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CC Tonight, the Federal

Government throws a lifeline to

ABC Learning. It's business as

usual until 31 December this

year. Looking on the bleak

side. The IMF slashes global

growth rates. There has been a

very sharp decrease, much

sharper than

sharper than anticipated. Dazzling debut,

Jason Krezja's 8-wicket haul.

And Taronga Zoo's special delivery. Hopefully I don't

have to part with her too

soon. Good evening, Juanita

Phillips with ABC News.

Taxpayers will be propping up

ABC Learning childcare centres

until the end of the year. In

the wake of the company's

collapse, the Government has

collapse, the Government has

promised up to $22 million to

keep the doors open. During

that time, receivers will be

picking through what's left of

the assets. The Government says

it may never again allow one

company to take such a

stranglehold over the childcare

industry. There's a bear in

there and a receiver as well.

This company's falling all over

the place. I don't think

the place. I don't think you

can blame anyone. Just what's

basically happening in the

economy over the last couple of

years, huge growth so quickly.

Working families at ABC

Learning's 1,000 centreses this

morning didn't know if or when

the company's collapse might

take their childcare down too.

What are we going to do? I

lose my job and stay home.

Probably change my career. I

might have to stay home or go

part-time. The outlook was might have to stay home or go

just as grim for the company's

16,000 workers. I hope they

don't lose their jobs. I feel

extremely sorry for the

position they're in. Behind the scenes a Government task force

had been formed and ABC

Learning's receivers were

painting it a grim picture of

just how sick the debt-laden

industry giant is. The data

of indicates that it's around 40%

of centres. That's around 400

centres that faced closure so

along came the bail-out, $22

million to help buy time for

unprofitable centres until new

year's eve. Arrangements

beyond 31 December this year

will become clear and we will

make noums about those when

possible. Options include the

sale or off loading of centres to corporate or

to corporate or not-for-profit

operators with possible support

from the Government but there

will be no blank cheque or new

Mega operator to replace ABC

Learning. It's reinforced a

view in Government that extreme

capitalism is as unwelcome in

childcare as in the finance

sector. Further

sector. Further regulating

might be necessary, it is

something for us to address

very soon. Bringing things

down to size. There's been

another bleak economic

forecast, this time for the

international monetary fund.

The IMF has predicted economic

growth here will be slower than what the Federal Government

forecast two days ago, that's

prompted the Government to flag

more spending measures aimed at

more spending measures aimed at

International Monetary Fund stimulating the economy. The

says Australia's economy is in

worse shape than we thinkthism

outlook for most advanced

countries is grim. There has

been a very sharp decrease,

much sharper than we

anticipated in advanced

countries in the past few

Monetary Fund's projected months. The International

growth in Australia of 1.8%

this year is lower

this year is lower than the 2%

forecast by the Federal

Government on Wednesday. Right

now the Government's forecasts

are looking too optimistic.

The Prime Minister now

recognises more needs to be

done to get the economy

moving. The Government will

have fresh announcements to

make on the question of future

infrastructure

funding. Overall, the IMF

economies will shrink this predicts the world's advanced

year, the first decline since

World War II. It now expects a recession in the US,

recession in the US, UK, Europe

and Japan and a growing number

of analysts are tipping

Australia to join the list. At

some point over the next year

or so we will see a contraction

in growth in Australia leading

to a slight recession. We are

starting to see already quite

significant downturns in car

sales, retail spending and as

is the case, even people with

money in the bank at the moment

are reluctant to spend it. All

the uncertainty helped send the

local share market another 2.5%

lower today l the gains from

earlier in the week have now

been wiped out. Quite clearly

the share market remains very

twitchy and it's too early to

say we've seen the bottom for

this bear market. The price of

oil tumbled to just over US$60

a barrel, at one stage hitting

its lowest level since March

last year. As we just heard

last year. As we just heard t

was another roller-coaster week

for global share markets. The

euphoria over the presidential

election outcome was

short-lived on Wall Street and

the local markets weren't

helped by the IMF's

predictions. Here's Alan

Kohler. Wall Street has

welcomed the new President with

a 10% fall in two days which

was not spoezed to happen.

There was supposed to be a

resurgence of confidence around

resurgence of confidence around

the world, instead everyone has

been reminded that economically

at least it's a hospital pass.

The Footsie fell 6% despite a

massive cut in the official

cash rate by the Bank of

England, down 1.5% to 3%.

Instead of cheering investors,

it made them realise the

normally stiff upper lips of

normally stiff upper lips of Threadneedle Street are not

stiff anymore. Now cash rates

and interbank rates are coming

down around the world, the

banks are prepared to lend to

each other but not companies.

