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National Radio Midday Report

Unemployment Down – E Commerce Summit – Parry Guilty – Swiss Rafting Disaster – Defence Funding – GM Commission – Middle East Meeting – US Elections – Plane Explodes – Morgan Fahey – Internet Drugs – Aucklander Extradited

- UNEMPLOYMENT DOWN: Unemployment has hit a 12-year low, falling below 6 percent. The Household Labour Force Survey showed unemployment fell by 3000 in the three months to the end of September. The drop has been driven by an increase in full-time work. Unemployment fell in most regions, despite the fall in business confidence. The Maori jobless rate is on the rise again, however, topping 14 percent.

- E COMMERCE SUMMIT: Prime Minister Helen Clark has told the e commerce summit in Auckland that New Zealand must attract more immigrants who are highly skilled in information technology.

- PARRY GUILTY: Whangarei gynecologist Graham Parry has been found guilty of disgraceful conduct over his inability to diagnose a woman with cervical cancer, who is now terminally ill.

- SWISS RAFTING DISASTER: A relative of a New Zealand man killed in a Swiss white water rafting accident has agreed with a decision not to charge three out of six of the guides, but she says someone does need to be held accountable for the tragedy. A Christchurch man who helped set up the rafting company in Switzerland says he has serious reservations about the way the company was run.

- DEFENCE FUNDING: A defence expert says the policies of successive governments have forced defence forces to beg borrow and steal to keep old and obsolete gear going.

- GM COMMISSION: Two major research funding organisations have told the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification that a third of the money they spend goes towards projects involving gene technology.

- MIDDLE EAST MEETING: Former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Perez has met with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat today in Palestinian ruled Gaza to try to find a way to end the clashes in the region.

- US ELECTIONS: The two main United States presidential candidates are now campaigning in their opponent’s strongholds. The candidates are neck and neck.

- PLANE EXPLODES: A passenger plane has exploded in mid air over Angola killing all 48 people aboard about 20 minutes after takeoff.

- MORGAN FAHEY: The case of convicted sex offender Morgan Fahey is back before court in Christchurch with the crown seeking to lengthen his sentence.

- INTERNET DRUGS: The Ministry of Health is clamping down on the sale of prescription drugs over the Internet. Regulations have been passed that make it illegal for New Zealand chemists to sell prescription drugs to overseas consumers who do not have a New Zealand prescription.

- AUCKLANDER EXTRADITED: An Auckland man has been extradited to Australia on a charge of killing a seaman on a cargo ship there over 30 years ago.

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