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Live. Australia buys British to

give the navy new heavy lift

muscle. Its cargo capacity is

the equivalent of the

'Tobruk' combined. To the

victors the spoils - Ivory

Coast presidential power

struggle enters its final

phase. Trading places - what's

at stake if Australia and

Singapore don't merge Stock

Exchanges. And it's not a

cares? horse, of course, but who

ABC News across Australia. I'm

Childs child. The local share

market has chipped into the

red. The All Ords has fallen

down back. The Nikkei and Dow are

down and dollar is at 103 US

cents. More finance later in

the bulletin. Police and

defence officials have launched

investigations into yet another

military misconduct scandal.

The female kad yet claims she

was filmed having sex at the

Defence Force academy in Canberra

Canberra and it was broadcast Defence Minister has signalled

whoever did it will be kicked

out of the Defence Force. The

scandal has overshadowed a

major announcement by Stephen

Smith. He's bought a new

loss of three rusting hulls in transport ship to cover for the

reports from Canberra. They the naval fleet. Greg Jennett

owners came to announce they're the

owners of a $100 million new

ship. Ships like this don't

come on the market very often.

A ship is modern and new as

this ship. This is a ship

which is now just five years old. The British will plug a gap left by 'Kanimbla',

'Tobruk' and 'Manoora'. It can

carry as much as the three combined, but with another four

years until Australia's new

ships arrive, the search for

more stop-gap solutions isn't

over. We are now looking very

closely at the possibility of a

further acquisition or leases

vessels, of commercial amphibious

vessels, whether catamarans or tri mans. Ship purchasers

provide a quick fix to an old

problem, but where the conduct

of defence personnel is

concerned, it's never that

easy. The web calm had been easy. The

set up and it was being

broadcast live to what I've

been made aware of six guys in

a different room. In the latest

misconduct scandal to rock defence, this 18-year-old

claims she had consensual sex

with a fellow cadet filmed

without her consent and shown to others at academy in Canberra. Things

which are done privately and

discreetly may well be regarded by the community as

appropriate, but they're

regarded as appropriate either

by the community or the Australian Defence Force if they're done in public. Police

and defence are investigating. Criminal penalties and dismissal await anyone found

guilty. It is very difficult,

if not impossible, for the person who has broken that

trust to remain a Defence Force personnel

incident is proof positive that

the message isn't getting

through. It comes in the midst

of a full-scale attempt to

clean up behaviour after

trouble on board HMAS Success

and in this case as many

questions are being asked about

defence's handling of the

incident as there are about the

conduct of cadets involved. A

group of asylum seekers thought

to be involved in last month's

riots on Christmas Island have been moved The immigration department says

nine people were transferred to

Sydney's Villawood Detention

Centre and a 10th person was

Victoria. Another 12 people moved to Maribyrnong

involved in the riots remain on

Christmas Island. No charges

have been laid and federal

Police are still investigating. Radiation

monitoring has begun at 1400 schools and preschools in

Japan, as authorities struggle

to contain the emergency at the

Fukushima nuclear plant. In itself, the plant's operator

has detected radioactive iodine

at 7.5 million times above the

legal limit and traces of

radioactive caesium have been

coast for the first time, with found in fish off Japan's east

I

I is a major concern, as Tokyo

correspondent Mark Willacy explains. It's quite a explains. It's quite a big worry,

worry, Ros, because caesium is

quite a toxic contaminant. In

fact, its half life is about 30

years. It can sit at the bottom of the

all of that time and get into

the food chain. We've heard

that young, a breed of

fish enjoyed by the Japanese

here, has been found with

levels of caesium above the

legal limits. That has prompted 10 fishing cooperatives here in the

affected zone, which is south

of the Fukushima plant, to immediately ban or suspend

fishing of this species. So

that's quite serious. But it

also has to be said that

radioactive iodine has also

been found in the seawater in this area this area at 7.5 million times

the legal limit. I suppose the

only bright spot when talking

about iodine is it only has a

short half life of about eight days. What's the situation at days. What's

the reactor itself? Have those

fears of a meltdown gone away?

No, the meltdown factor is

still there. They're pumping

in thousands of tonnes of water

into these reactors every day

in a bid to cool the fuel rods.

But there has been a victory of

sorts just a few hours ago. We

operators, saying they've heard from TEPCO, the plant's heard from TEPCO,

finally managed to plug this 20

centimetre crack in a pit in

reactor 2. Now, this crack was leaking thousands and thousands leaking thousands

of litres of radioactive water every hour into the Pacific

Ocean. In recent days they've

tried to plug it with concrete,

then they tried a mixture of

saw dust, shredded newspaper

and what is the equivalent of a

nappy absorbent that also

failed. Today they used a

sodium silicate, which is what they're calling liquid glass.

