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World News

NZ's Ardern says guilty plea gives some relief to people shattered by mosque attack

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday the guilty plea and conviction of the Christchurch mosque attacker brings some relief to many people affected by last year’s attack.

“The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Ardern said in a statement.

Australian Brenton Tarrant entered a surprise guilty plea in a Christchurch court on Thursday to all 92 charges against him.

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Economy

RBNZ says to implement NZ$30bn large scale asset purchase programme

WELLINGTON, March 23 (Reuters) – The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) said on Monday that it has decided to implement a Large Scale Asset Purchase programme (LSAP) of New Zealand government bonds to support the economy amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The programme will purchase up to NZ$30 billion ($17 billion) of New Zealand government bonds, across a range of maturities, in the secondary market over the next 12 months, RBNSZ said in a statement.

The programme aims to provide further support to the economy, build confidence, and keep interest rates on government bonds low, it added. ($1 = 1.7634 New Zealand dollars) (Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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World News

New Zealand attack survivor: slain wife drives with me on road to forgiveness

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (Reuters) – A year after New Zealand’s deadliest mass shooting, a survivor who became a worldwide symbol of forgiveness says he still feels no anger about the attack, but misses his wife so much he forgets she is gone.

Farid Ahmed, whose wife Husna was one of 51 people killed by a gunman at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, reached out within days of the attack to express his forgiveness to the family of the man charged with the murders. He has since been a public face of the survivors, and has met Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and U.S. President Donald Trump.

“I have taken the tragedy as an opportunity to spread the message of peace and love,” Ahmed told Reuters through tears in an interview ahead of the anniversary of the attack. “I never felt angry but I ask what was her crime? She didn’t hate anyone.”

Ahmed has written a book, Husna’s Story, about his wife, the massacre and what he describes as his “journey to forgiveness”. Proceeds are donated to an ambulance charity.

Husna was shot dead by the gunman while running from the building to look for Ahmed, who uses a wheelchair from an earlier accident. Sometimes he still imagines her sitting beside him in his car, he said.

“I’m driving (and) I look at my side and I feel she is there and suddenly not there,” he said.

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