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Tonight - divided but not yet conquered. A group of Sri Lankan asylum seekers has come ashore in
Indonesia but a majority still refuses to leave the 'Oceanic Viking'.

Clearly our intention is to get all 78 off the boat. I would hope that they would all come off
soon. Good evening. Welcome to Lateline. I'm Leigh Sales. Barack Obama arrived in Tokyo today to
start his first tour of Asia since becoming United States President. He'll attend the APEC cement
in Singapore and meet with ASEAN leaders, hoping to demonstrate to the region that the United
States very much sees itself as an active partner. I think what the Obama administration is trying
to do is build on areas where we see very clear case for continuity but also demonstrate that still
possible to step up our game in a couple of different places.

Joining Lateline tonight is the US State Department's top official on east Asia and the Pacific, Dr
Kurt Campbell. We'll also cross live to our correspondent in Tokyo where the President has
hopefully finished his meeting with a Japanese Prime Minister. That's coming up but first - behind
the wire, Sri Lanka opens its detention camps to media scrutiny. Disappearing act. Fears
Greenland's ice sheets are melting at a faster pace.

22 asylum seekers disembark Viking

22 asylum seekers disembark Viking

Broadcast: 13/11/2009

Reporter: Hayden Cooper

Twenty-two asylum seekers have ended their stand-off with Australian authorities and left the
Oceanic Viking. The Tamils were taken ashore in Indonesia, after almost a month at sea. At home the
Federal Opposition has released a policy to stop the boats in the first place and it has a familiar


LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Twenty-two asylum seekers have ended their stand-off with Australian
authorities and left the Oceanic Viking.

The Tamils were taken ashore in Indonesia after almost a month at sea.

Their asylum claims will now be fast-tracked and they could be in Australia within a month.

But more than 50 others remain on the boat and the Government will continue the waiting game.

At home, the Federal Opposition has released a policy to stop the boats in the first place and it
has a familiar ring.

From Canberra, Hayden Cooper reports.

HAYDEN COOPER, REPORTER: It only took four weeks, but the policy of infinite patience has produced
partial success. 22 Sri Lankan men on the Oceanic Viking have left their sea days behind. In a
matter of weeks, they'll more than likely be on their way to Australia, but 56 remain on board.

CHRIS EVANS, IMMIGRATION MINISTER: Well clearly our intention is to get all 78 off the boat. I
would hope that they would all come off soon.

HAYDEN COOPER: The Opposition's more concerned about how the 22 were coaxed ashore.

MALCOLM TURNBULL, OPPOSITION LEADER: He seems to be - appears to be offering them a better and
faster passage to Australia than people arriving at Christmas Island are offered.

HAYDEN COOPER: And Malcolm Turnbull thinks he has the answer to stop the boats coming once and for

MALCOLM TURNBULL: It is humane, it just, it's in accordance with the convention, it's perfectly

HAYDEN COOPER: It's a policy that John Howard made the centrepiece of his refugee solution:
temporary protection visas. The Coalition wants to bring them back.

BOB BROWN, GREENS LEADER: It's back to one of the worst periods in Australian modern history as far
as international reputation's concerned. ... This is Malcolm Turnbull going for the redneck vote.

HAYDEN COOPER: And well-known refugee advocates on the Turnbull backbench are equally disgusted.

JUDITH TROETH, LIBERAL SENATOR: I'm sad and disappointed that we're going back to that style of

HAYDEN COOPER: The visas were consigned to history when Kevin Rudd came to power. At the time, the
Coalition supported him, but things have changed and Malcolm Turnbull wants a new three-year visa
after which the refugees might be sent home.

For those who came through the previous temporary regime, talk of resurrecting the policy brings
back bad memories.

GAIRAT BAKHIL, AFGHAN REFUGEE: You cannot get the right job because every time when you go to the
job agency or to the factory, even if you have a good skill, and they say, "Oh, sorry, we cannot
give the job because we don't know when they will send you back."

HAYDEN COOPER: It's a policy the Government says never worked.

CHRIS EVANS: Temporary protection visas didn't stop people coming and they never went home. They
didn't stop boat people arriving and those boat people never went home.

