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A year-long investigation finds widespread evidence of sports doping in Australia.The findings are shocking. And they'll disgust Australian sports fans. Northern exposure. Tony Abbott talks up a special zone to boost the Top End.There is a lot of potential in northern Australia. And it's very important that over time we do make the most of that potential. It's back. A new fire threat in Tasmania, this time causing evacuations near Hobart.You just panic, basically. The smoke, you can't see, the heat. And - Adelaide set to be dazzled by the brush strokes of the painter of life.

Hello. Welcome to ABC News across Australia. I'm Nicole Chettle. The local share market's struggling with poor leads from the US and Europe.

More finance later in the bulletin. It's been described as the blackest day in Australian sport. An Australian Crime Commission investigation has found widespread drug use in Australian professional sport with some athletes being given substances not yet approved for human use. The year-long investigation has identified organised criminal networks involved in distributing drugs to athletes and their support staff, including doctors and coaches. In at least one case, an entire team is believed to have been doped. The ABC's Nick Bailey is in Melbourne. A big media conference today involving the government and sporting fwrums. Just how big a problem is dopeing in Australian sport?We only have to look at the fact that flanking the Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare and the Sports Minister were the CEOs of basically all the major sporting codes in Australia. Now we don't know exactly which codes or sports are involved. But David Gallop from the FFA, the CEO of the NRL the AFL Tennis Australia Cricket Australia were all there, so they're all unified in trying to fight this clearly what is a massive issue in Australian sport. We heard extraordinary revelations that organised crime has infiltrated some elements of Australian sport in the provision of banned substances but also there is one confirmed investigation into an alleged incident of match fixing in a sport. So these are very serious findings and the use of performance enhancing drugs across the sportses looks to be very widespread. There weren't specifics in terms of which sports or athletes but it was stressed there were a number of sports involved and quite a large number of athletes. Possibly one of the most disturbing elements was the manner in which some of these performance enhancing substances are being provided to at heats. We'll hear from the Home Affairs Minister on this.The findings indicate the drugs are being facilitate ed by sports scientists, coaches,, support staff, as well as doctors and pharmacists. And in some cases, sports scientists and others orchestrating the doping of entire teams. In some cases illicit drugs are being put under the spot height?This is one of the other interesting findings. There was a drugs summit for the AFL here in Melbourne last week, dealing with illicit drugs. One of the findings in this report indicates that the use of illicit drugs by athletes is higher than the official figures reported by the codes. There could be some loopholes being manipulated but there could be a lot more illicit drug use going on with athletes. They owed may need to look at the systems for testing illicit drugs if this is the case. We heard more about the exact nature of the substances found to have been being used by athletes.The findings are shocking and they'll discuss Australian sports - they'll disgust Australian sports fans. The warm the Australian Crime Commission has done has found the use of prohibited substances including pep tieds, hormones and illicit drugs is widespread amongst professional athletes.What happens next?We've seen immediately the NRL put out a media release during the press conference. It will now be setting up its own integrity unit. The AFL already has an integrity unit but they will be adding more staff. All the codes are launching their own investigations. Information has been passed on to State Police in a number of States and obviously the Crime Commission has handed on its findings to the codes and ASADA will be leading the investigation with regards to the performance enhancing drugs. This will obviously be a long-running and widespread investigation and they haven't ruled out any possibilities whether it be criminal charges or anything. They're loath to speculate too much on the exact results an punishments for individuals or sports but this story obviously has a long way to go. Thanks for bringing us up to date. The coalition wants to transform Australia's far north into an economic power base and food bowl but a leaked draft discussion paper on how to achieve the goal is causing some headaches. Labor's raising the spectre of a country cut in two, and public