What is that tune?

November 6, 2013

I know the music that plays in the background of the railway advertisement on TV but it’s name eludes me.

There’s an electronic jelly sponge waiting for anyone who can tell me what it is.

Maybe one of #gigatownoamaru’s many musical people, or someone from further afield can help.


Today’s top tweets

November 6, 2013

https://twitter.com/JordanMcCluskey/status/397905368690331648

https://twitter.com/Inventory2/status/397891521761910785

https://twitter.com/CactusKate2/status/397871110491881472

 


Word of the day

November 6, 2013

Pule – cry plaintively, querulously or weakly; whimper; whine.


Rural round-up

November 6, 2013

Fonterra 2.0 – Willy Leferink:

There has been more than a little soul searching by Fonterra’s Board. For all the bad press it gets slammed with locally, I can say from the World Dairy Summit in Japan that Fonterra is not just respected; it is admired by many and even feared by some across the world.

With its independent report on the non-botulism scare, Fonterra’s Board dropped a very big hint that things are going to be different going forward in deeds more than words. Given former act leader Rodney Hide admitted in print this year that “politicians leak all the time,” it must have come as a shock to the media that such a critical and sensitive report was kept tight right up until 2pm last Wednesday.

I didn’t have an advance copy just a general heads up so I raced to the internet at the same time as everybody else. There was no leak and nor was it timed to clash with some other event; Honesty 1 v. Spin Doctors 0. Even the media conference was webcast live for anyone to watch anywhere on earth. I don’t want to sound like a commercial here, but wait, there’s more. Critical parts of the report were translated into key languages so I guess Fonterra’s Board did not want there to be any ambiguity.

Yet the words of Jack Hodder, who chaired Fonterra’s independent board inquiry, sticks in my mind – the biggest thing that needs to change within Fonterra is cultural. . .

 Farmers urged to vote in historic meat co-op elections:

Given strong moves to restructure New Zealand’s red meat sector, Federated Farmers is describing the director elections for Silver Fern Farms and Alliance Group as historic.

“If you want empowerment in your farming business then as shareholders you need to vote,” says Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre Chairperson, newly returned from a World Farmers’ Organisation event in Zambia.

“Set against a backdrop of what could be up to three million fewer lambs and declining stock numbers, future generations of farmers will ask current shareholders how they voted. . . .

New sentencing options for polluters not needed, says minister:

The Government has rejected a suggestion that more flexible sentencing options for judges are needed to help the fight against agricultural polluters

In a speech to the Environmental Compliance Conference this week, Environment Court judge Craig Thompson says more imaginative sentencing options could lead to better outcomes for both the environment and farmers.

Judge Thompson suggests that judges should have the power to shut down the worst offenders altogether.

He says those farmers or farm companies place a huge burden on the enforcement and prosecution resources of councils that are unfortunate enough to have them as ratepayers. . .

Fonterra and Tatua paths might cross in Australian tangle:

Cross-ownership and joint ventures could see two New Zealand rivals working together depending on the outcome of wrangling for ownership of an Australian dairy company.

Dairy companies throughout the world often own a stake in competitors or operate joint ventures, an Australian analyst Jon Hauser of XCheque says.

“There’s a whole range of commercial joint ventures and ownership structures between private companies and private companies, and private companies and co-operatives,” Hauser said. . .

Fleeced: 160 sheep stolen from field near village of Wool – Adam Withnall:

Dorset police are appealing for witnesses after 160 sheep were stolen from a field near the village of Wool.

The rustlers are thought to have had to use a large lorry to move the animals, which were all marked and electronically tagged.

Police said the incident took place between 8am on Saturday 2 November and 2.30pm on Monday, at the field which lies next to the A352 between Wool and the nearby village of East Stoke. . .

 

Gigatown competiton could benefit a rural town:

Farmers see the benefits for their rural town if it were to win Chorus’s year-long competition to bring the fastest broadband speed to one New Zealand town

FWPlus followers tweeted that it could have both indirect and direct benefits for farmers.

