MMP Referendum – Loan Sharking – Starship Nursing Shortage – Human Cloning – Macedonia – Zimbabwe – Tertiary Fee Freeze – Graham Parry Inquiry – G8 Police Violence
MMP REFERENDUM: The PM says there is little interest among the public in MMP and so there is no need for another referendum. Meanwhile National Leader Jenny Shipley says her party will make MMP an election issue. Helen Clark says the decision not to make any changes is not an anti-democratic issue.
LOAN SHARKING: The Managing Director of Financial Options a loans company from South Auckland is rejecting allegations of loan sharking from Consumer Affairs Minister Jim Anderton. Mr Anderton is standing by his claims however.
STARSHIP NURSING SHORTAGE: Auckland’s Children Hospital says that its staffing shortages are at crisis point and has cancelled elective surgery. The Nurses Society says that Starship is bearing the brunt of a national problem.
HUMAN CLONING: France and Germany have asked the UN to negotiate an international ban on human cloning. The bid comes after scientists announced plans to clone human beings for the first time.
MACEDONIA: Efforts continue to negotiate peace in Macedonia between Macedonian authorities and Albanian rebels. The talks have been having a roller-coaster ride and fighting has broken out again.
ZIMBABWE: White farmers have been arrested in Zimbabwe after trying to protect a farm from occupation by supporters of President Robert Mugabe.
TERTIARY FEE FREEZE: Several universities have already taken up a new offer of part of a $35 million strategic change fund from the government in return for a fee freeze. Earlier universities had rejected the offer.
GRAHAM PARRY INQUIRY: The chair of the Health Select Committee says that its inquiry into Dr Graham Parry’s treatment in Northland will not be a witch hunt.
G8 POLICE VIOLENCE: The head of Italy’s police force has admitted that Italian police used excessive force during the G8 summit in Genoa last month. The violence has left many politicians reluctant to hold international gatherings.