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Live.

Tonight - Ashes lost, now the

post-match reviews are in. With

a young and relatively

inexperienced team is some ebbs and flows in

performance. Chilling new

details of an alleged terror

plot. A snap strike strands

commuters in Sydney's west, and

what's going on with the

weather?

Good evening, Juanita

Phillips with ABC News. The

death knell's rung, now

death knell's rung, now the

post-mortems have begun. The

loss of cricket's Ashes to

England overnight means the

once mighty Australians have

been beaten in three out of the

last five series, and in the

process they've surrendered their number one Test ranking.

The captain, his players and

the selectors have been called

to account with Ricky Ponting

the first Australian skipper to

lose two series in England in

more than a century. Peter

Wilkins reports on a

Wilkins reports on a day we

wore the sackcloth and the old

enemy won the Ashes. Lifting

this small trophy carries a

weightlessness of being that's

balanced by the pain of not

holding it. They've won the big moments, they've deserved to

win the series. Ricky Ponting's

mood deteriorating as the enormity of the defeat sunk

in. No, I don't think you can

disappointed than I am right probably get anymore

now. The task of scoring a

record 546 to win looked

impossible with the exit of

both openers early on day four.

But a flirtation with the

improbable came from Ponting...

COMMENTATOR: Not going down

without a fight. And Mike

Hussey who was doggedly playing

for his career. So many

emotions we went through today

- hope, kind of frustration,

ah, worry. Hussey had luck but

delivered the bad variety to

his captain. Could be tight.

Yes, it is tight! Now Flintoff,

the man. We needed a moment of

inspiration and we weren't

quite sure where it was going

to come from but you can't keep

Fred out of the game. There was another dose when Michael

Clarke was ricochetted out of

play. Hussey's belated century

punctuated a steady flow of

wickets, before the champagne

moment. Gone! That's it,

Michael Hussey last wicket to

goal. You couldn't have

written that script

better. Wounds were open. It's

a tragedy.? Not a good

feeling. Unlucky mate, really

unlucky son. England's player

of the series, their captain,

seemed in shock. Just amazing

relief once we took that final

wicket. While Australia came to

terms with the impact of losing

its lofty ranking in the game.

Vagaries in selection policy

were undermined by the stunning

omission of Nathan Hauritz on

the dusty pitch. The Test

series came down to us losing

key moments and England winning

key moments, not individuals. A

review is planned as the soul

searching begins. Particularly

at the selectors' level, I

think there's a public unease

about the selectors and has

been for some time. I don't

think that in any way we can

hold the selectors accountable

for us losing the Ashes. In the

abyss of defeat, Ponting wants

to continue. He's the best man

for the job at the

moment. Australia's

tribulations of little

consequence to the victimors.

More details have been heard in

court about an alleged

terrorist plot to attack

Sydney's Holsworthy Army Base. A Federal police officer has

told how some of the accused

were secretly recorded talking

about plans to kill as many as

ten people. The evidence came

as three of the accused men

applied for bail. Outside the

court, friends of the accused

men had a scuffle with a camera

crew. Inside, there was no

chance of that - eight security

guards manned the room.

Earlier this month, five men from Melbourne were charged

with plotting an attack.

They're accused of planning to

storm the Holsworthy Army Base

in Sydney, armed with guns.

Bail applications for the three

men - Nayef El Sayed, Saney

Aweys and Yacqub Khayre,

started today. AFP agent Chris

Salmon read to the court

conversations between the men

that police secretly recorded.

He said in July this year Aweys

called a Sheikh overseas, and

was recorded talking about

acquiring guns and rifles. He

said:

In May, accused man Wissam

Fattal was seen outside the

army base. In April, he was recorded telling El Sayed:

The court was also told

Khayre went to train with

terrorist group Al-Shabaab in Somalia and while there he

gained a fatwa that gave the

men permission to carry out the

alleged plot. Federal Police

told the court they opposed

bail because the men

represented an unacceptable

risk and that each of the

defendants had shown a

willingness to go to Somalia to

fight with Islamic insurgents.

