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What’s on RNZ News at midday – Nov 26

The National Party is proposing an elite police squad set up modelled on Australia’s Strike Force Raptor Unit to target gang members; and the man who set up the Hepatitis Foundation is appalled by the board chairperson’s extravagant expenses and the time its taken for an investigation to be made public. 

1.The National Party is proposing an elite police squad set up modelled on Australia’s Strike Force Raptor Unit to target gang members. The idea is one of a series of proposals to be outlined in the Opposition party’s law and order discussion documents which is being released this afternoon.

2.The Chief Executive of New Zealand Cricket David White is heading to Hamilton today to personally apologise to English cricketer Jofra Archer. Archer says he was racially abused by a fan while batting during New Zealand’s first test victory at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui yesterday.   

3.The man who set up the Hepatitis Foundation is appalled by the board chairperson’s extravagant expenses and the time its taken for an investigation to be made public. It was  Sandy Milne’s complaint that led to a two-year investigation by Charities Services. It's been more than a year since the regulator completed its report but the findings have been kept secret until now.

4.The Crown has begun its closing argument in the trial of a former Dunedin doctor accused of murder. Venod Skantha denies killing 16-year-old Amber-Rose Rush in February last year. Prosecution closed its case this morning and the defence did not call any evidence.    

5.The serial rapist dubbed the Beast of Blenheim has failed in his latest challenge to his convictions and sentence. Stewart Murray Wilson was sentenced to two years and four months imprisonment for more historical rapes against two women and a young girl.

6.The Chief Executive of the Australian bank Westpac Brian Hartzer will step down amid a money laundering scandal in which the bank facilitated payments from sex offenders to the Philippines. Hartzer will leave the job next week but is to remain on Westpac’s payroll for another 12 months, earning AUD$2.7 million.

7.Pay talks for early childhood teachers have been suspended because they can’t do anything without more Government funding. The Educational Institute and Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand had been negotiating a deal for teachers in about 200 early childhood centres.

8.Local consumers went on something of a shopping spree in the last quarter, making for the strongest retail sales numbers so far this year. Official figures show retail sales volumes which leave out the effect of inflation rose a seasonally adjusted 1.6 percent for the three-months to September from the previous quarter.

9.In the first major gathering of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters since District Council elections, hundreds of people have converged on the Polytechnic University.   

10. Samoa's measles epidemic has claimed the lives of 32 people, a sharp increase on a day ago.All but four of the deaths are children under the age of four.

11.Police are negotiating with two remaining climate justice protesters perched on the mast of an oil ship docked in Timaru.Yesterday eight protesters were arrested for trespass and another six were arrested this morning for the same offence.

12. A new movie museum and prioritising a second Mt Victoria tunnel are topping the agenda for Wellington’s new mayor. In a speech this morning to the Chamber of Commerce , the Mayor Andy Foster outlined his vision for the city over the next three years.

13.Auckland Council is taking its first prosecution against a member of the public for walking on tracks in the Waitākere Ranges that are closed to prevent the spread of kauri dieback disease.The bushwalker is facing three charges after entering a closed track in the ranges west of Auckland three times over the past five months.

14.Conservationists says a resident Auckland seal named Owha is recovering well one month after being spotted with a suspected gunshot wound.

15.About 12,000 cars with faulty Takata alpha airbags wont pass their warrants next year unless their owners get those airbags replaced. 

16.Russia's staging of games at Euro 2020 could be under threat after a World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) committee recommended the country be banned from hosting sports events for four years. Russia could also be banned from next year's Tokyo Olympics - having also been excluded from the 2018 Winter Games - and other major competitions.

17. Two anti-Brexit campaigners have claimed they were pulled over on the M25 and told by police to remove a sticker from their car.Passenger Peter Cook posted a video to Twitter claiming that Essex Police had “bullied” the campaigners into removing a “Bollocks to Brexit” slogan on the motorway near Brentwood on Sunday afternoon.

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