servant being forcibly removed to remote locations but Tony Abbott insists it's not coalition policy. It's Australia's last frontier, vast, remote, and according to some the key to the nation's future economic growth.There is a lot of pot fence in northern Australia. It's very important that over time we do make the most of that potential. But he that's in no rush to say how. Tony Abbott was out early this morning distancing himself from a leaked draft of a coalition discussion paper splashed across the front pages.It's not even a finalised discussion paper. It's certainly not policy. What we're talking about is a policy that seeks to divide Australia in two. The document, developing northern Australia, a 2030 vision, looks at developing areas above the tropic of Capricorn, with key urban zones in Darwin, Cairns, Townsville and Karratha. Government departments could be moved and tax and relocation incentives offered to workers.Carefully far guested, fiscally responsible incentives. An expensive, divisive disaster according to the government.We'll end up with footpaths in Karratha are gold plated while people are stuck in traffic gridlock in Sydney.It's madness but it's Tony Abbott doing what Gina Reinhart wants. The coalition's draft discussion paper has been sent to State premiers and some interest groups for feedback. It hasn't yet gone to shadow Cabinet or been costed, but Tony Abbott has already dismissed some of the more controversial suggestions. He says no public servants will be forced to relocate and has ruled out a two-tier tax system.There is absolutely no way that people in different parts of Australia will be paying different tax depending upon where they live. Watch in space, Tony Abbott says formal policies will be released before the election. Preparations for Australia's withdrawal from Afghanistan have dominated the Defence Minister's latest update to Parliament on the war. Stephen Smith has outlined a change in the make yum of the 1,500 Australian troops in Afghanistan and more are involved in planning the pull-out later this year.The overall number of personnel will not substantially decrease until towards the end of this year as additional personnel are deployed temporarily to support the transition and redeployment effort. An initial planning team of around 20 personnel deployed to the Middle East last year to assist with the planning for the redeployment of ADF troops and equipment and disposal of ADF infrastructure. The man accused of murdering Queensland teenager Daniel Morcombe has been committed to stand trial in the Supreme Court. The parents of the Sunshine Coast boy, Bruce and Denise Morcombe, recall at the Brisbane Magistrates Court this morning to hear the discussion. 43-year-old Brett Peter Cowan faces five charges including murder and abduction.It's a huge step in the right direction. There that's no question of that. We look forward to the trial. And see what unfolds from this. Cowan did not enter a plea and did not make any application for bail. When asked by Chief Magistrate Brendan Butler whether he had anything to say at the end of the committal proceedings, Cowan replied "No, sir". A trial date is yet to be announced. In Tasmania, police have been door knocking communities near Hobart, warning that a bushfire threat is likely to worsen this afternoon. Hot temperatures and dry northerly winds are expected to intensify a blaze that's been burning since yesterday at Molesworth, more than 50 firefighters are there along to help the four water-bombing helicopters. Fire crews are concerned that predicted change in the weather could push flames towards homes in Tasmania's Derwent Valley. There's concerns that north-westerly winds could put homes in Glendew Road at risk there's concern some residents around this area weren't aware of the fire situation last night and miss are making a point of door knocking every single house to make sure that all the residents in Molesworth, Collinsvale and Glenlusk are aware of the fire situation. So far there've been no reports of homes lost, although a caravan and, a shed and apparently some old cars have been destroyed. The Fire Service says they're using 20 fire crews to try to contain the blaze between two roads today. The fire is actually in inaccessible terrain so they're using water bombing helicopters to try to quell the flames. There's concern that if the fire does spread, potentially the town of Molesworth could be cut off. Fire crews say that's not quite a concern at this stage.The fire is contained within those two boundaries. However the western and southern boundary are in very inaccessible land. The blaze comes on the anniversary of Tasmania's worst ever bushfires in 1967 when more than 1,000 homes were destroyed and more than 60 people lost their lives.

Unemployment figures are out this lunchtime with the rate now steady despite a fall in the number of full full-time jobs.

