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Turnbull forced to defend resignation call

Malcolm Turnbull has conceded Kevin Rudd no longer has a case to answer over allegations he'd done
favours for a car dealer friend. Meanwhile, the hoax email purported to have been from the Prime
Minister's office to Godwin Grech is now the subject of a police investigation.

PETER CAVE: From attack to defence, Malcolm Turnbull is facing more questions about the fake email
scandal dominating federal politics.

The Opposition Leader has conceded that Kevin Rudd no longer has a case to answer over allegations
he's done favours for a car dealer friend and Mr Turnbull has revealed that he and others from the
Opposition have spoken to the public servant at the heart of the controversy, Godwin Grech.

A hoax email that was purported to be from the Prime Minister's office to Mr Grech is now the
subject of a police investigation and as Emma Griffiths reports from Canberra, that's overshadowed
the Opposition's attempts to keep the pressure on the Treasurer over his involvement.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: From last Friday's swagger.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: The Prime Minister and the Treasurer have used their offices and taxpayers'
resources to seek advantage for one of their mates and then lied about it to the Parliament.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: The Opposition Leader has been forced to step back.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: I may have made the mistake of relying on Mr Grech's testimony in the Senate.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: That testimony from the Treasury official Godwin Grech at a Senate inquiry on
Friday led Malcolm Turnbull to call for the Prime Minister to explain or resign.

Mr Grech had said he remembered an email from the Prime Minister's office asking him to help the
Queensland car dealer John Grant, who's also Mr Rudd's neighbour and had given him a ute for his
electorate office.

Kevin Rudd said the email was nowhere to be found and called in the Federal Police.

The ABC revealed that the police had launched an investigation into Mr Grech, searching his home
and Treasury's computer system, and found the email was a hoax.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: We had no reason to believe that Mr Grech was not telling absolutely the truth.
He is a very senior Treasury official. A person in whom the Government, Mr Rudd and Mr Swan have
placed considerable trust, so we were entitled to rely on what he said but if he is wrong then the
case against Mr Rudd is not there.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: Now accusing eyes have turned on Malcolm Turnbull asking when and how he became
aware of the email.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: We, we became aware that there was, we became aware of reports that there were
communications, there was a communication between the Prime Minister's office and the Treasury over
OzCar sometime before we asked questions about it in the House.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: And how well he knew the Treasury official who's now under police investigation.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: I mean Mr Grech is very well known and I have certainly spoken to Mr Grech. I
know Mr Grech as I know many public servants in Canberra. He is a very highly regarded public

EMMA GRIFFITHS: It's been revealed that Godwin Grech once worked for the Opposition's Treasury
spokesman Joe Hockey.

JOE HOCKEY: It was around 10 years ago and he was a departmental officer in my office for a matter
of weeks and if there is somehow any suggestion at all that there was a relationship between Godwin
Grech and I in this matter, it's absolutely wrong because I haven't had a conversation with him for
at least a couple of years.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: But Joe Hockey later admitted he'd tried to have a chat with him after the Senate

JOE HOCKEY: Because I saw this very fragile person before a Senate committee, I mean, and you know
someone like that, what are you going to do? You're going to ring them up and say "Are you OK?" and
I did that. I left a message on his phone on Saturday and that was it, you know, "Are you OK?" and
I did not hear back from him.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: It's more ammunition for a government on the attack.

The Treasurer Wayne Swan.

WAYNE SWAN: Both Kevin and I have been accused of lying by Mr Turnbull and Mr Hockey. Now that's
been on the basis of a faked email. I think Mr Turnbull ought to resign and I also think Mr Hockey
now has some questions to answer now that he has admitted he has a relationship with the Treasury

EMMA GRIFFITHS: The hoax email has left little oxygen for the Opposition's main argument that Wayne
Swan has misled Parliament.

The Senate inquiry also revealed an email trail between the Treasurer's office and Godwin Grech
about John Grant Motors and there was evidence from Ford Credit that Mr Grant's case was brought up
at a meeting between Mr Grech and the finance company at the time that it was seeking half a
billion dollars worth of government guarantee.

Malcolm Turnbull says the case against Mr Swan is watertight.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: What Mr Rudd is trying to do is to divert attention from the fact that Mr Swan
unquestionably misled the Parliament. He did give special treatment to Mr Grant. He did use the
leverage of the Federal Government over Ford Credit when it was desperately seeking $500-million in
order to survive so that Mr Grant could secure an advantage.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: But the Treasurer's released a stream of other emails. He says they show John Grant
wasn't the only car dealer given a helping hand.

WAYNE SWAN: The additional emails we've put out overnight shut the door on this false case that
other car dealers didn't receive same treatment as Mr Grant. The emails that have gone out
overnight detail emails about other dealers that have got no relationship with myself, no
relationship with the Prime Minister.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: The Opposition's not convinced and says it will continue to target the Treasurer.

The issue's set to dominate this, the last week of Parliament before the winter break even though
the Senate is debating what both major parties have called the most important structural change in
Australia in years - emissions trading.

The Greens leader Bob Brown wants a change in priorities.

BOB BROWN: The whole of the country has lost traction due to this squabble between Malcolm
Turnbull, the Prime Minister and the Treasurer. We are dealing here with legislation in the Senate
that's about the future of planet and all the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition can do is
look at their own future based on a false email and a second hand ute.

