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TV1 6pm News (First Segment)

Traffic Delays - Baby Farmer Convicted - Fraudster Sentenced - Fiji Hostage Crisis - Olympic Torch Run

TRAFFIC DELAYS: As the long weekend begins there are massive traffic jams on State Highway 1 after a collision between two trucks early this morning meant the road had to be closed. The two trucks carrying chemicals caused a large fireball and spectators had to be kept 1 kilometre away from the blaze as firefighters and police extinguished the resulting fire.

BABY FARMER CONVICTED: A woman was found guilty today on three counts of fraud over a baby farming scheme. The woman had obtained fertility drugs under false pretenses and also fraudulently obtained a free post office box from New Zealand Post. A television news programme initially bought the matter to public attention. The woman ran an agency which organised surrogate mothers to provide babies for childless American couples.

FRAUDSTER SENTENCED: Anita Faisandier, the woman who fraudulently gained access to millions of dollars by using bogus bank accounts has been sentenced to three years in a Lower Hutt court today. The ruling shortened the previous four year sentence Faisandier had received by one year because she had worn an electronic bracelet for 12 months while under house arrest.

FIJI HOSTAGE CRISIS: The Fiji hostage crisis could soon be over after coup leader George Speight announced a “break-through had be reached between himself and military negotiators. Speight has said he will accept the decision of the Fijian Great Council of Chiefs who meet to discuss the future composition of the Fijian government on Monday. Mr Speight was visited today by Maori activist Tama Iti who says he supports the struggle for native Fijians for indigenous rights.

FIJI INTERNATIONAL REACTION: The New Zealand government and the United States are two of a number of international regimes who have announced that they will institute economic and political sanctions if the democratically elected Fijian government of Mahendra Choudhry is not restored. Commonwealth Secretary General Don McKinnon has said the commonwealth is also considering sanctions although he says a decision will not be reached until the hostages are released.

OLYMPIC TORCH RUN: While Fiji will miss out on hosting the Australia 2000 Olympic torch so will the New Zealand city of Invercargil. But the residents of the southern city organised their own sponsored torch run from Bluff with the proceeds raised going to support southern Olympians.

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