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ABC News 24: 1pm News -

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(generated from captions) This Program is Captioned Live. Today - wild celebrations

herald Aung San Suu Kyi's

parliamentary win in elections

but how far reaching will the

reforms really be? 3 people are

dead and thousands homeless as

flood waters and heavy rain sweep across western Fiji. Labor's popularity falls

to near record lows according

to the latest Neilsen poll. And

former West Coast Eagles

captain Ben Cousins captain Ben Cousins appears in

court to face drug charges. Hello, you're watching

ABC News 24, I'm Joe ABC News 24, I'm Joe O'Brien.

Taking a quick look at the

weather around the weather around the capital cities. This is for

Burma appears to be on the

verge of major political

change. The National League for Democracy is claiming overwhelming success in a overwhelming

series of series of by-elections held yesterday. Its leader Aung San

Suu Kyi has reportedly won 99%

of the vote in hur - her electorate and the party electorate and the party says

it's on course to take all it's on course to take all 44

seats it contested. But the

election commission is yet to

confirm the result. A typical

morning of the late dry season

but one when but one when freedom edged

forward in Burma. 85-year-old

man was - woman was born urn

British rule. She's seen world

war, dictatorship and now

democracy. One of thousands who democracy. One of thousands

have made their way to the

polls across the country today.

"I voted for Aung San Suu

Kyi" she told me. "She's for

democracy, that's why I love her." The prodemocracy leader

was south of Rangoon in her constituency. Queues had been constituency. Queues

forming since dawn. By the day's end Aung San Suu Kyi's seat would be won despite her misgivings about electoral

fraud elsewhere. At this Rangoon polling station the civil servant in charge

displayed an empty ballot Nothing suspicious here, he displayed an empty ballot box.

said. Yet for some voters it's

hard to trust the State. You

don't believe the Government?

No, I never believe. Why? Why,

they are not freedom. We are

are always - we are are always - we are always suffering from their control.

But all day they kept coming. Seeking their names on the

voters' lists. At the

prodemocracy headquarters this evening, unofficial results were announced. Many

constituencies showed their candidates winning. There was

joy though parliament will for

now still be controlled by the military.

military. And they are dancing

in the streets in Rangoon. Sean

Turnesll is a former senior analyst. He's been watching the

spoke demise of burm's economy. He

spoke to me earlier about the problems Aung San Suu Kyi could face if she becomes face if she becomes Burma's

next leader. The coverage of

the extraordinary scenes we're

seeing I don't think there's any doubt that the NLD is going

to dominate. Aung San Suu Kyi

will be, if that plays out,

will be the next president of

Burma? That's the way things

are drifting now. What does she have to be careful of then

over the next couple of years

in the run up to those general

few elections? I think there's a

few things. One of the biggest dangers is dangers is there still could be a reaction from the more

conservative military elements,

that's always possible. But I'd

have to say that's receding a

bit of late. The other problem,

I think, is just rising

expectations and that they may

not be met because the economy

is really still in a dreadful state. The bureaucracy is

leadership in terms really lagging behind the

implementing reforms and so on. leadership in terms of

So I think there's a bit of a

danger on the economic

front. Sean Turnell there who is pretty keen on getting back

to Burma soon now. Heavy

flooding in Fiji has killed at

least 4 people and forced

thousands from their homes.

Food and water supplies have

been cut to many areas and

holiday flights from Australia to the islands have been cancelled. More bad weather is

on the way. Locals though are

putting on a brave face. Bruce Hill is a journalist for Radio

Australia. They're getting

kind of used to it now sounds like a terrible thing to kind of used to it now which

say. They've had floods off and

on quite a bit in Fiji

recently. The last big ones

were in 2009. But the they've

had plenty of practice at

mutting their national disaster office into footing and

everyone knows what's their and they're all working hand in everyone knows what's their job

glove to get food and aid to

people. Everyone knows where

the evacuation centres are but

it's fair to say that everyone

that I've spoken to today has that I've spoken to today

said this is far worse than

people 2009 and one of the worst

people can ever remember. It's

putting a lot of strain on the available resources.

Communications has been a

problem, road transport's a

problem, a lot of bridges are

washed out, sometimes the roads

are open, sometimes they're not, sometimes you don't know

they're open until you get in

the car and physically drive up

to see what's happened. So a

bit of chaos but people are

working as hard as they can to

try to amealate the situation,

especially for the thousands of

people in the evacuation centres. Previous experience of

flooding in Fiji indicates that

that death toll quite possibly that death toll quite

will rise. When the flood

waters start to subside we may

start finding perhaps extra

bodies. Fruitless to speculate on how many but I would suspect

4 would be just the beginning.

I believe there are the Fiji I believe there are the

Government has, I think, very

wisely said that planes with tourists shouldn't land. They

don't want more tourists at don't want more tourists at the

moment because that will add to

the back - backlog because

getting tourists to Nandi has

been impossible except by helicopter. They want to helicopter. They want to clear

the backlog of tourists first

because a lot of tourists have

for floods haven't been able to been able to get into Nandi but

take off. You get more and more

tourists in Nandi which has a finite number of hotel rooms. They don't want tourists

sleeping on the floor at the

airport. What they're saying is

flights that come in must come

in empty and leave full. If

you've booked a Fiji holiday

and you see your plane taking

off from Melbourne and Sydney without you on it that's the

reason why. Bruce Hill there.

Former AFL player Ben Cousins

has made a brief appearance in

the Perth Magistrates Court on a charge of possessing drugs with intent to sell or with intent to sell or supply.

