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Rugby League Ruckus Over – Rapist On Work Parole – Same Sex Marriages – Retail Stats – Petrol Prices – Diesel Prices – West Bank Battle – Rugby Disinterest

RUGBY LEAGUE RUCKUS OVER: The boycott of the Rugby League World Cup is off and now every body is wondering what it was all about. Coach Frank Endacott set a 6pm deadline for players to say they are available for the World Cup final. They were all available. The NZRL says the team will be on the plane on Monday. Frank Endacott says he had a backup list if the team refused to go. On a website the players rep has admitted that the Australian team was not considering not going. Kiwi Captain Richard Barnett says the whole business will have damaged the World Cup campaign. Comment: Even at this early stage some of the players will have lost focus because of this. The boycott was a half-baked effort. The Aussies have been offered a $1 million bonus if they win the World Cup, and were always going to go.

RAPIST ON WORK PAROLE: Rape Crisis is applauding the decision to allow a prisoner on preventative detention for the rape of two elderly women on work parole. Someone like this offender may need to be managed for the rest of his life, says the Minister Matt Robson. Norm Withers says the minister would be better off as Minister of fisheries, “where they have a catch and release scheme”. Justice Minister Phil Goff has declined to comment.

SAME SEX MARRIAGES: The majority of 3500 submissions on a discussion paper on same sex marriages are opposed.

RETAIL STATS: Retail figures today show growth in retail sales of more than 1% in September and even more if petrol is excluded.

PETROL PRICES: Three of the four major petrol stations raised petrol prices sharply this weekend. Motorists say it sucks. The rising costs are being blamed on tensions in the Middle East. The cost of a litre is still three cents cheaper than the peak.

DIESEL PRICES: Today’s 7 cent a litre increase in diesel doubles the cost over the past 18 months. Farmers are heavy users and cannot pass on the costs. Truckies too. The overseas price of diesel is now higher than petrol. Petrol vehicles outnumber diesel by five to one. The savings on fuel are leveling out says one diesel car motorist.

WEST BANK BATTLE: A five hour gun battle on a West Bank hillside. On the mount of curses, which lived up to its name.For five hours the battle raged. Afterwards Israeli settlers and Palestinians swap allegations over who started the fighting.

RUGBY DISINTEREST: A nine month rugby season has drained enthusiasm from Christchurch rugby supporters. No rugby talk in Christchurch. No party atmosphere. Some locals say there is no need to be hyped up as they already have all the trophies. Canterbury rugby boss says it has been a long season. Only 31,000 tickets available but crowd is not expected to be at capacity.

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