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Youth Wage Rates – Dyson Punished – Easy Escape – Sex Education – Pregnant Seatbelt Campaign – Dumped Tyres

- YOUTH WAGE RATES: An early Christmas present for young workers: the minimum youth wage rate will be raised. One News understands the rate will rise from $4.55 to $6.05 an hour. The pay rise will be a win for the Alliance who have pushed for it all year. The wrangle over trainee rates delayed the announcement of the youth wage rate rise, which was expected today.

- DYSON PUNISHED: Labour MP Ruth Dyson has pleaded guilty to drink driving in court today. She has been disqualified for 6 months and fined $600.

- EASY ESCAPE: New Zealand’s only privately run prison has to pay a $50,000 penalty after an inmate, August Lemon, simply walked out the front door after having street clothes smuggled in to him. There will be changes following the escape, including electronic monitoring of visitors. Mr Lemon is still on the run.

- SEX EDUCATION: The Government is making sex education in school compulsory. It will be on the curriculum from Form 1 to Form 7. But the Education Minister Trevor Mallard says parents will have the option of taking their kids out of sex education classes. The Family Planning Association has welcomed the move and hopes it will reduce the teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection rates.

- PREGNANT SEATBELTT CAMPAIGN: Too many unborn babies are dying because their mothers don’t wear seatbelts – that’s the message in a new TV advertising campaign. Research by an Invercargill doctor showed wearing a seatbelt gives a 70% greater chance of the baby surviving, if properly worn.

- DUMPED TYRES: Used tyres have been dumped on Graham Platt’s lifestyle block on Auckland’s North Shore. The City Council won’t pay for the tyres to be moved, even though they are an environmental hazard.

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