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Boat arrival fuels Opposition attack on Government

Boat arrival fuels Opposition attack on Government

Broadcast: 09/09/2011

Reporter: Philippa McDonald

The Opposition claims the discovery north of Christmas Island of a boat carrying 72 asylum seekers
is evidence the Government's policy vacuum is encouraging people smugglers.


ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: The Opposition says the first arrival of asylum seekers off Christmas Island
tonight is evidence that the Government's policy vacuum is encouraging people smugglers.

A boat carrying 72 passengers and two crew has been located north of Christmas Island.

It's the first boat since last week's High Court decision.

Philippa McDonald reports.

PHILIPPA MCDONALD, REPORTER: A maritime patrol aircraft initially detected the boat, which has now
been intercepted by HMAS Wollongong north of Christmas Island.

Customs say 74 people are on board, including two crew members, and they'll initially be taken to
Christmas Island.

SCOTT MORRISON: This Government has made such a mess of this area on border protection that the
people smugglers have got rich on the process.

PHILIPPA MCDONALD: The Opposition says the Government has no border protection policy.

SCOTT MORRISON: Julia Gillard used to say every boat arrival constitutes another policy failure.
Well based on this boat she's now got a tonne of policy failures, 100 on her watch.

PHILIPPA MCDONALD: Earlier this week the Coalition was briefed by the Immigration Department chief
on the implications of not having offshore processing in the wake of the High Court decision. But
the Opposition insists that a figure of 600 arrivals a month was not part of the briefing.

The Greens are still seeing red over what they see as the alarmist content of the immigration
chief's briefings. And are sheeting the blame home to the Prime Minister.

SARAH HANSON-YOUNG, GREENS SENATOR: The idea that the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, the leader of
the Labor Party, has gone as far right, or even further, than John Howard in drumming up fear and
hysteria around the numbers of people arriving in this country by boat are beneath the office of
prime minister.

PHILIPPA MCDONALD: Cabinet and Labor caucus are meeting on Monday to try and revive an offshore
asylum seeker policy but the Attorney-General admits the party is torn.

ROBERY MCLELLAND, ATTORNEY-GENERAL: It's a very, very complex issue. It's one that people have
very, very strongly held views about. And it is one that has significant consequences, both in
terms of how fellow human beings are detained on the one hand, but also on the other, trying to
ensure that they're not exploited

PHILIPPA MCDONALD: Next week will be significant for the Government, the ABC understands it's close
to finalising its new asylum seeker policy and the carbon tax legislation will be introduced.

And a change of heart by the Opposition leader will make the passage of those bills a little easier

Tony Abbott has agreed to a pairing arrangement which means the government won't lose Craig
Thomson's crucial vote.

TONY ABBOTT, OPPOSITION LEADER: If Mr Thomson wants a brief absence from the parliament for the
birth of his child obviously the Coalition will provide that.

screaming towards decency.

PHILIPPA MCDONALD: Craig Thomson wasn't talking about new claims regarding his old union's spending
under his watch, and allegations he had another credit card paid for by one of the union's

TONY ABBOTT: Now, on the face of it, this looks, again, like a grievous misuse of the money of the
working poor. I mean, the people who are members of this union are quite lowly paid workers.

PHILIPPA MCDONALD: Yesterday the New South Wales Police said there were no grounds for Craig
Thomson to be prosecuted.

Today the Opposition referred these new allegations to the State's police commissioner.

Philippa McDonald, Lateline.

China closely monitors Australia's carbon policy

China closely monitors Australia's carbon policy

Broadcast: 09/09/2011

Reporter: Hamish Fitzsimmons

Dr Jiang Kejun from China's Energy Research Institute says China is watching Australia's carbon
policy carefully and dismisses the view Australia's actions are unimportant in the global context.


ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: China is closely watching what Australia does with emissions trading.

That's the message from one of the architects of China's ambitious plan to reduce its carbon

As China prepares for a pilot emissions trading scheme covering 250 million people, Dr Jiang Kejun,
from China's Energy Research Institute, has dismissed the view that what Australia does is
unimportant in the global context.

Hamish Fitzsimmons reports from Melbourne.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS, REPORTER: As the hail fell outside, China's plans to reduce carbon emissions
were outlined by one of its senior policy makers at a breakfast organised by the Federal
Government's Climate Commission.

