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Incident aboard asylum seekers' boat

Reporter: Alexandra Kirk

PETER CAVE: The Federal Government says there's been a serious incident on board a boat intercepted
off Australia's north-west coast yesterday. The World Today has been told that three people are
dead, two are missing and more than 40 are injured.

The Navy intercepted a boat at Ashmore Island yesterday, and was taking the 49 people on board to
Christmas Island.

We're joined in Canberra, by Alexandra Kirk.

Alex, what can you tell us?

ALEXANDRA KIRK: The Minister for Home Affairs, Bob Debus, has just released a brief statement, in
which he says, 'Border protection agencies have reported', presumably to the Government, 'that
there has been an explosion or serious fire on board the vessel', that is, the boat that was being
taken to Christmas Island.

The Government says that there are reports from personnel on the scene, that the incident has
resulted in fatalities, serious injuries, and that a number of occupants of the vessel are missing.
So no numbers there.

But we understand that the Darwin and Broome hospitals, and also the Royal Flying Doctor Service
have been put on high alert; that Darwin Hospital is expecting to receive victims from what they
describe as an explosion; that the hospital's early understanding of the scale of the casualties is
46 people hurt, three dead and two missing. And also, that the Kimberley police confirmed the
figures on the missing and dead.

Now, the question is what, the Government hasn't released any more information. The Government said
yesterday that the indications were there were 49 people on board the intercepted boat, so there
are some queries about the number of people involved, and the number of people that have been hurt...

PETER CAVE: Are there suggestions that all the casualties are amongst the people on the boat, not
amongst those who boarded it?

ALEXANDRA KIRK: There haven't been any indications from the Government. But there seems to be
conflicting advice. I've been told that there were, there'd been no injuries to Australian
personnel. But there's another report that says Australian Navy personnel could be injured. So the
numbers just don't add up at the moment. There is some queries about whether any Australians are
involved or not.

PETER CAVE: There have been suggestions in some reports that this was the result of an explosion in
the engine room. Has that been confirmed?

ALEXANDRA KIRK: No, that hasn't been confirmed. All the Government is saying is that there is a
report of either an explosion, or serious fire on board. They're saying that the two navy patrol
boats in the area, the HMAS Childers and HMAS Albany, are currently on the scene to provide

Now the problem is, that Ashmore Reef is located in the Timor Sea, about 400 kilometres from the
mainland, 840 kilometres west of Darwin, and another 610 kilometres north of Broome. And one source
has told us that if the Navy took on board the people from the boat, it could take up to 24 hours,
if conditions were good, to sail into Darwin. So you can see the scale of the problem that's

PETER CAVE: Now Alex, this is the second boat in the last couple of days, isn't it?

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Yes, four in a week, and eight boats so far this year.

PETER CAVE: Alexandra Kirk reporting live there from Parliament House and of course we'll cross
back to that story as soon as we have more information.

PM launches clean coal institute

Reporter: Sabra Lane

PETER CAVE: The Prime Minister is trying to reassert his Government's credentials on global
warming. The first of two parliamentary inquiries into the Government's climate change policy hands
down its finding this afternoon, and Kevin Rudd has chosen today to officially launch the Global
Carbon Capture and Storage Institute in Canberra.

That's a program aimed at speeding up the commercialisation of the so far unproven 'clean coal'
technology. The Prime Minister says Australia has widespread support for the project. The
Opposition has endorsed it, saying it's the Coalition's idea, but is critical of the time the
Government has taken to set it all up.

From Canberra, Sabra Lane reports.

SABRA LANE: The Prime Minister, a famous policy wonk, loves a good acronym - like the GFC, ETS,
CPRS - and the list is getting longer.

KEVIN RUDD: The GCCSI was built on the excellent work already being done in many of the member
countries represented in this room.

SABRA LANE: The GCCSI is the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute. Kevin Rudd officially
launched it this morning, at the meeting of the institute's foundation members.

The aim is to accelerate the development of carbon capture and storage technology - that's
capturing the carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants and burying them underground. It's
unproven commercially, but if successful would be to the nation's benefit - as Australia is the
world's largest coal exporter, and coal is the country's most valuable export.

KEVIN RUDD: This institute recognises the cold, hard reality that coal will be the major source of
power generation for many years to come. With the 2008 IEA world energy outlook forecasting that
the share of electricity generation sourced from coal will rise from 41 per cent now to 44 per cent
by 2030, this is a reality we have to deal with.

Australia, therefore, has a national and shared global responsibility to establish the workability
of this technology and to establish it at scale.

SABRA LANE: The Government's set aside $100-million to set up the program, and so far has signed up
16 other governments and 50 major companies to contribute to the institute.

KEVIN RUDD: If we are to respond effectively to the enormous threat of climate change across the
world, we must increase energy efficiency, diversify into less carbon intensive sources, and
crucially, we must reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuels.

This will require investments across the world into search and technology solutions that can reduce
greenhouse gas emissions, while also ensuring energy security. But we need to develop those
solutions fast. We do not have any more time to waste.

