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National Radio Midday Report

ACC – Middle East – Business Forum – Indonesia – Mir Dumped – Tourist Crushed – Fiji TV – Kursk Recovery – Baby Found – Hostage Compensation – Blind Technology – Rat Eradication – Harry Potter

- ACC: ACC has been accused of forcing people suffering severe pain to go back to work. ACC recipients in Taranaki have formed a support group, with one of the members a bus driver with a back injury that is so painful he feels suicidal.

- MIDDLE EAST: Another Palestinian has been killed in violence in the Middle East. At least 128 have been killed so far, most Palestinians. The man was killed when his house was struck by a shell. Meanwhile Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak is still trying to reach agreement on an emergency cross party government with the right wing opposition party led by Ariel Sharon, whose visit to a Jerusalem shrine sparked the violence of the past three weeks.

- BUSINESS FORUM: A meeting of senior business leaders and Government ministers is underway in Auckland. 85 prominent business people will meet the Prime Minister and senior cabinet ministers behind closed doors for the half-day forum, which follows months of economic decline that has undermined business confidence.

- INDONESIA: Two of Indonesia’s most restive provinces are going to get greater autonomy, taking effect from May next year.

- MIR DUMPED: The Russian space Station Mir is to be dumped in the Pacific Ocean next year. The station is 14 years old. Otago University researcher Craig Roger said most of the vessel would burn up on entry and danger from radioactive material is minimal.

- TOURIST CRUSHED: Alpine guides on Fox Glacier say they are increasingly seeing tourists putting themselves in dangerous situations. The comments come after a Thai tourist was crushed under ice. She has serious injuries and is in hospital.

- FIJI TV: Fiji’s only TV station, which is State owned, says it will feature Mahendra Chaudry on current affairs programme Close Up, despite warnings from the interim government that it would cause unrest.

- KURSK RECOVERY: The struggle to recover 118 dead crew members from the Kursk has been interrupted by a storm, just as the team was about to cut into the hull of the sunken submarine.

- BABY FOUND: The Dept. of Child Youth and Family Services and police are investigating an incident where a six-week-old baby girl was left on the street. The baby is now at Starship Hospital for observation.

- HOSTAGE COMPENSATION: Americans taken hostage in Beirut in the 1980’s are expected to get huge compensation payouts from the US Government under a new law that President Clinton is expected to sign shortly.

- BLIND TECHNOLOGY: The Royal Foundation for the Blind says its members will find it more difficult to get employment in the future if they are not provided with equipment that allows them to use computers.

- RAT ERADICATION: The Conservation Department is planning the world’s largest eradication programme, to rid Campbell Island of rats.

- HARRY POTTER: Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling said revealing the title of the new Harry Potter book to a boy in New York was not a mistake. It will be called Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

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