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City Mayor Says Kansas City is Ready to go “Smart”

New Zealand News - Thu, 02/09/2017 - 04:23

The seven finalists out of seventy eight applications for the desired $40-million federal transportation grant are Kansas City, Denver, Pittsburg, Columbus, Austin, Portland, San Francisco. On Thursday, the mayors of these cities made presentations to Foxx in Washington.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James also pitched for the reason why his city deserved the tens of millions of dollars in federal transportation funds "We've been there, done that". James publicized the success of the city's "smart" corridor in the newly created downtown streetcar route that also flaunts free Wi-Fi, several digital services and also interactive kiosks.

He said, "So we know what we're doing; it's not a gamble. Selecting us would be a big win for our team, it would be a big win for your team, but it would be a catalytic win for the people of Kansas City."

Later in June, the U. S. Department of Transportation will declare and reward the winner which will become the first "Smart City" in the country which will integrate technologies into the transport network including self-driving cars, smart sensors and other digital services.

Region: United StatesBusiness: Business NewsPeople: Sly James

Power Outage at Carowinds Lead to Riders Getting Stuck on Rides

New Zealand News - Thu, 02/09/2017 - 04:20

Enjoying rides at amusement parks can be enjoyable but getting stuck due to power outage is a different story. On Thursday, intermittent power failures at Carowinds amusement park, located on the border between North and South Carolina caused people to get stuck on many of the rides in the evening.

A Carowinds spokesperson confirmed the power outages at the park but did not confirm the riders getting stuck. Later at night, at 9:45 p. m., the officials of the park confirmed that power interruption led to stoppages in the rides.

Riders of the Windseeker ride were stuck in the air and most were not too pleased with their experience.

The statement from the park officials read, "Around 8 pm this evening, there was a power failure at Carowinds. As a result, there was a partial power outage in the park. Several rides were stopped and safely evacuated. We are currently lowering WindSeeker to the ground. As always, the safety of our guests and associates is our highest priority."

Charlotte firefighters were on stand-by when the maintenance workers at the park lowered the rides "manually due to malfunction." The medic also said one unit was kept in the park as standby but there were no reported injuries.

General: GeneralRegion: California

Shares of Restoration Hardware Holding Inc Drop with Weak Quarterly Results and Full Year Guidance

New Zealand News - Thu, 02/09/2017 - 04:18

Restoration Hardware Holdings Inc's shares dropped on Wednesday during the after-hours trading. The company based in Corte Madera, California, failed to meet expectations as it reported its quarterly results.

The home furnishings retailer also trimmed its profit forecasts for the year. The company reported a loss of $13.5 million or 33 cents a share in the fiscal first-quarter. Last year, the company had reported a profit for the same three month period.

The quarterly results could not keep in line with average analysts estimates of earnings of 5 cents per share.
The loss which was adjusted for one-time gains and costs was five cents a share.

Restoration Hardware forecasts its full-year earnings to be in the range of $1.60 to $1.80 a share. Earlier, the company had said the expected incomes were mostly going to be flat or slightly down compared to last fiscal year's adjusted income of $2.72 a share. The average analysts' estimates were $2.66 per share.

The retailer attributed the weaker results to the headwinds faced by the energy sector and the currency and a "general slowdown in the luxury consumer market."

Restoration Hardware expects its earnings per share for the ongoing quarter, which ends in August, to be in a range of 28 to 33 cents.

Companies: Restoration HardwareBusiness: Business NewsRegion: California

Environmental Protection Agency has a Clean-Up Plan for Portland Harbor

New Zealand News - Thu, 02/09/2017 - 04:14

On Wednesday, after a long wait finally the federal government released its plans for cleaning up the soil in Lower Willamette River which has been contaminated with cancer-causing substances from years of industrialization.

The Environmental Protection Agency has a plan of dredging the river bed and entrapping the contaminated sediments below a layer which will confine it under. But that is just for some hundred acres of the total contaminated zone of the huge 2,200 acre Portland Harbor Superfund Site. In the 'hybrid' proposal, the other areas are left in Mother Nature's care to do the mending with some places to be cleaned with initiative from the cleaning crew.

