he thought his behavior was acceptable but acknowledged [...]

August 10th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Moderna vaccine may be superior to Pfizer vaccine against Covid-19 Delta variant: Reports

Moderna booster shot may be necessary soon for anyone who got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines earlier this year.PHOTO: REUTERS NEW YORK —The mRNA vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech may be less effective than Moderna's against the Delta variant of the coronavirus, according to two reports posted on medRxiv on Sunday (Aug 8) ahead of peer review. In a study of more than 50,000 patients in the Mayo Clinic Health System, researchers found that the effectiveness of Moderna's vaccine against infection had dropped to 76 per cent last month - when the Delta variant was predominant - from 86 per cent early this year. Over the same period, the effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine had fallen to 42 per cent from 76 per cent, researchers said. While both vaccines remain [...]

August 10th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Signs of a third Covid-19 wave in at least 10 Indian states

A health worker takes a nasal swab sample of a man at the City Railway station in Bangalore, on Aug 2, 2021.PHOTO: EPA-EFE     BANGALORE - Signs of a third Covid-19 wave have emerged in India, with at least ten states, including Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala in the south, reporting a rise in R-value, which means that each infected person is transmitting the coronavirus to many more people than in the past three months. The R-value, or reproduction factor, is an important tool epidemiologists and policymakers use to check the prevalence and spread of Covid-19. India's average R-value is 1.01 now. This means every infected person is transmitting the coronavirus to more than one other person. When the country was gripped by a devastating second Covid-19 wave [...]

August 10th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Victoria records 20 new local cases as Melburnians asked not to enter regions

Victoria has recorded 20 new local cases of COVID-19, with at least 15 of those infectious in the community. There were 34,892 tests to midnight and all of the new cases are linked to existing outbreaks. The rise in figures comes as police across Victoria are warning drivers not to flee Melbourne's lockdown for regional areas, with number plate checks in place. Police will be checking number plates but there won't be a 'ring of steel' around Melbourne this time. (9News) Officers will be monitoring the roads in the absence of the ring of steel that fenced in city residents last year. Regional Victoria is waking to its first morning out of lockdown after no new COVID-19cases were recorded in the areas. Yesterday Victoria recorded 11 new cases, all [...]

August 10th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Power supply still tight as Transpower delivers apology, explains situation

Transpower says power supply this morning remains tight but it is hopeful it will not need to ask lines companies to again reduce their load. Transpower operates the national power grid (file image). Photo: Paul Moss Photographer Artist NZ [CC BY-SA 2.5]   Electricity demand reached an all-time high last night and, combined with insufficient generation, it resulted in blackouts to some parts of the country as power distributors responded to Transpower's demand to reduce the burden on the national grid. Transpower - which operates the grid - said "At the moment we have a very tight generation to demand mix this morning and we also we will manage that extremely carefully. "At this point in time we haven't made any request in terms of reducing demand. We focus [...]

August 10th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

After 17 months, Canada reopens its border to vaccinated US visitors

Canada has lifted its prohibition on Americans crossing the border to shop, holiday or visit on Monday (Tuesday NZT) while the United States is maintaining similar restrictions for Canadians, part of a bumpy return to normalcy from Covid-19 travel bans. US citizens and legal residents must be both fully vaccinated and test negative for Covid-19 within three days to get across one of the world’s longest and busiest land borders, and Canadian officials warn they won't sacrifice safety for shorter border waits. Travellers also must fill out a detailed application on the arriveCAN app before crossing. On the first morning that US citizens were allowed to cross into Canada again, it was slow going in the tiny border town of Derby Line, Vermont, where long stretches passed without any [...]

August 10th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

COVID-19: More than half of 94 Port of Tauranga workers who boarded COVID-stricken container ship test negative

More than half of the 94 port workers who boarded a COVID-stricken container ship docked at the Port of Tauranga have tested negative, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced on Tuesday morning. Speaking to The AM Show, Hipkins confirmed 65 of the port workers have returned negative results after potentially being exposed to the virus last week. On Monday, it was announced that 11 of the 21 crewmen on-board the Rio De La Plata container ship had tested positive for COVID-19. The crew had been swabbed by public health staff prior to the ship travelling to Napier, its next stop. As a precaution, the 94 workers who had contact with the vessel were required to remain at home until returning a negative test result. The two staffers who spent the most [...]

August 10th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Police officer acquitted of four family violence charges, hung jury on two charges

A police officer has been acquited of four out of six charges relating to family violence. Photo / Stock   NEW ZEALAND— A police officer who stood trial on six family violence charges has been acquitted of four, and no verdict was reached by the jury on two charges. The senior constable denied any violence towards his ex-wife and cruelty towards her son during their seven-year marriage. He gave evidence at his trial at Auckland District Court in June. The Herald can reveal today the man, who has name suppression, was found not guilty of two charges of assault with intent to injure, one charge of injuring with intent to injure and one charge of injuring with reckless disregard. The man admitted to slicing the nose of his ex-wife [...]

August 10th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Biden administration increases border deportations and prosecutions to deter migration

The Biden administration is ramping up deportations and prosecutions of migrants crossing the southern border illegally amid a 21-year high in migrant arrests and concerns about the rapid spread of the coronavirus Delta variant. U.S. authorities are now flying Central American migrants deep into the Mexican interior using a Trump-era public health order that was extended indefinitely last week, according to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials, who said the expulsions are meant to curb repeat border crossings and the spread of the coronavirus. The Biden administration has also restarted "expedited removal" flights for some migrant families who can't be expelled to Mexico under the public health authority, known as Title 42. Since the end of July, the U.S. has carried out six expedited removal flights to Central America, [...]

