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Live.

Tonight - backing for an

embattled MP, a bagging for his

former union. The union

movement has zero tolerance for

corruption, zero tolerance for

corruption. Or for the misuse

of members' funds. Public

servants line up for the bad

news as more departments

downsize. Flying trucks.

Massive twisters cut a swathe

through northern Texas.

Virtual viewing, the National

Gallery goes online. You will

be able to get further and

further into the work to see

every dot.

Good evening, welcome to ABC News. I'm Virginia Haussegger.

The scandal surrounding the

Health Services Union is

proving too hot for the union

movement to handle. The ACTU is

set to kick out the HSU to

prove it won't tolerate what it

calls corruption. But in

another development today,

Commonwealth prosecutors said

they weren't yet in a position

to consider charges over the

union's financial affairs. All

of that means a longer wait for

embattled Labor MP Craig

Thomson who is still getting

expressions of support from the

Prime Minister. Chief political

correspondent Mark Simkin

reports. He is simultaneously

in the spotlight and in the dark. Look, we know nothing

more than what you know. We

found out about this on Twitter. Craig Thomson isn't

sure if he has been referred to

prosecutors. We have no notice,

no knowledge, no details. Or

even been named in Fair Work

Australia's 1100-page

report. We don't even know who

the four people are at this stage. Do you doubt you are one

of those? No, but we have no

information about it at the moment. Tony Abbott doesn't

have any information either but

that didn't stop this shot

across Labor's bows. A member

of Parliament who has misused a

unit union credit card for

election campaign expenses and

prost prostitution services

should no longer be counted as

a part of that Government. A

Senate committee has formally

requested a copy of Fair Work Australia's investigation with

a view to naming names. It

wouldn't take rocket science to

work out Craig Thomson is one

of those individuals involved given the nature of the investigation. I don't have

anything before me which would

cause me to alter from my

previous statements of

confidence in Mr Thomson. While

the Prime Minister's standing

by her man, the ACTU is

preparing to sever ties with

his union. It has called an

emergency executive meeting to

discuss suspending the HSU. The

union movement has zero

tolerance for corruption, zero

tolerance for corruption. The

ABC has obtained a letter

written to the police by a

senior HSU official. He tails

miss - details missing

financial records and a range

of what he calls irregular transactions. They include:

This saga could drag on for

years. Fair Work Australia has

sent its report to the DPP, but

the DPP now says it needs a

fresh investigation before it

can even consider a prosecution. Very frustrated

this has taken four years and

we seem to have Fair Work send

it to someone else. But I have

to go to work. Thank you.

Federal Government

departments are offering more

redundancies in an effort to

rein in spending and bring the

Budget back to surplus. But

unions are warning the cut

backs will hamper delivery of frontline services. Kerrin

Binnie reports. When Government

departments tighten their

belts, public servants feel the

squeeze. 3,000 job cuts have

been announced since the

Government's decision to

increase the efficiency

dividend by 4%. As a

Government, we have also got to

take some tough choices to

generate a Budget surplus. This

Department of Regional afternoon, workers from the

Australia, Local Government,

Arts and Sport were summoned to

a meeting at a Canberra hotel.

66 jobs or 11% of the

department will go. It is very

difficult for departments to

continue to provide the

services people expect when staff are being pulled out in

this way. The Climate Change

Department is cutting a third

of its work Force through

voluntary redundancies. The big

complex policy work about

carbon pricing is done, it is finished, because it is coming

into effect, a number of other

programmes the department used

to run are being brought to an

end. Departments like Treasury,

Education and Veterans Affairs

have announced cuts. The union

says they are expecting more

jobs to go after the Federal

Budget. The we think it is

important to have a slimmer and

more effective Government. Mr

Abbott wants to see at least

12,000 positions go from the

public sector. Mitt Romney has

tightened his grip on the

Republican presidential

nomination making a clean sweep

of today's three primaries.

