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(generated from captions) P Hello, I'm Ros child. Welcome to this national edition of ABC News on a day when the Government is putting the final touches to its pre-election economic update.

This Program is Captioned Live.A filip for tourism or environmental vandalism? The Queensland Government approves a $4 billion casino for Cairns. Russia grants Edward stho den a temporary asylumWe are extremely disappointed that the Russian Government would take this step.The man who held three women hostage for a decade is sentenced to life in jail plus a thousand years.And Michael Clarke scores a century but another umpiring howler steals the show.COMMENTATOR: There was no hot spot and no noise. The only noise was the back of his pad. That's an absolute shocker of a decision.The Treasurer is set to deliver his first and last major statement on the Budget before the election. Chris Bowen will update new taxes, reveal extra cuts and savings and try to stop the finances sliding further into the red. He is already hitting a backlash from the banks over his plan for a $700 million levy, about you Mr Bowen says it is a sensible price to pay for insurance against a bank collapse. Political correspondent Greg Jennett reports.Talk may be cheap...Yeah.But the Treasurer's team is economical with its words.We're calling it as we see it. Exactly. Chris Bowen's first set of Budget numbers are an exercise in filling a hole in the coffers which threaten to blow out the deficit. The banks are part of the answer.The banks benefit from the Government guaranteeing their deposits, so the banks should make a contribution over time.He is levying an insurance premium on the banks to protect deposits if an institution ever collapsed.What problem is there with our banking system that requires this new tax?And I think what we will discover is that the banks don't have a problem, the Rudd Government has a problem.The levy will raise $700 million in its first 18 months, starting in 2016. The banks say they will have to pass it on to customers.Today's Budget update will also cover the costs of new policies. Another 39 asylum seekers have arrived on Manus Island. The cost of expanding that centre will be accounted for, and some extra help for the car industry will also be included.The Budget update is the last major set piece the Government wanted to get out before calling the election, and the heightened level of activity doesn't only apply to Labor. Tony Abbott is also clearing out some policy of his own, with a commitment on school funding.He is matching the Government's increased spending on schools, guaranteeing no-one will be disadvantaged if he wins.So we will honour the agreements that Labor has entered into, we will match the offers that Labor has made, we will make sure that no school is worse off.So, on school funding, everyone is a winner from this contest.The construction of a $4.2 billion casino resort in Cairns has moved a step closer. The first stage of plans has been approved by the State Government. The complex includes 9 hotels, a golf course, a 25,000-seater stadium, as well as the casino. It is being funded by the Chinese billionaire Tony Foong. Reporter Kirsty nab Caro joins me now from Cairns in Far North Queensland. $4.2 billion, this is a huge dealt?It is, Ros. It is intended to be Australia's largest integrated resort. Billionaire businessman Tony Foong acquired an option ons site at Yorkeys Knob north of Cairns in September last year and is he hoping to build something that is unlike anything else seen in Australia. Some have described it as a project that would commonly be seen in Dubai, and certainly this is the biggest project that we have seen in Far North Queensland.What do environmentalists make of it, Kirsty?They have been quick to come forward with their concerns. I spoke to a resident at Yorkeys Knob recently. They are very concerned that this is on a flood plain, that it is a mangrove habitat, that it is a breeding ground, a hatchery for fish, and they're concerned that the resort is intended to bring people to see the natural wonders of the Great Barrier Reef and that this will have a direct impact on the reef.So approvals taken into consideration. When is it expected to be up and running?Well, the developer has said that he would like to see the approvals done by mid-to 14 and have the construction completed by 2018, but it does have to go through a long process T has been declared a coordinated project by the Queensland Government which means the process is streamlined because of the economic benefits proposed in this project, some 25,000 jobs indirectly at the end, but the next stage is the terms of reference will be released in the next few weeks for an environmental impact study that James Cook University will do. The local council here say it is doesn't expect the project to come to it for development approval for 18 months.Kirsty, thank you.Thank you.Northern Territory police say there were no child restraints in a car that hit a powerpole this morning, killing a woman and two young children. Five people were in the hatchback when it crashed on a straight section of road in Darwin's rural area this morning. Police say it's not clear whether anyone in the car was wearing a seatbelt.There weren't any approved child restraints in the vehicle, and that will be a key area of the investigation.A man and a child who were in the car are being treated in Royal Darwin Hospital for serious injuries.Queensland Police are continuing to investigate the death of a young life saver on the Gold Coast yesterday. 