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Lunchtime news wrap: Thursday December 6, 2012

Thursday 6 Dec 2012 12:52 p.m.

A judge rules Dotcom can seek damages from the GCSB, Australian radio DJs apologise after prank calling Kate Middleton’s nurse and moustache transplants are all the rage in the Middle East. Here is your lunchtime news wrap – bite-sized updates of local and international news delivered fresh every afternoon.

Dotcom taking GCSB to court

The High Court has ruled internet mogul Kim Dotcom can seek damages from the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) for illegally spying on him. The decision means the GCSB’s actions will come under scrutiny in open court and could also cause further delay to the start of Dotcom’s extradition hearing, which is due to start in the middle of next year.

Charges unlikely after Bay of Plenty manhunt

Police say the man who prompted a large-scale search yesterday is unlikely to face charges, but will have his mental health assessed. The 26-year-old was pulled over in Napier following a hunt that began in Cambridge over fears he had taken his wife and two children hostage. The vehicle they were in was spotted driving dangerously erratically but the woman and children are safe and well.

Typhoon Bopha kills hundreds in Philippines

A powerful typhoon in the southern Philippines has left around 300 people dead, with authorities saying entire families have been reported missing. That toll is expected to rise as some areas have been isolated by landslides, floods and downed communications. More than 170,000 people are in evacuation centres and the Red Cross is urgently trying to raise US$4.8m to help those affected by the storm.

Apologies all round after right royal prank

The Australian radio DJs who prank called Kate Middleton’s hospital have apologised for impersonating Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles to get information about the pregnant duchess’ condition. The DJs say they were surprised their call got put through, given their “terrible accents”. The King Edward VII Hospital has also had to apologise for breaching patient confidentiality, saying it is now reviewing its telephone protocols. Oh, and in case you were wondering, the nurse said Kate was fine and hadn’t been retching.

Cold brew coffee hot this summer

Move over Frappucinos – there’s a new cold coffee in town and it’s going to be hot this summer. Several boutique roasters have developed cold brews, which are made by steeping roasted, ground coffee beans in cold water for eight to 12 hours before serving. The resulting taste is milder and sweeter than traditional espresso but the production method is so labour-intensive that roasters are having a hard time keeping up with demand.

Odd bite: Surgery can help achieve the perfect moustache

With Movember over for another year, most moustaches have gone down the gurgler. But those still despairing about their inability to grow the facial accessory might consider surgery. Follicular unit extraction (FUE) is becoming increasingly popular in the Middle East, where moustaches have long been a symbol of masculinity and social status. The same can’t be said for New Zealand though, where doctors say a moustache transplant would be possible, but is unheard of.

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