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ABC Midday Report -

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Live.

It all went wrong right

from the start. The missile

misfired and they never

recovered. First in the heats

what happened in the finals. I've got no response

really. I don't know what

happened. Be seated, please.

Games anger at thousands of no

shows. It's obvious some of

those seats are not being used

in the early rounds so that's

why we've put the military in

there. That's why we've got

students and teachers in there. Mitt Romney backs Israel

if it comes to a showdown with

a nuclear armed Iran. We

recognise Israel's right to

defend itself and that it is

right for America to stand with

you. And putting the squeeze

on squash, once were champions

now a sport in decline. A lot

of the old faces are doing a

great job keeping the game

going. Hello and welcome to

ABC News across Australia, I'm

Ros Childs. The local share

market is on the rise getting a

tail wind from Wall Street:

First to federal politics and former Howard Government

minister Mal Brough says he

fears Labor will target him

with a smear campaign over the

Peter Slipper scandal. Mr

Brough is trying to make a

commit Cal comeback winning LNP

preselection for Mr Slipper's

seat. He's admitted meeting

James Ashby before the staffer

allegations against the made sexual harassment

speaker. He said there was no

conspiracy but expect s to be

targeted. I had a call at 2:30

on Saturday afternoon from a

journalist to say, and I quote,

the Labor Party muck rakers

have been on the phone to say

they're going to do X, Y and Z

to you if you're preselect

ed. Tony Abbott has welcomed Mr

Brough's preselection but won't

say if he'd put him on the

front bench if he becomes prime

minister. I'd first say I'm

very happy with our front bench

team who are doing an

outstanding job and secondly,

I'm not in the business of

getting ahead of myself. He's

focused on winning the

election. Fresh from his

controversial trip to Britain,

Mitt Romney is now attracting

plenty of attention in Israel.

The US Republican candidate is

backing Israel if it came to a

military strike on a

nuclear-armed Iran. He's also angered Palestinians by

referring to Jerusalem as the

capital of Israel. The man who

wants to be America's next

president has come here to

pledge passionate friendship

with Israel, offering a prayer

at the Wailing Wall with 100

days to go before the election,

Mr Romney isn't so much courting the Jewish vote at

home as stressing he'd take a

harder line abroad than

President Obama. We recognise

Israel's right to defend itself

and that it is right for

America to stand with you. As

he met his old friend, the

Israeli Prime Minister,

advisers were making it clear

if Israel attacked Iran to stop

its nuclear program Mr Romney

would respect that. Music to

the ears of Benjamin Netanyahu.

You said the greatest danger

to the world is of the

Ayatollah regime possessing

nuclear wepens capability, I

couldn't agree with you

more. Mitt Romney's come here

to make a point but everyone

knows this election is really about the economy and the

battle is certainly raging back

home.

The US economy slows sharply,

raising the risk of a new

recession. The latest figures

were worse than expected

showing growth dropping to

1.5%. Some economists are

alarmed. Right now we are the

highest risk of a second

recession that we have had

since the financial crisis

began. The Romney campaign

argues President Obama is

scornful of people who build

their own businesses. He's made

this ad to hit back. They're

flat out wrong. Of course

Americans build their own businesses. Every day

hard-working people sacrifice

to meet a payroll, create jobs

and make our economy run. Mitt

Romney flies to Poland before

returning to the fray in the US

but he hope asfamiliar

prescription of tax cuts,

spending cuts and less

regulation as well as a more aggressive foreign policy will

put him in the White House. The

Assad regime is warning of

instability across the entire

Middle East if rebel forces

take control in Syria. Loyalist

forces are pounding opposition

strongholds in Aleppo for a

second day raising fears about

civilian casualties in the city

of more than 2 million people.

