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ABC News (Sydney) -

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Live.

Tonight - a Christmas pledge

to halve homelessness by

2020. And to provide

accommodation to all rough

sleepers in Sydney. Relief for

families - the free school

travel U-turn. It's clear to me

that we got that policy

wrong. A perfect rescue for one

lucky sailor. And South Africa

complete the biggest Test-run chase in Australia.

Good evening, Felicity Davey

with ABC News. Kevin Rudd is

setting out to achieve what

others have failed to deliver -

a substantial reduction in the

rate of homelessness. As most Australians prepare for Christmas, the Prime Minister

has released his plan to boost

housing and to get the

destitute off the streets. It

includes some ambitious

long-term goals, but there's no

guarantee that they'll be

achieved. For 100,000

Australians... How long have

you been here. It's a life of

hard knocks. Used to do a lot

of bad things. Breaking the

cycle of poverty confound of

the powerful. It's time we had

a decent solution for this

problem, which has been around

for a long time. He promised to

make homelessness a priority,

and a year on he delivered a

White Paper, which has, at its

core, two goals - to halve the number of homeless Australians

by 2020, and provide

accommodation for the 16,000 sleeping on the

streets. Australians are a

decent people. It's Christmas.

But, you know, we need a

solution which is not just for Christmas, we need a solution

for the long-term, that's what

this policy is all about. The

funding boost to achieve it was

announced when premiers met

last month. Kevin Rudd will

spend the extra $1 billion on

housing and other homeless

services This is a bold strategy, it's very ambitious

and visionary. I'll tell you

about the system. It's one

target with wide backing. It's

good to set high goals. The

challenge then is to achieve

them. Ambition on homelessness,

as history proves can return to

haunt a Prime Minister, which

is why a target set for 12

years into the future and

probably beyond the life of

this Government is an easier

one to make. I know it's a bit

tough out there. Tough and

getting tougher in the global

financial crisis. What we don't

want to see is people losing

their homes because they are

losing their jobs. A secure

job, secure income, is the best

proof against homelessness. We

are realistic about the fact

that this problem can't be

total by fixed, but we know we

can fix a lot of it. At this

time of year most agree. Happy

contribution. It's worth

trying. A textbook operation -

that's how navy officers

describe the residue of the

injured French sailor Yann

Elies in the Southern Ocean,

the lone sailor is reoffering

on board the Australian navy

trigate HMAS 'Arunta', he was

competing in a round-the-world

yacht race when he broke his

legs, drifting 800 or so

nautical miles off the Western

Australian coast where a number

of other racers came to his

aid. In treacherous seas and

conditions, French sailor Yann

Elies was retrieved by his

Australian rescuers. The rescue

team was cheered on by another

sailor in the yacht race in which Mr Yann Elies was

competing. It took over an hour

to treat and transfer the

sailor to the frigate HMAS

'Arunta'. And affected a rescue

in a textbook method, safe and

well done, retrieved the

casualty, did some repairs to

the boat and we are heading

north with the casualty on board. Yann Elies had been

competing in a round-the-world

yacht race when a big wave hit

his broke, he broke his leg and

fractured some ribs, Yann Elies

crawled inside the cabin,

calling for help, where he

collapsed. He stayed for two

days, unable to reach a medical

kit or little to ate or

drink. They had to put a

medical team on board,

stabilise him and get him off

on a director. Stephen Langford

Royal Flying Doctor Service, is a medical director with the

he's been in contact with David

McIlroy, who is on the HMAS

'Arunta'. Once given pain

relief and anaesthetic he was

put on a rescue stretcher,

transferred across from the lines were attached and he was

yacht to the rib, the

inflatable boat. Yann Elies

joins a lists of sailors res

dude by the Australian navy, including Britain Tony

Bullimore, and French sailors

Thi Ry Duboir and Isobelle Autissier. Yann Elies will be

transferred to a hospital. Race

officials will salvage his

yacht, left drifting on

autopilot. After months of

pressure, the State Government

backed down on its unpopular

decision to charge children

school trachl. The plan was

unveiled in the -- travel. The

plan was unveiled in the mini

budget. A backtracking Premier

today admitted he got it

wrong. For the past 40 years

the Government footed the

entire bill for school travel.

