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National Radio Midday Report

Police Investigations – Inflation Down – Hartner Construction – Israeli Withdrawal – Ansett Strife – Spy Plane Standoff – Taranaki Dioxin – Rankin File – PM In Asia – Free Trade – Missing People – Queen Snubs Christchurch – Catholic Abuse – Mississippi Flag

- POLICE INVESTIGATIONS: An investigation by the Police Complaints Authority has been launched into the death of a man who collapsed in police custody in Wellington after being arrested on a driving charge. Meanwhile three Auckland police officers are being investigated for their handling of an allegedly psychotic man who lost consciousness after they restrained him.

- INFLATION DOWN: Inflation is down for first time in two years. Statistics NZ figures show the Consumer Price Index fell by a fifth of a per cent in the first three months of the year.

- HARTNER CONSTRUCTION: An Auckland building disputes arbitrator says eight companies are already in receivership and others are struggling to survive as a direct result of the collapse of Hartner Construction.

- ISRAELI WITHDRAWAL: Israel ended its occupation of areas of the Gaza strip it seized yesterday in retaliation for Palestinian mortar attacks. The surprise announcement came after a strong international response, with the US calling the move excessive and disproportionate to the Palestinian attack.

- ANSETT STRIFE: Singapore Airlines does not believe raising its ownership stakes in Air NZ will help solve the current problems at Ansett.

- SPYPLANE STANDOFF: China says it will not return the US spy plane being held at a Chinese air base where it landed following a mid air crash with a Chinese fighter jet until a full investigation into the crash is completed.



- TARANAKI DIOXIN: At least 25 sites are on the list of places in Taranaki that may be contaminated by dioxin.

- RANKIN FILE: Law expert Jeff O’Sullivan says Christine Rankin’s employment dispute over the non renewal of her job heading the Dept of Work and Income will challenge a number of gray areas in the law.

- PM IN ASIA: The trade delegation headed by Prime Minister Helen Clark today moves on to China, the final leg of the 10-day trip. Miss Clark will meet President and Premier of China in Beijing, and she says she will express concern at reports that China will test lower level nuclear weapons.

- FREE TRADE: US President W. Bush wants an American free trade area to span from Canada to the tip of South America.

- MISSING PEOPLE: Arial and sea searches are continuing for 10 people who went missing in Australia’s Northern Territory during tropical cyclone Alastair.

- QUEEN SNUBS CHRISTCHURCH: Christchurch mayor Gary Moore is disappointed Queen’s trip to New Zealand in October doesn’t include Christchurch.

- CATHOLIC ABUSE: Tough measures have been unveiled to try to stamp out child abuse in the Catholic church in England and Wales.

- MISSISSIPPI FLAG: Mississippi voters will decide today whether to keep the confederate cross in their state flag.

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