HAYDEN COOPER: Last week's Newspoll convinced Malcolm Turnbull that this is an issue with great
potential for the Coalition, and with Parliament returning next week, he'll try to keep it in the
headlines for as long as possible. Hayden Cooper, Lateline.

Sri Lanka opens detention camps to media

Sri Lanka opens detention camps to media

Broadcast: 13/11/2009

Reporter: Michael Edwards

The man handpicked by the Government to help find a solution to people smuggling has visited the
refugee camps in Sri Lanka where many asylum seekers come from. Australia's special envoy to Sri
Lanka, John McCarthy, has flown to the north of the country, an area where media access is usually
tightly controlled.


LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: The man hand-picked by the Government to help find a solution to people
smuggling has visited the refugee camps in Sri Lanka from where many asylum seekers come.
Australia's special envoy to Sri Lanka, John McCarthy, has flown to the north of the country, an
area where media access is usually tightly-controlled. But the ABC's Michael Edwards was able to
get a rare glimpse of conditions inside the Manik Farm camp by accompanying Mr McCarthy on his

MICHAEL EDWARDS, REPORTER: Cut from dense jungle, the sprawling Manik Farm camp is home to more
than 130,000 Tamils displaced by Sri Lanka's civil war. For John McCarthy, it could hold the
answers to why some Tamils want to leave their country. Here, people live in makeshift tents under
the nose of Sri Lankan soldiers. There's very little power, no running water and the area is
subject to flooding during heavy rains.

This mother and her sons sleep on the floor of their small tent. They've been here since May. She
says she's glad the war is over, but that it's still tough living in the camp.

Aid agencies are given access and medicines are available, but the facilities are rudimentary at
best. Most of the residents just want to go home.

One-hundred-and-thirty-thousand or so people still live at Manik Farm, but just a few months ago,
there were 90,000 more people living in these squalid and cramped conditions.

The Sri Lankan Government says 3,000 to 5,000 Tamils are being released from the camp every day and
are allowed to go home.

KAMAL GUNARATNE, SRI LANKAN ARMY: As of today we have sent more than 100,000 people out of Manik
Farm for resettlement proper. In addition to that, we are sending - we have started sending the
pregnant mothers with their families, elderly people with their families.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: But it's not that easy. When the Tamils return to their villages, the scars of the
war are still evident. Lugashwa (phonetic spelling) spent five months at Manik Farm. When she got
back to her village, she found her home had been ransacked. "I just want life to return to normal,"
she says. "I'm confident it will."

JOHN MCCARTHY, AUSTRALIAN SPECIAL ENVOY TO SRI LANKA: I think, generally speaking, the discussions
we've had suggest that although the whole process is not without the odd hiccup, the momentum is
right, the pace is right and there is lot of satisfaction with people on having returned and with
the prospect of returning.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: With much of northern Sri Lanka still recovering from the war, it can be difficult
for some to return to their villages. Destruction is widespread and large areas of the land are
heavily mined. Human rights activists say life will only return to normal once the military reduces
its presence in everyday life.

JEHAN PERERA, NATIONAL PEACE COUNCIL: Tamils feel that they are not specially - under special
scrutiny by the military, and until the Government comes up with a political solution, at least a
political proposal that meets the aspirations of Tamils to be equal citizens, to have some power in
the areas in which they are a majority, I think Tamils will want to leave Sri Lanka.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: And this could mean more demand for the services of people smugglers.

GORDON WEISS, UN SPOKESMAN: A part of life in Sri Lanka is that huge numbers of people go overseas
seeking employment, but there have also been long-standing political and human rights problems in
the country and that is a spur for people wanting to escape Sri Lanka as well.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: The Sri Lankan Government aims to have most displaced Tamils resettled by January
next year. The Australian Government will be hoping that this runs to schedule.

Michael Edwards at Manik Farm in northern Sri Lanka for Lateline.

