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National Radio Midday Report

Boat People – Afghanistan – Refugee Centre – Fiji Election – East Timor Election – Gates Case – Card Fraudster – Heavier Trucks – Maori Students – Bikie Gangs – Euros – Racism Conference – Macedonia – Lamb Tariffs

BOAT PEOPLE: The fate of the Tampa asylum seekers remains in the balance. An Australian Federal Court injunction blocks the Government’s plans to transfer more than 430 of the mainly Afghan refugees stranded off Christmas Island.

AFGHANISTAN: The Centre for Strategic and International studies in the US says Afghanistan is in a disastrous condition and needs to be reconstructed to stem the steady flow of refugees flooding out of the country.

REFUGEE CENTRE: Britain wants France to close an asylum centre near Calais, saying the centre is not helping Britain to stem the flow of illegal immigrants, with people from the centre trying to cross the channel tunnel.

FIJI ELECTION: Election teams in four centres around Fiji have been counting election ballot results since this morning. An overall result is not expected until mid-week, but results in the first of the seats is expected today.

EAST TIMOR ELECTION: First indications are expected today on how the East Timorese wish to be governed, as first results of their general election come through.

GATES CASE: The judge in the Wellington High Court says the law relating to the case of David Gates, the man who killed Gavin Dash, is not hard but its application is. The central issue is whether he was incapable of knowing whether what he did was morally wrong at the time he killed Mr Dash. Mr Gates, who has admitted the killing, is pleading not guilty to murder on grounds of insanity.

CARD FRAUDSTER: Police in Hamilton have arrested a man alleged to have been travelling around NZ since January using fraudulently obtained credit card numbers.

HEAVIER TRUCKS: More than 300 submissions have been made on whether heavier and longer trucks should be allowed on NZ roads. The LTSA will begin opening submissions today.

MAORI STUDENTS: The performance of Maori Students in South Island schools will cone under greater scrutiny as the result of an agreement between Ngai Tahu and the Education Ministry.

BIKIE GANGS: Police in Western Australia will ask the State Government to give them special powers to crack down on motorcycle gangs after a car bomb killed a former senior police officer and a friend.

EUROS: Distribution has begun in Germany and Belgium of new Euro notes and coins in preparation for the introduction of the new currency.

RACISM CONFERENCE: A members of the American delegation at the UN racism conference says it has been hijacked by extremists. The Israeli delegation has also expressed frustration over what they describe as hate language towards Israel.

MACEDONIAN: Parliament in Macedonia is to resume considering political reform seen as essential to the peace deal with Ethnic Albanian rebels.

LAMB TARIFFS: The US sheep industry is focusing on promoting its own product now that tariffs on NZ and Australian lamb are to be lifted in November.

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