World

Sledge of the Day

The Government is playing down predictions published by powerful US business magazine Forbes that New Zealand is on the path to economic disaster.

Economic analyst Jesse Colombo yesterday labelled New Zealand’s economy a bubble which will pop devastatingly.

The current housing bubble was creating a mortgage bubble, he said, with almost half of outstanding mortgages currently having floating interest rates.

Rising interest rates would eventually pop this bubble, banks would experience losses on their mortgage portfolios, “the country’s credit boom will turn into a bust” and over-leveraged consumers will default on their debts, Colombo said.

“Not only is New Zealand’s banking system dangerously exposed to the country’s property and credit bubble, but so is the entire economy.”

The left have been dining out on this bit of doomsday stuff for days.

Acting Finance Minister Steven Joyce last night dismissed 28-year-old Colombo’s theories as “alarmist” and described him as a “bubble-ologist”.

“His view on life is that the whole world is pretty much in a bubble and there’s no place he doesn’t pick on,” Joyce said. “I wouldn’t be paying too much for that level of analysis. He’s a little bit like [earthquake forecaster] Ken Ring. He’s out there predicting catastrophe at every turn.”

 

- HOS

Kevin Rudd vs Helen Clark for the top UN job

How entertaining. Two massive megalomaniacs fighting each other out for the top global government role.

Former foreign minister Bob Carr believes the United Nations could do with a dose of Kevin Rudd’s “legendary forcefulness”.

There has been some speculation the former prime minister covets the UN secretary general gig.

The incumbent Ban Ki-moon finishes his second term in 2016.

While spruiking his memoir at a Sydney bookstore on Saturday, Mr Carr said Mr Rudd had his support.

“He would be a very strong, credible candidate,” Mr Carr said. “It would be the most natural thing in the world for him to stand.”

The race was wide open.

“I think the forcefulness Kevin showed sometimes in selling a case might be considered by some in the UN as an advantage,” Mr Carr said.

A lot of members of the UN general assembly liked Mr Rudd’s agenda and Australia’s international personality.

Hopefully they attack each others campaigns. That will be worth a big bucket of popcorn. ¬† Read more »

Battered bugle and its missing notes

Odd how we end up placing so much significance on an object, but in this case this bugle carries a lot of mana

last-postWhen they blow the bugle at the Auckland Domain this Anzac Day it will sound strained and some of the notes flat.

But it will be all the more solemn for the old soldiers of the Auckland Regiment. That bugle saw combat at Gallipoli 99 years ago and it’s finally returned.

“It sounds like a bugle but some of the notes are a little bit hard to come, and they sound tortured,” regimental archivist Blake Herbert says – “like someone played a bum note.”

In 1915 the standard issue bugle was given to Sergeant Sydney Postlewaight of Ponsonby. In those days the bugle was not just for music.

“They would have been a prime source of communication. The bugle was something with key notes for attack, withdraw. It was a way of getting orders out.”

The Last Post on Anzac morning is chilling. ¬†You can’t help but be affected. ¬† Read more »

“you Nazis, quit that talk”

I don’t think Israel would be a good place for Kim Dotcom. ¬†Not unless he loses more off his accent

An Israeli bus company has been forced to apologise after a Jewish man from Holland who survived three concentration camps and his wife were branded ‘Nazis’ by one of its drivers.

Martin Leeda, 72, and his wife Jeta, 69, were aboard the bus travelling from Ramat HaScharon to Tel Aviv sitting in a forward section reserved for elderly passengers.

As they began to speak to each other in Dutch, the bus driver suddenly yelled out: ‘You non-Jews, you Nazis, quit with that talk.’

He had mistaken their Dutch for German, said Mr Leeda.

Mr Leeda, who works in a Jewish historical museum in Amsterdam, travels regularly to Israel and said he and his wife were ‘deeply hurt’ by the insult.

He said: ‘I, as a survivor of the Nazi Holocaust, should not have had to listen to this.’

The driver sent the couple a letter of apology and faces a disciplinary hearing, according to the Metropoline bus company.

Around 150,000 Jews were living in the Netherlands in 1941, according to a survey by the Nazi occupation force. Read more »

Multiple fake text messages. How can this happen?

I can’t get my head around this

Text messages purporting to be sent from missing school children trapped aboard the sunken South Korean ferry are fake, police have revealed.

In the wake of the disaster on Wednesday, text messages apparently from high school children were sent to their parents on dry land.

But, having given their distressed parents hope for their missing offspring, the messages have now been revealed to be fakes.

The Korea Herald reported the messages cannot be legitimate after an analysis of phone records showed none of the students had used their phones since the ferry flipped over.

The ferry Sewol sank off South Korea’s southern coast on Wednesday morning.

One of the text messages, sent in the aftermath of the disaster as rescue efforts got underway, was sent by a student only identified as Shin, 18.

It said: ‘Dad, don’t worry. I’ve got a life vest on and we’re huddled together.’

Her father replied: ‘I know the rescue is underway but make your way out if you can.’

He received the response: ‘Dad, I can’t walk out… The corridor is full of kids and it’s too tilted,’ the New York Post reported.

So as I read it, these were multiple messages from multiple children. ¬†That means someone needed access to their family’s phone numbers. ¬†Receiving the text messages, the family believed them to be genuine – this appears to me that they were “from” the correct phone numbers. ¬†The father replied and get another response.

