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A newly designed Barbie doll now comes equipped with hearing aids.

Actress Rose Ayling-Ellis has teamed up with Barbie to release their first doll with hearing aids.

The EastEnders actor made history as the first deaf contestant to win UK’s Strictly Come Dancing in 2021.

Mattel, the company that make Barbie, are bringing out a new line of dolls which include the first Ken doll with vitiligo, one with a prosthetic limb and another with a wheelchair.

The company worked with experts to make sure the doll accurately portrayed the hearing aids.

The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is providing support in the Westport, Greymouth and the Nelson-Tasman areas following the severe weather in the South Island.

The New Zealand Army currently has 14 personnel from Burnham Military Camp deployed to the West Coast to assist local authorities. Personnel are located in Westport with the Buller Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and in Greymouth with the Westland Regional Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC). Personnel have assisted with the delivery of supplies, weather barriers, sandbagging and an evacuation.

The Royal New Zealand Air Force has deployed 25 personnel from Base Woodbourne to assist the Nelson Tasman EOC.

The New Zealand Army Reserve Unit in Nelson, 2nd/4th Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (RNZIR) assisted the Nelson Tasman EOC last night with one Liaison Officer and five Reservists with a Unimog truck, they helped 10 Nelson residents leave their properties. 2/4 RNZIR now remains on standby if required.

By the numbers:

In Westport:

  • One Army liaison officer embedded at the EOC
  • Six personnel
  • Two UNIMOG trucks
  • One HX60 MHOV truck (with crane)

In Greymouth:

  • One Army liaison officer embedded at the ECC
  • Six personnel
  • One UNIMOG truck
  • One HX58 MHOV truck (with crane)
  • One HX60 MHOV truck

In Nelson:

  • One RNZAF liaison officer embedded at the EOC
  • 25 personnel
  • Two UNIMOG trucks
  • Three 4×4 vehicles
  • One ten seater van

NZDF personnel are ready to assist as directed by the civil authorities. 

The Black Caps have been beaten by West Indies in their first One Day International.

Chasing just 191 to win on Thursday (NZ time), the West Indies cantered to victory with 11 overs to spare.

The small target was set after New Zealand were all out for just 190 in the 46th over.

Kane Williamson top scored with 34, while Michael Bracewell and Mitchell Santner added some respectability to the innings with a 40-run seventh wicket partnership.

In reply the West Indies No 3 Shamarh Brooks played the key role in the successful chase, making 79.

The result broke New Zealand’s 10-match winning streak in ODIs and also ended the hosts’ nine-game losing run.

The second of three games was also in Bridgetown, Barbados on Saturday morning.

A dinosaur the size of a cat has been discovered by scientists.

The previously unknown dinosaur was discovered in southern Argentina.

Its fossilised remains were dug up near a dam in Patagonia in Rio Negro province’s La Buitrera paleontological zone.

The scientists believe the creature, named Jakapil kaniukura, lived about 100 million years ago and is likely to have walked upright on its back legs.

Lead paleontologist Sebastian Apesteguia and his colleagues found a partial skeleton of the tiny dino along with 15 tooth fragments featuring a leaf-like shape, similar to iguana teeth.

A state of emergency has been declared in the Nelson region following torrential rain and flooding.

More than 200 homes have been evacuated in Nelson after the Maitai River burst its banks.

It is a similar situation across the West Coast after severe weather warnings were raised to red for Buller and Westland.

NIWA said the Tasman region got more than a month’s worth of rain in 15 hours today.

There are a number of road closures due to flooding and slips and people are being asked to stay off the roads.

MetService has updated its heavy rain warning for the Nelson region to red, saying the rain is expected to cause dangerous river conditions and significant flooding.

An orange heavy rain warning is also in place for Auckland and Northland.

All Black coach Ian Foster has been confirmed as the All Black coach until the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Foster’s job was on the line following a run of five defeats from their last seven games. However, the All Blacks produced one of the best performances in recent times to upset the Springboks at Ellis Park last Sunday.

Former Ireland coach now All Blacks selector and analyst Joe Schmidt will be given an expanded role with the team.

Foster said he was delighted to have the support of the board.

The All Blacks next test is against Argentina in Christchurch next Saturday.

Term 3 – Week 3 – Online Privacy

People may be leaving Facebook over privacy fears, but let’s face it, social media is here to stay. The worries surrounding being safe Facebook, Google and other social media enterprises is less about concerns about privacy and more about effectiveness. People are leaving Facebook but finding it hard to wipe their data from their page. If you want to give yourself an intriguing (or terrifying) hour or so, have a look at the data that Facebook or Google has on you. Sure, you can choose what your friends can and cannot see about you, but you can’t choose what Facebook does… They see everything!

Personally, I don’t have many deep dark secrets and so I don’t often worry about what I do online being tracked – because it’s all information I’ve chosen to share. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a weird thought and not one that I particularly enjoy, but I continue to check my Facebook almost every day and add to it often. The scary thing is though, Facebook sells our private information that we “give” them for their own profit. Companies pay huge amounts of money for this information, so they know exactly who to target with their advertisements, and what to target them with!

There is no denying that Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony started something a few years ago, as there has been a string of people closing their Facebook accounts since. However, there have also been a lot of stories about how hard it is to wipe your record even if you do close your account. At the time this happened people started claiming Facebook was going downhill, but it turned out to just be a bump in the road for them and they are now more popular than ever. However, it did make people think more about privacy.

But it’s not just Facebook. Those with a Google account can see exactly where they have been almost every day for the past year or so. For example, it can see you got the bus to go for lunch with a mate in Auckland one morning, the amount of time you took to get there and back, and the corner of the street where you ate. Even if you get rid of ALL these accounts, your phone tracks this information too. Who receives that information? Apple! Samsung! Huawei! MORE companies. More people who can sell this information, our information.

Like I said, social media is here to stay. You cannot get the toothpaste back in the tube. But when social media exists as it does today, our privacy is at risk. The market giants are too powerful. We need to combat this, or we may as well write a letter to ‘The Internet’ every evening telling them exactly what we ate, drank, did and said that day! 

In the meantime, these are my top tips for staying safe online:

  1. Keep Personal Information Professional and Limited.
  2. Keep Your Privacy Settings On.
  3. Practice Safe Browsing.
  4. Make Sure Your Internet Connection is Secure.
  5. Be Careful What You Download.
  6. Choose Strong Passwords.
  7. Make Online Purchases from Secure Sites.
  8. Be Careful What You Post.

Critical Questions:

  1. If this line of argument is right, what are the implications for society?
  2. What would be a solution for this problem? (Other than banning social media!)
  3. Who is responsible for this issue in the first place and who is responsible for solving it?

Practical Thinking Questions:

  1. Do you think this is an issue? Do you think it can be solved?
  2. How can you help protect your privacy online in the future? What can you do about your private information being shared in the past?
  3. Search up someone you don’t know online. See what you can find out about them without being “friends”.

A French freediver has broken his own world record when he descended to a depth of 119m.

Arnaud Jerald, 26, was wearing bi-fins when he broke the record for deepest dive at the annual Vertical Blue competition in the Bahamas.

Organizers said Jerald finished his dive with a time of 3 minutes and 34 seconds.

The dive marked the seventh time Jerald had broken the deepest dive record.