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Live.. Tonight - ridicule for

the Shadow Treasurer's plan to

punish the banks. Just another

one of their lunatic fringe-type ideas, Mr

Speaker. A state of relief as

New South Wales is finally

declared drought free. The British government un veil s its

its biggest spending cuts since

World War II. We are going to

bring the years of ever-rising

borrowing to an end And the competition watchdog to

investigate James Packer's

swoop

Good evening, welcome to ABC

News. I'm Virginia Haussegger.

The federal Opposition spent

the day bashing the banks while

the Government bashed the coalition.

Joe Shadow Treasurer

legislation to punish the banks

if they raise rates above official increases. The

Government called it crazy, the

banks called it dangerous and

even a coalition MP thought it

came from the Greens. Chief political correspondent Mark

Simkin reports. Parliament

sometimes surprises. I was

going to move that the Foreign

Minister have an extension of

time because he answered the

question so beautifully. Hear,

hear! Bring back Kevin. But

there are other things you can

bank on, and rates of them. He wants to re

regulate interest rates and

take punitive action against

banks. The member for North

Sydney will withdraw. I with draw The member for Khanning -

The Shadow Treasurer demanded

a debate on the role of banks. Wow, brought out the

crowds And what he called their super profits. He wants

lenders to be punished if they

raise rates more than the

Central Bank does. If the treasurer doesn't do it,

Parliament might. There are a

number of levers. Obviously

legislation is part of it.

There are a number of levers

available. Obviously

legislation is part of it,

right? It is an ineeffectual government which is basically

being stood over on this

issue The Government left no

doubt where it stands. These

people have lost the plot, Mr Speaker The bankers bashed

back. It's a dangerous

suggestion to claim that banks

should always be following the

Reserve Bank. And

distanced himself. I'm not

aware of any precedent for the

Federal Parliament regulating

interest rates, at least in

recent years, but you really

should speak to Joe about that So unprecedented a coalition backbencher thought

the idea came from the Greens.

This is just another one of

their, as I said, lunatic

fringe-type ideas An idea

that's populous but also

somewhat interventionist for a

party committed to free

markets. Economists think

there's a one in three chance

Cup day. rates will rise on Melbourne

The head of ASIO has

revealed that his agency is

investigating hundreds of

terrorist leads that could pose

a threat to Australia. He's also warned that the

possibility of an attack on

Australian soil is real. The

Government says there have

already been some near misses and the country's intelligence

agencies have thwarted a of plots. Stephanie Kennedy

reports. It was a rare chance

to go behind the concrete

facade to the inner sanctum of

the country's top spy agency.

It was here that the Prime Minister delivered a candid

assessment of the current

terrorist threat. We are no illusions that we live in a

dangerous time. To counter

these dangerous times, the

Government has opened a new counter-terrorism control

centre, but due to security

reasons, there was no access to

the exact area where the centre

has been set up. But it does

bring together ASIO, the

intelligence service and Federal Police, the secret

elements of Defence all under

the one roof. ASIO and its

partners at this very time are

investigating hundreds of CT or counter-terrorism-related matters, which could impact

directly on the security directly on the security of Australia and its people. And

the ASIO chief's masters are just as frank. The

reality is that the work of our

intelligence agency - agencies

have disrupted a number of

plots, literally disrupted a

number of plots that if not

disrupted would have caused

mass casualties within this country. It's unusual

and the Government to be this

candid. I was surprised at the

he mentioned are running at the number of investigations that

moment. The former director of security intelligence says the main threat is from home-grown extremism, Muslims born in

Australia who want to support

the global Jihad. The most

likely scenarios would be a

shooting attack like we saw in

Mumbai in November 2008 or a bombing. The intelligence chief

and the Government say there

are no absolute guarantees that there

there won't be a terrorist

incident on Australian soil,

but ASIO and the other agencies believe they're doing

possible job to head off a

terrorist attack. After almost

a decade, the New South Wales

big dry is officially over.

Today the minister for primary

industries declared that the

State is now drought free and

on the brink of a on the brink of a multi billion

dollar crop harvest. The ABC's

bridgit Glanville reports from Crookwell in the Southern

Tablelands. It's taken almost

a decade for farmers around New

South Wales to smile again.

Three years ago, on this

property in the State's south,

they were hand feeding sheep.

Today that's a distant memory.

