Kiwi scientists help NASA with out-of-this-world research

The scientists are undertaking research to help international space agencies choose astronauts for their missions. Source: 1 NEWS

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Wellington cycleway repair to cost $4 million more

A 1.7 kilometre cycleway in Wellington that cost about $1.8 million to build, has been estimated to cost $10 million to fix.

Wellington city councillors today asked council officers how much it would cost to change the Island Bay cycleway to appease residents.

The plan, considered by many as a compromise between residents and council, was signed off in September 2017.

It was put on hold while the council applied for $24 million of Government funding for a wider cycleway between Island Bay and the city, that would include the controversial stretch.

Councillor Nicola Young, who has consistently opposed the cycleway, asked officers at a meeting today how much it would cost to fix the 1.7km of cycleway that already existed, and was told it could be $4 million more than the $6 million put aside.

However, the council would not know for sure until the project had gone out to tender.

The estimated price tag was a very expensive fix for something that cost less that $2 million to build, councillor Andy Foster said.

"It's a very expensive remediation to spend more than four times as much as what was spent in the first place. In my books, you're not building the same thing at all."

The fix included not just resealing the road, but a high quality transformation of the stretch of road, council officers said.

- By Radio New Zealand's Laura Dooney

The community is calling for a return to the pre-cycleway design that wouldn't see carparks removed. Source: Breakfast

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Stephen Hawking, in message from beyond the grave, warns science, education are under threat around the world

Stephen Hawking spoke from beyond the grave to warn the world that science and education are under threat around the world.

The words of the scientist, who died in March at 76, were broadcast at a London launch event for his final book "Brief Answers To The Big Questions."

Hawking warned that education and science are "in danger now more than ever before." He cited the election of US President Donald Trump and Britain's 2016 vote to leave the European Union as part of "a global revolt against experts and that includes scientists."

Acknowledging that science had yet to overcome major challenges for the world - including climate change, overpopulation, species extinction, deforestation and the degradation of the oceans - the physicist still urged young people "to look up at the stars and not down at your feet."

"Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist," he said. "It matters that you don't give up. Unleash your imagination. Shape the future."

Hawking lived for more than five decades with motor neuron disease that left him paralysed, communicating through a voice-generating computer. In June, his ashes were buried in Westminster Abbey, between the graves of Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton.

Hawking's daughter Lucy, who attended the book launch, said hearing her father's unmistakable voice had been "very emotional."

"I turned away, because I had tears forming in my eyes," she said. "I feel sometimes like he's still here because we talk about him and we hear his voice and we see images of him, and then we have the reminder that he's left us."

1 NEWS’ Joy Reid spoke with Professor Hawking’s daughter about her father’s final message. Source: 1 NEWS


Revealed: Man found guilty of historical rapes is the 'Beast of Blenheim'

The 71-year-old man on trial for raping three women and a girl nearly 50 years ago can be named as serial rapist Stewart Murray Wilson.

Wilson, who had name suppression for the duration of the trial, has been before the High Court in Auckland since last Monday defending a number of sex charges, including six charges of rape and three of indecency with a girl under 12.

He is infamously known as the "Beast of Blenheim" and was jailed for 21 years in March 1996 for violent sexual attacks on women and girls throughout a two and a half decade period.

His convictions include rape, bestiality, stupefying and ill-treatment of children.

In 2017, he was charged again in relation to the rapes of three women and a girl throughout the 1970s.

He pleaded not guilty and stood trial before Justice Lang and a jury of six men and six women last week.

This morning after 7 hours of deliberations the jury returned with mixed verdicts.

They found him guilty of raping a woman and a 9-year-old girl, and attempting to rape another woman, among other charges.

They found him not guilty by majority of the raping and indecently assaulting the fourth woman.

They could not agree on two other charges, indecent assault and threatening to kill, relating to this same woman.

On these charges, Justice Lang discharged Wilson.

He was remanded in custody for sentencing on 29 November.

By Anneke Smith

rnz.co.nz

Stewart Murray Wilson appearing in court. Source: 1 NEWS