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Suitcase Found – Rowdy Spectator – Middle East Peace Talks – Oil Claim – Sick Pine – Xena Canned

- SUITCASE FOUND: New evidence has been found in the hunt for the murderer of Timaru hitchhiker Lisa Blakie. A brown suitcase found in a water race matches the description of the one Ms Blakie was carrying at the time of her disappearance. The suitcase was found by chance by workmen. The find is a big breakthrough and has given hope to Ms Blakie’s family. One News understands police have found more of what is believed to be Ms Blakie’s possessions near the suitcase.

- ROWDY SPECTATOR: A Judge criticised police for using what it calls excessive force to eject a fan from a cricket match at Eden Park last summer. Police said the spectator was abusive and aggressive. The judge dismissed charges of disorderly behaviour against the fan. The judge said one day cricket can bring out the worst in human behaviour. Although two charges were upheld against the spectator, the judge imposed no punishment.

- MIDDLE EAST PEACE TALKS: Palestinians and Israelis have agreed to try to reign in three weeks of fighting, but the agreement has not yet translated into a cease-fire on the street. The agreement requires Israel withdraw troops from trouble spots. There will be another meeting in two weeks. Both sides now appear to be waiting for the other to make the first move. Although PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat came to a compromise with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, a right wing Palestinian leader has said the agreement is not binding, as it was forced by the Americans. Human Rights Watch has criticised Israel for using excessive lethal force against Palestinians.

- OIL CLAIM: Commerce Minister Paul Swain has already said a Treaty of Waitangi claim for oil resources will not succeed. The statement has caused division in the Government, with Maori MPs unhappy with Mr Swain’s statement. But Prime Minister Helen Clark said Mr Swain was merely stating the Government’s position on the issue.

- SICK PINE: The lone pine on One Tree Hill is so sick it could be cut down within weeks, the Auckland City Council says. The tree’s life span has been reduced by attacks from Maori activists.

- XENA CANNED: Xena: Warrior Princess is being canned. Tonight Xena fans are celebrating the achievements of the Warrior Princess, played by Kiwi Lucy Lawless. The American series is filmed in New Zealand, and is broadcast in over 100 counties.

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