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The Saturday Scoop

Boat HuntAn Airforce Orion is searching the South Pacific for a boat allegedly carrying more than 100 people seeking to illegally enter NZ. The Government passed a law under urgency this week to allow them to be detained. No one has any idea where the boat is.

WTO Deadlock Grinds On - The World Trade Organisation has again failed to end the deadlock over who should be their next director-general. The camps supporting the two remaining candidates, Mike Moore and the Thai Deputy Prime Minister Supachai Panitchpakdi, remain entrenched.

Telling Left From Right - A private hospital performing operations for the public health system has replaced the wrong hip of an elderly man. The man has agreed to go back and get the right one replaced. Hospital chairman Dr Richard Fisher says it's terrible this has happened but not unusual. In the parliament wire, Labour warns the Government to get it right first time.

A Flood Of Ecstasy - The New Zealand Customs Service has in the last six weeks, seized more than 9,000 Ecstasy tablets, almost surpassing the entire amount seized at the border, over the past three years . They say Ecstasy seizures are reaching record levels. See the general wire.

Our Friend Bill? - Two weeks after he was due to deliver a reportedly harsh decision on Lamb tariffs on NZ and Australian imports - Australia's Alexander Downer - yesterday morning says the US President has ordered his officials to look at their decision again. On Radio New Zealand's Morning Report former PM and US Ambassador Jim Bolger confirmed intensive lobbying seemed to have worked. He said calls from the New Zealand and Australian PM to the president may have helped. However he was not confident the plan would be dropped. "We knows there is an awful lot of political pressure coming on - I spoke to the USTR (the US Trade Representative) today -- I think inevitably there will be some constraints on our trade." The political debate about trade and tariffs continues to rage in the parliament wire.

GE Food Trials - The Greens say a UK report confirms that NZ g-e trials are not being conducted safe. See the parliament wire.

SIDS Rate Falls - The Ministry of Health says the latest statistics report show that infant death rates continue to fall. Release in the general wire.

Balance of Payments - The latest Balance of Payments statistics show they are still volatile. Release is in the business wire. The Government comments in the Parliament wire, , while some in the Opposition say the Governent should
consider tariffs.

Quota Confusion Labour leader, Helen Clark says the Prime Minister should clear up confusion over National's policy on local content quotas for TV after Marie Hasler said they were worth considering. Helen Clark says the Nats in disarray over the issue.

Family Friendly - Shell has been crowned the most family friendly company. See the business wire.

Tyre Danger - The police are concerned as the result of a Tyre survey that they say reveals a safety problem. See the general wire.

Clear Bought Up - BT is seeking to increase to 100 per cent its shareholding in Clear Communications from 25 per cent. BT will acquire the shares of MCI Worldcom, TVNZ New Zealand and the Todd Corporation. The proposed terms are subject to regulatory approvals.

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