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New Zealand Herald

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Glock Replica – New Vaccine – Aussies Under Attack – Telecoms Joint Venture - Stroke Victim – Mutant Salmon – Sailor Outraged – Team NZ Support Grows – Telephone Overload – Balloon Journey

GLOCK REPLICA: Suspects spreadeagled on tarmac, policemen in flak jackets toting rifles - the sun-drenched streets of the North Shore seemed more like the mean streets of LA yesterday. A teenager with an imitation firearm virtually identical to a police issue Glock pistol caused all the fuss.

NEW VACCINE: A vaccine with the potential to reduce the devastating effects of strokes and epilepsy is being developed at the Auckland University Medical School. It could be another 10 years before the vaccine has been tested enough to benefit humans.

AUSSIES UNDER ATTACK: The Australian cricket team are under attack from New Zealand hooligans who knifed the tyres on their team vans, scrawled threatening graffiti on the windows and verbally abused them. The incidents, which followed a riotous one-day match in Dunedin on Wednesday, have appalled the New Zealand cricketers and embarrassed the Government, which is urging people to calm down.

TELECOMS JOINT VENTURE: In Wellington a $1.1 billion telecommunications joint venture is set to bring many New Zealanders the latest in the information superhighway with high-speed Internet, cable television and telephone services. The merger of Telstra New Zealand with Wellington cable company Saturn Communications will create what may be the country's second-largest telecommunications company and a serious competitor for Telecom.

STROKE VICTIM: Jim Benson was the sort of man always called on to do the eulogy at family funerals. Until one day in 1996, lying on the operating table at Green Lane Hospital, he had a stroke. "Suddenly I became a person whose emotions would run riot at embarrassing times," he said yesterday.

MUTANT SALMON: A company accused by activists of breeding mutant fish is abandoning its genetic engineering programme, just days after it was ordered to take steps to stop eggs escaping. Nelson-based company NZ King Salmon will make the announcement today, after the Environmental Risk Management Authority (Erma) moved this week to impose tougher controls on the company's research farm.

SAILOR OUTRAGED: One of the world's top woman sailors is outraged at what she sees as blatant sexism on the Auckland corporate speaking circuit. Dawn Riley, skipper of America True, was the first woman to head a campaign in the America's Cup - a sports domain dominated by men.

TEAM NZ SUPPORT GROWS: Every day, Team New Zealand's mountain of support gets bigger. Hotels send cakes, bakeries deliver bread and pastries as good-luck offerings.

TELEPHONE OVERLOAD: The winds on the Hauraki Gulf may be light but the airwaves are so heavy with the crackle of cellphones that calls are being blown out of the water. In preparation for the America's Cup racing, Telecom ensured it had double the coverage on the gulf than for its cellphone heartland of Queen St - yet some people are still not getting through.

BALLOON JOURNEY: After completing the first crossing of the Tasman by hot-air balloon yesterday, Australian adventurer Dick Smith summed up how he was feeling in just a few words. "I'm very tired, completely exhausted and I want to go to bed."


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