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Bay of Plenty Drowning Ordeal - Le Guin Abandones Row - Defacto Rights - Woman Charged - Australian Race Row

BAY OF PLENTY DROWNING ORDEAL: A 16-year-old Bay of Plenty girl has survived a boating tragedy that dragged on over 24 hours. Kirsty Robinson has survived an unimaginable ordeal watching her father and cousin down. She drifted in the sea for 28 hours. A fishing boat sank when an anchor snagged. The boat was a coastguard boat. Kirsty was the only one with a life jacket. The boat was only two months old and well prepared. The skipper was very experienced. Police and coastguard are not saying much about why only Kirsty was wearing a lifejacket at the time the boat flipped but will be disappointed.

LE GUIN ABANDONS ROW: French solo rower Joe Le Guin has abandoned his solo rowing quest across the Pacific. The rower is now aboard the Palliser Bay cargo ship. The boat is 1700 miles from land and will take at least 4 days to get to land. Le Guin is believed to have blood poisoning and the first signs of gangrene. Le Guin's boat has been lost. Chilean authorities are being asked to help.

DEFACTO RIGHTS: Defacto rights are being taken out of the closet. In the event of a defacto break-up after three years property will be split under a new bill. At present there is a lawless scrap for defacto relationships says a lawyer. Green MP Keith Locke says he will back the bill. The bill will go to a conscience vote. Locke says the law needs to catch up. The new law will also apply to same-sex couples. The Christian Heritage Party says the new law will undermine the institution of marriage. National is also critical and says it is unclear when a defacto relationship starts. The law changes were first mooted by Jim McClay under the Muldoon government.

WOMAN CHARGED: A woman that admitted supplying a shotgun used for a murder has been charged with another offence in Christchurch. She is already in jail.

AUSTRALIAN RACE ROW: Australian Aboriginals are threatening riots in the streets at the Olympics. Steve Christianson - it appears that the government has underestimated the level of anger over the denial that the "stolen generation" ever existed. The term is used to describe thousands of aboriginal children taken from their parents. Aboriginal leaders plan to use the games to also focus on controversial mandatory sentencing laws. PM John Howard says that Australia will not be pushed around by overseas journalists. The government is trying to limit compensation claims. Aboriginal leader Charles Perkins " from here on it will be burn baby burn" has very strong credentials here and these threats are being taken seriously. Aboriginal athletes are not expected to boycott the games but may use success to highlight the issue.

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