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Syria sarin capitalism and war

Written By: - Date published: 10:34 am, April 9th, 2017 - 60 comments
Categories: capitalism, Syria, war - Tags: , ,

The dirty truth behind many of the wars that our political / media world gets itself so excited about is that they wouldn’t be happening without the arms that we (the “western” world) sell so copiously. Amnesty International has a page, appropriately titled Killer Facts, on the extent of the arms trade:

Killer Facts: The scale of the global arms trade

The top 10 exporters of conventional arms (excluding small arms/ light weapons – SALW) 2010-15

USA US$55.006 billion
Russia US$42.404 billion
China US$9.943 billion
Germany US$ 9.467 billion
France US$ 8.932 billion
UK US$ 7.627 billion
Spain US$ 5.310 billion
Italy US$ 4.360 billion
Ukraine US$ 4.156 billion
Israel US$ 3.280 billion

Total arms sales from the top 100 arms-producing and military services companies in the world (excluding China) rose by 104% from 2002-2013 and in 2013 stood at US$401 billion. …

War is great for business. Case in point, the brutal sarin attack in Syria, The Guardian asks an uncomfortable question:

Could Britain have sold sarin chemicals to Assad’s regime?

Evidence that the sarin nerve agent was used in the chemical attack that killed more than 80 and injured hundreds of others in Syria’s northern province of Idlib last week has triggered awkward questions for the government over the part played by the UK in the Assad regime’s development of a chemical weapons programme.

Human rights groups and arms control campaigners have highlighted the government’s own admission that in the 80s the UK exported the chemicals necessary to make sarin to the Syrian regime. The UK also sold specialist equipment after the millennium which it now appears was diverted to the chemical weapons programme.

Export data collected by Campaign Against the Arms Trade, which dates back to 2008, provides no evidence that any chemicals were supplied to Syria in the last nine years.

However, in July 2014 the then foreign secretary, William Hague, confirmed to parliament that the UK had indeed exported chemicals that “were likely to have been diverted for use in the Syrian programme”.

Hague revealed that the exports included several hundred tonnes of the chemical dimethyl phosphite (DMP) in 1983 and a further export of several hundred tonnes in 1985; several hundred tonnes of trimethyl phosphite (TMP) in 1986; and a quantity of hydrogen fluoride (HF) in 1986 through a third country.

Hague told parliament: “All these chemicals have legitimate uses, for example in the manufacture of plastics and pharmaceuticals. However, they can also be used in the production of sarin. DMP and TMP can also be used for the production of the nerve agent VX. That is why the export of such goods is strictly prohibited under the UK export regime introduced since the 1980s and progressively strengthened.”

He added: “From the information we hold, we judge it likely that these chemical exports by UK companies were subsequently used by Syria in their programmes to produce nerve agents, including sarin.” …

Outrage over the attack is perfectly appropriate. So is outrage over the obscene profits that business makes from selling dangerous materials and weapons.

60 comments on “Syria sarin capitalism and war”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    The World Bank estimated NZ’s arms exports (measured in 1990 US$) at $75M in 2012.

    That’s $16 per head. Twice as much as China.

    Lots of potential for these figures to be skewed, but still.

  2. Andre 2

    Mention arms sales in connection with Middle East wars and the thought always occurs to me: if we weren’t so dependent on oil then we would find it a lot easier to ignore what happens in the Middle East, just as we ignore nasty shit happening in Africa.

    Without the money to buy the fancy toys and weird substances, I suspect the wars would still happen. They just wouldn’t be quite as big and sophisticated, and wouldn’t get as much publicity.

    • Pretty much. But I dont know why the MSM and western govts are leaping to the conclusion it was Assad after all. It may just turn out it was Saudi Arabian supplied gas to the rebels so negotiations would be derailed.

      I think we are being given the mushroom treatment here.

      • Red 2.1.1

        Need to get some of Those mushrooms your on WK

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.2

        You have blinkers on. It’s been explained several times why a ground-based stockpile can be discounted. You just aren’t prepared to listen.

        • WILD KATIPO 2.1.2.1

          How many times do people have to be extricated from the gullible and naive. ?

          Lets go back to Middle eastern religious motives and USA oil / energy reserves, shall we?

          Try a little Saudi Arabia being Sunni majority and backing ISIS, ( who are also Sunni ) throw in a little bit of Clinton Foundation channeling Saudi Arabian , Qatar, and Bahrainian cash for ISIS.

