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Tonight - China syndrome -

how a selloff there spooked

world markets. This is what

we call a humdinger. Most

people he knew think he was a

rock legend.

rock legend. From the boy

next door into every mother's

nightmare. South-west Sydney

cops a bucketing. So does

Canberra. And Australia's

World Cup cricketer s chase

Caribbean glory. Good

evening. Juanita Phillips with

ABC News. Brokers used to say

that when Wall Street sneezed,

the rest of the world caught a

cold. Well, a chill went through the financial world

through the financial world

today and this time the culprit

was not the US, it was China.

A sudden 9% drop in Shanghai

triggered a chain reaction

across the globe, with sharp

falls in America, Europe and

the rest of the Asia-Pacific.

Australian stocks opened this

morning in steep decline and

made only a partial recovery.

Phillip Lasker reporting on a

few financial order that has

China at its epicentre.

China at its epicentre. It's

heartburn time as Australian

investors see red. The

weakness was pretty

broad-based. Resources felt

the brunt of it. The All Ords

index plunged more than 200

points in minute, its biggest

slump since 11 September 2001,

before recovering some ground

to finish more than 160 points

down. It was worse on Wall

Street which dived more than

400 points, or 3%.

400 points, or 3%. It's tough

when you get days like this.

This is what we call a

humdinger. Wall Street was

already nervous due to some weak economic figures and talk

of a possible recession from

the former Federal Reserve

chairman, Alan Greenspan. But

anxiety turned to fear when

China's main market, which has

skyrocketd in the past year,

fell nearly 9 % yesterday, its

worst slum in a decade. I

worst slum in a decade. I

think the Chinese share market

factored in too much good news

too quickly. Investors were

rattled by Beijing's news to

crack downon illegal share

activities. The Asian

powerhouse accounts for a third

of global growth and investors,

chiesing higher returns,

particularly in the US, are

increasingly exposed to

emerging markets like China.

emerging markets like China.

China's Shanghai composite

index was slightly higher

today, but it didn't stop the

continued response to

yesterday's fallout with

markets down across the region.

I think it's prem ma tour to

call the end of the bull market

both for Australia and

globally. I think the

economics and the corporate

health are still look ing quite

good. There will be

nervousness no doubt for the

next couple of weeks.

next couple of weeks. Bear

market, definitely not.

Through all this, commodity

prices have remained remarkably

steady, suggesting the market

thinks that China growth story

remains intact and this latest

episode is based more on fear

than fundamentals. The falls

on the Australian market were

led by resource and technology

stocks. Alan Kohler has the details.

details. The All Ords 2.7%

fall today is not too bad in

the end, considering that at

one point it was down 3.5%.

Small companies did worse than

big ones and mining, energy and

technology were the hardest hit

individual sectors. Australia

got off pretty lightly, so far,

considering it had gone up

nearly twice as much as the

rest of the world for the year

before today. And it's still

biggest up 3%. Here are some of the

biggest falls around the world

today, and emerging markets

copped the heaviest selling,

largely because they had been

getting the most active buying

in recent times. As for China,

here is a graph of the Shanghai

A shares index. It more than

tripled in six months, which is

reason enough for a fall of a

lot more than 8.8%. A 220%

bubble, rice rise in six months is a

bubble, and bubbles always

burst. The. You have to say

less fraud is probably a good

thing. Today's other graph

compares the Chinese

fundamentals with previous

Asian economic miracles. It

shows GDP per capita. First

Japan from 19 51, then

Singapore from 1959, Taiwan from

from 1965 and China from 1992

when its rebirth began. They

are virtually identical, and

it's worth noting that in each

case their share markets got

carried away, which is what

share markets do. Today's

biggest falls in the local

market were a bit of a mixed

bag dominated by stocks that

have recently gone up a lot.

Paladin, Zinifex, Macquarie Bank,

Bank, BHP, ASX and Leighton.

The rise s - Woolworths and

Tattersall's. That's all.

Finally, the Australian dollar

fell sharply today, down more

than 0.5%, US, but -- half a

US cent.

The State Labor governments

currently have a ban on nuclear energy and they

energy and they are adamant

they won't be changing that,

but the head of the federal

inquiry into the issue says the

Commonwealth would have to

control planning and

regulation. Malcolm Turnbull

may be an thighs Yass tick

advocate of nuclear power, but

is just the latest of a

procession of Coalition MPs to

rule out a nuclear power

station on his patch. My

electorate is an inner-city

lot electorate and there isn't a

lot of free space. For a

second day, John Howard faced

questions about his talks about

about his talk s with Ron

Walker and the company he set

up to promote nuclear energy.

