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ABC Midday Report -

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Live.

The Federal Government's

scaling back some welfare

payments to encourage parents

to find work. Anxious and

frustrated, but America's still

the target - the US releases

some of the Osama bin Laden

some of the Osama bin Laden

papers. He was on the run in

a sense, but he was still very

much in touch with his global

terror network. What's the

key to getting a uni degree at

97? It was hard work at

times. It involved a lot of

concentration and a lot of

knowledge of how to use a

computer, of course. And a

computer, of course. And a

sight for sore eyes thanks to a

miracle microchip. It seems

to have a curve. Hello, and

welcome to ABC News across

Australia, I'm Roz Kelly.

More finance later in the

bulletin. It looks like people

at all ends of the income

scales will feel the pinch in

getting the Federal Budget back

in the black. Billionaire

miners will pay their new tax

and it seems the unemployed

will also come under extra

pressure. They're the target

of new welfare to work measures

to be announced next week. A

better picture of the Budget

cuts is slowly emerging and the

joining the public service and defence are

joining the list of casualties.

Here's political reporter Nadia

Gilmore. The number crunching

is done and the pre-Budget

guessing game is well under

way. I think we should be on

the 'Price is Right'. And a

tough one if pre-Budget leaks

are any indication. It comes

as no surprise that welfare

will be Budget hit list, but

the Government insists that's

not necessarily bad news.

Anything we can do that

Anything we can do that does

encourage people to get back into the workforce is something

we want to do. The Budget's

expected to remove exemptions

for some unemployed parents,

meaning all single parents will

lose support payments when

their youngest child turns 8

for partnered parents when

their youngest child turns 6.

I'm in favour of people working

I'm in favour of people working

whenever possible. I think

that if you're fit and young

you should work. The change

is expected to change the

Government $700 million, $4

billion in cuts have been

flagged for defence $2 billion

through delayed or cancelled

purchases. The rest to be

announced on Tuesday. These

cuts will be difficult for us.

We've worked our way through

them very carefully, but our

view is they will be

back of significant internal manageable. It comes off the

savings and efficiencies that

defence has been making over a

few years, so there's no

low-hanging fruit left. This

will make more tougher choices.

The Opposition says there is

room for the Government to get

tough on itself. They seem to

take a baseball bat to everyone

else out there, but the public

service has increased by 20,000

since Labor was elected.

since Labor was elected. The

public sector isn't expecting

to get through the Budget

representing Government workers unscathed. The union

says they're bracing for job

losses on top of the thousands

slashed under the so-called

efficiency dividend. Anti-

pulp mill campaigner will form

the Tasmanian seat of Bob

Brown. Peter Whish-Wilson is a

winemaker in northern Tasmania

winemaker in northern Tasmania and has campaigned against

Gunns' proposed Tamar Valley

pulp mill. Senator brown stood

down as Greens leader three

weeks ago. He'll leave the

Senate at the end of June after

12 years in Parliament. About

10 candidates applied to fill

the vacancy. I'm deeply

humbled by the appointment to

the Senate to take Bob's spot.

responsibility that I'm also very conscious of the

responsibility that will go

with this position. This is

a tremendous opportunity for us

to build our Green team

nationally, to represent our

State so well. Mr

Whish-Wilson's appointment

needs the approval of the

Tasmanian Parliament. Just

over a year after his death, US officials have released

documents seized from the Pakistan compound where Osama

bin Laden was hiding. The

bin Laden was hiding. The

previously classified papers

reveal a frustrated and

isolated terrorist leader

worried about the future of his

terrorist network, and losing

the support of Muslims. North

America correspondent Craig

McMurtrie reports. The 17

documents are a fraction of the

thousands found on computers

and hard drives seized by the

US Navy Seals in their raid on

Osama bin Laden's compound.

Handpicked by US officials for

release on the first

anniversary of his death, they

paint a picture of an isolated terrorist leader worried about

the direction of al-Qaeda and

the capabilities of its

terrorist affiliates. He warns about increased mistakes and

attacks on Muslims, writing in

one letter "Our strength is

limited," urging followers to

remain focussed on the United

States writing:

He was frustrated his

global empire was under more

pressure than ever before and

he was frustrated with

subordinates who didn't seem to

be able to learn any lessons

from previous mistakes. In

another document the terrorist

leader calls for President

Obama to be targeted, but not

US vice-president Joe Biden.

Biden is totally unprepared for

that post. Hidden away in his

compound he was also worried

about US drone strikes in the

mountains near the

Pakistan-Afghanistan border,

writing in May 2010 of " the

importance of the exit from

Waziristan of the brother

leaders".

It's important to

demystify these organisations

and de mystify Osama bin Laden

and I think that's probably

part of the rationale for

releasing this information.

The terrorist leaders were

worried about alienating

Muslims. Another document

reveals they considered changing the name of al-Qaeda.

even though most of the files seized when Osama bin Laden was

killed a year ago remain

classified, US analysts say the

notes and letters provide a

glimpse of a micromanager

struggling to stay relevant and

in control. The blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng has

phoned into a US congressional

hearing from his Beijing

hospital room pleading for help

to get to the United States.

Tensions between Washington and

Beijing are continuing to mount

after Mr Chen announced he

wanted to defect to the US.

All this has been played out

during a visit to Beijing by US Secretary of State Hillary

Clinton. China correspondent

Stephen McDonnell is on the

line from Beijing. Stephen,

Chen Guangcheng has been very

active on the phone. You spoke

to him yesterday and now he's ringing Congressmen in the

States. Are you surprised he's

continued to be able to

communicate with the media and

the outside world? What an

extraordinary series of events

we have. This blind activist

Chen Guangcheng, he becomes

famous for exposing forced

abortions. He escapes from

home detention, somehow makes

it inside the US embassy where

he spends six days, leaves the

embassy under what we think is

a deal to stay here, then

declares he actually now wants

to go to the US and he's piling

the pressure on the US

Government to get him and his

family out of here and as you

mentioned as part of this

putting a phone call through to

a US congressional hearing and

his friend and associate

Reverend is translating this

live to the hearing. You can

imagine the pressure this is

putting on the US Government to

do something about his case,

and there are quite a lot of

people getting behind him in Washington, though, for

example. Have a listen to what

US Congressman had to say.

Chen Guangcheng is and the rest

of his family and friends

appear to be in significant

danger, notwithstanding vague

and potentially empty safety assurances from the Chinese

side, Chen has since leaving

the American embassy in Beijing, expressed an ernest

desire to gain asylum for

himself and for his family.

So the time Mr Chen has spent

holed up at the US embassiy and

being vocal in expressing his

wish to go to the States is

almost overshadowing the visit

of Hillary Clinton to China?

Completely overshadowing it.

It's at least overshadowing

what they wanted to talk about

the meetings, because Chen

Guangcheng now says he wants to

get on board the plane with

Hillary Clinton and leave with

her when she leaves to go back

to America. According to some

reports, though, US diplomats

can't even get into the

hospital to speak to him where

he currently is, although they

have spoken to him on the

phone. So pressure on both the

Chinese and US Governments to

somehow sort this out, but

there's no easy way out for

either of them. Stephen, thank you.

Pioneering surgery has

partially restored sight to two

long-term blind men. The pain

had light sensitive microchips

placed at the back of their

eyes. Just six weeks ago,

Chris James was totally blind.

Now, he can perceive light.

This box powers his implant,

but it's what under his scalp

which is amazing. This X-ray

shows the computer processor

above his ear linked by a cable

to the implant behind his

retina. Compare this sight

test before the implant was

fitted when he had no vision.

No, there's nothing I can make

out. With this one after, now

he can perceive light... It

seems to have a curve. And

even the outlines of shapes.

I find it very exciting,

really. We mo the optic nerve

is working which is the most

important thing otherwise this

trial wouldn't be able to go

ahead and it's a question of

now teaching the brain to wake up and interpret what the

flashes of light are telling

me. Chris is one of thousands

of people in the UK with

retinitis pigmentosa, the light

processing cells in his eye no

longer function. The 1500

longer function. The 1500

pixel residentinal chip sends

electronic signals direct to

the optic nerve and from there

to the brain. Getting the

implant in place required a

steady hand at the Oxford Eye

Hospital. The operation

lasting several hours. I

start moving my head there...

A second patient Robin Millar

showed me how the implant

enables him to perceive light

and there's been another

unusual benefit. I'm dreaming

in colour for the first time in

25 years, intense bright

colour. Retinal implants are

compared to early grainy

photography, but with the hope

of restoring clear vision for

generations of patients. The

UK's not the only place making

big strides towards the goal of

curing blindness. Scientists

in Australia, the home of the

bionic ear are working on a

bionic eye. It's a nationwide

research effort but a brand-new research facility at the

University of NSW is producing

encouraging results, going in a slightly different direction to

the Brits. Professor Nigel

Lovell is the joint leader of

the Bionic Eye Research Program

at the university. So we have

a very different stimulation

strategy, which means the way

we steer current into the

retina allows us to perform

more localised spots of light.