SABRA LANE: The Prime Minister says coal will remain an important energy source into the future,
and so he says, the world must find ways of making it environmentally friendly.

KEVIN RUDD: Given the trajectory of increased coal consumption in the decades ahead, carbon capture
and storage is crucially important to solving the global challenge of climate change. It is
therefore urgent that we drive an international portfolio of industrial-scale CCS demonstration
projects. Industrial-scale demonstration CCS projects.

SABRA LANE: The Opposition's spokesman is Greg Hunt he says he has no objection to an idea that was
originally the Coalition's. But he accuses the Government of losing 18 months on such an important

GREG HUNT: It's a Coalition initiative which was axed effectively at the last election, put on hold
at the Budget, re-announced on the 19th of September last year, and finally, finally today, we are
seeing what was in place before the election being re-announced.

It's a classic example of the Rudd doctrine: abandon what's in place, re-badge, re-announce,
restart, and it doesn't matter if we lose 18 months and good work along the way.

SABRA LANE: And Mr Hunt's calling on the Government to take concrete steps to reduce emissions.

GREG HUNT: The most simple and practical thing we can do is commit to building two clean coal power
stations in Australia by 2020. These would create rather than destroy jobs. No more delays, no more
impediments, and please get on with it.

The second thing is, what we also need is a green carbon initiative, which will help make real,
profound and immediate changes in Australia's emissions profile, which will give us time to get our
energy sector right, and which will allow us to put in place both the solar continent vision, and
the clean coal initiatives that we need.

SABRA LANE: The Greens say it's all rubbish. Climate change spokeswoman, Senator Christine Milne.

CHRISTINE MILNE: I don't believe that carbon capture and storage will ever be economically viable.
I think renewables will leapfrog that technology in the timeframe. It is no surprise that the
United States and China are working heavily on the renewables and the efficiencies, and allowing
Australia to pour its money into carbon capture and storage.

To me, this is another case of corporate welfare - more subsidies to the coal industry, more
attempts to keep coal central to Australia's economic future, instead of recognising we need
transformative policies that get us to a low carbon, zero carbon economy as quickly as possible.

PETER CAVE: The Greens' Senator Christine Milne ending that report from Sabra Lane in Canberra.

Anger at Kimberley gas deal

Reporter: David Weber

PETER CAVE: Groups opposed to the planned gas processing hub in Western Australia's Kimberley
region have vowed to ramp up their campaign in the wake of a landmark deal with Indigenous people.

The Kimberley Land Council has accepted a $1-billion deal with the State and Federal governments
and Woodside, for a gas precinct at James Price Point, north of Broome. The plant would process LNG
for companies involved in the Browse Basin, off Australia's north-west coast.

The deal would mean a huge boost in funding for health, education and housing for Indigenous

David Weber reports.

DAVID WEBER: The Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson says the agreement should serve as an
example for other projects.

MARTIN FERGUSON: Australia cannot stand back and let investment opportunities go offshore. There is
going be an upturn in the international economy in due course and one of the potential growth areas
is the LNG industry. That's important not only for investment and jobs in Australia, it's also part
of the transition to a low-emissions global community from a climate-change point of view.

DAVID WEBER: It's the potential impact on the local environment at James Price Point that's
concerning green groups. The Conservation Council's Piers Verstegen says there's still a long way
to go before the gas precinct receives approval.

PIERS VERSTEGEN: And of course any deal that's been done now is, of course, contingent on
environmental impact assessments that need to be done at the State and Commonwealth Government
level. And of course Minister Garrett would need to sign off on any such development proposal.

DAVID WEBER: The Premier, Colin Barnett, has said that this is not the spectacular part of the
Kimberley coastline, and it would not be a sprawling industrial area at the end of the day.

PIERS VERSTEGEN: Well look, we're talking about three and a half thousand hectares of area on land,
which by my terms is pretty large, and I would say sprawling, and then we're talking about a
massive impact in terms of the marine areas. We're talking about huge dredging and blasting of
coral reefs and seagrass habitat at that area.

And the whole point about the Kimberley coastline is not to say that one area is more spectacular
than the other. It's really that the whole area is preserved in its pristine wilderness state that
it is at the moment.

DAVID WEBER: Groups opposed to the gas precinct are about to ramp up their campaigns. Save The
Kimberley chairman Peter Tucker has suggested here shouldn't be too much emphasis on the Kimberley
Land Council's acceptance of the deal.

PETER TUCKER: And the way we read it, and the way we see it, and speaking to others, and listening
to Wayne Bergman, is it is just a next step.

DAVID WEBER: Although Wayne Bergman has said there were no deal breakers, as it were, it's really
about working towards the development itself from now on.

PETER TUCKER: Well he does say that. We're surprised that Wayne Bergman and the KLC are settled for
the - well, we believe settled for - what's been said on the media. We would have thought that, you
know, Wayne would have gone for a much bigger package. Obviously that hasn't happened, unless we
don't know about it.