They didn't poor it directly

into the crack. They instead

poured it into the ground

around the crack to sal I had

fie the. That has stopped fie the.

water leaking through that

ground and then into the ground and then into the ocean.

So a victory finally of sorts

for the plant's

operators. Mark, the towns most directly affected by this nuclear crisis have been

meeting the Japanese Prime

Minister. What message did he

have for them? Well, he told

them that the Government and

communities. We've heard from

about 10 mayors from the

affected area in Fukushima, who

are very concerned about the situation, obviously because situation, obviously because of radioactive contamination of

the air, the water, the soil.

But it also has to be said that

a lot of these local communities around the

Fukushima plant have a lot of

benefits from the plant. In

fact, one has said that we have

thousands of local people who

work at the plant. So it's a

great provider of local

employment. But for these

problem in other areas, because

the plant is potentially

contaminating soil which is having

having major impacts on local agriculture, it's also

impacting on radio activity in

the ocean, as we've heard,

which is having a huge impact

on aquaculture and fishing. So

these mayors are in a dire

situation, not only are they

potentially losing jobs because

the plant is probably going to have to close at least four

reactors, if not all six, but

also because their aquaculture will be affected for years to come. Mark, thank you. Defeated

at the ballot box and now

isolated and out gunned. President of Ivory Coast, Laurent Gbagbo, is showing signs he is willing to stand down. He's reported to be

sheltering in a bunker at the

presidential palace with his family. But while the conflict

appears to be winding down, no-one

no-one is celebrating just

yet. Battle weary. We found

these troops resting at a petrol

morning. No-one in this

shattered city has had much

sleep these past five days.

This is the invading army,

fighting to install Ivory

Coast's elected President.

Abruptly, a radio announcer

declares that the battle is over. Laurent Gbagbo, the man

refusing to give up power here,

is preparing to surrender.

This was the final straw for Mr

Gbagbo. The United Nations

joining a furious bombardment

of his compound. Trapped in the cellar, his generals

defecting, a Berlin moments in

an African city. But the man

leading the attack tells me

there's nothing to celebrate.

"He should have gone before",

says the colonel. Instead have been killed. Only now he

thinks it's the time to quit.

He's abandoned, he lost the

elections. He must go. " So is

it really over? We head

cautiously into a ghost town.

Then a rare sight. We spot a

group of civilians. In

Abidjan, you don't move outside

without your arms raised.

"We're afraid", he says,

"that's why we raise our hands.

We have no water, nothing,

We have no water, nothing, the city is dead. city is dead. We've walked far

to find water." The victors prepare

prepare to set out on patrol to

restore order across the city,

but how long will that take? One soldier tells me quietly

now is the time for revenge.

It's been a short war. It's nearly have not passed. Italy's Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi,

goes on trial today accused of

paying an underage girl for sex. In a last-minute twist,

he used his majority in

parliament to attempt to have

the case shifted to a special

ministerial tribunal, rather

than being heard in a Milan

criminal court. The move infuriated his opponents, who

staged a rally in central Rome.

They've accused Mr Berlusconi

of manipulating parliament in a

bid to bid to dodge criminal charges.

TRANSLATION: What's happening

in parliament isn't just

illegal, it's creating

conditions in which normal people will have less justice.

Those breaking the law will

have justice on their side. The

trial is expected to go ahead

in Milan as planned. Italy's constitutional court will now

rule on whether the case should

be moved. A decision is likely

to take some months. The son of

the Libyan leader Moammar suggestions that his family

might leave the country as part

of a deal to end the of a deal to end the violence. Saif Gaddafi says he and his

father are fighting for

right cause and won't be going

anywhere. Libyan state television shows what it says

is a convoy carrying Colonel

Gaddafi being mobbed by his

supporters in Tripoli. You

can't see the colonel in the pictures

pictures and it's not clear

when they were filmed. when they were filmed. Saif Al

Islam denies his father's

position as leader here is in

any question. If the people of

the world, the western world,

want to have an exit from this

crisis, you should help the

people in Libya to go forward,

national reconciliation, a new constitution, local

governments, you know, to help the foreign workers to back to start reproduction of

oil. Those are the demands of

the Libyans. What the Libyans. What is your demand, to let Mr Gaddafi leave

the country or you want better

future, they'll say better

future. He was dismissive about Mussa

Mussa Kussa, the Foreign

Minister who defected to

Britain last week. He had no

secrets to tell the west, Sayyid Al Islam said. You have

to invent stories in order to

give you immunity. So you think

he's inventing stories? The British Government said this,

you have no immunity unless you

cooperate. He's sick. He is

sick and old. So if you put -

no immunity, of course I will

come out with funny

stories. Now the rebels are

starting another fightback.

