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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New year readers - 100 posts already - see you in 2010...

This is my newest blog, and has reached 100 posts already!

Happy New Year readers, hope 2010 will turn out much better than 2009 which was a bitch to us at times.

Have something liquid on me friends.

See you next year bloggers!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

From the river to Germany and back again - my nostalgic trip...

Some stories get lost in your archives and need relocating to reintroduce them again elsewhere. Please enjoy this little gem:

From the river to Germany and back again - my nostalgia trip...

It must have been in 1956 - I was about twelve years old then. I was out with my foster family picnicking at one of the Canterbury rivers in New Zealand's South Island. It was mid-summer and it was so hot you could see the heat shimmering and dancing off the river bed stones into the river itself. The water in the rivers in 1950's New Zealand was pristine, quick flowing, cold and wonderful to drink. You just had to make sure that there had not been any wandering sheep drinking at the waters edge.

After roaming around on my own for some time, creating adventures in which I starred, perhaps as the great white hunter tracking some lion through the river bed, I started throwing stones over the river and into the distance. These became bombs - dropping on German cities (only a decade or so before) from a high flying Lancaster bomber. I was the bomb- aimer one minute, and the pilot the next. The bombing of Germany went on for a long time - but I eventually heard shouting from the other side of the river. The bombing stopped suddenly!

On the other bank of the river a rather powerfully built and tall man in his late thirties was screaming at me; and his hand was dripping with blood. "You stupid little bast...d. You could have killed me!" he screamed again.

I suddenly arrived back in 1956, away from my bombing of Germany fantasy, and realised what I had really done. I had been throwing some pretty big stones into the air and they had actually been landing near and at the feet of some fisherman on a hidden ledge. But one had hit this particular fisherman on the hand, and he was after blood - not that of some trout or salmon - but a twelve year old SOB named Peter. Yeah and the fisherman was on the other side of the river too!

A new year is arising...

A new year is arising and lets hope it will be better than 2009.

Great Xmas at our place, weather was fantastic and everybody was home.

been quiet the last few days though as the youngsters do their own thing - the oldies have really had peace and quiet.

What a damn flop those copenhagen climate change talks were - not even the rhetoric of Obama could save them!

Word is that China was doing a lot of backstabbing behind the scenes. Well they are a bunch of hypocrites anyway! Hey, somebody has to show some real leadership there. Climate change is real and something positive and constructive must be done in 2010.

Have a happy New year out there in the blogesphere.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Copenhagen climate change talks fiasco...

The Copenhagen climate change talks were a disappointing failure. There was so much rhetoric on the subject, but it failed all expectations. There appeared to be some hope by developing nations they could grab some nosh from the developed world. Bad luck to them! There is no doubt something positive has to be done though, and done quickly.

Lets hope the next round of talks bears some fruit. I invite you to visit THE GREEN PLANET for an opinion on the subject:

Copenhagen climate change talks fiasco

Sunday, December 20, 2009

How old really is a teenager...

This 2008 post was written to provoke comment - how old's a teenager...

I'll ask you this question fellow bloggers. How old really is a teenager?

New research that has emerged questions the way society puts the various age groups into little pigeon holes: babies, toddlers, infants, children, teenagers, young adults, middle aged, seniors, geriatric etc.

There is now much thought being put into the classification of "teenager". So how old really is a teenager? Thirteen to nineteen?

The research I mentioned above is in relation to the maturation of the prefrontal cortex lobe: the part of the brain that determines our reaction to complex situations, cognitive behaviour etc. Scientists now believe young adult brains may not be fully matured up to 22 years of age, or in some cases 25 years of age.

This is a real concern considering what pressures society puts on young adults and expects them to succeed. We let them drive motor vehicles and drink alcohol in their mid-teens, get married and send them off to war as soon as they are 18 years of age. Even the voting age has been reduced in many western countries. When they stuff up we are ready to jump on them , condemn them, threaten them with violence and prison, but fail to realise they may not actually be mentally mature enough to succeed at the tasks we give them as a society in the first place; mentally they are still young teenagers, even if physically they are fully mature adults!

Think back to an earlier generation who didn't let their older children(teenagers were unknown then) drive motor vehicles, drink alcohol or go off to war until a later age? The pre-world war two generation didn't need research scientists to tell them that young adults didn't fully mature mentally until their early twenties, did they?

What do you think of that fellow bloggers?

Mental maturity

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year...

Hutts Blogesphere wishes readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Happy blogging in 2010.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Birth, taxes and death...

Birth, taxes and death...

First published at Quondio:

When you come onto this earth, the two things that are guaranteed are taxes and death.
You will spend your adult life working, earning and paying taxes.The amount you work is dependant on what you need to earn to create income, and pay your taxes.

Only when death's dark veil descends over your earthly body will the threat of taxes be removed.

So friend learn to enjoy life and pay your taxes on time.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Controversial church billboard creates world attention...

A controversial church billboard has created worldwide attention.

The poster depicts Joseph in bed with Mary,"Poor Joseph. God was a hard act to follow." Indeed.

Threats and vandalism failed to discourage the efforts of Auckland's, St Matthew Church- in-the City poster campaign which shows a dejected Joseph and a sad looking Mary. It had paint thrown over it within six hours, was stolen, and a replacement copy was cut to ribbons. They do not intend to replace that copy.

The church said the aim of the billboard was to lampoon the literal Christian conception story and to think about what a miracle is.

As I wrote above the billboard created interest in Sweden, the Netherlands, Britain, Costa Rica and India.

The Anglican Church was inundated with emails and calls. Most were supportive but some were abusive, threatening violence against the church and people.

It allegedly revealed an unhealthy fringe group which shouldn't control conversation, a church spokesman claimed.

What is your opinion of the controversy?

Controversial church billboard

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Look young and live longer, perhaps...

Look young and live longer, perhaps...

A report from Britain commented on a Danish study that suggests looking younger may enable you to live longer, perhaps.

Research that was recently published online in a British medical journal, BMJ, suggested looking younger than your years may enable you to to live longer:

Danish researchers took photos of 1800 pairs of twins aged over 70 years and people who did not know the twins real ages guessed how old they were.

The researchers found the difference in perceived age within any pair of twins, the more likely it was that the older looking twin died first.

So are you looking younger or older than your age?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Copenhagen climate change talks probably a year early...

Copenhagen climate change talks probably a year early...
It appears that no agreement may be possible at the Copenhagen climate change talks.

An agreement could be delayed for up to six years. So much for all the hype of recent weeks. World leaders appear not to agree and a compromise deal may be possible instead.

I'd like to ask a question: Which are the developing nations, New Zealand, India or China?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Potting mix a legionaires disease risk...

Potting mix a legionaires disease risk...

A new health warning concerning the risk of potting mix and legionaires disease:

'Potting mix risk for gardeners on both sides of the Tasman this summer:

Christchurch Medical Officer of Health warning gardeners to take care as four fall ill from Legionnaires Disease linked to potting mix

Health authorities in Christchurch say the latest outbreak of Legionnaires Disease differs from the outbreak in 2005.

Two different strains of Legionnaires Disease have caused the death of a Christchurch man and four others have fallen ill.

Medical Officer of Health Ramon Pink says since September four people have fallen ill after inhaling the bacteria from potting mix. He says the man who died from Legionnaires Disease contracted it from a cooling tower while overseas.

Dr Pink says the last time the city had a problem with the disease in 2005, it was linked to contracting legionnella from cooling towers. Three people died and 18 were sick.

However, he is warning gardeners to be careful as they open bags of potting mix and to use gloves.'

A risk for green fingered folk on both sides of the Tasman!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Embezzler executed in China. for embezzling millions of dollars from his employers..

Embezzler executed in China for embezzling millions of dollars from his employers...

Yang Yanming, a general manager at the Great Wall Trust and Investment Corporation embezzled 65 million yuan (NZ$13.3 million) from his employers and will pay the ultimate price for his crime. The executive officer is the first person from the country's financial sector to be executed, state media reported recently.

The late Yang Yanming was employed by the Corporation from 1997 to 2003, and refused to say where the money went; the suggestion is that he was part of a conspiracy and was executed as an example to other embezzlers in China.

Other stories here

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Guess who's coming to dinner...

Guess who's coming to dinner...

Guess who's coming to dinner? Descendants of cannibals on Erromango, Vanuatu, have apologised for their ancestors habit of eating missionaries.

A ceremony was held for Charles Milner-Williams whose great-great-grandfather, the Rev John Williams, was killed and eaten on the island 170 years ago.

Vanuatu president Iolo Abbit said the ceremony was a big event for the country, where Christianity was now strong.

Other stories

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Just where did Mick go - Aussie tourist went missing...

Just where did Mick go - Aussie tourist went missing...

Just where did Mick go, I wonder? Aussie tourist was missing for two days and caused a police search. They sought him here , they sought him there, that damned elusive Aussie!

Michael Craig, 45 yrs, from Tasmania, was eventually found safe and sound in a Christchurch, NZ, bar, totally unaware he had created a fuss and ado with police checking areas in the Lyttleton port town.

