Word of the day

April 6, 2017

Shrift – confession, especially to a priest; absolution by a priest;  a remission of sins pronounced by a priest in the sacrament of reconciliation; the imposition of penance by a priest on a penitent after confession; a brief time for confession or absolution given to a condemned prisoner before execution; the act of shriving.

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Thursday’s quiz

April 6, 2017

You’re invited to pose the questions.

Anyone who stumps everyone will win a virtual round of Whitestone Windsor Blue.


Gibraltar tensions

April 6, 2017

An Anglo-Dutch force captured Gibraltar in 1704 during the War of Spanish Succession and  Spain ceded it to Great Britain in the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713.

It’s still a British Overseas Territory on Spain’s south coast dominated by the Rock of Gibraltar, a 426m-high limestone ridge.

That rock can be seen easily from a good distance away an ever-present reminder to Spain of  Britain’s possession of the territory.

Gibraltar is only 6.7 km2   in area but is strategically placed. In World War II it provided a base from which the Royal Navy controlled exit and entry to the Mediterranean Sea and half the world’s seaborne trade passes through the strait today.

Tensions over Gibraltar have risen again now the European Union offered Spain a right of veto over the future relationship between Gibraltar and the EU after Brexit.

A significant majority of the 32,000 people who live in the territory have repeatedly voted overwhelmingly both for their own autonomy and to reject any sharing of sovereignty with Spain. But that doesn’t stop Spain’s ambition to reclaim the territory.

Spain may very well return to the days when it effectively embargoed Gibraltar, denying easy access to tourists and forcing residents to rely on air links to Great Britain to run their economy. The bureaucrats in Brussels frankly may also cheer on Spain’s punishment of the population and economy of Gibraltar as a means to signal its annoyance with Great Britain for turning its back on the European experiment.

Spain, however, is playing with fire and risks creating a precedent which will burn it several times over. Here’s the problem:

While Spain might object to Great Britain maintaining sovereignty over a 2.6 square mile territory which Madrid sees as its own, Spain has its own enclaves on the Mediterranean carved out of what should be, but for historical accidents of centuries past, sovereign Moroccan territory.

Ceuta is only seven square miles. In 1415, the Portuguese captured Ceuta and, during the next century when Portugal and Spain briefly united, Spaniards flocked to the city. The 1668 Treaty of Lisbon formally ceded Ceuta to Spain to whom it has belonged ever since. Spain, along with France, was a colonial power in Morocco but, in 1956 when Spain withdrew from northern Morocco (it would leave the Western Saharan in 1975), it continued to hold Ceuta.

Melilla, only 4.7 square miles, has a similar history. Spain conquered the city in 1497 and rebuffed subsequent Moroccan political and diplomatic efforts to win it back. Spain may consider it an autonomous territory but, it reality, it is a colonial outpost and an accident of history.

Spain may seek advantage from Brexit going forward in order to reclaim Gibraltar; that’s Madrid’s prerogative. However, so long as Spain continues to hold Ceuta and Melilla, instead of allowing an extension of Moroccan sovereignty, then Spain and the European Union’s case will be both hypocritical and weak.

Our first visit to Gibraltar was prompted by a desire to watch the touring Lions play Otago in 2005. We were living in Vejer de la Frontera, a village in Andalusia on the Costa de la Luz, where the locals favour football and we thought  Gibraltar would be the nearest place where people would be watching rugby.

It’s connected to Spain by a narrow isthmus on which Gibraltar airport is built.

We followed the advice of locals that it’s easier to enter the territory than face the queues when driving and once through customs and immigration we walked across the tarmac to the town.

Our first impressions weren’t positive.

The town was full of high-rise apartments that looked like they’d been designed in England with no appreciation of the Mediterranean climate.

However, the locals were friendly and we had no trouble finding a pub that would be showing the rugby next morning. The locals became friendlier still when the Lions won.