It's just lovely to see such

lush, green grass and the best spring for the last 12 to 15

years. For the first time since

2001, New South Wales is

drought free. Dams are full

and these crops are expected to

be some of the best ever

produced here. The State is now forecast to harvest a $2.8 billion wheat crop. We saw

from December last year, when

we had only about 5% of the

State satisfactory, to now

where the whole State is either

satisfactory or marginal that

we've had a big breakthrough in drought and that's been great

news for farmers. At its peak,

99.5% of New South Wales was in drought. The great thing about

farmers is they will stick it

out and they have the stoism to

see through those times. I

tell you what, it is a relief

because we couldn't have gone

much longer Whilst the latest

figure is good news, some parts

of the State are still marnl

national and it may take some

time for farmers to start

making money again. They need

money in from the crops to help

them start paying back debt and

for farmers who have stock, they need to be able to

continue that restocking

process and actually get some

product to market in coming months. The good locusts are now a concern, but

today that's not worrying

farmers. The weather bureau

says the la Nina weather

pattern now means farmers can

expect higher than average rain

fall over summer. It also means that

means that for many graziers

around Crookwell and other

parts of the State they now

have enough feed for their

stock until next spring. They

knew it was coming and now

Britain -- Britons know how

deep the spending cuts will

deep the spending cuts will be.

With the biggest deficit in

Europe, $130 billion will be

carved out of the UK economy

over the next four years. The

welfare sector and the public

service will be the hardest

hit. But the treasurer, George

Osborne, insists the strategy

will rescue the country from

the brink of bankruptcy.

Europe correspondent Emma

Alberici reports. Are the cuts

going to hurt, Chancellor? No

public servant in Britain will

escape the pain of the cuts. Half a million to lose their jobs. In the

police force, in prisons, defence, education and foreign

affairs. Faced with the

biggest budget deficit in

Europe, the Government insists

it had no choice. We are going

to bring the years of ever-rising borrowing to an

end. We are going to ensure,

like every solvent household in

the country, that what we buy

we can afford. Much of the UK's

problems are the direct result

of the financial crisis and the

decision to pump billions into

saving the banks. The banks

will now be forced to pay a new

annual levy, but it's just a

fraction of the $30 billion

which will be cut to welfare

payments. Mr Speaker, some

people opposite, for some

members opposite, this is their ideological objective. The

plans to lift the retirement

age to 66 have been brought

forward. Health workers and

will also have to contribute more towards their state

pensions. It's really just

again the staff are funding the

deficits in lots of ways. The

Coalition's done a good job

selling the cuts as a necessary

consequence of the former Labour government's so-called

reckless spending. A recent

poll found that while 18% of

Britons blame the government

for the austerity drive, for the austerity drive, 48% blame the Opposition. France's president Nicolas Sarkozy says

he will not let the country be

paralysed by protests. But

there's been no let-up in the

public anger at proposed

pension reform, which would

raise the retirement age to 62.

The latest targets include the

nation's biggest airport, where

protestors blocked the main

entrance road. In Lyon police

used tear gas to disperse protestors booths and a bus stop in the

centre of the city. The vote

approving the pension changes

is due before the end of the

week. In Indonesia's capital, Jakarta, police have fired

warning shots outside the

presidential palace. Hundreds of anti-government

faced off against police

outside the palace. They'd

gathered to call for the

resignation of president Susilo

Bambang Yudhoyono, who was

sworn back into office a year

ago. The protest descended

into a tense standoff into a tense standoff with rocks and sticks thrown at

police, who responded by firing

warning shots mostly into the

air. At least one man was injured. Billionaire James

Packer looks like he's backed a

winner just days after he

swooped in to buy up shares in

channel Ten, the company has

turned around fortunes and

recorded a big boost in profit.

But the competition watchdog

wants to have a closer look at the details

on the network. The TV station

James Packer's snatched has

gone gang busters this year.

The home of the master chef

juggernaut has posted a $150

million profit after last

year's hefty loss. But it year's hefty loss. But it was

Packer's netting of an 18%

stake in Ten holdings that is

still stealing the show. They

can get seats on the board and effectively control effectively control the

business. I think it's a bad

thing that a TV station should

be in the place of a rich man

who wants more money Before he

sold his interest in Channel

Nine, James Packer made deep

cuts. There are fears he'll do

the same at Ten. We will not

be - I repeat, we will not be - answering questions and

speculating on the effect of

the recent activity in our share price. Australia's competition watchdog the ACCC

says it will conduct a review of James of James Packer's acquisition

of Ten shares to see if there's

been any breach of the Trade Practices Act. Meanwhile,

there's mounting speculation

that the billionaire is

motivated by a desire for sporting

sporting rights, particularly

the AFL. James Packer already

has a pay TV sports channel,

but only free-to-air can bid

for the rights to some of Australia's most popular

sports. The thing that would

be a big attraction for him is

having - owning subscription TV

sport channels and free to air

and you could bid for anything.

