Everything you need to know about the world today, curated by 95bFM and VICE NZ.
Education Visas Narrowed
The government has proposed changes to student visas, which restricts overseas students from living and working in New Zealand after they finished studying. Under the changes, overseas students taking courses below Bachelor level can get a one-year open work visa after they finish studying. Those studying above Bachelor level can work up to three years. Overseas students who want to continue working in New Zealand after their visas expire will need to reapply for a new one. Immigration minister Iain Lees-Galloway says the changes are responding to concerns about study being used as a backdoor to gain residency. Public consultation for the changes will open today.
Sex Worker Advocate Becomes a Dame
Long-time sex worker advocate Catherine Healy has been made a dame for services to the rights of sex workers in the Queen's Birthday Honours list yesterday. She founded the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective in 1987 and campaigned to change the attitude towards sex workers. The campaign helped drafted the Prostitution Reform Act in 2003, which guarantees sex workers the right to operate as a legitimate business. Dame Catherine says she is touched by the honour and it is a sign of the shift how sex workers are regarded. The Honours list also recognised former Prime Minister Bill English, comedy duo the Topp twins and master waka builder Hekenukumai Busby.
James Shaw Meat
Climate Change Minister James Shaw says having one less meat meal a week can have an immediate impact on helping the environment. An Oxford University study found meat produces more than half of the agricultural sector's emissions but only make up 18 percent of the world's calories. Shaw says with 95 percent of New Zealanders consuming meat, the protein production uses a lot of water, energy and land. He also says having no meat will not harm New Zealand's agriculture-led economy because there is huge export demand for food products.
Commonwealth Bank Fined
Australia's Commonwealth Bank has been forced to pay the largest fine in Australia's corporate history. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia is accused of aiding money launderers and failing to report large transactions to the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre. The bank will pay $760 million for the breaches. AUSTRAC chief executive Nicole Rose says she hopes that this result will encourage corporations to be wary of the consequences of not complying with the government organisation. New Zealand's ASB bank is owned by the Commonwealth Bank.
Supreme Court Backs Religious Baker
The US Supreme Court has backed the decision of a baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. The Colorado State Court has found in 2012 that baker Jack Phillips' decision to refuse serving a gay couple was unlawful discrimination. Mr Phillips cited his religious beliefs as a conservative Christian while refusing service. The Supreme Court verdict says the Colorado ruling had been biased against Mr Phillips, as it shows hostility and implied religious beliefs are less than welcome in the business community.
Trump Claims 'Right to Pardon'
Donald Trump claims he has the 'right to pardon' himself but that it is unnecessary to do so as he has 'done nothing wrong'. Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani says that while Trump does have the power to pardon it would not be a good idea to use it. Giuliani added that Trump pardoning himself would probably lead to impeachment. No president of the US has ever pardoned themselves for anything and the US justice department asserted in 1974 that presidents do not have that power. Trump added that he is considering pardoning home design and baking tv show presenter Martha Stewart who served five months in prison for obstruction of justice.
Gorilla Population Recovers
The Mountain Gorilla population in Africa has risen by over a quarter since 2010, despite constant threat from poachers. The population, which spans across the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Rwanda, has risen from 786 to 1004 in the latest census. Mike Cranfield, the charity Gorilla Doctors, says the improvements are remarkable and have come about through a three-country collaborative effort.
North Korea Sacks Top Military
North Korea's top three military officials have been sacked, signalling what some believe to be dissent in the government. The move is being seen as an attempt to further centralize power ahead of Kim Jong Un's summit with Trump next week. Trump has demanded that North Korea destroy its nuclear weapons in order for the economic sanctions on it to be removed. Trump had announced that the summit was cancelled but reinstated it last Friday.
Additional reporting by Leonard Powell, Grace Watson, Justin Wong