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F16s - Airforce Morale - Mercy Flight - Assassination Attempt - Royal Honours - Oyster Disease - Obesity

F16S: F16 Deal Crashes and burns. The government has announced today that the F16 deal is off. Jane Young says the surprise came in how complementary Derek Quigley was about the deal. Helen Clark says that the report was commissioned in part to find out how much exit would cost. In his report Quigley is damning about the state of defence financing. Jenny Shipley has rejected allegations that she opened NZ up to fiscal risk. Shipley says that even at $1 billion the deal was a good one. The US say the Americans say they are dissappointed. Helen Clark says the focus is now on sorting out priorities. Jane Young says that Canberra is pre-occupied with the Queen at present so no reaction from them today. The Americans say we will never get another deal like this.

AIRFORCE MORALE: The A4 Skyhawk has been the mainline strike force in the airforce for 30 years. Cancelling the F16s could mean the air-force could lose its role. Presently there are 19 Skyhawks, 17 trainers. David Dickens says that the airforce is using 1960s technology. Air Force is maintaining a stiff upper lip over the decision.

MERCY FLIGHT: The Airforce stepped in today to bring caskets of six Wanganui people who died in a crash in Otago.

ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT: A man is in custody after being wrestled to the ground carrying a 20cm knife in Darling Harbour during the Queen's visit to Sydney. Queen in green was later welcomed very keenly in Darling Harbour.

ROYAL HONOURS: Cabinet is ready to ditch royal honors but will first have to contact the Queen. The system is likely to be scrapped before the Queens birthday honours in June. Sir Ed Hillary says he will be sad to see the system go. Republican movement are pleased and reckon we should have "onya" awards.

OYSTER DISEASE: Bonamia is back and oyster boats have been called away from some oyster beds in the Foveaux Strait.

OBESITY: NZers have to eat more fruit and veges say doctors following a 20 year study which found 52% of NZers were overweight. The study also found that vegetarians were less likely to die of heart attacks. Heart foundation supports the findings up to a point but says that lean meat is okay in moderation.

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