The device that was implanted

in the UK from retina implant,

even though they have many more

electrodes than us, 1500

electrodes, it's very hard for

them to focus that electrical

current to form these spots of

light. Having produced the

bionic ear, can you use the

same principles of restoring

hearing to restoring sight - is

that an advantage? It's a

huge advantage. Indeed, our

whole design philosophy has

been based around how a

cochlear implant was built in

terms of how to make it safe

for a patient. We take our

device and encapsulate it in

the say way a cochlear implant

is. The device in the UK that

is. The device in the UK that

appeared in the media has no

encapslation in terms of a hard

cell. It's used as a polymer

coating which is going to be

hard to last a lifetime in a

patient. The two British men

who have these implants say

they can distinguish light and

vague shapes , how long will it

be before you can restore

sight? It's I guess a process

of incremental improvement. We

won't know until we put our

device into humans which will

occur in the next year, about

this time next year, exactly

how well they'll see and how we

can design what's called

stimulation strategies to

produce the best vision for

these recipients. So we

believe that for our first

generation device with 100

electrodes it'll be useful for

navigation. After that, we

hope to have a device with

closer to 1,000 electrodes that

will be used for facial

recognition and other

activities of daily living.

Professor Nigel Lovell, thank

you. My pleasure. The

business headlines are

dominated by the big end of

town, but when it comes to size

and influence on the economy,

small business wins hands down.

It's by far the biggest sector

of the economy and the biggest

employer, which means small

business will control a lot of

votes in the next federal

election and as Andrew

Robertson found out in one of

the country's most marginal

electorates, small business is

not happy. This is Seven Hills

in the marginal electorate of

Greenway which spans Sydney's

west and north-west. Greenway

is held by Labor with a margin

of less than 1% after it won it

back from the Liberals at the

last election. There are many

hundreds of small businesses in

Greenway and at the next

election, their votes could be

crucial. And if the small

businesses the ABC spoke to are

any guide, the Government will

struggle to hold a seat which

covers a large chunk of

traditional Labor Party working

class heartland. Business is

significantly down, it's down

in business, we've noticed that

over the last three to four

years, particularly over the

last 18 months. Saturday is a

key day in the retail sector,

but Paul Harper says he's had

Saturdays where not one person

has come in the door and he has

no doubt who's to blame. I

put it down to our current

government. Small business,

indeed larger businesses feels

the way that I feel. I think

we're not getting any direction

from them, there's no

confidence out there. A

couple of suburbs away at Kings

Park at Espresso Vend

Australia, the sentiment is the

same. Small business has been

a neglected beast for a long

time. Government policies are

always supporting larger

businesses and employees.

Among the issues small business

sheets home to the Federal

Government are impact on consumer confidence caused by

things like the looming carbon

tax, overbearing red tape and the industrial relations issues

caused by the Fair Work Australia Act. According to

the small business index, only

7% of small businesses think

Federal Government policies are

helping them. 49% believe

Government policies work

against them, while 43% think

they have no impact. Putting

that another way - 92% of small

businesses do not think

Government policies are a help,

which for a Government as

unpopular as the Gillard

Government could spell trouble

when Australia goes to the

polls next year. There are 2 million small businesses in

Australia employing just under

5 million people and the sector

is by far the biggest employer

in the country. From the Government's point of view,

there are millions of votes to

be won and lost, votes which

will decide the election.

They're cause for debate in

some parts of the country, but

a wind farm in Tasmania's

north-east is being embraced as

a breath of fresh air. The

State Premier and her deputy

have toured the project which

is expected to generate a considerable slice of the

island's power. Three down, 53

to go. On the remote farm Cape

Portland, foundations are being

poured for turbines that will

arrive from Europe early next

year. In a short space of 14

months this will be a fully

operational site. It will be

one of the biggest wind farms

in Australia meeting 5% of

Tasmania's electricity needs.

That, of course, is emissions-free electricity and

it is an abatement of 460,000

tonnes of CO2. The project

was first approved in 2004, but

was put on hold five years

later before Hydro bought the

Cape Portland property. It's

allowed more time for the

company to manage Aboriginal

heritage issues. A Heritage

officer found a small relic

that we could have dealt with a

number of ways and the quickest easiest and most effective was

to move the turbine.

Environmental groups have been

consulted. We've done

extensive surveys on the bird

migratory patterns and the way

they traverse around the site.

60 kilometres of underground

cable will link turbines with a

control building manned by 14

workers. From there, the power

will be transmitted to Derby

and into the Tasmanian grid.

The Premier says the project's

timing couldn't be better for

the struggling north-east.

