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Julian Assange Permitted to Marry in Belmarsh Prison

Julian Assange Permitted to Marry in Belmarsh Prison

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been given permission to marry his fiancée Stella Morris in the maximum security Belmarsh prison in London on March 23rd. Stella is a member of his legal team and mother of his two young children. The couple had to fight for their right to marry, even bringing legal action against the UK Government. Julian and Stella will be dressed by Vivienne Westwood. Julian will wear a kilt, honouring his Scottish ancestry. The couple are said to be very excited despite the severe restrictions imposed on the ceremony. They will be permitted only four guests and have been denied the request to marry in the prison’s Chapel, despite the fact that Julian regularly worships their. Stella told the Daily Mail that the right to marry is ‘written into law’ in the UK. ‘Of course, the circumstances are not ideal but I am relieved that reason has prevailed and I hope there will be no further interference with our marriage. Julian is not charged with any crime in this country, he is not serving a sentence, his imprisonment serves no purpose at all other than to prolong and make his suffering worse. I hope the injustice of this situation is swiftly brought to an end so that we can enjoy marriage outside of the walls of Belmarsh when he is freed.’ Assange is being held in the notorious Belmarsh prison despite not being convicted of anything. He is awaiting the outcome of a US extradition request to face charges of ‘espionage’ for publishing evidence of war crimes and torture. Press freedom groups warn this unprecedented prosecution would criminalise fundamental journalistic practices. Assange recently suffered a minor stroke, and doctors warn this will likely lead to a fatal stroke if his conditions are not improved quickly. He is detained in solitary confinement 23 hours per day, which fits the definition of torture under international law. The Australian Government has been criticised for ‘sitting on their hands’ over one of their citizens. The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer said The Australian Government as ‘failed to support Julian Assange, and is complicit in his psychological torture.’ Helen Clark recently said ‘You do wonder when the hatchet can be buried with Assange? And not buried in his head by the way. But at some point, could people move on? I do think that the information that’s been disclosed by whistle-blowers down through the ages has been very important in broader publics getting to know what is really going on behind the scenes. And should people pay this kind of price for that? I don’t think so… The real issue really is the activities they were exposing, not their actions of exposure.’ Aoteroa 4 Assange is calling on the New Zealand Government to stand for Assange to protect human rights, the public’s right to know and peace.

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Alimetry raises $16.3 Million to launch wearable diagnostic device for the gut

Alimetry, a digital healthcare and medical device start-up, announced today it has closed a NZ$16.3 Million financing round led by New Zealand largest venture capital investor Movac. Existing investor partners IP Group, Matū Karihi, and UniServices supported the round, with K1W1 also participating. The company will use the funding to accelerate the international launch of its first product, a wearable diagnostic device called Gastric Alimetry. Gastric Alimetry uses a stretchable high-resolution sensor to non-invasively map digestive patterns, and delivers clinical reports via the cloud to inform the diagnosis and classification of gastric disorders. “Chronic gastric symptoms are extremely common, yet many of our patients still suffer from repeated inconclusive tests, trial and error care, and confusion,” said CEO Greg O’Grady, a Professor of Surgery and co-founder of Alimetry. “Gastric Alimetry is on track to deliver breakthrough results in diagnosing gastric symptoms, enabling enhanced clinical outcomes and safer, more accessible, and less-invasive care.” Gastric Alimetry targets prevalent stomach diseases including nausea and vomiting, gastroparesis, and functional dyspepsia, affecting over 8% of the world’s population and costing billions of dollars in healthcare expenses. The device is currently undergoing clinical trials in 5 countries, with results and further regulatory approvals expected during 2022. Alimetry will also use the new funding to expand its artificial intelligence capabilities and expand its product pipeline. Lovina McMurchy, a General Partner at Movac who will join Alimetry’s Board, stated: “While Alimetry has only recently come out of stealth mode in New Zealand, the team has made an incredible amount of progress in bringing their product to market globally. They are already working with the top gastroenterology clinics in the world to trial the devices and they are in the approval process with the Federal Drug Administration in the US for full scale commercialization. This is a tremendous example of what our science ecosystem can produce at it’s very best.” Gastric Alimetry has recently received numerous innovation and product design awards, including Gold from the Australian Good Design Awards, and a prestigious ‘Purple Pin’ at the New Zealand Best Design Awards. The Best Awards judges stated: “This is a tangible example of how New Zealand science, technology and design can work together to produce brilliant results.” Alimetry was spun-out of the University of Auckland in 2019 from a centre of excellence in digestive diseases. The company was founded by Prof. Greg O’Grady and Dr. Armen Gharibans, on the background of a decade of award-winning science. To learn more about Alimetry visit www.alimetry.com. About Movac Movac is New Zealand’s largest and most experienced venture capital fund, supporting technology founders from early stage through to growth investing. Movac was the first institutional grade venture investor supported by both New Zealand Superannuation and Kiwi Wealth. It currently has $400m funds under management and invests across deep tech, software, hardware and healthtech. About IP Group IP Group is a leading intellectual property commercialisation company focused on evolving great ideas and cutting-edge research from its partner universities into world-changing businesses. The Group pioneers a unique approach to developing these ideas and the resulting businesses by providing access to business building expertise, capital, scientific insight, and supporting infrastructure. IP Group, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: IPO), has a strong track record of success and, its portfolio comprises holdings in early stage to mature businesses across life sciences and technology. In Australia and New Zealand, IP Group works in close partnership with the Go8 Universities and the University of Auckland to identify ground-breaking technologies rooted in hard science, which have the most promising commercial potential. www.ipgroupanz.com About University of Auckland Inventors’ Fund, managed by Auckland UniServices The University of Auckland Inventors Fund is an evergreen, open-ended $20 million investment fund owned and managed by Auckland UniServices Limited, the commercial  company for The University of Auckland. The Inventors’ Fund provides seed capital for ventures started out of the University of Auckland.  www.uniservices.co.nz About Matū Karihi Fund. Matū is a venture capital fund investing in early-stage science and deep technology commercialisation from education and research institutions and the private sector. Karihi (nucleus) is Matū’s original pre-seed and seed-focused fund, working with start-ups at the earliest stages of their journey. As an open fund it raises capital over time and holds investments through to exit where possible, and therefore invests on a long timeframe. www.matu.co.nz About K1W1 K1W1 Ltd is an investment company owned by Sir Stephen Tindall. It has invested over a total of $100M Seed and Venture capital into a large number of start-up and early stage businesses from Biotech, environmental technology, high tech, software and other high export potential businesses. The aim is, either directly or as a “fund of funds” to assist young entrepreneurs to grow New Zealand as a leader in the “knowledge economy” and to help create a culture of making New Zealand “cash flow positive” in international goods and services trade. Attached files: Gastric Alimetry-11

