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National Radio Midday Report

Cop Killer Guilty Plea – Train Smash – Student Loans – National Test – East Timor – Indonesia – Clark Defamation – Stagecoach – Maori Development – Osteoporosis – Y2k – Hero – Pakistan – All Black Parade

COP KILLER GUILTY PLEA: The man accused of killing a police officer in May has pleaded guilty to the murder of Murray Stretch. The accused is known as “the rock”. He had three previous assault on police convictions. The Police Commissioner says the guilty plea will spare the families of Murray Stretch from a trial.

TRAIN SMASH: The police are yet to release details on the condition of a train driver in a train crash in Southland. Two investigators are heading to the site to check out black box equipment. Two large cranes are trying to move the trains and a helicopter is standing by to carry the driver to hospital. There are 20 police at the site.

STUDENT LOANS: Government brings forward changes to Student loans scheme. The announcement gives some relief and means many students will pay 5.17% percent rather than 7% interest while studying. It also brings forward the new – “big thing” says Nick Smith – the fact that 50% of compulsory repayments will be used to pay outstanding principal.

NATIONAL TEST: National Test pamphlets distributed to schools are being held pending consideration of how they should be given to parents – the pamphlets “how is your child really doing at school” concern the National Test policy of the Government and were sent out three weeks ago.

EAST TIMOR: A three million field hospital is going to Suai to deploy with Victor Company. The hospital is specially developed for this purpose and is world class.

INDONESIA: B.J. Habibe has withdrawn from the Indonesian Presidential Race. The news boosts chances for Megawati Sukarnoputri.

CLARK DEFAMATION: A defamation action against Helen Clark has been settled in Wellington. Ms Clark’s lawyer read an apology from her. She said she unreservedly apologised to the Surgeon Mr Brownlee.

STAGECOACH: Stagecoach tramways union spokesman says negotiations look promising for a settlement. The union is expecting a response from Stagecoach this afternoon.

MAORI DEVELOPMENT: A major Hui is to get underway in Auckland to work on a “blueprint for Maori development”. Mike Smith and Sir Tipene O’Regan are attending and debating.

OSTEOPOROSIS: A new organisation is being launched to deal with osteoporosis.

Y2K: Y2k readiness commission survey spokesman says he would like more people to get emergency supplies ready for Y2k. 75% having planned or going to plan is high, he says.

HERO: Hero is considering delaying its parade because they cannot afford to lose money. They have 12 months to secure – a big gay fair will be held in

PAKISTAN: Pakistan says the decision of the commonwealth to suspend it is regrettable. A senior spokesman says the new Chief Executive General Musharraf has already announced the framework of a primarily civilian government administration.

ALL BLACK PARADE: All Blacks should be welcomed with open arms and wallet says an Auckland councillor after council approved only a $20,000 expense on any parade for the returning team All Blacks. Another councillor – Victoria Carter - says ratepayers don’t know that the last two big parades cost over $200,000.

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