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National Radio Midday Report

Drug Test Overturned – SAS Book – Official Cash Rate – US Election – Police Cellphones – Petrol Price Drop – Education Survey – Work & Income Redesign – Timber Job Losses – State Houses – GM Commission – Surgery Delays – Napier Traffic Study

- DRUG TEST OVERTURNED: The former New Zealand Olympic swimmer Trent Bray has won his appeal against the sport’s drug agency. The Court of Appeal found that the Agency’s finding that Mr Bray had used the banned drug Nandrolone can’t stand because of the incorrect handling of the urine sample on which it was based.

- SAS BOOK: A New Zealander who is a former SAS officer has won the right to publish a book about his experiences in the Gulf War, from when he was in the British SAS.

- OFFICIAL CASH RATE: The Reserve Bank has kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 6.5% despite surging inflation. Reserve Bank Governor Don Brash said he expects inflation to be close to 4% next year, but he believes the price rises won’t be widespread.

- US ELECTION: The White House could be thinking the race for the President might already be over. Republican George W. Bush, who has claimed victory, has received his first regular briefing form the CIA, a privilege of the President Elect, although Vice President Al Gore has still refused to concede and remains optimistic he can win the Presidency.

- POLICE CELLPHONES: The Alleged misuse of cellphones by police officers has raised the ire of Police Minister George Hawkins. He says police issue cellphones have been used for private business including calls to sex chat lines.

- PETROL PRICE DROP: Challenge, the country’s smallest petrol retail chain, is dropping petrol prices by 6 cents per litre, although only motorists outside Auckland will notice the difference. Just to hand, Shell has announced it will match that drop.

- EDUCATION SURVEY: New Zealand third form students have turned in an average performance in maths and science in an international survey of 38 countries. The study shows that New Zealand’s ranking has not changed. The study also showed that New Zealand principals are spending about 60% more time dealing with administration than their overseas equivalents.

- WORK & INCOME REDESIGN: Job seekers in different regions are to get new employment opportunities designed to fit their area under a redesigned Department of Work and Income. The Department of Work and Income is giving regions more flexibility to design schemes to fit heir local job markets.

- TIMBER JOB LOSSES: A Christchurch timber company will cut 13 staff when its contract to mill rimu logged on the West Coast runs out at the end of the year.

- STATE HOUSES: The head of Housing New Zealand has confirmed there is an increased demand for state housing following the Government’s income related rents policy.

- GM COMMISSION: Organic food exporters say New Zealand will face trade barriers to its food if it adopts genetic engineering, the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification heard today.

- SURGERY DELAYS: Capital Coast Health in Wellington says some patients can expect delays for surgery despite nurses calling off strike action after accepting Capital Coast Health’s latest pay offer of a 7% pay rise.

- NAPIER TRAFFIC STUDY: A study says Napier’s Marine Parade could be spared half of the traffic noise created by trucks heading for the city’s port. The study puts forward three alternative traffic design options.


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