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STORM: Christchurch Floods, Marina, Around The Country , Augie Auer – Ricky Martin Arrives – Dollar Plunges On Fletcher Sale News – Sky City Cleared – Morgan Fahey – Sparrow Death Plan

STORM: CHRISTCHURCH FLOODS: The southerly storm buffeting the country is giving Christchurch a hard time. Winds reached well over 120kmh. Flood victims are evacuated to Cashmere High School. Hundreds of trees are blown over. The storm has been buffeting the city for 12 hours. Sumner flooded too. Waterfalls careering down the Port Hills. The cause is a deep low centered east of Canterbury.

STORM: CHRISTCHURCH MARINA: Worst damage caused at Lytellton marina which has broken up and where lots of boats were sunk. Mayhem in marina. Coastguard has been warning boat owners away from their boats. New owners have only just purchased the marina. Warnings about the marina have proved true. As many as 30 boats were sunk in the end.

STORM: AROUND THE COUNTRY: Cook Strait sailings have been stopped by 6m swells. A life has been lost on the West Coast of a fisherman coming over the Haast river bar.

STORM: AUGIE AUER: The cause is a deep low. This is mostly a coastal storm. High winds have been working their way up the coast. River and stream catchments have received about 78mm of rain. High winds will continue till midnight in Christchurch.

RICKY MARTIN ARRIVES: Ricky Martin arrived in a private jet to no great fanfare for a concert tomorrow night in Auckland at Erricson Stadium. Ricky Martin talk show excerpts.

DOLLAR PLUNGES: The dollar plunged to a record low late today after the Commerce Commission turned down the sale of Fletcher Energy to Shell, announced only 48 hours earlier. Financial markets reacted badly taking half a cent off the dollar down to a new record low. The announcement followed the close of trading on the stock exchange.

SKY CITY CLEARED: Sky City has been cleared of allegations that it covered up thefts in its cafeteria. Winston Peters says the inquiry was a whitewash.

MORGAN FAHEY: Dr Morgan Fahey was formally struck off the medical register today. He is presently serving 6 years for sexual offences against his patients.

SPARROW DEATH PLAN: A plan to poison sparrows on the North Shore is attracting criticism. Sparrow droppings in Takapuna are the problem. The plan was to drug the sparrows and then freeze them to death. Some residents are upset about the final solution. The community board is defending the proposals. Bird lovers are upset. “How long do you keep killing things.”

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