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Live. A plan

A plan for universal health

care takes centre stage with

Barack Obama delivering his

first budget to congress worth

a whopping $3.5 trillion US. A

former Serbian President is

acquitted but five officials

are found guilty. The UN war

crimes tribunal delivers its

first verdicts over Kosovo.

Industry Minister Kim Carr

admits it wasn't a good idea to

say no jobs are safe, while the

its Emmissions Trading Scheme government is called to delay

to protect the economy. And

Ricky Ponting and Michael

Clarke help Australia into a

strong position after a

terrible start to the first

test in South Africa.

Good morning it is Friday

the 27th of February. I am Joe

O'Brien. I am Virginia Trioli.

The top story on ABC News

Breakfast - US President Barack

Obama has handed congress his

first Budget promising massive

spending on health, education

and the environment. The

Budget will cost more than $3.5

trillion US. And it also

includes big spending on the

wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

While president Obama says the

recession means America's economy will contract this year

he says his spending plans will

lead to growth of more than 2%

in 2010. While we must add to

our edeficits in the short-term

to provide immediate relief to

families and get our economy

moving, it is only by restoring

fiscalties discipline over the

long run we can reduce

sustained growth and share

prosperity. That is precisely

the purpose of the Budget I'm

submitting to congress today.

This budget is an honest

accounting of where we are, and

where we intend to go. For too

long our budget has not told

the whole truth about how

experience tax dollars have

been spent. Large sums have

been left off the books,

include the true cost of

fighting in Iraq and

Afghanistan. That kind of

dishonest accounting is not how

you run your family budgets at

home. It is not how your

government should run its

budgets either. US President

Barack Obama peing there. And

US correspondent Mark Simkin

joins us from Washington. Just

take us through these mind

boggling figures. They are

mind-boggling. Deficit is a dirty word in Australian

politics. So I wonder how the

people arguing over Australia's

deficit would digest a $1.25

trillion US Budget deficit for

this fiscal year. That is what

Barack Obama is projecting.

That's over $2.5 trillion

Australian. My math isn't that

good. So we will stick with

the American figures for now. That's worth remembering though

that we are talking about a $1

trillion deficit that Barack

Obama inherited. He is going

to grow that because of the

bank bail-outs, because of the

other costs involved in

kick-starting the economy, as

he describes it. But we are

still talking about a deficit

that is going to be 12% or more

of GDP, and that is the biggest

Budget deficit since World War

II. Absolutely staggering sums

of money. But he is still

saying he can cut that by half

in his first term. How is he

going to do that? Yes, very

ambitious agenda. And a lot of

people are wondering if it will

be possible. It is a

combination of things - there

are going to be tax increases

for the wealthy, part of a

massive redistribution of

wealth. Barack Obama the Robin

Hood as it were, taking from

the rich, giving to the poor.

So the wealthy will pay more

tax. There will be savings and

he estimates he has already

found vast amounts of savings in the budget of the things

like subsidies to wealthy

farmers who earn hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

They are going to be phased

out and that's obviously good

news for Australian farmers

although it sets up a huge

embruising potential battle in

congress because the farm lobby

is extremely powerful. And of

course there will also be moves

to incorporate the decreased

cost of the war in Iraq.

Barack Obama tomorrow is

expected to announce troop

withdrawals from Iraq. All

combat troops to be withdrawn

from Iraq. There are a number

of factors that will contribute

to, hopefully, he says hauling

the budget - halving the budget

deficit. The policy he is

sticking to from the election

campaign is health care

protection? This is exactly

right. And it's extraordinary

I think that at the same time

as he is laying out these very

intimidating deficits he is

also talking in terms of

massive ideological economic

cultural shifts and revolutions

in the United States. As you

say, he is making a down

payment on health care reform.

The United States doesn't have

universal health care. It has

very expensive premiums for

insurance, it has about 50

million people who are

uninsured and therefore missing

out on needed medical care. He

is trying to push that through

congress, he is trying to push

through a cap and trade scheme.

A carbon emissions limiting

seem he would hope save some

muby. So we are talking about

some major revolutionary ideas

for the United States that are

also a part of this budget.

And Mark, just briefly there

has been another interesting

announcement on the side which

just signals again this change

in philosophy from the Bush administration to Barack Obama.

Yes, as we go to air

Robertgate - Robert Gates the

defence secretary is expected

to announce any outlaw ing of media coverage of any deceased

or killed troops returning to

the country will be overturned.

The Bush administration and

secretary Rumsfeld won't let

photographers or reporters

cover the troops coming back

from Iraq and Afghanistan in

their caskets in Delaware and

it looks like the Obama

administration as part of this

change is going to overturn

that. Instead the families of the deceased will have the

option of allowing the cameras

to film the return. Mark

Simkin in Washington, thank

you. In other news this

morning, the former Serbian President Milan Milutinovic has

been acquitted of war crimes in

Kosovo by a UN tribunal at the

Hague. Five other Serbian

officials were convicted on war

crimes charges and were jailed

between 15 and 22 years. All

charges relate to atrocities

committed against ethnic

Albanians in the 1990s, it's

the court's first ruling on

alleged crimes by Serbian

forces in the Kosovo conflict.

Rival Palestinian factions have

agreed to set up a unity

government by next month.

