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PM challenges Turnbull on Tuckey

PM challenges Turnbull on Tuckey

Sabra Lane reported this story on Thursday, October 22, 2009 12:10:00

ELEANOR HALL: The debate about asylum seekers has wound up a notch courtesy of the Liberal
backbencher Wilson Tuckey.

Mr Tuckey said he thinks it's a fair bet that terrorists are trying to come to Australia amongst
the asylum seekers.

Labor's Penny Wong immediately challenged the Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull to expel Mr Tuckey
from the Liberal Party, saying his comments were incendiary and not worthy of a member of

The Prime Minister also called on the Liberal leader to ensure that Mr Tuckey loses his

In Canberra, Sabra Lane reports.

SABRA LANE: The customs vessel The Oceanic Viking, with 78 asylum seekers on board, is expected to
offload its human cargo this afternoon in the west Java port of Merak.

The asylum seekers were intercepted on the weekend after a phone call for help. And today it's been
claimed the boat they'd been on had holes deliberately drilled into the bottom, making it

It's an issue the Foreign Minister Stephen Smith wouldn't confirm or deny on Radio National.

STEPHEN SMITH: I'm not leaping to conclusions. I'm not making any judgements and I don't think
other people should.

We will get an exhaustive report in the usual way from Customs and border protection, from people
presumably on HMAS Armidale and also from The Oceanic Viking. We can make judgements then.

SABRA LANE: In a Senate Estimates hearing this morning Liberal Senator Eric Abetz quizzed Peter
Woolcott, Australia's full-time ambassador for people smuggling issues, on what he knew about the

PETER WOOLCOTT: The advice we received was that it was not seaworthy.

ERIC ABETZ: Yeah was that because it was about to blow up because of a petrol leak? Was it because
it was taking in water? Surely...

PETER WOOLCOTT: No. As I understand...

ERIC ABETZ: There must be a generic...


ERIC ABETZ: Description without saying who was to blame.

PETER WOOLCOTT: As I understand it there was, there were serious issues with the rudder and they
weren't able to steer it. And as I understand it, and again I stand to be corrected on all this,
there was no crew on board.

SABRA LANE: The Foreign Minister Mr Smith says the Prime Minister hasn't pressured the Indonesian
President into accepting the 78 asylum seekers.

STEPHEN SMITH: Absolutely not.

SABRA LANE: Mr Smith seemed to bristle at suggestions that Australia has negotiated a deal to pay
Indonesia for every asylum seeker or boat it intercepts.

STEPHEN SMITH: We already make a considerable contribution to the Indonesian Government, to the
UNHCR, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and the International Organization for
Migration for the detention, for the processing and for the settlement and resettlement of asylum
seekers in Indonesia.

And I don't think that we should categorise or characterise that in any way as a per diem or a
bounty or any such pejorative terms.

SABRA LANE: Ambassador Peter Woolcott says Australia and Indonesia are still talking about the
details of their agreement on how to cope with the extra boats of asylum seekers and says he knows
of no deal on costs.

PETER WOOLCOTT: There's no price per head. We haven't actually sat down with the Indonesians yet to
negotiate what this framework will look like.

SABRA LANE: The issue prompted heated exchanges during a Senate hearing this morning between
Liberal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and Labor Senator Ursula Stephens.

CONCETTA FIERRAVANTI-WELLS: Now the Prime Minister is talking tough at the moment. The question
we'd like to know is: What price does that come with and why are the Indonesians having to do the
heavy lifting and solve what is clearly one of Australia's problems?

URSULA STEPHENS: Senator I actually, I wouldn't dignify your question with a response because...

CONCETTA FIERRAVANTI-WELLS: I beg your pardon minister?

URSULA STEPHENS: Serious, Senator, you know you're actually asking what is the cost of a human

CONCETTA FIERRAVANTI-WELLS: Oh, minister, come on.


MARK BISHOP: That is demeaning. That is demeaning.

URSULA STEPHENS: Seriously you are being, you are being particularly...

CONCETTA FIERRAVANTI-WELLS: Minister, the question I am asking is the Prime Minister...

CHAIR: Order, order, order. Order! Please! You've asked a question Senator. You're entitled to ask
it. You'll be listened to carefully and closely. When the minister responds...

CONCETTA FIERRAVANTI-WELLS: Well could you please direct her to answer the question?

CHAIR: Excuse me!

SABRA LANE: Liberal backbencher Wilson Tuckey says he believes it's "odds on" that terrorists are
trying to slip into the country among the boatloads of asylum seekers trying to reach Australia's

And he claims that information along those lines is being excised from official police reports.

WILSON TUCKEY: If you wanted to get into Australia and you have bad intentions, what do you do? You
insert yourself in a crowd of a hundred for which there is great sympathy for the other 99.

SABRA LANE: The Climate Change Minister Senator Penny Wong has challenged Mr Turnbull to demand the
Liberal Party immediately dis-endorse Mr Tuckey.

PENNY WONG: Mr Turnbull and the Liberal Party should simply get rid of Mr Tuckey. It's not enough
to say, to try and dismiss this or diminish these sorts of comments by making jokes about odd

These are not comments that are worthy of parliamentarians. They are clearly incendiary, inaccurate
and unhelpful to this debate and Mr Turnbull should come out and be clear that he won't be
supporting Mr Tuckey at the next election.

SABRA LANE: Those sentiments were underlined by the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

KEVIN RUDD: I think these are deeply divisive, disgusting remarks and they do not belong in any
mainstream Australian political party.

