USA shut down


An impasse between the USA’s  Republican House and Democrat Senate has shut down the government:

. . . Shortly before midnight, the White House budget office issued a memo instructing agencies to “execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the absence of appropriations.”

The impasse means 800,000 federal workers will be furloughed Tuesday. National parks, monuments and museums, as well as most federal offices, will close. Tens of thousands of air-traffic controllers, prison guards and Border Patrol agents will be required to serve without pay. And many congressional hearings — including one scheduled for Tuesday on last month’s Washington Navy Yard shootings — will be postponed.

In a last-minute ray of hope for active-duty troops, Congress on Monday approved and sent to the White House an agreement to keep issuing military paychecks. But Obama warned that the broader economy, which is finally starting to recover from the shocks of the past six years, would take a substantial hit if congressional gridlock shutters “America’s largest employer.” . .

If our government shut down the rest of the world might not notice but what happens in the USA will have an international impact.

It’s already boosted our dollar.

The New Zealand dollar held its gains against the greenback on speculation a prolonged US government shutdown and an more weighty debate about the debt ceiling this month will sap demand for US dollars.

The kiwi traded at 83.04 US cents at 5pm in Wellington, holding its gains through the day from 82.84 cents late yesterday. The trade-weighted index was at 77.32, up from 77.19 the previous day.

It went past midnight in Washington, with no apparent agreement between the White House and Republicans, meaning the White House Office of Management and Budget would have ordered state agencies to begin shutting down services the government can’t pay for. A bigger threat is this month’s
deadline to lift the US$16.7 trillion debt ceiling or face possible default on debt payments. . .

There’s been several positive announcements on the New Zealand economy this week and expectations of reasonable growth.

But no matter how well we’re doing here, we’re not big enough to counter major problems in the rest of the world.


Word of the day


BIWI – because I’m worth it; a state in which sufferers believe the world owes them a living; the belief someone has of deserving something without earning it; a mutant strain of eligibility that promotes self interest and erodes the will for self sufficiency; entitilitus.

Hat tip: Eye to the Long Run

Rural round-up


Dairy farm effluent to electricity plan – Tim Cronshaw:

A new effluent processing system could be working on a Canterbury farm as early as next year as a result of a Nuffield scholarship tour to 21 countries by Meridian Energy agribusiness manager Natasha King.

King is the first person from the energy sector to win a Nuffield scholarship and used the five-month trip she returned from five weeks ago to research whether farmers should use effluent to generate electricity.

She said a possible solution had been found, but this was being kept under wraps until a cow shed trial was operating.

The effluent processing trial would be carried out on a 1000-cow dairy farm to see if dairy effluent could be turned into a fuel source, she said. . .

Ministers welcome new MPI Director General:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye are welcoming Martyn Dunne CNZM as the new Director-General of the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

“Mr Dunne has an outstanding record of service in the military, the public service and as a diplomat,” says Mr Guy.

“His appointment signals a fresh start for MPI. I look forward to working with him on important issues like biosecurity and doubling our exports by 2025.”

Mr Dunne is currently New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Australia, and is a previous Chief Executive of the New Zealand Customs Service. He also has a distinguished record of 27 years’ service in the military, where he attained the rank of Major General and was the commander of New Zealand forces in East Timor. . .

Candidates For Fonterra Board of Directors’ Election Confirmed:

Candidates for the Fonterra Directors’ Election were announced by the Returning Officer today, following the completion of the Candidate Assessment Panel (CAP) process.

This year there are five candidates standing for the Board of Directors.  They are Eric Ray, Donna Smit, Michael Spaans, Malcolm Bailey and Ian Farrelly.

As in previous years, the CAP process was available to assess the capabilities, experience and qualifications of Director candidates and provide Fonterra shareholders with more information to help in making an informed vote.  While the CAP process is open to all Director candidates, it is not compulsory.  This year four of the five candidates went through CAP. . .

14 October closing date for Whey Inquiry submissions:

People who want to make submissions to stage one of the Government Inquiry into the Whey Protein Concentrate Contamination Incident have until 14 October to do so.

Stage one of the Inquiry will review the regulatory framework governing food safety in the dairy industry, and the recognised practices that apply in New Zealand, including a comparison with other comparable jurisdictions.

