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National Radio Midday Report

Rankin Hearings – Auckland Rail – Speight Trial – Race Riots – Croation War Criminals – Macedonia – Pacific Weapons – MS Drugs – West Timor Aid – Probation Workers – Lake Waikaremoana – Frozen Pipes – Silk Air Crash – Harrison Treated

RANKIN HEARINGS: Associate Social Services Minister Ruth Dyson is the final witness at the Christine Rankin hearings at the Employment Court. She told the court this morning that she had been concerned about the list of Work and Income performance failures and the attitude of CEO Christine Rankin. She told the court she didn’t feel that Mrs Rankin or the Department were on top of where the Government wanted it go, but she strongly denied ever having made any personal criticisms of Mrs Rankin.

AUCKLAND RAIL: The Auckland Regional Council believes a new billion dollar rail system won’t solve all Auckland’s transport problems but will go some way towards improving the personal safety of people using trains.

SPEIGHT TRIAL: The committal proceedings involving Fiji coup leader George Speight have been adjourned until Wednesday, to allow the court time to decide whether to do a paper or an oral preliminary inquiry.

RACE RIOTS: There has been a second night of racial violence in the northern England city of Bradford. An Indian restaurant and Asian owned petrol station were attacked.

CROATION WAR CRIMINALS: The Croatian Government has been thrown into crisis after agreeing to turn over indicted war criminals to the United Nations War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague. Four cabinet ministers have resigned, and the five-party coalition Government could collapse.

MACEDONIA: Leaders of Ethnic Albanian political parties in Macedonia have dismissed proposals designed to re-launch peace talks and end a five month long conflict.

PACIFIC WEAPONS: The Government wants United Nations member countries to address what it calls the urgent problem of illegal weapons circulating in the Pacific.

MS DRUGS: Pharmac says there is unlikely to be any extra funding for a drug that helps Multiple Sclerosis sufferers. New patients who meet the criteria are being put on a waiting list because all the funding has been allocated, which the MS society is calling inhumane.

WEST TIMOR AID: United Nations security experts are in West Timor to assess whether it is safe for international aid workers to return.

PROBATION WORKERS: Probation service delegates are meeting in Wellington today to consider a fresh pay offer.

LAKE WAIKAREMOANA: The Department of Conservation is looking at banning boats from Lake Waikaremoana in a bid to control the lake’s introduced weed problem.

FROZEN PIPES: Water supplies are being trucked into the North Canterbury town Hamner Springs for the dozens of residents unable to use showers and toilets because their waster supply is frozen.

SILK AIR CRASH: Further legal actions are pending over the 1990 Silk Air crash that killed all 104 people on board.

HARRISON TREATED: Former Beatle George Harrison is being treated in a Swiss Cancer clinic, after recently undergoing surgery for cancer.

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