And it's time Mr Turnbull showed some leadership, some character, some backbone and withdrew
publically and formally his support for Mr Tuckey's pre-selection as a Liberal candidate in the
next election.

ELEANOR HALL: That's the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd ending that report by Sabra Lane.

ETS legislation back in Parliament

ETS legislation back in Parliament

Samantha Hawley reported this story on Thursday, October 22, 2009 12:14:00

ELEANOR HALL: The Federal Government says it will negotiate with the Opposition on changes to its
proposed emissions trading scheme.

But this morning it introduced the ETS legislation into the House of Representatives unchanged.

The Government insists that the legislation must be passed before the climate change meeting in
Copenhagen in December.

In Canberra, Samantha Hawley reports.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: The emissions trading scheme legislation is back in the Parliament.


CLERK: Government business, notice number one: Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill 2009 Number

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: The Assistant Climate Change Minister Greg Combet had the honour of reintroducing
the 11 related ETS bills.

GREG COMBET: Thank you Mr Speaker. I move that this bill be now read a second time.

(Cries of "hear, hear")

Mr Speaker the Government is committed to taking action to meet the challenge of climate change.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: The Government is adamant the legislation must be passed before the climate change
meeting in Copenhagen in December.

GREG COMBET: And it is squarely in Australia's national interest to show up at the negotiating
table in Copenhagen with a plan to deliver our targets. And on the eve of the Copenhagen conference
the world is watching what Australia does in this regard.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: The Opposition doesn't want a deal done before Copenhagen, arguing Australia needs
to know what the rest of the world will do before taking action.

But the Coalition is willing to negotiate a raft of amendments which the Opposition Leader Malcolm
Turnbull got approval for at a special party room meeting on the weekend.

Leading those discussions will be the Climate Change Minister Penny Wong.

PENNY WONG: Well as you probably know I'm not going to broadcast every single aspect of the

As I've said publicly, we are pleased that the Opposition has put forward their position. We look
forward to receiving more information from them.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: Senator Wong will be negotiating with the Opposition's climate change spokesman
Ian Macfarlane.

PENNY WONG: Ian is a straightshooter. He's very practical. He's certainly across the issues and I
think he approaches these things very constructively. And I think he's a good person to deal with.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: The exact same legislation was defeated in the Senate in August. The Government
wants it back in the Upper House on the week beginning November the 16th, three months after its

It means if it fails again it will have the option of a double dissolution election. Greg Combet
hopes it's not a trigger the Government will need to pull.

GREG COMBET: It is now I think incumbent upon the Leader of the Opposition to show how these
proposals are environmentally credible and fiscally responsible and to commit to voting on the CPRS
legislation this year.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: The Opposition wants a number of changes, including the total exclusion of
agriculture and increased compensation for coal fired power stations.

But the Climate Change Institute's John Connor doesn't think the Coalition's sums add up.

JOHN CONNOR: There's a big hole in the CPRS projections and on our analysis of how future revenue
out to 2020 goes. And so we're blowing a hole, in our analysis, of up $18 billion in the CPRS

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: An $18 billion deficit that John Connor says needs to be highlighted during

Penny Wong says the Government stands by its figures.

PENNY WONG: We are interested to see where the Opposition has come up with their figure from.
They've put a figure on the table. I'm certainly interested in understand how they're arrived at
that. And these will be issues we'll continue to discuss with them.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: The legislation will be debated in the House of Representatives next week but
there are some, like the Nationals Senate Leader Barnaby Joyce, that won't support it under any

BARNABY JOYCE: They have said behind this, this feeling that you know if the ETS comes in you'll
save the Great Barrier Reef, if the ETS comes in there'll be no more droughts and that's all just a
load of rubbish.

That is just a sort of duplicit, second-hand vacuum cleaner salesman guilt trip that they're
putting you on to try and get you to get behind the ETS when really what it is, is a massive tax
grab for a government.

ELEANOR HALL: That's the Nationals Senate Leader Barnaby Joyce ending that report by Samantha

Prime Minister nets youth issues

Prime Minister nets youth issues

Bronwyn Herbert reported this story on Thursday, October 22, 2009 12:18:00

ELEANOR HALL: A report into the state of young people shows disturbing levels of mental and
physical illness among Australian teenagers.

The study was commissioned by the Federal Government and was launched this morning by the Minister
for Youth Kate Ellis.

The Prime Minister Kevin Rudd also participated, using a web camera from his office at Parliament
House to speak the language of youth and to promise a $50 million fund for youth centres.

Bronwyn Herbert has our report.

BRONWYN HERBERT: The Prime Minister may have been in the same city but Kevin Rudd announced his
"national conversation" with students from a Canberra high school via video link.

He says priorities include tackling cyber bullying and youth violence on the streets.

KEVIN RUDD: We must do better to make our streets safe for everyone to enjoy.

BRONWYN HERBERT: The Prime Minister was speaking from Parliament House not only to the students but
also sharing the stage with the Minister for Youth Kate Ellis who was there at the school.

KATE ELLIS: These are the things that we've put forward. But now is the time when we want to start
listening to you. So I'm about to hand over to you and send the PM a first little message saying,
here at Lyneham High, we're ready to contribute some great ideas and I can't wait to hear what you
come up with.

BROWYN HERBERT: Together they announced a number of programs attempting to get young Australians
more involved in their communities.

This includes setting up youth centres in areas of high unemployment, including the Illawarra,
south-east Melbourne and the northern suburbs of Adelaide.

