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(generated from captions) This program is not subtitled This program is captioned live. Tonight - John Howard takes Indonesia's latest rebuke on the chin. Let's not lapse into a tit-for-tat exchange. Israel strikes back after a deadly suicide bombing. The drug for brittle bones that also fights breast cancer. And... ..Elvis impersonators heading for Heartbreak Hotel. Good evening. Juanita Phillips with ABC News. Indonesia may have vented its fury over Papuan asylum seekers in Australia, but it's failed to get a rise out of the Prime Minister. He's refused to respond to President Yudhoyono's demand to stop insulting his country. John Howard is instead dispatching his top diplomat to Jakarta to try to arrest the decline in relations. He's praised the President and tightened refugee laws,

but still John Howard gets a terse lecture from Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono: ...he thundered in a public speech. I'm not going to get into an exchange of words of a tit-for-tat nature with the President. 30-year diplomat-turned-author Tony Kevin believes Indonesia has now got Australia's measure and that timidity will only make things worse. The more deferential we are, the more humiliated we will be. The real concern here is that the PM will further back down to appease Jakarta.

We haven't bent over backwards at all. With Indonesia's ambassador to Canberra sitting in Jakarta, Australia is sending Michael l'Estrange, the head of the Foreign Affairs Department, to the capital on Friday, ignoring complaints by nationalist politicians

that no-one less than a minister is good enough. It makes very good sense for our most senior diplomatic official, as distinct from a minister, to just explain the new laws that we're putting in place. Alexander Downer made the offer to his Indonesian counterpart in a phone conversation last week. The Government hopes the l'Estrange mission will clear the way for higher diplomatic contact. And then, after that, probably contact between the President and myself. Not only have the Government's changes to refugee laws failed to impress Jakarta, they've also upset the UN. Its High Commission for Refugees has indicated it won't help process asylum claims in Nauru and Papua New Guinea. By dealing with it the way we have, the diplomatic crisis is worse than it was previously. But Mr Howard says he make no apologies. Greg Jennet, ABC News, Canberra. Federal police officers have been caught up in angry clashes in the Solomon Islands.

Six Australian officers have been injured - one with a broken jaw - as protestors set fire to cars and looted businesses. The violence began outside the parliament building after the new prime minister was sworn in. The situation is still quite unsettled. I've had a briefing through my office from the High Commissioner in Honiara and it does appear to be a reaction to the election outcome. Australia has a long-term commitment to the Solomon Islands. There are 280 Australian officers in Honiara as part of the regional peacekeeping force. The situation is now believed to be under control. It's been described as welfare for the wealthy,

but tonight,

the Prime Minister has staunchly defended the Government's system of family tax benefits. In a speech in Canberra, he rejected calls by the Opposition to axe benefits paid to the rich and direct money instead to struggling two-income families. With the Budget due in three weeks and his Government staring down calls for a complete overhaul of the tax system, the Prime Minister has hit back at Opposition claims that the family tax benefits system punishes working mothers and gives welfare to the well-off. Those who seek to denigrate what we've done constantly refer to family tax benefits as 'middle-class welfare'. They are nothing of the kind. Labor has renewed its attack on family payments

to stay-at-home parents from millionaire households. It says payments should cut out once families are earning $250,000 a year and much more should be done for lower-paid 2-income households. We're taking 70 cents in the dollar off every extra dollar people earn and instead we're paying millionaires over $3,000 a year because their partners don't work. But John Howard points to Treasury figures showing

that nearly 40% of families will receive more in benefits than they'll pay in income tax this financial year and he says cutting payments to households earning over $250,000 a year would only save $6 million. In government, Labor would have a much tighter income test which would affect tens of thousands of single-income Australian families who could by no stretch of the imagination be described as rich. No amount of loopy scare campaigns from the Prime Minister should stop him from reforming the system, putting incentive in the system and fixing the problem. But with Liberals convinced that the family payments are a vote winner, John Howard's ruled out means testing even as the Government ducks questions about

on Budget night. what it really has in mind ABC News, Canberra. Craig McMurtrie, the family tax system tonight, Well, as John Howard defended

a major new study's come out working mothers. saying it disadvantages The report says the scheme from returning to work discourages women can be penalised and those who do their income in tax. by losing up to half of two young boys Debbie Baxter is a mother from Sydney's south-west and this working mum of the Family Tax Benefits system. isn't a fan you take the initiative The fact that to return to the work force

