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ABC Midday Report -

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(generated from captions) This program is captioned live. Beazley's spiteful battle The Coalition's smooth transition,

clean-out campaign. The human toll of Mugabe's birthplace of some big business. Weekend markets, Australia wins, Henman loses. And natural order restored - Hello. I'm Ros Childs.

Welcome to the Midday Report. And I'm Andrew Robertson. by higher oil prices The local market hit on economic growth. and the effect they may have down close to 1%. The All Ords around midday The Nikkei weaker. The oil price rattled the Dow. The dollar now back to US 77 cents. More later in the bulletin. Parliament's no longer sitting this lunchtime. but it's still all go in Canberra the election John Howard has welcomed Leader, of Mark Vaile as National Party strong and effective. declaring the Coalition will remain his frontbench shake-up, And Kim Beazley's about to announce to be nowhere near as smooth. although that transition appears and in with the new. Out with the old, his new deputy to the job. John Howard welcomes

Congratulations, Mark.

working with you, very much so. I look forward very much to as strong as ever. Renew the coalition,

can have confidence in that. Oh well, the people of Australia Nationals' leader and Deputy PM Mark Vaile will become

steps down in July. when John Anderson officially I'm trying to control myself. I'm absolutely elated and delighted. stock agent and auctioneer says The 48-year-old former travelling role as Trade Minister, he wants to stay on in his world

at home. despite the increased work load my responsibilities to the nation I believe that I would be abrogating and finish the jobs I started. if I didn't stay there Deputy Nationals' leader. Warren Truss will become and that is healthy. The deputy leadership was contested the 6-week long winter break As Parliament enters both sides of politics. there's change at the top on frontbench a makeover, Kim Beazley is giving his of shadow ministers by two. increasing the number from backbench exile Lindsay Tanner will return to take on finance Hurley from South Australia and Senator-elect Annette the Shadow Cabinet. will go straight to the shake-up is a joke. A prominent Labor MP says a dreadful factional deal We all know there was done by Mark Latham leadership before when he was trying to rearrange his and we were all stuck with it. has welcomed the changes. Beazley loyalist Stephen Smith It is important that in South Australia, we have more strings to our bow to help win the next election. where clearly we need to win seats Among the changes, Ferguson is set to be dumped Immigration spokesman Laurie Tony Burke and replaced with newcomer Kevin Rudd and former leadership aspirant foreign affairs responsibilities. is expected to add trade to his Canberra. Dana Robertson, ABC News, its single-minded operation The government of Zimbabwe insists is targetted at criminals. to clean-out so-called slums who are suffering. But it's the innocent when their homes were knocked down Two young children were crushed of the capital, Harare. on the outskirts have been left homeless The UN estimates 200,000 people concern over the mass evictions. and there's mounting international have been busy For weeks the demolition gangs or shelters, destroying not just illegal shacks concrete homes and businesses. but substantial, established A tragedy now made infinitely worse, newspaper has admitted with news a government-controlled to the deaths of children. the operation has led 2-year-old daughter Charmaine, One was Lavender and Herbert's police arrived with a grim purpose. who was inside their house when the

The police came. to destroy the house. They were sent They smashed everything. was trapped inside. This was when our child She died there. A cheap cross marks her grave, where she died, a red flag flies for the destruction of a family. the traditional sign like so many others, The Nyika family, but to go to a makeshift camp, will have no choice like this one in the countryside - old people, the sick - hundreds of children, and little food to go around. is awful. The standard of living There are no toilets bringing us water. and the police are stopping anyone international outrage There's mounting telling of the forced removals at reports getting out

