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Prime Minister accused of Tonight - high flyer - the

splashing out . They are

comfortable but they are not

lavish. Final police

questioning of Dr Mohammed

Haneef. Fresh evidence from the

coroner's last person of

interest. And a new TV station

for Aboriginal Australia.

We're live on television.

Oh! Good evening. Juanita

Phillips with ABC News. It

hasn't been the best of weeks for the Prime Minister. Today

he flew into a new storm - this

time after the ABC revealed

more than $100,000 was spent

upgrading one of his VIP jets.

Labor says the refit is another

sign that the Prime Minister is

out of touch. But Mr Howard

accused news organisations of

hypocrisy for pursuing the

subject. Aboriginal protesters

assailed John Howard in

Launceston today. Howard's a

coward. Leave our kids

alone. But that's the least of

his worries because he's flown

into a storm over the way he

gets about the nation. This

morning, 'A.M.' revealed that

nearly $110,000 was spent on

one of his VIP jets, removing

and then re installing a

long-range fuel tank. Because

the amount of luggage space on

the plane was very limited. The

refit was requested by the

Prime Minister's department to

provide more luggage space.

Three years later, the pilots

asked that the tanks be put

back. It's also alleged Mr

Howard spent thousand of

dollars decking out the VIP

fleet with silk wall paper. The

sleeping angments for me and my

wife and my staff are far less

comfortable than business

class. This is a Prime Minister

who has completely lost touch

with work ing Australian

families. The Prime Minister

also accused the media of

hypocrisy for pursuing the

story so soon after having

lobbying him to buy a bigger

plane in the wake of this

year's Garuda crash in one which Australian jurn list was

among the dead and another was

severely injured: They want me

to spend millions and millions

more on larger aircraft, so

journalists can travel with me

or alternatively do they think

that the whole VIP fleet should

be scrapped? It hasn't been an

easy week for John Howard,

beginning with another bad pole

and a gaff over a travel

adjiezry for Indonesia saying

it had been upgraded when it

had merely been up dated.

Now. And then he morgot the

name of a Liberal candidate and

now this affray. Kevin Rudd has

been at play in Sydney, with

good reason. A State by State

breakdown shows Labor on the up

and up across the country with

Coalition support crumbling in

what has been fortress NSW. We

are living in a kind of

parallel universe here. Not the

twilight zone, hopes Tony

Abbott. The Gold Coast doctor

suspected of links to the

failed British bomb plot is

expected to be charged or

released within 24 hours. Late

this afternoon, police decided

not to apply for more time to

detain him. They now have 12

hours to question Dr Mohammed

Haneef before they have to

decide what to do with

him. Just before 4 o'clock this

afternoon, Dr Haneef was taken

out of the Brisbane watch house

where he has spent the last 11

nights and moved 100m to

Brisbane police headquarters.

His lawyer arrived to be

present as Federal Police

exercise their last 12 hours

interview time. Less than an

hour earlier, police abandoned

a plan to seek more time to

detain him. I think he will be

grateful there has been some

progress made and he can sort

it out. The 12 hours of

question ing can be stretched

allowing for male breaks

absleep but the time is fast

approach ing where Dr Haneef

will have to be charged or

released: One would think in

the circumstances a decision

would have to be made in the

next 24 hours. This morning Dr

Haneef voluntarily submitted to

a DNA swab. He claims his home

had been trashed by Federal

Police. My understanding from

speaking to land lord sit's

unlivable in its current

State. His legal team were

arguing Dr Haneef was being

detained unfairly while Federal

Police trawled seized computer

files looking for a shred of

evidence looking for a link to

the UK bomb plots. I think the

issue is at a point where a

determination could then be

made as to whether or not

further steps should be taken

by way of charge or

release. That could come as

early as tomorrow. In an ideal

would it would be good to get

the 12 hours over with and he

can go home. Something tells me

that is not how it will play

out. Dr Haneef can remain

silent but is un likely to,

have been already cooperated

with 12 hours of police

questioning. A 12th man in a

remote Western Australian

Aboriginal community has been

charged with child sex

offences. The case could

involve up to 40 suspects. The

investigation has become so big

that a second police taskforce

has arrived in Hall's Creek to

help gather evidence. This is

the community at the centre of

child sexual abuse allegation.