Mick as he is known,was last seen on CCTV stumbling out of a Christchurch suburban hotel about 4am Sunday. By the afternoon police had some concerns for his safety - they issued his photograph to media, checked to see if his bank account had been used and were trying to contact his family in Tasmania.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Rainbow Family to meet in NZ...

Rainbow Family to meet in New Zealand...

About 2,000 members of the worldwide transient "Rainbow Family" began arriving at Bruce Bay on the West Coast of NZ yesterday for a six week camp.

The first gathering described on its website as an'organic outgrowth' of the hippy movement - was held in the US in the 1970's.

Quite frankly I have never heard of them, have you?

The name 'rainbow' has been used in recent times to describe certain gay orientated groups in New Zealand. But a Rainbow Family?

Monday, November 30, 2009

All Blacks dirt trackers to be let loose against the ' Barbarians' on Saturday

All Blacks's "dirt trackers" to be let loose on Saturday...

No lack of motivation for the All Blacks for their season finale against the Barbarians at Twickenham on Sunday

The All Blacks' "dirt trackers" are poised to be let loose on the Barbarians in their season finale at Twickenham on Sunday, with the team predicted to mirror the one that beat Italy in Milan.

Halfback Brendon Leonard says motivation will not be an issue for him, despite the end of the season being a mere six days away. He says the lure of the black jersey remains just as strong, irrespective of the time of year. Leonard is set to come up against arguably the world's best number nine in South Africa's Fourie du Preez, who is one of nine Springboks in the Barbarians 22 man squad.

Prop Wyatt Crockett is eyeing some on-field redemption on Sunday after being at the centre of the scrum fiasco in Milan, which led Paddy O'Brien to slam the referee and the Italian front row.

"It was a huge learning experience and if selected I'm looking forward to getting out there, putting those things I've learnt into action and combating any of that sort of scrummaging"

Crockett says this weekend is a chance for the players chosen to do their talking on the field.

It has been a fairly slow start to the week with the team holding its Monday recovery session at Hyde Park, which is currently the site of a carnival-like ?Winter Wonderland? including an ice skating rink. There has been no word at this stage on whether any of the All Blacks were game enough or permitted to slap on the skates.

Tony Woodcock?s eye gouging allegations appear consigned to history with the 48 hour period for any citing now passed.

These players are the second string development players within this year's All Black squad and should create some excitement in the AB's only non-test match on tour. There should be some great running rugby as displayed in the AB's demolition against France last Saturday.

Acknowledgements: NZCity, NewsTalkZB

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Kiwi rocket launch delayed through technological problems...

Kiwi Rocket launch delayed...

Technological problems have caused a delay to the launch of the Kiwi rocket from Great Mercury Island off Coromandel Peninsula near Auckland.

Aerospace company Rocket Lab was due to send Atea-1 into space from Great Mercury Island just after 7am but a technological problem has been detected and the launch may be delayed for up to three hours.

Acknowledgements; NZCity, NewsTalkZB

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Awful Aussie evades kiwi biosecurity in Queenstown...

Awful Aussie evades Kiwi biosecurity in Queenstown...

An awful and unwanted Aussie evaded Kiwi biosecurity at Queenstown Airport in Otago recently.

A poisonous cane toad had stowed away in a pair of woman's tramping boots. While she was in the Ultimate Hikes shop in Queenstown the cane toad hopped out of her bag.

Shop staff grabbed it, and then phoned Agriculture and Forestry Ministry officials who confirmed the identity of the Aussie.

The cane toad was stowed away in a freezer to die.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Native American and Red Indian humor...

Native American and Red Indian Humor ...

This joke emanated from before the climate of political correctness, and at least one reader at another site found it offensive. I accept his his criticisms, but as I told him we cannot change history.

Keeping to my desired intention to add a little humor once more and deciding to kick political correctness all the way to the toilet of your American White House, not the old white house around the corner down by the park with all those overgrown trees and bushes - lets have another joke dear friends!

There were three Indian squaws, probably related to the chief in last weeks story. One slept on a deerskin, one slept on an elk skin and the third slept on a hippopotamus skin. All became pregnant and the first two had a baby boy. The one who slept on the hippopotamus skin had twin boys.

This goes to prove that sons of the squaw on the hippopotamus are equal to the sons of the squaws on the other two hides.

As the chief said in my story of last week,the thong has long ended but the malady is still lingering on.

But later the chief rushed into the tent of the medicine man and shouted, "I'm shrinking!" The medicine man replied calmly, Now settle down. You'll just have to be a little patient."

In the morning the chief, the medicine man, the squaws and their sons all rode off to the Little Big Horn!

Native American comment:

User Comments
I find the use of the word "squaw" offensive and disturbing.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A thought for the day...

A thought for the day...

Copied this from the noticeboard at the Hutt Hospital MH Unit::

The past is history,

The future is a mystery,

Today is a gift,

That why they call it the present.

And somebody wrote on the bottom: Just Like Christmas?

Good morning Hutts Blogesphere...

Good morning Hutts Blogesphere...

I recently posted this on the new site, "SideTick" and had to re-circulate it to here:

Do you know I almost wrote, "Good morning Vietnam" here. Wonder why I wrote that? I remember the film well with Robin Williams acting the role of DJ on the forces radio in Vietnam. Good morning, Vietnam!

I had a brother and a brother -in-law in the conflict - the are both dead now. They were both still young when they died of heart failure - thats when your heart stops, you know? Funny that!

My bro was a military policeman and died of a massive heart attack at the age of 33 years. He died in camp at Burnham, just outside Christchurch, NZ. He had problems getting over what he experienced in Vietnam. He spent a lot of time in the city (Saigon) and out on patrol outside the city. Do you know the Vietcong never attacked his jeep because he was a Kiwi. Yes, thats true, they had a lot of respect for our troops and country. Thats not to say they wouldn' try to kill them in battle, though!

My bro in law came back to NZ after service as a rifleman. Some years later he developed nerve problems, had to have many operations, deterioated physically, wasted away and died. He was a big strapping young man when he went to Vietnam. Heard of Agent Orange? I have, but he didn't. But by Jesus I know what killed him!

Why do I write of Vietnam? I just thought about it, probably have Afghanistan on my mind, thinking just how dangerous this could be for our Kiwi troops, even if they are special forces, but we do have engineers and medics there too. I think of the wasted lives in Iraq! So many American boys, and girls too these days, who won't be walking back home!

Oh well, old morbid me. See you all later!


Saturday, November 21, 2009

For sale one brain and some blood...interested?

For sale one brain and some blood...interested?

Italian dictator Benito Mussolini's blood and brain went on sale for $31276 on online auction website eBay before the company pulled the advertisement.

eBay explained the removal of the auction on the grounds that the company did not authorise the sale of human body-parts.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A tsunami could have been responsible for Britains worst natural disaster...

A tsunami could have been responsible for Britains greatest natural disaster...

A tsunami in the Bristol Channel off the English coast could have caused 2000 deaths in Britain's greatest natural disaster. For centuries it was thought the great flood of Jan 1607 was caused by high tides and floods. Tsunami is now the politically correct word for tidal waves.

It was estimated that 200sq miles(520 sq km) of land in south Wales and sw England were covered in water.

Now two climate experts have come forward and argued in favour of the tsunami theory.

It is not only the pacific and asia where tsunamis are present.

Read story here

Friday, November 13, 2009

Boeing and Air NZ to airtest biofuel next month...

Boeing to test biofuel on Air New Zealand flightAviation company to test biofuel next month using oil from jatropha trees...

Boeing and Air New Zealand will fly a jumbo jet powered partly by biofuel next month, the two companies announced today.

An Air New Zealand jet will leave Auckland on December 3 with a 50-50 mix of jet fuel and oil from jatropha trees, in one of its four engines on a flight designed to show that jatropha biofuel is suitable for use in aviation as well as economical to produce .

"This flight strongly supports our efforts to be the world's most environmentally responsible airline," said Rob Fyfe, chief executive of Air New Zealand. "Introducing a new generation of sustainable fuels is the next logical step in our efforts to further save fuel and reduce aircraft emissions."

The jatropha nuts, which contain 40% oil, were harvested from trees in Mozambique, Malawi and Tanzania.

Friends of the Earth's biofuels campaigner, Kenneth Richter, welcomed the move to get the aviation industry to reduce the environmental footprint of its planes, but he raised concerns about the impact of biofuels. "Even jatropha is being linked to food price rises and habitat destruction. Current rates of growth in air travel mean it is not enough to switch to biofuels."

Robin Oakley, head of Greenpeace UK's climate change campaign, said: "We need a dose of realism here, because this test flight does not mean an end to the use of kerosene in jet engines. The amount of jatropha that would be needed to power the world's entire aviation sector cannot be produced in anything like a sustainable way, and even if large volumes could be grown, planes are an incredibly wasteful way of using it."

Boeing said their trees were grown on marginal land not required for food in India and south-east Africa.

Billy Glover, Boeing's managing director of environmental strategy, said that to prepare for the test flight, his team had tried to source biofuel reliably and economically for commercial aviation.

"The processing technology exists today, and based on results we've seen, it's highly encouraging that this fuel not only met but exceeded three key criteria for the next generation of jet fuel: higher than expected jet fuel yields, very low freeze point and good energy density. That tells us we're on the right path to certification and commercial availability."

Air travel contributes up to 5.5% of UK carbon dioxide emissions and the search for a greener alternative to kerosene jet fuel has been fraught with difficulty. Airlines cannot use standard biofuels such as ethanol because this would freeze at high altitude. Testing for the Air New Zealand flight showed that the jatropha-based biofuel was more suitable for flying since it froze at -47C and burned at 38C.

Chris Lewis, a fuels specialist at Rolls-Royce, which tested the jatropha biofuel, said: "The blended fuel meets the essential requirement of being a drop-in fuel, meaning its properties will be virtually indistinguishable from conventional fuel which is used in commercial aviation today."

Last month, Darrin Morgan, an environmental expert at Boeing, said biofuel-powered aircraft could be carrying millions of passengers around the world within three years, much sooner than most experts thought.

The Air New Zeland plane is not the first to use biofuels. In February, Virgin Atlantic successfuly tried a mixture of 80% jet fuel and 20% biofuel (made from coconut oil and babassu palm oil) in one engine of a Boeing 747 on a flight between London and Amsterdam.

Oakley said that technological advances in jet engines could only make a difference if there was a limit to the "massive expansion of the airline industry around the world."

"If Boeing were really serious about reducing their impact on the environment they would end their vocal support for a third runway at Heathrow and put some of their billions into high-speed rail technology instead," he said

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

If the Aussies don't want us the Yanks do...

If the Aussies don't want us the Yanks do...

In light of the call by an Australian Government member of parliament to restrict New Zealanders automatic entry to Australia, the United States has a pilot scheme to fastrack the entry of my fellow Kiwis to that country.

Kiwis can fill out a form for entry online on the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation. Previously travellers were required to fill out forms both electronically before leaving, and on a hard copy on arrival.

The pilot scheme will run for thirty days and cover travellers on Air New Zealand flight NZ6. If successful it could be expanded. Yankee Doodle Dandy

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Stranger - a story for you all...

The Stranger - a story for you all...

Knowledge and wisdom

Just picked up a little story this morning, which I would like to share with you all:

"The Stranger ".

A few years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small Texas town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on.

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche. My parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey. But the stranger...he was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries and comedies.

If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future! He took my family to the first major league ball game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn't seem to mind.

Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to the kitchen for peace and quiet. (I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.)

Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home... Not from us, our friends or any visitors. Our longtime visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush. My Dad didn't permit the liberal use of alcohol. But the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly and pipes distinguished.

He talked freely (much too freely!) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing.

I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked... And NEVER asked to leave.

More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first. Still, if you could walk into my parents' den today, you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.

His name?.... .. .

We just call him 'TV.'

(Note: This should be required reading for every household)

He has a wife now....We call her 'Computer.'

Their first child is "Cell Phone".

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Chinese history - background to Tibetan uprising...

Chinese history - background To Tibetan Uprising ...

In the early years of the twentieth century, China was largely a backward country. The economy was largely agrarian, but the political structure was imperialistic in nature. There was widespread internal disenchantment. Tribal leaders asserted some levels of control, and government began to loose control.

Frustrated by the Qing court’s resistance to reform, young officials, military officers and students began to advocate the overthrow of the Qing dynasty-( a succession of related rulers), and creation of a republic.

On October 10, 1911, there was a revolutionary military uprising which led to the abdication of the last Qing monarch. This uprising was being inspired by the revolutionary ideas of Sun Yat-sen, who is frequently being referred to as the father of the Chinese nation, as a result of being instrumental to the overthrow of the Qing dynasty in October 1911, the last imperial dynasty of China.

In the mid 1920s, some Chinese patriots began moves at changing the backward state of China. It was at this stage that Sun Yat-sen established a new revolutionary base in South China, and set out to unite the fragmented Chinese nation. With the Soviets assistance, Sun Yat-sen organized the Kuomintang (KMT) or “Chinese Nationalist People’s Party” along Leninist lines, and extends into an alliance with the fledgling Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The Kuomintang had three cardinal principles namely; democracy, social welfare and progress.
After Sun’s death in 1925, one of his Protégés, Chiang Kai-Shek seized control of the Kuomintang, and succeeded in bringing most of south and central China under his rule.

Under Shek’s leadership, irreconcilable differences grew within the Kuomintang. Many members of the party followed the communist ideology led by Mao Tse-Tung. Civil war ensued between Chiang’s Kuomintang and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) led by Chairman Mao.

Read more
Acknowledgements: infonaturale

Weird one this - involves a baby doll...

Weird one this - involves a baby doll...

A woman who faked a pregnancy prompted a police enquiry when she feigned the baby's death.

Officers exhumed a casket from the Mangere Lawn Cemetery in south Auckland, this week and found a doll!

The woman confessed to staging the funeral to avoid telling her partner she wasn't pregnant.

The Internal Affairs department raised the alarm after getting a request for a birth and death certificate for the dead 'baby'. They went to the police because there was no police record or doctor's certificate.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Kiwi ombudsman investigates mental health patient's restraint in solitary confinement...

Kiwi Ombudsman investigates mental health patient's restraint in solitary confinement...

A mentally ill patient held in restraints and kept in solitary confinement for almost six years is one of several disturbing cases of possibly inhumane treatment the country's Ombudsmen have uncovered in New Zealand detention facilities.

The public watchdogs found the patient in virtually constant "seclusion" - solitary confinement in a bare room - at the mental health unit of a district health board.

Chief Ombudsman Beverley Wakem would not name the board last night, but said it claimed the detention and use of restraints was required because the patient was likely to attack other patients and staff.

But Ms Wakem said that after her office became involved, the patient was moved to a more suitable facility.

"Why nobody thought to look at that and make that assessment before we arrived on the scene is a cause for concern," she told the Herald.

The patient was one example of "potential cruel and inhumane treatment" the Ombudsmen identified during the investigation.

The investigation also found a young intellectually disabled patient being kept in unwarranted and lengthy "seclusion", and another mental health patient who had been kept without any consent for years

Monday, November 2, 2009

Two kiwi men ordered to pay$150,000 for sending spam emails...

Two Christchurch, NZ, men have been ordered to pay $150,000 between them after sending two million spam emails

Two Christchurch men must pay substantial fines after admitting being part of a major international spamming operation.

A High Court judge has ordered Shane Atkinson pay $100,000 and Ronald Smits $50,000.

The men were part of a Christchurch business which sent over two million unsolicited emails over four months in 2007, to New Zealand addresses marketing Herbal King branded pharmaceuticals manufactured in India.

Internal Affairs says the New Zealanders were part of the largest pharmaceutical spamming operation in the history of the internet.

Atkinson's brother Lance, who lives in Queensland, has also had to pay $100,000 and is facing court action in the United States.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Russian baby has koranic verses on his body...

A Russian baby is attracting crowds of pilgrims after claims that verses from the Koran appear on his body.

Thousands of people are lining up every day to catch a glimpse of nine-month-old Ali Yakubov.

Religious leaders say the Koranic verse "Be thankful or grateful to Allah" was printed on the baby's leg in clear Arabic script this week. Apparently the script appears and fades every few days.

However visiting foreign journalists later saw a single letter, according to Reuters India.

But in Russia's mostly Muslim Kizlyar region, in the south of the country, many are convinced this is a miracle.

Sagid Murtazaliyev, head of the region, told Reuters: "The fact that this miracle happened here is a signal to us to take the lead and help our brothers and sisters find peace."

People are seizing on the "miracle" as a symbol of hope in an area which has been troubled by suicide bombs and attacks on police and security services.

The baby's home has now been turned into a shrine and imams have been putting up photographs of the baby's arms and legs covered in the Arabic script for the crowd to admire.

Vladimir Zakharov, deputy director of the Caucasus Research Centre at the Moscow State University of International Relations, told Reuters: "Islam and fear of terrorism now totally dominate the North Caucasus, and they are perhaps using this to escape from a certain reality."

But Yakubov's 26-year-old mother Madina told Reuters the script was a message from Allah. She said: "Allah is great and he sent me my miracle child to keep our people safe."

I just hope the baby doesn't mind being prodded and poked because presumably he's in for quite a lot of that.

Do you believe in miracles?

Source: Reuters India

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Balloon boy story a hoax...

Balloon boy story a hoax...

The mother of the so-called 'balloon boy' admited it was all a hoax - they just wanted their own reality TV show. But the boy blew it! The parents may well have made a fortune out of such a show.

There are 200 children on reality and other TV shows right now. If they are being exploited as some claim, it is despicable!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Share and enjoy...

Let a man stand with his face in what direction he will, he must necessarily turn his back on one half of the world. #

We do not remember days; we remember moments. #

Doust thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.-Benjamin Franklin #

Share and Enjoy

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Out of every tragedy comes sunlight...

