Today's latest Scoops plus a Scoop bonanza of news views and ideas from the weekend including Lava, City Voice, Hard News, And Irish Eyes.
EARTHQUAKE - 6.3
No Damage Reported Yet - Felt
EARTHQUAKE STATS: NZ Standard Time: 1999 Oct 26 9:32 a.m. Latitude, Longitude: 38.69°S 176.03°E Focal Depth: 164 km Richter Magnitude: 6.3 - 5km west-north-west of Taupo - Felt widely throughout the North Island and as far south as Christchurch. image - http://img.scoop.co.nz/stories/images/9910/78135faaeac32f854309.gif - Source IGNS
Irish Eyes: News From A Hot Country
- Irish Eyes has learnt, through being especially vigilant in examining places capitalism has yet to reach, that if Australians vote to become a republic in their upcoming referendum on the matter the government will move to secure a $US12 billion two-year sponsorship deal with an as yet unnamed corporate logo. See… Irish Eyes: News From A Hot Country  in the Headlines wire.
A Great Myth Debunked?
- The first crack in the US government's version of the May 7 bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade came from an agency of the US government. Now, five months later, the official story has crumbled almost entirely -- but you'd never know it from the US media... See... Reports U.S. Deliberately Bombed Chinese Embassy  in the Headlines wire.
Hard News From Melbourne
- GOOD DAY MEDIAPHILES ... so anyway, there I was in Melbourne when Jeff Kennett got rolled. Did you know I was there at either end of Auckland's great Ranfurly Shield run, too? See... HARD NEWS - Exposing the Soft White Underpants  in the Headlines wire.
Up In Smoke
If you live in America, your Government will launch prime-time bombing attacks on remote countries to distract you from domestic issues. If you live in New Zealand, the diversions are staged closer to home and this election year, it's a phony war on drugs. Chris Fowlie, spokesperson for the New Zealand branch of international drug law reform movement NORML, reports from the front line. See… Up In Smoke  in the Auckland wire.
What Is Peter Jackson Doing With This Tree?
- Responding to the hints of a couple of US Lord of The Rings websites, Scoop earlier this week informed its star Hobbit paparazzi of a reported sighting of Gandalf’s exploding tree in Upper Hutt. This morning a package arrived back in the mail, and Scoop can reveal today that the information was correct. An Upper Hutt Park is indeed the site of magical goings on. See… Scoop Images: Gandalf’s Two Exploding Trees  . SEE ALSO…SCOOP’S WORLD EXCLUSIVE PICS OF BREE.. See... OneRing.Net - That Photo a Fake?  and Scoop Images: Mirror Snaps Bilbo’s House  , both in the headlines wire. Scoop notes that if it is a hoax then Scoop’s photos of Bree are still the first and only genuine pictures of a Lord of the Rings scene. See… BREE AT FIRST LIGHT  and... Scoop Images: Bree Is Spooky At Night. 
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Final Warning: Electoral Roll Closes Tomorrow
- The electoral roll for this year’s general election and citizens initiated referenda closes for printing tomorrow, Wednesday 27 October. See… Final Reminder - Electoral Roll Closes Tomorrow  in the General wire.
The Greens and the Coromandel – Major Movements, Major Implications
- With the Greens launching their election campaign last weekend Labour has slowly started to hint that Labour supporters in the Coromandel should support Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons. This move has major implications. Jonathan Hill writes. See… The Greens & the Coromandel: Labour Begin To Move  in the Headlines wire. More reaction lower down this page.
Crown and IBM Settle Out Of Court Over INCIS
- The Crown and IBM jointly announced today that the Crown has accepted an offer by IBM to withdraw its $75 million damages claim against the Crown and pay the Crown $25 million to settle the INCIS dispute. For the rest of the details see… Crown and IBM Announce Settlement of INCIS Claims  . The INCIS settlement between the Crown and IBM now permitted publication, for the first time, of a transparent account of the costs of the project in relation to the benefits achieved by Police, Finance Minister Sir William Birch said. See… Settlement Cuts Incis Cost To $82.5 Million  in the Parliament wire. Labour’s police spokesperson George Hawkins says the focus must now turn to providing the police with a computer system that will meet their current and future requirements. See… Police computer needs now the focus  in the Politics wire.