El Sayed's lawyer Julian

McMahon disputed that there was

evidence to show his client

wanted to go to Somalia. The

hearing resumes tomorrow. The security of the Holsworthy Army

Base meanwhile has come under

scrutiny at a corruption

inquiry. The ICAC has heard

how guards at the base paid

$500 for the answer to test results to get their certification. The inquiry was

told the security trainer at

the centre of the allegations

splashed out on a new motorbike

and a holiday in Vanuatu on the

proceeds. The Holsworthy Army

Base is guarded by private

security officers. Today the

ICAC was told that guards at

the base, as well as hospitals,

airports and hotels have been

cheat Agnew competency, first

aid and English test. At the

opening of a hearing this

morning counsel assisting

Carolyn Davenport said for $500

test candidates could get

answers from Roger Training

School in Sydney's west. Simply

by obtaining the necessary work

book as well as a book or CD

containing the answers to the

questions in the workbook. In

18 months, the school issued

10,000 certificates. It kept

one of their trainers Drew

Highland, extremely busy with

splent of spare cash. We spent

$15,000 cash on a car for Gina.

He was also secretly recorded

by the ICAC, explaining to a

security guard how to rort the

exam.

But Mr Highland said not all the guards were able to pass

the test. He said some failed

if their English was so poor

they couldn't copy out the

answers he'd given them. The

company earnt more than $1

million in fees in recent

years. Its accreditation has

now been cancelled. The

hearing continues. The

corporate regulator has been given wider powers to supervise

financial markets, including the Australian Stock Exchange.

In recent years, the ASX has

been criticised over its dual

role as the market regulator

and a listed public company,

but under today's changes, the

Stock Exchange will be stripped

of its regulator role. The aim

is to eliminate potential

conflicts of interest. Bruised

and battered from the global

financial crisis, investors say

better stock market regulation

will offer more

will offer more hope. Some

small investors feel

disadvantaged because they feel other people are getting inside

runs, have knowledge that they

don't have access

to. Accountability is lacking

in the market, has been for

quite a long time.

For more than a decade, the

Australian Securities Exchange

has been leading a conflicted

double life as the share market

regulator and as a listed

company. It's important that

the supervision of Australia's

financial markets be transparent and independent. So, the Federal

Government says the corporate regulator, the Australian

securities and investments

commission, will take over next

year. All of the supervisory

powers over all of our licenced

markets together and putting

them with ASIC, is probably a

good move. More questions over

the ASX's ability to regulate

the market came with the near

collapse of Tricom Equities and

the subsequent collapse of Opes

Prime last year. Obviously the Government considered all

elements including cases of

some prominence. The directors of the Australian Stock

Exchange weren't talking on

camera today, but in a

statement, the company accepted

the reforms, saying they are

appropriate. The Government

will eventually consider

granting new licences to rival

exchange operators and on a day

the broader market surged,

shares in the ASX

shares in the ASX lost 2%. The

Federal Environment Minister

says the oil spill off Western

Australia will have no bearing

on whether the massive Gorgon

gas development gets the green

light. Peter Garrett is due to

make a decision shortly on the

$50 billion project. The oil

slick continues to grow from

the West at lass Rig in the

Timor Sea. Green groups say

the incident is an example of

the dangers of oil and gas

development and want the

Environment Minister to block

the Gorgon gas project on Barrow Island, but Peter Garrett says there's no link

between the two issues. No, I

don't think so. I think in

relation to Gorgon, that is a

proposal that has been very

carefully and closely assessed

over a period of time by both

the West Australian and the

Commonwealth Governments. The Federal Government says

Government agencies are

successfully thinning out the

oil spill with chemical

dispersant, but it will take a

number of weeks before the

spill is under control. The

Transport Minister has defended the Government's management of

the issue. This is a very

serious incident. Government

agencies were deployed straight

away. The national plan for

action on

action on pollution was put

into gear. But The Greens want

more information. There should

be a judicial inquiry with the

full backing of the Federal

Government, status of royal

commission, to find out what

caused this spill. The company

says a drill rig will leave

Singapore tomorrow, but it will

be almost three weeks before it

starts work on capping the

well. The industry's safety

regulator says there were no

previous safety breaches at the

site in the past 12 months. A

dangerous new postscript is emerging on the James Hardie scandal. According to

tonight's '7.30 Report', many

Australian homes still have carpet underlay containing

deadly asbestos fibres. The

underlay was made from hessian

bags, once used to transport

asbestos, and it's not just

homeowners at risk. The

workers who handled the bags

may be the latest victims of

the fatal disease, mesothelioma. Jo Grrgurich's

lungs are scarred from contact

with deadly asbestos fibres.

