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Dozens arrested during Olympic torch protest

LISA MILLAR: The chaotic scenes in London overnight as protesters targeted the Olympic torch will
no doubt will be worrying Australian organisers.

At times, the London leg of the relay resembled a running brawl. Pro-Tibetan activists repeatedly
grabbed at the torch and its bearers. At one stage a fire extinguisher was used to try to douse the
flame. The torch even made an unscheduled move onto a bus to avoid the melee.

At least 35 people were arrested, the security response was swift and tough and the images
broadcast to the world did little to spread the Olympic messages of peace and cooperation.

The Olympic torch will be taken on a day-long relay through Canberra on April 24.

Organisers are bracing for disruptions. There have already been suggestions the protests will only
grow louder and more violent the longer the torch is on the road.

Karen Barlow reports.

(sounds of protesters shouting)

KAREN BARLOW: Carrying the Olympic flame through London proved a running battle overnight.

(sound of fire extinguisher)

PROTESTER: I tried to put the flame out with a fire extinguisher because China has no right to do
what it's doing.

KAREN BARLOW: Sports people and celebrities holding the flame aloft were surrounded by English
security and Chinese Olympic officials as they ran. But often it wasn't enough.

MAN: Oh, someone, as I speak is trying to grab the torch from Konnie Huq.

KAREN BARLOW: The Olympic torch has a long way to go before it arrives at the Beijing Olympic
cauldron on the opening ceremony night on August 8th.

On April 23 it is due to arrive in Canberra, and torch relay organisers there have been grimly
watching the overnight London images.

TED QUINLAN: Well quite clearly they do cause us some concern.

KAREN BARLOW: Ted Quinlan is the co-chairman of the Canberra Relay Taskforce.

TED QUINLAN: We have always anticipated that there would be some level of protest associated with
the torch relay in Canberra. But now we're seeing, I guess, a heightened level and we hope and
trust that the level that occurred in London doesn't repeat itself across the globe. But if it
does, then we have to take appropriate measures to make sure that the event here runs well, it is
not disrupted.

KAREN BARLOW: The pro-Tibetan and Falun Gong protesters say they are trying to highlight China's
human rights record and say the Beijing Games organisers have been well warned about their plans.

But, Beijing Olympic officials are accusing the activists of sabotaging the torch relay and defying
the Olympic spirit.

It is reported that torch relay organisers, including Chinese officials, did discuss "pulling out"
of the day-long London relay after just a few hours.

One of the London torch bearers, English marathon runner, Paula Radcliffe says the activists are

PAULA RADCLIFFE: It is an important issue which I think people's awareness should be raised too,
but I think this is the wrong way, honestly. This is about sport and this is about the Olympics and
it's not about where the Olympics are going, it's about that torch.

KAREN BARLOW: Canberra security is constantly under review but Ted Quinlan from the Canberra Relay
Taskforce says he has every confidence that the Australian Federal Police will be able to cope on
the day.

TED QUINLAN: Occasionally there will be individuals that feel impassioned or want to pursue the
limelight, whatever, that we have to take account of. We have to really plan for the lowest common

KAREN BARLOW: Are the plans for the Canberra leg of the torch relay set in stone or is there a
possibility of changing it, considering there maybe some disruption?

TED QUINLAN: We've already made some changes to our proposed route given a heightened awareness of
security. So, we're actually working with the Australia Federal Police on the route that will A,
best showcase Canberra, but B, will be able to be maintained at the highest level of security that
is possible.

KAREN BARLOW: So there maybe some secret element that will become apparent on the day?

TED QUINLAN: We would like to avoid that.

KAREN BARLOW: There are prominent Australians involved in the Canberra leg of the torch relay, but
there's also school students. Is there concern for them being young and possibly more vulnerable if
there is any disruption?

TED QUINLAN: The youngest participants are teenagers, quite healthy young people, and there's also
some participants of quite advanced years involved. The security will be there for everybody. We
have to be concerned for every individual and I don't think there's a likelihood that an individual
is going to be attacked in themselves, it just maybe that somebody makes an attempt to wrest the
torch from them or something like that. But there will be sufficient security to avoid that.

KAREN BARLOW: Pro-Tibetan groups are adamant that their Canberra plans are peaceful.

Paul Bourke is the executive officer of the Australian Tibet Council.

PAUL BOURKE: Well, we have always said we were intending to use the torch in Canberra as
opportunity to highlight the Tibet issues. The Australia Tibet Council will be definitely planning
peaceful protests. But as we've seen in London, the behaviour, the actions of individual Tibet
supporters and Tibetans is unpredictable. It's clearly an issue of great concern for them.

KAREN BARLOW: The Olympic flame is now in Paris where it'll stay for a day before being flown to
San Francisco.

LISA MILLAR: Karen Barlow.

ANZ widens bad debt provision

LISA MILLAR: Just when investors thought the recent sharemarket turmoil was almost over,
Australia's third biggest bank has revealed more fallout from the global credit crisis.

In a special update this morning, the ANZ Bank dramatically widened its provisions for bad debt to
almost a billion dollars. That's up more than 70 per cent from this time last year.

