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What’s on RNZ News at midday – Dec 6

The Government is investing up to $9 million in a project that it says will help Southland farmers use their land more sustainably; and the Chief Coroner has launched an inquiry into four deaths linked to the anti-epileptic medication Logem.

1.The police say the Kurow man shot dead by an officer was pointing his gun at them at the time. The man aged in his 60’s was shot once after a confrontation with four police officers at his North Otago home just before midnight.

2.Lake Wanaka has hit an alert level for flooding as more rain drenches the town and surrounding hills. Flood water has yet to hit the main street but residents say it's only a matter of time.     

3.There have now been 63 measles-related deaths in Samoa, with one fatality in the last 24 hours. There were now more than 4,300 measles reported since the outbreak started, including 140 in the last 24 hours, the Government said.

4.The World Health Organisation (WHO) says measles infected nearly 10 million people last year and killed 140,000, most of them children. It says most of the 2018 measles deaths were under fives who have not been vaccinated.

5.The Chief Coroner has launched an inquiry into four deaths linked to the anti-epileptic medication Logem. More than 10,000 patients were forced to switch to the generic form of lamotrigine after PHARMAC pulled funding for two other brands in a bid to save $30m.

6.The impeachment of Donald Trump is set to go ahead with the House of Representatives being asked to draft formal charges against the US President.  

7.A man jailed for selling planes belonging to Sir Peter Jackson without the filmmakers knowledge is appealing against the sentence. Eugene (Gene) DeMarco who was a former production manager at Sir Peter’s company, The Vintage Aviator was sentenced to two-years and five months in jail.     

8.A Russia based hacking group has been charged with masterminding a global banking fraud scheme that netted the gang for the $100m. US Prosecutors charged the two leading members of the group 'Evil Corp' which have been developing and distributing malware which  stole banking credentials from 43 countries.

9.The Government is investing up to $9 million in a project that it says will help Southland farmers use their land more sustainably. Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor today announced the farmer support programme Thriving Southland would receive between $6m and $9m over five years, to help farmers and growers implement changes on farm in a positive way.

10.Striking caregivers at a Lower Hutt retirement village say they are effectively on illegal zero hour contracts and they have asked the Employment Relations Authority to step in urgently. The workers at Woburn Masonic Village have been on the picket line today and have another strike planned next Wednesday.   

11.Bay of Plenty MP is in Ōpōtiki to accept a petition from the community for their only birthing centre to stay open. The District Health Boards says there aren’t enough midwives to keep the Ōpōtiki Primary Maternity Unit running and it will be closed for four months until the end of March. 

12.University of Otago researchers are arguing that residential intervention programmes for women and their children could be a viable alternative to State Care. The newly released study examined the North Island Intervention Programme which women who are 6-12month course of parenting skills to avoid being separated from their children.               

13. A premature newborn who was found buried alive in Northern India has made a full recovery. She was discovered two months ago inside a clay pot about 90cm under ground, it's unclear how she was in there.

14.More than 60 Latino gang members have been arrested in the United States accused of drug trafficking and racketeering. The Department of Justice says about 500 police officers and Federal Agents were involved in the operation.  

15. Many Aucklanders will get free bus rides until Christmas as drivers extend their strike over pay disputes.

16.Wellington Water is urging residents and businesses who are worried about the six month closure of a major arterial route to get in touch. Wallace St in Mount Cook will be closed to through traffic early next year while new water mains are installed before the city can begin work on a massive new water reservoir. 

17.State Highway 5 the Napier Taupo Road has been completely closed all morning following a fatal crash involving a truck and a motorbike.

18.All public activities have been cancelled in a village in Russia’s far North because of an influx of polar bears. 

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