https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news_crops/115575/eight_col_62156777_m.jpg?1608759878 New Zealand dairy farmers are off to a great start to 2021 as prices leapt 3.9 percent across the board in first the first Global Dairy Trade auction of the year. Photo: 123RF During the first global dairy trade event, the average price for commodities rose to more than $US3420 ($NZ4715) per metric tonne. Whole milk powder, the most important product for New Zealand farmers, lifted 3.1 percent – its highest level in 12 months. Fonterra chief financial officer Marc Rivers told Morning Report the results showed demand was strong across all regions, particularly across China and Asia. “No doubt there’s a little bit of a benefit here of great purchasing power from a weaker US dollar, but really encouraging to see that strong demand there,” Rivers said. “We always provide a range for our forecast, so this is within our range but it’s really good start to the ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news/235847/eight_col_RNZD2094.jpg?1594340171 Managed isolation and quarantine facilities are expected to have no spare rooms in the next two weeks. Photo: RNZ /Dom Thomas According the latest MBIE managed isolation and quarantine daily 14-day forecast, spaces in MIQ facilities are “extremely limited” until March, but some may come available as travel plans changed. MIQ facilities around the country had a combined operational capacity of 4500 rooms – in the next 14 days, 4299 of these rooms will be full with 5627 people staying in them. MBIE said rooms were occupied for a minimum of 14 days and additional time was needed for cleaning and maintenance. This meant this full 14 day period was considered as opposed to room availability on any single day. Rooms that were vacant on one day might be needed for an incoming flight the next day, so were not actually available. For various reasons, such as international travel ...

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https://www.elanka.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/A-tribute-to-my-dear-friend-Lucien-Perera2.jpg     December 1961, and it was the ‘end of year’ concert at St. Benedict’s College, Kotahena. Students with any kind of talent were invited to get on stage and perform. I decided to form a trio to sing two harmonized songs. Stepping off the stage after our performance I was met by this guy with a home-made guitar (we called it a log-guitar in those days), who introduced himself as Colvin Perera. He requested me to back him on a couple of instrumental numbers – ‘Guitar Boogie’ and ‘Quartermaster’s Store’ – which I gladly agreed to do. At the end of his performance, Colvin – a former student of St. Peter’s College, Bambalapitiya – whose other names were Lucien Merle, invited me to join a group he was forming. I accepted his invitation and eventually travelled from my home in Hulftsdorp to Dehiwela, where I was introduced to ...

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https://www.elanka.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Artist-Spotlight-of-SLDF-2021-Anoma-Wijewardene02.jpg Source:-dailymirror I hear those voices that will not be drowned a video work featuring Venuri Perera SLDF 2021, billed as Sri Lanka’s first ever virtual design festival to showcase and highlight ‘Designed and Made in Sri Lanka’ will take place from 15th -17th January 2021.  This event will see the participation of respected genre leaders such as artist Anoma Wijewardene who has been selected as the Artist Spotlight of SLDF 2021. An alumna of  Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, in London,  Anoma has exhibited in many international cities, including Venice, London, New Delhi, Dubai, Singapore and Sydney. She also holds the distinction of possibly being the only Sri Lankan whose work has graced the cover of Vogue magazine. In 2019  Anoma showcased her work at the European Cultural Centre at the Palazzo Bembo during the 58th Venice Biennale.   Q What does it feel like to be ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news/251388/eight_col_160034278_l.jpg?1607814210 The new variant of Covid-19 is “hugely” more transmissible than the virus’s previous version, a study has found. And while not more deadly, more transmission means more cases, and the UK, where the new variant was first identified, is struggling to respond. Photo: 123rf.com It concludes the new variant increases the Reproduction or R number by between 0.4 and 0.7. The increase in transmission rate is a concern for countries like the UK which have struggled to contain the virus. The UK’s latest R number has been estimated at between 1.1 and 1.3. It needs to be below 1.0 for the number of cases to start falling. Prof Axel Gandy of London’s Imperial College said the differences between the viruses types was “quite extreme”. “There is a huge difference in how easily the variant virus spreads,” he told BBC News. “This is the most serious change in the virus ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news_crops/115852/eight_col_000_8Y622K.jpg?1609875308 Some 1.3 million people in the UK have now received their first dose of a Covid vaccine, says the government. Trevor Cowlett, 88, receives the Oxford University/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine from a nurse at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford, southwest England on January 4, 2021. Photo: Steve Parsons / POOL / AFP In England, that includes nearly a quarter of the most elderly, vulnerable patients. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it meant that within a two to three weeks they should have a “significant degree of immunity” to the virus. He said there would be a ramping up to get more people immunised – up to 2 million a week. Meanwhile, the number of new daily confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK has topped 60,000 for the first time since the pandemic started. According to government figures on Tuesday, the number of people who tested positive was 60,916. Latest ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news/252786/eight_col_051_XxjpbeE007037_20210106_PEPFN0A001.jpg?1609914828 A World Health Organisation (WHO) team due to investigate the origins of Covid-19 in the city of Wuhan has been denied entry to China. People listen as a staff member elaborates precautions before giving Covid-19 vaccine shots at an inoculation site in Beijing, China on 5 January 2021. Photo: Xinhua News Agency / AFP Two members had already set out on their journey – one has now turned back and the other is in transit in a third country. The WHO said the problem was a lack of visa clearances. The long-awaited probe was agreed upon by Beijing in December after many months of negotiations with the WHO. The virus was first detected in Wuhan in late 2019, with the initial outbreak linked to a market. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was “very disappointed” that China had not yet finalised the permissions for the team’s arrivals “given ...

