The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Howard hug

Canberra, July 28 (AP): Australian Prime Minister John Howard said today that people are welcome to hug him and dismissed reports that there was a breach of security when a teen clutching a screwdriver embraced him.

In TV images picked up by newspapers today, 16-year-old student Steve Battaglia was shown giving Howard a hug on his 67th birthday on Wednesday. Howard was taking his daily morning walk along a river in Melbourne.

Battaglia later said he had been adjusting his rowboat rudder and forgot to drop the screwdriver.

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