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National Radio Midday Bulletin

Tax Increases - ACC Select Committee - GDP - Welfare In Oz - Venezuelan Floods - Air Traffic Control - Cargo Plane Crash - Guatemala Plane Crash - Chechnya - Frigates Arrive Home - Indonesia - Sri-Lanka - Curry Powders - Rape Sentencing - Shark Alert

TAX INCREASES: The Finance Minister Michael Cullen says that the tax increases will hit all MPs and ministers. The legislation is expected to pass all stages today. Finance Minister Michael Cullen says the tax increase will bring in $465 million more in revenue. Dr Cullen also warned that IRD was working on anti-avoidance measures. National Bill English replied that the tax was a "tall poppy tax".

ACC SELECT COMMITTEE: A Select Committee considering the ACC changes is hoping to meet today and elect a chair-person.

GDP GROWTH: September GDP Growth 2.2% ahead of most expectations. Statistics NZ says that exports have made a marked jump. Imports continue to rise too.

WELFARE IN OZ: Australia has announced changes to social security entitlements for immigrant NZers. Kiwis wanting welfare in Australia will have to wait two years.

VENEZEULAN FLOODS: The World Bank has offered $300 million in aid. Tens of thousands are homeless. Disaster zone is expected to cleared and turned into a park. Looting is a problem. The flow of bodies to Caracas is continuing and an appeal has been made for more coffins.

AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL: Airways Corporation says that an investigation is underway to find out why the Air Traffic Control system broke down yesterday.

CARGO PLANE CRASH: A Korean Cargo plane has crashed killing its crew.

GUATEMALA PLANE CRASH: Pilot error is being given as the cause of the crash of a Cuban DC10 in Guatemala.

CHECHNYA: Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets President Yeltsin and says that an end to the war is imminent . Defence officials say 100 Russian Soldiers have been killed in last five days. An offensive is expected to begin shortly.

FRIGATES HOME: NZ's frigates Canterbury and Te Kaha arrive back in Auckland for a Christmas break for their crews. Families are pleased to be reunited with their loved ones.

INDONESIA: President Wahid says the UN will not be allowed to try Indonesian military officers. President Wahid said Indonesian courts would deal with the military and that it was a matter of national sovereignty. A few hours earlier Armed Forces Chief General Wiranto failed to turn up to a Human Rights Commission hearing into East Timor - he says he needs more time to prepare.

SRI-LANKA: The Sri-Lankan president has been sworn in for a second term after winning the Presidential election with 51% of the vote.

CURRY POWDERS: Tests of curry powders by the Ministry of Health have found faeces and

RAPE SENTENCING: 14 year sentence given to a man who earlier plead guilty to 13 charges of abuse of his neice. The man's wife was sentenced to 8 years jail.

SHARK ALERT: DOC is keeping an eye on a five metre white-pointer shark which has been seen near Kaikoura.

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