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This program is captioned live. flexes its missile muscle. Global condemnation as North Korea political tongues wagging again. The Treasurer gets dilapidated classrooms. Calls to bulldoze the State's has Leichhardt jumping for joy. And Italy's late, late show

Juanita Phillips with ABC News. Good evening. The United Nations Security Council tonight, will meet in emergency session several missiles after North Korea test-fired

into the Sea of Japan. United States and other nations Australia has joined the in condemning the tests agreements. as a breach of international it's extremely worrying John Howard says and that one of the missiles tested

the United States or Australia. was capable of reaching North Korea went ahead anyway. Ignoring all the warnings, launches over several hours. The Pentagon detected six missile plunged into the Sea of Japan. At least three (Speaks Japanese) Through a spokesman, strongly protested. the Koizumi Government economic sanctions. Tokyo's imposing MISSILE FIRES

One of the launches a long-range Tae Po Dong 2. is believed to have been

ballistic missile, An intercontinental it failed seconds into its flight, could reach the US or Australia. but Western analysts believe it The White House says of a missile test moratorium. Pyongyang's in violation former US ambassador to Australia, Tom Schieffer, is now Washington's man in Tokyo. This is a very provocative act

cease and desist. and we would hope that they would the PM was also quick to react. From his Sydney office, worrying development. This is an extremely They've isolated themselves, that are dangerous, they're doing things to their neighbours - that are a worry all their neighbours. one senior US analyst says But at least long-range missile is significant. the failure of the shortly after it took off, To have it blow up

still in the first stage and while it was of North Korea's incompetence is much more an indication North Korea's a threat. than it is that In Canberra, at the North Korean Embassy. there was little sign of life phoned the Ambassador this morning. The Foreign Minister I told the North Korean Ambassador the testing of the missiles, that we condemn heighten concerns that it did very much about security in North Asia.

it was a matter for the military, The Ambassador told him it's rogue behaviour but Alexander Downer says possibility of more launches and he's warning of the in the next few days. on China's influence. Much now depends Labor's Kevin Rudd is in Beijing. by these developments. China, I think, is deeply concerned should become more apparent Just how concerned with other nations when China sits down table tonight. at the UN Security Council

Craig McMurtrie, ABC News. its military offensive in Gaza Israel is poised to broaden by Palestinian militants. after a rocket attack into a school in Israel. They fired the rocket Although no-one was injured, the Israelis are furious. also hitting a school They hit back with a barrage, Government building. and a Palestinian reports. Middle East correspondent Matt Brown with the Gaza Strip The Israeli troops on the border

a sustained operation. had settled in for (Tank fires) of northern Gaza They continue to pound the fields

Palestinian militants in a bid to stop into Israel, from firing makeshift rockets imperfect for years. but this tactic has proved governing Palestinian party Hamas Now, the armed wing of the into the Israeli city of Ashkelon, has succeeded in firing a rocket north of Gaza. but landed in a school, The rocket caused no casualties,

and Israel accused Hamas escalation in terror. of an unprecedented

Ehud Olmert says, The Israeli Prime Minister, "This is a long war. and restraint. "It requires a lot of patience to clench our teeth "We have to know "and to deal a decisive blow." DISTANT, SUSTAINED EXPLOSIONS In overnight air raids, in northern Gaza Israel attacked a school Interior Ministry in Gaza City. and the Hamas-dominated all but destroyed. The building's been it's been hit But this is the second time of symbolic targets to strike and Israel appears to be running out to a much higher level. without taking this conflict Israeli armoured vehicles

in Gaza's north, are still enforcing the no-go zone has so far not stopped the rockets but the sustained pressure a breakthrough and it's not delivered Gilad Shalit, on the fate of the Israeli soldier 10 days ago. seized by Palestinian militants

and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh Palestinian Prime Minister says the Palestinian Government to the militants has sent a clear message and treat him well. to keep the soldier alive That's cold comfort for his family, despite the ongoing deadlock. who are still holding out hope, Matt Brown, ABC News, Gaza. Yet again, embarrassing claims the Defence Department is facing without the best equipment. that front-line troops are doing

has been caught on tape This time, a senior Defence official admitting there'd been mistakes "missed out" and saying that soldiers had on the appropriate gear. is the agency The Defence Materiel Organisation to Australian soldiers. that gets clothing and equipment spoke very bluntly Its head, Stephen Gumley, to Defence suppliers, in a recent briefing he was being recorded. probably unaware

