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National Radio Midday Report

Wine Industry – US/Chinese Diplomatic Standoff – Unannounced Sub Visit – RRO HRC Merger – BSE Risk – Middle East Conflict – Infomercials – Oz Interest Rate Cut – Kyoto Protocol – Maori Socio-economic Analysis – Governor General - AIDS Escapee

- WINE INDUSTRY: 70 per cent of the New Zealand wine industry is now foreign owned. Ross Spence, the co-founder of Matua Valley wines, which has been sold to Australian liquor group Fosters, says it won’t be long until the wine industry is entirely foreign owned. But wine writer Keith Stuart says the future of the NZ industry is in small niche wines.

- US/CHINESE DIPLOMATIC STANDOFF: Chinese authorities are still refusing to say when they will free the crew of a US spy plane that landed on Chinese soil after a mid air crash with a Chinese fighter jet. US diplomats have been allowed to see the crew but have said little publicly about the meeting.

- UNANNOUNCED SUB VISIT: A US navy nuclear submarine has visited a Japanese port without advance warning, angering Japanese who are still smarting over the crash of a US submarine with a Japanese fishing boat.

- RRO HRC MERGER: The proposal to merge the Race Relations Office with the Human Rights Commission is being criticised.

- BSE RISK: The Australian and New Zealand food Authority is setting up a committee to look at the risk to people of exposure to BSE from eating meat.

- MIDDLE EAST CONFLICT: Israel has used helicopter gunships and tanks in a series of retaliatory attacks against Palestinian targets in Gaza.

- INFOMERCIALS: TVNZ has decided to cut infomercial advertising on TV1, saying it wants to free up airtime for more quality programmes. They will lose money from the move.

- OZ INTEREST RATE CUT: The Reserve Bank of Australia has dropped interest rates by half a percentage point in a bid to get the economy moving again.

- KYOTO PROTOCOL: A European Union delegation visiting US says the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol will go ahead with or without the United States.

- MAORI SOCIO-ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: A former Labour Department economists has defended an analysis where he concluded that Maori ethnicity itself is not a valid indicator of socio-economic status, but negative outcomes are a matter of class. ACT took his findings as a springboard for attacks on the Government’s ‘closing the gaps’ policy.

- GOVERNOR GENERAL: Dame Sylvia Cartwright has just been sworn in as Governor General.

- AIDS ESCAPEE: Police have located the former male prostitute who has had unprotected sex with men without declaring he has AIDS who escaped from his residence which is under constant supervision by health authorities.

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