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TV3 News

Lisa Blakie - West Coast Payment - Grenade Accident - Quake - Japanese Volcano - Texan Tornadoes - Te Waipareira Inquiry - TVNZ Ticked Off

LISA BLAKIE: Police have made a breakthrough in the Lisa Blakie murder inquiry. They have seized the car that is thought to have picked up Blakie on the way to the West Coast. TV3 have found a house that has been cordoned off by police which is believed to belong to the driver of the car who the police have spoken to. Inquiries are now concentrating on the area around Darfield. McDonald's employees are being fingerprinted but the connection is not being explained. Police looked confident at the press conference says reporter. The car used to have a noisy exhaust.

WEST COAST PAYMENT: The government has offered a one-off payment of $100 million for compensation for the West Coast for the cancellation of beech tree logging. Jim Anderton says it is the equivalent of all the money that the rest of the country will receive in a year. Mayors say they are concerned about jobs on the coast. $100 million spread over 30,000 equals $3,300 each. As soon as the payment was announced it was attacked in the house.

GRENADE ACCIDENT: Three soldiers have been injured by a grenade that exploded in a live ammunition training session. The grenade bounced off a tree. One of the soldiers was flown to Wellington hospital for treatment. They were training for deployment in East Timor.

QUAKE: The middle of the country was shaken awake by a quake in the Wairarapa early in the morning. Greytown interior design store had things thrown from shelves. Eye witnesses were woken up. The quake is officially moderate and is 8 times smaller that the Edgecumbe quake. Seismologists say aftershocks can be expected.

JAPANESE VOLCANO: Dozens of small earthquakes every hour are causing alarm in Northern Japan that a volcano is about to erupt.

TEXAN TORNADOES: Tornadoes have devastated Fort Worth Texas. Shattered glass skycrapers mean downtown as sealed off today. FBI and ATF offices were decimated in the quake. Sensitive papers have been blown across the building. Tax and accounting firm has lost all its clients files. Fortunately the offices were closed when the tornadoes struck.

TE WAIPAREIRA INQUIRY: A parliamentary Select Committee is to investigate the Te Waipareira Trust following allegations from the ACT party.

TVNZ TICKED OFF: TVNZ executives today expressed their regret for hiring John Hawkesby. Rick Ellis says that if he could turn history back he would regret signing the Hawkesby contract. The mistake cost TVNZ millions. Tony Ryall asks if anyone will be held to account? Ross Armstrong says the board itself will be held to account "as history has recorded". Presenters are likely to face paycuts says Armstrong. Committee also told that TVNZ has spent $14 million investigating digital TV. The company hopes the government will change its mind on digital TV. Meanwhile the government is drawing up a charter that Armstrong will know he has to deliver on.

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