33-year-old Cousins did not

enter a plea to the charge and

was released on bail until his

next appearance in June. His

lawyer argued, and the magistrate agreed, that magistrate agreed, that if

Cousins was convicted he would not receive a jail

term. Cousins was arresteded in

the south coast town of

Esperance last week after arriving to attend a arriving to attend a drug rehabilitation facility. rehabilitation facility. It's alleged police found 4.5 grams

of methamphetamine hidden in

his body. The latest Neilsen

poll shows Labor's popularity

is down to near record los.

Their primary support has fall ton

ton 27% compared to 47% for the

Coalition. The Coalition comfortably trumps Labor on a 2-party preferred basis and despite Tony Abbott's approval

rating dropping slightly he's

still more prop lar than Julia

Gillard. Simon Crean says the

Government isn't worried Government isn't worried yet and there's still time to

recover its popularity. So

let me just make the other

analogy, we're only at half

time in this electoral race.

The scoreboard can say all

sorts of things halfway through

the mark, halfway through the

game. But when it comes to game. But when it comes to the final result that's what

matters and I'm convinced with

the policy settings and the policy settings and the commitment we've got and commitment we've got and the fact that we've put our

internals behind us we can get

on with the task of winning the

second half and convincing the Australian people that we're

deserving of another

term. Sooinl Crean there staying optimistic of a better full-time score for the full-time score for the ALP.

More than $500 million in

federal money is being put

towards better education for indigenous students in the

Northern Territory. The Federal

Government says the funding

will provide 200 more teaching positions over the next 10

years. It's aimed at keeping

teachers in indigenous communities giving them places

to stay and providing nutrition programs for indigenous

children. The gap between our

indigenous and our non-

indigenous students is still

too high and we also know that

there are still not enough Aboriginal kids consistently attending at school. Peter

Garrett says the funding will

help schools and teachers keep

up to standard. A luxury cruise ship stranded at the weekend

after a fire on board has

limped safely into a port in Malaysia. The 'Azamara Quest'

was escorted into the port of

Sandokan on Borneo island after

drifting for over a day in

Philippine waters. A fire broke

out in an engine room late Friday out in an engine room late on

Friday and one engine crewman

had to be taken to hospital.

There were no injuries among

the passenger s who said the

incident was nothing like incident was nothing like the 'Costa Concordia' disaster in Italy back in January. I

cannot say enough about the

crew and the captain and all the people and how they took

care of us. They did double

duty, they worked so hard without sleep. The ship was carrying hundreds of passengers

including Australians on an island cruise. World leaders have supported new measures to

end the long-running violence in Syria and help rebel groups in their fight against President Bashar al Assad.

Wealthy Gulf States have agreed

to pay salaries to rebel

fighters and set up a fund for

the Opposition campaign. It's

one of several measures

discussed at a Friends of Syria

meeting in Turkey which has

brought frorn - foreign leaders

from all over the world. Anne

Barker reports. The Syrian conflict erupted briefly in

Istanbul where those for and

against the Assad against the Assad regime rallied outside the so-called Friends

Friends of Syria meeting.

Inside, more than 70 Western

and Arab foreign ministers

called for a strict ultimatum

on President Assad to implement

the recent peace plan and stop

the year-long violence. The

world will not waiver, Assad

must go and the Syrian people

must be free to choose their own path forward. But with

pro-Assad forces still shelling

Homs and other rebel strongholds, leaders in Istanbul turned to other

options. Some Gulf States have

agreed to fund wages for rebel

fighters and soldiers who

defect from the Syrian Army.

But they've stopped short of

agreeing to supply weapons agreeing to supply weapons to Syria's Opposition. Trance trance my people need help. We

want a suffer zone to protect

civilians. We want you to provide more help to the provide more help to the Free Syrian Army which Syrian Army which is fighting

for its people. Other States want tougher sanctions against

Syria's leaders. So the idea is to coordinate those to coordinate those sanctions

and to check that they are really implemented on the ground and are also - we've also tried to convince the

other members of the group of

Friends of Syria to implement the sanctions against the sanctions against the

people involved in the repression. The Syrian

Government has dismissed the

gathering in Istanbul as

enemies of Syria and says its troops are close to crushing

the uprising for good. Bit

the uprising for good. Bit by

bit they're weakening the rebel

cause as daily funerals like

this one attest. In the past 36

hours alone at least 40 people have been killed across have been killed across the country. Tuareg rebels have

seized on the growing

instability inside Mali instability inside Mali taking

the desert city of Timbuktu.

Their advance across the region

has put further pressure on

members of the military junta

who have struggled sinsz taking

control a week ago. Mali's coup leader's response to international pressure hours

before an ultimatum issued by

the economic community of Western African States expired,

Captain Sinogo restore the constitution. Trance trance as

of today we're committed to

restore the 1992 constitutions

and all the institutions of the

Republican however given the

multidimensional crisis we face

we will need a transition

period to preserve the national

unity. We will start talks with

all political entities to put

into place a transitional body

that will oversee free and transitional elections in which we won't take part. The military leaders are now working out the details of the

final deal with the envoy from

bur keen o - Burkina Faso which

will likely include immunity

for the leader and details on a transitional government that

will run the country in the

short term. The whole situation is, of course, extremely, extremely difficult

and had very, very negative

effects on the situation in

Mali. But what I hear today

here is it has some

encouragement. So I'm less pessimistic than two days

ago. But Sinogo's promise to

restore stability by bringing back the constitution and

preparing the country for

elections doesn't disguise the

reality of a country in

disarray. What began as a rebellion in some northern

towns now threatens to divide

the country. Tuareg rebels are

fighting for an independent home land known as Azawad. home land known as Azawad. A

day later the rebels have taken the ancient city of

Timbuktu. Eccoa said it will interfere militarily in the

north if the leersd step aside

and the Tuareg have warned the

Block against any military

intervention. Our top stories

- Burma's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is set to

enter parliament. There were

seen scenes of joy as thousands

of supporters took to the

streets across the country. The

National League for Democracy

said it won all the seats it contested in Sunday's

election. Four people have died

and almost 8,000 people are sheltering in evacuation

centres as heavy flooding

continues to affect Fiji.

