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A defence minister on the warpath. a widow's anger. a big tumble. The world share market takes of Aboriginal life for himself. Mal Brough sees the realities

blasphemous or blockbuster? And 'The Da Vinci Code' - Good evening. Juanita Phillips with ABC News. at the centre The senior military officer Has gone to ground. of the latest defence bungle Brigadier Elizabeth Cosson, on the Jake Kovco mix-up who left a secret report on a public computer,

has made no comment from the media. and was today being shielded is furious about the fiasco. Private Kovco's family has apologised again The Prime Minister is sending in and now the Defence Minister

management experts a team of independent keep happening. to find out why the bungles is too upset to talk about it. Jake Kovco's widow, Shelley, DOOR SLAMS how are you feeling? REPORTER: Mrs Kovco, a kick in the guts. Her father calls it simply can't believe Family friend Tim Ferguson

the Defence Force's incompetence..

you put the news on It's like every time the Government or Army's done there's some other stupid thing to mess it up for them. It's small consolation,

of the leaked draft report but Defence will provide a copy to Jake Kovco's family in the next few days.

there have now been two incidents It is particularly regrettable that to the family. that would have caused distress I am very sorry about that. Brigadier Elizabeth Cosson, who wrote and lost the report of Private Kovco's body from Iraq, on the botched return is yet to speak on the affair. calling by her Canberra home A senior defence spokesman has nothing to add either. of the fact a soldier passed away If we can just not lose sight into that. and there's an investigation That's all we have to say. be disciplined by the Defence Force Brigadier Cosson will in an airport lounge. for leaving the computer disk How harshly is unclear. move by the officer concerned. It could be quite a career-limiting on the line. Hers isn't the only career against his Department, The Defence Minister is waging war and calling in reinforcements. small number of high-level analysts. I am now going to also bring in a Brendan Nelson has in his sights, It's not the military it's the civilian side of Defence, to tackle obvious failings. where he's ordered his review team

I think that we can do better. In the management of our Department, Instead of saying he's angry,

and he's doing something about it. he should say he's responsible

will overhaul the Department, Defence observers hope Dr Nelson and military control, scrapping joint civilian for confusing the chains of command. blamed by some Greg Jennett, ABC News, Canberra. The "happy chap" - describing himself that's how Peter Costello's

has suggested now that media mogul Rupert Murdoch while he's on top. that John Howard quit Today, the Treasurer didn't deny his leadership aspirations having discussed biggest newspaper owner. with Australia's whether he's learned anything new And Mr Costello won't say the Prime Minister. about his chances of succeeding like he's the toast of the town. Peter Costello's behaving

The laughing magpie. powerful suggestion 24 hours after Rupert Murdoch's while he's ahead, that John Howard should quit the Treasurer's refusing to say plan with the media baron. whether he's discussed a succession of my conversations with anybody. Look, I don't discuss the nature That is not a denial.

unplugged interview with 'Lateline'. It was much the same during an in these conversations, Tony. It's rude to talk about yourself Well then, about his future that others don't. does Mr Costello know something Well, you know I'm a happy chap. Happy, he certainly is, effectively been endorsed not surprising given he's 70% of Australia's newspapers, by the man who controls and dumping a bunch of winners a man with a record of support to Tony Blair, from Margaret Thatcher to John Howard. from Gough Whitlam was still smiling at lunchtime And Mr Costello in Adelaide. at a Liberal fund-raiser was businessman Rob Gerard Sitting at the same table the Reserve Bank Board who stepped down from of a dispute with the tax office after a row over his settlement for $75 million.

In Sydney, was Kim Beazley, and hoping to hang on to his job

in the bosom of some of the unions end moves to dump him. he hopes will help him behind the scenes, Don't listen to the whispers in Canberra kick a few arses in our own party and keep our people in line. The NSW Labor Council met tonight. John Robertson Its secretary

against Mr Beazley. is at the epicentre of the jihad whatsoever. Look, I've got no comment into the Opposition leadership. His aim is to hoist Kevin Rudd Pretty much what Mr Costello says about the leadership. when he's asked Jim Middleton, ABC News, Canberra to himself John Howard is keeping his thoughts career advice. about Rupert Murdoch's unimpressed The Prime Minister appeared his heir apparent, Peter Costello. with all the attention being focused reports from Chicago. Political editor Craig McMurtrie In Chicago, the PM plunged into the maelstrom futures exchange, of America's biggest APPLAUSE AND CHEERING. for almost any thing - where risk calculated the weather, is bought and sold. pork bellies, currencies, even Having fun? Trillions of dollars, riding on a blur of flashing hands and fingers. (Man shouts) no such thing as a friendly wave... And in the pit, there's That was a buy, was it? that can be misunderstood. ..or signals how are the Howard futures looking? JOURNALIST: Prime Minister,

(Laughs) Oh I don't, I don't invest. Yesterday, arriving at the White House, News Limited chairman Rupert Murdoch told reporters John Howard should go out while he's on top. Almost immediately after, he ran into the PM. He appeared well and he inquired after my health and I inquired after his. But when asked if he's worried about the powerful newsman's view of his future - What's the next issue?

