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National Radio Midday Report

11:1 Verdicts – Home Care – Prison Strikes – G8 Police Disciplined – Wage Increase – Christine Rankin - Doctor Appeals – Fiji Murders – Race Relations Conference – General Sentenced – Bosnian Arrests - Meningitis

11:1 VERDICTS: Major changes to the way jury trials are run are on the way, with the most controversial change being a move to 11:1 majority verdicts. Justice Minister Phil Goff announced proposed changes to legislation this morning. In another proposed major change, courts may be able to order trial by judge alone, but this will not apply in cases of murder, sex crimes or violence.

HOME CARE: A Human Rights Commission ruling has opened the way for families to be the official paid caregivers of their intellectually disabled family members in the home. IHC has said in the past that Government policy precludes them from funding parents to be paid carers, but the Commission found this breaches the Human Rights Act.

PRISON STRIKES: Corrections Minister Matt Robson and State Services Minister jointly assured public that prisons will be secure if prison officers’ industrial action goes ahead next week.

AIR NZ:National Leader Jenny Shipley says New Zealand’s reputation is being harmed by Government delay on deciding whether the cap on for ownership of Air NZ should be lifted.

G8 POLICE DISCIPLINED: The Italian Government has ordered transfers for the most senior police officers responsible for security during the G8 meeting in Genoa. The Deputy Police Chief in charge of security, the head of Italy’s anti terrorist squad and the local police superintendent in Genoa have been disciplined and reassigned.

WAGE INCREASE: Wage rates are continuing to grow according to Labour Cost Index figures released by Statistics NZ today.

CHRISTINE RANKIN: Christine Rankin is yet to decide what if any action she will take after losing her $1.2 million employment grievance case. The Crown has yet to say whether it will seek court costs from Mrs Rankin.

DOCTOR APPEALS: Warren Chan, an Auckland doctor who has been working as a cosmetic surgeon, is appealing against a suspension and a fine in the Auckland District Court.

FIJI MURDERS: The Fijian man charged with the double murder of John Scott and Gregory Scrivener made brief appearance at the Suva Magistrates Court today.

RACE RELATIONS CONFERENCE: US Secretary of State Colin Powell says the Bush Administration is not threatening to boycott the UN race relations conference in Durban, South Africa, a week after a senior official threatened the US may stay away from the conference.

GENERAL SENTENCED: The International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague has found former Bosnian Serb General Radislav Kurstich guilty of genocide. 53-year-old Kurstich has been sentenced to 46 years in prison.

BOSNIAN ARRESTS: Three retired Bosnian Muslim Army officers including two generals have been arrested and taken to The Hague to face war crimes charges. Local Bosnian police carried out the arrests.

MENINGITIS: The meningitis epidemic is showing no sign of slowing down with new reported cases soaring over the past few weeks.

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