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ETS passes lower house

ETS passes lower house

The World Today - Thursday, 4 June , 2009 12:10:00

Reporter: Sabra Lane

PETER CAVE: The first major part of the Federal Government's emission trading scheme has passed the
Lower House.

This morning the House of Representatives rejected the Opposition's two amendments to delay the
scheme until after the Copenhagen talks and it's demanded the Productivity Commission examine the

The Parliamentary Secretary on Climate Change Greg Combet says the only reason that the Opposition
wants a delay is to disguise the "division and disarray" on what its policy should be. Even if the
Government's 11 bills setting up the emissions trading scheme pass the Lower House, it's likely
they'll be blocked in the Senate.

MPs are continuing to argue the pros and cons of the ETS and they're also at odds over the
Government's cash stimulus payments and whether they were crucial in Australia's avoiding a
technical recession.

From Canberra, Sabra Lane reports.

SABRA LANE: Australia avoided a recession declaration yesterday with the national accounts figures
showing the economy grew by 0.4 of a per cent in the March quarter.

The Treasurer Wayne Swan says if it wasn't for the Government's stimulus cash handouts, Australia
would be in the red now.

WAYNE SWAN: If you look at that figure yesterday, if it wasn't for our stimulus payments it would
have been -0.2 per cent and what that means is that there would have been more people unemployed,
more families hurt, more communities affected.

SABRA LANE: But Opposition MPs say the Government is ignoring other results in the national
accounts figures which explain the surprise positive result, like the biggest net export boom in
half a century.

The leader of the Nationals in the Senate, Barnaby Joyce:

BARNABY JOYCE: The Government can claim responsibility for the turnaround when they can prove how a
$900 cheque in the mail managed to load up a ship with coal prior to March 31st because that's what
this is all about.

SABRA LANE: Liberal frontbencher Ian MacFarlane says Australia's avoided a recession thanks to the
previous Federal Government.

IAN MACFARLANE: The Howard government built the strongest economy in the Western world, in the
OECD. We were the marvel economy and it's on that basis that we've been able to go forward. The
realty is though that since this Government has been in power it has trashed that economy.

SABRA LANE: Mr MacFarlane is also the Opposition's shadow energy and resources spokesman.

IAN MACFARLANE: It's ironic that one of the industries that did the most to keep Australia out of
deficit yesterday, the coal industry, is going to be one of the ones hardest hit by the emissions
trading scheme. And today is a black day for the coal industry and a cold day for the LNG industry,
both of whom will be the big losers out of this terrible legislation, this crazy legislation that
the Government is putting in place.

SABRA LANE: The House of Representatives is voting on the carbon pollution reduction scheme today.
All 11 associated bills should pass this afternoon as the Government has a majority. MPs have made
last-minute speeches this morning, passionately putting their cases.

Greg Combet, the Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change is overseeing the scheme's passage
through the House of Reps.

GREG COMBET: The Coalition's arguments are fallacious. They have been constructed to disguise their
division and disarray.

Now Mr Turnbull, the leader of the Opposition, supports emissions trading but he is surrounded by
sceptics, by agnostics and by Wilson Tuckey (laughter) a person, a category all in his own. We have
had more than a decade of reports, analysis, inquiries and debates. The time has come for action on
climate change.

SABRA LANE: This morning, The lower house rejected the Opposition's two amendments to delay a final
vote until after the Copenhagen talks in December and another independent review of the bill.

Liberal backbencher Jason Wood:

JASON WOOD: Experts say that within a hundred years the polar bear will be extinct and closer to
home there is a real threat to the Great Barrier Reef unless something is done urgently.

I've actually been a member of Greenpeace longer than I've been a member of the Liberal Party. I've
the personal view when it comes to an ETS we should be aiming for a 25 per cent reduction as an
absolute minimum by 2020.

I know there are many people who don't believe in climate change but to these people I ask, what if
you are wrong? Do we really want to gamble with our children's future? Do we want to condemn our
most vulnerable creatures to death simply because some people didn't think there is a problem?

The Government's emission trading scheme is a shocker and is no good for the environment. The local
green groups in my electorate of La Trobe are very critical and cynical of this scheme. They see it
for what it is worth - a token gesture that will do nothing for the environment. They want me to
vote against this flawed scheme and I will.

SABRA LANE: And the independents also failed in their attempts to make changes.

The independent MP Tony Windsor:

TONY WINDSOR: I'm not a climate sceptic. I accept climate science. But to come into this place with
a piece of legislation with a target of 5 per cent and using a market mechanism to achieve that
target in my view is quite ridiculous. It will achieve nothing. It probably won't get through the
Senate. And maybe we'll revisit this issue with more common sense in terms of targets rather than
this rather ridiculous 5 per cent.

SABRA LANE: The Government faces a hurdle with the Senate as it doesn't have the numbers there and
it's still talking with the crossbenchers to try and win their support.

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon:

NICK XENOPHON: The Government is a long way from getting my support and presumably the Greens'
support, the Opposition and Senator Fielding. So I think need just to get this right. I think it is
important that we act on climate change. It's important that we show regional leadership. But if we
get the design wrong we will be the laughing stock of the region. I think it's important that we
get it right and if we don't get it right we need to go back to the drawing board.

