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The News of Zealand: Thursday 29 June

US billionaire Peter Thiel's secret citizen application about to be revealed, Italy wants to close its ports to migrants and, yes, things do cost more here.
Peter Thiel. Image by Dan Taylor via Wikimedia Commons

Everything you need to know about the world this morning, curated by 95bFM and VICE NZ.


Peter Thiel's Citizen Info to Be Released Tomorrow
Information about Peter Thiel's citizenship application will soon be made publicly available.
This comes after the Ombudsman urged the Department of Internal Affairs to release the secret information, as he said the public value of releasing the information outweighs Thiel's right to privacy.
The US billionaire visited New Zealand four times with no intention to live here when he was granted citizenship by the then Internal Affairs Minister, Nathan Guy in 2011.
The normal requirements for citizenship say that a permanent resident has to spend more than 70 per cent of their times here before they can apply. In Thiel's case, the department refused to say how many days he had spent in the country when citizenship was granted.
Internal Affairs Minister, Peter Dunne said he agrees with the ombudsman that the information should be released. It's set to be made publicly available tomorrow morning.

Yes, Things Do Cost More in New Zealand
The price of items in New Zealand supermarkets has come under fire after being compared with Australian prices.
Richie Leef, a New Zealander who has lived in Sydney for two years, looked into the price difference after being shocked on a recent trip home. Leef found that 11 popular items weighing the exact same cost $49 in New Zealand compared to $35 in Australia.
After the exchange rate, the identical items were $13 dollars more expensive on this side of the Tasman.
Food and Grocery Council Spokesperson Brent Webling has said the difference in cost simply comes down to Australia's population being five times that of New Zealand, allowing them to produce more goods for less money.


New Zealand Feeling Effects of Latest Cyberware Attack
Local outlets of global organisations in New Zealand have shut down operations in a precautionary move against a worldwide ransomware attack.
Earlier this week the virus hit companies around the globe, freezing computers unless a Bitcoin ransom was paid.
A major international law firm, DLA Piper, has shut down its New Zealand offices, in order to secure the safety of its IT system.
Other global companies that have shut down local operations include Maersk NZ and Colmar Brunton.
This cyber attack is a spinoff of the earlier malware "WannaCry" that hit companies and individuals around the world earlier in May.
New Zealand's cyber emergency response authority, Cert NZ, has advised people to back up their systems and store files outside their network to keep their computers safe.

Government Emails Show Confusion Around Water Policy
Emails revealed under the Official Information Act show that even officials are confused about the Government's Clean Water Package.
Environment Ministry officials sent emails saying they are having trouble with the technicalities of the Government's proposed water standards.
The Clean Water Package was announced in February, with some scientists saying it weakens standards.
After the announcement, a ministry official emailed scientists at NIWA asking for suggestions to help explain the science to the public.
Labour water spokesperson David Parker questioned the policy, calling it "incomprehensible".
Environment Minister Nick Smith said the plan is scientifically robust and stands by it.



Venezuelan Supreme Court Attacked By Helicopter
Venezuelan police are currently hunting down a rogue police officer for allegedly launching an attack on Venezuela's supreme court building, tossing grenades from the air.
The attack has followed months of protests against the country's president, as economic and political chaos has engulfed the oil-rich state.
Local media has suggested that a former police intelligence officer, who carries no political affiliation, carried out the attack.
In a video released on social media, the officer stands before the camera, flanked by masked men wielding assault rifles, calling the government criminal.

Trump Heads to Paris
Donald Trump is set to visit Paris for Bastille Day after accepting an invitation from French president, Emmanuel Macron.
This Bastille Day marks the one-hundredth anniversary of the entry of the United States into the First World War.
The visit is set to be high profile after the initial exchange between the two leaders blew up in the media with an infamous 'white-knuckled hand shake'.
While the two are at odds on issues like climate change, Macron has suggested the two will work together closely on their counter-terrorism efforts.
The national holiday commemorates the storming of the Bastille on 1789, a turning point in the French Revolution.

Italy Threatens to Close Ports Under Migrant Pressure
Italy is suggesting they may no longer let migrants disembark at their ports, with the number of asylum seekers reaching to an unsustainable point.
73,000 Migrants have already landed in Italy this year, 14% more than this time last year.
Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni has claimed other European Nations are looking the other way and are not helping enough with the growing situation.
In the last week alone, around 10,000 people have attempted the journey from North Africa to Italy.

Germany to Vote on Gay Marriage This Friday
A bill to grant full marital rights to gay couples is set to be put before Germany's parliament.
This comes after Chancellor Angela Merkel signalled a shift in her stance towards gay marriage earlier this week.
Merkel has said she is unhappy about the subject being torn on party lines and would like to see it put to a conscience vote.
The vote is expected to take place on Friday and is widely expected to pass.
The legislation would grant full marital rights, including the possibility to jointly adopt children to same-sex couples.

Reporting by Ximena Smith, Jack Marshall, Leonard Powell and Tess Barnett.