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(generated from captions) colour. Before we go, a brief recap of our stories tonight. Queensland's flood crisis is

continuing, with 2,000 people

in evacuation centres across

the state. Emerald and

Bundaberg are the worst hit and

other towns are facing inundation. Ricky Ponting has

been dealt another Ashes disappointment, ruled out of

the fifth and final Test due to injury. Michael Clarke will

take his place to captain the

Australian side. That's ABC

News. Stay with us for the

'7:30 Report', coming up next.

You can keep up with the latest

news at ABC Online and ABC News Goodnight. Closed Captions by

CSI.

There's the bar right there. They don't qualify for

flood insurance and they're still paying their staff. It's just

just completely soaked right

the way through. We won't until after the floodwaters the full extent of the damage

subside. I don't know when that's going to happen. We

come daily and check on it and see how it's going. There's see

nothing we can do at the moment. It's just a waiting

game to wait and see and once

the water starts to go

the water starts to go down, it

will be a fair bit to clean

up. Bundaberg is one of eight

swamped regions to receive a

disaster declaration. Other

places of acute concern include Emerald, Rockhampton and

western Darling Downs the town

of conned mine has been completely evacuated today.

Further east, massive sheets of

water continue to surround

Chinchilla and Dalby. mining and agricultural centre Chinchilla and Dalby. The

of Emerald is bracing for its

worst floods in the town's

history. 80% of the community

could go underwater. The Red

Cross has set up a shelter for

people whose homes are already underwater. The organisation's Queensland director

certainly saw a lot of water,

but more importantly I see a

lot of people now queueing up,

not only registering, but

really getting beds and that

and there's a lot of activity

in town we didn't see 24 hours

ago. Greg Goebel says the

flooding emergency is the worst

the Red Cross has dealt with in

Queensland and Emerald is

causing immediate

concern. We're planning for

1,000 people, it's certainly

going to going to be a squeeze and it's

confident we've got the

resources to house that number

of people. The issue is really

going to be the unknown issue

of how high the flood's going

to be. Outside of Emerald,

farms and mines are also badly

affected. Michael Roche heads

the resources council. This is

unprecedented in terms of the impact from the northern Bowen

Basin right through to the south,

south, so you'd be hard-pressed

to find a mine in the Bowen

Basin that has not been negatively impacted, as well as

the gas operations in the Surat

Basin. To the east in Rockhampton, emergency workers

are getting in before flooding

expected in the next few days

swamps not only the town, but

the airport, and with hundreds

of roads cut off by flooding

across the State, emergency authorities

authorities are becoming

increasingly concerned about

food supply. They've met food

retailers to find a way to get

groceries into isolated areas. We're talking with them

about opening up different

supply chains to be able to

move food to the north and then

use that as a point of distribution into inland. We might

might have to look at some

creative ways of doing that,

moving product by sea, by

plane. So there's a whole

range of planning that's

currently going on. The total

cost of the damage and lost

floods productivity caused by the

floods across central and

southern Queensland is expected to

dollars, and as evacuations

continue in many places , continue in many places , more

residents returned home in

areas like Dalby today. But Greg Goebel from the Red Cross

really says this is when the heartache

people are really begins. A number of

people are returning home and,

of course, that's when the

second wave really hits them.

