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F16s - Police Rape Allegations - Magic Mussels - Cancer Inquiry - Fishing Grounding - Mozambique - Israel - Snow Accident - Who's Popular Poll

F16S: NZ's controversial purchase of the F16 fighter planes looks all but dead. Jane Young: What we are seeing is Labour's version of its own striptease. I would say that today the PM left on only their bare essentials. In two weeks the government is likely to pull out of the F16 decision. "We haven't made a decision, but ever since November 1998 we never thought it a good idea." Clark already has a report from Treasury Officials. That report is good news. The fiscal cost of an exit will not be high, she indicated at her press conference. Treasury is said to have advised that at 48 cents NZ will make $6 million. Jane Young: The Americans do not seem to be that unhappy and nor do the Australians. What do the Nats want? They say we need NZ to be seen as a credible defence partner. But there is no shouting from the rooftops about it.

POLICE RAPE ALLEGATIONS: A Policeman from Mangakino has been stood down following rape allegations. The officer appeared in Rotorua court on two charges of rape.

MAGIC MUSSELS: A story promoted by TVNZ on Mussel extracts and cancer as a world exclusive has been panned by the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

CANCER INQUIRY: The PM wants to expand the scope of the Gisborne Cancer Inquiry. Dr Michael Bottrill got it wrong 2000 times when he assessed smear slides. The PM says that the scale is so serious that it warrants broadening the inquiry. The Health Minister will be making more announcements tomorrow morning.

FISHING GROUNDING: A 50-foot fishing boat has sunk after running aground near an Auckland beach. Fears that the fuel might leak sparked a quick response. Harbour Master at a loss to explain the accident. The boat has now been raised from the seabed undamaged.

MOZAMBIQUE: An international mercy operation is finally flying international aid into Mozambique. Some say the help is too little too late.

ISRAEL: The Israeli Cabinet has decided to withdraw troops from Southern Lebanon. Today Israeli aircraft bombed suspected guerilla bases in Southern Lebanon for the second day.

SNOW ACCIDENT: A snowlarking accident left a snowboarder dead and ended festivities at a ski-field.

WHO'S POPULAR POLL: CM Research Poll finds Sir Edmund Hillary is the most admired NZer - up ahead of Billy T James and Kiri Te Kanawa - all the other top 10 were sports people. At the other end of the scale 75% said they would be unhappy if their child married a politcian. Worst blunder of the 1990s was the Student Loan Scheme, 43% followed by MMP, 36%. True Bliss was also seen as a disaster by 10% or respondents.

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