Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant or accept liability for the accuracy or usefulness of the transcripts.These are copied directly from the broadcaster's website.
RN World Today -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

Arrests, skirmishes mar Canberra torch leg

Arrests, skirmishes mar Canberra torch leg

The World Today - Thursday, 24 April , 2008 12:10:00

Reporter: Karen Barlow

ELEANOR HALL: But first to the national capital where the Olympic torch relay has ended its
Australian leg, with no repeat of the violent scenes witnessed in France, England and India.

The event wasn't without incident though - there have been at least five arrests and there were
some angry skirmishes between pro-Tibetan and pro-Chinese demonstrators and police.

(Sounds of demonstrators)

ELEANOR HALL: The sound of protesters demonstrating as the Olympic torch made its way through the
streets of Canberra this morning.

But the conflict on the sidelines wasn't enough to wipe the smiles from the faces of the
torchbearers - a list of well known Australians, including Olympians Ian Thorpe, Marjorie Jackson
and Ron Clarke and Australian of the Year, Lee Kernaghan.

Our reporter Karen Barlow has been following the torch's journey in Canberra and she joins us now.

So Karen, how are organisers summing up today's event?

KAREN BARLOW: Organisers say this has been a major success. The Canberra torch relay ran ahead of
time. There was no deviations to the route. Yes, they acknowledge there were a few skirmishes but
they say in general, it was all good-natured fun. In fact they kind of say it was a friendly
football game between protesters.

ELEANOR HALL: Now you were in the crowd, how would you describe the mood?

KAREN BARLOW: Generally it has been jovial. Very patriotic. I mean the many, many thousands of
people here at the end of the torch relay route are still waiting there. A sea of red flags around.
It is literally, as far as the eye can see, there was great happiness and uproar when Ian Thorpe
came through as the last torchbearer surrounded by 20 Australian Federal Police but it is now a
concert atmosphere here at stage 88.

ELEANOR HALL: We've been hearing a lot about the large Chinese nationalist presence, how many
people were lining the streets of the nation's capital and how many are still out there now?

KAREN BARLOW: There are many thousands still here. Officials have not given us an official estimate
just yet, but you could safely say that there is more than 30,000 in the immediate area. I would
say though that it is a big surprise to even the Chinese here. I spoke to them a little while ago
and one of them said to me "we didn't even believe there were that many Chinese people in Australia
- this is a big surprise".

ELEANOR HALL: And there were at least five arrests. Did you see any conflict between the different
protest groups?

KAREN BARLOW: I had seen some instances. I saw a burning of a soviet flag, a hammer and sickle red
flag. That person who burnt that flag shortly before the whole torch relay got underway was taken
away by about six police officers under these security rules that have been brought in for today.

There have been some chanting and taunting and I have actually spoken to an ABC reporter and
cameraman who filmed a intimidating scene not very far away from where I am now where one Tibetan
protester was surrounded by about 50 chanting and yelling Chinese students.

The students were yelling "go home, go home, liar, liar". This has now disbursed.

ELEANOR HALL: What happened to that protester in the middle?

KAREN BARLOW: I think it all disbursed. The camera people say that it shot the stuff and then it
kind of disbursed and the Chinese students went back into the general pool of people.

ELEANOR HALL: And Karen, tell us a bit about the security presence and what actually is planned now
for the rest of the day there?

KAREN BARLOW: Well, as I said before it is a concert atmosphere now. There are people sort of
milling around. You can probably hear the drums in the background. There has been lots of drums
today. There is going to be (inaudible) later on and a rock concert. There is going to be
(inaudible).

There is going to be a turning off of the cauldron which Ian Thorpe lit when he came through and
then later on today, officials will tell us exactly how many people were here and how they felt
about the day.

ELEANOR HALL: Karen Barlow at the Olympic torch relay in Canberra, thank you.

Rumours fly about collapsed Chartwell

Rumours fly about collapsed Chartwell

The World Today - Thursday, 24 April , 2008 12:13:00

Reporter: Rachael Brown

ELEANOR HALL: Administrators are back in Victoria's bay-side suburb of Geelong today, sifting
through the remnants of the collapsed share trading company, Chartwell Enterprises.

But while Australia's corporate watchdog investigates, rumours are circulating about offshore bank
accounts and bankruptcy.

Chartwell's director Graeme Hoy is yet to address his 80 distressed investors who stand to lose
millions of dollars.

And as the casualty count of failing stockbroking firms mounts, the Victorian Premier is
questioning whether the country's financial regulators should have been more vigilant.

In Melbourne, Rachael Brown reports.

RACHAEL BROWN: As administrators begin the tedious task of sifting through records and shredded
paper, investors are wondering why they didn't see the collapse coming.

The Victorian Premier, John Brumby, says Chartwell's promises of exorbitant returns should've been
enough to trigger alarm bells.

JOHN BRUMBY: They've been offering returns of 20 to 40 per cent. They've been offering people 70
per cent returns.

Well, if you were an investor, investing money and that, you would hope, I think, that the national
regulatory system was keeping an eye on claims like that and making sure that such claims couldn't
be made unless they were honest and reliable.

RACHAEL BROWN: Premier Brumby has raised questions whether the federal regulators could have been
more vigilant to protect investors.

JOHN BRUMBY: The Chartwell collapse, Opus Prime again, some others of course, and, you know,
there's speculation that there may be more who are in trouble.

