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timeline

Labour government wins 2020 election by a landslide result

Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Government has won a historic victory in the 2020 election, with Labour on track to form the first majority government in the MMP era.

With 98 percent of the vote counted, Labour looks set to win 49 percent of the party vote, giving the party 64 seats in Parliament.
Celebrating her victory in the Auckland Town Hall, Ardern acknowledged her history-making win.

Jacinda Ardern has secured a landslide victory over National.
“Tonight, New Zealand has shown the Labour Party its greatest support in at least 50 years,” she said.

“Tonight’s result has been strong and it is clear that Labour will lead the Government for the next three years,” she said.

Ardern repeated her campaign pledge to “build back better” from Covid-19. Earlier in the night, National leader Judith Collins congratulated Labour and Jacinda Ardern for the election victory, vowing to be a “robust Opposition”.

Collins, who said she would be staying on as National leader, conceded in a speech in Auckland, saying National “will be back”.

Leader Judith Collins easily won her Papakura seat again.
Former Air New Zealand boss Chris Luxon cruised to victory in Botany as well.

Nearly 2 million votes were cast before election day this year. Counting for them began at 9 am on Saturday. Votes cast on the actual election day will continue to be counted throughout the night, although it does not look like any path to power for National.

New Zealanders will have to wait a bit longer for the results of the euthanasia and cannabis referendums. The Electoral Commission will release preliminary results for each referendum on October 30, and the official results will be released on November 6 – that is, 35 days after advance voting began and 20 days after election day

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timeline

Global Covid-19 coronavirus cases surpass 50 million

The total confirmed coronavirus cases have surged past 50 million following record new case numbers in several countries.

Coronavirus kills over 1.25 million people around the World.

More than 1.25 million, out of the 50 million worldwide people have now died after contracting the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University. But the numbers are thought to be higher because of insufficient testing in many countries.

Europe, with more than 12.5 million cases and 305,700 deaths, is again a hotspot after being the first epicentre of the pandemic earlier this year.

In the US just under 10 million have tested positive. It has seen more than 125,000 cases per day three days in a row. The states of North and South Dakota have the highest rates of death per capita.

Covid 19 Cases increase in Europe

In Europe, France on Sunday recorded 38,619 new coronavirus cases – many less than Saturday’s record increase of 86,852 cases. However the health ministry said it had problems collecting data and there would be a correction on Monday.

France also registered 271 deaths, bringing the total to 40,439. The country is just over a week into a second lockdown with the aim of curbing the spread of the virus.

Under the lockdown restrictions, expected to be in place until 1 December, people can only leave their homes to go to work if they cannot work from home, to buy essential goods, seek medical help or to exercise for one hour a day.

In the UK – which has seen the highest number of deaths in Europe – there were 20,572 new cases and 156 new deaths, bringing the total to 49,044 deaths.

India and Brazil have also been hard hit.

Source BBC

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Search Optimisation

Search optimisation, should I host my website in New Zealand?

7 reasons why Richard Hayes Digital thinks you should.

If you are a New Zealand business and worried about your website is and search optimisation, we recommend that your website is hosted in New Zealand. Not only is it easier to implement, but it makes sense to keep things local.

1. Site Speed

An important factor for your website is it’s loading speed – deliver your website to your customer as fast as possible, especially with the variance of internet delivery ranging from 5G the fastest to 3G, where older or remote areas will have only this service.

The location of a web server can definitely impact the download speed of your website. This may be seconds and, in some cases, fractions of a second.

Suppose your customer visits multi-pages and has to wait for these pages to download. These seconds will add up and make the customers viewing experience very frustrating. 

Some consumer research shows some websites that take longer than 3 seconds to load can lead to you losing up to 40% of potential customers.

If you are servicing New Zealand customers, we recommend hosting your website on local web servers for maximum download speed.

2. Customer Experience

Being local is always important, especially when designing your content and services that you offer customers. An audience viewing your website can quickly conclude if you are talking to them from New Zealand or overseas. 

We have seen the incorrect translation of English and grammar from one country to the other. The customer can quickly notice the tone and colloquialisms of their own country.

Don’t confuse your audience by trying to disguise that your website as a multi-country website. Be honest, and don’t try to outsmart your customer.

Allowing your customers to contact you or buy your products must be quick and easy. Some businesses create websites that are easy for their businesses and work systems. They forget about the customers.

3. Search Results

Search results are probably the most important issue when hosting your website or using a multi-country website outside the country of origin. 

How will you manage your search results or the duplication of content within the same website? Managing duplication of content can be tricky, especially if you are showing the same page using individual URLs, as shown below:

www.abc.com.au/product/green-tree

The same page is also shown using the URL: 

www.abc.co.nz/product/green-tree 

Which page will Google rank the higher?

Search engines don’t like to see multiple sites with similar or duplicate content. If you have two websites using the same content, this can cause duplication problems.

The search engine will choose one page over the other as having more relevance or created earlier. There’s no guarantee that they’ll choose the local page that you feel is more important. 

Consequently, you could find that the .com.au page is ranked higher than the .co.nz simply because Google believes the content was originally created on the .com.au website. 

If the Australian content had been created first and indexed by Google, you would find the example above would be the likely outcome.

Google Search Example

Duplicate content on multi-country websites can confuse your customer, highlighted in the sequence below. 

Your NZ customer searches: green trees

Google notices duplicate content OR thinks the .com.au page is more relevant and serves the NZ Customer: www.abc.com.au/product/green-tree.