And the ANZ's chief executive, Mike Smith, has warned there are more risks on global markets that
are "yet to crystallise".

Business editor Peter Ryan has this report.

PETER RYAN: Almost two months ago, the ANZ's chief executive Mike Smith said the world was
witnessing a financial services bloodbath.

Today, as he widened the bank's bad debt provisions to almost a billion dollars, his message was
equally cautious about the global outlook.

MIKE SMITH: The US economy is slowing and if it's not in recession then it certainly isn't
something that looks like it. World growth will be off more than one per cent, with weakness in the
US and Europe. That will be partially off-set by growth in Asia and here in Australia, the economy
is well placed but tighter monetary policy and credit conditions, mean the economy will begin to
slow and there is certainly some evidence already emerging of that.

PETER RYAN: Concerns about more ripples, or even tremors, on global markets means the ANZ's
provision for bad debt is up almost 71 per cent from a year ago, reflecting difficult credit
conditions for corporate Australia.

While Mike Smith says the losses are yet to materialise, he stressed that in addition to being
vigilant, the ANZ was being conservative and pre-emptive given the uncertain times.

MIKE SMITH: We want to ensure that the ripple effects of the global turmoil are appropriately
recognised so that we are also taking an additional amount to our corrective provisions to reflect
the secondary impacts of the market turmoil generally.

PETER RYAN: Mike Smith says the ANZ was performing well, despite a steep fall in its share price so
far this year. Even so, he believes it's too early to predict an end to the volatility and that the
recent optimism regarding the health of US banks was perhaps premature.

MIKE SMITH: I've heard some people calling the bottom, after the Lehman and UBS recapitalisations,
but I think it's too early. And I think it's going to take, as I said before, two quarters of clear
results without adverse news from the major US banks before we can say we're through this.

PETER RYAN: Mr Smith also spoke for the first time about the collapse of the Melbourne stockbroking
firm Opes Prime.

As the group's key lender, the ANZ is the first in line creditor and has been selling shares held
by Opes Prime to recover the $650-million it's owed.

MIKE SMITH: We all need to remember that ANZ would still be supporting this business if
irregularities had not been discovered inside the company.

PETER RYAN: ANZ's share sell-off comes more than a thousand regular clients of Opes Prime have been
told their investments are uncertain, with some likely to lose their life savings.

But Mike Smith is making no excuses.

MIKE SMITH: We have to protect our commercial position and our shareholders interest. And we're
doing that in a measured and in a careful way, which includes working very closely with regulators
to resolve some of the very complex issues which have emerged in the last few days. But it's tough
for everybody and I know that. When irregularities of this nature occur within a company there are
no winners.

LISA MILLAR: The ANZ's chief executive, Mike Smith, ending that report from business editor Peter

McGauran denies conflict of interest

LISA MILLAR: Former Agriculture minister Peter McGauran appears set to take a job as chief
executive of the Thoroughbred Breeders Association, after last week announcing he was quitting
politics after 25 years.

During last year's equine influenza (EI) outbreak, Mr McGauran granted a $217-million assistance
package to the racing industry, prompting racing chiefs to label Mr McGauran "a saviour".

But Mr McGauran denies this new job presents any conflict of interest. He says the Thoroughbred
Breeders Association wasn't a direct beneficiary of that money, he'd like to accept the job offer
and his conscience is clear.

From Canberra, Sabra Lane reports.

SABRA LANE: You could say the horse has bolted on Peter McGauran's job offer. While he's not yet
accepted the job as chief executive of the Thoroughbred Breeders Association, it's been widely
reported that he will this week.

During last year's equine influenza outbreak, Mr McGauran, as Agriculture minister, granted a
$217-million assistance package to the racing industry, prompting racing bosses to hail him a

But Mr McGauran says the Breeders Association didn't directly benefit from the money. In fact, he
says, he's refused other job offers, because they do pose a problem.

PETER MCGAURAN: Yes, there were other potential offers in the racing or thoroughbred industries
that I did not feel I could not accept. But the Breeders were not the recipients from the
Commonwealth Government directly of any assistance. I'm proud to say, that they would have
benefited enormously from the government's overall assistance during EI, but so would farriers and
truck drivers and jockeys and strappers and trainers and owners and vets.

SABRA LANE: Former Health minister Michael Wooldridge was criticised when he left politics and
joined the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners as a consultant.

And when former Defence minister Peter Reith pulled the plug on politics, he copped a pasting for
becoming a consultant with defence company Tenix.

The Rudd Government's tightening the rules for politicians leaving parliament. In draft guidelines
issued last week, ministers and parliamentary secretaries leaving politics will be banned for 18
months from lobbying in their former portfolio.

Mr McGauran was asked on ABC News Radio, if his new job could be in breach of those draft rules.

PETER MCGAURAN: That may well be so. I haven't seen like so many of the Labor Party's promises, it
translated into action. My conscience is clear on this, I have an expertise in the area, the body I
hope to join was not the recipient of any government funding and it's a very large industry.
Otherwise in effect, I would be disqualified from participating in any aspect of this vast
multi-billion dollar industry, and I think that's delving into the realms of ridiculous.

