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ABC News Breakfast -

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(generated from captions) Three people die in a house

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I think they are in effect

propping up the regime at a

time when we should be working

on a political transition. The

Queen awards former Prime

Minister John Howard the Order

of Merit at Buckingham Palace.

I certainly see it very much

as a mark of her affection for

our country. And the world's

fastest man returns to form in

his preparation for the London


Good morning, it's Friday, 1

June, I'm Michael Rowland And

I'm Beverley O'Connor. Three

people have died in an

overnight house fire in

Melbourne's south-east. It's

believe they're a woman and two children. Firefighters found

the Clayton South home well

alight when they arrive ed just

before 1 o'clock this

morning. The crews searched the

house after bringing the blaze

under the control and found

bodies. The cause of the fire

is not yet known . But overseas and the United States has

warned Russia that its support

for Syrian regime is cricting

to a civil war. Both Russia and:have renewed their

opposition to tougher UN action against President Bashar Al-Assad, despite the Houla

oft State Hillary Clinton says massacre. But the US secretary

she will continue to try to

persuade Russia to support

stronger action against is

Syrian regime. The Russians

keep telling us they want to do

everything they can to avoid a

civil war because they believe

that the violence would be

catastrophic. They often in

their conversations with me

liken it to the equivalent of a

very large Lebanese civil war

and they're just vociferous in

their claim that they are

providing a stabilising

influence. I reject that. I

think they are in effect

propping up the regime at a

time when we should be working

on a political transition. So I

look forward to working with Kofi Annan, this like-minded

nations like Denmark and many

others and with the Russians to

see if we can't get a way forward. Now to other news

we're following this morning -

NSW prison guards are taking industrial action today after

one of their own was jailed for

bashing an inmate last year.

The Newcastle officer was

jaimed for seven months after

the hepatitis C-infected inmate

spat in his face. The sentencing magistrate said the

guard had abused his position

of trust and authority.

Victoria's taxi industry is

facing sweeping re forms, a

year-long review by ACCC chief

Allan Fels has recommended

breaking the dominance of the

big taxi companies. Professor

Fels says the country's largest

company, CabCharge, needs to be

reined in and competition

stimulated. Other

recommendations include fare increases on Friday and

Saturday nights, independent

testing of a driver's knowledge

of the roads and better pay for

drivers. Qantas CEO Alan Joyce

has been accused of misleading

a Senate committee about his

decision to lock out workers

last year. Mr Joyce told the

committee the decision was made

on the day it occurred. But committee's chairman Senator on the day it occurred. But the

Glenn Sterle says the airline's

chief financial officer has

told Fair Work Australia the

executive discussed a lockout

two weeks before it

happened. Qantas says it's a

simple Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt misunderstanding. Britain's

has been defending his

relationship with Rupert

Murdoch's News Corporation at

the Leveson inquiry into media

ethics. Mr Hunt admitted

sending a congratulatery text

to James Murdoch after European

regulators decided not to

intervene in the birm firm's

bid for BSkyB. But he insist he

was impartial despite his

personal sympathy for the

takeover. The privately owned

space capsule Dragon has

splashed down off the Californian coast after a

successful 9-day mission. It

took food and supplies to

astronauts on the International

Space Station. NASA is planning

to use commercial vehicles as

opposed to government-owned

capsules. To the markets - Howard has been awarded the Former Prime Minister John

Order of Merit by the Queen

during a ceremony at Buckingham

Palace. The award recognises distinguished service in

various fields as our Europe correspondent Phillip Williams

reports. For John Howard an

audience with the Queen is

nothing knew. But this was

different. The awarding of the

Order of Merit puts him in a

very exclusive club of just in,

including scientists, artists

and musicians. This has a

particular meaning to me as a particular meaning to me as

limited number of people and it

is a personal gift of the

sovereign. It's not on the recommendation of the Australian Government or the British Government or indeed

any Government. It's good

timing with the Queen's diamond

jubilee this weekend, adding

special significance to the

visit. She is a woman of

remarkable commitment to duty.

She's got many qualities. The

greatest quality she has

brought to her position is an

unflagging sense of duty and

commitment. And there was more

than a little pride for the

Prime Minister's award from his

family. Very proud that he's

been given this honour. Very,

very proud of him and he's too humble to say too much about

it. But it means a great deal and an enormous amount to

us. Mr And Mrs Howard will be

an oa boat for the 1 sthou

jubilee Flo flotilla on Sunday,

following close behind the

royal barge, carry ing the

woman who has seen prime

ministers come and go and no

doubt will again. He is

looking like a very happy man

there. He was very

chuffed. Trying to keep a lid

on it. Now many flood prone townsacross southern Queensland

are racing against him to put

in flood mitigating

strategyings before the

Raines They're also trying to

convince the insurance industry

they're taking positive step s

to secure their communities. St

George has copped more than its

fair share of disasters. Three

major floods in just two

break and hardship. Still years. I can see the heart

causing him. The local council

has been discussing flood

mitigation options with the

reconstruction authority. Like

many other disaster-affected

communities, it's been rattle

ed by Suncorp's decision to

stop issuing new insurance

policies in flood-prone Roma

and Emerald. Hopefully now we

have the reconstruction

authority here to guide us in

what we may be able to do to

provide that permanent

protection for the town, that

we will be able to show to the

insurance industry that we are making positive efforts. But

for some that is far from re

assure ing. Don Gould kor

worries his flood ravaged

property would fall outside a

town levy, making any future

floods even worse. If we had

the same amount of water and

they had a levee bank, it would

be high higher. We can't

protect everyone but hopefully

what we will come up with is

protecting our urban communities. Further north, the

western Downs mayor says his patch is in deeper strife with limited flood mitigating options. There are two creeks

