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Regional News • Americas • United States
World Leaders condemn DC protests

Political leaders across the globe, have expressed their concern and shock as Pro-Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol and condemned the violence happening on the day the US Senate was to certify the Electoral College results.

"The right of people to exercise a vote, have their voice heard and then have that decision upheld peacefully should never be undone by a mob," so Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand and said she and her countrymen were "devastated" by the events.

Leader of the nationalist League party in Italy, Matteo Salvini, who has been a vocal supporter of Trump, said on Twitter that "violence is never the solution" and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India called for an "orderly and peaceful transfer of power."

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Music
Season 1 of Amazon's Lord of the Rings TV show has finished filming in New Zealand
Season 1 of Amazon's Lord of the Rings TV show has finished filming in New Zealand
Credit: Courtesy of Instagram

According to JA Bayona, who is directing the new Amazon-exclusive series playing in the Lord of the Rings universe, the production has wrapped up filming in New Zealand. He posted on Instagram that "this is my last photo in New Zealand" but added that his "heart feels a little kiwi no" and that he "can't wait to be back" while also thanking "this extraordinary land and its beautiful people for taking me in".

There is no release date for the series as of yet.

Regional News • Oceania
Two-way Travel Bubble between New Zealand and Australia
Two-way Travel Bubble between New Zealand and Australia
Credit: unsplash/Will Waters

New Zealand agreed Monday on a two-way travel bubble with Australia, allowing quarantine-free travel between the two nations in the first quarter of 2021.

“It is our intention to name a date ... in the New Year once remaining details are locked down,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at a news conference in Wellington.

Science • Nature
Mass stranding off New Zealand coast kills 100 pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins
Mass stranding off New Zealand coast kills 100 pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins
Credit: Source: Department of Conservation (NZ)

97 pilot whales and 3 bottlenose dolphins have died as a result of a mass stranding on the remote Chatham Islands, located 800 kilometers off New Zealand's east coast. New Zealand's Department of Conservation was notified of the incident on Sunday, however rescue efforts were thwarted by the remote location and rough sea conditions.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Music
Guns N' Roses announces Austrialia & New Zealand tour for November 2021
Guns N' Roses announces Austrialia & New Zealand tour for November 2021
Credit: Courtesy of Instagram

The US rock band Guns N' Roses plans to perform in a stadium tour in a year's time. In May, the group around the founding members Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan had to cancel their European tour planned for early summer 2020 at short notice. Now they have announced a statium tour for Australia and New Zealand in November 2021. Tickets go on presale on November 23rd.

Diversity & Inclusion
New Zealand introduces Hijab to the police uniform
New Zealand introduces Hijab to the police uniform
Credit: Courtesy of NZ Police

Zeena Ali has become the first New Zealand police officer to wear a police-issued hijab as part of her official uniform. She had joined the police forces after the Christchurch terror attack and now worked with the police to design a hijab that is both functional for work as a police officer and considerate to her religion.

Regional News • Oceania
Nanaia Mahuta named New Zealand's first Indigenous female foreign minister
Nanaia Mahuta named New Zealand's first Indigenous female foreign minister
Credit: New Zealand Labour Party., / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Nanaia Mahuta will be New Zealand's foreign affairs minister, the first woman and the first Indigenous woman to take that job. Jacinda Ardern promoted Mahuta, who has served as the country's first female member of parliament to wear a moko kauae, a traditional tattoo on her chin, for the past four years.

"I'm privileged to be able to lead the conversation in the foreign space," so Mahuta.

"This is a cabinet and an executive that is based on merit that also happens to be incredibly diverse and I am proud of that," Ardern said Monday.

Regional News • Oceania
NSW records five locally transmitted Covid-19 cases; 17 New Zealand travellers entered Melbourne despite state's lockdown

New South Wales reports seven new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, five of which were locally transmitted.

Premier Daniel Andrews expressed frustration with the Australian Border Force and Kingsford Smith Airport during a press conference over a technicality that allowed 17 travellers from New Zealand to enter Victoria despite the state's lockdown. The identity of the travellers has yet to be determined.

Regional News • Oceania
Jacinda Ardern's party scores a landslide win in New Zealand's election
Jacinda Ardern
Jacinda Ardern Credit: Nevada Halbert (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has won a second term after a landslide victory in the country's general election. Preliminary results show that Ardern's centre-left Labour Party has won 49% of the vote.

Saturday's result means the Labour Party is projected to win 64 out of 120 parliamentary seats, and be the first party in 24 years with a clear majority.

Regional News • Oceania
Legalizing of marijuana and euthanasia to be voted on in New Zealand
Legalizing of marijuana and euthanasia to be voted on in New Zealand
Credit: unsplash.com / Arnaud Jaegers

The citizens of New Zealand are set to vote on two social issues during the national elections that are set to happen on Sunday.

They can decide if recreational marijuana and euthanasia should be legalized in the country. Recent polls indicate that the outcome of the marijuana referendum remains uncertain while the euthanasia referendum is likely to pass.

Health
Coronavirus: New Zealand records first death in 3 months
Coronavirus: New Zealand records first death in 3 months
Credit: Governor-General of New Zealand (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

New Zealand registered Friday its first Covid-19 death since May 24. Health officials said the man was part of the second wave of infections discovered in Auckland last month.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has extended coronavirus-related restrictions until at least mid-September.

