Take a bite of… January 29th to February 4th, 2018

Yeap, you heard that right. The all-new Weekly Snack is returning in 2018!

An ultimate staple of our new-age digital media network, stay up to date on the latest from around New Zealand and the world.

In the fast-paced world we live in, here are the top stories you can’t afford to miss; all summed up, just for you.

From January 29th to February 4th, take a moment and bite into your favourite current affairs sandwich.

New Zealand

A lucky lotto winner in Christchurch scored over $20 million this week and will likely be taking a few more days off than just Waitangi on Tuesday. The winning ticket was purchased in a Hornby mall.

It seems some New Zealanders aren’t all that lucky, however. Especially not for those afraid of spiders. Scientists claim there will soon be an abundance of white tail spiders due to growing humidity levels. Before all the hairs on your neck stick up in terror, be relieved that evidence shows other than causing a slight rash, they are effectively harmless to people. Whew!

A fire is breaking out in the Chatham Islands of New Zealand, and has already burned around 3,000 hectares of land out of the surface area of 96,600 hectares (373 sq miles) of the 10 overall islands. Firefighters are working hard to contain the blaze which started on Thursday, February 1st. The Department of Conservation have confirmed that the scenic reserve in the islands is so far unaffected.

International

The case against former United States Olympic gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar has been controversial to say the least, with evidence that USA gymnastics paid women “hush money” not to speak out about his sexual assault in fears it would make the sport look bad. The chairman and vice-chairman of USA gymnastics have so far resigned over the case, and Nassar has been sentenced to 175 years in prison, with another 60 for child pornography charges. The judge showed no remorse to Nassar in the courtroom, saying that she had “signed his death warrant.” A father from one of the victims tried to attack the former doctor in court, calling him “a bastard.” The father will not be charged as this occurred directly after he heard his own daughter testify against Nassar.

In other news, United States president Donald Trump made his first official state of the union address this week. The diplomat also claimed it was “the highest number in history” to witness a state of the union speech, with just over 45 million viewers. He was proven wrong by statistics which show four separate state of the union addresses had more viewers than his 2018 presentation.

What’s next?

Waitangi Day is on Tuesday, the 6th. The holiday always comes with controversy, and people pretending to be sick the day before to get an extra day off work.

Last year, Te Tii Marae (the marae holding the official Waitangi celebration) didn’t let New Zealand First leader Winston Peters in after he showed outrage that Te Tii banned media organisations to show up to the marae. National Party leader Bill English will not be turning up to Waitangi this year and says he wants it to be a day which people can be proud of, not one of disagreement.

Primary, intermediate, and high school students are almost all back to school this week to get stuck into their new classes. NZQA marks are now being reconsidered, and will be for another few weeks. The Qualifications Authority was previously under fire from students regarding the difficulty of the Level 1 Maths exam in 2017, with reconsiderations and reviews likely be a major thought on the minds of students. Will anything major arise from this? We’ll just have to wait and see.