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ABC Midday Report -

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Barnaby Joyce eyes the Lower

House, an option the PM wants

to bury. Is Tony Abbott going

to go to the next election

Barnaby Joyce would saying to Australians that

Barnaby Joyce would be Deputy

Prime Minister if Tony Abbott

is elected as Prime Minister?

as the US is put on notice.

Stone the crows. Dinky-di

democracy gets a run up flagpole in Britain. It flagpole in Britain. It is

obscure, it's unfair, it's

expensive. It is a chance to

choose hope over fear. And a

tiny plane retraces Kingsford

Smith's epic flight across the

Pacific. Hello. Welcome to ABC News

across Australia, I'm Tracey Kirkland. The local share market is giving up more than

1%.

More finance later in the bulletin. Independent MP Tony

Windsor is baiting the

Nationals' Barnaby Joyce to

take him on in his northern New

South Wales seat. Senator Joyce is considering running electorate at the next Windsor's New England

election. He wants to reclaim a

seat for the Nationals and to

make the independent MP pay for

backing the Gillard

Government's moves to price

carbon. From Canberra, here's political reporter Frances

Bell. Determined to push

through the fog of the carbon pricing debate, Julia Gillard

is today chairing another

monthly meeting with the Greens and independents to flesh out

the design of her tax. Is that

too much water? Enough with the

water! Some of the biggest

emitters in the coal, gas and a hearing on Capitol Hill. We

will be working with business

and unions to make sure we're protecting Australian jobs.

One job that's been under

pressure, at least partly

because of his government's Climate Change because of his role in the

Committee, is that of independent Tony Windsor. Let's

get the debate on to climate change rather than lies and

taxes. Do we want to do

something about it? Here's our opportunity. If we don't,

well, let's join the lemmings

and all get off the cliff. His

fight to retain his seat at the

new twist. He could be going next election has

head-to-head with old foe

Barnaby Joyce, who wants to

move from the Senate to the

Lower House. It's not new news with Barnaby. He was going to

run last time and then in five

other Saturdays, then he didn't

run. He has to make up his mind. It's reignited speculation over the National Party Leadership. Is Tony

Abbott going to go to the next election saying to Australians

that Barnaby Joyce would be

Deputy Prime Minister if Tony

Abbott is elected as Prime Minister? That Barnaby Joyce is

the man who would act as Prime

Minister if Tony Abbott was

overseas. The Nationals are

desperate to win back desperate to win back the seat

of New England one they held

for more than 80 years before

it was snatched by Tony

Windsor. And if Barnaby Joyce

makes a tilt and wins, he'd inevitably emerge as a leadership contender but Warren

there's no vacancy yet. Truss is making it clear

Queenstown has been rocked by

explosions and a big fire

overnight. Every fire crew on

the State's west coast was

called to the blaze, which is

believed to believed to have started in a

mechanic's workshop. It caused

a series of explosions which

shattered windows and

shopfronts and gutted four

buildings. One man is buildings. One man is in

hospital after being blown

through a window. The cause of

the blaze is still being investigated. A light plane

Sir which has retraced the steps of

1928 epic flight from America

to Australia has arrived safely

landed in Sydney. The two pilots

landed at Bankstown airport

this morning after eight days

of island hopping. On board

were 40 year Jeremy Rowsell

and 79-year-old Jim Hazelton.

Unlike Sir Charles, the pair

made an extra stop on the Pacific

Pacific route to refuel. We

have landed at Norfolk Island

and he didn't actually remember, he went out of Fiji,

they got lost in a storm and they ended up way south of Brisbane, where they hit Brisbane, where they hit the

coast. I think they had a rough

ride that day. But we didn't.

(Laughs) The pilots are

already planning the next stage

of their journey to the UK. of their journey to the UK. All

flight will be donated to the money raised from the charity

Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Thousands of nuclear refugees in

in Japan's north months and more likely years

before they can go home. The

nuclear plant operator Tepco is

offering compensation but it's

done little to quell the anger

their lives to return to of the people who just want of

normal. This is just one of the

many evacuation centres which

have been set up all around

Tokyo, and indeed all around

the northern parts of Japan. As

you can see, there are people

living here at the moment.

These are the nuclear refugees.

