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(generated from captions) Tonight - a

Tonight - a first step to the altar

altar - MPs to canvass voter on

the issue of gay marriage. What

we went out to do when we moved

this motion was to take the

national debate to the next level. And we have achieved

that. This Program is Captioned


Good evening. Welcome to

Lateline. I'm Tony Jones.

Tonight we will bring you part 2 of our

2 of our special interview with

journalist, author and atheist

Christopher Hitchens: Diagnosed

this year with a life threaten

ing cancer, Hitchens last night explained

explained while well meaning Christiance shouldn't waste their time braying preying for

his death bed converse. Despite

his illness h, he refuses to

back away from political

debate. I have always known I was going to die and I've always known it could be in

theory it could be any day. theory it could be any day. All

I know is that it doesn't remove my remove my interest. Why should

you have any intention to

become burn out. He tracks

the events which have led to

his abandonment of left

politics. First our other headlines. Juries verdict - the

first Guantanamo bede tainee to

face a civilian trial face a civilian trial acquitted

on all but more than 18 o

charges . And not guilty - a

Russian extradited on charges

of major arms dealing. The

Europe tonight for the NATO Prime Minister is on

summit on Afghanistan. But she

was given a hostile send-off by the Opposition in Parliament

today. Tony Abbott interrupted

question time to attack Government for not releasing a new business study into the National Broadband Network.

Once again, it was a day on

which private members bills had

their way in the new Parliament

and a motion was passed calling

on MPs to consult voters on

equal treatment of same-sex

equilibriums. As Hayden Cooper reports the issue of the NBN dominated the day. What a completely clueless Prime Minister have.

And won't go, slow go, which

policy is that? Shame on this

weak and divided and weak and divided and cowardly Government. 17th, 18th, 20th 689 Give us the evidence.

It's not interested in the

business case at all. Let the

sun light in. And give us the

evidence. evidence. In the age evidence. In the age of

Aquarius, every Thursday

morning is a policy free for

all as private members have

their moment and the fallout

dominates the rest of the

s to the Opposition. This day. We will leave this shamble

weekend probably next, most attention is on the National Broadband Network. Why is she

business case scared of releasing the

business case which she has had

for some time? The Opposition

lost its bid to force the

Government to send the NBN to

the Productivity Commission. So instead

the new business plan. Because instead it's obsessing about

the Government won't release it

until next month. After

Parliament rises. It is more than 400 pages

than 400 pages long and the

Government, as prudent and

responsible managers are now analysing the case in detail. And it's 400 pages

long! Oh, dear! 400 pages long!

As if this Parliament and its

members are incapable of

reading and digesting a

400-page business study over

the weekend! The business their decision make ing because they

they are already determined to

uproar of private members demolish the NBN. Amid the

business, the Parliament had

its first tied vote since the

election. The result of the

division division is ayes 72,

noes 72. It was on a procedural

matter. The Speaker broke the

dead lock in the government's

favour. I use my casting vote

with the noes. The session's with the

big win went to the Greens. The question is therefore resolved

in the affirmative. By a single vote Adam Bandt

support he needs for his motion

calling on MPs to consult on

the issue of gay marriage. The Australian Parliament has Australian Parliament has just

taken an important step taken an important step towards recognising what you already

know - that is, that love is equal. Bob Katter and the Coalition opposed it. Because

it was a trite motion, Chris. I've been in Parliament for

17.5 years. I speak to my

constituents for a living. Ice

what I do every day. I don't

need a new member fof

Parliament arriving and a few

weeks later trying to get a motion pass to insist that I do

the job I've been doing for 365

days a year for the last 17

years. It's just the start of a

lengthy debate for Government -

one more backbencher has now

spoken out in favour of

change. Names matter inasmuch

as there shouldn't be as there shouldn't be exclusion

ry or discrim that tri. It will continue until continue until the party's national conference, now

next year. The Prime Minister brought forward to the end

is now heading to Portugal for NATO summit on Afghanistan.

Just one more issue on her mind

- Cabinet is also set to

consider giving MPs a pay rise.