DAVID WEBER: You don't think that the $1-billion figure, it may be more than that? You don't think
that's enough?

PETER TUCKER: Look, I think that... Look, our stance is quite simple from Save The Kimberley. We
don't believe this process should happen in the Kimberley, we don't believe it should happen on the

We believe that the Government should show, show foresight, and there should be some collective
will shown here by all the stakeholders, and that this project could, can happen, and should
happen, in an already industrialised area, ie Port Hedland or floating options off the coast. But
the money can still flow to the traditional owners of the Kimberley.

But it's going to be an absolute disaster for the town of Broome and the surrounding areas. An
absolute disaster.

DAVID WEBER: How will it be a disaster?

PETER TUCKER: It'll be a disaster on two levels: both environmentally and socially. I really don't
believe the broader community, including traditional owners, are aware of the scale of this

DAVID WEBER: But more than 90 per cent of traditional owners represented by the KLC did vote in
favour of this deal.

PETER TUCKER: That's correct - I believe that's the case. But I'm not one to enter the politics of
the KLC - it's not my place - but I would suggest that not all of the traditional owners are
represented by the KLC.

And a lot of the players - a lot of the people - who could have been involved, or should have been
involved, were probably not involved. And so, that is why there is just as much opposition from
traditional owners in the area as there was, or there is support for it. So it really is a split

PETER CAVE: Peter Tucker, the chairman of the Save The Kimberley group. He was speaking to David

Expert says much to be learnt from Canadian bikie legislation

Reporter: Barbara Miller

PETER CAVE: Moves for a nationally consistent approach to tacking bikie-gang violence appear to
have hit a hitch today, with the Victorian Government saying it doesn't see the need for specific
legislation. The issue is being discussed at today's meetings of the attorneys-general.

It comes as Canada has announced a massive crackdown on bikie gangs there, with the arrest of 150
Hells Angels. A bikie expert says there's much to be learned from Canada's stringent laws on
gang-related violence.

Barbara Miller reports.

BARBARA MILLER: In a massive operation, Canadian police began rounding up Hells Angels at dawn.
They were armed with arrests warrants for 156 of them. Lieutenant Daniel Guerin is a member of the
Canada's special taskforce on organised crime.

DANIEL GUERIN: All of the Hells Angels on the Quebec territory are now arrested for drug
trafficking, conspiracy, murder and also gangsterism.

BARBARA MILLER: All of the Hells Angels in the Quebec chapters?

DANIEL GUERIN: Yes, all of the Quebec - we have five chapters. And we also seized all the bunkers
related to those bikers.

BARBARA MILLER: Most of the charges laid relate to offences committed during Canada's brutal bikie
wars of the 1990s.

William Marsden is an expert on the Hells Angels and co-author of 'Angels of Death' and 'The Road
to Hell'. He says coordinated police action and tough new laws are behind this police crackdown.

WILLIAM MARSDEN: You can take a gang that had, say, rules of engagement, if you like, in a gang war
where they would be murdering rival gang members etc. And if you could prove that each of these
members of this gang accepted those rules and was part of the gang, then any murder that was
committed in the name of the gang, was a murder for which each member was guilty.

So that's what you see now in the indictments against the Hells Angels here. In one case, in one
particular murder, you've got 94 people who have now been charged with that one murder.

BARBARA MILLER: So it's murder by association? That person may not have even been in any way
directly involved in that murder?

WILLIAM MARSDEN: He may not have been directly involved in that murder, but the mere fact that he
was part of the gang, that he accepted the rules of the gang and that he was participating in the
war, makes him guilty.

BARBARA MILLER: As you know, Australia is trying to toughen up on its bikie laws at the moment. Do
you think there's lessons to be learned from Canada?

WILLIAM MARSDEN: Well, I think there is, yeah. I mean, Canada has not only created these anti-gang
laws, but it has also merged police forces on a national, provincial and local level, so that
intelligence is shared.

They have taken a very patient, but hardnosed view of gangs and underworld, so that they accumulate
their information, they tap their phones, they follow them - every time they leave their house they
know exactly what they're doing - they have vast intelligence networks and computer spreadsheets to
show where people were, any gang member is at any given time - if he's stopped on the street by a
police officer, that all goes into a centralised computer, etc. So they really track these guys.

This is what you have to do when you have highly organised international gangs, like you do with
the Hells Angels, or the Mafia, or any of these people.

BARBARA MILLER: Nationally consistent bikie-gang legislation appears a long way off here. Many of
the states and territories are in favour of such an approach, along the lines of the South
Australian model. But Victoria's Attorney-General Rob Hulls says bikie-specific laws unnecessary:

ROB HULLS: Here in Victoria, we have very tough laws, and our laws make sure our justice system
deals with the Mr Bigs of organised crime; they're about treating the cause, and not just the
symptoms of organised crime, and they're fully supported by the Victoria police.