The idea that I thought gee,

let's have an inquiry that

might, you know, and as a

result of my discussion with

Ron Walker is just ridiculous.

Peter Costello acknowledged

that Mr Walker had run his plan

past him, too.

past him, too. I think I said

good luck. The Prime Minister

denied discussing government

subsidies with Mr Walker. No,

of course not. In Parliament,

Industry Minister Ian

Macfarlane was again under

pressure, this time the

question was the recommendation

from the Government's own

Switkowski inquiry that the Commonwealth would have to

seize powers from the states to

power stations. control, plan and site nuclear

power stations. Will the

Government rule out taking away

planning controls from the

states to build such reactors.

The Government is yet to

respond to that report and I

look forward to the

Government's response on that

report. He is the Government,

of course, and that's less than

a categorical no. State

legislation around the country

currently prohibits nuclear

power an the Labor governments

have made it clear their bans

will stay. Eager to get on the

will stay. Eager to get on the

front foot, the Government

after cuesed Labor of pinching

its plan for a national schools

curriculum. Naughty boy, you

stole that idea, didn't you? LAUGHTER

. You have to go to the

naughty corner, won't you? LAUGHTER

. Kevin Rudd was not kept in

after school. It's been a

week that the

week that the State Opposition

Leader would rather forget.

Not only is Peter Debnam doing

badly in the opinion polls, now

his whole campaign style is

being questioned. Today the

Premier turned an Opposition

attack on his Government's

economic management back on the

Liberal Leader. Peter Debnam

turned to public transport and

budget management to try and

get his campaign back on track.

G'day. He demanded to know

why the

why the $1.5 billion price tag

on freeing up Sydney's tangled

rail lines had changed. It's

now up to $1.8 billion and I would like the Government to

explain the detail of that new

work. The Premier was briefly

wrong footed. The clear ways

program, approximately at $1.5.

Specifically. You can get

the exact figure, I'm sure,

from RailCorp. A couple of

hours later he called a second news conference to

news conference to clarify his

position. As I said, 1.5 plus

300 equals 1.8. It was

explained by a project last

November. RailCorp hadn't

caught up with the news on its

web site. He either didn't

understand the issue, in which

case it is unforgivable

incompetence, or he deliberately

deliberately misrped the

facts. The Liberal Leader

needs to turn around his

fortunes and to do it quickly.

With less than four weeks until

the polls, colleagues are

questioning his style and the

timing of the release of his

policies. Some are even saying

he is coming across as

arrogant. And Mr Debnam's

outdoorsy campaign style put

Joe Hockey on the spot at the

national press Club. Don't you think

you think that Peter Debnam

would do better as an alternate

Premier if when he was in front

of the camera he put a few more

clothes on. (Laughs) But it

will be no laughing matter if

the Coalition suffers another

heavy defeat. Wild storms

created havoc in Sydney's

south-west this afternoon with

buildings struck by lightning and cars caught

and cars caught in flash

flooding. The storm was

fiercest in Campbelltown when

cars arriving to pick up

students at Broughton Anglican

clk were swept away. Three

young children trapped one of

the vehicles that were quickly

released before the floodwaters

came up well above the car.

Some of the cars were swept

against a drainage tunnel,

turning the school's football

field into a huge lake. One man

man was struck by lightning in

the suburb and is in a stable

condition. 19,000 homes lost

power but supplies are slowly

being restored. There are long

delays on the southern rail

line and more storms are

forecast for tonight. Chaos in

Canberra, too. A severe

thunderstorm there dumped up to

a metre of hail and flooded

more than 100 buildings. The

Australian National University

was worst hit, with fears that

the rain and hail have destroyed

destroyed priceless research.

After a hot summer's day, few

in Canberra had expected such

an icy end. Last night's

strorm storm cell developed in

just 15 minutes, taking many by

surprise with its speed and

severity. They are rare ones,

but when they do occur they

create 9 a% of the damage.

The so-called super cell

The so-called super cell dumped

up to a metre of hail on city

streets. Just covered the

road, man, and this bike bus is

just stuck. Others tried a

risky rescue with some cars,

struck fast in hail drifts.

Very close. Th services were

quickly overwhelmed by calls

for help as more than 100

buildings flooded under the sheer weight

sheer weight of water. With

15 crews available to respond

you can see very quickly how

you're overrun. Torrents of

water had rushed through the Australian National University

campus, dumping piles of mud

and debris and damaging 70

buildings. This is a serious

blow to the university and it

is a challenge for us to put

the pieces back together again.

But for researchers, the hail

and flooding has been particularly costly. It

particularly costly. It is

feared some long-term projects

have been destroyed. City

workers endured long traffic

delays as ice and hail blocked

major roads. Then many arrived

to find their workplace shut

down. I don't remember the

Canberra centre ever closing

before. They've had a

significant flood damage in

their. The damage bill and

the cost to business is

expected to run into tens of millions of dollars.

millions of dollars. The

Federal Court has reserved its

decision on whether to hear a

case mounted by lawyers for

David Hicks. His counsel wants the court to force the Federal

Government to ask the United

States to send Hicks home from

Guantanamo Bay. But lawyers

for the Commonwealth say the case should be thrown out

because there is no legal

obligation on the Government to

intervene in the Hicks

situation. No date was set for

a ruling. In

a ruling. In a significant shift, the United States has

agreed to consult with Syria

and Iran on ways to end the

violence in Iraq. Until now,

Washington has refused to deal

with its arch enemies, accusing

them of fuelling the bloodshed.

Underlining the instability in

the Middle East, an apparent

Taliban attack on the US Vice

President in Afghanistan. US

Vice President Dick Cheney

meets Afghanistan's

meets Afghanistan's leader

Harmid Karzai in Kabul. Just

hours earlier, Mr Cheney got a

much different welcome when a

suicide bomber attacked the US

mill tri-base where he was

staying. Mr Cheney wasn't

hurt, but the explosion killed

at least 14 people, including

an American soldier. The Taliban claimed responsibility

for the attack underscoring the

threat the militants still pose

in Afghanistan.

in Afghanistan. Despite

absorbing heavy combat losses

in 2006, the insur generalcy

has strengthened its military

capabilities and influence with

its core base of Pashtuns. In

Iraq, suicide bombings are an

almost daily occurrence. US

intelligence agencies are

warning time is running out to

stabilise the country. We assess that the security

situation will continue to

deteriorate at a rate

comparable to the latter half

of 2006. The Bush

Administration is now hoping

dip ly -- diplomacy will help

end the violence in Iraq. They

will take part in a regional conference that will also

include Syria and Iran,

countries that America has so

far refused to negotiate with.

We hope that all governments

will seize this opportunity to improve their

improve their relations with

Iraq and to work for peace and

stability in the region.

Iraq's neighbours certainly

have their work cut out for

them. The chief prosecutor

at the international criminal

court in the Hague has named

two suspects wanted for war

crimes in Sudan's Darfur

region. The former

region. The former Sudanese

Interior Minister, Ahmed

Mohammed Haroun. The other

wanted man is the leader of the

ja ja weed militia. This

strategy became the

justification for the mass

murder, summary execution and

mass rape of civilians. The

Sudanese Government says the

court has no jurisdiction

court has no jurisdiction over

Sudan. Japan has cut short its

whale hunting season after the

fire on board the country's

main whaling ship two weeks

ago. The fire on the 'Nisshin

Maru' killed a 27-year-old crew

member and left the shift

adrift in Antarctic waters.

The ref rest -- the rest of

the whaling fleet has been

recalled. Critics have

condemned the hunt as a

condemned the hunt as a breach

of the global ban on commercial

whaling. He once described

himself as every mother's

nightmare. His music was loud

and, before he changed his

ways, his lifestyle was even

louder. But Billy Thorpe, who

died today of a heart attack,

never compromised where rock

'n' roll was concerned. Anne

Maria Nicholson looks back at a

career that spanned 40 years

and influenced several generations.


# Most people I know

# That that I'm crazy... # It

was Sunbury 1972, Australia's

Woodstock, and Billy Thorpe was

on top of the world, belting

out his best known song. 35

years on, Billy Thorpe was

still a music maker and

returned to Sunbury. People

lost their virginities here, you know what I

you know what I mean. I met

three people who were conceived

here. But in the early hours

of this morning, the music

stopped. Thorpe died from a

heart attack. He pass add way

in the Emergency Department at

about 2.30 this morning. His

death has shocked the music

industry. He was at the peak

of his powers. He was just

doing amazing things and I

think it surprised everybody

just how loved Billy Thorpe was. He was the

was. He was the real Aussie

stand up and be counted, look

after your mates.

# See what you have done... #

Thorpe was born in England but

migrated to Brisbane in the

1950s. He moved to Sydney in

1963 and a year later recorded

his first song. His band,

Billy Thorpe and the

Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs,

scored a string of hits and is

credited with starting

Australia's pub music scene.

I guess Thorpy was larger than

life, wasn't a big tall man by

any stretch, but his persona

was very big. But he also

lived the wildlife of sex,

drugs and rock 'n' roll.

Making headlines when he took

LSD. I had a serious identity

LSD. I had a serious identity

change after discovering LSD

which literally September me

from the boy next door into

every mother's nightmare. All

those great stories of being

escorted out of town by the

cops and TVs in bathtubs -

mate, they all happened. Yes,

he liked to stay up late, last

one to leave - first one to

start and last one to leave,

start and last one to leave,

apart from me, of course. But

the fan s return with their own

children when Thorpe went on a

national tour in the '90s with

hit makers of yesteryear Long

Way To The Top. He is survived

by his wife, Lynn and two

daughters. He did not live to

see his new

see his new album Tangiers,

released. You're watching ABC

News. Tonight's top story - a

share selloff in China spooks

markets worldwide. And still

tokm - -- still to come -

Australia's cricketers talking a good game ahead of the World

Cup. It appears that the last refuge of a

refuge of a smoker, their own

home, is now under threat. New

laws have given more powers to

the owners corporations that

manage unit blocks and that has

led to some Sydney residents

being told not to smoke because their neighbours complained

about the smell. At this

exclusive city apartment block,

residents couldn't live side by

side with their smoking

neighbours. The apartment

door is never sealed 100% and we found the cigarette

we found the cigarette smoke

was coming through the door.

The owners 'corporation spent

thousands sealing door frames

and even inside the base of the

door, yet neighbours still said

they could smell steal

cigarette smoke. It was

coming through the mortar in

the brick wall. After years

of complaints, the owners

corporation went the went to

the Office of Fair Trading.

They ruled that they had to stop the smoking

stop the smoking that was

causing the problem. It is

quite right that people should

be protected from the invasion

of tobacco smoke in their own

homes and the health harms that that might cause hem. Others

see it as a true test of tough

new laws which give greater

powers to owners' corporations.

On this occasion it was

smoking. On the next occasion

it could be noise or it could

be somebody boiling yak. But the power

the power of owners'

corporations to tell their members what is acceptable

behaviour has outraged civil

libertarians. When you're

inside your own apartment, the

basic principle should be that

you're king of your castle,

even when that castle happens

to be a strata unit. The

couple at the centre of the

complaints were renters.

Instead of giving up the right

to smoke in their own home,

they moved.

they moved. A new report has

calculated for the first time

the wildlife cost of land

clearing in New South Wales.

The report commissioned by the

conservation group WWF has

found that at least 1 0 had

million native animals have

died or will die as a result of

clearing between 1998 and 2000

# 5. Kangaroos, koalas, honey

eaters and gechos are among the most

most severely affected.

Animals displaced by land

clearing do die. There is

nowhere for them to go. Even

if they survive the actual

scleering, they can starve on

the way, very vulnerable to predators. The State

Government says the figures

used by www.if grossly

exaggerated and don't take into

account large scale

revegetation. It is a discovery that may take the panic out of

panic out of panic attacks.

Doctors have found that people

who suffer from them are more

vulnerable to heart attacks and

they believe that connection

will lead them to find better

treatments. James Young was a

fit and healthy fare of two

when he had his first panic

attack. I experienced sudden

chest pain, sweating,

nervousness, an overwhelming feeling that

feeling that something terrible

was about to happen to me. He

took part in one of the first

studies that actually measures

what happens to the heart and

brain at the panic aheart.

Researchers have made some

dramatic findings about what

causes the disorder and the

effect it has on the heart.

What we find is that on average

in people with panic disorder,

they release four times the

norm al amount

norm al amount of serotinin.

It is a very striking major

difference from what we find in

healthy people and we think

we've come up with the brain's

mechanism for causing panic

disorder. Doctors have found

that people with panic disorder

have hearts which are more

sensitive to pain and more

vulnerable to angina and chest

pain. It's not that there is

pain. It's not that there is cumulative damage to the heart

over years, but any single

attack can cause trouble in

ters of causing an abnormalal

rhythm or spasm. Since

receiving counseling and

medication, James Young hasn't

had any more attacks. 16

weeks later I'm fine. I live a

normal life and have no general

health issues. Researchers

want to recruit another 50

want to recruit another 50

patients to see which tests

work best to reduce the

symptoms. The Australian

cricketers have left for the

Caribbean, fening off doubts

about their form and fitness.