Out of every tragedy comes sunlight. A little hero emerges from the shambles of disaster.

A ten year old New Zealand girl on holiday in Samoa when the deadly tsunami struck the southern coast beach a few weeks back, received a special award in NZ last week.

Remembering her primary school teacher's lesson on tsunamis, she recognised the characteristics of the tsunami. When she saw the water receding rapidly, she ran up and down the beach screaming, "tsunami", and undoubtably saved many, many lives.

What a clever and resourceful young girl. And she didn't go to school just to eat her lunch either!

Read more

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A no-brainer for adolescents...

New research on adolescents a no-brainer.ViewEdit.Sat, 2009-10-17 17:05 — huttriver12
Exercising and avoiding obesity during adolescence may help to protect against a deadly form of brain tumour (glioma) in adulthood, new research has indicated.

Fifteen to eighteen year olds who did lots of light, moderate and vigorous exercise, such as walking, biking or running, were 36% less likely to develop glioma than those who did not, according to the US National Cancer Institute.

Huttriver12 Posts

Friday, October 16, 2009

Elly calls for support to save Blogevolve from the sploggers and spammers...

Elly calls for support to save BE from the sploggers and spammers. Please come to the aid of the BE party!

'We've been continually attacked here at BE by sploggers and spammers - in fact there were probably 100 posts by some unwelcome blogger on this site. The best way to beat these folks is to post more often here.

I have communicated with our Admin, who has deleted the most recent and crazy posts, but the reality is that this site is at risk if we don't have more quality action.

The future is up to us in a way, although I have sought some input from our Admin, so the next few weeks are crucial. We need more action here.

Please post quality posts, preferably of your own work, (or use others' but acknowledge the writer), and some more action on the comments.

Please remember links are OK - but they should not all point to some product sales site - they should be to ADD FURTHER INFORMATION to your blog. And only three please. No more.

So guys and gals, over to you.' If not a member, you are invited to become one. Great little community site!

Save Blogevolve now!!!

Save Blogevolve now!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Is the world's first and only comprehensive ACC scheme under threat...

Is the world's first and only comprehensive no-fault state owned and operated fully accident compensation scheme under threat from the conservative John Key-led National Government in New Zealand. This scheme is the envy of the world. In 1974 the government of the day signed a covenant with the people of New Zealand that in return for the full provisions of this scheme, they would give up their right to sue, their employer or the person responsible for their accident and injuries.

We should know very soon!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Parents nightmare - two year old toddler missing for five days...

Police hunting for missing toddler Aisling Symes have not ruled out she could have been stolen to order. Parks, bushlands and waterways have been searched by police, friends, neighbours and concerned people.

Nothing has been seen of the bright and bubbly two-year-old since Monday night when she was last seen with an Asian woman who was holding a dog on a lead.

Aisling's disappearance from her deceased grandparents' Longburn Rd home in Henderson has sparked one of the biggest police hunts for years.

But after five days of searching police have found no sign of the toddler and investigation head Inspector Gary Davey said today it was looking increasingly likely she had been kidnapped.

Read story here

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Concerning John Trudell - the Native American activist the FBI couldn't stop speaking out...

Concerning John Trudell - The Native American activist the FBI couldn't stop speaking out.

"Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think and act for myself...and I will obey every law or submit to the penalty."

Chief Joseph

"When I go around in America and I see the bulk of the white people, they do not feel oppressed; they feel powerless. When I go amongst my people, we do not feel powerless,we feel oppressed."

John Trudell

Read the story here

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dust storm moves across the Tasman sea from Australia to NZ...

The red dust storms that came down to Sydney and other parts of New South Wales and Eastern Queensland from the Australian interior, have moved across the Tasman sea 24 hrs later. They caused havoc in Australia disrupting airlines and other transport, forcing the cancellation of race meetings in NSW and Queensland, and also causing health problems for some people.

NZ Metservice reports this morning indicated the red dust storm had reached NZ shores, albeit in a diminished state.

Weather observers noted the dust had moved in with the inclement weather front that hit most of the country and had been picked up on satelitte images. There had not been any reports of any disruption or health problems in NZ.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What racism? Obama says he was black before the election...

What racism? Obama says he was black before the election.

President Barack Obama has poked fun at claims that racism is behind fierce opposition to his ambitious political agenda.

It was apparently his latest attempt to deflate the debate after former President Jimmy Carter claimed racism was behind much of conservative opposition to Obama's health plan.

Obama said as much on the recent THE LATE SHOW with David Letterman.

If it is true, then its another sad day for America and shows that conservative America has moved little during the last 40 years.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

My trials with Google Adsense...

My trials with Google Adsense...

First published at Qondio:

I have posted the following message because it is genuine and proven to be so. Why? About 12 months ago I sent a number of messages to Google Adsense asking why my account had been disabled. All monies I had earned were forfeited. Up until this point in time I had not received a single answer from Google Adsense. The following message received today insinuated that they may not reply to this appeal if they have already received a prior one. The law of natural justice demands that people are entitled to know exactly what evidence has been collected against them. Surely? Not to do so amounts to professional arrogance. I encourage readers to comment on this matter, because it could happen to them.
Re: [#511342411] Invalid Activity Appeal
Reply |Google AdSense to me
show details 10:17 AM (2 hours ago)


This message confirms that we've received your appeal submission.

We'll get to your appeal as soon as we can, though due to the high volume
of emails we receive, it may take us up to a week or more to process it.
If you've previously submitted an appeal for this account, you might not
receive a response to this or future appeals.

Also, please be aware that appealing the disabling of your AdSense account
does not guarantee that it will be reinstated.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Patrick Swayze dies after long illness...

Patrick Swayze, whose good looks and sympathetic performances in films such as "Dirty Dancing" and "Ghost" made him a romantic idol to millions, died Monday. He was 57.

Patrick Swayze's doctor said in March 2008 that Swayze was suffering from pancreatic cancer.

Swayze died of pancreatic cancer, his publicist, Annett Wolf, told CNN.

Swayze's doctor, Dr. George Fisher, revealed in early March 2008 that Swayze was suffering from the disease.

"Patrick Swayze passed away peacefully today with family at his side after facing the challenges of his illness for the last 20 months," Wolf said in a statement Monday.

Most recently, Swayze starred in A&E Network's "The Beast," which debuted in January. He agreed to take the starring role of an undercover FBI agent before his diagnosis.

The network agreed to shoot an entire season of the show after Swayze responded well to his cancer treatment.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

John's greatest gift to his best friend...time.

John's greatest gift to his best friend...

First published at Qondio:

A blogging friend from Blogevolve, who writes as Jellen, has written about a man she believes has been a real and true friend to her husband, who had a stroke in recent times. This is part of what she wrote.I would like to share it with you here:
"John visited my husband in the hospital after his stroke, and later in our home. He carried the conversation--because my husband couldn't. He entertained my husband with stories of old times, while they created a few new stories. John encouraged every little progress my husband made, and although a disability changed life as my husband knew it, John continued and continues to treat him with respect as a fellow man.

Aphasia not only robbed my husband's speech, but it also robbed his ability to establish new friendships. Physical disability resulting from the stroke compromised his cognition and physically robbed him of doing what he used to do for fun and entertainment. A real friend, John found something to do with my husband that enabled him. He brought cards."

So John didn't just visit his friend while he was recuperating, he became proactive and brought life to him at home. He carried the conversation and entertained his friend with tales of the old times they had also shared as friends in their younger days. It has been painfully slow as recuperation from a stroke usually is. He created new stories for his friend about now, in the present. He brought cards and involved his friend in trying to teach him to play again. Most of all he treated his ill friend with the deepest respect.

In my book the greatest gift John gave his ill and recuperating friend was good quality "time", his time to share. Just as important and valuable as the time you share with your partner and children, then good quality time is important to share with your friends. That is an example we can also share from John's selfless act of personal

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Young South African runner Semenya's tests results a shock...

Young South African runner Semenya's test results a shock:

NZ sports commentator, Brendan Telfer, says Caster Semenya's running days prob over; leaked test results suggest she is a hermaphrodite.

News that teenage runner Caster Semenya has no womb or ovaries and has internal testes has sent the athletics world into a spin.

Sydney's Daily Telegraph has obtained leaked medical test results taken after the athlete took out the gold medal in the 800 metres at the World Championships in Berlin last month, which suggest Semenya is an hermaphrodite. Her body has three times as much testosterone as that found in a normal woman.

Athletics commentator Brendan Telfer says anyone involved in sport will be sad to hear the news of the 18-year-old.

"Here's a young person who has done nothing wrong. She is what god has made her and she clearly had a gift for running from an early age, so that's what she's done. Now it looks like she's going to be thrown out of the sport and possibly stripped of her gold medal."

Telfer says Semenya has not taken any drugs, has not been caught cheating, but unfortunately the test results mean she will probably never run competitively again.

The Daily Telegraph is criticising Semenya's South African athletics chiefs for standing blindly behind her.