The graph shows the cost of

company debt that is the spread

between corporate bonds and US

Government bonds going back to

1920. As you can see, corporate

borrowing costs are higher now

than they have been since the

than they have been since the

Great Depression. The All

Ordinaries closed 2.4% lower

today. The market fell on

opening and stayed there all

day. Rio Tinto fell 8.5%, ANZ

4%, Bank of Queensland had a

shocker, down 8%, and Westfield

6.5%. Commodities were hammered

as well last night, especially

oil, down to $60 a barrel, its

That's the good lowest point for 18 months.

That's the good news really.

The Australian Dollar didn't do

much today, down slight ly

against the US dollar but up a

bit against the trade-weighted

index. The Bank of England has

cut Britain's official interest

rates by a massive 1.5

percentage points. The UK's

economy is in steep decline and

the rate cut is aimed at

holding back from a deep

recession. Interest rates there

are just 3%, the lowest

are just 3%, the lowest in 55

years. The European Central

Bank cut a half a per cent ,

the Bank of England went a

whole 1% better, shocking

everyone. They've clearly

decided rates are coming down

fast, we might as well get on

with it. It's not hard to see

why. Not a day goes by without

poor economic news. Today house

prices 15% down over the year,

falling at a record rate, manufacturing

manufacturing further declines,

car sales 23% down. Even

markets that were strong up

'til about the middle of the

year like Russia and China and Australia for instance, are

also seeing strong hits to

their industries. It's hoped

the drastic rate cut to 3%, the

lowest since 1955, will at

least slow the decline and help

clear the back log of new cars

and give home owners

and give home owners some

relief. So far Julia Martin is

seeing none of it, her fixed

rate home loan is up for

renegotiation and with house

prices crashing her equity has

disappeared and she can't

afford the 50% increase on

offer. They've got themselves

in to this mess by their own

greed and stupidity and to make

the average person on the

street suffer for that is

immoral. Just as in Australia,

the British Government is

urging the banks to cut rates

fully. The problem is despite

some banks receiving billions

of taxpayers' dollars just to

stay afloat, many are arguing

they simply can't afford in

this kurp clime toot pass on

the full benefit to customers.

That surely is a recipe for

more anger and frustration in

this cold climate of recession.

Two days after his historic election win, Barack Obama's

White House preparations are

beginning to take shape. He's

received his first security

brief scption he's locked in

his first appointment, the

crucial role of Chief of Staff.

North America correspondent

Mark Simkin reports from

Chicago. Rahm Emanuel is a

ballet dancer turned head

kicker. Rahm-bo as he's known,

is about to become one of the

most powerful men in America.

My parents are alive to see

their middle son have a choice

of his career between being a

Congressman and being the Chief

of Staff to a historic

presidency at a historic

time. The tough Washington

inside fr formally accepted the

latter job this afternoon. The

Chief of Staff is central to the

the ability of a President to accomplish an agenda, Barack

Obama said in a statement.

No-one I know is better at

getting things done than Rahm

Emanuel. Barack Obama spent the

day shuttling between meetings

and briefings. At Chicago's FBI

headquarters he got his first top secret intelligence

update. Over the next 75 days,

all of us must ensure that the

next President and his team can

hit the ground running. George

hit the ground running. George

and Laura Bush will welcome

Barack and Michelle Obama to

the White House next week. The

President-elect found time to

phone nine foreign leaders

including Kevin Rudd. We spoke

of the challenges we face and

our resolve to act together on

the financial crisis. Barack

Obama will inherit the worst

financial crisis since the

Great Depression, tomorrow

he'll meet his financial advisers including Warren

Buffett. While the Democrat is

building his team, the Republicans are tearing theirs

apart. One McCain staffer

alleges Sarah Palin spent much

more on her wardrobe than

$150,000, another told Fox News

the Alaskan thought Africa was

a country, not a cawinant. I

won't comment on gossip. Some

Republicans think Sarah Palin

is the future of the party and

there's speculation the hockey

mum will face off against

Barack Obama in 2012. Helen

Clark might be about to spend

her last night as New Zealand's

Prime Minister. Kiwis go to the

polls tomorrow and the latest

survey sugs Ms Clark's nine

years at the top is about to

en. This morning the campaign

turned nasty. Police had to

break up scuffles between Labor

break up scuffles between Labor

and National Party supporters.

Kiwis are considered pretty

laid back, except maybe when it

comes to sport and politics.

Palmerston is Labor territory

and will remain that way.

