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National Radio Midday Report

Interest Rate Cut – US Interest Rate – Welfare Reshuffle – Middle East Conflict – Spy Plane Talks – PM IN China – Burundi Coup – Bus Driver Guilty – Jet Boat Safety – Aus Air Safety – Fire Fighters – Cervical Cancer – Student Loans – Drought Effects

- INTEREST RATE CUT: Mortgage rates have begun to fall in the wake of the Reserve Bank’s decision to cut its benchmark interest rate, the Official Cash Rate, from 6.25 to 6 per cent. The New Zealand’s share market has reacted positively to falling interest rates.

- US INTEREST RATE: The surprise decision by the US federal Reserve to cut interest rates by half a per cent has boosted share prices on Wall Street.

- WELFARE RESHUFFLE: The Decision to create a new ministry of social development was made without adequate consultation because the State Services Minister Trevor Mallard didn’t trust some officials to keep the proposal secret.

- MIDDLE EAST CONFLICT: Palestinians have fired mortars inside Israel for the second time in a week. There have been two Israeli incursions into Gaza.

- SPY PLANE TALKS: The United States says it won’t continue talks with China over the downed US spy plane unless China considers Washington’s agenda.

- PM IN CHINA: PM Helen Clark is heading to Beijing for the first of two meetings with the Chinese leaders. Helen Clark says China’s intention to enter the WTO, and reports of small scale nuclear testing are on the agenda.

- BURUNDI COUP: Dissident soldiers in Burundi have attempted a coup.

- BUSDRIVER GUILTY: An Auckland bus driver has been found guilty of careless driving causing the death of a schoolboy.

- JET BOAT SAFETY: Commercial jet boat drivers on rivers will have to sit a driving test and boats will be fitted with roll bars if the recommendations of a Maritime Safety Authority review are implemented.

- AUS AIR SAFETY: Australian Prime Minister John Howard has expressed confidence in the Civil Aviation Authority after a leaked report found the Authority isn’t actively monitoring the industry’s compliance with safety laws.

- FIRE FIGHTERS: Professional Fire Fighters have rejected a pay offer from the Fire Service and voted to take industrial action to get better pay.

- CERVICAL CANCER: Health Minister Annette King is urging women at center of the cervical cancer screening controversy to call a free phone line if they have unmet needs.

- STUDENT LOANS: The Government has released figures showing The Dept of Work and Income has significantly improved the speed of its processing of student loans.

- DROUGHT EFFECTS: The drought is set to hit Canterbury shoppers in their pockets, with beef and lamb stocks low as the lack of rain forced farmers to sell stock. Importing meat from the North Island being considered, although it is a costly option.


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