Your New Zealand customer clicks on the search result and is sent to the .com.au website unknowingly.

The customer wants more information on the products and then navigates to the .com.au contact page. Only if New Zealand is listed, can they contact you?

Issues that can develop from your customers’ actions:

  1. The customer bookmarks the product. They bookmark the .com.au website. Therefore, they never visit the New Zealand website.
  2. The customer has issues finding contact details or unknowingly fills out the .com.au contact form.
  3. The customer feels that the New Zealand website is a subset of the Australian website; therefore, they may look elsewhere if they prefer local.
  4. The customer might think all products are shipped from Australia, and there could be a delay in delivery.
  5. The record of the search query by Google will be allocated to the .com.au website; therefore, according to Google the New Zealand, the website has less relevance.

4. Google Ranking by IP Address

While it has not proven, search engines use server location as a ranking factor

There has been some strong evidence to show that the IP address of a website can affect the site’s rankings.

In today’s cybersecurity environment, having search engines decide your website is malicious should be avoided at all costs.

5. Privacy Regulations

Within New Zealand, personal data held by a business is protected by the Privacy Act 1993. Every business has an obligation to protect the data they hold about their customers.

6. Support Hours

Any website issues are a high priority and should be solved quickly. A New Zealand based web hosting company operates in the same time zone. 

7. Support Local

Finally, when you choose to host in New Zealand, you are helping the local economy. In today’s market, “Shopping Local” has become a big buzzword, especially for marketing.

You cannot expect your customers to shop locally when you do not demonstrate this yourself.

If you would like to discuss your search optimisation or business website. Please contact us

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Environment New Zealand News Pollution stopping pollution

Our goal is to collect one piece of litter every day for one year.

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We are collecting one piece of litter every day for 365 days around our local area of Cambridge, New Zealand.

This is our small way of doing what we believe is right in helping clean up litter and helping the environment. Inspired by @onepieceoflitteraday

We all must play our part. If each person collected one piece of rubbish every day for a year across the world, we would be having a different conversation about climate change and pollution.

Why should we all be collecting litter?

I’m sure you would agree, there is no need for littering in today’s world with the resources that local councils and governments provide – is it as simple as laziness?

Possibly. We believe it has become part of today’s culture, around the world where people of all ages think they have the right to do as they please with no repercussions for their behaviour or the environment.

In some cases we have seen first-hand, people walking over litter and even kicking it out of the way without registering that it is rubbish. How did we become like this?

In New Zealand, there are many bins for all our rubbish, however, for some inexplicable reason, people do not dispose of their litter in a bin or take it home. This is not a new message, why do people ignore it?

Stop Litter in New Zealand

Litter, although it seems harmless enough, is just a piece of paper or plastic lying around. It can’t do too much harm, right?

Firstly, litter looks ugly and then over time it breaks down to smaller micro pieces, which have been entering waterways and affecting local wildlife.

Over the last three decades, we have seen a major increase in sea pollution from land-based rubbish flowing into our seas and rivers – this is not a new problem but needs action now to stop it.

It’s time for everyone to say enough is enough. It’s time to do the right thing.

Visit Keep New Zealand Beautiful to find more information, people doing great things, how you can help to keep New Zealand, our country green.

We also will have other resources available on our resources page.

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climate change Environment News World

The Earthshot Prize – 5 Challenges for the next decade

It’s official. The Earthshot prize has announced its 5 challenges for everyone to focus on for the Decade. If they can inspire businesses and individuals to look and enact change by providing prizes as incentives, it serves its purpose. They have our support.

At present, action for climate change and pollution needs to be addressed, we cannot wait for others to provide solutions for this problem. We need to take ownership ourselves.

We are slowly polluting our planet – all in the name of profit – this needs to change.

The Earthshot Prize is the most ambitious and prestigious of its kind – designed to incentivise change and help to repair our planet over the next ten years.

Taking inspiration from President John F. Kennedy’s Moonshot which united millions of people around an organising goal to put a man on the moon and catalysed the development of new technology in the 1960s,

The Earthshot Prize is centred around five ‘Earthshots’ – simple but ambitious goals for our planet which, if achieved by 2030, will improve life for us all, for generations to come.

Protect & Restore Nature

By 2030 we choose to ensure that, for the first time in human history, the natural world is growing not shrinking – on our planet.

Clean our Air

By 2030 we choose to ensure that everyone in the world breathes clean healthy air – at the World Organisation Standard or better.

Revive our Oceans

By 2030 we choose to repair and preserve our oceans for future generations.

Build A Waste Free World

By 2030 we choose to build a world where nothing goes to waste, where the leftovers of one process become the raw materials of the next – just like they do in nature.

Fix our Climate

By 2030, the Earthshot Prize chooses to fix the world’s climate by cutting out carbon: building a carbon-neutral economy that lets every culture, community, and country thrive.

Carbon in the atmosphere is making our planet warmer, to levels that threaten all life on Earth. But it is not too late; if we act now, we can make the world a better, more sustainable home for everyone.

We will combat climate change by removing more carbon from the atmosphere than we put into it and ensuring all countries reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. We will build defences to protect innocent people from climate driven disasters and crises.

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timeline

The death toll surpasses ONE MILLION Globally from Coronavirus

Over one million lives have been lost around the world from Coronavirus, it is expected that this figure could double overtime. Researchers say, with many regions still reporting surging numbers of new infections.

