ACC Flush – Dollar Worries – Crash – Doctors Strike – Submarine – Solomon Islands – Fiji Coup – East Timor – Telecomms Cable
ACC FLUSH: The ACC Minister Michael Cullen says the corporation’s surplus is not due to the shift of claimants to other benefits. The surplus is $800 million. Lawyer John Miller says part of the reason is that people have been moved to other benefits.
DOLLAR: Michael Cullen is blaming employer lobby groups for talking the dollar down by making hysterical comments. He says the Business Roundtable are also responsible. Meanwhile some exporters say they are not getting the windfall gains from the lower dollar that they would hope to get. The Dairy Board says 50% of its export earnings are locked in 13% below current value.
CRASH: Five people were killed when a car and van crashed on the Napier Taupo road last night.
DOCTORS STRIKE: The Resident Doctors Association say they do not know if a nationwide strike is avoidable. Deborah Sidebotham says that there is a growing feeling among doctors that striking is the only way to achieve what they want.
SUBMARINE: Grieving relatives of the 118 sailors who died in the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk have travelled to the site of the accident to farewell their relatives. Many of the relatives refused to go on the visit.
SOLOMON ISLANDS: Solomon Islands NGOs and Church Groups are today beginning a three day peace summit aboard the Te Kaha. A peace agreement has already been signed.
GEORGE SPEIGHT: Fiji coup leader George Speight will appear in court today in a depositions hearing in advance of his trial for treason.
EAST TIMOR: The Army is looking for surgeons, nurses and other medical professionals to serve in East Timor as part of an army surgical unit.
TELECOMMS CABLE: Resource Consent hearings begin today on plans to install a telecommunications cable on the seabed between Nelson and Levin.