live-update-July-9-2022.jpg

Live UpdatesJul 9 2022

Elon Musk pulls out of mega deal to buy Twitter

live-update-July-9-2022.jpg

Elon Musk pulls out of mega deal to buy Twitter

Jul 9 2022

First New Zealand case of monkeypox reported in Auckland

The Ministry of Health has tonight reported the first known case of monkeypox in New Zealand.

The person, who is now isolating, is in their 30s, lives in Auckland and has recently returned from overseas travel in a country with reported cases of monkeypox.

There are currently 50 countries reporting cases of monkeypox. Given the increase in cases internationally, including Australia, the arrival in New Zealand was not unexpected, the ministry said.

“We have already taken steps to prepare for the arrival of monkeypox. Last month monkeypox was officially listed as a notifiable disease enabling us to utilise the tools needed to contain any possible spread of the disease including isolation orders and readying contact tracing capabilities. A monkeypox PCR test is available in New Zealand labs and is what has been used to detect this first case,” the ministry said in a statement.

A very small number of contacts of the case who are being advised to watch for symptoms. There is no evidence of community transmission here.

Colorised transmission electron micrograph of monkeypox particles (teal) found within an infected cell (brown), (. Credit: NIAID/CC BY 2.0)

Public Health Advice

Cases of monkeypox outside of endemic countries have primarily been identified amongst gay and bisexual men and men who have sex with men, and international cases have been clustered around events where this occurs.

As such the Ministry of Health is asking anyone who’s been overseas and attended events connected with the spread of monkeypox to be aware of any symptoms and seek advice from where you normally would get health advice from, either by contacting your GP or Healthline free on 0800 611 116, or by getting in touch with a sexual health clinic.

The first symptoms of monkeypox include one or more of the following: headache, acute onset of fever (>38.0C), chills, swollen lymph nodes, muscle and body aches, backache and tiredness. The characteristic rash, which typically looks similar to chickenpox, appears after a few days.

The majority of people with monkeypox can be safely managed at home and there have been very few deaths from monkeypox globally.

More information about monkeypox and its symptoms can be found on the Ministry of Health website.

Covid-19 latest: 22 deaths, including one child; 9,307 community cases

The Ministry of Health is today reporting 9,307 new cases of Covid-19 in the community, 22 deaths and 570 current hospitalisations. One of those who have died was aged under 10.

The seven-day rolling average of community case numbers today is 8,690. This time last week it was 6,825.

The seven day rolling average of hospitalisations is 518. This time last week it was 392.

The 570 cases currently in hospital are broken down by region as follows: Northland: 11; Waitematā: 124; Counties Manukau: 39; Auckland: 56; Waikato: 57; Bay of Plenty: 29; Lakes: 14; Hawke’s Bay: 20; MidCentral: 20; Whanganui: 6; Taranaki: 12; Tairawhiti: 3; Wairarapa: 6; Capital and Coast and Hutt Valley: 59; Nelson Marlborough: 13; Canterbury and West Coast: 62; South Canterbury: 18; Southern: 21.

Today’s reported deaths take the total number of publicly reported deaths with Covid-19 to 1,663. The seven-day rolling average of reported deaths is 16.

Of those who have died, six were from Auckland region, four were from Waikato, one was from Bay of Plenty, one was from Lakes, one was from Hawkes Bay, one was from MidCentral, two were from the Wellington region, four were from Canterbury / West Coast, and two were from Southern.

One was under the age of 10; three were in their fifties, three were in their sixties, five were in their seventies, seven were in their 80s, and three were aged over 90. Eight were female and 14 were male.

Twitter vows to pursue legal action after Elon Musk pulls out of purchase

The chair of Twitter’s board says it will take legal action to enforce the sale of the company to Elon Musk, who has announced he is terminating the USD$44 billion deal.

“The Twitter Board is committed to closing the transaction on the price and terms agreed upon with Mr. Musk and plans to pursue legal action to enforce the merger agreement,” tweeted board chair Bret Taylor.

Musk earlier today confirmed he plans to abandon his plans to acquire the social media company, after weeks of uncertainty following the merger announcement on April 25. Following a dive in Twitter’s share price, and in the value of Musk’s own Tesla business, it became clear that Musk was looking for an out from the deal. His focus had landed on spambots, which he claims are a much bigger problem on the platform than he had been led to believe at the time of the deal.

Reported Bloomberg yesterday:

“Twitter says spam bots are a small part of the company’s total user base – less than 5% – but Musk believes the number is much higher. It’s a significant disagreement, because Musk has said repeatedly that he might walk away from the purchase if Twitter doesn’t do more to prove that bots are indeed the small problem that the company claims.”

Today’s announcement is far from the end of the story. Musk has signed a binding agreement to purchase Twitter for US$44 billion. Both he and the company face months, possibly years of litigation as he attempts to extricate himself from the deal.

Full Corngate interview now available to watch online

Yesterday we published Duncan Greive’s deep dive into the drama surrounding the 2002 ‘Corngate’ clash over genetically modified corn between journalist John Campbell and then prime minister Helen Clark. Now the riveting full-length interview has now been uploaded to Youtube, 20 years to the day since it first aired.

“The first thing that strikes you is the staging,” writes Greive of the interview, “the studio is pitch dark, with bright spotlights on Helen Clark and John Campbell. He is rounding into the early era of his cult status as a probing, fearless interviewer; she is at the height of her power and influence as prime minister.

“Every moment of it is extraordinary.”

‘Profound grief’: Jacinda Ardern pays tribute to assassinated politician Shinzo Abe

Prime minister Jacinda Ardern has issued a statement following the death of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, who was shot at a rally yesterday.

“New Zealand sends our condolences to Japan at this time of profound grief and deep shock,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“This act of violence against Japan’s longest serving Prime Minister is unfathomable, and we stand with Japan in its condemnation of what has happened today.

“Mr Abe was one of the first world leaders I met when I became Prime Minister. He was always focused, thoughtful, and generous.

“I remember after our first bilateral meeting as we were waiting for an official photo, he leaned over to tell me he was sorry my cat had passed away. In the meetings we had in the years that followed, I saw a statesman, someone who helped usher through complex negotiations like the CPTPP, but I also saw someone who was kind.

“Mr Abe’s loss will be deeply felt by so many.

“Japan is a very close friend of ours, and my recent visit to Tokyo emphasised to me the strength of our relationship, the connections between our people, and the values that we share. We stand together in support of our Japanese friends.

“My thoughts are with Shinzo Abe’s wife and family, and with the Government and people of Japan. Our aroha, our love, is with you all,” Jacinda Ardern said.

The prime minister also tweeted her condolences, marking her first use of Twitter since December.