Accommodation is booked out,

restaurants are having to

support the catering needs of

these workers here and we're

seeing the flow-on benefits to

Tasmanian businesses. Hydro

Tasmania says most of the 200

people employed during the 18-month construction phase

will be Tasmanian. After that,

it's hoped jobs for displaced forestry workers will be found

in agriculture. Let's go to

some of the other stories

making news in business.

Qantas is cutting spending by

$400 million. The delivery of

two Airbus A 380s due next year

has been pushed back to 2016

with a final six arriving two

years after that. Qantas will

also beef up capacity on

domestic routes adding extra

peak-time services on East

Coast business routes and

JetStar will increase capacity

in key leisure markets. Food Standards Australia New Zealand

is calling for feedback on whether dogs should be allowed

in outdoor cafes and

restaurants. It wants to come

up with a nationwide approach

and it says its research has

found the risk of pets

spreading disease in outdoor

settings is low to nedgeable.

And Facebook has set a lower

than expected price range for

its public share offering of 28

to $35 US a share. That makes founder Mark Zuckerberg worth

about $90 billion. Michael

McCarthy, from CMC Markets

there's a good deal of caution

out there, why? After the

rate cut delivered by the

Reserve Bank on Tuesday, the

market has moved substantially

higher and looks as if it's

found a higher trading zone.

After such a strong week we're

seeing some people taking some

of their risk off the table and selling into today's weakness

and that weakness is being

brought about by the weak leads

we've seen from overseas

markets. We're seeing a

cautious approach to today's

trading, because we've got a

number of key market events

coming up. Importantly tonight

we'll see nonfarm payroll

numbers in the US. That will

be a global market mover and,

of course, next Tuesday the

Federal Budget which could have

implications for shares. It

looks like resources are

putting the brakes on here?

We saw a stronger US dollar

overnight and that brought

commodity markets generally

down. We saw metals moving

down, in particular gold and

copper and also saw oil markets

down, oil falling by $2 a

barrel. That's weighing on our

resources sector. The index

down by more than 1% which is

outpacing the 0.5% fall in the

broader market, but it's energy

and gold stocks being hit hard.

The energy index down by more

than 2%, gold stocks down by

more than 2.5% today.

Michael, the Reserve Bank has released its latest thinking on

interest rates and I guess the

markets wants to know if there

are any more big rate cuts on

the way? We generally look to

the Reserve Bank's quarterly

statements for their outlook

for the coming years and today

the Reserve Bank revised down

its growth forecast, but not by

as much as the market was

thinking. The Reserve thinks

the Australian economy will

expand at a rate of 3% year.

The markets have played a

neutral game when it comes to

future monetary policy saying

they will continue to monitor

and adjust accordingly to

manage low inflation. Overall,

though, the statement is little

more hawkish than the market

expected. We're looking for

talk of further rate cuts.

That hasn't eventuated and the

Australian dollar has bounced

by about 30. And Wall Street

slipped into reverse slower

than expected growth in the big

US services sector helped to

drag retailers down and traders

are also bracing for

disappointing jobs figures.

A retired dentist has

become living proof of the

adage, it's never too late to

learn. 97-year-old Allan

Stewart will this afternoon

become Australia's oldest

university graduate. He'll

receive a Masters of Clinical

Science from the Southern Cross

University, 76 years after

completing his first degree.

I set myself to do two hours in

the morning in front of the

computer or typing and two

hours in the afternoon. It was

hard work at times. It

involved a lot of concentration and involved a lot of knowledge

of how to use a computer of

course. And apart from

stimulating the mind, the

secret to longevity? Diet is one very important thing.

Exercise is another. Now he's

finally called it a day on any

further tertiary studies.

Garage sales are becoming an

increasingly common sight on

Saturdays and tomorrow is going

to be a big day for enthusiasts

with thousands of households

hoping their trash will be

someone's treasure. In a

coordinated national garage

sale. The Garage Sale Trail is

the idea of Darryl Nichols and

Andrew Valder and began as a

small community festival two

years ago and this year it's

estimated that over $2 million

worth of pre-loved items could

change hands. More from

cofounder Darryl Nichols. The

Garage Sale Trail is a national

community-based sustainability

initiative that was first

brought to life in May of 2010

as part of a small festival we

set up in Bondi Beach and

really, it's about trying to

offset waste to landfill, bring local communities together and

just have a bit of fun and it's

really as simple as - people

register their sale on a

website, we can people to come

up with a unique name for their

sale. People get creative and

have a bit of fun with that. They list the information about

what they're selling where

they're based and it links to a

Google map and their social

profile of preference and

connects with a wider community of shopping that are interested in what's going on. Some of