The dredging will be done on 167 acres where soil will be removed from the river bed and from that some amount will be taken to a landfill. Some amount of soil will be stored in a special structure in the river which will contain it. However, officials signal that the final plan might require sending the entire dredged soil to landfills.

A stretch of sixty-four acres which includes 10,000 feet shoreline will be covered with a layer of plastic or some different material.

James Woolford, a federal superfund manager in EPA's Washington, D.C., office said the plan is a "balanced approach" to the cleanup efforts.

General: EnvironmentRegion: United States

Oppenheimer Holdings Inc Agrees to Pay $3 Million to Settle Charges of Inappropriate ETF Sales

New Zealand News - Thu, 02/09/2017 - 04:09

Without admitting or denying any wrongdoing, Oppenheimer & Co agreed to pay almost $3 million as fines and restitution for settling federal charges that it sold risky exchange-traded funds incorrectly to elderly customers who are mostly averse to risks and also to other retail investors.

On Wednesday, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said New York City based Oppenheimer Holdings Inc unit will pay $2.25 million as fines and will compensate almost 150 customers with $716,832.

Oppenheimer said in a statement that the company was happy to settle the matter and "has for several years put in effective enhanced procedures and controls surrounding the sale of leveraged ETFs."

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) said starting from August 2009 till September 2013, Oppenheimer sold inverse and inverse-leveraged ETFs to clients which were inappropriate for their age, purpose of investment and finances. Those also were not properly supervised to make sure that these sales were not done.

FINRA said, Oppenheimer made about 30,740 non-traditional ETF transactions which totaled to $1.7 billion in retail brokerage accounts in the period stretching over four year period.

Companies: OppenheimerBusiness: Business NewsRegion: New York

Genentec, OSI Pharma Owe $67Million as False Claim Settlement for Lung Cancer Treatment Tarceva

New Zealand News - Thu, 02/09/2017 - 04:05

South San Francisco based Genentech and OSI Pharmaceuticals based in Farmingdale, New York owe $67 million as a part of federal court settlement related to allegations over misleading claims which the companies made regarding a drug used for treating cancer.

OSI Pharmaceuticals, a part of Astellas Pharma and Genentech, a part of the Roche Group were taken to court after an ex-employee of Genentech alleged that the company gave misleading information to medical professionals as well as doctors.

However, nothing in the ruling reveals that the companies are officially accountable for the claims.

Tarceva, the drug under concern is approved for treating non-small-cell lung cancer and also advanced-stage of pancreatic cancer. A news release from the Department of Justice says, the complaint says the drug companies made doctors believe, the drug will work for the broad category of patient while in reality "there was little evidence to show that Tarceva was effective" for treating some patients who were suffering from non-small-cell lung cancer. The medicine worked only on a certain number of patients including those who did not smoke ever and people who carried a particular mutation in a protein which leads to the spread and growth of cancer cells.

According to the complaint, the companies did not report all the adverse effects that are connected to the use of this drug.

Companies: GenentechBusiness: Pharmaceutical SectorRegion: San Francisco

New Report says Millionaires will Control Fifty Two Percent of World’s Wealth by 2020

New Zealand News - Thu, 02/09/2017 - 04:03

A new report released on Tuesday states that millionaires will have control greater than half of the total wealth in the world by 2020.

A Boston Consulting Group Global Wealth report showed, last year the number of millionaires grew six percent globally to 18.5 million. Though there was an increase in the number of millionaires but it marked an eleven percent slowdown from the growth noted in 2014.

The report says, at present, millionaires have a control over forty seven percent of the total global wealth and is estimated to control fifty two percent by 2020.

The richest among the millionaires will gain the most mostly in the United States. The report says that greater than $20 million in the United States will control twenty nine percent of the wealth in the country by 2020. That is an increase from the twenty four percent noted in 2015 and twenty percent marked in 2010.

For the first time since 2011, last year the growth of private wealth marked a slow down globally.

In the U.S and Canada, the amount of wealth grew two percent to $60 trillion which was the lowest among all regions. In Japan, it was four percent and the growth marked a greater leap compared to the previous year.