JOURNALIST: He suggests that you go out while you're on top. Isn't that a reasonable argument to make? I don't have anything to add to what I've just said. And on Peter Costello's reaction to Rupert Murdoch's comments - I note carefully what he says. Yeah, yeah. TRUMPETS SOUND.

John Howard was more forthcoming

on the extravagant treatment he received in Washington, even as he left. TRUMPETS SOUND. I see everything that has happened over the past couple of days as a compliment to my country, not to me.

Individuals occupy the stage for a certain period of time, what matters to me is the enduring character of the relationship between Australia and the United States. So far on this trip, it's been almost impossible for the PM to dodge questions about his future, certainly not here at a large and noisy futures exchange. He's in Chicago to talk foreign policy, and in a speech to the city's council on foreign relations he promised Australian troops would stay in Iraq. We will stay the course and we will together finish the job. Tomorrow, it's on to Canada. Craig McMurtrie, ABC News, Chicago. Investors have handed the Australian share market one of its biggest points falls on record, with the All Ordinaries index finishing 95 points lower. Fears of inflation and higher interest rates have rattled share markets around the globe. Signs that American inflation is gathering pace triggered a 214-point fall on Wall Street. Worse still, the price pressures were not confined to oil, so, investors were worried about what that might mean for interest rates. is hitting the brakes They think the Federal Reserve and that they'll hit the brakes too many times and that it, at a minimum, will slow the economy.

Few markets survived the onslaught, with London down nearly 3%. Australia's All Ordinaries Index fell in line with Wall Street after, at one stage, being down 2%, or nearly 120 points in early trading.

Resources have fallen very hard, energy has fallen very hard, that's up and about the only sector is the ultra-defensive Telstra telecommunications sector. There were also some inflation danger signs at home with a monthly survey showing expectations of inflation over the next 12 months getting higher. The most recent study in May showed expectations at nearly 5%. With inflation expectations building, it's adding to the risks of higher interest rates and adding to some of this nervousness that's in the share market. The danger is that people expecting higher inflation may tolerate price increases and push for higher wages. But there's no sign of wage pressures at the moment. The latest figures for the March quarter paint a benign picture, with wages growth actually slowing. Phillip Lasker, ABC News. The Australian dollar also fell heavily today while the US dollar soared. Here's Alan Kohler, Basically, the All Ordinaries is back to where it was at the end of March. Six weeks of gains by resource stocks and banks have now been lost in four days of falls. up the stairs and down the elevator. As they say, the share market goes Most analysts reckon most of the gains of March are now at risk as well,

and perhaps a bit more, depending whether speculators start panicking or not. We'll see. This is what sparked today's run -

not a particularly dramatic increase in US inflation over expectations, but it caused a sharp rise in the US dollar, which left the Australian currency floundering below US$0.76 -

down more than US$0.01 today. Plus, big falls on European share markets overnight of generally more than 3% and slightly less dramatic falls on Wall Street as investors factored in the risk of rising inflation in future and, therefore, higher interest rates. And the dark mood spread to Asia today,

although Japanese shares did better this afternoon than this morning. In Australia, the falls were spread among resources and banks pretty generally. They mostly had dollar signs in front of them and there weren't many rises. Telstra rose $0.02 and News Corp continued its good form.

It has gone up 7% in a few days.

