Brexit – stay or go?

June 23, 2016

Tonight, New Zealand time, the polls open to allow people in the UK to vote on whether or not they stay in the European Union.

The euro makes life easier for people travelling between the countries which use it. But monetary union doesn’t work properly when the parties to it don’t have economic union.

The UK was sensible to retain its own currency.However, the rush to swap pounds for euro shows people believe victory for the leave campaign would result in a substantial fall in the value of the pound.

The theory of the EU has a lot to commend it  – a single market with free movement of people and trade. But politics and a bloated bureaucracy have too often meant the promise hasn’t been realised.

Whatever the people of Britain and Northern Ireland vote for or against Brexit, the EU needs major reform.

 

 


Trusting the voters

May 8, 2015

The United Kingdom has voted in an election which polls suggest will be a cliff hanger with the Scottish National Party which doesn’t want to be part of the UK holding the balance of power.

In spite of that political commentator Janet Daley trusts the voters:

. . . I have to say that this tedious, seemingly endless campaign has not been unprecedentedly terrible. Nobody has made any fatal errors. And yet, we are where we are: with a Government that has succeeded against all the odds in a flat-out tie for national support with a quite absurd, cartoonist’s dream of an Opposition leadership. Or are we? Are we on the inevitable verge of a stalemate that threatens not just indecisive government but a full-blown constitutional crisis? Do an almost identical number of people really believe that it would be a good idea to put Labour back in charge, as would want to keep the Tories (or a Tory-led coalition) in power? And could this be the case, even given the startling SNP threat to kidnap a Miliband government and hold it hostage – which is a quite new element in the equation and should, by all rights, have made at least a significant difference to people’s views? 

Surely, this is very strange. And it brings me to another observation that arises from watching politics here, and in the country of my birth, for much of my adult life. I have never ceased to be in awe of the pre-eminent common sense of British voters. Time and again, I have watched them come through with an unimpeachably sagacious electoral judgment in the face of (indeed, sometimes in open defiance of) noisy bullying, fashionable pressure and apparent inevitability.. . .

But what I do know is this: the threats by the SNP to “lock the Tories out of office” even if they win the largest number of seats, combined with their sneering boast that Ed Miliband “will have to change his tune” about making a deal with them after the election, has made English voters angrier than I can ever remember seeing them. I find it simply incredible (in the literal sense of the word) that this outrage is finding no clear reflection in public opinion – which makes me feel that the polling process is missing something big.

The numbers and the logic are clear and indisputable: Labour cannot win a clear majority. Ergo, a Miliband government will have to rely on the support of the SNP to pass any legislation. Ergo, if you vote Labour, you are voting to lock in the influence of the SNP over the entire country. If there are as many people who are furious about the SNP’s presumptions as there appear to be, how can this be having so little impact on the Labour voting intention?

Another thing that I know is that those who are very angry indeed about the march of imperial Scotland are going to be absolutely certain to vote. Nothing – and I do mean nothing – will keep them from the polling stations on Thursday. And that collective resolve may interfere with the accuracy of the polling predictions just as it did four years ago when so many more people than expected wanted to give the smug Progressive Alliance a bloody nose.

Maybe even the SNP will get a mild surprise on its home turf. Friends of mine in Edinburgh report that those of a pro-Union persuasion are afraid to admit their views for fear of getting a brick through their window or having their children persecuted at school. The aggressive onslaught has effectively silenced opposition – but has it extinguished it? Are there Scots who secretly resent the ferocious pressure, or fear the economic consequences of its success?

The way for a movement to gain apparent influence and power is to appear unstoppable, so that its rise seems like an historical inevitability. It is remarkably easy to be persuaded of this when you are in a crowd of shouting activists. The problem is that you are making so much noise that you don’t hear the silence of those outside the crowd.

But here’s the thing: the British do not like being shouted at. They particularly dislike being threatened – as a number of foreign aggressors have learnt to their cost. Nor do they like being taken for fools – as Miliband appears to do, when he insists that he will make no concessions to the SNP. As often as not, they give no sign of their disgust. They do not shout back. They just wait quietly for the sanctity of the voting booth and then they do what they think is right without fear or favour.

