Everything you need to know about the world today, curated by 95bFM and VICE NZ.
Family Violence Funding Boost
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a $76 million boost for government-funded family violence services over four years. The boost is the first increase for these agencies in 10 years. Almost half of those receiving funding increases are women's refuges. Social development Minister Carmel Sepuloni says the funding is crucial in helping to turn the country's tragic domestic violence record around. She says the funding will also help agencies to expand into areas where there is not currently any support.
Racist Treatment of Rheumatic Fever Patients
A report into Māori and Pacific experiences around rheumatic fever in New Zealand has found claims of ill-treatment of patients. Dr Anneka Anderson from the University of Auckland co-authored the study which focused on 113 people over seven North Island DHB areas. Anderson told 95bFM many people experienced racism while undergoing treatment: “Even among the healthcare providers it was not uncommon for them to talk about the prevalence of different forms of racism within their various clinical institutions.” Anderson said it was important to combat unconscious racial biases and move towards more cultural awareness.
NZ is Giving More Money to the Pacific to Assist with Climate Change
The government has announced a $714 million increase in foreign aid over the next four years. Winston Peters made the pre-budget announcement yesterday and says the increase in spending is part of the ‘Pacific Reset’ strategy. The money will partly go towards tackling issues including climate change and the improvement of health services in the region. The boost represents a 30 percent increase in overseas development funding.
Shortage of Kiwifruit Workers
There is a shortage of workers at kiwifruit companies and the government is responding by allowing more overseas temporary workers into the industry. However, there are worries that these workers could be vulnerable to exploitation as has happened in several cases in the past few years. Dennis Maga, the First Union General Secretary told 95bFM kiwifruit growers maintain their search for labour is now desperate: “By declaring that they need 1200 migrant workers to work in the industry, they are saying to the public that there is a labour shortage.” Growers say that this shortage is the worst in years.
New Pigeon Species Discovered
A new species of pigeon similar to the extinct Dodo bird has been uncovered at a fossil site in Central Otago. It took just a few fossil bones to identify the bird as having similarities to tooth-billed pigeon found only in Samoa. Dubbed 'The Zealandian Dove', it is thought to have roamed the South Island around 16 million years ago. The bird's extinction is likely due to climatic cooling and a loss of diversity of the fauna at the time. The Kereru and Chatham Island Pigeon are the two native pigeon species in New Zealand.
Filipino Migration Story a Fake
A Philippine TV network is being pressured to retract their broadcast of a news story in urging people to migrate to New Zealand. Airing on the People's Television Network, the broadcast suggested people could bring families with them to New Zealand on a student visa. It also advised that jobs would be guaranteed upon graduation. Filipino people have reportedly begun arriving in New Zealand only to face disappointment. 3000 people have signed a petition calling for PTV to retract and correct the story.
Trump pulls Out of Iran deal
US President Donald Trump announced this morning the US will withdraw from the Iran Nuclear Deal. Iran agreed to the long-term deal in 2015 after pressure from China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany and the US. The deal was struck after years of concern over Iran's nuclear programme and aimed to prevent the country from obtaining nuclear weapons. Trump's decision to withdraw goes against advice from European allies and some military advisors. He also plans to reinstate sanctions that were removed when the deal was signed in 2015. This comes after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a television performance claiming Iran was in violation of the accords. Meanwhile, the US holds around 4,600 nuclear warheads and bombs and it is estimated that Israel possesses around 80.
New Armenian Prime Minister
Nikol Pashinyan has been elected Prime Minister of Armenia, a week after losing an earlier vote. Pashinyan's win brings to an end 10 years of rule by Serzh Sargsyan. The new Prime Minister has promised more human rights for MPs and an end to corruption and election-rigging.
Increase in Ebola Cases in DRC
Emergency measures have been enacted in the Democratic Republic of Congo with 21 suspected Ebola cases reported. This follows the deaths of at least 17 people in an area of the DRC where officials confirmed an outbreak of Ebola. The DRC's health ministry says the country is facing another epidemic of the Ebola virus, which constitutes an international health emergency. The World Health Organisation says the average mortality rate of those infected with Ebola is around 50 percent. The virus currently has no cure and took the lives of more than 11,000 people in West Africa between 2013 and 2016.
Additional reporting by Reuben McLaren and Ben Webber.