Flights from Australia to Fiji

have been put on hold today

because of the bad weather. And

former AFL star Ben Cousins has

appeared briefly in a Perth

court today on a charge of

possessing drugs with intent to

sell or supply. Cousins did not

enter a plea to the charge and

was released on bail until his

next appearance in June. Taking

a look now at the weather in

the capital cities: A boat carrying 43 asylum

seekers and 2 crew has seekers and 2 crew has been intercepted off the Northern

Territory coast. The boat Territory coast. The boat was stopped north of the stopped north of the Tiwi Islands and the passengers Islands and the passengers will

be taken to Christmas Island.

The Federal Opposition says

16,000 asylum seekers have now arrived since Labor arrived since Labor was

elected. Now I'll just mention

a live event that's coming up.

We're expecting the employment and workplace and workplace relations

minister Bill Shorten to hold a media conference in about 15

minutes time so, that's 10 - 1:30 Australian Eastern

Standard Time. We haven't got

any details as to the subject

matter of that conference but we plan to bring it to you live. Surf lifesaving Queensland says it doesn't

place money and sponsorships

before safety. There's mounting pressure to pressure to relocate the sport's national titles after

14-year-old Matthew Barclay

died while competing last

died while competing last week.

He's the third teenager to die

at the surf lifesaving

championships at Kurrawa on the

Gold Coast since 1996. Surf

lifesaving Queensland denies

the event is kept at the beach

to satisfy sponsors. We to satisfy sponsors. We have moved carnivals since time in

memorial. I have been in

competition for 40 years and

carnivals move at the drop of a

hat including the Australian championships. It is a

non-issue. Police are

investigating the circumstances surrounding Matthew Barclay's

death. Ambulance Victoria is

investigating how a man was

mistakenly declared dead after

a car crash north-west of Melbourne yesterday. The 30-year-old man was declared

dead by paramedic s after the

2-car crash at Bacchus Marsh

early in the morning. An SES

worker who was removeding the

man from the car noticed signs of life and called paramedics

back to the scene. The man is now in hospital in a critical

condition. We need to go

through the process of the investigation with the

paramedics. We've had a cursory

conversation with them to understand the circumstances. They've been very frank and

open with us. Obviously it's

very difficult for them and

very devastating for the man's family as well. Former West

Coast Eagles captain Ben

Cousins has made a brief

appearance in a Perth Magistrates Court on Magistrates Court on drug

charges. Cousins was arrested

in es presence last week after arriving to attend a arriving to attend a drug rehabilitation facility. It's

alleged police found 4.5 grams

of methamphetamine hidden in

his body. Joanna, how did this

work after Ben Cousins appeared

in court? As you said, it was a fairly brief court

appearance. He wasn't required

to enter a plea to the charge of processing methamphetamine

with intent to sell or supply

and the matter was adjourn ed

off until June 27 for what's called a committal mention. The

one interesting thing that one interesting thing that did

come out of this court

appearance was that his lawyer

said, and the magistrate agreed, that Ben Cousins

wouldn't face a jail term if he is convicted of this charge

because it's such a small

amount, it is his first

offence, he wouldn't be facing

a jail term if he's found

guilty. So is that something

that the defence put to the

magistrate presumably hoping to

make it clear to everyone

there, including the media and

the rest of the people the rest of the people around the nation who the nation who are interested

in this story, that it's not

likely that he's going to face

a jail sentence? Certain l, I

think that was the case and

there was reference made to an

article appearing in one of the

weekend newspaper s here which

suggested that he could go to jail. They wanted to make it

very clear from the outset that

this is not a case where Ben

Cousins will end up in jail. He hasn't a criminal record, he

hasn't had the benefit of

having any court having any court ordered treatment programs so treatment programs so certainly

he would get something like a

community based order community based order but that's if he is convicted of

this charge. He wasn't required

to enter a plea. He could well

be defending the charge. It

will be back in the Perth Magistrates Court 9:00 local

time on June 27. Now Ben

Cousins didn't say anything

when he left court nor did his lawyer. He was with his lawyer. He was with his father, Brian Cousins, but he Brian Cousins, but he didn't say anything either. It was

basically a media throng chasing him down the chasing him down the street.

The one interesting issue was

he was getting plenty of

support in the court. He was in

the middle of signing a T-shirt for someone when he got called

to the court. It does seem

there is still public there is still public support

for Ben Cousins. He's a huge

AFL star but hasn't played the

game for a couple of years now. That's right. He retired

in 2010 after 2 seasons with

Richmond. He was certainly one

of the stars of West Coast

Eagles, as you said, he's a

former captain, he's a Brownlow

Medallist, he had a very, very

distinguished AFL career but as

we now know it's all been sent

off the rails by his very public batle with drug addiction. And there weren't any requirements as part of

this court hearing today that

he attend rehabilitation centres over the coming

months? No, that wasn't

specified in court. He did have

some of his bail some of his bail conditions

varied. He had been required to

report to police 3 times a week to the Scarborough police

station which is near where he

lives but that was dropped. He

also just required a also just required a personal

undertaking of $2,000 with a

similar surity but the

requirement that he report to

police was dropped and that could be, it wasn't said in

court, but that could be

because they want him maybe to

try to go back to Esperance to

that drug rehabilitation clinic

but that wasn't specified in

court. OK, Jo an, - thanks very much for court. OK, Jo an, - Joanna,

thanks very much for that.

