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LAV IIIs – All Black Team – Dirty Local Body Politics – Artificial Heart – Quake – Police Burglar – Schoolgirl Raped – Wellington High School Power Bill – Power Savings

LAV IIIS: The Auditor General has launched an attack on the NZ Defence establishment. The AG does not have the LAV IIIs themselves in his firing line, but rather the Defence Ministry, the Army and the NZ Defence Force for their handling of the purchase. Academic David Dickens is not surprised at the findings. Nor is MP Ron Mark – who is calling for heads to roll. As military men they should be used to being in the firing line, but today they were unwilling to comment publicly. Former Minister Max Bradford says that army people deliberately kept him out of the loop. Bradford is now pushing for an inquiry.

ALL BLACK TEAM: Saturday’s All Black team has been named. Byron Kelleher has the starting half-back jersey, with Andrew Mehrtens outside him. Leon McDonald is a full back. Chris Jack is starting at lock. Jeff Wilson has moved to the wing.

DIRTY LOCAL BODY POLITICS: The Wellington Mayoral race has turned dirty before it has even started. Candidate Merepeka Raukawa-Tait says that revelations that she has convictions for failing to pay tax have come out after 10 years due to someone’s desire to knobble her campaign. Tait owns up to charges of not paying PAYE, and says she did it to try to save her business. Nominations for candidates close at noon on Friday.

ARTIFICIAL HEART: For the first time in history a man with no heart-beat has given a news conference. A patient was too weak for a standard heart transplant but walked to his press conference today. The man has survived now for seven weeks with a completely artificial heart. Drs say his heart is pumping as much blood as a normal heart. Since the operation he has had a 59th birthday. He has suffered recurring setbacks since his operation.

QUAKE: The public’s response to last night’s earthquake has Civil Defence worried. Phone calls around the country jammed up phone lines and as a result Civil Defence found it hard to find out what had happened. Overall there were only 25 reports for minor damage after the quake. Several people also rushed to the beach to look for a Tsunami.

POLICE BURGLAR: A policeman has been charged with breaking into a police station.

SCHOOLGIRL RAPED: A 15-year-old high school student was attacked and raped on her way to school this morning in Mt Albert. After the attack the woman ran to the main road where she found a police officer. Police have warned people to be careful when walking through parks alone.

WELLINGTON HIGH POWER BILL: Wellington High School has seen its monthly power bill triple to $20,000, leading to concerns that cuts to student services will be required. The school is really worried about its next bill which could be much more. Genesis Energy says it is aware of the problem at other schools too. The Ministry of Education says the school can apply for an advance.

POWER SAVINGS: Power savings were above the 10% target for the first time in 11 days yesterday.

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