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Opinion2020-07-20T11:24:32+00:00

Why Joe Biden and Kamala Harris would be a disastrous duo in the year of George Floyd

America needs a fix to our criminal justice system, not a glaring reminder of who broke it. SAN DIEGO — When campaigning for president, choosing a running mate tells Americans about your priorities, judgment and decision-making. It also tells us whether you’ve been paying attention. We need to know whether you’re in tune with what the country is going through or whether you’re locked away — or quarantined — within your own bubble. President Donald Trump is at a disadvantage. This is not the time for his divisive brand of politics, which pits “us” vs. “them” and drives wedges between groups. This is not the moment to engage in racial politicking, look for scapegoats and stoke fears. Such tactics worked four years ago, and Trump won by encouraging half the country to dislike the other half. But a lot has changed in this country in just the past four months. Given the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department in May, and the pain and destruction it caused, I’ll bet that a lot of Americans have lost their taste for the red meat of racial division. All this would normally be good news for Joe Biden. That is, if the likely Democratic nominee doesn’t botch his pick for vice president. Biden's 1990s crime record If the attack line against Trump is going to be that he is out of step with the moment, then it would be foolish for Democrats to put a presidential ticket that hearkens back to an earlier time. Like the 1990s, when — amid skyrocketing crime [...]

August 14th, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

Mike Hosking: ‘Covid election’ needs to be delayed if Auckland stays in lockdown

COMMENT: Didn't the week start well? The Warriors had won twice in a row from a lockdown of their own, the Crusaders wrapped up the rugby a week early, and we had the sell-out at Eden Park this weekend. Those were the days when we had sport, crowds and cafes sold you coffee.   By Tuesday that was shattered. A lot was shattered, like the delusion that an elimination strategy can actually work. The big question going forward - and once again one we ask - is, what's our plan? Beyond taking this day by day, and oiling the squeaky wheel with welfare money we don't have, how are we going to face the world? Deal with the world? Be a part of the world? Especially in a world where elimination, short of a vaccine, isn't happening, and we sit isolated with a failed policy. Or are we happy with the way we are doing this? Is this week's disappointment and despondency, not to mention anger and frustration, just the way it is? A couple of months of freedom, then a lockdown. Start your business, stop your business. Do we think we can afford that? Which is why we should also talk about the election. It needs to be delayed if Auckland goes beyond level 3 tonight. Level 2 is hardly the end of the world, but level 3 is no longer a level playing field. Campaigns need to be run, policies released, debates had, questions asked, and examinations conducted. That is how we do it, [...]

August 14th, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: Genomic tracing used to find source of latest outbreak

Dunedin scientist Jemma Geoghegan says four Covid-19 cases at the centre of the latest outbreak in NZ - at this stage at least - do not seem to be linked to earlier cases in managed isolation or quarantine facilities. Dr Geoghegan is using genomic tracing technology to try to solve the riddle of how the four Auckland family members became infected with Covid-19. It was hard to be definitive, but the viral genomes seemed to be linked with genomes from English data bases on the Sars-cov-2 virus, which causes Covid-19, and checks were continuing with Australian viral genomes. “It's really important that we find the source of this outbreak," she said. As before, the samples are being referred to ESR for genomic sequencing," she said. "It is vital that genomics is part of this response to enable us to track where these cases may have arisen and to estimate the size and number of clusters present. "By comparing the virus genomes from these cases to those from both the quarantine facilities and the global population, we can determine their likely origin and how long they have been circulating in the community." As before, the samples are being referred to ESR for genomic sequencing," she said. "It is vital that genomics is part of this response to enable us to track where these cases may have arisen and to estimate the size and number of clusters present. "By comparing the virus genomes from these cases to those from both the quarantine facilities and the global population, we [...]

August 14th, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: BusinessNZ boss warns ‘there isn’t really anyone who believes it’s going to only go on for three days’

BusinessNZ chief executive Kirk Hope said businesses were in a weakened state compared to the first lockdown. Photo / Michael Craig BusinessNZ is calling on the Government to reveal more information about the outbreak of Covid-19 in Auckland, with its chief executive warning the lockdown is unlikely to be over this week. "Constraining information right now is probably one of the worst things they can do," Hope, the chief executive of BusinessNZ, told the Herald this morning. Hope added that businesses are weakened by the first lockdown and warned he did not believe the current restrictions would end on Friday. "There isn't really anyone who believes it's going to only go on for three days". On Tuesday night the Government would not say which businesses were potentially impacted by the outbreak, in which at least four people are infected. Hope called for more information to be released. "What we certainly need out of Government is much more information about the situation that we are currently in and how we got there, so that people are aware, particularly in Auckland, people who have been in contact with people who are infected and have been around the businesses," Hope said. "That information needs to be made public ... There are too many people's livelihoods that are at risk to constrain information. The Government needs to be really transparent about what's going on and enable people to be able to respond really quickly." While he acknowledged concerns about privacy, Hope said there was a risk that the situation worsened [...]

August 13th, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

Winston Peters – Isolation facilities need to be managed with ‘military style precision’

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says the Government needs to get to the bottom of the recent cases of community transmission, which plunged Auckland back into lockdown. Speaking to reporters this afternoon, Peters – who is also the Deputy Prime Minister – said that "everything is on the line". And he's also concerned that some of New Zealand's managed isolation facilities are not up to scratch. He said that their effectiveness needed to be guaranteed – "that means we need military-style precision." The rest of the country will be in level 2 over the same period. Peters said he wants to know that the assurances the Government is being given by those running the facilities "day after day" were, in fact, a reality. "We have to know with precision what we're being told in every area is, in fact, 100 per cent plus operational." Asked about his reaction upon hearing community transmission was back yesterday, he said he was "brassed off". His comments came very soon after Auckland went into level 3 lockdown – where it would stay until at least midnight Friday. Brassed off at the circumstances, he said, adding that the Government needs to know "how it happened" – in regards to the new cases of community transmission. He also called for testing facilities across the country to be improved as well. Peters added that the Ministry of Health needed to make sure that people aren't waiting for hours to get a test and the process was as quick as possible. Meanwhile, he [...]

