Christmas Island Refugee Crisis – Asylum Seeker Search – Mark Burton Verdict – East Timor Elections – Milosevic – Californian Killer Caught – Dr Graham Parry – Doctor Poaching – Michael Coffin Murder Inquiry
CHRISTMAS ISLAND REFUGEE CRISIS: The PM says NZ could accept some of the 460 asylum seekers on board a Norwegian freighter off Christmas Island. Helen Clark would not be drawn on an exact number. Meanwhile Norway’s ambassador to Australia has arrived on Christmas Island. A spokesman for the shipping company says the situation has been deadlocked.
ASYLUM SEEKER SEARCH: Australian customs have boarded a vessel off Queensland coast looking for asylum seekers. They found none.
MARK BURTON VERDICT: A jury in the High Court in Invercargill found Mark Burton not guilty of the murder of his mother on the grounds of insanity last night. A hospital spokesman says staff were deeply shocked by the tragedy.
EAST TIMOR: Official voting figures for East Timor’s first ever elections will be known shortly. Provisional numbers indicate 93% of the eligible population cast votes. The elections went mostly smoothly. There were some problems however with long queues.
MILOSEVIC: Slobodan Milosevic has made a second appearance before the War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague. He still refuses to accept the validity of the court and says he is being mistreated by the tribunal.
CALIFORNIAN KILLER CAUGHT: A man suspected of going on a killing rampage in California is in custody. The 27-year-old Ukrainian has been on the run for 10 days.
DR GRAHAM PARRY: Whangarei gynaecologist Dr Graham Parry is to face four more disciplinary charges before the Medical Council. His lawyer says none of the charges are nearly as serious as the Colleen Poutsma case.
DOCTOR POACHING: The Health Minister Annette King is contacting officials in the UK to try to stop them poaching our doctors. She is disappointed as Tony Blair had promised not to poach doctors from countries where there were shortages.
MICHAEL COFFIN MURDER INQUIRY: The car belonging to Michael Coffin had its stereo and speakers ripped out and lots of blood stains.