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Labor on front foot after Arbib angst

Labor on front foot after Arbib angst

Lyndal Curtis reported this story on Friday, July 31, 2009 12:10:00

PETER CAVE: The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister have been doing some damage control after
the Employment Participation Minister Mark Arbib couldn't explain the details of the centrepiece of
Kevin Rudd's opening address to the Labor Party conference yesterday.

Mr Rudd announced new green jobs, traineeships and apprenticeships but when asked Senator Arbib
couldn't say if the 10,000 Green Jobs Corps places were work experience or a real job.

It was the one glitch in an otherwise stage-managed and controlled party conference which is
continuing debate today.

Our chief political correspondent Lyndal Curtis is at the conference in Sydney. She joins us now
from our conference studio.

Lyndal, just how bad was that stumble?

LYNDAL CURTIS: Well Peter given how hard the Labor Party and its senior members are working to make
this conference a virtual news-free zone, trying to send the signal that they are just getting on
with the job, the stumble by Mark Arbib stood out.

It was amplified because the announcement about green jobs and training places was supposed to be
the only headline out of the day.

Mr Rudd announced the program made up of some jobs and more training in his conference speech in
the morning and several hours later when Senator Arbib did an interview on Sky TV he couldn't
explain the difference between work experience and a job.

MARK ARBIB: No, well, yeah, well this is a work experience program so they go into their...

REPORTER: Well hang on, a job or a work experience program?

MARK ARBIB: Well work experience program is a job. They will be actually working during this time.

REPORTER: Is this not just the same as a work for the dole scheme?

MARK ARBIB: Well in terms of the, in terms of the program I don't have all the details but...

REPORTER: You are the minister though.

MARK ARBIB: Well, I am but I don't have all the details today for you mate.

LYNDAL CURTIS: So it was left to the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister to try and
explain it all away.

Mr Rudd did an interview with Melbourne Radio 3AW this morning and Julia Gillard was on AM and they
both had the same message - that this can happen to anyone.

KEVIN RUDD: I think it's fair to say, I think Mark would admit himself he didn't have the best of
days yesterday but you know, that's not unique to him and it's not unique to politics.

JULIA GILLARD: Well look I think anybody can make an error. Live radio, live TV obviously anybody
can make an error. I think we'd all say we've made mistakes from time to time.

What Mark said is that he would provide the information he was asked for and obviously the
Government is able to provide that information.

PETER CAVE: The Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard on AM this morning.

Lyndal, the Government has also been accused of spinning the announcement because only a small
proportion of those will actually be new jobs. How has it responded?

LYNDAL CURTIS: Well Mr Rudd said in his speech and his media release yesterday that these were
50,000 new green jobs and training places but a closer look shows that only 10,000 are new jobs and
some of those are only short-term jobs.

The rest are training either in work experience or the work for the dole job core scheme or an
add-on to apprentice training that is already taking place.

It's clear this has been in the wings for some time, that money was set aside in the Budget for it
- I guess something else that makes it curious that Mark Arbib wasn't across the detail.

But Mr Rudd has defended the announcement this morning saying what's new about the apprenticeships
is the skills they get at the end.

KEVIN RUDD: The apprenticeships deal with a whole new set of skills and the money, let me go to the

REPORTER: So are they new jobs or not?

KEVIN RUDD: Well can I say that the money underpinning these things Neil is absolutely new. They
were provided into the contingency reserve of the Government at budget time as we worked our way
through these measures.

And secondly it is a combination of jobs, apprenticeships and traineeships as I said in my speech
yesterday. And it's all about making a difference at a time of global economic recession.

PETER CAVE: The Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

The conference of course is still going on. It is debating resolutions. What's on its agenda today?

LYNDAL CURTIS: Well, they have been discussing health and education this morning. This afternoon
it's mainly industrial relations. There are some things to be resolved particularly on issues of
job security that the unions are quite strong about - workers' entitlements, occupational health
and safety and also the coercive powers of the building watchdog, the Building and Construction
Commission although a resolution on that has been watered down.

There are also still talks going on behind the scenes to resolve differences over whether the
conference should support a motion endorsing, even in a tangential way, gay marriage.

PETER CAVE: Lyndal Curtis there.

ACTU presses for intervention on entitlements

ACTU presses for intervention on entitlements

Lyndal Curtis reported this story on Friday, July 31, 2009 12:14:00

PETER CAVE: The ACTU is pressing the Federal Government to introduce stronger protection for
workers' entitlements in the next couple of months.

As we just heard, industrial relations will be the topic of the afternoon at the conference today.

The ACTU Secretary Jeff Lawrence says there needs to be active intervention in the labour market
and Mr Lawrence has told chief political correspondent Lyndal Curtis the ACTU wants 100 per cent of
entitlements protected.

JEFF LAWRENCE: I am hopeful that there will be an amendment to the platform and all these issues
will be dealt with this afternoon, that we will commit a Labor Government to action in the future
that will guarantee all entitlements.

LYNDAL CURTIS: Will that include employers making some provision for workers' entitlements?

JEFF LAWRENCE: Well there are a range of options that are there and I don't think the proposition
will go to that level of detail. Indeed even in the ACTU Congress policy we set out a number of
options that could be implemented.

So I think what needs to happen is there needs to be a full discussion about that and some detailed
work done and measures put in place. And clearly there will need to be consultation with employers.

