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ABC News Breakfast -

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(generated from captions) Qantas regions the union to

act sensibly in the wake of job

cuts, but unions aren't ruling

out disruptive measures.

President Obama says there are

signs of economic progress, but

warns there will be more pain

before it ends. Thai authorities issue arrest

warrants for former PM Thaksin

Shinawatra and 13 of his

supporters for inciting the

recent Bangkok protests. And

Aussie wildcard Owen Wright

pulls off an upset knocking

Beach Easter Classic. Kelly Slater out of the Bells

This Program is Captioned

Live.

Good morning. It's

Wednesday, 15 April, I'm Joe

O'Brien. I'm Virginia Trioli. Wednesday, 15 April, I'm Joe

The top story - Qantas has

warned unions striking over job

cuts will only cause more

damage to the company. The

airline announced yesterday

that it is grounding ten planes

and shedding more than 1,750

front-line staff. Unions

haven't ruled out striking over

the cuts. The Qantas chief

executive told the '7:30

Report' that he expects the

unions to act sensibly. He said

the cuts were necessary to

protect 34,000 other Qantas

jobs. To me I have to do the

right thing. We're the management of the company. We

have to do the right thing to

make sure that Qantas continues

to be strong. We have to

persuade people that is the

right thing for us to do. The

action we had last year by the

engineers damaged the company.

It cost us $150 million. It

damaged the brand and position

of the company. We hope that

all of the unions and employees

realise that in the competitive

environment with the tough

conditions we're facing, the

last thing we want to see is

industrial action that will

damage more jobs and Qantas

into the future. I expect

people to act sensibly and I

think they will. Qantas chief

executive Alan Joyce speaking

on the '7:30 Report' last

Sydney International Airport. night. Karl Hoerr joins us from

What exactly are the unions

saying? Well, the unions, Joe,

are taking a mixed view on all

of. This they are obviously

deeply concerned about Qantas's

announcement and the way ahead

in terms of the jobs that will

go. As you mentioned, there

hasn't been a statement from

the unions ruling out

industrial action. So that we

can assume does remain a

possibility. Of course from

Qantas's perspective, that will

be something they will want to

avoid. Last year we had the

dispute with the engineers,

which was very costly to the

company. The airline will

obviously want to avoid a

repeat of that. So for unions a

key test it will be for the

ACTU secretary, Jeff Lawrence,

who will obviously have to

broker a resolution to this and

he will be aiming to ensure

that any job losses are

limited. And I noticed on the

'7:30 Report' last night that

Alan Joyce was saying that he's

still got the best job in the aviation industry and that

Qantas is in a better position

than many other carriers across

the world? Certainly. The

pressure on airlines in the current economic climate has

been immense. There have been a

number of airlines that have

been in severe economic

difficulty. One backbench Ali

Italia and the pressure to

perform when business travel

has been contracting, large

companies are spending a lot

less on air travel, there has

been a huge amount of pressure

to rein in costs. So Qantas,

together with other airlines

around the world, is facing

that pressure. Obviously they

see the best way to survive in

this economic climate is to

reduce its own costs so that it

can continue operating into the

International Airport, thanks future. Karl Hoerr at Sydney

very much for that. In other

news this morning, United States President Barack Obama

says there are signs of economic progress in the United

States. But he's cautioned

against premature optimism,

saying there will be many more

job losses before the end of

the year and in separate

comments, the head of the Federal Reserve Bank Ben Bernanke has talked of

tentative signs that the US

economy's cracks is slowing. In Thailand, arrest warrants have

been issued for 13 leaders of anti-Government demonstrators

and for the man the protesters

support, former PM Thaksin

Shinawatra. The protesters are

charged with inciting a public

disturbance and illegal

assembly. The protests have now

wound down. The Thai Government

has extended a three-day public

holiday to five to allow a

clean-up of Bangkok. The party

crisis in the Gulf of Aden is

worsening with four ships

seized in the last 48 hours.

One of them is a Greek owned

bulk carrier. The crew of the

American ship is returning home

to Alabama. North Korea has

halted all cooperation with UN

nuclear monitors and ordered

them to leave the country this

morning. Pyongyang says it is

quitting the six-nation nuclear

talks as a protest against the

UN Security Council's unanimous

condemnation of its rocket

launch this month. China and

Russia have led international

appeals for North Korea to

reconsider its abandonment of

the talks. And the fate of the

remaining ABC Learning should

become clearer. They went into receivership last November with

debts of more than $1.5

billion. Court appointed

receivers were able to sell off

65 of the 241 centres and today

the receivers are due to make

an announcement about the sale

and transfer process involving the remainder of the

centres. Back to the US now

where President Barack Obama

says there are signs of

economic progress in the

American economy. He was

speaking just after the release

of disappointing retail sales

figures for March. There is no

doubt that times are still

tough. By no means are we out

of the woods just yet. But from

where we stand, for the very

first time, we're seeing

glimmers of hope. And beyond

that, way off in the distance,

we can see a vision of an

American future that is far

different than our troubled

economic past. We cannot

rebuild this economy on the

same pile of sand. We must

build our house upon a rock. We

must lay a new foundation for growth and

growth and prosperity. A

foundation that will move us

from n era of borrow and spend

to one where we save and

invest. Where we consume less

at home and send more exports

abroad. So, a glimmer of hope

as seen by Barack Obama. For

more on his speech, we're

joined by Washington

correspondent Kim Landers. Kim,

good morning. How significant

was the speech today and the

points that Barack Obama had to

make? The White House made it

plain before the President

spoke not to expect any new

major policy announcements and,

indeed, there were none from

the President, but what he was

really trying to do is sort of

get the American attention back

on some of his domestic policy

issues and back on his efforts

to revive the ailing American

economy. Over the last couple

of weeks he's been preoccupied

with foreign matters - the G-20

meeting, the NATO meeting, more

recently the Somali pirate

incident - so he's turning

America's attention back to the

economy and give a report card,

if you like. He's had three

months in office. Almost 100

days. Just where the United

States is as far as trying to

rebuild this recession-hit

economy. And he's sounding

cautiously optimism there.