PETER CAVE: Independent Senator Nick Xenophon ending that report from Sabra Lane.

And just now the Lower House has passed the remaining bills setting up the ETS.

Homeless shelters struggle to meet demand

Homeless shelters struggle to meet demand

The World Today - Thursday, 4 June , 2009 12:14:00

Reporter: Jennifer Macey

PETER CAVE: Despite the economy's narrowly avoiding a technical recession, homeless shelters in
Sydney are reporting that the situation is getting worse not better. One centre says there's been a
50 per cent increase in demand for housing and employment support since October last year.

These experiences are reflected in the latest ACOSS survey which has reported a 19 per cent
increase in demand for community services and more disturbingly a 17 per cent increase in the
number of people being turned away.

Jennifer Macey reports.

JENNIFER MACEY: At an inner-city Mission Australia Centre in Sydney there are eight people learning
how to write resumes and look for employment at a job skills workshop. They include some of the
centre's 40 or so short-term housing residents.

Jack has been staying at the centre for the past three weeks. He says in the past few months things
have become more difficult.

JACK: Look I just saw things getting harder for everyone. The queues were getting longer. You turn
up at Centrelink and notice that prior there was only one or two people and then you get to the end
and it's like a queue out the door.

JENNIFER MACEY: But he says he's one of the lucky ones because he's managed to get short-term
housing and a caseworker to support him.

JACK: Now that ironically even with more people are using services and things like that, service
providers have had to cut back on services because of funding and things like that. They've got to
cut back on things like staff and services I think, yeah.

JENNIFER MACEY: The Mission Australia Centre provides a range of services. Alongside the living
spaces and the nine affordable housing units for low income earners there's also an arts and music
facility for marginalised young people, a dental clinic, a GP, legal support and counselling for
financial and gambling problems, plus help finding a job or long-term accommodation.

The centre's manager Diana Jazic says she's seen an a phenomenal jump in demand for these services.

DIANA JAZIC: Since oh, approximately October of last year we've seen almost a 50 per cent increase
in referrals for accommodation. And just to give you an idea, during the month of April, I haven't
analysed the stats for May yet, April we had 117 referrals for accommodation that we were not able
to accommodate.

JENNIFER MACEY: That you had to turn away?

DIANA JAZIC: What we do is we refer them to other NGOs in the inner-city area hoping that they
would be able to accommodate them. We may refer them back to the Homeless Persons Information
Centre. So we try not to turn them away without any hope or any possibility of gaining
accommodation elsewhere. But certainly 117 requests for accommodation, we couldn't accommodate
here, in one month.

JENNIFER MACEY: And so that's not just a seasonal change? Just as it becomes winter more people are
seeking services that they otherwise wouldn't during the summer months?

DIANA JAZIC: No, it's not seasonal because this increase occurred October last year and that's not
the winter time. I've been managing this centre now for four years and I have not seen a trend like
this in these four years. This is quite unusual.

JENNIFER MACEY: And she says the type of people seeking help is also changing, with a lot more
newly unemployed asking for help.

The experience at shelters such as this one in Sydney is reflected in a new survey by ACOSS. It
shows that almost 300,000 people, or one in 12, were turned away from various social services. This
is a 17 per cent increase since last year before the global financial crisis really began to bite.

The CEO of ACOSS Clare Martin says service providers are struggling to meet the demand.

CLARE MARTIN: It's going to be tough for the services, for a lot of services they have always, the
church groups have also, have always cross-subsidised these services from their own investments.
Those investments have shrunk. It's going to make it tough all round and we certainly are, as a
peak organisation talking to Government about the increasing demands on the services, community and
the welfare services being provided to Australians.

JENNIFER MACEY: Diana Jazic the manager of the Mission Australia Centre in Surry Hills says it's
not just a problem of dwindling funding. She says the economic downturn has even had an impact on
the 150 volunteers who help provide the services at the centre.

DIANA JAZIC: A lot of people that were self retired, retirees have had to go back to work and so
on. So certainly there is that other side that we're seeing in our agencies where we do rely on
volunteers to provide a vital support for the very homeless, marginalised and disadvantaged. That
is actually now suffering as well due to the current economic circumstances.

JENNIFER MACEY: Meanwhile Jack is having difficulty finding a job despite having completed a
diploma at TAFE and undertaking university studies through the Mission Australia Centre.

JACK: I think that this economic global decline has sort of given everyone a big reality cheque.
Yeah, I think it's a big wakeup call for everyone.

PETER CAVE: Jack, one of the residents of Mission Australia Centre in Sydney ending that report
from Jennifer Macey.

Land rights overhaul For Victoria

Land rights overhaul For Victoria

The World Today - Thursday, 4 June , 2009 12:18:00

Reporter: Rachael Brown

PETER CAVE: In one of the biggest overhauls of Indigenous land rights since the Mabo judgment will
see Victoria settle native title claims out of court to streamline the system. Traditional owners
will be able to negotiate directly with the state, saving the headaches of onerous cases in the
Federal Court.

The State Government says dispossession is the story that most defines Australia and one it must
make good.

Rachael Brown reports.

