News & Politics
New Zealand Listener

New Zealand Listener Issue 44 2019

New Zealand Listener is the country’s most respected general interest magazine, bringing you a wide variety of news, stories, columns, reviews, plus TV listings, every week.

New Zealand
Bauer Media Pty Ltd
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in this issue

3 min.
for shame

To all the epithets that can be applied to President Donald Trump – narcissistic, erratic, boastful, vindictive, disruptive, impulsive, bigoted – we can now add a new and uniquely shameful one: betrayer. By pulling US troops out of northern Syria, Trump cleared the way for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to order a military offensive against Kurdish forces that had served as vital US allies in helping to defeat Isis. As long as the US maintained even a token presence in the region, it provided a vital buffer between the Kurds and a Turkish government determined to destroy them. But with that protection now removed, the West’s bravest and most effective allies against Islamist extremism find themselves fighting for survival. By falling into line with Erdoğan’s desire to crush the Kurds, Trump…

9 min.
cooking the books

I, too, was brought up to admire James Cook (Life, October 19). But a recent look over the diaries from the Endeavour has rather soured that admiration. As your columnist notes, “Today’s social mores and folkways are very different from those of the time the Endeavour was at sea.” They certainly are. Cook brought a crew of 90 sailors, 80 of whom were infected with syphilis. Cook, and the corporation that paid for his voyage, knew this. When they arrived in Tahiti, he sent a boatload of these men ashore where they began having sex with young girls. Foster, an officer on the Endeavour, estimated them to be nine or 10 years old, and wrote in his diary, they “had not the least marks of puberty”. Today, we would call these men paedophiles,…

1 min.
winning caption

Steve Godsiff, Timaru FINALISTS Prince William: “Here’s a shot of the Corgi maximus.” David Attenborough: “That’s an endangered species we don’t mind losing.” – Hans Zindel, Palmerston North William: “To get hands this soft, the trick is to never do a day’s work.” – Rhonda Ramsay, Thames Attenborough: “I can identify that as the carnivorous Brexit humbug.” – John Stribling, Wellington William: “This is all Harry and Meghan have left in the kitty.” – David Miller, Lower Hutt Attenborough: “Looks like palm oil to me.” – Robert Morey, Dunedin. William: “May I lend you a hand?” – Mike Lynch, Upper Hutt William: “My palm reading was life line, marriage line, succession line, receding hair line.” – Ann Neale, Nelson…

1 min.
quips & quotes

“We have okay coverage, but I thought our screen was frozen, then I realised Steve Hansen’s face just looks like that.”– comedian Justine Smith on 7 Days“It’s 2019. Nobody talks on the phone. The only reason to talk on the phone is to wish your grandmother a happy birthday or to commit crimes.”– the Daily Show’s Trevor Noah“When small men begin to cast big shadows, it means that the sun is about to set.”– Chinese writer Lin Yutang“In the end, Trump may be defeated by his greatest weakness – his Achilles’ mouth. It’s all detailed in epic poem The Idiod.”– the Late Show’s Stephen Colbert“What do you mean you’re not participating? It’s an impeachment inquiry, not Secret Santa.”– US comedian Seth Meyers on Donald Trump“One step out of line, he…

1 min.
life in new zealand

A group of Otumoetai College students have killed two birds with one stone by completing a community project while also raising awareness about NZ native birds. Weekend Sun, 20/9/19 Complaints about noisy buses outside an Akaroa apartment block continue to fall on deaf ears. Bay Harbour News, 28/8/19 Rainbow lorikeets can be differentiated with their distinctive blue head in comparison with an eastern rosella’s red head which is prominent around the region. Bay of Plenty Times, 27/9/19 “We have people running into fences everyday in Waitara. It’s a fact of life.” Taranaki Daily News, 29/8/19 Friday fact: Squirrels won’t eat daffodils due to poisonous crystals – be careful to keep away from dogs, too. Blenheim Sun, 30/8/19 LIFE IN NEW ZEALAND: Entries must describe New Zealand events. The first sender of those accepted will receive a $5 Booksellers voucher. Enclose…

1 min.
10 quick questions

1. Which film was adapted from a play titled Everybody Comes to Rick’s? ❑ The Shining❑ All the President’s Men❑ Casablanca❑ The Fugitive 2. Which of these large cat species is unable to roar? ❑ Indian leopard❑ Jaguar❑ Asiatic lion❑ Cheetah 3. Which of these words has a similar meaning to “importunate”? ❑ Persistent❑ Unfortunate❑ Arrogant❑ Motionless 4. Does the world have more or fewer trees today than 20 years ago? ❑ More trees❑ Fewer trees 5. What is the name for a phenomenon in which an attempt to suppress information inadvertently draws more attention to it? ❑ Streisand effect❑ Minnelli principle❑ Rule of Twain❑ Madonna’s maxim 6. Which of these fairy tales was not collected and popularised by the Brothers Grimm? ❑ Rapunzel❑ Jack and the Beanstalk❑ Hansel and Gretel❑ Little Red Riding Hood 7. A song by which band begins:…