Time for sport with Lucy Carter

and Lucy, some golden magic from the Bunnies. Yeah, and Lucy, some golden point

you've got to feel for the

Tigers, they nearly had it. An

80-- 82nd minute field gold has

led the Rabbit os to a golden point win against the Tigers.

In yesterday's other game the Bulldogs overcame Bulldogs overcame the Titans

30-20 on the Gold Coast. But

the day belonged to the

Rabbitohs who scored 2 late tries to send the game into

golden point time with Greg

Inglis kicking the field goal

to win the game. The to win the game. The only downside to the game for Souths

was an in injury for Sam

Burgess. He will have scans

today but is looking to 6 to 8

weeks on the sideline. The

injury hasn't overshadowed golden point magic from injury hasn't overshadowed the

Inglis. It was a good win.

Sort of to fight to the death we were behind the whole we were behind the whole game until the golden point. until the golden point. Big

GI's field goal to get the win.

We've been on the other end of

wit the Roosters a couple of

weeks ago but it's not a good

feel but that's football. To

get the win is a big bonus. We need the 2 points. It's desperate times for both teams

to get a win. Round 5 completed when the Raiders host to get a win. Round 5 is

the kou boys. In yesterday's AFL matches Port Adelaide upset

St Kilda and the Eagles had comfortably win over the St Kilda and the Eagles had a

Western Bulldogs. The Power

began its season in perfect

fashion as it outlasted St

Kilda by 4 points at football

park. Port's offseason signings

both had impressive displays as

McCarthy kicked the opening

goal and Ebert had 2 majors and

21 disposals. Nick Riewoldt

snapped a goal to give his side a sniff in the final a sniff in the final minutes

but the Power held on to win.

At Docklands West Coast Eagle

forward Josh Kennedy dispelled

any rumours of a disrupted

preseason as he kicked 7 goals

in a 49-point win over the

Western Bulldogs. Young Dog

Clay Smith kicked 4 goals on

debut before he was subbed off

with cramp. A Shane Smeltz hat-trick has led the Glory to

a 3-0 win in the A-League

elimination final against the

Melbourne Heart in Perth. All 3

of Smeltz's goals were scored

second in the second half with the

second goal confusing the

keeper and the referees. How

well has he done there? The

referee signals it, it's a from Smeltz, that is referee signals it, it's a goal

incredible. The A-League's greatest goal scorer has

fashioned a second. It took a

long time for the them to

realise. St Glory will face the Phoenix in the next leg of the

finals series. Perth captain

Jacob Burns said getting Jacob Burns said getting the

win at home meant a lot to the

team. Yes, pretty special.

team. Yes, pretty special. I think the boys think the boys thoroughly deserved it. Just watching

Smeltzy there just top draw

from him again and so proud, this is what we've worked this is what we've worked all

season for. To get a home final

and to get past Melbourne Heart

who are no easy beat team. It's

Wellington now. In the English been fantastic and on to

Premier League Newcastle has

moved level on points with 5th

placed Chelsea after a 2-0 win at home to Liverpool. Cisse scored 2 goals for at home to Liverpool. Papiss

Newcastle which saw Pepe Reina

sent off. Liverpool has now

lost 6 of its last 7 in the

league and remain 8th on the

EPL ladder. Emmanuel Adebayor

scored a double in the last scored a double in the last 20

minute ts for Tottenham in their

their 3-1 win at home their 3-1 win at home to Swansea.

Tottenham have ended Tottenham have ended their

winless streak. The win moves

them level with Arsenal in 4th place. Holden driver Jamie

Whincup has powered home to win

race 4 of the V8 supercar championship in Tasmania.

Damien McIver explains. There

was a sense of expectation

amongst the crowd heading into

championship. It's been the fourth race of the supercar

championship. It's been 16

years since Craig Lowndes has

Tasmania but a blistering claimed poll position in

performance in qualifying

booked him a spot at the front

of the grid. Will Davison made

his usual fast start. But Lowndes kept the championship

leader at bay through the

opening laps. Jamie Whincup did

well to stay on track after

locking it up on lap 9. Great situation awareness. Before Davison leap frogged Davison leap frogged Lowndes

after the first pit stop. after the first pit stop. The

pair looked set for a thrilling

duel before disaster struck duel before disaster struck on

lap 30. That was caused by

Will Davison moving over. His

team was fuming while Lowndes

could only look on as Ford

claimed a stranglehold on claimed a stranglehold on the

race through Davison and

team-mate Mark Winterbottom.

Davison soon had car problems

of his own as Winterbottom and

Whincup moved past him. The

second pit stop proved

decisive. Winterbottom decisive. Winterbottom stall

and lost valuable time and lost valuable time allowing Whincup to open a commanding

lead. The defending champion

held on to claim his 54th

career win but wasn't entirely happy with the happy with the weekend's

racing. We'll take that and of course I don't want to dwell on

the negatives but there's a few

weekend things we can improve on this

weekend and we'll improve on

that and come out stronger next

time. Davison leads the

championship by 18 points from Whincup heading into race 5 in

New Zealand later this New Zealand later this month.

South Korean golfer Sang Yang

Yu has won the first major for

this year. She won at the extra

hole with a birdie. To say she was excited about the win might

be a bit of an understatement. So clearly swimming weather in

California there. At least it

looks cleaner than the Yarra.