We spent the rest of the day exploring the rock, meeting the Barbary Macaques and learning about the military history including the WW II tunnels.

 

Legend has it that Britain will lose control of the territory if the apes die out. This was the seed from which Paul Gallico wrote his book Scruffy.

Chris Cleave’s Everyone Brave is Forgiven includes a more realistic and harrowing story of war in Gibraltar.

 

 

 


Rural round-up

April 6, 2017

Good trade news for red meat – let’s hope it happens quickly – Allan Barber:

The visit by Chinese Premier Li Kequiang has been very positive in several ways for New Zealand’s trade agreements, except for those people who are anti free trade or closer engagement with China (Winston Peters?). After the excitement about the announcement in April last year during the John Key led trade mission, progress on chilled red meat access to China and an upgraded FTA appeared to have gone onto the back burner, until now.

Progress was always going to be slower than the optimistic predictions, because nothing like this happens quickly without extensive discussions between officials about technical issues and, in the case of chilled meat, rewritten protocols and plant certification. Another issue to resolve was the need for marketing and distribution relationships to be established with particular emphasis on the cool chain. . . 

Dairy farmers committed to lowering environmental impact – Katrina Knowles:

Taranaki dairy farmers have planted native species along 5760 kilometres of waterways on their farms. This is the equivalent to a journey from Cape Reinga to Bluff, and back to the steps of Parliament in Wellington, with a few plants to spare.

Dairy farmers, not just in Taranaki, but also throughout the country, are committed to lowering the environmental impact of dairying, while protecting the valuable contribution they make to the economy.

Dairy farming is a major driver in the New Zealand economy, improving everyone’s lifestyle in this country. This is both directly and indirectly, and in rural and urban communities. . . 

Feedback big part of dairy awards – Sally Rae:

Entering the Southland-Otago Dairy Industry Awards was not about winning for Clydevale sharemilkers Russell and Tracy Bouma.

Rather, it was an opportunity to get feedback from judges to help them grow their business, Mr Bouma said.

The couple recently won the Sharefarmer of the Year title at the regional awards function in Invercargill, collecting $20,065 in prizes.

They sharemilk 762 cows on Andrew, Owen and Barbara Johnston’s 270ha farm and it was the fourth time they had entered the awards. They have been sharemilking since 2002.

Every time they had entered, they had been able to implement some of the feedback from the judges, Mrs Bouma (37) said. . . 

Protecting vulnerable native species with 1080 gets results:

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says successful breeding results for several of our most vulnerable native birds come as a result of using 1080 to kill predators.

“New results from a five-year study of South Island kākā nesting at Lake Paringa in South Westland show 30 times as many kākā chicks were produced and survived in the area after 1080 treatment to control stoats and possums compared to the area where no 1080 was used,” Ms Barry says.

“Put another way – 55% of kākā nests were successful up to a year after 1080 treatment but only 1.75% were successful where the compound was not used. 97% of adult kākā survived in 1080 treated areas.” . . 

Zespri reports strong interest in bidding round for Gold3 licenses – Rebecca Howard:

(BusinessDesk) – Zespri International reported strong interest in a bidding round for 400 hectares of new Gold3 or SunGold variety kiwifruit licences and said its shares will resume trading on Friday.

The kiwifruit marketer said it received 938 bids of which 235 were successful, and will reap $98 million of revenue from the allocation, excluding GST. The average size of the successful bids was 1.7 hectares. The SunGold variety has proven popular as it is more resistant to the Pseudomonas syringae pv actinadiae bacteria, better known as PSA, which decimated the industry some six years ago. By the end of June 2012, more than 35 percent of New Zealand kiwifruit orchards were infected. SunGold, first commercialised in 2010, was key to the sector’s recovery. . . 

Ashburton dairy farmer takes the helm at Canterbury A&P:

Dairy farmer Peter Gilbert was elected as President of the Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association for 2017 at the Annual General Meeting held at Riccarton Park Racecourse on 29 March.

