Help Arrives in Turkey - The first search and rescue team from abroad has arrived in the north/western earthquake zone of Turkey. The team from Switzerland includes three Labrador sniffer dogs. Other teams are on-route from Russia and the United States. The death toll from the earthquake has now passed 2000, and injuries total more than 11,000. There is no accurate assessment of the number of people missing. Some sources say thousands are trapped in wreckage. The quake struck the northern and western region of Turkey at around 3am. New Zealand diplomats are trying to gain information on whether any New Zealanders are among the casualties. New Zealand has an embassy and a consulate in the region.
Brash Says Inflation on Its Way - A warning from the Reserve Bank that it may tighten monetary policy. If that happens it could impact on mortgage interest rates forcing them to rise. The Reserve Bank governor Don Brash says the bank’s official cash rate will remain unchanged after today’s regular review, but he is indicating that an increase before the end of the year is becoming more likely. He says the world economy is looking considerably stronger and with the New Zealand economy expanding at about 3 percent per annum, credit continues to expand briskly. Pressure on inflation looks likely to build.
Timberlands Okay - The SOE Minister sees no reason for an
inquiry into allegations of an improper relationship between
Prime minister Jenny Shipley and Timberlands. Tony Ryall is
dismissing the allegations saying it is just a ploy to boost
sales for a book by political activist Nicky Hager. The book
quotes from documents reporting to show Timberlands, through
its PR company, to support logging on the West Coast. Mr
Ryall questions the veracity of the documents saying they
may merely be a bit of PR