In brief

Manawatu Standard - - News -

Body on beach

A man’s body was dis­cov­ered on a North­land beach yes­ter­day morn­ing. Mem­bers of the pub­lic found the body at Man­gawhai Heads, south of Whangarei. No other de­tails were avail­able.

Cap­i­tal rail strike to­day

A 24-hour rail­way work­ers’ strike will likely clog Wellington’s road net­work all of to­day. Rail Mar­itime Trans­port Union work­ers an­nounced on Tues­day that they would strike over em­ploy­ment con­di­tions af­ter hit­ting an im­passe with train op­er­a­tors Trans­dev Wellington and Hyundai Rotem. The strik­ers will stop work for 24 hours, start­ing from 2am to­day af­fect­ing all com­muter ser­vices on John­sonville Hutt, Melling, Wairarapa, and Ka¯piti lines. It would be the first in­dus­trial ac­tion since 1994 to af­fect the Wellington rail net­work for longer than two hours. The strike ac­tion comes af­ter Trans­dev and Hyundai Rotem called for the re­moval of long­stand­ing terms and con­di­tions in the work­ers’ col­lec­tive agree­ment.

$50m drug haul

Po­lice have seized $50 mil­lion worth of metham­phetamine in Christchurch, the largest cap­ture of the drugs in the South Is­land. Po­lice said the 49-kilo­gram ship­ment was dis­cov­ered in 40 sep­a­rate pack­ages con­cealed within safety lights. Two men aged 25 and 31 have been ar­rested and ap­peared in court charged with im­port­ing a class A drug, and pos­ses­sion of metham­phetamine for sup­ply.

Rise in Le­gion­naires cases

A Can­ter­bury woman is in an in­duced coma on life sup­port af­ter be­ing struck down by Le­gion­naires dis­ease last week. Jil­lian Wadsworth, 40, was rushed to Christchurch Hos­pi­tal last Thurs­day and was put in an in­duced coma on Fri­day. On Satur­day night she was flown to Auck­land Hos­pi­tal, where she was put on life-sup­port. She is one of 10 Cantabri­ans struck by the dis­ease in the past week with the spike be­ing blamed on a boost in the use of pot­ting mix for spring gar­den­ing. Can­ter­bury med­i­cal of­fi­cer of health Dr Alis­tair Humphrey hoped the spike would be a wake-up call for com­pla­cent gar­den­ers. ‘‘If you do get this ill­ness it can be very se­ri­ous. It can kill you and if it doesn’t kill you some­times you can end up in hos­pi­tal for a very long time.’’

Bag­pip­ing driver nabbed

A driver was warned af­ter he was caught play­ing an in­stru­ment in­stead of keep­ing his hands on the wheel of his car. Of­fi­cers were stunned to spot a per­son play­ing with what ap­peared to be chanter from a set of bag­pipes, while driv­ing in Dunedin yes­ter­day. Act­ing Sergeant Bryce John­son said he spot­ted the man with both hands on the in­stru­ment, rather than on his car’s steer­ing wheel. He was pulled over by po­lice a few hun­dred me­tres down the road. The sheep­ish man said he was a bag­pipe player, but was merely do­ing an ‘‘air guitar’’ ver­sion. A quick search failed to find the chanter. The piper was given an of­fi­cial warn­ing.

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