Victims of media hackers get millions in compensation

In the UK the media hacked people’s phones and used the information to make stories.

In New Zealand a criminal hacker, known to the media, and when that becomes more well known there might be some trouble for them, took my emails and fed them firstly to Nicky Hager to launder them so other media could have a feeding frenzy, then dumped them on Twitter to do the same. Information in my possession suggests at least two media people participated in helping seed information on that Twitter account.

To cap off this little preamble those same journalists then went and won awards at the Canon Media Awards based on cut/pasting my emails. Apparently this is the new standard of investigative journalism in New Zealand.

They even had the cheek to suggest that “Dirty Politics” was an attack on the media. I wonder how all those journalists sitting in that room felt when that was the push, knowing that I know just exactly what they did, and have done working with me and wondering when it all might come tumbling out. The gloaters and the skiters on Twitter might just wish they had stfu.

Especially when you consider what has happened in the UK once it became known how complicit media were in hacking, and the compensation that has now been awarded to the victims of the hacking.

The publisher of Britain’s Daily Mirror newspaper has been ordered to pay former England football star Paul Gascoigne and seven other victims of phone-hacking “unparallelled” awards totalling STG1.2 million (NZ$2.4 million).  Read more »

Can John Key surf?


Tony Abbot is resurrecting his stakes in Australia.

Of course he started the return by bashing bludgers, abos, bad wogs and illegal immigrants.

Now he is playing the tough guy, and succeeding. He certainly has big balls.

It was never going to be easy with massive waves breaking off Queenscliff beach and the bombora further out.

But that wasn’t about to deter Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

He had personally put the event to support awareness of Wipeout Dementia and the illness into his diary indicating that it wasn’t to be changed. He wasn’t about to pull out.

He changed into his wetsuit and then there was just a moment for some advice from surfing legend Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew who had just come in.

As the PM walked down the beach eyeing the waves, Wayne told Fairfax Media that conditions were “quite horrendous”.    Read more »

I wonder if Labour is ready for a dose of this medicine?

Labour in the last election got soundly spanked, their solution for the problem was to select a union bovver boy as leader to take Labour further to the left.

In the UK Labour got the same treatment and they are now seeking a replacement for Ed Miliband.

A senior MP has suggested some strong medicine for the party:

Labour needs to embrace a ‘huge cut’ in the welfare bill and severe restrictions on the free movement of European migrants, a senior MP has said.

John Mann, who is on the right of the party, said Labour had lost the election because it was led by an out-of-touch metropolitan elite who saw Britain through a ‘London eyeglass’.

In a manifesto of ideas for the new leader, the Bassetlaw MP said the party had to be more pro-business and needed to ensure that the family became its ‘central focus’.

He said Labour must be less ‘statist’ and must give people more individual freedom, saying: ‘Too often, we have sought to do good things for people, rather than empower them to do it themselves.’

Housing benefit should be slashed, and Labour should argue for restrictions on the free movement of labour in areas where there is unemployment, Mr Mann said.

It is looking increasingly likely that there will be three contenders to take over from failed leader Ed Miliband –Liz Kendall, Yvette Cooper and Andy Burnham.

Read more »

French parliament: Let them eat cake [POLL]

France’s parliament has voted unanimously to ban food waste in big supermarkets, notably by outlawing the destruction of unsold food products.

Under the legislation passed on Thursday, as part of a broader law on energy and the environment, supermarkets will be forced to donate any unsold but still edible food goods to charity or for use as animal feed or farming compost.

All large-sized supermarkets will have to sign contracts with a charity group to facilitate food donations.

“It’s scandalous to see bleach being poured into supermarket dustbins along with edible foods,” Socialist member of parliament Guillaume Garot, who sponsored the bill, said.

At present, some grocery stores are pouring bleach in bins after throwing away food to make it unfit for consumption.

French people throw away between 20 to 30 kilos of food per person per year costing an estimated $13m to $22m annually, according to the AFP news agency.

The government is hoping to slice food waste in half by 2025. Read more »


Sam Lotu Iiga should take heed

Sam Lotu Iiga is the Minister responsible for looking at the plain packaging legislation in the house at the moment.

Quite apart from the fact that there is no need for it due to our no advertising and closed cupboards rules on tobacco sales he should take heed at what is happening in the UK.

Even taking the soft option and pandering to the Maori party by including a clause in the legislation pending the outcome of the WTO case is fraught with danger given what tobacco companies are lining up the UK government for.

Tobacco companies are preparing to launch what could be one of the biggest ever legal claims against the British Government for losses as a result of the introduction of plain packaging for cigarettes.

They are expected to begin lodging papers at the High Court as early as Friday, seeking a multi-billion compensation payout for being stripped of the right to use instantly recognisable brands.

Lawyers will argue that forcing them to use entirely unbranded packaging would amount to deprivation of a highly valuable intellectual property.  Read more »

Religion of Peace threatens to kill 17 year old over Charlie Hebdo tribute


Teachers and students at a French school have rallied in support of a pupil who has received death threats for publishing a tribute to satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The student, 17-year-old Louis, published a special edition of the school paper in January after Islamists went on a killing spree on the streets of Paris that left 17 people dead.

Two of them stormed the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo killing 12 people, including journalists and police officers, and sparking a global outpouring in support of free speech.

The school paper edition – titled “Je Suis Charlie” (“I am Charlie”) after the slogan that went viral following the attack – included poems, opinion pieces and drawings.

It did not include any of the caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed published by Charlie Hebdo that had angered the Islamists.

“It was a tribute to the 17 victims without discrimination — for Jews, journalists, police officers,” Louis, whose surname was not given, said.

Police have opened an inquiry into the death threats against the student, including seven letters in total, two of which contained bullets.

The last one at the beginning of May “seemed like an ultimatum”, Louis said. Read more »

Defence force trainers settled into Taji

Photo/ Supplied

Photo/ Supplied NZDF

The NZ Defence Forces have confirmed the troops are in Camp Taji and commenced their training operations.

New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) trainers and supporting Force elements are now established in their base in Taji and have begun the task of training Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) in a range of military skills to help in the fight against ISIS.

This week, the combined New Zealand-Australia Building Partner Capacity mission officially took over the training of ISF personnel rotating through the Taji Military Complex, previously carried out by a US Army unit.

The training focuses on basic operational skills such as planning, weapons training, basic manoeuvres and the profession of arms.    Read more »

Face of the day


Malte Woestefeld is left open mouthed as the cheeky zebra muscles in on his selfie

Malte Woestefeld was left stunned as a zebra photobombed his shots on a trip to a zoo but the animal truly earned his stripes as he leant through Malte’s car window then appeared to smile for one of the snaps.

“The zebra was actually super cuddly and didn’t leave the window for a few minutes,” said Malte, 24, who is studying business administration.

“I had a carrot in my backpack so I gave it to him.”

Malte was on a day trip to Zoo Safaripark in Holte-Stukenbrock, Germany, when he managed to take the zelfie of all selfies.

Malte said “There was a big horde of zebras but this one was standing alone.

“It looked like it was waiting for us.

“We had our windows closed the entire team because they also have lions and other dangerous animals and this is the regulation of the park that we respected.”


Malte Woestefeld took a few more ‘zelfies’ with the friendly zebra at the Zoo Safaripark in Germany

But as they drove into a safer zone they opened their windows to say hello to the friendly creature.

And the distinctive black and white striped animal could not resist popping in to say cheese.


Eurovision song contest still gay – no booing allowed

Polina Gagarina

Polina Gagarina

After a year in which Russia continued to be fiercely condemned for annexing the Crimea and its separatists’ seizure of eastern Ukraine, the country remains a pariah through most of Europe.

Now, amid fears Russia’s Eurovision singer Polina Gagarina will bear the brunt of the ill-will, contest organisers have installed drastic ‘anti-booing’ technology for the final in Vienna.

Special sound reducers have been installed in a bid to stop the acrimony towards Russia being broadcast – an issue that was last year labelled ’embarrassing’ by organisers. Read more »

Phew, with his first name he’d never win anyway

The other day I was chatting to a few mates about the leadership candidates for the UK Labour party.

We all remarked that the bloke called Tristram didn’t have a hope…and it appears he has realised it.

The Telegraph reports:

A Tristram cannot appeal to working class voters in northern towns or cities, nor even to the middle class – especially if he’s as posh as this one.

The news that Tristram Hunt, the Shadow Education Secretary, will not be running for the Labour leadership did not come as much of a surprise.

After all, there is a simple reason why this eminently telegenic, rather likeable and clever man would never be elected as leader of this county’s main Left-wing party – or indeed any other party.

The biggest obstacle to Tristram Hunt becoming leader of the Labour Party was not his personal appeal, his political creed, his abilities or even his level of support among his Parliamentary colleagues.

It was, quite simply, his name.

Modern day Britain is not somewhere that a Tristram can put himself forward as a man of the people – Comrade Tristram just doesn’t have quite the right ring about it.   Read more »