ミニヘッドライン 2012/05/15



Christchurch has been shaken by a magnitude-4.5 earthquake. The tremor hit at 1.27pm today and was felt widely across the city. GeoNet reported the quake as magnitude 4.5, centred 10 kilometres northeast of Christchurch at a depth of 11km. Twitter users reported feeling the quake strongly, with computer monitors wobbling and people jumping under their office desks. One Twitter user said builders working on scaffolding "s... themselves". Others spoke of the shake being the strongest jolt they had experienced for some time. Christchurch also had a strong shake on Saturday, centred in Cashmere. It measured magnitude 3.9 and was strongly felt across the city as it occurred at a depth of just 5km.



The number of teenagers caught drink-driving has halved in the past five years - but some of those who are stopped are showing levels far above the adult limit. Police figures released to the Herald show a dramatic drop in the number of under-17s caught drink-driving, from 630 in 2007 to 305 last year. The figures follow law and policy changes - including a zero limit for drivers under 20, increasing the driving age to 16 and making the restricted licence test harder - aimed at reducing the road toll. The national road policing manager, Superintendent Rob Morgan, said the statistics were encouraging and reflected efforts by the Government and police to stop teens driving drunk.



The driver of a van which crashed into a power pole near Lawrence early this morning has died. The crash, on State Highway 8 just outside the South Otago town, happened about 5.15am, bringing down electricity lines around his vehicle, trapping the driver for almost two hours before rescuers could free him. Electricity supplies to the town were also cut by the crash and the town still had no power at 9am today. The Fire Service say they are dealing with hazardous materials at the scene.




Glen Innes couple Tiana Kausari and her fiance, Mohammed naim Mohammed, went out on Sunday to look at possible wedding venues. They were planning to marry in a traditional Afghan ceremony on May 26 and hoped to book a hotel or hall in the Mt Wellington area. Thieves had smashed through the back door and taken most of their possessions including a 55in television and sound system, all the food from the fridge and freezer, the lounge suite and their son's bed. But the theft of the couple's gold wedding bands and her dress - a present from her mother valued at about $800 - upset Ms Kausari most. "They trashed everything. They've chucked everything all over the rooms," she said. "They've taken our wedding rings, they've taken my engagement ring. We can't afford to get married now because we have to replace everything. You only get married once and you want it to be special. It sucks, everything is gone. I can't afford a new dress."



Some of the medical industry is making a plea to the Government to reconsider a $2 price hike on prescriptions. From next January, prescriptions will cost $5 each for the first 20 items per year, after which they are free. Critics say the price hike will disproportionately affect lower-income groups, the elderly and the chronically ill, and there are even fears it could cost lives. Public health expert Professor Tony Blakely of Otago University, Wellington, said the price increase will hurt lower income families. "I certainly think in these times of austerity, whereby we're pushing costs on to low income people for part charges but not talking about the tax breaks that were given to the rich a few years ago, I find that a little hypocritical," Blakely said.



A primary school asked the parents of a four-year-old Whangarei boy with HIV to keep his two older siblings at home for their own safety after other parents came forward with concerns. The incident follows the boy's alleged exclusion from the Mokopuna childcare centre after parents of other children were told of his condition last week. The four-year-old boy is due to start at Whau Valley Primary, where the childcare centre is also located, in July. Principal Robert Clarke said some 20 parents approached him to discuss the issue last Wednesday after the childcare centre held a meeting to discuss the child's HIV status. Most parents were happy when he told them the school would develop a care plan with the family and stakeholders, but there were two parents who made him "feel uneasy".



A mayor's son has been found guilty of three charges of sexually abusing girls aged under 16. But despite almost 11 hours of deliberation, the jury at Whangarei District Court was unable to reach a verdict on two other charges - including one of rape - against Bevan Edward Tiller. The jury of five men and seven women returned their verdicts at 10pm last night and Tiller, 37, of Dargaville, was remanded in custody to June 22. He was found guilty of two charges of unlawful sexual connection and one of committing an indecent act. During his trial, the jury were shown a recording of a police interview with Tiller. In it he said had he committed the alleged offences, it could have been while he was sleepwalking.



Harley-Davidson, the US motorcycle company founded in 1903, has doubled sales to Kiwi women in the past three years, even as the nation's overall market for big bikes has shrunk. Sales to women in New Zealand have risen to 10 per cent of total Harleys sold - from 5 per cent three years ago, Adam Wright, the company's Australia & New Zealand marketing director, told BusinessDesk. That's in a period when overall sales of Harleys dropped by about a third, based on NZ Transport Agency registrations data. Total registrations of bikes over 60cc tumbled 28 per cent. Auckland Motorcycles' Pratt says his dealership has "started a Harley owners group for ladies". Worldwide sales of Harley parts and accessories rose 9 per cent to US$816 million in 2011, while general merchandise sale such as clothing climbed 5.8 per cent to about US$274 million, according to Harley's latest annual report. Full-year profit rose 7 per cent to about US$1.5 billion. In New Zealand, Harley ranked a close second to Suzuki in terms of bike registrations last year at 941 to 949 respectively, according to NZTA figures. Wright said Harley ranks first for sales of big bikes, with about 24 per cent of the 651cc+ market so far in 2012.