Business: EconomyBusiness NewsRegion: United States

Shares of VeriFone Systems Drop after Company Misses Expectations in Q2 and Gives a Downbeat Outlook

New Zealand News - Thu, 02/09/2017 - 03:59

San Jose, California based VeriFone Systems saw its shares drop during the after hour trading to $21.98 or by 22.14percent on Tuesday following a weak guidance and a quarterly result that missed expectations.

After the market closed, the electronic payments company reported its quarterly earnings of 47 cents a share missing the analysts' expectation of 52 cents a share. The quarterly revenue was reported as $526 million even that figure failed to keep up with analysts' estimates of $530.1 million.

In a statement, Paul Galant, CEO of the company said "Q2 was a mixed quarter for Verifone as we grew our business, but experienced several difficult market dynamics."

Galant added that the company is conducting a "disciplined strategic review" right now to tackle the underperforming businesses and trim down the operating expenses in general.
He added, "We are aggressively executing mitigating actions including a headcount restructuring and a review of underperforming businesses."

Overall for the fiscal 2016, the company forecasts earnings of $1.85 a share. The analysts expect earnings of $2.23 a share. The downbeat guidance provided by the company also caused the shares to slip.

Companies: VeriFoneBusiness: BusinessCompany ResultsRegion: California

Maori leader Sir Graham Latimer dies at the age of 90

New Zealand News - Thu, 02/09/2017 - 03:56

Sir Graham Latimer, a prominent Maori leader and former National vice president, has passed away at the age of 90 years. Sir Latimerrecently suffered from Parkinson's disease.

Sir Latimer worked to advance Maori rights and address historic grievances in the country and achieved great success during his leadership. He worked with the New Zealand Maori Council for nearly 40 years and most of the time worked as the institution's president. He was also one of the three members of the Waitangi Tribunal.

Sir Latimer also worked as chairman of the Crown Forest Rental Trust, and a member of the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission as well as a spokesperson for NgatiWhatua. He was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1980. His daughter, Rayna Tuhimata said that he took the fight for the changes to the State-Owned Enterprises Act to the Privy Council and achieved huge success for the country. As a result, the act was amended to make land transferred from the Crown to state-owned enterprises that were available for Treaty claims.

Sir Latimer has five children and he is connected to more than 20 children altogether including those he fostered. Prime Minister John Key described Latimer as a great New Zealander and advocate of Maori rights and interests.

Region: New ZealandGeneral: GeneralPeople: Graham Latimer

Marry or Divorce: Marital transition affect women health

Health News - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 08:56

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 8 : Both marriage and divorce affect the health of postmenopausal women.

A new study reveals that blood pressure, body mass index (BMI) tend to worsen if a woman marries and improves if she divorces or part ways.

The study appeared in journal of Women's Health.

Researchers analysed data from more than 79,000 postmenopausal women.

The findings indicate that marital transitions had a direct impact on health indicators -waist circumference, BMI and blood pressure and behaviors - smoking, alcohol use, physical activity and diet.

The results showed that the BMI of a postmenopausal woman increased with marriage and decreased with divorce.

Divorce was not only associated with a lower BMI, but also a reduction in waist circumference with improvements to diet and increased physical activity.

The article titled 'Relationship between Marital Transitions, Health Behaviors, and Health Indicators of Postmenopausal Women: Results from the Women's Health Initiative' describes the relationship found between marital transitions and both health indicators and behaviours.

"These new results are in stark contrast to earlier findings in which marriage has been associated with improved overall health and divorce with higher mortality," explained Susan G. Kornstein from Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women's Health.

The study was conducted by Randa Kutob and researchers from Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and Cancer Center of University of Arizona (Tucson); Brown University School of Public Health (Providence, RI); University of California, Davis; University of Texas Health Science Center (San Antonio); University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and University of Iowa College of Public Health (Iowa City). (ANI)

Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health

Pregnant women drinking from plastic bottle up risk of baby being obese

Health News - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 05:12

London [UK], Feb. 8 : Pregnant women drinking from plastic water bottles could be driving up their risk of having obese babies, a new study has found.

Scientists have found that the chemical bisphenol A (BPA), a hormone disruptor, is linked to an unborn child's increased risk of obesity.

When the child is exposed to BPA, they become less sensitive to a hormone responsible for controlling appetite.

Experts admit they are not surprised by the results, and warned of the need to be aware of environmental factors that can lead to increased susceptibility of obesity.

BPA is a chemical found in a variety of food containers, including polycarbonate plastic water bottles and can linings.

This chemical can interfere with the endocrine system (a collection of glands that produce several hormones) by mimicking estrogen, one of the main sex hormones found in women.

Research indicates BPA exposure is nearly universal. More than 90 percent of people tested in population studies had detectable levels of BPA, and compounds produced when it is metabolized by the body, in their urine.

The study, conducted by The Endocrine Society based in Washington DC, looked at baby mice. Researchers found that mice born to mothers exposed to BPA were less responsive to the hormone leptin, which is sometimes called the satiety hormone.

Leptin helps inhibit the appetite by reducing hunger pangs when the body does not need energy. The hormone sends signals to the hypothalamus region of the brain to suppress appetite.

Senior author Dr Alfonso Abizaid, of the Department of Neuroscience at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada said: 'Our findings show that bisphenol A can promote obesity in mice by altering the hypothalamic circuits in the brain that regulate feeding behavior and energy balance.

'Low level prenatal exposure to BPA delays a surge of leptin after birth that allows mice to develop the proper response to the hormone. BPA exposure permanently alters the neurobiology in the affected mice, making them prone to obesity as adults.'

To examine how BPA can encourage the development of obesity, the researchers fed pregnant mice BPA in their food.

The mice were exposed to doses of BPA that are lower than levels deemed safe by the US Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada. Once the mice gave birth, the researchers gave their offspring injections of leptin at various intervals and then examined their brain tissue and analyzed their blood to gauge the response to the hormone.

Other pregnant mice were not exposed to any chemicals or were exposed to an estrogen chemical called diethylstilbestrol (DES), so their young could be compared to those born to mice that were exposed to BPA.

Newborn mice typically exhibit a surge of leptin when they are eight days old that programs a part of the brain to respond to fullness cues. The study found that animals exposed to BPA experienced this surge two days late, and mice exposed to DES never had a surge of leptin.

When they were treated with leptin over the course of two days, control animals that weren't exposed to either chemical lost more weight than BPA - or DES- exposed mice.

'This study improves our understanding of how BPA can disrupt the endocrine system in a manner that raises the risk of obesity in animals,' Dr Abizaid said.

'Since BPA has also been linked to obesity in humans, people need to be aware that environmental factors can lead to increased susceptibility to obesity and cardio-metabolic disorders.'

A report released in October 2016 claimed that plastic bottles contain hormone-disrupting chemicals that can cause cancer, diabetes, ADHD and autism.

Yet they are found in thousands of everyday products, ranging from plastic and metal food containers, to detergents, flame retardants, toys and cosmetics.

These chemicals are responsible for scores of illnesses - costing the US an astonishing $340 billion in health-related costs each year, the NYU Langone report read.

The most common illness due to endocrine disrupting chemicals is neurological - including attention-ADHD, autism and loss of IQ. (ANI)

Region: LondonGeneral: Health

Innovative technique connects liver `directly` to the heart

Health News - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 04:48

New Delhi [India], Feb. 8 : A 21-year-old Iraqi woman, who suffered from a rare genetic condition in which blood clots prevented the flow of blood into the liver and outflow from the liver to the heart, has been given another chance to live a full and happy life by the doctors.

A team of doctors lead by Dr. Vivek Vij, Director, Liver Transplant, FMRI conducted an extremely complex lifesaving surgery, in a carefully crafted procedure on December 28, 2016.

"My parents sent me to India fearing relatives might say they didn't try enough to save my life," recalls 21-year-old Bnar Satar Mala, who till December 2016 had given up hope of survival.

It all started somewhere in the year 2014, with initial symptoms of turning pale, then yellow with severe pain shooting down the left shoulder to her arm soon developed into swelling in her limbs and abdomen. "I would feel nauseous at the mention of food, I could barely eat and often throw up soon after".

