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Roofs rip ed off houses

smashed, a mini tornado blasts

Townsville. My house is trashed

and looks a mess. It was louder

than artillery shells going off

this morning, with the

lightning cracking and timber

just flying around. A win on

after Tony Abbott on company mining tax. Now the PM goes

cuts. So bitterly negative

about this nation's future,

he's going to walk into the

Parliament and vote against a

proposition you would've said

was absolutely core to Liberal

beliefs. Tributes for Melbourne Football Club

President Jim Stynes, dead at

45. And - in her own voice. All

ears on the Duchess of

Cambridge's first public

address. What you have all

achieved here is extraordinary.

Welcome to ABC News across

Australia. I'm Ros Childs. Also

today - a former CFA volunteer

found guilty of killing 10

people by lighting a bushfire

on Victoria's disastrous Black

Saturday. On to the markets

far. now. It's a lacklustre day so

More finance later in the

campaigned to save her bulletin. The Prime Minister

leadership on the slogan she's

getting things done. And today

she's got evidence to prove it.

Her mining profits tax has

passed into law, and companies

will start to pay it in July.

But there are already threats

of a legal challenge but for

now Julia Gillard is savouring

the victory. Success can breed

contempt. I put up with months

and months of scoffing about

the carbon price. Guess what,

it's the law of Australia

today. I've put up with months

and months of scoffing about

the minerals resource rent tax.

Guess what, it went through the

Senate last night. And that

sense of vindication and

achievement seems to be infectious. The Prime Minister

went in to bat for millions of

small businesses. And millions

of workers. She won. This

mining tax is good for all

Australians. This is not just a good thing for the government.

This is a great thing for the

Australian people. The Senate

finally gave the $10 billion

tax the rubber stamp late last

night. There being 38 ayes, 32

noes the matter is resolved in

the affirmative. The Prime

Minister is spruiking the

benefits it will pay for,

including tax breaks, the

government's contribution to

superannuation increases and

tax cuts. They're going through

a spectacular resources boom.

That's good for our economy,

but it also means we need to

share the benefits of that boom

right around the country. The

opposition maintains the tax will hurt miners by driving

away investment. They will be

celebrating in Canada, in

Chile, in parts of Africa

because jobs and investment

that would be going to

Australia will now are going to

other countries. The

government's also brushed off fear it is won't raise nearly

as much revenue as it's

forecast. Yes we certainly sh

confident in our revenue

projections and they are

revised. They were revised

again in the update, budget

update at the end of last

year. There's still one

stumbling block for Labor. The

promised business tax cuts that

come with the package are in

deadlock. The coalition's

opposed, the Greens want the

cuts redirected to small and

medium sized businesses. For

now, Julia Gillard is in no

mood for compromise. Before we

start on a process of months

and months of scoffing about

whether or not we'll get

through the company tax cuts, I

think I'm entitled to go

scoreboard and at the moment,

it's running more in my favour

than yours. She's still

demanding the coalition do a

U-turn and back the government.

But that doesn't look like

lick. Eye I say to Julia

Gillard if she is serious about

getting her company tax cut

through, she should declare

that this is is a matter of

confidence in the government

and force the Greens to back

it. Confidence is one thing

At least not today. the government isn't lacking.

Townsville is recovering

from a mini tornado that tore

through buildings and roofs

early this morning. The worst

damage is concentrateed in a

one kilometre radius affecting

about 40 homes. The tornado was

part of a weather system that's

brought faij flooding to Far

North Queensland. Cairns

recorded more than 160 mm of

rain in less than 24 hours. And

more than 300 mm fell at

Mission Beach. To the centre of

this morning's wild storm in Townsville. Reporter Penny

Timms is in the milled yt of

the city. So how bad is the daj

there? It's quite sparse right around thecy. There has been

quite a lot of damage. As you

said it really is concentrated

around a 1 kilometre stretch

around Vincent. However, right

around the city, there are

still trees which have been

uprooted and certainly green

debris which is strewn right

across the place. So those

homes around Vincent have been

the worst affected. Some of

them aren't actually liveable

any more. What was your

experience of the storm? I was

awake for the storm itself. It

hit just around 5 o'clock. For

me, I don't live near Vincent.

I live closer to the water. And

for me, it certainly stayed

there for probably around about

45 minutes, those strong winds

of around - gusts of around

110km/h. It was like sort of a

small cyclone to the extent.

