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debating the debate. Still no

agreement on the next

Gillard-Abbott clash. I'm happy to debate the Prime Minister

for half an hour tonight.

Abbott is saying at the talk on

the economy for 15 minutes he's

all in, all done. Dozens all in, all done. Dozens killed

in a suicide attack on an army recruitment centre in Baghdad.

A surfer dies after being

savaged by a shark off a western Australian beach. And

on his own terms - Ben Cousins

calls time on his controversial


Live across Australia, this

is ABC 24 news, good evening,

I'm Scott Bevan.

to agree on being in the same

room for another debate, but that hasn't stopped Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard getting into

a scrap over the economy from a far. far. The Opposition Leader has

launched what he calls his economic action plan to invest in infrastructure and get in

people off welfare into work,

but Julia Gillard has dismissed

it as an uncosted thought

North Queensland selling the bubble as she sped through

benefits of her broadband

network. Mark Simkin carried away as they welcomed Tony Abbott back to the capital. The Opposition capital. The Opposition Leader

urged voters not to be squee

mish about throwing Julia

owe this government Gillard overboard. You

owe this government anything,

so don't be taken in by the

plea that you've got to give it

a second chance. In his last set piece speech of campaign, Tony Abbott tried to set piece speech of the

trample on the Government's campaign, Tony Abbott tried to

preferred turf, giving a spirited defence of his economic economic credentials. These

days when I'm not channelling Noel Peter Costello. Those unlikely Noel Pearson I'm channelling

guides led him to a welfare to guides led him to a welfare

work plan, giving the long-term

unemployed $6500 if they stay

in a job for two years. Our

ambition is for us ambition is for us to make the

opportunity owe site. This journey from welfare state to

corporate welfare too. Coalition wants to fund corporate welfare too. The

infrastructure with bonds

rather than borrowing, offering

tax breaks to encourage private

investment. The taxpayer will

not be at risk, but

attract with this

infrastructure bond tens of

billions of dollars of investment. He's announced investment. He's announced the

infrastructure plan you have

when you're not going a cent when you're not going to spend a cent on infrastructure. Julia

Gillard blitzed marginal North Queensland seats. Eating Queensland seats. Eating lunch

with miners and getting caught

in a local food fight. Do you

think tomato sauce should be

free when you buy a meat pie from the bakery. I think there

live a long and happy life.

That's probably the appropriate

point for a transition to a republic. Tony Abbott says it will only happen over his dead body. While there may well be episodes of republiclism in

this country I'm far from certain at least in our certain at least in our live sometimes there's likely to be any significant change. Both parties seem more comfortable

dealing with less lost dealing with less lost think

concerns. They're still

debating a lot of... Costings debating a lot of... Costings

and debates. The two directors keep sending and and debates. The two campaign

grist letters about a debate

but can't agree on a

date or even location. There's at least one certainty

about this weekend's election,

whoever wins Australia's

treatment of asylum seekers is

about to change dramatically.

Both sides are promising a

return to offshore processing

to stop the boats. Guaranteeing the loser will hold the the next parliament if they

don't. Kirrin don't. Kirrin McKechnie

reports. Bigger isn't always better, especially better, especially when politics is involved. not make as our politics is involved. Let's

the goal of a big Australia,

let's make our national goal a sustainable Australia. Heading

into the campaign, Julia

Gillard tried to nip in the Gillard tried to nip in the bud

a couple of potential election

immigration and border immigration headaches for Labor -

protection. But Tony Abbott

has made sure they're front and centre of the

the Coalition knows how to stop

the boats. And he says he'd personally make the call on

which boats to turn make these decisions on the back. Responsible governments

basis of the best possible military military advice. The Opposition

Leader is taking a back to the

future approach to border

Howard Government policies, security, reinstating key

bringing back protection visa and making bringing back temporary

Nauru the hub for processing

asylum seekers offshore. Mr

Abbott thinks a rest rektsed winner he met the Nauruian Pacific Solution is such a vote

President and dispatched immigration spokesman to the President and dispatched his

island during the campaign. On day one of the Coalition government I'd pick up phone to the President government I'd pick up the

