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Cook Strait Swim – K-Mark Also On The Block – Australia’s Shrinking Dollar – Foot and Mouth Massacre – Truck On The Run - Mir

COOK STRAIT RECORD SET: A 14-year-old school girl Kate Johns is the youngest woman ever to swim Cook Strait. It took her seven hours. Today’s swim was in ideal conditions . Kate’s time was just outside the a record time. Two other 14-year-olds have swum the Strait but none as young as Kate. Her mother says Kate has overcome injury and low iron count to make the attempt.

K-MART ALSO ON THE BLOCK: The K-Mart retail chain is also losing money and is also considering leaving. Coles Meyers, its owners are said to be unhappy losing money. Meanwhile DEKA staff have been told there is no money for redundancy pay for staff. Unions are outraged. K-Mart stores have been losing $2 million a quarter. The Warehouse is looking at buying K-Mart. The 43 DEKA stores will close at the end of July after a series of sales.

AUSTRALIA’S SHRINKING DOLLAR: The Australian Dollar is continuing to fall. The incredible shrinking dollar is making incoming tourists happy and outgoing ones unhappy. The Aus Dollar is now well under US50 cents. Kim Beazley says the government is panicked and in denial. The Kiwi is up three cents against the Australian Dollar. Some analysts insist that talk about a recession is still fictional. The Liberal party is preparing to be trounced in a by-election.

FOOT AND MOUTH MASSACRE: A ruthless new policy to snuff out Foot and Mouth disease is being unrolled in the UK. From tonight herds which are uninfected, but at risk will also be destroyed. The Farmers Union say what is being called the “slaughter of the innocent” is necessary. But some farmers say they will protect their herds. Hundreds of thousands of animals will be killed. 18 new cases were found today on day 23 of the crisis today. 300,000 head of animal have been condemned. 200,000 have already been killed. Meanwhile super-horse Sunline will race in Dubai in the UAE, where there has been a Foot and Mouth outbreak. Afterwards she will be taken into quarantine in Melbourne.

TRUCK ON THE RUN: A truck ran down a hill and crashed into a house today.

MIR: Russian Space Station MIR made one of its last appearances in NZ skies this morning. MIR looked like a glow in the sky to space watchers. MIR will splashdown 4000km east of Auckland on Thursday next week. MIR is severely damaged. Last year entrepreneurs tried to buy it. Now it will burn up on re-entry. Heavier parts of MIR will plunge into the ocean though. 20 fishing boats are in the splash zone. Russia has taken out $500 million of insurance in case of an accident. The TAB is not taking odds.

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