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National Radio Midday Bulletin

WEF Protests – Singapore Trade Agreement – APEC Economies – Maori Education Hui – Women In Men’s Prison – Algal Bloom – Alex Flood Compo – Police Cannabis Supplier – Hector’s Dolphin – Organic Growing – Spiders Help Out

- WEF PROTESTS: Green MPs Nandor Tanczos and Sue Bradford have been injured in a scuffle with police outside the World Economic Forum in Melbourne. They say they were trampled by police as they tried to form a blockade to the entrance of the Crown Casino, where the forum is being held. “I’m quite battered,” said Ms Bradford. Seven busloads of delegates were hurried through as the police broke the protester’s line.

- SINGAPORE TRADE AGREEMENT: There are fears a free trade agreement with Singapore may be lost if Labour continues to squabble with National and ACT over a Treaty of Waitangi clause in the agreement. National leader Jenny Shipley says the clause has been inserted to pander to Labour’s Maori MPs. Interest groups are saying the agreement is too important to fall down over politics. Labour needs National and ACT support to get a majority support in the house, after the Alliance broke ranks with its coalition partner over the deal.

- APEC ECONOMIES: Finance Minister Michael Cullen says the major issue facing Asia Pacific economies is the rising price of oil. He has been co-chairing a meeting in of Asia Pacific economic leaders in Brunei this weekend.

- MAORI EDUCATION HUI: The paramount chief of the Tu Whare Toa tribe has called a two-day hui on Maori education, saying it is fundamental to the future of Maori. Invitations have gone out to Maori leaders and educators.

- WOMEN IN MEN’S PRISON: Record numbers of women in custody have forced the Department of Corrections to move eight women inmates into a maximum security wing of a men’s prison.

- ALGAL BLOOM: The toxic algal bloom affecting the shellfish industry has now been found in Wellington harbour. It has spread down the North Island’s West Coast.

- ALEX FLOOD COMPO: A closed meeting to discuss final details of the Government’s flood compensation for Alexandra began in the town this morning. Community leaders are hoping for another 6.8m from the Government. A total package of around 20m is expected to be announced, but estimates put the cost of work needed at $25m.

- POLICE CANNABIS SUPPLIER: Horowhenua police officer who pleaded guilty to supplying cannabis will be sentenced in the High Court.

- HECTOR’S DOLPHIN: The seafood industry announced moves to reduce the impact of commercial fishing on the rare north Island Hector’s dolphin.

- ORGANIC GROWING: Lincoln University researchers have found that New Zealand horticulturists favour organic growing over new GM technology.

- SPIDERS HELP OUT: A Nelson exhibition of live spiders is having a positive spin-off for people with arachnophobia, helping them overcome their fears.

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