ABC News 24 12 Noon News


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(generated from captions) This program is not captioned. Today - Spies expelled. Two Russian diplomats identified as "undeclared intelligence officers" ordered to leave Australia. This program is live captioned by Red Bee Media. Childcare chaos. Hundreds of childcare centres close as workers strike over low wages. We are here only for a part day to day but it is obviously a very important issue and I am fully behind the staff. North Queensland hit by flash flooding with more rain forecast. And the future of several players in doubt as Australian officials arrive in South Africia to investigate the ball tapering scandal. Hello. Ros Childs with ABC News. Australia has joined the United States and governments across Europe in what's said to be the largest collective expulsion of Russian intelligence officers in history. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says two undeclared intelligence officers will be expelled in response to the nerve agent attack in England. Russia continues to deny any role and called the expulsions a provocative gesture. Chief foreign correspondent Philip Williams reports. First came the crime, now the punishment. After weeks of negotiations, a coalition of the willing.This is the largest collective expulsion of Russian intelligence officers in history and together we have sent a message that we will not tolerate Russia's continued attempts to flout international law and undermine our values.Australia is joining more than one dozen members of the EU as well as Norway, at Ukraine and Canada who are all expelling Russian diplomats.There is no doubt that the actions that the Russians have taken in England have caused international outrage and that Australia along with many of its allies are taking responses to it. But the greatest pressure comes from the USA. The Trump administration has told 60 Russian diplomats it says are spies to go home.With these steps, the US, allies and partners around the world make clear to Russia that actions have consequences.The US government is also closing the Russian consulate in Seattle which is located close to a US submarine base and the bowling facility. Russian diplomats are being expelled from the United Nations in New York. -- Boeing.We have informed our diplomats who are expelled from here.The Russian government vehemently denies any involvement in the nerve agent attack and warns the US it will be sorry it's taken this path.I'm sure the time will come a will understand what kind of grave mistake they did. Unfortunately, Russia is now being held accountable for a lot of things.The Russian government will return the favour. Foreign diplomats in Moscow and beyond expecting their flying waters sooner than later. The Russian embassy released a tweet asking readers to nominate which US consulate in Russia they would like closed. Here are the Russian embassy, they will soon be a lot of empty desks with Moscow protesting its innocence and Washington beyond convinced of its guilt, there appears to be no path for compromise. Well, we dumped back Stephen, talk us -- well, Stephen, talk us through this announcement.Actions have consequences. This is about Australia joining with the US, the UK and several European countries to make it clear that we also do not believe Russia's denial that it had anything to do with the Sergei Skripal poisoning and that its actions have been reckless. We expect the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to stand up only in about 10 or 15 minutes' time to lay out his case but expect him to say something along the lines of the fittest rarely are demonstrating solidarity with the UK and its allies and that Russia has been reckless, overstepped the boundaries and there has to be consequences.

Are these all diplomats being sent home? Irra they are saying these are spies. They are apparently posing as diplomats but actually spies.Many countries have spies and some of those countries are declared. They may not flaunt what they are doing but nonetheless they are registered with the nation they ring. Other spies, though, and Australia does this as well, I'm not. -- nation they are in. They go about their work in intelligence while posing as diplomats. The two officers expelled are both undeclared operatives, spies. They are here under false pretences. Obviously we have known about this for a while but have never done anything about it. Again, not unusual. Now Russia has taken this step with the Skripal case and the government has taken this step today and started to expel them both from the country.It seems like we have official and unofficial spies. Has there been any response from the Russian embassy so far?No, not yet. We are still waiting to hear from the Russian Ambassador to Australia. At this stage, we saw him arriving for work at 9am and he hasn't emerged since then. We have received much -- messages from some in the Russian embassy there may be a statement later