Yes, true. Thanks for that,

Lucy. In some aspects of life

it seems size does matter. And

at Canberra's annual model

train expo thousands of people

have been proving the point.

The exhibition attracts enthusiasts and exhibitors

throughout the country with to

prove this hobby has something

for everyone. Think this is for

old men. Meet the old men. Meet the Palace sisters. They've designed sisters. They've designed a

whole community with a factor

at a one end and a community at

orange the other. The one with the

orange and red ones, they're

apple and orange trees. Even

the older enthusiasts admit the

background scenes can overshadow trains. People

arguing, people having a chat

people with car accidents. And in the middle of the street,

things can get a little racy.

There are some adults only scenes that you can get as

well, yes. X rated. In the best of taste, of course. It's of taste, of course. It's an

expensive hobby, even modest

displays can cost thousands of dollars. With division in the model train community over the

ready to run sets compared to more traditional construction

methods but it's the reflections of life that

capture attention from disaster

to drama with new scenarios

being devised all the being devised all the time.

I've got a masked gunman and

I'm just thinking of having the

Pope being mugged behind a

building. I've got a weird

sense of humour. With something

for every generation. The joy of having hit is inspirational. Even the news

gets a look in as art imitates

life. Don't know about those X

rated model train scenes at a

family convention. Let's check

tomorrow's weather now, here is Vanessa O'Hanlon. Thanks, Joe. Cloud and a

trough are pushing away from

the NSW coast allowing most of

the showers and storms to move

east. A thick band of cloud

from the west over through

South Australia is triggering storms along a trough and another front is bringing

another bout of showers to another bout of showers to the south-west. It's hot over the interior. Those northerly winds

are filtering into the

south-east ahead of a south-east ahead of a trough

and cold front. This frontal

system will generate patchy

rain as it travels from rain as it travels from inland

WA and through SA and in

general it's much dryer over

the east and north under this

strengthening high pressure

system. Tomorrow a low pressure

trough will trigger showers

over NSW and eastern Victoria

and a trough over the and a trough over the interior

will weaken as a front maintains moist westerly winds over in the over in the south-west.

Tomorrow a fine day in Brisbane #6r789

Today's top stories, Burma's

opposition has claimed a

historic victory. Pro democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has won

a seat in parliament. The news

sparks scenes of jubilation in

the capital rang goon. The

results have not yet been

officially verified but it's

believed Ms Suu Kyi won in a

landslide with an estimated 82%

of the vote. Flights of the vote. Flights from Australia to Fiji are on hold

today as the country struggles

to cope with floods that have forced thousands from their

homes. The Fijian Government

has asked airlines not to fly

passengers into the country

until further notice. Officials

say they're now worried a say they're now worried a storm

sweeping across parts of the main island may deteriorate

into a cyclone. The latest

Neilsen poll suggests Labor's

popularity has fallen to a near

record low. Today's poll shows

the ALP's primary support has

fallen to 27%, a drop of 7

points in the last month. The

Coalition's primary vote is

47%, that's up 3 points and is also the Coalition's leading in the 2-party preferred vote. And

former AFL player Ben Cousins

has made a brief appearance in

the Perth's Magistrates Court

on charge of possessing drugs with intent to sell or with intent to sell or supply.

Cousins did not enter a plea and was released on bail until

his next appearance in June. In

33-year-old was arrested last

week after police allege they

found methamphetamine hidden in

his body. Let's go live to

Canberra. This is the employment and employment and workplace relations minister Bill Shorten. Good afternoon,

everyone. After reading the

comments of Australia's comments of Australia's large

banks where they've said that

they want to expand they want to expand the

ordinary hours of work for

low-paid bank workers to cover

both days of the weekend I just

wanted to issue the invitation

through the same media that

banks are using to clear with

their own work force, that is

the media, that I'd be pleased

to meet with the CEOs of

Australia's leading banks and

to hear the case why they want

to extend ordinary hours from Monday to Friday the Monday to Friday the bank

workers are under to Saturdays

and Sundays. I've also contacted the financial

services union, they're happy

to attend the meeting. I think

in Australia with workplace

relations we can have adult

conversations where the big

banks are making record profits

can explain their need for what

they call flexibility but also

hear from the Financial Services Union why someone

earning $48,000 a year should

take a cut in penalty rates on

the weekend. I'm sure that

enterprise bargaining can

provide opportunities for both

employees and employers at the

enterprise level to work

through some of the issues that are concerning banks. But the

Government cannot just stand by and hear

and hear large banks

very, very large profits and

just simply acquiesce to their demand that people, low-paid

workers, take a cut in their

penalty rates on weekends

to satisfy annen - an unargued

case. We'll be inviting the banks of Australia to meet with

myself. I've also invited the

Financial Financial Services Union and

let's talk through the issues

of workplace relations in the

banking sector rather than

engaging in some sort of he

says/she says immature

workplace relations debate that

could well see tens of thousands of low-paid bank

workers losing their penalty

rates on weekends without a proper argument case about proper argument case about the merits versus the needs of the

banks' own employees. Happy to

take question. Isn't this just

about bringing the award into line with the enterprise

agreements, the system that already exists where people

work on weekends already? One

CEO's flexibility can be

another bank worker's loss of

income. As I understand, and

some of the coverage was some of the coverage was a little confused, that what the

banks have said is they want to extend ordinary time, the

definition of ordinary time to

include weekends. Currently the

award allows for people to be

paid special rates on weekends.