“Fantastic urban internet will help rural communities indirectly by helping their towns thrive,” @AaronJMeikle tweeted

The one-gigabit per second broadband speeds – up to 100 times faster than most cities around the globe – would act as a magnet and attract businesses to relocate to that town, he tweeted.

Another direct benefit, he tweeted, was that it would provide services that fitted farmers’ time constraints.

This is why I’m supporting #gigatownoamaru


GDT Price Index down 1.8%

November 6, 2013

The Price Index in this morning’s GlobalDairyTrade auction dropped 1.8%.

GDT Trade Weighted Index Changes

gdt 6.11

 

 

 

 

The price of anhydrous milk fat increased 6.9%; butter dropped 7.0%;  butter milk powder was up 1.8%; cheddar was up 1.2%; lactose increased 3.2%;  milk protein concentrate was up by 4.6%; rennet casein and skim milk powder both increased by 5.% and whole milk powder dropped 3.7%.


Normal for whom?

November 6, 2013

The depraved behaviour of the self-titled Roast Busters isn’t regarded that way by their friends:

Female friends of the Roast Busters have spoken out in support of the boys accused of having group sex with intoxicated underage girls.

The girls, aged between 16 and 19, are standing by their friends, saying their behaviour is nothing more than normal teen antics.

“They are good guys,” said one. “They can make really dumb decisions but they are being teenagers.

“What they are doing is very wrong… they should not have put this on Facebook. They wanted to be famous, they got their fame but in the worst possible way.”

But the girls, who do not wish to be named, claim the bravado we’ve seen from the Roast Busters is just that – even though police believe the group may have exploited a number of drunk, underage victims.

“People know that they are Roast Busters and they go hang out with them and do stuff [… ] but they’re not rapists, they’re cool dudes.” . . .

The female friends of the Roast Busters told 3 News that Facebook anarchy is now the norm, so too is drunken “group sex”.

“People send it on Snapchat, who cares […] it’s normal in west Auckland, its normal here […] Not for everybody though it’s just the young ones 13- to 15-year-olds – that’s what they do.” . . .

Normal for whom?

Not anyone with an appreciation of what’s right and wrong.

Not anyone who understands that actions have consequences.

Not anyone with respect for themselves and other people.


Cavalier attitude to taxpayers’ money

November 6, 2013

The Press, which is very familiar with insurance issues in Christchurch was less than impressed with Labour’s plan to establish a state-owned insurance company.

. . . The proposal for a new state-owned insurance company – KiwiAssure – would, Cunliffe says, be an effort to address problems over the responsiveness of private companies in settling claims and of the price of insurance. But in a market as competitive as the New Zealand one is, the price of insurance is determined by risk and the cost of covering it on the overseas reinsurance market. That applies whether the entity is private or state-owned. A state-owned enterprise required to lower its prices or be more generous towards customers than competitors could only do so at the expense of taxpayers.

As for the implication that a state-owned enterprise might provide a better customer experience in general than a private company, that only shows how far Auckland is from Christchurch. There are many in Christchurch who have dealt with EQC who could put Cunliffe right on that point. . .

The Herald is equally unenthusiastic about the idea:

. . . Ironically, the frustrations experienced by home-owners in Christchurch have much to do with government insurance in the form of the Earthquake Commission. . .

Nothing in the policy announced by Mr Cunliffe at the weekend dealt with any of the real insurance policy issues arising from Christchurch. The announcement was little more than a replay of a commercial for KiwiBank which, like it or not, could be saddled with the insurance company. “KiwiAssure will work for all New Zealanders,” Mr Cunliffe declared. It would be “a service-focused, state-owned company that has their best interests at heart”. It would “keep profits from this crucial industry in New Zealand”.

Wisely, he did not quite claim it would offer cheaper premiums than existing companies. Christchurch had an insurance company that did that. AMI had come to dominate the local market by undercutting competitors and the earthquake exposed its inability to meet all of its liabilities.

The AMI experience is salutary for national taxpayers, too, when they hear Labour’s assurance that its company would not carry a government guarantee. The present Government quickly came to the relief of AMI’s policy holders, taking over the worst liabilities and selling AMI as a going concern to the multinational IAG. It is hard to imagine a Labour Government acting any differently if a state-owned insurer fell into the same trouble.

Insurance is almost the last business that should be nationalised. Its purpose is to share risk internationally. Labour’s company, like KiwiBank, might appeal to those who dislike profit-seeking private enterprise and prefer to deal with a state agency, but they will be under-written by a global insurance network of private enterprise. The profits of insurance provide security for all its subscribers.

The illusion of a “home-grown alternative”, as Mr Cunliffe calls it, has a powerful commercial appeal.

Members of the Insurance Council do not relish competing with a new state company for that reason. Taxpayers should be wary too. When a political party goes into business for no reason better than ideological satisfaction, it is likely to create a commercial lemon requiring ever more capital to survive. Let us hope this is one we will never see.

The ODT raises concerns:

. . . The suggestion KiwiAssure will be run by Kiwibank is not sensible.

The success of Kiwibank will be put at risk by tacking on an insurance company with a domestic focus.

Voters only have to look at the downfall of AMI, a Christchurch-based insurance company which substantially undervalued its reinsurance obligations and ended up with the Government – and taxpayers – having to step in to bail it out.

Of course, a government bail-out is exactly what will happen to KiwiAssure if it does not spread its reassurance risks widely.

Reinsurance for a totally-owned government-controlled insurance company will be expensive.

There can be no discounted policies on offer; it does not make sense.

Residents of Christchurch, and other cities and towns, should be asked how they feel about the state-run EQC, or the many people waiting for some help from ACC, to get some indication of whether they feel comfortable with a state-owned insurance company looking after their interests.

Overseas-owned insurance companies, although receiving much criticism for the slowness of their reviews and delays in payments, at least have a global reach of funds on which to draw. . .

Labour’s insurer will be completely exposed to events in New Zealand, a country at major risk of incurring heavy losses from natural disasters. . .

The Auditor General’s report on EQC said its response in Christchurch had been mixed.

There is nothing in the report to give any confidence in a new sate owned insurance company.

Labour leader David Cunliffe  tried to get some traction for the idea in Question time yesterday but gave Prime Minister John Key an opportunity to remind everyone of the risks instead:

. . . According to the public register, believe it or not, a total of 96 insurance firms have a full licence from the Reserve Bank’s carry-on insurance business in New Zealand. I have heard of a group proposing to set up a 97th insurer. The only point of difference is that that insurance business would put hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money at risk by entering a market in which that group has no expertise and for which it cannot offer any competitive advantage. That cavalier attitude to taxpayers’ money comes from who else but the Labour Party. . . 

Hon David Cunliffe: Is it not true that the Prime Minister called Kiwibank a “failing institution” after almost a million Kiwis signed up as customers; therefore, why could not KiwiAssure also provide a locally owned, competitive, and high-quality option in the insurance market?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: It is great that it has taken to supplementary question No. 4, but we will get to the heart of it. These are the reasons. For a start off, let us just take Kiwibank. Yes, it is a good little business. I might point out, though, that it has taken $860 million of taxpayers’ money and it has never paid a dividend in over 10 years. Secondly, the insurance market is hardly a free ride, because insurance companies happen to be in the process of paying $20 billion out in Christchurch. So if we had KiwiAssure, which the member wants to talk about, then New Zealand taxpayers would be paying a fortune into Christchurch. Thirdly, it is a competitive market at the moment. So if one assumes that they are just going to lay off their risk, they will be laying it off with the same reinsurers. Fourthly—     

. . .  Rt Hon JOHN KEY: To my fourth point as to why an insurance company would be a bad idea—name another major bank that operates in New Zealand that has an insurance company. It would not make sense to lend money [Interruption]—no, lend money—and actually have the insurance on the same property they are renting. They do not do that. . .

