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New Zealand Herald

Air New Zealand Strike – Dying For Faith – East Timor – Hamilton Casino – Six Billion Day (Editorial) – America’s Cup – Liam Holloway – TV3 Poll – Children And TV – Rotorua Murder Trial – Hacker Alert – Santa Parade – Child Murder Trial

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AIR NEW ZEALAND STRIKE: A series of aircraft incidents has left Air New Zealand with 1500 disrupted passengers, including 200 Samoans stranded for days at Auckland airport as flights elsewhere were given priority. The constantly delayed flight to Samoa has angered those affected many of whom were travelling to one of the Pacific Island nation's most important celebrations, White Sunday.

AIR NEW ZEALAND STRIKE: The gloves are off in a contract dispute at Air New Zealand. The Flight and Related Services Association yesterday gave the airline 14 days' notice that its members employed on international flights would not comply with the "airline's rigorous uniform and grooming standards" from October 25.

DYING FOR FAITH: The couple under police investigation for allegedly failing to get proper medical treatment for their cancer-stricken son are devout Christians who believed God was looking after their family. Tovia Laufau, aged 13, died at home on September 7 after suffering for months from a large tumour on his knee.

EAST TIMOR: New Zealand soldiers in East Timor will have their daily allowances boosted, with details of the increase to be announced today. The cabinet yesterday debated an increase after sustaining political flak when it was revealed the existing allowance of $41.60 a day paid to Kiwi personnel is a quarter of what their Australian counterparts get.

HAMILTON CASINO: An up-market $65 million casino complex will open in central Hamilton by 2001. The Casino Control Authority yesterday gave joint venture partners Perry Developments Limited, Sky City Limited and Tainui Development Limited the go-ahead to establish Riverside Casino.

SIX BILLION DAY: The world's sixth billionth person was born yesterday, the United Nations has calculated. But that person is unlikely to consider his or her arrival a lucky event. Statistically, he or she is likely to grow up poor, illiterate and ill-housed, with a life expectancy of about 55 years, says the UN.

SIX BILLION DAY – EDITORIAL: If all goes according to prediction, a baby born somewhere in the world today will bring the planet's population to six billion. The figure has little meaning except that in 1960 there were only half that many, and in 1930 only two billion. The world's population doubled in the first 60 years of the century and has doubled again. Even modest projections of the trend have many wondering how in the next century we will feed everyone? It is hard to share that concern in a country with the contrary problem. When the global population was three billion New Zealand's was three million and growing apace. In the 1950s and into the 1960s New Zealanders greeted their rising population with supreme optimism. There was confidence the country could carry six million people comfortably. Now, as the world reaches six billion, this country is not even approaching six million. For the best part of a generation the population has been static and sometimes, as now, there seem to be more departures than arrivals.

AMERICA’S CUP: The race is on for two new Young Americans - will they arrive before their dads go into battle for the America's Cup? The wives of two team-mates from the Young America challenge are due to have their babies early next week, on the first two days of racing in the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger series.

AMERICA’S CUP: Dennis Conner's work may need a bit of touching up, and Sir Peter Blake could be painting by numbers, but the big guns of world yachting will be lending a hand to the rapidly-developing America's Cup Whaling Wall. American marine artist Wyland, with a little help from his yachtie friends, is painting the two-storey high, 128m-long mural on the western side of the Maritime Museum in the Viaduct Harbour.

AMERICA’S CUP: In the City of Sails, boaties are being asked to stay off the water for the America's Cup. Days before the Louis Vuitton challenger series starts, bureaucrats are urging fans to view the racing from a distance - preferably their couch.

LIAM HOLLOWAY: A non-chemotherapy cancer treatment from the United States is an option being considered for Liam Williams-Holloway, but only if it is needed, says his mother, Trena Williams. She said yesterday that Liam was "doing well and attending kindy." Her comments were made in response to recent media articles about the 4-year-old cancer sufferer from Hawea Flat in Central Otago.

TV3 POLL: The gap between Labour and National has closed to four points, says an opinion poll broadcast last night. The TV3/CM Research poll showed National had gained three points to 36 per cent support, while Labour was up one point to 40 per cent. Labour's partner the Alliance gained two points to 8 per cent, while National's potential coalition ally Act was steady on 7 per cent. New Zealand First lost three points, from 7 per cent to 4 per cent. The Greens went from 2.4 per cent to 2 per cent.

CHILDREN AND TV: Children spend more time in front of the television than in the classroom, says a new campaign to promote safe viewing. By the age of 18 the average child has spent 14,000 hours watching television, and only 12,000 at school, according to an Australian study which New Zealand doctors say would get a similar result here.

ROTORUA MURDER TRIAL - The men accused of murdering Beverly Bouma mocked her husband, Henk, for not seeing them lying in wait near the couple's Reporoa farmhouse. On the opening day of the murder trial, crown prosecutor John McDonald told the High Court at Rotorua that Mrs Bouma was shot in the neck while naked and bound during an aggravated robbery by the four men on November 30 last year.

HACKER ALERT: A hacker has exploited a software bug to leave his calling card and obscenities on the home page of local Internet service provider Worldnet. Concerned Worldnet subscribers noticed the new page when they logged on early yesterday morning. The hacker going by the name of Travis Haymore left fictitious contact details and a colourfully worded message that the company's Web server was insecure.

SANTA PARADE: Auckland City Council is looking to pull back its funding of the Santa Parade as economic realities, commericalism and the spirit of Christmas collide. Not because of a bah humbug attitude, says city attractions committee chairwoman Victoria Carter, but because the parade was one of too many regional events that Auckland City ratepayers pay for.

CHEF COMPETITION: Intense concentration took over as Aiden Callaghan and Rebecca Savage, both aged 22, competed in the Toque d'Or competition for the country's best trainee chefs yesterday. Both are soldiers from the army's Waiouru base - though their hangi-style pork and mio mio dumplings were hardly standard mess hall fare.

MAORI LEADER MOURNED: Maoridom is mourning the death of one its strongest and most controversial women. Hana Te Hemara, formerly Hana Jackson, died at the weekend after a long illness and is now lying in state at her home marae at Waitara.

CHILD MURDER TRIAL: A 20-year-old Putaruru man hurled his infant son across a room because of his grizzling during a rugby match on television, a murder trial in the High Court at Auckland was told yesterday. Matthew Ono Leonard Iorangi is on trial for the murder of Pirimai Simmonds, aged 17 months.

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