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Petrol Prices Stocking Filler – SAS Book Decision – Date Rape Verdict – Teachers Name Suppression Lifted – Oz Defence Spendup - Fatal Facial – Dudley Moore

PETROL PRICES STOCKING FILLER: Oil companies are providing an early Christmas present as prices come down. Shell is leading with a 10 cent drop in prices. Other companies came down 6 cents a litre – led by Challenge Petroleum. Shell says that it is taking a punt that the more favourable conditions are going to last. Meanwhile Reserve Bank Governor Don Brash has decided not to put up interest rates – good news for home owners. Brash expects a small rate rise next year. There was sobering news today especially those in residential construction and retail. The opposition pounced on this in Parliament. Finance Minister says the rural boom will reach cities in the medium term.

SAS BOOK DECISION: The Auckland High Court has allowed a NZ soldier who worked for the British SAS to publish his book about patrol Bravo 2 Zero in Iraq. Mike Coburn (not his real name) spent time as an Iraqi POW after the patrol went wrong and has been . The British Ministry of Defence attempted to enforce a confidentiality agreement. Lawyer Warren Templeton says the book will not be published before Christmas. Appeals may be lodged shortly.

DATE RAPE VERDICT: The complainant in Wellington’s date rape trial is defending taking her case to court following a not-guilty verdict today. However she says she respects the verdict of the jury. “There was reasonable doubt.” Friends of accused Glenn William Hooker were ecstatic at the verdict ringing friends from outside court. His lawyer says he is relieved. He has been under strict bail conditions while waiting for his trial.

TEACHER’S NAME SUPPRESSION LIFTED: A 44-year-old teacher with HIV charged with sexual assault offences against pupils at an Auckland school has lost his name suppression. The school where he worked – whose name has also been released - say they are managing the situation. The decision releasing the name was a lengthy one. It has been a balancing act said the judge.

OZ DEFENCE SPENDUP: Australia has announced the biggest defence budget increase in 20 years. 100 new aircraft and three new destroyers are on the shopping list. The announcement comes a day after Alliance Matt Robson questioned the need for NZ’s frigates and fighter aircraft.

FATAL FACIAL: In Christchurch court proceedings have begun in the case of a woman who died as a result of receiving a facial treatment.

DUDLEY MOORE: Actor Dudley Moore has spoken publicly about a debilitating brain disease that has reduced his ability to control his muscles but has left his mind sharp. Moore suffers from PSP a degenerative disease which

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