Christchurch declares emergency amid storm
CHRISTCHURCH • The largest city on New Zealand's southern island has declared a state of emergency amid a severe storm which has already led to hundreds of homes being evacuated across the country, highways being cut off and soldiers called in to help provide emergency services.
The New Zealand Defence Force mobilised additional troops overnight on Friday. Christchurch declared a state of emergency after the Heathcote River burst its banks and flooded southern parts of the city yesterday, becoming the fourth area to do so because of the storm.
US warship crew found 'likely at fault' in collision
WASHINGTON • The crew of the USS Fitzgerald was "likely at fault" in the warship's collision with a Philippine cargo ship last month and had not been paying attention to the surroundings, according to initial findings in an investigation, a US defence official told Reuters.
Multiple United States and Japanese investigations are under way into how the USS Fitzgerald, a guided missile destroyer, and the much larger ACX Crystal container ship collided in clear weather south of Tokyo Bay in the early hours of June 17. Seven sailors died on the US vessel.
Timor Leste votes for new Parliament
DILI (Timor Leste) • Voters in Timor Leste headed to the polls to elect a new Parliament yesterday as Asia's youngest democracy battles economic challenges 15 years after gaining independence from Indonesia.
About 760,000 people were expected to cast their votes for candidates from 21 parties, in the first parliamentary elections since the departure of United Nations peacekeepers in 2012.
The polls come at a tough time for the country, with oil reserves running dry while the government struggles to resolve a long-running row with Australia over lucrative energy fields.