web analytics

Open mike 10/11/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 10th, 2010 - 50 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

The usual good behaviour rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

50 comments on “Open mike 10/11/2010 ”

  1. Lazy Susan 1

    Heard Tim Grosser talking about TPPA on National Radio this morning. This appears to be something that we should be concerned about but I’m really only just beginning to hear about it. Anyone have any more info and where does Labour stand on this issue?

    • Tigger 1.1

      If Jane Kelsey has concerns then we should have concerns – she’s an absolute expert on this stuff and utterly sensible.

    • Jenny 1.2

      Media release New Zealand Not For Sale Campaign

      The Campaign has opened a Statement of Sovereignty petition (text below) for the public to sign. The closing date for signatures is 4 July 2011.


      We the undersigned citizens and permanent residents of New Zealand call upon the Government of New Zealand

      • to cease negotiations on the Transpacific Partnership agreement; and

      • to not sign this agreement; and

      • to cease work on any other in-progress or proposed international trade and investment treaties containing clauses which limit or abrogate New Zealand’s sovereign and democratic right to make and enforce laws and regulations and provide services which differ from those of other states or transnational organisations.

      Sign the Statement of Sovereignty Petition Online

      Download the Statement of Sovereignty Petition

      Download the Statement of Sovereignty Flyer

      Contact us


    • Draco T Bastard 1.3

      Personally, I’m at the point where I think we should be dropping all of the FTAs that we’re a part of and that includes the WTO. We really need to rethink the definition of “trade” as it’s fairly obvious that movement of money and ownership isn’t it.

      • joe90 1.3.1

        I watched this last night DTB.
        (partial transcript in link)

        “Deals are for other people to follow, not the U.S. It puts itself over and above the agreements.”

        • Draco T Bastard

          I realised early this decade that the US doesn’t actually follow international law/agreements and, as such, is the worlds biggest and most powerful rogue state.

  2. Cnr Joe 2

    Our PM on morning report? He’s up for being massaged by Geoff now Seans out of there.

  3. The Voice of Reason 3

    John Key is relaxed about Pansy Wong using her ministerial title to help her hubby make money, despite that being the same thing that put Richard Worth on the outer. I guess he was happy to deal to Wright in the early days of government, but less happy to lose another minister in the last days.


    • Joe Bloggs 3.1


      OMG! Pete Hodgson is still alive? I thought he died last year!!

    • OleOlebiscuitBarrell 3.2

      Who the fuck is Wright?

      She witnessed a signature on a document. This just confirms that she saw the party to the document sign it. Nothing more.

      • The Voice of Reason 3.2.1

        Worth, dammit. I really shouldn’t comment before the second cup of coffee, because clearly, two Wongs do not make a Wright.

      • ianmac 3.2.2

        The perception is that by not just being a witness ie Pansy Wong, but that she identified herself as Pansy Wong, Minister of the Crown. Bad form at least.
        Did I hear right, that when questioned by reporters yesterday, Pansy Wong dropped the pigeon talk that she uses in the House?

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.3

        The problem is how she signed it as she signed it as minister and gave her address as parliament. This gives the impression that the government supports the company which, obviously, it doesn’t. As Hodgson says, signing it as MP for Botany (Her actual job) or lawyer (Her actual profession I believe) and putting her residential address in would have been fine.

        • Jim Nald

          Ok, either Wong and the Prime Minister could be mischievously refusing, or may be evasively dumb not to be able, to recognise the critical distinction between:

          1. An MP, ie member of Parliament, who has been elected by the people to the legislative body of government and is the people’s representative; and

          2. A Minister, ie minister of the Crown, who serves at Her Minister’s pleasure, exercises the Crown prerogatives in relation to the appropriate ministry, and acts on behalf of the executive arm of government.

          Signing under the office of 2 conveys something quite different from 1, giving a different perception and so can raise questions about the involvement of the Executive Government.

          There is at least a conflict of roles, if not, if interest.

          Re 1: God bless us
          Re 2: God bless the Queen

          And Jonkey, when you drop by Buckingham Palace, please don’t call Her, the President.

          • OleOlebiscuitBarrell

            I suspect the gravity of this can be measured by the interest of the Standard’s authors in the “scandal”.