There was a lot of strong winds

right across the region. And it

did hit without warning. And

that certainly was the same

thing that many residents right

across Townsville have reported

to us today. We just woke up,

it was to still then all of a

sudden, bang, it just

hit. Heard some explosions out

of cap nones and it was louder

than that out of artillery

shells going off this morning with the lightning cracking and

the timber just flying

around. It was a very powerful

event but it only lasted for a

few minutes. So what can you

tell us about surrounding

areas, where there has been

heavy flooding? There has been

quite a lot of heavy rain which

has led to flooding. Right

around mainly Far North

Queensland. We saw that low,

that tropical low over the Gulf

of Carpentaria earlier in the

week. Which has basically been

sitting over the region since

about Thursday and dumping

hundreds of millimetres per day

on centres like Cairns, Far

North Queensland, the areas

around Ingham have also been

affected today. And us here in

Townsville, we've also been

receiving very heavy falls

since about Thursday of this

week. Penny, thank you. French police have stepped

up the manhunt for a gunman who

killed three children and a

teacher at a Jewish school. The

attack is believed to be linked

toed murders of three soldiers

in France last week. President

Nicolas Sarkozy has put the

country's southern Toulouse

region on its highest terror

alert level. Philip Williams

reports. These are the faces of

fear. Terrorised in their own

school. A teacher Jonathan

Sandler and two of his young

children were killed, a third

child also died. A teenager was

seriously wounded when the lone

gunman fired from his scooter

outside the school. Then chased

more children into the school.

And when his first pistol

jammed, he fired from

another. At first he shot one

bullet into the air. After that

he shot the father in front of

him then the two children. I

didn't even turn around. I ran

straight into the school. But

he followed us and then opened

fire again. When he left he

started shooting again. I had

just arrived when we heard

shooting. Wrp all very

frightened and shocked. The

horror of the attack spread

nationwide. The President Nicolas Sarkozy ordered extra

security at all Jewish schools.

He raced to the scene to offer

his condolences. This assassination doesn't concern just the Jewish community but

the whole of France. The whole

nation has been touched and has

been hurt, I can assure you of

this. You must believe it.

Police say the gun used in this

attack was the same one used in

the murder of three soldiers

and the maiming of another in

two separate attacks in the

Toulouse region in the last few

days. In all cases the gunman

escaped on a scooter.

Investigators don't know if

they're dealing with a lone

killer or exactly what the

motive might be. What they do

know is the pressure is on for

a quick arrest before he kills

again. Until then, the fear

remains. Five foreign tourists have

been killed in an avalanche in

Norway. They were among a group

of skiers on a steep mountain

slope in the country's high

Arctic region when tonnes of

snow broke loose. Another skier

swept away survived and is

recovering in hospital. Some

bodies were buried in 6m of

snow. Four of the dead are

Swiss, the other is French.

Avalanches are relatively

common in Norway at this time

of year as higher spring

temperatures melt the snow. A

key Syrian ally has joined

growing international pressure

on the regime of President

Bashir al-Assad for an

immediate ceasefire. Russia is

now calling for a daily truce

in conflict zones to allow

humanitarian aid in. The shift

in its position came just hours

after the conflict spread to an

upmarket embassy district in

the capital Damascus. The

night-time fire fight seems to

have been one of the fiercest

inside Damascus during this

year-long revolt. Opposition

fighters say they were

targeting the home of a Syrian army general. Apparently trying

to show that they can bring the

uprising close to President

Assad's power base. After weeks

in which his forces have driven

them out of some key bases,

particularly in Homs. An armed

terrorist group yesterday

detonate ed ... Syrian State

TV's English service is

reporting what it calls attacks

by terrorists. It also spoke of

massacres and in response

successful security force

operations to seize men and

weapons. All this comes after

weekend car bombings which each

side blames on the other. What

may be most significant about

the latest fighting in Damascus

is that it happened on the

regime's doorstep. Right next

to some security strongholds

which help protect President

Assad's huge presidential

palace compound. The United

Nations team of five mediators

sent by Kofi Annan has arrived

in Damascus, and Russia's

Foreign Minister now says his country backs Red Cross

pressure for a daily

humanitarian ceasefire across

Syria. In Moscow, the head of

the International Red Cross got

Sergei Lavrov's crucial

support. Russia's Foreign

Ministry is now calling both

the Syrian government and armed

groups to observe a daily

truce, allowing access to the

wounded and all

detainees. That's one of our

biggest concerns, without

having to be frightened what

would happen if they access

medical care. The daily pro

sigz of funerals continues and

apparent political progress in

Russia still has to be tested

on the ground. The former CFA

volunteer has been found guilty

of deliberately lighting a

fatal Black Saturday bushfire

in Victoria's south-east. After

a month-long trial and three days of deliberations

42-year-old Brendan Sokaluk was

convicted on multiple counts of

arson causing death. 10 people

were killed and more than 150

homes razed as the blaze

destroyed 36,000 hectares of

land in Churchill. The verdict

makes Sokaluk one of Victoria's

worst killers.

