A New Zealand citizen who has recently returned from a trip to Italy has been confirmed as having coronavirus; and Winston Peters has ramped up the trans-Tasman war of words.  

1.A New Zealand citizen who has recently returned from a trip to Italy has been confirmed as having coronavirus. The World Health Organisation said on its website that a second New Zealand case had been confirmed. The Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the citizen is a woman in her 30s who had recently returned from a trip to Italy.

2.Air New Zealand says its working closely with Government agencies to identify and contact other passengers who were on board the international and domestic flights carrying the woman infected with Covid-19.     

3.New Zealand’s share market has begun its trading day in negative territory following the downward trend of the US market over the coronavirus. The NZX benchmark Top 50 opened 3.5 percent this morning.

4.Banks are starting to feel the calls from business owners hit financially by the Covid-19 outbreak. Customers have been advised to keep communication lines open as the economic impact of the virus starts to take its toll.  

5.Hotel owners are bracing for a continued slow down in bookings as travel restrictions remain in place for people arriving from Covid-19 hot spots. TheHotel Owners Association Executive Director Amy Robens says hotels relying on visitors from China are the worst affected, particularly in Auckland, Rotorua and Queenstown.        

6.Evacuees from the Covid-19 infected Diamond Princess cruise ship are preparing to leave Whangaparaoa tomorrow after two weeks of quarantine. Six New Zealanders flew from Tokyo to Darwin late last month and then headed to the military base in North Auckland. 

7.The New Zealand Olympic Committee is not expecting any cancellation or postponement of this year’s games in Tokyo because of the coronavirus. The spread of the disease has led to speculation the event could either not go ahead or be pushed back until later in the year.    

8.Two climate protestors who roped themselves to a 100 metre high oil rig yesterday in Cook Strait are being airlifted back to shore today at the oil company OMV’s expense. Siana Fitzjohn, 28, and Nick Hanafin, 40, from the protest group Extinction Rebellion Ōtautahi, intercepted the rig as it headed to the Taranaki base to begin drilling.

9.Winston Peters has ramped up the trans-Tasman war of words. Blasting an Australian MP and his defence of the country’s deportation policy. The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern kicked off the firestorm last week with a blunt request to Australia “stop deporting its people and problems to New Zealand.”         

10.Super Tuesday is underway in the US, 14 states and American Samoa are voting on which democratic candidate will challenge Donald Trump for the Presidency.  

11.A shortlist of finalists has been announced for the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards in what judges have described as a “cheeringly excellent year for New Zealand fiction”. The 16 finalists – four of which will vie for the $55,000 fiction award – were narrowed down from 170 entries and a longlist of 40 titles across fiction, poetry, illustrated non-fiction and general non-fiction.

12.A new study has revealed that Māori and Pacific babies in New Zealand, while bigger than their Pakeha and Asian counterparts, are leaner. The first study of the body composition of New Zealand’s newborns revealed this surprise, which researchers say could refocus early healthcare.

13.A woman convicted of smuggling in Asiatic black bear bile from China was already on her third warning for bringing in specimens of other threatened and endangered species. Litao Xu was convicted and fined $7500 at Auckland District Court yesterday for illegally importing 12 vials of crystal made from the bile.

14.The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, says it’s providing consular assistance to a New Zealand citizen arrested in Bali. Australian media is reporting an intellectually disabled man has been arrested in Bali airport, where he was carrying 14 different types of prescription drugs.      

15.The World Health Organisation has warned the mortality rate from the Covid-19 coronavirus appears to be at about 3.4 percent higher than the usual rate for seasonal flu. 

16.Italy has reported a 50 percent jump in deaths from the coronavirus in the past 24 hours to 79. More than 2,200 people have tested positive and strong measures are in place in an attempt to stop the spread of the disease.  

17.Manufacturers of electric vehicles which once prided themselves of quiet vehicles are now having to back paddle to keep people safe. From next year European laws will require EV’s to make some sort of noise while reversing and driving at speeds below 20km/hr.

18.All television channels run by MediaWorks are off-air. Three and Bravo channels are currently displaying no signal on screen. MediaWorks has been contacted for comment, but in a tweet, the company said its Flower St studio had been hit by a power failure.

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