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Tonight - horror in Haiti as

powerful quake rocks the

island. The Northern Territory

to blame for the East Timor

leak. Cooma's hunger striking

farmer says he's ready to eat.

And it's a land lord's market

with rents set to soar.

Good evening. Jeremy

Fernandez with ABC News. It's

being called a catastrophe of

major proportions. The

Caribbean island nation of

Haiti has been rocked by its

biggest earthquake in more than

200 years. The 7.0 quake hit

just south of the capital,

Port-au-Prince. And was

followed by two dozen strong

aftershocks. There's been

widespread damage and panic as

across the the tremors leveled buildings

across the region. Hundreds of

people are feared dead, and the

Australian Government is urgently trying to contact a small number of Australians who

may be in Haiti. North America

correspondent Lisa Millar

begins our coverage. The quake

struck just before dunk. Its

power strook the densely

populated capital,

Port-au-Prince, to its

quite a long time but core. The shaking went on for

quite a long time but I guess

it's about 15, 20 seconds. It

delivered one heck of a jolt.

And I am very pleased to have

made it through that. It was

very scary. Sho shoddy

construction in this im

poverished nation meant buildings to the ground. Even

the presidential palace

couldn't with stand the

force. What we're hearing now

is quite a mixture of news.

Soch of it is in distress and

concern of grief of people

obviously people are being mixed with cheering where

pulled out of the rubble and

saved. The UN says it can't

account for many of its staff

after its mission headquarters

were destroyed. Phone lines

were disrupted, make it hard to

learn the sever ity learn the sever ity of the

situation. The day light is

expected to bring sign s of

eench more damage and

casualties. There was very

strong ground shaking in the

vicinity of the fault and

unfortunately that area is very

densely populated. So a large

number of people were exposed

to very strong ground

shaking. These people were the

lucky ones. They got on the

land flight to Miami out of Haiti just

Haiti just after the earthquake

hit. Everything was just

falling apart. All over the

place. People were crying and

the ceiling was falling. The US

President is monitoring the

situation, offering his prayers

an most likely millions of

dollars in aid. The United

States is offering our full

assistance to Haiti and to

others in the region. We will

be providing both civilian and

military disaster relief and

humanitarian assistance and our

prayers are with the people who

have suffered, irooh their

families and their loved

ones. France, Canada and

governments across Latin

America are also offering

assistance. Haiti's 9 million

residents are among the poor

nest the western hemisphere. It

may be some time before the

extent of this disaster extent of this disaster becomes

clear. This is just the latest

disaster to strike Haiti. Since

1994, the country's been hit by

three hurricanes which together

killed more than 4,000 people.

And the mountainous countryside

has been heavily deforested,

Leeing Haitians vulnerable to

land lieds. I - land slide. I

am now joined by Donna

McSkimming. The quake was

centred in the densely

populated capital. The infrastructure is poor, the quality of the buildings is

poor. Where do you begin to

tackal problem of this magnitude? Well, immediate

needs are so rescue those who

have been trapped in the

rubble, to get medical

attention for those who are

seriously injured, to provide

first aid for people who have

minor injuries. And then to

make sure that we're able to

get people to safe places.

Their current homes or existing

infrastructure may be unsafe or

destroyed, and then start to

provide for immediate needs

like food and water, access to

clean water. This is really

difficult in a country like

Haiti where existing

and where infrastructure was already poor

and where current resources of

the Government or within

communities themselves may not

be adequate for this sudden

onset disaster or the current

earthquake. As you've

indicated, Haiti is one of the

poorer countries in the

Americas. Where did - it does

expose them really to more

problems than just the

immediate aftermath of the

disaster. Well, it does.

