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President Obama lifts the

controversial ban on stem cell

research. A trial date set for

the lone surviving Mumbai

gunman. Unanimous approval for

Kim Jong Il in North Korea's

election. And tension rising in

Tibet, 50 years after a failed uprising.

Good morning. Beverley

O'Connor with ABC News for

Australia Network. In the

United States, President Barack

Obama has overturned a ban on

federal funding for human

embryonic stem cell research. The restrictions were imposed

by the Bush administration and

the decision to lift them has angered religious and

anti-abortion groups, but

scientists say greater support

for the research will lead to

for the research will lead to

vital breakthroughs in

medicine. The President signed

the Bill and in doing so he fulfilled an election promise

to throw out the policy of the

administration. Scientists previous Bush

believe these tiny cells may

have the potential to help us

understand and possibly cure

some of our most devastating

diseases and conditions.

According to the President,

they may include

they may include Parkinson's, cancer, heart disease and

spinal injuries. But that

potential will not reveal

itself on its own. Medical

miracles do not happen simply

by accident. The Bush

administration limited federal

funding to a small number of

stem cell lines created before

2001. Many thoughtful and

decent people are conflicted

about or strongly oppose this

research and I understand their

concerns, and I believe that we

must respect their point of

view. The Bill's opponents say

it's costly and immoral. The

fact that adult stem cells have

proven to be so effective and

now there's new methods of

creating embryonic-like stem

cells without killing embryos

shows that you can follow a

moral path and still find

tens of thousands success. But scientists say

tens of thousands of embryos

are being destroyed anyway. And

so really it's a choice of just

destroying the embryos as part

of the medical procedure

fertility treatment or if the

couples choose to donate

embryos for research, to use

those embryos in a way which

may benefit all of us. The

President says he wants any further congressional support

for stem cell research to be on a bipartisan basis.

The lone surviving gunmen to

be captured after the Mumbai

terror attacks is to stand

trial later this month on March

23. As investigations into the

attack continue, the head of

the Pakistani charity Jamatt

Uddawa has also appeared in

court. The United Nations

Security Council claims the

charity is a front for the

outlawed militant organisation

widely believed to have planned

the Mumbai siege. Almost

the Mumbai siege. Almost four

months after the terrorist

attacks in Mumbai, the only one

of the suspected gunmen to

survive has been ordered to

stand trial. Mohammed Kassab

will face court charged with

waging war against India. If

found guilty, he could be

hanged. The case will be heard

before a special court set up

inside the high-security Arthur

Road Prison in Mumbai. During a

video conference with the

magistrate, Kassab asked the

court to provide him with a

translation of the charges

which have been filed in

English and Morathi. The court

turned down his

request. Whoever is

representing him will know the

language of the court which is

Morathi, so his lawyer will

make sure he understands the

charges. The charge sheet runs

to more than 11,000 pages. And

the magistrate has insucked the

accused man to enter his plea

before the special court. Meanwhile, Pakistan is continuing its own

investigations into the Mumbai

attacks. Hafis Mohammed Sayeed,

the head of the charity Jamatt

Uddawa has also appeared in court after being put under

house arrest. The charity is

suspected of being a front for

the outlawed militant group

believed to behind the Mumbai

attack. The Pakistani

government is seeking an

extension to Sayeed's detention order even though he's yet to

be charged with a specific crime. TRANSLATION: The

government did not specify the

reason for his detention. It says it hasn't received any suitable answers to its

questions. The court has

reserved judgment. They will

eventually decide to extend the

detention or bring it to an

end. Meanwhile, the fishing

boat used by the gunmen to

reach Mumbai has been returned

to its owner. And India has

handed over data from satellite

phone calls made by the

terrorists to Pakistan as well

as details of Mohammed Kassab's

confession.

North Korean state media says

Kim Jong Il has been

unanimously re-elected as his

country's leader. The election

results are being closely

watched for any signs of a

political shift or for news of

a successor to Mr Kim, who is

widely believed to be in poor

health. North Korean state

television says the first

results from the weekend poll

reflect the unanimous will and

wishes of the people. Elections

in the North are largely seen

as a formality since candidates

are widely believed to be hand

picked by Kim Jong Il. But this

one is said to have extra

significance. The elections are

important this time because

elections only come normally

every five years. And in this

case of course we are looking

at an interesting situation

inside North Korea in terms of

the potential succession to Kim

Jong Il. A list of politicians

who will serve in the 12th

supreme peoples assembly is

expected to be released shortly

. Analyst says that could give

clues as to who will succeed

Kim. Usually the leadership

will reshuffle, many of the

candidates being put forward in

the Parliament, and when we

look at the full lists in due

course, we should get an idea

of the sort of people that Kim

Jong Il is manoeuvring into

position to succeed him or to

work with whoever may be his

successor in the future. The

new assembly is likely to

convene in early April to

reconfirm Kim as its leader.