Fatah and Hamas along with a

number of smaller groups held reconciliation talks to formalise an alliance between the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

The groups have also agreed to

release prisoners from both

major factions. The Federal

Industry Minister Kim Carr

backed down from comments he

made yesterday saying no-one's

job was safe because of the

global financial crisis. The

opposition seized on the

comments as proof the government's economic stimulus

plan isn't working. Mr Carr

told a Senate estimates hearing last night he should last night he should have

chosen his words with more

care. The Australian Industry

Group wants the Federal Government to push back the

introduction of its planned

Emmissions Trading Scheme until

2012. There is growing

pressure on government to delay

the start of the scheme,

because of the global economic

downturn. Meanwhile the

government's ridiculed the

opposition's carbon capture

solution, the planting of 9

million hectares of trees. To Victoria now where Victoria now where fire crews

were around the country have

been struggling to contain four major bushfires in the lead up

to today's expected extreme

fire danger. Thousands of the

state's primary and

kindergarten students have been

given the day off school due to

the risk. Almost 200

government schools and almost

as many childcare services have

been closed. It appears a

mutiny by border guards in the mutiny by border guards in the Bangladeshh capital may be

over. They say the guards

surrender ed their weapons. It

took two days of bloody

fighting and up to 50 deaths

before the soldiers agreed to

lay down their arm s.

TRANSLATION: All soldiers in

the Bangladesh rifles are

surrendering their arms as the

government has given us hope it

will philanthropist will philanthropist our

demands. The begun fire stopped soon after this warning

from the country's PM.

TRANSLATION: You all should

surrender your s right now and

- arms right now and return to your barracks otherwise I will be forced to take whatever action is necessary for the

safety of people of my nation.

Putting words into action

tanks surrounded

tanks surrounded my camp.

TRANSLATION: Remember violence

begets violence. Restrain

yourselves, I assure you will

not be harmed in any way.

Hours later it was under

control. The guards

surrendered that weapons and

started releasing hostages.

This woman left the camp saying

"I don't know where my husband

is. I have no idea if he is dead

dead or alive". The mutiny

began when border guards fed up

over their low pay and

conditions started shooting

officers. When the fighting

intensified the streets were

abandoned and many residents

are still evacuating the area. TRANSLATION: We are leaving

our homes as there is an announcement from the

government to go to a safe

place. While everything is under control in the capital under control in the capital it

is still not clear whether the

rebel troops outside Daka are

also surrendering. Earlier

sporadic clashes broke out at

about a dozen guard posts

around the country. Now

returning to federal politics

and Hayden Cooper joins us this

morning from Canberra. Good

morning. And Senator Kim Carr

I guess had something like a

Hillary Clinton moment

yesterday where he has declared yesterday where he has declared

Jo ever overnight he -

overnight he misspoke. That's

right. He did stick his foot

in his mouth yesterday when he

was on radio and he said that

he doesn't thinknin's job is

safe - anyone's job is safe in

the current climate. That's

fine but when you have got the

PM talking of hope and optimism

and confidence, the two don't

really go together. To last

night in a Senate committee,

Kim Carr came forward with

Kim Carr came forward with a

mea culpa of sorts and said he

could have chosen his words

more carefully. Did he get his

head kicked in by those who

were asking the questions at

Senate estimates? Was it a

particularly difficult

exchange? I am sure they would

like to describe it that way.

It was the Liberal Senator Eric

Abetz who went after him. This

was the first question for the was the first question for the

opposition in Question Time.

So it didn't serve the

government too well yesterday.

And Kim Carr obviously didn't

please the PM I am sure. And

he would have been told to get

out there and correct the

record. He seemed to be

delivering a statement last

night in the Senate committee

when he apologised basically.

And so he will be certainly hoping that's the end of hoping that's the end of the

matter. A statement possibly emanating from Kevin Rudd's

office. The spot fires are

breaking out everywhere at the

moment for the government to

continue with the bushfire

metaphor of the season.

Heather Ridout potentially, who

is well respected on both side

of politics from the Australian

Industry Group, she has got a

suggestion Kevin Rudd. Do you

think he will or won't want to

hear this? I suspect he won't

want to hear it because the

government's being working very

hard this week to stress it

will go ahead with Emmissions Trading Scheme. The opposition

is getting more and more

nervous about it and now

Heather Ridout from the the

Australian Industry Group has

said that the 2010 start date

is simply not realistic. So it

is quite a development. Given

that Heather Ridout is a

respected member of the

business community and one that

the government trusts and goes

to for advice fairly

frequently. So I would imagine

that they would take note of

these warnings but still they

have made it fairly clear that

they want to get this up and

running next year. I think the

big key will be in the Senate

where some of the crossbenches

will notice these words from

Heather Ridout and use it as another argument that there is no

no reason at all to rush into

emissions trading. Good to

talk to you, we will talk later

on this morning. Thank you.

Returning to Europe now where

the former Serbian President

Milan Milutinovic has been

acquitted of Kosovo war crimes

by a UN tribunal at the Hague. For more our Europe

correspondent Stephanie Kennedy

joins us now. Good morning and

thank you for taking the time

for us. So tell us who was he? Who Who was Milan Milutinovic and

what was he accused of? Well

Milan Milutinovic was President

of Serbia from 1997 until 2002.

He became President of Serbia

after Molosovic appointed him

and moved on to become the

President of the former

Yugoslavia. Milan Milutinovic

was accused of ordering a

deadly campaign of terror deadly campaign of terror against Albanians in Kosovo.

