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Kevin Rudd calls for patience

and says he has more up his

sleeve to stimulate the economy

while the opposition argues the

government has lurd done too

much too soon. The

International Criminal Court

issues an arrest warrant for

Sudan's President over the

deaths of 300,000 people in

Darfur. Dozens of people are

detained in Pakistan, the

country's prosecution -

President seas his security

forces will opinionish those

responsible - punish those

responsible on the attack of

the Sri Lanka cricket team.

And the Dragons go 1-nil up in the grand final against the


Good morning it is Thursday,

5 March. I am Joe O'Brien. I

am Virginia Trioli. The top

story on ABC News Breakfast -

the PM Kevin Rudd is insisting

his government did the right

thing by spending big and

spending early to fight the

financial crisis. But accord

ing to the opposition the worst

is yet to come. And the

Federal Government has jumped

the gun by rolling out

emergency measures too soon.

As both siesd of - both sides

of parliament speculate, there

is no doubting the Australian

economy shrank by 0.5% in the

December quarter. The PM says

it could have been much

worse. The advice from the

treasury was when you see the

emerging economic storm, this

global cyclone building,

intervene with stimulus, go

early, go hard, go households.

You compare where we are, even

with this performance on growth

in the December quarter against

the rest of the advanced

economies in the world. This

economy is still performing as

one of the top five economies

of all advanced economies in

the world. Let's put this into

context. For more Ben Worsley

join us from Canberra. And go

early, go hard, go households.

But it all ended up with a big

fat negative in front of it. I

got to concede to you Joe I am

not exactly sure what he means

but that. But he is obviously

pointing to the fact the advice

to the government was to try to

get ahead of the curve, as

Kevin Rudd likes to say. You

can use statistics however you

like. The opposition is jumping

on the fact that household

income increased over the part

quarter by $11 bill but

household savings increased by

nearly the same amount.

Therefore proving, acordsing to

the opposition the cash splash

didn't work. Households saved. Household consumption grew by

1%. Therefore the government

can argue without the stimulus

things would have been much package and the cash splash

worse. A lot of it is

immeasurable. What isn't is

what Kevin Rudd said yesterday,

and how he framed the latest

developments. One of the key

things he said was Australia

can no longer swim against the

tide of the global recession.

Joe Hockey, the Shadow Treasurer for the Coalition

jumped on that in typical Joe

Hockey fashion. Let's have a

look at how he responded to

those comments on 'Lateline'

last night. Kevin Rudd hoisted

up the white flag when he said

"Australia can no longer swim

against the tide". It was a

damning statement. The PM of

Australia today gave up on the

country's ability to survive

the economic downturn. The PM

has said "I give up" we cabinet

swim against this - can't swim

against this tide. That defeatist language, that

attitude, it is just like a

dagger to the heart of small

business. It's giving up on

those self-funded retirees that

are struggling at the moment.

Have frozen funds, had massive

asset devaluations. And Kevin

Rudd today indicated he is

walking away from those people.

The Coalition's argument more

broadly is that this represent

s - yesterday's figures proves

Kevin Rudd's incompetition in

handling the economy. Malcolm

Turnbull argue that's

three-fold. He misred the

economy before the global

financial crisis hit. The

banking guarantees were

mishandled and rushed and too

large and the pre-Christmas

stimulus package didn't work.

The flaw in the argument s is

two of the things he supported

when he voted for the package.

But the government is the

government. It's the party

that has got to respond. The

pressure now comes on obviously growing pressure on the next

Budget. What on earth can you

include in the next Budget.

What will, if anything, the

next stimulus package be, and

what initiatives and policies

that are in train like the

Emmissions Trading Scheme, what

effect can this rapidly deteriorating economy have on

those policies that have been

promised for some time? And so Ben what are some of the

elements of the Budget that we

thought might be included,

could fall by the wayside now

there is just not going to be

the money around that there

was? We have already heard

that the paid maternity leave

looks very much like being

delayed. They keep - they, the government, keep insisting

pension reform is on the table.

They would cop a lot of flak

and criticism, much of it

justified, if they backed away

tr that. Because they have

promised pension reform for

some time. The rest you would

have to say is up for grabs.

We have already seen some defence spending put aside.

The problem for the government,

is that as much as the figures

yesterday were bad, they are

going to get worse, jobless

rates will increase

dramatically. And the impact

of falling commodity prices

haven't fully been felt on the

budget bottom line. All those

things are going to get worse

and the task is going to get

more difficult for the

government in the months to

come until the next election

which is a year away or so.

Ben Worsley in Canberra,

thanks. We would like to know your thoughts on how the government is handling the economy. Send emails to -

In other news this morning, the International Criminal

Court at the Hague has issued

an arrest warrant for Sudan

President Omar Al-Bashir. He

faces two charges of war

crimes, and five charges of

crimes against humanity in

Darfur. Around 300,000 people

have died and millions left

homeless by the six year conflict. This is the first

time the ICC has issued an

arrest warrant for a sitting

head of state. Pakistan's

President Asif Zadari has vowed

to hunt down and punish the

terrorists on the attacks

behind the Sri Lankan cricket

team much he was speaks action

security forces questioned

dozens of suspects. But the

gunmen responsible are still on

the run. The Sri Lankan

cricket platers have arrived

home in Colombo. Gordon Brown

has praised Barack Obama's

actions to address the global

financial crisis. In an

address to US congress he

called for a global plan to cut

interest rates and promote

spending. He has also awarded

Senator Ted Kennedy, who is

being treated for cancer, an

honorary knighthood for his role in the Northern Ireland

peace process. Hillary Clinton

has criticised Israel's plans

to demolish Palestinian homes

in East Jerusalem. The US

Secretary of State was speaking

following a meing with Palestinian President Mahmoud

Abbas in the weather bureau.

