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ABC News (Sydney) -

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(generated from captions) This program is not subtitled This program is captioned live. as bombs level an apartment block. Devastating strike - 50 killed

attempts at diplomacy. The attack derails the latest keep the peace in Lebanon. Australia asked to help the loan that lasts for life. And never ending story -

Deborah Rice with ABC News. Good evening. on a town in southern Lebanon A devastating Israeli air attack a diplomatic solution to the crisis. has derailed attempts at finding

and children, were killed At least 50 people, mostly women of a house in the town of Qana. while sheltering in the basement of more intense military operations The attack appeared to be part by Israel. in the dozens of unguided rockets There's been no let-up, either, deep into Israel. being fired by Hezbollah guerillas Peter Cave reports. The ABC's foreign affairs editor some disturbing images. And a warning this contains of the women and children as they pulled the bodies Some rescue workers were in tears

from the wreckage in Qana - of the war. the single most deadly attack must take responsibility Israel says Hezbollah a rocket-launch site. because it's made the village In the market town of Nabatiyah, through the rubble of two houses rescue workers search flattened in an Israeli air raid. away the debris, As Lebanese soldiers help to clear a grim discovery -

are dead, a woman and her five daughters to their 3-storey house. along with a man who lived next door a mass funeral In Tyre, city authorities organised in the fighting for 30 people killed being used as a temporary morgue, after a refrigerated truck, to decompose. broke down and the bodies began A bulldozer dug a temporary grave a long row of cheap wooden coffins and the bodies were put into for a proper burial to be disinterred once relatives can be located. still unnamed. Victim 106 - a baby girl, in the port in Beirut, Aid has begun to arrive desperately needed in the south but getting it to where it is remains a problem. A ferry from Cyprus delivered food, and tents blankets and cooking utensils for the Red Cross. nobody is fully safe, let's say. Nobody is safe - until now, we could not access There are some areas where, operations. because of the ongoing military are getting through Limited amounts of aid and Red Cross convoys like this one, of el Bazouriyeh, which reached the southern town were repeatedly shelled. And when they got there, the dead they faced the task of removing as well as sustaining the living. near the border town of Khiam Israeli troops have been massing last week where four UN observers were killed the town in a fresh offensive. as jets and artillery pounded Peter Cave, ABC News, Beirut. a planned visit Lebanon has cancelled Condoleezza Rice, by the US Secretary of State, on Qana. because of the Israeli attack

there would be no negotiations, The Lebanese Prime Minister said demanded an immediate cease-fire military leaders, war criminals. and labelled Israeli

to Israel, Dr Rice had earlier returned back home empty-handed. but it looks as if she'll be going reports from northern Israel. ABC correspondent Jane Hutcheon Edging towards a solution,

Condoleezza Rice US Secretary of State beginning in Israel. began a second round of diplomacy with the Prime Minister She held meetings and leading government figures. Security Council resolution It's understood the US wants a new by Wednesday to hostilities. that will call for an end as Hezbollah's leader declared Dr Rice's visit came a decisive military victory. Israel had failed to win Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah also vowed of Israel to strike cities in the centre state's deadly military strikes. in retaliation for the most of its troops Israel said it had withdrawn southern stronghold, Bint Jbeil. from Hezbollah's But the army refused to say or not. whether it had subdued the village ARTILLERY FIRE it's continuing to make progress, The military insists forcing Hezbollah to delve deeper

of longer-range missiles into its arsenal

Israeli cities. in order to continue striking a UN call for a 72-hour cease-fire Earlier, Israel rejected to reach Lebanon's south. to allow humanitarian aid that we are fighting Hezbollah And when we say of the global terrorism, as the front line we really mean it. to a longer-term solution But Israel isn't opposed that fulfils its aims returned of getting its captured soldiers and disarming Hezbollah. between a week and 10 days The army says it needs