He was charge with crimes such

as murder, persecution and

transportation. Now his trial

started in July 2006 at the

Hague and a court has now

acquitted him of the charges.

Found him not guilty. Instead

the court pointed the finger at

the former Yugoslav President Slobodan

Slobodan Milosovic who said no

corpse, no crime. They found

he had charge of the Army and ordered the deadly campaign of

terror. Is this a big loss for prosecutes then. Because as we

said this morning others have

been found guilty. Just not

this particularly big fish?

That's right. There were five others on trial at the same

time. Including a former

Deputy Prime Minister of yug slava.

slava. Some of them were

referred to as Milosovic h's

henchmen. They will now spend

15 to 22 years in jail. This

is a very significant trial for the international criminal

tribunal for the former

Yugoslavia. It is the first

trial involving alleged crimes

of Serb forces against Kosovo

to be completed. You to be completed. You may

recall the former Yugoslav

President Milosovich died

during his trial in 2006. The

fact this trial has concluded,

five people have been found

guilty is a victory for the

tribunal and for the victims.

Does it have any consequences

for the forthcoming trial of

Karadich? The tribunal's work is far from over.

is far from over. Karadic is

currently being held in a Dutch

prison. He was captured last

year. You may recall ag a new

age health guru. His trial

date is yet to be set but

certainly it does I think bode

well for the tribunal. The

fact that this was such an

important trial , it has

concluded. Five people have

been found guilty but, of

course, two men are still on the

the run, including the Bosnian

Serb general Miladic, so the

tribunal's work far from over

but they will be pleased at

least five of these defendants

in this trial were found

guilty. Stephanie Kennedy

thank you so much for that.

It's a pleasure. Let's go to

the front pages of the major

newspapers around the country

this morning. And financial

advisers and commissions paid advisers and commissions paid

on investment products will be

put before an inquiry to

examine whether investors have

been adequately protected by

the corporate regulatory system, reports 'The

Australian'. 'Financial

Review' says controversial

Telstra chief Sol Trujillo is

quitting in June ending a tumultuous four year term.

Hundreds of jobs are said to

be axed across industries ranging from property to the

law. Adds to fears Australia is heading is heading into a recession

according to the 'Age'. The

'Herald Sun' says Pacific

Brands executives gave

themselves pay rises of up to

170% as they planned to sack

1,850 workers. And the paper

leads with the picture of Ben

Cousins who played his first

game as a Richmond Tigers last

night and Paul Kennedy will no

doubt have more on that for us

in just a moment. The 'Daily Telegraph' reports on the same story and says

story and says the CEO of the

company Sue Morphet's pay rose

from $680,000 to more than $1.8

million in the deal. A million

pensioners stand to have their

payments reduced in a cost to

have the pension increased to

people. Retirees could have benefits slashed so payments

can be boosted for the most

vulnerable after a pension vulnerable after a pension

reform blueprint to be handed to the Rudd Government. The

'West Australian' reports. The

Adelaide 'Advertiser' is

leading with a picture of a

giant fire-fueled pipe organ

which is going to ignite

festivities for the Fringe

Festival. The paper also has a

report on welfare calling

system for elderly residents helped in the arrest of a

murder. That makes absolutely

no sense. We will try to

clarify that for the next

bulletin. The 'Canberra Times'

says the ACT has brought

forward $25 million in capital

works in a bid to stave off a local recession. The 'Courier

Mail' leads with a picture of crocodiles hatches and said

wild rep eggs may be harvested and says Anna Bligh is trailing

in the polls in the lead-up to

the election. A man who admitted murdering a

78-year-old woman in Hobart two years ago

years ago had killed before.

Reports the 'Mercury' And the

Northern Territory news says

children as young as 7 are

having to cross a croc infested

billabong to get to school.

But every big abong in the

territory is infested with

crocs isn't it? You wouldn't

be able to go anywhere. In a

city you are never more than 2m

from a rat? In the Territory you are never more than a you are never more than a

couple of metres from the croc.

I much prefer the ones just

breaking out of those eggs. If

you would like to send your comments to -

Let's take you through the

top stories on ABC News

Breakfast today - US President

Barack Obama hands congress a budget

budget worth more than $3.5

trillion. Promising massive

spending on health, education

and the environment. Barack

Obama says the recession will

keep America's economy in

negative growth this year but

will see a rebound of more than

3% in 2010. Former Serbian

President Milan Milutinovic is

acquitted of war crimes in

Kosovo by a UN tribunal at the

Hague. Five other Serbian officials were found officials were found guilty,

and jailed for between 15 and

22 years over atrocities

committed against Albanian

citizens in the 1990s.

Many schools are today expect

the extreme weather conditions have lead of have lead of course to the

closure of many schools this morning Melbournians are gathered at Federation Square

to raise money for those who

have been already affected by

the bushfires. The Our City

Cares function is running from

6 to 9 this morning and will

include music and performances.

Luke Waters joins us from

Federation Square. What's

happening there now? Well

Melbournians are in for a

pretty distinctive wake-up call this this morning. The Victoria

police pipe ban is in full

fetle behind me and that is

ahead of a day of speeches and

musicians and performances who

will come here and the

intention is to encourage CBD

workers to get behind the fire ravaged communities and they

will be asking for donations, both financial and practical as

the day unfolds, later in the

morning we will be speaking with lord mayor Robert Doyle

about just what he has planned and and his contribution to the

bushfire relief effort. And

also Major-General John

Cantwell who is heading up the

bushfire relief effort. And he

will give us an update on just

how that's going. Are you the

only one there at this stage?

