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National Radio Midday Report

Child Abuse – Nurse Vacancies – Disabled Policy – Arrest For Murder – Inadequate Care – Dash-8 Hearing – Sewer Deaths – PM Criticises Aus – Vatican – N Korea Pull Out Of Summit – Dairy Co-op To Merge – Ferry Damages

- CHILD ABUSE: A watchdog for Child Youth and Families says thousands of children reported to be at risk of being abused are not getting the help they need because of a shortage of social workers.

- NURSE VACANCIES: A Ministry of Health survey found nearly 600 vacancies for nurses in New Zealand. Nurses pay negotiations are expected to begin soon, with hospitals saying they can’t afford to pay nurses as much as they should, while the attraction of overseas work is drawing nurses overseas.

- DISABLED POLICY: The Government announced a strategy to provide equal opportunities for disabled people.

- ARREST FOR MURDER: A 32-year-old unemployed man has been arrested for the murder of a woman in Taumaranui. He appears in court today and police are expected to oppose bail.

- INADEQUATE CARE: lack of suitable care has forced a Christchurch teenage sex offender to spend the last 7 months in jail. The man has a mild intellectual handicap.

- DASH-8 HEARING: There has been a further delay in the Palmerston North District Court depositions hearing on the Dash-8 plane crash. Depositions hearings are underway to decide whether the pilot of the plane should face manslaughter and injury charges for the crash, which killed four people. The admission of evidence by a Canadian expert has been challenged. The lawyer says the evidence is opinion rather than fact.

- SEWER DEATHS: A judge in Auckland District Court has dismissed case against Metro Water following the deaths of three sewer workers. Two other companies have been fined for the deaths. The judge says there was insufficient evidence.

- PM CRITICISES AUS: Prime Minister Helen Clark has made a veiled criticism of Australia and its refusal to sign up to some key UN treaties. This follows a scathing UN report on Australia’s human rights record. She expects to meet Australian Prime Minister John Howard tomorrow, and says the issue is bound to come up.

- VATICAN: The Vatican has acted to crush liberal dissention in the church, especially those who would move toward closer links with other churches. The Vatican has released a document which says the idea that one religion is as good as another is dangerous to the Catholic Church. It essentially says other churches are not true churches. The Arch Bishop of Canterbury says the document is a set back to attempts to forge links between churches. Cardinal Tom Williams, head of New Zealand Catholic Church, says the document says the Catholic church is the first church and is only one to adhere to the teachings of Christ.

- N KOREA PULL OUT OF SUMMIT: North Korea says it is pulling out of the UN Millennium summit because of a row between it’s delegation and American Officials at an airport in Germany.

- DAIRY CO-OP TO MERGE: New Zealand’s oldest and smallest dairy co-op is agreeing in principle to merge with dairy company Kiwi, in the interests of a united dairy industry.

- FERRY DAMAGES: A Marlborough Sounds property owner has been awarded $3000 after lodging a claim for damages from the effects of the waves created by the Top Cat fast ferry.


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