For many, it's a rite of passage. Unpaid work to get that vital on-the-job experience. But the Fair Work Ombudsman says too many people are being exploited working in cafes and kitchens for free, on the pretext that they're being trialled for a job. Young people are particularly at risk and employers are being warned they could face legal action if they break the rules. Anne Cazar is the head teacher of hospitality at the Sydney Institute and she says it's vital to make sure that young people know what they're getting into when they start work experience.First of all, we encourage that it's work experience in regards to needing set hours, that there are limitations that we mace on our industry partners for ensuring that our students are safe and cared for in the workplace and they're not exposed to any students where they've been ability to do in excess of a learning experience.The ombudsman has identified hospitality in particular as being one area where people are sometimes exploited. Have you seen evidence of this?We have seen quite a lot of it. Our students a lot back to us as well in regards to trials, unpaid work, underpayment of work as well. So we don't work with those industry people. We have a very clear official guidelines and our industry partners know what's expected out of any work experience program that our students participate in.What are some of the bad examples you're hearing about?A lot of the bad experiences are things such as supposedly trial periods where they're asked to be tested out first of all, which is really unfortunate and that seems to go for a long period of time. Other ones are where they're asked well in excess of the hours that would considered to be normal.What can be done to protect young people while they're gaining these valuable on-the-job skills?Here at Sydney TAFE, we've created industry partnership program where our students have given a list of guidelines and our industry partners are given guidelines and so they work within that. Things like how many hours they can do, how many shifts they can do. And what is to be covered by that. For instance, things such as they are there to be shadowing somebody not to be replacing somebody, that they can't work night shifts that they can't work on weekends. So while we understand industry is a 24-hour situation with hospitality, with us, we just say they can still undertake that learning and exposure without being exploited. Anne Cazar thanks for joining us.No worries at all, thanks. Telstra is reporting a profit boost after winning more customers. First half profit has come in at $1.6 billion, up almost 9% and in line with analysts forecasts. Neal Woolrich is sat the Telstra briefing in Melbourne. So what's behind this result?Telstra's mobile business has been the stand-out performer over the past six months as it has been for the past couple of years. Telstra added 900,000 mobile customers. Telstra's Chief Executive has been the key to winning those customers has been investment in its networks and trying to improve customer satisfaction there have been a couple of headwinds for Telstra this year. Its fixed-line business is still in decline. And also the Sensis business which operates the White and Yellow Pages is still struggling with the transition from print to digital. But ed David Thodey has been the stand-out performer in the last six months.What you've got happen something that people are using more and more Internet data services on their mobiles. The number of calls are still large but it's actually how you price data is more where you will realise value in the future. So when you look at the strength of a mobile's business, you really need to look at the yield you're getting per megabit of data. And Telstra's dividend has been part of its appeal to investors in recent years. Has the company given any indication as to whether it will maintain or even increase that?They haven't given any updated guidance. They already said they will pay a full year dividend of 28 c per share for this current financial year but they haven't given any guidance into future years. The big appeal has been the stability of Telstra. David Thodey says the company will continue to review the dividend share in light of its capital expenditure s over the next couple of years and the dividend policy will stay as it is, reviewed year by year. Of course, Telstra is also saying that it's going to incur significant cost on spectrum licences this year. Should investors be concerned?They haven't shown too much concern this morning. Telstra shares were slightly lower in a flat market this morning but David Thodey has shade that it will consider its participation in the spectrum option, depending on its perceived return on investment. So if it doesn't see it getting a good return on investment, then it may not participate in the spectrum auctions that are coming up. That's one for not just Telstra shareholders to watch but the Federal Government as it conducts the spectrum auctions later this year. Thank you. The Royal Bank of Scotland has been fineed about $600 million for its role in a rate-fixing scandal. Staff at the bank were involved in a scheme to rig a key global interest rate and get an unfair edge on competitors. The scandal has further undermined confidence in the banking system already battered by the global financial crisis . Royal Bank of Scotland. Bailed out by taxpayers in 2008, yet 21 of its staff were caught manipulateing a key interest rate until 2010.Clearly, a taxpayer owned bank should be upholding the highest possible standards in terms of integrity and the people who work there should be doing that. And clearly RBS is significantly failed in relation to this particular case. The British government says while it owns a majority share, taxpayers won't be paying the price of bad banker behaviour.What happened at RBS and other banks is totally unacceptable. At my insistence the bankers not the taxpayers will pick up the bill. Who those who did wrong will face the full force of the law.While most of those involved in the rate fixing at RBS have been sacked the Chancellor's threat of the full force of the law may yet amount to little if anything. What is predictable is that these latest revelations will simply reinforce jaded public opinion about the whole banking industry, and RBS in particular.The wrong doers are the ones that need focus on. The culture and controls of RBS and our whole industry need to be changed. We're changing them. The job that's not done.Given the depth of dishonesty revealed so far and with investigations into British banking continuing, there may well be some more nasty surprises ahead.

