Sunday, June 28, 2009
In a quiet Christchurch, New Zealand suburban cul-de-sac the body of a man has lain dead for a number of hours until the local CSI has finally done its job.
Late yesterday afternoon a wheelchair -bound paraplegic gunman, described by locals and police as drunk and suicidal, was eventually shot dead after a two hour siege by an Armed Offenders Squad member after he let off dozens of rounds of shotgun cartridges and rifle bullets, peppering the neigbours fence and surrounding area, and eventually the neigbour himself from neck to groin with shotgun pellets.
He then fired at an approaching policeman, wounding him, and was then shot dead by another! The news media mentioned a similar shooting incident in February this year, which obviously didn't involve any other person.
Paraplegic gunman shot
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Little Pumpkin's father found guilty of murdering her mother...
Little Pumpkin's father, Nai Yin Xue has been found guilty of murdering her mother, An An Liu, in Auckland in 2007. He was convicted in the Auckland High Court last week after an-all women jury found him guilty. They took seven hours to reach their decision, which he may appeal.
As the decision was read out in court, Nai Yin Xue became uncontrollably upset, screaming towards the judge with his fist punching the air above his head, yelling, "I'm innocent, I'm innocent" and "not fair". He was lead away by security guards to a cell in the court.
This is probably the second from last step in this saga that began two years ago in Melbourne, Australia, when little Pumpkin, Qian Xun Xue, was found on a train station platform by rail officials. Xue will get his appeal if he applies for it.
By all accounts, the little girl is thriving in China with her maternal grandmother. She will never have to see this monster again. She now knows her mother is dead, but it is not known how she as a five year old has accepted the news.
About 99.9% of all New Zealanders reportedly support the guilty decision. Xue had fled to the US from Australia and later featured on America's Most Wanted television program. He was arrested by local police who handed him over to US Marshals, who detained him for deportation until NZ detectives flew to the US to return him to New Zealand.
Justice has been served for the little girl, her late mother and her family. Xue will probably serve at least 20 or more years before any parole is considered. Sentences for murder have been increasing in NZ in recent years as New Zealanders have demanded more realistic sentences for murder and other serious crimes.
The mother of murdered An An Liu, has praised the New Zealand justice system as her son-in-law Nai Yin Xue, was convicted of her daughter's murder.
Xiaoping Liu spoke from her home in China a couple of days ago to NZ Government Ethic Affairs Minister, Pancy Wong, herself Chinese born, who had helped to reunite her and her little granddaughter, Qian Xun Xue after her abandonment in Melbourne. She has started school in China and was also learning to speak English, dance and paint there.
Life looks good for little Pumpkin!
Thursday, June 18, 2009
All Blacks need to get their minds into test match rugby mode - ask Brad Thorn...
Dual international Brad Thorn reckons the intricacies of rugby mean it's harder to get an All Blacks test team up to speed than a Kangaroos league side.
And the 34-year-old should know, having played for both teams during a stellar footballing career on either side of the Tasman.
As the All Blacks look to pick up their game after last week's ugly loss to the French in Dunedin, Thorn feels things are coming together with a bit more time under their belts.
"It's harder in rugby because there's so much technique to scrummaging, there's so much skill and technique to lineouts, cleaning rucks ... there's just so much stuff there," said Thorn who will play his 26th rugby test this weekend after representing Australia in league eight times. He also played for Queensland 14 times during career with the Brisbane Broncos that took in 200 matches.
Apart from a few stars missing through injury Thorn sees little difference to this season than his previous experiences in the black jersey. They just got exposed by a fired up French team and now they have to respond.
"It's hard to cover that all in one week and keep the boys fresh mentally. It's quite a challenge but no excuses ... the French had just finished their season, they came over and played well.
"Early last year against Ireland and England we were disappointed with some things too. It's a fairly solid process getting your game together and as the season went on the All Blacks were really humming. So hopefully we can take another step in improvement this week and get more used to playing."
The week has been an emotional rollercoaster for Thorn who celebrated the birth of his fourth child, baby daughter Niva to go with his three sons.
"I might have to sign a contract for another five years to feed them," said the big lock.