10 years ago, Apple shares

were worth around $10. Today

it's Sur passed ex ebb and other industrial heavy wealths

to become the world's most

valuable with each share worth

more than $600. Now investors

are finally getting their hands

on some of the cash that Apple

has squirrelled away over those

years. Its $98 billion war

chest is being taped to pay its

first dividend in 17 years a

quarterly pay-out of $2765 a

share along with a $10 billion

share buyback. They certainly

had a lot of pressure from shareholders to do that.

They've had a humongous cash

hoard for the last several

years as iPad sales have

increased and more and more

discretionary money goes

towards Apple products. While

the late Steve Jobs was

famously tight fisted the new

CEO says Apple can give some

money back and still pursue

increased research and

development. The New South Wales Government is today

launching what it says will be

a win/win solution for both

investors and communities. They're called social bonds

where people invest in a

community program and make a

return if the scheme they fund

delivers improved social

outcomes and saves the State

Government money. Nigel Cowan

is the Chief Executive of

Social Finance, the

organisation that's setting up

the bonds. So social bonds are

effectively a contract with a

public organisation such as a

government to deliver an

improvement in a social of service. Effectively what

happens then is a project is

developed around improving that social service. The savings

that are made from government by that implementation are then

passed on back to investors as

a return on that investment. So

effectively for government,

it's a risk-free situation in

terms of getting a return

without needing to pay upfront

calf capital and investors are provideed a return out of the savings to government. How would this work? I understand

you're launching the pilot

project today? The bond we're

involved with is and recidivism

which is around reduction in

the return rate to jail. Mission Australia is involved

in that, one of Australia's

leading charities and the GEO

Group who also provide services

in private prisons throughout

Australia. How much money are

they trying to find? So the

first bond for the recidivism

model looks atd around a $7

million investment. That's

implementing services over the

next three to six years with a

goal to reducing the return to

prison rate of young men and

women who are currently in

jail. In spa model that's up

and running in the UK. How much more money are community

projects able to generate

through social Bonds that they

couldn't get through government

spending or through

donations? If you think about

the Social Services space at

the moment, we're under an area

where governments and the not

for profit sector are fiscally

con n strained, the current

global economic environment is

providing additional pressure

but it's also a time when the need for the services is

growing out of demand . The

goal of social benefit bonds in

general is to create a long-term sustainable funding

model that would deliver

greater returns to government

through an improved level of

services. And a freights level

of output in terms of social

needs delivered to the

community. So the goal is to

continue to escalate the

funding to as great as the need

of the delivery is. Nigel

Cowan, thank you. Thank you

very much. It seems many people

are hooked on Twitter these

gays from celebrities to politicians with major companies joining in but while

Twitter messages are limited to

just 140 characters at a time,

it seems the potential for

brand damage is enormous when

things go haywire. Twitter is

the latest social media

frontier, but for many,

including some of our biggest

companies, it can all too often

lead to grief. Qantas has experienced the pitfalls of

social media after a Twitter

competition went horribly

wrong. In November, Qantas was

embroiled in a so-called

Twitter-fail. A social media

campaign that backfired. Just

days after the airline's

grounding ended, it asked

customers to Tweet their idea

of Qantas luxury. Instead of

accentuating the positives

customers Tweeted a for rents

of abuse like "Qantas luxury is

a nice bear of shoes so I can

walk across the terminal to

another company." "Qantas luks

ee is chartering a Greyhound

bus and arriving at your

destination before your Qantas

flight." And Qantas isn't

alone, joining the likes of

Coles, Woolworths and Coca-Cola

Amatil who've launched social

media campaigns that turned

sour. With any form of social

media, there are elements you

can't manage. So it's always

just about controlling the

risk. That's all you can do.

