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Olympics NZ Team Arrives Home – Olympics Close – Floods – Gulf Deaths – Holy Land Violence – Fiji Coup Charges – Faith Fails Son

OLYMPICS - NZ TEAM ARRIVES HOME: The party is over but the wake has just started as the NZ team arrives back from Sydney. The arrival back has been well choreographed. The crowd was hyped for the arrival. Ian Waddell comes back a superstar. Mostly family and friends at the welcome – a few hundred at the most. The news conference is still going on. Some people are saying it is the worst performance ever. Others say it isn’t so bad. Trevor Mallard says it is up to taxpayers to decide whether to win medals in Athens. Les Mills says money is not the issue.

OLYMPICS CLOSE: Sydney puts on an amazing closing ceremony. Visually spectacular a big party. Samaranch describes it as the best Olympics ever. Midnight Oil make a political point. Kylie Minogue comes in on a surfboard. Midnight it is party time. Some hardy souls still partying hard this morning, Airport busy with 40,000 people leaving.

FLOODS: West Coast phones taken out by a lightning strike. Kayackers plucked to safety from the Tararua Ranges. In Wanganui CD staff are still keeping an eye on the river. A slip closed SH3 south of Pahiatua. Police in Lower Hutt warned people to stay away from flood banks. Wairarapa receives more than 700mm of rain in four days and Martinborough remains under threat tonight.

GULF DEATHS: Two bodies found in an upturned dinghy on the Hauraki Gulf. A pair of sailors being looked for by Coastguard have been found dead.

HOLY LAND VIOLENCE: Many people have been killed in Israel/Palestinian clashes in the Holy Land. Clashes a mismatch in terms of fire-power but Palestinians are not retreating. The Palestinians insist this is a fight over Jerusalem. This morning there was a ceasefire. But fighting resumed later. In occupied territories Palestinian and Israeli forces exchanged fire. The fighting is now also taking place inside Israel. A child is killed by Israeli forces apparently without provocation. Tanks headed for trouble spots this evening.

FIJI: In Fiji one of coup leader George Speight’s supporters has been refused immunity from prosecution under the Amnesty for the shooting of a TV cameraman. The judge said the amnesty required the weapons to be returned. They weren’t.

FAITH FAILS SON: The parents of a boy who died of a tumor the size of a baseball on the side of his leg. The parents were charged with failing to provide the necessities of life. The couple thought their faith would save their son. It didn’t. Justice Judith Potter imposed a suspended 15 month jail term.


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