POLITICS | New Zealand’s Ardern Wins 2nd Term In Election Landslide

AUCKLAND | NEW ZEALAND – New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern won a second term in office Saturday in an election landslide of historic proportions.

With most votes counted, Arden’s liberal Labour Party was winning 49% of the vote compared to 27% for its main challenger, the conservative National Party.

Labour was on target to win an outright majority of the seats in Parliament, something that hasn’t happened since New Zealand implemented a proportional voting system 24 years ago. Typically, parties must form alliance to govern, but this time Ardern and Labour can go it alone.

In a victory speech in front of hundreds of cheering supporters in Auckland, Ardern said her party had gotten more support from New Zealanders that at any time in at least 50 years.

‘This has not been an ordinary election, and it’s not an ordinary time’, she said. ‘It’s been full of uncertainty and anxiety, and we set out to be an antidote to that’.

Ardern promised not to take her new supporters for granted and to govern for all New Zealanders.

‘We are living in an increasingly polarized world, a place where, more and more, people have lost the ability to see on another’s point of view’, she said. ‘I think in this election, New Zealanders have shown that this is not who we are’.

A record number of voters cast early ballots in the two weeks leading up to the election.

On the campaign trail, Ardern was greeted like a rock star by people who crammed into malls and spilled onto streets to cheer her on and get selfies with her.

Her popularity soared earlier this year after she led a successful effort to stamp out the coronavirus.

There is currently no community spread of the virus in the nation of 5 million and people are no longer required to wear masks or social distance.

Ardern, 40, won the job after the 2017 election when Labour formed an alliance with two other parties. The following year, she became only the second world leader to give birth while in office.

She became a role model for working mothers around the world, many of whom say her as a counterpoint to President Donald Trump. And she was praised for her handling of last year’s attack on two Christchurch mosque, when a white supremacist gunned down 51 Muslim worshippers.

She moved quickly to pass new laws banning the deadliest types of semi-automatic  weapons.

In late March this year, when only about 100 people had tested positive for COVID-19, Ardern and her health officials put New Zealand into a strict lockdown with a motto of ‘Go hard and go early’. She shut the borders and outlined an ambitious goal of eliminating the virus entirely rather than just trying to control its spread.

With New Zealand having the advantage of being an isolated island nation, the strategy worked. The country eliminated community transmission for 102 days before a new cluster was discovered in August in Auckland. Ardern swiftly imposed a second lockdown in Auckland and the new outbreak  faded away. The only new cases found recently have been among returning travelers, who are in quarantine.

The Auckland outbreak also prompted Ardern to postpone the election by a month and helped increase the early voter turnout.

The Auchland outbreak also prompted Arden to postpone the election by a month and helped increase the early voter turnout.

The National Party’s leader, Judith Collins, is a former lawyer. She served as a minister when National was in power and prides herself on a blunt, no-nonsense approach, contrast to Ardern’s empathetic style. Collins, 61, was promising sweeping tax cuts in response to the economic downturn caused by virus.

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince Receives Phone Call From French President Macron

RIYADH – – Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has received a phone call from French President Emmanuel Macron in which they discussed bilateral relations. ‘During the call, they reviewed relations between the two countries and opportunities for joint cooperation. Regional and international developments were discussed, and a number of issues of common interest … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince Receives Phone Call From French President Macron

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi To Reopen Qatar Embassy In Coming Days – Saudi Minister

RIYADH – – Saudi Arabia expects to re-open its embassy in Qatar in the coming days, Saudi’s foreign minister said on Saturday, following a U.S.-backed détente last week in a three – year-old dispute between Arab states. It is just a matter a logistics, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan told journalists in Riyadh … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi To Reopen Qatar Embassy In Coming Days – Saudi Minister

SPORTS | Formula One Season Set To Start In Bahrain After Australian Grand Prix Postponement

MILAN – – The start of the Formula One season has been delayed after the Australian Grand Prix was postponed from March to November because of the COVID-19 pandemic.The Australian race in Melbourne has been rescheduled from March 21 to November 21. The Chinese GP has also been delayed but no new date has been … Continue reading SPORTS | Formula One Season Set To Start In Bahrain After Australian Grand Prix Postponement

BREAKING NEWS | Investments In Saudi Arabia’s Economy Will Reach Six Trillion Dollars: Crown Prince

AL ULA – – Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman says major investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia will amount to six trillion dollars over the next ten years, including 3 trillion dollars in investments in new projects, within the framework of the opportunities provided by Vision 2030, reported Saudi Press Agency. Saudi Arabia’s Crown … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Investments In Saudi Arabia’s Economy Will Reach Six Trillion Dollars: Crown Prince

TRAVEL | Saudi Arabia Warns Citizens Against Travel To 12 Countries Without Approval Over Virus Fears

RIYADH – – Saudi Arabia warned on Wednesday its citizens against travel without prior approval to 12 countries where the coronavirus pandemic is still not under control.The Interior Ministry said the countries were Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iran, Turkey, Somalia, Armenia, Congo, Afghanistan, Venezuela and Belarus.It added that the same permission applies to other countries … Continue reading TRAVEL | Saudi Arabia Warns Citizens Against Travel To 12 Countries Without Approval Over Virus Fears

ROYALS | Oman Sultan’s Eldest Son Dhi Yazan To Succeed Him, Becoming First Crown Prince

RIYADH – – Oman’s Sultan Haitham will be succeeded by his eldest son Dhi Yazan, according to a new basic law published on Tuesday that creates a new position of crown prince and established succession from ruler to the eldest son. Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al-Said has announced plans for the constitutional change on Monday, … Continue reading ROYALS | Oman Sultan’s Eldest Son Dhi Yazan To Succeed Him, Becoming First Crown Prince

SOCIAL MEDIA | YouTube Suspends Trump’s Channel After Violating Policy On Inciting Violence

Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube said on Tuesday it has suspended Donald Trump’s channel as it violated policies for inciting violence after last week’s assault on the U.S. Capitol by the president’s supporters. Online platforms and social media companies are distancing themselves from, and taking action against, those that encouraged or engaged in the violence in Washington, … Continue reading SOCIAL MEDIA | YouTube Suspends Trump’s Channel After Violating Policy On Inciting Violence

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