Media and marketing commentator

Tim Burrows says big firms need

to make sure they have

experienced public relations

operatives running their social

media strategies. The issue is

when a brand just assumes that

hey because social media is

something that younger people

are interested in we'll just

give this to the intern and

let them handle it. That's when

things go wrong. This digital

marketing consultant argues the

most common problems are

companies not knowing their

audiences and not having defined goals before launching

a campaign. Today there's far

too much of an idea that we

need to have a social media

campaign because we want to

make something go viral. Those

are fine goals to have. But if

they're not tying back to your

business goals, ultimately your social media campaign will have

a very hard time of finding success. One thing major

brands will never be able to control is the audience which

in the case of Twitter is

proving to be much more cynical

and outspoken than the

marketing gurus might like. To

some of the other stories

making news in business.

Australia has a big future in

shale gas a according to the

country's biggest energy retailer. Paul Zealand from

origin says Australia is at the

foothills of developing shale

gays with hundreds of trillions

of cubic feet of resources that

may be recovered. Canberra

based think-tank the Australia

Institute says Queensland's

mining boom is likely to

destroy one non-mining job for

every two mining jobs it

creates. It says it's looked at

the impact of 39 proposed

projects in Queensland, and

found up to 20,000 jobs will be

lost mainly from tourism, mfk

and agriculture. And the much

panned fantasy adventure film 'John Carter' is expected to

lose $200 million for Disney.

It's about a civil war veteran

transplanted to Mars. The

studio says it will drag its

whole movie budget into the

red. A check now of the markets

with Simon Palan. The local market was tipped to rise

today? It was. Pundits were

expecting a lift after a strong finish on Wall Street

overnight. The local market is

lower today not by much though.

Right now the All Ordinaries is

down around 8 points. That's to

4,373. One of the biggest

moving stocks today is the toll

road developer Transurban.

There are reports that a

parcel of 114 million

Transurban shares has been

traded. That represents around

7% of the company's issued

capital. And it's done the

company's share price no

favours. Transurban is down 3%

and that's to 5.53. Has there

been much reaction to the

mining tax being passed? Not really. Analysts aren't

expecting the passing of the

mining tax to have much of an

impact on resources stocks

today. There was a lift in

metals prices overnight that

was tipped to lead some of the

big miners up but that didn't

really happen either. BHP

Billiton and Rio Tinto are both

pretty flat and Fortescue

Metals is also unmoved. It's

trading at $5.98. David Jones shares still in a trading

halt? Yes, they are. And the

speculation continues as to

why. One analyst says the

market is dern concerned the company's Chief Executive all

Zara could resign. The

department store chain has

denied those rumours and is due

to announce its half year

profit results tomorrow.

Elsewhere, the telco TPG

telecom has impressed the

market with its half yearly

result today. TPG says its net

profit has increased 65% as

more subscribers take up home

phone bundle fans. TPG shares

are more than 3%. That's $1.72

and just finally, no surprise

from the Reserve Bank that's

latest minutes released a short

time ago. They say a strong

mining sector is supporting the

Australian economy despite some

weaknesses in other sectors. A

check now of the domestic

market's other big movers in

the ASX top 100:

It seems what's good for

Apple is good for the market. Apple's announcement of a

dividend signaled a little more corporate confidence.

Cancer has claimed the life

of Melbourne Football Club

President Jim Stynes. Stynes played 264 games for the Demons

and is the only overseas-born

player to ever win the Brownlow

medal. But for thousands the

Irish ruckman was as big an

inspiration off the field as he

was on it. It's arguably the

greatest individual story in

Australian rules

history. Stynes superbly done.

30m out. Snaps and kicks it.

He was the Gaelic footballer

recruited as a teenager from

Ireland who went on to win the

game's highest individual

honour. The winner of the 1991

Brownlow medal. He a ruck Pan

of unparalleled endurance and

durability, playing a record

244 consecutive matches. Or 11

years without missing a game.

But his stature on the field

was more than matched by his

regard off it. In 1994, he

established the Reach

Foundation to support troubled

youth. And in 2003, he was named Victorian of the

year. When you realise what

people can go through and yet

still succeed at, despite those

adversities and obstacles, I

think it's quite amazing. And

they're the real heroes. We

talk about the heroes. They're

heroes. Just 'cause I played

250 games doesn't mean you're a

hero. Jim Stynes would later

come to epitomise those heroic

values N 2008 when his club was

nt depths of despair, Stynes

stood for President vowing to

lift the club out of debt and

up the ladder. Just 12 months

later he was diagnosed with

cancer. Multiple operations followed, but still Stynes

maintained a visible public

profile, determined to support

and inspire his Football Club.

And spruik the power of

positive thinking. I've had

this experience, it's amazing.