Greenland ice melting at accelerating rate

Greenland ice melting at accelerating rate

Broadcast: 13/11/2009

Reporter: Leigh Sales

Scientists say the Greenland ice sheet is losing mass at an accelerating rate, increasing its
contribution to global rises in sea levels. Published in the peer-reviewed journal Science, the
research says more than 270,000 million tonnes of ice melts from Greenland every year. But the
paper's authors say they have observed an accelerating loss of mass from the ice sheet since 2000.


LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Scientists say the Greenland ice sheet is losing mass at an accelerating
rate, increasing its contribution to global rises in sea levels.

The research is published in the peer-reviewed journal Science and it says more than 270,000
million tonnes of ice melts from Greenland every year.

The paper's authors say they've observed an accelerating loss of mass from the ice sheet since the
year 2000.

The team used weather data, satellite readings and models of ice sheet behaviour.

The worst case scenario if the entire Greenland ice sheet melted is a rise in global sea levels by
as much as seven metres.

But the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has predicted a rise in sea levels over the next
century of a maximum 43 centimetres.

ABC correspondent with an Obama update

ABC correspondent with an Obama update

Broadcast: 13/11/2009

Reporter: Mark Willacy

The US President Barack Obama has just begun a 10 day trip through Asia, touching down in Japan a
short time ago for the first leg. For the latest the ABC's North Asia correspondent Mark Willacy
joins Lateline from Tokyo.


LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: The US President Barack Obama has just begun a 10-day trip through Asia,
touching down in Japan a short time ago for the first leg.

For the latest, I'm joined now from Tokyo by our North Asia correspondent Mark Willacy.

Mark, President Obama's only been in Japan for a few hours and already he's held talks with the
President Yukio Hatoyama. What was discussed?

MARK WILLACY, NORTH ASIA CORRESPONDENT: They've just finished the talks, Leigh. They went for about
an hour and a half. They're having a joint press conference. Basically what they discussed were
issues of mutual agreement. This was a press conference and a meeting all about reaffirming the
relationship. So issues like combating climate change. Also about the reconstruction of
Afghanistan, which Japan has given billions towards, and also about tackling a nuclear North Korea.
As I said, this is a chance for both sides to renew the relationship, particularly after a half a
century of conservative rule here in Japan. We've not got a centre left government. In the White
House, we have a Democratic young President. So it's time to renew that relationship. And the
feeling is also between these two old allies there's a fear that maybe China is on the rise and for
Japan that means that China will overtake it possibly as early as next year as the world's
second-largest economy, and for the United States it means a massive trade imbalance with China.
So, those are the sorts of issues. Although, it has to be said that President Obama would have to
explain to his host why he's only spending one day in Japan, yet he's going to spend three in

LEIGH SALES: And what else is expected to come up during the Japan visit, Mark?

MARK WILLACY: There's going to be one issue which has frayed the edges of the relationship a little
bit in recent times and that's been the planned relocation of a US military base in Okinawa. The
Prime Minister, Yukio Hatoyama, has said in the election campaign a few months ago that if he was
elected that maybe that base would be moved, not just out of Okinawa, but maybe out of Japan. Now
that angered the Americans. We've heard from them. They've said, "Look, this was an agreement that
we reached a few years ago to move this base to another part of Okinawa. Now we've got a little bit
of a test on with this relationship to see how that plays out." Now that would have been mentioned
at this meeting, but there wouldn't have been too much discussion because there is no agreement
about that issue just yet. It's a very testy little issue for both sides and we'll probably see
some sort of resolution in a few weeks' time, but just who'll win that little battle we don't know
just yet.

LEIGH SALES: It would have been fascinating to be a fly on the wall in that meeting and here what
they were saying about it. After this Japan leg, President Obama's off to Singapore and the APEC
leaders' meeting, where of course Kevin Rudd will also be after his India visit. What are the key
topics that they'll be discussing there?

