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National Radio Midday Report

Part Time Prison – Drowned Baby – Lisa Blaikie – Possums – Fiji Sex Tourism – Middle East Peace Process – Zimbabwe Army Violence – Troops Gather – Cole Memorial – Spinal Screening – Mt Ruapehu

- PART TIME PRISON: The Justice Minister Phil Goff is backing the idea for part time prison sentences as a way of easing pressure on prisons. Corrections Minister and Alliance MP Matt Robson proposed the idea of only locking up some prisoners, who are not a danger to the community, on weekends and at night.

- DROWNED BABY: The body of a baby found in a South Wairarapa river this morning has been taken to Wellington for a post mortem. Police believe the body is that of an 11-month-old boy was put in the river last night. Police are treating it as a homicide, as the boy was alive when he was put in the water. The boy’s mother has been charged with abandoning a child.

- LISA BLAIKIE: Police have found a second piece of luggage, a green kit bag, in the area where the brown suitcase belonging to murdered Timaru Hitchhiker Lisa Blaikie was found yesterday.

- POSSUMS: A crown Research Institute, Landcare Research, told the Genetic Modification Inquiry that genetic engineering research is vital if NZ is to gain control of the possum problem.

- FIJI SEX TOURISM: The United Nations says Fiji is fast becoming a destination for child sex tourism.

- MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS: Israel has removed some military posts set up in Palestinian territories following the agreement made at peace talks. However Israeli tanks are still in the area, and Palestinians will be barred from crossing into Israel for another 48 hours. Clashes and casualties continue in West Bank and Gaza. The Islamic Humas Militant group says Palestinian police have put back in jail at least 25 of its members who left prison in the past three weeks.

- ZIMBABWE ARMY VIOLENCE: In Zimbabwe, the army has moved in force to crush rioting in protest of increased food prices.

- TROOPS GATHER: Church leaders and human rights leaders in Indonesian province of Papua report a build-up of troops who they fear will be used to crack down on separatists. The warning comes as police back away from an order to remove all separatist Morning Star flags from public areas.

- COLE MEMORIAL: Thousands of friends and family of the American sailors killed on the Bombed USS Cole Navy Destroyer attended a memorial service for the dead.

- SPINAL SCREENING: The NZ Rugby Union is considering a pilot screening programme to reduce the number of spinal injuries in the sport. A study has found that as many as 1 in 12 spinal injuries could be prevented if players were aware of preexisting spinal conditions that make them more susceptible to injury.

- MT RUAPEHU: he Ruapehu District Council has told the Commerce Commission that a single ski company on Mt Ruapehu will help economic growth in the area.

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