If New Zealand Prime Minister John Key wins a third term in September, he's going to do some redecorating in the form of changing the country's flag. The Union Jack that adorns the distinctive blue and red flag is a little too "colonial," Key said in a speech Tuesday, noting that the South Pacific nation hasn't been under British rule since 1907.
Key said a new flag should be a nationalistic symbol that is "readily identified by New Zealanders and with New Zealanders." Whatever they have now is not that, he bristled, adding that the new New Zealand flag should be just as distinctive as Canada's and suggested the country's silver fern as an option.
"I admit to liking the silver fern but I'm also open to other ideas and designs," he told Businessweek. "We want a design that says 'New Zealand' in the same way that the maple leaf says 'Canada,' or the Union Jack says 'Britain,' without a word being spoken, or a bar of those countries' anthems being heard."
Any changes depend on Key winning re-election on Sept. 20, so there's still time for you to create a mock-up of Elijah Wood's face embossed on a Lord of the Rings DVD cover. Jordan Valinsky
If you want to read Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway or George Orwell's Animal Farm, you can head down to your local public library. If you want to read Woolf's original draft manuscript and notes, or a letter from T.S. Eliot explaining why he won't publish Animal Farm, the British Library just made your day. The UK's national library just posted more than 300 treasures of 20th century English literature online for the world to peruse, plus articles exploring "the extraordinary innovation demonstrated by key writers of the 20th century," according to digital programs manager Anna Lobbenberg.
"Until now these treasures could only be viewed in the British Library Reading Rooms or on display in exhibitions," Lobbenberg said. Now, anyone with an internet connection can learn more about, and read source material from, writers like Woolf, Orwell, Eliot, Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, James Joyce, Angela Carter, J G. Ballard, and other "rebels and risk-takers" who "were determined to find new forms to reflect the fast changing world around them." It's a rabbit hole that literature and culture lovers could easily get lost in for a weekend or longer, and then you can dive into the British Library's digital Discovering Literature collections on Shakespeare, the Victorian Era, and the Romantics. If that sounds too intimidating, here's a short master class on Orwell's 1949 dystopian masterpiece Nineteen Eighty-Four, from the British Library and John Bowen, a professor at the University of York. Peter Weber
It was a violent Memorial Day weekend in Chicago, with four people killed and at least 53 wounded in shootings across the city.
The murder victims include a 25-year-old man who was shot while sitting in a parked car in front of his mother's house; a 27-year-old man shot while sitting in a car with his fiancée (she grabbed a gun and fired warning shots in the air, and was charged with a felony); a 25-year-old man shot by a man he was arguing with inside a gas station; and Veronica Lopez, a 15-year-old who was shot and killed while riding in a car with two older men police say are known gang members. Her mother, Diana Mercado, told the Chicago Tribune she planned to move with her daughter to Florida in a year because of the violence, but "now they took my baby."
At least 60 people have been shot and killed so far this month, and shootings are up more than 50 percent this year. Police say the violence can be attributed to gangs, too many guns, and weak gun law enforcement, the Tribune reports. Although eight fewer people were killed this year compared to last Memorial Day weekend, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the department will "never say it's good until we can go an entire Memorial Day weekend without a single shot being fired." Catherine Garcia
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday echoed previous comments he made about birth control, announcing during a televised speech that "no Muslim family" should use contraception or family planning.
"We will multiply our descendants," said Erdogan, a father of four, and later he called on "well-educated future mothers" to not use contraception. Many supporters of his AK Party are conservative Muslims, and during a wedding ceremony in 2014, Erdogan called birth control "treason." Previously, he said women should have at least three children and that women cannot be treated as equal to men, BBC News reports.
The Turkish Statistical Institute says in 2015, the country's fertility rate was 2.14 children per woman. While that's half the rate in 1980, it's still one of the highest in Europe. You can watch Erdogan's comments below. Catherine Garcia
The Golden State Warriors completed their NBA Western Conference Finals comeback on Monday night, beating the Oklahoma City Thunder, 96-88, to earn a shot to face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals for a second year in a row. Warriors guard Steph Curry notched 36 points, plus eight assists and five rebounds, while Klay Thompson scored 21 points, while the Golden State defense muted the Thunder. Kevin Durant had a pretty good night, scoring 27 points, but his team shot just 38 percent overall. The Warriors are only the 10th NBA team to come back from a 3-1 deficit in a seven-game series. Peter Weber
Animal expert and conservationist Jeff Corwin doesn't want another incident like the killing of Harambe the gorilla to happen again, and he's reminding parents that anytime their children are around wild animals, they need to be alert.
"Zoos aren't your babysitter," he told Fox 25. "Take a break from the cellphone, the selfie stick, and the texting. Connect with your children. Be responsible for your children. I don't think it happened in seconds or minutes. I think this took time for this kid, this little boy, to find himself in that situation. Ultimately, it's the gorilla that's paid the price."
On Saturday, a 4-year-old boy entered the Cincinnati Zoo's gorilla enclosure, and Harambe, a 17-year-old, 400 pound silverback gorilla, pulled him. Harambe was shot and killed, with zoo officials calling that a necessary step save the child. The killing of the endangered gorilla triggered outrage from the public, with many asking why an adult wasn't paying enough attention to stop the boy from making his way into the enclosure. Corwin told CNN people have "a responsibility. We have so many examples where people don't employ common sense in a national park, trying to take a picture next to a bison, a wild animal. Well, guess who gets sued, the national park, when things go awry." Catherine Garcia
As the Golden State Warriors took a solid lead in the third quarter their make-or-break Game 7 of the NBA playoffs against the Oklahoma City Thunder, celebrity foodie Guy Fieri noticed a certain presidential candidate in the crowd:
— Guy Fieri (@GuyFieri) May 31, 2016
People at home noticed too, and the reaction was pretty predictable:
The wealthiest 1/10th of 1% really suck until they can get you some sweet Game 7 tickets. pic.twitter.com/3aAeiBEw2H
— SportsPickle (@sportspickle) May 31, 2016
Bernie Sanders in Section 108 Row 15 for the GSW game. No way to price tickets for tonight but for NBA Finals Game 1 pic.twitter.com/JlETq8oq4P
— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) May 31, 2016
Bernie going to game seven and Hamilton. I'm not saying he's staying in the race to get primo tickets, but I'm not not saying it either
— Matthew Zeitlin (@MattZeitlin) May 31, 2016
Now, to be fair, the Sander campaign did not exactly try to shy away from highlighting Sanders attending the game, or tying him to the Warriors:
— Danny Freeman (@DannyEFreeman) May 31, 2016
And as far as underdog stories go, that dog didn't exactly bark. "Literally zero people said this," statistics-obsessed sports fan Nate Silver tweeted. "Not even an egg avatar said such a thing." Golden State won the game, 96-88, and will go on to play the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. Sanders has a much steeper climb to face Donald Trump in November. Peter Weber
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff has released a statement saying North Korea tried to launch an unidentified missile early Tuesday morning in the Wonsan area, but likely failed.
The Yonhap news agency reports the missile was a mid-range Musudan, which has a potential range of 2,180 miles, making U.S. military bases in Guam targets. If this report is true, it will be North Korea's fourth unsuccessful test launch of the Musudan since April. South Korea believes North Korea is working on technology to make a missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland Catherine Garcia