Tuesday, 05 May 2015, 6:09pm

UK Elections: Gordon Campbell on why Miliband will be the next British PM

The Britain that goes to the polls on Thursday looks awfully familiar to anyone from New Zealand. In Britain too, a smooth but vacuous technocrat (David Cameron) leads a government whose prime policy allegiance seems to be to its financial services and banking elites. In Britain as here, the PM and his party minions preach the discredited gospel of fiscal austerity and a balanced budget,while touting the brilliance of an economic recovery all but invisible to 90 % of UK households. Oh, and the UK health system has been ravaged by privatisation, and likewise…. the UK education system has been riven by (a) an obsessive focus on national standards in education and (b) a failing, ideologically-driven experiment with charter schools. MORE >>

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      PARLIAMENT TODAY:

      Gordon Campbell: The PM’s Hair-Pulling Power Trip

      There have been striking differences between (a) the account of the waitress involved in the hair-pulling incidents, and (b) the account being given by Prime Minister John Key. The version by the waitress is available here and is recommended to anyone yet to read it. By her account, there were multiple instances of hair-pulling and these persisted and persisted long after she had made her annoyance clear to Key – who had also been advised by his wife, and by other café staff that the behavior was evidently not being welcomed. More>>

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      War: What’s To Commemorate?

      Gordon Campbell in Werewolf: Is there anything that can be validly commemorated on this 100th anniversary of Gallipoli? Beyond, that is, a fleeting sense of empathy with the thousands of soldiers killed or wounded on April 25 1915 and in the months thereafter, until the whole thing was finally called off in December 1915. More>>

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      Peter Ellis Case: Minister Declines Request For Commission Of Inquiry

      Justice Minister Amy Adams has declined a request from supporters of Peter Ellis for a Commission of Inquiry on the basis that an inquiry cannot be used to determine the liability of any person. More>>

      Quakes: New Process For Red Zone Crown Offers

      Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a process to give everyone a say on the Crown offers to owners of vacant, commercial/industrial and uninsured properties in the Residential Red Zone. More>>

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      Gordon Campbell: On The Battle Obama Is Waging Over The TPP

      For the past two and a half years, this column has been arguing that the fate of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal will hinge on whether US President Barack Obama can win Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) from Congress... Last week, the White House finally, finally unveiled a draft TPA Bill. More>>

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      Greens: Govt Breaks Free Doctors Visit Promise To Kids

      Documents obtained by the Green Party show that the Government decided to fund only 90 percent of doctors’ visits for children suffering from an injury in an attempt trim the cost of the so-called “free” visits. More>>

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      Other Wars: Extension Of NZDF Commitment In Afghanistan

      The New Zealand Defence Force’s commitment of mentors and support staff to the Afghan National Army Officer Academy in Afghanistan has been extended out to December 2016, Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says. More>>

      PM's Press Conference: Auckland Property Prices Increasing "Too Rapidly"

      John Key accepted that Auckland property prices 'are going up too rapidly” in a press conference held today in Wellington, however he said that this is not anything new. More>>

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      Press Conference: ANZAC PMs Concerned About ISIL Bringing The War Home

      Prime Minister Key and Prime Minister Abbott spoke of the bond formed between Australia and New Zealand in the “baptism of fire” of Gallipoli. Abbott stated that New Zealand and Australia’s values and interests are linked, and this is reflected in the joint operation in Iraq which will begin shortly. More>>

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      BUSINESS, SCIENCE & TECH > >

       

      Broadband Network: Spark Launches New, Competitive Ultra Fibre Plan Line-Up

      Spark is giving customers an even more compelling reason to switch to its Ultra Fibre plans from today with the introduction of new competitive pricing for the majority of its plans (details below) and Fibre Landline (voice-over-fibre technology) for ... More>>

      Employment: ANZ Proposes Casualisation In Whangarei Stores

      ANZ workers in Whangarei could see their incomes drop by 20 to 40 percent if the bank’s proposal to reduce the number of full-time positions goes ahead says FIRST Union national organiser Tali Williams. More>>

      Finance: BNZ Develops Specialist Tāmaki Māori Banking Team

      BNZ develops specialist Tāmaki Māori Banking Team to support Māori as Auckland grows More>>

      Pharmaceuticals: Commerce Commission To Consider Pharmaceuticals Merger

      The Commerce Commission has received an application from Pfizer Inc. seeking clearance to acquire all of the shares in Hospira Inc. More>>