Stage two will investigate the incident that originated at Fonterra’s Hautapu plant in 2012 and developed in 2013. This part of the Inquiry is suspended until after completion of the Ministry for Primary Industries’ compliance investigation.

Chair of the Inquiry, Miriam Dean, says the Inquiry is largely inquisitorial in nature. . .

Sir Maarten Wevers joins PGP panel:

Primary Industries Nathan Guy has announced Sir Maarten Wevers as the sixth and newest member of the Primary Growth Partnership’s Investment Advisory Panel (IAP).

“This appointment reflects the growing profile and importance of the Primary Growth Partnership,” Mr Guy says.

Members of the IAP are responsible for providing advice on the investment decisions of PGP funds, and to help ensure that PGP investments achieve the aims of economic growth.

“Sir Maarten brings a wealth of experience to this role, having held a number of senior public sector and commercial roles spanning 35 years. . .

Tatua delivers a stunner:

Despite the high kiwi dollar, the Waikato based dairy cooperative, Tatua, has delivered an excellent result for its shareholding farmers with a cash payout after retentions of $7.40 per kilogram of milk solids (kg/MS).

“Tatua has always been a high performer and this is more than impressive. It is stunning,” says David Fish, a Federated Farmers member and Tatua shareholder.

“An after retention payout of $7.40 kg/MS leaves every other dairy processor trailing in our wake.  Fonterra, after all, announced last week a combined milk and dividend payout of $6.16 kg/MS. . .

Stubble fires seen as part of crop rotation:

A review of stubble burning on Canterbury grain farms has defended the practice as an essential part of crop rotation:

But it has also reminded farmers of the need to operate within the rules when they burn the residue after harvesting.

Canterbury Regional Council commissioned the Foundation for Arable Research to do a report on stubble burning as part of a council review of its air plan.

FAR research director, Nick Poole says Canterbury, as the main grain growing region, produces about 700,000 tonnes of crop residue per year, . . .

No.1 Family Estate’s Cuvee Adele 2009 takes Trophy for Champion New Zealand Sparkling Wine:

The New Zealand International Wine Show, New Zealand’s largest wine competition, has awarded Cuvee Adele 2009 the trophy for Champion New Zealand Sparkling Wine.

Made by winemaker Daniel Le Brun at his company No.1 Family Estate in Marlborough, the Cuvee Adele 2009 was launched in late 2012 as a proud tribute to his wife, Adele on her 60th birthday.

Daniel comments, “I can think of nothing better than an endorsement of this nature regarding this unique wine. It’s very special and I am truly delighted.” . . .

Nerdy book club, face recognition and annoying husband


Discussion with Jim Mora on Critical Mass today was sparked by:

* Nerdy Book Club – by and for people who love reading, and reading books for children and young adults in particular. The post heartprints by JoEllen McCarthy resonated in particular because I love Peter H. Reynolds’ books too.

He blogs at Stellar Cafe and Creative Juices and you’ll find out more at his website.

* Thanks to Richard, who comments here, for pointing me to the Mail Online’s story on Scotland Yard’s elite squad of ‘super recognisers’ and this test to determine how good you are at face recognition.

* My Husband is Annoying – she stated the blog in 2009 to vent. Her marriage has survived the blogging  so the vent must work and he mustn’t mind.


Favourite sounds


A post on Facebook led me to this survey on favourite sounds.

It doesn’t give any explanation on who’s surveying and why but if you’re in the mood for a little work avoidance click the link.

It confirmed I prefer quieter sounds to louder ones, sheep to cows, nature to vehicles.


Literally figurative


It’s official – literally doesn’t mean literally any more it means figuratively:

. . . the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary have changed the definition of “literally” – so it can now be used in a similar way to “metaphorically.”

Senior OED editor Fiona MacPherson told BBC Radio 5 live’s Breakfast: “If enough people use a word in a particular way… it will find its way into the dictionary.”

It means that literally as it ought to be used is literally dead.

Quite why the concept of literally has been lost defies me but I guess this is linguistic democracy at work.

The power of the people prevails even when the people are literally wrong.

Employment law fails animal welfare


Federated farmers is concerned that employment law is failing when it comes to animal welfare issues.

