Latest New Zealand News

Tonga in national holiday to bid farewell to leader Pohiva

Sep. 19, 2019 1:05 AM EDT

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Hundreds of mourners packed a church service on Thursday and children stood vigil on downtown streets as Tonga took a national holiday to bid farewell to Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva at a state funeral. During a political career that began more than three decades ago,...

Prosecutors seek trial for man charged with synagogue attack

Sep. 19, 2019 12:15 AM EDT

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Prosecutors will have a recording of a 20-year-old's call to an emergency dispatcher and his online posts when they try to convince a judge that he should be put on trial for opening fire in a synagogue on the last day of Passover, killing one woman and injuring three people, including the...

Welcome to Orcland: Lord of the Rings to film in New Zealand

Sep. 18, 2019 8:23 PM EDT

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Amazon announced Wednesday it will film its upcoming television series "The Lord of the Rings" in New Zealand, marking a return of the orcs, elves and hobbits to the country they became synonymous with over the course of six movies directed by Peter Jackson. Amazon Studios...

Indictment made public for man charged in El Paso attack

Sep. 18, 2019 10:54 AM EDT

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — Officials in Texas on Wednesday released the grand jury indictment filed last week against a man accused of killing 22 people at an El Paso Walmart last month. The one-page indictment against Patrick Crusius offers few new details but lists the names of the 22 victims who were killed...

Samoa's tattooed rugby players to cover up at times in Japan

Sep. 18, 2019 2:32 AM EDT

YAMAGATA, Japan (AP) — Samoan rugby players will wear skin suits to cover their traditional tattoos during some training sessions at the World Cup in order not to offend their Japanese hosts. Samoa captain Jack Lam said team officials consulted an expert on Japanese culture to make sure tattooed players...

Facebook to train AI systems using police video

Sep. 17, 2019 2:34 PM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook will work with law enforcement organizations to train its artificial intelligence systems to recognize videos of violent events as part of a broader effort to crack down on extremism. Facebook's AI systems were unable to detect live-streamed video of a mass shooting at a mosque in...

Taiwan loses biggest Pacific ally as Solomons embraces China

Sep. 17, 2019 1:16 AM EDT

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Taiwan has lost its largest ally in the Pacific after the Solomon Islands confirmed Tuesday that it is switching diplomatic allegiance to China, and observers say other Pacific nations may soon follow. The switch has geopolitical significance that will be felt as far away as...

New Zealand plans further restrictions to gun ownership

Sep. 13, 2019 12:47 AM EDT

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Six months after a gunman killed 51 people at two Christchurch mosques, New Zealand's government is planning further restrictions to gun ownership. A bill introduced to Parliament on Friday would create a register to track all the guns in the country and require gun owners to...

Grand jury indicts man on capital murder for El Paso attack

Sep. 12, 2019 7:13 PM EDT

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — A man accused of gunning down people at a busy Walmart in El Paso last month was indicted Thursday for capital murder, prosecutors announced. Patrick Crusius, 21, of Allen, Texas, was indicted on one count in connection with the Aug. 3 mass shooting that left 22 dead in the border...

Tonga's prime minister, who nurtured democracy, dies at 78

Sep. 12, 2019 3:05 AM EDT

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Tongan Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva, who helped wrest power from the royal family and bring greater democracy to the small Pacific island nation, died Thursday. He was 78. Pohiva died at the Auckland City Hospital at about 9 a.m. after being medically evacuated to New...