Monday, August 8

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Environmentalists, mana whenua criticise PM’s ‘appalling’ gift to US president
News

Environmentalists, mana whenua criticise PM’s ‘appalling’ gift to US president

The origins of a swamp kauri bowl gifted to the US President are causing controversy in Te Tai Tokerau - with one environmentalist calling the present an "appalling" mistake. Mana whenua are also frustrated they were kept out of the loop. The Prime Minister gave the bowl to Joe Biden on her recent visit to Washington. Her office has confirmed the wood came from businessman Nelson Parker. But the chair of the Northland Environmental Protection Society Fiona Furrell told RNZ that was a "faux pas". A Ministry for Primary Industries report provided to RNZ shows Parker was investigated in 2019. It found he likely contravened the Forests Act, exporting swamp kauri to China and calling it artwork. Products must be manufactured not just raw wood. But the ministry decided not t...
UK inflation surges to new 40-year high of 9.4%
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UK inflation surges to new 40-year high of 9.4%

LONDON – Inflation in the United Kingdom has accelerated to a new 40-year high, driven by rising food and fuel prices that are contributing to a cost-of-living crisis. Consumer prices rose 9.4% this year through June, up from 9.1% the previous month, the Office for National Statistics said Wednesday. The new figure is the highest since 1982, when inflation peaked at 11%. Russia's war in Ukraine has boosted food and energy prices around the world, with shipments of oil, natural gas, grain and cooking oil disrupted. That has added to rising prices that began last year as the global economy started to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said Tuesday that the bank is likely to consider raising interest rates by half a percentage point at its next...
Elevator project in Old Jerusalem leads to surprising finds
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Elevator project in Old Jerusalem leads to surprising finds

JERUSALEM – Installing an elevator doesn't normally involve a 2,000-year plunge into an ancient city's history. But in Jerusalem, even seemingly simple construction projects can lead to archaeological endeavors. Archaeologists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem say they have made numerous discoveries, including an ornate first-century villa with its own ritual bath, after a project began to increase access for disabled people to Jerusalem's Western Wall. The villa, located footsteps from where the biblical Jewish Temples stood, was uncovered during several years of salvage excavations in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem's historic Old City. Archaeologists perform salvage excavations to make a scientific study of ancient artifacts and buildings before they are removed to make way ...
Nelson Council prepares for rising seas, climate change
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Nelson Council prepares for rising seas, climate change

As disruptive storms and major flooding events become more common, councils are looking at how to prepare for the impact of a changing climate. In the coastal city of Nelson, 4170 properties are likely to be affected by 1.5 metres of sea level rise by 2130. The council is holding community meetings and asking residents what features in the city they most want to protect. The Wood - a desirable low-lying suburb close to Nelson's city centre is facing a future that will see more coastal inundation and river flooding. Residents want to know what the options are to protect their homes, and how long they have. Environmental engineer Rob Bell said New Zealanders needed to prepare for more frequent and extreme weather events. "As across all our low lying areas around New Zealand...
United against fire, flood and erosion: Europe must save its cultural heritage
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United against fire, flood and erosion: Europe must save its cultural heritage

Heritage sites represent the past and future of our common European culture and identity. However, many of them are under serious threat: climate change and environmental degradation put our cultural heritage at risk. Especially in the Mediterranean countries, numerous fires, floods, erosions, and pollution have already caused irreparable damage over the past decades. But this can and must be avoided. Therefore, not least as a member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education, I am fighting for a stronger and more coherent EU approach to improving the protection and funding of our European cultural heritage. Relevant facts and figures are well-known, and they shouldn’t be neglected. According to the recent IPCC report Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptatio...
‘Historic moment’: EU opens accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia
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‘Historic moment’: EU opens accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia

Accession negotiations for North Macedonia and Albania started in Brussels on Tuesday in what was described as a "historic moment" for the two Western Balkans countries and for the European Union. "What a historic moment," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told reporters during a joint press statement with the leaders of the two countries. "The people of Albania and North Macedonia deserve it, and we will all stand to gain when one day we welcome Albania and North Macedonia as full-fledged members of our European Union," she added. For North Macedonia, this moment has been 17 years in the making as the country of two million inhabitants first became a candidate country in 2005. But its road to EU accession was until now paved with vetoes. The first hurdle c...
Petersberg Climate Dialogue: Germany rejects delaying climate action
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Petersberg Climate Dialogue: Germany rejects delaying climate action

The German foreign minister has called climate change the "greatest security challenge of all time" and stressed that it acts as a catalyst for other crises. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has rejected the notion of cutting back on climate change targets despite the energy and food security crisis, speaking at the end of the Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin on Tuesday. Despite geopolitical tensions fueled by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, she reiterated the importance of cooperation and trust among the global community to combat climate change so as to not further delay crucial climate action. What was on the agenda at the 13th Petersberg Climate dialogue? Representatives of 40 different nations met in Berlin to discuss how to combat climate change in prepa...
The 2.5 seconds that sealed Shinzo Abe’s fatal security lapses
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The 2.5 seconds that sealed Shinzo Abe’s fatal security lapses

Bodyguards could have saved Shinzo Abe if they shielded him or removed him from the line of fire in the 2.5 seconds between a missed first shot and a second round of gunfire that fatally wounded him, according to eight security experts who reviewed footage of the former Japanese leader's assassination. The failure to protect Abe from the second shot followed what appeared to be a series of security lapses in the lead-up to the assassination of Japan's longest-serving prime minister on 8 July, the Japanese and international experts said. Abe's killing in the western city of Nara by a man using a homemade weapon shocked a nation where gun violence is rare and politicians campaign up close to the public with light security. Japanese authorities including Prime Minister Fumio Kishida ...
Elon Musk’s dad Errol Musk confirms he had secret second child with his 35-year-old stepdaughter
Business, News

Elon Musk’s dad Errol Musk confirms he had secret second child with his 35-year-old stepdaughter

It emerged in 2018 that Errol Musk had baby Elliot Rush, nicknamed Rushi and now five, with stepdaughter Jana Bezuidenhout, who is 41 years his junior and he had raised since she was four. San Francisco: Tech billionaire Elon Musk`s father, Errol Musk, has claimed he`s had a second unplanned child with his 35-year-old stepdaughter, Jana Bezuidenhout. In an interview with The Sun, Errol, 76, told he welcomed a daughter with 35-year-old Bezuidenhout three years ago. It emerged in 2018 that Errol had baby Elliot Rush, nicknamed Rushi and now five, with Bezuidenhout, who is 41 years his junior and he had raised since she was four. The Tesla CEO was reported to have gone "berserk" when he found out his South African engineer dad was having a child with Bezuidenhout, who lived with h...
These are the 4 key takeaways from the Uvalde shooting investigation report
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These are the 4 key takeaways from the Uvalde shooting investigation report

When an 18-year-old gunman targeted an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, "systemic failures and egregiously poor decision making" on behalf of law enforcement and school officials failed to stop the shooter from killing 19 students and two teachers, a new investigative report found. Hundreds of law enforcement officials prioritized their own safety over the lives of students and teachers that day as they waited more than an hour to confront the shooter, according to the 77-page report from a Texas House of Representatives committee. After weeks of conflicting and inconsistent accounts of the police response, the report gives the public the most complete picture yet of the May 24 massacre at Robb Elementary School. As police fumbled without clear leadership or organization, scho...