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National Radio Midday Report

Petrol Tax – Oil Prices – Tower Fire – Doctors’ Strike – Pilot On Trial – Company theft – Fisheries Commission – Fiji Crisis – Local Government – Milk Patents – East Timor – Terrorist Extradition – Youth Parliament

- PETROL TAX: The Government says there will be no reduction in petrol tax to ease the impact of rising prices. Finance Minister Michael Cullen said increased prices are not a tax windfall for the Government, but will actually reduce the Governments income, as people will buy less petrol.

- OIL PRICES: Green co leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said oil prices will continue to rise as oil becomes more scarce, and says the Government should look to alternative energy sources, including running Government vehicles on CNG and LPG gas.

- TOWER FIRE: A fire in Europe’s tallest television tower in Moscow is getting worse, and 12 stations have been knocked off air. A short circuit is reported to have started the fire, which has forced evacuations, with 10 people still unaccounted for.

- DOCTORS’ STRIKE: Waikato Hospital says it is coping so far with a junior doctor strike which began this morning, following strikes in other regions beginning last week.

- PILOT ON TRIAL: Palmerston North District Court has heard the Crown case outline against pilot of the Ansett plane which crashed near Palmerston North five years ago. The pilot faces four charges of manslaughter relating to the death of passengers on board the flight and three charges of injuring passengers by an unlawful act.

- COMPANY THEFT: The former financial controller of a Dunedin building company pleaded guilty to stealing $2.5m of company money, when he appeared in the Dunedin District Court this morning.

- FISHERIES COMMISSION: The outgoing chairman of the Waitangi Fisheries Commission, Sir Tipene O’Regan, says the Government leaves itself open to being sued if it allows the Commission to allocate fisheries resources to urban Maori.

- FIJI CRISIS: Fiji’s military have arrested a man believed to have led a takeover of a power station during the crisis sparked by the May coup led by George Speight.

- LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Wellington Mayor Mark Blumsky says Local Government New Zealand is still on notice to address the concerns of the country’s mayors, despite the resignations of its leadership.

- MILK PATENTS: Dairy board taking legal advice to ensure it holds on to patents on research into milk proteins in which could be liked to heart disease and diabetes.

- EAST TIMOR: Two Of East Timor’s independence leaders have agreed to leave the territory’s new pro-independence body.

- TERRORIST EXTRADITION: Israel may apply for the extradition of a terrorist mastermind wanted over a string of bombing attacks on Jews. The man is being held by Palestinian officials.

- YOUTH PARLIAMENT: 120 youth MPs are getting down to select committees, on the first day of a two-day youth parliament beginning today. A youth parliament is held every three years.

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