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Reserve Bank Cuts Interest Rates – Firefighters – Bus Accident Conviction – Ansett – US Plane Crash Report – Petrol Prices – Social Services Merger Plot – Marie Jamieson - Hiccups

RESERVE BANK CUTS INTEREST RATES: The Reserve Bank has dropped interest rates by a quarter of a per cent for the second time in a month. House sales jumped 8% in March and real estate agents say it is going to get better. The cut in the NZ Reserve Bank cash rate came hot on the heels of a 0.5% cut in the USA. The Dow Jones had its fourth largest rise and the NASDAQ rose 8%. NZ share markets also rose. However petrol prices are up. And while inflation is down, food prices are up around 5%. For the retired who earn their living in interest it is also bad news.

FIREFIGHTERS: Professional Fire-fighters have voted overwhelmingly to refuse a pay offer from the Fire Service Commission. They haven’t had a pay rise in 11 years.

BUS ACCIDENT CONVICTION: An Auckland Bus Driver has been convicted on two charges relating to the death of schoolboy Matthew Taylor. The parents of the boy say they are concerned that there has been no improvement of bus safety since the accident. Stagecoach says that responsibility for the accident lies with the driver, although they have made changes to bus safety. The family say they would have liked to have heard from Stagecoach. Stagecoach say they were advised by victim support to leave the family alone.

ANSETT: Ansett Australia say they are confident that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority will back off and will not ground their aircraft indefinitely.

US PLANE CRASH REPORT: A US Government report has concluded that a Boeing 767 flight that crashed outbound from New York crashed due to deliberate actions by the pilot. The crash killed 217.

PETROL PRICES: Shell and BP are matching Caltex’s 5 cent a litre petrol price rise.

SOCIAL SERVICES MERGER: National and ACT are claiming that the WINZ/MOSP merger was a plot to get rid of Christine Rankin. National’s Roger Sowry says the merger is shonky and that Mallard and the PM rolled Steve Maharey. Mallard denies the merger plot theory. He says that if you look carefully at the papers you will find evidence of his position. Several quotes from the papers are read out. Meanwhile Steve Maharey says he is happy with the result.

MARIE JAMIESON: Police hunting the killer of Marie Jamieson are now investigating the claims of “Malcolm” on a radio show. Malcolm told the radio show that he hates the police, and that the person called Roy who murdered Marie was a “germ”. The caller was eventually persuaded to call police.

HICCUPS: A man with a hiccup problem that has lasted months is searching for a cure.

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