The people who have had to flee from the Fukushima power plant. This is the living

quarters of this centre where

the kids come to play, people

come to eat, use the computers and do whatever they can to try and

to pass the time, but the

problem for these people is

that they just don't know when

they will be able to return

home. And that is leading to a

certain feeling of helplessness

and hopelessness among many of

them. I have no idea when we

can go home because they have

not made it clear about nuclear situation. I don't know

what will happen. Tepco are not

giving us half the information

they could. The nuclear problem

will last for years. I

move west or as far south as

Okinawa. I can't go home until

the situation returns to normal. So it's impossible.

There's about 150 people

living in this centre, but in around about a week's time.

So they will have to look for somewhere new

The UN is calling for a

ceasefire in Libya so the humanitarian crisis in the

country can be assessed.

Thousands of people in the

western city of Misrata are

said to be in desperate need of

medical assistance. Some have

managed to escape by ship to

the eastern city of Benghazi. the eastern city of Benghazi. A

safe harbour at last for

evacuees from Misrata. Docking

tonight in the rebel capital, Benghazi. Most

migrant workers. But there were

Libyan casualties, too. And

among the walking wounded,

9-year-old Mohammed. His father

told us he was playing outside

when a bomb exploded nearby.

Shrapnel tore through his flesh. He the doctors to touch his face.

Mohammed, a wounded fighter, so

he will go straight back to the front as soon as he is treated. The International Organisation

for Migration got these people

out and they're going back for more. Allah, another young

fighter, showed me the tame end

of a rocket. It landed near him

and a group of his friends. - -

the tail end of a rocket. This

has fallen them, two of them

died in the place right away,

and two of them, they're

miserable too. One of them his leg got cut. This is the kind

of fighting Allah was involved

in. The battles in Misrata now are street

are street to street. He says

the rebels have so few guns,

sometimes they have to

An Pam balance was waiting for

Mohammed. It was a chaotic

departure. His father says

before all this, he was just before all this, he was just a

typical boy, football crazy.

His mother and six brothers and

sisters are still at home in

Misrata. No-one knows when the

family will be together again.

The newly elected President of

Nigeria has appealed for Nigeria has appealed for unity

after post-poll riots in the north of

win by Goodluck Jonathan was

welcomed in the largely

Christian south, supporters of

his Muslim opponent have

reacted angrily. Churches, homes and shops were set alight

and the Red Cross says many

people have been killed, hundreds injured and thousands

made homeless. The new

President says the country must

quickly move away from partisan

battlegrounds. A Taliban gunman

wearing a suicide vest has

killed two people and injured

seven others in an attack on a

heavily fortified Afghan third assault in the past four

days, targeting military and

police compounds. And it's

raised serious questions about

the ability of Afghan forces to

take over responsibility for

security. The ABC's Sally Sara

reports from Kabul. The Taliban

struck at the heart of the

Afghan government. A suicide

bomber wearing an army uniform

and carrying a military

identity card managed to get

inside the Defence Ministry. He

got as far as the second floor,

close to the deputy minister and Army Chief

of Staff. One man who was

wearing military uniform opened

fire on army soldiers. As a result, two were killed and seven wounded. The Afghan army

opened fire on him and killed

him. We noticed after he was

killed he had explosives on his

body but he did not have the

chance to detonate them because

he was shot in the head. The

army said there were no

explosions and the Defence

Minister was not in his office at the time

the raid is a serious breach the raid is a serious breach of

security, only four months

ahead of Afghan forces taking

over security control of the surrounding surrounding district. Kabul is

one of seven areas across

Afghanistan scheduled to be

handed over from coalition to

Afghan control. This attack

here in the capital has created

a great deal of concern. The

Ministry of Defence is supposed

to be one of the most he heavily fortified parts of the city. The attack has shocked

some Afghan analysts but they

believe the transfer of responsibility for security must go ahead as scheduled in

July. Eventually July. Eventually the Afghan force will take the responsibilities. It is better

do get this experience

ourselves, by facing

difficulties, we will solve the

problems. This is the third

attack on military and police

targets in the past four days.

Security forces are on alert for more

The US has been warn ed its triple A credit rating is risk after Standard & Poor's

changed its outlook to the US

to negative. It puts more

pressure on Congress to agree

on a plan to reduce the

country's burgeoning debt. It's

the world's biggest economy,

but the markets are nervous,

the US is losing its battle

with debt. Standard & Poor's is

downgrading its credit outlook

and has warned the US could lose its triple A rating. We've said today that

that the rating would fall exactly one step to double A

plus. The ratings agency has

little faith in Republicans and Democrats agreeing on long-term

budget cuts. It's the gulf between the parties that we

think is gonna be very

difficult to bridge, not only

in the next couple of months, but possibly in the next few years. rejecteds the pessimistic

view. We think that the political process will

outperform S & P expectations.