RACHAEL BROWN: Victoria's Attorney-General Rob Hulls says it's been 17 years since the landmark
Mabo judgment, yet a decade has been lost along the way in terms of progress. Minister Hulls says
the nation has a lot of catching up to do and Victoria's shakeup of land rights will help.

ROB HULLS: Negotiations can take place directly with the state, outside the court process. We
believe that this will lead to much quicker resolution of claims. It will save a lot of pain and
heartache for traditional owners and also it will save costs as well.

RACHAEL BROWN: Damien Bell who chairs the Gunditjmara traditional owners' organisation says the new
framework mirrors one his group used to negotiate the restoration of Lake Condah in Victoria's

He says the group's partnership with the State Government has seen the birth of many projects at
the lake.

DAMIEN BELL: What isn't happening? We're restoring Lake Condah which has been drained for over 50
years. We achieved national heritage listing. We're going for World Heritage listing. It's also
generated employment. We would have about an extra five to 10 extra jobs on the ground within the

RACHAEL BROWN: So you can see that system now perhaps benefiting projects right across the state?

DAMIEN BELL: Definitely, definitely. Today's announcement provides certainty in a good way. Before
certainty meant extinguishment but this doesn't mean that. Certainty is certainty of partnerships,
hopefully certainty of resources and certainty of the future.

RACHAEL BROWN: Does it remove a lot of headaches too because court processes can be very onerous
and frustrating and some people might just throw their hands up in the air and give up?

DAMIEN BELL: The process under the Federal Court is very onerous. It's very taxing on people,
particularly our elders. We were lucky to get through, although we did lose people along the way
but after 11 years we reached our consent determination through the Federal Court.

ROB HULLS: The Native Title Act was never going to deliver on the aspirations of Aboriginal people.
If we keep going down the legalistic path it will take over 55 years before we resolve native title
claims in Victoria. If we adopt this framework, 90 per cent of all native title claims here in
Victoria could be resolved within 10 years.

RACHAEL BROWN: Aboriginal groups will be able to forge agreements with the State Government to
manage or jointly manage crown land, including national parks. The settlements could also include
access to natural resources, support for cultural development and compensation for land grievances.

Mr Hulls says he hopes the aspirations of traditional owners can finally be realised and the seeds
of economic development sown.

ROB HULLS: If we're serious about an economic future for Aboriginal people in this state and in
this country we've got to get land title right. We've got to get this native title business sorted
out once and for all.

RACHAEL BROWN: Graham Atkinson from the Land Justice Group says the economic benefits that will be
unlocked will be mindboggling.

GRAHAM ATKINSON: Today is a red letter day. It is a historical day for race relations in this
state, if not the whole of Australia.

RACHAEL BROWN: Could you give some example of the types of partnerships that we could see in the

GRAHAM ATKINSON: There are many third party stakeholders - Minerals Council of Australia and many
more that are lining up to do business with traditional owners. We want to engage with the economic
system. We don't want to be out, marginalised. We want to be in there as equal partners.

RACHAEL BROWN: Australian of the Year Mick Dodson chaired a committee that helped develop the
reforms. He says the beauty of the new system is that Indigenous communities can make their own
decisions about their future.

MICK DODSON: Not the state, not the Land Justice Group, not native title services. This framework
clearly and plainly puts the question of engagement and consent with the local people.

RACHAEL BROWN: And Mr Dodson is confident their claims will receive as much attention as they would
in court.

RACHAEL BROWN: The state and the traditional owners have developed a culture of how to agree.
That's a significant breakthrough. I feel greatly honoured to have been part of the process but you
know, I was mere the chair, chairing it to keep the brawls at a manageable level if you like!

To get very senior bureaucrats and traditional owners to come to a consensus on a report for you
know, a radical change, a revolutionary change to the way things are done in Victoria was no mean

PETER CAVE: Professor Mick Dodson from the Native Title Settlement Framework Steering Committee
ending that report by Rachael Brown.

Remembering Tiananmen

Remembering Tiananmen

The World Today - Thursday, 4 June , 2009 12:22:00

Reporter: Peter Cave

PETER CAVE: Twenty years ago today the might of the world's largest army was unleashed on several
thousand students who'd been protesting for more than six weeks in support of democratic change in
Tiananmen Square in the centre of the Chinese capital Beijing.

Tanks, armoured personnel carriers and thousands of troops crushed and shot anyone who got in their
way, and to this day the Chinese Government has concealed the exact death toll.

Most of the deaths were in the streets around the square where tens of thousands of workers and
ordinary citizens attempted to stop the armoured columns.

The decision to murder its own citizens marked the victory of those in the Chinese Communist
leadership who favoured economic reform but no loosening of the party's iron grip on absolute

(Excerpt from archival news reports):

NEWS PRESENTER: The Chinese Army pressed ahead today with its campaign to kill of the pro-democracy
drive in Beijing and the Chinese leadership warned it would continue the battle against those it
termed the "dregs of society".

Peter Cave watched from beside the Avenue of Eternal Peace as scores of tanks and armoured
personnel carriers escorted a two-kilometre long convoy of trucks carrying fresh troops into
Tiananmen Square.

(Sound of someone shouting and then gunfire, then shouting and gunfire continues as reporter starts
to speak.)

