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Trampers Found – Skyhawk Crash – Drought – Nicholas Clarkson Murder Charges - Spousal House Wars – Macedonia – Returning Servicemen: McNutt and Atkins

TRAMPERS FOUND: A 69-year-old lost for two days in the bush says he couldn’t have lasted much longer in the bush than he did after being found today by searchers. Two elderly men spent two days in light clothes in the bush after getting lost near Tauranga. Ed Hamer collapsed several times and lost track of his companion Ross Wilson. Both men did the worst things they could have done after getting lost, said searchers.

SKYHAWK CRASH: An Air Force Skyhawk has been forced to make an emergency landing after crashing into a powerline that was part of the national power grid in the Buller Valley. Power lines were brought down by the Skyhawk starting a small fire.

DROUGHT: The drought in the North of the South Island is starting to have an economic impact as walking tracks are closed by the Department of Conservation. Rain is not expected for another six weeks. Picton back-packers and others want people to realise there are other things to do in the Sounds other than walk the Queen Charlotte track. In Nelson irrigation water use has been halved. A week of steady rain is needed.

NICHOLAS CLARKSON CHARGES: Four people have been charged in relation to the murder of Nicolas Clarkson in downtown Auckland. The four accused have name suppression.

SPOUSAL HOUSE WARS: The PM said today that spouses ought to be off limits to both sides in Parliament. Helen Clark started off criticising Wyatt Creech for “scumbag” attacks on her husband. She then said attacks on spouses should be off limits to both sides in the house.

MACEDONIA: Fighting has been underway in Macedonia for the fifth day running. A fifth Balkan war is looming. Macedonian troops have been firing all they can at Albanian rebels in the hills around Tetevo. Shooting and shelling has gone on all day. The United Nations is concerned about the battle which has been raging night and day. The battle goes on tonight. NATO is refusing to become involved.

RETURNING SERVICEMEN: The body of Major John McNutt arrived back in NZ today on a US Air Force flight from Germany. His body was escorted by a joint services honour guard from Washington DC. McNutt was killed accidentally last week in an exercise in Kuwait. McNutt’s family were allowed onto the plane for a moment of privacy with their father when he first arrived back. The body of private Boyd Atkins also arrived back in NZ today from East Timor.

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