Now to some. Other - of the stories making news in business. The competition regulator is concerned that virgin's planned takeover of Tiger Airways will knock a local competitor out of the market. Tiger could leave the industry if the deal doesn't go ahead. The regulator now expects to make its final ruling in mid March. A survey shows construction continued to shrink last month and conditions for the industry appear likely to keep deteriorating. According to the Australian Industry Group, housing is the worst hit sector though new orders are also falling for commercial con stuks. And Rupert Murdoch's News Corp says profit doubled in the just ended quarter coming in at $2.3 billion and boosted by a company reorganisation . It says lower advertising revenues at the Australian newspapers were partly offset by the launch of the Sunday Sun in Britain. A check now of the markets and here's Martin Lakos from Macquarie Private Wealth. A down day offshore and that's playing on the market today?A little bit. We've been vacillating between small gains and small losses at this stage and we've seen some pretty large stock price moves. You just talked about News Corp. That stock is down about $1.12 on that result and also we've seen good moves in Telstra. We've seen the stock rally up nearly 6 c today. National Australia Bank on the back of its result also up about 40 c. Broadly speaking we're seeing the energy stocks weaker. Origin Energy, there has been talk in the media of a possible earnings downgrade, affected by much higher electricity prices or vol filth in the electricity prices from Queensland and the bank sector holding up reasonably well.What about those latest jobs figures? Any market reaction?No no reaction. The number came in at 5.4% unemployment rate that was very much in line. Some are looking for a modest increase to 5.5. There was a fall of about 9,800 jobs in full time. We saw in excess of 20,000 jobs in part time picking that up. That's very much in line with expectations but again, yesterday's retail sales numbers and housing numbers are really not the numbers the Reserve Bank's looking for in terms of broader non-mining sectors of the economy helping to support growth. Looking how at company news, what are you seeing?As my Entsched the National Australia Bank result came in better than expected on a cash basis. Costs were up about 4% there is a negative surprise. But the offset by better, bad and doubtful debt numbers. The operating results out of the UK were a bit better than expected in a market like that but in that's no doubt that the cost focus is really what's coming through in the statements from manage minute and with costs rising 4% they've got a big job hey head. But despite that the stock is up 44 c at the moment. Martin Lakos, thank you.Thanks Nicole. To that flat session on Wall Street and the market's holding near a five year high with traders looking for direction before a meeting of Eurozone leaders.