It's urging Australian businesses to get in at the ground level.

ROGER BEALE, CLIMATE COMMISSIONER: That challenge for China is a huge opportunity for Australia
particularly in technology, R and D (Research and Development), and the professional services

HAMISH FITSZIMMONS: As China's economy grows so does its pollution. It's the world's number one
carbon emitter and its government is taking action.

China's 12th five-year economic plan began this year, and key parts of it are energy intensity
reductions of 16 per cent on 2005 levels and carbon intensity reductions of 17 per cent.

DR JIANG KEJUN, ENERGY RESEARCH INSTITUTE, CHINA: They have very strong policy on energy efficiency
together with the carbon intensity target. So this is a very good signal that we will soon have a
very big package to implement such kinds of targets.

HAMISH FITSZIMMONS: China has identified six cities in four provinces to trial an emissions trading
scheme; regions with much of the country's heavy industry, and a population of 250 million people.

JIANG KEJUN: It's possible in the six pilot cities and provinces they will start an emissions
trading by 2013. And hopefully maybe the national wide emissions trading can be done possible by
2105 or later than that

HAMISH FITSZIMMONS: Dr Jiang says the political debate about an ETS in Australia is being closely
watched by Chinese policy makers.

JIANG KEJUN: What happens in Australia is quite interesting. So we are looking at that and
personally I strongly hope that Australia can go ahead fast and take the lead in the world. I think
many other countries can really learn from this process.

HAMISH FITSZIMMONS: One of the biggest challenges for China is to raise the living standards of
hundreds of millions who still live below the poverty line while at the same time reduce emissions.

Dr Jiang says this is where China can learn from countries like Australia

JIANG KEJUN: Now our studies show we do have the opportunity, especially if we find some technology
solutions. This is also important way we can learn from Australia and other countries.

So if you did good job here, don't worry China will pick up the good practice from you and other
countries back to China.

HAMISH FITSZIMMONS: While China and the US are by far the world's biggest emitters of carbon
dioxide, Australia is also in the top 20.

And that means it has an obligation to take action, according to Australian Climate Commissioner,
Roger Beale.

ROGER BEALE: China and the US cannot solve this problem alone. And I think it's one of those awful
myths you read in the paper that it's just China and the US, they need to act together and the
problem's over. Second, it'll take action by that whole Group of 20. And third, Australia is a
typical, not a tiny emitter.

JIANG KEJUN: If Australia don't do anything what happens for other countries below the top 20?

So we should take lead in OECD (Organisation for Economic Development and Co-operation) countries
to do the lead for the CO2 emission reduction. And also it could be a good example. And also, in
consequence, find the solution, how to do low carbon.

HAMISH FITSZIMMONS: The Climate Commission will continue its international forum next week

Hamish Fitzsimmons, Lateline.

Senator Fisher cries at shoplifting trial

Senator Fisher cries at shoplifting trial

Broadcast: 09/09/2011

Reporter: Candice Marcus

South Australian Liberal Senator Mary Jo Fisher has broken down in tears at her shoplifting trial
while telling the court she was suffering from chronic depression.


ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: South Australian Liberal Senator Mary Jo Fisher has broken down in tears
while testifying at her trial for shoplifting.

She told the Adelaide Magistrates Court she was suffering from chronic depression and lost her self
control when she allegedly took groceries without paying for them.

Candice Marcus reports.

CANDICE MARCUS, REPORTER: Mary Jo Fisher took the witness stand to explain her state of mind when
she allegedly stole more than $90 worth of goods from a Foodland store last December.

She told the court she had been diagnosed with chronic depression and had hit rock bottom at the
time. She said she was feeling out of control and anxious as she went through the supermarket and
was physically overwhelmed by the time she got to the check out.

(Reads statement from Mary Jo Fisher)

"I was focused on getting the hell out of there so I could deal with the physical symptoms, I don't
recall thinking about anything else."

She went to her car and felt totally bewildered when approached by the store security officer,
Cathryn Groot.

When Ms Groot took her to the security office and spoke to her she began to realise what was

(Reads statement from Mary Jo Fisher)

"I was concerned that the awful truth was dawning. That I may have come out of the store with some
goods that I hadn't paid for."

