News of Zealand

News of Zealand: Former Prisoner Releases Video of Brutal Assault

Moves to address gaping gender inequality in the music industry, unemployment at lowest rate in nearly a decade and Duterte calls Kim Jong Un a "son of a bitch".

by VICE Staff and 95 bFM
02 August 2017, 11:07pm

Image via YouTube.

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


Assault Video Inside Mt Eden Prison Goes Public
A former inmate who is suing corrections has released a video of the violent assault he suffered while in Mt Eden prison. Benjamin Lightbody suffered permanent brain damage in 2013 after a fellow prisoner hit him in the head with a pool ball. According to an inspector, Lightbody lay in his cell for hours following the incident. When Serco guards finally checked on him, they spent 20 minutes eating sandwiches before calling an ambulance. Lightbody has been embroiled in a lengthy court battle to access the footage, with the privacy commissioner ruling Corrections had breached his rights. The case was then lodged with the Human Rights Review Tribunal.

Unemployment Rate Lowest Since 2008
New Zealand's unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest in almost nine years, according to a Statistics New Zealand quarterly labour market report released yesterday. The rate currently stands at 4.8%, down 0.1% since March this year. The male unemployment rate has risen to 4.7% (from 4.2%), while the women's rate has fallen .4% (from 5.3%). According to Statistics New Zealand, the recent minimum wage increase has contributed to the wage inflation of 1.7 percent.

Te Tai Tokerau Election Heats Up
The appointment of Kelvin Davis as deputy Labour Leader has reignited the fight for Te Tai Tokerau seat. Davis successfully won the seat in 2014, taking it from Mana party leader Hone Harawira who had held it for nine years prior. Harawira says his re-election would be a win for the electorate as members would be getting two for the price of one. "It's an opportunity to ensure that we don't just have two Tai Tokerau MPs in the House, but two Tai Tokerau MPs on the front bench... It's a win-win for Tai Tokerau," he said. As deputy labour leader, Davis is now second on the party list, guaranteeing him a seat in Parliament.

APRA Wants Gender Equality for Performers
The Australasian Performers Rights Association (APRA) has announced a number of initiatives aimed at improving gender equality in the local music industry. This comes after a report found the underrepresentation of women in the music industry: just 23.8 percent of APRA's 10,000 members are women. The initiatives include increasing female membership 25 percent each year over three years, as well as enacting a strict 40 percent female participation across judging panels, the Ambassadors programme, and the Songhub programme. APRA is also aiming for 40 percent of presenters and performers at all awards, workshops, and membership events to be women.


More Than Two Dozen Killed in Afghanistan Mosque Attack
At least 29 people were killed and another 64 wounded in an attack on a mosque in a Shia area of Herat in Afghanistan, according to the local governor's office. Officials said two assailants stormed the Jawadia mosque during evening prayers, with one detonating a suicide bomb.

Voting Data Pokes Holes in Venezuela Referendum Verdict
New analysis of voting data from Venezuela's referendum on a new constituent assembly shows only 3.7 million people had cast a vote before 5:30 PM on Sunday. Since polls closed at 7, the numbers appeared to contradict the government's claim that 8.1 million people took part in the controversial decision many are calling a power grab. Political scientist Jennifer McCoy said "to double the vote in the last hour and a half would be without precedent."

Gulf Region Cooperation in Jeopardy, Qatari Minister Says
Qatari defence minister Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah said the existence of the Gulf Cooperation Council could be "jeopardised" if four of the country's neighbours continued to impose economic sanctionson the embattled nation. He added that he hoped Kuwait could help resolve the ongoing dispute between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and the UAE.

Duterte Calls Kim Jong Un a 'Son of a Bitch'
Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte has called the Supreme Leader of North Korea Kim Jong Un a "fool" who is "playing with dangerous toys." Duterte warned that the whole region would be devastated by the fallout from any nuclear strike. "That chubby face that looks kind," he said, referring to Kim. "That son of a bitch. If he commits a mistake, the Far East will become an arid land."

Kanye Sues Affiliates of Insurer for $10 Million Over Cancelled Tour
Kanye West has filed a $10 million lawsuit involving Lloyd's of London, accusing the insurance company's syndicates of not paying out after his "Saint Pablo Tour" was cut short on medical grounds. West's company alleges Lloyd's had implied "Kanye's use of marijuana may provide them with basis to deny the claim."

Reporting by Katie Doyle, Amanda Jane Robinson & Leah Garcia-Purves.