LYNDAL CURTIS: Is it right to be wary of putting any extra impost on employers particularly at a
time when many businesses are finding the economic situation particularly tough?

JEFF LAWRENCE: Well some are and some aren't. I mean it does depend upon the circumstances of each
industry but I'd be confident that we can put in place, provided that there is appropriate
consultation about that including with the unions of course, that there can be measures that can be
put in place that will take account of the circumstances that operate. And of course they can vary
from industry to industry. There's different awards that operate, different industrial collective

But I think the first step is for the Government to commit to action in this area and we'll
absolutely allocate all of the resources to make sure that an appropriate scheme is put in place.

LYNDAL CURTIS: And when should the Government introduce reforms to this?

JEFF LAWRENCE: Well it needs to happen urgently. And it's clear that over the next 12 months there
is going to be an increase in unemployment. I hope we don't get to the 8.5 per cent unemployment
rate that is projected by the middle of next year. But in any event there is no doubt that there
are going to be many, many jobs that are going to be potentially lost and so this is an urgent
issue that needs to be addressed.

And notwithstanding the fact that there appear to be, as they say, some green shoots in some parts
of the economy, until jobs turn around, until there is you know a stop in the increase of
unemployment and jobs are created, then that really, that's the concrete thing that Australian
workers and Australian working families will look at and say well that's what the global financial
crisis means to me. It's not an increase in the profits of Goldman Sachs in New York.

LYNDAL CURTIS: So you're talking weeks rather than months?

JEFF LAWRENCE: Well we are certainly talking action in the next couple of months and we are
certainly talking about an early start to examination of the options, absolutely.

LYNDAL CURTIS: You also want some changes to occupational health and safety laws/regulations. Are
you close to agreement on that?

JEFF LAWRENCE: Well there will be an ongoing process of discussion I think. This is a matter that
has been going on for some time. Actually under the Howard government there was an agreement
through COAG to move to harmonisation.

The important question here is that people don't lose protections that exist in current legislation
and of course the bringing together of legislation in each of the states with different provisions
in history. It is a complex matter but the crucial question for us is to make sure that people
don't lose out in the total package.

And we have identified some six issues, six crucial issues in a very complex report that need to be
addressed. So I think the important thing is to get back to the negotiating table because what came
out of the ministerial council meeting wasn't satisfactory for us because it didn't really address
those issues that we have.

So the important question is to get back to the negotiating table, see if we can get to an overall
package that does protect people's current conditions but at the same time brings all those issues
together because if there is not protection for people, if people are not secure about this then
the whole harmonisation process won't succeed in my view because it's depending on legislation by
the Federal Government and each of the states.

PETER CAVE: The ACTU Secretary Jeff Lawrence. He was speaking to our chief political correspondent
Lyndal Curtis.

Pacific, Australia should co-operate on climate, says UN

Pacific, Australia should co-operate on climate, says UN

Shane McLeod reported this story on Friday, July 31, 2009 12:18:00

PETER CAVE: Australia's regional role in climate talks is under scrutiny with the head of the
United Nations' climate agency saying that it's in the interests of our Pacific neighbours to work
with Australia to negotiate a global climate deal.

Environmentalists say Australia and New Zealand are a long way from matching what the Pacific
nations want in terms of carbon emissions reductions and money to help them develop without relying
on fossil fuels.

But Yvo de Boer who's on his way to Australia to meet Pacific leaders at their annual forum
meeting, which is being held in Cairns next week says it's in the Pacific's interests to cooperate
with the regional powers.

Environment reporter Shane McLeod:

SHANE MCLEOD: Here in Australia Yvo de Boer's comments on whether or not an emissions trading
scheme needs to be in place before the Copenhagen climate talks have some in the political
establishment paying attention.

YVO DE BOER: What people care about in the international negotiations is the commitment that a
government makes to take on a certain target.

SHANE MCLEOD: But away from domestic concerns the head of the United Nations climate body says it
is time for developed countries to put money on the table.

He says while he is confident there can be a substantial deal at the Copenhagen summit later this
year, developed nations need to show how they are going to pay for it.

YVO DE BOER: We need ambitious emission reduction targets from industrialised countries showing
that they're willing to lead the way. S

econdly we cannot have a meaningful response to climate change without also the engagement of major
developing countries like China, India, Brazil and South Africa.

And that takes me to my third benchmark which is significant international financial support that
will allow developing countries both to with investments to limit the growth of their emissions and
to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

If Copenhagen can deliver on those three points I'll be very happy.

SHANE MCLEOD: Mr De Boer is heading to Cairns for next week's Pacific leaders' summit and while the
leaders are expected to spend a lot of their time talking about Fiji's political circumstances,
there is going to be a lot of focus on climate change.

Yvo de Boer says he wants to make sure Pacific nations' voices are heard in the global debate.

YVO DE BOER: The Pacific Island countries are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change
- most likely to be impacted by sea level rise, by saltwater intrusion, by changes to their climate
as a result of global warming. And I think it's in a direct geopolitical interests of Australia to
ensure that we craft a response to climate change that addresses the concerns of your Pacific
Island partners.

SHANE MCLEOD: How Australia achieves that is going to be carefully scrutinised. The joint statement
that emerges from the Pacific leaders' meeting will be the result of intense negotiations between
the diplomats.

Climate campaigner Trish Harrop from Greenpeace says what the Pacific wants and what Australia
wants are not necessarily the same things.

