Legal Aid Reform - Disquiet this morning at a proposal to set up a public defenders office. That is one of a number of suggestions from Justice Minister Tony Ryall to curb the country’s rising legal aid bill. But defence lawyer Barry Hart says such a move may save money but he fears it would also lead to a reduction in the quality of defence. Mr Hart says public defenders overseas often complain of being under-funded and under-staffed.
WINZ Report Released Today - The State Services Commissioner presents his report on WINZ chief executive Christine Rankin today, but it’s not expected to recommend she lose her job. Labour social welfare spokesperson Steve Maharey hopes the inquiry will demand a greater control will be placed on Ms Rankin and note that her flamboyance style of management is inappropriate. He expects the WINZ boss will get a “stern shake-up”.
Heatwave Death-toll - The death-toll from heat
in the USA has risen to 178. The US has been in the grip of
a heatwave since July 19. In 1995 a similar hot-spell caused
more than 700 deaths in the Chicago region