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New Zealand Herald

Prisons – Cure For Blindness – Drugs Billionaire – Malcolm Beggs – Waitangi – James Cook – Andy Haden – Mosquito Trap – BBQs and Housing – Small Fish

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PRISONS: Corrections Minister Matt Robson has frozen plans for three new prisons in Auckland and Northland. Mr Robson, a liberal on prison policy, said he was reviewing the need for more jails, despite a warning that inmate numbers could increase 50 per cent in the next 10 years.

CURE FOR BLINDNESS: A tiny camera wired into the back of the brain could give the blind the gift of sight. The makers of the device claim it has already enabled a man, blind for 26 years, to read 5cm-high letters from 1.5 metres.

DRUGS BILLIONAIRE: The judge who ordered name suppression for the billionaire American drug smuggler will consider a bid to overturn it on Thursday. Judge David Harvey said yesterday that he would hear the Herald's application in the Otahuhu District Court to overturn his ruling.

MALCOLM BEGGS: The father of Henderson man Malcolm Beggs is refusing to stay silent on the issues surrounding the death of his son, despite the Auckland coroner gagging any reporting of the details. The coroner, Mate Frankovich, acting on an application by Waitemata Health, has suppressed all details of the manner in which Mr Beggs and his flatmate, Lachlan Jones, died last August.

WAITANGI: Maori activist Titewhai Harawira will offer to escort Prime Minister Helen Clark at Waitangi Day commemorations. Mrs Harawira told the Herald yesterday that she would probably make the approach today and offer the same arrangement she had with previous Prime Minister Jenny Shipley at Waitangi last year.

JAMES COOK: A letter bearing the signature of Captain James Cook and seeking permission to make his first voyage to New Zealand sold at auction last night for $51,000. The letter was hand-written by Cook's secretary but signed by the famous navigator in July 1768. Cook first sighted New Zealand on October 7, 1769. The single-sheet manuscript is addressed to the commissioners of the British Admiralty.

ANDY HADEN: Andy Haden, the controversial former test lock, wants to be the next All Black manager. The 49-year-old Haden has talked to new All Black coach Wayne Smith and assistant Tony Gilbert who he said told him it was a good idea to apply.

MOSQUITO TRAP: A New Zealand company has refined a mosquito trap it hopes will capture markets in the United States and Asia - but first it needs mosquito-infested properties in Auckland to fine-tune the device. EnviroSafe Technologies is calling for volunteers to nominate their properties for testing the Black Mantis mosquito trap, which uses every known mosquito bait to lure the little bloodsuckers.

BBQS AND HOUSING: National reminded Labour of one of its election promises yesterday as it scoffed at the Government's idea of rewarding good state housing tenants with barbecues. Housing Minister Mark Gosche said on Sunday that he was looking at rewarding tenants who looked after their homes properly.

SMALL FISH: A tiny East Coast community pushing for a two-mile trawler exclusion zone has stepped up its battle after hundreds of dead baby fish were dumped close to shore at the weekend. Residents of Te Kaha, 66km northeast of Opotiki, first signed a petition calling for the exclusion zone five years ago.

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