https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news_crops/114172/eight_col_48421172_l.jpg?1606859995 Higher housing costs, accommodation, and car prices lifted consumer prices unexpectedly at the end of last year. File photo. Photo: 123RF The consumer price index rose 0.5 percent in the three months ended December. The main driver was a rise in the cost of staying in hotels and motels, which rose 20 percent during the quarter as demand and prices rebounded after the lockdowns. The price of building a new house continued to rise, and the price of used vehicles had their biggest quarterly rise in 23 years. The rise was higher than expected and the annual inflation rate stayed unchanged at 1.4 percent. More to come… Source link ...

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https://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2017-11/beehive-red-og_0.png The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited parts and magazines. We are resolute in ensuring our firearms reform programme is stopping firearms falling into the wrong hands,” Poto Williams says. “This next amnesty and buy-back is about removing further firearms and arms items that were prohibited and restricted through the Arms Legislation Act 2020 which passed in June 2020. “Once this group of firearms came to the Government’s attention, it was clear we had to act again to ensure all the good work done to keep our communities safe last year was not compromised. “The Government has allocated $15.5 million for compensation and administrative costs, noting ...

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https://www.elanka.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/royal3.jpg Dear Members, RCOBA committee wishes you a safe and happy 2021. Our first and last event for 2020 was the Valentine’s Ball in February 2020. Since then, COVID restrictions limited the chance of having any other social events during the period. Given the continued COVID restrictions we are unable to have the usual AGM & get together we generally schedule for in February. Considering current pandemic situation, committee has decided to have a virtual AGM on Sunday, 28th February 2021 at 7pm. Members who wish to join virtual AGM are requested to register prior to 21st February by using the below link.https://www.trybooking.com/BODMCThose who register will receive Zoom meeting details for the AGM. Given the current COVID environment, committee proposes that members currently serving in the committee to continue for another term, as we expect the prevailing situation likely to prolong for good part of this year without any opportunity ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news_crops/116251/eight_col_000_8Z44ER.jpg?1611091512 US President Joe Biden moved swiftly on his first full day in the White House on Thursday to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, his top priority as he turns the page on four years of Donald Trump’s tumultuous leadership. Joe Biden intends using the Defence Production Act to expand Covid testing and speed up the production of vaccines. Photo: AFP The Biden administration is aiming at a coordinated federal coronavirus response to the 10-month pandemic, focused on boosting vaccines, increasing testing, reopening schools and addressing inequalities thrown up by the disease. Trump, who frequently sought to play down the severity of the virus which has killed more than 405,000 Americans, left much of the pandemic planning to individual states, which has resulted in a patchwork of policies across the country. “We can and will beat Covid-19. America deserves a response to the Covid-19 pandemic that is driven by science, data, ...

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https://www.elanka.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Sri-Lanka-Association-of-NSW-SLAWN-High-Tea-Sydney-event2.jpg Sri Lanka Association of NSW (SLAWN) High Tea (Sydney event)     Celebrating the Women in our community – Venue = Mercure Sydney Rouse Hill Cnr Of, Commercial Rd, Rouse Hill NSW 2155   The post Sri Lanka Association of NSW (SLAWN) High Tea (Sydney event) appeared first on eLanka. Source link ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news_crops/107997/eight_col_RNZD1779.jpg?1598242174 Jacinda Ardern has demanded “absolute focus” from her Labour MPs in 2021, noting “on-going vigilance” would be required to avoid another Covid outbreak. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas The prime minister made her first public address of the year today as Labour’s caucus gathered in Nelson to map out the government’s plan. Ardern said she was so desperate that New Zealanders get a chance to relax over summer that it took her longer than usual to get into “holiday mode”. “I was slightly holding my breath,” she told the caucus. “It wasn’t until well after New Year’s I exhaled a little bit knowing that people at least had a break.” Constant work and vigilance was required to keep restriction-free living in New Zealand, Ardern said. “That ongoing vigilance is going to be required for 2021 as much as it was in 2020, and even more so.” Ardern pointed to ...

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[og_img] Obituary – Sampath Ratnatunga (September 8, 1958 – January 15, 2021) – by Lawrence Machado Vale dear friend and classmate Sampath Ratnatunga, whom I knew for more than 55 years, starting from our early days at kindergarten at St Peter’s College.  Friends also knew you as Sammy and Sam. In Sri Lanka, you worked in the travel trade for years, including KLM, but later in Melbourne, you completely changed professions, becoming a professional massage therapist, running your own business, Pascoe Vale Sports and Remedial Massage Therapy from your home, until a few years ago, healing and helping hundreds of people. You then showed your dedication to the medical field by donating your body for medical science. Like many of your friends, I cannot believe you are gone and won’t be there for our regular chats about anything which catches our fancy: from family and friends, to sharing a virtual ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news_crops/115743/eight_col_000_8W79HP.jpg?1609315784 The UK’s third pandemic lockdown appears to be having little impact on rates of Covid-19 in England, researchers warned today, with prevalence of the disease “very high” and “no evidence of decline” in the first 10 days of renewed restrictions. Photo: AFP Until rates of Covid-19 are reduced substantially, health services “will remain under extreme pressure” and the number of deaths will continue to rise rapidly, researchers leading Imperial College London’s REACT-1 prevalence study said. “The number of Covid-19 in-patients (in hospital) is extremely high at the moment, and we can’t expect that to drop unless we can achieve lower levels of prevalence,” said Steven Riley, a professor of infectious disease dynamics who co-led the work. “The fact that (prevalence) is not going down has potentially serious consequences.” Prime Minister Boris Johnson put England into a third national lockdown on 6 January, closing bars, restaurants and most schools, and ...

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https://www.elanka.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/18WallaceDilshan01.jpg Tillakaratne Dilshan laughs when he explains what the young players he coaches most want to be taught. “When I am training all the kids, they want to learn how to play the ‘Dilscoop’,” says the former Sri Lankan captain, who now lives in Beaconsfield in Melbourne’s outer southeastern suburbs. Most presumed Dilshan’s famed ‘Dilscoop’ had been retired when he called time on a 17-year international career following a 2016 limited-overs series against Australia. But having politely declined offers to play for local clubs that had gotten wind a man with 39 international centuries to his name had moved to town along with his wife Manjula Thilini and their four children, Dilshan finally relented when Premier club Casey South-Melbourne came knocking a few weeks ago. Two weeks ago, the 44-year-old signed a contract on Monday, picked up a bat for the first time in nearly year at training on Thursday, ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news_crops/105107/eight_col_200707_Distinction-Quarantine-Hotel_02.jpg?1594096467 Managed isolation demand is forecast to outstrip supply by more than 150 rooms in the next three days. The Distinction Christchurch Hotel is being used as a one of the isolation facilities. Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon It is not clear how accurate that prediction will be after figures fell short over Christmas and New Year, leading to empty hotel rooms while desperate New Zealanders waited for managed isolation vouchers. The most that the system has been overbooked by was eight rooms on 3 December, when contingency rooms were used. Taking into account fortnight stays and time to deep-clean rooms, on New Year’s Eve there were 148 rooms still available for allocation in the first two weeks of January. Forecasts for returnees to exceed the 4500-room operational capacity on five days around Christmas did not eventuate. On 30 December, 4196 rooms were occupied, when 11 days earlier vouchers for ...

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