basically penalised and then you're for having that initiative,

it''s really upsetting. was 18 months old, When her second son close to home. she was offered a good job

cost her money. But returning to work the Family Tax Benefit She had to pay back she'd received that year after the costs of child care. and her pay packet was meagre maybe $100, $120 a week It would have been $100, take-home pay. Or just $6 an hour. Add in the loss of benefits and she was really getting for three days work. a little over $40 So it's a very unfair system very negative effects and it also has on the labour supply. has completed a new study Professor Patricia Apps is penalising working mothers and it shows the tax system in two-income households. the study shows Analysing the latest figures, in low- to middle-income households that second earners of up to 50%. face average tax rates they lose half their income In other words, disincentive effect, and that has a very significant

to go out to work in a lot of cases. so they simply can't afford tax system a dubious distinction. And it's given Australia's average tax rates on second earners It now has the highest of any comparable OECD country. to encourage more women And if Australia wants after they have children, to return to work that needs to change. Stephen Long, ABC News, Sydney. Palestinian Authority responsible Israel is holding the for yesterday's suicide bomb attack. Nine people were killed outside a restaurant when the bomb went off in a crowded street in Tel Aviv. has denounced the bombing. The Palestinian President the Palestinian Authority But Hamas, which now controls has provoked international outrage by saying the attack was justified. Matt Brown Middle East correspondent reports from Tel Aviv. on the spot. The blast killed five people after they were rushed to hospital More died of their wounds were injured. and at least 30 others This is the same exact location a couple of months ago. that we had a bomb in more than 1.5 years. This is the deadliest attack and spattered with blood. Cars at the scene were battered to smash windows The blast was strong enough in a high-rise across the road. Islamic Jihad The Palestinian militant group claimed responsibility. the fresh-faced bomber It released a video of posing and reading a statement his deadly mission. before he embarked on the debris, As investigators combed through Ehud Olmert, told the nation Israel's interim Prime Minister, the necessary fashion. he will respond in Mahmoud Abbas, The Palestinian President, an act of terror. branded the blast ruling party, Fatah, condemned it. And members of Abbas's former targeting civilians, As we have always condemned attacks whether Palestinians or Israelis. harms Palestinian interests. Such attacks Hamas, But the Islamist militant group the Palestinian Authority, says which now runs

resistance to Israeli occupation. the attack was a legitimate act of The Palestinian Authority the international community is being denied aid by violence against Israel. because Hamas refuses to renounce will increase that pressure. And its reaction to this bombing

a mix of frustration and grief. At the scene, Israelis showed (Man shouts in Hebrew) to hit back hard. Some called on their government a security clampdown and a curfew This attack occurred despite in the Palestinian territories will now be under pressure and the government to come up with a firm response. Matt Brown, ABC News, Tel Aviv. by launching an attack in Gaza City. Israel has responded fired a missile A helicopter gunship

that the Israeli Army says at a metal workshop for bomb-making. was used by militants much of the building The airstrike flattened of injuries. but there were no reports fatigue and alcohol Police are blaming speed, in New South Wales. for a shocking Easter road toll at national measures They'll now look at which cars can be driven. to limit the speed Overnight, two men died with a 4WD near Gilgandra. when their car collided head-on Investigators say

on the wrong side of the road. the car was travelling to nine The deaths take the Easter toll to 186. and the State's annual road toll than at this time last year. That's 42 more to have a speed limit of 120km/h. Some police want cars to lobby the manufacturers. There is opportunity there And this week I'll be meeting in Canberra with my interstate colleagues regarding road safety issues I'll bring to the table. and this is one item were caught speeding over Easter. Police say more than 11,000 drivers Bilal Skaf Notorious gang rapist has been found guilty again in a retrial. Because of a new law, and an associate the case against Skaf was able to go ahead - even though their victim was not prepared to go through the ordeal of giving evidence a second time. Their original convictions were quashed after two jurors conducted their own investigations. The retrial of Bilal Skaf and his younger associate,

who can't be identified because he was a juvenile at the time, may never have happened if it wasn't for new State legislation. It allows the victim's evidence from the first trial to be read to the jury to save her the ordeal of testifying again. The victim in this matter had refused to go ahead with any subsequent retrial and the new legislation gave her a second chance. But the Law Society believes the new legislation deprives an accused person of a fair trial. This is totally wrong and everyone's entitled to a fair trial. The problem, again, is the jury cannot assess the character or the credibility of any evidence at all if they don't have the ability to cross-examine. The two men are already serving lengthy jail terms

for a string of gang rapes. In this attack, the teenager was set upon by a gang of 14 men at Gosling Park and repeatedly assaulted. Bilal Skaf and his associate were first convicted of this offence in 2002. The retrial was ordered when it was discovered two jurors had visited Gosling Park at night to see how easy it would have been for the victim to identify her attackers.