They get back and they see

what's happened to their

properties and the clean-up in

front of them and for some

people, particularly the

elderly, it's a really daunting

prospect and requires a lot of help. Annie report, and if you'd like to

make a donation to those

affected by the floods you can contact the Queensland

Premier's flood relief appeal

on 1800 219 028. And we cross

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh. now to Brisbane to the

Anna Bligh, you visited some of the

the areas worst affected by the

flooding, can you give us your

impressions? Ah yes, it's

devastation out there. This is

without doubt a tragedy on an unprecedented scale. Just to

give you some context, we now

are either substantially have 22 towns

flooded or are isolated because

the roads have been cut off to

them. That represents some

200,000 people spanning an area that's bigger than the size of

France and Germany combined, so

the logistical effort to ensure

that they have food, that they

can be accommodated, they can

be kept safe. At the same time

as we have major centres like

Emerald and Rockhampton bracing

now for the worst floods

they've ever seen, means that

we're certainly seeing

a tragedy. How do you think something unfold here in

people are holding up, because

obviously they don't know when

their homes, they're obviously they're going to be back to

very worried about their

businesses, their belongings -

how are they feeling? Well, we

now have 17 evacuation centres

accommodating about 850 people and that could rise by more

than 2,000 tomorrow depending

on what happens in Emerald, so

a lot of people don't yet know

what's happened to their homes

and they're very frightened

about that. A lot

have got back to look down

their street and seen the water

is already lapping at the

rooftops, so they know they're going home to being unimaginable. They've lost

precious family items. Some of

them still, I think, are in a

state of shock and it won't be

as you heard Greg Goebel say,

until maybe a week's time when

they get back and they see the

water's receded and really understand not just what's

happened to them and their family, but their neighbours,

their street, their whole

suburbs. There is a lot of heartache yet to come, but in

Rockhampton for example, we are

bracing for what might be as

I've said, the greatest flood

they've ever experienced. This is a city of some is a city of some 75,000

people, but we were trucked in, this afternoon we trucked 1,000

mattresses into Rockhampton to

the university, where we might be accommodating more than

2,000 people in the next couple

of days. So we've yet to see a

lot of people really are

watching the waters come up don't know if it will be their house that goes next. Still a

lot of unknowns for a lot of people. You're obviously

focusing on the job ahead, but

when you actually got out there and saw what was happening

close-up, were you affected by it? It's

it? It's possible not to be

affected. As you fly over

these towns you can see whole

areas where all you can see is

the roof tops and you know that

underneath those roofs are

precious family memories,

photos, things that can never

be recovered. Talking to many

of the people... you know, this is, it's such a special time of

year. Most people are spending it with their family and their

friends and I spoke to one

woman who was looking at her

house down the street where the

water was lapping the water and

she just said "Two and a half

days ago, Christmas day we were

playing cricket in the

frontyard" , so in just 48

hours, her family's life had

been turned completely

upsidedown. In some places

like Bundaberg they had very

little notice and they've left with pretty much what they were

standing up in. Other places

like Emerald they've had several days to get ready, but

it is still huge upheaval.

People gathering up their

children, their pets, trying to

work out what they can take

with them. And it's not just one town. People might have

otherwise gone to friends in

the neighbouring town, but that

town's affected. So we're really seeing something we

haven't seen before when you

talk about the number of places

all happening at once. It's

stretching our volunteers, it's

stretching our emergency

response, but so far they're

really rising to that challenge

and they're doing

magnificent job. Some key industries have been affected,

obviously enormous

infrastructure, road, bridge

damage. Can you even begin to count the cost in dollar terms? Clearly we've still got

waters rising and it won't be

until they start receding that

we really get a much better

picture, but we know already on picture, but we know already on

just the State roads that we're

aware of there's probably now

about $1.5 billion worth of

damage to bridges on State road systems and some of the road

network. counting national highway,

council roads and other infrastructure such as schools

and sporting clubs and a range of areas where we haven't been able to do any assessment. That, of That, of course, doesn't count

for the private property, major

industries. You've just heard

that restaurant owner as well

as major mining companies, the

agricultural sector. Flying

over Emerald today you can see

just the bare green tops of

orchards that will have lost

everything, and many days before you'll

come down there, so very

unlikely they'll be able to

save any of that crop. So agriculture, tourism,

hospitality, mining - hospitality, mining - very big economic impacts and

particularly in some of those

big industries like mining and agriculture, I think we can

expect to see a reverberation

through the national economy in

the weeks and months ahead. Now

you've set up a special

disaster relief fund, kicked in $1

$1 million, the Federal

Government has matched that.

How will that work, who will

that money be for? Of course, people in all are eligible for State and Federal Government assistance

and depending on means testing

and their circumstances and

whether they're insured,

they'll be eligible for

different levels of assistance and, of course, Federal and

State governments will be investing billions in the

rebuilding effort. The relief

appeal is really a way for the

community to dig deep and help their fellow Australians. That

will be administered by the Red

Cross. They've got great experience and they've

administered these appeals for

us in the past. It's the Red

Cross who know the families on

the ground that are really the ones doing it tough and they

administer it on behalf of the

Government, so you can be very

certain that the money you

donate will go to the people

most in need and the Red Cross

will see to that. We've seen

big donations. Xtrata coals

have donated $1 million as have

Coles, Coles in Emerald is

flooded, but they've put in $1

million. It's close to $5

million in less than 24 hours.