SABRA LANE: Labor's Special Minister of State Senator John Faulkner has put the guidelines
together. His office says the new guidelines only apply to Labor politicians.

While Peter McGauran is ending his parliamentary career, the spotlight's shifted again to former
treasurer Peter Costello and former Foreign Affairs minister, Alexander Downer.

Brendan Nelson wants the talk on their futures to come to an end as well.

BRENDAN NELSON: It's important, I think, that the speculation surrounding them actually stop.

SABRA LANE: But, while the leader of the Liberals wants them to make up their minds, Dr Nelson's
told Fairfax radio this morning that it's his preference that both former leaders resist the
temptations beyond parliament, and stay.

BRENDAN NELSON: Because if you take in the case of both of these men, the amount of experience that
they've acquired in a long period of time, particularly Downer as the longest serving foreign
minister and a valuable resource when it comes to foreign policy, for example, and Peter Costello
is in treasury and finance. But it's their decision if they do choose to stay or go, but I've said
it publicly before, I'll say it again, that I'd be very happy if they stayed.

SABRA LANE: And longevity is also on the minds of the National Party leaders in Queensland. The
party's decided to ask members to vote on whether the party should merge with the Liberals in

The former federal leader of the Nationals, Tim Fischer, told Radio National that the party has to

TIM FISCHER: The status quo has to go. Unfortunately, the demographic trends are such that we're
uphill on that score. I have an open mind and I'm certainly not going to create more difficulties
for Warren Truss as he manages these issues as a more immediate ex(phonetic).

SABRA LANE: He's handed a submission about the party's future to former Nationals leader John
Anderson, who's reviewing the party and its structure.

His recommendations are due in the middle of the year.

LISA MILLAR: Sabra Lane reporting.

NT education failing Indigenous students, says report

LISA MILLAR: A report into education levels in the Northern Territory claims that 10,000 Indigenous
children have finished school unable to read, write, do simple maths or even speak English.

The Centre for Independent Studies, an economic think tank, says the majority of Aboriginal
students can barely pass even year one tests for literacy and numeracy.

The report's author, Helen Hughes, says rather than blaming the parents, the Territory Government
is failing these children with inadequate or underqualified teachers and ineffective curriculums.

Anne Barker reports.

ANNE BARKER: Professor Helen Hughes of the Centre for Independent Studies recently hosted two
Aboriginal girls from Arnhem Land at her home in Sydney to assess their education.

The girls were 15 and 16 and had gone to school but they could barely read or write, or do the
simplest arithmetic.

HELEN HUGHES: They could not read the signs on the shops. They couldn't read "Top Fruit". I mean,
you know, I said, "Try and read that". They couldn't. I said, "If you can read all the signs around
here, I'll take you to the chocolate shop," because they couldn't read "Chocolate Shop".

ANNE BARKER: Helen Hughes says these two teenagers are symptomatic of an appalling level of
education and teaching in remote Indigenous schools in the Northern Territory.

She says Education Department figures confirm many kids are finishing their schooling without the
equivalent of even Year One literacy or numeracy. Meaning, they barely have the education of five
year olds and are condemned to a life of welfare dependence, unqualified to take any meaningful

And the official data, she says, hides the true extent of the problem.

HELEN HUGHES: The official data from the Department of Education for remote children showed that 20
per cent were passing the benchmark test, which all Australian children do, right? 20 per cent. But
the Department of Education stopped publishing them because they showed such bad results and
because it's known that children who aren't going to pass are not given the test to sit. So, this
20 per cent was a wild exaggeration of the pass rate.

ANNE BARKER: How little schooling are some of these kids getting?

HELEN HUGHES: From what I can gather of the fly-in, fly-out teacher business, a lot of the schools
are not open more than, they're not really getting teaching more that two hours a day, and they're
not getting teaching five days a week by a long shot. I mean, there's a lot of documentation of

ANNE BARKER: Professor Hughes blames the Northern Territory Education Department for simply not
doing its job.

She says Indigenous schools are prohibited from advertising for their own teachers, yet
non-Indigenous schools up the road have been allowed to do so.

She says there's a ban on volunteer remedial teachers going to bush schools in the NT, yet she
knows teachers who would willingly go.

And she says there's a conflict in some communities that run their own airlines that then have a
vested interest to fly teachers in and out for a few hours at a time, rather than hire full-time
resident teachers.

She says the Territory must do more to recruit better teachers and introduce the same curriculum
for all students.

HELEN HUGHES: Fulfil the law, use the mainstream curriculum, prosecute parents if they don't send
their children to school. I don't think that's the problem. I think the parents are concerned,
they're desperate for good teaching, but they're being bullied into putting up with schools and
teaching that no non-Indigenous parents would put up with.

ANNE BARKER: The Territory's Education Minister has challenged the report's claims.

Marion Scrymgour denies her department publishes inaccurate figures and says Helen Hughes has based
her report on just one school.

MARION SCRYMGOUR: Helen Hughes is talking about Yilpara. Now, in some of the discussions that she
said about Yilpara and I just find it astounding that she basis a report and a generalisation
across the Northern Territory, Aboriginal communities based on one small homeland centre.