Labour Launch Employment Policy
- Making sure New Zealanders have the skills and opportunities they need to get work and stay employable is the goal of Labour's employment policy, says employment spokesperson Steve Maharey. See… Building employability for life  in the Parliament wire. Labour’s industrial relations spokesperson Pete Hodgson says anyone who opposes an increase to the adult minimum wage should try living on it. See… $7 enough? Try living on it  in the Parliament wire.
Quake Shakes New Zealand
- Much of New Zealand has this morning been shaken by an earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter Scale. See… Quake Shakes Much Of New Zealand  in the Headlines wire.
Alliance Promising West Coast 1200 New Jobs
- The Alliance Party is promising, within three years, as many as twelve hundred more sustainable, new jobs for the embattled West Coast of the South Island. Scoop's West Coast correspondent, John Howard, reports. See… Alliance Promise 1200 West Coast Jobs  in the Headlines wire.
Dunne Proposes Overseas Doctors For Areas With Shortages
- United New Zealand leader, Hon Peter Dunne, is calling for a new temporary registration scheme for overseas doctors prepared to work in areas where there are doctor shortages. See… Overseas Doctors In Shortage Areas Scheme Proposed  in the Parliament wire.
WINZ ‘Homeboy’ Flying Mauri Pacific Flag
- Canons Creek Homeboy, Api Malu, will fly the flag for Mauri Pacific in the Mana electorate at this year's election. See… Homeboy Flies The Flag For Mana  in the Parliament wire.
California Students Winning International Human Rights Struggle
- In a move which should make government's around the world blush with embarrassment, young law students at the University of California are taking on international human rights struggles and winning. John Howard reports. See… California Students Winning Human Rights Struggle  in the Headlines wire.
City Voice On The Election Campaign
– Will Winston Peters be queenmaker after the election? As three years ago, the leader of NZ First is vehemently refusing to disclose his preferred coalition partner. See… City Voice: Does Labour have a choice?  . Kiwis must not “pretend that the Treaty [of Waitangi] is the foundation of NZ” says Act's Rongotai candidate, Stephen Franks. See… City Voice: Treaty "not our foundation"  . City Voice: Petition to cut jobless  . All in the Headlines wire.
Race In Coromandel Heating Up - Labour Make Key Concession
- The Green Party say they are buoyed by a poll on Sunday showing co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons in a neck-and-neck race for the Coromandel seat with National with the potential for a significant increase in votes. See… Greens' Coromandel confidence buoyed by poll  . Meanwhile in a highly significant development Labour leader Helen Clark this weekend has said she will consider an accomodation in the seat, telling Labour voters their candidate vote would be best cast for Ms Fitzsimons. The Greens says ACT's withdrawal from the seat leaves National no other support to draw upon and that National is running scared. See… ACT withdraws from Coromandel to prop up National  . ACT Campaign Director Nick Stravs is siding with party president Roger Douglas, saying ACT has not yet selected a candidate for the Coromandel seat and has until nomination day to make that decision. See… Greens Wishful Thinking In Coromandel  . This is despite claims from an ACT party member that they are not going to have a candidate on the ballot. All in the Parliament wire with more reaction.
Booker Prize Winner Announced
- J.M. Coetzee has been named as winner of The 1999 Booker Prize, Britain's top fiction award, for 'DISGRACE', published by Secker & Warburg. It is a double celebration for J.M. Coetzee who is the first author to win the prestigious award twice in its 31-year history. 'Life & Times of Michael K' (Secker & Warburg) won 16 years ago in 1983. The only other South African author to have won is Nadine Gordimer with 'The Conservationist' in 1974. See... (website www.bookerprize.co.uk)
Television To Blame For Public’s Dislike of Public Servants
- Elected officials and public servants rather than businessmen are still seen as the "least likeable" occupational group in US prime time entertainment programming. And guess what - it's TV's fault. John Howard reports. See… Television To Blame For Dislike of Public Servants  in the Headlines wire.