BARBARA MILLER: In Canada, experts say the trials following on from this sweep of arrests will be
important test cases of just how tough the legislation is.

PETER CAVE: Barbara Miller reporting.

Corporate watchdog investigates BrisConnections deal

Reporter: Annie Guest

PETER CAVE: The deal that condemned many small investors to likely bankruptcy and saved the company
behind Australia's biggest road project may yet come unstuck, after it raised the hackles of the
corporate watchdog.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission, ASIC, is examining the deal struck with the
young investor Nicholas Bolton that allowed the BrisConnections to, wind-up vote, to fail on

It comes as Nicholas Bolton's soapie-star sister has been unmasked as the majority owner of the
company that her brother has been representing - and that includes its $77-million looming
instalment debt.

Annie Guest in Brisbane compiled this report.

(Sound of music)

ANNIE GUEST: Soapie star Georgia Bolton will be hoping life imitates her art.

ACTOR: Oh my god, put some clothes on.

ACTOR 2: It's ok - it's just a dream.

ACTOR: No, it isn't.

ANNIE GUEST: This is the sister of the renegade investor Nicholas Bolton performing in a comedy
called 'Girl Friday'.

She reportedly owns 99 per cent of the company, Australian Style, and thus most of its $77-million
BrisConnections instalment liabilities. Much of which is due in a fortnight.

Her 27-year-old younger brother Nicholas has been representing the company in battles that almost
brought BrisConnections to its knees, before scoring four and a half million dollars in a deal that
saved the company building Brisbane's toll road.

Georgia Bolton wasn't available for an interview but told 'The Australian' newspaper 'It's all my
brother - it's his money'.

Now, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission has revealed it's examining the deal. And
that includes all the circumstances: the timing of the deal, understood to be last week; who was
aware of what and when; and why it wasn't revealed to unit-holders before Tuesday's meeting for the
wind up vote. Many unit-holders will be hoping ASIC's examination could yet save them from hundreds
of millions of dollars in instalments due on the 29th of April.

And in a new twist another player has recently entered the fray.

DAVID BARROW: Indirectly, we're happy to reduce the stress of those unit-holders by receiving
donations as transfers of shares.

ANNIE GUEST: David Barrow represents a charitable trust established in the name of his sister
Julie, who died after an asthma attack last year. He says the trust is already close to amassing a
five per cent unit-holding in BrisConnections, through donations by investors.

David Barrow is an accountant by trade, and he's playing down the possibility of convening a
meeting with the necessary five per cent stake, or heading towards takeover territory by amassing
more than 20 per cent.

DAVID BARROW: Our dominant purpose is to accumulate the units as an investment, and for the capital
that comes from that, and the future income stream. So, views as to voting rights, and then taking
managementship control of the entity, are not foremost in our mind...

ANNIE GUEST: Okay, well a lot of people listening to this would be wondering about those instalment
liabilities. How much at this point would the trust owe in two week's time?

DAVID BARROW: Should we hold the units on the 29th of April, the liability at that point would be

ANNIE GUEST: And can the trust pay for that?

DAVID BARROW: Well, there's many complex dynamics in play.

ANNIE GUEST: Okay. Would you consider a deal with, and are you talking to, Nicholas Bolton, or the
controversial former Alan Bond advisor Jim Byrnes, about a deal over the unit-holdings they

DAVID BARROW: We have in the past spoken to both of those parties. At this stage we don't have any
particular deals in place, but both of them do actually own the units. Nick Bolton does carry 19.9
per cent from my understanding, and Jim, through his toll holdings, he has 13 per cent, as per the
last ASX announcements.

ANNIE GUEST: Meanwhile, BrisConnections major underwriter Macquarie Bank has said it will continue
trying to find a way to relieve unit-holders of their imminent instalment debt - which many say
they can't pay anyway.

PETER CAVE: Annie Guest reporting from Brisbane.

US announces new plan to tackle Somali piracy

Reporter: Peter Cave

PETER CAVE: The US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has unveiled a plan to fight piracy, in
response to a string of recent incidents off the Somali coast. The four-point plan includes
improving the situation in lawless Somalia; freezing the pirates' assets; and securing the release
of around 20 ships and 260 sailors still held hostage.

Yesterday, Somali pirates attacked an American freighter with rockets, reportedly in revenge for a
US Navy rescue operation last weekend in which an American merchant captain was freed, and three
pirates were killed.

In another international operation overnight, a French warship intercepted a pirate mother ship and
arrested 11 gunmen. But the piracy continues.

Professor Clive Williams is from the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the ANU. I asked him
earlier if he thought that Hillary Clinton is right to say the only way to tackle piracy is to
solve the problems in Somalia itself.

CLIVE WILLIAMS: I think so, yeah, because if you look at past successes with piracy, it's been to
do with sorting out the land problems.

You might remember that there were significant piracy problems in the Strait of Malacca, and when
Aceh was sorted out, after the tsunami, and there was money spent there and jobs provided and that
sort of thing, the piracy basically ceased to exist. So I think that sorting out the issues on land
is a key aspect to sorting out the piracy, yes.