its people. and a government turning on simply half true, If the reports are much more than half true, and we believe them to be international concern. this is a situation of serious The events in Zimbabwe are tragic of the Foreign Secretary and I appreciate the leadership these outrages in speaking out against that the African Union, and I also hope very much will do the same. that the other African states has condemned what's going on - But so far no African government to criticise any fellow leader. part of a long-standing reluctance it's inevitable As police go from suburb to suburb, mourning in the days to come. there'll be more Zimbabweans Scott Alle, ABC News. homeless in Mexico as well. And more people are being made hundreds of squatters Police have forcibly removed on the outskirts of Mexico City. from their makeshift homes They set fire to some buildings, to respond with rocks. prompting locals arrested, others went to hospital. Some of the protesters were of another horror, While every day seems to bring news America's Defence Secretary the war. is insisting the US is not losing a congressional hearing, But, appearing at military leaders have contradicted declaration that the insurgency Vice President Dick Cheney's is in its "last throes". told the committee General John Abizaid more foreign fighters were coming into Iraq than six months ago. support for the war is plunging even support for the war is plunging even among Republicans. And I'm here

plunging even among Republicans. And I'm hereow╛ People are beginning to

question and I don't think it's a

blip on the radar screen, I think

blip on the radar screen, I think we have a chronic problem on our hands.

In a 12-hour period, dozens of

Iraqis were killed. In the latest

chapter of the relentless

insurgency. A string of car bombs

exploded within minutes of each

other, in a coordinated attack in

Baghdad. The US military command

has seen no let-up in the

insurgency. I believe there are

insurgency. I believe there are more foreign fighters coming into Iraq

than there were six months ago.

Democrat Ted Kennedy says US

Democrat Ted Kennedy says US troops were dying in what he called a

quagmire and demanded the

resignation of the Secretary of

resignation of the Secretary of Defence. In base ╝blue╛ It's three

stiek strikes you're out, what is

stiek strikes you're out, what is it for the Secretary of Defence?

Senator, I've offered my

Senator, I've offered my resignation to the twice and he's decided that

he would prefer that he not accept

it. Iraq's PM has arrived in

Washington and will be told the

Washington and will be told the Bush Administration wants his government

to deliver a new constitution on

schedule. The Iraqi Government must

not allow any extensions or delays

in providing for a constitution.

The Iraqi PM was given a tour of

the national archives, and shown

the original US constitution to

underline that message. Australian Red Cross workers in Indonesia's Aceh province are reported to be safe after shots were fired at one of the agency's vehicles. Indonesia's security forces and separatist rebels have blamed each other for the shooting, which wounded a Chinese Red Cross worker. Six months after the tsunami, relief agencies are still struggling to cope as criticism mounts over the slow pace of reconstruction. Joining me from Melbourne is Dale Cleaver, Acting Chief Executive of the Australian Red Cross. Dale Cleaver, firstly, how much can you tell us about what happened in the shooting incident in Aceh?

What we do know is that

unfortunately despite the fact that

the vehicle was clearly marked 'Red

Cross' it was fired at and our Red

Cross worker was injured. We do Cross worker was injured. We do

know that the aid worker obviously

is being cared for, is in a stable

condition and is conscious and we

believe will be undergoing surgery

today. So does this shooting mark a

stepping up in the rebels or the

security force's activities in the

area? Well, our focus is on

obviously on our aid workers and,

obviously on our aid workers and, of course, we're quite a bit concerned

about this incident. We ourselves

with Australian workers have

increased our security measures and

in regular contact with our aid

workers to ensure their a safety.

Did it happen in an area that was

known to be dangerous? It was an

area that we were normally working

within. That's all I can give in

terms of the information. What I

can say is we're constantly

monitoring the situation and indeed

our work. Onto the stage of relief

effort in the region at the moment,

what's your work in the area

focusing on right now? Well

obviously we're close to the six

month oo point and it's been a very

intensive time for us and our aid

workers. We have over 30 programs

now in operation, or about to

commence and we certainly work

extremely diligent at making a

significant difference . We're

involved in anything ranging to

construction of homes, homes and

health centres and services. So

health centres and services. So the aid effort is certainly occurring.

