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National Radio Midday Bulletin

GM Sheep - F16s And The Philippines - Killer Fire - Retail Sales - Film Rating Row - Retail Sales - Israel - Samoan Assassination - Cot Death - Jenny Shipley's Challenge - Student Loans - Christchurch Homicide - Powerboat Champs

GM SHEEP: The Green Party wants AgResearch to withdraw an application to breed a flock of GM sheep. The Greens say AgResearch should take a lead from Monsanto which has withdrawn an application for wheat. Minister Pete Hodgson says he won't ask AgResearch to pull the trial and wants people to trust the process.

F16S PHILLIPINES: The Philippines Embassy has confirmed that the Philippines is in discussion with the NZ Defence Force about F16s. Defence Minister Mark Burton says Richard Prebble's claims about US inducements in relation to the F16s are unsubstantiated.

KILLER FIRE: Firefighters are fighting a sense of failure and loss following a fire in which two children died while hiding under a bed.

RETAIL SALES: Preparations for the end of the Millennium appear to have contributed to the growth in retail spending in December.

FILM RATING ROW: The Film Commission says the R18 rating given to Savage Honeymoon is "over the top". The film shows drinking and skylarking but no sex and violence. Ruth Harley says the film has no hard sex and violence. Bill Hastings says that the comic nature of the film undermines the serious consequences of alcohol use.

ISRAEL: The Israeli Government has declared a state of emergency in its northern areas fearful of retaliation for the Hezbollah. On Monday Israel launched massive air strikes against Lebanon.

SAMOAN ASSASSINATION: A witness has said he agreed with two accused Samoan politicians to kill two men for $30,000 but did not carry out the killings.

COT DEATH: An international study has shown a relationship between dummy sucking and a reduction in cot death. The study's results came as a surprise to

JENNY SHIPLEY: Jenny Shipley says she will be the first to applaud if the Government meets the targets she has set it in a speech yesterday. She wants the government to bring down the unemployment rate at the same average rate that National achieved - but she thinks there is little danger that the Labour government will achieve this. Shipley says the government's ideological drive is likely to lead to a stall in investment.

STUDENT LOANS: A student union is asking students to check their loan statements and contracts for a glitch. "This latest bungle is a blow to confidence", a student leader says.

CHIRSTCHURCH HOMICIDE: Police are concentrating their investigations into the death of Lisa Ann Blaikey on her clothing. The woman was seen hitchhiking last week.

POWERBOAT CHAMPS: The Powerboat Championships due to begin shortly are expected to bring $5 million to Auckland. The boats will reach speeds of up to 120 miles per hour.

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