in here and Dalby with a creek

that split s the middle of the

town. You can't divert water

somewhere else. Ray Brown fears insurance premiums will sky

rocket and many won't be able

to afford to protected their

homes We have heard un

confirmed reports of 10-fold

increases in premium. That is unsustainable which means they

won't have insurance. So next

time it occurs the hardship

will be worse. A devastating

prospect for communities still

leaning up from - cleaning up

from last time. It's a shocking statistic that is

making people sick and costing

the nation bills of dollars. Half of Australia's Half of Australia's indigenous population smokes cigarettes

and one in five will die from

tobacco-related illness. Now

health rev researchers are

looking to the younger

generation to break the

habit. This is not your

average anti-smoke campaign. TRANSLATION: If you light it

you'll get sick from it. It's

an unconventional push to push

the message to young Aboriginal

people. People start smoke when

you they're young and the rates

of smoking is high in

Aboriginal people. So targeting

the youth is the place to

address this problem. Smoking

skills more Aboriginal people

than any other drugs and

alcohol combined. It's a message being told online

through interactive games and

movies to appeal to the younger

generation. What I wanted to be

when I get older is like a

doctor or a nurse, and say

there's a really good game

called Buy yop sy. I think it

will be popular in the school

because there are a lot of

smokers. Researchers also say

the Northern Territory could

make some simple changes to

help protect young people from

smoking. Smoking must be bans

in cars carrying kids. That is

true elsewhere in the country.

We're the last place in the

country to do that. That must

happen now. About 15,000 Australians die from

tobacco-related illnesses every year. And health campaigners

are now stepping out to save

lives. The former ACCC chief Allan Fels says the

country's largest taxi company CabCharge needs to be reined in and competition stimulated. A

year-long review by Professor

Fels recommends breaking the

dominance of the big

companies. Every attempt to get

competition in the industry has

been blocked. No government in

Australia has been prepared to

take more than very minor

measures. They don't want to

break the links between their

political parties and the

networks. The industry is

dysfunctional and when it comes

to an arrangement between high

level political figures and the

upper echelons of the taxi industry, it seems very

close. Driver wages just have

to go up for them to get a

better deal. But also to

attract better drivers. We need

reform across the country. And we

we need to really end the

largely monopoly power that

some of the industry have,

particularly CabCharge. The

CabCharge fee of 10% is clearly

far too high. We believe it

should be cut to the order of

5%. The taxi licence of half a

million is in effect in

corporated into prices. Now a

much, much lower allowance

would be built into prices.

Yes, there will be howls of

protest over the licencing re

forms, but we cannot hold the

public to hostage. Former ACCC

boss Allan Fels heading up that

inquiry into the Victorian taxi

system. T its findings are

Victorian specific but they do

have ramifications for the taxi

industry around Australia. Some

of us catch cabs more than

others and a lot of people

would pick up with that

suggestion of bringing down the cost of taxi licences to get

more cabs on the road to make

them more available. Brings the

cost down to $22,000 to buy a

taxi licence, they only last

for five years. Currently you

buy one, ition' over $400,000,

but you have it for life. Fels

is arguing it keep s that stranglehold on certain companies owning that. There

would be a lot of support to

bring more competition in to

the industry. Which is why you

can't get a cab on a rainy

Friday night at 5 o'clock. What do you like or

dislike about the taxi systems

in your State?

Let's go to the front pages of the major newspapers

this morning. The the 'Australian' says the

Government may have to dump its

commitment to a Budget surplus in response to the growing

threat of a new global

financial crisis. Treasury's

readiness to go back bo deficit

to stimulate growth is also the

main story in the 'Financial

Review'. The 'Herald Sun' says

the Victorian Government is

planning a huge brown coal mining project

mining project to deliver

thousands of new jobs. The

strike-affected 'Sydney Morning Herald' predicts interest rates

will fall to a record low by

the year's end to restrive

non-mining economy. The

'Advertiser' says a State

Budget commitment to big

spending has cost saution its triple

triple A razit rating. Elite

boy schools are among the top five performers in Queensland says today's 'Courier

Mail'. And Victorian taxi

driver s have told the 'Age'

they welcome the

recommendations for a radical

shake-up of the industry. 'The

Daily Telegraph' has an

exclusive on the first gay

fathers to be legally

recognised on the birth

certificate of a surrogate

baby. The 'West Australian'

says mass confusion over new regulations has caused a huge

drop in building approvals. 'The Mercury' talks

to Tasmanian scientist about

their vital role in tracking

the first private mission to space. And the 'Northern

Territory News' investigates

the pay increases of local

councillors. Let's look at

your Friday weather now.

The top stories - three

people have died in an

overnight house fire in

Melbourne's south-east. It's

believed they're a woman and

two children. The cause of the

fire is not yet known. The US

has warned ru its support for

the ririan regime is

contributing to a civil war.