Because after all, if you're a

part-time female bank clerk,

bank teller who's a female,

during the week child care might

might not be such an issue

because your child is because your child is at

school. But the schools aren't

open on weekends so if all of a

sudden as part of the ordinary

time absent penalty rates

you've got to also find child

care, if you're trying to make

ends meet on $35,000 or

$45,000, this proposal to $45,000, this proposal to just cut the proposal which the

consequence of is to cut

penalty rates can have a

disastrous effect on the bottom line of the family business. So

it is an issue where there's

more at stake than just the

simple proposition put by the

banks. If you rely on banks. If you rely on extra

money on weekends to be able to

make ends meet this is make ends meet this is a devastating cut to your bottom

line. But having said that the

Government's not simply just rubbishing the banks, even

though I think most in the

community think that they are

making ample multibillion

dollar profits, but if they have a have a serious proposition

isn't it better to sit around

in a room with the Finance Services Union and talk through

the consequences and understand

if the banks are fair dinkum

about wanting to provide family friendly flexible workplaces, then the sensible course of

action is to sit around and work through with people who

know what they're talking

about. If they want to just use

the ordinary time extension which was traditionally just

Monday and Friday and extend it

to 7 days a week, well absent any other proposition to

compensate people this is a

wage cut in stealth and this is

not a wage cut for the CEOs on

several million dollars a several million dollars a year,

this is potentially a wage cut

for people, part-time workers,

women workers, people who earn

$40,000 to $50,000 a year. So

no-one's saying that the banks

can't raise ideas. Obviously

they can. We do want to see a greater consumer service but what I'm also concerned about

is we have an overheated

industrial relations

environment, we've got a

Coalition breathing down the

neck of industrial relations

hiding their real intent. What I'm saying to the banks is

let's have a mature adult

discussion about what suits the

employer and what suits the

employee but let's not be under any illusion that the only way

the banks can keep making

profits is by cutting the

penalty rates and conditions of

low-paid workers. They've put

it in as part of the it in as part of the award review so is there something

wrong with that process?

They're not entitled to put in an application to vary an application to vary an

award? How is that not a mature

conversation? There's nothing

wrong at all with people using

the award modernisation

process, the Government put it

in place. But what I'm saying

is clearly from the media

reporting today banks believe

that somehow the current regime

of protections fetors the ability of banks to do business. One, banks are making

record surpluses, two, the

Government's happy to engage

with the banks on what they

actually mean. It's one thing

to write a submission to the

Government of the day saying let's involve the barningdy

banks and employees and

understand what improvements

can be made to the sector. I don't accept the view of the

world which says the productivity is gained by the CEO

CEO in the company making more

profits and the employee having

their pay cut. Productivity is

at the enterprise level, it's

about incentives, it's about capability, it's about

flexibility. The idea that the

banking sector needs to banking sector needs to cut weekend rates for people who

are already not getting paid a

lot of money partly relied lot of money partly relied on commission, that's not

productivity. Australia can

have a great productivity

future which is high standards of living, reasonable profits

and higher wages. We don't need

to be a low wage, low profit

economy. That was the workplace

relations Bill Shorten live from Parliament House in

Canberra concerned that some

banks are proposing employee s

take a cut in penalty rates on the weekends. Bill Shorten was inviting the banks to sit down

and have a reasonable chat with

the finance sector union the finance sector union about

it and he was saying this - he

described it as a wage cut in

stealth and pointed out a few times that the banks are making

huge profits. Heavy flooding in

Fiji has killed at least 4

people and forced thousands

from their homes. Food from their homes. Food and

water supplies have water supplies have been cut to many areas and holiday flights

from Australia to the islands

are being cancel ed. More than 1,400 Australians are

registered as being in Fiji but

none have been hurt. none have been hurt. The

commissioner of Fiji's

flood-stricken westen district

said officials are surveying

the damage to see if

international help is needed.

He said 11,000 people are using emergency services where food and

and water is being distributed. Now reporter Ben

Worsley is at Sydney Airport

where some Australian

travellers have just arrived

back from Fiji. Ben, what have

they been telling you. G'day, Joe, it was interesting talking

to them, an Air Pacific flight

landed here at about 12:15,

just a bit later than

scheduled. They talked scheduled. They talked about -

well many of them had quite an

adventure but they're very conscious, they're relieved conscious, they're relieved to

be here, they're relieved be here, they're relieved to

get out of there but many of

them are very conscious of

what's going on, what they've

left behind. They engaged with

the local people, they feel the local people, they feel for

them very deeply. It was quite

interesting to hear what they

had to say. We spoke to 5 or 6 of them as they got off that plane just a short time ago.

Let's have a quick listen. The

day we couldn't get back was

the first of the bad weather so

we were stuck there for a few

days. Yes, look, it days. Yes, look, it was terrible, but nothing terrible, but nothing compared to what the locals to what the locals are going through. There were houses

underwater, there were loose

animals and there was a bridge,

all the concrete's gone off the

side and they still haven't

secured it. People are saying

oh, it spoilt my holiday and

all this but the thing is it's

weather, it could happen

anywhere, it could happen at

home. It's heading all over

with standard Nandi, all over

the city, there's flooding

everywhere. It's a sad situation overall. We've had situation overall. We've had to

spend a couple of extra days

than what we were going to so

it was pretty costly in the end

so just a few days basically where we couldn't do anything. Some of the Australians there arriving back

at Sydney Airport from Fiji

just in the last couple of

hours and what is the situation

the flights at the moment?

We've been hearing that the

Fijian Government isn't keen to have tourists kind of flying in because of the situation there

at the moment? That was the at the moment? That was

case, Joe, they had actually

banned the Fiji Government had

banned flights - not flights going in but flights going in but flights with passengers on them going in.