PETER CAVE: Senator Bob Brown ending that report from Emma Griffiths.

World Bank says global recession set to become worse

The World Bank predicts the global economy will shrink by nearly 3 per cent this year, worsened by
a big drop in trade and business lending. Its latest report also says poor countries face a hard
time getting finance, and many of them will struggle to pay their foreign debt.

PETER CAVE: The World Bank has come out with another pessimistic report.

It's again downgraded the outlook for global growth this year because it says that foreign
investment and trade flows have dried up.

The bank says the world's economy will shrink by nearly 3 per cent this year and global trade will
plunge by almost 10 per cent.

It says that poor countries face a dismal problem getting finance and many will find it difficult
to pay their foreign debt.

Finance reporter Sue Lannin.

SUE LANNIN: Over the past few months the focus for the world economy has been on the glass half

Share markets have rallied and the green shoots of recovery have appeared to take root.

But now the World Bank has downgraded its forecasts for the global economy this year, partly
because business lending has continued to stall.

The World Bank's Andrew Burns.

ANDREW BURNS: The revision is mainly a reflection of what has already happened rather than what's
going to happen over the next several months. When our earlier forecasts came out with those of the
IMF and many others, we hadn't gotten the first quarter results that were so bad in so many
countries and as a result much of the revision really is a reflection of how bad the first quarter
and the fourth quarter of 2008 were.

Looking forward, we do so recovery beginning in the second half of this year and into next year.

SUE LANNIN: But with world trade expected to drop by 10 per cent this year, a recovery in 2010
could be difficult and Andrew Burns says it could get worse.

ANDREW BURNS: We probably need a bit of good luck. There is the real risk that these concerns and
worries that drove the pulling back in investment that we saw in the third... the fourth quarter
rather of last year and the first quarter of this year, that they don't recover, that some of that
stabilization that we've seen most recently doesn't pursue.

And if that occurs then we have the possibility anyway that in some regions of the world,
particularly Europe and Central Asia, some of the former Soviet bloc countries, there is a
possibility of the crisis deepening in those countries and that they serve to be a further drag on
global growth.

SUE LANNIN: The main bright spots are China and India.

Their economies haven't been as badly affected by the global economic downturn because of their
strong level of domestic savings.

Andrew Burns again.

ANDREW BURNS: Some of the strength that we're currently seeing in the global economy is coming from
developing countries, particularly Chinese demand for imports is rising relatively rapidly. That's
sparking some of the recovery or some of the stabilization that we observe in Japan. So there is
something coming from developing countries.

The real story here is that we are going into a recovery that is going to be a lot weaker than it
has been in the past.

SUE LANNIN: Richard Martin, managing director of consultancy IMA Asia, is an optimist but he agrees
that the falling foreign investment is hampering any recovery.

RICHARD MARTIN: That forecast is a bit of a rude shock at the end of a pretty good second quarter
so I think this World Bank report is the first big negative report we have had out in almost three

What it seems to be indicating is that they're worried about, we're not getting global finance
working as well as it should and we won't get out of this recession until we start to get a better
flow of capital inside markets and across borders.

They're starting to ask questions, which a lot of people are asking, is what happens after the
fiscal stimulus? If we don't get a private sector lift, do governments have enough money to come
back in with another injection into the economy and the answer for many countries is, no they

PETER CAVE: Richard Martin from the Asian business consultancy IMA Asia, ending that report from
Sue Lannin.

Australian share market opens lower

While share markets around the world, including Australia's, took a short term hit in reaction to
the latest World Bank report, analysts say the outlook in the longer term is more positive with
ABARE's forecast of an increase in farm export and mining earnings.

PETER CAVE: Well that gloomy news from the World Bank has pushed down share markets around the
globe and just after opening, the Australian share market had fallen 3 per cent. There were similar
falls in both Japan and Hong Kong.

Equity and commodity markets were both hit overnight, another sign of how fragile markets are
reacting to any piece of bad news. But there could be better news in the long term today, with both
commodity and mining export earnings from Australia forecast to increase.

Reporter Brigid Glanville spoke to the chief economist at CommSec, Craig James.

CRAIG JAMES: Fund managers around the world are scrambling to lock in some of the gains, very sharp
gains that we are seeing in terms of commodity markets and equity markets over the past month and
certainly over the past quarter.

So a fair degree of profit taking is occurring at the moment, particularly in the commodity markets
and of course, that is hitting Australia quite hard.

BRIGID GLANVILLE: And what about forecasts from, economic growth forecasts which have been
downgraded by the World Bank? Are they having an impact?

CRAIG JAMES: Well, that is an interesting one. The World Bank has issued a new forecast for
economic growth but those forecasts were originally released on June 11 around about a fortnight

Those forecasts were out at that time, barely caused a ripple in the markets. Overnight it's blamed
for the fact that the equity and commodity markets have fallen.

I think it is more the scapegoat rather than anything else. I think what we're seeing is just good
old fashioned profit taking.

BRIGID GLANVILLE: The latest farm export earnings are out from the Australian Bureau of
Agricultural and Resource Economics. Now longer term, what sort of picture can we expect to see?

CRAIG JAMES: Well, overall it is a fairly favourable picture over the longer term. While there is a
decline in commodity export revenue over the next 12 months, a lot of that is driven by weaker
prices for coal and iron ore, and coal and iron ore prices soared over the past year.

