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National Radio Midday Report

Cellphones Down – Taranaki Race Relations – Lamb Tariffs – Train Crash – Immigration Crackdown – Internet Porn – Doctor Reassurance – Army Exercise – Health Funding – St Stephens – Clemency Consideration – Waste Management - Pandas

- CELLPHONES DOWN: Hundreds of thousands of mobile phone users have been hit by a computer fault on Telecom’s 025 network. Cellphone users have been unable to receive calls. All Telecom prepaid users have been affected and over half of the contract users. Telecom says it could be some time before the problem will be fixed.

- TARANAKI RACE RELATIONS: The mayor of New Plymouth is disappointed that three other local authorities in Taranaki have withdrawn their support for a race relations initiative. The South Taranaki and Stratford District Councils and the Taranaki Regional Council are not getting involved with the Race Relations Conciliator’s plan.

- LAMB TARIFFS: The United States is preparing to appeal against a World Trade Organisation ruling in favour of New Zealand and Australian lamb producers.

- TRAIN CRASH: Tranz Rail says it expects train services to the south and west of Christchurch to resume tomorrow, after a head on train crash this morning. Three crew were taken to hospital with minor injuries from the crash.

- IMMIGRATION CRACKDOWN: Immigration officials are cracking down on visitors from Thailand and the Czech Republic, amid claims they have been abusing the visa free scheme. From next year they will need visas.

- INTERNET PORN: Customs Minister Phillida Bunkle says she is determined to change the law so the customs service can prosecute people importing pornography online.

- DOCTOR REASSURANCE: The Medical Council is reassuring the public that practicing doctors being monitored for drug, alcohol and psychological problems are not a danger to the public. The Medical Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal yesterday allowed a doctor convicted last year of stealing prescriptions to fuel a drug habit to continue practicing under name suppression.

- ARMY EXERCISE: The Fiji army says the footage of a shooting outside a school shown on TV3 News last month was actually an Army exercise in which blank bullets were used.

- HEALTH FUNDING: The Ministry of Health is working on a model that will change the way funding for public health services is allocated.

- ST STEPHENS: St Stephens boarding school in Auckland has been holding a series of services to mark the closing of the school today.

- CLEMENCY CONSIDERATION: The US President Bill Clinton is pondering whether he should grant clemency and stop the first federal execution in 37 years. He is waiting on a recommendation from the Justice Department.

- WASTE MANAGEMENT: A Waste Management conference in Kaitaia has heard from the former Managing Director of Mitsubishi Electric.that people must consume less to save the environment.

- PANDAS: Two giant pandas have arrived at Washington Zoo, to intense interest. The pandas are being lent to the zoo for 10 years for $25 million.

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