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South Pacific Assassination - RNZ is reporting this morning that the PM of Samoa says the police are following two definite leads in the search for the murderer of the apparently assassinated Public Works Minister. Western Samoa's Minister of Public Works, Luagalau Levaula Kamu was shot in the head while talking outside a ball on a cell-phone yesterday. Today RNZ reports Samoa's PM says the murderer probably had a personal motive. Yesterday Acting Foreign Minister Simon Upton said he was distressed to hear of the murder. See…Distress At Murder Of Samoan Cabinet Minister in the Parliament wire.

JFK Junior Missing - America is pulling out all the stops to find JFK Junior his wife and her sister who apparently crashed into the sea off the coast of Martha's Vineyard at the weekend. JFK Junior was the pilot of the Piper Saratoga. A full scale search for JFK Junior and the plane wreck is continuing but there has been no more debris found from the plane. A suitcase and pill bottle were found yesterday. Police have appealed to sightseers to look on the beach for debris. A shrine has appeared outside the Kennedy house in Manhattan. Divers are on standby ready to search but the Coastguard has not yet found the plane. See also.. Disappearance of Airplane Carrying JFK Junior in the General wire.

Winston's Wish List - In a speech to party faithful in Auckland yesterday New Zealand First leader Winston Peters outlined what NZ First would do if it were government. See.. NZ First Leader's Conference Speech in the Parliament wire.

Shutting The Door After The Maize Has Bolted - A public hearing is about to be held on growing genetically engineered maize at Pukekohe a year after genetically engineered seeds were exported from the site. See..Jeanette Reveals BT Maize Seeds Were Exported in the Parliament wire. Meanwhile a couple of public meetings are scheduled on the subject in Wellington. See..Gene Crops and Foods, Lunchtime Public Forums in the Science wire.

More WINZ Fallout - The Green Party is calling for a wide-ranging inquiry into the financial and management practices of Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ). See.. Wide Ranging Inquiry Of WINZ Needed Say Greens in the Parliament wire. Meanwhile also in the Parliament wire Labour social welfare spokesperson Steve Maharey says the $1.3 million being spent on advertisements by Work and Income NZ would be far better spent on practical job creation programmes for the unemployed. See…Winz lavishes $1.3 million on 'Api' ads.

A New Young Mother Friendly ACT - ACT Leader Richard Prebble yesterday signalled a major investment by his party in social spending. Speaking to delegates at the ACT Auckland regional conference, Mr Prebble said young women on the DPB should receive a range of state funded support. See.. ACT signals more social spending in the Parliament wire.

The Rules Of War - Amnesty International is appalled by a 10 minute meeting of High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions, convened today in Geneva, which failed to consider enforcement measures to ensure that Israel respect its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention. See.. Geneva Convention :An Abdication Of Responsibility in the General wire.

Greenpeace Injuncted Over Plutonium Shipments - Caribbean states and the New Zealand Government have already expressed formal opposition to a plutonium shipment, the first commercial plutonium fuel shipment to Japan and some 50 nations have objected to previous nuclear transports. See.. Injunction Against Greenpeace Over Plutonium in the General wire.

Human Wrongs Act - "If a principled government was to amend the Human Rights Act," ;says Libertarianz Spokesman Cass Hewitt-Reid, "they should begin by renaming it the Human Wrongs Act, and end by gutting it!" See.. Human Rights Act Enshrines Wrong Rights in the Politics wire.

GPs And Paper Shuffling - "Doctors, already complaining of stress and not enough time for the actual treatment of patients, are now being overwhelmed by more demands for bureaucratic paper shuffling," says Joy Faulkner, Libertarianz Spokesman on Tobacco and Alcohol Deregulation. See.. Doctors Stressed Out By Lifestyle Paperwork in the Politics wire.

Clinton On Northern Ireland - "I share the regret that the people of Ireland and Northern Ireland feel at the setback in the peace process. They have voted overwhelmingly for peace. They want a permanent end to violence and to the potential for violence." See.. President Clinton On Peace Process In Ireland in the General wire.

Cuba Remains In The State Department Dog Box - Yesterday marked the second anniversary of the Cuban government's arrest of the four leaders of the Dissident Working Group and the State Department is keen to remind everybody. See.. State Department: Albright On Cuba in the General wire.

