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New Zealand Herald

Drugs Death - Gisbourne Pathologist - America’s Cup Parade - Health Changes - Axed Britomart - Celebrations End - Villa Appeal - Preacher Pulled - Fight For The Truth - Labour Pay - PM’s Chile Visit - Sad Day For Wanganui - F16’s Report - Siamese Twins - Dialogue: Children’s Advertising - Editorial: Coutts And The Victory

DRUGS DEATH: Detectives investigating a possible drugs-related death forced all the 450-odd people at a Pakatoa Island dance party to line up and be photographed before letting them go home. Top Northland surfer Jamie Lawrence Langridge, aged 24 of Whangarei, was found lying dead on a concrete slab during the night-till-dawn dance party at Pakatoa, 45km northeast of Auckland.

GISBOURNE PATHOLOGIST: Almost 1500 women will this week receive the frightening confirmation that Gisborne pathologist Dr Michael Bottrill misdiagnosed their cervical cancer tests. Of these women, about 500 fall directly into or could not be excluded from the category of high-grade abnormalities - those facing the greatest risk. The remaining 1000 have been diagnosed as having low-grade abnormalities.

AMERICA’S CUP PARADE: For once Team New Zealand did not mind being second. By the time they reached the bottom mark at the end of a downhill Queen St run on Saturday, they were trailing their Italian rivals by 10 minutes. But no one was counting.

HEALTH CHANGES: The Government is pressing on with sweeping changes to the health system in the face of Treasury warnings of cost blowouts and GPs being squeezed out. Labour's health policy dismantles much of the structure - and the remains of the competitive model - imposed by National during the last decade.

AXED BRITOMART: Some Auckland City councillors are voicing grave misgivings about the high cost of a replacement for the axed Britomart transport terminal. Finance committee chairwoman Kay McKelvie said yesterday the council could not afford the "New York-style Grand Central Station" envisaged for downtown Auckland.

CELEBRATIONS END: On a balmy Sunday afternoon, Auckland's waterfront yesterday finally exhaled. After three days of serious celebrating, gone was the frenetic tension and there was room again to breathe. The pace had slowed right down to a pleasant stroll.

VILLA APPEAL: Anyone who has succumbed to the street appeal of an old villa soon realises that buying the place was the cheap part of the exercise. After that comes the windows that stick, the blocked plumbing, the leaky roof, the cloth-covered electric wiring ...

PREACHER PULLED: Television New Zealand has pulled the plug on a controversial evangelist who preaches that having female political leaders is a sign of the devil. Following its decision yesterday to pull Pakuranga evangelist Brian Tamaki's scheduled 6.50 am Saturday slot, TVNZ has promised a review of information standards.

FIGHT FOR THE TRUTH: The NZ Truth is fighting the record $675,000 damages awarded to entertainer Ray Columbus after a jury found the tabloid newspaper defamed him. Independent Newspapers Ltd, which publishes Truth, has filed a motion in the High Court at Auckland seeking to set aside the judgment in relation to the damages, not the issue of liability.

LABOUR PAY: Labour Department staff are demanding $100 an hour to search their own files - a pay rate equivalent to $208,000 a year. The Herald asked the Minister for Accident Insurance, Michael Cullen, for copies of advice from officials to ministers on the unimplemented medical misadventure premium.

PM’S CHILE VISIT: Helen Clark will arrive in Chile on Thursday to find the country in turmoil over the Pinochet affair. The Spanish-speaking Prime Minister will be stepping into a Latin American world that stirs the fires of her past as a student activist.

SAD DAY FOR WANGANUI: Saturday will be remembered as one of Wanganui's saddest days - a day when three innocent victims were laid to rest. Best friends Zane Cutter, aged 13, and Colin Morgan, 14, were farewelled at a service in their school hall at Wanganui City College by more than 600 mourners.

F16’s REPORT: Helen Clark is expecting to receive Derek Quigley's report on the F-16s late this afternoon but the cabinet might not ditch the deal for another fortnight. The Prime Minister said the report was due today but she would be out of the country next week, leaving March 20 its likely date of cabinet consideration.

SIAMESE TWINS: A couple are determined to give birth to Siamese twins against all odds. Wairoa couple Bruce and Denise Emberson told TV3's 20/20 last night that they were determined to have the twins, despite only a 60 per cent chance they will be born alive.

DIALOGUE: CHILDREN’S ADVERTISING: "Mum can you buy some of that Extra chewing gum," my 3-and-a-half-year-old asks absent-mindedly while watching television. "Well I guess I can buy some but I am not going to," I replied cleverly skirting the word no, which I hear is a positive parenting no-no.

EDITORIAL: COUTTS AND THE VICTORY: Russell Coutts said something very important to New Zealand when he stepped up to the microphone after the victory parade on Saturday. Thanking the public for its enthusiasm, he said that was ultimately the crucial element in New Zealand's success. All the vision of leaders, all the skills of yachtsmen, all the expertise of designers count for nothing unless public enthusiasm makes it worthwhile for sponsors to finance the enterprise. New Zealanders lived up to the opportunity.


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