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National Radio Midday Report

Macedonian Conflict – Foot and Mouth – ERMA Cows – US/China Relations – DWI CEO – Fiji Elections – Invercargill Air – Dash-8 Trial – MMP Review – Gap Narrows – Physical Punishment – Ronnie Biggs – Dangerous Bridge

- MACEDONIAN CONFLICT: The situation in Macedonia has deteriorated further, with Macedonian forces poised to launch another assault on ethic Albanian rebels in North Eastern Mountains. There are fears of a bloodbath. The Macedonian army says guerillas are using civilians as human shields against attacks.

- FOOT AND MOUTH: Travellers are being warned to remain vigilant against bringing foot and mouth disease into New Zealand, following British PM Tony Blair’s announcement that the crisis has been brought under control.

- ERMA COWS: The Green Party says a High Court ruling against the Environmental Risk Management Authority on the GE Cow trials casts doubts on ERMA’s other decisions.

- US/CHINA RELATIONS: Friction between China and the United States has taken another turn for the worse. China says a new missile defence system proposed by President Bush could spark another arms race. Meanwhile, hackers from America have targeted official Chinese sites for defacement, and Chinese hackers are attacking US sites.

- DWI CEO: Long-time public servant Dame Margaret Beazley has agreed to put off her retirement to head DWI later this year when Christine Rankin’s contract expires in July.

- FIJI ELECTIONS: Fiji Coup leader George Speight says he is ready to contest the August general election in Fiji.

- INVERCARGILL AIR: The Invercargill City Council is considering setting up a local airline through its airport company, owned by the council, to service the city’s aviation needs.

- DASH-8 TRIAL: The former Chief Accident inspector has taken the stand in the Manslaughter trial of Ansett Dash–8 pilot Gary Sutheran case at the High Court in Palmerston North.

- MMP REVIEW: Parliament is set to vote on the future of MMP sooner than thought, as Opposition leader Jenny Shipley’s private members bill on the subject has been drawn from the ballot.

- GAP NARROWS: The latest political poll shows a narrowing in the Gap between Labour and National.

- PHYSICAL PUNISHMENT: The first move has been made towards reviewing the law that allows parents to use reasonable force in punishing their children.

- RONNIE BIGGS: British train robber Ronnie Biggs has pleaded with British police not to let him die in Jail. He’s suffered three strokes, and now wants to return to Britain from his Brazilian hideaway.

- DANGEROUS BRIDGE: The Department of Conservation says people in the remote Urewera community of Maungapohatu who drove over a partially wrecked bridge were risking their lives.

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