But how is this all going to

end, I ask Saif Al Islam, with the death himself and his brothers? This

is our country. You want us to

leave to go to where, to

Maldives, Caribbean? To

Zimbabwe. To Uganda? Excuse me, no. Venezuela. (A laughs)

of course not. Of course not.

Listen, go with us, because this time we are fighting for

the right cause. In the rebel capital, Benghazi, a protest

against doing any kind of deal

with Colonel Gaddafi. Those

stalemate here, and there's no way for now of knowing how it's

going to be broken. The

proposed merger between the

Australian and Singapore Stock

Exchanges is looking precarious

this lunchtime. The treasurer,

Wayne Swan, says he's inclined

to reject the $8.4 billion deal because it would be national interest. But he's still encouraging both sides to

push ahead because the decision

is not final. Nigel Lake is

the joint CEO of the corporate advisory firm Pottinger. Look,

I think our perspective on this

is that this transaction was always

always going to be very

difficult to get through

Canberra. I think that the thing that people have perhaps ignored is that this isn't

really just simply a firm decision, it was always going

to need to be a political vote.

It's difficult to see for ordinary politicians why like this. So the Treasurer's

concerns about national

interest, that doesn't have a

financial angle to it, it purely political? Look, I

think that is exactly right. I

think the wider issue in

exchange consolidation is that

there are some large groupings

emerging. One centred around

the New York Stock Exchange and

various European exchange, the

other potentially around London

and Toronto. I think the

political ambition longer

become part of one of those

groupings as a major hub within

Asia, rather than as a junior

partner within an Asian Stock Exchange. But the ASX

cannot go it alone? While, I

think that is important as

well. The exchange here has

rightly said they face a fairly challenging environment going

forward with increasing

pressure. The exchange world

has become more and more

competitive, there are direct competitors business, there are also the

so-called dark pools which have

put downward pressure on

prices. So I think that does

pose a real challenge going

forward. Interesting to note that that the market capitalisation

of the Australian Stock

Exchange is substantially larger, for example, than the

London Stock Exchange, which

has been I think more affected

by these pressures

already. Wouldn't any attempt

by the ASX to hook up with any

exchange meet a protest of national interest in Canberra?

It absolutely will. I think the difference would be if the

proposition was something where

the Australian exchange was

going to be at the centre in

Asia of a larger world

grouping, that I grouping, that I think would be politically much more

attractive. You know, you might hope that that was

structured as a merger and that

may be possible, but I think

it's more being the regional

centre rather than being a

junior partner in the region

that would underlie the real political concerns here. Really

you can't see this deal going ahead as it

think it will be hard to get

this through from a political

point of view. I think you

would expect all of these

exchanges to have been talking

to each other. I think it's bit like being stuck in a lift.

Everybody is going to be

talking to everybody at some

point in time. There is

clearly going to be a long

journey not just with this particular transaction, but the

other transactions that are on

foot, to get those through to

completion and we've seen all this before and these journeys

take a while to complete. Nigel Lake, thank you. My pleasure,

thank you. In SA, Government has come under fire from recreational fishermen

over a proposal to create marine parks around the

coastline. More than 1,000

people crammed into a public

meeting last night meeting last night to vent

their anger. The proposal

includes no fishing zones, which

which could cover 10% of South

Australian waters. There's

concern about the impact on

fishermen and the flow-on

effect on regional economies.

What are we doing to stop them

putting tg in -

to do is to prepare to do it,

move a motion of no confidence in the State Government. The State Environment Minister did

not attend last night's

meeting, which had been organised by the opposition.

The Government is holding its

own series of public meetings

in coming weeks. Weaker than

expected home loan numbers are out and could signal that

interest rates are are likely

to be left on hold for the time

being. Home loans in February dropped

before in seasonally adjusted

terms, the fall blamed on

Queensland's flood and reaction

to last year's rate

operators of the controversial

Gold Coast desalination plant

deny the facility has been

mothballed, with south-east

Queensland dams near capacity,

the $1.2 billion facility has

now been placed on standby,

saving taxpayers about $10 million a year. Desal nated

water may be more reliable than rainfall, but it's also more

expensive. These are the

pressure vessels, pressure vessels, they take

salt out of the water and they're at the heart of the

process. The tugan plant

produced almost $38 billion

litres of water since it began pumping

pumping in February 2009. pumping in February 2009. At

its peak, it can produce 133

megalitres a day, but a week

ago it was placed in a hot

standby mode. Standby means

that this plant will be kept

available to produce water when

we require it. The Gold Coast hinterland and environment council welcomes the move, saying electricity consumption

will drop and so will the amount of brine being pumped

back into the sea. The plant

runs two days a week and

produces 50 megalitres of

water, which will fill the

equivalent of 25 Olympic

swimming pools. And the

operators say the drop in production won't affect the

plant's 22 full-time employees.