As part of a wider salary

overhaul. It could lift a

backbencher's wages by tens of

thousands of dollars. A

difficult issue to negotiate on the Prime Minister's return.

Senior Reserve Bank official

has come out in defence of

deputy Australia's big four banks. The

deputy governor of the Reserve

Bank, Ric Battellino, says

retail banks have good reason

to hike their interest rates

above RBA moves. Mr Battellino

has lent his support to the big

funding banks's arguments that higher

funding costs leave them no

choice. Most measures of the

cost of funds have risen by at

least 1% more than the cash rate in the last few years. And rate in

the banks obviously have to pass those costs on. His comments contradict claims by politicians

politicians from both the major

parties that the rate rises are

un justified. Mr Battellino

also criticised the Greens call

for a 2-year ban on banks raising interest rates beyond

the Reserve Bank's

movements. People feel there

is or there should be a rule

that says banks can't increase

their lending rates more than

the official interest rate set

by the Reserve by the Reserve Bank. The cash

rate. Well, you know, that rule doesn't

doesn't exist. It's never existed. And it would be quite

risky for the stability of the

financial system to have such a

rule. Mr Battellino's comment s

come after sustained attacks on

the banks from all sides of

politics an claims the banks have been profiteering. The

first Guantanamo Bay detainee

to face a civilian trial has

been acquitted on just one of

more than 180 charges against him. Ahmed Ghailani of the bombings of two US embassies

embassies in Africa in 1998.

The jury found him guilty of

one count of conspiracy to

damage or destroy US property.

Ahmed Ghailani is the first

Guantanamo Bay detainee to have

his day in a civilian court.

And following a 4-week trial

his attorney emerged jubilant into the New York night. We

join our client in thanking

join our client in thanking

this courageous jury and Judge Caplan for affording Ahmed Ghailani a fair trial. 224

people died in the twin

bombings of US embassies in

Tanzania and Kenya in 1998.

Ghailani pleaded not guilty

to more than 280 counts of

murder and conspiracy. In the

end, he was convicted on just one charge

one charge - conspiracy to

damage or destroy US property with explosives. This verdict

is a re afiration that this nation's judicial system is the

greatest ever devised. It is truly a system of laws and not men. But the system has cast doubt on future detainee

trials. During this case, the

pre siding judge struck out crucial Government evidence, crucial Government evidence, ruling information was obtained

from Ghailani under duress

while in CIA custody. It could

spell trouble for prosecutors

hoping to try the alleged nine 11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh

Mohammed. In a statement, the US Justice department said it was pleased that Ahmed Ghailani

now faces a minimum of 20 years

sentence for his role in the embassy bombings. Ahmed Ghailani will be sentenced in

Ghailani will be sentenced in

January. There are new moves

in swede groan

founder of the whistle blower group WikiLeaks, Julian

Assange. A Swedish prosecutor has

has asked a Stockholm court to

issue an international arrest warrant for 39-year-old Australian over rape and

molestation allegations. A

warrant was first issued for warrant was first issued for Mr

Assange 's arrest in August but

it was later withdrawn. The prosecutor says interrogate Assange over the

allegations which the whistle

blower says are part of a smear campaign against him. The court

will hold a hearing in a few

hours to decide whether hours to decide whether to order Mr Assange's detention.

Last night we screened the

first part of my interview with

author, journalist, contrarian and atheist Christopher

Hitchens, who was diagnosed

with stage 4 cancer earlier this year: It was an extremely

frank and with a remarkable man summing

up the meaning of his life,

even as he faces death. Tonight's second part

covers different territory -

his public life and public battles. We talk about some of the extraordinary events in

recent history which led

Hitchens to break his long

standing ties with the left h. Here Here is the second part of the

two-part special that was

filmed in Washington last week.