NZ Post's South African Coup - New Zealand Post International Limited (NZPIL) has won the strategic management partnership contract for the South African Post Office (SAPO). The multi-million-dollar SAPO contract is the largest postal contract ever tendered internationally and has been subject to an intensive bid and evaluation process run by the South African Government since July 1998. The SAPO contract will run for three years. See.. NZPIL Wins South African Post Office Contract in the Business wire.

NZ Inc Versus Japan Inc - The Government has informed Japan of the legal steps it has decided to pursue in the dispute over Japan's unilateral experimental fishing programme for southern bluefin tuna. See NZ begins its legal action against Japan in the parliament wire.

Travel Spending - WINZ spending of $165,000 to get 140 managers to a meeting in Taupo on chartered jets that couldn't normlly land at the airport means a Minister calls for full inquiry. See the Parliament wire.

Jamie Shea Talks To Wellington - On Thursday night NATO spokesperson Jamie Shea spoke to Western Pacific journalists via video link and answered questions on Kosovo now and the war in the Balkans. Scoop has the whole transcript. See... TRANSCRIPT: Jamie Shea Talks To The West Pacific in the General wire.

IRD Figures False - Finance Minister Sir Bill Birch Friday said figures provided to him by the IRD were incorrect. Birch said that instead of paying consultants $687 per hour, the IRD in fact payed them $280 per hour. Bill Birch will be seeking an explanation from the IRD as to why incorrect figures were provided to him. See... IRD Corrects Figures On Consultancy Hours in the Parliament wire.

Petrol Price Hike - Last weeks three cent per litre price hike on petrol and diesel looks set to increase again as oil companies pass on skyrocketing prices of crude oil. BP and Shell made the first increase which has now been followed by the rest of the major companies. North Island prices are now 87.9 cents per litre for 96 octane and 82.9 cents for 91 octane. The increase is the largest single rise in 10 years and will cost consumers around $90 million per year.

Asset Sale On-Hold In the Parliament wire, the Government says it has deferred until after the election the sale of the Met Service.

Timberlands And The Woodchip Debate - Scoop gathers some of the comments on the debate that continues to rage over the possibility of the State Owned Enterprise Timberlands beginning to log native beech forests for woodchips. Forest And Bird and Native Forest Action have led the charge and today Forest And Bird issued a challenge to Timberlands. See… Timberlands Challenged to Support Woodchip And Log Ban in the General wire. Native Forest Action have accused the government of using PR to fudge the issues, see… Government Spin Obscures Chipping Native Forests, and also warn that the government is buying an Election Year Fight Over Chipping Beech Forests. The Green Party says National's decision to allow native wood chip exports is driven by the need to rescue Timberlands West Coast and prepare it for sale. See… Wood chip ban lifted to rescue Timberlands in the Parliament wire. Also in the Parliament wire the Labour Party say Timberlands West Coast Ltd must be heaving a huge sigh of relief and that soon Timberland beeches will be wood chips.

The New Zealand Rich List - The National Business Review today published their annual rich list. Brothers Tim and Nick Wood who founded Ihug have jumped into the list with an estimated wealth of $75 million. Others, in order of wealth include: Doug Myers with $525 million, Merchant Bankers Sir Michael Faye and David Richwhite share second spot with Stephen Tindall of the Warehouse with $310 million each. Next come investor Alan Gibbs with $260 million, investor John Spencer with $230 million, car dealer Colin Giltrap with $210 million and investor Graeme Hart with $200 million. The Maori Queen also made the list with an estimated wealth of $9 million. See… A Summary Of The National Business Review's 1999 Rich List in the Headlines wire.

Reforming Milk - The long debated changes have gone before the House. John Luxton's speech is in the Parliament wire. ACT says farmers won't be rushed through submissions, while Farmers say the time frame will be very tight as a special select committee considers the proposals in a short time. The Alliance says the end result could be the dairy industry potentially headed for overseas ownership. . ACT gives the legislation cautious support. While Peter Dunne says producers must have their say. While Labour says it wants more dairy reform consultation. See the parliament wire.

Police Evict Rent Striker - In the Auckland wire, there is extensive coverage of the eviction of a HNZ tenant.

Human Rights The House has debated a new human rights Bill, that the Minister says offers a compromise

Industry Policy - In the parliament wire, there are details on the Labour party's industrial training policy.

On The Edge Admire him or wonder about him, Kevin Roberts is always worth a read. In the general wire, he talks about "The New Zealand Edge".

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