          Try a little Russian support for a secular Syria and support for Shiite Muslim Iraq ,…

          Throw in a little of Trumps need to seem ‘ tough’ with China and the South China seas and how that relates to North Korea…

          Perhaps a little bit of seeming to act tough with Putin to deflect domestic criticism of Russia interfering with the USA elections… handy stuff even though they had agreed to move both Syrian and Russian troops out of harms way before the attacks …just leave a few jet fighters there for a cinematic effect…

          But still ,… the plebs wont know that… they will just follow the MSM private media scam… all good. Get em all riled up and wanting to go serve King and country and spill their guts for some rich fat bastard.

          Yeah right , ya fucker.

          Or we could even talk about royalty’s from a Russian oil pipeline through Syria. That’d more than pay for a cheap bombed out Airfield in Syria… Assad would be in clover…all for the price of a few old jet fighters subsidized from the USA in the first place.

          Cheap PR , if ever there was…

          Maybe we could even surmise Israel feeling good about bombs going off in Syria… that’d make sure the Israeli population feels good.. and Trump as well…he gets to ingratiate himself with the bible belt and Israel at the same time- ‘ God bless America and the whole world’…

          Yet as we all know – or like to think we know… Obama didn’t attack ISIS because they were backed by Saudi Arabia, so Obama just did the drone strikes. Far less agressive looking than bad ass troops on the ground…

          Obama didn’t want to upset the Clinton Foundation because it brought in shit loads for the USA military / industrial complex. All that shit load of cash from those middle eastern outfits… and good cash donations to the Democrats.

          Whats a few beheading’s between friends?

          What does it take to convince those of the Left – or even those closet right wingers pretending to be of the Left …

          OF THE FUCKING FACTS ?!!?

          HOW LONG WILL YOUR TRIBALISM AND DISHONESTY AND LIES SUPERSEDE BASIC MORALITY AND HUMAN DECENCY ?!!?

          ARE YOU REALLY THAT DEVOID OF FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN VALUES ???

          FFS!!!

          USE YOUR BRAINS !!!!

          • WILD KATIPO 2.1.2.1.1

            Matter of fact…

            Screw you , ‘ Red’… your a fake… like a lot on this site.

            There’s a lot of ‘ wannabe’s I’m discovering who want to wear the ‘Left ‘ label.

            They really want the title without the substance Im discovering. And that’s disgusting. They are no more better in principle than the so called right wing against which they rail. Hypocrites.

            So here’s something to focus you back on yourself. I hope it sets you back to an earlier age of being a free human being.

            George Harrison- “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” (live recording …
            Video for while my guitar gently weeps george harrison▶ 5:29

          • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.2.1.2

            🙄

          • Psycho Milt 2.1.2.1.3

            Well, that was certainly a lot of words. However, “It’s been explained several times why a ground-based stockpile can be discounted.” Did you miss that bit?

        • Reenmac 2.1.2.2

          Then how come the US military said they deliberately didn’t target the building they said housed sarin when they deployed cruise missiles on the Syrian airfield “because they could have facilitated the release of stored sarin gas and killed civilians”
          What a load of hogwash
          So the “rebels” can’t store sarin but the SAA can?
          In 2013 a UN report confirmed that the “rebels” were in possession of and had used sarin on Syrian soldiers and civilians,,,and of course while the Syrian govt was compelled to give up its CW, it was impossible to compel the “rebels”

          • Psycho Milt 2.1.2.2.1

            Multiple citations needed.

            • Puddleglum 2.1.2.2.1.1

              Here’s one at least:

              Attacking one airfield — at least one of the two runways were still in use Friday — hardly diminishes President Bashar Assad’s military capability. And whatever cache of poison gas or other chemical agents the Syrian government has remains intact, including one at the air base that the Pentagon deliberately didn’t target for fear of spreading a toxic cloud.

              And these comments from Carla del Ponte may be what Reenmac was referring to about the 2013 UN ‘report’:

              “According to the testimonies we have gathered, the rebels have used chemical weapons, making use of sarin gas,” del Ponte, a former war crimes prosecutor, said in an interview with Swiss radio late on Sunday.

              “We still have to deepen our investigation, verify and confirm (the findings) through new witness testimony, but according to what we have established so far, it is at the moment opponents of the regime who are using sarin gas,” she added.

