July 1 in history

July 1, 2016

69  Tiberius Julius Alexander ordered his Roman legions in Alexandria to swear allegiance to Vespasian as emperor.

1097  Battle of Dorylaeum: Crusaders under Bohemond of Taranto defeated a Seljuk army under Qilich Arslan I.

1520  La Noche Triste: Joint Mexican Indian force led by Aztecs under Cuitláhuac defeated Spanish Conquistadors under Hernán Cortés.

1569  Union of Lublin: The Kingdom of Poland and Great Duchy of Lithuania confirm a real union, the united country was called the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth or the Republic of Both Nations.

1690  Glorious Revolution: Battle of the Boyne ( in Julian calendar).

1770 Lexell’s Comet passed closer to the Earth than any other comet in recorded history, approaching to a distance of 0.0146 a.u.

1782  American privateers attacked Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

1837 A system of the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths was established in England and Wales.

1855 Quinault Treaty signed, Quinault and Quileute ceded their land to the United States.

1858  The joint reading of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace’s papers on evolution to the Linnean Society.

1862  The Russian State Library was founded.

1862  American Civil War: The Battle of Malvern Hill – final battle in the Seven Days Campaign, part of the George B. McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign.

1863  Keti Koti, Emancipation Day in Suriname, marking the abolition of slavery by the Netherlands.

1863 – American Civil War: The Battle of Gettysburg began.

1867  The British North America Act, 1867 took effect as the Constitution of Canada, creating the Canadian Confederation and the federal dominion of Canada; John A. Macdonald was sworn in as the first Prime Minister.

1869 William Strunk Jr., American grammarian, was born (d. 1946).

1879 Charles Taze Russell published the first edition of the religious magazine The Watchtower.

1881  The world’s first international telephone call was made between St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada, and Calais, Maine., United States.

1881 General Order 70, the culmination of the Cardwell-Childers reformsof the British Army, came into effect.

1885 The United States terminated reciprocity and fishery agreement with Canada.

1892 The Homestead Strike, a strike by the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers against the Carnegie Steel Company, began.

1898  Spanish-American War: The Battle of San Juan Hill was fought in Santiago de Cuba.

1899 Thomas A. Dorsey, American composer, was born (d. 1993).

1899 Charles Laughton, English actor, was born (d. 1962).

1903 Amy Johnson, English pilot, was born (d. 1941).

1906 Estée Lauder, American entrepreneur, was born (d. 2004).

1908 SOS was adopted as the international Distress signal.

1915 Leutnant Kurt Wintgens achieved the first known aerial victory with a synchronized gun-equipped fighter plane, the Fokker M.5K/MG Eindecker.

1916 Olivia de Havilland, Japanese-born British-American actress, was born.

1916  World War I: First day on the Somme – On the first day of the Battle of the Somme 19,000 soldiers of the British Army were killed and 40,000 wounded.

1921 The Communist Party of China was founded.

1928 Bobby Day, American musician was born, (d 1990).

1931  United Airlines began service (as Boeing Air Transport).

1933 The Canadian Parliament suspended all Chinese immigration.

1934 Jean Marsh, English actress, was born.

1934 Sydney Pollack, American film director, was born (d. 2008).

1935  Regina, Saskatchewan police and Royal Canadian Mounted Policeambushed strikers participating in On-to-Ottawa-Trek.

1935 – Grant Park Music Festival began its tradition of free summer symphonic music concert series in Chicago’s Grant Park which continues as the United States’ only annual free outdoor classical music concert series.

1942  World War II: First Battle of El Alamein.

1942  Australian Federal Government became sole collector of Income Tax (State Income Tax Abolished).

1943 Tokyo City merged with Tokyo Prefecture and was dissolved. Since then, no city in Japan has had the name “Tokyo“. (Present-day Tokyo is not a city.)

