Sentencing Changes – Fiji Sanctions – Indian Plane Crash – Middle East Peace – Bus Driver Charged – Vitamins – New Drug – Breaking A Leg For Jonah
SENTENCING CHANGES: Put them behind bars and throw away the key. Minister Phil Goff is announcing tough changes to sentencing laws. Phil Goff is proposing ending automatic parole for serious violent offenders. He is also suggesting removing suspended sentences. Some say measures are both a leap backwards for crime control. Norm Withers however is pleased with the announcement, but he is skeptical that anything will actually happen. The announcements appear at odds with the Alliance’s views and the Opposition is also skeptical. The review of sentencing won’t become law till next year at the earliest.
FIJI SANCTIONS: The tull force of new sanctions will not be announced until a new cabinet in Fiji is announced later this week. Jane Young Live: Our cabinet discussed sanctions today. In the meantime the waiting game continues for the new Fijian government to be appointed. Phil Goff is cautious and is encouraged by George Speight’s opposition to the most recent announcements concerning a new Fijian government. Some sanctions will however take place immediately. Smart sanctions are being extended to a new list of coup supporters. From a conversation the PM had with Mahendra Chaudhry Fiji is in a bad way. There is no economy left, said Chaudhry. For Democracy activists the announcements today are insufficient. Q: Is there a sense in Wellington that we have not yet seen the last of Speight? A:Very much so. Nobody believes that the cache of armory seen on Friday included all the guns including special high tech weapons.
INDIAN PLANE CRASH: A Boeing 737 has crashed in India killing many in a housing estate.
MIDDLE EAST PEACE: Large protests in the Middle East has given a new sense of urgency to the peace process underway at Camp David. 10s of thousands gather in Rabin square to protest there possible forced removal from settlements. The protests are part of a run-up to a referendum on a possible peace deal. Elsewhere in Palestinian controlled territories there were also displays of children preparing for war.
BUS DRIVER CHARGED: Police on the North Shore have decided to charge the driver of a bus involved in a fatal accident.
VITAMINS: Vitamins and diet supplements are under scrutiny following a study of 26-year-olds in Dunedin. The study estimates we spend $145 million a year on dietary supplement but we have no idea whether they work or not. The study concluded that regulation was necessary due to increased usage by young people. The supplement’s industry has responded saying this is rubbish. Consumers have mixed opinions.
NEW DRUG: Smokers who can’t give up are being offered a new drug to help people give up. Zyban has some powerful side-effects. Glaxo says that the new drug was given to vietnam veterans as an anti-depressant and encouraged them to give up . The drug comes with several side effects including vivid dreams.
BREAK A LEG: A Wellington woman, Vanessa Barker, is left with a broken leg as she jumped up to celebrate Jonah Lomu’s winning try in Saturday night’s Bledisloe Cup test. She hopes now that Jonah might sign her cast.