But US Secretary of State

Hillary Clinton says she will

continue to try to persuade

Russia to support stronger

action against the regime. And

the former Prime Minister John

Howard has been awarded the

Order of Merit by the Queen,

during a ceremony at Buckingham

Palace. Only 24 people can hold

that award at any one time. Mr

Howard says it's a personal

honour to receive it. A

North Queensland family caught

up in one of two Hendra virus

outbreaks says they will

undergo medical tests to see if

they've contracted the virus.

Their property and another near Rockhampton remain under

quarantine. Authorities are

concerned the simultaneous

outbreaks could result in

another bad season for the equine industry. It's a horse

owner's worst fear but Wayne

and Sharon Kelly are putting on

is a brave front. Hendra virus

struck and killed their horse

near Ingham on Monday. They

treated him for pneumonia which

was all signs of it. It wasn't

until the next day when it

dropped dead that we realised

we had better get this

checked. The husband and wife

have two children, so they've

requested medical tests for

peace of mind: It's just a

waiting game now and even us

after we have had our blood tests. Queensland Health says

the Kelly family is among 10

people who have had low risk exposure to the deadly

virus. The national policy now

is that we don't recommend that

you need to have testing. But

anyone who wants to have

testing we're more than happy

to assist with that. The

Federal Government has allocated $2 million in funding

for six research projects. Some

of the most valuable work has

been done on developing a

vaccine for horses. We're

making excellent progress, and we certainly would see that

that vaccine will be available

next year. Flying foxes carry

Hendra virus but scientists

don't know how it's transmitted

to horses. That is why

authorities are urging horse

owners to be vigilant.

Biosecurity officers are still

monitoring eight horses at the

outbreak. The sick horse which died on Saturday have been

buried here at the property. So

far, no other horses at either locations have science of

illness. But as the incubation

period for Hendra virus can be

several weeks, only time will

tell. A dramatic crash in Melbourne's west last night saw

sheep running amok over the

Princes Highway. A truck

carrying 400 livestock rolled

off a bend and hung

precariously over a highway

around 9 o'clock. Dead and

injured sheep fell from an over

pass below, hit ing two

vehicles. One of the cars

rolled numerous times but the

occupants were not injured. The

truck driver received minor injuries. Obviously a huge

clean-up operation which on one

of Melbourne's main thorough

fares this morning. Spot light

is back on department stores

after David Jones reported a

downfall in Frost. Its latest

disappointment coming a week

after a downgrade from mire and

it's prompted one analyst to

say the future of the big chains are in serious

doubt. Another quarter, another

slide in sales but David Jones'

boss Paul Zara was putting on a

brave face. We're pleased to

report the rate of decline has

stabilise and. The decline in

PHE for fiscal 12 of 35% to

40%. Which despite his upbeat

tone mean s David Jones is

having a dreadful year, Saz

Myer which last week downgrade

its profit outlook by up to

15%. Retail analyst Peter Ryan

believes both department store

chains have lost their

taskforce the Australian

consumer as they respond to the

perceived threat of the

Internet. Their only reaction

is to match those things on

price. So they're commodtising

their business down and then

there's no margin. They strip

out their market ing, their

virl merchandising and most

importantly their store

service. At the moment, David

Jones and Myer are focussed on developing their own presence

on the web with Myer boss

Bernie Brookes telling a

conference in Melbourne that Australia will follow the overseas experience where

Internet retailers have

developed a big following. Then

the big guys, Big W, target,

Kmart, Woolworths, Coles group,

Myer, certainly David Jones,

all of us then efnter the

business and become the

dominant forces in this area. I

think the play book has already

been written in the US and the

UK is the same play book that

we will see in Australia. That

may be true but Peter Ryan

believe s David Jones and Myer's future depends on

getting back to the basics of

good retailing. Customers want

help to select goods. That was

the traditional role of the department store. That

opportunity has not gone away,

if anything it's intensify and

they just have to reclaim

it. If they don't, Peter Ryan

thinks they will either go

broke or be taken over by

private equity, which in Myer's

case would be second time

round. If you're not giving the

sort of returns that are

keeping the share price at the

level it should be and it

deflates and someone wants to

seize an opportunity for them

to do that and make money out

of it, inevitably if the share

price of either Myer or David Jones gets low enough somebody

will swoop. A situation not

lost on the David Jones chief

executive. We've not had any

credible offers to date, so

I've got nothing to report. If

we do, we will keep the market

informed. For now, David

Jones and Myer are pinning

their short-term hopes on their

end of financial year sales.

That 50 is a very good point

that although miefr and David

Joneses are having awful

financial problems it will be a

bonanza for shoppers as they

try to ramp up the discounts

and profit margins on the half

yearly sales. We've got used to

almost never paying full price

for anything so we've become

sceptical and they were saying

last year they did the special

deals all the way up to the

clearance sales and nobody was

interested in the clearance

sales . Who cares. I think

they want them to give tus

close at the moment because

it's very compit yf at the

moment. Hard yards for the

retail sector as well. We

should probably do our bit do

it for the economy. Let's look

at financial markets. At stake

too there too.

Someone who just love s

shopping for clothes is Paul

Kennedy. Yes. I love it. I

can't wait to get out there on

the weekend instead of going to

the footy! I will hit the shops! Men are terrible

shoppers. You are exhausting to

go shopping with. I hate

it. It is not in our DNA. Give

me footy any day. Did you know that Usain Bolt, there were

questions over whether or not

he could get back to his best?

