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ABC News (Sydney) -

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(generated from captions) Live Captioned. This Program is

Tonight - feel the burn -

Melbourne's hottest night in a

century. Visa denial leaves a

fifth Summer Sports Cross in

limbo. A report that - asylum

seeker in limbo. A report too

much TV can break your heart.

Lost but now found. Donald

Friend's dear diary. Good

evening , Jeremy Fernandez with

ABC News. It's been a hot day

around much of NSW, but spare a

thought for our neighbours to

the south. Last night Melbourne

experienced its hottest night

since 1902. The mercury hovered

above 34 for most of the night,

sliding to 30.6 before 9:00

this morning, equalling the

previous record. While the city

sweltered the transport network

was in meltdown. Emma

O'Sullivan reports.

After the sun went down the

temperature hardly dropped.

Finding sleep was a challenge.

Others gave up on it altogether. There's not much

chance of sleeping in 35 in a

stuffy apartment. The

sweltering night equalled the

previous record for an

overnight minimum way back in

1902. At 6:00 last night it was

40 degrees. By nine it was 37

and midnight in the city it was

still 36 degrees. The

temperatures was 34 at 8 this morning. The temperature

started to fall. We reached

30.6 at 8.48. Which equalled

the previous record for the

warmest night ever recorded in

Melbourne. In what is becoming

a familiar pattern train

services struggled in the heat.

There were up to 200

cancellations last night. The Alamein line was still delayed

this morning. Yeah, it is

annoying, yes, very

annoying. A bit of patience,

it won't kill us.

Tracks have been the source of

problems. This time operators

said overhead lines were partly

to blame. Electricity supplies

floundered, 3 ,500 homes losing

power in the north and eastern

suburbs. An afternoon change

brought the mercury back to the

20s. Today should be the last

of the five-day period of

hottish weather. Along the

Murray in the north-east of

Victoria their stretch of 40

degree days should end

today. Relief is in sight for

now. New figures show the

drought that's gripping most of

NSW has worsened despite recent

flooding in the state's

north-west. Nearly 82% of the

state is officially in drought,

that's a 1% increase on last

month. Sections of southern and

northern NSW have fallen into

drought and the total water

storage level has fallen to

below 27%. The rain was just

confined to a reasonably small

area in the north-west of the

state. A lot of the areas have

had no break from the drought

conditions at all. Flood

affected towns of Coonamble and

Walgett are still considered to

be in drought. The Farmers'

Association says good spring

rain fall will be vital if

there's any chance of the

drought being broken this year. The Government has

revealed it knew a group of

Tamil refugees posed a security risk to Australia before

sending them to a Detention

Centre on Christmas Island.

Four refugees from the 'Oceanic

Viking', and a fifth man from a

previous boat failed ASIO's

security checks and will not be

given visas to Australia, it

leaves the group stuck in an immigration no-man's-land waiting on Christmas Island until the Government finds

another country to take them

in. From a month-long stand-off

on a ship to indefinite

immigration limbo on Christmas

Island. There are four persons

on the 'Oceanic Viking', who

failed the security assessment.

As a result they are not

eligible for permanent visas to


The ASIO assessment concluded

that the four Tamils, including

one woman could pose a security

threat. The woman's husbands

failed the threats checks. He

arrived on an earlier boat.

They have two yung children and

all seven will be stuck on

Christmas Island. If they don't

pass the security clearance,

they don't get out of

detention. The Tamil community

in Australia questions ASIO's

information, particularly if it

comes from the Sri Lankan

Government. It's the Sri Lankan

Government that the individuals

are seeking asylum from, any

information given by them will

serve their own purpose and

will not be an honest

report. The security agency

handed over reports, whitele

asylum seekers were on

Indonesiaium soil. We thought

given time programs with

Indonesian governments, it was

best to take them to Christmas Island, detain them there and

work on resolving their cases

in the long term there. It's a

problem of Kevin Rudd's own

making according to the

Opposition. He caved in to

people who had been holding the

vessel hostage for more than

four weeks. It's his problem,

he should deal with it. The

Liberal backbencher who warned

that terrorists could be on the

boats says he's been

vindicated. Christmas Island is

now potentially Australia's

Guantamo Bay. The four Tamils

who were on the 'Oceanic

Viking' had been declared

genuine refugees by the

vasions, that means they can't

be sent back to - United

Nations, that means they can't

be sent back to Sri Lanka. They

are looking for another country

to take them in but it could

take a long time. Convicted drug smuggler Renae Lawrence

spoke out about her attempt to

help fellow Bali Nine member

Scott Rush avoid execution.

