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National Radio 8am Bulletin

Christine Rankin – TVNZ Restructuring – Auckland Hospital Overcrowding – Health Chief Payments – Court Fees – Hope and Smart Murders – Peru Quake – UN Aids Session – Macedonia – Race Riots

CHRISTINE RANKIN: The cross-examination of former WINZ Christine Rankin continues in the Employment Court today. Rankin is seeking $818,000 in damages. She is claiming that SSC Michael Wintringham was not a good employer.

TVNZ RESTRUCTURING: A former TVNZ executive Paul Norris says that the Government can assist the broadcaster to meet its charter aims by seeking a smaller dividend.

AUCKLAND HOSPITAL OVERCROWDING: Auckland hospital says that patients and staff will have to suffer from over crowding for a further three years before a new Accident and Emergency building is built. Doctors say that Auckland Hospital is at its busiest they have seen it.

HEALTH CHIEF PAYMENTS: The National Party is accusing the Government of secrecy over payments made to health board chiefs. MP Roger Sowry says the Government hasn’t been as open and transparent about payments as it could have been. He doesn’t believe the Minister did not know about the payments earlier. The State Services Minister Trevor Mallard says that details of the payments did not become clear to the Minister till the filing of annual reports.

COURT FEES: Lawyers who have been battling new civil court fees are pleased that the rise in fees has been deferred for three months by Minister Matt Robson.

HOPE AND SMART MURDERS: A marine radio operator in Picton says Tory Channel tides are very strong, and any bodies dumped in the area would be swept away quickly. The police have revealed that the families of the missing teenagers Ben Smart and Olivia Hope made an unsuccessful private search.

PERU QUAKE: Rescue workers in Southern Peru are continuing the search for survivors after the 8.1 richter scale quake. The death toll is expected to continue to rise.

UN AIDS SESSION: The UN Secretary General has called on world leaders to show compassion and frankness when confronting the issue of aids during a special General Assembly session, the first on a public health issue. Kofi Annan called on developed nations to provide $14 billion in donations to fight the epidemic. The US has offered $400 million.

MACEDONIA: An angry crowd in Macedonia has thrown rocks at diplomats involved in a move to evacuate Albanian rebels following the agreement to a ceasfire.

RACE RIOTS: There have been more race riots in Northern England. The rioting was on a smaller scale than in Oldham.

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