May 11 in history

11/05/2010

On May 11:

330 Byzantium was renamed Nova Roma during a dedication ceremony, but was more popularly referred to as Constantinople.

1310 In France, fifty-four members of the Knights Templar were burned at the stake as heretics.

Templarsign.jpg

1647 Peter Stuyvesant arrived in New Amsterdam to replace Willem Kieft as Director-General of New Netherland, the Dutch colonial settlement in present-day New York City.

 

1745 War of Austrian Succession: Battle of Fontenoy –French forces defeated an AngloDutch-Hanoverian army.

Fontenoy.jpg

1792 Captain Robert Gray became the first documented European to sail into the Columbia River.

1799 John Lowell, American philanthropist, was born (d. 1836).

 

1812 Prime Minister Spencer Perceval was assassinated by John Bellingham in the lobby of the House of Commons.

 

1813 William Lawson, Gregory Blaxland and William Wentworth led an expedition westwards from Sydney. Their route opened up inland Australia for continued expansion throughout the 19th century.

 

1820 Launch of HMS Beagle, the ship that took Charles Darwin on his scientific voyage.

Longitudinal section of HMS Beagle as of 1842

1852 Charles W. Fairbanks, 26th United States Vice President was born (d. 1918).

1857 Indian Mutiny: Indian rebels seized Delhi from the British.

1862 American Civil War: The ironclad CSS Virginia was scuttled in the James River.

CSS Virginia

1867 Luxembourg gained its independence.

1875  Harriet Quimby, American aviator, was born (d. 1912).

 

1888 Irving Berlin, American composer, was born (d. 1989).

1891 The Ōtsu Incident : Tsarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich of Imperial Russia (Nicholas II) was critically injured by the sword attack by a Japanese policeman Tsuda Sanzō.

1892  Margaret Rutherford, English actress, was born (d. 1972).

1894 Pullman Strike: Four thousand Pullman Palace Car Company workers went on a wildcat strike in Illinois.

 

1904 Salvador Dalí, Spanish painter was born (d. 1989).

1907 A derailment outside Lompoc, California killed 32 Shriners when their chartered train derails at a switch near Surf Depot.

1910 An act of the U.S. Congress establishes Glacier National Park in Montana.

 

1918 The Mountainous Republic of the Northern Caucasus was officially established.

1924 Mercedes-Benz was formed by Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz merging their two companies.

Mercedes-Benz logo.svg

1927 The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was founded.

1942  William Faulkner’s collections of short stories, Go Down, Moses, was published.

 
GoDownMoses.jpg

1943  World War II: American troops invaded Attu Island..

1944 World War II: The Allies started a major offensive against the Axis Powers on the Gustav Line.

 

1945 Captain Charles Upham was presented with the VC and Bar.

Upham presented with VC and Bar

1945  World War II: The aircraft carrier USS Bunker Hill, was hit by two kamikazes, killing 346 of her crew.

Bunkhill1942launch.jpg

1946 UMNO (United Malays National Organisation) was created.

 
Sang Saka Bangsa

1949  Siam officially changed its name to Thailand for the second time.

1953  The 1953 Waco tornado outbreak: An F5 tornado hit downtown Waco, Texas, killing 114.

1960 In Buenos Aires four Israeli Mossad agents captured fugitive Nazi Adolf Eichmann, living under the assumed name Ricardo Klement.

EichmannAdolfSS.jpg

1960 – The first contraceptive pill was made available on the market.

1967Andreas Papandreou, Greek economist and socialist politician, was imprisoned in Athens by the Greek military junta.

1970 The Lubbock Tornado a F5 tornado hits Lubbock, Texas, killing 26 and causing $250 million in damage.

1984 A transit of Earth from Mars took place.

 

1985  Fifty-six spectators died when a flash fire struck the Valley Parade football ground during a match in Bradford, England.

