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TODAY'S SCOOPS – photo anon.

What Is Peter Jackson Doing With This Tree?

- Responding to the hints of a couple of US Lord of The Rings websites, Scoop earlier this week informed its star Hobbit paparazzi of a reported sighting of Gandalf’s exploding tree in Upper Hutt. This morning a package arrived back in the mail, and Scoop can reveal today that the information was correct. An Upper Hutt Park is indeed the site of magical goings on. See… Scoop Images: Gandalf’s Two Exploding Trees [1] in the Headlines wire.

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Shipley / Clinton Congratulates New Indonesian President

- Prime Minister Jenny Shipley has extended New Zealand’s congratulations to President Wahid on being elected to office as the fourth President of the Republic of Indonesia. See… New Zealand Congratulates New Indonesian President [1] in the Parliament wire. Bill Clinton has done likewise. See… Statement by the Clinton on Election in Indonesia [2] in the General wire.

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Wegawati Defeated Due To Poor Tactical Grip

- While Asian governments were quick to respond positively to the election of Indonesia's new president, Abdurrahman Wahid, Megawati's loss shows she lacked tactical grip. John Howard reports. See… Megawati's loss shows she lacked tactical grip [1] in the Headlines wire.

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Timor Aid Effort Drives Deeper Into Western Areas:

Scoop, in co-operation with World Vision NZ, brings you the latest report from our correspondent in East Timor, James Addis. World Vision pushed its aid effort further into East Timor's troubled western regions yesterday delivering the first food relief... See… Timor Aid Effort Drives Deeper Into Western Areas... [1] in the Auckland Front Page.

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NEWS FLASH: Another California Quake

- Another 5.1 magnitude earthquake has just rocked the Southern California desert town of Baker - it is not related to last week's 7.1 earthquake. Meanwhile, in the last 24 hours there has been another 4.4 magnitude earthquake in Turkey and a 4.6 in Taiwan.

Irish Eyes: Weather On The Inside

- It is a commonly known fact that it hardly ever rains or hails inside, so when eleven of the top advertising executives sat down over the summer to discuss how to market 'Ireland's last great autumnal weather event of the millenium', they came up with ... See… Irish Eyes: Weather On The Inside [1] in the Headlines wire.

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Hungry Kiwis Government’s Shame

- New research showing that many New Zealanders are suffering the health effects of food poverty, is a damning indictment of the Government's economic policies, says safe food campaigner and Green Party health spokesperson Sue Kedgley. See… Food poverty a damning indictment of Govt policy [1] . Labour’s Steve Maharey says Shipley and Sowry probably won’t even read it. See… Hidden Hunger report exposes Nats' hypocrisy [2] . Both in the Parliament wire.

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Scoop Not Part Of Dumbed Downed Media

- NZ First leader, Winston Peters, decided to play journalist in a speech yesterday and again attacked the media saying it was dumbed-down and will trot out any old rubbish and pass it off as news. John Howard reports. See… Scoop Column: Scoop Not Part Of Dumbed Down Media [1] in the Headlines wire.

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PREFU Political Impact Neutral – Not That Anyone On The Hill Is Saying So

- Treasury, like everybody else, is forecasting a bounce-back in GDP in the second half of 1999. This means that the official election economic position is roughly where everybody thought it was. This hasn’t stopped a firestorm of comment out of the campaigning parties on the numbers. The PREFU – prepared under the Fiscal Responsibility ACT as part of the budgetary process contains the official set of election forecast accounts around which the parties will cost their policies. The political and market impact of the announcement is both expected to be neutral. - For a comprehensive report on today’s announcement and its implications see... Deutsche Bank Research: Pre-election Fiscal Update [1] . The full report is at [2] . - Treasurer Bill English said today the Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update (PREFU) showed the economy was set for solid growth, a view also held by other forecasters. See..Positive outlook in PREFU - solid economic growth [3] - The Treasurer also delivered a speech on the numbers. See... Speech to Wellington Chamber of Commerce - English [4] in the Headlines wire. - Labour deputy Leader Michael Cullen is confident Labour can produce stronger economic results than are forecast in today's Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Update. See... Prefu presents no problems for Labour [5] . - ACT - Fiscal Update Shows Winston Effect [6] - NZ First - Mediocre PREFU bad for National, Worse for Labour [7] - Scrooge English makes way for Miserable Christmas [8] and Record Current Account sign of Fundamental Problem [9] - Alliance - Account Deficit = Interest Rises [10] - United NZ - PREFU Shows Need For Caution [11]

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Fire Service Levy Rise Outrageous – Dunne

- United New Zealand leader, Hon Peter Dunne, has reacted angrily to today’s announcement that Fire Service levies are to be increased. See… Fire Service Levy Increases “Outrageous Insult” [1] in the Parliament wire.

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Drink Drive Ads Working – Williamson

- The drink-driving television advertisments save a huge amount of lives and must be retained as an important road safety initiative, Transport Minister Maurice Williamson said today. See… Drink-Drive Ads Save Lives [1] in the Parliament wire.

