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New Zealand to ban single-use plastic bags

Wellington - New Zealand became the latest country Friday to outlaw single-use plastic shopping bags, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern saying they will be phased out over the next year as a "meaningful step" towards reducing pollution.

'Lucky to be alive': Climber found just in time on deadly NZ mountain

Wellington - A climber trapped for seven days in freezing conditions on a New Zealand mountain has been found in the nick of time, with rescuers saying he was unlikely to have survived another night alone.

New Zealand PM back to work after maternity leave

Wellington - New Zealand Prime Minister and new mum Jacinda Ardern, only the second world leader to give birth while in office, ended her maternity leave Thursday and immediately announced baby Neve will accompany her to the United Nations next month.

Media muzzled for Pacific summit at 'Australia's Guantanamo'

Wellington - The tiny Pacific island of Nauru -- home to a Canberra-funded refugee detention camp dubbed "Australia's Guantanamo" -- is limiting media access to the region's largest diplomatic summit, sparking claims it is trying to muzzle the press.

Vanuatu orders volcano-hit island to evacuate again

Wellington - Vanuatu renewed a state of emergency on the volcano-hit island of Ambae Friday and ordered the compulsory evacuation of all residents.

New Zealand to grant paid leave for domestic violence victims

Wellington - New Zealand's parliament passed legislation Wednesday granting paid leave to domestic violence victims, with supporters calling it a groundbreaking measure to help those trying to escape abusive relationships.

Probe into Samoa infant deaths after vaccine jabs

Wellington - International health experts launched an investigation Thursday into why two Samoan infants died shortly after receiving childhood vaccination injections in a tragedy that has rocked the close-knit Pacific nation.

Kim Dotcom loses New Zealand extradition appeal

Wellington - Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom suffered a major setback in his epic legal battle against online piracy charges Thursday when New Zealand's Court of Appeal ruled he was eligible for extradition to the United States.

N. Zealand PM hopes for new world for daughter Neve

Auckland - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed her newborn daughter would be called Neve as she left an Auckland hospital Sunday, and expressed hope that one day a woman giving birth in office would no longer be a "novelty".

Political milestones for women after New Zealand PM gives birth

Auckland - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has become only the second leader to give birth while in office, in another milestone for women in politics.

New Zealand prime minister gives birth to baby girl

Auckland - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave birth to a baby girl in an Auckland hospital Thursday, becoming only the second world leader to do so while in office.

New Zealand to tax tourists as influx grows

Wellington - Tourists to New Zealand are to be charged a special tax, under new government plans announced Friday to deal with the growing influx of holidaymakers coming from overseas.Visitor numbers have surged by nearly a third in the past three years to 3.

New Zealand R&B and pop star Janine talks new album '99,' Drake Special

New Zealand artist Janine chatted with Digital Journal about her new album "99," which was released via Atlantic Records.

Ex-sex worker made a dame in New Zealand honours list

Wellington - A former sex worker was made a dame in the Queen's Birthday honours list in New Zealand on Monday, in recognition of her services to the sex industry.

New Zealand's 'first bloke' fends off angry shark

Wellington - New Zealand's "first bloke" Clarke Gayford revealed Thursday how he fought off an angry shark with a pole while diving off Auckland.

New Zealand PM reveals maternity leave arrangements

Wellington - New Zealand's pregnant Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday revealed her government's plans for running the country after she gives birth and takes six weeks maternity leave.

Monster ocean wave sets southern hemisphere record: scientists

Wellington - Scientists have recorded what is believed to be the largest wave ever in the southern hemisphere, a 23.8 metre (78 foot) monster the height of an eight-floor building.

New Zealand sinkhole reveals glimpse into 60,000-year-old volcano

Wellington - A new sinkhole on a North Island farm as deep as four double-decker buses and almost the length of two football fields has grabbed the attention of New Zealand volcanologists.

Top N. Zealand navy officer accused of hiding camera in embassy toilet

Wellington - One of New Zealand's top naval officers is accused of hiding a camera in the toilet of the country's embassy in Washington in a bid to obtain intimate footage of people using the bathroom, court documents showed Friday.

Vanuatu island to evacuate again as volcano erupts

Wellington - Villagers on the Vanuatu island of Ambae were facing their second evacuation in seven months Friday after a volcano rumbled back to life and rained ash on their homes.
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