is a perennial complaint The standard of soldiers' gear an inquiry into the issue in March. and the Defence Minister ordered The Opposition's leapt on the remarks as another embarrassment for the Defence Minister. This Government uses the military - uses the military, but does not properly support the military. There've been reports of troops buying their own clothing because they were unhappy with what was issued. And last month, a soldier told the Kovco board of inquiry that troops in Iraq had rifles and pistols that didn't work. But Defence insiders - even those often critical of the Department - say Stephen Gumley's remarks mainly refer to past failures, not a continuing crisis. The feeling is that there've been improvements on the gear issue in recent months. In general, the troops overseas are quite well-equipped and they're certainly very well-equipped by international standards. Within weeks, the Defence Minister's expected to announce the findings of his inquiry into the resourcing of front-line troops. Leigh Sales, ABC News.

Peter Costello has sparked a new round of leadership speculation. Speaking in the Solomon Islands today, the Treasurer did not rule out the existence of a deal with the Prime Minister about the timing of a handover.

Mr Costello would say only that there was no point in speculating about the succession. Peter Costello may have flown the the Solomon Islands, but there are some questions he can't escape. It's now just over a year to the next election, six weeks to the Treasurer's 49th birthday, three weeks to John Howard's 67th. As recently as yesterday, the PM was sticking to the leadership script. The prime ministership is not vacant, I'm occupying it and I've indicated in the past, and I say it again, that I'll remain in this position as long as my party wants me to

and it's in my party's best interests that I do so. But in Honiara today, Mr Costello did not rule out an understanding with Mr Howard about the PM's departure. Look, these things have worked, worked in the interests of the Australian people and the Liberal Party and the people concerned, and there's no point in speculating on them. That's less than a categorical denial. But don't voters have a right to know one way or the other?

Well, voters get the right to vote, that's the critical thing. They'll have plenty of information at the time of the election. Tonight the Prime Minister's Office says there is no deal. It's time that Peter Costello and John Howard took the Australian people into their confidence and stopped playing silly political games. John Howard used disclosure of the so-called 'Kirribilli deal' to undermine Paul Keating, but as the next election nears, his own succession questions will come thick and fast. The PM has until Christmas at the latest to decide whether to stay on or to hand over to Peter Costello to give him time to settle in before facing the voters next year. Jim Middleton, ABC News, Canberra. Bring in the bulldozers - that's what one expert thinks about many schools in NSW. But the State Government and parents

have dismissed the criticisms as ludicrous. The Minister says that public schools are in great shape. Professor Brian Caldwell is the former dean of education at Melbourne University, and he's made a devastating assessment of New South Wales public schools. He says the high school system is falling apart, parents are being duped,

and hundreds of schools in the State are so dilapidated, they should be bulldozed and rebuilt.

You only have to drive through the suburbs or visit the schools to see the run-down condition - or talk to the principals, or talk to the teachers.

There are schools in NSW where you walk into it, you wish there was a bulldozer handy - they really are appalling.

The Education Minister has strongly rejected the criticisms, saying the maintenance budget has been doubled and the school system is in great shape. There are no schools in NSW that should be bulldozed. I have every faith in our public schools in NSW and the great results they're getting. The Minister says new schools are also being built, but even those in charge there say there are more critical issues. The facilities are certainly an added bonus, but what goes on in the classrooms, and with the person in front of the classroom - which is the teacher - is the pivotal ingredient in an effective school. Schools are more than bricks and mortar. We have quality teaching, but of course our children do deserve quality learning environments. Professor Brian Caldwell says the continuing drift of students from public schools to private schools is further proof of his argument. He says governments across Australia have no vision for education, under-resourced and public schools are outdated, into the 21st century and need to be brought to stay relevant. ABC News, Sydney. Adrian Raschella, monitored more closely Prisoners released on parole will be by the State Government. under reforms announced at offenders' homes There'll be random checks community-based sentences. when they're on parole or serving random drug and alcohol tests. They'll also be subject to

the changes. Victims' groups have welcomed we prevent more victims If we can prevent more crime,

and we prevent more jail time, can't ask for much more than that. and, I think, as a community, we an extra $7 million on the service The Government will spend and employ more than 130 new staff. hospital redevelopment in NSW, It's the biggest and most expensive pleased about it. but not everybody's Royal North Shore Hospital The upgrade of Sydney's has to be demolished. means another important building a home away from home It's the end of for families of the long-term ill. This is Rotary Lodge. It's about as close as you can get to the wards, intensive care at Royal North Shore Hospital, and emergency departments to the loved ones and it's also temporary home

