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NZ Herald News Monitor 5 / 12 / 00

Medical cover soars for over 45s - Twins born, mother dies - Power bills rise despite apparent competition - Painting heads for home - Govt aims to hit employers hard for unsafe sites - Rats invade as chickens starve by the thousand - Savage dog mauls horse

MEDICAL COVER SOARS FOR OVER 45s - Tens of thousands of people with Southern Cross health insurance face premium rises of up to 30 per cent - just because they are middle-aged or older.

TWINS BORN, MOTHER DIES - One minute Rachel Blomfield was laughing and sharing her joy in her newborn twin daughters with friends gathered around her hospital bed. Just seconds later, the main artery to her heart ruptured.

POWER BILLS RISE DESPITE APPARENT COMPETITION - The average New Zealand household's power bill has increased throughout the first 20 months of competition between electricity companies.

PAINTING HEADS FOR HOME - A historic Maori painting that has been out of New Zealand for 100 years has fetched $178,000 at auction - and will finally return home.

GOVT AIMS TO HIT EMPLOYERS HARD FOR UNSAFE SITES -Employers could be stung with fines of up to $500,000 and two years in jail if their workers come to serious harm through deliberate failure to make factories and offices comply with health and safety laws.

RATS INVADE AS CHICKENS STARVE BY THE THOUSAND - Eight thousand caged chickens in Huapai were left for several weeks to starve and were then eaten by rats.

SAVAGE DOG MAULS HORSE - Michelle Alexander had just dismounted from her horse on Muriwai Beach when the dog seemed to come out of nowhere.


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