We do need to remember, though,

We do need to remember, though, that this is a long-term effort and we

need to obviously work closely with

these communities to ensure the

health services and the homes that

we're providing are cultural

appropriate and indeed, these

appropriate and indeed, these people are involved in providing long-term

solutions and that we indeed leave

them in a better situation than

them in a better situation than they were in before the tsunami. But can

you report any frustration on the

ground in that region due to the

pace of that reconstruction, which

there have been reports that it's

been slowed by bureaucracy, by

been slowed by bureaucracy, by local politics, for example? There are

always challenges being in the

disaster area for many years, there

are lots of challenges and, of

course, obviously when you're

working in areas where there are

conflekts, it is difficult. There

are numerous parties involved and

numerous organisations and

governments involved and we work

quite closely with all of those to

obviously provide the solutions

obviously provide the solutions that we need. What's important, though,

is that all of the aid work and

support we're giving people is

actually linked to those

actually linked to those communities and they're involved in the

solutions. Dale Cleaver of the

Australian Red Cross, thank Flooding in parts of China is now being described as the worst in a century. Nearly 900,000 people

have been evacuated from two regions in the country's south and at least 90 have died in the swirling waters. Military planes have been dropping food and medical supplies to people

trapped in the worst hit areas of Guangxi province. Deforestation has compounded the run-off problems in some areas, causing rock slides and torrents of mud that have added to the damage. He'll die in jail, but if that worries former Ku Klux Klansman Edgar Ray Killen, he isn't showing it. There was no remorse nor explanation, just stony-faced acceptance

as the 80-year-old was sentenced to 60 years over the 1964 murders of three civil rights workers. The three gentlemen who was killed - each life has value

and each life is equally as valuable as the other life. And I have taken that into consideration. The former preacher masterminded the killing of James Chaney, a local black activist, and two colleagues from New York, Michael Schwerner and Andy Goodman. Their deaths proved a watershed in the civil rights movement, the case dramatised in the film 'Mississippi Burning'. Killen's legal team says they'll appeal. Those who wrote off the Australian cricketers after their dismal start in England are having to rewrite the script. The Australians got off to a good start

in their day-nighter against England and despite a wobble or two,

set a challenging total, thanks mainly to Andrew Symonds and Damien Martin. Then the fast bowlers got stuck in and the home side never recovered.

Andrew Symonds returned from a

self-induced suspension, but Brad

hog knocked back the offer of a

hog knocked back the offer of a drink to celebrate. English

drink to celebrate. English cricket is said to have died at the oval in

1982 but Australia's epitaph nave

premature. Gilchrist and Hayden

added 44 at a run at ball.

COMMENTATOR: What a great catch!

Ponting made 27 before becoming a

victim for the second match in a

row. Much, much better. Two for 95

became 3/# 6. The man many think

was responsible for last weekend's

humiliating loss to Bangladesh

humiliating loss to Bangladesh began to atone for his cricketing sins.

Symonds and Damien Martyn put on

Symonds and Damien Martyn put on 142 for the fourth wicket. The scoring

was cautious at first, but ended

with a flurry of power hitting from

Symonds. But just when Australia

looked a chance to push beyond 280,

Symonds took one chance too many.

Shane Watson hadn't enjoyed staying

in a castle claimed to be haunted.

Gough tried scare tactics of his

own. But Damien Martyn held his

nerve to get Australia to 5/266.

Brett Lee was a welcome return.

McGrath made it 2 for 6 removing

Marcus Trescothick, then three for

six. Andrew Flintoff looked

dangerous adding 79. When hog

removed Flintoff only Kevin

Pietersen stook in Australia's way

of victory He reminded the

Australians of his hitting power,

but lucky for the tourists the stay

was brief. Only a record

last-minute stand prevented a

100-run thrashing. Gough

100-run thrashing. Gough top-scored with 46 not out. We've got momentum

going now. A couple of good

performances behind us. We can

performances behind us. We can keep improving from now on. With lost

Australian pride now found, it's

game on with the real action still

to come. While online services like eBay have created exciting new retail formats, shoppers still haven't given up on some of the old traditions.

