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US ELECTIONS: Summary – TV Coverage – ITN Reporter IV – TV Networks Get It Wrong – NZ Vote. OTHER NEWS: Auckland Drug Bust – Tramper Found – Tree Carnage – Parking Ticket Capital

US ELECTIONS:

SUMMARY: 1700 votes separate George Bush and Al Gore in the Florida election. Whoever wins Florida wins the US Presidency. Bush and Gore have brought in the big guns to scrutinise the recount which is now underway. Gore has won the popular vote by 200,000 votes.

TV COVERAGE: US TV Networks first gave Florida to Al Gore. They then said it was too close. Then they gave it to Bush. And then they said it was too close again. US Politicians were stunned with what happened. Gore conceded to Bush and then retracted his concession. Bill Clinton says the American people have spoken but it will take a little time to know what they said.

ITN REPORTER IV: The most extraordinary election night of my career. The emotional roller-coaster went from deep gloom to elation and the bemusement when the victory was snatched from them. The Bush camp nevertheless remain confident that it will go their way. Bush’s loss in the popular vote is not a great mandate. We thought this was possible from the outset but. This last happened 112 years ago. Bear in mind however that Bush has a majority in the House and the Senate was well and this is the first time this has happened since 1954.

TV NETWORKS GET IT WRONG: When Americans surfaced this morning they were shocked not to know who has won. Last night it all went horribly wrong when the networks call on Florida was wrong. Network anchor says he hasn’t got egg on his face – but rather has omelet. Exit polls which were thought infallible got it very wrong.

NZ VOTE: In Christchurch a US serviceman from Florida had no idea his vote was so important. “It’s kinda exciting”, he says. Thousands of absentee votes are yet to be counted. TV was the main attraction at the US Embassy in Wellington today. Carol Moseley-Braun remains hopeful she will be allowed to stay. Helen Clark sent a congratulatory note to Bush.

OTHER NEWS:

AUCKLAND DRUG BUST: The armed offenders squad was taking no chances when it went to apprehend a drug dealer in Auckland this morning sealing off several city roads and delaying motorists. The offender had chemicals and was considered dangerous.

TRAMPER FOUND: Searchers have found the body of an elderly British tramper on Mt Taranaki.

TREE CARNAGE: A palm tree falls on top of a house in Upper Hutt when the crane removing it falls over.

PARKING TICKET CAPITAL: Wellington has been dubbed the parking ticket capital of NZ. More than 230,000 tickets issued every year. Kerre Woodham admits to being a recidivist parking ticket recipient. Parking wardens say it can be a dangerous job. Lots of people try to get off. The Wellington Council earns $9million in fines every year.

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