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National Radio Midday Report

Goldmine Protests – Asylum Seekers – Middle East – Burton Trial – Simpson Trial – Racism Accusation – Card Fraud – Trampers Safe – New Fish – Immigration Lawyers – East Timor Election – Macedonia – Racism Conference

GOLDMINE PROTESTS: Parliament is getting ready for protests over the Reefton goldmine. Barricades and fences have gone up for protests by West Coasters led by local mayors against Environment Minister Sandra Lee’s decision, and a counter demonstration by environmentalists in support of her decision to deny Australian mining company GRD Macraes permission for their plan for a gold mine on conservation land.

ASYLUM SEEKERS: The Australian, Norwegian and Indonesian governments continue to argue over who is responsible for 430 asylum seekers stranded on a freighter near Christmas Island off North Western Australia.

MIDDLE EAST: Thousands of Palestinians have taken to the streets to voice their outrage at an Israeli missile strike that killed the leader of the popular front for the liberation of Palestine in the West Bank town of Ramallah.

BURTON TRIAL: The High Court in Invercargill has heard that blood was spread throughout much of the home where schoolteacher Patricia Burton was stabbed to death. Her son, Mark Burton, is accused of murdering her. Mr Burton has pleaded not guilty of murder on grounds of insanity.

SIMPSON TRIAL: The sister in law of Auckland doctor Christopher Simpson, who is accused of murdering his elderly and terminally ill mother Marjorie Simpson, told the High Court in Auckland that he was not pleasant to be around when he was drunk. Mr Simpson has admitted strangling his mother, but is pleading not guilty, saying he was insane at the time.

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RACISM ACCUSATION: The Chief Human Rights Commissioner is condemning threats of violence against the police who complained about accusations of racism by former commissioner Ella Henry.

CARD FRAUD: Consumers are being warned to take greater care of credit and debit cards, with card fraud being increasingly reported.

TRAMPERS SAFE: Two British trampers missing in Coromandel bush are now giving an account of their ordeal, after being rescued by a helicopter. They went on a 2-hour tramp on Sunday, and spent two nights lost in bush.

NEW FISH: A conservation ranger has found what is believed to be a new species of fish in the Mackenzie Country.

IMMIGRATION LAWYERS: The Law Society is being asked to approve a set of ethical guidelines for immigration lawyers working with immigrants and refugees.

EAST TIMOR ELECTION: The number two in the United Nations mission in East Timor says campaigning leading up to the territory’s first election has been peaceful so far.

MACEDONIA: It has been a day of tragedy and success for the Nato mission in Macedonia, with a British soldier killed by a lump of concrete through his Landrover window, but the first day of arms collection has been successful.

RACISM CONFERENCE: The US Secretary of State Colin Powell is boycotting this week’s United Nations conference on racism in Durban over concerns about what he calls offensive language about Israel.

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