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ABC Midday Report -

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Live.

One Australian thought dead,

another injured, as a chopper

goes into New York's East

River. We believe two are

Brits who lived

two lived in Australia, one probably was Australian and one

was English, but that's changed

a number of times. We're still trying to talk to

families. Signs of frustration,

as the tax forum ventures into

a second day. Up until

yesterday I can't recall there

being any serious public discussion of the need to

reform some of the worst of the

taxes levied in this federation

of ours. Scores killed when a

massive car bomb tears through

a government compound in Somalia. I would say this is a

disaster. I don't know how to

express - you know, how to explain. And the horizons are

expanding for the Australian scientist who showed the

universe is accelerating. For

me and my colleagues - there

helped discover the are 20 people in the team that

accelerating

accelerating universe in 1998 -

it really is a great News across Australia. I'm day. Hello. Welcome to ABC

Nicole Chettle. On the local

share market, stocks have

followed Wall Street higher in

a broad-based rally. The All

Ordinaries is up 46 points, the

Nikkei down, the Dow up, and

the dollar is at 95.1 US cents.

More finance later in the

bulletin. First to the United

States, where an Australian woman is believed to have been

killed in a helicopter crash in

New York's East River. The

chopper had just taken off from a heliport on the east Manhattan when the crash

happened. There were four

passengers and the pilot on

board, but their identities

have not been confirmed. We

believe two are Brits believe two are Brits who lived in Portugal, two lived in Australia, one probably was

Australian and one was English, but that's changed a number of

times and we're still trying to

talk to families. One of the

five was killed and at least

two seriously injured. The

dead person is believed to have

been an Australian woman taking

part in

her 40th birthday celebrations.

occurred Witnesses said the crash

occurred in clear weather with

a light wind and there was no

obvious cause. Homicide

Victoria's south-west detectives are at a house

investigating the deaths of two

men overnight. Police were

called to the home in Casterton

just before 10pm and they found

the body of a man. The second

man with serious injuries died

while being taken to hospital.

Both suffered stab wounds. A

third man was also injured.

He's fighting for his life. Staying

five-year-old boy has been

killed and a seven-year-old girl injured after a

mantelpiece and brickwork

State's east last night. collapsed in a house in the

Police say the two children had

been swinging on the mantel

piece in the house in Sale when

it collapsed around 8.30.

Paramedics say the boy suffered

critical head injuries when the

bricks fell on him. Both

children were taken to Sale

Hospital, but the boy die soon after. A two-day festival of

tax talk wraps up today,

leaving Wayne Swan - they agree

it's been a it's been a good conversation.

Today's sessions focus on

welfare payments, personal tax

and tax avoidance. The forum

closes this afternoon, when Mr

Swan will explain how to

advance to the next wave of tax

changes. From Canberra, Andrew

Green reports. It's down to the

business end, with only hours

remaining. It's terrific. will achieve anything? It's Terrific. Do you think it

terrific. Thank you. Some

delegates are already lowering

expectations of any significant

expecting that. High-profile results. I wasn't ever really results. I wasn't ever

participants are trying to

remain upbeat. Clearly, this

forum already has demonstrated

that it's a very, very worth

while exercise. The second and

final day's discussion has

turned to welfare and less

fortunate Australians, with

calls to tax the wealthier in society. If we tackle some of

the tax breaks available for

golden handshakes, again which

benefit high-income earners in

find in the order of at least this country, we believe we can

half a billion or upwards.

Does it make sense to anyone that

that taxpayers are paying

pensions to millionaires?

Treasurer, we found the one man

who wants to give pensions to

millionaires. I don't think we

are paying that many pensions

to millionaires living in million-dollar homes. The

the forum, but one Opposition

member has weighed into the GST

debate. I think it has to be

discussed. If you're

about having a tax forum - The

Government absolutely rejects

any attempt to increase the rate

rate or the base of the GST,

because that would make life

really difficult for many

working families. It's not our

policy. We have no intention

whatsoever of making any change

in this area. Everyone here in

seems to think it's been a

conversation worth having. Now

it falls to the Treasurer to

make something of it. When he

wraps up the forum

Wayne Swan won't be making any

new tax policy announcements,

but there'll be a statement

about what happens next and a

focus on inefficient State

taxes. But talking tax can be

taxing. It's a long day and

you start early and you go all

day. It's a long day. And some aren't coping as well as others. They're considering

getting yourself a cattle prod

for all those who keep falling

asleep during yesterday,

Treasurer Delegates be warned.

Day two of the tax forum and,

as we've heard, Ken Henry, the

architect of the most recent

review into the system, wants

the public to focus on the most important issues. One of the forum delegates is Professor

Neil Warren from the Australian

School of Business at University of New South Wales.