People's resources in such a People's resources in such a

poor community are very limited

to look towards their own

recovery. So for example it

will take some time for people

to be able to rebuild. They do

not at the moment have access

to extra funds for additional

medical needs. Many people will

only have very basic

necessities as it is and an

event like this wipes away

families, it wipes away

livelihoods, it wipes away

businesses and all of those

things must be - we must take

time to be able to return to

normalcy as quickly as we can

for the Haitian community. Donna McSkimming,

thanks for your time. Thank you

. And if you have concerns for

the welfare of rel difs or

friends in Haiti, the friends in Haiti, the Department of Foreign Affairs

and trade has a 24-hour


Australia's biggest oil

spill could have been

prevebtded - that's the

assessment of the count rice

oil safety watchdog. For 2.5

months last year, oil leaked

from the Montara Well into the

Territory Timor Sea off the Northern

Territory coast. Now a report says the Northern Territory

Government is to blame for not properly monitoring offshore

wells. Thousand of barrels of

oil spewed into the Timor Sea

when the West Atlas rig blew

its top last August and caught

fire. The national oil safety

watchdog says it could have

responsibility for regulating been prevenltd, if

the well hadn't been delegated

by the Commonwealth to the

Northern Territory Government. A more focus and

better resourced administration Government. A more focus and

What the authority has

done is highlight just how

inadequate the Territory

regulations and regulation

procedures are. The authority

says the Territory Government

is not resourced to conduct the

monitoring necessary. Frankly I

think the Territory resources

department probably does not

have the resources or the

expertise or the budget to trip

around in a boat off the north

coast of Australia, inspecting

well platforms. The Federal

Government needs to take up and

relook at this issue of how it

has sellgated - delegate add lot of these powers to

State. The authority says

allowing Governments to

regulate oil drilling while

collecting oil revenue is a

conflict of interest. In a

statement, the Federal

Resources Minister, Martin Ferguson , says his Government

and the States and Territories

will take any steps necessary

to stop another incident like

the Montara spill. The Northern

Territory Government says it

does have sufficient resource

an it forwards all revenue to

the Commonwealth. Today, the

company PTTEP said it had finally secured the Montara

Well. The spill inquiry is due

to report in April.

Investigators are probing the

collapse of five high voltage

electricity transmission towers

in nern Victoria. The towers

are operated by a power company

that was heavily crit sietszed

in the Black Saturday inquiry.

The pylon s clached should have

been able to with stand strong

winds. The five gigantic

transmission towers now

resemble scrap metal. Stretch

1km across this Pyramid Hill

property, the 40m high poles

came down during a brief but

pierce storm which struck near

bend goe. About 4 o'clock a big

storm come through and

flattened everything. There

there was big hail

stones. Representatives from SP

Ausnet atlied morning to ensure the area was safe the area was safe and launch an

investigation. The. The

transmission network is robust

and built to sustain winds and

other severe weather. It's a

network that we think is very

reliable and safe But it wasn't

looking very safe today. Early

indications suggest that one

tower collapsed, pulling the

others down in a domino effect.

The region was in the grip of

code red fire conditions when

the collapse occurred but the

power company says safety

mechanisms ensured there was no

risk of the lines sparking the

fire. The lines de energised

before the towers hit the

ground. SP Ausnet's maintenance procedures were crit sierds during the Victoria's

bushfire's royal commission

last year. The commission heard

evidence that one of the

company's powerlines had been

defective when it fell,

igniting the deadly Kilmore blaze on Black

Saturday. With've been

fortunate that there's been no

significant impact from it in

terms of any disruption to

power flies. There were no

fires. There were sparks that

were caused as a result. Nearly

1,000 homes in the region did

lose power yesterday, but SP

Ausnet says that was the result

of an unrelated heat issue. Another asylum seeker boat

has been intercepted near

Christmas Island. It's the

fifth arrival this year. The 42

passengers will be detained on

the island, adding to the 1700

who are already there. The new detainees arrived as the Government move Todd defend its

decision to take in a group of

Tamil refugees from the

'Oceanic Viking', even though

ASIO has deemed them a security

risk. We said to the Indonesia Indonesians we will take Indonesians we will take them

and we will detain them and we

will manage them to a solution. That's perfectly reasonable because the

Indonesians if you like did us

a favour letting them disembark

in Indonesia. The Opposition

says the Government has

jeopardised national

security. People are beginning

to question whether they can

trust the security of the

country in the hands of this

Prime Minister. Seven detainees including a

including a woman and her who

two young children face an

indefinite stay on Christmas

Island because the adults

failed security checks. Tony

Blair's former spin doctor has

denied sexing up a dossier that

led to the 2003 invasion in Iraq. The report claimed that

Iraq could launch biological weapons in 45 weapons in 45 minutes. Alastair

Campbell has defended the

document and the invasion itself. Europe correspondent Phillip Williams reports. Alastair Campbell was

