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National Radio Midday Report

Dover’s Future Uncertain – Apology To Zemin Protesters – Current Account Deficit – Presidential Transition – Wairarapa Toddler – Electricity Charges – Middle East Peace Talks – Genetic Joint Venture – Algal Bloom – Italian Tourists – Kelly’s Treasure – Doctor’s Guide

- DOVER’S FUTURE UNCERTAIN: The political future of former Maori Affairs minister Dover Samuels in the Labour Party looks increasingly doubtful. Mr Samuels has gone public with further criticisms of Prime Minister Helen Clark over her handling of the allegations made against him earlier this year. Mr Samuels is set to appear on a TV current affairs programme on Sunday.

- APOLOGY TO ZEMIN PROTESTER: The Police Commissioner has apologised to a group of Wellington protesters over their treatment by police during a visit by the Chinese President Jiang Zemin last year. The apology was part of a settlement between the protesters and police. The apology acknowledged that the protesters were protesting lawfully and should not have been moved by police.

- CURENT ACCOUNT DEFICIT: The $NZ has jumped in value against the Greenback following figures released by Statistics New Zealand today, showing the current account deficit has narrowed significantly. The current account deficit fell to $2.1 billion during the three months to September. A short time ago the $NZ was trading at US42.7 cents.

- PRESIDENTIAL TRANSITION: The United States vice president elect Dick Cheney has received the keys to the transition offices, just a short walk to the White House. He says the process of selecting Cabinet ministers has already begun.

- WAIRARAPA TODDLER: The Masterton District Court has been asked to discharge David Hemapo, one of three people charged with in relation to the death of the Wairarapa toddler known as Lillybing. Mr Hemapo faced a charge of failing to provide the necessities of life to Lillybing.

- ELECTRICITY CHARGES: The Canterbury electricity distribution company, Orion NZ, is eliminating its fixed charge for residential and small business to medium customers.

- MIDDLE EAST PEACE TALKS: A meeting underway in Gaza to try to bring about a resumption of the deadlocked Middle East peace negotiations. Palestinian President Yasser Arafat is meeting the Israeli foreign minister and the Israeli Prime Minister’s senior aid.

- GENETIC JOINT VENTURE: The Crown Research Institute AgResearch is forming a joint venture with a British company that is a world leader in cloning and biotechnology. Both companies are experimenting with trans-genic animals.

- ALGAL BLOOM: Rock lobster harvesters have agreed to a voluntary ban on lobsters from areas affected by a toxic algal bloom. The bloom has spread around the North Island and some parts of the Marlborough Sounds.

- ITALIAN TOURISTS: The New Zealand Ambassador to Rome says Italian tourist number to New Zealand has increased by 40% since the America’s Cup early this year.

- KELLY’S TREASURE: A Northland man, Keith Antony McEwen, has been sentenced to 8 years jail for the theft of Kelly Carlton’s treasure, worth more than $200,000.

- DOCTOR’S GUIDE: ACC released a guide for GPs giving them practical advice for treating accidental injuries. The guide is being distributed in time for the summer holidays, when GPS have to deal with more injuries than usual. It includes advice such as what type of stitches to use for different injuries.

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