I think Ken Henry this morning

summed it up. A little bit

about managing expectations

exactly what this forum is all

about. What he was essentially

saying is, "Look, it's really

great to have this dialogue, to

have this communication,

talking about the Henry review,

what its recommendation s were,

but looking at specific things, this is just the beginning of

the dialogue. This is just the

first step in a sense for all of us to come together room and to see what each

other's position is. From then

to sort of work out what we

want to do going forward - this is

is education, is education, communication,

facilitation - is really what

he is driving at. But perhaps

there was a sense of

frustration from Ken Henry, as

the former Treasury Secretary,

he said that the public doesn't

always focus on the issues that

are most important. Let's

listen to a little of what he's

had to say. Almost two years

since the release of our tax yesterday was a highly

significant day, for this

reason alone - I can't recall

there being any serious public discussion of the need to reform some of reform some of the worst of the

taxes levied in this federation

of ours. I'm thinking about

things like royalties insurance

taxes, motor vehicle taxes, taxes, motor vehicle taxes, and conveyancing stamp duty. So,

Professor Neil Warren, what's

your feeling at the forum? Is

there a sense that this will

result in any meaningful

change? I think the

of change. We had a really

good session yesterday on State

taxation. There was all the State treasurers there. There

was agreement that on critical

issues, such as harmonisation,

progress has been made, but a

lot more progress can be made.

On issues such as insurance

taxation, everybody agrees that

something needs to be done

about that issue. However,

what Ken was saying - I think

it's a critical issue - the

people in the room might

understand the issues be as one in agreeing on what

needs to be done, but the

community is really not having

that debate, it's not with that issue. Really what Ken was

lamenting - I think it's become

quite clear in this forum - is

that this is a conversation being had amongst people who are familiar with these issues,

but in the broader community

there is no education, there's

no communication, there is no

ground swell out there that helps politicians deliver change in these particular

areas. So we've got to get people buy into these issues

being discussed. Professor Neil Warren, thanks for joining us.

Thank you. The NSW Government

has announced combat any environmental

breaches by business after a

toxic spill by the chemical

company Orica at Newcastle company Orica at Newcastle in

August. Both the Government

and Orica have been criticised

for delays in telling residents

their properties might be

affected. We'll go now to Eliza Blue at the NSW parliament building in Macquarie Street. has the Government had to say?

Nicole, the Government will

introduce a whole new raft of

laws to deal with this

situation. The main point is

that the companies will be required to immediately notify government and authorities of

any future breaches. Obviously

what happened in Newcastle in

August was that it took 16

hours for the company to tell

authorities and a further 24 hours for any local residents

to be told about the situation.

Now, under the new laws, there

will be a doubling of for any company that breaches

its licence from $1 million to

$2 million, and there'll also

be a local environmental monitoring system Under this system, local

residents might receive an SMS notification of any future breaches. What about the State Government, has it taken any responsibility for this? Well,

this report is from Brendan

O'Reilly, the former head of

the Department of Premier and

Cabinet here in NSW. He lays

the blame squarely with Orica.

The report says that the delay

to a whole raft of delays.

Here's a little of what Premier

Barry O'Farrell had to say.

This report holds nothing

back. This report makes clear

that, as a result of

particularly the communication

problems, the delays in

communicating the incident to the appropriate authorities, delays between authorities, delays

delays with the Government,

delays with the public, the people

people of stock ton went through enormous stress. So,

response from Orica? No, response from Orica? No, not

as yet. A spokesman for the

company has said that Orica

wants to read through the whole

report before it makes any

formal response. News of this

report will be slowly filtering

out to the people of stokton

and Newcastle, who will be

eagerly awaiting the response

from Government. Eliza Blue,

thank you. A Canberra

scientist who found the

universe is expanding at an

accelerating rate will share in this this year's Nobel Prize for

physics. Professor Brian Schmidt from the Australian

National University worked with US researchers Saul Perlmutter

and Adam Riess to

movements in space. They used

a particular type of super

novay to determine the universe

is expanding and its rate is

accelerating. In future people

will look out and see an empty

universe. All the galaxies we

see now will be so far away,

the light can't reach us. The

future for the universe appears bleak. But that gloomy forecast

is for hundreds of billions of

years into the future. The American-born Australian

citizen and US researchers will share the Nobel Prize money of

around $1.5 million. Islamic

militants have launched their

most deadly attack in the heart

of the Somali capital,

Mogadishu. At least 70 people

have been killed and scores

more wounded after a massive

truck bomb went off inside a government compound. Most of

the casualties were young

scholarships to study in

Turkey. Africa correspondent

Ginny Stein reports. When Al Shabaab withdrew Shabaab withdrew from the

capital, Mogadishu, two months

ago, they warned they would be

back. That threat was made

good with extreme force. A

massive truck bomb laden with

fuel. Their target - a

government building where

students were sitting exams,

hopeful of winning a scholarship to study abroad. TRANSLATION: There were so

many people who died here,

while many were injured. I

have never seen anything like

this before. My worry is for

the students who came here to sit for their

examinations. This is a country

which has witnessed unspeakable

atrocities, but the scale of death and destruction death and destruction has shaken the conflict-hardened