PETER CAVE: A long column of reinforcement troops is moving into the square now. People are
throwing things at them and as you can hear (breathless) they're returning the thrown insults and
bottles and stones with gunfire.

(Loud gunfire)

NEWS PRESENTER 2: In the early hours of this morning the ABC's Peter Cave was in the square as the
military prepared for what turned out to be the final assault on young demonstrators, an action
which the "Liberation Army Daily" newspaper has called "a great victory which crushed
counter-revolutionary violence".

PETER CAVE: Around me there are about 50 army trucks. They're full of young soldiers. Not like this
morning, they're in full battle dress. They've got metal helmets. A huge crowd, thousands of
people, have stopped the trucks here. Some of the tires have been let down. I'm walking towards one
of those trucks now.

(People singing the "Internationale")

I'm sitting now beside a truck, separated from the others by about a hundred yards. There are three
very scared looking young soldiers. They're being harangued from both sides.

(Sound of gunfire)

NEWS PRESENTER 2: The sound of gunfire recorded by Peter Cave in the early hours of this morning
which heralded the massacre of hundreds of students and ordinary citizens in Beijing's Tiananmen

Well Peter Cave is on the line again live from the Chinese capital. Peter is the savagery over yet
or is there still more fighting?

PETER CAVE: No it appears it's not over. There have been several quite nasty incidents throughout
the day. Probably one of the worst was outside the Beijing Hotel just down from Tiananmen Square. A
group of students had dragged some of their injured colleagues there and they saw an ambulance
going by and rushed out to stop it.

The army's reply to this was to move an APC, an armoured personnel carrier, into position and let
loose with a heavy machine gun straight down Chang'an Boulevard. It cut a swathe through the
students, 40 or so, so between 30 and 40 fell to the ground and we understand that at least 10 were

(Sound of gunfire)

What are they yelling at them? They're saying "Go home, you're mad", every swear word they know.

This is a big column of reinforcements. It's about two-kilometres long as it's stretched passed us
now and it still stretches down the boulevard almost as far as you can see.

(Sound of gunfire, shouting, screaming)

(End of archival reports)

PETER CAVE: Some of the sounds on the streets of Beijing 20 years ago.

Heavy security marks Tiananmen anniversary

Heavy security marks Tiananmen anniversary

The World Today - Thursday, 4 June , 2009 12:26:00

Reporter: Stephen McDonell

PETER CAVE: Today Tiananmen Square has been surrounded by hundreds of blue-shirted security police

Our Beijing correspondent Stephen McDonell attempted to enter the square earlier today. He's on the
line now.

Stephen I take it you didn't get very far.

STEPHEN MCDONELL: No, well as we drove down Chang'an Avenue and approached Tiananmen Square in the
dark before the flag-raising ceremony, we could just see this line of blue flashing lights off in
the distance and it turned out to be just dozens of police cars.

Then when we arrived at Tiananmen Square and attempted to sort of move around there to see what was
going on, we must have been stopped at least four times by the police.

The last time we were just driving around the square and attempting to film out the window and they
hailed our car over and said you can't even do that, checked our passports, said we needed special
permission to be there and told us to get lost.

And basically, if you look at the square now you can just see blue shirts of uniformed officers all
over it and every group of people has several plain clothes or uniformed police standing near them.

There are also of course the heavily armed paramilitary police nearby which we saw today carrying
automatic weapons.

PETER CAVE: Is there any sign that the anniversary has been marked anywhere in Beijing today?

STEPHEN MCDONELL: Oh, not a chance of that I'd say. If anyone dreamed of doing anything probably
anywhere in the Chinese mainland they'd be pounced on in a flash.

Of course in Hong Kong tonight we will see the mass candlelight vigil in Victoria Park which goes
on every year to mark this anniversary but tonight of course, with 20 years, should draw quite a
big crowd.

PETER CAVE: Apart from those hundreds of police you describe, what's the Government doing to try to
suppress protest or even discussion?

STEPHEN MCDONELL: Well anyone who might have led a memorial service or a protest is being put under
house arrest. And these online sites like Twitter, social-networking sites have been blocked. Now
it may seem bizarre to block Twitter but it's seen by the authorities that this could be used to
sort of organise protests.

Of course any foreign news reports coming in to China about Tiananmen Square are also being blacked
out on television.

PETER CAVE: Our correspondent Stephen McDonell live on the line there from Beijing.

Tiananmen talk still taboo

Tiananmen talk still taboo

The World Today - Thursday, 4 June , 2009 12:30:00

Reporter: Peter Cave

PETER CAVE: Professor David Kelly lives in Beijing. He works for the Chinese Research Centre at
UTS. He first went to Beijing to study in 1975. He's been there on and off for the last three

I asked him what happened to bring those hundreds of thousands of people out on the streets 20
years ago.

DAVID KELLY: Well it wasn't a simple matter of democratic change as we understand it. There was a
great mixture of motives, some of which were naive and some of which simply wanted the party to
clean up its corrupt upper layers. The fully fledged Westminster style democracy was probably the
last thing on their minds and they haven't moved very far towards that.