LISA MILLAR: The Northern Territory Education Minister, Marion Scrymgour, in that report by Anne

Murray-Darling water plan flawed, says expert

LISA MILLAR: After months of disagreements, the Murray-Darling plan was meant to be the answer to
the country's severe water problems. But now a leading expert says it's flawed and needs to be
urgently improved.

Professor Mike Young, a member of the respected Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, says the
deal, finally signed off on by state and federal governments just over a week ago, won't help in
the current drought.

Professor Young says changes should include introducing fines for states that go over their water
allocation cap, and more priority given to environmental river flows.

He's speaking here to Nance Haxton in Adelaide.

MIKE YOUNG: We're in a very, very serious situation. There's been a lot of talk about
over-allocation and about buying volumes and how to do that.

The real problem is we have a foundation which is in the Murray-Darling Basin, which is built
around volumetric concepts. South Australia has a guaranteed flow, which is not being delivered.
There a lot of other things about volumes.

What we need is a sharing regime that's designed for this century, and that means we give people
percentage shares, give states percentage shares and then we appoint an authority at the top, an
independent authority that has one simple responsibility and that is to work out how much water can
be allocated to shareholders. And the environment can be an equal shareholder. As we agreed under
the National Water Initiative it would be.

The Murray-Darling Basin Agreement was designed at the end of a very, very long wet period and it's
not designed to deal with very long dries. It doesn't get storage management right and it doesn't
get sharing right and it doesn't give the environment a share.

So, what I'm suggesting and recommending as strongly as I can is that we need to place a proper
sharing agreement at the top of the Murray-Darling Basin agreement that can be confidently
explained as likely to work no matter what happens.

And we have an opportunity, COAG (Council of Australian Governments) could decide they meet again
in July, to put in there an implementation trigger, that says if it stays dry, if we were to remain
with high salinity levels, we confidently go forward into a new sharing regime.

NANCE HAXTON: Did the agreement that the last COAG meeting came to, did that not really address
these issues that you're speaking of?

MIKE YOUNG: It was a very important step forward and everybody's to be commended to starting to
talk positively about the solutions. But there are many things that we're missing.

We don't have a commitment to do anything more than to buy water. We also have to be very careful
with the modernisation money that's being spent, because being proposed to be spent. The
modernisation money, in many cases, will be taking water that used to flow into the river and
giving it back to irrigators and to towns and cities.

We all have to understand the ground and surface water is connected and that seepage and leakage,
leaks and seeps are back into the river and is already in the river. So, that is not a real saving.

NANCE HAXTON: So what have you concerns is also looking back into past history of the drought in
the 1930s and how long that was and how long that that really could mean this current drought that
we're experiencing this as well.

MIKE YOUNG: One of the ones that's not talked about a lot started in 1938. And if we clip that
period out, that rainfall sequence out, and paste it in starting in 2002 when this drought started,
then this year was a wet year. But it went straight back into a drought and we won't get out of
jail until 2014.

I hope that doesn't happen, but the reality is, we do not have a system in place which enables us
to manage if this drought stays in place for another seven or so years.

NANCE HAXTON: And you're arguing that state should be punished if they go over their cap as well?

MIKE YOUNG: Yes, I continue to be amazed that if an irrigator or a town takes more water than they
were entitled to, then they get fined. But if a state takes more water than it's entitled to, the
Minister only has to apologise to a ministerial council. If we're going to have a system, then it
has to have integrity at the top, as well as integrity at the bottom.

LISA MILLAR: Professor Mike Young speaking to Nance Haxton in Adelaide.

High Court judge to rule on Zimbabwe election result release

LISA MILLAR: In just a few hours, a High Court judge is expected to announce whether or not he will
force the release of the Zimbabwe's presidential election results.

During the anxious wait, President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF Party is calling for a recount of
the votes.

The opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai says it's absurd to talk of a second count before the
result of the first count is made known. And besides, he says, any recount called now would be both
illegal and impractical.

Around the world, people are raising placards and prayers for a peaceful resolution to the
political impasse, as Ashley Hall reports.

(MDC supporters singing)

ASHLEY HALL: These supporters of Zimbabwe's opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change or
MDC, rallied outside Zimbabwe's embassy in London over the weekend.

Their placards say they want the international community to intervene to settle the stalemate over
Zimbabwe's presidential election. Held more than a week ago, the results are yet to be revealed.

MDC SUPPORTER: Everybody can see what is going on. Come on guys, where are you? Why are they not
supporting not us in what is going on, what is going on back home. We need it, I mean, we all know
that Zimbabwe needs change right now. We need it now, we need it like yesterday, not even tomorrow.
You know, we are so desperate for the change.

ASHLEY HALL: It's a call echoed by the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: They can give us moral support. They can plead with Mugabe to see that he has
lost this election; he must concede defeat and let the country move forward. That is the minimum
we're asking.

ASHLEY HALL: Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown says the pleas are not falling on deaf ears.

Mr Brown says there's a consensus among African leaders that independent observers should be
present, if the presidential election goes to a run-off.

