March 12 in history

12/03/2010

On March 12:

538  Witiges, king of the Ostrogoths ended his siege of Rome leaving the city in the hands of the victorious Roman general, Belisarius.

1622  Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, was canonized a saint by the Catholic Church.

1689 The Williamite war in Ireland began.

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1821  Sir John Abbott, third Prime Minister of Canada, was born.

1831 Clement Studebaker, American automobile pioneer, was born.

 The Studebaker brothers

1832 The Filippo Taglioni ballet La Sylphide received its première performance at the Paris Opéra.

 

1832 Charles Boycott, British land agent and source of the term to boycott, was born.

 

1864 Arthur’s Pass was “discovered”.

 Arthur's Pass 'discovered'

 1868 Henry O’Farrell attempted to assassinate Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh.

1880 Henry Drysdale Dakin, British-American biochemist, known for the Dakin-West reaction, was born.

1881 Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, first President of Turkey was born.

1881 Andrew Watson made his Scotland debut as the world’s first black international football player and captain.

1894  Coca-Cola was sold in bottles for the first time.

 

1908 Rita Angus, New Zealand painter, was born.

 

1912 The Girl Guides (later renamed the Girl Scouts of the USA) were founded in the United States.

1913  Canberra Day: The future capital of Australia was officially named Canberra.

1918 Moscow became the capital of Russia again after Saint-Petersburg held this status for 215 years.

1928 The St. Francis Dam in California failed, killing over 600 people.

 

1930 Mahatma Gandhi led a 200-mile march, known as the Dandi March, to the sea in defiance of British opposition, to protest the British monopoly on salt.

 

1932 Barbara Feldon, American actress and model, was born.

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1933 Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed the nation for the first time as President of the United States in the first of his “fireside chats“.

 

1934 Konstantin Päts and General Johan Laidoner staged a coup in Estonia, and banned all political parties.

 Johan Laidoner01.jpg

1938 Anschluss: German troops occupied Austria.

 

1940 Finland signed the Moscow Peace Treaty with the Soviet Union, ceding almost all of Finnish Karelia.

 

1946 Liza Minnelli, American singer and actress, was born.

1947 The Truman Doctrine was proclaimed to help stem the spread of Communism.

1948  James Taylor, American musician, was born.

1957 Marlon Jackson, American singer and musician (The Jackson 5), was born.

 

1966 Suharto became President of Indonesia.

1968  Mauritius achieved independence.

1971 The March 12 Memorandum, was sent to the Demirel government of Turkey and the government resigned.

1992Mauritius becomes a republic while remaining a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.

1993 Several bombs exploded in Mumbai killing about 300 and injuring hundreds more.

1993 North Korea said it planned to withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and refused to allow inspectors access to its nuclear sites.

1993 – The Blizzard of 1993 – Snow began to fall across the eastern portion of the US with tornadoes, thunder snow storms, high winds and record low temperatures.

 

1994 The Church of England ordained its first female priests.

2003 Zoran Đinđić, Prime Minister of Serbia, was assassinated in Belgrade.

2004 A President of South Korea, Roh Moo-hyun, was impeached by its national assembly for the first time in the nation’s history.

2005 Tung Chee Hwa, the first Chief Executive of Hong Kong, stepped down from his post after his resignation was approved by the Chinese central government.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


BBC World Food Price Index

02/06/2009

The BBC World Service has been tracking food prices in seven major cities to create a World Food Price Index.

Reporters started making a weekly record of five basic food items in July last year. The basket of goods was normalised to 100 and subsequent changes in prices are measured against that to show rises and falls.

Bread, milk, potatoes, eggs and beef were the products chosen in Brussels, Buenos Aires, Moscow and Washington DC; onions, rice, ground flour, lentils and milk were priced in Delhi; in Jakarta it was eggs, rice, sugar, flour and cooking oil; and in Nairobi it was green maize, milk, maize flour, bread and tomatoes.

Some interesting points in the analysis:

In Brussels prices were fairly flat. The price of milk fell because of a price war between supermarkets but the change wasn’t as great as the fall in price paid to dairy farmers.

In Argentina the price of potatoes, bread and beef were steady but the latter was due to export taxes which resulted in farmers reducing production of beef in favour of better paying produce and the country may have to import meat.

Inflation has hit food prices in India where the price of wheat, rice and other grains has risen by 12%,  fruit and vegetables gained 8.5% and the price of milk rose 6.4% and the price of sugar nearly tripled.

Religious factors influence food prices in Jakarta with a rise in the price of chicken and meat at the end of the Muslim month of fasting. The price of rice has fallen and the government it delaying exports because of this.

Russian food prices increased nearly 10 times more than prices in the European Union.

The biggest rises in the four-month period were seen in prices for fruit – which spiked 17% in Russia while rising only 1.9% in Europe – and sugar, jam, honey, chocolate and confectionery goods, which jumped by 12.7% and only 1.5% in Europe.

Prices for vegetables rose by 11.6%, while fish and seafood prices were up by 9.4%.

 Russia imports nearly a third of its food and the low value of its currency is one of the reasons prices have increased.

Food shortages because of drought and political violence contributed to food shortages in Kenya.

In the USA food prices went up by 5.5% last year but falls in the price of meat and diary products are expected to result in a smaller increase this year.

World Service Average 18/05/09

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