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National Radio Midday Report

Crime Stats – Blaikie Murder Accused – Sport Vs. Science – McCarthy Claims Estate – Electricity Charges – Waterfront Protests – Child Organs Scandal – Earthquake Aid – Otago Business School – Lyttleton Marina – Lawyer Real Estate Agents – Morning Fire – Lockerbie Trial – Iced Yacht

- CRIME STATS: The latest crime statistics show a big drop in burglaries and car thefts. Reported burglaries are at an 18-year low. 8000 less burglaries were reported in 2000 than 1999. Police Minister George Hawkins says burglaries are often the first step in a criminal career, and expects figures for other crimes to come down in three to four years time. The Insurance Council says the figures show government and police strategies are beginning to make significant inroads into crime.

- BLAIKIE MURDER ACCUSED: A 31-year-old prison inmate who is accused of Killing Timaru hitchhiker Lisa Blaikie has appeared in the Christchurch District Court. Timothy David Taylor is charged with killing Ms Blaikie around February 2 last year.

- SPORT VS SCIENCE: The Association of Scientists is concerned that moves to increase the focus on sport in schools could come at the expense of science.

- MCCARTHY CLAIMS ESTATE: Daniel McCarthy, the teenage boy who shot and killed his father three years ago, appeared in court today claiming part of his father’s estate. The boy, 14 years old at the time, received an 18 month suspended jail sentence for the manslaughter of his father. Some of the boy’s relatives oppose him getting a share of the estate.

- ELECTRICITY CHARGES: A new report out today says electricity lines charges dropped by five percent last year. The annual survey of lines companies says improved reliability and efficiency, and a desire to avoid heavy regulation is behind the drop.

- WATERFRONT PROTESTS: The Council of Trade Unions is asking for a meeting with the police commissioner over concerns it has about the police’s handling of recent waterfront protests.

- CHILD ORGANS SCANDAL: Several senior managers in the British National Health Service have been suspended and some have resigned after the revelations that organs from dead children have been illegally used in scientific research.

- EARTHQUAKE AID: The focus of the relief effort in the Indian earthquake zone is switching from rescue to aid, despite occasional cases of people being found miraculously alive in rubble.

- OTAGO BUSINESS SCHOOL: The University of Otago School of Business has been included in the top 100 list of world MBA programmes, compiled by the British Financial Times. The programme came in at number 92.

- LYTTLETON MARINA: The Banks Peninsula District Council stands to lose up to half a million dollars over the Lyttleton Marina company, which is in receivership.

- LAWYER REAL ESTATE AGENTS: The lawyer real estate network, Real Management, is continuing discussions over its future and hopes to make a decision by the end of the week. The company was set up by lawyers to challenge the traditional way property is bought and sold.

- MORNING FIRE: Police in Auckland will investigate why a woman in the Rodney district lit a garden fire before 5am this morning, severely burning herself in the process.

- LOCKERBIE TRIAL: The Scottish judges in the Netherlands trying two Libyans charged with the murder of 270 people in the bombing of a jet over Lockerbie will release their judgement today. The trial is held under Scottish law, which allows for three verdicts: guilty, innocent, or not proven.

- ICED YACHT: A crippled Australian yacht with 10 people aboard has freed itself from dangerous Antarctic pack ice.

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