Some of the writing that comes out today or in this period is saying that the society has failed to
mature. And the maturity needed to work towards real democratic institutions has really be stymied
by the controls on information and by what the party then spent a lot of time doing which was
boosting patriotic education and shifting people's feelings towards a sense of grievance with the
outside world so they stopped worrying about those corrupt officials and worried more about those
bad foreigners and what they were doing.

PETER CAVE: Do the young people in Beijing, the ones that you teach and mix with, know what
happened 20 years ago?

DAVID KELLY: I would say a majority do not know clearly. They instinctively keep their noses out of
trouble. Everyone knows that this is trouble. If you ask questions you'll be in trouble.

Other people quickly find out because the key information can be explained in a few words. You
know, there was a killing of people. And we know from the internet, activity on the internet has
been huge in recent days and people talk about it in roundabout ways. A poem appears talking about
tanks. The word "June 4th" and etc is not mentioned.

So there is a subculture that knows all about it but a majority culture that's happy not to know
about it.

PETER CAVE: Is it fair to say that the majority especially of the well-to-do, the elite and the
educated have accepted economic change and the fruits of that and are quite happy to let democratic
change sit there?

DAVID KELLY: Even more than that Peter, which is true, a large number of the beneficiaries of the
reforms think that the handling, the suppression was good for China.

We know anecdotally that at the time people within the party who are referred to as the
"princelings" - these are children of the high, powerful, political elite - actually were saying,
well let's kill 20,000 to buy 20 years of stability. At least this was openly rumoured, I should
say. It may have just been rumours launched for a political reason.

Nonetheless this was the flavour of the time. Even if you're not so diabolical or so Machiavellian,
a lot of people say that well, if Deng Xiaoping had not acted in that way we would not have China's
economic miracle and China's peaceful rise.

PETER CAVE: Are there still within the top echelons of the party those who carry the torch of those
reformers 20 years ago?

DAVID KELLY: Oh that's undoubtedly the case. It's very, very clear there is a substantial political
subculture who carry a torch for Zhao Ziyang, the former secretary general of the Communist Party,
and Hu Yaobang before him. These were the two people who genuinely supported the idea of changing
the political system; maybe not, again, towards Westminster democracy or American-style democracy
but certainly towards giving the lower orders of society a genuine buy-in to the economy and to
political decision making.

PETER CAVE: Do you think another Tiananmen Square could happen?

DAVID KELLY: The precise mixture that led to Tiananmen is not going to be repeated. On the one hand
you had a bottling up of expectations over many years and the frustration of these expectations.
And you also had this very closed information world which led to a very naive generation existing.

People aren't so naive now. You've had the enormous impact of the internet. In some ways this
spreads a lot of ideas quickly but it also allows a lot of emotion to be drained off that was
previously bottled up.

Nonetheless we're seeing a lot of frustration in society and we see constant references in the
Chinese Government media to what are called "mass incidents".

Mass incidents are occurring constantly. These are gatherings of large numbers of people and they
happen over all kinds of matters. They could be for example the misbehaviour of a party official in
a bar somewhere; or the fact that someone appeared on television wearing an expensive watch and
smoking cigarettes which everyone knows are extremely expensive. There was a case of this. The
internet went wild with this. Blogs, the bloggers in Chinese, wouldn't let this go and that
official had to be dismissed.

So there are now ways in which dissatisfaction is registered and some of the angst is, some of the
steam is released if you like. But it's been on an upward trend and some other new form of activity
will take place. But I'm afraid the Tiananmen situation was almost a laboratory experiment. You
won't get that repeated very easily.

PETER CAVE: Professor David Kelly of the China Research Centre at the University of Technology,
Sydney, on the line from Beijing.

Osama tape released as Obama tours Middle East

Osama tape released as Obama tours Middle East

The World Today - Thursday, 4 June , 2009 12:34:00

Reporter: Kim Landers

PETER CAVE: The US President Barack Obama has begun his Middle East trip with a visit to Saudi

After four months in office President Obama is also hoping to mend relations with the Muslim world
with a speech in Cairo. The White House says the address will deal with the tough issues such as
the deadlock in the Arab-Israeli peacemaking process.

Washington correspondent Kim Landers reports.

(Excerpt from the United States national anthem)

KIM LANDERS: Barack Obama's first visit to Saudi Arabia has been filled with pomp and pageantry.

(music continued)

In an ornate meeting room with marble columns, engraved mirrors and a large chandelier, the US
President has chatted with King Abdullah. The King has presented Barack Obama with a large gold
medallion at the end of a long, chunky gold necklace, a gift that the King says he only gives to a
very few friends and one that prompted Barack Obama to say "good gracious" when he saw it.

President Obama has sought the counsel of King Abdullah before heading to Egypt to deliver a major
speech to the Muslim world.

BARACK OBAMA: I thought it was very important to come to the place where Islam began and to seek
his majesty's counsel and to discuss with him many of the issues that we confront here in the
Middle East.

KIM LANDERS: Saudi Arabia is also the birthplace of Osama Bin Laden. A new audio tape from the Al
Qaeda leader was released just as President Obama arrived in Riyadh.

OSAMA BIN LADEN (translated): Obama and his administration put new seeds of hatred and revenge
against America. The number of these seeds is the same as the number of those victims and refugees
in Swat and the tribal areas in northern and southern Waziristan. This way Obama proved that he is
walking the same road of his predecessors to build enmity against Muslims and increase the number
of fighters against the US while establishing more lasting wars.