August 13th, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

Covid 19 coronavirus: World reacts to New Zealand being 100 days free of community transmission

The world has praised New Zealand's successful efforts at maintaining Covid-19, as the country marked 100 days of no community transmission yesterday. However, media have reported that the country's milestone comes with warnings that the country is becoming too complacent as the pandemic continues to spread across the world. The Ministry of Health said yesterday that there were no new cases of Covid-19 to report. It is the fourth straight day of no new daily cases. In a statement, director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield thanked every person who had been tested. "Achieving 100 days without community transmission is a significant milestone," he said. The Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield during the Covid-19 media update. Photo / Mark Mitchell The statement echoed across the globe, as the world heaped praise on Kiwis, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the New Zealand Government. Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama also congratulated New Zealand on its achievement. "Fiji and New Zealand are now among the only countries on Earth to go 100 days or more without cases of #COVID19 in our communities," he posted on Twitter. "Well done to the New Zealand Government and people - your friends in Fiji have all been rooting for your success." Fiji and New Zealand are now among the only countries on Earth to go 100 days or more without cases of #COVID19in our communities. Well done to the New Zealand Government and people –– your friends in Fiji have all been rooting for your success.https://t.co/VHjbeFkIwZ — Frank Bainimarama (@FijiPM) August 9, 2020 [...]

August 10th, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

NZ Election 2020: Labour’s first campaign policy is revamped National policy

And they're off - the Labour Party has declared the election campaign officially underway. Jacinda Ardern kicked things off on Saturday with a policy to help get people back into work, and she's promising 40,000 jobs. But the first of her party's policies for the campaign is just a revamped version of National Party policy. Labour's campaign launch began with kapa haka and a performance from Tami Neilson. Her song 'Big Boss Mama' was fitting because Labour is hinging its hopes for three more years on their big boss mama - Jacinda Ardern. The Labour leader was introduced by her partner and some backhanded compliments. "[She has] drive that sees me getting a bit growly at midnight when Cabinet papers are still being read in bed, it's worse than toast crumbs," Clarke Gayford told the crowd. But forgiven her sins by her very loyal, loved-up followers, lapping up her every word and reflecting on the launch of 2017. "If you'd told me that we would have just completed a term in Government with both New Zealand First and the Greens, I'd assume you'd been watching excessive amounts of Stranger Things on Netflix," Ardern said. But it's round two she's after, and you couldn't miss the pitch. "But for all of that, there is more to do… And still there is more to do… And yet still there is more to do… But still, there is more to do." Luring voters with the first of Labour's campaign promises. "A wage subsidy to help employers hire those on [...]

August 9th, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

The Key Reason DC Hates President Trump – It’s a Big Club, and He Ain’t in It…

Something 99% of American voters do not understand.  Congress doesn’t actually write legislation. The last item of legislation written by congress was sometime around the mid 1990’s. Modern legislation is sub-contracted to a segment of operations in DC known as K-Street.  That’s where the lobbyists reside. Lobbyists write the laws; congress sells the laws; lobbyists then pay congress commissions for passing their laws. That’s the modern legislative business in DC. CTH often describes the system with the phrase: “There are Trillions at Stake.” The process of creating legislation is behind that phrase. DC politics is not quite based on the ideas that frame most voter’s reference points. " alt="" aria-hidden="true" /> With people taking notice of DC politics for the first time; and with people not as familiar with the purpose of DC politics; perhaps it is valuable to provide clarity. Most people think when they vote for a federal politician -a House or Senate representative- they are voting for a person who will go to Washington DC and write or enact legislation. This is the old-fashioned “schoolhouse rock” perspective based on decades past. There is not a single person in congress writing legislation or laws. In modern politics not a single member of the House of Representatives or Senator writes a law, or puts pen to paper to write out a legislative construct. This simply doesn’t happen. Over the past several decades a system of constructing legislation has taken over Washington DC that more resembles a business operation than a legislative body. Here’s how it [...]

August 9th, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

UK: Teacher fired from school for saying Muhammad was a false prophet

If he had said that Jesus Christ was not the Son of God, would he have been let go? Of course not. In shattered, staggering, dhimmi Britain, we’re all Muslims now. One simply does not say anything negative about the prophet whom everyone accepts and reveres. “Transgender row teacher calls Muhammad a false prophet,” by Liam Rice, ThisIsOxfordshire, August 2, 2020: AN OXFORD teacher who was forced to leave a school for calling a transgender pupil a girl was let go from a second school just months later after he said Muhammad was a false prophet, it can be revealed…. It can now be revealed that Joshua Sutcliffe left The Cherwell School in Oxford and reportedly began teaching at a London school. Mr Sutcliffe says he was then suspended because of comments made in a video he uploaded to YouTube. In the 12-minute video, titled ‘what does the Bible say about false prophets?’, Mr Sutcliffe says Muhammad is a false prophet. “I know this is controversial and I know that people might be offended by what I’m saying but I do it in love and because I want to speak the truth,” he says. “I believe Muhammad is a false prophet, I would suggest that Muslims have a false understanding of God because they’ve been led by a false prophet. “Jesus is the only true prophet because he is God in the flesh, he is the voice of God, he brings true revelation and understanding because he is God. “We have other false prophets in this [...]