KATE ELLIS: We've also now announced $10 million to address one of the key recommendations that
came from the Youth 20-20 Summit. Youth centres, centres where young people can go to work on arts,
to work on business proposals, to bring the community together, $10 million which will be rolled
out immediately. We're starting now.

BRONWYN HERBERT: But today wasn't all good news for youth. A new report on the state of Australia's
young people shows that teenagers are facing plenty of health problems too.

Kate Ellis launched the study.

KATE ELLIS: Well I think the overall impression is that whilst the majority of young people are
doing very well, that there are certainly some emerging challenges out there that we need to be
conscious of which are quite different to the challenges which previous generations experienced.

We see through the report of new phenomena such as cyber bullying is a major concern. And there's a
whole range of things which illustrate that, from body image concerns through to self harm and
mutilation, which are issues which obviously governments need to take very seriously.

BRONWYN HERBERT: Dr Kristy Muir is with the social policy centre at the University Of New South
Wales and led the research.

She says binge drinking remains an issue and one in five teenagers admitted to taking drugs.

KRISTY MUIR: Young people seem to generally feel that taking alcohol is a lot safer, yet young
people have the highest rates of hospitalisation from alcohol use.

People who are taking different types of drugs, drugs that are considered to be in sort of softer
categories, like marijuana or cannabis, considered drugs that are quite harmless. And I think that
the perception that you can be careful and take drugs is something that possibly needs more work.

BRONWYN HERBERT: The study found a quarter of all teenagers are overweight or obese and one in four
live with a mental illness:

KRISTY MUIR: That basically means that they have enough symptoms to be defined as having a mental
disorder of some type, most commonly anxiety, depression and smaller numbers of people have more
serious mental disorders like schizophrenia and psychosis.

BRONWYN HERBERT: Kate Ellis says the Government is working to address these issues, particularly
mental health.

KATE ELLIS: Well in part it's about prioritising them, which is one of the reasons why we've
increased our expenditure in youth mental health programs so massively.

But also it's, frankly, about doing things like this, coming out and talking to young people and
recognising that it is different world that they're growing up in and governments might not
necessarily have gone through the same experiences but we need to understand them.

We need to come out and listen to young people and then act upon what we learn.

ELEANOR HALL: The Federal Minister for Youth Kate Ellis ending that report from Bronwyn Herbert.

Government releases health guidelines for young children

Government releases health guidelines for young children

Simon Lauder reported this story on Thursday, October 22, 2009 12:21:00

ELEANOR HALL: The Federal Government is also working to change the behaviour of younger

As a part of a plan to prevent childhood obesity it launched guidelines today on healthy eating and
physical activity for pre-schoolers.

But while the health experts who drew up the guidelines say they are realistic some parents have
told The World Today that many of them are not achievable and will simply add to parental guilt and
anxiety, as Simon Lauder reports.

SIMON LAUDER: When it comes to healthy eating two-year-old Hannah is off to a good start.

HANNAH: I like to eat apples. I like to eat carrots. I like potato.

SIMON LAUDER: Her mother Megan Goodwin says new Federal Government guidelines on what to feed
toddlers and how they should spend their time risk being lost amid a flood of parental advice.

MEGAN GOODWIN: I'd like to think it's sort of common sense in a lot of ways. And yeah, not another
thing that needs to come from that level of society of yeah, kind of ooh, this is what you need to
be doing.

SIMON LAUDER: The Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon says there are certain things parents should
be doing. This morning she launched the Get Up and Grow guidelines for early childhood.

The guidelines for children under five say they shouldn't sit in the one spot for more than an hour
at a time; they should get three hours of physical activity a day; they shouldn't be punished for
not eating. Nor should they be rewarded for eating.

There's also a list of suggestions for a healthy diet and ways to get a child to be active.

FRANK OBERKLAID: The earlier we begin with any sort of preventative health effort the more
successful it's likely to be.

SIMON LAUDER: The director of the Centre for Community Child Health at Melbourne's Royal Children's
Hospital, professor Frank Oberklaid helped develop the guidelines.

FRANK OBERKLAID: We know that what happens in those early years can have a lifelong impact. And
it's the same with healthy eating and physical activity patterns, that the sort of patterns and
routines and behaviours that are established in those early years become entrenched as that child
gets older.

So that if we can instil in young children and families and early childhood settings, routines that
encourage safe activity, routines that encourage healthy eating then that gives us the best chance
of then preventing obesity in populations in the future.

SIMON LAUDER: Why is it important to never reward children for eating or punish them for not eating
because it's a constant struggle with toddlers to get them to eat, isn't it?

FRANK OBERKLAID: Parents need to understand that it's perfectly normal developmentally for children
to go through phases when they refuse to eat or they're very fussy with food.

And the trouble with rewarding them, for example with something sweet etc, is that'll become the
established norm.

We don't suggest for a moment that this is the only way to give kids food choices, this is the only
way to parent etc, but it's sort of general information and there will be exceptions to that.

SIMON LAUDER: There certainly are exceptions for two-year-old Henry. His mum Catherine Argall says
many of the recommended foods have been rejected.

CATHERINE ARGALL: A quarter of a cup of vegetables? What child wants to eat vegetables? Eggs? Chick
peas? Baked beans? He isn't going to eat that. Red meat can be hard, although he'll eat a little
French cutlet but who can afford those as well?

SIMON LAUDER: What about that target of three hours' exercise a day? Is that easy to achieve?