Thanks for joining us

again. Nice to be back. The

first time Er - or still here, whichever it is. Definitely

still here. The first time I

met you face to face was on

September 11, 2002 and as you will

will recall we were sitting on

a building across from that

awful hole in the ground that

once held the twin towers and

at the time I can remember you

describing to us that it describing to us that it took

that event to totally transform

you into an American. Tell us

why. Well, I had by about a quarter oafter centry

in the United States with a green card. Platinum green card. It

card. It was so old card. It was so old it didn't

run out. I had a European Union

passport, I had an American wife and three American children. I thought I could

carry on the rest of my life

being you like an Englishman in

America. But I began to feel they

they was in a sense cheating on my dues a bit. That what was

being attacked in America was

what I liked about it. Many

things that I didn't

been very critical of of

course. Those aspects were in

some people's minds a good

enough excuse for an attack to

be made. But not me. I thought what

what is really being attacked here is the pluralism, the

openness in some ways the head

qulonism if you like, hedonism if you like the idea

of the pursuit of happiness.

All of these thing as well as

my favourite city in all of the

world - New York. If you would

like I took it personally. I am

not ashamed to put it like

that. It was really that form

of initial solidarity plus a

revulsion for the

anti-Americanism that was being

put around so cheaply at the

time. I realised I couldn't bear any argument assumption that the United

States had invited or let alone

deserves this atrocity. And I

also realised that as well as

involving the things that I

like, or love, it also very

much conscripted in one thing

all the things that I hate - theocracy, cult of violence,

anti- Jewish paranoia, worship

of a leader, supreme Sheikh.

All of this hideous imagery which I summarised

I wrote as faishism with an

Islamic face, which has

contract add bit into an

expression I don't like -

Islamic fascism for which I am sometimes placed. But you can't

say faishism with an Islamic

face, so Shortland do occur. So

I decided - Shortland do occur.

So I decided to take citizenship. So let's talk

about September 11, 2001. You

described it very tellingly

soon after as if not on the day

as it being as as it being as if Charles

manceon had been made God -

Manson had been made God for a Manson had been made God for a day. Yes, I remember thinking that as I watched this huge

cloud of filth emerge from the wreckage,

wreckage, as the towers sank up came this billowing cloud of

wreckage and including the

shedded - shredded remains of

about 3,000 of about 3,000 of my fellow

creatures. This is really evil

looking cloud. There was shot

from a helicopter above

Manhattan showing it spreading

on this really beautiful day

all across the southern tip of

my favourite island and I

thought it's as if Charles

Manson is giving orders today, yes. That's how it felt. I

think about it every day still. Take yourself back then

the most horrific images and I think you actually described

this as one of the most

horrific images that still

remains in your head that

have ever seen - that is, the

burning people falling or

jumping in fact from the towers before they collapsed. Yes.

Hesitating between jumping to

their deaths or being burnt

alive and getting both -

jumping while burning. And a terrible little shrill cry that

was overheard on the streets of

Greenwich village by a school

teacher who was trying to

escort some children along the

side walk an side walk an one of them

pointing and saying, look,

teacher, the birds are on fire. The child ish attempt to

rationalise what was going on,

make sense of it or if you like

the wrong word but to humanise

it. That stayed in ed in my

mind as well Still does. One of

the more remarkable things that

happened in the aftermath was the reaction

left and I am sure this rather

helped your - or helped

galvanise the transformation that you were already under going, particularly going, particularly from the reaction from people like Nome

chom ski. Once I start sort sorted out my various immigration praetion ism

pretion of the day whi I had in

common with everyone else which also included the realise

thaetion a friend of mine had

just been flown into the walls

of the Pentagon, I felt with

that additional horror, much as

everyone else did, work through

shock, rage, fear not so much

oddly enough - I didn't feel I oddly enough - I didn't feel I

was frightened by it but I was

very powerful shaken by it -

and then I wasn't sure whether

to trust myself with this but I

have to admit a sense of

exhilaration coming from, OK, it's everything I hate versus everything I love. It's a

