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National Radio Midday Bulletin

East Timor: Foreign Minister Don McKinnon hopes the growing UN presence in East Timor will defuse growing militia attacks in the area. No guarantees can be given for the safety of any New Zealanders in the area.

WATSON TRIAL: More evidence has been given of screams in the Marlborough Sounds area early in the morning Ben Smart and Olivia Smart disappeared. The witness said the scream was from a male.

TAX CUTS: Treasurer Bill English said financial forecasts do not look strong enough to warrant more tax cuts now.

APEC: A business Leader Kerry McDonald at the Auckland APEC meeting has criticised the slowness of reforms on areas such as tariffs while APEC Ministers have continued to congratulate themselves.

PRISONERS PHONE CALLS: Government to spend $1 million to monitor phone calls of prisoners. $600 000 to set up monitoring equipment and $300 000 to use and maintain it.

CHICKEN FACTORY CLOSING: Tegal Foods is closing its Te Horo factory at the cost of 90 jobs. Chickens will continue to be grown in Te Horo but will now be processed in Taranaki. Workers have nine months notice.

AUCKLAND AIRPORT: Auckland City Council is set to delay decision on whether to sell its $300 million dollar share in Auckland Airport.

KURDISH SEPARATISTS: The Kurdish Separatist Movement is threatening to strike Turkish financial targets pending a death sentence for the movements leader Abdullah Ocalan.

IRISH TALKS: Time is fast running out for the Friday Peace Talks. Deadline is 11am tomorrow (New Zealand time). However Jerry Adams of Sein Feinn said good progress is being made.

REBUILDING TIES: Slobodan Milosovich says rebuilding ties with other nations is a priority following the Kosovo crisis. Today a protest march against his government was attended by 3 000 people.

LOCAL CONTENT: New Zealand television has the lowest local content of 10 similar surveyed countries according to a survey by New Zealand on Air.

NAVY GUNS: Northland tourist operators are alarmed at navy plans to test warship weapons at the entrance to the Whangaparoa Harbour, a big game fishing site. The navy says it would only use the firing zone 10 – 14 times per year but local tourist operators are far from impressed.

GE FOOD INFO: One million pamphlets on genetic engineered foods have been distributed to supermarkets and stores claiming that food in New Zealand must be safe to eat. The pamphlets have been distributed and produced by the Grocery Marketers Association who say they want to put out objective information and educate the public.

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