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Lateline -

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Tonight - Treasury tells Tonight - Treasury tells a Senate Inquiry the financial situation is much
worse than expected.

There was a clear case, and there is a clear case for a very substantial fiscal stimulus. For that
to be delivered to the Australian economy before unemployment starts to rise.


starts to rise.

Treasury chief Ken Henry has warned without Government spending demand Government spending demand
and the Australian dollar could collapse.

This Program is Captioned Live. Live.

Hello, welcome to 'Lateline', I'm Leigh Sales. Fresh from its assault on Gaza Israel is about to go
to the polls, there's every sign the country will swing further to the swing further to the right.
Binyamin Netanyahu is favoured to return to the country's leadership, almost 10 years after he last
served as Prime Minister. He's vowed to crush Hamas and confront Iran's nuclear ambitions if
elected. So does Barack Obama's new more aggressive approach to Israeli/Palestinian peace
Israeli/Palestinian peace have hope in the current climate or is the long-held ambition for a
two-State solution a thing of the past.

Maybe it's time to remove the mask and show the real face of Israel and real face of Israel and the
real face is ugly, and perhaps we need some shock treatment before it gets better, maybe it has to
get worse.

Joining 'Lateline' is Akira Eldar, the chief political columnist for the Israeli newspaper
'Haaretz'. That's coming up. First other First other headlines. President Obama Cappes the pay of
corporate executives bailed outed by US tax pirs, the Pope under pressure despite demanding a
Holocaust denying

Senate scrutinises Treasury's stimulus package advice

Senate scrutinises Treasury's stimulus package advice

Broadcast: 05/02/2009

Reporter: Kirrin McKechnie

The Treasury-Secretary Ken Henry has backed up the Government's assertion that it had to deliver a
second package now to stimulate the economy. He says Treasury officials urged the Government to act
immediately before unemployment started rising significantly.


LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: The Treasury Secretary Ken Henry has backed up the Government's assertion
that it had to deliver a second package now to stimulate the economy.

A Senate inquiry's just finished its five hour grilling of Mr Henry.

He says Treasury officials urged the Government to act immediately before unemployment started
rising significantly.

The inquiry will delay a Senate vote on the $42 billion dollar package, but that hasn't dented the
enthusiasm of State and Territory leaders.

They joined the Prime Minister in Canberra today to plan the roll-out of infrastructure spending.

From Canberra, Kirrin McKechnie reports.

KIRRIN MCKECHNIE, REPORTER: Winners are grinners.

MIKE RANN, SA PREMIER: It was a terrific meeting.

JOHN BRUMBY, VICTORIAN PREMIER: We had a fantastic meeting.

KIRRIN MCKECHNIE: Especially when a share in $29 billion is for the taking.

JOHN BRUMBY: The trick here is to turn this into projects quickly.

KIRRIN MCKECHNIE: But the Opposition might yet wipe the smiles off the premiers' faces.

It's sticking by its decision not to support the Government's latest stimulus package.

MALCOLM TURNBULL, OPPOSITION LEADER: I know this is an unpopular thing to say, I know we'll take a
hit in the polls, but it's the right and responsible thing to do.

KIRRIN MCKECHNIE: But the States already have the money spent.

ANNA BLIGH, QLD PREMIER: What we've seen today is a commitment that no bureaucratic hurdles, no red
tape, no delays in the approval, the acquisition of land, or the procurement processes will get in
the way of these funds getting to the front line.

KEVIN RUDD, PRIME MINISTER: Cracking heads, knocking skulls together to make sure it all happens on
the ground quick smart.

It won't be just business as usual for our bureaucracies. We are in a national economic emergency
and we're going to have to all roll our sleeves up.

KIRRIN MCKECHNIE: After a marathon dusk to dawn sitting.

BRUCE BILLSON, COALITION MP: While most of Australia sleeps, the Coalition is seeking to ensure
that the nation doesn't sleepwalk.

KIRRIN MCKECHNIE: Labor used its numbers to get the stimulus package through the Lower House.

GOVERNMENT MP: I'd like to send my regards to insomniacs everywhere.

KIRRIN MCKECHNIE: But now comes the tricky bit - getting the plan through the Upper House.