The tally by Johns Hopkins University shows that deaths in the US, Brazil and India make up nearly half that total. Experts caution that the true figure is probably much higher. UN Secretary-General António Guterres called it a “mind-numbing” figure and “an agonising milestone”.

“Yet we must never lose sight of each and every individual life,” he said in a video message. 

“They were fathers and mothers, wives and husbands, brothers and sisters, friends, and colleagues. The pain has been multiplied by the savageness of this disease.” The development comes nearly 10 months after news of the coronavirus began to emerge from Wuhan, China.

The pandemic has since spread to 188 countries with more than 32 million confirmed cases. Lockdowns and other measures to try to stop the virus spreading have thrown many economies into recession. Meanwhile, efforts to develop an effective vaccine are continuing – although the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the death toll could hit two million before one is widely available.

One million deaths from coronavirus

The US has the world’s highest death toll with about 205,000 fatalities followed by Brazil on 141,700 and India with 95,500 deaths.

With over one million deaths, Where is Covid-19 spreading the fastest?

The US has recorded more than seven million cases – more than a fifth of the world’s total. After a second wave of cases in July, numbers dropped in August but appear to be on the rise again now.

One million deaths from coronavirus

The coronavirus has been spreading fast in India, with the country recording about 90,000 cases a day earlier in September. Confirmed infections in India have reached six million – the second-highest after the US. However, given the size of its population, India has seen a relatively low death rate.

Source: BBC

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timeline

Global coronavirus cases pass 30 million

Global coronavirus cases have exceeded 30 million, according to a Reuters tally, and the pandemic is showing no signs of slowing.

India was firmly in focus as the latest centre, although North and South America combined still accounted for almost half of the global cases.

Global Confirmed – 30,059,896
Global Deaths – 944,358
U.S. Confirmed – 6,672,222
U.S. Deaths – 197,590

Source: John Hopkins University

Global new daily case numbers reached record levels in recent days and deaths neared 1 million as the international race to develop and market a vaccine heated up.

The official number of global coronavirus cases is now more than five times the number of severe influenza illnesses recorded annually, according to World Health Organization data.

Around the world, there have been almost 1 million deaths, considered a lagging indicator given the two-week incubation period of the virus. That has well exceeded the upper range of 290,000 to 650,000 annual deaths linked to influenza.

India this week became only the second country in the world, after the United States, to record more than 5 million cases. On Thursday, it reported another record daily rise in cases of almost 98,000.

The south Asian nation, the world’s second most populous country, has been reporting more new daily cases than the United States since mid-August and accounts for just over 16% of global known cases.

Reported deaths in India have been relatively low so far but are showing an uptick, and the country has recorded more than 1,000 deaths every day for the last two weeks.

The United States has about 20% of all global cases, although it has just 4% of the world’s population. Brazil, the third worst-hit country, accounts for roughly 15% of global cases.

It took 18 days for global cases to surge from 25 million to more than 30 million. It took 20 days for the world to go from 20 million to 25 million and 19 days to go from 15 million to 20 million.

The global rate of new daily cases is slowing, reflecting progress in constraining the disease in many countries, despite a few big surges.

Australia on Thursday reported its lowest single-day case rise since June as strict lockdown measures in its second largest city of Melbourne, the centre of the country’s second wave, appeared to pay off.

Health experts stress that official data almost certainly under-reports both infections and deaths, particularly in countries with limited testing capacity.

While the trajectory of the coronavirus still falls far short of the 1918 Spanish flu, which infected an estimated 500 million people, killing at least 10% of them, experts worry the available data is underplaying the true impact of the pandemic.

Source: Star News

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Keep New Zealand Beautiful

Keep New Zealand Beautiful

In 1967, the New Zealand Government established the Anti Litter Council, the organisation that is now known as Keep New Zealand Beautiful. We started out tackling litter, and that’s still a big part of what we do. Today, though, our work includes graffiti removal and reduction and waste minimisation and recycling initiatives. Our wider environmental projects include community beautification and clean-up events, tree and garden planting and waterways and highway restoration.

We run sustainability education programmes designed to inspire the next generation of Kiwis. We provide comprehensive resources to support members and volunteers in their community efforts. And our annual Keep New Zealand Beautiful Awards celebrate our best towns, cities and local heroes, who lead the way with their outstanding environmental and beautification work.

They are a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to keeping communities clean, safe and beautiful.

 HELPING COMMUNITIES HELP THEMSELVES

We couldn’t do any of it without the time, energy and support of people like you. The Keep New Zealand Beautiful network includes families, schools, businesses, councils and community groups throughout the country, all making a difference in their local area. Our mission is to provide the education and resources you and your community need to keep your own little corner of New Zealand beautiful.

Keep an eye on our Events page for opportunities to get involved in your area, and find out about other ways you can help.

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Environment New Zealand News timeline

Warmest winter on record for New Zealand 2020 winter

New Zealand has just experienced its warmest winter on record, according to official NIWA climate data.

NIWA’s Seven Station Temperature Series, which began in 1909, shows the 2020 winter was 1.14°C above average, just nudging out winter 2013 from the top spot, which was 1.08°C above average.

This year’s result also means seven of the 10 warmest winters on record in New Zealand have occurred since the year 2000.

Seventeen locations observed record breaking mean winter temperatures, with an additional 53 locations ranking within their top four warmest winters.

