Rare PM Apology - GE Protests - Guilty Second Time - Oz DNA Tests - PANDAmonium - Lisa Blakie - Car Stickers
Rare PM Apology - Just a day after MP John Tamihere apologised in Parliament, the Prime Minister, Helen Clark has also been forced to make an apology over unjustifiably criticising public servants. The Government said that it would hold a full royal commission into genetic engineering but a letter sent to public servants in December and signed by Ms Clark, promoted a lesser inquiry. Public servants followed that advice and were then criticised by the PM. The Opposition forced an apology with Ms Clark saying unlike some she is not perfect and was happy to apologise.
GE Protests - There were large demonstrations today against ERMA, the Environmental Risk Management Agency. Demonstrators believe genetic engineering trials are not safe because the modified organisms could find their way into other animals or humans. Green MP Jeanette Fitzsimmons said in Parliament that the excretment from sheep trials at Ruakura facility near Hamilton will be put into the sewerage system and will ultimately end up in the Waikato River.
Guilty Second Time - A former Mongrel Mob prospect 24 Year-old Tana Pore has been found guilty a second time for the murder of Susan Burdett six years ago. He was granted a second trial on appeal following his conviction for murder in the first. In the High Court today the jury again found him gulity and he was sentenced to life imprisonment.
OZ DNA Tests - The whole male population of the town of Weewa in central NSW is to be DNA tested following the rape of a 93 year-old women on New Year's Day 1999. The town is still living in fear and most elderly will not spend the night alone. Town's folk called for the tests to prove their innocence.
PANDAmoniuM - A baby brown Panda made its great escape from Auckland Zoo this morning. Syngaryl was apparently miffed over her mother's new boyfriend and made her escape. She was later spotted in a tree by a workman eating lunch in a park near the zoo. Staff tranquilised her with a blow-gun dart and when she fell from the tree was captured after a brief chase. She will spend the night in an animal hospital and will return to her own cage tomorrow.
Lisa Blakie - A man connected to the Lisa Blakie murder was in Court today. The judge suppressed the mans name and the reasons why he had been remanded in custody.
Car Stickers - An under 25 car sticker scheme in Christchurch is under attack by young people and the Human Rights Commission. The British scheme sees a yellow and black sticker with 25 written on it. The scheme is supposed to tell the public that no person under 25 would be driving the vehicle. Police Minister George Hawkins has asked the Crown Law office for an opinion on the legalities of the scheme. Meanwhile, it is unlikely to be extended. However, Police Sgt Robin Scott is receiving daily requests for more of the stickers.