Non-government Senators have won their push for speedy Senate inquiry; they've spent the evening
grilling Treasury officials about the stimulus measures.

The Treasury Secretary Ken Henry is back in the hot seat; he's told the inquiry the Government had
to act, and had to do it now.

KEN HENRY, TREASURY SECRETARY: There is a clear case for a very substantial fiscal stimulus.

For that to be delivered to the Australian economy before unemployment starts to rise.

KIRRIN MCKECHNIE: And he's argues $13 billion worth of one-off cash payments to Australians are
needed in conjunction with the infrastructure spending.

KEN HENRY: If you want to have a speedier, timely impact on aggregate demand it is quicker to
provide additional purchasing power to households.

KIRRIN MCKECHNIE: But Opposition Senators couldn't be convinced.

BARNABY JOYCE, NATIONALS SENATOR: When we get to $1.2 trillion in debt do you think that'll be too
far? Or do you think that'll be alright?

No, I'm just saying... it's just an honest question.

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: What makes you think we're going to go up to 45...?

BARNABY JOYCE: Well, we've got a facility out there for $200 billion, we're on our way.

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER 2: Why do you want it if you don't want to use it?

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER 3: I think there is a question for the chair...

UNIDENTIFIED TREASURY OFFICIAL: I think there is a global financial crisis...

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER 3: Senator Joyce has the call.

BARNABY JOYCE: I just want to know if... you know... I think it's far too much debt, but I just
want to hear it from Dr Henry that $1 trillion in debt is too much.

KIRRIN MCKECHNIE: As the night rolled on, they demanded to know why the Government chose cash
handouts over tax cuts.

BARNABY JOYCE: It really wouldn't matter if it was (inaudible) or ice creams, so why if that's the
case... and I'm looking, there's $1.7 billion to 08/09.

Why in that case don't we just reduce taxes and now let the consumer spend it where they will.

KIRRIN MCKECHNIE: But on that question Ken Henry wasn't so clear cut, leaving Barnaby Joyce a
little frustrated.

BARNABY JOYCE: With the deepest respect a lot of what I have heard tonight is the most convoluted
and extensive load of waffle that stood in proxy for decisive answers.

KIRRIN MCKECHNIE: You can't please everyone.

Kirrin McKechnie, Lateline.

UN demands return of Gaza aid

UN demands return of Gaza aid

Broadcast: 05/02/2009

Reporter: Leigh Sales

The United Nations is demanding that Hamas return the aid it has seized from one of the UN
warehouses in Gaza. The UN says armed militants broke into the building and stole supplies that
were meant to go to 500 families.


LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: The United Nations is demanding that Hamas return aid that it seized from
one of the UN warehouses in Gaza.

The UN says armed militants broke into the building and stole supplies that were meant to go to 500

CHRISTOPHER GUNNESS, UN RELIEF & WORKS AGENCY: We condemn it and we want this aid back. It belongs
to the international community and of course it must go to the intended beneficiaries.

LEIGH SALES: Hamas has accused the United Nations of politicising aid by distributing it to its

The UN is expected to play an integral role in rebuilding Gaza because the international community
refuses to deal with Hamas, and a row between the two bodies could jeopardise the process.

Israelis prepare to vote in national election

Israelis prepare to vote in national election

Broadcast: 05/02/2009

Reporter: Rafael Epstein

Israel goes to the polls next week, and the man most likely to be the next prime minister, Binyamin
Netanyahu, has stopped short of endorsing a two state solution to the violence that has plagued


LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Israel goes to the polls next week and the man most likely to be the next
Prime Minister has stopped short of endorsing a two state solution.

If the centre right candidate Binyamin 'Bibi' Netanyahu does become leader, he'll have to work with
Barack Obama's new point man in the Middle East George Mitchell.

Last time George Mitchell was in the region he raised Israeli ire when he called for a freeze on

Rafael Epstein reports.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN, REPORTER: The new US President with the man who, according to the polls, may well
be the newest Israeli Prime Minister.

Three and a half years ago Bibi Netanyahu resigned from the then Government because of Israel's
withdrawal from Gaza.

Last month he was rushed into an underground shelter while touring Southern Israel.