nation. I would say this is a

disaster. I don't know how express - you know, how to

explain. It seems like it's

chaos. Shortly after the blast,

Al Shabaab called a local radio

station to station to claim

responsibility. Five years

ago, Al Shabaab launched its

attempt to overthrow Somalia's UN-backed transitional

government. They say their

struggle will continue, warning

more serious blasts are on the

way. Somalia's western-backed government deadly attack, it has been

effective against the

insurgency. The security services, especially the

police, the national security,

are working within their

capability around the clock and

have foiled quite a number of

attempts that would have

resulted in a similar casualties. But this latest

attack highlights the threat

that Al Shabaab still poses to a

a country wracked by both

conflict and a deadly famine that continues to hundreds of lives each day. The US Federal Reserve US Federal Reserve chairman, Ben Bernanke, says the Central

Bank isn't finished with the

economy just yet. Bernanke told a joint economics

committee in Washington the bank bank stands ready to take

additional steps to boost US

growth. Markets have been concerned the Fed chairman is

running out of options to

reinject some life into the struggling economy. Market uncertainty about the resolution of the Greek

situation, about the broader

resolution of both resolution of both sovereign debt issues and the banking issues, has created an

enormous amount of uncertainty

and volatility in financial

markets. One of the reasons

that our recovery has been

slower this year than it was

last year is that we've faced a

lot of financial volatility and

some of that is coming from the European situation. The bank's

already spent over $2 trillion in several failed attempts to

produce a sustained recovery in

the housing market. Here, when

it comes to housing, it's a

buyer's market. A new report has found has found stiff competition is

fuelling aggressive discounting

in the mortgage sector as the

banks jossle for market share.

Scott Manning is a banking analyst with JP Morgan and

joins me now. Scott Manning,

banks are always trying to outdo each other to outdo each other to bin

business, but the rate of discounting this year has

caught your attention?

Absolutely. When we looked

before the global financial

typical product was around 70

basis points. That got to as

low as 20 basis points

subsequent to the collapse of

Lehmans. Over the last 12 months in particular

discounting has been

accelerating. It's surprised

us. We weren't expecting to

see anywhere that level of

discounting coming through.

Now you can get discounts

exceeding that before the

global financial crisis as

banks jossle to gain positions of market share for each

other. But it's an interesting

picture, isn't it, because

housing prices have come down,

but so too has demand loans. That's correct. In this low-growth environment,

effectively the way for an

individual bank to increase its

profit and loss statement is via volume growth at the expensive other players in the

market. Over the last three or

four years we've seen the major

banks be a beneficiary of quite

a of mortgage product back on

to bank balance sheets from

non-providers of credit.

That's started to come to an

end, so they're starting to look at each other. Given the

volatility on markets around

the world, how long can banks

continue to offer cut-price

mortgages, if you like, without

eating into their bottom line?

That's a very good question.

The analysis we've undertaken

suggests that the current level

of discounting is seeing

returns on those mortgages at the the current cost of funding

about as low as they can go.

The return on equity is

probably close to 20% to 25%. If you look at the offshore

whole sale funding conditions

currently, as alluded to

earlier in the program, funding

markets still stay quite tight

throughout Europe and therefore

globally. The cost of funding

in those markets will go up for

the Australian banks.

Therefore, as they start to

re-engage those markets in the

next three to six months, it

will bring the level of discounting discounting into focus. For

consumers, can you give us a

regular person's view? What

sort of discount could people

be looking at - half a percent

here? How low can it go? Typically they'll advertise a package

package rate deal somewhere

around a 70 basis points

discount. More recently

they're discounted up to 80

basis points. The analysis

we've undertaken indicates that

the average discounts on the

product at present is actually

closer to 90 basis points.