              • A link to a second person making the same assertion isn’t really a “citation,” but I’ll assume Los Angeles Times reporters wouldn’t be asserting it in an opinion piece if they didn’t have a citation for it.

                The thing is, the reasons “why a ground-based stockpile can be discounted” don’t involve any claim that blowing up a gas storage facility wouldn’t release a gas cloud – of course it would. It was discounted for several reasons:

                1. The gas at Khan Sheikhun was distributed over a wide area, not centred on a single building.

                2. A lot of nerve agent would be needed to cover such a wide area. Destruction of a storage facility with high explosive would destroy much of the nerve agent in the facility, and it’s unlikely rebels would have much to start with.

                3. Nerve agents are stored in their component parts until needed. Only a storage facility that was readying sarin for imminent use would have sarin in it – that applies to the air base store for obvious reasons, but not to any fictional store at Khan Sheikhun.

                4. The Guardian sent a reporter to Khan Sheikhun and there is no destroyed chemical storage facility there.

                Those are pretty good reasons, none of which either Wild Katipo or Reemac have argued against.

              • Re the UN report, it’s clear that both sides have used chemical warfare. That tells us nothing about this latest attack.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2

      The problem with oil is that whoever has the most has a massive conventional warfare advantage: tanks on the ground, planes in the air.

      When you consider the people who will be looking for more tanks on the ground and planes in the air, it’s clear that ignoring oil is problematic.

      • Andre 2.2.1

        Imagine an alternate reality where, say, Jimmy Carter had won in ’80 and pushed hard for de-oiling the US with support from Congress. Imagine that by now most ground-based energy users are electrified. In that fantasy, the US has plenty of it’s own oil for aviation, shipping, and military adventures. Add in Mexican and Canadian reserves, and there would definitely be no reason to be empowering the Middle East with oil money.

        Sadly, our reality is that even if we all got serious right now about getting off fossil fuels, that kind of scenario is at least twenty years away.

        • McFlock 2.2.1.1

          But then how would they stop someone else getting the ME oil?

          Geopolitics is kindy rules: it’s not what you got so much as what someone else has

          • Andre 2.2.1.1.1

            If there’s viable alternatives for energy, then the oil isn’t anywhere near as valuable. Then nobody would care if someone else got the Middle East oil.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Yes, we would, because that person would have more tanks on the ground and planes in the air.

        • rocco siffred 2.2.1.2

          “Sadly, our reality is that even if we all got serious right now about getting off fossil fuels, that kind of scenario is at least twenty years away.”

          The US is just about a net exporter of energy right now. Why do you think the oil price has tanked?

          • Andre 2.2.1.2.1

            How much lower do you think oil prices would be right now if the only users were the plastics/chemicals industry and those that desperately needed the energy density of liquid fuels and didn’t have an alternative. Setting aside cost and looking purely at technological feasibility, long haul aviation is about the only large-scale application I can think of that strictly requires liquid fuel’s energy density.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1.2.1.1

              the energy density of liquid fuels

              Equals [insert your favourite dictator] with more tanks and planes than you.

              • McFlock

                especially as aircraft engines make fine tank engines

                • Draco T Bastard

                  No they don’t.

                  Many of the M1’s reliability failures can be traced to its turbine engine.

                  That’s from 1990 but I doubt if it’s changed much. Turbines are great for aircraft but not so great for ground vehicles where there’s a lot more dust getting in.

                  • McFlock

                    Yes they fucking do.

                    Even ignoring the fact that the gas turbine is still the engine of choice to move that behemoth around, there’s the Rolls Royce Meteor engine (derived from the merlin), nuffield liberty (derived from the liberty L12), and the Wright R975 were all derived from aircraft engines. And that was from a single google search (although I already knew the merlin one)

                    The reason is pretty obvious: although they generally need a cooling system added to compensate for lack of airflow, aircraft engines emphasise power to weight and rpm/torque. These are things you also want in a tank, moreso than reliability or even fuel efficiency, depending on your logistics situation. The yanks use a gas turbine because they have fuel to burn. Others go for diesel because of their reliability and fuel efficiency.

                    • exkiwiforces

                      Sorry McFlock, Draco is right aircraft engines are shit when they are fitted inside tanks.

