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New Zealand Herald

Defence Report – Auckland Traffic – Scott Watson Trial – East Timor – Youth Justice – Election Timing – Wages Of Lotto – Derek Fox – Labour Sensitivity

DEFENCE REPORT: The New Zealand Herald leads today with a report that Government defence policies came under sustained attack last night as Opposition parties united around a report advocating a military with fewer but sharper teeth. The final report of a two-year inquiry by Parliament's foreign affairs, defence and trade select committee triggered salvos of press releases between its Government and Opposition members.

AUCKLAND TRAFFIC: Auckland motorists who thought they could put Apec traffic woes behind them on September 13 should think again. More than half the summit delegates are staying an extra night. Apec organisers, conscious of the disruption the gathering will cause, are asking Aucklanders for "a little more patience."

SCOTT WATSON TRIAL: Scott Watson's lawyers began the defence case yesterday, but the trial judge did not approve of what one had to say. Justice Heron twice stopped Mike Antunovic during the lawyer's opening address and told him his remarks were inappropriate. Mr Antunovic had begun by dissecting the crown case and explaining why his client could not have been the man last seen with Olivia Hope and Ben Smart.

EAST TIMOR: It took nearly a quarter of a century to arrive, but when voting day finally came yesterday, hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic East Timorese grabbed the opportunity. "It was amazing coming here this morning. There were hundreds of people walking, some of them barefoot, coming to the station," said United Nations electoral officer Martin Landi in Manatuto, 50km west of the capital, Dili.

YOUTH JUSTICE: Social Services Minister Roger Sowry made a slightly nervous promise yesterday as he looked over the 14 to 15ha South Auckland site he hopes will house some of our worst young offenders. There would be no abscondings from the purpose-built Youth Justice residential centre planned for the Wiri site, he said.

ELECTION TIMING: The Prime Minister last night confirmed that the general election would be held in November. The exact date would be announced by the end of September, Jenny Shipley told Sky's Leighton Smith Live programme.

WAGES OF LOTTO: The Government is starting to talk tougher over the $400,000-plus salary package of Lotteries Commission head David Bale. The State Services Commissioner, Michael Wintringham, will be called in today to see the Acting Minister of State Services, Maurice Williamson, about Mr Bale's pay.

DEREK FOX: Wairoa mayor Derek Fox aims to break the Labour Party's predicted stranglehold on the Maori seats at this year's general election by winning the new east coast seat of Ikaroa-Rawhiti. If he does, he says he will form a new Maori party that will contest all six Maori seats in the next election.

LABOUR SENSITIVITY: The editorial comments on Labour sensitivity towards industrial relations policy.

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