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National Radio Midday Report

Weather Mayhem – OCR Unchanged – Lamb Tariffs – Middle East – Fiji Explosives – Suspicious Death – Courtroom Theft – Daylight Savings – Southerner Train – Gym Fire – Sri Lanka – POW Veterans

WEATHER MAYHEM: Today’s Cook Strait ferry sailings have been cancelled because of the bad weather sweeping the country, hitting the central North Island hardest. Swells are up to 9 metres at the entrance to Wellington Harbour. Snow and ice have closed the desert road. Waiuru has had 6 inches of snow, and the army aren’t training outdoors. Farmers are scrambling to get stock undercover. Birds are sheltering where they can. Five North Island Schools have been closed. Ferry passengers have been waiting up to 12 hours to cross the Cook Strait.

OCR UNCHANGED: Reserve Bank Governor Don Brash has ignored calls from business to cut the Official Cash Rate, leaving it unchanged at 5.75 per cent.

LAMB TARIFFS: The meat industry is backing the Government’s decision to allow the US Government more time to remove tariffs on lamb meat imports that were imposed two years ago and were ruled illegal by the WTO.

MIDDLE EAST: Israeli tanks reportedly entered three Palestinian villages near Bethlehem this morning before withdrawing, following the occupation of the town of Jenin.

FIJI EXPLOSIVES: Military in Fiji says a haul of explosives have been siezed just two weeks before the general election is due. One soldier was injured when a device went off and a number of people were taken into custody.

SUSPICIOUS DEATH: Tauranga police investigating the suspicious death of 76-year-old woman Marta Maria Weber say she may have been dead for two weeks before she was found.

COURTROOM THEFT: The Auckland District Court is reviewing security procedures after an exhibit was stolen from a courtroom during the lunch recess of a drugs trial.

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS: Federated Farmers says it wants to see clear evidence that a significant reduction in power would be achieved if daylight savings was brought in early, because early rising dairy farmers would have to get up even earlier.

SOUTHERNER TRAIN: Christchurch Mayor Gary Moore says local councils in the South Island are walking away from a subsidy deal that would see an Australian company operating the Southerner passenger train.

GYM FIRE: The principal of Hamilton’s Fraser High School says anger and fears of retribution against the youths accused of torching a nearly constructed $5 million gym on the weekend have died down.

SRI LANKA: A Sri Lankan cabinet minister has had face to face meetings with Tamil Tiger leaders during a Catholic pilgrimage, the first such meeting for 11 years.

POW VETERANS: More than 80 survivors of World War II Japanese Prisoner Of War camps came together in Wellington today to commemorate Japan’s surrender 56 years ago.

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