Science • Space
Rocket Lab launches Earth-observing satellite for Capella Space
"I Can't Believe It's Not Optical" launch
"I Can't Believe It's Not Optical" launch Credit: RocketLab (Twitter Reproduction)

Rocket Lab successfully launched Monday, from their New Zealand launch facility, a satellite on behalf of client Capella Space. In just over a month, Rocket Lab was able to identify what went wrong with the previous Electron launch, that caused the loss of seven satellites.

"I Can't Believe It's Not Optical" was the 14th orbital launch for the Electron booster, which debuted in May 2017. The rocket had strung together 11 consecutive successful missions until the July 4 failure.

Regional News • Oceania
Not wearing a mask on public transport to be a finable offense in New Zealand
Not wearing a mask on public transport to be a finable offense in New Zealand
Credit: unsplash.com/Marco Testi

Starting Monday, face coverings will become compulsory on public transport in New Zealand. Offenders can be fined either NZ$300 infringement notice or up to NZ$1,000 imposed by a court.

Health Minister Chris Hipkins said there will be an exemption for people with a disability or physical or mental condition and children under the age of 12.

Regional News • Oceania
Christchurch mosque terrorist sentenced to life without parole
Vigil after the Christchurch mosque shooting, March 2019
Vigil after the Christchurch mosque shooting, March 2019 Credit: Charles Edward Miller from Chicago, United States / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

The Christchurch mosque gunman and far-right terrorist Brenton Tarrant has been sentenced to life without parole in a Christchurch court on Thursday. He pleaded guilty to 51 counts of murder, 40 counts of attempted murder and one charge of terrorism. Tarrant is the first person in New Zealand's history to be convicted of terrorism and to receive life with parole.

"As far as I am able to gauge you are empty of any empathy to your victims," said Justice Cameron Mander. "Your crimes are so wicked that even if you are detained until you die, it will not exhaust the requirements of punishment."

On March 15, 2019, Tarrant opened fire on two mosques in Christchurch, killing 51 Muslim worshipers and injuring 40.

Science • Space
Rocket Lab sets next Electron launch to August 27
Rocket Lab sets next Electron launch to August 27
Credit: Rocket Lab

After losing a payload during a mission failure on July 4, Rocket Lab has set a launch window for its next commercial mission starting on August 27 at 3:05 PM local New Zealand time.

The new Electron mission is billed as a relatively commonplace small satellite delivery mission and will launch from Launch Complex 1 Pad A on New Zealand’s Māhia Peninsula.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Trump gives nod to Oracle takeover of TikTok
Trump gives nod to Oracle takeover of TikTok
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler – Logo via TikTok (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The United States President Donald Trump stated tech giant Oracle would be "a great company" to take over TikTok's US operations.

The President reaction comes days after media reported that Oracle would be a possible buyer of the TikTok in North America, Australia and New Zealand.

Trump ordered TikTok's owner ByteDance to sell their US business within 90 days or face being shut down by the government.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Oracle is working with Sequoia Capital and General Atlantic, investors that already have stakes in ByteDance.

Regional News • Oceania
New Zealand moves elections over new Covid-19 cases
New Zealand moves elections over new Covid-19 cases
Credit: Paasikivi (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The general elections in New Zealand have been postponed from the 19 September to the 17 October. Reason are the new Covid-19 cases and the extended lockdown for Auckland and the higehr alert in the remaining country.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday that "this decision gives all parties enough time for their election campaign over the next nine weeks and the Election Commission enough time to ensure that the election can take place".

Regional News • Oceania
New Zealand investigates into packaging of frozen food for possible Covid-19 transmission
New Zealand investigates into packaging of frozen food for possible Covid-19 transmission
Credit: unsplash.com / Bodie Pyndus

New Zealand's director general of health Ashley Bloomfield has announced that the country is currently investigating the transmission of Covid-19 by freight. He stated that "we know the virus can survive within refrigerated environments for quite some time" and that one member of the family of four that recently got infected works in a cool store in Auckland.

Surface testing for the store is currently underway to determine if it could be the possible source for the infections. Over the past weeks China has already reported that they found Covid-19 on the packaging of imported frozen seafood.

Regional News • Oceania
New Zealand reports first Covid-19 community transmission in 102 days, Auckland goes into lockdown
New Zealand reports first Covid-19 community transmission in 102 days, Auckland goes into lockdown
Credit: unsplash.com / Kirsten Drew

New Zealand's prime minister Jacinda Ardern has stated that four locally transmitted Covid-19 cases have been detected in Auckland. As the source of the transmission is currently unknown, Auckland has moved into alert level three. All residents have been asked to stay home from Wednesday on, bars, restaurants and other businesses will be closed.

The remaining country will move back to alert level two, meaning that social gatherings inside and outside will be limited and services such as bars and restaurants can only serve seated and with separation between the costumers.

Technology • Internet & Web
Snapchat to test new TikTok-like music feature
Snapchat Logo Illustration
Snapchat Logo Illustration Credit: unsplash.com/Morning Brew

Multimedia messaging app Snapchat has announced a new feature that will let users add songs to their video posts, similar to TikTok. Snapchat has made a licensing deal with Warner Music, Universal Music Publishing Group and other music industry companies to offer a "robust and curated catalog of music."

"We’re always looking for new ways to give Snapchatters creative tools to express themselves. Music is a new dimension they can add to their Snaps that helps capture feelings and moments they want to share with their real friends," so a Snapchat spokesperson.

The new feature will launch first for users in Australia and New Zealand, and later this fall in Canada and the United States.