August 9th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Power outages: PM Jacinda Ardern says ‘not good enough that we couldn’t heat homes’

New Zealanders not having power on one of the coldest nights of the year was not acceptable, Energy Minister Megan Woods has just told media. And Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said while she wants to find out if last night's event - in which power was cut to thousands of North Island homes - could have been prevented, "it was not good enough that we could not warm our homes". Ardern said they should know more about what happened this afternoon. Transpower earlier today said Kiwis were close to another power crisis this morning after tens of thousands of Kiwis were plunged into darkness last night. General manager of operations Dr Stephen Jay told the Herald he couldn't rule out any further disruption to the network, stating "the emergency [...]

August 9th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Thousands flee Greek island as wildfires raze forest and homes

Firefighters tackle blazes on two fronts on Evia as heatwave-driven devastation across southern Europe continues Sky glows red over ferry evacuating people from Greek island fire – video   Thousands of people have fled wildfires that are destroying vast swathes of pine forest and razing homes on Greece’s second-largest island, Evia, as devastating summer blazes rage from southern Europe to Siberia. “We have ahead of us another difficult evening, another difficult night,” Greece’s deputy civil protection minister, Nikos Hardalias, said on Sunday, adding that nearly a week after the blazes started, strong winds were driving two major fire fronts in the north and south of the island. Seventeen firefighting planes and helicopters were in action on the island, just north-east of the capital, Athens, where fires in a northern [...]

August 9th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

PNP allows persons travelling for medical, humanitarian reasons to cross borders

PHILIPPINES— Persons whose travels are medical and health-related, including dental and check-up appointments, will be allowed to cross the borders of Metro Manila which is currently under the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said those travelling for medical reasons are actually considered as the other APOrs (Authorized Persons Outside Residence) along with those who travel for humanitarian reasons. photo: Ali Vicoy “Kasama sa other APORs ang mga kababayan nating may appointment sa mga doktor at yung mga kababayan nating kailangang umuwi dahil namatayan ng immediate family members, o may manganganak na asawa at iba pang mga kadahilanan na parte ng ating kulturang Pilipino (Included in the Other APORs are those who have appointments with doctors and those whose immediate [...]

August 9th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Schools ‘devastated’ after five teens killed in horror Timaru crash

Friends of five teenagers killed when an overloaded car crashed into a power pole, snapping the vehicle in half, may be planning a car event with burnouts in their honour. The crash, one of the worst in recent history, happened shortly before 7.30pm on Saturday at the intersection of Seadown and Meadows roads in Washdyke, near Timaru. One of the victims was found dead in the boot. The 19-year-old driver, who was on a restricted licence, was the only survivor. The victims were Javarney Drummond, 15, Niko Hill, Andrew Goodger, Jack Wallace and Joseph McCarthy. The boys were all aged 15 or 16. Police were yet to speak to the driver, Aoraki area commander Inspector Dave Gaskin said on Monday. They did not know where the group were going [...]

August 9th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Israeli survey finds 3rd Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine dose has similar side effects to 2nd

Vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are pictured in a vaccination centre in Geneva, Switzerland, Feb 3, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Denis Balibouse) JERUSALEM: Most people who received a third dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine felt similar or fewer side effects than they did after receiving the second shot, according to an initial survey in Israel. Israel began offering the booster shots about 10 days ago to people over age 60 as part of efforts to slow the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant. That effectively turned Israel into a testing ground for a third dose before approval by the US Food and Drug Administration. Israel's largest healthcare provider, Clalit, said on Sunday (Aug 8) it had administered a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to more than 240,000 people. About 4,500 people, all of [...]

August 9th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Guests at Obama birthday party delete Instagram posts after former president seen dancing at ‘epic’ bash

Manager TJ Chapman called it the 'party of all parties' A guest at former President Barack Obama’s 60th birthday bash said he was forced to delete Instagram photos he posted of himself at the star-studded event on Martha's Vineyard Saturday night. Rapper Trap Beckham and his manager, TJ Chapman, posted Instagram photos of the food and décor at the event, as well as themselves smoking marijuana, which is legal in Massachusetts, but the photos were later deleted under the event’s photography ban, the New York Post reported. Beckham and Chapman both posted about having to delete the photos. "Had to delete everything due to the rules," Beckham said, the Post reported. "It was epic for sure. If any videos surface it’s going viral. He danced the whole time. Nobody [...]

August 9th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Tokyo 2020: New Zealand’s best moments

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games came to a close after 17 days of sporting excellence from the world's elite athletes. We take a look back at some of the New Zealanders' key moments. Clockwise from top: Lisa Carrington, Ellesse Andrews, the men's rowing eight and Tom Walsh. Photo: Photosport Ltd 2021   Tokyo 2020 will be forever etched into New Zealand sporting history due to Lisa Carrington's gold medal winning efforts that saw the Ōhope-raised canoeist become the country's most successul Olympian. Kicking things off with a dominant display in the K-1 200m event, Carrington set the tone for the rest of her Olympic campaign. What was so obvious about the way she took on the event was just how much faster, stronger and powerful she looked from the [...]

