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ABC Midday Report -

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(generated from captions) Today, the asylum seeker debate and another boat tragedy expected to dominate the PM's first overseas trip.

This Program is Captioned Live.

A breach of international law - new evidence emerges of Reserve Bank dealings with Saddam Hussein's regime.Peace talks at risk following another terror attack in Pakistan.And the battle of the silver tails - Grand Final fever hits Sydney.

Tony Abbott is on his way to the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, for his first overseas trip as PM. Mr Abbott has taken his foreign and trade ministers together with 20 business leaders for an evening of talks with the Indonesian Government. The top-the-boats policy is likely to be the sharpest point of difference between the Indonesian PM and - between the PM and Indonesian PresidentI am very pleased to be going to Indonesia. We will be covering a range of matters because this is an important relationship and it's important to get it right at the start of this new government.Mr Abbott will head to the presidential palace is Jakarta for talks and an official dinner this evening. Indonesia correspondent George Roberts says the PM is facing a difficult diplomatic challenge. He has been speaking to asylum seekers considering making the trip by boat to Australia.It's less than three days since bodies started washing up on the South Java coast N the first asylum seeker boat sinking of Tony Abbott's prime ministership.It puts pressure on his government to deliver on its promise to stop people trying to get to Australia by boat.But in the hills around Puncak south of Jakarta, there are still many asylum seekers considering taking the dangerous voyage. They say they have been watching the election campaign in Australia to see if their luck will improve, but they say the only thing that will stop them from getting on a boat is if the new government improves their chances of getting resettled through the United Nations process.
TRANSLATION: If the Government of Australia doesn't help us, I have to go by boat. TRANSLATION: When their case isn't processed and they're waiting a long time, they have to go by boat.When Mr Abbott arrives in Jakarta today, he faces stiff political opposition to his proposals for stopping asylum seeker boats. The ABC understand the departments of the Indonesian government had advised the President to take a hard line against Mr Abbott's policies. It's understood that he has even been told that Indonesia should respond by helping asylum seekers get to Australia.Yes, that is true. Some of the advice that the President is getting is that we should facilitate these boat people because, again, this is not our problem, this is not only Indonesian problem, and we are also the victims.Across the political spectrum here in Indonesia, there is a view that Mr Abbott's first diplomatic mistake was never discussing his policies with Indonesia before announcing them.Joining me now is the Lowy Institute's Indonesia expert, Dr David McRae. Can you tell me firstly, Tony Abbott is making his first visit there as PM. What does he need to do to repair the relationship and the ill-feeling that exists between these countries on the asylum seeker issue?I think basically neither country wants a sustained row over asylum seekers over this toe-back policy, so I think the challenge for the PM is to find a way to move away from the tow-back policy, something that the Indonesians objected to when Mr Abbott was in Opposition, that would ee effect Tivoli mean the tow-backs could never happen.We just heard in George Roberts' story that some asylum seekers are urging the Government to help. What'ses feeling on thisIn general, asylum seekers simply doesn't receive press attention in Indonesia at anywhere near the level it does in Australia until people are responding to things that Australian leaders have said or done, and what push ing ahead with the tow-back policy has done is given an opportunity for comment tighters to come out and criticise the Government constraining the space for cooperation, because there has been cooperation between Australia and Indonesia for years. I think you would notice if it wasn't happening, although it clearly hasn't been reaching the outcomes it wants.Tony Abbott is particularly keen to focus on other issues of course. What can both sides discuss and what can be achieved?Australia and Indonesia are both G20 and members, so there is a lot of potential on how you can lift ties on the economy. The PM is taking a business delegation over. The other thing that Indonesia has flagged is possibly discussing cooperation in multilateral forums, things like the G20 sum met or summit in the future to see whether there can be common interests there.David McRae , thank you. Australia's Central Bank is facing the biggest scandal in its history with discovery of evidence linking it to Saddam Hussein. An investigation by the ABC's 'Four Corners' program and Fairfax newspapers has found the Reserve Bank's Note Printing company tried to get Hussain to sign a lucrative deal while Iraq was under sanctions. Tonight's 'Four Corners' program exposes millions of dollars in bribes offered in ex-change for contracts with the RBA Ben Worsley reports.Australia's all-powerful Central Bank and Iraq's brutal dictator - the evidence connecting the two is explosive.This is the worst corruption scandal in our history.In 1998, two officials from the Reserve Bank's Note Printing company went to Iraq to discuss the sale of the RBA's plastic bank note technology.People met Mr Mr Ar