CATHERINE ARGALL: Oh no. Does that include running up and down the hallway or is it out in the
fresh air? I don't have three hours let alone to do housework, let alone to give him three hours.

FRANK OBERKLAID: When we talk about physical activities we're not talking about exercise in the
adult sense. We're talking about creating a safe environment and creating opportunities for them to
explore. So it may mean just walking with parents. It may be playing in the sand pit, running
around outside, playing ball games.

SIMON LAUDER: Amanda Cox runs a parent support group called Real Mums which openly rejects the need
for parents to stick to guidelines. She says many parents already feel like they're not doing a
good job.

AMANDA COX: They're nice little guidelines. I think they're almost like a bandaid. You know, we
need to do something, this is what's happening with our nation, this is what we need to do. All
these parents are doing all these things wrong and they need to fix it and do it right. Great,
we've done our job. We've wiped our hands of it. We can now go, you know, point fingers at
everybody else who's not doing it right now.

SIMON LAUDER: Professor Oberklaid says parents shouldn't feel bad if they don't reflect reality.

FRANK OBERKLAID: Well it's not designed to be a parent guilt trip. I don't think they're
unrealistic at all. I think that it would be unrealistic to expect parents to impose these things
all of the time.

If we just let this situation continue without intervention it has very serious consequences down
the line in terms of the health of our population, the amount of expenditure on medical care to
look after them, the increase in associated conditions such as heart disease and stroke and so on.

So it's pretty clear that to do nothing is not an option.

ELEANOR HALL: Professor Frank Oberklaid is the director of the Centre for Community Child Health at
Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital. He was speaking to Simon Lauder.

Charles Zentai to be taken into custody

Charles Zentai to be taken into custody

David Weber reported this story on Thursday, October 22, 2009 12:24:00

ELEANOR HALL: A Perth man who is accused of committing a war crime in Hungary 65 years ago is due
to be taken into custody today to await possible extradition.

Eighty-eight-year-old Charles Zentai says he is innocent and that it's unlikely he'll get a fair
trial on the charge that he killed a Jewish teenager in Budapest when he was serving in the
Hungarian Army.

But the Simon Wiesenthal Center says it's time for Mr Zentai to face justice.

The Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor is now considering the extradition request.

In Perth, David Weber reports.

DAVID WEBER: It's alleged that Charles Zentai murdered Peter Balazs in November 1944 because he
wasn't wearing a yellow star.

Mr Zentai says he'd left Budapest the day before the teenager was killed.

The 88-year-old says he's worried about what might happen to him in the coming weeks.

CHARLES ZENTAI: Well I'm concerned about what's going to happen to me there in the first instance.
Where are they going to put me? Which kind of a jail or what sort of a treatment I've going to
have? What sort of protection or representation I'm going to get?

DAVID WEBER: Is it your understanding that you will be in custody until the minister makes a
decision one way or the other?

CHARLES ZENTAI: Well yes. It's not going to be a very pleasant time for me, considering my age, my
health, my poor physical, reasonably poor physical health. I might be sitting there for months.

DAVID WEBER: If the minister makes a decision that you should be extradited will you be seeking to
appeal that decision in the courts?

CHARLES ZENTAI: Well of course. Oh yes I definitely will. Or else we'll try anything to, you know,
to get justice.

DAVID WEBER: There will be people listening to this that will think that you should be going back
to Hungary to face justice there.

CHARLES ZENTAI: Well those people really don't know what's all this all about. They just have no
idea, no idea how situation in Hungary not the best. You may hear people saying here that it's a
democratic country but it's far from it.

DAVID WEBER: Mr Zentai was implicated during the post-war trials of two Hungarian Army comrades who
were found guilty of the murder. An arrest warrant was issued in 1948.

But an extradition request wasn't made until four years ago after the Simon Wiesenthal Center
brought the evidence to the attention of the Hungarian authorities.

The man who's been pushing the case is the centre's Dr Efraim Zuroff.

EFRAIM ZUROFF: This has been an incredibly frustrating process for us because none of the delays
that took place had anything to do with the specific allegations against Mr Zentai. And in a case
like this, when the person is not young, every day that goes by only brings that person a day
closer to eluding justice.

DAVID WEBER: Dr Zuroff dismisses Mr Zentai's claims of ill health and says he will be able to get a
fair trial in Hungary.

EFRAIM ZUROFF: There are cases like this that have been dealt with before and there's never been
any problem. And there's no reason why Mr Zentai, who originally said that he was willing to go to
Hungary to defend his name and to present his side of the story, shouldn't go to Hungary to do so.

DAVID WEBER: If the family chooses to combat the minister's decision in the courts, which is
possible, there could be a further delay.

EFRAIM ZUROFF: Whatever they want. Nothing they would do would surprise me but it doesn't mean that
what they're doing is protecting an innocent man.

Listen, to portray Hungary today as it was 40 years ago is ridiculous.

ELEANOR HALL: That's Dr Efraim Zuroff from the Simon Wiesenthal Center speaking to David Weber.

China accused of abuses against Uighurs

China accused of abuses against Uighurs

Eleanor Hall reported this story on Thursday, October 22, 2009 12:29:00

ELEANOR HALL: A human rights group is warning that ethnic tensions in the Uighur region of China
are at extreme levels and is calling on the international community to condemn the Chinese
Government's response to this year's deadly ethnic riots.

Last week, Chinese authorities sentenced nine men to death for being involved in the protests.

