Doing what we can

04/03/2014

There’s not a lot that a small country like New Zealand can do when a large power like Russia threatens another country.

But we’re doing what we can.

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully called the Russian ambassador in over the escalation of tensions.

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully says the Russian Ambassador was called in to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade this afternoon over the escalation of tensions in Ukraine.

“On my instructions the Russian Ambassador has been called in to the Ministry to hear directly New Zealand’s views on the situation in the Ukraine,” Mr McCully says.

“New Zealand is deeply alarmed at the escalation of tensions in Ukraine over recent days and we condemn the breach of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“We understand Russia has significant interests especially in the Crimean Peninsula, however they need to pursue these interests in a manner that is consistent with Russia’s treaty obligations, international law and accepted international norms.

“New Zealand calls on the Russian Government to take steps to reduce tensions and to engage in consultations with other affected parties to achieve this objective.”

We’re also using trade as a lever:

Prime Minister John Key ordered Trade Minister Tim Groser home from Russia today, ending for now any further discussions on a Russian free trade deal that has been three years in the making as Russia ratchets up pressure on Ukraine on the Crimean Peninsula.

Groser had been in Moscow for trade talks ahead of a possible visit to the Russian capital by Key in a fortnight as part of a global swing through China and Europe that will take in meetings with senior Chinese leadership and an international Nuclear Security Summit in the Netherlands.

Key said he was only missing Moscow on the forthcoming trip because suggested dates had not worked for the Russian president Vladimir Putin, although continuing to discuss an FTA with Russia in the present circumstances was not appropriate.

“I don’t think we could seriously, even if Mr Groser could tie up a deal this afternoon, (sign a free trade agreement) at the same time as we are expressing our deep concern about the threat to sovereignty in Ukraine,” said Key. . .

I wouldn’t go so far as this:

But trade, or a threat to it, is the strongest way we can condemn Russia’s actions.

 

 

 

 

 


January 25 in history

25/01/2010

On January 25:

41 Claudius was accepted as Roman Emperor by the Senate.

1327 Edward III becomes King of England.

1494 Alfonso II becomes King of Naples.

1533 Henry VIII secretly married his second wife Anne Boleyn.

1554  Founding of São Paulo city, Brazil.

          

1627  Robert Boyle, Irish chemist, was born.

1755 Moscow University established on Tatiana Day.

1759 Robert Burns, Scottish poet, was born.

 

1791 The British Parliament passed the Constitutional Act of 1791 and splits the old province of Quebec into Upper and Lower Canada.

1792 The London Corresponding Society  was founded.

1796 William MacGillivray, Scottish naturalist and ornithologist, was born.

1841 Jackie Fisher, British First Sea Lord, was born.

Fisher&Churchill.jpg

1858 The Wedding March by Felix Mendelssohn became a popular wedding recessional after it is played on this day at the marriage of Queen Victoria’s daughter, Victoria, and Friedrich of Prussia.

1874  W. Somerset Maugham, English writer, was born.

1879  The Bulgarian National Bank was founded.

Coat of Arms of the Bulgarian National Bank

1881Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell formed the Oriental Telephone Company.

1882 Virginia Woolf, English writer, was born.

1890  Nellie Bly completed her round-the-world journey in 72 days.

1909 Richard Strauss‘ opera Elektra receive its debut performance at the Dresden State Opera.

Strauss3.jpg

1915  Alexander Graham Bell inaugurated U.S. transcontinental telephone service, speaking from New York to Thomas Watson in San Francisco.

1918 The Ukrainian people declare independence from Bolshevik Russia.

 

 

 

 

1919 The League of Nations was founded.

1924 The first Winter Olympics opened in Chamonix.

I Olympic Winter Games

1942 : Thailand declared war on the United States and United Kingdom.

1945 World War II: Battle of the Bulge ended.

Battle of the Bulge.jpgAmerican soldiers of the 75th Division photographed in the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge.

1949  The first Emmy Awards were presented.

1954 Richard Finch, American bass player (KC and the Sunshine Band), was born.

1955 Terry Chimes, English musician (The Clash), was born.

1960 The National Association of Broadcasters reacted to the Payola scandal by threatening fines for any disc jockeys who accepted money for playing particular records.

1961 John F. Kennedy delivered the first live presidential television news conference.

1971 – Idi Amin led a coup deposing Milton Obote and became Uganda‘s president.