So if you speak to businesses in this area, if you speak to the banks they'll tell you that the
national regulation system, it's pretty heavy handed. There's thousands of pages of forms you have
to fill in, big costs, but is it actually protecting the public from the poor operators - the ones
that are the most risky.

RACHAEL BROWN: He's hoping that a federal review into the finance regulation system will reveal how
such volatile companies have been falling though the cracks.

JOHN BRUMBY: Is it a good idea to have national regulation - yes it is. Is it working as well as it
could? I think the answer to that is a question mark.

RACHAEL BROWN: ASIC remains quiet, maintaining it can't comment while an investigation is underway
- a line echoed by the Federal Corporate Governance Minister, Nick Sherry.

He is seeking rapid responses to a green paper dealing with the troubled financial services sector,
focusing on the largely unregulated practice of margin lending.

This could see the approval of a new system at the October Council of Australian Governments
meeting.

For now, Chartwell administrator, Bruno Secatore says there's no point playing the blame game.

BRUNO SECATORE: It's always too easy to blame the regulator or the law, the administrators. We've
got a job. We're here to try and unravel this mystery.

RACHAEL BROWN: Mr Secatore is still trying to track down missing company records and chequebooks,
stolen by angry investors who rampaged through Chartwell's office after learning of the collapse.

So he says he can't confirm reports Mr Hoy was sending millions of dollars to offshore accounts in
Vanuatu and the British Virgin Islands.

BRUNO SECATORE: We did get hold of a document yesterday afternoon which was made available by an
investor showing that there was an account in Vanuatu back in 2006 so we are already starting to
look at that.

RACHAEL BROWN: Mr Hoy has failed to return any of the ABC's calls.

The administrator spent the bulk of yesterday investigating his background including previous
directorships and properties.

BRUNO SECATORE: One of the searches that we have undertaken overnight reveals that Graeme Hoy was
bankrupted in 1993 and discharged in 1996. So when I am speaking with Graeme today, I'll ask him if
that was him and what the circumstances regarding that was.

RACHAEL BROWN: And there's evidence that the company has been in trouble for quite some time?

BRUNO SECATORE: Look, I think Rachael from the initial documentation that we got yesterday
afternoon we were finally able to start looking at last night - it certainly hasn't happened
overnight. There is some correspondence there from investors seeking to get returns on their
investments or trying to take their investments out at least around about June last year.

And, I think from some bank statements that we've seen, it looks like that investor monies that
were coming in were actually being used to make returns to other investors.

So that's just a preliminary brush and obviously until such time we get all the documentation,
there is a lot more to unravel.

ELEANOR HALL: That is Chartwell administrator Bruno Secatore ending that report from Rachael Brown
in Melbourne.

Zimbabwe recount continues

Zimbabwe recount continues

The World Today - Thursday, 24 April , 2008 12:15:00

Reporter: Lindy Kerin

ELEANOR HALL: The first results in the recount of the disputed election in Zimbabwe are beginning
to come through and at this stage are confirming the initial count.

The opposition MDC says the recount is designed to rig the election.

But the international community appears likely to increase the pressure on Zimbabwe by imposing an
arms embargo on the country.

The UK government has called for an international embargo to prevent a shipment of weapons from
China entering the troubled region, as Lindy Kerin reports.

LINDY KERIN: The recount began on Saturday but so far only two results have been declared.

The ruling and opposition parties have both held onto one seat each.

The Opposition Movement for Democratic Change which requested the recount, claims at least 10
people have been killed and up to 500 injured in post-election violence.

Today there are further claims by residents in the country's capital that those who voted against
Robert Mugabe are being punished.

ZIMBABWEAN CITIZEN: They took us to their truck, those green trucks, and on their arrival, we
climbed into the truck and the truck was full. There were around 20 to 25, and they started to take
turns beating us, using fists, using djambogos (phonetic), using baton sticks, chattel (phonetic)
sticks, with everything. With some objects we had, you can't identify them.

LINDY KERIN: Yesterday church leaders in Zimbabwe called for international action to stop the
violence developing into genocidal proportions.

The Secretary-General of Catholic Bishops, Father Frederick Chiromba has warned there'll be further
violence if the results from the country's presidential elections are not released soon.

FREDERICK CHIROMBA: For most people in this country, you know, elections are sort of sacred, the
right to vote is sort of sacred. And when that right is tampered with, one never knows how people
may react. We cannot take people for granted and hence this strong warning of the church over the
matter.

LINDY KERIN: In a bid to prevent further violence Britain is calling for an international arms
embargo against Zimbabwe.

A Chinese ship carrying weapons lies off the southern African coast - the exact whereabouts are
unknown.

The British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has told parliament the weapons must not reach Zimbabwe.

GORDON BROWN: I call on the whole world to express its view that this is completely unacceptable to
the whole of the international community.

We will promote, because of what's happened in South Africa, where there is an arms shipment,
trying to get to Zimbabwe, we will promote proposals for an embargo on all arms to Zimbabwe and at
the same time, we ask all the African Union observers and international observers to make their
views known about the unfairness of this election.

LINDY KERIN: Gordon Brown made the announcement before his meeting with Jacob Zuma, the leader of
South Africa's ruling ANC party.