Talking about a glimmer of

hope. Do the figures back up

the rhetoric there, Kim? It's

very difficult. It is still

really early days. The

President talks about things

like schools and police

departments are no longer

laying off people. Energy and

construction companies are

rehiring workers. Home owners

have been able to refinance at

lower interest rates. He says

the economy is turning around,

but it's a juggling act for

Barack Obama. Is he a glass

half full of empty kind of guy?

He seems to switch between the

personas what he is saying is

there are glimmer of hope, in

the distance, it will take some

time, but is warning there is

more pain ahead. More job

losses. More foreclosures, he

says. He's really trying to

warn Americans, brace yourself.

He says 2009 will continue to

be a difficult economic year. I

guess he's trying to make sure

people don't get their hopes up

too early. In other political

matters, Kim Landers, the

former Illinois governor who is

charged with attempting to sell

Barack Obama's seat off to the

highest bidder has made a

flamboyant appearance at

court? Well, who can forget him

and the accusations that he was

trying to sell Barack Obama's

former Senate seat in the state

of Illinois to the highest

bidder. There was lots of

colourful language captured on

wire taps by the FBI and him

saying that the seat was

golden. He indicted on Federal

racketeering and wire fraud. He

says he is looking forward to

being vindicated and that none

of the allegations are true. He

is facing more than a dozen

counts of very serious charges.

Once again, I expect we haven't

seen the last of him, even

though he's been ousted as the

Illinois governor. He won't go

down without a fight. I don't

imagine he will. He is not

guilty according to him.

Thanks, Kim. The Opposition

foreign affairs spokeswoman

Julie Bishop has rejected

claims some members of her

party are plotting against her. Newspaper reports suggest

several Liberal MPs have been

running a campaign to have her dumped from the deputy

leadership. She told 'Lateline'

she didn't want to talk about internal party

politics. Ambitious people in a

political party is hardly news.

It's hardly alert the media and

stop the presses. People have

ambitions. My job is to focus

on keeping the Government to

account and providing

constructive and positive

alternatives to this Government, particularly in the

areas of foreign policy. Julie

Bishop there. For more from

Federal Parliament, Hayden

Cooper joins us. Julie Bishop

might not want to talk about

it, but the speculation

continues? It does continue.

That's for sure. The rumours

are simply not going away. It's

not unusual to see more and

more reports about a small

group of Liberal MPs who are

deliberately trying to undermine Julie Bishop and have

her removed from the deputy

leadership. It's been that way

for quite some time. But it

seems that they are not

satisfied with removing her

from the treasury job. They want her out of the deputy

leadership as well. Having said

that, there is also an element

that suggests that maybe it is

just a diversionary tactic by

supporters of Malcolm Turnbull.

He has an approval rating of

only 18%. So it's in their

interests to shift the blame

somewhere and maybe, just

maybe, Julie Bishop is the one

who will cop it. A better

target presumably would be the

Government? Yes, it would be!

Let's be honest, do any of us

really believe that changing

the deputy leader would turn

around the Liberal Party's fortunes? I don't believe that

for a minute. And, there is

more happening on the ETS front

today? There is more happening.

It involves Bob Brown, who

along with Nick Xenophon and

Steve Fielding, is one of the

three most crucial players.

Some would say the most crucial

players in the Senate. Today he meets the climate change

minister penny Wong and

tomorrow he meets the PM

himself. No doubt both of those

people will want to know from

Bob Brown what it will take to

get his support for emissions

trading and whether it's a

price that the Government is

unwilling to pay. By the way,

Joe, today also marks the first

sitting of the second select

committee in the Senate to look

at emissions trading and I

think there are something like

8,000 submissions to this one. So good luck to the

senators who are meant to sit

through all of that. I expect

you will look through every

page of that! Finally, we've

been hearing over the past couple of months about the

Government's efforts to cut fat

from the budgets of departments

and they've reached a milestone now? Apparently $4 billion has

been saved since they came to

power. Lindsay Tanner, who is

the chief hatchet man in the

razor gang, he claims to have

cut Government waste by $4

billion. But it goes on - the

budget meetings at this time of

year are occupying pretty much

all of every day and the PM and

Julia Gillard, Wayne Swan and

also Lindsay Tanner have been

locked down in meetings and

this Budget I think is pretty

clear will be a pretty horrible

one. Hayden Cooper in Canberra,

thanks very much. Now let's

take a look at the front pages of the newspapers around the country. The 'Australian' is

reporting a dramatic collapse

in international travel has

driven Qantas into the red for

the second time since floated

15 years ago. The job cuts will

be focussed on the international arm of the

business and will amount to 5%

of the airline's total work

force says the 'Australian

Financial Review'. 'The

Canberra Times' reports Qantas

employees will be asked to take

long service leave, work

part-time and take leave

without pay to avoid further

cuts. The Government has warned

the job losses at Qantas are

the start of expected

large-scale job losses as the

global recession bites,

according to the 'Sydney

Morning Herald'. The cuts have

coincided with another serious

jobs blow if Ballarat's Lihir

Gold announcing that the

business would slash 200

positions from its local gold

mining operation according to

the 'Age' today. 'Herald Sun'

