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ABC Midday Report -

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(generated from captions) Today - the Prime Minister reassures Indonesia the two countries can work together on policies to stop the boats.

This Program Is Captioned Live.

Also today - a Sydney gang rapist is granted parole again, a fortnight after it was revoked. Six people killed in Canada when a bus and a train collide during morning rush hour.Next thing you know I see the train coming and the light disappeared in the train and I just seen debris flik. And the Australian dollar surges after a surprise decision by the US Federal Reserve to continue the country's stimulus. Sh

The Prime Minister has told Indonesia that he will work cooperatively on his policies to stop the boats. An Indonesian MP is the latest to speak out against Australia's asylum seeker policies, ahead of Tony Abbott's first trip to Jakarta as Prime Minister. At the end of the month. Political correspondent Greg Jennett is at Parliament house. What's Mr Abbott likely to en counter in his talks in Jakarta(Indonesia has been confirming that Prime Minister Abbott will meet the President in Jakarta, so Tony Abbott's made it very clear that at the top of his suite of policies to stop the boats are issues like turning back boats where it's safe to do so. It's also an immediate priority of his and the Foreign Minister of Indonesia has been registering his concerns about aspects of that policy. Then when you add in some of the onshore measures it's also stirring some commentary from other Indonesians MPs like Tantowi Yahya, and you get a sense there that there is a sense of resentment that Mr Abbott could en encounter squhen he arrives in Jakarta. That MP said it could jeopardise our already good relationships from the after and it annoys our sovereignty as an independent country. But in his first full day as Prime Minister, Mr Abbott has stressed he wants to work calmly with Indonesia and that its independence is completely understood.We totally respect Indonesia's sovereignty. There are many voices in Indonesia but I am very confident that this government will be able to work effective ly with the Indonesian government as former coalition governments have done. In the middle of the Labor Party's post-election leadership contest, a powerful union figure in Paul Howes has emerged to talk about his future. What's he had to say?He called an unusual media conference amid mounting expectations that Senator Bob Carr could quit federal politics after just 18 months in Canberra. Senator Carr has said and done nothing publicly to fuel this but behind the scenes there has been plenty of jostling in anticipation of a possible move. Paul Howes has stepped out publicly to reveal what's been going on there. There was an executive meeting of miss Australian Workers Union last night. He has declared he would not seek any vacancy if one was created by Bob Carr. He made it obvious if he did go for it there would've been quite a backlash throughout the ALP in New South Wales.I made this decision because I don't want to be a wrecker. I don't want to divide. I don't want to have the branch of the party here in New South Wales and our movement rip itself apart over me personally. When you have gone through what we've been through in the last six years, you recognise how destructive, how damaging, how distracting this type of politics is.Paul Howes says he intends to continue in his job as AWU leader for some time.Thanks Greg. In an Australian first, legislation to legalise same-sex marriage has been introduced into the ACT Parliament. Many gay couples have waited for years for this occasion and they watch from the public gallery as ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell presented the marriage equality Bill to the ACT Parliament. The government says the legislation has broad support across Australia.I'm very honoured to be introducing this Bill on behalf of my colleagues. This is not my Bill, this is a government Bill. This is a Bill that reflects the shared principle and intent of all of my Labor colleagues and indeed all members on the floor of the assembly who have campaigned long and hard for this change. The government is concerned the laws could face a High Court challenge or be overturned in the Federal Parliament. But the Bill is expected to be debated and passed during next month's sittings with same sex couples able to marry in the ACT before the edged of the year. Sydney gang rapist Mohammed Sanousi has been granted parole for the second time in a north night after his initial approval was revoked because of his brother's involvement in an assault. The 29-year-old has served 13 years of a 16-year sentence for the rapes of several young women in the year 2000, perpetrated by a gang led by Bilal Skaf. Mohammed Saonusi was granted parole a fortnight ago but it was revoked just a day later after it emerged his two brothers had just been charged with bashing a stranger. And Mohammed Sanousi has spent 13 years in jail for his role in the gang rapes of girls and young women in Sydney in 2000 when he was 16. Under his previous parole conditions, he was due to live at his family home, but that posed a problem for the Parole Authority, because his brothers lived there as well. At the moment, one of them is living there on bail, the other is in custody facing those charges. So Sanousi has been ordered to live in a halfway house when he's released until his brothers find alternative accommodation. He's also been ordered under his bail conditions not to contact those brothers unless under strict supervision. The authority says the two brothers are members of a notorious Sydney gang called the Brothers For Life. Quite a brutal gang linked to murders, shootings, kneecapings and kidnappings. Mohammed Sanousi will be released from jail in as early as a fortnight, he will be released some time between 3 and 10 October. The radio station behind a prank call to a London hospital that led to the suicide of a British nurse is in court today. 