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~ Happy Hol idays

inbrief news First editions 2018 Wellington Suburban Newspapers will be up and running again in the new year. The first issue for the Independent Herald in 2018 will be January 10, while the first 2018 issue for the Cook Strait News will be on January 11.

Don’t hit the road, motorcyclists told ACC wants motorcyclists to get home safely by riding within their capabilities, and to the conditions. Last summer holidays ACC had 152 claims from motorcycle crashes – three of them fatal. ACC’s Motorcycle Safety manager Dave Keilty says crash statistics show motorbike riders are 21 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured than motorists driving a car. “The actions of the rider either wholly or partly contribute to 62 per cent of all motorcycle crashes,” says Dave. “We want people to enjoy the road, not hit the road.”

The year before was exceptional in its number of shocks and surprises, but 2017 had its fair share as well. We have chosen five of the most memorable events to shape the year. 1. The rise of Jacinda Ardern

She was still only 36 when she became Labour’s deputy leader in March following her win in the Mt Albert by-election. With Labour’s poll ratings in the doldrums under Andrew Little’s leadership, the party brought her to the helm at the start of August, just six weeks before an election most pundits thought National would win comfortably. While National did win the most votes, the “Jacinda effect” ensured Labour’s share was high enough to entice NZ First into a three-way coalition with the Greens, thus making Jacinda Ardern New Zealand’s youngest Prime Minister in more than 150 years and the youngest female head of government of any country. 2. British Lions draw their series with the All Blacks

While Warren Gatland’s men were expected to be tough, history shows the All Blacks have always been the dominant team when it comes to these once-in12-year tours.

The top five unexpected moments of 2017 So when the Lions managed to pip the home team 24-21 in the second test, thanks in part to the red-carding of Sonny Bill Williams, the unthinkable became possible. As it transpired, the unthinkable didn’t quite happen in the third test, but it was highly improbable all the same – a draw. That meant Kieran Read had to awkwardly share the spoils with a jubilant Sam Warburton. 3. Hollywood’s sick underbelly exposed

It began with the retweeting of a hashtag called #metoo by actress Alyssa Milano, who was encouraged to share her story of sexual assault and harassment at the hands of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. The hashtag soon went viral as dozens of women came forward of similar claims against Weinstein, with others also sharing their own stories of abuse. Weinstein’s behaviour was an open secret that had finally been exposed for what it was, leading to his expulsion from Hollywood

and criminal investigations. Yet other celebrities became implicated for sexual misconduct, including actor Kevin Spacey and director James Toback. The snowballing of allegations and their impact became known as the “Weinstein effect”. 4. Robert Mugabe forced to resign

The former president of Zimbabwe had been comfortably re-elected, albeit under strong suspicion of vote-rigging, at every poll throughout his 37-year reign since independence. But while it began benignly enough, Mugabe oversaw an economy that had collapsed to the point whereby inflation was more than 100,000 percent and unemployment was as high as 80 percent, while he and his cronies lived in the lap of luxury. Eventually the military lost patience with him when he planned to have his wife “Gucci” Grace Mugabe succeed him upon his death. Following a protracted “coup that was not a coup”, the 93-year-

old finally stepped down, though will remain immune to any prosecution for his litany of alleged crimes while in office. 5. Roy Moore fails to win Alabama

This event was significant in that the US state of Alabama had not elected a Democrat since 1992 and being the heart of the conservative Bible belt meant the chance of it happening any time soon under normal circumstances was about as likely as a space alien arriving on Earth. But these weren’t normal circumstances – the Republican nominee had refused to drop out of the senatorial race despite a string of sexual assault allegations levelled against him and his backing by the deeply unpopular President Donald Trump did not help. The election result on December 12 was very tight, but it nonetheless went to Democratic nominee Doug Jones in a surprise upset that seemed to also reflect public disenchantment with Trump himself.

Residents turn on their festive spirit

Two of a number of houses around Wellington that lit up for Christmas, in Miramar North Road, left, and Hobart Street, above. PHOTOS: Julia Czerwonatis and Jamie Adams

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Independent Herald 26-12-17  

Independent Herald 26-12-17

Independent Herald 26-12-17  

Independent Herald 26-12-17