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Soldier’s Tale – Heroin Haul – Pacific Forum – People’s Bank – Virginity Pledge

- SOLDIER’S TALE: A New Zealand soldier testified at the Auckland High Court today – the British Government is trying to prevent him publishing a book that details a bungled SAS operation he was part of during the Gulf War. He says SAS headquarters bungled the mission, dropping SAS soldiers into Iraqi hands, where three were killed and the rest, including the author, were tortured. He said he felt betrayed, and was told that the soldiers were expendable.

- HEROIN HAUL: Drug experts say lives have been saved by the seizure of heroin in Fiji. Some of the heroin would have hit the New Zealand market, and experts say local users would not be used to drugs of that quality and would have been tempted to experiment dangerously. 350 kilos were seized.

- PACIFIC FORUM: Fiji and NZ at loggerheads over next years Pacific Islands forum – Prime Minister Helen Clark says Fiji has not made enough progress towards democracy after the May coup and says she will not attend the next forum if it is in Fiji. Australian Prime Minister John Howard is another leader who opposes holding the next forum in Fiji. Miss Clark didn’t hold the traditional lunch at this forum, she said she would not play host to the interim Fiji PM.

- PEOPLE’S BANK: Survey results released today show strong support for Jim Anderton’s People’s Bank proposal. 40% of the people surveyed said they’d dump their bank and change to the People’s Bank. 6o% supported the idea, and many expressed dissatisfaction with the fees charged by their bank and said banks made too many mistakes.

VIRGINITY PLEDGE: Australian preacher Jim Lyons is defending the strong no sex message he has been preaching in New Zealand Schools. He has been asking secondary school students to sign a pledge to remain a virgin until marriage. The pledge has a strong religious bias, and educational groups say this is inappropriate in mainstream schools. There is also concern at his message that condoms don’t work.

British scientists say they may have found a cure for arthritis.

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