2DAYFM is trying to block an investigation by the media regulator ACMA, which could lead to its broadcast licence being revoked. Karl Hoerr has more for us. What are the arguments involved in this case?This case is all about whether the station 2DAYFM has commited a criminal offence, particularly under the Sur available lens devices Act of New South Wales. We know that the cool was made by two presenters of the station enquiring about the condition the then pregnant Duchess of Cambridge. It was recorded then put to air. Lawyers for the station have told the federal court today that the regulate or ACMA is seeking to act as policeman, prosecutor, judge, jury, prison warden and parole officer. They say there is an active police investigation under way, that staff have been interviewed but no charges have been laid and findings of built would be enormously prejudicial to any future case, particularly given the intense notoriety this case has already attracted.ACMA has carried out an initial report. What was in that?Those preliminary findings haven't been released today but lawyers for 2DAYFM have told the hearing that it effectively finds that the station has breached the surveillance devices Act and has therefore been in breach of its licence. For its part, ACMA says that nothing in its statement determines guilt, that that would be a separate matter in the future if indeed charges were laid. And the regulator says it is acting within its powers. Is there likely to be a decision today?Even the Federal Court Judge hearing this case has already read a lot of the material, it's likely that he will reserve his decision and hand it down at a later date. Carl, thank you. Thousands of teachers and support staff are rallying at a Perth race course in protest at State Government cuts. They're holding a two-hour stop -work meeting. The industrial action means more than 60 schools across the State have closed for the morning. With more here's report er Jade Macmillan. How many people are there?Unions were expecting 10,000 teachers, principals and support staff to attend this rally at Gloucester Park. It's a bit hard to tell exactly how many people are down here, but it's a very large crowd. You this is the first time that the three major Education Unions have joined forces like this. It's also the first time that teachers have walked off the job since 2008. Now, they're furious at State Government plans to slash 500 education jobs, most of those are assistant positions. The government also wants to freeze teacher numbers and reduce spending on specialist programs. As you mentioned today's protest has forced the closure of more than 60 schools across WA. The Education Department says it's disappointed, but that it's doing its best to try to accommodate parents and students.What's been the reaction from the State Government to this?The Education Minister Peter Collier isn't expected to address today's rally. He has attended similar smaller events up at Parliament House. He is standing form. He says these changes are about long-term reform not savings and notice long run they will lead to better outcomes for students. State Parliament is sitting today. We do expect to hear more from him this afternoon.Are there plans for more industrial action?Unions say they're not backing down. They say they will continue fighting against these cuts. That is likely to involve more industrial action, but we don't know exactly what that will be at this stage but certainly with the State Government standing firm I wouldn't expect this dispute to be over any time soon. Jade, thank you. Queensland police are looking for a group of people who fired shots into a car and property near Ipswich. Residents have described waking up to the sound of gunshots just after midnight.Often we have fire, who that go off across the park. I thought maybe it's fireworks, but yeah, it just didn't sound right. One bullet hit a fence and another went through the back door of a parked car. No-one was hurt and the Ock pants of the property are known to police.They are happening us with our investigation. We hope that something that will come from that and lead us to the perpetrators here. Police have been told four people got out of a light-coloured sedan and approached the property before returning to their vehicle. Queensland's racing inquiry has begun public sittings today. It's looking into serious allegations about how Racing Queensland was run between 2007 and 2012. Former Bligh Government poirs are due to appear but first up has been the former head of Racing Queensland, Bob Bentley. Reporter Brad Ryan joins me now from Brisbane. What exactly is this inquiry looking at?The racing industry in Queensland has been mired in controversy for decades. This inquiry is looking at quite a few different aspects of the industry, quite a few different controversies, if you like. There are some questions that have been raised in the media and by clubs and jockeys an trainers about how contracts for infrastructure have been awarded, multimillion-dollar contracts have been awarded over a number of years, questions about the tender processes around those contracts. There are also some questions that have been raised about millions of dollars in infrastructure funding that was awarded to the racing industry, to Racing Queensland by the former State Labor Government just before it was ousted last year and why that money was sign off on in the dying days of the government. There's also some questions about the financial arrange minutes between the industry and betting companies such as Tatts, the commission has heard this morning that there is a compelling argue minute, according to the counsel assisting the commission, a compelling argue minute that the racing industry was denied about $91 million over a number of years because of the financial arrangements between Tatts and the industry and there are some questions about whether those arrange minutes were in fact legal. As we've heard the head of Queensland racing Bob Bentley has been on the stand this morning. What was he asked about?Well, one of the first things he was asked about was those arrange minutes. Mr Been the lee not only has been the head of the - the Chairman of Racing Queensland and the head of a number of control bodies that predated Racing Queensland but he's also a director of the Tatts Group so he has been asked about those arrangements. He has been asked about how he's managed the conflict. Whether the arrangements that were in place between Tatts and the racing industry were in the best interests of the racing industry. Now he's shade that his role as a director of Tatts and in fact as a shareholder in Tatts didn't influence the decisions he made when it came to the racing industry. He's also been asked about the may-outs that were given to a number of directors for directors that quit the Racing Queensland board just after the election of the LNP State Government last year. Now, the commission was told that those directors renegotiated their contracts the year before or in the months before the election of the LNP government, and they then managed to receive an increase in benefits when they left the organisation that in one case exceeded half a million dollars. Now that's one of the issues that will be explored over coming weeks through this inquiry as well. Officials in Canada are investigating a crash involving a double decker bus and a passenger train in the capital Ottawa. At least six people were killed and dozens injured when the bus ploughed into the train at a level crossing. Passengers said the driver only realised the train was at the crossing when it was too late.I was texting my friend on the bus and then everyone had shouted stop, stop. As I looked up the bus was coming into contact gate and the front of the bus t like all impacted at once, and everyone flew. The bus driver is among the dead. One of the train pass - none of the train passengers were killed.The train was coming east to west. Next thing I know I see the train coming and the light disappeared on the train and I seen debris flying. Wasn't much after sound but then the train started to slide to its right and black smoke was coming up.I didn't hear much. All I saw was all - all I felt was a bump and then I saw smoke and then we were going off the tracks. I thought we were gonna flip over, so ... The mother of a man who killed 12 people at a navy yard in Washington has apologised to his victims. Employees have returned to work at the facility two days after Aaron Alexis went on a shooting rampage with a shotgun and at least one handgun. He was later killed in a shoot-out with place.Aaron is now in a place where he can no longer do harm to anyone. For that I am glad. To the families of the victims I am so, so very sorry that this has happened.The Pentagon is reviewing security at its bases. It's also investigating how Alexis was granted security clearance to enter the base. To finance news now. The US Federal Reserve has surprised the markets by announcing that it will not reduce its $85 billion-a-month stimulus program. With all the details and a look at how stocks and the dollar have reacted, here's Alicia Barry. Why did the Fed decide in the end not to move?The US Federal Reserve has said previously that it will wind back stimulus when the economy improves and investors thought that was now. But Chairman Ben Bernanke says he's still worried about three drags on growth. They are rising mortgage rate, the looming US fiscal cliff and of course unemployment.To say that the job market has improved does not imply that current conditions are satisfactory. Notably, at 7.3%, the unemployment rate remains well above acceptable levels. Long-term unemployment and underemployment remain high. Did Ben Bernanke give any clues as to when he might wind back that stimulus?Back in May, Ben Bernanke hinted that the Fed would wind back stimulus this year, but at today's press conference, the Chairman wouldn't be drawn on a time frame. He says it will all deĀ£on how positive the economic data is in coming months, so the guessing game for markets continues.In the meantime, the markets love the status quo?They do indeed. Investors are certainly welcoming the ongoing flow of cheap money today, but analysts are questioning how long the gains can be maintained. The All Ordinaries index is up 1% at the moment as is the ASX 200 index.

