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New Zealand Herald

America’s Cup – Children’s TV & Ads - Teacher Sex - Jim Huang Murder - WINZ Wait - Tainui & Warriors - Helicopter Trial - Sister On Fire - Jim’s Job Machine - Petrol Prices - Pysche House - Nz Defence - Lotta Sales - Jian Huang Murder - Editorial: Jim’s Job Machine

AMERICA’S CUP: Even the man running the races in the America's Cup says he is bored with the regatta that never ends. Race director Harold Bennett is an Aucklander who understands the Hauraki Gulf. But he became so fed up with the wind deserting the racecourse whenever the boats turned out that he instigated a change to the rules so Team New Zealand and Prada can duel on a lay-day today.

CHILDREN’S TV & ADS: Advertising-free children's programmes on both TVNZ and TV3 are envisaged in the Government's push for public service television. Broadcasting Minister Marian Hobbs will meet the advertising industry to seek support for a voluntary ban on commercials during children's viewing times.

TEACHER SEX: Wesley College principal Graeme Cowley says a former teacher at the centre of a sex scandal is being used as a pawn in a vendetta against him. New Zealand's oldest school, famous for educating All Black Jonah Lomu, was rocked this week by publicity over a fling between a young female PE teacher, Janine Rayner, and a fifth form boy.

JIM HUANG MURDER: Police are backtracking on their claims that two constables were not present when New Lynn murder victim Jian Huang was stabbed, with two officers suggesting yesterday that the pair did see the attack. The revelation contradicts what police had maintained for two days - that the officers arrived after the attack - but confirms the Herald's original report.

WINZ WAIT: Lectures have started for tertiary students but thousands are still waiting on WINZ for their student loans before they can officially enrol. Universities and polytechnics are doing their best for students - enrolling them anyway and providing emergency grants and loans - but students and staff are angry the year has started in chaos.

TAINUI & WARRIORS: Warriors chiefs Graham Lowe and Malcolm Boyle called an emergency meeting of the board yesterday to talk about money - only to be sacked by their fellow directors. Mr Lowe described it as "the night of the long knives, but it happened in the morning."

HELICOPTER TRIAL: An American father and son go on trial in Los Angeles next month for their alleged role in the manufacture of counterfeit parts blamed for a fatal helicopter crash at Opotiki more than four years ago. Frank Curtis Cherry jun and Frank Curtis Cherry III have been indicted on charges of making false statements, conspiracy, and four counts of causing the destruction of aircraft by making parts that were hazardous.

SISTER ON FIRE: Rotorua grandmother Apikaira Hapimana scolded her grandson when he yelled that his 5-year-old sister was on fire in the street outside. "I told him, 'No, don't be so silly.' Then I heard Telesia screaming and saw massive flames coming from her shorts."

JIM’S JOB MACHINE: Almost 100 days into its term, the Government has yet to unveil the details and priorities of its flagship economic development policy, a key area of branding for the Alliance. But after protracted wrangling, it has reached agreement on the institutions that will implement the policy.

PETROL PRICES: Petrol prices are jumping again, with oil companies deciding today not whether, but how quickly, they will match Mobil's increase of 2c a litre. Mobil announced it would lead the latest round of rises last night when it added 2c to its petrol and diesel prices.

PYSCHE HOUSE: In South Auckland they don't want psychiatric halfway houses next door. In the Waikato they have an antipathy to dumps for Auckland's rubbish. In upmarket Herne Bay, it's a bus-stop. Apparently there is something about buses idling beyond the front gate and of passengers lurking on the pavement outside that makes householders not just uneasy, but downright cantankerous.

NZ DEFENCE: The Prime Minister has denied undermining transtasman defence ties on the eve of her trip to Australia - and is instead accusing National of playing fast and loose with New Zealand's sovereign interests. As "semantic wars" broke out in Parliament yesterday, Helen Clark faced Opposition questions after she said the transtasman defence relationship did not mean both countries were a "single strategic entity."

LOTTA SALES: Lotto sales during the first half of the current financial year were $10 million down on the same period in 1998 - and the Lotteries Commission blames public outrage over the salary of former boss David Hale. Despite Lotto's high profile as a major sponsor of the America's Cup, its sales of $326.5 million for the six months to December 31 were 2.3 per cent below budget.

JIAN HUANG MURDER: Greg O'Connor, policeman, took the worst thumping of his career trying to break up a family fight. He was unable to hit back because he was clutching a child. Now president of the police union, he says a scene in the film Once Were Warriors where blood gushes from Beth's split lip shows a domestic injury typical of many he has seen during 24 years in the force.

EDITORIAL: JIM’S JOB MACHINE: It has fallen to the Alliance leader to make the Government's first defining move. The step taken by Jim Anderton yesterday, back towards a politically directed economy, was a modest one but it suggested he means business. He has announced the administrative machinery which, he hopes, will spur regional and national economic development in the years ahead.

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