Lawyers for Scott rush say

Renae Lawrence detailed in a statement her involvement in

drug running. Speaking from

Kerobokan Prison, a disorientated Renae Lawrence

said Rush was a courier like

her and doesn't deserve to

die. What I'm saying is Scott

was a courier like me, Martin,

Michael, to help Scott get off

the death penalty. Renae

Lawrence is serving 20 years in

prison. It's expected Scott

Rush's appeal will be heard

later this year. The former Rio

Tinto executive Stern Hu may

have to wait more than a month

to find out if he'll face trial

in China on charges of

industrial espionage. Chinese

officials wound up their

investigation into Stern Hu and

three other Rio Tinto employees

yesterday. The Foreign Minister

says it doesn't mean the

Shanghai prosecutor will make a

decision on the matter

soon. Under Chinese law and

practice, as I'm advised,

there's an initial 6 week

timetable for the prosecutor to

make that decision. Although

that timetable can be

extended. Stern Hu has been

detained in Shanghai since July

last year for allegedly sharing commercial secrets and

receiving bribes. Federal Opposition leader Tony Abbott

is taking on the Queensland

Government over laws protecting

pristine rivers in the north,

denying traditional owners

equal opportunities. The State

Government describes the

proposal as environmental

vandalism. Tony Abbott says he

spent a lot of time in Cape

York and knows the issues

facing Aboriginal communities,

the most crucial are viable

future. They want economic

opportunities. The Wild Rivers

Legislation takes those

opportunities away. What have

my kids got? What is going

happen to the kids behind them. My grandchildren,

great-grandchildren. We have

nothing as it is. The State

Government says the Wild Rivers

ensures the water ways stay pristine allowing limited

development. As always with TAB

amound, it's politics over

substance. - with Tony Abbott,

it's politics over substance,

he's shameless when it comes to

disunts like this. Tony Abbott

talked to traditional owners,

his bill won't get the

Government support to pass. I

don't think there'll be too

many problems from the

Commonwealth Government. This is Tony Abbott, I don't think

he has an environmental bone in

his body. The Opposition is criticised for attempts to

increase pressure on the

Government over whaling. It

must fulfil or withdraw its

promise of legal action which

is our focus. Leader Tony

Abbott says taking Japan to

court could risk trade relations, the Government

accusing the Coalition of a

backflip. He's against it

yesterday, for it today. This

is a man engaging in policy by

thought bubble. The message

from dozens of anti-whaling

protesters outside the Japanese

consulate in Brisbane today was

clear. Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson says

he's temporarily giving up his

post amid a growing outcry over

a sex and money scandal. His wife admitted having an affair

with a teenager and she

arranged secret loans to help

him open a coffeehouse. Peter

Robinson is facing allegations

of an ethical lapse of his own

in connection with the relationship. Europe

Correspondent Philip Williams reports.

After days of mounting pressure

finally Northern Ireland's

First Minister agreed it was

time to step aside for a few

weeks and clear his name. Peter

Robinson says he's a victim of

his wife's infidelity and

questionable business

dealings. Iris Robinson

admitted to an affair with a

teenager for whom she arranged

a ?50,000 loan. The question

was what and when did Peter

Robinson know. Financial deals.

It's a personal as well as

political crisis, as Iris

Robinson is undergoing

psychiatric care after a

suicide attempt last

year. Iris Robinson is

receiving acute psychiatric

treatment through the Belfast

health and social care trust.

