Donald Trump gave up military exercises in South Korea for nothing new from Kim Jong Un. The Police apologised abjectly to Nicky Hager. Retail spending remained weak in May and inflation was dormant.
'Our very special bond'
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un repeated his pledge to denuclearise the Korean peninsular in an historic summit in Singapore with US President Donald Trump overnight. Kim gave no new detail about how this would be verified or made irreversible. In exchange for nothing substantially new, Trump promised to stop US war-gaming exercises in South Korea, which surprised the South Koreans and the Pentagon. ( Reuters )
Trump said he now trusted Kim and they had a "very special bond" that meant this pledge would turn out better than similar ones by Kim's father and grandfather.
“I think, honestly, I think he’s going to do these things,” Trump told a news conference. “I may be wrong. I mean, I may stand before you in six months and say, ‘Hey, I was wrong.’”
As the New York Times reported : 'He paused a moment, realizing how out of character that would be.'
He then appeared to think out loud.
“I don’t know that I’ll ever admit that,” he added, “but I’ll find some kind of an excuse.”
He actually said that. Out loud. In front of 2,000 journalists.
Trump also told Kim North Korea's beaches would make great holiday destinations and that he should consider building a few hotels and condos on them.
This explainer from the New York Times on the talks is useful.
An abject apology to Nicky Hager
As one of the subjects of Cameron Slater's attacks coordinated with John Key's office, I found the whole Dirty Politics saga profoundly disturbing.
In particular, the police raid on Nicky Hager's home sent a chill through the journalism community at the time.
The details that emerged yesterday were even more disturbing, as Shane Cowlishaw reported yesterday for Newsroom.
Police admitted they failed to mention Hager was a journalist or providing any evidence of wrongdoing when obtaining a warrant for the search. They also did not admit were seeking to identify his sources when applying to a judge for a search warrant.
They also apologised for mining his banking data with only an informal information request and obtaining his information from third parties including Air New Zealand, Paypal, Customs, and Jetstar without telling the companies Hager was a journalist who could claim privilege.
In a stunning admission, police also apologised for telling some companies they suspected Hager of fraud when seeking the information, despite having no basis to do so.
An autumn of economic nervousness
In another sign the economy might be coming off the boil as businesses and consumers pull back, Statistics New Zealand reported seasonally adjusted retail spending with debt and credit cards rose just 0.4 percent in May from April. This was weaker than the 1.2 percent expected by economists after a 2.2 percent fall in April.
However, ANZ's Truckometer series showed a 3.0 percent rise in heavy traffic in May and a 1.1 percent rise in light traffic, suggesting a quieter patch earlier in the year may be easing.
ANZ's Inflation gauge showed just a 0.1 percent rise in May for annual growth of 2.3 percent. All these figures suggest the Reserve Bank will keep its OCR well on hold until well into next year, with an equal chance of a cut as a hike.