PETER CAVE: I guess the Americans have been trying to sort out Somalia for a long time now, with no
success. Does that mean that there is always going to be piracy in that area?

CLIVE WILLIAMS: No, not necessarily. Of course, the mess was created largely by the US, because
back in 2006, you might remember, the Islamic Courts Union was starting to get a grip of the
country, and the US was worried about what it believed were links to Al Qaeda, but I don't think
they actually existed. But anyway, it encouraged the Ethiopians to invade and displace the ICU.

And what then happened was the militant youth wing, the Al Shabab, took on the fight, and has now
driven out the Ethiopians, but has got more control of the country than it did before. But the,
it's interesting that Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, who was the head of the ICU, is now back as the
President of the government there.

Certainly the northern areas want to be part of a federation of Somalia. So if that could happen,
and the country could get its act together, then I think that there's potential certainly for the

PETER CAVE: In the short term, what is to stop these shipowners trying to protect themselves with

CLIVE WILLIAMS: Because you then ramp up the level of violence, and that's an approach that's been
resisted elsewhere. Because once you start introducing a violent component into it, then you create
more problems for yourself.

As you know, with the case with the Bainbridge and the killing of the three Somali pirates, they're
now decided that they're going to attack American ships and try and cause casualties in
retaliation. So it's simply ramped up the level of violence.

And I think the shipowners generally were much more prepared to go along with a situation where one
in 500 ships got hijacked - take the risk on that, pay the insurance, let the negotiations take
place and recover the crew unharmed and get their cargo back.

PETER CAVE: Now that it's happened, has it inevitably changed things forever? Or do you think it's
likely to die down?

CLIVE WILLIAMS: I think it's going to create a continuing problem for American ships, and it
remains to be seen if there are American crew on other ships that get hijacked. That might create a
problem as well.

PETER CAVE: You mentioned what happened in the Straits of Malacca. Could you just briefly take us
over how that problem was, well, all but solved?

CLIVE WILLIAMS: Well, the piracy out of, in the Strait of Malacca essentially was people coming out
of coastal villages at night and boarding vessels to basically steal the stuff that they could take
out of the safe and the ships - you know, wallets of the ship's crew, any fittings that they could
subsequently sell on and whatever. They'd take all that stuff, then they'd get off the ship and
return to their villages, and they'd then pay off local officials and sell off the items and so on.
So it was sustaining a local economy.

But once the tsunami came through - and also there was a Government agreement with GAM, the
insurgent movement there - once those issues had been settled, and there was more investment into
Aceh, then essentially there was no longer any attraction for these groups to operate out of the
coastal villages.

Some of the coastal villages were in fact also destroyed in the tsunami, so I mean, there was that
aspect as well. But essentially, I think it was about economic development in the area removed the
incentive for people to engage in piracy.

There was also, I guess, another aspect which was improved patrolling between the Indonesian,
Malaysian and Singapore authorities, which also I suppose acted as a disincentive as well.

PETER CAVE: So is increased patrolling by the navies of foreign powers an answer in Somalia?

CLIVE WILLIAMS: No, it's not, because it's a very large area, and they can go further afield, as
they have been doing. It's extremely difficult to police. There's a lot of local vessels.

I saw that an American commentator saying the ports should be blockaded. Well, if you had a look at
a Google Earth you'd see there's really no way you can blockade Somali ports. And in fact, there's
a lot of local traffic between areas like Somaliland and Yemen and across the, that whole general
area, there's a lot of fishing activity.

But interesting enough, a lot of the problems that have been created for Somalia off-shore have
been created by the countries, many of which are engaged in the patrolling activity. Because the
reasons why they engaged in piracy in the first place was because of illegal fishing activity by
countries largely European and Asian offshore, which took out most of the fish.

And then there have been European groups who have been dumping toxic waste off the coast, which has
meant that the fish that they can catch now are toxic, and cause sickness. So that's basically
destroyed the fishing industry. So, you know, that's why they switched on to piracy.

But you know, you'd have to clean up the fishery side of things to make it attractive for people to
go back into fishing. And of course if you looked at the economic prospects on land and tried to do
something about that, create alternatives for these people, that would also do something about the

PETER CAVE: Professor Clive Williams from the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the ANU,
speaking to me earlier.

Opposition speaks out on incident off WA coast

Reporter: Alexandra Kirk, Sarah Hawke

PETER CAVE: Returning now to our lead story and the explosion on board a boat intercepted off
Australia's north-west coast. The Federal Government has announced a rescue mission to recover the
dead and injured.

To tell us more I'm joined again by our reporter Alexandra Kirk. Alex, what's the latest?

ALEXANDRA KIRK: The reports are now coming in that an emergency plan has in fact kicked in; that an
old, Second World War airbase, Truscott Airbase, in the Kimberley is being fired up, and that HMAS
Tobruk, which is a Navy hospital ship, is evidently in the vicinity of the two border security
boats, HMAS Childers and Albany, and also the boat intercepted at Ashmore Island yesterday. That
HMAS Tobruk is on its way.