In a recent survey of its members, a clear picture was highlighted, where farm employers feel the legal system prevents them from ensuring livestock are not abused or neglected.

“It is clear from the survey that there is a huge lack of trust in the employment law system. Farmers feel they have been burnt when trying to protect their animals and would now rather “pay-out” staff, who have neglected their stock, in fear of the legal system letting them down,” said Katie Milne, Federated Farmers Employment Spokesperson.

“What we want is for simpler rules and a fair and balanced approach, when it comes to dismissing staff for animal welfare issues. When you have a staff member breaking tails, beating calves or dogs and so on, employment law appears to hinder the employer’s rights to mitigate this from happening.

“Almost 20 percent of those surveyed have had to dismiss an employee regarding animal welfare issues and of those, 64 percent said they paid out the employee because it was easier and less expensive than taking them to court. If there are no repercussions for offender’s actions, it does not bode well for livestock this person may work with in the future.

“It comes down to a matter of fairness; 50 percent of the respondents felt that employment law wasn’t fair to employers, where as just 12 percent felt it was. There is a big divide here and it needs to be acknowledged.

“If farmers don’t trust or understand the employment law system then how are they going to protect themselves from employee’s who are not only killing stock in inhumane ways but behaving aggressively to staff and their employer?” concluded Ms Milne.

Anything which compromises animal welfare ought to be grounds for automatic dismissal.

That is no longer a simple process and I know of a few cases where getting the process wrong resulted in legal action from sacked employees, who won.

The abuse wasn’t disputed but the way the dismissal was handled was deemed to contravene the workers’ rights.

This is why employers will opt for paying out the employee because it can be cheaper in the long run.

That means the employee gets off without having to face the consequences for the abuse.

Labour’s poster-boy would be property mogul


The Reserve Bank’s mortgage lending restrictions take effect today limiting the amount of high loan to value ratio mortgages banks can make.

The aim is to take the heat out of the housing market.

It will help protect borrowers from losing all their equity should house prices fall.

It should also keep interest rates down which will also take some pressure off the value of our dollar both of which benefit us all.

The opposition have no interest in any of that good news and Labour found a first home buyer to tell his can’t-buy-now sob story:

. . . Labour leader David Cunliffe met would-be first-time buyer Kanik Mongia, 23, in central Auckland today. . . 

Mr Mongia, an IT consultant was looking at properties in the $400,000 to $500,000 range in south Auckland or Mt Wellington.

“If it’s good enough I could live in it, otherwise it could be an investment property.”

Mr Mongia said he has been looking for four or five months and has enough saved for a 10 per cent deposit. . .

Labour think we should compromise the Reserve Bank’s independence because a 23-year-old wanting to buy a half million dollar house now has to save a 20% deposit before he can get a mortgage?

This isn’t a family in need of a home, their poster-boy is a would-be property mogul.

The story doesn’t say how long he’s been working. If he went to university it  might only be a couple of years, if he didn’t it could be five. Either way saving $50,000 is to be commended but that doesn’t make his case a good one to criticise the LVR policy, especially when he might be using the house an investment property rather than a home.

. . . But Mr Key this afternoon told reporters he had seen Mr Cunliffe “parading around” with first home buyers, but Mr Mongia should bear in mind that interest rates were currently very low which would make a big difference in what he paid for a house.

“Under National they’re paying $20,000 a year less in interest on their mortgage than they otherwise would have done under Labour.”

He also pointed out Mr Mongia had suggested he may buy a home as an investment property.

“Well I hate to tell them but the person they’re standing next to – David Cunliffe – is wanting to put a capital gains tax on that very property they were talking about buying.” . .

A CGT has had no impact on house values anywhere else, it won’t here especially when family homes are exempt.

Labour is using this issue to criticise the government but it’s reserve Bank policy not government policy and the government – correctly – values the bank’s independence.

Mr Key also said it would be wrong for the Government to interfere with the Reserve Bank.

“Overall, we’ll need to let this thing run. The Reserve Bank has the independence to do that and the Government shouldn’t interfere on that front.

The bank’s independence is a major contributor to the stability of our economy. Labour’s threat to influence the bank is also a threat to the economy. It would push up interest rates which would make it harder for people with, or wanting to have, mortgages.