Finance Minister Bill English got a further opportunity to reinforce the risks in the proposal:

David Parker—Labour) to the Minister of Finance: Does he agree with IAG’s submission to the Commerce Commission that “there is real potential for major banks to begin underwriting their own general insurance products, and to compete directly with the incumbent insurance companies at the underwriting level as they already do at a retail level of the insurance market”?

Hon BILL ENGLISH (Minister of Finance): I have no responsibility for the opinion of IAG New Zealand but I can give the member the benefit of the experience of watching and working closely with the Reserve Bank to reduce the risks of our banking system to the New Zealand taxpayer. There have been 3 or 4 years where capital requirements have been increased, the core funding ratio has been increased, and we have put in place an open bank resolution system. The idea of a bank taking on more insurance risk is about the dumbest proposal that could possibly be made in the light on the events following the global financial crisis. The member should think very carefully before putting forward a policy that heads in exactly the opposite direction to where every other country in the world is heading.

Hon David Parker: Am I correct, then, to infer that he does not support the creation of a Kiwibank-style insurer to serve New Zealand consumers, which would reduce the dominance of overseas-owned insurers, keep profits in New Zealand, and bring added competition, added flexibility, and choice to New Zealanders?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: That is exactly the misleading pitch around this proposition. If there is one thing every taxpayer in the developed world now understands but the Labour Party does not, it is that the risk would be on taxpayers—taxpayers in Ireland, Spain, the US, and the UK. A billiondollar impost on New Zealand taxpayers arises exactly from financial institutions taking too much risk and loading it on to the Government. That is why his proposition is stupid. . .

Hon BILL ENGLISH:  . . . Secondly, what is surprising here is that when we have had the biggest manifestation of risk, it going wrong, and its impact on taxpayers in 100 years, the Labour Party still does not get it.

Hon David Parker: Why should anyone accept what the Minister of Finance says about KiwiAssure when 10 years ago he was pouring scorn on Kiwibank, saying it was “a small bank that has got no long-term viability.”?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: It is a small bank and it has never paid a dividend. It is great that it meets the needs of New Zealanders but it is certainly not an argument for creating a parallel insurance company. It is absolutely clear from our experience with the Earthquake Commission, AMI Insurance, and South Canterbury Finance that when the taxpayer has to underwrite this kind of risk, it can go wrong and taxpayers can be up for billions of dollars. Having low-income people working in the rain, paying their PAYE, and underwriting financial risk is as dumb an idea as you can have in the 2020s.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: Why would any sane New Zealander believe that last diatribe given that just 10 years ago, when the Cullen fund was announced, he said the very same thing about that, then went down just last week to its 10-year celebration and humbly had to admit what a fool he was?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: Well, as the member will know, because he was there, I did not say that. I did praise Dr Cullen for finding a way of stopping the Labour caucus spending billions of dollars in surpluses. If Dr Cullen had been there, he would have said that that was why he set up the Superannuation Fund—to protect New Zealand from the Labour caucus.

The one thing that is saving us from Labour’s cavalier attitude to taxpayers’ money is the proviso on the policy that a business case stacks up.

It is very unlikely a business case will so this isn’t so much policy or a promise as an attempt to get votes in the Christchurch by-election the outcome of which will be settled well before the business case is found to be faulty.

The business case for #gigatownoamaru stacks up well.


Is this a high horse?

November 6, 2013

Paula Bennett posted a photo on Facebook of her and a friend at Melbourne Cup celebrations yesterday.

Celebrating Melbourne cup, have u met my friend?

Is this the high horse mentioned in this exchange in Question time?