summons of a sort. If you don't

recognise this as a crisis,

when would you recognise one

and then and then very soon succeeded by

the realisation I then had been

working for the Nation magazine

as columnist for the flagship

journal of the American left

for upwards of two decades. Immediately realising I wasn't going

going to like what a lot of my

comrades were going to say and

I remember thinking of Michael Moore, Howard zin, they would

find a way of explaining this

away. And that I wasn't in the

mood. For it and I don't just

mean mood for that mean mood for that moment, it

wasn't a temporary sort of

eruption of my digestive

system. I... I... I wasn't prepared to tolerate that. It's interesting because your memoir, particularly

memoir, particularly the last

chapter or not only the last

chapter but all through the

memoir this is a recuring theme. You talk from one identity to another and in fact the last chapter deals with people changing

their minds on big issues. Are

you trying to deal once and for

all with your reasons for

moving away from the left Yes. I suppose I am. But

I am trying to do it in such a

way as not to seem to follow or

indeed to follow at all a

spript that I think everyone

knows in their mind - that is,

roughly speaking, people are

sort of idealistic lefties when they're young and they become

paunchy and compromised and

cynical and they become more conservative. Your friend,

Julian Barnes, the novelist

wrote about you in this wrote about you in this regard - He doesn't say me. Be you

identify it as being you. I

decided to pick a fight on

it. As having made a ritual shuffle from left to right. I

objected to it but only because it was it was phrased so perfectly for that script. Ritual, something someone that you're following a

prearranged schedule and second

shuffle has this sense of the

seenile Winne ing person in a

walking frame following the ary

arrow marked this way to the

right wing. I can't be judge

ing my own cause and I don't

know how I seem on the page but

I think would have a fair

chance of beat ing that cliche

wrap. Not a reactionary I have

never been any kind of conservative. positions that I hold against Islamic theocracy are for

example and especially its

extension by criminal

are dens dwences of the enlightenment enlightenment which is the most

radical conclusion humanity has yet reached and the greatest of this radical achievement. I

won't enumerate them, I assume

you will know what I mean by

that. That these things

probably need to be defended every our call for that. Don't want

to be found wanting. The

reactionaries are those who try

to accommodate themselves, or

try to make excuses for the use

of promiscuous violence or the

proposal for, say, something like the re-establishment of

the Kalla fate. What could be

more Conservative than saying

that not just an empire should

be established, religious one,

but a former empire should be

re-established. I mean,

imperial nostalgia as well imperial nostalgia as well as

imperialism. That gets

ed into the more general view

the real enemy is globalisation

and the United States. It's your experience of report

in sar yaif - sar yaifo under

siege in 1981 that seems to

have transformed your ideas of

using military power,

particularly using American military

military power against the

perpetrators of crimes against

humanity. I decided I had to go

to Bosnia to see if it was

really true that mass murder on

the basis of ethnicity was

being employed as a tactic in

Europe. After the fall of the Berlin wall. Berlin wall. With NATO doing nothing about it. And the

United Nations and the EU

powerless to do a thing. Is this

this really happening? Can we

actually be watching this as

spectator ? I went to sar jaifo

and saw it happened. A kas mow

poll tan city with no defences

being bombed and shelled the clock by militias trying to

carry out what they themselves

call - the propaganda term was

not used against them, it was coined by them. They coined by them. They said they

were cleansing. Was it really

happen ing? And it was really

true that no European country

or international body was doing

anything to arrest it. And I

thought the only power that can possibly stop this is the

United States. In fact, as you

watched mortars hit the great Library - The national library of boz ni gentleman. . Deliberate destruction of the cultural

patry moany of one of Europe's most most yufl cities in broad daylight, unrebuked,

unpinished, I thought and what

- I agreed with most of the

Bosnians wanted to see. They

wanted to see the US appear in

the skies and blow those

militias off the mountain and

get rid of the Milosevic

regime. I should just because it is not in detail, in

the end we did win if argument.

I came back to Washington and I

joined the faction that joined the faction that was arguing for this intervention.