It’s Thursday morning in the UK.

We’ll know this evening, our time, what the voters think is right.


Lockwood for London

December 19, 2012

It’s not news but now it’s official: Lockwood Smith has been nominated to be our next High Commissioner to the UK.

Prime Minister John Key today welcomed the nomination of Dr the Rt Hon Lockwood Smith as New Zealand’s next High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.

“Lockwood Smith has had a distinguished political career and his nomination is a mark of the high esteem in which he is held.

“Since 2008 he has held the role of Speaker of the House of Representatives, and was unanimously re-elected in 2011.

“The nomination of Parliament’s Speaker to the role of High Commissioner emphasises the importance of relationship between New Zealand and the United Kingdom,” says Mr Key.

Lockwood Smith has served as a Member of Parliament since 1984, when he was elected MP for Kaipara. In 1996, he became MP for Rodney, a role he held until 2011 when he went on the National Party List.

He has held a number of positions in National-led Governments, including Minister of Education, Agriculture, Trade and Deputy Finance Minister.

“I wish Lockwood and his wife, Alexandra, all the best for this new appointment,” says Mr Key.

Dr smith has been the best speaker in years, he leaves big shoes to fill but he’s earned this career move.


May 1 in history

May 1, 2010

On May 1: 

305  Diocletian and Maximian retired from the office of Roman Emperor. 

880 The Nea Ekklesia was inaugurated in Constantinople setting the model for all later cross-in-square Orthodox churches. 

1328  Wars of Scottish Independence ended: Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton – the Kingdom of England recognised the Kingdom of Scotland as an independent state. 

Royal Coat of Arms of Scotland 

1576  Stefan Batory, the reigning Prince of Transylvania, married Anna Jagiellon and they became the co-rulers of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. 

 

1707 The Act of Union joined the Kingdom of England and Kingdom of Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. 

  

1751 The first cricket match was played in America. 

1753 Publication of Species Plantarum by Linnaeus, and the formal start date of plant taxonomy adopted by the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature. 

 

1759 Josiah Wedgwood founded the Wedgwood pottery company in Great Britain. 

  

1776 Establishment of the Illuminati in Ingolstadt (Upper Bavaria), by Jesuit-taught Adam Weishaupt

  

1778 American Revolution: The Battle of Crooked Billet began in Hatboro, Pennsylvania. 

Battle of Crooked Billet Monument.jpg 

1785  Kamehameha, the king of Hawaiʻi defeated Kalanikupule and established the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi. 

 

1786  Opening night of the opera The Marriage of Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Vienna. 

 

1831 Emily Stowe, Canadian physician and suffragist, was born (d. 1903). 

  

1834  The British colonies abolished slavery

1840  The Penny Black, the first official adhesive postage stamp, was issued in the United Kingdom. 

Penny black.jpg 

1846  The few remaining Mormons left in Nauvoo, Illinois, formally dedicated the Nauvoo Temple

  

1848 The Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta was founded at Jefferson College in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. 

1851 Queen Victoria opened the Great Exhibition in London. 

  

1852 Calamity Jane, American Wild West performer, was born (d. 1903). 

  

1852 The Philippine peso was introduced into circulation. 

1000-peso note one-peso coin

1863  American Civil War: The Battle of Chancellorsville began. 

Battle of Chancellorsville.png
 

1865 The Empire of Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay signed the Treaty of the Triple Alliance

 

1869 The Folies Bergère opened in Paris. 

  

1875 Alexandra Palace reopened after the 1873 fire burnt it down. 

  

1884  Proclamation of the demand for eight-hour workday in the United States. 

1884 Moses Fleetwood Walker became the first black person to play in a professional baseball game in the United States. 

 

1885 Ralph Stackpole, American sculptor, painter, was born  (d. 1973). 

 

1886 Rallies, that ended in the Haymarket affair, were held throughout the United States demanding the eight-hour work day. 

  

1893 The World’s Columbian Exposition opened in Chicago. 

  

1893 Richard Seddon became Premier of New Zealand. 

Richard Seddon becomes Premier 

  1894 Coxey’s Army, the first significant American protest march, arrived in Washington, D.C. 

1898  Spanish-American War: The Battle of Manila Bay – the United States Navy destroyed the Spanish Pacific fleet in the first battle of the war. 