Nauru. For Labor, Nauru is phone to the President of

politically toxic. Instead Julia Gillard favours a

regional solution. Processing

asylum seekers in East

at the Timor. It would stop the boats

at the shores, not as at the shores, not as they're

travelling here to this country. Refugee advocates say

as a political asylum seekers are being used

football. Predominantly the opposition, but both parties

have used it as a very much

electoral winner in terms of

refugees how harsh they can be on

refugees and asylum seekers. He

says both leaders are playing

on people's fears to win

votes. What it's meant to do is

actually touch the nerve of the

ampbling Australian feeling

these are queue jumpers and

not the case. Less than we're being overrun. That is

not the case. Less than 1 per

cent of asylum seekers come to

Australia by boat, he says. A

reminder that Tony Abbott's final address to the National Press Club before the election will be replayed in full

immediately following the world

at 10 o'clock eastern, so about

three hours from now, right

here on ABC News 24. At least

50 people have been killed and

more than 100 injured in a suicide attack in the Iraqi

capital Baghdad. The early

morning bombing targeted army recruits lining up outside

their headquarters. Some of

Attack is a latest recent surge

of killings in Iraq as Muslims

observe the fasting time of

Ramadhan. He came under heavy criticism for leading Britain

into the Iraq war. Now Tony

Blair may have come up with his

very own exit strategy.

very own exit strategy. The former Prime Minister says he's

donate all proceeds from his

upcoming memoirs to a charity

to war veterans. Antiwar protesters say it's blood

money. For all the various

dramas of Tony Blair's time as British Prime British Prime Minister it was

his decision to go to war in

Iraq that continues to dog him. He's appealing for a broader view in this promotional video.

It's a frank account of my life

life in politics which

illuminates what it's like to

be leader. It charts the difficult decisions, the highs

and lows. Tony Blair and lows. Tony Blair is

donating millions of pounds from the book

British legion to help build rehabilitation facilities for injured soldiers. Once injured soldiers. Once I

recover from the shock of a potentially very large donation expressed in almost

pleasure on behalf of the Royal

British Legion he felt able to support us in our support us in our fund raising to support those who have been seriously injured. For some critics of the Iraq war the donation is guilt money donation is guilt money for

starting the conflict in

2003. You can't buy yourself innocence. innocence. You can't innocence. You can't buy yourself forgiveness for that

just by giving a few million pounds to the pounds to the British legion

that he's going to wash that blood off his hands. For some

of the parents of British soldiers killed in Iraq the

donation and the book won't

alter history. The majority of

the people especially the

people who lost sons in Iraq

know what he did and know he

has to answer for it. I don't

think it will change anybody's

opinion of him at all. Tony

Blair does have some supporters

even amongst Labor MPs who

opposed Britain's vox N

war. Tony Blair has made a reasonable amount of reasonable amount of money since he left politics and if he's able to he's able to make this big donation to the British

donation to the British legion I think he should be congratulated for it. Not

everyone is so for giving.

Tony Blair may want to move on,

but some are determined he

won't. Philip won't. Philip Williams, ABC News London.

is to lend Pakistan $1 billion to help it deal with its

catastrophic floodses. Almost one fifth of the country remains underwater remains underwater and there

are warnings the flooding could

worsen. The Pakistan

Government is under difficulty.

Australia pledged another $24 million. Pakistan warns that extremists linked to the

Taliban and Al Qaeda could

exploit the situation. I'm

worried because there are

millions who would starve. If

we do not give them help

immediately. People want to

create mischief will get room

to step in. In the south, around Karachi, authorities are

preparing for an influx of more

than 10 million refugees.

Authorities in Colombia are

amazed there was no heavy loss of life when a passenger plane

crashed during a lightning

storm. The Boeing 737 with 130 people on poured was approaching

resort area of San Andres.

No-one was killed in the crash,

but one woman who had had heart attack earlier died later

in hospital.

believe the plane was struck by

lightning just before it

touched down. A father of two

has died after being savaged by

a shark off a beach

a shark off a beach in Western Australia. The 31-year-old was

surfing at Gracetown, a small

community 270 kilometres south

of Perth. It's the second

fatal shark town. Another surfer died

there six years ago. The attack

happened just a few hundred Messrs offshore where the man

was seen sitting on his board

the water. Locals raised the

alarm and went to his aid. He

was unconscious when he was dragged from the water this morning, so we can only assume the nature of the nature of his injuries have contributed to him being unconscious in the water. This Gracetown residents Gracetown residents attempted

to resuscitate the man who had

blood. It looked like a severe

bite. It mistook him for a

seal. Basically from here

down all this had been taken

and half his carve. It looked

like the mouth was like the mouth was somewhere in the vicinity of this size. The

man was a 31-year-old mine

worker was rushed by ambulance

to hospital but died of his

injuries. He's got a wife and young family so to them the events of this morning are

going to be have a large impact. It's the second fatal

attack in four years. Locals

are struggling to come to grips with another tragedy. Did that

just happen? Did it happen here?

here? I mean, this is here? I mean, this is the

ultimate family surf spot.

