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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health director-deneral Ashley Bloomfield arrive for a news conference at Parliament in Wellington, New Zealand, Monday. Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

All New Zealand schools will from June provide students with access to free menstrual products following a successful trial, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Thursday.

Why it matters: It's the latest sign a global push to stamp out period poverty by providing menstrual products at no cost or tax-free is gaining momentum.

Driving the news: A 2020 report by the charity KidsCan found up to 20,000 Kiwi students struggled to afford period products.

  • There was concern that some students were avoiding attending class because they couldn't afford menstrual items.
  • "Young people should not miss out on their education because of something that is a normal part of life for half the population," Ardern said in a statement.
  • The schools scheme is expected to cost nearly US$18 million over three years.

Go deeper: Scotland becomes first nation to make period products free

Go deeper

Feb 17, 2021 - Health

Testing and tracing "win" sees New Zealand city lockdown end despite COVID cases

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern arrives at a news conference at Parliament in Wellington, New Zealand, New Zealand, on Wednesday. Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Wednesday Auckland's snap lockdown will end at midnight.

Why it matters: Officials confirmed two new COVID-19 community cases Wednesday. Ardern told reporters test results show "we don't have a widespread outbreak, but rather a small chain of transmission," centering around an Auckland high school, "which is manageable."

Fight over Putin's pipeline consumes Congress

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Biden administration, House and Senate Democrats and even the German government are engaged in a multi-pronged effort to stop Congress from imposing mandatory sanctions on a Kremlin-backed natural gas pipeline.

Why it matters: President Biden's decision to let Nord Stream 2 proceed has put his allies in an uncomfortable bind. Republicans have already blocked dozens of Biden's foreign-policy nominees, and the dispute threatened to derail an annual defense bill passed by Congress every year for six decades.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Shooting at Michigan high school leaves 3 dead, 8 wounded

Police cars restrict access to Oxford High School following the shooting in Oxford, Michigan, on Tuesday. Photo: Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images)

A 15-year-old sophomore was arrested after a shooting at a Michigan high school that left three people dead and eight others wounded Wednesday, according to the Oakland County Sheriff's Office.

The latest: Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said at a briefing Tuesday night that the suspect's father had on Friday bought the 9mm Sig Sauer pistol investigators believe was used in the shooting at Oxford High School. Authorities released the names of the victims late Tuesday.