Jacob Zuma says they agreed the situation in Zimbabwe needed to be addressed but he didn't think an
arms embargo was necessary.

JACOB ZUMA: I think what Africa has done on the vessel that was carrying weapons, that's what I
think at the moment, has been done and supported, and I've heard that one African leader for an
example has said, it should not dock anywhere else. I think we're at that stage at the moment.

LINDY KERIN: The South African leader did however express concern about recent events in Zimbabwe.

JACOB ZUMA: We are disturbed by the reports that there is now some violence in Zimbabwe and that's
part of the reason we are saying there needs to be an intervention in Zimbabwe - if the Zimbabweans
on their own cannot deal with the matter.

LINDY KERIN: The state-run Herald newspaper is calling for a transitional government of national
unity as a way of resolving the political impasse.

Andrew Meldrum worked in Zimbabwe for more than two decades as a correspondent for the Economist
and the Guardian.

He was expelled in 2003 and is now a visiting fellow at Harvard University.

He told Radio National the call for a power-sharing government is a significant development.

ANDREW MELDRUM: That paper ordinarily does not say anything, does not say boo without Robert Mugabe
saying that's OK. So the fact that they're suggesting something that Mr Mugabe is clearly against,
shows that there are, there is considerable discontent, even within Mr Mugabe's own ruling clique.

ELEANOR HALL: And that's the former Zimbabwe correspondent for the Economist and the Guardian,
Andrew Meldrum ending Lindy Kerin's report.

Rudd honours HMAS Sydney at memorial

Rudd honours HMAS Sydney at memorial

The World Today - Thursday, 24 April , 2008 12:19:00

Reporter: Paula Kruger

(Sound of Bells Ringing)

ELEANOR HALL: The sound of a bell tolling for the 645 crew members who died aboard HMAS Sydney in
1941.

More than 66 years after the loss of the Sydney, a national service has been held to remember those
who were killed when the ship disappeared without a trace in World War Two - its wreck only
discovered this year.

More than 1000 people crammed into St Andrews Cathedral in the heart of the city of Sydney for the
service. Most of them were relatives of those who died.

Paula Kruger is at the service and joins us now.

So Paula, what is the mood there at St Andrews Cathedral?

PAULA KRUGER: Well Eleanor, as you can hear the bells are tolling once again outside of St Andrews
Cathedral as the ceremony has drawn to a close. It was quite busy here initially considering it was
a memorial service.

In the minutes before the ceremony was due to start, there was still a huge queue of people trying
to get in. Unlike the service on board HMAS Anzac about a week and a half ago, near the site of the
wreck of the Sydney, today's national service of thanksgiving and remembrance was open to all
relatives of the 645 people who died 66 years ago.

Inside the cathedral there was more than a thousand people. They were just crammed into every
available space and then on the outside, in-between, the cathedral is next door to Sydney Town Hall
and in-between there is a public space and there was another 200 people out there watching the
service on a screen.

For those who are familiar with Sydney, you would know that it is in the middle of a major
thoroughfare. You've got busy St George Street, you've got traffic, you've got pedestrians walking
past and despite that you had 200 people standing outside in silent tribute during the whole
service.

ELEANOR HALL: This is an historic event. Who were the dignitaries there at the service?

PAULA KRUGER: There was, as I said, it was mainly family inside but you had former and current
serving officers from HMAS Sydney. The NSW Governor Marie Bashir represented the Governor-General
and addressed the service.

There was also Rear Admiral Andrew Robertson. Now he is the patron of HMAS Sydney Association. He
was also part of the sometimes emotional service and he described those first moments, 66 years
ago, when they realised that the ship was missing after a routine patrol off the coast of Western
Australia.

ANDREW ROBERTSON: The Sydney turned back for Fremantle on the 17th of November, 1941. Six days
later, when three days overdue, the naval board ordered her to break radio silence - with no reply.
On the afternoon of the 19th of November, Sydney had sighted what she took to be a merchant ship,
was in fact the disguised German raider HSK Kormoran.

Both ships were lost in a subsequent battle. Sydney was lost will all 645 hands including RAAF
personnel.

But their tragic sacrifice was not without considerable value for the Kormoran had already sunk no
less than 11 ships. The Sydney like her predecessor had removed a major threat to shipping and it
was on shipping that the whole Allied war effort depended, as it would today.

When thinking of navies, most people naturally think of the loss of ships and not of men and women.
But more men were lost in HMAS Sydney than Australia lost in the Korean War. More than Australia
lost in the Vietnam War and more even than she lost in the terrible Kokoda Track.

PAULA KRUGER: That was Rear Admiral Andrew Robertson from HMAS Sydney Association. He was
addressing people in the congregation that included representatives from both sides of politics -
both state and federal.

The Prime Minister Kevin Rudd also addressed the congregation and he gave this thanksgiving
address.

KEVIN RUDD: We gather today to remember with thanksgiving the men of the HMAS Sydney who gave their
lives in the service of this country and in defence of freedom.

We remember their courage, their determination and their diligence as they gave their all to
protect us from oppression.

Thank you for the love that they had for our nation and for their families.

Thank you for putting such love into the hearts of men and women that they would make such
sacrifice for their friends.

ELEANOR HALL: And that is the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd giving the thanksgiving address at that
memorial service in Sydney.

Paula Kruger, this is the day before Anzac Day, what are the relatives saying about the importance
of today's service?

