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National Radio Midday Report

Yugoslavian Uprising – Rescue Helicopter – Trade Agreement – Brain Drain – Middle East Peace Talks – Orchardist Sentenced – Fiji Military – Wood Exports – Naked Seagull Man – Presidential Elections – Algal Bloom – Ombudsman – Ferry Sinking – Lockerbie Trial

- YUGOSLAVIAN UPRISING: “Serbia has risen to get rid of one Man, Slobodan Miloevic” – translated words of the Yugoslav opposition leader. Yugoslav protesters who stormed the steps of parliament and brought the capital to a standstill, appear to have given a fatal blow to Slobodan Milosovic presidency. Police retreated and the military stood on the sidelines, and state-run media changed allegiances. Opposition leaders openly wondered which side the police and military will now take. The opposition leader who claimed victory in last month’s elections has now appeared on national TV, where he was announced as the new president. There has been no sight of Milosovic, and he has made no statements.

- RESCUE HELICOPTER: Another provincial community trust is crying foul over ACC choosing to give the contract for accident work to an air ambulance operator from another region. RNZ news has been leaked a letter which the East Cape Helicopter Rescue Trust has sent to it’s local MP, saying they are devastated that rescue work will be contracted out to a Hawkes Bay trust.

- TRADE AGREEMENT: New Zealand’s chances of joining the ASEAN free trade zone appear to have been boosted by recommendations from officials that the trade agreement go ahead. The group are considering allowing NZ and Australia into their free-trade zone. NZ exports to SE Asia are mainly primary products that receive high tariffs now.

- BRAIN DRAIN: The man behind the campaign to persuade the Government to do more to keep people in New Zealand says he has had an overwhelming response to his calls for support. He claims he’s not affiliated to any political party or business group.

- MIDDLE EAST PEACE TALKS: Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barac has called on his Palestinian counterpart, Yasser Arafat, either to restart talks and strive for peace, or face stalemate and confrontation. There has been further violence in occupied territories with two Palestinians shot dead, despite the withdrawal of Israeli tanks. Meanwhile, Jordanian riot police have fired teargas and deployed armoured vehicles to control hundreds of stone throwing Palestinians at a refugee camp in Amman. It is the fourth day of protesting in solidarity with their compatriots facing Israeli forces.

- ORCHARDIST SENTENCED: The High Court in Napier has sentenced an orchardist to 10 years in prison for attempted murder of his wife by burning down the house. The man wanted to collect ½ million in life insurance and pay off debts on his orchard.

- FIJI MILITARY: Fiji’s military is on full alert after threats of a move against it’s chief. Security has been tightened around the barracks and the commanders house. Security has also been stepped up around the interim PM.

- WOOD EXPORTS: The Forest Industry’s Council says local and central Government will need to help in improving port facilities to deal with huge increases of wood exports over the next few years.

- NAKED SEAGULL MAN: An artist who took his clothes off as part of fringe festival act in Dunedin has avoided prosecution. The artist said taking his clothes off gave him the sense of freedom required to feel like a seagull. He was arrested for offensive behaviour, but was let off because it was performance art.

- PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS: The first debate between the US vice presidential candidates will be on TV. Dick Cheney and Joseph Lieberman have both promised a clean fight.

- ALGAL BLOOM: The toxic algal bloom affecting the seafood industry has spread to the Hawkes Bay for the first time.

- OMBUDSMAN: The Office of the Ombudsman has asked Parliament for a third ombudsman to be appointed to help deal with increasing workload.

- FERRY SINKING: In the wake of Greek ferry sinking, the Greek Government is forcing about 105 aging ferries to be withdrawn by 2006.

- LOCKERBIE TRIAL: Judges in the Lockerbie trial have ruled a diary belonging to one of the accused can be used as evidence against the bombers.

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