August 9th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Afghanistan war: Taliban capture three regional capitals

Afghan security forces have faced a major blow with the loss of Kunduz/Reuters   The Taliban have captured three regional capitals in Afghanistan as they continue to make sweeping territorial gains in the country. They seized control of the key northern city of Kunduz on Sunday, as well as Sar-e-Pul and Taloqan. It means five regional capitals have fallen to the militants since Friday, with Kunduz being their most important gain this year. The city is well connected to other areas, including the capital Kabul. Violence has escalated across Afghanistan after US and other international forces began to withdraw their troops from the country, following 20 years of military operations. Taliban militants have made rapid advances in recent weeks. Having captured large swathes of the countryside, they are now [...]

August 8th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

In pictures: Tokyo Olympics Closing Ceremony

The Tokyo Olympic Games have come to an end, and although this delayed, pandemic-plagued event is quite unlike any games in history, one thing has stayed the same - opening and closing ceremonies. Fireworks go off around the Olympic Stadium during the closing ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Photo: AFP or licensors   Dame Valerie Adams was named to be the New Zealand team's flagbearer for the closing ceremony. A volley of white-and-gold fireworks streaked above the nearly empty Olympic Stadium, emphasising again the oddity of an Olympic Games held without spectators. The stage looked sparse even as athletes marched in carrying their national flags. Many of the best-known athletes have already left Tokyo and were not able to attend Sunday's event. Athletes are supposed to fly [...]

August 8th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

US Senate passes Bill to help Taiwan regain WHO status

Flags of Taiwan and US are placed for a meeting in Taipei, Taiwan, on Mar 27, 2018. (Photo: REUTERS/Tyrone Siu) WASHINGTON: The US Senate passed a Bill late on Thursday calling on the State Department to submit a plan to help Taiwan regain its observer status at the World Health Organization, one of several US bids to boost Taiwan as it faces pressure from Beijing. Taiwan is excluded from most global organisations such as the WHO, the UN health agency, because of the objections of China, which considers the island one of its provinces and not a separate country. The legislation, passed by unanimous consent, was sponsored by Senators Bob Menendez, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Jim Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. [...]

August 7th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

PH to end Tokyo Olympics as top-performing Asean team

MANILA – From a group of athletes struggling to take that elusive Olympic gold, the Philippines is just a formality away from walking away as the best in Southeast Asia. PH OLYMPIANS. The Filipino athletes who led the Philippines' successful campaign in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Hidilyn Diaz (upper left) - gold medalist, women's 55-kg. weightlifting; Nesthy Petecio (upper right), silver medalist, women's boxing featherweight division; Carlo Paalam (lower left), silver medalist, men's boxing flyweight division and Eumir Marcial (lower right), bronze medalist, men's boxing middleweight division. (Photos courtesy of Tokyo 2020 Twitter page and Hidilyn Diaz Twitter account)     The Philippine team to this year's Tokyo Olympics is set to end its campaign as the top-performing country among Southeast Asian nations in terms of which medals they won. [...]

August 7th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Google launching new Nest Cam and Nest Doorbell in New Zealand on August 25

The devices detect people, animals and vehicles, providing specific alerts for them. Photo credit: Supplied   Kiwis looking to make their homes smarter and more secure are being offered new options later this month as Google launches its next generation Nest Cams and Doorbells. The new models include the internet giant's first battery-powered camera that can be used indoors or outdoors and its first battery-powered doorbell. The devices will go head-to-head with the likes of Amazon's Ring doorbells and a multitude of security cameras available locally. The Nest Doorbell can be wired or battery-powered and has a typical battery life of two and a half months, depending on how busy the doorway and environment is. It can record 960x1280 pixel video at up to 30 frames per second (fps) [...]

August 7th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Biggest ever rocket is assembled briefly in Texas

IMAGE SOURCESPACEX The Starship upper-stage was hoisted for a fit-check with the Super Heavy booster     The American SpaceX company has stacked the biggest rocket ever constructed. The vehicle's two segments - an upper-stage called Starship and a booster called Super Heavy - were connected together at the firm's Starbase R&D facility in Boca Chica, Texas. Standing roughly 120m (400ft) in height, the SpaceX rocket dwarfs any previous launch system. When it eventually lifts off, it will produce about twice the thrust of the vehicles that sent men to the Moon. The main engines on Apollo's famous Saturn V rockets delivered some 35 meganewtons (nearly 8 million pounds of force) off the pad. The new SpaceX Super Heavy booster should achieve around 70 meganewtons. A massive crane was [...]

August 7th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Jacinda Ardern says there’s no magic vaccine number that will see NZ open the border

Jacinda Ardern has a lot on her mind as she prepares to sketch the public a course out of the Covid pandemic. She talks to Henry Cooke about why there won’t be a clear milestone when New Zealand has vaccinated enough people, why 2021 is harder than 2020, and her commitment to climate change policy. There’s not going to be a magic number. Jacinda Ardern is happy to crow about hitting two million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine as she sits down for a long interview with Stuff on Wednesday evening, but she’s also clear that she won't be able to point to some milestone like Scott Morrison is in Australia, some percentage of the population vaccinated or number of doses in arms and say: That’s it, no more [...]

