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TV 3 6pm News

HABIBE NOT COMING: Indonesian President BJ Habibe has said he will not be coming to the APEC Leaders meeting in Auckland. His foreign minister Ali Alatas is not expected to come either and there is rumour the Indonesian trade minister who is currently in New Zealand may be withdrawn, leaving no Indonesian representatives at APEC.

CRISIS MEETING: There is a crisis meeting on East Timor tomorrow in Auckland and the British foreign secretary Robin Cook flew in for that today. Madeleine Albright is already in the country. At around 6pm tomight the Prime Minister was in an unscheduled meeting with Robin Cook and was scheduled to meet Albright at 6.20pm.

PROTEST / INTERNATIONAL ACTION: Protests over the handling of the East Timor crisis in Auckland and Christchurch saw solid police turnout today. In Christchurch an Indonesian flag was burnt and in Auckland police filmed protestors. Reports are coming in that the UN is planning to withdraw the remaining half of its staff from East Timor and Australia is advising all nationals to get out of the area.

NZ ACTION: The frigate Te Kaha is on its way to Darwin where it is expected to be involved in possible evacuations of East Timor. The airforce and army are on standby, including armoured cars, a rifle battalion and two hercules aircraft. They are ready to be deployed with 14 days notice but could leave earlier. The primary job of the military would be to protect UN staff and facilities. Indonesia has a regular army of 200,000 troops.

JAKARTA: Students angry at their government protested violently in Jakarta today, clashing with police in riot gear, Noe deaths were reported. Large sections of Dili were burning today and sporadic rifle fire can constantly be heard. Ten thousand East Timorese have become effectively annexed in the Western provinces of East Timor.

KIWI AID: A number of New Zealand aid agencies have set up disaster funds to help the East Timorese.

APEC DELAYS: APEC traffic delays will stretch into Tuesday as about a dozen leaders stay an extra day. Police are advising commuters to stay at home.

CATHEDRAL SQUARE: The square outside Bill Clinton’s hotel in Christchurch is being upgraded and looks like a bomb site for his visit.

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