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National Radio Midday Bulletin

James Whakaruru - Killer’s Lawyer - Economy Slows - Shipping Line Wins - Zimbabwe Election - Ambon Violence - Murder Details - Brothers’ Plea - Ihug Appeals - Drug Tests - New Exam - Sea Searches - Hostel Tragedy

JAMES WHAKARURU: The Social Welfare Minister Steve Maharey said the welfare system will work to take a more co-ordinated approach dealing with at risk children to ensure that tragedies like the beating of James Whakaruru don’t happen again.

KILLER’S LAWYER: The lawyer for the man convicted of killing the boy has welcomed the report saying there is a need for publicity over the dangers of hitting children. Roger McClay, the Commissioner for Children agrees, saying the Crime Act should be changed to outlaw spanking as it is in Sweden.

ECONOMY SLOWS: Official figures show the economy has slowed significantly in the first three months this year after a mini boom at the end of the 1999 quarter.

SHIPPING LINE WINS: A shipping line has won a battle against the council of trade unions to continue a shipping trade line to Fiji after it took the CTU to the employment court. The union had announced a general ban on workers sending products to Fiji in protest at George Speight’s coup.

ZIMBABWE ELECTION: The final reports of the Zimbabwe election are due in later today. The voting process was not violent as expected. Whatever the result, the ruling party of Robert Mugabe has said the party would form a government. Meanwhile, international election monitors have criticised the voting process saying it was by no means a fair and unbiased election.

AMBON VIOLENCE: More than forty people are known to have died in five days of street fighting between Muslims and Christians in the northern Indonesian city of Ambon.

MURDER DETAILS: The High Court in Auckland has heard details of the murder of a woman, Joanne McCarthy, found dead in her bath in 1998. The man accused for the murder, Travis Burns, is pleading not guilty.

BROTHERS’ PLEA: Two brothers charged with the murder of a Wanaganui man have both pleaded not guilty to the charges.

IHUG APPEALS: The internet company Ihug will file papers in the court today to seek a review of the sale in the selling of the mobile radio spectrum frequencies.

DRUG TESTS: The New Zealand Sports Drug Agency says it can legally administer tests for illegal performance enhancing drugs in a Wainuiomata school if the students are involved in sporting activities.

NEW EXAM: An Auckland secondary school Auckland Grammar is to adopt an exam from a leading British University because it believes the proposed National Certificate exam, set to be instituted in 2002, is not rigorous enough.

SEA SEARCHES: The police and search and rescue teams are continuing two separate searches for people missing at sea yesterday.

HOSTEL TRAGEDY: In Queensland the search is still continuing for bodies of backpackers killed in a fire in a local travelers hostel. Queensland police are also still searching for a man they want to contact about the fire – an itinerant backpacker.

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