And, err, that's about it for the rises. Commodity prices have fallen, but it's not what you would call a rout. From the peak of a week ago, the copper price has fallen 6.5%. And finally, further on the average weekly earnings figures you heard about before - female wages as a percentage of male wages have started to fall. Having increased from 81% to 85% over 20 years to 2004, it's now back down to 84%. And that's finance. The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough, is calling a national summit to tackle violence and child abuse in Indigenous communities. But the Northern Territory Chief Minister has already snubbed the summit, saying it's a talkfest, and her Government will boycott it. While Mal Brough was back in Alice Springs last night experiencing life in these troubled town camps, John Howard was in Chicago saying law enforcement is the answer. whether they are indigenous or not are entitled to protection. Peter Costello is also talking tough and hasn't ruled out the Commonwealth taking control of camps and communities. We don't go soft because of a persons skin on rape and child molestation. Mal Brough didn't have to look far to see crime first hand - just a few hundred metres away police were chasing a man who vandalised a petrol station. Mal Brough accompanied the Aboriginal-run night patrol that tries to maintain order in the camps, a service that was scrapped in Darwin by the Territory Government. Come on, give me your bags. At the hospital

where many of the victims of violence and child abuse end up, this mother of six told the Minister alcohol was the cause. I said to her, "If there's one thing I could do for you right now, what would it be?" "Just get rid of the grog. "That's the problem." To help do that, the Minister today announced Alice Springs will get its own federal-funded sniffer dog to help stop the flow of illicit alcohol, petrol and marijuana into communities. Mr Brough also announced a national summit next month to tackle violence and child abuse. But in a further sign of souring relations the Territory Government has already declared a boycott. A summit is not necessary and I don't think a summit is worth my while to attend,

what I want to do is... no I'm, not going to go. Open your eyes Clare, have a look.

It's not working. We're standing here ready to support and we'll continue to do that. Mr Brough says law and order will be at the top of the summit's agenda. Jayne Stinson, ABC News, Alice Springs. There's been a dramatic confrontation in court between former rugby league star Ian Roberts and the man accused of abusing him. It happened at the inquest into the death of child prostitute, Arron Light, in Sydney.

Mr Roberts told the court that he and Arron Light were sexually assaulted by the same man, Frederick Rix. Ian Roberts says the ghostly face of Fred Rix has never left him. When asked to identify his alleged abuser in court, Mr Roberts pointed his finger at Mr Rix and said: Mr Rix replied: Mr Rix also called one of the lawyers, "a pious pompous ass." The Coroner told him to behave himself. Mr Roberts says that as a young footballer he was abused by Mr Rix twice when he was sent to him for a deep-tissue massage. It became clearly obvious for me, almost instantaneously - as soon as he started to rub the area - that he was trying to stimulate me. Mr Roberts says he was crawling up the table to get away from him. He kept the incident to himself for many years. I actually thought, somehow, I'd given him permission or some - in some way, like, not knowingly, or given him some sort of signal that maybe he knew I was gay - like, and it terrified me. It wasn't until Arron Light revealed that Mr Rix had sexually assaulted him, that Mr Roberts realised they'd both been abused by the same man. Mr Roberts swore to the court on Arron Light's life that Mr Rix was the man who'd abused him 25 years ago. He looked him directly in the eye and said, "You thought you had power over me then. "You've got none over me now." Mr Rix had this response - He's a pathological liar. Mr Rix, who is representing himself, is expected to cross-examine Mr Roberts tomorrow. Jayne Margetts, ABC News, Sydney. At least 25 people were arrested across the country when numerous brawls erupted in pubs after the big clash in Sydney between boxers Anthony Mundine and Danny Green. Police were kept busy, responding to brawls at several hotels across Sydney. These people start going at it again - it's the second fight -

and, you know, it's just like people are just wound up - whop! Whop! Whop! Whop!

In Perth, police also had to quell alcohol-fuelled violence at this hotel,

but, an hour later, a 45-year-old man was king hit and died in hospital. Police in Brisbane arrested about 20 people. And there'll be a report on the Mundine-Green fight later in the bulletin. The world's most popular page turner has made it to the big screen, and it's landed with a big thud. The movie adaptation of the best-selling novel, 'The Da Vinci Code'. has premiered worldwide. Not only has it sparked protests and boycotts by Christians. It's also been panned by the critics. David Spicer reports. The film's secrets are out. But as the stars lined up on the red carpet for the world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival another question was posed.

Can a novel which has sold 40 million copies become a blockbuster movie? Witness the biggest cover-up of all time. The critics had their own view. Barely rubbing their eyes after leaving the cinema they gave the movie a flogging. It's not suspenseful, it's not romantic, it's certainly not fun. It's complete crap. 'The Da Vinci Code' starts with a murder in the Louvre and follows with a quest for the Holy Grail which turns out to be a secret that Jesus had a wife and child. Christians are counting down to nation-wide protests in the US they've already begun in other parts of the world from the orthodox Greeks in Athens... ..to Christians in India, some of whom went on a hunger strike. In Australia, the Anglican Church is using humour to counter the movie in a cinema advertising campaign. Is this Mary? Did she bear Jesus' child? Has someone guarded this secret for centuries? Is this all news to Jesus? The real story is God became man. We killed him, he rose from the dead. That's a blockbuster. The Catholic Church is not calling for a boycott, just a reality check. It's a story, it's fiction.

And even Dan Brown admits that on his website this year.

The churches admit, ruefully, they may be boosting ticket sales with all the fuss they are making. David Spicer, ABC News. Tonight's top story - the family of Private Jake Kovco has criticised the army's handling of an investigation into his death in Iraq. And still to come - the Super 14 semifinal showdown - the Waratahs ready, the Hurricanes wary. Tributes have been paid to Sydney-based lawyer John Marsden, who has died from complications his cancer treatment. associated with He was 64. 40 years. Mr Marsden's legal career spanned backpacker murderer Ivan Milat. His clients included in a defamation case and won. He famously took on Channel 7 for civil liberties. And he was a fierce advocate law and justice was delivered He was there to make sure that to every strata of society. needed to champion that cause, If there was a cause and someone and needed representation, with the door open. John Marsden was the man of gay rights. particularly in the areas in Turkey. John Marsden died while on holiday It's the stuff of politics - of substance. deciphering spin in search everyone to know Today, the Iemma Government wanted

it's finished its comprehensive plan around schools. to improve road safety But did they reveal the details? No, that's been saved for another day prompting an outcry from the Opposition. The Premier mightn't have been in the straightjacket... My life is in your hands. to escape ..but he was doing his best outside schools - from the issue of child safety would install more flashing lights specifically, when the Government and fund more lollipop people. is protecting our children Our number one priority the action to do that and we're starting that right now. It mightn't have looked like it, but Morris Iemma his announcements. is carefully stage-managing a part of his plans, Today, he only wanted to reveal and demerit-point penalties increasing fines

in school safety zones. for traffic offences

about other initiatives. The Premier remained coy

it is comprehensive. The plan is complete, It's complete will be making an announcement... and the Roads Minister very shortly. ..will be making an announcement

the plan as quickly as possible. We are going to be implementing The Government's been saying it will act in the two weeks since Sophie Delezio was run down at a pedestrian crossing. that pressure intensified This week children were injured when three more in or near school safety zones. When it comes to child safety you would really think that they actually would now finally deliver

as quickly as possible. on public cynicism And the Opposition is playing about government spin. Premier, you just can't delay it on another day. to get a better headline on child road safety A government that dithers for the Opposition. is a political gift The risk for Morris Iemma now in no hurry to fix the problem. is that he'll be seen to be

Simon Santow, ABC News, Sydney. has released the transcript The Oil-for-Food inquiry of a public apology issuing in December last year. that wheat exporter AWB considered challenge yesterday The company lost a Federal court to keep the apology secret. The statement read: The Waratahs are determined stumbles behind them to put their recent on-and-off-field when they take on the Hurricanes in tomorrow night's Super 14 semifinal. The last of the 35,000 tickets for the match were sold today. Peter Lewis reports New Zealand correspondent from Wellington. so well Having started the season in the past fortnight then faltered

unfinished business there's clearly a sense of going about their work this week. in the way the visitors are as best we can this year. We feel we definitely haven't played There have been glimpses of it but we really feel now what we can do. it's time to show everyone the Waratahs' tactics The locals are convinced will be aimed at giving Peter Hewat a lot more opportunities into points to convert penalties at goal last week. after passing up plenty of shots Who knows - they might not they might change their game but we've got to be ready for that but I'm sure they won't make that mistake again.

To reach the final, overcome some omens. the Australians will have to They haven't beaten the Hurricanes here at the Cake Tin in five starts

and they have a 13-1 losing record African referee Jonathon Kaplan. in matches controlled by South more than we've lost We're a side that's won over the course of the competition so if we're down in an area will work for us. then I assume the law of averages the bragging rights The Hurricanes might have behind them tomorrow and a home-town crowd but their champion centre, in the mid field last start, who made such an impact says it's a whole new ball game.

