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Israel – US Destroyer Destroyed – Sharemarket And Dollar – Colombian Rebel Kidnapping – Marina Smash – Cleanup – English Floods

ISRAEL: Israel conflict deepens. Middle East considered to be close to a war following the lynching of two Israeli soldiers and the retaliatory bombing of Palestinian buildings.

US DESTROYER DESTROYED: American Destroyer bombed in suicide bombing in Aden, Yemen. US officials say it is a senseless act of terrrorism. Osama bin Laden and other terrorists are being considered as possibly responsible.

SHAREMARKET AND DOLLAR: Anxiety gripped share market this morning after the prospect of a Middle East war rocked Wall St over night and as oil prices soar. One Auckland investor – quoted – wasn’t panicking. NZ dollar already hit by the Commerce Commission decision on Fletcher Energy. Fletchers says it remains committed to the sales process. Shell wants urgent talks with the Commerce Commission and remains optimistic. Dollar fall on Fletchers decision is not very rational says the PM. Competition is supposed to be good for economies, she says. Hubbard Foods have a celebratory breakfast for staff.

COLOMBIAN REBEL KIDNAPPING: A NZer is among five people taken hostage in Ecuador and taken back to Colombia. Columbian rebels from Farc are believed responsible. The other hostages are three Americans and an Ecuadorean. All are employees of an air crane company from the US. The acting Ecuadorean President says the hostages have been taken in revenge at US funding to the Columbian Government to fight drugs and the rebel Farc forces.

MARINA SMASH: The wind and sea have abated but not the rage of Lyttelton’s boat owners. A tangled mess of boats in a sea of polystyrene. The Marina was bashed by bad weather. This shouldn’t happen in a marina says one boat owner whose boat is ruined.

CLEANUP: Picking up the pieces after the storm. A tomato grower has $70,000. More than 400 trees felled in parks. Some parts of Christchurch are without power. Sumner is full of mud. Clearing slips may take several days. Jade Stadium is being dried out.

ENGLISH FLOODS: Southern England is being hit by floods too.

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