                      Yanks fitted Gas turbine engines to their M1’s the idea behind was to go to a single type of fuel to reduce cost’s and more importantly a reduce logistic tail which has a Holy Gail for most post WW2 Armies.
                      The yanks case fuel consumption went through the roof, as did maintenance cost and so call reduce logistic tail didn’t really produce any real savings. In fact the Australia M1’s performs a lot better than its America counter part both in Oz and State side.

                      The other 3 engines you mention are petrol engines really not that good if your tank gets hit. The Germans during the WW2 used to the America and British tanks the “Tommy Cooker”. The fitting of the Meteor to the Centurion Tank has been describe a failure in some quarters because of its high fuel consumption, low power to weight ratio, the type of fuel used and the meteor was a right pig to work. Centurion really came of age when Israeli Armoured Corp re-engine the Cent with deasil engine and re-gun it with the L7 105mm.

                      In the 1960’s the Pom’s look at Multi fuel engine for its Chieftain Tank needless to it didn’t really work because of its high fuel consumption, low power to weight ratio and low speed.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, I reckon you’re overstating it a bit, but I also think “fine” was a bit much from my end.

                      It depends on the design priorities, and they’re a valid choice depending on requirements.

                    • exkiwiforces

                      In during WW2 aircrafts engines were the only thing going at time for tank production. One old tankie told me the wrong type of engine is better than no engine in a Sherman, but having wrong type of gun on your tank is!

                    • McFlock

                      fair call
                      I’ll have a think. 🙂

                    • Halfcrown

                      “Rolls Royce Meteor engine (derived from the merlin),”

                      With respect McFlock I think you will find those are Petrol combustion engines not gas turbines I think I am right as those engines were fitted in the Centurion tanks we had when I was in the army. If my memory serves me right it was a dog.

                      I have just noticed exkiwi has more or less said the same thing.

              • Andre

                If the US decouples itself from fossil fuels for domestic civilian uses, their own domestic reserves will be more than plentiful for all the military adventures the likes of Rumsfeld, Cheney, Clinton, Trump et al could ever dream up. Without even starting to consider biofuels. Europe may or may not be the same, depending on how fast the North Sea reserves are being extracted.

                • McFlock

                  And the first adventure would still be to stop anyone else getting ME oil, and a couple of decent wars in the area will keep the uncooperative in the area from getting too strong.

                • exkiwiforces

                  Unless you are Norway with their sovereign wealth fund, there’s a smart country.

            • exkiwiforces 2.2.1.2.1.2

              The Poms during the 50′ and 60’s when they were looking into Hypersonic, Ramjets and Missiles looked at alternative fuels for some of their Hypersonic research aircraft such as Cryogenics and Exotic Fuels such as Shelldyne type fuels.

              Ref: British Secret Projects, Hypersonic, Ramjets and Missiles
              Chapter 11, Page 141-143.

              The reason why some these types of fuel isn’t commonplace within the aviation sector is some of these Aircraft would big and the penalty big aircraft is drag. To overcome drag you need a bigger engine which means you need bigger aircraft which equals more weight and more drag, As can you can see it starts to get out of hand very quickly as the poms found out.

              Anyway the book is a very good read if you are into that stuff.

    • McFlock 2.3

      Not as sophisticated, maybe.
      In Rwanda they killed 800,000 in a few weeks, mostly by hand.

      But then race has a lot to do with the news’ ability to ignore events, too.

    • rocco siffred 2.4

      “They just wouldn’t be quite as big and sophisticated, and wouldn’t get as much publicity.”

      Wars in Africa are plenty big, 5m dead in Congo, a couple more in Sudan, it’s no one really gives a damn. Millions dead from Ak-47’s, starvation, and machetes does not make much of a headline.

  3. Heather Grimwood 3

    I visited an elderly distant relative in Oxfordshire in 1993, not long after protesting in Auckland the Gulf war. This definitely reactionary gent was surprisingly ferocious about UK’s supplying of arms to the area and to the Balkans, as lived in flight path of nearby military airbase, and certainly knew the manufacturing companies….longterm establishments I guess.

  4. reason 4

    …… and the tax haven / secrecy jurisdictions network goes hand in hand with the weapons trade and conflict …..

    https://www.tni.org/en/publication/tax-evasion-and-weapon-production

  5. Penny Bright 5

    BREAKING REPORT (!!!)
    Petraeus Working Behind the Scenes With McMaster to Put Troops on the Ground in Syria

    “The McMaster-Petraeus plan calls for 150,000 American ground troops in Syria.”