You learn so much. It is a

privilege, you know, to get

what I've got and then to deal

with it and get on with it and

be positive. Jim Stynes is

survived by his wife Samantha

and two children. He was just


Brace yourselves. That was

James Magnussen's message to

his likely 100m freestyle Olympic Games opponents after

he powered to victory and

qualification for the event in

London at the Australian

selection trials. World

champion Magnussen went close

to breaking the world record

over the distance. His effort

was the fastest in the 100m

this year and the fourth

fastest ever. He was pushed for

much of the final by

Queensland's James Roberts

before going on to win in a

time of 47.1 seconds. He's

going to go really close. James

Magnussen just misses out! What

would you say to the boys that will be watching this around

the world, there's some big

swimmers that will see that

time. What's your messages to

them? Brace yourselves. One of

the darlings of the women's

team Jessicah Schipper won the

national 200m butterfly title

for an eighth consecutive year.

Brenton Rickard took out the men's men's 200m breaststroke to also

qualify for a second individual

event. Vandalism is taking its

toll on Britain's heritage.

70,000 listed buildings were

damaged in the past year alone.

It's a deeply worrying trend

for England's heritage

watchdog. The historic heart of

a famous city. Chester's

medieval buildings lie within

one of the top 5 archaeological

areas in England and yet night

after night, they are under

attack from deliberate

vandalism and anti-social

behaviour. Graffiti is a

problem for the whole length of

the walls throughout the city.

The council try their hardest

to keep on top of it by

clearing it awaich. The second

it's cleared away, within a few

days, someone has written

something again. They're a

photogenic city full of

heritage that crimes might just

have one dimension in other

place vs the added dimension in

Chester that they're damaging

hour heritage. In Lincolnshire, signs of the

tougher line now being taken

against other forms of heritage

crime. Metal theft and illegal

treasure hunting are common

across a rural county rich in

archaeological sites. English

heritage say the national

statistics revealed by today's

report are alarming. More than

70,000 listed buildings were

damaged over the past 12

months. Amongst them, those

with grade 1 and 2 listing our

most precious national sites.

This site is one much victim. A

lot of that heritage could be

lost by those who just want to

make money from those artefacts

and have no feeling or care for

the history or the tradition of

the place. Progress has been

made. But until there's wider

public understanding, the

threat to our past will remain severe.

The Duchess of Cambridge has

chosen the opening of a children's hospice to deliver

her first public speech. She

used the occasion to praise the

work of families and carers of

young people with life

threatening conditions as

inspirational. With every engagement the Duchess seems to

be gaining in confidence .

There were always smiling

faces waiting to greet her. But

as the Duchess took to the

lectern for her maiden speech

her hands were shaking and the

nerves could be heard in her

voice. Thank you for not only

accept Meg as your patron,

thank you also for inviting me

here today. You have all made

me feel so welcome, and I feel

hugely honoured to be here to

see this wonderful centre. I'm

only sorry that William can't

be here today. (Laughter) He

would love it here. A view of

his that I share is that

through team work, so much can

be achieved. Thank

you. (Applause)

It was a heartfelt speech

and it was obviously well

rehearsed but afterwards

Duchess described the

experience as nerve racking.

The hard work over, it was

back to doing what the Duchess

does best - meeting people, and

in this case, children with

severe illnesses or disabilities. What are you

playing today? SIM bal. I like

making noise. I think it's

great. She was so nice and so

interested in the children. And

the work of the hospice. She

will be a fantastic patron. It

was really lovely. With her first speech under

her belt and a few busy weeks

behind her the Duchess will be

eagerly awaiting Prince

William's return from the

Falklands. To the weather now.

The satellite shows thick cloud

over tropical Queensland due to

a monsoon low and trough. Low

cloud further south on the east

coast due to moist onshore

winds, and cloud over southern

WA with a front. A monsoonal

low should generate more heavy

rain over northern and eastern

Queensland, a cold front should

bring scattered showers to ta,

Victoria and southern parts of New South Wales. Moist

southerly winds should trigger

isolated mainly coastal showers

over southern WA and South

Australia . And around the


Back to the Stock Exchange

for a final check of the


That's the news for now on a

day when a former CFA volunteer

was found guilty of killing 10

people by lighting a bushfire

during Victoria's Black

Saturday. There's continuous

news on ABC News 24. Our next

full billion tin is at 7pm. I'm

Ros Childs. Have a great afternoon. Closed Captions by CSI

This Program is Captioned Live.