Labour Day Disagreements
– “It is a sad irony that as we celebrate tomorrow the centenary of the eight hour day, it has already become an anachronism for many New Zealanders,” Labour employment relations spokesperson Pete Hodgson said. See… 8-hour day already a memory under ECA  . Hodgson also says Labour's minimum code and occupational safety and health policies are designed to strengthen the protections available to workers and to reverse some of the worst ravages of the last nine years. See… Workers' package for Labour Day  . However Treasurer Bill English said Labour's Labour Day package for workers was a cruel irony because it would not help create one new job. See… Cruel irony in Labour's Labour Day package  . All in the Parliament wire.
All Blacks Unspectacular Against Scots
- The All Blacks are through to the semi-finals against France after a comfortable but unspectacular win over a spirited Scotland side 30 – 18 at Murrayfield last weekend(NZT). See… All Blacks Victory Over Scots Unspectacular  in the Headlines wire.
UN Talking Timor
- The Security Council in the UN has dropped a reference to an inquiry into abuses of human rights from its draft resolution to set up a UN administration in East Timor. John Howard reports. See... Diplomatic Manoeuvres Over Timor Draft Resolution  in the Headlines wire.
A Disappointing Week For Mother Earth
- Canada's international environmental standing has taken a beating, France has been accused of feeding sewage to animals, the United Arab Emirates has introduced the death penalty for importing banned nuclear wastes while Australia wants the stuff, and NZ has approved GE maize tests for France. John Howard reports... See... Environmental Liberty, Equality and Hypocris  in the Headlines wire.
Alliance Sports Policy Slammed by ACT Candidate, Dick Quax
- The Alliance's Sports policy has today come under fire from Olympic medallist and ACT candidate Dick Quax who says the party's idea to set up sports academies in remote parts of the country is “bizarre beyond belief.” See… Top Sportsman Slams Alliance Sports Policy  in the Politics wire.
National Ignored Victims For Nine Years – Rape Crisis
- Rape Crisis have criticised National’s direction on Justice for being ineffective and ignoring the needs of victims for nine years. See… Rape Crisis - National ignored victims for 9 yrs  in the Politics wire.
Govt Responsible For STD Timebomb – King
- Labour health spokesperson Annette King says the National Government is responsible for a 'sexually transmitted disease timebomb'. See… Sexual health neglect by the Govt.  in the Parliament wire.
Rogue Russian Troops May Be Behind Market Massacre in Grozny
- Salvos of rockets have slammed into a crowded open air market and other parts of the Chechen capital of Grozny, killing at least 118 people and critically injuring up to a 400. The Russian Defence Ministry is denying responsibility. Rogue troops may be responsible. John Howard reports. See… Rogue Russian Troops May Be Behind Grozny Massacre  in the Headlines wire.
Election 1999: Humour Enters Campaign At The Half Way Stage
- As the official Halloween campaign launch days - for both Labour and National - approach, polls show a tightening gap between the two major parties. And finally, as we pass the half way mark of the campaign, some much needed humour (intentional or otherwise) enters the campaign. Jonathan Hill writes. See… Election 1999: Much Needed Humour Enters Campaign  in the Headlines wire.
Bomber to Host Youth Election Coverage/Forums
- ‘Bomber’, aka Martyn Bradbury, has agreed to present the ‘Whittaker’s Good Honest Election Campaign Report, on youth radio station Channel Z between 9pm-10.30pm from Sunday 24 October through to Sunday 21 November as part of an effort to get young people interested in the election. See… Whittaker’s ‘Good Honest Political Reporter’  in the General wire.
Welfare, Extortion and the Treaty – ACT
- ACT chairman Sir Roger Douglas and ACT Rongotai candidate Stephen Franks will be arguing that 'New Zealand is in serious trouble and it's time to do something about it.' in Seatoun this Tuesday night. See… Welfare, Extortion and the Treaty  in the Parliament wire.
