Donald Trump asks for Van Gogh painting, is offered gold toilet instead

Donald and Melania Trump wanted to borrow a Van Gogh painting from New York’s Guggenheim Museum, but have instead been offered a working solid-gold toilet made by an Italian artist, a report says.
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Is this for a VIPooo ? [Ed]

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Space is open for business: NZ start-up successfully launches rocket

New Zealand has trumped Australia in the space race, with a spaceflight start-up successfully launching a rocket from its own launch pad on the North Island.
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Look out Kim Jong-un we are firing this right over the top of Australia and into your Bunker ! 🙂 [Ed]

North Korea missile launch alert sent by Japanese broadcaster NHK in error

Japan’s public broadcaster NHK issued a false alarm about a North Korean missile launch, just days after a similar gaffe caused panic in Hawaii, but it managed to correct the error within minutes.
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. . .and what would happen if it was Real ?

I am speechless – the second “Human Error” in a week . . .and we are worried about “Global Warming” ?? It’s only a matter of time and we’ll all get very very warm, very very quickly ! [Ed}

False ‘ballistic missile threat to Hawaii’ message sent to residents in error, US military says

The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is launching a “full investigation” into a false wireless emergency alert that a ballistic missile was headed for Hawaii, the chairman of the commission says.
The alerts to Hawaii mobile users were issued at about 8.07am local time, saying “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL”.
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Seek immediate shelter in your bathtub!  Ooops. . . your State Authority mistakenly transmitted this alert due to human error!  Sorry Hawaii but you are a S*****hole Country anyway. . .goodbye!  I wonder how long before human error pushes the big Red Button? [Ed]

Good news of 2017 you probably missed while worrying about nuclear war

8543688-3x2-700x467If you’ve been reading the news this year, we wouldn’t blame you for being curled in foetal position by the end of 2017.
They say history tends towards progress, but it can be hard to keep sight of this when we bear witness to violence and misery through a device that most of us carry 24/7. So to balance the doom and gloom, here are 12 good news stories you probably missed in 2017.

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Are we sleepwalking to World War III?

Australia is plunging headlong into catastrophe and we are utterly unprepared. In fact, we may be past the time when we can prepare.
The time-bomb is ticking and it will explode in our lifetimes. All certainty will be lost, our economy will be devastated, our land seized, our system of government upended. This isn’t mere idle speculation or the rantings of a doomsday cult, this is the warning from a man who has made it his life’s work to prepare for just this scenario. Admiral Chris Barrie was chief of Australia’s Defence Force between 1998 and 2002. He has seen war and sent troops into battle. Now, he says we are sleepwalking towards a conflict that will alter the world as we know it. Australia, he says, will be invaded. He fears for the country his grandchildren will inherit.

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Cold War-era kits on surviving nuclear fallout unearthed by historian

In the early 1960s Washington was a city on edge and the threat of a nuclear attack was not far from the minds of the powerful. It was a threat considered so real that boxes of medical supplies were distributed across America — intended to aid survivors of an attack for the days and weeks after the blast.

Today, the threat of an attack has resurfaced amid escalating tensions between Washington and Pyongyang over North Korea’s missile capabilities.

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Please don’t blow us to smithereens !

Some mornings I wake up, read the news, and experience an intense urge to bolt the doors, board up the windows, go back to bed and pull the covers up over my head.

At this stage, who knows what comes next?

If the world were a car, I’d wonder whether the driver was asleep at the wheel, foot jammed firmly on the accelerator, with a gleeful toddler sitting on their lap careering the thing wildly down a potholed road crying, “broom, broom!”

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The 10 most Australian values that make Australia so valuable

One of the recurring themes of Australian public discourse is the vexed issue of “Australian values”, and how best to promote and disseminate them.
It’s clear that Australian values are enormously popular and we’d all love to see more of them about the place. But what exactly are they?

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Or take the new Citizenship Test

New Zealand PM calls Australian immigration changes ‘disappointing’

New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English has called Australia’s immigration changes “disappointing”, saying they will force New Zealanders to wait longer for citizenship.

Ahhh yes I’m sure Kiwi’s just can’t wait to come to “The Lucky Country” (Ed)

Mr English said there had been no formal contact between the Turnbull Government and himself or his ministers before Australia unveiled its immigration crackdown last week.

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Hutt River Principality: Malcolm Turnbull declines ‘royal’ invite as Prince Leonard set to cede throne

After 47 years, Prince Leonard is set to cede the throne to his son Prince Graeme.
After 47 years, Prince Leonard is set to cede the throne to his son Prince Graeme.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has snubbed a ‘royal’ invitation — but it is not likely to cause a diplomatic incident.

On Saturday, many oceans away from Buckingham Palace, Prince Leonard — the self-declared sovereign of the Principality of Hutt River — will cede the throne.

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Related:

Why New Zealand is the best place to escape Trumpocalypse

gettyimages-578363119_620x310The elevation of an unpredictable billionaire to the helm of nuclear-armed America has given fresh impetus to the idea of remote New Zealand as a bulwark for civilisation in the event of a global catastrophe, writes the Daily Mail.
The idea has pedigree – British science fiction writer John Wyndham’s 1955 novel The Chrysalids describes a post-apocalyptic landscape where Zealand (or Sealand) is the only place that has not sunk into barbarity.

The fictional Zealand escaped the holocaust because it was “somewhat secluded” and it seems that, in uncertain times, the real New Zealand is attracting interest for the same reason.
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The True Blue Aussie citizenship test.

6046718-3x2-700x467Are you a true blue Aussie? Take the new, improved Australian citizenship test.
So, Peter Dutton wants a tougher citizenship test. “At the moment,” Dutton added, “the test is dictated essentially by questions around Australian trivia if you like and my view is that we could look at a test that would more embrace Australian values.”

My citizenship test will skilfully probe aspiring new Australians’ knowledge of Australian values, assess their grasp of Australian institutions, and ensure that they will seamlessly fit in to Australian society and not be ostracised for a failure to be Australian enough.

After taking this test, it will be 100 per cent clear whether a would-be citizen is a true-blue dinky-di fair-go larrikin bronzed Aussie, or an enemy of the state.

Here it is, the ideal Australian citizenship test for the 21st century:

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