Sticking with the garden theme, today I’m grateful for camellias.
Slubberdegullion – a slobbering, slovenly or dirty fellow; a worthless sloven; a dirty rascal; scoundrel, wretch.
Tru-Test to sell businesses to Datamars for $147.9 million – Rebecca Howard
(BusinessDesk) – Tru-Test Corp will sell some of its business to Switzerland-based Datamars for $147.9 million, it said in its annual report.
Tru-Test announced plans to shed the bulk of its businesses, signing a conditional deal to sell its retail solutions and milk meter divisions, which account for about 85 percent of group revenue.
Those businesses include the weighing, electronic identification, contract manufacturing, electric fencing and milk metering operations. All intellectual property – including the Tru-Test name – form part of the deal. . .
International scientists have released new forecastspredicting higher global temperatures from 2018 – 2022.
IrrigationNZ strongly believes that as the climate continues to vary, many areas of New Zealand will be at increasing at risk of drought and to mitigate this risk, the country must invest in well-designed water storage.
“In hotter conditions crops need more water. Water makes a huge difference to plant growth – for example a wheat field which is not irrigated will only produce half the amount of wheat as a field which is irrigated,” says Andrew Curtis, Chief Executive of IrrigationNZ. . .
Our calving season has finally arrived – Bruce Eade:
The biggest event on every dairy farmer’s calendar is finally here, writes dairy farmer and Southern Rural Life columnist Bruce Eade.
Calving is in full swing for most southern farmers with the middle of August upon us.
The mating decisions and choices we made in October last year are all now coming to fruition.
As I’ve said before, I really enjoy this time of year, seeing the next generation ”hatch”.
Will it be a heifer?
The anticipation, the excitement and the disappointment when it’s a bull is all part and parcel of the season. . .
When North Canterbury farmer Melissa Cowan discovered the valais blacknose sheep on the internet, she thought it was the most endearing animal she had ever seen.
With a black face, ears and feet, a shaggy fringe and beautiful white fluffy fleece it was no wonder the breed had become known as “the cutest sheep in the world”.
They looked like cuddly toys. Plus they had a friendly temperament. Melissa Cowan had fallen in love.
It wasn’t long before she had talked her husband Hayden Cowan into importing valais blacknose embryos into New Zealand to start a flock. . .
Take a drive out the south side of Christchurch, go around a bend or two, and on the right, no more than a minute from the last house you will find a little piece of pastoral perfection.
Trees, both exotic and native shade small grassed paddocks dotted with plump sheep. Fantails and tuis dart amongst the treetops. If you are lucky you will see a wood pigeon lumbering through the branches.
This 18-hectare farmlet is the 40-year labour of love of Swiss immigrant Ernst Frei, who brought the property with his wife Renate in 1979 with the dream of converting it into an organic market garden . .
The tenth annual survey of RSE employers is another win for the New Zealand horticulture and viticulture industries – and New Zealanders.
The latest employers’ survey found that nearly nine in 10 employers had employed more New Zealanders – in addition to RSE workers. On average each of those employers has been able to hire five additional permanent workers, and 20 seasonal workers as a result of their participation in the scheme. . .
Queen of soul, Aretha Franklin has died:
Aretha Franklin, universally acclaimed as the “Queen of Soul” and one of America’s greatest singers in any style, died on Thursday at her home in Detroit. She was 76.
The cause was advanced pancreatic cancer, her publicist, Gwendolyn Quinn, said.
In her indelible late-1960s hits, Ms. Franklin brought the righteous fervor of gospel music to secular songs that were about much more than romance. Hits like “Do Right Woman — Do Right Man,” “Think,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and “Chain of Fools” defined a modern female archetype: sensual and strong, long-suffering but ultimately indomitable, loving but not to be taken for granted. . .
The government has given MPI more power than police, and done it under urgency:
While some changes to the National Animal Identification and Tracking Act (NAIT) are needed, Parliament has been denied the opportunity to properly scrutinise Government amendments which may not be in the best interests of farmers, National’s Agriculture Spokesperson Nathan Guy says.
“Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has had months to introduce this Bill into Parliament, but instead he expanded wide-ranging search powers under urgency.
“Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) will be able to turn up to farmers’ properties without getting a warrant and seize anything they want, unannounced and without cause.
This gives MPI more power than the police.
National asked Mr O’Connor to send the Bill to select committee during the two-week recess to allow public input and ensure there are no unintended consequences for farmers, but the Minister refused.
