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New Zealand Herald

Bottrill Apology - Bee Mite - Cancer Exaggerated - Bottrill Transcript - Westpac Trust Ad - Cricket Scandal - Top ‘O The Morning - Bee Farms - School Sports - Rachel Hunter - Neo Nazi - Chinese Indonesian - Remmers Revolution - DNA Controversy

BOTTRILL APOLOGY: He came to give them the apology they craved. In a makeshift courtroom in Gisborne, the town's former pathologist, Dr Michael Bottrill, stood and faced his accusers. More than a year after his laboratory work came under public scrutiny during a High Court trial, Dr Bottrill finally admitted that women had suffered from his actions.

BEE MITE: Hopes of eradicating a bee-killing mite threatening New Zealand's billion-dollar horticulture industry are fading as fresh reports emerge of its spread. Last night, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry said 163 of the 660 hives checked on 14 South Auckland properties were infested with the deadly Varroa mite.

CANCER EXAGGERATED: A top health official yesterday revealed that cervical cancer rates had been exaggerated to ensure political support for a national screening programme. Questioned at the Gisborne inquiry into cervical screening, Ministry of Health chief adviser Dr Bob Boyd admitted that the definition of cervical cancer was "stretched out" for the sake of politicians and to build up the importance of a programme.

BOTTRILL TRANSCRIPT: "I want first to explain why I am making this statement at this time, some months before I am called to give evidence to the committee. Most patients see their doctors face to face and get to know them in the course of their medical treatment. But pathologists practise in laboratories. Specimens are received for examination and reports are sent out. The pathologist is only a name on a report. Often the patient may not see the report itself, and the patient may not be told the name of the person who has made the report.

WESTPAC TRUST AD: A WestpacTrust TV campaign has struck a raw nerve among teachers. They want the advertisement - which features a classroom lesson on the theory of gravity -- to be withdrawn, and some are urging teachers to shift their business from the bank in protest.

CRICKET SCANDAL:The Hansie Cronje scandal may have been sparked by a tipoff from champion South African allrounder Lance Klusener, who reportedly told Indian police about his captain's link to illegal bookmakers. Klusener - player of the tournament in the World Cup last year - argued with Cronje in the lobby of a New Delhi hotel, after which he contacted the police, according to the Gulf News, published in Dubai.

BEE FARMS: Keeping bees for 50 years did not prepare Russell Berry for the shock caused by the arrival of a tiny and deadly pest. Yesterday, at the Rotorua operation of family-owned Arataki Honey, Mr Berry said the unexpected detection of the bee-killing Varroa mite in South Auckland was wrecking his business.

SCHOOL SPORTS: Sports organisations are struggling, school sport is under severe strain and the Government is not doing enough to fix the problems, says the Hillary Commission. A discussion paper released by the commission says New Zealand was once a freak on the world sports stage, but sport is now at a crossroads.

RACHEL HUNTER: New Zealand model-turned-actor Rachel Hunter, who had a lump removed from under her arm last month, has revealed other ailments, including a heart problem. Hunter's physical wellbeing made the cover of two Australian women's magazines this week following the cancer scare over the lump, which turned out to be a benign cyst.

NEO NAZI: The Waikato University student at the centre of neo-Nazi allegations wants those who have complained about him to leave him alone. Hans Kupka, a German PhD student accused of writing anti-Semitic statements in German on the Internet, contacted the Herald by e-mail yesterday to say he wished his critics would accept that the university had cleared him.

TOP ‘O THE MORNING: TV3 news presenter John Campbell looks like the frontrunner for a coveted radio role as host of Top o' the Morning. Campbell told the Herald last night that he had not been offered a formal contract for the top-rating Saturday morning show, but was feeling positive about his chances.

CHINESE INDONESIAN: Hundreds of Chinese Indonesians have started a public battle with the Immigration Service to stay in New Zealand, claiming they will be persecuted if they return home. Most arrived in New Zealand in 1998, fleeing the May riots when military groups of the native Indonesian Muslim population attacked the mostly Christian ethnic Chinese.

REMMERS REVOLUTION: A visitor from Hawkes Bay perhaps? It certainly wasn't the sort of behaviour I would expect of a grand dame from deepest Remuera. There she stood on the Victoria Ave red chip making a very South American gesture with her middle finger. The object of her dislike? The amplified anti-Metrowater messages bellowing forth outside the home of the honorary Bolivian consul. Confused? Well that makes two of us.

DNA CONTROVERSY: The lawyer who claims scientists botched their forensic tests while probing an armed holdup at the Pukekohe TAB has produced his own DNA expert in a bid to refute their findings. Defence lawyer Roy Wade alleges that scientists at the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) mislabelled a crucial blood sample and erred while making other tests.

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