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US Elections – TVNZ Digital – Tua Fight

- US ELECTIONS: The race to the White House is on hold - the earliest a result could be known is tomorrow morning, but is expected to take much longer. The result is hinging on a few thousand votes in the state of Florida. The election is uncannily close – out of millions of votes across the United States, only a few hundred thousand separate Texas Governor George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore.

American news networks erred seriously yesterday with their calls, notably giving Florida to Gore, based on exit polls, that proved to be off the mark. Newspapers mostly hedged their bets on their front page headlines, but some bungled by announcing a winner. New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark jumped the gun, congratulating Bush after Al Gore conceded defeat, only to withdraw the concession a few minutes later. The electoral college system is under scrutiny – while Gore has the popular vote, that won’t count for much if Bush takes Florida.

There are questions about irregularities in polling and allegations of incompetence.. If the result is still very close after the recount, legal action looks likely. If Bush is elected it will be the first time for years that the Republicans have control of the White House, the House of Representatives and the Senate. In Missouri, a dead man has been elected.

- TVNZ DIGITAL: TVNZ outlined its plans for a free to air digital service today at a Parliamentary Select Committee today. The move would give viewers access to more free to air channels and better reception. In response to the new broadcasting charter, TVNZ said they would take a cut in advertising revenue and announced pay cuts for two TV presenters.

- TUA FIGHT: Samoan New Zealander Heavyweight boxing contender David Tua and the champion Lennox Lewis came face to face in Las Vegas today. Tua seemed to take a points decision at the press conference, with a big display of personality, with a creditable impersonation of the mega-voiced fight announcer. Lewis’s response was to invite Tua to be the announcer at his next championship bout.

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