August 8th, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

Trump Lays Out His 6 Promises To Americans For His Second Term

President Donald Trump laid out six initiatives he plans to pursue if he wins a second term on November 3. Trump announced the list during an appearance at the Whirlpool Corporation in Ohio, highlighting the promises he kept from his 2016 campaign while laying out new ones for his next term. Trump’s first promise was to defeat the coronavirus, saying his administration was using all its resources to develop therapies, a vaccine, and medical equipment to limit the spread of the virus. His second promise was he would return the economy to pre-coronavirus levels of success, saying employment would was already on the rise. (EXCLUSIVE REPORT: The Inside Story Of How The Trump Team Is Rebuilding Our Supply Chain Preparedness) Third, he promised to use the gains in America’s medical manufacturing capacity to turn the U.S. into the world’s top producer of medical products such as ventilators and pharmaceuticals. Fourth, Trump promised to rein in U.S. supply chains in other industries as well, ensuring for national security reasons that American companies don’t have to rely on other nations. His fifth promise was to use every tool at his disposal – including tariffs – to bring American manufacturing jobs back to the United States. He took the opportunity to announce new tariffs on Canadian-produced aluminum as well.  His final promise was to always put American workers first. The speech came hours after he signed a “Buy American” executive order aimed at onshoring America’s production chains. White House advisor Peter Navarro, who was present at the signing, praised [...]

August 7th, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

BLM Release List of Demands for ‘White People’

This didn’t start with George Floyd, Chanelle Helm insists. Black Lives Matter just updated their list of demands for “white people” to comply with that Helm produced a couple years ago. To make the connection to George Soros a little less conspicuous, they used an independent group as a front. Concerned Citizens DC issued a list. A front group to release the demands George Soros is a little upset with the bad publicity he’s been getting lately. His name keeps coming up every time someone wonders who’s paying for the signs, the gasoline, and the media hype. When BLM put out a list of demands a couple years ago, the whole idea went down in flames so this time, they got a front group to release a polished press release with their real intentions glossed away. We know how they really feel from what Helm put out the last time. “It started 600 years ago when white supremacy was a tool for destruction,” the leader of Louisville, Kentucky’s branch of Black Lives Matter said recently. People of color are simply at “the boiling point of that outrage and frustration.” Chanelle Helm is demanding an end to the “broken system of policing that disproportionately hurts people of color.” If white people haven’t changed their minds in 600 years then its safe to assume that Black Lives Matter hasn’t changed theirs in the past two years. They still want the same things. In 2017 Helm wrote, “Commit to two things: Fighting white supremacy where and how you can [...]

August 7th, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

Twins’ letters to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern: Please let our dad in the country

If Hollywood stars can enter New Zealand, why can't our dad? That's what Tauranga twins Sophia and Michelle Toolen-Hemsley asked Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in heartfelt letters pleading with her to let him into the country. The 10-year-old Kiwi citizens have now spent more than six months away from dad Richard Toolen, who is locked out of the country by the Covid-19 border closures - despite intervention from MP for Tauranga Simon Bridges. "He's my superhero": Tauranga 10-year-old Sophia Toolen-Hemsley with her dad Richard Hemsley. Photo / Supplied The girls lived in London with British and US passport-holding Toolen and mum Kiwi Donna Hemsley. The family had been in the very final stages of permanently moving to New Zealand when the pandemic hit in March. They had put Sophia and Michelle into school in July last year in Tauranga. Toolen stayed back in the UK to run the financial services company he owned in Switzerland. The family then spent Christmas and January together in New Zealand before buying a home in Mt Maunganui. Toolen flew back out to Europe to pack the rest of their belongings and ship it in a container to New Zealand. Having always been able to fly in and out of New Zealand on a tourist visa, his plan was to start his residency visa application once living in the country.

August 6th, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

Singapore’s prime minister has a message for the US: Don’t choose China confrontation or Asia withdrawal

US President Donald Trump signs a memorandum of defense with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong prior to their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York City, New York, U.S., September 23, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst Key takeaway: Lee Hsien Loong, the prime minister of Singapore, worries that Washington’s increasingly tense relationship with Beijing and domestic pressures to reduce its commitments abroad will force US policymakers to choose either a path of “colliding with China” or “deciding that you have no stake in the region and leave us to our own defenses.” In an Atlantic Council Front Page event on July 28, Lee told moderator and co-founder of the Carlyle Group David Rubenstein that his country and other East Asian allies fear a confrontation between China and the United States, but also want to ensure that Washington is able to play its traditional role in the region “and tend to your many interests, and your many friends, and your many investments … Otherwise, a part of the world which has been crucial to you since the Second World War I think may become a problem rather than an asset to you.” Here’s a quick look at what else Lee said on the escalating confrontation between the United States and China in his region, what his country has learned from combating the COVID-19 pandemic, how he views China’s actions in Hong Kong, and his future as Singapore’s leader. 2020 election may not calm US-China conflict A corrosive relationship: Lee acknowledged [...]

August 5th, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

Sultanate of Sulu asserts Philippine claim to Sabah

THE Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo on Tuesday asserted the Philippine claim to Sabah after the nations’ top diplomats sparred on Twitter over ownership of the Malaysian state. “The people of Sulu have lived on these islands for 600 years and will continue to do so in the centuries to come,” the Sultanate said in a statement. It also said the 35th Sultan of Sulu and North Borneo is being recognized in Portugal, Serbia and Yugoslavia, Ethiopia and Poland, among other countries. The Philippines and Malaysia last week revived a long-standing dispute after Malaysian Foreign Minister Hishamuddin Hussein summoned the Philippine ambassador over his Philippine counterpart’s statement that Sabah is not in Malaysia. Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. kept his position and moved to summon the Malaysian ambassador in Manila. Malaysia has stopped paying cession money worth RM5,300 or about P61,300 a year since 2013,  Malaysian news agency Bermara said in a July 22 report. The Sultanate appealed to the Malaysian government and the international community to settle the conflict  through diplomatic means. “We hope the government of Malaysia understands the plight of the thousands of underprivileged and indigenous families of Sulu, who barely survive in Sabah especially during this pandemic,” according to the statement. “We aspire for an amicable solution to the predicament that affects us all in this region.” The oil-rich state of Sabah, a territory that is part of Malaysia’s northern Borneo, has been a thorny issue between the Philippines and Malaysia for decades. About 200 armed followers of a [...]