They were clearly not going to be sustained and that is why we're seeing the drop but if you look
at mineral and energy commodities more specifically, they're going to be up around about 6 per cent
over the year. Farm exports are going to rise a little over the next 12 months.

When you consider the sort of environment we're in, to see the commodity export revenues rise is a
very encouraging sign.

BRIGID GLANVILLE: Given that we're going to see an increase in farm export earnings and an increase
in mining export earnings, they're estimated to rise by something like 36 per cent, what impact do
you think this may have on GDP and overall the economy? Are we going to see a turnaround?

CRAIG JAMES: I think we are seeing a turnaround at the moment. We're seeing slow pickup over the
past couple of months and that is going to continue in coming months.

The farm sector is holding up quite nicely in terms of the mining and the energy sectors. We are
seeing stronger demand from China and India. Higher demand, higher prices and that's good news for
our revenues.

PETER CAVE: CommSec's Craig James speaking there to Brigid Glanville.

Crisis? What global financial crisis, say big banks

The ABC's economics correspondent Stephen Long takes a close look at the latest numbers from the
banking regulator, which show the profits of the big four banks continued to rise last year. The
major banks also made hefty profit margins that eclipsed those of their smaller rivals.

PETER CAVE: The global financial crisis and the economic downturn haven't done too much harm to
Australia's major banks.

The latest numbers from the banking regulator show that the profits of the big four banks continued
to rise last year.

And the big four also made hefty profit margins that eclipsed those of their smaller rivals.

Joining me in The World Today studio with more details is our economics correspondent Stephen Long.

Stephen, how have the banks fared overall?

STEPHEN LONG: Well Peter, it really is a case of two tiers - a tale of two tiers if you like - with
the big four banks doing really, really well and the second tier banks, the other domestic banks,
actually doing pretty badly.

So if you look at the profit margins for banks, over the 12 months to the end of last year the
overall profit margin was 23.2 per cent but the big four banks operated with a profit margin of
30.6 per cent.

For the other banks the profit margin was just 12 per cent.

The assets of the big four banks have soared. They have risen from $180-billion in 2007 to
$244-billion in assets in the following year, last year, whereas they've absolutely gone backwards
by a rate of knots for the other domestic banks.

So what you're seeing is the big four banks gobbling up more and more market share, making a hefty
clip on it, so that - just on some other statistics - the net interest income for banks in the 12
months to the end of last year was just shy of $47-billion.

But nearly 80 per cent of that was with the big four - nearly $37-billion in interest income and on
fees and commissions, $21-billion for banks and 71 per cent, nearly $15-billion of those fees and
commissions, was with the big four.

So what you're seeing is that the major banks are doing really, really well despite the crisis and
the second tier financial institutions in Australia are really getting hit pretty badly.

PETER CAVE: OK so no tears for the top tier. How did that compare to the previous year, before the
crisis began to really bite?

STEPHEN LONG: Well, what you're seeing is that there really has been no substantive hit to the big
four. So if you look at their operating income for the big four, it has gone up from $51-billion to
$56.7-billion, so they've actually increased their income and the net profits are roughly the same.

They have gone up by $30-million so roughly the same, no hit there, and their return on equity has
fallen because they've had to raise, issue more shares to sure up their capital and all that kind
of stuff because of the crisis so the return on equity has fallen a little bit from just shy of 19
per cent to 16.5 per cent but not much and the return on assets is pretty much the same.

Again, if you go to the other banks, you have seen a collapse on their return on equity from 15 per
cent in 2007 before the worst of the financial crisis hit to less than 8.5 per cent last year. So
the same story, a tale of two tiers.

PETER CAVE: Why isn't the share market impressed by all of this?

STEPHEN LONG: Well, I think that there's a couple of things going on there Peter. One is that the
Australian banks are just getting hit by a global run on financial stocks and they are just hit by
guilt by association if you like and the other thing is that their loan losses and impairments have
risen and the expectation is that they will see more bad loans on the books but really, despite
that, you've got a situation where they are doing very, very well and to, you would have to imagine
at some stage, if they keep going well like this, then the share prices will bounce back.

PETER CAVE: Our economics correspondent, Stephen Long.

Woman's death a rallying cry as Tehran protests continue

Anti-government protesters in Tehran have again clashed with police, as footage of a young woman
killed in a weekend rally provokes outrage around the world. The UN has called on the Iranian
authorities to stop using force against the protesters, but the US is treading cautiously.

PETER CAVE: Anti-government protestors have again taken to the streets of Tehran, despite a warning
from the Revolutionary Guard that it would not tolerate any more public demonstrations.

Eyewitnesses say that hundreds of riot police used batons and tear gas to quickly break up a
gathering of about 200 protesters.

As overseas analysts support claims of vote rigging, the young woman who was killed during protests
on Saturday appears to have become a focal point for anti-government demonstrators, after images of
her dying moments were posted on the internet.

Meredith Griffiths reports.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: Twenty-six-year-old philosophy student Neda Agha Soltan was shot on Saturday at
an Opposition rally in Tehran.

Her fiancee Caspian Makan has spoken to the BBC about the moments leading up to her death.

