Everything you need to know about the world today, curated by 95bFM and VICE NZ .
NZ Churches Request Inclusion in Royal Commission on Abuse
Anglican and Catholic churches in New Zealand are pushing to include themselves in a Royal Commission investigating abuse. The draft terms of the inquiry of exclude abuse within institutions that have no state involvement such as churches, however leaders in Catholic and Anglican churches are pushing for inclusion. Bishop Patrick Dunn said church institutions should be investigated to learn from the failings that may have occurred in the past. Anglican Archbishop Philip Richardson and Catholic Cardinal John Dew have met with the chairman of the Royal Commission, and Anglican church members are also writing letters to the prime minister and the children’s minister to expand the commission.
World-Wide People Marched for Our Lives
Protest marches against gun violence were held in New Zealand city centres over the weekend. The demonstrations were supporting the March for Our Lives movement sparked by a high school shooting in Florida earlier this year. The main rally of more than 500,000 was held in Washington DC and aimed to reform gun laws in the United States. Sister marches were held in 800 locations internationally in solidarity with the movement.
State Highway One Blocked North of Kaitaia
A large hole in state highway one just north of Kaitaia has cut off access to the far north over the weekend. The 20m hole created by torrential rain on Friday is not expected to be fixed until Wednesday this week. People needing to pass through with urgently-needed supplies will be escorted through a forestry track by police. Many students are unable to access their schools and tourists will not be able to visit Cape Reinga.
Kāpiti Coast to Auckland service
The air service between the Kāpiti Coast and Auckland may be picked up by Air Chathams. This is a result of Air New Zealand's recent announcement that they would cancel the service in early April. Ōtaki MP Nathan Guy says he is disappointed with Air New Zealand as he had asked the airline to give the community a year's notice if they decided to stop the flight. Guy added that there was no "plan-C" if Air Chathams could not take over the air service. Air New Zealand will offer financial assistance to whoever takes over the flight.
Trust Aimed to Help Struggling Students
A Whangarei primary school has set up a trust for students struggling outside of school. Hora Hora Primary school have started Te Mana Aute Trust that hopes to provide two therapists a year to support troubled students. Principal Pat Newman says the initiative will cost less than the cost to the taxpayer if kids did not get the help they needed. The school hopes the trust will provide an opportunity to close the learning gaps between kids entering primary school. The trust is relying on major charities and philanthropists to provide the $160,000 needed.
Government to Redevelop Mt. Albert Land
The government has bought land in Mt Albert for housing development. Up to 4000 homes will be built on 29 hectares of land previously part of the Unitec Mt Albert campus. The Prime Minister says up to 40 percent of the development will be part of the Kiwibuild scheme targeted at first home buyers. Housing Minister Phil Twyford says the homes will be affordable costing up to $600,000. The government hopes to have the first homes completed by next year.
Eastern Ghouta Evacuations
Thousands of residents are being evacuated from the besieged Eastern Ghouta suburb in Damascus. Buses carrying over 500 residents and fighters have left the enclave, with hundreds more expected to depart towards rebel-held territory in the north today. Opposition fighters have already departed as part of an evacuation deal made between rebel groups and the Russian army. Roughly 70 percent of Eastern Ghouta is now under Government control.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has taken out an apology in multiple US and British Newspapers. The full-page ad apologises for the data breach of millions of users' private information by company Cambridge Analytica. Stylised as a letter signed by Zuckerberg, it repeats comments he made in a CNN interview last Wednesday. The ad appeared in nine newspapers including the Washington Post, New York Times and the Observer.
Car Bomb Explodes Near Somalia’s Presidential Palace
A car bomb detonated near Somalia's parliament in Mogadishu killing two soldiers on Sunday. The bomb exploded at a security checkpoint after two soldiers inspected the vehicle, killing the soldiers with 10 people in the surrounding area wounded. The attack occurred only 200m away from the main gate of the Presidential Palace. Shabab, an Islamist extremist group associated with Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attack.
Signed Memorandum Limits Transgender in US Military
A memorandum was signed on Friday by US president Donald Trump, limiting the rights of transgender citizens serving for the US military. The memorandum disqualifies transgender individuals with a history of gender dysphoria. The reasons for the bill are linked to the ongoing medical costs these individuals may need. The Democratic National Committee criticised the move saying the ban was created to humiliate brave trans members of the military.
First Non-Stop Australia to UK Flight
The first non-stop flight from Australia to the UK has successfully landed. The Qantas flight took 17 hours departing from Perth and landing in London Heathrow Airport. The flight is part of Qantas's plan to include more long-haul flights with the introduction of more fuel-efficient air carriers.
Additional reporting by Jemima Huston, Damian Rowe, and Bailley Verry