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National Radio Midday Report

Bunkle Out – Defence Debate – Kyoto Protocol – Dollar Falls – NCEA Protest – Army Mistreatment Investigated – US Spy Plane – Israeli Soldier Shot – Poisoning – Psychotic Killer – Fire Risk

- BUNKLE OUT: Alliance MP Phillida Bunkle has been told she won’t be reinstated as a minister outside cabinet, nor will she be offered an under-secretary’s job and will remain on the backbenches. Deputy PM Jim Anderton said while that Ms Bunkle has not done anything demonstrably wrong, questions still hang over her credibility. Helen Clark said there were issues of judgement over how Ms Bunkle handled the accommodation allowances issue.

- DEFENCE DEBATE: National says the Government risks making serious mistakes over defence policy if it ignores public calls for debate, after the Prime Minister dismissed a letter form former Defence Chiefs calling for public debate on defence spending. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Phil Goff says there was no obvious displeasure with the NZ Government’s defence spending expressed in a meeting with US Secretary of State Colin Powell.

- KYOTO PROTOCOL: Phil Goff says the Bush Administration is not ignoring the issue of reducing greenhouse emissions, after it backed out of the Kyoto protocol.

- DOLLAR FALLS: The NZ dollar is suffering in the wake of a falling Australian dollar and high US dollar, falling as low as US39.55c overnight, and currently trading at US39.8c.

- NCEA PROTEST: A group of schools throughout the country have grouped together to protest against the NCEA.

- ARMY MISREATMENT INVESTIGATED: Military Police are investigating allegations that NZ Army cadets were mistreated by Australian officers during a training session.

- US SPY PLANE: US officials say a Chinese offer for them to see the crew of a US spy plane, which landed in China after crashing with a Chinese fighter jet, tomorrow is not enough.

- ISRAELI SOLIER SHOT: The Israeli Army says one of its soldiers has been shot dead by a Palestinian sniper in Bethlehem.

- POISONING: The Dunedin District Court has heard how a Dunedin psychiatrist accused of poisoning his wife asked her to sign insurance papers before going into surgery to remove part of her pancreas and spleen.

- PSYCHOTIC KILLER: The head of Hokianga Health Tony Birch says the local church was well out of its depth in trying to help a psychotic man who killed three people. He’s been found not guilty of murder on grounds of insanity.

- FIRE RISK: The risk of fire remains extreme over a large chunk of the country despite overnight rain.

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