1974 Dick Taylor won the 10,000 metre race on the first day of competitions at the Christchurch Commonwealth Games.

First day of competition at the Christchurch Commonwealth Games

 1981 Jiang Qing, the widow of Mao Zedong, was sentenced to death.

1986 The National Resistance Movement toppled the government of Tito Okello in Uganda.

1990 The Burns’ Day storm hits northwestern Europe.

1994 The Clementine space probe launched.

Clementine

1995 The Norwegian Rocket Incident: Russia almost launched a nuclear attack after it mistook Black Brant XII, a Norwegian research rocket, for a US Trident missile.

1996 Billy Bailey became the last person to be hanged in the United States of America.

1999 A 6.0 Richter scale earthquake hit western Colombia killing at least 1,000.

2004 Opportunity rover (MER-B) landed on surface of Mars.

NASA Mars Rover.jpg

2005 A stampede at the Mandher Devi temple in Mandhradevi in India kills at least 258.

2006 Three independent observing campaigns announced the discovery of OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb through gravitational microlensing, the first cool rocky/icy extrasolar planet around a main-sequence star.

OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb.jpg

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


December 25 in history

25/12/2009

On December 25:

800 Coronation of Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor, in Rome.

1000 Hungary was established as a Christian kingdom by Stephen I of Hungary.

1066  William the Conqueror was crowned as king of England, at Westminster Abbey.

1000 Baldwin of Boulogne is crowned as the first King of Jerusalem in the Church of the Nativity.

1130  Count Roger II of Sicily was crowned as the first King of Sicily.

 Detail of the mosaic with Roger II receiving the crown by Christ, Martorana, Palermo.

1223 St. Francis of Assisi assembles the first Nativity scene.

Painting by Jusepe de Ribera

1643  Christmas Island was founded and named by Captain William Mynors of the East India Ship Company vessel, the Royal Mary.

1814 At Oihi Beach in the Bay of Islands, Samuel Marsden preached in English to a largely Maori gathering, launching the Christian missionary phase of New Zealand history. Marsden’s service was translated by the Nga Puhi leader Ruatara.

NZ's first Christian service?

1818 The first performance of “Silent Night” took place in the church of St. Nikolaus in Oberndorf, Austria.

 Autograph of the carol by  Franz Xaver Gruber.

1821  Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, was born.

   

 1865 Evangeline Booth, the 4th General of The Salvation Army, was born.

 

1870 Helena Rubinstein, Polish-born American cosmetics industrialist, was born.

1887 Conrad Hilton, American hotelier, was born.

1889 Lila Bell Wallace, American magazine publisher (Reader’s Digest), was born.

1890  Robert Ripley, collector of odd facts, was born.

 Ripley’s Odditorium in Hollywood

1899 Humphrey Bogart, American actor, was born.

1908 Quentin Crisp, English author, was born.

1913  Tony Martin, American singer and actor, was born.

1914 James Muir Cameron Fletcher, New Zealand industrialist, was born.

1918 Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt, Nobel laureate, was born.

1918 Ahmed Ben Bella, politician, first President of Algeria, was born.

 Ben Bella (right) after his arrest by the French army

1932  A magnitude 7.6 earthquake in Gansu, China kills ~70,000 people.

1941 Battle of Hong Kong ended, beginning the Japanese Occupation of Hong Kong.

1944 Kenny Everett, British entertainer, was born.

Kenny Everett.jpg

1947 The Constitution of the Republic of China went into effect.

1949  Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan was born.

1949 Sissy Spacek, American actress, was born.

1950 The Stone of Scone, traditional coronation stone of British monarchs, was taken from Westminster Abbey by Scottish nationalist students.

 

1950 Karl Rove, former American presidential advisor, was born.

1954 Annie Lennox, Scottish singer, was born.

1963 Turkish Cypriot Bayrak Radio began transmitting in Cyprus after Turkish Cypriots were forcibly excluded from Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation.

1968 Apollo 8 performed the  first successful Trans Earth Injection (TEI) maneouver, sending the crew and spacecraft on a trajectory back to Earth from Lunar orbit.

1989  Nicolae Ceauşescu, former communist dictator of Romania and his wife Elena are condemned to death and executed under a wide range of charges.

 

1990 The first successful trial run of the system which would become the World Wide Web.
 The Web’s historic logo designed by Robert Cailliau
 
1991  Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as president of the Soviet Union (the union itself is dissolved the next day).
 
