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Israel court orders activists to pay fans over Lorde stayaway

Jerusalem - An Israeli court has awarded three Israeli fans of singer Lorde more than $12,000 in damages, upholding their claims against two New Zealanders who urged the star to cancel a Tel Aviv show.

Prince Harry, Meghan to pet koalas on Pacific tour

London - Prince Harry and Meghan will pet koalas and watch soldiers perform the haka when they tour the Pacific in their first major outing abroad this month, a royal official said Thursday.

Kiwi PM faces domestic woes as 'Jacinda-mania' goes global

Wellington - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and baby daughter Neve charmed the world in New York during last week's UN General Assembly, but pundits say her government's lustre has started to fade back home after almost a year in power.

NZealand PM makes UN history with first baby

New York - New Zealand's prime minister has been proclaimed a history maker for taking "first baby" -- daughter Neve -- into the United Nations General Assembly hall, shaking up what is still a boys' club of world leaders.

New Zealand PM brings baby to UN assembly

New York - New Zealand's prime minister, who shot to international fame for giving birth while in office, turned heads Monday by bringing her three-month-old daughter into the UN assembly hall.

Needle found in Australian strawberries sold in New Zealand

Wellington - The Australian strawberry scare has spread to New Zealand with a supermarket chain announcing Sunday that needles were found in a box of the fruit sourced from the neighbouring country.

China visa spat hits Pacific summit in Nauru

Yaren - A visa row between China and host nation Nauru almost derailed the Pacific's largest annual diplomatic summit, it emerged Tuesday, exposing sensitivities about Beijing's rising influence in the region.

Whistleblower Manning faces Australia speaking tour ban

Sydney - US whistleblower Chelsea Manning, jailed for leaking classified information, is facing a ban from Australia with organisers of a speaking tour saying Thursday her visa application was likely to be refused.

New Zealand curbs foreign property ownership to cool market

Wellington - New Zealand has passed legislation curbing foreigners' ability to buy residential property in a bid to rein in the South Pacific nation's booming housing prices.

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.

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.

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.

Scientist launches hunt for Loch Ness 'monster DNA'

Tales of a giant creature lurking beneath the murky waves of Loch Ness have been around for more than 1,500 years -- and one academic hopes the marvels of modern science can finally unravel the mystery.

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.

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.

EU green-lights talks on Australia, NZ trade deals

Apo - The EU officially launched free trade talks with Australia and New Zealand on Tuesday, part of Europe's desire to promote free trade deals against the increasingly protectionist stance of the United States.

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.

Women lead Australia Anzac Day marches amid high security

Sydney - Tens of thousands of Australians and New Zealanders turned out Wednesday for Anzac Day dawn services and marches to honour their war dead and pay tribute to serving soldiers, with women leading some parades for the first time.

New Zealand halts new offshore oil and gas exploration

Wellington - New Zealand is halting all new offshore oil and gas exploration to become a global leader in the fight against climate change, the centre-left government said Thursday, but opponents accused it of "economic vandalism".

Power down as fierce storm hits Auckland

Auckland - Up to a quarter of homes in Auckland were without power Wednesday after a wild storm packing winds of more than 200kmh (125mph) lashed New Zealand's largest city.The storm hit the city of 1.

New Zealand passes law to quash historic gay convictions

Wellington - New Zealand's parliament has passed legislation to erase historic convictions for engaging in gay sex, saying the bill would help right past injustices.
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