this stage before We've never gone past after this for us so there's nothing really and we all understand that. unless we do the job here And so do their long-suffering fans remaining tickets today. who snapped up the last Peter Lewis, ABC News, Wellington. a second chance at the WBA Anthony Mundine has earned World super Middleweight title. Last night, his Australian rival, Danny Green, Mundine outclassed in Sydney. in a unanimous points decision Here's Rob Cross. have been shadow-boxing for years. Anthony Mundine and Danny Green and only had eyes for each other. Finally, they came face to face REFEREE: Listen to me. Listen to me. Listen to me. Listen to me. Behave. He can't do this. renowned punching power Mundine was cautious of Green's in the opening minutes, his lightning speed. but soon began to trust here. COMMENTATOR: Getting confident That was good. Ohhh! Right back at ya." And Green says, "I'll take you on! Mundine became the aggressor. his grasp, With the fight slipping through over his faster foe. Green tried to surge had all the answers, But the former rugby league player the West Australian in his tracks. constantly stopping it's time to shake hands. After six years, gentlemen, about the result. There was little argument ANNOUNCER: The winner, by Anthony 'The Man' Mundine! from the blue corner,

Mundine the chance at a re-match Proving superior to Green also gives who beat him 12 months ago. with world champion Mikkel Kessler, last time. MUNDINE: It was a close fight He's a great fighter. I think he's the best out there at the moment. But I showed last time I could match it with him but I've improved a lot more since then

so, you know, I'm ready. On his performance last night, he showed he can beat any super middleweight in the world on his night. Green may get another crack at Mundine, possibly in Perth later this year. It was the moment that threatened to put the European Champion's Trophy final out of reach for Arsenal. Goal-keeper Jens Lehmann was given a red card, leaving the gunners a man down against Barcelona for 72 minutes. A powerful header from Sol Campbell gave Arsenal a 1-nil lead at the break. Barcelona couldn't exploit its one-man advantage until Eto'o found space in the 76th minute. The match-winner came four minutes later. COMMENTATOR: Back to Belletti. Brilliantly done between the two substitutes! ROAR FROM CROWD He can't believe it but he's scored the goal that have put Barcelona in front. It was Barcelona's second European Cup victory. Justin Gatlin will have to share his 100m world record. The reigning Olympic champion set a new best time of 9.76 seconds in Qatar last weekend, but a timing mistake has made it invalid. Gatlin's time has been adjusted up by 100th of a second, the same time Jamaica's Asafa Powell set in Athens last June. The people have spoken and once again they disagree with the judges when it comes to the Archibald Prize. The people's choice was a painting of Garry McDonald by the New Zealand artist Paul Jackson. Around 40,000 art lovers cast their vote and that received the highest number. But the actor himself says the painting is a bit too realistic. That one slightly wonky eye that, as you get older, that becomes more and more pronounced. That was the first thing I noticed. Then I noticed all the creases in the forehead and I thought, "You bastard!" It's so realistic. The official winner of the Archibald was Marcus Wells's controversial take on the Melbourne sculptor Paul Jaszek. People's choice for the weather would be a bit more rain. I think Mike Bailey? No arguments there, Juanita. Good evening. apart from the far north-east, it's been another dry day. And another dry week over water catchment areas. Sydney's overall dam levels are at 42.5% of capacity - down 0.5%. Warragamba's just below 43% - a fall of 0.4 over the week. Some cloud patches today,

but temperatures were mild enough, going from 11 to 23 for a top that's 3 degrees above average. Near the norm tonight. Relative humidity. Cool to mild around the state for this time of year.

Rain confined to the NE. Most main centres are dry today. Some light showers in Brisbane. Change on the way so the tempratures will drop. Onshore winds producing coastal showers. Showers for Brisbane and Adelaide. Dry elsewhere. Early fog in the east. Chance of a shower in Albury. Dry and cloud patches inland. Some rain on the way but dry on Saturday. Juanita. Thanks, Mike. Now before we go, a quick reminder of tonight's top stories - the family of Private Jake Kovco has slammed the army's handling of an investigation into his death in Iraq. World share markets, including Australia's, have taken a big tumble amid fears of inflation and interest rates rises in the US. And State and territory leaders say they'll snub a summit on Indigenous violence. And that's ABC News for this Thursday. I'm Juanita Phillips. I'll be back with an update in an hour. And 'Lateline' is along at 10:30. We'll leave you with pictures of the American aircraft carrier, USS 'Oriskany' being sent on to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.

The scuttled ship will create the world's largest man-made reef. Goodnight. Closed Captions produced by Captioning and Subtitling International Pty Ltd This program is captioned live. Welcome to the program. Still angry and embarrassed at the latest fiasco in his department's handling of the death of Private Jake Kovko, Defence Minister Brendan Nelson has initiated a complete independent management review of the Defence Department. Another one. This review is just the latest in a long list of reviews, inquiries and reports that have been conducted into various aspects of the departmert over years. The recommendations come, but what changes? Political Editor Michael Brissenden reports.