TRISH HARROP: What we have seen from past forums is that the text can start from a very strong
position but at the end of the day Australia/New Zealand will get their way.

Pacific Island countries are asking for four things on climate change: that the survival of small
island states be set as a benchmark for a global agreement; that the rich countries cut their
emissions by 40 per cent; that the rich countries put billions of dollars on the table to help with
the adaptation; and the rich countries share their intellectual property and technology knowledge
so that countries in the Pacific can develop cleanly.

None of those positions are as yet supported by Australia or New Zealand.

SHANE MCLEOD: Yvo de Boer says Australia's role as a big exporter of coal shouldn't stop it from
working with Pacific nations to negotiate the global climate agreement.

YVO DE BOER: Oil is running out I think in the next 30 to 50 years perhaps. We have enough coal on
our planet to keep burning it for the next 600 to 800 years so clearly coal is going to be an
essential part of the energy mix going into the future.

But we can only have it be an important part of the energy mix if we can use it much more cleanly
than we are doing at the moment and that implies clean coal technology, carbon capture and storage
and technologies like that.

PETER CAVE: Yvo de Boer, the head of the United Nations' climate body speaking there to Shane

Government firm on ETS deadline

Government firm on ETS deadline

Sabra Lane reported this story on Friday, July 31, 2009 12:22:00

Listen to MP3 of this story ( minutes)

Alternate WMA version | MP3 download

PETER CAVE: And those comments he made on AM this morning - that it doesn't matter if Australia
hasn't got an emissions trading scheme in place by the time of the Copenhagen talks in December -
have since been shrugged off by the Federal Government.

Climate Change Minister Senator Penny Wong says not having a deal in place would weaken Australia's
bargaining position.

She's attending the ALP conference in Sydney and she spoke to Sabra Lane.

SABRA LANE: Penny Wong, the head of the United Nations' climate change agency Yvo de Boer says it
doesn't matter if Australia doesn't have an emissions trading scheme in place by the time of the
Copenhagen talks in December.

That blows a pretty big hole in your argument, doesn't it?

PENNY WONG: Well look what Yvo went on to say was that these are matters of domestic policy and
domestic issues. What the Government is saying to the Australian people is this - that we want
Australia, Australian businesses to know how we will meet the targets we sign up to in Copenhagen.
We think that is the responsible thing to do and that is what passing the legislation will provide.

SABRA LANE: But he was specifically asked if it mattered and he said quite honestly, no.

PENNY WONG: The Government's view is and it's a very logical position is that a failure to
legislate does weaken our negotiating position.

We have to look at the national interest. We think it is in the national interest to ensure that we
have a way of meeting the targets we sign up to and when I as Minister and in Copenhagen, I want
Australians to know how we can meet the targets that we will be committing to.

SABRA LANE: The Opposition is claiming vindication. It says Mr de Boer's comments back the
Coalition's stance and if anything it points to the Government's haste, that it's driven purely by
politics; that your timetable here is more about pressuring Malcolm Turnbull into uniting his party
rather than getting a good result for the climate.

PENNY WONG: Well look we have had, the Australian Industry Group, the Business Council of
Australia, the chairman of Shell and a range of other business people talking about the need for
business certainty this year, talking about the benefits of having the legislation passed this

And if the Opposition want to use UN figures to bolster their position I'd refer them to the fact
that the UN, Mr de Boer has also called for political and public backing for climate change action
and I'd invite Mr Turnbull to consider his position.

He has 13 days until the vote on the carbon pollution reduction scheme. He has the capacity as the
Leader of the Opposition to deliver the certainty that business is seeking so that we get the
signal to investors so that we know, business will know what assistance they will get and how the
scheme will operate before Australia goes to Copenhagen.

That is what the business community is seeking and we say that is the responsible thing to do.

SABRA LANE: Well on those talks Mr de Boer says one of the benchmarks in having a meaningful
response is that major developing countries like China, India, Brazil and South Africa must be on
board. The chances of that happening are Buckley's and none.

PENNY WONG: Well, as I have previously said, Australians don't walk away from things just because
they are hard. These are tough negotiations. We do need developing countries as well as developed
countries to step up to the plate.

That is yet another reason why Australia needs to ensure we have the best negotiating position we
can. We need to have the strongest negotiating position we can because we stand to lose as a nation
from climate change.

SABRA LANE: To the ALP conference: A senior unionist I spoke to today said that deals are being
stitched up all over the place to avoid any ugly public dissent. That's a sad reflection on what
the party has previously called a great demonstration of grass roots democracy, isn't it?

PENNY WONG: Well this is a great demonstration of grass roots democracy. We have delegates from all
over the country - from branches, from unions, from all parts of Australia convening here to
discuss the national platform.

There have been a lot of discussions about what is contained in that. That is a democratic process.
Whilst I know that some in the media would like more controversy, obviously what we are focused on
is governing and ensuring that we have a reasonable dialogue within the party about the positions
in the platform and that is what we have done.

SABRA LANE: Regarding emotion on allowing gay marriage, we are told that there are furious
negotiations happening behind closed doors to stop emotion going to the conference floor. You are
openly gay. Are you disappointed that the party is not engaging in public frank discussions here on
this issue?

PENNY WONG: I think we have had a lot of frank discussions on this and other issues and we have
made historic progress as a Government for the first time legislating to remove discrimination
against same sex couples from national legislation - the first time in history that any government
has done that.

