Everything you need to know about the world this morning, curated by bFM and VICE NZ.
National-Green Deal Gaining Support
As New Zealand waits for negotiations on a new government to get underway, public debate about a blue-green coalition is gaining steam. Former National Prime Minister Jim Bolger is the latest high-profile political figure to throw support behind the idea of a National-Green government. According to Bolger, the Greens have a responsibility to negotiate with National if they want to advance their goal of a clean, green New Zealand. The former Prime-Minister has explained that National could be persuaded to move closer to the Green Party's position on climate change and cleaning up rivers. Green Party leader James Shaw has not ruled out talking to National about forming a Government, but warns many of National's policies are in stark contrast to green values.
Changes Coming to Auckland Transport HOP Cards
Auckland Transport is making changes to its system which was wiping money off HOP cards if they weren't used. Under the terms and conditions, money put on the public transport card expires if the card is not used within 60 days. In the year to April, Auckland Transport pocketed more than $340,000 in expired credit. Auckland Transport is now putting a warning on its website, and is set to introduce a system whereby people get an automatic refund to their bank account, if their card is wiped.
Political party Leaders are Being Urged to Protect the Environment
Environmental groups have teamed up to write a letter urging the next government to make protecting our environment a priority. The letter from groups including Forest and Bird, Greenpeace and World Wildlife Fund was sent to the party leaders of National, Labour, Greens and New Zealand First. Environmental Defence Society chief executive Gary Taylor, who signed the letter, said the next government will need to act quickly to address environmental issues. Environmental Groups consider water quality in particular to be a key indicator of success for the new government.
Violence Erupts in Catalonia Over Independence Vote
Hundreds of people have been injured in Spain after police used force to stop civil participation in the independence vote for Catalonia. The poll which has been declared illegal by the Spanish government, will measure support for the highly autonomous Catalonia becoming an independent country. Authorities have seized ballot papers and boxes at polling stations around the country with police in Barcelona using batons and rubber bullets to contain pro-referendum protests.
Trump and San Juan Mayor Double Down in War of Words
President Trump has been forced to defend the US response to Hurricane Maria as the mayor of Puerto Rico's capital criticises the administration for a lack of action. Mayor, Carmen Yulin Cruz says the US response to the struggle in the community is tantamount to neglect. In the wake of the storm, Puerto Ricans continue to queue for basic supplies and 95% of the population remains without power. The President Trump has been quick to fire back at the outspoken mayor, suggesting she is ungrateful for the help being provided
Trump Undermines Negotiations with North Korea
US President Donald Trump has undermined negotiations with North Korea in his latest Twitter outburst. Trump said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is wasting his time trying to negotiate with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, whom he has nicknamed "little rocket man". The president's outburst comes just a day after Tillerson announced direct lines of communication with North Korea, and the desire to find a diplomatic resolution to the escalating tension. Trump's taunts threaten to further escalate tensions with North Korea, alarming diplomats around the world.
Vanuatu Authorities Struggle to Cope with 11,000 Evacuees
Authorities in Vanuatu are struggling to cope with the evacuation of 11,000 people forced to leave the volcanic Island of Ambae. Residents are being sent to the neighbouring island of Santo but the Red Cross says the 19 evacuation centres available are nowhere near enough for the thousands of people expected by the end of the week. Local authorities say it will take until Friday to get everybody off Ambae island, but the challenge of feeding and housing evacuees is already putting a strain on local resources. The Vanuatu National Disaster Management Office is considering seeking international expertise to help manage the camps once they are properly established.
Reporting by Alessandra Nixon, Jean Bell, Lisa Boudet.