He's put in a couple of

hundred millon dollars, that's

pea nuts to him. In terms of

the leverage he'll get in terms

of AFL rights, it's a very

cheap bet, frankly. He won't

lose It's a punt a gambler like

James Packer can't resist.

Australian researchers have

found that a father's diet can influence whether his offspring will develop the first time this kind of

link has been made and may help

explain the rapid rise in the

number of people being diagnosed with the condition. We've known that overweight mothers can have

heavier babies with an increased risk of some

diseases, but the role fathers

play has been less clear. Now for the first time Australian scientists have established a

link between a father's diet

and his offspring's health.

Our data, if it's true in the

human, underlines the necessity

for both parents to be

approaching pregnancy in the best possible physical shape. Researchers from the

University of New South Wales

fed male rats a high-fat diet

so they developed diabetes.

They were then mated with normal females which gave birth

to babies with pre diabetes.

We were surprised, we looked

at only six weeks of age. They

already had a deficit in their

ability to respond to

glucose Researchers think the sperm rats, causing diabetes. They

found the female baby rats were

more likely to have the condition. We were quite surprised at first because from

the human data we actually

thought we were seeing the

offspring to be obese, like obese mum, but we didn't see

that The implications of this

research are enormous. It expands our understanding of

how diseases are passed from

one generation to another. The findings might also help explain a dramatic increase in

obesity and diabetes around the

world. Health experts warn Australia is

Australia is in the grip of a

whooping cough epidemic. The

disease causes intense coughing

fits that can be deadly for

babies too young to be

vaccinated. It killed a

five-week old boy in Adelaide last month and more than 20,000

people have contracted the

disease nationally this year.

Doctors say anyone who comes

into close contact with infants should get a booster shot When

we hear about the death of a

baby locally in Adelaide, we're

all devastated. We do know that every baby that catches

whooping cough can die from the

disease. Prevention is the way to to go. The Health Department

says immunisation rates are

high and it's not known what's

caused the four-fold increase

in whooping cough cases over

the past four years. In

Washington, the fallout over a

housing fore closure scandal is intensifying. America's

biggest lenders are now facing

several investigation s over

allegations of shoddy lending

and seizing homes. Over 1

million homes across the United

States are expected to be

repossessed by the banks this

year. US Treasury officials

and federal regulators huddled

today in Washington as the fore

closure scandal rocks America's Some of the country's biggest

mortgage companies are accused

of illegally seizing hopes amed cutting corners on repossessions. Somebody broke

into my house. In Illinois a

sheriff is refusing to carry

out over 1,000 fore closure

related convictions. Nothing

more for me to get an affidavit

saying everything was done

properly and that not some robo

machine is the thing that is

behind taking a house away from

a family. With the big lenders

accused of failing to review mortgage documents properly, distressed borrowers are

joining class action law suits.

So many people out there

trying to work and trying trying to work and trying to

make the ends meet, but they

can't do it, somebody's ripping

them off America's black and

Latino communities are being

hit particularly hard and big

lenders are also being accused of

is so broken. We can't even

estimate how many people have unfairly lost their

homes. After freezing its fore

closures for an internal

review, bank of America is

moving to fore close on another

100,000 properties across 23

States next week. The banks

are also being squeezed by are also being squeezed by big

investors wanting to recover

losses, who are demanding they

buy back billions of dollars of

bad mortgage securities. State

attorneys general across

America have joined forces to

launch an inquiry into sloppy

fore closure practices. US

federal agencies are

investigating and the whies

house is coming under pressure

to order a national freeze on

fore closures, pressure it is so far resisting. There are

safety concerns about 30,000

Toyota vehicles in Australia.

As the company begins a recall

of 1.5 million vehicles

worldwide. Toyota says

vehicles may have minor fluid leaks which can diminish

braking performance over time.

The recall affects 13 models

across the range, including the

Avalon, highlander and several

in the Lexus class. Toyota

Australia is conducting further

inquiries before deciding

whether to initiate a recall

here. It's another huge blow for the car giant, which

recalled more than 8 million

vehicles earlier this year due

to safety concerns. To finance

now, and China confirmed today

that its economy is slowing,

but not by much. As Alan

Kohler reports, the Australian

dollar has continued its rapid

recovery. Well, the Chinese

statisticians came out with the

usual quarterly blitz of data

today, showing the GDP growth

has moderated from 10.3 to

9.6%. Inflation is slightly higher, industrial production is

is maintaining its solid growth

rate of more than 13% and urban

fixed asset investment is

staying at world-record pace of 24.5% per annum growth. Here's

a graph of GDP growth in China

over the past few years. It

would look pretty normal if the

bars weren't so long. That is,

if we weren't talking if we weren't talking about

growth of between 6 and 12%.