She described her depression as her dark secret, saying she hadn't told anyone aside from her
family until she was questioned at the supermarket by police.

The senator broke down in tears as she told the court 2010 had been a bad year for her. She had
been looking forward to getting home and seeing her family so she could get better, it had been a
last minute decision to go to the supermarket.

She denied assaulting security officers, saying she was just trying to get some personal space when
she ran back to her car.

The trial is continuing.

Candice Marcus, Lateline.

New York braces for anniversary attack

New York braces for anniversary attack

Broadcast: 09/09/2011

Reporter: Craig McMurtrie

North America correspondent Craig McMurtrie has the latest on reports of a credible terror plot
against Sunday's September 11 memorial.


ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: New York is on high terrorist alert as the city prepares to commemorate the
tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has announced that federal authorities have received credible information
of a terror plot leading up to Sunday's memorial.

For the latest on the situation I'm joined now from Washington by North America correspondent Craig

Well Craig McMurtrie what is the latest information as America wakes up this morning?

CRAIG MCMURTRIE, NORTH AMERICA CORRESPONDENT: Ali the vice-president was on morning television this
morning essentially confirming the following details: that they have a specific, credible, but
unconfirmed threat. It's from an intelligence source in Pakistan, it points to the possibility of a
car or truck bomb attack. That they are looking for a number of individuals, perhaps three,
including one US citizen, who entered the country, it is thought, back in August.

They are saying the details on these individuals are sketchy. They are saying the information has
come from a credible source in Pakistan, a source that has been reliable in the past. But they have
not been able to corroborate it yet which is why they're saying this threat is credible but

ALI MOORE: Of course security was already fairly intense in the lead up to Sunday's anniversary;
what's this done to those arrangements?

CRAIG MCMURTRIE: Well it's heightened security in both New York and here in Washington DC. They are
warning that they will towing vehicles, that there will be new vehicle check points, they're
watching bridges and tunnels.

Overnight mayor Michael Bloomberg in New York, and police commissioner Ray Kelly, laid out what it
would mean for New Yorkers.

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, NEW YORK MAYOR: The NYPD is deploying additional resources around the city and
taking other steps to keep our city safe. Some of which you may notice and some of which you will
not notice.

But there is no reason for any of the rest of us to change anything in our daily routines.

We have the best police department in the world. Over the past decade they have helped thwart more
than a dozen potential attacks.

Here's what you've got to do: if you see something, say something. And that has always been true.
And over the next few days we should all keep our eyes wide open.

RAY KELLY, NEW YORK POLICE COMMISSIONER: The public is likely to see and may be somewhat
inconvenienced by vehicle check points at various locations throughout the city.

We're also increasing the number of bag inspections on the subway system and the number of police
vehicles on patrol equipped with licence plate readers.

There will be more bomb dogs on patrol and increased deployment of radiation monitoring equipment
at vehicle checkpoints in particular.

There will be increased focus on tunnels and bridges and infrastructure in general; as well as
landmark locations, houses of worship and government buildings.

ALI MOORE: That was the New York mayor, Michael Bloomberg, and police chief, Ray Kelly.

And before that the ABC's North America correspondent, Craig McMurtrie, with the latest on the
terror alert in New York.

Imperial hubris of the war on terror

Imperial hubris of the war on terror

Broadcast: 09/09/2011

Reporter: Ali Moore

Michael Scheuer has headed the CIA's Osama bin Laden tracking unit and now argues the "war on
terror" has actually made Al Qaeda bigger and done nothing to address the reasons for terrorism.


ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: And now we'll head back to Washington for our guest, Michael Scheuer.

Michael Scheuer was head of the CIA's (Central Intelligence Agency) Osama bin Laden tracking unit
during the Clinton administration.

His disenchantment with the way the 'war on terror' was being conducted led him to resigning from
the CIA to be able to speak out more publicly. Something that has, at times, made his life quite

He is an adjunct professor at the Centre for Peace and Security Studies at Georgetown University,
he joins me now from our Washington studio.

Michael Scheuer welcome to Lateline.

MICHAEL SCHEUER, TERRORISM EXPERT: Thank you very much for having me.

