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ABC News (Sydney) -

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(generated from captions) This program is not subtitled This Program Is

Captioned Live. Tonight, on

show but not all the audience

is impressed. This is what we

call a weapon of mass

distraction. Running short so

Britain cranks up the presses.

Another warning - the nips are

getting smaller. The

underlying message is, no, you

can't save up your drinks. And

the haunting portrait that's

earned top honours. Good

evening, Juanita Phillips with

ABC News. From lurking in the

shadows to stealing the limelight. Yes, it's Peter

Costello, once again arousing

speculation of a comeback. One

Liberal frontbencher is calling

it former Treasurer a weapon of

mass distraction and another MP

says Mr Custello's presence on

the back bench is destabilising

the Liberal leadership. For an

Opposition backbencher he sure

does get around. Yet again, the

former Treasurer's got everyone

speculating about his

leadership aspirations. What

are you waiting for? Isn't it

an ideal time, an opportunity

for you to step up now? After

doing 12 years as Treasurer, I

thought it was important I sit

back and reflect. Like a

retreat or country club. And

he's still looking for a way

into Prime Minister's office.

If Mr Rudd would like to

appoint me as special adviser

I'll be there tomorrow. This

makes life difficult for us,

yes, and I am sure Peter

doesn't mean to do that but

inadvertently that's the fact.

On the front bench frust raises

are beginning to show. We're focused on jobs and the

economy This is a weapon of

mass distraction. For the

Opposition Leader the constant

speculation about a Costello

comeback and distracting from

the main political game, an

economy in reverse and ever

expanding unemployment queue.

Today more Australians joined

the list. An eyewear

manufacturer is slashing jobs

while it moves off shore and

the Bank of Queensland is set

to cut 10% of its workforce.

When jobs go like this it adds

to the crisis. Adding to the

redundancy and worker disquiet.

When times are tight, why not

just print more money? It

didn't work in Zimbabwe or for

Germany's Vimar Republic but

Britain's giving it a go,

injecting the equivalent of

$165 billion into the economy

and there could be more to

come. In the good times, banks

lend money and people splurge.

As things start to go bad,

Central Banks lower official

rates to encourage consumers to

borrow and spend. That's not

working this time around so the Bank of England is trying

something it's never done

before, it will print money. 75

billion pounds or $165 billion

Australian worth, in an effort

to breathe life back into the

UK economy. So what we've

announced today are measures to

increase the supply of money

inject ed directly into wider economy. The Bank of England

has also cut rates again, at

0.5% they're at their lowest

level in the bank's 314-year

history. At any other time, the

combination of record low rates

and a boost in the money supply

would risk pushing up prices

but that the least of the

country's concerns. There is a

worry too that the financial

markets will be concerned

partly because of all the

borrowing going on and partly

because of this that inflation

might come back to this

country. The decision to allow quantative easing is a

desperate measure by a

Government running out of ideas

to tackle what the

International Monetary Fund

says will be the deepest and longest recession in the

developed world. You will see countries all over the world

are taking action to make sure

there is enough money in the

economy to make sure we can

help people get through this.

The only other economy to have

tried so-called quantitative

easing in recent times is

Japan. It kept the policy going

for five years between 2001 and

2006 but it's thought to have

caused more problems than it's

solved, igniting a bond bubble

that when it burst led to a

collapse in financial markets.

Officials in Pakistan say they've identified several of

the terrorists who attacked the

Sri Lankan cricket team this

week but they still haven't

made any arrests. Pakistani

security forces continue to

face criticism over their

handling of the attack. The

police chief has promised any

officers found to have been

negligent will face the

consequences. Sally Sara

reports from Lahore. Police

gathered at Lahore's Liberty

Square to honour the officers

killed by the terrorists. The provincial police chief concedes mistakes were made in

response to the attack but says

his men succeeded in protecting

the Sri Lankan cricket team.

Our objective was achieved. As

for the procedure lapses, that

we are looking into and we'll

see who is responsible and they

will not be spared. Questions

have been raised about why

there was no back-up for more

than 20 minutes while players

and officials were injured and

six police officers lay dead.

This security camera captured

the last footage of the

terrorists as they fled. None

of the attackers have been

captured. This is where they

dumped several backpacks full

of ammunition and rations.

Locals are outraged that it all

happened within walking

distance of the neighbourhood

police station. Everyone is

angry that why they

don't...where were they? This

the street where the gunmen

made their escape. The attack

happened in the morning so most

of the shops were yet to open.