Hon PAULA BENNETT: The member can get on her high horse as much as she likes, but the reality is—

Grant Robertson: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: A point of order—[Interruption] Let the member finish.

Grant Robertson: The point I want to raise is that the Minister, having been asked a straight question, began her answer in a way that attacked the member. That has previously been ruled by Speakers to be unacceptable.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: I accept that point of order. The member should not have been so derogatory. Just let us answer the question.

Hon PAULA BENNETT: Getting on your high horse is now derogatory, so that is all right then, particularly on Melbourne Cup day. [Interruption]

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order!

Hon PAULA BENNETT: Oh, this is ridiculous! To the member, right? I think that what we are doing here is fundamentally making a difference. I do not have the numbers in front of me, as the member says. She asked for those measures. I think that what the kids need most is action. That side of the House is more interested in counting it. We are interested in making a difference on the ground, and that is what those children need.

Captions are welcome, but please make them witty not nasty.

#gigatownoamaru is keen for action.


NZ confidence soars

November 6, 2013

More good news – business confidence in New Zealand is rising:

New Zealand has soared to sixth in the world for business optimism, its highest ranking since 2010 with the mature economies of the United Kingdom and the United States starting to drive global business growth, according to new research from Grant Thornton’s International Business Report (IBR).

The gap between New Zealand and Australian business confidence remains wide with only a net 23% (26th in the survey) of Australian businesses feeling upbeat compared with 64% of New Zealand businesses.

Of the 45 countries surveyed New Zealand ranks sixth in confidence at 64%, behind Philippines 96%, United Arab Emirates 84%, Denmark 76%, United Kingdom 76% and Peru 74%.

Simon Carey, partner at Grant Thornton New Zealand, said that New Zealand is now reaping the benefits of some sensible government management of the economy as a result of the Global Financial Crisis.

“The economy has remained pretty steady over the last couple of years but we are now building a solid foundation for fruitful economic gains in the years ahead, with some economists picking a 4% growth for the New Zealand economy next year,” he said.

The ‘U-turn’ in sentiment by the United Kingdom and the United States suggests a shift in the global dynamic, with business growth opportunities set to increase in mature economies while emerging nations adjust to the prospect of slower growth than in recent years. . .

A slightly rosier outlook for the UK and USA is promising,

The outlook is rosy in #gigatownoamaru.

 


Cunliffe chickens out, Norman steps in

November 6, 2013

Advertising on the Farming Show used to be the most expensive on the Radio Network.

It probably still is because it’s now broadcast nationwide. It’s listened to by a broad audience and not just beyond town boundaries.

I do an occasional spot on the show and often meet people from all around the country, urban and rural, who’ve heard me.

Host Jamie Mackay has a successful recipe with a blend of farming and wider rural issues mixed with sport, music and politics.

It’s the sort of show you’d think an aspiring Prime Minister would want to appear on but one has chickened out:

There’s a certain irony in the position I find myself in with Labour leader David Cunliffe.

You see, David C has red-carded me.

Meaning, for the first time since 2000, when then Prime Minister Helen Clark agreed to a weekly slot, I will not be interviewing the Labour leader on the Farming Show.

Rightly or wrongly, Cunliffe says he won’t get a fair hearing, that we will make fun of him. Heck, we make fun of everyone, including ourselves.

Jamie does make fun of some of his interviewees but the political segments are usually pretty straight. In fact with my ever so slightly blue bias I think he sometimes let Cunliffe’s predecessors and agricultural spokesmen away too lightly.

Had Cunliffe or his media team bothered to listen to the show archives, available here, they’d have known that he’d get a fair go.

I think he has unfairly pigeon-holed me. He needs to understand some of my political history before he consigns me to the National Party lackey file. . .

Brought up in a family where Norman Kirk was admired more than Keith Holyoake, Jamie voted for Social Credit in his first two elections, in 1984 he voted against Rob Muldoon and for Bob Jones, didn’t get round to voting in 1987 and had his first vote for National in 1990.