Sports editor Ben English says the same South African politicians who denied AIDS was a problem in their country are now standing behind their new queen of the track.

The source of the newspaper's leak is quoted today as saying the two parties at fault are the international and South African athletics officials who accepted Semenya's entry to the games.

The source says South Africa has known for years that she is not normal and has not handled the matter responsibly.

The way this matter has been handled by athletics officials and the media has been despicable, disgusting and shameful in my humble opinion.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Fiji recently kicked out of Commonwealth...

It was recently announced that Fiji has been kicked out of the Commonwealth because Commodore Bainimarama has refused to set a date for early democratic elections.

The despicable illegal military regime continues unabated, with no change in the near future.

Commodore Bainimarama has been repeatedly warned that Fiji's actions could be detrimental to their future relationship with the Commonwealth. This is not been the first time that Fiji has been kicked out of the Commonwealth through illegal regimes following coups.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Forest kindergartens come to Britain...

Forest kindergartens come to Britain...

Would you like your children to get back to nature in a kindergarten without a ceiling or walls? I bet you would. Would you like your children spending time playing in the fresh air, being freed from the constrictions of urban life settings? Again I bet you would.

For decades "forest" kindergartens have existed in Scandinavia and Germany, and have now reached the United Kingdom - with the 'Secret Garden' in Scotland being the first outdoor nursery school for two to five year olds spending all day in a woodland, come rain, hail or shine.

They observe animals, plant gardens, collect firewood and climb trees (oh how politically incorrect). When temperatures dip to sub-zero, they reteat to a cosy tent. The founder, Cathy Bache, reportedly said "that being among nature builds resilience, creativity and a sense of place. There are no toys, but plenty of space and opportunity to go where the imagination may take us". How brilliantly refreshing!

In a general sense a wood or forest kindergarten is a type of preschool that was first conceived in Scandinavia in the 1950's and Germany in the late 1960's. There it was a daycare centre for children aged three to six years of age, exclusively outdoors in nature.

It is known as an outdoor preschool in British English and a waldkindergarten in German. It is simply a forest kindergarten or a nature preschool, and is a brilliant concept in my opinion.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

From Joe Kennedy remembers late Ted kennedy...

From Joe Biden remembers Ted Kennedy:

"On the morning of the day before the funeral of Yitzhak Rabin, Senator Ted Kennedy called the White House to inquire if it was appropriate to bring to the burial some earth from Arlington National Cemetery. The answer was essentially a shrug: Who knows? Unadvised, the senator carried a shopping bag onto the plane, filled with earth he had himself dug the afternoon before from the graves of his two murdered brothers. And at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, after waiting for the crowd and the cameras to disperse, he dropped to his hands and knees, and gently placed that earth on the grave of the murdered prime minister.

No spin, no photo op; a man unreasonably familiar with bidding farewell to slain heroes, a man in mourning, quietly making tangible a miserable connection."

I really don't know how to sum up a life of so much diligence, striving, and tragedy (as both victim and perpetrator, yes), so all I can say is that as a liberal and an American I hope Ted Kennedy can now rest and that our government will honor his life's work."

Certainly a man used to losing those close to him over many, many, years. Who will the Kennedy clan turn to now?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Wind farms - The energy of the future...

Wind Farms - The Energy of the Future...

In order to avoid climate change the world needs to cut back on carbon emissions. One way to do this is to use renewable energy such as wind, wave, water and solar power. In the UK the Government plans to concentrate on wind power at the expense of other renewable energy sources – will this be most the efficient renewable energy source for our future planet?

The government has set a target of meeting 15 per cent of all the UK's energy demands from renewables by 2020, which means that between 35 to 45 per cent of electricity will be from green sources. Most of this is expected to be generated by wind farms. Critics feel that wind turbines are large and noisy and that they spoil the countryside ultimately the NIMBY (not-in-my-backyard) attitude persists.

Although wind farms are not appealing onshore, offshore wind farms are proving successful. They are sited at sea where they do not affect the aesthetic appeal of the landscape and being at sea they are in a highly exposed and windy location. BWEA (British Wind Energy Association), the UK's leading renewable energy trade association reports that every home in the UK could be powered by electricity from offshore wind by 2020.

Maria McCaffery, BWEA Chief Executive, said: "We will have a cumulative installed capacity of up to 9 gigawatts (GW) by 2015. Wind will overtake nuclear in terms of installed capacity within the next 4 to 5 years, as an important milestone in reaching 2020."

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Good morning Hutt's Blogesphere...

I just posted this on the new site, "SideTick" and had to re-circulate it to my other sites:

Do you know I almost wrote, "Good morning Vietnam" here. Wonder why I wrote that? I remember the film well with Robin Williams acting the role of DJ on the forces radio in Vietnam. Good morning, Vietnam!

I had a brother and a brother -in-law in the conflict - the are both dead now. They were both still young when they died of heart failure - thats when your heart stops, you know? Funny that!

My bro was a military policeman and died of a massive heart attack at the age of 33 years. He died in camp at Burnham, just outside Christchurch, NZ. He had problems getting over what he experienced in Vietnam. He spent a lot of time in the city (Saigong) and out on patrol outside the city. Do you know the Vietcong never attacked his jeep because he was a Kiwi. Yes, thats true, they had a lot of respect for our troops and country. Thats not to say they wouldn' try to kill them in battle, though!

My bro in law came back to NZ after service as a rifleman. Some years later he developed nerve problems, had to have many operations, deterioated physically, wasted away and died. He was a big strapping young man when he went to Vietnam. Heard of Agent Orange? I have, but he didn't. But by Jesus I know what killed him!

Why do I write of Vietnam? I just thought about it, probably have Afghanistan on my mind, thinking just how dangerous this could be for our Kiwi troops, even if they are special forces, but we do have engineers and medics there too. I think of the wasted lives in Iraq! So many American boys, and girls too these days, who won't be walking back home!

Oh well, old morbid me. See you all later!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Malaysian model to receive the rattan cane for drinking beer in a bar...

A Malaysian model will receive six strokes of the rattan cane for drinking beer in a bar, after admitting her guilt to an Islamic Court.

Pretty harsh treatment for what we would regard as a right here in the West. She has decided not to appeal the sentence and will become the first woman to face corporal punishment imposed by a Malaysian Sharia Court.

This sentence has caused controversy in a country that claims moderation to foreign tourists and businesses but imposes very harsh Islamic justice on its own Muslim population.

Alcohol can be served to members of other religions at the country's many tourist hotels and bars, but for Muslims, who make up two thirds of the population of the country, consumption is punishable by a fine, three years in prison or six strokes of the cane.

It appears that this is the most harshest sentence meted out so far in Malaysia - it will be the first time that caning has been carried out on men or women. It has outraged many women in Malaysia, but the model concerned has said she will accept her punishment, which includes a fine of 5000 ringgit(NZ$2000) as well.

I can only hope she enjoyed her beer, because it proved extremely costly!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Best Job Ben seeks mates in Queensland...

Best Job Ben seeks mates in Queensland...

He's got it all — beautiful house with spa tub, free ticket to any holiday experience on Queensland's Great Barrier Reef, worldwide fame — but it seems Island Caretaker Ben Southall, aka "The Best Job in the World Guy" is still lacking in one thing — some mates.

With his hectic schedule, Ben told doesn't get as much time to socialise as he'd like. Could this be why his employer, Tourism Queensland, is advertising for four "Island Caretaker Helpers"?

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh announced the new campaign, saying: 'Six months isn't enough time to sample everything, so we're looking for some mates who can share in the experience with Ben so they can write about it, too."

The four lucky folks who win will have their own Barrier Reef adventures, all expenses paid, then report back via guest spots on Ben's blog.

But forget any notions of swinging gently in hammocks and sunning yourself on the beach. Since Ben spends every waking minute doing something — running, swimming, meeting and greeting, snorkelling, sailing, dining, blogging, diving, travelling, blogging again — whoever gets the coveted (and non-paying) jobs will have to have unlimited reserves of energy. But the good news is, he's such a thoroughly nice bloke that being his mate will certainly be no onerous task.

Ben's promising to kick off the selection process on the 26th of August, and his blog has already been inundated with nearly 300 requests for the role. You can find out how to enter shortly at www.islandreefjob.com.au.

Acknowledgements: MSN NZ

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Somali pirates get their own treatment...

A new report out just a couple of hours ago would suggest that Somali pirates are getting some of their own treatment:

BOSSASO, Somalia (Reuters) – Somali pirates found seven dead colleagues floating in the ocean on Saturday and vowed to take revenge against Egyptian fishermen they say killed them during an escape, an associate of the pirates said.

The 34 fishermen had been held hostage by the pirates since April, but they managed to overpower their guards on Thursday and fled in their two fishing vessels after a gun battle.

Two of their captors were killed during that shoot-out, and the pirates said the Egyptians took several others with them.

"We have found seven of our dead colleagues floating in the sea," said the associate, who gave his name as Farah, by telephone from one of the gangs' strongholds, Las Qoray.