There is just a couple of

people around. Walking their

dogs. A couple of jobbers and

that - joggers and that but

they are expecting quite a few

as the CBD as the CBD workers come in

around 9 o'clock. Just how bad

is the bushfire threat today?

Well, it is severe. There is

no question that today Victoria is under a severe bushfire threat. Temperatures in the

north of the state are expected

to get into the 40s. Further

south it will be the low to mid

30s. Strong northerly winds

potentially up to 50 km/h.

Obviously low humidity and heavy fuel loads. Later in heavy fuel loads. Later in the

afternoon the winds are

expected to swing around to the

south west and with that will

come storms and dry lightning.

That will only offer more

problems and difficulties for

fire crews. And there is still

a familiar - a now familiar message which has been put out

by the CFA and DSE and ha is

for people to - if they have

them - activate their fire

plans, if not make a very early

there are decision to leave. And Luke

there are a lot of schools that

have been closed today? Joe

189 in total. Booth primary

schools an secondary schools

and on top of that about 100 kindergartens and childcare

centres. One of the reasons

apart from the obvious safety

issues is to relieve

congestion. A lot of these

threatened communities there is

only one road in and one road

out and the CFA and police who

are keen to man a lot of these road blocks

are keen to relieve congestion

in the threatened areas. Luke

Waters thanks a lot for that.

I hope you get some company

down there soon. We will Joe,

I'm sure. A Scottish bank

government last years that bailed out by the British

reported the big est loss in

British corporate history. The

Royal Bank of Scotland has

admitted to racking up an

annual loss of ?24.1 billion or annual loss of ?24.1 billion or

$53 billion. As much as both

Australian stimulus packages

combined. A short time ago the British government announced it

would inject a further ?25

billion into the bank, meaning

taxpayers will now hold a 95%

stake in the floundering bank. Europe correspondent Emma

Alberici reports. Just months

ago the Royal Bank of Scotland

together with Lloyds, Britain's

other banking giant, took

Australian $80 billion from the

government. Today one admitted

it has lost more money than any

other company in the UK's

history. Fred good win was the

chief executive of RBS for the

last 10 years. He has already

gone but he is refusing to

accept the blame. It is just

too simple if you want to blame

it all on me. If you want to

blame it on me close the book. blame it on me close the book.

It does get the job very

quickly. It is humungus. It

is huge. Equivalent to 160,000

family homes could purchase had

you not lost that 24 billion.

To add insult to financial

injury the 50-year-old walked

away with an annual pension of

$1.4 million for life. Nobody

can support very extensive

pension arrangement as a pension arrangement as a time

when the bank is both losing

jobs of its employee s and at

the same time reporting major

losses. I don't know exactly

how many people have this

arrangement but it was terribly

common in RBS. That it wasn't

just sort of special deal for

Fred in any way at all. And

until very recently I don't think attracted any comment.

The bank posted a loss of ?40

billion. Which under some

clever accounting falls to clever accounting falls to $24

billion if the banks disastrous

take over of AN Amro is

ignored. The banks executives

blamed it all on the

unprecedented turbulence in

markets in the financial world.

There are already rumours that

its Australian business will be

sold to the Commonwealth bank. The Financial Services Authority defended its role.

The regulator blamed the

government for not averts the

crisis. Its chairman said

ministers were too busy enjoy

ing the boom to see the trouble

ahead. Under the latest bank

rescue scheme the British

government will ensure the

Royal Bank of Scotland goes bank's bad loan, as far as the

that represents $325 billion - ?325

?325 billion or $725 mill -

billion Australian. There are

questions about will wl or not

the - whether or not the

government can afford to pay

for the bank as mistakes.

to the markets now -

In a few minutes Vanessa

O'Hanlon will be here with a look at the national weather.

Also ahead we will have a

review of some of today's

newspapers. This morning we

will be joined by Gideon Haigh

from the monthly. Australia from the monthly. Australia is

five for 254 at stumps. We will bring you highlights this

morning. It was a terrible

start for the Aussies, debutante Phillip Hughes was

out fourth ball for a duck and

Simon Katich and Michael Hussey

fell soon after. Three slips at

gully and a forward short leg.

Oh, no. What a way to start.

Disappointment for him. It

Disappointment for him. It

was a bottom edge. Brilliant.

What a catch. You won't see

better. A re flex catch.

Brilliantly held. Out.

Hussey goes. Callis makes the catch.

Hussey goes. Beat en by

Kallis. For 3 for 38 Ricky

Ponting lead the fightback and

scored 83. Michael Clarke made

68. The pair shared a 113 run

partnership. Before Ponting

mis ered a swinger.

Guy Stayner to

Steyn to Clarke. Dropped it.

No. Graeme Smith. Now

Ponting. Now Ponting has six.

What seems to be just another

50. Bowled him. He has

bowled him. Oh,

bowled him. Oh, shot.

Nicely done. It's off the hip

down to fine leg. It is 50 for

Michael Clarke. Gone. Steyn

strikes. Just what South

Africa wanted. Another

debutante Marcus North is 47

not out and Brad Haddin is 37

not out. They steadied the team's first ins team's first ins before bad

light stopped play after just

68 overs, North looked like he had been playing test cricket

for years. Lovely shot.

That's a really got shot from

North. Edge. And beaten

Kallis. look at that.