never going to arrive quietly,

the spin half of the spin act

with Tony Blair, he was an &

player and observer as Britain

pro paired for war. Did he

regret any of the Government's

decisions leads up to the war,

including the dossier in which Tony

Tony Blair said it was beyond

doubt that Saddam Hussein did

have weapons of mass

destruction. I defend every

single word of the dossier, I

defend every single part of the

process. And that set the tone

for hours evidence. No regrets,

admit no mistakes an deny any

manipulation or sexing up of

evidence against Saddam Hussein. At no point did anybody from the Prime Minister

down say to anybody with

intelligence services you have

to tailor it to fit this

argument, this never

happened. Alastair Campbell did

reveal in private correspondent

in 2002 between then President

Bush and Tony Blair, Britain

could be countered on. It has

to be done militarily, Britain

will be there. The so-called

king of spin did concede the

post-war planning and execution

was a mess. He blamed the Americans. Alastair Campbell

left the iron - - inquiry as

he eeds arrived - admit as

media frenzy. Seven years since

the war began, the questions

continue. There will be even

more intense interest when the

former Prime Minister Tony

Blair appears before the

inquiry in the next few weeks.

He will give his version of the

truth of the Iraq war.

Iran's state media says

Massoud Ali Mohammadi died in a

bomb blast as he was leaving

his home in Tehran. The report

says the attack was to deter

the country from its nuclear efforts. Middle East

correspondent Ben Knight

reports. Professor Massoud Ali

Mohammadi was killed as he left

his house to go to work.

Authorities say a) motorcycle

parked outside his home was

rigged with a bomb that was

detonated by remote control.

But if the authorities of a

suspect in mind thienks not

saying who it is.


speculations that cannot be

spoken about now. They are

under investigation. Various

organisations are investigating

and related information will be

announced later on. It is not

clear exactly why Professor

Massoud Ali Mohammadi was a

target. Some reports describe

him as a supporter of the

Iranian political Opposition

but if he he was a minor figure

and an unlikely target for the

Iranian Government. If the

Iranian Government wanted to

get rid of him, they could have

arrested him. Not asassnated. Professor Massoud

Ali Mohammadi was a senior

nuclear scientist. And it's

believed he was part of Iran's

nuclear program which has put

the country under increasing

pressure from the West. Iranian

media blame his death at Israel

and the United States. Israel

has declined to comment on that

allegation and no-one has as yet claimed responsibility but

there are some who are

convinced a Western Government

is behind this

assassination. This man says

this could have been a message

from the West to Iran supreme

leader. We know what is going

on in the nuclear program, we

know who you staff are, and we are prepared to take action. The United States has

also denied any involvement.

of State, Hillary Clinton, says The United States Secretary

she's looking forward to talks

with Kevin Rudd when she a s in

Australia this weekend. Mrs

Clinton spent the day in Hawaii

and says the US is deeply

committed to building stronger

ties in the Asia Pacific

region. She described US

alliances with Australia, Japan

and South Korea as among the

most successful bilateral

relationships in modern

history. I don't think there is

any doubt if there were when

this administration began that

the United States is back in

Asia. But I want to underscore

that we are back to

stay. Hillary Clinton will tour

PNG and New Zealand before arriving in Australia on


He's back on the ground,

weak, hungry but still defiebt.

A Cooma farmer who has been

perched on a wind tower for 52

days on a hunger strike is

tonight in hospital after

ending his fast. Spencer was

protesting against native

vegetation laws that he says

have prevented 30,000 farmers

from clearing their land. He

says he will continue to fight

for justice. After 52 days up a

wind tower, Terria firma never

felt so good. Today, Spencer

#13e7bs gave up his hunger

strike and his family's relief

was palpable. That will be the

best. The 61-year-old says he

survived on water, lemon juice

and vitamins. Yesterday doctors

urged him to come down Leave

one thing on his mind. A plate

of salmon and a glass of

chardonnay. I tell you what, a

piece of toast and Vegemite

would be nice. Mr Spencer says

State vegetation laws prevent

limb from clearing his land and

have Australia meeting its

Kyoto protocol commitments. The

farmer says it's cost him his

livelihood, but some family

members claimant's about

personal iron, in particular a

$1 million loan from his

sister. They expect a court to

force his eviction. It is not

the important issue. The 30,000

farmer, the 55046 odd suicides

and the constitution being

broken, there - this's the issue. Peter Spencer staged

this protest to pressure the

Government into holding a royal

commission and paying

compensation: He says that

fight will continue once he

gets out of hospital. I will be

a pain in their side, I can

assure you. Peter Spencer wants

the Prime Minister to come and

meet with him. Now he says he

will go to Parliament instead,

but first a few days of rehabilitation. His condition

is seen to be as satisfactory

given the circumstances. That chardonnay may still be a day

or two away. Google is

threatening to pull out of

China after claim s hack verse

tried to break into its G mail

service. Google says the email

accounts of human rights

activists were targeted but

that hackers ultimately failed.

The company says it is no

longer prepared to censor

Internet search engine result, a condition of doing business

in China. Google says at least

20 other large companies were

targeted by the hackers. If you

think you're already paying too

much rent, get ready to pay

more. A new forecast predicts

residential rental price also

soar across the country next

year ta, economy slowly beginning to

recover. Australian renters

enjoyed stable and in some

cases falling prices last year.

The message this year is don't

get used to it. 2009 was a

relatively good year for

rentders but 2010 looks like it

will be across the board

increases. That's due to

factors like healthier economy,

rise ing interest and an end to

the first home owners grant.

It's expected Perth will go up

11%nd with Brisbane, Darwin European Union and Canberra not

far behind. We will have to

bite the bullet, considering we

have a child due in February it

is quite a burden. I know a lot

of people that are struggling

at the moment to pay their

rents, as students. And if it

goes up it will make things

worse. But landlords say it's

fair enough, given their

increasing costs in interest

rates and utilities. At the

ends of the day, people expect

the landlords to absorb these

cost and that is not

fair. Another more long term factor continuing to drive up

rent rents is a dwindling

supply of housing. Land tax

increases and a slow building

approval process is turning

many developers offer. So we've

got population growth of

450,000 per year and we're not

building enough houses to

accommodate those people. The

Federal Government says it

acknowledges many families are

do it tough but it's aiming to

build 80,000 new affordable

homes around the country by

mid- 2012. To other finance

news - and the global markets

have been shaken by China's

attempts to combat inflation

and slow its economy. Here is

Phillip Lasker. We used to Phillip Lasker. We used to

catch cold when America

sneezed. This time we had a flu

shot - it's called China. But

China has sniffles. Here is what happens - markets

throughout the region fall. The All Ordinaries Index fell 31

points or just over 0.5%, that

was better than most. It's

because China is moving more

aggressively than expected to

slow its economy. It's raised

the amount of money banks have

to hold as reserves. That means

less lending. Here is why China

had to act. Inflation, the blue

line, and the red line showing

the money pumped into the

economy by the Government have

been fairly close until

recently. Money supply has

taken off because of Government

stimulus spending. The prospect

of the blue line zooming up to

meet that red line is something

Chinese authorities are

desperately trying to avoid.

There are already concerns

about property asset bubbles so

they're trying to slow things

down. The kneejerk reaction is

to hit resources shares and

today was no exception. The

banks didn't escape either. Nor

did CSR, despite China's

interest in buys its sugar

business. It was time for

densive stocks like Telstra and

woorls and not a time to cut

your profit forecast like

Worley Parsons. Its share price

tumbled 11%. As you might

expect, there was a general

sell-off in metals, gold and

oil. It was a similar story for

commodity-based currencies like

the Australian dollar which

traded well below 93 US

cents. That's finance. Australia has two men

in the quarterfinals at the Sydney International after

Lleyton Hewitt and Peter Luczak

won through. Serena Williams

also continued to cut a swathe

through the women's draw. But

it was Hewitt's demolition of

Italy's Andrea Seppi that

caught the eye. Hewitt had lost

to Seppi the last two times

they plaids. He was determined

it wasn't going to be three.

The Australian was out of the

blocks early, he took the first

set 6-0.

The world number The world number 22 fought

back from a break down in the

second,A double fault on match

point from Seppi put Hewitt

through to the eight. The last

two times I think I made match

points against him and ended up

losing. That scoreline today

reads better. Past greats are

talking up Lleyton Hewitt's

chance force the Australian

Open. Never write off a

champion and he's been

that. Peter Luczak strengthened

his Davis Cup claims with a

3-set win over second seed

Tomas Berdych. Alicia Molik

wasn't so lucky in Hobart,

going down in three sets to Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro. Defend ing Australian

