Air Fare Price Hikes – Waitangi Protocol – Child Cancer – Meningitis – Drug Billionaire – Middle East Peace – Chechnya – Chinese Boat People – AOL/Time Warner – More Cars – Anbon Violence – Millionaire In Jetski Crash – UK Mail – Mrs Blair Nabbed On Underground
AIR FARE PRICE HIKES: A price hike for Ansett customers following a price rise announced by Air New Zealand which takes effect on Monday. Air New Zealand says domestic and some international fares will be affected. Ansett says it is now reviewing its fares. Aviation writer Les Bloxham says he would be very surprised if there is no response from Ansett.
WAITANGI PROTOCOL: Maori Affairs Minister Dover Sammuels is calling for changes to Waitangi protocols to allow Helen Clark to speak on the Marae. Ngapuhi protocol says that women cannot speak or sit in the front row. Sammuels says the Iwi cannot “lock itself in the stoneage”. Kingi Tairoa however – chairman of the Marae – is defending existing protocol saying it is there to protect women.
CANCER SPECIALIST FOUND: Wellington’s Capital Coast Health has recruited one child cancer specialist and is looking for another in order to keep a Wellington child cancer clinic open. The recruited specialist will come from New York. There will be six weeks between the departure of the
MENINGITIS: The Ministry of Health is to meet with a Dutch Company that has developed a new vaccine for Meningitis’s B Strain – for which there is an epidemic in New Zealand.
DRUG BILLIONAIRE: More details are emerging about the American Billionaire who imported drugs and was let off in Otahuhu District Court. It appears the man is well known for assisting the marijuana reform movement in the US. The NZ Herald is asking the courts to overturn the suppression order today.
MIDDLE EAST PEACE: Syrian and Israeli peace negotiators have ended their meetings in Shepherdstown and will meet again in eight days time. Clinton says he is happy with progress. In Tel Aviv thousands have taken part in demonstrations against a land for peace deal.
CHECHNYA: Russia’s military says it has driven back attacks by Chechen fighters on Shali and Argun. Itarr Tass says a new attempt to seize the Argun railway station by the Chechens has now begun.
CHINESE BOAT PEOPLE: Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel has been told that it is unlikely that New Zealand will receive an influx of Chinese boat-people by an expert because it is so far. This conflicts with official advice.
AOL/TIME WARNER MERGER: The New Zealand Internet Society says the merger of AOL and Time Warner underlines the significance of the internet. A society spokesman says it will not make much difference in New Zealand.
MORE CARS: NZers imported a record number of used cars last year. Used car imports were up 30% and at 130,000 exceeded the previous annual record by 20,000. The increase has impacts for road planning says LTSA. There are now over 3 million vehicles registered in NZ.
ANBON VIOLENCE: Security forces in Anbon Indonesia have been urged to maintain a neutral position in ethnic conflicts. Indonesian President Abdurrachman Wahid has announced plans to replace the military commander and regional governor.
MILLIONAIRE JETSKI CRASH: An incident involving Kiwi multi-millionaire Allan Gibbs colliding on a jetski with a women and her daughter in a rubber dinghy is being investigated. Mr Gibbs has returned to the US where he now loves. The injured pair were treated in hospital after the crash.
UK MAIL: 14,000 parcels undelivered in time for Christmas by UK Post have now been cleared.
MRS BLAIR NABBED: UK First Lady Mrs Blair has been fined $30 for not paying for a ticket on the London Underground while on her way to court to preside as a judge. Downing St claims she did not have cash on her and the ticket kiosk was closed at Blackfriars station. The railway company denies this.