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on another public forum. Also Queensland seat of Longman is

condemned by party leaders. Violence, standover tactics absolutely Violence, intimidation,

first shipment of Australian unacceptable at all times. The

aid arrives Pakistan. And the

crush the with a 12-point win Good Auckland. Good afternoon, you're watching ABC News 24. I'm Jeremy Fernandez. To the weather - tomorrow will weather - tomorrow will be

sunny and fine in Brisbane,

Sydney and Darwin, a Sydney and Darwin, a few

showers for Melbourne and Adelaide, it will become cloudy in

until the vote, the latest

swing against Labor in opinion poll points to a big

Queensland and NSW if the

trends are repeated they seats to form see the Coalition win enough see the Coalition trends are repeated they could

seats to form Government. The

two leaders have spent the day

challenging each other to take challenging each other to

part in some form of public discussion, so far without

political correspondents agreement. We'll hear from our

political correspondents on the

campaign trail in a moment but first this report from Danielle

Bower. A day is a long time in

surveys predicted a narrow opinion polling. Yesterday,

Labor win, today a dpal gal

suggests the Coalition could suggests the poll of 20 marginal seats

win the election because of

swings in key marginal seat. swings in key marginal

Tony Abbott insists it will be a very close contest. This is

going to be a very hard

election to win because we're

running against an incumbent State Labor Governments, the $1 Commonwealth Government, five

billion a year war billion a year war machines

that are the union movement so

I'm going to be running hard right down run hard over the next week if Government will also have to

it's to shore up support in the

crucial states of NSW, WA and Queensland. It has period of time. Elections desperately close for some

Queensland generally are. The period of time. Elections in

fact is I've been involved many federal election campaigns fact is I've been involved in

in this State. It does tend to

swing more than other

that's not necessarily a states. The Prime Minister says

reflection on her Government.

Well, I would say I understand that in some parts of the nation there's with the performance of State

Labor Governments. Tony Abbott

won't agree to another debate but he's happy but he's happy to get a

grilling from voters at a Town Hall style great for the public. They were

there up close and personal with the people who want to

lead our country. I think it bead

bead a very good way to bring

this election, this knife-edge

election to a good

decision. Both leaders are keen game, with the Prime Minister

ri-iterating her call for a debate on the economy. Compared

to some other states, Victoria's relatively safe

territory for Labor but there are still plenty of undecided voters to be won Political correspondent Dana voters to be won over. Robertson is travelling the Prime Minister and filed Robertson is travelling with

this report a little this report a little earlier.

Julia Gillard's here in McEwan, an ultra marginal seat in

Victoria which is held by Liberal Party but that Labor's Victoria which is held by the

swing hoping to win if there's a

home State. She's at the local football finals presenting

medals to the players and

tossing the coin for the under

15s final between south meringue and Eltham. Julia Gillard's key announcement

Australians with credit card today is about helping

debt. She want to axe over the

limit fees, she wants to make

banks have to take the amount

that people pay off their

credit card off the amount with

the highest interest and wants to get rid card limits. At the same time, increases to people's credit

the debate over the debate is still raging has challenged Julia Gillard to

another Town Hall style debate. another Town Hall style

The ALP has responded by saying

she's happy to do that if both leaders are up on stage at the

same time taking questions and

if it comes after a debate on

still going on and there's the economy so the debate is

still plenty

still plenty of posturing from

will be another encounter will both sides about whether there

and political correspondent Saturday. Dana Robertson there

Nick Harmsen is following Mr Abbott on the campaign trail. Tony Abbott's spent the day

here on the NSW Central Coast where he's had a game of kick

to kick with a soccer ball with

some of the kids here. He insists this election is no game but there is a game brinkmanship happening between game but there is a game of

the Liberal and Labor camps

over weather both - bewhether both leaders should have another debate or Town Hall style forum. Julia Gillard has

put forward a compromise of both, Tony Abbott want another

Town Hall style forum held in

Brisbane and says Julia Gillard

is scared of the voters there

because he doesn't want another similar style forum in Brisbane similar

like they had in Western Sydney last week. Tony Abbott

announced $3 million here today for soccer grounds on the Central Coast. There are a

to pick up from Labor, couple of key seats they hope

Robertson and National Party Dobel. Queensland's Liberal

National Party says a campaign

foot-and-mouthing worker caught on camera

foot-and-mouthing with a volunteer had been deliberately provoked. The scuffle was

filmed by a Labor working on

his mobile phone yesterday.

