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ABC News (Sydney) -

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(generated from captions) This program is captioned live. Tonight - in State Parliament. Uproar as politics gets physical Saddam on trial for his life. About to face his accusers, health in Australia The disgraceful state of mental Prince of Denmark and a royal debut for the newborn

Good evening. Juanita Phillips with ABC News. In a forum for speeches, they were left speechless. a new low last night The NSW Parliament hit was manhandled when Minister Joe Tripodi by an Opposition front bencher during a debate about road funding. As a result of that behaviour, was dumped from the shadow cabinet National Party MP Andrew Fraser for eight days , and suspended from Parliament ruled out a comeback. but his leader hasn't in the place they call the bearpit. Despite one of the blackest nights Late at night in Macquarie Street, and things were about to turn nasty. was down in Sydney somewhere, The local member of course in his own electorate. we couldn't find him a violent reaction That was all it took to trigger Andrew Fraser. from Nationals' frontbencher had to step in Other MPs and attendants to save Roads Minister Joe Tripodi. around my neck or around here - He had his hands either I can't quite remember - and he was shaking... and screaming at me. He was shaking me quite aggressively but he kept coming at me, I thought he would stop like he was out of control. coming straight at me. It was like a bull the obvious question - MPs in the chamber have raised influenced by alcohol? was Andrew Fraser's behaviour No, I wasn't drunk. near intoxicated No, I wasn't anywhere and police help to prove that. and I tried to seek medical

admits Mr Fraser's leader, Andrew Stoner, a glass of wine buying his colleague in the House. two hours before he let fly from my perspective. He doesn't have a drinking problem inside and outside parliament. Andrew Fraser has now apologised His humiliation was complete to eject him from the House when members on both sides combined for eight days. say "Aye!" Those in favour of the motion, (All say) "Aye!" Andrew Fraser be dumped The Government is demanding as a National Party MP. That won't happen, a move in parliament and neither will there be to permanently expel him. History shows expelled MPs have been returned at by-elections with increased majorities.

has raised the prospect The Nationals' leader the frontbench for his errant MP. of an early return to and I believe he is, If he is genuinely remorseful, front bench in the future. that he can come back to the The bearpit is no stranger to MPs behaving badly. In the parliament's long history, for assaulting staff, members have been in trouble

but apparently never each other - until last night, that is. Simon Santow, ABC News, Sydney. Joanne Lees,the key witness in the trial of the man accused Peter Falconio of murdering British tourist of her story. has admitted to doubting parts lawyers for Bradley John Murdoch, Under cross-examination by defence

about the description Joanne Lees agreed she was uncertain of the ute used by her alleged attacker. identified as her attacker, This is the man that Joanne Lees is Bradley John Murdoch. the man that the prosecution say from Bradley Murdoch Sitting across that Peter Falconio disappeared. Ms Lees again spoke of the night Murdoch's defence, Under cross-examination by her version of events. Grant Algie questioned about the identity of the man. He repeatedly asked her admitted she hadn't been happy In earlier evidence Miss Lees she'd given police. with the identikit She told the jury she also had doubts to police about the description she gave about her attacker's vehicle. Ms Lees fought back tears from her attacker, as she spoke of escaping

and concerned about Peter, that she was frightened of him being so close, hiding place but that she couldn't leave her to go to be with him. was still alive Asked if Peter Falconio to have heard from him? would she expect Absolutely she said.

