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Defence Broadside – Police Apology – Murder Charge – Road Accident – Florida Recount – Clinton In Vietnam – Tua Welcome

- DEFENCE BROADSIDE: A top American military commander has fired a broadside at New Zealand’s defence policy. Admiral Dennis Blair, America’s top commander in the Pacific, says New Zealand isn’t doing enough for defence in the region. The Admiral argues that technology, like surveillance equipment and robot planes, is the future. But Prime Minister Helen Clark says technology can’t do the job our peacekeepers are doing in East Timor and the Solomon Islands. New Zealand spends 1.2 % of its GDP on defence.

- POLICE APOLOGY: The Police Commissioner Rob Robinson flew to Gisborne today to personally apologise to a rape victim whose complaint wasn’t heard for 18 years. The commissioner said the Police behaved badly in the case. The victim said the Commissioner appeared emotional when he apologised to her. The woman now wants compensation.

- MURDER CHARGE: A man has been arrested and charged with murdering his 82-year-old terminally ill mother, Florence Marjorie Simpson.

- ROAD ACCIDENT: The safety of the nation’s trucks is under scrutiny after a horrific crash involving a truck. A 32-year-old motorist was killed when the drive shaft from a truck travelling in the opposite direction came loose, catapulted towards him and decapitated him.

- FLORIDA RECOUNT: The United States presidency is now in the hands of seven judges in Florida. They will decide whether hand recounts can be considered in the final tally of ballots in the Sate of Florida, which the presidency hinges on. If the court rules hand counts can be considered it may pave the way for Democrat Al Gore to win the election. US President Bill Clinton told CNN the drawn out process of the election may be good for the country. He said Americans should relax and let it play out.

- CLINTON IN VIETNAM: Bill Clinton has returned home after an historic visit to Vietnam. He was mobbed by crowds in Saigon. His daughter Chelsea Clinton shopped for handbags in Saigon. Clinton did his bit for Vietnam road safety, promoting cycle helmets in a country that love bikes but hates helmets.

- TUA WELCOME: There was an enthusiastic homecoming parade for David Tua in Mangare today. The welcome included the traditional Samoan kava ceremony.

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