The street was clear and quiet

and the terrorists were able to

slip away. One of the rockets

fired during the attack hit the

front of this shop. The

terrorist aimed at the Sri

Lankan team bus but missed,

allow ing the players to

escape. They were really 100%

lucky. They were not captured,

they were not kidnapped, they

were not badly injured, nobody

of them died. They should be

thankful to God. The clock

behind the counter stopped at

the exact time the rocket hit.

It remains a reminder of the

day that many people in this

city wish they could forget. If

you are partial to a drink this

might not be what you want to

National Health and Medical hear on a Friday night. The

Research Council today released

its latest guidelines on safe

drinking levels. It says that

both men and women should have

no more than two drinks a day.

The council's also recommending

a total ban on drinking for

pregnant women and teenagers.

It's a wake-up call for a

hard-drinking nation.

Previously men could have up to

four drinks a day, now health

experts say men should cut down

to two, the same maximum level

recommended for women. We

perhaps don't realise how much

risk we put ourselves at with

our drinking over time. Authorities revised down

the guidelines after new

evidence emerged of the risks

associated with alcohol

including brain impairment and

cancer. 3,000 people are dying

every year vulnerability of it

and 10,000 people are getting

ongoing treatment For those who

only drink once or twice a week

the limit is the same. Under

the recommendations there's no

licence to binge drink. The

underlying message is, "No, you

can't save up your drinks."

Experts have adopted a more

conservative approach to

drinking during pregnancy and

can breast feeding. Pregnant

women and women planning a

pregnancy are best advised not

drinking is an option. Drinking

should be avoided until

teenagers turn 18, not

gradually introduced as

previously thought. If you were

thinking of making your two

drinks a day really big drinks,

think again. Experts say this

is the size of a standard

drink. Health authorities are

confident the new advice will

be adhered to. I think two

drinks a day is sufficient. To

have a glass of wine with a

meal is lovely. Yes, I agree. As for drinking for

health reasons, experts say the

benefits are less substantial

than previously thought. The

biggest cyclone in three years

is menacing the North

Queensland coastline tonight.

Tropical Cyclone Hamish is a

category two system located off

Cairns. It's expected to

continue to intensify as it

moves down the coast over the

weekend. The Weather Bureau

isn't mincing its words in

regards to tropical Cyclone

Hamish. This is a severe

tropical cyclone on the way.

The system is sitting east of

Cairns, it's forecast to track

south about 100 to 200km off

the coast before heading

towards land in the next 48

hours. At some stage we do

expect it to make a right-hand

turn and at this stage we're

looking closely at the

Whitsundays area. In Cairns,

black clouds are promising big

rain as Hamish moves at 10

km/h. Sand bagging has begun as a precaution. The region is

still recovering from an

already destructive wet season.

In Townsville conditions are

getting weak but are not yet

cyclonic. Authorities are

warning residents not to wait

until it's too late to

prepare. We saw that in Cyclone Larry with similar

conditions that can deteriorate

very quickly. Meteorologists

say Hamish won't be like the

previous cyclones in Queensland

this year that quickly

deteriorate under to rain depressions. We're thinking

the potential is there to

maintain a severe tropical

cyclone intensity of category

three or more. The Weather

Bureau is warning if the

cyclone crosses the coast near

high tide times the potential

disaster is very real and while

more rain will fall across the

north, Hamish is unlikely to

cause more devastation to the

already flooded gulf regions. A

painting of Arnhem Land singer

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu has

scooped Australia's most

sought-after art award, the

Archibald Prize. NSW artist Ben

Maestri wins $50,000 for his

portrait. It was chosen from

more than 700 entries. It's the

one day of the year an artist

is treated like a rock star. In

the spotlight was Ben Maestri

who won this year's Archibald

after eight previous attempts.

He believes his choice of the

Indigenous singer whose

haunting songvise dominated

music awards in the last year

helped him across the line.

The strength of Gurrumul's

character and presence was

something that made the work

stronger than the other works

that I've entered. It was a

close contest, with the judges

torn between Maestri's work and

Ben Quilty's double portrait of

rock singer Jimmy Barnes.

Others to make the shortlist

were Adam Chang's portrait of

Brian Sherman, Hong Fu's take

on Dame Elisabeth Murdoch and

Vincent Fantauzzo's picture of

Brandon Walters, strongly

fancied to take out the

people's choice. Fingers

crossed. There's a lot of luck with the Archibald and this

year it rested well and truly

with the winner. The reason -

Ben Maestri's painting was

nearly overlooked completely.

The trustees who pick the

finalists from a massive field

didn't immediately warm to the

portrait. Got into the first

50 or 60 but it very nearly got

dismissed at the first round.

Controversy has stalked the

Archibald through its 88-year

history and this year is no

exception. Already comparisons

are being drawn between

Maestri's portrait and his

subject pft album cover but the

artist says he he didn't see it

until he had started painting

the portrait. I was aware that

people would probably make the

connection but I was well under

way. Ben Maestri is a third

generation artist from an

Italian background. He savoured

his victory with his father and

in the knowledge his late

grandfather would have been

very proud. Tonight's top story

- Peter Costello's latest media

appearances are causing more

angst in the Liberal Party. And

still to come, gearing up for

tomorrow night's mardi gras. Convicted Queensland

paedophile Dennis Ferguson is a

free man tonight after being

found not guilty of molesting a

5-year-old girl in 2005. The

61-year-old sobbed in the dock

as the verdict was read out.

Ferguson was granted a rare

judge-only hearing because it

was deemed he wouldn't get a

fair trial in front of a jury.

In her judgment, Justice Patsy

Wolfe said it was probably

Ferguson's paedophile friend

Allan Guy who committed the

crime. It is my cline's hope

that the conclusion of this

trial will afford him the

opportunity to live without

constant harassment and

intrusion. Ferguson spent 14

years in jail for kidnapping

and sexually assaulting three

children. Dennis Ferguson has

never shown remorse for his

behaviour in the past. A

Palestinian man has been shot

dead in Jerusalem after driving

a tractor into a police car.

It's the third attack involving

construction equipment in the

city in the past eight months.

Now there are calls for harsh

penalties on the families of

attackers to discourage others

from doing the same. Middle

East correspondent Ben Knight

reports. Once again, a tractor

has become a weapon on the

streets of Jerusalem. One

terrorist that was driving a

tractor, he turned over a

police vehicle with two police

officers inside. People started

shouting, "What is he doing to

had him? What's happening?" I

looked the other way and saw

the tractor pushing the police

car, the police car was on its

side. The two police officers

were slightly injured. When

more police arrived, the

tractor driver was shot and

later died in hospital. This is

the third such attack using

heavy construction equipment in

Jerusalem in eight months and

still neither the city nor the

Government have a strategy on

how to stop random improvised attacks like these.

TRANSLATION: They need to

destroy his house today. If

they do that this will not

happen again. It's a threat

that's been made before by

Jerusalem's mayor. It has never

been carried out. We have to

improve and expand the

punishment. Harsher punishment

and make sure it's not

worthwhile and that's the path

we should take. What sort of

punishment? We have to move

on. Police concede there's

little more they can do. We

carried out a number of

different investigations and

actions in order to prevent

people driving tractors without

the correct permits etc. This

is something that has been

ongoing for many months. The

problem is no-one seems to know

how to stop a driver with a

valid permit from becoming an

attacker. General Motors has

been given billions of dollars

to help it survive but it still

might go bankrupt. The

American'st auto giant's

auditors say there are serious

doubts about its future,

prompting a series of selling

on US markets. This could be at

the end of the day of the line

for a symbol of American

industrial muscle. Last year,

General Motors lost $50 billion

and its shares plunged 90%. If

things continue to deteriorate,

if there's no credit

availability then down side

scenarios can happen. GM's

auditor believes one of those

scenario icise a chapter 11

bankruptcy, something

unthinkable in the quarter of a

million GM spent as America's

biggest car-maker.

I think the fact that GM's

auditors have said this company

can no longer be an ongoing

concern, no longer continue in

business, will only cement in

everyone's minds in Washington,

from the President on down,

that the company has to go into

chapter 11. That certainly

seemed to be cemented on Wall

Street. GM shares dropped

another 18% and the overall

market plunged nearly 300

points. General Motors employs

hundreds of thousands of

workers and a collapse would

send shockwave through the

economy. I don't blame it on

no-one but the American people

because the 'Big Three' put

America and the world on wheels

and if they stop turning their

back on the American companies

and stop going to the foreign

companies things will get

better. The car companies

surviving on $20 billion worth

of Government loans and says it

needs tens of billions more to

keep running. It's got until

the end of the month to prove

its viability and is

desperately trying to win

concessions from its debt

holders and can unions. On to

finance now and global share

markets went sharply into

reverse today, they were

disappointed China didn't

announce any new stimulus

measures. Here's Alan Kohler.