Last night about an hour ago he

answered that because he was at

a diamond league meet in Rome

and just a week or so ago even

just a few days ago he ran 1005

which was - 10-05 which was

slow for him. There were lots

of people watching to see if he

could run a really quick time

at something like 9.7. And the

other person of course was

Asafa Powell. We are just

waiting for the vision. Asafa

Powell is trying to press Usain

Bolt this year. Kim Collins

previously, the guy who was at

Stawell this year. He said Usain Bolt has to slow down.

This is the race, check it out.

Bolt out well this time and

Bolt now picking up. Powell is

coming through. It's between

these two. Bolt is going to win

it. Bolt 9:76: He's back! Bolt

is back. Slight head wind,

Powell was very good tonight.

Sigh of relief, business Sigh of relief, business as

usual. So a quick time there,

9.76. Let's look at the

hurdles. Sally Pearson was not

at that meet. She is going to run in

run in Brisbane tomorrow. These

are her main competitor Fosser

the London Olympics. She won

in 0.4 of a second outside

Sally Pearson's best and Kelly

Wells is right there as well, throwing herself at the lines.

So those are the major

competitors. Sally Pearson's

after the weekend run in

Brisbane will head overseas an

start getting on board the

lead-up events to the London

Olympics. We will tell you more

about athletic s later on. To the tennis now - Bernard Tomic

lost in straight set s. This

one was 6-4, 6-1, 6-3. These

are the set points. Tomic, an

unforced error on one and a

double fault on the other. It

all came to an end with gir

Aldo playing a shot down the

line. She he is a bit of a clay

court specialist. So Tomic was

unable to press through until

the next round. We thought he

might play andy Murray over the

weekend. But no dice. The young

Australian is out. The

other The other Australian in

action was out last night

against Caroline Wozniacki.

That was 6-1, 6-4, the

Australian losing. Rafael Nadal

had no problems last night. He

won in three sets. And his

match point here - 6-2, 6-2,

6-0 no less. And Andy Murray,

he had a little bit of a tough

time last Knight because he

lost the first set 6-1, had

some back spaxs and finally he

wins the match and he has

plenty to think about. So

pleased to get through but not

rapt with his overall

performance. I can tell you

that there's some boxing news

that came through last night

that boxing fan s will be very

pleased with. Daniel Geale has

organised a fight with Felix

sterm. He is heading back to

Germany and after winning that

great fight there, Adama that

he beat in Tasmania, he said he

was going to go oversee Sea

force a big tight fight He is.

He beat Sylvester in Germany

and others thought it was

almost impossible to win a belt

in Germany but Geale will put

his belt on the line back in

Germany and try to unify that

division in a small way by

taking Felix sterm's title as

well. So that will be a great

fight. September 1. So he will

be training flat-out until

then. Anthony Mundine has been

saying for a couple of years I

am going to fight Felix sterm

but Daniel Geale has got the

big fight. Looking forward to

that. We will tell you more

about the athletics. Steve

Hooker was in action overnight.

He didn't win but he jumped 5m

42. At least he is back out

there. He's jumping that is the

main thing. He has to get his

confidence back. See you soon,

Paul. Now as you know ABC News

Breakfast can be watched live

on the web. Just visit the main

ABC News website. You will find

a link to News 24 it is

streamed every day. We can

bring you some developing news

from the United States where

former democratic hopeful

Edwards. His jury has cleared

him of one of the six counts he

was charged. With Not guilty. Importantly they were dead

locked on five other counts.

There are some tweets

suggesting a mistrial has been

declared on those other counts,

others are saying they were

dead locks. We are not sure if a mistrial has been declared

but he's been found not guilty

on one of those main counts

which accused him of accepting

illegal campaign

contributions. We're showing

you a shot of the court house where the jury has just

returned. We will bring you any

words from court officials once

we clarify what is going on

there but it's been a

spectacular fall from grace for

John Edwards. He was John Edwards. He was the

running mate for John Kerry, a

serious contender for the

democratic nomination at least

in the early stages in 2008 and

then his life unraveled as that

revelation of that affair with

a young campaign staffer - As

his wife was dying of cancer or

had serious health

issues. Elizabeth Edwards has

sadly since died. We will get

some more coverage as soon as

we get word, it's a big good

morning to Paul Higgins this

morning Good morning. The

cloud that's been over the east

is spreading further south and

east today and much of southern

Queensland is in for a good

soaking, courtesy of a

deepening pressure trough. This

other trough is bring ing rain

to the south-west but in the

south-east mostly fine, still

under the influence of high

pressure. Cloudy in Queensland today with rain and thunderstorms across the south.

You're watching ABC News Breakfast. Still to come - we

will be talking to Matt

Bindley, a union representative

for the NSW prison officers -

that is about the industrial

action guards are going to be

taking today. Also ahead - we

will have a review sof some of

the day's newspapers. This

morning we will be joined by

Greg Barton from Monash University. Here is Michael

with the news Three people

have died in an overnight house

fire in Melbourne's south-east.

No it's believe they're woman

and two children, neighbours say

say they tried to break into

the house but shutters

prevented nem from getting in.

The children are of primary

school age and their father is

overseas. The cause of the fire

is not yet known. The US is

warning Russia its support for

the Syrian regime is

contributing to a civil war.

