News Headlines and Rants from New Zealand and Around the World

All of That Beautiful Public Money Should be in Private Hands. YOUR TAXES

Our former Wall Street Bankster and economic hitman/Prime Minister wants to privatise everything in New Zealand.
This current gang of thugs in government have been wilfully neglecting, undermining and dismantling core government funded and operated services so that when those serices have broken down, they (the corrupt National government) can offer the bogus solution to the manufactured chaos (being) the placement of private corporations in charge of those services.
In the eyes of the National Party all of that wonderful tax payer money should be funnelled into private hands through corporations taking over state run services. There is no better cash cow than taxes paid by an entire country and this government is determined to redirect it that way and away from things like the public health system. Safely into the hands of corporations like Serco.

'IT'S NOT WORTH IT': Ad exec's brutal rant before he died of cancer is absolutely chilling

Linds Redding, a New Zealand-based art director who worked at BBDO and Saatchi & Saatchi, died last month at 52 from an inoperable esophageal cancer.

Redding also kept a blog, and after his death an essay he wrote about the ad business, "A Short Lesson In Perspective," has gained a new and sudden life on the SF Egotist and Adfreak.

It will not make happy reading for the many people who knew Redding or know of his work, or anyone who works in the creative department of an ad agency.

CDC monitoring upswing in number of Bubonic Plague cases, deaths

IT’S killed millions and brought down civilisations. Now the bubonic plague has raised its ugly head again — this time in the US. Twelve people have recently contracted the disease. Four are now dead.

The outbreak is being reported in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, New Mexico and Oregon.

Lawsuit Accuses Federal Government of Withholding Info on GMO Crops for 10 Years

On August 25th, the Center for Food Safety (CFS) filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for failure to adequately respond to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests related to genetically engineered (GE) crops. This marks the fourth time the CFS has sued APHIS to force the release of records.

The CFS accuses APHIS of failing to respond within a timely manner to at least 29 of their FOIA requests or appeals. The lawsuit is the center’s latest attempt to force APHIS to respond to FOIA requests and to order the agency to “stop its practice of failing to respond to FOIA requests related to GE crops.”

Monsanto Drops $46.5B Bid For Syngenta

Agriculture giant Monsanto has dropped a $46.5 billion hostile bid for Swiss competitor Syngenta , choosing to refocus on a five-year plan to double earnings over an unfriendly merger effort that risked backlash from large shareholders.

Monsanto’s decision to abandon it Syngenta bid after months of back and forth comes amid a share turn in global stock and commodity markets, and paves the way for the St. Louis-based seed and fertilizer giant to buy back stock at multi-year lows. The deal’s failure, Monsanto said, was the result of Syngenta’s unwillingness to engage in a merger the company believed would generate significant synergies for stockholders and increasing product offerings for farmers.

Other Peoples Money

Crack the champagne and break out the caviare. Only the best of everything is acceptable when your snout is in the trough of muggins the taxpayer.

Revealed: Earthquake Commission spent $68m on travel: It has been revealed the Earthquake Commission has spent a whopping $68 million on travel-related costs in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 Christchurch earthquake.

Documents released to Fairfax Media under the Official Information Act show a break-down of millions spent by the EQC in almost four years.

Accommodation and food costs for staff travelling in and out of the city amounted to $38m, while $20m was spent on vehicles, $8.2m on airfares and more than $880,000 on taxis and parking costs, Fairfax reported.

Making A Tree Spring Survival Trap

FUN FACT: In June 1999, Bhutan became the last nation on earth to introduce TV—an unprecedented crime wave followed

Bhutan is a country with no traffic lights and no fast-food chains. It has more monks than soldiers. It may be the only country in the world to measure Gross National Happiness.

Tucked between India and China, the Buddhist kingdom is the size of Switzerland and has less than a million people. For centuries it has remained isolated in the Himalayan mountains. But now it has opened itself to what critics call "an electronic invasion" -- cable TV.

China Rocked By Another Massive Chemical Explosion

We'll await the details which we imagine will suggest that, as was the case in Tianjin, many more tonnes of something terribly toxic were stored than is allowed under China's regulatory regime which apparently only applies to those who are not somehow connected to the Politburo.

After the last Shandong explosion, The People's Daily reported that the plant contained adiponitrile, which the CDC says can cause "irritation eyes, skin, respiratory system; headache, dizziness, lassitude (weakness, exhaustion), confusion, convulsions; blurred vision; dyspnea (breathing difficulty); abdominal pain, nausea, [and] vomiting."

Microsoft backports privacy-invading Windows 10 features to Windows 7, 8

Every time Microsoft releases a new version of an operating system, there’s always a few users bitterly unhappy at the company’s decision not to support new features on older products. Microsoft has finally listened to these die-hard devotees of older operating systems. If you felt like Windows 7 and Windows 8 offered you a little too much privacy, rejoice: Microsoft is updating those operating systems with the same telemetry gathering software it deployed on Windows 10.

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