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Crashing Skyhawks – Kiwi AIDs Drug – Foot And Mouth – Oil Disaster – Papua New Guinea – Auckland A – Gas Fire – MIR – Space Tourism Row

CRASHING SKYHAWKS: No. 2 Squadron Skyhawks were back in action in Australia today. Yesterday another Kiwi Skyhawk crashed into the sea off Western Australia after his pilot ejected. The pilot was involved in an exercise with the Australian Navy defending a ship. The pilot lost control of the aircraft and could not regain control says the Air Force. This is the second Skyhawk to crash in Australia in a month. The Opposition says that morale in the Air Force is very low. The PM says decisions will be made soon, and that the crash had nothing to do with morale. The pilot is expected to return to flying but his plane is not.

KIWI AIDS DRUG: An NZ biotech company has been given approval to test an AIDs drug on humans by the US Food and Drug Administration. The latest drug appears to kill the HIV virus. Getting approval from the FDA to test the drug is considered quite a feat. If the drug does work then it may be very cost effective for African nations where there is an epidemic.

FOOT AND MOUTH: The British Government has called in the army to help deal with the Foot and Mouth crisis in Great Britain. The number of confirmed cases has jumped 45 today to close to 400.

OIL DISASTER: A giant oil platform has sunk off the coast of Brazil and a giant oil slick is forming.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Angry Papua New Guinea troops riot for their jobs.

AUCKLAND A: “Auckland A” as a slogan for Auckland’s Arts Festival receives a mixed reception. The PM doesn’t want it to encourage sloppy speech. Designer Patrick Steele doesn’t like it and thinks Wellingtonians will laugh. Saatchi and Saatchi are pleased with it but.

GAS FIRE: An underground gas line caught fire in Auckland today and was allowed to burn for more than an hour.

MIR: MIR is preparing to ditch in the Pacific and a group of people have paid USD$8000 to watch the ditching from a charter flight. The Soviet Union invested a fortune in its space programme.

SPACE TOURISM: NASA is involved in a row with a wealthy American who wants to go into space. Denis Tito says he has a contract with the Russians to go to the space station for which he has paid $20 million. Russian astronauts appear to want to honour the deal but NASA is a little reluctant.

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