August 7th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Six EU states overtake UK Covid vaccination rates as Britain’s rollout slows

Malta, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Denmark and Ireland overtake UK in fully jabbed percentages Six EU states have now fully inoculated a larger share of their total populations with a coronavirus vaccine than the UK, after the bloc’s dire initial rollout took off while Britain’s impressive early jab rate has slumped. According to government and health service figures collated by the online science publication Our World In Data, Malta, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Denmark and Ireland have all overtaken the UK in terms of the percentages of their populations who are fully vaccinated. While Britain’s hugely successful campaign was bound to slow first as it ran into harder-to-reach, more vaccine-hesitant groups, the rate of decline is dramatic: the UK is currently administering a fraction of the daily doses of some EU [...]

August 7th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

NSW has worst day of Covid pandemic with 319 new cases, five deaths and lockdown of Armidale

Deaths linked to latest coronavirus outbreak reaches 27 as four new cases recorded in Newcastle   The NSW health minister, Brad Hazzard, announced a lockdown of the Armidale LGA while reporting 319 new Covid cases and five deaths. Photograph: Bianca de Marchi/AAP   New South Wales has recorded its worst ever daily increase in Covid infections, at 319 new locally acquired cases, as the state continues to grapple with a deepening crisis. The state also recorded five deaths, three of which are linked to an outbreak at Liverpool Hospital in Sydney’s west, which was sparked by a health worker becoming infected and transferring coronavirus to patients. Five deaths have been linked to the hospital outbreak, and the latest deaths were a woman in her 80s, a man in his [...]

August 7th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Google boss Larry Page secured New Zealand residency under wealthy investor category

Immigration officials have confirmed Google co-founder Larry Page applied for New Zealand residency under a category for wealthy investors. Larry Page. Photo: AFP / Getty   This week it was revealed the American billionaire travelled here from Fiji earlier this year because his child needed medical treatment. Immigration New Zealand (INZ) said Page submitted his application under the investor plus category in November 2020. It could not be processed until he entered the country, so it was approved in February. The investor plus category requires applicants to invest at least $10 million in New Zealand over three years. INZ said the application included the necessary documentationand was assessed as meeting immigration requirements. Page arrived in Auckland with his child in January after the Ministry of Health approved a request [...]

August 6th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Director-General of Health apologises to select committee for providing incorrect information

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield has apologised to Parliament's health select committee for providing them incorrect information. Dr Ashley Bloomfield has apologised for providing incorrect information about a UN worker from Fiji who was seriously ill with Covid-19 to Parliament's health select committee. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone   On Wednesday, he told MPs he had not personally discussed the case of a United Nations worker from Fiji who was seriously ill with Covid-19 with officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. But, in a letter to the committee chair Labour MP Liz Craig, Bloomfield said he did exchange text messages with the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade Chris Seed about the matter. An application for the worker to travel to New Zealand for medical [...]

August 6th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

International travel: UK country listings update

From 4am Sunday 8 August, the fully vaccinated amber rules will apply to France. At the same time, Austria, Germany, Latvia, Norway, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia will move to green list. Bahrain, India, Qatar and UAE will move to amber list. Georgia, Mayotte, Mexico and Reunion will move to red list. arrivals from France will no longer need to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway to be added to the government’s green list for travel India, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will also be moved from the red to the amber list Georgia, Mexico, La Reunion and Mayotte added to the red list to safeguard domestic vaccine rollout   The UK government has today (5 August 2021) announced [...]

August 5th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Dollar firms as Fed members talk of tightening

FILE PHOTO: Four thousand U.S. dollars are counted out by a banker counting currency at a bank in Westminster, Colorado November 3, 2009. REUTERS/Rick Wilking/File Photo SYDNEY : The dollar was poised to push higher on Thursday as hawkish comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve led markets to bring forward the likely timing of a policy tightening there, while action in Europe and Japan remain distant prospects. The euro was down at US$1.1837, having recoiled from a top of US$1.1899 overnight and marking another failure to crack resistance around US$1.1910. The dollar also bounced to 109.51 yen, from a trough of 108.71 on Wednesday, negating what had been a bearish break on the downside. The rally came after Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida said conditions for an interest rate [...]

August 5th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Boeing 737 MAX departs for key test flight in China

FILE PHOTO: The Boeing logo is pictured at the Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition fair at Congonhas Airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil August 14, 2018. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker//File Photo SEATTLE/BEIJING: A Boeing 737 Max jet departed for China on Wednesday (Aug 4) to conduct a flight test as part of the US planemaker's attempt to gain approval in the vital travel market following two fatal crashes, people familiar with the matter said. Flight-tracking site FlightRadar24 showed a 737 MAX 7 test plane taking off from Boeing Field near Seattle at 8.17am local time bound for John Rodgers Field outside Honolulu, the first leg of its trip across the Pacific. Boeing and China regulators have scheduled re-certification flights and testing in the coming days, though the precise timing and how long [...]

August 5th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Armed police responding to incident in Ōpaheke, south Auckland

RYAN ANDERSON/STUFF A large black SUV has crashed on the corner of Ōpaheke Rd AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND— Armed police are responding to an incident in the south Auckland suburb of Ōpaheke. The public is being advised to avoid the area. Cordons are in place at the intersections of Great South Rd and Settlement Rd, Opaheke Rd and Alexander St, Opaheke Rd and Onslow Rd, and King Edward Ave and Settlement Rd. RYAN ANDERSON/STUFF Armed police at the scene of the incident, in the south Auckland suburb of Ōpaheke.   “As this situation is still unfolding no further information is available at this very early stage,” police said in a statement. “However, a further update will be provided when it is available.” Photos from the scene show a large black [...]