The plan was uncovered by Australian diplomats and called off., but the initial negotiations occurred while Iraq was under UN sanctions.I think there is a very strong prima facie case of a violation of international law.'Four Corners' has spoken to two whistleblowers from inside companies owned by the Reserve Bank. And they point to corruption far beyond Iraq.It makes me, you know, disappointed again in some of the authorities that are entrusted with enforcing the laws of this country.The RBA was looking to sell its polymer bank note as cross the world methods
and it was employing dubious methods and people to help. In Malaysia, for instance, millions of dollars was paid to Abdul Kayum, an arms dealer.It seemed unduly generous that. Grabbed my attention right from the start. The fear was that the money wasn't just staying with the agent, that it was being dispersed. Pretty much in that first week we were told that's how business is done, that there's bribes and commissions paid to overseas officials to get these deals done.When the scandal became public, the AFP handed responsibility for investigating to ASIC, the corporate watchdog. It decided not to pursue the matter.In Pakistan, more than 30 people have been killed and 70 injured in a bomb attack in the city of Peshawar. Two blasts ripped through a busy market, setting shops and vehicles alight. It is the third deadly bombing in Peshawar in a week.The historic storytellers' bazaar in the city of Peshawar, burning and bleeding.In mid-morning in the busy marketplace, police say a vehicle packed with over 200kg of explosives was detonated."I was here when suddenly there was a blast," says this man. " Black smoke spread all over and nothing was vice Il. Then I saw people lying on the road. There was no-one to pick them up." The anguish here is just a few hundred metres from where suicide bombers killed over 80 people in a church exactly a week ago. SIREN WAILS .Peshawar's main hospital is once again overflowing with scores of injured. It's seen around 140 dead following attacks in the last week alone. All this just after PM Sharif said the government wanted to talk to the militants, a move backed by other prominent leaders like imam - Imran Khan.But while the militants said they wanted to talk peace, too, the killing continued. This video purportedly shows the moment earlier this month an army Jeep was blown up. So should talks still go ahead? There are those in Parliament who believe the only way to end the bloodshed is to negotiate with the militants. With every attack there are an increasing number of Pakistanis who feel there is simply nothing to discuss with those capable of such barbaric acts.An attack by suspected Islamist militants on a college in north eastern Nigeria has killed at least 40 students. A military spokesman says the latest massacre was carried out by terror group, Boko Haram, who opened fire on sleeping students in a college dormitory. The region is under a state of emergency amid a military campaign against the insurgency. The group is fiercely opposed to Western education and has attacked a number of schools. In Kenya, a radical Islamic cleric who has been described by the UN as a leading recruiter for al-Shabaab says the attack at the Westgate Shopping Centre in Nairobi was the right thing to do. The BBC has been investigating on how young Muslims join the militanted based in Somalia.He says he is in fear of being assassinated yet he is not in hiding. Ahmed is described by the UN as a leading recruiter of young Muslims for al-Shabaab.Before last week's attack on the West feat Shopping Centre in Nairobi, I met him openly in Mombasa in eastern Kenya and travelled with him to a mosque. He made no apology for his views and said al-Shabaab is justified in using violence.They have every right to invade, to stop an invasion into their own country. They have every right to govern their country the way they see fit. GUNFIRE.Last week's siege of the Westgate Shopping Centre thrust the spotlight on the Somali Islamist group, al-Shabaab. Since then, Makabouri says the attack was justifieded.It is allowed in Islam. We cannot just sit and cry. We have to react.Kenyan authorities say they are aware of his role in radical eyesising young Muslims but cannot charge him.He is the main link through which young people in Kenya and in Mombasa have been radicalised v been brain washed into joining al-Shabaab. However, you cannot convert that into a way that can be prosecuted in a court of law.'Panorama' has spent two weeks following a trail up the eastern coast of Kenya to Somalia, investigating the recruitment network of young Muslims going to fight jihad. We discovered how would-be