Fantasy becomes a controlled substance and controversy continuea very lucky drug importing billionaire. Plus the rest of the days news, all in Scoop Today today.
Smoko For Ringwraiths – New Scoop LOTR Pics
What Price Freedom?
- Just how much did the drug importing billionaire pay for his freedom? Not a lot according to Scoop sources. Scoop’s Chris Holm reports. See... One Very Lucky Billionaire  in the Headlines wire.
Anonymous Drug Importing Billionaire
- A district court judge today ruled that the Herald Newspaper has the right to challenge the name suppression of the American billionaire caught importing cannabis into the country last week - but the paper will not get an opportunity to do so till Monday. Chris Holm reports See... Drug Importing Billionaire Anonymous For Now  in the Headlines wire. The man of mystery went home yesterday. See also Anonymous Drug Importing Billionaire Leaves  in the Headlines wire. Cannabis law reformers have mixed feelings over the recent “non-criminal” importation of marijuana and hashish by the American billioniare. See... Free'd billioniare reveals arbitrary injustice  in the Politics wire.
Winning Russian Hearts And Minds
- Russia's acting president, Vladamir Putin, is beating the drums of nationalism saying he wants to rebuild Russia's military and economic power, and he wants a woman to be the Speaker in the Duma. John Howard reports. See... Putin Beats Drums Of Nationalism And Feminism  in the Headlines wire.
Space Station For Hire
- Tired of the usual holiday spots on planet Earth? Next year you could be in space because a US investor wants to turn the Russian space station Mir into the ultimate holiday resort. John Howard reports. See... Plans To Convert Mir Into Spacestation Hotel  in the Headlines wire.
Return To Sender For Shipment Of Death
- Greenpeace has condemned Japan’s plan to return to Britain the controversial cargo of plutonium reactor fuel that arrived in Japan last September, calling the plan “ludicrous” and “misguided”. See... Greenpeace: Japan Returns Plutonium To UK Sender  in the General wire.
Bonus Catch For Japanese Whalers - A Whaling Protest Boat
- Two Greenpeace activists in an inflatable boat were today dragged half way up the stern ramp of a Japanese whaling ship, illegally hunting whales in the protected Southern Ocean whale sanctuary. The activists had attached the inflatable to a tow-line to prevent the transfer of a harpooned Minke whale from a Japanese catcher ship to the factory ship Nisshin-maru. The crew on board the Nisshin-maru used a long handled flensing knife - normally used for sectioning whales - to cut the inflatable boat from the tow-line, sending it shooting back down the stern ramp. See... Whaling Activists Dragged Up Stern Of Whaling Ship  in the General wire.
Fantasy Declared A Controlled Medicine
- The new designer drug Fantasy has been reclassified by the by the Ministry of Health under the Controlled Medicines Act after increasing cases of overdoses for the drug were reported in hospitals. See... Government Moves Quickly to Deal with Fantasy  in the Parliament wire. Also see a background press release by the Ministry of Health Fantasy classified as prescription medicine  in the General wire. The New Zealand Medical Association favours the move see... Doctors Welcome Banning Of Drug  in the General wire.
Mallard Fires Board
Education Minister Trevor Mallard has dissolved the Board of Trustees of Kimi Ora Community School in Hastings and has asked for a commissioner to be appointed. See... Commissioner to be appointed at Kimi Ora Community  in the Parliament wire.
ACC Change Too Fast
- ACT ACC Spokesman Hon Ken Shirley believes that the Government's 'indecent haste' in allowing businesses just three weeks to make submissions on its bill to return ACC to a state monopoly is denying many the right to have their say. See... Government's 'Indecent Haste' On ACC Submissions  in the Parliament wire.
- Post-election briefing papers from the Ministry of Defence and the New Zealand Defence Force show that the force is rundown and underfunded said Minister of Defence Mark Burton See... Minister Releases Defence Briefing Papers  in the Parliament wire.
CYF a Defacto Mental Health Service
- Department of Child Youth and Family says it has become a defacto mental health service for young people even though it has neither the resources nor the expertise to deal with them appropriately. The Minister of Social Services and Employment, Steve Maharey, has criticised the previous National government for running down care and protection services for young people and families at risk. See... CYFS Services Poor - Maharey  . Maharey says making New Zealand the best country in the world to be a child again is the key goal for the new Government’s social services agenda. See... NZ Best Place to Raise Kids - Maharey  all in the Parliament wire.
The Social Services and Employment Minister, Steve Maharey, said he was happy to see that WINZ had improved its processing Community Wage Student (formerly known as student allowance) applications this year. See... Maharey Pleased WINZ has Improved Processing  in the Parliament wire. Earlier, Green co-leader Rod Donald challenged Social Services Minister Steve Maharey to guarantee WINZ would not blunder their handling of student finances like they did last year. See... Pressure Mounts On Rankin And Maharey  in the Parliament wire.
Food Poisoning Cases Down
For the month of December a total of 1,004 cases of campylobacter were reported compared to 1,274 in December 1998. Salmonella was also down from 168 reports in December 1998 to 116 last year. In November the number of reports of campylobacter dropped ... See... Food Safety Paramount in Preventing Illnesses  in the General wire.