These are issues that will be resolved through the party process as they should be.

PETER CAVE: The Climate Change Minister, Senator Penny Wong, speaking there to Sabra Lane.

Developer alleges corruption in Queensland

Developer alleges corruption in Queensland

Nicole Butler reported this story on Friday, July 31, 2009 12:26:00

PETER CAVE: The corruption crisis plaguing the Queensland Government is intensifying.

In the past fortnight a former minister has been jailed for taking secret payments. Police
corruption allegations have resurfaced and now a former Victorian of the Year has come forth with
more explosive allegations.

Veteran developer David Marriner says Queensland is riddled with corrupt process and lobbyists who
pressure businesses to play the game.

His claims come at the same time as another Labor mate dramatically announced he's quitting as head
of the Queensland Investment Corporation.

From Brisbane, Nicole Butler reports.

NICOLE BUTLER: Queenslanders witnessing a stream of corruption claims the likes of which haven't
been seen since the Fitzgerald Inquiry and the 20th anniversary of that landmark anti-corruption
report have prompted one prominent Australian to come forth with explosive allegations.

Former Victorian of the Year and developer David Marriner says he was advised that if he wanted to
get the right decisions out of the Queensland Government he had to play the game.

He says he was told that he'd have to engage lobbyists to get results and that the going rate was
$300,000 to $500,000.

The veteran developer says he was even approached to find a job for the former tourism minister
Merri Rose - who was jailed for blackmail.

DAVID MARRINER: I was lobbied by the Premier's office, senior official in that office before Merri
Rose went to jail. She was stepping out of the system. She was being encouraged to get a job and to
seek a job and I was told it was under the premier Beattie's desire to find or assist her into a
new employment when I was approached and encouraged to try and find a position in our organisation.

NICOLE BUTLER: Mr Marriner's damning claims arise from his failed bid to win approval to build an
international airport at his Laguna Whitsundays resort in 2003.

The developer says three days after being told by the then infrastructure minister Paul Lucas his
bid was the only compliant one, the then premier Peter Beattie announced the tender process had
been called off and that the State Government would spend $4 million on the nearby Proserpine

Mr Marriner says the whole situation had a "nasty smell about it".

DAVID MARRINER: Now the reality is, I come up there with the best resources, the best skill base to
actually facilitate an outcome and I have to say I was welcomed and encouraged to do so. I was
encouraged by both Anna Bligh and I was encouraged by Peter Beattie. These are well documented
situations. It is not a figment of my imagination.

NICOLE BUTLER: He's also denied claims the local community was opposed to his billion dollar

Mr Marriner wants his situation to be investigated by Queensland's crime watchdog.

Peter Beattie was premier when David Marriner tried to win approval for the Whitsundays airport.

This morning the now US-based Trade Commissioner was so angry about Mr Marriner's claims that he
phoned ABC local radio in Brisbane to hit back.

PETER BEATTIE: I had no contact with David Marriner. I made no suggestions to him in relation to
Merri Rose or anyone else.

I met David Marriner on a number of occasions about his proposal. He will tell you that I was a
strong supporter of this proposal. I thought it had merit but he will also tell you that I told him
it had to go through due process.

NICOLE BUTLER: The former premier went on to reject Mr Marriner's claim that developers need
lobbyists to do business with the Queensland Government.

PETER BEATTIE: That's bullshit. No-one on my staff would have said that to him .And if he's talking
to the sort of people that said that to him, I mean he's talking to drug affected people in the
Valley. No-one got to see anyone in my government by virtue of a consultant or anyone else.

I made it clear publicly on a number of occasions that anyone who employed a consultant or employed
one of these bloody lobbyists was mad.

NICOLE BUTLER: Mr Beattie has been backed up by the now Deputy Premier Paul Lucas. Mr Lucas says
David Marriner's scathing claims are baseless.

PAUL LUCAS: If this is someone who was a disgruntled developer who missed out on a project.

NICOLE BUTLER: David Marriner's claims aren't the only matters intensifying the controversy
surrounding Premier Anna Bligh's Government.

Businessman Trevor Rowe has announced he's quitting his position as head of the government-owned
Queensland Investment Corporation.

Mr Rowe is also chairman of the lobbying firm Enhance Management. It's at the centre of an
unfolding scandal over deals between former Labor ministers, staffers and the Government.

Treasurer Andrew Fraser denies Mr Rowe's resignation has anything to do with that controversy.

PETER CAVE: Nicole Butler reporting.

ETA: Spain aims to end the reign and pain

ETA: Spain aims to end the reign and pain

Michael Vincent reported this story on Friday, July 31, 2009 12:30:00

PETER CAVE: The Spanish Government has vowed to hunt down the remnants of the Basque terrorist
group ETA after two bombings in the past two days.

Yesterday a blast on the island of Majorca killed two Civil Guards. A day earlier a car bomb
injured dozens of Civil Guards in the city of Burgos.

While ETA hasn't formally claimed responsibility the attacks come on the 50th anniversary of that
terrorist group's formation.

Michael Vincent reports.

MICHAEL VINCENT: The island of Majorca is one of Europe's favourite holiday destinations.

British tourist Dave Wilkinson was just 300 metres from the blast.

DAVE WILKINSON: We heard a loud explosion and we actually saw the trees around us sort of move. We
ran around the corner to see what was going on and as we arrived around the corner we could see a
big plume of black smoke and a car actually on fire in the middle of the road.

