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National Radio Midday Report

GDP Growth – Dairy Merger – Graham Parry – Deaths Investigated – Apprenticeships – Vote Counting – Turkish Prisons – Middle East Situation – Augusto Pinochet – Liberia Sanctions – Chicken Feed OK – Kiwi Share – Youth Crime

- GDP GROWTH: The economy has rebounded into growth, recovering from its mid-year slide. Statistics NZ figures showed the economy grew 0.7 in the 3 months to September and 4.5 percent for the year to September.

- DAIRY MERGER: A Fresh plan for a mega merger in the dairy industry will be announced this afternoon. It would see the two major dairy processing companies, NZ Dairy Group and Kiwi Dairies, form a single giant co-op with the industry’s marketer, the Dairy Board.

- GRAHAM PARRY: Northland Gynaecologist Graham Parry has been struck of the Medical Register, after being found guilty last month for his failure to diagnose a Bay of Islands woman with cervical cancer. The Medical Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal has imposed close to the maximum penalty on Mr Parry. The woman, whose illness is now terminal, says the penalties are harsh but fair and says she is not bitter, just glad to still be alive.

- DEATHS INVESTIGATED: Police in South Waikato are investigating the death of a 45-year-old woman. Meanwhile police are investigating the death of 28-year-old woman in Taumaranui early this morning.

- APPRENTICESHIPS: Up to 1500 young people are expected to get jobs in eight key industries under the Government’s new apprenticeship scheme.

- VOTE COUNTING: Changes to speed the counting of votes will be made for the 2002 election. This follows problems last year when only two fifths of electorates finished counting on election night last year.

- TURKISH PRISONS: Clashes continue in two prisons in Turkey, where the Government says inmates are using explosives and guns against security forces. The clashes, which have seen at least 19 people dead, have also sparked protests in Turkish cities. Meanwhile Kurds in London have ended their protests against the events in Turkey.

- MIDDLE EAST SITUATION: Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have met US President Bill Clinton in an effort to revive the peace process, amid fresh violence in the Middle East. Meanwhile, Nobel Peace laureate Shimon Perez has announced he intends to run for Prime Minister in Israel’s February elections.

- AUGUSTO PINOCHET: The Chilean Supreme Court has thrown out an order to arrest and indict the former military dictator Augusto Pinochet.

- LIBERIA SANCTIONS: The United States and Britain are considering sanctions against Liberia after a UN report put the country at the centre of diamond and arms smuggling in Sierra Leone.

- CHICKEN FEED OK: The industry association for chicken feed says genetically modified soybeans have been used in chicken feed for years and are not harmful.

- KIWI SHARE: Communications Minister Paul Swain says it would not be reasonable or fair to require Telecom to continually upgrade its network under the Kiwi Share agreement.

- YOUTH CRIME: Police in Christchurch say their 2-year-old youth crime unit has had a big effect on the level of crime by some of the area’s worst young offenders.

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