Evidently it has helicopter capability, and a plan being talked about is to get the injured on
board HMAS Tobruk, stabilise them there, and then fly those with the most critical burns to the
Perth and Darwin hospital burns units. They'll be medivaced by air.

There are also reports that there are people with serious and mild burns. So the plan is first to
get them to Truscott Airbase, and then from there, to be flown to Darwin and Perth.

Now, the Opposition is offering its bipartisan support for the rescue mission, and Sussan Ley, the
shadow minister for justice and customs, who is in Darwin at the moment, spoke to Darwin reporter
Sarah Hawke.

SUSSAN LEY: Certainly it's serious, it's nasty, and the issues are coming to light all the time. I
can't add any further detail, except to recognise the tremendous work that our border protection
command, customs, navy and our agencies up there do defending an enormous coastline and a very big

And we are, in the Opposition, very sympathetic; the loss of life is tragic. And we need to make
sure that we look after any of the injured, and that's being taken care of, as I understand.

SARAH HAWKE: From your discussions in Darwin so far, have you been able to gauge what efforts are
underway at this stage; anything about casualties, or certainly the response?

SUSSAN LEY: Well, the response as I understand it has been rapid, and hospitals are on stand-by.
And there have been casualties and I'm not sure how serious those are.

With any incident like this, we as a nation respond immediately. And when we consider the area that
is being covered here, and the distances that have to be managed by customs and the navy and indeed
the defence forces, it's pretty remarkable what they're able to achieve, and you know, we look
forward to minimising any casualties and any loss of life.

SARAH HAWKE: I guess obviously in dealing with this there's a bipartisan approach between the
Opposition and the Government, but obviously you've had some concerns about what's been happening
with arrival of asylum seekers in recent weeks?

SUSSAN LEY: Well of course, both political parties would say that today we must focus on dealing
with the tragedy as it unfolds, and we support the Government in their actions - no question about

The purpose of my visit is to see at firsthand how the border protection command effort works, to
see that customs, from an Opposition's point of view, is properly resourced to do its job - that is
critically important.

And to see the effect that Government policies have on asylum seekers and illegal foreign fishing
and the net that we need to put up around Australia's coastline, which has to be risk- and
threat-assessment based, given that no political party is going to allocate the resources to do it
everywhere, at every moment.

So these are challenging issues for every government, and it's important in Opposition that we
don't play politics for politics' sake, but we in Government allocated significant resources for
border protection, and we want to see that continue.

PETER CAVE: That was the shadow minister for justice and customs Sussan Ley, speaking to Sarah
Hawke in Darwin. Before that, Alexandra Kirk was our reporter in Canberra.

Fiji's military rulers call back foreign media

Reporter: Kerri Ritchie

PETER CAVE: It's a week today since the court of appeal in Fiji ruled that the interim government
led by the military leader Frank Bainimarama was illegal. Well, a lot's happened since then.

The President - a crony of Commodore Bainimarama's - sacked all the judges, threw out the
constitution and introduced new rules meaning that local journalists can no longer report what's
going on in the island nation.

An international media watchdog says that Fiji is becoming worse than Burma. Ordinary Fijians are
struggling to get information and grasp their country's political developments. But the military
junta which two days ago kicked out the ABC's Pacific correspondent now says foreign media are most

Our New Zealand correspondent Kerri Ritchie reports.

KERRI RITCHIE: Since Frank Bainimarama took over after a coup in December 2006, journalists in Fiji
have faced harassment and intimidation. Their work is monitored by the military regime. They can't
report all the facts, they can't write what's going on around them - they can't give the full

Frank Bainimarama says he doesn't agree with 'free speech' - he believes it leads to too much
'negativity'. He explained why he's censoring the media during an interview with Radio New Zealand

FRANK BAINIMARAMA: We want to do these changes. We want to come up with these reforms, and the last
thing we want to do is have opposition to these reforms throughout. So that was the reason we've
come up with the emergency regulations.

INTERVIEWER: But isn't having opposition and a free and open discussion a very important part of
implementing changes that will be sustainable?

FRANK BAINIMARAMA: No, no it is not in Fiji, Sean.

INTERVIEWER: How can Fijians work together if they cannot have a free and open discussion about the
issues they are working on? If it is only up to you - and others might say, Commodore - if it is
only up to the people with the guns to make the decisions?

FRANK BAINIMARAMA: Circumstances have changed. We now decide what needs to be done for our country.

KERRI RITCHIE: The internet is being restricted and the military regime has shut down ABC radio
transmitters in Fiji. President of the Fiji landowners association, Ratu Osea Gavidi, says people
are struggling to stay informed.

RATU OSEA GAVIDI: In the islands we rely on radio. We have no access to television. The majority of
our people do not read the newspapers, the majority don't see television. So they rely on radio -
both in vernacular languages and in English. So that's why radio is very important to us.

KERRI RITCHIE: In the past week three local reporters have been arrested and three international
journalists have been deported.

The interim government's spokesman, Major Neumi Leweni, has just sent out a press release, saying
foreign media representatives are most welcome to visit. Mr Leweni couldn't be reached on his
mobile for an interview. He says in the release that the Government isn't stopping journalists from
coming to Fiji. He believes reporters should come and see for themselves that life in the country
is normal.

But he does go on to say that foreign media must apply to the permanent secretary of information
for a visa and the secretary will endorse applications 'based on how the person has reported about
Fiji in the past and on the undertaking that they will report accurately and responsibly'.

Vincent Brossel is the Asia Pacific spokesman for the organisation, Reporters Without Frontiers.

VINCENT BROSSEL: It's a sort of trend by army governments to impose censorship, to try to restrict
the news to positive news, and in fact one of the few countries in the world with this sort of
previous censorship system is Burma, and you know that Burma is one of the worst dictatorships in
the world.

So it's very sad to see Fiji going to this very bad record, and the fact that they have been also
expelling foreign journalists, it shows that they are not comfortable and very hostile with foreign
media reporting about the situation.

KERRI RITCHIE: Deborah Muir is from the International Federation of Journalists.

DEBORAH MUIR: International organisations and governments and individuals need to continue to
campaign very vigorously and not give up on Fiji at all.

KERRI RITCHIE: She says the interim government might have shut internet cafes and blocked newspaper
copy - but the truth will get out.

DEBORAH MUIR: Some of the technologies that are available through which you would still need to use
the world wide web are the way to go. There are various communication technologies, be it even just
instant messaging and phone messaging, that, in which information can be circulated.

This is a common practice in, for example, Pakistan during the 2007 emergency regulations.
Information was being circulated rapidly by mobile phones; the Government wasn't able to control it
at all.

PETER CAVE: Deborah Muir from the International Federation of Journalists ending that report from
our correspondent Kerri Ritchie in Auckland.

Microsoft loses legal battle over Australian invention

Reporter: Meredith Griffiths

PETER CAVE: In a legal battle against a company like Microsoft the scales could seem to be tipped
in favour of the side with the deepest pockets. But a jury in the United States has found that the
software company wilfully infringed a patent lodged by an Australian inventor.

It's ordered Microsoft to pay more than $500-million in damages for using the anti-piracy
technology devised by Ric Richardson in 1993.

Meredith Griffiths reports.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: When someone buys Windows or Office XP from Microsoft, the company uses
anti-piracy technology to ensure that the software is only loaded onto particular computers.

An American jury has now found that the technology was actually devised by Australian Ric
Richardson in 1992. He offered it to Microsoft, but when they rejected it, he went on to sell the
technology through a California-based company called Uniloc.

Brad Davis is the CEO of Uniloc.

BRAD DAVIS: Ric is a very, very smart guy to have figured it out way back then - this is all
pre-internet. But yes, he came up with the idea and patented it, thank goodness.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: So how did Microsoft get their hands on the technology?

BRAD DAVIS: Without going into too much detail, Ric was in discussions with Microsoft back in the
mid-90s. Microsoft evaluated the product and told Ric, 'No thanks'.

And then Ric had actually moved to the US, but began noticing in 2001, suspecting that something
similar to his idea was actually being used on Windows XP and Office XP and so became a little
alarmed. And that's about when I met Ric, actually - me and another guy that sort of formed the
Uniloc USA organisation.

So, after some investigation, we decided, you know, this company's going to be about the strength
of its intellectual property, if nothing else, so we decided we needed to take action to defend our
intellectual property. And so in 2003 we filed this lawsuit.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: Did that take some courage? I mean, Microsoft is such a giant in the software
world. Did some people think you were crazy trying to take it on?

BRAD DAVIS: Well, you can't necessarily pick your dance partners; it's kind of like you can't pick
your family, right? It's just, we didn't really have a choice. It was an extremely daunting task,
and we would prefer to have started with a smaller opponent, but at the end of the day we didn't
really have a choice.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: So how were you feeling when the judgement was handed down? Had you been
confident of success?

BRAD DAVIS: You know, I'd never personally been through the adversarial process in a courtroom like
that, with a jury. It's a very human process, I have to say, and when you have a lot at stake
personally - and you know, we all own stock in the company, and my family is all invested in the
company - you get a little unnerved, because it is a very human process.

But I have to tell you, coming out of it, I think the proper outcome was reached, as unbiased as I
could profess to be, and I have a lot more faith in the system than I did when I went in. So it's
nerve wracking, there's no two ways about it.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: How much did this case cost you in legal fees? Has it had a, quite a
detrimental impact on the operations of Uniloc for the past six years?

BRAD DAVIS: I can't disclose what we've spent; we're a private company, so I can't really get into
that. You know, we managed.

