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Lombok Evacuated - Greenpeace Whaling Petition - Mortgage Rate Rises - Gisborne Cancer Inquiry - Diego Maradona In Cuba - Superstitions and No 13

LOMBOK EVACUATED: An Island near Bali has been evacuated by tourists. Christians under attack on the Island which is a tourist mecca for NZ and Australian tourists. Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff says tourists should avoid Lombok unless travel is essential. Travel Agent says that tourism to Bali is down due to the publicity.

GREENPEACE WHALING PETITION: PM Helen Clark rubbishes Japanese claims they are whaling only for scientific purposes. Clark signs a new petition demanding a Global Whaling Sanctuary. "A matter of great concern is chequebook diplomacy", the PM says. Japanese say that surplus meat is sold from the scientific whaling but that no profit is made. Peter Blake has also signed the petition.

MORTGAGE RATE RISES: Interest rate rises are expected after the Reserve Bank raises the base interest rate. The rate rise was followed two hours later by CPI figures showing that there is little evidence of inflationary pressure yet. Finance Minister Michael Cullen says he wants to discuss a few things with the Reserve Bank. Tony Alexander of the BNZ wonders whether we are experiencing non-inflationary growth like the US.

GISBORNE CANCER INQUIRY: The inquiry is contacting women who had their smears misread.

DIEGO MARADONA: Soccer Legend Diego Maradona arrives in a Havana drug rehabilitation clinic to jeers from fans who call him an "idiot". Maradona a sorry site as he slurs his way through an interview on Cuban TV. Two weeks ago he collapsed in Uruguay.

NUMBER 13: Auckland has decided not to allow people with houses named number 13 to get another number. Council says it is to help emergency services. Howick used to have lots of number changes from 4 which Asian's associate with death. New Lyn landlord with a number 666 house says he finds it hard to rent.


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