ALI MOORE: As we've just heard, the US authorities are warning of a specific credible but
unconfirmed threat; do you think a terror attack is likely?

MICHAEL SCHEUER: Generally Al Qaeda doesn't pay much attention to anniversaries. But the
combination this year of the tenth anniversary, a very strong desire to avenge the death of Osama
bin Laden, plus the fact that the American economy is on the ropes, makes this a much more likely
date for an attack than Al Qaeda would usually regard anniversary dates.

ALI MOORE: And what are they capable of?

MICHAEL SCHEUER: Well they're capable of any number of things. They're certainly capable of car
bombs or any of the Hamas-style attacks are something that they've been capable of since 9/11 or
before. And something they've deliberately chosen not to do.

But in the last four or five years we've seen during the end of bin Laden's career, a deliberate
effort on the part of Al Qaeda to recruit US citizen Muslims to begin to try to incite operations
within the United States.

Anwar al-Awlaki, Adam Gadahn, who's known as al-Amriki; a number of other people who are intent on
encouraging US citizen Muslims, English speaking Muslims, to attack in the United States.

So they have the capability of sending people from abroad, our borders are wide open. And they also
have an increasing number of US citizen Muslims who are willing to take action.

ALI MOORE: You say that, but isn't there a question mark over the extent of the resources and, I
guess, the strength of Al Qaeda right now. Documents that were found in bin Laden's house
apparently have both bin Laden and his lieutenants lamenting the fact that they didn't have very
much money and that they had constant casualties from drone strikes?

MICHAEL SCHEUER: Well I think what we, America at least, is pretty much unable to integrate things
at our leadership levels. There's no doubt that the Central Intelligence Agency and the US Special
Forces and their allies have taken a deep toll on Al Qaeda's organisation in South Asia.

But as we fought, as we have been bore sighted on South Asia, if you look around they now have an
operational platform in Yemen, one in Somalia, several across North Africa, Palestine and Iraq.

So the idea that somehow Al Qaeda is weaker than it was on 9/11 perhaps is true of about Al Qaeda
in South Asia, but otherwise they have many more platforms than they do, than they did rather, at

ALI MOORE: But I guess, what evidence do you bring forward for that, besides their geographical
locations now? If you look at the writings, say, of John Mueller from Ohio State University, he
talks about the menace of Al Qaeda being greatly inflated, and he points out that there hasn't been
a single simple bomb detonated in the US in the past decade. If they have these resources, why has
there been such little activity?

MICHAEL SCHEUER: There's all kind of nutcakes on the fringe of comments on Al Qaeda and the war on

The fact is that the attack of 9/11 was not intended to start a war in the United States, but
rather to lure the United States into Afghanistan. And if you look at the accomplishments, they've
accomplished far more than any bomb in the United States could possibly have done.

Two US-led NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) armies are retreating without winning from
Afghanistan and Iraq. We continue to support the Israelis, which is one of the main causes for why
we're fighting this war. And the American economy, which has always been a clear Al Qaeda target,
clearly is on the ropes. So there's, you can take some comfort if you're isolated enough of your
view of how you think the war should be going.

But the idea that the super powers, two super power armies have been essentially defeated by people
with Korean-War-era weapons, is an enormous victory for the Islamists.

ALI MOORE: Takes us through the organisation that Al Qaeda is today, post bin Laden, and
particularly against the backdrop of how you describe the Al Qaeda that bin Laden built; and that
was one that was organisationally sound, geographically dispersed and resilient.

MICHAEL SCHEUER: Well it's very much the same only bigger today, minus, and a very big minus, Osama
bin Laden.

But Ayman al-Zawahiri now leads the organisation. It is, as you say, more dispersed. The documents
that came out of bin Laden's residence in Abbottabad, however, proved that there is not lack of
coordination or communication between the six or seven branches of Al Qaeda that now exist.

And, you know, in many ways bin Laden died an enormous success. He all along said, "listen, Al
Qaeda and I are a small group of people, we cannot possibly defeat the United States by ourselves.
So our major goal is going to be to incite Muslims worldwide to take up this battle by themselves."

And, of course, the jihad now across the world is self-generating, self, it maintains itself.
Thanks to Osama bin Laden, but especially thanks to the US invasion of Iraq which really made the
Al Qaeda, it moved it from being a man and a group to being a philosophy and a movement.

