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National Radio Midday Report

El Salvador Earthquake – Napier Paedophile – Motor Vehicle Dealing – Terralink Receivership – School Zoning Headaches – Prebble Speech – Lake Horowhenua Algal Bloom – Matai Theft – Suharto Search – Military Man Thwarted – USS Cole Reward – Imperial Bananas – Red Pandas

- EL SALVADOR EARTHQUAKE: The death toll in the El Salvadorian earthquake may be much greater than earlier feared. Authorities say around 900 bodies have already been recovered but 4000 people are still missing. More than three thousand people are missing from one town.

- NAPIER PAEDOPHILE: Police in Napier are applying a little used law to prevent youths associating with a known paedophile. The law allows police to take youths into custody if they are found in an unsuitable environment. Police say they have had enough of the 47-year-old man enticing adolescent boys around to watch videos.

- MOTOR VEHICLE DEALING: The Government is moving to increase protection for people buying cars from unlicensed motor vehicle dealers. It has released a discussion document on a proposed motor vehicle sales act, which would require all vehicle dealers to be registered.

- TERRALINK RECEIVERSHIP: The Auckland Chamber of Commerce is applauding the Government for taking the unprecedented step of placing the state owned enterprise Terralink into receivership. However, the chamber’s chief executive says the step supports the Chamber’s belief that the Government should sell its state owned enterprises.

- SCHOOL ZONING HEADACHES: The Secondary Schools Principals Association says zoning rules, which automatically entitle residents in a school’s zone to enroll, are causing headaches for principles of desirable schools whose rolls have already exceeded capacity.

- PREBBLE SPEECH: ACT Leader Richard Prebble has hit back at critics within his party who have said that some of the party’s campaigns last year favoured the National Party, in his state of the nation address he is delivering today.

- LAKE HOROWHENUA ALGAL BLOOM: The National Institute of Water and Atmoshperic Research is cautioning against panic about a possible outbreak of toxic algal bloom in Lake Horowhenua. The Horowhenua District Council has banned public access to the lake. NIWA says the bad smell of the lake is almost certainly the result of an algal bloom, but it is unlikely to be toxic, in a fresh water lake.

- MATAI THEFT: The Department of Conservation says it is concerned about the theft of a 700-year-old Matai tree from the Porirua Forest Park in the central North Island over the holiday period.

- SUHARTO SEARCH: Police have been trying to break into an underground bunker in the grounds of the former president Suharto’ mansion in Indonesia’s capital Jakarta, in another bungling attempt to capture the former president’s son Tommy Suharto, who has been on the run for over two months.

- MILITARY MAN THWARTED: Senior public servants in Fiji are reported to have prevented Lieutenant Colonel Filipo Tarakinikini from taking up a posting with UN peacekeeping forces in New York.

- USS COLE REWARD: The American Government has announced a $5m reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the people responsible for the bombing of the US Navy destroyer USS Cole.

- IMPERIAL BANANAS: A greengrocer in England has gone on trial for selling bananas weighed in pounds and ounces, rather than the metric system. The greengrocer could face a 5000 pound fine.

- RED PANDAS: Auckland Zoo is celebrating the birth of two rare red panda cubs, who are apparently very cute.

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