National News Brief, Monday January 19

Some answers in Airbus 320 crash; John Key breaks his arm; tax for criminals; boy racers too much for Christchurch mayor; more cafe protests against Gaza attack; sewage flowing onto Dunedin beaches, say surf lifesavers

The black boxes from the Air New Zealand AIrbus 320 that crashed off the coast of France in November have finally revealed some of their secrets, reports the Herald. Air crash investigators have revealed that the airplane was coming in to land when a sudden surge in power forced it into a steep climb from which it could not recover. It fell onto its side and rapidly crashed into the ocean. The cockpit voice recorder captured the terrified screams of the German pilots.

Prime Minister John Key broke his arm in two places at a Chinese New Year celebration in Auckland at the weekend, reports the Dominion Post. He fell as he left the stage at the ASB Showgrounds and is wearing a cast but will continue working as normal this week.

A proposed law would require all convicted criminals to pay a $50 tax towards a victim compensation scheme, reports the Press. Victims of crime would be offered a one-off payment to cover costs not met by ACC or other existing Government aid. The scheme would collect an estimated $5 million a year from all those convicted of a crime, from a road offence to murder.

Christchurch is asking the Government for help in solving the boy racer problem after a documentary about the city's boy racers screened in Germany, reports the Herald. "Our police are doing an outstanding job, but it's time for Government to create a playing field that favours the rights of decent, law-abiding Kiwis," said Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker. Transport Minister Steven Joyce said the Government was supportive of Mr Parker's "bid to curb this behaviour".

A second New Zealand cafe has refused to serve Israeli customers as a protest against the Israeli attack on Gaza, reports the Dominion Post. Last week the owner of Invercargill cafe Mevlana refused to serve two Israeli tourists. Now a Kaikoura cafe called Strawberry Tree has posted a sign saying that Israeli customers are not welcome until the military action stops.

Dunedin surf lifesavers say pollution washing onto the city's beaches is making them sick, reports the Otago Daily Times. Two groups of surf lifesavers were sick last week with vomiting and infected cuts. They say sewage flows onto St Clair, Middle and St Kilda beaches, which were closed yesterday for testing.