1991 Ukraine‘s referendum was finalized and Ukraine officially left the Soviet Union.
 
  • 2003 – The ill-fated Beagle 2 probe, released from the Mars Express Spacecraft on December 19, disappeared shortly before its scheduled landing.
  • Beagle 2 replica.jpg
       

    Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


    November 20 in history

    20/11/2009

    On November 20:

    1620 – Peregrine White,  was born – first English child born in the Plymouth Colony.

     

    The Pilgrim Hall Museum owns the original Peregrine White cradle and Elder Brewster Chair

    1765  Sir Thomas Fremantle, British naval captain, was born.

    1820 An 80-ton sperm whale attacked the Essex (a whaling ship from Nantucket, Massachusetts) 2,000 miles from the western coast of South America (Herman Melville‘s 1851 novel Moby-Dick was in part inspired by this story).

    Essex photo 03 b.jpg

    1889  Edwin Hubble, American astronomer, was born.

    1900 – Chester Gould, American comic strip artist, creator of Dick Tracey, was born.

    1908 – Alistair Cooke, British-born journalist, was born.

    Alistair Cooke, March 18, 1974 interview

    1910 Francisco I. Madero issued the Plan de San Luis Potosi, denouncing President Porfirio Díaz, calling for a revolution to overthrow the government of Mexico, effectively starting the Mexican Revolution.

    1917 Ukraine was declared a republic.

    1925 Robert F. Kennedy, American politician was born.

    1942  Joe Biden, 47th Vice President of the United States, was born.

    1945 Trials against 24 Nazi war criminals started at the Palace of Justice at Nuremberg.

    1947 Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten at Westminster Abbey.

    1956 – Bo Derek, American actress, was born.

    1962 Cuban Missile Crisis ended: In response to the Soviet Union agreeing to remove its missiles from Cuba, U.S. President John F. Kennedy ended the quarantine of the Caribbean nation.

     

    1975 Francisco Franco, Caudillo of Spain, died after 36 years in power.

    1985 Microsoft Windows 1.0 was released.

    1992 A fire broke out in Windsor Castle, badly damaging the castle and causing over £50 million worth of damage.

    2008 After critical failures in the US financial system began to build up after mid-September, the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached its lowest level since 1997.

    1937 Parachuting Santa, George Sellars, narrowly escaped serious injury when he was able to sway his parachute just in time to avoid crashing through the glass roof of the Winter Gardens during the Farmers’ Christmas parade.

    Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


    November 1 in history

    01/11/2009

    On November 1:

    1512 The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo, was exhibited to the public for the first time

     

    Creation of Adam by Michelangelo
    1520 The Strait of Magellan, was first navigated by Ferdinand Magellan during his global circumnavigation voyage.
    1604 William Shakespeare‘s tragedy Othello was staged for the first time, at Whitehall Palace in London.
    1611  William Shakespeare‘s romantic comedy The Tempest was staged for the first time, at Whitehall Palace.
    1800  US President John Adams became the first President of the United States to live in the Executive Mansion (later renamed the White House).
    1814  Congress of Vienna opened to re-draw the European political map after the defeat of France, in the Napoleonic Wars.
    Period oil painting of the delegates to the Congress of Vienna.

    The Congress of Vienna by Jean-Baptiste Isabey,

    1848 The first medical school for women, The Boston Female Medical School (which later merged with the Boston University School of Medicine), opened.

    1876  New Zealand‘s provincial government system was dissolved.

    1887 – L. S. Lowry, British painter of industrial scenes, was born.

    1896 A picture showing the bare breasts of a woman appears in National Geographic magazine for the first time.

    1898 The New Zealand parliament passed the Old-Age Pensions Act.

    1911 The first dropping of a bomb from an airplane in combat, during the Italo-Turkish War.

    1918  Western Ukraine gained its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

    1938 Seabiscuit defeated War Admiral in an upset victory during a match race deemed “the match of the century” in horse racing.

    Seabiscuit statue.png
    Seabiscuit statue, Santa Anita Park

    1939 The first rabbit born after artificial insemination was exhibited to the world.

    1981  Antigua and Barbuda gain independence from the United Kingdom.

    1993  The Maastricht Treaty takes effect, formally establishing the European Union.

     The signing of the Treaty

    Sourced from NZ History Online and Wikipedia.


    And we think question time is bad

    19/11/2008

    Question time in our parliament is not usually noted for intelligent discourse and good manners.

    But it’s a model of decorum compared with this behaviour in the  Ukraine parliament  where a voting session turned into an all-out brawl.


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