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National Radio 8am Bulletin

Dairy Merger – Whale Stranding – Tranz Rail – Rescue Copter – Israel Negotiations – Turkey – Fiji Drugs - Graham Parry – Phillida Bunkle – School Rubbish

DAIRY MERGER: Dairy Farmers NZ says that the Dairy Group/Kiwi Dairy merger announced yesterday will receive farmer support. Farmers will be pleased says a spokesman.

WHALE STRANDING: DOC staff and Stewart Islanders are trying to save around 30 pilot whales stranded on the beach on the island.

TRANZ RAIL: The ferry Aratere has returned to service but will operate on only two of its four engines. Tranz Rail says the third engine will be back in service from boxing day.

RESCUE COPTER: The Order of St John has voted to close down its helicopter ambulance service.

ISRAEL NEGOTIATIONS: The American Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is having talks with Middle East peace negotiators in Washington. According to reports Israel has substantially improved their offer to the Palestinians.

TURKEY: Armed inmates in Western Turkey have ended resistance against security forces. Inmates elsewhere are still holding out with home-made flame throwers.

FIJI DRUGS: Fiji’s police commissioner says that the country will continue to be used as a transit point for drugs because its laws aren’t tough enough. Drug smugglers in Fiji can receive only a three month jail term.

GRAHAM PARRY: 41 women from Northland have now made complaints against struck off gynaecologist Graham Parry. The complaints will be considered by the Medical Council

PHILLIDA BUNKLE: Two inquiries are underway, one into the ministerial flat of Phillida Bunkle, and one into her claiming of out of town accommodation allowances.

SCHOOL RUBBISH: Schools have been warned to empty their rubbish bins over the holidays following a series of fires in rubbish bins in Taranaki.

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