At the side of the street there was a gentleman on the floor and there was two men standing above
him administering CPR, trying to resuscitate him.

Shortly after that a police car arrived and asked us all to sort of stand back as there may be
another bomb.

MICHAEL VINCENT: Those fears were confirmed when another bomb was found a short time later and

The first bomb killed two members of the Civil Guard. There had been no warnings.

ETA hasn't claimed responsibility for these latest attacks but they are being blamed.

Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba:

(Alfredo Perez Rubal Caba speaking)

ALFREDO PEREZ RUBALCABA (translated): We have always known that they are murderers and savages,
always. Today we also know that they are murderous savages and crazed and this doesn't make them
strong but it undoubtedly makes them more dangerous.

MICHAEL VINCENT: Majorca's airport and seaports were initially closed in the hopes the attackers
could be trapped on the island.

There are hundreds of convicted ETA members in jail and Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero has vowed
that those behind these latest attacks will soon join them.

(Jose Luis Zapatero speaking)

JOSE LUIS ZAPATERO (translated): Those ETA members who are today in custody and those who are
serving long prison sentences show the fate that awaits the perpetrators of these latest attacks.

They have absolutely no chance of hiding. They cannot escape. They cannot avoid justice. They will
be arrested. They will be sentenced. They will spend the rest of their lives in prison.

MICHAEL VINCENT: The only reason being suggested for this latest string of bombings is today's
anniversary of ETA's formation.

Terrorism analyst at the ANU Professor Clive Williams:

CLIVE WILLIAMS: Well ETA was formed on the 31st of July, 1959 so obviously today is their
anniversary. And I think that their current wave of activity if you can call it that is really
geared to show that they are still around and that they are still relevant.

But the reality is that they have been losing support in Spain. I think that the Basque generally
who of course are in Spain and France are now much more prepared to participate in the normal
political process in those two countries and are not supporting this kind of violence. So I suspect
it is only a very small cell involved.

MICHAEL VINCENT: Is it perhaps the work of some diehards that see no other life but terrorism?

CLIVE WILLIAMS: That's right. I mean it's similar to other groups like, although there is a peace
agreement in Northern Ireland you have still got people who are involved with the Continuity IRA
and the Real IRA. These are people who haven't moved on you know and ETA has the same problem.

PETER CAVE: Terrorism analyst at the ANU Professor Clive Williams. Our reporter was Michael

Nigerian sect leader dies in custody

Nigerian sect leader dies in custody

Meredith Griffiths reported this story on Friday, July 31, 2009 12:34:00

PETER CAVE: The authorities in Nigeria have killed the leader of the radical Islamist sect blamed
for days of violence in the country's north which has left hundreds of people dead.

Mohammed Yusuf's group Boko Haram is opposed to Western-style education and wants to see a stricter
implementation of Islamic Shariah law in Nigeria.

Images of his bullet-riddled body were broadcast on Nigerian state television, not long after the
police announced he had been captured.

Meredith Griffiths reports.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: Brutal fighting in northern Nigeria has killed more than 600 people since
Sunday when the radical Islamic sect Boko Haram launched a series of attacks.

The military responded with a full scale assault on the sect's headquarters in the town of
Maiduguri but though the heavy gun battles and shelling left parts of the town in ruins, the sect's
leader Mohammed Yusuf managed to escape.

He wasn't at large for long though. Police raided the home of his wife's parents and found the
radical leader hiding in a pit.

This was the account given on Nigerian TV by a police spokesman John Hamza Ahmadu.

JOHN HAMZA AHMADU: At about five o'clock an informant passed information about the location of
Mohammed Yusuf. The information was followed up however according to police at that area, there was
a shootout and because of the shootout one Mohammed Yusuf (inaudible) people around the area
identified to be the man wanted who had been killed in the shootout.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: But the BBC's Ahmad Idriess says journalists were initially told that Mohammed
Yusuf had been captured.

AHMAD IDRIESS: A few hours later the media had been asked to go to the Government House for a
briefing on the development then all of a sudden things started dragging longer and longer and

Then finally a video was brought to the Government House and shown to the Governor and other top
government officials present there including journalists, including the BBC's reporter there,
showing Mr Yusuf captured.

And he confessed to his crime saying that actually he is regretting his actions and the pain caused
the general public.

Then the next moment on the video footage he was shown shot.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: Ahmad Idriess says he believes Mohammed Yusuf was executed by the Nigerian
authorities and that he had not tried to resist or escape.

It seems the Nigerian authorities had underestimated the number of people following Mohammed Yusuf.

Here he is, speaking a few days ago, explaining why he believed Western-style education is a sin.

MOHAMMED YUSUF (translated): There are things that we'd investigated and found that they contrary
to our belief in one God.

We are not the first people to voice this. There are prominent Islamic preachers who have seen and
understood that the present Western-style of education is mixed with issues that run contrary to
our belief in Islam.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: His Boko Haram sect is loosely modelled on the Taliban and the members want to
want to see the creation of an Islamic state in Nigeria.

But the sect was only considered to be a small, fringe group until Sunday when it began a series of
attacks against police stations and government buildings across northern Nigeria.