MARK WILLACY: Well we understand that President Obama will take some sort of new trade strategy to
the APEC meeting. Obviously, America's been suffering like many other economies from the global
economic downturn and we understand that President Obama is keen to kick-start some trade
initiatives with the APEC region. It must be remembered APEC accounts for about half the world's
trade and 60 per cent of the world's GDP, so President Obama sees an opportunity there. Also
they'll be discussing issues like the usual rogue states of North Korea, Burma, also tackling
climate change and we'll hear from other countries as well like Russia, for example, about the
volatility in the US dollar which is causing a few concerns when it comes to economic issues. The
Russians do fear that that will add to volatility in their own economy. But also, they will be
discussing keeping that focus together, the strategy together, in tackling the economic meltdown,
the global downturn. Their economies coming out of recession. It looks like things are on the way
up, but there's a very keen focus to keep that a global strategy and a regional strategy to keep
fighting that downturn.

LEIGH SALES: Mark Willacy in Tokyo, thankyou.

US senior official discusses Obama's Asia tour

US senior official discusses Obama's Asia tour

Broadcast: 13/11/2009

Reporter: Leigh Sales

After US President Barack Obama departs Japan, he will complete the rest of his inaugural Asian
tour with trips to Singapore, China and South Korea. He will also attend the APEC summit and meet
with ASEAN leaders. Joining Lateline is Dr Kurt Campbell is the US state department's most senior
official on the region as the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific affairs. He
is accompanying the President on this trip.


LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: After President Obama visits Japan and Singapore, he'll complete the rest
of his inaugural Asian tour by heading to China and South Korea. The Obama administration's facing
a range of challenges in Asia. Beyond Japan, the US has a complicated relationship with China and a
desire to see major political and human rights reforms in North Korea and Burma.

Dr Kurt Campbell is the US State Department's most senior official on the region as the Assistant
Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. He's accompanying the President on this trip
and he joined me earlier from Tokyo.

Dr Campbell, many thanks for being with us.


LEIGH SALES: The President will be part of both APEC and ASEAN and there's a high level US
delegation that's going to be attending both. The Bush Administration was criticised for a lack of
focus on Asia in its second term. Is the US presence this time meant to turn a new page?

KURT CAMPBELL: Well I don't think it's completely fair to say that the Bush administration didn't
focus on Asia. Indeed, there's much the Bush administration did in Asia that I thing is
commendable. Very strong US-Australian relationship, lots of commitment to China and to Japan. I
think what the Obama administration is trying to do is build on areas where we see a very clear
case for continuity, but also demonstrate that it's still possible to step up our game in a couple
of different place. So one of the things you're going to see over the course of the next several
days is the first ever US-ASEAN summit in Singapore. I think you're going to hear a new message on
economics and trade. I think you're going to see a strong commitment to good relations in
north-east Asia, in Japan, in South Korea and China and a recognition that in terms of solving
difficult problems like North Korea and Burma, a degree of solidarity among our friends and allies
in the Pacific is going to be essential. So, you know, as a diplomat we're not supposed to get
excited, we're supposed to be very cool and matter of fact, but the truth is it's a pretty exciting
visit and we're excited about it.

LEIGH SALES: Broadly speaking, do you think it's in America's interests to publicly make it clear
that there's a qualitative difference between its relationship with its natural allies in the
region, democracies like Japan and Australia for instance, and other nations such as China?

KURT CAMPBELL: Well, I think the truth is everyone understands that the nations with which we share
fundamental values - democracy, respect for human rights - that our relationship is deeper and more
profound. I don't think there's any doubt about that. And to the extent that we're able to
cooperate with those nations, I think everyone understands and appreciates. But the truth is that
for many of the challenges that we face today collectively, challenges like climate change and
fundamentalism and other problems, the financial crisis, it requires a broader-based group of
countries to act collectively and that's what we're trying to accomplish. So in many respects you
will see in our approach to Asia a continuing commitment to enduring American values, which are
really universal values, but at the same time an appreciation that to be truly effective on the
modern challenges of the day we have to bring other nations into the tent.

LEIGH SALES: How do you think America's influence in Asia compares to China's influence?

KURT CAMPBELL: China's influence is clearly on the rise, but one of the things that we see in our
travels throughout Asia is there is a strong desire for a strong American commitment to Asia that
endures and that I think most nations feel confident when they know that the United States
appreciates its long-term interests in maintaining a critical role in the Asia Pacific region. And
I think one of the roles of the Obama trip is to underscore that we understand that as well and
that we are here to stay, here to play and we're going to be an important, in many respects,
dominant presence throughout the next century.

