Latest Bulletin: 8 am Thursday 24 April

Top stories

Reserve Bank expected to raise interest rates

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Householders are being warned to plan for further rises in mortgage rates if, as expected, the Reserve Bank raises its key interest rate again today.

Updated 11 minutes ago

US bank law raises privacy fears

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Attempts by the country's banks to comply with new American tax legislation are raising fears about customers' privacy.

Updated 31 minutes ago

PLO and Hamas announce unity pact

Palestinians demonstrate in the Gaza Strip in support of the new attempt at reconciliation

Rival Palestinian factions PLO and Hamas have announced a reconciliation deal, saying they will seek to form a unity government in the coming weeks.

Updated about 1 hour ago

ANZAC memorials planned nationwide

Dawn services will be held throughout the country followed in many places by civic services.

The spirit of the Anzacs will be alive and well as racing cars take to the track at Pukekohe for the New Zealand round of the Super V8s on Friday.

Morning ReportMidday Report and Checkpoint set the news agenda, and there is news every hour.

Insight and Focus on Politics provide in-depth coverage of current issues.

National News

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UN probes ACC disability policies

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Advocates for people disabled through an accident are celebrating a United Nations committee inquiring into their rights and access to justice under ACC.

Fijian to be sent home for treatment

Nikki Kaye.

Associate Immigration Minister Nikki Kaye has defended her decision not to intervene to allow a Fijian man with kidney failure to stay in New Zealand for treatment.

Robust economy fuels migration boom

New Zealand had a net gain of more than 3800 people in March.

A faster-growing economy is continuing to keep New Zealanders home and attract foreigners, with a net gain of more than 3800 people - the second highest monthly level on record.

Kidnap suspect on run again

Brett Makiri.

A man arrested in Auckland over a kidnapping and assault has escaped police custody.

Apology over prison cell death

A New Zealand prison cell.

The lawyer for the family of a woman who died in jail in 2008 says her children are pleased with an apology from the Department of Corrections and now hope to move on with their lives.

PM's car pelted on visit to state homes

Police keep an eye on protesters in Marenui.

A rock, an egg and a tennis ball were thrown at Prime Minister John Key's car as he left a new state housing development in Napier on Wednesday.

Regional News

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Mayor backs anti-legal highs strategy

Synthetic cannabis and a pipe.

Whangarei mayor Sheryl Mai supports a strategy by local retailers to keep legal highs out of the city.

Rangiora rail link considered

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A commuter rail service between Rangiora and Christchurch is being considered as a way of easing traffic congestion arising from population growth in new areas.

Marquee at airport for busy ski season

The Remarkables skifield is being upgraded.

Tens of thousands of tourists will need to be processed in a tent at Queenstown International Airport this winter as the resort prepares for its busiest ski season in history.

World News

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Duchess of Cornwall's brother dies

Mark Shand was in New York organising fundraising for his conservation charity.

The Duchess of Cornwall's brother Mark Shand has died from a serious head injury sustained in a fall in New York.

More crew from ferry arrested

The search for scores of passengers has entered a second week.

Authorities in South Korea have now arrested 11 crew members from the ferry that sank last week in which hundreds of people are thought to have drowned.

Obama embarks on Asian tour

Japanese farmers porotest against the TPP trade deal at a rally the day before US President Barack Obama visits.

US President Obama is due to arrive in Japan on Wednesday for the start of a week-long tour of Asian countries.

Political News

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National accused over Jones' job move

Shane Jones.

Prime Minister John Key says no one broke Shane Jones' arm to convince him to take up a job with the Foreign Affairs Ministry, and he obviously thinks it is a better option.

Labour vows veteran pension change

David Cunliffe.

Labour leader David Cunliffe says the party would extend the veteran's pension to all war veterans, scrapping the disability requirement, if elected to Government.

Overseer of spy operations appointed

Cheryl Gwyn has been appointed the new overseer of New Zealand's spy operations.

Te Manu Korihi News

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Working party to consider kohanga reo future

Kohanga Reo National Trust HQ in Wellington.

Some submissions made after a hui on kohanga reo are calling on the Te Kohanga Reo National Trust Board to stand down.

Updated about 1 hour ago

Tribe wants a halt on Tuhoe law

Taken by Rosemary Rangitauira 22 March 2013 Wellington

A tribe in the Ohope area of Bay of Plenty wants a freeze put on the Tuhoe Treaty settlement legislation.

Updated about 1 hour ago

NZ First refuses to name tribes

NZ First leader Winston Peters.

New Zealand First is refusing to name the tribes it says have been cut out of Crown settlements at the top of South Island.

Updated about 1 hour ago

Business News

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MacDonald's profits from pies

McDonald's after tax profit was flat at $30 million.

The relaunch of Georgie Pie helped to boost McDonald's sales by nearly 6 per cent last year.

Updated about 1 hour ago

Health insurers set to pay $1 billion

Health insurers will pay out $1 billion this year.

For the first time ever the country's health insurers are set to pay $1 billion in claims this year.

Updated about 1 hour ago

Rebels seek vote on Abano chair

Abano Healthcare's disaffected shareholders are calling for a special meeting to vote on removing Trevor Janes as chairman.

Updated about 1 hour ago

Rural News

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Croppers urged to help a neighbour

Growers are hoping for a window of fine weather to bring their crops in.

Growers in Canterbury are being encouraged to get in touch with their fellow cropping farmers to see if they need help with harvesting as the industry tries to limit crop losses.

Updated about 1 hour ago

Sheep meat volumes down, prices up

Sheep meat prices are up while volume is slightly down.

The latest sheep meat export figures show a rise in lamb prices has offset the smaller volume of the meat exported so far this season.

Updated about 1 hour ago

Final Young Farmer found

The final grand finalist for the Young Farmers national finals has been found.

Updated about 1 hour ago

Royal Tour 2014 News

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Soggy end to royals' New Zealand tour

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Thousands of people braved a wet Wellington day to see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the final appearances of their New Zealand tour.

Prince pays tribute to Canterbury spirit

William and Catherine at Wall of Remembrance.

ROYAL TOUR 2014: The Duke of Cambridge has paid tribute to the resilience of the people of Christchurch and their desire to rebuild the earthquake-hit city.

Royal visit takes in cricket match

The royal couple inspected the 2015 Cricket World Cup trophy.

ROYAL TOUR 2014: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were greeted by enthusiastic well-wishers and played cricket during their tour of Christchurch on Monday morning.