We've heard anecdotal evidence

as high as 100 to 115 basis

points of discounting off the headline standard variable mortgage rate for the right

type of customer. Banks will be

be looking at larger loan

balances - a loan greater balances - a loan greater than

$750,000 - and also customers

that have quite a sizeable

deposit of somewhere between 20

and 40% of the value of the

property. So it pays to shop

around. Scott Manning from JP

Morgan, thank you. Thank you. European banks are the

latest casualty, as the

with the debt crisis. Jobs

have become a scarce commodity,

and young people are worried

they'll become part of a lost generation. Europe correspondent Philip Williams reports. The British Prime

Minister, David Cameron, is

usually the optimist, but even

he sees dark days ahead, as

Europe grapples with debt and

doubt. I think it is a moment

of danger. I think there are

some very serious clouds on the

horizon. Dealing with the Eurozone, that's absolutely

vital. Then we have to look at

have a deficit plan, that's good, that keeps our interest

rates low, but we need more on

the growth front. Growth will

be an increasing ly phenomena, especially in the Eurozone, according to the

outgoing President of the

European Central Bank. Growth

is dampened by a slowing pace

of global growth, by declines

in equity prices and business

confidence and by continuing

tension s in segments of

financial markets as well as in some sovereign markets. One of the chief

worries - the state of Europe's

banks. That highlighted by

promises of emergency support for the troubled for the troubled Franco Belgian bank decksia, heavily bank decksia, heavily exposed

to Greek debt. There was more

bad news as the mighty Deutsche Bank's profit forecasts have

been slashed, with hundreds of

jobs to go. Amidst the financial

financial fog, the fear of contagion, especially to Italy

and Spain. In Madrid, the only boom industry

centre. Plenty of willing

workers, very few jobs. The

young are especially hard-hit, with more than 45% youth

unemployed, it's the highest in

Europe. There are very real

fears they will become a lost

generation. When these

students are asked who expects

to leave Spain to find a job,

this is the answer. It seems

the retail sector may be coming off life of August saw a 0.6% increase

in retail sales, slightly ahead

of economists expectations. It's

It's the second straight months of gains. Time now for a look

at the markets. Here's James

Rosenberg from Macquarie Bank.

The market has had a rally

today? A little bit of a

rally, up about 35 points, but pretty unconvincing one, I'd

have to say. Volumes are very

light. The market is really

following the last hour of Wall

Street's trade, rather than the

few hours that preceded indeed what happened in Europe

overnight. A little bit of optimism that the European

Central Bank or nations are

going to rally behind their

banks and recapitalise them.

That saw a big rally on Wall

Street. Across our market,

it's the usual names, the

large-cap names, driving it.

In terms of indexed points, BHP

has added about 15 points and

the four largest banks a little over 10 Between them, that's most of

the rally. The rest, as I

said, volume's light and a

little unconvincing, I'm afraid

to say. So you don't think that this rally is sustainable? Well, I think the market

remains very nervous. It's not

that it's not sustainable.

It's just that we don't really

know what the end game is in

Europe. I suspect it's got

quite some way to play out. It

could well be that tomorrow

night our time the European

Central Bank will cut interest

rates fairly significantly. We

may even see the bank England have their version of quantitative easing, and

possibly the third iteration of

that in the US. If those happen, I

happen, I think that markets

will rally very strong ly and

abruptly. But, again, I would question whether the underlying

economics are perhaps robust

enough to see that rally be

sustained. So for the moment

it really is day-to-day news

and markets remain pretty skittish. Very briefly what's heading the other way?

What's weighing on the market

today? Not a hell of a lot.

It's a broad-based rally. Of

the companies that have come off a bit, off a bit, they're the

defensive names that have held

up well in the selling over the

last couple of days, the LIKES of Wesfarmers, Woolworths,

Coca-Cola. But to give it

perspective, the biggest negative contributor is Woolworths, with about 0.8 of

one%. Not too one%. Not too much down today. James Rosenberg, thank

you. To Wall Street, where

stocks staged a late rally on

reports the European authorities are preparing to

shore up banks:

Police are investigating threats

threats to the chief executive,

Alan Joyce, and other senior

Qantas executives. In a memo

to staff, Mr Joyce linked the

threats to unions fighting the

airline's restructuring.

Qantas says it made the threat

public because staff intimidation intimidation has reached unacceptable levels. Obviously

we have heated industrial

relations activity going on at

the moment. We've seen the

number of threats increase.

