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TV1 6pm News (first segment plus tax cuts)

1. FISCHER RESIGNS - Just hours after he had praised NZ's handling of the APEC Trade Ministers conference, Australian Trade Minister Tim Fischer has resigned al his political and party positions due to a "convergence of political and personal" reasons. He is one of the longest serving Australian politicians and was deputy Prime Minister and leader of the junior coalition partner

2. APEC - Just earlier Tim Fisher was praising Lockwood Smith and others for getting APEC's free trade agenda back on track. At the end of the Trade Ministers conference, 14 countries said they would lift trade tariffs faster and it was agreed to put industrials on the WTO agenda. Ministers say very promising, Lockwood Smith says while it was not the most successful ever Trade Ministers meeting it was an improvement on last year's and was constructive.

3. WTO - A deal may be done on the WTO leadership deadlock, perhaps by the weekend. Australia who supported the Thai candidate has made it clear it wants an agreement reached. Thai candidate says he would be happy with a job share. Mike Moore won't show his hand.

4. WATSON TRIAL - The jury in the Scott Watson murder trial was back in the High Court in Wellington today. Court heard from a friend of the missing couple about the night they disappeared and them not being on the yacht in the morning.

5. CYANIDE SCARE - There was a cyanide scare in Taihape this afternoon after a forklift driver punctured some drums. An area was evacuated before it was cleaned up and the driver was taken to hospital, he is in a comfortable condition.

6. ASBESTOS SCARE - Napier central primary school has been sealed off after asbestos was found on a playing field, it is feared it is elsewhere on the property as well. While it is school holidays, officials say it could take eight weeks to clean up.

7. IRD HEARING - More claims of Inland Revenue staff mistreating people. One bankrupt architect says he lost everything, including his sanity after he was hounded for payments. He says they didn't want to punish him for his mistakes, but execute him.

8. MAORI CD ROM - Schools will soon be getting a new and free way to learn Maori with the release of a CD ROM on Maori culture and language.


TAX CUTS - Treasurer Bill English appeared before a select committee today and said while the economy was doing better than expected, there was not room for large tax cuts. He denied their was a slush fund set aside, but said their was fiscally prudent buffer for future spending. He also said New Zealanders weren't saving enough and that meant people had to go overseas to get investment money.

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