on but that has not yet been confirmed. Russia's Foreign Ministry has more broadly hit back against the worldwide expulsions seen throughout Europe and the US, calling the measures provocative and unfriendly and there has been a suggestion as we heard earlier that Russia might retaliate by expelling several Western diplomats and US diplomats from Moscow in a diplomatic tit for tat. As ever, we wait to hear exactly what happens. One thing is clear, this is a dramatic game on the diplomatic high-stakes and it has a long way to run yet.And Stephen, we are expecting Malcolm Turnbull and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to hold a media conference in a few minutes. Thank you. To Darwin now and this next story contains some distressing allegations. Police have charged a 16-year-old boy with the alleged sexual assualt of a child in a remote community, two hours south of Tennant Creek. This is the second incident of its kind that's been brought to the attention of NT Police in recent weeks. Reporter Jane Bardon joins us now from Darwin. Jane, tell us more about the allegations. Basically, a 16-year-old boy is due to an PNE Alice Springs court this morning charged with sexual assault on a small Indigenous community with a population of about 500 people. -- due to a peer in that. -- due to appear. As we've said, this is the second incident of its kind in the area. What steps are being taken keep children safe. The Northern Territory government has already, after the alleged rape of a two year rolled into nearby town of Tennant Creek last month, sent extra resources to the town and a police task force. -- two-year-old. The thought is that these are short term measures but the community are pushing for longer term measures. Things like more remote Indigenous public housing and more youth diversion programs and family support programs and things that will be lasting support for the community that they hope will make a big difference to what they are calling a complete explosion of dysfunction in this region. A New South Wales Coroner has found the death of a toddler who drowned in a backyard pool in September 2014, was preventable. 22-month-old Braxton Slager was in foster care at the time. Here's reporter Jamelle Wells. Jamelle, what did the coroner say? Today, it was said to that this little boy was put into care because both of his parents were battling drug addictions but the foster home he was put in put him in much more risk of this little boy drowned just three weeks after being placed with this family. The deputy state coroner Harriet Graeme Wood said today there needs to be a review by the Department of family and community services in New South Wales and also Life Without Borders. Disturbingly today, she said this little boy had traces of the drug in his system which may have made him sleepy and she said there is indication he was either given that drug or he may have taken the drug himself, indicating he wasn't properly supervised. She also said there was inadequate care for not only this little boy's foster family who were looking after another number of children at the same time that also the little boy's parents were not properly dealt with and there is some indication that he would have been OK with his biological parents if they had received more support. Remind us what happened when Braxton Slager died? The inquest heard that he went into the East foster home in Sydney's West and that his mother came out, had been on her computer and came out into the yard and found this little boy in a swimming pool. She pulled him out of the pool by his hands. She called for help, ambulance crews arrived but they could not revive him. He was taken to a nearby Children's Hospital but it was there he was pronounced dead. What's going to happen now? The coroner has ordered a review of this contract that minds foster homes for these children at risk. She has asked the New South Wales government to look at how this agency works within the Department of community services and said some basic checks need to be enforced. For example, someone should have gone to this house and looked at it and assessed it for safety measures such as an adequate fence around the pool and she said it beggars belief that that simply didn't happen.

6.5 thousand people are taking place in today's stop work. The child care arrangements of thousands of working parents will be disrupted today. There will be 20 workers gathered here before the Sutton in's rallies and speeches in Federation Square. They are arguing for a 30% pay rise. They say people working in this sector up some of the lowest paid and most of the workers are on about $21 an hour. The union united voice say it is time the workers were paid properly.They have incredibly responsible jobs. They are qualified, skilled and professional and yet they are played as little as $21 an hour. They are working -- walking off the job all across the country today to tell the Federal Government the time for in action is over.