As a young man he collected and

sorted empty hessian bags from

the James Hardie factory in

Fremantle. Any that couldn't

be used again he sent to a

local carpet factory. Asbestos

is something that sticks and

the little needles in the

asbestos would be left in the

ute. Across the country, John

Downes is fighting asbestosis

after a similar job -

collecting bags from the Hardie

factory in Sydney. About a

million bags a year. That went on for year after

year? Yes. Now the Asbestos Diseases Society of Australia

says the fibres could have been

rolled out in thousands of

Australian homes as carpet

underlay. Carpets are very

dangerous, because with the

passage of time, you know,

people would walk on them, dust

would get closer to the

surface. Any process that

releases asbestos fibres into

the environment that people are

going to breathe is potentially dangerous. Western Australia

has investigated the current

level of danger posed by

asbestos in carpets. It

advises home owners to treat

all carpet with care. Most

importantly if they are going

to lift the carpet up, they get

it done professionally and they have the place professionally

cleaned for the dust and that

during the process. The warning

applies to all carpet laid

before the mid 1970s when the

practice of using the hessian

bags ended. And you can see

more on that story in the '7.30

Report', right after the news.

A second man has been charged

over the stabbing death of a teenager at Lidcombe.

16-year-old Peter Savage was

attacked while he was walking

home from a railway station in

1995. He was punched and

kicked, then stabbed in the

chest and robbed. A

58-year-old man was arrested at

Concord West this morning and

later charged. He was granted

conditional bail at Burwood

local court this afternoon. A

31-year-old man was charged

last week in relation to the

murder. Buses in Sydney's west

are on the road again, but only

after a chaotic morning peak

hour. More than 100 drivers

walked off the job over a dispute with a private

operator. The drivers are

angry about proposed timetable

changes, but the Industrial

Relations Commission has

described the strike as " industrial thuggery of the

worst kind". Schoolgirls hanging around a railway station in the morning might

normally be accused of time

wasting, but today they had a legitimate excuse - their bus

wasn't going to show up. We

should have been at school half

an hour ago. Students weren't

the only ones affected. The

strike also inconvenienced

others who rely on buses to

gets around. I'm very angry,

because I lived on me own for

28 years. Blacktown's Nagle

College had to use its own

mini-bus to ferry its students

to school, although some

students kept an open mind

about the delay. Well, I'm keen

to get to school, but I

understand the perspective of

the Busways' people. The

drivers say the pressures of a

new timetable to be rolled out

in October are unacceptable,

but they eventually agreed to

return to work after talks with

return to work after talks with management. Yeah, it is good to

see that the company has agreed

to talk, and that's what we

were about all the way through. Despite the disruption, drivers are standing by their actions and

even though they're back at

work, the dispute

continues. Nobody's helping us, we followed all the proper

legal systems to sort our

problems out and nothing ever

gets done. That's why today

occurred. The company has

apologised to its passengers

and for now at least, things

are back to normal. Tonight's

top story - Cricket Australia

says the Ashes defeat was due

to an inexperienced team and

was not the fault of captain

Ricky Ponting or the selectors.

Still to come - a record finish

at the World's.

Thousands of homeowners have

been evacuated from suburban

Athens as firefighters battle blazes threatening the Greek capital. High temperatures and

strong, unpredictable winds are

fanning flames across a 50 kilometre front. Firefighters

are stretched thin. They're

struggling to contain the

fires, in part because of a shortage of water bombing

planes. Help is on the way

from neighbouring countries,

but with more than two dozen

homes burnt to the ground,

it'll be too late for many. My

house, my parents' house is

here, my house is here and

we're never going to be able to

live here and be the same

again. The fires have had a devastating impact on the

environment. About 12,000

hectares of land has been

destroyed. There's still no

official result in the Afghan

election. President Hamid

Karzai claims to have won it,

but he's been accused of

electoral fraud by his main

challenger. As vote counting

continues, Australian forces

are focusing on hunting down

the Taliban. South Asian

correspondent Sally Sara is

with Australian troops in

Uruzgan Province. Australian

troops pushed their way through

the greenery, hunting for the

Taliban. They stay off the pathways, because of the danger

of improvised explosive

devices. Rockets were fired at

a polling station and

Australian troops not far from

here. Now, the search is on

for the insurgents who carried

out the attack. The villages

say they're too scared to go

out because of the Lieutenant.

Young Australian Lieutenant

Travis Peet says residents for

information about the Taliban.

His soldiers keep a close watch

for any insurgents. This is dangerous territory, but the

interaction with the locals is

crucial. There's no point patrolling and not talking to the locals, because you're

defeating yourself. They'll

think you're arrogant walking

through the fields and stuff.