The battle for Syria's

largest city goes on and it's

still not sure which way it

will swing. The regime has the

fire fire power but rooting

strongly motivated guerrillas

out of cities isn't easy. They

might be lightly armed but

they're clearly dangerous. As

the crisis deepen ed, the

Syrian Foreign Minister held

what he called extremely

fruitful talks in Tehran. The

regime, he said, was determined

to drive the rebels out of

Aleppo.

TRANSLATION: They plotted for a

battle they called greater

Damascus and Mas groups of

armed terrorists for it but

they were smashed in less than

a week so they moved to Aleppo.

Their plans were fouled there

too. Back in Aleppo the rebels

were busy preparing for a

showdown that both sides know

will be crucial. They're

apartly not under such pressure that there isn't time for a

little relaxation. But even

when they sleep the war is

never far away. The fighting's

taking a heavy toll on

civilians. Some of Aleppo's

more than 2 million inhabitants

remain in the line of fire.

Many others have fled to safer

areas or across the nearby

border to Turkey. The

Jordanians have opened a big

new camp to cope with a flood

of refugees from fighting in

the south of Syria. In the past

week the flow across the border

had quadrupled to around 1,000

a day. The battle for Aleppo is

only just starting. Both sides

know that whoever wins it may

win the warment There were

gold in the pool but it wasn't Australia's best chance for

to be. The men's 4 x 100m

freestyle team went into the

race as favourite but was

doomed from the start. Lisa

Millar reports from London. It

had been tipped as the

unmissable race. Long-term

rivals Australia and the US

expected to put on a sensation

al show. But the team,

nicknamed the Weapons of Mass

Destruction, bombed out. The

French, storming home leaving

even the US team stunned. No

gold for the world champions,

no medal at all. Australia's

great sprinting hope was devastated. I've got no

response really. I don't know

what happened. Their coach

denied they'd choked, they just

couldn't pull it off. Look, in

a way I suppose you could look

at it as a bit of

at it as a bit of a disastrous

result but, you know, I think

the guys maybe suffered the

weight of expectation. There's

been so much talk about this

relay all over the world. The

shock loss came after earlier

success. A silver for Christen

Sprenger in the 100 metres

breaststroke. Yeah, when I saw

58 I thought it was a mistake.

I just thought I couldn't have

gone 58. The biggest race of

his life. He just wanted to

make the final and to get the silver is just beyond his

wildest dreams. And bronze for

Alicia Coutts in the 100 metres

butterfly, adding to her relay

gold. Yeah, I'm happy with a

medal but disappointed with the

swim. But having the team

atmosphere it sort of, you

know, downplays her individual

achievement but tonight when

she got that individual medal

there was a bit of a well up in

the eyes. Leisel Jones is

through to the final of the 100 metres breaststroke with a message for her

destracktors. I've had my

critics along the way but just

so excited to be here and to

make a final. That was tough so

I'm just so proud. And there

are huge hopes for Emily

Seebohm in the 100 metres

backstroke after she broke the

Olympic record in the heats.

While the crowds packed the

swimming venue elsewhere the

sight of thousands of empty

seats in-Faour - infuriate ed

sports fans. I think it's

disgusting. I think it's bad

because people who can't get tickets are watching it on

TV. I was watching it yesterday

and I couldn't believe how many

empty seats there were and I thought that's just like

crazy. And Australia's Olympic

boss, John Coates, is

unimpressed as well. It's a bad

look. We didn't have that

problem in Sydney. This is

where they're playing the beach

volley bood at Horse Guard's Pa

raid and for the second time

running there has been empty

seats despite the fact it's

been sold out. But London

organisers are saying they're

working to fix the problem. The

military drafted in to help

with security can now spend

their breaks watching sport. I

don't want to see swathes of

those seats empty and that's

why we will make sure where we

possibly can that we get people

into those seats as and when

they're not being used. Seb Coe

solved the mystery that upset

the Indian team. Who was the

stranger that gate crashed

their parade? Not a security

risk, he says, simply an

overenthusiastic cast member.