LEIGH SALES: At the moment, the US-China relationship is stable, but given the imbalances created
by the country's economic policies, given that their political systems are very different, given
the simmering issues like Tibet and Taiwan, will the US and China ever have a mature relationship
characterised by mutual trust?

KURT CAMPBELL: I think that the United States and China already have a mature relationship, or a
maturing relationship, but the fundamental fact is that it is a complicated relationship. In
addition to be mature, there are going to be elements in which the United States and China must
cooperate closely. And in fact if you look over the course of the last year, one of the most
important ingredients in the modest financial recovery that we've seen globally has been the
ability of the United States and China to work relatively well together on stimulating the global
economy. We're also working closely together on issues like North Korea, and increasingly on Iran,
and hopefully on climate change. There is an appreciation in both Beijing and Washington that the
United States and China must work together on these issues. But at the same time, there is an
inevitable areas of competition between the United States and China and we should accept that, that
the nature of our relationship now and going forward will be complicated and complex. We will never
have a relationship with China that is either black or white. There are going to be mixtures of hue
and colour and what's incumbent on American policymakers is to appreciate that and to recognise
that where we can, we need to make sure that our competition remains in an acceptable window and
that we don't stray into unnecessary conflict or tensions that has the potential to undermine the
other aspects of our relationship that are very positive or to create larger tensions in the
region. And that's the essential effort of our diplomacy going forward.

LEIGH SALES: On the China leg of his trip, will President Obama raise human rights?

KURT CAMPBELL: Of course. We've raised human rights in every meeting that we have with our Chinese
interlocutors and this meeting will be no exception.

LEIGH SALES: The expectation broadly is that it's unlikely the US and China will reach a deal on
climate change, but where do you think they might be able to find common ground?

KURT CAMPBELL: You know, if you let me dodge that question, the truth is we are in the midst of the
most intensive deliberations on climate currently between the United States and China, the EU and
India. I wouldn't want to in any way give you an indication of how this is going to play out. All I
can say, what's gratifying to me is that there is a recognition, a growing recognition in all
capitals of how much is at stake in Copenhagen and on climate change more generally. And in that I
am quite gratified. And so, at probably the top of the agenda between the President and President
Hu will be the issue of climate change. That is a remarkable change in a very short period of time
and one that I'm grateful for and I think you will see a strong push on the part of the major
economies and the major nations in the Copenhagen process down the line.

LEIGH SALES: Given that, can I ask if you're optimistic of seeing some sort of meaningful
international agreement out of Copenhagen, given that it's quite a short time-frame until we're

KURT CAMPBELL: You know, I don't know if I could say that I'm either optimistic or pessimistic, but
I will say I recognise and see very clearly the intensity that nations are approaching the
criticality of Copenhagen, a recognition that this in many respects said may be the most important
diplomatic gathering of the first term of President Obama.

LEIGH SALES: The US has decided on a policy of engagement with Burma. What makes you think that
will deliver results?

KURT CAMPBELL: I'm not sure I believe it will deliver results, but I'm clear that the previous
approach, which was sanctions, no engagement, was not working, as Secretary Clinton and others have
said. As we looked at the situation, it became very clear that very substantial economic engagement
from China, from India and Thailand made it that the sanctions of the international community
against Burma created inconveniences, but no fundamental problems to the ruling regime. We believe
that the situation called for an American approach which encouraged direct engagement between the
United States and the regime, but at the same time also called for high-level engagement with the
other parts of Burmese society. So that's one of the reasons that you've seen high-level engagement
with Aung San Suu Kyi, with the so-called ethnic groups and their representatives, with other
aspects of the Opposition, the National League of Democracy and others. And so our effort is not
simply to engage the Government, but a broader, high-level engagement with other aspects inside
Burmese society and in fact the surrounding region. We've had much more intensive deliberations
with Australia, for instance. I just spoke with your Foreign Minister yesterday about our strategy
going forward. With China, with India, with south-east Asia and indeed with Japan. That's one of
the reasons I'm here in advance of the President's trip. It is an attempt to put all of our efforts
together to see fundamental change in Burma going forward.