It would also take the lid off inflation and push up the value of the dollar which would hit export income.

There’s a clear choice here – lower interest rates and inflation and no capital gains tax under National or higher interest rates and inflation and a CGT under Labour.

The former will do much more to make housing more affordable than the latter.

Drought’s over, must prepare for next


Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy declared this year’s drought officially over yesterday.

“Earlier this year I extended the official drought declaration covering the entire North Island and West Coast of the South Island until the end of September. This was in recognition that the drought was the worst in 70 years and the need for support would continue through the winter.

“Fortunately we have had an excellent winter with warm temperatures and decent rainfall. This has meant very good growing conditions for most farmers across the country.

“This shows the resilience of rural communities who have come through earthquakes, snow storms, and drought over the last few years. With every challenge farmers have rebounded and come back even stronger.”

A total of 146 applications for Rural Assistance Payments have been granted this year with $814,277.32 in assistance paid. These are paid at an equivalent rate to the unemployment benefit and were available to those in extreme hardship.

“This shows that farmers are not interested in handouts unless absolutely necessary. What’s more important to them is knowing the Government has acknowledged their situation and is providing back-up support.

$320,000 in funding has also been made available to Rural Support Trusts who have worked closely with farmers, providing support and guidance.

“I want to thank everyone who banded together to help rural communities in their time of need, including the Ministry for Primary Industries, Work and Income, Rural Support Trusts, IRD, Federated Farmers, Rural Women, the NZ Veterinary Association, Beef + Lamb NZ, Dairy NZ and many banks who offered special packages.

This year’s drought was extensive and, as is always the case, it impacted not just on farmers and those who supply and service them but on the wider economy.

The country had a mild winter and good spring growth is widespread.

But sooner or later there will be another drought and we must prepare for it.

“The drought has also shown the importance of irrigation and water storage. We don’t have a shortage of rainfall in this country, we just don’t have enough capacity to store and use that water in dry times.

“We currently store less than two percent of the water that lands on New Zealand. This is why the Government is investing $80 million this year into Crown Irrigation Investments Ltd to act as a bridging investor for irrigation projects. In total, the Government has signalled plans to invest up to $400 million in regional-scale schemes.

“Done properly, regional projects can allocate water to benefit both the economy and environment, and help us through future dry spells,” says Mr Guy.

Federated farmers climate change spokesman Dr William Rolleston says the logic for water storage is irrefutable with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicting New Zealand could face a future climate of heavier extreme rainfall, stronger and more extreme winter winds as well as longer periods of drought.

“There are three basics to growing pasture and crops and they are soils, sunlight and water. While many countries have the first two, it is water, or the lack of it, which limits food production in a world where the supply and demand for food sits on a knife edge.

“Aside from being a net food exporter in a world of increasing food shortage, New Zealanders can be very proud that our farmers are among the most carbon efficient in the world. This extends to our country’s role in the Global Research Alliance on agricultural greenhouse gases and the Palmerston North based Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium.

“This efficiency saw the Daily Mail last year write, “Buy New Zealand lamb to save the planet.” In May, the UK’s Observer on Sunday ran a feature entitled, “Why worrying about food miles is missing the point.” In it, our carbon efficiency was lauded.

“Victoria University of Wellington’s Dr James Renwick, who is an IPCC lead chapter author, said on One News, “We’ll see more high temperature extremes, so higher frequency of hot days and less cold days”.

“Newspapers are reporting that New Zealand can expect a climate on average 0.9 Celsius warmer by 2040 and 2.1 Celsius warmer by 2090.

“We have two options for adaption. First is researching new crops and pasture varietals in the knowledge that farms will face greater environmental stress. This demands an on-going and bipartisan ramp up in both our agricultural research and development spend and science capability.

“The second of course is the huge opportunity we have to store rain water.

“South Canterbury’s Opuha dam, the most recent dedicated water storage facility which started operating in the late 1990’s, has proven itself by insulating South Canterbury from drought.

“It is schemes like Opuha, such as Ruataniwha now being proposed in the Hawke’s Bay, which New Zealand needs to build resilience into our economy and society.

