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Vet Strike Threats – Nelson Shooting – Tip Off Earns Jail Term – High Temperatures – Anti-Smoking Car Laws – Israel – South Africa – Fatal Facial – Bunkle and Hobbs – Rob Waddell

VET STRIKE: Federated Farmers is threatening to publish the identities of 120 freezing work vets who in turn are threatening to strike for seven days starting tomorrow. Unions describe the threats as “lunatic fringe”. Federated Farmers Tony St Clair says he doesn’t expect people to throw bricks through windows, though the vets are throwing bricks through farmers livelihoods. The cost of the seven day strike could be up to $175 million. The vets are asking for around $1 million in wage rises. Meat companies are concerned about a return to the bad old days.

NELSON SHOOTING: Police are looking for two men in connection to a shooting of a former gang member and prominent Maori leader at his house in Delaware Bay. Nelson police were rung by the dead man’s wife. The victim was the chairman of the Ngati Tama trust board. There have been disputes over the road to the victims house. Mr Stevens had in the past been involved in a gang. A dark Nissan car is also being sought by police.

TIP OFF EARNS JAIL TERM: Two woman who tipped off gang members about a police surveillance operation have been jailed for 12 months by a Christchurch court. They entered guilty pleas to charges of perverting the course of justice.

HIGH TEMPERATURES: Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland all recorded very hot temperatures today. In Auckland it is very humid. The climate has been more like Fiji. Meteorologist Augie Auer says that the high temperatures adversely affect around half the population. Mothers say kids are getting fed up. Auckland was 21 degrees overnight last night.

ANTI-SMOKING CAR LAWS: Smoking cars will soon be up for a $150 fine under new laws announced today. Truck drivers say the law is impractical. Motorists seem quite happy with the law. The new measure will come into effect at the beginning of March followed by a six-month grace period during which smoky vehicles will be warned.

ISRAEL: Israeli helicopters have launched a rocket attack on a senior Palestinian official, killing him in his car.

SOUTH AFRICA: South African residents of Alexandra township fought today to stop police evicting them from houses built near a cholera infected river. The Government says it hasn’t any choice. The events remind people in the township of Apartheid. The evicted residents are not welcome when they arrive elsewhere. Tonight they may need protection from the police officers who evicted them this morning.

FATAL FACIAL: A Christchurch man is defending charges of manslaughter relating to the death of a woman after receiving a facial.

BUNKLE AND HOBBS: Phillida Bunkle and Marian Hobbs are facing a legal probe into their registrations to vote in the Wellington Central electorate. Richard Prebble says that Phillida Bunkle says she wasn’t living in Wellington. Bunkle says she has no intention of resigning. She says she will not join in the fight with Prebble. The Alliance has responded saying that Prebble doesn’t live where he is registered either. The PM says she will be guided by formal inquiry reports.

ROB WADDELL: Olympic gold medallist rower Rob Waddell has joined Team New Zealand as a grinder. He says it is a great challenge. He had to fight off 40 other applicants for the job. His skipper says he will be a very useful member of the team. Waddell was out on the Gulf today with two challenger teams.

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