1945 Deborah Harry, American musician (Blondie), was born.

1947  The Philippine Air Force was established.

1948  Quaid-i-Azam inaugurated Pakistan’s central bank, the State Bank of Pakistan.

1951 Fred Schneider, American singer (The B-52′s), was born.

1952 Dan Aykroyd, Canadian actor, was born.

1953 Jadranka Kosor, Prime Minister of Croatia, was born.

1953 – Lawrence Gonzi, Maltese Prime Minister, was born.

1958  The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation linked television broadcasting across Canada via microwave.

1958 Flooding of Canada’s St. Lawrence Seaway began.

1959  The Party of the African Federation held its constitutive conference.

1959  Specific values for the international yard, avoirdupois pound and derived units (e.g. inch, mile and ounce) were adopted after agreement between the U.S., U.K. and other commonwealth countries.

1960  Independence of Somalia.

1960 – Ghana became a Republic and Kwame Nkrumah became its first President.

1961 Diana, Princess of Wales, was born (d. 1997).

1962  Independence of Rwanda.

1962  Independence of Burundi.

1963  ZIP Codes were introduced for United States mail.

1963 – The British Government admitted that former diplomat Kim Philbyhad worked as a Soviet agent.

1967 – The European Community was formally created out of a merger with the Common Market, the European Coal and Steel Community, and the European Atomic Energy Commission.

1967 – Canada celebrated the 100th anniversary of the British North America Act, 1867, which officially made Canada its own federal dominion.

1968  The CIA’s Phoenix Program was officially established.

1968 – The Nuclear non-proliferation treaty was signed in Washington, D.C., London and Moscow by sixty-two countries.

1968 – Formal separation of the United Auto Workers from the AFL-CIO.

1970  President General Yahya Khan abolished One-Unit of West Pakistan restoring the provinces.

1972  The first Gay Pride march in England.

1976  Portugal granted autonomy to Madeira.

1978 The Northern Territory in Australia is granted Self-Government.

1979  Sony introduced the Walkman.

1980  O Canada officially became the national anthem of Canada.

1981  The Wonderland Murders occurred in the early morning hours, allegedly masterminded by businessman and drug dealer Eddie Nash.

1983 A North Korean Ilyushin Il-62 jet crashed into the Fouta Djall Mountains in Guinea-Bissau, killing all 23 people on board.

1987 American radio station WFAN in New York City was launched as the world’s first all-sports radio station.

1988  The government announced that it had agreed to the Waitangi Tribunal’s recommendation that Bastion Point in Auckland be returned to Ngati Whatua ownership.

Bastion Point land returned

1991 The Warsaw Pact was officially dissolved at a meeting in Prague.

1997 China resumed sovereignty over the city-state of Hong Kong, ending 156 years of British colonial rule.

1999  The Scottish Parliament was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth on the day that legislative powers were officially transferred from the old Scottish Office in London to the new devolved Scottish Executive in Edinburgh.

2000 – The Oresund Bridge, connecting Sweden and Denmark, opened for traffic.

2002 The International Criminal Court was established to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression.

2002 – A Bashkirian Airlines (flight 2937) Tupolev TU-154 and a DHL Boeing 757 collided in mid-air over Ueberlingen, killing 71.

2004 Saturn Orbit insertion of Cassini-Huygens began at 01:12 UTC and ended at 02:48 UTC.

2006 – The first operation of Qinghai-Tibet Railway in China.

2007 Smoking in England was banned in all public indoor spaces. With the ban already in force in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, this means it is illegal to smoke in indoor public places anywhere in the UK. The ban was also put into effect in Australia.

2008 Rioting erupted in Mongolia in response to allegations of fraud surrounding the 2008 legislative elections.

2009  Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader resigned giving no specific reason. Jadranka Kosor was announced as the next Prime Minister, the first woman ever to hold the post.

2013 – Croatia became the 28th member of the European Union.

2013 – The United Nations mission MINUSMA began its operative mandate in Mali.

2013 – Neptune‘s moon S/2004 N 1 was discovered.