CASPIAN MAKAN (translated): She was near the area a few streets away from the main protests. She
was with her music teacher, sitting in a car, stuck in traffic. She was feeling very tired and hot
so she got out of the car for just a few minutes and that's when it all happened - that's when she
was shot dead.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: Caspian Makan says she was shot in the chest by members of the Besij militia.

Neda Soltan's death may never have even been publically known if not for the fact that someone used
a mobile phone camera to film the frantic efforts to save her as she lay slumped on the pavement,
covered in blood.

The footage was posted on the internet and for many protesters has now become a symbol of what they
are fighting for.

Neda Soltan's fiancee Caspian Makan says she's been buried in a special area that the authorities
have set aside for people killed during the violent clashes over the past week

CASPIAN MAKAN (translated): We had planned to hold a memorial service at the mosque but the
authorities there and the paramilitary group, the Basijis, wouldn't allow it because they were
worried it would attract unwanted attention and they didn't want any more trouble. The authorities
were aware that everybody in Iran and throughout world knows about her story. So that's why they
didn't want a memorial service. They were afraid that lots of people could turn up at the event.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: The graphic images of Neda Soltan's dying moments have even been viewed in

Ian Kelly is a spokesman for the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

IAN KELLY: She is following the situation with great concern. And, as I said, these are very
dramatic and very distressing images that we see. Most distressing of all is the image of this
young woman covered in blood.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: And the president's spokesman Robert Gibbs says Barack Obama has also been
following the images that have made it out of Iran

ROBERT GIBBS: I think he has been moved by what we've seen on television. I think particularly so,
by images of women in Iran who have stood up for their right to demonstrate, to speak out and to be

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: But he says Washington still wants to pursue diplomatic relations with Tehran
because it's still worried about the country's nuclear interests.

Republicans have criticised Barack Obama for not taking a stronger line against the Iranian
Government over the past few days but Robert Gibbs says the President does not want to take action
that would give the Iranian authorities an excuse to portray the US as a common enemy.

The United Nations Secretary-General has issued a statement calling on the Iranian authorities to
immediately stop arresting, threatening and using force against civilians.

Ban Ki-moon is urging the Iranian Government and the Opposition to resolve their differences
peacefully through dialogue and legal means.

Meanwhile, analysts from the British foreign policy think-tank Chatham House and St Andrews
University have been analysing the voting figures and say they have found some irregularities.

One of the analysts Thomas Rintoul told Radio National Breakfast that in two rural electorates it
appears more than 100per cent of the people voted.

THOMAS RINTOUL: There is a degree of room for statistical irregularities. I mean, you know the
Government have made a big deal of people voting where they work, not where they live but on these
kinds of scales that would be really quite hard to swallow.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: Thomas Rintoul says all the swings were exceptionally large

THOMAS RINTOUL: When we looked at 10 provinces in particular, so that's you know a third of the
total in Iran, what we found was that in order for the official statistics to add up, Ahmadinejad
would have had to win every single voter who support the conservatives in 2005, which is
reasonable, but then also every voter who supported the centrist Rafsanjani in 2005, every voter
who didn't partake in this election now and wasn't around in 2005, which of course, you know, as
we've heard is a large number. And on top of all of those, which is difficult to believe in itself,
he would have had to win up to 44.5 per cent of people who voted for his opponents in 2005.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: Iran's highest electoral authority, the Guardian Council, has acknowledged
there were voting irregularities in 50 electoral districts but it insists the problems do not
affect the outcome of the vote.

PETER CAVE: That report from Meredith Griffiths.

Kremlin contemplates continued conflict in Caucasus

After two separatist wars in Chechnya, the North Caucasus is creating more headaches for Russia -
this time with an assassination attempt on the Kremlin-appointed president of Ingushetia. It's the
latest in a string of high-profile attacks in the troubled Russian republic.

PETER CAVE: Since the break-up of the Soviet Union, a constant thorn in Russia's side has been its
North Caucasus region.

Russia has fought to quell separatists in two wars in Chechnya, and recently violence has been
spilling over into neighbouring republics, creating a more widespread headache for Moscow.

Now the Kremlin-appointed President of Ingushetia has been the target of an assassination attempt -
the latest in a string of high-profile attacks in this troubled Russian republic.

Our correspondent Scott Bevan reports from Moscow.

SCOTT BEVAN: President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov was travelling in a motorcade bound for his office in the
Ingush capital of Nazran when there was an explosion. The President's spokesman Kaloi Akhilgov has
told the ABC it is believed a car bomb was detonated and that its target was the Ingush leader.

KARLOI AKHILGOV (translated): There was a parked car on the side of the road. We don't know the
exact model. It is being investigated. It exploded the exact moment the President's motorcade was
going past.

SCOTT BEVAN: Two were killed in the blast and the injured President was rushed to hospital where he
underwent emergency surgery. His spokesman described the President's condition as grave but stable.

Yunus-Bek Yevkurov was appointed leader of Ingushetia in October by President Dmitry Medvedev to
try and turn back the rising tide of violence in this predominately Muslim republic in Russia's
south. Moscow has often blamed this violence on separatist groups.

President Medvedev has described the attack on his handpicked leader as a terrorist act.

"A lot has been done by the Ingush President personally to sort out the mess and build peace in the
republic," Mr Medvedev said, "and militants don't like this so what's happened is in response to
his strengthening position of authority."