"The Egyptian crew members killed them ... we used to welcome them and treat the Egyptians better than other hostages, but if we capture more of them we shall get our revenge."

Sea gangs from the failed Horn of Africa state have made tens of millions of dollars in ransoms targeting shipping using the strategic Gulf of Aden that links Europe to Asia.

Acknowledgements: NZ City

Thursday, August 13, 2009

MULTIBRAND: Harry is Taking a Break

MULTIBRAND: Harry is Taking a Break

Locherbie bomber may be released on compassionnate grounds - he is dying of cancer...

EDINBURGH, Scotland - Scottish officials may release the convicted Lockerbie bomber early and allow him to return to Libya, igniting debate between victims' loved ones in the United States and Britain.

British media reports say 57-year-old Abdel Baset Ali al-Megrahi could soon be freed on compassionate grounds because he is terminally ill with prostate cancer.

The possibility of a release has reignited fierce debate about whether justice would have been served.

Friends and family of US victims expressed outrage over the possibility that al-Megrahi could be freed early.

"I have a tough time being compassionate for a guy who killed 270 people," said Peter Sullivan of Akron, Ohio. His best friend, Mike Doyle, was among the victims.

Sullivan, 51, said there was no reason al-Megrahi should be released.
"This is total, pure, ugly appeasement of a terrorist dictator and a monster," Cohen said.

However, family members of UK victims are more open to the idea.

Many British families feel that the full truth about the bombings has yet to be uncovered.

"Other people and other countries were involved in this," said the Rev. John Mosey, from Worcestershire, England, who lost his daughter Helga, 19. "We should show him some Christian compassion."

The Scottish government said Scotland's Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill had yet to review all case information before deciding whether to release al-Megrahi.

A decision is expected by the end of August.

270 people were killed by the December 1988 bombing of Pan Am 103. Most of the victims were American citizens.

US State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Washington had made clear that their view was that al-Megrahi "should spend the rest of his time in jail."

Al-Megrahi, a former Libyan secret service agent, is the sole person convicted for the plane bombing over the Scottish town of Lockerbie.

He was arrested in 1991 in Libya, and held under house arrest until handed over in 1998 and convicted in 2001 by a special Scottish court set held at Kamp van Zeist in the Netherlands.

His co-accused Amin Khalifa Fhimah was acquitted, but al-Megrahi was sentenced to life in prison.

Al-Megrahi unsuccessfully appealed immediately after the trial.

A second appeal is currently under way in Edinburgh after a review by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission in 2007 raised concerns over the evidence used to secure the conviction.

What compassion was shown to the victims, I wonder?

Acknowledgements: AP

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Where's the justice here...

Berryman bridge case struck out of court. Where's the justice here?

The High Court has struck out a claim for damages in the Berryman's bridge case.

The army-built bridge leading to Keith and Margaret Berryman's King Country farm collapsed in 1994, killing beekeeper Ken Richards.

The Berrymans wanted to sue the army, claiming it acted maliciously in wake of the bridge collapse by withholding information from a coroner's inquest.

The Court of Appeal allowed the claim to go ahead in 2008 but the High Court issued a ruling on Thursday saying it must be struck out.

Justice MacKenzie says the proceeding, which was filed in 2006, did not commence within six years of the cause of the alleged misfeasance.

He says there is no public interest in allowing the matters to be further litigated and it is not in the Berrymans' interests to allow them to continue with a claim that is bound to fail.

Acknowledgements: Radio New Zealand 2009

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Leopard never changes its spots...

Leopard never changes its spots...

The Social Development Minister says plans to cancel benefits of people who refuse three job offers are on hold...

Paula Bennett says the recession has forced her to put some of The National Party's most radical benefit changes on hold.

The Social Development Minister says she is still keen to make savings in the system, which is currently spending more than $16 billion a year.

But Ms Bennett, speaking on TVNZ's Q&A programme, said plans to cancel the benefits of people who refuse three job offers, or will not accept training, are on the back burner.

Ms Bennett says right now the country expects her to be helping people who have lost their jobs because of the downturn. She says another 35,000 people have signed on for the dole since the slowdown began, and helping them should be the priority.

The Minister says circumstances have made it necessary to soften the policy, but she still wants to see it brought in before the end of the Government's first term in office.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A $23 Quadrillion restaurant charge in San Francisco.

Visa dings $23 Quadrillion charge in San Fransisco...

By Dan Goodin in San Francisco.

Visa says a technical glitch is responsible for a rash of notices warning customers their accounts are overdrawn to the tune of $23 quadrillion.

An anonymous Reg reader tipped us to one emailed statement, which claimed the account of the tipster's son was on hold because of a charge made to an Applebee's restaurant for $23,148,855,308,184,500.00. The tipster continued:

"After checking with him to make sure he really hadn't purchased 23 quadrillion dollars worth of food from Applebees - he's really not that big an eater - I called to dispute the transaction. A tired-sounding customer service rep interrupted me: 'Are you calling about the $23 trillion dollar charge?' I corrected her "Actually, it's 23 quadrillion. I looked it up."
Visa representatives quickly blamed the notices on a technical glitch. The 17-digit charges were applied to holders of prepaid cards, they said, such as the Visa Buxx card, a service parents can offer teenaged children.

"Late yesterday, July 13, a temporary programming error at Visa Debit Processing Services, caused some transactions to be inaccurately posted to a small number of Visa prepaid accounts," a statement issued on Tuesday said. "The technical glitch, which impacted fewer than 13,000 Visa prepaid transactions, has been corrected and erroneous postings have been removed. Importantly, this incident had no financial impact on Visa prepaid cardholders."

Friday, July 10, 2009

Not so green on the other side of the ditch, Kiwi...

Not so green on the other side of the ditch, Kiwi...

When times get tough like they have in recent time, many Aussies are starting to resent, just a little, their Kiwi cousins and mates. But after years of New Zealanders thinking the other side of the Tasman Sea was the greener side, reality is starting to bite hard for many, especially those who couldn't read the weather and realise the colour was changing. Those who sold up and came over during the last year or so. Not so green on the other side, Kiwi!

Sure, Kiwis were hard workers and all that bull: they were in OZ for a better life? Yeah, really? They were after better opportunities, incomes and standards of living for their families. And now things may be falling apart for many; the unexpected loss of jobs and no prospects for others.

But the colour of money is changing, and the natural born Aussie is probably starting to resent, just a little, his Kiwi cousin and mate. Suddenly the Kiwis who moved over to Australia in recent years are realising that the future is no longer guaranteed for them. The Aussie dollar is worth a lot more than the Kiwi and the standard of living so much higher; or so they said.

I always said of those who emigrated to Australia; if you lose your job and haven't been in Australia for the required two years to qualify for the Aussie dole, you will wish you were back home in NZ and close to your families. Always have a return plane fare to New Zealand sitting in the bank! Red is the colour of embarrassment my friends.

And like an old prophet or seer, I see the colour of green turning to a lousy shade of brown for many Kiwis in Australia.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

3200 posts offices could close in America -- could a marijuana tax be an economic tonic...

3200 posts offices could close in America as the economic crisis deepens and the US Government cuts state spending.

Could a marijuana tax prove to be an economic tonic? Is that such a dopey idea?

A tax on the green to assist the greenbacks?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Release all Iranian protesters now...

TEHRAN, Iran (AFP) — The wife of Iranian opposition leader and defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi has called for the release of people arrested following the June 12 election.

"I regret that a large number of people among the political elite and others have been arrested, and I ask for their release," Zahra Rahnavard said in remarks published on her husband's campaign website.

"I have not been arrested. I continue my work at the university, but at the same time, alongside others, I protest" the result of the election, which put Mousavi a distant second after victorious incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"Nationalism and the blood of the martyrs demand that I be on the scene, always protesting against the result of the election and defending people's rights within the framework of the law."

She said the regime should not act as if Iran were in a "state of siege."

Since the election, whose outcome is disputed by Mousavi, Tehran and other parts of the country have been the scene of often violent protests.

Hundreds of protesters have been arrested, as well as politicians and journalists.

Rahnavard, 64, a sculptor and academic, broke the mould of Iranian politics by campaigning openly alongside her husband ahead of the vote.

Acknowledgements: Copyright © 2009 AFP.

Zahra Rahnavard, wife of defeated Iranian presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi

Michael Jackson fans turned to Twitter...

Wacko Jacko or a sad and talented little man? Today's for his fans, I guess! RIP Michael Jackson!