has a folto of Mel Gibson

linked to a Russian woman whose

divorce is expected to one of

the most expensive in Hollywood history. The NSW Government

wants to stop outlaw bikies

from holding company

directorships, according to the

'Daily Telegraph'. The

'Adelaide Advertiser' says a

super bug infecting cancer patients at the Royal Adelaide

Hospital is worsening because

it cannot be eradicate

ed. 'West Australian' reports

taxpayers will foot a

$600,000-a-year to keep a

convicted sex offender under 24

hour supervision within the community. A grieving that's

right whose son died in a car accident on Monday has spoken

to the 'Mercury'. The 'Courier

Mail' labels a secret deal

between a controversial young

entrepreneur and the builder of

the Brisconnections project as

a day of farce. 'Northern

Territory News' reports private

fireworks will be banned on a

Darwin Beach on Territory day after a backflip by the Territory Government. The paper

has a photo of a dog who almost

died after eating his owner's

G-string. Now if you'd like to

send us your feedback on any

stories we're covering today,

you can send emails to breakfast@your.abc.net.au or

send a text message to 042 999

66 55. if you would like to

talk about the show online, use

Twitter. The top stories on ABC

News break fast this morning -

the CEO of Qantas, Alan Joyce,

calls for unions to act

sensibly after another 1,750

jobs are axed. The unions say

they haven't ruled out

striking. President Barack

Obama tells a group of ufrt

students there are signs of

economic progress in the US but

more work is needed for a full

recovery. His comments were

backed by Ben Bernanke who has

spoken of tentative signs of optimism. Thai authorities

issue arrest warrants for

former PM Thaksin Shinawatra

and 13 supporters for inciting

the recent Bangkok protests.

Government has extended a 3-day

public holiday to 5 to allow a clean-up of Bangkok.

Just days after the release

of an American captain held

hostage off thesomalian coast,

pirates have seized a 4th ship

in 48 hours. Someone who has

had first-hand experience

ofsomalian piracy is hostage

victim Colin Freeman. The

foreign correspondent was

reporting on piracy in Somalia

last year when taken captive.

He joins us now from London. Colin Freeman, thanks so much

for joining us. Good

evening. Can you tell us a bit

about your experience? How was

it you managed to be grab by

the pirates? We were out in

northern Somalia on the coast

reporting on the piracy

problem. We had hired a group

of body guards, armed, to look

after us, which is pretty much

standard procedure if you go to

that part of the world, be it

as a journalist or aid worker

or diplomatic. Unfortunately

the particular body guards

betrayed us basically and as we

were leaving for the airport on

our last day, they turned their

guns on us and kidnapped us.

Took us up into the mountains

of Somalia where we were held

in a series of caves for about

six weeks. What was it like in

the caves? How were you treated

as a hostage? It wasn't too bad

most of the time. We were fed

basic food like goat meat and a

diet of rice and pasta. Our

main worry was in those

conditions if you fell ill or

got any kind of serious illness

or injury, then there would be

very little way of anyone

helping you. In the wake of

your captivity, I know you've

made the comment that it is

clearly worth much more to

those pirates to have you kept

alive and to somehow get the

ransom fee for you. They are

not trying to encourage any

kind of armed intervention on

your behalf. They would rather

it was done swiftly and

cleanly. Well, we don't know

what they were after in our

case. With the shipping cases,

it's clearer. In our particular

one, there was a whole lot of

varies things that went on

behind the scenes involving local politicians who were

trying to get us released

unconditionally, basically. But

as a rule, yes, they have a

business model, these people,

and the guys when they are out

at sea hijacking ships, they

know in general that for every

day the ship is hijacked it

runs up enormous bills in fuel

costs and costs for delays in

delivering cargo to suppliers.

It's often quicker for the

ships to pay a million dollar

because over the course of two

or three weeks they can run up

that money in costs anyway.

That's before you take into

account the welfare of the crew

and so on. The way that piracy

is running out of control in

this part of the world is

bewildering to the rest of us away from that small pocket of

the ocean. But I understand

there is a saying in that part

of the world, that is the

warLords went into robbing

foreigners at sea because there

was nothing left to rob of

their own people on land. Yeah,

that's what you do hear people

say. The piracy has been going

on for a long time, but Somalia

itself on the mainland has had

problems with armed robbery and

theft ever since the Government

collapsed in the early 1990s.

What you are seeing is the

lawlessness on the land being

exported onto the sea. The

thing is we talk of lawless

seas. What you are really

talking about is lawless land.

The pirates can't stay afloat

forever. They have to go back

and keep their booty. That's where Somalia provides them

with a perfect haven. Most

countries you couldn't do

that. It's such a desperate

country that even some of the

pirates, involved in the

activities, they are trying to

get out too. I think one of

your captors told you his

attempt about trying to get out

of Somalia. Yes, in an area

where we were kidnapped, that

has a huge people trafficking

industry. People go there from

Somalia and Ethiopia as well

and they are taken away across

to Yemen on the other side of

the Gulf of Aden and or they go

to Libya. It's a big industry

there. Again, one of the

reasons why the people

trafficking is big from Somalia

is because it is lawless. It is

the conduit for any illegal

activity you want. Do you see

the situation in the Gulf of

Aden and Somalia as a failure

of international action? Well,

I mean, the situation on the

land insomala, the

international community tried

to do something about that in

the early 1990s and ended up

with the American troops being

killed and so on. It was seen

as a failed intervention. It

wasn't until Iraq 10 or 15

years on that the United States

changed its mind. It's

difficult to see what they can

do to improve the policing of

the Gulf of Aden, which is that

area where all the ships are

taken. It is such a big area.