17-year-old Jerry Dennis died when training with his Northcliffe club mates at a canal at Mermaid Waters. Authorities say he came off a paddle board, disappeared under the water, and couldn't be found for around an hour. Despite the best efforts of trained life savers and ambulance officers, the teenager couldn't be revived.The club is struggling, as you can imagine. We are a very close-knit community, not just our club, but surf life saving and hit really hard with what happened yesterday afternoon.Police are now trying to determine if he was injured while training or suffered from a pre-existing medical condition.A group of 26 teenagers and teachers from Victoria have been struck down with a gastric illness during a flight from Chile. The group was returning from Catholic World Youth Day celebrations in Brazil when they became ill on the flight from Santiago. Fortunately a nurse and two doctors were on board to help.We had a group of young travellers from the Melbourne and Sale area who unfortunately were rather sick for the whole entire flight, and what a terrible way to end their holiday.16 people were taken to hospital. It's believed they contracted the illness before boarding the plane.After five weeks in limbo, the former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden has left Moscow Airport. Snowden was heading to an undisclosed location in Russia. The White House says the development is extremely disappointing and has implications for US-Russian relations. Europe correspondent Barbara Miller reports.Out of the transit zone and still out of sight. This grainy image the only apparent proof that Edward Snowden has left five weeks in limbo behind him. It cob the last anyone sees of the whistleblower for some time. TRANSLATION: As concerns for his place of residence, he will choose it himself. He can live in a hotel or an apartment, as he is one of the most wanted people on Earth, he will be making sure his place of residence is absolutely safe.Edward Snowden has been granted a one-year visa for Russia. His father thinks he might extend the stay.I believe that from my heart that Russia is the safest place for my son and the fact is if he chooses to spend the rft of his life there, I'm comfortable with that.For human rights groups, it is a bizarre outcome. TRANSLATION: The situation is very curious and the irony is that he requested asylum in a country that is certainly not on the top of the list of nations that obey international human rights laws.WikiLeaks has released a statement on behalf of the former intelligence contractor in which he thanks Russia and says the move shows the law is winning.We are extremely disappointed that the Russian Government would take this step, despite our very clear and lawful requests in public and in private to have Mr Snowden expelled to the US to face the charges against him.The White House says the development means a planned US-Russian summit is now up in the air.The man who held three women captive in the US city of Cleveland has been sentenced to life in prison, plus a thousand years. Ariel Castro pleaded guilty to more than 900 counts of murder, kidnapping and rape, but as North America correspondent Ben Knight reports, he tried to back away from his admissions as he was being sentenced.Michelle Knight was the first of Ariel Castro's victims and she was the only one to face him in court.From this moment on, I will not let you define me or affect who I am. I spent 11 years in hell. Now your hell is just beginning.Ariel Castro pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty, but even as he was being sentenced, he was backing away from his own admissions, saying he never murdered an unborn child or raped his victims. He claimed most of the sex was consensual.I would come home and just be normal, like a normal family. These accusation s that I would come home and beat her, beat them - those are totally wrong, urn.But there was, urn.But there was nothing normal in the photos that show the secret rooms the women were kept in, the chains they were restrained with, the helmets they were silenced with and the wigs they were forced to wear on the rare occasions they were allowed jot side.He dictated when they ate, when they talked when they could slept, when they could interact. He dictated when they could go to the bathroom.Ariel Castro apologised to the victims but he blamed his depravity on the abuse he suffered as a child himself.I