Both Russia and China have

renewed their opposition to

tougher UN action but the US

Secretary of State Hillary

Clinton says she will continue

to try to persuade Russia to

support stronger action against

the Syrian regime. NSW prison

guards are taking industrial

action today after one of their

own was jailed for bashing an

inmate last year. The Newcastle

officer was jailed for seven months after the hepatitis

C-infected inmate spat in his face. Victoria's taxi vie

Industry is facing sweeping re

forms. A year-long review by

the former ACCC boss Allan Fels has recommended breaking the

dominance of the big taxi

companies. Professor Fels says

the country's largest the country's largest company CabCharge needs more

competition. And the Queen has

award ed the performer Prime

Minister John Howard the

prestigious Order of Merit at a

ceremony at Buckingham Palace. The award recognising distinguished service distinguished service in

various fields. Mr Howard says

it's a personal honour to

receive it. More on that fire

in Melbourne's south-east now.

Our reporter Andrew Arthur

joins us from the scene in

Clayton. Tell us what's

happening at the scene and what

we know so far. Good morning.

What we know is that just

before 1 o'clock last night

firefighters were called to

this house in Clayton. It was

well involved when they got

here. They got the call from

neighbours who had woke wren up

to a loud bang and called it.

In they tried in vein to rescue

or to break into the house but

unfortunately some roller

shutters got in the way and

they weren't able to. Arson

squad detective s have arrived

at the scene and are

investigating but as yet we

don't know what caused the

start of this fire. As you said

neighbours did try to break

into the home. Have you been able to speak to those

neighbours this morning? We

have. Just a short time ago we spoke to one neighbour,

Antonio. He was the one that

called it in. He said he woke

up to a noise which sounded like somebody was banging on

the bonnet of a car. He ran

outside and called triple-0 and

he noticed flames leaping from

the roof of the house. So he

tried to pull the roller

shutters office off and break

into the window. He called out

for the mother who normally

sleeps in un of the front rooms

but he couldn't see or hear

her. It's believe ed that she

may have been at the back of

the house with the children. But that is yet to be

determined. As I said,

firefighters then turned up and

they took over and

unfortunately three people are

believed to be dead. And the

father is believed to be in

travelling in India where he's

been for the past month. We

will leave it there at the

scene in Clayton. Let's stay

in Melbourne because a dramatic

crash in the city's west last

night saw sheep running amok

over the Princes Highway. A

truck carrying 400 livestock

rolled off a bend and hung

precariously over a highway

around 9 o'clock. As you can

see from the pictures, just an

extraordinary scene. Dead and

injured sheep fell on to the

overpass below, hilting two

vehicles. One of the cars

rolled numerous times. The

occupants were not injured. The

truck driver received just

minor injuries. It was

remarkable given you would

imagine the weight of the sheep tumbling down from that

overpass, crashing on to the cars wefrmt saw the damage to

one of the cars there. Truly

remarkable no-one was seriously

injuried. And you can imagine

how shock and horrible it was

for the sheep themselves who

would have gone into a terrible

panic and adding to the may hem

as we saw.: We managed to speak

to some of the people at the

scene of the accident as you

saw. I saw them coming down

like a mountain of it looked

like dirt but it obviously

wasn't. And then there was

nothing we could. Do they were

literally on top of us. We ran

straight into them. We all

screamed. I slammed on the

brakes an we are so lucky. My

car is an absolute write-off

but the sheep I feel so bad for

them, it's horrific. I was just driving straight and then all

of a sudden these sheep are

falling down from the top of

the overpass. I just thought I

am not going to be able to get

around this. I just drove

straight through it. I can't

believe at that speed I am

still standing here. This is

quite an unusual I vent. We

have a large number of deceased

and injured livestock. Only a

small number of injured

occupants of the vehicles. And

we have one car that's rolled

four times, we three other cars

that are extensively damaged

from livestock falling through

their wind screens and we have

a truck hanging off the edge of

a bridge. At this stage of an evening it was an unusual

finding. Remarkable no-one was

killed in that accident. This

weekend marks the 20th

anniversary of the High Court

case which granted land rights

to tres islander Eddie Mabo.

The legal ruling changed

Australia's history and the

significance of theid identity

of indigenous people. Leishman

is in the Torres Strait for the

- Kathy McLeer is in tore s

Strait. I am on Thursday island

where the 20th anniversary of

Mabo Day will be celebrated

over the weekend. Preparations

have been under way. I am with

the mayor of the Torres shire

council Pedro Stevens. It's a

goodnight day in the Torres

Strait islands. What does this

day mean to Torres Strait

islander people? It's about

identity. It identify us as a

special Australian. And special

Queenslander. And I think that

it's actually really highlight the cultural significance of

our identity as well. In terms

of our affiliation with our

islands. And Our Say. So that

decision actually marks for me,

you know, as a sovereign person

that I by long to a sovereign

nation, and indigenous nation

called the Torres Strait Island

s. The High Court decision was

a significant landmark but it

didn't deliver everything Eddie Mabo or the Torres Strait

islander people were after. It

was the beginning of other

challenges? The ongoing

challenges are now - is how we

then interpret the ownership

factor of our land, of our land tenure versus the main stream

or the colonial fee simple land

tenure. So people are now

talking about the ownership and

interpret itting that as being

your freehold title and how

that then be seen in that

negotiation between us and the

government and the government

agencies is yet seems to

unfold. It's been an ongoing

battle around self-

determination. What is ahead?

More legal battle or negotiation with Government? It's about

negotiating with government.