Today, as a guilty verdict was delivered for a second time,

the two men appeared unmoved. A sentencing hearing will be held next week for Skaf's rape conviction

and his associates role as an accessory. Jayne Margetts, ABC News, Sydney. Melbourne has experienced its biggest city fire in more than 10 years. Nearly 200 firefighters took several hours to contain the massive blaze at a mattress factory.

Nearby businesses were evacuated and residents told to stay indoors as a massive plume of smoke, initially thought to be toxic, poured out of the burning factory. The blaze started at a foam mattress company in the city's south-east.

It destroyed three buildings. Workers who fled one of the nearby businesses said the fire spread incredibly quickly. Saw these flames, you know, 10 or 15 feet high and all that, and I said, "Look, just get everyone out", and that's what I did - got everyone out nice and calmly. Then within 5 minutes our place was just alit. Fire investigators are yet to determine how the blaze started. If you're planning on buying property in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, now's the time. A survey of Australia's leading property experts shows most believe house prices are still in a slump and will be for a while. AUCTIONEER: $442,000 is the bid! The buyers are still turning up for auctions, But the latest survey of Australia's leading property experts suggests there's no rush. Sold to you, sir, congratulations! Despite sales like this, residential property prices are stalled in the nation's three biggest cities. Certainly suffered a big slump in values in most segments of the market, and that will continue. After surveying influential property analysts and fund managers, the Australian Property Institute has even developed a so-called 'property clock' to gauge the market. Brisbane, at 2 o'clock, is past the peak

of its residential boom. Both Sydney, at 4 o'clock and Melbourne, even later at 5:00, are still on their way to the bust part of the cycle. But it's a better picture for retail real estate. into the shops - The big funds are pouring money capital that not so long ago into residential investments. would've have gone into more profitable returns, They've diverted some of those funds

in the property cycle, is retail. which, at this stage predictions by property experts These results are essentially is going to happen. about what they think The question is, those predictions been in the past? just how accurate have previous surveys have been collated To come up with an answer, happened in the property market. and compared to what actually They've come up reasonably well. in the various market sectors. They tend to get the turning points If that record holds, turnaround won't be happy. those hoping for a quick In Australia's three biggest cities, won't be over until 2008. the experts predict the bust Norman Hermant, ABC News. to treat weak bones, It's a drug that was designed much more than that. but it's turned out to be Raloxifene Scientists have found that of breast cancer. can also halve the risk Not only that, side effects of other drugs. it doesn't have the terrible the National Cancer Institute Researchers at Raloxifene, or Evista, gave the bone-strengthening drug at high risk of breast cancer. to 10,000 post-menopausal women standard prevention drug, Tamoxifen. The same number was given the of developing breast cancer Both drugs reduced the risk by about 50%. for Raloxifene. But the side effects were much lower risk and who are post-menopausal, For those women who are at high this study provides real hope to prevent the disease that we might be able

consequences. and not suffer significant Those women given Raloxifene and 29% fewer blood clots had 36% fewer uterine cancers than the women given Tamoxifen. oestrogen receptors in breast cells. The medication works by blocking for use in Australia The drug is only approved to treat osteoporosis. that makes the drug says A spokesman for the company it's still deciding whether to apply Administration to the Therapeutic Goods to use the drug for breast cancer. Australian doctors say more women at risk of breast cancer the findings might encourage to take preventative drugs. an alternative to some women I think this drug gives which has less side effects for osteoporosis. and is also good and heart disease was the same The incidence of stroke and newer drugs, for both the older did not reduce precancerous cells, and while Raloxifene the older drug, Tamoxifen, did. Sophie Scott, ABC News.