PAULA KRUGER: Well, it seems that people usually, often respond to tragedy quite differently and
that seems the case today - even despite the fact that what happened to the Sydney was 66 years
ago.

Some people this morning, before they went into the service, obviously relatives of those involved,
you could tell that they really wanted to be left on their own with their own thoughts. Some of
them also seemed quite overwhelmed, just by the sheer size of the event and the formality of it and
the fact that there was so much media here, you know, trying to avoid people like me hovering
around the edges.

But then you had people that almost saw this as a celebration. They finally know what happened to
the Sydney and a big event like this is some sort of final recognition of what happened to their
relatives so long ago and the fact that the fate of the Sydney is less of a mystery today will make
tomorrow's Anzac Day commemorations feel unlike any other.

ELEANOR HALL: Paula, thank you. That's Paula Kruger at the memorial service for those who died on
board HMAS Sydney in 1941. That service was held in St Andrew's Cathedral in Sydney.

Obama, Clinton worried about damaging Democrats' chances

Obama, Clinton worried about damaging Democrats' chances

The World Today - Thursday, 24 April , 2008 12:22:00

Reporter: Kim Landers

ELEANOR HALL: The longest nomination race in US presidential history has moved on to a new
battleground.

Democratic contenders Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are already campaigning in the mid-western
state of Indiana which, along with North Carolina, votes in a fortnight.

As both campaigns dissect Hillary Clinton's win yesterday in Pennsylvania, her victory has helped
to replenish her severely depleted war chest for the campaign ahead.

But party leaders are increasingly concerned about the damage that this long nomination fight is
doing to the Democrat's prospects in the presidential vote in November.

Washington Correspondent Kim Landers reports.

KIM LANDERS: Barack Obama was well on his well to Indiana before the results in Pennsylvania were
in and today he has been trying to explain why he has been falling short in his effort to bring the
polarising Democratic nomination battle to an end.

BARACK OBAMA: Our problem has less to do with white working class voters. In fact, the problem is
that to the extent that there is a problem, is that older voters are very loyal to Senator Clinton
and I think part of that is that they've got a track record of voting for not just Senator Clinton
but also her husband.

KIM LANDERS: And he says his failure to win in big swing states like Pennsylvania and Ohio, doesn't
mean he's not competitive in Indiana which neighbours his home state of Illinois.

BARACK OBAMA: There is a big difference between Indiana and those other two states and that is that
people are a little more familiar with me here in Indiana.

KIM LANDERS: Jennifer Donahue is from the New Hampshire Institute of Politics.

JENNIFER DONAHUE: I mean if Obama wants to define himself, be less vague, not be too cool for
school, what he really, really needs to do is attack McCain on the issues. Go head to head. Hillary
Clinton made some mistakes in the past few weeks on policy, right?

REPORTER: Right.

JENNIFER DONAHUE: She mispositioned herself. This, for Hillary Clinton, she's in a general election
mode already. Obama is still in a primary mode. Obama needs to get into general election mode.

KIM LANDERS: It's not just Indiana that will be voting in a fortnight. Democrats in North Carolina
go to the polls on the same day. The Republican Party in that state is already running a TV ad that
brings up Barack Obama's controversial former pastor.

(Excerpt from television ad)

ANNOUNCER: For 20 years Barack Obama sat in his pew, listening to his pastor.

JEREMIAH WRIGHT: And then waltz up to sing "God Bless America", no, no, no.

ANNOUNCER: He's just too extreme for North Carolina.

(End of excerpt)

KIM LANDERS: It is this sort of attack that some in the Democratic Party think Barack Obama is
vulnerable to but in a twist, Republican Presidential nominee John McCain is asking the North
Carolina Republican Party not to run the ad saying there is no place for that kind of advertising.

That is not the only attack on Barack Obama in North Carolina.

There has also been a message on a sign outside the Church of God in Jonesville which reads "Obama,
Osama, hmm, are they brothers?" The sign is now been taken down but not before Pastor Robert Byrd
defended it.

ROBERT BYRD: In other words, is he Muslim? I don't know and it is simply to cause people to realise
and to see what possibly could happen if we were to get someone in there that does not believe in
Jesus Christ.

KIM LANDERS: As this gripping White House race grinds on, Hillary Clinton's Pennsylvania win
appears to have come with a cash prize. Her campaign says she is on track to collect $10 million in
online donations in the 24 hours since that victory - making it her best fundraising day ever.

This is Kim Landers in Washington for The World Today.

East Timor jail escapee to be pardoned

East Timor jail escapee to be pardoned

The World Today - Thursday, 24 April , 2008 12:25:00

Reporter: Anne Barker

ELEANOR HALL: In East Timor, the man jailed for instigating much of the country's unrest two years
ago is to receive an official pardon.

Rogerio Lobato - the former Interior Minister - was found guilty of manslaughter and of
distributing weapons to a civilian hit squad.

He was sentenced to seven and a half years in jail but barely six months into his term he has been
allowed to leave the country for medical treatment.

Now, political analysts are warning that the pardon will only encourage him to wreak further damage
on the fragile state as Anne Barker reports.

ANNE BARKER: Last August an intriguing political drama played out on the tarmac at Dili airport.

