Word of the day

October 13, 2015

Scintilate – to emit or send forth flashes of light or sparks; sparkle; fluoresce momentarily when struck by a charged particle or photon.


Arrest for 1080 milk powder threat

October 13, 2015

A man has been arrested on charges relating to last year’s threat to contaminate infant formula with 1080:

New Zealand Police have arrested a 60-year-old Auckland businessman in relation to the criminal blackmail threat to poison infant formula with 1080, made public in March this year.

The man is appearing in the Counties Manukau District Court this afternoon on two charges of criminal blackmail, relating to threat letters sent to dairy giant Fonterra Cooperative Group and Federated Farmers in November last year. Blackmail is punishable by up to 14 years in jail.

The arrest follows the execution of five search warrants in Auckland and the Rangitikei district this morning.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said today’s arrest follows a long and complex 11-month investigation, that has cost over $3 million and involved a 35-strong investigation team.

“This investigation is one of the biggest undertaken by police in recent times and reflects how seriously we view this kind of crime,” he said.

The Operation Conchord team had used a range of forensic techniques in gathering evidence, some that were innovative and could be used in future investigations, he said.

It’s believed the arrested man was acting alone and no further arrests are expected though Bush said he couldn’t comment on his motivations for the threatened blackmail.

More than 2,600 people were considered by the investigation team over the course of the enquiry.

Ministry for Primary Industries chief executive Martyn Dunne said the safety of consumers was paramount during the investigation. . . 

This is weclome progress in the case and police deserve credit for the work that must have gone into gathering evidence.

MPI and others involved in ensuring infant formula is safe have also done good work.


Rural round-up

October 13, 2015

Location and movement sensors thwart hive thieves – Tim Fulton:

Thieves are stealing manuka honey hives, forcing beekeepers to protect their hives using location and movement sensors.

Manuka-rich regions like Northland and Waikato, down to the wide-open pastures and hill country of the South Island, are being targeted.

Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group chairman John Hartnell said the country had nearly 600,000 hives –double the number at the turn of the century. . .

Love of dairying overcomes cow allergy – Barbara Gillham:

An allergy to cows has not stopped Sheree Walters from fulfilling her dream of dairy farming.

She feels she has time and experience on her side as she works toward her ultimate goal of running her own run-off block.

Currently working as a support technician for  on their 2700ha dairy farm near the small rural community of Hororata in North Canterbury, Walters says she has always loved dairy farming.

Although her parents did not farm, she was fortunate to have an uncle that had a dairy farm and lived nearby.

“When I was younger I always used to go to his farm after school and help out; he milked about 150 cows and I was always down there any chance I had,” she says. . . 

Hopes for better rural health services:

NZLocums, A recruitment division of the NZ Rural General Practice Network, has placed its first nurse practitioner in a permanent role in a New Zealand rural general practice.

Network chairwoman and Temuka nurse practitioner Sharon Hansen hopes for more such appointments, saying these nurse practitioners in rural areas are “absolutely” positive for the community.

Nurse practitioners have master’s degrees and must go through an extensive assessment by the Nursing Council. They can do a wider range of duties than other nurses, including some diagnosis and prescribing of medicines. . . 

Cloudy Bay celebrates its 30th vintage wine:

Stories of entrepreneurs are usually inspiring, but not many tales are as dramatic as that of Cloudy Bay wines, whose makers are celebrating its 30th vintage.

This is the stuff of urban legend. One minute, a gung-ho Australian takes a couple of sips of Marlborough sauvignon blanc (1983), the following year he is travelling to Marlborough and unwittingly planting the seeds of one of the most successful wine brands in the last half century.

The man in question is David Hohnen. He was in Western Australia when he first tasted Marlborough sauvignon blanc, so he wasn’t exactly handy to the region.

But his sixth sense back then of right time-right place enabled him to take the plunge and investigate further. . . 

 

Farm sitters settle in – Shan Goodwin:

FARM sitting has been plugging gaps left by the trend for retired producers to relocate to the coast and the mining boom induced farm labour shortage in the past decade, but now it’s emerging as the newest agriculture profession.

Attracted by the extensive travel opportunities, diversity, flexibility and next-to-nothing living expenses of being a short-term caretaker of somebody else’s operation, experienced farmers are selling up to become full-time farm sitters.

Rural community and farm industry leaders say the growth of the concept of farm sitting has many pluses, not the least being the retention of knowledge and skills in agriculture and the social and economic benefits of additional faces in small bush towns. . . 


Quote of the day

October 13, 2015

. . . The state should absolutely run a court system, should absolutely have police, should absolutely have a military, that’s just the basic thing so you can have property and be safe in yourself. That’s first. But then there’s a few more things. Some people make the argument that Victorian times were better, but I think it’s fair to have, basically, a social insurance scheme that says, look, you have unforeseeable risks, some people are just born with parents that either don’t want to or can’t afford to send them to school, and I think that the state should actually fund that, I don’t think they should be running all the schools, but they should fund it. And I think we should have some sort of insurance against bad things happening to you. I don’t have a major objection to the state running an employment insurance scheme, which is basically what it does.