In the lead-up to the mini

Budget the argument for that to

change was clear. At five times

the cost of other State

schemes, that's money we could

spend on other front line

services such as schools,

hospitals, roads. After some

number crunching the Government developed a different view of

its finances. The money meant

to have been saved by this was

in the order of $30 million,

it's less than $1,000 for the

total state Budget. In the end

the decision to scrap a contentious decision was a

simple one. I have done lots of

school speech days, been to a

lot of community events and

spoken with mums and dads. It's

clear to me we got that policy

wrong. The U-turn welcomed by

parents. We are welcoming the

fact that community

consultation is effective in

this instance and Government

appears to listen to what

community wants, it's a welcome

change. The Opposition has its

own view on what motivated the

change of heart. The only thing

that got the Premier to change

is opinion polls showing his

Labor understands is opinion days are nxed. The only thing

polls. The Opposition says if

the Government wants to save

money it should stop paying the

600 public servants who it says

remain on the books but don't

have a job to do. A woman has

been shot by police after a row

with a man turned violent.

Police say they used capsicum

spray to subdue the woman, but

it didn't work. The shooting

revives calls for a wider

distribution for taser guns to

stun rather than risk fatal

injury. At 1:30 police rush to

an apartment block at North

Parramatta after getting a call

about a fight between a young

African man and woman, a

resident opening her door,

finding them both on the

ground. I told her, him, to get

off. I was afraid he would kill

her. Police sealed the area,

trying to subdue the pair using

capsicum spray. It didn't work.

It's alleged the woman

threatened policeway knife. A

junior officer fired several

shots, hitting her in the

chest. I heard two shots ring

out. And the woman - suddenly I

heard nothing from the

woman. The 48-year-old woman

was rushed to hospital with

serious injury, the man was

detained for a while before he, too, was taken to hospital with

cuts to the neck. The

situation unfolded quickly. It

escalated leading to the circumstances reported

now. Police have defended the

officer who fired the

shots. Police have arranged of

tactical options, they tried to

use cap sick you will spray but

failed. The young police

officer had no access to a

taser gun, only a police

pistol, raising questions about

whether tasers should be widely

used. Tasers would enable them

to have a non-lethal

alternative. The Premier is yet

to be convinced. If someone

died as a result of a tasers

we'd have usual

recriminations. Anne McCabe is

trum tiesed, the stairwell is

full of capsicum spray, tam

some of which she inhaled. An

investigation is underway. The

United States is sending tens

of thousand more troops to

Afghanistan, a surge of up to 30,000 extra soldiers is

planned, according to America's

top military commander. Some

20,000-30,000 is the window of

overall increase from where we

are right now. I actually don't

have an exact number. Most of the reinforcements are expected

to be sent to the south, where

Australian troops are fighting

the Taliban insurgency, but the admiral says other improvements

were necessary. It isn't going

to make difference after the

troops get here. If we add more troops, if we haven't made

progress on the development

side and on the governance

side. The US currently has

31,000 troops in Afghanistan, the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

wouldn't comment today on the reinforcements. It might be the

week before Christmas, but in

the world's biggest economy

consumer prices and spending

are falling. There's only one

bright spot, an industry that's

booming despite the tough

times, since Barack Obama won

the election gun sales have

surged to unprecedented levels.

ABC North America correspondent

Mark Simkin travelled to a big

gun show in Harrisburg

Pennsylvania. Gun dealers think

all their Christmases have come

at once. Some say sales have

quadrupled and they can meet

the demand for weapons and

ammunition. I went through the

Y 2 K, the Clinton

administration, and sales were

up then, but nowhere near like

this. This, I mean, is through

the roof. There's a fear here

the Democrats will push for

strict gun control laws,

specifically targeting

semiautomatic weapons. I see

the Obama Administration being

the most antigun administration

in the history of the United

States. Barack Obama says he

supports commonsense

restrictions but respects the

right to bear arms. Lawful gun

owners have nothing to fear. I

said that throughout the

campaign. I haven't indicated

anything different during the

transition. The gun lobby isn't convinced. Anyone looking for

work in the new administration

is being asked personal questions, giving Barack

Obama's critics ammunition.

Applicants have to give the

names of babysitters they've

employed, provide detailers of embarrassing emails they've

sent and say if anyone in their

family owns a gun. It's a bogus

requirement that you can't own

guns if you want to be part of

the Government. The Government

was built on guns. You know f

we didn't have guns, we'd be

under the control of the

English. For now the dealers

are making a killing, even if

they are unhappy about the

reason. There's been more

clashes between rioters and

police in Athens, hundreds of

students threw rocks and petrol

bombs during running battles in

the Greek capital. The

authorities responded with tear

gas, the violence followed a

memorial gathering for a

teenager shot dead by police

two weeks ago. Earlier

demonstrators hung bags of

rubbish on a municipal

Christmas tree. Police moved in

to protect it, there were

arrests. As the violence

escalated they used batons and

pepper spray to disperse the demonstrators. America is

shivering in the grip of a

severe winter storm. The bad

weather has grounded planes,

and wreaked havoc with

Christmas travel plans, it's

dumped snow across the north

and mid-west, trapping some

residents inside their homes.

