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New Zealand Herald

Umpire Hurt - ERB Magnet - Mark Todd - Inflation To Rise - No Murderer - Museum Theft – Ancestors’ Pictures - Toddler Inquiry - Child Safety Warning - Bombing Averted - Force Corp

UMPIRE HURT: Billy Bowden has retired hurt - but he'll be back in time for summer. The flamboyant cricket umpire from Browns Bay is recovering from operations on his elbows to combat crippling arthritis.

- ERB MAGNET: The Government has spent $150,000 sending 80,000 businesses a "pop-up" fridge magnet and a leaflet promoting the Employment Relations Bill. The Opposition attacked the spending as a frivolous waste of taxpayer money to promote the controversial law.

- MARK TODD: Sports Minister Trevor Mallard has received official advice that he could penalise sports bodies for their handling of the Mark Todd affair. However, he has refused to act because he says to do so would be unfair and similar to the actions of an "Eastern European dictator."

- INFLATION TO RISE: Inflation is going up ... but don't ask for a pay rise to compensate. That, says Reserve Bank Governor Don Brash, will only make it worse.

- NO MURDERER: Travis Burns told a jury yesterday that he was a would-be bank robber but not a murderer. The revelation that Burns failed in a bid to take money from a St Heliers bank came on the first day of the defence case in the Joanne McCarthy murder trial.

- MUSEUM THEFT: It is an unguarded work of art at the Auckland War Memorial Museum, a potentially priceless painting there for the taking. The artwork, adjacent to the Scars of the Heart show, is part of the exhibition honouring war hero Captain Charles Upham.

- ANCESTORS’ PICTURES: Toko Renata Te Taniwha's livingroom wall is covered in pictures of his ancestors. One photograph in particular has great significance. It shows Hera Puna, warrior wife of chief Hori Ngakapa, who fought valiantly alongside her husband against the British in the battle of Rangiriri in 1863.

- TODDLER INQUIRY: A person who took dead tot Hinewaoriki Karaitiana-Matiaha to hospital told family members the horrific burns on her face were a reaction to first-aid cream put on at kohanga reo. Close family did not realise she had been severely abused until post-mortem results released the following day revealed she had been scalded, bashed to death and sexually violated.

- CHILD SAFETY WARNING: Experts are warning parents not to rely on devices designed to stop their toddlers getting into medicine bottles or flicking a lighter. Their warnings follow two recent Waikato fires started by young children using child-resistant Bic lighters. Last year, a 3-year-old used such a lighter to set fire to a garage causing $3000 damage.

- BOMBING AVERTED: Customs officers averted a potential Nazi-style bombing campaign with the arrest and jailing of a reclusive Foxton man on firearms and explosives charges, Parliament was told yesterday. The charges followed a customs and police raid on the man's home where he was also found in possession of racist literature plus a comprehensive list of marae and Jewish congregation centres around the country.

- FORCE CORP: Auckland-based property company Force Corporation has agreed to take over the management of New Zealand's only Imax cinema, in a deal which has secured the cinema's short-term future. The agreement has ensured around 16 staff who work at the cinema will keep their jobs.

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