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New Zealand Herald

Hi Tech Burglary Weapon - Insider Trader - Website Loophole - Ird Debt - Olympic Flame - Heart Patients - Cash For Information - Organic Pot - Karam Defamation - Party Infighting - Reused Syringes

HI TECH BURGLARY WEAPON: Police computers will zero in on burglars' homes and break-in hot spots under a new Government offensive on a crime that affected one in four New Zealanders during the past five years. The $6 million computer mapping programme is part of a $14 million plan announced yesterday to reduce the number of burglaries.

INSIDER TRADER: Fletcher Challenge has revealed that prominent businessman Kerry Hoggard - declared an inside trader by the Securities Commission yesterday - also flouted the company's share rules a year earlier. After a five-month investigation, the commission said Mr Hoggard, FCL's former chairman, broke insider trading laws when he bought 390,000 shares in December on the eve of a major company announcement.

WEBSITE LOOPHOLE: A legal loophole has allowed a New Zealand-based Website to supply contraceptive and weight loss drugs without prescription. The Hair2go site, which lists its address as a Herne Bay Post Office box, offers a variety of prescription medicines, including the anti-obesity drug Xenical, Diane 35 contraceptive pills and baldness restoratives - no questions asked. Prices, which are quoted in New Zealand as well as US dollars, are higher than those listed by online pharmacies which insist on prescriptions.

IRD DEBT: An Auckland couple have lost their home after unwittingly clocking up a $200,000 debt with the Inland Revenue Department. But Tuhi Collins and Bev Hunter are fighting back, and yesterday took Inland Revenue to court, saying its commissioner dealt with them unfairly.

OLYMPIC FLAME: The Olympic flame has again been snuffed out on its tour of New Zealand - this time in the hands of Prime Minister Helen Clark. A short jog down Parliament's steps proved too much for the flame, which died about 25m into Helen Clark's run.

HEART PATIENTS: Up to 100 New Zealand heart patients could have had potentially faulty pacemakers fitted. The Australian Government has issued a "hazard alert" for people who have a pacemaker implanted that could fail without warning.

CASH FOR INFORMATION: ROTORUA - Rotorua police will give cash payments in exchange for information which leads to arrests for burglary or the recovery of stolen goods. Detective Sergeant Dennis Murphy said the offer was being made in a bid to reduce the number of burglaries in Rotorua.

ORGANIC POT: The Greens, the party of cannabis rights for consenting adults, stands accused of sly-grogging at its annual meeting in Turangi. Organic sly-grogging, of course.

KARAM DEFAMATION: A former All Black accused of defamation has told how his growing interest in the Bain family massacre led him to find what he believes are two key pieces of evidence. Joe Karam said yesterday in the High Court at Auckland that he spent three months combing 3000 pages of police documents used to convict David Bain of killing five members of his family in 1994.

PARTY INFIGHTING: Jim Anderton will give Prime Minister Helen Clark the message that she erred last week in ditching the Alliance policy of employer-financed paid parental leave. But the Alliance leader is at pains to minimise any personal sense of irritation, saying it was not "a federal case."

REUSED SYRINGES: The Health and Disability Commissioner is alarmed at the standard of infection control in New Zealand hospitals after a scare in Gisborne Hospital over reuse of syringes. Ron Paterson listed incidents involving contaminated endoscopes at Christchurch and Rotorua Hospitals and anaesthetic practice at Whangarei and Gisborne as being of particular concern.

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