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National Radio Midday Report

Dyson Disqualified – Prison Escape – Sex Education – Dollar Rebound – Middle East Violence – Florida Vote – West Papua Arrests – Shark Attack – London Stabbing – Home Alone – Rates Protest – Space Walk

- DYSON DISQUALIFIED: Labour Minister Ruth Dyson has been disqualified from driving for six months and fined $600 after admitting a drink driving charge in October. Her case was heard this morning. The Judge said he treated Ms Dyson in the same way as anybody else, and said he took into account her cooperation and guilty plea.

- PRISON ESCAPE: The head of the country’s first privately run prison, Auckland Central Remand Prison, says an escapee appears to have simply walked out the front door with visitors over the weekend, after getting hold of some civilian clothing. The prison officers union has raised concerns about the staffing at the remand facility. The prison says they will be tightening the security and also look at an electronic visitor control.

- SEX EDUCATION: A teacher who runs a school for teenage mothers, Susan Baragwanath, says the Government’s decision to introduce compulsory sex education is long overdue.

- DOLLAR REBOUND: Consumers are being warned not to expect cheaper prices for imported good before Christmas, despite a rebound in the value of the New Zealand dollar over the weekend.

- MIDDLE EAST VIOLENCE: Israel is committing to full cooperation with an international inquiry into the violence between Israel and Palestinians over the past nine weeks, which has seen hundreds of people, mostly Palestinians killed.

- FLORIDA VOTE: Lawyers for the two men contesting the results of the US Presidential vote in Florida are continuing their arguments in court. Lawyers for Democrat Al Gore say the machine count may have ignored thousands of votes for him that were incorrectly punched. A new opinion poll shows 52% of Americans have grown tired of the drawn out process and think Al Gore should concede defeat.

- WEST PAPUA ARRESTS: Indonesian police have arrested 47 people in a new crackdown on separatists in the Province of West Papua. This follows the death of seven people in the weekend, when Indonesian police fired on separatist protesters.

- SHARK ATTACK: A man is in a stable condition in hospital after being attacked by a bronze whaler shark off Heron Island north of Queensland. The man has had microsurgery.

- LONDON STABBING: A 13-year old boy has been stabbed in a London street just days after a Nigerian schoolboy was murdered in the city.

- HOME ALONE: Police in Hastings have made a further arrest in a home alone case involving six young children. They last week charged a 26-year-old woman with failing to supervise three of her children under the age of 10.

- RATES PROTESTS: Concern is rising about local body rates in several North Island towns. Demonstrators marched in protest in Gisborne in the weekend, and the situation is similar in some other towns.

- SPACE WALK: Astronauts from the space shuttle Endeavor are attaching huge solar panels to the space station Alpha, one of the most difficult operations attempted in space.

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