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National Radio Midday Report

Jogger Murder – Air Points – Submarine Detections – DB Move – Arthur’s Pass Fire – Drought – Informer – Fiji Government – Arab meeting – parole Denied – Body Found – Vine - Oscars

- JOGGER MURDER: The preliminary hearing has begun for the man accused of sexually assaulting and murdering a Wellington woman Margaret Lynne Baxter, who had been jogging outside Hastings when he allegedly deliberately hit her in his car before sexually assaulting and murdering her.

- AIR POINTS: Parliament’s Speaker Jonathan Hunt is urging MPs to use their air points for work instead of saving them up to use for personal travel.

- SUBMARINE DETECTIONS: Chief of Defence Air Marshall Kerry Adamson is apologising for any embarrassment to the Prime Minister a list of submarine detections it issued may have caused. Prime Minister Helen Clark said the information was misleading because it was incomplete.

- DB MOVE: A boycott is underway on the West Coast to protest DB’s decision to close the Greymouth Monteith’s brewery and begin brewing the beer in Auckland. West Coast MP Damien O’Connor and the Grey District Mayor will be meeting with DB to try to convince them to reverse their decision.

- ARTHUR’S PASS FIRE: Firefighters tackling a large scrub fire at Arthur’s Pass say an area that was causing concern last night appears to be coming under control. But other areas are beginning to flare as the temperature rises today. Winds are forecast for this afternoon.

- DROUGHT: Overnight rain in some parts of the country has brought relief to many drought-affected areas of the country such as Kapiti, but water restrictions are still on in other areas.

- INFORMER: A former Mongrel Member who turned police informer is suing the attorney general, alleging breach of contract, after the police promised he would be relocated to Australia and didn’t.

- FIJI GOVERNMENT: Fiji’s Illegal Interim Government, which was reinstated in a caretaker role, is facing another legal challenge.

- ARAB MEETING: The Arab summit about to begin in Jordan is being distracted from the Palestinian question by a dispute about Iraq and the UN sanctions.

- PAROLE DENIED: The serial sex attacker Steven Stainer is to stay in jail for another six months after a parole board hearing denied his release.

- BODY FOUND: The body of a man with a knife embedded in his abdomen has been found at beach at Stanwell Bay north of Auckland.

- VINE: Biosecurity officials should know within a few days whether a Japanese vine, which has been found in Auckland suburb Epson has spread. MAF says the vine represents a major threat to native plants.

- OSCARS: The 73rd academy awards is about to start, with Gladiator, starring New Zealand born actor Russell Crowe, set to steal the show.

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