A light plane was stranded for 24 hours - as East Timor's Government wrangled with the courts on
whether the man inside - Rogerio Lobato - could fly to Malaysia for heart surgery.

The former Interior Minister had served just five months of a seven-year sentence for inciting much
of the unrest that destabilised East Timor two years ago.

The courts had granted permission - but the incoming government desperately tried to stop him -
knowing he'd probably never come back.

After all his wife, children, father-in-law, nephew and other family members all went with him.

Sure enough, nine months on, Lobato has not returned to East Timor.

But now, the President Jose Ramos-Horta has announced an official pardon for 80 prisoners -
including Lobato - on the grounds of good behaviour.

In a lengthy speech to parliament in Portuguese, the President declared that Independence Day on
May the 20th will be a day of forgiveness and clemency.

The decision has caused deep concern among political commentators.

JOHN VIRGOE: Nobody who was responsible or involved in the violence in 2006 is currently in prison
and very few people have been through any sort of judicial process.

ANNE BARKER: John Virgoe is South East Asia Project Director for the International Crisis Group
which monitors political and security issues across the region.

JOHN VIRGOE: I think a lot of people have been pretty dubious about whether the government was ever
committed to seeing anybody behind bars since 2006.

ANNE BARKER: The President's decision to pardon Lobato shouldn't really come as a surprise - even
before his release from jail, East Timor's parliament had just passed a law allowing clemency for
certain crimes and cynics speculated it was drafted solely with Lobato in mind.

At the time President Ramos-Horta said he did not support amnesty for serious crimes but John
Virgoe says he's at a loss as to why the president has now done just that.

JOHN VIRGOE: You have to ask whether it is actually helpful that we have this repeated rounds of
amnesties and forgiveness. At some point, if you are going to break that cycle of conflict, people
must start to be held responsible for their actions.

ANNE BARKER: What difference does it make in the end? I mean he has been gone now nearly nine
months. He was never going to come back to East Timor was he, if he still faced a seven year jail
sentence?

JOHN VIRGOE: Well, I think that is precisely the difference. That now he can come back to East
Timor. He is such a divisive figure politically in East Timor especially since 2006 that his
presence in East Timor, I think, some other people will be looking with some dismay at that
prospect, feeling that he might well complicate process of reform that is taking place within
Fretelin, within the opposition political party.

He may also complicate the process of security sector reform because he was the person above anyone
else who was responsible for the politicisation of the police.

ANNE BARKER: So you think East Timor would have been better rid of him altogether?

JOHN VIRGOE: Well, I think nobody was shedding tears that he was outside the country. My view is
that people who were responsible and have been found guilty, should in fact be behind bars. Second
best is to have them off the scene. The worst of all worlds is to have them at liberty in East
Timor.

ELEANOR HALL: That is John Virgoe, from the International Crisis Group, talking to Anne Barker.

Latin American countries to set up 'food fund'

Latin American countries to set up 'food fund'

The World Today - Thursday, 24 April , 2008 12:25:00

Reporter: Sara Everingham

ELEANOR HALL: Four Latin American countries have united in an effort to limit the impact of the
global food crisis on the poor in their countries.

Leaders from Bolivia, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Cuba announced a $100-million fund aimed at boosting
agricultural production.

A group of countries in West Africa has a similar fund.

But rising food prices are already causing riots around the world and the United Nations has called
for more help to help farmers in Third World countries.

Sara Everingham has our report.

SARA EVERINGHAM: The World Bank estimates the price of basic foods has risen by 83 per cent in the
past three years. In an effort to limit the impact of rising prices on the poor, the leaders of
Bolivia, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Cuba have agreed to set up a $100 million fund to help grow more
food.

The agreement was reached in the Venezuelan capital Caracas where the country's President Hugo
Chavez blamed food shortages on the capitalist system.

HUGO CHAVEZ (translated): All parties agree to create a network of food commercialisation. This is
fundamental because capitalism is a perverse thing. Even the International Monetary Fund and the
World Bank have recognised the failure of capitalism. This food crisis is the biggest demonstration
of the historic failure of the capitalist model.

SARA EVERINGHAM: That is a view that isn't shared by the European Trade Commissioner Peter
Mandelson who says countries that are restricting exports have helped fuel the crisis.

PETER MANDELSON: If we restrict trade we are simply going to add food scarcity to the already large
problems of food shortages that exist in different countries.

SARA EVERINGHAM: The announcement by the Latin American countries comes after a group of countries
in West Africa set up a similar fund worth half a billion dollars.

Global food prices are rising in response to higher fuel costs, increased demand from China and
India, unpredictable weather patterns and also the diversion of crops for biofuels.

And it is not just a question of the poor going hungry. There is concern about the impact of the
food shortages on political stability.

The high prices have sparked riots in parts of the Caribbean, Africa and Asia and the
Director-General of the UN's Food and Agriculature Organisation, Jacques Diouf says it isn't useful
to look for scapegoats.

JACQUES DIOUF (translated): I think that as long as we don't get out of this situation which always
consists of waiting for a crisis to react to, and then starting to look for scapegoats, we won't
get out of it.

SARA EVERINGHAM: He says more assistance is needed from wealthier countries to poorer nations to
help boost food production.

JACQUES DIOUF (translated): In reality, it all depends on what we do. We are not in a Greek tragedy
where human beings are powerless in front of their fate. No, we have the possibility to affect the
future.

SARA EVERINGHAM: He's called on wealthier nations to provide farming resources to developing
countries.

JACQUES DIOUF (translated): If we provide this assistance, these resources to those who need it,
from now on, so that they can feed themselves, so they can access to food at reasonable prices and
if, at the same time, we help the poor farmers of the Third World to have access to more expensive
inputs to boost domestic production, naturally we will have less riots and maybe no riots.

SARA EVERINGHAM: But there is also a warning from the UN that high prices are expected to continue
despite increased production and the Head of the UN's World Food Program has described global food
shortages as a "silent tsunami".

ELEANOR HALL: Sara Everingham reporting.

Stokes loses bid to sit on WA Newspapers board

Stokes loses bid to sit on WA Newspapers board

The World Today - Thursday, 24 April , 2008 12:31:00

Reporter: David Weber

ELEANOR HALL: The Chairman of the Seven Network Kerry Stokes has failed in his bid to gain a seat
on the board of WA Newspapers.

Mr Stokes owns nearly 20 per cent of the company and said he wanted to boost circulation of the
West Australian newspaper.

Shareholders, though, defeated all resolutions put up by the Seven Network - including proposals to
remove the board and bring in Kerry Stokes.

But while he might have lost this time, few expect that Kerry Stokes will give up his ambitions.

In Perth, David Weber reports.

DAVID WEBER: In the days leading up to the Extraordinary General Meeting, Kerry Stokes said he was
confident there was a mood for change.

But the results of the proxy votes indicated he was going to lose - and Mr Stokes conceded defeat
before the final tally was known.

KERRY STOKES: I thank my fellow shareholders for their support. I accept the results of the voting
on behalf of Seven board and the shareholders who voted for us.

We continue to own 20 per cent, we continue to own 20 per cent of WAN and will continue to take a
very active interest, thankyou.

DAVID WEBER: Mr Stokes wouldn't answer any questions - leaving his next move on the West open to
speculation.

It was a relief for WA Newspapers Chairman Peter Mansell - although the vote on whether he should
be removed was closer than for the other directors.

If Mr Mansell felt like a man under siege, he wasn't showing it.

PETER MANSELL: We've got some messages from our shareholders and we are certainly going to react to
them. We know that we have to look at the composition of the board, we have to look at size, skills
and what have you and we're going to do that.

DAVID WEBER: Peter Mansell said the directors would try to work with Kerry Stokes and said an
expanded board was still an option.

PETER MANSELL: We recognise that we have a 20 per cent shareholder; we're going to try very hard to
work with him. We are going to try and find the accommodation. We're only 50 per cent of the
equation and both sides have got to work together but let me assure you that this 50 per cent will
be working really hard to try and find that accommodation.

DAVID WEBER: Peter Mansell was critical of the premier and the attorney-general, who'd expressed
their support for Mr Stokes.

He said he didn't know if there'd be a backlash in the West Australian.

PETER MANSELL: I think it is inappropriate for governments to be backing newspaper owners. I think
it is inappropriate in the sense that to support the people who they think might be more friendly.
But whether there will be a backlash - I have no idea at all.

DAVID WEBER: After the meeting, shareholders said they supported the board because WA Newspapers
was providing good returns.

But they expected Kerry Stokes would eventually get whatever he wanted.

WA NEWSPAPERS SHAREHOLDER: The West is a very old and venerable institution and you know, you don't
want to be rushing, rushing into things and I think it is probably a pretty good result and I think
change will come of it.

DAVID WEBER: Do you think that Kerry Stokes will be back in some shape or form?

WA NEWSPAPERS SHAREHOLDER: I should think so, yeah.

WA NEWSPAPERS SHAREHOLDER 2: They've put us in a difficult position where I didn't want the whole
board to resign.

DAVID WEBER: So this measure that the board would all resign, the so-called "suicide pact" as it
has been referred to, meant that shareholders were perhaps beholden to vote for the board?

WA NEWSPAPERS SHAREHOLDER 2: Well, that is what I felt.

WA NEWSPAPERS SHAREHOLDER 3: Well, I believe they have done a reasonable job and there is a few
anomalies that they should be looking at, but I don't think the Kerry Stokes takeover was desirable
for shareholders at this stage.

DAVID WEBER: Why not Kerry Stokes? What was the problem with Kerry Stokes from your perspective?

WA NEWSPAPERS SHAREHOLDER 3: Well, Kerry is Kerry Stokes. I don't want to get involved in that.
He'll have representation on the board sooner or later with somebody, yes.

ELEANOR HALL: Some of the shareholders in West Australian Newspapers speaking to our reporter David
Weber in Perth.

Sunshine Coast mayor mulls population cap

Sunshine Coast mayor mulls population cap

The World Today - Thursday, 24 April , 2008 12:33:00

Reporter: Annie Guest

ELEANOR HALL: For decades, sea-changers have been drawn to its endless beaches and warm weather,
but the welcome may be cooling on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.

The mayor of the region's new mega-council, Bob Abbot, wants to slow economic growth and introduce
a population cap.

He's known for enforcing population restrictions during his previous role as the mayor of Noosa's
council.

But developers and business representatives say his plan is unworkable.

Annie Guest has our report.

ANNIE GUEST: A relaxed lifestyle helped along by lots of sunshine, surf beaches and national parks
has induced many to pack up and move north over the past 30 years.