The Nigerian Islamic scholar Hussain Zakaria says Mohammed Yusuf's followers will now regard him as
a martyr and that the sect will go on

HUSSAIN ZAKARIA: I think two or more of his lieutenants also perished along with him. That is why I
have my apprehension about the news of the death is that it might not be the end of this sect. They
might change their tactics to kidnappings and maybe to selective murdering of some important

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: Hussain Zakaria says the Nigerian security forces must re-evaluate their
operations, warning it is only a matter of time before a new leader emerges to replace Mohammed

PETER CAVE: Meredith Griffiths reporting.

Gravy train continues at US investment banks

Gravy train continues at US investment banks

Sue Lannin reported this story on Friday, July 31, 2009 12:38:00

PETER CAVE: It seems unbelievable but despite being bailed out by the US Government, North
America's investment bankers remain on the gravy train.

Nine US banking giants paid staff nearly $US33 billion in bonuses last year while at the same time
getting $175 billion from the taxpayers - that is according to a report from the New York

JP Morgan Chase had the biggest number of millionaires. It paid more than 1600 staff bonuses of
over $US1 million each despite receiving $25 billion from the US Government.

Finance reporter Sue Lannin:

SUE LANNIN: US Investment banks were at the heart of the global financial crisis. They created the
toxic assets that destabilised the world's financial system and took huge losses.

But they still paid big bonuses to their staff according to the office of New York's Attorney
General Andrew Cuomo.

EXTRACT FROM REPORT: "NO RHYME OR REASON": When the banks did well, their employees were paid well.
When the banks did poorly, their employees were paid well.

And when the banks did very poorly, they were bailed out by taxpayers and their employees were
still paid well.

SUE LANNIN: The Attorney-General's office has analysed bonuses paid last year by nine US banking
giants while they received taxpayer funds.

Citigroup and Merrill Lynch made losses of more than $US27 billion each yet they both paid out
nearly $9 billion in bonuses then were bailed out to the tune of $55 billion.

The Attorney-General's office says it makes no sense.

EXTRACT FROM REPORT: "NO RHYME OR REASON": One thing is clear from this investigation to date:
there is no clear rhyme or reason to the way banks compensate and reward their employees.

SUE LANNIN: The Attorney-General's office is calling for more reform if the banks don't limit
excessive compensation.

Professor of finance at Manhattan College in New York, Charles Geisst, says the report is more bad
PR for the banks.

CHARLES GEISST: I don't think there has been any soul searching amongst the investment banks at
all. I think on the other hand what they have actually said to themselves is how did we get
ourselves caught in this predicament and how can we get ourselves out as quickly as possible so
that we can go back to business as usual.

SUE LANNIN: One thing that the Attorney-General said, he said when the banks did well, their
employees were paid well. When the banks did poorly, their employees were paid well.

CHARLES GEISST: Yes, that's always generally been Wall Street's philosophy. Usually if the bank
doesn't do well the employees will do less well but in these circumstances the logic has been that
they have to hang onto their good people at all costs so therefore they are going to try as best
they can to maintain the bonus system.

SUE LANNIN: But there has been much criticism of the bonus system around the world from a number of
bodies that the bonus system helped create the global financial crisis. So are these sort of
bonuses justified?

CHARLES GEISST: No, I don't think they are justified at all. The numbers have been massaged by Wall
Street to look a lot better than they are. I mean of course a lot of these banks have made record
profits given the last two or three quarters prior to that's performance.

They have had substantial help which of course brings us back to the problem of paying those sorts
of bonuses while receiving federal aid of some sort or other.

SUE LANNIN: The US Government has made money from the bailout. For example it earned more than $1
billion in interest on the money it lent Goldman Sachs.

Greg Hoffman is research director at independent stockbroking house the Intelligent Investor. He
says the bonuses system is part of the structure of the investment banking industry and it's hard
to change.

GREG HOFFMAN: There is some truth to that and I think now there's a lot of attention being turned
to clawing back or making those bonuses only released over many years over the future to make sure
that we don't have a repeat of this kind of excess.

SUE LANNIN: Do you think the US investment banks are ignoring community sentiment?

GREG HOFFMAN: Certainly that if you are an executive on a very cosy arrangement then you are going
to be very loathe to give it up unless you really have to. And so I think all of these institutions
are waiting for the pressure to become irresistible before they move and cut their pay.

PETER CAVE: Research director at the Intelligent Investor Greg Hoffman ending that report by Sue

Obama shouts beers after a barney

Obama shouts beers after a barney

Kim Landers reported this story on Friday, July 31, 2009 12:42:00

PETER CAVE: What started as a call to police about a possible burglary has ended up with icy cold
beers on the White House lawn.

The US President Barack Obama held a casual meeting with the black Harvard professor and a white
police officer whose encounter late one night in Cambridge, Massachusetts sparked a debate about
racism in America.

The two men in question have plans to catch up again, believing that they can learn a lot from each

North America correspondent Kim Landers reports.

(Sound of cameras snapping)

KIM LANDERS: The cameras snapped away furiously but the media couldn't hear anything the beer
drinkers were saying, allowed to film for just 30 seconds and offered no chance to ask any

President Barack Obama had said he wanted this hotly anticipated happy hour to be a "teachable"
moment and he'd earlier chided the press for the way they were portraying it.

BARACK OBAMA: I notice this has been called the beer summit. It's a clever term but this is not a
summit guys. This is three folks having a drink at the end of the day and hopefully giving people
an opportunity to listen to each other.