We took a long time We took a long time to persuade

Clinton. I don't say we did it

but we were among those who

tried. Tony Blair was very

instrumental in persuading him

to adopt this policy. Here was

an intervention that stopped

the spread of a terrible war,

put an end to an absolutely

obscene dictatorship and saved the lives of hundreds of

thousand s of people, returned

them to their homes and put the

war criminals in the dock. And

most of the left, not all - because people like myself and

Susan sonting a and David reef

and the group in the English

Labour Party - the majority of

the left were anti-war, so

neutral or in some cases at

least sympathetic to Milosevic's serving socialism. I thought that now to be-Me as become a

reactionary position. And if I

had been anti-war at this

point, I'd want to look back

and ask myself am I so sure of

the rights on of the policy

that would have left Milosevic

in charge of two cleansed and

bombarded provinces and him as

dictator of Serbia, the greater

Serbia? No. But there's some

criticism that is yet to on some of my comrades. There are some extraordinary moments

in your journey. Tell us about

the voice message left by the

old Communist diehard Dorothy

Healy after you volunteered to

testify against Bill Clinton

and his aides, accusing them of

lying when they said they were

not slandering privately and de

faming privately Monica Lewinsky. Slandering and defaming Monica Lewinsky and

several other truth telling

female witnesses I might add. can't do Dorothy's wonderful

old rasping straight street

fighter voice but she was a

veteran Stalinist who could

claim vedit for recruit ing

Angela aif Dave toys the

Communist Party. And she and I

had been friends of a kien. She

thought that to offer to tell

my side of the story to a House

hearing on the im peachment of

the President was my like going to volunteer to hearings. There is someone on

the left a deep belief that

you're a stool pigeon if you're

willing to give evidence. Can

you remember what she said?. I

can't do her rasping street

fight ing voice but it was,

'Hay, there you scab and stooly

an rat Fink. I hope you - I

hope you die. There's no hell too hot for traitors like you.'

It was amazing way. She by then

lost most of her Communist

convictions as who had not by then. But something of the old

real party line spirit wads

still alive in her and she

thought she had identified a rat Fink and it sort of made

her feel all her brave days

were back again. On a serious

note, the Clinton episode had a

searing effect on your

friendship with Sidney bloom en thal. I am could be any chance of a reconciliation? I rather tend

to think not. He consider s

himself to be injured by him

and I can perfectly see his

point of view. When he told me

that Monica Lewinsky was stalking the President, and I

remember thinking even as he

was telling me, how can a

President be stalk ed in his

want to see her he doesn't have

to. But when he told me this,

it hadn't then become a public

issue. As it did in the im

peachment hearing. It then

became a question had the White House used executive power House used executive power to

defame a potential witness. So I

I had been told it before it

was so to speak to toxic but I

thought if I was asked I wasn't

going to say I hadn't been told because I would be suppressions

evidence which I was not prepared to do it. But it did

put Sidney in a bad position

and he is entitled to resent

it. But I think he should

resent the President for put

him in that position and

hiring him for his brains and his political insight, his political insight, prefer

he preferred to use him as a

dirty trickster, as has since

his wife, most of the slandsers

against Obama that were

circulated in the last election

have Sidney's finger print on

them. I am sorry to say. We

wouldn't have much to talk about again. We were talking about

the transformation that you underwent in SaSarajevo, the

use of military power against

despots is necessary. The war

in Iraq was probably the

biggest experiment ever, maybe

the biggest we will ever see in

regime change in nation

building. But it does appear to

have been a failure. It depends

how you quantify it. It's a terrible disappointment and of course disappointment is too

neutral a word because that

suggests no-one is really

responsible for it. There were

some things that couldn't have

been foreseen about Iraq but

there were some that could, there were some that could, for which no all by the American planners.

And that is I describe it in

my book as an impeachable cup

pailt. There were things that

were not done but were done.

Such as the atrocities at Abu

Ghraib for example. Which again one

one would qualify one would qualify as impeachibly culpable. And

damable. But there is the damable. But there is the un

quantifiable which deservice

more attention than it gets.