I thank everybody that's been part of that so far. It's the difference between what

Government can do and what the

community can add to that to

make a house back into a

home. As you say Premier, this disaster is far from over, thank you very much for

speaking to us in the middle of

it all. Thank you very

much. With summer holidays

here, Australians are flocking

to beaches and pools across the

country, but according to a new

report some younger generations

could run into trouble. It's found that up to 100,000

primary school-aged children

can't swim. Those from background of swimming are most

at risk. Now there are calls

to include learn to swim

lessons in the new national

curriculum, but educators say

they can't fit it in. Sarah

Dingle reports. For more than

40 years, former national swim coach Laurie Lawrence has been

on a one-man crusade.

SONG: # Teach your kids to

swim it's great #

He believes it's never too

early to start in the

should be teaching them as

little babies. My

granddaughter is 18 months. I have

have so much fun with her in

the water and she's nearly at the the stage where she's capable

of saving herself if she falls

into a swimming pool. But he

says today the danger is as

great as ever. When we get

those preppies down, those

first kids down to have

swimming lessons, if I was to

line them up and try to swim

them across the deep end, then

I'd say that 70, 80 , 90% of those kids would wouldn't make it across the

pool. Now a new report by the

Royal Lifesaving Society has

echoed his concerns. A large

number of our primary number of our primary school

children will leave primary

school without the ability to

swim a mere 50 metres or should

they fall into the water, to

keep themselves afloat for even

as long as 5 minutes. Just over

24 hours over Salm an went

missing, police divers made the

grim discovery. Last year children aged under 15 drowned.

None of those deaths occurred

at the beach. Instead, the

young victims perished at

creeks or backyard swimming pools.

pools. Rob Bradley says

nationwide problem, but not all

children are equally at

risk. Royal Lifesaving is very concerned that we have large

sections of our population

receiving no water safety

education at all, and these include children from Indigenous backgrounds, from some multicultural children from multicultural backgrounds may stay away from

the water for religious or cultural reasons, but Laurie Lawrence says that's no

barrier. We live in a very

highly Muslim populated area

plus a very high Chinese

community around us. Initially

when these kids come in, it's

foreign culture and so they're

a little bit timid, so what we

try to do is we try to take

them into shallow water. them into shallow water. It's

very important that they are in

control, and if they're in control and pool regularly, they will start

to learn to save

to learn to save themselves. The Royal

Lifesaving Society says primary

schools should be leading the

charge and it wants learning to

swim lessons to be part of the national curriculum. We've seen

a big drop-off in education programs through the school sector and, in

sector and, in fact, within the

ACT, a recent survey showed

that of 24 schools, 9 had

dropped their swimming and

water safety program completely

during the last 18 months. But

the national body for primary

schools says if people want

them to spend extra time

teaching children how to swim,

they should say which lessons

they want dropped. We're

trying to cram in a lot into

the school day and to

effectively teach students to

swim would mean quite a few

extra weeks out of the school

and we just don't have the time. South Australian Primary

schools Association President of children who don't know how

to swim is concerning, but

teaching them is

expensive. Most of our schools

bus their students to swimming lessons and lessons and the cost of buses

are high, so the cost to

parents for a week of swimming

is already high. Like many other migrant

other migrant children Kenneth

To comes from a family of

non-swimmers. After moving to Australia from Hong Kong, his parents lessons at the local pool and

made swimming a priority

throughout his

childhood. 'Cause I used to be

scared in the water and I used

to feel cold and

I didn't really think was for

me at the beginning, but once I

got into it, it became a sport.

I loved the feel of the water.

