France pledges support for NZ-EU trade agreement

In their first meeting French president Emmanuel Macron has pledged support alongside Jacinda Ardern for a European trade agreement with New Zealand.

RNZ: France supports NZ-EU trade negotiations

France has come out in support of allowing trade negotiations between New Zealand and the European Union to go ahead.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French president Emmanuel Macron have issued a joint declaration, after an hour-long meeting.

Ms Ardern says she was struck by the close alignment of their views which proved they were “natural partners”.

Mr Macron says he hopes an EU-NZ free trade agreement could reflect a “new generation of trade deals”.

Their written declaration included a commitment to promoting a progressive trade agenda, and an agreement to enhancing bilateral trade.

The pair’s meeting comes roughly a month before the EU member states decide whether to greenlight negotiations for a trade deal with New Zealand.

This is a positive step, and a good start to Ardern’s European trip.

On to Germany next, where support for a trade deal has already been indicated.

Stuff: Jacinda Ardern meets German Chancellor Angela Merkel to talk trade, education and visas

That’s a misleading headline, they have not met yet.

Trade wars and the threats of protectionism, as well as climate change, will be priority discussion points between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, when the pair sit down for formal talks tomorrow.

Trade is set to be a key theme, however Germany has been publicly supportive of a free trade deal between New Zealand and the European Union (EU) and making the case for it was less likely to dominate the talk in way it would with Macron.

New Zealand would have common ground in that area, said Ardern.

“When it comes to trade, for me it’s about raising the international environment.

Ardern said she would also be discussing ways to potentially increase movement between New Zealand and Germany.

“Particularly around our education exchanges, and also over our working holiday visas.”

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Germany is New Zealand’s sixth largest trading partner, representing $5.2 billion in two-way goods and services trade.

Nearly 80,000 German tourists visit New Zealand each year, and the country was also New Zealand’s 6th largest education market and its largest in Europe. About 3500 students study each year here, and about 15,000 young Germans are granted visas under a working holiday scheme.

Following her meeting with Merkel, Ardern would be giving a major speech on trade at Berlin’s Friedrich Ebert Foundation, overnight, New Zealand time.

She will then head to London for talks with Theresa May, a private audience with the Queen and to attend the Commonwealth heads of Government meeting with about 50 other world leaders, including Canada’s Justin Trudeau and Australia’s Malcolm Turnbull.

This is a big tour of Europe for Ardern.

Macron says France has proof of Syrian chemical attack

Syria and Russia have denied accusations there was a chemical attack on the town of Douma, but President Macron of France claims to have proof that chemical weapons were used.

BBC – Syria ‘chemical attack’: France’s President Macron ‘has proof’

France’s President Emmanuel Macron says he has “proof” that the Syrian government attacked the town of Douma with chemical weapons last weekend.

He said he would decide “in due course” whether to respond with air strikes.

Urine and blood samples from victims of the attack have tested positive for chlorine and a nerve agent, media reports quote US officials as saying.

Western states are thought to be preparing for missile strikes. Russia strongly opposes such action.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov urged against “any steps which could lead to an escalation of tensions”.

President Donald Trump keeps making steps that could easily lead to escalation. He tweeted on Wednesday that missiles were “coming:

But has since sent a more confusing tweet.

Trump seems obsessed with wanting recognition for being great and for thanks for what he claims to have done.

The guy acts like a moron – and given the stakes in the international games of words he plays, a dangerous moron.

Macron hack dump on eve of French election

From Missy:


The French Presidential Election Campaigning officially finished at midnight Friday ahead of the second round voting tomorrow.

Last night several gigabytes of data – emails and documents – from Macron’s campaign was released online. Macron is accusing Russia for the hack and leak, the campaign are also claiming that some of the emails are faked. As it was done late last night, and Macron’s statement just before the midnight cut-off Le Pen is unable to comment on the leak.

There appears to be know evidence that it was Russia that hacked his campaign, it seems that it is just easy for Russia to be blamed, allegedly the spread of the information began with far right groups in the US and were picked up by Le Pen supporters.

Macron’s team have thought for a long time that Putin has been trying to mount a smear campaign against him via state media and has openly complained about it, RT have said they plan to sue Macron over the accusations. This is – in my opinion – a little hypocritical of Macron as he had no qualms about the EU using friendly media to mount a campaign against Le Pen, nor does he have a problem with the EU breaking protocol and opening supporting him over Le Pen.

The Telegraph: Russia blamed as Macron campaign blasts ‘massive hacking attack’ ahead of French presidential election

The difference a macron makes in Māori

in Māori macrons can make a significant difference to what words mean and how they are pronounced.

Pronouncing vowels:

Māori has five vowel sounds but, like other Polynesian languages, each is either short or long. Short vowels are always written with ‘plain’ vowel letters.

Long vowels are almost always written with a macron over the vowel in this dictionary. The distinction between short and long vowels usually carries meaning, e.g. kēkē (armpit), kekē (to creak), keke (loan) (cake).

As shown there macrons can signify different meanings.

kēkē

1. (verb) to quack (as a duck).
Kēkē kau ana te pārera (W 1971:112). / The duck quacks.

2. (noun) armpit.
Ka kowhera te uira i roto i ngā kēkē o Tāwhaki (NM 1928:45). / The lightening burst forth from inside the armpits of Tāwhaki.

3. (noun) area under the wing of a bird at the place where the wing is attached to the body.
Ko te pōhoi taringa nō te huruhuru maheni o te kēkē o te toroa (TTT 1/9/1924:s4). / The feather ornament for the ear is of smooth feathers from under the wing of the albatross.

kekē

1. (verb) to creak.

keke

1. (loan) (noun) cake.
Ko tētehi o aua keke i waiho hei tukutuku ki ngā whanaunga, i ia wāhi, i ia wāhi o Aotearoa, o Te Waipounamu (TW 21/2/1876:72). / One of those cakes was left to be sent to relatives in each part of the North and South Islands.

http://www.maoridictionary.co.nz/search?idiom=&phrase=&proverb=&loan=&keywords=keke&search=
(hat tip marty mars)
http://www.maoridictionary.co.nz/dictionary-info

How to type macrons

1. Copy words with macrons and paste to where you want to use them.

2. Character maps:

Find  by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, clicking System Tools, and then clicking Character Map. If you use this method often you might want to right click this option and pin it to your start menu or taskbar.

3. Add the Māori keyboard to your computer so you can type cahracters with macrons:

Māori Keyboard Windows 8 Installation

How do I add macrons for the Māori language in my documents? – Windows 7, Windows 8

Keyboard setup for macrons – Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Winsows 7
Typing Māori easily / Te māmā hoki o te patopato:

Useful links:

Download Māori Dictionary apps: