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Mark Todd – Magic Mussels – Cancer Inquiry – Business Confidence and Jobs Growth – Goldie Theft – Otira Mystery - Baby Bashing – Abortion Shock – Wellington All Black

MARK TODD: The Sports Minister has explained why Mark Todd will not have his medals stripped. Mallard today put to rest the big Olympic Debate. Mr Mallard says that drug testing will take place between 1 September and 4 October. If he had taken cocaine as alleged by the Sunday Mirror then that would not matter. Mallard justified the Sports Foundation’s decision not to stop funding. Mallard shot back at his colleagues and asked his Parliamentary colleagues to think about the effect on Todd’s family.

MAGIC MUSSELS: The first fine has been handed down to the purveyors of Lyprinol. The Green Mussel extract was marketed as a cancer cure.

CANCER INQUIRY: The Gisborne Cancer Inquiry has requested the files of 61 women with invasive cancer. The information is in the cancer screening registers of the screening programme. A subpeona has now been issued and Eastern Bay of Plenty and Northland data will also be requested. A lawyer representing affected women says they want the study to proceed but would also like their permission to be asked for. The Ministry of Health and the HFA still have to decide whether they are going to give up the information. Late this afternoon a former coordinator of the screening programme said that the Ministy and Department were not committed to the programme.

BUSINESS CONFIDENCE AND JOBS GROWTH: Carter Holt Harvey announced its first significant profit for several years today. The government was prompted today to say that the knockers have got it wrong. NZ is an attractive place to do business, says Michael Cullen. A CHH spokesman says that not everything is good yet. The government also points to falling unemployment and the lowest Maori unemployment since 1988 of 13%, down 5.2%. Employers and businesses are warning still about the impact of the ERB however.

GOLDIE THEFT: A security camera is thought to show a man and a woman who stole a Goldie painting . Another Art Gallery has offered a $5000 reward if the painting is returned. The museum believes that the painting could not be sold. A dealer however says that it could be sold offshore. Many in the art world are worried about the painting. A dedicated phone line has been set up for the case.

OTIRA FIRE: A small fire has created a large whodunnit in Otira. The viaduct café in Otira was destroyed. The key from the village fire engine was also missing.

BABY BASHING: The new Minister Maori Affairs has said he will set up a working party to work on violence against Maori women and children.

ABORTION SHOCK: A Christchurch parent was shocked to find out today that their daughter’s school was involved in organising an abortion for their daughter. School principals ask what is the alternative. The issue arose at Linwood High School. Pupils at Linwood High are backing the school.

WELLINGTON ALL BLACK: Wellingtonians are showing their dark side. Retailers are preparing for the big clash. More than $8 million is expected in the city from the game. The All Blacks looked around town while the Black-bencher Pub prepared final touches to its Todd Blackadder model. There are some small slices of Australian support but they are being drowned out.

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