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]

TIME royals

A Prince George Photo Album: See the Royal Baby Grow Up

The newest and arguably cutest — sorry, Prince Harry — member of the British royal family continues to attract attention wherever he toddles.

TIME animals

The Kiwi, New Zealand’s National Bird, Isn’t From Australia After All

A keeper holds in his hands two Kiwi chi
A keeper holds in his hands two Kiwi chicks at the zoo on June 19, 2012 in Berlin. Johannes Eisele—AFP/Getty Images

The kiwi is not related to the emu, as scientists originally believed

The kiwi, a bird endemic to New Zealand, was long believed to be an Australian import. However, new research published Thursday in the journal Science found that the kiwi’s origins aren’t so simple.

Researchers at the University of Adelaide’s Australian Centre for Ancient DNA discovered that the kiwi is not closely related to Australia’s Emu as previously thought. Rather, its closest relative is the Madagascan elephant bird. DNA extracted from the bones of two elephant birds at the Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa, revealed a genetic connection between the elephant bird and the kiwi despite their physical and geographical dissimilarities.

Scientists say that the connection between the two also means that the kiwi, now a flightless bird, once took to the skies.

“This result was about as unexpected as you could get,” Kieren Mitchell, PhD candidate with ACAD, said in a statement. “New Zealand and Madagascar were only ever distantly physically joined via Antarctica and Australia, so this result shows the ratites (a group of flightless birds) must have dispersed around the world by flight.”

TIME royals

Here’s Kate Middleton and Prince William Cuddling Some Puppies

From left: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, hold police dog puppies at the Royal New Zealand Police College in Wellington, New Zealand, on April 16, 2014.
From left: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, hold police dog puppies at the Royal New Zealand Police College in Wellington, New Zealand, on April 16, 2014. Mark Mitchell—EPA

But baby George missed out

For the first time ever, a picture was taken of Kate Middleton and nobody cared what she was wearing. But that’s only because some very tiny German shepherds were in the picture, too.

The royal couple concluded their New Zealand trip with a visit to the Royal New Zealand Police College in Wellington, where they met some very brave future police puppies. William looked very involved in making sure his puppy was comfortable while Kate dealt with a mid photo-op puppy yawn.

Life’s hard when you’re a royal.

Kate and William have already landed in Sydney for the remainder of their trip down under.

But there’s still one remaining question: Will family dog Lupo be jealous?

TIME New Zealand

VIDEO: William and Kate Quash Baby No. 2 Rumors With Wine Tasting

Prince George won't be having a younger brother or sister... yet.


It seems like Prince George, who made headlines with his first group playdate last week, will have a little more time before he has to share the spotlight with a younger sibling.

Any rumors that Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge were expecting a second child were quashed Sunday when the couple made a visit to a New Zealand vineyard, and Kate enjoyed a glass of wine.

TIME royals

Here’s What Prince George Was Really Thinking During That Playdate

Twitter's child-rearing guru on this week's royal infant hobnobbing

Prince George, King of Infants, is being celebrated worldwide for successfully completing his first playdate. Official photos of the event were released by the palace this week — as were the other children once they promised to say only nice things about him. Sadly, no toddlers were invited to this event, as their ability to walk and talk would have probably upstaged Newborn Baby Prince George.

One of the mothers in attendance gave a statement to U.K. newspaper, The Mirror: “Different children develop differently, but George is very advanced for his age. He was crawling and wanting to walk in an advanced way — more so than my son, who is younger than him.”

Wow. Way to throw your own kid under the bus for palace brownie points. You forgot to mention that Prince George was far more attractive than the rat-faced gremlin you are ashamed to call your flesh and blood.

The Express reported that Prince George “made a little girl called Paige Stevens cry after taking a wooden doll from her.” Suck it up, Paige. He has an army at his disposal and could have taken the house you live in if he wanted, so count your blessings.”

A witness told The Daily Mail that Prince George was quite “the bruiser,” which the palace quickly brushed off by saying that he “is currently teething.” Nice try, George, but we’re all teething.