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https://www.elanka.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Search-for-Ehelepolas-grave-in-Mauritius.jpg Published 4 days ago on January 2, 2021 In the Island Newspaper, Sri Lanka   By Capt. Elmo Jayawardena (The writer of the State Literary Award-winning book, The Last Kingdom of Sinhalay, prompted by what he saw in the Mauritius)   The SIA jumbo turned for the final approach on Plaisance International Airport. The night was cloudy and listless, the sky was demanding with a stratocumulus overcast. There was moderate rain over the airfield. My copilot who was flying the aeroplane was an experienced operator and he landed the big Boeing 747 with professional skill that received applause from the passengers. We taxied and parked in front of the terminal. It was almost midnight; I’ve arrived in the island of Mauritius, not merely as a pilot but to start another one of my wild goose chases. This one was a peach. I was going to look for Ehelepola’s grave. The first ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news_crops/111284/eight_col_NZ103_in_air.jpg?1602830805 Air New Zealand’s first quarantine-free flight from Auckland to Brisbane will take off tomorrow. The first quarantine-free flight from New Zealand to Australia left Auckland for Sydney on 16 October last year. Photo: Supplied / Air New Zealand Passengers on board the 7.40am flight will not need to quarantine on arrival in Brisbane so long as they fill out an Australia Travel Declaration form saying they have been in New Zealand for 14 days. Air New Zealand already operates similar flights to Sydney and Melbourne. There are now five flights a week between Auckland and Brisbane. Three will be quarantine-free, with the other two for passengers heading to quarantine. “Quarantine flights are not able to be booked by people beginning their journey in New Zealand,” Air New Zealand chief customer and sales officer Leanne Geraghty said in a statement. “Our teams have been working closely with authorities in Australia ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news_crops/115861/eight_col_000_8Y88KN.jpg?1609888463 The Grammy Awards ceremony due to take place on 31 January has been postponed to 14 March because of the coronavirus surge in Los Angeles, organisers say. Trophies from the 60th Annual Grammy Awards in New York in 2018. Photo: AFP The Recording Academy told members in a memo that the ceremony to present the highest awards in the music industry was being delayed after talks with health experts and musicians. “After thoughtful conversations with health experts, our network partner CBS, our host, and artists scheduled to appear, we have made the decision to postpone the 63rd Grammy Awards to March 14, 2021,” Recording Academy interim president Harvey Mason Jr said in the message seen by Reuters. “The deteriorating Covid situation in Los Angeles, where hospital services have been overwhelmed, ICUs have reached capacity, and new guidance from state and local governments have all led us to conclude that ...

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