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Christmas Bonus - Politics: Jane Young Live - Christine Rankin - Peter Doone - Russian Elections - Macau Handover - Cricket Victory

CHRISTMAS BONUS: Low income earners and students get a Christmas bonus. Jane Young - The government is cracking a fast pace here. PM arrives in Beehive theatrette armed with good news for students and low income earners. Student loan interest for studying students will disappear from New Years Day. Lots of pomp and ceremony in Parliament during swearing in. Parliament is probably the most diverse Parliament has seen. Dreadlocks in turban style from Nandor. Tariana Turia told to reaffirm her swearing in after she mentioned the Treaty of Waitangi. Prime Minister congratulates Jonathan Hunt on his appointment as speaker.

POLITICS JANE YOUNG LIVE: Jane Young Live: Timetable - tomorrow we have the state opening of Parliament. Wednesday we will have the first question time. Then we will go into urgency to pass some legislation. The speech from the throne tomorrow will be worth watching. Criticism immediately on the minimum wage increases that it will cost jobs. Margaret Wilson says the question is hard to answer. Government is planning to flick off the criticism though.

CHRISTINE RANKIN: Christine Rankin the head of WINZ has kept her job. Rankin met her new Minister Steve Maharey today. Maharey has been highly critical of Rankin. Rankin after the meeting said it was a very productive meeting. Steve Maharey says he will make a fresh start with Rankin.

PETER DOONE: Prime Minister has stepped into the Peter Doone controversy. Police Commissioner Peter Doone is saying nothing about the investigation into his being stopped, and his wife but not breath tested . The PM however has made comments about the police in her press conference today and says the latest incident does not help the police image. A short time ago Peter Doone issued a statement saying he would not say anything till the Police Complaints Authority has completed its investigation.

RUSSIAN ELECTIONS: Neck and neck in the Russian elections between a pro-Kremlin group and the Communists. The campaign has been dirty. Attack ads aimed at Fatherland leader Primakov and Moscow Mayor Lushkov appear to have been effective. State-run television has been running a pro-Kremlim Partisan line. Cynic suggests that just as Russia has quasi capitalism it also has a quasi media and quasi elections.

MACAU: Macau handover. This afternoon the Chinese Army paraded through the streets of Macau.

CRICKET: Chris Cairns bowls the West Indies into oblivion and himself into test history. New Zealand wins First Test by nine wickets. In the second winnings Cairns bowled for 7 wickets for 27. Cairns nearly got a hat-trick too. Dad is very proud. Cairns too is pleased. Even West Indian fans are impressed.


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