There are mums, dads and kids

surf here together. It is the

learning spot, it is the

This place see epitomises fun, not fear. Police say not fear. Police say there's been no sign of the shark

responsible for the attack.

Andrew O'Connor ABC News. Andrew O'Connor ABC News. Australian troops in Afghanistan have Afghanistan have farewelled another fallen comrade. SAS

and special operations forces

held a ceremony in Tarin Kowt for Trooper Jason Brown. The

29-year-old was shot by Taliban insurgents at was the 18th Australian casualty in the war. Trooper

Brown's body will be taken to

Perth where his SAS unit Perth where his SAS unit is based. To Indonesia and the three Australians sentenced to

death for smuggling heroin are

preparing to make their final

appeals. Scott Rush will be

the first to be heard. His

relatives have arrived in Bali

to support him. Today in a

separate development, two other Australians, Renae Lawrence and

the convicted cannabis smuggler reductions in their gaol

sentences. The ABC's mat Brown is in Indonesia. Each year on Independence Day the prisoners are treated to a show are treated to a show and

granted time off for good

behaviour. Prison authorities

gave Schappelle Corby a five

month reduction. She's now had

a year and a half shaved from

her 20 year sentence. Bali

nine drug courier Renae

Lawrence also had her 20 sentence cut fwief months, contributing to a total contributing to a total of almost two years off, but she had little to say to the media. Are you happy about the remission you got today? Yes . Other members of the Bali nine are still trying to win

major reductions. Martin

Stephens is waiting on the results

results of his final appeal

against a life sentence. He

says his engagement to says his engagement to an

Indonesian woman has changed

his life. She's excellent. I wouldn't be where I am today if

it wasn't for her. The it wasn't for her. The two men

accused of being key accused of being key players in

the ring, have just the ring, have just lodged

their final appeals, finally admitting their guilt. I'm surrounded by a surrounded by a whole bunch of cameras, feeling pretty awkward right now. First time smuggler

Scott Rush spent time

consulting his lawyer and an Australian

Australian consular official. The

The Bali nine ended up behind

bars after the Australian Federal Police tipped off their Scott Rush's appeal will be

bolstered by a statement from

the AFP saying he played just a

minor role in the smuggling

ring. Now, Australian

elections seldom create much of

a ripple in the rest of the

world, but this year the country's first female Prime

Minister and the way she came

to power is getting some tracks. Then there's Tony

Abbott's budgie smugglers.

Here is how the BBC's Nick campaign to Britons. She's the

Welmax Welsh born politician who has just became Australia's first female Prime Minister. This is the former Labor

leader, she so ruthlessly deposed. This was their joyless make up session when

her campaign ran into trouble. This is the Opposition Leader,

in his speedos or budgie

smugglers as they're called

here who can hardly believe his

luck. Welcome to the opera of Australia's whacky

election where nobody is really

sure who will emerge on top. Julia Gillard. top. Julia Gillard. APPLAUSE. Julia Gillard expected to walk

first term governments here hardly ever lose. After the global financial crisis,

Australia avoided recession. But the out offing of Kevin

Rudd has left a strength of in

many voters's nostrils. many voters's nostrils. Even

the rhetoric of Barack Obama

can't Take That away. Yes, we

will. Yes, we will with covdense and optimism.

Yes, we will keep our economy

growing stronger day by

day. The plan was very

day. The plan was very simple, it was executed with great

brutality. But in kniving Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard has

ended up badly wounding

herself. There's the former

Prime Minister slipped out the

back, a proud Welshman hugged

his daughter and gave voice to his delight. A wonderful

speech, wonderful reception,

wonderful message, a message of

hope to take Australia led by my daughter into the 21st

century. It's the Aussie to see things through. An

conservative Tony Abbott was

born in London and got a boxing

blue from Oxford. He's

promising to cut immigration,

to bolster border to bolster border protection

and to bring back stable

government. It's time to end

this soap opera and to give

Australia back a grown-up government. Tony Abbott has run, made a stronger than expected run, but it's still a leap of imagination for many Australians to see him as Prime

Minister. This has been a weird campaign with weird campaign with Labor stumbling badly. Will they regain their footing in regain their footing in time

for Saturday's election? The cheeky Nick Bryant report thrg

for the BBC's. Amanda Shalala

with sport. Much disgust and

speculated Ben Cousins ks as called an end to his career. As

he end he end of an entertaining often troubled and sometimes

brilliant AFL clear. The Brownlow Medalist and recovering drug addict has

confirm he'll retire at the end

of the season. And he joked

that he wants to be remembered

as a bloke who never put a foot

wrong. In good times or bad, Ben Cousins

Ben Cousins has always been

able to draw a crowd. Thanks

very much for turning up today.

I'd like to announce

retirement. The good times for Cousins were brilliant. There was a Brownlow Medal in 2005, a

premiership and a reputation as a skilful hard running

midfielder. It's not just a lifestyle, it is a way of

thinking, it is in my marrow.

There are some games where he

took it on himself to make sure the team was going to win. He's

made a significant contribution

to the game. He's overcome a

huge issue in his hooif. The bad times mounted as West Coast's golden era lost

with the law, the death of his friend and connections with criminals in Western Australia. He was deregistered for the

2008 season, but it was

Richmond who took a punt on the

fallen star last season. Ben

Cousins. The Tigers had been hoping to squeeze one more year out of the veteran. The Richmond Football Club as a

whole is better having been

through our environment. It's disappointing. The 32-year-old has been under constant surveillance by drug

good friends with knows guys.

I see them more than my Mrs

. An uncertain future awaits

with options in the business and and football worlds. Being around a footy club helped

around a footy club helped me

get a bit of self worth and

yesterday blingt back and I think I'd go into the next

phase of my life with my head

held high. The show held high. The show will briefly go on with Cousins hoping to play out the seasons

remaining two rounds. Wallabies captain Rocky Elsom

says he's responsible for

making sure the speculation

over Quade Cooper's future doesn't

doesn't sphaekt the team's Tri-nations's campaign. has lean linked with a switch

to rugby league teams.

Interested in the fly-half.

His club can't out bit the Australian Rugby Union but

they're still hopeful of

securing his signature. Else some says the Wallabies aren't paying attention to the speculation and are next week's game against the springboks. The whole squad is looking forward to having crack of it. It will be a

telling couple of weeks for us. Bill Harrigan us. Bill Harrigan has been dropped as a video referee as after he rin corrected after he rin corrected awarded a try between the St George

Illawarra Dragons and the Manly

Sea Eagles. He has been stood down indefinitely for awarding this Mark Gasnier try. He gave

the Dragons a 10 the Dragons a 10 nil lead

during the first-half. There

was clearly separation. Someone's got to referee Bill

and tell Bill. Even he act

knowledges the fact his standards probably dlopd in

that decision and we need to be

consistent. The NRL says

Harrigan's axing is a wake Harrigan's axing is a wake up call for other officials. St George Illawarra Dragons ran

out 32 to 10 winners. With

three rounds remaining the

Dragons with four places clear. Australia's

Australia's broken the world

word in winning the word in winning the men's 4 by

100 metre freestyle relay at the Paralympics

championships at Netanyahu.

They took three seconds off the

former world record held by

great bin. Matt Cowdrey won

gold in the 200 metres individual medley. Blake

rush in the men's 100 metres

bresh stroke ahead of Matt Levy who got the silver. And 18-year-old And 18-year-old swimmer Nicholas Schafer has won Australia's first Youth

Olympics gold medal. Olympics gold medal. He wouldn't the 100 metres breaststroke. Record Australian performers are strutting their stuff strutting their stuff in

Edinburgh for the city's 64th fringes festival. fringes festival. 60

Australian acts are in this

year's behind up plus year's behind up plus UK based

Australian performers and

production staff. London

correspondent Rachel Brown has been checking out the

program. Welcome to life be the

fringe. Edinburgh's royal mile

is a wash with the weird and

wonderful and the brave. They're They're performing more than 30

countries and follow the summer

as yes this is my as yes this is my 15th summer. The festival pulse

beats in the streets, in

theatres and 35 metres up into the air. The globe popping rings out rings out from sounds from

home. I think Australians

actually bat well above our

weight here at the festival.

I'm not sure why. Maybe

because it's so expensive to get

get here that we all bust our guts to put on the best show we

can. Edinburgh has become

AMEC ka for new acts but with

2500 show choking the fringe

menus the stakes are higher for performers hoping to performers hoping to be chosen

for the international touring circuit. We're used to circuit. We're used to seeing great great Australian music and comedy that we recognise as

being Australian. It's got an

edge to it. Record numbers of

Australians are now performing

in this festival in the world that stretches the imagination and

tests even the audience. There's been some curved balls from

from the audience for theatre sport topics. Dolphins sport topics. Dolphins gay

sharks is what a 14-year-old

once wrote. Edinburgh will be suspended in this parallel

universe until the end of the

month. Let's take a look at

the markets now. Despite a weak session on walled street overnight the All Ordinaries

and the ASX it #

up 1 per cent today, up 1 per cent today, veersing yesterday's losses. Over to

Asia and p Japan's Nikkei fell

to half a per cent.

stocks ended slightly higher.

And to the currencies now, the Australian dollar is buying Australian dollar is buying a

smidge over 90 US cents.

On Wednesday we're looking at

a series of trough systems man

another front moving into the

south-east and with a high Tasman, we're going to see strefnt strefnt thenning northerly

winds between these two. winds between these two. As

that high moves tout to sea

it's tapping into warm air in

the the north of the continent. Ahead of this cloudband is

introducing some cooler air.

Along that trough line we're seeing widespread strong winds. They'll stretch from Queensland

to New South Wales and into

Victoria, across into South

Australia and the eastern parts of Western Australia. A of

of Western Australia. A band of damaging winds is expected about southern parts of the Northern Territory. with this system won't be yofrlly heavy. Sthadges it's

the West Coast of Tasmania

likely to pick up the heaviest

of the falls. For parts of the South Australia, Victoria and

also southern New South Wales

we could see totals up to about

15mm but they're probably more

likely to be less than 10 for those widespread areas. In fact Queensland should be relatively dry but on shore

winds could produce an isolated

shower. A bit of rain spreading into parts of the

Kimberley and that will be

worth watching as we towards the weekend. Those

winds are going to hang around

on Thursday. We've got the stronger of

stronger of the fronts

beginning to move through.

We've still got that warm air

ahead of it. This is going to

become a feature as we head into towards September. Warm

air in the north, cold air in

the south. We're likely to the south. We're likely to see severe weather developing s

strong winds and starting to

move a little bit closer to the

severe thunderstorm severe thunderstorm season.

You can see by the blue very

cold air shifting behind this

about the eastern States about the eastern States and

they'll stay that way Thursday

and also into Friday, but the

showers will gradually start to ease back across all the

southern areas. Even

Queensland won't be affected overly by this cloudband as it moves

moves through, perhaps an

isolated shower about, but most

likely wealth wet weather will be in the north. That's

expected to spark off quite a

significant rain event. We're

keeping our eyes on that one.

Showers and strong wind as cross the south pretty much

now into Friday. That's the

news for now. Stay with us for the 7.30 Report with Kerry

O'Brien. I'm Scott Bevan. This Program is Captioned


Welcome to the program. As

the Liberal and Labor leaders

have their whirl wind tours continuing continuing to marginal seats

around the country in the closing days of this election

campaign, they've also increasingly embroiled in a

debate about having another

debate before election day. The

Greens have called negotiations between the Gillard and between the Gillard and Abbott companies farcical and tonight there's still no agreement on a

time, place or duration. But the start of the campaign Tony Abbott wanted three Abbott wanted three debate, Julia Gillard said one Julia Gillard said one was enough. Then enough. Then she wanted a second on the second on the economy but Tony

Abbott did not. Then last night

he called for half hour he called for half hour debate tonight and she said she wanted

an hour. But first and we're going to talk with Tony going to talk with Tony Abbott in just a in just a moment, alone, but