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New Zealand Herald

Parliamentary Sleaze - South Africa & Soccer World Cup - Jim’s Consultants - TV Property Show - Family Visits - Israeli Bombs Scare - Harry Potter Stories - Todd In Olympics - Drivers Licenses - Jim’s Consultants -Versace Brand - Wrongful Jail - Asb Deal- Jury Retires

PARLIAMENTARY SLEAZE: Prime Minister Helen Clark went on the attack over parliamentary sleaze last night, blaming Act for an anonymous fax revealing Labour MP John Tamihere's drink-driving convictions. Standing firmly behind her controversial backbencher, Helen Clark outraged Act by claiming the party was spreading innuendo.

SOUTH AFRICA & SOCCER WORLD CUP: The head of New Zealand Soccer is stunned that a Kiwi is responsible for South Africa losing out to Germany in hosting the soccer world cup final in 2006. Oceania confederation president Charlie Dempsey abstained from voting for South Africa leaving them 1 vote short of Germany's total.

TV PROPERTY SHOW: Embarrassed real estate agents want TVNZ to scrap its most popular programme, Location, Location, Location, because they say it shows their profession in a dubious light. A number of agencies have banned staff from having any dealings with the Sunday night show, which draws an audience of 791,000 - 14,000 more viewers than One News.

FAMILY VISITS- Hospitals are cracking down on mass visits by extended families, after complaints that visitors are sleeping in patients' beds and making nurses babysit their children. Whangarei Area Hospital is considering severely restricting visiting rights because of the way it says its rules are abused.

ISRAELI BOMBS SCARE: A former Israeli soldier who sparked a bomb scare on an Air New Zealand plane told a court yesterday that it had just been a joke. Hayim Nachum, aged 42, a Wellington company director, is believed to be the first person charged under a section of the Civil Aviation Act that makes it a crime to knowingly provide false information relating to the safety of an aircraft.

HARRY POTTER STORIES: An opportunity for New Zealand children to be the first in the world to read the latest Harry Potter adventure has disappeared in a puff of smoke. Borders bookstore planned to sell 400 copies of the eagerly awaited Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire at midnight in Auckland tonight - hours before it is due to go on sale in Britain and the United States and a full week before it is due to hit New Zealand shelves.

TODD IN OLYMPICS: The two sporting bodies in the spotlight over Mark Todd's Olympic selection remain unmoved by an International Olympic Committee official's suggestion that he could be dropped from the team. Mike Hooper, secretary-general of the New Zealand Olympic Committee, says the official's comments that Todd could be dropped without proof that he used illegal drugs changed nothing.

DRIVERS LICENSES: Scott Welsh just wanted to keep his driver's licence handy when he drilled a hole in it and attached it to his key ring. It is illegal to drive without your licence, but when Mr Welsh was stopped by police in Christchurch he was told that he could be prosecuted for defacing it because of the small hole in the corner of the card.

JIM’S CONSULTANTS: Jim Anderton's new Economic Development Ministry has spent almost $2 million on consultants in just four months. National is calling it "a binge" by the Alliance leader, who promised earlier this year to cut down on the use of consultants and eventually to eliminate it.

VERSACE BRAND: Big-name international clothing labels, including the exclusive Versace brand, are coming to Auckland with the opening of a chic $60 million retail development in High St. In a vote of confidence in the New Zealand retail economy, local and international store owners have signed up for the new Chancery development, which will have 35 shops. It will open in November.

ASB DEAL: A man who fought to keep a $50,000 bank prize he received by mistake did a deal on television last night to keep some of the money. Ian Gibson agreed to hand back $38,000 and the ASB Bank said he could keep $10,000 plus $2000 for his lawyer's fees.

WRONGFUL JAIL: An Auckland man wrongly jailed for more than a year is likely soon to receive compensation from the Government. Justice Minister Phil Goff is to take a paper to the cabinet proposing the payment. The man, whose name is suppressed, served 14 months for sexually abusing his sons before being cleared.

JURY RETIRES: The jury in the trial of the man accused of murdering Tauranga woman Jo-Anne Van Duyvenbooden retired for the night after deliberating much of yesterday. The jury had retired to consider its verdict after the Chief Justice, Dame Sian Elias, gave her summing-up in the morning following the three-week-long trial in the High Court at Rotorua.

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