TIME Healthcare

Illness Strikes 200 on Cruise Ship

The passenger liner Dawn Princess, operated by Carnival Corp.'s Princess Cruises, sits docked at the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Princes Wharf in Auckland, New Zealand, on March 20, 2013.
The passenger liner Dawn Princess, operated by Carnival Corp.'s Princess Cruises, sits docked at the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Princes Wharf in Auckland, New Zealand, on March 20, 2013. Brednan O'Hagan—Bloomberg/Getty Images

Sick passengers have been confined to their cabins

A norovirus outbreak aboard a cruise ship near Australia has left 200 passengers sick and confined to their cabins, health officials said.

Princess Cruises, which operates the ship, said it has taken measures to prevent the spread of the disease, the New Zealand Herald reports. Crew members aboard the Dawn Princess, which is en route to Australia from New Zealand, have taken measures to disinfect surfaces to prevent the spread of the disease. The ship has a doctor on board responsible for overseeing the situation and the health of all 1,500 passengers.

“It takes relatively few cases to be reported onboard for even more stringent sanitation levels to be implemented,” the company said in a statement. “The containment response worked effectively and the number of new cases declined significantly.”

Norovirus, a gastrointestinal virus transmitted through blood and urine, causes diarrhea and vomiting and lasts one to three days.

[New Zealand Herald]

TIME celebrities

Prosecutors: AC/DC’s Rudd Threatened Man, Daughter

AC/DC Drummer Phil Rudd Handcuffed And Back In Court
AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd leaves Tauranga District Court after being arrested in relation to breach of bail conditions in Tauranga, New Zealand, on Dec. 4, 2014 Joel Ford—Getty Images

The drummer has pleaded not guilty to charges of threatening to kill

(WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND) — New Zealand prosecutors for the first time publicly outlined their case against AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd, saying Friday that he called a man who had worked for him for three years and threatened to kill him and his daughter.

The details were in a brief one-page “summary of facts” released by prosecutors.

They have charged the 60-year-old drummer with threatening to kill, which comes with a maximum prison sentence of seven years, as well as possessing methamphetamine and marijuana. He has pleaded not guilty and faces a judge-only trial next year.

Prosecutors said that on Sept. 26, Rudd first called a business associate and talked about “what he wanted done” to the man, before calling the man and making the threats. Prosecutors said the manworked for Rudd under a contract arrangement.

According to prosecutors, Rudd told police he didn’t make the alleged phone calls and had not threatened to kill anyone.

Prosecutors said police on Nov. 6 searched Rudd’s home in the small city of Tauranga and found 130 grams (4.6 ounces) of marijuana and 0.7 grams (0.02 ounces) of methamphetamine. They said Rudd did acknowledge possessing a small amount of marijuana.

Rudd’s lawyer Paul Mabey could not be immediately reached for comment Friday.

The release of the document came a day after Rudd was detained by police after getting into a scuffle with a witness in his case. Mabey said it was a “chance meeting” between the pair in Tauranga that developed into a scuffle.

Rudd was later released on bail without further charges, although a judge did impose an additional bail condition that he not consume illegal drugs.

Rudd’s future with the popular Australian band remains uncertain. The band this week released its new album, “Rock or Bust.”

TIME celebrities

AC/DC Drummer Phil Rudd Scuffles With Witness

Phil Rudd
Troubled AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd leaves District Court after he was detained by police Dec. 4, 2014, in Tauranga, New Zealand, after getting into a scuffle with a witness in his pending court case. Alan Gibson—AP

Government prosecutors have argued that Rudd's behavior has been erratic

WELLINGTON (AP)— Troubled AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd was detained by New Zealand police Thursday after getting into a scuffle with a witness in his pending court case but was released again on bail without facing further charges.

Rudd’s lawyer Paul Mabey said Rudd appeared in court in his home town of Tauranga, accused of breaching his bail conditions by associating with a witness. Mabey said it was a “chance meeting” that developed into a scuffle.

Last month, police charged the 60-year-old drummer with threatening to kill, which comes with a maximum prison sentence of seven years, as well as possessing methamphetamine and marijuana. He has pleaded not guilty and faces a judge-only trial early next year.

