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National Radio Midday Report

Parliament Wood – Northland Prison – Aus Economy – Sharemarket – Foot And Mouth – GM Commission – Fiordland Climbers – Cyclone Season – IRA – Mock Battle – Adoption Laws – Wine Sales

- PARLIAMENT WOOD: Wood panelling is to be ripped out of Parliament following a directive from the Speaker that no timber from unsustainably logged African rainforests be used. The architects did not follow a cabinet instruction. The English Tawa wood will be removed, after National environment spokesperson Nick Smith complained the use was unpatriotic and environmentally stupid. The wood had only been installed on one floor.

- NORTHLAND PRISON: The Governments plan for a prison in Northland is in trouble after the Northland Regional Council declined resource consent on Maori cultural grounds.

- AUS ECONOMY: The Australian Government is under increased scrutiny with the dollar dropping to an all time low of US43.7c and labour force statistics out this afternoon are expected to show an increase in unemployment.

- SHAREMARKET: The NZ sharemarket has bucked the international trend by rising one point this morning. The NZ dollar has also remained relatively stable.

- FOOT AND MOUTH: The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation has warned that foot and mouth is a global threat and has warned countries to institute even stricter border controls. The call comes as the EU accuses countries of overreaction to the situation with trade bans and is talking about taking them to the WTO.

- GM COMMISSION: The Green Party has asked the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification to keep New Zealand GE free outside of controlled laboratories. The commission will hear final submissions from other parties this afternoon.

- FIORDLAND CLIMBERS: Searchers in Fiordland have found four men overdue from climbing trips.

- CYCLONE SEASON: A number of Pacific Island nations have been warned for what is expected to be a busy cyclone season, and the chances of one hitting New Zealand is greater than usual.

- IRA: The IRA has held talks with the body supervising the decommissioning of paramilitary arms for the first time since June last year.

- MOCK BATTLE: Thousands of New Zealand, French and Australian sailors and airforce personnel have just finished a mock battle in waters north of Auckland.

- ADOPTION LAWS: A group opposed to the adoption of children by same sex couples have said allowing such adoptions would discriminate against children at a parliamentary select committee on adoption laws.

- WINE SALES: ALAC says figures showing wine is the top earner for supermarkets do not indicate an increase in alcohol consumption, but reflect a change in the purchasing pattern of customers.

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