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Timberlands - Politics - Oil Disaster - Stingray - Susan Burdette - Sweetwaters - Court Martial - Nandor and Pot - Strange Plane Stories

BEECH LOGGING STOPPED: Government delivered on first pre-election promises today - an end to Beech logging on the West Coast. First major announcement as government from Pete Hodgson. He says Timberlands has behaved professionally. Environmentalists very pleased "unbelievable joy" says one. Sawmiller and others not so sure. They are concerned about jobs. Buller Council says it will challenge in court. Timberlands will be taking legal advice.

POLITICS - CABINET, F-16s, TAURANGA: Steven Parker Reporting - First Cabinet Meeting: Few old hands there. Pictures of cabinet room. Jim Anderton has never been in the room and asks for directions. National has decided not to apply for a recount in Tauranga. Katherine O'Regan says she wants closure. Labour however has applied for a recount. Meanwhile government could be on a collision course with new US Ambassador who arrives on Wednesday . F16s remain in doubt. New law for tax rises is through and ready to be passed. Q: How difficult to get out of this f16s deal. A: Very strong indication from Helen Clark that we cannot afford these planes. Helen Clark has not said when she will meet the ambassador and she says it looks like there is no penalty clause in the agreement on the planes. Looks like it is going to be bad news for the Americans and it is very likely we will not be buying the F16s.

OIL DISASTER: Oil disaster threatens of French Coast. Massive tanker breaks in two and sinks. Helicopters rescue 21 crew from a liferaft. Friends of the earth have warned that if all oil escapes there could be a disaster - salvage of the oil will begin as soon as weather conditions allow.

STINGRAY: Hawkes bay swimmer paralysed by stingray jab in the leg through his wetsuit. Attacks are rare. Doctors say he is lucky jabs were not deeper. He says he wants to go diving again.

SUSAN BURDETTE: Teina Poura freed today awaiting retrial for the murder of Susan Burdette. Poura was 16 when he admitted to being present at the murder of Burdette. He has served seven years. Recently Malcolm Rewa was tried for the same murder twice. Brother of the victim says that he is happy for their to be a retrial if there are grounds.

SWEETWATERS: Sweetwaters Music Festival fraud charges admitted in court sentencing date set.

COURTMARTIAL: Court-martial of Naval officer for the rape of a female naval rating during a three in the bed incident in South East Asia begins.

NANDOR AND POT: Nandor Tanzsos says he will continue to offer up cannabis as part of his worship as a Rastafarian. Rod Donald is defending his position and says the law is an ass and needs to be changed. Nandor says he doesn't plan to use it while on Parliamentary business . Police Minister George Hawkins says Nandor cannot be treated specially as the law applies to everyone. Police say that if he is caught he will be charged. Nandor says that if he is it will be an interesting court case.

STRANGE PLANE STORIES: Several world champion pilots do aerobatic passes through a hole in a mountain in China. There is a remarkable double plane landing accident involving two small planes. An inflating ramp inflated inside Qantas plane - Sydney paper carries pictures.

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