Hall's Creek has a population

of only 5,000 but so far nine

men and three juveniles have

been charjds another 40 are

being questioned: I have an

expecttation there's a number

of other people to speak to. A

team of police refoin

relevancement arrived in the

remote centre overnight to join

a taskforce already

investigating the escalating

number of allegation. They also

met with community leaders to

try to allay concerns. Special

people with special skills are

required to do this counseling

and that and we don't have them

here so they have to come from elsewhere. But back in Perth,

the State Government has again resisted the Federal Government's offer of military personnel to support the

Aboriginal communities. She not

offering army support for

long-term infrastructure as

expected by some indigenous

leaders. He is offering just

tents, jeeps and walkie

talkies. Mr Ripper and Mr Carpenter totally misunderstand

the role we have used the

military in in the NT and the

way they would be used in some

of the places in WA. The head

of the Government taskforce is

also backing the

calls. Aboriginal people in the

Kimberley region are used to

the army. They're not new and

they've been in there not

building houses as some people

think but assisting the

community with perhaps some

repairs. Mal Brough is expected

Commonwealth's offer of to formally outline the

assistance to the Western Australian Government early

next week. The Dianne Brimble

inquest has heard there was

panicked conversation about

drugs thrown overboard after

she died. A 6th person of

interest has begun giving

evidence into Mrs Brimble's

death on a cruise ship three

years ago. Today, Matthew Slade

admitted his friends were

carrying drugs on board,

something he preefusly denied.

Politics and philosophy student

Matthew Slade describes himself

as the wall flower of the

group. He just watched as his

travelling companions danced

away the first night of the

cruise. He says he woke up with

a hangover the next morning and

saw a person lying on his cabin

floor. I pr.

Later he discovered it was

the body of Dianne Brimble. Mr

Slade told police he saw his

room mates, Mark Wilhelm and

Leo Silvestri, talking in the


Mr Slade said all of the men

had chipped in to buy drugs to

take on the cruise. He was


Mrs Brimble died from a

lethal dose of fantasy. Mr

Slade said he didn't know know

the date rape drug has been

brought on to the ship. The

inquest had heard from an

anonymous witness saying Mr

Slade was a drug dealer and .

Also today there was a security

care at the Coroner's Court.

The building was shut down when

a man waiting in the lobby

refused to reveal his identity.

The Transport Minister John

Watkins has ruled out

privatising the maintenance of

CityRail's trains. There are

report that Treasury officials

are set to recommend the

maintenance program be

outcoursed. Mr Watkins says the

future of the railyards is

assured: We are not privatising

the yards. They that's the

Government position. The

Minister met rail unions this

afternoon to discuss proposals

to improve maintenance after

last week's breakdown on the

Sydney hashior bridge. The

Darwin Lord Mayor has been

found guilty of using counsel

funds to buy this fridge and

vouchers. Adamson claims

reimbursement for the fridge,

saying he had donated to it the

charity but it was later found

at his city apartment. The gift

voupers were used to buy

women's underwear, dvdss and a

Darth Vader mask. The

magistrate found Adamson had no

intention of donating the

fridge and vouchers. The Lord

Mayor remains denient. I am convinced of my

innocence. Adamson will be sentenced later this

month. The US President George

W. Bush says there will be no

change in American policy on

Iraq for at least two months.

That's despite a bleak interim

report on the Iraqi Government's failure to meet

the goals it's been set.

President Bush has asked the American public to be patient

until September, when the final

report comes out. For President

Bush there's no escaping the

daily cycle of bad news from

Iraq. There's war fatigue in

America, it's affecting our

psychology, I each said this

before. It's an ugly war. Nd a

it's a war the White House

concedes won't be ending any

time soon. In a report to the

US Congress, the Bush

Administration says the

security situation in Iraq

remain s extremely challenging.

