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National Radio Midday Report

Florida recount – Fijian Lawyer – Fiji Rugby – Lundy Murder – Hawera Brawl – Policeman Attacked – New Staff – Imports Rise – Climate Talks – Middle East Violence – Pip Fruit Review

- FLORIDA RECOUNT: The final result of the Florida recount is about to be announced, while legal action looks sure to follow. The Republicans appear to have won the state by 454 votes according to unofficial tallies. Florida Secretary of State Catherine Harris will announce certified count very soon. The deadline to tally votes expired an hour ago. The Gore campaign says it will mount a legal challenge on the grounds that thousands of votes have not been counted in Florida.

- FIJIAN LAWYER: The New Zealand Government says it won’t pay the medical bill of a blacklisted Fiji lawyer who managed to slip into New Zealand under an aid scheme, despite initially undertaking to pay for his treatment costs. The lawyer, who is currently receiving treatment in Auckland, provided legal advice to coup leader George Speight.

- FIJI RUGBY: The Government will allow Fijian rugby players to come into NZ despite a ban on sporting contacts with Fiji being extended into next year.

- LUNDY MURDER: Palmerston North police remain tight lipped on the list of suspects they have for the murder of Christine and Amber Lundy. Mark Lundy, husband of Christine Lundy, says he is the prime suspect, but the police say they view him as a victim.

- HAWERA BRAWL: Police in Hawera are seeking a review of the liquor licences of two pubs that were at the centre of a huge brawl that spilt into the main street, with nearly 100 people involved. Police say the brawl was obviously the result of alcohol consumption. Shops were damaged and many people were hurt in the incident.

- POLICEMAN ATTACKED: The Police Association says an attack on a constable in Twizel is unsettling and highlights the risk of policing in rural areas. Constable Shane Lacy is being treated in Christchurch for serious head injuries.

- NEW STAFF: The Wellington Chamber of Commerce has said employers wanting to take on new full-time staff will be hard pressed to find staff locally for skilled jobs, especially in IT and telecommunications. This follows a new survey showing 44% of the 1200 employers questioned planned to take on new staff over the next six months.

- IMPORTS RISE: New Zealand’s rising tide of imports shows no sign of abating and continues to outstrip exports. Statistics NZ says imports for October came to nearly $2.95 billion, a quarter of a billion more than the value of exports for the month.

- CLIMATE TALKS: Fresh details have come to light about how climate change talks broke down at the Hague at the last minute. The convenor of New Zealand’s ministerial group on climate change Pete Hodgson says he was part of a last ditch effort to save the talks, which ended in failure.

- MIDDLE EAST VIOLENCE: Several Palestinian militants belonging to the Fatta movement have been killed in an ambush mounted by Israeli soldiers near the West Bank village of Habla. Meanwhile there has been violence on the Israel/Lebanon border.

- PIP-FRUIT REVIEW: The Government has launched its promised review of the pip-fruit industry. A discussion paper has been put out to discuss whether to totally deregulate the industry or return to a full singe-desk monopoly.


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