Being in a position of power in Ingushetia has become very dangerous. In the past fortnight, gunmen
have killed a senior judge and a former deputy prime minister and in nearby Dagestan violence is
also climbing. Just over two weeks ago, the republic's Interior Minister was shot dead at a

The insurgency spreading in the region flies in the face of Moscow ending its decade-long
counter-terrorism operator in Chechnya in April, declaring that separatists there had been

Tanya Lokshina is from the Moscow office of Human Rights Watch.

TANYA LOKSHINA: The situation in the Northern Caucuses is quite explosive and Ingushetia has
certainly become Russia's key hotspot these days.

SCOTT BEVAN: What are the implications of this assassination attempt for the people of Ingushetia?

TANYA LOKSHINA: Well, I've seen quite a few people in Ingushetia since this and everyone seems to
be pretty shaken up. People are frightened of what the insurgents are doing to the small republics.
They are also frightened over possible retaliation by the special services and all the large-scale
counter insurgency operation that have been planned on the ground.

SCOTT BEVAN: Within hours of the attack on the Ingush President, Russia's federal security service
had launched a counterterrorism operation in Nazran and that means the lives of everyone there are
changed as a range of restrictions comes into effect.

This is Scott Bevan in Moscow for The World Today.

Berlusconi accused of improper conduct again

Italy's flamboyant Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is facing fresh allegations of misconduct, as
he prepares to host next month's G8 summit. Three women, who claim to have been paid to attend one
of his parties, allege the 72-year-old slept with one of them.

PETER CAVE: There have been further allegations about the Italian Prime Minister's private life
just months after his wife accused him of having an improper relationship with an 18-year-old

Three women - who variously describe themselves as models, actresses and escorts - have now come
forward, claiming to have been paid to attend Silvio Berlusconi's parties. They've also alleged
that he slept with one of them.

The scandal threatens to overshadow the G8 summit next month, which the 72-year-old Prime Minister
is hosting in L'Aquila

Europe correspondent Emma Alberici.

EMMA ALBERICI: Magistrates in the southern Italian city of Bari are investigating an alleged
prostitution racket.

They were collecting evidence for the prosecution when some of the women questioned started
providing details of payments they received to attend parties at the Prime Minister's homes in Rome
and Sardinia.

(Sound of a video clip of a beauty contest)

EMMA ALBERICI: Twenty-three-year-old model Barbara Montereale is captured in a recent video clip
wearing a bathing suit, collecting a sash in a beauty contest in Italy. In an interview with the
BBC, she alleged that she was paid to go to Silvio Berlusconi's parties but she insists she's not
an escort.

BARBARA MONTEREALE (translated): We chatted and we dined. It seemed just a friendly occasion. It
was peaceful. We dined, we joked, we sang, we laughed.

INTERVIEWER: Sang with who?

BARBARA MOTNEREALE (translated): With him. He sings.

INTERVIEWER: On that occasion, did he give you any presents?

BARBARA MONEREALE (translated): Three gifts. Three gifts like necklaces or bracelets. Nice things
for young girls in other words.

EMMA ALBERICI: Barbara Montereale also alleged that a call girl, 42-year-old Patrizia D'Addario,
was promised business favours in return for sleeping with the Prime Minister on the fourth of
November last year - the night of the US presidential election.

A third young woman, Lucia Rossini, claimed that her invitation to Mr Berlusconi's home on the same
night came from a businessman and friend of the Prime Minister's Giampaolo Tarantini. All three
recall the moment in the night when the Prime Minister excused himself to record a message of
congratulations for Barack Obama. The women were supposedly paid to fly to the capital and put up
at an exclusive hotel.

At the end of the evening, the three women were allegedly given presents. Two of them left. One of
them stayed. She used her mobile phone to film herself in the room which contained a framed
photograph of Mr Berlusconi's wife, Veronica Lario.

The Italian Prime Minister has been involved in scandals before but the political commentator
Andrea Purgatori says this one is much more serious.

ANDREA PURGOTORI: Now if there is a question of money, corruption, sex, possibly drugs and the fact
that politics is involved, it is not any more a problem of a private life of a Prime Minister - it
is a problem of the image of the Prime Minister.

EMMA ALBERICI: Silvio Berlusconi himself says the allegations are all a lot of rubbish - part of a
smear campaign conjured up by his political enemies.

His long time friend and journalist Carlo Rossella agrees.

CARLO ROSSELLA: These allegation are invention, are rubbish, are all these sort of things. I don't
think that Berlusconi will need the power for this allegation if somebody wish in Italy and outside

EMMA ALBERICI: The Prime Minister's links to beautiful young women has been a feature of his entire
public life. When he first met Mara Carfagna - the former topless model - he told her that if he
weren't already married he would marry her in an instant.

The comments made it into a newspaper and his wife made him apologise. Still, he went on to make
Mara Carfagna his Minister for Equal Opportunity.

Then there were Mr Berlusconi's picks for Italy's representatives in the European Parliament.

One was a former Miss Italy contestant and television presenter Barbara Matera. When questioned
about her credentials, the Prime Minster said she's a graduate and she's beautiful.

But before today, the most damaging accusation against him was that he consorted with minors.

Last month his wife filed for divorce after claiming that he'd had an improper relationship with an
18-year-old model.