of Hezbollah's threat. to clear the border

northern Israel. Jane Hutcheon, ABC News, a special meeting in New York The United Nations is convening tomorrow of an international force to determine the make up once the fighting stops. to occupy southern Lebanon Alexander Downer, says The Foreign Minister, for Australia to be involved, he's considering an American request has a clear mandate. but only if the force would be a niche contribution. Any contribution we would make wouldn't be battalions of infantry It wouldn't be, you know, or something like that. The Opposition says its mind on the issue. the Government keeps changing What Mr Downer said a week ago into southern Lebanon was that sending Australian troops a week later he says its OK. was a suicide mission and with the Foreign Minister? What's going on The New York meeting Australian bureaucrats. will be attended by two senior about to take another hike, With interest rates have a new option - aspiring homeowners will never pay off. mortgages that many

A number of lenders are now loans with lower monthly repayments. offering 40 to 50 year home But the Government, and some banks, are warning home buyers to be careful. With rising costs and another interest rate hike expected,

home ownership is being pushed out of reach for many. There's no such thing as a cheap house in this country anymore. Lenders are responding accordingly. One is now offering home buyers the option of a 40-year mortgage. Two major banks are reportedly considering 50-year loans. I would urge people to approach them with great caution, to look at the costs over the life of the loan. I would be extremely wary about another facility out there which encourages Australians to go further into debt. Home owners could still be paying off their mortgage in their 70s and 80s,

but the Consumers Association says it's a welcome alternative. It does give consumers options. They can take out a longer loan and lower their monthly repayments. But one lender says it's a financial deathtrap. They're going to borrow $300,000 and have to pay back over $1 million.

We'd be dead before we had to pay it off. I'd prefer to opt for paying it off a lot quicker. It's likely to get tougher this week, with most economists predicting the Reserve Bank will lift interest rates on the back of last week's jump in inflation. The Opposition says the Government has been ignoring core inflationary trends for years and a rate rise will be a black mark on its economic record. But Peter Costello says international pressures, like high oil prices, must be taken into account. This is a very difficult time for economic management. Tough times, too, for an aspiring prime minister.

Inside every MP is a glorious prime ministership waiting to get out... LAUGHTER ..if only they're given the chance. He's clearly not about to give up. Narda Gilmore, ABC News. The Premier wants John Howard to use his influence to persuade the Reserve Bank to keep interest rates on hold. The State Government and business leaders agree that a rate hike will hurt New South Wales

far more than other States. This new housing estate in Sydney's south is yet to go on the market. But the prospects of the developer getting top dollar are looking bleak. Bad enough what petrol is doing to families without adding an interest rate increase. The Premier says with Australia's highest mortgages a 0.25% increase will cost the average NSW household more than $500 a year. The Prime Minister has got to use his influence and his power to ensure families are protected from an interest rate rise next week. Mr Iemma says the Federal Government's appointed member on the Reserve Bank board needs to be leant on. Mr Iemma, I'm afraid, portrays his ignorance of the arrangements of the Reserve Bank board. The Reserve Bank is independent and the members of the Reserve Bank board do not act as delegates of anybody. Even so - business agrees NSW is the State that can least afford a rate hike. It's got 5.3% unemployment. It's only growing at a bit over 1.5%. It's severely affected by the downturn in housing, very sensitive to the consumer, so that's what he's concerned about. State Treasury estimates that 8,000 jobs will disappear

if there's a rate rise. David Spicer, ABC News, Sydney. School students will be targeted in new efforts to relieve the State's nursing shortage. New South Wales has almost 2,000 nursing vacancies, jobs that are currently filled by overtime shifts and private agency staff.

That's not hurting too much, is it? Good. Bucking the downward trend of some other states, the Government says NSW now employs more nurses than ever before. But it's not enough. We currently have a need for around 1,800 additional nurses. With overseas recruitment costing $4,000 per nurse,

the Government plans a greater emphasis on local headhunting. It'll build on nursing already being an HSC subject. Part of our strategies involve enticing young people into careers as nurses. And it's for that reason that we're undertaking a recruitment campaign involving careers advisors and also DVD material to be provided within schools. Nurses from the higher-adrenaline end of the profession feature in the Government's message.

