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National Radio Midday Report

Florida Recount – Blood Tests – Magnum Transaction – Unplanned Pregnancy – Middle East Situation – Primary Health – Waitangi Snub – Inflation Rise – Education Policy – Police Budget – Computer Hub

- FLORIDA RECOUNT: Lawyers for Democrat US presidential candidate Al Gore say he plans to contest the result in Florida after the final numbers are tallied on Monday. As the odds stack up against the Democrats, this is a signal he is not going to give up. The statement was made after the Florida Supreme court rejected a bid to force Miami Dade county to hand recount votes, after it refused to do so because it could not make the deadline.

- BLOOD TESTS: The Ministry of Health has revealed that hospitals around the country have been using the wrong finger prick blood testing devices.

- MAGNUM TRANSACTION: The Minister responsible for the Serious Fraud Office, Margaret Wilson, says it is standing by its director David Bradshaw who says he may have to resign if a Parliamentary committee makes him hand over certain legal advice. Attorney General Margaret Wilson says it would raise serious constitutional issues if Mr Bradshaw was forced to hand over the advice, which he received when considering whether to prosecute anyone over the Magnum transaction, part of the Wine Box Inquiry.

- UNPLANNED PREGNANCY: The executive director of the Family Planning Association, Jill Greer is calling for the Government to take immediate action to address what she described as an unplanned pregnancy crisis. She says the Government’s plan to have a strategy in place by September next year is not good enough.

- MIDDLE EAST SITUATION: Political and diplomatic maneuvers have intensified in Israel to attempt to defuse the escalating violence between Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East after three days of non-stop bloodletting. Meanwhile Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barac has convened another meeting of his security cabinet since yesterday’s car bombing attack that killed two people and wounded others.

- PRIMARY HEALTH: The Medical Association says more money needs to be put into primary health care if visits to GPs are to increase.

- WAITANGI SNUB: There has been sadness and anger in Tai Tokerau today at the Government’s decision that the Crown will not attend Waitangi celebrations at the Waitangi grounds next year.

- INFLATION RISE: Wholesale inflation has risen at the fastest rate in 15 years, figures released by Statistics New Zealand today show. Statistics New Zealand says the price of raw materials for producers rose 3.8% during the September quarter.

- EDUCATION POLICY: The National Party is to make education a key issue in the next election campaign, saying it would be the centerpiece of another National led Government. But the party has given little specifics on what it intends to do.

- POLICE BUDGET: Police Minister George Hawkins has flagged the idea of losing some of the Police’s fast cars as a cost cutting move. Cutting police visits to schools is another cost cutting proposal on his list of possibilities.

- COMPUTER HUB: Deputy Prime minister Jim Anderton has launched a community computer hub in the town of Wairoa as a first step to increase the base for IT training in Northern Hawkes Bay.

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