Wins in Wisconsin, Maryland and

Washington DC put more pressure

on his rivals to drop out of

the race and rally behind one

candidate. Jane Cowan

reports. It is the hat-trick

Mitt Romney had been hoping

for. Thank you to Wisconsin,

Maryland and Washington DC. We

won them all. Mitt Romney has

also wracked up a series of

endorsements from big-name

Republicans including the

former president George Bush

Senior. But it is still a bumpy

ride. From tense exchanges over

his Mormon faith. Do you

believe it is a sin for a white

man to marry and pro create

with a black woman? No. Next

question. To persistent talk of

Romney's wooden style, rebutted

by his wife. Do you have to

fight back 'My husband isn't

stiff". I guess we better unzip

him and let the real Mitt

Romney out. Characters are

taking a dig at Romney's father. Because Romney is a

clown. For the weak points, the

latest primaries show Romney is

slowing winning over low income

voters and voters who

identified as conservative,

those who have until now

favoured Rick Santorum. They

are being told by figures that

they will be persona non grata

unless they cut back on what

they have been doing. But Rick

Santorum isn't

cooperating. Half the other

people in this country have yet

to be heard and we are going to

go out and campaign here and

across this nation to make sure

their voices are heard in the

next few months. It is clear

who the President expects to be

facing in November. Governor

Romney. Barack Obama now single

ing out Mitt Romney,

criticising him for the first

time by name.

The Americans have arrived.

Four months after US President

Barack Obama announced an

expansion of the US military's

presence in Australia, the

first batch of marines has

touched down in Darwin. The

Australian and US Governments

say it is about ensuring peace

and prosperity in the Asia

Pacific region but not everyone

has welcomed the deployment.

They came in the dead of night,

one by one welcomed by the Australian Defence

Minister. Welcome to

Australia. And after a quick

quarantine check, it was off to

a daylight ceremony at Darwin's

Robertson Barracks. One thing is absolutely sure and certain

today, you are very welcome

here. For the next six months,

the Fox Company marines will train alongside their

Australian counterparts. This

is just a fantastic place to

come and enhance our skills and enhance professional

relationships. There is 200 of

them now. But by 2016, 2,500 US

marines will rotate through the

Top End. It is all about the US

ensuring its influence in the

Asia Pacific region doesn't

diminish. This is the fastest

growing economic area and also

the one that is enduring the greatest demographic change and

we want to make sure it

continues to be a peaceful,

prosperous and stable area. It

is not just the rise of China,

it is the rise of China, India,

the ASEAN economies

combined. But critics say they

shouldn't open their bases to

foreign powers. The increase in

troops is in the United States' interests but isn't necessarily

in the interests of people in

Australia. This first

deployment is as much about

regional engagement as

community engagement. If you

see one of these marines in the

streets, walk up, shake their

hands, say gidday and, if you

see them in a pub in Mitchell

Street, shout them a beer. The

more we get to know each other,

one another's beers, the better

we work together. Maintaining

peace one beer at a time.

Rupert Murdoch's son James

has stepped down from another

corporate position amid ongoing

fallout from the UK phone

hacking inquiry. In February Mr

Murdoch resigned as Chief

Executive chairman of News

International. Now he has quit

as chairman of British Sky

Broadcasting or BSkyB. Once

considered the heir apparent to

his father, James Murdoch's

resignation has made that look

a little less likely. In a

letter to the Board he still

serves as a director, he said

he didn't want BSkyB's

interests undermined by matters

outside the scope of this

company. Those other matters

focus on the phone hacking

scandal. Ultimately it cost his

job as head of News

International and left a trail

of resignations and arrests.

James Murdoch is expected to

appear before the Leveson

hacking inquiry. When he

resigned from being head of the

press interests in the UK, it

was said by NewsCorp that James

Murdoch would focus on the Pay

TV interests in the company.

The fact he is leaving the

crown jewel of NewsCorp's Pay

TV interests does mean he is

unlikely to have a really

consistent job in the Pay TV

area. Such a high-profile

resignation could not escape a

high level political response. It is obviously a

matter for him and for the

company and of course its

shareholders. What I say is

that the issues I think at

NewsCorp go beyond one person.

They are now about how the

organisation can restore public confidence. James Murdoch's

departure will not mean an end

to the many problems facing the

British newspaper business that

he ran until recently. Apart

from the Leveson inquiry

appearance, the report of the

parliamentary culture and media

committee is due soon. James

Murdoch may be distancing

himself from the UK business

but the past may yet catch up.