LEIGH SALES: You were interviewed on New Zealand television last month and asked about a remark
when George Bush called Australia America's sheriff in the region. You said you thought that
language wasn't helpful. How would you characterise the US-Australia relationship?

KURT CAMPBELL: What I tried to say was not that it wasn't helpful, but that it was more that I'm
not sure Western images and, you know, cowboy hats and, you know, six-shooters are the right way to
picture an incredibly complicated strategic environment in the Asia Pacific region. All I can tell
you is that I think that President Bush and Prime Minister Howard played an incredibly important
role during the first part of the 21st Century in the aftermath of 9/11. A close relationship, keen
partnership on the so-called War on Terror and deep confidence on a range of issues. And I think we
respect that and we think that it played an incredibly important role in taking our bi-lateral
relationship to the next step. One of the things that I've been impressed by, however, is that just
as Howard and Bush worked very closely together, in this new strategic environment we have another
very tight and respectful partnership with deep, I think, confidence on both sides between Prime
Minister Rudd, Kevin Rudd and President Obama. And I'm appreciative for that and I think it allows
us to continue this process, to make clear that the US-Australian relationship now is perhaps one
of the most important relationships - bilateral relationships the United States has with any
country in the world and clearly, if not the most important, one of the most important in the Asia
Pacific region.

LEIGH SALES: In terms of the Asia Pacific region, what's the State Department's assessment of the
movement of asylum seekers throughout the region in the short-to-medium term?

KURT CAMPBELL: I think the general concern is because of a variety of problems, both issues spurred
by problems inside states like in Burma, like in other parts of south-east Asia, also problems
associated with the consequences of climate change, I think in all likelihood over the course of
the next several years we're going to see an increase in efforts of refugees to find a safe haven.
This is clearly an issue that requires more attention, more focus, not only by the Australians, but
also by the United States and other countries in the Asia Pacific region.

LEIGH SALES: And does the US have any advice to nations such as Australia who are seeing a big
increase in the number of asylum seekers?

KURT CAMPBELL: I think the first thing is to recognise that the nature of the problem, the reasons
behind it and also to appreciate that it's not going away and it's something that requires not only
a very sound and careful legal framework, but also sort of a policy attention as well. We have
faced these issues periodically in the United States, both immigration from Latin America and the
Caribbean, and they have created problems for us in the past, it's very challenging, so we
appreciate the challenges that Australia faces in this regard. All I can tell you is that we do
have a dialogue working closely with our colleagues on this matter.

LEIGH SALES: Dr Kurt Campbell, we always appreciate you making the time to appear on Lateline.
Thank you very much.

KURT CAMPBELL: Thank you very much. All the best to you Down Under.

The self-proclaimed mastermind of the September 11 attacks and four other men alleged to have been
involved in its planning will be tried in a civilian court in New York according to a report in the
'Washington Post'. It's expected the Justice Department will formally announce the decision in a
few hours time. The move would be a significant step in President Obama's plan to deliver on his
promise to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.

ATO chasing former Myer owner

ATO chasing former Myer owner

Broadcast: 13/11/2009

Reporter: Michael Rowland

The controversy surrounding the Myer share market float is showing no sign of easing. The tax
office is pursuing Myer's former owner, private equity group TPG, for nearly
half-a-billion-dollars. It comes as Myer shares continue to wallow below the float price.


LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: The controversy surrounding the Myer share market float is showing no sign
of easing. The Tax Office is pursuing Myer's former owner, private equity group TPG, for nearly
half a billion dollars. It comes as Myer shares continue to wallow below the float price. Michael
Rowland has this report.

MICHAEL ROWLAND, REPORTER: In a float that still has many losers, TPG was the stand-out winner. The
private equity group pocketed a huge profit when it sold out of Myer, three years after buying in
at a bargain basement price. The Australian Tax Office is now after a chunk of this windfall gain.
It wants TPG to cough up $452 million.