NIWA forecaster Ben Noll says the winter warmth can be attributed to several factors:

  • More sub-tropical northeasterly winds than normal, particularly in the North Island. This brought warmer air toward New Zealand from the north
  •  Sea surface temperatures above average during winter, especially August. As an island nation, New Zealand’s air temperatures are strongly influenced by the seas surrounding it
  • Air pressure was higher than normal, particularly to the east. This contributed to a sunnier than normal winter in much of the South Island and lower North Island
  • Climate change – the warmth over winter is consistent with New Zealand’s long-term trend of increasing air temperatures.
New Zealand has just experienced its warmest winter on record, according to official NIWA climate data.

Other Records

The highest recorded winter 2020 temperature was 25.1°C on August 30 in Timaru. This was the highest temperature recorded there during winter since records began in 1885 and the equal-4th warmest winter temperature on record for New Zealand as a whole.

The lowest temperature was  -12.3°C, observed at Middlemarch on 14 June.

New Zealand has just experienced its warmest winter on record, according to official NIWA climate data.

Of these locations the most anomalously warm (i.e. largest deviation from average) was Farewell Spit, where mean daily temperatures of 13.0°C were experienced. This is 2.8°C more than the winter average and the warmest on record since records began there in 1971.

Furthermore, mean maximum (i.e. daytime) temperatures at this location were 3.1°C warmer than average, while mean minimum (i.e. night-time) temperatures were 2.3°C warmer than average (these are also the largest anomalies in their respective categories).

Kaikohe had its second wettest winter on record, with 935mm of rain recorded for the season, which was 187% of normal. Records began in 1956.

At the opposite end of the scale, Reefton had its second driest winter on record with just 291 mm of rain recorded over three months – or 54% of normal. Records began in 1960. Much of the middle and upper South Island observed below or well below normal rainfall totals.

It will be no surprise that the highest one-day rainfall occurred in Northland in mid-July. Kaikohe and Whangarei received 262 and 251 mm respectively on July 17.

This is the highest one-day rainfall amount observed for both locations during winter. Kaikohe records began in 1956 and Whangarei in 1943.

Source: NIWA

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timeline

Auckland now Level 2.5 after over two weeks in lockdown

As of 11.59 pm 30th August 2020, the Auckland region joined the rest of the country in Lockdown Alert Level 2, albeit with slightly stricter rules to the rest of New Zealand. 

Auckland had been at Alert Level 3 since noon on August 12 after a community outbreak of Covid-19 in the city’s south. The rest of New Zealand went from Level 1 to Level 2 at the same time.

Social gatherings in Auckland are now limited to 10, while authorised tangihanga or funerals are limited to 50.

Source: 1 News

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climate change Environment News Science World

Microplastics – New study estimates there is at least 10x more in Atlantic ocean

Why are these types of studies important?

Microplastics, along with other pollutants, are dramatically affecting our wildlife on the land and in the sea. Without these studies, we would not know the damage that has been done to the oceans by pollution over time – the disturbing issue is that the damage we are seeing today is not from yesterday but decades ago. The Editor

The mass of ‘invisible’ microplastics found in the upper waters of the Atlantic Ocean is approximately 12- 21 million tonnes, according to research published in the journal Nature Communications.

Significantly, this figure is only for three of the most common types of plastic litter in a limited size range. Yet, it is comparable in magnitude to estimates of all plastic waste that has entered the Atlantic Ocean over the past 65 years: 17 million tonnes.

This suggests that the supply of plastic to the ocean has been substantially underestimated.

The lead author of the paper, Dr Katsiaryna Pabortsava from the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), said “Previously, we couldn’t balance the mass of floating plastic we observed with the mass we thought had entered the ocean since 1950.

This is because earlier studies hadn’t been measuring the concentrations of ‘invisible’ microplastic particles beneath the ocean surface. Our research is the first to have done this across the entire Atlantic, from the UK to the Falklands.

The Atlantic Ocean might hold about 200 million tonnes of Microplastics

Co-author, Professor Richard Lampitt, also from the NOC, added “if we assume that the concentration of microplastics we measured at around 200 metres deep is representative of that in the water mass to the seafloor below with an average depth of about 3000 metres, then the Atlantic Ocean might hold about 200 million tonnes of plastic litter in this limited polymer type and size category.

This is much more than is thought to have been supplied. “

 “In order to determine the dangers of plastic contamination to the environment and to humans, we need good estimates of the amount and characteristics of this material, how it enters the ocean, how it degrades, and then how toxic it is at these concentrations.

This paper demonstrates that scientists have had a totally inadequate understanding of even the simplest of these factors, how much is there, and it would seem our estimates of how much is dumped into the ocean has been massively underestimated”.

Pabortsava and Lampitt collected their seawater samples during the 26th Atlantic Meridional Transect expedition in September to November 2016.

They filtered large volumes of seawater at three selected depths in the top 200 metres and detected and identified plastic contaminants using state-of-the-art spectroscopic imaging technique. Their study focussed on polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene, which are commercially most prominent and also most littered plastic types.   

This study builds on the NOC’s cutting-edge research into marine plastic contamination, which aims to better understand the magnitude and persistence of exposure to plastics and the potential harms it can cause.

We must act now to stop plastics from getting into our oceans – otherwise, this cycle will continue to grow.

This work was supported by the EU H2020 AtlantOS programme and the NOC.

The AMT programme was supported by the UK Natural Environment Research Council National Capability as funding to Plymouth Marine Laboratory and the NOC.

