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Cigarette Tax Hike - Smoking In Bars And Pubs - Love Bug Suspect - Sierra Leone - Cannabis Explosion - Fashion Week

CIGARETTE TAX HIKE: Complaints from consumers at a rise in tax on cigarettes. The increase and the removal of tobacco from de-minimis rules on Duty Free fags. The increase is expected to reduce smoking. In future people coming in Duty Free will be restricted to the international standard of a single carton of cigarettes. Annette King says it's a health measure. Bill Ralston is surprised and says the move reminds him of the Black Budget.

SMOKING IN BARS AND PUBS: Publicans say they will defy laws which say smokers will not be allowed to smoke in bars. They say they will draw the line. The Hospitality Association thinks the idea stinks. A lot of bar operators will refuse to enforce it. Recently in California fines have been handed out by fire officers and that seems to have an effect. ASH says the laws could be easily enforced by public health officers. Annette King says non-smokers will enforce the laws themselves.

LOVE BUG SUSPECT: The prime suspect in the Love Bug case is arrested in the Philippines .He claims innocence and turned up at his apartment as it was raided. His Girlfriend never came home at all and she is being sought by police. The girlfriend has promised to turn himself in tomorrow. No computer was removed from the house by police say neighbours. As he left the main said he was innocent. There is no computer hacking law on the book in the Philippines. But the authorities with FBI assistance have now decided to charge the man with a fraud statute.

SIERRA LEONE: British paratroops are entering Sierra Leone to secure the airport as the situation deteriorates. Freetown people are outraged at the taking of UN prisoners. Shots were fired at a protest which turned into a war. The UN met with the rebel commander but did not find the missing peace-keepers. The UN appears to have lost control of the situation.

CANNABIS EXPLOSION: Police believe an explosion which blew the top of a factory unit in Auckland was a cannabis distilling operation. Police treating the area as a crime scene. Solvents igniting thought to be the cause. Police will be talking to the people in the unit last night.

FASHION WEEK: One of NZ's top designers today launched a collection in Fashion Week. Karen Walker's Etiquette echoed a more older style. Meanwhile a kiwi made big in the Middle East - Peter Loughlin - features in Australian Fashion Week in Sydney. He sells dresses to Arabs for $60,000 a piece - "they are buying exclusivity".


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