KIM LANDERS: That has prompted an avalanche of puns - audacity of hops, coalition of the swilling,
ale to the chief.

Having a beer at the White House was actually Sergeant James Crowley's suggestion. He was the
police officer who arrested professor Henry Gates outside the academic's home.

Sergeant Crowley says the professor was disorderly. Henry Gates accused him of racial profiling.

It became a national issue when the President weighed in, describing the officer as acting

Days of backpedalling later, the three men along with Vice-President Joe Biden were sharing an ale.

BARACK OBAMA: This is not a university seminar. It is not a summit. It's an attempt to add some
personal interaction when an issue has become so hyped and so symbolic that you lose sight of just
the fact that these are people involved, including myself, all of whom are imperfect.

And you know hopefully instead of giving up, anger and hyperbole everybody can just spend a little
bit of time with some self-reflection and recognising that other people have different points of

KIM LANDERS: The White House released a statement at the end, thanking them for a friendly and
thoughtful conversation. The President said he was pleased the two men had also spent some time
together before they sat down with him.

Sergeant Crowley says he's already made plans to spend more time with the professor believing they
can learn from each other.

JAMES CROWLEY: I think what was accomplished was, this was a positive step in moving forward as
opposed to reliving the events of the past couple of weeks in an effort to move not just the city
of Cambridge or two individuals past this event but the whole country to move beyond this and use
this as a basis of maybe some meaningful discussions in the future.

KIM LANDERS: He won't say where or when he's meeting up the professor again but he expects there'll
be many more conversations where they can share their different perspectives.

He doesn't want the media there, preferring a private affair, but he's admitted after the fuss of
today's happy hour that beer will probably be off the menu.

This is Kim Landers in Washington for The World Today.

Is organic food better for you?

Is organic food better for you?

Jennifer Macey reported this story on Friday, July 31, 2009 12:46:00

PETER CAVE: A fresh debate has erupted over the health benefits of eating organic food.

Researchers from the UK looked at several scientific studies and found very little difference in
the nutrient content of organically or conventionally grown crops.

But proponents of organics say the study has ignored the health risks of pesticide residues found
in conventional food.

At the same time the consumer watchdog Choice says that more than half the butchers it surveyed
were unable to verify their claims that the meat they were selling was indeed organic.

Jennifer Macey reports.

JENNIFER MACEY: There's been a big growth in organically grown food products in recent years and in
Australia the market is now worth $600 million.

For the past 20 years Peter Richardson from Doorstep Organics has been delivering boxes of organic
fruit and vegetables to Sydney households.

PETER RICHARDSON: We've seen it grow from being a small cottage industry where people would
basically put up with what they could get which was very low availability and sort of not very good
looking produce, to a real industry full of real farmers who produce quality which is at least as
good or better than conventional farmers.

JENNIFER MACEY: While many people choose to eat organics for health, environment and ethical
reasons, a new study in Britain has cast doubt on the nutritional content of organic food.

Researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine reviewed 50 years of scientific
studies into organic food.

Dr Alan Dangour is the lead author.

ALAN DANGOUR: So the question are there differences in nutrient content was the primary question
and what we did was we looked at the papers published in the last 50 years and we were unable to
find any important differences in nutrient content between organically and conventionally produced

JENNIFER MACEY: But Australia's organic industry has rejected the study's findings saying the
research didn't look at the health impacts of pesticides residues on fruit and vegetables.

Organic seller Peter Richardson says people choose to buy organics for many different reasons
including quality.

PETER RICHARDSON: Organic farmers move back to older varieties, less hybridised varieties and those
varieties have more taste. I think simply because if a conventional farmer can get 2 or 3 per cent
more per acre on huge broadacre agriculture, that means a lot of dollars.

But if a smaller organic farmer if concentrating on the quality, they can get a better price for
their crop at market. They are not so much worried about that 2 or 3 per cent volume. They are more
focused on the taste.

JENNIFER MACEY: But the consumer watchdog Choice also conducted a similar review of scientific
research into organic food and came up with similar results.

Choice spokesman Christopher Zinn says there's no real difference in the nutritional value between
organic and conventional food.

CHRISTOPHER ZINN: Basically our conclusion then was that the jury was still out in any nutritional
benefits which organic food can deliver over conventional produce. Having said that there are many
reasons why people buy organic. It can be in terms of meat, animal welfare. It can be for
environmental reasons. It can be for lack of use and exposure to pesticides so it is a very
controversial area.

JENNIFER MACEY: Nutritionist Dr Rosemary Stanton also agrees that people shouldn't buy organic food
simply to get more vitamins and minerals. But she says the health risks of pesticide residues on
fruit and vegetables are real.

ROSEMARY STANTON: Now pesticides residues, obviously it's the dose that makes the poison and in
Australia they are lower than many other countries of the world which is a good thing but all of
the evidence is suggesting that the lower the pesticide residue, the better.

And again there are a lot of studies from Europe which this study didn't actually look at because
they weren't aiming to which have shown lower pesticide residues in organic produce.

Now that's probably not all that important adults but it's probably quite important for children
because the dose is much higher in a child's body than in an adult's body.

JENNIFER MACEY: At the same time Choice has also uncovered widespread confusion among butchers
about what qualifies as certified organic meat.

Christopher Zinn says more than half of the 29 butchers surveyed in Melbourne and Sydney couldn't
say who had certified the beef they were selling as organic.

