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National Radio Midday Report

Olympics – Drug Testing – Algal Bloom – Economic Indicators – Mallard Peacemaker – UK Bomb – Health Boss Resigns – Aus Criticise Amnesty – MMP review – Yugoslavian Elections – AIDS Controversy

- OLYMPICS: New Zealand single sculler Rob Waddel resurrected New Zealand’s chances of an Olympic medal today, winning the 2000m single sculls semifinal, and wife Sonia came second in the women’s single sculls. The Mens fours also qualified for semis, coming third in their heat. The women’s hockey team have a last chance to go through to the medal round if they beat South Africa tonight.

- DRUG TESTING: A New Zealander who’s been overseeing doping testing in Sydney has praised the way athletes have been tested for drugs. He says the testing has been rigorous. Several more drug controversies have emerged, and critics have accused the IOC of dragging its feet on drugs.

- ALGAL BLOOM: The potentially fatal toxic algal bloom has now spread around the Wairarapa coast and scientists say it is likely to spread up the North Island’s east coast.

- ECONOMIC INDICATORS: Key economic indicators are still looking poor, with the NZ dollar has rising slightly since last night, but still languishing around US40.5c. While other currencies have also fallen against the greenback, the NZ dollar is falling against them as well. The Share market is also looking poor.

- MALLARD PEACEMAKER: Trevor Mallard has been given the job of fixing a rift between the Government and New Zealand First. NZ First threatened to withdraw support of the Government, when Labour mistakenly broke a deal to support a bill from Winston Peters going to select committee. Helen Clark is taking it seriously, as Labour may need NZ first support in the house to pass legislation on bill the Greens do not support.

- UK BOMB: There have been two explosions in New London offices of British Military Intelligence. There are no reports of casualties. It is not known yet whether they were gas explosions or bombs.

- HEALTH BOSS RESIGNS: The chief executive of Terawhiti Healthcare, Sheryl Smail, is resigning next month. Gisborne hospital has been in the spotlight for various reasons, but Ms Smail says none of the issues have affected her decision to leave.

- AUS CRITICISE AMNESTY: Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel is rejecting Australian concerns about New Zealand’s reprieve for thousands of overstayers. The Australian Government says it could provide a back door for illegal immigrants to move to Australia.

- MMP REVIEW: A referendum which overwhelmingly supported reducing the size of parliament to 99 from 120 was widely dismissed today by parties appearing before the select committee reviewing MMP.

- YUGOSLAVIAN ELECTIONS: Tens of thousands have gathered in a square in Belgrade have gathered for the final rally ahead of Sunday’s elections in Yugoslavia. Opinion polls indicate President Slobodon Milosovic is heading for defeat in the election but opponents doubt he would accept that outcome.

- AIDS CONTROVERSY: The South African president is still resisting growing pressure for him to abandon his position that HIV does not cause aids. He says HIV is a virus and AIDS is a syndrome, and a virus can not cause a syndrome. The Anglican Church in South Africa has said history will judge the government’s response to the growing AIDS crisis as a travesty alongside Apartheid.

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