Wins were hard to come by for

a number of Australian teams on

day 2. The men's basketball

team, the Boomers, were among

the losers on a day that

provided few hooi lights for

the green and gold. The Boomers

hadn't won an opening game of

an Olympic campaign since 1996.

Playing against Brazil they got

within 2 with 29 seconds to

go. But the fightback proved

few tile and there were no

doubts as to what let the

Australian team down. Turnovers

mainly just killed us. They ran

it straight up us when we

turned the ball over. The

Hockeyroos suffered a similar

fight against New Zealand. The

first win for the Black Sticks

against Australia in Olympic

history. The Australian men's

volleyball team went down in

straight sets to Argentina. And

that is the match. Bernard

Tomic lost his opening round

match losing to Japan's Kei

Nishikori and after finishing

well back in the road race

Cadel Evans withdrew from

wend's time trial. The rowers

made the semis of the double

skulls. The defending Olympic champions are gathering

momentum after a preparation

marred by injury. Former world

champion Lauren Mitchell

qualified 5th for the women's

individual floor final.

There's an unlikely hero

emerging in table tennis after

world number 130 William

Henzell advanced to the third

round. The guy I beat in the

last round is my best singles

career. I'm confident I

prepared well. And after

missing Olympic selection 3

times, Kynan Mallee is into the

semis of the C 1 slalom. China

extended its lead on the medal

tally on day 2 winning gold

medals in shooting and diving.

It leads from the United States

and then Italy. Australia has

dropped to 8th with one gold,

one silver and one bronze

medal. And the Australian

Olympic committee has held a

garden party albeit a rainy one

at the High Commissioner's house in London. Current athletes and former ones, together with members of the

AOC family, toasted Australia's

success in the pool so far.

Then there was some special

guests who have their own

special bond with the Olympics.

Princess Mary and Prince

Frederick of Denmark met at the

Sydney 2000 games. They chatted

to this tie - Taekwondo duo who

got engaged after the Beijing

Games. One sport that's

noticeably absent from the

Olympics is squash. In its hey

day players like Heather McKay conquer ed the world but the number of courts has halved in

the past 30 years and for many

soaring real estate prices

means selling up is more

attractive proposition than

keeping struggling centres open. She was the queen of the

court in the '60s and '70s.

Heather McKay claimed 16

British opens and a string of

Australian titles. This centre

was oched her name but in the

sign of the times the sports

centre has no squash courts.

Across the country the number

of centres has halved since the

golden era 30 years ago. Alet

of the old faces are doing a

great job keeping the game

going but there's not a lot of

new faces coming in trying to help boost the game and

develop. It seems the biggest

battle is happening off the

court. Soaring real estate

prices mean centres on prime

land are being picked off by

developers. If you're in a city

in any of the major cities, the

value of land is very high and

people are looking to cash in

on that investment. And while

the players are passionate, they're worried about the

future of the sport. We really

need a big drive and push to

get those kitsds - kids back

into squash and back into the

facilities to show the managers

of the courts that it can be

viable. Perhaps the littler

spectators could hold the

key. I think Dad's got plan for

the future Australian squash

champion here. And in this

Olympic year the Games are a

bitter sweet time for players

left off the agenda. If you ask

any player in squash they will

tell you the Olympics is our

pipe dream. We wish it would

happen. We don't have the

Wimbledons, the Australian

Opens, the grand slams, the

Masters like golf. All that we

would have would be the Olympic

Games. Squash Australia's

hoping the sport will get a

much needed boost with a green

light for the 2020 Games when

the Olympic committee meets in

Argentina next year . Consumer

advocates estimate that on

average Australians pay 50%

more than overseas shoppers for

downloaded music and games as

well as for computer software

and hard ware. For example, the

movie 'Toy Story' cost $24.99

to download here. Other

countries pay just $10. Federal

Labor MP Ed Husic is behind a

parliamentary inquiry into IT

pricing which is holding its

first public hearing in Sydney

today. He says there are some

notable absences. Well, I've

been disappointed that big

players like Apple and

Microsoft and Adobe haven't

been willing to necessarily

publicly engage in the inquiry.