am not a monster, yoom just sick. I have an addiction.But the judge rejected all excuses.You have not been a Victoria trim. You are a victim icer.Ariel Castro will die in prison and he has been banned from contacting any of his victims, including his daughter who was born in the house, the house that will now been torn down.The official result in Zimbabwe's election may not be known for days but the main Opposition Leader Morgan Tsvangirai has already called the polls a huge farce. President Robert Mugabe who has led the country since independence in 1980s, is bidding for a seventh consecutive term in office.The vote was peaceful, the counting smooth so far, but already President Mugabe's opponents are crying foul, insisting Africa's oldest leader has stolen another election.This has been a huge farce. The credibility of this election has been marred by violations which affect the legitmacy of its outcome.This is what he is complaining about, footage allegedly showing Mr Mugabe's supporters being bussed in to vote illegally. Elsewhere it's claimed vast numbers of Mr Mugabe's potential opponents were simply unable to cast their ballots.Based on the imperical reports from our observers, regardless of the outcome, the credibility of the 2013 election is seriously compromised by a systematic effort to disenfranchise urban voters, up to a until voters.Five years ago, Zimbabwe's last election ended in violence, the economy in meltdown, an uncomfortable power-sharing government followed.But President Mugabe always kept a tight grip on the security forces and the state media. With the economy stabilised, his campaign to seize control of foreign and white-owned businesses has been popular.Today Robert Mugabe and his party could well be heading for a landslide victory, stolen or otherwise. Most Western observers have been banned, and Zimbabwe's neighbours seem unlikely to challenge the overall result.The Syrian city of Homs has been rocked by a huge explosion with at least 40 people believed dead and more than 100 injured. Locals say it was a rebel attack on a weapons stockpile in a neighbourhood inhabited by many, including Alawites. Unverified amateur video posted online shows a massive fireball shooting hundreds of metres into the air. The explosion came hours after President Assad declared he was sure of victory and just days after government troops recaptured a key district of Homs.There have been jubilant scenes in Thailand where the country's revere ed king has left the hospital for the first time in 4 years. Huge crowds lined the route as the 85-year-old king was discharged, bound for his seaside palace.The king was admitted to hospital in 2009 with a lung infection. He suffered a series of other health problems and continued to live in the royal wing of the building. Manial Thais are passionate in their support for the royal family and criticism of the monarchy is illegal under Thai law.Let's take a check of the markets. Here is Alicia Barry. Banking stocks have recovered from yesterday's falls?That's right, Ros. After a big selldown in response to news of the Government's bank levy plan, banks and miners are now leading the gains on the Australian share market and it's on track to close higher for the fifth week out of the last six. Right now the All Ordinaries index is grading - is trading up 0.9% as is the ASX200. The banks are recovering from yesterday's losses. The Commonwealth Bank is up around 0.8% at the moment. The ANZ is up around 1.5% and the big miners are up well over 1% each. Telstra is also on the rise.Across the region, markets are tracking the global rally that occurred overnight. Japan's Nikkei is up around 1.5% at the moment. Some strong jobs and manufacturing data in the US boosted Wall Street to record levels overnight. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 0.8% and the S&P 500 index closed up 1.5%. Two currencies and the Australian - to currencies and the Australian dollar has fallen further against the greenback as it strengthens on positive news out of the US. Now worth 89.01 Ual S cents. The next test of the Australian dollar's strength with more data outtonight.Around 300 billion litres of water will begin to throw into the River Murray soon, eventually seeing 3200 gigalitres returned to system.Environment Minister Mark Butler has knee deep in water this morning and he hopes that's just the start.This is a very significant milestone in the objective of restoring the river to health.He has announced 300 billion litres of Commonwealth environmental water will be releaseded into the Murray River Valley over the next 7 months and the benefits will flow as far south as the lower Lakes.Being able to push more clean water through the Lakes system is why we're seeing the Lakes system restored to such significant and robust health.A system of regulators were built to control water flow noose the Goolwa channel, but in the process lakes Albert and Alex Andrea were cut off, increasing their salinity. But now the waters are back.Genre