New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern tests positive for Covid
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tested positive for Covid-19 with moderate symptoms, her office said in a statement on Saturday.
She will not be in parliament for the government's emissions reduction plan on Monday and the budget on Thursday, but "travel arrangements for her trade mission to the United States are unaffected at this stage," the statement said.
Ardern had been symptomatic since Friday evening, returning a weak positive at night and a clear positive on Saturday morning on a rapid antigen test, it said.
She has been in isolation since Sunday, when her partner Clarke Gayford tested positive, it said.
Due to the positive test, Ardern will be required to isolate until the morning of May 21, undertaking what duties she can remotely.
Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson will address media in her place on Monday.
"This is a milestone week for the Government and I'm gutted I can't be there for it," Ardern said in the statement.
"Our emissions reduction plan sets the path to achieve our carbon zero goal and the budget addresses the long-term future and security of New Zealand's health system," she said. "But as I said earlier in the week isolating with Covid-19 is a very kiwi experience this year and my family is no different."
Ardern also said on Saturday that her daughter Neve had tested positive on Wednesday.
"Despite best efforts, unfortunately I’ve joined the rest of my family and have tested positive for Covid19," Ardern posted on her official Instagram page.
Russia intensified an offensive in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine on Saturday and stopped providing gas to Finland, escalating Moscow's dispute with the West over energy payments. After ending weeks of resistance by the last Ukrainian fighters in the strategic southeastern city of Mariupol, Russia is waging what appears to be a major offensive in Luhansk, one of two provinces in Donbas.
A New York judge approved a new congressional map that pits two veteran Democratic incumbents against one another and boosts Republican odds of capturing more seats in November's midterm elections, further endangering Democrats' fragile US House majority. Republicans need to flip only five seats in November to win a majority in the House, which would enable them to block much of President Joe Biden's agenda.
Qatar's foreign minister said on Saturday in remarks cited by al Jazeera TV that the Iranian leadership expressed readiness for a compromise regarding "the Iranian nuclear file", referring to talks over reviving a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers. But Iran's Foreign Ministry said remarks by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei were mistranslated by error or by design for propaganda purposes, the semi-official news agency Tasnim reported.
Ukraine on Saturday ruled out agreeing to a ceasefire with Russia and said Kyiv would not accept any deal with Moscow that involved ceding territory. Acknowledging that Kyiv's stance on the war was becoming more uncompromising, presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said making concessions would backfire on Ukraine because Russia would hit back harder after any break in fighting. Both sides say peace talks have stagnated. A ceasefire would play into the Kremlin's hands, Podolyak said.
One person was killed and eight people were wounded following an overnight shooting at a large party in Southern California, police said Saturday. Officers from the San Bernardino police dispatched late Friday found the one person who was killed outside the party, which was at a business in a strip mall in the city east of Los Angeles, Sgt. Equino Thomas said. Police said their injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.