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.

CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN ALERT | France Restricts Outdoor Movement Under New Covid-19 Lockdown, PM Says

PARIS | FRANCE – – French people will only be allowed to leave the house for food shopping, commuting to work, medical or pressing family reason, Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Thursday after France ordered new lockdown to curb a second wave of coronavirus infections. Castex also said in a news conference that outdoor … Continue reading CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN ALERT | France Restricts Outdoor Movement Under New Covid-19 Lockdown, PM Says

travel | Dubai Miracle Garden Set To Welcome Visitors On 1st November

ABU DHABI – – Dubai Miracle Garden, the largest natural flower garden in the world, returns for its ninth season on Sunday, 1 November, promising visitors a truly memorable experience with its magnificent display of intricately designed bloom. The park is set to reopen under stringent health and safety protocols designed to ensure visitors can … Continue reading travel | Dubai Miracle Garden Set To Welcome Visitors On 1st November

NEWS ALERT | United States Condemns Attacks By Iran – Backed Houthis Against Saudi Arabia

WASHINGTON – The United States Of America has condemned attacks by the Iranian – backed Houthis against civilians and civilian objects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In a statement issued Thursday, the U.S. Department of State expressed in condemnation and denunciation of these attacks which were launched indiscriminately towards Riyadh, and risked the lives … Continue reading NEWS ALERT | United States Condemns Attacks By Iran – Backed Houthis Against Saudi Arabia

BUSINESS | White House Moves Ahead With Sale Of F-35 Jets To UAE – Sources

WASHINGTON – The White House notified Congress it intends to sell  50 5-35 fighter jets made by Lockheed Martin to the United Arab Emirates, setting up a potential showdown with the U.S. legislature, which could vote to block the sales, sources said on Thursday. The United States and the UAE aim to have a letter … Continue reading BUSINESS | White House Moves Ahead With Sale Of F-35 Jets To UAE – Sources

BUSINESS | Tiffany And LVMH Could Patch Things Up With Cut-Price Deal

U.S. jeweler Tiffany & Co and French luxury goods giant LVMH are in talks to settle their dispute over $16 billion takeover at a price slightly lower than that initially agreed, sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. The negotiations were based on a price in the range of $131 – $134 for each … Continue reading BUSINESS | Tiffany And LVMH Could Patch Things Up With Cut-Price Deal

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Arabia Condemns Nice Church Attack

RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – Saudi Arabia condemned an attack at a church in the southern French city of Nice that killed three people on Thursday. The Kingdom’s foreign ministry expressed its categorical rejection of the extremist attack in Notre Dame Basilica and others like it, and said that they are inconsistent with all religions, … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Arabia Condemns Nice Church Attack

SPORTS | Racing In The Streets: Jeddah To Host First Saudi F1 Grand Prix

Saudi Arabia’s inaugural Formula 1 Grand Prix next year will take place on the city streets of Jeddah. The Saudi Grand Prix appears on the provisional F1 calendar for 2021 that has been distributed to race teams. It is expected to be the penultimate race of the 2021 season, which will conclude with the Abu … Continue reading SPORTS | Racing In The Streets: Jeddah To Host First Saudi F1 Grand Prix

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