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National Radio Midday Report

Virgin Blue – Freedom Air – Qantas Lay-Offs – 14B On Sale – Dash8 – Rape Charges – Police Rapist – Py Plane – Wahid Censure – IMF Meeting – Pilot Hero – Airport Explosives – Shopping Site – Tryless Triers

- VIRGIN BLUE: Transport Minister Mark Gosche says the cut price airline Virgin Blue could take off in New Zealand within three months, but there are still issues to be worked through. Virgin Blue says they will halve domestic fares.

- FREEDOM AIR: Freedom Air’s General Manager says it has been fielding thousands of calls about its no frills service which will start operating tomorrow.

- QANTAS LAY-OFFS: The Engineer’s Union plans to meet with DWI to see if stand down provisions could be relaxed for the 1100 laid off Qantas NZ staff.

- 14B ON SALE: While Auckland police investigate the country’s first Fantasy drug death, an importer of a similar drug, 14B, admits he is still selling the drug.

- DASH-8: A jury in the Palmerston North High Court has heard the black box recording from the Ansett Dash-8 flight that killed four people. Pilot Gary Sutheran is charged with manslaughter and injuring.

- RAPE CHARGES: A former police officer, Tyler Stevens, is on trial on charges of rape and sexual violation at the Auckland High Court.

- POLICE RAPIST: Police Minister George Hawkins wants an explanation as to why a Maungakino police officer found guilty of rape has applied for a benefit under the police early retirement scheme.

- SPY PLANE: The United States has welcomed an offer to inspect its spy plane stranded in China and is preparing to send a technical team.

- WAHID CENSURE: Today’s session of the Indonesian Parliament will almost certainly issue a second censure against President Wahid.

- IMF MEETING: Divisions have emerged at the Spring meetings of the IMF and the World Bank about how best to help countries whose economies are in crisis.

- PILOT HERO: A pilot is being hailed hero after a fatal skydiving accident north of Melbourne yesterday. The Pilot managed to keep the plane flying while 10 skydivers parachuted to safety before bailing out himself. One person died when his parachute caught in the tail section of the Cessna.

- AIRPORT EXPLOSIVES: Rotorua police are trying to find out why two home made explosive devices were left at Rotorua airport. A woman received minor injuries when one of the devices was set off when a car ran over it.

- SHOPPING SITE: The Automobile Association says the launch of a major shopping web site comes at no cost to its members and will benefit them through its existing reward system.

- TRYLESS TRIERS: The Whakatane Marist women’s rugby team remain undaunted despite the sixth huge loss in a row.

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