China is the hope of the world

these days, about the only

country showing any economic

growth at all. Yesterday there

were rumours the Government there would announce more

stimulus spending and as a

result share and commodity

prices soared. In fact, Premier

Wen Jiabao said he was

confident the existing 8%

growth forecast would stand and

left it at that. Investors were crest-fallen. European stocks

were sold off with the German,

Dutch and Norwegian markets

down 5% or more and Wall Street

indices dropped more than 5%

with the S and P500 at a new

13-year low. If you scrape away

the volatility, the global

stock market is following

analysts' earning divisions

down. This graph shows the move

in consensus analyst forecast

for global companies as well as

the world share index. The

problem is though earning

forecast is down 40%, analysts

are still forecasting a decline

of just 8% in global earnings

this year. That looks very opt

mistic so there are probably

more forecast revisions to

come. The Australian market did

relatively better than the rest

of the world, falling 1.8% and

that's mostly because of

resources companies like

Woodside holding up. AMP went

ex dividend and while the

shares fell 40 cents the

dividend was just 16. GPT's

price has fallen nearly 70%

since the start of February. On

the subject of chine and

Australia, here's a graph of Chinese imports and Australian

GDP, not a bad match except in

the final 12 Mudge. The fall in

China's imports is quite incredible. The Australian

Dollar sagged a bit today but

stayed above US 64 cents. I'm

back Sunday at 10 with 'Inside

Business' and a special

in-depth look at the Australian

economy. Seldom do funerals see

such a turn-out but turn out

they did. It was standing room

only at a Sydney church today

as a huge crowd farewelled the

Sydney lawyer Matt Laffan.

Small of stature but a giant to

many, he finally succumbed last

Tuesday The disabilities he'd

refused to accept. There were

lawyers, rugby giants, people

are disability, friends, people

he'd never met and his mother

and father. They called him

their hero. So strongly had

Matt Laffan inspired people

that the Paddington church

simply wasn't big enough. They

wanted to pay respects to the

man who never accept heed had a

disability. Sometimes I think

it might work in my favour and

they think, "Crikey, this bloke

must be good." A crippling disorder from birth never stood

in the way of a distinguished

legal career which spread to

the State's rugby judiciary.

His father Dick was a State

coach. Now he can play for the

heaven Wallabies yBz. It was

Matt Laffan's positivity above

all else that impressed. He

was quick to smile and found

fun wherever possible. He

never complained or gave up and

there are lessons there for all

of us. It was a thought that

was surely with everybody

here. Plenty of mountains in

his life but livered them,

climbed them all. One of the

toughest, most generous, most

intelligent and funniest men I

have met. Matt Laffan died of respiratory failure last

Sunday. He had lost the ability

to speak but handed a message

to his mother. It simply said,

"I am peaceful." It was a

send-off befitting some kind of

superstar and that's the way

many regarded him but the

tributes to Matt Laffan don't

end here. Some will go on in definitely, one happens

tonight. When the NSW Waratahs

run out on to the field in

Sydney in a few minutes time

they'll be wearing black arm

bands, the DPP will name a new

learning centre after him and

his old school has established

the Matt Laffan scholarship for

disabled students. Not a bad

legacy for a small giant.

Australia has won the toss and

is batting first in the second

Test against South Africa in

Durban. It's taking an

unchanged 11 into the match.

Fast bowlers Peter Siddle and

Ben Hilfenhaus were passed fit

to play after over coming

niggling injuries from theopage

Test win. Here's Peter Wilkins.

The Australian captain has been

back to school. The conditions

and fitness of players has

formed part of his education,

so too Durban's Test cricket

history. I had a good look at Opposition teams as well and

which players from other

countries have done well. Well

aware of South Africa's education about Australia's

newcomers, Ponting's implored

them to step up again. That's

the challenge for these younger

guys now, is whatever the

Opposition come up with you've

got to be good enough to

combat. The Test will proceed

with thoughts of Pakistan still

heavy in the air. Proteas

captain Graeme Smith has called

for un emotional decision-making regarding

future tours. The ICC need to

regulate it and take a bigger

part and take more

responsibility for the security

of touring teams. The gap in

standard between local and

overseas-based Soccerooses was

exposed in Australia's 1-0 loss

to Kuwait in the Asian Cup

qualifier. The A-League

Soccerooses made a sluggish

start and were tested by the

well organised visitors. Australia squandered

opportunities including a

double chance midway through

the first half. The 1 25th

match against Kuwait found the

goal halftime. Australian

couldn't find the equaliser.