You have to talk to them all

the time. One man hands over a letter delivered by insurgents

two days before the election.

two days before the election. It says they should keep out

from the place of election. It

warns villagers to beware of a

Taliban offensive. It's part

of the intimidation campaign against civilians. This man says no-one could read it, so

they took it to the local

teacher. The Australian troops

search for weapons, but the

Taliban are illusive. Their

hit and run tactics make the

tafg more difficult for

Coalition forces. -- task more

difficult. The holy month of

Ramadan has just started. It's

unclear whether that will mean

an increase or decrease in

attacks, but Coalition forces

remain on alert. As political

uncertainty continues in the

capital Kabul, Australian and

Coalition troops are trying to

maintain security. Necessity

has become the mother of

invention in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli blockade has prevented many essential

products reaching the territory including building materials.

Tired of waiting for a

political breakthrough, one

engineer is using recycling

ingenuity and ancient

construction methods to get the

job done. Middle East

correspondent Ben Knight

reports from Gaza. This is one

of Gaza's few construction

sites. There are hundreds of

buildings that need repair

after the war, but Israel won't

allow the raw materials in, so

at this school for disabled

children they're using what

they do have - mud and

rubble. There is around two

million tonnes of rubble in

Gaza because of the war, and

from this rubble we want to

build. Maher Batrouh is an

engineer who used to work for

major organisations like the

Saudi Oil Ministery. Now he's

teaching Gazan concreters and

plasterers to make mud bricks,

trying to beat the closure of

their border. The closure make

the man thinking, how to fine

another solution. In the eight

months since the war very

little has changed in Gaza.

Even wood is hard to get, but

Maher Batrouh has found a way

around that, too. We make this

one from recycling the plastic

from rubbish. I visited this

vacant block in January after

the ceasefire, the tents were

still there. For almost eight

months, this has been this

family's kitchen and this is

the bathroom. It's the peak of

summer and it is incredibly hot

and you can imagine what the

conditions must be like in

here. Abdel Rahman Al

Marghousi is a construction

worker, who like many, has been

unemployed because of the lack

of building materials. He just

wants the Israeli blockade to

end. TRANSLATION: These

children have a right to live

like other children, what's

wrong with asking for this? If

he does find work again, it may

well be on a site like this.

Onto finance now, and a surprisingly strong pick-up in American new home sales over

the weekend has lifted global

markets. The Australian market

jumped 3% - the biggest rise in

six weeks. Here's finance

correspondent, Phillip Lasker.

Today proves one thing -

there's no relationship between the performance of the sharemarket and the Australian

cricket team, although to put a

positive spin on things, the

market is within 4 points of

where it was when Australia

last lost the Ashes in 2005,

and we know it went on to

bigger and better things.

Today was all about signs and

hopes of a global recovery

thanks to positive news from

the US housing sector, and a

pick-up in metals prices.

Investors dived into resource,

banking and building stocks.

But there's pain out there -

Fairfax Media reported a loss

of $380 million for the year to

June after falling advertising

revenue forced it to write down

the value of its newspapers. A

healthy profit from engineering

firm Worley Parsons was

overshadowed by a cautious

outlook, and the listed vehicle

of financial group Babcock &

Brown has gone into

liquidation. The snapshot of

the Australian economy came

from motor vehicle sales, which

fell nearly 7% in July - the

weakest monthly result in more

than 8 years, but passenger car

sales weren't responsible for dragging down the performance.

It was sales of utes, advance,

trucks and buses shown in this

graph. The expiry of the

Government's tax rebate for big

business has seen the biggest

monthly fall on record after a

big rise. Over the next few

months the Reserve Bank, which

sets official interest rates,

will be keeping an eye on how

the withdrawal of the Government's stimulus measures

affect the economy. So this

sort of behaviour is important,

but of course, the prospects of

a global recovery will also be

part of the equation. That was played out on currency as well

as equity markets. The

Australian dollar was generally

stronger trading well above US

83 cents. That's finance. The

Rudd Government is edging

towards a backdown on changes

to student allowances. Julia

Gillard has been talking to

students directly about plans

to change the rules for youth

allowance. They're unhappy

about it. They want some of

the measures to be delayed so

that students currently taking

a gap year aren't affected. We

do understand that there are

some transition issues. I've

received that feedback today.

I've received it as I've moved

round the country and I will

think about what's been said to

me today by some very bright

vivacious young people who have

come to Canberra to put their

views. Students say they left

the meeting with the impression

that the minister will give

ground for those currently on a

gap year. The Supreme Court

has found that the law firm

cedies grossly overcharged a

client. He wore a sandwich

board with his legal bills

alleging he was overcharged.

