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Final tally in NZ election strengthens Labour in negotiation talks

Final tally in NZ election strengthens Labour in negotiation talks

WELLINGTON, Oct 7 (Reuters) A possible Labour-Green coalition narrowed the gap with the ruling National Party in New Zealand's final election tally, strengthening their position ahead of talks on Sunday with the small nationalist party which holds the balance of power. The final Sept. 23 election results released on Saturday showed National won 56 seats and Labour and Greens together took 54 seats, leaving them both reliant on New Zealand First's nine seats to meet the 61 seats needed for a majority in parliament in New Zealand's proportional representation system. National lost two seats to the Labour-Green bloc compared with preliminary results - a development which Labour leader Jacinda Ardern said buoyed their position at the negotiating table. "We will continue our negotiations in earnest with potential support parties beginning this weekend," Ardern told reporters in Auckland. "This now means that we have a strengthened mandate to negotiate and form a durable, stable coalition government." Ardern, 37, took over the Labour leadership nearly two months before the election, quickly drawing comparisons with youthful, cosmopolitan leaders like Canada’s Justin Trudeau and France’s Emmanuel Macron. She has almost single-handedly brought Labour to within reach of forming government. New Zealand First said in an emailed statement that it would hold discussions on Sunday with the National Party at midday and with the Labour Party in the afternoon. New Zealand First leader Winston Peters told local media that knowing the facts "puts us in a better position to make judgements". Peters has said he would only make a decision on which party to back after the final tally and after the results become official on Oct. 12. Prime Minister Bill English told reporters in Queenstown that the final results did not change the nature of the negotiations, which would now likely focus on the economy. "I don't think it weakens it significantly at all," he said, referring to National's negotiating position. "The fundamentals haven't altered, and that is National has significantly more seats than Labour, we are larger than a Labour-Greens combination." POLICIES If New Zealand First chooses to go with Labour, which are thought to have more in common in terms of policy, the gain in seats for the Labour-Greens bloc would make it easier for Peters to justify the move, analysts said. Both parties have said they want to curb immigration, renegotiate certain trade deals and adjust the role of the central bank albeit in different ways. "If Labour, the Greens and NZ First had formed a government with a majority of one (seat)...that wouldn't have sat comfortably with many people," Richard Shaw, politics professor at Massey University, refering to preliminary results. A Labour, Greens, NZ First coalition would now hold a three-seat majority after the final tally. But some say Peters could be swayed to go to National given it would be a straightforward coalition between two parties. Peters, a veteran New Zealand politician who has now held the balance of power three times, has in past elections formed coalition governments with both the National Party and Labour. The National Party won 44.4 percent of the votes, the Labour Party 36.9 percent, New Zealand First 7.2 percent, the Green Party 6.3 percent. REUTERS SV 1334

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B'desh JS passes Digital Security Bill pertaining to punishment for illegal access to info on state affairs

19 Sep 2018 | 9:32 PM

Dhaka, Sep 19 ( UNI) The "Digital Security Bill, 2018" was passed in the Bangladesh parliament keeping a provision of minimum seven years and maximum fourteen years imprisonment and monetary fine of minimum Tk2.

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Hasina says her govt firmly believes in freedom of press in Bangladesh

Hasina says her govt firmly believes in freedom of press in Bangladesh

19 Sep 2018 | 7:51 PM

By Mir Afroz Zaman
Dhaka, Sep 19 (UNI) Reiterating that her government firmly believes in the freedom of press, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday urged the journalists to play a constructive and responsible role that will be helpful for the country's development.

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Its actually survival of the laziest!

19 Sep 2018 | 7:30 PM

Washington, Sep 19 (UNI) Being couch potato is not such a bad thing after all, with a recent study suggesting that laziness might be a fruitful strategy for survival of individuals, species and even communities of species.

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Now, gut bacteria to produce electricity

19 Sep 2018 | 6:59 PM

California, Sep 19 (UNI) Scientists from University of California, Berkeley have found an unusual source of electricity in the human body- the gut bacteria!
While bacteria that produce electricity have been found in exotic environments like mines and the bottoms of lakes, researchers have discovered that a common diarrhoea-causing bacterium, Listeria monocytogenes, which produces electricity using an entirely different technique from known electrogenic bacteria.

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Sentences of Nawaz, Maryam, Safdar suspended

Sentences of Nawaz, Maryam, Safdar suspended

19 Sep 2018 | 6:34 PM

Islamabad, Sep 19 (UNI) The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday ordered the release from jail of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt Safdar, suspending the sentences they received from an accountability court in July.

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