Allan Lee

Allan Lee

Friday, 17 January 2014 06:23

Syria "no longer exists" as it once was

Syrian-bomb-attackSyria's ongoing conflict is being described as a very bitter, brutal war in which one has to kill or be killed.

The warring factions continue to block roads, preventing food and aid from getting through to those in need.

The BBC's Chief International Correspondent Lyse Doucet says she asked a Syrian army commander how could he deprive civilians of food.

His response was to ask why would he let bread go into an area that was controlled by the rebels.

If the rebels were able to get hold of the bread and then pushed toward Damascus, they would be killing his children.

She says the scenes on the ground are devastating, and that Syrians are now saying the country as they knew it no longer exists.

Newstalk ZB/RBG News

Friday, 17 January 2014 06:14

Chinese reaction reveals NZ vulnerability

E-Coli-bacteriaFonterra's E. coli scare has become big news in China - just as consumers prepare to buy up big for the Chinese New Year.

Chinese authorities issued a warning over Fonterra's cream recall, even though none of the cream was sold there.

Massey University marketing lecturer Dr Henry Chung says the latest recall is a reminder of the vulnerability of our food safety reputation.

He says we can't assume that Chinese consumers' views will remain steady over time.

New Zealand needs to work hard to make sure Chinese consumers continue to understand our strict food safety standards.

Newstalk ZB / RBG News

Friday, 17 January 2014 06:01

Domestic violence campaigners concerned

white-ribbon-logoThe White Ribbon Trust says it was clear a man who shot dead his two children was a serious threat.

Dunedin youngsters Bradley and Ellen Livingstone were killed on Wednesday night by a man who'd breached orders - twice before.

Fifty-one year-old Edward Livingston - who's been confirmed as the estranged partner of their mother Katherine - was also found dead.

David White of the White Ribbon group says Livingstone's previous breaches made it obvious he was a danger to the family.

He wants to see the contravening of orders taken more seriously and harsher penalties for when they're breached.

Meanwhile Families with children at St Leonards School in Dunedin are being encouraged to spend time together at the school today.

Principal Jo Wilson says the school opened yesterday so children could come together to support each other, and will be open again today.

Newstalk ZB / RBG News

Friday, 17 January 2014 05:43

Another cyclone brewing in the Pacific

Cyclones in_Pacific_from_spaceA fresh cyclone is brewing in the Pacific near the Solomon Islands as humanitarian groups struggle to get relief supplies to outlying islands in Tonga devastated by Cyclone Ian.

Solomons forecasters say the region's second cyclone of the summer could hit this weekend, a week after Ian slammed into Tonga, killing one person and leaving about four thousand homeless.

Damage from Ian is expected to run to several million dollars.

Red Cross workers say they still haven't been able to reach all the affected people in the scattered islands.

Newstalk ZB / RBG News

Thursday, 16 January 2014 07:55

Increasing tensions in Bangkok

Thailand-bangkok-protestsThe House of Travel is keeping an eye on the increasing tensions in Bangkok.

Demonstrators in the Thai capital have been occupying key intersections in the city in their on-going protest against the government.

Tensions flared after two people were slightly wounded in a shooting and there's also been a small blast at a house owned by the opposition leader's family.

House of Travel commercial director Brent Thomas says there's nothing to stop travel plans and winter is when most New Zealanders head to Thailand.

Thursday, 16 January 2014 07:19

Kim Dotcom's political success

Kim-Dotcom-landscapeA warning to mainstream politicians not to take Kim Dotcom too lightly.

The German-born resident of Auckland's North Shore has indicated he's going to officially announce the launch a political party - the Internet Party - on Monday night.

He wants to engage those currently detached from the political process - those who live through social media and the internet - and there's speculation that Kim Dotcom could be on a political roll.

His Internet Party is said to be planning to field candidates in Auckland Central and the new Upper Harbour electorate.

Fifteen-thousand free tickets to his album launch on Monday night at Vector Arena have been snapped up, with many of those now up for sale on TradeMe.

David Slack says conventional politicians hold old-time political meetings but hardly anyone goes. He says waving their hoardings at passing motorists is about as much engagement as most people have with their politicians.

David Slack says it's possible for the Internet Party to get the 150,000 votes needed for a place in an MMP government.

He says Kim Dotcom's made no secret that he's looking after his own interests in the wake of facing extradition to the US - but he can be taken at his word when he says he is outraged at the way some of the officers of the state have played fast and loose with our important consitutional principles.

David Slack saysthe Internet Party could have more of a chance getting into an MMP parliament than Colin Craig's Conservatives.

Newstalk ZB/RBG News

Thursday, 16 January 2014 06:46

Triple homicide in Dunedin

Police-emergency-tapeA homicide investigation has been launched in Dunedin after the apparent shooting of a man and two children.

Police received a 111 call just before ten last night, after neighbours heard gunshots coming from a home in the suburb of St Leonards.

It's believed a father and his two children were shot in a house in the suburb of St Leonards around nine last night.

Two police cars remain at the scene at Kiwi Street this morning where a cordon surrounds the house where the shooting took place.

Last night, the scenes were more chaotic with State Highway 88 closed as the Armed Offenders Squad entered the property.

Police aren't seeking anyone else in connection with the incident.

Newstalk ZB / RBG News

Thailand-protestsThere's no end in sight to the ongoing political battle in Thailand.

Protesters trying to topple the democratically-elected government continue to block many major intersections in the nation's capital.

It's part of an eight-year-long conflict in which the largely Bangkok-based middle class are competing with the mostly poorer, rural supporters of the current regime.

BBC Correspondent Jonathan Head says it's difficult to see the end of the tunnel.

He says governmental opponents are making some strong demands, despite its popularity with many in the north. The Prime Minister is completely unacceptable to them, and they are demanding that the Shinawatra family should be purged from politics and made to leave the country.

Newstalk ZB/RBG News

Wednesday, 15 January 2014 07:51

Auckland Mayor faces court action

Len-BrownLen Brown will be defending himself again - but this time it'll be in a courtroom, facing accusations of corruption.

A private prosecution is being brought against the Auckland mayor by retired Wellington accountant Graham McCready.

Two charging documents are being sent to the Auckland District Court today.

Mr McCready says Len Brown supported the SkyCity convention deal, after receiving gifts from the casino, including free hotel rooms and upgrades.

He says Mr Brown didn't disclose the gifts and then changed his position to support the SkyCity convention centre deal.

Newstalk ZB / RBG News

Wednesday, 15 January 2014 07:45

Whales re-strand themselves

Whale-tailHelp is on hand for eight whales that have re-stranded on Farewell Spit this morning.

The original pod of 13 beached yesterday morning but were refloated last night.

They were found again this morning beached in the same position - but five of them have died.

DOC conservation services manager John Mason says they'll be keeping the whales comfortable until the next high tide.

He says there won't be a lot of change until the tide comes in, around mid-morning, and the whales will be sitting in the dry.

Mr Mason says they'll be looking after them until then.

Newstalk ZB/RBG News

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National

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