Boat People – Defence Conspiracy – Homicide Investigation – Rafting Fatality – Whale Stranding
BOAT PEOPLE: Australia has sent in commandos to keep asylum seekers from its shores. A Norwegian boat carrying 438 mainly Afghan asylum seekers is just a few km off Christmas Island. The Australian Prime Minister John Howard has reiterated his request that they don’t disembark. The Norwegian captain of the freighter is caught between Australia’s hard line and the boat’s desperate and sick human cargo. Prime Minister Helen Clark says that if a similar human cargo arrived in New Zealand, they would have to be detained.
DEFENCE CONSPIRACY: The Defence Force has started an investigation into claims that the army plotted to seize control of the defence budget. The opposition say they have leaked documents.
HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION: A missing persons case has turned into murder inquiry. Auckland chef Michael Coffin disappeared almost three weeks ago. A forensic examination of his car, which turned up yesterday, has led police to upgrade the missing persons investigation into a homicide investigation.
RAFTING FATALITY: : Three separate investigations are underway into the death of a young medical student on Queenstown’s Shotover River in a rafting accident.
WHALE STRANDING: A rare species of whale has been found washed up on Auckland’s west coast. Only a few pygmy right whales are known to exist. This whale was only a few days old and had no chance of survival without it’s mother.