Teddy bears are popping up in the unlikeliest of places as New Zealanders embrace an international movement in which people in lockdown are placing the stuffed animals in their windows to brighten the mood and give children the game of spotting bears in their neighborhoods.
The inspiration comes from the children’s book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, written by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury.
New Zealand last week began a four-week lockdown, but people are still allowed outside to exercise if they keep a safe distance from each other. In other words, bear-spotting is permitted.
Deb Hoffman, part-time school administrator and mother of two, started a Facebook page called “We’re Not Scared — NZ Bear Hunt” and also set up a Web site with an online map, on which more than 120,000 people have placed pins to show the location of their bears.
“We’re not scared” is a repeated line in the book, which features a family overcoming a number of obstacles in their search for a bear.
Hoffman said that she has been taken aback by the huge response, adding that some people are creating personalities for their bears by having them do a different activity each day.
One woman, who had been housebound for six weeks following surgery before the lockdown began, wrote that the teddy bears were the only thing getting her through the isolation, Hoffman said.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has even joined in, saying that people should keep an eye on her window because they might spot a bear.
In recent weeks, the 73-year-old author has wondered on Twitter whether symptoms including fatigue and fever meant that he had COVID-19 or a “heavy flu.”
Rosen’s family on Tuesday said that he was doing “poorly,” but improving, having previously spent a night in intensive care.
French authorities yesterday said that they would close a Paris mosque as part of a clampdown on radical Islam that has yielded over a dozen arrests following the beheading of a teacher who had shown his pupils a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed. The mosque in a densely populated suburb northeast of Paris had disseminated a video on its Facebook page days before Friday’s gruesome murder, railing against teacher Samuel Paty’s choice of material for a class discussion on freedom of expression, a source close to the investigation said. The French Ministry of the Interior said the mosque in Pantin, which has
LONGSTANDING NEUTRALITY: The US request came as it vied for influence in Southeast Asia with China, but Indonesia has never let foreign militaries operate there Indonesia this year rejected a proposal by the US to allow its P-8 Poseidon maritime surveillance planes to land and refuel there, four senior Indonesian officials familiar with the matter have said. US officials made multiple “high-level” approaches in July and August to Indonesia’s defense and foreign ministers before Indonesian President Joko Widodo rebuffed the request, the officials said. Representatives for Indonesia’s president and defense minister, the US Department of State’s Office of Press Relations and the US embassy in Jakarta did not respond to requests for comment. Representatives for the US Department of Defense and Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi
COVID-19 UNDER CONTROL: The two prime ministers agreed to ease entry bans, and allow short-term business visits and reopen flights between Vietnam and Japan Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, in his first overseas summit since taking office last month, yesterday agreed with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to step up defense and security cooperation in the face of China’s expanding influence in the region. In talks in Hanoi, Suga and Phuc set up a basic agreement allowing Japan to export defense equipment and technology to Vietnam. Japan has been pursuing such agreements to bolster ties with Southeast Asian nations and sustain its own defense industry. Suga said that his four-day trip to Vietnam and Indonesia would be key to pursuing the “free and open Indo-Pacific” vision
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night said that he has no problem with being held responsible for the many killings under his crackdown on drugs, and that he is ready to face charges that could land him in jail, but not charges of crimes against humanity. Duterte’s televised remarks were among his clearest acknowledgement of the prospects that he could face a deluge of criminal charges for the bloody campaign he launched after taking office in the middle of 2016. Police have reported that at least 5,856 drug suspects have been killed in raids and more than 256,000 others arrested since