KIM LANDERS: White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says the administration isn't surprised about the
timing of the tape.

ROBERT GIBBS: I don't think it's surprising that Al Qaeda would want to shift attention away from
the President's historic efforts and continued efforts to reach out and have an open dialogue with
the Muslim world.

KIM LANDERS: In private, White House officials are also reportedly claiming that Osama Bin Laden is
scared, that he feels threatened because some of Al Qaeda's chief recruiting tools are being
undermined by the President's outreach to the Muslim world.

President Obama is now putting the finishing touches on his speech to be delivered in Cairo. Aides
say it'll encourage a stronger partnership between Americans and Muslims. But it'll also touch on
hot button issues including the effort to root out suspected terrorists in Afghanistan and
Pakistan, the threat of a nuclear Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Aaron David Miller is a public policy fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for

AARON DAVID MILLER: The President has sharply broken with past precedent that he is out to draw
some very bright lines on settlement activity. And it may well be that someone has convinced him,
maybe the Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, maybe Hillary Clinton, who are both veterans of the first
Netanyahu government, 96-99, that in the end it's going to be very difficult to get to a two-state
solution, to meet Israeli and Palestinian requirements with Netanyahu as President.

So I'm not sure the President is that concerned right now. He's identified an issue that is a safe
issue, settlement activity. He's very sensitive to Israeli security requirements. And he may well
have decided that let the chips and the Government of Israel fall as it were, where they may.

KIM LANDERS: While the President won't flinch from difficult topics, the White House is also
cautioning that he's not about to break new policy ground in his Cairo speech.

This is Kim Landers in Washington for "The World Today".

Desperate measures in small-town Russia as downturn bites

Desperate measures in small-town Russia as downturn bites

The World Today - Thursday, 4 June , 2009 12:38:00

Reporter: Scott Bevan

PETER CAVE: In Russia, the starkest signs of the damage being wrought by the economic crisis are to
be found not in the big cities but in small, one-company towns.

As factories shut their doors in these communities unemployment is soaring and so is the anger of
the residents. This week, two towns in regional Russia have decided that desperate times require
desperate action.

Moscow correspondent Scott Bevan reports.

SCOTT BEVAN: Pikalevo may be a small dot on the map of Russia, but for many of the 22,000 people
who call it home, watching their world fall apart due to the economic crisis has become too much to

Svetlana Antropova is a union delegate for what was the town's largest employer, a cement plant.

SVETLANA ANTROPOVA (translated): The situation is very dire. The people's morale is low, to say
nothing of their financial situation, so that is why they've resorted to extreme measures.

SCOTT BEVAN: More than 500 residents from this town in north-west Russia held a highway protest,
blocking a main road to St Petersburg for about seven hours.

Their action, they say, was a cry for help. The three main factories in the town have ceased
production. One of them was controlled by a company of Oleg Deripaska, who this time last year was
considered Russia's richest man but is now dealing with huge debts.

Pikalevo estimates that half its workforce has lost employment and what's more, millions of dollars
in wages and entitlements are owed. Residents say the town is doing it so tough that its hot water
was cut off because so many couldn't afford to pay their bills.

Thousands of kilometres away in Siberia, 42 workers of the now-dormant Baikalsk Pulp and Paper
Mill, another Deripaska-connected business, are going on a hunger strike because they say they're
owed more than $4-million. And they warn the job losses and drying up of money are decimating the
town of Baikalsk which relies on the mill.

Andrei Kortunov is the head of a social development agency called the New Eurasia Foundation. He
says many one-company towns right across Russia are feeling pain.

ANDREI KORTUNOV: Some company towns are capable of diversifying their economic infrastructure and
are in a relatively decent position but for many of them the only future is to turn into ghost

SCOTT BEVAN: Protesting residents in both Baikalsk and Pikalevo have called for the state to take
over the companies their towns depend on.

In response to the highway protest, a couple of federal parliamentarians have introduced a bill to
nationalise the three factories in Pikalevo.

Local union delegate Svetlana Antropova:

SVETLANA ANTROPOVA (translated): The state should take care of the town, because how can you drop a
community of 22,000 people?

SCOTT BEVAN: Pikalevo is expecting a visit from Prime Minister Vladimir Putin today who of late has
regularly popped up in strife-torn towns. The Government has been making promises of money and
support for local industries to quell complaints but Andrei Kortunov from the New Eurasia
Foundation says what's needed is a longer-term, strategic approach such as implementing social
works programs.

ANDREI KORTUNOV: If your intention is just to suppress the most evident manifestations of social
unrest then I don't think that this problem has a solution.

SCOTT BEVAN: Andrei Kortunov says the local pockets of unrest haven't yet damaged the popularity of
Vladimir Putin or his successor in the Kremlin, Dmitry Medvedev, but that could change.

ANDREI KORTUNOV: If nothing is done, if the situation does not change for the better one can
imagine that the popularity of Mr Putin and Mr Medvedev will go down and the social unrest will
have political implications, and this is definitely something that the Government is particularly
concerned about.