“The constant for water remains irrespective of what current land uses are or what they could be in the future. As we saw on the West Coast when it suffered a rare drought, sections of rivers do dry up. The IPCC report indicates that as temperatures increase and weather patterns change, such outcomes may become a more regular occurrence.

“Stored rain water provides the means to maintain minimum flows. Water storage is as much environmental infrastructure as it is economic. Every region should be looking at storing rain water and many currently are. This report should hasten that work.

“While I do not know a lot about trout fishing what I do know is this; trout live in water and not in dry river beds.

“If water storage is being opposed for purely political grounds, then those same people who talk about the need to respond to a changing climate need to recheck their logic,” Dr Rolleston concluded.

We began harvesting water nearly 30 years ago, pumping water from underground into a pond over winter and using it in summer.

We still do it although most of our water now comes from the North Otago Irrigation Company scheme which, with others in the area, has made a significant improvement to the District in economic, social and environmental terms.

Farms are more profitable; they employ more people directly and contribute to more jobs in businesses which service and supply agriculture.  The average age on farms has plummeted, rural communities have been revived, soils don’t blow away and water flow is maintained in creeks through droughts.

Even those on dry land benefit because they have choices including selling their stock to or buying feed or grazing from those with irrigated properties.

There is potential for more irrigation – with and without storage – in many areas where it could make a positive difference locally and nationally.

SMEs prefer National


Research released by research released today by MYOB,  shows the National Government enjoys the trust of the majority of SMEs when it comes to the economy and it’s the preferred party of a significant majority.


The MYOB Business Monitor Report found 60% of the 1000+ SME business operators surveyed trust National the most to manage the economy, while only 10% trust Labour the most, 3% trust New Zealand First and 2% trust the Greens. 18% of operators don’t trust any party more than the other to manage the economy.

When it comes to policy management, the clear vote-winning initiatives are those focused on making it easier to meet the numerous compliance needs of running a business. 74% of operators said that in an election they would vote for the party who proposed to simplify taxation rules and red tape, with this ranking at the top of the list. 56% would vote for the party who proposed to simplify PAYE rules and processes, with this ranking second.

MYOB NZ General Manager, Business Division, James Scollay says the new research clearly highlights increasing confidence in an improving economy accompanied by a desire for government to reduce barriers to productivity.

“SMEs’ economic sentiment is clearly good news for the Government and is translating into trust in their current handling of the economy,” he says. “There is still improvement to be made, though, with almost one fifth of all SME operators saying they don’t trust any party over another to manage New Zealand’s economic future.

Most businesses in New Zealand are small to medium ones.

They are the ones least able to absorb the costs of compliance costs and deal with unnecessary regulations.

“Our research findings give clear evidence that SMEs are imploring government to reassess the need for particular regulations and processes involved with operating a business in New Zealand. They want their compliance load reduced wherever possible. This will no doubt assist in increasing their confidence in and satisfaction with Government. While there is of course a need to play by the rules, business owners don’t become their own boss to spend hours each month doing paperwork and ensuring they tick every box in the many compliance checklists.

“We urge Government to consider the impact of making business life a little easier, via reducing red tape, on local business owners’ ability to invest more time in planning, innovating and up-skilling themselves and their teams.”

The government’s Ausiness Growth Agenda is addressing many of the issues which concern SMEs.

LabourGreen policies including less flexible employment laws, more and higher taxes will make it much tougher for SMEs to operate and will be a disincentive to business growth.

Back to the survey:

Issues around the management of the Christchurch rebuild, which have been very public over the last three years, have not dented business operators’ confidence in the Government. National enjoys its strongest level of SME support in the city, with 66% of business operators signalling their trust in the Government on the economy. The Greens also has its highest level of support in the city, on 5%. Labour, on the other hand, has its lowest, also on 5%.

It will be interesting to see if this is reflected in the Christchurch east by-election.

The odds are against a National win. It ought to be a safe Labour seat and a sitting government has never taken a seat in a by-election. But this survey shows stronger support in the city for National which has a local candidate while Labour has parachuted in someone from Auckland.

In Wellington, Labour enjoys its best performance, with 17% of Wellington SMEs most confident in the party’s economic management. 58% in the Capital hold the most trust in National, and 3% do so with the Greens. In our largest population centre, Auckland, 59% trust National the most, as do 11% Labour, 2% Greens and 2% New Zealand First.

