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PM Considers Legal Action – ERB Delayed – Murder Case Deliberated – Religious Parents In Manslaughter Case– Smoky Exhausts Targeted

- PM CONSIDERS LEGAL ACTION: Prime Minister Helen Clark is considering legal action after claims her people were digging up dirt on Dover Samuels. She says she may take defamation action against Mr Samuels’ legal counsel, Peter Williams, QC. She said Mr Williams’ “Nasty and vindictive campaign” should cease. Miss Clark said Labour MPs Chris Carter and Bob Harvey were doing their duty in following up leads on the Samuels allegations, not “digging up dirt.” National claim a victory, saying Miss Clark has effectively admitted wrongdoing by Labour MPs.

- ERB DELAYED: The Employment Relations Bill has been argued for over 50 hours, with the opposition using every delaying tactic to stretch the process out – including bringing the media into it by attacking the Evening Post for publishing an unflattering photograph of an MP yawning. The issue has brought renewed debate on what the media can show. Prime Minister Helen Clark said she would opt for a loosening of laws governing pictures of the house. Parliament will sit till Midnight tonight.

- MURDER CASE DELIBERATED: The Jury is deliberating the verdict in the case of the man who Murdered Joanne McCarthy at the High Court tonight. If a verdict is not made by 9pm the jury will be put up in a hotel till tomorrow.

- RELIGIOUS PARENTS IN MANSLAUGHTER CASE: A couple who refused cancer treatment for their son on religious grounds went on trial in the High Court today. The boy, diagnosed with bone cancer, was found dead in the family’s living room with an enormous growth on his knee weighing 15kg. The defense claims the boy did not want to be taken to hospital.

- SMOKY EXHAUSTS TARGETED: Aucklanders are being asked to dob in drivers with smoky exhausts. Auckland Regional Council says the biggest contributor to Auckland’s air pollution problem is the number of cars on the road. Dobbed in motorists will not be penalised, but will receive an information pack in the mail.

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