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Brian Curtins – Cold Snap – Rankin Fallout – Environment Ambassador

BRIAN CURTIS: New Zealand’s most wanted criminal, drug baron Brian Curtis, has been arrested in the Philippines and is on his way home. He’s been on the run for 8 years after escaping from Auckland’s Paremoremo prison. He was serving an 18 year sentence for drug crimes. Word of his recapture is all the talk in police circles. He’d been tracked to the Philippines after being discovered using a false passport in the Netherlands.

COLD SNAP: We’re in for another cold night and a repeat of this morning’s frosts. It’s already down to three degrees C. in Christchurch. Police are warning people not to drive tomorrow morning unless absolutely necessary. This morning, the rush hour was reduced to a standstill in Wellington as the ice caused accidents. There have been two fatalities attributed to icy conditions in the past week. Drivers are advised to decelerate and go easy on the brakes when they encounter ice. Last night the temperature was minus one in Wellington, a 40 year record. An easterly flow is due to cross the North Island in a couple of days, warming things up.

RANKIN FALLOUT: State Services Minister Michael Winteringham admitted he made a “pig’s ear” of some of his responses in the Christine Rankin case, speaking at a Select Committee today. He said he always behaved with integrity. Dame Margaret Beazley’s evidence yesterday, that bullets in the mail and threats of violence go with the territory in the public eye, also created a stir in Select Committees today. Jenny Shipley said Steve Maharey had blatantly used Christine Rankin for his own political gain. It is Christine Rankin’s last day at Work and Income today. Jenny Shipley says the PM should sack Steve Maharey and Mark Prebble.

ENVIRONMENT AMBASSADOR: Sir Peter Blake has become the New Zealand’s first environment ambassador to the United Nations. Blake’s wants to help save the world’s oceans and make documentaries.

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