over.This was a disgraceful attack on the sovereignty of the United Kingdom and the rule of law and we utterly condemn it. As the UK authorities has made clear sense, this was a fundamental breach of international law. Prohibiting the use of chemical weapons. Russia has an obligation under the chemical weapons Convention and the United Nations Charter. The fact that Russia is a member of the United Nations security Council, the body tasked with ensuring global security, makes this breach of international law especially dangerous and shocking. It reflects a pattern of recklessness and aggression by the Russian government. Including the annexation of Crimea, the invasion of the eastern Ukraine, the downing of MH 17, cyber attacks and efforts to manipulate western nations' elections. This latest incident had demanded a response and has received a concerted international response from the United Kingdom's allies and partners around the world. To do nothing would only encourage further efforts to undermine the international rules based order upon which our security and prosperity rely. As I said, when introducing new foreign interference legislation into the House of Representatives last year, Russia is threatening the democratic world right around the world. There are credible reports that Russia was actively undermining the credibility of the Brexit referendum. Lusty's residential elections in France. -- last year. Catalonia's referenda in Spain and in the United States, one of the oldest and formidable democracies in the world, debate is raging about whether Russian intelligence operations may have tipped the presidential election. The Foreign Minister and I want to stress that Australia has no dispute with the Russian people. Indeed, today, we offer our condolences for the devastating fire that has killed scores of people in a shopping centre in a Siberian city. This is about the actions of the Russian government. It is about our national security interests which we will always defend. We cannot and will not stand by and watch when the sovereignty of our allies and partners is threatened and that is why we are taking the strong action today. It reflects our values as a nation. Respecting the rule of law, adhering to international conventions and rules based order. Upholding our own sovereignty as well as supporting the sovereignty of our allies and partners. This type of activity is one of the key reasons why we have prioritised laws to disrupt and prosecute foreign interference and covert behaviour and we call on the Parliament to pass these laws once they are through the current committee process. The brazen attack, the criminal attack in the United Kingdom, in Salisbury on the 4 March, was an attack on all of us. It was an attack on the sovereignty of every nation that respect the rule of law and that is why we are taking this action today with another 23 nations are round the world, we are defining this recklessness, this lawlessness, from Russia and expressing in solidarity with the United Kingdom and other nations that share those values that we will not tolerate this type of reckless undermining of international law, this reckless assault on the sovereignty of nations. thank you, Prime Minister. Earlier this evening, at the Russian Ambassador was made aware that I had declared two Russian officials persona non grata is on diplomatic and consular relations and that they had seven days to leave Australia. We do not take such decisions lightly, in fact, the last time diplomats were expelled from this country was in 2012 when the two Syrian diplomats were expelled because of the use by the Assad regime of chemical weapons, and in this instance, we share the outrage of the British government and other allies and partners over the deployment of a military grade nerve agent, in an attempted assassination in Salisbury, in the United Kingdom. And we should not forget that the manner in which this nerve agent was deployed put at risk possibly hundreds of other lives. We see this as a direct challenge, direct attack on the international rules -based system and Australia is a staunch defender of the International rules -based system, we are also a member of the Organisation for the Prohibition against chemical weapons and we chair at the Australia group, which is a grouping of nations determined to control the export of chemical weapons. So with that background, Australia could not tolerate this act on the part of the Russians in the United Kingdom. As the Prime Minister points out, Russia is in a unique position to uphold global peace and security. As a permanent member of the Security Council, Russia has a unique responsibility to the sand and strengthen and uphold the international rules -based order, yet there has been a pattern of conduct over recent times that shows Russia is in direct defiance of that very rules -based order, with political assassinations, cyber attacks, the illegal annexation of crime, invasions of other countries's territory, and Georgia, Ukraine, it's disruptive role in the investigation into the downing of MH17, when it should be assisting the investigations. I have remained in constant communication with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in relation to the investigation and the ongoing ongoing actions that may well be taken in response to this matter. We will continue to support our friends and allies, particularly great written in relation to this illegal, reckless, and atrocious attempts to use chemical weapons in Europe. The first attempt