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National Radio Midday Report

US Elections – Korean Whiteware – Home Alone – PHARMAC – Illegal Immigrants Rescued – TEAC Resignation – Offensive Lyrics – Alternative Therapy – Treatment Conference – Coromandel Downpour

- US ELECTIONS: The polling booths are starting to close in the US Presidential elections and a trend could emerge in the next couple of hours. Pollsters are predicting the closest race for 40 years. Both Republican George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore are back in their home states. Analysts say the first big indicator will come when results from Florida are known. The winner may not be known until results for the three West Coast states of California, Oregon and Washington close at 5pm this afternoon. The Gore camp, in Nashville Tennessee, is optimistic of victory, as is the Bush camp in Austin Texas.

Control of the Senate and House of Representatives is also in the balance. The Democrats are threatening narrow republican majorities in both chambers. The highest profile race has been in New York between First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and Republican Rick Lazio.

- KOREAN WHITEWARE: Fisher and Paykel have requested formal Government inquiry about alleged dumping of cheap Korean whiteware in New Zealand. Fisher and Paykell has announced it will lay off around 200 staff, because it cannot compete with a swamping of the market with Korean goods.

- HOME ALONE: Four children found alone in a Palmerston North home last night have been put into CYPS care for the next Five days. When police got to the home, after an anonymous tip off, the youngest two children were distressed and there was no sign of an adult.

- PHARMAC: An Independent report into PHARMAC has found little problem with the drug buying agency’s decision making, but says it should work on improving its relationship with the industry, health professionals and consumers.

- ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS RESCUED: The Italian coast guard has rescued rudderless ship holding 900 illegal immigrants drifting in rough seas off the Southern Coast.

- TEAC RESIGNATION: Tertiary education groups reacted with concern to the resignation of the head of the Tertiary Education Advisory Council, Norman Kingsbury. Education Minister Steve Maharey says he’s accepted his resignation with regret.

- OFFENSIVE LYRICS: An Australian MP wants bands who sing songs with violent lyrics to be charged if they inspire listeners into acting out criminal acts in the lyrics.

- ALTERNATIVE THERAPY: Homeopathists are joining calls for more Government regulation of alternative therapists in New Zealand. Two leading cancer specialists want an inquiry into whether Dunedin boy Liam Williams Holloway, who died while receiving alternative therapy in Mexico recently, received an appropriate standard of treatment from alternative therapy.

- TREATMENT CONFERENCE: Medical and legal experts have been debating a series of hypothetical cases where parents have refused treatment for their children. The daylong conference has been organised by the Legal Research Council in the wake of the public fight between the parents of Liam Williams Holloway and medical authorities over the treatment of a cancerous tumor in the boy’s jaw.

- COROMANDEL DOWNPOUR: Downpours in the Coromandel peninsula have caused flooding in Whangamata. The Fire Service says 10 houses have been flooded.

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