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Fiji Government – CYF Review – WINZ Protest – British Train Smash – Seattle Quake

- FIJI GOVERNMENT: Fiji’s Court of Appeal has ruled that the interim administration installed after George Speight’s coup last year is illegal. It found that the 1997 constitution still stands. Tensions remain high in Fiji. Some shop windows are already barricaded against looters. There are soldiers and police on the streets. Businesses have closed early. The Court has given the Fiji president three weeks to recall the democratically elected old parliament. The military have said they will go along with whatever the court decides. The decision has been welcomed by both ethnic Fijians and Indians in New Zealand. Deposed Prime Minister Mahedra Chaudhry says getting the old Parliament back is a priority.

- CYF REVIEW: A review of Child Youth and Family says it urgently needs more funding. It found the department is under pressure and urgently needs to make changes. It recommends establishing a register of children at risk and more money for more social workers. There are 57 recommendations in the report. Social Services Minister Steve Maharey says they will all be dealt with.

- WINZ PROTEST: A district court judge says WINZ drove David Gibb, a student and father of five, to urgent action that landed him in court. He chained himself to a WINZ office, after he didn’t receive his allowance entitlements. He had to pay 2000 for a window he broke in his protest. WINZ agreed that handled his case badly, but do not condone his action.

- BRITISH TRAIN SMASH: 13 people have been killed and dozens injured in Britain, after a vehicle came off the road into the path of a London bound high-speed passenger train, knocking it into the path of a coal train bound for Newcastle.

- SEATTLE QUAKE: A powerful Seattle earthquake forced thousands into the streets as panic set in. Many older brick buildings took a beating. Few were injured, despite the quake hitting midday. The quake measured 6.8 on the Richter scale.

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