As a father and husband, I need

to devote time to deal with family

family matters. During this

period I will be carrying out

the functions... The stand-in

First Minister says she's

holding the fort and for the

moment his party is standing by

their man. It was namsly agreed

despite attempts by elements of

the press and political

opponents to force the Right

Honourable Peter Robinson to

resign as party leader, we

offer him wholehearted support

and desire for him to remain in

office as leader of the

Democratic unionist party. For

the other side of this already

volatile Coalition Government,

it's not the person but the

policy that matters, as Sinn

Fein grose frustrated over the

failure to devolve policing and justice powers from

London. There's sympathy for

Peter Robinson, he's given

himself six weeks and says

he'll be back. What started as something deeply personal

threatens the stability of a

rocky relationship within the

Coalition Government. This at a

time the radicals are resorting

to old solution, bombings and

bullets. Some labelled it

Draconian, others say it's

about time. The Federal Health Department announced it will

ban smoke breaks for work e

from January, designed to help

smokers quit the dangerous

habit. The Federal Health

Department says it's time to

practice what it preaches, its

antimistaking message extending

to the work day for its

employees, no more smokos on

company time. When the

opportunity to smoke is not

there for the smoko, there's a

higher likelihood that person

will quit, and we are looking

after their health by trying to

do that for them. From next

month Federal Health Department

workers can only smoke during

their unpaid lunch breaks and

not within 15 metres of their

building. A bit on the tough

side. They'll lose out in the

long run. Because in this sort

of business I'm in, and

whatever have you, most of the information scuttlebutt, good

info comes from the smoko

break. The union says with many

people working 10-12 hour days

a ban on smoke breaks is unreasonable. Commonsense tells

you if employees want to

encourage those to quit

smoking, they'll be better with

a carrot than a stick. The

anti-smoking lobby says the

average smoker lights up five

times a day adding to to an

hour or so off work leading to

millions in lost productivity

and tension in the office when

non-smekers pick up the

slack. Many benefit from a

smoke-free policy, it reduces

consumption and gives extra

incentive when they have

support at work to be a

non-mistaker. Health is not the

first Department to ban the

smoko and is unlikely to be the

last. The Government is under

more pressure than ever to rely

on prevention rather than the

cure. If you are sitting down

watching this, you may want to

stand up. TVs usually set to

give you square eyes, now it's

linked to heart disease, a

study of more than 8,000

Australians show the more you

sit down at work or home the

more you expose yourself to

serious health problems. Dane

Birks is a healthy 18-year-old

who exercises three times a

week. Chest out. At night, like

most people he watches his

favourite TV shows, but

according to new research, that

could lead to heart

disease. Compared to those

watching less than two hours of

television per day, people who

watch four or more television

per day increase their risk of

dying from all causes by 46%

and 80% for cardiovascular

disease. Dr David Dunstan's

study followed more than 8,000

Australians over six years and

found for every hour of TV

watched a day the risk of cardiovascular disease

increased by almost 20%. Too

much sitting is bad for health.

Whether it is in front of the

television or spending long

hours at work in front of a

computer screen. The research

found that regardless of how

much exercise you do, you are

exposing yourself to the risk

of subsidies if you sit for an

extended - disease in you sit

or fan extended period of

time. National guidelines

advise less than two hours a

day for kids and adults. Sit

less, stand more, be active

more intermittently, find the

opportunities existing for

physical activity. Moving

around the house doing

housework will burn more

calories than blobbing on the couch. Not surprisingly the

research team is looking at

ways to improve health outcomes

for those who are less active.

An accused paedophile charged

with more than 100 offences has

been refused bail. 50...

charges relating to two boys.

He and an alleged accomplice

were arrested two days before

Christmas. In opposing bail

prosecutors said another three victims came forward and more

charges will follow. The court

heard Edwards had a long

association with umpiring

junior cricket and football

matches, the case resumes next

month. New figures show that

running red signals is a daily

occurrence on the state's

troubled rail network, the

Opposition saying there's been

hundreds of dangerous incidents

over the last 18 months, half

involving passenger trains. The

Government says a comprehensive

safety upgrade is 10 years

away. David Spicer reports. It

was one of the key

recommendations from the

Waterfall Train Disaster

Inquiry. A call for an

automatic train protection

system that sets off an alarm

and plies the brakes if a

driver is in danger of running

a red light. Figures obtained by the State Opposition says

trains went through red signals

more than 600 times over the

last 18 months. It's

unacceptable to have one or two

trains on a daily basis go

through a red signal. Haven't

we learnt anything from the Waterfall and Glenbrook

disasters. Half the incidents

involved passenger trains, six

causing derailments. The

Transport Minister says it's a

good sign. Part of the process

may be to derail a train to

stop it. It may be that is

planned to do that as part of

the failsafe system. Automatic

train protection system will

cost more than $1 billion and

will not be finished until

2020. It's not something to be

implemented overnight. The

State Opposition says it must

be done well before then. Train

drivers support the go slow. If

you rush things, you end up

having more accidents than

less. Under threat may be train

drivers themselves. The

Government is favouring

driverless trains on the new

CBD to Rosell Metro system. The

Minister fuelled speculation

that the Government may alter

or delay the project. All he

would confirm today is that a

metro will be part of the

Government's public transport

blueprint. The union hopes it

means it will be postponed. We

say the priority is the

North-West Link and the

Epping-Parramatta Link. An

announcement is expect

shortly. To finance, and the

Australian share market turned

decidedly negative as investors

took profits after the good

run. There were signs the withdrawal of Government

stimulus is making its mark on

demand for home loans, here is

Phillip Lasker. The party is

over for first home buyers, the

number of home loans issued in

November fell 5.6%, the biggest

drop in a year and a half.