            It’s just a non-starter, really.

            • prism

              oob I think you are wise to follow the Standard’s lead as you don’t seem to have much critical faculty for judging good government.

  4. joe90 4

    Michael Hudson interviewed on Democracy Now! about the $600B fed stimulus and the fears of a US currency war. (video and transcript)

  5. Pascal's bookie 5


    Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), who will seek the Energy and Commerce Committee chairmanship maintains that we do not have to worry about climate change because God promised in the Bible not to destroy the world again after Noah’s flood.

    • joe90 5.1

      And choicer

      “The Senate would be Republican today except for states (in which Palin endorsed candidates) like Christine O’Donnell in Delaware,” Bachus said. “Sarah Palin cost us control of the Senate.”

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      Um, it’s not God destroying the world – It’s us.

  6. Foolsgold 6

    The situation of New Zealanders getting into financial strife in Aus has me concerned. Not only from official reports regarding racial tension and now charities having to fly home residents but also on an anecdotal level I have been privy to some friends who have found the situation over there much tougher than expected. If the 2025 task force is correct and we will see 400,000 NZ’ers moving over there in the next 25 years what if any effects will this have on the situation. Australians have always had very vocal ‘locals first’ faction when it comes to welfare, state support and so on. Something to watch out for.

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    21st Century Irish Land Revolt Predicted


    Ireland’s Government is now having to take on debt at 8% p.a. International lenders will not loan to the Irish Govt for any less.

    With a new wave of toxic loan bank bailouts and subsequent cutting to the bone of the Budget on the horizon, the public of Ireland have almost had enough.

    • M 7.1

      ‘Senior Irish policymakers get to roll over and have their tummy tickled by their European overlords and be told what good sports they have been. And best of all… the senior management of the banks that caused this crisis get to enjoy their richly earned rewards.” ‘

      Says it all really and delightfully acerbic to boot.

    • Pascal's bookie 7.2

      The longer version from the IT:


      …concludes thusly:

      Given the risk of national bankruptcy it entailed, what led the Government into this abject and unconditional surrender to the bank bondholders? I have been told that the Government’s reasoning runs as follows: “Europe will bail us out, just like they bailed out the Greeks. And does anyone expect the Greeks to repay?”

      The fallacy of this reasoning is obvious. Despite a decade of Anglo-Fáil rule, with its mantra that there are no such things as duties, only entitlements, few Irish institutions have collapsed to the third-world levels of their Greek counterparts, least of all our tax system.

      And unlike the Greeks, we lacked the tact and common sense to keep our grubby dealing to ourselves. Europeans had to endure a decade of Irish politicians strutting around and telling them how they needed to emulate our crony capitalism if they wanted to be as rich as we are. As far as other Europeans are concerned, the Irish Government is aiming to add injury to insult by getting their taxpayers to help the “Richest Nation in Europe” continue to enjoy its lavish lifestyle.

      My stating the simple fact that the Government has driven Ireland over the brink of insolvency should not be taken as a tacit endorsement of the Opposition. The stark lesson of the last 30 years is that, while Fianna Fáil’s record of economic management has been decidedly mixed, that of the various Fine Gael coalitions has been uniformly dismal.

      As ordinary people start to realise that this thing is not only happening, it is happening to them, we can see anxiety giving way to the first upwellings of an inchoate rage and despair that will transform Irish politics along the lines of the Tea Party in America. Within five years, both Civil War parties are likely to have been brushed aside by a hard right, anti-Europe, anti-Traveller party that, inconceivable as it now seems, will leave us nostalgic for the, usually, harmless buffoonery of Biffo, Inda, and their chums.

      You have read enough articles by economists by now to know that it is customary at this stage for me to propose, in 30 words or fewer, a simple policy that will solve all our problems. Unfortunately, this is where I have to hold up my hands and confess that I have no solutions, simple or otherwise.

      Ireland faced a painful choice between imposing a resolution on banks that were too big to save or becoming insolvent, and, for whatever reason, chose the latter. Sovereign nations get to make policy choices, and we are no longer a sovereign nation in any meaningful sense of that term.

