Word of the day

October 3, 2015

Brujo –  warlock, wizard, , shaman, sorcerer; witch doctor, especially : one that works black magic.


Rural round-up

October 3, 2015

Federated Farmers’ President praises WTO and criticizes those stalling the TPP at Geneva Forum :

The last 20 years of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) have provided an objective framework on which to base our international trade and seen the organisation provide great assistance to small countries like New Zealand.

That was the message from Federated Farmers’ President Dr William Rolleston, Vice President of the World Farmers’ Organisation, in his address overnight to a WTO Public Forum in Geneva.

“New Zealand is a small country, which means our political influence bilaterally can be limited. Without WTO rules, disputes are more likely to be settled on bargaining power rather than the evidence,” said Dr Rolleston. . .

Fossicking in Fonterra’s annual report – Keith Woodford:

The release of Fonterra’s annual report on 24 September coincided for me with a long plane trip back from China. I used the time trying to work out what all the numbers really mean. It was not an easy task.

Fonterra’s annual report – like most reports from large companies –provides masses of numbers. Some are clearly there for public relations purposes. Others are there to meet the required rules of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). And then there is another set of numbers which Fonterra constructs according to its own rules.

These additional measures are called non-GAAP measures; i.e. ‘non-generally accepted accounting measures’. Fonterra itself acknowledges that these measures are not standard between companies, so comparison must be made with caution. . . 

‘Cloud of dread’ over Filipino workers:

A Filipino worker in the dairy industry says people with false documents are being denied visas and sent home, despite many of them not knowing their paperwork was wrong. 

Immigration New Zealand has confirmed it is investigating multiple work visa applications involving Filipino dairy workers in the South Island, after staff noticed false claims of work experience and qualifications on visa applications.

Roberto Bolanos is a dairy farmer in North Canterbury, who arrived from the Philippines 10 years ago.

Mr Bolanos said the problem started with recruiters in the Philippines who offered people dairy jobs in New Zealand, along with documents, at a cost of, in some cases, $15,000. . . 

Government to consider amending National Bovine TB plan:

An independent Plan Governance Group made up of representatives of funding organisations, OSPRI, and wider stakeholder interests, has reviewed the bovine tuberculosis National Pest Management Plan (TB Plan). Today it gave its final advice on the proposed changes to the TB Plan to the Minister for Primary Industries, Hon Nathan Guy. The changes build on the significant progress made by OSPRI under the current TB Plan.

The Plan Governance Group considered a range of technical and scientific advice, and strongly believes that the eradication of TB from New Zealand is both feasible and economically justifiable. The proposed changes to the TB Plan were consulted on with farmers, local communities, and other stakeholders in June and July this year. Over 400 quality submissions, covering a wide range of issues, were received on the draft Plan proposal, and the Plan Governance Group took them into account as it prepared its final proposal to the Minister. . . 

Rabobank Beef Quarterly Q3 2015: Traded Volumes Are Reaching Quota Limits:

New Zealand and Australia beef exports to the US are set to reach their quota limits in Q4. Meanwhile, global economic conditions—such as the appreciation of the US dollar and the depreciation of the yuan and the real—are having an impact on beef trade, according to the Rabobank Beef Quarterly Q3.

A strong US dollar has led to a reduction in US exports and support for US imports, while a weakening Chinese economy and devaluation of the yuan are curbing beef prices in China, and the devaluation of the real is expected to support Brazilian exports in the coming months. “With little change expected in major beef-trading economies in the coming quarter, other than a possibility of the US FOMC raising interest rates, a strong US currency is expected to continue to affect global beef trade”, according to Angus Gidley-Baird, Senior Animal Protein Analyst at Rabobank. . . 

Commission issues second draft determination on wool scouring assets application:

The Commerce Commission has released a second draft determination maintaining its preliminary view that it should allow Cavalier Wool Holdings (CWH) to acquire New Zealand Wool Services International’s (NZWSI) wool scouring business and assets.

