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Dollar Slide - Business Confidence - Arts Funding - Film Funding - Soccer Riots In Denmark - Olympic Flame Runners - St Stephens

DOLLAR SLIDE: The Minister of Finance is calling for calm after the dollar plunges below 46 cents US. Opposition blames Jim Anderton. Richard Prebble asks Dr Cullen to tell Jim Anderton to shut up. He says he doesn't think the markets are spooked. National is also concerned about the worries of the markets. The problem is that pessimism is coming from his coalition partner. The coalition allows the Alliance and Labour to disagree in public but there appears to be practical problems with this.

BUSINESS CONFIDENCE: Business leaders are blaming the government for falling confidence. ASB bank economist says that the NZ Dollar is falling away for no good reason. Since May last year the dollar has dropped 18%. On Tuesday the Finance Minister delivered a speech and the dollar has since fallen 2 US cents. Business leaders highlight a series of causes for the lack of confidence. At the Viaduct Basin the superyachts are gone. Restaurants are struggling. Risking fuel costs are also a worry. The AA says the cost of running a medium sized car has risen 10%.

ARTS FUNDING: The Government has saved the NZSO with an arts package totalling $86 million. The NZSO is delighted at the cash injection. The biggest winner is NZONAIR. Te Papa gets $11 million. A Music Industry Commission gets $2 million. Christchurch's new art gallery also gets money as does NZ Ballet and the Edwin Fox. Opposition parties say the package ignores the needs of ordinary NZers. Richard Prebble says the money will keep the band playing while the economy sinks.

FILM FUNDING: $22 million is being injected into the film industry. The money looks targetted at small film makers. The fund will pay for second-tier films. Kiwi films are being well received at Cannes. The fund is expected to produce at least 10 new films over eight years.

SOCCER RIOTS: Turkish and English fans battle it out in the centre of Copenhagen before the European Cup Final. The injuries mounted as the battle continued. Questions at the role of the police they arrived late and did not do a lot. Today's violence has been brewing since two Leeds fans were killed in Turkey.

OLYMPIC FLAME: Dick Quax and Rod Dixon will be added to the pool of runners with the Olympic Flame.

ST STEPHENS SCHOOL: New allegations of violence at the school from the mother of a student who says her son was beaten after he returned to school after an operation. St Stephens rejects the allegations saying that students make allegations up because they don't want to be at the school. The Minister of Education has received another report saying that the culture of violence at the school has not changed. Police are still considering laying charges against a 5th former involved in last weeks attack.

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