since the Second World War, as the Prime Minister has indicated.There are a whole series of allegations and incidence of ill behaviour, unlawful acts by Russia. Is the expulsion of two spies sufficiently strong action given that?Well, the reaction, the response obviously has been carefully calibrated and the force of it comes from the large number of countries that are undertaking the expulsion of Russian diplomats, that is the... It is a very, very strong, concerted response and it is one that sends a clear and unequivocal message to the Russians.What are you expecting now from Russia? They have not given their response, what you expecting?Well, we expect that they will expel a number of our diplomats as well, that is what they do. Well, that is the response that they will make. I will ask Julie to describe the Vienna Convention will be speaking, countries have the right to declare a diplomat persona non grata if they choose to do so, and this will be the response that it is the fundamental point is, we are sending a clear and concerted message of 23 nations supporting the United Kingdom, that is critically important.Given the fact that the Russians expelled 23 in reddish diplomats in response to the reddish expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats, it is my expectation that Russia will likewise expel a commensurate number of diplomats from each of the countries that have taken action overnight. -- Russian diplomats. Also, we believe that Russia intends to expel diplomats from our embassy in Moscow, we anticipate this and are taking contingency actions in response to this, in other words we are planning for this to occur and our expectation is that she went to the Vienna Convention, they will expel Australian diplomats. They are under no obligation to give reasons as to why.Prime Minister, Prime Minister... Well, I can't comment on that.Has there been any investigation about whether they have attempted to infiltrate the political process he or had contact with politicians?It may disappoint you, but it might surprise you to say that I am not going to go into any further detail into two undeclared intelligence officers, diplomats that are being expelled. Are there any further sanctions being considered against Russia and should the Socceroos boycott, and other countries boycott, the World Cup in Russia next year?Well, I will ask the Foreign Minister to talk about the existing sanctions that we have that we will be, continue to engage with the UK and our other partners and allies around the world, in terms of the response, but it is, it will be one that is concerted because that is where its force comes from, I picked up the point that Marc Kenny made earlier, asking is this enough? The force comes of the fact that so many nations are taking the same action, so it is that solidarity that sends that very strong message to Moscow. In relation to sanctions, Australia has already a range of autonomous sanctions against Russia, in particular those that were imposed in the aftermath of the illegal annexation of Crimea, and those sanctions have been reviewed and updated over time, so we have sanctions against a number of individuals and a number of Russian entities. The impact of sanctions, of course, is strongest when it is done collectively, and so we will continue to liaise with the Foreign Office and other allies and partners on this issue as to whether further action will be taken in response to the deployment of a chemical nerve agent in Salisbury.Is boycotting the World Cup one of those possible outcomes?There are a whole range of further options of action that could be taken, the boycott of the World Cup is one of the further actions that could be taken in relation to this matter.Sorry, this is...Hang on, hang on, the...When did the government find out that these two people were undeclared intelligence officers, was that before or after the UK tax?These are intelligence matters and we will not be going into that kind of detail.Are those sorts of observations justified? Well, you are the commentators I think you can commentate on fellow commentators, look, this is a very different environment to the Cold War, there are obviously some, there are some similarities but without getting into a discussion which I would love to engage in at some point with the wall, but it would take too long to talk about the history of the Cold War and such good developments, I think it is just important rather than getting sentimental about Lecarre novels and bygone eras, let's just focus on the facts here. We have a government which has used a chemical weapon on the soil of another nation in an attempt to assassinate individuals in that other country, the UK fall is not now, this is a shocking crime, it is a shocking crime. -- the UK. Now, this is a shocking crime. It is a shocking breach of the rule of law and the use of chemical weapons illegally, contrary to international law, and for the first time, as we have both said, in Europe since the Second World War, this cried out for a concerted response, so I think we should, I don't dispute the interesting history and background and historical analogues, but let's just focus on what happened in Salisbury on the 4 March, a shocking crime called out for a concerted global response, and Australia is playing its part in that strong response today. I will just take one more question.Would you like to see the lifespan of that power station extended and would you like to hear more from the Chinese interests who have contacted you about that?

