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Maximus Greatest – Arthur’s Pass Blaze – Foot and Mouth

MAXIMUS GREATEST: Kiwi-born actor Russell Crowe took the Best Actor Oscar for his role as Maximus in the roman epic Gladiator at the 73rd Academy Awards. Crowe was wearing the MBE medal his grandfather won. Crowe said he had “absolutely nothing” in his head when his name was announced at the press conference. Previous Best Actor Oscar Anthony Hopkins says Russell Crowe has the X-factor. Julia Roberts won the Best Acress Oscar for her role in Erin Brokovich. Comedian Steve Martin presented the awards.

ARTHUR’S PASS BLAZE: High winds are threatening more trouble for fire fighter battling flames in Arthur’s Pass. The blaze has scorched for than 500 hectares. Over 100 fire fighters have been in the action, supported by helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. Crews are concentrating on saturating smouldering areas. If current conditions persist, most of the South Island will be subjected to a fire ban.

FOOT AND MOUTH: A mass grave is being prepared as Britain prepares to bury more than half a million animal carcasses as the county battles with the foot and mouth disease epidemic. The meat industry in New Zealand is concerned that New Zealand consumers are being spooked about buying meat because of negative publicity the foot and mouth crisis in Europe is giving meat.

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