Based in Winchmore, near Ashburton, Mr Gilbert was confirmed as the President of the 155th Canterbury A&P Show in front of outgoing President Warrick James, the General Committee and Association Members.

Mr Gilbert said he was looking forward to his Presidential year after a long association with Canterbury A&P. . . 

Anmum Releases Its First Batch of QR Coded Cans in NZ:

Parents Can Trace Product Journey as Anmum Releases Its First Batch of QR Coded Cans in NZ

Consumers now have their first touch point with Fonterra’s traceability in New Zealand through QR codes on Fonterra’s paediatric range, Anmum.

The QR codes are part of a programme to track and trace ingredients and products electronically throughout Fonterra, from the raw milk source on farm right through to retailers who sell the product to consumers.

Unique for every Anmum can, the QR code connects consumers via a mobile phone app to a webpage with information which verifies the authenticity of the product and its batch number. Consumers can also scan the can at any stage after they have bought it and get up to date status information about their product. . . .

Positive outlook for forestry sector:

Associate Primary Industries Minister Louise Upston has welcomed new forecasts showing forestry export revenue set to rise further over the next two financial years.

The Ministry for Primary Industries’ first quarterly update of its Situation Outlook for Primary Industries shows forestry export revenue is forecast to rise 5.8 per cent to $5.4 billion for the year ending June 2017, and a further 8.8 per cent to $5.9 billion in the year to June 2018.

“Rising log exports are behind this positive forecast, with a strong demand from China due to its expanding housing market. This, combined with low shipping costs, has driven harvesting to record levels,” Ms Upston says. . . 

Rabobank’s dairy analyst Emma Higgins on today’s GDT Event result:

The spread in pricing between fats and proteins are at record levels. AMF lifted 2.5% to USD 5,936/tonne (the highest average price for AMF in GDT history) and although butter lost ground by 1.6%, the average price at USD 4,751 is still the second highest average price in the history of butter offerings on GDT. Given low SMP pricing dynamics, coupled with lower global milk production, low fat stocks are underpinning outstanding fat prices.

Looking at the powder front, WMP prices lifted a modest 2.4% to USD 2,924 /tonne. Some price support has come from lower auction volumes this time around, with 20% less on offer overnight compared to the last auction. While SMP moved a fraction lower (-0.8%) to USD 1,913/tonne, a sizable 50% increase in SMP offer volumes makes the result overnight seem very positive indeed. . .

Farmers to see changes to farmhouse deductibility:

With farmers spending an increasing amount of time in the office, or at the kitchen table as the case is for many farmers across New Zealand, the changes to the deductibility of farmhouse expenses may come as a surprise. “With changes impacting farmers for the 2017/2018 financial year, it is important they take the time to find out how the changes could affect them,” Tony Marshall, Agribusiness Tax Specialist for Crowe Horwath points out.

Since the 1960s the IRD has allowed full-time farmers a deduction of 25% of farmhouse expenses without any evidentiary support. Inland Revenue Group Tax Counsel Graham Tubb says that this has allowed some farmers to claim deductions for private spending. . . 

Anchor Food Professionals Opens Sri Lanka’s First Dairy Innovation Kitchen:

Sri Lanka’s foodies are set to receive a delicious boost to their out-of-home dining experience, with Fonterra’s opening of the country’s first dairy innovation kitchen for the foodservice industry.

With increased urbanisation and more Sri Lankans eating out of home, Colombo, a city with more than two million people, is seeing new international hotel chains, restaurants, bakeries and other food outlets spring up around the city.

To cater to the growing interest in out-of-home dining, Fonterra’s foodservice business, Anchor Food Professionals, has opened an innovation kitchen in the city to trial new dairy products and work with chefs to develop new recipes and flavours that suit the tastes of Sri Lankan consumers. . . 