In the US, tornados have

swept across northern Texas

flipping huge trucks into the

air, exploding Power poles and

de industrying home -

destroying homes. Amazingly,

there were no reported casualties. The warnings were

for a large, extremely

dangerous and potentially

deadly tornado, but no-one

expected this. Huge trucks

tossed high into the air. On

the ground, powerlines could be

seen igniting. Get in the

house. In schools, young

children huddled against walls.

Take cover, this is a very

dangerous storm. 7 million

people live in Dallas and Fort Worth, up to half a million

were in the eye of two

tornados. I was laying there,

it sounded like a train was

coming and I was on the track.

I started hearing glass

shatter. Hundreds of residents

including some in nursing homes

were left looking at the sky.

With the wind came rain and

hail stones, some as big as

baseballs. All this when Texas

had been declared in drought.

At one of the world's busiest

airports, 400 flights were

cancelled. When the calm came, heavy trucks lay strewn.

Hundreds of homes were wrecked.

There was an air of

disbelief. This is the

underside of a camper. Where

was the camper? 70 yards down

the street. Lancashire near

Dallas was hardest hit.

Tornados are not unusual here

but no-one expected them to be

this fierce.

Drivers have been warned.

More police than ever before

will be patrolling the Kings

Highway between the ACT and the

South Coast over Easter.

Specialist traffic police are

being brought in from Sydney to

try and stop the kind of

accidents that have killed five

people along the highway in the

last few weeks. Given the

recency of the tragedy on the

Kings Highway, NSW has really

decided to put a lot more

resources towards keeping it as

safe as we can. 21 people were

killed on the nation's roads

over last year's Easter long

weekend. The company at the

centre of last year's Mitchell

factory fire is re-opening its

doors on Canberra's southside.

A massive blaze tore through a plant owned by Energy Services

Environmental at Mitchell last

September, sending smoke from

toxic chemicals over nearby

homes. Now authorities are

about to approve the company

setting up a temporary oil

treatment plant at Hume but it will undertake less dangerous

work. All the other agencies

have provide comments are

comfortable and I suppose the

context here is what this

activity is as opposed to what

the one that occurred at Mitchell. As investigations

into the Mitchell fire

continue, the damaged factory

is being demolished. It has

been a long time coming but

Iraq is finally paying a bill

owed to Australian wheat

farmers for nearly a quarter of

a century. The Iraqi Government defaulted on hundreds of

millions of dollars of wheat

payments in the late 1980s due

to UN trade sanctions but wheat

farmers will start seeing some

of that money later this year. Australian wheat farmers have

been waiting nearly 24 years

for Iraq to show them the

money. We had many a meeting at the Grains Council of Australia

where the delegates would raise

it as an issue. We would talk

to the Federal politicians

about it and they'd go and talk

to the Iraqis and Iraqis said

"We can't pay now but we will

one day". After the first Gulf

War Iraq couldn't pay about

half a billion dollars. While

growers got most of the money

back in insurance, a proportion

was never recovered. After

years of negotiations, the

Iraqi Government has agreed to

settle its bill. I think it is

a real surprise out of the

blue. The Australian wheat

growers were never expecting to

see money again for the wheat

sales made in the late

80s. Iraq is to pay about $50

million to Australian growers

over the next 17 years. There

is some 52,000 growers we need

to communicate in respect of

their entitlements and that

will be a major task. Some

growers will receive less than

$100 but it will be worked out on how much wheat each grower

sold. At the low end, there is

about 13,000 growers who we

estimate will get a

distribution of under $100 but,

at the high end, there is

several hundred growers who we

estimate will get a

distribution in excess of $10,000. Keeping on the right

side of the Iraqis and taking

them as honourable people has

paid off in the long run. If

first payments will be in July.

The Australian dollar continued

to tumble today as markets

absorbed yesterday's hint from

the Reserve Bank it is likely to cut interest rates next

month. As Alan Kohler reports,

news of a second consecutive

trade deficit contributed to

the downfall. The dollar is

below 103 US cents, a place it

hasn't been since early

January. The currency

depreciate ed by 5% since the

start of March making it by far

the weak ensuring of the G 10

currencies of the past month.

It is a big turn around and

reflects what's happening with

the Chinese and Australian my

economies. It is a bitter sweet

moment for Australian exporters

to China and that's already

showing up in the trade data.

