Tetraplegic Cannabis User Granted Early Release - Liquor Bill Receives Special Treatment - International Group To Oppose Genetic Engineering - Scoop Ratings - Native Forest Protection Deal - More Trouble For Telecom - Poll Shocker - Trends Changing? - F-16 Deal Confirmed and much much more.
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Tetraplegic Cannabis User Granted Early Release
- Danuiel Clark, the tetraplegic jailed for medicinal use of cannabis, was released from jail at 7.30 this morning. Clark served 11 out of his sentenced 21 days in prison. Clark was picked up from prison by his spokesperson Nandor Tanczos, the Green Party candidate for Auckland Central. See…Tetraplegic Cannabis User Freed Today  . For earlier coverage of the story see NZ Story Has Mirror Image In Britain  and Tetraplegic Jailed For Medicinal Cannabis  all in the Headlines wire.
Liquor Bill Receives Special Treatment
- Parliament is expected to go into urgency this evening in order to work through the most hotly debated piece of legislation of this Parliament. To deal with the 'consience' type issues that are raised by the Sale of Liquor Amendment Bill. See… The House: Liquor Bill Receives Special Treatment  in the Headlines wire. Meanwhile the New Zealand Medical Association are urging MPs to reject lowering the drinking age. See… MPs Should Not Lower Drinking Age - NZMA  in the General wire. Meanwhile Arts Minister Marie Hasler says she Arts supports 18-year olds and RSA Clubs  in the Parliament wire.
International Group To Oppose Genetic Engineering
- A transtasman coalition between Australian and New Zealand groups is being launched to oppose genetically engineered food at lunch time today. The group consists of the Australian and New Zealand Greens, the Alliance, the Safe Food Campaign, RAGE and other lobby groups. See… Transtasman G-E Coalition Starts Today  in the Parliament wire.
– Yesterday’s top three rating stories and press releases on the Scoop site were. Stories: ONE: Soapbox: Writes Of Passage  TWO: PM Annoyed By Spending Allegations  THREE: NZ Story Has Mirror Image In Britain  Press-Releases: ONE: The con deconstructed  TWO: SIS Bill - Govt To Shaft Us In Time For APEC  . THREE: PM called on to investigate department  . For more detail see… Scoop Today - Top Three  in the Headlines wire.
 - http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL9907/S00102.htm
 - http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL9907/S00106.htm
 - http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL9907/S00104.htm
 - http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA9907/S00465.htm
 - http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO9907/S00059.htm
 - http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA9907/S00466.htm
 - http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL9907/S00108.htm
Native Forest Protection Deal
- Conservation Minister Nick Smith this morning signed a Heads of Agreement with the Rakiura Maori Land Trust Chairman, Mr Graham Lloyd, that will ensure the permanent protection of 3661 ha of virgin indigenous forest surrounding the Lord's River on Stewart Island. See… Conservation Deal Sees Protection Of Native Forest  in the Parliament wire. Chairman of the Rakiura Maori Land Trust Graham Lloyd today welcomed the deal, saying it was a deal owners could consider. See… Maori Land Trustees Sign Compo Deal with Govt. General wire.
Nats Housing Record Condemned
- The National Government has to be condemned for its lack of commitment to providing New Zealanders with healthy and affordable housing, Labour housing spokesperson Graham Kelly said today. See.. Kelly seeks urgent meeting with Housing NZ  in the Parliament wire.
The Consumer’s Champion Vascillates
- Negotiations are continuing between New Zealand First and the Government over legislation to control power charges. See.. No Decision Yet On Electricity Charges - NZ First  in the Parliament wire. In the same wire Winston Peters addresses the Recreational Fishing Council, see.. Peters Speech - Recreational Fishing  .
Cell Phones Are Not Dangerous Say Boffins
- The Associate Minister of Health, Hon Tuariki Delamere, and the Minister for the Environment, Hon Simon Upton, today released a draft guideline for managing the effects of radiofrequency transmitters. See.. Guidelines on Radiofrequency Transmitters  in the Parliament wire.
- ACT Leader Richard Prebble says a current affairs programme which broadcast Mongrel Mob threats against an Invercargill family shows things which are seriously wrong in New Zealand. See.. Gang Terrorism Completely Unacceptable - Prebble  in the Parliament wire.
Age Concern On Super
- "Age Concern calls on all political parties to take heed that 89% of people polled by the Super2000 Taskforce want political agreement on NZ Superannuation," says Dr Margaret Guthrie, Age Concern National President. See.. Politicians should listen to the Super 2000 Poll  in the Politics wire.