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News timeline

COVID-19 ALERT LEVEL 3 for Auckland, August 2020

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces level 3 lockdown for Auckland due to the discovery of Community Covid-19 cases. New Zealand moves to Level 2 throughout the remainder of the country. So far 49 cases have been discovered in the cluster found in Auckland – all in managed quarantined facilities.

Auckland Level 3 update

New Zealand has extended a lockdown in its most populous city as the country battles a fresh community coronavirus outbreak that comes after months without any locally transmitted cases.Only five days ago, New Zealand was marking an enviable milestone — 100 days without any community transmission.

But this week has demonstrated how fast that can change, even in a country like New Zealand which has been held up as a world leader for its handling of the virus.

On Friday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that Auckland — the city of around 1.5 million people at the center of the new outbreak — will remain under a level three lockdown for another 12 days, while the rest of the country stays under level two restrictions, meaning gatherings are limited to no more than 100 people. The rules extend restrictions that came into effect earlier this week.

Under level three restrictions, people will be told to stay home aside for essential personal movement, schools will operate at limited capacity, and public venues such as museums, playgrounds and gyms will remain shut. 

The fresh outbreak is a blow for New Zealand.

The country already spent five weeks under one of the world’s strictest lockdowns, which closed most businesses and schools, and saw people stay at home.Ardern has warned she expects to see more cases.”Lifting restrictions now and seeing an explosion of cases is the worst thing we could do for Auckland and for the New Zealand economy,” she said. “We have got rid of Covid before … We can do all of that again.” 

Earlier Friday, New Zealand’s Director General of Health Dr. Ashley Bloomfield announced another 12 locally-transmitted coronavirus cases. There are now 49 active cases in New Zealand to 49, 29 of which are linked to the recent outbreak.

The cases are all in Auckland apart from two in Tokoroa, a town of 24,000 about 200km (124 miles) south of the city. According to the Ministry of Health, these two tested positive after a visit from a contact of one of the Auckland cases.

In a press conference Friday, Bloomfield said that 771 close contacts of the confirmed cases had been identified, and more than 15,700 tests had been processed on Thursday — the highest number of tests processed in a single day in the country. Since the start of the outbreak, New Zealand has conducted more than 500,000 tests. It has reported a total of 1,251 coronavirus cases, including 22 deaths.

Source CNN

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News timeline

Covid-19 confirmed cases surpass 20 million

Covid-19 confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide topped 20 million, more than half of them from the United States, India, and Brazil, as Russia on Tuesday became the first country to register a vaccine against the virus. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the registration at a government meeting and added that one of his two adult daughters had already been inoculated. “She’s feeling well and has a high number of antibodies,” he said.

Russia has reported more than 890,000 cases, the fourth-most in the world, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally that also showed total confirmed cases globally surpassing 20 million.

Covid-19 is accelerating

It took six months or so to get to 10 million cases after the virus first appeared in central China late last year. It took just over six weeks for that number to double. An AP analysis of data through Aug. 9 showed the U.S., India, and Brazil together accounted for nearly two-thirds of all reported infections since the world hit 15 million coronavirus cases on July 22.

Health officials believe the actual number of people infected with the virus is much higher than that tally kept by Johns Hopkins University, given testing limitations and that as many as 40 percent of those with the virus show no symptoms.

In Europe, countries that appeared to have gotten their outbreaks under control during nationwide lockdowns and lifted many public restrictions worked to prevent a resurgence of the virus. Finland joined France and Germany in announcing it would test travelers from at-risk countries upon arrival.

Spain, which along with Italy was hardest hit when the virus first exploded on the continent, now has the most confirmed cases in western Europe at nearly 323,000. The number of new cases have risen steadily in Spain since its strict, three-month lockdown ended on June 21, reaching 1,486 on Monday.

In Greece, which imposed strict lockdown measures early and kept its reported cases low during the height of the European epidemic, the government announced new measures Monday to prevent an outbreak. It ordered bars, restaurants and cafes in several regions to shut between midnight and 7 a.m.

Source NZ Herald

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climate change Environment News

4Ocean Initiative: Why has the ocean plastic initiative seen so much success?

Questions are being asked about 4ocean’s validity and success, We personally believe 4ocean plays an important part in protecting and promoting the issue of plastics pollution in our oceans. We have supported and bought bracelets from 4ocean and will continue to do so. Read this article from IDiveBlue by Zoe Dagan a product expert, a degreed scientist, and a nature nerd originally from coastal California.

Meet the ocean’s newest superstars: recently, they’ve made the news, boasting about their unprecedented, newly christened, state-of-the-art Ocean Plastic Recovery Vessel.

Advertising campaigns featuring eco-friendly bracelets for worthy causes have gone viral, appearing relentlessly in social media feeds worldwide. Bracelet-driven eco-campaigns scale quickly and manage to achieve extraordinary notoriety outside of conventional environmental groups and activist circles. 4ocean LLC is not just another player in the field, they were the fledgling ocean activism company, and they are taking the world by storm.

It is no surprise to ocean-minded folks that these big salty water bodies are vital for purposes beyond just recreation. Global prosperity and food production are dependent on healthy oceans. Billions of people worldwide rely on healthy oceans to provide reliable employment food security. Healthy oceans trap excess carbon and are vital to mitigating global climate change.

Do you appreciate inhaling fresh air? Well, guess what, some of the smallest ocean inhabitants provide most of the world’s oxygen.