In some cases preferring

private meetings or effectively

allowing the industry

association to talk on their

behalf. I think people have had

legitimate questions as to why

prices might be between 50% to

80% different for Australian

consumers compared to their US

counterparts and I don't think

it's necessarily good enough

that they're not willing to

step up and answer those

questions publicly. Those IT

companies though have said that

the reason their products cost

more here than overseas is

because of the higher costs

that they encounter here and

they cite GST, Kos - customs

duty, regulatory requirements

that sometimes mean business

costs are up to, they quote,

500% more here than

overseas? Well two things. One

is in the absence of the actual

vendors themselves, these big

IT firms themselves, we can't

get to the bottom of that. The

second is we've had some really

good evidence, particularly by

organisations like Choice that

show, for instance, that the

claims of customs duties that

are nonexistent for items under

$1,000 or that rents only add

3% to the total make up of

costs or in the case of

warranties where, for example,

in the Australian instance we

harmonised our warranty law to

have effectively brought under

a national umbrella. But if you

go to the US you might have

jurisdictions out of the 50

different States of the US puts

different warranties in place.

So again, on paper, it doesn't

seem like the type of arguments

the industry's putting forward

stack up and they really need

to explain again how it might

cost between 60% and 80% more

for buying software and hardware here compared to the

US. So you've got a public

hearing in Sydney today, who

have you heard from so far? We had the Australian information

industry association speak on

behalf of the big players and

we've also had the Australian Publishers Association talk

about e book pricing and some

of the challenges that are

confronting Australian

publishers and their

contribution was as enlightning

as well because it's obviously

not all rosy for them and they

are facing a very competitive

market. But we're hoping

through the course of this that

we do get some movement. We're

seeing some movement in prices

as a result of the public

questions being raised but

we've got a long way to

go. Once the inquiry is over

and you do find - if you do

find that price gouging has

occurred, what then? Can you

force changes? I think what's

becoming evident through the course of the inquiry and

through the comments made by

the public and submissions by

others, I think this will start

to gravitate towards two key

issues - competition law as it

affects price discrimination,

what people are experiencing

right now and also this vexed

issue that's allowed under

trade agreements of companies geoblocking. That is, for

example, if you go to use,

let's just take an example

Apple, if you use their iTunes

store here you can't use their

iTunes store in the US because

you're geoblocked, your IP

address is noted and you can't

take advantage of beneficial

prices overseas. So I think

trade agreements and the

ability of those agreements to

allow this to occur will become

- will take a bigger part of

the focus of the inquiry. Ed Husic, thank you. Thank you

very much. Let's go to some of

the other stories making news

in business. An automotive

industry adviser says the

closure of Ford in Australia is inevitable. Earlier this month

Ford announced it was slashing

production at its Victorian

plants by almost a third. The

receiver, PPP Advisory said

Ford ex does not explort and

the continuing fall in domestic

sales spells a dismal future

for local manufacturing from

2016. And new home sales are up

for a second month in a row.

According to a Housing Industry

Association June sales rose 3%

driven by a strong demand for

flats. Unit buying jumped 16%

while demand for detached

houses grew by less than

1%. Let's take a check now of

the markets. Here's Steven

Daghlian, a market analyst with

Commsec. It looks like our

market has been driven by a

rally on Wall Street? It

certainly is. The All Ords

gaining now for the third

consecutive trading session.

We've got the All Ords up

almost 1% at the moment, up by

0.9%. Over the past 3 trading

sessions the Aussie market is

up approximately 3%. Gains

across the board, 10 of 12

market sectors are doing well.