cover of ecosystems like the fish species, so it's extremely exciting.While the health of the Lower Lakes has improved significantly, the sediment underneath the water is still acidic. Experts say even with rain and extra flows, it could take years for it to leech out of the system. That's being helped by community programs with nurseries growing 150 different species to help revegetate the area.It makes you feel good to know you're physically doing something to change the local ecosystem and improve the environment in the region.The Commonwealth will target priority areas for future environmental watering later in the year.Lucky students at school as cross Australia are getting some special help with their science homework. Their schools have linked up with scientists and astronauts at NASA. It is a co-project with Canberra's Questacon, and it is giving schoolkids an insight into working in space, as well as inspiring the next generation of engineers and mathematicians.Kathleen Dyett reports.It's not every day you get to chat to an astronaut.What happen fs you get sick in a space suit? You have a very long day!Pressing questions aside, this is a lesson in preparing for a stint in space, starring someone who has been there, and 150 school students from around Australia are all ears as NASA staff ex-plap the rigours of training via lividio conference from Texas.It's very important to train in this neutral buoyancy lab.These students are about to embark on their own mission, to build an object that hovers in fluid, much like NASA's equipment.The challenge is for the students to develop some neutral buoyancy apparatus so that they can understand the principles that apply to space engineering. The ability to bring this stuff right to them in their classrooms is huge. I certainly wish we had this camability when I was a kid.There is also a broader aim - to inspire life-long interest in science and maths.When we got told we would be doing a science project, before we knew what it was, I didn't think it would be anything like this. It is interesting. This will build my ambitions for the future.This class is a nudge in a certain directionWe need great scientists, engineer, great mathematicians just like you guys sitting in the audience today.And if they aim high enough, they may find themselves on top of the world.Australian medical researchers are behind a breakthrough that could lead to new treatments for cancer and leukaemia. After four years of work, the team from the Centenary Institute at Sydney University has discovered the role junk DNA plays in the healthy development of white blood cells. Professor John Rasko led the research and he is with me in the studio. Great to see you, John, thanks for coming in.Thanks, Ros.First of all, what is junk DNAJunk DNA is the genetic equivalent of the mysterious dark matter that is in the universe, but this is in our cells and it makes up an extraordinary 98% of our genetic information and yet we really don't understand what it's doing in our cells, and that's what we decided to focus our attention on about 4 years ago, writing new computer programs and experiments specifically if he cussed on white blood cells.What role does bone marrow play?Every second you and I are pumping out 100,000 white blood cells and we wanted to understand the complexity of the control mechanisms. We already know, for example, that there are hormones that instruct white cells to do their job, and if they don't work, we get susceptibles to infections, cancers and Luke Keimias.So the junk DNA regulates how the white cells develop or operate?Exactly. We learnt that there is almost 100 genes that require that this junk DNA be retained, in a sense a molecular trash can that is required to express the - to suppress the expression of these genes into our cells.How do we get this as a link to cancer and other things?Well, because unsuspected of gene control in all the of our cells, we now have new ways of thinking about what is essentially uncontrolled proliferation of white cell growth.We've got some pictures of a healthy nucleus, I understand. Can you talk us through thisWe performed an experiment where we prevented the cells from retaining these junk DNA sequences in their genes and showed that they were abnormal in their number and appeared entirely abnormal there.This was published overnight in the prestigious publication, 'Cell'. What response have you had?Enormous. And we are extremely grateful to the people who fund that research, the Cancer Council of NSW and those that have supported our work for many years now.John Rasko, thank you and congratulations.Australia's excellent start to the third Ashes Test at Old Trafford has been overshadowed by another controversial umpiring decision. Michael Clarke made an unbeaten century as the tourists finished Day 1 on 3/303, but most of the talk has been Usman Khawaja's dismissal. Duncan Huntsdale reports. Trying to establish himself in the Australian team, Usman Khawaja was adamant he hadn't hit the ball when on 