An interesting question from

that is how does China's emergence

trading nation compare with emergence as an industrial

that of Japan and Korea, in

particular China's incredible

investment boom. The answer is

it's much bigger. Like twice

as big. This graph shows

investment as a percentage of

GDP for Japan after 1955, Korea

after 1975 and China from 1989, the year of the Tiananmen

Square protests. That Chinese investment boom is the

significant fact about the

Australian economy as well,

which we saw the other day when China tightened interest rates

slightly and the Australian dollar suddenly found pedals over thin air and

crashed 2 cents. Since then

it's recovered to above 98 US

cents again. The local share

market was subdued, closing

virtually steady. There was

action within that. Tabcorp

shares were relisted after the announcement of the demerger the other day of the casino and

other gambling businesses. It

jumped 4.5%. West farmers went

up 2.5%, after reporting Coles

sales went up 6% in the latest

quarter. Simms group slumped

7% after foreshadowing a big

drop in profit. All the banks

were sold off as politicians

lined up to sink the bootd into

them. That's finance. India

has continued its dominance of

Australia by overhauling the

tourists' large total to win

game 2 of the one-day series.

Michael Clarke and Cameron White combined for century partnership, but it

still wasn't enough. India won

by 5 wickets, as John Hayes

Bell reports. Australia had a

new look with pace bowler s Mitchell Starc and John

Hastings handed first caps and

a more familiar face ended a

lean run with with century.

Cameron White was explosive,

smashing 89 off 49 balls. Put

into the crowd. Australia made

a promising start to its

defence of 289, but the

inexperienced bowling attack

was unable to contain India.

Virat Kohli made 118. As the

home team won by 5 wickets with

more than an over to spare to

take a 1-0 lead in the series.

The final game is on Sunday.

Australia's next opponent on

home turf will be Sri Lanka.

They have warm-up games against

Queensland and New South Wales. They're expecting a successful Twenty20 and one-day

us and prepare for the Ashes.

It will be tough for those

guys The Sri Lankans meet the

bulls in a day-night game

tomorrow at the gaba. FIFA has

suspended two members of its executive economy over

allegations they tried to sell their votes as on which countries will host

the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

FIFA's ethic s committee is

investigating the activities of

Nigerian and Tahiti's. The allegations have shaken world football's leadership. You'll

find them in football, nobody

can - we have to fight for fair

play, we have to fight for

respect. The two under suspicion insist their votes

weren't for sale. They've been

provisionally banned from all

soccer activities pending a

full investigation. Decisions on the two World made in December. Australia is

a candidate for 2022. To

racing, and Bart Cummings is

already looking beyond

Saturday's Cox Plate for his

star gall oper So You Think.

He says he's likely to set the

four-year-old for the Melbourne Cup

Cup as well. It's 4.30 in the

morning at Flemington and a four-year-old emerges from the

cover of darkness. It's So You

Think. Bart Cummings says

there's no secret to the

horse's success. Big powerful

horse, great constitution, a

good action ands' got a great

will to win. With the stable

foreman and track rider deep in

discussion, there appears to be

concern for the champion horse.

Not so says the champion

trainer. He worked on his own,

did his work, no problem. He's

cleaned his breakfast up within 40 minutes. free. Others are plotting his

downfall. A hard, tough run,

ran the fastest, broke the

record there, carried the top

weight, did things that haven't

been done before. She'll win

the race. Apart from last

year's Cox Plate, she's

unbeaten at Mooney valley, that

gives us a fair bit of

hope Shoot Out will be the

sentimental favourite after the

death of his rider Stathi

Katsidis on Monday night. We'd

love a win for him too. He was

part of the team with him. I'm

sure he'd be up there trying to

help us anyway. Cory Brown will

wear the Katsidis silks. If

shootout won, probably one of

the most emotional victories.

