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National Radio Midday Report

Middle East Conflict – Petrol Price Rises – Armed Robbery – Jobs For Prisoners – Same Sex Marriage – Maori Offending – America’s Cup – Auckland Rail – Road Toll – Retail Centre

- MIDDLE EAST CONFLICT: A gun battle today put pressure on the two-day-old accord between the Israelis and Palestinians. One Israeli and one Palestinian were killed in the battle near the West Bank town of Nablos. Both Israelis and the Palestinians blame the other side.

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights has adopted an Arab/Islamic resolution condemning Israel for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Palestinian territories. Meanwhile Syria and Lebanon have called on Arab nations to call off normal relations with Israel.

- PETROL PRICE RISES: Mobil is following BP’s lead and raising petrol and Diesel prices by 4 and 7 cents respectively. Consumers are being warned to brace themselves for a range of flow on effects.

- ARMED ROBBERY: The High Court in Wellington has imposed a 10-year jail sentence on a man who got away with a robbery of half a million dollars more than any other person in New Zealand History. The 39-year-old had been found guilty of the armed robbery of an Armourgaurd vehicle, taking more than $600,000.

- JOBS FOR PRISONERS: The Corrections Minister Matt Robson says giving prisoners a job outside prison may prevent the repeat offending of men like Taffy Hotene, who murdered Kylie Jones while on Parole, by giving them a role in society. One prisoner serving a 13-year sentence for raping and assaulting a woman has had a day job outside prison for the past 3-years, despite the parole board refusing him parole for six years because he’s considered too dangerous.

- SAME SEX MARRIAGE: Pubic submissions on same sex marriages are strongly against the idea, on social, religious and moral grounds. Only one in five submissions supported allowing same sex marriages. Attorney General Margaret Wilson says the views expressed in submissions will be taken into account in the developing of policy.

- MAORI OFFENDING: The Ministry of Maori Development has criticised the lack of information available on programmes that could help reduce Maori youth offending.

- AMERICA’S CUP: Team NZ is to take over the management of the Cup village for the 2003 America’s Cup. This year the village was managed by a publicly owned company set up by Infrastructure Auckland and ran at a loss of almost $10m.

- AUCKLAND RAIL: Auckland local bodies are being warned they may not get the full $65m they are seeking for a deal to take over part of the suburban rail network from TranzRail.

- ROAD TOLL: The National Roads Safety Committee has told a public meeting that funding will play a critical role in halving the road toll over the next 10 years.

- RETAIL CENTRE: The Ngai Tahu Property Group has announced plans to build a retail centre in Christchurch in what will be the company’s biggest project to date.

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