Doctors in Iran diagnosed her with a rare genetic disorder called Budd Chiari Syndrome, a condition where blood clots completely or partially blocks the blood flow to the liver in an individual. Very few cases of this syndrome have been reported worldwide so far. It is rare to the extent that many liver transplant surgeons might not have even got an opportunity to treat such a case.

The blockage may occur anywhere from the small and large veins that carry blood from the liver (hepatic veins) to the inferior vena cava (that takes the blood back to the heart). The IVC drains fluid out of the liver too. Due to the blockage in the hepatic vein which obstructed the outflow, her liver was gradually "dying".

"No doctor wanted to take the risk of operating on me, at best, a stent was put inside my liver to drain the fluid out," added Mala.

"By the time Bnar reached FMRI, her liver was completely black and shrunken, requiring urgent transplant in order to save her life. Her brother, 27-year-old Bzar, matched for a donor in Mala's case. All necessary tests were done and Mala underwent the transplant on December 28th," explained Dr Vij.

"Her IVC was completely blocked and she required a lot of blood transfusion during the surgery. The affected liver was removed and a part of the liver was taken from her brother and transplanted in the patient. In this case, the challenge was to suture the liver "directly" to the heart as the patient's native IVC was completely blocked. In order to suture the liver as close to the heart as possible, the heart had to be pulled down into the abdominal cavity. We decided not to open the recipient's chest and instead pulled the heart down through a narrow gap made in the diaphragm separating the chest and the abdomen. By doing this, we significantly reduced the risk of any infection which could have occurred due to a large opening in the chest. Also, being a woman, her concern was the scar such an opening would have left on her chest," added Dr Vij.

The hepatic vein was sutured directly to the heart through this novel technique and the team made sure that they did all this avoiding sternotomy (cutting open the chest to reach the heart).

Doctors worked meticulously post-surgery to maintain a fine titration of her medicines to make sure of optimum anti-coagulation.

"FMRI has pioneered several complex surgeries in the past. This case was almost a lost cause when the patient reached us, however we gave it our best and were successful in our endeavour to save her life. Our efforts are proof of our need to provide quality health care services and medical aid to anyone across the globe who requires it," said Dr. Simmardeep Singh Gill, Zonal Director, Fortis Memorial Research Institute.

Liver transplantation is currently in its golden period in India. The number of transplants being performed and the steady increase in new programmes that have emerged over the last decade is a testimony to it.

A multipronged approach in developing infrastructure and the involvement of multidisciplinary teams in the management of transplant patients has had a major positive impact on the outcome and as a result a positive impetus to the growth of this specialty in India. Till date, the majority of transplants performed in India are live donor liver transplants. (ANI)

Region: IndiaGeneral: Health

Labour blames fewer police officials for increase in road accidents

New Zealand News - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 04:12

The Labour has blamed few police officials on the roads due to funding cuts as a result for increase in the number of road accidents.

Eleven people died on the roads between Friday evening and Tuesday morning making it the highest Queen's Birthday weekend road toll since 1989. Napier MP Stuart Nash, Labour police spokesperson pointed out that the government has slashed road safety funding in the previous two years.

Nash said, "In the past two years there has been a cut in road safety funding. Between 2013 and 2015 the road toll has increased by 68, making us one of the only countries where road deaths are rising. Funding pressures from the Budget have forced police to remove 100 police officers from road patrols. That will lead to more deaths on the road. It's that simple."

The police had said in April that it had a funding shortfall of $26 million and Police Minister Judith Collins has said at that time that it would mean that there will be fewer police officials for road policing. Transport Minister Simon Bridges did not allow NZTA to provide more money stating that the current level of funding was sufficient. NZTA had said that it would expected to see a "more moderate achievement" of road policing outcomes in the face of lower funding.

Mr Nash also warned in April the shortfall would make the roads more dangerous. Data showed that the road toll dropped to 253 in 2013 then increasing to 294 in 2014 and 321 in 2015. So far, 152 people have lost their lives this year.

Police Minister Judith Collins responded by blaming other contributors, including driving in unsafe conditions and men using mobile phones while driving for the increase in accidents. He said that drivers should follow rules for safety on roads.