But once you get past those things – security and a social safety net – then you suddenly find yourself with politicians who think they’re businesspeople, and it’s just too tempting to play around with other people’s money. There’s a regulatory role for the state, and that is things like fisheries, for instance. If everybody just took everything they wanted, there’d be no fish next season. . .  – David Seymour

Hat tip: Kiwiblog


October 13 in history

October 13, 2015

4 Nero ascended to the Roman throne.

1307 Hundreds of Knights Templar in France were simultaneously arrested by agents of Phillip the Fair

1332  Rinchinbal Khan, Emperor Ningzong of Yuan became the Khagan of the Mongols and Emperor of the Yuan Dynasty, reigning for only 53 days.

1773 The Whirlpool Galaxy was discovered by Charles Messier.

1775 The United States Continental Congress orders the establishment of the Continental Navy (later renamed the United States Navy).

1777  British General John Burgoyne’s Army at The Battles of Saratogawas surrounded by superior numbers, setting the stage for its surrender which inspired  France to enter the American Revolutionary War against the British.

1792  The cornerstone of the United States’ Executive Mansion (known as the White House ) was laid.

1812 War of 1812: Battle of Queenston Heights – As part of the Niagara campaign in Ontario, United States forces under General Stephen Van Rensselaer were repulsed from invading Canada by British and native troops led by Sir Isaac Brock.

1843 Henry Jones and 11 others founded B’nai B’rith (the oldest Jewish service organization in the world).

1845  A majority of voters in the Republic of Texas approved a proposed constitution, that if accepted by the U.S. Congress, would make Texas a U.S. state.

1862  Mary Kingsley, English writer and explorer, was born (d. 1900).

1884 Greenwich, was established as Universal Time meridian of longitude.

1885 The Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) was founded in Atlanta.

1892  Edward Emerson Barnard discovered D/1892 T1, the first comet discovered by photographic means, on the night of October 13–14.

1904 Wilfred Pickles, English actor and broadcaster, ws born (d. 1978).

1915  The Battle for the Hohenzollern Redoubt marked the end of the Battle of Loos in northern France, World War I.

1917  The “Miracle of the Sun” was witnessed by an estimated 70,000 people in the Cova da Iria in Fátima, Portugal.

1918  Mehmed Talat Pasha and the Young Turk (C.U.P.) ministry resigned and signed an armistice, ending Ottoman participation in World War I.

1923  Ankara replaced Istanbul as the capital of Turkey.

1925   Lenny Bruce, American comedian (d. 1966)

1925 – Margaret Thatcher, former British Prime Minister, was born (d. 2013).

1934 Nana Mouskouri, Greek singer and politician, was born.

1941 Paul Simon, American singer and musician (Simon & Garfunkel), was born.

1943  World War II: The new government of Italy sided with the Allies and declared war on Germany.

1946  France adopted the constitution of the Fourth Republic.

1959 Marie Osmond, American entertainer, was born.

1962 The Pacific Northwest experienced a cyclone the equal of a Cat 3 hurricane. Winds measured above 150 mph at several locations; 46 people died.

1968 Carlos Marin, Spanish baritone (Il Divo), was born.

1969 Nancy Kerrigan, American figure skater, was born.

1970 Paul Potts, British opera singer, was born.

1972  An Aeroflot Ilyushin Il-62 crashed outside Moscow killing 176.

1972  Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crashed in the Andes mountains. By December 23, only 16 out of 45 people were still alive  to be rescued.

1975 Dame Whina Cooper led a land march to parliament.

Whina Cooper leads land march to Parliament

1976  A Bolivian Boeing 707 cargo jet crashed in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, killing 100 (97, mostly children, killed on the ground).

1976  The first electron micrograph of an Ebola viral particle was obtained by Dr. F.A. Murphy.

1977 Four Palestinians hijacked Lufthansa Flight 181 to Somalia and demanded the release of 11 members of the Red Army Faction.

1983 Ameritech Mobile Communications (now AT&T) launched the first US cellular network in Chicago, Illinois.

1990  End of the Lebanese Civil War. Syrian forces launched an attack on the free areas of Lebanon removing General Michel Aoun from the presidential palace.

1992  An Antonov An-124 operated by Antonov Airlines crashed near Kiev.

1999 – The United States Senate rejected ratification of theComprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

2010 – The 2010 Copiapó mining accident in Copiapó, Chile came to an end as all 33 miners arrived at the surface after surviving a record 69 days underground awaiting rescue.

2013  – A stampede broke out on a bridge near the Ratangarh Mata Temple in Datia district, Madhya Pradesh, India during the Hindu festival Navratri, killing 115 people and injuring more than 110.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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