      Real Estate: Housing Unaffordability Issues Spread

      Surging house prices in Auckland and Queenstown last month pushed home ownership even further beyond the reach of first home buyers in the two districts, according to the AMP360 Home Loan Affordability Report for March. More>>

      Statistics NZ: Annual Exports To China Dip Below Australia

      The value of goods exports to Australia ($8.7 billion) surpassed those to China for the year ended March 2015, Statistics New Zealand said today. More>>

      Science: Hookworm Discovery At Malaghan Institute

      Professor Graham Le Gros has led a team which has stimulated both innate and memory responses to the parasite, discovering along the way the unexpected behaviour of one particular immune cell, in Hookworm, one of the world’s most devastating tropical ... More>>

      Business: Provinces Urged To Make Full Use Of New Air Services

      Provincial New Zealand has been urged to use new air services to Auckland or risk losing them either partially or completely. The stark warning was issued today by Far North mayor John Carter at a ceremony at Kaitaia airport to mark the final Air ... More>>

      Mobile: 2degrees To Credit All Calls And SMS To Nepal

      In the wake of the devastating earthquake in Nepal in the weekend, 2degrees will be crediting all calls and SMS messages made to mobiles and landlines in Nepal from Friday 24th April until midnight Wednesday 29th April. More>>

      Scoop Business: Alex Swney Pleads Guilty To $2.5M Fraud Charge

      Alex Swney, former chief executive of the Auckland city centre business association Heart of the City, has pleaded guilty to dishonestly using documents to obtain $2.5 million. More>>

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      Petrol Burns Prices: Second Consecutive Quarterly Fall For CPI

      The consumers price index (CPI) fell 0.3 percent in the March 2015 quarter, following a 0.2 percent fall in the December 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. The last time the CPI showed two consecutive quarterly falls was in the December 1998 and March 1999 quarters. More>>

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      Werewolf: Artificial Intelligence: Real Anxieties?

      The movie Ex Machina feels so current there are powerful moments of recognition – despite the seemingly unlikely scenario of a walking, talking artificial intelligence (AI). Right now Google is enlisting its massive databases, drawing on the contents of every email and Internet search ever made, in the service of what has been called ‘the Manhattan Project of AI’. More>>

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      Open Source, Open Society: More Than Just Transparency

      Bill Bennett: “Share and share alike” is the message parents drum into children. But once they grow up and move out into the wider world, the shutters start to come down. We’re trained to be closed. Dave Lane, president of the New Zealand Open Source Society, says that explains the discomfort people find when they first encounter the open world. More>>

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      Werewolf: Journalism, History And Forgetting

      Compare that [the saturation coverage of WWI] not just with the thinly reported anniversaries last year of key battles in the New Zealand Wars, but with the coverage of the very consequential present-day efforts to remedy the damage those wars wrought, and the picture is pretty dismal. More>>

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      Werewolf: Climate Of Fear

      New Zealand, promoting itself as an efficient producer, has been operating as a factory farm for overseas markets with increasing intensity ever since the introduction of refrigerated shipping in 1882. The costs to native forests and to bio-diversity have been outlandish. The discussion of impacts has been minimal... More>>

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      Greek Riddles: Gordon Campbell On The Recent Smackdown Over Greece

      There had been a fortnight of fevered buildup. Yet here we are in the aftermath of the February 28 showdown between the new Syriza government in Greece and the European Union “troika” and… no-one seems entirely sure what happened. Did the asteroid miss Earth? More>>

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      Keith Rankin: Contribution Through Innovation

      The economic contribution of businesses and people is often quite unrelated to their taxable incomes. EHome, as a relatively new company, may have never earned any taxable income. Its successors almost certainly will earn income and pay tax. Yet it was eHome itself who made the biggest contribution by starting the venture in the first place. More>>

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      WORLD > >

       

      Release Of 200 Nigerian Girls Held Captive By Boko Haram

      UN envoy Gordon Brown welcomes release of 200 Nigerian girls held captive by Boko Haram More>>

      Ban Calls For Immediate End To Hostilities In Northern Mali

      Chadian UN peacekeepers heading to their base in Tessalit, northern Mali. Photo MINUSMA/Marco Dormino More>>

      New UN Special Envoy On Ebola Response Visit To Sierra Leone

      29 April 2015 – The United Nations World Health Organization ( WHO ) today said that surveillance and community engagement still require improvement in some areas of Guinea and Sierra Leone where new cases continued to surface, a day after the ... More>>