  

1900 The Scofield mine disaster killed more than 200 men in Scofield, Utah. 

 

1901 The Pan-American Exposition opened in Buffalo, New York. 

  

1910 Dr. J. Allen Hynek, Astronomer/Astro-physicist. Noted UFO investigator, was born  (d. 1986). 

  

1915  The RMS Lusitania departed from New York City on her two hundred and second, and final, crossing of the North Atlantic. 

Lusitania
 

1925 The All-China Federation of Trade Unions was officially founded. 

ACFTU logo.jpg 

1926 New Zealand Railways magazine was launched. 

NZ Railways Magazine launched 

1927 The first cooked meals on a scheduled flight were introduced on an Imperial Airways flight from London to Paris. 

1927  The Union Labor Life Insurance Company was founded by the American Federation of Labor. 

1930 The dwarf planet Pluto was officially named.

Pluto-map-hs-2010-06-c180.jpg 

1931 The Empire State Building was dedicated in New York City.

Manhattan at Dusk by slonecker.jpg

1937  Una Stubbs, English actress, was born. 

TillDeathUsDo.jpg 

1939 Judy Collins, American folk singer, was born. 

 

1940 The 1940 Summer Olympics were cancelled owing to war. 

1941 – World War II: German forces launch a major attack on Tobruk

1945 World War II: A German newsreader officially announced that Adolf Hitler had “fallen at his command post in the Reich Chancellery fighting to the last breath against Bolshevism and for Germany”. 

1945  Yougoslav partisans freed Trieste

Yugoslav Partisans flag 1945.svg 

1945  Rita Coolidge, American singer, was born. 

 

1946  Joanna Lumley, English actress, was born. 

 

1946 Start of 3 year Pilbara strike of Indigenous Australians. 

1946 The Paris Peace Conference concluded that the islands of the Dodecanese should be returned to Greece by Italy. 

  

1947 Portella della Ginestra massacre against May Day celebrations in Sicily by the bandit and separatist leader Salvatore Giuliano; 11 people were killed and 33 wounded.

1948 The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) was established, with Kim Il-sung as president.

 

1950  Guam was organized as a United States commonwealth.

 

1956  The polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk was made available to the public. 

1956  A doctor in Japan reported an “epidemic of an unknown disease of the central nervous system”, marking the official discovery of Minamata disease.

1960 Formation of the western Indian states of Gujarat and Maharashtra.

1960  Cold War: U-2 incidentFrancis Gary Powers, in a Lockheed U-2 spyplane, iwa shot down over the Soviet Union, sparking a diplomatic crisis.

 

1961 The Prime Minister of Cuba, Fidel Castro, proclaimed Cuba a socialist nation and abolishes elections.

Five horizontal stripes: three blue and two white. A red equilateral triangle at the left of the flag, partly covering the stripes, with a white five pointed star in the centre of the triangle. A shield in front of a fasces crowned by the Phrygian Cap, all supported by an oak branch and a laurel wreath

 

1965 Battle of Dong-Yin, a naval conflict between ROC and PRC, took place. 

1970  Protests erupted in Seattle, Washington, following the announcement by U.S. President Richard Nixon that U.S. Forces in Vietnam would pursue enemy troops into Cambodia, a neutral country. 

1971 Amtrak (the National Railroad Passenger Corporation) was formed to take over U.S. passenger rail service.

 
Logo

 

1977 36 people were killed in Taksim Square, Istanbul, during the Labour Day celebrations. 

1978 Japan’s Naomi Uemura, travelling by dog sled, became the first person to reach the North Pole alone.

1982 The 1982 World’s Fair opened in Knoxville, Tennessee.

 

1982 Operation Black Buck: The Royal Air Force attacked the Argentine Air Force during Falklands War. 

 

1983 Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize.

1987 Pope John Paul II beatified Edith Stein, a Jewish-born Carmelite nun who was gassed in the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz.

 

1989 Disney-MGM Studios opened at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida.

 

1990 The former Philippine Episcopal Church (supervised by the Episcopal Church of the United States of America) was granted full autonomy and raised to the states of an Autocephalous Anglican Province and renamed the Episcopal Church of the Philippines. 

Episcopalphils.jpg

1992 On the third day of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, African-American activist, criminal, and victim of police beating Rodney King appeared in public before television news cameras to appeal for calm and plead for peace, asking, “People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?”. 

1994  Three-time Formula One world champion Ayrton Senna was killed in an accident during the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola.

 

1995 Croatian forces launch Operation Flash during the Croatian War of Independence. 

1997  Tasmania became the last state in Australia to decriminalize homosexuality. 

2001 Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared the existence of “a state of rebellion”, hours after thousands of supporters of her arrested predecessor, Joseph Estrada, stormed towards the presidential palace at the height of the EDSA III rebellion.

 

2003 2003 invasion of Iraq: In the “Mission Accomplished” speech, on board the USS Abraham Lincoln (off the coast of California), U.S. President George W. Bush declaref that “major combat operations in Iraq have ended”. 

  

2004 Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia joined the European Union, celebrated at the residence of the Irish President in Dublin.

Circle of 12 gold stars on a blue background.

2006  The Puerto Rican government closed the Department of Education and 42 other government agencies owing to to significant shortages in cash flow. 

2007  the Los Angeles May Day mêlée occured, in which the Los Angeles Police Department’s response to a May Day pro-immigration rally become a matter of controversy. 

2008 The London Agreement on translation of European patents, concluded in 2000, entered into force in 14 of the 34 Contracting States to the European Patent Convention

2009 Same-sex marriage was legalized in Sweden. 

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


April 29 in history

April 29, 2010

On April 29:

711  Islamic conquest of Hispania: Moorish troops led by Tariq ibn-Ziyad landed at Gibraltar to begin their invasion of the Iberian Peninsula (Al-Andalus).

Tariq ibn Ziyad

1429 Joan of Arc arrived to relieve the Siege of Orleans.

Joan of Arc at the Siege of Orleans by Jules Lenepveu

1483 Gran Canaria, the main of the Canary Islands was conquered by the Kingdom of Castile, an important step in the expansion of Spain.

1624 Cardinal Richelieu became Prime Minister of Louis XIII.

1672 Franco-Dutch War: Louis XIV of France invaded the Netherlands.

1707  Scotland and England unified in United Kingdom of Great Britain.

 1770 James Cook arrived at and named Botany Bay, Australia.

  

1832 Évariste Galois released from prison.

 

1861 American Civil War: Maryland’s House of Delegates voted not to secede from the Union.

1863 William Randolph Hearst, American publisher, was born (d. 1951).

1864 The Theta Xi fraternity was founded at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.

1882  The “Elektromote” – forerunner of the trolleybus – was tested by Ernst Werner von Siemens in Berlin.

 

1899 Duke Ellington, American jazz pianist and bandleader, was born (d. 1974).

1901 Hirohito, Emperor of Japan, was born (d. 1989).

1903 A 30 million cubic-metre landslide killed 70 in Frank, Alberta.

 

1915 Donald Mills, American singer (Mills Brothers), was born (d. 1999).

1916 World War I: The British 6th Indian Division surrendered to Ottoman Forces at Kt in one of the largest surrenders of British forces up to that point.

1916 Easter Rebellion: Martial law in Ireland was lifted and the rebellion was officially over with the surrender of Irish nationalists to British authorities in Dublin.

 

1933 Rod McKuen, American poet and composer, was born.

1934 Otis Rush, American musician, was born.

1938 Bernard Madoff, American convict, who was a financier and Chairman of the NASDAQ stock exchange., was born.

1945 World War II: The German Army in Italy unconditionally surrendered to the Allies.

1945 World War II: Start of Operation Manna.

 

1945 World War II – Fuehrerbunker: Adolf Hitler married his long-time partner Eva Braun in a Berlin bunker and designated Admiral Karl Dönitz as his successor.

1945 – The Dachau concentration camp was liberated by United States troops.

 

1945 – The Italian commune of Fornovo di Taro was liberated from German forces by Brazilian forces.

1946  Former Prime Minister of Japan Hideki Tojo and 28 former Japanese leaders were indicted for war crimes.

 

1952 Anzus came into force.

ANZUS comes into force

1953 The first U.S. experimental 3D-TV broadcast showed an episode of Space Patrol on Los Angeles ABC affiliate KECA-TV.

1954 Jerry Seinfeld, American comedian, was born.

Jerry Seinfeld (1997) cropped.jpg

1957 – Daniel Day-Lewis, British-Irish actor, was born.

A smiling man wearing a gray hat with piping above the band, and a tan Western style shirt, stands in an office, posing for the camera.

1958 Michelle Pfeiffer, American actress, was born.

1958 Eve Plumb, American actress, was born.

1965 Pakistan’s Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) successfully launched its seventh rocket in its Rehber series.

 

1967 After refusing induction into the United States Army the day before (citing religious reasons), Muhammad Ali was stripped of his boxing title.

Muhammad Ali NYWTS.jpg

1968  The controversial musical Hair opened on Broadway.

Hairposter.jpg

1970 Andre Agassi, American tennis player, was born.

Andre Agassi 2005 US Clay Court.jpg

1970 Vietnam War: United States and South Vietnamese forces invaded Cambodia to hunt Viet Cong.

1974 President Richard Nixon announced the release of edited transcripts of White House tape recordings related to the Watergate  scandal.

 

1975 Vietnam War: Operation Frequent Wind: The U.S. began to evacuate U.S. citizens from Saigon prior to an expected North Vietnamese takeover. U.S. involvement in the war ended.

Vietnamese refugees disembarking helicopter, Operation Frequent Wind.jpg

1979  Jo O’Meara, British singer (S Club), was born.

1980 Corazones Unidos Siempre Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority Inc. was founded.

1980 Kian Egan, Irish singer (Westlife), was born.

1986 Roger Clemens then of the Boston Red Sox set a major league baseball record with 20 strikeouts in nine innings against the Seattle Mariners.

1986 A fire at the Central library of the City of Los Angeles Public Library damaged or destroyed 400,000 books and other items.

1991 A cyclone struck the Chittagong district of southeastern Bangladesh with winds of around 155 mph, killing at least 138,000 people and leaving as many as 10 million homeless.

 

1992   Riots in Los Angeles  following the acquittal of police officers charged with excessive force in the beating of Rodney King. Over the next three days 53 people were killed and hundreds of buildings were destroyed.

  

1997 The Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993 enters into force, outlawing the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons by its signatories.

1999 The Avala TV Tower near Belgrade was destroyed in the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.

CK building on fire 1999.jpg

2002 The United States was re-elected to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, one year after losing the seat that it had held for 50 years.

2004 Dick Cheney and George W. Bush testified before the 9/11 Commission in a closed, unrecorded hearing in the Oval Office.

 

2004  Oldsmobile built its final car ending 107 years of production.

Oldsmobile Logo

2005 Syria completed withdrawal from Lebanon, ending 29 years of occupation.

2005 – New Zealand’s first civil union took place.

Sourced from NZ History Online and WIkipedia.


January 1 in history

January 1, 2010

On January 1:

45 BC  The Julian calendar took effect for the first time.

1001 – Grand Prince Stephen I of Hungary was named the first King of Hungary by Pope Silvester II.

1449 Lorenzo de’ Medici, Italian statesman, was born.

Portrait by Agnolo Bronzino.

1651  Charles II was crowned King of Scotland.

1735 Paul Revere,  American patriot, was born.

 Portrait of Paul Revere by John Singleton Copley,

1772 – The first traveller’s cheques, which could be used in 90 European cities, went on sale in London.

1779  William Clowes, English printer, was born.

1788  First edition of The Times of London, previously The Daily Universal Register, was published.

1800  The Dutch East India Company was dissolved.

1801 The legislative union of Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland was completed to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

1801 The dwarf planet Ceres was discovered by Giuseppe Piazzi.

Ceres optimized.jpg

1803  Emperor Gia Long ordered all bronze wares of the Tây Sơn Dynasty to be collected and melted into nine cannons for the Royal Citadel in Huế, Vietnam.

1804 French rule ended in Haiti. Haiti becomes the first black republic and second independent country on the American Continent after the U.S.

