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The New Zealand Herald

Cyclist Misses - Mill’s Future - Cad Improves - Olympic Coverage - Cervical Inquiry - Travis Burns Sentenced - Navy Birth - Warrior Problems - Tougher Sentences - Maori Care - Prisoner On Marathon

CYCLIST MISSES: Cyclist Sarah Ulmer came agonisingly close to winning New Zealand's first Sydney Olympic Games medal last night - only to have a bronze snatched from her grasp in the shadow of the finish line. Ulmer appeared in command after setting up a clear lead over Britain's Yvonne McGregor from the first lap of the 3000m pursuit.

- MILL’S FUTURE: The cloud over the future of the Glenbrook steel mill lifted yesterday when its owners announced a $25 million upgrade that should ensure its survival for up to another 10 years. The investment by BHP New Zealand Steel is a lifeline for Waiuku and Pukekohe.

- CAD IMPROVES: New Zealand's ugliest economic barometer has taken a sharp turn for the better because our companies have earned more than previously thought from overseas investments. Statistics New Zealand has revised current account figures - the difference between what we earn as a country and what we spend - to show a $1.2 billion, or 14.2 per cent, improvement for the year to March.

- OLYMPIC COVERAGE: TVNZ has again defended its Olympic coverage, this time over not screening medal presentations. Annoyed viewers vented their exasperation on talkback radio yesterday but TVNZ said it was focusing on showing competition from the qualifying stages of the Games.

- CERVICAL INQUIRY: A Northland woman dying of cervical cancer after the disease was allegedly missed by Whangarei gynaecologist Graham Parry may also have had up to seven smears misread. The Health Funding Authority (HFA) is investigating Northland Pathology Laboratory's reading of seven cervical smears belonging to Colleen Poutsma, going back to 1991.

- TRAVIS BURNS SENTENCED: A High Court judge said yesterday that he had had tears in his eyes as he read the victim impact reports in the Joanne McCarthy killing. Sentencing Travis Burns to a minimum non-parole period of 15 years, Justice Robert Chambers said he had been deeply moved by the effects of the murder on the dead woman's family.

- NAVY BIRTH: After four months keeping law and order on the frigate HMNZS Te Kaha, Master-at-arms Lyndon Cleaver was back in Auckland yesterday to a whole new regime - caring for his newborn daughter, Georgia. In keeping with the modern Navy and its emphasis on family, Master-at-arms Cleaver flew home about 12 weeks ago for Georgia's birth.

- WARRIOR PROBLEMS: The Auckland Warriors rugby league club has been given one last chance to sort out its problems or it will be kicked out of Australia's National Rugby League competition. The club's sale has stalled because of infighting among its Tainui owners and it has been hit with a tax bill of nearly $500,000 that could lead to its liquidation.

- TOUGHER SENTENCES: The organisers of a huge petition seeking tougher sentences for murderers and sex predators are angry that more than seven years later their work has failed to change anything. The three South Otago women worked day and night for seven months to collect nearly 300,000 signatures from throughout the country after the vicious murder of 15-year-old Kylie Smith in their hometown of Owaka in November 1991.

- MAORI CARE: The controversial Maori trust trying to stop health authorities from removing psychiatric patients from its West Auckland homes should let the patients go for their well-being, says the trust's former chairwoman. Nellie Rata says she resigned from the He Putea Atawhai Trust because she had concerns about the way it was being run and the welfare of its patients.

- PRISONER ON MARATHON: The Department of Corrections gave a notorious prisoner and former Black Power leader leave to jog the suburban streets of New Plymouth in training for a half-marathon. For several weeks, inmate Kevin Francis Henare Moore, aged 40, has pounded the pavement accompanied by - but not handcuffed to - a prison guard.

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