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The New Zealand Herald

East Timor (extended coverage) - Cheering - APEC Terrorists - Edwards Sentencing - Scott Watson Trial - Leaders Poll - Gulf Park - Parliament Security

EAST TIMOR – LEAD: Hundreds of East Timorese are feared dead after pro-Indonesia militias attacked unarmed refugees and set Dili neighbourhoods ablaze. Independence supporters were decapitated and their heads mounted on sticks lining roads out of Dili, Timorese resistance leaders in Australia have been told, after a second day of rampant violence following East Timor's vote for independence.

EAST TIMOR - EDITORIAL: Two overriding images dominate the East Timor scene. One is of lightly armed, undisciplined thugs using fear and violence to control the streets of the territory's towns; the other is of neighbouring political leaders wringing their hands over what is turning into yet another example of power retention through brutality. A major difference from other similar breakdowns in civilised rule is that this one is occurring in our backyard. Talking to Indonesian leaders seems to be the only response on the international agenda to the killings in East Timor. The United Nations has produced what is almost a form statement in such circumstances.

EAST TIMOR – JAKARTA: Lawyers for jailed resistance leader Xanana Gusmao have objected to sending him back to East Timor unless the Indonesian Government clearly explains why it wants to release him there, the lawyers said yesterday. "I do not want my client to be sent to Dili without a clear explanation from the Government," his lawyer, Hendardi, told journalists.

EAST TIMOR – NZ REACTION: New Zealand is now relying on the United States to flex its immense diplomatic muscle and pressure Indonesia to halt the bloodshed in East Timor. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Don McKinnon, yesterday indicated that international efforts to halt the militia-inspired anarchy in the territory now depended on "big power" involvement.

CHEERING: The next time you urge your favourite team to score, you might be better off saving your breath. New research suggests cheering has little impact on the outcome of a game. While barracking may boost players' speed, it also hinders their coordination, says a report in New Scientist magazine.

APEC TERRORISTS: Nineteen people are being detained in Mt Eden Prison because of fears that they could be terrorists in New Zealand for Apec. An Auckland lawyer claimed yesterday that at least some of the detentions were illegal, but an Immigration Service spokesman, Andrew Lockhart, said until identification was established it was too risky to free them.

EDWARDS SENTENCING: Five members of the Filimoehala family were yesterday jailed for more than 40 years for the "barbaric and unspeakable" death of Angelina Edwards. But outside the High Court at Auckland yesterday, the dead woman's father, Russell Edwards, said they should have got longer.

SCOTT WATSON TRIAL: Prosecutors have acknowledged for the first time that Scott Watson may have returned to his boat alone, but say he must have rejoined the party on shore. The double murder trial in the High Court at Wellington has heard evidence suggesting Watson returned to Blade about 2 am on New Year's Day, 1998, which appeared to conflict with the Crown's case that he was on a 4 am water taxi trip with Olivia Hope and Ben Smart.

LEADERS POLL: Labour leader Helen Clark has kept her narrow lead over Jenny Shipley as preferred Prime Minister. But New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has leaped into third place after his successful Winebox appeal, at the expense of Alliance leader Jim Anderton.

GULF PARK: Conservation Minister Nick Smith is expected to meet Labour Party representatives today in an attempt to refloat the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Bill. Dr Smith said yesterday that he was extremely disappointed at Labour's withdrawal on Sunday of support for the bill.

PARLIAMENT SECURITY: Jumpy security guards closed off Parliament and called police yesterday to track down a non-existent "intruder" in the building. With a state visit by South Korean President Kim Dae-jung just over a week away, Parliament's security manager, Kelvin Nolly, was taking no chances and warned staff by e-mail that "we currently have an intruder in the complex."

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