The trial continues tomorrow. Liv Casben, ABC News. Saddam Hussein The former Iraqi dictator is due in court about now for crimes against humanity. at the start of his trial relates to mass killings One of the first charges he faces north of Baghdad. in the village of Dujail, Matt Brown explains, As Middle East correspondent Saddam is accused of a terrible act against the entire community. of retribution north of Baghdad, The people of Dujail, have waited two decades for justice. of Saddam Hussein's retribution This town still bears the scars here in 1982. after a failed attempt on his life CHANTING AND CLAPPING When Saddam arrived at Dujail, for the feared dictator. the locals put on a show of loyalty But Saddam had entered a stronghold Dawa Party of the outlawed Shi'ite Muslim this footage was taken, and, shortly after President with a burst of gunfire. militants tried to kill their The assassination attempt failed to the town centre. and Saddam Hussein returned people of Iraq," he told the crowd, "These few shots don't frighten the Saddam Hussein." "And they don't frighten they would not be blamed. He assured the people of Dujail But later he personally confronted some of the men of Dujail. them," he told his troops. "Keep them separate and interrogate And it's now alleged back to the town to exact revenge. that Saddam ordered his forces turned into a chamber of horrors. The Baath Party headquarters was "They put electrodes into the ears of a 70-year-old woman," Mohamad Hikme says, in front of her brother "They hung another woman from a fan "to make him confess." Many in Dujail the ultimate price hope Saddam Hussein pays for their suffering. Hani al-Dujaili says anyone who had committed a crime against humanity should be executed. Saddam's legal team is asking for a 3-month delay in the trial. Matt Brown, ABC, Amman. It paints a picture of pain and frustration for sufferers and their families. A damning report into the state of mental health in Australia says people simply can't get the help they need to care for the mentally ill. It's being called the most important statement on mental health in over a decade, and details a litany of failure and neglect. It is a grim picture, it is a picture where we have a broken system. 12 years after the Burdekin Report recommended moving mentally ill patients out of institutions, this new report finds serious shortcomings in the services that are available. Any form of mental health care is provided more often by family carers and the police. The public mental health systems around the country are an absolute disgrace. The report finds: A serious lack of follow up care for people with severe or psychotic behaviour, premature discharge from hospital for patients still at risk, and few early intervention programs. Chair of the Mental Health Council, Keith Wilson, cares for his adult son, who has schizophrenia. Don't tell us these stories aren't true - we have lived them, we know this is the truth. The Federal Health Minister admitted the Government needs to do more, but says its hands are tied. We need the responsibilities for mental health that we don't currently have. A response dismissed as a furphy by the Opposition. He knows that the Prime Minister has ruled that out. The Commonwealth Government is not going to be taking over health. The report authors want a substantial boost in funding, an independent report card and the issue to be debated at the next Heads of Government Meeting. The Federal Government has promised to review all the recommendations raised in the report. Sophie Scott, ABC News. The Federal Government is coming under more pressure over it's push for new counter-terrorism powers. A senior Liberal backbencher has broken ranks to call publicly for more safeguards, and three international experts have delivered a report critical of the proposed new laws. First, it was a stop at the control centre of the country's biggest counter-terrorism exercise... Are they phone calls or intercepts?

..then to the Red Cross to launch a book on how to change the world. But it's John Howard's changes to the country's counter-terrorism laws that are causing unease on his backbench. Negotiations are continuing behind closed doors but Victorian Liberal Petro Georgiou has gone public, calling for an independent watchdog to monitor the new powers. Laws which are non-discriminatory on their face might be applied in a discriminatory way by the security and police agencies. I'm not attracted to establishing yet another statutory authority. The ACT's chief minister, Jon Stanhope, is keeping up the pressure, releasing a report he commissioned from three international law experts. They say the proposed preventative detention powers and control orders may be in breach of Australia's obligations

under international law. These are much more severe laws And former prime minister Malcolm Fraser is expected to chime in with a speech tonight. The Prime Minister,

who's counting on State and Territory leaders to hold the line on counter-terrorism, is also pushing for more co-operation on infrastructure projects. John Howard has announced that Commonwealth departments will examine public and private sector partnerships on future projects over $100 million. I'm not going to set any limit on what might be involved, I was stating a new approach. At a lunch with company directors, the Opposition Leader was launching his own plan for the fuel industry. Kim Beazley's warning of future petrol prices soaring to $5 or even $10 a litre. We must develop these fuels Labor would offer gas producers massive tax breaks to build gas-to-liquid plants

to reduce Australia's reliance on foreign oil. Craig McMurtrie, ABC News, Canberra. There'll be a bit more light at the end of sydney's cross-city tunnel tomorrow, with hundreds of secret documents relating to the contract being made public. Former Chief Justice Sir Laurence Street, has advised the Upper House of Parliament that many of the tunnel's financial and management arrangements should no longer be kept under wraps. The Premier says significant documents on the tunnel have already been made public. The 300-page deed of agreement was tabled in the parliament 2 years ago and has been available for inspection, for scrutiny by members of Parliament and the public. But the Greens say 12 boxes of information still remain secret,

and they have experts on standby to scrutinise them.