Outdoor markets are back in vogue and that's alerted budding entrepreneurs. For fashion entrepreneur Simone Zimmermann, this is where it all began. Paddington markets in Sydney, where she and her sister Nicky opened a small clothing stall more than 10 years ago. Now the Zimmermann sisters run one of Australia's leading fashion and swimwear labels. Markets are a great place for beginning fashion labels because you can trial your product with actual customers and you've actually got access to a retail area that you can afford. And the Zimmermanns are not alone. There's a growing list of Australian success stories, like designers Collette Dinnigan and Lisa Ho, who've used markets around the country as launch pads for their careers. Looking around the markets today, you're probably going to see a lot of different businesses or new fashion labels that will end up doing bigger things later on. The last decade has seen a steady increase in the number regularly held weekend markets in Australia. There are now close to 1300. Those selling art, handmade crafts and fashion, and those with general produce, including discounted items. People love coming to the markets for the atmosphere, the colour, the sound and the smell and all that evokes an emotive feeling in people and they love shopping there. So it's certainly a great place for a weekend stroll and perhaps to pick up a bargain or two,

but with an increasing prevalance of counterfeit goods it's also a case of "buyer beware". A lot of the larger markets, their organisers are very vigilant and don't allow those products into the market, but please be aware in some of the smaller outlying markets of some of the products that are around. Australian markets are bound by the same consumer protection laws that exist for regular retail outlets. Simon Palan, ABC News. Washington is closely watching China's latest tilt at a big US company. China's third largest oil company has bid more than US$24 billion

for energy company, Unocal, topping a rival offer by Chevron. It's little wonder China is trying to buy an oil company with huge reserves in Asia. China's economy is growing so fast it builds a city the size of Philadelphia every month. Its factories now make half the world's cameras, most of its toys and T-shirts and its car sales are growing 20% a year. Oil is the rocket fuel for all of this growth and China made it clear today it will outspend the competition to secure it. China is a big economy with the fastest economic growth in the world for the last quarter century. They've got as much money as they need to buy companies like this. China is on something of a buying spree of American companies. Late last year, China's largest computer company acquired IBM's PC business. Just this week, a major Chinese appliance maker made a bid for Maytag. China has no brand names, right now, none. No national or international brand names that we would recognise. By buying American companies they can get those brand names instantly. But the fierce of selling a major oil company to a fierce rival at a time of short supply and record prices

had people talking today about national security. The thought of a major US oil company falling in the hands of the Chinese communist Government is something we should consider when we think about the future of our energy security. On Capitol Hill today, opposition to the deal was already taking shape. Would the Chinese as freely allow

an American company to take over an Chinese company? And fears of a new round of protectionism sent shivers through the stock market which dropped 166 points today. More on the overseas markets shortly. First, what's happening locally. Here's Andrew Robertson again. And Andrew, the market today is not a pretty sight.

Well Ros as we've just heard oil

Well Ros as we've just heard oil hitting US 60 caused Wall Street to

take a big hit this morning. That

sentiment has flowed onto the

Australian market. Another two

profit downgrades yesterday have

profit downgrades yesterday have not helped sent: The All Ordinaries

helped sent: The All Ordinaries down 1% or 34 points to 4,191. The

ASX200 off 37 to 4,233. Only one

index up today and not surprisingly

it's the energy index which

it's the energy index which contains oil-related stocks. Woodside the

biggest gainer up 2% to $#ttd.9.

Tap Oil Roc Oil and Oil Search

having strong gains. Caltex is up

despite a profit downgrade earlier

in the week. The Financial

in the week. The Financial Index

has been the biggest drag on the

market taking 18 points off the

ASX200. Only Adelaide bank is to

find the red ink adding a third of

find the red ink adding a third of a per cent. Babcock and Brown having

a great day, up 2% to $12.95.