Honest Toddler’s first book The Honest Toddler: A Child Guide to Parenting (Simon & Schuster) comes out April 22, 2014.


Baby Prince George’s First Royal Duty: An Adorable Playdate


For Queen and country, baby Prince George made the sacrifice of having fun.

The little prince’s first royal duty was a playdate with ten families selected to represent the diverse communities of New Zealand. Plunkett’s Parents Group, an organization that provides healthcare and support for new parents, arranged the Government House get-together. They chose George’s playmates from a variety of backgrounds including Maoris, Samoans and gay couples.

The 8-month-old prince is growing up fast. Not only has he begun to serve his patriotic duty, but the Duchess of Cambridge says that George has been sleeping through the night and eating solid foods. Later he will wear the crown, but for now, Prince George is content to simply play.

TIME Kim Dotcom

MegaUpload’s Kim Dotcom Launches a Political Party in New Zealand

An actor in police costume mock-arrests Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, left, as he launches his new file sharing site "Mega" in Auckland Jan. 20, 2013. Nigel Marple—Reuters

The German-Finnish entrepreneur is also fighting extradition to the U.S. where he faces piracy charges

Controversial Internet mogul Kim Dotcom has launched a political party in New Zealand ahead of general elections in September.

The Internet Party would serve as a “movement for the freedom of the internet and technology, for privacy and political reform,” says the 40-year-old, according to the BBC.

Dotcom is currently fighting extradition to the U.S. where he faces charges of gross copyright infringement. Prosecutors allege his MegaUpload website facilitated the fraudulent downloading of pirated movies, games and TV programs worth some $175 million. The website was shut down in 2012 and Dotcom denies any wrongdoing.

If elected to parliament, which requires winning a seat outright or 5% of the national vote, the German-Finnish entrepreneur has vowed to “give you faster, cheaper internet, create high-tech jobs, protect your privacy and safeguard our independence.”



An Unhappy Customer Sues Prostitute for Failing to Complete a Sex Session

The prostitute told the court she attempted to return the man's phone and money but he refused to accept them Jutta Klee—Getty Images

But his demand for $70,000 is brusquely dismissed in court

A New Zealand man who felt that a sex worker violated the country’s Consumer Guarantees Act by not completing a sex session with him has had his ensuing law suit shot down in court.

The customer and the prostitute — identified as Mr N and Ms N in court documents — had been involved in a two-month sexual arrangement when their last encounter ended in a quarrel at a brothel in February 2012. Ms N said she had attempted to return Mr N’s money and a mobile phone he had given her to set up their weekly meetings, but he refused.

Mr N then sued for $70,000 in compensation and damages, claiming that Ms N had “gained unjust enrichment” and violated consumer laws.

An infuriated Justice Peter Woodhouse dismissed Mr N’s claim, calling it a “sinister use of the court’s processes.”

“Not only am I satisfied the proceedings are frivolous but I also believe they are vexatious,” the judge said.

A doubly unhappy ending for Mr N in this case, it seems.


TIME celebrities

Star Trek’s Chris Pine Pleads Guilty to DUI in NZ

Chris Pine attends the UK Premiere of 'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit' at Vue Leicester Square on Jan. 20, 2014 in London.
Chris Pine attends the UK Premiere of 'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit' at Vue Leicester Square on Jan. 20, 2014 in London. Max Mumby—Indigo/Getty Images

Star Trek's Captain Kirk was fined $79 by a New Zealand court and had his driver's license in that country suspended by six months after being pulled over earlier recently with a blood alcohol level of .11

Hollywood action star Chris Pine pleaded guilty to charges of drunk driving in New Zealand on Monday after being pulled over earlier in the month, according to the Associated Press.

Pine was hit with a $79 fine and will have his New Zealand driver’s license suspended for six months.

The actor was stopped by police on March 1, following a party to celebrate the wrap of the film Z for Zachariah. AP reported that Pine’s blood-alcohol level was 0.11 percent, which exceeds the .08 legal limit.


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