Snakes Alive – Shark Attack – The “H” Word – People’s Bank – Wellington Motorway Closed – US Elections – Tua Fight
SNAKES ALIVE: A snake almost 2 metres long is feared on the loose in Central Auckland. A 2m long snake skin was found on Halloween. The snake skin was found by a ten-year-old who was out trick or treating. Scientists say the snake is not poisonous or dangerous to humans. MAF thinks someone may have smuggled the snake in as a pet. This species is the most common pet snake in Australia. A specialist snake tracker dog hasn’t yet found the snake.
SHARK ATTACK: A great white shark has taken one swimmer and attacked another near Perth. About a dozen people were swimming in a group less than 20m from the shore when the attack took place. Two men swam to the victims aid and dragged the dead man to shore. The early morning plunge is a daily ritual for the swimmers. The beach was closed this morning and the snake was spotted offshore.
THE “H” WORD: The PM is trying to play down the use of the “Holocaust” word by Alliance Deputy Leader Sandra Lee. The PM took some time to explain why the word is inappropriate. The coalition needed this latest development like a hole in the head. The PM says that Sandra Lee got carried away. In Sandra Lee’s speech she used the word rather a lot. According to the dictionary the word – when used with a capital H – means the killing of Jews in WWII. Jenny Shipley says that it is clear that Lee is defying the PM. She wants Lee to apologise in Parliament. Lee is not talking today. Lee was talking to a mainly Maori audience when she used the word. She knows how much grief Tariana Turia got to when using the word. This is like lobbing a grenade into this place. Jenny Shipley is running a dangerous strategy on this.
PEOPLE’S BANK: The Government has given the green light in principle to Alliance Leader Jim Anderton’s People’s Bank. This time next year Post-Shops around the country will be offering full banking services. Anderton says the bank will earn the government money. Anderton says he has agreement in principle from Michael Cullen to his plan. Professor Neil Quigley says he is concerned that there may not be room for the bank in the market. Funding the bank will cost $80 million.
MOTORWAY CLOSED: Wellington’s motorway has been closed this afternoon due a scrub fire.
US ELECTIONS: A sprint finish to the US Elections race. Both candidates have an even chance with 48 hours to go. George Bush is spending lots of time with war heroes. In the battleground states it is still desperately close. Al Gore is looking for a large turnout to win.
TUA FIGHT: David Tua’s bid to win the World Heavyweight boxing title will be the culmination of a dream for Tua. Team Tua includes lots of people. Kevin Barry says he is boss of the camp while Tua is the overall boss. Tua has a trainer, a Fijian chef, a Samoan boxing friend, security guys, a documentary crew, a personal assistant – a small tight team of ten. Tua says he isn’t the boss. God is the boss, he says.