August 5th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

BIR stretches deadline for tax payments

Bureau of Internal Revenue   PHILIPPINES— The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has extended the deadline for filing of returns and payment of tax due in light of the community quarantine measures in the country. The extension was ordered under Revenue Memorandum Circular 91-2021, which was signed on BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay in consideration of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the National Capital Region and modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in other locations. The circular, according to Dulay, is issued to "extend the deadline of filing of returns and payment of the corresponding taxes due thereon, and submission of reports and attachments, falling within the period from August 6, 2021 to August 20, 2021 for taxpayers under ECQ and MECQ" "The deadline falling within the abovementioned dates are [...]

August 5th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Asian markets recover

TOKYO: Asian equities mostly rose on Wednesday, continuing the recent volatile theme in global markets as optimism over the economic recovery and coronavirus vaccinations plays off against concerns about the fast-spreading Delta variant and China's regulatory crackdown. A forecast-beating corporate earnings season and constant reassurance from the US Federal Reserve over its ultra-loose monetary policies have also been unable to soothe fears that the outlook might not be as rosy as initially hoped with sentiment changing day by day. Still, in the morning on Wednesday was an up day following a record close for the S&P 500 on Wall Street and helped by some bargain-hunting. The spread of the Delta virus variant remains the major stumbling block to the recovery as a sharp spike in new infections around the [...]

August 5th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

‘Gorio’ to turn into tropical storm – Pagasa

PHILIPPINES— The low pressure area (LPA) spotted northeast of Batanes has developed into Tropical Depression "Gorio," the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said on Wednesday. "Gorio" was spotted 785 kilometers northeast of the town of Itbayat in Batanes. Packing maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness up to 70kph, the tropical depression is moving east-northeast at 20kph, the weather bureau said. "It is forecast to intensify into a tropical storm in the next 12 hours and may exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility by Friday morning," the weather agency said. Occasional rains may prevail in Metro Manila, Tarlac, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Cavite, Batangas, Occidental Mindoro and northern Palawan including Calamian and Kalayaan Islands. The rest of the country will [...]

August 5th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Asean to SCS parties: Avoid actions that may escalate disputes

MANILA – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) has called on all parties to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes in the South China Sea. In a joint communiqué released on Wednesday, Asean said all member states reaffirmed the need to enhance mutual trust and confidence and avoid actions that may further complicate the situation in the area. "We further reaffirmed the need to pursue peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with the universally recognized principles of international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS," it read. "We emphasized the importance of non-militarization and self-restraint in the conduct of all activities by claimants and all other states, including those mentioned in the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China [...]

August 5th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19 vaccine update: Two million doses administered in New Zealand

People aged 55 and up will be able to book vaccines from Friday, five days earlier than planned, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. He also says New Zealand's rollout of the Pfizer vaccine has reached the two-million mark, with 2,021,024 doses given by midnight last night. Chris Hipkins and joint head of Managed Isolation and Quarantine Megan Main have given a coronavirus and vaccine update this afternoon. Watch the update here: Hipkins also revealed Mainfreight and Fonterra are initial employers who would act as workplace vaccination sites, and will be followed by the Warehouse Group, and Fisher and Paykel Healthcare. Yesterday was a record day for vaccinations with more than 42,000 inoculations, and DHBs continuing to track more than 3 percent ahead of the plan, Hipkins says. Second [...]

August 4th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Govt and Reserve Bank agree on new moves to tighten mortgage lending

NEW ZEALAND— Mortgage lending rules are to be toughened after the government has given the Reserve Bank approval to tighten loan-to-value ratios and move to bring in debt-to-income ratios. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson     In a statement, Finance Minister Grant Robertson said the central bank would start consulting reducing low deposit lending by banks to no more than 10 percent of their total lending from the current 20 percent. The measure would come into force on 1 October. The government has also given RBNZ approval for debt-to-income ratios or interest rate floors, to ensure borrowers can afford to service mortgages. "This change will ensure that the Reserve Bank has the flexibility to respond to emerging financial stability risks and deploy appropriate [...]

August 4th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Travel bubble: MSD to partially refund beneficiary stuck in Sydney

A beneficiary who was stuck in Sydney with her sick sister will be paid back hundreds of dollars after a Ministry of Social Development U-turn. Joanne Minimita, left, and Debbie Ngare in Sydney. Photo: Supplied On 11 June, Joanne Minimita (Tainui) flew to her sibling Debbie Ngare (Tainui), who is too ill to travel. Ngare has breast cancer, thyroid cancer, diabetes and emphysema and has recently had blood clots in her lungs. She was too sick to fly to New Zealand when the bubble opened, so her whānau paid for Minimita to visit her. "We hadn't seen [Debbie] for two years since our brother passed away, with her going through all her mamae at the same time and always getting a new illness," Minimita said. But when the travel [...]