They said it was OK for empty

plan - planes to come in

obviously to bring assistance and also to take people back

off but in the last hour or so they've lifted that embargo. So

passengers can now return on

those planes. Now, Air Pacific

has just announced in light of

that development that two

planes from Australia, one from

Brisbane and one from Sydney,

are due to take off with

passengers and head back in to

Nandi. That's obviously an

indication that the indication that the weather

somewhat. There's also Air around the airport has eased

Pacific flights from Auckland

and LA about to go in. As for the Australian Airlines,

JetStar and Virgin, they're

still only bringing flights out. They haven't resumed flights in at this stage but as

we've been seeing in the news,

Joe, there is this Joe, there is this tropical

weather system still off the

coast that main island Viti

Levu in Fiji is forming and

threatening to become a cyclone

in the next 24, 46 hours. So much of this could well much of this could well change

but at this stage flights are

starting to get back in to Fiji

but there's still a big effort

to get a lot of those stranded

tourists out of Nandi. Ben

Worsley at Sydney international

airport, thanks very much for that. Thanks, Joe. So

get more on the situation in that. Thanks, Joe. So let's

Fiji now. We just heard from

Ben Worsley talking about that

possible cyclone. Apparent ly

that has developed into a psych Lon. Neville

Lon. Neville Koop is with

Lon. Neville Koop is with the

Nadraki weather bureau. Cyclone Daphne threatens to bring gale

force winds. Give us an idea force winds. Give us an idea of

how big some how big some of those rainfalls

have been in in Fiji over the

past 4 or 5 days. Yes, good

afternoon. The rainfall across

western parts of Nandi are quite exceptional. We had

accumulations over the last 72

hours of around 6 to 800 mm at various locations. That's two thirds, three quarters of a various locations. That's about

in metre. And how many rivers are

in flood right now, to what in flood right now, to

extent are they in flood? As I

understand at this stage most

rivers are now probably back to

around the peak, the top of

rivers that did flood, their banks or below but the

major rivers were the Nandi rivers that did flood, the

River, the Barr River, the

Sigatoka River, a River on the

eastern side closer to Suva was

threatening at one point but

that looks like the threat has

eased now. There are many smaller rivers this come down

off the highlands of Fiji that

are also in flood. Many of

these have very fast response these have very fast

times so the short rivers are

very steep. And how bad was the flooding in those rivers

compared to what's happened compared to what's

over the last 20 years? Is it

the worst that you've seen in

20 years or not that bad? In

my experience there I've been

in Fiji since the late '80s and

this is the worst flood event I've seen and we've had I've seen and we've had four

major flood echbteds in my time there. Speaking to people there. Speaking to people who

have grown up there and lived

there their entire lives

flood they've ever seen. I they've said this is the worst

realise you're with the weather

bureau, you're not with emergency services so you may not be able to answer this but

there are reports that 4 people

have died, according to local reports, is that what you've been hearing and where have

they died? Have they died in

Look, I really can't tell you major centres or rural areas?

much on that, I'm sorry. You'd

need to talk to the local disaster management authorities. Certainly I'm

aware of a number of deaths but

I couldn't tell you precisely how many or where they occurred. OK, Neville, occurred. OK, Neville, let's

turn now to this low pressure

system that's now turned into a

cyclone, Cyclone Daphne, when did it actually did it actually get upgraded to

a cyclone? The system was

named trop Cyclone Daphne, a

category 1 cyclone, at 1:00

this afternoon Fiji time and

it's now subject to tropical

cyclone warnings in the weather

centre in Nandi. Is it a

category 1 at this stage?

That's right, a category 1. My

expectation is it will probably

stay a category 1. It stay a category 1. It could

possibly speak sneak up to a

weak category 2 but category 1

is typically with maximum winds

around the 35 to 40 knots which

is around the 75 to 85km/h mark

with gusts up around the 90 to

100km/h mark. Damaging but not

in and of themselves destructive. Where is the eye

of Daphne now in relation to

the island of Viti Levu? At

noon today Fiji local time it

was about 6 00 kilometres to

the west south-west of the west south-west of Nadi. Prox matly midway between Fiji

and Vanuatu. Now it's currently

moving south-east wards at a

fairly good clip. It's doing

about 18 to 20 knots, about about 18 to 20 knots, about 35 to 40km/h. It's starting to

accelerate now as it accelerate now as it gets

captured by the weather system.

So in all likelihood it's going

to miss Fiji as a direct

impact. It's extremely unlikely

to directly impact any of the

Fiji islands now but what will

happen is tonight we'll start

to see rain bands on the

periphery of the cyclone move

over Fiji again and bring some

heavy rain and gusty winds,

gusts up to 75, 80km/h over

Fiji. And so just just looking

at Daphne for a moment at Daphne for a moment and

basically going out into the where it's headed now, is it

middle of nowhere in the

Pacific or are there islands

it's going to hit? No, at this

stage it's not expected to hit

any major populate ed any major populate ed islands.

The only islands in the way is

a group north of New Zealand, a

largely unpopulated group of islands. Later on it may

actually start to impact New Zealand but that's very

uncertain at this stage. And it

wouldn't be a cyclone by Probably not, wouldn't be a cyclone by then?

Probably not, no, it would have

deteriorated into a subtropical

system. OK, just finally, Neville, how big are those

falls expected to be over parts

of Fiji then as the periphery of Daphne affects Fiji? of Daphne affects Fiji? Look,

that's a very good question and

one which is taking up a lot of

my time right now. my time right now. It all

depends how long the rain bands

stay over Fiji and at this stage based on the computer

guide which we have it could guide which we have it could be

anywhere up to 12 hours.