ALI MOORE: So you feel very much that bin Laden was not the glue that held everything together,
that Zawahiri, even though he is an incredibly different character to bin Laden and doesn't have
many of those, you know, truly, in the true sense of the word, extraordinary traits, true sense of
the word extraordinary traits of bin Laden. You believe the organisation will go on as before?

MICHAEL SCHEUER: I don't know if it'll be as strong as before without bin Laden, that's an enormous
loss for them. But I think most of our information about Zawahiri and his inability to get along
with people came from before 1998. And if you study how he behaved under bin Laden's command and
how he wrote, what the words he said; his ideas have changed greatly since then.

I think the jury's out on whether bin Laden is the glue to the organisation. But any organisation
that is approaching a quarter century in age certainly has developed a durability that ought to be
able to able to endure.

ALI MOORE: In fact you've written that the next generation of leaders are likely to be not just
better educated but more ruthless and more bloody minded; why?

MICHAEL SCHEUER: Well, they grew up in a society generally that's much more violent. Our society in
the United States and in the west generally, look at our media and our entertainment, is
extraordinarily more violent.

But they're also going to be more educated in a formal sense, and not just in religious education,
but in science and computers. And they're also very savvy when it comes to the tools of technol...
the tools of modernity.

We in the west often think modernity and westernisation are the same thing. Well the Islamists will
fight westernisation to the death, they love modernity, whether it's weaponry, communications,
air-conditioning, it doesn't matter. And unlike bin Laden they're not as tolerant. They're much
more willing to kill people for the sake of killing them without a specific actual goal in mind.

So I think Omar bin Laden, Osama's oldest, one of his oldest sons, said "the Americans will be
sorry that they didn't kill my father in the 90s because the next generation is going to be much
smarter and much more brutal."

ALI MOORE: As we heard earlier from Craig McMurtrie, of course, the information about this credible
threat came from Pakistan, basically from chatter, as I understand, from the tribal areas. Pakistan
is key, isn't it, to this entire, if you want to call it 'war on terror', as the Americans do?

MICHAEL SCHEUER: Well no, America is key to the war on terror. Pakistan has become a key because
our leaders are desperate to delegate their dirty work to other people.

The Pakistanis have been extraordinarily helpful in, over the course of the past decade, to the
point of creating a civil war in their own country in an effort to help us. We remain at risk
because the United States under Republicans and Democrats refused to do their own dirty work and
kill the necessary number of people.

We delegate that to others. And in this case the Pakistanis did as much as they could, they cannot
do any more without really destabilising a nuclear power.

ALI MOORE: In fact your argument is, isn't it, that really the US has underestimated the type of
organisation that Al Qaeda is; it's not an organisation against freedom, it's an organisation
fundamentally driven by a hatred of US foreign policy?

MICHAEL SCHEUER: Yes ma'am. You know the American and the western position in the Middle East has
been based on tyranny, our whole strategy has been based on tyranny for the past 40 years, and now
that's fading away.

But there's not one American in 1,000 who realises that if we were fighting an enemy who hated
democracy and liberty and women in the workplace and beer after work, that the threat wouldn't even
rise to the level of lethal nuisance.

They wouldn't have any of the things we have in our own country. But they're not fighting us
because of who Americans are, how we live or how we think, they're fighting because of what our
government has done in the Muslim world over the past 40 years.

Whether it's support for the Saudi police state, our military presence in various Muslim countries
and probably the most dangerous thing now is our unqualified, unquestioning support for the
Israelis. This is a very substantive religious war from the perspective our enemies.

And none of that really is to say that our policies are evil or were made by mad men. But if you're
going to understand how to defeat an enemy, you best understand his motivation. And right now the
United States government, under both parties, is fighting an enemy that doesn't exist. There is not
an enemy out there who's just crazy wild to die because my daughters go to university.

ALI MOORE: What about the impact, I guess, of the Arab Spring on Al Qaeda, because many have argued
that, in fact, the organisation is at a crossroads because the various revolutionary groups didn't
do anything in the name of Al Qaeda, they didn't call on Al Qaeda? Has it weakened the

MICHAEL SCHEUER: No, of course not. It strengthened it. The American government will not have as
close relations with successor government in the Middle East. Their goal has been help to destroy
the Arab tyrannies.