I'll be looking for the financial arrangements between the Government and the operators because at the moment what we're seeing is that the public-private partnerships mean that the company walks away with the money and the public has to wear the problem. Lee Rhiannon says the Greens want similar access to documents on the Lane Cove tunnel and the proposed desalination plant. A Sydney court has refused to return a drivers licence to an interstate truck driver charged over the death of a 7-year-old boy

in a freeway crash. The truck and a van collided on the F3 at Berowra, north of Sydney, killing the boy and injuring two adults. This was the scene of the accident which claimed the life of a 7-year-old Sydney boy.

Returning home after a weekend at the coast, police say the family's van was sideswiped by the prime mover on a busy stretch of highway north of Sydney. The truck was driven by 52-year-old Paul Jacques,

from Redlands, outside of Brisbane. He's been charged with dangerous and negligent driving causing death, as well as causing grievous bodily harm to the boy's parents. His licence was seized at the crash scene. Today he asked the court for it to be re-instated - his lawyer arguing that a trial on the matter was still six months away. The court was told Paul Jacques has been driving trucks for 25 years,

and he needs his licence to keep his job.

Police argued against allowing Mr Jacques to have his licence back, telling the magistrate it had been obtained fraudulently in Queensland, even though he's not facing any charges.

The magistrate agreed with the police after the court heard claims that Paul Jacques had his NSW truck licence suspended several years ago. He'll return to court next month. Rachel Mealey, ABC News, Sydney. Australia's defence force is in the firing line over how it treats its youngest recruits. A report from the Commonwealth Ombudsman says it's unacceptable that there's no formal policy on the duty of care to young service men and women.

John McMillan's 2-year-long investigation was prompted by a series of serious complaints about the treatment of young people in the military. The most serious were of young people who had suicided soon after their enlistment in the defence forces. Almost 200 17-year-olds are serving in the military and the Ombudsman's found Defence has no clear understanding of its duty of care.

That there are some older attitudes that still linger, that, for example, by enlisting, a person becomes an adult and doesn't need special support. He's recommended the ADF get legal advice to clarify its responsibilities and ensure the policy's made clear to young recruits, their parents and commanders. It's a move Susan Campbell believes is long overdue. Her 15-year-old daughter, Eleanor Tibble, was an Air Force cadet

and committed suicide after being falsely accused of fraternising with a flight instructor. I think it's a damning indictment of the system - that it needed to take somebody outside of the Defence Force to show up the glaring, obvious deficiency, which was particularly with the duty of care. The Chief of Defence, Angus Houston, has accepted all but one of the 11 recommendations.

He's rejected the proposal to raise the minimum age for enlistment to 18, saying it'd restrict the quality and quantity of recruits. The Government agrees. There are a lot of young men and women who are very capable at that age, they want a career in the Defence Force and they don't want to sit around waiting

and I think we should accommodate them. The Ombudsman's also urged Defence to tone down its focus on excitement and adventure in its recruitment. He says unrealistic expectations make it even harder for young people to adjust to military life. Dana Robertson, ABC News, Canberra. The crew of an Indonesian fishing boat, is likely to face charges after a mid-ocean stand-off with Australian authorities. It's alleged the nine crew of this boat lit bamboo poles to repel customs officers and then threatened them with machettes as they tried to board. The new Navy patrol boat HMAS 'Armidale' was called up to intervene. We did provide warning shots ahead of the vessel. A show of force, I guess, convinced the master to stop and comply. The Australian Government has complained to Indonesia about the confrontation. If it's possible that the people involved in the incursion can be prosecuted under Australian law, they will be prosecuted. are being towed to Darwin. The boat and its crew She did most of the talking, he looked on with pride and the star of the show slept through it all.

