Child Abuse Conference – Kursk – Mad Cow Disease – Tranz Rail Accident – University Donations – South Pacific Forum – Zimbabwe – Kaitaia Pollution – James Bulger
CHILD ABUSE CONFERENCE: The Social Services Minister says he sees no reason to attend today’s National Party Conference at Parliament on children. Steve Maharey says the government regularly talks to the same agencies that will be at today’s conference organised
KURSK: At least 23 people survived the explosions on the Russian Kursk submarine according to a hand-written note found with the body of one of the dead sailors.
MAD COW DISEASE: An official inquiry into BSE has concluded that the UK government’s handling of the issue was fatally flawed. At least 80 people have contracted the disease.
TRANZ RAIL ACCIDENT: Accident investigators have found that Tranz Rail could have avoided a fatal accident in Southland if it had adopted safety precautions. In retrospect more attention to the recommendations may have helped, the investigator says.
UNIVERSITY DONATIONS: The government is to look at whether donations and gifts to tertiary institutions should be tax deductable.
SOUTH PACIFIC FORUM: Regional security will be high on the agenda at the South Pacific Forum which begins shortly. Fiji, the Solomons, whaling and regional trade are expected to be debated.
ZIMBABWE: Former Zimbabwe PM Ian Smith has reacted with scorn to threats from President Robert Mugabe that he will try Smith for genocide. He says he “welcomes” facing allegations from “that gangster”.
KAITAIA POLLUTION: Timber Company Juken Nissho Kaitaia has presented scientific evidence that claims their timber mill is not emitting toxins it was accused of emitting.
JAMES BULGER: Robert Thompson and John Venables, the killers of toddler James Bulger, could be paroled early next year. Thompson and Venables are now 18 years old and have been in jail since they were 10.