BHP Billiton is having problems

with the Tax Office, how's that

affecting its share price? Well Ros

BHP down a third of a per cent to

$17.83. Minara Resources has lost

2% to $2.03. While investors

wouldn't be overjoyed at the

prospect of BHP having to pay the

Tax Office a billion, for a company

that size it's not going to have a

big office. There's no certainty

big office. There's no certainty it will have to pay yet. Market

conditions rather than the Tax

Office is dragging BHP down today.

Two companies which announced

profit downgrades yesterday were

Brazin and Flight Centre, how are

they doing today? Both doing well

after being plum elled yesterday.

Braz yip up 1% to $1.72. The

Braz yip up 1% to $1.72. The market likes Flight Centre's plans to

likes Flight Centre's plans to slash costs it's recovered to 14.45.

A check now of the domestic market's other top movers in the ASX 100. Energy stocks boosted by the oil price. Multiplex and Stockland down 4 or 5%. Thanks Andrew. To Wall Street, which started to worry again about the oil price which reached US$60 a barrel overnight. The Dow lost 1.5%. The Nasdaq was off 1%. Stocks in Europe surged on a weaker euro In Japan, the Nikkei hit by the US downturn. Hong Kong had a good day yesterday. New Zealand falling 15 points. In currencies: In commodities: It may not have got what it wanted at the International Whaling Commission, but Japan is still showing an appetite for all things whale. A fast food chain in northern Japan is now offering whale burgers at its ten outlets. Using deep fried minke whale meat and lettuce, topped with mayonnaise, the burger sells for less than $5. The chain says it's using meat left over from Japan's scientific whaling program. But critics say it's a thinly disguised commercial venture. For some time, authorities in China have been trying to change attitudes over the traditional bias for boys. It's estimated there are millions of abortions each year to ensure families have a boy and many girls are dumped or abandoned. But now the Government is stepping up its campaign to right the gender imbalance. Sun Gin Xi is a rarity in rural China. A mother of two daughters, no sons and she says, no regrets. (Speaks Chinese dialect) Yes, she wanted a boy like everyone else, but that's the old way. These days there are some new benefits to having girls. In a pioneering government program, thousands of poor rural families are now being given an annual allowance of nearly $200 if they have only girls and never had sons. The idea is to alter the traditional preferences for sons in China by raising the value of daughters. The program also provides government-subsidised jobs for girls only.

Local education fees for girls are also being waived, encouraging them to stay in school longer and respect for girls is a big part of the curriculum.

(Speaks Chinese dialect) This girl says she was treated terribly when her younger brother was born - he got all the attention. But her school now teaches that this is wrong and the lesson is clearly being learned. We asked if these students eventually wanted a son or a daughter. How many want a son? OK, how many want a daughter? Whoa. Local officials say they are making progress, but it's still a tough sell in the tradition-bound countryside where the preference for boys is so strong, millions of women who learn they are pregnant with a girl will still choose an abortion. So now the Chinese Government is pinning its hopes on its expanded arsenal of weapons - financial incentives, more education and always, propaganda. Banners and billboards now proclaim the time has come to care for China's girls and when China's senior leaders visit children these days, you can bet there are plenty of girls in the front row. It all promises a better future for the daughters of Sun Gin Xi, but emotions did get the better of her when we asked her feelings about never having a son. Perhaps more regrets than she's ready to admit. Australia's richest literary prize has been awarded to Andrew McGahan for his novel 'The White Earth'. The winner of the Miles Franklin Award was announced in Sydney last night. McGahan's book tells the story of a young boy's life in rural Queensland. It was chosen from a shortlist of five, out of 43 nominated books. The decision to give the $42,000 award to McGahan was unanimous. It gives you a sense, I think, of belonging because it's such an iconic award, the Miles Franklin. And that list of winners is, it is the iconic...'s the history of Australian literature. 'The White Earth' is McGahan's fourth novel. He's best known for his first book 'Praise', which was turned into an award winning film. Lleyton Hewitt is the only Australian left in the Wimbledon singles draw after Nicole Pratt and Wayne Arthurs lost their second round matches. In a tough day for seeded players, home town favourite Tim Henman was knocked out