The Syrian President Bashir al-Assad has said he's prepared to allow the US Government to destroy its chemical weapons arsenal if it pays the costs of the job. President Assad gave the commitment in a wigs interview in Damascus.It need as lot of money, needs about 1 billion. It's very detrimental to the environment. If the American administration is willing to pay that money and to take the responsibility of bringing toxic materials to the United States, why don't they do it? He also used the interview to again deny any Syrian army involvement in last month's chemical weapons attack, in which the US says more than 1400 people died.No-one has verified the credibility of the vid yons and the pictures. The only verified thing is the sample that the delegation took. Russia says it will show the U nmpt Security Council evidence that the chemical weapons attack was the work of rebels. Papua New Guinea says BHP Billiton is now liable for environmental damage caused by the controversial Ock Teddy copper and goldmine. The government has rebeeld a 12-year-old law granting the company immune fee from prosecution. Parliament also passed a Bill gig complete ownership of the Ock Teddy mine to the State. (A) Queensland Government plan for Cape York will put economic development ahead of a potential World Heritage Listing. The acting premier has unveiled a plan for the area and he says the main goal should be to lift communities out of poverty. Pristine wilderness, mining potential, widespread poverty. Cape York has all of these things. The vast area at the tip of Queensland is set for big changes that will see wild river declarations overturned, and development increased.I'm determined to ensure that there are job opportunities and an opportunity for a normalised economy on the cape in the future. Obviously it is the right step. We're heading in the right direction. The State Government wants to open up these pale green areas to mining, farming and forestry, while protecting the amber and red zones which are National Parks and areas of virtsal importance of the it's still an early draft, but already there's disagreement among those involved.What we're concerned about is a watering down of the science used to identify areas of national sig kajs. A regional plan has to be balanced but it has to promote investment in the miming in the services sector, in tourism, and as well as the government investments for programs like ranger employments. Ointments unclear if the plan will jeopardise a possible World Heritage nomination for parts of the region.I'm simply not interested in World Heritage nomination. I'm more interested in the economic future of the communities on the cape.There are a lot of environmentally significant areas. Significant for their cultural values as well as their natural values which are inappropriate for mining yet still available for mining this process will not provide any mechanism to control or pre-strent that mining.A further draft will be released for public consultation later this year. The final plan's not due for another 12 months. The debate about women's roles in the Catholic Church has been reignited by Tasmania's new Archbishop. The Most Reverend Julian Porteous has promised to be a progressive leader but he's already making wave, stating he doesn't want women to be altar servers. Julian Porteous was officially installed as Tasmania's Archbishop in a ceremony full of tradition. (Singing) But breaking with that tradition just hours later, the service was available to watch on YouTube. The new Archbishop says it's a sign of the way he intends to engage his flock.I've been involved in developing a digital radio station and I've recently become a blogging Bishop and so I'm very interested in this whole area of social media.But while the Archbishop is updating the format for the church's mess and he's revealed some traditional views on how mass should be run. Although there were girls serving at the Archbishop's installation, the Most Reverend Porteous has stated a preference for adult servers to be male.When you move into high school, I think it's more appropriate that we have men, young men who are serving on the altar, but certainly, girls at primary school age, it's no problem at paum.Women have been altar servers in Tasmania for at least 15 years and some smaller parishes rely almost entirely on women. Locals are hoping to change the Archbishop's mind.Inevitably we'll find that whoever the new Bishop was going to be is going to be his own ideas. But the new Bishop doesn't know Tasmania and he doesn't know Tasmanians yet.From my perspective there's a number of issues that I think the Catholic Church should be more open to. Tasmania's Anti-Discrimination Commissioner says there's only a narrow range of case