And I'm afraid much of the media turned out, turned their credentials in as reporters and became
cheerleaders. In Tahrir Square they interviewed 100 or 200 middle class, English speaking,
democracy talking, well groomed Egyptians. Then they read their Facebooks and their Twitters and
then they extrapolated that over 85 million devout Muslims, more than 60 per cent of whom are
illiterate, and decided that secular democracy was blooming. I think that can only be described as
a fantasy.

But in terms of the Arab Spring over the course of the entire area of North Africa, it's been an
enormous advantage for Al Qaeda and other Islamist groups, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Libyan
Islamic Fighting group. They've overrun numerous arsenals, the flow of weapons into the hands of
Islamists in Africa now is enormous.

And they've also opened up gaols and Gaddafi and Mubarak and Ben Ali filled their gaols with
Mujahideen, with Islamist fighters. Some portion of those fighters are going to return to the ranks
of the Mujahideen with a very, very strong grudge to work out.

ALI MOORE: So you would say that the argument that you now have rival Islamist groups who are
prepared to run in elections, who are prepared to work within a political system, that's the
argument of those who say that this weakens Al Qaeda, you would say that is a misreading of the

MICHAEL SCHEUER: I think that's a misreading. I'm not sure that Al Qaeda will ever gain power
anywhere in the world, but Islamists are going to gain power.

The real question is here not what government follows Mubarak in Egypt, but what government is
going to be acceptable to David Cameron, to the Australian Prime Minister and especially to Barack
Obama and Hillary Clinton.

On the 19th May Obama and Mrs Clinton basically declared a cultural war on Islam saying that they
were going to bring secular democracy from Mauritania to Karachi, that all Arab women were going to
have the rights of western women, that they were going to settle the Sunni-Shi'a problem, because
religion shouldn't play such a large part in public life.

So it's very odd, but this administration, Obama and Mrs Clinton, along with John McCain on the
Republican side, they're going to bring the war, the clash of civilisations to this world. The
Islamist are not going to do it.

ALI MOORE: But isn't there an argument that those who have been the revolutionaries do want the
same things as many in the West have? They do want a more democratic state. They don't want to be
ruled by tyrants.

MICHAEL SCHEUER: They won't be ruled by tyrants but there will be not be a secular democracy ma'am.
The people who want secular democracies will be eaten by the revolution. NATO has just supplied air
support for a group of people fighting Gaddafi in Libya who, if they were in Afghanistan, would be
known as the Taliban.

You know, I think we in America, in Britain, in Australia, in Canada, we forget that we have been
at this, meaning we've been at democracy-building since 1215, for 800 years, and we don't quite
have it perfect yet. But somehow we believe we're going to put our experience on a CD-Rom and give
an iPad to these would be democrats in Tunisia and Egypt, and they're going to replicate what's
taken us eight centuries to produce.

I think that's probably not going to happen and it speaks to the kind of ahistorical viewpoint that
we bring to the world.

ALI MOORE: A final question, Michael Scheuer, because we're almost out of time, but of course
Pakistan's a nuclear power. You've written quite a bit about Al Qaeda's effort to secure nuclear
weapons. Do you believe that's still their intention? Do you believe they're close and where will
they get it from?

MICHAEL SCHEUER: Well it's clearly the number one goal in terms of hurting the United States, in
making us pull out of the Middle East, to pull our horns back from that area. I have no idea how
close they are.

Although the one thing that continues to worry me is that 20 years after the fall of the Berlin
Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, we and the Russians cannot account for all the
nuclear weapons that have been produced or had been stored by the Soviet Union.

And so the question of money is not a problem. The question of religious authorisation to use it,
they already have that. They've stated their intention to use it. So what we are betting on is that
our laxity in not controlling the Soviet arsenal won't lead to a situation where they acquire a

ALI MOORE: Indeed, that's an understatement.

Michael Scheuer many thanks for your insights tonight from Washington.

MICHAEL SCHEUER: Thank you for having me ma'am, it's always a pleasure.