Because Government have gone a

head prior to Native title and

created reserves, have created

deed in grant in trust in areas

in which we now negotiate with government, government is

saying you should be playing in

this square that we've actually

drawn out to you. But in terms

of when we stand and we are

talking about ownership, we are

talking about ownership of the

whole environment. The first

traditional owners identify

himself with the environment as

the environment is himself. So

there's the old issue of not

just looking at the housing

factor, it's looking at economic development. It's looking at what is actually

deemed to be an industry that

is sustainable for us. So

actually able to us to into the

future. What kinds of

celebrations will be taking

place to mark the 20th anniversary? Because it

actually falls on two

significant days on the Sunday

that marks the events of Torres

Strait, it's actually the Mabo

Day and the coming of the

light, the first of July. But

one of the most important thing

about Mabo is that we have a

lot of challenge s and as

spiritual people it's only

appropriate that we put up

these challenges in a prayer celebration. But those

celebrations that will family

gather ing in the park with

family activities, and it will be celebrate on different

islands throughout the Torres

Strait but here on Thursday

Island we're looking at a

family day where people can

actually sit down, the young

and finds out from the old

that's how our stories have

been passed on, it's not -

there's a lot of things

there's a lot of things written about Mabo and the legal

journey, but we need to get

some truth here that direct

reform our - directly from our

elders. I think it's about

really talking about the

journey that we've come from

and when where we we are

going. That is what will be

happening throughout the Torres

Strait Islands. There will s

will be celebration s in

Townsville. One of the eventses

has included a re-enact ment of

the High Court decision. A very

proud day and a very family

oriented weekend. Very big day

indeed. The Island mayor

speaking there. Let's take you

back to North Carolina, that is the court house inside which a

jury has essentially just

cleared John Edwards, the

former democratic presidential

hopeful obviously one of six

corruption charges he was phase face lting. The judge in that

trial has now essentially

declared a mistrial which means

that John Edwards who was

facing up to 30 years in jail

if he was found guilty of all

charges is essentially a free man. Extraordinary. One particular issue which was

misusing campaign funds or

certainly getting more campaign

funds than he declared, so led

leading him to file false

testimony, he's been found not

guilty on that one. The

fascinating thing is he was

almost very Cleese to a deal

with prosecutors - close to a

deal with prosecutors admitting

his guilt. That fell apart

because he wasn't prepared to

serve any jail time and now he

is a free man. John Edwards

didn't testify at this trial

nor did his former misres but a

very big win for him and we

expect to hear some court

official or somebody of

authority speak to us very

shortly outside that courtroom.

We will go straight back there

when that happens. Let's move

to Britain now where the

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt

is defending his relationship with Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation while appearing at

the Leveson inquiry into media

ethics. The yirn has heard that

Mr Hunt sent a congrat lately

text to James Murdoch saying it

was great that European

regulators didn't intend to

intervene in the firm ice bid

for satellite broadcaster B Sky

B. He also told the inquiry that he wondered whether News

Corp was out of control. News

Corp announced they were closing the 'News of the

World'. And that for me was a very, very significant moment

because then I began to wonder

whether there could be a

management issue that spread

beyond News International to

News Corp. And even if it

wasn't an issue of trust, even if I accepted that the people

that we were eth egg in ing

with we were doing so in good faith. I asked myself if they

found it necessary to close

down a whole newspaper, and

this is a big, big deal for a company like News Corporation,

is there a corporate govern

ance issue here? Is this a

company that doesn't have

control of what is going on in

its own company, even if the management don't know about

what is happening? Now, that

is the Leveson inquiry which

goes on and on still with

marvellous revelations. You're

watching ABC News Breakfast -

the top story a woman and two

children are believed to have

been killed in a house fire in

Clayton's south-east.

Neighbours fried to break into

the house but shutters

prevented them from getting

sign inside. The cause is not

yet known. The United States is

warning Russia its support for

the Syrian regime is

contributing to a civil war.

But Hillary Clinton says she

will continue to try to

persuade Russia to support

stronger against against the

Syrian regime. John Howard has

been award ed the Order of

Merit by the Queen, only 24

people can hold the award at

any one time. Mr Howard says

it's a personal honour to

receive it.

John Howard is very happy.

He's only one of 24 living

people. In fact the Queen can

only award that to 24 living

people. She in the esteemed

company of the likes of Prince Philip, Prince Charles,

Margaret Thatcher. That is

quite remarkable when you think

about it. No doubt they developed a very strong

relation 147 when he was Prime

Minister and he of course was a

very staunch monarchist. Monarchist in

chief. Indeed. Perhaps rewarded for. That an extraordinary

honour and an honour for the

country as well. Let's look at the national papers today.

We're joined by Professor Greg

Barton from Monash University. Good morning. What

has been catching your eye? I

thought we would start with a

run through the week through

the eyes of the cartoonists of

the nation. Yes, please! We

will start with Alan Moyer from

the 'Sydney Morning Herald',

some of these ar toons are very

humorous, some grim. This is

both grim and humorous. You

have Wayne Swan and Julia

Gillard clutch ing the Budget

paper s thinking we've escaped

him but the truck of Tony

Abbott is looming close. The

canaries in the coal mine, that

is the bin s marked polls and

it's either a twitch or a

flutter. But if that is an ex- canary that is a worry. The

next one is Mark Knight? That is right

is right from the 'Herald Sun'.