A waterspout has wowed Wellingtonians this afternoon. Onlookers in Lyall Bay and Wellington Airport saw the cloud approach from the Cook Strait around 4.30pm. Waterspouts are considered to develop into a tornado if they reach land. It is one three twisters captured by ONE News viewers over the last few days.



Police are working with Customs and Interpol to solve a mystery surrounding parcels being sent to people in the West Coast from France in the past week. Four parcels have been sent to three people in Greymouth and Hokitika from unknown people in Paris and all contain a hairdryer or hair clippers and cash. One woman received two of the parcels. Most have contained two 50 euro notes, although one of the parcels had a $100 note and two $50 notes. Senior Sergeant Allyson Ealam from Greymouth Police said the four packages have been sent from different addresses in Paris between April 24 and May 10. Police have contacted Customs and Interpol to visit the addresses the packages were sent from in Paris, Ealam said. She said the recipients of the parcels have no knowledge of the people sending them.



A poll of nzherald.co.nz readers has backed research finding the proliferation of non-English signs in Auckland is making some Kiwis uncomfortable. Massey University researchers Robin Peace and Ian Goodwin studied 500 "linguistic landscape" photographs taken in five Auckland locations - Northcote, Dominion Rd, Meadowlands, Auckland CBD and Papatoetoe - for their study, "The Cosmopolitics of Linguistic Landscapes". Many of the signs were for migrant businesses and featured languages other than English. That was backed by nzherald.co.nz poll findings showing 39 per cent of people thought all immigrants should use English on their business signs. A further 40 per cent of respondents said English translations should be offered beside ethnic scripts on business signs and 21 per cent said the signs should be accepted as New Zealand was a diverse society. The findings were based on a sample size of about 8100 people. But Auckland Mayor Len Brown said the signs added to the "unique character" of the city. "I'm not concerned by an increase of signs in different languages if Auckland business owners think that it is appropriate for their customers and communities, as long as they observe the bylaws," he said.



Australia's struggling domestic economy represents a cloud on New Zealand's horizon, Prime Minister John Key said yesterday, despite record numbers of New Zealanders heading across the Tasman in search of a brighter future. Yesterday those attacks were fuelled by news that population growth had slowed to its lowest rate in more than a decade. Population growth at 0.6 per cent was the lowest since March 2001, when it only increased by 0.5 per cent. Statistics New Zealand put that down to a combination of fewer births, more deaths and more people leaving the country. Australia was the most popular choice for those departing permanently, with a record 53,000 moving across the Tasman in the year to February.



After the revisions, SNZ said GDP growth over calendar 2011 came to 1.1 per cent, down from a previously published figure of 1.4 per cent. Economic activity grew 0.3 per cent in the December 2011 quarter, unchanged from the previously published figure, SNZ said in a statement. SNZ said GDP data from the June 1987 quarter to the December 2011 quarter had been updated to incorporate the new industry classification to better represent the current economy. September 2011 quarterly GDP growth is now estimated as 0.2 per cent, rather than 0.7 per cent. "It is now clear that the recovery has been slow and that economic activity is still around the 2007 level," he said. "The recovery in private consumption and private investment now looks slower," Stephens said.



The stubbornly high New Zealand dollar continues to frustrate the Reserve Bank and it is expected to keep rates on hold till early next year, according to HSBC. But the central bank would be reluctant to actually cut rates (from the current 2.5 per cent) unless there was another big global economic shock, HSBC said. Despite falling more than US4c recently from about US82c late last month to US77.7c today, HSBC said the New Zealand dollar remained "historically high". International commodity prices had fallen back from recent peaks, but the New Zealand dollar had not fallen in line with that decline, which dampened export incomes, HSBC said. "A strong currency is just another in a string of challenges that have hampered New Zealand's (economic) recovery," HSBC economist Luke Hartigan said.




Prime Minister John Key says the media's attitude towards his Government has become more aggressive, hostile, and antagonistic. Speaking on Newstalk ZB this morning, Mr Key made special mention of the New Zealand Herald, which he said had become more tabloid in an attempt to raise a declining circulation. "The Herald's turned more tabloid. They won't like it if I say that, but it's absolutely a statement of fact,'' said Mr Key. Mr Key also criticised the Sunday Star Times. "The media are in a more aggressive and hostile mood towards us, I am not bent out of shape about that, I expected that. "Helen Clark came up to me at the swearing in of the Government in 2011 and said to me, 'I remember what it was like, the first term was sort of okay, the second term was disastrous and the third term was diabolical,'' said Mr Key. "That's just what happens, the pressure comes on governents more because the media become more antagonistic, it just is what it is. "I don't mean that as a complaint, I'm not moaning about it, it's just a statement of fact."



