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National Radio Midday Report

Middleton Sentenced – Minimum Sentences – Vet Strikes – Mitsubishi Recall – Bunkle Investigation – Hep B Test – Motua Gardens – Milk Prices – MOX Fuel – Queensland Election – Sex Charges

- MIDDLETON SENTENCED: Mark Middleton has received a nine month suspended jail sentence for threatening to kill Paul Dally, the man who killed Mr Middleton’s stepdaughter, Karla Cardnow. A medical report said Mr Middleton was suffering chronic hypertropic grief, and that was one of the mitigating reasons for suspending the sentence. As Mr Middleton emerged from court there was massive cheering and applause. He said he was just tired and wanted to be with his family. Hundreds of supporters turned out at other courts around the country in support.

- MINIMUM SENTENCES: Justice Minister Phil Goff says he wants to increase minimum sentences for those convicted of murders involving extreme cruelty. He says this is not a knee jerk reaction to the Middleton case. Meanwhile, both Mr Goff and Attorney General Margaret Wilson say they are concerned about the demonstrations. They say the independence of judges from public pressure is an important part of public law.

- VET STRIKES: Meat processing plants in the North Island have been the hardest hit by the vet strike, which started at midnight. Only 15 percent of meat processors in the North Island have been able to keep operating, while most South Island plants have been able to keep operating. MAF made a new offer to the vets, and that offer is being put to the vets today.

- MITSUBISHI RECALL: More than 100 Mitsubishi vehicles have been recalled and more could follow as part of a worldwide recall of faulty vehicles. There are five Galants with defective ball joints and 100 Pajeros with defective airbags.

- BUNKLE INVESTIGATION: Customs Minister Phillida Bunkle has acknowledged her job hinges on the outcome of investigations still going into the accommodation allowances she has received.

- HEP B TEST: The head of a Wellington school is concerned a member of her staff was refused a test for hepatitis B because she is pakeha, and the test was only for Maori Pacific Island and Asian people.

- MOTUA GARDENS: The Wanganui District Council has relinquished its ownership of Motua Gardens. The park will now be jointly managed by the council, local Iwi and the Government.

- MILK PRICES: The price of milk set to increase by 10 cents because of higher prices for milk in the international market.

- MOX FUEL: A small flotilla of yachts will leave Bay of Islands this weekend to protest about the transit of plutonium fuel through the Tasman Sea.

- QUEENSLAND ELECTION: Queenslanders go to the polls tomorrow and the Labour Government is hoping the public have forgiven them for voting fraud referred to as rorting.

- SEX CHARGES: An HIV positive former teacher pleaded not guilty in court today to sex charges, for alleged indecent assaults against pupils at his school.

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