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/04/breaking-report-petraeus-working-behind-scenes-mcmaster-put-troops-ground-syria/

    Cristina Laila Apr 8th, 2017 11:41 pm 247 Comments

    According to a report by independent journalist, Mike Cernovich, current National Security Advisor, H.R. McMaster is manipulating intelligence reports given to President Trump regarding Syria.

    Via Mike Cernovich:

    McMaster is plotting how to sell a massive ground war in Syria to President Trump with the help of disgraced former CIA director and convicted criminal David Petraeus, who mishandled classified information by sharing documents with his mistress.

    As NSA, McMaster’s job is to synthesize intellience reports from all other agencies. President Trump is being given an inncurate picture of the situation in Syria, as McMaster is seeking to involve the U.S. in a full scale war in Syria.

    The McMaster-Petraeus plan calls for 150,000 American ground troops in Syria.

    ….”

    • So, if I understand this correctly, according to someone, someone else is supposedly suggesting something really stupid, which will totally happen as long as other people accept a plan to do something really stupid. Fuck me, better start digging that fallout shelter just as soon as I can be arsed doing it.

    • Wayne 5.2

      First, I am skeptical about the truth of this report, or at least that McMaster is serious about it.

      Second, neither Trump or Congress will buy it. There is no real reason for the US to do this.

      What happened this week is no precursor. Bombing an isolated airfield is far removed from a full on ground invasion of Syria. It had no risk of US casualties, in fact it appear the whole operation was designed to minimise Syrian casualties as well. But an invasion is likely to result in several thousand US casualties and many more Syrian casualties including civilians.

      But the real question is what would the US gain? Another dysfunctional state like Iraq. I don’t think the US would see that as much of a reward.

      Any such invasion would also have to leave the Russian bases, and their surrounding territory, intact. Effectively they would become a statelet within a state.

      One of the outcomes would be Russia annexing the Donbass region of the Ukraine. Mind you that might at least might finish that war.

      • Andre 5.2.1

        On one hand, the report comes from Mike Cernovich. If that name doesn’t immediately ring “fake news” alarm bells, look him up.

        On the other hand, the final decision maker is Trump. So any kind of rational analysis or cost-benefit assessment seems to be moot.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    You know what really pisses me off about reports like this?

    It’s that it’s implied that a massive amount of high tech stuff is needed to produce these chemicals and guns.

    Guns have been around for centuries. All that’s needed to produce one is some basic engineering and access to iron.

    Chemicals are actually easier once you get to 19th century level tech. Once you got the ability to refine elements and compounds reasonably reliably all you have to do is mix and match and you’ll be developing poisons left, right and centre. Sarin was first developed in 1938 while looking for better pesticides.

    The high tech that everyone assumes is needed simply isn’t.

    • McFlock 6.1

      yes dear.

      You might be able to cook it up in your back shed, yet when most try to do it, they seem to fuck it up. Even when they get it good enough to work, it never works as well as advertised.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        But if a nation gets something that works then they can a) use it and b) refine it. They’ve got the resources to do that.

    • exkiwiforces 6.2

      What most people don’t know or don’t think about it? Is that they are conducting chemical warfare in their houses every time they use a can of Fly spray etc and if they use to much of the stuff in confined space you will feel the effects of the spray. Those effects from the spray is what you would feel if someone attacked you with a nerve agent.

      • Macro 6.2.1

        Which is why I would rather smack an errant fly with a fly smacker than use fly spray! The pour on “drench” for cattle is also closely related to nerve gas. Trouble is it remains in the cow shit and the biological agents which traditionally broke the shit down are killed by the drench so the shit remains on the paddock. Worm counts in organic farms are way higher than “conventionally” farmed pastures. (One of the reasons our water ways are becoming so contaminated). Its raw shit that is being washed in folks. Also farmers are not supposed to sell cattle recently drenched for slaughter for similar reasons.
        http://rawbrown.com.au/pdf/livestock/esi-cattle.pdf

        • exkiwiforces 6.2.1.1

          Yes, all insecticides do have very small traces of some sort of nerve agent and yes they do build up in the ground and eventually leach into the ground hence there are strict protocols in handing, spraying regimes in place, regular testing of products prior to it being slaughter or prior picking and from memory there were 3 testings regimes that had be carry out by law.

          As a worker driving the spray units we were had to have blood tests prior to the start of spraying season, during and at the end of spraying season for build up of insecticides in our blood steam.