It's fantastic, I love it. I love how the body works - you get in there and see all the blood and guts. The nursing staff tend to see the patients as they arrive and triage, and do the initial assessments and it's at that point where I think we can make a huge difference.

The Opposition says there's not enough support once nurses are in the work force. It's great to recruit young people to take up nursing as a career, but you've then got to provide an environment that satisfies them and keeps them on the job. It's gonna go nice and warm... She says a lack of support deters two-thirds of NSW nurses from working in hospitals.

Annie Guest, ABC News. The State Opposition says it will make healthy teeth a priority if it wins next year's election. It's promised to spend $208 million over 4 years on public dental funding - that's a 37% increase. The Opposition says more dentists would be employed to tackle long waiting lists.

Look, for years there's been arguments about dental funding in NSW. We want to stop the arguments, stop the Government's excuses, and simply make the funding available to allow people to get their teeth fixed. The Opposition says its promise would be funded through cutting public sector waste, but the Government warns health jobs will go. The people of Toowoomba have sent a clear message that they are not prepared to drink treated effluent. More than 60% of them voted against the proposal.

It leaves the community high and dry without an alternative water supply, but other drought-stricken centres around Australia haven't given up on the idea. Disappointed proponents of recycled water say

fear defeated facts. If there's going to be recycling in Australia it won't be starting in Toowoomba. The waters were muddied throughout the campaign, with accusations of dirty tricks on both sides. Even some church leaders were urged to tell congregations to vote no. The result was welcomed

by the man who helped bankroll the "no" campaign, property tycoon Clive Berghofer. But the former mayor was less happy to talk about the role he played in the vote. I take exception to that, I take exception. I didn't know - it's my money and I'll do what I like with my money. Goulburn in NSW is already on level five water restrictions, but the mayor there says Toowoomba's no vote won't stop his council considering water recycling. It's the only option left to the rest of Australia. We can't just afford to carry on the way we have been and expect to have more and more and more population. Queensland's Premier Peter Beattie says the Toowoomba vote hasn't pulled the plug on recycled water in his State either,

telling the south-east corner it'll vote on the issue in 2008. I give this pledge today - we will not do it unless the people vote positively for it in a referendum and then we would only do it if it was Armageddon. Brisbane's Lord Mayor says the time for residents to have their say has passed. State governments now need to decide on their behalf. But the Federal Government doesn't want recycled drinking water forced down Australia's throat. Is it sustainable and safe? Yes. Is it compulsory? No.

It's up to communities to make their own decisions about this.

We need to value our water

rather than use it once and then expel it into the ocean. Those days are gone.

But given yesterday's poll, it may take more than political assurances

for Australians to take the leap of faith. David Curnow, ABC News, Toowoomba. Northern Territory police believe

the crocodile responsible for the death of a young girl three weeks ago has been killed. The 8-year-old girl was attacked while fishing with her family at an outstation near Ramingining. Since then, members of the community have shot eight crocodiles hoping to find the girl's remains. An animal shot and harpooned two days ago is believed to be the culprit. The locals at Gadji outstation have continued to hunt for crocodiles

that may be responsible for this taking of this girl. The crocodile is one of a number that have been shot since the disappearance of the girl. Locals examined the crocodile's stomach contents and found a pair of shorts like the pair the girl was wearing when she disappeared. Police say at just under 5m, it was a large croc. The Asian elephants that have been held up in Thailand by animal rights protesters are finally on their way to Australia. Bound for Taronga and Melbourne zoos, the eight elephants today boarded a jumbo air freighter for the Cocos Islands. They'll spend three months in quarantine before winging their way to Australia later this year. The elephants started their long journey from work camps in the Thai logging industry two years ago. National Tree Day celebrated its 11th birthday today with an important milestone - the planting of the 10 millionth tree. In Sydney, green-thumbed volunteers of all ages turned out to plant native trees and grasses with an estimated 1.5 million trees planted across the nation. Organisers say the greening program has so far helped offset a year's emissions from 500,000 cars. Tonight's top story - there have been more civilian deaths in Lebanon