of people like Sean Fitzgerald - from outside Sydney a long-term patient from severe spinal injuries. who is recovering It would be a real let-down

or something like it not to have Rotary Lodge

on site, continuing. means The hospital's ongoing redevelopment next month, the building will be closed

then, knocked down, no interim arrangements in place. and there are on the Government to do is What I'm calling Rotary House abandon plans to demolish an on-site replacement. until they've found There is some talk of putting family members in motels away from the site. hospital - This is a multimillion-dollar and do them in a better way. surely, they can think around things who'll suffer. Doctors say it's the patients the road at a motel - Trying to find them if they're down

it's just not going to be the same. to offer the same level of support They're not going to be able to their families - it's just not possible. the problem. The Government can't see most patients, if any at all. I don't see how it would affect ignored for too long. Dr Raper says his warnings have been

as a hospital, An amazing setback for North Shore, and the spinal unit. and for the intensive care unit The hospital admits

the service back it's not contemplating bringing

anywhere near its current location. through the process What we need to do is to plan and what can possibly move off-site. of what we have to have on-site For patients and their families, ordered. that's far from what the doctor

Simon Santow, ABC News, Sydney. the Snowy Hydro Scheme shot down With its plan to privatise by public pressure, the State Government now wants its own the Hydro's future. the public to have

looking at A parliamentary inquiry is how to keep it financially viable, New south Wales money being spent preferably without any outside its borders. they arrived in droves, Five weeks ago, and state governments imploring federal

not to sell the Snowy Hydro Scheme. and interest seems to have faded. Now that's happened,

day of a NSW parliamentary inquiry Barely 50 people came to the first into the Scheme's future. state or local politicians. And at least five were opposed selling Snowy Hydro, While the community overwhelmingly no one in this community its role in the electricity market wants to actually see it shrink in

in the future. and therefore see jobs go While that is a concern for some, the Hydro is going broke. others are doubtful about claims It's invested $500 million in Victoria, in gas-fired power stations

$100 million - $200 million a year. they have an after-tax profit of Government to put it up for sale. Some feel that encouraged the NSW State Government were keen to sell, In my mind, an indication why the

and it was green $100 notes. While much of the attention of the Snowy Hydro Scheme, was on the financial needs about its future direction. others were concerned

concentrating on water It's gone from irrigation supplier to more of an electricity generator.

the Snowy Hydro Corporation There's a feeling is not paying enough attention to its main asset - water. across much of Australia, And as the drought drags on that asset could become than the power it produces. far more valuable

Adele Hodge, ABC News, Cooma. a little poorer tonight The ABC and its viewers are of journalist John Hinde. after the death and funnyman died in Sydney The much-loved film critic at the age of 92. his film reviews for the ABC Most people knew him through in the mid-1980s, but there was so much more to him. So - hello, and welcome tonight to the movie that packs the lot. Cult hero, even sex symbol - sometimes described. that's the way he was And John Hinde would play along. He was something of a closet actor. # Tinky Winky! (Song) # Tinky Winky! # Dipsy! # Dipsy!

# Laa-laa! # # Laa-Laa! Long after most people had retired, he was still soaking up the cinema. were always meant, of course, The carry-on movies of life... to open up the more crazy sides He insisted he was not a film buff, but one who was interested and influenced contemporary life. in the way cinema reflected JOHN HINDE: I want to tell you stories of the Pacific War. one of the most extraordinary a journalist - John Hinde was essentially

in the Pacific War. an ABC Radio correspondent ABC Television news bulletin to air He helped put the first and later became the film reviewer.

a marvellous send-up ..Frankie Howerd, giving us of alternative medicine. He's the real renaissance man.

He was able to understand culture, life,

art within, you know, both of those, his place within it,

and, then, speak very freely with a very youthful mind all the time. Never tell a doctor you're feeling crook. He had heart trouble for more than 25 years and in 1999, found himself once more a television performer, looking inside his own body. Fascinating.

How old was he? John Hinde never liked to tell. But the more he hid his age, the more people guessed.

Maybe that was his intention. He was awarded an AM in the 2002 Queen's Birthday Honours. Well, it's nice to be included, you know, but I'm old and unimpressionable. And yeah, it's great to have it though, just the same. It's good. His last film introduction - perhaps, appropriately - was 'Odd Man Out'. That's enough, except for a fond and sad farewell. We're going to miss you. Tonight's top story - the United States has started urgent talks with its allies and other world powers after North Korea test-fired a wave of missiles.

