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New Zealand Herald

Lung Disease - Nz Peacekeeper Killed - Car Theft Ring - Dover & Helen - Dog Attack - Lomu & Drugs - Stolen Vehicles - Wairarapa Toddler - Koromiko Treatment - Mortgage Broker Fraudster - Waiuku Water

LUNG DISEASE: Little Caleb Tanner has to wear a bootie on his right hand to stop him pulling the life-giving tubes out of his nose. The 3 1/2 week-old is suffering from bronchiolitis and is one of a record number of children being treated for the lung disease this winter at Middlemore Hospital in South Auckland.

- NZ PEACEKEEPER KILLED: A New Zealand peacekeeper was killed yesterday in a gunfight with an unidentified group in East Timor. Leonard William Manning died of a gunshot wound after an incident with an armed group at 3 pm (New Zealand time).

- CAR THEFT RING: A former Customs officer is under police investigation for allegedly taking part in an international car-theft ring run by Singapore gangsters. The officer was suspended late last week and quit shortly afterwards.

- DOVER & HELEN: Relations between Helen Clark and Dover Samuels have hit a new low after her former Maori Affairs Minister labelled her office "the sewage channel" for allegedly leaking information against him. The Prime Minister quickly hit back, saying Mr Samuels was "an individual who is facing a lot of difficulties, so it is not unnatural that he would lash out in a variety of directions."

- DOG ATTACK: The man who saved an 8-year-old boy from being torn to pieces by two dogs in a Rotorua park says the child could have died in the frenzied attack. The boy's shredded clothing, covered in blood and scattered over a 17m-wide area, was found by police in Linton Park yesterday.

- LOMU & DRUGS: Australian rugby bosses want to know if Jonah Lomu is using a banned drug to control his kidney complaint. Australian Rugby Union chief executive John O'Neill was reported yesterday as saying the International Rugby Board would be asked whether Lomu had a dispensation to play while using the banned substance.

- STOLEN VEHICLES: Police are investigating an Auckland car yard which was to have received a shipment of stolen luxury vehicles worth more than $1 million. They confirmed yesterday that the Singapore-based ringleaders of the crime syndicate that stole the vehicles had found a buyer in Auckland.

- WAIRARAPA TODDLER: Police say a Wairarapa toddler's death is causing them concern but there appears to be nothing suspicious about the unrelated death of a baby, also from the area. Police spokeswoman Kaye Calder said they were still waiting for post-mortem results from Wellington Hospital into the unexplained death of a five-day-old Masterton girl and a 23-month-old Carterton girl. The toddler's death was being investigated after Masterton Hospital staff raised concerns about injuries to the girl's body.

- KOROMIKO TREATMENT: A Te Kuiti doctor used koromiko leaves to treat a woman suffering a brain haemorrhage and told her family she had the flu, a Medical Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal heard yesterday. At a tribunal hearing in Hamilton, Ngaamo Thomson pleaded not guilty to a charge of professional misconduct, relating to the way he treated Meretina Kura of Te Kuiti in September 1996.

- MORTGAGE BROKER FRAUDSTER: A mortgage broker and gambling addict has been sentenced to four years' jail after swindling pensioners and other investors of at least $1 million. Fifteen victims, mostly middle-aged and elderly, sat in the Auckland District Court yesterday as 42-year-old David Simon Barton was jailed on 81 dishonesty crimes.

- WAIUKU WATER: Waiuku residents are happy drinking their water, even if it is rated the worst in Auckland. The small town south of Auckland was quick to defend its drinking supply yesterday after revelations in the Herald that softdrink giant Coca-Cola will stop using the water because it has failed 18 tests for faecal bacteria in the past year.

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