with 50 people killed in one attack on an apartment block. And still to come - discovering lost treasures of indigenous art. There's been another drug scandal at the top of international sport with the world's fastest man failing a drug test. The American world and Olympic 100m champion and world record holder, Justin Gatlin, is now facing a life ban. Gatlin tested positive for testosterone after running a relay race in Kansas City in April. It's Gatlin's second positive test,

but he's denied taking a banned substance. The Australian women's soccer team has lost to China in an epic final of the Asian Cup in Adelaide. The scores were locked at 2-2 at the end of extra time, but China won the penalty shoot-out. 'ADVANCE AUSTRALIA FAIR' PLAYS The Matildas were looking to become the first Australian team to win an Asian championship. China's fans were hoping for something special, but it came from Australia - Caitlin Munoz opening the scoring in the 29th minute. CHEERING A freakish deflection from Joanne Peters saw the Matildas take a 2-nil lead to the break. Australia conceded its first goal of the tournament in the 68th minute. Five minutes later, the Chinese scored again, and it was 2-all at the end of regulation time. CHEERING Extra time failed to settle the issue and it went to a penalty shoot-out.

Two of Australia's shots were saved. China won the shoot-out 4-2 to claim the Asian Cup. CHEERING The Matildas held their heads high after an impressive tournament debut. The Karrie Webb comeback continues. The Australian has claimed her third victory of the year, outclassing a strong field at the Masters event in France. American teenager Michelle Wie had a 2-shot lead with 7 holes to play, but stumbled on the 13th.

Webb established a 2-shot break after birdies at the 14th and 17th holes. APPLAUSE English veteran Laura Davies had an eagle attempt at the 18th for a share of the lead. Webb made a safe par at the last to clinch the victory. Laura gave me a scare there on the last with the putt for eagle, but, you know, it was just a great tournament and I'm thrilled to be the winner. The Australian men's hockey team knew a draw against Germany would be enough to progress to the Champions Trophy final in Spain. The score was locked at 3-3 until the defending champions cracked in the dying seconds. (All cheer) Yeah! Germany will meet the Netherlands in the final. Australia will take on Spain in the play-off for third. Duncan Huntsdale, ABC News. The Wests-Tigers have reinvigorated their season. And the Melbourne Storm remain 6 points clear on top of the ladder with five rounds to go. The Rabbitohs last night dented the Raiders' hopes and the Eels won. Today, the Roosters turned around a 16-point deficit.

The Storm won at Kogarah. And the Tigers handed the Broncos their fifth loss in seven games. The Tigers locked in a deadlock with the ageing Broncos,

a 17-year-old schoolboy scorched Lang Park with his turn of pace. COMMENTATOR: A schoolboy puts the Tigers in the lead here in Brisbane. Scott Prince's peppering kicks put another teenager, Darius Boyd, under pressure. Playing his best football since last year's finals, Prince pushed his side to a 10-point lead. Two of Brisbane's veterans combined to bridge the gap. Away to Webke.

Some uncanny reflex work and a favourable call for a lineball Prince's pass steadied the Tigers. Away to Chris Lawrence - back on the inside for Collis. Before another rookie, Ben Jeffrey, put fresh life into the premier's season. Jeffrey won the race.

The Melbourne Storm scored the opening two tries against the Dragons. One each to Cooper and Gasnier leveled the game. Early in the second-half, Greg Inglis' loping stride threatened to break the match open. But St George Illawarra played enterprising catch-up football to move within 2 points. The competition front-runners only sealed their ninth consecutive win in the dying moments.

Eels winger Jarryd Hayne was at it again. His 11th try in five games helped Parramatta to a 12-0 break on Manly. What about the pick up from Jarryd Hayne? The Sea Eagles scored two first-half tries to stake a claim, but Jeremy Smith's kicking game was instrumental in restoring the Eels dominance. With half an hour remaining, Parramatta was reduced to 12 - Fui Fui Moi Moi was sent off for his high shot on Brent Kite. Manly closed to within a converted try, but Mark Riddell became the match-saver, with his kick for Luke Burt's second. The Raiders were looking to climb into the top eight and had come off a big win over the Dragons, but it was Souths who turned it on at the Olympic Stadium. Four first-half tries put the Rabbitohs on course for only their second win this season.

While the Storm and Bulldogs are clear, the 3rd to 7th placed clubs all lost in Round 21 to tighten the battle. John Hayes Bell, ABC News. The Bledisloe Cup might have slipped from their grasp, but the Wallabies still believe they can challenge for the Tri-Nations Trophy. Australia has to recover from the disappointment of its narrow loss to the All Blacks last night in time for Saturday's Test in Sydney against South Africa. New Zealand sprang the first surprise last night using their traditional haka and not the updated throat-slitting version that had stirred controversy all week. COMMENTATOR: The All Blacks have made their statement. While not displaying the "murderous intent" John Connolly had suggested, there was little mercy shown. George Smith's dreadlocks held special appeal for rival Jerry Collins. Stirling Mortlock drew first blood with an early penalty. The All Blacks responded with some solo magic from the flying Joe Rokocoko. Latham the man to stop him - he can't! A Dan Carter penalty made it 10-3 but the rolling maul was Australia's best weapon. It gathered momentum but the Wallabies turned over precious ball at critical moments. It was a mixed night too for the Wallaby scrum. Solid for the most part, but also prone to lapses. Australia's attacking brains trust tried every option and finally broke the line, only to see Mark Gerrard

cut down by inspirational All Blacks' skipper Richie McCaw. Heroic defence! The other missed opportunities came at Australia's own hand. We felt as though we were down their half a fair bit and we had plenty of opportunities and we just didn't convert. After its 6-try romp against South Africa, the Wallabies were held try-less for the first time in almost four years. I just thought the defensive effort was superb.

I think it showed real character and courage and I'm very proud of what the guys did out there. We're gutted that we lost the game, I'm delighted with - I'm very proud of the effort they put in. The Bledisloe Cup might be lost, but an Australian win over South Africa will re-stock the cabinet with the Mandela Plate. The Tri-Nations trophy still isn't an impossible dream. Ian Eckersley, ABC News. The Sydney Swans are back in line for a top-4 berth,

after beating Port Adelaide by 27 points. Today's winners were the Kangaroos, Fremantle and Melbourne. Last night, Essendon ended a 15-game losing streak and the Swans dominated in Adelaide.

Sydney took control of the midfield - with Adam Goodes and Brett Kirk leading the way and setting up opportunities for Barry Hall. Port Adelaide's attack was hindered when injury-prone Steve Salopek was hurt but wayward Swans kicking kept the Power's hopes alive. Ryan O'Keefe kicked two quick goals to give Sydney a 26-point halftime lead. Rain in the third-quarter suited the Swans's style of football. Port kept the margin down, but the defending premier's 10th win of the season wasn't in doubt during a grinding second-half. Can we improve?

