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National Radio Midday Bulletin

Equestrian Disappointment – Low Dollar – Oil Prices - Cervical Screening Inquiry – Steel Mill – Fisheries Solution – Singapore Trade Deal – Tramper Search

- EQUESTRIAN DISAPPOINTMENT: The New Zealand equestrian team has been forced to pull out of the team competition at the Sydney Olympics after two horses were ruled unfit to compete. The New Zealanders were placed third after the dressage and cross country and hopeful of at least a bronze medal. The injuries should not affect the New Zealander’s individual efforts, which are still to come. The manager of the team says the team is devastated by the ruling, but accept the horses are unsound and shouldn’t race.

- LOW DOLLAR: The NZ dollar continues to trade at near record lows, below US41c and just under 48 on the Trade Weighted Index, while the US dollar continues to soar. The financial markets have overlooked a $1b improvement in New Zealand’s current account deficit.

- OIL PRICES: Oil protests continue throughout Europe, as crude prices hit a $US35.45 a barrel 10 year high.

- CERVICAL SCREENING INQUIRY: It can now be revealed that the Gisborne Cervical Screening Inquiry was told two months ago that the Health Funding Authority was investigating a Whangarei laboratory’s cervical screening work. This follows the lifting of a suppression order.

A representative of the private medical laboratories says HFA needs to improve the way cervical smears are collected as well as enforcing quality controls on the work done by laboratories, but this will continue to be limited by funding.

- STEEL MILL: The future of Glenbrook Steel Mill south of Auckland looks assured for at least 10 years after its owners announced a $25m upgrade.

- FISHERIES SOLUTION: The Treaty Tribes Coalition has presented the Government with draft legislation containing its solution to allocating fisheries resources to Maori. RNZ political editor Al Morrison says the Government is unlikely to adopt the legislation.

- SINGAPORE TRADE DEAL: The National Party Caucus is meeting today to discuss a possible move to get through the impasse on the Singapore Trade Deal. The party has refused to back the deal because of a clause it says unfairly favours Maori. Labour, who need National support for the deal, are hoping National can vote for the broad concept of the deal without supporting the ofending clause.

- TRAMPER SEARCH: A Police dive squad and over 40 volunteers continue to search for a man missing in Tararua Ranges. They are concentrating on A section of the north bank the Otaki River.

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