The Iraqi Government hasn't met

any of 18 goals for political

and military success. There's

been unsatisfactory progress in

having more Iraqi forces

onerate independent ly, in disarming sectarian militias

and in achieving political

reckon silliation. Good

progress has been reported in

reducing the level of sectarian

violence and in Iraqi troops

joining the new Baghdad

security crackdown. Mr Bush is

taking a glass half full of the

report. There's of us who

believe the battle in Iraq can

and must be won see the

satisfactory performance on

several of the security bench

marks as a cause for

optimism. Other s read the

report differently. The report

confirms what many had

suspected - the war in Iraq is

headed in a dangerous

direction. Analysts are

pessimistic the Government

Iraqi Government will be able

to improve its patchy

performance. It's hard not to

see short coming after short

coming after short coming in

the accomplishment s of the

Iraqi Government. As troubling

as this new report is,

President Bush continue stas

stand firm. He says he won't

think about changing the US

strategy until the fe

definitive Iraq strategy is

released in December. The first

picture s have emerged from

Nigeria of the Australian man

who was released this week

after being held hostage by a

criminal gang. Lane lane lane

was one of five men - Jason

Lane was one of five men

abducted and held for

ransomment today they met the

region's governor and thanked

those responsible for the

release. It was a hell of an

experience there but at all

times we knew that his

excellency Shell and all that

were involved were doing all

they could to get us back in a

safe condition. Mr Lane is

expected to be reunited with

his partner and son in

Queensland in the next few days. Australia's

Governor-General has joined the

Queen and other dignitaries to

commemorate the 90th

anniversary of one of the

bloodiest battles of world war

16789 they paid tribute to more

than the soldiers who lost

their lives in Passchendaele.

To flying the colours of

every country and every unit

that fought here 90 years ago,

the battle feeds of Flanders

once again came alive, not with

enemies or fire power but with

prayers and tributes. Let us

give thanks for their heroism

and courage and pray that their

sacrifice of 90 years ago may

inspire us to work for peace.

The day brought painful

emotions to many who have lived

through war, including the

Queen. And as battles go,

Passchendaele was amongst the

bloodiest. The worst weather

in a century turned the fields

into a quagmire. In all, a

quarter of a million allied

soldiers were killed. And to

imagine soldiers getting out of

their trenches and trying to

move across, drowning in the

mud at times to meet machine

gun, shell fire, gas, poison,

gas. The commemoration brought

together the new... and the

old. A World War I biplane

scattered poppies in memory of

those who died. More than

60,000 Australian soldiers

never returned from the Western

front. They may have died far

from home but 90 years on their

sacrifice hasn't been

forgotten. Tonight's top story

- John Howard is defending a

$100,000 refit to one of his

prime ministerial planes. And

still to come - Australia's

Iraqi challenge at the Asian


600 workers at the fords

factory in Geelong are facing

an uncertain future because

sales of large family cars have

dropped. Ford is now reviewing

its operations in Victoria. The

jobs involve making six-sill

gin der engines for fal cons

and Territorys and the company

has refused to guarantee them

following the shift to fall

smaller models: We are hoping

to avoid any job cuts if we

can. We are looking at a range

of alternatives to allow us to

get access to economies of

scale, future engine

technologies. Union leaders say

the Federal Government must

step in and freeze a planned

tariff cult but the Government

says the car industry is

already receiving a generous

assistance package. The biggest

takeover bid in the history of

mining has given stock markets

around the world a major boost.

Rio Tinto's $44 billion bid for

a Canadian aluminium producer

intensifies the race to

intensify the ownership of the

world's resource. Alcan is the glittering prize for Rio

Tinto. From the out set, Rio

Tinto Alcan will be a new

global industry leader in

aluminium. And a $106 billion

resources the undispusd second

biggest resours player in the

worlds. Companies in terms of maintaining their market

positions, particularly the big

diversified resours companies

are increasingly looking at

bigger and bigger

acquisitions. Rio's bid for

Alcan was 33% higher than a

recently rejected bid from

American rife Alkatiri coa and

this time the price was right.

TRANSLATION: I think that our

share holders will be please

and well compensated. It

achieves all of our stated

goals. One of which is to tap

into increasing demand for

aluminium, courtesy of a

bombing China and what Rio sees

as rising pries. Some analysts

say the battle for Alcan is not

over and the cashed up miners

bike binlt could make a higher

offer. Companies like Rio Tinto

wouldn't be making these sorts

of bids if they thought the

cycle was going to end any time

soon. The The prospect of more

takeover action boosted

resource stocks and marks

around the world with many of

Australia's medium-sized er

resource companies considered

fair game. At one point, BHP

Billiton hit a record high of

$3.7. Rio Tinto was an -

$39.79. Rio Tinto was an

exception, closing weaker. The

Alcan bid pushed up share price

on Wall Street last night and

the Australian market followed

suit today. Here is Alan Kohler

with the details. A few days

ago all the talk was about the subprime mortgage market problems in the United States.