Yeah, we can improve, definitely. But that's a good thing I think, you know. Because we're winning - certainly, we won tonight by not playing at our capacity. Next Saturday night, the Swans meet Essendon at the SCG. The Sydney Swifts have won a tight New South Wales derby against Hunter to take the National Netball League minor premiership. In today's games, the Swifts won by four while the Melbourne Kestrels and Adelaide had comfortable wins. Some of Australia's oldest surviving Indigenous bark paintings are about to be sold at auction next week. Many similar works are held in overseas collections, but new rules mean that these artworks will not be able to leave the country. Indigenous viewers are warned that this story contains images of deceased people. These four eucalyptus bark paintings date back to the 1920s and were once part of an Aboriginal shelter in Arnhem Land. A unique feature is drawn among the X-ray-styled wildlife - the shape of a house. They also the show evidence of the Indigenous people of western Arnhem Land trying to paint a Western structure for the first time. And we think it probably represents a mission house, or a buffalo hunter's hut o.r something like that They're on the market for the first time in 40 years since they were discovered by a collector after being discovered rolled up in a Broken Hill house. They're worth between $50,000 and $100,000 each and because of their value and age

are unlikely to be able to leave the country. I doubt very much they'd be granted an export permit because I don't know of any others, even in a museum. This rare movie footage shows some more recent, but even more valuable barks being painted by Kimberly artist, the late Mickey Bungkuni. This was at Mowanjum in 1963 when he was commissioned by anthropologist John McCaffrey to paint the mythical Wanjina spirits. This one was given as a gift to the superintendent of Mowanjum is up for sale for the first time. The appearance on the market of this bark painting of a Wandjina spirit raises a question, the artist who painted it did a companion piece at the same time, but its whereabouts remains a mystery. But in the art market, anything's possible. This painting of an Arnhem Land honey man is the oldest to come onto the market. It's come from a most unexpected source - the estate of a New York jeweller who recently died. The barks will be auctioned in Melbourne on Tuesday. Anne Maria Nicholson, ABC News. Now, let's take a look at the weather - it was sunny in Sydney today, reaching 19 degrees - 1 above average. Penrith got to 20. Sunshine in the north-east too, Glen Innes had the State's overnight minimum of -5, while Lismore, Grafton, Casino and Murwillumbah shared the maximum today of a warm 26 degrees. In the south-east, sunshine on the coast. There were some very light isolated showers on the south-west slopes and some snowfalls reported on the alps. Inland, it was dry. And temperatures were generally about average today.

In the 24 hours to 9:00 this morning, the top fall was 17mm of snow in Thredbo village. In the six hours to 3:00pm this afternoon, there were no significant rainfalls. Around the nation - Brisbane and Darwin had a sunny day. Perth was wet.

The other capitals were overcast, but dry. The satellite picture shows jet-stream cloud forming over far-northern NSW and some cloud forming over the southern inland in moist westerly winds. Clear skies elsewhere. On the synoptic chart - that high is still dominating, generally clearing the showers and keeping most of the State dry.

The cold front west of Bass Strait will bring strengthening westerly winds along the far southern NSW coast from tonight, and that front is expected to cross the coast tomorrow. So, tomorrow - a few scattered showers in the south of the State and snow possible on the alps. For the major centres - essentially, dry in the northern half of the nation and wet in the southern half. For New South Wales - in the NE - early fog patches, then, a fine, cool to mild and mostly sunny day. The chance of isolated showers

for parts of the Central and Southern Tablelands

and the South Coast. There's a severe weather warning for hazardous winds in Alpine regions above 1,900m. And there's a strong wind warning for coastal waters between Ulladulla and Green Cape and a gale warning south of that. For the inland - the chance of showers in the Riverina, and there's a minor flood warning for the Paroo River in the NW. In Sydney tomorrow - fine and sunny with freshening westerly winds. A top temperature of 19 degrees again.

And further ahead in Sydney - fine until Thursday, when there'll be the chance of showers. After that, the wet weather will set in.

And before we go another look at tonight's top stories - in the bloodiest single incident in the Middle East conflict so far, at least 50 people - mostly women and children - have been killed in an Israeli air attack. The Federal Government's considering an American request for Australia to be involved in an international force to occupy southern Lebanon. And as consumers face another interest rate hike, lenders have unveiled home loans lasting 40 to 50 years. And that's the news to this minute. I'll be back with the mid-evening bulletin just after 8:20pm.

Goodnight.

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