Today the New York based group, Human Rights Watch, released its report into the unrest in the
Urumqi area of China.

It found that authorities detained at least 43 Uighur men and boys who have since disappeared.

Dinah PoKempner is the general counsel for Human Rights Watch and she spoke to me from New York.

Dinah PoKempner thanks for joining us. Now your report says that some Uighur boys as young as 12
disappeared in July this year. What exactly do you mean by this term "disappeared"?

DINAH POKEMPNER: An enforced disappearance in international law is when the state has people abduct
you or take you into custody and then either denies that you've been detained or won't reveal where
you are.

And in these cases we have witnesses who saw the people being detained by Chinese security forces.
When their families went to find out with the authorities where they'd gone to the fact of their
detention was completely denied.

There were women who, you know, whose husbands disappeared while they were in the late stages of
pregnancy. There were all kinds of people who simply have just vanished without a trace.

And the fact is that the relatives are terrified to continue making inquiries. They feel that
they're going to be taken next if they press too hard.

ELEANOR HALL: Of course this was in response to a deadly rampage by Uighurs in July this year which
officials say killed almost 200 Han Chinese. Wasn't the Chinese Government justified in seeking to
identify and deal with those responsible?

DINAH POKEMPNER: Oh absolutely. There's no doubt that there were tremendous loss of life and
destruction of property on the side of the Han Chinese residents of Urumqi. And the Chinese
Government does have a duty to investigate and take action.

But what we discovered was that the action taken was fairly indiscriminate.

ELEANOR HALL: You say that the families of these young men and boys are too frightened even to look
for them. Were people reluctant to talk to Human Rights Watch?

DINAH POKEMPNER: It was very difficult to gather the information. And the people that we talked to
are of course terrified and would not let us identify them.

It's a very difficult situation in which to do human rights research because the Chinese Government
really doesn't invite any human rights monitors to come in and ask questions.

ELEANOR HALL: So how did you manage to conduct your research given the restrictions imposed by the
Chinese authorities?

DINAH POKEMPNER: We can't discuss our methodology but I can assure you that the information we
collected was direct.

ELEANOR HALL: Interestingly the Chinese Government initially made it easy for the international
media to cover this protest in July. How unusual was that and why do you think the authorities did

DINAH POKEMPNER: It was a very unusual turn of events and very welcome that they allowed the
international press in.

That said, they didn't let them in very far. Journalists who tried to cover what had happened in
other cities other than Urumqi were kept out or even themselves detained.

It, I think, is in response to the disaster of the 2008 Tibetan riots when China blocked all access
and everyone reported the fears rather than the reality.

ELEANOR HALL: The Chinese Government hardened its crackdown on this ethnic group after 2001 and
this year the Government began destroying the city of Kashgar. To what extent is tension between
the Uighurs and the Han Chinese intensifying?

DINAH POKEMPNER: Well we think it's at a very high pitch right now. It's been a process of a number
of years that China has systematically restricted the ability of Uighurs to follow their cultural
and religious practices and life for ordinary Uighurs has got more and more difficult, more and
more constrained. And at the same time Xinjiang itself has been the subject of massive Han
migration and this has caused a great deal of resentment.

It does feel like things are at fever pitch and that the slightest match will set all the kindling

ELEANOR HALL: Even with the Chinese Government cracking down to the degree that you're suggesting
they are?

DINAH POKEMPNER: Yes. I think that there is certainly the potential for further unrest. We just may
not see it unless it's very big.

We found it one of the most challenging places to get information and to do research.

ELEANOR HALL: Now you're calling on the Chinese Government to account for all those that it has in
custody and to agree to an international investigation of the July violence and its aftermath. You
surely don't have much confidence that the Chinese will comply do you?

DINAH POKEMPNER: We hope that they will. We hope that this will be something that they realise is
not the kind of practice that can continue if China really does aspire to global leadership.

Unfortunately it is the practice of China. There has been a long record of these kinds of
unacknowledged detentions, trials without due process. China doesn't handle mass protests well so
we do fear that this is going to, you know, follow a pattern.

But we hope that China, which is increasingly taking note of its human rights obligations and
trying to take the stage as a leader of the international community, will really stand up and say,
you know, we must change. We must change practices.

ELEANOR HALL: You're also calling for more action from the international community. What do you
want on that front?

DINAH POKEMPNER: We want all of China's partners, diplomatic and trade partners to really express
great concern about how this is coming through.

The admission of the press into Xinjiang was a really good first step. But we can't say that things
have gone well when China behaves like the most brutal regimes in disappearing its own citizens.

ELEANOR HALL: That's Dinah PoKempner, the general counsel for Human Rights Watch, which has just
released its report on the Chinese response to this year's Han-Uighur riots.

Worms get their hooks into celiac sufferers

Worms get their hooks into celiac sufferers

Annie Guest reported this story on Thursday, October 22, 2009 12:32:00

ELEANOR HALL: There's further confirmation today of the potential medical magic of an unlikely
parasite - the hookworm.

Scientists have known for some time that the worm can help guard against asthma. Now research
suggests it could help victims of celiac disease.

But some potential patients are unnerved by the notion of a hookworm burrowing through their skin
to heal them, as Annie Guest reports.

ANNIE GUEST: For the 250,000 or so Australians affected by celiac disease life can be very
difficult with problems ranging from chronic diarrhoea to an increased likelihood of developing

But news that a potential cure could involve hookworms is hard for some to stomach.