Don't touch it. No! Stop Don't touch it. No! Stop it!

Stop it! Right, I'm calling Stop it! Right, I'm calling

the police. This is on the police. This is on the

news, mate! What have you done? Do not hit people. (Bleep) It

happened in the seat of Longman where the LNP's 20-year-old

Wyatt Roy is trying to win the seat from the first-term seat from the first-term MP Jon Sullivan let's bridge in political correspondent Andrew

Greene. Andrew, some

extraordinary pictures there. Yes, certainly and Tony Yes, certainly and Tony Abbott was asked about

today at his press conference

and he condemned the incident

at first but also took a

parting shot at Labor. Let's take a listen. Violence, intimidation, tactics, absolutely

unacceptable at all times and while we're while we're on the subject of

people being disciplined, the

Labor Party's candidate for

Dawson certainly should be

disciplined and I am prepared

to apply the same standard to

my candidates and to their

teams that I would like the

Prime Minister to apply to her

candidates and to her teams. Tony Abbott was referring to the Labor

candidate in the seat of

Dawson, Mike Broncha, who had an altercation with the local racing club President in his electorate and Julia electorate and Julia Gillard

was in turn asked about this incident and this was the Prime Minister's response. A

statement has been issued by Mr Brancha, a statement has also

been issued by a witness to been issued by a witness to the event. It is apparent from

those statements that a punch was thrown in Mr Brancha's

direction and he defended himself. So it's not quite south Korean politics, Jeremy,

but it looks like things are out on the campaign trail. Of course we're hoping that the scenes aren't quite as scenes aren't quite as heated tomorrow when Labor officially launches its campaign in Brisbane. That of course Brisbane. That of course unless Mark Latham Mark Latham turns up. We'll leave it there for now, Andrew Greene in Canberra, thank you.

Labor is of course holding Labor is of course holding its official campaign launch

tomorrow morning. We will have

full coverage right here on ABC News 24. Join us from News 24. Join us from 10:00 eastern time. One person has

died in a bus crash in southwestern Victoria. 25

people were on board when the accident afternoon west of Colac. Ambulance Victoria says the Ambulance Victoria says the bus

tipped on its side and another

passenger suffered head and passenger suffered head and arm injuries. The injuries. The former chief executive of David Jones, Mark

McInnes, has arrived back in Australia to fight a Australia to fight a sexual misconduct lawsuit. He's

accused of sexually harassing a former employee, Kristy

Fraser-Kirk, who's suing him

for $37 million. McInnes for $37 million. McInnes says he will vigorously defend the allegations against him and

says he's back to work with

offered my resignation in the sincere hope that Kristy could continue her career continue her career if she

chose and that David Jones

could get on with being the preeminent preeminent department store in Australia. My statement of

defence will soon be file would

the Federal Court. It will

include my detailed denials and

rebut xlz is the first step in

the legal process. A council building in Sydney has been

destroyed by fire. Firefighters say 10m flames engulfed the Liverpool city council complex and the damage bill is expected to be at least $20 million. Investigators say it may have

been arson. A major Canberra highway

closed for up to a fortnight

after a bridge collapsed on after a bridge collapsed on to it yesterday. Nine construction

workers were taken to hospital

when the crossing over the

Barton Highway gave way. One

worker was trapped, the highway

in the city's north will be

closed until debris can be removed. The local roads

authority says it will get an independent independent report on the of the collapse. War veterans have gathered across the

country to mark the anniversary

of the end of World War II. Victory in the Pacific

services have been held to

remember the day 65 years ago

when Japan surrendered to the

allies. The conflict claimed

19,000 Australian lives.

Hundreds of people joined the commemoration ceremony at commemoration ceremony at the

parade at the Cenotaph in

Sydney's Martin Place. 20 million people have

million people have now been

made homeless by devastating

floods in Pakistan. floods in Pakistan. The first case of cholera has confirmed, raising fears of

more disease outbreaks. Yet

more people forced to leave

their homes and more behind them them as the floodwaters

continue to inundate new areas

along the main rivers that run

through the heart of Pakistan.

These people using any means of

transport available to get out of harm's way as water surged

around the city in Punjab. around the city in Punjab. "My house was swept away in

floodwater. I have no shelter,

no clothe and nothing to eat.