Fantastic stroke. Fantastic stroke. Played

some thunderous cover drives

and that might be the best of

them. Shades of Matthew Hayden

there. It is day one of the

fourth test between England and

West Indies, Strauss has made

another century. He has got it.

A big hit. He has gone for all

the way. What a way to the way. What a way to raise

his 16th test 100 for the

England captain Andrew Strauss.

That was a great 100.

Moving away from cricket now

and Ben Cousins comeback to AFL

football was keenly watched by

his new Richmond supporters

last night. Thousands of them

welcome the him back to the

game with reference. The

former West Coast Eagle had 21 possessions for the night but former West Coast Eagle had 21

ran out of legs predictably in

the second half. He will be

happy with his return.

Although he copped a knock to

the head in the last quarter.

Richmond still lost by 46

points. So the Tigers

supporters may no longer be

viewing Cousins as their savour

first night can he . He can't be judged on the

first night can he in He

played quite well, but they

lost by 46 points. He can't

save the team on one evening?

Not according to the

supporters that were going into

the ground. They expected him

to win the game for them. It

is probably a good result for

everyone Richmond lost.

Cousins got through

uninjured. He had a pretty bad

knock wasn't it in He will be

OK. Just a knock OK. Just a knock in head. You

have had a few of them in your

time, you turned out OK.

Australia are in a decent

position for cricket. It

didn't look like it was at the

start of the game. No, the

same old players, Ponting and

Clarke played Australia out of

a fairly decent hole. But they

can be fairly pleased, I think,

after day one. There was a lot of movement

of movement there off the

pitch. And in the air there

was a lot of swing and so they

got through and they will be OK

from here on in. Cool, thanks Paul. ABC News Breakfast can

be watched live on the web from

anywhere in the world. Go to

the website which is -

Here is Vanessa O'Hanlon with

the weather. And some more

information about those extreme fire conditions in Victoria today. Good today. Good morning,

temperatures in the low 40s the

further up north you go. It

has been readjusted to 36 in

Melbourne but the concern is

those northerly winds and the

southerly cool change expected

to come through this afternoon.

Northern WA can expect thundery

rain because of cloud that's

sitting up near a tropical low.

Now a front and trough will

also cause a few storms over

inland WA. And cloud from that same front will

same front will produce the odd

coastal shower over Victoria

and Tasmania. Extreme fire

conditions over the south-east

with hot gusty northerly winds.

A cool but mostly dry change

will reach the region later.

Showers and thunderstorms

continue across the tropics and

moist on sure winds may give

the odd shower for coastal

Queensland. In Queensland -

for the start of the weekend -

I will see you in half an hour.

The top story on ABC News

Breakfast - US President Barack

Obama has forecast his

Obama has forecast his country's biggest deficit since

World War II in a budget that

promises a costly overhaul of

the health care system. The

President has reashired the

country this year's deficit of

US$1.75 trillion will be

measured by a series of funding

cuts as will ease to $533

billion by 2013. He said it

was an honest accounting of America's financial America's financial position.

While we must add to our

deficits in the short-term to

provide immediate relief to

families and get our economy

moving it is only by restoring

fiscal discipline over the long

run we can produce sustained

growth and share prosperity.

That is precisely the purpose

of the budget I am mitting to

congress today. This budget is

an honest accounting of where

we are and where we intend to go. For too long go. For too long our budget

has not told the whole truth

about how precious tax dollars

are spent. Large sums have

been left off the books, including the true cost of

fight anything Iraq and

Afghanistan. That kind dishonest accounting is not how

you run your family budgets at

home. It is not how your

government should run its

budgets either. US President

Barack Obama speaking a few

hours ago. Now remember you can can always contribute to ABC News Breakfast. Any comments

you would like to make about the stories we are covering today. Send email to -

In other news this morning -

the former Serbian President

Milan Milutinovic has been

acquitted of war crimes in

Kosovo by a UN tribunal at the

Hague. Five Hague. Five Serbian officials

were convicted on war crimes

charges and jailed between 15

and 22 years. All charges

relate to atrocities committed

against ethnic Albanians in the

1990s, it is the court's first

ruling on alleged crimes by

Serbian forces in the Kosovo conflict. Rival Palestinian

factions have agreed to set up a unity government by next

month. Both Fatah and Hamas

along with a number of smaller groups

groups held reconciliation

talks to formalise an alliance

between the Gaza Strip and West

Bank. The groups have also

agreed to release prisoners

from both major factions. The

Federal Industry Minister Kim

Carr has backed down from

comments he made yesterday that

no-one's job was safe because

of the global financial crisis.

The opposition seized on the

comments as proof the government's economic stimulus plan isn't working.

plan isn't working. Mr Carr

told a Senate estimates hearing

last night he should have

chosen his words with more care. The Australian Industry

Group wants the Federal

Government to push back the

introduction of its planned

Emmissions Trading Scheme until

2012. There is growing

pressure on the government to

delay the start of the scheme,

because of the global economic

downturn. Meanwhile the

government has ridiculed the opposition's opposition's carbon capture

solution, the planting of 9

million hectares of tree. To

Victoria now and fire crews

around the country have been

struggling to contain four

major bushfires in the lead-up

to today's extreme fire danger.

Thousands of the state's primary and kindergarten

students have been given the

day off school due to the risk.