I would say so. Core y who's

riding him was Katsidis's mate

too. As anticipated, the clash of the go ahead on Saturday, but Black

Caviar running in the Moi Moi,

while hay list has been

withdrawn with an elevated

temperature. It's been a long

winter for the research

scientists holed up at

Australia's Antarctic bases, but

but the end's in sight. Much

needed supplies and a new

contingent of scientists and

support crew left Hobart today

for the icy continent. In In

the warm Hobart sunshine it's

hard to believe where this

ship's going it's still minus 20 degrees. With two

helicopters, 1200 tonnes of

fuel and cargo and 90 scientists

scientists and expeditioners on board, it will take the Aurora

Australis two weeks to get to

Davis station. There the

choppers will unload the ship

and some scientists will go on

to the Mawson base. They'll

work on major projects like

tagging snow. The reason we want to know that thing is if

we know where they forage, that will help us interpret changes

in populations over time. The

tags weigh only a gram and will

be retrieved from the birds

when they come back to breed

next summer. Another project

running for 20 years is looking at

at plankton and krill stock in

the the southern ocean. The ship collects samples by towing

this box behind it, sometimes

for thousands ever nautical

miles at a time. I like to

think of it as the coalminer's

canary. They're sensitive to

the environment. We found even

subtle changes in pattern

across the ocean with the osh

anography, natural patterns,

the plankton can respond very

abruptly Some of those heading

for Antarctica will come back

with the ship but many won't

see their families for a full

year. Now a look at today's

weather, Mark Carmody. Good

evening. It's the smallest one

I could find, but in Tuggeranong today, three

above the monthly average. But I've been alerted by a bloke

who goes by the name of Mr

Freeze from Gordon that it

reached 29 on this day last

year. You know what, he's

right. Overnight the minimum

was 6. That's right on

average. There was a bit of

fog about, but that cleared to

a terrific sunny day. It's

still pretty good, despite

cloud, clear and 18 degrees.

It was fine and sunny across

the region today. Griffith

reached a warm 27, Yass 23.

But the coast was the place to

be, light north-easterlies this

morning, freshening a fraction

this afternoon. What about

rose Dale. 22 degrees, a metre

and a half swell and a water

temperature of 15. It's nearly

time to wax down the board and

break out the board shorts. Around Australia today,

overcast but dry from Cairns to

Brisbane. Sydney was cloudy,

reaching 21. Sunny in Melbourne and Adelaide, had a few clearing showers.

There's thick cloud along the

Queensland coast, which will move easterly tomorrow,

producing rain as it goes. But

the cloud that interests us is

in the bight, which will bring

showers and a possible thunder

storm here on Saturday. The

high in the Tasman will direct moist onshore winds along the Queensland coast, resulting in

rain tomorrow, while it will

give us another warm, give us another warm, sunny

day. A developing trough over

inland New South Wales will

generate showers over the

north-east. Brisbane tomorrow

can expect possible showers,

the frontal system moving

through the bite will bring

showers to Adelaide and

possibly Melbourne. Hobart

will be fine and a smidge warm,

26, Darwin can expect late

storms. Locally tomorrow it

will be another warm one, with

Griffith and collie amberly

expecting a high of 28, gund

radio, Goulburn, Cooma 24,

Albury wad onna 24

the change might reach there during the afternoon. The coast will be better than

today, sunny and 25. We're in

for another cracker jack one

tomorrow, dry and sunny with a

top of 24 after a low of eight.

Again, there'll be fog about,

but it's not going to bother

anyone. Sun up tomorrow, 6.11

and we'll call it a day at

7.24. Saturday is another

story. It's expected to start

out damp with areas of rain

developing. There's also a chance of a thunder storm. The

winds will be up too.

North-westerlies averaging 30km

per hour. 11 to 22. Then on

Sunday, when we're all invited

to the biggest birthday bash of

the year after yours, of course, Virginia, at the Botanic Gardens we're going to

be 40. There'll be ice laid

showers with moderate south

easterly winds. Virginia, to

set the scene for the weekend's

40th birthday party at the world's premier we'll do the weather from there tomorrow night. It will be terrific. Beautiful. That will

be lovely. That flower you're

wearing looks like it's a man

eater. It's a little bit

large, don't you think? We've

had such a great season. It's

grown too big. What is it? I didn't hear what you said. What

is it? It's an iris, sorry. I thought everyone would know

that I've told you to wear your

hearing aid, Mark. I'm nearly

60. Thank you. That's ABC

News. Stay with us now for

'7.30 Report' coming up next

and keep up with the latest

news at ABC online and ABC News

24. Enjoy your evening. Good

night.

Closed Captions by CSI

People can go online and actually purchase credit cards,

they can purchase the expiry

date, they can purchase the name of the individual card

owner. Tonight on the 7.30

Report - the crime of the century, the overseas

cybergangs targeting Australia. They can compromise

other people's computers, other

people's logins, the funds

invariably go overseas. The overall risk to the Australian

economy is probably in the

billions. And, from Hollywood to Homebush - the

transformation of 'Ben Hur'

into a multi-billion dollar dollar stadium spectacular. I

never think I could put a large

boat of 40 metres in the middle