BtN: Episode 17 Transcript 19/6/12 On this week's Behind the News


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BtN: Episode 17 Transcript 19/6/12
On this week's Behind the News

  • We visit an unusual Olympic training session teaching athletes the dangers of social media.

  • A dingo took her baby but no-one believed her. We look at this famous case where the courts got it wrong.

  • And we meet the school kids growing their own bush tucker and selling it to a top restaurant.

Hi I'm Nathan Bazley, welcome to Behind the News. Also on the show today, we meet some kids who are finding their voice by giving opera a go. But first today.

Syria Crisis

Reporter: Nathan Bazley

INTRO: When you think of wars it's easy to picture them as countries fighting against each other but during the past year in the Middle East we've seen many conflicts that have taken on a different form. People fighting against their own government. And one country that's been doing that for about a year now is Syria. Let's take a look at how this fight started.
NATHAN BAZLEY, REPORTER: In Australia, the punishment for graffiti can be anywhere between community service and jail time.
But what if some kids wrote something like this?"Down with the regime" Here, they'd suffer the same consequences despite what they had written.
But in Syria, a country next to Iraq in the Middle East, some kids who did just that were treated very differently. Protests broke out after they were captured and tortured, because they had criticised the Syrian government.
So graffiti on a wall was the starting point of a big argument, between the government and the people.

Since then, the fighting has turned into an all out war that has so far killed more 12 thousand people. But it would be unfair to say that graffiti caused all of this violence and all this destruction. Many of the Syrian people had been angry at their government for a long time before that happened. But it was the point when people started taking to the streets in big numbers, demanding change through protests.

In Australia, protests happen all the time. Most of the time, they are allowed to be held in peace. But in Syria, protests are treated very differently. Forces loyal to the government have opened fire on protests and shelled towns holding them. Although officially, the Syrian government denies it's behind the attacks.
The United Nations believe the Syrian Government is responsible for much of the violence happening there. They've called for an end to the bloodshed and many members have voted to cut off Syria from outside trade and money, until they stop fighting. But Russia and China voted against it, so it's not happening right now.
And in Australia, the government has asked Syria's representatives to leave the country.
BOB CARR, FOREIGN MINISTER: This is the most effective way we've got of sending a message of revulsion at what's happened in Syria.
Even here, as the reps were flying out, Syrian people on both sides protested about what's happening back home.
For the people still in Syria though, that's a very dangerous thing to do. So lots have fled across the border to Turkey and into camps like this. It's a place where kids and their parents can finally be safe. Although many are still worried about relatives they've had to leave behind.
REPORTER: Have you heard from your family?
MAN: I'm trying to call them every day, but the cell phones are out of service.
REPORTER: What sort of stories are you hearing from people coming into this camp?
MAN: They are destroying houses regardless of if there are families inside or not. So it's horrible.

Back inside Syria, many say they aren't free to protest against the rulers they've grown to fear. They want the freedom to choose new leaders. But without help from outside, winning that freedom is going to be difficult and deadly to achieve.

Presenter: Let's see what else is making the news. Here's Tash with the Wire.

The Wire
Greece will soon have a new government! The conservative New Democracy party has claimed victory following the latest election. The party supports the financial bail-out package agreed with Europe and will try to keep the country in the Euro.
ANTONIS SAMARAS, NEW DEMOCRACY PARTY LEADER: Today the Greek people expressed their will to stay anchored with the Euro. This is a victory for all Europe. It was the country's second election this year after a vote in May failed to produce a clear winner.
There's a big shake-up happening at one of Australia's biggest newspaper companies. Fairfax says it's going to cut 1,900 jobs change the look of its papers and close two printing presses in Sydney and Melbourne. The company says it aims to save around 235 million dollars by 2015.
Australia has been asked to lead the push to get World Heritage status for Antarctica. Politicians, scientists and conservationists met in Hobart to discuss how best to protect the world's greatest surviving wilderness. Talks with politicians will continue next week.

Online Olympians

Reporter: Sarah Larsen
INTRO: Kids are often told about the dangers of social networking, how posting the wrong thing on Facebook or Twitter can get you into trouble. But adults can easily do the wrong thing too just ask Kenrick Monk and Nick D'Arcy. The Olympic swimmers recently learned what can happen if you're not careful on Facebook. And it's a lesson all athletes are taking to the games as Sarah reports.
SARAH LARSEN, REPORTER: It's not something they've spent their lives training for. It’s not a test of skill, stamina and strength but it will be a big part of London 2012.

Welcome to the social networking Olympics. Through sites like Twitter and Facebook sports fans will have a closer and more personal view of the Olympics than ever before.

DAVID CULBERT, SPONSORSHIP STRATEGIST: The thing about Twitter in particular is that you feel like you're - you are talking to them and they're talking to you and you're sharing the experience.
NICK GREEN, CHEF DE MISSION, AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE: We're gonna get some great photographs of people doing things around the village that the public's never seen before, all round the Games, and they're gonna be the wonderful stories that are gonna come out.
The games themselves have their own Twitter and Facebook accounts and so do most of the Aussie athletes heading over there. But as some Aussie athletes know, social networking can get you into a lot of trouble. Last week this photo was all over the news. It was supposed to be a joke; taken by Nick D'Arcy and Kenrick Monk on a trip to America.
NICK D'ARCY, SWIMMER: If anyone's been offended, obviously I deeply apologise. It was never the intent.
But some people were upset and so was the Australian Olympic Committee. They've ordered D’Arcy and Monk to come straight home after their event and miss the closing ceremony in London as punishment. And the swimmers say they're not going to touch Facebook or Twitter during the games.
NICK D'ARCY: We understand the sanctions that have been put on us from the AOC. I think it's really important in these last seven weeks to be focused on your training and focused on what you're doing in the pool. Yeah, that's pretty much it, guys.
It's not the first time something like this has happened. Stephanie Rice got into a lot of trouble a couple of years ago when she used an offensive word in a tweet about the South African Rugby team.
MIKE TANCRED, MEDIA DIRECTOR, AOC: Four words is all it took for her to end up in an absolute media storm. I spoke to her mother. They were shocked and stunned by the vitriol of the comments that followed

Stephanie is now hoping her example will be a warning to other athletes to watch what they put online.

STEPHANIE RICE, SWIMMER (Sept. 8th, 2010): I just really owe it to everyone to apologise for what's happened. And I want people to know how sorry I am for what's happened.
MIKE TANCRED: I don't want to have to take you to a press conference like that one, because they're not fun.
REPORTER: It's not just an issue for athletes. Anyone can get into trouble pretty easily by posting the wrong thing on a social networking site. You have to remember that what you write here can be seen by more than just your friends.
But while it can be risky, social networking is important for athletes. For a lot of them, the Olympics is their only major time in the spotlight and they only come around every four years. They need to generate publicity, get sponsors, and take their fans with them once the games are over.
DAVID CULBERT: At the end of the day, athletes in 2012, they're reality TV stars. This is reality TV at its best.
Online Poll
OK let's make that our poll this week. The question is:
Should the swimmers have been punished for posting the photo on Facebook?
To vote just head to our website.
Dingo Decision

Reporter: Natasha Thiele

INTRO: One of the most famous news stories in Australia's history has finally come to an end. In the 1980's, a mother was wrongly convicted of killing her baby. The child had actually been killed by a dingo but the jury at the time didn't agree. Tash takes a look at how the mistake happened.
NATASHA THIELE, REPORTER: It was 1980 and the Chamberlain family, mum, dad and three kids were on a camping trip to Uluru. But their holiday soon turned to tragedy, when their 9 week old baby daughter went missing in the night.

LINDY CHAMBERLAIN, AZARIA'S MUM: I just yelled out has anyone got a torch, the dingo's got my baby!

Azaria's parents Lindy and Michael said a dingo had taken their little girl from the tent.
LINDY CHAMBERLAIN: There's no food in there, but I thought he might just have damaged or mauled the baby and I ran towards the tent and I felt in the carry basket, but she wasn't there.
MICHAEL CHAMBERLAIN, AZARIA'S DAD: When we saw the spots of blood in the tent, we knew that was a powerful beast.
Azaria's body was never found, but days later some of her clothes were. The coroner, who first investigated the death, believed the Chamberlain's story.
CORONER: It's consistent with the possibility of a dog having taken a baby.
But then there was a twist. Some people started to suspect that maybe the Mum had killed her baby and that the dingo story was just a big cover-up. Eventually Lindy Chamberlain was put on trial for murder. The trial was a massive event and was making the news all around the world. Many Australians seemed convinced of her guilt.
REPORTER: Michael, why do you think people were so quick not to accept that a dingo in fact took the baby?
MICHAEL CHAMBERLAIN: Because it's perhaps a first for Australia.
In the end, Lindy Chamberlain was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.
The Chamberlain's always fought hard to prove they were innocent and years later, there was a breakthrough. Azaria's jacket had been found. And what's important for the case is that it was partially buried near a dingo hide out. Because of this find, Lindy was allowed to leave jail.
ABC NEWS BULLETIN (1986): After five and a half years after the death of her daughter Azaria, Lindy Chamberlain is free.

The story didn't just make the news; it was so famous overseas that it was turned into a Hollywood movie with Meryl Streep playing the role of Lindy Chamberlain. Lots of the original investigation and trial have been heavily criticised as we've learned more about forensic science. The crime scene hadn't been sealed off, key evidence had been moved and lots of the forensic evidence used in the trial is now considered to be unreliable. Experts had claimed blood was found in the Chamberlain's car. Now, experts think it was more likely to be a simple spray used in car manufacturing.

Lindy Chamberlain has constantly fought to uncover the truth. And last week a much older Lindy finally got the answer she wanted. Azaria's death certificate was officially changed.
CORONER: The cause of her death was as the result of being attacked and taken by a dingo.
LINDY CHAMBERLAIN-CREIGHTON: Obviously we're relieved and delighted to come to the end of this saga.
Azaria would've been 32 if she was still alive today. And so with the mystery of her death now solved, her case can finally be closed!
Quiz 1
OK, we talked a bit about forensic science there. So let's have a quiz about fingerprints.
The question is:
Which animal’s fingerprints are most like humans?
Answer: Koala
Bush Tucker

Reporter: Nathan Bazley

INTRO: Their fingerprints are almost identical to ours even with an electron microscope it can be hard to tell them apart. Now, the top restaurants are always thinking of ways to make their food stand out from the crowd. One celebrity chef has decided to design her menu around traditional bush tucker. And what makes this idea special is that some of the ingredients come to her from a group of school kids.
KYLIE KWONG, CELEBRITY CHEF: We've put a lot of hard work into planning this week, we've tested all of the recipes and I know it's just going to be a wonderful night.
But that's not because of any high profile guests or famous reviewers. Her special guest and star attraction tonight is ingredients most people have probably ever heard of.
KYLIE: Our feast this evening showcases the vivid flavours of organically grown Australian bush foods and wild weeds.
In other words, bush tucker. And some of the best quality bush tucker comes from somewhere you might find surprising - a school!

IAN HOWARD, RENMARK HIGH SCHOOL: OK, guys, so I think that the interesting part about this is that we're dealing with a plant that's been looked after by let's say Aboriginal footprints for about 60,000 years.

This isn't your usual classroom or your usual uniforms, but the lesson they're learning here is a pretty interesting one - how to make money from traditional bush tucker.
There are quite a few crops here that the school helps to look after, but it's a safe bet most of you wouldn't recognise them. There is kutjera, which are sometimes called desert raisins or bush tomatoes and marsdenia, otherwise known as bush bananas. And there's passion berries as well, which sound pretty tasty, even if they're not that easy to grow.
IAN: I think we over watered them.
For the kids at this school, the chance to get out of the classroom and learn about how the bush tucker business works is pretty tempting.
OSHAY, STUDENT: Yeah it's pretty interesting, like there is a certain way to plant them and what not.
RHYS, STUDENT: We found out that the weeds, they wreck the plants. And then you got the ants, they help pollinate as well as the bees.
AIDEN, STUDENT: We've learnt about this one, kutjera and we've picked that today. We've also learnt about passion berry, marsdenia and (inaudible) apple.
Not that many of them particularly like the fruits of their labour.
REPORTER: So, have you got any favourites?
OSHAY: No, I don't like any of them.
RHYS: No, it doesn't taste that good.
OSHAY: We made a sauce out of the kutjera. The sauce was pretty good.
That's where bush tucker cooking classes come in handy.
TEACHER: We've got carrot and wattle seed cake here to the left, we'll also be doing a pumpkin carbonara with our desert flakes, pear and pasha tartlets and our chicken, quandong and chilli sausage rolls.
That's what the kids here are whipping up and it ends up looking pretty tasty too!
But how did the professionals go? Pretty well it seems!

KYLIE: And that's why I'm just so excited about this discovery and I've said to them over and over again it has revolutionised my menu here.

With a little help from kids, bush tucker is starting to tickle tastebuds like never before.

Quiz 2
OK, let's have a bush tucker quiz.

The question is:
What type of food is a quandong?
Answer: Fruit
Quandongs are also known as a desert peaches and they have a higher vitamin C content than oranges. OK, let's move onto the week's sporting action next here's James with the Score.
The Score
In tennis the Queen's tournament final had a bizarre ending. David Nalbandian was disqualified from the final after he lost his temper and kicked an advertising panel into a line judge’s leg. Tournament organisers immediately brought an end to the game and named Marin Cilic the winner.
DAVID NALBANDIAN: "I do a mistake and I apologise to the guy. I didn't want to do that but sometimes you get angry and sometime you can't control that moment"

Germany will face Greece in the Euro 2012 quarter finals after both countries qualified from their groups. The match will have some added spice because of the financial crisis in Europe and has already been dubbed the "Euro Debt Derby". The European championship is a national soccer tournament that happens every 4 years.


And a frisbee tournament of a different kind has been held in Hungary. Sixty dogs and their owners took part in the European Frisbee Dog Championships in Budapest. The dogs chase the discs in short routines choreographed to music. The winners are guaranteed a spot in the world championships in US later this year.

Opera Kids

Reporter: Sarah Larsen

INTRO: When you think of opera what do you picture? Old people in funny costumes singing songs in other languages? Well there's a lot more to opera than that not that most kids would know because they've never even seen one let alone been in one. But in Sydney, some kids are changing that by writing an opera of their own. Sarah checked it out.

SARAH LARSEN, REPORTER: It's got more drama than a soap opera, more weird costumes than a Lady Gaga concert and more Voice than a reality TV show.
In all, opera's pretty cool, right?
STUDENT: I always though opera was for old people who were really depressed.
REPORTER: Sorry. It seems opera has a bit of an image problem. And lot of kids find it, well, pretty daggy. So how do you reckon a group of high school students would feel about creating an opera of their own?
You're about to find out. This is Wot opera; a program that gives ordinary school kids a chance to be opera stars. The idea came from Aussie millionaire Graeme Wood.
GRAEME WOOD: I go to the opera a fair bit and when I look at the repertoire most of the composers we see in Australia tend to be about 200 years dead, mainly not Australian and I thought, when you look around the audience most of them are going to be dead in about ten years.
Opera needed some new blood and these guys are it. The kids chosen to participate didn't have to be brilliant singers or gifted musicians; they just had to be enthusiastic.
SUMERA: It's actually my first time singing and dancing and acting at the same time but yeah, I find this program really exciting and interesting.
Creative director Murray helped them to find talent they didn't know they had.
MURRAY: My job is to say right. Sing. And they go like 'hmmm' and then they giggle and I say, yes, you’re singing and they say, no I'm giggling.
First they had to write the opera
STUDENT: We're all just sitting around throwing ideas out at Murray and he would it down and like, ah, it's an opera and it just like came together and just happened.

REPORTER: Some of you might be wondering just what an opera is. Well it doesn't have to be classical and it doesn't have to involve silly costumes. An opera is just a story told in song.

The kids worked together on every aspect of the opera. They wrote the music, created the sets, worked on the choreography and, of course, provided the voices.
MURRAY: Who's got the best voice here?

STUDENT: We all do.

MURRAY: Thank you, perfect answer.
GRAEME WOOD: When those kids first walked into the room a few weeks ago and they're all timid and they don't know what this is about and then you see them up there like Hollywood stars and it's an amazing transformation.
The experience changed a lot of kids’ minds about opera.
STUDENT: I thought it was going to be like Susan Boyle; all that 'aahhh' but it was a really good experience.
But the best bit was the stuff they learned about themselves.
STUDENT: I was curious, you know, as to what it was but it's really opened up a new doorway to me, a sort of um opera experience. It's really unique, if you will.
STUDENT: It makes you realise that things are not always as you see them everything is great you just have to experience it first-hand.
Through this very old art form they've found new talents, new friends, and confidence they never knew they had. And that's pretty cool.
That's it for the show. You can jump onto our website if you want to get more info on any of the stories. You can send us your comments and don't forget to vote in this week's poll. I'll see you next time.


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