New Zealand

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Thousands of Possum Tails Mysteriously Dot NZ Roads

No one has a clue how they got there or why

(Newser) - Thousands of possum tails turned up mysteriously scattered across roads large and small in the Auckland and Northland regions of New Zealand over the weekend. Travelers who've counted them as frequently as every few hundred yards have been posting about them on Facebook, reports the New Zealand Herald , but... More »

Woman's Fingers Returned to Her 80 Years After Death

New Zealand is repatriating the remains of 37 individuals

(Newser) - When New Zealand educator Jessie Marguerite Fendell was found in a dry creek bed at the bottom of a cliff near the school where she worked in 1933, her family didn't believe that her death was an accident. So investigators exhumed her body three months later, sent her fingers... More »

New Zealand Plans Ocean Sanctuary Twice Its Size

Kermadec ocean sanctuary would cover 240K square miles

(Newser) - A marine reserve about 600 miles northeast of New Zealand will get much, much bigger if Prime Minister John Key has his way. Just how big? Well, the Kermadec ocean sanctuary will stretch for 240,000 square miles—an area twice the size of New Zealand's landmass—if government... More »

How a 'Brainless' Organism Makes Your Wine Distinct

Different yeast strains from different soils change a wine's chemical profile

(Newser) - Winemakers have long understood that things like the soil in which grapes are grown can affect the flavor of the grapes and, ultimately the wine. Now scientists have proof that a microbial component of "terroir"—wine lingo for the individual regional conditions—has an impact, too. Reporting in... More »

Kim Dotcom Brings Own Chair to Extradition Hearing

It's expected to last 4 weeks

(Newser) - The colorful founder of file-sharing site Megaupload, closed by authorities in 2012, will face trial in the US if prosecutors have their way. Kim Dotcom —charged with conspiracy to commit copyright infringement, racketeering, and money-laundering—appeared in a New Zealand court today for an extradition hearing in which US... More »

Rare Tiger Kills Veteran Zookeeper

But Oz was 'acting in line with instincts,' won't be euthanized

(Newser) - A New Zealand zoo has decided that it won't euthanize a Sumatran tiger that attacked and killed a veteran zookeeper. The male tiger, named Oz, killed 43-year-old Samantha Kudeweh yesterday morning inside the animal's enclosure at the Hamilton Zoo. Kudeweh had been a zookeeper for more than 20... More »

One of These Will Be New Zealand's Flag

Flag panel narrows it down to final four

(Newser) - New Zealand got more than 10,000 submissions when it announced it was crowdsourcing a new flag; those designs were narrowed down to 40 semi-finalists and, now, four finalists. As the Guardian reports, all of them involve ferns: Three include variations on New Zealand's silver fern design , while the... More »

New Zealand Narrows New Flag Options to 40

Winner will go head-to-head with existing flag

(Newser) - New Zealand is in the middle of creating the world's first crowdsourced national flag, and it has been given plenty to choose from: More than 10,000 were submitted from around the world, and a government-appointed panel has narrowed it down to 40, most of them featuring national emblems... More »

AC/DC Drummer Dodges Jail

Phil Rudd will serve 8 months in beach house

(Newser) - Longtime AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd has dodged a prison sentence for threatening to kill a former employee and his daughter, but he's not going to drum for the band for a while unless a tour takes them to Tauranga, New Zealand. The 61-year-old, who had faced up to seven... More »

You May Be Aging More Quickly Than Your Peers

People's biological ages often don't match up with actual ages: scientists

(Newser) - If you've ever been told "you look good for your age," take it as the compliment it's meant to be—some people can't say the same. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences finds people age at what the Guardian ... More »

Schools, Parents Lawyer Up Over After-School Clubs

In New Zealand, some parents are ready to sue

(Newser) - Parents and school officials in New Zealand have turned to lawyers over the question of which students will be allowed into school musicals and sports clubs, the New Zealand Herald reports. The news that school principals, government officials, and government lawyers are huddling to plan legal strategy follows a few... More »

Sexed-Up 'Bachelor' Birds Could Save Their Species

Single male hihi birds can cut down inbreeding, ensure genetic diversity

(Newser) - Is the male hihi bird native to the Jersey Shore? Because, like The Situation and Pauly D, the single male birds in this endangered species (they're actually only found in New Zealand) are decidedly boorish, creeping for already taken ladies to mate with. But this actually might save the... More »

Sikh Man Breaks Protocol, Removes Turban to Help Boy

Harman Singh got a surprise of his own after his act of kindness

(Newser) - Harman Singh is a devout Sikh, meaning his turban stays on his head at all times when he's not in the privacy of his own home. But Singh broke religious protocol earlier this month when 5-year-old Daejon Pahia was hit by a car in Auckland, New Zealand. The 22-year-old... More »

World's Smallest Dolphin Could Vanish in 15 Years

Researchers call new study a 'loud wake-up call'

(Newser) - The world's smallest dolphin, found only off the coast of New Zealand, could disappear within 15 years unless efforts are taken to bring the critically endangered animal back from the brink of extinction. In what they deem a "loud wake-up call," researchers at German conservation group NABU... More »

New Zealand PM Sorry for Pulling Waitress's Hair

Cafe worker says he kept tugging on her ponytail

(Newser) - New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has apologized to a cafe worker who says he repeatedly pulled her ponytail when he visited the cafe near his home over a period of months, even after she'd told him to stop. The worker wrote an anonymous post today on the Daily... More »

AC/DC Drummer Admits Threat to Kill

Phil Rudd enters surprise guilty plea

(Newser) - AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd won't be going on trial for dirty deeds: He entered a surprise guilty plea before his trial in New Zealand could begin today and faces up to seven years in jail for threatening to kill a former employee and his daughter. The court heard that... More »

Pity the Fools Who Didn't Show for April 1 Car Promo

Woman nabs $37K luxury BMW after seeing April Fools' trade-in ad

(Newser) - We've become an increasingly savvy society, not as prone to fall for the hoaxes and phony ads that proliferate on April 1. Not Tianna Marsh, whose apparent naivete won her a $37,000 BMW 1 Series ride after she saw an ad in the New Zealand Herald . The front-page... More »

200 Whales Stranded on NZ Beach

Dozens already dead at notorious beaching spot

(Newser) - Nearly 200 pilot whales stranded themselves on New Zealand's South Island today, with hordes of rescuers rushing to the remote area in a bid to guide them back to sea. Two dozen of the 198 whales have already died despite efforts to save the creatures, which were found stranded... More »

Skydivers Cheat Death With Early Jump

13 escape just moments before plane crashes into lake

(Newser) - They went out to skydive for fun and ended up leaping for their lives. The pilot and all 12 skydivers on a light plane escaped without serious injury after the aircraft suffered engine failure and crashed into a lake in New Zealand today, the BBC reports. Officials say the plane... More »

ISIS Fighter Mistakenly Reveals Location in Tweets

New Zealander is apparently unfamiliar with geotagging

(Newser) - A New Zealander who left home to fight with ISIS in Syria made it pretty easy for authorities to track his movements—he tweeted happily away as "Kiwi Jihadi" with his geotag tracking turned on, reports the Guardian . The mistake by Mark Taylor, also known as Abu Adbul-Rahman, was... More »

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