We're asking people to come

forward if threatened. We're

hoping they'll cease. I'm

confident the unions have

behaved appropriately and the

unions have been about trying

to make sure they reach

agreement, get justice for

their members. Airline unions

say they doubt the auth enter

isty of the letters, more

industrial action is planned for next for next week. The company that revolutionised the humble

mobile phone has just launched

the new iPhone 5. It's the

first major test for

new boss, Tim Cook, who stepped

out of the shadow of his predecessor, Steve Jobs. But

has he done enough to tempt

consumers away from noka and

android. Regular cell phones

are not so smart and not so

easy to use. He was the most

charismatic boss in the

technology business, but now

he's stepped down. Steve Jobs

has handed over the

Apple to Tim rook -- Reins at

Apple to Tim Cook, and the new

boss may have been looking

forward to today with forward to today with a measure

of dread. Good morning,

everyone. It's not the first

time Mr Cook has appeared on

stage to help launch a new

product, but now he's in charge

of a business whose previous

leader was uniquely successful.

One young technology boss

doesn't envy him. Steve Jobs

was masterful at the surprise unveiling, at making technology

suddenly sexy, and I think he almost invented that, the

unboxing of these gadgets, they became not geek, they became

chic. That's a hard act to

follow A very tough act to

follow. Tonight sees the un

unveiling of a new version of

the phone which has propelled Apple from a cult, but rivals

in the business haven't stood still. still. Ben Wood has an awful

lot of phones. His job is to

watch the industry and he says

Apple has to keep moving ahead.

There's absolutely no room for complacency

now. I think this will be the

most important iPhone launch to

date because products like Sam

sunk's gament as y S2, with a

fabulous screen, super thin,

great battery life, great

camera. When the iPhone 4 was launched, there were complaints

by some buyers it wasn't good at making calls. Steve Jobs

told them they were holding it

the wrong way. Let's have a

quick look at other making news around the world. Rebel fighters have seized a

house said to belong to Moammar

Gaddafi in a village near the

former Libyan leader's

stronghold town of Sirte. They

went from room to room

searching for anything of

value, like this coffee table.

I'm taking it back to England

to Manchester, auctioning it off, and all the get is going for the nation,

for the Libyan people. There's criticism that Pakistan's cash-strapped Government has

again been slow to respond to a flood emergency. karchs have sprung up in

Karachi, accommodating some of

the 6 million people affected

by the floodwaters in Sindh Province.

Province. And an Englishman

who stole a digger and tore

through local roads and a

cemetery has been gaoled for

four and a half years. four and a half years. Steven Reagan admitted to being part of a standing stealing vehicles

to order. It's four days since

the final siren rang on the

2011 AFL season, about you party shows no signs of

stopping in Geelong. Thousands

of Cats supporters have flooded

the streets of the city to

celebrate their third AFL

Premiership in five years.

Players and coaches have been

partying since beating Collingwood on Saturday and

today was a chance to today was a chance to thank

fans. It's the first time I've been able to experience what

it's like. Even more

importantly the town is good. Speculation is mounting

that captain Cameron Ling will

announce his retirement today. Time now for a look at

the weather. The satellite

shows thick cloud spreading

into eastern Australia, being generated along a low-pressure

trough. It's triggering areas

of rain and storms, becoming

potentially severe over western

parts of Queensland. Cloud

over south-west WA is forming

shower. An area of strong low

pressure and a trough will trigger scattered showers and

storms through most of the east

tomorrow. Areas of tomorrow. Areas of NSW, Queensland, eastern Victoria

and Tasmania will see showers

and storms, heavy along the

coast. WA trough will cause a

few showers, heaviest over the

south-east. The forecast now,

late thunder for Brisbane, rain

developing in Sydney, rain in

Canberra, a late shower for

Melbourne, rain in Hobart, a

possible shower for Adelaide,

mostly sunny in Perth and a

late shower for Darwin. Time

now for a

markets. The All Ordinaries is

drifting higher. The Nikkei is

down. The Dow Jones is up.

The Australian dollar The Australian dollar is buying

97.53 US cents. That's the news

for now. There's continuous

news on ABC News 24 and also

news online. Our next fuel

bulletin on ABC 1 is at 7 this

evening. I'm Nicole Chettle. Have a good day. Closed Captions by CSI Today at the National Press Club, Professor Barry Marshall. An award-winning microbiologist, Professor Marshall discovered that bacteria is the true cause of stomach ulcers. His work won him the Nobel Prize for Medicine. He was later made a Companion in the Order of Australia. With the National Press Club address in Canberra, Barry Marshall. (Someone taps glass) Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the National Press Club for today's National Australia Bank address. It's not often that we have a Nobel laureate as our guest speaker, but today's one of those special occasions. It's a great pleasure to welcome back, because he has addressed the club before, Professor Barry Marshall. As everyone in this room knows, and I'm sure many Australians know, together with his colleague, Emeritus Professor Robin Warren, Professor Marshall effectively revolutionised the treatment of peptic ulcers, stomach ulcers.