You could have as many ships

policing as you wanted, 200,

rather than the dozen or two

they have at the moment and

they would still be specks in

the ocean and not really able

to stop it. What, in your view,

if not the solution, what is

part of the solution to the

problem with the news that

today four more ships have been

taken. Or a 4th vessel in 48

hours? It's very hard. I mean,

I've been asking around myself.

You don't really hear people

saying anything other than

well, we'll have to try and

sail through the area faster.

There is no full-proof solution

to it. One of the interesting

things is we've seen a lapse in

the piracy in the last few

months because it was the

monsoon season. The pirates

couldn't go out. But as soon as

that monsoon season is over

they are back to their old

tricks, taking lots and lots of

vessels. Yet, this time around,

we've had the break, people

should have had time to think

bit and take evasive action and

they're not able to. There

doesn't seem to be any obvious

solution to it other than the

long-term solution of trying to

provide stability on the

Somalia mainland. Possibly a

beefed up international coastguard patrolling close to

the waters, but then you get

into all kind of legal jurisdictional issues about what you can and can't

do. Colin Freeman thanks for

taking our call today. Good to

talk to you. It is amazing that

another four ships have been

taken in the last 48 hours. We

were speaking to a Professor

earlier in the week and he was

saying the key to solving the

problem is establishing some

sort of lawful situation. We

haven't heard there is any

possibility of that in the future. Incredibly difficult

when there is not the will of

African countries surroundingsomala. That's where

the pressure needs to be. To

finance now and small investors

in the troubled Brisconnections

company still face the prospect

of going broke with attempts to

wind up the company failing.

The massive Brisbane road

project will proceed after the

protagonist who brought about

the meeting changed his

tact. Nicholas Bolton abandoned

his plans to end

Brisconnections and in a secret

deal he pocketed $4.5 million

instead. Brisconnections is

the company charged with

building Australia's biggest

infrastructure project. A $4.8 billion airport toll road in

Brisbane. But it's been a bumpy ride. Sometimes investments

work and sometimes they don't.

So far this one wasn't worked

too well. Small investors

bought shares for as little as

a tenth of a cent. They are

asked to pay an extra $2 a

share. That could turn into a

bill for a million dollars.

Many are facing debts they

can't afford and say they

weren't aware of. The way it is

structured and the unit holders

have been freeted is a tragedy. Australian Style Investments faces installment

payments of nearly $150

million. Nicholas Bolton wasn't

at the meeting. He had already

taken the surprising step of

selling his proxies, which were

then used to vote against his

resolutions. The deal saw Mr

Bolt bolt neat $4.5 million.

Invisitors who saw him as their

white knight were livid. He's

the most disliked person in the

stock market. I think his

actions are worse because he's

been very deceptive in his conduct. Brisconnections says

it can now move on. We welcome

the outcome of today's

meeting. We believe the

resolutions proposed by ASI

were not in the best interests

of Brisconnections or its unit holders. Shareholders are

facing their first installment

payment at the end of the

month. A payment many say will

bankrupt them. Let's have a

look at the finance figures now. Stocks are trading with

mixed results.

Vanessa O'Hanlon will be here

with the weather shortly. Ahead

- we'll have our review of the newspapers and this morning

we'll be joined by the editor

of 'Plain English', Andrew

Pegler. Now with sport and

beach action, here's Paul

Kennedy. Good morning. A

teenager from the NSW South

Coast has lived his dream at

Bells Beach. 19-year-old Owen

Wright faced nine-time world

champion Kelly Slater in 2m

surf. His youngest sister, who

is also a pro, told him he

could do it. He gave the

performance of his career to

progress to the next round

where he will take on South

African star Jordy Smith. The

surf has picked up and looks like a good week of

competition. Let's hear from

Owen Wright and the great Kelly

Slater. I'm really happy! it's

been a long week waiting to

surf against Kelly Slater. I've

been relishing it and waiting

for it. Out there I stayed on

my own game and really

concentrated on what I was

doing and it happened. I got

some of the better set waves

and surfed on them and it was

enough. The ocean went flat at

the end. There was a lot of

pressure but I thought he's

human and I can surf. I'm not

that bad of a surfer. I know he

is nine-time world champion,

but I thought if I did what I

do, it might be enough at the

end of the day. For me, magic

hasn't been there this year

like it was last year. Just

like this contest, the year is

long, you have to be patient.

Oddly enough, I'm not even

bummed out at losing. I don't

know if that's a good or bad

thing. UEFA Champions League's

returns. Liverpool faces

Chelsea this morning after

losing the first leg 3-1. It

was great news for the Reds at

half-time. They were 2-0 up,

but Chelsea has hit back. Let's

look at some goals.

The Chelsea defender is

perplexed! The big gun is out.

The referee said it was a

soft award. Oh, that's got him.

This just goes through!