      Somalia Registers Record Export Of Livestock In 2014

      Somalia registers record export of livestock in 2014 due to trade boost with Gulf States More>>


      United States: Riots In Baltimore – National Guard Sent In [graphic Images]

      Riots have broken out in Baltimore following the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25 year old black man who died from injuries sustained while in police custody. More>>

      West Papua: “Lest We Forget”

      AS Anzac approaches and Australians and New Zealanders remember those who fought and lost their lives on Anzac Day, it is hoped we will also remember the unfree people of the Pacific region and in particular those who are still suffering from human ... More>>

      Iran: 81 Executions In One Week

      Coincident with mass executions in the prisons of Ghezel-Hessar, Karaj and other cities, the anti-human regime of mullahs sent 16 other prisoners to the gallows in Mashhad and Birjand (northeastern Iran). Twelve of them were hanged collectively ... More>>

      Al-Shabaab: Four Unicef Staff Killed In Somalia

      Four UNICEF staff members have been killed in an attack on their vehicle in Garowe, Somalia. Four other UNICEF colleagues are in a serious condition. The IED (improvised explosive device) attack occurred when the staff were travelling from their guest ... More>>

      UN: Suicide Attack In Jalalabad Condemned

      NEW YORK/KABUL/GENEVA (18April 2015) – “I strongly condemn the brutal suicide attack that coincided with my visit to Jalalabad today,” said United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović during his visit to Afghanistan. ... More>>

      Save The Children: STC Urges EU Leaders To Act To Prevent More Mass Drownings

      Save the Children Urges EU Leaders to Act to Prevent More Mass Drownings at Sea. More>>

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      Japan: Independent Experts Slam Japan’s New Whaling Plan

      Independent experts slam Japan’s new whaling plan and declare no more whales need to be killed for Antarctic research More>>

      Gaza Strip: Attacks In The Border Areas

      Following disengagement from the Gaza Strip in September 2005, Israel unilaterally and illegally established a so-called “buffer zone”, an area prohibited to Palestinians along the land and sea borders of the Gaza Strip. The precise area designated by ... More>>

       
       

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      Culture: Historic Māori Portraits Travel To The Czech Republic

      Image credit: Gottfried Lindauer, Wahanui Reihana Te Huatare, oil on canvas, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Mr H E Partridge, 1915 More>>

      Art: Something Felt, Something Shared - Enjoy

      Gabrielle Amodeo, Ruby Joy Eade, Clare McLean, Kalya Ward Curated by Emma Ng May 7 – 30, 2015 Opening: Wednesday May 6, 5.30pm Strange frequencies are channelled through personal narratives and poetic placeholders in Something felt, something ... More>>

      Culture: Pukeahu Park ANZAC Day Commemoration 2015

      Pukeahu Park ANZAC Day Commemoration 2015 Images from New Zealand Defence Force Click for big version A bugler plays The Last Post Click for big version A View from the top of the Carillion Click for big version Faces old and young Click for big ... More>>

      Television: MediaWorks Announces Dancing With The Stars Hosts

      MediaWorks and BBC Worldwide ANZ are delighted to announce host Dominic Bowden alongside co-host Sharyn Casey for the hit series Dancing with the Stars. More>>

      Art: World Premiere Of In Pursuit Of Venus [infected]

      World Premiere of in Pursuit of Venus [infected] opens this Saturday at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki More>>

      Fashion: The 11th ID International Emerging Designer Winner Announced

      Emerging Kiwi fashion designer Steve Hall has taken out the top prize at the 11th annual iD International Emerging Designer Awards held at the Town Hall in Dunedin, New Zealand. More>>

      Review: Singin’ In The Rain

      Singin’ in the Rain , the wet and wonderful musical production all the way from London’s West End, officially opened at St. James Theatre in Wellington. More>>

      Francis Cook: Gallipoli: The Scale Of Our War – First Look

      Te Papa today allowed media access to their new exhibition Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War . The exhibition was curated with help from Weta Workshop to deliver an immersive, realistic and even disorienting experience. More>>

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      Bats Theatre: Letters From The Front Brings ANZAC Letters Alive

      Inspired by centenary commemorations, improv troupe Best on Tap is producing a show based on real-life letters sent to and from New Zealand soldiers in the First World War. More>>

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