Checkpoint. 2014-09-18. 17:00-18:00.

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Checkpoint is a drive-time news and current affairs programme on Radio New Zealand National. It broadcasts nationwide every weekday evening for two hours and covers the day’s major national and international stories, as well as business, sport and Māori news. This recording covers the first hour. The following rundown is supplied from the broadcaster’s news system:

Checkpoint FOR THURSDAY 18 SEPT 2014
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1700 to 1707 NEWS
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Police launched a massive anti-terror raid in Sydney today claiming to have foiled a plot inspired by an Islamic State leader to carry out random public beheadings of people snatched off the street. A man's appeared in court this afternoon charged with the plot, which police uncovered by a phone intercept. 22 year old Omarjan Azari was one of 15 people arrested in what's being described as Australia's biggest ever anti-terrorism operation. Eight hundred police officers swooped on houses in more than a dozen suburbs in Sydney and parts of Brisbane in the dark, early this morning. The Prime Minister Tony Abbott says intelligence confirmed the threat was to randomly seize a member of the public and behead them live on camera. CUT The ISIL or Islamic State insurgents controlling large parts of Iraq have recently posted online broadcasts of the beheadings of several Westerners. The New South Wales premier Mike Baird says the plot is horrifying and he issued this warning. CUT Police officers have started digging up the front and back yards of several of the homes they raided. Tactical officers have been sent into southwest Sydney to deal with any unrest. Keysar (kaysar) Trad, of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils was alerted early on by the police community liaison worried about the raids sparking public disorder. CUT New South Wales Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione (skippy-oh-nee) has appealed for calm. However Muslim leaders alarmed at the raids are planning a rally in Sydney tonight. But feelings are running high. This statement was read out by the lawyer of 20 year old Maywan Osman, who says he was injured in the raid on his Sydney home. CUT The lawyer, who doesn't want to be identified, says Maywan Osman does not know what the police suspect him of. But she is sceptical. CUT This all comes just days after Australia raised its terrorism threat level to high for the first time. And the Federal Police Acting Commissioner Andrew Colvin called a news conference to stress the threat is real. CUT
A Liberal senator has used today's raids to renew his call for a ban on the Muslim face covering, the burqa. But Tony Abbott is stressing the distinction between the threat and the Muslim community. CUT

The ABC's police reporter, Lucy Carter, has been covering events all day. She's in Bursill Street in the suburb of Guildford at a property which is the focus of police attention. i/v

To Fiji now where the political opposition says it will refuse to accept the result of today's historic election, the first in eight years. With almost of the polls counted, provisional results have the Fiji First party of 2006 coup leader Frank Bainimarama way in the lead.
Four parties are protesting about the vote counting. But the Fiji Elections Office says it is following the law to the letter, while a Multinational Observer Group says the result broadly represents what voters wanted. People on the streets of Suva aren't sure what to make of it all. CUT Our reporter Philippa Tolley is in Suva i/v

The lawyer for the Kaitaia man accused of drugging, raping, and photographing tourists at his backpackers lodge is attacking the police and the media for creating what he calls hysteria over the case. Michael Harris, the 56-year old owner of the Main Street Lodge where the police say the attacks happened, was denied bail at the Kaitaia Court this afternoon. He faces 41 charges relating to 16 men, and his lawyer indicated at the hearing today he would vigorously defend the charges. Our reporter Murielle Baker was at the hearing. i/v

In just under an hours time polls will open in Scotland and voters there will decide whether or not they want to remain part of the United Kingdom or become an independant country It's expected to be the largest vote in Scottish history Almost four and a quarter million people have registered to take part. Whatever the result it will be an historic excercise in democracy Leading politicians on both sides have made impassioned pleas. The ABC's Barbara Miller reports PKG

The Green Party's proposal to restructure New Zealand's spy agencies has been dismissed by the leaders of both National and Labour. Following claims from the NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden that the Government Communications Security Bureau is involved in mass surveillance of New Zealanders, the Greens say a new, separate agency is needed. Benedict Collins reports. PKG