Region: New ZealandGeneral: GeneralPeople: Stuart Nash

Plutonium from Japan Arrived in South Carolina, Trucked to the Savannah River Site

New Zealand News - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 04:09

In spite of objections from Governor Nikki Haley, a shipment of deadly plutonium which is used as an ingredient in nuclear weapons arrived in South Carolina. The shipment from Japan which was carried in trucks to the Savannah River Site (SRS) near Aiken for storage will make the world safer says the government officials. It will be in safe hands and will prevent radioactive material being available to terrorists and rogue states.

However, the move was not welcome by the anti nuclear activists. The arrival of the plutonium was confirmed by the National Nuclear Security Administration without giving too many specifics.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the shipment that arrived in South Carolina is part of an arrangement which will bring almost one ton of plutonium from the Pacific Rim, Europe and North America. There after the plutonium will be processed at SRS and finally sent to New Mexico, to a disposal site.

Officials said that the plutonium from Japan will be a part of the six metric tons which the government plans to send from SRS to Waste Isolation Pilot Plant close to Carlsbad, New Mexico.

Region: United StatesGeneral: GeneralPeople: Nikki Haley

Marwan Fawaz Nest’s New CEO has Selling Experience; Will Alphabet use His Skills to sell Nest Labs in Future?

New Zealand News - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 04:06

Tony Fadell, who has a significant hand in developing hot selling products like the iPod and iPhone, stepped down as the CEO of Nest Labs, a division of Google's parent, Alphabet.

The problems with Fadell rose from the way how he managed Nest. There has been no new product added by the company which has created excitement in the market in recent times, since Google's purchase of Next in 2014 for $3.2 billion deal.

Nest released, Nest Cam last year which most analysts thought was a rebranded version of a Dropcam product. Dropcam is a camera startup which Nest acquired for $555 million.

Google announced in May that it plans to launch Google Home, its own Internet connected home device. It is going to be a competition for Amazon Echo for sure but many people wondered why it was under Google and not Nest.

Both the companies under Alphabet operate with certain amount of autonomy. Reportedly, as the inner story goes, Nest officials offered to help in developing Google Home and were refused.

Marwan Fawaz, Nest's the new CEO though does not have a history of developing products like Fadell has good selling experience at Motorola, where he oversaw the sale of its home-products division in 2013 to Arris Group for $2.35 billion. That makes some analysts wonder it Alphabet too plans to sell Nest Labs in the future.

Companies: LinkedInBusiness: Business NewsPeople: Marwan Fawaz

Complaint about Discrimination on the Rise from Airbnb Users

New Zealand News - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 04:04

Airbnb says at its core is about belonging. But the slogan "belong anywhere" is facing trouble to hold itself high, as more and more users of the service are asking whether the company is doing enough to curb discrimination.

The home-sharing service that has become quite poplar around the world has been accused of shutting doors on the African Americans along with other minority groups. Reports of discrimination from hosts registered with Airbnb are growing. On Sunday, in a recent development Shadi Petosky, an American producer and writer Shadi Petosky, shared her experience of being denied accommodation be to her transgender identity. On Sunday, she tweeted that a Minneapolis woman denied her accommodation and Airbnb did nothing about it.

Whenever, Shadi Petosky books her accommodations through Airbnb, she did disclose her gender identity to her hosts to avoid later unpleasantness. She said, "You don't want there to be a scene when you arrive. It's safer to disclose."

Belonging is not only regarding the user of the services but also employees in the company. The San Francisco company has very few African Americans and Latinos working for it. Last week, Airbnb, the San Francisco, California based company vowed to address the issues of discrimination and unconscious bias. The company says these problems have "plagued societies for centuries."

Companies: AirbnbBusiness: Business NewsRegion: United States

Motorbike rider dies after crashing with car on Harris Stin Huntly

New Zealand News - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 03:59

A motorbike rider, who was travelling north-bound on Harris St in Huntly, has died after crashing into a car driving to the other side.

The police officials arrived at the scene eon Harris St, west of the Waikato River at 3pm on Monday. The officials said that the car driver was not hurt in the accident. The police officials have blocked the roads on Harris St and Glen Murray Rd and have placed diversions.