It's not all one way. When it

comes to polls. Notice the

front page of the newspaper

that Tony Abbott is reading. It

has reference to his polls

going down. A voice in the

corner saying you're looking

more and more like the Prime

Minister every day. It's a clever attention to

detail. Lovely stuff. There's

lots of cartoons about Craig

Thomson. Most of them are a bit

grim and sad frankly. This is

simple but I think fairly true.

You to to you have Tony Abbott

saying at a human level have

sympathy for Craig Thomson. At

an inhuman level I will do

anything I can to do anything

to get into power. Best we say

nothing. There was a Tan burg

cartoon years ago when John

Howard was Prime Minister that

had John Howard standing on a

continent of Australia say ing

I will say who will come to

this country and now he's

replaced it with Gina

Rinehart. The boat loads of

workers to prop up one of her

iron ore mines. This was a bizarre week when it came to

the coverage of Parliament. The

circus in the Parliament. I'm

looking for the honourable

member. It shouldn't be too

hard to find. That wasn't a

good look. That sums up the

nation. An awful week in

Federal Parliament. Do we have

one more? We have this one -

once again parliamentary

circus, the school teachers

showing the charges look this is where we decide the

important matters of the

nation! And of course you have

notice the key stone cop. And

the bobble head in the

foreground, And the clown in

the bottom left. I like the

detail of the school teacher's

face - the shock and horror. She was prepared for a

visits to the seat of the

nation's power and she's got

this. Let's go back to Mark

Knight. This is clever and

dark. The parliamentary house

of horrors is the caption. You

can see Tony Abbott in his

Speedos as only a cartoonist

can get away with cess

desperately trying to get out

of the House of Zombies is. Perfectly summing the day's

events. And the most startling

image of the week of Tony

Abbott bolting to the door to

quell the tainted vote of Craig

Thomson. Curious

dilemma. Finally not really a

funny cartoon at all, Assad

commanding a tank. It's not so

simple, this is not we would

think the end of Assad. Assad

is still very firmly in the

turret so to speak: He has

taken a blast to the head but

he seems to be hands on the

wheel. Notice the corner of

that cartoon you have reference

to Houla of course. So

shocking. Greg, it is

intractable and you do wonder

how this is going to be

resolved now. We've got Hillary Clinton Clinton really trying to put

the pressure on Russia and of

course China is there too as an

ally. But they don't want to

seem to want to move. Only the

problem is not even with them.

Supposing Russia and China came

on side, what do we then

have? Would they agree to

military strikes though? In

support of whom? It's become

so messy. John Lyons has piece

in the Oz saying we're tipping

into a civil war. But then he spells out why this civil war

will be so messy. There is no

singular opposition. We don't

know who the rebels are but we

know there are a few groups

including some that would be

very destructive to any stable

Government that might

follow. We have lots of bad

guy, al-Qaeda sympathiser s

teaming up with Sunni

insurgents. It is not as black

and white as it was in

Libya. If only it were. The

Arab sprirng lulled us into a

false sense of what can be

done. Libya looked touch and go

with the intervention but it

was a very unpopular regime and

a groundswell of support

against it. The trouble with

Assad in Syria is at least half the nation probably still

supports him. And also

different to Libya, the Army is

trulingly lockstep with the

regime. None of the fractures

we saw in the Libyan

articly. This is one of the

region's most power frl Armiks

it's a modern Army and

capable. It may not have been

the Army but militias

associated with the Army

brutally effective. Indeed. A

second store ry from the

'Australian' on the same theme,

but a report from Lebanon where

already we have reports of

groups in the Sunni extremist

groups prepre-pairing to go and

engage in as they see a jihad

in Syria. You can understand

their remotional engagement but

you can fear a sectarian

conflict. Civil war doesn't

aptly describe it because there

are too many sides and too

complex. No, the President one

thinks of is Algeria which is

an ungodly mess for years and

tremendous loss of life. That

is just - it's hard to be

optimistic about what could be achieved when it comes to

Syria. It is just not looking

good. Let's finish up with the

'Age' that has a piece on the

10th anniversary of the Bali bombing It's specifically on

the trial of Umar pat yek, the

Bali bomber, who seems to be a skilful negotiator in the

courtroom. He said look I did

help to assemble the bomb but

my part was 50 dillo grams, I

told them not to do it. This

was the guy who was found on

his way it appears to meet with

Bin Laden, saying he was just a

little guy. They should take

into account my psychology and

the fact I've been traumatised. And recognise traumatised. And recognise I am

not the one you want to go

after. Almost on day one of his

trial he said he admitted his

involvement. He was so

regretful of it which is really critical in Indonesia saying

you regretted something and

apologise for it is very

important. And then ex plaining

the motivations were religious

even though people don't agree

with you they feel more

sympathy. His lawyers have

argued just 15 years in jail.

The prosecutors are going to be

pushing for much more. This guy

is a big fish but he is trying

to present himself as the small

fish. He is he the last of the

big actors? Yeah and a key

figure. The fact that he was on

the run for so long and found

not far from blad points to not far from blad points to the

scale of his involvement as

well. Let's look at sport now.

We're joined by Paul

Kennedy. Good morning. A very

good run by Usain Bolt this

morning? We will look at what

happened in Rome. Usain Bolt

has streeted him. He had to

work very hard. You can see him

in the red az. A-156a Powell

ran 9.91 and'sed up on the

line. Usain Bolt ran 9.76. You

can see there. Those were

question marks because the last

run he had he ran 10.05. So

Usain Bolt made a statement

there just an hour or so ago.

