Today in politics: Saturday, July 7

Last updated 05:00 07/07/2012

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Politics

Schadenfreude rules as Labour MPs take shots at National's leadership aspirants Navy careers promo used image of woman alleging sexual assault Bill English is the overwhelming favourite to replace John Key in our new poll Judith Collins, Bill English and Jonathan Coleman are in the race to be Prime Minister What will happen to Key's security detail? New Labour candidate for Rangitikei with Deborah Russell hoping to head north Central Otago mayor breaks down barriers over coffee National MP Nikki Kaye returning to 'full duties' after breast cancer treatment Live: Prime Minister John Key has resigned. What happens next? Bill English laments low productivity, urges NZ to focus on 'human capital'

SNUB COULD MEAN DRY DOCK FOR US SAILORS

The United States' snub of New Zealand warships during naval exercises in Hawaii could have unintended consequences for its sailors.

The New Zealanders, refused entry to Pearl Harbour to underscore the long-standing US objection to our anti-nuclear legislation, were forced to dock at a civilian port downtown – just a hop, skip and a jump from Honolulu's bars and restaurants.

As Victoria University's Centre for Strategic Studies director Rob Ayson told Time: "By the time everyone else gets there, the New Zealanders will have drunk all the beer."

CHAUVEL JUMPS GUN ON ALCOHOL LAW REFORMS

There are rumbles within Labour over MP Charles Chauvel promoting a minimum pricing regime for upcoming alcohol law changes as party policy.

TVNZ reported Labour had the numbers to pass the minimum pricing regime but it appears Mr Chauvel may not have all his colleagues on board, let alone the crucial votes of United Future and ACT.

That is because Labour is treating the changes as a conscience vote and several of its MPs oppose minimum pricing.

BID TO STOP DELAYS TO BABIES' IMMUNISATION

Babies will now be enrolled with a GP as soon as their parents nominate a doctor, rather than waiting to enrol at the baby's first appointment. The change is aimed at preventing delays in babies having their six-week immunisations, Health Minister Tony Ryall says.

At present, few babies are enrolled at six weeks of age, meaning many start their immunisations late, exposing them to preventable diseases such as whooping cough and polio. Enrolling newborns means GP practices can contact parents to remind them about immunisations.

IWC TURNS SPOTLIGHT ON PLIGHT OF MAUI'S DOLPHINS

While New Zealand thumps the table over Korea's whaling announcement, our own practices are under the spotlight after the International Whaling Commission called for urgent action to prevent Maui's dolphins from becoming extinct.

A commission report has called for a ban on gillnet fishing to open a safe corridor for Maui's dolphins between the North and South islands. There are believed to be only about 55 Maui's dolphins left and it is feared fishing could make them extinct.

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- The Dominion Post

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