When Ageing Is Just a Matter of Taste
- Remember when food tasted and smelled really exciting? If the aroma of fresh baking, the flavour of fruit, all seem a bit dull these days it's probably a sign of ageing - you, not the food. See… When ageing is just a matter of taste...  in the General wire.
Bradord / Students At Loggerheads Again
- Government-funded tertiary student enrolments are up 7% in the year to August, Tertiary Education Minister Bradford announced. See… Govt-Funded Student Enrolments/Funding Up  in the Parliament wire. However both national students associations say he is completely wrong. See… Minister Fiddles With Stats While Education Burns  in the Education wire.
NBR / TV3 Polls Shows Main Parties Falling
- The latest Poll in the National Business Review Compaq Poll puts Labour on 36 per cent, down four points, This would give Labour 46-48 seats. National is on 32 per cent giving them 41-43 seats. The Alliance is on seven per cent, Act on eight, the Greens on 3.6 per cent and NZ First a crucial seven per cent - or nine seats. In this poll NZ First holds a clear balance of power. The TV3 CM Research Poll puts Labour on 37 per cent and National on 33 per cent – both down three. NZ First is on six, Alliance seven, ACT on nine and the Greens 2.5. NZ First still in the box seat.
ANZFA Meeting Must Vote Yes To Full Labelling
- Australian and New Zealand health ministers, including state government ministers, must today give a definite ‘yes’ to a meaningful labelling regime for genetically engineered food at Friday's ANZFA meeting, the Green Party says. See… ANZFA Must Agree To GE Labelling Today - Greens  . Phillida Bunkle says if ANZFA back-track she has legislation ready to go immediately. See… GE Legislation Ready To Go  . Both in the Parliament wire. Bunkle also says claims that labelling would cost $3 billion are rubbish. See… Labelling costs lack credibility  in the Parliament wire.
Aussie PM Trying To Bully NZ Over GE Food Labelling
- New Zealand must not allow itself to be bullied by Australian Prime Minister John Howard over labelling genetically engineered food, the Green Party say. See… Aussie PM trying to scuttle GE food labelling  in the Parliament wire.
City Voice: In Search Of Full Employment
- Unemployment is again the number one issue for voters in this election, says a NZ Herald DigiPoll. Simon Collins of Wellington’s City Voice reports. See… City Voice: In search of full employment  in the Headlines wire.
Pentagon Moves To Ban ATM Transactions
- The Pentagon wants to ban ATM bank charges on all military bases in the US and around the world. The move has delighted politicians and consumer watchdog groups. John Howard reports. See… ATM Users Fight Back With Pentagon’s Help  in the Parliament wire.
Local Content Survey Underway
- A survey to find out people’s views and ideas on how to raise the level of local content in broadcasting has just been released by Hon Marie Hasler, the Minister for Culture and Heritage. See… Local content survey under way  in the Parliament wire.
Irish Retailers Threatened Over Kiwi Lamb
- Supermarket group Iceland is the first to crumble under pressure from militant Irish sheep farmers, agreeing to remove New Zealand lamb from its stores in Ireland and replacing it with Irish lamb. See… Irish retailers threatened over New Zealand lamb  in the Headlines wire.
the author of Scoop's latest column,On The Left, is a third year student at: the University of Auckland  studying economics, politics and geography. After a few years of involvement in student politics (for example the Auckland University Students' Association  ,) he moved on to greener pastures by joining the Labour Party  . Since then he has continued to argue with people, generally provoke debate and occasionally annoy people no end. Here, he offers a "bit of a hello" and sticks it to Winston Peters. The Scoop team welcomes Jordan to our weekly columnist fold. See Jordan Carter's first column:On The Left  in the Auckland wire.
World Vision Aid Helps Clean Up Dili:
Scoop, In co-operation with World Vision NZ, brings you the latest report from our correspondent in East Timor, James Addis. In amongst the burned out rubble-strewn streets of Dili, a team of local labourers - men and women - slowly, but diligently clear up the mess. See… World Vision Aid Helps Clean Up Dili...  in the Auckland wire. AND Scroll down for the World Vision Special Feature below...