have contacted you about that?Well, as you know, that the Lidell powerstation is not owned by the Australians government. There are a number of parties interested in acquiring the powerstation, but that is a conversation that they have to have with AGL. Labor's policies have resulted, most notably in South Australia where thankfully there has now been a change of government, in unaffordable and unreliable power in that state. We do not want that to happen anywhere else, so that is why the Energy Minister asked the Australians energy market operator to examine whether there would be a in dispatch of will power and reliable power, consequent upon Lidell closing. That report has come in, it has been published, it shows that will be a gap of around 850 megawatts, absent other actions being taken. One of the actions that will result in that being filled is the adoption of the National energy guaranteed, and this is what, this is AEMO's judgement, because it prioritises dispatch a bull power, the priority is that we are able to keep the lights on and are able to afford to keep the lights on and that is what the National energy guaranteed delivers. The truth is, as you know, with Labor you pay more for energy, we have seen that. Look at the action we had to take to make up for Labor's failures on gas, action which has resulted on prices coming down close to -- from close to $20 a gallon, to around $8. That is strong action I have taken to make up for Labor's failures of the past. Affordability and reliability, that is what the National energy guaranteed will deliver and again that, e.g. Not have to take my word for it, but Julie Bishop's or Josh Frydenberg's, the AEMO is confirming that bringing down power prices. My understanding is that they are conducting a critical investigation, did speak to David Peever on the day, as you know, about it, and conveyed my view is very clearly to him, he was very critical of that advice. They now have two make sure that this great, national game, this great international game that is synonymous with fair play, is once again a game that is played by champions, that everybody can look up to. I mean, this has been a shocking affront to Australia. It is, you know, how many of us, as children, how many of us as fathers and mothers, have had children who have looked up to the Australian team? Have looked up to their idols, to their role models? Is cheating is, it is a disgrace. We all know that, it is a terrible disgrace. And we... Cricket Australia is dealing with it, they have to investigate it and they have to act, continue to act decisively and emphatically, and we have to... Where do we want to get to? We want to get to the point where we can all say once again, not rhetorically but heartfelt and with sincerity, that cricket is a fair game, cricket is a game that is synonymous with a fair go and fair play, that is what has to happen and I want to add one other point. I think, and I said this to David Peever, I will not go on to say everything I have to him and I will say this, I think there has to be the strongest action taken against this practice of sledging. It has got right out of control, it is eight, it should have no place in, I want to be very clear about this, this, the game of cricket is, it should be one that once again is held up as a role model, and I think that is the, some of the sledging as some of the shocking conduct that we have seen is also part of the process of review and reflection that is going to be undertaken. So thank you all very much.The Prime Minister speaking there about the cricket scandal in Canberra. The Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull speaking in Canberra - We do not run a commentary on negotiations with the crossbench. I want to be clear about this. What we are seeking to do is Australian companies in the position where they can invest and employ. Where they will be able to grow and make more investment, create more jobs and better paid jobs. Bill Shorten has said that if the company tax reforms are passed, he will repeal them if he becomes Prime Minister. What he is saying is that he wants to go to the election on the platform of fewer jobs and less well-paid jobs. It shows you cannot trust anything Bill Shorten says. This is a man who stood up at the dispatch box and the House of Representatives only a few years ago when labour was last in government -- Labor, and said more jobs and higher wages. You know what, he was right. He was right. Now of course, it doesn't suit him to say that and he has done a backflip. He is trying to do a backflip on pensions, on the pension attacks. Grabbing the franking dividends from tensions. -- tensions. -- pensions. This was a man saying, they were all millionaires, yes, there were all pensioners that accusing me of using pensioners as a human shield. He treated those self-funded retirees, pensioners and independent self funders the Tyree is, -- retirees, and done a backflip. Pensioners will still be caught. After March 28, they will be caught again by his proposal. He hasn't even done his homework properly. He has done a backflip that hasn't landed on his feet. He has landed once again with his hand in the pockets of hard-working Australians who have saved all their lives and entitled to support and respect. Bill Shorten cannot be trusted with your money. He cannot be trusted with your savings. Pensioners, self rant -- self-funded retirees, Australians looking to work, Australians looking for a job, they cannot trust Bill Shorten because he says one thing one day and another thing the next. All of the backflips demonstrate just one thing. He cannot be trusted to put Australians, Australian jobs, Australian business, Australian savings first. Thank you very much. Proposed corporate tax cuts and in that but before that, the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister talking about the government's decision to expel two Russian diplomats. The move is in support of a mass explusion of more than 100 Russian diplomats from over 20 countries, following the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in the UK at the beginning of this month. what is your reaction of so many Russian diplomats over 20 countries including Australia being sent home? It is certainly a powerful statement but I want to emphasise that we are talking about a response coming from 23 countries. If we are aiming to put Russia to shame and change its behaviour, the response should be coming from a significant larger number of countries rather than 23 and you can call them the same old suspects, effectively. Members of the Western alliance and a number of members of the European Union NATO states, the United States, Canada and now Australia. The fact that no reaction so far has come from India, China or any other major powers in the Asia-Pacific or in the Asia-Pacific, would actually give Russia an indication they haven't been isolated. Russia is unlikely to change its behaviour as a result of that.Prime Minister said he wanted this action to send a clear message to Russia that the West says enough is enough and more needs to be done. The West is also not united on this. We need to remember that about 14 out of some 30 members of the EU decided to take this action against Russia. The members in Europe concerned about taking any decisive action against Russia, they want to be convinced the Russians are behind it. If once again, if Canberra is genuinely interested in changing Russia's course and making Russia stopped from challenging US rules based order, I think first of all we need to do more homework at home with regards to convincing other members of the West to join but also we need to have extensive consultations with other significant powers and try them to convince and start support in actions taken by the West. Otherwise the action would be limited and short lift.What is Russia likely to do in response are part from expelling diplomats in return and are we just don't see this tit-for-tat reaction and where could that lead?Russia is incredibly active on the global stage and a member of the J-20, a member of a peck and a number of institutions. -- APEC. -- G20. It would be limited to just expelling Australian diplomats from Moscow. The Russians may suspend any consultations with Australia also on crucial questions such as counterterrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, so one and so forth. They may take more assertive actions in Syria where we also have a presence. The response coming from Moscow is likely to be angry and at least a symmetric -- symmetric. They also may take economic sanctions which may hurt Australian farmers and other elements of the Australian economy. Russia has responded symmetrically. Russia continues to deny the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter. What is your view on it? And think we need to take a bit of a measured response, assuming he is behind every single decision on Russia is making. Vladimir Putin. Allan Lily, to take an action like all Prime Minister and our Foreign Minister decided to take, -- certain things exchange between the UK and Australia.The UK are not prepared to reveal anything at this stage that not prepared to compromise channels in which they obtained this critical information. The Russians will continue to deny their involvement and their strategy now is to accuse the UK for failing to protect their nationals on British soil and we need to remember that Skripal and his daughter were UK nationals. Also the UK's ability to manufacture the nerve agent and continue with the blame game. Whether Vladimir Putin is behind the attack, as an analyst I want to wait for the outcomes of the formal investigation that is still taking place. But I think whatever the Russians would be saying, we are now is convinced they have been implicated and they don't think this opinion will change any time soon. Thank you.

Many people around the world are in danger of dying of hunger. The current levels of starvation are unprecedented.In the last two years, people marching towards the brink of starvation has gone up from 80 million people to 124 million and primarily, that has been driven by conflict around the world. The sad news is we are going backwards now. For so long, we were making headway, reducing hunger and the severity of hunger rate. Now for the first time, because of war, and if that is compounded by climate impact like drought were you may see in Africa, and then if you compound that with ISIS, Boko Haram, trying to destabilise. It creates a migration issue Europe and other issues which will be infiltrated with the extremist. If we can end the wars, we can end world hunger. We have the technology, the expertise. Today, we don't have the funds, the access and because of the desperation of crisis all over the world. We need to end the wars. One of the things that we do and I say to people where extremists and others may use food as a weapon of war or recruitment, we use it as a weapon of peace and reconciliation or bridge building. Whether it is school programs or bringing country leaders together. For example, in the US and I have seen it here in Australia, party members may fight on every single thing you can imagine but when it comes to feeding hungry children, they all lay aside their differences and come together for the benefit of the community and that is a good thing. -- Bay lay aside. I have been in some of the Western -- worst war zones. It is like seeing a flower in the desert, you cannot give up on these children. Whether you are talking about Syria, South sedan, Yemen or the wreckage of Muslims, it is heartbreaking. The international committee must not walk