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National Radio Midday Report

Middle East Situation – Parole Review – Tertiary Education Laws – Solomon Islands Peace Talks – Fiji Blue Day – Cervical Cancer Tribunal – Escaped AIDS Carrier – Polish President – Waitangi Tribunal – Auckland Beating – Chemical Spill – Highways Closed – Sub Arrives

- MIDDLE EAST SITUATION: An Israeli cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Ehud Barak is still underway to decide what measures to take after the expiry of an ultimatum for Palestinians to halt 12 days of clashes. The meeting is also expected to discuss what to do about three Israeli soldiers captured by Lebanese Shiite Muslim guerillas. United Nations Secretary Kofi Annan is in Israel to try to avert the danger of all out war.

- PAROLE REVIEW: Some senior criminal lawyers are opposed to changing the laws governing parole and the release of prisoners. Minister of Corrections Matt Robson has announced that parole procedures are to be reviewed following the Taffy Hotene case.

- TERTIARY EDUCATION LAWS: The Government plans to introduce legislation this year giving it power to step in when tertiary institutions are in trouble. Education Minister Steve Maharey says management has to improve to meet new demands from students and society. He says at present there is little the Government can do to help troubled institutions.

- SOLOMON ISLANDS PEACE TALKS: Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff has warned that the Solomon Islands faces economic disaster and anarchy if today’s peace talks are not successful. He says the country’s economy is already in tatters. Mr Goff says he is confident of an agreement being reached, but says it could be difficult to maintain once the parties return to the islands.

- FIJI BLUE DAY: Only small numbers of supporters of a protest to restore democracy in Fiji are taking part by wearing blue clothing to work in support of the Fiji 1997 constitution.

- CERVICAL CANCER TRIBUNAL: A Paihia GP has told a medical tribunal of his astonishment that Whangarei gaenocologist Graham Parry did not examine his patient, Colleen Pultzmar. Mr Parry is defending a charge of disgraceful conduct over his failure to diagnose cervical cancer.

- ESCAPED AIDS CARRIER: Canterbury’s Medical Officer of Health says he understands human error may have allowed a Christchurch AIDS carrier out of isolation. Christoper Truscott has been living in Isolation after admitting to having unprotected sex with men without disclosing he had the AIDS virus. Mr Truscott has not yet been found.

- POLISH PRESIDENT: The Polish President has easily won reelection in the third Presidential Poll since the end of communism in 1989.

- WAITANGI TRIBUNAL: Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says overall he’s happy with the Waitangi Tribunal and the speed at which it is processing claims. It is 25 years today since the establishment of the Tribunal, and there are concerns it could take another 14 years to clear the backlog of claims.

- AUCKLAND BEATING: Auckland police are testing blood samples from a bashed businessman’s car, where the man was found semi-conscious. The man is suffering amnesia from the bashing.

- CHEMICAL SPILL: Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus and protective clothing are cleaning up poisonous chemicals from the desert road from a crashed truck. The desert road is closed until the spill can be neutralised and washed away.

- HIGHWAYS CLOSED: State Highway 1 is closed by a crash involving two articulated trucks and a car. SH2 is closed because of damage to a bridge caused by flood waters. SH56 is also shut because of flooding.

- SUB ARRIVES: New Zealand’s first deep dive experience or tourists came closer to reality today, with the arrival of a $2.2million submarine in Dunedin today.

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