Around a dozen Helen Clark

supporters tried to steal

National Party leader John

Key's thunder as he attended a

campaign rally this morning. Things went bad when National

Party supporters tried to

silence Mr Key's critics.

Excuse me. Help please.

National thug. John Key wasn't

phased. This one has got a bit

of a more mixture of red and

plubut I'm sure blue is gonna

do better on the day and the

fact they're down campaigning

with us shows you they want to

join the blue team. In the

latest polls, John Key's

National Party has enough

support to govern but only

just. Helen Clark is trailing

by about 12 points but she's

by about 12 points but she's

not going down without a fight.

She did 11 radio and television

interviews this morning and

then she visited a school. So

thanks for having us. We're

going to throw the media out

and have a quiet cup of tea

with you. Thank you. The

election might be tomorrow but

under New Zealand's

proportional voting system, the winner might not be known for

weeks. The minor parties are

expected to once again play a

expected to once again play a

crucial role in deciding New

Zealand's next Government. The

uniqueness of the Australian

Alps has been recognised with a

listing on the national

heritage register. It's the

biggest area of its kind,

covering 11 National Parks

across NSW, Victoria and the

ACT. The listing means that any

significant developments in the

alpine range will now need

approval from the Federal

approval from the Federal

Government. From the peaks of

the Snowy Mountains to the

rivers below, this massive 1.6

million hectare area of land

now joins other well known land

marks such as Bondi Beach, Kakadu National Park and Port

Arthur on the National Heritage

List. A recognition that the

Australian Alps are deserving

of the highest possible identification of their extraordinary national and

extraordinary national and

cultural values. The region is

home to several unique alpine

species, the snow gun and the

endangered mountain pygmy

possum which weighs just 45

grams. But in some ways, more

important is the fact that the

Australian Alps are like

basically a big water bank.

The heritage listing

incorporates some of the

country's best ski

country's best ski fields,

significant development will

now need approval under Federal

law. Alpine tourism operators

are already concerned. The

Minister says there's no need

to be. It means that site

managers who have National

Heritage Listing work together

to ensure they've got good

conservation plans in place. But conservationists say it

will take a lot more to protect

the Alps from climate change.

This announcement today needs

to be backed by real action on

climate change to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and

the investment of resources in

to protecting these places.

They say without action the heritage listing is nothing

more than a symbolic gesture.

Tonight's top story - the Federal Government says it will

provide up to 22 million

dollars to keep ABC Learning

centres open until the end of

the year. And still to come,

the stunning Test debut from Australian Jason Krezja.

Well, it's been said you can

cut the air in the M5 tunnel

with a knife. People woo live

near the tunnel in Sydney's

southwest or travel through it

say they've known for years

it's tox scpk now a new study

it's tox scpk now a new study

has proved just how toxic. It's

the most toxic tunnel in

Australia and rates amongst the

worst in the world. Really the

best thing they can do if using

the tunnel is try not to use

it. According to a studry by

the national health and medical

research centre, Sydney's M5

motorway is a serious health

risk. It can have impacts

first of all upon the lungs but

first of all upon the lungs but

when you're dealing with things

like ultra fineper ticulate s,

the impacts can be found in the

heart and other vascular

systems. Residents say it

confirms what they've long

believed. Let's get something

done ask get real recognition

there is a problem, there must

never be another tunnel built like this one. The State Government concedes there is a

problem and is building a new

filtration system for the tunnel. We do

tunnel. We do acknowledge that

the particulate levels in some

of the gases in the tunnel are

harmful and that it why we're

filtering the tunnel and why we

continually monitor it.

Labor's incompetence is not

just going to cost taxpayers

more to retrofit ventilation t

may well be going to affect the

health of people in the years

ahead. If the Government's

measures are too little too

late, there may be little

late, there may be little that

people whose health has

suffered can do about it. This

Government has brought in

limitations to personal injury

laws which make it difficult to

succeed and prove such a

claim. The Government says

it's considering constructing a

parallel road to ease

congestion.Adding to the stink

over the M5 tunnel, the Premier

today reneged on not one but

two promises. The overhaul of

political donations has been

axed and also out the door,

plans to fast-track the

creation of a headland park on

Sydney Harbour. The packed

politics in the pub crowd saw

Nathan Rees shake hands with

Barry O'Farrell on a promise to

overhaul the political

donations system but the

Premier's backing away from

that pledge. Mr Rees has been

given a report which says a total ban on

total ban on political

donations could be invalid

because it will contravene

rules allowing for freedom of

communication. Nathan Rees

dozen want to raise levels in

NSW. He's not interested in

restoring integrity to public

administration NSW. The

Premier shouldn't just use a

report that argues about a constitutional problem as an

excuse for giving up on doing

anything about political

anything about political

donations. There well could be different viewpoints on that

key issue. The Premier says it

would be impossible for NSW to

act on donation changes on its

own. He's calling for a national approach. Today the

Government also backed away

from another promise made by the former Premier to

fast-track the building of

public parkland. It had pledged

to outlay $150 million so it

could open the park three

could open the park three years

earlier than planned. In the

current economic climate, I

don't judge that be a good use

of funds given the demand on portfolios like health and

transport. In a bid to improve

its bottom line, the State

Government will increase the

tax on investment properties

and offices worth more than

$2.25 million by 25%.

$2.25 million by 25%. What we

should be doing is opening the

doors for people to invest

further in NSW, not increasing

taxes on investors who are

already here. The move could

raise up to $200 million a year

but it's small change ahead of

next Tuesday's slash and burn

mini budget. The principal who allowed controversial

photographer Bill Henson into a

Melbourne primary school has

escaped disciplinary action.

Sue Knight's decision to escort

Mr Henson through the school

playground so he could search

for subjects has been deemed within departmental

guidelines. Had I been aware

of any controversy prior to the

visit being organised, I would

not have had the visit occur.

But I don't have the benefit of hindsight. The Victorian Education Department will

Education Department will now tighten the guidelines

governing outside visitors. The

man accused of the man

slaughter of Dianne Brimble has

faced court for the first time.

During a brief appearance, Mark

Wilhelm was required to post

bail of $10,000 and hand in his

passport. The 42-year-old

Brisbane mother of three died

from an overdose of alcohol and

the drug fantasy during a P & O

cruise in 2002. A court heard

two other men charged in

relation to the death may be

called to give evidence at

Wilhelm's trial. One of the

shocking revelation s which

prompted the Northern Territory

intervention was the number of

young children with sexually

transmitted infections. Now a

new report suggests the

intervention has made very

little difference on that

front. The Territory Health

Department says while there has

Department says while there has

been a slight drop over all in

the number of STIs, in children

aged 10 and under it's actually

gone up. Children under the age

of consent are contracting

sexually transmitted diseases

in the Territory, some of those

children are younger than 10.

In the first half of 2007,

prior to the Federal

intervention into Aboriginal

communities there, was one case

of gonorrhoea recorded in a

child aged under 10 in the

child aged under 10 in the

Territory, there were 5 cases

of chlamydia and one of

trichomoniasis, a common

disease caused by parasite.

Over the same 6-month period

this year when the intervention

was in full swing, the figures

for gonorrhoea and trichomoniasis dropped but

there were double the cases of

chlamydia. We have had a

certain amount of I guess

attention paid to STIs in

children in the past 12 months

children in the past 12 months

and that means that we're being

super vigilant t also means

we're probably testing more.

The Health Department figures

don't specify when whether the

infected children are

Aboriginal or not but the

figures raise questions about how successful the intervention

has been in protecting

Aboriginal children from sexual

abuse. The figures show that

across all age groups, the

rates of some STIs are

dramatically higher in

Aboriginal communities than in

the wider community. The rates

of gonorrhoea for example are

27 times higher ta in the

Aboriginal community than in

the wider population. The ring

leader of the Palm Island riots

has been sentenced to six years

jail. With parole, Lex Wotton

could be out in 19 months. In

2004, the Palm Island police

station and courthouse were

burned to the ground after a local

local man died in police

custody. In sentencing, the

judge said eventses leading up

to the riot were not an excuse but said the investigation in

to the death in custody was

mishandled. A brilliant bowling

performance from Jason Krezja

has breathed life in to

Australia's chances of winning

the fourth Test against India.

The off spinner became just the

third Australian in the history

of the game to take wickets

of the game to take wickets on

debut. India was dismissed for

441 with Krezja taking 8/215. A

veteran of 154 Test matches and

a novice in his first felt

similar satisfaction. Sachin

Tendulkar just keeps on

producing runs and he rode some

late in his innings to reach

another career milestone. 40 Test match hundreds Test match hundreds for Sachin Tendulkar. Each ton is a

different one, it has its own

importance. A partnership of

146 with VVS Laxman threatened

to completely derail Australia.

After nearly getting Tendulkar

twice, Test dab taunt Jason

Krezja took his third wicket.