Israel - in the West Bank.

Israel claims the homes to be

demolished were built without

permits. Australian

designtists say they have made

a break through in stem cell

research that could lead to the

regrowing of vital organs.

Researchers at the University

of New South Wales have found

ways to extend the lifespan of

stem cells long enough for them

to grow into replacement

tissue. It is seen as a big

step in treating pacialgts with

cancer - patients with cancer

and muscle wasting. Returning

to Gordon Brown's speech. He

used the speech to focus on the global economic crisis and urge

world economies to steer away

from protectionism to fight the

recession. All of us know in a

recession the wealthiest, most

powerful and most privileged

can find a way through. So we

don't value the wealthy less

when we say that our first duty

is to help the not so wealthy.

We don't value the powerful

less when we say our first

responsibility is to help the

powerless. And we do not value

those who are score - secure

less when we say our priority

must be to help the insecure.

Gordon Brown speaking in

congress a short while ago.

For more Mark Simkin joins us

from Washington. Good morning

and if we went on to listen to

more of that speech it was

extremely praise-worthy and

proud and admiring of Barack

Obama. But I guess that

disguises the fact this visit

and the British-US relationship

is under Barack Obama's got off

to a little bit of a rocky

start. Yes. Obviously the relationship between the

previous US President and the

previous British PM was an

extremely close one. When Tony

Blair first stayed over at here

in the United States up at camp

David , George Bush let slip

that they shared the same brand

of toothpaste. And so there is

really going to be an - then of

course he was derided for being

Bush's Poodle. For Gordon

Brown it was a bit of a tight

rope. He wanted to be seen as

something other than a poodle

but he still is trailing badly

in the polls, wants some of

Barack Obama's magic to run rub

off on him. The most

politician in the world to help

Gordon Brown standing in the

polls. And there have been

some mur mererrings. One of

the first things Barack Obama

did when he took over the oval

office was ship off a bust of

win ston Churchill that Tony

Blair sent to George W Bush.

There was no press conference

about that and they were

shaking their heads about that.

There is a lot of questions

being asked what is the state

of the bilateral relationship

and the personal relationship

between the two men and we saw

Gordon Brown today praising the United States in very

heavy-handed manner at every

opportunity. Yes, indeed. And

not to be too unkind about it,

I don't think the US leadership

or the congress needed to hear from Gordon Brown about what

should be done in relation to

the world's economy. So what's

Gordon Brown really on about

here? Well, he is clearly

trying to take the stage and

take the opportunity to bolster

his credentials back at home.

And obviously he was given the

opportunity to address the

congress, which is an honour

that is not afforded lightly.

He is only the 5th British

leader to be able to do that.

Yes, indeed. He was also

taking the opportunity though, as you mention in the

introduction, apart from all

the handshaking and

backslapping, he was also - did

take on the issue of protectionism. And of course

the irony here is - not the

irony I think quite the

deliberate awareness, he is a

addressing the congress that

only a few weeks ago passed a

massive stimulus plan that in

some language people would

construe was protectionism. It

says projects funded by the US

package should use US steel.

It then amend to say it couldn't conflict with

international trade laws but

no-one knows how sha thank will

work. That was the meat on the

bones for Gordon Brown today.

He assist obviously trying to

lay the ground work for the

G-20 meeting that he will host

in the UK next month. I can

only imagine how intoxicating

it must be to stand in congress

and address that gathering with

Nancy Pelosi and the Vice President behind you. The

state of the union movement got

to Gordon Brown a little bit in

the driver ry - delivery He

was pumped up. There were 19

standing ovations. Sometimes

it didn't quite work out for

him. There were a few awkward

bits. Clearly scripted

applause lines where he really

did thunder in his delivery and

he would say "there is no new

Europe. There is no old

Europe. There is only your

friend Europe". And pause

waiting for the applause that

sort of took a few seconds

before it came. And then

everyone would stand up. It's

a bit different to the state of

the union where as you say, the

speaker and the - or the Vice

President as he now is, would

be sitting behind the speaker,

say Barack Obama, and they

actually stand up on queue to

queue the people sitting in

front. That they should stand

up as well. It is all fairly

closely scripted and core

graphed. Gordon Brown does

have the benefit of that so it

was rather awkward at times.

Nonetheless a moment he will

probably never forget I imagine. Mark Simkin always

good to talk to you. Thanks so

much. He did really seem to

love his moment in the sup. It

is judge - in sun. It is just

always so overdone there as

well. Just let them get on

with the speech. It stretches

out by a good 20 minutes. And

comes across as so contrived.

