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National Radio Midday Report

Stigleygate - East Timor - Fiji - Public Health - Northland Health - GE Insurance - Child Slavery - Tornado - Joanne McCarthy - ERB

STIGLEYGATE: The Wellington Regional Council has withdrawn from Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) over the Carol Stigley affair. Wellington Mayor Mark Blumsky wants Wellington to also quit but his Christchurch counterpart Gary Moore believes this is a "crass over-reaction.

EAST TIMOR: A Nepalese soldier attach to a New Zealand peace-keeping battalion in East Timor has been shot dead and two other Nepalese servicemen were wounded in a fire-fight with Timorese guerrillas. Parliament has today extended it sympathy and support to the peace-keeping force.

FIJI: The police investigation of Fijian coup-leader George Speight is gaining momentum with charges of treason and sedition likely. Meanwhile Speight will appear in court today for what is expected to be an unsuccessful bail hearing.

PUBLIC HEALTH: The Government has urged to put more money into public health or admit to the fact that a narrower focus is required as resources spread too thin are causing serious problems.

NORTHLAND HEALTH: Northland Health says it will need extra staff to cope with a planned junior doctors strike which is scheduled to take place later this month.

GE INSURANCE: The New Zealand Insurance Council is looking at developing a code of practice in regards to requests for genetic information from prospective insurance consumers.

CHILD SLAVERY: The High Court has reduced the sentence of a Wellington Samoan pastor and his wife who are doing time for abusing young girls adopted by them from Samoa. After rejecting pleas for a suspended sentence Justice Heron reduced the pairs sentences from 2 years to 15 months says that while the abuse was very serious it wasn't of the "most serious kind".

TORNADO! A tornado hit Huntly at about 7.30 am leaving ripped off roofs, flattened trees and shocked residents but fortunately no reported injuries.

JOANNE MCCARTHY: The accused in the Joanne McCarthy murder trial has had his evidence described as "inconsistent". Travis Burns had told the court that at the time he was allegedly killing ms McCarthy he was in fact planting cannabis and planning to rob a bank.

ERB: Parliament has voted down a change to the Employment Relations Billed proposed by National and also will remain in urgency until Tuesday.

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