Ecological Plastic Footprint

We intuitively know that we vote with our dollars, and each dollar we spend has an impact on the world. A 2015 Nielsen report in consumer spending showed the sustainability of a brand is a significant force driving the spending habits for more than 66% of global consumers.

It has become clear that a majority of consumers from all backgrounds and representing all income brackets are willing to pay a premium for sustainable brands. Determined to put an end to the international crisis of plastic pollution, 4ocean LLC is fast becoming the world’s largest and most successful ocean cleanup company. The 4ocean business model is brilliantly simple. Buy an eco-friendly beach bracelet, reusable water bottle, or ocean cleanup kit from their online store, and your hard-earned dollars directly fund the 4ocean cleanup operation that has already removed more than 2.2 million pounds of trash from the ocean. The entire 4ocean operation, including boats, cleanup crews, warehouse operations, and paychecks for more than 150 employees, is funded solely by product sales from the 4ocean online store. By supporting 4ocean, your dollar really does make a difference.

4oceans is helping save our oceans now

Read the full article at Idiveblue, click here to read.

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timeline

World Population hits 7.8 billion

The world’s population has hit 7,800,959,316 Billion. Exceeding expectations of 7.7 billion for the end of 2020.

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timeline

Coronavirus (COVID 19) global cases top 16 million

The global number of coronavirus cases crossed 16 million on Sunday, according to renowned resource centre Johns Hopkins University and AFP tallies. The pandemic has killed more than 645,715 people worldwide since it surfaced in China late last year.

The United States is the worst-hit country with the highest infection rate, registering 4,178,021 infections and 146,460 dead. Brazil has the second-highest rate of infection, with 2.3 million cases while India places third, with 1.3 million.

Latin America and the Caribbean have recorded 4,328,915 cases and 182,501 dead followed by Europe on 3,052,108 cases and 207,734 dead. Figures remained worryingly high in South Africa after confirming more than 12,000 new coronavirus cases. The total in the country has reached more than 434,000 and 6655 deaths.

Meanwhile, Australia suffered its deadliest day since the pandemic began, with 10 fatalities and a rise in new infections despite an intense lockdown effort. State Premier Daniel Andrews said the deaths included seven men and three women. A man in his 40s became one of the youngest Covid-19 fatalities in Australia.

The spread of the pandemic continues to accelerate and more than five million cases — nearly a third — have been declared since July, which represents a third of the total number of cases since the pandemic began. The World Health Organisation says more than a million cases had been recorded in each of the past five weeks while experts say the number is likely much higher than those reported.

There were more than 280,000 new cases recorded globally on both Thursday and Friday last week, the highest daily rises since the virus emerged in China late last year, according to an AFP count based on official sources – an alarming uptick in the spread of the virus.

Source: NZ Herald

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Global coronavirus cases surpass 10 million

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide surpassed 10 million on Sunday, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.

The terrible milestone comes six months after initial cases were first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in mid-December, before continuing to spread across the globe. 

Covid-19 has infected 10,001,527 and killed at least 499,123 people globally.

The figure comes as numerous countries like the UK ease lockdown restrictions, yet the pandemic continues to course through nations. Countries like Germany, which effectively handled the first wave, are seeing an uptick in new infections — a problem that experts say will recur until a vaccine is found.

Other countries are seeing more than 10,000 infections a day. In India, authorities are scrambling to open a Covid-19 treatment facility to deal with the surge in cases in the nation’s capital, New Delhi.

The US leads with the most deaths and confirmed cases worldwide. There are at least 2,510,323 coronavirus cases and 125,539 deaths from the disease in the country.

After managing to slow the spread in May, coronavirus numbers have skyrocketed in inland states, including Texas and Arizona. Now only two US states are reporting a decline in new cases compared to last week — Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Florida reported 9,585 new coronavirus cases Saturday, a single-day record high since the start of the pandemic. The number rivals that of New York’s peak in daily cases in early April.

Source: cnn

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timeline

Coronavirus – Global cases surpass 5 million

Reported Coronavirus (Covid-19) cases around the world reached 5 million on Thursday as some countries begin easing strict social distancing guidelines and look to reopen their economies, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. 

The number of reported cases worldwide hit 5,000,038 and the global death toll now stands at 328,172, according to Hopkins.

The latest morbid milestone comes as the spread of the coronavirus across the world shows no signs of slowing down. Even as outbreaks in China and other countries appear to have abated, the pandemic has picked up speed in other parts of the world. The World Health Organization said Wednesday the number of newly reported coronavirus cases worldwide hit a daily record this week with more than 100,000 new cases over the last 24 hours.

Almost two-thirds of the cases were reported in just four countries, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press conference at the agency’s Geneva headquarters. “We still have a long way to go in this pandemic.”

The majority of new confirmed cases are coming from the Americas and led by the U.S., followed by Europe, according to the WHO’s daily report. The U.S. reported 45,251 new cases on Tuesday, according to the agency. Russia had the second most reported cases Tuesday at 9,263, according to the WHO.

Coronavirus Delayed epidemics

Eastern Europe is experiencing a delayed epidemic but could implement lessons that have been learned at great costs in Asia, North America and Western Europe, according to WHO officials. Russia has surpassed the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy as the country with the second-highest number of infections, according to JHU data.

“There are differences right now between Western Europe, which has been through that first big wave, and Eastern Europe, particularly Russian Federation, that is now experiencing higher numbers of disease,” Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s emergencies program, said at a press briefing on May 8. 

WHO officials have warned against easing coronavirus restrictions and reopening economies too quickly, saying it could lead to a “vicious cycle” of economic and health disasters as cases resurge and officials have to reinstitute lockdowns. 

It’s a “false equation” to choose between the economy and public health, Ryan said. “The worst thing that could happen,” economically, is that a country reopens and then has to shut down again to respond to a resurgence of the virus, Ryan said.

For more information see our timeline.

Source: CNBC

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New Zealand population hits 5 million

Statistics NZ on Monday said New Zealand’s population passed 5 million in March as the country went into lockdown.

“This is a significant event for New Zealand,” said population insights senior manager Brooke Theyers.

“It is also the fastest million in our history, taking 17 years after reaching 4 million in 2003.”

At the end of March, there were 5,002,100 people living in New Zealand. The exact date we crossed the threshold won’t be known until more analysis is done, Statistics NZ said.

The agency had previously predicted we’d reach 5 million sometime in 2020. The milestone was reached partly thanks to tens of thousands of Kiwis rushing home before the borders were closed.

“It is most likely the 5 million milestone was reached by a migrant arriving by plane, but could have been reached by a newborn baby,” said Theyers. Since the census in 2013, we’ve added about half-a-million people – an average increase of 1.8 percent a year, half of it migration and the rest natural increase. 

“The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused unusual international travel and migration patterns in recent months,” said Theyers. “Net migration has been boosted by more New Zealand citizens returning home after living overseas. At the same time, New Zealand citizens may have been unable or reluctant to head offshore.”

Source Newshub 2020.

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New Zealand to COVID-19 ALERT Level 2, 13 May 2020.

Alert Level 2 — Reduce

The disease is contained, but the risk of community transmission remains.

Risk assessment

  • Household transmission could be occurring.
  • Single or isolated cluster outbreaks.

Range of measures that can be applied locally or nationally

  • People can reconnect with friends and family, and socialise in groups of up to 10, go shopping, or travel domestically, if following public health guidance.
  • Keep physical distancing of two metres from people you don’t know when out in public or in retail stores. Keep one metre physical distancing in controlled environments like workplaces, where practicable.
  • No more than 10 people at gatherings (to be reviewed 25 May), except funerals and tangihanga, which can have a maximum of 50 people if registered with Ministry of Health.
  • Businesses can open to the public if following public health guidance including physical distancing and record keeping. Alternative ways of working are encouraged where possible.
  • Hospitality businesses must keep groups of customers separated, seated, and served by a single person. Until 21 May alcohol can only be served when purchasing a meal. Maximum of 100 people at a time.
  • Sport and recreation activities are allowed, subject to conditions on gatherings, record keeping, and – where practical – physical distancing.
  • Public venues such as museums, libraries and pools can open if they comply with public health measures and ensure 1 metre physical distancing and record keeping.
  • Event facilities, including cinemas, stadiums, concert venues and casinos have a limit of 100 customers in each workplace at any time, with 1 metre physical distancing and record keeping.
  • Health and disability care services operate as normally as possible.
  • It is safe to send your children to schools, early learning services and tertiary education. There will be appropriate measures in place.
  • People at higher-risk of severe illness from COVID-19 (e.g. those with underlying medical conditions, especially if not well-controlled, and seniors) are encouraged to take additional precautions when leaving home. They may work, if they agree with their employer that they can do so safely.

More information about Alert Level 2

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New Zealand Videos

Tiaki – Care for New Zealand

New Zealand is a special place, and everyone who lives and travels here has a responsibility to look after it. The Tiaki Promise is a commitment to care for New Zealand while travelling.

View there full version of the video below.

WHILE TRAVELLING IN NEW ZEALAND I WILL

CARE FOR LAND, SEA AND NATURE, TREADING LIGHTLY AND LEAVING NO TRACE

TRAVEL SAFELY, SHOWING CARE AND CONSIDERATION FOR ALL

RESPECT CULTURE, TRAVELLING WITH AN OPENHEART AND MIND

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Environment Science

What is Carbon Dioxide – CO2

What is carbon Dioxide (CO2)

Carbon Dioxide is 1 Carbon atom with 2 Oxygen atoms. C (Carbon) 02 (Oxygen x2)

di-1 a prefix occurring in loanwords from Greek, where it meant “two,” “twice,” “double” (diphthong); on this model, freely used in the formation of compound words (dicotyledon; dipolar) and in chemical terms (diatomic; disulfide).

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an important heat-trapping (greenhouse) gas, which is released through human activities such as deforestation and burning fossil fuels, as well as natural processes such as respiration and volcanic eruptions.

Carbon dioxide (chemical formula CO2) is a colorless gas with a density about 60% higher than that of dry air. Carbon dioxide consists of a carbon atom covalently double bonded to two oxygen atoms. It occurs naturally in Earth’s atmosphere as a trace gas. The current concentration is about 0.04% (412 ppm) by volume, having risen from pre-industrial levels of 280 ppm.[8] Natural sources include volcanoeshot springs and geysers, and it is freed from carbonate rocks by dissolution in water and acids. Because carbon dioxide is soluble in water, it occurs naturally in groundwaterrivers and lakesice capsglaciers and seawater. It is present in deposits of petroleum and natural gas. Carbon dioxide is odorless at normally encountered concentrations, but at high concentrations, it has a sharp and acidic odor.[1]

Carbon Dioxide in the earth’s Atmosphere

Atmospheric composition (by volume, dry air):

Major: 78.08% Nitrogen (N2), 20.95% Oxygen (O2),
Minor (ppm): Argon (Ar) – 9340; Carbon Dioxide (CO2) – 410, Neon (Ne) – 18.18; Helium (He) – 5.24; CH4 – 1.7 Krypton (Kr) – 1.14; Hydrogen (H2) – 0.55

Numbers do not add up to exactly 100% due to roundoff and uncertainty Water is highly variable, typically makes up about 1%

Source: NASA Earth Fact Sheet

What is Carbon Dioxide?