The autocratic leader

reportedly suffered a stroke

last year around the time

elections were due to be held.

But Pyongyang denies he has

imand hasn't provided a reason

delayed until March. for why the elections were

Meanwhile North Korea's armdz

forces remain on combat alert

as neighbouring South Korea continues a major military

exercise with the Americans.

The Pyongyang regime says it

regards the joint operation as

a prelude to a full-scale

invasion. Tension is

threatening to boil over on the

Korean border. TRANSLATION:

The Korean people's army

supreme command issued an order

to all the service people to be

fully combat ready and follow

every move of the aggressors

with vigilance and deal

merciless retaliatory blows at

them. The tough talk follows

the first day of military exercises, annually conducted

over the border by the South

Korean and United States

militaries. I know there's a

lot being said by North Korea

about the exercise. I can say

that I honestly believe that

the exercise is ... is ... is

not designed to prepare for an

attack on North Korea, but to

defend the republic of Korea

from North Korean aggression.

Troops from both Defence

Forces have been mobilised

throughout South Korea,

conducting life-fire drills as

part of South Korea's gradual

takeover of full military

command within its borders.

Tokyo has joined Seoul in

calling for calm. TRANSLATION:

Our government strongly asks

for Pyongyang self-destraint as

the kind of action North Korea

is talking about will

destabilise the region and

disrupt peace. We urge the

North again to stop heightening

tensions and speaking ill of

the other side based on the

spirit of mutual respect and on

the principle of general

inter-Korean activities.

Anti-North Korean activists

were less subtle on the streets

of the capital. TRANSLATION:

They have been strengthening

their threats of war, so we

urge our people and government

to take strong measures against

North Korea. But it appears it

will be a difficult task to

dampen the mood in the

Communist state. Election

results from a poll taken on

Sunday are expected to

reinstate leader Kim Jong Il,

and anoints a successor widely

tipped to be his youngest son,

Kim jong Un. You're watching ABC News for Australia Network.

ABC News for Australia Network.

Coming up - the US accuses

China of harassing one of its

naval ships at sea. And

portrait discovery. Could this be what Shakespeare really

looked like?!

Young Tibetans are planning

mass protests across India

today to mark the 50th

anniversary of the failed

uprising in Tibet. Their

spiritual leader the Dalai Lama

has appealed to them to demonstrate peacefully, but

there are fears the event will

be overshadowed by violence.

The ABC's Michael Coggan is in Dharamsala, where the Dalai

Lama lives in exile.

Traditional horns sounding a

long-life prayer ceremony for

the 73-year-old Dalai Lama.

This year the event marks the

50th anniversary of the Tibetan

upriseing that led the Buddhist

leader to flee to exile in

India. On one aspect, it says

something very sad. We've lost

everything. On the other hand,

regardless of our laws, we've

been able to achieve ... um ...

the establishment of a cohesive

community in India. The

famously energetic Dalai Lama

was told to take a break to

have surgery last year before

declaring he had lost hope in

the Chinese government

entertaining the pocket of

Tibetan autonomy under Chinese

rule. Now, young Tibetans say

they are putting their hope in pursuing independence because

the Dalai Lama's middle way has

failed. Independence is our

right. It's the birthright of

every Tibetan. And that's what

we have to strive for. We have

hope, we have belief, and we

have the spirit.

Chinese authorities blame

the Dalai Lama for inciting

bloody riots by Tibetans in the

lead-up to the Beijing

Olympics. As the first

anniversary of those riots approaches, thousands of

Chinese soldiers have been deployed across the Tibetan

plateau to ensure there isn't a

repeat. In recent days, the

Dalai Lama was quoted as saying

he was worried there could be

an explosion of violence

because many Chinese citizens

had armed themselves. As the

years go on, there's a growing

possibility the non-violent

approach add vo Kated by the

Dalai Lama --

advocated by the Dalai Lama

could give way to more violence

.

Chinese authorities have

sealed off the Himalayan region

from the outside world with

troop reinforcements employed

along the region's border

inside Tibet, tensions are

reported to be high with

soldiers patrolling the streets

of Lhasa. The Dalai Lama's

family has told the ABC's

Stephen McDonnell they want the

spiritual leader to be able to

return home. The military is

everywhere to be seen in

Tibetan areas. China flees

authorities have had a year to

prepare for today's anniversary. --

Chinese. Paramilitary police

stand guard and water cannon

trucks are ready to go. We

drove along the road to Tongren

hoping to reach a town which

saw clashes last year on this

same anniversary. But there's

no getting past the roadblocks

here. There's only one way in

and a heavy police presence.

Every car is checked, and ours

is no exception.

We were told that there's

nowhere here we're allowed to

enter, and to return to

Beijing. They took down our

passport details. And any

passport details. And any

Tibetans coming through were

getting special attention. But

in this remote region, we did

manage to reach one Tibetan

village. This is the Dalai

Lama's home town, and from

here, we can even see the house

that he was born in. Of course,

he hasn't been able to return

here for the last five decades.

The mood is pretty tense. The

Dalai Lama's nephew's wife said the police

the police didn't want us

there. She told us she missed

the Tibetan spiritual leader.

TRANSLATION: I wish he'd come

back quickly. We all miss him.

We asked if tension had been

high in the run-up to today's

anniversary. TRANSLATION:

We're not allowed to talk about

this. A man was this. A man was telling us

that the Dalai Lama's return

would be good for both Tibetans

and Hahn Chinese. The police

were coming, so we had to go.

The United States has accused

five Chinese ships of

harassing a US navy vessel in harassing a US navy vessel in violation of international

maritime law. A Pentagon

statement says the Chinese ship

surrounded the 'Impeccable', an

unarmed ocean surveil vessel.

It says during the

confrontation one ship moved to

within 8m. It's crew waving Chinese flags and telling the

American boat to leave the area

before forcing it to an

emergency stop. The incident is

said to have taken place in international waters in international waters in the

South China Sea. Our embassy in

both Beijing and here protested

the actions of the Chinese

ships that have been report ed.

Our ships obviously operate

fairly regularly in

international waters, where

We're going these incidents took place.

We're going to continue to

operate in those international

waut errs. And we expect the

Chinese to observe

international law around that.

America's Defence officials say

the stand-off followed several

days of increasingly aggressive

acts by Chinese ships in the

region. There's been no

response from China. People

from the bushfire devastated

region of southern Australia

are taking a special interest in the houses in the houses which survived

the fires that killed more than

200 people. As Erin Kassar

reports they are seeking the

advice of residents who

deliberately chose bushfire

resistant designs and

materials. It's a bittersweet

moment when Rowan Steele sees

what's left of Marysville,

which is still off limits for

visitors. It's incredible. You

like on television but until can see all the pictures you

you actually you actually see it yourself -

there is our little house,

directly in front. The home he

built still stands, almost out

of place among the ruins. He

believes luck had little to do

with it, attributing years of

planning, the property's

location, and the use of

non-combustible vinyl

materials. It's making me proud

actually. The builder sold the

property and was creating a

replica for his family just

metres away, but the metres away, but the unfinished

home was flattened in the

inferno. Much of Mr Steele's

research is based on the

Canberra bushfires and he is

now in talks with recovery

teams about helping develop

temporary community housing. My

suggestion was that we make a

nice cosy little place that

could be resold back to either

the owners or to people. Judy

and Nick Janz are also full of and Nick Janz are also full of

ideas for the future. They say

they were saved by the fire

resistant features of their

home, including a steel piped

fountain using tank water. I

then was able to create this

almost impenetrable waterfall

around the house. Their

preparations even attracted a

visit from the Royal

Commission. I told them that if

I wanted to live in the bush,

this is how you have to respect

this is how you have to respect it. There's a lot of lessons to

are learned here. The only way

to do that is to talk to people

like Judy and Nick. The last-ditch strategy was to go

down to the cellar, wait for

the fire to pass and drink the

last bottle of Grange before it

reached room temperature. (Laughs) Advice

many would also agree with!

New research shows rising New research shows rising

concentrations of acid in the

world's oceans are preventing

some sea creatures from forming

thick shells. Scientists say

there is now a significant

threat to the oceanic food

chain. When it comes to carbon

dioxide, the biggest worry has

been its impact on the

atmosphere was a so-called

greenhouse gas but when CO2 is

mixed with water like in the

world's oceans, it has another

effect. Carbon dioxide in world's oceans, it has another

water, as anyone who ever

drinks a soda knows, is

actually a weak acid. And we

are adding this weak acid to

the ocean, thus increasing its

acidity. Researchers in Hobart

have been documenting the

impact in the Southern Ocean.

They looked at thine nee

animals called forans, some

deposited in sediment at the

bottom of the ocean over thousands of years, others bottom of the ocean over

floating in the water. They

found an alarming decline in

the thickness of the animals'

shells. They're making thinner

and lighter shems. These are

kalsifying organisms who

construct a shell out of

calcium carbonate. So

sensitive that since the

beginning of the industrial era

the creatures' shells have

become up to 35% thinner. The

researchers say the ocean's natural

natural role in dealing with

carbon is being upset by

massive extra amounts of CO2 in

the atmosphere. This impact

will not be reversible at least

over the next few centuries. It

actually takes hundreds, if not

thousands of years for the

oceanic buffering mechanisms to

operate. The scientists say

they don't yet know what the

themselves changes mean for the animals

themselves or the marine

ecosystem. But it confirms

their fears about the

consequences of fossil fuel

carbon emissions on the world's

oceans.

You're watching ABC News for

Australia Network. Our top

story - US President Barack

Obama has overturned a ban on

federal funding for human

embryonic stem cell research.

Let's check the financial

markets.

In sport,

second Test between South In sport, in cricket, the

Africa and Australia in Durban

could be heading for a tense

finish. Set a seemingly

impossible target of 546 to win

the match, the home team still

has hopes of saving the game.

At the close of play on Day 4,

South Africa were just 2/244.

Jacques Kallis is unbeaten on

84, AB de Villiers is on 68. Australia batted

Australia batted on in the morning session with Phillip

Hughes riding his luck on his

way to 150. He brought up his

latest personal landmark in

what's fast becoming trademark

fashion. Hughes finally

departed for 160, caught by

Morkle off Makhaya Ntini.

Marcus North was caught off

Dale Steyn for nought, Dale Steyn for nought, and

Ricky Ponting declared with

Australia 545 runs ahead. Australia went in search of

quick wickets but the

technology was against them and

Neil McKenzie survived.

McKenzie and Amla had added 63

when Peter Siddle made the

breakthrough for the visitors.

McKenzie caught behind by

Haddin. Kallis came in and

should've departed first ball,

Siddle struck but North spilled the catch.

Siddle struck again with the

score on 80. Ponting took the

catch after Amla played a loose

shot. With Graeme Smith injured

and unable to bat, South Africa

were rocking, but the reprieved

Kallis and AB de Villiers kept

the Australians at bay until

the close, surviving 51 overs.

Australia will be anxious for

an early breakthrough on the

final morning.

Let's now have a look at the

regional weather forecast for the rest of the day.

Finally - there's been a development in the

centuries-old mystery about

what William Shakespeare what William Shakespeare really

Shakespearian scholar in looked like. A leading

Britain believes he has

identified a previously

unrecognised portrait of the

bard, and in East London

archaeologists think they've unearthed remains of a playhouse where some of

Shakespeare's works were first

performed. An authentic

portrait of Shakespeare ... the

only one painted from the life.

Or so it's claimed. Today it came to a press conference in came to a press conference in London, complete with heavy

security. The picture shows a

lively fellow, if rather well

dressed for a mere hack, but

then he was 46 and a Jacobian

celebrity. He became quite a

wealthy man. We know his social

status was high. He was a groom

of the chamber to King James I.

It's quite in line I think with the image

the image that people in this

period were able to project of

themselves. There are lots of

supposed portraits of

Shakespeare, few thought to be

authentic. The best we have is this rather crude picture from

the first edition of his

collected plays. So why is this

portrait different? One reason

- it looks like the original

from which lots of copies were

made. Whoever it was, was

clearly famous and several of

those copies were traditionally

said to show Shakespeare and said to show Shakespeare and

the name that owns the painting

are descended from this man,

Shakespeare's patron and

possibly his lover, the Earl of Southampton. OK, so we have the

wall like so, and then we

would've watched ... Right down there. Yeah. Across town , they're just as convinced

they've found the remains of

the theatre. A gently sloping

gravel yard where the audience

might've stood inside a curbed brick

brick wall. It's just round the

corner from Curtain Road, named

after another Elizabethan

theatre. We know it's not the

Curtin. The location is right.

The date is exactly right. The

building materials are exactly

right. It looks as though it

must be the theatre. Amid the

rubbish on the site they also

found this - a bearded face off

an old piece of pottery. Though

they're not claiming that, too, is an is an unrecognised Shakespeare

portrait! Snoom no doubt the

mystery will continue. That's

the bulletin for now. For more

information on news and current

affairs from the region, you

can go to our web site. I'm Bev

Bye-bye now. O'Connor hope to see you soon.

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Good morning. Welcome to the

program. In 'Business Today' -

in decline. The World Bank

delivers a negative growth

forecast as Japan posts a deficit. Stimulus deficit. Stimulus effect. Has

Beijing's package been enough

to prop up Chinese investors?

And bargain buys. From the US

rust belt to waterfront Sydney,

it's a buyer's market! Those

stories shortly, but first,

let's take a quick look at the

market numbers.

Now for more on that market

action I'm joined by Matt Lewis

from CMC Markets. Good morning,

Matt. Now, Wall Street fell in

late trade as investors worried

about the pessimistic economic climate? That's exactly right. Unfortunately, another negative

start to the week for US equity

markets, with the Dow Jones

closing the session on its lows

down 80 points or 1.2% with the