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National Radio Midday Report

ACC – Protesters Sue – GM Commission – Closing The Gaps – Chinese Visit – Public Health Advisory Board – Florida Legal Action – Middle East Violence – Rural Firemen – Canterbury University Budget – Plant Moves – Queensland Electoral Fraud – Workplace Stress – Blue Mountains

- ACC: Lump sum compensation payments are set to return under new accident compensation legislation. Lump sums will be paid to people with permanent physical or mental damage from accidents under the reforms. It is the second part of the Government’s reforms of workplace insurance, after the renationalisation of accident compensation.

- PROTESTERS SUE: Papers being filed in the High Court today allege a woman police officer assaulted three of 41 people in custody after they were arrested during a 1997 protest by students outside Parliament. The 40 students and one lecturer were arrested while protesting against tertiary education changes.

- GM COMMISSION: The kiwifruit industry says $700m in exports and 25,000 jobs would be jeopardised if NZ started exporting genetically modified food. Zespri International was presenting its submission to the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification today.

- CLOSING THE GAPS: The outgoing head of The Ministry of Maori Development, Te Puni Kokiri, Dr Ngatata Love, says he is disappointed that the debate on the closing the gaps policy has taken on racial overtones. He blames the development in the debate to media hype.

- CHINESE VISIT: The Governor General, Sir Michael Hardie-Boys has arrived in China for the first official visit of its kind. The Chinese President extended the invitation following his visit the New Zealand last year for the APEC meeting.

- PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY BODY: More details have emerged of the shape of the new Public health advisory Body being set up as the result of behind the scenes political negotiations over the health legislation.

- FLORIDA LEGAL ACTION: The controversy over Florida’s Presidential vote is rumbling on, with a new set of legal challenges and the promise of more to come. Meanwhile George W. Bush is getting on with setting up a transitional administration to take over the White House.

- MIDDLE EAST VIOLENCE: Violence continues in the Gaza strip while Israel grapples with its own political turmoil. Two Palestinian stone throwers died from gunshot wounds.

- RURAL FIREMEN: The Fire Service says it is willing to work with police to review the way volunteer fire workers in rural areas are used as back up police.

- CANTERBURY UNIVERSITY BUDGET: Canterbury University is making an across the board cut to its teaching and research to make up for a projected shortfall in next year’s budget.

- PLANT MOVES: An Auckland plant, which is a subsidiary of the dairy board, is moving to Hamilton. More than 200 staff who work at Sachet Packaging will have the option of moving to Hamilton or taking redundancy.

- QUENNSLAND ELECTORAL FRAUD: A Queensland Labour MP who is linked to electoral fraud is expected to resign from the party today, leaving the state Government one short of a majority.

- WORKPLACE STRESS: Two independent reports have identified stress as the number one problem in the British workplace.

- BLUE MOUNTAINS: The Blue Mountains in New South Wales have been declared a world heritage site.


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