TVNZ Charter – Philippines Protests – Airfare Price Wars - Pilot Trial - HIV Teacher Sentenced – Celia Lashlie – Community Services Card – Dingo Debate - May Day In Australia – Israel Peace Visit – Indonesia – Slave Children Released
TVNZ CHARTER: The Government has approved a charter for TVNZ. The charter will not be implemented immediately however. The charter is designed to free public broadcasting from its commercial imperative. However it is an issue of balance and the Government has not yet decided where that balance lies.
PHILIPINES PROTESTS: In Manila police and soldiers fired shots as they drove back protestors from the gates of the Presidential Palace. Protestors have been protesting the detention of former President Joseph Estrada. A policeman and protestor have been killed.
AIRFARE PRICE WARS: Freedom Air took to the skies today between Wellington and Aucklan. The first flight was full, the second flight from Auckland to Christchurch had only 29 passengers. Passengers on Air New Zealand’s first flight said cut price fares were good.
PILOT TRIAL: There has been more technical evidence at the trial in Palmerston North of pilot Garry Sotheran. The crown has produced technical evidence on the last six minutes of the fatal flight today.
TEACHER SENTENCED: An HIV positive teacher who plead guilty to sexual assault on several pupils has been sentenced to three years jail. The teacher was the head of religious studies at his school.
CELIA LASHLIE: The Commissioner for Children is calling on the Special Education Service to reinstate it’s Nelson manager Celia Lashlie. Meanwhile National MP Nick Smith says he will raise the issue in Parliament today to discover whether the Minister of Education was involved in the sacking.
COMMUNITY SERVICES CARD: Some Government MPs have gone into weekly caucuses today seeking explanations for the Community Services Card decision of the government. An estimated 48,000 workers have been left without benefits obtained from the Community Services Card which are available to beneficiaries on the same income. Labour MP Georgina Beyer says she is concerned for people in her electorate. Alliance MP Willie Jackson has similar concerns. The PM says her government is being unfairly criticised.
DINGO DEBATE: Debate is raging over the future of dingos on Fraser Island following the death of a nine-year-old boy. The dogs responsible for the attack have been destroyed.
MAY DAY IN AUSTRALIA: Thousands of demonstrators have gathered around stock exchanges in Australia protesting against corporate greed. Despite wet weather hundreds have linked arms around the Sydney stock exchange. Organisers of M1 were behind the S11 rally in Melbourne last year. Police say that today’s demonstration has been peaceful so far.
ISRAEL PEACE VISIT: The Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres has begun a peace-making visit to the USA. He has met with Kofi Annan who says it is an encouraging sign that both sides are looking at a peace plan. Shimon Peres will meet Colin Powell and George Bush. Meanwhile on the West Bank and in Gaza seven Palestinians have died.
INDONESIA: Parliament has censured the Indonesian President Abdurrachman Wahid for a second time. The Presidential spokesman says that there is still room for compromise to avoid impeachment.
SLAVE CHILDREN RELEASED: Authorities in Benin have confirmed that 12 slave children were aboard a slave ship stopped by authorities. UNICEF originally said the ship had up to 200 slave children aboard.