CHRIS BOWEN, FINANCIAL SERVICES MINISTER: Of course, everybody should be paying their fair share of
tax and the Tax Office has the support of the Government in pursuing people paying their fair share
of tax.

MICHAEL ROWLAND: The Government's not commenting on the specifics of the case, but the Tax Office
has gone to extraordinary lengths to get the money. It's moved to freeze bank accounts to prevent
any sale proceeds being moved offshore, but the money had already gone. TPG is vigorously disputing
the tax claim. In a statement, the Texas-based group says, "We strongly believe we have met all of
our Australian tax obligations and will continue to do so in the future."

The tax dispute caps off a rocky two weeks for TPG. Having booked its massive return from the Myer
investment, the group has been busily defending itself against claims new Myer shareholders have
been left holding the can.

BEN GRAY, TPG AUSTRALASIA CEO (7.30 Report, Wed): Everyone's entitled to their view on these things
and everyone'll have one. Our view is it was very fairly priced.

MICHAEL ROWLAND: In stark contrast to Myer, camping and outdoor retailer Kathmandu has made an
impressive share market debut. Its shares climbed as much as seven per cent on their first day of
trading, compared to Myer's nine per cent plunge.

Michael Rowland, Lateline.

Stephen Long with the week in economics

Stephen Long with the week in economics

Broadcast: 13/11/2009

Reporter: Stephen Long

Joining Lateline for the regular Friday night chat about the world of economics and business is
economics correspondent Stephen Long.


LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Joining me for our regular Friday night chat about the world of economics
and business is Economics Correspondent Stephen Long.

Stephen, unemployment's risen to 5.8 per cent, but the Bureau of Statistics estimates that there
were nearly 25,000 extra jobs created last month. So is it good news or bad news?

STEPHEN LONG, ECONOMICS CORRESPONDENT: I guess it depends on your perspective, Leigh. It's good
news compared to what we were expecting a year ago where there was talk of unemployment rising to
seven, eight, nine per cent, and it's good news compared to the unemployment rate in America of
above 10 per cent, but actually when you drill down into these figures, they don't show a healthy
labour market. So on balance I'd say things are still not good.

LEIGH SALES: And why don't they show a healthy labour market?

STEPHEN LONG: Well, yes, there were nearly 25,000 jobs created in the month - 24,500 to be precise,
but 88 per cent of those jobs were part-time and there were actually declining work hours - 1.9
million work hours shed. So, we're replacing full-time jobs with part-time jobs still. If you look
over the past two months, the market's been crying about the fact there've been 64,000 jobs
created, but 44,000 of those have been part-time and work hours have been falling. And so, what
we've got still is a situation where there's a lot of slack in the labour market. We aren't
creating enough work to meet all the demand or the new entrants to the labour market, and
particularly for men they're being hard hit. And so things aren't as rosy as they appear from those
headline employment numbers, but of course it's good that we're actually creating jobs rather than
seeing a net deficit in job creation.

LEIGH SALES: Well you did a story yesterday quoting market economists, saying that the employment
growth was startling, surprising, a great result, unexpectedly strong. So, have they take a more
optimistic view of it than you have?

STEPHEN LONG: It's a great result compared to market expectations, which are wrong more often than
they're right on my experience and they were expecting jobs to go backwards. But they don't drill
down into those numbers; they tend to just look at the headline: 24,500, 25,000 jobs created, good
news and they interpret it through the prism of the Reserve Bank. Now the Reserve Bank will look at
the fact that jobs are being created and unemployment isn't growing as rapidly as they had feared
and so it is likely to feed into the expectations of further interest rate rises and fuel them.
What's interesting there is if you actually look at the Reserve Bank Act, their mandate is actually
to maintain the stability of the currency and maintain full employment. Lifting interest rates now
would do nothing to enhance full employment in the current context at least.

LEIGH SALES: And briefly, how does this all fit then with the Rudd Government's argument that it's
not the time to cut fiscal stimulus?

STEPHEN LONG: Well, if the priorities for this year are jobs, jobs, jobs, as Malcolm Turnbull is
fond of saying, you wouldn't be looking at this stage to wind back the fiscal stimulus because
unemployment, although it hasn't risen nearly as much as we have expected, is rising. The
under-employment rate, when you look at those involuntary part-time workers, forced to work short
hours when they work a full-time job, combined with the unemployment rate, we're looking at nearly
14 per cent. And so if your priority with the fiscal stimulus is to maintain employment, you
wouldn't be looking to wind it back more hastily.

LEIGH SALES: Stephen Long, thank you. Have a good weekend.

STEPHEN LONG: You're welcome.

New abortion laws cause debate in East Timor

New abortion laws cause debate in East Timor

Broadcast: 13/11/2009

Reporter: Sara Everingham

The predominantly Catholic country of East Timor has introduced new laws on abortion. Women's
groups had been campaigning for legal abortion to be extended to cases of rape and incest but those
proposals were too much for the Catholic Church.


LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: The predominantly Catholic country of East Timor has introduced
controversial new laws on abortion. They don't go as far as women's groups had hoped - they've been
campaigning for legal abortion to be extended to cases of rape and incest. But the Catholic Church
rejected those proposals, as Sara Everingham reports.

SARA EVERINGHAM, REPORTER: It's standing room only at Sunday mass in Dili. In this strongly
Catholic country, abortion is a sensitive topic. Just this year, the Parliament passed new laws
making abortion a crime, except when three doctors decide a woman's life is in danger. But they do
not allow abortions in cases of rape and incest.

ALITA VERDIAL, ALOLA FOUNDATION (voiceover translation): It's not realistic because to find enough
doctors in the districts is very hard.

FRANCESCA ALVES TAOLIN, RED FETO WOMEN'S GROUPS (voiceover translation): Our understanding of the
law is that it doesn't give enough value to women's rights.

SARA EVERINGHAM: The church is opposed to any more exceptions.

MARTINHO GUSMAO, DIOCESE OF BAUCAU: We have to restrict them. We cannot accept case like incest and
rape. It cannot be accepted.

SARA EVERINGHAM: At this busy Dili clinic, Dr Dan Murphy says he gets a request every day for a
termination, even though his hands are tied by the law.

DAN MURPHY, BAIRO PITE CLINIC: Many times they're not married, they happen to get pregnant and just
like in any other country, it could be incest, it could be rape, it could be just a one-night
episode that you really didn't want to do, but you were pressured.

SARA EVERINGHAM: He says he also sees women who've attempted to induce an abortion themselves.

A recent report initiated by one of the women's groups here in Dili found that women in East Timor
are dying from unsafe abortions, but because of a lack of reporting, the numbers aren't known. The
women's groups fear those deaths will continue to happen under this new law.

East Timor's First Lady, Kirsty Sword Gusmao, has been a strong proponent of women's rights.

KIRSTY SWORD GUSMAO, EAST TIMOR'S FIRST LADY: It takes, I guess, leaders of the Government and of
the country to be very courageous and honest in looking at themselves and at their society and also
at their duty to women, to ensure that women are not victimised twice, first as a victim of rape or
incest and then secondly by having to, you know, raise a child that's born from that situation.

SARA EVERINGHAM: Father Martinho Gusmao from the Diocese of Baucau says most people in East Timor
don't want any abortion at all.

MARTINHO GUSMAO: If you explain to the people in the ground, they are shock that our state allow
the abortion. I don't think that the women group can explain to the people in the ground that we
accept abortion for (inaudible). They will kill you.

KIRSTY SWORD GUSMAO: I think that given the current state of Timorese society, and as I mentioned,
the very conservative nature of society and traditional belief systems and so on, I don't think
it's an altogether bad outcome. And given that is, you know, a process, I think we possibly still
have quite a long struggle on our hands.

SARA EVERINGHAM: The battle over abortion reform is set to continue - yet another difficult debate
as East Timor's democracy develops. Sara Everingham, Lateline.

And now to the weather: That's all from us. If you'd like to look back at tonight's interview with
Kurt Campbell or review any of Lateline's stories or transcripts you can visit our website at Tony Jones will be back on Monday and I'll see you on Friday. Thanks for
watching. Goodnight.