Columbus Coffee cafe owner Leo Rojas said Thursday he witnessed Rudd curse and try to punch a larger man on the sidewalk outside the cafe. He said Rudd was much shorter and skinnier than the larger man, who twice pushed Rudd to the ground.

“It was like a Chihuahua trying to fight a big dog,” Rojas said.

He said Rudd is a regular customer at the butcher shop next to his cafe.

Rojas said he saw Rudd trying to throw punches at the larger man but Rudd’s bodyguard intervened, trying to separate them. He said the larger man at first appeared to be trying to walk away.

Rojas said the larger man then lost his temper and pushed Rudd down onto the sidewalk.

He said Rudd’s possessions scattered, including some meat, some cash and his cellphone, which were scooped up by cafe staff.

“They were saying a lot of words, not proper words, as you can imagine in this situation,” Rojas said.

Rojas said the larger man called Rudd a “rat,” saying that’s why he didn’t work for him anymore. He said Rudd got up and again tried to attack the man, who again pushed him to the ground.

He said Rudd’s bodyguard tried to calm the drummer but that Rudd then began attacking the bodyguard. He said the larger man eventually left and drove away.

He said Rudd came into the cafe to gather his belongings. “He said ‘sorry for being rude, but I’m very angry with that guy’,” Rojas said.

He said Rudd left and police officers soon arrived.

In court, a judge imposed an additional bail condition on Rudd: that he not consume illegal drugs. Government prosecutors had argued Rudd’s behavior had been erratic and that he would be more likely to comply with his other bail conditions if he didn’t take drugs.

Last week, Rudd displayed erratic behavior when he showed up late for a court appearance and clowned around by jumping on the back of one of his security guards outside the courthouse. He also winked at reporters, drummed a rhythm on the dock and sped away from the courthouse in a black sports car.

Rudd’s future with the popular Australian band remains uncertain. The band this week released its new album, Rock or Bust.

TIME celebrities

AC/DC’s Phil Rudd Appears in Court on Drug and ‘Threatening to Kill’ Charges

Phil Rudd
Phil Rudd, drummer for the rock band AC/DC, stands in the dock in the High Court at Tauranga, New Zealand, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. Alan Gibson—AP

Rudd is on bail and has entered no plea

Phil Rudd, the Australian drummer of AC/DC, has appeared in a New Zealand court on charges of threatening to kill and drug possession.

BBC News reports that when Rudd, 60, failed to appear at 9:00 a.m. local time, the judge issued an arrest warrant for the no-show rocker. The warrant was withdrawn when Rudd arrived just minutes later.

Rudd was initially charged earlier this month for attempting to procure a murder, but the charge was dropped soon afterward.

The musician, who has not entered a plea for the other charges, is out on bail. After his appearance, he rode piggyback on his security guard from the courthouse to his sports car.

The band’s new album, Rock or Bust, is expected to drop next month.

[BBC News]

TIME celebrities

AC/DC’s Drummer Is Innocent of ‘Attempting to Procure Murder’

ACDC Drummer Appears In Court
AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd leaves Tauranga District Court after being charged with attempting to procure murder on November 6, 2014 in Tauranga, New Zealand. Joel Ford — Getty Images

But he still faces charges of threatening to kill and possession of methamphetamine and cannabis

Prosecutors in New Zealand dropped the “attempting to procure murder charge” against AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd on Friday morning, a day after the rocker was arrested during a high-profile police raid on his home.

The crown solicitor in the city of Tauranga cited a lack of evidence as the reason for dropping the charge, the New Zealand Herald reported.

However, Rudd, 60, still faces charges of “threatening to kill” and two counts of possession of cannabis and methamphetamine.

The sensational allegations that the famed drummer had tried to hire a hit man to murder two individuals and had threatened to kill a third were quickly picked up by media outlets worldwide on Thursday.

On Friday, Rudd’s attorney Paul Mabey blasted New Zealand police for publicly charging Rudd without first consulting prosecutors. He described the damage done to Rudd’s reputation by the move as “incalculable.”