Silvio Berlusconi will be hoping that all these lurid accusations die down before he is scheduled
to host the world's most powerful leaders in L'Aquila for the G8 summit next month.

This is Emma Alberici reporting for The World Today.

Elliott tight-lipped on hush money allegations

Former Carlton officials have hit out at former president John Elliott's claims women were paid
hush money to keep rape allegations quiet. Mr Elliott says he can't elaborate on his story because
he's too old to remember those involved, but some say the claims are a publicity stunt.

PETER CAVE: Former Carlton officials have lashed out against the AFL club's ex-president John
Elliott over his claims the Blues paid hush money to women, alleging they were sexually assaulted
by Carlton footballers.

Mr Elliott claims four or five women were paid about $5,000 each in the 1980s and 1990s, to keep
their rape allegations quiet.

He told a newspaper he suspected one of the women could've been a legitimate victim.

But Carlton's former coach and chief executives have denied the claims.

Rachael Brown reports.

RACHAEL BROWN: Since John Elliott made the explosive hush money claims to a weekend newspaper, he
has refused to elaborate, telling journalists people should watch his new TV show on the community
television station, Channel 31, to learn more.

JOHN ELLIOTT: No, no, you'll have to watch C31 tomorrow night. That's my footy show.

RACHAEL BROWN: So no hush money?

JOHN ELLIOTT: I'm not going to answer your questions. You gotta come watch our show.

RACHAEL BROWN: Yesterday the station issued a press release saying John Elliott would be "spilling
the beans" on the so-called hush cash, on his show Big Jack and Kouta.

The sports wrap usually features on Mr Elliott's website, but it's made the move to TV, and is now
in its third week.

One of Mr Elliott's posts on his website reads, "We are discussing with Channel 31 whether we
should run a footy show against Channel Nine".

Former Carlton Premiership coach Robert Walls, on Channel Ten's footy chat show One Week at a Time,
mused he hoped Mr Elliott's allegations weren't a publicity stunt.

ROBERT WALLS: I'd be dreadfully disappointed if he was talking this way just to promote his TV
show. He needs to back up comments like that.

RACHAEL BROWN: But despite the build-up, John Elliott didn't back up his comments, when pressed by
his Channel 31 co-panellists and former Carlton players, Anthony Koutoufides and Jimmy Buckley.

JOHN ELLIOTT: Back in the old days when Jimmy played, we did have a few problems there at Carlton
as every club did but it was way back in the 1980s Kouta, and my point's been made. The press have
been hounding me and going mad...

ANTHONY KOUTOUFIDES: What I wanna know, I think you should name the people if you have gone that

JOHN ELLIOTT: I'm that old now I can't remember them.

JIMMY BUCKLEY: They say it was the 90s as well so ...

JOHN ELLIOTT: Early 90s.

JIMMY BUCKLEY: Ange was a Casanova of the 90s. Was he involved in any of this? Ange, have you got
anything to say.

JOHN ELLIOTT: Nobody here today was involved.

JIMMY BUCKLEY: Come out mate in the open and name them.

JOHN ELLIOTT: No, I can't name them because I can't remember them.


RACHAEL BROWN: The evasion has angered past and present members of Carlton's football circle.

Robert Walls says the claims have come out of the blue

ROBERT WALLS: I absolutely know nothing about that. It casts a shadow over a lot of people, the
coaches of the time...

INTERVIEWER: We are talking about the 80s and the 90s.

ROBERT WALLS: Yeah, well you are talking about people like David Parkin, myself, Alex Jesaulenko.
You are talking about the CEO's, Ian Collins and Stephen Gough.

RACHAEL BROWN: Former CEOs Ian Collins and Stephen Gough have denied knowledge of the hush money
claims, but declined to be interviewed by The World Today.

Robert Walls again.

ROBERT WALLS: John's got to be careful because he can embarrass that football club and now he
throws a grenade over the fence like that and is happy just to walk away. He better have some solid
facts because you can't just do that and embarrass a football club and he's just got to be careful
that he doesn't become an irrelevant dinosaur.

RACHAEL BROWN: One person echoing the dinosaur label is Professor Catharine Lumby, who is a
pro-bono advisor to the National Rugby League on gender issues.

CATHARINE LUMBY: He is 100 per cent out of step with where community standards are and certainly
out of step where most football codes are going today. There is a strong recognition, not just in
the NRL but I think across sporting codes, that sexual assault against women is a serious crime.
You do not cover up serious crimes and it is time that we faced up to problems we have, whether it
is in sport or anywhere else when it comes to the mistreatment of women.

RACHAEL BROWN: So if his claims are legitimate you would argue he should come forward and elaborate
on them?

CATHARINE LUMBY: Well I think they're absolutely appalling claims. Firstly, he is talking about
allegations of a very serious crime, that is sexual assault, and he is presupposing that he knows
the facts of those things. That is a matter for the criminal law. It is outrageous that anyone
would pay money to cover up allegations about a serious criminal offence. I think this is a very
serious matter.

RACHAEL BROWN: The AFL says it formalised its personal conduct policy earlier this year which
prohibits paying victims of crime.

PETER CAVE: Rachael Brown reporting.

