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National Radio Midday Report

Presidential Election – Singapore Trade Deal – Telecom Profit – Privacy Laws – Chest Tapping Investigation – Middle East Violence – Philippines Strike – Lyttleton Marina – St. Steven’s Boarding School – Silver Scroll

- PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: The election for the US presidency has ballooned into a bewildering number of lawsuits in federal and state courts in a number of jurisdictions. Election officials in several Florida counties face a race against time to hand count ballots. Republicans were unsuccessful in trying to stop the manual recount in four Florida counties. Democrats have joined legal action in one county demanding the deadline for the manual recount to be extended. Vice President Al Gore said the stakes up for grabs go far beyond who wins the presidency, the integrity of the US democracy is at stake.

- SINGAPORE TRADE DEAL: New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and the Singapore Prime Minister are set to sign Free trade agreement they hope will help promp progress toward freeing up world trade. Helen Clark is passing through Singapore on way to the APEC meeting in Brunei.

- TELECOM PROFIT: Telecom’s first quarter profit has declined by nearly a quarter to $161 million after tax for the three months ending in September. The result was in line with expectation and accounts for a loss in mobile phone revenues and the cost of expanding into Australia.

- PRIVACY LAWS: The Privacy Commissioner says New Zealand’s laws are flexible enough to deal with the challenged of new technology like digital TV, which will make more sophisticated niche marketing possible by making accurate information about what individual viewers watch available.

- CHEST TAPPING INVESTIGATION: More than year and half after the Ministry of Health investigation into physiotherapy treatment of premature babies at National Women’s Hospital, using chest percussion techniques that caused brain damage and killed some babies, there are still complaints to be investigated.

- MIDDLE EAST VIOLENCE: Israel says it is preparing for military action following the latest round of violence in the West Bank and Gaza, which has left four Israelis and two Palestinians dead. The killings come just hours after talks Between Israeli PM Ehud Barac and US President Bill Clinton.

- PHILIPPINES STRIKE: A nationwide general strike is to be held in the Philippines today as pressure mounts on President Joseph Estrada, who has been impeached, to resign. Mr Estrada faces charges of bribery and corruption.

- LYTTLETON MARINA: Two Christchurch businessmen who agreed to buy Lyttleton Marina a few days before it was severely damaged by a severe storm recently will not now go ahead with the purchase.

- ST STEVEN’S BOARDING SCHOOL: The Anglican Church has lodged a Waitangi Tribunal claim to stop the Government withdrawing funding from Saint Steven’s Boarding School in Auckland. Police have twice investigated violent incidents at the school this year, which has received many unfavorable reports.

- SILVER SCROLL: Chris Knox won New Zealand’s highest songwriting accolade, the APRA silver scroll award, last night for a song called My Only Friend.

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