Tonight's top story - to respond in kind the Prime Minister is refusing asylum seekers. to Indonesian fury over Papuan And still to come - to possibly no business from show business for Elvis impersonators. And it looks like we'll be paying at the petrol pump an even higher price nuclear jitters. as a result of those a record high overnight World oil prices reached today. and continued their upward march it's only a matter of time Analysts say to the price of petrol. before that flows through of world commodity markets. Fear and greed have taken hold in the marketplace. There is excessive speculation regarding the nuclear stalemate Obviously the tension is the key factor here. Iran's nuclear ambitions fearing war or sanctions have left highly-strung oil traders fourth-largest oil producer. against the world's crude oil price It's seen the West Texas surge almost 20% in a month in Asian trading. to hit a record US$70.78 a barrel through to the petrol bowsers. Today's prices have yet to flow to work in a business Adam Masters is lucky enough from soaring energy prices, which has benefited

has not been so fortunate. but his parents' trucking company running these trucks. It's not worthwhile There's no advantage. a distinct possibility $1.50 a litre now seems Woolworths chief Roger Corbett, and that's the mark of the Reserve Bank board, who's now a member some real economic pain. said could trigger Well, certainly if oil prices start to generate we're getting to, you know, the type of petrol to $1.50 and above - will have an effect. yeah, that certainly able to cope with $1.10, $1.20. But the market seems to be

from there. But the market has moved on Phillip Lasker, ABC News. To finance now pushed the local share market and those rising oil prices to a new record high today. Alan Kohler has the details. jumping about last night. Oil wasn't the only commodity Gold had its biggest rise after the 2001 terrorist attacks, since the first day of trading to a new record high silver jumped 4% nearly 3%. and the copper price rose Now, since the start of last year a graph of the oil and gold prices makes interesting viewing. hit its record high last August. That's because when the oil price Gold did not follow. that happened, It was about the first time higher oil meant inflation because in the past flocking to gold. which brings investors few inflation fears There were and still are around gold and oil - but this time are rising together geopolitical tensions, because it's about and safe-haven buying of gold. leading to speculative buying of oil

on Wall Street overnight, All of which caused a sell off in Australia today. and the exact opposite mining and oil companies, No surprise that like BHP Billiton and Woodside, of their commodities, went up with the prices like Woolworths but the fact that retailers led by CBA, and all of the banks, also rose strongly, to a new record of 5200, helping the All Ordinaries was quite amazing. Despite widespread predictions a week ago

that the local market was due for a fall, having gone up 8% in a month without taking a breath, the All Ordinaries index only eased 62 points in the week before Easter, and then recovered all of it, and a bit more, today. Toll Holdings and Patrick Corp were almost sidelined

in all this action - but not quite. After Patrick finally capitulated to Toll on Good Friday, Toll's share price jumped 9% today to $14.33. And finally, the Australian dollar went above US$0.74 today, but is currently sitting just below that. And that's finance. Australian author Geraldine Brooks has won the Pulitzer prize for fiction. The book 'March' is her second novel. It's set in the American Civil War and follows the life of the absent father

from the classic novel 'Little Women'. The former Sydney Morning Herald journalist now lives in America and says winning the Pulitzer came as a complete surprise.

The book's going to get read by people who wouldn't have otherwise been aware of it, which is fantastic, 'cause you write a book and you hope lots of people will read it. It's very, very unexpected and delightful. Along with the coveted award comes a cheque for US $10,000. One month ago, Jason Gillepsie was in the Test wilderness. Now, after returning to the Australian team in Bangladesh as a fast bowler, Gillespie has achieved a cricket rarity as a batsman. Gillespie has joined an elite few batsmen

to have scored a century as a night watchman - it was Gillespie's first Test hundred. Fashioning a return to Test cricket, Jason Gillespie has had an impact with the bat as well as the ball in Bangladesh, though not all of it was well-received. Partnering his captain Ricky Ponting, both players grafted out half centuries each

before the skipper left a disappointed man. Mike Hussey showed a little more urgency as Australia attempted to grind out a healthy first-innings lead. Gillespie prodded and poked his way to his highest Test score. Hussey was more than a spectator as Gillespie rode his luck to move stylishly towards an unlikely firt Test 100. And yes - he delivered. And 100 for Jason Gillespie - look at that. Ricky Ponting's animated discussion about a video decision taken by the third official on Day 1 has cost him a quarter of his match fee. The punishment for dissent was handed out by ICC match referee Jeff Crowe who found that Ponting breached a condition that players may not appeal to an umpire to use the replay system. South Australia's Mark Cosgrove has regularly been tipped as a future national player. Now he's got the chance. The stylish batsman and tall paceman Brett Dorey are into the one-day squad for three matches against Bangladesh,