the items up for sale tomorrow

are not the usual things. Last

year you had a woman who sold a

1963 Jaguar and this year there's something big and

unusual up for sale? There's

a gentleman in Bondi Beach

that's listed his apartment for

sale and supposedly most of the

things within the apartment,

too. That's happening down on

Beach Road. There's everything

from white-labelled numbered

Beatles vynyl through to fairy

floss makers and there's

someone that's got a definitive

collection of 'New Yorker'

magazines from the '40s and

'50s too. If you can name it,

it's probably for sale

tomorrow. The idea of garage

sales has taken off hugely in

Australia, what is the

attraction of them? It's a

combination of a couple of

things. Australians have been practicing sustainability

forever through the simple

practice of garage sales. We

possibly just didn't know it and I guess garage sales have

always existed. They happen in

any given weekend in locations

around the country, but they've

largely been unorganised to

date and the Garage Sale Trail

provides a framework to help

make that whole system a little

bit more efficient and I think

that some of the drivers for

people are it's about

decluttering, making a bit of

extra pocket money, it's

certainly about connecting with

your neighbours and having a

bit of fun and doing something

positive for your local neighbourhood. Darryl

Nichols, good luck tomorrow.

Thank you. Wales is claiming a

long-distance first - the first

country in the world to have a

walking path spanning its

entire coast line. The 1400

kilometre journey through some

stunning scenery is part of a

new effort to boost tourism.

Carved out of cliffs and

beaches, the Welsh coast is

much more than just a line

between land and sea. The new

path takes in everything from

ancient burial grounds to a

power station winding its way

through 11 nature reserves. We

sent our cameras out to give

you a snapshot of the 870 mile

journey through the town walls.

We met quite a few Walkers

already enjoying the views.

Would you fancy walking the

whole thing? Yes, I would. For enthusiasts like Caroline Thompson, the path represents a

challenge - to walk the entire

coastline of her country. But

she's frustrated the route

doesn't always cling to the

water's edge. There are

certain areas in Wales where

there are private estates so

there isn't coastal access. It

would be great if that could be

opened up. Lyn Jenkins runs a

coastal park. Walkers will

have to skirt around his

property after he spent tens of

thousands of pounds fighting

access. It finishes our

business, it's letting

everybody in free, but not only

that it's bringing people into

a dangerous area where the

cliffs are crumbling. Despite

the disputes, one guide book

has declared the Wales coast

path the best region in the

world to visit this year. We

felt that it was deserved, it

was time to recognise just how

far Wales had come as a

destination. The path opens

officially this weekend. The

first step in trying to bring

an extra 100,000 tourists to

Wales every year. Also making

news around the world at the

moment, security has been tightened around State

Television offices after three

days of fighting between the

militia junta and soldiers

loyal to the country's ousted

president. West African

nations have plans to send in

troops to help restore order. And a look at the weather now.

The satellite shows cloud over southern Victoria and Tasmania

spinning around a low. Cloud

over South East Queensland and

north-east NSW along a trough

and thick cloud streaming into

the west along another trough.

A Tasmanian low should move east allowing showers to ease

in the south-east. The trough

should move through southern WA

triggering showers and storms.

A high should keep the interior

and east mostly dry. A low

over the tropics should

generate the odd shower.

Back to the Stock Exchange

for a final check of the

markets. Pretty sluggish day

to end the week.

That's the news for now.

There's continuous news on

twourz and there's also news

on-line. Our next full

bulletin on ABC1 is at 7

o'clock this evening. I'm Ros

Childs have a good afternoon

and a lovely weekend. See you

on Monday.

Closed Captions by CSI. MUSIC: "I'm In The Mood For Dancing" How are you, sir? If anyone else asks, I'll have another stroke. He's back tomorrow. Afraid so, Wieldy. If you're buying, I'll have a pint. Andy, is that a good idea? Bitter? And twisted. So, you dragged yourself off your sick bed to see me off? I'm honoured, Andy. You know me. Anything for a free drink. Can I have a word, Donald? The force is better off without him, if you ask me. Early retirement on the grounds that he lets murderers walk free. Can you drop it? > Oh, that's right. We don't talk about the Danny Macer trial, do we? How Fitzgerald let Macer off. Are you determined to start a fight? That's a good idea. I might get chucked out before they start the speeches. Cheers, Wieldy. Ladies and gentlemen... Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to thank the Bishop Hinton Golf Club for allowing us to hold this party at such short notice. Donald always said he would retire as soon as there was a verdict in the Macer case. Come on. That verdict came much sooner than we were expecting, but those of us who've worked closely with Donald didn't want to let his retirement go unmarked. Ladies and gentleman, would you all raise your glasses... I don't believe it. ..to Donald and Elizabeth Fitzgerald. Donald and Elizabeth.