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National Radio Midday Report

Middle East Talks – Yugoslavian Elections – Yugoslavian Strike – Rapist Sentenced – Homicide Investigations – Road Safety – Road Upgrade – Bail Laws – List – Flood Damaged Cars – Brain Drain – International Students – Marine Consevation

- MIDDLE EAST TALKS: Limited agreement has been reached between Israeli and Palestinian leaders meeting in Paris, to find a way through the violence in the Middle East. The talks will continue tomorrow in Egypt. They have agreed to pull back their forces to where they were eight days ago. Talks nearly stalled when a furious Yasser Arafat tried to leave.

- YUGOSLAVIAN ELECTIONS: Yugoslavia’s constitutional court has ruled that the results of the presidential election, so disputed by the opposition, are invalid. The ruling comes on the on the eve of massive protest planned tomorrow. The court would not elaborate on the reasons for invalidating the election. New Presidential elections will take place in the next few months. The president, Slobodan Milosovic, will announce when new elections will take place. The opposition, who claimed outright victory in the first elections, have already said they would boycott a second round of elections.

- YUGOSLAVIAN STRIKE: Yugoslav police have reportedly taken over key facilities in a coal mine, where workers have been striking for five days.

- RAPIST SENTENCED: The Christchurch man convicted of drugging and raping two underage babysitters has been sentenced to 11 years in prison. The jury earlier convicted the man on 11 charges involving rape, indecent assault and stupefying the 13 and 14 year olds with drugs and alcohol.

- HOMICIDE INVESTIGATIONS: South Auckland police have launched a homicide inquiry into the death of a five-year-old boy found dead in his Otara home. In a second investigation, police have named the elderly woman found dead under suspicious circumstances in Howick. She is Florence Marjorie Simpson, age 82.

- ROAD SAFETY: Reducing the speed limit on open road and introducing engine locks on the cars of repeat drink drivers are two options put forward in the Government road safety strategy put out this morning. Transport Minister Mark Gosche is asking for feedback on the document.

- ROAD UPGRADE: Kapiti Coast residents are pleased Transit NZ is upgrading a dangerous stretch of State Highway one in which seven people have died this year.

- BAIL LAWS: The Insurance Council has thrown its support behind tough new bail laws introduced last night.

- LIST: State Owned Enterprises Minister Mark Burton has asked his officials to launch a review of a list prepared by Azure NZ, which identifies people it wants to get rid of.

- FLOOD DAMAGED CARS: The Independent Motor Dealers Association is concerned about flood damaged cars coming to New Zealand that are possibly tainted with raw sewerage. The association says the cars raise serious health and safety issues.

- BRAIN DRAIN: The Business Roundtable says outdated Government policies are preventing many New Zealanders returning home. It says it supports a campaign launched today by Aucklander Richard Poole, which calls on the Government to change its policies to keep people in New Zealand.

- INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: New research shows overseas students contribute more than half a billion dollars a year to the New Zealand economy.

- MARINE CONSERVATION: The Government today takes the first step towards its goal of putting a tenth of our Marine environment under protection by 2010.

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