EAST TIMOR: Casualties – SAS – Australia – Editorial. OTHER NEWS: TV Sport – Smoking Additives – Tainui – Orange Roughy – Pharmac – Winebox – Kiwi - Climate
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EAST TIMOR – CASUALTIES: The public is being warned to prepare for casualties as more than 400 New Zealand troops face possible combat in East Timor from this weekend. Prime Minister Jenny Shipley announced yesterday that an initial force of 420 soldiers, supported by 265 Navy and Air Force staff, would join an Australian-led peacekeeping force based in Darwin.
EAST TIMOR – SAS: Highly trained soldiers of the SAS are
likely to be among the first wave of an Anzac force landing
in East Timor with instructions to "take out" anyone acting
About 40 Special Air Service troops flew to Darwin yesterday to join an advance force of New Zealanders and Australians set to arrive in the territory as early as tomorrow.
EAST TIMOR – AUSTRALIA: Australian
firms are pulling staff out of Indonesia as a wave of
anti-Australian sentiment sweeps the country.
The embassy in Jakarta, Australian businesses and the consulate on Bali have all received threatening telephone calls, including bomb threats.
The embassy has advised Australians "to avoid known problem areas and to exercise care."
EAST TIMOR - EDITORIAL: No country, or at least no
democratic country, goes to war lightly. And we are talking
about war, whatever title the United Nations may prefer for
its armed intervention in East Timor. There is no peace to
keep there. People need to be protected by a considerable
display of military force and the troops have to be prepared
for resistance. That is war by any definition.
Nevertheless, some will choke on the word when Parliament meets today to consider New Zealand's contribution to the United Nations force. There will be euphemisms aplenty for the nasty business of armed combat and situations in which soldiers must kill or be killed.
TV SPORT: The bitter tit-for-tat rugby war between Sky
and TVNZ has seen TV3 winning the right to show free-to-air
coverage next season.
Angry TVNZ bosses say Sky struck a secret deal with TV3 to encourage it to become part of the new Sky digital satellite service, and claim it will mean a huge reduction in the amount of rugby screened.
ADDITIVES: The Heart Foundation has called for an urgent
review of cigarette additives, following an international
report which says licorice, sugar and cocoa are being used
to increase smoking levels.
The report, produced by anti-smoking groups and using some of the tobacco industry's own research, says sweeteners are used to disguise the harsh taste of nicotine and to attract younger smokers.
The Tainui tribe is planning to position itself as an
intellectual powerhouse for Maori development.
Construction of the multimillion-dollar Waikato University College at the former Hopuhopu military camp north of Ngaruawahia is on schedule for completion by December.
ORANGE ROUGHY: A North American natural foods
chain has banned New Zealand orange roughy from its stores,
claiming populations of the fish are plummeting from
The Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society welcomed news of the ban yesterday, but the fishing industry said the largest conservation organisation in the country was being extremist.
PHARMAC: Pharmac is doing a
deal to cut taxpayer spending on a popular type of
antibiotic by 41 per cent.
And in a separate deal, the Government's drug-buying agency has carved 8.5 per cent off taxpayer spending on asthma and respiratory medicines.
WINEBOX: The tax department has decided not to appeal
against the court decision overturning parts of Sir Ronald
Davison's Winebox report.
Inland Revenue's decision is another victory for New Zealand First leader Winston Peters in his eight-year battle to expose the tax practices of companies using legal loopholes to escape paying tax in the 1980s. It also ends years of IRD involvement in Winebox-related litigation before the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Privy Council.
KIWI: Kiwi could be
squeezed out of a proposed prison site at Ngawha unless a
neighbouring farmer sells land allowing their habitat to be
The prison development has raised early concerns about the safety of the local kiwi population, despite plans to have prisoners work on protecting the endangered birds. The 30ha site, 7km from Kaikohe, contains 22ha of kiwi habitat.
CLIMATE: New Zealand's mild winter
should be seen as a sign of global warming, says senior
climate scientist Dr Jim Salinger.
The national average temperature for winter 1999 was 8.7 degrees.
That made it the ninth warmest since reliable records began in the 1860s - and all nine of those winters have