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National Radio Midday Report

House Tax – Burned Baby – Doctor Charges – Health Resignation – Air NZ – Picket Death – Pakistan Leader – Burton Murder – Rankin Petition – Cease Fire – Food Safety – Early Starters – Auckland Water

HOUSE TAX: Finance Minister Michael Cullen has ruled out a new tax on homes proposed in yesterday’s tax review. National has also distanced itself from the idea. Cullen said he didn’t want to comment, but the level of alarm has forced him to comment.

BURNED BABY: The mother of a baby in a critical but stable condition after suffering serious burns appeared at the Auckland District Court charged with her assault. She will be remanded for psychiatric assessment.

DOCTOR CHARGES: The Medical Council has confirmed that a Masterton doctor who admitted three aspects of a professional misconduct charge relating to the death of an unborn baby is facing other charges.

HEALTH RESIGNATION: Sven Hannsen, a member of the Auckland District Health Board, says he has resigned because Government policy is putting public health services at risk.

AIR NZ: The head of Singapore Airlines is to meet with Australia’s transport minister to discuss the airline’s proposal to increase its stake in Air NZ, which has sparked an outcry from Qantas, who say Singapore Airlines will take an undue level of influence over the market on both sides of the Tasman.

PICKET DEATH: Police are considering asking the Police Complaints Authority to investigate their handling of a protest in Lyttleton which saw protester Christine Clark killed, after the judge in the manslaughter trial of Derek Powell criticised police for allowing the picket line to block traffic.

PAKISTAN LEADER: Pakistan’s Military leader has formerly abolished the elected legislatures he suspended after his coup in 1999 and dismissed the President and has himself sworn into the role. Commonwealth Secretary General Don McKinnon says his organisation is disappointed in the move, which consolidates military rule.

BURTON MURDER: A nurse at Southland Hospital mental health unit has described Mark Edmond Burton, who is charged with the murder of his mother Patty, as a reserved but genuinely nice guy.

RANKIN PETITION: The PSA claims some DWI staff were pressured into signing a petition supporting CEO Christine Rankin, and says the petition cannot be seen as a true reflection of feeling in the department.

CEASE-FIRE: The Bush Administration is sending Secretary of State Colin Powell to the Middle East next week to try to save the American brokered cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians from collapse.

FOOD SAFETY: Health Minister Annette King is rejecting claims the Government is dragging the chain on new food safety legislation.

EARLY STARTERS: An Auckland school principal is worried about the number of children being dropped off at school to early and being left unsupervised. In a newsletter, he asked parents not to drop their kids off before 8.15am.

AUCKLAND WATER: Two thirds of Aucklanders who made submissions about the water supply want it controlled by a single provider.

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