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National Radio Midday Bulletin

Fiji Crisis - Council Of Chiefs Meeting - Un Emissary - NZ Govt Reaction - Sierra Leone - Stiff Sentences - Not Guilty Plea - Police Video- Lebanon Occupation - West Coast Package - Diesel Spill

FIJI CRISIS: Warning shots have been fired in the last hours outside the enclosure where the Fijian Prime minister and members of his cabinet are being held hostage. Tensions are very high in the area which has been surrounded by Government soldiers and police. Supporters of the coup attempt, many holding rocks, have been allowed into the enclosure.

COUNCIL OF CHIEFS MEETING: Meanwhile the Council of Chiefs are meeting and debating whether to support the coup attempt or continue to support President Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara’s presidency. Busses are running this morning and shops and banks are open as more people return to work in the Capital. Looted shops are being protected by police to stop further pillage.

UN EMISSARY: Meanwhile Foreign Minister Phil Goff has confirmed the United Nations is sending a special emissary to Fiji, a Brazilian who before worked in East Timor. A member of the council of chiefs has criticised the decision saying Fiji should be allowed to solve its crisis without foreign intervention.

NZ GOVT REACTION: The Prime Minister Helen Clark says recalling New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Fiji is a first option if the Council Of Chiefs decide to recognise the coup attempt. If this were to happen she says Fiji would lose its commonwealth membership.

SIERRA LEONE: What appear to be the burnt bodies of at least six UN peacekeepers have been found in the country of Sierra Leone. The corpses found burnt and packed outside of Freetown were believed to possibly be Zambian.

STIFF SENTENCES: Two young men who burgled a house in Papatoetoe, Auckland and then abducted and raped a woman in a near by park have been given 11 and 13 year sentences.

NOT GUILTY PLEA: A Northland man accused of fatally stabbing his children and a neighbour in Hokianga has pleaded not guilty today.

POLICE VIDEO: The former head of the police video unit is suing police for more than $100,000 for emotional trauma he suffered videoing crime and suicide scenes.

LEBANON OCCUPATION: Israel’s security cabinet has empowered the Israeli Prime Minister to withdraw troops from Southern Lebanon early as Hisbollah guerrillas advance on the area.

WEST COAST PACKAGE: Officials from treasury and economic development are in Buller today to discusss the details of the $120 million package for compensation offered by the Government for the end of Timberlands’ logging of native rimu.

DIESEL SPILL: Most of the diesel spillage into the Avon river has been cleared up by Christchurch regional council. The Council is considering criminal charges against the business responsible.

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