And just by the way, we have our own products, we have customers. We're not in the business of
suing people. We don't rely upon any of these awards to operate the company, so if ultimately we
get a capital out of this award, we will use it to grow the company - we're not going to, you know,
disperse it out to shareholders.

We've got big plans - we think this is, truly, Ric had a once in a lifetime idea way back in '93,
and we're all feeling quite fortunate to be here, and we plan to be here for a while.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: So what does happen now? What about Microsoft? Will they have to stop using the
technology, will they have to give you credit? What happens?

BRAD DAVIS: Those are the exact issues being discussed in the court now, now that the jury's come
in with this verdict. And so there's a number of motions being filed around, you know, is there an
injunction against them using this going forward.

It was a wilful infringement, so there's actually, the judge, it's within his power to triple the
damage award if he so chose. So there's a lot of that going on, and there's going to be some
wrangling between, over the next two months.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: Just finally, Mr Davis. Have you been in touch with Ric Richardson over the
past few days? How are you guys feeling about this victory?

BRAD DAVIS: I feel great, on behalf of the shareholders of Uniloc, but I have to tell you, I'm -
you know, the power of ideas is personal and creative and fantastic thing.

Ric is, at his core, an inventor, and so for him, this is a soul-enriching experience, I have to
say, and I'm so happy for Ric, and I'm sure he's thrilled.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: Microsoft has issued a statement saying it is does not believe it did infringe
the patent because it is invalid. The company says it will be appealing the verdict, saying the
award for damages is legally and factually unsupported.

PETER CAVE: Meredith Griffiths reporting.

Colombia captures top drug baron - but war goes on

Reporter: Michael Vincent

PETER CAVE: The Colombian Government is celebrating the capture of its country's most wanted man -
the drug baron Daniel Rendon.

Rendon, also nicknamed Don Mario, is accused of involvement in several thousand murders as well as
the exportation of at least 100 tonnes of cocaine to the United States. There was a $US2-million
reward for information leading to his arrest.

But, as Michael Vincent reports, in spite of this high-profile arrest there are fears it will have
very little affect on Colombia's thriving cocaine trade.

MICHAEL VINCENT: When Daniel Rendon was captured he was alone, eating rice out of his hands, and
hiding under a tree in the jungle.

Colombian Defence Minister, Juan Manuel Santos.

JUAN MANUEL SANTOS (translated): He practically looked like a dog, practically like a dog. He had
his arms around a palm tree, and had been there for two days.

MICHAEL VINCENT: Forty-three-year-old Rendon was Colombia's most wanted drug boss. With millions in
cash he was rumoured to like wearing a different Rolex every day. His power grew from his links to
former right-wing paramilitaries. He even named his criminal organisation 'The Heroes of Castano'
in honour of a famous dead colleague.

And Rendon's ruthlessness has been compared to that of Pablo Escobar. He offered his foot soldiers
a $US1000 incentive for each policeman they killed in the hope he could evade capture.

Editor of Bogota-based news website, Lorenzo Morales.

LORENZO MORALES: Well, according to the police he was responsible for about 3000 homicides in the
last year and a half - that gives you a dimension of his power and his ability to create a lot of
trouble in the regions he had control. And also, police said that he was responsible for sending
around 100 tonnes of cocaine to the US, which means that he will be very probably sent to the US
for a trial.

MICHAEL VINCENT: The US Drug Enforcement Administration's chief of intelligence has already said it
will seek his extradition.

In Colombia, images of Rendon bearded, disheveled and being driven off to jail in an armoured car
have been splashed across television. President Alvaro Uribe, who has been in Brazil, told
reporters Rendon's capture was a relief.

ALVARO URIBE (translated): One of the former paramilitary leaders, one of the most feared drug
traffickers in the world, has been captured in the Colombian jungle after being chased for many
months. We have regained control of the justice monopoly.

MICHAEL VINCENT: But there's scepticism that Rendon's capture will do anything to change the South
American nation's vicious drug war. Colombia is still the world's largest cocaine producer and
Lorenzo Morales says little has changed since the death of Pablo Escobar.

LORENZO MORALES: Now in Colombia, this big drug trafficking bosses last less than they used to. If
you remember Pablo Escobar, of some of the other big bosses, lasted for many years - they were a
big trouble. This guy was like the big boss for around, maybe, two years, or something like that.

MICHAEL VINCENT: How would you describe the war on drugs in Colombia at the moment?

LORENZO MORALES: It's an endless war. Personally, I think now is Don Mario, but in a few months we
will have another big name, a big fish, who has taken his place.

MICHAEL VINCENT: It's as simple as that.

LORENZO MORALES: Yes. Of course, there is a very strong determination of the Government to capture
these people, and of course that makes it harder for them to move easily and make their deals.

But in my opinion, if there is a market there will always be offer, and we have lived with this for
30, 40 years, so I guess every president has to deal with it.

PETER CAVE: The editor of the Bogota-based news website, Lorenzo Morales. He was
speaking to our reporter Michael Vincent.