GORDON BROWN: In addition to talking to President Mbeki about that, to talk to President Museveni
in Uganda, President Kikwete who's head of the African Union, and the determination of everybody is
that not only are results not delayed where that is unnecessary, but equally the results are seen
to be fair and that requires the observers that we've just been talking about.

ASHLEY HALL: The High Court will rule later today whether to force the disclosure of the results.
Opposition officials spent four hours before the court, arguing for the results release.

But the electoral commission argued that the court has no jurisdiction. President Mugabe's party,
the Zanu-PF wants a recount before the results are released, because of what it calls
"irregularities" in the vote.

But an MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa says the Zanu-PF just wants more time to rig the result.

NELSON CHAMISA: They wanted to manipulate the votes, they failed to manipulate the vote and now
what they're trying to do is to find a back door route to try and reverse the people's will. We're
not going to accept that nonsense.

ASHLEY HALL: And Morgan Tsvangirai says his party, the MDC, will return to court to challenge any

MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: Well, it's ridiculous and absurd to talk of a recount before you know what the
result is.

ASHLEY HALL: Unofficial tallies show that Mr Tsvangirai won more votes than President Mugabe, but
not the more than 50 per cent required to avoid a run-off.

MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: If they announce a run off, we will challenge it. On the two basis, on the basis
that we are actually above 50 per cent, on the basis that even with the 49 per cent that I am the
outright winner.

ASHLEY HALL: The opposition is worried that President Mugabe will use any delays to unleash
violence on his opponents. And there are reports that his supporters are already moving to
violently seize the few remaining white-owned farms.

Morgan Tsvangirai says if the opposition takes power, there would be no retribution against Mugabe
supporters. But for a peaceful transition to occur, Mr Mugabe should stand down quickly.

MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: My view is that he has to concede defeat in order for us to give him that
honourable exit.

ASHLEY HALL: With all eyes focused on the coming High Court decision, opposition supporters are
placing their hopes in a judge to help bring Mr Tsvangiari to power.

But others, like this pastor at a church in Harare, believe it will take more than a court decision
to settle Zimbabwe's problems.

ZIMBABWEAN CHURCH PASTOR: I really think it means God's intervention. At this point, because the,
of course this morning I heard that the MDC filed reports to the application in the High Court. But
because of the rule of law, absence of the rule of law in Zimbabwe, they are not likely to succeed.

LISA MILLAR: That's a pastor in Harare, ending Ashley Hall's report.

Thousands call for Betancourt's release

LISA MILLAR: Rallies have been held across France to call for the release of Ingrid Betancourt,
seized six years ago by Colombian rebels and now believed to be gravely ill.

The biggest rally, in Paris, was attended by the wife of the French President, the country's
Foreign Minister and the visiting Argentinian President.

Ms Betancourt's son Lorenzo appealed for a large turnout at the rallies, saying his mother would be
dead within a matter of weeks if she was not freed and given urgent medical attention.

Barbara Miller has this report.

BARBARA MILLER: Ingrid Betancourt was kidnapped in February 2002 while campaigning for the
Colombian presidency.

But she grew up in Paris, holds dual French-Colombian citizenship and was married to a French
diplomat, with whom she had two children.

Ingrid Betancourt's strong links to France mean the country has taken her plight to its heart.

Thousands of people turned out for rallies this weekend to call on FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces
of Colombia) rebels to release her.

Among the demonstrators in Paris was the Carla Bruni, the wife of the French President Nicolas

CARLA BRUNI: My message is not, we're not going to renounce and we'll try the most we can do and we
keep the hope with her family until she'll be back.

BARBARA MILLER: In Colombia too, there were renewed calls for Ms Betancourt's release.

A bishop in a jungle town near where she is believed to be being held appealed to the rebels to
negotiate on freeing her and other hostages.

Concern for Ingrid Betancourt's well-being has been growing since a video was released several
months ago in which she appeared pale, thin and weak. The hostage is thought to be suffering from
Hepatitis B and a tropical skin disease.

And her son Lorenzo, who was 13 when she was kidnapped, says Ingrid Betancourt's life will fade
away within a matter of weeks, if she is not given a blood transfusion.

In published excerpts of a letter he has written to his mother, Lorenzo Delloye-Betancourt pleads
with his mother not to give up.

EXCERPT OF LETTER BY LORENZO DELLOYE-BETANCOURT: In these terrible moments of doubt and defeat, say
to yourself, I beg of you that just a little farther on, beyond the jungle we are here, we are
thinking of you. Your strength has always carried us. It is our turn now to carry you.

BARBARA MILLER: France has sent a humanitarian mission to Colombia to treat Ingrid Betancourt. And
the French President Nicolas Sarkozy last week appealed directly to the FARC leader for her

The Colombian President Alvaro Uribe has said he'll support the mission.

ALVARO URIBE (translated): Once the competent authorities are informed by the humanitarian mission
of the coordinates of the place they must go to help the hostages, Ingrid Betancourt and the other
hostages will suspend all military actions to facilitate their work.

BARBARA MILLER: But following the recent killing in an operation by Colombian authorities of FARC's
senior negotiator, relations between the Marxist rebels and President Uribe are at a low.

