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Prada x2– Waitangi x2– Boy Dies – Brian Edwards – Crayfish Bust – Viaduct Basin – Weymouth Suspension – Drinking Mayhem – Republicanism – Bush Tucker Kills – Editorial: Americas Cup

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PRADA: Life is beautiful right now for Prada, the Italians who took America out of the America's Cup. But their next step - to take the cup out of New Zealand - promises a monumental showdown starting in 12 days. Italy gave the Americans the boot on the Hauraki Gulf yesterday - for the first time in the 150-year history of the world's oldest sporting trophy.

PRADA: Prada boss Patrizio Bertelli arrived at his syndicate base tired and angry early yesterday. He had been kept awake until 3 am by music blaring from the base of his opponents, AmericaOne, and he wanted revenge.

WAITANGI: The Prime Minister remains adamant she will not return to Waitangi in the foreseeable future despite the Governor-General, Sir Michael Hardie Boys, and other prominent figures gently prodding her to think again. After enjoying a trouble-free Waitangi Day as a guest of Ngai Tahu at a marae near Akaroa on Banks Peninsula, Helen Clark said it could be "quite some years" before she went back to the Far North for treaty commemorations.

WAITANGI: Helen Clark used her hanky to wipe away traces of emotion near the end of her Waitangi Day visit to Onuku Marae, edging Akaroa Harbour on Banks Peninsula. But this was nothing like the bruising, tearful visit to Waitangi two years earlier when she was Opposition leader.

BOY DIES: Young Ben Hills drove his mother, Jane, to hell and back with his wild tantrums and uncontrollable behaviour. Yet he was still her "darling boy" and when she found him dead in his bed in their tired Mt Eden villa yesterday morning, she fell to pieces.

BRIAN EDWARDS: Brian Edwards could soon be back hosting Radio New Zealand's top-rating Top o' The Morning show. Radio New Zealand chief executive Sharon Crosbie is writing to Edwards today to resume discussions with her biggest weekend star.

CRAYFISH BUST: The inflatable America's Cup police patrol boats have helped fisheries officers to uncover a large-scale poaching ring plundering crayfish around Great Barrier Island. Three of the high-speed rigid-hull boats scoured the bays around the Hauraki Gulf island as officers seized almost three-quarters of the crayfish pots lifted and inspected because they were illegal.

VIADUCT BASIN: The future of the Viaduct Harbour as a home to America's Cup racing yachts is under threat. While thousands of fans mobbed the harbour to cheer home Louis Vuitton Cup victors Prada last night, it appears that the village will have a very different look even if Team New Zealand retains the cup.

WEYMOUTH SUSPENSION: A former prison officer running a once trouble-plagued South Auckland social welfare home has been suspended. Sidney Maguire, manager of the Northern Residential Centre in Weymouth, has confirmed his suspension but neither he nor the Child, Youth and Family Service (formerly CYPFA) would say why.

DRINKING MAYHEM: The new lower drinking age has been blamed for a spate of incidents in which drunken teenagers caused mayhem across the city on Saturday night. An under-strength Auckland police force was stretched to the limit during a horror two hours from 11 pm as it struggled to deal with more than 25 separate incidents of crowd disorder and out-of-control parties.

REPUBLICANISM: Prime Minister Helen Clark says it is inevitable New Zealand will become a republic but she suggests it may be 20 or 30 years away. "I don't think it's a question for today. I think a republic is inevitable in New Zealand one day. But it is not now. It's not the time."

BUSH TUCKER KILLS: A man found dead in remote bush could have died after eating "bush tucker" such as bark, roots and berries. Police said it was too early to say whether the death was suspicious, but possible causes included accidental poisoning.

EDITORIAL – AMERICAS CUP: This is as good as it gets, cried Pete Montgomery day after day. But it kept getting better. Anyone who kept half an eye on the nearest television set over the past week became spellbound by the action on the Hauraki Gulf. Prada's ninth-race triumph yesterday, and the eight preceding races, produced exactly the contest the New Zealand hosts had dared hope the America's Cup could become - a contest primarily of sailors on the water. And what combat. Those who imagined yacht racing to be a sedate affair had their eyes widened by some of the tactics at close quarters - "White knuckle stuff," to the irrepressible Pete. Yet when the race was over, good humour prevailed. Race rules, previously blurry, have been defined to force both finalists to the limit of what is legal and what physics will allow. Hearings have been quickly and decisively dealt with, their outcomes sportingly accepted. What a change from the courtroom battles, drawn-out protests and post-match surliness of past regattas.

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