I still think yeah for the

little kids, they need to learn

the swimming for the safety,

for their whole life. Now he's

a champion. Last year,

overturning a 10-year

Australian record set by a teenage Ian teenage Ian Thorpe, and this month representing Australia at

the world short course titles

in Dubai. I'm really grateful

for my parents, firstly

bringing me here like was 5 years old just learning

to swim. It's not only like a

survival tool, but it's been pretty

pretty much like a rock in my

whole life. Kids should learn

to survive, and learn to be

able to play happily in deep

water under strict adult supervision, of course. That

report from Sarah Dingle. The

United States has one of the highest incarceration rates in

the western world and California has the highest rate

of any of the States. After

decades of responding to

community concerns about rising

crime, with tough law and order

policies, and the introduction

of a controversial law that

puts offenders behind bars for

life for a third conviction,

the prison system has reached breaking point and cash-starved

California is spending more on education. But efforts by the

Government to ease the pressure

by processing some offenders

categorised as non-violent for

early release is facing a legal challenge. North America correspondent Michael

Brissenden has this report from

inside one of the most infamous

prisons of all - San Quentin. (Acoustic guitar plays) SONG: # San Quentin you've

been living hell to me #

San Quentin, perhaps the most

San Quentin, perhaps the most

famous prison in the United

States, it's been immortalised

in books, film and song, and

none of it has been good.

SONG: # San Quentin, I hate every inch of you

# You cut me and you scarred me

through and through... #

Back in 1969, Johnny Cash

played a celebrated concert played a celebrated concert here, part of a defiant tour of

California's jails. 41 years later, the Californian

authorities have allowed us a

rare glimpse of a prison system

in crisis. California's

prisons were pretty bad back in

the days when Johnny Cash was

playing here, but they were

nothing like they are now. In

fact, overcrowding has created

such a problem that in many of

these cells, designed for one

or two people, there are now

twice as many inmates and many

of the prisons here are literally bursting at seems. In California's jails,

life generally means just that.

Over the past 10 years or so,

the inmates might not have

known much about the political

pressures motivating State

policies, but have felt the

consequences first-hand. It's

going to eat us up, you've got

10 people on here and a shelf

on top. I've got to sleep up

on the shelf, around without bumping into the

shelf. It's lucky that I'm not

insane. These are very

dangerous places to live in and

work. Rehabilitation programs are virtually non-existent.

It's fairly typical in a

Californian prison to have

hundreds of inmates in triple

bunks in what used to be

gymnasiums or cafeterias. It's

a horrendous situation.

California has prisons that

you'd expect to see in the

third world. In California had 15 prisons and

just under 30,000 prisoners.

Today, there are 35 prisons,

but there are now 170,000 inside. inside. It's a population explosion fuelled by a

succession of government tough

on crime measures and citizen initiated referenda like the stree

stree strikes and you're out rule which has pushed California's incarceration

rates to the highest in the

United States. We created this

situation of more people being packed

longer periods, but a public

unwilling to invest any money in that enterprise of

incarceration. There's no

magic cure here, though, California has dug itself into

such a deep hole that it won't,

it's not easy to get out of

it. Each prisoner costs the

State about $50,000 a year.

Last year for the first time,

California spent more on

prisons than it did on higher

education - a situation even the governor says is

it say about our State that we

pay more money towards the

prisons than our great students that we have that we have in our future? I mean, it's terrible. But even

the man they call the GMTV

oninator has been rendered oninator has been rendered imp

tent by a system that allows individuals to propose

constitutional amendments. A

devolution of the process

that's given vocal and

well-organised advocacy groups considerable power. Nina

Solarno-Ashford started the

Crime Victims United group here

after her sister was murdered

in 1979. in 1979. The group forefront

for the three strikes and

you're out initiative. Last

month she filed a law suit

seeking to block the Government's plans by giving

early release to some prisoners

who fit the non-violent

category. We're going to be

releasing child molesters, domestic violence, people who have prostituted

lot of the pornography fellons

- those are the type of people

coming out. Elder abuse,

physical child abuse, those are technically non-violent California. California's

non-violent category is

huge. And the violence inside

the prisons has become a real

problem. As the old film clips

show, the prison population

back in the '60s was mostly

white. Not anymore. The

largest prison system in the

country is here, country is here, 170,000, 60%

of those come from LA city and,

of course, a good number are Mexico, African Americans, I think close to

prison population is people who

are coloured. Today the prisons

are ruled by racial-based

gangs. Gang wars regularly

erupt and on average, two inmates a week are killed in

gang-related violence. Inside, gang membership is often the

only way to survive, but it's

also a reflection of the

destructive gang culture on the

outside that blights many of the poorer districts of the big

cities. It probably has more

gangs per capita... Writer and activist Luis Rodriguez is a former member of one of the much-feared gangs that roam

