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New Zealand Herald

Waitara Shooting - Love Bug - Love Letters - Team Nz Raid - Water Pressure - Transport Stalemate - Election Disclosure - Hep B Subsidy - GE Work - Art Gallery - Sealord Share - Millenium Dreamers - Cook Islands Family - Cannabis Law Reform - Airways Corp

WAITARA SHOOTING: Police Minister George Hawkins last night urged the Herald not to publish the name of the police officer who shot Steven Wallace dead in Waitara. And the Prime Minister, while not expressing a view on the desirability of publication, said that the Government would examine whether name suppression for police involved in such shootings should be legislated by Parliament.

LOVE BUG: Office workers are warned to be alert for copycat versions of the Love Bug virus when they boot up their computers this morning. Variations of the bug that caused billions of dollars of damage around the world late last week surfaced during the weekend.

LOVE LETTERS: These are some of the viruses to watch out for: VBS.LoveLetter.A Attachment: LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU. Subject Line: ILOVEYOU VBS.LoveLetter.B (also known as Lithuania) Attachment: LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU.Subject Line: Susitikim shi vakara kavos puodukui

TEAM NZ RAID: The world's most famous rich man, Bill Gates, has been identified as the mystery backer of the multimillion-dollar raid on Team New Zealand's champion America's Cup crew. Britain's Observer newspaper says the Microsoft president is bankrolling the United States challenge, which has offered at least 20 New Zealand sailors and designers new jobs with huge pay cheques.

WATER PRESSURE: A water protest outside the home of Auckland City Councillor Phil Raffills turned ugly yesterday when the cancer-afflicted councillor smashed a window on the group's fire truck. Four Water Pressure Group protesters set up outside Mr Raffills' Hillsborough home in mid-afternoon and began shouting their concerns about wastewater charges through a loud speaker.

TRANSPORT STALEMATE: Secret talks to gain access to Auckland's rail tracks for rapid transit are close to stalemate as a crucial deadline of May 25 looms. Regional transport planners were downcast last week after suggestions of a $300 million asking price for Tranz Rail to hand over control of some of its track corridors.

ELECTION DISCLOSURE: Parliament's inquiry into last year's election will investigate tightening the law on disclosure in the wake of large donations from anonymous sources to Labour and National campaign coffers. The Weekend Herald revealed that TV3 had donated $25,000 to both parties before last year's election.

HEP B SUBSIDY: A Government move to subsidise a drug to control hepatitis B is expected to save hundreds of lives and reduce the number of costly liver transplants. New Zealand has an estimated 55,000 carriers of the highly infectious virus and a further 16,000 suffering from the active, chronic disease.

GE WORK: WELLINGTON - Some crown research institutes appear to be gagging scientists from speaking publicly about their genetic engineering work, says a scientist. Dr Lin Roberts, a consultant in sustainable land use, told the Wellington seminar on gene technology in New Zealand that there was a lack of freedom of speech in some institutes (CRIs).

ART GALLERY: Auckland ratepayers could soon be subsidising a contemporary art gallery - hit by plummeting visitor numbers - to the tune of $10 a visit. The New Gallery, which opened in Lorne St in 1995, was supposed to operate at no cost to ratepayers.

SEALORD SHARE: WELLINGTON - The Government has rejected all the overseas bids for Brierley's half-share in New Zealand's biggest fishing company, Sealord. Finance Minister Michael Cullen and Fisheries Minister Pete Hodgson made the announcement early today after earlier revoking the Overseas Investment Commission's authority to decide on the sale.

MILLENIUM DREAMERS: Ten outstanding young Kiwis left home yesterday to join 2000 youngsters from around the globe for the Millennium Dreamers Conference 2000. The world youth summit at Disney World in Florida aims to recognise and celebrate the achievements of young people from countries as diverse as Norway and El Salvador.

COOK ISLANDS FAMILY: The Cook Islands Minister of Health, Norman George, is trying to persuade a family to bring their boy back to Auckland for lifesaving radiotherapy. The boy was aged 6 in February when surgeons at the Starship children's hospital removed a tumour from his brain.

CANNABIS LAW REFORM: The country's best-known cannabis law reform campaigner told teenagers they should not even consider using the drug until they were at least 18 years old. But Nandor Tanczos' advice was ignored by hundreds of people aged under 18 who openly smoked cannabis at a Saturday protest organised by the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

AIRWAYS CORP: The Airways Corporation says it is 12 air-traffic controllers under strength but dismisses reports of a safety crisis caused by lack of staff. "There is no threat to safety and there are no sites where we have experienced a loss of service," said corporation spokesman Ashley Smout yesterday.

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