Almost 200 government schools

and almost as many childcare

services have been closed. And And staying in Victoria with

the bushfires, dozens of firefighting aircraft will be

on the front line and they were

flat out yesterday as well

helping to prepare the state's

defences. Their overalls

aren't yellow and their hoses

aren't connected to fire

trucks. But these water bomber

pilots are every bit the

firefighter. And just like

those in CFA uniforms, they are

bearing the brunt of this

disastrous bushfire season. disastrous bushfire season. We

done what we could in Wandon

the place was just burnt.

There was nothing left. We

felt by the end of the day I

think every pilot felt we had

done very little. It was like

putting your hand up to a

tsunami. About 100 aircraft

have been part of the

firefighters efforts in recent

weeks, experienced pilots who

fought blazes all over the

world agree February the 7th

was like nothing they had seen.

The thick smoke, heavy air

traffic and constant explosions

from below them also made it

the most dangerous. It has

been a tough introduction for

first time bushfire pilot Shane

Hancocks. It is a steep learning curve. But you are

well trained before you start

and you ease into it. You

don't rush into it, Prior to

the season this water bomber

was brought off the Thai royal family for several million

dollar, it costs in excess of

$2,000 to run per hour but its

role on the fire front is as

crucial as it is expensive.

The house is probably $250,000

plus. Depends where it is. So

if you put it no that sense any

save is worth the money we pay

for them. On the most extreme

bushfire days bombers will make

up to 150

up to 150 drops. There are

eyes in the sky if you like and gives an update to the firefighters about the fire

spread and the assets at risk.

That was the country fire

authority's John Haines

speaking to Lisa Maksimovik.

After almost four years at CEO

of Telstra, Sol Trujillo has

resigned. His legacy will be a

mixed one. The business transformation transformation has put Telstra

in a much stronger financial

position. But the share price

is below where it was when he

took over and his battles with

the government have been a

distraction and left it without

a bid from the national

broadband network. He came to

Australia armed with a five

year plan. Since July 2005 Sol

Trujillo completed the

privatisation of Telstra,

integrated the Next G mobile integrated the Next G mobile

phone network and doggedly

stayed on message. Today he

received praise from the man

who appoint ed him. He has

delivered above and beyond

anything we could have

reasonably suspected out of

somebody over this last four

years. Sol Trujillo leaves

Telstra with a year still to

run on his strategy. I have

family, I have parents, I have

elderly parents. I have

children. I have all kinds children. I have all kinds of

reconnecting I need to do.

Chairman Donald McGechie says

the search for a replacement

will be exhaustive. They have

got to have the capacity to

conceptlise the struter. They

have got to be able to strategyise that and execute

it. We have got to go into the

issues of managing the legacy.

Understanding the legacy parts

of the system. Understanding

the future. Where the future. Where that future

is likely to take us. Telstra

built one of the most advance

the wireless networks under his

tenure and transformed the once

government-owned group into a

modern publically listed tell

co-: Sol has done what he said

he would do. He has increased

efficiencies, he has cut out

dead wood. He diffest ed dead wood. He diffest ed

interests that weren't part of

the core competency s. But

that hasn't stopped the share

price falling. Since taking

over in 2005 Telstra shares

have dropped around #20%. But

that is better than the rest of

the market. But Mr Trujillo

will most likely be remembered

for his stouches with the

competition watchdog and with

the Howard and Rudd

Governments. As much as you

sympathise with some of the

argument he put forward over

the years in terms of defending

Telstra's interest, only doing

projects that return enough,

have sufficient return on

invested capital, as much as

you understand where he is

coming from I think the clearly

must have been a way must have been a way to sort of

protect the interest of

shareholders better than where

the company is at now. He

came over very, very arrogant.

He did not want to listen to

other people. Doesn't want to

cooperate with other people.

Not with the regulator. Not

with the government. Not with

the industry. With nobody.

And I think that is very

un-Australian. It might work

in America but it is very un-Australian, Telstra delivered delivered a slightly better than expected first half

profit. Down just 1% on the

same time last year. The

company downgraded its four year guidance. That's only was

a bit of a surprise. Although

there was in a way to be

expected considering what's happening in the economy.

Buried away from the spotlight

of the profit statement, was a

$1.2 billion black hole in Telstra's pension scheme. In

the past six months they have lost

lost $330 million on the money

that they had invested to fund their pension scheme. And they

have also decided that they

need another $750 million in

order to meet their

obligations. So it is

basically cost shareholders

more than $1 billion their

defined pension scheme in the

last six months. Shareholders

will foot that bill and will

also have the estimated $30

million golden handshake Sol

Trujillo will receive when he depart s at the end of depart s at the end of June.

The discussion over whether he

is worse at will probably -

worth that will probably be a

feature of Telstra's next

shareholder meeting. You are watching ABC News Breakfast.

The top stories this morning -

US President Barack Obama hands

congress a Budget worth more

than $3.5 trillion pros ims

massive - promising massive

spending on health, education

and the environment. He and the environment. He says the recession will keep

America's economy in negative

growth this year but will see a

rebound of more than 2% in

2010. Milan Milutinovic is

acquitted of war crimes in

Kosovo by a UN tribunal at the

Hague. Five other Serbian

officials were found guilty and

they were jailed for between 15

and 22 years over atrocities

committed against Albanian

citizens in the 1990s. The citizens in the 1990s. The Federal Industry Minister Kim

Carr says he should have chosen

his words more carefully when

he said no-one's job was safe because of the financial

crisis. Meanwhile the Australian Industry Group is

warning that the market

downturn should be enough to

make the Rudd Government consider delaying its

Emmissions Trading Scheme.