Amid freezing temperatures,

tens of thousands of people have been without power for

days, and the big chill is set

to continue. I don't see much

opportunity to get above

freezing for more than a couple

of hours from now through the

end of the year. So any snow

that falls across this area is

down, and it's not going anywhere. With more storms on

the way, there are fears of

blizzard-like conditions in

some areas. There's a new warning tonight from

authorities about the dangers

of illicit drugs after more

than 30 party-goers in

Melbourne collapsed from drug

overdoses at a city dance party. Ambulance officers say

it's amazing no-one died from

what was suspected to be a bad

batch of the drug known as

Fantastic. Teams of paramedics

depended on the west Melbourne

rave when it was apparent young

party-goers were overdosing by

the dozen, 12 taken to

hospital, more than 18 others

receiving treatment. A strong

or contaminated batch of GHB or

Fantasy is being blamed. More

than 2,000 party-goers attended

the rave. Patients ages ranged

between late teens, early 20s,

many with serious conditions It

took eight paramedics and St

John Ambulance personnel to get

a guy on the stretcher to treat

him. Some fitted, others with

respiratory problems. All ill

requiring hospitalise igs. The

vunu management says risk

management is conducted,

promoters scrutinised and

police consulted. We do pat

downs at the door, cloaking any

items over a size, there's no

access to them. We see the

evidence. With an apparent bad

batch of GHB on the street drug

experts warn fatalities are

possible and looming music

festivals are of concern. It's

a summer drug, an event-based

drug, there's not much between

the dose to get the desired

effect and the dose to create

an overdose. It will create serious illness and

death. Police arrested two

people, the investigation into the overdoses is continuing. Scientists

discovered one of the world's

highest concentrations of the

endangered blue whale off the

ost of East Timor, and there

are hopes it could spark on

ecotourism boom for the

fledgeling nation, Australian

researchers returned with

photographs of their discovery,

the survey spotting more than

1,000 individual whales and

dolphins in one day. Marine

biologist get an experience

like this once every 10 years,

where you come across a natural

phenomenon like this, it blows

your mind. It's the first

survey of its kind, and has

confirmed that a deep sea

channel runs along East Timor's

North Coast, meaning the

animals are close to the shore.

The East Timores Government

recogniseses the potential of

find, saying it is committed to

protecting the country's marine biodiversity. The humble honey

bee may play a role in the next

wave of missile technology, the

US Defence Department is paying

Queensland scientists to find

out how angry bees attack moving targets, and how that

knowledge can be used by the military. Honey bees are

normally placid creatures, but

get them angry, and they can

become extremely aggressive

attacking any moving object

with extraordinary accuracy. Now scientists from

the University of Queensland

want to know how it's

done. They simply fly as past

as possible to a target. To

find out the team films angry

bees as they fly at moving

targets, watching the footage

in slow motion, plotting the

flight path. We want to do it

with aggressive bees so the

trajectory is direct and we can

see how they visualise the

target and follow it to attack

it. The result so far indicate

bees have intelligent systems

for tracking and intercepting

targets. It seems to be a

system that's beautifully honed

by evolution to sense these

moving targets and then go for

them. The US Defence Department

is partially funding this

research, they are hoping to

use the funding in the design

of a missile defence system.

The Queensland Government is

backing the project, hoping it

will help design aircraft that

can detebility and track each

other. It will be -- detect and

track each other. It will be at

least four years in the bee

cage before the science is put

into practice. Another look at

tonight's top story - Prime

Minister Kevin Rudd has

announced a plan to halve the

number of homeless in Australia

by 2020. And to help get the destitute off the

streets. Still to come tonight

the festive folk art in rural

Russia still going strong.

South Africa has produced the

second highest run chase in

Test cricket defeating

Australia by 6 wickets in a

remarkable first Test in remarkable first Test in Perth.

