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National Radio Midday Report

Russian Sub – Floods – Manslaughter Trial – Junior Doctors’ Strike – Diving Accident – Woods Win – Superannuation – Defense Spending – Maori Family Violence – Hostages Freed – Farmers Murdered

- RUSSIAN SUB: Norwegian and British rescue teams trying the save the Russian sailors trapped in the Kursk say the rescue will not be terminated until it is certain there are no survivors on board. Two Norwegian divers have been flown to a Russian naval base to help them determine if they can enter through an escape hatch. The Russian Navy’s gloomy predictions have contrasted with the expertise of the Norwegians, making family of sailors cynical about how genuine an effort the Russian Navy has made.

- FLOODS: The Canterbury Regional Council has defended the way it warned farmers about flooding during stormy weather in the weekend. Previously direct phone contact was made, but this year radio, Internet and automated phone lines were used to update farmers on the danger. The Selwyn River burst its banks, killing livestock and damaging property. The damage to roads in the weekend is estimated to cost around half a million dollars to repair. State highway seven is closed again from a slip west of the Hamner turn-off.

- MANSLAUGHTER TRIAL: The woman accused with her husband of the manslaughter of their son, has told the court her son locked himself in his room refusing cancer treatment. She said the boy had a fear of hospitals. The boy died in September from complications from a basketball sized tumor on his left knee.

- JUNIOR DOCTORS’ STRIKE: Northland health has put in place plans to deal with plans by junior doctor’s to strike around the country. All elective surgery and outpatient services will be cancelled. Acute cases dealt with as usual. Northland health offered junior doctors nine percent pay increase, but says the 20 percent pay rise junior doctors requested is unrealistic.

- DIVING ACCIDENT: Occupational Safety and Health is still considering whether to lay charges over the death of three people at a dive training session. The divers died after they were sucked into a deep underwater hole. Three other students and the instructor survived.

- WOODS WIN: Tiger Woods has become the first golfer for 47 years to win three majors in a year with a victory in the US PGA in Louiseville, Kentucky.

- SUPERANNUATION: The Retirement Commissioner is frustrated that the finance minister has poured cold water on plans for more multi party talks on superannuation. He says most New Zealanders want the parties to get together and discuss the issues.

- DEFENSE SPENDING: Low dollar value is being seen as dictating decisions on defense spending being made in cabinet today. The cost of planned purchases has blown out to about $1.2 billion, more than twice of what cabinet can commit to.

- MAORI FAMILY VIOLENCE: The Associate Maori Affairs minister has moved to clarify a discussion between herself, the Maori Affairs Minister and the head of Women’s refuge. The head of Women’s Refuge says she was summoned Parekura Horomia’s office and told to pull her head in, after she had spoken out on violence in Maori families.

- HOSTAGES FREED: Three Malaysian hostages released by guerillas in the Southern Philippines have said they never feared for their lives during their four-month ordeal. Two dozen people are still held hostage after negotiations with guerillas broke down.

- FARMERS MURDERED: White South African farmers have demanding police protection after a series of killings on white owned farms. Eight white farmers have been killed in recent weeks.

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