jihadists are radicalised by preachers such as Makaburi. I met one young Kenya who asked us to protect his identity. He says he was forced to watch the beheading of one recruit who tried to escape from the training camp. TRANSLATION: His tanned hands were tied, they made him kneel down and they made him kneel down and he was cut in front of me. He was screaming like an animal.Ali is one of the lucky ones. He managed to escape. But the authorities say without radical clerics like Makaburi, the pipeline of young Muslims being recruited to al-Shabaab will carry on.The US Government is on the brink of a deadlock. If law-makers can't strike a deal on funding, hundreds of thousands of government worker also be laid off indefinitely. Ben Knight reports.With the clock ticking to a shutdown of the US Government, the Capitol Building lay empty. Instead, the key players took to the Sunday TV talk shows.Leader Harry Reid has essentially told the House of Representatives and American people, "Go jump in the lake." Ted Cruz is the flag bearer of the Republican's big political gamble. Democrats say the debate over Obama care ended three years ago when it was signed into law.No-one gets to hurt our economy and millions of innocent people, just because there are a couple of laws that you do not like . It has not been done in the past. We're not going to start do "it" now.On Saturday night, Republicans backed down a little.Let's postpone it for a year. That's what this vote is all about. Will you accept the compromise? If this government shuts down, it's because you have not accepted the compromise that Republicans have reached out to you and offered.Obama care is not wildly popular in the US, but it's not wildly unpopular either, so shutting down the government is risky for Republicans. The last time they did it was in 1996 and that was a political disaster and helped then President Bill Clinton win a second term. Even Rupert Murdoch has weighed in on Twitter, asking if Republicans are self-destructiving, just when Barack Obama is at his waek. Weakest.On Sunday, Bill Clinton had some advice for the current President - don't give in.There is nothing to negotiate with. He shouldn't delay the health care bill.But there Vo another for more serious battle looming. If there is another deadlock over the debt ceiling, the US could for the first time ever default on its debt obling gations. The consequences of that is something no-one wants to contemplate.Italy is once again plunged into political turmoil with politicians scrambling to form an effective government. The country's ruling coalition was torn apart after Silvio Berlusconi ordered his party's five minute ministers to resign. Europe correspondent Mary Gearin reports.Italians have once again woken to a country in political disarray.Italy is in the middle of a fog without a helmsman, not knowing which direction they're going. The fragile, 5-month-old ruling coalition is unworkable, after Mr Berlusconi withdrew five ministers who belong to his centre right party. The controversial former prime minister says it was all about a planned sales tax increase which he says betrays pacts made by the government.Mr Berlusconi has denied accusations that the move is to protect his own personal interests. This week he faces expulsion from the Senate because of his recent tax fraud conviction.Italy's President says fresh election also be a last resort. TRANSLATION: The President of the Republic dissolves the Parliament only if there is no chance of finding a majority and a new government is in the interests of the country.Even if PM Enrico Letta can form another coalition, one analyst says it's doubtful he would have a strong enough mandate to push through vital budget ri and electoral reforms.If he can't do that, then there is the possibility of new elections, there might be a possibility of a minority government, but there are no precedents for this sort of problem.And that makes both Italians and world market s wary.A number of Australian tourists had to jump into the River Thames when their amphibious tour boat caught fire in London. 28 passengers and two crew were on board the yellow duck when it caught fire near the houses of parliament. The play started in the engine compartment. Of when it took hold, many people jumped into the water and were rescued by other boats.It was a bit scary because there was a lot of smoke inhalation and we jumped into the river and I lost my bag and passport and everything to get home to Australia.Young children were among those rescued. Some people were in the water for up to 10 minutes. Three were treated in hospital for minor injuries and several people for smoke inhalation xgt

