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Florida Recount – APEC – IRD Apology – Cannabis Seeds

- FLORIDA RECOUNT: The Florida recount deadline has passed. George W. Bush has a majority of 300 votes in the count so far. The result has Bush proclaiming victory, but the Florida result is still in flux. Florida State Court upheld the deadline of 11am NZ time this morning to stop counting. The Bush camp is calling on the Democrats to accept the result as it stands now, but Democrats are saying every voter’s vote should be counted. Overseas votes are still to be counted. Recount fever could spread to other states where the margin is slim. It’s now been a week since Americans went to the polls but the outcome of the election could be decided in the courts. It may well go to the US Supreme Court – the highest court in the land. Judges in many courts in the US are political appointments, although they must follow the law rather than their partisan allegiances. A Final tally is due to be certified by sat night NZ time.

- APEC: New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark will meet Indonesian President Wahid in a few hours in a bilateral meeting at the APEC conference in Brunei. Clark is looking for a determined effort from Indonesia to disarm the militia in Timor. Miss Clark says APEC needs to prove its worth, and that living standards have to rise in all the countries involved for that to happen.

- IRD APOLOGY: A Couple who say they have lost $1m to the Inland Revenue Department been given apology by the IRD. They claim their 12 year battle with the IRD has ruined their lives. They got an apology from the IRD today. IRD are refusing to compensate the couple, but a Select Committee may require the IRD to pay the couple some compensation.

- CANNABIS SEEDS: Green Party claims it is being framed after cannabis seeds were found in a parliamentary toilet used by Green and NZ First members. NZ First MP Doug Woolleton, the member who has been harassed by Green MPs for smoking tobacco in his office, found the seeds.

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