Checkpoint. 2002-12-05

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Child Youth and Family is resuming its investigation into how it handled allegations of the sexual abuse of Olympia Jetson, in the months before the eleven year old and her half sister Saliel were murdered by their step-father Bruce Howse. The investigation started in April but was delayed to enable Howse's trial to go ahead. Olympia had spoken to friends about Howse abusing her and fears her life was in danger. The sisters were killed last December. The General Manager of Social Work, Verna Smith, told me the department first knew of allegations in August and responded within 24 hours. PREREC144270
Verna Smith. General Manager of Social Work at Child Youth and Family. She says the independent review will be finished in February.
Meanwhile in Masterton, there's widespread relief that Bruce Howse has been found guilty of the sisters' murders. Our reporter Nathan Mills covered the story last December - he returned to Masterton to talk to locals about the verdict. PKGE
[illegible] Sydney now - where bush fires are continuing to rage, leaving one person [illegible], several firefighters injured and forcing hundreds of residents to evacuate their homes. With high temperatures and strong winds forecast, firefighters are braced for the fires to become even more ferocious. The flames have already engulfed at least 20 houses - one victim describes the horror of watching his home being swallowed by fire. CUT A Glenorie resident Sandra Johanssen fled as a huge fireball swept towards her home and a nearby firetruck. CUT
The Sydney suburb of Glenorie is the worst hit by the fires - joining me now from the scene is ABC reporter Michael Vincent. LIVE
There are now more than 60 fires burning through nearly 50 thousand hectares across New South Wales. Our Australia correspondent Eric Frykberg joins me now. LIVE
The police officer heading the investigation into the death of a 23 month old [illegible] Port Chalmers girl says it is one of the country's worst cases of child abuse.
Two women in their 20s and a 41 year old man have been arrested in connection with the death of Iris Davidson - they appeared in court today on 13 charges including manslaughter and wilfully ill-treating a child. All three have been given name suppresssion and remanded on bail. Iris died in Dunedin Hospital in October a day after being admitted with serious injuries. Because of the upcoming court case Detective Senior Sergeant Tony Wakelin won't say what those injuries were. PREREC
Health officials are proposing higher alcohol tax and making it compulsory to put warning messages on bottles about alcohol's links with cancer. It's one of a number of suggestions in a document released today as part of efforts to come up with a strategy to combat cancer's growing toll. Here's our Health Correspondent, Rae Lamb. PKGE
The United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan is calling for calm in East Timor's capital Dili, following a riot in which five people are reported to have died.
Hundreds of people rampaged through the city yesterday, smashing windows and setting fires following a student protest outside government buildings. Kaye Trenbarth manages the Lorisae Hotel which was burnt down in the riots. CUT Kirk McManus runs Dili's main supermarket which was also destroyed in the rioting. CUT
New Zealand's Consul General in East Timor, Susannah Gordon, says the situation is still very confused. PREREC
John Rouw is an Australian NGO worker who'd just arrived at a Dili internet cafe when the riots erupted. PREREC
The United States is upping the stakes in its dispute with Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, while Iraq is accusing UN arms inspectors of being American and Israeli spies helping Washington prepare for war on Baghdad Our Washington correspondent Nina Maria Potts reports. PKGE
The Auckland City Council is at odds with Transit New Zealand over a major [illegible] project designed to ease the central city's notorious traffic [illegible]. Transit wants to spend 105 million dollars to widen the Victoria Park Viaduct, but the Auckland City Council wants a tunnel or a trench road, at nearly treble the cost. Elizabeth Brown reports. PKGE
The state of the country's rail network has come under scrutiny in parliament, with the opposition grilling the government over whether it will have to foot the cost of repairing more than 60-kilometres of aging Auckland rail track it's bought from Tranzrail.
Concerns about continued heatbuckling of tracks and resultant slowing of train services prompted the Transport Minister to summon Tranzrail to the Beehive yesterday to explain itself. Here's our political reporter, Julian Robins. PKGE

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Year 2002

Reference number 144270

Media type AUDIO

Collection Sound Collection

Credits RNZ Collection

Date 05 Dec 2002

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