August 5th, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

Majority of Americans approve of deploying federal law enforcement to protect federal buildings

Just 34% disapprove of the policy. A majority of Americans say that sending federal law enforcement to protect federal property under threat from violent protesters is appropriate action, a new Just the News Daily Poll with Scott Rasmussen shows. In the context of the recent weeks of unrest and violence in Portland, Oregon, 51% of voters said it was "appropriate to deploy federal law enforcement officials to protect federal buildings from protesters," according to the poll. Just 34% of respondents said such measures were not appropriate, while 16% said they were "not sure." The favorable response to the much debated White House policy of sending federal police to assist besieged federal institutions could indicate that the public is growing concerned with the steady procession of sometimes-violent and chaotic demonstrations in Portland and some other American cities. The national survey of 1,200 registered voters was conducted Jul. 30 - Aug. 1, 2020 by Scott Rasmussen, a polling veteran. The margin of sampling error is +/- 2.8% for full sample. To see the full demographic cross-tabulations for this polling question, click here. To see the methodology and sample demographics for this polling question, click here.  

August 5th, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

Poll: 7-in-10 Support Trump Excluding Illegals in Congressional Apportionment

  Win McNamee/Getty Images About 7-in-10 United States registered voters support excluding illegal aliens when it comes to determining representation in Congress, a new poll reveals. A poll by Rasmussen Reports and Just the News Daily finds that voters overwhelmingly support excluding illegal aliens from congressional apportionment counts, which determine how many representatives each state receives in Congress. Last month, Trump signed a memorandum that ensures American citizens receive proper representation in Congress without being minimized by apportionment counts inflated by the illegal alien population. Overall, about 70 percent of all voters said they support excluding illegal aliens from such counts — including nearly 30 percent who want only citizens counted. Less than a quarter said they want illegal aliens included in the counts.   Across party and racial lines, Trump’s decision is hugely popular. About 72 percent of white Americans, 67 percent of black Americans, and 57 percent of Hispanic Americans said they supported counting either only citizens or citizens and legal residents when determining congressional representation for the states. A majority of Republican voters, 52 percent, said they support counting only citizens in the counts, while 57 percent of Democrats and 65 percent of swing voters said they support excluding illegal aliens. Liberals are the most likely of any group to say illegal aliens should be counted in congressional apportionment counts, while conservatives are the most likely to want only citizens counted. About 43 percent of liberals said illegal aliens should be counted. Conservatives, on the other hand, said by a 53 percent majority that only citizens [...]

August 4th, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

NZ election 2020 electorate changes: Adjusted boundaries, new names

Many New Zealanders will find themselves voting in a different electorate at this year's election as a result of the country's growing population. A recent review found the population in each electorate has grown since 2014 and as some have grown at a greater rate than others, changes to boundaries have been needed. Regularly adjusting the electorate boundaries makes sure each electorate has about the same number of people. Thirty-six electorates are unchanged, 30 general and five Māori electorates have been adjusted and one new electorate has been created in south Auckland. Originally proposed as Flat Bush, the new electorate's name will be Takanini. The Representation Commission, which has set the official electorate boundaries for the next two elections, has made changes mainly in Auckland, Waikato, Christchurch, Otago and Southland, with 7 percent of the population in a different electorate to 2017. Most of the boundary changes were signalled in the proposed electorates report published in November 2019, when it was confirmed that there will be a new electorate resulting in one fewer list seats in Parliament than at the 2017 election. When the Representation Commission proposed Flat Bush it received 22 objections, with some objecting to the name, suggesting alternatives such as Takanini, Flat Bush-Takanini, Manukau South, Manurewa East, Totara and Totara Park - but Takanini has won the crown. The number of electorates will increase from 71 to 72, meaning in a 120-seat Parliament - excluding any overhang - there will be 72 electorate and 48 list seats. Each electorate must not exceed 5 [...]

August 4th, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

Democrats Urging Biden Not To Debate Trump

Democrats around the country have begun to pressure the Biden campaign to call off all debates with Donald Trump due to the coronavirus pandemic, they say. In truth, the reason they don’t want Biden to debate Trump is that they don’t think Trump will play by their rules. The president would take over the debate and make it about what he wants, not what Biden wants. Democrats are also worried about Biden’s mental stamina and his ability to remain engaged for an hour and a half during a debate. Newsweek: Democratic strategists and supporters of Vice President Joe Biden are urging him not to debate President Donald Trump in the lead-up to Election Day, citing Trump’s publicity stunts and disregard for the rules in 2016. Meanwhile Biden backers, including some conservatives, applauded the University of Notre Dame and the University of Michigan for cancelling their scheduled debates over COVID-19 concerns. Former White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart joined several Democratic Party strategists in bluntly advising Biden, “whatever you do, don’t debate Trump.” Speaking on CNN Saturday, Lockhart said Trump shouldn’t be given another platform which will enable him to “repeat lies,” which he said occurred in the 2016 debates against Hillary Clinton. Trump has a knack for exaggeration and hyperbole that Democrats don’t like. It’s very effective in debates and Biden would spend most of his time on the defensive. Trump has a knack for exaggeration and hyperbole that Democrats don’t like. It’s very effective in debates and Biden would spend most of his time on [...]

August 2nd, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

Is This the Beginning of a New Cold War With China?

