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National Radio Midday Bulletin

Wellington Central – ACT Tax – Nominations Close – Hawaii Shooting – Child Abuse – Mt Eden – Auckland Transport – Nurses Strike – Morgan Fahey – Vector Row – School Mum On Shooting – New Year Ferrys – Dog Attack – Retail Parking Dispute – Northern Ireland – French Resignation – Big Blow

WELLINGTON CENTRAL: Alliance confirms it has pulled out of the Wellington Central electorate. Phillida Bunkle formally made the announcement at 10am. She says it was crucial not to split the vote against Prebble. Jim Anderton says the party was under no pressure. Labour Leader Helen Clark says there has been no deal with the Alliance – “they came to that decision on their own”.

ACT TAX: ACT Leader Richard Prebble has launched Tax policy in Hamilton at the “most notorious” branch of the IRD. Prebble says the tax cuts to a flat tax rate of 20% would be possible.

NOMINATIONS CLOSE: Nominations for candidates in the election close at noon today. The opportunity to withdraw tactically from the ballot has now gone. Any arrangements now will need to be informal. Reporters say Labour may endorse the Greens in

HAWAII SHOOTING: Honolulu shooter kills seven co-workers at Xerox after being fired or dismissed from his job. The shooter has 17 guns. The shooter is now negotiating with police.

CHILD ABUSE: CYPFS says it is surprised at how few cases of child abuse are being reported to them. In reaction Bill Noble says CYPFS is frustrating to deal with. GPs say it is difficult for doctors to report abuse.

MT EDEN HUNGER STRIKE: The Immigration Service says one the 18 hunger strikers at Mt Eden was flown out of the country last night. The rest are into the sixth day of their hunger strike.

AUCKLAND TRANSPORT: Public transport lobby groups say immediate new plans are needed to solve Auckland’s transport problems.

NURSES STRIKE: Nurses at Wairarapa Health are back at work after two days of striking. The hospital had been paralysed by the industrial action. Nurses Organisation says patient safety at the hospital is being compromised by inadequate staffing levels. Another strike due next week.

MORGAN FAHEY: A hearing underway in Christchurch District Court into rape and attempted rape charges against city councillor Dr Morgan Fahey. All details of evidence have been suppressed.

VECTOR ROW: Auckland electricity company Vector cannot pay a dividend till a court challenge has been sorted out. Its owners do not want the dividend paid.

SCHOOL MUM ON SHOOTING: Muritai School will not reveal the disciplinary action taken over the shooting of several students with an airgun.

NEW YEAR FERRYS: TranzRail is cancelling New Years eve sailings to allow staff to celebrate. It is nothing to do with Y2k.

DOG ATTACK: A 14-year-old boy is in Starship hospital after a dog attack.

RETAIL PARKING DISPUTE: Briscoes and Rebel Sports are in the environment court over opening stores without adequate parking facilities. Transit says that the stores are creating a traffic hazard. The companies say the issue has been blown out of proportion.

NORTHERN IRELAND: Northern Ireland peace process adjourned till Monday while US Envoy George Mitchell visits Dublin, London and Bill Clinton.

FRENCH RESIGNATION: French Finance minister has resigned after charges of corruption have been laid against him concerning a $200,000 payment made by an Insurance company.

BIG BLOW: Met Service is warning yachties to secure their boats from expected gale force winds on the East Cape from North Cape to Tauranga. Heavy rain from up to 18 hours is forecast.

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