Word of the day

October 14, 2014

Maginnis – a wrestling hold from which escape is difficult.


Wool levy vote lost

October 14, 2014

Preliminary results show wool growers have voted against a levy.

New Zealand wool growers look to have declined the opportunity for a new Wool Commodity Levy Order to be introduced following a Referendum which closed on Friday 10 October.

“Preliminary results show the result is against the introduction of a levy. Final votes are yet to be counted, as some voting envelopes are still in transit and will be processed until Wednesday, however it seems unlikely the outcome will change now,” said Sandra Faulkner, Chair of the Wool Levy Group.

As at Tuesday 14 October, wool growers voted 43.2% to 56.8% against the levy while the weighted vote from larger enterprises was against the levy 40.29% to 59.71%. . .

“Our challenge was to ensure that wool growers understood the proposal to introduce a levy under the Commodities Levy Act and get a strong voter turnout,” says Sandra Faulkner, Chair of the Wool Levy Group.

“We are delighted with voter turnout of around 47% – most commodity levy act votes struggle to get over 35%. Wool growers have certainly seen the importance of getting involved in this event – I can only reiterate my sincere thanks to all those who took the time to read the proposal, ask questions and vote.

“Growers have elected to operate in a purely commercial environment and there will be some disappointment that this continues to see our $700 million wool industry without an independent, internationally recognised, non-commercial voice.

“However, the significant involvement in the conversation around this proposal and ultimately, in the future of our wool industry, from growers through to end use retailers, researchers and educators, across all wool types, has certainly been encouraging.” . . .

When more affluent customers are looking for greener options, wool ought to seek itself.

It is a natural, renewable product sourced from free-range animals.

A levy would have helped get that message through to more customers.


How much of a grammar hawk are you?

October 14, 2014

How much of a grammar hawk are you?

Grammar hawkish:

You notice grammar frequently, but it’s not the end all and be all for you. You want the standards of language to be followed and you gently correct people who go astray. You believe that chaos cannot reign. You’re like, “C’mon I’ve got some pet peeves, but who doesn’t?”

I’m too aware that my own grammar isn’t always perfect to be pedantic about other people’s.


Cunliffe leaves race backs Little

October 14, 2014

David Cunliffe has pulled out of Labour’s leadership race and is backing Andrew Little to succeed him.

He says the decision to withdraw was a difficult one, and says he had been “under a lot of pressure to keep running”.

Mr Cunliffe will stay on as an MP in Parliament and made the decision to pull out last week. He said his decision was final.

“I believe I still have a useful role to play in the party and in the Labour movement and as MP for New Lynn.

I’ve really enjoyed the election campaign. I can look myself in the mirror and know that I gave absolutely everything to it and left it all on the track, and that’s what I think the party deserves.”

He says Mr Little has a strong vision for the party, and will bring “greater cohesion”.

“I have enormous respect for Andrew. I believe he is the right man for the job.”

Mr Cunliffe believes pulling out of the race is in the best interest of the Labour Party.

“I will be staunchly supportive of the party whoever the leader will be.” . . .

I’m not sure Cunliffe’s chances of winning the leadership contest were very good but had he done so it would have been a disaster for the party when so few in caucus supported him.

Whether those who don’t support him will take any notice of his support for Little will remain to be seen.

With three candidates remaining, Little, Grant Robertson and David Parker, and both David Shearer and Stuart Nash having contemplated running, that’s nearly a fifth of caucus with leadership aspirations.

The first challenge of whoever wins the race will be uniting his colleagues.


October 14 in history

October 14, 2014

1066  Norman Conquest: Battle of Hastings – the forces of William the Conqueror defeated the English army and kill King Harold II of England.

1322  Robert the Bruce of Scotland defeated King Edward II of England at Byland, forcing Edward to accept Scotland’s independence.

1644 William Penn, English founder of Pennsylvania, was born (d. 1718).

1656  Massachusetts enacts the first punitive legislation against the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

1758  Seven Years’ War: Austria defeated Prussia at the Battle of Hochkirk.

1773  The first recorded Ministryof Education, the Komisja Edukacji Narodowej was formed in Poland.

1805 Battle of Elchingen, France defeated Austria.

1806 Battle of Jena-Auerstädt France defeated Prussia.

1840  The Maronite leader Bashir II surrendered to the British Army and then is sent into exile on the islands of Malta.

1843  The British arrested the Irish nationalist Daniel O’Connell for conspiracy to commit crimes.

1863  American Civil War: Battle of Bristoe Station – Confederate troops under the command of General Robert E. Lee failed to drive the American Union Army completely out of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

1867  The 15th and the last military Shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate resigned in Japan, returning his power to the Emperor of Japan and thence to the re-established civil government of Japan.