2015 – Militants launched attacks on Egyptian Armed Forces checkpoints in North Sinai, leaving dozens of security personnel and insurgents killed.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


366 days of gratitude

June 30, 2016

Not too long ago toll calls were so expensive they were rarely made and reserved for matters of great moment.

Calling between countries was even more costly – unless as friends and I once did, you could find a phone box in London which enabled you to call New Zealand for a very few pennies.

Technological developments have brought great leaps in telecommunications, increasing the ease of calling and decreasing the cost.

A niece phoned me from France recently for no cost at all.

I haven’t found a company offering free overseas calls in New Zealand but Internet options like Skype and Facetime do the same thing at no extra cost, and enable you to not only hear but also see the person with whom you’re conversing.

I’m now in the happy position of being able to talk to family and friends anywhere in the world without counting the cost and I’m grateful for that.


Word of the day

June 30, 2016

Quercine – having the characteristics of, or resembling an oak.


Rural round-up

June 30, 2016

Farmers on the cusp of unprecedented change:

KPMG’s Ian Proudfoot says significant change is coming to New Zealand’s primary sector and “farmers that ignore it do it at their peril”.

Mr Proudfoot was speaking this morning at Federated Farmers’ National Conference Meat and Fibre AGM.

The world was on the cusp of a fourth industrial revolution and this would mean thinking more globally.

Kiwi farmers who could tell their unique story would prevail as the global consumer became more discerning about what they eat and where it came from.

“There is a fusion happening where digital, physical and biotechnological products will redefine how we live and farm,” he said. . . 

Abandoning challenge, not my way – Rick Powdrell:

There is one thing in life that never changes. The moment you overcome one challenge, there is sure to be another. Once in a while a challenge crops up that might be easier to abandon, but that’s not my way.

You guessed it, that last reference is to the New Zealand red meat industry.

At our February meeting we discussed our role going forward. The emphasis was on continued dialogue with key players, notably Beef + Lamb, the Meat Industry Association, Meat Industry Excellence Group and other parties keen to engage.

There have been plenty of people willing to engage, some notable for their commercial self-interest, and others to talk about specific elements within the industry. All have relevant ideas and the passion and desire to see the industry move forward. But until key players come together with a common goal, the quantum shift required will not occur. . . 

Address to Federated Farmers Dairy Industry Group –  Andrew Hoggard:

Good morning colleagues, observers, media, and of course all the keyboard warriors and trolls waiting in anticipation.

Another season has gone by and whilst there are some positive noises out there around potential market improvements, the prices we all face are still below the break even point for many of us. The expectation is that the financial implications of this downturn will see us in pain for a few years to come.

Much of the commentary over the past few days has been around the Brexit, and the fallout from it. One might ask, what this means for New Zealand Dairy? It really is all up in the air at the moment, our exports presently to the UK are pretty minimal. . .

Recipients of the Gordon Stephenson Trophy:

Richard and Dianne clearly share a deep passion for their family’s show piece farm on the edge of Auckland city. Their beef breeding and sheep breeding and finishing operation runs 4820 stock units on 331ha (effective) with a pine woodlot established on 18.5ha and 15.3ha of regenerating native bush.

Richard and Dianne, who have three adult sons, have farmed the flat to easy-rolling property since the late 1970s.

They are pragmatic about protecting the environment for future generations. All waterways have been fenced, and large areas of raupo act as sediment traps to capture nutrients. Biodiversity corridors link the upper catchment areas to the bush, and bush remnants have been planted with native species such as kauri, rimu and pohutukawa.

Whenuanui runs 300 Angus breeding cows and a Coopworth ewe flock. Mixed-age ewes lambed at 162 percent last year, with hoggets achieving an impressive 129 percent. All lambs are sold prime under the “Kaipara Lamb” brand. . . 

Call out to Young New Zealanders to share in success of the booming apple industry:

New Zealand’s world leading apple industry is putting a call out to school leavers and graduates across the country to come share in its success.