Even then it was a vote more for a candidate than a party because I liked the cut of a young buck the Nats had dragged down to his home province of Southland from The Treasury in Wellington.

His name was Bill English and he looked like he at least had a bit of spark in him.

However, considering I’m probably in the 10% of New Zealanders who pay 70% of the tax, considering I’m a self-employed business owner with farming interests and considering I still bear the farming scars from some incredibly short-sighted, militant union behaviour in the 1970s and 80s, why would I vote Labour now? 

There’s nothing for me in their policies of higher tax, greater environmental and economic handbrakes for farming and re-unionising the workforce. . . .

So here’s my message for PC David C, which unfortunately I can’t pass on personally. 

If you really want to be the next prime minister, get your teeth into some issues that affect middle and low-income NZ – jobs, education, health, and the minimum wage are traditional Labour strongholds.

Attack National where you have an inherent political advantage and where it might have dropped the ball.

On second thoughts, I might save that message for my new Farming Show correspondent, Dr Russel Norman.

I heard Jamie a couple of weeks ago saying Cunliffe wasn’t coming on the show and he said the same thing this week.

I thought he meant just those days, after all what politician would turn down the opportunity for nationwide publicity on the radio?

But no, it wasn’t just couple of instances that didn’t suit his diary, he’s given the show a flat no for the worst of all reasons, that he wouldn’t get a fair hearing and he’d be made fun of.

How precious is that?

A politician who can’t stand the very gentle heat of the Farming Show isn’t going to cope with the much hotter temperature in other media and parliament.

He wouldn’t have been made fun of unfairly on the show but he will be now.

Jamie’s column is in the current edition of the Farmers Weekly which is delivered free to every rural mail box in the country and sold in book stores and dairies. It’s in the FW’s digital edition and on the website (to which I’ve linked above).

It will be on the Farming Show website soon.

I’ve already heard Jamie mention Cunliffe’s no-show and he’ll keep doing it. he’ll probably mention it to his cousin, political journo Barry Soper, who has does a spot on the show each Friday.

Prime Minister John Key has a weekly interview on the show. He sometimes get a little borax poked at him by Jamie and handles it well. His customary good humour and ability to laugh at themselves will continue to provide a contrast with Cunliffe who was scared of a gentle ribbing.

Deputy PM and Finance Minister Bill English, Minister  for Primary Industries Nathan Guy and Deputy Speaker Eric Roy,  are also regulars on the show. So are Labour’s Primary Industries spokesman Damien O’Connor and former MP now Vice Chancellor of Massey Steve Maharey. In the past former PM Helen Clark, then-National party leader Don Brash, former Agriculture Minister Jim Anderton, former MPI Minister David Carter and Cunliffe’s former leader David Shearer were all on each week.

Since Cunliffe won’t front, Jamie has invited Russel Norman to replace him.

All of these people are or were willing to front Jamie regularly but Cunliffe isn’t.

But worse than this – one of his challenges was to assert himself as leader of the opposition, a position Norman had assumed while David Shearer led Labour.

Instead, he’s handed his rival a free pass to a slot that should have been his own on the Farming Show.

In doing so he’s shown himself a little too concerned with his own image and a little less confident of his own ability than he would like the world to think.

#gigatownoamaru doesn’t chicken out.


November 6 in history

November 6, 2013

355  Roman Emperor Constantius II promoted his cousin Julian to the rank of Caesar, entrusting him with the government of the Prefecture of the Gauls.

1528  Shipwrecked Spanish conquistador Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca became the first known European to set foot in Texas.

1632   Thirty years war: Battle of Lützen was fought, the Swedes were victorius but the King of Sweden, Gustavus Adolphus died in the battle.