replacing Damien Martyn and Stuart Clark. Redoute's Choice was the star sire of last year's Easter yearling sales. 12 months on, nothing's changed. Yet this colt out of Urge to Merge fetched the day's highest bid - $2 million. He'll be trained by David Hayes for a New Zealand bloodstock agency. Another Redoute's Choice colt out of Singles Bar

was the early pacesetter. Sold! Lee Freedman buys for $1,600,000. He's one of the better Redoute's Choices and he looks a ready-made 2-year-old, so expect hopefully to see him in the Golden Slipper next year. In the strongest starts ever to the sales, seven yearlings went for more than $1 million, with an average in excess of $260,000. Almost 500 lots will go under the hammer over three days. Elvis may have left the building -

now anyone who impersonates him may have to do the same. The owners of the Elvis name and image are talking about forcing Elvis impersonators to enter licence agreements and that's bad news for thousands of entertainers who make a living out of looking, and sometimes singing, like the King. (Sings) # Big boss man, can't you hear me when I call? # Elvis tribute artists around the world are concerned about their futures in the entertainment industry. Obviously, it's gonna have a huge effect on what I do because I've spent the last 10 years developing a show that has become one of the world's best Elvis shows. This is not harming anybody, this is nothing bad. The estimated 30,000 Elvises in the United States could face legal action

for unauthorised imitations of 'The King',

and now Australian Elvises are voicing their concerns. My show's called 'Elvis Leaves His Mark' and, obviously, if this all comes to the crunch I won't be able to use the word 'Elvis' at all.

Mark Andrew threw in his career as a hairdresser to become a full-time entertainer. 80% of his income is derived from Elvis performances. I feel that I am introducing a whole new generation to Elvis music. There's even a market for teaching the gospel according to elvis. (Sings) # There must be peace and understanding sometime... # For Australian Elvises there is a glimmer of hope. In the United States,

they have property rights on the image of a person - the whole get-up, Elvis image - they're called publicity rights, but we don't have equivalent laws here. And while we have trademarks, trademark law wouldn't prevent someone from describing themselves as an Elvis impersonator. I can't see there's a legal issue. So while the name might need to be changed, the show can go on. Guy Stayner, ABC News. And we accept no substitutes - here's the original Mike Bailey with the weather. Thanks, Juanita. Good evening. Plenty of cloud over parts of NSW today, but not much rain, except in the Hunter. Sydney scored just an isolated spot or two, but those grey skies moved in early enough to stop temperatures reaching their predicted highs. The coastal range of 14-25 still produced a maximum that was 1-above average. Right now it's 23.3 degrees. Pressure is rising. It was warm around the State's main centres today. As for rain, it moved into the south-west of NSW yesterday. afternoon. The Hunter scored best this Around the nation - Adelaide was the wettest. At the moment,

the north of the continent has Cyclone Monica coming. It's strong, but currently a Category 2. Scattered thunderstorms about tomorrow. Showers in Melbourne, Hobart and Adelaide. As for NSW, isloated showers and thunderstorms in the northern and north-east areas.

Sydney - mostly sunny tomorrow. Tops of 29 and 30 expected for the inland suburbs. Fine and mostly sunny, but a change coming through on Friday. And before we go, a recap of tonight's top stories. The Prime Minister is sending his top diplomat to Jakarta to try to heal the rift sparked by the granting of temporary visas to 42 Papuan asylum seekers. John Howard has strongly defended the Government's family benefits scheme, against criticism that working mothers are unfairly penalised by the tax system. And the drug Raloxifene, used to treat osteoporosis, has been found to also prevent breast cancer in high-risk women.

And that's ABC News for this Tuesday.

I'm Juanita Phillips. I'll be back with an update in an hour and 'Lateline' is along at about 10:30. We'll leave you with the rising toll from floodwaters devastating south-eastern Europe. Good night. Closed Captions produced by Captioning and Subtitling International Pty Ltd

The bottom line subpoena we have to

get useded to the higher oil prices.

Tonight - bracing for more pain at

the pump. Will the latest oil shock

let the inflation genie back out of

the bottle? We are living through

our third oil shock and the last

our third oil shock and the last two ended really badly for the world

ended really badly for the world and for Australia. I see a crisis

looming. There's not a whole lot

looming. There's not a whole lot we can do about it. We just have great

difficulty getting Australians

willing to work with honey bees.

And to bee or not to bee. The

And to bee or not to bee. The labour shortage that could have a major

flow-on effect. Whilst they are

small in numbers, they have an

enormous impact overall. We don't