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TV1 6pm Bulletin (First Segment)

Fishing Disaster - Tamihere Apologises - Stocks Plunge - Local Plunge - Transrail Fined - Health Under Fire - Cell Phone Safety

FISHING DISASTER: The soul survivor of the Bay of Plenty fishing disaster has told the media of her ordeal. Kirsty Robinson was in the water for over 30 hours in the water when she was picked up on Monday. She told of begging her father to take her life jacket before he and two others slipped under the waves. The father of the drowned boy has motor-neuron disease and could not go on the fishing journey. The boy, Tim was also paid tribute by his school. The search for the other three members has been called off.

TAMIHERE APOLOGISES: An apology tonight from the besieged Labour MP John Tamihere who named three individuals involved in the Waipareira Trust whom he called drug addicts and theives. The Maori Trust has been under the media spotlight over allegations by the ACT party that it misused government money it was paid to contract for welfare services. Meanwhile Helen Clark has made a significant shift in her stance, now agreeing that the Trust’s financial bookkeeping was “not the greatest” but still says she has confidence in the MP she hand-picked. Miss Clark says the system which allowed private contractors to tender for welfare services was not robust enough in its checking for abuse. But she says there is no evidence of corrupt practices in the Trust.

STOCKS PLUNGE: It’s been a wild day for investors on world stockmarkets which took a plunge today. The Dow Jones was hit by a 700 point swing recovering to over 40 points down. The plunge was led by the court ruling on US software giant Microsoft which said that the company behaved anti-competitively and may have to be broken up. There are fears that the internet bubble may be bursting, but local commentators say the tech stocks still have life in them yet.

LOCAL PLUNGE: A local example of the roller coaster is the internet stock Advantage Group whose share prices had soared over the last few years but today closed 25 cents down.

TRANSRAIL FINED: Transrail has been fined a record sum over an accident which left a Interislander ferry crew member dead last year after a life boat fell from the Arahura ferry. The judge ruled that Transrail was negligent in maintaining safety standards and was ordered to pay $37,000 to the man's family. Howver the family say they feel used by the American company.

HEALTH UNDER FIRE: Northland Health companies are under fire this evening after claims by a family that their 90-year-old relative was told to go home and die rather than to have a life lengthening food tube implanted. The doctor who gave the advice told the family the invasive surgery was against Maori tradition and it was better for the grandmother to go home and die naturally from starvation. Health minister Annette King is aware of the case but cannot comment while the case is being investigated. However Minister of Maori Affairs Dover Samuel is visiting the family this evening.

CELL PHONE SAFETY: The safety of your cell-phone is again under scrutiny after a British researcher said that Handsfree kits may not be as safe as previously thought. The consumer survey found that Handsfree kits tripled radiation exposure, acting as an aerial which transmitted radiation waves to the brain. However local scientists say the controversial study goes against other published research which says the kits are safe. The study only applied to personal handsfree kits, not car handsfree kits.

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