1789   Pope Pius VI appointed Father John Carroll as the first Catholic bishop in the United States.

1844  The first constitution of the Dominican Republic was adopted.

1851  Charles Dow, American journalist and economist, was born (d. 1902).

1856   Scenes of Clerical Life, the first work of fiction by the author later known as George Eliot, was submitted for publication.

1861   American Civil War: Jefferson Davis was elected president of the Confederate States of America.

1861  James Naismith, Canadian inventor of basketball, was born (d. 1939).

1865   American Civil War: CSS Shenandoah was the last Confederate combat unit to surrender after circumnavigating the globe on a cruise on which it sank or captured 37 vessels.

1893  Edsel Ford, president of Ford Motor Company, was born (d. 1943).

1908 Prime Minister Sir Joseph Ward ceremonially opened the North Island main trunk railway line by driving home a final polished silver spike at Manganuioteao, between National Park and Ohakune.

Last spike for North Island main trunk line

1913   Mohandas Gandhi was arrested while leading a march of Indian miners in South Africa.

1917   World War I: Third Battle of Ypres ended: After three months of fierce fighting, Canadian forces took Passchendaele in Belgium.

1918   The Second Polish Republic was proclaimed in Poland.

1925   Secret agent Sidney Reilly was executed by the OGPU, the secret police of the Soviet Union.

1928   Sweden began a tradition of eating Gustavus Adolphus pastries to commemorate the king.

1935  Edwin Armstrong presented his paper “A Method of Reducing Disturbances in Radio Signaling by a System of Frequency Modulation” to the New York section of the Institute of Radio Engineers.

1935  First flight of the Hawker Hurricane.

1935  Parker Brothers acquired the forerunner patents for MONOPOLY from Elizabeth Magie.

1939   World War II: Sonderaktion Krakau took place.

1941  World War II: Soviet leader Joseph Stalin addressed the Soviet Union for only the second time during his three-decade rule. He stated that even though 350,000 troops were killed in German attacks so far, the Germans had lost 4.5 million soldiers and that Soviet victory was near.

1942   World War II: Carlson’s patrol during the Guadalcanal Campaign began.

1943   World War II: the Soviet Red Army recaptured Kiev.

1944   Plutonium was first produced at the Hanford Atomic Facility.

1946  Sally Field, American actress, was born.

1947 – George Young, Australian musician (Easybeats), was born.

1947   Meet the Press made its television debut (the show went to a weekly schedule on September 12, 1948).

1948 Glenn Frey, American singer (Eagles), was born.

1949 Nigel Havers, English actor, was born.

1962   Apartheid: The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution condemning South Africa’s racist apartheid policies and calls for all UN member states to cease military and economic relations with the nation.

1963   General Duong Van Minh took over leadership of South Vietnam.

1965   Cuba and the United States formally agreed to begin an airlift for Cubans who want to go to the United States.

1970  Ethan Hawke, American actor, was born.

1971  The United States Atomic Energy Commission tested the largest U.S. underground hydrogen bomb, code-named Cannikin, on Amchitka Island in the Aleutians.

1975   Green March began: 300,000 unarmed Moroccans converged on the southern city of Tarfaya and waited for a signal from King Hassan II of Morocco to cross into Western Sahara.

1977   The Kelly Barnes Dam, located above Toccoa Falls, Georgia, failed, killing 39.

1985   Leftist guerrillas of the April 19 Movement seized control of the Palace of Justice in Bogotá, eventually killing 115 people, 11 of them Supreme Court justices.

1986   Sumburgh disaster – A British International Helicopters Boeing 234LR Chinook crashed 2.5 miles east of Sumburgh Airport killing 45 people.

1999   Australians voted to keep the Head of the Commonwealth as their head of state in the Australian republic referendum.

2004   An express train collided with a stationary carriage near the village of Ufton Nervet, England, killing 7 and injuring 150.

2005   The Evansville Tornado of November 2005 killed 25 in Northwestern Kentucky and Southwestern Indiana.

Sourced from NZ History Online and Wikipedia.


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