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National Radio Midday Bulletin

Overseas Aid Package Announced - Union Fiji Action - Strike Considered - Defence Policy - Aid Increased - Immigrant Truck - Disturbed Killing - Ge Foods Safe - Fuel Spill - Shellfish Warnings - Blakie Inquiry - Bomb In School - Bush Search

OVERSEAS AID PACKAGE ANNOUNCED: The Government has announced a boost of 6 per cent to funding for its overseas aid package. Extra funding has been devoted to East Timor and the Solomon Islands. Direct funding to the Fijian government has been halved. However NZ’s the total level of overseas aid in proportion to GNP is far less than international OECD levels.

UNION FIJI ACTION: A shipping company wants port handling companies to take legal action against unions to ensure that contracts to supply Fiji are met. The unions are boycotting goods to Fiji in solidarity with their Fijian unions counterparts to protest against Fijian coup leader George Speight.

STRIKE CONSIDERED: Waterfront workers in Auckland are meeting this morning to consider taking strike action against the Port companies after dissatisfaction with conditions offered by companies.

DEFENCE POLICY: The Government’s long awaited defence policy statement has been described as a “watershed for defence” by defence consultant and former select committee head Derek Quigley.

AID INCREASED: The government is increasing overseas aid by 6.5 per cent or $14 million a year to $226.5 million. Fiji’s direct economic aid is to be halved while other Pacific rim nations will benefit from the increase.

IMMIGRANT TRUCK: British customs officials say they were immediately suspicious of a truck in which they discovered 58 dead illegal immigrants
DISTURBED KILLING: A psychiatrist has told a coroner’s inquiry in Auckland that a mentally disturbed patient who killed his flatmate with an axe before killing himself, seemed to be able to fool doctors and nurses into thinking he had taken his medication.

GE FOODS SAFE: As the Royal Commission into Genetic Engineering begins today the Australia and New Zealand Food Authority has declared five GE based foods already on sale here safe for consumption.

FUEL SPILL: A diesel and petrol spill is causing major traffic jams in Greymouth after nearly 3,000 litres of petrol and about 3,500 litres of diesel were spilled after a tanker hit a roadside bank.

BLAKIE INQUIRY: Police investigating the killing of a Timaru woman, Lisa Blakie, have this morning begun a forensic examination of a gang headquarters near Christchurch.

SHELLFISH WARNINGS: Auckland's health authorites have issued warnings for people not to gather or eat shellfish in the whole of the Manukau Harbour.

BOMB IN SCHOOL: Palmerston North Police have arrested a 17-year-old in connection with an explosive device found at Fryberg High School in the city on Friday. The youth has apologised for creating alarm by making the device.

BUSH SEARCH: An air force Iroquois helicopter and five police teams are still searching the Tararua Ranges and surrounding areas north of Wellington, for a 48 year old mother and her 26-year-old son, who have been missing for the past 11 days. Both mother and son have medical disabilities.

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