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Plenty of drama on news front

Opinion Piece

The news week just passed has looked more like an outlandish plot for Shortland Street, with developments — some surprising and others not unexpected — coming in rapid succession.

Heading everything was Donald Trump’s partial shutdown of the federal government, which is now an unwanted record for that country and has both sides digging in.

Theresa May faced yet more knockbacks as the British Parliament prepared to vote on her deal to exit the European Union.

And a Saudi teenager garnered massive international attention on first social then news media while barricaded in a Bangkok airport hotel, saving herself from deportation back to her family who she feared would kill her for having renounced Islam.

Alarmingly, scientists reported that the North Pole magnetic field was moving erratically and all GPS systems would have to be revised earlier than scheduled.

Ministry for the Environment staff added strongly to aircraft emissions as they averaged $45,000 a month in 2018 in the course of 116 plane trips, according to information obtained by the NZ Taxpayers Union using the Official Information Act.

New Zealand remained the fourth most democratic country in the world, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. Australia was ninth while the US was rated as a flawed democracy. Frighteningly there were only 20 countries that qualified as full democracies.

There was shock horror for rugby and cricket fans, with Eden Park $60 million in debt and with no way to meet its estimated $62m future maintenance costs. Auckland Mayor Phil Goff ruled out council help.

New Zealand football legend Wynton Rufer, who affiliates to Ngati Porou, mercifully survived a heart attack thanks to the efforts of a bystander who had recently completed a first aid course.

The saddest note of the week was the funeral of Grace Millane, the UK backpacker killed while holidaying in New Zealand.

Back in Gisborne, reggae royalty was here in the form of Bob Marley’s son Julian who performed at the East Coast Vibes concert, an event growing steadily in stature.

It was almost a bit much. Let’s see what this week can bring.