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The New Zealand Herald

Cancer Levels- Laboratories Named- Walker To Rescue- Imax Safety- Refugee Hunger Strike- Back And Hungry- Pilot Search- Backch@T Canned- Car Search- Murder-Suicide - Boat Tragedy -Pension Fund

For more of these stories, see http://www.nzherald.co.nz

CANCER LEVELS: New Zealanders face exposure to record levels of cancer-causing ultraviolet rays this summer after the discovery of the biggest hole ever seen in the ozone layer. The huge hole, first observed in the mid-1980s, was measured this week at more than 29 million sq km.

- LABORATORIES NAMED: Health officials have finally named laboratories with low reporting rates for potentially serious cervical abnormalities. But they continue to withhold the names of those whose performance has raised concerns.

- WALKER TO RESCUE: Running legend John Walker wants to come to the rescue of New Zealand athletics. In the aftermath of our dismal performance at the Olympics, Walker is chasing one of four seats on the Athletics New Zealand board.

- IMAX SAFETY: Justice Minister Phil Goff wants urgent safety improvements at the Imax cinema complex in Auckland. Mr Goff has taken a personal interest in the issue after 16-year-old Danial Gardner fell to his death inside the building on August 22. The Auckland teenager played for the same rugby team as his own son.

- REFUGEE HUNGER STRIKE: The week-long hunger strike by Chinese refugees turned to chaos in driving rain last night as three collapsed and supporters became frenzied. Ambulance officers pleaded with the strikers in Aotea Square to start taking fluids, saying their situation was becoming dire and would only worsen, as the trio were taken to Auckland Hospital.

- BACK AND HUNGRY: Monique Devereux joined the throng at Auckland Airport to welcome home our Olympic team. New Zealand's Olympic medallists last night defended the performance of their team, scoffing at suggestions that some members were not hungry enough to win medals.

- PILOT SEARCH: The family of a New Zealand helicopter pilot who disappeared in rugged Australian bush six days ago are pleading with rescue services not to give up their search. Searchers now hold grave fears for Wayne Alan Bulmer, formerly of Mt Maunganui, who has been missing since setting out for Canberra from Melbourne with Australian co-pilot and friend Aaron Williams on Wednesday.

- BACKCH@T CANNED: Television New Zealand's decision to can award-winning arts show backch@t has prompted a warning from the Prime Minister that it will have to come up with something better to replace it. The decision to pull the only dedicated arts and media show and replace it with a "broad-appeal" programme next year has been criticised by its host, Bill Ralston, and opposition politicians.

- CAR SEARCH: Police investigating the murder of Palmerston North mother and daughter Christine and Amber Lundy are seeking a further car seen near their house about the time of the killings. Mrs Lundy and her daughter were found bludgeoned to death in a bedroom of their Karamea Cres home on August 30.

- MURDER-SUICIDE: Rosemary Perkin, the 35-year-old Nelson woman found dead along with her three young daughters in their home, was an ordinary woman living an unremarkable life in suburban Stoke. Police believe Mrs Perkin killed her daughters Alice, aged 8, Maria, 6, and 23-month-old Cherie in their beds before killing herself in the basement of their Songer St home some time over the weekend.

- BOAT TRAGEDY: Tim Hubbard was an intelligent, "switched-on guy" who dedicated his life to helping fellow Waiheke Islanders. But one act of foolishness cost him his life. Mr Hubbard and his friend Mark Butler, from Australia, set out from Blackpool in a borrowed 5m open sailing dinghy for a spot of fishing on Sunday without flares, communications or lifejackets which could have saved their lives.

- PENSION FUND: The Government has given the final go-ahead for a huge pension fund, and will set money aside for it regardless of whether Parliament backs it. The cabinet yesterday approved the fund, which will use surpluses to partially pre-fund the rising cost of baby-boomers' pensions over the next 40 years.

All excerpts (c) copyright 2000 The New Zealand Herald

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