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Kiwis Want More Smokefree Air

- A survey commissioned by the Ministry of Health has shown that most New Zealanders want to breathe air free of tobacco smoke. Smokefree schools, workplace cafeterias, shopping centres and restaurants were strongly supported by the majority of respondents. See… New Zealanders want more smokefree air [1] in the Parliament wire.

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ACT Call For Review Of Broadcasting Entitlements

- The ACT Party, which some polls now say is the third party, is requesting a review of the fairness of the broadcasting allocations. See… ACT requests fairer broadcasting allocation [1] in the Parliament wire.

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Manufacturing Neglected – Labour/Greens

- “New Zealand’s already small manufacturing base is shrinking fast as manufacturers and workers pay the price of nine years policy neglect under National,” Labour industry development spokesperson Pete Hodgson said. See… Manufacturing counts the cost of govt neglect [1] . John Luxton's response to the announcement that up to 300 clothing workers will lose their jobs is arrogant and cruel, says Green Party Co-Leader Rod Donald. See… Luxton arrogant, cruel over job losses [2] in the Parliament wire.

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Reduction in ACC Levies Announced

- The amount that earners must pay to cover accidents that happen outside of work will reduce next year, Accident Insurance Minister Murray McCully announced today. See… Reduction In ACC Levies Announced [1] in the Parliament wire.

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Estall Fire Service Saga Nearly Over – Mallard

- The Government is set to remove the final vestiges of former Fire Service Commissioner Roger Estall, Labour internal affairs spokesperson Trevor Mallard said today. See… Estall nightmare nearly over [1] in the Parliament wire.

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NZ Only Country To Support Genetically Engineered Salmon

- New Zealand is the only country in the International Salmon Farmers Association to back genetically engineered salmon, Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said today. See… NZ only country to back GE salmon [1] in the Parliament wire.

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Check Out This Incredibly 'Hip' Website

- The National Party have been criticised for launching a youth web site which does not link itself to National but comments on all the parties – thus giving the appearance of impartiality. The site is called 'no crap' but decide for yourselves. Here are examples from the site... "National - Used to be old, out-of-touch conservatives, in grey suits. Now much younger, more in touch, with fresh ideas; NZ First - The Winston First Party; ACT NZ - Richard Prebble’s crusading freemarketeers; Labour - Used to be much younger, more in touch, with fresh ideas. Now old, out-of-touch lefties, in grey suits." See... [1]

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70 – 80 per cent of Beech Wood Wasted – Leaked Information

- Native Forest Action have been leaked information from three separate West Coast sawmills which have trialed beech milling who say that after processing and dressing beech, between 70 % and 80% of the ancient logs are wasted. See… Sawmill Leaks Confirm 70-80% Of Beech Is Wasted [1] in the Politics wire.

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Roundabout Rabbits Poisoned

- The flock of rabbits living on a large grassy roundabout at the end of the Wellington airport, viewed by thousands every day, have been poisoned by the Wellington Regional Council with RCD.

Animal Remedy Board Prudent On Antibiotic Animal Feed

- The Animal Remedies Board has adopted policy recommendations relating to the use of antibiotics as growth promotants and for prevention of disease in food animals in New Zealand. See… ARB Adopts ‘Prudent’ Approach to Antibiotic Feeds [1] and Animal Remedy Board Policy Decisions [2] in the General wire. Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley said the Animal Remedies Board has this week ignored the advice of an expert panel about antibiotic growth promotants. See… Experts' advice ignored on antibiotic promotants [3] in the Parliament wire.

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Tizard Appalled At Attacks on National / ACT’s Billboards

- Labour Auckland Central MP Judith called on residents in Auckland Central not to damage opponents political hoardings. See… Tizard appalled at attacks on opponents' hoardings [1] in the Parliament wire.

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Bendon Closure A Body Blow – Cullen

- Today's announcement by Bendon is to be deeply regretted as, with unemployment already running at 7 percent in New Zealand, every job is precious,” Labour Deputy Leader Michael Cullen said. See… Bendon closure body blow [1] in the Parliament wire.

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Country Being Let Down By Hopeless Media – Peters

- Today our country is being let down with a dumbed-down media. A media which will trot out any old rubbish and pass it off as news. See… Forget the cost! Feel the Quantity! - Winston [1] in the Parliament wire.

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Greens Say Last-Ditch Effort To Derail GE Food Labelling Looms

- A last-ditch attempt is being made by industry and the Australia New Zealand Food Authority (ANZFA) to derail mandatory labelling of genetically engineered foods, Sue Kedgley, Green Party Health Spokesperson said today. See… Greens tell of last-ditch effort to Labelling [1] in the Parliament wire.

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Top Scoops Headlines

Binoy Kampmark: Rot In The Australian Civil Service

There is no better example of Australia’s politicised public service than its Home Affairs Secretary, Mike Pezzullo. In most other countries, he would have been the ideal conspirator in a coup, a tittletattler in the ranks, and bound to brief against those he did not like. Give him a dagger, and he was bound to use it. More

Ramzy Baroud: The Palestinian Cause Belongs To The World

Once upon a time, the ‘Arab-Israeli Conflict’ was between Arabs & Israelis. Over the course of many years, however, it has been rebranded. The media is now telling us it is a ‘Hamas-Israeli Conflict.’ But what went wrong? Israel simply became too powerful. More


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