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Payrise For Military – Deflation – Petrol Price Rises – Vodafone Overcharging – Air New Zealand’s Woes x 2 – Israel – Massage Parlour

PAYRISE FOR MILITARY: The Government has raised NZ military service people’s wages. Private Leonard Manning complained about his pay in his last letter home. Lower ranks will get 6% to 13% pay rises. Colonels will get no more. Tradesmen in the armed services in particular have had their wages raised. The Australian Army is still attractive but. In NZ Manning would get $26,000 a year after training. In Australia he would get $41,000. This is not unique to the military however.

DEFLATION: Michael Cullen is crediting ordinary NZers with a drop in inflation. Cullen says workers are being responsible in their pay demands.

PETROL PRICE RISES: Caltex has announced a five cent rise in petrol and diesel prices.

VODAFONE OVERCHARGING: Vodafone has been fined for charging too much for text messages. Vodafone was charging 20.25 cents when it advertised 20 cents. This was a breach of the Fair Trading Act says the Commerce Commission. A complainant got no joy from Vodafone when he originally made his complaint. The complainant has now received free air time but. Vodafone says it was an inadvertant mistake. All customers have now received a refund.

AIR NEW ZEALAND: The NZ Government is coming under pressure to ease foreign ownership rules to enable Singapore Airlines to help bail out Ansett Australia. Ansett Australia has to come up with $5 billion to replace old clapped out planes. Jim Anderton has not ruled out the idea of changing the rules to allow Singapore in. Ansett has been operating leased aircraft to run services. Some planes may be cleared to fly tonight by Australian Authorities.

AIR NEW ZEALAND: Air New Zealand engineers say the safety debacle on the other side of the Tasman has nothing to do with them. Air New Zealand may own Ansett Australia but maintenance of the two fleets has been different and distinct. A first Ansett Australia plane has now arrived for servicing in NZ.

ISRAEL: Israeli troops have withdrawn after a lightening occupation on the Gaza strip this morning. Yasser Arafat said the occupation was an unpardonable crime. Israel insists it has no choice but to attack as mortar shells are being fired from Palestinian territory. But PM Ariel Sharon quickly caved to pressure from the US to withdraw.

MASSAGE PARLOUR: Wellington’s Mayor is opposing plans to allow a strip bar/massage parlour on Wellington’s Courtenay Place. The lawyer for the developers, Keith Jefferies, says that council cannot pass a bylaw to stop the plans. Blumsky says the issue is not about the pros and cons of the sex industry, but simply about where it is. Wellington already has a red light district in Vivian St says strip club owner Brian Le Gros. Le Gros says the Aucklanders are opening the Wellington bar in a tit-for-tat retaliation for his decision to open a new club in Auckland.

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