We may use contractors less,

but certainly none of our staff local member Jan stuky says the

plant has been plagued with

problems from problems from the beginning.

It has cost a billion dollars of taxpayers' of taxpayers' money. What is

it costing to run? And how is

the Government planning to pay

it off? The security that this

plant delivers long term is

going to underpin population

growth and economic prosperity for South East Queensland. The

plant will remain in a hot

standby mode until the combined water levels in South East Queensland current level of 86% to 60%,

and that could be two years

away if there's no major falls

in the in the catchments. Let's go to some of the other stories making news in business. The

receivers of the Colorado group

have put the businesses up for sale, asking for expressions of

interest in the next fortnight.

Colorado has more than 430

stores around Australia and New

Zealand, including jag and

Williams shoe brands.

figures released today reveal

the West Australian domestic

economy was technically in a

recession in the six months to December. The WA Chamber of Commerce & Industry says Commerce & Industry says the

mining boom is yet

materialise. The housing

sector is going backwards and households have stopped spending. Time for a check of

the markets now. Here's Alicia

Barry. Goldminers are doing

well today? They are, Ros.

That's after gold prices hit a

record above $1450 US an ounce

as investors sought a safe place to ongoing worries about violence in the Middle East. The

biggest, Newcrest mining, up

2.5%, St Barbara jumped 1.3%

and El Dorado is 4%

stronger. China has raised

interest rates again. Is that having an impact? Well, Ros,

China's move to tackle inflation

inflation by lifting the

benchmark lending and deposit

rates for the fourth time in

less than six months. The move was widely anticipated, but

came a little sooner than expected.

expected. It's likely to worry those companies that export the country, as any slow there could

could sap demand. The major

miners are down despite a rise in

in base metals prices

overnight. BHP Billiton

trading flats. It sends

resources like iron ore to China, so does Rio Tinto,

giving up three-quarters af percent, Fortescue Metals has slipped 1%. How is the broader

market looking? The lo he will share market has turned negative midway through the

session, after mixed offshore

leads. The All Ords is down

around 6 points, to

ASX 200 has given up 7. The

market operator ASX Limited is

managing to stay in positive

territory after yesterday's 3%

fall on expectations its deal with Singapore Exchange won't be approved. A check now of

the domestic market's other big

movers in the ASX top 100,

putting on over 2%, Atlas iron and David Jones on the slide

and off around 2%. Thank you,

Alicia. To another flat Alicia. To another flat finish on Wall was dampened by figures showing

a sluggish services sector,

rising oil prices, a rate hike

in China and speculation in China and speculation about

an ends to America's ultra low

interest rate policy. So the

Dow and S&P dipped into the

red. The Nazdaq ticked up two

points. Markets in Europe were

little changed. London's FTSE

lost 9 points. In Japan,

traders were taking profits,

especially on recent solid

performers, such as resources

stocks. Hong Kong's opened

higher and New Zealand is down 17 points. Currencies - the

dollar is at 103.6 US cents,

buying 88 Japanese yen. The US

dollar is up against the Euro and pound. Finally,

commodities, Alicia was talking

about gold's record run. It's

now at 1451 US dollars an

ounce, oil is just below

yesterday's peak at 107 US

dollars a barrel. There's a

new chapter in the news of the

world phone hacking scandal. The chief reporter of Britain's

best-selling tabloid and former

editor have turned themselves

into police. Their arrests are

the first since police reopened

their inquiry into claims that staff at the staff at the Sunday tabloid

hacked into the phone voice

mail messages of celebrities

and other public figures.

London correspondent Rachel

Brown reports. The latest to fall in the now five-year

scandal, News of the World's

veteran reporter Neville thel

Bec and Ian Edmonson. The men London police stations. They

were held on suspicion of conspiring to intercept

communications while officers

searched their homes. searched their homes. Internal

emails linking Mr Ed monson to

hacking claims resulted in his sacking in January. Coincidentally, the same month the Prime Minister's communications director, Andy Coulson resigned, amid pressure

to reveal what he knew about

the hacking allegations during

his time as the paper's editor.