Lleyton Hewitt's tour victory

at the US Clay Court Open days

ago gave him a wildcard entry

to the more prestigious Monte

Carlo Masters tournament. But

this morning the Australian

lost his first-round match

against Marat Safin. It was a

close contest, but the Russian

was cooler. And Collingwood is

this morning cursing a couple

of suspensions. Heath Shaw was

given a 1-week, 1-game ban for

touching an umpire in the game

against Geelong last Thursday.

Captain Nick Maxwell was given

two weeks for rough contact

after a bump involving Steve

Johnson. His record counted

against him. In the UEFA Champions League game there is

five minutes to go. I'm told

that Liverpool in the last five

minutes have scored twice and

Chelsea have scored another

one. So it's 4-4. A

goal-scoring frenzy! I haven't

heard a word from our executive

producer for the last few

minutes, I think he's locked

onto the game! He's a big

fan. ABC News Breakfast can be

watched on the web live from

anywhere. Here is Vanessa

O'Hanlon with the weather.

There's been a change hitting

the south-east. That's right,

good morning. Possibly

snowfalls for the taz -

Tasmanian Highlands. There is a

cold front carrying winds in

excess of 80km/h. Wind gusts of

around 95km/h have moved

through WA. Troughs will bring

storms to inland WA and the

high will keep the rest of NSW

quite dry. The cloud over

eastern NSW and Queensland will

cause showers and storms.

Unstable and air over tropical Queensland will give isolated

showers and scattered cloud over western SA is causing

showers. Over the south-west it

will be a fine day for the

southern interior. The rest of

the state can expect scattered

showers and thunderstorms. NSW,

the cold front will move across

the south and west bringing

cooler and drier air. Isolated

showers over the Snowy

Mountains and far North Coast.

Victoria - the morning scattered showers will extend

from the west with a cold

change. Severe wind warning for

the south up to 10mm of rain.

Tasmania - thunderstorms and

hail for the west and north.

The rain will move to the far

south this afternoon. In SA - a

strong colder change is

spreading across the south

bringing showers to the

south-east. Little falls

elsewhere and a dry day for the

north. WA - cloudy with patchy

light rain and isolated

thunderstorms for the southern

interior, gold fields. Similar

conditions for the Gascoyne and

southern Pilbara. Fine in the

south ahead of clous increasing and afternoon showers. Tomorrow

- it will be sunny in Brisbane

and Sydney going for a top of 21 degrees.

See you in half an hour.

Thanks, Vanessa. The top story

on ABC News - Qantas has urged

union members not to strike ore

job cuts, saying industrial action would further damage the

company. The airline announced

yesterday it was grounding ten

planes and shedding 1,750 front-line staff. Unions

haven't ruled out striking over

the cuts. But Qantas chief

executive Alan Joyce told the

'7:30 Report' last night that

he expects the unions to act

sensibly. He said the cuts were

necessary to protect 34,000

other Qantas jobs. To me I

have to do the right thing. We

are the management of the

company. We have to do the

right thing to ensure that

Qantas continues to be strong.

We have to persuade people that

is the right thing for us to

do. You know, the action we had

last year by the engineers

damaged the company. It cost

$150 million. It damaged the

brand and position of the

company and we hope that all of

the unions and employees

realise that in this competitive environment with

the tough conditions we're

facing, the last thing we want

to see is industrial action

that will only damage more jobs

and Qantas into the future. I

expect people to act sensibly

and I think they will. Now

here's how you can contribute

to ABC News Breakfast. Send

email to the address on the

screen.

In other news this morning, the United States President

Barack Obama says there are

signs of economic progress in

the US. He's cautioned against premature optimism, saying

there will be many more job

losses before the end of the

year N separate comments, the head of the Federal Reserve Ben

Bernanke has talked of

tentative signs that the US

economy's cracks rate is

calming. In Thailand, arrest

warrants have been issued for

the former PM Thaksin

Shinawatra and 13 leaders of the recent anti-Government demonstrations. The group is

charged with inciting a public

disturbance and illegal

assembly. The protests have

finished for now. The Thai

Government has extended a 3-day

public holiday to allow a

clean-up of Bangkok. Piracy

crisis in the Gulf of Aden is

stepping up with four ships

seized in the last 48 hours.

One of them is the Greek owned

bulk carrier Irene. Meanwhile,

the crew of the Alabama is

returning home to the United

States after their ordeal at

the hand of pirates last week.

North Korea has stopped all

cooperation with UN nuclear

monitors and ordered them to

leave the country this morning.

Pyongyang says it is walking

out on the six-nation nuclear

talks as a pr test against the

UN Security Council's you man

muss condemnation of the rocket

launch earlier this month.

China and Russia are leading international appeals for North

Korea to stick with the

negotiation process. And a new

poll of smokers shows most of

them would kick the habit if

the price of a pact of

cigarettes went up by half. The

phone survey found three

quarters of smokers would give

up if a pact cost around $20.

The poll was commissioned by

Victoria's Cancer

Council. Seems to be the alcopop theiry. Returning to

Thailand and authorities have

issued an arrest warrant for

the former PM Thaksin

Shinawatra. He's charged with

inciting the recent clashes

between troops and anti-Government protesters on

the streets of Bangkok. Now the

protest shut down large parts

of the capital for three weeks

and two people have died. The

BBC's Alistair Leathad reports.

The day began as Monday gended

- burning buses, barricades and

a stand off with the Army. The

anti-Government protesters set

cooking gas bottles on fire.

To stop the military pushing

forward and breaking up their

demonstrations. Reaching the

Red Shirts was like crossing a

battlefield front-line. Rather

than approaching Government

House, Thailand's seat of power

and the Prime Minister's

Office.

On the other side, they were

ready to fight, but it was

misleading. Their leaders were

already announcing the people

should go home. for more than

two weeks they've camped here.

Tens of thousands have taken to

the streets to try and topple

the Government and force new

elections. They believed in

their cause, but they had

failed. Resolute, the

demonstration broke up and the

traditional Thai new year water throwing celebrations could

start. Well, that's pretty

much it. The demonstrators have

been told it's time to go home

and get on with the new year's festiveties. Everyone is now

leaving, away from the stage,

going their own way. There will

be a few people who will stand

up to the military, but the

protest is over. Some of the

leaders were arrested. Others

were photographed as they left,

having decided the threat from

the soldiers was too great.

Unless you go home? Yes. The

PM addressed the nation, saying

the state of emergency would

continue and the leaders of the

Red movement would be punished

for the chaos they caused. The

Army, meanwhile, took back

control of a damaged city,

deeply shaken. It is over for

now, but the Red Shirts will

not have given up.

The Agriculture Minister is

in China trying to convince the

country's leaders to allow

imports of kangaroo meat to

Chinese gourmands. But the

kangaroo steak is up against

food safety concerns and

entrenched competition from

other exotic meats in Chinese

cuisine. Kangaroo, Australia's

most famous creature. Sporting

teams bear its name, it is the symbol of the national airline

and even appears on Australia's

coat of arms. There on the

left. There is even an iconic

television show starring one of

Australia's fury friends, now

it could be famous for

something else - the Australian

Agriculture Minister is in

Beijing to try and promote

kangaroo as a food. There is a

representative of the industry

travelling with me for part of

the trip. They are optic that

they see China as a future market. Kangaroo market has

gained about the same

acceptance as dog meat in some

parts of Asia. Getting other countries interested in

kangaroo is tricky. Roos can't

be farmed and the Chinese

Government is concerned about

allowing wild animal mall meat

onto Chinese plates after a

string of safety issues. Then

there is the cuteness factor. I

won't go through the cuteness

factor or otherwise of varies

cuisine. When you are dealing

with any animal that is not

part of your diet. It's a new

decision. Here on the street,

just about anything goes. If

the sheep testicle skewers

don't grab you, maybe deep

fried scorpion will. But even

here in this haven of exotic

foods, the idea of kangaroo

meat just seems, well, wrong. TRANSLATION: I wouldn't

eat it. I think there are

food safety issues. It's a wild

animal. Even if kangaroo meat

is eventually sold in China, it

seems it has a long way to go

before it is as popular as

sheep's testicles or deep fried

scorpion.

Good on you, Tom. He's such a

ham! Now North Korea's making

good its threat to go its own

way over its nuclear program.

It's halted cooperation with

United Nations nuclear monitors

and ordered them to leave the country. Pyongyang is

responding to the you man news

decision to condemn its launch

of a long range rocket ten days

ago. This, according to North

Korea, was its attempt to join

the space race.

It claims that the launch ten

days ago put an object into

orbit that is now circling the

world, broadcasting

revolutionary tunes. But no satellite has been

independently detected and the

outside world believes the real

intention all along was the

test of a long-range missile.

The North Korea leader, Kim

Jong-il, will be used to the

pariah status, but these recent

pictures of him are fuelling

speculation he's in poor health

and adding to the uncertainty

about which direction the

country is now heading.

Today's announcement on state

television said North Korea was

walking away from international disarmament talks because of

the condemnation of its rocket

launch by the UN Security

Council. It says it will

restart this nuclear reactor,

the source of the plutonium

fuel for its 2006 atomic test.

For its regional neighbours,

that's a worrying development.

North Korea may not yet be able

to put a satellite into orbit,

but from this launch site it

has flob a long-range rocket directly over Japanese

territory, travelling more than

3,000km into the middle of the

Pacific Ocean. That puts half a

dozen countries within reach.

Its rocket can reach speeds of

18,000m/ph and carry a 500

kilogram payload. North Korea

could have as many as eight

nuclear bombs according to the

South Korean Government,

although it is not known if it

has the technology to mount

them on a warhead. UN Security

Council says it had no choice

but to condemn the rocket

launch and members are urging

North Korea not to over-react.

Here in South Korea, the

Government says the response

from the North has been

stronger than expected. It too

is calling for calm and

restraint amid the rising tension, pointing out that the long-running nuclear

disarmament talks have

recovered from serious setbacks

in the past. But North Korea

feels deeply aggrieved. Other

countries, it argues, are

allowed to launch satellites

and if the world insists on

double standards, it will go

its own nuclear-armed way.

Pakistan's President Asif Ali

Zardari has signed a petition

placing Swat Valley country

under Islamic law. The move is

seen as a major victory for

Islamic militants who have

waged a violent campaign on the

district for nearly two years.

Matt Conway reports. Political

pressure and stress of a

different kind has forced

Pakistan's hand. The whole

nation is united in its support

of the Swat regulation and

wants the President to approve

it. We are committed and the

nation will stand with it.

Thank you. Asif Ali Zardari

has signed a regulation aimed

at easing tensions with the

Taliban which places Swat

Valley under Islamic law. His

signature was prompted by intense pressure from members

of his own party and other

politicians keen to see an end

to the bloodshed in the region. There is no doubt this

is an emerging threat. The

problem is in the region of the

Government, how they want to

deal with it. India is days

away from general elections and

says it is concerned by the

decision and fears the Taliban

could be free to attack at

polling stations. Pakistan says

its neighbour has nothing to

worry B The PM of India has

publicly stated that Pakistan

and the Taliban might interrupt

election and might act. In

keeping with his statement, we

value it and that is why we

requested Indian authorities

two days back to please supply

us that intelligence. India's

elections begin on Thursday.

You're watching ABC News Breakfast. The top stories -

the CEO of Qantas, Alan Joyce,

calls for yntion to act

sensibly after another 1,750

jobs are axe #d. Unions say

they haven'tual td out strike

ig. President Barack Obama

tells a group of university

students there are signs of

economic progress in the US,

but there will be more pain

before it ends. His comments

were backed by the head of the

Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke

who has spoken overnight of

tentative signs of

optimism. And Thai authorities

have issued arrest warrants for

the former PM Thaksin

Shinawatra and 13 of his

supporters for inciting the

recent Bangkok protests. And

the Government has extended a

3-day public holiday to allow a

clean-up of Bangkok. Now for a

look at the national papers

we're joined by the editor of

'Plain English', Andrew Pegler.

Good morning. Good morning. How

are you? I guess we could have

anticipated the job cuts given

we've been hearing about the

discount fares offered by

Qantas. The airline was clearly

suffering like many

others? Travel is one of those

things like buying of clothing.

These are the canaries in the

mine. You will always know when

there is trouble because travel

goes and people don't buy

clothes and plasma TVs. There

is no real surprise that Qantas

has the axe out. As we've

discussed, more than 1,750 jobs

will go. That's on top of 1,500

job cuts from last year. $800

million in spending will be

cut, including 16 new planes

and the equivalent of ten

aircraft will be grounded and

made available for sale. So, if

you guys are interested, there

is a couple of planes for

sale. And the staff who

continued working will be asked

to take leave and cut their

hours. Yes. This is the world

we live in. This is the

flexible work arrangement.

Thankfully we have the

possibilitity and it's the sort

of thing, these are the time

when these things need to go

on. I think if this management

bloodbath at Qantas, it could

be either a long overdue change

for the culture or the worst possible thing they've done.

Either way, it is unfolding

very quickly for Alan

Joyce. The follow-on affects

throughout the aviation industry and others are

crucial, but with the

cancelling of the purchase of

ten A380s, the big new

plane... It's ironic... That

has consequences for the manufacturer of that

plane... Boeing, everything. It

goes down the line. The irony

is they have these massive

planes that are leaving with 11

people on them. I heard that

the other day. Lots of room to

move if you are on that. I love

that idea! Stretch out and

sleep all the way to London! I

noticed that economists are

saying this is the start. They

are continuing to say this is

just the start of what will be

a shocking year for job losses

in Australia. Yeah. As we've

heard, it will get worse before

it will get better. But as

we've also heard, there are

movements around that maybe

we've hit the bottom. I think

what we should do on news

breakfast is start the

confidence rush now and send it

out to the ether. Do you think

so? I think we have a great influence over the western

economy. I think we should use that. Alright. Terrific

headline that you've got there.

If you are a fan of Phil

Spector's music, as I am, even

though the man himself is

barking mad, clearly, that is a

hell of a headline. And then he

killed her. Which of course

refers to the and then he

kissed her line... And then he

kissed me. Apologise. Phil

Spector, as we've discussed,

he's up for second degree

murder. He is up for second

degree murder of Lana Clarkson,

a depressive 40-year-old blonde

cocktail hostess at the house

of blues on sunset strip who

enjoyed a brief career in the

'80s as a B-movie queen. It is

such an unkind paragraph.

Really mean descriptive writing

about someone who lost her life

at the hands of this man. N it

is. The only comment that

Spector has made through this

was an interview he had with

Esquire magazine and he simply

said, "She kissed the gun."

Needless to say Spector is not

a simple guy. He's been known

in the past in the '60s when he

came up with the Wall of Sound,

which is a luscious multiway of

producing music. He's worked

with everything from John

Lennon, the Ramones and maybe

even the Stooges. He would take

guns into studios to encourage

people to hit the high notes.

His gun play is quite well

known. So his tendency towards

the odd behaviour hasn't been a

recent thing? Not at all. He's

been known for decades to have

a thing for Russian roulette

and needless to say there is

not a lot of humour in this. If

there is a chapt ner popular

music, it would be called Phil Spector. For so many reasons

he's a fascinating character

who will probably end his days

in jail. He's 68. He'll get the

better part of 15 to 18 years

for this. That will be probably

the element of his life that he

will be remembered, the fact

that he murdered someone. Which

is probably when all is said

and done the correct thing. He

lived a crazy life and finished

in a crazy way. Moving onto

'Age'. The situation in

Thailand has galvanised

attention for a number of days

f not weeks. It has. The latest

news is arguably better.

Thousands of anti-Government protesters have halted their

violent protests in Bangkok in

a victory for the embattled

Thai PM. So the surrender is

seen as a serious setback for

Thaksin Shinawatra, who has

called for Thais to rise up so

he can return to power. He lost

it as a result of a military

coup. He's now amongst 14

people, as you mentioned, that

have got arrest warrants out

for them. So the Thailand drama

continues to unfold. It is

surprising for me that it took

the Government and the military

so long to act decisively with

this. That they were allowed to

overrun the ASEAN forum area

and allowed to take over the

streets of Bangkok. Yeah, it is

shocking. And on top of that,

the images of the PM's car

getting hit with steel chairs

and bolts and whatever. I found

that shocking. That is the PM

of the country's car being

assaulted. The PM today... I

think that goes to the heart of

the ambivilence of many of

those in security positions and

police positions over this

issue. Their loyalties are

split and divided. As Joe said,

it's not the control that you

would like. They've had

something like 18 military

coups since the 1930s and four

prime ministers in the last 12

months. It is the Italy of our

region, I guess, if you want.

But things are going very well

in Thailand, indeed. And Fiji

of course... Another... There

seems to be trouble in our

region. Fiji, the latest news

on that one is that Australia

and New Zealand are threatening

tough new travel and trade

sanctions against that country after the suspension of the

constitution and the sacking of

the nation's judges last week.

Now, it's an interesting

situation in Fiji. Basically

the helicopter says the

Government is illegal. The

President says that he doesn't

want to listen to that, aborts

the whole thing and continues

to implode. And Australia will

have to play a key have to play a key role in

restoring democracy again. Good

to see you, Andrew. You can

watch all of ABC News Breakfast

streamed live every morning.

Now with sport, here's Paul

Kennedy. The surf is finally up

at Bells Beach. The 19-year-old

Owen Wright has taken advantage

by beat be nine-time world

champion Kelly Slater. He gave the performance of his career

to progress to the next round where he

where he will take on Jordy

Smith. Lleyton Hewitt's tour

victory at the US Clay Court

Open days ago gave him a

wildcard entry to the more prestigious Monte Carlo Masters

tournament. But this morning

the Aussie lost his first-round

match against Marat Safin. It

was a close contest, but the

Russian was cooler at the end

of both sets. In Chelsea and

Liverpool have played a spectacular UEFA Champions League quarterfinal this

morning. Liverpool scored two

first-half goals through a free

kick and a penalty. Things

looked good for the Reds at

half-time, but Chelsea scored

the next three goals, all in

the second half, just when you

thought it was over. Liverpool

then kicked the next two goals

and then final ly they scored

again and that was the clincher there.

there. What was the score? 4-4

in the end. There is so many leagues and competitions over

there, is this the best club in

Europe? Yeah. This is the real

big time stuff. So what does

that mean? That means because

Chelsea won the first game,

will go through to the

semifinal. Liverpool is out. A

big result. It is

big result. It is a tenuous

link with Australia, but we'll

claim it. Now here's Vanessa

O'Hanlon with the weather and

Victoria's looking at a very windy day today. That's right.

A front and line of

thunderstorms is moving across

port Phillip and Western Port.

Recording scores of 60 nots. As

the cold front moves through, expect damaging

expect damaging winds, rain, a

cooler change and possibly even

snow. Wind gusts of around 95km

have moved through south's Cape

scaf aftera. The troughs will

bring cloud and rain to eastern

Queensland and inland WA. After

the flad flooding last night in Sydney's south and west, the

high should keep most of NSW dry. The cloud over eastern NSW and Queensland will cause showers and storms. Unstable air and clod over tropical Queensland will give isolated showers. Scattered cloud over WA is causing thundery showers.

Queensland - fine over the south-western southern interior. The rest of the state can expect showers and thunderstorms. For southern NSW - expect winds to average over 80km/h. Isolated showers over the Snowy Mountains and far North Coast N Victoria, the scattered showers will extend from the west bringing a cold change. There is a severe wind warning for the south. Tasmania - thunderstorms and hail for the north. The rain will move to the south this afternoon. Snow for the Highlands at 900km. SA - strong cold change spreading across the south bringing showers. Little falls elsewhere and dry in the north. WA - cloudy with patchy light rain and isolated thunderstorms for the southern interior gold fields. Similar conditions for north-east Gascoyne and southern pill bra. There will

be storms north of... Ot.

ahead to tomorrow - a second

cold front will move through

Melbourne. It will give a top

of 20 degrees.

Van esa, thank you. Ahead -

we'll be speaking to Nicholas

Farelly from the ANU about the situation in

situation in Thailand. Which is

improving a little. That's

coming up after this short

break on ABC Breakfast.

Somalia

Qantas urges the unions to

act sensibly in the wake of

mass job cuts, but the unions

aren't ruling out disruptive measures. President Barack

Obama says there are signs of

economic progress, but the US is warned

is warned there will be more

pain before it ends. Thai

authorities issue arrest

warrants for former PM Thaksin

Shinawatra and 13 of his

supporters for inciting the

recent Bangkok protests. And

Aussie wildcard Owen Wright

pulls off an upset knocking

Kelly Slater out of the Bells Beach Easter Classic.

Good morning. It's

Wednesday, 15 April. I'm Joe

O'Brien. I'm Virginia Trioli.

The top story - Qantas has

warned unions that striking

over job cuts will only cause

more damage to the company. The airline announced yesterday it

is grounding ten planes

is grounding ten planes and

shedding more than 1,750 front-line staff. Unions

haven't ruled out striking over

the cuts. But last night the

Qantas chief executive Alan

Joyce told the ABC that he

expects the unions to act

sensibly. He said the cuts were

necessary to protect 34,000

other Qantas jobs. To me I have

to do the right thing. We are

the management of the company.

We have to do the right thing

to make sure that Qantas

continues to be strong. We

continues to be strong. We have

to persuade people that is the

right thing to do. The action

we had last year by the

engineers damaged the company.

It cost us $150 million. It

damaged the brand and the

position of the company. We

hope that all of the unions and

al