Drug Education Needed - ALCP
- In the wake of the school trustees conference in Christchurch, Cannabis Party advocates said most drug-educators appear to have their heads in the sand and should start taking notice of the “harm reduction” evidence of the 1998 Parliamentary Inquiry into Cannabis. A Recent Auckland University drug survey has confirmed the ALCP's belief that PROHIBITION DOESN'T WORK - Marijuana uptake was rising despite costly ; invasive "zero tolerance" measures; tobacco and youth is also on the increase, and everyone knows about the "binge drinking trend", said policy analyst Kevin O'Connell. See.. ALCP Say Drugs Educators Need "Educating"  in the Politics wire.
More Trouble For Telecom
- Laila Harre is calling for Telecom’s 0867 proposal to be immediately dropped. The Alliance say the proposal to charge for local calls to the internet breaches the Kiwishare. See… Telecom's internet grab breeches Kiwi share  in the Parliament wire.
Poll Shocker - Trends Changing?
- A TV3 CM Research poll has found that National has 37 per cent of the party vote, up four; Labour has 38, down eight; The Alliance has eight per cent, up one, ACT has 6 percent, also up one, New Zealand First has 4.7 per cent, up 0.7, and the Green Party 1.5 per cent up 0.5 per cent. Assuming NZ First won an electorate seat, this would give them six seats in the House and the balance of power again. Clark is the preferred Prime Minister on 19, Shipley on 18 and Bill English on four. The poll is substantially out of line with most recent polls published in other media.
F-16 Deal Confirmed
- Cabinet has given final approval to the proposal to lease 28 F-16 fighter aircraft from the United States, Defence Minister Max Bradford announced today. In the Parliament wire you can see the media release advising of this decision, a question and answer on the new jets and a comprehensive run down on all new military purchases. See… New Defence Purchases Put Government Back On Track  . Labour Leader Helen Clark called on the Prime Minister and her Cabinet colleagues to rein in Max Bradford's excessive defence spending. See… Time to rein in Max on defence  in the Parliament wire.
Security Guard Shot In Mall
- A major police manhunt is underway after a security guard has been shot during a robbery at a west Auckland mall. Police and the armed offenders squad are looking for a man who shot an Armourguard security guard. The shooting occurred at the Waitakere Plaza in Henderson just after midday. See… Manhunt - Security Guard Shot  in the Auckland wire.
More Petrol Hikes
- Shell is increasing the wholesale price of petrol across all grades by another three cents from midnight tomorrow night (Tuesday 27 July). Shell say the last increase was not enough to cover skyrocketing crude oil prices. Other companies are likely to follow suit. See… Shell Petrol To Rise Another Three Cents Per Litre  in the Business wire.
Women's Refuge Annual Appeal Launch
- At todays launch of the annual appeal Minister of Women's Affairs, Georgina Te Heuheu outlined the work her government had undertaken in crime and violence prevention. See… "Calling All Good Men"  in the Parliament wire. However, Labour women's affairs spokesperson Dianne Yates said the government must do more than talk about proper individual behaviour and must adequately fund women's refuges. See… Anger at lack of funding for Womens Refuge  , also in the Parliament wire.
PM's Views On WINZ Row
- Prime Minister Jenny Shipley told National Radio she was "very annoyed" by the allegations of excessive expenditure from government departments this morning and that she was looking forward to an explanation later this week. See..PM Annoyed By Spending Allegations  in the Headlines wire.
Labour's Education Policy For Schools
- Labour launched their education policy for schools today. The focus is on lifting quality and standards, closing gaps and upgrading schools. See Lifting standards and closing the gaps  in the Parliament wire. However Education Minister Nick Smith has slammed the announcement as a vague non-policy that avoids any of the real questions on policy. See… Clayton's School Policy Asks More Than Answers  also in the Parliament wire. ACT Education and Spokesperson Donna Awatere Huata has also strongly attacked the policy. See… Labour Plans To Drag Schools Back To The Seventies  in the Parliament wire.
Imports Continue To Rise Strongly
- The value of merchandise imports continues to show strong growth according to Statistics New Zealand figures released today. The imports trend has been rising each month for two years. See... Overseas Merchandise Trade (imports) - June 1999  in the Business wire.
- The latest version of the Security Intelligence Service (Number Two) Bill, which is expected to be debated and passed in Parliament this week, has not impressed the victim of an SIS break in. See… SIS Bill - Govt To Shaft Us In Time For APEC  in the Politics wire.
- The PM announces a roving agricultural Trade Ambassador  . See the Parliament wire.