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TV3 News

Christine Rankin - Food Labels - Tobacco Suit - Interest Rates - Pork Clone - Gavin Dash - Oil Slick - Tiger Death

CHRISTINE RANKIN: The woman many students would like to see roasted got a fierce grilling today by a Select Committee. Top of the list of questions for Christine Rankin the Student Loans scheme. Considerable interest in what she didn't say - including questions on the secret payment made to an official sacked over the chartered aircraft scandal. Labour's Jill Pettis was asking tough questions. Rankin said she led her department in a very responsible way.

FOOD LABELS: More info on food labels. The amount of fruit in yogurt and meat in pies must be disclosed.

TOBACCO SUIT: A plan to sue tobacco companies is being explored by the Government in a meeting tonight. Crown Law has been advising on a possible law suit. Health Minister Annette King says she is keen to proceed with a law suit but ultimately the decision will be for cabinet. Meanwhile nicotine substitute products are now more widely available and will no longer be only sold in chemists.

INTEREST RATES: Reserve Bank Governor Dr Brash prescribes a dose of higher interest rates to snuff out inflationary pressures. For the third time in four months the interest rate charged by the Reserve Bank has been increased. Home owners will inevitably feel the pain. Home-owners can expect floating rates to rise soon.

PORK CLONE: Five piglets that are exact copies of their mothers have been born. The pigs are designed to mass produce organs for xenotransplantation the transplantation of organs from animals into humans. Testing pig organs in humans could begin in four years. The rejection issue could be more complicated than thought however. There are also concerns about transplanting pig viruses into humans.

GAVIN DASH: Police investigation is underway into how police originally handled the disappearance of Wellington Student Gavin Dash. Dash was reported missing last September. Sister says that in the first two weeks it was hard to convince police that their son might have been a victim of foul play. Police say they are now satisfied that Gavin Dash is not alive.

OIL SLICK: Environmental agencies are mopping up a diesel slick near Stuart Island.

TIGER DEATH: A vet has been shot dead by police chasing a tiger through a Polish wood. The tiger was eventually killed too. The vet was trying to tranquilize the tiger. The circus the tiger escaped from blamed animal rights campaigners for freeing three tigers. Two tigers were caught safely.

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