But complicating the debate over bringing down the deficit

long term is the looming

deadline over the debt limit.

The US is on the brink of

reaching its $14.3 trillion

ceiling and it's up to Congress

to approve an increase. The

White House is concerned the Republicans will with the debt limit to extract

even steeper cuts from the budget. Failure to meet our

obligations would be a grave

mistake. And that will be bad

news for parts of Europe still

under enormous economic under enormous economic stress. Moody's has relegated Ireland's

government-backed banks to junk

status. There are concerns

about Greece's ability to pay

back its loans. And the

bail-out of Portugal could be threatened by political

roadblocks.

It looks like there will be

no joy for motorists as the

Easter long weekend approaches. Fuel prices reached a fresh

30-month high last week and

they're expected to remain

there in the days ahead. Peter

Coury is from the NRMA. What

are you expecting to are you expecting to happen over the Easter long

weekend? Today and tomorrow, we

expect prices to hit their

peak. And that's an average of

around $1.50. Then hopefully,

if last week's cycle is

anything to go by, they start coming down, so just in

time for families when they're

going home after the long

weekend, we should see prices

on an average of around about $1.39. Global oil prices have

gone down over the past week.

Why do fuel prices keep going

up? It takes about 7 to 10 days

for any movements in global

prices. Sing more Po Gas is the international benchmark price

for Australia. It takes about 7

for 10 days for prices to flow

on here to the bowser. The

dollar. We're quite lucky, it's trading quite high. That is

certainly protecting us from

prices being a lot higher. They

still seem quite high. How

prices at the moment compare to

say 12 months ago? We know this

is the highest they've been in

30 months. If for argument's

sake the price, the Australian

dollar was trading at what it

was 30 months ago, you could

add 25 to 30 c a litre extra on

the price of petrol today. The

fact that the dollar $1.05 and not 80 cents is

helping us. Let's look ahead

for the rest of the year. What are you expecting to happen? Unfortunately, the

Middle East

put upward pressure on prices.

We also expect at some point in

the next 12 months the US

economy will strengthen. That

will see demand for oil

increase dramatically. So the

long-term forecast isn't great for Australian motorists. And

unfortunately, there's not much

we can do about it, because it

is a volatile market and it's control over. Across Australia

at the moment, who can expect to

to pay the most for

petrol? Motorists in Adelaide are getting a break. They

appear to be the cheapest in

the country. Darwin and Hobart are smaller markets and their

prices appear to be higher than

the other capital cities. So it

really does depend on where in

the price cycle each capital

city happens to be sitting. Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane

tend to move in similar

patterns, but those prices will city. So it's important for

motorists in those areas to

keep their eye on the price boards as they're driving past

service stations. Thank you

for that. Thank you. Despite strong listings for residential auctions last weekend,

clearance rates were down in

the major markets of city and

Melbourne. It's all consistent

with an overall downward move

for house prices across the

nation in the last quarter.

It's a buyer's market, with

house prices starting off. The numbers of sales have

reduced across the nation by reduced across the nation by on

average 25%. But listings have

continued to increase. We

seem to have a lot of hesitancy in the marketplace. Buyers

taking extra time to make up their

their minds on what they're paying for a

property. Clearance rates in

the two major auction markets,

Melbourne and Sydney, remain

down on this time last

year. Yes, no? Preliminary

were more than 1,000 properties

up for auction in Melbourne

last weekend, but only 60%

sold. That's down from around

80% this time last year. And in Sydney, around

Sydney, around 800 properties were auctioned with a clearance

rate of 65%. David Airy the

President of the real estate

institute of Australia says the

slowdown began in Perth in

2009. Prices have certainly

softened in every mainland

capital city and Tasmania as well, well, through more noticeably

over the last six months. But

in particular, the trend has

been over 12 to 18 months. And

as for claims that a housing shortage exists shortage exists in Australia -

David Airy says the pop sit is

the case and there is a significant

significant oversupply of houses in the market. I don't

think there's been a bubble and

I don't think there's any

bubble to burst. Indications

are this has been a very slow softening. But

increase in the numbers of

established homes for sale,

followed to added to properties

off-the-plan sales continuing

to rise, we've just seen a lock

of stock which isn't moving. The general consensus now is

that lower prices will kick in

for the next 12 to 15 months

and even the optimists are

forecasting lean times ahead

for property investors. A check

now of the markets with Martin

Lakos. The markets are

the threat to America's credit

rating? Good afternoon. It's a

combination of both seeing the concerns on sovereign debt issues in issues in Europe, which you

have mentioned in one of your articles earlier on and

obviously a bit of a shock that

stoond Standard & Poor's have

decided to move to a negative watch on US Government bonds.