And as the rockets from Gaza continue, he's the politician whose stock has risen. Proof, he says,
that the withdrawal was a mistake and that Israel's war in Gaza did not go far enough.

BINYAMIN NETANYAHU, LIKUD LEADER: There's only one thing that will remove the missile threat from
Ashkelon and other cities and towns of Israel, and that's to bring down the Hamas Government, and
we will bring down the Hamas Government.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: Netanyahu says Hamas is armed and backed by Iran, and he's compared Iran with Nazi
Germany. He's the leader in favour of a strike on Tehran's nuclear facilities.

Ehud Barak is Israel's decorated soldier. He's the man many in Washington hope will once again lead
his country. He came close to a deal with the Palestinians in 2000.

Recently he approved a new settlement in the West Bank, violating the internationally backed road

As Defence Minister he led the recent Gaza offensive, but he steered clear of talking regime
change, refusing to say he wanted to destroy Hamas.

EHUD BARAK, LABOUR LEADER: We are going to shape an Israeli plan for a regional arrangement, and we
are going to push it in a way that the architecture will allow both the Palestinian (inaudible) to
continue, the (inaudible) to continue.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: For two decades Tzipi Livni worked for Mosad, Israel's secret service.

As Foreign Minister and leader of her Kadima Party she's pushed for a deal with the Palestinian

Many Palestinians believe she's betrayed him by backing the Gaza offensive, and she was derided by
Arabs for saying there was no humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Inspecting a building hit by a Gazan rocket she's walking a political tight rope. The left dismiss
her for never having fought in a war. And she tries to attract votes from the right with tough

TZIPI LIVNI, KADIMA LEADER: We need to work simultaneously to continue the peace process according
to the parameters that we discussed and agreed on with our Palestinian partners, while acting
against terror and against Hamas.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: As the rockets and the Israeli raids continue, talk of a ceasefire rests on
assurances that Hamas won't get access to rocket making materials.

And Hamas insists on open borders, so Gazans can frayed and get daily supplies.

Any prospect for peace now hinges on George Mitchell, America's new point man in the region.

Clashes in the West Bank go on as they did when George Mitchell was here in 2001. The report he
compiled for the international community called for a freeze on Jewish settlements.

Israeli fears that will reappear. But his report back then led to an internationally backed road
map. And the veteran of the Northern Ireland peace process is upbeat.

GEORGE MITCHELL, US MID EAST ENVOY: That with patient, determined and persevering diplomacy we can
help to make a difference and that we can assist those in the region achieve the peace and
stability that people on all sides long for.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: The wild card, and likely king maker is Avigdor Lieberman. Polls show his radical
right wing party could get as many seats as Ehud Barak's Labor Party.

He's called for the execution of Israeli Arab Parliamentarians who meet with Hamas, and he led the
push to ban two Israeli Arab parties from running in next week's election.

Rafael Epstein, Lateline.

Harretz newspaper's Akiva Eldar joins Lateline

Harretz newspaper's Akiva Eldar joins Lateline

Broadcast: 05/02/2009

Reporter: Leigh Sales

Chief political columnist and editorial writer for the Harretz newspaper, Akiva Eldar, joins
Lateline to discuss Israel's election.


LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: And to discuss Israel's election I was joined by Tel Aviv, by Akiva Eldar,
he's the chief political columnist and writer for the 'Haaretz' newspaper, and has been covering
the region for last 20 years.

Mr Eldar, given that the Israeli election seems to turn on one question, which is who is more
hardline on national security, does it really make a difference to the peace process who wins?

AKIVA ELDAR, POLITICAL COLUMNIST, 'HA'ARETZ': Well, I think that what really means is how tough the
American President is going to be.

Cause there is no question that the next government is not going to put the peace process on top of
its agenda, it's more likely that the settlements will be on top of the agenda, deterring Iran and
so forth.

And I am wondering what is President Obama going to say about all this, and so he made it very
clear that he's mostly interested in pursuing the peace process, putting an end to the occupation,
to the settlements, and trying even to engage Iran and Syria in a kind of dialogue.

So my big question is not who is going to be the next Prime Minister of Israel, but what is
President Obama that was just sworn in going to tell him.

LEIGH SALES: You say the United States might have to be tough. What are the options available to
them to be tough with Israel?

