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National Radio Midday Report

Waitara Report – Sydney Olympics – Refugees Excluded – Alzheimer’s Murder trial – Nurses’ Pay – Panamanian Rescue – World Oil Prices – US/China Trade – MMP Referendum – TVNZ Charter

- WAITARA REPORT: The Race Relations Conciliator has called for Taranaki Police to develop better relations with Maori. He said the shooting of Steven Wallace’s by a police officer has made the area think about the historical Maori/Pakeha relationship.

- SYDNEY OLYMPICS: The NZ Equestrian team has put in a strong performance led by Mark Todd in the Dressage in the first day of the three day event, which he is leading. Blyth Tait is still to come, but Andrew Nicholson had to withdraw with an injured horse.

The NZ Swimmers just missed out on qualifying for the semifinals. The women’s basketball lost its third straight game. There is no score yet in the NZ women’s softball teams match against Cuba.

- REFUGEES EXCLUDED: The Refugee Council is calling for refugees to be included in a reprieve for well settled overstayers. Immigration lawyer Deborah Manning says the law is unfair and will discourage people from applying for refugee status.

- ALZHEIMER’S MURDER TRIAL: An elderly person accused of murdering a Christchurch rest home resident appeared in court in a wheelchair holding a doll. The defence lawyer said the accused is in advance stage of dementia and had no comprehension of what they had done.

- NURSES’ PAY: Health Minister Annette King has told nurses hospitals have enough extra money in this year’s budget to meet the Government’s expectation of constructive pay settlements. Mrs King said she is legally unable to get involved in negotiations, which are between hospitals and staff.

- PANAMANIN RESCUE: A Panamanian ship has picked up nine Cubans who survived when their plane crashed into the Gulf of Mexico. The ship is now going to Florida. Cuban authorities had contacted US saying the plane had been hijacked and was heading for Florida. It now seems it has headed for Mexico.

- WORLD OIL PRICES: World oil prices remain close to 10 year highs as speculation continues over tensions between Kuwait and Iraq over oil wells on their border.

- US/CHINA TRADE: The US Senate voted overwhelmingly for normal trade relations with China. The decision removes the need to vote every year about trade relations with China. It opens the way for wide ranging trade liberalisation between the countries and the entry of China into WTO.

- MMP REFERENDUM: There has been another strong call for another binding referendum on the electoral system, where voters can decide whether MMP stays.

- TVNZ CHARTER: The Government’s draft Carter for TVNZ has drawn praise from Paul Smith, a long time critic of TVNZ, who is now a board member. Community and minority interests have been pushed in the charter. Broadcasting Minister Marion Hobbs maintains it is a draft and will not result in extreme changes to programming. Submissions on the draft close in October.

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