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National Radio Midday Bulletin

TVNZ Pay-cuts - Oil Down - Electricity Inquiry - West Coast Accord - Rodney Council - Prison Population - Tax Plug - Waipareira Trust - Lisa Blakie - Ugandan Cult – Putin Victory - Greenpeace Arrests - School Drug Search

TVNZ PAY-CUTS: The most highly paid television presenters in New Zealand are being warned from the top they will face pay cuts when they seek renewal of their contracts. TVNZ chair Ross Armstrong has said the drop would reflect the relatively low level of competition for newsreading in the country.

OIL DOWN: BP, Caltex and Mobil have announced price cuts to oil after OPEC increased oil production by 1.7 million oil barrels a day. Challenge has still to move on their prices but are likely to do so today.

ELECTRICITY INQUIRY: The Natural Gas Corporation has made a strong plea for transparent easily understandable electricity pricing systems but said new regulation including prices was not necessary.

WEST COAST ACCORD: West Coast local body leaders are meeting in Parliament to discuss a cash package from the Government compensating them for the financial loss they will incur when Timberland’s ends native logging. The mayors of the Buller, Gray and Westland districts and the chairman of West Coast Regional Council are meeting with Finance Minister Michael Cullen and Minister For Economic Development Jim Anderton.

RODNEY COUNCIL: The Rodney District Council has been meeting today to decide how to fill the vacancies after five councillors resigned The seven remaining councillors have decided to advertise to appoint people for new positions rather than have a bi-election.

PRISON POPULATION: A Parliamentary Select committee has been told the prison population would increase by more than half if stiffer sentences meant prisoners had to spend longer behind bars.

TAX PLUG: The Government has passed legislation to prevent high-income earners avoiding tax by taking advantages of Trusts Partnerships and other schemes as tax shelters.

WAIPAREIRA TRUST: The ACT leader Richard Prebble has been successful getting the Maori Affairs Select Committee in holding an inquiry into The Waipareira Trust.

LISA BLAKIE: Police have said that their fingerprinting of all McDonald’s restaurant staff in Christchurch, as part of the investigation into missing Invercargil woman Lisa Blakie, does not mean the staff are under suspicion.

UGANDAN CULT: The President of Uganda says reports on a Ugandan Christian suicide cult who burnt themselves to death in a church, were suppressed by members of his own organisation.

PUTIN VICTORY: Russia’s President Elect has had an early victory post when the lower parliament passed a law preventing previous presidents from being prosecuted for crimes in office.

GREENPEACE ARRESTS: The Police in Auckland say three protesters face charges after Greenpeace activists demonstrating against genetic engineering detained themselves outside Auckland’s Nescafe factory.

SCHOOL DRUG SEARCH: Students at a Palmerston North school have been subjected to a widespread drug search this morning with Police finding a small amount of drugs on three pupils.

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