Open champion Rafael Nadal

returned to Rod Laver Arena for

the first time since his

dramatic win over Roger Federer

in last year's final. But Andy

Roddick left the most lasting

impression of the day on fellow American James Blake. This is

what happens if you lose a

practice set against the world

number seven. High stakes

indeed. Australia and

Pakistan have completed their

final Tri-Nations sessions

ahead of the third Test against

Pakistan in Hobart. Simon

Katich is the only new face

after recovering from an elo injury. Pakistan has made four changes to the side which lost

the second Test. After

Pakistan's heart breaking loss

at the SCG, changes were always

on the cards. And they came

thick and fast with the

announcement of the side for tomorrow's third Test in

Hobart. Gone from the team

which lost by 36 ruvens in

Sydney are batsman Faisal Sydney are batsman Faisal Iqbal

and Misbah ul-Haq, as well as

quick Mohammad Sami. And in the

change which has attracted the

most attention, vice-captain

Kamran Akmal will make way for

Sarfraz Ahmed after a four 46

man selection panel which curiously includes Akmal unanimously voted in favour of

him sitting out the Test. But

according to the Pakistan

captain, his deputy hasn't been

dropped due to poor form. We

give him rest, because as a

senior player, a key team

player, he needs rest and

that's it. Former captain

Shoaib Malik will return alodge

side little-known Khurram

Manzoor while Mohammed Aamer is

back from injury. Australian

captain Ricky Ponting says his

side is still adopting its

expect the unexpected approach

to their opposition. There's

still a lot of mystery around about them. We don't know what

will happen with the team this

week. Despite a series filled

with Pakistan batting collapse,

Ponting says his bowl lers have

to work hard on the Hobart

wicket I expect as the State

games have been this year,

they've been pret Kwai good

batting wickets. Fine and mild

conditions are expemented for

the start of play. Living in

the present but carrying the

burden of the past. That's the

idea behind a new play set

against the back drop of a

former mental facility. 'The

Fence' takes a look inside the

family of home of five

Australians but it is no

ordinary home. Anne Maria

Nicholson reports. You're like

a throwback to the '50 50s.

Personally I'm all for zero

population growth myself. We

agree on something. It's called

fictionalised reality. The

stories of five middle-aged men

and women who have survived

tough starts in life, often growing up in

institutions. There's a lot of

input into getting the

emotional guts - I suppose guts

of the story right and real and

the flow of how a life might

go. The actors were an important part of developing

the play and the characters.

Vicki Van Hout relates

personally to her personally to her role. She's

looking for family ties. She's

looking for a sense of

belonging and looking for a

place to rest. The house was

purpose built for the play and

naturally there had to be a

shed. That's where the

character of Mel likes to hang

out. The house is set in the

grounds of a former mental institution where the patients

were locked up, often for

life. Echoes from that past

have heavily influfrnsed

fluefrnsed the show. I guess -

influenced the show. I guess

goose bumps every night. I feel

this building coming to me

every night. 'The Fence' is

being performed in Parramatta

and the audience will walk

through the grounds to take

their places in an

extraordinary backyard. To extraordinary backyard. To

the weather now - the heat may

have cleared but now we have to

contend with storms And which

tlai be widespread too. But

they're collapsing as they move

offer the ranges through Sydney

at the moment . Although there

is the odd thunderstorm still

mixed in with those showers. We

also have a severe thunderstorm

morning. That's current for

areas north of Scone to Taree.

There is the possibility of

heavy rain, damaging winds and

large hail with some of those storm

storm cells. After a warm

night, the day was dry in Sydney. Thunderstorm also ease over

the next hour or so but showers

rex pectd overnight through to

tomorrow morning. A cooler

change moved into the State

today and that produced some

strong winds. That also raced

dwus a dust storm at Cowra.

For NSW, today's For NSW, today's front will

stall and that will deposit a

front over the inland, leaving

the atmosphere unstable.

There's a low will push a front

into a State and clearing the weather up into

weather up into the north-east. Although showers and storm s

will be widespread, accumulated

falls above 10mm should be

mostly confined to the

south-east quarter of the


That's ABC News for now. I

will be back with updates

during the evening. The '7:30

Report' is next. From us,


Closed Captions by CSI

This Program is Captioned


CSR is an iconic brand here in Australia. in Australia. So they're not

just buying into a small

company. Tonight on the 7:30

Report, China's bid for a sweet

investment down-under. Foreign

investment is a good think. The

concern you always have is when the investment comes from a

state-owned enterprise. That

is, it is an arm of the

government. When Mac was born

and put into my arms I thought, wow

wow I've got an albino. And the

rare genetic condition

affecting thousands of

Australians. It's a sig sphig

ma. In Africa they're hunted

for their body art parts. I

bawled my eyes out for hours

and hours. Welcome to the

Welcome to the program. I'm

Heather Ewart. It's already our

biggest trading partner, but

China's huge appetite for

Australian resources is

sparking an investment boom.