and French Open champion Rafael Nadal lost in four sets. The Australian challenge on day four ended, but not without a fight. Pratt was competitive against Venus Williams while Arthurs fell in a four hour thriller. There was no shortage of support for Wayne Arthurs in his marathon battle against Germany's Alexander Popp. In an enthralling encounter, Arthurs was stretched to the limit. COMMENTATOR: Good volley. The big serving South Australian had missed opportunities to close out the match in the fourth set and was forced to lift his game to another level in the fifth. Well played. Arthurs had two match points in the set and was forced to lift his game to another level in the fifth. CHEERING Having held serve in 18 straight games, Arthurs finally Yeah, what a shot! In four hours and nine minutes, the German triumphed. And it's called long. Nicole Pratt was far from disgraced in her second round match-up against former champion Venus Williams. What a point!

Pratt held her own for much of the first set and again pushed Williams all the way in the second. But in the end she was worn down by the consistency and power of the American. Look at that. There was only polite applause on centre court

for Russian Dimitry Tursunov who brought a premature end to Tim Henman's tournament. Ranked 152nd in the world, Tursunov himself looked disappointed to have taken out the home crowd favourite in five sets. Despite some flashes of brilliance, Rafael Nadal was another of the top seeds to bow out. Beautifully played. The reigning French Open champion fell to Luxembourg's Gilles Muller in four sets. Mark Douglass, ABC News. For William Wales, Scottish university student, life will never be the same. Over the past four years he has been tucked away from the prying eyes of the paparazzi

under a deal that saw him left alone to complete his studies. Now 23-year-old Prince William has graduated, ready, he says, to enter the big wide world and knowing full well that all bets with the media are off. It was a day which marked a royal riot of passage, when after four years of study, a student prince stepped forward onto a much larger stage. USHER: William Wales. APPLAUSE In a short statement, William said his graduation was a very special day for him. He said he was delighted to share it with his family and in particular, with his grandmother. His grandmother was watching with pride. That William had got this far, though, owes something to this woman, his girlfriend, Kate Middleton, who was also graduating today. Katherine Middleton. She is said to have steadied him when at the end of his first year, William contemplated pulling out of university. Since then, they've shared a house together. But the privacy and comparative simplicity of student life is now at an end. It's time to move on. Big wide world now.

To one side, but never part of the royal group stood Kate Middleton. She and William are house mates no longer, though the university principle noted in his address that many of those graduating today would already have met their future husbands or wives. Those are matters for the future. Today was an occasion for William and his existing family. There was a kiss and a curtsy from his stepmother to the Queen and a pat on the arm from the Queen for him. Suddenly he's no longer just William Wales, a rather special student, but a young man starting to take on the full mantle of royalty -

a mantle from which, of course, there can be no escape. Time for the weather now. Cloud is moving off the Queensland coast. There's cloud over eastern NSW, cloud clearing from Victoria, high cloud over parts of South Australia, a large cloud band lies across Western Australia. A low in the Tasman is still causing showers in NSW,

while a high centred near Tasmania is clearing skies over Tasmania, and Victoria.

A ridge is keeping South Australia mainly dry while a front in the Bight is affecting WA. Scattered showers for the NSW coast and ranges, a rainband lies across eastern and central parts of WA.

Some isolated showers in South Australia. The forecasts - mainly sunny for Brisbane. A few showers in Sydney, overcast for Canberra, fine in Melbourne and Hobart, mostly sunny in Adelaide, more showers for Perth, but it should be fine in Darwin. And a final check of the midday markets.

That's the news for now. There'll be more at 7 o'clock. I'm Ros Childs, good afternoon. Captions by Captioning and Subtitling International.