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National Radio Midday Report

Common Currency – NZ Dollar – Dash-8 Crash – Baby Dies – PM Criticises France – Millennium Summit – Fiji Sanctions – Orange Roughy – AMP Moves Services – Bush Slipping – Prisoner Escapes – Weight Lifter Snapped – Hillary Commission Campaign

- COMMON CURRENCY: The Prime Minister is under fire for her comments supporting investigating a common currency with Australia. National has accused the PM of doing nothing to restore confidence in NZ dollar with her comments. Bill English said now is not the time to debate the issue.

- NZ DOLLAR: The NZ dollar has settled at US41.83 cents, after sinking even further overnight.

- DASH-8 CRASH: The Pilot of the crashed Ansett Dash-8 plane has been committed to trial for the manslaughter of four and injury of three others. The judge said the depositions hearings have seen enough evidence for the case to go to trial.

- BABY DIES: Viral meningitis has clamed the life of a baby. There have been 47 confirmed cases of the disease, which is different from meningococcal meningitis, in the North Island. The disease was previously considered very rare.

- PM CRITICISES FRANCE: Prime Minister Helen Clark has criticised France for it’s stance over nuclear weapons during the ratification of the UN Treaty in NY today. The treaty paves the way for the International Criminal Court, which will have jurisdiction over individuals who commit genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. France has also ratified the treaty, but on the proviso that it only applies to events concerning conventional weapons, not nuclear weapons.

- MILLENNIUM SUMMIT: Rising oil prices have been high on the agenda at the Millennium summit, with the US pushing OPEC members to increase output. But other countries have concentrated on peacekeeping missions abroad, with African nations dominating.

- FIJI SANCTIONS: Foreign Minister Phil Goff reiterated that NZ will continue its “smart” sanctions against Fiji in the wake of the Coup.

- ORANGE ROUGHY: Moana Pacific Fisheries is fighting to save as many jobs as possible in its processing plants after the Government took away virtually it’s whole quota of Orange Roughy. Some will definitely lose their jobs.

- AMP MOVES SERVICES: AMP banking is moving its customer service centre to Sydney.

- BUSH SLIPPING: Advisors to Republican George W. Bush are reportedly worried that he’s heading for disaster in the US Presidential race. Democrat Al Gore has stretched his lead to 6 points in latest poll.

- PRISONER ESCAPES: The Department of Corrections says it’s happy with security provided by Chubb, even though a prisoner escaped from Chubb security guards yesterday. Police say the escaped Mongrel Mob member is dangerous and may be armed.

- WEIGHT LIFTER SNAPPED: A Czech Republic weight lifter is the latest to fall foul of drug testing for the Sydney Olympics, testing positive for anabolic steroids.

- HILLARY COMMISSION CAMPAIGN: The Hillary Commission is hoping the Olympic Games will inspire people to do physical activity themselves – and are beginning an TV advertising campaign to encourage people off the couch.

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