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Five AA Australia-Evening Report: Across The Ditch with Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning – Poll Shows Opposition To US-led Spying + Cyclone Pam Update – Recorded on 19/03/15 [caption id="attachment_1205" align="alignleft" width="300"]Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning. Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.[/caption]ITEM ONE: Over two thirds of New Zealanders are opposed to the New Zealand Government’s signals intelligence base, the GCSB, taking part in US-led Five-Eyes global surveillance. That was the outcome of a worldwide poll commissioned by Amnesty International. (Ref; Amnesty International’s report: The Amnesty International report notes: “The United States shares the fruits of its mass surveillance programme with Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom under the Five Eyes Alliance. Even in these countries, more than three times as many people oppose US surveillance (70%) as support it (17%).” New Zealand Poll Results: “The poll revealed that of the 1008 New Zealanders polled nearly three times more people would oppose New Zealand government surveillance of the Internet and phone use of New Zealand citizens than those that approve it (63% vs 22%). “When it comes to the surveillance of people living in other countries more than half of those surveyed (53%) were opposed to the New Zealand government intercepting, storing and analysing internet use and mobile communications. “The release of these survey results come just weeks after revelations that New Zealand’s spy agency do indeed intercept communications from countries in the Pacific as well as Vietnam, China, India, Pakistan and South American nations, and shares the information with the United States.” ITEM TWO: New Zealanders on the North Island’s east coast have spent the week mopping up after ex Tropical Cyclone Pam bowled on through. Kiwis were on tender hooks Sunday and early Monday, fearing the huge weather bomb would swing westward and cause devastation here like it did in Vanuatu, Tuvalu, and parts of the Solomon Islands. But New Zealand was largely spared. When Cyclone Pam clobbered Vanuatu, it was graded a Category Five storm, more powerful than Hurricane Catrina, with winds in excess of 300 kilometres per hour. Like your audience will know, whole communities in Vanuatu have lost their homes, belongings, and crops. Communication with outer island settlements has been difficult, obtaining potable water and clean food and clothes is now a challenge for thousands of people. New Zealand was lucky. Cyclone Pam’s heart began to cool as it tracked South-eastward. But still, the storm was as Weatherwatch NZ pointed out like a freight train. When it neared New Zealand, it then tracked eastward away from North Cape, but on course for East Cape. After 140 K/per hour winds slammed into Great Barrier Island, iPam hit Hicks Bay, then Tolaga Bay causing sea swells over six metres high. Roofs were ripped off some homes, and trees ripped out. Locals had been evacuated. The army was on the scene should help be needed. Yesterday (Wednesday) the Chatham Islands were battered by gale force winds and high seas. But by now, Pam is dissolving in the southern Pacific. And while we are all mindful of the huge job ahead to rebuild Vanuatu, Mother Nature spared New Zealand this week of what could have been a massive disaster. Across The Ditch broadcasts live on Five AA Australia and webcasts on]]>



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