Raid inquiry results not shared

Afghanistan's Human Rights investigators wrote about the deaths in a 2011 report, describing circumstances similar to those alleged in Hit & Run, the book released this week by Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson. According to the district authorities, there was no further government follow-up on the raid, the investigators said. The report was issued jointly by the Human Rights Unit of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (Unama Human Rights) with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) in 2011. They believe the families may have a case against New Zealand for violations of international human rights law and war crimes. Mr English will meet Defence Force Chief Tim Keating and Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee tomorrow after their return from Iraq.

March 24, 2017 20:15 UTC

Thiel deal a problem, minister told

Finance Minister Steven Joyce was warned three years ago an investment deal struck with surprise Kiwi Peter Thiel was problematic, documents show. "In the Valar Ventures example, the taxpayer is offering an American billionaire a loan at less-than-market rates,'' the report said. The deal between Mr Thiel and the Government-backed New Zealand Venture Investment Fund has come under scrutiny after an investigation revealed it had last year been quietly wound up. The minister said the buyout option had been intended to encourage growth in New Zealand capital markets and had not presented obvious problems earlier. "Valar Ventures' entry into the local market had a number of benefits and was very beneficial for the companies in which the fund did invest.

March 24, 2017 20:03 UTC

Eddie Jones turns to football to give England an edge

Eddie Jones turns to football to give England an edgeSHAUN BOTTERILL/GETTY IMAGES Eddie Jones is constantly looking for ways to improve England. Eddie Jones has turned to the round-ball game to find an edge in his bid to take the England rugby team to the top of the world. A week after the Red Rose's record-equalling 18-match winning run came to an end against Ireland, Jones joined the England football squad's preparations ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Lithuania on Sunday (Monday NZ time). "He (Jones) has a winning mentality – he is constantly asking for more," Southgate told the Telegraph. "They were 18 games unbeaten and I saw his quote saying we are nowhere near ready to win a World Cup.

March 24, 2017 19:41 UTC

Trauma patient changes

More patients will go directly to Dunedin Hospital, rather than Southland Hospital, under a new trauma patient policy that starts on Monday. Major trauma national clinical network clinical leader Prof Ian Civil said it meant more patients injured in Otago and Southland would be directed to Dunedin. "Dunedin is a tertiary major trauma hospital so the main impact would be complex trauma patients preferentially taken to Dunedin rather than Southland. Dr Coleman and Mr Woodhouse said in a statement patients would benefit from being taken to the most appropriate hospital more quickly. "Each year around 2000 people with major trauma are transferred to hospital for care.

March 24, 2017 17:15 UTC

Six Russian soldiers, six militants killed in foggy Chechnya base attack

Six Russian soldiers, six militants killed in foggy Chechnya base attackVALERY SHARIFULIN/GETTY IMAGES The Kremlin has relied on Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov to stabilise the mainly Muslim region in the wake of two bloody separatist wars. Russia said six of its soldiers had been killed after successfully repelling an assault on a military facility in Chechnya, an attack the Islamic State militant group said it had carried out. It said a gun battle had ensued and that a number of Russian troops had been wounded in addition to the six who had been killed. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement circulated online. The wider North Caucasus region remains volatile however with unemployment and corruption pushing some young men to embrace radical Islam.

March 24, 2017 17:15 UTC

Using your head over concussion

The NRL’s stance on concussion made the headlines last weekend when fines were handed out to St George Illawarra Dragons, Gold Coast Titans and Newcastle Knights for breaching the game’s concussion protocols. All related to the team medical staff not taking players from the field, presumably in consultation with coaching staff, after they took heavy head blows during the match. It is a far cry from rugby which has tightened up its concussion and dangerous play protocols in recent years. It relies on independent match medical officials to make the call concerning concussion and determine who can and cannot return to the field. Highlanders players Malakai Fekitoa and Fletcher Smith were both ruled by the match medical official to have failed concussion protocol and were prevented from returning to the field.

March 24, 2017 17:15 UTC

Counting vehicles

The New Zealand Transport Agency will install full-time traffic counting equipment on the busy one-lane Albert Town bridge, with a long term view to upgrading or replacing the bridge. Traffic can quickly back up on the 1930s one-way bridge which crosses the Clutha River on State Highway 6. Installing the equipment would allow more accurate information about traffic using the bridge to be collected. Information gathered will be used to measure the expected growth of traffic in the area, particularly on the Lake Hawea side of the bridge. Like all projects, it would need to be prioritised alongside other projects across New Zealand.

