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David Bain – BPS – Christmas Manslaughter - George Bush – Laura Bush – Macdonna’s Wedding – Tranz Rail Waiting – Hamilton Casino – Missing Lotto Winner

DAVID BAIN: David Bain gets another chance but no pardon. The Court of Appeal is to review aspects of the David Bain murder case. Four aspects have been referred to the court by the Government following a campaign led by lawyer Joe Karam. Joe says that Bain feels despondent and deflated with the decision and wanted a pardon. Justice Minister Phil Goff referred to public concern over the verdict in the Bain case in his announcement. The Court of Appeal is being asked to answer four specific questions concerning evidence from the murder scene presented at the trial. Joe Karam says that evidence in three of the matters was clearly false.

CHRISTMAS MANSLAUGHTER: Manslaughter charges may be laid against a Merril Lynch employee who set fire to a workmate during a Christmas Party on Friday. The prank went wrong and the workmate died.

BPS AND DEFU: Growth is lower than predicted at present but is expected to pick up. In the Budget Policy Statement released today Michael Cullen says that business confidence is improving following an overreaction of political gloom. Inflation is expected to peak next June and growth in 2002. The worry now is the nature of the slowdown in the US economy. Back home Michael Cullen is running a very tight budget with just $640 million extra to spend in next year’s budget.

GEORGE BUSH: George Bush today launched a charm offensive on his most powerful critic. Alan Greenspan came to breakfast with George Bush this morning. Afterwards Bush patted Greenspan on the back. “We had a very strong discussion about my confidence in his abilities.” Bush’s tax cut plan is already the target of sharp divisions on Capitol Hill. The spirit of compromise pervaded Bush’s meeting with Congress.

LAURA BUSH: Laura Bush today was shown around the White House by Hillary Clinton.

MACDONNA’S WEDDING: Madonna is marrying film-maker Guy Ritchie in Scotland on Friday night NZ time. Madonna is to wed in a castle privately. Madonna says she will be wearing traditional dress with cowboy boots. Local Scots are pleased with the wedding.

TRANZ RAIL WAITING: It was a day of waiting for lots of passengers on Tranz Rail ferries today as a result of the cancellation of Aratere sailings due to mechanical failure. The Aratere is expected to be back in service on Friday – hopefully. Tranz Rail remains confidence that everyone will get across the Strait.

HAMILTON CASINO: Hamilton’s Riverside Casino has been given a go ahead by the Court of Appeal.

MISSING LOTTO WINNER: A lotto prize of a dream home worth $800,000 is yet to be claimed and the winning ticket could be sitting under a Christmas tree in a present. The winning ticket can be identified by its serial number.

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