east LA. By the time he was

18, he'd lost 25 friends to

gang violence and drug

addiction. By then, he was a

heroin addict serving a 6-year

sentence. Gang life is a world

defined by drugs, violence and prison system and Luis

Rodriguez says for young blacks

and Latinos, it's difficult to

stay above the fray. They have a whole neighbourhood arrested

and again, anybody that looks

like a gang member, meets with

a gang member, does anything

that might be construed to be criminally-minded they arrest

you. Torn by demands for a

tougher approach on crime and a

billion in budget that this year is $20

billion in the red, the prison

system is just one reflection

that's affecting almost of a deep political malaise of a

everything in California.

Apart from spending more money

the State doesn't have, no-one

seems to know how to fix it.

SONG: # Do you think you'll be

different when you're through # It would be inconceivable to

imagine that a famous artist

could go into the

know where they would do it, or

how they would do it. Anyone who says answer is kidding you, because

it's taken 30 years to create this mess.

SONG: # San Quentin, I hate

every inch of you # Michael Brissenden reporting

there from California, and

that's the program for tonight.

tomorrow, but for now, We'll be back at the same time

goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI

(Theme music) and it is a pleasure to be here. My name's Adam Spencer And it's always a pleasure by Australia's guru of geekdom, to be joined give it up for Dr Karl Kruszelnicki. I'm not worthy. Hello, Adam. Ah. I'm not worthy. Hello, Adam. much more than just a pretty face. Of course, Karl, you are so Yeah, yeah. You're also an endurance athlete. Look, actually, in 2005, I signed 1,200 books in 14 hours. Right! AUDIENCE: Woo! No disrespect, when I think endurance sports, I don't exactly think book signing. OK, for that marathon effort, the rules said that I had to stay in my book-signing seat without leaving it for the first eight hours both my pelvic floor muscles and so I trained for 12 hours, mate. and my bladder so I could stay there Forget the 8 - 12 big ones. certainly know how to hold on. Very, very athletic and these guys This is the Iditarod, through the harsh arctic snow. the legendary sled race an unfair disadvantage Now, for years, women suffered to strip down because of how long it took them until the invention of this. to answer the call of nature What? What is that thing? that allows women It's an amazing invention with their pants still on. to urinate standing up and discrimination It reverses years of inconvenience in one smooth plastic tube. It's called a WhizBiz. Aw! Man, I get 400 emails a day. about my new best friends in Nigeria The majority are spam and watches and Viagra. about this wondrous device. Not one email have I ever received in the gym. It would have saved me hours more to this than meets the eye, Ladies and gentleman, there is much so get comfortable, cross your legs if you have to, because tonight, the Sleek Geeks put the 'U' into 'urea' as we explore the science of weeing. a simple drink of water. Now, it all starts with this - Yeah, no trouble, Karl. Adam, if you will. Why am I upside down? called peristalsis. To illustrate this wonderful thing drinking the water Now, you have been and it is heading uphill, your beautiful oesophagus. uphill through Mmm, that's a nice oesophagus. Thank you. That's good. I have been working out, Karl. It's going into the stomach And then into the stomach. these red blood vessels over here. and then it's going into of peristalsis is so strong So the force it will work its way to my stomach? that even if I'm upside down, but the force of peristalsis It's funny you should say that, but let me illustrate it here. is an amazing thing, of coordinated squeezings So peristalsis is sort of a series and relaxations of the tube and relaxations and squeezings as we speak, in your oesophagus. and this is working right now, This is just working beautifully. OK, good. in your ureter as well, It's also working, Adam, because your ureter is actually pushing half a mill per minute up each ureter uphill, uphill into your bladder. And, in fact, you know with a cow... Karl. Karl. Karl! ..when they're chewing their cud... I think you've told them enough.