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Legal Aid Reform - Disquiet this morning at a proposal to set up a public defenders office. That is one of a number of suggestions from Justice Minister Tony Ryall to curb the country’s rising legal aid bill. But defence lawyer Barry Hart says such a move may save money but he fears it would also lead to a reduction in the quality of defence. Mr Hart says public defenders overseas often complain of being under-funded and under-staffed.

WINZ Report Released Today - The State Services Commissioner presents his report on WINZ chief executive Christine Rankin today, but it’s not expected to recommend she lose her job. Labour social welfare spokesperson Steve Maharey hopes the inquiry will demand a greater control will be placed on Ms Rankin and note that her flamboyance style of management is inappropriate. He expects the WINZ boss will get a “stern shake-up”.

Heatwave Death-toll - The death-toll from heat in the USA has risen to 178. The US has been in the grip of a heatwave since July 19. In 1995 a similar hot-spell caused more than 700 deaths in the Chicago region alone.

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Gordon Campbell: On The West’s Role In Arming Khashoggi’s Killers

The cliché about one death being a tragedy and a million deaths only a statistic has been demonstrated in spades by the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Of all the crimes committed over the past decade by the Saudi regime, it has been this revenge killing ordered by the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that has finally brought universal condemnation. More>>

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MP Reportedly In Mental Health Care: Speaker Of The House Seeks Advice

After unleashing a volley of damaging allegations against his former leader, National's Simon Bridges, and his party, Jami-Lee Ross was reportedly taken into mental health care over the weekend. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Jami-Lee Ross (And The New Hobbit Law)

Clearly, Jami-Lee Ross is not waging a normal form of political warfare, with agreed rules of combat and rational cost/benefit calculations.

This is politics-as-terrorism where everything is being sacrificed by the man in the bomb vest in order to remove Simon Bridges as the leader of the National Party. More>>

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Film Industry Working Group:

Three Killed: DOC Supporting Family, Colleagues After Helicopter Crash

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is rallying around family and colleagues of the staff who died in a helicopter crash this morning in Wanaka... The helicopter, with two DOC staff on board, was on its way to undertake tahr control in the Haast area when it crashed. More>>

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Political Donations: Greens Call For Tighter Anonymity Rules And Public Funding

“It is clear that those vested interests have a tangible influence on the decision making of political parties. This is a threat to democracy and should change.” More>>

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Education Amendment Bill Passes: Urgency Sought For Partnership School Treaty Claim

The claim takes issue with the acts and omissions of the Crown in respect of the closure of Partnership Schools | Kura Hourua. More>>

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Salvation Army Paper: Call For Public Housing Investment

To meet these future demands the report suggests the government needs to look beyond the private rental market and begin to invest heavily into home-ownership programmes and more public and social housing. More>>

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Cull: Himalayan Tahr Control Operation Proceeding

“The target of controlling 10,000 Himalayan tahr over the next eight months remains. The revised plan provides for a staged control operation with increased reporting to the Tahr Liaison Group...” More>>

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Health: Petitions To Fund Breast Cancer Drugs

Women marching to Parliament today, to present two petitions calling for Government funding of vital medicines, have 100% support from a coalition representing than 30 breast cancer organisations. More>>

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