away. -- Rohingya. There is no doubt in my mind, the International committee must bring as much pressure on a -- pressure as they can and come together. With regard to the atrocities, there is enough evidence to justify a full investigation as to the Myanmar communities and government. This is not acceptable in today's time. In Syria alone where we have been feeding for- 6 million people, the internally displaced people out of the 20 million and then the people that have gone into surrounding communities, Europe or the Jordan or Iraq or Turkey. Then, for example, the ISIS have been pushed out of Syria, they are moving down into the greater region from the Red Sea to the Atlantic and the region all the way down to Kamaruddin. They are going and cutting deals and partnerships with ISIS, Boko Haram and Al Qaeda -- Cameroon. They are hoping to destabilise Europe. That is their ball game. If we can get in there for food, we can use it as a weapon of peace. I hear this over and over from mothers that will say, my husband did not want to join ISIS but after we had no food for two weeks, it was the only alternative. That is what we are therefore, to save lives and change lives and as long as there is sustainability resilience, people will not join extremist groups. A diagnosis of cancer is devastating enough and often people with illnesses put on a brave face about needing help, or their support network gets paralysed from fear of saying or doing the wrong thing. An advertising executive had this experience when she was told she had aggressive breast cancer. Now Rachel Lonergan has developed an app for the patient and their would-be helpers. Rachel joins us in the studio. Rachel, tell us firstly, what happened to you. Late to the date, I was diagnosed with aggressive brain cancer and a big -- breast cancer and at the same time, my sister was undergoing sarcoma, which is a rare, aggressive cancer. It was quite a shock, and I had radiotherapy and chemotherapy and a solid year of treatment, things were quite difficult in terms of managing the assistance that was needed at the time. What is this app designed to do? This app is designed to remove the awkwardness of that conversation, it is really hard to say to someone can I help? Is very hard to accept help if you are someone who is used to their own independence. The app that tries to help ameliorate that situation and deliver more practical help in a way that is a little bit more palatable. What difference does it make organising help through an app rather than doing it face to face? I think we are in a world were we do a lot of things on smartphones and people do not even like to find people any more, we like the message instead, so sort of tap into that behavioural insight and ensure that the help you need is being delivered, while keeping things very kind of, you know, reducing that awkwardness of that conversation. When you login to this out, do you just see a list of tasks that need to be done any tick one and put your name next to it?Well, the first thing you do is the person was driving the app, and it can be person who is undertaking treatment or the person that they appoint as the admin, we like to call the bossy friend, everyone has that friend who can do that for them, they start scheduling tasks, appointments and things like that. You can even make them of available to anybody to accept the complete that task or you can direct them to a specific person, if it is perhaps something that is a little bit more personal like the dock's appointments, and then that person accepts the task and it goes on to their calendar as part of their day-to-day activity. -- Doctor's.What kind of tasks do you recommend?It is really up to the person, there are lots of domestic tasks that people would expect, or helping people with meals or taking them to appointments, there is something that everybody can do. You may not want to help them clinging to the bathroom but you may be someone who can help them with their financial paperwork or dealing in those kinds of things. -- cleaning the bathroom. There are people who are using the app to schedule visits from friends and those kinds of things as well.How are you now?I am well, it has been a .5 years and I cancer free and doing well. Rate here, thank you for coming in. Thank you. The work of professor George Paxinos in mapping the human brain has been recognised globally, and today, the Greek-Australian neuro-scientist is in Canberra, presenting a set of his cartography books to Parliament's library. His work has had a profound impact on medicine, and he's now investigating the question: "Is the brain the right size?" George Paxinos joins us now from Canberra. Welcome, George. Can we start with why you decided it was necessary to map the brain? And how did you do it? We have an interest in studying the human brain for clinical reasons, and the brain of animals, experimental animals, for reasons of allowing scientist to construct animal models of disease, the scientists love nothing more than establishing an animal model of a disease, inspired by human considerations such as a disease such as Alzheimer's, epilepsy, they want to construct the same thing in the mouse or the right, then they have control and they can study it. So we provide the maps, like a Google map, for the brain of the human in experimental animals, and it allows scientists to navigate between these brains and test their hypotheses. What about this question that you say has troubled you for 50 years, is the brain the right size? what hamsters have you arrive that so far? -- answers have you arrived at.The fact that the brain is really the result of a hereditary endowment, genetic endowment, and environmental influences that have moulded the brain that, and the brain that was really constructed many, many years ago, hundreds of thousands of years