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Fiji Coup x 2 - Business Confidence - Telecom Cable - US Fires - Ferry Collision - Pylon Crash - Otira Gorge Opens

FIJI COUP: Cars hijacked and skirmishes break out around Parliament as rebels vent their anger. The trouble seems to have been sparked by the person selected to be PM. An amnesty has been granted to Speight but not to those involved in the murder of a policeman. Footage of the car hijacking - two cars with Indian drivers were hijacked. There is evidence Speight is losing control of his supporters. Frank Bainimarama says there is no reason for Speight to hold onto the hostages. After late night negotiations the hostage takers say they are not happy with the amnesty deal. Amnesty will only be given after the hostages are free says the Commodore Bainimarama.

FIJI COUP: One hostage was allowed to leave the complex temporarily to attend a funeral this morning. The gunmen want amnesty for all their supporters. The military is adamant they will not cave in on this. With the army in control it raised hopes of a breakthrough but there is no sign of a conclusion yet. Progress is painfully slow and it looks like dragging on at least one more night.

BUSINESS CONFIDENCE: Jenny Shipley says the Government cannot escape the blame for sagging confidence. The government responds with positive figures from the same survey. Cullen remains bullish with 85% saying sales will stay the same or improve. Many businessmen rattle off a consistent list of policies that make them wonder what is going on in the economy. Mac Pac however is doing will with the low dollar and says get into export. Jenny Shipley says no worming on the hook will allow the government to escape responsibility. Trevor Mallard responds strongly. The PM says change to the ERB will be as much is as necessary to address reasonable concerns.

TELECOM CABLE: Telecom is laying a new cable from Levin to Nelson.

US FIRES: Fire fighters in US are battling fires across three states. New fires are breaking out on a daily basis. Fire fighters say this fire season is worse. One official estimate puts the number of fires at 3000. Worse weather to come could make it even worse.

FERRY COLLISION: Two ferries colide in Auckland harbour. No one injured.

PYLON CRASH: Police evacuate 200 people in Auckland after a car crashes into a power pylon.

OTIRA GORGE OPENS: New Otira Gorge route is open but there is still lots of work to do.

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