That's what you get when you

put up interest rates and wind

back the first home buyers

stimulus measures. The value of

homes fell 1.6%, but investors

are coming back. More recent

numbers show it's not enough to

ease the pressure on rents. It

seems Aussies don't like fixed loans. They have been falling

as a proportion of all loans

for the past five months, and

that was during last year's

interest rate speculation and

the actual increases in October

and November. Fixed loans

represent just 3.4% of all

loans, it's suggesteding

borrowers thought they missed

the bus as rates rose, or

prefer the option of paying off

more on a variable loan. The

party was over temporarily for

share investors, this was the

biggest fall in a month.

Resources suffered from profit

taking and China's attempts to

cool its economy. Alumina fell

because its American partner

Alcoa announced a disappointing

quarterly profit, and retailer

JB Hi-Fi said post Christmas

sales were better than

pre-Christmas but it didn't

help. CSR did well thanks to an

offer by China's Bright food

group for sugar and renewable

energy businesses, and Qantas's

part of the one world alliance

putting up $2.1 billion aid

package to support the near bankrupt Japan Airlines. The

Australian dollar came down off

its perch. That's finance. Cm

admits she's out of form lead -

Serena Williams admits she's

out of form leading to the

Australian Open. The world No.1

wasted little timebooking her

place in quarterfinals with a

straight sets win. No.2 seed

Dinara Safina is through, but Australian Carsten Ball is

out. The world No.1 had every

right to expect a stuff match

against Hopman Cup winner Maria

Jose Martinez Sanchez. But the American started strongly

taking the first set for a loss

of one game. It was much the

same in the second, Williams

cruised to a comfortable win

but admits she's not in peak form. Obviously I don't feel my

best. That is what the game is

all about. Taking it one match

at a time. World No.2 Dinara

Safina started slowly in her

opening match against Poland's

Agnieska Radwanska. The Russian

down 5-0 in the opening set

before finding her range. And

sealing a straight-sets win. Last night Alicia Molik

became the second Australian

through to round 2 at the

Hobart International, beating

India's Sania Mirza in three

sets. She'll meet fifth seed

Carla Suarez Navarro. Meanwhile

in Melbourne the game's biggest

star showed no sign of the arm

injury he suffered in Qatar

last week. Roger Federer looked

relaxed as he hit the practice

court, so too Justine Henin,

the Belgian seems to have

recovered from a butt ok injury

forcing her to pull out of the

Sydney International. The

tournament's ball kids were out

in force, organisers say it's

not pink, it's magenta. For

American James Blake there's a player in this draw that stands

out. Roger is always the guy to

beat. You take away the No.1

rank, he's the one to

beat. Novak Djokovic, world

number 3 steps up his Australian Open preparation at

the Kooyong Classic against

Tommy Haas. The drug tainted

image of baseball in the United

States has been dealt another

heavy blow. The former Major

League superstar Mark McGwire

came clean admitting he used

steroids when setting the home

run record in 1998. His revelation coincides with a

return to the name in a

coaching role. Mark McGwire

spilled the beans on St Louis

Cardinals. At 46 the former

Oakland and St Louis player

came clean on a subject

attracting speculation

confirming he used performance

enhancing drugs in the 1990s. I

wanted to come clean since

2005. I didn't know where,

when, how. Just been the

longest time... The recently

appointing hitting coach at the

Cardinals, Mark McGwire was on

steroids in his 1998

record-breaking home run

season. I wish they never came

to my life. I apologise to

everyone in Major League

Baseball. My family. Mark McGwire retired in 2001 but has

been under pressure, refusing

to answer questions at a 2005

congressional hearing. I wish I

never played in that era. I

wish we had drug testing. If we

had drug testing when I played,

you and I wouldn't have this

conversation today. Mark

McGwire said he took drugs to

help injury recovery, not build strength. Summer Sports Cross

cross promoted in the Tasmania

capital but Alicia Molik won't

need to slip the pads on for

the third Test. Simon Katich

overcame an elbow injury, the

opener fit to play against

Pakistan Thursday. Looking

forward to reaquapting

ourselves and hopefully we can

put on a big

partnership. Pakistanis said replacement wicket-keeper

Sarfraz Ahmed is a starter. The

Togo National Football Team has been disqualified from the African Cup of Nations after

failing to turn up for its

scheduled opening game against

Ghana. At the request of the Togolese Government, the

players returned home with the

bodies of those killed in an

ambush by insurgents.

Two long lost war time

diaries of the Australian

artist Donald Friend have been

found in the US and donate to

the National Library. They

offer a candid cheeky account

of army life in the '40s and give historians a glimpse of

the useful talent of the one of

Australia's greatest and

controversial artists. Siobhan

Heanue reports. Donald Friend

is often mentioned alongside

Dobell and Drysdale as one of

the great 20th century

Australian artists. But he was

also a prolific dirist penning

his first journal at 14 and

sketching and scripting his

observations up until his death

in 1989. The library holds 44

diaries of Donald Friend, and

we did know that there were

two, possibly three missing.