I'm living in misery, says this

woman. And as they added to the

number of the people from the

north to the south of the

country who are now dependent

on relief assistance

was a new worry on the was a new worry on the health front. Since the beginning of the disaster there's the disaster there's been particular concern about water-born diseases with water-born diseases with this hospital in Punjab seeing many cases of cases of diarrhoea, gastroenteritis and fever, now

from the north comes

confirmation from the UN of the first case of cholera. Effort are to be stepped up to it spreading. Most of events commemorating Pakistan's independence anniversary have

been cancelled but in an address the Prime Minister sharply raised the number of

people affected by the crisis, reflecting the latest

evacuations from threatened towns. Unfortunately, the

towns. Unfortunately, the recent unprecedented torrential

rains and devastating floods

have made more than 20 million people homeless, destroyed

standing crops and storages worth billions storages worth billions of

dollars washed away bridges,

roads, communication and energy networks. This is a subdued

capital on this independence

anniversary with the Government deliberately keeping the focus

on what it describes as the unprecedent ed challenge of the flood disaster and using anniversary to call anniversary to call on the

world to scale up its support

in response to the crisis. And the first convoy of Australian aid aid to flood-ravaged Pakistan has arrived in Islamabad. The

royal Australian Air Force says

it's delivered 45 tons of aid. The

The C7 globe master aircraft had to fly through had to fly through monsoonal weather to deliver the consignment including water

filters and generators. China

has declared a national day has declared a national day of mourning for more than 1200 people killed by recent floods

and land slides. Flags are

flying at half mast as torrential downpours continue

in the north. When this mountain river mountain river burst

a torren of water and mud

ripped a scar through this

city. Cleanup crews are working

around the clock to remove

debris from the clogged river

but authorities say that will

take time. Resolving take time. Resolving the problem of the artificial lake is

is very difficult. Currently a third of the town is flooded by

the overflow from the river.

And it wasn't just buildings

that bore the brunt of the mudslide. Rescue workers are

still finding poddies among the

depry. With the city's supply destroyed by the

landslide, the Government has

set up wells across the city. These are most important. Disinfecting work is crucial to

ensure the safety of drinking

water. Some people are

sheltering in tents and school classrooms,

classrooms, nearby at least classrooms, nearby at least 500 people have been trapped by a landslide. Rescue workers are

helping people to safety where

they can with more rain on the

way, death tolls in way, death tolls in both provinces are expected to rise. Three children have been hurt

in a bomb explosion in Northern

Ireland amid a surge of unrest

blamed on Republicans trying to destabilise the peace process. The bomb which was stored in a bin went off near police who

had been called to the scene.

It happened as security It happened as security forces

were focused on patrolling were focused on patrolling a major Protestant parade major Protestant parade in Londonderry. Still to Londonderry. Still to come, all the day's sport with Amanda Shalala. And let's get

physical, the workplace program

aimed at getting workers out from behind the desk.

These are today's top stories

- the Prime Minister has once

again challenged Tony Abbott to

a debate on the economy tonight. The Opposition Leader earlier invited earlier invited the Prime

Minister to a second Town Hall

style forum. The former boss of

David Jones has flown back into Australia to fight a sexual

harassment lawsuit brought against him by a and the headquarters of a local

council in Sydney's southwest

has been destroyed by fire. A quick look at the quick look at the weather for

tomorrow.

Office workers have become

more desk-bound than ever and

most won't be surprised to hear it's contributing to poor health and decreased

productivity but a group of Queensland researchers have

come up with a solution to get

people moving at work. 27-year-old

typical office worker, sitting

in front of a computer for

seven hours a day and says she is left tired and lacking in concentration. I get sore shoulders and a bad back.

Researchers have studied the

effects of being desk-bound and say it gets worse. Sitting for

a long period of time and

taking infrequent breaks from

sitting will lead to things like Type 2 Diabetes

development and being

overweight and obese. Dr Nick

gilson says productivity. He and his team

have come up with a web-based

program to get people up and

moving at work. Participants log on to an interactive

website which gives them a

tailored plan and tracks their

progress. Little things like

if you drive to work can you

park a bit further away and

walk in to work? Participants

are also encouraged to get up

and speak to colleagues rather than sending emails and where

possible hold walking meetings.