“National proposed amendments during the debate that an officer needs reasonable cause to suspect non-compliance with NAIT before entering the property.
“We also proposed that these wide-ranging warrantless powers being curtailed, so a NAIT officer can’t seize property without obtaining a warrant.
“Unfortunately, both of these safeguard amendments were voted down by the Government.
These safeguards are given to suspected drug dealers, gangs and thieves and but not to farmers.
“However, National did successfully move an amendment that requires the Minister to report to Parliament next year on how these expanded powers are being used. We will await this review with a great deal of interest.
“National reluctantly supported the legislation to improve NAIT’s performance but remain gravely concerned about the process and invasion of farmer’s privacy.”
A serious biosecurity incursion is one of the greatest risks New Zealand faces and the difficulty tracing stock with the Mycoplasma bovis has highlighted deficencies in the NAIT system.
Change and improvements were needed but that doesn’t justify forcing through such draconian law under urgency.
How has New Zealand First got away with a $300,000 gagging contract for its MPs?
Revelations that Government MPs are required to sign a legally enforceable contract meaning they must pay $300,000 if they do not follow their Leader’s instruction is an affront to our parliamentary democracy, National’s Electoral Law spokesperson Nick Smith says.
“The 2016 amendment to NZ First’s constitution states its MPs must pay damages of $300,000 if they personally disagree with Winston Peters, turning them into indentured workers with an extraordinary price tag hanging over their heads.
“It means every time an NZ First MP votes or comments on an issue, they have 300,000 reasons why they should just parrot Winston Peters and not to speak out even if doing so would be in the public’s best interests.
“This is abhorrent. These types of contracts are illegal in other workplaces and would be unconstitutional in most democratic countries, so why are they at the core of our current Government? They turn elected representatives into puppets of a party leader who is now attempting to impose the same restrictions on free speech on Parliament’s other MPs, in spite of universal opposition to the Waka Jumping Bill.
“It is a sad commentary on the NZ First Party and Mr Peters that such draconian contracts are required to maintain caucus discipline – and now to keep the Government together.
“It also contradicts Mr Peters’ previous hollow position that MPs ‘have to be free to follow their conscience. They were elected to represent their constituents, not to swear an oath of blind allegiance to a political party’.
“The contracts were revealed after I was contacted by a concerned NZ First source who advised that all NZ First MPs had signed them except Mr Peters.
“NZ First must publicly release the full details of these contracts, outlined in article 57 (h) of its constitution, so the public can see the restrictions imposed on its elected MPs. This is even more important with NZ First playing such a pivotal role in the current Government.
“Disclosure is also required to be consistent with the Government’s pledge to be the most open and transparent ever, a claim looking increasingly ridiculous when even the Minister responsible for Mr Peters’ Waka Jumping Bill, Andrew Little, had no idea about the clause.
“That’s despite his legislation increasing the legal weight given to party rules and his acknowledgement that MPs should be able to do their job with being subjected to such restrictions.
“New Zealand needs MPs who are not bound by orders or instructions but whose responsibility is to act as representatives of the people.
“The existence of these contracts opens the question as to whether New Zealand needs additional protection to prevent its parliamentary democracy from being manipulated by these sorts of oppressive contracts.”
NZ First leader WInston’s Peters response that no one is entitled to . . . just walk off without any regard to the proportionality of the vote at election time is another example of his double standards.
When he won the Northland seat from National a couple of years ago, NZ First got another list MP leaving parliament with one fewer National MP and one more NZ First one than voters delivered at the election.
But such sauce for the goose not the gander is standard behavior for him as is the attempt to control his MPs with a contract.
It shows again that he has all the power in his party but no trust in his MPs.
It also shows a gap in electoral law that allows the acceptance of a party’s constitution with a gagging clause.
The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn’t live boldly enough, that they didn’t invest enough heart, didn’t love enough. Nothing else really counts at all. – Ted Hughes who was born on this day in 1930.
986 A Byzantine army was destroyed in the Battle of Gates of Trajan by the Bulgarians under the Comitopuli Samuel and Aron.
1786 – Davy Crockett, American frontiersman and soldier, was born (d. 1836).
1807 Robert Fulton‘s first American steamboat left New York City for Albany, New York on the Hudson River, inaugurating the first commercial steamboat service in the world.
1839 The NZ Company’s sailing ship Tory dropped anchor in Queen Charlotte Sound to pick up fresh water, food and wood before proceeding to Port Nicholson (Wellington Harbour).