CHRISTOPHER ZINN: We would have concerns that some of the organic meat we saw that was basically
selling far more cheaply than the certified organic may not have been genuine and an example I can
give, I mean we found organic rump varied between $35 to $69 a kilo.

Those butchers we found selling it at about $23 a kilo couldn't tell Choice who had certified their

PETER CAVE: Choice spokesman Christopher Zinn ending that report from Jennifer Macey.

DIY drug testing: every home could have one

DIY drug testing: every home could have one

Rachael Brown reported this story on Friday, July 31, 2009 12:50:00

PETER CAVE: Parents who are suspicious their children are dabbling with drugs are being offered the
resources to play detective.

A home drug testing kit has gone on sale in Australia this week. Parents just need a lock of their
offspring's hair to be sent away for testing.

But what may also be tested are family relationships and trust. Some drug counsellors say it's the
wrong type of intervention.

Rachael Brown reports.

RACHAEL BROWN: If everyone's got a book in them, Melbourne drug counsellor Richard Smith has at
least five.

RICHARD SMITH: I started off my life as a motor mechanic and then I became a businessman that loved
drugs, and then I became a drug dealer, drug smuggler, gun runner, bank robber, prisoner.

Then I went into the profession I'm in now where I'm a professional drug and alcohol counsellor.

RACHAEL BROWN: The two people he used heroin with were Greg Smith, Victoria's Pentridge Prison
escapee who wrote the novel Shantaram, and David Christianson who's now an ordained Tibetan lama.

But the only book Richard Smith wants to write is on intervention and he says the new drug kit on
the market for parents to test their children is the wrong way to go about it.

RICHARD SMITH: Drug testing per say is good but in the wrong hands it can be disastrous and I think
in the hands of parents without any professional support could cause some problems with
relationships with their children.

RACHAEL BROWN: The US Biotech company behind the kit, Confirm Biosciences, says it will be a
valuable tool for combating substance abuse.

President, Zeynep Ilgaz explains parents just need to mail a lock of hair to the company's lab and
two days later they can access the test results online.

ZEYNEP ILGAZ: It will show up the prescription drugs as well as the illegal drugs, including
cocaine, marijuana, opiates and prescription drugs like Vicodin, OxyContin.

RACHAEL BROWN: But she's not advising parents to steal their children's hair.

ZEYNEP ILGAZ: We definitely want the hair to be cut from the head. We don't want it be the hair
from a brush or from the pillow because you have got to make sure it belongs to that person and you
have got to make sure that it is cut as close to the root as possible so we can get the most recent

RACHAEL BROWN: The company is working on moving the kits to retail shelves. At the moment they have
to be ordered online.

In Melbourne's Bourke Street Mall opinion was divided on whether parents playing detective is

VOX POP: I have a 16-year-old son. He is presently in Year 11 at high school. If I had my
suspicions that he was behaving badly, I definitely would test the hair for drugs, yeah.

VOX POP 2: I think it is a terrible thing really. I think parents should be able to communicate
with their children. If they can't do that then they can go and get some help with counselling or
some sort of family counselling to help with that communication.

VOX POP 3: It stops with the parents. It's their choice. Hopefully they have enough faith in their
kids that they don't have to do it though.

VOX POP 4: I think it is a fantastic idea because I have actually got a son who is 25 who does have
an intellectual disability and he is very susceptible to being abused, very easily led and that way
I can actually monitor him.

RACHAEL BROWN: Ms Ilgaz says parents should first try to talk to their children, but she says
honest communication is not always possible.

ZEYNEP ILGAZ: Sometimes parents, they have to do what they have to do. I mean if a kid is addicted
and they are abusing it every day, they are going to be lying about this and at that point you have
to draw the conclusion, okay do I want to be popular parent or do I want to be the parent that
stays in my kid's life.

RACHAEL BROWN: Richard Smith agrees addicts in denial will lie but he says stealing their hair is
not the answer.

RICHARD SMITH: That even makes it worse because what you are doing is modelling the same behaviour
- dishonesty and not doing the right thing.

Intervention, if they want to intervene in someone's life in drug use, it's a specialised area and
what will here is the ones that volunteer are the 90 per cent that are the worried well - worried
parents that their kids have got into drugs. And 90 per cent of people who try substances will have
no problem whatsoever.

RACHAEL BROWN: So this 90 per cent of the worried well as you call it could potentially do more
harm in terms of their relationships with their children who might not trust them after this?

RICHARD SMITH: I don't think it'll be a permanent scarring or a trauma but certainly it will have,
you know parents have difficulty with teenagers anyway.

I drug tested my daughter but that was, you know she grew up in a drug rehab and it was because I
knew she was lying. She knew I knew she was lying and when I said well, she was in hospital from
fainting episodes and I believe it was associated with cannabis smoking, so when she gave a urine
drug screen because we also thought she might have been pregnant.

So I said, while we've got the urine let's do a drug test and then said, "Oh Dad, I've got to tell
you something". So, you know.

RACHAEL BROWN: So that's how it was broached for your daughter?

RICHARD SMITH: Yeah. I just said, look I know that you've used darling and you don't have to lie to
me, you know. The truth is better than any lie. No matter how bad the truth is, it's far better
than any lie.

When people lie to you, you really base decisions on a lie so your response and your solution will
be wrong.

PETER CAVE: Melbourne drug counsellor Richard Smith. Rachael Brown our reporter.