Researchers look to cancer drug to treat MS

Researchers look to cancer drug to treat MS

Nicole Butler reported this story on Tuesday, June 23, 2009 12:42:00

A British neurologist says the common cancer drug, Cladribine, could revolutionise the treatment of
multiple sclerosis. The Cladribine tablet would be the first non-injectable medication for MS, and
tests have shown it's more effective at slowing the disease progression and relapses.

PETER CAVE: Eighteen thousand Australians have the crippling and often unpredictable disease,
multiple sclerosis.

Currently, the only treatments involve constant injections and sufferers have long wanted an

Now researchers in Britain believe that a common cancer drug could revolutionise the treatment of

Not only is it a pill but it also seems more effective at slowing down the debilitating disease.

From Brisbane, Nicole Butler reports.

NICOLE BUTLER: Ever since Simone Rutherford was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis five years ago
she's had to give herself an injection every second day.

The 42-year-old says she often wishes she could take a tablet instead.

SIMONE RUTHERFORD: Well that would be fantastic and it is something myself and other people with MS
often talk about, the whole idea of having an oral medication rather than a needle, because you
know, there can be, there is a lot of side-effects with the current medication.

Some people can get flu-like symptoms with the injections and also there's site reactions that you
can have to your skin which can be quite uncomfortable and very, very painful and also the whole
idea of doing needles is quite awful as well.

So I think we talk a lot about taking a pill because that would be so much easier. I mean I'm sure
there might be side effects for that as well but the whole idea of not doing injection regularly
would be great.

NICOLE BUTLER: Gavin Giovannoni from Queen Mary University of London believes a common cancer drug
could be the answer to that prayer.

GAVIN GIOVANNONI: We've taken a medication that's been around for 20 years. It's called Cladribine.
It's been used mainly for a very rare leukaemia called hairy cell leukaemia and it's been
reformulated into a tablet.

NICOLE BUTLER: He says - most importantly- trials have shown the Cladribine pill is about twice as
effective at treating MS than the current options.

GAVIN GIOVANNONI: With the first line injectables the average relapse reduction is about a third
and we see now with the oral Cladribine the relapse reduction is about between 55 and 58 per cent.
It also reduces what we call disability progression, so now all of sudden we have got a more
effective option in the form of a tablet.

NICOLE BUTLER: It is a double win, really isn't it?

GAVIN GIOVANNONI: It is a double win.

NICOLE BUTLER: The British neurologist says constant injections could become a thing of the past
for people with MS.

GAVIN GIOVANNONI: The real innovation now is the dosing frequency. We call it a short course.
People who take the short course take tablets for 4-5 days in one week, a month later take another
4-5 days of tablets and that's all they require until the next year, so it's really 10 days of
tablets per year.

NICOLE BUTLER: Bill Carroll is chair of the Multiple Sclerosis Research Management Council in

He says the new MS drug is an exciting development, even though there's still questions about its
long term safety.

BILL CARROLL: All of these drugs which we use in MS have had some side-effects. The most recent of
this has been Natalizumab, Tysabri resulted in an opportunistic infection that's confined to the
brain and that has been totally unexpected so it is highly likely that there will be some effect of
Cladribine on the body which is unwanted but there may not be, but it is highly likely that there
will be and so at this stage everybody has got to be reasonably cautious and at any stage, even
when it comes to market, there will fairly close surveillance programs.

NICOLE BUTLER: UK researchers hope the new MS Cladribine pill will be available within 12 months
but they say it won't be inexpensive.

PETER CAVE: Nicole Butler reporting.

Swim coach goes against the current on suits

Swim coach goes against the current on suits

Simon Santow reported this story on Tuesday, June 23, 2009 12:46:00

Australia's head swimming coach has criticised a decision by the sport's authorities to allow some
high-tech swim suits to be used at next month's world championships in Rome. Some swimmers are now
torn between their loyalty to sponsors and competing on a level playing field.

PETER CAVE: Next month's world swimming championships are supposed to be a showcase for the world's
best swimmers.

But it seems that the focus may be not so much on the athletes but more on their high-tech swim

The sport's world governing body has ruled that almost all the new generation suits may be worn in

That move has enraged Australia's head swimming coach who says it goes against advice from an
expert panel.

Simon Santow reports.

SIMON SANTOW: In the sport of swimming, the focus has traditionally been on the athlete and their
temperament and technique.

But now there's a new question about their performance being asked - just what sort of swimsuit are
they wearing and how much more buoyant does it make the swimmer in the pool?

ALAN THOMPSON: Yeah, very disappointing that that's occurred. Yeah, it wasn't what we were
expecting but that is what it is now and we have to move forward.

SIMON SANTOW: Alan Thompson is Australia's head swimming coach and a man who the sport's
international body, FINA, consulted before ruling in favour of the high-tech suits being allowed at
the World Championships.

ALAN THOMPSON: I was on the panel that made a recommendation to the executive on Thursday and they
have chosen to ignore that recommendation.

SIMON SANTOW: And he's anxious that FINA take another look at banning some of the suits when they
meet again during the World Championships.

ALAN THOMPSON: We have got to get rid of that situation where we talk about what swimsuits people
are wearing and get back to talking about what the swimmers are doing and what the coaches are
doing and I think that is very important to make that decision sooner rather than later.

SIMON SANTOW: In a sport which often comes down to hundredths of a second, the head coach says the
team's sponsor Speedo will be flexible should any member of the team wish to use a rival suit,
particularly one that's thought to have a technological edge.

