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National Radio Midday Bulletin

Nurses Strike - Alliance Health Policy - Y2k Dialysis - Holiday's Act - Deportation Reprieve - Imports and Exports - Writs Issued - Corruption - Bonnet Warning - Disability Policy - Chechnya - Euro Foodwars - Maori Sovereignty - Energy Drinks - David Thompson

NURSES STRIKE: The first of three rolling two hour strikes has finished at National Women's hospital. The striking workers want a 4% rise over two years - the same as general nursing staff.

ALLIANCE HEALTH POLICY: The Alliance is expected to unveil a fully subsidised GP and prescription services policy in its Health Policy this afternoon.

Y2k DIALYSIS: The Ministry of Health says people with dialysis machines in their houses should be aware of potential Y2k problems. They are being asked to check with their specialists and technicians.

HOLIDAY'S ACT: A comprehensive survey of the Holiday's Act has found just over half want changes. The results showed 51% did not want statutory paid parental leave. For year 2000 most employers were offering special pay rates.

DEPORTATION REPRIEVE: A reprieve may be granted to an Auckland man facing deportation to Fiji. Mr Mohammed Khan runs a spray-painting business and employs several Kiwis. His work permit has run out. But the Minister of Immigration says he may grant him permission to stay after the intervention of Nga Puhi elders into the case.

IMPORTS AND EXPORTS: Cost of imports last month $2.6 billion and exports of $2 billion. The trade deficit for the end to end of September is $2.2 billion. Signs of imports slowing.

WRITS ISSUED: Clerk of the Writs today issued writs to returning officers to conduct the election. The first Leader's debate is tonight. There are 29 parties registered for the election. But candidates can still come forward even though they can no longer get a party name on the party vote list.

CORRUPTION: An international corruption survey says NZ is the third cleanest country in the world with a ranking ahead of Australia, UK and the US.

BONNET WARNING: The police in Levin say some classic sports cars can be dangerous to drivers. Bonnets can suddenly fly up in the face of drivers, they say. In a crash inquest it was found that the clip holding the bonnet down had rusted through. The bonnet blew up and the driver died.. The LTSA say they will examine the accident report.

DISABILITY POLICY: Labour is promising to refocus the delivery of disability services to disabled people. New policy launched today with a plan to hold a strategic review over 15 months.

CHECHNYA: Russian commanders want a rebel leader from Chechnya so badly that they have offered a $1 million reward for him dead or alive. Russian forces are pushing into Grozny.

EURO-FOODWARS: Britain's food dispute with France appears to be deepening. France is continuing to ban British Beef. Britain has responded with an unofficial boycott of French food.

MAORI SOVERIGNTY: A Hui is underway at Waitangi discussing the Confederation of Chiefs of Maori Tribes plan to hold a citizenship ceremony tomorrow. Dover Sammuels and Taio Phillip Field are present.

ENERGY DRINKS: Safety concerns have been raised about the safety of energy drinks at a seminar. The Ministry of Health is reviewing the products claims. The recent death of an Australian woman in connection with an energy drink has focussed attention in Australia.

DAVID THOMPSON: The PM is passing on his condolences to the family of former National cabinet minister David Thompson. The PM says that Thompson was an outstanding NZer in military and then public service. He spent 16 years as a minister.

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