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National Radio Midday Bulletin

1. ALLIANCE - The Alliance will be the first political party off the blocks when it launches its election campaign in Auckland this afternoon. It will be then multi-cast to eight centres.

2. EVACUATION - US Authorities have put a complete news black out on the doctor at the centre of an emergency evacuation from the South Pole.

3. EAST TIMOR - Humanitarian agencies in East Timor say continuing clashes will make it difficult to persuade refugees to return to their homes.

4. RUSSIA - Russian forces are said to be moving closer to gaining the upper hand in the war against Islamic rebels in Chechnya

5. EUROPE - The European Union have agreed to joint rules on dealing with international crime such as trafficking in humans, money laundering and other matters.

6. EARTHQUAKE - California has been hit by it worst earthquake in seven years. There have been no reports of serious injuries.

7. WHEELCHAIR - Two New Zealanders have one gold medals in the world wheelchair competitions in Christchurch.

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