The clash between Washington and Beijing could be the start of a new ideological confrontation—or the inevitable fallout from a power transition. Policemen march in front of the U.S. consulate in Chengdu, China on July 26. The Chengdu mission was ordered shut in retaliation for the forced closure of Beijing's consulate in Houston, Texas. NOEL CELIS/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES Matthew Kroenig: Hi, Emma. Is it really almost August? Usually Washington, D.C., would be slowing down for summer this time of year, but things seem as busy as ever. Emma Ashford: We’re around day 30 of a heat wave, so is it any wonder everyone is staying inside? Another change from the average summer: Unlike most election years, there won’t be any big party conventions. When Joe Biden finally decides on his choice for vice president, I guess we’ll learn about it on Zoom? MK: He was recently photographed holding notes with bullet points about Kamala Harris, increasing speculation that the California senator will be the pick. Guessing the next VP makes for a fun parlor game, but the running mate doesn’t usually matter much in elections beyond their home state, and the leading candidates are mostly from places like California and Massachusetts or Washington, D.C., that are already safely in the Democrats’ camp. EA: I doubt this election is going to ride on the VP choice! There’s just too much else going on. But from the point of foreign policy, it’s hard to know what to think about the two supposed top choices. Susan Rice might [...]

August 1st, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

‘Total failure’: Government defends charging some returnees for quarantine

A new law to charge some Kiwi returnees will recoup not even 2 per cent of the $0.5 billion cost of the managed isolation operation. National has slammed the legislation as a "failure" and NZ First has called it "dreadful public policy" but Housing Minister Megan Woods has said it is "absolutely critical". She told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking today that introducing a flat fee of $3000 for every returnee was "not that simple". She said no one was mooting a system that did not accommodate waivers or exemptions. If we did that we would have made ourselves so vulnerable to a judicial review on the basis that it was unreasonable. The Government could then be forced to re-make the decision. "I am not prepared as the minister in charge of this to introduce anything that undermines the stability or the ability to do long-term contracting around these facilities." Hosking told Woods he had been advised that the Government was paying $410 a night for a room at the JetPark Hotel in Auckland - when the normal rate was $90. Woods said she did not know the specific numbers for that hotel, but that the cost would include paying for security and the presence of police and the Defence Force. "We have negotiated good rates," she said. The new bill sets out a co-payment scheme for Kiwis coming home for a trip shorter than 90 days or those who leave after the law comes into effect. It will be rushed through Parliament under urgency, meaning by [...]

July 30th, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

Iran’s Regime Disgraceful Act in Handing Over Island to China: Sign of Mullahs’ Desperation and Deadlock

Reports from Iran indicate the regime is handing over some Iranian islands to China in an unpatriotic 25–year agreement. This is a desperate move by a regime which is reaching its end and trying to hold its grasp on power at any cost. The regime is handing the Kish island to China in exchange for military, regional and international support. Particularly, the mullahs’ regime fears the upcoming decision of the United Nations Security Council over an extension of the arms embargo on the regime.   Meanwhile, the regime has not disclosed the details of this agreement, because it fears that this unpatriotic agreement could trigger protests by the Iranian people, who are grappling with poverty and the COVID-19 crisis while the regime auctions their wealth, and the regime is unable to control a possible uprising.  The regime has never stopped its relations with China. At the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, the regime was the only government that continued its flights from and to China. The Mahan Air airline, which is affiliated to the regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), continued transferring Chinese passengers, prioritizing economic goals over the Iranian people’s lives. There were numerous protests to this action. Therefore, fearing an uprising, the regime was forced to stop its flights or at least pretend it had for a very short period of time.   The Oil Price website, in an article on July 6, 2020, wrote: “Last week, the Supreme Leader [Ali Khamenei] agreed to the extension of the existing deal to include new military elements that were proposed by the same senior figures in the IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] and the intelligence services that proposed the original deal, and this will involve complete aerial and naval military co-operation between Iran [...]

July 28th, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

Inside Iran’s crumbling economy, increasing prices and housing crisis!

Shahrokh Tavakoli July 27, 2020 Iran’s failing economy and the unprecedented fall of its national currency has further aggravated the living conditions of most Iranians. According to Hesam Oghbaie, the Vice President of the Real Estate Advisors Union, Tehran residents can no longer afford rent due to the country’s 30% inflation. Speaking to state-run media, Oghbaie said that many tenants who lived in northern Tehran in affluent neighborhoods have relocated to the center of Tehran. Those who lived in the middle of Tehran, relocated to poorer neighborhoods in southern Tehran.  Residents of southern Tehran have now moved to the outskirts of the capital, most likely in slums.   According to Khabar Online website, around 15-20% of the population of tenets were forced to relocate. State-run media also reported that families were now living two to a house to lessen the burden of rent. However, Oghbaie denied this report because according to Islam, “those who are not mahram with each other cannot live under one roof.” His reaction angered many people who accused him of being concerned with Sharia more than the poverty that is crushing Iranians under its weight. The cost of almost everything in Iran, from rent and home prices, to chicken, eggs, and home appliances has greatly increased. Iranians say that products that have not increased in price have lost their quality. A state-run daily said that even the price of “rooftop sleeping” in Tehran’s Region 22 has doubled since last year, increasing from 25,000 tomans to 50,000 a night. Sleeping on rooftops, near cemeteries, and [...]

