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National Radio Midday Report

Kiwi Soldier Bombed – Scrapie Smear – Food Prices – Budget blow-out – Share Market – Therapy Guidelines – CYF Backlog – Fiji Government – Foot And Mouth – Human Cloning – School Review – Chubb Heist – Polling Grandparent Custody

- KIWI SOLDIER BOMBED: A military training accident in Kuwait has killed a New Zealander and five Americans. The NZ Govt is seeking an explanation from the United States for the death of NZ SAS Major John McNutt. A 500lb bomb was accidentally by a fighter plane. Defence Minister Mark Burton says he is shocked a training exercise could go so wrong.

- SCRAPIE SMEAR: Agriculture Minister Sutton says he’s encouraged by the attitude of his German counterpart, after discussing the false scrapie claim in a pamphlet distributed to German homes. He says he is confident a satisfactory resolution to the problem can be found. The Meat board wants the CMA, who published the pamphlet, to publish a correction, and it appears that may happen.

- FOOD PRICES: Food prices have hit their highest level in nearly 11 years, figures released by Statistics NZ today show.

- BUDGET BLOW-OUT: Auckland Mayor Christine Fletcher says the council will do everything it can to minimise a budget blow-out for the city’s waterfront transport centre.

- SHARE MARKET: The NZ share market drifted lower this morning, but hasn’t matched the scale of the fall on Wall Street, following a negative outlook for technology stocks.

- THERAPY GUIDELINES: ACC says therapy for survivors of child sexual abuse has often been fragmented and incomplete. ACC is releasing new guidelines this afternoon.

- CYF BACKLOG: Four social workers from private welfare agencies in Hamilton are to help CYF deal with their backlog of cases of abuse and neglect.

- FIJI GOVERNMENT: The Fiji President’s office has denied reports that the deputy leader of the Labour Party is to be sworn in as Prime Minister today.

- FOOT AND MOUTH: The British Government is considering a mass cull of half a million sheep, which can’t be moved back to their home farms because of the foot and mouth outbreak.

- HUMAN CLONING: One of the scientists who proposes to clone the first human in the next two years says the consortium is determined to continue with the process despite international opposition.

- SCHOOL REVIEW: A new report recommends the number of children in primary school classes be cut from 28 to 25 and class sizes in Maori language immersion classes slashed further to 15.

- CHUBB HEIST: Christchurch man Craig Anthony Ferris, involved in the pre-Christmas Chubb van robbery, has been sentenced to 9½ years jail for aggravated robbery and arson relating to the robbery.

- POLLING: The two main companies who conduct political polls in New Zealand says the call for a ban on polls in the 28 days leading up to an election is an insult to voters’ intelligence.

- GRANDPARENT CUSTODY: Grandparents raising their Grandchildren say they are being financially crippled by legal custody battles with their children.

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