Ab De Villiers scoring an

unbeaten century, supported by

JP Duminy, debutante as South

Africa easily reached the 414

needed for victory. The Proteas

lead the three-Test series

1-0. Graeme Smith's first Test

century against Australia

helped put the tourists in a

solid position at stumps with a

day to play. The captain fell

for 108 as Mitchell Johnson

claimed his 10th wicket for the

match. The Proteas finished the

day on 3/227. Certainly I'm way

ahead of the game in what I certainly expected. South

Africa began the final day in

need of 187 runs for a

memorable victory on a

fifth-day pitch keeping low.

Jacques Kallis scored his

second 50 for the match as he

and Ab De Villiers produced a

100-run stand, the second new

ball was taken, it didn't

change the Proteas's aggressive

approach. Ab De Villiers posted

his second-half century of the

test A terrific 50. The target

down to 111 when Australia's

main strike bowler drew Jacques Kallis into a loose

shop. Mitchell Johnson broke

the spell. The second session

started with the Proteas 92

luns from victory, Australia

went in pursuit of six wickets.

Both dressing-rooms feeling the

pressure. I'm here a bit

toey. On debut JP Duminy used

his feet to the spin of Jason

Krejza with good effect. Six handy. Ab De Villiers brought

up his triple figures in

sublime fashion. What a 100,

that is about as good as it

gets. As the proelt closed in

on a brilliant win, -- Proteas

closed in on a brilliant win,

JP Duminy scored his maiden 50,

hitting the winning runs. South

Africa chase down 414. A famous

victory for South Africa. Both

teams with a few days to get

ready for the second test in

Melbourne. The West Indian

paceman Daren Powell could be

in trouble with authorities

after losing his temper in the second Test against New Zealand

in Napier, he wasn't happy

about being charged by Brendan

McCullum, from the Blackcaps,

reacting in an unorthodox

manner. What is that. I don't

know what's going on. That

shows the frustration of the

West Indies. I can't understand

this. That is something I

haven't seen in a Test match

field ever. Powell then bowled

two more bouncers at Brendan

McCullum, and was taken out of

the attack by Chris Gayle,

captain at the end of a lively

over. NSW has revived its

flagging Sheffield Shield hopes

with a win over South Australia

today at the SCG. Chasing 300

to win, the Redbacks looked to

be on track, the last six

wickets fell cheaply for the

Blues to win by 75. NSW paceman

Doug Bollinger pressed his Test

claims by taking the first

three South Australian wickets.

The former Pakistani Test

batsman Younes scored 90 before

being br -- Younis Khan scored 90. Doug Bollinger finished

with six wickets for 47. The

outright win lifting the Blues

above the Redbacks on the

ladder. With four games to play

NSW is 10 points behind, the

second placed

Queensland. Sydney FC has lost

to Perth Glory for the second

time this season in the A-League, on this occasion it

was in front of home fans,

Sydney went down 4-1 in a

setback for its finals

hopes. For Sydney, it was a

chance to move up to second

place, while Perth needed to

win to stay in touch with the

top four. The home team applied pressure in the opening

minutes. What a chance for

Sydney. In the 11th minute

Glory made the most of its

first opportunity. What a fine

strike from Palla greeno.

That's an eye of the needle

job. Sydney responding well.

John Aloisi's lean run in front

of goal continued. John Aloisi,

an open goal. It was a costly

miss as Perth doubled its lead

in the 34th minute with

assistance from Sydney. It's an

own goal for Sydney. John

Aloisi's penalty putting the

Socceroos into the last World

Cup, that sort of Midas touch

was nowhere to be seen. Should

score - John Aloisi - how did

he not score. Sydney was lucky

not to betrayaling 3-0 at the

break. Good save to Clinton

Bolton. There was little

Clinton Bolton could do about a thunderous strike from Wayne

Troy. What a trike. John Aloisi

was benched and Sydney finally

found a target through

Stewie. But this was agame when

Sydney was often its own worst

-- a game when Sydney was its

own worst enemy. World

football's governing body FIFA

decided that the announcement

of the host nations for its

2018 and 2022 World Cups will

be made at the same time.

Australia, England, Spain,

Russia, China and Mexico have

all expressed an interest in

hosting the cup in 2018. In

what could be a boost for

Australia's hopes, if it misses

out for 2018 it will have the

option to be immediately considered for considered for 2022.

We haven't had so many

candidates ever for a one

single World Cup, 2018. Then we

said we shall open 2018 and

2022 to not disappoint everybody. The host nations

will be announced in two year's

time. The next World Cup will

be held in South Africa in

2010. Jelena Dokic will play in

next month's Australian Tennis

Open after winning the final of

the wild card qualifying

tournament in Melbourne today.