      From here on, for better or worse, we can only rely on the kindness of strangers.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1

        Ireland is still a sovereign nation – they just have to tell the banks to eff off (i.e, declare bankruptcy).

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    Arctic Sea Ice Melting and Moving

    Previous studies by NASA’s Joey Comiso and other scientists found that the Arctic has lost about 10 percent of its multi-year ice per decade since 1979.

    A new analysis has quantified for the first time the amount of multi-year ice that is being lost due to melting, and the percentage is significant. In the study, Ron Kwok and Glenn Cunningham of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory used a range of satellite data to show that between 1993 and 2009, nearly 1,400 cubic kilometers (336 cubic miles) was lost due to melt, about 32 percent of the overall decline.

  9. freedom 9

    “But the focus on debt reduction by consumers and businesses world-wide could risk the global recovery” – Bollard

    with the screwed up priorities that produce this sort of thinking, is it any wonder that the global economy is circling the drain

    the game is so twisted that paying your bills is now dangerous to the economy

    • Name (Required) 9.1

      Bollard also observed that the strong dollar “is not helping the rebalancing of the economy”.

      The Chinese have manipulated the level of the Yuan, keeping it low to help exporters, for years. The US with “Quantative Easing” 2 is looking to devalue the dollar to help US exports and penalise importers. The Euro crisis is driving it down to the delight of German exporters in particular and Sterling sinks like a lead balloon as the UK Govt. shoots its economy in the foot, head, heart and balls because rampant inflation is the only thing now that will enable to big banks to survive and Govt. debt remain at merely stratospheric levels.

      As New Zealand exporters go to the wall expect to hear more bleating from Bollard, Key and English about how unfair it all is.

  10. Brokenback 10

    The great scurge of greed upon our house.

    I was appalled to read of the machinations of Thames Coramandel district council and its dealings with what can genuinely described as an Icon of the left, green movement and NZ spritualism.

    Namely the assault on the “assets” of the Wilderland trust , with the obvious ultimate aim of bankrupting and seizing of their[once worthless] but now extremely valuable land and water resources.

    This is the frontline of fascism and needs to be fought by many on a much wider scale than at present.

    • KJT 10.1

      Not much difference from the bulldozing through of the Whangamata marina. Pinching a local recreation area and ruining the harbour for swimmers and small boats. Not to mention any effects on the world famous surf break.

  11. Carol 11

    I am SO SICK of Bill English repeating the atacks on the last Labour government before he answers any questions in the House. Does he realise what an annoying turn-off it is? Does he have any ideas other than spin? Now he’s accusing the opposition of using manufactured quotes: eg does he agree with the NACT agreement that sets closing the gap with Aussie as a practical goal & a later one by Key saying the goal is aspirational. Blinglish answered “both”.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      Does he have any ideas other than spin?

      He’s a NACT minister so the answer to that would be “No”.

    • William Joyce 11.2

      As much as I was able to, (before I started rocking backwards and forwards, drowling, and stuffing my mouth full of antidepressants and alcohol) I counted thirteen explicit instances of Bill English using an answer to blame the last Labour government for everything (including the loss of the American colonies, the black death and the beating he received in the playground as a child).

  12. joe90 12

    An open letter to the white right from Tim Wise has the usual suspects doing backward flips. I wont pollute The Standard with a link to baiter and his fellow nutters but I reckon I can hear the blood coursing through the veins on his forehead from here…

  13. Quoth the Raven 13

    There’s a new website What in the fuck has Obama done so far? set up as an antidote to another website entitled What the fuck has Obama done so far. It includes such things as:

    Censored reporters covering military tribunals at Guantanamo
    Fought for government immunity in prosecutions for domestic spying
    Won the right to keep identities of prisoners at Bagram “black site” a secret
    Used cluster bombs in Yemen, resulting in the deaths of 14 militants, and 35 women and children
    Pushed for a 5 year prison term for Charles Lynch, the operator of a medical marijuana dispensary, legal under California law
    Revived “Prompt Global Strike” weapons system, considered too controversial by Bush Administration
    Reaffirmed his opposition to same-sex marriage
    Successfully prosecuted child soldier Omar Khadr using evidence obtained through torture
    Won the right to deny habeas corpus to detainees
    Deported record numbers of undocumented immigrants
    Opposed marriage equality by appealing challenges to DOMA, the so-called, “Defense of Marriage Act”
    Blocked the release of photos documenting the torture and abuse of detainees by the US military
    Refused to sign a treaty banning the use of landmines
    Extended the Patriot Act without making any reforms
    Pushed for mandatory DNA testing of those arrested for crimes, regardless of whether they have been convicted
    Dramatically increased government secrecy, blocking more FOIA requests in 2009 than Bush did in 2008

