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National Radio Midday Report

Cocaine Bust – Peter Ellis ACC Peace Accord – WINZ Board – Petrol Prices – IRA Arms - New Headmaster – Legal Aid – Crash Investigation – Austria Voters – Intellectual Property

COCAINE BUST: Arrests may be made in New Zealand in connection with Australasia’s biggest cocaine bust say New Zealand police who have been working closely with their Australian counterparts. Police are trying to establish whether the 500 kilograms of cocaine seized in Australia was ever in this country.

PETER ELLIS: The spokesperson for convicted child molester Peter Ellis says his release today was an emotional experience. Ellis is having a reunion with his family before a media conference this afternoon. Ellis is set to further fight for his six and a half year conviction to be overturned. Justice Minister Phil Goff says he asking for advice from legal experts on whether a Commission of Inquiry into the incident would be appropriate.

ACC PEACE ACCORD: ACC Minister Michael Cullen has been extended an olive branch from the Insurance Council after it angered the minister by leaking a critical report in support of ACC and by claiming other Government ministers were wavering in their support for the changes.

WINZ BOARD: Work and Income New Zealand Minster Steve Maharey has ordered boss Christine Rankin to scrap a board of private sector representatives advising the department saying their existence could be in conflict with the strategic direction he sets for WINZ.

PETROL PRICES: Petrol company Caltex has moved today putting up petrol prices after BP raised its petrol prices three cents on midnight. Meanwhile Shell, Caltex and Mobil are in court and risking five million dollar fines for an alleged petrol price fixing incident in 1996.

IRA ARMS: No weapons have yet been handed in by the IRA after a disarmament agreement was reached last year angering Ulster Unionists.

NEW HEADMASTER: The new chief executive of the New Zealand Correspondence School says he realizes he has a tough job after a series of critical Education Review Authority reports.

LEGAL AID: Legal aid grants have dropped lower than expected, three million dollars less than the amount budgeted for.

CRASH INVESTIGATION: Education safety experts in the United States have launched an investigation into the Alaska airlines crash that is believed to have killed all 88 people on board.

AUSTRIA VOTERS: Austria’s voters have elected a new far right coalition into government

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY: Lion Breweries lawyers are pursuing an intellectual property rights case in the international court in Geneva after a New Zealand farmer registered the Steinlager brand name on the internet.

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