wrs the Catholic Church can discriminate against women.It's down to a question of is it consistent with the doctrines of the religion to exclude people on the base of gender? If it's not then the exception wouldn't apply. The Australian Bishops Conference says there's no national policy on altar service, it's a decision for individual Bishops. The coffee chain Starbucks is thinking twice about its attitude towards guns. An initial decision to allow customers to take guns into its outlets has backfired. Now US customers have been kindly asked to leave their weapons at home. It's not the sort of brand you would expect to find in the midst of the gun deb it ate but that's precisely where it is. Gun advocates have taken to holding Starbucks appreciation days, celebrating its policy not to ban firearms from its coffee shops. This is YouTube footage of an appreciation day in Alabama, one of the many States where openly carrying a gun is not illegal.I want to thank Starbucks for their position.It's the growing number of Starbucks appreciation days that's led the company to ask customers to leave their guns at home.We are not pro-gun or anti-gun. But we do believe that guns and weapons should not be part of the Starbucks experience. And customers we spoke to agreed.I think that's good. Yes. Make me feel safe.After what happened at the navy yard, I think, you know, our country has too many ghuns an guns commit crimes.It says a lot about how perverse the gun debate in America has become that two days after 12 people were killed, a mile and a half from the White House, the argument is not over the easy availability of firearms, but the ease of access to a coffee shop. Scientists at the university of South Australia have developed a backpack computer and headset that can test a bionic eye. It's hoped the kit will help to perfect the implant which restores some vision to people who've lost their sight. It looks like something worn by virtual gamers, but its purpose is is much more serious.We're doing a small piece but potentially this is going to change a lot of people's lives. That small piece has involved developing a prototype computer that will help scientists test ideas about what could become the world's first bionic eye. Worn in a backpack, computer is linked to a head mount, which simulates the experience of those implanlded with a bionic eye. It will be handed to scientists at the national information communications technology Australia in Canberra on Friday.By using the backpack system we can try the vision processing al go rhythm s on a range of different people. Testing on fully sighted people has two advantages. Patients don't have to have surgery to implant the eye. And those with normal vision can give better information because they know how the real world looks.So they've set up a maze in Canberra. It - is it easier to walk around with these sorts of cues or these cues? In June a team of Australian industrial design ers an prin tastes unveiled their bionic eye prototype. Three Australians trailing the device have reported seeing flashes of light similar to this. While it's a breakthrough, it's far from perfect of the it's hoped the backpack computer system will provide clues about how it can be improved.Pretty amazing to think you are part of a group that is going to make people be able to see in the future.Another glimmer of hope to those left in the dark. Let's take a look at the national weather now with Vanessa O'Hanlon.Cloud is still lingering over Victoria and Tasmania as a low pressure trough moves away from Tasmania. We still have some heavy rainfalls particularly down nlth south but clearing through the north. Another front is making its way towards Victoria and Tasmania with more showers on the way, particularly for the western areas, and then across the State overnight and in Western Australia, we have another weak front that will cross today and more0 follow on Friday morning and again on Sunday. This high is clearing the skies through central areas. Still have a broad trough over Queensland that's directing very warm winds into there and another trough on the way for the Northern Territory. And over the next few days, we'll see even warmer temperatures throughout Central Australia. Around the country for today:

Very windy conditions around the south eastern parts of South Australia and Victoria. And another band of showers moving across the south western parts of the country. For Perth tomorrow, 20 degrees with showers.

That's the news for now. We'll leave you with pictures from Melbourne of one of the largest crocodiles in captivity. Pinjarra is a 50-year-old, 5m-plus salty who's settling into his start of the art enclosure at Melbourne aquarium. I'm Ros Childs. Enjoy your day.

Captions by CSI Australia