1862 Indian Wars: The Lakota (Sioux) Dakota War of 1862 began as Lakota warriors attacked white settlements along the Minnesota River.
1864 American Civil War: Battle of Gainesville – Confederate forces defeated Union troops.
1883 The first public performance of the Dominican Republic’s national anthem, Himno Nacional.
1893 Mae West, American actress, was born (d. 1980).
1904 Mary Cain, American newspaper editor and politician, was born (d. 1984).
1907 Pike Place Market, the longest continuously-running public farmers market in the US, opened in Seattle.
1908 Fantasmagorie, the first animated cartoon, realized by Émile Cohl, was shown in Paris.
1914 Battle of Stalluponen – The German army of General Hermann von François defeated the Russian force commanded by Pavel Rennenkampf near modern-day Nesterov, Russia.
1914 – Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr., American lawyer and politician, was born (d. 1988).
1918 Bolshevik revolutionary leader Moisei Uritsky was assassinated.
1920 Maureen O’Hara, Irish actress, was born.
1926 – Valerie Eliot, English businesswoman, was born (d. 2012).
1930 – Ted Hughes, English poet, author, and playwright, was born (d. 1998).
1932 – V. S. Naipaul, Trinidadian-English journalist and author, Nobel Prize laureate, was born.
1942 – A total of 118 New Zealand prisoners of war died when the Italian transport ship Nino Bixio was torpedoed by a British submarine in the Mediterranean.
1943 Robert De Niro, American actor, was born.
1943 The U.S. Eighth Air Force suffered the loss of 60 bombers on theSchweinfurt-Regensburg mission.
1943 : The U.S. Seventh Army under General George S. Patton arrived in Messina, Italy, followed several hours later by the British 8th Army under Field Marshal Bernard L. Montgomery, completing the Allied conquest of Sicily.
1943 First Québec Conference of Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and William Lyon Mackenzie King began.
1944 Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle Corporation, billionaire, was born.
1945 Indonesian Declaration of Independence.
1946 – Patrick Manning, Trinidadian-Tobagonian politician, 4th Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, was born (d. 2016)
1947 – Mohamed Abdelaziz, President of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (1976-2016), was born (d. 2016)
1946 Martha Coolidge, American film director, was born.
1947 The Radcliffe Line, the border between Union of India and Dominion of Pakistan was revealed.
1953 First meeting of Narcotics Anonymous in Southern California.
1959 Kind of Blue by Miles Davis the much acclaimed and highly influential best selling jazz recording of all time, was released.
1960 Gabon gained independence from France.
1960 Sean Penn, American actor and director, was born.
1962 Gilby Clarke, American musician (Guns N’ Roses), was born.
1962 East German border guards killed 18-year-old Peter Fechter as he attempted to cross the Berlin Wall into West Berlin becoming one of the first victims of the wall.
1969 Category 5 Hurricane Camille hit the Mississippi coast, killing 248 people and causing $1.5 billion in damage.
1970 Venera 7 launched.
1978 Double Eagle II became first balloon to cross the Atlantic Ocean when it landed in Miserey near Paris, 137 hours after leaving Presque Isle, Maine.
1980 Azaria Chamberlain disappeared, taken by a dingo.
1982 The first Compact Discs (CDs) were released to the public in Germany.
1988 Pakistani President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq and U.S. Ambassador Arnold Raphel are killed in a plane crash.
1998 Monica Lewinsky scandal: US President Bill Clinton admitted in taped testimony that he had an “improper physical relationship” with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. On the same day he admitted before the nation that he “misled people” about his relationship.
1999 A 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck İzmit, Turkey, killing more than 17,000 and injuring 44,000.
2005 The first forced evacuation of settlers, as part of the Israel unilateral disengagement plan, starts.
2005 Over 500 bombs were set off by terrorists at 300 locations in 63 out of the 64 districts of Bangladesh.
2008 By winning the Men’s 4x100m medley relay, Michael Phelps became the first Olympian to win eight gold medals in the same Olympics.
2009 – An accident at the Sayano–Shushenskaya Dam in Khakassia, Russia, killed 75 and shut down the hydroelectric power station, leading to widespread power failure in the local area.
2015 – A bomb exploded near the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok, Thailand, killing at least 19 people and injuring 123 others.
2017 – Barcelona attacks: A van driven into pedestrians in La Rambla, killed 14 and injured at least 100.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia