World

Isis will “rain carnage on the world” – John Key

Seems John is done pussy footing around

Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a coalition fight against the extremist group.

Speaking to Radio New Zealand this morning, Mr Key said he was still weighing up the risks and benefits of New Zealand adopting a military response against Isis, vowing to “carefully trod our way through this”.

However, he was of the belief that Isis were “very bad people” and a military response was morally justified.

“They’re very bad people and left unchecked they will rain carnage on the world, that’s my view of these people,” he told the broadcaster.

This is a critical moment in Key’s leadership.  If we have a domestic incident after he commits New Zealand to fighting ISIS in the Middle East, it will be interesting to see how the public will react when the bleeding and deaths are on our own doorstep.   Read more »

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This real life story has it all – even kidnapping a dinosaur

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Sometimes we step away from politics to tell you about the real news.

Of all the tales about the Loch Ness Monster, it must be one of the most unlikely – an English plot to kidnap the beast and display its carcass in London.

But back in the 1930s the Scots feared that such a thing was all too possible, according to newly revealed papers, and fought to ensure she stayed north of the border.

The Scottish Office opened a file on Nessie in December 1933 after being bombarded with inquiries following sightings that year.

And similar files have also been found at the Natural History Museum in London, with the contents describing Scotland’s fears that Nessie ‘should not be allowed to find its last resting place in England’ after a bounty was placed on the monster’s head.

But while Scotland hoped that the bounty hunters could be kept at bay long enough to get new laws passed to protect her, London preferred her shot on sight. Read more »

Bring back the biff

Rugby League went all sooky years ago, especially when they banned the biff and brought in gay developments like the judiciary.

Now Paul Gallen has been fined $50,000 for calling someone a c*nt on Twitter.

Cronulla captain Paul Gallen has been handed a $50,000 fine and provisional Kangaroos suspension for a foul-mouthed tirade he made against NRL officials on social media last week.

Gallen has seven days to respond to the breach notice and explain any mitigating factors that might have contributed to his Twitter brain-snapwhile holidaying in Hawaii.

The NRL imposed the heaviest possible code of conduct fine on the Sharks and NSW captain, and he will also be ineligible for Australia selection in 2015 unless he successfully completes a leadership course.

His eligibility would then be reviewed by an ARL commission panel.

And what did he do?  Read more »

Hey, for once Otago Uni is in the news in a non-health-troughing way

Question is – can they turn this into a commercial product quickly enough?

A Dunedin-developed device could be the breakthrough health workers need in the global fight against the deadly Ebola virus.

Freedom 4 is small enough to sit in the palm of your hand, but the device packs a lot of punch.

Dr Jo-Ann Stanton and her University of Otago team spent six years developing it.

Freedom 4 can do on-the-spot tests for bacteria and viruses, like the much-feared Ebola.

“In the case of Ebola, it could be that we could look in a blood sample and see whether Ebola virus is present or not,” says Dr Stanton.

That means those with the Ebola virus can be identified more quickly, instead of their tests having to go back to a lab.

That would be handy.

“We’ve been able to basically run a very complex diagnostic in the palm of your hand, and you can be anywhere you need to, to run that test,” Dr Stanton says.

What I love about these sorts of machines is that when the automation experts get a hold of it, they reduce it to about 15% of its size, 5% of its power consumption, and may even be run from a smartphone.

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Wind power project canned in Tassie, not economically viable

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If Tasmania, with all its wind, can’t make a wind farm economically viable then no one can.

Hydro Tasmania has killed off a $2 billion wind farm planned for King Island.

The state-owned power generator said the project was not economically viable.

Hydro had planned to build a 600 megawatt wind farm on the island, with the power generated to be connected to the National Electricity Market via a high-voltage underwater cable across Bass Strait to Victoria.   Read more »

Face of the day

Wafa Sultan Arab-American Psychiatrist

Wafa Sultan Arab-American Psychiatrist

Arab-American Psychiatrist Wafa Sultan is one of an inspiring  group of Muslim Women Reformers speaking out against the oppression of Islam.