Our rocky friends have written a Federal constitution,

inscribing rights for national

and religious and ethnic

minorities. Where differences

are to be settled by

parliamentary election, which

have been two, both in the

teeth of appalling odds and intimidation, intimidation, both of them so

very with very disapointing outcomes. There's a Supreme Court, a free press. There's

the idea of one and quite a lot

of the the practice of the the practice of it. Almost every rocky now has a cell phone, they were illegal

until recently. They have a

convertible currency. They have

diplomatic relations with other

countries now which were

impossible under the UN rouls

of the old regime Iraq was was sanctioned out of its

sovereignty because of crimes it had committed. It's still

still of maim and traumatised

country coming out of 3.5

decades of war and fash itch

and the political class is made

up of pig mis. Saddam Hussein

made a sweep of the intellectuals. But intellectuals. But it has a

pulse now. I can't say that I

know that the Iraqi also take

advantage of all the wonderful

enactments they've made but I

still think it's an insquiring

thing to have seen and for the

very small very small part I can claim to have played in advocating it I

would say I was proud. If you

want a policy of US

intervention to bring doubt

despotic regimes to move countries towards democracy to

build nations, you actually

have to prove it will work and

that seems to be the big

problem here. One cannot

imagine any more the United

States committing itself to

this kind of experiment in

regime change. So it's over. You're quite right. That is probably not the lest least

of the casualties of the things. When one says

casualties one muzn't

who have been murdered, most of

them by people who we wrongly

call insurgents. That is to say

the hired international the hired international psycho

paths of al-Qaida in open very

cynical alliance with the riff

RAAF of the previous Baathist

regime who know where the

bodies are bury and know where the weapons are and where everyone lives still and have

been able to do in proportion

to their size fantastic damage

to the Iraqi society, never giving it a minute to try to recover its Beth. But, yes, again again non-quantifiable casualty. Complete collapse of

any will in the United States to have another such confrontation. Great scepticism in the international


community about taking on any

such undertaking and as a

result I feel like I can sense

it. At the moment there's a

real sense of impunity and

confidence and swag er among regimes like those in Burma and Zimbabwe and Sudan, and

Iran. They all act not just as

if you can't touch us, we've

got Chinese backing which of

course is part of the story but

you can't touch us an we know

you won't. That is a terrible

thing. I was fervently hoping

the removal of Saddam Hussein

would be the beginning of an

era of dksisation and the

realisation that the age of

dictatorship is dead, that they're

not so. You obviously watch the

tea party phenomenon closely. Yes. I was intrigued

to see you referring to it as

in a way white America comes to

terms with the fact that it may

or certainly will eventually be

minority in this country. Well,

... I think one of the great

latent cause of anxiety in

American society at the moment

is the el the realisation among

white people 23 that if not going to become a minority

- that is a long way off - but

they will no longer with the

majority. That is rather different. They will be the

largest population but they

won't be the prepond rent one.

- vr There are various forms that this anxiety takes. The

silliest of which is the tea

party and in some ways the nastiest. It's a) serious

question as is the decline of the United States and the

Americans to get used to the idea of being one power among

men, something the tea party

has nothing to say about. They

don't have a foreign policy.

They don't discuss defence or

foreign affairs. They don't

know much about it or

care. They are the incarnation

of the know nothing isolation ist tradition. That shows in

their domestic attitudes. Whatever tone of

voice we're going to have to

come up with to discuss the

ethic balance of the future of

America, and it will have to be

very careful and thoughtful I think and think and well mannered. We

know what terms of voice - tones of voice you can't

discuss it in and that's the

tone of voice these people have dubbed, calling dubbed, calling the President a

secret Muslim or a closet

Kenyan or belief me this is

said and widely disseminated.

The un acknowledged love child

of Malcolm X. Try anything

once. Any old smear will do it

it makes me very angry. I've

seldom seen in my longish life

grown-ups behaving as stupidity as

as - stupidly and immature ly

in the election naz the last

election in this country. Can I

bring you where we started with

your illance nds a how you

think. It's clear from the way

you're talking you're still engaged with the ongoing conflicts in the world around you. Is that necessarily part

of your condition that you

remain engaged with what is

happening in contemporary

politics in the United States

so you don't sort of drift from that and start thinking only about the bigger issues?

