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Waitangi Day – Health Legislation – US Election – Baby Death – Bashed Constable – Burglaries

- WAITANGI DAY: The Government has banned the Navy from attending celebrations at Waitangi on Waitangi day, ending a 53-year tradition. Prime Minister said it would be a little odd if the Navy is at Waitangi if the Government isn’t there. The Navy say they have not yet been told. Maori Labour ministers John Tamihere and Dover Samuels do intend to attend Waitangi celebrations.

- HEALTH LEGISLATION: The coalition Government is being tested as the controversial health reforms that would bring back health boards are being debated in Parliament. The Greens and National are working together to change the legislation. It is minority government and MMP at work. The coalition had to rely on votes from New Zealand First to make up numbers today, with the Greens working with National. The legislation looks to be debated clause by clause, with support from NZ First on some clauses and the Greens on others.

- US ELECTION: Vice President Al Gore is demanding every vote be counting in Florida, while George W. Bush has claimed victory in the US presidential election. Mr Gore made a five-minute speech today calling for the votes to be counted, ignoring increasing calls from republicans to step aside. Mr Bush is putting together a transitional team and behaving like a president elect in the public eye. But the Clinton administration will not hand over the keys to the transitional offices or public money until the legal battles are over. Bush has said he will include some democrats in his administration to reflect the close nature of the election.

- BABY DEATH: An 11month old baby boy has died from injuries received in what police say are suspicious circumstances. No arrests have been made.

- BASHED CONSTABLE: The Twizel policeman who received head injuries when he was attacked on patrol on Friday has regained consciousness, but police say they have not yet spoken to him on the advice of doctors.

BURGLARIES: Police are urging homeowners to do more to protect their properties from burglars over the holiday season.

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