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Under Six Health Care – Auckland Health Board Resignation – Housing Tax – Christine Rankin – Burnt Baby – Mother Murderer – UK Serial Killer – Mark Burton Murder Trial – Timaru One4B Bust – Te Reo Maori

UNDER SIX HEALTH CARE: The Medical Association says it supports GPs who have started to charge for under six-year-old children’s visits to the doctor. Doctors say their costs have risen but the subsidy hasn’t. Some doctors have started to charge $5 or $10 a visit.

AUCKLAND HEALTH BOARD RESIGNATION: A member of the Auckland District Health Board has resigned over funding shortages.

HOUSING TAX: Finance Minister Michael Cullen has given an assurance a proposed tax on housing will not be introduced. Old people and talkback radio callers have been up in arms all day about the proposals. Dr Cullen shelved the idea during question time today. A subsequent question from National’s Jenny Shipley appeared to imply that she expected Labour to win a second term.

CHRISTINE RANKIN: The PSA is claiming that some of its members have been forced into signing a petition in support of WINZ boss Christine Rankin.

BURNT BABY: A 28-year-old woman has been charged with assault after her 3-month-old baby was rescued badly burned from an open fire.

MOTHER MURDERER: A US mother whose husband works for NASA has been arrested for drowning her five children in a bath. The children were aged from six months to seven years old.

UK SERIAL KILLER: An inquiry has begun in the UK into what could be the world’s worst serial killer, Dr Harold Shipman. Shipman was convicted last year for killing 15 of his patients. Now hundreds more victims are suspected. For years the warning signs were missed. Shipman’s patients died at more than nine times the national average. Most of his victims died sitting up in chairs, rather than lying down. Shipman was finally caught when he forged his signature on a patient’s will.

MARK BURTON MURDER: A procession of witnesses gave evidence today about Queenstown murder accused Mark Burton. Nurse Tina Barlow described Burton as pleasant on most occasions. On the days before he was released from hospital he was positive, she said. Nine days after his release he drove to Queenstown and stabbed his mother to death. When he was in hospital Burton gave a fellow patient a black eye. He also talked a lot about the movie The Matrix.

TIMARU ONE4B BUST: Police and Ministry of Health officials have raided the Timaru house of a man who sells the chemical One4B as CD Cleaner on the internet. The chemical is used by kids to get high. Police seized the mans computer and stocks of the chemical.

TE REO MAORI: A report saying Maori is an endangered language is being rejected by some. The Maori Language Commission is getting an extra $15 million to develop the language. Alliance MP Willie Jackson says that 86% of Maori do not know their language. In the house today the issue of Maori caused a ruckus when John Tamihere used the language to welcome some school children to Parliament. Parekura Horomia says decisions on allocation of the $15 million will be made next week.

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