The mining and also financial

stocks amongst the best

performers, BHP's up about 1.1,

Rio is up 1.2. The four big

banks are up by as much as 2.2

with Commonwealth Bank the

best. The main reason for the

gains, the US markets rose

strongly on Friday and this is

also off the back of

expectations of potential

stimulus being announced in

Europe and this was all kicked

off with some comments from the European Central Bank president

Mario Draghi on Thursday

basically saying the European

officials will do everything

necessary and needed to support

the euro and these were

comments really shadowed by

Angela Merkel, the German

leader, and also Francois

Hollande in France. Any other

stand out stocks today? There

are a few stocks doing well.

Transfeld services won $100

million in new contracts, this

is work in WA for a few mining

firms so it's up 2.5%. Air New

Zealand up more than 4%. Late

last week it announced about

1.1 million passengers flu with

Air New Zealand flights in the

month of June and that was a

slight rise to where it was 12

months ago. With the Olympics now upon us, you've been

looking at the true worth of a

gold medal, briefly. That's

right. The price of gold sits

at about 1627. Each gold medal

weighs about 412 grams, only

1.5% of which is made up of

gold and each gold medal costs

about $676 Australian, if you'd

like to sell it on the

market. They're priceless to

many though. True. Steven,

thank you. Thank you. On to the

week ahead and the focus will

be likely on meetings of the

European and American central

banks. Trairds are hoping they

will do more to boost economic

growth and profit season

continues with results due

continues with results due from Mastercard.

35,000 people are reported

missing every year in

Australia. That's 1 every 15

minute and just over half are

under 18 years old. Every year police try and highlight the

problem with missing persons

week and this year the focus is

on getting young people to at

least let their nearest and

dearest know how they are, if

not where they are. Neil

Gaughan is the assistant

commissioner of the Australian

Federal Police. He's also the

national manager of high tech

crime operations. Yes, this

year is National Missing

Persons Week is targeted on

young persons and what we're

asking them to do is actually

take the time to let somebody

know. Throughout the year we

have 35,000 people approximately reported missing.

Most of those are found

extremely quickly but it's the

children we're targeted this

year. Text message, email let

someone know you're OK. How

successful have these missing

peoples weeks been in the past

in located people or getting

them to come forward and say

"Yes, I'm OK"? They're been

very successful. 2 weeks ago we

mosted 12 names and photos of

people that have been long-term

missing and all of those people contacted law enforcement

agencies to say they were OK. There's nothing wrong with

going missing, it's not a criminal offence. Police aren't going to come and track you

down and arrest you or charge

you. All we ask people to do is

to ring somebody up and say

they're OK and that way we can

just write them off. Not every

missing person though wants to

be found or located. What

proportion of people are not

involved in crimes but are

never heard of again? Look, we

find that about 160 people per

year, so quite a large number

of people per year, are not

found. Now some of those have

met bad circumstances, some of

those have been subjected to

murder or something similar to

that. But a large proportion of

that actually just decide they

don't want to be found again

and that's OK too. I mean some

people want to start their life

again for various reasons but

we still ask those people to contact somebody, not

necessarily family or friends

but at least let law

enforcement know they're OK and

they've moved on to a different

part of their life. You're also

national manager of high tech

crime operations. Missing

people falls under that

umbrella. How does your high

tech role help in locating

people? More and more people

nowadays are using social

networking sites to

communicate. Therefore we

encourage people to actually use those social networking

sites to say they're OK as

well. There's nothing wrong

with that. It's a way of

communicating. And also we find

with social networking, young

kids particularly do post what

they're up to, they do post

what they're doing, they're

going to the movies or doing

something else. So it does

provide us with an avenue to

investigate those people who do go missing and don't contact

us. As you mentioned one person

every 15 minutes disappears in Australia. That's a

surprisingly big figure. Why do

people go missing particularly

young people? A variety of reason. They could have been in

trouble with their peers, they

could have had a fight with

their parents, brothers or

sister, could be things such as

their school marks aren't up to

date or they feel they're not

understood. All those things

raise a number of people. Someone will listen to them.