And for a look at the

national papers today we are

joined by Hague Hague from the

'Monthy' magazine. Say it with

us, trillion. Trillion. It is

monopoly money. I love the way

you are annunciating it this

morning. We have to revise

that Dirkson line, a billion

here, a billion there and

pretty soon you talk about real money. Back in

money. Back in the millions

area just to take it down to a

level this morning. The first

story that caught my eye was

the outcry at no jobs safe

blunder. No, I am still not

quite sure why this is a

blunder so much. Kim Carr has

said that nobody's job is safe

in the current environment.

And I actually find that kind

of difficult to argue against.

But it does betray to

But it does betray to me the

ambivalence we have developed

about the GFC, the global

financial crisis. It is this

"don't mention the war"

mentality. If we mention it

once we might get away with it. But unemployment is expected

to rise to 7% according to

government forecaster, it is

not as if it is going to be

90%. No but here is a Canberra

press gallery gocha moment.

The government has been

ostensibly more optimistic

about the economy. They have

been trying to maintain this

consistent line and we maintain

between what the government has this slight chink of light

said and a minister has said.

And we decide that that's a big

story. In fact according to

the substance of the story in

'The Age' what Carr is saying

is exactly right. They

actually sight job losses that

have taken place, announced

yesterday at Lend Lease, Bort

Longyear, Maquarie Bank and the

interesting thing about those

job losses compared to the job

losses at Pacific Brands is

these are white collar job

losses and throughout the last

20 years white collar jobs have

been relatively score.

Relatively speaking. The blunder points out the

difficulty in walking that line between "we will between "we will be ruined, it

is very difficult" and the doom

and gloom line Kevin Rudd has

been helping "but we are here

to help you". We put in plans

support jobs - crucial initially to save jobs, then to

difference there and it is an

awfully difficult line to walk.

Kim Carr stepped over it. The

government is walking a fine

line anyway, in the sense

saying "things are very saying "things are very

serious, batten down the

hatches, by the way here is

$950, go and buy a plasma TV".

Your point is the Canberra

press gallery has a tendency to

get a statement and jump on it

and make a big thing on it.

But a government that is

saying we are going to do our

level best to protect aur jobs

can't be afford to be heard

saying "by the way none of your

jobs are safe". Yes they can

afford to be saying it. Who

cares, it doesn't make this any

difference. The very closed

world the Canberra press

inhabit where what politicians

say is immensely important and

in fact it is not at all. It

is a shadow play. Carr was right in the first place and

wrong in the second place. He

shouldn't have been apololgised

and Malcolm Turnbull is being

mischiefus when he is being

critical of the government for

a frivolous response to the GFC

and here he grasps the gravity

of the situation and Turnbull's

criticises him for it. I look

forward to your confrontations

with members of the Canberra press gallery over that one.

He makes the comments from the

safety of another city. There

is a great story in the 'Herald

Sun'. This is a cracking piece

bosses and of tabloid journalist. The

bosses and the director s of

Pacific Brands are revealed to

have given themselves colossal

pay rises last year while they

were in the process presumably

of sacking 850 workers. This

is a delicious story in the

class warfare. 170% That's

right. And the director the

remuneration more than doubled

last year. And what's last year. And what's more,

they have even got quotes from

the annual report where the

chief executive is praising the

outstanding staff of Pacific

Brands, 1850 now who of course

are excellent ex-staff. But

still outstanding. And they

have also found a description

of the interior of the CEO's

house from a real estate

brochure. Delicious. The thing is they have been

for' year. planning these cuts to staff

for' year. So while they have

been doing that they have been

rewarded handsomely. So it

would seem. The argument is

they need good money to attract

people to organise these

things. I guess that would be

the argument Joe. But they

really do know their tabloid onions at the 'Herald Sun'.

That's exactly the right way

to play that story. And you

can expect that now I think every time there is an announcement from announcement from a similar

company. Go straight back to

the annual report. See who got

an increase and when. I hope

so. Companies being judged by

what they say in their annual

reports, that will be a first.

Soon we will have questions

from shareholders. Meanwhile,

we have the departure of Sol

Trujillo from Telstra. The

original Amigo as he is

described in the 'The Australian'. Also in

Australian'. Also in the AFR.

$40 million he has taken for

his less than four years work

here. It is almost working for

charity by Sol's standards

considering he got $72 million

when he left US Western in

2000. Different times,

different habits. It is

interesting though the share

price is 27% below the level at

which Trujillo took over the

27%. I think it company. I don't think it is

27%. I think it is roughly the

same. A little less.

Definitely not 27%. It is

interesting that CEOs have been

judged by - or have always said

that they want to be judged by

their share prices. They are

very quick to ascribe rising

share frieses to their gene -

prices to genius but very slow

to take responsibility when the

share prices decline. What do

you guess or imagine will be

terms of his the government's response in

terms of his replacement? Will

they go outside the country or

will it always be someone from

outside the company in I

suspect so because it is so

important to sell the company

to capital markets these days.

They will probably look for a

brand name CEO. They usually

do. Probably the United States

do you think? A lost the

executives and senior

executives are people that

Trujillo has brought in with

him and who may now follow him

have gone. out the door. The other Amigos

have gone. Yes, and he is the

last. Terry McKran gives him a

nice send off in the 'Herald

Sun' today. He is singing off

his own song sheet there,

saying he has done a good job.