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Teams “Yadrava na Vanua” from Fiji and “Not Basic” from New Zealand win the Grand Prizes for Space Challenge

Christchurch—18 February 2022.  Yadrava na Vanua (Environment Watch) from Suva, Fiji won the Grand Prize today for the Space for Planet Earth Challenge. Their project focused on integrating satellite data on land cover types across Fiji with ground truth measurements, and refining the carbon sequestration data with machine learning analysis of high resolution satellite images from Planet to generate international standard levels of measurements, reporting, and verification of carbon stocks. Separately, “Not Basic” from Newlands College, Wellington, New Zealand, won the Grand Prize at the High School level. Their work featured using machine learning analysis of satellite data to predict the conditions leading to coral bleaching as detected within the Allen Coral Atlas with Planet satellite data. Six teams from New Zealand, Australia, and Fiji competed in demo sessions with a panel of judges, then a Pitch presentation to a live online audience. The winners are awarded cash prizes of $30,000 and $10,000 each, satellite data from company Planet, and mentorship from SpaceBase.  Additionally the High School team will receive scholarships from the US Based MMAARS Academy to attend their Level 1 Virtual Mars Programme. “The presentations that I’ve seen were so amazing…and I was blown away by the ideas and the ability that they’ve shown…Planet is so proud to be part of this competition,” Dr. Tanya Harrison, Director of Strategic Innovation for Planet and a Finals Judge for the competition, said at the event. The winners were selected by judges from Planet, the U.S. Embassy to New Zealand, Pacific GIS and Remote Sensing Council, Rocket Lab, Callaghan Innovation, ChristchurchNZ, Callaghan Innovation, and Consegna.cloud. The awards were presented by the NZ Space Agency and the U.S. Embassy.  “I’ve been extremely impressed with the sophistication of the solutions that have been developed, by the approach of looking for different data sources to incorporate into those solutions, to reaching out to other organisations, establishing partnerships to make this more effective, and the quality of the presentations,” said Dimitri Geidelberg, Principal Advisor to the Agency. The Challenge was the brainchild of SpaceBase founders who leverage incentive prizes and space technologies to catalyse innovation while solving tough problems in the region.  “Already, we see the Challenge as pushing the teams to accelerate their research and create opportunities they may not otherwise have been able to realise.” said Emeline Paat-Dahlstrom, CEO of SpaceBase. “We think this is only the beginning for these climate change focused innovations, and we hope to continue to support these teams in their progress over the coming months and years.” For more information about the Challenge and the Winners, go to spaceforearth.org The Challenge is made possible by a partnership between SpaceBase Limited and Planet.  Sponsors include the U.S. Embassy in New Zealand, K1W1, NZ Space Agency, ChristchurchNZ, Consegna.cloud, Clare Foundation, Greenlight Ventures, Namaste Foundation, Engineering Dreams, MMAARS Academy, and Christchurch City Council. SpaceBase Limited is a New Zealand based education and consulting social enterprise, whose mission is to democratise access to space for everyone. SpaceBase is creating equal opportunity to leverage space technologies to solve problems on Earth, by catalysing space ecosystems in developing and emerging countries, starting in New Zealand.  Since its incorporation in 2017, it has collaborated with economic development agencies, local governments, and advocacy groups to deliver over 100 educational presentations and workshops; two national space and aerospace competitions, as well as helping birth space communities and organisations locally and globally. SpaceBase created a platform for the NZ Aerospace Directory and a free course, Catalysing a Space Industry in Your Region, for anyone interested in creating a local space industry. SpaceBase is also the NZ Ambassador for the International Space University. 

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