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Boat People – NZ Refuge – Indonesian Camps – Simpson Trial – Fire Bug – Power Crisis

BOAT PEOPLE: The Tampa boat people are heading for a new port of call. Within hours the final passage to land should begin. An Australian troop carrier is preparing to take the human cargo from the Norwegian freighter they’ve been living on for seven days and transport them to Paua New Guinea, then on to Nauru and New Zealand. An Australian Federal Court injunction prevented the transfer earlier today. The injunction was lifted as a humanitarian move – the conditions on the deck of the Tampa are awful. A letter from the 438 mainly Afghani boat people said they couldn’t understand why they were not being regarded as refugees by Australia. Civil liberties groups are still trying to get Australia to take all the refugees.

NZ REFUGE: Preparations to take on the refugees in New Zealand are going on. The Mangare refugee centre is being prepared. PM Helen Clark said the centre would be preferable to a camp in the desert. The cost to the immigration service of the 150 refugees New Zealand is taking on will be $1.35 million. Jenny Shipley says New Zealanders will be shocked if New Zealand takes on refugees regardless of their background.

INDONESIAN CAMPS: Refugees in Indonesian camps still plan illegal trips to Australia, and believe Australia will take them.

SIMPSON TRIAL: Claims that Auckland doctor Christopher Simpson, who is on trial for the murder of his mother Marjorie Simpson, talked about how he would go about killing someone, were heard in court in Auckland today. Dr Simpson admits killing his mother, but is claiming he was insane at the time of the murder.

FIRE BUG: There are fears a fire bug may be striking in South Auckland after a blaze at a high school. Detectives have a long list of suspects.

POWER CRISIS: The threat of blackouts is almost over. The Government is set to call off its power saving campaign next week. Energy Minister Pete Hodgson says another week of power saving should do it. Hydor lake levels are back up, with favourable weather. Mr Hodgson says good luck and good management have gotten us through the power situation.

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