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USA Tariffs - Disbelief from farmers this morning following confirmation that the US will impose tough sanctions on New Zealand and Australian lamb imports. President Clinton has yet to formally announce details on the three year tariff regime but trade sources have revealed it will be 9 percent in the first year, 6 percent in the second year and 3 percent after that. Any exports above the 35 kilograms exported by New Zealand and Australia last year will receive a whopping 40 percent tariff.

East Timor Commitment - New Zealand has cautiously committed itself to sending our armed forces into East Timor, if the United Nations needs them to keep the peace. Defence Minister Max Bradford is warning of the dangers involved after meeting with Australia’s defence minister in Sydney. Australia has troops stationed in Darwin ready to East Timor in a moments notice.

Hospital Waiting Lists - Claims that the number of people on hospital waiting lists is dropping because more patients are being removed from the list and fewer patients are being assessed for treatment. The Health Funding Authority latest report on the surgical booking system shows the first three months of this year, nearly 5000 patients were taken off the waiting list.

Economy Slows - Further claims that the New Zealand economy recovery may have lost some of its momentum in the past few months. It comes from the compilers of an ANZ survey of advertised jobs around the country. It says there was a 0.8 percent rise in the number of jobs advertised last month, and about 20 percent above what it was in June 1998. However, the ANZ says the strong rebound late last year and early this year appears to be over.

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