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National Radio Midday Report

Bolger’s Bank – Fiji Election – Boat People – Racism Conference – Swimming Warning – Northland Rain – Belfast Violence – Macedonia – West Papua – Coffin Inquiry – Blade Removed – Aid Workers Charged – Truck Crash

BOLGER’S BANK: Former National Prime Minister Jim Bolger is to chair NZ Post’s new bank. Mr Bolger will also take over as chair of NZ Post when Ross Armstrong ends his term next year. Mr Bolger ends his term as New Zealand’s ambassador in Washington in January. The appointment is being called a political move designed to blunt National’s opposition to the bank. Shipley says her party remains opposed to the bank, but is pleased that Mr Bolger has been appointed.

FIJI ELECTION: Fiji’s interim Prime Minister says he will not work under the Labour leader and deposed Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry under any circumstances.

BOAT PEOPLE: The 433 mainly Afghan asylum seekers who had been stranded on a Norwegian freighter off Christmas Island are now on their way to Papua New Guinea. Australia’s Federal Court has yet to rule on the case, and Australia could yet be forced to take on all of the refugees. Meanwhile, security at Australia’s Parliament has been tightened after three prominent MPs received packages containing bullets and detonators.

RACISM CONFERENCE: The hosts, South Africa, are seeking a compromise wording on the Middle East that could save the UN Conference on Racism from failure, after Israel and the United States walked out saying extremists are trying to hijack the conference with anti-Semitic language. New Zealand Race Relations Conciliator Gregory Fortein says constructive work is happening at the conference, despite the walkout.

SWIMMING WARNING: Auckland swimmers are being warned to stay away from North Shore beaches, after heavy rain over the weekend forced sewerage to overflow.

NORTHLAND RAIN: A weather warning is in force for motorists and farmers in Northland as a band of rain crosses the region. The ground is already saturated after weekend rain.

BELFAST VIOLENCE: Violence has resumed in Northern Ireland, with police and soldiers cordoning off a Catholic girls primary school in the Protestant area of Belfast.

MACEDONIA: The Macedonian Parliament has resumed debating reforms aimed at giving more rights to the country’s ethnic Albanian minority.

WEST PAPUA: Two leaders of the separatist movement in the Indonesian province of West Papua say the recently signed Bouganville peace agreement could serve as a model for conflict resolution in the region.

COFFIN INQUIRY: Police investigating the death of Auckland chef Michael Coffin have not ruled out the possibility that there could have been more than one person involved in his killing.

BLADE REMOVED: An Upper Hutt man has had a 6 inch knife blade surgically removed from his chest this morning after he stabbed himself while holding a 2 year old girl hostage during a home invasion incident.

AID WORKERS CHARGED: Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban have officially charged eight foreign aid workers with a number of crimes, including spreading Christianity.

TRUCK CRASH: Traffic on State Highway 1 south of Oamaru is still restricted to one lane after a fatal truck crash this morning.

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