August 4th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Duterte approved funds for P1,000 to P4,000 cash aid for 80% of NCR population —Go

MANILA, PHILIPPINES— President Rodrigo Duterte approved on Monday night the funding for the cash aid to be given to 80% of the population of the National Capital Region as the region is set to be placed under enhanced community quarantine on August 6, Senator Christopher "Bong" Go announced. The cash assistance will be P1,000 per individual or a maximum of P4,000 per household belonging to the low-income group. "Nagpapasalamat ako kay Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte sa pagtugon sa ating apela na magbigay ng ayuda sa mga pinakamahihirap na maaapektuhan ng ECQ sa NCR simula Agosto 6 hanggang 20," Go, Duterte's longtime aide, said in a post on Facebook. (I am grateful to President Rodrigo Duterte for hearing our appeal to give financial assistance to the poor who will be affected [...]

August 4th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

India sending warships through South China Sea as China questions German frigate’s intentions

India has announced several of its Navy warships will soon sail through the South China Sea, the latest country to send vessels towards the contested waters. The Indian Defence Ministry on Tuesday announced a "Task Force of Indian Navy's Eastern Fleet" will set sail in August to South East Asia, the South China Sea and into the Western Pacific. The fleet comprises a number of warships, with at least three ships built in India and  "equipped with a versatile array of weapons and sensors". The Indian Navy will partake in a number of exercises while on voyage, including with the Japanese and Australian navies. The deployment, which the ministry says seeks to underscore "peaceful presence and solidarity with friendly countries" and strengthen India's bonds with other countries in the [...]

August 4th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Harris to push back on China’s South China Sea claims during Asia trip

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris delivers remarks before participating in a bilateral meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building near the White House in Washington, U.S., May 21, 2021. REUTERS/Sarah Silbiger/File Photo WASHINGTON- Vice President Kamala Harris will focus on defending international rules in the South China Sea, strengthening U.S. regional leadership and expanding security cooperation during her trip to Vietnam and Singapore this month, a senior White House official told Reuters. Harris will be the first U.S. vice president to visit Vietnam as Washington seeks to bolster international support to counter China's growing global influence. The U.S. official said Washington saw both countries as critical partners given their locations, the size of their economies, trade ties and security partnerships on issues such [...]

August 4th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

U.S., Indonesia commit to South China Sea defense in ‘strategic dialogue’

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken listens as Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi talks to members of the media after a bilateral meeting at Department of State in Washington, U.S., August 3, 2021. Jose Luis Magana/Pool via REUTERS   WASHINGTON— U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Tuesday the launch of a "strategic dialogue" with Indonesia, and Washington said the two countries committed to working together on issues that include defending freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. Meeting in Washington, Blinken and Indonesian Foreign Minster Retno Marsudi also committed to work together against COVID-19 and the climate crisis and to boost bilateral trade and economic ties, the State Department said. Indonesia is the largest country and economy in the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), [...]

August 4th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

New York Governor Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women, report finds; he vows not to quit

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo makes a statement in this screen grab taken from a pre-recorded video released by Office of the NY Governor, in New York, U.S., August 3, 2021. Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo/Handout via REUTERS NEW YORK - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo groped, kissed or made suggestive comments to 11 women in violation of the law, the state's attorney general said on Tuesday, prompting local prosecutors to launch a criminal investigation and reigniting calls for him to resign or be impeached. The findings of a five-month investigation into allegations of sexual harassment found the governor created a "toxic" workplace and that his office illegally retaliated against the first accuser to go public. After State Attorney General Letitia James unveiled the probe's conclusions, President Joe [...]

August 3rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

China authorities to test all Wuhan’s 11 million residents amid new Covid cases

Eight cases reported in city where coronavirus first emerged in 2019   Eight cases have emerged in Wuhan, the original epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic. Photograph: Getty Images   Chinese officials have ordered all 11 million residents of Wuhan to be tested for Covid-19, after new cases emerged in the city for the first time in more than a year. On Tuesday the national health commission reported eight cases in Wuhan, the city where Covid-19 was first detected in late 2019, before spreading around the world. The cases – three of which were symptomatic and five asymptomatic – were among 84 new cases reported across China in the 24 hours to Monday evening. On Tuesday, Wuhan health official Li Tao said they were “swiftly launching comprehensive nucleic acid testing” [...]

August 3rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Iranian-backed forces suspected of tanker hijacking off UAE coast

Panama-registered Asphalt Princess was reportedly seized by eight to nine armed individuals The incident, reported by the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, comes after an attack on the Mercer Street tanker (pictured) off the coast of Oman last week. Photograph: Ali Haider/EPA   Iranian-backed forces are suspected of being behind the seizure of a tanker off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, after Britain’s maritime trade agency reported a “potential hijack” in the area on Tuesday by eight to nine armed individuals. Maritime security sources identified the vessel as the Panama-flagged asphalt tanker that was reportedly intercepted in an area in the Arabian Sea leading to the strait of Hormuz, through which about a fifth of the world’s seaborne oil exports flow. Maritime security analysts at Dryad Global [...]

August 3rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Unemployment rate falls to lowest in nearly a year

NEW ZEALAND— The unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level in nearly a year. Photo: 123RF   Official data shows the jobless rate in the June quarter was 4 percent, down from 4.7 percent in the previous quarter. The rate was better than the 4.5 percent forecast by analysts, and is below the level before the pandemic. The fall was driven by strong job creation and more people finding work. The under-utilisation rate, which measures slack in the job market, fell to 10.5 percent. Annual wage growth hit 2.2 percent.

