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Lower North Island Flooding – Lightning Strike – Boaties Perish – Middle East Violence – Olympics Over

- LOWER NORTH ISLAND FLOODING: Torrential rain has flooded the lower North Island, with many roads being closed and many rivers in flood or close to bursting their banks. 700mm has fallen since Friday in the Tararua ranges. Stock has been moved to higher ground in the Wairarapa. There could be more trouble in the Manawatu and Wairarapa, with more rain on the way.

- LIGHTNING STRIKE: A Lightning strike has cut off phones in South Westland.

- BOATIES PERISH: Two boaties died in their dingy in Auckland, in rough conditions. Neither man had been wearing a life jacket.

- MISSING HELICOPTER: There are grave fears for two helicopter pilots in Australia, one of them a New Zealander. Their helicopter went missing.

- MIDDLE EAST VIOLENCE: The United States has stepped into violence in Middle East between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers. A cease-fire officially took place today, but sporadic fire continues. Of the 30 odd people who have died in the fighting, a 12 year old boy who was killed has become a symbol of the violence for Palestinians.

- OLYMPICS OVER: The Sydney Olympics are now just a memory. While Australia basks in glory, New Zealand is wondering what it could have done to get more medals – the one gold and three bronzes a disappointment compared to our usual hauls. Despite that, they received a rousing reception when they arrived at Auckland airport. The big question is whether we need to invest more money in our athletes, or are there fundamental attitude problems which need to be addressed? New Zealand came in 45th on the table. Australia came 4th, with 16 golds.

An estimated 100,000 passengers are leaving Sydney on 1000 flights. It was clean up time in Sydney as it dealt with its collective hangover from the hugely successful closing party.

© Scoop Media

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