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National Radio Midday Report

Israeli Elections – Yacht Building Development – Auckland Trials – Mahuta Funeral – Sir David Beattie – Ferry Delays – Venison Suit – Lockerbie Trial – Downtown Cameras – Waitangi Day – Shark Catch

- ISRAELI ELECTIONS: Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak is still trailing badly in the polls less than 36 hours before the country goes to the polls to vote for a new Prime Minister. Conservative opposition leader Ariel Sharon, who triggered the latest spate of violence in the Middle East, is tipped to easily become the next Israel Prime Minister.

- YACHT BUILDING DEVELOPMENT: The Master Builders Association says a major super development in West Auckland, Sovereign, could help those out of pocket because of the collapse of Hartner Construction. The venture is to create 350 jobs over the next two years. Some could go to contractors out of a job after the receivership of Hartner.

- AUCKLAND TRIALS: The Chief District Court Judge Ron Young says he is already taking steps to cut the delays on jury trials at Auckland District Court. Judge Young added 30 additional weeks of jury trials and other criminal work between now and June and he says the number of jury trials allowed at one time will be increased from six to seven.

- MAHUTA FUNERAL: The funeral service for Waikato Tainui Leader Sir Robert Mahuta is underway at Wahi Marae in Huntly.

- SIR DAVID BEATTIE: National Leader Jenny Shipley has paid tribute to former governor general and Supreme Court judge Sir David Beattie who died yesterday at age 76.

- FERRY DELAYS: The Automobile Association is concerned about repeated problems on the Cook Strait ferries. In the latest, an electrical fault on the Arahura caused long delays to passengers and vehicles. This comes soon after delays on the Aratere.

- VENISON SUIT: The Game Industry Board is advising pregnant women in North America not to eat venison following a law suit that cost the board dearly. The board paid $1.1m to settle an action by a woman who ate a venison meal she claims was undercooked, and developed toxoplasmosis, which affected her pregnancy and had an abortion.

- LOCKERBIE TRIAL: The Scottish Legal expert, Robert Black, who devised the format of the Lockerbie Pan Am flight 103 bombing trial has expressed concern about the conviction of one of the accused. He said the case was weak.

- DOWN TOWN CAMERAS: Auckland City Retailers are paying for someone to monitor downtown security camera footage because police do not have a staff member to do it.

- WAITANGI DAY: There is a festive atmosphere in the Bay of Islands as crowds gather for tomorrow’s Waitangi Day celebrations. The waka have been the centre of attention.

- SHARK CATCH: A New Zealand shark expert says he’s not surprised that two amateur fishermen managed to catch a great white shark close to shore in the Kaipara harbour, that is thought to be of record size for the 37 kilo gauge fishing line used. The expert, Malcolm Francis says it was relatively small for a great white and said it was not unusual for them to come close to shore.

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