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Raising Fiji Stakes - Sex in Prisons - Health Woes - Flocking Off

Raising Fiji Stakes - The Great Council of Chiefs are considering treason charges against George Speight. There are 100 chiefs in the Great Council and each has to have their say which means they may carry-on their present meeting until tomorrow. They are locked-up in army barracks under the protection of the Fiji military. Speight has sent a representative to the Council with his demands which includes a role in government, exclusion of Fijian Indians from a future government and a free pardon for himself and his gunmen. According to the Great Council Speight is instead liely to go to jail. Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon has arrived in Fiji and is meeting with Speight in a locked room just metres from where the current PM is being held hostage. PM Chaudrey has been hedl for six days and is reported to have three broken ribs and internal bleeding. Suva is still busy but there has been a run on one bank - there are food shortages and armed soldiers are everywhere.

Sex In Prisons - In an exclusive report the Minister of Corrections is considering allowing officially sanctioned conjugal rights with their partners. In the same report it is also suggested that pre-school children may live with their mothers behind bars. There will be strict criteria including undergoing drug, alcohol and relationship counselling, Some prisons overseas, including some in Australia already allow these rights. Robson says there will be a pilot programme underway earlier next year.

Health Woes - The country's health ills are many. The TB rate is highest in the English speaking world, NZ is in its 10th year of a menangitis epidemic, the measles rate is 12 times higher than Australia and our rheumatic fever is at third world levels. STD's are also causing concern.. Questions are being raised.

Flocking Off - NZ's young shearers are flocking overseas in large numbers to countries seen as greener pastures. In NZ a shearer earns around $1 per sheep - in the US $1.50 and in Australia $1.70. The sheep in NZ are bigger and shearers work much harder in NZ than their overseas counterparts. The average Australian shearer earns $Aus 62,000 per year.


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