The surprise result leaves

Australia last in its group.

We are very disappointed about

the result and the performance.

I think Kuwait was a better

team but I have seen my players

playing better also. Beijing

pole vault gold medallist Steve

Hooker has had victory in

Melbourne last night with a

clearance of 5.8m. Blustery

conditions upset his latest

bid, with the bar at 6m.

Olympic silver medallist Sally

McLellan took out the 100 flat

and hurdles double again and

Jamaican star Asafa Powell had

a comfortable win in the men's

100 but couldn't go under 10

seconds. The 2-time world

champion Stephanie Gilmour has

move under to the semifinals of

the season-opening events on

the Queensland-NSW border.

Gilmour recorded a 9.73 wave in

her win over former world

champion, Coolangatta surfer

Chelsea Hedges. Robert Allenby

has the outright lead after the

opening round of the US tour

event in Florida. The

Australian got himself out of

some precarious situations on

the way to a 4 under 66 and

leads six players by one shot.

NSW is in a powerful position

at stumps on day two of the

match against WA at the SCG.

Usman Khawaja top scored with

four of the Blues making half

centuries. David Warner hit 42

in his first Sheffield Shield

innings. Sydney's gay and

lesbian community is set to

throw Iowa the economic blues

tomorrow night with the largest

mardi gras in the event's

31-year history, but those

getting ready to party are

being urged to stay sober. If

you're after some sparkle and

can't find any, here's why.

How much glitter have you got?

Um, say 20 to 30L right down

there. Final touches are being

applied to the largest number

of floats in mardi gras

history. It includes a special

tribute to assassinated

American politician Harvey Milk

whose story inspired an

award-winning movie. This

year's theme for the parade is

nations united and to keep the

peace, police have made the mardi gras route an

alcohol-free zone. My message

is don't become a drunken thug,

take some responsibility and

let everybody have a good

time. Tats fine by drinkers in

Oxford Street pubs. It's a

family affair and if you have

small kids you don't want people falling around

drunk. Along the business strip today there were signs of the

economic times, still for these

shops it's the busiest time of

the year. I'm going for

something a little trashy.

Have you succeeded? I think

so. Wigs too are in high

demand. Ice-cream, cherries,

spoon, hot weather that.Erates

what inspired me. Especially

all the young gay boys, they

want to look like Lady Gaga

with the long white hair and

sunglasses and stuff like

that. The parade will be led

by gold medallist Matthew

Mitchem and we don't know what

he'll be wearing. Time to check

out the weather now and the

mardi gras will be dry in more

than one way, Graham. It's a

dry forecast for Saturday but

it will be a different story to

end the weekend.

Cloud is expected to increase

along the entire east coast by

the end of the weekend. A

strong high south of WA will

drive easterly winds across

NSW, that's what will increase

the moisture levels. By Monday

an inland trough should

develop, aiding the development

of cloud over the inland parts

of the State. Showers in the

northeast tomorrow will extend

along the rest of the coast and

ranges during Sunday, with

showers and thunderstorms

developing over parts of the

inland from Monday. Cairns will

remain under a cyclone warning

tomorrow and Townsville is

under a cyclone watch with a

flood warning for rivers

between both cities.

Thanks, Graham. Tonight's top

story again - the former Treasurer Peter Costello has

been accused of destabilising

the Liberal Party leadership. A

round of media appearances has

sparked speculation of a front

bench comeback. That is ABC

News for this Friday. Stay with

us now for Stateline with

Quentin Dempster. Goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI

This Program Is Captioned

Live. This week, how to tell

when criminals, not riders,

have taken over a bikie club.

There's clear instances where

people have fallen off going to

a funeral. Also Nathan Rees on

disaster. This shaft of fate,

this violent disproportionate

missed chance, this body blow

to the mood of our people. And

in a studio debate over child

protection, Minister Linda

Burnie and her shadow Pru Goward. Welcome to Stateline NSW, I'm Quentin Dempster.

First, what's to be done about

the bikie turf war that's

erupted on the streets of

Sydney? In recent weeks a Hell's Angels clubhouse has

been bombed and there have been

numerous drive-by shootings and

knee-cappings of alleged gang