CATHY DI BELLA: When I first heard about the study I just thought hookworm, there is no way I want
anything to do with that.

ANNIE GUEST: But after learning more, celiac sufferer Cathy di Bella says she'd be the first to
line up for such therapy if it defeated her life altering auto-immune disease.

CATHY DI BELLA: It makes everyday living a bit of a challenge at times. You have to plan
everything. You can't just say I'll go out for breakfast. You have to know that where you're going
will be actually able to cater for you. Lunch isn't just a sandwich like everybody else has. You
have to have gluten free bread. You have to know that where you're going they're not going to
contaminate you with anything.

ANNIE GUEST: And what is it like when you haven't been able to have the correct diet and you have
taken in gluten or too much gluten?

CATHY DI BELLA: With me I get very, very tired and lethargic. Some people have violent vomiting or
diarrhoea. Some people feel as though their head is in a fog.

ANNIE GUEST: But Brisbane gastroenterologist Dr James Daveson is confident it's only a matter of
time before there's therapy to treat such suffering.

He's been involved in a trial where 20 people with celiac disease were deliberately infected with
hookworm - a parasite disappearing from wealthy Western cultures because of a heavy emphasis on

JAMES DAVESON: We found patients who had hookworms on board did very well in terms of their
sensitivity to gluten exposure.

ANNIE GUEST: And why do you think that was?

JAMES DAVESON: We think that the parasites alter the immune system in the body. We think they're
supposed to be there. They enter through the skin and end up in the small bowel and that transit is
protected. And we think we've co-evolved with them over millions of years and have a synergistic
relationship with them and by removing them, which we've done over the last two to three
generations, we've increased our risk of auto-immune diseases.

ANNIE GUEST: Now this is not new is it? We've known for almost a decade that people who have
hookworms have some protection against other diseases such as asthma. Is there a common thread?

JAMES DAVESON: Yes. I mean asthma, multiple sclerosis, there's quite a few diseases that have an
auto-immune basis of which we think celiac disease is one.

ANNIE GUEST: There are half a billion hookworms but in his research Dr Daveson used only one of two
that it's believed are meant to be in the body.

JAMES DAVESON: The body seems to want to get them to the small bowel, which is in line with what
we're saying that these parasites work synergistically with our immune system.

ANNIE GUEST: I understand that one of the biggest problems involved with hookworm is the threat of
anaemia from the worm sucking blood from the person. Just how much of a risk is it that you could
cause problems like that through this work?

JAMES DAVESON: I think it's very low. Hookworms probably consume one unit of blood every three
years in otherwise healthy individuals.

ANNIE GUEST: More patients will take part in the study next week but it's expected to be many years
before hookworms becomes an accepted treatment for auto-immune illnesses like celiac disease.

ELEANOR HALL: Annie Guest reporting and our apologies to those of you listening to this while you
eat your lunch!

Hollywood project to retell Georgia-Russia conflict

Hollywood project to retell Georgia-Russia conflict

Scott Bevan reported this story on Thursday, October 22, 2009 12:35:00

ELEANOR HALL: Russia turned it into a TV series. Now Hollywood is getting in on the act with Andy
Garcia in a starring role.

But in retelling the story of the conflict between Russia and Georgia just a year after the guns
fell silent, the US company is drawing howls of protest from Russian critics, as Moscow
correspondent Scott Bevan reports.

(Sound of cheering and whistling)

SCOTT BEVAN: In a square outside Georgia's Parliament thousands have gathered for a rally.

On the stage before them, a man in a suit, who at a glance seems to be Georgian President Mikheil
Saakashvili steps forward to make a speech about the war against Russia over Georgia's breakaway
regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

MIKHEIL SAAKASHVILI (played by actor Andy Garcia): And now the issue of independence is being
decided here tonight.

(Cheers and applause)

And not just for our beloved Georgia!

SCOTT BEVAN: Only it's not the Georgian President speaking but actor Andy Garcia and the crowd
waving anti-war placards are not protesters but extras. And this is not August 2008 when Russian
forces defeated Georgian troops in just five days.

It's October 2009 and all of this is being done for the cameras for Hollywood has come to town.

Rusudan Pirveli is a Georgian film-maker who is working as a producer's assistant on the movie.

RUSUDAN PIRVELI: I think compared with Hollywood productions this isn't so big but for us it is
really huge.

SCOTT BEVAN: The movie, based on events surrounding the brief conflict, is being filmed not only in
and around government buildings in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, but also in smaller towns where
battles were fought.

The director is Renny Harlin, who called the shots on the action film Die Hard 2, and he feels some
connection with what Georgia went through.

RENNY HARLIN: I'm from a small country myself. I'm from Finland originally so I know what kind of
things small countries can sometimes go through and these kind of wars are fought all around the
world, from Africa to Asia to South America. Georgia is just one example and I think it's a great
opportunity to tell a very universal story that touches a lot of people all around the world.

SCOTT BEVAN: Georgian film-maker Rusudan Pirveli is keen to see just how much history is recreated
in the movie.

RUSUDAN PIRVELI: Now I can see how it is made by American director which is, you know, like usually
in film everything is little bit exaggerated. But yeah it seems really very real.

SCOTT BEVAN: Across the border many Russians are also waiting to see what messages the film
projects about the war and their country.

VOX POP 1 (translated): It will be very interesting to see how this film will be made from an
American point of view.

VOX POP 2: It's a fiction movie. It's Hollywood. It's just for show.

