June 17, 2016

Top News Stories –

New Zealand pays people to leave Auckland –
New Zealand is offering cash to people in its largest city who need social housing – if they’re willing to move to another part of the country. The scheme launches in Auckland on Monday, and is part of efforts to tackle the city’s housing crisis, the New Zealand Herald reports. Anyone willing to up sticks will get a grant of up to NZ$5,000 ($3,500; £2,500), as long as they’re currently eligible for social housing. The government is stressing that it’s a voluntary scheme aimed at removing the “cost barrier” that could prevent people from moving to less-populated areas, where they may already have family or other connections. Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett says 130 have voiced an interest in the scheme so far, and that the scheme will help people deal with “a very tight housing market”. Auckland has seen house prices boom in recent years, and a shortage of affordable housing has left some families living in dire conditions. In May, a Salvation Army spokesman said some streets in South Auckland had people living in every garage. Other families have been found living under bridges and one had taken refuge in a shipping container. [BBC]

Video of the Day –

Simon Beck – Snowartist from #inspirasjonstryn on Vimeo.

Other News Stories –

Armed conflicts and attacks
Iraqi Civil War (2014–present), Military intervention against ISIL, Third Battle of Fallujah
The Iraqi government recaptures the main government compound in Fallujah. (AFP via Daily Mail)
Kurdish separatism in Iran
2016 West Iran clashes
Kurdish rebels and Iranian Revolutionary guards clash in Oshnavieh, killing 12 rebels and three guards. There is dispute over who the rebels were. Iranian authorities claim it was the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan movement while a member of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan claimed their group was responsible for the fighting. (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)
Boko Haram insurgency
Boko Haram militants attack a funeral in the village of Kuda in the Adamawa State of Nigeria, killing 18 women, with more reportedly still missing. (Al Jazeera)
Insurgency in the North Caucasus
Four Russian security officers and six militants are killed in an anti-terrorism operation in Dagestan. (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)
Business and economy
The U.S. Justice Department has decided against an action against Angelo Mozilo, former chief executive of Countrywide Financial, arising out of the issuance of mortgage backed securities during his tenure there. (Reuters).
Disasters and accidents
EgyptAir Flight 804
The second flight recorder from the wreckage of ill-fated EgyptAir Flight 804 is recovered from the crash site in the Mediterranean Sea. (Channel News Asia)
A wildfire in Santa Barbara County, California doubles in size overnight to 4,000 acres. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office says mandatory evacuations remain in effect for areas such as El Capitán State Beach. The blaze is currently 5% contained, according to Los Padres National Forest officials. (Los Angeles Times)
Law and crime
2002 Gujarat riots
A court in India sentences dozens of people to prison, some of them for life, for their roles in riots that killed 69 Muslims in the city of Ahmedabad in 2002. (BBC)
2016 Summer Olympics
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) upholds its ban on Russian track and field athletes participating in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro due to various doping scandals. IOC officials plan to gather next Tuesday to discuss the matter further. (BBC)
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