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Historic test less than a week away

Keven Mealamu describes what the test means for him

Keven Mealamu, one of the hardest men to wear the All Blacks jersey, has described what it means for him to play in Samoa.

  • General Mills' sales hit by shoppers' turn against cereal

    General Mills Inc.'s fourth-quarter profit fell and its revenue fell short of expectations as it deals with shoppers who are skipping the cereal aisle. The maker of Cheerios cereal, Yoplait yogurt and other packaged foods saw both sales and profit decline in the U.S. retail segment of its business. Big packaged food makers have been stung by shoppers' interest in foods they see as healthier or more natural.

    Associated Press
  • Gulf states reach $18.7B settlement with BP over oil spill

    BP and five Gulf states announced a record $18.7 billion settlement Thursday that resolves years of legal fighting over the environmental and economic damage done by the energy giant's oil spill in 2010. The settlement, if accepted by a federal judge, would end a yearslong battle between BP and the U.S. government over Clean Water Act penalties after a judge ruled the company was grossly negligent in the nearly 134 million gallon spill. It would resolve the states' natural resources damage claims and settle economic claims involving state and local governments in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, according to an outline filed in federal court.

    Associated Press
  • Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner divorcing because of Jennifer Lopez

    Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, 43, split up because of Jennifer Lopez. The Hollywood couple - known as Bennifer - announced their divorce on Tuesday (30.06.15) - just a day after their tenth wedding anniversary, and, according to friends, one of the reasons for the break-up was the 42-year-old actor's continued friendship with his ex-fiancée J-Lo, 45. A friend said: "Everyone is talking about J-Lo and Ben and saying it's inevitable they will get together again at some point.

    Bang Showbiz
  • Mystery surrounds deaths in Canterbury

    The bodies of a woman and three children have been found at a Canterbury house with police unable to confirm how they died. The relatives who found the bodies are co-operating with police. Police have been unable to confirm the cause of death, but a team of 30 officers, forensic experts and detectives are continuing to investigate.

    NZ Newswire
  • Kendra Wilkinson: 'Motherhood has given me the body I always wanted'

    Kendra Wilkinson Baskett has the body she's always wanted after having two children. The former Playboy model is mother to Hank Jr, five, and Alijah, 13 months, with husband Hank Baskett, and is no longer concerned with having a flawless figure. Kendra said: "I'm not trying to be perfect anymore.

    Bang Showbiz
  • Special Report - How Greece went bust

    The Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras sat on one side, along with a translator and Angela Merkel, the German chancellor. In this modest Brussels setting last Friday morning, key players in the great Greek debt drama tried to avert a meltdown that could threaten the future of the euro and even the European Union (EU). Merkel and Hollande made a final offer of billions of euros in aid for bankrupt Greece – if Tsipras would sign up to economic reforms demanded by his country's creditors.

    Reuters
  • Greeks struggle with daily grind as foreigners head to beach

    With cash withdrawals cut to 60 euros ($67) per day, many Greeks aren't spending in restaurants for fear that they will run out of cash they would need if a family member got ill or another serious problem developed. On the streets of the Greek capital, resplendent in the early days of summer, there's still a veneer of normalcy — at least for foreigners, who aren't affected by the draconian rules imposed on Greeks.

    Associated Press
  • Robot kills man at Volkswagen plant

    A robot has killed a contractor at one of Volkswagen's production plants in Germany, the car manufacturer says. The man died on Monday at the plant in Baunatal, about 100km north of Frankfurt, VW spokesman Heiko Hillwig said. Hillwig said initial conclusions indicate that human error was to blame, rather than a problem with the robot, which can be programmed to perform various tasks in the assembly process.

    AAP
  • Taiwan pilot shut off engine before air crash: report

    The pilot of a passenger plane that crashed in Taiwan killing 43 people shut down the aircraft's only working engine, exclaiming: "Wow, pulled back wrong throttle," seconds before the disaster, investigators said Thursday. TransAsia Airways Flight GE235 clipped a bridge and plunged into a river shortly after take-off from Taipei's Songshan airport in February with 53 passengers and five crew on board. Disturbing cockpit transcripts released by Taiwan's Aviation Safety Council revealed the pilots trying to deal with an engine that had lost power, but then reducing the thrust of the other, functioning engine.

    AFP
  • Tiger touts progress as new romance reported

    Tiger Woods expects some improvements, however slight, in his game when the PGA Greenbrier Classic begins Thursday even as he was romantically linked to a rival's ex-wife on Wednesday. Obviously, that's not saying much," Woods said. Woods, the former world number one who has slumped to 220th in the rankings, makes his only tuneup for the British Open in two weeks at St. Andrews against a field whose only top-10 rival is third-ranked Bubba Watson, the two-time Masters champion coming off a PGA victory last week.

