Monday, July 26, 2010

The new iPhone4 hits New Zealand this coming Friday...

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase
 HITTING NZ: The new iPhone4 will be available in NZ from this coming Friday...

 Apple's new iPhone 4 goes on sale in New Zealand on Friday but prospective buyers are being kept in the dark where to purchase it.

The iphone will go on sale at selected Apple retailers and on the online Apple store on Friday but Apple refuses to say name the retailers.

A worker at Harvey Norman in Manukau City said staff would not be told whether they would stock the iPhone 4 until Friday morning and said the same policy of secrecy was applied to the launch of the iPad last week.

"It drives us crazy sometimes," she said.

The iPhone is expected to have a recommended retail price starting from $1099.

Apple has sold more than three million of the smartphones since it was launched a month ago in France, Britain, Germany, Japan and the United States.

Apple last week began doling out iPhone 4 bumpers to address concerns that touching certain parts of the handset chokes telecom signal strength.

In true Apple style, free bumpers were made available through an application that could be downloaded to iPhones from the Cupertino, California-company's online iTunes shop.

The gadget-maker is hoping a $US29 ($39) rubber-and-plastic case will put an end to the debate over the antenna on what Apple chief executive Steve Jobs calls "perhaps the best product we've ever made".

Apple said at its website that the bumper, which fits around the sides of the phone, will be free to all buyers of the iPhone 4 through to the end of September.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Cannabis and Depression Study Proves Need for Drug Law Reform...

A Cannabis sativa leaf.Image via Wikipedia

Cannabis And Depression Study Proves Need For Drug Law Reform...

NZ Health Select Committee NORML Norml Phil Saxby Contributor:

 A study suggesting a link between early cannabis use and depression provides further evidence in support of reforming the Misuse of Drugs Act, said NORML President Phil Saxby today.

Mr Saxby's statement comes in response to a new study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, which suggests that children and teenagers who smoke cannabis may have a somewhat heightened risk of developing depression.

"Researchers cannot conclude whether or not the drug itself is to blame", Mr Saxby pointed out. "But that doesn't alter outcomes linking early cannabis use before the age of 17 with a 50 percent increase in the risk of developing a depression 'spell' later on in life."

"This is significant because the rate of early cannabis use in New Zealand has been growing at an alarming rate. Between 1998 and 2001, the number of young people aged 15 to 17 years who used cannabis 10 or more times a month increased by a staggering 300 percent." *

New Zealand now has the highest rate of teenage cannabis use in the world.

"NORML is concerned by any data linking early onset of cannabis use with later consequences for mental health, and has a strong adults-only policy for cannabis use. We certainly don't want children using it and we call for cannabis to be regulated in such a way that it's difficult, not easy, for them to buy," Mr Saxby said.

"Current policy - prohibition - only encourages the growth of 'tinny shops' and as everyone knows: those places don't ID their customers. Most Kiwi 15-year olds find it easier to buy cannabis than beer."

"For adults, cannabis is a low-risk drug which needs regulating: control its production; license outlets; tax sales and make it R18, consistent with alcohol. As 400,000 Kiwi adults currently use cannabis, we desperately need a system which a) stops criminalising them and b) restricts access by young people."

"Why does the Government continue allowing organised criminal gangs to decide where, when, to whom, and at what price illegal drugs get sold in New Zealand?" he asks. "What other local industry worth many millions of dollars each year is left in the hands of organised criminals rather than being taxed and properly controlled?"

(*NZ Health Select Committee, Inquiry into the Public Health Strategies Related to Cannabis and the Most Appropriate Legal Status, 2003; p.12

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Friday, July 9, 2010

New Zealand's Kahui twins died of natural causes not from Shaken Baby Syndrome theory not accepted...

The Kahui twins died of natural causes according to a controversial medical opinion given to the coroner for an upcoming inquest into their deaths.

The report by Dr Damian Wojcik, a police medical examiner in Whangarei for 16 years, hypothesised that the 3-month-old babies died from Barlow's disease - or infant scurvy from a severe vitamin C deficiency - rather than Shaken Baby Syndrome.

Dr Wojcik has claimed that Barlow's disease could explain the bruises, subdural bleeding and fractures found in the bodies of Chris and Cru Kahui, who died in June 2006.

But the unorthodox report sent to the coroner has been dismissed by an independent pathologist and will not be aired as evidence at an inquest on the deaths of the twins due to be held this year.

Chief Coroner Neil MacLean, a District Court judge, confirmed that the medical opinion had been dismissed but declined to comment further.

All Crown and defence witnesses at the 2008 murder trial of Chris Kahui, who was acquitted, agreed that the twins were shaken to death and suffered multiple fractures.

Dr Wojcik told the Weekend Herald he was aware that his theory that the Kahui twins were not murdered would be treated with scepticism.

"It is controversial and I have to say some medical practitioners wouldn't believe a word of it."

But he said that extreme vitamin C deficiency could cause the haemorrhaging in skin, brain, and subdural spaces as well as the pathological fractures suffered by the Kahui twins.

"This is a hypothesis I mulled over for many months. When I submitted that report to the coroner, he had it peer reviewed and the pathologist basically doesn't believe a word of it."