March 24, 2017 17:03 UTC

Research not priority over education

The University of Otago is taking issue with a government report which says research takes priority over teaching. The Productivity Commission’s report on tertiary education, commissioned by the Government and released this week, said the current funding system incentivised research over teaching. "The performance-based research fund (PBRF) and international rankings incentivise providers to focus on particular kinds of research, and to prioritise investment in research over investment in teaching," the report says. Otago University earned more income through research than most universities, but even then its total of $170 million in research funding compared to $400 million in funding for teaching. "Given that our teaching revenue stream is 2.3 times greater than our research review stream, the financial incentive is to prioritise teaching."

March 24, 2017 17:03 UTC

More sexual complaints; one solved

Police have received three other complaints of a sexual nature since two attacks occurred little over an hour apart in the student quarter on Friday. Few other details of the incidents were provided, but police confirmed one was solved quickly. Three women were attacked in two incidents in the student quarter last Friday. "Dunedin police are following strong leads in relation to a sexual attack at a Dundas St flat last weekend," he said. "Police have also dealt with three other sexual complaints since last Friday, one of which was quickly resolved ... with an arrest and court appearance for a man facing rape charges," he said.

March 24, 2017 17:03 UTC

Apology for misrepresenting religious instruction position

The board chairman at Fenwick School has apologised for minimising the level of opposition to religious instruction in schools. "I apologise," Mr Goodsir wrote. One parent, who asked not to be named, said Mr Goodsir had lied. After the school board received Mr Hay’s report it enacted a raft of changes and Mr Goodsir stepped away from his roles in religious instruction and chaplaincy at the school. In keeping with Mr Hay’s report, the board also decided to form a "complaints handling committee" for religious instruction complaints.

March 24, 2017 17:03 UTC

Star shooter out to dominate

Of those, no signature was more important than that of Jhaniele Fowler-Reid.There were plenty of rumours as to where the 198cm goal shoot would end up as the transtasman league split. But she has returned to the Steel for a fifth season and is happy with her decision. A three-time transtasman league Most Valuable Player, the 27-year-old returned to Jamaica for six months over summer. "We’ve not played them before, but the good thing is we’ve played most of the players before, so we know the players. But putting their team together will and just see how good they come up against us as a unit."

March 24, 2017 17:03 UTC

Application refusal surprise

The developer of proposed 13-section residential subdivision just north of the Red Bridge near Luggate, says he is surprised the application was declined. Willowridge Developments applied for resource consent to develop 118ha of rural land in Kane Rd into 13 residential sections. A hearing on the consent application was heard earlier this month. Queenstown Lakes District Council senior planner Sarah Gathercole recommended the application be declined. Those changes would deprive submitters in the community of the right to appeal to the Environment Court, he said.

March 24, 2017 17:03 UTC

4.25% rise in rates signalled

At a meeting of the Queenstown Lakes District Council yesterday, councillors voted to adopt the draft annual plan which proposes a 4.25% increase. Met with silence on opening the public forum, he remarked, "Well that must be a first for this council." Speaking in the meeting, Cr Ferguson recognised the department was "under the pump for obvious reasons". Cr Lawton raised concerns over the long term "vision" of the project and said the council missed an opportunity to engage with the public. At the start of the meeting, Mr Boult acknowledged Cr Lawton’s mother, Otago regional councillor Maggie Lawton, who died this month.

March 24, 2017 17:03 UTC

Burn off smoke likely cause of highway crash

The crash scene on State Highway 83 just south of Otekaieke yesterday. Police at the scene of the crash, just south of Otekaieke, said seven cars were involved in the collision about noon in a 100kmh zone of on State Highway 83. Constable Ashley Pickworth, of Oamaru, said smoke from a controlled burn off had drifted across the road and he believed the cars drove into the smoke cloud. Some drivers at the scene had trouble speaking English while others talked about how the crash had affected their trip. The road was shut for about 20 minutes and then opened to one lane while the crash scene was cleared.

March 24, 2017 17:03 UTC

Pupils position phantom site

It appears the case of the phantom fast food outlet is closed. Schoolwork seems to be the reason behind the appearance of a potential site for McDonald’s in Wanaka on internet mapping service Google Maps. Even the slight possibility of the fast food giant moving into the town was enough to ruffle a few locals. A spokesman for McDonald’s said the company had no plans to open in Wanaka and had not identified anywhere as a potential site. A Google spokesman said users who found inaccurate information were able report the issue to Google using the "report a problem" tool found on the map itself.

March 24, 2017 17:03 UTC

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