AKIVA ELDAR: Well, if you look back to '92, for instance, when President Bush senior decided to
send a clear message to Prime Minister Shamir, that he has to decide what's more important, peace
or the relationship with the United States.

The special relationship that Israel has with the United States or settlements and occupation. And
he made it very clear; if you decide the settlements are more important you can forget about
American aid.

And Israel was asking for $10 billion in loan guarantees to help absorbing the mass immigration
from the former Soviet Union and the message to the Israel was clear; that the Likud is
jeopardising the relationship with the United States and in the next election, the same year - '92,
Shamir lost, and Prime Minister Rabeen took over.

So it depends if the United States is willing to use its leverage because, you know, the most
important thing to the Israelis, and if there is any consensus on anything, this is the
significance of our special relationship with the United States, and that's something that people
would not let the Government undermine.

So if there will be a clear message from Washington, like the one in '92, I think that Netanyahu
will have to decide whether he wants to take the risk of being the second Prime Minister from the
Likud who is undermining the relationship with the United States.

Or he is willing to be more flexible and listen to what the international community has to say.
It's not only the United States, it's the Quartet, it's the UN, Russia, Europeans, maybe even to

LEIGH SALES: I'll come back to the peace process and the United States roll in a moment. But for
now I'd like to focus on Israeli domestic politics a little more.

Have the Israelis viewed their government's recent campaign in Gaza as a success? And how is it
playing into the election campaign?

AKIVA ELDAR: There are Israelis who believe that it was not a success because of the voices that
were coming out of the international community about the criticism and mainly because of the
images, and the figures of fatalities, casualties in Gaza; 300 children.

But these are unfortunately; this is the voice of the minority of the Israelis. There is a vast
majority that believes that the job was not completed and those people will vote, probably, for the
Likud, and for the Lieberman; for the right and radical right.

What they are hoping, and this is what Netanyahu and Lieberman are promising them, is that they are
going to complete the job that was started by the current Government, and remove the Hamas from

Which means that there is going to be another operation in Gaza after the elections. And
unfortunately, these are the most popular voices... this is the music that the Israelis love to
hear these days.

LEIGH SALES: You mentioned Avigdor Lieberman, who's a controversial right-wing politician in
Israel. Tell us little bit more about him and his possible kingmaker or even possibly queen maker
role in this election.

AKIVA ELDAR: First of all, I can tell you that in the poll that my paper 'Haaretz' is going to
publish tomorrow, he is, and his party, is bypassing Labor.

They're becoming the third party, with 19 seats in the Kinneset, which means that, as you just
mentioned, they're going to be the king or queen makers.

And even Labour Party Chairman Barack indicated that he doesn't rule out partnership with Lieberman
sitting with him in the same Government, the same Coalition, which Labor Party did before.

Now, Lieberman is clearly... I would even say a racist politician who is riding on the animosity,
hatred to the Israeli Arabs. His slogan is there is no citizenship without loyalty.

Actually, he expects the Israeli Arab minority, which is about 20 per cent of the Israeli
population, to sing an anthem that has clearly a Jewish motives, and salute to Zionist flag, and
put their loyalty to the test.

And I'm afraid that the next Israeli Government will be under much greater influence of this camp
that is sending a very negative message not only to the Israeli Arabs, but to the Jewish community,
which is a minority in other countries, including Australia, that will legitimise anti-Semitism on
top of a very immoral message to the Arab citizens of Israel.

LEIGH SALES: So, if Lieberman plays a pivotal role, as looks quite likely, does that mean the long
held ambition for a two State solution is dead?

AKIVA ELDAR: I believe that if in the next year, actually in the coming year, 2009, we are not
going to reach some kind of even if it's framework, if it's a declaration of principles, on the
basis of a two state solution, we will have to kiss it goodbye.

It doesn't depend only to us, there are more and more voices coming out from the Palestinian camp
that are calling to drop those so-called negotiations.

The peace process is becoming the greatest enemy or threat to peace, because under this mask of
negotiations we are actually getting further away from an agreement, and we are weakening this camp
of the pragmatic Palestinians headed by Mahmoud Abbas, and Abul Massan.

He is actually becoming irrelevant. We are negotiating of course, it's not directly, but indirectly
we have recognised Hamas and through Egypt we are negotiating with Hamas.

And where is he? He has not been able, as well as Arafat, to deliver any goods besides more

If Israel were not pick it up in the last minute the two states formula, in no time the
Palestinians will say that we have lost this opportunity, and they will close the window.

LEIGH SALES: That's a very difficult environment that you have painted a picture of. Somebody who's
going to have to play a fairly pivotal role in trying to sort through that is the US envoy to the
Middle East, George Mitchell.

There are high hopes for him because of his track record in brokering a peace deal in Northern
Ireland, which at the time was considered reasonably impossible.

A lot of people failed in the Middle East before Mr Mitchell, how do you rate his chances?

AKIVA ELDAR: I have decided to give up great hopes. I'm not aiming too high these days. What I
expect him to do is, at least, to tell Israel that you can't have it both ways.

You can't get the reward for being the only democracy in the Middle East, and have a special
relationship with the United States, at the same time to turn a blind eye to what's happening on
the ground.

So at least I would expect the Americans to demand that Israel will meet its own commitments to
President Bush, previous President Bush, in terms of not changing the reality on the ground, in
creating one state solution, or as you just mentioned before, and undermining what is left of the
process that should have led us to a two state solution.

So to begin with, what I believe he will do is he will make sure that the United States is not
going to tolerate more settlements; they are going to monitor it very carefully, and they are going
to be sticks and carrots, and not only carrots.

The other thing is that I expect him to go next time when he comes to the region, also to visit
Damascus, and offer a deal also to President Assad.

Keep in mind that next month the Arab summit will meet in Qatar, that just cut its relationship
with Israel, to discuss the future of the Arab peace initiative launched in 2002, in March 2002.

And I am very concerned about the future of this proposal that is offering Israel full
normalisation with the Arab countries in return for ending the occupation.

So I hope that this will be the kind of... the framework, the pillar of the American
administration's Middle East policy.

LEIGH SALES: If Binyamin Netanyahu is elected, as is anticipated, he says he'll crush Hamas. Can he
do that or is it merely rhetoric?

AKIVA ELDAR: Let's assume that he can do this, so what happens next? Who is going to take over
Gaza, who is going to run Gaza?

Do you believe that the other camp headed by Mahmoud Abbas, the Fatah, will get back to Gaza riding
Israeli tanks, it's ridiculous.

The Hamas... we used to say that Hamas is a terrorist organisation, maybe that's part of their
tactics, but they won the elections; elections that were approved by Israel and the United States.

So you can't just crush a political party. You have to offer also an alternative, and Israel
doesn't want to go back to Gaza; Israel doesn't want to go back paying the wages of teachers and
doctors in Gaza.

And according to the international law, Israel is responsible to the wellbeing of 1.5 million
people who live in Gaza until somebody else will take over. And I don't see other countries such as
Egypt lining up to do this.

LEIGH SALES: 15 years ago Mr Eldar your first assignment as the Washington correspondent for
'Haaretz' had you at the White House lawn watching the Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabeen shake
hands with the PLO chairman Yasser Arafat while Bill Clinton stood there beaming, looking on.

So much has changed since then, yet also so little has changed. Do you still believe you'll see
peace given all of your experience in your lifetime?

AKIVA ELDAR: It's a hard question, you know, I started thinking in Lennonistic terms, that perhaps
we need to... somebody to remind us what happens once the radical right will take over, and the
world see.

Maybe we should... it's time to remove the mask and show the real face of Israel, and the real face
is ugly. Perhaps we need some shock treatment before it gets better.

Maybe it has to get worse, and we will not hide behind a kind of negotiations that are actually
going nowhere but giving us the credit that we want peace.

So you know, since then I have become older and more sceptical about peace, but, you know, we keep
hearing that as long as we need peace for our children, actually, I think that my generation also
deserve peace, and I would like to see it in my time.

So, I'm not going to give up, and I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing, and this is to try to
convince my readers, and the decision makers in Israel that that if the Zionist movement will not
be able to offer a quiet democratic and Jewish state, it will be considered a big failure.

LEIGH SALES: Well, even though we are a long way away over here in Australia, we'll certainly be
watching events in the next week or so with interest.

Akira Eldar, thank you very much for joining Lateline.

AKIVA ELDAR: Thank you for having me.

Vatican demands Holocaust denier renounce views

Vatican demands Holocaust denier renounce views

Broadcast: 05/02/2009

Reporter: Philip Williams

A Catholic bishop who denies that the holocaust happened has been told by the Vatican to publicly
renounce his views if he wants to rejoin the church.


LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: The Vatican has demanded that a Catholic Bishop who denies the Holocaust
happened must publicly renounce his views if he's to rejoin the church.

Richard Williamson was excommunicated two decades ago over another matter, but that ban was lifted
by the pope last month.

The Vatican says the Pontiff was unaware that just days before being readmitted Williamson had gone
on TV denying that the Nazis used gas chambers to kill millions of Jews.

Williamson has apologised to the Pope for the controversy, but not for the comments themselves.

Philip Williams reports.

PHILIP WILLIAMS, EUROPE CORRESPONDENT: This is the man at the centre of the controversy, British
Bishop Richard Williamson, and this is why he's in trouble.

BISHOP RICHARD WILLIAMSON: I believe there were no gas chambers, yes. I think the... as far as I
have studied the evidence, I'm not going by emotion; I'm going by... as far as I've understood the

I think, for instance, people who are against what is very widely believed today about "the
Holocaust", I think that people... those people conclude, the revisionists as they're called, I
think the most serious conclude that between 200,000 and 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi
concentration camps, but not one of them by gassing in a gas chamber.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: Richard Williamson and three others were only just embraced by the Catholic Church
after being excommunicated for 20 years. The Vatican says it didn't know about his views on the

FATHER FEDERICO LOMBARDI, VATICAN SPOKESMAN (Translated): When the Pope lifted the excommunication
the Pope was not aware of the Holocaust denying positions of Bishop Williamson.

So, we say that if he wishes to recover his position as Bishop in the Catholic Church he should
explicitly and publicly deny these denial positions.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: Last week the pontiff was expressing his solidarity with Jews. German Chancellor
Angela Merkel asked for something stronger.

ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (Translated): In my opinion it is not just an issue for the
Christian community, the Catholic community, and Germany and the Jewish communities.

This is about the Pope and the Vatican making very clear that there can be no Holocaust denial, and
that there must be positive relations with Judaism.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: In Australia there's acknowledgment the whole issue has not been well managed.

particularly well handled at all.



PHILIP WILLIAMS: So far the only apology from Richard Williamson has been to the pontiff for the
controversy, not renouncing his opinions.

And it's not clear even if he did how many would believe he'd actually changed his views.

Philip Williams, Lateline.

Obama orders salary cap for bailout firms

Obama orders salary cap for bailout firms

Broadcast: 05/02/2009

Reporter: Washington correspondent Mark Simkin

The days of top US corporate executives getting massive payouts may be coming to an end. President
Barack Obama says executives will now face slaray caps if their companies have received
government-funded bailouts.


LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: In the United States the days of top corporate executives getting massive
payouts may be coming to an end.

President Obama introduced a series of measures to kerb excess on Wall Street.

Executives now face salary caps if their companies have received Government funded bailouts and
corporate spending on items like luxury jets will be scrutinised.

Ordinary Americans are applauding, Wall Street's not thrilled, as Washington correspondent Mark
Simkin reports.

MARK SIMKIN, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Banks like Wells Fargo fuelled the backlash. It cried poor,
received $25 billion of Government money, then defended plans to send its top mortgage brokers on a
four day trip to a Las Vegas casino.

CHRIS HAMMOND, VP OF COMMUNICATIONS, WELLS FARGO: We believe it's paramount of importance to
demonstrate to our team members that we value what they do and their contributions to the

MARK SIMKIN: The bank's now cancelled the trip. But it's customers aren't withdrawing their

VOX POP: What is wrong with these people?

VOX POP 2: What planet were they raised on?

MARK SIMKIN: Barack Obama says he's outraged by Wall Street's behaviour and he's vowed to end the

BARACK OBAMA, US PRESIDENT: For top executives to award themselves these kinds of compensation
packages in the midst of this economic crisis isn't just bad taste, it's bad strategy and I will
not tolerate it as President.

MARK SIMKIN: Companies getting big bailouts from the Government will be forced to cap executive
salaries at $US 500,000, reveal how much they're spending on corporate jets and entertainment, and
crack down on severance payments.

BARACK OBAMA: This is America, we don't disparage wealth, we don't begrudge anybody for achieving
success, but what gets people upset, and rightfully so, are is executives rewarded for failure.

MARK SIMKIN: The new rules could force executives at failing companies to take massive pay cuts.

General Motors CEO made $US 14 million in 2007. The Bank of America's boss received more than $US
20 million, while Citigroup's took home $US 3 million.

MARK SIMKIN: The corporate salary cap isn't retrospective, but it's certainly got Wall Street's

One executive dismissed the new limits as pure political grandstanding. While another called them
draconian, because in his words, $500,000 a million isn't a lot of money.

JAMES REDA, FOUNDER, JAMES REDA CONSULTING: Government should stay out of free enterprise;
government out of markets because they do a horrible job of it.

MARK SIMKIN: Wall Street isn't happy but the measures will be popular on Main Street.

Mark Simkin, Lateline.

Army called in to help Qld flood victims

Army called in to help Qld flood victims

Broadcast: 05/02/2009

Reporter: Megan Pailthorpe

The army has been called in to help residents in flooded north Queensland. Emergency supplies have
been flown and shipped in, as families evacuated from their homes wait for the waters to subside.


LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: The Army's been called in to help residents in flooded North Queensland.

Emergency supplies have been flown and shipped in as families evacuated from their homes to wait
for the waters to subside.

60 per cent of the State is now flood affected and Townsville is cut off by road.

Megan Pailthorpe reports from Townsville.

MEGAN PAILTHORPE, REPORTER: The situation in Ingham is so bad the Army's been called in.

Two Black Hawk helicopters dropped more than 6,000 litres of aviation fuel into the town this
afternoon. That means civilian helicopters can refuel and keep fly emergency crews in and out of
the area.

We're working closely with them to scope whatever support we may provide.

A ship loaded with fresh produce, milk and bread left Townsville this morning bound for Cairns.

The roads are cut and there's no other way for supplies to get through. The Prime Minister promised
all the help the region needs.

KEVIN RUDD, PRIME MINISTER: The Commonwealth stands ready to provide additional assistance to
Queensland should the State Government's resources became exhausted.

MEGAN PAILTHORPE: The flood waters are finally starting to fall though.

VOX POP: With it going down, hopefully it'll be the end of it. And if we do get some more, well
hopefully it won't come as high.

MEGAN PAILTHORPE: Residents hope by tonight river levels will have dropped to 11 metres, so they
can clean up tomorrow.

VOX POP 2: Very good to see it go down. We were thinking it'd never gonna go.

MEGAN PAILTHORPE: The Harts spent today pumping water out of their carpets; others are still
waiting to return to their homes.

DAN HOBAN, HINCHINBROOK SHIRE COUNCIL: At this point we don't know, because the flood waters have
not receded far enough for us to see the extent of the... the spread of earth and mud.

MEGAN PAILTHORPE: These people hope the water goes quickly and the roads aren't too badly damaged.

Since Sunday truckies, backpackers and holiday makers have been living in a makeshift camp.

VOX POP 3: As soon as the police put up the road block here, the first semis start to come up ad
it's been increasing ever since, as you can see.

VOX POP 4: Well, it's been exciting, kicking the footy around and generally just walking around and
trying to make the best of a bad situation.

VOX POP 5: Well, we didn't expect this much adventure. We knew we were getting into the wet season

MEGAN PAILTHORPE: But the big wet is set to continue; more rain is predicted and the Weather Bureau
is closely watching two lows in the Coral Sea.

Megan Pailthorpe, Lateline.

Now to the weather for the rest of the country - a heat health warning is current for Adelaide
where a punishing 43 is forecast for tomorrow. In the other capitals - warm to hot and dry. Showers
and rain forecast for the tropics. That's all from tropics. That's all from us, 'Lateline Business'
coming up in a moment. If you'd like to look back at the interview look back at the interview with
Akira Eldar, or reviewer any of our stories or transcripts visit the web site at Now 'Lateline Business' with Ali Moore.