Michael Jackson fans turn to Twitter
by Kerrie Mitchell

Categories: Michael Jackson, Twitter

Maybe it goes without saying at this point, but it turns out that Twitter was one of the first places people went to react to Michael Jackson's death. The usual celebrity suspects weighed in almost immediately: Ashton Kutcher tweeted, "Rip Sending love and light to family and friend but especially his kids." John Mayer wrote, "I think we'll mourn his loss as well as the loss of ourselves as children listening to Thriller on the record player." They apparently weren't the only ones chiming in with condolences. Paid Content reported yesterday that Twitter's search engine was swamped in the aftermath of Jackson's passing, with the site at one point disabling the search field on user's home page. Twitter co-founder Biz Stone told the LA Times: "We saw an instant doubling of tweets per second the moment the story broke....This particular news about the passing of such a global icon is the biggest jump in tweets per second since the U.S. presidential election." Who out there turned to Twitter when they first heard the news?
PopWatch HomeEW Home

CommentsAdd Your Comments

Kim Mascaro Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 08:13 PM EST

The MAN IN THE MIRROR has sadly passed away. His mission to HEAL THE WORLD thru his music and amazing talent will always be here to stay.
Some of us are BLACK OR WHITE, but we
are all of HUMAN NATURE. I WANT U BACK, however we are now only left to REMEMBER THE TIME. We want to ROCK WITH YOU forver. U will be missed. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Lisa Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 07:04 PM EST

i grew up listenining to M.J. It is so sad tha world has lost a great entertainer. M.J u will b missed but never forgotten u r tha king of pop music. i enjoyed tha music he made. R.i.P. MiChAeL JaCkSoN..

kc Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 05:29 PM EST

I grew up in Philippines and in high school he was big, every single teenager loved him, boy or girl, he was the idol. In that country, going to his concert is only a dream since we are in the otherside of the world. Even celebrities in Philippines are trying to immitate his moves and had become popular for doing that. it was sad about the scandal. The come back concert was something I was looking forward to.Time has healed, it was time to revive his name. I promised myself I will see him perform live, now that I am grown up in Canada, he is almost within reach, I can afford to go to his concert now but to my dismay I didnt even have the chance to see him perform live. We will always remember him. He is once a part of our lives, the mania, and no one is quite like him. We mourn for his death and we do hope he is in a better place. May God bless him and his family.

alce Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 04:56 PM EST

I was driving when I heard the news, my mind went back till my childhood, I grew up with MJ's music and to my surprise my joungest kid (10) became Michael Jacson's fan when listened Thriller, he pop up the volume of every single son played at the radio yesterday. Michael Jacson you will live forever in our hearts.

CC Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 04:46 PM EST

God bless the Jackson family especially the children. I was a big fan especially during the 80's, cut out every pic or poster I could from magazines that my dad would bring home. I'll miss you Michael. R*I*P*

isavel Barrie Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 04:42 PM EST

I would agree to continue to do the concerts in his rememberance and the kids get the moneys. xxxxxxx

Steve Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 04:26 PM EST

I agree that the concert should go on and other celebrities should offer there assistance to raise some funds for the kids....Michael Jackson was a legend and will always remain one he was a gift to this planet has done a lot for the poor and the needy he will always be someone who will be remembered for decades....love you mic

steve Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 03:21 PM EST

I think the "This is it" concert should go ahead as a tribute to the King of Pop, raise the money for Charity ! Michael would be there in spirit and he will live on in our hearts and minds

ML Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 03:16 PM EST

Maybe singing stars of today can play those 50 concerts in london and cover his and there songs and share how he inspired us all.

Eric Williams Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 03:00 PM EST

Michael Jackson was a long time fan of mine. He will be greatly missed by me and the world. One of my first dances I did was taken from Michael's Jackson moves. I perform the dance at one of my family reunions in 1984. Michael was my child hood hero.

Spider Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 02:16 PM EST

This is dedicated to the loved ones we have lost:


Silv Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 02:11 PM EST

I one of those weirdos who refuse to jump on the bandwagon of new trends sometimes just because I refuse to be a lemming, so I actually first got a phone call from my husband, who listens to a news radio station; I went to TMZ; between his radio station and TMZ I was ahead of the tv stations and even my usual internet news sites.

Snalf Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 01:21 PM EST

it really was amazing to watch this spread online, i found out and looked and NO news site had it picked up, then slowly LA Times reported he was hospitalized but online sources and TMZ had it confirmed dead for an hour at that point. . . here is more info about it spreading online:


leleana Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 01:20 PM EST

I found out about it from twitter. SO yeah.

Dr BLT Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 12:56 PM EST

For Immediate Release: June 26, 2009

Re: Psychologist Pens "Bittersweet" Tribute to Michael Jackson: Addresses psychological significance of star's life/death

Canadian-born Californian singer/songwriter/psychologist, Dr BLT has penned a song about Michael Jackson called "Goodbye Michael Jackson (Bittersweet Legacy)" that offers a social psychological perspective on Michael Jackson as a pop culture phenomenon. The song brings out Jackson's demons and alleged demons as well as his triumphs.

It can be heard here:

Goodbye Michael Jackson (Bittersweet Legacy)
words and music by Dr BLT copyright 2009

A full-length version is available here:


And psychological commentary and discussion on the subject is offered here:

Psychology Comes Alive


For more information:

Contact Dr BLT at:

P Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 12:52 PM EST

raises hand. saw harvey levin's post first from tmz.

Diane Jackson Chapman Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 12:51 PM EST

My family feels so connected to Michael Jackson becuse, we are from Gary, we are from large families - 8 in ours and 9 in his, and we share the same last name. May God bless Michael Jackson and his family during this time of such personal lost them as well as for the world.

Ace Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 12:35 PM EST

I found out the same way lefty did. I had just gotten home from work and went to Twitter and read Andy Roddick's tweet about MJ passing. Such an interesting age we live in.

lefty Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 12:32 PM EST

That's how I first heard about it. Andy Roddick tweeted about it and I immediately began checking Google News to see if it was true.

Vicki Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 12:14 PM EST

I tweeted the second I heard the news. Unfortunately, because of all the traffic, my tweet never go through.

betty Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 11:30 AM EST

I enjoy his music very much. It is wonderful. I find that lots of his fans on____Richflirts.com__ club for professional athletes, moive stars and millionaires are talking about him recently.

His death does not mean that he has lost, he is the winner.I wish to express my deepest condolences and sadness at the passing of michael jackson.

chrissy Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 11:26 AM EST

Today I am remembering my love for the pop icon. You can say what you want about him but I will always remember him like this:


Saturday, June 13, 2009

New Zealand today in triplicate...

New Zealand today:

David Shearer wins the Mount Albert by-election, Helen Clark's old seat,by what were landslide-like figures. A future leader in the making, perhaps. John Key seemed indifferent to the by-election; the National candidate, Melissa Lee a distant second. Shearer won by 3-1. The teflon is fading from Key's persona.

So David Bain was found not guilty in his retrial for the murder of his family - parents, two sisters and younger brother. The whole defence tactic was to create doubt, and more doubt! And so it came to pass. Is he innocent? Who killed his father, because there was no proof he committed suicide? Was O.J Simpson innocent? There will be doubt hanging over him for the rest of his life - unless double jeopardy is used. A precedent was set in the UK recently. A family fought for ten years to get new evidence against the person who was acquited of their daughter's murder. So double jeopardy was legally used to convict the man. NZ law closely follows that of Britain.

New Zealand may have had its first domestic swine flu infections. There could well be a flood of infections in coming weeks. While there is a world-wide pandemic now, it is, at this stage, a mild infection which can be treated with Tamiflu vaccine and three days isolation.

Friday, June 5, 2009

David Bain found not guilty of murdering his family...

David Bain found not guilty of murdering his family...

David Bain was found not guilty beyond the shadow of doubt. It was as I said, the defence would be trying to create doubt, and they did.

The most expensive court case in the history of NZ law has finally ended. It probably cost ten million New Zealand dollars for this re-trial alone. Add the original trial, two appeals and the application to the Privy Council in London, and you would have millions more.

David Bain had his day in court and a jury of twelve of his peers have found him not guilty. But having said that it was not proven that his father was responsible for the murder of his family either.

Who killed the Bain family in Dunedin, NZ, in 1994?

Personally, I have not changed my opinion of the evidence and guilt after reading two books, one by a notable Kiwi academic, written a few years after the murders and the original trial. There are still may people who believe Alan Arthur Thomas was still guilty of murdering the Crewes, despite being pardoned and paid a million dollars in compensation. We still have free speech and are entitled to an opinion.

The next step for the Bain camp will be an application to the NZ Government for compensation: This is a very different kettle of fish. David Bain will have to prove to the Executive that he is actually INNOCENT! A shadow of doubt does not come into it. If he was successful he could get $100,000 for every year he spent in prison - close to $1.3 million.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Three hours in a bog...

Its off to Germany today: A 34 year old woman slipped on a toilet floor and endured three hours in a squat toilet in the German town of Offenburg.

She lost her balance as she was leaving the toilet and got her foot stuck in the floor-level lavatory opening. The Fire Service unsealed the toilet from beneath in an attempt to push her leg up, but every attempt to dislodge her was met with a cry of pain, even after partial anaesthesia.

The officers eventually ripped out the entire lavatory unit and cut her free with a saw. The woman was then taken to hospital with minor injuries, and extremely hurt pride!


Monday, May 18, 2009

My special needs grandson has gone missing...

My special needs grandson has gone missing - wandered off yesterday lunch time and hasn't been seen since.

