Fiji Coup - Fiji Coup Don McKinnon - ANZ Raise Interest Rates - BP Raises Petrol Prices - US Petrol Prices Also Up - Olympic Bomb Scare - Sir John Gielgud Dies
FIJI COUP: Last hour has seen a significant development. Three hostages have been released. The PM and 12 other hostages remain. The Chiefs started arriving at an Army Base in Suva at around 9.30am. As priests arrived two distinct camps emerged. A delegation of chiefs met the President last night - however he refused to guarantee that Mahendra Chaudrhy's government would resume its governance. George Speight meanwhile says that he will leave if the council of chiefs and his people agree that is what he should do. Shots were fired today as the coup group became nervous that troops were approaching. The outcome of the meeting is expected sometime later. Hundreds of people are now inside Parliament. Everyday something happens here that makes you wonder who is in charge. There are now several hundred people who say they are prepared to die for the cause.
FIJI COUP - DON MCKINNON: The Commonwealth Secretary General is on his way to Fiji to make peace. Helen Clark has urged the chiefs to follow the constitution. She says that withdrawing the High Commissioner is an option. Phil Goff says NZ regards Speight as a terrorist. But the government says it will not become involved. NZ troops in Fiji are officer cadets. Parliament has passed unanimously a motion condemning the actions of the coup leaders. Simon Upton and Jim Anderton in the house. Richard Prebble is reduced to tears as he talks about the role of the Fijian army in the Lebanon, East Timor and in the Solomons. This was real emotion and Prebble was the only MP to have lived in Fiji. He attacked Labour's plans for the defence review in his speech. The first thing the government would do if the coup were confirmed was to recall the ambassador it would also put pressure to expel Fiji from the Commonwealth.
ANZ INTEREST RATES RISE: Floating rate up to 8.8% up 0.7%. The ANZ says the rises were inevitable reacting to a stronger economy and the threat of inflation pressures. The cost is over $20 a week for most average home loans. Builders are not surprised by disappointed. The Finance Minister and the ANZ agree the economy is in good state.
BP RAISES PETROL PRICES: BP and Challenge have raised petrol prices.
US PETROL PRICES ALSO UP: Up 6 cents a litre in the last two weeks.
OLYMPIC BOMB SCARE: A man who had named himself after a NAZI is arrested in Australia with the ingredients to make a bomb.
GIELGUD DIES: A month ago he was filming a play. A great
Shakespearean actor. For Arthur he won an academy award. A
month ago a theatre was named in his honour.