Typically in these sorts of

situations you can expect to

get around 10 or 15 mm an hour.

If it stays over them for 12

hours we could expect upwards

of 100 to 150 mm. Now they're

kind of back of the envelope sums. We'll have to wait and

see precisely. Certainly the potential is for enough rain to

push the levels back into flood. That's the last thing the people of Fiji no doubt

wanted to hear. Thanks for

talking to us and good luck

with your work there over the

next 24 hours or so. Thanks

very much. So the people of

Fiji in for a few more showers over the next 24 hours. That

could be falls up to 150 mm there. Burma's Opposition says

Aung San Suu Kyi has secured a

seat in the country's lower house of Parliament. house of Parliament. The

National League for Democracy

says she's won an estimated 82%

of the vote in her constudency.

The NLD is claim ck victory in

almost half the 45 seats

contested in the elections. Zoe Daniel reports from Burma.

Well the joy here is pretty

clear. This crowd is just

ecstatic. The numbers are still

coming in but voting coming in but voting has

finished and counting is under

way and we know enough to know

that Aung San Suu Kyi will have

a seat in the Parliament and a seat in the Parliament and so

will many of her colleagues.

will many of her colleagues. Trance trance we're very happy

and very proud. After Aung San

Suu Kyi's win our country has

better politicians and will be

much happier now. Trance trance

I cannot say what I'm feeling. I'm so happy. If Aung San Suu Kyi goes to Parliament she will fulfil the needs of everyone. I

believe this. We know that at

least 14 seats have been won by

the NLD but I think there will

be many more than that. It's just an extraordinary story. I

mean really such a short mean really such a short time ago people were celebrating

here after Aung San Suu Kyi was

released from house arrest and

now she's become part of their

parliamentary process as part

of this political reform process that the Government is

implementing. Our observations of the polling places themselves, conversations with

officials and our conversations

with representatives from both

sides have also shown that the

process has gone process has gone pretty smoothly. I guess the question

is what happens now? Can is what happens now? Can they

sustain the reform sustain the reform process,

what will be Aung San Suu Kyi's

position in the parliament and

just how much of a difference

can her NLD make? But all of

those are issues for later.

Right now this is just about a

victory and the happiness of

the people of Burma. Zoe Daniel

reporting there from Rangoon.

News agencies are reporting

that a Russian passenger plane

with 43 people on board has

crashed in Siberia. At least 16

people have been killed, 12

people have been rescued. people have been rescued. The ATR 72 crashed near the western

Siberian city of Tumen. The

former AFL player Ben Cousins

has made a brief appearance in the Perth Magistrates Court on

a charge of possessing drugs with intent to sell or supply. 33-year-old Cousins did not enter a plea to the charge and

was released on bail until was released on bail until his

next appearance in June. His

lawyer argued, and the magistrate agreed, that

magistrate agreed, that if Cousins was convicted he would

not receive a jail term. Cousins was arrested in Cousins was arrested in the south coast town of Esperance last week after arriving to

attend a drug rehabilitation

facility. It's alleged police

found a 4.5 grams of methamphetamine hidden in his

body. Let's take a look at

business news now. Here is

Alicia Barry.

The local share market has

given back most of the day's

earlier gains which were

sparked by better than expected

Chinese manufacturing data.

After adding as much as After adding as much as 0.8%

the All Ords is up by just a

quarter and the ASX 200 index

is up by a similar amount. The

turn around on the local market

occurred after much weaker than

expected economic data. Figures

out today show builders doing

it tough in February. Building approvals took an unexpected

tumble off almost 8 Magistrates

Court - 8% due to a slump in

new apartments and renovating.

Across the region it's a mixed

session. Investors in Japan are

focussing on those strong manufacturing numbers out of

China. Hong Kong's Hang Seng is

going back the other way giving

back some of its earlier gains. On Wall Street the Dow Jones

closed out its best quarter since 1998. The relatively high

Australian dollar is keeping a

lid on inflation according to lid on inflation according to a private sector measure. TD

Securities and the Melbourne

Institute found the pace

Institute found the pace of

price rises ticked up in March

because of the cost of fuel but

over the year price growth

slowed to a 2-year low. Prices

for meat, sea food, housing,

clothing and footwear all fell

in the month. The RBA meets

tomorrow and is largely

expected to keep interest rates

on hold. A private survey shows home prices in capital cities increased slightly last increased slightly last month.

The RP Data Rismark home value

index rose 0.28% in March. Prices rose the most in Perth

and Hobart. The index was flat over the first few months of

the year. And a monthly survey

of manufacturing has found the

industry contracted slightly

last month. The performance of

manufacturing index came in manufacturing index came in at

49.5 in March, that's below the 50-point level which indicates expansion. The survey is

carried out by the Australian Industry Group and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The

IAIG says the weak demand is

hamp eing the sector. An official measure show s. The purchasing manage purchasing manage indeckts

issued by the Chinese

Government grew to 53.1 from 51

in February boosted by an

increase in new order. That's

its higher level in a year. A

reading over 50 indicates

expansion however the result is

at odds with HSBC's index for

the month which fell to 38.3

down from 49.6 in February.

Chief economist at ANZ Warren

Hogan said investors should

focus on the official figure

for guidance. It's an inform

58 one and largely focus on small and median interpriesss.

This is the official one we got

yesterday and is a big survey. The other thing I think we The other thing I think we need

to be careful with with all

Asian data in the last few

months is the lunar new months is the lunar new year

effect is mucking around with

the seasonal patterns. So

there's a little bit of nois