[New Zealand Herald]

TIME celebrities

AC/DC’s Drummer Has Been Charged With Attempting to Arrange a Murder

The shocking news comes just before the band releases its new album

AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd is set to appear before a New Zealand court on Thursday to face charges for attempting to procure a murder after being arrested earlier in the day by police, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

During the raid on his home in New Zealand’s Tauranga city, the drummer was also found to be in possession of methamphetamine and cannabis.

Rudd’s arrest caps what has been a somber year for the iconic Australian hard rock outfit. In September, the family of Malcolm Young, who founded the band alongside his brother Angus, announced that he would be retiring from the group due to an ongoing battle with dementia.

AC/DC burst onto the international music scene in the mid-1970s with fist-pumping anthems like Highway to Hell and It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll). Ironically, the band scored one of their earliest hits with the title track from their third album Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap — an ode to vigilante justice.

The band is set to release a new album Rock or Bust in December.

TIME Music

Hear 12-Year-Old Lorde Sing a Beautiful Cover of ‘Use Somebody’ by Kings of Leon

At age 17, most people’s proudest accomplishments include a few junior varsity soccer championships or maybe a 5 on the AP World History exam. Lorde’s accomplishments at age 17 include two Grammys and a platinum-certified debut album — not to mention curating the soundtrack to the newest Hunger Games installment.

If that’s not enough to make you feel unaccomplished, then listen to Lorde’s gorgeous cover of the Kings of Leon hit “Use Somebody” from when she was just 12 years old. Back then, she was an Auckland resident named Ella Yelich-O’Connor who dropped by a local radio station to play a few songs. And, yeah, she was really good — and surprisingly emotive for such a young person.

Though this audio has been floating around the Internet for a while now, the version of “Use Somebody” is beginning to resurface again this week. We’re totally cool with that.

Read more: The 25 most influential teens of 2014

Read next: Lorde’s Mockingjay Soundtrack Features Kanye West, Chemical Brothers and Charli XCX

TIME New Zealand

New Zealand Set to Vote in General Elections Marred by Cybercontroversies

Journalist and author Glenn Greenwald, left, and Kim Dotcom attend a political forum at Town Hall in Auckland, New Zealand Monday, Sept. 15, 2014.
Journalist and author Glenn Greenwald, left, and Kim Dotcom attend a political forum at in Auckland on Sept. 15, 2014 Brett Phibbs—New Zealand Herald/AP

Is the Kiwi nation becoming a bastion of Internet-generation politics?

The climate enveloping New Zealand’s parliamentary elections on Saturday could be branded anything but politics as usual.

The vote marks an end to a campaign season marred by covert Internet bullying, revelations by hackers, and that could see Kim Dotcom, a cyberoutlaw wanted by the FBI, voted into the House of Representatives.

Not even two months ago, incumbent Prime Minister John Key looked set for a comfortable third victory, but then a book release upset the remote island nation’s political equilibrium. In Dirty Politics, investigative journalist Nicky Hager revealed how top members of Key’s cabinet had spread personal information about their opponents to a vitriolic right-wing blogger. Whale Oil, as the blogger is known, then went on to fuel online hatred directed at certain public servants, some of whom ended up receiving death threats from Internet commenters.

Hager claims that the material exposes “the covert attack machine run by the National Party and its allies,” the Guardian reports, and his oeuvre has completely taken over New Zealand’s political discussion ever since. Even though Key was not directly implicated, he’s been widely berated for his feeble response, having deferred sacking those central to the scandal and denouncing Hager as a “screaming left-wing conspiracy theorist.”

Key also lashed out at the fact that Hager’s information was based on personal electronic communications allegedly retrieved by illicit means. “I think there’s a real risk that a hacker, and people with a left-wing agenda, are trying to take an election off New Zealanders,” he said.

That may not necessarily be the case, since Key and his National Party are still looking robust in the polls. Still, there’s a certain sense of the Kiwi elections are taking the shape of a cyberelectoral soap opera.

In the opposite corner stands the 6-ft. 7-in. figure of Kim Dotcom, who made a fortune from his file-sharing website Megaupload, but also drew the ire of the collective Hollywood community and FBI, who wanted him held accountable for infringing on copyright laws. After leading a lavish playboy lifestyle and being the subject of a dramatic 2012 police raid on his estate, German-born Dotcom has turned to politics. The 40-year-old has proclaimed that his Internet Party is the beginning of a global youth movement fighting for expanded freedom and privacy on the web. He is contesting the elections together with the Maori left-wing Mana party, and they look likely to win seats in parliament. Dotcom has also managed to attract international attention to his cause.

