Vietnam

A tattoo I would get

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This tattoo is awesome…it’s one that I would wear with pride.

A poignant tattoo honouring Kiwi war veterans has caught the world’s imagination, going viral on social media just days after being inked onto a Lower Hutt man.

A photo of Bruce Neal ‘s patriotic body art had gained 128,000 likes on Facebook by this afternoon, plus nearly 5000 comments and 40,000 shares.

The Wainuiomata ex-army man got inked last Thursday, and just hours later the tattoo was getting thousands of likes after Petone tattoo parlour Pieces of Eight uploaded a snapshot.

“It just went ballistic,” Neal, 59, said.   Read more »

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Photo Of The Day

Photo by Joe McNally/Time & Life Pic

Photo by Joe McNally/Time & Life Pic

Kim’s Story

Phan Thi Kim Phuc, who was famously photographed by Nick Ut as a naked 9 year old running from a napalm attack during the Vietnam War, holding her son and showing her horribly scarred back. Kim Phuc was the girl on the photograph that brought the world’s attention to the horrors of the war in Vietnam.

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Concrete Cancer Cover-up, Ctd – Core samples? Easy peasy

Core Samples from the Warehouse Pakuranga, Auckland

Core Samples from the Warehouse Pakuranga, Auckland

After reading the exclusive Concrete-Cancer Cover-up series, one of our eagle-eyed Whaleoil army member spotted something they thought we would like to see – photos of where concrete core samples have been taken.

And this wasn’t overseas, this was right here in New Zealand – at the Warehouse Pakuranga in Auckland.

Last week Winston Peters hammered Minister for Building and Housing Nic Smith over officials telling the Minister’s office that the $40.6m Manukau District Court rebuild has used dodgy cement and asked why core samples haven’t been taken.

It’s a good question that the Cement and Concrete Association of New Zealand (CCANZ) gets very uppity about.

Just image if core samples of the taxpayer funded Manukau District Court building were taken and sent to an independent laboratory for testing and came back showing they have a problem.    Read more »

Concrete Cancer Cover-up, Ctd – What’s all the fuss about?

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When you start investigating a story the interesting thing is how people respond to questions.

Some are helpful, provide information and are keen to see an issue resolved. Others are less than helpful and are keen on seeing the story shut down.

Sadly, Rob Gaimster, CEO of the Cement and Concrete Association of New Zealand (CCANZ) falls into the later category.  More on Gaimster later.

A recap is needed on why this Concrete Cancer Story needs to be told.

The basics are this;

  1. In January, February and March 2014, a cement importing company Drymix imported tens of thousands of tonnes of cement from Vietnam into New Zealand which, according to their own test results, failed to meet recognised industry standards.
  2. Drymix failed to make its test results available for public scrutiny which raised questions within New Zealand’s $400 million-a-year cement market.
  3. This cement had higher than accepted alkali content.
  4. Concrete cancer is caused by high alkali levels in cement combined with moisture in the concrete and a reactive form of silica in the aggregate. When this happens it can end up causing expansion and cracking in concrete resulting in major structural problems.   Read more »

Perhaps Gareth Morgan can give them some advice

Gareth Morgan has all sorts of advice lately, but perhaps he might like to take his motorbike on a trip to Vietnam to give them some assistance with a little culinary problem they are having.

VICE News reports:

Just after midnight on Tuesday, police in Hanoi detained a truck smuggling three tons of live cats into Vietnam. The driver, a 30-year-old man named Hoang Van Hieu, admitted that the ill-begotten cats were bound for restaurants in the country, where cat meat is, in fact, a delicacy, especially in the provinces of Thai Binh and Nam Dinh, not far from Hanoi.

“After receiving a tip, we searched the truck and discovered the cats inside,” Sky News quoted Dong Da district deputy chief of police Cao Van Loc as saying. “The owner, also the driver, said he bought the cats at the [Chinese] border area of Quang Ninh province. All of the cats were from China.”

With an average adult weight of about ten pounds for a healthy domestic feline, three tons means we’re talking hundreds of cats. The animals, crammed on top of one another in bamboo cages, were just the latest haul in a small cat-trafficking market that sources from nearby China, Laos, and Thailand to satiate Vietnam’s appetite for kitty flesh.    Read more »

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Concrete Cancer Coverup – More sunlight needed

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The Whaleoil investigation into a cover-up in the $400 million concrete industry now has documents that show the new $40.6 million Manuaku District Court and Fonterra’s $120 million Waitoa UHT factory have been made with dodgy cement.

As more documents are provided to Whaleoil, the more the cover-up becomes not only  a case of incompetence on the part of the officials responsible for overseeing construction of buildings, but also a desperate attempt at trying to confuse anyone that looks into this issue.   Read more »

Concrete Cancer Cover-Up Expose Continues

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Last year we started a series of posts exposing a cover-up in the $400m New Zealand concrete industry.

Industry insiders spoken to by WOBH, warned that dozens of new buildings could be under threat from a form of ‘concrete cancer’ that could end up costing millions of dollars over time.

This includes buildings like the new $40 million Ministry of Justice Manukau District Court, Fonterra’s $120 million factory in Waitoa and Yashili’s $250 million plant at Pokeno.

It all came about after concrete importer Drymix imported tens of thousands of tonnes of cement, which according to their own test samples, failed to meet recognised industry standards.

When murmurings about this issue first started, the industry association – The Cement and Concrete Association (CCANZ) first course of action was to hire a private investigator to try and find out who was talking.

Since then, sources in Wellington have been expressing concern that CCANZ had hitched their wagon to Drymix, and are not happy at how they are handling the unease within the construction and building sectors.

In December 2014 WOBH asked 5 questions to CCANZ seeking their response to the issues raised on this site.  Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Oliver W. Sipple (left) intervened by lunging towards Sara Jane Moore and diverting the direction of the gun she fired in an attempt to assassinate President Gerald Ford as the President was leaving the St. Francis Hotel in Union Square.

Oliver W. Sipple (left) intervened by lunging towards Sara Jane Moore and diverting the direction of the gun she fired in an attempt to assassinate President Gerald Ford as the President was leaving the St. Francis Hotel in Union Square.

The Oliver Sipple Case

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Concrete Cancer Coverup, ctd

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This time last week Whaleoil continued with its series exposing a concrete cancer cover-up within the $400m New Zealand concrete market.

The tip-line has been abuzz with concerns from Wellington insiders close to the Cement and Concrete Association of New Zealand (CCANZ).

They are deeply concerned that CCANZ has hitched their wagon to the company at the centre of the cover-up – cement importer Drymix, and that the exposure of the concrete cancer issue is not going to end well for the industry body.

These insiders are worried that CCANZ’s position is compromising the integrity of the wider concrete industry and are not happy with how they are managing the growing concerns and unease within the construction and building sectors.

Last week CCANZ held a crisis meeting in Wellington where they obviously decided that they’re too deep in the hole and that the better option is to keep digging. Let’s see how that works out for them.   Read more »

Concrete Cancer Coverup, Ctd

Photo of Drymix’s Vietnamese cement producer Vicem Bimson’s site

Photo of Drymix’s Vietnamese cement producer Vicem Bimson’s site

Over the last few weeks we have been exposing a concrete cancer cover-up within the $400m New Zealand concrete market.

In October, WOBH exposed the risk that dozens of new structures could be under threat of ‘concrete cancer’ as a result of cement importer company Drymix allowing tens of thousands of tonnes of cement that failed to meet recognised industry standards, onto the NZ market.

We know Drymix hired private investigators to try and find out who was behind an anonymous filer exposing concerns about concrete cancer affecting buildings.

Then with unease growing within the construction sector about what buildings could be affected, the Cement and Concrete Association of New Zealand (CCANZ) dived into the quicksand and started defending Drymix – despite acknowledging that Drymix had ‘imported cement which was found to have raised levels of alkali content’.

Instead of advising potentially affected parties that the cement used in recent builds such as the Government’s $40m Manukau District Court upgrade could be compromised, CCANZ has surprised industry insiders by backing Drymix.   Read more »