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National Radio Midday Report

Telecoms Merger - IRD Allegations – Protestor Treatment – Kofi Annan – Cricket Association – America’s Cup – Echelon Inquiry – G7 In Kosovo – Imports Up – Maori Support – Stress Conference – Resignation Dispute – Balloon Journey

TELECOMS MERGER: New Zealand Telecom has a new Australian rival, with Australia’s biggest phone company Telstra to join Wellington based Saturn Communications to provide a range of telecoms services to main centres throughout the country.

IRD ALLEGATIONS: The Inland Revenue department is to respond after accusations it made controversial demands about medical information regarding a tax-payer. ACT MP Rodney Hide has criticised the Department for asking an individual for information about his medical history regarding a claim.

PROTESTOR TREATMENT: The former Prime Minister Jenny Shipley says she welcomes an inquiry into Police treatment of protestors during the visit of the Chinese Premier last year, saying the inquiry will find their was no political interference from the Government.

KOFI ANNAN: The Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan has been welcomed onto a Lower Hutt Marae in a whirlwind of visits with New Zealand ministers and officials. This afternoon he meets Defence Minister Mark Burton and then with Opposition Leader Jenny Shipley.

CRIKET ASSOCIATION: The Otago Cricket Association said it will look at whether it will continue to sell beer in cans at Carisbrook after cricket lager louts threw their drinks at the Australian Team in the wake of a controversial bowled-out decision on batsman Adam Parore.

AMERICA’S CUP: Kiwi fans waved out both Team New Zealand and Prada as they entered the Hauraki Gulf to start race three of the America’s Cup today.

ECHELON INQUIRY: France has accused British spies of using a sophisticated spy network Echelon improperly for business and economic espionage while the existence and operations of the ring is being investigated by the European Parliament. New Zealand spies are believed to be involved.

G7 IN KOSOVO: Hundreds of US, French, British and Belgium troops were on patrol in the divided town of Mitrovenca while diplomats are working on a political solution to solve the ethnic violence recently aimed at Group Seven forces..

IMPORTS UP: Imports for the year ended 1999 rose sharply and New Zealand is likely to have a record trade deficit although Statistics New Zealand say the result is more likely to result from increased buying over the millennium period.

MAORI SUPPORT: The Associate Minister of Maori Affairs Parekura Horomia has reiterated his support of Maori Affairs Minister Dover Samuels after ACT MP Richard Prebble suggested that Labour’s Maori MPs were plotting to remove him.

STRESS CONFERENCE: A two day conference on stress in the work-place says stress can have major impacts of productivity of workers and cost employers money.

RESIGNATION DISPUTE: The former Chief Executive of Health Waikato Gary Smith is taking issue about the reasons the hospital said he resigned denying it was because over problems the board had with his performance in the job.

BALLOON JOURNEY: Australian Electronics Magnate Dick Smith and a co-adventurer are looking for easterly breezes to blow them on-land on their balloon trip from Australia to New Zealand.

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