But with 50,000 new residents in seven years, the welcome mat is wearing thin.

BOB ABBOT: The Sunshine Coast is a 300,000-person population now and it is just getting bigger, and
bigger and bigger and one wonders when that is going to stop or at least slow down.

ANNIE GUEST: The mayor of the newly formed Sunshine Coast Regional Council is Bob Abbot. He is
called "Big Bob", but big is the last adjective he wants to see attached to his community.

And the ideal population for the Sunshine Coast?

BOB ABBOT: Probably around about three and a half, 400,000 but whether we could achieve that, I
don't know.

ANNIE GUEST: Bob Abbot is well known on the coast for enforcing a population cap in Noosa. He led
Noosa's council until it was subsumed by the regional mega-council this year.

BOB ABBOT: This is not new stuff. A lot of the councillors that have been elected talked about
exactly this during the election campaign.

ANNIE GUEST: Bob Abbot has told ABC Radio, he also wants to see the Sunshine Coast's economic
growth almost halved to two per cent.

BOB ABBOT: The Sunshine Coast is growing at such a rate, we are outstripping our capacity to
provide the infrastructure and everything we do at the moment is merely catch up. We are not
getting ahead at all.

I'm not saying shut the gate. I'm just saying make it a little bit slower.

ANNIE GUEST: However, the Queensland Government's plan already allows for almost half a million
people on the coast within 20 years, so how would Bob Abbot's plan become a reality?

He's going to use the council's planning scheme to reduce population predictions and he's going to
make sure its enforced, claiming that hasn't always been the case in the past.

It could mean further height restrictions for developments.

BOB ABBOT: Reducing the amount of density that is available on any given block of land so the
number of people that can live there. Like whether it is multistorey or whether it is a single
house.

ANNIE GUEST: The body representing developers has rejected his view that the Sunshine Coast
councils have, in the past, approved developments outside the planning scheme and the Urban
Development Institute of Australia is also sceptical about Bob Abbot's plan to slow economic and
population growth.

Its Sunshine Coast president, David Oliver warns coastal councils oversaw a dire economic downturn
in the 1980s.

DAVID OLIVER: It concerns me. I do not want 1982 repeated. We do need to diversify our economy. It,
at the moment, is tourism, retail and development, and we need greater diversification.

ANNIE GUEST: What will Bob Abbot's plans and talks of a population cap and slowing growth to two
per cent mean for developers?

DAVID OLIVER: I would like to see how he is pulling those figures out of the air. I am not sure
whether they are sustainable.

ANNIE GUEST: Do you have any concerns about the potential for a downturn in the economy with this
sort of talk and potential job losses particularly in your industry?

DAVID OLIVER: Absolutely. That is our primary concern if this is done badly.

ANNIE GUEST: And the Maroochydore Chamber of Commerce says the proposal would mean only the rich
could afford to live at the coast. Its president is Gillian Taylor.

GILLIAN TAYLOR: We would consider that the economy would slow and that we would see that it would
be harder to buy in here, obviously, and also, we would have greater skill shortages because of
that reason.

It would be harder to buy in here and to get in here.

ELEANOR HALL: That is Gillian Taylor from the Maroochydore Chamber of Commerce ending that report
by Annie Guest.

Tobacco logo on Brock statue sparks row

Tobacco logo on Brock statue sparks row

The World Today - Thursday, 24 April , 2008 12:36:00

Reporter: Jennifer Macey

ELEANOR HALL: A row has broken out in the New South Wales centre of Bathurst over a planned
memorial to Peter Brock.

The statue of the motor racing legend depicts him standing on the roof of his car, but the
Commodore has the logo of a tobacco company clearly displayed on its side.

Anti-smoking campaigners are furious and are calling on Bathurst Regional Council to review its
decision to display the statue.

As Jennifer Macey reports, councillors are meeting the artist today to work out how to resolve the
dispute.

JENNIFER MACEY: He was known as Peter Perfect but a statue to commemorate the motor racing legend
is being described as far from it.

Bathurst Councillor Bobby Bourke says many locals are unhappy with the final design.

BOBBY BOURKE: I just don't think it's appropriate on something that council's going to spend over
$100,000 on and not everyone's going to be happy with it.

All the controversial stuff that we have on smoking, I just didn't think the Marlboro sign was
right. I thought it could have been any other car that he drove without the Marlboro sign on it.

JENNIFER MACEY: The council has chosen a design by Melbourne artist Julie Squires.

The planned life-size bronze sculpture depicts Peter Brock standing on the roof of one of his
favourite cars, the VK Commodore with Marlboro and the number 5 blazoned on the door.

Bathurst Deputy Mayor Ian North is a fan of the design.

IAN NORTH: Peter Brock was famous for driving a motor car. I thought it was a really nice touch
they incorporated a car with the gentleman himself.

JENNIFER MACEY: And he says not including the logo would be to rewrite history.

IAN NORTH: History is history, things did occur and we are honouring the man and what he achieved
and that vehicle was a very significant vehicle in what Peter Brock achieved. It's not advertising
in any way or form and I'm very disappointed people are looking at it that way because it is not.

JENNIFER MACEY: The memorial is due to be unveiled at Mt Panorama in October before the Bathurst
1000 race and it's likely to attract widespread media coverage.