 

1987  Klaus Barbie went on trial in Lyon for war crimes committed during World War II.

 

1987 The first heart-lung transplant took place, performed by Dr. Bruce Reitz, of Stanford University School of Medicine.

 

1995 More than 170 countries decide to extend the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty indefinitely and without conditions.

1996  A fire started by improperly handled oxygen canisters in the cargo hold of Atlanta-bound ValuJet Flight 592 caused the Douglas DC-9 to crash in the Florida Everglades killing all 110 on board.

1997 IBM Deep Blue, a chess-playing supercomputer, defeated Garry Kasparov in the last game of the rematch, becoming the first computer to beat a world-champion chess player in a classic match format.

Start of chess board.
a8 black rook c8 black bishop d8 black queen e8 black king f8 black bishop g8 black knight h8 black rook
a7 black pawn b7 black pawn d7 black knight e7 black pawn f7 black pawn g7 black pawn h7 black pawn
c6 black pawn
g5 white knight
d4 white pawn
a2 white pawn b2 white pawn c2 white pawn f2 white pawn g2 white pawn h2 white pawn
a1 white rook c1 white bishop d1 white queen e1 white king f1 white bishop g1 white knight h1 white rook
End of chess board.

1998 India conducted three underground nuclear tests in Pokhran, including a thermonuclear device.

2000 Effective date of Canada’s first modern-day treaty – The Nisga’a Final Agreement.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


If not the market then what?

23/06/2009

Europe “should not leave the food industry in general, and the milk sector in particular, just to the law of market forces, which is the least social, ecological and economic law,”  . . . 

That’s the  French Agriculture Minister Michel Barnier urging his EU colleagues to listen to protesting farmers in Luxembourg.

He was responding to EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel.

 She had no magic wand to address their grievances, she said.

She implicitly criticised countries such as France and Germany for continuing to question the decision to lift quotas.

“It’s dangerous and irresponsible to foster unrealistic hopes on what we can do,” she said.

Quite.

If it’s not left to the market it’s up to governments and what can they do?

Government means the taxpayers who are also the consumers who’d pay more if quotos were lowered or producers subsidised.

Goverments have a role in welfare but any interference by them in the marekt will merely prolong the pain and delay the recovery.


Government intervention isn’t the answer

22/06/2009

Thousands of farmers from the European Union’s 27 member states are taking to the streets of Luxembourg today to demonstrate against poor returns.

“Food production is the single biggest economic activity in Europe and it is facing serious problems,” said the organisation’s secretary general Pekka Pesonen. “Dairy in particular is in a very severe crisis, and other sectors, from pig meat and olive oil to sheep and goats are suffering, too.

“Even as the causes of the problems differ, the result is always the same – we are not getting a fair share of the value of the final product.”

Producers all over the world could no doubt say the same thing but those of us who’re in the real world know that’s mostly to do with the market and very little to do with the government.

The crisis affecting the dairy sector is likely to be a major focus of attention. Despite a decision by the EU dairy management committee this week to raise export refunds for milk powders, Irish Farmers’ Association leader Padraig Walshe called for a “much more aggressive approach”.

“Prices have fallen to their lowest level in recent history, in some countries to those of 1983. To make matters worse, production costs have remained at an all-time high. This is disastrous for farm incomes, endangering the very existence of dairy production in the EU.”

A taste of the protest to come next week was given in Brussels on Thursday (18 June), when hundred of farmers from Germany, France, Belgium and Holland drove their tractors to the city centre as EU heads of state met for a summit meeting. . .

Their principle demand was for an immediate 5% quota cut, to tighten the market and allow cost covering prices to be achieved. But the EU Commission says production is already well below quota and such a cut would make no difference.

A 5% quota cut to tighten the market means a forced reduction in supply to force prices up so consumers pay more. That’s not a subsidy from the taxpayer but from the consumer which amounts to the same thing in the end.

Farming in Europe is facing a crisis. But if government intervention in the market by way of subsidies and quota controls is the answer they are asking the wrong question.


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