Updated Wednesday, 18 February, 2009
Heavy rains isolate NSW town but farmers look beyond deluge After days of heavy rain NSW is bracing itself for yet more, with several areas on flood alert. The floods in Queensland have caused millions of dollars worth of damage, and thousands of Queenslanders have received Federal disaster relief grants. But the floods may benefit drought-affected farmers in South Australia and the water may even reach the usually dry Lake Eyre.
Economy dominates talk at community Cabinet in Sydney's mortgage belt
During his first community Cabinet meeting of the year, Kevin Rudd has taken questions from students and home-owners in Sydney's south-west. During the 40-minute session in Campbelltown, Mr Rudd was asked about a Federal takeover of health and education and whether the banks should be investigated about their role in the global financial crisis. There were mixed reviews on the Government's efforts to boost the economy.
Obama signs stimulus package but recovery could take years
After signing his economic stimulus package into law, the US President Barack Obama hopes his $1.2-trillion worth of new spending and tax cuts will help steer the American economy out of recession.
Carmakers scramble to meet deadline for government assistance
The American car giants are facing tough decisions as they try to secure extra government assistance. There are hopes the US stimulus package will jumpstart consumer confidence and lead to a rise in car buying, while analysts predict companies will have to slash labour costs and may need to consider bankruptcy.
Fires could rob Melbourne of water for decades to come
Extensive areas of some Melbourne water catchments have been burned out by the bushfires, which could pose a long-term problem. However, new growth that comes in the wake of bushfires could significantly reduce run-off into dams.
Anger over housing arrangements for fire survivors
Communities affected by the bushfires are taking the homeless issue into their own hands with plans to set up temporary villages on recreation grounds in the towns hit by the fires, using caravans and cabins. Ten days after the fires, many people are still living in tents at relief centres in the worst hit areas. The Red Cross estimates 7,000 people were displaced by the bushfires.
NSW considers strengthening anti-bikie laws
The New South Wales Government is considering toughening anti-bikie laws after a spate of bikie related violence.
Greens shine light on Government's solar energy targets
Conservationists say the Federal Government's renewable energy target has so many loopholes that it could fail to achieve its aim. Despite promising to increase the share of power from wind, solar and geothermal sources by 20 percent by 2020, green groups say the target won't be reached because the Government is treating solar hot water systems as a renewable energy source.
Berlusconi embroiled in bribery scandal
There are calls for the Italian Prime Minister to resign and for immunity laws to be changed after a British corporate lawyer was convicted of accepting a million dollar bribe to lie about Silvio Berlusconi's tax affairs.
From Yesterday's programme: Oops!