Yeah! He'll appeal and he's

given him. We're off to a good

start which is fantastic. I start which is fantastic. I

couldn't ask for much more from

today's play. Honours were

nearly even with the dismissal

of Tendulkar for 109. Jason

Krezja's valiant dive for a red

herring of a chance off the

boot was the only oasis of

opportunity early on the second

day. Australia's bowlers

perished on the measured bats

of Sourav Ganguly of Sourav Ganguly and MS Dhoni.

The century stand and India's

400 came with out of character

streakiness. The tempo lifted

after lunch with Australia on

the defence. They finally

rejoiced. Krezja striking his

fourth wicket, all be it for

200 runs, Dhoni out for 56. That trig rted an Australian

revival, Krezja's 5th wicket on

debut, denying Ganguly a

century in his final Test. Two

successive wickets put Krezja

on a hat-trick. That didn't

materialise, his eighth put him

in elite company as only the

third Australian to achieve

that defeat. Great reactions

from Katich. Krezja has 8.

Serena Williams' emotions

matched her performance in the

season ending WTA

championships. Serena had a mid

match meltdown as Venus won 12

of the next 13 games, taking

the final set 6-0. It's a

little bit harder, especially

in a tournament like this

because I definitely want her

to qualify for the semifinals

and it would be osfm we could

meet in the finals. Serena

Williams needs to win her next

match of the round robin event

to reach the semifinals. NSW

has held on for a drawer in the sheefled shield match with

Victoria at the SCG.

Contributions from Phil Hughes, Dominic Thornely and Peter

Forrest helped the Blues. The

bushrangers claimed first

innings points. There's nothing

like springtime to bring on a

flurry of new born kriteders at

the zoo but you don't get a lot

of baby hipposes. This

springtime though Taronga Zoo

has got lucky, it's welcomed a

baby pygmy hippo called Monifa.

Monifa has been kept under

wraps since she was born three

weeks go, now she's about to

face the big, wide world at

meal time. What a lot of fuss

but nothing much stands between

a hippo, even a baby pygmy one

weighing only 6 kg s, and a

feed. Just amazing. She

doesn't look real. She's so

cute and fragile and tiny. And

messy. Like most babies, a bath

is necessary after a feed and

then comes a second bath, hippo

play time. Monifa is powering

along, thanks to her surrogate

mothers, Renae Zammit and Tracy

Roberts. She nearly didn't

make it. She was born, she's

going through my radio - what

are you doing back there and

she was actually born backwards

which made the labour quite

long and so when see was born

she was quite weak and definitely needed some

assistance from us. Hence the

name Monifa. In Nigeria where

pygmy hippos largely come from,

it means, "I am lucky," not

that Monifa's mother cares. She

came from Adelaide zoo, mated,

delivered, went back to

chomping and dad is inside

taking a rest. They live sol

itary lives, that's normal. As

you can see, Monifa is a chip

off the old block, already the

spitting image of her mum Petra

who's 24 years cold and if all

goes well, in just a few years

Monifa too could be a mum. Even

for Petra that's bit hard to

swallow and Monifa's not

rushing in to anything just yet

anyway. It's been a mixed bag

weather-wise this week and it

looks like more of the same on

the weekend, Graham. It looks

as though we're in for a cloudy

and wet start to the weekend

but it will improve as the but it will improve as the weekend progresses.

The mass of cloud in the east

formed as a trough, a low and a

cold 41 interact over the

southeast states. We're also

getting a tropical moisture

feed in from the north-west but

the front and a high developing

rapidly behind it will push

that cloud can & the associated

rain fall off the northeast

coast of NSW by Saturday night coast of NSW by Saturday night

and then the high will bring a

week of stable, dry weather

across much of the State.

Rainfall should increase in

intensity and spread overnight,

although falls on and east of

the ranges, as I mentioned

before, like Sydney, will be

light. Onshore winds behind the

front will see some showers

linger over the southeast

tomorrow.

Thanks, Graham. That's ABC News for

News for this Friday. Stay with

us now for Stateline with

Quentin Dempster and for the

latest news 24 hours a day, go

to ABC online. Goodnight.

Closed Captions by CSI

CC This week, is nothing

steakred? Not even the local

golf course? People look at

every parcel of land now with a

dollar sign in their mind. And

the dollar signs aren good for

Treasurer Eric Roozendaal. He's

planning a horror mini Budget.

Don't be crazy and start

cutting in the middle of a

downturn. Welcome to Stateline

NSW, I'm Quentin Dempster.

Fasten your seatbelts for the

horror mini Budget to be

delivered by Treasurer Eric

Roozendaal next Tuesday. Under

cover of the global melt down,

the Rees Government is going to

detonate all its bad news in