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Jetboat Crash - Adventure Tourism – Japanese Air Deal – Transport Minister’s Son – Fletcher Blow – Mark Waugh – Child’s Body Found – Cannabis – Manhunt – Ganges Bathing Millions

JETBOAT CRASH: A Jetboat clipped a tree and crashed on the Waikato River this afternoon injuring several Korean passengers and the driver. The jet had 11 people on board when it crashed. One Korean tourist broke his arm. None of the injuries were life threatening. The operators say they will be conducting a full investigation. Police say Marine Safety will be responsible for deciding what to do about the accident.

ADVENTURE TOURISM: The Jetboat Association says that NZ Operators set the standards for the industry around the world. Adventure tourism is a key part of NZ’s tourism profile. Since 1993 there have been 49 jet-boat accidents and two fatalities. Rafting has had 20 accidents and more fatalities. Tourists say they know they are taking a certain amount of risk.

JAPANESE AIR DEAL: A deal on air routes with Japan could increase the number of tourists by 30,000 a year bringing another $150 million to the NZ economy.

TRANSPORT MINISTER’S SON: The son of Mark Gosche has admitted driving dangerously.

FLETCHER BLOW: Fletcher Challenge has written $600 million off the value of its forestry estate resulting in a $97 million loss to shareholders.

MARK WAUGH: Australian Cricket Captain Mark Waugh has changed his mind and decided to talk to Cricket corruption investigators afterall. Waugh faced an ultimatum from the ACB. Directors of ACB are now satisfied that Waugh will talk to investigators. Waugh is accused of taking over $40,000 from a book-maker. Waugh’s lawyers are critical of the ACB for forcing a showdown. The ICC will meet Waugh in early February. NZ’s Martin Crowe will also talk to the investigators.

CHILD’S BODY FOUND: A grizzly discovery has been made near Mangakino of human remains of a child that may have been there for more than a year.

CANNABIS: Laila Harre is underfire from teachers for suggesting relaxing cannabis laws. Teachers claim children as young as 10 are using cannabis. The drugs effects have a name “Monday syndrome”, tired kids unable to learn at school. Harre says that entering the criminal justice system on cannabis charges does not help young people either.

MANHUNT: Police are seeking a dangerous criminal in the company of a woman.

GANGES BATHING: A satellite image shows the 30 million Hindu pilgrims bathing in the Ganges on the most auspicious day in the Hindu calendar. The pilgrims are seeking to be close to a few drops of the nectar of life dropped in the river by the gods. The logistics of the scene are amazing. 30,000 people have been separated from their families. An 18-square mile tent city and lots of bridges. 10,000 foreigners are hardly noticeable in the crowd. For Indians it is not unbelievable they have been doing this for centuries.

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