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National Radio Midday Report

Florida Recount – Middle East Violence – Pharmac – King Trial – Women’s Prison – Armed Robbery – Sex Charges – GM Commission – Doctors’ Judgement – Crash Investigation – NSW Floods – Electoral Fraud Allegations – East Timor

- FLORIDA RECOUNT: The hopes of the Democrats in the US presidential elections have taken a major blow, with Miami Dade County deciding not to hand recount ballots because it could not make the Sunday deadline set by the Florida Supreme Court. The Democrats are set to appeal the decision. Meanwhile, a Florida judge has decided that ballots showing an indentation but not fully punched through can be counted in Palm Beach County. Republican candidate George W. Bush has authorised his legal team to go to the US Supreme Court to Appeal the Florida Supreme Court’s decision to allow hand recounts.

- MIDDLE EAST VIOLENCE: An emergency Israel’s Security Cabinet called in the wake of further tit-for-tat violence has ended with no public statement. At least two Israelis were killed in a car bombing overnight. The bombing of a school bus earlier in the week unleashed a barrage of helicopter attacks on Gaza by Israel.

- PHARMAC: The Government’s drug buying agency, Pharmac, says it won’t try to stop GlaxoWellcome leaving New Zealand. The company, set to merge with SmithKlein Beecham to become the biggest drug manufacturer in the world, has threatened to move to Australia if the Government allows Pharmac to continue cutting the cost of subsidies.

- KING TRIAL: The Jury in the Terri King Murder trial has told the judge it is having trouble reaching a verdict. It retired yesterday evening after it couldn’t decide if unemployed model William Haanstra killed Mr King.

- WOMEN’S PRISON: There is early support for the Government’s proposed site for a new women’s prison on the outskirts of Manukau city.

- ARMED ROBBERY: A woman has been injured in an armed robbery in the Auckland suburb of Hillsborough. Police said she had suffered blows to the head from the butt of a gun.

- SEX CHARGES: 17 fresh charges of indecent assault and one of sexual violation have been laid in the North Shore District Court against an Auckland schoolteacher. The 44-year-old man appeared in court last week on one charge of indecent assault.

- GM COMMISSION: A British psychologist has told the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification that the debate on gene technology could have been less controversial of the public had been consulted earlier.

- DOCTORS’ JUDGEMENT: Senior public hospital doctors are being asked to recognise that they will make errors and the best way to avoid them is to worry. The annual conference of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists has also been told they must trust their own skills and judgement rather than relying on technical aid.

- CRASH INVESTIGATION: Police in Auckland are seeking information from the insurance and trucking industries to help their investigation into the cause of a fatal motorway crash, where a part of the drive train came loose from a truck and smashed through the windscreen of a ute, killing the driver.

- NSW FLOODS: As massive floods continue in Northern New South Wales, a 9 metre peak in a river is heading for the town of Narabri.

- ELECTRORAL FRAUD ALLEGATIONS: The Deputy Premier of Queensland is stepping down as allegations grow of electoral fraud in the ruling Australian Labour Party.

- EAST TIMOR: The latest group of refugees to arrive back in East Timor from camps in West Timor are former Indonesian Army recruits.

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