In the sectors, National enjoys its highest level of confidence among manufacturing businesses (68%), possibly reflecting the strong revenue results and expectations of the industry, also uncovered by the research. Nationals’ lowest level of support is amongst transport and warehousing businesses (48%). Labour has its highest level of trust in handling the economy among ‘other’ industries (17%), and lowest in the finance and insurance sector (5%).

The higher level of support for National among manufacturing businesses suggests they’re not buying into the opposition’s manufactured manufacturing crisis.

. . . The top three vote-winning initiatives were weighted towards SMEs’ desire to reduce the compliance load:
1. Simplification of provisional tax rules and processes – 74% would vote for the party proposing this
2. Simplification of the PAYE rules and processes – 56%
3. Development of one-stop online access to all government advice and support for business – 55%

The top three vote-losing initiatives were related to significant tax policy and superannuation:
1. Introduction of a Capital Gains Tax – 64% would vote against the party proposing this
2. Moves to raise the superannuation entitlement age – 52%
3. Extension of the fringe benefit tax to productivity tools such as mobile communication devices like mobile phones, tablets and laptops – 46%

Other policy favourites included tighter controls on foreign purchases of New Zealand land and infrastructure, which was supported by 54% and opposed by 14%, and Government-backed loans for small business start-ups, which was supported by 52% and opposed by just 6%.

“New Zealand’s business community is clearly keen for money that’s made in the country to stay in the country where possible, and for more funding to be provided to support the newest members of the business community,” says James Scollay.

The left like to portray themselves as champions of workers.

Their policies too often show they don’t understand the value and concern of the businesses which employ them, especially the SMEs which have less capacity to absorb compliance costs and deal with red tape.

This survey clearly shows that National’s policies are better for business, and the staff they employ, and the LabourGreen policies would not be.

October 1 in history


331 BC Alexander the Great defeated Darius III of Persia in the Battle of Gaugamela.

959  Edgar the Peaceable became king of all England.

1189  Gerard de Ridefort, grandmaster of the Knights Templar since 1184, was killed in the Siege of Acre.

1207 – Henry III of England, was born (d. 1272).

1787  Russians under Alexander Suvorov defeated the Turks at the Battle of Kinburn.

1791  First session of the French Legislative Assembly.

1795  Belgium was conquered by France.

1800  Spain ceded Louisiana to France via the Treaty of San Ildefonso.

1811 The first steamboat to sail the Mississippi River arrived in New Orléans, Louisiana.

1814   Opening of the Congress of Vienna, intended to redraw the Europe’s political map after the defeat of Napoléon the previous spring.

1827  The Russian army under Ivan Paskevich stormed Yerevan, ending a millennium of Muslim domination in Armenia.

1832 – Caroline Harrison, American educator, 24th First Lady of the United States (d. 1892).

1835 – Ádám Politzer, Austrian physician (d. 1920).

1843  The News of the World tabloid began publication in London.

1847  German inventor and industrialist Werner von Siemens founded Siemens AG & Halske.

1854   The watch company founded in 1850 in Roxbury by Aaron Lufkin Dennison relocated to Waltham, Massachusetts, to become the Waltham Watch Company, a pioneer in the American System of Watch Manufacturing.

1869   Austria issued the world’s first postcards.

1880  John Philip Sousa became leader of the United States Marine Band.

1880  First electric lamp factory opened by Thomas Edison.

1881 – William Boeing, American engineer and businessman, founded the Boeing Company (d. 1956).

1887  Balochistan conquered by the British Empire.

1890  – Stanley Holloway, English actor and singer (d. 1982).

1890  The Yosemite National Park and the Yellowstone National Park were established by the U.S. Congress.

1891  Stanford University opened.

1898  Czar Nikolay II expelled Jews from major Russian cities.

1898  The Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration was founded under the name k.u.k. Exportakademie.

1903  Baseball: The Boston Americans played the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first game of the modern World Series.

1905  František Pavlík was killed in a demonstration in Prague, inspiring Leoš Janáček to the piano composition 1. X. 1905.

