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Fletcher Energy Sale – Marion Hobbs Cleared – Simpson Trial – Foot And Mouth

- FLETCHER ENERGY SALE: The fate of Fletcher Energy remains unclear. Shell and Apache won a small battle, with the appeal court turning down a Peak Petroleum bid to stop today’s Fletcher Challenge shareholders meeting, which will decide whether or not to sell Fletcher Energy to Shell. Peak appealed to shareholder’s parochialism at the meeting, while Shell appealed for a prompt sale. The shareholders will decide whether or not to accept Shell’s offer tonight. Fletcher energy shares reached all time high on the New Zealand share market today.

- MARION HOBBS CLEARED: Marion Hobbs has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the Registrar of Electors, after being forced to resign her ministerial portfolios over the ministerial allowances controversy. ACT Leader Richard Prebble said Marion Hobbs has jumped from the frying pan into the fire. Phillida Bunkle is still being investigated.

- SIMPSON TRIAL: An Auckland man told how he walked in on his brother as he tried to suffocate his mother with a pillow, in depositions hearings for murder charges against Chris Simpson. Mel Simpson gave evidence that his brother Chris loved his mother, who was terminally ill with bowel cancer.

- FOOT AND MOUTH: Healthy farm animals are now moving around foot and mouth infected Britain today, although some farmers are warning it is still too risky. The foot and mouth outbreak is raising questions in New Zealand, with officials wondering whether our vets could recognise a case. The Government is tightening its border control and launching an awareness campaign, after only a week ago saying it was doing enough. Animals can be vaccinated against foot and mouth, but MAF says export markets would not accept meat with traces of the disease.

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