Steve Hooker competed at that same deemd league meet in Rome.

He was encouraged by his performance where he finished

in sixth position. He jumped 5

hadn't hadn't 42 at his opening height. And felt OK about that.

And then he went on to have

three failed attempts as you

can see there at 5:60, well

below his best. Still some

issues to work through for

Steve Hooker but he did say

after those failed attempts

that he was pleased and things

are on track. Bernard Tomic is

not on track at the French

Open. He's lost in straight

sets to Santiago Giraldo, 6-4,

6-1, 6-3. Nothing went right

for the Australian against the

clay court specialist. So he is

out now. He will have to wait

until Wimbledon to prove

himself in a grand slam again.

In other matches, it was Jamila Gaigosova the other Australian in action, she lost to Caroline

Wozniacki. 6-1, 6-4. Back to

the men's side, Rafael Nadal

went through easily in straight

sets. And also it was Andy

Murray going through in four

sets. He had back spasms so

hopefully Andy Murray can free

himself up physically and continue into the third round. And interesting match

tonight in the footy at the

AFL, St Kilda versus Richmond.

Two teams that have re

discovered their fun for the

game through a couple of

victories an two coaches

yesterday were working through

some interesting match

preparations. Both

complimenting the other one to

be absurd. And Richmond is a

great story at the moment. I am

loving St Kilda because they've

found new life and a different

way of playing. Everyone made

such a fuss of Ross Lyon being

and they're breaking out of

that defensive style of game. Two teams basically a

year or two ago that if they

were playing a footy match on

my front lawn I would have

closed the curtains. That

bad? Yeah, defensive and dour,

negative. But hats off to both

of the coaching panels there.

They're building bright futures

for them so I think that will

be a good game. Kevin Pieterson

- I notice a he's pulling out

of all limited overs games to

allow the next generation of

cricketers to come through. Not

good for the English cricket

board. They would prefer to

have anymore the Twenty20 team

but they have a rule that you

have to play Twenty20 and 50

overs an he doesn't want to

play 50 overs. So he's gone I

will just play Test. They will

miss him for the sledging. So

will spectators Paul Higgins

join us us now with the weather. Good morning. It's the

start of the Australian winter

and it won't be all that cold

in the usual places but there

is some rain on the way for southern Queensland, spreading

into SA. We still have that

rain in the coastal south-west.

Cloudy in Queensland today with rain and thunderstorms expected

across the south.

Now we have mentioned that

we're going to be crossing back

to a media conference which is outside the

Three people die in a

house fire in Melbourne's

south-east. In United States warns

Russia its policy on Syria is

helping to fuel a civil war. I

think they are in effect

propping up the regime at a

time when we should be working on a political transition. The Queen awards former Prime Minister John Howard the Order of Merit at Buckingham Palace

ch I certainly see it very much

as a mark of her affection for

our country. And the world's

fastest man returns to form in

his preparation for the London

Games. This Program is Captioned


Good morning, welcome to ABC

News Breakfast. It's Friday, 1

June, I'm Michael Rowland It's

great to have your company this

morning. Come ugh up - we will

go to our reporter Andrew

Arthur who is at the scene of

that tragic house fire in

Melbourne's south-east and the

little French corporal with a

big love for Australia. He and

the emperor's Josephine has a

fascination for everything

Australian. They sent an

expedition to Australia to

collect flora and fauna. The

French Emperor Napoleon is

better known for conquering

Europe but a new exhibition

showing his fascination for

Down Under. More of that later.

But first Bev with the rest of

the news. Good morning, everybody. Three people have

died in an overnight house fire

in Melbourne's south-east, it's

believed they're a woman and

two children. Neighbours say

they tried to break into the

house but shutters prevented

them getting inside to rescue

anyone. They say the children

are of primary school age and

the father is overseas. The

cause of the fire is not known. Former Senator John

Edwards has walked free from

court after charges of

receiving illegal campaign

funding during the Democrat

yuck presidential nomination in

2008. They were dismissed.

Edwards was found not guilty of

one charge of illegally using

campaign donation to hide his

pregnant mistress. The judge

declared a mistrial on five

other counts after a jury failed to reach agreement. The

US has warned Russia its

support for the Syrian regime

is contributing to a civil

war. Both Russia and China have

renewed their opposition to

tougher UN action against

President Bashar Al-Assad. But

US Secretary of State, Hillary

Clinton, says she will continue

to try to persuade Russia to

support stronger action against

the Syrian regime. NSW prison guards are taking industrial

action today after one after

their own was jailed for

bashing an inmate last

year. The Newcastle officer was

jailed for seven months after

the hepatitis C-infected inmate

spat in his face. A dramatic

crash in Melbourne's west last

night saw sheep running amok

across the Princes Highway. A

truck carrying 400 livestock

rolled off a bend and hung

precarious ly over a highway at

around 9 o'clock. Dead and

injured sheep fell from an over

pass below, hitting two vehicle vehicles. One of the cars

rolled numerous times. The

occupants thankfully were not

injured. The truck driver has

received minor injuries. Taking a quick look at finance -

Let's get more on that

nier Melbourne's south-east.

Andrew Arthur joins us from the

scene i