1908  Ford put the Model T car on the market at a price of US$825.

1910  Los Angeles Times bombing: A large bomb destroyed the Los Angeles Times building in downtown Los Angeles, California, killing 21.

1910  – Bonnie Parker, American criminal (d. 1934).

1912 – Kathleen Ollerenshaw, English mathematician and politician was born.

1918  World War I: Arab forces under T. E. Lawrence (a/k/a “Lawrence of Arabia”) captured Damascus.

1920 – Walter Matthau, American actor (d. 2000).

1920 Sir Percy Cox landed in Basra to assume his responsibilities as high commissioner in Iraq.

1920 US actor Walter Matthau was born.

1924 US President Jimmy Carter was born.

1926  An oil field accident cost aviator Wiley Post his left eye – he used the settlement money to buy his first aircraft.

1928 The Soviet Union introduced its First Five-Year Plan.

1931  The George Washington Bridge linking New Jersey and New York opened.

1935 British actress and singer  Julie Andrews was born.

1936  Francisco Franco was named head of the Nationalist government of Spain.

1938  Germany annexed the Sudetenland.

1939  After a one-month Siege of Warsaw, hostile forces entered the city.

1940  The Pennsylvania Turnpike, often considered the first superhighway in the United States, opened to traffic.

1942 USS Grouper torpedoed Lisbon Maru not knowing she was carrying British PoWs from Hong Kong.

1942  First flight of the Bell XP-59 “Aircomet”.

1945 US musician Donny Hathaway was born.

1946  Nazi leaders sentenced at Nuremberg Trials.

1946  Mensa International was founded in the United Kingdom.

1947  The F-86 Sabre flew for the first time.

1949  The People’s Republic of China was declared by Mao Zedong.

1958  NASA created to replace NACA.

1960  Nigeria gained independence from the United Kingdom.

1961  East and West Cameroon merged as Federal Republic of Cameroon.

1962  First broadcast of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

1964 The Free Speech Movement was launched on the campus of University of California, Berkeley.

1964  Japanese Shinkansen (“bullet trains”) began high-speed rail service from Tokyo to Osaka.

1965 Apostasia of 1965, a political move in Greece designed to overthrow the Prime Minister, George Papandreou.

1965 – General Suharto crushed an attempted coup in Indonesia.

1966 West Coast Airlines Flight 956 crashed with 18 fatal injuries and no survivors 5.5 miles south of Wemme, Oregon.

1969  The Concorde supersonic transport plane broke the sound barrier for the first time.

1971  Walt Disney World opened near Orlando, Florida.

1975  The Seychelles gained internal self-government.

1975  The Ellice Islands split from Gilbert Islands and took the name Tuvalu.

1975  Thrilla in Manila: Muhammad Ali defeated Joe Frazier in a boxing match in Manila.

1978  Tuvalu gained independence from the United Kingdom.

1978  The Voltaic Revolutionary Communist Party was founded.

1979 The United States returned sovereignty of the Panama canal to Panama.

1982  Helmut Kohl replaced Helmut Schmidt as Chancellor of Germany through a Constructive Vote of No Confidence.

1982  EPCOT Centre opened at Walt Disney World.

1982  Sony launched the first consumer compact disc player (model CDP-101).

1985  The Israeli air force bombs PLO Headquarters in Tunis.

1986 Goods & Services Tax (GST) was introduced in New Zealand.

Goods and Service Tax Act comes into force

1987  The Whittier Narrows earthquake shook the San Gabriel Valley, registering as a magnitude 5.9.

1989  Denmark: World’s first legal modern same-sex civil union called “registered partnership”

1991  New Zealand’s Resource Management Act 1991 started.

1992  Turkish destroyer TCG Muavenet (DM-357) crippled causing 27 deaths and injuries, by missiles negligently launched by U.S. aircraft carrier USS Saratoga.

1994  Palau gained independence from the United Nations (trusteeship administered by the United States of America).

1998  Vladimir Putin became a permanent member of the Security Council of the Russian Federation.

2009  The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, which acquired the judicial functions of the House of Lords, began work.

2012 – A ferry collision off the coast of Hong Kong killed 38 people and injured 102 others.

Sourced from NZ History & Wikipedia

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