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TV1 6pm News (First Segment)

New Benefit Idea - Work & Income And Student Loans - Work & Income And Monitoring -Cervical Cancer Inquiry - Fiji Govt. Swear In Postponed - Fiji Govt. Rejected - Black Socks & Pm - Blackadderville Name Change - Olympic Entertainment

NEW BENEFIT IDEA: The Government is considering changing the benefits system to make one universal benefit level. Social Services Minister Steve Maharey announced the proposal today which beneficiary groups welcomed. Reaction to the idea has been mixed from the other main parties.

- WORK & INCOME AND STUDENT LOANS: The Employment Select Committee today heard from Work And Income’s Christine Rankin about the problems with the student loan scheme.

- WORK & INCOME AND MONITORING: The Department of Work and Income has also been criticized of its monitoring of organisations including the Waipareira Trust.

-CERVICAL CANCER INQUIRY: There are new revelations about the number of mistakes made by former Gisborne Pathologist Dr. Michael Bottrill. The laboratory which re-read the slides said the region suffered from third world levels of diagnosis. She also said the number of cases that seemed to naturally occurred in the region was high.

- FIJI GOVT. SWEAR IN POSTPONED: The swearing in of the new Fijian government was abandoned at the last minute today after the president did not show up at the ceremony. The official line from the interim government is that president Josefa Iloilo is too sick to attend. However coup leader George Speight earlier said the president would not attend the ceremony because the rebels had not been involved in the selection of the new government.

- FIJI GOVT. REJECTED: The new Fijian government, which has four of Speight’s representatives, has been rejected by both the New Zealand and Australian governments who both withdrew high commissioners, and further severed military links with the islands.

- BLACK SOCKS & PM: Prime Minister Helen Clark met with the Black-Socks to promote their bid for the 2000 Olympics.

- BLACKADDERVILLE NAME CHANGE: The small town of Rangiora has decided to temporarily change its name to Blackadderville in honour of its local hero Allblack captain Todd Blackadder.

- OLYMPIC ENTERTAINMENT: Aussie popstars Bardo will sing at the opening of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

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