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Hero Cop - Coroner Attacks - Airways Corruption - Gang Shooting - Waitara Shooting - Nz Not Caring - Boating Tragedy - Prison Escaper- Siamese Twins - Laboratories Secret - Govt Spending - Education Values - Legionella Epidemic - Rimu Logging - Radical Conservative

HERO COP: To the police it was a case of a hero cop saving the life of his partner after an unexpected knife attack at a South Auckland house. To the Esekielu family of South Auckland it was a sudden, midnight clash that ended with one of their number under arrest and the whole family taken to a police station for questioning.

CORONER ATTACKS: Auckland's coroner yesterday attacked pro-cannabis politicians, challenging them to attend inquests to see the damage drugs cause. Coroner Mate Frankovich made the comments while finding that top Northland surfer Jamie Langridge died from a huge Ecstasy dose

AIRWAYS CORRUPTION: An Airways Corporation executive, who left the company after a secret settlement, had made allegations of insider trading worth millions of dollars against senior figures, Parliament was told yesterday. New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said company secretary and legal counsel Ezequiel Trumper received a six-figure "hush money" payout over accusations that some executives were aiming to reap millions of dollars for themselves through a company con-tract.

GANG SHOOTING: Gang members were still dancing hard as dawn broke at the Tribesmen pad in Papatoetoe - until the blast of a single gunshot stopped the party dead. Shane "Shine" Hohepa, a 24-year-old father of two, toppled sideways from the bar with a .38 calibre pistol bullet lodged in his brain.

WAITARA SHOOTING: Tensions in troubled Waitara nearly exploded again yesterday when a woman rang police and threatened to shoot the town's officers. The woman, who identified herself to police, rang Waitara station first and then New Plymouth police and repeated her threats - a response to Sunday's fatal police shooting of Steve Wallace.

NZ NOT CARING: New Zealand is no longer a caring society, says the Governor-General, Sir Michael Hardie Boys. "There are a lot of lost souls out there, so many of them young, marginalised, alienated, with no purpose, often no hope," he told a Unesco mini-summit in Blenheim.

BOATING TRAGEDY: The family of a woman who drowned while pleasure-boating in the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland have been left grief-stricken and bewildered by the loss of their mother and grandmother. As police continue to inquire into the death of Christine Wilson-Atkins on Monday, her sons are preparing for Saturday's funeral and trying to put questions about her death out of their minds.

PRISON ESCAPER: Recaptured escaper Travis Burns is back in Mt Eden Prison after five days on the run. Burns appeared in the Auckland District Court yesterday sporting a beard he grew while on the run.

SIAMESE TWINS: As Faith and Hope Emberson lay in a stable condition in hospital last night on the second day of their lives, doubts began to grow about the chances of successfully separating the Siamese twins. Born by caesarean section at National Women's Hospital in Auckland on Tuesday, the twins are understood to be joined from navel to rib cage, putting them face to face, the most common position for Siamese twins.

LABORATORIES SECRET: The identities of laboratories said to have reported the same or fewer abnormal smears than former Gisborne pathologist Michael Bottrill will remain secret. The chairwoman of a ministerial inquiry into cervical screening, Ailsa Duffy, QC, ruled yesterday that the names of laboratories contained in a 1994 document comparing smear-reporting rates would be revealed only to the panel, lawyers and organisations with party status.

GOVT SPENDING: The Government has scrapped some spending plans and will defer others to fund a $200 million shortfall it says it inherited from National. The cuts, to deal with the "skeleton in the cupboard," will not hurt Labour's credit-card pledges, but will affect a range of minor to moderate initiatives, Finance Minister Michael Cullen said yesterday.

EDUCATION VALUES: Experts say schools committed to good character are those that publicly stand for core values. In the past two months, the Herald has shone the spotlight on values education in our schools.

LEGIONELLA EPIDEMIC: Australia's deadly legionella epidemic is believed to have struck two New Zealanders, one a teenage boy. The Ministry of Health is warning people who visited Melbourne last month to seek urgent medical advice if they are worried they might have contracted legionnaires' disease.

RIMU LOGGING: WELLINGTON - The Prime Minister last night patched up differences with the Greens, overriding her Finance Minister by hinting that the cabinet would set a date later this month for an early end to rimu logging on the West Coast. After meeting Green Party leaders for just under an hour, Helen Clark said she would be surprised if rimu contracts ran their full eight-year term.

RADICAL CONSERVATIVE: One of Parliament's more conservative characters made a radical impression yesterday. Droll Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton sent his colleagues wild with delight as he put Jenny Shipley through a slow roast over her claims to be a "radical conservative."

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