I learned more about Islam from Wafa Sultan than I have learned in my entire life up till now.

I will not spoil it for you  by summarising what she says but be prepared for one hell of a lesson.

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In NZ it would mean the Labour party is in town

 

Phil-Goff-clown-photo

A French town is beset by clowns and they aren’t coping at all well.

Given the French government terror alert levels go from “Run” to “Hide”. The only two higher levels in France are “Surrender” and “Collaborate”, having a town over run by clowns must have been terrifying.

Here it would just mean the Labour party was in town for their leadership debates.

A wave of panic sparked by evil clowns stalking French towns has spread to the south of France where police have arrested 14 teenagers dressed as the pranksters, carrying pistols, knives and baseball bats.   Read more »

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Time to start taxing fat bastards

The Doug Sellman’s of this world, along with all the other troughers in the health sector want to start taxing sugar, fat and everything else that people eat and consume in a bid to reduce obesity.

They like to compare normal everyday food products with tobacco…and want to use all the same tactics as used against tobacco, including increased excise taxes, labelling regimes and bans on advertising.

The one problem they ahve with their claims is that tobacco taxes are only paid by the smoker, the one most affected.

Their plans go much further and want to tax everyone including the bloke with the body like a half sucked throatie.

No one it seems is willing to embark on taxing fat bastards.

The same issue is being pushed in the UK.

Couch potato lifestyles have left the UK with one of the lowest levels of activity in the western world, and without change, the welfare state could collapse, health officials have warned.

A landmark report by Public Health England (PHE) says lack of exercise is as dangerous as smoking – directly contributing to one in six deaths.

Officials warned that the UK population is now 20 per cent less active than it was in the 1960s, with half of women and one third of men damaging their health through lack of physical activity.

Almost two thirds of the UK population do not do enough exercise, the report warns – while in Germany and France, the figure is less than one in three.

Officials say that without major changes in the way people live their lives, the welfare state in Britain could collapse under the burden of self-inflicted diseases, which are fuelled by obesity, alcohol and smoking.

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Cannabis – Helping the kids, A journey for oil

Time has a released a documentary about how cannabis is providing medical treatment for kids where legal medicines have failed dramatically.

Kate Pickert investigates the world of medical marijuana for children.

The story focuses on the Stanley family, who began selling “Charlotte’s Web” – a strain high in CBD but low in THC – through their Colorado business after the mother of a girl with epilepsy approached them. We have looked before at the remarkable story of Charlotte Figi, this story however delves a little deeper.

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Are we at Peak Dairy?

Eric Watson suggests we have reached the maximum production capacity.  We can not really make more.  So what next?

New Zealand has led the world developing technologies to maximise output from our limited land resources. Unfortunately, I believe we are close to reaching the geoclimatic and biological limits of our “pasture-based” model.

The reality is, the gap between the maximum potential yield of New Zealand’s pastures and utilisation of this pasture has diminished to the point where little incremental growth in production is possible without alternative feed sources.

It is no surprise that continued increases in dairy production have gone hand in hand with significant increases in the use of imported supplementary feed stuffs, such as palm kernel which, with increased rates of applied nitrogen, contribute to nutrient loading on dairy farms.

New Zealand is caught between the necessity for economic growth and our obvious geoclimatic limitations.

As an isolated exporter of commodity dairy products, our opportunities to add to our export value without increasing volume is limited, but to maintain our market share we need to increase volume.

New Zealand’s dairy exporters have continued to explore opportunities for value-added products to increase our export values, but these initiatives are dwarfed by the impact of volume in the major commodity dairy products we export, and ultimately this is what motivates our farmers and the dairy industry.

The key here is the ability, or rather the efficiency, of ecosystems to convert nutrient inputs into product.

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