Well, - By which I mean life and

and death. Well all the time

I've been doing this I've

always spent a bit of my life

on the political questions and

trying to keep up with them and

trying to influence the outcome

as much as I. Can I've always

known I am going to die and in

theory it could be any day. All

I know is that squared now. It doesn't remove my interest, no. If one wanted to become no. If one wanted to become or

had any tendency to become

cynical or burned out, you are

likely to to do it when you have a comfortable middle age

to look forward to it. I hope

that is a fair answer. We're

really very happy that you are

able to keep your side of the

baringin with us. Very nicely. All I can say is thank you. And until next time. Yes,

absolutely. Many more times.

The head of Ireland's

central bank says he expects

the country will receive a loan

of tense of billions of euros

as part of an EU-IMF pail Balout. Patrick Honohan

admitted the final decision is

one that needs to be made by

the Government but believes

discussions are under way in

Dublin will lead to a rescue

package. The Russian man

accused of being one of the

world's most prolific arms

dealer has pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges in a Manhattan court. Viktor was extradited from Thailand on

Monday. US authorities say he's

fuelled wars an rebelons and

poses a risk to global correspondent Craig McMurtrie

reports. Viktor Bout's arrival

on US soil was the cull

anyonation of a sting operation

that spanned three continents

an a long legal battle in Thailand over his extradition. The so-called

merchant of death is now a

Federal inmate. He faces four conspiracy charges for trying

to sell a massive number weapons to US agents, posing as

members of the Columbian rebel

group fancht More than 700 sair missile, 5,000 AK-47 assault

rifle, anti-personnel

landmines, C 4 explosives and

literally millions of rounds of ammunition. Also, ultra light aeroplanes that could be outfitted with grenade launcher

and missile, unmanned area vehicles with a range of over 200km and two cargo planes delivering the described Armagh

amounts. It was an - armaments.

It was an arsenal that would be

ten mi of some small

countries. They have email,

phone intercepts and the cooperation of an accomplice

who was close to the former

Soviet air force officer. Bout

pleaded not guilty. He has

always maintained he lun runs a legitimate transport business

but the US drug enforcement

agency insist hes is the head

of a multi-billion dollar arms

trafficking empire He had

operations capable of delivering rebels gsh - rebel

ons an slaughter untold

thousand of people. He was an

accessory to vienls on a scale

that is beyond comprehension. He has also been

accused of conspireing to kill

US nationals. Many believe Bout

did not care who his weapons

killed but he did care, based

on recorded information

conversations Bout said he

plefred murdering Americans. When told the arms would be

used to destroy American radar re

re - location and United States was his enemy and

a fight against the United States was also his

fight. Despite fierce protests

from Moscow, Viktor Bout is

being held in a high security

prison in New York and is

scheduled to appear in court

again in January. A quick

look at the weather now:

That's all from us. If you

would like to look backat the inter interview with Christopher visit our website and follow us

on Facebook and Twitter.


Closed Captions by CSI This Program is Captioned


Good evening, and welcome to Lateline Business, Lateline Business, I'm Ticky

Fullerton. Tonight, we talk to the head of Cotton Australia, Adam Kay as the industry

prepares for a bumper harvest

at sky high price s that at sky high price s that will earn billions in export revenues. Also on the program

- a class action against NAB

from angry investors who claim the bank failed to assess its

exposure to US subprime during

the financial crisis. It's as

though NAB only spotted the

walked past the trunk, the

ears, the body and when it

finally reached the tail it

said "Oo, there's something big here". Dymocks considers moving

part of its business offshore

because it says it can't

compete with cheap online

sales. It would make more sense

for us to send books from an overseas location back overseas location back into

Australia and avoid the GST. Is To the market s: The National Australia Bank says it will says it will vigorously defend