Look forward to more of these

because we haven't seen the

first reporting season of CEO

remuneration yet since the global financial crisis. So

there will be some interesting

of reflections and non-reflections

of market performance over the

last year. What's happening in

Queensland? There is an interesting poll on the front

page of the 'Courier Mail'

today. Which is one of those

interesting polls in the sense

it might actually affect the

result of future polls. Does

it is said the Bligh government

is a 50/50 chance of getting

back but it shows 64% of people polled believe Labor will win.

And I guess when it is revealed

exactly what the government's

prospects are, that has an

affect on people's voting

intentions in future. People might be suggesting they are

going to vote against Bligh

because they perceive there is

no chance of them being

replaced. Now there is a

possibility that Bligh might

not get back in. People might

be more circumspect in the way

they cast their votes. It is a

asked on this one, Galaxy Poll. 8,000 people were

asked on this one, not an

insubstantial sample. That's a

bad place to be after week one,

50/50. It certainly is. Thank

you to see you. Pleasure.

Here is Paul Kennedy with a

look at sport. Thanks, I will

be interested to get Giddeon's

take on the cricket in just a

few moments. Australia

rebounded to be in if a

reasonably strong position at

is turns on day one. Debutante is turns on day one. Debutante

Phillip Hughes made a fourth ball duck. Ricky Ponting

fought back as Simon Katich and

Michael Hussey fell cheaply.

The captain made 83 and Michael

Clarke made 68. Marcus North

was not out on 47 and Brad

Haddin not out on 37 when light

stopped play. The Aussies will

resume today on 5 for 254. And

Ben Cousins comeback to AFL

football was keenly watched by Richmond supporters last night.

Thousands of them welcomed him

back to the game with some

reference. The former West

Coast Eagle had 21 possessions

but ran out of legs in the

second half. He copped a knock

to the head later in the last

quarter. Richmond lost that

game by 46 points. Tiger Woods

had a successful return to golf

yesterday. He beat

yesterday. He beat Australian

Brendan Jones in around - around one of the World Matchplay Championship. He

looks in fool fitness and -

full fitness and says he wants

to win the tournament. He

doesn't bother turning out if

he can't whip. - win. I

thought cricket came back well

last night. I was very impressed with Marcus impressed with Marcus North. I

feel very sorry for Phillip

Hughes who has been vaunted all

week and he is a terrific

player. It is a bit like

Leonard hutton. Made a duck in

his test debut and after he

made a duck in his first game

for Yorkshire his coach said

"don't worry lad, thy started

at the bottom". He my look

back in a few years and

remember that famous duck he made.

made. It was a rackable shot

to get out on. It was. But it

is a fine line that a young

batsman wants to play

assertively but he made a

classic sort of risk-reward

mistake. Misjudgment.

Mentally is it hard to get

back from that? He will be back from that? He will be

sleeping pretty badly for the

next few nights the prospect of

a second duck in his start of

his test creek. Mind you

Graham Gouch did the same in

his first test match in 1975.

Ricky Ponting cam through? He

batted very well last night.

And there was one of those

agreement moments you seem to

get only in text cricket where

he was dropped that terribly

easy catch by submit smet submit submit and hits - Graeme Smith

and hits the next ball for six.

There is the moments you just

love in text cricket that you -

test ykt that you don't get in

Twenty20, just fantastic

theatre. What about the

selection? What did you make

of Kent kept in McDonald but

dropped Bollinger? Short-term form really matters at the moment. It is one moment. It is one of those

brief periods where it is

easier to get into the

Australian side than out of it

and North had made runs and

taken wickets in had the game

immediately beforehand and he

is a good - he is not a callo

youth. He is 29 years old he

has got a lot of experience.

This was actually almost a

conservative pick rather than

add adventurous. And he batted batted really well last night.

Impressive. Thanks very much

for coming in. Now here is

Vanessa O'Hanlon with a look at

the weather. Thanks and around

the Pilbara coastal area there

is a tropical cyclone

developing. The tropical low

is expected to move into the

tropical cyclone tomorrow as it

moves to the south-west towards

the Pilbara coast. On the

satellite northern WA can

expect thundery rain with that tropical low that is sitting tropical low that is sitting

above there. A front and

trough will cause a few storms

over inland WA. While cloud

from the same front will

produce the odd coastal shower

over Victoria and Tasmania. Extreme fire conditions over

the south-east with the hot

gusty north-easterly winds, a

cool but mostly dry change will

reach the region later. Shower

and storms continue across the

tropics and most onshore winds

may give the odd shower for may give the odd shower for coastal Queensland.

coastal Queensland. ,

Coming up Sharan Burow about

the future of Australia's

textile industry in the wake of Pacific Brands decision

yesterday. It has been looking

bleak for a very long time and

that will continue now into the

future. That's coming up after

this very short break on ABC News Breakfast. Stay with us.

A plan for A plan for universal health

care takes centre stage with

Barack Obama delivering his

first Budget to congress worth

a whop US$3.5 trillion. A

former Serbian President is

acquitted bit foouv officials

found guilty. The UN war

crimes tribunal thrive -

delivers its first verdicts

over Kosovo. Kim Carr admits

it wasn't a good idea to it wasn't a good idea to say no

jobs are safe. And Ricky

Ponting and Michael Clarke help

Aus