And Barry Carr, the Director of the Institute of Latin American Studies at La Trobe University,
says in the past similar promises have been broken.

BARRY CARR: That is a very, very delicate issue and there have been a number of occasions in the
past, similar occasions, when in spite of promises from the Columbian Government that it would
suspend operations, nevertheless ministry operations have occurred. At the same time, we also have
to say that the FARC itself has shown itself to be often an unreliable negotiator for a variety of

BARBARA MILLER: FARC won't give up its most high-profile hostage easily.

But allowing the woman who's been referred to as the Colombian Joan of Arc to die could seriously
damage the rebels' cause.

BARRY CARR: She's somebody who's enjoyed considerable prestige as a human rights fighter and as an
ecological activist. So, her death would be a tremendous public relations blow for the FARC if it
would happen.

LISA MILLAR: Barry Carr, the Director of the Institute of Latin American Studies at La Trobe
University, ending Barbara Miller's report.

Tenth anniversary of waterfront dispute

LISA MILLAR: It's ten years ago today that more 1,400 dock workers were sacked, wharves were
closed, and a seven week strike began.

What became a high stakes industrial dispute began when the wharves were closed after Patrick
Corporation sacked the unionised work force.

The Maritime Workers Union today says it's been vindicated as its staff are now back working, the
Howard government has gone and so have the majority of Patrick employees working at the time.

But the man who led the dispute, Chris Corrigan, says it had to happen to bring about reform.

Brigid Glanville reports.

SACKED MARTIME WORKER: Scabs come out of the s***house, you low bludgers! You low (inaudible).
Hundreds of workers are out of work, how do youse feel?! How do youse feel, you dirty low bludgers!

BRIGID GLANVILLE: It was 10 years ago today that one of the country's most bitter industrial
disputes began when 1,400 workers were sacked around the country.

What began was a seven week campaign of protests and a fight between the Maritime Workers Union and
the Howard government.

Frank and Gavin Bostick protested at Port Botany in Sydney for seven weeks after they were sacked.

Today, Frank Bostick is retired and his son has his job back working on the wharves. Frank Bostick
told the ABC's Philippa McDonald this morning what happened on that day.

FRANK BOSTICK: I went and woke him up and said we'd lost our jobs and I sad we went and had a quick
shower and we went straight down to the job and it was horrific. It was like going to war down
there. Everyone just locked in. We stayed down there, we virtually lived down there, actually, on
the waterfront.

BRIGID GLANVILLE: The government and the company behind the workers, Patrick Stevedores, wanted
reform on the wharves.

Peter Reith was the minister for workplace relations and small business in charge of the
waterfront. Mr Reith said it was not a war against the unions.

PETER RIETH: This is not about union busting, it's about creating a more efficient waterfront for
the good of the whole country.

BRIGID GLANVILLE: The assistant secretary of the ACTU 10 years ago was Greg Combet.

Today, he still has vivid memories of the events.

GREG COMBET: I received a telephone call at about 11pm, I think it was, with reports that
balaclavad security guards with attack dogs had come onto the waterfront and that they employees
had been locked out. So, it was pretty shocking news but we knew something was coming and I in fact
went back to bed because I knew that I'd need all the strength that I could get for the next day
and the weeks that ensued.

BRIGID GLANVILLE: While the government claims it was about reform, Greg Combet says it was more
about prime minister John Howard's first attempt to curb the power of the unions.

GREG COMBET: This was a dispute that was created and instigated by the Howard government, and when
you cut away a lot of the rhetoric about the dispute, what was at the core of it was John Howard's
desire to break the Maritime Union of Australia.

BRIGID GLANVILLE: A spokeswoman has told ABC TV that Mr Howard was very proud of the waterfront
reform, instituted by his government. He has delivered permanent improvements in productivity at
the ports and had been of great benefit to the Australian economy.

Mr Howard notes that those reforms had been bitterly opposed by the Australian Labor Party.

The current national secretary of the Maritime Workers Union is Paddy Crumlin. He says 10 years on
he has mixed feelings about the bloody dispute.

PADDY CRUMLIN: In human terms, measure it in the cost of marriages, broken marriages, broken homes,
loss of homes, depression. An enormous human cost. You can't lock people out of their workplace for
six weeks, seven weeks, remove all of their legal rights, conspire against them in the way that the
federal government and Patrick did and not have some sort of crushing emotional affect on them, and
that is measurable, still measurable today.

BRIGID GLANVILLE: Ten years ago, Patrick Stevedores was run by Chris Corrigan, he was unavailable
for an interview today. But has consistently defended the need for change and claimed improvements
in productivity vindicates his part in the dispute.

LISA MILLAR: Brigid Glanville.

Bob Irwin discusses Australia Zoo decision

LISA MILLAR: The father of crocodile hunter Steve Irwin has spoken about his decision to leave the
business he founded, amid rumours of a rift with his daughter-in-law Terri.

Bob Irwin now lives a reclusive life on a property at Kingaroy in south-east Queensland, and is
continuing his conservation work there.

He's spoken to ABC Television's Australian Story.