August 3rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

More than 110M COVID vaccines sent to 60 countries, US says

The White House says the U.S. has donated and shipped more than 110 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to more than 60 countries, ranging from Afghanistan to Zambia The Breakdown: US meets President Joe Biden’s vaccine goal. The Associated Press   WASHINGTON -- The U.S. has donated and shipped more than 110 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to more than 60 countries, ranging from Afghanistan to Zambia, the White House announced Tuesday. President Joe Biden was expected to discuss that milestone and more later Tuesday in remarks updating the public on the U.S. strategy to slow the spread of coronavirus abroad. The announcement comes amid a rise in infections in the U.S., fueled by the highly contagious delta strain of the virus, which led U.S. public healthofficials last week to [...]

August 3rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Belarus exile group leader Vitaly Shishov found dead in Kyiv, police say

Police open murder investigation after activist discovered in park after failing to return from a run Vitaly Shishov, the head of Belarusian House in Ukraine (BDU), which helps fleeing Belarusians, was found dead in Kyiv. Photograph: Instagram The head of a Kyiv-based non-profit organisation that helps Belarusians fleeing persecution has been found dead in a park in the Ukrainian capital, police have said, raising suspicion that he may have been murdered. Vitaly Shishov, the head of Belarusian House in Ukraine (BDU), was reported missing by his partner on Monday after he failed to return from a run and could not be reached on his mobile phone. “Belarusian citizen Vitaly Shishov, who had gone missing in Kyiv yesterday, was today found hanged in one of the Kyiv parks, not far [...]

August 3rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Human Rights Commission receives 30 complaints about MIQ booking

The Human Rights Commission wants more options for disabled people to secure a space in MIQ. Photo: RNZ / Marika Khabazi   It had received 30 complaints about the online booking portal, including claims that it discriminates against older people, disabled people and blind people who can't fill in the form quickly enough to get a voucher. Meg Douglas Howie, who designs web services for the government, is among the complainants. She said she was spurred to action after learning the President of the World Blind Union, from Auckland, couldn't book an MIQ spot. "If you're someone who uses websites more slowly - and that could be for a bunch of reasons, for example you're older and you've got arthritis or you're blind and you're listening to the dates [...]

August 3rd, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

NZ Government making apology over Dawn Raids

Representatives from many Pacific nations have gathered to hear the government's apology for the Dawn Raids of the 1970s. Watch the ceremony live here: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will deliver the apology for the raids which occurred under both Labour and National governments. The Dawn Raids resulted in the deportation and prosecution of many Pacific Islanders, even those who remotely looked Pasifika, despite many overstayers at the time being British or American. Both political parties have accepted that the raids were racist.

August 1st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Covid-19: NSW records 239 new community cases, Queensland detects nine

New South Wales has recorded 239 new locally acquired Covid-19 cases as of last night, while Queensland recorded the highest number of local cases since August 2020. Health workers taking swab samples from residents at a Covid-19 drive-through testing clinic in Sydney on 28 July, 2021. Photo: AFP or/ Saeed Khan   Twenty-six of NSW's cases were infectious in the community, while 35 cases were in isolation for part of their infectious period and the isolation status of 98 cases remains under investigation. NSW Health said the source of 124 cases was under investigation. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she was beginning to see the virus was being mostly contained in the regions which were under enhanced lockdown orders. "The one positive take out is at the virus has [...]

August 1st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Protesters in downtown Kuala Lumpur demand PM Muhyiddin’s resignation

Protesters are calling for a full parliamentary sitting and automatic bank loan moratoriums to ease Covid-19 fuelled hardship.PHOTO: GM     KUALA LUMPUR - Several hundred protesters marched peacefully in Kuala Lumpur's city centre on Saturday (July 31) to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. Roads around Merdeka Square, where National Day parades were often held, were sealed off as protesters dressed in black took to the streets. The demonstration was organised by a coalition of youth and civil society groups, called the Sekretariat Solidariti Rakyat (People's Solidarity Secretariat). Some brought mock corpses wrapped in white cloth to symbolise the high number of daily Covid-19 deaths in Malaysia, in a criticism of the government's handling of the pandemic. The coalition is also calling for a full parliamentary sitting and automatic bank [...]

August 1st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Vaccines still best weapon as Delta threatens gains: WHO

Health workers remove the body of a Covid-19 victim who died while isolating at home in Bandung, Indonesia, on July 28, 2021.PHOTO: AFP   WASHINGTON - The world is at risk of losing ground in the fight against Covid-19 because of the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, but vaccines remain the most effective weapon against it, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned. WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference that health systems in many countries were now being overwhelmed. He said on Friday (July 30): “Hard-won gains are in jeopardy or being lost.” WHO’s top emergency expert Mike Ryan noted that the fight had become tougher, emphasising nonetheless that vaccines remained the most potent defence against the disease. He said: “We are fighting the same [...]

August 1st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Canada says Delta variant ‘formidable foe’ at start of fourth wave

A shopper is illuminated by a beam of light as she walks down a hallway in Sherway Gardens Mall during the stage two reopening from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions in Toronto, Ontario, Canada June 30, 2021. REUTERS/Alex Filipe OTTAWA - Canada must vaccinate as many people as possible and cautiously relax public health measures as COVID-19 case numbers creep higher at the start of what could be a fourth wave, the country's top health official said on Friday. Rising case counts suggest "we are at the start of the Delta-driven fourth wave, but that the trajectory will depend on an ongoing increase in fully vaccinated coverage and the timing, pace and extent of reopening," Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam told reporters. "Delta is a formidable foe," she added. [...]