Now he's got to knuckle down and get ready for the challenge of facing a fired up French side where his personal marker will be Sebastien Chabal. That individual tussle should be one of the highlights.
"There always seems to be quite a bit of hype around him ... the flash hairstyle and beard really are part of the package and he gives 100 percent," Thorn noted of the controversial Frenchman.
"He looks a pretty sharp player from what I have seen. He's come along while I was playing league but he seems to have played some really good rugby for France."
But Thorn looks at the bigger picture for things to push his buttons.
"It's good having good opponents to play against to test yourself and challenge yourself. But for me the motivation is putting on the black jersey. I think that should be the same every week. That's how I feel."
He says it's the same when people start talking about these All Blacks staring at just the sixth series loss on home soil if they get tipped over again. That was news to him.
"You can think about that stuff but I just think it shouldn't matter who you are playing, when you are playing or whatever, you put your body on your line, play to the last whistle and give everything you have got. Whether you win or lose you walk away knowing that you have given it your best hit."
Thorn does that with remarkable consistency. He was one of the few older hands who could walk off Carisbrook with some sense of personal satisfaction last week despite the result.
Ad Feedback And as he enters the twilight stages of his international career he has some advice to rugby's rulemakers make up your minds about the laws and stick to them.
The difficulties the All Blacks had adjusting from the ELVs was evident in the opening minutes of the Dunedin test when they failed to handle the French maul and they struggled with the tackle ball situations as well.
"I've been playing rugby for about a year and a half and before that I had three years of league so I haven't seen a maul for four or five years. Every time I did we were able to pull it down. You can't do that now.
"You can do something one week and the next week you can't. It's the same with the guy who makes the tackle.
"It felt like we improved in those areas as the game wore on but we pretty much walked straight into it.
"Hopefully the rules of rugby can find where they are at and we can move forward five, 10, 15 or 20 years with the same rules so we can enjoy it and get on with it. It would be good for the spectators and players."
Spoken like a true professional.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Not worth his place in cabinet - Richard Worth resigns as the rot sets in in the National Administration:
The Prime Minister, John Key, earlier said he had accepted Dr Worth's resignation last night.
"He advised me of some private matters in respect of which he felt it appropriate that he should resign as a minister."
Dr Worth said in a statement issued this morning it was "with deep regret" that he had resigned his ministerial role.
"I tendered my resignation to the Prime Minister last night and he accepted," Dr Worth said. "It has been a privilege to have been a Minister in this Government."
He said he had been granted two weeks leave of absence from Parliament.
Before the Prime Minister's media conference this morning, Labour Leader Phil Goff said Dr Worth's resignation came months too late and it was incumbent on Mr Key to explain to the public why his minister has stepped down.
"It is completely unsustainable for John Key to say that resignation from a high public office is for a secret or undisclosed reason unless there are personal family matters behind Dr Worth's agreement to resign," he said.
"The Prime Minister had ample reason to sack his Minister months ago but lacked the necessary leadership to do so."
Dr Worth was a minister outside cabinet holding the portfolios of internal affairs and land information. He was also an associate minister of justice.
Mr Key said Maurice Williamson would be covering Dr Worth's portfolios.
"Dr Worth's ministerial responsibilities will be temporarily transferred to Maurice Williamson. I will be making an announcement about permanent appointments to the portfolios in the near future."
The Governor-General has been advised of Dr Worth's decision.
Dr Worth is number 22 on National's party list. The MP faced a number of questions about his political judgement earlier this year after a trip to India during which he spoke in his ministerial capacity and promoted an aviation company in which he held shares and a directorship.
He was reprimanded by Prime Minister John Key over that trip for breaking the rules about potential conflict of interest, and Labour demanded his resignation.
He then faced questions again after it was revealed he visited a taxi driver who was allegedly attacked by passengers.
Dr Worth subsequently admitted he knew the father of one of the men accused of attacking Jarnil Sandhu in what appeared to have been a racially motivated incident in Auckland in April.
Labour Party immigration spokesman Pete Hodgson said at the time that the visit was questionable considering it appeared to have been carried out by Dr Worth in his ministerial capacity, and that he admitted knowing the father of one of those blamed for the attack.
Acknowledgement: NZHERALD STAFF