It wasn't contrived in Gordon Brown's case, they couldn't get

it together at all. China's

parliament has gathered in

Beijing for its annual meeting

at a time when the economic

down turn threatens to

undermean the rule ing

communist power on power. The Australia network China correspondent Tom Iggulden

reports. China's leaders are

trying to project an image of

thrift during the economic

downturn. Sparing no detail

too trivial to show their

cutting down on government

waste. TRANSLATION: When you

journalists come to the great

hall of people you see it is

all lit up. But if there are

no special occasions staff

always make sure to turn off

all the light when is they

leave the rooms. The thiftyness

is being accompanied by a huge

spending program. $1 trillion

US is being pumped back into

the slowing Chinese economy by

a stimulus package and it

doesn't stop there. Military

spending will increase by

almost 15% this year, but

officials say the new equipment

they are buying is solely for

self protection inside China's

borders and is not a threat to

other countries. TRANSLATION:

It will strengthen the

military's ability to carry out

non-combative task such as

disaster relief, counter

terrorism and other emergency

actions. Many will interpret those comments to mean the

military is being prepared to

deal with potential riots and demonstrations that may result

from falling income levels and

rising unemployment. Military

service men will also get a pay

rise out of the increased spending. And government's

also looking out for China's

Army of migrant factory

workers. The government

appears to be resisting calls

from business owners for it to

repeal recently passed labour

lal - laws strengthening

workers rights. TRANSLATION: Under the current circumstances

we need to strengthen the

coordination of the labour

relationship. Direct the

enterprise and the employees to

work together to overcome

difficulties. The session is

shorter than normal this year.

Wrapping up at the end of next

week. Now let's take a look at

the front pages of the major

newspapers around the country

this morning. And the global

recession has caught up with

Australia's economy, forcing

the first fall innout put in 8 years sans 'The Australian'.

And despite the dump turn

Kevin Rudd say the economy

would have been worse off

before the package before

Christmas. The 'Sydney Morning

Herald' is reporting. The 'Financial Review' says

Australia is in recession for

the first time in 17 years and

the latest figures have put

pressure on the government to

produce new stimulus

measures. The economic figures

shocked most market economists

, and dashed hopes that

Australia can fend off the

savage global downturn,

according to the 'Age'. 'Daily

deterioration of the Australian Telegraph' reports the

economy is likely to force the

Reserve Bank to cut interest

rates again in April. The

paper also leads with a picture

of Bulldogs player Hazem El

Masri who will attempt to take

Andrew Johns pointses scoring

record this season. The ACT

was the only state or territory

to record negative economic

growth for two consecutive

quarters. Reports the

'Canberra Times' rather than

glumly today. The 'Herald Sun'

leads with a picture of

Richmond Tigers Graham Polak

who is preparing for his AFL

comeback on Friday after suffering severe brain

injuries, when he was hit by a

tram. An incredible story,

comeback story that one. We will chat about that later on

with Paul Kennedy. A woman and

her 2-year-old son were stabbed

to death in a brutal attack in Adelaide's north-western

suburbs last night. The

Adelaide 'Advertiser' reports.

And the paper also has a

picture of local tycoon Con

Makris is called on the

government to reduce land tax

to help combat the economic

'Courier Mail' say there's are slow down. The Brisbane

fears about a Denge Fever

outbreak after the disease

claimed the life of an 82-year-old woman in Cairns.

Plans for a $3.5 billion

fertiliser plant in the

south-west town of Colly will

create 1500 jobs during its

construction. Reporting the

'West Australian' today. The

'Mercury' says Tasmania's

economic demand grew by 0.8%,

while the economy across the

country contracted. And

finally the Northern Territory

news says a school has exposed

students to had the risks after

sewage was found in its canteen

sink. Aim - I am so sorry to

share that story with you so

earning in the morning. Top

stories on ABC News Breakfast

this morning - the PM insists

he did the right thing by spend

ing big last December and says

he will do so again to keep the

economy strong. The opposition

says the government has already

done too much too early. The

International Criminal Court

issues an arrest warrant for

Sudan's President Omar

Al-Bashir for war crimes over

the conflict in Darfur. More

than 300,000 people have died

in the six year conflict. And

Al-Bashir's indictment is the first of a sitting head of

state. Pakistan's President

Asif Zadari vows to hunt down

and punish the terrorists

behind the attacks on the Sri

Lankan cricket team. The

President was speaking as

security forces question dozens

of suspects over the attacks.

8 people died in the attack,

and the gunmen are still on the


Let's take a look at finance

news now and we start with the

US where a new report has found

more than 20% of US home buyers

owe more on their mortgages

than their homes are worth.

The report by the first

American Correologic found more

than 8.3 million US mortgages

have negative e equity

compared with 7.6 million six

months ago. There is still

more grim data out of the US

where the private sector shed

697,000 jobs in February alone.

As employers slashed payrolls

to cope with the shrinking

economy. The number far

exceeded analysts job loss

predictions, of 630,000 jobs.

Now there is some better news

bag home. Despite yesterday's

GDP headlines there are others

who insist the economy isn't as

bad as numbers might suggest.

And businesses say while times

are getting tougher consumers

are still spending. Neal

Woolrich reports. It's getting

hot in the kitchen with

December quarter GDP much worse

than many pundits had

predicted. But knows at the

front line of the economy are taking the official numbers

with a grain of salt. Look at

the number in the dining room.

Not doom and gloom. Not for a

minute. Pam Lamarro and

Victoria Wilson say their bar

and rest restaurant still enjoy

strong turnover. Maintaining

its business people during the

week and social diners on the

weekend. As a comparison from

last year to this year,

certainly our customers are

making different choices when

it comes to wines, different

choices when it comes to the

length of their meals and thick

things like that and the

average spend per head but

thankfully we are still seeing

a lot of people. However they

have made some changes,

introducing recession friendly

menu items to keep the cash

registers ticking. And while

patrons are searching harder

for value. On the other side

of the equation Lamarro

suppliers are lifting their

prices. We are seeing

notification of them increasing

their prices 5, 10%. And that's happening even

quarterly. We then have to

make the decision whether or

not we pass that on to

customers or absorb the costs.

In more cases than not we are

absorbing the costs so of

course we are running at

tighter margins than ever.

While some businesses face

shrinking profit margins, car

dealers are struggling simply

to make a sale. Figures from

the chamber of automotif

industry show new vehicle

purchases in February were 21%

lower than the same time last

year. Despite the constant

flow of bad economic news,

advertising agent Simon Burrutt

is also surprised by the 0.5%

in GDP during the December

quarter. Looks to me that what

we are learning is just how

much the country was riding on

the back of the mining boom.

Because in the retail sector in

particular, or manufacturing I

have been speaking to as well,

it just isn't - it just hasn't

been bad enough to have given

thats of bit of a surprise

result. He pointed to a recent

report by the Australian centre

for retail studies. It says

consumers are will be to make

major household purchases,

although saving remains a high

priority. And Simon Burrett is

confident that the slow down in

the economy won't translate to

a reduction in advertising. I

see most businesses understand

the smarts of continuing to

steer the ship on an even

course. And that that means

they have got to keep putting

their message to the consumer.

To get through the downturn

companies are also urging

government to do everything it

can to make doing business as

easy as possible. Hospitality

operators are concerned about

ward modernisation proposal

which is will increase hourly

rates for casual staff after

7pm on weekends and public

holidays. If this does go

through, we will certainly see

a lot of businesses choosing to

close on Sundays. And my heart

really, really goes out to

regional areas who rely on

weekends and public holidays

for 75% of their trade. But

Victoria Wilson says provided

consumers keep supporting the

economy, businesses like hers

can enjoy a bright future.

Let's take a look at the

finance figure now. Er all the

markets are trading higher.

The Dow is up by more than 2%.

The NASDAQ has increased by

more than 2%. And the S&P 500

is also trading higher. In

Europe - the FTSE has risen

sharply by more than 3%. Oil

is selling for US$44.64. Gold

is US$903.20 and the Aussie

dollar is buying 64 US. Now

in a few minutes Vanessa

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

Also ahead we will have a

review of some of today's newspapers and this morning we

will be joined by the Editor-In-Chief of the 'The Age', Paul Ramadge. Now with

sport here is Paul Kennedy.

Good morning, test cricket

match referee Chris Broad has criticised security in

Pakistan. The former England

batsmen was in charge of the

third test and was in the van

with other officials when they

came under fire outside the

stadium at Lahore. Anger.

Anger at the Pakistani security

forces. I had an inkling

before this test match leg of

the tour that something might

happen. I certainly didn't

think that this was going to

happen. But I raised my

concerns with the ICC before

the tour started. They passed

on my concerns to the PCB to

Zachir Khan who is the

operations manager of the PCB

and he assured me through email

that all security would be

taken care of.

Presidential-style security.

And clearly that didn't happen.

After the incident and we were able to see television

picture, you can quite clearly

see the white van that we were

in next to the ambulance, the

white ambulance, in the middle

of this around about with

terrorists shooting past our

van, statements into our van -

sometimes into our van and not

a policeman anywhere. They had

clearly gone. Left the scene

and left us to be sitting

ducks. I am extremely

fortunate to be here today. As

are Simon Taufel, Steve Davis,

Nadim Gari and Peter Manuel who

were all in the bus at the same

time. We are all extremely

lucky to be here today. I

wasn't a hero. I was lying on

the van floor, there were

bullets hitting the van. I

don't know how many. You know,

could be as much as 20, 25

bullets. It wasn't real to me.

It's not something I have ever

thought I would find - a

position I would find myself

in. And I - having talked to

Simon Taufel and Steve Davis we

all had the same feeling we

were wait for a bullet to hit

us. I can't see it going on

for the foreseeable future. I

know the chairman has come out

and said that their friends

will come to Pakistan. I don't

think they have any friends in

world cricket at the moment

that will go toing , go to

Pakistan after this has

happened. Sri Lanka why a friendly country. They wanted

to go, they want ed to support

Pakistan. I don't think they will be going back to Pakistan

and certainly India, Australia,

England, New Zealand, South

Africa. Australian captain

Ricky Ponting says he is

worried sporting teams have

become a tablet for terrorists.

His team has contactsed their

Sri Lankan friends to offer

support. On behalf of the Australian cricket team all our

sympathies and condolences go

out to anyone who has been

affected by what's happened in Pakistan over the last 24

hours. A couple of Australians

over there obviously. Umpires

and Chris Broad. People we

know very well. We have done

our best to contact the Sri

Lankan players over the last 24

hours as well. Our physio

actually worked them for a long

time. He knows a lot of the

players very well and had

numbers. We have been in touch

with them and Tim Neilson our

coach got in touch with Steve

Davis to check in with him and

wish him our best. It has been

an amazing list of events over

the last 24 hours and something

we have been saddened by and

something we have been speaking

about pretty deeply over the

last 24 hours a well. We have

got another team meeting this

morning and if there are any

concerns around from the player

group they will be voiced

there. The south Dragons have

taken out game one of the NBL

grand final series. The final

score was 93-81 but the result

was uncertain right up until

the last minute. The captain

Mark Worthington top scored

with 23 points. Steps up and

under and gets the roll. 421,

only 19%.

Joe Ingels. Throwing into

the crowd and mark Worthington

just starting to take things

into his own hands. Anstey

turns to the middle. Gibson

spins, the lay-up is no good.

He is fouled by crosswell.

Does it. Two more big free

flows. 2, 1... and there it

is. The South Dragons with a

12 point victory over their

cross town rivals the Melbourne

Tigers. Draw first blood in

game one. Big win there in

game one and Goorijan the coach

of the draggans will join us

later. And Broad's

descriptions there were

amazing. He does have a point.

You did see that little white

van sitting there in the middle

of the roundabout and

terrorists firing all around it and the police nowhere to be

seen. The driver of that van

was killed as well. Which made

us think yesterday when we were

hearing that a theory that it

might is been an attempted

kidnapping, that would make

sense with that van and the

driver being killed there. So

they were - as Mr Broad said

they were sitting ducks. Just

lying there. Lying there on

the bottom of this van just

waiting to be shot. And just

amazing they got away. The difficulty for Pakistan of

course is that they are

guarantee all the security in

the world and say "yes, of

course we will have presidential-style security for

you". But the country is in

such disarray. There is no

leadership and no following of the leadership post military

rule, that the security was

there, and clearly as Chris

Broad said it just melted away

under pressure. The security

could have been tighter than it

was as well. The hard thing

is, you can't in this sort of -

with this dem oral ise the

country get people to stick in

a hard situation like that.

They think of their own

security which is completely

understandable but not quite

their task. The concern from

cricketers around the world is whether they will go to India

for the IPL series which is

next month. We heard yesterday

the home minister in India

wants it delayed because he

thinks security might be

stretched. And the players are

starting to consider their

positions now, Flintoff and

Pieterson in England are saying

they will take advice and the

Australians will have to dot

same thing. The former England

coach Fletcher said "I will be very nervous because that kind

of attack is easier to carry

out in India and these guys can

attack you where they like"

making the point that ambush

and shooting like that can

happen easier in India. Well, they will be thinking about

these things, the cricketers,

and they won't want to take any

chance. They want to get

advice they are 99% sure

security will be wonderful.

The players will be think being

that 1%. A lot of money to be

passed up there. It gets very muddy when you are talking

about the dollars involved.

Thanks a lot Paul. ABC News

Breakfast can be watched live

on the web from anywhere in the

world. Log on to a computer at -

Now with weather here is

Vanessa O'Hanlon and the north

is in for yet more rein. A

tropical low is near the tip of

Cape York, it is slowly edging

south and at this stage it will

be a very wet weekend with rain

in the region until next week.

A cloud band is over the north

which will cause patchy rain

for most of that area. However

most of the rain will be over

Queensland. Cloud with thundery rain over far North

Queensland near the tropical

low and cloud over Victoria and

Tasmania is also causing some

showers but they will ease.

The cool southerlies will hang

around over the east and centre

parts because of the high.

That will also maintain the

warm easterlies in WA. In the

meantime a trough will move

north moving isolated storms

into the Queensland tropics and

over the Top End. Queensland -

isolated showers and

thunderstorms over the far north spreading across the

tropical east coast. And some

rain areas about Cape York peninsula.

to tomorrow -

I will see you in half an


The top story on ABC News

Breakfast - the PM Kevin Rudd

says he is prepared to keep

spending to stimulate the

economy, despite previous

efforts failing to prevent the

December quarter contract by

0.5%. The opposition says

however the worst is yet to

many - yet to come and last

December's stimulus was rolled

out way too early. Kevin Rudd

has dismissed that. He say it

is will take months for the full measures to flow through

to the economy. The advice

from the treasury was when you

see the emerging economic

storm, this global cyclone

building, intervene with

stimulus, go early, go hard, go

households. You compare where

we are, even with this

performance on growth in the

December quarter, against the rest of the advanced economies

in the world. This economy is

still performing as one of the

top five economies of all

advanced economies in the

world. Let's put this into

context. PM Kevin Rudd

speaking on the '7:30 Report'

last night. We won't ask you

to explain just what that

phrase mean, go early, go hard,

go household, but how do you rate Kevin Rudd's handling of

the economy so far. Send us an

email at -

in other news this morning,

the International Criminal

Court at the Hague has issued

an arrest warrant for Sudan President Omar Al-Bashir. He

faces two charges of war

crimes, and five charges of

crimes against humanity in

Darfur. Around 300,000 people

have died, and millions have

been left homeless by the

six-year conflict. It is the

first time the ICC has issued

an arrest warrant for a sitting

head of state. Pakistan's

President Asif Zadari has vowed

to hunt down and punish the terrorists behind the attacks

on the Sri Lankan cricket team.

The President was speaking as

security forces question dozens

of suspects over the attacks,

which left at least 8 people

dead. The gunmen responsible

are still on the run. The Sri

Lankan cricket players have now

arrived home in Colombo.

Gordon Brown has praised Barack Obama 's actions to address the

global financial crisis. In an

address to US congress Gordon

Brown called for a global plan

to cut interest rates, and

promote spending. He also

awarded Senator Ted Kennedy

with an honorary knighthood for

his role in the Northern

Ireland peace process. In his

maiden speech to Zimbabwe's

parliament, the new PM, Morgan

Tsvangirai, has called for

international sanctions to be

liftedment Mr Tvangirai says

repairing the country's

shattered economy was the main

priority of his new government

with President Mugabe. He also

said unlawful arrests and

police crack downs on political

activism must end. And

Australian scientists say they

have made a break through in

stem cell research that could

lead to the regrowing of vital

organ, researchers at the

University of New South Wales

have found ways to extend the

lifespan of still stem cell s

long enough for them to grow

into replacing tissue. It is

seen as a big test - step to

treat cancer and muscle weight - waisting. The International

Criminal Court issued an arrest

warrant for the President of

Omar Al-Bashir. The Sudanese

leader is accused of committing

war crimes and crime against humanity. The warrant is the

first of its kind to be issued

for a serving head of state.

Omar Al-Bashir wabilitys to

hold back - wants to hold back

a tide of opinion. dedicating

a new dam on the river Nile he

told the crowd of admirers the

International Criminal Court

could put its arrest warrant in

a glass of water, and drink it.

Children waved deface the

posters of the court's chief

prosecute who has painstaking

ly construct ed a genocide case

against the President. Assume

Omar Al-Bashir travelled

through international air

space. He can be arrested.

Like Slobodan Milosevic or

Charles Taylor. His destiny

is to face justice. The UN

says up to 300,000 people have

died over the past six years,

in a conflict in Sudan's Darfur

region. Al-Bashir is expected

of - suspected of being

criminally responsible for

intentionally directing attacks

against an important part of

the sif civilian population of

Darfur Sudan. Mergering,

exterminating, raping,

torturing, and forcibly

transferring large numbers of

civilians. And pillaging their

property. Now there are fears

for the UN peace-keepers till

still in the country helping

people dis play attacks from

the government-backed militia.

Arab league Foreign Ministers

meet anything Cairo didn't openly discuss the issue but

with a serving head of state

now under the ICC spotlight it

has given other dictators

something to think about. The

judges were clear. There is no

immunity for the head of state

before the court. Sudan

doesn't recognise the court so

it is unlikely President

Al-Bashir will be facing it any

time soon. But when an arrest

warrant was issued for Serbia's

former President, the same was

said. When his government fell

he was packed off to the Hague

for trial and he was found dead

of a heart attack in his cell

in 2006. A Senate inquiry into petrol sniffing has heard

delays are thwarting the roll

out of non-sniffable fuel in

some remote Aboriginal

communities in SA. The joint

committee has been told the

fuel has almost wiped out the

problem in communities in other

parts of the country. But it's

continuing to fester in some

other parts. Peter McDonald

joins us from the ABC's

Adelaide news room. Peter good

morning. We have beep hearing

about Opel fuel for - some

years now, what is the delay in

the South Australian

communities? It depends who

you speak to. The Aboriginal

affairs department in SA says

there are infrastructure

problem s. The only roadhouse in operation there isn't in

operation. It has been closed

for two years, there is

believed to be certain reluctance from certain

sections of the commbtities.

They believe this petrol might

be damaging and running in the

long-term vehicles. Le the

original non-sniffable vehicles

did contain lead. And that

lead to corrosive parts of the

vehicle. Opal fuel has no lead

so it has no effect on the

car's running. The suppliers

have been saying for some time

they are ready, lg and able to

supply what is needed about the

they say they need some instruction from the Federal

Government. What is their role

in the situation? Well, the Federal Government, the State Government has introduced it to

the APY Lands and it has been remarkably effective there and

really people are at a loss to

know why it hasn't been

introsed to Yatala and other communities on the west coast.

There were a lot of questions

thrown around yesterday and not

a lot of answers and hopefully

from yesterday's discussions

thing also start to move. Good

to talk to you this morning.

During the past decade Ireland

was called the Celtic tiger and

its rampant economy was held up

as the mir - mer Acle of Europe

but when the economic crisis

swept across the globe, Ireland

was one of the first to sink.

Phillip Williams reports from

Dublin, It was a modern

miracle. An economy that grew

nearly 100% in just one decade.

The new buildings tell a story

of high-tech affluence, the

fourth richest country per

capital ta in Europe. But for

all the modern steel and glass

this say very deceptive picture

because here in Ireland the

book has definitely gone bust

and. Stress ed banks aren't

lendingers unemployment is

skyrocketing and confidence is

evaporating. Just ask a

cabbie. I am 51 years of age

and I am working longer now

that I was 10 years ago for

probably less money, because of

the downturn. My son has been

let go recently. He was

training to I be a motor fitter

and he is 19 yearly. Can't get

a job. No prospects. I don't

know what's going to happen.

From about 2003 onwards you

had the housing boom which

became a bubble. And by the

peak in 2006, 2007. 14% or

more of the economy was

actually building houses. That

is not sustainable. In the

normal in OECD areas it would

be 5% of the economy. It's a

drama already for many.

Including architect Sharon

Roth. She and her partner

moved into their dream home

just last year. Two weeks ago

she lost her job of the We have

serious negative equity. We

capital sell. If we sold we

would owe the bank more than a

third of - more than what we

would sell it for. The couple

own two investment properties,

both renteded. The ten apts

have lost their jobs and

despite a daily search there is

not even an interview. Let

alone an offer of work. Can

you believe the transition of

fortune s from one year to the

next? No. I think that's the

biggest shock of everything.

Is how fast and how bad the

banking system really was.

While you can still find a

construction site actually constructing, there are also

plenty of empty shelves. Where

the industry lub can't, money,

has dried up. Nobody is

getting paid. The big

developers to build the big hotels and office blocks have

run out of money. So the main

contractors haven't been paid.

They haven't been pain be -

paying subbies and workers

haven't been paid. In the distance some of the cranes

that once marked prosperity now

pinpoint financial disaster.

But the capital squeezed and

job juiced. Something has to

give. And government will have

to raise tax s in the recovery

phase and also you will see a

fall in wage rates here. Which hasn't really happened in the

OECD area before.

CHANT: Never be defeated.

This is the result of a

government proposal to slash

spending. With what amounts to

a pay cut for all public sec

tor workers. More than 100

people took to the streets -

100,000 people headed to the

streets of Darwin. We want to

be treated fashly. We want -

fairly. We want the rich to be

taxed and we want people to get

a fair crack at a whip. That's

all we want. Despite the anger

the Irish government says it

has no choice as it tries to

find savings of ? $5 billion.

When we are spending 20

billion on public sector pay

something has got to give. It

is hard on public sector

workers but they are in a job.

Most of them have really good pensions and unfortunately it

will have to work out like this

for maybe this year and next

year. Conceivably I might

never work again. Or let me

put it this way, I might never

work again in my prftion but I

am - profession but I am damn

if I won't keep myself useful

and involved in getting some

sort of income. At 60 and a

lifetimes experience as an

architect Steven O'Brien has to

adjust to a new reality. He

has been looking for a job for

8 months but there simply

aren't any and even overseas

options are fast trying up.

What makes this particular

recession different from my point of view and ate lof

people would agree with this,

is the fact it happened very

quickly. Wasn't really

foreseen. Certainly wasn't

budgeted for. Accelerated much

faster than any of us thought

it would and hit much harder

and hit us all month profoundly.

It's a whole lot worse here.

Called Trust this

organisations has been looking

after Dublin's homeless for 30

years. What we are seeing now

is exactly what we saw 30 years

ago, except many of the people

who end up homeless now are

people who thought they will

never become homeless. They

have been to university all of

that and people coming from the

European states. The majority

of the people here are from

Eastern Europe. Lured from the

promise of jobs and good money

during the housing boom. Now

the first to be laid off. Some

turned to drink and drugs.

Sapping mental and physical

health. A lot of very bad

feet. Because they are walking

all the time. Continuous ly

walking from one place or

another. They are not getting

new shoes, I am dressing feet

althe time. Very bad blisters

and trench foot. Trench foot?

Yeah, they had in the first

world war. They cannot take

off their shoes because if they

do that they are robbed. As

more migrants compete with

further jobs inevitable

resentment creeps in from the

local un employed. . You are a

racist. People being Polish

walking in the shop and a a

person from Ireland walking in

and not having that job. That

shot job should be the Irish

job. There is a lot of resentment there.

After years of plenty, the

harsh realities are a shock for

a country comfortable with good

times. Down by the river a

reminder of the potato famine

when 1 million starved and

another 1 million fled the

country. No-one is dying next

time but an old Irish export

may be revived, thousands of

its best and brightest leaving

for places like Australia. Are

you watching ABC News

Breakfast. The top stories

this morning - the PM insists

he did the right thing by

spending big last December.

And says he will do so again to

keep the economy strong. The

economy shrank by 0.5% in the

December quarter. And the

opposition says the government

has already done too much too

early. The International

Criminal Court issues an arrest

warrant for Sudan's President

Omar Al-Bashir for war crimes

in Darfur. More than 300,000

people have died in the six

year conflict and Al-Bashir's

indictment is the first of a

sitting head of state.

Pakistan's President Asif

Zadari vowed to hunt down an

punish the terrorists behind

the attacks on the Sri Lankan

cricket team. The President

was speaking as security forces

questioned dozens of spuktss

over the attack the. 8 people

died in the attacks. And the

gunmen are still on the run. for a look at the national

papers today we are joined by the Editor-In-Chief of 'The Age' Paul Ramadge. Good

morning. Good morning. Of

course a big figure we are

looking at. The result of the December quarter and it dominates the coverage of the

main papers. It does. It is

all across 'The Australian'.

It is right across the

'Financial Review'. A big

quite large in the age and financial story and it plays

well. What a story it is.

What were we fed before this if

negative growth we are you have got two quarters of

officially in recession. But -

and it has pick ed quite well

by some of the analysts today.

It is actually just not about

that. Australia has got a

population growth and the GDP

is negative for most of the

year. So quite worrying and I

think the government itself is clearly now under more

political attack. Have the

measured worked. Are they

insteading enough and the

opposition is saying are they

spending up. Wayne Swan

clearly knew something this

week when he called the press

condeprens and said there will

be a dramatic end at the bottom

line. The spin, how do you

bring your economy back? Is

very, very much part of what we

are seeing. And but the

politics is interesting and the

economics. I touched on the

economies on some raw things

about GDP. An interesting

thing that I think coming out

of the papers is the fact we

are saving more money. Is that

a negative? I don't think so.

How long ago was it that

everybody would say Australians

don't save enough. Alan Kohler

had a really interesting figure

on that last night as part of

the ABC News where he showed

the comparison of pref previous years of Australian

savings and it has rocketed

right up. The stimulus

package, a lot of it went into

the back pocket but

unfortunately for newspapers

that's the argument now. We

did enough, no, you did too

much too early. You will hear

this argument repeatedly. It is going to be so boring up

until the next election! The

challenge will be to the

analysts to make more sense of

it. In Australia we are moving

toward aids federal Budget. So

there is the political stuff about enough spending and we

have done all we can, say the

government and the opposition

says "you are spending too

much". What about the

consequences in the next phase

on Australian, will the

government have the nerve on pensions? Let government have

the nerve to rereview

unemployment benefits. Will

they have the scope to. What

will happen to infrastructure

spending. Will they have

enough? If we have

infrastructure spending of the magnitude that we had been

forecast, we will have to come

off borrowed money rather than

money that's available. And on

it goes. It has hit Australia

basically is what we now know.

Pensions seem fairly well

locked in for the moment. But

a lot of things up for

question. Indeed. I would

like, if I can just swing to

another story. It has an

economic bent to it action well

and it is interesting because

it gives you a quick flip side

to another aspect of the

economy. Eric Johnson in 'The

Age', in the business section

address a report done by credit

Swiss about bank dividend s and

the interesting thing we know

A. N Z has forecast a 25% cut

to its dividend and the credits

say it is very likely the banks

will follow suit. One at that

level. Maybe at the 12 to 15%

cut. Now that's - you go OK.

And then "hang on a minute.

That will strip $7 billion out

of investors hands. Arguably

that out of the floe of cash in

the economy. And these are the

sorts of stories you read and

go - gosh this is complex. It

is not just GDP or always awe

government reacting these

things are - the markets are

having such drm dramatic

affect. Let's move on to

another story. That's the

government's response to the

Bradley report looking at

responsibilities and higher education. They are not

backing away from the need for proper training and education.

What do you make of the paper's

coverage today? It again got

very good coverage of all the

leading papers. I am drawn to

the 'Financial Review'. It

help es you understand what is

the plea points and how will it

play out. It will be a phased

reduction and removal on how

many students universities

with en roll. By 2012 any

university can take any number

of students. Are we seeing the

survival of the fittest and the

biggest. What sort of

specialisations may emerge?

And in the background and again

the economic backdrop with

mergers and acquisitions basely

of universities how will this

all really play out? I have symptom questions rather than a

lot - I have some questions

rather than a lot of answers on

it. And I think as least

that the government's claim to

an education revolution is becoming a little more

understand abl in terms of

their hopes to increase the

number of people completing

tertiary education with

policy? Absolutely and a

clinical clinic says with ub

employment and the people are

basically voting. Now Vanessa

O'Hanlon joins with us with a look at the national weather.

Thundery rain is on the way

for far North Queensland. We

will look at the satellite

image but in the meantime we do

have a tropical low that is

situated near the tip of Cape

York. A cloud band across the

north will cause patchy rain

and thunder. Most of that will

be over Queensland. We will

leave you to it. We had

trouble getting the picture up.

No, I don't think we have

got Back again. Clouds over

south-west Tasmania should

cause showers. The cool

southerlying will hand over the

eastern parts. Will is also a

trough that will move north

mooifing isolated storms into

the Queensland tropics and ov

the Top End. What's happened in Queensland -

Vannessa thanks so much.

We have lots more coming up

for you on ABC News Breakfast.

As you have been hearing this morning Sudan's President has

been charged with war crimes

over the deaths of 300,000

people in Darfur. The 6 year

conflict has also resulted in

millions of refugees, and we

will be getting some reaction

from Lucy Kaine and she is from

the Darfur-Australia network.

And we will be also be talking

to Greg Evans from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry about

that GDP result. All coming up

after this short break on ABC News Breakfast. See you in a bit.

Kevin Rudd calls for patience

and says he has more up his

sleeve to stimulate the economy

while the opposition argues

that the government has already

done too much too soon. The

International Criminal Court issues an arrest warrant for

Sudan's President over the

deaths of more than 300 people

in Darfur. Dozens of people

are questioned in Pakistan.

The country's President says

his security forces will punish

those responsible for the attack on Sri Lanka's cricket

team. And a late charge by the

Dragons sees them 1-nil up in

the grand final series against

the Tigers.

Good morning, it is

Thursday, the 5th of March. I am Joe O'Brien. I am Virginia

Trioli. The top story on ABC

News Breakfast - the PM Kevin

Rudd is insisting that his

government did the right thing

by spending big. And spending

early to fight the financial

crisis. But according to the

opposition the worst is yet to

come. And the Federal

Government has