February saw the second deficit

in a row and the January number

was revised upwards by 50%.

Farmers are finding it

especially tough at the moment.

Rural exports have fallen for

the fourth month in a row.

Global share markets were sold

off last night and today, with

growing concerns in Europe

about whether Spain will make

it through 2012 without a debt

restructuring, also known as a

de fault. The Madrid share

market fell last night and it is the only European market

that has fallen this year. Mind

you, Spain is no stranger to

default. This remarkable graph

shows the percentage of the

world's kree countries in

default at any given time since

1800. It has been 50% a few

times and Spain holds the

record. The first one was in

1557, after Phillip II

inherited a near-bankrupt

nation from his father. The

other problem is global markets

have got away a bit from the

real economy has shown by this

chart. It is not dramatic but

markets always get at least a

little bit carried away, both

up and down. The local market

was flat today with resources

stocks closing lower and most

of the banks rising. That's

finance. When his son was run

down and killed four years ago,

Nigel Westlake was so

grief-stricken, he gave up

music. 12 months on, the

celebrated composer changed his

mind, writing a symphony to

honour the memory of his 21-year-old son. 'Requiem for

Eli' has won the nation's top

orchestral award. This was the

end of a musical journey Nigel

Westlake could never have

emergencied. His peers voted

his requiem for his murdered

son Eli the best orchestral for

the year. This is my way of

putting my son's spirit to

rest. His life was taken by

another. I felt there was a

great sense of restlessness

around his spirit, certainly

around my spirit. Missa Solis,

meaning the mass of the sun,

was performed by both the

Melbourne and Sydney Symphonies. For a year I didn't

write at all. When I came back

into the studio, I thought I

have to move on, I've got to

create something. I can't spend

the rest of my life in

perpetual grief. Sarah May Ward

is serving a 25-year jail

sentence for deliberately

running over Eli Westlake. His

family's grief will last

longer. The Art Music Awards

also honoured Peter Sculthorpe

for distinguished services to

Australian music. The Taswegian

recorded a career highlight in

the 1950s he missed seeing

because he was too poor. Louis

Armstrong played a piece of

mine in the old Sydney Stadium

in Ruschcutters Bay and that

was really exciting but I had

returned to Tasmania and I just

couldn't afford the fare to

come to Sydney to hear it. Like

his friend Jimmy Little who

died this week, Sculthorpe was

declared a living National

Treasurer and received a

doctorate from Sydney University. What a wonderful

man he was. The Australian

String Quartet highlight Peter

Sculthorpe's love of Indigenous

music by playing 'Jabiru Dreaming'. Tennis in Canberra

is set for a boost with a $20

million redevelopment at the

Lyneham Tennis Centre winning

approval. The redevelopment

complex will both over 20 new

courts along with other

sporting facilities. It is

hoped the centre will attract tournaments which lead up to

the Australian Open. This

facility is one for the

community and, as a result, you

will see more and more

tournaments that play on the

national programme coming to Canberra. The funding

agreement, which includes $4

million from the ACT

Government, is the culmination

of 10 years of negotiation. To

pull together a number of

different private sector,

sporting and government

partners to get a much-needed

face lift to this important

sporting precinct. Construction

should start by the end of the

year and it is hoped the centre

will open before the end of

Canberra's centenary year. The

Brumbies have made four changes

for this Friday night's game

against the Reds in Brisbane

with Matt Toomua sidelined for

the season after last week's

three-point loss to the Sharks.

Joe Tomane makes his return

prompting a reshuffle. Christian goes back

to the 10, Joe scored two

tries, backs have played as a combination. Brett White

returns to the starting line-up

along with Ita Vaea and Dan

Palmer. A look behind the

scenes at the cyclists'

preparation for the London

Olympics. Australian sports

scientists have gone to

remarkable lengths and employed

high-tech ek per tease to make

sure there are few surprises

for the team. In this corner of

the AIS, there is a little

piece of England. It might look

like a video game but this is

serious science. A mile for

mile, hill for hill recreation

of the London Olympic road

cycling course. It allows the

athletes to go into the gapes

feeling comfortable and feeling

like they have been is there.