          In our first year of my cadetship it was 80% classroom base at CHCH polytec we studied the effects of soil leeching and the possible long term effects it could have on environment and why crop rotation is important especially in places with light soils eg Canterbury plans and even now I still can’t get my head around with all these dairy farms on the plains. Yes there were some dairy farms in the city fringe, but was for domestic use as the plains were always describe as mixed cropping used only not industrial size dairy farms and its no wonder the river systems are stuff. What’s going to happen CHCH’s world famous water supply in the future?

          • Incognito 6.2.1.1.1

            Yes, all insecticides do have very small traces of some sort of nerve agent …

            I’d like to see a citation for this one also as I believe you’re misinformed.

            • exkiwiforces 6.2.1.1.1.1

              I teach CBRND warfare, also a conduct reconnaissance surveys, agent detection surveys and between 91 and 94 worked in the Agriculture/ Horticulture sectors prior to joining NZ Army 94-98.

              All commonly available insecticides used by Agriculture/ Horticulture sectors etc attacks the insects nervous system incl your humble fly spray. What the boffins found during their reseach post WW1 that by mixing chemicals with the humble insecticide to improve the current lethalness in attacking the poor old insect so the farmer can achieve better yields. The boffins found by accident that increase the strength and modifying the insecticide they found they could attack the human nervous system which they then could weaponized it. The German companies such Bayer, BASF were main lead in this research into chemical warfare followed by the famous British company ICI and few other companies who I can’t remember. So your humble every day insecticides forms the basic compound with a heap of other nasty chemicals to form a nerve agent.

              On cse they teach the history of CBRND warfare, the theory into making CBRN weapons and its effects on humans/ the environment (Some instructors go nuts with this part with scientific formulas from a Bio agent to building Nuke), To identify signs and symptoms of CBRN attack and conduct reconnaissance surveys, agent detection surveys.
              The CBRND advisors cse is really more in depth such as running decom stations, mapping CBRN attacks and whole of other stuff.

              • Incognito

                Hi exkiwiforces,

                Thank you for your reply.

                Although you know much about this topic the average TS reader won’t.

                Indeed, the history of insecticides is colourful and checkered because it is intertwined with that of nerve agents.

                Indeed, most insecticides interfere with the nervous system of insects albeit through interaction with different components and via different mechanisms of action.

                However, the term “nerve agent” is generally used for a specific group of closely related compounds that all work through the same single specific mechanism of action; Sarin is one of those “nerve agents” and mentioned in the OP.

                As such, the typical household insecticides do not contain “nerve agents”, not even “traces”. In fact, they often contain a mixture of pyrethrins or pyrethroids that have replaced and superseded the organophosphates, which include analogues of Sarin, as safer and effective insecticides. To be clear, and to my knowledge, Sarin has never ever been used as an insecticide.

        • Incognito 6.2.1.2

          The pour on “drench” for cattle is also closely related to nerve gas.

          In what way is it closely related? Can you please back that up with a citation?

  7. New Zealanders; farmers, council staff, householders etc, regularly use chemicals to kill beings other than human; insects, mammals, trees, fungi, molluscs, you name them, we poison them. In the same way we look at children who abuse pets as potential abusers of humans when they get older, we could look at those who wage chemical war against non-human beings with concern, yes?

  8. KJT 8

    If it was Sarin, how come the ungloved and unsuited rescuers were not affected?

  9. John L 9

    “Evidence that the sarin nerve agent was used in the chemical attack”

    What evidence?

  10. exkiwiforces 10

    This was on the ABC’s 7:30 report tonight. David Kilcullen, former Australian soldier, counter-insurgency expert and has spent time on the ground throughout the Middle East Region in the 10plus years. His last book “Blood Year, Islamic state and the Failures of The War on Terror” is worth reading.

    http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2017/s4651587.htm

  11. Antoine 11

    Bit of a sausage fest in here

  12. exkiwiforces 12

    Found this on news.com.au

    “Samples taken from the poison gas site in Syria’s Idlib governorate tested positive for the nerve agent sarin, the British delegation at the OPCW said on Thursday.
    UK scientists have analysed samples taken from Khan Sheikhoun. These have tested positive for the nerve agent sarin, or a sarin-like substance,” the delegation said during a special session at the OPCW in The Hague.”

    http://www.news.com.au/world/breaking-news/uk-scientists-find-sarin-used-in-syria/news-story/96b14a30a002a6a6ddaa97ac172'c

  13. exkiwiforces 13

    From the BBC’s, Chemical weapons specialist (Didn’t know they had one?)

