Fri, 08 Jul 2022

WELLINGTON -- New Zealand released Budget 2022 on Thursday, which will help build "a high wage, low emissions economy that provides greater economic security, while providing support to households affected by cost-of-living pressures," said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

The Budget eases the impact of global inflation on families, Ardern said in a statement, adding that the cost-of-living package contained in the budget deals extends reductions to fuel excise duty and road user charges for a further two months, expands the Winter Energy Payment and extends half price public transport fares. (New Zealand-Budget)

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VIENTIANE -- Lao citizens, foreigners and stateless people now can enter Laos through the international border checkpoint in northern Laos' Bokeo province but must continue to comply with COVID-19 prevention measures after arriving in the country.

Northern Laos' Bokeo province is a travel hub in China, Myanmar and Thailand. (Laos-International Border-Reopening)

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SYDNEY -- Police and Health officials will assist the availability of ambulance services in the state of Western Australia (WA) from Thursday, following deadly and "excessive" delays due to staff shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

St John Ambulance WA, the state's primary provider of first aid services, will see representatives from the state's Department of Health and WA Police stationed at its headquarters to ensure appropriate coordination of the emergency response and provide immediate logistical support. (Australia-COVID19-Ambulance)

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CANBERRA -- Undecided female voters are set to be a decisive factor in the Australian election, research has found.

According to a survey published by Australian National University (ANU) on Wednesday, women are three times more likely than men to have not yet decided who they will vote for in Saturday's election. (Australia-Female Vote-Election)

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