Since the 2007 convictions of a

private vor Glen mull the newspaper's royal editor,

inquiries dried up, sparking

accusations of police and

political negligence. I always

felt it was not a proper investigation, and I think the evidence has shown even more since more has come out that

the original inquiry was not

done properly, and that was my complaint. Metropolitan Police

have previously said there's

only a small number of viktims, but overnight the DPP has contradicted their idea

officers need to prove messages

were intercepted before High Court judge has ordered

the notebooks of the private eye

eye Glen Mulcaire containing

the names of 100 celebrities be made made available to the growing list of people suing the newspaper.

newspaper. The tabloid's

owner, News International, says it provided the information that sparked the fresh investigation and says it won't

tolerate wrongdoing. tolerate wrongdoing. It's tipped the investigation could

lust a couple of years, and

that more arrests will Magnussen has upstaged Eamon

Sullivan to win the 100 metres freestyle at the

freestyle at the national

championships in Sydney. The

Port Macquarie swimmer powered

home to finish home to finish in front of another 19-year-old, James

Roberts, and Sullivan third.

All three qualified for world

titles in Shanghai in July. I

must admit I didn't sleep too

well last night just thinking

about it. There's been a lot

of pressure on this race.

Everyone is going quick and the

younger guys are starting to

come through and medallist Jessicah Schipper

finished ahead of Rice to get

her 7th Australian title in 200

butterfly. Times are tough in

Britain, it seems some will go

to extreme lngts to make extra

cash. Security cameras in

Britain caught two men raiding

a charity clothing bin, but it

didn't go quite as

planned. It's 1 o'clock in the

morning and this man has come

to a supermarket carpark to do

a bit of re cycling. Trouble

into the textile bin are still

being worn by his friend.

Slowly his mate is posted

inside through a tiny gap.

Moments later the man inside

starts throwing out clothes,

clothes that have been donated

by the public to the British

Red Cross. But when they

realise they've been spotted,

the man on the outside does a

runner, leaving his

the bin. It's only when you

see up close how small this

hatch is and the iron bar in

the middle of it you realise

how extraordinary it is that

any fully grown adult could get

inside. The security guards up

in the control tower were so

concerned about the guy in here

they called the emergency

services. For the next four

hours police, firefighters and

ambulance crews tried to coax

the man out. You don't believe it, start with, security guard

Gareth was amused. Then he

became concerned. It's a very confined space. There is like the funny side of

you know, then you have the

realistic possibilities of what

he could have done to

himself. Last year a homeless

man in London suffocated in a

clothes bin. So the fire crew

here opened up the top and the

man was brought out. He was arrested and cautioned by

police. It's thought he'd

rather than wear them, and

charities have told us this

kind of incident is not

uncommon. Police in Victoria

are searching for two men over

a bashing death at a house in

frankston in Melbourne last

night. The homicide squad say

the pair were seen leaving this

house last night. A

42-year-old man later found inside died of wounds he

suffered in an assault.

Finally, something we're yet to

see at an agricultural show in

Australia. A teenager in

Germany has managed to train her cow to her cow to do show jumps.

15-year-old Regina Mayor really

wanted a horse, but when her

parents said no, she headed out

to their farm to train their cow, named cow, named Luna, instead.

After two years of After two years of pains staking work, Regina now has

Luna leaping fences and going

on long rides in the country

side, just like a real

horse. Look at the weather now.

The satellite picture shows

cloud across the tropics, moist

south-east winds are pushing

low cloud into Queensland and there are mostly

clear skies elsewhere, in dry

easterly winds which are warm

in the west. A front will sweep through southern WA,

bringing a blast

winds and showers. The heaviest false will be along

the south coast. A monsoon

trough will trigger heavy rain

and storms across the northern

tropics and Tasman high will

bring showers to the eastern

seaboard. In the capital

cities, there will be showers

in Brisbane, a possible shower

in Sydney, it should be fine in

Canberra, plenty of sunshine

for Melbourne, mainly fine Adelaide, showers easing in

Perth and there will be late

thunder in Darwin. A final

chick of the markets. The All

Ords is 9 points lower, stocks in Japan and US are down and

the dollar is at 103.65 US

cents. That's the news for

now. The next full bulletin on

ABC 1 is at 7 o'clock this

evening. I'm Ros Childs.

Thanks for joining us. Have a great afternoon.

great afternoon. See you

tomorrow.

Closed Captions by CSI This Program is

Captioned Live. Ladies and

gentlemen, welcome to the

National Press Club for today's

NAB address. Education is a

vital issue for all Australians, indeed for

Australia's future. As we saw

in the industry skills commission

many Australians of working age

lack basic skills in resume

rasy and literacy. Today won't be