The United States has been operating a secret air base in Saudi Arabia according to a report in the Washington 'Post'. A paper says the pace has been a launching point for drone attacks across the border into Yemen, including the operation in September 2011 that killed a radical preacher. There's rising anger in Yemen because of the increasing number of drone attacks which locals say have killed civilians. The White House says drone attacks are legal, ethical and wise, and comply with US law. Tunisia has dissolved its government and promised early elections following the turmoil on the streets two years after the country led the so-called Arab Spring. Protesters marched on government buildings when a prominent opposition figure was shot dead outside his home. It is the country's first political assassination since the revolution and instantly, it has exposed entrenched divisions and powerful distrust. Crowds of opposition supporters gathered at the Interior Ministry and tried to storm the building. They blamed the Islamist led government. These are the very streets where popular protests brought down the dictatorship only two years ago.All we can see was tear gas, people running all over the place. Police tried to observe the anger of the demonstrators but they couldn't just watch people throwing stones at them. This man was the leader of a small secular party and a fierce critic of the largest party in the governing coalition. He was shot dead by a man on a motorbike as he left home this morning. He denied any involvement - the party denied any involvement and denounceed it as an act of terror. It's unlikely to satisfy the man's supporters who say he'd received repeated death threats the last only yesterday. It's just over a year since Tunisia celebrated a genuine which open and trance apparent election, the first since the Arab uprisings of 2001. Will today's assassination derail Tunisia's emerging democracy?This is the most difficult process of the change. As the new political system is being put together, the new constitution, the divisions between where the country is going, who would hold political power, there is a lot of manoeuvring between political parties but generally things are heading in the right direction. Even so, this will put fear into the heart of Tunisia's political life. Tonight the Prime Minister dissolved the country's divided coalition Cabinet and called new elections. It's a sobering reminder that even this most promising, most hopeful of Arab democracies remains a work in progress.

The group Human Rights Watch says migrants from Central Asia are being exposed while working on facilities for next year's Winter Olympics at Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi. It says regular abuse includes underpayment, wages withheld and the absence of employment contracts. Emergency crews in Florida have spent hours trying to reach the driver of a truck that ended up dangling over the edge of a road after a fatal crash. When the rescue was completed they used a crane to pull the truck off the overpass. And Germany's Education Minister says she won't be resigning, despite a university finding she plagiarised parts of her 1980 thesis. Annette Schavan who's allegedly a close hall lie of Chancellor Angela Merkel says she will fight the ruling. The Socceroos have lost 3-2 to Romania in this morning's frnldly international in Spain. The penalty to Luke Wilksheer close to half-time levelled the scores at 1-1. Robert Cornthwaite scrambled his goal in six internationals to put the Socceroos in front. Romania equalised with 10 minutes last. Gabriel Torje scored the equaliser in - scored the winner in the 8 3rd minute. The Socceroos' next game is a World Cup qualifier against Oman in Sydney next month.

Australian fast bowler James Faulkner took four wickets to help bowl out the West Indies for 2 90. But the 22-year-old was fined 10% of his match fee for his behaviour after the dismissal of Chris Gayle. Earlier, Shane Watson starred with the bat. He scored 122 runs during an innings that included 12 boundaries and two sixes.It was nice to get out there. I've been hooking forward to that for the last four weeks, to be able to get out there on a really nice wicket and get a few out of the middle.Members match of the series takes place in Sydney tomorrow. More than 100 works by one of Britain's great est painters go on display tonight at the art algae of South Australia. It's one of the biggest exhibitions to come this country from overseas and will move to the national gallery in Canberra later in year. This is the first major exhibition of Turner's work in Australia in almost 20 years. And more than 100 paintings have been hung on the walls of the art gallery of the South Australia. Most of these works have come from the Tate in London while some have come from collections across Australia. Organisers are hoping 100,000 people will see these works. These works, there are oil paintings, water colours, even sketches, and they span Turner's career. Some of these paintings have never been on display before. There are paintings that he completed at the age of 13 while some are unfinish ed that were discovered after his death. This exhibition will last 100 days and it will then move to Canberra. To the weather now. On the satellite, there's a cloud band across Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria along a trough but bringing little rain thanks to hot and dry northerly winds ahead of it. Row low cloud on the northern New South Wales and Queensland coasts in onshore winds is triggering showers. Troughs are causing the odd storm over inland Queensland and the tropics. A high will push showery winds onto Queensland and New South Wales' coastlines. A low over the Pilbara will cause a few showers and storms inland. The hot northerlies will affect south-east cause. The forecasts now:

Back to the Stock Exchange now for a final check of the markets.

There is continuous news on ABC News 24 and also news on-line. Our next full bulletin on ABC1 a news early edition at 5.0. I'm Nicole the economile. Have a great day.

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