Barry O'Brien the CEO of Total Advertising & Communications is a media buyer. He says money can't
buy that amount of exposure.

BARRY O'BRIEN: That's there forever. Money can't buy that so the value is not like sort of $8000 -
it's worth many, many millions because whoever broadcasts it and I think it will be Channel Seven
because they have got the rights, they'll clearly go the site every time that they have the race
etc and they'll use that as the backdrop.

It will be picked up by all the newspapers, all the viewers on free to air television, on paid
television but also all the fans that go up there year in and year out so it will have an enormous
following.

For Marlboro it is just one of those free kicks in life that you get.

JENNIFER MACEY: Anti-smoking campaigners are outraged.

Simon Chapman is a Professor in Public Health at the University of Sydney.

He says Bathurst council should reconsider the design.

SIMON CHAPMAN: I'm not one who believes in airbrushing history, I think it will be absolutely
absurd to for example, ban footage from television of him racing the cars in the years when he did
it, but this is a new issue. Erecting a statue - it just doesn't need to have the Marlboro
association with it.

What would be wrong with simply having him with the type of cars that he raced, or just a statue of
him on his own. I mean everybody knows what he did. Everybody knows his association with the
Bathurst track. The Marlboro thing is just really gratuitous.

JENNIFER MACEY: The council is footing the entire $100,000 bill for the tribute and says no company
has offered any sponsorship money towards it.

This morning, councillors are meeting with the sculptor Julie Squires and say they may still ask
for changes to be made to the final design.

ELEANOR HALL: Jennifer Macey with that report.

German's 'deathbed art' panned as tasteless

German's 'deathbed art' panned as tasteless

The World Today - Thursday, 24 April , 2008 12:39:00

Reporter: Barbara Miller

ELEANOR HALL: He's known for courting controversy, but a German artist may have gone a little too
far this time with a proposal to put a dying person on show as a work of art.

Gregor Schneider says the subject would die with dignity in humane surroundings. But the idea is
being panned by some fellow artists and politicians, who say it's a tasteless provocation.

Barbara Miller reports:

BARBARA MILLER: Gregor Schneider is the man who erected 21 wire cages on Bondi Beach last year.
Visitors could wander in at leisure.

The idea was to contrast a sense of entrapment in the cages with the sense of freedom which Bondi
stands for.

His latest idea is a lot more provocative. Gregor Schneider wants to put a person on display in the
final days of their life.

He says it would be a dignified and humane death, and would be a sharp contrast to the clinical and
gruesome death which many people experience, he says, in a hospital setting.

The idea has generated a lot of discussion and criticism in his native Germany.

Kasper Konig is the Director of the Museum Ludwig in Cologne.

KASPER KONIG (translated): It's perfectly justifiable to break taboos if there is a compelling
reason to do so. For aesthetic purposes for example, but if it just a question of shocking people,
then really, that is just banal.

BARBARA MILLER: Gregor Schneider acknowledges it's an idea many people take exception to:

GREGOR SCHNEIDER (translated): The reactions have all been very emotional, irrational. In certain
forums threats of violence against me have been made. I've had a number of extreme phone calls.
Well, fine. The response has been honest and emotional.

BARBARA MILLER: Sebastian Smee is the Australian newspaper's art critic.

He says he has a lot of respect for Gregor Schneider:

SEBASTIAN SMEE: Look he is a very serious artist and I think he has got a great track record of
doing works that are not just provocative but genuinely interesting. I would rate him as one of the
best contemporary artists, although he does specialise in provocative work, I think he has got a
lot more substance to him than some artists like for instance Jeff Koons or Damien Hirst who may be
better known.

BARBARA MILLER: But he says this time this artist has gone a little too far.

SEBASTIAN SMEE: For me it sounds like an awful idea. Much as I do admire Schneider I think it just
doesn't seem interesting to me and it's offensive I suppose. Death is an intimate thing. We are all
going to come across people who die in our lives at some stage or another and we'll all find our
different ways of dealing with it I suppose.

To turn it into a spectacle which I think this does no matter how much Schneider might say he's
trying to make the whole thing as dignified as possible.

For me that is distasteful. Too cheap and sensational.

BARBARA MILLER: But Norbert Loeffler a Lecturer in Art History at the Victorian College of the Arts
says death is an issue which Gregor Schneider has been interested in for some time:

NORBERT LOEFFLER: A lot of his work has been concerned with death as a theme and motif and the work
of many contemporary artists has been concerned with death as the works of artists for hundreds of
years has been obsessed with the image of death.

BARBARA MILLER: Norbet Leffler says the proposal is interesting:

NORBERT LOEFFLER: I'm curious. Why? Because of the way death has become a kind of taboo. Death now
happens behind a white door and solemnly somebody comes from behind the white door and tells you
your relative or whoever has died.

It is all hygienic, it is all very abstract. It is all very alien and it's a very peculiar way of
dealing with death compared to the past.

In that sort of world, where death has become this sort of abstract thing and in the world where
there is meaningless deaths all around us that we daily, endlessly view, you might understand why
Gregor Schneider wants to confront that and turn that around and give death the possibility of
something more meaningful and also re-establish some connection to death between the living and the
dead.

ELEANOR HALL: Norbert Loeffler is a Lecturer in Art History at the Victorian College of the Arts.
That report by Barbara Miller.