1882 Eamon de Valera, Irish politician and patriot, was born (d. 1975).

1882 University of the Punjab was founded in a part of India that later became West Pakistan.

1884  The American inventor, George Eastman, received a U.S. Government patent on his new paper-strip photographic film.

1888 Katherine Mansfield, New Zealand writer, was born (d. 1923).

1888  Louis Le Prince filmed first motion picture: Roundhay Garden Scene.

1890  Dwight D. Eisenhower, U.S. general and 34th President of the United States, was born (d. 1969).

1894  E. E. Cummings, American poet, was born (d. 1962).

1912 While campaigning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the former President Theodore Roosevelt, was shot and mildly wounded by John Schrank.With the fresh wound in his chest, and the bullet still within it, Mr. Roosevelt still carried out his scheduled public speech.

1913  Senghenydd Colliery Disaster, the United Kingdom’s worst coal mining accident claimed the lives of 439 miners.

1926  The children’s book Winnie-the-Pooh, by A.A. Milne, was first published.

1927 Roger Moore, English actor, was born.

1938  The first flight of the Curtiss Aircraft Company’s P-40 Warhawk fighter plane.

1939 Ralph Lauren, American fashion designer, was born.

1939 The German Kriegsmarine submarine U-47 sank the British battleship HMS Royal Oak in the harbour at Scapa Flow.

1940 Cliff Richard, English singer, was born.

1940 Christopher Timothy, British actor, was born.

1940  Balham subway station disaster, in London during an air raid.

1943 Prisoners at the Sobibor extermination camp in Poland revolted against the Germans, killing eleven SS troops who were guards there, and wounding many more.

1943 – The American Eighth Air Force lost 60 B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers in aerial combat during the second mass-daylight air raid on the Schweinfurt ball-bearing factories in western Nazi Germany.

1944 – Athens was liberated by British Army troops.

1946 Justin Hayward, English musician (Moody Blues), was born.

1947 Captain Chuck Yeager of the U.S. Air Force flew a Bell X-1 rocket-powered experimental aircraft, the Glamorous Glennis, faster than the speed of sound.

1949 – Chinese Civil War: Chinese Communist forces occupied the city of Guangzhou.

1952  Korean War: United Nations and South Korean forces launched Operation Showdown against Chinese strongholds at the Iron Triangle. The resulting Battle of Triangle Hill was the biggest and bloodiest battle of 1952.

1956  Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, the Indian Untouchable caste leader, converted to Buddhism along with 385,000 of his followers (see Neo-Buddhism).

1957  Queen Elizabeth II became the first Canadian Monarch to open up an annual session of the Canadian Parliament, presenting her Speech from the Throne in Ottawa, Canada.

1958 The American Atomic Energy Commission, with supporting military units, carried out an underground nuclear weapon test.

1962 – The Cuban Missile Crisis began: A U.S. Air Force U-2 reconnaissance plane and its pilot flew over  Cuba and took photographs of Soviet missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

1964 Leonid Brezhnev became the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

1967 Joan Baez was arrested concerning a physical blockade of the U.S. Army’s induction centre in Oakland, California.

1968 – An earthquake rated at 6.8 on the Richter Scale destroyed the Australian town of Meckering, Western Australia, and ruptured all nearby main highways and railroads.

1968  Jim Hines of the United States of America becomes the first man ever to break the so-called “ten-second barrier” in the 100-meter sprint in the Summer Olympic Gamesheld in Mexico City with a time of 9.95 seconds.

1969  The United Kingdom introduced fifty-pence coin, which replaced, over the following years, the British ten-shilling note, in anticipation of the decimalization of the British currency in 1971

1973  In the Thammasat student uprising over 100,000 people protested in Thailand against the Thanom military government; 77 were killed and 857 are injured by soldiers.

1979 The mutilated body of Marty Johnstone, leader of the Mr Asia drug syndicate, was found in Eccleston Delft, a flooded disused quarry in Lancashire.

'Mr Asia' murder victim found

1979  The National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, demanded “an end to all social, economic, judicial, and legal oppression of lesbian and gay people”, and draws 200,000 people.

1981  Amnesty International charged the U.S. Federal Government with holding Richard Marshall of the American Indian Movement as a political prisoner.

1981 – Vice President Hosni Mubarak was elected as the President of Egypt.

1982 U.S. President Ronald Reagan proclaimed a War on Drugs.

1994 Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, and Foreign Minister of Israel, Shimon Peres, received the Nobel Peace Prize for their role in the establishment of the Oslo Accords and the framing of the future Palestinian Self Governing.

2004 – A special nine-member council selected Norodom Sihamoni as the new King of Cambodia, replacing his father who abdicated a week earlier.

2012 – Felix Baumgartner jumped from the stratosphere to try to break the record of the highest freefall jump, at an altitude of 39,068 meters (128,018 ft)

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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