       

1808  The importation of slaves into the United States wais banned.

1810  Major-General Lachlan Macquarie CB officially became Governor of New South Wales.

1833 The United Kingdom claimed sovereignty over the Falkland Islands.

       

1833 Robert Lawson, New Zealand architect, was born.

1859 Pencarrow, New Zealand’s first lighthouse, was lit for the first time.

NZ's first lighthouse, Pencarrow, lit for the first time

1860 First Polish stamp was issued.

1861  Porfirio Díaz conquered Mexico City.

1876  The Reichsbank opened in Berlin.

1877  Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom was proclaimed Empress of India.

1879 E. M. Forster, English novelist, was born.

1880 Ferdinand de Lesseps began French construction of the Panama Canal.

1890  Eritrea was consolidated into a colony by the Italian government.

 

 

 

 

1892  Ellis Island opened to begin processing immigrants into the United States.

1859 Pencarrow, New Zealand’s first lighthouse, was lit for the first time.

NZ's first lighthouse, Pencarrow, lit for the first time
 
  • 1894 – The Manchester Ship Canal,was officially opened to traffic.
  • 1895  J. Edgar Hoover, American FBI director, was born.

    1899Spanish rule ended in Cuba.

     Five horizontal stripes: three blue and two white. A red equilateral triangle at the left of the flag, partly covering the stripes, with a white five pointed star in the centre of the triangle.

     

     

     A shield in front of a fasces crowned by the Phrygian Cap, all supported by an oak branch and a laurel wreath

    1901 – The British colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia federated as the Commonwealth of Australia; Edmund Barton was appointed the first Prime Minister.

     

     

     

     

    1912 The Republic of China was established.

     A red flag, with a small blue rectangle in the top left hand corner on which sits a white sun composed of a circle surrounded by 12 rays.

     

     

     A blue circular emblem on which sits a white sun composed of a circle surrounded by 12 rays.

    1912  Kim Philby, British spy, was born.

    Kim philby.jpg

    1919 J. D. Salinger, American novelist, was born.

    1925  American astronomer Edwin Hubble announced the discovery of galaxies outside the Milky Way.

    1934  Alcatraz Island became a United States federal prison.

    1939  William Hewlett and David Packard founded Hewlett-Packard.

    Hewlett-Packard Company logo

    1948 The British railway network was nationalised to form British Railways.

    1956  The Republic of the Sudan gained independence.

     

     

     

     

    1958 The European Communitywas established.

    1959 Fulgencio Batista, president of Cuba ws overthrown by Fidel Castro‘s forces during the Cuban Revolution.


    Batista in 1938

    1960 The Republic of Cameroon achieved independence.

     

     

     

     Tricolor shield before two crossed fasces. Its center is an inverted red kite shape covered with a purple outline of Cameroon below a gold star, with the scales of justice superimposed. Its left is green and its right is gold. Banners with fine print are above and below.

    1962 Western Samoa achieves independence from New Zealand; its name is changed to the Independent State of Western Samoa.

     

     

     

     

    1962 – United States Navy SEALs established.

    US Navy SEALs insignia.png

    1982Peruvian Javier Pérez de Cuéllar became the first Latin American to hold the title of Secretary General of the United Nations.

    1983 – The ARPANET officially changes to using the Internet Protocol, creating the Internet.

    1984 – The Sultanate of Brunei became independent.

     

     

     

     

    1985 The Internet‘s Domain Name Systemwas created.

    1985 – The first British mobile phone callwais made by Ernie Wise to Vodafone.

    1990David Dinkins was sworn in as New York City’s first black mayor.

    1993 – A single market within the European Community is introduced.

    1994 – The North American Free Trade Agreement comes into effect.

    1995  The World Trade Organisation came  into effect.

    1995 – The Draupner wave in the North Sea in Norway was detected, confirming the existence of freak waves.

    1997 – Ghanaian diplomat Kofi Annan was appointed Secretary General of the United Nations.

    1998 – The European Central Bank was established.

    2006 – Sydney, sweltered through its hottest New Years Day on record. The thermometer peaked at 45 degrees celsius, sparking bushfires and power outages.

    Sourced from NZ History ONline & Wikipedia.


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