ago, it too deal with the issues that are not current. Other things are now the difficulties that we have to overcome, including environmental damage, and just if you consider for a moment if the brain was smaller than what it is, like the chimpanzee brain, it would not have been able to construct the technology which today threatens existence. If it were larger than what it is, it might have been able to understand the problem, even solve it. So it is really, the brain in my view is not the right size, just to reflect and avoid the hubris to think that we are really in, made in the image of God.The human condition, I guess. You say you have done a lot of work combating diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, are you optimistic that these conditions can be stopped?Well, that the neuroscience in Australia are used by other people to study the causes and amelioration, or prediction, the course of the disease, the diagnosis of the disease and yes, there are improvements, it there might be indications of Alzheimer's, there might be a way of retarding the progression of the disease to actually cure the disease, I cannot see it happening because the damage to the neurons has already occurred. You spoke about the influence of genes and environment on the brain's development, but what you make of individuals like the late Stephen Hawking, his intellect was so far above everybody else's, what would be different about his brain to the rest of us?Well, it definitely would be something different about his brain, much like Einstein's brain, except that nobody has found anything that correlates well with this exceptional performance. There has to be something physical or chemical, functional, but it has not been identified yet what producers genius, what separates, is different from ours.Professor, fascinating to talk to you, thank you so much. Thank you.Rescues are taking place in Queensland's far north after torrential rain last night. The State emergency service says more than 40 people were evacuated from Cairns caravan park and two had been rescued from a vehicle, north of Cairns. The Weather Bureau is warning of major flooding of a river. Now for sports news with Shannon Byrne. History was made in the women's cricket last night? Finally, some positive news coming out of cricket and yes, an historic moment for me in short, she became the first-ever Australian women's fast bowler to get a hat-trick in a T20 International match. They were sent in to bat after losing the toss, succumbed to some early wickets but half centuries from Elise Salami guided Australia to 5- 186, then the lady here on your screen was outstanding. She picked up a hat-trick, two balls of the last two deliveries in the second over, she had to wait until the fifth over when she got the ball again and have this poll in that over delivered had a hat-trick. Wonderful scenes on the Australian women's team as they celebrated Meagan Short and her quest to -- her having just become the first Australian woman to earn a hat-trick. They are playing it over in Mumbai at the moment, so finally some exciting and great news coming from the world of cricket. Megan Schutt, put that down, it could be a quiz question sometime. What's the latest with the men's team from South Africa? We had the Prime Minister talking about this just now.The news coming out is that Darren Lehman has spoken to newspapers and there is speculation flying around right now that he will actually step down and walk away from being the streaming cricket coach. We have not got that confirmed, it is in the early hours of South African time there in Cape Town and obviously, we are still waiting for James Sutherland to get off the plan, the CEO is getting over to South Africa as quickly as it can to meet up with their integrity chief, Iain Roy and high-performance head Pat Howard, who will be investigating this incident further. Steve Smith stood down as the captain of his IPL side, the Indian Premier League start next Saturday, so he has stood down and made himself available as a captain. He still will play but the Rajasthan Royals will not see him as a captain, so a lot more to come I think when they will wake up. The Matildas impressive against Thailand in Perth? Yeah, look, not only impressive on the skyline but they are -- 's poor line that they are heading into the Asian Cup next month as well. -- scoreline. They got to pay for the first time ever in Perth in the Matilda 's jumper, Lisa DeVine are scored two goals which could very well have got a hat-trick because she had many opportunities in front of goal. A big win there. More importantly, the sixth ranked world team, the Matilda is take a lot of confidence after that 5-0 win. And finally, in the NRL, the women's competition, four teams announced. Well done to those four clubs.Thank you. A quick look at the National weather now, Brisbane, showers, Sydney and Canberra also sonny. Cloud increasing in Melbourne.

That's ABC News for now. I'm Ros Childs. Coming up on the ABC News Channel, we will get more on the fallout from this trail in government's decision to expel two Russian spies. -- Australian.

This program is not captioned.

Today - Spies expelled. Two Russian diplomats identified as undeclared intelligence officers ordered to leave Australia. To do nothing would only encourage further efforts to undermine the international rules based order upon which our security and our prosperity rely. Childcare chaos. Hundreds of childcare centres close as workers strike over low wages. We are here only for a part day to day but it is obviously a very important issue and I am fully behind the staff. North Queensland hit by flash flooding with more rain forecast. And the future of several players in doubt as Australian officials arrive in South Africia to investigate the ball tapering scandal. Hello.