The defending world champions

were farewelled last night at a

celebration of Australia's best

ever one-day players. The defending World Cup champions

left for the West Indies

brimming with confidence

despite some fitness question

marks. This team generally lifts itself

lifts itself and plays its best

cricket when there are some big

games on the line. There is a

positive outlook for one of the

essential ingredients. Really

good ahead of schedule. Scant

regard for recent form.

Results haven't gone our way

over the last couple of weeks,

but I'm not concerned about

that. Ponting and Symonds

both received the perfect

sendoff as part of Australia's

best ever one-day

best ever one-day team which

also included Glenn McGrath and

Adam Gilchrist. Allan border's

exclusion didn't cloud his

judgment. I still think the

other team is fiercest. Can

I remember the first one

because it was the first one,

but apart from that, I don't

remember too many of them.

The World Cup has that extra

dimension. For those guys

going away tomorrow, it's going

to be a life experience

to be a life experience and it

can define a lot of those

cricketers. Nicky Carle has

won the press tinge just Johnny

Warren medal. It shows what

hard work can do. 25-year-old

Carle was part of the Jets

which saw them just miss the

Grand Final. He also earnt Goal of the Year.

Goal of the Year. Melbourne

Victory's Ernie Merrick won the

coach of the Year. Mark Viduka

has done it again, score ing

his 9th goal of the year.

Viduka equalised and for his

team won on penalties to set up

a quarterfinal meeting with Manchester United.

Manchester United. Respective

cock roo Adam Federici had a

nightmare, conceding three

goals in the first 6 minutes as

Reading's fightback to lead 3-2

was in vain. And the man who

steered Australia to the World

Cup, Guus Hiddink, has escaped

a jail term for tax traud.

Hiddink received a 6-month

suspended sentence and a fine

of $75,000 for what Dutch tax authorities claim

authorities claim was a $2

million fraud while he was living in neighbouring Belgium.

There is a big weekend coming

up for fans of South Sydney.

They will get their first look

at the high-priced recruits

that could turn around the

club's fortunes. The players

will be on show in the annual

charity cheeld game against St

George-Illawarra on Saturday.

Few would

Few would disagree with Nathan

Brown's assessment of the

Rabbitohs. I've never seen

South Sydney field a side that

strong. So strong, it has

more international players than

St George-Illawarra, a team

that is usually one of the

favourites. Roy Asotasi,

David Kidwell, and Nigel Vagana

are among the new faces. No

are among the new faces. No

doubt new players have come to

the club. I want people to be

excited about Souths this year.

Long-suffering Rabbitohs fans

may have to show a little more

patience as the new coach tries

to turn the group in a winning

team. To bring different

players from different clubs

and get them to gel just in 8 o

minutes of footy and then be

prepared to go into the first

round, it won't be easy. The Dragons

Dragons have a new look with

Mark Gasnier moved to

five-eighthth. Team-mates

around me have got used to T

This weekend will be the final

hittout for all clubs before

the NRL season starts on 16

March. Now let's get some

more details on today's big

storms. Mere is Mike Bailey.

A severe thunderstorm remains

current for a number of

districts. Light inning

tracker shows something of the

action and storm movement

around Sydney late today an the

radar captured the widespread

nature of the rain. Ahead --

ahead of all that, temperatures

in Sydney went from 20 to 27 and up to 29 degrees inland.

Much of the action was

confined to the coast's nearby


Satellite loop still

showing a lot of cloud

associated with the trough over

New South Wales and that cloud

does tend to generate in the

afternoon as the storms

build-up. Rainfall projections tomorrow again favouring the

eastern parts of the State with the chance of some thunderstorms there and

thunderstorms there and certainly some showers in other areas. Around the nation:

Tonight's top story again Tonight's top story again -

the Australian share market

fell heavily and markets around

the world got the shakes after

a share selloff in China. And

that's ABC News. I'm Juanita

Phillips. Goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI

Tonight on '7.30' - the

state of our schools and

universities now and and into

the future. Who has the

answers? Julie Bishop and

Stephen Smith head to head. CC

CC Welcome to the program.

Coming tonight from Canberra.

Whenever people are asked by

pollsters to identify the

political issues most important

to them, education is

invariably up near the top. Parents vest incredible amounts

of time, money and emotion

trying to find the best

education for their children

from school to university. It's

a traditional political

battleground, as we saw again here

here in Canberra today. Labor

leader Kevin Rudd flanked by his education spokesman Stephen

Smith announced his promise to

establish a national schools

curriculum for English, maths,