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Train Crashes – Big Southerly – Power Crisis – Tauranga Murder – Murderer Known – Dog Assault – Health Racism – Prince Charles To Marry – Princess Diana Robbed – US Wildfires

TRAIN CRASHES: A report released today says that three train accidents last year were caused by train drivers falling asleep. But the transport investigation office has not blamed the drivers. All the drivers were working for five or six night shifts in a row. Shifts went longer than expected. The drivers suffered from micro sleeps, the report says. Tranz Rail has been told how to fix the problem. The rail firm says they are trying to reduce their accident rates. In a collision with a truck in Southland Tranz Rail wasn’t to blame however.

BIG SOUTHERLY: Some parts of the central North Island are still without power tonight. Big snows enjoyed on Whakapapa today. Families have been relying on tinned food and their pot belly stove. Around 30 homes in one valley near Taihape have been waiting for three days. The power company says it is unusual for this much snow to fall in this area.

POWER CRISIS: The electricity crisis is looking bad. We have to look to the skies says Treasury. If spring rain is below average then we could have a problem. Treasury says that Pukaki and Tekapo are now at their lowest level in 70 years. Energy Minister Pete Hodgson says that 10% savings for ten weeks is what is needed. Yesterday power savings were just 3.7%. Over the week they were just 6.6%.

TAURANGA MURDER: Police investigating the killing of Tauranga Marta Webber have charged a woman.

MURDERER KNOWN: The man who headed a murder inquiry into the death of 21 year old Angela Blackmore says he knows who killed the woman. The mother has not given up hope that the murderer will be charged. Former detective Kevin Burrowes says he thinks the person’s day will come one day. He says the person knows who they are.

DOG ASSAULT: A man who assaulted a policeman police dog Wolf, seriously injuring him, was jailed today.

HEALTH RACISM: Tariana Turia says that many Maori are missing out on health care they are entitled to because of insensitive health professionals. More Maori are dying of heart disease than pakeha, she said in a speech today, but they are getting less heart surgery. A Dr says the bias is not intentional. He says training is helping fix the problem.

PRINCE CHARLES TO MARRY: Britain is abuzz with news that the Queen may give the nod to Prince Charles marrying his mistress Camilla Parker Bowles. The spectator has reported the change of heart of the Queen. The Queen is concerned for the survival of the royal family. Over time the people of the UK have got used to the idea of Charles marrying again. Not everyone is happy with the idea but. The betting is that the ring will come in 2003 but she will not be made Queen.

PRINCESS DIANA ROBBED: The butler of the late Princess Diana has been arrested for stealing personal items from the royal family.

WILDFIRES: Hundreds of wildfires are burning in California and the Western States of the US. 150,000 acres are now ablaze. Homes have been consumed. Hundreds of residents have been evacuated from Lake Tahoe. Helicopters have been dumping water. Hundreds of state prisoners have been asked to help the fight. Fires are mainly caused by lightning strike. Every morning there is a new fire to fight. Already more than 500,000 acres have been consumed.

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