Denmark's Crown Princess Mary and her husband, Frederick, have been showing off their as yet un-named baby boy for the first time. And, as Europe Correspondent Rafael Epsteen reports from Copenhagen, the Australian connection also got a mention. The prince and his princess from a far away land with the baby who will one day be king. It's been a truly wonderful life experience and words cannot describe how happy one feels. The royal baby stayed asleep despite the noise. His mother says he's calm and peaceful. (Speaks Danish) Speaking mostly in Danish, she did have a message for Australia. We are very touched by all the messages and warm wishes

and gifts and hand-knitted toys and jumpers and sweaters we've received from Australia. It's been really very touching. The crowds here were spontaneous. Most Danes share a real affection for a monarchy that's more than 1,000 years old. It's touching, and Mary is very beautiful. It will be our king one day and we're excited to see how he looks. For many here, it's as though there's a new baby in their own family, and this child will be king when the youngest grandchildren here have children of their own. Like most new parents, mum sat in the back and dad drove. But this new family have now gone to their palace, north of the capital.

Rafael Epstein, ABC News, Copenhagen. Now, a reminder of tonight's top story.

MP Andrew Fraser has been dumped from the shadow cabinet, and suspended from parliament for eight days, after his late night fracas with Minister Joe Tripodi. And still to come - Homer and family in the Middle East -

is this really 'the Simpsons'? Share prices fell sharply today, as resource stocks lost favour after a drop on Wall Street overnight. Alan Kohler has the details. After a couple of weeks of nervously going sideways, the local market cracked today. The All Ordinaries Index closed 1.7% lower. The falls were widely spread, but were definitely led by the resources sector. BHP Billiton down 3.4%, Rio Tinto - 3%, Newcrest - 10% and Oil Search - 5.8%. The banks all went down as well - ANZ, Westpac, NAB and CBA all fell between 1 and 1.5%. In fact, the only leading stock to go up today was Woolworths, because it reported a solid lift in first-quarter sales and re-affirmed its forecast for full-year profit growth. But on the whole, it was all red ink, and this is the reason - a report on wholesale prices in the United States last night. Up 1.9% in September, which is an annual rate of wholesale inflation of 6.9% - quite a bit more than expected and it pushed the US share market down 0.6%. It's mostly petrol of course, confirming concerns that the high oil price will produce a new bout of inflation. Now, you might be wondering what US inflation has to do with Australian share prices, and it's a fair question. The answer is it affects the US long-term bond rate, and one of the reasons share prices have been so high this year is because long-term interest rates have been falling steadily for 10 years as inflation has fallen as well.

US inflation peaked in 1974, 1980 and 1991, causing global recessions each time. As you can see from the graph, the US CPI is back to where it was 1992, which is making investors remember 1991. The US dollar is still strong because of the expectation that American interest rates will keep rising, leaving the Australian dollar struggling at around 74.5 US cents. And the oil price fell 44 cents in Singapore today to US$61.65 a barrel. And that's finance. Farmers hit hard by years of drought have been busy buying up stock at sale yards this week - those who can find the money, that is.

Many are still feeling the pinch, though, and they can't buy breeding stock until they can harvest and sell some grain. AUCTIONEER'S CALL On the face of it,

you might think the drought had been consigned to history. The cattle are in good shape and the prices are high. If you have them to sell, you're laughing. At last we've got a bit of light at the end of the tunnel. Hand-feeding is no longer necessary. There is pasture for grazing. Some farmers are restocking to replace their breeding stock they had to sacrifice in the drought. But restocking is beyond the means of many farmers. No matter how good things may look on the surface, it's often an illusion. A lot of people reduced their numbers through the drought and their cash reserves were eaten into pretty significantly, so they're having trouble coming to terms with the price of restocking cattle. Where we are, the drought is pretty much over. We've got a bulk of feed and the water is good and everything, but the cash drought is our biggest problem, yeah. In Tamworth and Gunnedah this week, there has been plenty of interest and a lot of it is about short-term turnaround. The approach here is pretty basic - the farmers buy the cattle, fatten them up

and then sell them again within a matter of months. It doesn't provide them with breeding stock and it doesn't put the drought entirely behind them, but it does start the money trickling in again. Just starting to sell the first of them now.