The Commission released its preliminary view on CWH’s application in March 2015 and has since received further information and submissions from interested parties on various matters. The second draft determination has been released to allow interested parties the opportunity to submit on this new information.

Commission Chair Dr Mark Berry said having considered the new information, the Commission is still of the view that the public benefits of the acquisition would outweigh the loss of competition. . . 

Ballance thriving as it plans next 60 years:

Ballance Agri-Nutrients achieved record sales and returned $76 million to shareholders while keeping margins tight and prices affordable, Chairman David Peacocke told the annual meeting of shareholders in Tauranga on Wednesday.

He said the result for its financial year ended 31 May 2015 capped off a milestone year for the co-operative, which celebrated 60 years since the first shares in legacy company Bay of Plenty Fertiliser were issued. Noting the co-operative “not only survives but also thrives”, he said its core value of collective strength remained unchanged while it evolved to meet the current needs of farming.

“What has changed is that farmers are busier, operating over larger properties and working within increasingly tight environmental demands. So along with a secure supply of the right nutrients, we continually broaden our scope to tailor our products, our technology solutions and our advice for today’s farms, and the farms of the future.” . . .


Saturday’s smiles

October 3, 2015

 Osama bin Laden was sitting in his cave wondering whom to invade next when his telephone rang.

 “Hallo, Mr. Laden” a heavily accented voice said. “This is Paddy down at the Harp Pub in County Sligo, Ireland. I am ringing to inform you that we are officially declaring war on you!”

 “Well, Paddy,” Osama replied, “This is indeed important news! How big is your army?”

“Right now,” said Paddy, after a moment’s calculation, “thyvonne ere is myself, my cousin Sean, my next door neighbor Seamus, and the entire dart team from the pub. That makes eight!”

Osama paused. “I must tell you, Paddy, I have one million men in my army waiting to move on my command.”

“Begorra!”, said Paddy. “I’ll have to ring you back!”

Sure enough, the next day, Paddy called again. “Mr.Laden, the war is still on! We have managed to acquire some infantry equipment!”

“And what equipment would that be, Paddy?” Osama asked.

“Well, we have two combines, a bulldozer, and Murphy’s farm tractor.”

Osama sighed. “I must tell you, Paddy, I have 6,000 tanks and 4,000 armoured personnel carriers. Also, I’ve increased my army to 1-1/2 million since we last spoke.”

“Saints preserve us!” said Paddy. “I’ll have to get back to you.”

Sure enough, Paddy rang again the next day. “Mr.Laden, the war is still on! We have managed to get ourselves airborne! We’ve modified Harrigan’s ultra-light with a couple of shotguns in the cockpit, and four boys from the Shamrock Pub have joined us as well!”

Osama was silent for a minute and then cleared his throat. “I must tell you, Paddy, I have 1,000 bombers and 200 fighter planes. My military complex is surrounded by laser-guided, surface-to-air missile sites.

And since we last spoke, I’ve increased my army to TWO MILLION!”

“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!”, said Paddy, “I’ll have to ring you back.”

Sure enough, Paddy called again the next day. “Top o’ the mornin’, Mr. Laden! I am sorry to tell you that we have had to call off the war.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” said Osama. “Why the sudden change of heart?”

“Well,” said Paddy, “we’ve all had a long chat over a bunch of pints, and decided there’s no way we can feed two million prisoners.”

 Hat tip: the reader who sent this to me.


Wins not victories

October 3, 2015

The All Blacks have beaten Georgia 43 – 10.

Like its other pool games, it was a win but not a victory.

The All Blacks have been expected not only to win but to win well and they haven’t yet.

This means either:

a) The gap between the top tier, the up and comers and the minnows is narrowing.

b) It’s a cunning plot by the All Blacks to appear weaker than they are by not playing their best in pool games.

c) The chances of the All Blacks making the final, let alone winning it aren’t nearly as high as many of us hoped.


Saturday soapbox

October 3, 2015

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse but not to abuse.
Sue Fitzmaurice, Author's photo.

