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Jeffrey Archer Jailed – Fiji Airport Strike – NZ Cricket Team – Snow – Plane Crash Escape – Paragliding Forgery – Rich List

JEFFREY ARCHER: Jeffrey Archer, novelist, MP, Conservative Party official, and now jailbird. Lord and Lady Archer arrived at court in a BMW. The jury delivered four guilty verdicts. Mr Justice Potts told Archer that the charges represented serious counts of perjury, and jailed him for 4.5 years. He left court in a prison van. There was an uncanny similarity between the court case and a play that Archer wrote in which he played the part of a man accused of perjury. In the play however he got off. The Daily Star newspaper is now suing Archer for $2 million pounds, the money paid in a defamation settlement, plus interest.

FIJI AIRPORT STRIKE: Hundreds of people wanting to fly to and from Fiji have been left stranded by a wildcat strike at Nandi Airport of emergency fire crews. English back-packers stranded at Auckland airport are not impressed. Nandi airport reopened late this afternoon. Air New Zealand and Air Pacific have confirmed flights to Fiji this evening.

NZ CRICKET TEAM: The NZ Cricket team is going ahead with its cricket game against India tonight after being evacuated from the Sri-Lankan capital through tear-gassed streets. In 1992 part of an NZ cricket team came home after a suicide bombing near their hotel. Tomorrow the team may leave Colombo. But they were expecting to do so anyway. The team’s security has not been beefed up.

SNOW: The week of unsettled weather is bringing smiles to people in the ski-industry. More than 1.9 metres of fresh snow has fallen in a week, the most snow in a week in living memory. Top to bottom skiing at Turoa is now available, and close to that at Whakapapa. In the South Island a snow fall was badly needed, and it was received overnight, 20cm of it. Snow fell for most of the day at Coronet Peak today too. Getting to the fields proved problematic for some. The weather pattern is expected to last the weekend in the south.

PLANE CRASH ESCAPE: A 28 year old Auckland pilot is lucky to be alive after crash landing her airplane.

PARAGLIDING FORGERY: The owner of a paragliding firm in Christchurch has plead guilty to forging a pilots license.

RICH LIST: There were 19 new-comers in the latest NBR Rich List out today. Doug Meyers remains the country’s richest man with $500 million. Wendy Pye is one of few members of the list willing to talk about it. In order to get in the list you need at least $20 million. Mike Pero is one of the new entrants to the rich list – he runs a mortgage broking business. The total wealth on the rich list exceeds $12.5 billion. Eight of the 19 new entrants either live or spend most of their time overseas. But all the rich list put together wouldn’t cover Microsoft Bill Gates tax bill. Bill Gates is worth NZ$155 billion.

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