And in news just in - a Japanese newsagency has quoted an official at Japan's Defence Agency as saying North Korea launched a seventh missile earlier today. And still to come - Italy still on course for a fourth World Cup.

NASA is back in orbit despite some minor technical problems with the space shuttle 'Discovery'. After two postponements, the shuttle and its seven-member crew was finally launched this morning - 4th July in the US. And liftoff. There had been concerns about the weather and the condition of the fuel tank, but the launch has been hailed a major triumph. The shuttle flight is the first in 2006 and only the second since the loss of the 'Colombia' three years ago. The Federal Government will not be taking action against Channel 10's 'Big Brother' program, but it will be looking at changing the rules in the future. At issue was a controversial incident

seen on the internet over the weekend. Two male contestants were kicked off the show after 'Big Brother's subscription internet service showed them allegedly sexually harassing a female competitor.

The Government says because the material was streamed live and not stored on the show's website, it couldn't be termed 'broadcasting' under the current act. We're now going to extend, by legislation, the content rules to other sorts of services, new and emerging services, over converged platforms, such as mobile and the internet. The Government has also ordered a review of broadcast rules to take into account new issues raised by reality television. The head of the failed property group Westpoint has expressed regret for the 4,000 investors who lost their life savings when the company collapsed. Norm Carey today appeared in the Federal Court in Perth. It was revealed he regularly withdrew thousands of dollars

from Westpoint accounts for personal use. Norm Carey hasn't spoken publicly about Westpoint's losses, but, today, while stopping short of apologising, he gave this message to investors. I'm extremely sorry to see them in this position, but any amount of me saying sorry to them isn't going to get their money back. The company was wound up earlier this year owing investors more than $300 million. Today, it was revealed that before Westpoint collapsed,

Mr Carey had been making cash withdrawals of up to $3,000 on numerous occasions each week from the company's account. He was asked: Mr Carey said: Today, he revealed he'd been employed

by a company called Keypoint,

in which his sister was recently appointed the director. He said: ..which is paid into Keypoint's account. When asked why he didn't declare his income to the court, Mr Carey said: It was also revealed Mr Carey is a beneficiary to a trust account, which holds $12 million,

and a signatory to an overseas bank account. He denies that he has access to funds in either of these accounts. The cross-examination of Norm Carey will continue. Dianne Bain, ABC News, Perth. To finance now, and as expected, the Reserve Bank left interest rates unchanged this morning. The share market, meanwhile, drifted after last night's holiday in the United States. Here's Alan Kohler. The market opened higher this morning and then kept rising during the morning after the decision to leave rates unchanged. But then the news that North Korea was letting off missiles caused a downturn in Asian markets which flowed through to Australia, so that the All Ordinaries index closed 6.5 points lower. BHP Billiton led the mining sector lower, Woolworths fell 1.7%, while Qantas and Telstra were among the main rises. Here's what happened among the North Asian markets today -

not particularly drastic I guess. The other effect of the North Korean missile launches was a sharp rise in the gold price in Singapore, although the oil price eased and the rising gold price helped push the Australian dollar up to US$0.745 from yesterday's low of US$0.7418. And you're probably wondering what happened to that rocket known as Australian Mining Investments, which shot up 80% yesterday.

Well, it went up another 35% today to AU$7.11

and then disappeared in a puff of smoke. That is, trading was halted pending an announcement from the company and to say it will be eagerly awaited is an understatement. Tonight's graph is bad news for renters, but good news for landlords. It shows the decline in the national rental vacancy rate

over the past three years, down to little more than 2%. It's been caused by a combination of the decline in home affordability, which has pushed more and more people into rental accommodation, plus the decline in building activity because of the rising costs of construction. ANZ Bank says that with interest rate likely to rise, not fall, vacancy rates will probably fall even further, which means rents are about to rise - a lot. And that's finance. Italy is the first side into the World Cup final

and it's upset the host nation in the process. Germany's hopes were crushed when the Italians scored two goals in the last two minutes of extra time. The ABC's Peter Wilkins reports from Dortmund. In the cauldron of Dortmund, national pride reverberated... (All sing the German national anthem) ..amid some calm analysis. Italian got a good chance because the Germans are under lots of pressure and, ah... From the press. ..from the press and from the public, they've got to win. Skill abounded early on if there was time and room to show it, yet few chances materialised. COMMENTATOR: Oh, and he was brought down. That changed in the opening moments of the second-half and in Germany's best period, they rued a double miss. He's still looking for his first goal. Italian histrionics frustrated the Germans, but if there was a warning sign for the home team, it resonated in the first minute of extra time with two Italian bites of the woodwork. Zambrotta hits the bar! The German players still had a pulse, even if their fans didn't. But after the goalkeepers delivered superbly for their countries...

