Podcast: The Detail

In other news .....

While we spent lockdown sleeping in, the world outside didn't completely roll to a halt. Here's what you may have missed.

As New Zealand spent more than two months in various forms of house arrest, glued to the 1pm Jacinda and Ashley show, it seemed like the world had stopped. A global pandemic; new words in the lexicon – coronavirus, lockdown, bubble, social distancing, team of five million. And the ever-present hand sanitiser.

But other things did happen while we were colouring in the Easter Bunny and making cardboard poppies.

Today on The Detail, Emile Donovan and Sharon Brettkelly take us through some of those events - national and international - that flew under the radar.

In New Zealand the most dramatic – and the only event to kick Covid-19 off the front pages – was the sudden guilty pleas of Christchurch gunman Brenton Tarrant. On March 26, the day after we went into Level 4, he admitted 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder and a charge of engaging in a terrorist act. A lawyer working with some of the victims’ families suggested that while possible explanations for the move were speculative, terrorists often sought a sense of self-importance and attention to their cause that the pandemic had removed.

Less prominent was the resignation of Young ACT vice-president Ali Gammeter, saying she’d been the victim of sexual harassment and her complaints were being ignored by the party. Soon afterwards an investigation was announced.

Also, the Government revealed the details of the cannabis referendum, which New Zealand will vote on at election day. Unlike the other referendum on September 19, on euthanasia, the cannabis result is non-binding.

As we went into lockdown, Australia was still burning. News of the bushfires died down with the flames but another major climate event hit in relative silence – the third major coral bleaching event of the Great Barrier Reef in five years, and the worst of the three.

The piece of amber housing the world's smallest dinosaur fossil measures only 31.5mm in length. The skull is a mere 11mm. Photo: Xing Lida /Creative Commons 

Also in Australia a bombshell over the jailed Catholic archbishop, Cardinal Pell. On April 7 he was freed from prison after spending more than 400 days behind bars, when the High Court unanimously found his conviction for child sex abuse was unsafe and should be overturned. He said culture wars and anti-Catholic sentiment could have played a part in the decision of Victoria police to pursue charges against him. Now journalists could face charges over their reporting of the case. However the legal counsel for the alleged victim in the case says she has at least eight other civil claims ready to go against Pell.

Israel elected a new government; Turkey and Russia announced a ceasefire; two big cyclones hit, Harold in the Pacific and Amphan in India - which killed 128 people.

And as if a plague hitting the world wasn’t enough, to Africa, Asia and the Middle East came pestilence. Locusts decimated crops. The US meanwhile was hit by Murder Hornets – yes, that’s right, Murder Hornets.

But the best story you may have missed – scientists found the smallest ever dinosaur fossil, in Myanmar. It’s a tiny bird with teeth, trapped in amber for 99 million years. You see, lockdown could have been worse.

Want more from The Detail? Find past episodes here.

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