July 28th, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

Global warming’s impact: Not worst-case but still deadly, if we don’t act

Climate change is real, caused by human activity and a serious problem that needs to be addressed. In a new study published last week, which one of us helped author, we’ve gotten a better understanding of exactly how serious. The good news is that some of the worst-case scenarios seem a bit less likely than before. The bad news is that it's clearer than ever that warming will not be mild or modest in a world where we fail to cut emissions rapidly. Climate scientists have been trying to narrow down how, exactly, the climate will respond to increasing levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) for well over a century. We call this “climate sensitivity” — in essence, how sensitive the climate is to our emissions. In 1979 a major report suggested that global surface temperatures would ultimately rise somewhere between 2.7 and 9.1 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 and 4.5 degrees Celsius) if the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere was doubled. Thirty-five years later, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change gave the same range in their most recent assessment report. A four-year effort led by 25 experts in the field has finally been able to give us a better understanding of how sensitive the climate actually is. By combining lines of evidence from physics-based studies, historical temperature records and records from the Earth’s more distant past — such as during the last ice age — we find that if the amount of CO2 doubles in the atmosphere, the world will likely warm between 4.7F and 7F (2.6C and [...]

July 28th, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

Australia should yield neither to Xi nor Trump

The Trump administration has invited Australia and all the countries of the free world to join a great campaign. Including, quite possibly, a war. Top US officials have given a series of stern speeches on China, culminating in a battle cry for freedom by the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, late last week: "Today China is increasingly authoritarian at home, and more aggressive in its hostility to freedom everywhere else. And President Trump has said: enough." US-China relations have plunged since Donald Trump and Xi Jinping met at the G20 in June last year.CREDIT:THE NEW YORK TIMES The speech was designed to be a historic one. Pompeo delivered it at the birthplace and library of Richard Nixon, the former president. It was Nixon who began the era of US engagement with China in 1972. The point of Pompeo's speech was to end it. "If we want to have a free 21st century, and not the Chinese century of which Xi Jinping dreams, the old paradigm of blind engagement with China simply won't get it done. We must not continue it and we must not return to it." He offered US policy on the South China Sea as an example: "We reversed, two weeks ago, eight years of cheek-turning with respect to international law in the South China Sea." It was a reference to a US statement that rejected as "unlawful" China's claims to huge swathes of the sea. Pompeo called for action. He didn't explicitly call for the overthrow of the Chinese Communist Party's rule. The [...]

July 28th, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

Philippine Embassy welcomes Anti -Terrorism Law

The Embassy welcomes the gatherings with reference to Philippine Republic Act (RA) 11479 or the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA). The Philippine Government remains committed to the exercise of our freedoms guaranteed under Philippine national legal frameworks and international law. Likewise, The Embassy sees this as an opportunity to be able to explain the facts fundamental to this issue. While Southeast Asia in general has been grappling with terrorism, the Philippines has been among the countries most affected by this menace. It has struggled with terrorism for decades and multiple elements are even taking advantage of this pandemic to sow terror. Threats originate, among others, not only from • the Maute Group a.k.a. the Islamic State of Lanao; • the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) linked before with Al-Qaeda, now to Islamic State; • pro-IS Bangsamoro Freedom Fighters (BIFF); • external extremist networks themselves like ISIS and the Southeast Asian terror group, Jemaah Islamiyah; but also from • the New People’s Army (NPA) of the Communist Party of the Philippines, National Democratic Front (CPP-NDF) which is listed as a terrorist organisation by the US, EU, UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. It is apparent that quick fixes will not work. The Government, which has the duty to protect the security and integrity of the nation and safeguard its citizens from savagery and ruthlessness a more long-term, comprehensive and integrated strategy in countering violent extremism (CVE). The ATA aims to protect life, liberty, and property from domestic and foreign terror attacks deemed as “inimical and dangerous to the national security [...]

July 28th, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

Deteriorating relations with China put US companies on edge

American businesses are wary of the growing animosity between the U.S. and China, particularly as Trump administration officials are starting to name and shame companies they see as bowing to Beijing. The business community is closely tracking speeches and other public remarks from officials like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and they’re increasingly concerned over rhetoric in recent weeks that paints China as the number one national security threat to the U.S. But firms aren’t making any quick moves to exit the world’s second-largest economy. While the global COVID-19 pandemic has prompted some businesses to seek additional supply chains elsewhere, they’re still hopeful Washington and Beijing will find a way to patch things up. “In general, American companies oppose the Trump administration’s views on China,” said Shaun Rein, founder of the China Market Research Group. “They make a lot of money here, they don’t want to leave. The only time they want to leave is to duplicate supply chains.” Administration officials, however, are putting public pressure on several high-profile companies by characterizing competition between the two countries as an ideological battle for the future of the free world. In doing so, they have pointedly attacked American companies doing business with China. “In Hollywood, not too far from here – the epicenter of American creative freedom, and self-appointed arbiters of social justice – self-censors even the most mildly unfavorable reference to China,” Pompeo said Thursday during a speech in California. Attorney General William Barr, in remarks delivered in Michigan on July 16, singled out Disney, saying failure [...]

July 27th, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

Pandemic has exposed weaknesses in our economy… and society

For decades we rolled along, loosening up our economy, deregulating workplace laws, privatising services and hooking ourselves into global capital flows and supply chains. Good times followed. True, we took some body blows in the wake of the global financial crisis in 2008 but quick action by the Rudd government staved off recession, something that many countries in the northern hemisphere could not avoid. People queue outside Centrelink in Melbourne in March.CREDIT:GETTY IMAGES So we kept going, counting on what had worked before to keep working. Politically, most of us bought into the Coalition's high-decibel campaigning against increased levels of public debt and budget deficits and voted for three different Liberal leaders at three successive elections to get us back into surplus. This was what we wanted. But the model that we'd installed wasn't exactly running like the clappers. Sure, at the start of 2020 the federal budget looked like moving into the black – just – but wages were stagnant, productivity growth was sluggish, and the economy was just ticking over. Then came the pandemic and everything that had been treated as gospel on the budget front for the previous 20 years went out the window. In the space of a mere four months, just to keep our economy going and our society together, the government has run up a bill that will take 30 years to pay off – if everything goes well. Illustration: Jim PavlidisCREDIT: Anybody who tells you that we can get things back to "normal" in the medium term at the [...]

