Poll: Jacinda Ardern on course for New Zealand election victory

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern became the country’s youngest leader in more than 150 years in 2017. (AP)
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Updated 27 September 2020

Poll: Jacinda Ardern on course for New Zealand election victory

  • Support for Jacainda Ardern’s Labour Party is at to 50.1 percent
  • Should the poll findings materialize, Ardern would govern without relying on any coalition partners

SYDNEY: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is poised to retain power at next month’s election, a widely watched poll showed on Sunday, although it said a recent COVID-19 outbreak has dented her support slightly.
A Newshub-Reid Research Poll released on Sunday showed support for Ardern’s Labour Party at to 50.1 percent, though this is down from the record 60.9 percent recorded earlier this year when New Zealand was widely lauded as a world leader in battling COVID-19.
Support for the main opposition National Party was at 29.6 percent, up 4.5 percentage points.
Should the poll findings materialize, Ardern would govern without relying on any coalition partners.
New Zealand was COVID-free for 102 days until a second wave hit Auckland last month.
Ardern became the country’s youngest leader in more than 150 years in 2017 after the kingmaker nationalist New Zealand First Party agreed to form a government with her Labour Party, ending the National Party’s decade in power.
Ardern, 40, also holds huge global appeal due to her response to last year’s attack by a white supremacist on two mosques, a fatal volcanic eruption and her success with the COVID-19 outbreak.


US judge delays extradition of Carlos Ghosn's accused escape plotters to Japan

Updated 29 October 2020

US judge delays extradition of Carlos Ghosn's accused escape plotters to Japan

  • Prosecutors say the Taylors facilitated a "brazen" escape in which Ghosn fled Japan on Dec. 29, 2019
  • Ghosn was awaiting trial on charges that he engaged in financial wrongdoing

BOSTON: A federal judge on Thursday granted a last-minute request to stop the US government from turning over to Japan two Massachusetts men to face charges that they helped smuggle former Nissan Motor Co Chairman Carlos Ghosn out of the country while he was awaiting trial on financial crimes.
US District Judge Indira Talwani in Boston granted a request by lawyers for US Army Special Forces veteran Michael Taylor and his son, Peter Taylor, to delay the transfer shortly before the two men were scheduled to be placed on a flight to Japan.
Their lawyers sought the delay after the State Department approved handing over the men, who in September lost a court challenge to their potential extradition. They were arrested in May at the request of Japanese authorities.
Taylors' lawyers and the State Department did not respond to requests for comment.
Prosecutors say the Taylors facilitated a "brazen" escape in which Ghosn fled Japan on Dec. 29, 2019, hidden in a box and on a private jet before reaching Lebanon, his childhood home, which has no extradition treaty with Japan.
Ghosn was awaiting trial on charges that he engaged in financial wrongdoing, including by understating his compensation in Nissan's financial statements. Ghosn denies wrongdoing.
The State Department notified the Taylors' lawyers of its decision on Wednesday.
US Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi, a Republican who has taken interest in the case, wrote on Twitter that he was "outraged" by the State Department's decision to extradite the two men. "This former Special Forces member and his son will not be treated fairly," he said.