Officer in charge of road police in Huntly, Neil Mansill confirmed that the motorist was wearing a helmet. The police did not announce additional details of the person and only said that the investigations were under way. Some locals believe that the motorist might have hit a bump in the road but police did not confirm the assessment.

The family of the motorcyclist had been informed and were at the scene but the official identification processes hadn't been completed. The family was seen hugging behind the cordon. It is believed that the man had family ties in the town but did not live in Huntly.

The police officials are investigating the causes of the crash and have urged all motorists to exercise patience on the roads. The police used a drone to take pictures of the crash scene.

General: GeneralRegion: New Zealand

One man arrested following reports of shooting in Napier

New Zealand News - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 03:54

Police officials have arrested one man after reports emerged of a shooting incidence at a property located on McGrath Street in Napier.

The incidence occurred on one side of the McGrath Street where a man was seen with blood on his face and a bandage round his head. Officials confirmed that a man was shot and a firearm was present. Neighbours had noted yelling and a "big drama" coming from the house on Monday before the police arrived at the scene.

A neighbour had noticed a man arriving at the property on Monday holding a gun and around half an hour later, she heard a loud voice after which the police arrived at the scene. An ambulance was also called to the scene, according to a St John ambulance spokesman. Cordons had been lifted on the street after 4 pm but police officials remained on the scene.

A police official said, "A victim is receiving medical treatment in hospital and it is unknown at this stage how these injuries were sustained. Police are at the scene and the people involved are in custody."

Meanwhile, one man, believed to be the driver of a white 4WD, was arrested in the Napier South neighbourhood.

General: CrimeRegion: New Zealand

Air New Zealand’s New Flight to Vietnam Reaches Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport

New Zealand News - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 03:52

The inaugural flight of Air New Zealand to Vietnam touched Ho Chi Minh City from Auckland.

The Flight NZ269 departed from the Auckland International Airport at 12:45pm and arrived at Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Son Nhat International Airport on Saturday, at about 8pm.

The Boeing 767-300 aircraft will be a thrice weekly service on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Passengers on the inaugural flight included dignitaries like Hon. Steven Joyce, New Zealand's Minister of Economic Development and Vietnamese Ambassador to New Zealand HE Mr Viet Dung Nguyen. Cam Wallace, the Chief Sales and Commercial Officer of Air New Zealand were also on the flight and said, the new destination increases the count of the airlines international destinations to thirty.

When the flight arrived, the passengers were welcomed with a traditional performance of kapa haka.

Wallace said, "This new service is a further expansion of our presence in South East Asia and our strategic focus on the Pacific Rim. We're very excited to be able to offer our customers the first direct air link between New Zealand and Vietnam which will operate on a seasonal basis three times per week from now through until the end of October."

In last one year, approximately 16,000 travelers from New Zealand have travelled to Vietnam which is a twenty percent increase compared to the previous year.

The non-stop flight takes eleven hours to travel to Ho Chi Minh City.

Companies: Air New ZealandBusiness: Aviation SectorRegion: New Zealand

Uber Drivers in New Zealand Complain of Sliding Income and Rising Workload

New Zealand News - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 03:50

Drivers of New Zealand Uber Drivers' Association are saying that they are facing a noticeable drop in their income but a rise in workload as the company's fare prices have dropped.

In April, Uber announced a twenty percent drop in its prices. The app based ride hailing service also changed the process how one can become an Uber driver.

Earlier, if someone wanted to be a driver they had to dish out $2000 plus three months for medical checks and acquiring the different licenses. Now it costs $20 and approximately six days to finish the entire process.

Ben Wilson, the chairman of NZ Uber Drivers' Association agreed that the alterations have affected the Uber drivers.

He said, "Lots of the drivers were former taxi drivers who came to Uber because they thought it was a better service. But with these price cuts, they have to go back to traditional taxi driving."

He said many Uber drivers are leaving the business as they felt, the business is not proving to be a sustainable source of income any more.

An Uber move which has worried the NZ Transport Agency is that, the company has removed rules that need drivers to carry a passenger service license. The agency calls it illegal.

Companies: UberBusiness: Auto SectorBusiness NewsRegion: New Zealand

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