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Transmission Gully – Hate Mail – Auckland Roads – Virgin Blue – Ansett Crash Trial – Antarctic Rescue – Foot And Mouth – Drought

TRANSMISSION GULLY: A Wellington Coroner has expressed concerns about Centenial Highway, on State Highway One north of Wellington. Eight deaths on the road have been examined bby the coroner. The proposed alternative route is estimated to cost over $200 million. United Future’s Peter Dunne has a bill before Parliament to accelerate building the road. Peter Dunne says the coroner’s report supports his campaign for the road. Transport Minister Mark Gosche says that Dunne’s bill doesn’t deal with the real issues. Funding is unlikely to be

HATE MAIL:Police are investigating a hate mail campaign against the parents of teenagers killed in a fatal car smash near Rotorua.

AUCKLAND ROADS: Aucklanders can expect more disruption in the inner city in coming weeks as telecommunications companies re-repair roads they failed to repair properly the first time.

VIRGIN BLUE: UK cut price no frills airline Virgin Blue is flying into NZ on Monday to meet the Government. The airline is run by flambouyant businessman Richard Branson. It has already started a price war in Australia and is now keen to come into NZ. Virgin Blue says all it needs to start operating is government permission. Fares in Australia have been cut by 50%. Virgin Blue says there is room for three airlines in NZ. Not everybody believes there is room for the company in NZ however.

ANSETT CRASH TRIAL: Passengers who survived an Ansett Airliner crash in Palmerston North six years ago gave evidence today. 15 passengers survived the crash. Passenger McGrory says the plane hit the ground three times before coming to rest. He described how a flight attendant was talking to him as the plane crashed. McGrory rang rescuers on his cell phone. Another passenger whose husband died could remember very little of the accident. Also giving evidence today was a police officer. He said he had a lot of problems getting an “expert pilot” to help the investigation.

ANTARCTIC RESCUE: A rescue plane has completed half of a rescue mission to the South Pole to pick up a sick doctor.

FOOT AND MOUTH: A white calf called Pheonix which survived the Foot and Mouth cull has become a symbol of farmers trying to put the pieces of their smashed world back together. Meanwhile Prince Charles takes precautions before getting off a plane to ensure he does not spread the disease while on a royal tour.

DROUGHT: The South Island’s drought will not break soon say experts. There will not be enough rain till after the end of June. Farmers are sending stock off to the North Island for food. At an Environment Canterbury update on the drought a Niwa scientist predicted the drought would get worse. Timaru has introduced hosing restrictions.

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