The Supreme Court cost assessor

agreed those charges were

grossly excessive. I'm

extremely delighted, because

I've seen the justice

happening. Keddies has been

ordered to repay him. His wife

and daughter will be refunded

$5,000 each. The law firm says

it's extremely disappointed in

the court's decision. The

former Test rugby star Lote

Tuquiri has withdrawn legal action against the NSW and Australian rugby administrations over his

sacking last month. The ARU

says a settlement was reached

after mediation. Australia has

recorded its best result at a

World Athletics Championships.

The 4 x 400m relay team ran

third on the night of final competition lifting Australia

to 10th in the overall

standings. Until last night,

Australia's only medals were in

the field events - gold in the

men's pole vault and women's

discus and bronze in the men's

long jump. The 4 x 400m relay team were determined to fix that. John Steffenson didn't make a big impression during

the opening leg, but his team-mates Ben

team-mates Ben Offereins,

Tristan Thomas and Sean Wroe

ensured an exciting climax to

the world titles by taking

third place behind the United States and Great

Britain. Finished with such great guys. It was a pleasure

to work with them. It's one of

the best relay teams I've been

involved with. Australia's Mark

Webber was ninth as Brazilian

Rubens Barrichello powered his

Brawn to victory in the European Formula One Grand

Prix. Barrichello's first win

in 85 races took him to second

place in the driver standings.

Championship leader Jenson

Button's hopes faded

early. This has been a shocking

start by Jenson Button. And

defending world titleholder

Lewis Hamilton wasted valuable

seconds when a second pitstop

caught his McLaren crew

offguard. The next race is in

Belgium on Sunday.

Switzerland's Roger Federer has

cemented his favouritism for

next week's US Open, with a

6-1, 7-5 win over Serbia's

Novak Djokovic in the

Cincinnati Masters final. I'm

on top of my game and if I can

keep it up I've got a good

chance at the Open. And

Australia has beaten New

Zealand's Tall Blacks 84-77 in

the opening game of the Oceania

Basketball Championship. Joe

Ingles top scored with 26

points for the Boomers. The

teams meet again tomorrow night

in Wellington. It is still

winter, not that you'd know it.

Temperatures in the State's

north hit a 100-year high for

August. Thermometers topped 36

degrees in Lismore, 15 above

average. Locals looking to

close down were out of luck,

the best option was

unavailable. The unseasonal

spell brought high winds to

Sydney's west, causing some

property damage. At this time

of the year we see a clash of

the cold polar air and the warm

continental air, as they clash

you get strong winds. It's not

out of the question to have wide swings of temperature. Queenslanders

sweltered today w some people

in Brisbane trading briefcases

for boardies. It looks like

we're in for a windy night

here, Graham.

A severe weather warning for

damaging winds covers an area

south and east of Sydney

through to Orange and down to

Albury. Gusts in excess of

90km/h are possible overnight

and they'll reach over 125km/h

in the alpine areas. Today's

cool change arrived around 10

o'clock in Sydney and that's

when we recorded our top of

24-25 degrees. Winds becoming

gusty again overnight, but

we're looking at the peak gusts

at around 7 tomorrow morning as

the next front rolls through

Sydney. Temperatures rose as

we saw in that recent story up to 14 degrees above average.

This is the front that has

instigated and severe weather

warning across NSW as winds

increase ahead of it. The

front will cross much of the

State well before sun rise and

then the winds will gradually

ease behind it as a high

stabilises the weather on

Wednesday and Thursday. But

then a more impressive cloud

band is expected to move into

the State by the weekend. Now

rain tomorrow will be light,

because the air underneath, or

over the State is very dry, but

the weakened system looks more promising for more decent

widespread falls.

After a

dry month, we should see decent

falls over the inland. That is ABC News for this

Monday. The '7.30 Report' is

next, and I'll be back with

updates during the evening.

Goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI

Tonight on the 7.30 Report -

the killer under the

carpet. The bags were like

threaded to make underfelt.

Asbestos dust would be in that

underfelt. Fears that thousands

of homes may contain a hidden legacy of the asbestos industry. Carpet underfelts

from these bags is definitely

potentially dangerous. And, can

Australia's cricket hopes rise

from the Ashes? I would hope

that what will come out of

this... well Ricky Ponting will

say "Well look, I want to lead

this country in three years'

time, and to an Ashes victory".

Welcome to the program, and

first health, one of the

tougher decisions in the last

Federal Budget was to halve the