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Qantas NZ For Sale – Superpower Wants Apology – Fatal Christmas Party Prank – Looking After The Elderly – Man Dies At Parliament – Cancer Therapist Shortage – New Cancer Drug

QANTAS NZ FOR SALE: Qantas Australia has revealed today it is in negotiations to but Qantas NZ. Qantas NZ staff are not allowed to talk about the negotiations. The airline is probably over-staffed. An airlines analyst says that Qantas NZ has never really recovered from a pilot strike. The airline has been financially troubled since its inception. A Qantas source says there is no

SUPERPOWER WANTS APOLOGY: A word of apology was offered today by US Secretary of State Colin Powell, but the word, “regret”, does not appear to have been enough. Meanwhile the White House remains very keen not to apologise. Powell’s remarks related to the missing pilot but not to the incident as a whole. This not yet a hostage crisis, but it is starting to look like one on the telly in the US, with relatives on TV talking about their loved ones. China says it wants to hear the word “apology” before it will even consider returning the plane or the crew. President Jiang Zemin appears to be in no hurry to give the crew and plane back, and has left for a tour of Latin America. The US Ambassador in China has been told that the US is arrogant and needs to apologise. The word “apology” has been appearing in State media in China all day.

FATAL CHRISTMAS PARTY PRANK: The man who set fire to his work-mate’s grass skirt at a Christmas Party in Auckland at Christmas is disputing the crown’s account of events. A friend of the accused and his victim described an incident in which Matthew Scofield set fire to the skirt of his friend earlier in the evening. Photos show the victim and Scofield celebrating earlier in the evening.

LOOKING AFTER THE ELDERLY: The Government is looking at the law to protect the interests of elderly people in retirement villages, says Minister Lianne Dalziel.

MAN DIES AT PARLIAMENT: A man collapsed and died at a select committee hearing in Parliament this morning while talking about New Zealand’s nuclear free policy.

CANCER THERAPIST SHORTAGE: A cancer therapist shortage in Auckland has led to the closure of one linear accelerator at Auckland Hospital. The problem is not confined to Auckland. Waiting lists for cancer patients grow longer. One woman is angry that a delay to receive therapy has endangered her husband’s life. The Health Minister says that the problem of a shortage of therapists is a world wide problem.

NEW CANCER DRUG: In the US there is very real hope concerning a new cancer drug which has been trialled for leukaemia and which appears to work very well. The pill uses a simple approach. STI 571 blocks a rogue enzyme that makes the cancer work. The drug has been used on other forms of cancer too and seems to work well.

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