Donna Field reports.

DONNA FIELD: In the 1970s Bob Irwin, a plumber from Melbourne, and his wife Lynn bought four acres
of land on the Sunshine Coast and started a reptile park.

That Park has grown into one of Australia's biggest tourist attractions: Australia Zoo.

But Bob Irwin has walked away from the business and conservation work he's devoted nearly 40 years

BOB IRWIN: I honestly don't believe Steve minds where I am. I think he'd be more than content, as
long as he knows that I'm continuing with the work that he'd want me to continue with. I don't
think he'd care really where I did it.

DONNA FIELD: Steve Irwin was killed by a stingray in 2006 and his widow, Terri Irwin, now owns
Australia Zoo.

It's been the subject of bad press for weeks. A court case in which Australia Zoo is being pursued
for $2.5-million in alleged debts, poor conservation practices and the rumours of a family rift
between Terri Irwin and her father-in-law.

Speaking exclusively to Australian Story after being pursued by commercial media to tell his story,
Bob Irwin says it's best for everyone that he moves on.

BOB IRWIN: I've obviously put a lot of thought into the decision I made because it's affected a lot
of people. It's not just me, it's the people at the zoo, it's my own personal friends, the wildcare
people that I deal with and it goes on and on. So, it's not just my decision. But I still firmly
believe that even though it's better for me and for Judy to start our new move on the property,
it's also better for Australia Zoo, not to have a disruptive influence.

DONNA FIELD: Mr Irwin says he'll miss many things about Australia Zoo, but pointedly his
daughter-in-law isn't mentioned.

BOB IRWIN: I'll miss the staff at Australia Zoo. A lot of those people I've worked with for a long
period of time and they are good friends of mine and I hope they continue to be.

DONNA FIELD: Bob Irwin is continuing conservation work at a property at Kingaroy in south-east
Queensland. Since leaving Australia Zoo, media speculation about why he left has been intense.
Something Bob Irwin has shied away from.

BOB IRWIN: I don't have the talent with the media that Steve had. To be perfectly honest with you,
the media frightened me. I would much rather catch crocodiles than sit here talking to a camera.

DONNA FIELD: But his son successfully combined both, making him the international star, the
Crocodile Hunter, and catapulting Australia Zoo into the spotlight. Bob Irwin says all the
exuberance Steve Irwin exhibited in front of the camera took a toll.

BOB IRWIN: People don't realise just how much he gave of himself. He was always very good in front
of the media and a lot of the pain and the suffering didn't show through and I just feel that if I
can live the rest of my life out doing what Steve would actually want me to do and do that
successfully, then I would be prepared to go and shake hands with him again.

LISA MILLAR: Bob Irwin, the father of the late Steve Irwin, ending Donna Field's report. And
Australian Story can be seen at eight o'clock this evening on ABC-1.

The Milky Way turns galactic cannibal

LISA MILLAR: If you don't like the neighbours, eat them. That seems to be the approach of the
Galaxy in which we live with astronomers believing the Milky Way is acting like a cannibal.

Star gazers at the Australian National University have been watching the Milky Way gobble up a
smaller galaxy.

Felicity Ogilvie reports.

FELICITY OLGIVIE: It's a scenario that sounds like it's straight out of a science fiction novel.

Astronomers from the Australian National University have been looking at the skies above Canberra
watching the galaxy we live in, the Milky Way, eating a small neighbouring galaxy.

Astronomer Stefan Keller says the smaller galaxy that's being torn apart is 10,000 times smaller
than the Milky Way

STEFAN KELLER: The small galaxy, as it orbits around our own galaxy, it increasingly gets stripped.
So the stars are lagging behind it and also in front of it and forming a narrow ribbon of stars
that wrap around, around the Milky Way.

FELICITY OLGIVIE: The smaller galaxy is called the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy.

It's being torn apart because it can't fight the gravitational pull of a mysterious substance in
the Milky Way called dark matter.

STEFAN KELLER: So there's this mysterious dark matter out there. Now, we can't see the dark matter
by definition, but our study can see its gravitational pull on the small galaxy that's being
consumed in this case.

FELICITY OLGIVIE: Another astronomer from the Australian National University who's been watching
our galaxy devouring its neighbour is Simon Murphy.

Mr Murphy says there's a direct link between the gravitational power of the dark matter inside the
Milky Way and the creation of planets, like the Earth.

SIMON MURPHY: The interaction of our galaxy, ripping apart another galaxy can stir up the gas and
dust, and those stirring up of the gas and dust create stars, like the Sun and the stars around the
Sun, and from the creation of stars comes the creation of planets, just like the Earth.

FELICITY OLGIVIE: This isn't the first time the Milky Way has eaten one of its neighbours.
Astronomers think it may have drawn in up to 50 other galaxies.

Stefan Keller says the Milky Way needs to keep acting as a cannibal for life on Earth to continue.
Mr Keller says the Milky Way couldn't exist if it didn't draw in other galaxies with its dark

STEFAN KELLER: It turns out that it's a vital part of the evolution of the galaxy, that modern
theories predict that there's been a large number of such merger events, and in fact, if they
weren't such events, that the Milky Way would cease to be such a vibrant galaxy. The star formation
would shut down after a few billion years.

FELICITY OLGIVIE: Simon Murphy says the Milky Way has only just started making a meal of the
Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy.

SIMON MURPHY: Obviously, with astronomy the further we look, the further we look into the sky the
further we back in time we're looking, but this is happening right now. I mean, this is a process
which has been occurring over millions of years, but we are actually seeing this galaxy being eaten
by the Milky Way right now, as I'm talking to you, it's being slowly consumed.

FELICITY OLGIVIE: The astronomers say it could take millions of years for the Milky Way to finish
eating its neighbour.

LISA MILLAR: Felicity Ogilvie reporting.

Actor-activist Charlton Heston remembered

LISA MILLAR: Charlton Heston is being remembered around the world today as one of Hollywood's
greatest leading men after his death on the weekend at his Beverly Hills home.

He played heroic figures in the movie epics of the 50s and 60s, portraying Moses and Michelangelo,
and winning an Oscar as the chariot-racing Ben Hur.

In his later years, when the film roles got smaller, he became a prominent public figure with his
crusade against gun control. But Charlton Heston didn't always play the role of a gun-toting
conservative in America's political theatre, as Paula Kruger reports.

PAULA KRUGER: Standing six foot three Charlton Heston muscular build, chiselled good looks and rich
resonant voice made him a star during an era when Hollywood was obsessed with filling movie screens
with epic films on the religious and historical past.

(excerpt from the film "The Ten Commandments")

MOSES: When darkness has covered Egypt for three days, your ministers will send for me.

(end of excerpt)

PAULA KRUGER: Bare-chested in many of his major roles, Charlton Heston once said he had a face that
belonged to another century.

He won an Oscar for his lead role in "Ben Hur", he spent weeks learning how to race chariots in
what became one of the most memorable action scenes in film history.

He later curse humankind in the "Planet of the Apes".

(excerpt from the film "Planet of the Apes")

GEORGE TAYLOR: God damn you! God, damn you all to hell!

(end of excerpt)

PAULA KRUGER: And one of his most famous roles was that of Moses in "The Ten Commandments".

(excerpt from the film "The Ten Commandments")

MOSES: Behold His mighty hand!

(end of excerpt)

PAULA KRUGER: One of his most memorable scenes from that film was when Heston held aloft his staff
and parted the Red Sea.

Many years later, when the wave of big film roles dried up to a trickle of soap opera appearances,
Charlton Heston would again become famous but not for being an actor.

In 2001, after being elected chairman of the National Rifle Association (NRA) for an unprecedented
fourth term, he held aloft a 230-year-old musket and electrified NRA members by saying he had only
five words for them.

CHARLTON HESTON (2001): From my cold dead hands!

(audience applauds)

PAULA KRUGER: He was the most popular and prominent leader for the crusade against gun control in
the United States.

Emilie Raymond is the author of the book "From my Cold Dead Hands: Charlton Heston and American

She told the BBC, Heston help unite the nation's conservatives.

EMILIE RAYMOND: It gave him a sense of pride, you know, finally we here we have someone who is
speaking our language, he's a celebrity, he's very admired. So, it brought a sense of pride to the
organisation. But for people who did not like the NRA's message, it was potentially a little scary,
you know, to have someone of his stature saying, "From my cold dead hands" in such a menacing

PAULA KRUGER: Heston was still a young man when he first got involved in political issues, but, at
first at least, he could hardly be labelled a conservative.

Like many Hollywood figures, he was opposed to the anti-communist witch hunt lead by Republican
senator Joe McCarthy.

Four years later he backed John F. Kennedy in his fight for the Presidency.

He stood with Martin Luther King, a man he described as a modern day Moses, on the steps of the
Lincoln Memorial after a civil rights march on Washington.

Heston was a good friend of Ronald Reagan, and it was during the Reagan presidency that his
politics seemed to change.

He still believed he was battling for civil liberties, but that the new enemy was 'political

His position as head of the National Rifle Association will be one of his most memorable roles in
US history. But it was a role that made him the target of film-maker Michael Moore in "Bowling for

In the film, Michael Moore approached Heston at his home and talked the screen legend into an
interview about gun ownership.

(excerpt from the film "Bowling for Columbine")

CHARLTON HESTON: I'm exercising one of the rights passed on to me from those wise old dead white
guys that invented this country. If it was good enough for them, it was good enough for me.

MICHAEL MOORE: But you could still exercise the right just by having the gun unloaded and locked
away somewhere.

CHARLTON HESTON: I know. I choose to have it.

(end of excerpt)

PAULA KRUGER: There were attempts by both Democrats and Republicans to get Charlton Heston to run
for office, but he didn't like the idea of giving up show business and instead wanted to combine
activism with acting.

Republican Presidential candidate John McCain preferred to pay tribute to Heston's earlier role in
the civil rights movement saying he was a real life leader.

Heston revealed in 2002 that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease but his family haven't
revealed exactly what caused him to die on the weekend at 84-years of age.

LISA MILLAR: Paula Kruger reporting.