But today all that is forgotten and pure bliss has descended.

What caused this sudden amnesia

was strong retail sales and Rio

Tinto's bid for Alcan, which

spark add flurry of takeover

rumours up and down Wall

Street. Some time next week, presumably, everyone will remember that the housing

industry in the US is in dire

trouble. The local market

closed about half a per cent

higher. Other resource stocks

like ERA and 1 Steele. AWB was

down 2.4%. The All Ordinaries

index would have more closely

followed the Dow Jones except

Rio Tinto took a hammering

after its bid for Alcan.

There's a bit of a sense that

it might have paid too much,

which is what Alcoa suggested

this morning when it announced

it was pulling out of the

bidding. The high price rubbed

off on Australia's Alumina Ltd,

though. And the Australian

dollar has hit a new whole lot

of new record highs today. A

new 18-year against the US

dollar, above 106 yen for the

first time since mid- 1991 and

the highest level of trade

weighted index for 22 years. Tonight's graph is not exactly

the price of a cheese sandwich

but it's the raw material for

it. Over the past 12 months a global dairy and wheat prices

have increased significantly

because of strong demand from

Asian and Middle Eastern

countries and some shortages

due to droughts and floods in

various parts of the world. I

will be back on Sunday at 10am

with 'Inside Business' and an

in-depth interview with Rio

Tinto chief executivamal

bonnese. The ABC has been

forced to apologise to the

Queen after producing an

promotion al trailer which

appeared to show Herr imagine

industry stormg out of a photo

shoot. This foot age was being

promote ed to journalists. In

it was an exchange between the

Queen and photographer Annie

Leibovitz. I think it would

look less dress y wo without

the crown. What do you

mean? I've had enough. The

alleged royal tantrum gave the

tabloids a field day but then

it was revealed the Queen

walking out of the photo shoot

was in fact her walking in. The

BBC has now apology

Ed to both the queen and the photographer. It's a crunch

game tonight for the Socceroos

at the Asian Cup. The

Australians are looking at new

tactics to improve on their

lack lustre start of the

tournament. Anyway need a win

against Iraq tonight tone sure

they avoid an embarrassing

early exit. With its stable of

European players, and the slick

support team, Australia has

lifted the stakes in the Asian

Cup. The Iraqi camp might lack

some polish but the team has

made the quarterfinals in this

tournament on the past three

occasions. And no-one is

underestimating the will of a

country which deals with real

life and death battles every

day. Even with all the problems

we have, we face to prepare the

team, to bring the players,

many, many problems but

sometimes we have to get some

courage and to face the problem

because you have to test

yourself too. For the Aussies,

it's a case of getting past

Sunday's disappointing draw

with Oman. We really want to go

out and put in a good

performance and get our

campaign back on

track. Tonight's match poses a

difficult choice for some

fans. I am going to carry the

Iraqi flag and the Australian

flag. We want them both to

qualify. That is going to be

hard for both teams. There's to

no such dilemma for Bangkok's

Iraqi community. We want Iraqi

to go to champion, yeah. This

is my country. The teams have

met before in a friend ly game

in Sydney in 2005 when

Australia scored a 2-1 victory.

But the Socceroos will need

more than former glory to come

out on top this time,

especially now that Thailand

has pulled ahead of the pack in

group A with a convincing 2-0

win over Oman last night.

Australia's Evans vase has

had a boost to his Tour de

France campaign with two of the

leading contenders crashing on

stage tief. Filippo Pozzato won

the stage while Katyusha cat

retails the lead. It was the

dramatic stage which claimed

some high profile scalps.

Andreas Kloeden struggled to

finish the tour after he

fractured his coccyx. Alexandre

Vinokourov, who boasts a top

three fin militia the tour, had

to have stitches in his knee

after a crash which cost him a

minute. He was definitely the

wrong day and time to fall

off. The tight winding roads on

the 183km trip proved difficult

to navigate. Cadel Evans

avoided trouble to finish 11th

to be in 15th place overall.

Filippo Pozzato claimed the

stage win. Switzerland's Barrie

Cassidy retains the jersey.