We've got to encourage parents

as well to sit down with their kids and have a discussion with

their kids around the table.

It's no use saying what if

later on, we encourage people

to have those discussions

before hand. Neil Gaughan,

thank you. Pleasure. Art -

artist Adam Cullen has died in

his Blue Mountains home west of

Sydney. He was known for his

sometimes grotesque portraits

and entered the Arj bald prize

many times. After being short

listed more than once he

finally won the prize in 2000

with his painting of actor

David Wenham. He was in the

news last year when he was arrested and charged with

drunken driving and weapons

possession. At the court

hearing it was revealed he suffered from several medical

conditions including bipolar disorder. He'd been seriously

ill in recent weeks and is

believed to have died in his

sleep. He was 47. Let's have a

quick look at other stories

making news around the world.

Thousands of people have taken

to the streets in Hong Kong to

protest against so-called

Chinese patriotism classes in

schools. Parents and teachers

fear the classes will be used

to brainwash children into

supporting China's Communist

Party. In mainland China a big

dam has begun releasing water

ahead of an expected flood peak

on the Yellow River. After

recent rain water levels rose

quickly on the river system.

The flood peak is due on

Sunday. And it's on for young

and old in Kenya. The annual long distance migration of wildebeests is under way with

an estimated 1 #4urks,000

animals lining up on the

eastern bank of the Mara River.

Safety in numbers means most of

them will get across the river

avoiding the crocodiles and the

hippos. McLaren driver Lewis

Hamilton hz won the Budapest

grand one pre-. The race

started badly for Michael

Schumacher, stalling on the

start grid. Once the race

settled down Lewis Hamilton

took the lead and held it for

most of the event. He took the

flag but surprisingly Alonso,

who was back in fifth place,

won enough points to put him

even further ahead on the

table. He's now 40 points ahead

of Australia's Mark Webber who

finished 8th in hung grrk. - Hungary. A better result for

Australia on two wheels, Casey

Stoner has again won the US

Moto GP in California. Jorge

Lorenzo led from poll and held

the lead until Stoner passed

him on the 21st lap. The race

ended with the same placings as

last year, Stoner first,

Lorenzo second and Pedrosa

third. It was Stoner's fourth

win of the season. It's Lorenzo

who still leads the world

championship rankings poll

followed by Pedrosa and then

Stoner. On to the weather now.

The satellite shows cloud over

Tasmania and the coasts of

Victoria, NSW and South

Australia forming in chilled

southerly winds. More cloud is

crossing south-west Western

Australia ahead of a cold front

but it's not causing any rain.

A strong high pressure ridge

means skies are mostly clear

elsewhere. A low and a high

will direct cold, strong winds

to the south-east tomorrow

causing showers in the eastern

parts of Victoria, Tasmania and

NSW. A high will clear the west

of South Australia leading to a

cold morning with fog patches

and the high will also direct

strong north-easterlies across

the north. And the forecast:

Let's go back to the stock exchange for a final check of the markets:

That's the news for now.

There's continuous news on ABC

News 24 and there's also news

online. Our next full bulletin

on ABC 1 is at 7:00 this

evening. I'm Ros Childs, have a

great afternoon. Closed

Captions by CSI

NARRATOR: 'The Amazon River is an extraordinary force of nature. Stretching over 6,500km across the South American continent, it feeds the largest tropical rainforest on Earth. Its waters contain a greater variety of fish than the entire Atlantic Ocean. Not only is this the richest river on Earth, it is also the mightiest. Up to 100 metres deep and 40km wide, it carries more water than any river in the world. This precious resource has never been tamed by man. From source to sea not a single bridge crosses its waters, not a single dam halts its flow. But while the river cannot be controlled, it could be destroyed. Today commercial development is killing the wilderness