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National Radio Midday Report

Dollar Falls – Doctor’s Strike – Health Boards – Airbus Crash – NZ Soldier In Shooting – Northern Ireland Shooting – West Timor Attack – Russian Sub – Maori Ministers – Firefighters Dispute – Dangerous Swing – Fiji Coup

- DOLLAR FALLS: The fall in the value of the NZ dollars has seen winners and losers. The dollar has fallen to a new low of US 42.5 cents. For exporters like dairy board it’s good news, but it means high prices for imports.

The National Party says Government policy has contributed to the slide, and they should change policy direction, Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton says the fall provides new opportunities and puts the dollar at a more realistic value, but Finance Minister Dr Cullen said the dollar is undervalued.

Dr Cullen urged New Zealand businesses not to sell NZ short and said the economy is in good shape.

- DOCTORS’ STRIKE: Hospital managers are meeting in Wellington to see if they can find a way out of the junior doctors’ strike, which looks likely to spread around the country.

Palmerston North Hospital has said there has been a degree of tenseness between senior medical staff and management, with medical staff supporting the strikes.

- HEALTH BOARDS: The Medical association is concerned there has not been more GP’s appointed to the new Health Boards.

- AIRBUS CRASH: All 143 people on the Gulf Air airbus which crashed into the sea off Bahrain are feared dead. More than 70 bodies have been recovered.

- NZ SOLDIER IN SHOOTING: Military police in Bosnia are investigating a shooting which involved a New Zealand soldier, who allegedly shot a British soldier in the leg.

- NORTHERN IRELAND SHOOTING: A man has died after a shooting in Northern Ireland. It is not clear if it is related to recent violence in Belfast triggered by a feud between Protestant guerilla groups. Meanwhile Britain has reimprisoned Johnny “Mad Dog” Adair, a former prominent Protestant guerilla leader. Britain says he is a threat to the peace process in Northern Ireland.

- WEST TIMOR ATTACK: The UN has suspended all operations in West Timor after an attack by pro Jakarta militia on a refugee camp.

- RUSSIAN SUB: Russian President has said he feels guilt over the death of sailors on the sunken submarine, Kursk.

- MAORI MINISTERS: Former Maori Affairs Minister Dover Samuels has accused Tariana Turia and Parekura Horomia of trying to censor negative information on Maori. He said Maori need to own up to their problems and stop shoot.

- FIREFIGHTERS’ DISPUTE: The firefighters contract dispute is back at the beehive. Mark Burton, the minister responsible for the fire service is expected to suggest mediation again, but he says he has no authority to enforce a course of action.

- DANGEROUS SWING: A popular baby swing set is being refitted with a harness, after fears toddlers may fall out of it if left unattended. A free restraint harness kit has been offered by Mattell, the distributor of the Fisher Price Lift and Lock harness.

- FIJI COUP: A Fiji lawyer has said he knew the May coup was about to happen a month before it happened. He said a drunken police officer came to his house and threatened him, and told him about the coup. He said he wrote about the threat to the Fiji Government, the Law Society and the Police Commissioner, and said he received replies from the Prime Minister’s office and the Police Commissioner which were written before the coup, but reached him afterwards.

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