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Mark Lundy Committed To Trial – Whaling Bribery – Battered Wife Murder Law Changes – Twin Cot Death – Cholesterol Breakthrough – Bomb Hoaxer – OZ Outback Manhunt – G8

MARK LUNDY COMMITED TO TRIAL: Palmerston North man Mark Lundy has been committed for trial for the murders of his wife Christine and daughter Amber. Forensic evidence was presented in court today . The evidence of the police officer in charge of the case was handed up to JPs in written form. There are 142 witnesses expected in the trial. Mark Lundy said he did not want to plead guilty.

WHALING BRIBERY: A stormy row with Japan over whaling intensified today. PM Helen Clark led an attack on Japanese whaling policies, backed up with Overseas Aid funding. The Japanese today denied bribing Carribean nations. Japan has accused Helen Clark of deliberately maligning Japan. Clark says that she is concerned that Japan is encouraging nations to join the IWC with money in order to vote with Japan.

BATTERED WIFE MURDER LAW CHANGES: A Law Commission report is calling for lighter sentences for battered women who kill their partners. Gay Oakes is serving a mandatory life sentence for the murder of her abusive partner. The Law Commission proposal is that lesser sentences ought to be open to judges in battered partner situations. National’s Wayne Mapp is opposed to the change. As is Judith Abblett-Kerr. Women’s refuge says the proposed change is justice.

TWIN COT DEATH: Twins have died of cot death. The case is unusual but not unique.

CHOLESTEROL BREAKTHROUGH: NZ scientists think they have discovered a cholesterol busting ingredient in barley. The ingredient can be easily inserted into bread or almost any food. Scientists at Lincoln University have patented a cheap and efficient way of extracting the useful ingredient from barley.

BOMB HOAXER: A Tauranga man who threatened to blow up the Prime Minister is a crank, the PM says. Police believe the man, who is upset about the end of Skyhawks, also rang Radio Pacific and attacked Margaret Wilson’s electorate office. He has also threatened the BOP Times and police looking for him.

OZ OUTBACK MANHUNT: Australian police have revealed a bag was placed over the head of a victim of an outback kidnapping during an re-enactment of the crime. No clues were found during the re-enactment.

G8: The Russian President has given the leaders of NATO something to think about on the eve of a G8 summit in Genoa. President Vladimir Putin told 500 journalists from around the world that the NATO Alliance should be disbanded, or Russia should be allowed to join. Putin says that NATO is now a political organisation. What had been formed to oppose the Warsaw Pact was no longer needed in a world in which there was no Warsaw Pact any longer. “Why did they bomb Yugoslavia?” Putin said, “was it because they are now a political organisation”. Putin also described his US counterpart George Bush in fond terms, saying he is sentimental.

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