Initial evidence shows it's working. People with hypertension are low ering their their blood pressure towards more normative levels through

the 10-week program and we're

finding a change in waist circum ference as well. The first large trial of the

program has just started in

Brisbane. If it proves successful, the researchers are hoping to get nor workplaces up

and moving. Turning to sport now with Amanda Shalala and there have been more close

games in the AFL today? Yes,

there's been a great deplace of

footy. Hawthorn has hung 8th place after a 21-point win over Melbourne at the over Melbourne at the MCG. North Melbourne has the North Melbourne has the early

lead over St Kilda while the

Demons look to be out of the

finals race in their loss. finals race in their loss. It remained close in the

term as the Hawks led by 10 but

three goals to 1 in the final term was enough to give

Hawthorn the all important

win. The Adelaide Crows have

downed the Brisbane Lions in a heart-fought match at the Gabba. While neither feature in finals footy they

showed plenty of desperation in the tight contest. The Lions were without injured were without injured captain Jonathan Brown but plenty of strike power up front

and led by 15 at quarter time.

In the second term the Crows

kicked 7 goals to 2 to take an

11-point lead into the main break. Simon Black scored 27

dispose frlz the game and

scores were tied heading into

the final term. The Crows clung to a

the quarter until their skipper

secured the win. We said at

halftime we have to really halftime we have to really dig

in, everyone's going to have to work harder than normal.

Conditions are tough,

really hot and plenty of fluids

getting in but the boys dug in and had a well deserved win.

In the NRL the Wests Tigers

have thrashed the penth

Panthers 43-18 to jump into

third place on the ladder.

Frank Pritchard gave the

Panthers the early lead, his

converted try made it 6-0 to

That proved the high point for

Penrith after a confusing try

kicked off a point-scoring

frenzy. The home side frenzy. The home side had a

16-6 lead at the break. The

Tigers scored four tries to two

in the second half to give them

the comprehensive win the comprehensive win and overtake the Panthers on the

ladder. The south Sydney Rabbitohs have missed a chance

to move into the top 8 after an 18-16 loss to the 18-16 loss to the Melbourne Storm. South had the first say in Melbourne Capwell but Chris Sando's

missed conversion would prove costly for the rabbits. The

Storm soon answered back with sait Slater sliding over sait Slater sliding over for the home team. Melbourne surged further ahead thanks to a double by Ryan Hinchcliffe.

Nathan Merit nabbed a double

but it wasn't enough but it wasn't enough with

Souths losing by two. We spoke

about even though there's about even though there's not

much to play for, there's four

games left and it's been games left and it's been a

tough year for everyone. To

hang on like we did pleasing. It was the Manu

Vatuvei show in Auckland with the winger's hat-trick lifting the New Zealand Warriors to the New Zealand Warriors to a 22-10 win over the 22-10 win over the Newcastle Knights. Vatuvei was the man the crowd had come to see and

he didn't disappoint them as he grabbed the opening try. Former Warriors turned Knight Cooper

Vuna levelled the score s but

Vatuvei was all class and gave

the home side a 10-4 lead at halftime. Newcastle halftime. Newcastle kept in

touch with the Warriors through

Daniel Tolar but the day belonged to Vatuvei's They've moved into fifth on the

ladder while Newcastle's finals

hopes are virtually over. In netball, Australia's continued

its blistering form ahead of the Commonwealth Games with

today's 31-goal win over

Jamaica giving the Diamonds Jamaica giving the Diamonds a

clean sweep of the 3-match series. Sharelle McMahon missed

the first two games through a corked thigh but she made up

for her absence by shooting the opening goal. The Diamonds had

a 17-goal lead at had end of the first quarter, with that lead going to 25 at halftime. The Sunshine Girls couldn't match the Aussies for pace with the

the Diamonds eventually

triumphing 71 goals to 40. Australian golfers Jason Day and Steve Elkington are within striking distance heading in to

the final day of the final day of the US PGA champion at Whistling Straits.

American Watney wut is the

surprise leader with a 3-stroke

lead over the lead over the field. Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy are the closest challengers but

22-year-old Day is only four

shots behind Watney with another impressive all-round display. Elkington had six

birdies in nine holes to charge

up the leaderboard. Watney shot

a superb 6 under par 66 to

claim the lead. I just need to

go out there and keep doing what I'm doing. I'm playing

very well, give myself as many

chances as possible. I'm

putting the best I have in a long

long time so I can only control

myself, just got to do that

tomorrow. In soccer, strOesz

and Adelaide have shared a 1-1 draw in their Gosford. With seconds left till

the break Ian Fife stepped up

for the Red with a deft touch

to give them a handy advantage

at halftime. After countless attempts on goal the Mariners

finally found the equaliser

through Matt Simon in the through Matt Simon in the 84th

minute and in a further insult

to the Reds, Adam Hughes was

sent off after receiving his

second yellow but the Mariners couldn't convert the free kick.

