General Wiranto - East Timor – Private School Programme – Northern Ireland – Lisa Blakie – Water Smell – Knights And Dames – State House Sales – Michael Campbell
GENERAL WIRANTO: Indonesia’s President has backed down and agreed to leave General Wiranto in his cabinet as an investigation continues into human rights abuses in East Timor. The President has the right to sack his ministers but he has decided not to do so.
EAST TIMOR: Some of NZ’s troops will return from East Timor later this month following a handover today to UNTAET from INTERFET. Some of NZ’s troops will not be joining UNTAET until February 21.
PRIVATE SCHOOL PROGRAMME: The Education Minister is closing down a scheme that pays for poor people to attend private schools. No new students will enter the scheme but those already in it will not be affected.
NORTHERN IRELAND: A key Catholic politician has asked for a ruling from the British Government on a new offer from the IRA which he says Peter Mandelson may not have taken into consideration when he suspended the Northern Irish Assembly.
LISA BLAKIE: Police investigating the Lisa Blakie murder say they are still trying to work out how Lisa’s dog Kaos got to the West Coast. Detective Inspector Pope says police may also talk to Coast to Coast race competitors and support crews.
WATER SMELL: Waitakere City Council says residents in Auckland should check the taste and smell of their water before drinking it today. There as been a problem with an algal bloom.
KNIGHTS AND DAMES: The Deputy PM Jim Anderton says he supports the idea of dropping the titles system as suggested by the PM at the weekend but says a decision on this should not be rushed.
STATE HOUSE SALES: The housing minister Mark Gosche says that families affected by the suspension of state house sales will be allowed to complete their purchases.
MICHAEL CAMPBELL: Michael Campbell says he feels invincible after winning the Australian Masters at the weekend taking his winnings to over $1 million over the past year. He says he feels that he may be able to break into the world top 10 this year.