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National Radio Midday Bulletin

Rodney Problems – Iraqi Rapist – Greedy Society – i4free – Sharif Sentencing – Constitution Conference – Sweat Shop – GE Sheep – Free Computers – Petrol Prices –Waitakere Hospital – Fooled by Phone

RODNEY PROBLEMS: The troubled Rodney District Council is now having trouble meeting deadlines for its Annual Plan. Councillors have been told the Council may not meet a deadline next week. Staff will be doing all they can to meet the deadline but officials warn them may still miss it.

IRAQI RAPIST: A former Iraqi Policeman has been jailed for 11 years for the abduction and rape of a 16-year-old student from a Taita bus stop. The Judge rejected a plea of cultural ignorance. The judge said he doubted the accused had any real remorse.

GREEDY SOCIETY: Jim Burdette the brother of murder victim Susan Burdette says he wonders why we have a society with so much violence in it. The society is based on individual greed he says. The Minister of Justice says he agrees with Mr Burdette.

I4FREE: Telecom is defending its decision to disconnect i4free customers. A Telecom spokeswoman says Telecom had to restrict access because its exchange was experiencing severe overloading. We were trying to avoid the phone equivalent of the Auckland Power Crisis, she said. This does not impress i4free who say they are considering taking further legal action against Telecom.

SHARIF SENTENCING: Reaction from long time Pakistan ally the US to the sentence given to former PM Nawaz Sharif is guarded. The UK says it is concerned. The Commonwealth Secretariat says the sentence should be suspended. The judge acquitted co-accused of several charges. Sharif was convicted of hijacking and terrorism. If all appeals fail he will spend a minimum 25 years in jail.

CONSTITUTION CONFERENCE: ACT says a conference on the constitution at Parliament is driven by a “liberal elite”. Libertarianz party protestors met delegates attending the conference. The PM told the conference the criticism was bizarre. She says the constitution is “quaint”. Sir Paul Reeves says the intention is not to specify a constitution but just to debate.

SWEAT SHOP: The Employment Tribunal has fined a woman accused of running a sweat-shop $350,000. Women workers were working 13 hours a day six days a week for less than the minimum wage. The woman has been ordered to pay her victims back pay.

GE SHEEP: ERMA told an application for Sheep research is a waste of money. The submissioner says the benefits of the planned experiment are not proven.

FREE COMPUTERS: The union representing finance workers says it welcomes an offer from the company of computers and Internet connections for all staff. The bank says its plan will benefit both the bank and its staff.

PETROL PRICES: BP is again dropping its petrol price. Its price drops immediately by 1 cent and diesel by 2 cents. The price drop follows a 1 cent cut on Monday.

WAITAKERE HOSPITAL: The government will make an announcement this afternoon on the Waitakere Hospital. There is no A&E department in the hospital at present. The expansion at the hospital will also include four new operating theatres.

FOOLED BY A PHONE: An English Publican says that a phone-booth with sound effects designed to fool anxious spouses has proven very popular with customers. He says he built the phone booth as an April Fool’s joke.

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