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Two Matricide Trials – Pop Star Dies – Air New Zealand – National Party Shakeup – Israel – Refugees – Super Lottery Winner - Afghanistan

TWO MATRICIDE TRIALS: Two murder trials. Both of mothers by their sons. Both with insanity defences offered.
AUCKLAND - Christopher Simpson is accused of the murder of his mother. He is accused of first trying to poison his mother, then freeze her, then smother her and then finally succeeding in strangling her with her morphine strap. The defence who does not dispute the facts describes Simpson’s behaviour as bizarre, crying out for an explanation. One of Mrs Simpson’s nurses testified of distressing behaviour from other members of victim Marjorie Simpson’s family.
INVERCARGILL - Meanwhile in Invercargill a jury was told about how Mark Burton killed his mother Paddy. Mark is said to have killed his mother because he thought she and others were sexually interfering with him. Burton was admitted to hospital in February this year. He was released in March and shortly after drove to Queenstown and murdered his mother. Father Trevor Burton said he had warned hospital staff that his son was dangerous. Concluding his evidence Trevor Burton told his son he loved him.

POP STAR DIES: Rising pop star Aaliyah has died in a plane crash with eight others. Her death has sent shockwaves through the music industry. Fans filled her website with goodbye messages today. Aaliyah produced her first album at the age of 15. She was poised for super-stardom thought many.

AIR NEW ZEALAND: Air New Zealand will have to keep circling for at least a week before the government decides what to do. ACT says the decision is a no brainer, just tell the board to issue more shares. But the government will not say yet what it prefers. At a press conference the PM said the government had no desire to become involved in air travel. ACT Leader Richard Prebble says that coalition wrangles are the problem with the Alliance opposed to a Singapore bail out.

NATIONAL PARTY SHAKEUP: The woman referred to as National’s new broom, Party President Michelle Boag, today made clear she wanted to sweep out some dead wood from the party. Boag is not naming her hit list but . Poor performers include Max Bradford, Doug Kidd, Warren Kyd, John Luxton and Bob Simcock. Party Leader Jenny Shipley supports the changes. A new shadow cabinet announcement is expected later this year.

ISRAEL: Israelis and Palestinians suffered a brutal weekend with attacks and counter attacks. Israel dropped several one tonne bombs in the Gaza strip. PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat quoted a proverb when visiting the devastation, saying the wind would not move the mountain.

REFUGEES: Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean is preparing for an influx of refugees.

SUPER LOTTERY WINNER: 46 year old David Edwards has won over $140 million NZ Dollars in a super US lottery. Yesterday he was on welfare.

AFGHANISTAN: In Afghanistan Red Cross officials have been allowed to visit eight Shelter Now aid workers detained for preaching Christianity.

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