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TV3 News Bulletin

CANTERBURY BOUNCER AND RUGBY PLAYER ACCUSED OF BLACKMAILING RUSSELL CROWE OVER VIDEO OF A SYDNEY BAR FIGHT - Allan Gibbs Charged - Christine Rankin Back In The Dock - Whaling - Rapist Allowed Into Uk - Puffdaddy Hires Cochrane - Princess Di - Monkey Cloned - Avgas - Submarine Tourism In Milford

(Note: This bulletin is a classic and proof - if any is needed - that silly season is definitely not Over…)

CANTERBURY BOUNCER AND RUGBY PLAYER ACCUSED OF BLACKMAILING RUSSELL CROWE OVER VIDEO OF A SYDNEY BAR FIGHT: Cantabrian rugby player at center of blackmail accusations involving Actor Russell Crowe and a bar video of a bar fight in Sydney. The bar owner - Phil Cropper - sold pictures of the actor Russell Crow in a fight to the Sydney Papers for $6000. Now he has been charged with blackmail for offering them for sale - with some menace - to Crowe. Police say Cropper's cell-phone calls were monitored. Canterbury rugby player Cropper has twice been involved in incidents as a bouncer in Christchurch. Report contained text of alleged threats in one of which he allegedly told Crowe that he wouldn't want him to sell the video to CNN.

ALLAN GIBBS CHARGED: Police have decided to charge Auckland Millionaire Allan Gibbs over a jetski accident. The charge follows a collision between Gibbs and a small boat containing a woman and her daughter. They sustained leg and back injuries in the colision.

CHRISTINE RANKIN BACK IN THE DOCK: Roger Sowry says Maharey must decide whether to sack or back Christine Rankin. Maharey now wants more details of an out of court settlement paid to a woman who left WINZ over the Air Charter affair. Maharey says after learning this week about the payment he is inquiring into it. Former Minister of WINZ Roger Sowry says he did not know about the payment. Rod Donald says the payment confirms his belief WINZ boss Christine Rankin is incompetant.

WHALING: Helen Clark has condemned the way Japan dealt with Greenpeace Minke whale activists. Helen Clark says she think the way the Japanese retaliated was dangerous. The government is sending an official letter of protest.

RAPIST ALLOWED INTO UK: Rapist Mike Tyson has been given approval to enter England. Financial benefits to Britain are big enough say authorities.

PUFFDADDY HIRES COCHRANE: Rapper Puff Daddy hires Johnny Cochrane to handle criminal charges relating to a nightclub gun incident.

PRINCESS DI: Harrods Owner Al Fayed accuses Prince Phillip of retaliating over his claims that the Royal Family had Princess Di and his son Dodi killed.

MONKEY CLONED: Americans have cloned a monkey. The clone is of an early stage embryo creating an identical twin.

AVGAS: Shell has manually cleaned its tank at Wellington airport to make doubly sure it doesn't contain any contaminated avgas . The company says the precaution has proved unnecessary. In Australia the problem continues. Australian airports are threatening to sue and pilots want help and say a compensation package should be put on the table immediately by Mobil. Compensation costs in NZ are expected to be minimal.

SUBMARINE TOURISM IN MILFORD: American submarine offers a new view of Milford Sound. The six person submarine can dive to 330 metres. There are amazing corals and fish down there. Proposals very environmentally clean as is battery powered.

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