What’s really going on?

Police said all messages claiming to have been sent from the Sewol after it went down appear to have been fabricated, reported the Herald.

Officers would not comment on the messages reported to have been sent in the morning as the ship was still sinking, many of which contained video and photos showing the boat going down.

Investigators at South Korea’s Cyber Terror Repsonse Center, part of the National Police Agency said they found none of the phones analysed had been used since noon on the day of the accident.

‘We‚Äôve checked over 300 phones, since some people owned more than one phone,’ police said.

One sham message was sent from a phone owned by a fifth-grader in Gimpo, Gyeonggi Province, the Herald reports.

Police said the hoax is distressing for the families of the missing, adding that those responsible face criminal charges.

Can you come up with a scenario that explains all this?  With the exception that the authorities are lying about none of the phones having been used since the capsize.

I mean, how realistic is that?   None.

What are they trying to cover up, and what is really going on here?

Drug cook gets New Zealand work permit

Travis will be delighted.

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Celebrity cook Nigella Lawson has been given a waiver to work in New Zealand next month, required because she was barred from the United States after admitting cocaine use.

The British star is visiting New Zealand to make a new TV commercial for chocolate maker Whittaker’s ‚ÄĒ but she wouldn’t have been able to come without the Immigration NZ exemption.

In a statement to the¬†Herald on Sunday, Immigration NZ said Lawson had been granted a work visa under “special direction” laws.

“As Ms Lawson has been excluded from another country, namely the United States, she was ineligible to be granted a visa to enter New Zealand unless given a special direction.

Amusing really. ¬†If you’re declined entry to other countries, you are immediately declined to enter New Zealand unless rules are broken for you. ¬†It makes you wonder how Kim Dotcom got in. ¬† Read more »

MH370 search results: Nothing. Zero. Nada. Zip. Zilch

The black box has stopped pinging and it is probably lying on the sea floor at a depth that makes it pretty hard to locate.  No debris.  No floating luggage.  No avgas jet fuel slicks.  Nothing.

A US Navy deep-sea autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) is scouring a remote stretch of the Indian Ocean floor for signs of the plane, which disappeared from radars on March 8 with 239 people on board and is believed to have crashed in the area.

After almost two months without a sign of wreckage, the current underwater search has been narrowed to a circular area with a radius of 10 km around the location in which one of four pings believed to have come from the black box recorders was detected on April 8, officials said.

“Provided the weather is favourable for launch and recovery of the AUV and we have a good run with the serviceability of the AUV, we should complete the search of the focused underwater area in five to seven days,” the Joint Agency Coordination Centre told Reuters in an email.

Officials did not indicate whether they were confident that this search area would yield any new information about the flight, nor did they state what steps they would take in the event that the underwater search were to prove fruitless.

And so we are left to speculate.  Perhaps MH370 went down in one single piece?  That would be the best outcome in terms of being able to locate the plane with side-scan radar.

But if it broke into thousands of little pieces, why aren’t we seeing anything on the surface at all?

Read more »

Loch Ness monster found

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This is a fascinating image.  Could it simply be the wake of a boat?  But where is the boat?

The hunters Peter Thain from Northumberland and Andy Dixon County Durham, were amazed by their find.

Mr Dixon said yesterday: ‘It was purely by accident that I came across the image. I was trawling through satellite transmissions of different parts of the country and I thought I would try Loch Ness.

Read more »

Drug abusing mayor offers free booze at election event

Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford shares one thing with Auckland Mayor Len Brown: ¬†A total lack of repentance.

Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford acknowledged ”rocky moments over the past year” but vowed to fight harder than ever to win re-election at a rally he dubbed the official launch of his campaign.

Ford, who was the first to register as a candidate in January, invoked the spirit of second chances during a speech in front of supporters on Thursday. Ford is seeking re-election on October 27 despite acknowledging last year that he had smoked crack cocaine ”in a drunken stupor”.

Volunteers gave out one free drink to everyone at a hall in a Toronto suburb. There were lineups for Rob Ford bobble-head dolls that were being sold to raise money for the campaign. The mayor made his way through the crowd along a red carpet to the stage, led by bag-pipers and volunteers carrying campaign signs.

City council removed most of Ford’s powers after he admitted to having smoked crack.¬† ”There’s been some rocky moments over the past year. I have experienced how none of us can go through life without making mistakes,” Ford said.

You have to admire the balls of someone who is in the news for abusing drugs giving free alcohol to people in an election meeting. ¬† This would be the same as Len Brown having an event where all the Asian professional girls are on offer for a bit of free little slap and tickle. ¬† Read more »

I should have done this when I was at Truth

You have to hand it to Larry Flynt…he really knows how to tick off people.

Congressional offices have a porn problem, but it’s not exactly what you think.

Since 1983, Larry Flynt has sent the monthly magazine he founded, Hustler, to each and every member of Congress.

The dirty mag comes in a plain manila envelope, fairly undetectable to the poor intern or staffer tasked with opening the mail. And every month, there it is: Hustler, featuring dozens of naked or scantly dressed women, vulgar comics, and articles, some satirical, on politics, society, and sex.

It’s not like members of Congress haven’t tried to stop the magazines from coming. They just can’t stop it legally. Read more »