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Fiji Rebel Shot - - Maori Unemployment - Travis Burns - Queen’s Birthday - Team Nz - Heart Study - Mark Todd - Missing Man Robbed - Millionaire’s Will - Militia Force - Suharto Charged - Suharto Charged - Iraq Anniversary - - George Bush Jr

FIJI REBEL SHOT: A Fijian rebel has died after being shot by troops last night in Dreketi, on Fiji's second-largest island, Vanua Levu. Soldiers were sent to the area in response to recent attacks on Fiji Indians by ethnic Fijian nationalists.

- MAORI UNEMPLOYMENT: Maori unemployment has declined from 18 per cent a year ago to 13 per cent today, with 25,000 more Maori in work. And there was more good economic news yesterday, with overall unemployment at 6.1 per cent, the lowest for three years, and a survey showing improving investor confidence on the back of an export surge.

- TRAVIS BURNS: Travis Burns yesterday denied confessing to a former friend that he murdered Joanne McCarthy. The former friend, whose name is suppressed, has been referred to as Witness 87 in the High Court at Auckland

- QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY: MPs Nandor Tanczos and Keith Locke refused to stand in Parliament yesterday to mark the Queen Mother's 100th birthday. The two Green MPs stayed seated while other MPs, many republicans among them, stood and applauded after a round of tributes from party leaders and deputies to the Queen Mother, who turns 100 today.

- TEAM NZ: Team New Zealand wants to rule the land as well as the waves at the next America's Cup regatta. The defenders are seeking exclusive and lucrative naming rights for the Viaduct Basin from now until the end of America's Cup 2003.

- HEART STUDY: An Auckland-led medical research team hopes a ground-breaking heart study will prevent 70 crippling strokes a year nationwide. Professor Harvey White, director of coronary care at Green Lane Hospital, said six years of research had proved that cholesterol-lowering treatments reduced the number of strokes following heart attacks.

- MARK TODD: Sports Minister Trevor Mallard is satisfied that there is no danger of equestrian champion Mark Todd being stripped of any medals he wins at the Sydney Olympics. His confidence appears based on the contract Todd has signed with the New Zealand Olympic Committee which covers only the period from the start of next month to October 4 - dates that include the Sydney Games.

- MISSING MAN ROBBED: Jason Kearney was robbed of cash and cannabis at his Auckland home a week before he went missing four years ago, police believe. Three informants have told detectives that two people arrived without warning at Mr Kearney's Pakuranga home to collect money he owed them, and that they robbed him.

- MILLIONAIRE’S WILL: Four people making claims on the will of millionaire German businessman Robert Leitl were a comfort to him in his last years and he promised them gold, jewellery and money, their lawyers said yesterday. Simativa Perese told the High Court at Auckland that evidence suggested that Mr Leitl had a wide circle of friends, yet at the time of his death it was the claimants who gathered round him.

- MILITIA FORCE: New Zealand Air Force helicopters were yesterday hunting for a small militia group hiding in hills near the West Timor border that lost two of its members in a gunbattle with Australian soldiers. The fight occurred nine days after Private Leonard Manning, a New Zealander, was killed and mutilated by militiamen and followed an increase in attacks and incursions since June.

- SUHARTO CHARGED: JAKARTA - The Indonesian Attorney-General's office yesterday formally charged disgraced former President Suharto with corruption, bringing the one-time despot closer to a humiliating trial. Asked whether the ailing Suharto had been charged with graft, Yushar Yahya, from the Attorney-General's office, said: "Yes, it is related to corruption.

- IRAQ ANNIVERSARY: BAGHDAD - Iraq thundered defiance on the 10th anniversary of its invasion of Kuwait yesterday, but the United States said it hoped to set up an international tribunal within six months to try President Saddam Hussein. France highlighted a rift among the former Gulf War allies, who drove Iraqi forces out of Kuwait seven months later, by denouncing continued United Nations economic sanctions against Baghdad as "cruel, ineffective and dangerous."

- GEORGE BUSH JR: PHILADELPHIA - Republicans anointed George W. Bush and Dick Cheney for their presidential ticket yesterday, and Cheney urged Americans to bring down the curtain on the Clinton era and rid themselves of Vice-President Al Gore. After unanimously naming former Defence Secretary Cheney its vice-presidential candidate, the Republican National Convention gave Bush, the Governor of Texas, the 1034 delegate votes required for the presidential nomination, although the process will be complete only after all state delegations have voted today.


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