Carrfields seeds produce second world record grain crop:

 An Ashburton farmer’s record-breaking wheat crop is the second world record grain yield to be produced from Carrfields seeds in two years.

Eric Watson’s February 2017 harvest of 16.8 tonnes a hectare, grown from Carrfields’ winter wheat variety Oakley, has just made the Guinness World Records list for highest wheat yield.

It follows the world record for the highest yielding barley crop, set by Timaru growers Warren and Joy Darling in January 2015. The Darlings broke the previous 25-year-old record with a yield of 13.8 tonnes a hectare from Carrfields’ variety 776.

Carrfields’ Cereal Seed Product Manager, Phil Smith, said he was thrilled to see two world records set in Canterbury in a short space of time. . . 


Quote of the day

April 6, 2017

We are born weak, we need strength; helpless, we need aid; foolish, we need reason. All that we lack at birth, all that we need when we come to man’s estate, is the gift of education. Jean-Jacques Rousseau who was born on this day in 1712.


April 6 in history

April 6, 2017

46 BC Julius Caesar defeated Caecilius Metellus Scipio and Marcus Porcius Cato (Cato the Younger) in the battle of Thapsus.

402 Stilicho stymied the Visigoths under Alaric in the Battle of Pollentia.

1199  Richard I of England died from an infection following the removal of an arrow from his shoulder.

1320 The Scots reaffirmed their independence by signing the Declaration of Arbroath.

1327 The poet Petrarch first saw his idealized love, Laura, in the church of Saint Clare in Avignon.

1385 John, Master of the Order of Aviz, was made king John I of Portugal.

1483 Raphael, Italian painter and architect, was born (d. 1520).

1652 At the Cape of Good Hope, Dutch sailor Jan van Riebeeck established a resupply camp that eventually becomes Cape Town .

1667 An earthquake devastated Dubrovnik, then an independent city-state.

1671 Jean-Baptiste Rousseau, French poet, was born (d. 1741).

1773 James Mill, Scottish philosopher and historian, was born (d. 1836).

1782  Rama I succeeded King Taksin of Siam who was overthrown in a coup d’état.

1793 During the French Revolution, the Committee of Public Safety became the executive organ of the republic, and the Reign of Terror began.

1808 John Jacob Astor incorporated the American Fur Company.

1812 British forces assaulted the fortress of Badajoz under the command of the Duke of Wellington was the turning point in the Peninsular War against Napoleon led France.

1814 Napoleon abdicated and was exiled to Elba.

1824 – George Waterhouse, English-New Zealand politician, 7th Prime Minister of New Zealand, was born (d. 1906).

1830 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was organized by Joseph Smith, Jr. and others at Fayette or Manchester, New York.

1832  Indian Wars: The Black Hawk War began when the Sauk warrior Black Hawk entered into war with the United States.

1860 – René Lalique, French sculptor and jewellery designer, was born (d. 1945).

1860 The Reorganised Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints—later renamed Community of Christ—was organized by Joseph Smith III and others at Amboy, Illinois.

1862 American Civil War: The Battle of Shiloh began when forces under Union General Ulysses S. Grant met Confederate troops led by General Albert Sidney Johnston.

1864  A British patrol was ambushed by Pai Marire warriors near the present-day township of Oakura, south-west of New Plymouth.

Pai Marire ambush in Taranaki

1865 American Civil War: The Battle of Sayler’s Creek – Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia fought its last major battle while in retreat from Richmond, Virginia.

1866 The Grand Army of the Republic, an American patriotic organization composed of Union veterans of the American Civil War, was founded.

1869 Celluloid was patented.

1886 Osman Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VII, The Last Nizam of Hyderabad state, was born (d. 1967).

1888 Hans Richter, Swiss painter, film maker, graphic artist and avant-gardist, was born  (d. 1976).

1888 Thomas Green Clemson died, bequeathing his estate to the State of South Carolina to establish the Clemson Agricultural College.

