US/China Spy Plane Stoush – Human Rights Commissioner Appointment – Israel – NCEA – Yugoslavia – Russia – Easter Trading – Unsafe Pools
US/CHINA SPY PLANE STOUSH: American diplomats have found 24 members of the crew of a US spy plane in good health. Diplomats want the 21 men and 3 women released immediately, “the President made that clear yesterday”. The Chinese however are continuing to ask for an apology.
HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSIONER APPOINTMENT: National Party leader Jenny Shipley has attacked the way the Human Rights Commissioner and Race Relations Conciliator have been appointed. Mrs Shipley says the Government has insulted Parliament by not consulting properly with opposition parties. Ros Noonan, a prominent trade union leader, has been appointed as the chief Human Rights Commissioner.
ISRAEL: Israeli helicopter gunships have attacked targets in the Gaza strip following a mortar attack on an Israeli settlement.
NCEA: The School Trustees Association says parents have not been told enough about the introduction of the NCEA. Some schools are considering setting up their own examination based assessment systems. The Minister of Education says there has been lots of work on consultation already done.
YUGOSLAVIA: The Yugoslav President is ruling out any immediate transfer of Solobodan Milosevic to the Haugue War Crimes Tribunal. He says Milosevic should face justice at home first.
RUSSIA: Russia’s President Vladimir Putin says his country needs more reforms in his State of the Nation address. He says the country has become too dependent on volatile international markets. One year of strong growth is not enough, he said. He also announced the withdrawal of troops from Chechnya.
EASTER TRADING: A Parliamentary Select Committee has just one day to hear submissions on a bill liberalising Easter trading by garden centers.
UNSAFE POOLS: Water Safety NZ says too many swimming pool owners are flouting fencing laws. Four children have drowned so far this year compared to one last year. Auckland and Christchurch councils say they are doing all they can.