On Monday, Dotcom shared an Auckland stage with three other prime U.S. security targets — Glenn Greenwald, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden (the latter two via video link) — for a political forum named “Moment of Truth,” where the trio outlined how Key’s government had worked to implement a mass-surveillance program on its citizens.

Some have tried to downplay both the book release and the forum as spruiking, seeing as both took place so close to the vote. Whale Oil, whose real name is Cameron Slater, is even claiming that Hager’s source is none other than Dotcom himself. However, Hager says he would have “run a mile” if Dotcom had approached him with the leaked material.

“When a source is anonymous, like this person is, it’s possible to imagine all sorts of creepy things about them,” Hager told the Guardian. “But it is an intelligent, thoughtful person, I’m pleased to say — a nonpartisan person who I’m very comfortable working with.”

To date, Dirty Politics is Hager’s best-selling book. It remains to be seen what impact it will have on the elections, and to what extent New Zealand is turning into a bastion of politics for the Internet generation.

More than 3 million registered voters will elect 120 members to New Zealand’s House of Representatives on Saturday, with lawmakers chosen from 71 single-member constituencies and the remainder from party lists.

TIME New Zealand

Snowden: NSA Collected Data on New Zealand Citizens

Edward Snowden Julian Assange Kim Dotcom Moment of Truth
Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, Internet Party leader Laila Harre, Robert Amsterdam, Glenn Greenwald and Kim Dotcom discuss the revelations about New Zealand's mass surveillance at Auckland Town Hall in Auckland, New Zealand on Sept. 15, 2014. Hannah Peters—Getty Images

New Zealand prime minister denies his government helped U.S. collect data on private citizens by gaining access to undersea cables

Documents released by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden purport to show U.S. and New Zealand officials have collected Internet data via underwater cables that connect New Zealand, Australia and North America.

The documents, reported by The Intercept and the Sydney Morning Herald, are said to show the program, called “Speargun,” had initially been implemented in 2012 or early 2013 by the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) of New Zealand.

The GCSB was alleged to have gained covert access to a Trans-Pacific undersea cable network through which data is transmitted between Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Hawaii, to allow the NSA to harvest data.

Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key denies that the GCSB has participated in mass surveillance of citizens, though he reportedly would not discuss the existence of the program New Zealand reportedly used to conduct surveillance.

Snowden said in an interview with The Intercept website, which first reported the program’s existence, that the Prime Minister was fully aware of the program. “The Prime Minister’s claim to the public, that ‘there is no and there never has been any mass surveillance’, is false,” Snowden said. “The GCSB, whose operations he is responsible for, is directly involved in the untargeted, bulk interception and algorithmic analysis of private communications sent via internet, satellite, radio, and phone networks.”

[Sydney Morning Herald]

TIME Japan

Japan Is Planning to Resume Whale Hunts

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Visits New Zealand
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to the media after a traditional Maori welcome at Government House and talks with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key on July 7, 2014, in Auckland. Fiona Goodall—Getty Images

Trade talks turned to whale rights in New Zealand as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe touted a revival of his nation's "scientific" whaling program

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told his New Zealand counterpart, John Key, during trade talks in Auckland that Japan intends to resume whaling in the Southern Ocean.

Key said he was told of Tokyo’s plans to build a scientific whaling program that is in line with the International Court of Justice’s recent guidelines, but made his position clear that all whale hunting should cease, reports the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “New Zealand’s view is there is no place for whaling, scientific or otherwise,” said Key.

In March, Australia and New Zealand won a legal case against Japan’s government-subsidized whaling program in Antarctica. The court found that the scheme was carried out predominantly for commercial purposes, instead of scientific research as claimed.

Abe dodged reporters’ questions on whether or not Japan will resume whaling. “We will abide by the verdict of the International Court of Justice, but in any case there are different positions in regard to whaling,” he said.

[Australian Broadcasting Corporation]

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