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National Radio Midday Report

Dyson Resigns – Prison Condoms – Middle East Violence – Race Relations Office – GM Commission – GE Sheep – Medical Misadventure – Astronauts – Basin Reserve

- DYSON RESIGNS: Labour MP Ruth Dyson has resigned from all of her ministerial positions this morning following a failed breath alcohol test last night. She offered her resignation this morning and Prime Minister Helen Clark accepted it with regret. Ms Dyson was minister for disability issues and associate minister for ACC, health and social services and employment. National Radio Political Editor Al Morrison said the incident will be damaging to the Government.

- PRISON CONDOMS: The AIDS foundation says New Zealand risks being hit by an epidemic if the Dept of Corrections does not accept WHO guidelines that say condoms should be available in prison. The Dept of Corrections says it does not want to be seen as encouraging sex in prison.

MIDDLE EAST VIOLENCE: Violence escalated in the Middle East this morning as Israel launched helicopter attacks on sites owned by Palestinian President Yasser Arafat’s faction in Gaza after warnings of tougher responses to violence.

- RACE RELATIONS OFFICE: The Government is under fire for a proposal to amalgamate the Race Relations Office and the Human Rights Commission. Critics are reading it as an attempt to get rid of Race Relations Conciliator Rajen Prasad, who has been critical of the Government’s handling of Treaty of Waitangi issues recently. A former Race Relations Conciliator says New Zealand has not made enough progress on race relations to merge the office with the Human Rights Commission.

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- GM COMMISSION: The Royal Commission on Genetic Modification has been told that rejecting biotechnology will see a fall in GDP and the loss of tens of thousands of jobs by an economist with Infometrics.

- GE SHEEP: The Environmental Risk Management Authority has approved a field trial of a flock of genetically engineered sheep.

- MEDICAL MISADVENTURE: A report from ACC says botched injections, prescription errors and the misdiagnosis of meningitis and some forms of skin cancer are the most common examples of medical misadventure claims against GPs.

- ASTRONAUTS: Two Russians and an American are to blast off tonight for the international space station. They will be the first to live on the station, blazing a trail for possible missions to other planets.

- BASIN RESERVE: The long term future of Wellington’s Basin Reserve as a test venue remains uncertain despite a contract for the next two Boxing Day tests to be held at the Basin.

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