I had a hunch being a trained

historyian as I am, you have to

go to the spot, you may be

lucky. Detective work led to an

architect in Philadelphia, who

happened to have a certain box

of books. The unearthed treasures document Donald

Friend's stint in the army,

trained as a gunner he was the

official war artist in

Borneo. He was candid about

what happened in the army,

thinking most of it was chaotic

and shambolic. His candid

writing led to controversy.

Friend wrote about his sexual

encounters with children,

sparking debate as to whether

the art world and historians

ignored his paedophilia in

sfafr of lauding his art work.

- in favour of lauding his art

work. It's not for us to sensor

them, it's up to the Australian

public to choose whether they

want to view, read whatever it

is that they - they can be the

censures. As an important part

of Australia's heritage we have

an obligation to collect. He's

more than an artist, he's a superb commentator and

observer. It's been suggested

while he was a great artist

Donald Friend's diaries were

his real masterpiece. The

weather now, severe storms

developing north of Sydney this

afternoon, Graham. Ce, they

were isolate. A warning was

issued for damaging winds north

of Richmond, but it collapsed.

Richmond reached 41. The city's

temperature capped by a sea

breeze keeping it at 29. 36 at

Camden and Baj ris creek.

Overnight minimums will drop

between 23 and 25. A cold front

moving to the far south of the

state late this afternoon, dry

and sunny across most of the

state. Late this afternoon

isolated storms developing

about the northern and Central

Ranges. 45 degrees at Pooncarie

and Ivanhoe were the warmest

temperatures. Rain fall has

been scarce, all falls

yesterday light and isolated.

There's nothing in the gauges

so far today. A band of rain

moved to the south-eastern

cities. 4mm in Adelaide was the

heaviest of the falls in the

south-eastern capitals.

Cloud behind a strong southerly

change reaching the South Coast

of NSW this evening, moving to

the Mid North Coast by late

tomorrow. Hot northerly winds contracting to the north of the

state. A trough associated with

the change triggering isolated showers and thunderstorms.

That trough will relocate over

the inland by Thursday, and

this will trigger further

showers and storms through to

Saturday. Again rainfall totals

are not expected to be

significant. Rainfall in the

south-eastern sis will be light

tomorrow. They'll be

considerably cooler. Across NSW

- a dry and sunny day for the

Northern Rivers. Isolated

showers and thunderstorms

elsewhere through the state.

More likely about the far

south, and near the coast and

the eastern ranges. North-east

to north-westerly winds ahead

of a strong and mild south to

south-easterly change moving

through the state. Cloud

increasing in Sydney. A shower

or two in the afternoon or

evening. Top temperatures in

the city of 27. 33 over the

western suburbs. Strong

northerly winds ahead of a

strong southerly change. It

should be due in by around

about 9am. In behind that we

see onshore winds feeding into

that inland trough triggering

further showers and the

possibility of an isolated thunderstorm. Pretty much from

Saturday on it's a little uncertain, looks as though

we'll see a low pressure system developing off the South Coast. That'll be one to

watch. Recapping the top stories - Melbourne equalled

its hottest night on ror, the

mercury not falling plo 36.6

degrees matching a 1992 record.

New figures showed despite

flooding in the state's

north-west 82% of NSW is in drought. The Federal Government

is revealed it knew a group of

Tamil refugees posed a security

risk to Australia before it

sent them to the Detention

Centre on Christmas Island.

That's ABC News for now. We'll

leave you with the giant pandas

at the Adelaide Zoo. They've

been released into their new

outdoor enclosure after a month

in quarantine. Thanks for your

company, goodnight. Subtitles by ITFC.

She first said, "Mummy, I

can't see, mummy am I going to

die". Tonight on the '7.30

Report', the deadliest danger

to swimmers across northern

Australia, the jellyfish. It's

the most venomous animal on the

planet. Now the menace is

spreading its tentacles. They

are getting further south. I

just couldn't breathe properly,

there was no air whatsoever. Southern discomfort. Melbourne's

sweltering ordeal. Heatwaves

that may be longer, frequent, and more extreme than anything

we have seen in the past. This Program is Live


Welcome to the program, I'm

Heather Ewart. Throughout

summer Box and Irukandji

Jellyfish pose a deadly threat

to beachgoers across northern Australia. While there have

been no fatalities so far this

season, about 50 people in

Queensland alone have been

hospitalised with severe