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National Radio 8am Bulletin

Nelson Picket – Business Confidence – Israel – Dairy Merger - Climate Change – West Coast Algal Bloom – Masterton Murder – Petrol Prices – Highway Patrol

NELSON PICKET: Police have again escorted watersiders through noisy pickets on the Nelson waterfront. Mainland Stevedores are accused of casualising the workforce. A short time ago the overnight shift of Mainland workers was escorted out by police. Meanwhile the Shippers Council says that casual workers have long been employed on the waterfront.

BUSINESS CONFIDENCE: A major turnaround in business confidence is revealed in the QSBO NZIER business confidence survey. A net 31% of businesses are optimistic about the year ahead. The Reserve Bank will consider raising interest rates this morning. But Governor Brash will have an eye on the cooling US economy.

ISRAEL: The Israeli PM Ehud Barak has suspended the Middle East peace talks and recalled senior negotiators following the deaths of two Israeli businessmen.

DAIRY MERGER: The people behind the Dairy Mega-merger say they are happy with the Government decision to set up a working-party to deal with their plans to bypass competition law.

CLIMATE CHANGE: A climate scientist says that a rise in the average temperature could lead to Dunedin becoming like Auckland and the North Island going sub-tropical.

WEST COAST ALGAL BLOOM: Scientists say a major storm would be the best method of breaking up a West Coast toxic algal bloom that is expected to last for several weeks.

MASTERTON MURDER: A man is to appear in court in Masterton today charged with the murder of a two-year-old boy. The man charged is a distant relative of the dead child. Police say they became suspicious when talking to the dead child’s elder siblings.

PETROL PRICES: Challenge Petroleum say they are likely to follow Shell and BP in their latest petrol price rises. From midnight tonight Shell will add 5 cents a litre to petrol and two cents to diesel.

HIGHWAY PATROL: Police in Waikato say the highway patrol is proving highly effective with roughly double the number of tickets being issued as initially expected. The patrol is targeting speeding drivers.

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