1, but after examining replays for three minutes, third umpire upheld the on-field decision from Tony HillDaylight between bat and ball and no hot spot and no noi. That's an absolutely shocking decision. I've got to be careful I do not swear on television. We were fuming.On Twitter, the PM called it one of the worst cricket umpiring decisions he had ever seen, while Cricket Australia has sought an explanation from the ICCI was up the other end. Even in real-time, I didn't think he hit it, I didn't think he was anywhere near it. Everyone will point the finger, that it is a human error, not a technical error that has been at fault there.Earlier Australia had made a bright start with Rogers and Watson adding 76 before Bresnan struck.Clarke appeared after Khawaja and went on the front foot. Rogers was trapped by Swann on 84.England used up Boag of its reviews on Stephen Smith.When Smith was given not-out on 24, the home team couldn't challenge. For the first time in the series, an Australian reached three figures.A century for Michael Clarke.The captain combined with Smith for an unbroken partnership of 174, as the tourists enjoyed their best day of the series.Now for our look ahead to the weekend's footy action, here is 'Grandstand''s Debbie Spillane. The Super 15 Grand Final final in New Zealand tomorrow night?That's right, and the Brumbies from the ACT taking on the Chiefs from New Zealand, and the thing is the Brumbies did last week something that nobody really expected them to do, maybe their most ardent supporters, about you they went in as big underdogs against the Bulls in Pretoria and came away with a win in front of a wildly partisan crowd. Now they're going to have to back it up and do it again. An amazing try right at the end of the match that gave them the victory. Their coach Jake White has decided to stick with the side that did the job in South Africa, referring Clyde Rathbone on the wing and that means the current Wallaby Joe Tamoni stays on the bench.The Chiefs are the defending champions and they will be red-hot favourites, but wouldn't write the Brumbies off after last week.Tonight the Newcastle Knights take on the Brisbane Broncos?Yes, Round 21 of the NRL. Newcastle's loss to the Roosters last Sunday 28-12 has them just clinging on to the last of the finals places in 8th. They will be without the powerful running ever Willie Mason who is injured. Of course, whenever Wayne Bennett comes up to his old club, the Broncos, that comes into pre-match discussions. He doesn't have a great record against the team he shaped into six-time premiership winners. Since leaving them, he has only beaten them twice.Brisbane not having a great season, though. Scraped home off the boot of Scott Prince. A loss tonight will almost certainly guarantee they won't make the finals for only the second time in their 21-year history. The other match is Panthers at home in the Roosters in Sydney's west.North Melbourne play tonight after their massive win last weekend?Yes, playing against another team that had a massive win last weekend - the Kangaroos versus the Geelong. One of the lower-key Friday night matches we've seen for some weeks, ending a run of blockbusters - that's the way it looks on paper anyway.They have kept it tight against them in recent encounters, both sides coming off enormously, well, almost embarrassingly wins, so ridiculous last weekend. North Melbourne won 150-28 and the Cats beat St Kilda by 101 points last weekend. They lost key forward James Podsiadly to suspension and their ruckman Dawson Simpson to injury.Onto swimming now and James Magnussen has dedicated his gold medal at the World Championships in Barcelona to his family and friends. He put a tough campaign behind him to win gold in the 100m freestyle, finish ing ahead of American James Feigan and Nathan Adrian to defend his 2011 title. Cameron McEvoy was 4thTight. Tighter than what I would have liked. It has been a really emotional 12 months for me after the Olympics, and there was a lot of controversy back in Australia, so a really emotional swim for me and it shows that I've matured a lot over the last year and I think I can put the Olympics behind me now and look forward.Let's take a look at the national weather now with Paul HigginsSouth-eastern Australia's premature spring is coming to an end thanks to the cold front here. It will bring a blast of cold air and spread rain across southern parts of SA and NSW, plus Victoria and Tasmania, about you it should stay fine across the north, apart from just a few coastal showers in Queensland:

And that's the news for now. Our next full bulletin on ABC1 is at 5:30 pvlt mvment and don't forget there is news whenever you want it on ABC News 24 or online at abc.net.au/news. I'm Ros Childs. Enjoy your day. Have a lovely weekend. See you Monday.

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You shouldn't be rubbing your eye
if you've got something in it.

Something? It feels like
a block of flats.Oh, come here.

Wet the end.

Of your hanky! Wet the end!