The biggest waste of time and energy is to keep trying to explain something to someone who doesn’t want to hear it. – Sue Fitzmaurice


October 3

October 3, 2015

52 BC Vercingetorix, leader of the Gauls, surrendered to the Romans under Julius Caesar, ending the siege and Battle of Alesia.

42 BC  First Battle of Philippi: Triumvirs Mark Antony and Octavian fought a decisive battle with Caesar’s assassins Brutus and Cassius.

1283   Dafydd ap Gruffydd, prince of Gwynedd in Wales, became the first person executed by being hanged, drawn and quartered.

1574   The Siege of Leiden was lifted by the Watergeuzen.

1683   The Qing Dynasty naval commander Shi Lang reached Taiwan to receive the formal surrender of Zheng Keshuang and Liu Guoxuan after the Battle of Penghu.

1712   The Duke of Montrose issued a warrant for the arrest of Rob Roy MacGregor.

1739   The Treaty of Nissa was signed by the Ottoman Empire and Russia at the finish of the Russian-Turkish War, 1736–1739.

1835   The Staedtler Company was founded in Nuremberg.

1849  Edgar Allan Poe, US author, was found delirious in a gutter in Baltimore, Maryland under mysterious circumstances.

1873  Captain Jack and companions were hanged for their part in theModoc War.

1888  The NZ Natives, the first national rugby team to wear the silver fern, played its first game in the UK.

NZ Natives team plays first game in UK

1908  The Pravda newspaper was founded by Leon Trotsky, Adolph Joffe, Matvey Skobelev and other Russian exiles in Vienna.

1916 James Herriot, English vet & author, was born (d 1995).

1918  King Boris III of Bulgaria acceded to the throne.

1925 Gore Vidal, American author, was born (d 2012).

1929 The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was renamed toKingdom of Yugoslavia, “Land of the South Slavs”.

1932  Iraq gained independence from the United Kingdom.

1935   Second Italo-Abyssinian War: Italy invaded Ethiopia under General de Bono.

1941  Chubby Checker, American singer-songwriterwas born.

1942   The first successful launch of a V-2 /A4-rocket from Test Stand VII at Peenemünde, Germany, this was the first man-made object to reach space.

1949 Lindsey Buckingham, American guitarist and singer (Fleetwood Mac), was born.

1950  Korean War: The First Battle of Maryang San, primarily pitting Australian and British forces against communist China, began.

1952   The United Kingdom successfully tested a nuclear weapon.

1955  The Mickey Mouse Club debuted on ABC.

1957 Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and Other Poems was ruled not obscene.

1962  Project Mercury: Sigma 7 was launched from Cape Canaveral, with Astronaut Wally Schirra aboard, for a six-orbit, nine-hour flight.

1964   First Buffalo Wings were made at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York.

1971 Kevin Richardson, American singer (Backstreet Boys), was born.

1981  The Hunger Strike by Provisional Irish Republican Army and Irish National Liberation Army prisoners at the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland ended after seven months and ten deaths.

1981 The Communist Party of Namibia was founded at a conference in Angola.

1981  The Space Shuttle Atlantis made its maiden flight. (Mission STS-51-J)

1986   TASCC, a superconducting cyclotron at the Chalk River Laboratories, was officially opened.

1990 German Unity Day:  The German Democratic Republic ceased to exist and its territory became part of the Federal Republic of Germany.

1993   Battle of Mogadishu: In an attempt to capture officials of warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid’s organisation in Mogadishu, Somalia, 18 US Soldiers and about 1,000 Somalis were killed in heavy fighting.

1995  O J Simpson acquitted of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

2008  The $700 billion bailout bill for the US financial system was signed by President Bush.

2009  – The presidents of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkey signed the Nakhchivan Agreement on the Establishment of Turkic Council.

2013 – At least 134 migrants were killed when their boat sank near the Italian island of Lampedusa.

2013 – The Gambia withdrew from the Commonwealth of Nations.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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