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Ransomed Kiwi Freed – Christmas Party Manslaughter Plea – Police Assault In Prison – MAF On Foot N Mouth – UK Train Smash – E-sale Babies – Arson – Telecom Cable Wars – Wheelie-Bin Smash

RANSOMED KIWI FREED: A NZer has been freed in Ecuador following the payment of a $30 million ransom to kidnappers. Corrin was freed with 9 fellow hostages, all of whom were kidnapped while working on an oil project. A friend of Corrin says it was probably lucky that Corrin was kidnapped with Americans, for whom much effort had been put to obtain their release. The NZ Government says it was not involved in ransom negotiations.

CHRISTMAS PARTY MANSLAUGHTER: An Auckland man Matthew Scofield has plead guilty to the manslaughter of a work mate at an office Christmas party. His victim’s Hawaiian party skirt was set alight under a toilet cubical door.

POLICE ASSAULT IN PRISON: The Police Complaints Authority has been brought in to investigate an alleged assault by a police officer on a prison inmate in an Auckland remand cell. Witnesses say the police officer had to be pulled off the 19-year-old inmate who is now finding it hard to talk.

MAF ON FOOT IN MOUTH: MAF has established a special 0800 MAF information phone line to raise the alert level for the arrival of Foot and Mouth disease. A woman mentioned by National MP Eric Roy in Parliament now says she hadn’t actually walked on a farm in the UK though she had been in a farming area.

UK TRAIN SMASH: A tearful denial that her husband fell asleep at the wheel from the wife of the driver of a landrover which drove onto the train line and caused the fatal train smash at Great Heck. Tears and grief at 13 homes today as the bodies are recovered. At a press conference the woman says her husband tried to ring emergency services but couldn’t get through.

E-SALE BABIES: The American man who has been fighting for custody of twin, twice sold via the Internet, baby boys, has been charged with lewd behaviour involving 13 and 14 year-old babysitters.

ARSON: An unoccupied building was burnt down in central Wellington by an arsonist last night. Another nearby fire is also thought the work of an arsonist.

TELECOM CABLE WARS: Maori have stopped Telecom bringing a telecommunications cable ashore. Telecom has a resource consent but the Maori say they do not have their consent.

WHEELIE-BIN SMASH: Police are continuing investigations into the Wheelie-Bin smash in Dunedin. Tourists say they would never have gone down the street in a Wheelie-Bin. Locals say that students not tourists are the problem in Dunedin. Students say it could have happened anywhere.

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