Pipfruit New Zealand’s new capability development manager Erin Simpson has been charged with growing and retaining young people into Zealand’s apple and pear industry.

“New Zealand apples are leading the world, the industry is dynamic, innovative, and going places and so can young New Zealanders,” said Mr Simpson . . 

Bayer Marlborough Young Viticulturist of the Year 2016 announced:

Congratulations to Brenton O’Riley who became the Bayer Marlborough Young Viticulturist of the Year 2016 on Friday 24 June.

O’Riley has worked at Giesen Wines for the last few years as Viticultural Technician and credits his time and experience there as helping him gain some of the high level knowledge and skills required to win the competition. He is due to start a new job at Pernod Ricard in a grower liaison role at the beginning of next month.

This is the second time O’Riley has won the Marlborough competition, previously in 2014, so he will be even more determined this year to win the National Final taking place locally at Villa Maria in August. . . 

Irish approach may be better than New Zealand’s–  Allan Barber:

The Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s (DAFM) 10 year strategy report named Foodwise 2025 contains a lot of the same features as MPI’s ambition to double agricultural exports over a similar timeframe.

As an agricultural producer Ireland also has many of the same characteristics as New Zealand: a rural economy based heavily on grass-fed production and produce from the sea, a small domestic market and heavy reliance on exports, an expanding dairy herd and an ageing farmer profile. The agri-food industry contributes a greater proportion of export revenue than non agri-food production which is equally true of New Zealand.

Obviously there are differences, notably the impact of the EU common agricultural policy on Irish farm incomes, the destination of exports, the lower efficiency and smaller scale of farms, and the variation of production volumes. . . 

NZ sheepmeat, tourism may be hardest hit by Brexit as pound weakens, market volatility jumps –  Jonathan Underhill:

(BusinessDesk) – New Zealand’s sheepmeat exports and tourists from the UK may be the hardest hit from the Brexit with the most immediate impact likely to be on British tourists suddenly finding the spending power of the pound against the kiwi is the weakest in almost three years.

The European Union is the biggest market for New Zealand sheepmeat, taking $1.4 billion of product last year and almost half of that 228,000 tonnes of quota is taken by the UK. Total red meat exports to the EU amount to $2 billion, making it the single most valuable market. However, the biggest impact for New Zealand would be the UK’s loss of zero-tariff access for its own sheepmeat into Europe, where it currently sends 90 percent of production, leaving more in its domestic market. . . 


Thursday’s quiz

June 30, 2016

You are welcome to pose the questions.

Anyone who stumps everyone will win a virtual jelly sponge.


Shouldn’t wait to be asked to apologise

June 30, 2016

Andrew Little maligned tax expert John Shewan when he was first appointed to examine New Zealand’s trust rules more than two months ago.

Last week Little retracted his statement. He didn’t say he  was sorry and did say he hadn’t been asked to apologise.

Shewan said that was misleading and he had asked Little for an apology because Little had dilly-dallied so long in setting the record straight.

Little shouldn’t have to have been asked to apologise for what he said.

He was wrong to make the unfounded accusation in the first place. He compounded that by waiting so long to admit he was wrong and compounded his error again by not apologising when he made the admission, regardless of whether or not an apology was requested.

His original attack was an attempt to discredit the government, just as his misguided and misinformed attack on Earl and Lani Hagaman who have now launched defamation proceedings against Little.

They too were caught in the political crossfire.

Personal attacks on politicians aren’t edifying but they are unfortunately accepted as a normal part of parliamentary discourse.

Politicians casting aspersions on people outside parliament is fortunately more unusual and even more unacceptable.

An MP who does that and is subsequently proven wrong should not only admit the mistake s/he should  apologise, and do so at the earliest opportunity.

Little’s refusal to apologise shows he isn’t sorry and therefore probably hasn’t learned from his mistake.


Quote of the day

June 30, 2016

When you bring an idealised relationship down to the level of an ordinary one it isn’t necessarily the ordinary one that suffers. ― Winston Graham who was born on this day in 1908.


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