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17.30 HEADLINES
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17.35 MARKET UPDATE
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To our lead story and the mass raids Australian authorities say were sparked in part by a plot to behead someone snatched off the street to further Islamic State's cause. The raids in Brisbane occurred at the same time, but are instead linked to two men arrested and charged last week with terrorism-related offences. One of them (Omar Succarieh) has been in the Supreme Court in Brisbane today seeking bail. The ABC's John Taylor has been at the court and is with us now. i/v

The lawyer for a teacher accused of inappropriately touching his students says the accused used physical games in class and that was stupid in this day and age, but he is no criminal. The defence lawyer Richard Earwaker [pron ERICA] told the jurors they could not be sure of the evidence which has included the testimony of 10 children. The man, aged in his 60s, denies 23 charges of doing an indecent act on girls under 12 over a two year period. In his closing address today, the Crown prosecutor Dale Dufty said on various occasions seven adults had walked into the teacher's classroom and disturbed him alone with girls. CUT Mr Dufty said one of the witnesses described seeing the teacher hug a student from behind. Mr Earwaker [pron ERICA] told the jurors they had to have the answers and if they didn't, they had to acquit the teacher. CUT Suppression orders prevent the naming of the accused or the school. Our reporter Edward Gay was in the High Court at Auckland . i/v

The President of the National Party, is denying claims he told China, New Zealand would help out with an anti-corruption investigation reaching deep into this country. The Financial Times says Peter Goodfellow promised co-operation with a Chinese anti-corruption unit investigating the former deputy mayor of Guangzhou, who's been detained on bribery and corruption charges. The paper says an accomplice is a Chinese New Zealander, who returned here after the arrest. It also says the ex-deputy mayor's family and mistress are in New Zealand. New Zealand immigration authorities will not discuss the case for privacy reasons, and the police and Foreign Affairs say they haven't had any involvement. Peter Goodfellow declined to be interviewed on Checkpoint but sent this statement 'I have visited the Chinese Communist Party, as well as other parties with important relationships to New Zealand. The National Party seeks to have cooperative relationships with other political parties around the world. As Party President I have no role in facilitating investigations. Any general expressions of goodwill made during an overseas visit must be taken in that context.' With us now to explain the role of the anti corruption unit, known as the CCDI is William Nee, Amnesty International's China Researcher, i/v

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The director of the Maori Business Programme at Victoria University says she is devastated the course is facing closure.

The University says it's proposing to close down the programme, due to declining enrolment numbers.

From Te Manu Korihi news, Mani Dunlop, reports.

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The pace of economic growth has eased, due to waning exports. Official figures show the economy expanded zero point 7 percent in the three months to June, compared with 1 percent growth in each of the last two quarters. But analysts say growth should remain robust, led by a strengthening domestic market . Our economics correspondent, Patrick O'Meara reports. PKG

Amid the well-wishers and selfie-seekers - there were plenty of pressing questions for John Key as he travelled the North Island today on the second to last day of campaigning. Mr Key, and several supporters kitted out in Team Key t-shirts and a media contingent boarded the National Party bus this morning on a last push. Our parliamentary chief reporter, Jane Patterson, is on the bus too and filed this report PKG

Extreme weather is punishing the south-western United States with a heat wave and a hurricane. Fires and intense rain are causing chaos from California to Mexico and flash flooding is forecast for Arizona. Meanwhile thousands of fire-fighters are trying to protect homes from wildfires burning out of control as Alistair Leithhead reports from heatwave hit Los Angeles : PKG

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Presenter: Mary Wilson, Jim Mora
Editor: Maree Corbett
Deputy editor: Phil Pennington
Producers: Jo Leavesley, Mei Yeoh, Bridget Mills

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Year 2014

Reference number 260319

Media type AUDIO

Collection Sound Collection

Ngā Taonga Korero Collection

Genre Radio news programs
Nonfiction radio programs
Radio programs
Sound recordings

Credits RNZ Collection
Mora, Jim, Presenter
Wilson, Mary, Presenter
Radio New Zealand National, Broadcaster

Duration 01:00:00

Date 18 Sep 2014

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