Jelena Dokic won in three sets against 16-year-old Queenslander Monika Wejnert,

6-7, 7-5, 6-3. The former world

number 4 had a slow start admitting that nerves

contributed to her first set

loss. I don't have to worry about The Australian Open now,

so, you know, I came in to here wanting to play qualifying,

but, you know, to be in the main draw gives me two tournaments before the open

that I can play. She'll play

both the Brisbane and Sydney

internationals next month. The

men's play-off finals was won

by South Australian Colin

Ebelthite, beating Victorian

Sam Groth in four sets. The

25-year-old will make his first

appearance at an Australian

Open in January sn. Now to a

former boxer who is putting his

hands to good use in a

different way, making toys or

Russian folk dolls, working

from a studio in regional

Russia, where the dolls this

time of the year they take on a

festive look. Scott Bevan paid

him a visit. Outside it's cold

and bleak. But inside this

Soviet era building, it's warm

and busy. As a Russian

equivalent of the elves

workshop goes flat out before

Christmas and the new year

whittling a familiar face into

ornaments. Santa. Yes. Creating folk dolls made

as the Matryostka. It's reel

Russian symbol. Just as each

doll contains another to tell a

tale. This studio, about three

hours from Moscow, is a story

in itself. It's creator,

Olesya Skuridina used to be a

boxer. He said he once fought

and lost to Kostya Tszyu. Now

he uses his hands for a gentler

art. It's like religion for me.

It's a source of income and

pride for his team as well.

TRANSLATION: What is special

is each Matryostka a piece of

art. In an age when Christmas

stockings can be filled with

toys that show-off the latest

in technology, those that make

and love Matryostkas, say the

dolls are popular because they

remind people of the past.

TRANSLATION: It is our

tradition, craft. They are made

of wood. They are warm and

bring joy to the home. This

studios creations are sought in

shops by locals. I like

Matryostka, because Russian

tradition. And Matryostka have

become an industry mass

produced dolls a feature of

tourist stalls. But for those

and Olesya Skuridina's studio

the magic of the Matryostka is

bringing something to life with

their own hands from pieces of

wood. At the same time,

crafting a little Christmas

joy.

Time now for a look at the

weather, and Graham Creed, we

are in for an unsettled week. Looking that way.

There'll be stomps and showers

about. Rainfall totals aren't

looking heavy at this stage. It

was a cool day in Sydney today,

temperatures ranging from

22-26, three to five below the

average. Easterly winds kept it

cool. They'll turn northerly,

warmer conditions on the way. warmer conditions on the

A high over the Tasman

directed the easterly winds

along the coast. Low cloud,

isolated showers in the north.

Cloud built through the inland,

ahead of an approaching trough,

35 degrees at Tippa Boro was

the warmest temperature.

Showers to 9am light and along

the coast. Nothing above 1mm

today. Adelaide had its hottest

day of summer. After five days

of below 30 Darwin back to

normal temperatures. The next

tropical cyclone Billy moving

off the Kimberley coast,

reforming back into a cyclone

tomorrow. Cloud in South

Australia is with a trough

remaining the dominant feature

in NSW until the weekend. Ahead

an increase in temperatures and

humidity levels, triggering

showers and storms. Models are

falls. Tomorrow Melbourne and suggesting light

Hobart are forecast to have

their hottest day of summer so

far. In NSW any remaining

showers about the far North

Coast clearing with dry and

sunny days for the rest of the

thunderstorms developing over coast. Isolated showers and

the west and inland, we have a

total fire ban about the

south-western corner. Rainfall

from the inland is expected to

be light. Morning cloud about

in Sydney, clearing to a sunny

afternoon, looking at tops of

25-30 degrees. We have light

northerly winds in the morning,

freshening from the

north-north-east in of the

afternoon, winds stronger on

Tuesday, as temperatures

warm-up, but then the unsettled

conditions arrive, hopefully a

Christmas Day. Christmas morning clearing shower on

Before we go a recap of the

top stories, the Prime Minister

unveils an ambitious lan to

tackle homelessness, and to get

the destitute off the streets.

An injured French yachtsman is

Australia bound after a daring

naval rescue off WA, and the

Premier bows to pressure,

scrapping unpopular plans to

charge parents for student

travel. That is the latest ABC

television news for now, we'll

have another news update in

under an hour, don't forget

'ABC Breakfast News' tomorrow

morning at 6:00am from ABC2.

Goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI