New Zealand News
Many personal care products available in the market these days include artificial fragrances and a new research has claimed that overexposure to such products is leading to sickness. Hand soaps, body washes, candles, room fresheners, detergent powder and household cleaners include added fragrance. The study team estimated that 98.5 percent of people are exposed to such fragranced products on a daily or weekly basis. The study team also noticed that nearly one-third of the Australian population reported adverse health effects from fragranced products.
Commonly, fragranced products lead to migraine, respiratory problems and asthma attacks to those in the highly vulnerable group. Compared to household air fresheners, more people report sickness due to car fresheners as generally the air flow inside the vehicle is limited. The study team also found that twice as many people would prefer to use fragrance-free products in indoor environments.
The study team also found that over 70 percent of respondents weren’t aware of hazardous air pollutant emissions from fragranced products.
Study lead author Anne Steinemann, a world expert on environmental pollutants, air quality, and health effects, said, “People may think they need these fragranced products to clean the air or disinfect but it can only make the problem worse. Instead of using these strongly scented chemical cleaning supplies simply use bicarb and vinegar or even just plain water.”
The research paper informed, “Overall, 33% of Australians report health problems, such as migraine headaches and asthma attacks, when exposed to fragranced products. Of these health effects, more than half (17.1%) could be considered disabling under the Australian Disability Discrimination Act. This is the first study in Australia to assess the extent of adverse effects associated with exposure to common fragranced products. It provides compelling evidence for the importance and value of reducing fragranced product exposure in order to reduce and prevent adverse health effects and costs.”
Earlier studies have found that too much use of fragrance in an indoor environment leads to negative performance among office staff and also impacts mood.General: HealthFeaturedRegion: Australia
The U.S. Space agency NASA has announced a solar probe that will gather interesting information for scientists to help them predict any major solar events and its impact on our planet. Solar flares and mass ejections can have an impact on telecommunication networks on Earth. Solar Probe Plus will remain nearly four million miles from the solar surface. NASA team plans to launch the probe during 20-day window starting July, 31, 2018.
It will be a challenging mission for NASA as no space mission has gone so close to the solar surface and NASA engineers will have to develop technology that can withstand weather conditions at distance of four million miles from the Solar surface. The heat and intense radiation at that distance would require special technology for NASA’s probe to withstand those conditions.
NASA will work in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory for the project to make sure that the Solar Plus Probe survives in those conditions. NASA release informed, "Solar Probe Plus will be a historic mission, flying into the Sun's atmosphere (or corona), for the first time. In order to unlock the mysteries of the corona, but also to protect a society that is increasingly dependent on technology from the threats of space weather, we will send Solar Probe Plus to touch the Sun.”
"Without advance warning a huge solar event could cause two trillion dollars in damage in the US alone, and the eastern seaboard of the US could be without power for a year," the Solar Probe Mission team informed.
NASA release about the project further informed…
Coming closer to the Sun than any previous spacecraft, Solar Probe Plus will employ a combination of in situ measurements and imaging to achieve the mission's primary scientific goal: to understand how the Sun's corona is heated and how the solar wind is accelerated. Solar Probe Plus will revolutionize our knowledge of the physics of the origin and evolution of the solar wind.
Although the Solar Probe Plus science objectives remain the same as those established for Solar Probe 2005, the new mission design differs dramatically from the 2005 design (as well as from all previous Solar Probe mission designs since the 1970s). The 2005 and earlier missions involved one or two flybys of the Sun at a perihelion distance of 4 RS by a spacecraft placed into a solar polar orbit by means of a Jupiter gravity assist. In contrast, Solar Probe Plus remains nearly in the ecliptic plane and makes many near-Sun passes at increasingly lower perihelia.
The baseline mission provides for 24 perihelion passes inside 0.16 AU (35 RS), with 19 passes occurring within 20 RS of the Sun. The first near-Sun pass occurs 3 months after launch, at a
heliocentric distance of 35 RS. Over the next several years successive Venus gravity assist (VGA) maneuvers gradually lower the perihelia to ~9.5 RS, by far the closest any spacecraft has ever come to the Sun.
Australian shopping discounts and bargain hunting website is bringing its services to customers in New Zealand. Launched in 2015, Bargain Spot has received amazing response in Australia and the company is ready to start its operations in New Zealand. Bargain Spot founder Justin Gray informed that he himself is a bargain hunter and his company will launch a dedicated version for New Zealand by March this year.
In Australia, the website has more than 120 partners. Bargain Spot offers customers with the best rebates they can get at these major retailers. Bargain Spot has setup an intelligent software that checks over two million products and finds the most discounted products with its partner retailers.
Gray informed that Bargain Spot offers more options to customers. People can setup alerts whenever their desired discount for a particular product is offered by a retailer.
Customers are always searching for bargains. Coupon websites have strong client base that searches for discounts but Bargain Spot works differently.
In an interview with Stuff NZ, Gray informed, “We were sort of looking at expanding out from just Australia, and New Zealand just seems like a good next step. It doesn't seem like there's anyone in the market doing what we're doing.”Region: New ZealandAustraliaBusiness: Retail SectorGeneral: Featured
The fire service in Auckland said that firemen dosed a fire on McLeod Road in the suburb of TeAtatu South in Auckland.
The fire started at around 2.45pm on Wednesday and was brought under control around 4.30pm. The fire started at a collection of industrial units in TeAtatu South and rising smoke could be seen from around West Auckland. Even as the flames were brought under control in less than two hours, around 20 local households were advised by the authorities to stay indoors while the fire was dosed off completely.
A health protection officer was at the scene at around 7 pm and the firefighters were being decontaminated, according to Fire Service shift manager Jaron Phillips. Even as the fire is dosed off, the firefighters were likely to stay overnight at the scene. Pieces of asbestos were found in the roof of the 100m long building, according to the environmental health protection officer.
The industrial units belonged to a clothing company, a shelving company and a manufacturer of beams. Tom Wolfenden, the director and owner of one of the companies, Konstruct, said that they heard loud noises for few minutes and 10 staff on-site got out of the building immediately.
Waitemata assistant area commander John Booth said that no one is believed to have been injured in the fire.General: GeneralRegion: New Zealand
Legal experts in New Zealand have urged the authorities to review the country's manslaughter law after widespread outrage over recent cases involving killers pleading guilty to manslaughter andnot murder. They said that the country's criminal prosecution system require reforms urgently.
Michael TeKouarehuKereopa, who earlier faced the chances of a murder trial, pleaded guilty to manslaughter of Kapiti baby Gracie-May McSorley. Kereopa had fatally injured McSorleywith a backhand blow. The case comes after Taupo's three year old MokoRangitoheriri's caregivers were found to have been beating for weeks and later convicted of his manslaughter.
Justice Minister Amy Adams had asked for a report into manslaughter law following the widespread criticism over Taupo's case. Tania Shailer, who is 26 years old and David Haerewa, who is 43 years old, were entrusted by Moko's parents to take his care. They both pleaded guilty to Moko's manslaughter in May after the young boy suffered weeks of abuse, including being kicked, slapped and stomped on. He died of his injuries on August 10, 2015.
Experts said that under the current system, a murder charge scares defendant off fighting and entice them into an agreement with the prosecution to plead guilty to a lesser charge. They called for reforms to the legal system.General: LawRegion: New Zealand
Reportedly Twitter has invested in Germany based SoundCloud, which is a global online audio distribution platform and allows the users to record, share, upload, and promote originally-created, sounds. News of Twitter's investment in the audio streaming company comes after two years of a failed buyout effort which would have joined the audio treasury of SoundCloud to the social media platform of Twitter.
For Twitter as well as SoundCloud, times have been difficult. Slow growth of Twitter and SoundCloud's requirement for cash to stay afloat makes the deal sensible for both.
SoundCloud have been putting in efforts to make its monthly $9.99 subscription services more interesting by signing new licensing deals with music labels.
In the competitive market, SounClud has provided many budding artists a platform for self-promotion. However, the popularity somewhat did not get enough success to turn it into cash.
In the mean time Twitter, though not shining too bright on Wall Street has been spending cash via its venture capital arm.
SoundCloud said, "We can confirm that Twitter has made an investment in SoundCloud. Both companies facilitate and inspire contemporary culture to happen in real time while reaching millions of people around the world. This investment will enable SoundCloud to remain focused on building value for creators and listeners alike, and to continue the global rollout of many company initiatives such as our recently launched subscription service, SoundCloud Go."Companies: TwitterBusiness: Technology SectorRegion: Germany
Vancouver based, Canadian developer, Vantage Airport Group Ltd., which has given a makeover to airports starting from Chile to New Zealand is also working towards overhauling the LaGuardia airport in New York. The $4 billion planned project could also invite new deals for the company in the United States.
With more and more airports in the U.S. ageing, there is requirement of seeking expertise from the private sector. The aging infrastructures need dollars to be spent for a more modernized look.
George Casey, chief executive officer of the company said, "We think LaGuardia is a good opportunity to move more private engagement into transactions in the U.S. We're now looking at opportunities in Boston, other New York airports, and Chicago."
The Airports Council International says that the airports in the United States need approximately $76 billion in investments by 2019 to make sure they remain competitive in the global scenario and satisfy the projected growth in number of passengers and amount of cargo.
Last year, the industry body said in a statement that traditional ways of funding airports via grants from government and passenger fees are not sufficient to satisfy the requirements.Business: Aviation SectorBusiness NewsRegion: United States
In the highly competitive markets and changing preferences of customers, once highflying companies often find it difficult to hold on to their high valuations.
One Kings Lane Inc. is a good example of such a case. The on online furnishing retailer which was once valued almost $1 billion a couple of years back was bought by Bed Bath & Beyond Inc for a small part of that price.
On Tuesday, Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. said it acquired the website without disclosing the amount and the terms of the transaction. The company said the purchase price was "not material."
According to Dow Jones VentureSource, One Kings Lane; the online decor business which operates a furniture and home accessories sales website raised about $225 million in venture capital with a market valuation of approximately $900 million in early 2014. Its value had spiked to greater than double from 2011's $440 million in three years.
One Kings Lane was founded in 2009 and gained popularity soon with its flash sales, where prices are slashed heavily for a limited time period. However, in 2014, soon after its $112 million fund raising, the company trimmed its workforce by fifteen percent and Doug Mack, its Chief executive left the company to join Fanatics, which is also e-commerce startup. Dinesh Lathi took up as the company's new CEO.
A spokeswoman from Bed Bath & Beyond said that the deal will help in boosting the furniture and home décor offerings of the company.Companies: One Kings LaneBusiness: Business NewsRegion: San Francisco
Life is becoming busier than ever and the food companies are making food preparation easier by the day. With twenty or more companies offering meals meal-kit delivery or meals on demand, you can cook menus quickly when time is less. But all the start ups do not gain equal amount of popularity.
To stand out in the crowd and make cooking look less painful, Sequential Brands Group Inc., which last year, bought Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia has struck a partnership deal Marley Spoon the popular meal kit company. Though the financial details were kept under cover but Marley Spoon will totally be rebranded now under the Martha Stewart name with its new identity as Martha & Marley Spoon.
The meals for two or four people offered by the company will now be based on own recipes of kitchen queen, Martha Stewart.
In a statement, Stewart said, "Families are busier than ever, and it is incredibly important that everyone has the ability to cook wholesome dinners that can maximize family time together every night of the week."
The meal-kits are priced between a range of $8.70 and $12 a meal. The recipes are said to require 40 minutes or less to be cooked by the customers. The recipe's ingredients are pre-portioned and they are directly delivered at the door steps of the customer.Companies: Sequential Brands GroupBusiness: HealthCareBusiness NewsRegion: New York
A truck driver, who is on trial for an accident that killed Taiwanese cycle tourist Ming-Chih Hsieh in Hornby on 29 September, 2014, had significant blind spots as he truned his vehicle on an intersection, a court heard.
The truck driver, David Peter Connell, who is 51 years old, is on trial in the Christchurch District Court and is accused of careless driving and causing the death of the Taiwanese national. Witnesses said that Connell was driving the large vehicle slowly as he moved off from the lights in Carmen Rd and turned left into Waterloo Road at around 12.30pm.
The cyclist was riding straight ahead in a cycle lane after coming up besides the truck, which was indicating a left hand turn, heard Judge Gary MacAskill.Crown prosecutor Claire Boshier stated that the truck and the cycle moved forward simultaneously when the lights turned green. While the truck turned left he drove over the cyclist, who immediately died due to the crash.
The driver has said that he did not see the cyclist and examinations have found that the driver had significant blind spots. Boshier said, "The allegation in this case is carelessness. The defendant was driving an extremely large vehicle which he knew had significant blind spots. He, as the turning vehicle, had to give way to any cyclist proceeding straight through the intersection on his left."General: CrimeRegion: United States
A container ship sailing around 500km north of New Zealand were able to save two men and a womanfrom the battered yacht Platino.
The crew members of container ship Southern Lilywere able to save yacht owners Brent and Tory McKeogh and crew member Ross McKee. However, unsafe conditions involving three metre swells and high winds forced them to leave the body of crew member Nick Saull on the leaking 20-metre yacht.
Wellington-based Rescue Co-ordination Centre New Zealand said that an emergency locator beacon had been activated on the yacht in order to track its location. The rescue team is also trying to search for a fifth crewman, who was lost overboard after the yacht sustained damage on Tuesday morning. The fifth crew member was 63 years old and his name has not been released.
An RNZAF P3 Orion has been searching for the fifth crewman. RCCNZ search and rescue mission co-ordinator John Dickson said that the search for the missing sailor will continue around the night when the Orion will return to New Zealand. The aircraft has been searching an area of about 765 square km of ocean.
Dickson also praised the master and crew of the Southern Lily for their efforts in rescuing the crew members.General: GeneralRegion: New Zealand
Shares of Baidu dropped five percent during the after-hours trading to $154.99 following the cuts in the company's second-quarter revenue estimates.
Baidu Inc, Chinas Internet giant now expects its second quarter revenue to be in a range of 18.1 to 18.2 billion yuan. Earlier the company expected it to be in a range of 20.11 to 20.58 billion yuan.
Earlier the Chinese government ordered Baidu to overhaul its search practices after a college student suffering from cancer died after taking bogus therapy which he found via Baidu's search engine. Now, Baidu requires abstaining from offering online market services to medical organizations which do not meet strict qualifications. In addition, the company also requires limiting the fraction of marketing information to thirty percent or less on every web page and four advertisement in one page.
The company has started taking measures from the starting of May 2016 to modify paid search services. It has taken steps to apply measures that have been requested by the regulatory authorities.
Baidu also has introduced several other measures to make user experience better and build a more safe and trustworthy platform. These measures seem to be working as the traffic inflow has increased over time.Companies: BaiduBusiness: Business NewsRegion: China
On Tuesday, Crude oil futures dropped during early Asian trading hours with investor ignoring signs of tension in the market focusing more on concerns and sudden declines in stocks on worries of approaching vote on Brexit or the likely exit of Britain from the European Union.
On Monday, Brent crude futures dropped under the $50 per barrel level once more $49.79, by 0029 GMT.
Another benchmark, U.S. crude CLc1 also slid 53 cents, to $48.35 per barrel. The stronger greenback had an effect overnight in the oil market. The uncertainty over Brexit and the policy meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve this week is keeping the oil prices down.
Along with the Brexit concerns, the growth in China is also pulling back the sentiments which are strong enough to keep the bullish signs at bay. Monday's government forecast that the U.S. shale oil output will likely drop in July for the seventh straight month could not do much to support oil prices.
At the beginning of the week, OPEC also said it expects the global supply of oil to be more balanced in the last six months of the year due to outages in Nigeria and Canada.Business: Energy SectorBusiness NewsRegion: United States
When tragedies like Orlando shooting incident happens, the world rushes to render support to the victims and their families. That is a great human gesture but Better Business Bureau advices people to donate carefully to avoid scammers and fraudsters who take advantage of heightened emotions.
On Monday, the Better Business Bureau released some tips to help the donors identify the possible fundraising frauds.
H. Art Taylor, President & CEO, BBB Wise Giving Alliance said, "The best way to help the victims, their families, and the people of Orlando is to make sure that donations end up where they belong." He added, "We urge those generous donors to give wisely so their gifts can do the most good."
Some tips for making sure that the donation goes in the right hands and is spent appropriately are:
-Thoughtful Giving; which urges donors to check out the credibility of the charity in order to avoid poorly managed effort.
-Government Registration; making sure that the charity is registered with a state government agency.
-Checking how the donation will be used and getting a clear idea about the intention.
-Checking if the charity has taken permission of the victim or their families to use names and photographs.
- Ensuring that the received funds are administered by a third party such as banks, lawyers or CPA which leads to appropriate use of the donations.
-It is not advised to click on unfamiliar links which might be a trap to takeout your personal information or a source of a malware.Companies: BBBBusiness: BusinessRegion: United States
Barring those who actually use payday loans everyone else seems to hate them because of their extremely high rate of interest.
The federal regulators are making serious efforts to curb the role of payday lenders and last week they took a step to protect consumers, which was the first step ever ill now. But many experts opine that this move could be a huge blow for the industry and according to the payday trade association, "thousands of lenders" would be forced to "shutter their doors."
Just by watching numbers it can be guessed that about ten million Americans who use payday loans in one year, want to gain access to those so called predatory loans. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is bringing in new rules that will curb much of the access to payday loans. The head of the CFPB says he expects the new ruled to stop about eighty four percent of the current market.
Everyone does not think that curbing the payday loans will help those consumers who use it because they will have worst options without the money available when they really need it. There would be more chances of checks bouncing, added number of people would face harassment in hands of debt collectors and it's likely that number of debtors filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy will be on the rise.Companies: Payday loanBusiness: BusinessRegion: United States
A tornado devastated areas of Virginia, Louisiana and Mississippi in February. The governor's office announced that U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has made low interest loans available for the homeowners, renters as well as businesses that were damaged by the storm in Appomattox County.
These loans for disaster struck people will be available in counties which are adjacent to Appomattox including Amherst, Buckingham, Campbell, Charlotte, Nelson and Prince Edward. They will also be available in the counties neighboring Essex, including Caroline, King and Queen, King George, Middlesex, Richmond and Westmoreland.
Governor McAuliffe said, "These loans are instrumental in helping the families and individuals affected by tornados rebuild and move forward in the long-term recovery process."
The governor's office is closely working with the SBA to make sure that the residents of Virginia get sufficient amount of aid and support to get them back to normal after the disaster. The assistance includes allocating appropriate resources efficiently so that the communities can reconstruct what's lost and carry on with their lives.
Home owners can avail up to $200,000 for repairing or restoration of their primary home. Up to $40,000, can be received as personal property loan which will allow the homeowners or renters to repair or replace the personal items which were lost to the disaster like furniture, automobiles, clothing and appliances. The amount of loan available to businesses which suffered damage from the storm is up to $2 million. They can initiate repairs and use the money as working capital.Business: BusinessRegion: Virginia
Tesla Motors is facing the heat over its suspension problem related issues in its Model S as the media obsession with the company turned out to be a double-edged sword.
The noise about the "Goodwill Agreement" which a Tesla Model S owner signed following a negotiation with Tesla agreeing to keep quiet about the issue, grabbed the media as well as public notice.
The media's hue and cry about transparency concerns was a different face than the usual Tesla praise which most stories feature. This week, there have been other troubling stories including one, where a Model X supposedly crashing on its own and a new windshield problem with the Model X, the all-electric crossover SUV.
The Model S owner's original blog post, which was later picked up as a source by the media said that the electric car maker refused to repair the worn out suspension which was under warranty in spite of the wear being "not normal". After some days, the company offered to pay half the repair cost of $3,100 and as a part of the offer, the Palo Alto based company asked the owner to sign a Goodwill Agreement which caused the most hue and cry.
It read, "You agree to keep confidential our provision of the Goodwill, the terms of this agreement and the incidents or claims leading or related to our provision of the Goodwill."Business: Auto SectorBusiness NewsCompanies: Tesla Motors
Male chicks are no good for the layer hen industry and that's the reason why a huge number of male chicks are brutally killed every year when they are just one day old.
The pouty industry in New Zealand is considering adopting a new technology that might stop this practice by identifying the sex of the chick before the eggs are hatched.
In a year, the layer hen industry breeds approximately three million hens and almost the same figure of male chickens. But, the male chicks, which are not useful for the industry, are killed by a blabbed machine or gassing when they are just a day old.
The practice meets the requirements of animal welfare standards but according to the egg producers, they are eager to adopt the new genetic marker technology through which the sex of the un-hatched chick could be identified before it has "any sign of consciousness, which some people have some issues with."
Michael Brooks, the executive director of the Poultry Industry Association said, "Certainly the feedback I've had talking to the two hatcheries here is that if this is seen to work they would look to adopt it as well."
Scientists in the United States, German and Canada are working on different techniques to solve the problem.
This week, the United Egg Producers in the U. S vowed to stop mass culling of male chicks by 2020 or within a time period when the process becomes "economically feasible".Region: United StatesNew ZealandBusiness: BusinessGeneral: Health
Around 2500 people from several places gathered for the opening day of Queenstown's Coronet Peak.
Many people said that changes in season pass pricing are encouraging a number of people to arrive at the location. They said that new pricing has increased the level of enthusiasm in the local community and is also attracting new skiers as well as those who haven't involved themselves in the sport for years.
Local residents said that the launch on 11 June is the celebration of the beginning of winter. Around 300 people entered through the gates at 9 am and they were greeted with free breakfast baps, coffee and hot chocolates by the ski area staff while they enjoyed picking up spot prizes.
Ski area manager Ross Copland said that the number of people standing in queue waiting for the gates to open was the longest in the ski area for several years. Some people even spent the night on the deck to become the first ones to enter the area.
Copland said, "We've seen massive support from our local community, partly because so many people and especially families are getting back into skiing, or being introduced to skiing for the first time, thanks to our great season pass prices this year. Opening day's always special because we've put so much effort into it over the previous seven months of preparation, so it's great to finally be here."About the snow, he said that the they are expecting snow down to 600m on Sunday.Region: New ZealandGeneral: GeneralPeople: Ross Copland
A 57 year old man was shot by the police after they were called to attend a domestic dispute at a housein the Karangahake Gorge near Paeroa.
The police was called to the property at around 8.28am and when the officers arrive, they notices the man armed with a machete and a garden slasher. The police shot the man in the torso as he allegedly threatened police but he continued to approach police armed with the machete. He was then shot a number of times from the front seat of the police car at "short range", according to Acting Assistant Commissioner Bruce Bird.
The police began first aid and CPR and an ambulance was called but the man died soon after wards. The police has not released the identity of the man.
"We can appreciate that this was a fast moving and traumatic event for those involved, including family members who were present. New Zealand Police extend our deepest sympathies to his family and loved ones at this time,"said Mr Bird.
The police are continuing to investigate while the Independent Police Conduct Authority and the coroner will also conduct an investigation into the incidence.Region: New ZealandGeneral: GeneralPeople: Bruce Bird
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