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Defence Purchases – Defence Cancellations – Mortgage Rates Down – Aussie’s Most Wanted – Speedy Damien – Junior Doctors Strike – Asthma – Sports Bust – Gay Olympics

DEFENCE PURCHASES: The army has scored a bullseye but the Airforce has crashed and burned.The Government has announced the purchase of 105 LAV III (the Rolls Royce of) APCs. The Army Chief denies fixing the tender after being accused of the same in Parliament. Does not look very happy. The army is also getting new radios which will be better than those used by the Aussies. More defence priorities will be decided early next year. Workers at a plant in Canada will be receiving a Christmas Bonus for winning the contract.

DEFENCE CANCELLATIONS: Orion upgrade programe - Project Sirius - is cancelled. David Dickens says it will harm NZ’s peace-keeping capabilities . An Auckland RNZAF helicopter squadron is being relocated to Ohakea too as the Hobsonville base is sold.

MORTGAGE RATES DOWN: The National Bank has dropped its floating mortgage rates. Slowest July sales month in real estate for 12 years. One year fixed rate has also fallen to 7.95%. The Kiwi Dollar has fallen to a 15 year low. Frucor announces a 300% profit go. The Reserve Bank decision not to put up rates has renewed confidence we will have stability. Economists say that as long as interest rates are kept low confidence will improve.

AUSSIE’S MOST WANTED: A man wanted in Australia is arrested in NZ in connection with the disappearance of a back-packer in Western Australia. 15 photographs of William Maddison French were issued by Western Australian police of the wanted French who has been known to use 23 names.

SPEEDY DAMIEN: Three speeding offences have cost Damien O’Connor his license for three months.

JUNIOR DOCTORS STRIKE: The Junior Doctors strike is spreading. 800 doctors in Auckland could be next. Dr Rosalind Crawford says that she is going to Australia because the dollar is so low. She says lump sum payments on student loans are only now being discussed after having been suggested for years. Auckland’s offer of 9% to its Doctors hasn’t been accepted, but no strike notice has been issued. Employers say they do not have the money to fund the scheme.

ASTHMA: Scottish researchers have found more evidence linking asthma and junk-food. Fast and frozen foods are blamed in Saudi Arabian study which found “modern” children were 3 times more likely to have asthma.

SPORTS BUST: The father of softball Great Mark Sorenson has been accused of diverting pokie takings.

GAY OLYMPICS: There is a short segment in the Olympic Games Closing Ceremony celebrating Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Angry protests are filling the airwaves in Sydney at conservatives thinking that homosexuality is being celebrated. The Minister in charge says it is about movies not sexuality.

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