    Syria ‘chemical attack’: What can forensics tell us?

    bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-39513193

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    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    23 hours ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    24 hours ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 day ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 day ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 days ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 days ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 days ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    3 days ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    3 days ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    4 days ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    4 days ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    5 days ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    5 days ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    7 days ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    1 week ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    1 week ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Submission for rationality and science against the assaults of pre-modernism and post-modernism
    Jan Rivers spoke at the Abortion Legislation Select Committee in favour of the bill, but in opposition to calls from other submitters to exchange the word ‘woman’ for ‘person’ throughout the bill. Jan is a supporter of the feminist group Speak Up For Women and has recently written an excellent ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
    I checked my traffic stats:I was intrigued by 'monica29' - who was this very dedicated individual?  I clicked on the link, to be greeted with ...Ho, hum.Spreadin' the word, spreadin' the word.  Doesn't matter who hears it, as long as it gets out there. ...
    1 week ago
  • Worth repeating forever
    There have been three polls since the election was announced, and I will shamelessly steal YouGov / UK Polling Report's Anthony Wells' summary of them:Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% YouGov ...
    1 week ago
  • Lutte Ouvriere on the explosion in Chile
    The following article is translated from Lutte Ouvrière, the weekly newspaper of the organisation usually known by the same name in France. When, for the second time this year, Chilean President Piñera announced an increase in the price of Metro tickets from 800 to 830 pesos, students in the high ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Wage theft – I’m fucking over it.
    Today, a worker contacted me asking if she could go to the police over her employer stealing thousands of dollars from her in unpaid wages. The employer also did not pay this worker’s taxes or student loan which amounts to tax fraud. As a workers rights activist, who founded the ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • On The Rebound.
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered, They're Yours: Is there any person more vulnerable than a jilted lover on the rebound? Or, anything more certain than that the charmer, the predator, the glib spinner of lies and promises will seek such broken people out? Yes, of course, he will love every one of ...
    1 week ago
  • Rabbi urges congregation to vote against Corbyn
    Though Jonathan Romain is a fairly high profile Rabbi, writing in several papers and popping up on TV and the radio, this story doesn't seem to have made it to the Guardian yet, so I'll take the unusual step of linking the Stephen Pollard edited Jewish Chronicle:Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • My absurdly optimistic prediction
    There's an election afoot, and that is when noted opinion formers such as myself get to make wild fools of ourselves by pretending we have the faintest idea what will happen.So, here is my absurdly optimistic prediction:Labour - 285Conservative - 262SNP - 53Lib Dems - 20PC - 5Ireland - 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • October ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image Credit: Increase Social Media Traffic & Website Traffic I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A mountain of a challenge in banning glyphosate
    Belinda Cridge I was reading my son a story last night. A great tale of derring-do of five mountaineers scaling the Matterhorn for the first time. One in the party had tried six times previously and failed, this was the last attempt before winter closed another season. They tried a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • This government has a problem with secrecy
    As introduced, the Zero Carbon Bill included an expansive secrecy clause, which would have covered virtually all decisions by the Climate Change Commission over our most important policy area. The Ministry for the Environment admitted this was a mistake (or as they put it, an "oversight"), and the select committee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A small New Zealand songbird that hides food for later use provides insights into cognitive evolutio...
    Rachael Shaw, Victoria University of Wellington When we think about animals storing food, the image that usually comes to mind is a squirrel busily hiding nuts for the winter. We don’t usually think of a small songbird taking down an enormous invertebrate, tearing it into pieces and hiding these titbits ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Referenda on Euthanasia – NZ First’s Victory – or a Major Miscalculation?
    . . NZ First’s success in putting the euthenasia bill to a public referenda may not be the victory they believe it to be. They may even have sounded the death-knell for a second Labour-NZ First-Green coalition. On 23 July this year, NZ First MP, Jenny Marcroft, submitted a Supplementary ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn the Mighty vs BoJo the Clown
    Interesting contrasting pictures in the Guardian:Corbyn gets the classic positive shot - low angle and a clear background, making him look authoritative (of course, being Corbyn, he doesn't do authoritative very well).Where as Johnson gets pictured with children at some sort of mad-hatters' tea party:Begging the question, who is the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Public health, externality, and vaccination