Carbon Dioxide is 1 Carbon atom with 2 Oxygen atoms. C (Carbon) 02 (Oxygen x2)

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News Science

NASA Computer models Carbon Dioxide through the atmosphere

The new NASA supercomputer project builds on the agency’s satellite measurements of carbon dioxide and combines them with a sophisticated Earth system model to provide one of the most realistic views yet of how this critical greenhouse gas moves through the atmosphere.

Scientists have tracked the rising concentration of heat-trapping carbon dioxide for decades using ground-based sensors in a few places. A high-resolution visualization of the new combined data product – generated by the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, using data from the agency’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite build and operated by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California – provides an entirely different perspective.

The 3-D visualization reveals in startling detail the complex patterns in which carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases, decreases and moves around the globe over the course of September 2014 to September 2015.


Carbon dioxide plays a significant role in trapping heat in Earth’s atmosphere. The gas is released from human activities like burning fossil fuels, and the concentration of carbon dioxide moves and changes through the seasons. Using observations from NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2) satellite, scientists developed a model of the behavior of carbon in the atmosphere from Sept. 1, 2014, to Aug. 31, 2015. Scientists can use models like this one to better understand and predict where concentrations of carbon dioxide could be especially high or low, based on activity on the ground.

Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/K. Mersmann, M. Radcliff, producers Download this video in HD formats from NASA Goddard’s Scientific Visualization Studio

Carbon dioxide plays a significant role in trapping heat in Earth’s atmosphere. The gas is released from human activities like burning fossil fuels, and the concentration of carbon dioxide moves and changes through the seasons. 

Using observations from NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2) satellite, scientists developed a model of the behavior of carbon in the atmosphere from September 1, 2014 to August 31, 2015. 

Scientists can use models like this one to better understand and predict where concentrations of carbon dioxide could be especially high or low, based on activity on the ground.

Source of Article NASA

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timeline

Covid-19 cases worldwide reach 3 million

Covid-19 (coronavirus) has now infected 3 million people around the world, with the global death toll more than 200,000, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The true toll is believed to be much higher, because of inadequate testing, differences in counting the dead, and efforts by some governments to conceal the extent of their outbreaks. The number of dead in the US reached about 55,000 — close to the 58,000 US troops killed during the Vietnam War.

Italy, Britain, Spain, and France accounted for more than 20,000 Covid-19 deaths each. Many governments are working on mobile virus-tracking apps and other technology, keen for automated solutions to the time-consuming task of tracking an infected person’s contacts.

In Australia, which has had about 80 Covid-19 deaths, 1.1 million of the country’s 26 million people downloaded a new contract-tracing app within 12 hours of its becoming available.

New Zealand currently stands at: 1469 infected cases.

Source: Associated Press and Onenews

  • China has reported three new cases (two overseas cases and one from Heilongjiang) and no new deaths.
  • Germany has reported 1,018 new cases and 100 deaths.
  • India has confirmed a total of 27,000 cases and 872 deaths.
  • Malaysia has reported 40 new cases, bringing the total to 5,820. 95 patients were discharged, bringing the number of recoveries to 3,957. Malaysia reported one new death, bringing the death toll to 99.
  • The Netherlands has reported 400 new cases, bringing the total to 38,245. Dutch authorities have also confirmed 45 deaths, bringing the death toll to 4,518.
  • New Zealand has reported five new cases (one confirmed and four probable). Six previous cases were also rescinded, bringing the total down to 1,469 (1,122 confirmed and 347 probable). NZ health authorities have also reported 38 new recoveries, bringing the total to 1,180. One further death was reported, bringing the death toll to 19.
  • Pakistan has reported 605 new cases and a total of 281 deaths.
  • The Philippines has reported 198 new cases, bringing the total to 7,777. The country has reported ten new deaths, bringing the death toll to 511.
  • Singapore has reported 799 new cases, bringing the total to 14,423. Another two deaths were later confirmed, bringing the total to 14.
  • South Africa has reported a total of 4,546 cases and 87 deaths.
  • Spain has reported 331 new deaths, bringing the death toll to 23,521.
  • Thailand has reported nine cases and one death, bringing the total to 2931 cases and 52 deaths respectively.
  • Ukraine reports 392 new cases and 11 new deaths, bringing the total numbers to 9,009 and 220 respectively; a total of 864 patients have recovered.

Source: Wikipedia 27 April 2020.

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timeline

New Zealand To COVID-19 Alert Level 3, 28 April 2020

The Government put New Zealand out of Alert Level 4 lockdown at 11.59pm on Monday 27 April. We will hold at Alert Level 3 for 2 weeks, before Cabinet reviews how we are tracking and makes further decisions on 11 May.

The Government’s decision today allows many businesses to get going again, and for many people to go back to work. Schools will be able to open soon after we move into Alert Level 3.

At Alert Level 3 we will need to be even more vigilant. All of us will need to unite against COVID-19 by sticking to the rules.