REPORTER: Are you seeing any of that cash return? Not yet - today is the first day. Despite appearances, they're not all breeders, sellers and buyers here. Some are townspeople, business people, high on hope that the tough times are gone because the knock-on effects of the drought have caused pain to everyone. Everything looks rosy again, actually. Many farmers who are also croppers face an anxious month ahead until they can harvest and sell their grain. And only then might they be in a position to think of restocking. Geoff Sims, ABC News, Gunnedah. Australia's premier bowlers are back on top of the world. Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne have claimed the top two places in the International Cricket Council's latest bowling rankings. Captain Ricky Ponting is one of two Australians to make it into the batting top 10 - he's number two,

while Matthew Hayden climbs to sixth. Here's Peter Wilkins. It continues to be an irrepressible combination - Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne. And they're back in positions one and two on the latest world bowling rankings. While they can celebrate their return to dominance from the depths of the Ashes defeat, there is a sobering note. It comes from former Pakistan captain Waqar Younis, who says an elite bowling coach in Australia is a must. The Australian board have got to think very quickly and very hard that if they can bring some of their old fast bowlers to come and coach the youngsters, because I see a lot of problems in the youngsters. Shunning Australian soccer's ethos of one-team towns, the National Basketball League has granted a second licence to Melbourne for next season. The NBL will expand to 12 teams despite the battle for fans and sponsorship dollars, which has seen franchises come and go in Victoria. The NBL needed a second team in Victoria. I mean, I think that that is exactly what we needed to have to make this league - to bring it back to where we had previously been. The national coach believes there are enough players for a 16-team league. I'm putting my hand up and saying more. I hope Gold Coast works out. I hope we can get something going in Hobart, maybe Darwin down the track. The new team will announce its name and colours by the end of the year. Four months' jail -

that's the American Federal Court sentence after a plea deal for the man at the centre of the BALCO steroids scandal, Victor Conte. While not planning to betray any of his elite clients - who Conte says have suffered enough - he does promise a day of reckoning. I plan to share what I've learned about the rampant use of drugs at the elite level of sports. And more specifically, to explain exactly how elite athletes routinely beat the existing anti-doping programs. It's a bonanza! The Socceroos' final World Cup qualifying match in Sydney next month will be a sell-out. This is the biggest sporting event in Sydney and in Australia this year. Australian and Uruguayan fans queued side-by-side overnight to snap up the remaining 20,000 tickets for the match at the Olympic Stadium on November 16. At the end, I think it will come down to heart and unfortunately, we grew up with it.

The Socceroos are still considering a request from Uruguay to move the away match forward a day to November 11. The West has delighted in their dysfunctional antics for nearly 16 years. Now Homer, Marge and the other Simpsons have launched themselves on the Arab world, but not before being taken to the cleaners. The MBC network, based in Dubai, is broadcasting an Arabic version of 'The Simpsons', called 'The Shamshuns' 'THE SIMPSONS' THEME SONG PLAYS The Simpsons's makeover doesn't stop there. Homer is called Omar, he doesn't eat pork and bacon - and even more shocking - his favourite brew has been changed to something the American Homer would find rather unpalatable. But there's no changing that unmistakable catchphrase... CARTOON: D'oh! The show will air during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, but, even with modifications, some Arabs are sceptical it will leave a lasting impression on audiences in the Middle East. The weather now with Mike Bailey. Thanks, Juanita. Good evening. Rain's been moving only slowly from the west, but it should have moved over most districts by late tomorrow.

Widespread cloud ahead of it, and over Sydney today, where temperatures went from 16-23 degrees, 1 above average. !8.8 degrees at present Quite a deal of cloud Rain- moderate falls Adelaide the wettest Widespread cloud and a trough Unstable air

Rain areas tomorrow through the State Cool to mild, fresh winds Mostly cloudy in Sydney SShowers for the next 3 days Thanks, Mike. Now a quick reminder of tonight's top stories.

A debate about highway funding ends in violence in State Parliament. Nationals MP Andrew Fraser has been censured and dumped from the Opposition front bench after attacking Roads Minister Joe Tripodi. And that's ABC News for this Wednesday. I'm Juanita Phillips. I'll be back with an update in an hour.

And 'Lateline' is along at 10:30. Have a good evening. Captions by Captioning and Subtitling International.