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No ‘silly season’ this summer . . .


After a week that ended in turmoil there were probably hopes that things might quieten down, but that didn't happen over the weekend.

Overshadowing everything is the tragic crash of an Indonesian aircraft with 62 people aboard, which plunged into the sea shortly after take-off from Jakarta.

An eye witness said the plane “crashed like lightning into the sea and exploded in the water”.

It has been a bad few days for Boeing which has agreed to pay $US2.5 billion to resolve a US investigation into two fatal crashes of its 737 Max (the plane that crashed on Saturday was a 737-500). Boeing will not face charges but will pay a fine of $US245.6m, $US1.7bn in compensation to customers and establish a $US500m fund for families of the victims of the crashes in 2018 and 2019.

The 737 Max has just been cleared to fly again by US regulators after a congressional investigation found the crashes were partly due to the planemaker's unwillingness to share technical details.

Strong repercussions from last week's storming of the US Capitol building continue with leader of the House Nancy Pelosi calling for Donald Trump to be impeached.

Trump was only the third president to be impeached and none were ever convicted in the Senate. He would be the first president ever to face a second impeachment.

Here in New Zealand there was grief after the death of a young woman at Waihi Beach after a shark attack.

Considering the number of people in the water, attacks like this are extremely rare but experts are warning people to be careful as this is a period when sharks come closer to shore.

Also increasing the stress levels was news that the Reserve Bank had been hacked; some commentators believe a foreign government was involved.

The bank's governor Adrian Orr says the attack has been contained but admits some sensitive information has been obtained.

Then there was the news that the South African mutation of Covid-19 has reached New Zealand along with the English variant. This makes the security at quarantine facilities even more vital.

There was a time when veteran news people referred to the period from the end of December into January as the “silly season”, when man-bites-dog stories are called in to fill up space. There is no silly season as 2021 gets under way, leaving a nervous world wondering what is next.