Syrian military escalates campaign against protesters

Syrian military escalates campaign against protesters

Broadcast: 09/09/2011


Video shot by Syrians shows the military stepping up its assaults against several towns and cities
in an attempt to crush the six-month pro-democracy uprising.


ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: The Syrian military has stepped up its assaults against several towns and
cities in a surge of state violence aimed at crushing the six month pro-democracy uprising.

Video filmed by residents shows the shelling of a town in the east of the country, and the bloody
aftermath of attacks on a village near Homs which killed at least 20 people.

The level of Syrian military brutality is revealed in the apparent kicking and shooting of a badly
wounded victim of the crackdown in the city of Homs.

(Footage of shooting)

Mobile phone video also reportedly shows defecting soldiers being hugged and cheered by civilians.

The Arab League's secretary general arrives in the capital Damascus tomorrow to convey its concerns
to the regime.

Obama makes $400b pitch for jobs

Obama makes $400b pitch for jobs

Broadcast: 09/09/2011


US president Barack Obama has outlined a $400 billion stimulus plan to kick-start jobs growth and
prevent a double-dip recession.


ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: The US president has unveiled an ambitious jobs plan as the economy teeters
on the brink of a double-dip recession.

Barack Obama laid out a $400 billion stimulus plan to kick start jobs growth.

And among the jobs the president hopes to save is his own.

North America correspondent, Craig McMurtrie.

WILSON LIVINGOOD, HOUSE SERGEANT AT ARMS: Mr Speaker, the president of the United States.


CRAIG MCMURTRIE, REPORTER: Democrats wanted him to do something bold in the face of sagging
approval ratings and stubbornly high unemployment, above 9 per cent, Barack Obama had to summon all
his rhetorical skills.

BARACK OBAMA, US PRESIDENT: I am sending this Congress a plan that you should pas right away. It's
called the American Jobs Act.

CRAIG MCMURTRIE: The president says his ambitious $450 billion jobs plan will deliver a jolt to the
US economy.

And it was a combative Barack Obama who demanded that Congress meet its responsibilities.

BARACK OBAMA: The question is whether in the face of an ongoing national crisis, we can stop the
political circus and actually do something to help the economy.


CRAIG MCMURTRIE: He pointed out that extending tax cuts, new infrastructure spending, providing
incentives to hire workers and approving free trade deals are all ideas that Republicans have
supported before.

BARACK OBAMA: This plan is the right thing to do right now. You should pass it.

CRAIG MCMURTRIE: Earlier, Republican leaders held out at least the promise of a bipartisan deal.

JOHN BOEHNER, HOUSE SPEAKER: I'm going to be looking for, where's the common ground? What is it we
can't agree on?

CRAIG MCMURTRIE: But the price tag surprised many and the president is leaving it to a
Congressional super committee to find the savings to pay for it.

At least one Republican presidential contender quickly rejected.

MICHELLE BACHMANN, REPUBLICAN CONGRESSWOMAN: Not only should Congress not pass his plan, I say 'Mr
president, stop!'

CRAIG MCMURTRIE: The Party leadership say stony-faced through much of the speech but afterwards
offered hints that they are prepared to pass some of the proposals.

Barack Obama didn't offer a target for the number of new jobs it could create, he appealed directly
to the American people.

BARACK OBAMA: Tell the people who are gathered here tonight that you want action now.

CRAIG MCMURTRIE: It was a speech that many analysts are calling the beginning of his re-election

Craig McMurtrie, Lateline.

The Long view on the economy

The Long view on the economy

Broadcast: 09/09/2011

Reporter: Ali Moore

Economics correspondent Stephen Long discusses Barack Obama's jobs package and the likelihood it
will help America climb out of its debt problems.


ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: To discuss Barack Obama's jobs package we're joined in the studio by
economics correspondent Stephen Long.

And Stephen there's no doubt that's a re-election starter, I would imagine. What do you think of
the way it's been structured?

STEPHEN LONG: It's interesting Ali that it's heavily tilted towards tax cuts. So there's an
extension and ratchetting up of payroll tax concessions, tax breaks for small business, for hiring
new workers, special tax incentives to hire veterans and the long run employed and that's clearly
all designed to wedge the Republicans and win Congressional support.

