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Politicans’ Perks – Traveller’s Warning – Outback Ordeal – Sri Lanka Attack – Bonn Deal – Avalanche Warning

POLITICIANS’ PERKS: Politicians’ perks are undergoing a revamp. The Auditor General has been investigating MP’s allowances since the Hobbs/Bunkle controversy. The Auditor General advocates just one body governs MPs’ allowances, has called for more transparency, and says too many agencies are involved now. The Investigation has sparked a call from Phillida Bunkle, who says the report vindicates her, to get her old posts back. Winston Peters says the report is a waste of time and is designed to clear Marian Hobbs and Phillida Bunkle.

TRAVELLER’S WARNING: Balclutha woman Joanne McNish is now recovering in a wheelchair after being shot in the stomach and sexually violated in Honduras. She is warning travellers to central America to be vigilant. Her Israeli boyfriend was shot dead.

OUTBACK ORDEAL: Australian detectives swooped on a man they say fits the description of the man who abducted British tourist Joanna Lees and is believed to have killed her boyfriend, Peter Falconio in the Northern Territory’s outback.

SRI LANKA ATTACK: A rebel attack has closed Sri Lanka’s only international airport and cast doubt over the remainder of the Black Caps tour.

WAHID CLINGS: Sacked Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid is refusing to give up tonight, claiming the vote to oust him was illegal. He remains inside Jakarta’s presidential palace, even though his successor has been sworn in. The direction Indonesia takes under new President Megawati will be closely watched here – Indonesia is our fastest growing export market.

BONN DEAL: Early today a deal was sealed in Bonn to limit greenhouse emissions, but it is weaker than the original Kyoto Protocol and doesn’t have the backing of the United States. New Zealand’s part of the deal will see us cut back our emissions to the 1990 level.

AVALANCHE WARRNING: A fresh warning for skiers about the risk of avalanche has gone out. The risk is rated as extreme at Mt Ruapehu, Mt Hutt and Craggy Burns, where an avalanche hit yesterday.

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