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National Radio Midday Report

Boat People – Burton Trial – Air NZ – Macraes Mine – Simpson Trial – Employment Case – East Timor Election – Middle East – Car Bomb – Auckland Authority – Rafting Fatality – Homicide Investigation

BOAT PEOPLE: Australian Prime Minister John Howard says his country’s capacity to accept boat people is at breaking point. He says Australia will do all it can to meet the humanitarian needs of the more than 430 mostly Afghan asylum seekers on a Norwegian ship off Christmas Island. He says they should go back to Indonesia, where they started their journey.

BURTON TRIAL: The High Court in Invercargill has heard that Mark Burton, who is accused of murdering his mother Patricia Burton, has heard that had driven to Queenstown to kill all of his family. Mr Burton, who suffers from schizophrenia and delusions, is pleading not guilty on grounds of insanity.

AIR NZ: Air NZ says it is delaying its announcement on its capital restructuring package, saying it still needs discussion and daily talks continue between the airline and the Government’s negotiators.

MACRAES MINE: Conservationists say they can live with the original smaller scale proposal by Australian mining company GRD Macraes for a gold mine in Reefton, after Conservation Minister Sandra Lee vetoed an extension to their mining plans and the company accepted her ruling.

SIMPSON TRIAL: A High Court jury has heard details about repeated attempts by Auckland doctor Christopher Simpson to kill his elderly and terminally ill mother Marjorie Simpson. He is pleading not guilty on grounds of insanity at the time of the fatal strangling, which he has admitted to.

EMPLOYMENT CASE: Nine former members of the Employment Tribunal have gone to court claiming their jobs and pay were unlawfully taken from them when the Employment Relations Act replaced the Employment Contracts Act.

EAST TIMOR ELECTION: The party that is expected to win the general election in East Timor has made it clear it favours moderate political goals.

MIDDLE EAST: Israeli forces are advancing further into the Bethlehem City area in the West Bank only hours after the US State Dept called for them to withdraw.

CAR BOMB: British security forces in a coastal Northern Ireland town have defused a car bomb planted near an annual street fair.

AUCKLAND AUTHORITY: Debate over the formation of a single super-city local authority in the greater Auckland area has re-opened, with calls for a referendum in the next three years and a suggestion the region should get a slice of tax revenue.

RAFTING FATALITY: Investigators are back at scene of yesterday’s rafting fatality on Queenstown’s Shotover River.

HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION: Police searching for missing Auckland man Michael Coffin now believe they are dealing with a homicide.


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