There's also more classical Keynesian-style fiscal stimulus in the form of construction, which is
seen to have big multiplier effects, create a lot of jobs, building the bridges and roads that are
decaying in America and even an echo of Building the Education Revolution with investment in

Now that's less likely to get support, particularly with the Tea Party element of the Republican
party seeing Governments spending as a bad thing and just adding to the debt load.

ALI MOORE: And one of the things the Republicans have hated are tax hikes, particularly on the
rich. Is that in there anywhere?

STEPHEN LONG: Well there's an interesting trade-off there. There are a couple of trade-offs that
are interesting. One is clearly the Congressional committee that's been charged with looking for
the offsets for this spending down the track will be targeting the Democrat base with cuts to
welfare spending and medicare.

But Obama in his speech has made it clear that a lot of these measures are actually contingent on
closing corporate tax loopholes, special interest concessions to the oil industry and other
powerful vested interests, and also tax breaks for the very wealthy - millionaires and billionaires
- and he's basically saying do you want teachers hired, do you want the long term unemployed hired?
If you do you've got to close these tax breaks.

Again, that's going to be difficult to get through. So there's some pessimism that this will even
get up, let alone work.

ALI MOORE: Well indeed, how's he going to pay for it because some of it's trade-off, but there's a
lot of just largesse there?

STEPHEN LONG: Well they're in a difficult balancing act, because the economy is in the doldrums
right now with the unemployment rate above 9 per cent. They've had coming up for three years with
interest rates at zero, and the Federal Reserve throwing massive amounts of credit stimulus at the
economy, pushing on a string just not achieving anything.

So they're trying a second round of this style of fiscal stimulus after the US$830 billion package
in 2009.

Well clearly, it's incremental. It's no silver bullet. The president has acknowledged that. And
they've got to trade off short term stimulus against long term cuts to spending in a world where
there's just too much debt.

This isn't going to be the ultimate remedy. It's not going to save America. And you're seeing that
pessimism in global financial markets at the moment. But I don't think anyone thinks it won't make
some difference.

ALI MOORE: But it's got to get through the Congress first.


ALI MOORE: Stephen Long, many thanks.

STEPHEN LONG: You're welcome.

Coca-Cola plans court challenge against NT

Coca-Cola plans court challenge against NT

Broadcast: 09/09/2011


The Northern Territory's Cash for Cans legislation, modelled on the 40-year-old South Australian
scheme, is being accused by Coca-Cola of breaching the federal Mutual Recognition Act


ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: Coca Cola is planning a court challenge to the Northern Territory's Cash for
Cans legislation.

The law will come into force next year.

It's modelled on the South Australian scheme that's been running since the 1970s returning 10 cents
to consumers for every recycled can and bottle.

Coke argues the legislation breaches the Federal Mutual Recognition Act.

legal to sell in one State, it's legal to sell in another State. It was introduced in the 90's to
promote a single national economy.

PAUL HENDERSON, NORTHERN TERRITORY CHIEF MINISTER: How dare big business from down south try and
intimidate Territorians by saying we're going to take this legislation to court. Well I've got
something to say to Coca Cola: we'll meet you in court.

ALI MOORE: Coca Cola expects the court case to start in 2013, but the government is confident its
legislation is legally sound.

Hosts take opening game of World Cup

Hosts take opening game of World Cup

Broadcast: 09/09/2011


The seventh Rugby World Cup has begun in Auckland, where 60,000 fans packed Eden Park for an
opening ceremony celebrating Maori culture.


ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: The seventh Rugby World Cup has got under way in Auckland.

Sixty thousand fans packed into Eden Park for the opening ceremony, which celebrated Maori culture
and featured former All Black star Jonah Lomu.

The entertainment didn't end there, with both sides in the opening match performing a pre-game war

Tonga kicked off with their Sipi Tau, the All Blacks had their Haka.

New Zealand had the better of the game, winning 41 points to 10.

Weather to a few showers Weather to a few showers for Melbourne, Canberra , Hobart and Adelaide,
partly cloudy in Sydney. Dry in Brisbane and sunny in Perth. If you interview with Michael Scheuer
review of Lateline's stories or transcripts you can visit our website. You can follow us on Twitter
and FaceBook. I'll see you again on Monday. Enjoy your weekend. Good night.