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PM Talks Middle East, Peter's Illness 'n' Blogging

Audio: PM Discusses Middle East Carnage, Peter's Illness 'N' Blogging

The Prime Minister facing the media earlier in July 2006 - Scoop Image


"It is hard to believe one is in the 21st Century when we see horror and carnage on this scale," was the Prime Minister's reaction to an Israeli air strike on the Lebanese village of Qana - which latest news reports state killed at least 54 civilians, including 37 children.

The ongoing crisis in the Middle East was to the forefront of todays' post-cabinet press conference. However also of interest to the parliamentary press gallery was the state of Foreign Minister Winston Peter's health. Mr Peters, who was only a week ago robustly jousting with members of the press gallery, has been laid low by a mysterious illness. According to the Prime Minister, a surprisingly cheerful Mr Peter's, considered he had been bitten by something while in Malaysia and feeling unwell checked himself into a hospital in Brisbane.

In reference to Mr Peter's contretemps with some members of the media the PM was quick to point out that no journalists were in the vicinity when Mr Peters considered he had been bitten.

The continuing saga of former Labour Minister and current back-bench Labour MP Taito Philip Field was also touched upon. Mr Field who has been in a spot of hot water over, in his opinion, the assistance he gave to illegal immigrants, namely allowing them to do up houses he owned at bargain basement prices, could potentially have been saved embarrassment by a new piece of legislation.

The Minimum Wage and Remuneration Amendment Bill is a new member's bill which seeks to provide protection for contractors and is the initiative of new Labour MP Darien Fenton.

Last week Minister of Labour Ruth Dyson noted the National Party had brought the gap in legislation in relation to Mr Field's house repairs to the attention of the House.

It is as yet uncertain whether National's concern for hard done by contractors would see them supporting Ms Fenton's Bill. Later in the press conference the PM also commented on the case of the man sent to prison for sedition, Tim Selwyn, who is now able to recount his time 'in the jug' via the website cared for by his friend Martyn 'Bomber' Bradbury - Tumeke.

Listen to the PM discussing the Middle East, Winston Peter's health, Taito Philip Field and blogging via a prison cell

Scoop Audio.Scoop Streaming Audio: PM's post-cabinet press conference 31 July 2006

Click here to download file (mp3)


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