SCOTT BEVAN: With the nation's unemployment rate already over 10 per cent and the jobless queues
expected to grow, the road ahead for Russia may be blocked more often by angry and desperate
small-town residents.

This is Scott Bevan in Moscow for "The World Today".

Australian stem-cell company shut down

Australian stem-cell company shut down

The World Today - Thursday, 4 June , 2009 12:42:00

Reporter: David Mark

PETER CAVE: The scientist who founded Australia's first private stem-cell research laboratory says
he's greatly disappointed that the company's work will all go offshore.

Stem Cell Sciences in Melbourne has been shut down by its US parent company. While 15 years' of
scientific work will continue in the US and Britain, it's not clear how many staff will also move

As David Mark reports there's now just one private company doing stem-cell research in Australia,
where until recently there were four.

DAVID MARK: In 1994 Dr Peter Mountford set up the first private Australian company doing research
purely into stem cells.

Earlier this year he sold his intellectual property to a US company, StemCells Inc. Now comes news
the Australian arm of the business will be closed and Dr Peter Mountford isn't happy.

PETER MOUNTFORD: It's a great disappointment to see the outcome of the US grabbing the spoils if
you like and they'll see the real benefit which comes closer to the end of the program, more so
than we will.

DAVID MARK: The US company's director of investor relations Megan Maloney explains the decision.

MEGAN MALONEY: We had to make this difficult decision in an effort to streamline our operations and
reduce overheads. So we certainly recognise and value the considerable scientific progress that
Stem Cell Sciences in Australia has achieved over the past few years but determined that the site's
location added too much complexity and cost to justify continuing our operations there.

DAVID MARK: The scientific work will continue in the UK and California. The Australian centre's
seven scientific staff have been offered relocation packages but it's not clear how many will take
up the offer.

Paul Bello is Stem Cell Sciences' acting operations manager.

PAUL BELLO: It's now very much up to the individual person whether they do or do not take up the
offer of Stem Cells Incorporated for relocation.

DAVID MARK: What's the mood like Paul Bello? This was one of the first Australian companies to do
private stem-cell research. It's now moving offshore. How has that been received by the staff

PAUL BELLO: It's hard news. It's sad news. But at the same time the group understands the reasoning
behind the decision that Stem Cells Incorporated has made and they're also grateful that their work
over whatever time frame has been recognised as valuable and that it will be continued as best
possible under the circumstances.

DAVID MARK: What sort of loss is this to the Australian scientific community?

PAUL BELLO: It's certainly true that Stem Cell Sciences was undertaking what we would like to
consider cutting-edge stem-cell work with human embryonic stem cells and also adult stem cells and
obviously more recently iPS cells (induced pluripotent stem cells).

That work wasn't solely being undertaken by the Melbourne facility here. There are certainly other
groups in Australia that are also looking into that and they're quite reputable and quite

But it is a sad loss that obviously each group has a unique perspective on how to undertake the
work and would have advantages in pursuing the type of stem-cell work that we've been doing.

So yes it's a loss, but we certainly hope that the other groups, academic and/or commercial, that
are working on stem cells will be able to continue for themselves and also for the benefit of

DAVID MARK: Until recently there were four private biotech companies doing stem-cell research in
Australia. With Stem Cell Sciences going there's now just one left.

Dr Mountford says that it's a sign of the global times. He argues Australia has to target its
scientific research more strategically.

PETER MOUNTFORD: Look I think Australia still holds its head very highly in respect to science and
research and innovation. And the effort of the Government to invest very strongly in innovation is
a great move.

But really investing in innovation is itself not innovative because everybody's doing it. It's no
longer new. So it's far more challenging these days to be innovative and we should really be
focussing on ways to integrate into the global system so that we can ensure a better return in the
future. And that in itself is research, researching how to be innovative and I think that's where
we should be directing some of our efforts.

PETER CAVE: Dr Peter Mountford, the founder of Stem Cell Sciences, ending David Mark's report.

NSW farmers rally against coal mining

NSW farmers rally against coal mining

The World Today - Thursday, 4 June , 2009 12:46:00

Reporter: Brigid Glanville

PETER CAVE: Farmers from the Liverpool Plains area of northern New South Wales are hopeful that a
bill will be passed in State Parliament today to stop mining on prime agricultural land. More than
200 producers attended a protest outside Parliament House in Sydney this morning, claiming the
State Government doesn't care about Australia's food bowl.

Liverpool Plains farmers recently had a win when they managed to stop BHP-Billiton from mining the
area, but the threat still remains.

Brigid Glanville reports.

PROTESTER: We will not go away! We will go the distance!

(Crowd cheers)

BRIGID GLANVILLE: More than 200 farmers from northern New South Wales rallied outside State
Parliament this morning, warning the Rees Government they will fight to stop mining in their area.
They say the area, which produces 40 per cent of the nation's cereals, should be protected from
coal mining.

Gary Ferris is the president of the Gloucester Residents in Partnership.

GARY FERRIS: Water, our most precious resource, is abundant. We have one of the most pure and
reliable sources of water on the east coast of Australia. Our valley feeds the Manning Valley and
Myall Lakes and Port Stephens catchments.

The State Government has ignored our approved, long-term, sustainable, local environment plan.
Instead they have allowed coal exploration to occur in scenically protected zones. Shame on you

(Crowd cheers)

We are sick of being disregarded! The thoughtless, long-term destruction of our valuable
agricultural and food-producing land has to be stopped.

BRIGID GLANVILLE: In New South Wales Parliament today the Greens MP Lee Rhiannon is putting forward
a bill to ban coal mining within a kilometre of rivers and aquifers which feed prime agricultural
land. The Greens and farmers say only 8 per cent of land in New South Wales is zoned agricultural
and of that less than 1 per cent is what's classified as key agricultural land.

Greens MP Lee Rhiannon:

LEE RHIANNON: The Greens bill would stop exploring and mining on land designated as prime
agricultural land and also the land from which the water rises, that feeds that land.

Now we're not talking about a large amount of land. Agricultural land in New South Wales is no more
than 8 per cent so it's certainly not about shutting the industry down.

I am disturbed that there's been scare tactics that people will lose their jobs, that the industry
will close down. That's nothing to do with this bill. The bill is about restoring balance between
mining and farming.

BRIGID GLANVILLE: Last year Liverpool Plains farmers were successful in their fight to stop mining
in an area just south of Tamworth. BHP-Billiton pulled out of its plans to develop an open-cut coal

But Tim Duddy a farmer and spokesman for the Caroona Coal Action Group says this bill is needed to
ensure Australia has enough food to eat.

TIM DUDDY: Destroying prime agricultural land or huge underground water resources such as we have
in the Liverpool Plains, it's not acceptable. There's plenty of coal in plenty of other places.

If they remove a tonne of coal from Broken Hill or they remove a tonne of coal from the Liverpool
Plains, it's no different to the money that comes to the state. It is simply the difference of the
money that goes to the shareholders of the mining companies. It is not acceptable to compromise
Australia's agricultural production for the sake of mining.

BRIGID GLANVILLE: But farmers may have to wait a bit longer. While the Greens have the support from
the Liberal and National parties it's unlikely the bill will get up as the Labor Government has the

But Lee Rhiannon remains hopeful.

LEE RHIANNON: It's certainly hard to muster the numbers in the upper house because the Government
does do a deal with some of the other MPs but it is heartening that the Coalition is supporting it;
Gordon Moyes is supporting it. We only need the vote of one other MP to pass this bill.

And I know that many, four busloads have come from Caroona and Gloucester. There's many Sydney
supporters here, many farmers from other areas, and they're working hard on those three remaining
crossbenchers to give their vote.

PETER CAVE: The New South Wales Green MP Lee Rhiannon ending that report from Brigid Glanville.

NT Government in crisis as Scrymgour quits

NT Government in crisis as Scrymgour quits

The World Today - Thursday, 4 June , 2009 12:50:00

Reporter: Sara Everingham

PETER CAVE: And now to the Northern Territory where there's an unfolding political crisis underway.
The Labor MLA Marion Scrymgour is leaving the Labor Party.

Labor has a one-seat majority in the Northern Territory and this move by Ms Scrymgour raises big
questions about the future of the Government.

Sara Everingham is in Darwin. She's joined us now. Sara, how did she make the announcement?

SARA EVERINGHAM: Well Peter, she sent a signed fax to various organisations in the Northern

The ABC has obtained a copy of that fax and it says that she's told the Chief Minister of the
territory, Paul Henderson, that she can no longer be part of this Government. She says that she
will continue in Parliament and she'll represent her electorate as an independent.

She said no more than that. She's not making any further statements today. She said that she'll be
making further comments tomorrow.

PETER CAVE: This of course has come as no surprise. You foreshadowed it on this program earlier in
the week. Why exactly is she upset with the Government?

SARA EVERINGHAM: Well as we heard this week, Marion Scrymgour was threatening to leave the Labor
Party over its outstations policy. She had said that she accused the Government of lying to
Aboriginal people and not being honest with them over that policy.

And after that, so she was threatening to leave the party but then she had a caucus meeting
yesterday and she and Paul Henderson were side by side saying that they actually saw eye to eye on
this issue.

But today there's been an article in "NT News" and Marion Scrymgour is said to be furious about
that. That article said that Marion Scrymgour had burst into that caucus meeting yesterday in tears
and that she'd said that she went to her father's grave and that's when she decided she couldn't
leave the Labor Party. So Marion Scrymgour is reportedly very upset about that article.

PETER CAVE: How much trouble does this put the Government in?

SARA EVERINGHAM: Well that remains to be seen. What it means now is that the Labor Government will
have to negotiate with two independents rather than one.

But whether or not Marion Scrymgour will actually support Labor's legislation remains to be seen.
It's unlikely that she's going to support the position of the Opposition, the CLP, particularly on
Indigenous issues.

When it comes to the other independent in Parliament, Gerry Wood, the Labor Government certainly
doesn't have his support. There's been a falling out between the Government and Gerry Wood so I
think we're in for some interesting times in the Northern Territory.

PETER CAVE: How much longer will the Government have to tough it out?

SARA EVERINGHAM: Well you know we've recently had an election last year so there is some time left.
I think it's just coming up to the year anniversary since that election. So there is a fair road
ahead for the Government.

PETER CAVE: Okay, look thank you very much. We'll be closely watching that tomorrow of course.