ALAN THOMPSON: They have a choice to make what they have. We will be supplying them with a Speedo
LZR Racer but Speedo are a great company and they allow us, and always have done, the opportunity
for swimmers to choose whatever swimwear they like to wear.

SIMON SANTOW: Sprinter Eamonn Sullivan has seen his own world record outstripped by a French
competitor wearing the latest and fastest suit.

He's busy in Europe preparing for Rome but his agent told The World Today that Sullivan will
continue to wear his own Speedo supplied suit, even though it's thought to be inferior.

His agent says Sullivan hopes to win on technique alone.

Sullivan's own coach Grant Stoelwinder has long expressed fears about the way the sport is

GRANT STOELWINDER: There's sort of certain buoyancy to some of the suits and I think now what's
happening is there is a lot of new manufacturers that have come into the game and it is sort of,
they are almost like full wetsuits type deal. So I think, you know, from that point of view, it is
not something that we really want in the sport so there is sort of the boundaries of how far these
suits can go I think are being really stretched.

SIMON SANTOW: In an interview six months ago, he predicted that if nothing was done to arrest the
march of technology, swimming's credibility was on the line.

GRANT STOELWINDER: Look, I think this year it is obviously I think it is about 108 world records
have been broken. I think that is sort of a ridiculous. You know they are not, a world record is
about the most talented athletes and you know, each year you would want to see some world records
broken because it is exciting for the sport but the amount we have seen in the last 12 months is

PETER CAVE: Eamonn Sullivan's swim coach Grant Stoelwinder, speaking there to our reporter Simon

Mawson Hut restorers get wind of power plan

Mawson Hut restorers get wind of power plan

Felicity Ogilvie reported this story on Tuesday, June 23, 2009 12:50:00

Commonwealth Bay in Antarctica is one of the world's most windy places. It's also where Sir Douglas
Mawson built his hut. Now the team restoring the hut has hatched a plan to get energy from
wind-powered generators.

PETER CAVE: In 1912, Sir Douglas Mawson built a hut in Antarctica in place that's one of the
windiest in the world.

Now the team restoring his hut are putting a wind generator in at the site.

The plan is to turn the hurricane force winds that have almost destroyed the hut into a power
source that can be used to restore them.

But will the wind blow the generator away?

Felicity Ogilvie reports from Hobart

FELICITY OGILVIE: When Sir Douglas Mawson led Australia's first expedition to Antarctica he thought
Cape Denison looked like a perfect place to build a hut.

The ship pulled into an ice free bay and it was a sunny calm day.

It's only after the ship left Commonwealth Bay that Sir Douglas Mawson discovered the reason why
there was no ice in the bay.

(Sound of wind blowing)

Hurricane force winds blew the ice out to sea and bore down on the hut with such force it almost
blew away.

He describes the experience is his book - aptly called The Home of the Blizzard.

EXCERPT FROM BOOK (voiceover): Picture drifts so dense that daylight comes through dully, though,
maybe, the sun shines in a cloudless sky; the drift is hurled, screaming through space at a hundred
miles an hour, and the temperature is below zero, Fahrenheit. You have then the bare, rough facts
concerning the worst blizzards of Adelie Land.

FELICITY OGILVIE: A group called the Mawson's Huts Foundation is restoring the hut.

The foundation's chairman, David Jensen, is planning to turn the wind to their advantage by
installing a wind powered generator.

DAVID JENSEN: We have accommodation headquarters so we need power for lighting. We need power for
the power tools that we have to use in the conservation of the site, so that includes chainsaws we
have to use to help remove the ice. We've got communications we need to power.

FELICITY OGILVIE: What about power for heating? It is Antarctica.

DAVID JENSEN: Yeah, we need that also and that's important. It seldom gets above zero when our team
is down there, even during the summer, and we've got to keep them nice and warm and snug and fit
for the work they do.

FELICITY OGILVIE: The average wind speed at the hut is 70 kilometres an hour. Hurricane force winds
have been measured at more than 300 kilometres an hour.

Neil Adams is the Antarctic weather specialist at the Bureau of Meteorology in Hobart.

NEIL ADAMS: Cape Denison, where the Mawson's Hut is located, is actually sort of the windiest place
on the surface of the planet according to our meteorological records. Very strong catabatic flow
down across Mawson's Hut, you know very strong average winds and very high gusts, you know, gusts
up over 300 kilometres an hour at times and the long term mean is around 70 kilometres an hour.

So a lot of wind so that might sound good for a wind generator but from my experience, when we have
actually put wind generators in Antarctica at certain locations, there are real problems with them
being blown, you know, that the wind actually destroying them. There's too much wind.

FELICITY OGILVIE: David Jensen says he's going to make sure the wind generator is sturdy and he
won't be leaving it down in Antarctica during winter.

DAVID JENSEN: There are some units in the States we are looking for. I haven't been able to find
one in Australia yet but I would very much like to but it's one that we could put up and dismantle
very quickly so that if the wind strengths while we are down there get too strong, we can just take
it down but we believe they're around it.

We don't need a large one. About the same size as they use on the back of yachts would suffice.
They generate quite a bit of power.

FELICITY OGILVIE: One thing is for certain - there'll be plenty of wind to power the generator.

PETER CAVE: Felicity Ogilvie reporting.