the $450 million class action

against it today. 250 big and small share investors claim

they lost money because NAB

failed to disclose its exposure

to America's toxic debt. But

some bank behaviour was

endorsed today. There was

strong support from the RBA's

deputy governor for the retail bank's recent rate the official increase. Here's

Phillip Lasker. George Vlachos

was a small NAB investor who

claims the bank's failure to

properly disclose exposure to America's toxic debt cost him thousands. I thought I was

buying in a top ten company, in

a company that should have been

fairly safe, that you would

expect their disclosure to be

accurate. He's one of about 250 share investors, including

major institutions, who've

launched a class action suite in the Victorian Supreme Court

claiming losses around $450 million. The plaintiffs allege NAB seriously understated its

exposure to the shady world of

America's subprime home loan

market and other risky loans. In May 2008 the market made a

provision of just $181 million in case they incurred losses. That provision was said

to have been made after a

forensic deep dive and was said

to be a conservative

position. Two months later, the

provision was raised to over billion provision was raised to over $1

price plunge of 20%, its

biggest dive since the 1987

crash. Armed with a slide

presentation, the plaintiffs'

lawyers claim the bank could

have acted months earlier given the avalanche of worrying

information from the US. It's property and borrowing

as though NAB only spotted the

elephant in the room having

walked past the trunk, the ears,

ears, the body and when it

finally reached the tail it

said "Oo, there's something big

here". In a statement the National Australia Bank defends to vigorously defend

the claim, but out of pocket

investor George Vlachos is

hoping the case serves a

greater purpose. This will

hopefully set a standard as to

going forward if I'm going to what's deemed acceptable and in

make investment decisions in

any asset class, I need to

assess that on the risk basis

and if this kind of disclosure

is OK I need to allow for

that. The banks did get some

support for their behaviour in

other areas today from the

Reserve Bank. At a Perth

Ric Battelino mounted a strong business

defence of a bank's right to

official cash rate. Most hike interest rates beyond the

measures of the cost of funds

have risen by at least 1% more

than the cash rate in the last

few years. The banks obviously

have to pass those costs

on. The deputy governor took a

shot at the Greens' proposal to fix bank interest rate hikes to

the Reserve Bank's official

cash rate moves for two

years. People feel there is or

there should be a rule that

case banks can't increase their lending rates more than the

official interest rates set by

the Reserve Bank's cash rate.

That rule doesn't exist, has

never existed and it would be

quite risky for the stability of the financial system to have such a rule. If Ric Battelino

's view of the future is any

guide, rates will be going up

again next year one way or

another. MetCash looks like it

will take its bid to buy

Franklin supermarkets to the

Federal Court possibly as early

as next week. ACCC blocked the $250 million

bid. The chairman Graeme Samuel telling this program the

bid would lead to a monopoly in the suppliers

the suppliers of independent supermarkets. supermarkets. Now Woolworths

has piped up saying it's

interested in buying some of

the Franklin stores and

independent grocers aren't

happy. Here's Emily Stewart.

Independent grocers say they're

the losers in the decision to

block MetCash's bid for Franklins. We're disappointed

with the result. We saw this

as an enormous opportunity for

the independent supermarket sector to grow its strength and

health in NSW which has a very

low market share for the

independent sector. , but the

ACCC took a very different view. Franklins had set view. Franklins had set itself

up as a potential new supplier

to independent retailers. If

MetCash had absorbed Franklins

that would have taken us back a

few years to that position of

MetCash being the sole monopoly

wholesaler of packaged goods to

independent retailers. The independent grocers argue

that's not such a bad thing as

they are more concerned that

Woolworths or Coles will buy competition at the retail Franklins,

level. Perhaps the ACCC has a

distorted view of what the real

situation is in regards to the

independent sector. The independent sector has 11%

NSW and here we have a prime

opportunity for them to take on

another 7% to lift the share to

18% and for the likes of IGA

and Foodwork stores to start to

prosper. The ACCC says it will

also scrutinise any attempt by

the big supermarket chains to

buy Franklins and say other

parties have expressed a strong

interest in buying the business. Coles aren't

commenting as to whether

they'll put in

Brisbane today, Woolworths its annual general meeting in