That's why we use the title

deja vu. The data was collected

by sneaking Australian riders

on to the course before trial

events and early mornings. A

number of signs that say no

cars, no sies bicycles, do not

enter. Because it was early in

the morning, we decided to give

it a shot. The idea isn't new

but it has come a long way from

walking the course with a video

camera. The amount of data is

staggering. Even weather

information is being used in

wind tunnel testing. They can

look at the effects of cross

winds, different helmets and

different wheels on the types

of weather we will expect in

London. The guinea pigs are AIS

riders who not only helped to

develop the system but work on

pacing strategies and even nutrition, all of which will be

used when the Olympic squad starts training in Europe

before the games. There is a

nice hill about halfway

through, then a tough one about

10km for the end, nice

downhill. It is impossible to

replicate every single bump in

the road and especially

recreate the adrenaline of race

day but it is about making sure

Australia's riders are as

prepared as they can possibly

be. Instead of being scared for

the event, you go into the

event saying "I can't wait

until I get out of turn three,

I will hammer that section,

when I get to the bridge, I can

open it up and take it

home". The Olympic squad will

be named in June. Good job. Oh

dear. Welcome news for art

lovers who are tired of long

queues and crowded galleries.

They can view the highlights of eight age Australian and New

Zealand collections from their

desk top for free. The new

Southern Hemisphere additions

to an online art database were launched at the National

Gallery today. Adrienne Francis

reports. It is billed as a

rich, immersive, artistic

experience. High resolution

experience of the finest

works. People want to get up

close and personal with art. It

is the thing you are not

allowed to do in a

gallery. This gigapixel focus

provides a rare glimpse of

brushwork details not visible

to the human eye. You can touch

these things and dive in. You

will be able to get further and

further into the work to see

every dot. This major work by

pioneer dot painter Clifford

Possum Tjapaltjarri is the

centrepiece of the National

Gallery's contribution to an

online database. It marks the

migration of Aboriginal art

from small board and canvas

paintings to vast desert

landscapes. You will be able to

see the texture of the canvas,

even the odd brush hair that's

left. The gallery spear headed the push for Southern

Hemisphere collections to be

included in the Google

juggernaut. Today more than

1,000 images from galleries and museums across Australia and

New Zealand were uploaded. You

can view the ancient art of the

Arnhem Land Plateau. Having the

rock arts, yeah, being

displayed in modern tech

technology, it is a good

educational tool. Even

scientific artefacts are

included. Collaborating

institutions will hope the

access will draw more visitors,

not less. Our primary aim is to

share our beautiful collections

and visitation is a bonus on

top of that. What began as a

love project by Googlers now

comprises 40,000 images from

different countries. With a

look at today's weather, here

is Mark Carmody. Thanks Virginia. Good evening.

Fellows, if you want to impress

a lady, a bunch of

sweet-smelling Gardenias will

do the trick. If Canberra was

to impress the Easters visitors

like those flocking to the folk

festival, more days like today

will do the trick.

It is lovely now outside.

Clear, light winds and 21

degrees. But the whole region

was terrific today and despite

over cast conditions down the

coast, it was dry. No wonder the State capitals

were fine and sunny as

Australia is mostly clear of

cloud, except for patchy stuff

over central WA which is

generating isolated showers.

That's mainly due to a high in

the Tasman. A cold front in the Bight will bring possible

showers and cooler conditions

to the southern capitals over

the next couple of days and it

might even affect some centres

to the west of Canberra. But

those southern capitals won't

be affected tomorrow as hot

sunny weather will continue.

Virginia, ladies can impress

blokes with Gardenias as well

as my friend Helen did to me

today. Yes, but you are very

easily impressed. Thanks Mark.

Before we go, a brief recap of

the top story tonight - the

ACTU executive looks set to

suspend the Health Services

Union tomorrow over allegations

it has misused members' fees.

That's the news for now. You

have been watching the ABC's

Canberra News bulletin here on ABC1. I'm Virginia Haussegger.

Thanks for joining me. Stay

with us now for '7:30' with

Chris Uhlmann. Goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI

And US forces

get the nod. First the story of

the attorney-general and the

priest. One of the most senior

law makers in the country is

tonight make accused of making derogatory comments about a

woman who alleges she was

abused as a child by a priest.

Until last year NSW