    AFP
  • NZ dollar touches fresh lows as weakening economy stokes calls for interest rate cuts

    The New Zealand dollar touched its lowest level in more than five years against the greenback and the pound, and its lowest against the Australian dollar in a year and a half, after signs the economy is slowing stoked expectations the Reserve Bank would make further interest rate cuts. New Zealand's economy is showing further signs of weakening, after business confidence turned pessimistic for the first time in four years, while growth in building consents stalled, and farmer confidence slumped to the lowest level in a decade amid low dairy prices. Traders are pricing in an 84 percent chance that Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler will reduce the benchmark interest rate at this month's meeting, according to the overnight index swap curve, and Deutsche Bank said a further two cuts were likely in September and October, taking the benchmark to 2.5 percent.

    BusinessDesk
  • Third West Coast hotel bar closed

    It's been a rough week for West Coast pub owners with a third bar in the region being shut down for letting patrons have a few too many. The Railway Hotel in Greymouth will have its on-licence suspended later this month for "allowing intoxication" and disorderly conduct after a fight broke out at the pub and two women were found to be "extremely intoxicated" at the bar. Earlier in the week, the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority handed Revington's Hotel a hefty two-week suspension after its eighth licence breach.

    NZ Newswire
  • In first, IS beheads two Syria women for 'sorcery': NGO

    Islamic State jihadists have beheaded two women in Syria for "witchcraft and sorcery", a monitor said on Tuesday, in the group's first known decapitation of female civilians. Meanwhile, IS re-entered the town of Tal Abyad on the Turkish border, seized from it by Kurdish forces two weeks ago, and took back one district, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights added. Rami Abdel Rahman, the Britain-based watchdog's chief, said IS "executed two women by beheading them in Deir Ezzor province... the first time the Observatory has documented women being killed by the group in this manner".

    AFP
  • $15k fine for ignoring safety rules

    Inspectors with workplace health and safety watchdog WorkSafe issued L&L Marriott Holdings Limited a prohibition notice in March last year after a site visit found serious safety failings. Spray painting was being carried out with no extraction system and there were unsafe lights and electrical sources in the same area creating a risk of explosion. The company was stopped from spray painting until the problems were rectified but the ban was breached three times during the year putting employees at risk, said WorkSafe.

    NZ Newswire
  • Supertramp co-founder relishes role in 'service industry'

    Roger Hodgson no longer packs stadiums and doesn't even use the name of his old band, Supertramp, but that doesn't bother him. Music, he says, should be seen as a service industry. As his estranged former co-frontman Rick Davies keeps playing as Supertramp, Hodgson has been touring consistently, but more quietly, for the past 15 years and says he feels more comfortable on the smaller stages.

    AFP
  • Hulk Hogan can wear bandana in court

    Hulk Hogan must wear a "plain" bandana in court. The 61-year-old wrestler has been granted permission to wear his trademark headwear during his upcoming sex tape trial against website Gawker, but he must be referred to by his real name, Terry Gene Bollea, Judge Pamela Campbell ruled on Monday (27.06.15). The WWE legend is seeking $100 million in damages from the website after they published a brief, grainy clip of him having sex with Heather Cole, the then wife of his ex-best friend Bubba 'The Love Sponge' Clem.

    Bang Showbiz
  • Consumer Reports finds some newer cars burn too much oil

    Newer cars aren't supposed to need more oil between oil changes, but Consumer Reports found that some engines — mainly from Audi, BMW and Subaru — require an extra quart as often as once a month. In an annual survey of car owners, significant numbers reported what the magazine considered to be excessive oil consumption. Consumer Reports focused on 2010 to 2014 models and called on automakers to make repairs under the powertrain warranty or to extend warranties.

    Associated Press
  • F1 fans want change without gimmicks, survey shows

    Formula One fans want change but without gimmicks or knee-jerk reactions to a sport many now describe as expensive and boring, according to a survey carried out with the backing of leading drivers. The Grand Prix Drivers Association (GPDA) said in a statement on Wednesday that 217,756 fans from 194 countries had responded to the online survey between May 22 and June 8. "The fans are clear: they don’t want a radical overhaul of grand prix racing that takes it away from its historic roots," said GPDA chairman Alex Wurz.

    Reuters
  • 12 Things you need to know about buying an apartment as an investment (part one)

    Apartments can be a great option for property investors. The body corporate fee includes a professional building manager who often lives onsite and whose duties are the daily management of the complex. Essentially anything to do with the building, other than what’s inside your apartment, the body corporate fee takes care of.

    Yahoo Finance
  • Auckland property boom spreads wider

    New Zealand property values have risen at their fastest pace in more than a year, as a shortage of homes in Auckland prompted house-hunters to cast their net wider to surrounding areas. National property values accelerated 9.3 per cent in the 12 months through June to an average $520,585, matching the pace in February last year. Values in the Auckland region surged 17 per cent to $840,165, the fastest pace since 2004, according to state-owned agency Quotable Value.

    NZ Newswire