July 27th, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

Trump’s Nakedly Political Pandemic Pivot

President Trump during a news conference at the White House on Wednesday.Credit...Doug Mills/The New York Times After mocking people for wearing masks, refusing to publicly wear one himself and holding rallies and gatherings where social distancing was not required, President Trump has shifted his tone. He has canceled his convention activities in Jacksonville, Fla., after moving the events from North Carolina when that state’s governor raised public health concerns about such a large indoor gathering. He has resumed briefings, ostensibly about the coronavirus, after canceling them and trying to move on to other matters, as if the virus would simply vanish if he sufficiently ignored it. Trump is in real trouble. With the election passing the 100-day-away milestone, he is down in the polls, people don’t trust or approve of his handling of the pandemic and he faces a real uphill battle to re-election. Apparently, the reality of his dire straits has begun to pierce his inner circle of perpetual affirmation. There is a reality lurking that can’t be lied away. If the election were held today, he wouldn’t win. But Trump is a political chameleon: He can alter himself to suit his environment, to reflect it. He may not be fond of apologies, but he is open to course reversal, for survival. Indeed, that is the maleficent marvel of it all: He has changed his position to the opposite of what it once was and argued that the new direction is the one he’s always embraced. Only a person with an utter contempt for the [...]

July 27th, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

If the second wave hits Sydney, let’s cut to the chase on masks

troubling week in the life of Sydney Town. Every day we look to what is happening south of the Murray with the COVID crisis, and see a second wave that looks suspiciously like the one we saw in the Poseidon Adventure, wondering if it will indeed crash on our shores too. So far, the results have been nothing less than remarkable. While their rate of new infections has been in the 300s and 400s daily, in NSW we have kept it to somewhere between a mere handful, and four hands at most. Can that last? Perhaps, if we work towards it. Masks should be part of the solution if things get worse in Sydney.CREDIT:GETTY But if that second wave does hit, can I make a plea for the bleeding obvious, and suggest we avoid the palava that Victoria is going through right now when it comes to masks? Let’s just make them mandatory early, and get on with it. Yes, the likes of Alan Jones will scream loudly and carry on about “alarmism”, “infringement of rights” and all the rest, but that is just a beautiful bonus. Let’s just, as a population, accept the stark staring facts. 1. The coronavirus is deadly serious. 2. No one wants to go back into full lockdown. 3. The mild hassle of wearing masks diminishes the rate of infection, and makes it possible for life to go on in rough resemblance to the way it was. Any questions? Yes, yes, yes, I know, but I am ignoring the squawking and [...]

July 26th, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

Ben Shapiro: America Is Hitting the Self-Destruct Button

  The American flag swirls in the wind. (Photo credit: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)   On Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal released the results of a poll performed in conjunction with NBC News. The poll found that 56 percent of Americans believe American society is racist. Seventy-one percent believe race relations are either very or fairly bad. Most troubling, 65 percent of black Americans say that racial discrimination is built into American society, “including into our policies and institutions.” The notion that America is systemically racist bodes ill for the future. It’s also a dramatic lie. American history is replete with racism; racism was indeed the root of systems ranging from slavery to Jim Crow. But the story of America is the story of the cashing of Martin Luther King Jr.’s promissory note: the fulfillment of the pledge of the Declaration of Independence to treat all men equally, to grant them protection of their inalienable natural rights. America has worked to extirpate the nearly universal sin of bigotry in pursuit of the fulfillment of the declaration. The story of America is 1776, not 1619; it’s Abraham Lincoln, not John C. Calhoun; it’s Martin Luther King Jr., not Robin DiAngelo. It is particularly true today that American society does not deserve the scorn being heaped upon her head. American society is decidedly not racist: According to Swedish economists from World Values, America is one of the most racially tolerant countries on Earth. American law has banned discrimination on race for two generations and more than half a century; in fact, the only racially [...]

July 26th, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

‘I was devastated’: Trump reflects on becoming President

Washington: Donald Trump has suggested that he was "devastated" when he won the US presidency because he had such a great life before entering the White House. With just over 100 days before the US election, Trump has given a glimpse of how things were better for him before he won the election, noting that the best day of his life was the one before he announced he was running for office. Trump said that, before he became President, he "was in so many rap songs".CREDIT:BLOOMBERG "I love doing it [being President] but there was this phoney deal, that I was devastated when I won because I couldn't have my life. I had a great life, I did," he said, in a candid interview with American sports and pop culture blog Barstool Sports. "The best day of my life in terms of business, and life, and everything, was the day before I announced I was running for president. Everything was good. The company was good, I had finished up a lot of jobs that were very successful. And then I said I want to do this. I’m really glad I did but I was treated very unfairly, with fake Russia. Russia, Russia, Russia, and Ukraine, Ukraine - all fake stuff. It’s a very vicious business." The interview with Barstool’s president David Portnoy took place on the grounds of the White House and provides an insight into the President’s views of life before the Oval Office. Before taking on the job, he claimed, "I was in so [...]

July 25th, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

U.S. policies are pushing our friends in China toward anti-American nationalism

A man walks past a video screen showing Chinese President Xi Jinping speaking in Beijing on June 30. (Mark Schiefelbein/AP) The “Rabbit Chairman” is the author of a popular Chinese blog with 1.5 million readers. He is one of several influential Chinese bloggers I knew when they were students. In one of his recent posts, the Chairman quoted Sun Tzu, the famous war strategist — “If you know yourself and know your enemy, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles” — to explain how Americans are losing their conflict against China because we don’t “know the enemy.” The Rabbit Chairman argues that the United States lost the war in Vietnam because many Americans mistakenly thought the North Vietnamese were old-fashioned communists. In fact, after they took power and were responsible for governing the country, they became nationalists. U.S. officials are now attacking the Chinese Communist Party — and reportedly weighing a sweeping travel ban against members — without realizing its complexity and diversity. It is no longer the party that exemplifies the communist goals of Stalin or Mao. After Deng Xiaoping came to power in 1978, the party was transformed into an organization to represent the nation. The Party includes people who have been pro-American, including business people, scientists and intellectuals. But when Americans attack the Communist Party as a whole, members — particularly those who would like to see more democratic procedures — rally to support the Party and, by extension, the nation. In the half century since I became a professor [...]

