National Radio Midday Bulletin
East Timor: Darwin, Bradford, UN - Broadcasting Policy - Childcare - Alliance Tax Policy - Childcare Subsidies Rethink - Bentley Murder - Burdette Murder Appeal - Petrol Prices - Chechnya - Tower - Plastic Plants
DARWIN: As NZ troops prepare to leave for Darwin the last refugees in Darwin are also leaving. Authorities are now expecting another influx. 1500 refugees have already left for more permanent accommodation near Sydney. 2000 more refugees considered most at risk to militia reprisal are expected soon. NZ Troops remain on 24 hour standby. Korean, France and Phillipine soldiers are arriving in Darwin.
EAST TIMOR - BRADFORD. Minister Max Bradford, Defence Secretary Graham Fortune and Air Vice-Marshal Carey Adamson are to travel to Darwin. Mr Bradford will hold talks with US Defence Secretary William Cohen and Australian Defence Minister John Moore. The PM is considering returning from the South Pacific Forum via Darwin but has not announced her final intentions yet.
EAST TIMOR - UN: The UN Human Rights Commission has voted for an investigation into East Timor human rights abuses. African nations voted in favour with Western nations. Indonesia argued strongly against. "The high-handed intrusive approach could well prove counterproductive and provoke a nationalist backlash", the Indonesian spokesman said. He indicated Indonesia would not cooperate with the inquiry. Following the resolution the UN Secretary General will sort out details of what investigators are sent where in East Timor and when.
BROADCASTING POLICY: Labour Broadcasting policy launched. The third policy in three days on broadcasting. All three are promising a youth radio network - Labour's Michael Cullen says the Nats have stolen the policy describing them as "predators" he says they have taken "the washing off the line". Labour's policy includes a plan to set up task-force to investigate funding options for broadcasting.
CHILDCARE: Fears of sex-abuse accusations have had an impact on the employment of men in early child-care education.
ALLIANCE TAX POLICY: Dr Cullen has not endorsed the Alliance tax policy issued today. Labour will raise tax to 39 cents for earnings over $60,000. Alliance wants to introduce two more higher tax levels at $75,000 and $100,000 respectively. Labour's Dr Cullen says voters will have to choose which they prefer.
CHILDCARE SUBSIDIES RETHINK: The system for paying childcare subsidies is proving a bureaucratic nightmare. The Minister Nick Smith says the new system is an unnecessary burden on parents. The key policy is not going to be changed but we are going to change it so there is the least form filling there can be.
BENTLEY MURDER: The detective leading the Kirsty Bentley case is leaving the inquiry and returning to Christchurch. Bentley's mother says she always knew he would be leaving in October. Two detectives remain on the case in Ashburton.
BURDETTE MURDER APPEAL: An appeal is being held in Auckland into the Susan Burdette murder trial of Teina Poura. The case is being brought in relation to new information which came up in the Malcolm Rewa Burdette murder trial. Poura's conviction was based on a confession that he committed the murder with two others. Rewa - the serial rapist - worked alone.
PETROL PRICES: Shell will raise petrol prices from midnight tonight. Caltex looks likely to follow suit. Prices have increased by 15 cents a litre since July. The crude price looks like it is continuing to rise and strikes in Venezuela are also having an effect.
CHECHNYA: 10s of thousands of Chechens have fled Chechnya. Authorities in neighboring provinces are expecting a massive influx of refugees and have called on the UNHCR to help. Russian forces on the border are building up. So far in the air strikes the main casualties appear to be ordinary citizens.
TOWER: Tower Shares list on the NZSE at $5.63 - less than the listing price of $5.65 - weaker world markets have affected the share price say analysts.
PLASTIC PLANTS: Monsanto announces that it has created GE plants which grow biodegradable plastic. Scientists have produced plastic producing into oil seed rape and cress.