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The New Zealand Herald

Global Gambling - Holmes Cancer Beaten - 4 Die In Crash - Failed Business School -Sickened By Craccum - Maori Seats For Council - Cervical Smear Inquiry - Prostate Trial - Data Traffic Down - History Important - Workplace Laws - Ge Royal Commission Cost - Editorial: The Craccum Articles

GLOBAL GAMBLING: The twin lures of a global lottery and e-commerce are being dangled in front of New Zealanders by a new Auckland-based but American-backed venture, Global-e Investments. The company aims to raise up to $US1 billion ($2.05 billion) by selling bonds to investors, initially here but later overseas, particularly in Asia.

HOLMES CANCER BEATEN: Broadcaster Paul Holmes is confident he has beaten prostate cancer and will return to work in just under three weeks. Holmes looked well when he turned up for the announcement yesterday of a sponsorship deal between Telecom and Paralympics New Zealand.

4 DIE IN CRASH: Four men were killed when their helicopter crashed into a cold, cloud-covered Waikato mountain yesterday. The helicopter, carrying a police technician, the pilot and two passengers, crashed as it headed up Mt Karioi, near Raglan, where the men were to test a number of radio repeater stations, including one used by the police.

FAILED BUSINESS SCHOOL: Baffled students found themselves locked out of an Auckland business school this week, not knowing it had gone into receivership just days before. Joel Facon arrived at the Greenlane headquarters of Green's Management Consultants at 9 am on Monday for the first day of a six-month graphic design course.

SICKENED BY CRACCUM: People distressed by a student magazine's guide to committing suicide are phoning Auckland University's counselling services for help. The Craccum article, "Suicide and how to do it," has provoked outrage from Government health authorities, parents and students since it was published on Monday

MAORI SEATS FOR COUNCIL: Local bodies are likely to gain the right to create Maori seats under a law change expected this year. Prime Minister Helen Clark said yesterday that councils should have the option of ensuring Maori representation through special seats.

CERVICAL SMEAR INQUIRY: Women in the Gisborne area have unusually high rates of cervical cancer and other abnormalities of the cervix, say medical specialists providing evidence to the Bottrill inquiry. And Labour's East Coast MP, Janet Mackey, revealed last night that she was one of thousands of women who received a letter yesterday about their smear tests, misread by the former Gisborne pathologist Michael Bottrill.

PROSTATE TRIAL: A big medical trial involving hundreds of Australian and New Zealand men could put New Zealand at the forefront of prostate cancer research. Researchers hope to get approval for the trial, to involve 800 prostate cancer patients, from the TransTasman Radiation Oncology Group at a conference in Victoria next week.

DATA TRAFFIC DOWN: It is the kind of thing that is not meant to happen in modern telecommunications networks - but it did. Telecom's smart, reasonably new ATM data network serving central Auckland went down for 20 hours, cutting off data traffic to several Internet service providers and 300 businesses and corporates in the central city.

HISTORY IMPORTANT: History may not be as popular as it used to be at schools, but its teachers say it still provides vital skills for the job market. Prime Minister Helen Clark's lament for dwindling student interest in history was echoed yesterday by teachers, who say a solid grounding in the past can open future doors.

PETROL PRICES RISE: Petrol prices are pumping up to new heights after BP announced a 3c-a-litre rise from midnight last night - with other companies sure to follow suit today. The second increase within a week leaves New Zealand drivers experiencing sharp increases in petrol prices not seen since the Gulf War or the 1970s oil crisis.

TVNZ CRITICISED: The new chairman of TVNZ has roundly criticised the network's head of news over the fallout from its coverage of the so-called cancer cure, lyprinol. Dr Ross Armstrong, in just his second week in the job, said the lyprinol story was a sad example of how public interest and social responsibility had been "cynically disregarded" in a ratings-driven approach to news.

WORKPLACE LAWS: New workplace laws will adopt Labour's "join the union, join the collective" policy but will also regulate dependent contractors, work contracted out and fixed-term contracts. The extension of the Employment Relations Bill's powers to "non-standard employment" has met Alliance concerns that Labour's coverage clause would undermine collective deals as employers exploited loopholes.

GE ROYAL COMMISSION COST: The royal commission into genetic engineering will probably be carried out by three people at a cost of $4 million. Environment Minister Marian Hobbs is close to announcing details of the inquiry, which is likely to be headed by a senior judge.

EDITORIAL: THE CRACCUM ARTICLES: Free speech sometimes needs to be saved from its practitioners. The quest for open discussion of suicide, particularly youth suicide, urgently needs to be rescued from an irresponsible contribution to the Auckland University student magazine this week. Maintaining its long tradition of editorial immaturity, Craccum has published an article which is little short of a suicide manual. It lists various methods, advising on the pain and reliability of each. Worse, if that can be imagined, the item is followed by an essay arguing that suicide is a decision to be respected and there is nothing that other people can, or should, do about it.

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