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New Zealand passes law allowing domestic surveillance

New Zealand passed legislation Wednesday allowing its main intelligence agency to spy on residents and citizens, despite opposition from rights groups, international technology giants and the legal fraternity. The bill to expand the power of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) passed by 61 votes to 59 after impassioned debate,…

New Zealand volcano shoots steam 1.24 miles into the air

A volcano off New Zealand sent a plume of steam two kilometres (1.24 miles) into the air Tuesday, although volcanologists described the eruption as small and said it was over in minutes. The GeoNet monitoring service said White Island, an uninhabited landmark off the North Island’s Bay of Plenty, erupted…

New Zealand same-sex couples tie the knot

AFP – Dozens of same-sex couples said “I do” Monday as New Zealand became the first Asia-Pacific country, and only the 14th in the world, to legalise gay marriage. Vows were exchanged in venues ranging from an airliner cruising at 30,000 feet (9,150 metres) to a historic bath house as…

Powerful earthquake felt across New Zealand

A powerful earthquake shook major cities across New Zealand on Friday, sending terrified office workers diving under their desks but with no initial reports of significant damage. The 6.8-magnitude quake struck at 2:31 pm (0231 GMT) in the Cook Strait, the US Geological Survey said. It was felt from Christchurch…

New Zealand burglar turns himself in after bumping into ‘hanging corpse’

A terrified New Zealand burglar handed himself in after breaking into a darkened house and bumping into a hanging corpse, waking neighbours with his blood-curdling screams, police said Thursday. The would-be thief was arrested when he called police in the early hours of Wednesday to report his gruesome encounter in…

U.S. snooping revelations cause problems for allies

By Andrew Osborn LONDON (Reuters) – Revelations of a huge, secret U.S. Internet spying program have raised awkward questions for allies, forced to explain whether they let Washington spy on their citizens or benefited from snooping that would be illegal at home. U.S. officials have confirmed the existence of the…

Judge: MegaUpload founder’s property seized with bogus warrant

Kim Dotcom, the notorious founder of MegaUpload and one of the most-wanted alleged copyright infringers in the world, may get all his stuff back from police after a judge ruled that authorities seized his property on a faulty court order. A judge in New Zealand, where the 38-year-old Dotcom is…

Megaupload boss Kim Dotcom calls U.S. charges ‘malicious’

WELLINGTON — Megaupload boss Kim Dotcom on Thursday accused US authorities of mounting a “misleading and malicious” case against him, saying there was no way they could win a landmark online piracy action. Free on bail in New Zealand after winning a legal fight with prosecutors who wanted keep him…

Fossils show huge penguin once roamed New Zealand

Fossilised remains of one of the largest penguins ever, an “elegant” giant standing 1.3 metres (52 inches) tall, have been found in New Zealand, scientists said Tuesday. The penguin lived 27-24 million years ago, when New Zealand was mostly underwater and consisted of isolated, rocky outcrops that offered protection from…

Megaupload’s Kim Dotcom granted bail in N.Zealand

Megaupload boss Kim Dotcom was freed on bail in a surprise move, after a New Zealand judge dismissed fears the internet tycoon would flee the country to escape US online piracy charges. The 38-year-old German national on Wednesday said he was relieved to be released following a month in custody after New Zealand police, cooperating with…

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