1890 Anthony Fokker, Dutch designer of aircraft, was born  (d. 1939).

1892 Lowell Thomas, American travel writer, was born (d. 1981).

1893 Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was dedicated by Wilford Woodruff.

1895 Oscar Wilde was arrested after losing a libel case against the John Sholto Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry.

1896 The opening of the first modern Olympic Games was celebrated, 1,500 years after the original games are banned by Roman Emperor Theodosius I.

1903 The Kishinev pogrom began, forcing tens of thousands of Jews to later seek refuge in Israel and the Western world.

1909 Robert Peary and Matthew Henson allegedly reached the North Pole.

1911  Dedë Gjon Luli Dedvukaj, Leader of the Malësori Albanians, raised the Albanian flag in the town of Tuzi, Montenegro, for the first time after Gjergj Kastrioti (Skenderbeg).

1917  World War I: The United States declared war on Germany.

1919 – NZ (Māori) Pioneer Battalion returned from war.

NZ (Māori) Pioneer Battalion returns from war

1919 Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi ordered a general strike.

1923 The first Prefects Board in Southeast Asia was formed in Victoria Institution, Malaysia.

1926 Ian Paisley, Northern Irish politician, was born.

1928 James D. Watson, American geneticist, Nobel laureate, was born.

1929 André Previn, German-born composer and conductor, was born.

1930 Gandhi raised a lump of mud and salt and declared, “With this, I am shaking the foundations of the British Empire.”  and started the Salt Satyagraha.

1936 Tupelo-Gainesville tornado hit Gainesville, Georgia, killing 203.

1937  Merle Haggard, American musician, was born, (d. 2016).

1938  Paul Daniels, English magician, was born.

1941 – Germany launched Operation 25 (the invasion of Yugoslavia) andOperation Marita (the invasion of Greece).

1943 – Roger Cook, New Zealand-English journalist and academic, was born.

1943 – Ian MacRae, All Black, was born.

1946 – Paul Beresford, New Zealand-English dentist and politician, was born.

1947 The first Tony Awards were presented for theatrical achievements.

1955 Rob Epstein, American filmmaker and journalist, was born.

1957 Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis bought the Hellenic National Airlines (TAE) and founded Olympic Airlines.

1962 Leonard Bernstein caused controversy with his remarks from the podium during a New York Philharmonic concert featuring Glenn Gould performing the First Piano Concerto of Johannes Brahms.

1965  Launch of Early Bird, the first communications satellite to be placed in geosynchronous orbit.

1965 – The British Government announced the cancellation of the TSR-2aircraft project.

1968 In Richmond, Indiana’s downtown district, a double explosion killed 41 and injured 150.

1970 Newhall Incident: Four California Highway Patrol officers were killed.

1972 Vietnam War: Easter Offensive – American forces began sustained air strikes and naval bombardments.

1973  Launch of Pioneer 11 spacecraft.

1982 Estonian Communist Party bureau declared “fight against bourgeois TV” — meaning Finnish TV — a top priority of the propagandists of Estonian SSR

1984 Members of Cameroon’s Republican Guard unsuccessfully attempted to overthrow the government headed by Paul Biya.

1994  The Rwandan Genocide began when the aircraft carrying Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana and Burundian president Cyprien Ntaryamira was shot down.

1998 Pakistan tested medium-range missiles capable of hitting India.

2004 Rolandas Paksas became the first president of Lithuania to be peacefully removed from office by impeachment.

2005 Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani became Iraqi president.

2009 A 6.3 magnitude earthquake which struck near L’Aquila, Italy, killed 307 people.

2010 – Maoist rebels killed 76 CRPF officers in Dantewada district, India.

2011 – In San Fernando, Tamaulipas, Mexico, more than 193 bodies were exhumed from several mass graves made by Los Zetas.

2012 – The Independent State of Azawad was declared.

Soucred from NZ History Online & Wikipeda


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