Dr Wojcik said the forensic evidence showed that the twins did not suffer damage to the neck and spinal cord, which did not match the theory that they were shaken to death.

"This is quite a complex area and quite nuanced. I would want to try and advance the cause of truth and not end up in some ideological slinging debate with some of my medical colleagues.

"There are other explanations for pathological findings. You could make a case for an alternative hypothesis of death by natural causes, so I advanced that."

The Weekend Herald understands the Office of the Coroner was initially thrown by the natural causes theory but now considers it a "red herring".

Simon Mount - one of the Crown prosecutors at the trial - is now a barrister acting on behalf of the police at the inquest. He declined to comment on Dr Wojcik's claims but Lorraine Smith, defence counsel for Kahui, said she appreciated the time Dr Wojcik had taken to raise a theory with the coroner.

"His views may not be orthodox, but who knows what the position will be in 20 years' time? People rubbished Galileo and he was proven right," said Mrs Smith.

"But whoever, or whatever, killed the twins was definitely not Chris Kahui."

The inquest into the deaths of Chris and Cru Kahui has been delayed since a scheduled date in February. It is understood a large number of agencies will take part - including two district health boards, GPs, the Families Commission, children's commissioner, the Ministry of Social Development, police and the Crown.

Judge Maclean has previously said an inquest would take a wider view of the deaths and look at whether anything could be done to prevent similar events in the future.

However, the focus is likely to remain on debating who killed the twins rather than how to prevent further child abuse.

In the murder trial, Mrs Smith accused the twins' mother, Macsyna King, of murdering the babies and Kahui was found not guilty.

The police cannot reopen the investigation until new evidence comes to light, so a $50,000 reward has been offered by lobby groups Family First and the Sensible Sentencing Trust as an incentive for someone to come forward.


* Infant scurvy is sometimes referred to as Barlow's disease and is caused by a lack of vitamin C.

* While cases are rare, Barlow's disease is fatal if left untreated. Doctors overseas have claimed that toxic histamine levels, caused by the vitamin C deficiency, can be misdiagnosed as Shaken Baby Syndrome.

* There is no convincing evidence to back up the theory that it has been misdiagnosed as Shaken Baby Syndrome.

NZ Weekend Herald
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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Author backs reopening of the old A>A> Thomas case...

Murders (per capita) (1998 - 2000) by country ...Image via Wikipedia

Author backs reopening of the old NZ A.A Thomas case...

Chris Birt, author, believes the Arthur Allen Thomas case should be reopened to find out who fed Crewe's baby following request from ex-wife

An expert on the infamous Crewe murders is backing a request for Justice Minister Simon Power to reopen the case.

The former wife of Arthur Allan Thomas, Vivien Harrison wants to clear her name in relation to the case and hopes the mystery woman seen going on to the Crewes' farm and who is believed to have fed the murdered couple's baby daughter, can be identified.

Writer Chris Birt who authored the book 'The Final Chapter', says there is some evidence about the person who looked after the baby and it should be examined.

"Somebody independent of the police needs to be commissioned by the justice minister to look at those aspects." There were claims during the trials that police had planted empty bullets in a garden.

Mr Birt says he has a good idea of who fed the baby, but cannot reveal their name for legal reasons.

Arthur Allan Thomas was convicted twice of killing his neighbours Jeanette and Harvey Crewe at their farm in South Auckland in 1970. A decade later, he was pardoned by the Muldoon Government. He also received close to a million dollars New Zealand in compensation.

A suggestion made last week was that Jeanette Crewe murdered her husband and then committed suicide. That's alright in my book, but just who did feed the Crewes baby?

Vivien Thomas, now remarried and known as Vivienne Harrison was originally named as having fed the baby. She absolutely denies the claims, formerly put forward by the police, that she had fed the baby. Just who did then?

Acknowledgements: © 2010 NZCity, NewsTalkZB - Peter Petterson

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Friday, July 2, 2010

The 25th Anniversary of the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior in Auckland Harbour

The Rainbow Warrior at the port of Genoa in Ju...Image via Wikipedia
In just over a week, it will be the 25th anniversary of the Rainbow Warrior bombing in Auckland Harbour. It was a pivotal moment in history for Greenpeace and for New Zealand. It galvanised our identity as a peaceful, nuclear-free nation.

It’s also a timely reminder that New Zealand once made a difference by standing for something bigger than ourselves.

We can stand for something again. We can be a country that leads the way in pioneering a clean, sustainable economy, rather than one which mines its national parks, drills for oil and does not take climate change seriously.

After the original Rainbow Warrior was bombed in Auckland Harbour, the Rainbow Warrior II was launched and the phrase; “you can’t sink a rainbow” was born.

New Zealanders especially donated generously then to help Greenpeace get resurrect the Warrior and together we showed the world that you can’t sink a rainbow!

Now, 25 years later the Warrior has sailed to every corner of the globe, she’s been rammed, shot at and impounded, but now at 52 she’s tired and needs a replacement. And the world needs her more than ever.

We need our help to get a new Rainbow Warrior. In the story of a ship that became a legend you can be in the next chapter…

Would you like to help us build the Rainbow Warrior III?. The job has really just begun!

Greenpeace New Zealand


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