SCOTT BEVAN: This won't be the first movie based on the events of August 2008. A Russian
state-controlled TV channel commissioned a film and screened it in March.

Now while it may be more than a year since the gun shots ceased, the propaganda war between Russia
and Georgia has continued. Each side has accused the other of concocting stories about the conflict
and who was to blame.

In light of those ongoing tensions, renowned Russian film critic Andrei Plakhov believes it's too
soon to be making movies on the subject and expect them to carry historical authenticity.

ANDREI PLAKHOV: I think it's very difficult to avoid propaganda in this subject now. Better to
postpone not exactly this project but in general. If wait 10, 15 years we have another eye on the
same situation.

SCOTT BEVAN: Still, if art is meant to provoke debate then this film is likely to do that in at
least Russia and Georgia when it hits the screen.

This is Scott Bevan in Moscow for The World Today.

NSW backs sharper knife laws

NSW backs sharper knife laws

Barbara Miller reported this story on Thursday, October 22, 2009 12:39:00

ELEANOR HALL: The New South Wales Government is backing a law which could send even first time
offenders to prison for knife possession.

The Government says the law will send a strong message on crime and the Opposition says the change
is long overdue.

But civil liberties campaigners and criminologists describe the proposals as draconian and

In Sydney, Barbara Miller reports.

BARBARA MILLER: In the year to June 2009, 3,736 crimes were recorded in New South Wales where a
knife, sword, scissors or screwdriver was used as a weapon.

The previous year more than 4,000 such crimes were recorded. That represents a drop of around 8 per

But that's not enough for the New South Wales Labor Government which is supporting a bill drafted
by the Reverend Fred Nile to toughen up knife crime legislation.

The state's Attorney-General is John Hatzistergos.

JOHN HATZISTERGOS: The bill will amend the legislation so that we have a single offence structure.
And it means that even a first offender may be able to be sent to jail in relation to an offence of
being in possession of a knife in a public place or school without reasonable excuse.

The maximum penalty that will be available includes imprisonment of up to two years.

BARBARA MILLER: The maximum fine for refusing a police search will also be significantly increased.

The Opposition spokesman Greg Smith says the measures are long overdue.

GREG SMITH: For years the Liberals and Nationals have called for tougher penalties for knife
possession and it's tragic that it's taken this broken government so long to consider the many
thousands of victims of knife crimes and doing something to support them.

BARBARA MILLER: But some members of the community say they are concerned by the news.

Stephen Blanks is the secretary of the New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties.

STEPHEN BLANKS: Knife crime is declining in New South Wales and there's no evidence that greater
sentences are necessary to reduce knife crime.

BARBARA MILLER: The member who introduced the bill, Fred Nile, details a whole list of knife crime
attacks though. Do you think there's not concern in the community about this kind of crime?

STEPHEN BLANKS: Of course there's concern in the community. Each individual incident is disturbing.
But politicians, our parliamentarians should not be making laws on the basis of individual
incidents. They should be making laws on the basis of the overall statistical evidence and that
shows that knife crime is declining.

BARBARA MILLER: It's unlikely though isn't it that any person would be sent to jail for the maximum
term of two years unless they were found to be guilty of a serious knife crime offence?

STEPHEN BLANKS: That's correct and in that way this amendment is purely symbolic. Increasing the
maximum penalties doesn't mean that the courts will be imposing greater penalties in any particular

BARBARA MILLER: Chris Cunneen, a professor of criminology at the University of New South Wales,
says the changes are draconian.

CHRIS CUNNEEN: I don't see having more draconian penalties like this as really resolving some of
the issues that have arisen already with the legislation.

BARBARA MILLER: In particular Professor Cunneen is worried about how tougher laws could affect the
way young people are treated by police.

CHRIS CUNNEEN: We certainly know from the evidence that's been assembled in relation to the way
people are searched that police focus tends to be on young people in relation to this legislation.

And in the vast majority of the searches that police conduct on young people are in fact
unsuccessful. That is, after they've searched the young person, often in public, often with a
certain degree of humiliation to that young person, the police actually don't find a knife or a
prohibited implement.

And I think that indicates some of the dangers that are around this legislation and the way it's
used at a street level in terms of policing.

BARBARA MILLER: The New South Wales Government says it's not swayed by those arguments, saying it's
important to send a strong message on knife crime.

ELEANOR HALL: Barbara Miller reporting.

Microsoft hopes for new vista through Windows 7

Microsoft hopes for new vista through Windows 7

Timothy McDonald reported this story on Thursday, October 22, 2009 12:41:00

ELEANOR HALL: Microsoft may be the biggest software company in the world but after the debacle of
its last unloved operating system, Vista, it's been looking more vulnerable.

And today Microsoft executives are no doubt hoping that the release of the new version of Windows,
Windows 7, will wipe away memories of its last effort.

Timothy McDonald has our report.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: Amid much fanfare and a little humour Microsoft launched its new operating system
today, complete with ads catering for the local market.

(Excerpt from advertisement)

MALE (over music): Hey I'm Kevin. A while back I got an early glance at the new streamlined Windows
7 and it got me thinking. I thought, hmm, it could be even streamlinier...

(End of excerpt)

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: Microsoft's operating systems once dominated the market, so much so that the
company was accused of being a monopoly and taken to court in the US.

But it's a brave new world and there's now a lot more competition from companies like Apple and
also Google, which is developing its own operating system.

Microsoft Australia's managing director Tracey Fellows says that's a good thing for consumers.

