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New Zealand Herald

Poll – East Timor: Dili, NZ Troops – Kingfish – Ansett – Preschool - Big Babies – Maternity Review (Editorial) - Umpire On TV – Kiwi – America’s Cup - Air Traffic Control

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POLL: A Labour-Alliance coalition would govern after the election with a knife-edge majority, the latest New Zealand Herald-DigiPoll survey shows. The Apec hoopla and US President Bill Clinton's visit have helped National to close the gap marginally, but Labour maintains a solid lead with 40.2 per cent support, against 33.8 per cent for National.

EAST TIMOR – DILI: Far out on the eastern tip of Timor, 15 militia heavies were lazing in the tropical dusk when the guys in night goggles appeared from nowhere.
Through the half light, the sight of the visitors and some serious military firepower must, for a moment, have given the militiamen a taste of the terror they had inflicted at will on the local villagers.

EAST TIMOR – NZ TROOPS: A decision to increase New Zealand's commitment of troops in East Timor to a full battalion of 800 could be made as early as tomorrow, says Defence Minister Max Bradford.
"We've approved it in principle. Changing it to fact will be a joint ministerial decision," he said last night after talks in Darwin with Australian Defence Minister John Moore and US Secretary of Defence William Cohen.

KINGFISH: The fighting spirit of kingfish may not be enough to prevent a population dive in Northland waters.
Charter boat operators have in recent months reported a sudden drop in kingfish numbers along Northland's east coast, mainly in the open ocean north of Mangawhai.

ANSETT: Ansett New Zealand and its pilots head back to court today for the latest battle in their industrial war.
Ansett says it will defend itself against pilot accusations of being threatened that they will never work for any airline again and have been offered inducements to sign the firm's contentious new contract.

PRESCHOOL: Preschool children may be worried they are too fat and one in five could be fearful, depressed, aggressive or have low self-esteem.
Children are aware of body image from an early age and their ideas could be unhealthy, Heart Foundation dietitian Megan Grant has told an early-childhood convention in Nelson.

BIG BABIES: Bigger babies are more likely to develop asthma and other allergies, a study into childhood illness reveals.
Researchers at the Wellington Asthma Research Group found that babies born with larger heads and longer bodies were most at risk, adding to growing evidence of a link between birth size and allergies.

MATERNITY REVIEW: Maggie Barry says her ride through the maternity system was smooth - but during her pregnancy she met many women who were not so lucky.
The television gardening guru chaired the National Health Committee review, which yesterday released its recommendations to the Government.

MATERNITY REVIEW – EDITORIAL: Rather like a difficult pregnancy, the problems of competitive maternity care seem to have been solved by the passage of time. The long-awaited review by Maggie Barry's committee yesterday delivered a report that outlines a few concerns, but overall the system now dominated by midwives seems a picture of health. The committee's surveys find that eight or nine mothers out of 10 are satisfied with the services they have received - not the impression professionals were giving a year or two ago.

UMPIRE ON TV: Livewire cricket umpire Brent "Billy" Bowden will pop up on New Zealand television screens soon as an extra on Coronation Street.
The international one-day umpire, renowned for his eccentric signals, will be seen drinking a cup of tea in the soap opera's cafe and supping pints at the famous Rovers Return.

KIWI: Bay of Plenty conservation officers say a newborn kiwi chick would be the ultimate reward after the discovery of a previously unknown population.
Department of Conservation field officer Andy Blick and contractor Mark Jefferson have spent the past six months tracking kiwi in Whirinaki Forest, about 75km south of Rotorua.

AMERICA’S CUP: Fears that the potentially lethal mix of alcohol and water could bring tragedy to the America's Cup regatta have prompted authorities to launch a concerted safety campaign.
Called Safe Summer 2000, the campaign - launched in Auckland yesterday - aims to ensure safety at sea and on the roads during the regatta, which starts with the Louis Vuitton Cup (for challengers) on October 18.

HELICOPTER CRASH: A man who watched his hunting partner crash in a helicopter walked for five hours through rugged bush to raise the alarm.
Lawrence Rata, aged 45, of Waimana was killed when his Robinson R22 helicopter went down in a riverbed in the Raukumara State Forest Park, about 100km east of Whakatane, just after 8 am yesterday.

AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL: A high-tech New Zealand-developed air control system is at the heart of a bid to win a $200 million contract to revolutionise travel across some of the busiest aircraft routes in the world.
The air traffic control system, now in use in Auckland, is claimed to help save airlines millions of dollars each year by enabling them to reduce fuel consumption and carry more passengers and cargo.

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