Australia's quest to break the

men's world surfing title

drought to gathering moment

ideal with Taj Burrow well

blaised to move up the ranks

after a stening 10-point ride

secured a second round heat win

at Jeffies Bay. Mick Fanning

leads the standing but an early

defeat in this contest for his closest challenger Damian

Hobgood means Burrow would

improve on his current world

number 4 position. Every event

from now on has to be a keeper

for me. The South African New

Zealand and Australian rugby

alliance agreed today never to

field substrength teams in the

Tri-Nations and Super 14.

Line-ups which encourage this

sort of prediction on the eve

of the All Blacks Springboks

match. I think the All Blacks

will touch them up. With the

Tri-Nations decider against New

Zealand a week away, the

Australian coach isn't buying

into any argue competent about

the All Blacks peeking too

early. They have so much depth

and so many good players.

They're the favourite force

World Cup but we know the

favourites can fall over. It's

a long way back to the world

group or if Australian Fed Cup

tennis team but the climb

begins on the Gold Coast this

weekend. Australia is taking on

u vain Crane in a group 2

play-off with Alicia Molik and

Nicole Pratt up against the

Bondarenko sisters - Alona and

Kateryna. I am the older sister

and should start first. I have

been informed one is in the top

30 in 2 world. Australia will

be rel relegated to the

Asia-Oceanic zonal group if it

loses the tie. There's a new

public broadcaster on the block

with the launch today of a

national indigenous television

service. To begin with, it will only broadcast to remote parts

of the country. But the new

channel has some am bifrtion

plans for its future. It was a

city launch that looked a bit

like Hollywood goes bush, via

the Powerhouse museum. NITV

had come to town in order to

get to the outback. We're live

on television? That's National

Indigenous Television. What do

you reckon? Everybody was

look ing forward to what

television could do to preserve

and promote their kulthure. I

make a commitment with this

service to be the voice of our

people. There's no-one out

there that represents me. All

Australians are very keen to

listen to your stories. NITV

aims to offer all programs,

including news. But it has no

newsroom. We will be going out

to tender for a news service

and by the end of the year we

will be running a news

program. For the moment, the

service will go out voi a

satellite to only the most

remote community. Fit is to

reach the entire country, as

intended, it will do so only if

some agreement can be reached

with Pay TV. Am confident we

will deliver a bold and

creative new service. The

Government backs the first four

years. Beyond that there are no

guarantees txs first hour of

NITV contained at least one

contemporary message, it's how

'Big Brother' might be adapt ed

for the tell vision. You vote

them in and the family gets

bigger and then people have to

argue and you keep expanding

the house until a government

official comes in and shuts it

all down. Only joking , of

course. Time for the weather

now - the sun crept through the

clouds on and off in Sydney

today but it was still a cold

one. The top temperature was 15

degrees, two below the average.

Up to 16 in the west. In Sydney

the temperature is 13, that's

average, and the pressure is

rising. Around NSW today in the

north-east it was clear and

sunny on the coast.

The satellite picture shows

a trough over the west with

patchy rain, a weak front over

Tasmania is bringing showers

and al bien snow and cloud near

a low is causing rain over

northern NSW. A front and

associated trough will trigger

showers in west. Clear ing in

NSW. A higher is keeping SA

clear. Rain tomorrow in WA, Tasmania, Victoria and along

the koes of NSW.

Tonight's top storytsh

Prime Minister has gended a

$100,000 updwraid of his VIP

jet. Labor says it's another

sign that John Howard is out of

touch. Authorities have just 12

hours left to quiz a Queensland

doctor in connection with a

British terror plot. And the

inquest into the death of

Dianne Brimble has heard of

panicky conversations and drug

s thrown overboard after she

die on a cruise ship three

years ago. That's ABC News for

this Friday. Stay with us now

for 'Stateline' with Quentin

Dempster. Goodnight. Closed

Captions by CSI

Offer off - glsh

CC This week - the

overseas doctors we rely

upon. This Ahmed is there a threat to the Australian public

from Muslim doctors who may be

attracted to jihadism? Also,

tarting up the state ly home

no-one lives in. It's quite

magnificent really. And saving

the mek annic s - mechanics


Welcome to Stateline NSW.

I'm Quentin Dempster. With the

on going police investigation

into an alleged terrorist link to some Muslim doctors in

Australia, and the so-called Dr Death case in Queensland,

should we be fearful of all foreign-trained doctors and