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Voxy News
New Zealand, news, blogs, comment, opinion, entertainment
New Zealand, news, blogs, comment, opinion, entertainment
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For the fourth year running, New Zealanders are being challenged to give up alcohol for the month of February to raise money and support young people and their families with alcohol and other drug problems.

"This year registering for febfast is free, which makes it a good chance and an easy excuse to press pause on alcohol after the busy summer celebration season," said febfast Coordinator Natalia Albert....

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A new campaign from Heineken aims to spread the responsible drinking message among young adults.

The global campaign, called ‘Dance More, Drink Slow’ highlights the importance of staying in control....

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New Zealander David Haussmann, along with the captain of the Greenpeace International ship Arctic Sunrise and one other activist, has been refused bail in Russia.

The Greenpeace International activists appeared this morning before a court in Murmansk. Haussmann was one of the electricians on the Arctic Sunrise when it was seized last month by armed men from the Russian security forces. The ship’s captain, American Peter Willcox, was also the captain of the Rainbow Warrior in 1985 when it was bombed by the French secret service, killing Greenpeace photographer Fernando Pereira. The third activist denied bail was Camila Speziale, who has joint Argentinian and Italian citizenship.

In court Hausmann requested that his file be updated to show that he is married and has a three-year-old child.

Commenting on the latest developments Peter Willcox’s wife Maggie Willcox said:

"Most people try to do at least something for the greater good, sometimes occasionally, sometimes for sustained periods. Rarely do people devote their entire life trying to make the world a better place. Peter is one of those rare people. He is a hero not a pirate. I appeal to the common sense and conscience of the Russian authorities to let my husband and the rest of the people from the Arctic Sunrise come home."

Following the seizure of his ship last month, Willcox refused a demand made under armed guard by Russian authorities to sail the Arctic Sunrise toward the Russian port city of Murmansk. Instead the ship was towed. In a 1993 Hollywood film about the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior, the role of Pete Willcox was played by Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight - father of Angelina Jolie.

Speaking in court today Camila Speziale, 21, from Argentina said today:

"I'm innocent and I do not understand what I'm accused of. I don't have anything against your country. Russia and Argentina have good relations. But now I'm arrested for something I haven't done. I really want to come back to my country and continue working and studying. I'm considered to be dangerous for society, but how it can be so? The whole world is demanding my release. Gracias."

Camila was wearing a t-shirt that her parents have sent her, on which are printed the hands and names of the Speziale family.

In a letter published on Sunday, Swiss activist Marco Weber said although he was being held alone in a cell, and had little or no contact with the outside world, apart from weekly visits by his lawyer and the Swiss consul, he had no regrets. "I faced danger and the risk ending up in jail, because I am sure that WE have the power to make a change!" (Full letter in notes below)

In a letter to his family, Kieron Bryan, 29, a freelance film-maker from London, said he was well, apart from the "horrible uncertainty and anxiety". In the letter, also published Sunday, he said:

"The food is basic or grim but I'll not starve… Lack of communication has been really tough - I just hope my lawyer can get messages to you."

Today the Russian Presidential Human Rights Council is expected to submit an appeal to the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation, Yuri Chaika, regarding the arrest of the 30. The head of the Human Rights Council Mikhail Fedotov stated last week that charges of piracy against the Greenpeace International crew, activists and two freelance journalists were groundless and unlawful. Now the other members of the Council have supported the initiative to appeal to the Prosecutor.

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Drama and damage to both boats in the first race of the Louis Vuitton Cup finals .... damage to Luna Rossa’s starboard daggerboard drama and damage to Emirates Team New Zealand when a big puff hit as they were bearing away.

The bows dug in as the boat rounded the third mark. The yacht approached the mark in 18-19 knots of breeze. The puff hit as they were going into the turn; the bows dug in, crashing water damaged the port fairings and two crew - Chris Ward and Rob Waddell - went over the side....

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The lift shaft to nowhere that's causing a bit of a bother in Wellington at the moment.

http://www.voxy.co.nz/national/lift-shaft-danger-toppling-buildings-evacuated/5/164774
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Bit of damage out there this morning....
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Wellington Quake
15 Photos - View album

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The French Café in Auckland is the 2013 Cuisine Restaurant of the Year (as well as the SanPellegrino Best Metropolitan Restaurant). It’s also one of only two restaurants to receive the maximum of three chef’s hats under the new rating system, which adopts the hats and scores out of 20, as used by the renowned Good Food Guides in Australia....

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Google is today launching an experimental project in the South Island that uses balloons to bring internet access to remote areas.

According to project lead Mike Cassidy, fast, affordable Internet is currently out of reach for two out of every three people on earth. Project Loon could help change that and, if successful, would eventually involve a ring of balloons, flying around the globe on the stratospheric winds, that provides Internet access to the earth below....

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Today was a big day in this 34th cycle of the America’s Cup.

For the first time two AC72’s lined up and raced on the course that will be used for the Louis Vuitton and America’s Cup regattas which start in just over three weeks...

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