A marine conservationist renowned for disrupting whale hunts appeared in court in Germany today, facing extradition to Costa Rica over charges arising from a confrontation with a ship involved in shark finning. Marine activist group Sea Shepherd said Paul Watson, its 61-year-old leader, faced extradition to answer "violation of ships traffic" charges stemming from the incident a decade ago. Sea Shepherd said the group had discovered an illegal shark finning operation, run by a Costa Rican ship called the Varadero. The practice involves catching sharks, slicing off their fins and throwing them back into the sea, sometimes barely alive and facing almost certain death. Watson will remain in custody until Wednesday, pending a further court decision, his lawyer, Oliver Wallasch, told Reuters television. The alleged confrontation over the finning operation took place in Guatemalan waters in 2002.



Iran has hanged a man it said was an agent for Israeli intelligence agency Mossad whom it convicted of killing one of its nuclear scientists in 2010, Iranian state media reported. Twenty-four year old Majid Jamali Fashi was hanged at Tehran's Evin Prison after being sentenced to death in August last year for the murder of Massoud Ali-Mohammadi, Iran's state news agency quoted the central prosecutor's office as saying today. It said he had confessed to the crime. Ali-Mohammadi was killed in January 2010 when a remote-controlled bomb attached to a motorcycle outside his home in Tehran went off. Today's report said Fashi had travelled abroad on several occasions to receive training from Mossad before returning to Iran to plot the assassination.



The number of people approved as skilled migrants to New Zealand is down 12 per cent, largely due to the global economic downturn. In its latest report on migration trends the Department of Labour says 13,265 people were approved under the skilled migrant category in the nine months from July 2011 to March 2012, nearly 1800 fewer than in the same period last year. People in this category are a key source of future skilled migrants and the demand for these workers slowed from October 2008 with the onset of the global financial crisis. The country's biggest sources of skilled migrants are the United Kingdom and India, each providing 17 per cent of the total, followed by the Philippines on 12 per cent, China and South Africa at 8 per cent each, and Fiji on 7 per cent. The numbers of international students approved to study in New Zealand was down 7 per cent on the name nine months in the 2011 year, to 56,741. The largest source country for international students is currently China at 26 per cent of the total, followed by India at 13 per cent, South Korea on 10 per cent, and Japan on 5 per cent. Meanwhile the number of people approved for a work visa increased 3 per cent, due to increases in the study to work visa and horticulture and viticulture seasonal workers. Overall the numbers of people being approved for New Zealand residency are steady - 28,674 in the July 2011-March 2012 period, compared with 28,695 at the same time last year.



Professional body piercer Dave Hurban is a man attached to his iPod. Literally. Hurban, 21, who works in a tattoo parlor in Newfield, New Jersey, implanted four metal studs in the skin of his wrist and secured his iPod to them magnetically. "I just invented the strapless watch," he said of his Apple device, set to display a clock. Hurban cheerfully recounted how he mapped out the four corners of the iPod on his arm and then inserted four titanium studs into his skin. Once the incisions healed, he popped on his iPod, which is held in place magnetically. "It's way simpler than you think it is," said Hurban, who posted his "How To" video on YouTube, where it has been viewed nearly 900,000 times in two weeks.




A sudden onset of wintry weather has brought the first snow of the year to Mt Ruapehu and prompted snow warnings for the Otago region. At least 4cm of snow has fallen to 1200 metres this morning at the popular central North Island skiing destination. Mt Ruapehu Ski Area Manger Steve McGill said the deluge is a welcome sight ahead of the opening of the Turoa skifield on June 16 and Whakapapa field on the June 23. "We are all amped for the winter season and the snow on the mountain today is a glorious sight for skiers and boarders. As we switch to the winter season, snow is what we want now." The Bruce Rd from Whakapapa Village is now closed due to snow fall and part of the road to Turoa is closed.



The WWF is warning by 2030, two Earths would not provide enough land to support humans' use of resources. Released today, in its Living Planet Report, a biennial audit of the world's environment and biodiversity, warns action for sustainability must be made. The report shows biodiversity has decreased by an average of 28 percent globally since 1970. It also shows the world would have to be 50 percent bigger to have enough land and forests to provide for current levels of consumption and carbon emissions. Yet governments are not on track to reach an agreement at next month's sustainable development summit in Rio de Janeiro, WWF International's director general Jim Leape said. Despite that pact aimed at cutting planet-warming carbon emissions, global average temperatures are on track for a "catastrophic increase" by the end of the century, WWF said.




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