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New Zealand Herald

Cricket Crowds - TVNZ Contracts - Charity Cult - Tongan Teenager - Black Damaged - English Dropped - ACC Sex - Tamaki Byelection - Italian Journalists - Stolen Videos - U.S. Bills - Kofi And Sue - IRD Attack - China Demonstrators - Rape & Abduction - Editorial: Film Tourism

CRICKET CROWDS: In Dunedin crowd disturbances twice interrupted the big one-day cricket match in Dunedin last night and provoked a warning that the city could lose its status as an international venue if crowd control did not improve. Australia's handsome 50-run win over New Zealand in the third one-dayer was marred by a can-throwing incident which held up play for just over 10 minutes. An out-of-control spectator managed almost a lap and a half of the ground before departing under his own steam.

TVNZ CONTRACTS: The contracts of Television New Zealand presenters and management will be scrutinised by new chairman Dr Ross Armstrong, who has indicated that Hawkesby-style salaries are not deserved. Dr Armstrong, aged 61, has cancelled today's TVNZ board meeting while he thumbs through the board minutes of the past year to prepare for his new role.

CHARITY CULT: A controversial European charity dogged by allegations of corruption and cult-like practices is recruiting young New Zealanders. The Tvind organisation, which has operated in Europe since the 1970s, is calling for volunteers to fundraise and train in Europe, then go to Africa to do social work.

TONGAN TEENAGER: A shy Tongan teenager facing deportation walked free from his police cell last night with a one-month reprieve to stay in the country. Viliami Mila, aged 19, and his parents who are still in hiding, were granted extra time through a last-minute order by Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel.

BLACK DAMAGED: Team New Zealand's No 1 boat came home with a wound yesterday, after colliding with her sister, NZL57. NZL60 suffered a cosmetic scratch in the bump with the other boat during an in-house race on the Hauraki Gulf - the other boat escaped unharmed.

ENGLISH DROPPED: Senior secondary school students are dropping English as a subject in favour of subjects they think will help them get jobs. Ministry of Education figures show the number of students studying English has fallen from 96.3 per cent in 1990 to 92.8 per cent last year.

ACC SEX: An Auckland City Council worker has been accused of sexual impropriety and of bribing officials with prostitutes on Great Barrier Island. Act MP Owen Jennings made the sensational allegations yesterday under the protection of parliamentary privilege as he stepped up calls for a parliamentary inquiry into goings-on at the council.

TAMAKI BYELECTION: It is the 1992 Tamaki byelection, and National Party maestro Dr Ross Armstrong has passed on secret voter information to Labour's deputy leader, Helen Clark. Dr Armstrong was running the campaign of Clem Simich - who won the byelection - and the then-newcomer Alliance party was picking up steam.

ITALIAN JOURNALISTS: Suggesting Luna Rossa had been beaten by a "dog" was not a good move for an Italian journalist if he did not want to see Prada syndicate boss Patrizio Bertelli fly into a rage. Questioning his honesty was also probably unwise, along with complaining about not getting an interview with an injured sailor, turning on the food and having a row about who were the biggest liars, the reporters or the syndicate.

STOLEN VIDEOS: Police have seized more than $100,000 of rental video equipment and returned it to its owners after finding it in Singapore. Some of the stolen gear had been bought on low deposit.

U.S. BILLS: The Government aimed a punch at the United States yesterday for not paying its outstanding United Nations bill, accusing it of not pulling its weight. And New Zealand has shifted ground to back a rethink on UN sanctions against Iraq, a move the US strongly opposes.

KOFI AND SUE: Green MP Sue Kedgley caught up yesterday with her old flame and friend, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The pair, who worked together at the United Nations 25 years ago and dated briefly, had a chance meeting in a Beehive foyer as she was returning to her office to drop off select committee papers.

IRD ATTACK: Act MP Rodney Hide has renewed his attacks on Inland Revenue, with claims that it exceeded its power by demanding medical records from a taxpayer's doctor. Mr Hide yesterday released a letter from IRD's special audit manager, Deborah Macartney, seeking details of consultations, a schedule of fees paid to the doctor, how long the taxpayer had been taking the drugs Prozac and Temazepam, and medical records since April 1998.

CHINA DEMONSTRATORS: Police actions against demonstrators during the state visit of Chinese President Jiang Zemin will be looked into by a parliamentary inquiry. Five MPs have been appointed to a special committee to look into the events during last September's visit and to see whether New Zealand has enough protections in place for peaceful protesters.

RAPE & ABDUCTION: Police investigating the abduction and brutal rape of a woman in South Auckland believe they may have found the attackers' weakness - one of them may not have been happy about what happened.

EDITORIAL: FILM TOURISM: The best movies retain their hold on the imagination long after the final credit has vanished from the screen. Often the most vivid memory is of the setting or scenery around which the drama is played out. So powerful may be the impact that we want to experience the location first-hand. For the country which attracts major film-makers, that spells tourism dollars, a lucrative add-on to the money already spent making the movie there.

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