To the English Premier League

now and Arsenal has re-signed manager Arsene Wenger for another three years. 7 first-round matches played

over night with Chelsea kicking

6-0 thumping of West Brom. off its title defence with a

Aston Villa and Blackpool had comprehensive wins comprehensive wins too. Injured Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer missed Fulham's

scoreless draw with bolt scpn

Blackburn was gifted an opening

round 1-0 win against Everton thanks to a horror thanks to a horror goalkeeping

effort from Tim Howard. Howard's howler an early contender for worst attempted

save of the season. And Australia's Stoner has qualified 4th fastest tonight's Czech MotoGP and jez, qualified 4th fastest for

Dani Pedrosa has poled. Thanks, Amanda. A man has been extradited to Japan over the

theft of a diamonds tiara worth more than $2 million it's alleged Rifat Hadziametovic is

a member of a gang called the

believed to have robbed 120 Pink Panthers. The gang is

luxury shops across the world.

The alleged diamond thief is facing in Spain. They've endured months of training and performed on concert stages

around the country. From that

gruelling process, five young

as the front runners in the Australian singing competition Australian singing competition

but all their work has been

child's play compared with a

master class from the opera diva Lisa Gasteen. Anne Maria

Nicholson explains. Keep your eyes tenor Wong Wong Wong is getting used to public promises but

says they're easier says they're easier than

singing under the watchful eye

of opera diva of opera diva Lisa Gasteen. I think sometimes it can get

quite nervous, sometimes nervous than the competition, quite nervous, sometimes more

sometimes for the master

class. Following an injury,

Lisa Gasteen has stepped away

from a stellar from a stellar international

opera career to mentor young

singers. My teacher used to say, "Gasteen, when you finish

singing promise me singing promise me you'll you out of your mind? I'm not teach." I always thought,

going to teach I'm going to lie

on the beach. But I am teaching and I'm enjoying it immensely.

semifinalest s in Kang Wang is among five

semifinalest s in the

Australian singing competition.

Both his parents were singers

in his native China but he

snubbed opera until he saw snubbed opera until he saw a

film when he was 17. The Great

Crusoe by Mario Lanza and after

I watch that movie I fell in

love with this kind of yes. Eleanor Lyons is determined to make the grade in

opera even if it means a bit of public dressing-down from the

diva. What was that ?

come on. She's taking the time

and the effort to pull you to

pieces. It shows that she actually really actually really cares. Her great, great grandparents Prime Minister Joseph Lyons and great, great grandparents were

the country's first female

Federal MP, Enid Lyons. She

something of their commitment. thinks she's inherited

At the heart

the same as music which is about communication and touching others and helping

them in some - in the way that

you can. The singvers a breathing space until October

when the finals will be held in

when the finals will be held in Sydney.

Checking the weather now - cloud over eastern NSW and

cloud over eastern NSW and a

trough is causing a few scattered showers and more

cloud pushing over WA with a

cold 41 is causing rain there as well.

I'll be back with all the

day's news at the top of the

hour but stay with us now for hour but stay with us now for another chance to another chance to see today's edition with Alan Kohler. You're

watching ABC News 24.

This week we look at

the three big privatisations of the '90s, Commonwealth Bank, Qantas and Telstra. All

produced vastly different out

comes for those who bought them

off the Government. It's the

good, the bad and the ugly.

Here's a graph of how they performed

performed as listed entities.

The Commonwealth is up,

Telstra's still 18% under on T1

and even more disastrously, 60%

period the All Ordinaries is up period down on T2. Over the same

almost 200%. So we'll take

stock of where the three of

them stand today. We'll

interview CBA chief Peter

Norman and Qantas's Alan Joyce

and talk Telstra with leading telco analyst Ian RBS. telco analyst Ian Martin of This Program Is Captioned

Live.

In First Person, turning the

tables, how small business is

adapting to the post-GFC world.

We've had a relationship with our bank for a long time. We've

been with them for 20-odd years

and been through a lot of hard

times but also some good times together but all of a sudden

that history between us really

had a lot less importance. First, with the latest business

and market news and market news here's Jayne Edwards. Thanks, Alan. After a

terrible week, Wall Street

Friday investors took a breath on