NZ@9am: 20/12/10: Most popular stories online on Monday

By PETER FOWLER

Christmas travel chaos in Europe due to airport closures  is among the most popular stories online in New Zealand at 9am on Monday.  Other popular stories include Liz Hurley’s affair with Shane Warne appears to be over,  former Hanover Finance boss Mark Hotchin reportedly  living a life of luxury despite his assets being frozen, Inland Revenue to make example of student-loan absconders and Wikileaks revelations about New Zealand and the war in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay.
The Google News New Zealand lead headline from The Guardian says "Heathrow airport all but shut as snow hits Christmas travel plans."  The story says the UK Met Office warns of more heavy snow over the next few days as government rejects charges of complacency.  The next top story is from the nzherald.co.nz and says Counties Manukau police are investigating the death of two adults at this house in Pakuranga. And it carries a Voice of America story which says the United Nations is reporting a wave of killings and abductions in Ivory Coast, where incumbent leader Laurent Gbgabo is refusing to give up power.  The most popular story from the Herald Sun says the whirlwind affair between Shane Warne and English model Liz Hurley appears to be over after the former cricket star allegedly bombarded Melbourne woman Adele Angeleri with text messages.
The nzherald.co.nz lead headline online says "Mark Hotchin hot and bothered in luxury hideaway."  The web site says in the most popular story says former Hanover Finance boss Mark Hotchin is living a life few Kiwis could dream of, despite a court order freezing his New Zealand assets.

The web site says the United States wanted to send a group of Guantanamo Bay inmates to New Zealand, according to a leaked 2005 cable from the US Embassy in Wellington. And in other top stories it says an Auckland couple were found dead in their home after a panicked 14-year-old girl called 111 to tell police about a serious domestic argument.
The Stuff.co.nz top headline says "Snow causes Christmas travel chaos."  The web site says the Christmas plans of thousands of travellers, hundreds of Kiwis among them, are in disarray as Arctic conditions all but shut Britain's busiest airport.  Another top story says senior Defence Ministry officials were secretly briefing the United States embassy on Cabinet discussions about the Iraq war, WikiLeaks cables reveal. And it says the killer of four-year-old James Whakaruru was expected to be released today after serving nearly all of his 12-year jail term. The most popular story says Inland Revenue will make an example of selected student-loan absconders living overseas, who are collectively $191.4 million in repayment default, under new provisions that allow the immediate recall of their entire debt.
The One News lead headline says "Travel chaos thwarts Kiwis' Christmas plans."  The web site says in the most popular story kiwis trying to get home in time for Christmas could have their travel plans ruined due to blizzard conditions in much of northern Europe.  Another top story says Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee has promised that the government will keep funding the Pike River recovery effort.  And it says an Upper Hutt preschooler's death from swallowing his mother's methadone tablets could have been prevented if they were in a childproof container, a coroner says. 
The 3 News top story online has the headline says "Fonterra contract behind NZ involvement in Iraq."  The web site says senior Defence Ministry staff told the United States Embassy that former Prime Minister Helen Clark had decided to send soldiers to Iraq to stop Fonterra losing lucrative Oil for Food contracts, WikiLeaks cables reveal.  It says Pike River Coal will on Wednesday put forward a plan to recover the bodies of the 29 men, killed in the West Coast mine last month.  And the web site says Police Minister Judith Collins says there will be no review of police spending, in response to a Sunday Star-Times article ‘Police facing cutback’.  And the most popular story says Prime Minister John Key delivered a “hysterical” speech to attendees of the national rugby awards in Auckland.
The Radio New Zealand lead headline online says "Christmas travel disrupted."  The web site says the Christmas travel plans of a growing number of New Zealanders are being disrupted by the bad weather that has closed Europe's busiest airport.  In other top stories, it says the Labour Party goes into the New Year with a lot of ground to make up if it is to challenge the National Party at the next general election. And it says the failing health of one of the country's oldest imprisoned paedophiles is posing a dilemma for the Parole Board.
The Newstalk ZB lead headline says "New mine recovery plan to be revealed."  The web site says with current strategies for recovering the 29 bodies in the Pike River Mine proving ineffective, a new plan will be announced this week.  The web site says Wigram MP, Jim Anderton, is keen to see insurers handling of Christchurch Earthquake payouts scrutinised. And in other top news it says farmers who have been using their drought contingency plans may be able to relax them a little after the weekend's rain.  And the most popular story says the largest ship ever to call Auckland 'home' has arrived in port.

NZ@9am reports the top stories in New Zealand media online at 9am each business day at www.hbtoday.co.nz 

- Hawkes Bay Today

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