TRACEY FELLOWS: I think competition is good for everyone. I think it makes us better when we have
competitors who are there. And I think some of our competitors, we're going to change things up in
where they dominate because we're giving them some competition. So I think competition is good for
the marketplace because it makes us all better.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: Microsoft's last operating system, named Vista, wasn't as popular as the company
would have liked. In fact the tone today sounded slightly contrite.

James DeBragga from Windows Consumer Division says the company took advice from eight million beta
testers to streamline its new version. He says the company hears its customers loud and clear.

JAMES DEBRAGGA: You earn credibility on the fundamentals and make my PC work the way I want. Only
after you simplify my experience do I want you to talk to me about new features in the operating
system. You've got to earn the credibility and the right based on fundamentals and simplicity
before you can talk to me about what is new.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: Microsoft says Windows 7 is faster, simpler and more reliable than its much
maligned predecessor.

Jeff Putt from Microsoft Australia says there are a few new features designed to make computers and
other devices in the homes simpler to connect.

JEFF PUTT: Very few people have worked out how to get them to talk to each other. And so in Windows
7 we've dramatically simplified that with the advent of home group.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: But some experts think the future of desktop operating systems is limited.

Associate professor Sanjay Chawla is the head of Sydney University's School of Information

He says Windows 7 is a good product but it's not as relevant as some earlier operating systems
because so many applications are moving online.

SANJAY CHAWLA: Yeah, most of the complex work is done on, under what's called a cloud, which is an
interconnected set of servers. We're not really sure where they are physically but they, we get the
feeling that we are, you know, doing work on some server somewhere in Seattle or somewhere in
Sweden. We don't know.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: Tracey Fellows says the so-called cloud is becoming more relevant and more
significant but she says there's still a demand for desktop systems.

TRACEY FELLOWS: The evolution of how do you embrace the cloud or what can be stored in the cloud is
definitely real and we see that now with some of things we're doing with Windows Live.

But we also still see there is a place where people want to do things on their machine in front of
them. They want the security. They want the power of that computing. And so I think we will find a
world that has both.

Will it eventually be a world that everything is in the cloud? Maybe. And today we also have
Windows Azure, which is Windows in the cloud. But I think we're going to see a blended environment
for a time to come.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: Either way Microsoft has its own cloud products.

Sanjay Chawla says even if its desktop products may not be as dominant as they once were, it would
be a mistake to underestimate the software giant.

SANJAY CHAWLA: The role of desktop, as a powerful desktop is diminishing and people want to remain
connected all the time. You know the connection experience is what... so whichever company or
whichever product provides the best experience of being connected will probably, will benefit.

ELEANOR HALL: And that's associate professor Sanjay Chawla from the University of Sydney speaking
to Timothy McDonald.

Lean times for construction industry

Lean times for construction industry

Sue Lannin reported this story on Thursday, October 22, 2009 12:44:00

ELEANOR HALL: Australia's Treasury secretary Ken Henry is predicting another commodities boom for
the country and a return to near full employment.

But the outlook for the construction industry is less optimistic. A survey out today predicts that
the value of commercial and engineering construction in Australia will slump this year despite the
Government's infrastructure spending, as finance reporter Sue Lannin reports.

SUE LANNIN: Australia's construction industry is starting to return to life thanks to higher
subsidies for first home buyers, lower interest rates and government infrastructure spending.

But the industry is forecasting lean times ahead in engineering and commercial construction.

Heather Ridout is the head of the Australian Industry Group.

HEATHER RIDOUT: Well this survey looks at engineering and commercial construction activity in
Australia and by Australian companies overseas and does indicate that in the current financial year
conditions are going to be quite tough with a fall of some 8 per cent in the total value of

And that's going to continue into the first half of the next financial year up until December 2010
with a further fall, although the fall, the pace of the fall will decline during that period.

SUE LANNIN: The survey by the AI Group and the Australian Constructors Association says the value
of engineering and commercial construction is expected to drop by $9 billion this financial year to
just over $87 billion.

Heather Ridout says the global financial crisis and the drop in industrial production is hitting
the industry.

HEATHER RIDOUT: Well I think you know the biggest one is tight funding and the global slowdown and
both of those aren't, there's not an awful lot that can be done about it at the moment. We need to
keep pushing these projects out into the economy and we need to do it at a time when we have the
capacity to do it.

SUE LANNIN: Peter Jones is the chief economist from the Master Builders Association which has
31,000 members. He says the survey is in line with their studies.

PETER JONES: The fallout from the global financial crisis and the credit squeeze is not going to go
away any time soon. Project finance is very difficult at the moment, economic slowdown and we've
already seen a massive fall in non-residential building approvals that is now beginning to
translate into falling construction output and employment, although there is obviously some
important offsets through the Government's well targeted stimulus measures, such as building
education revolution and social housing.

SUE LANNIN: The federal Opposition thinks the economic stimulus is a sugar hit and should be wound

The survey says if it wasn't for government infrastructure spending the downturn would be worse.

Peter Jones says that's because private investment has slumped.

PETER JONES: It won't be enough to keep the industry going. It's a very cyclical industry and we're
likely to see a downturn, as I said, over the next couple of years in the order of 10 per cent fall
in output and 7 per cent fall in employment.

The stimulus measures are important in this context because we would have lost more jobs, mainly in
the non-residential building sector, if it hadn't been for the government stimulus measures.

ELEANOR HALL: Master builder Peter Jones with Sue Lannin.