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Australia's Pacific role challenged in climate row

Wellington - Influential Pacific island leaders have called for Australia to be ousted from the region's main regional grouping, criticising Canberra's "neo-colonial" attitudes and refusal to take urgent action on climate change.

Apology over New Zealand mosque accused's 'hateful' letter

Wellington - Officials in New Zealand apologised Thursday after the alleged Christchurch mosque gunman was allowed to send a letter from prison espousing "hateful" views that a supporter then shared online.

Ardern backs Pacific on climate, puts heat on Australia

Wellington - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Wednesday backed Pacific leaders' calls for urgent action on climate change, ramping up pressure on Australia to overhaul its stance on global warming.

New Zealand cocaine haul believed drifted 2,100 km from Australia

Wellington - A multi-million dollar haul of cocaine washed up on a New Zealand beach this week is believed to have drifted more than 2,100 kilometres (1,300 miles) across the Tasman Sea from Australia, police said Friday.

High tide: cocaine haul washes up on New Zealand beach

Wellington - Cocaine worth millions of dollars has washed up on a New Zealand beach with police urging the public Thursday to hand in any more packages that may turn up.

Proposed New Zealand abortion law to give women right to choose

Wellington - The New Zealand government released long-awaited plans Monday to overhaul its abortion laws, so that a termination is treated as a health issue and a woman's choice rather than a crime.

Pacific leaders want summit focus on climate, not China

Wellington - Pacific island leaders insist climate change, not China, will top the agenda when they meet in Tuvalu this month as western-aligned nations push to curb Beijing's growing influence in the region.

Chinese envoy in NZ lauds students in anti-HK scuffle

Wellington - China's consulate general in Auckland on Thursday praised the "spontaneous patriotism" of pro-Beijing students who reportedly manhandled a Hong Kong-supporting protester on a university campus in New Zealand's largest city.

Plastic junk spawns desert island disaster in Pacific

Wellington - Floating plastic garbage has swamped a remote Pacific island once regarded as an environmental jewel and scientists say little can be done to save it while a throwaway culture persists.

New Zealand tightens gun laws again after mosque attack

Wellington - New Zealand announced plans for a national firearms register Monday in its second round of gun law reforms following the Christchurch mosque attacks which killed 51 Muslim worshippers.

Some reef islands resilient to climate change: study

Wellington - The Pacific's low-lying reef islands are likely to change shape in response to climate change, rather than simply sinking beneath rising seas and becoming uninhabitable as previously assumed, new research has found.

New Zealand PM 'utterly' disagrees with Trump tweets

Wellington - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday joined international condemnation of US President Donald Trump's xenophobic tweets about progressive Democrat congresswomen.

Op-Ed: DARPA’s Squad X A.I. at Grunt level — A new kind of war

Washington - Think for about two seconds on the subject of infantry using A.I. in a firefight, or as tactical data in real time. Interesting, it definitely is. Good idea? Better than none, would be the obvious answer. DARPA's Squad X is a new threshold.

New Zealanders give up weapons after mosque killings

Christchurch - Dozens of New Zealanders handed in their firearms Saturday as a gun buyback scheme went into operation aimed at ridding the country of semi-automatic weapons in the wake of the Christchurch mosque attacks.

Vanuatu defends speedy China extraditions

Wellington - Vanuatu has denied bowing to pressure from Beijing by allowing Chinese police to enter the Pacific island nation and extract six criminal suspects without them facing a local court.

New Zealand slams Google over murder case gaffe

Wellington - Google was accused of "giving the middle finger" by New Zealand's Justice Minister Thursday, after the US tech giant refused to tighten publication standards after breaching court suppression orders in a high-profile murder case.

New Zealand opens gun buyback after mosque killings

Wellington - New Zealand opened a gun buyback scheme Thursday aimed at ridding the country of semi-automatic weapons similar to those used in the Christchurch mosque attacks that killed 51 Muslim worshippers.

New Zealander jailed for sharing mosque shooting video

Wellington - A New Zealand man was jailed for 21 months on Tuesday for distributing gruesome livestream video of the Christchurch mosque attacks that killed 51 Muslim worshippers, local media reported.

Livestock rustlers face jail time as New Zealand tightens laws

Ashburton - When livestock rustlers came for sheepbreeder Daniel Wheeler's prize ewes in the dead of night, they didn't take the animals alive -- they slaughtered them on his New Zealand farm and took the meat to sell on, leaving just blood and guts behind.

Anger as Christchurch mosque accused pleads not guilty

Christchurch - The man accused of shooting dead 51 Muslim worshippers in the Christchurch mosque attacks in March smiled Friday as his lawyers entered not guilty pleas to multiple murder and terrorism charges.
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