    Paternalism is contentious. Arguments for state action to protect us from ourselves are fraught. I come down pretty heavily on the anti-paternalism side of the argument, but I’ve heard respectable defences of paternalism. But policy around vaccination is hardly paternalistic. There’s a clear market failure that could be pointed to ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Happy Halloween
    Its Halloween, so its time for annual pumpkin trepanning and chocolate eating ritual. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Twenty thousand leagues under the sea
    I’ve been reading Jules Verne’s novel Twenty thousand leagues under the sea, considered as one of the very earliest science fiction stories. In brief, Monsieur Aronnax and a couple of sidekicks are taken prisoner by Captain Nemo and his mysterious crew and treated to an underwater voyage around the world ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Disclosing the risks
    The climate crisis is going to mean some pretty big changes in our country, both from its impacts and the policies required to address them. Most obviously, whole suburbs are going to be underwater by 2100, meaning people and businesses are going to have to relocate to higher ground. But ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • MPI fails again
    Yesterday a dairy company was fined $483,000 for repeatedly failing to report listeria in its facility. Its a serious fine for a serious crime: listeria is a serious disease, and they were effectively trying to kill people with it. But there's another story hidden in there, and its not a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Gay Men Address Gender Identity
    Gay men see the excesses of trans activism and are increasingly speaking out.  A new Facebook group addressing ‘gender identity’ and contemporary trans activism has been set up for gay men, by gay men. The following is the group’s Statement of Intent, Group Rules, and link to the group for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s Going Gangbusters.
    Criminal Enterprises: Gangs are not welfare institutions. Nor are they a substitute for the family their members never had. They are ruthless, violent, criminal money-making machines. That is all.OKAY, first-things-first. Gangs exist for one purpose – and only one. They are a sure-fired, time-tested institution for making crime pay – ...
    2 weeks ago
  • “Action for Healthy Waterways”: Some big ticket actions that the Government has neglected
    Prof Nick Wilson, A/Prof George Thomson, A/Prof Simon Hales, Prof Michael Baker The NZ Ministry for the Environment has produced a valuable discussion document with many good ideas for improving the health of waterways in New Zealand. But there are important gaps. In this blog we consider three big-ticket items ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • ADHD and fluoride – wishful thinking supported by statistical manipulation?
    Finding reality needs more than wishful thinking. The problem is that statistical arguments often provide a jargon to confirm biases. Image credit: Accurate Thinking Versus Wishful Thinking in Gambling I worry at the way some ...
    2 weeks ago
  • “Line the wasters up!”: Yes, NZ, it’s “bash the poor!” time again with ya mate Simon…
    This really shouldn’t need to be said, but hell… looks like we need to do it all over again: Simon Bridges, and the National Party shock politics doctrine, seems to demand every time that its Leader, its Party and anyone seemingly involved with it, cannot get real traction on real ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • A partial release
    The Ombudsman has ruled on the issue of Julie-Anne Genter's letter to Phil Twyford on the "Let's Get Wellington Moving" policy, and forced the release of some information. The Ombudsman's statement is here. The key point: the letter was written in part in a Ministerial capacity, and was official information ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: California burning
    Its fire season in California, and the state is on fire again, with tens of thousands evacuated and millions without power as forests and homes burn. And its so bad now that some are asking whether parts of the state are now too dangerous to inhabit:Three years in a row ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • To Save Democracy, We Must Make The Media Our Own.
    New Zealanders' Television: Obliterated almost completely from New Zealanders’ collective memory is the amazing collection of creative talent which was all-too-briefly assembled in the purpose-built Avalon television studios (above) situated ten miles north of the capital. If this period is recalled at all it is only for the purposes of ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    4 days ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    4 days ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    5 days ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Two years of progress
    This week, we’re taking action on climate change, expanding trades education – and celebrating two years of progress! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs to visit the Republic of Korea and Japan
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week. “The Republic of Korea and Japan are two of New Zealand’s closest partners in the region with whom we share common values and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand to lead Bougainville Referendum Regional Police Support Mission
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters has announced today that New Zealand is leading a police support mission in Bougainville as the region prepares to vote in a non-binding referendum on its political future. “New Zealand has accepted an invitation ...
    3 weeks ago
  • We’re taking action on climate change
    “I refuse to accept the challenge of climate change is too hard to solve.” – Jacinda Ardern ...
    3 weeks ago
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