Whike he may be a strapping 18 year old close to six feet tall, he is emotionally many years younger. He has mental health issues and a mild intellectual handicap and really gave no warning - just drifted away and was well gone before we realised he had left the house.

He has been out for one night and one and a half days, and the weather has deterioated and set in here in New Zealand; its been raining. Its late autumn here - what you call fall in north America.

He has not eaten or had a drink since yesterday, and he will be wet and cold. But he is young, strong and physically well and this will stand him in good stead. Members of the family searched the hills and down by the river this evening, and the police took a dog through one of the main tracks in the bush up on the hills.

Many of my online friends have sent him prayers to get through this ordeal; and this will help the family get through it all. We are positive he will be found tomorrow when it gets light.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

National Party MP Melissa Lee is a silly woman...

National Party MP Melissa Lee has been described as a silly woman and I would have to agree.

Both sides of Parliament have labelled as "silly" National MP Melissa Lee's comments that a new motorway could stop criminals from south Auckland committing crime in Mount Albert.

Lee, a list MP and National's candidate in the June 13 Mt Albert by-election, made the comment at a candidates' meeting on Wednesday night.

There was heated debate at the meeting on the New Zealand Transport Agency's $1.4 billion motorway proposal, announced on Tuesday, which will use a combination of above ground and underground sections to make up the 4.5km Auckland motorway extension between Waterview and Mt Roskill.

Lee told the meeting people drove to the electorate from South Auckland, and that the new motorway extension could divert some of that traffic and criminals from Mt Albert.

Prime Minister John Key has said her statement was "regrettable" and made in the heat of an election campaign.

"It was a silly thing to say but she has apologised and obviously regrets it."

Labour leader Phil Goff also said the comments were silly and questioned whether she still had the support of her leader.

"Ms Lee's idea that south Auckland people are criminals who should be funnelled through Mt Albert and directly into west Auckland is just ridiculous," Goff says.

Labour's MPs for South Auckland joined his condemnation.

"This sort of behaviour is completely unacceptable and John Key should move quickly to admonish his candidate in Mt Albert," Mangere MP Su'a William Sio says.

Manurewa MP George Hawkins, a former police minister, says Lee's comments showed she had no idea about the people of south Auckland or crime prevention.

"The reality is the people of south Auckland are hard workers trying to build better lives for them and their families and the bigoted and outdated attitudes of people like Melissa Lee do nothing to assist them in that goal," he says.

Lee has now toned down her comments.

"I didn't say all of south Auckland was doing this. I said the criminals who travel from one city to the next," she says.

"If south Auckland people (find) my comments offensive, I apologise. It wasn't about them. It was about criminals."

Lee claimed police had told her motorways helped channel criminals from the suburbs but police were not rushing to back her.

Auckland central police spokeswoman Noreen Hegarty told NZPA police would not comment on Lee's comments publicly.

"Criminals travel just like anyone else in the country. Where they choose to get on and off (motorways) is their choice."

The controversy is Lee's second major embarrassment for National this week; she is fending off allegations taxpayer money was used to make a video made by her company, Asia Vision Ltd, for the National Party.

Labour says the company received $1.2 million from New Zealand on Air last year, including money used in October for an election special.

NZ on Air chief executive Jane Wrightson says Lee's candidacy was known to NZ on Air and the conflict of interest had been managed.

"We are looking into the allegations, but we haven't decided on whether to hold an audit," Wrightson says.

Lee has gone off screen and an independent producer had been brought in.

"She had no editorial control."

Acknowledgements: NZPA

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Fiji booted out of Pacific Islands Forum...

Fiji has been booted out of the Pacific islands forum...

Fiji becoming the basket case of the Pacific...

Despite last minute attempts by Fijian military dictator, Commodore Bainimarama to meet the leaders of Australia and New Zealand and negotiate a change of mind over sanctions against Fiji, Fiji will be kicked out, officially suspended from the Pacific Islands Forum, and possibly from the Commonwealth later in the year.

Bainimarama claims elections can't be restored for another five years, but this a load of codswallop! He claims to be the hero of multiracialism in Fiji, but is just another dirty little dictator like Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe who dictated his country from being the bread-basket of Africa to becoming the basket-case of all time!

There are absolutely no civil rights in Fiji, no democracy, and the local media has been dictated to and controlled by the army, with foreign media and diplomats detained and kicked out of Fiji. Some Fijians have lost there lives, and others are missing.

Much foreign aid has already been suspended by Australia, NZ, Britain and the European Union. Fijian army peacekeepers may also be suspended from new contracts by the United Nations, and as a consequence much of Fiji's economy will be affected with the loss of the soldiers income. With unemployed troops drifting around unemployed in the capital of Suva, Bainimarama's regime could well have some substantial opposition. Fijians are pretty effective soldiers - good peacekeepers!

The Bainimarama regime's future is already in doubt - the clock is ticking!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The ozone hole could be holding back an Antarctic thaw...

The ozone hole could actually be holding back an Antarctic thaw...

The Ozone hole in the Southern Pacific area encompassing New Zealand and Australia, long blamed for increased skin cancers in these countries, could actually be holding back an Antarctic thaw. according to British research.

This reduces the effects of greenhouse gases in the southern ocean. It is causing more storms and extreme winds, but cooling down the Antarctic in the process.

But here is a dilemma for humankind - repair the Ozone hole, or let nature do the job for them over the next fifty years, but with the side effect of losing one third of sea ice in the Antarctic area.

Please visit the Green Planet Blog:


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

No more Eskimo pies or gollie lollies...

By golly! Eskimo debate moves on to gollywogs

Hot on the tail of the Eskimo lolly debate is one even more contentious.

An African American living in Auckland has complained about seeing golliwogs in local shops.

Desmond Jefferson says golliwogs show an even more offensive depiction of black people than do the lollies of Eskimos.

Speaking to TV3’s Sunrise this morning, Mr Jefferson said “I don’t want to offend anyone in New Zealand as I know a lot of people are very fond of the gollywogs and it’s a completely innocent doll and story here, but the history behind it is rooted in racism.”

Toy maker Kate Finn has created brand new dolls, called “gollies” but Mr Jefferson says this is no less offensive.

“Most New Zealanders don’t know the history of the piccaninny stereotype” he said.

Mr Jefferson's offence lies at the heart of the “degrading and demeaning” caricature of African Americans which the gollywog represents.

“This piccaninny stereotype has never, ever had a good connotation to it, it was only meant as a slur.” He said.

Crabtree and Evelyn, the store Sunrise purchased the gollywog from declined to comment.

Eskimo debate rages on:

Inuits come to the defence of the word 'Eskimo'
Eskimo lollies slammed as racist by Canadian tourist
Eskimo lolly deemed offensive to the Inuit
No name change for Eskimo sweets

What no more Eskimo pies?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

NZ SAS special forces could be sent to Fiji to restore law, order and democracy...

The New Zealand PM, John Key, mentioned the possibility of New Zealand troops going to Fiji to restore law, order and democracy, but thought it unlikely.

It was said that Fiji would fight back because they have a large defence force for the size of the country. Maybe! But the troops NZ could consider are among the premier special forces troops in the world - the NZ SAS, who have served with distinction in Afghanistan for a number of years.

The last time NZ troops were sent to a Pacific country to restore order was in Samoa in 1914; they were actually armed police and a number of Samoans were killed after riots Samoa was at that stage a German colony taken over by NZ - or so the story goes.Fijian troops would be mere babes in the woods against those Kiwi SAS troops.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Getting written out of credibility as a nation - Fiji dies one step at a time...

Australia's journalists' union says Fijian authorities are acting outside the law with the introduction of tough new media regulations.

ABC correspondent Sean Dorney is being deported from Fiji today after authorities objected to his coverage of the recent political and constitutional turmoil.

Journalists have been told not to publish or broadcast stories that present the reinstatement of the military government in a negative light, and police censors have been installed in newsrooms across Suva.

Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) federal secretary Chris Warren has criticised the Fijian government for the introduction of the new censorship laws.

Mr Warren says the censorship is a very serious step.

"Fiji has now become the most repressive country, in terms of press freedom, in the region, and indeed is on the road to becoming one of the worst in the world," he said.

"Installing military fences inside newsrooms is one of the worst measures we've seen around the world.

"That sort of pre-publication censorship is a very serious step."

He also says the situation for the media in Fiji will get worse.

"Fijian courts were quite clear about what needed to occur," he said.

"The Fijian authorities are ignoring the laws, and ignoring the impact of the laws.

"That's very serious, because once they start down that road there's no clear point at which they're likely to stop."

'It's got to behave'

And Fiji's interim government is facing serious punishment, according to the special representative of the Commonwealth secretary-general to Fiji.

Sir Paul Reeves, who is also the former New Zealand governor-general, says the military regime's crackdown on journalists is a disgrace.

He says Fiji could be kicked out of the Commonwealth.

"Fiji's got to stay an international player, it can't just flout things," he said.

"Face it, it's a small nation in a vast sea, it's got to realise that it depends on other people - it can't exist on by itself, it needs an international context, it's got to behave."
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