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National Radio Midday Report

Probation Workers – GDP – Montana Wines – Christine Rankin - Milosevic Extradition – Powell In Middle East – Microsoft Case – Knifing – Dannevirke Burglaries – Strip Search – Safer Cars – Climate Change – Foreign Policy School

PROBATION WORKERS: Probation staff around the country are again walking off the job after the Corrections Department suspended probation staff in Christchurch this morning. Yesterday workers rejected a revised employment contract. The striking, in its fourth day, is affecting court work around the country.

GDP: Economic activity remained flat in the first three months of the year. New figures show the Gross Domestic Product was unchanged in the March quarter after a 0.4 percent rise in the previous quarter. Statistics New Zealand reports 2.5 percent growth in the economy over the past year.

MONTANA WINES: The takeover battle for Montana Wines has sparked back into life after the New Zealand Stock Exchange order that Lion Nathan must sell 40 million shares, equivalent to 19 percent of the company. Immediately following the news Allied Domeck entered the bidding.

CHRISTINE RANKIN: State Services Commissioner has denied being selective in his account of his relationship with Work and Income boss Christine Rankin, as Mrs Rankin’s lawyer cross examined him in the Employment Court today.

MILOSEVIC EXTRADITION: Former Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic is now in prison in the Hague where he is to face war crimes charges. New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff has welcomed the extradition of Mr Milosevic.

POWELL IN MIDDLE EAST: United States Secretary of State Colin Powell has ended talks with the Israeli and Palestinian leaders saying a week of complete quiet is needed to move to the next stage of the cease-fire process.

MICROSOFT CASE: An Appeals Court in the United States has overturned an order that Microsoft be broken into two companies, but upheld the conclusion that the company abused its power. A district court judge ordered the break-up after Microsoft was found to have abused anti-trust laws.

KNIFING: Hawkes Bay Regional Hospital says a 15-year-old boy admitted with serious knife injuries is now out of surgery and in intensive care.

DANNEVIRKE BURGLARIES: A huge drop in the number of burglaries in Dannevirke is being partly being attributed to a halving in the town’s unemployment rate.

STRIP SEARCH: The Lawyer for the family of an Auckland high school student who was strip-searched says it was unacceptable that the search took place without informing the boy of his rights and without the parents being contacted. He is considering referring the case to the Police Complaints Authority and the Commissioner for Children.

SAFER CARS: The Government is proposing to make cars safer in a bid to cut the road toll.

CLIMATE CHANGE: A senior climate scientist says New Zealand needs to start planning for a future where there is more rain in some and other areas are drier. He says there’s likely to be more rain and flooding in the West and more droughts in the East.

FOREIGN POLICY SCHOOL: The relationship between Australia and New Zealand will come under close scrutiny in an Otago University Foreign policy school beginning in Dunedin tonight.

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