Taking a check of the markets witha Elysse Morgan.-the-markets are struggling today?They certainly are, Nicole, really as a result of the looming US Government shutdown that's happening. The All Ordinaries down around 1.25% at the moment. The ASX200 is matching that fall, off by 67 points. Despite that, know, the ASX is still likely to achieve its biggest quarterly gain since 2009 at the close tonight. Taking a look at the movers today, all sectors are heading lower. Mate juror lenders of each lost at least 1%. The steepest falls are among energy stocks as oil prices ease and the major energy stocks are struggling. Taking a look across the region:

On Friday in the US, the markets ended there lower, the Dow dropping half a percent. That capped the first weekly decline in a month. Taking a look at the Aussie dollar:

Some of Tasmania's biggest agricultural industries are at odds over the State's ban on genetically modified crops. Both the poppy and dairy industries are worried the more tore youm could put them at a commercial disadvantage, but other producers fear that any change could destroy the State's clean, green image.Tasmania is the world's biggest producer of legal, non-genetically modified poppies fors market but the State's industry says GMOs are needed to keep it on top.GM techniqueses could potentially lead to higher alkaloid levels which would increase our capacity to compete with other companies.The threat isn't just from international competitors. Other states are desperate to grow poppies and some are already able to plant modify pd crops.That puts Tasmania on the back foot.The State Government is reviewing the ban. It's taking submissions from stakeholders including the dairy industry. National dairy research is looking at how genetic modification can improve drought and disease resistance in dry grassWe need to protect the flexibility into the future so when the opportunities come through, there is an opportunity for them to be taken up here in marketing
Tasmania.States can ban it on marketing grounds. It's Tasmania's clean, green branding that supporters of the ban are worried about.We need to aim for the top end of the market. We need to aim for the premium supermarkets throughout Asia, and to do that, we need to give them something to sell.Beekeepers fear their lucrative international markets will be lost.That would be terrible for us because we won't be able to get the prepare youm price. In fact, we won't even be able to sell honey in the EU anymore.The Farmers and Graziers Association is still consulting its members.We can't sit back and assume that romanticly we could be living in some kind of agrarian rule bliss if we don't take on the techniques that the rest of the world is embracing.Submissions will close in a couple of weeks but it will be more than a year before any new GMO rules are introduced.A Victorian parliamentary inquiry into the drug ice is examining links to outlaw motorcycle gangs. It's also looking at the broader supply chain and the prevalence of methamphetamine in regional areas. Reporter Frances Bell is following the story. Frances, what evidence has been heard so far?Nicole, this morning we've been hearing from three different drug and alcohol treatment agencies. These are the professionals who help those people who have an addiction to ice. The inquiry was told that there is an estimated 23,000 Victorians who are using ice, but because of underreporting, that number could be much higher. The inquiry was told that the problem of methamphetamine use in Victoria has increased significantly over the past two years, and ambulance attendances to methamphetamine-related problems have also spiked, although alcohol is still considered to be the most harmful drug when it comes to ambulance attendances. One agency told the inquiry that 5 years ago, 5% of the people that agency was treating had ice as their primary drug of abuse. That figure has increased from 5% 5 years ago to 14% now. One of the biggests raised at the inquiry is that there is no evidence-based treatment for treating people with methamphetamine problems. The inquiry heard that for heroin withdrawals, that can take 7 days, but for megt fet and ice, it can take up to six weeks, so significant challenges throughout the law enforcement and health community in dealing with this particular problem.Just briefly, how long is the inquiry expected to take?Nicole, there is a full day of hearings today and other hearings throughout metropolitan Melbourne and also regional Victoria over the next few months. The committee is due to report to Parliament in August next year.Frances Bell in Melbourne, thank you.Scientists say they've moved a step closer to finding a cure for multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease affecting 23,000 Australians. An international team looked at the DNA of 80,000 people and uncovered numerous genes linked to MS. The study is published in the medical journal 'Nature Genetics' and was led by Professor David Booth from the University of Sydney.The discovery is important for people with MS because we know for a long time that there is a genetic component to the disease and in 2011, 57 genes were identified in a very big landmark study. This study now doubles that number, so if you think of it like a jigsaw buzzle, we have a whole lot more pieces to the puzzle, have a much better chance of seeing the picture and we're expecting more intri-Cal dae tail in how the immune system is affected from these list of genes.Many of the yooens are also linked to other diseases like Crohn's and coeliac disease. How does that happen researchers?Well, autoimmune disease as effect a 5% of the population and they have a common factor, in that instead of detects pathogens, instead detects its own tissue against immunity, so mounts a response against its own tissues and the reason it does that is it's Mott properly mod due lated. What we're expecting to find out is how to better modulate it so it doesn't make that mistake.Sos the identification of these risk factors means you can point point who is likely to get this disthat's?Probably not because the variants we are talking about are prominent in everyone and none are strong enough to cause MS, just' effect the processes of MS and it is interaction with other things, environmental factors, which are important in the final process of MS. Diagnosticly, no, we can't use these, but in terms of understanding why people get MS, yes, that's all we can do with these genes.Professor David Booth, thank you.My pleasure.Now for a wrap of all the weekend's footy action, here is Craig Norenbergs. The Hawks are reveling in their premiership glory?Yes, they loved it. I walked past the MCG at about 9 o'clock at night on Saturday night, they were going, the music was still blaring and it was well deserved too. They had the rub on fleeio pretty much from the start. Going into game, people were talking about Fremantle's defence. Based on one quarter against Sydney. Fresh in their mind, I guess, but you have to play four quarters in a Grand Final and score goals. The Hawks just went through the motion and do what they do best. That was the difference. Hawthorn won the possession, clearances and tackle Cowt and importantly they kicked goals. Fremantle looked nervous and spread their chances everywhere. Graham Lake, won the Norm Smith Medal. 22 disposals, 10 marks. 11 premierships for the Hawks. I have to pay a bit of a tribute to Perth fans who travelled to Melbourne. There was a sea of purple. Some had to flight from Sydney to Perth, a long way. They did a fantastic job. I hope they're back next year.This week it's all about the NRL Grand Final?Yes, the Roosters taking on the Sea Eagles, and the night nights were real ly a team living on a dream until they met the Roosters. I will whiz through what's coming up this week while we look at the highlights. The community awards are on in Sydney tonight, which celebrates the little people who make the games happen. On Tuesday night the Dali M Awards. Grand Final Fan Day is on Friday, and then the big one, Grand Final, Sunday 7:15 eastern time, the Sea Eagles take on the Roosters - should be a beauty.Craig Norenbergs, thank youThank you.Time for a look at the weather with Vietnam.A very windy 24

WithWith Vanessa O'Hanlon.At the start, a very strong north, north-westerly wind as head of a trough, followed by a cold front moving through SA, and making its way through Victoria, NSW and across ta tonight and into tomorrow. We're expecting those winds to move into a cooler south westerly direction and they will be gusty as well. Tomorrow we are expecting the front and trough to move further into NSW and Queensland. Also temperatures rising throughout Queensland tomorrow, but in the meantime:

Tomorrow, we will continue to see that frontal system shift over the eastern states. Later on tomorrow afternoon, we'll see storms moving into Brisbane and over the south-eastern parts of the country - much needed rain there, but also accompanied by thunderstorms. Around the country for tomorrow:

And that's the news for now. Our next full bulletin on ABC1 is at 5:30. And don't forget there is news whenever you want it on ABC News 24 online at abc.net.au/news. We will leave you now with pictures from the lighting of the 2014 Sochi Olympic Torch. I'm Nicole Chettle. Have a great day.


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