Some view that the ratings

agencies are a bit behind the

curve. There is no doubt the

market has been well aware of

negotiations going on in trying to

for the United States. A very clear warning from Standard &

Poor's and that is that the

administration and the

Republican Congress have got to

get together and make some pretty pretty tough decisions going

forward. That being the case,

the Dow Jones fell 248 points

on opening, and then slowly but

surely ground its way higher,

recovered half that loss to

close down about 140 points but

we are certainly seeing some derisking in our market

today. The European markets are

down heavily as well? Look, European markets were focusing

initially on the concerns on

sovereign debt. Moody's have

downgraded the Irish banks'

debt issues there is ongoing

discussions whether Greece

needs further bail-out or

further restructuring of its

debt. That's ongoing. The

markets have been comfortable

at this stage, but while

markets have been been able to

progress any further, there is

a bit of derisking taking place

and European markets are

across-the-board down about 2% overnight. What are Australian market? Fairly

typical when you have a

derisking process. The traders

and investors tend to focus in

on those very liquid sect Materials and energy down about

2%, financials down 1.5. Best performing sectors are

utilities and the consumer

staples and consumer discretionary

discretionary stocks. Martin

Lakos, thank you. As we've

just heard, that threat to

America's credit outlook, there

are renewed fears about

European debt. Gold soared slid. On Wall Street the Dow

and the S & P and the Nasdaq

tumbled more than 1%.

Britons will vote next month

whether to adopt it. The

referendum on the alternative

vote or AV as it's known has

turned politics on its turned politics on its head.

And prompted some pretty strange coffee mornings. AV would

would be wrong for Britain.

It's obscure, it's unfair, it's expensive, it could mean that

people who come third in

elections will end up

winning. It is not fair, it is

not equal and it is not here today alongside David Cameron calling for a no vote.

At the moment , voters elect

MPs by putting one cross

against the name of the candidate they support, and the

candidate with the most votes

wins. Under the alternative

vote system, people rank

candidates in order of

preference. If one candidate gets more than half the votes,

they're elected. But if not,

the candidate with the fewest

votes drops out and their

second preferences are handed out. That gets over half the vote still available and wins. And it's

not just politicians that the

campaigns are signing up. The

yes camp have won the support of actors like Colin Firth and

Joanna Lumley while the no camp

have the backing of sports

stars like James Cracknell and

Darren Gough. Just a short step from Westminster some vote from Westminster some vote ers at least were beginning to make

up their minds. The situation

as it is now,

It feels like voting no would

be voting against the idea of

electoral reform per se. I

don't want the voting system to change.

how many of them will actually

vote. The West Australian

Government is to review

legislation that's left 30

people in jail for extended periods without ever having

been found guilty of a crime.

29-year-old Marlon Noble has

spent more than a decade in

jail after being found unfit to stand

charges, charges that even the

victims have thrown into victims have thrown into doubt.

Marlon Noble has lost 10 Marlon Noble has lost 10 years

of his life to a crime he's been convicted of. I lost

myself in it. I lost it. I was

crumbling myself. A set of

bricks off a wall, crumble all

over me. Crumble all over me. This has been Marlon Noble's

home for almost a decade. This prison

prison in Geraldton. He's a mentally impaired security prisoner who's been

allowed day release over the

past three years. In 2001,

Marlon Noble was accused of

sexually abusing two girls in Carnarvon.

Carnarvon. Deemed unfit to

stand trial in 2003, but also

weighing up community safety,

choice between making a custody

order or making a release

order. While he is on day

release today it's a rare occasion. Marlon Noble has

spent more than a third of his

life in jail without

conviction. And it's not an

isolated case. There are

currently 29 people in West

Australian prisons that have

never been found innocent or

guilty. Of those in prison, 13, including Marlon Noble, are

unfit to stand trial. And 17

are in jail despite

not guilty due to an unsound

mind. If a custody order is

made in Western Australia, it's

for an unlimited time. Marlon

Noble has never had a hearing

in court of the allegations.