July 24th, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

Trump’s China policy has no strategy — except to boost his reelection campaign

A FedEx employee removes a box from the Chinese consulate in Houston on Thursday. (David J. Phillip/AP) THE UNITED STATES should be leading democratic nations in resisting China’s tightening totalitarianism and escalating belligerence. Instead, President Trump is pursuing a reckless, incoherent and unilateral offensive against Beijing that appears designed to boost his reelection campaign, not manage the complicated challenge posed by the regime of Xi Jinping. The State Department’s abrupt order shutting down the Chinese Consulate in Houston this week is a case study in Mr. Trump’s counterproductivity. It will inevitably lead to the permanent closure of a comparable U.S. mission in China — probably in Wuhan, where the covid-19 epidemic originated. That will reduce channels of communication and diminish U.S. understanding of China’s domestic situation, while doing next to nothing to address the offensive activities of the Xi regime, from its crackdown in Hong Kong to its attempts to spy on Americans and steal U.S. technology. U.S. officials are describing the Houston consulate as a nest of espionage activities, though they have offered no evidence to back that up. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo portrayed the closure as sending a message: “We are setting out clear expectations for how the Chinese Communist Party is going to behave, and when they don’t, we’re going to take actions that protect the American people, protect our security, our national security, and also protect our economy and jobs.” That’s good campaign rhetoric — but closing consulates won’t accomplish those aims. Most Chinese hacking and spying is directed from China, not [...]

July 24th, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

Operation Legend

President Trump is expanding Operation Legend --surging Federal law enforcement to communities plagued with violence and crime. This effort will help restore peace and protect Americans. However, Democrats are moving a step beyond national debate over defunding the police, questioning whether crime is a bad thing at all. During the past month, three leading Democrats have all issued statements blessing criminal acts. Instead of focusing on keeping Chicago citizens safe, mayor Lightfoot is attacking POTUS for his commitment to restoring law and order. It's time left wing mayors stop turning their backs on law enforcement and start protecting their communities. Portland mayor even joins violent "protest ", booed by protesters, tear gassed by Feds. People have surrounded the mayor, cursing him and calling for resignation.

July 24th, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

We are in Deep Crisis

    145 000 dead #Coronavirus out of control 11% Unemployment #RussianBounties on US troops #Russia trying to steal #COVID19 US vaccine data. #Trump? Playing golf. But please... ... give us more conspiracy theory stories to defend #Trump We are in worst crisis since 1929 recession, but, few people realize this situation. The society is divided into the left and the right, and fight each other in the streets.

July 22nd, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

A Filipina in New Zealand

I am Marivic Abrera Murray. I was born on November 10, 1976 in Brgy. II Pasig Daet, Camarines Norte in the Philippines. I attended my primary finishing at Top 1 at Abaño Pilot Elementary School. They say primary schooling is the best year for any school kid, but I reckon nothing really beats high school! I graduated my secondary (with honours) not without it’s fair share of teenage struggles. Camarines Norte National High School is where I started to form friendship from schoolmates, batchmates and even teachers. Those pink and blue dresses and slightly curled hair at JS Proms are all but vivid! With the help of my siblings, I completed my tertiary education (achieved with honours) with a degree of Bachelor of Secondary Education Major in English from Mabini College. Straight after college I became one of the pioneer Academic Instructors of AMA-CLC in Daet Camarines Norte. Not long after my first job, I met and married a New Zealander and moved to New Zealand in 2001 and started a family. I now have 2 children, Maria Victoria 18yo and Vaughn Mitchell 13yo. I stopped pursuing my career in teaching as I find it tedious to be taking home work and looking after children at the same time hence a career in sales/retail became a convenience. I am the current President of the UragoNZ, a Bicolano organization in NZ and also an active Management Committee Member of The Filipino Society Inc. in Auckland where Welfare, Media and Public Information are in my portfolios. My amazing [...]

July 16th, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

India’s Hideous Behavior and Hegemonic Evil in the Pandemic

According to Indian media reports, the Indian Supreme Court on June 3 rejected an application for changing the country name of India. It was earlier applied to change India's country name India to Bharat or Hindustan, on the grounds that the word India is derived from a foreign language, and the above two names are more reflective of Indian historical traditions. Over the past two months, 40,000 people have starved to death in India. As of June 10, more than 270,000 people in India have been infected with the coronavirus, ranking fifth in the world. More than 7,700 people have died. Although Indian Prime Minister Modi ordered the implementation of a national lockdown at the end of March, the pandemic has not only been brought under control, but also has deteriorated, moving towards an uncontrollable situation. Under this circumstance, some people still have the mood to take care of the country's name. It was the populism that put Modi to the state power. Indian government declared in August last year canceling the unique status of the Indian-controlled Kashmir, while the troops were increased on the border between India and Pakistan, and India imposed military control on the Indian-controlled Kashmir, cutting off the traffic with outside world and even the Internet. It was criticized as "Kashmir is back in the Stone Age." At a webinar entitled "Indian Malevolence and Regional Peace" held in Pakistan in early June, participants unanimously condemned India's brutal human rights abuses against Kashmir during the pandemic. A Pakistani general highlighted in his speech [...]

July 9th, 2020|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments