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ABC Midday Report -

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(generated from captions) This Program is Captioned

Live.

Julia Gillard goes for the

young, Tony Abbott for the old,

midway through the campaign. A

deadly flare-up on the

Mideast Lebanese-Israeli border raises

of the Security Council calls

on all parties to practise utmost restraint. Just utmost restraint. Just looking

- the new app set to shake up

the real estate search. And the

last big hurrah in Darwin for a

supersonic pig.

Hello and welcome to ABC

News across Australia. I'm

Tracey Kirkland. After two

gains of gains, profit-takers

are cashing in, driving the local share market down:

More finance later in the bulletin. Midway through the

election campaign, Tony Abbott

and Julia Gillard are

voters at the opposite ends of

the age spectrum. The

plan for older Australians, Opposition Leader has a 7-point

including a bounty for

businesses hiring workers aged

over 50. The Prime Minister has

families in her sights,

offering early access to cash

Canberra Julie Doyle when a baby is due. From

reports. The election race has reached the halfway point. The

Coalition is looking to woo

older voters, with incentives for for businesses to employ

over-50s. Those taking on an

unemployed older worker for

months will receive a one-off unemployed older worker for six

payment of more than $3,000.

The Opposition says the idea is

to get people off welfare and

into work. And we have all

these older people who would

like to work, for all sorts of reasons employers to employ them. We're trying to

make it easier for that to happen.

There is certainly no doubt

that we do need to provide more

incentive for those people who

are of retirement age who to keep working and indeed we

did that in the Budget before last. Are we going alright

there? The Prime Minister is

targeting a different

demographic. She has pledged changes to the baby bonus. For

those who have qualified for

them the baby bonus, we will enable

them to pull forward $500 of

the baby

the costs of setting up for a

new baby. Family benefits will

bring forward part also be tweaked so parents can

payments to cover unexpected costs. This will help families

just to meet the bills. The

Government has also gone on the

offensive over a new

advertising campaign. This one advertising campaign. This

is about Labor's plan to introduce plain packaging for

cigarettes. It is being paid

for by big tobacco companies

and former Liberal strategists helped devise

evidence that plain packaging

will help people stop - will

help people stop smoking.

The fact is Liberal Party has front organisations across this country pretending

to be something that they're not, running advertising

campaigns for them. The Liberal

Party has absolutely nothing to

do with any sort of pro-smoking

campaign. Tony Abbott says he

will consider introducing the

Government's plain packaging laws. laws. The Opposition Leader

Tony Abbott is holding a news

conference now in Brisbane. He

has been talking about incentives to keep older people

working longer. Let's go

now. She is real. First she is being manipulated by the faceless men, then she is being

herself. The fact is you just

can't tell when this Prime Minister is being fair dinkum.

REPORTER:... plain packaging

on tobacco products We will

certainly consider that in

government.

REPORTER: Is that a no to a Prime Minister refused debate on Monday? When the

repeatedly to adhere to Labor's

former commitment, I planned my

campaign, and I don't see why

all of that planning should be

changed just because the wheels

have fallen off her campaign.

REPORTER: Are you personally or anyone in the Liberal Party

behind the latest advertising

from tobacco against the Government? The Coalition has

absolutely nothing to do REPORTER: And your... Absolutely nothing to

do with it.

What do you make of the

advertising? ... your

spokesman Andrew Robb says

2013? Going well away from the

seniors policy. I've got some

observations I want to make

about the campaign, so if you

have any further questions

about the seniors policy, we'll

deal with them, then some observations about campaign.

REPORTER:... increase

government bonds. How much do

you expect to raise from doing

that? And what effect will that have on government debt? What

we said was we would ask the

financial management agency to have a look at issuing longer-term bonds. These are have a look at issuing

issued in other countries. A

lot of older people like the

opportunity to invest in

government bonds, and we are

asking the financial management

agency to have a look at it, that's all.

from the changes to the REPORTER: Do

government health care

card? Well, everyone who is on

it obviously will benefit from

the indexation and the point I

want to stress is that we have

no plans, as the Government

does, to tighten eligibility.

How many people who are not

eligible now do you think will

be eligible under these

changes? Well, this is a

future, a future issue, so it

will happen in the future. Opposition Leader Tony

Abbott there live in

Brisbane. Well, we're

campaign and the polls have

been yo-yoing along of the

campaign started with the Prime campaign started with

the Opposition Leader Tony Minister up in the polls and

Abbott down. Now it seems Tony

Abbott is back up and Julia

Gillard is down. Martin

me O'Shannessy from Newspoll joins

me now. Martin O'Shannessy,

once there has been a

significant move in the polls,

other party to turn things how difficult is it for the

around? It can be quite tough.

If you think about election

controlled loss for the campaigns as a process of

Government, where they try to

minimise the swing to the other

side, and then

that can speed up. If something

goes right, a 'Tampa' or a

falling meteorite, then the vote swings

is it the case that the

Government can reverse the

momentum to any great extent,

it's about slowing things down. So is there any

indication in the polls where

people start listening to the

campaign? Is it to towards the

end or do they engage early in

the campaign? That's interest.

We ask early, "Is this the only party

for?" At the beginning it's

about half. Right now, a bit

over 50% of people have said,

"That's it, I've decided who

I'm voting for." Labor still has the opportunity, I has the opportunity, I think,

to convert some people, but I

think they would also be

worried that they haven't

locked everybody in by now.

Really you only want 7, 8 or

10% undecided in the last few

weeks and they are perhaps the weeks and they are perhaps the

ones who do make up their mind as they walk through the polling

point of turn-off? People have

had enough and switch off? In

short campaigns loo ik this, I

don't think so. I think that

goes more to when the cycle stage that the Government

is in. This is a physical-term

government. I think people are

still listening, quite unlike

what we're sighing in New South

Wales. I think people are still

there to be engaged. I think

the campaign is still live and

still open to announcements. I

guess Julia Gillard's decision

to move on to be the natural

Julia and run her own campaign

is banking on that and hoping

that she can

momentum going. Just briefly,

how good a prediction are the

polls? Tell me honestly? Is it

possible for someone to come from

from behind? Yes. What we've seen in lots of federal elections and lots of State elections the Opposition can

come from behind and win. That

doesn't really work much for

Government. Paul Keating is the

only Prime Minister who has

done that, to come from behind

on those ratings and win in the

personal ratings, in particular

, so it is possible, but as I say,

say, for governments it is a process of controlled

now they've really depot to

manage themselves carefully and

just a little bit of dead air,

for example, what we had last

week, with the Kevin Rudd talk and taking the focus off the presidential candidate Julia

Gillard, was a big cost to them. Martin O'Shannessy, thank you Pleasure. O other news,

questions have been raised

about the family life of 6-year-old Keisha Abrahams, the

toddler who was reported

missing from her Western Sydney home on home on Saturday. ABC reporter

Dina Dina Rosendorff is at the

home in Mount Druitt and is

following the police

investigation They doorknocked

the local area last night until

10 o'clock and today resumed their search. They will

be focusing on the Bidwell and

Shelvey areas and resuming that

doorknocking and SES volunteers

are involved. Meanwhile, also

reports today that Keisha

Abrahams was known to the

authorities, including the Department of Community Services and police have

confirmed they arely acing with those departments in a try to piece together Keisha's life. What's known about the

little girl's movements in the last few weeks? Tracey very

little is known. We know she

hasn't attended school for the

last three and a half weeks. In

fact, hasn't been seen by

anyone other than her mother

and stepfather for the last

three and a half weeks. The

last time anybody saw her was

when her younger brother Levi

was born and her grandmother saw her at hospital. An appeal

at the press conference yesterday and Kristi Abrahams

confronted the media for the

first time. She issued a very

emotional and tearful appeal

for anyone to come forward and

contact police. Just a little

earlier I spoke to family

friend Alison Anderson and she

re-if youed that appeal.

There is someone out there

who knows something and they're

too afraid to come forward.

They need to come forward and

say something. Give the parents

and the family and friends a peace of Tracey, I should also tell you that police have confirmed that

the Homicide Squad is now

involved in the investigation,

but they're urging anyone not

to jump to conclusions and assume the worst. They say they

are still hopeful of finding

Keisha alive, but they put

their best cops on these sorts

of cases. However, as each day

goes by, it's hard not to fear

the worst for Keisha

ab-Hams Dina Rosendorff, thank

you. At least five people have

been killed in clashes on the

border between Israel and

soldiers, a senior Israeli officer

officer and a Lebanese journalist were killed in the

exchange, the most serious incident since the 2006 war.

Middle East correspondent Ben

Knight is on the border between Israel and Lebanon. Lebanon says Israeli troops illegally

cross the border. Israel says

it was clearing trees on its

side of the line and that this

was a premeditate add tack by the Lebanese Army.

TRANSLATION: It was a planned

ambush by a sniper unit which

carried out the shooting Israeli commanders who are

clearly standing by a post in our territory. When the

shooting stopped, one Israeli

officer was dead and another

seriously wounded. On the

Lebanese side, at least three

soldiers have been reported

dead, as well as a Lebanese civilian.

TRANSLATION: A shell fell down

and I got shrapnel in my leg. The

The Jews started firing first

and the Lebanese Army just

retaliated. This border has

been tense ever since the 2006 war, but that war was not

fought by Israel against the

Lebanese Army. Instead, against the Islamic resistance group Hezbollah which dominates

Southern Lebanon with its own

private army. This firefight

with the Lebanese National Army was completely unexpected We

hold the Lebanese Government responsible

responsible for this great

incident and we warn them of further consequences if those

violations will continue. This

region was already tense, now

it's even more so. This is the

border between Israel and

Lebanon. I'm standing in

Israel. That behind me is Lebanese village. According to the Lebanese Army, Hezbollah

has stashed around 40,000

missiles, the length of this

border, in villages just like

this one. Israeli intelligence

says all says all of Israel's major

cities are in range of those

rockets which it says are

supplied or funded by Iran.

The Pakistani Government will

hold an emergency Cabinet

meeting later today as the

nation's biggest floods in more

than 80 years continue to worsen. The government has

defended its response crisis but is appealing to the international community for

help. Officials say more than 3 million people are now affected

by the disaster. South Asia correspondent Sally Sara reports from the capital, Islamabad. These aerial

pictures give some sense of the scale of the disaster across

Pakistan. Entire districts have been submerged by the

floodwaters, but there are only

enough helicopters to bring a few residents to safety.

TRANSLATION: The people are

evacuating the area. The water all the people are stuck here.

The road ahead is blocked. Some

people have been waiting for

days to escape the rising water

and reach higher ground, but the

the floods have taken away

almost all the bridges in this

part of. We have been continuously coming here for

the past five days. Today we

came early in the morning but

so far not all of us have

crossed over. The congestion

contaminated water and lack of

shelter are generating sickness. There is, of course, isolated reports of water-borne

diseases as normally happens in this type of flood

situations. The Pakistani Government has rejected criticism from some flood

victims that it's not doing

enough of the I think that we

will leave no stone unturned as

far as the rescue and relief

operation is concerned. More

rain is forecast for the next

two days and river levels are

increasing in the prove vipss of

of Sind and Punjab. Goflt

officials have oply worried about able to withstand the

floodwaters. The clear message

from the Pakistani Government

is that this disaster is is that this disaster is far

from over. In fact, in some districts,s worst is

come. The government is under political pressure to increase

the rescue and relief

operations, but it simply

doesn't have enough resources to help all those in

need. Thousands of Pakistani

flood victims are still waiting for the rescue teams to arrive.

have hit a 22-month high. The

unexpected boost in price has

been prompted by severe drought

and bushfires in Russia which

have wiped out krob and have wiped out krob and slashed global supply. Ben Fargher is

the CEO of the National

Farmers' Federation. We have

seen prices going up for wheat,

and they need to. We've come

off a very low base. Seen

prices come up about $40 a

tonne in the last month, and

that's important. Wheat growers

in WA are suffering from a lack

of rain at Australian farmers in a

position to really get maximum

benefit from this rise? It's

been variable. As you say, in

the west, the season has been poor and we're hoping that

we'll get some spring rain and

we can get some more production there. On the east, the season

has been a lot better with

those storms and rain activity

we had earlier in the year.

However, there is uncertainty

issues like locusts in spring

and that might impact on your

yields as well. As always in

agriculture, it's

hope we can get a good

production year, take account

of some of these better prices,

get grain in the the silo,

money in the bank, because of

course we've come off the back of of some very bad years of

drought. These rises have been

caused by bushfires in Russia,

so how long will the inflated

prices last? Well, a very

volatile situation globally as well. Yes, there have been

conditions in Russia with fires

and droughts. We've seen

reductions in yield and

production there from around

100 million tonnes to 70

million tonnes, but the world

market is very is speculation and back here at

home, that does impact also

around issues like the exchange

rate which takes the edges off

our prices. So putting all that together, we've

pressure on prices off a low

base. That's a good thing and

long may that continue because

while prices are going up, the

cost of production, of

producing wheat, has gone up as

well, meaning that our margins are still very tight in Australian farming. So what's

the flow-on effect for that?

Will consumers be paying more

now for wheat-based products

like brings cuts? The flow

through price is effected. A

couple of years ago we looked

at a study where we compared a

price of $200 a tonne for

wheat, going to $400 a tonne

and the impact of a loaf of

bread was around 10 cents. At

the moment we're talking about

a $40 increase, so very, vow

modest increases at the retail

level. A lot of factors go into

that. For us, we do need the

higher prices to try to buffer

the bad years we've I say, our production is still

uncertain. Ben Fargher, thank you. Thank you. Britainia once

ruled the waves and now it

hopes to harness them at hopes to harness them at the

world's largest test site for

wave energy. The experiment

will be used to see if the ocean can become a

commercialally viable source of

power. From enjoying the waves

to harnessing them. On board

this Arctic ice breaker is the

wave hub and the miles of wave hub and the miles of armoured copper cable it's

wrapped in. The world's largest test is slowly and gently unfrled.

The question now how to install

it 10 mys off the Cornish

coast. We're stationed off the beach at the moment. We will

deploy the cable with its floatation system onto the sea

surface T will be towed across

the beach with a pulling

action. We will pull the cable

into what we call the beach mud

hole where it will be secured

and eventually connected to the

land cable. That could another week, but a start has

been made. The race to build

the word's first commercial

wave farm has now begun. Once

in place, up to a dozen

turbines can be connected to

the hub. Each different model

will be tested for efficiency

and effectiveness, while

feeding 20 megawatts of

electricity into the national

grid through this substation,

just yards from the beach. For the government agency

responsible for this little

yellow docking station, success would guarantee at the forefront of wave

energy. Wave hub really cements and consolidates our position

and having the best testing facilities anywhere in the world and some of the most

cable developers. This is a

sector and a technology for the

future, and wave hub will play a critical part. This

technology is still in its infancy, but with

Scottish-designed devices and

now a Cornish hub, the prospect

of commercial wave power is now

on the stories making news in business

- Australia's service sector

continues to suffer from

cautious shoppers shrink ing in

July for a third month. The Australia Industry Group survey

of around 200 companies found

weakness in retail trade and a-Col dation, cafes and

restaurants and recreational services. A Queensland miner has announced the

multibillion-dollar sale of

coal resources to an Indian

company. Linc Energy has sold

its mining rights to the

Galilee basin in the Central West to Adani

Enterprises in what will be the

largest single investment in Australia by an Indian company. And those on the hunt

for real estate have a new

weapon in their arsenal with

the release today of a smart phone plaiks which promises

information on almost every

property in Australia. Home

hunters can bring up price and other details with the

point-and-shoot app, supported

by the Commonwealth Bank, RP Data and realestate.com. A

check now of the markets with

Kathmandu have tumbled today. Why is that? Kathmandu has

downgrounded its full-year

profit forecast, blaming the

weaker retail environment.

Kathmandu says earnings before

interest and tax should come in

around $38 million, excludeing

one-off costs to do with its share markets listing late last

year and down from previous expectations of more than $40

million. Kathmandu shares have

slumped 12% to $1.48. Other retailers are also suffering

today. David Jones is down

2.5%. Myer has lost 1.75%

$3.44 and Harvey northerly man

slipped by close to 1%. And AXA has reported some earnings

today. What can you tell us about those? AXA Asia about those? AXA Asia Pacific's first-half profit has fallen

19% compare ed to the same time

last year. The wealth manager

made $219 million after the six

months to the end of June, down

from $270 million profit a year

ago. AXA has blamed the profit

slide on the downturn in global

financial markets. Its shares

are 2.8% lower. Just finally,

sitting? It's in the red. The

All Ordinaries index is down a

fifth of a percent to 4579. The

ASX200 is giving up 9 points to 4563. The major banks are

weaker today. Westpac is giving

up more than 1%. ANZ has fallen 15 cents to $23 .22.

Commonwealth Bank shares are

down about 0.5% and NAB is down

9 cents. Also the big miners

are marginally lower today.

Let's take a check now of the domestic market's other big

movers in the ASX 100:

Thanks, Rebecca. To a slide on Wall Street. Weaker-than-expected numbers on

home sales, factory orders and

consumer spending cast doubt on

the economic recovery:

Pigs might fly, but not

after December. That's when Australia's be scrapped. Known

affectionately as The Pig, the

supersonic fighter bombers are

on their last major mission before retirement. David looks back on a warplane that

has claimed lives but never

fired a shot in anger. It has been part of Australia's

Defence Force for 37 years. Now

the F-111 is on a farewell tour

and its pilots are savouring

every moment We can every moment We can be doing

four football fields a second

with no turbulence and just

carving through the air. A

great experience. The bomber can fly the speed of sound. Has

terrain-following radar, and

has been upgraded over the years, but it's never seen

combat. I think it's good and

people should be proud that we've maintained this deter

rent effect and the aircraft

goes out without having done

that. Wing commander Micka Gray

has flown the aircraft for 22

years. He admits it's time for

it to go You can't keep

upgrading the aircraft without

significant cost and

effort. The F-111 has had a cheque quered years ago a wheel fell off and

pilots made a spectacular belly

landing at Amberley air

base. The design of its fuel

tank led to leaks. For 20 years

the workers who climbed in were

exposed to toxic chemicals.

Many now suffer severe medical

issues. Ly be happy to see it

gone. It is an aircraft that

has killed more of the people

who have maintained it than it would have in combat. 10 crew

have died in 8 crashes during its service. The recovery crews

arrived at this crash to find a

5m crater. One of the last

hurrahs for the aircraft is

taking part in a multinational

training exercise in the Northern Territory called Pitch

Black. The Top Guns in the

cockpit say despite its old

age, it's still pulling its

weight. F/A-18 Super Hornets

will replace the F-111. Then

the aircraft affectionately

known as The Pig will be

scrapped, placed in museums or placed out the front of air

bases. A decade ago you would have found 9-year-old Melbourne

schoolboy Ben Ella with tennis

racquet in hand practising a

sport he was convinced would be

his life. But a few years later

he discovered another passion

and now he is performing with

the best in the world with the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden.

Flils reports. Ben Ella is an

excellent ballet dancer, one of

the best of his generation and

at 19 dancing with at 19 dancing with the world

famous Royal Ballet at Covent

Garden For me, just a shock and

excitement - couldn't think

about anything else. Ben Ella's rise and rise has been no accident. It's a product of

years of hard work. First at

his parents' ballet school in

Melbourne, then from aged 15

with the Royal Ballet's own

school where only the best progress to the company. But

just as Ben Ella was about to

take up his new contract with the Royal Ballet, disaster

strk. A serious stress fact

tour left him crippled. I was

thinking, "Oh, no, they're

going to say you're injured so we can't take you." But the

Royal Ballet was happy to wait.

Months of rehabilitation and

care from his parents did the

trick, both of whom are former

ballet dancers themselves who performed on the stage right here here at Covent Garden We here at Covent Garden We can see Benjamin surpassing

anything that we have ever done and

for us. Finally after months of

sitting it out, Ella is dancing

and touring with the company.

He is with the corpse but has quiet ambitions. The dream is

to reach that top level, I

guess, that top level of

principal, I guess. Ben Ella

started life training for and

dreeling of a career as a

tennis pro. It didn't quite

work out that way. He might

have made it to wimed. He has

his career has just begun. To

the weather now and the

satellite shows a cloud band

crossing Tasmania, sauce and

Victoria with a cold front.

Mostly clear skies over the

east coast, interior and west.

A cold front is causing wind

and rain to spread from South Australia through to Tasmania.

Showers to the South Australian coast,

coast, a high pressure ridge is extending across the rest of the country, keeping New South

Wales and Queensland dry. Around the capitals:

And a final check of the markets:

That's the news for now.

There is continuous News at ABC

News 24 and there is also news

online. Our next full bulletin

on ABC1 is at 7 o'clock this

evening. I'm Tracey Kirkland.

Have a great afternoon. This Program is Captioned

Live.

VOICE-OVER: Today at the

National Press Club, the leader

of the Nationals, Warren Truss. If the Coalition wins If the Coalition wins the

election, Mr Truss will become

Deputy PM, and today he'll articulate his party's

priorities for the nation.

From Canberra, with the

National Press Club address,

the leader of the Nationals, Warren Truss. (Bell rings) Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to National Australia Bank address. We're very pleased to

welcome back Warren Truss.

He's been here in various

capacities before, but today,

of course, in the middle,

almost exactly the middle of

the election campaign he's the

first party leader to deliver his in effect, closing address