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Miracle Tramper Rescue – Election 2002 – Policeman Fire-Bombed - Mother Murder Depositions – Fishing Remains Free – Wasp Nest Destroyed – MIR Crash Alert

MIRACLE TRAMPER RESCUE: Harry Smith says he was down to some peanuts and garlic just before he was rescued yesterday after spending 15 days in the open. Smith earlier broke his leg while tramping north of the Lewis Pass in the Southern Alps. He explains that he found a flat area to wait for his rescuers knowing they would not even start looking for a week. He says he was feeling quite down the night before the rescuers came but had been cheered when he heard on the radio that he was being searched for. Smith says it was “relatively” easy for him to survive thanks to good weather an no pain. Smith is considering buying a beacon for future trips.

ELECTION 2002: The first tactical move for the next election will take place in Wellington tonight. Wellington Central is again shaping up to be a key battle ground in the next election. National’s John Slater said his party vote in the Wellington Central electorate was very good at the last election. An announcement is expected tonight. ACT’s Richard Prebble says he is not asking for a deal in Wellington Central from National. United Future’s Peter Dunne is also relaxed about the prospect of facing a National Candidate for the first time in ages in Ohariu next year.

POLICEMAN FIRE-BOMBED: A molotov cocktail was thrown at a police constable’s house last night. The constable’s wife and child were in the house at the time. The police constable has moved out.

MOTHER MURDER DEPOSITIONS: Melvin Simpson says his brother Dr Christopher Simpson lost his marbles the night his mother died. Christopher Simpson is facing a depositions hearing concerning his mother’s death. Evidence from a detective suggested that Christopher Simpson may have been intoxicated when he was interviewed by police. He was not initially cautioned by the interviewing officer – though later his clothes were taken by detectives – something that usually only happens to suspects.

FISHING REMAINS FREE: 800,000 NZers regard fishing in the sea as a right. And today the Government has confirmed that it will not introduce license fees for recreational fishers. Recreational Fishers groups are pleased with the result. 62,000 submissions were made to the review. Pete Hodgson says fishers should have a better say about what happens in the future.

WASP NEST DESTROYED: A breeding colony of German wasps with more than 2 million wasps has been destroyed in Auckland. Meanwhile a farmer was nearly killed last night when he bulldozed a wasp nest.

MIR CRASH ALERT: The Government has set up a commission of experts to monitor the splashdown of the Soviet Space Station MIR. MIR is planning to crash land 4000km off the coast of Stewart Island in an area known as the spaceship graveyard. NZers will not be able to see the crash. It is not likely to hit a city.

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