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New Zealand Herald

Rugby Walkoff - Speeding Cops - Shares Down - Controversial Bishop - Varroa Mite - Murdoch Cancer - Swain’s Recovery - Vehicle Fumes - Yacht Missing - Korean Fugitive - Holmes Home - New Labour Model - Rodman’s City - Holocaust Denier

RUGBY WALKOFF: A senior Auckland rugby player sent off for punching an opponent in a club game at the weekend took his entire team with him. The premier two game between Manukau and Pakuranga was called off when Manukau captain Walter Lidgard led his team off the field at Williams Park about 15 minutes before the final whistle.

SPEEDING COPS: Speeding police officers are clocked breaking the law almost every second day. Figures obtained by the Herald reveal that at least 886 officers driving police vehicles have paid speeding fines after being caught by the force's cameras since February 1994.

SHARES DOWN: New Zealand share prices are expected to fall sharply this morning as stock markets around the world begin a second week under heavy selling pressure. Following on from Wall St's big losses on Friday, the NZSE-40 capital index might drop as much as 70 or 80 points, representing a fall of about 3.5 per cent, some analysts estimate.

CONTROVERSIAL BISHOP: Auckland Catholic Bishop Patrick Dunn has given qualified support for contraception outside marriage - and is confident his views will not get him into hot water with the Pope. Bishop Dunn, who has pledged cash to pregnant women to prevent abortions, said yesterday that if people insisted on "sleeping around" they should use contraception. He said this view would not land him in trouble with Pope

VARROA MITE: The cost of the hunt for the bee-killing Varroa mite will top $250,000 today, as search teams widen their quest for the pest already slashing beekeeper incomes. On Saturday, the Ministry of Agriculture declared the entire North Island a controlled area, prohibiting any movement of bees, hives and beekeeping equipment for at least two weeks.

MURDOCH CANCER: LONDON - Media magnate Rupert Murdoch is suffering from low-grade prostate cancer. Britain's Sky television channel reported that the disease was discovered when Mr Murdoch, owner of media conglomerate News Corp, underwent a routine medical check.

SWAIN’S RECOVERY: The Minister of Commerce, Paul Swain, offered to resign from the cabinet because of the lengthy time he is taking to recover from major bowel surgery. The offer - made several weeks ago - was rejected by the Prime Minister. Helen Clark has told him not to worry about being absent from the Beehive and to concentrate on making a full recovery.

VEHICLE FUMES: Vehicle fumes are a factor in deaths and hospital admissions in Auckland, say health and air-monitoring officials. Although exhaust fumes do not yet threaten the general population, vulnerable groups can suffer ill-effects, says an Auckland Regional Council air pollution scientist, Kevin Mahon.

YACHT MISSING: A New Zealand family whose yacht was missing in the Pacific Ocean for a day and a half were last night heading for Norfolk Island. The 20m yacht Longfellow was found about 35km west of Norfolk Island at 6.20 pm by an RNZAF Orion aircraft.

KOREAN FUGITIVE: WELLINGTON - A $10,000 bounty has been offered for information leading to the whereabouts of a South Korean man and his young family, believed to be hiding in New Zealand from South Korean authorities. The South Korean Embassy is distancing itself from an advertisement placed in a Sunday newspaper offering the cash reward. The embassy's contact details are included in the advertisement.

HOLMES HOME: Broadcaster Paul Holmes is selling his Mediterranean-style Auckland home for just under $2 million. Holmes said yesterday that he did not want to talk about the sale but it was due to a change in priorities.

NEW LABOUR MODEL: They are highly educated policy freaks who have drawn their factionalised Labour parties to power after years in the wilderness. But Tony Blair and Britain's New Labour have proved to be a role model for Helen Clark and New Zealand Labour.

RODMAN’S CITY: Years ago in London, I had this concert-going workmate, Derek, who went out of his way to buy the unpopular side seats that looked down on the assembled orchestra. He argued that if you wanted perfectly balanced sound, you could sit at home, equidistant between your two speakers, and fiddle with your hi-fi knobs to your heart's content.

HOLOCAUST DENIER: HAMILTON - A protest rally against an alleged neo-Nazi at Waikato University may be staged in Hamilton on Anzac Day. German-born PhD student Hans-Joachim Kupka, aged 55, has rebutted claims that he is a Holocaust denier after an article last week in the student magazine Nexus.

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