  14. NickS 14

    Close Up is absolutely, utterly, useless. MMS is clearly bleach and instead of pulling the local douchebag promoting it and the “claims” to pieces, instead, in the name of “balance” we get an utterly weak piece that fails to get to the heart of why this sort of alt-med is utterly wrong. And what it comes down to, is that they’re promoting and profiting off something that not only doesn’t work, but due to human stupidity leads people to die of otherwise typically treatable diseases or just get sicker.

    Fuckityfuckfuckfuckfucking useless morons on Close Up who can’t even be bothered doing what even low grade journalists should be fucking capable of doing, which is exposing human stupidity and the banal evil of ignorance to the harsh light of evidence and reason.

  15. Jum 15

    Can’t anybody see what a scam is going on with the latest grand gesture by this government?

    Like Mining which brought out thousands of protesters and achieved exactly what govt wanted which was to mine in conservation land (not the part they had no intention of damaging but the part they had already sold off rights to when Brownlee went over to Australia to address a group of fellow barracouta), we have the threat by this government to close down Dunedin neurosurgical services and have it moved to Christchurch.

    Then we have the miraculous back down by government who not only reinstate but add to the services. Hallelujah!!!

    The brainwashed southern men and women think they have changed this government’s 9 year planned agenda. Dream on.

    Key doesn’t own/employ/have a hundred PR consultants and paid media for the good of the people.

  16. Dan 16

    Strategic deficit warning people!!!! Brash was keen on it way back: English is setting one up now. Time to revisit another neo-lib con.


  17. cardassian 17

    all kicking off in london over cutbacks to university funding and increases to student fees.


Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clean energy upgrade for more public buildings
    More public buildings will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. Minister Shaw announced that Lincoln and Auckland universities will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to replace fossil fuel boilers. Southern, Taranaki, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Schools back donations scheme for the second year
    More schools have opted in to the donations scheme for 2021, compared to 2020 when the scheme was introduced. “The families of more than 447,000 students will be better off next year, with 94% of eligible schools and kura opting into the scheme,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruapehu cycle trails gets PGF boost
    The spectacular Mountains to Sea cycle trail in Ruapehu District will receive $4.6 million in funding from the Provincial Growth Fund for two additional trails, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is an exciting development for the local community, and one that will provide significant economic opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Update to air border order strengthens crew requirements
    Additional measures coming into effect on Monday will boost our defence against COVID-19 entering New Zealand through the air border, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “As part of our precautionary approach and strategy of constant review, we’re tightening the requirements around international aircrew,” Chris Hipkins said. The COVID-19 Public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • A true picture of Māori business activity
    A better picture of the contribution Māori businesses make to the economy will be possible with changes to the way information is collected about companies and trading enterprises. Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash have announced a new option for Māori enterprises who are part ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF funding for Taranaki projects
    The South Taranaki museum, a New Plymouth distillery and a Pasifika building firm will benefit from a Government investment totalling more than $1 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The $1.05m in grants and loans from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will help the recipients expand and create ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Fijian Language Week 2020 inspires courage and strength during COVID-19 pandemic
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says the theme for the 2020 Fijian Language Week reflects the strong belief by Fijians that their language and culture inspires courage and strength that is strongly needed in times of emergencies, or through a significant challenge like the global COVID-19 pandemic ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Trades training builds on iwi aspirations
    An investment of $2.025 million from the Māori Trades and Training Fund will support Māori to learn new skills while making a positive difference for their communities, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “K3 Development Limited Partnership will receive $2,025,000 for its Takitimu Tuanui apprenticeship programme, which will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago