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National Radio Midday report

Hotene Sentenced – Middle East Peace Talks – Heart Surgery – Yugoslavia – Gaenocologist Hearing – Flood Warning – Brash Pay Rise – Terry King Trial – Drugs Policy – Chess Championship – Worker Study – Gene Experiments

- HOTENE SENTENCED: An indefinite prison sentence has been handed down to Taffy Hotene, the man who raped and murdered Kylie Jones in Auckland. He was sentenced to preventive detention and a minimum non-parole period of 18 years. Aaron Stenbeck, partner of the murdered woman, said he was disappointed with the sentence.

- MIDDLE EAST PEACE TALKS: United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan is flying to Israel in a bid to break the impasse between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. He is to meet Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat and plans to meet other leaders in the region. There have been fresh outbreaks of violence in the region this morning. An Israeli Arab has been killed. At least five others have been hit in the divided city of Hebron.

- HEART SURGERY: The Health Funding Authority is about to carry out an audit on heart surgery in Auckland’s Greenlane Hospital. The number of people waiting for elective heart surgery has quadrupled. The general manager of the hospital says he doesn’t know why.

- YUGOSLAVIA: European foreign ministers are expected to lift sanctions on Yugoslavia now that Slobodan Milosevic has been overthrown, and Mr Kostunica has been sworn in as president.

- GAENOCOLOGIST HEARING: The lawyer for a Whangarei gaenocolgist has held up a medical disciplinary hearing by claiming the tribunal is biased against his client, Graham Parry. Mr Parry has been charged with disgraceful conduct for failing to diagnose cervical cancer in one of his patients.

- FLOOD WARNING: Civil Defence and council staff are on alert as rivers rise high in Wairarapa and Wellington Regions following heavy rain.

- BRASH PAY RISE: Reserve Bank governor Don Brash has received a pay increase, though not as big as his last one. It comes after he warned the Reserve Bank could only hold the line on interest rates if the rest of the country showed restraint on wages and prices. His latest increase is 2.7%. He received a 38% salary increase in 1998.

- TERRY KING TRIAL: A Wellington muder trial jury is hearing evidence from the hunter who found the body of murdered contractor Terry Hill.

- DRUGS POLICY: A contoversial zero tolerance for drugs policy unveiled by the British conservative party appears to have backfired. A newspaper reported that senior party figures angry at not being consulted on the issue are preparing to reveal they smoked marijuana in their youth.

- CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP: The first chess championship in five years is underway, pitting champion Gary Kasparov against a 24 year old former pupil. The opening game was drawn in the 16 game competition.

- WORKER STUDY: A study of blue collar workers in Australia has that found deadlines can reduce fatigue.

- GENE EXPERIMENTS: The Australian researchers who produced pig human hybrid cells are abandoning the project and will not apply for a patent.

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