That means the case against him

has never been tested. Now the

alleged victims are coming

forward to clear his name. The

girls are saying nothing ever happened. They only just witnessed I thought when I heard that he

went to jail, you know, that

these fellas were going to be

witnesses. I didn't kinda - and

then I kind of heard a bit

later on down the track later on down the track about that. Nothing ever happened. The mother says she's still

waiting for police to talk to

her about the allegations. The

director of public prosecutions

is reviewing Marlon Noble's

case. If it does lead to his

release, his supporters say

they won't stop until all accused people on custody orders have other options. A

quick look at other stories

making news around the world.

New video has emerged of the

latest anti-government protests in in Yemen. Thousands of people took to the streets on Sunday,

angry at President Ali Abdullah Saleh's latest pronouncement

against women taking part in

rallies. And politicians in

Hungary have approved a new

constitution, despite an opposition boycott and claims

it could be used to limit the rights of women will hey Lou Hungary to

complete the transition to

democracy started more than 20

years ago. The upcoming royal

wedding is playing out like a classic fairytale plot,

featuring a prince who falls in

love and eventually marries a

commoner. Kate Middleton on her

mother's side is descended from

a coal mining family in Durham.

The BBC's Nicholas Witchell has

been tracing her family tree.

She's about to step in one of

the most exclusive the world. The story of Catherine Middleton is

remarkable enough as it is but

how much more remarkable it

becomes when you trace her family family background. Because the

line through Kate's mother

Carol's side of the family

leads back in just three

generations to a pit village

and to a family of coal miners.

This is Kate's great grandmother, grandmother, Elizabeth Temple.

She is the come from the Durham

pit village who turned her back

on the coalfields and who, with

her husband Thomas,

south to London. Their daughter

was Dorothy Harrison. Kate's

grandmother. Known in the

family as Lady Dorothy, who wanted something wanted something different and

who found it. Her daughter was

Carol, Kate's mother. The former British Airways stewardess who married Michael

Middleton, a man whose

ancestors had been prosperous

lawyers in Leeds. Their first

daughter, born in 1982, was Catherine Elizabeth Middleton.

Let's go back to the start of

this story. To county Durham

and to some of the future

Queen's cousins. This is Peter

Beadle who runs that most British of establishment, a

fish and chip shop. As kun-in

Kate enjoys her wedding

reception at the palace, Pete

will be frying up his own

wedding feast. An extra wedding feast. An extra large

Prince of Wales cod. Jean

Harrison is another of Kate's

cousins.

to the wedding and has clear

memories of both Kate's memories of both Kate's greats grandmother Elizabeth, Lily and her grandmother, Dorothy. Aunty

Lily and Dorothy had one

ambition in life hand that was

to get on. Dorothy Harrison

died five years ago. But not

before she knew that her granddaughter was romancing a

future king. Now the family of Catherine Middleton, who still

live in what were once the

Durham coalfields, feel immense

pride. I think it will wonderful. She will bring a breath of fresh

breath of fresh air to the

royal family and she will do a

wonderful job. And down at

Pete Beadle's chippie the

future Queen's cousin says she

will always be welcome. To the

weather now. The satellite

photo shows patchy cloud over

south-east Queensland in moist

unstable air generating rain and storms. Cloud elsewhere

over coastal Queensland in

onshore winds is bringing

showers. Cloud streaming over

the country's south in a trough

is triggering the Skies are mostly clear elsewhere. Showers along the

Queensland coast will ease

tomorrow as onshore winds

weaken. A trough stretching

through the eastern interior will will generate patchy rain

through central Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and

Tasmania. A high will clear

Western Australia, while

allowing warm easterlys to redevelop along the west coast. The All Ordinaries is 64

points lower.

Our next full bulletin on

ABC1 is at 7pm. I'm Tracey

Kirkland. Have a great

afternoon. Closed Captions by CSI That's the south-east corner of England, the county of Kent. And way over there in the distance, is France, and in 1793, the French declared war on us. They started amassing a huge army, way over there, in Boulogne, and the ended up with 170,000 men. And what was our response? We began building a big fort, right over there, called Shorncliffe Redoubt, and if the French had invaded, that would have been our front line. So what kind of fort was it? What was it like inside?

And, with that, could we have seen off the French? We've got just three days.