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Flu – Hospital Budgets – Yelash Payout – Burton Murder – NZ Tops – Balloon Accident

FLU: Health officials say the North Island’s east coast is on the verge of a flu epidemic, and warn its about to spread. A warning is out to get vaccinated, and stay home when you’re sick. Ways to beat the bug were discussed at a meeting at the Ministry of Health today. Health officials predict the flu will peak in 3-4 weeks.

HOSPITAL BUDGETS: The opposition claims hospitals are grappling with five figure budget blowouts, while chief executives have gotten pay rises of up to 16 percent for ending their contracts and signing new ones as part of health restructuring.

YELASH PAYOUT: Prime Minister Helen Clark has told parliament she made a mistake in not objecting to the secrecy clause in the payout she made to Auckland actor John Yelash for incorrectly calling him a murderer.

BURTON MURDER: Queenstown police officer Trevor Burton told depositions hearing how he tried to protect his family from his mentally ill son, Mark Edmond Burton. Mark is charged with murdering his mother, Patty Burton.

AIR NZ: New Zealanders are worried about the prospect of Air NZ falling under foreign control, a One News Colmar Brunton poll found. Tonight, the future of Air NZ is in Government hands, as the Government considers a proposal from Singapore Airlines to increase its stake in the airline. Air NZ A and B shares fell today.

NZ TOPS: British Newspapers the Guardian and the Observer have nominated New Zealand as the top spot to visit.

BALLOON ACCIDENT: Police say it is lucky no one was killed in a hot air balloon accident over Auckland Harbour today.

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