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National Radio Midday Bulletin

TVNZ Appointment - Kofi Anan - Echelon Revealed - Ge Salmon - Vaccination Shortage - Spanish Assassination - Sentence Appeal - Tongan Boy - Unilever Layoffs - Superyacht Theft - Galileo Mission

TVNZ APPOINTMENT: The new chair of the TVNZ board, Ross Armstrong, says his main ambition is to find the right balance between the public ownership and related social obligations of Television New Zealand, and its status as a profit making organisation. He believes he gained his position because of previous success finding this balance at New Zealand Post.

KOFI ANAN: The Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Anan, held a meeting with Prime Minister Helen Clark today with the main topic of conversation being New Zealand’s role in tbe UN East Timor force. He is also holding talks with Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff and Defence Minister Mark Burton.

ECHELON REVEALED: The Government is not commenting on a call for more defence scrutiny on its security organisations after revelations that New Zealand spies are involved in Echelon, an international spy network involved in industrial espionage. Green MP Keith Locke and activist Nicky Hagar say Echelon is not being used for the right purposes. Both are calling for the New Zealand Government to follow the example of the European Parliament and hold an inquiry into the network.

GE SALMON: King Salmon the Nelson based company trialing the use of genetic engineering in salmon, says while it has been given permission to continue trials, it may not introduce the modified fish commercially.

VACCINATION SHORTAGE: An unprecedented demand for New Zealanders wanting to be vaccinated for the influenza flu before winter has caused supplies to run out. Another batch of vaccinations is due to arrive next month.

SPANISH ASSASSINATION: A Spanish Socialist Party leader and his police bodyguard have been killed in their car bomb assassination with a number of other people injured in the blast. The Spanish Government has blamed a Basque separatist group for the bombing.

SENTENCE APPEAL: The Court Of Appeal has been told that a seven-and-a-half year sentence on a 14-year-old boy for rape was too severe by the boy’s defence lawyer.

TONGAN BOY: The lawyer for a Tongan boy hopes he will not be deported for overstaying in New Zealand after a school agreed to sponsor him. The Immigration Minister is currently reviewing the decision.

UNILEVER LAYOFFS: The Anglo-Dutch industrial giant Unilever is to lay off tens of thousands staff internationally in the next few years because it wants to shrink it’s product list. Around 750 people are employed by the company in New Zealand, in an office in Auckland and a factory in Petone.

SUPERYACHT THEFT: Superyacht owners say they are not concerned about security in the Viaduct Basin despite an attempt by a 21-year-old woman to steal a superyacht yesterday.

GALILEO MISSION: Nasa’s aging Galileo spacecraft has flown through Jupitors dangerous radiation fields on its way to chart Jupiter’s moon Io.

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