August 1st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Indian, Chinese army officers meet to defuse border standoff

In this Sep 14, 2017, file photo, a banner erected by the Indian army stands near Pangong Tso lake near the India-China border in India's Ladakh area. (Photo: AP/Manish Swarup) NEW DELHI: Top Indian and Chinese army commanders met on Saturday (Jul 31) after a gap of three months to discuss the expeditious disengagement of thousands of forces in a bid to ease the 15-month border tensions and clashes. Indian army spokesman Colonel Sudhir Chamoli said the meeting started on Saturday on the Chinese side of the border in the eastern Ladakh region but gave no other details. The meeting was expected to end later Saturday and both sides were likely to issue statements on Sunday. The 12th round of army-level talks appears to have been pushed by a meeting of the [...]

August 1st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

US top diplomat Blinken to court Southeast Asia in virtual meetings next week

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken boards his plane to depart for his return to the United States from Kuwait International Airport in Kuwait City, Kuwait, on Jul 29, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)   WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet virtually with Southeast Asian officials every day next week, a senior state department official said on Saturday (Jul 31), as Washington seeks to show the region it’s a US priority while also addressing the crisis in Myanmar. The top US diplomat will attend virtual meetings for five consecutive days, including annual meetings of the 10 foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and other nations and separate meetings of the Lower Mekong subregion countries Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand. "I think it's a clear demonstration of our commitment to the [...]

August 1st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Police man NCR Plus checkpoints as border control tightened amid Delta variant cases

Personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Sunday began strictly monitoring motorists passing through checkpoints in the National Capital Region Plus in a bid to prevent the further spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus. At a bridge at the boundary of San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan and North Caloocan, police checked on every vehicle entering Metro Manila to see if motorists and passengers are authorized persons outside residence (APOR), according to a report by Luisito Santos on Dobol B TV. They asked for IDs and the purpose of the trip of the motorists. Only those with essential travel were allowed to pass through. Police also checked on the passengers of vehicles if they were following minimum health protocols such as wearing of face masks and face [...]

August 1st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

Nesthy Petecio to fight for gold in Olympic women’s featherweight finals

Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Boxing - Women's Featherweight - Semifinal - KKG - Kokugikan Arena - Tokyo, Japan - July 31, 2021. Nesthy Petecio of the Philippines reacts after winning her fight against Irma Testa of Italy. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino   A second gold medal for the Philippines could now be within reach. Filipina boxer Nesthy Petecio bested Irma Testa of Italy via split decision, 4-1, in the semifinals of the women's featherweight division of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics' boxing tournament Saturday at the Kokugikan Arena. Against a much taller foe, Petecio initially struggled with Testa's reach as the Italian secured the first round, 10-9, for all five judges. The Filipina fighter then became more aggressive in the second round to score a 10-9 of her own. It all came [...]

August 1st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

MANILA – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has recorded over five million new registrants as of July 10, less than three months before signup ends. Commissioner Rowena Guanzon on Saturday posted on Twitter that Comelec has processed 5.45 million registrants. “As of July 10, we have around 5.45 million registrants @COMELEC. If we automatically reactivate 6.3 million that would be a record,” her Twitter account @rowena_guanzon read. The nationwide registration will end on September 30. The Comelec has yet to update the approved applications as of the Election Registration Board (ERB) hearing on July 19. The poll body also tackled a possible online revalidation of registered voters who have been deactivated for not participating in the last two elections. “Comelec en banc will study if we can use online [...]

August 1st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

French protests grow against extended health pass scheme

200,000 take to the streets to oppose proof-of-vaccination for hospitals, trains, and cultural and leisure centres Protesters in Paris march against the French government’s ‘health pass’ requiring proof of vaccination against Covid-19 or a negative test result to visit leisure and cultural venues. Photograph: Christophe Petit-Tesson/EPA   Thousands of people have protested in Paris and other French cities over a mandatory coronavirus health pass for entry to many public venues, introduced by the government as it battles a fourth wave of infections. Protesters injured three police officers in Paris, a police spokesperson said. The interior minister, Gérald Darmanin, said on Twitter that 19 demonstrators were arrested, including 10 in Paris. It was the third weekend in a row that people opposed to President Emmanuel Macron’s new Covid-19 measures have [...]

August 1st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments

IRS must turn over Trump tax returns to Congress, DoJ says

Department says House panel has ‘sufficient reasons’ for requesting returns as Nancy Pelosi hails ‘victory for the rule of law’ Trump at a rally in Sarasota earlier this month. Trump has fought hard to keep his tax returns from public view.Photograph: Octavio Jones/Reuters The US Department of Justice on Friday ordered the Internal Revenue Service to hand Donald Trump’s tax returns to a House committee, saying the panel had “invoked sufficient reasons” for requesting them. The news was a second blow for Trump in a matter of hours, after released DoJ memos revealed that as part of his campaign to overturn his election defeat by Joe Biden, he pressured top officials to falsely label the 2020 election as corrupt, then “leave the rest to me”. House speaker Nancy Pelosi [...]

July 31st, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments