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National Radio 8am Bulletin

Child Assault Sentences – Macedonia – Foot and Mouth – MIR - Papua New Guinea – Fire Service Pay Offer – Oceans Policy – Te Papa Timber Apology

CHILD ASSAULT SENTENCES: The Minister of Justice says a report he has does not show that people who abuse children receive lesser sentences than people who assault adults. While the sentences for assaults on children are shorter he says that the percentage of jail sentences for assaults in children is higher.

MACEDONIA: A group of Macedonian rebels have offered a cease-fire and negotiations. The offer is conditional on no blood being spilt. This looks like face-saving work on both sides.

FOOT AND MOUTH: Foot and Mouth disease has hit the Netherlands. Four sheep on two farms have been confirmed as having the disease and some goats are also suspected. The outbreak has sparked a debate over using a vaccine.

MIR: Authorities now say that the MIR space station is due to splash down closer to NZ than previously expected. A fleet of American Samoan fishing boats appear to be heading into the splash zone. MIR is expected to crash around 6pm tomorrow night.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister has again rejected demands from soldiers for face to face negotiations. The Government has said it has dropped plans to halve the size of the army. The soldiers have now asked their officers to present their petition to the PM.

FIRE SERVICE PAY OFFER: The Fire Service has made a new pay offer in one of the longest running industrial disputes. The Fire Fighters Union say the offer is the best they have received in years. Derek Best says it will take at least a couple of weeks to present the offer to fire fighters around the country.

OCEANS POLICY: The conservation group ECO would like an ocean management equivalent of the Resource Management Act to come out of a discussion on oceans policy.

TE PAPA TIMBER APOLOGY: The Forestry Minister has apologised to Parliament over claims that African timber was used in Te Papa. However he says that a workman and architect claim the wood in Te Papa is not NZ Tawa, as the architects claim, but is African.

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