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National Radio Midday Report

Middle East Situation – Suicide Bombing – Fletcher Energy – Inadequate Mental Health Resources – Storm Cleanup – Ecuador Kidnapping – Health Survey – Sky City Fraud – West Timor – Vietnam Floods – Kid’s TV

- MIDDLE EAST SITUATION: International negotiations are underway to avoid war in the Middle East. U.S, Jordanian and Egyptian leaders have begun an intensive round of telephone diplomacy. Earlier today, Israeli helicopters fired on Palestinian targets in retaliation for the lynchings of two Israeli Soldiers. The U.S. has called for a cease-fire. U.S. President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Madeline Albright have condemned the killing of the soldiers. The U.S. has also said it is up to Palestinian authorities to restrain stone throwing crowds. The Secretary General of Arab League says Arabs are very angry at Israel’s retaliation. The Palestinian U.N. delegation called for an immediate security council meeting.

- SUICIDE BOMBING: Suspected suicide bombers blasted a hole in the side of a US navy destroyer in a Yemeni port this morning. Six are confirmed dead and 11 are missing. Many more are injured.

- FLETCHER ENERGY: The Taranaki Chamber of Commerce is pleased the Commerce Commission has blocked the sale of Fletcher Energy to Shell, as it believes the sale would see big job losses in the province. The New Zealand dollar, which hit a new low last night following the news, was trading at US39.84 cents a short while ago.

- INADEQUATE MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES: Forensic Mental health units say they are having trouble providing secure facilities for prisoners and other potentially dangerous patients with severe mental illness.

- STORM CLEANUP: Christchurch is littered with debris, as the cleanup after yesterday’s storm continues. Power is still cut off in some places. The weather is still stopping Cook Strait ferry crossings.

- ECUADOR KIDNAPPING: Just to hand, At least 10 people, including a New Zealander have been kidnapped in Ecuador, by leftists rebels based in Colombia.

- HEALTH SURVEY: Health Minister Annette King says an international survey showing GPs and specialists are concerned over a decline in their ability to provide quality care should be a wake-up call for the Government, health services, and the community.

- SKY CITY FRAUD: Police are investigating a former Sky City casino worker for the theft of $60,000. The man is understood to have left the country and is believed to be in Australia.

- WEST TIMOR: A United Nations Security Council delegation is likely to visit Indonesia in mid-November to assess the situation in West Timor.

- VIETNAM FLOODS: The worst floods to hit Vietnam in 40 years have spread over half the country, with torrential rains bringing fresh casualties.

- KID’S TV: New research into what kids watch on TV shows action packed and humourous is in, and educational is out.

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