By Kim Choe
A man appears in court in Timaru on charges of injuring a nine-year-old, Gaza’s ceasefire hangs in the balance and there’s been a right royal blunder over photos of Prince William at work. Here is your lunchtime news wrap – bite-sized updates of local and international news delivered fresh every afternoon.
Court appearance in Timaru abduction case
A 26-year-old man has been remanded in custody after being charged with grievous bodily harm and wounding with intent after the alleged abduction of a nine-year-old boy last week. He did not enter a plea. The Oceanview Heights School pupil was found distressed and with facial injuries on Thursday afternoon. He is still in hospital but is recovering well. Police say the arrested man and the boy knew each other.
How Hobbiton was born
Once upon a time on a farm not all that far away, Hobbiton was born. But why was Matamata chosen as the location and how has it changed the town?
The run-up to The Hobbit’s world premiere has been far from a fairytale for Warner Bros though. After yesterday’s accusations of animal cruelty on the set of The Hobbit, it has emerged today that the executors of Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkein are suing studio bosses at Warner Bros for US$80 million. They’re claiming copyright breaches, saying the studio created online gambling machines and other digital merchandise based on the trilogy’s characters without their permission.
Gaza ceasefire hangs in the balance
Despite the efforts of representatives from the United Nations, Egypt and the United States, there is still no ceasefire deal over the Gaza Strip. Hamas officials earlier said they were close to reaching an agreement with Israel, but have since pulled back on that. Israel says discussions are ongoing and has meanwhile intensified its attacks on Gaza.
Also in Gaza, masked gunmen have publicly shot dead six people suspected of passing information to Israel about Hamas fighters and rocket launching sites.
Elmo puppeteer resigns from Sesame Street
It’s a sad day for Sesame Street with the announcement that puppeteer Kevin Clash has resigned in the wake of a second allegation that he had sex with an under-aged youth. Clash had worked on Sesame Street for 28 years and created Elmo, the popular red Muppet with a high-pitched voice. A lawsuit has been filed in a New York court by Cecil Singleton, who alleges he was sexually abused by Clash as a 15-year-old.
Rugby league shoulder charges outlawed
Opinion is divided over the Australian Rugby League Commission’s decision to outlaw shoulder charges in the NRL and all other competitions. It’s being welcomed by New Zealand rugby league bosses and sports doctors, but many fans and some players are sorely disappointed that one of the game’s hallmarks is no longer.
Odd bite: Right royal security stuff-up
An embarrassing security blunder by Britain’s defence ministry saw photos of Prince William at work released without security clearance. Some of the photos showed usernames, passwords and computer screens on a restricted system, but others showed the Prince making his bed, preparing a cup of tea and hanging out with his colleagues – just being a normal bloke, really. The photos were quickly pulled from the Prince’s official website but were re-released a short time later