Fatal Fire – Australian Budget – Weather – Israel – Celia Lashlie – Phil Goff To Tibet – Tertiary Funding – Welfare Law Changes – Silver Fern Cheerleaders
FATAL FIRE: The Fire Service say their were no adults in a house south-west of Kaitaia which burned to the ground last night killing three children aged 9 to 14.
AUSTRALIAN BUDGET: The Howard Liberal Government in Australia has delivered a pre-election budget aimed at looking after the elderly. The budget includes $5 billion in tax cuts.
WEATHER: Drivers are facing major disruptions this morning as snow and wintry conditions exist through much of the country. The Desert Road is closed and all roads south of Dunedin are considered treacherous. Meanwhile Police have resumed searching for five missing trampers in Nelson.
ISRAEL: There are hopes of a diplomatic solution to the conflict in the Middle East following a call from Israel’s PM Ariel Sharon for a general ceasefire in the region. However he says violence will have to stop first. Meanwhile Palestinians are complaining that the Israelis are refusing to comply with a halt to settlement building.
CELIA LASHLIE: SES Manager Celia Lashlie is pleased she can return to her job of looking after at risk children now. She was sacked after she described an angelic looking five year old boy – a composite she later said – as heading on a path towards murder.
PHIL GOFF TO TIBET: Foreign Minister Phil Goff is defending plans to go to a notorious prison in Tibet during an upcoming visit to China. He says that visiting notable prisoners in the prison will alert Chinese authorities to the fact the international community is concerned.
TERTIARY FUNDING: Private Tertiary Establishments say they are being used as scapegoats in rows of tertiary education funding.
WELFARE LAW CHANGES: There is opposition concern over the speed with which welfare law is being changed to stop spouses of NZ partners from receiving benefits. National says that Steve Maharey hasn’t explained the haste.
SILVER FERN CHEERLEADERS: The Silver Ferns is putting out a call for eight fit men with rhythm to be their cheerleading team.