Oh, and Buffon produces his finest moment of the match.

..Italy found a spectacular answer

with just 1.5 minutes remaining until penalties. Gross does, and sends Italy, surely, to the World Cup final! A silky second was added in the final moment to keep up Italy's perfect record against Germany in World Cups of five matches and no defeats. Even after a defeat like that today, which is hard to take

because a defeat is not so... is not such a big pleasure, but I think everybody can be really proud of that team. The Italian coach said it would have been unfair for the match to go to penalties as his team played at a higher level and had more chances. After a gripping, end-to-end contest, the Italians have emerged victorious with their defence, as much as their fluent counter-attack responsible for the victory.

They've flattened the party somewhat, but there's an acceptance by the Germans that the better team won. Looking for a fourth title, Italy will now meet the winner of France and Portugal. Peter Wilkins, ABC News, Dortmund. Back in Sydney, Italian fans went wild with joy. Hundreds braved the cold to cheer their team to victory.

Italia! Italia number one!

The winning goals sparked raucous celebrations. (Crowd cheers) There were also tears of joy and relief. Fantastic, fantastic, fantastic. Forza Italia! (Woman screams joyfully)

Leichhardt's Norton Street will again be closed for the Cup final on Monday morning. The Rugby League State of Origin series will be decided in Melbourne tonight with New South Wales aiming to be the first side to win four series in a row. The Blues shook off the weight of expectation

with a team walk this morning. The Maroons also took a stroll and, while they're underdogs with bookmakers, they have plenty to play for. We realise the pressure that we're under. We haven't won a series for three, three consecutive years, so when you look at it in that perspective, Queensland is really the team under the pump.

All the boys are pretty keen to get it over and done with. They want to get out there and, obviously, try and win the series but they know there is a lot of hard work to be done. 15,000 interstate fans will boost a sell-out crowd under the roof at Docklands. The top four women's seeds have made it through to the semifinals at Wimbledon. In quarterfinal matches overnight, Amelie Mauresmo defeated Anastasia Myskina, while Maria Sharapova beat Elena Dementieva in straight sets.

The other semifinal will be between Justine Henin-Hardenne, who defeated French qualifier Severine Bremond and Kim Clijsters, who beat China's Li Na. The weather now with Mike Bailey. Thanks, Juanita. Good evening. Back to dry across NSW today, but after the rain came the fog to coastal areas like Sydney. Clear skies overnight took temperatures below their dew point, and the moist air became a grey blanket. Four international flights were diverted to Brisbane. Reduced visibility on the harbour led to a brief suspension for some ferry services. And caught from the right angle, the morning mist gave the impression of smoke emerging from one of the city's most famous landmarks. Well, those skies remained clear through the day. Temperatures going from 8 to 20 degrees - a mild 3-above average.

The barometer is rising. Around NSW - Rainfall -

24 hours to 9:00 6 hours to 3:00: In the capital cities today -

the wettest was Hobart. A change in the next 24 hours will produce rain.

Should be dry tomorrow except for SE. A cold night. Frost in the ranges.

Possible snowfall and gusty winds in the higher parts of the Alps.

Thanks, Mike. And before we go, there's been a development in our lead story - officials in South Korea have now confirmed reports that North Korea has launched another missile - the seventh in 24 hours. The latest test happened early this evening. Six were fired off overnight sparking a storm of international condemnation. The United Nation Security Council will meet in emergency session shortly to discuss the issue.

And that's ABC News for this Wednesday. I'm Juanita Phillips. I'll be back with updates during the evening and 'Lateline' is along at around 10:35. Goodnight. Closed Captions produced by Captioning and Subtitling International Pty Ltd

This program is captioned live.

Welcome to the program.

Shortly we'll be looking at the

troublesome North Korea that

launched a 7th missile recently.

That story if a moment. Welcome to the program.

When the Westpoint Property Group was wound up in February this year it was a financial catastrophe for thousands of small investors. Many lost their life savings and are demanding to know just where the $300 million they invested in Westpoint went.