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This program is captioned live. to Iraq's oil-for-food scandal. Australia's wheat exporter linked for model Michelle Leslie. A first Bali court appearance

multiple child sex charges. A Sydney-based cult leader faces And tag and track -

keeping an eye on whales.

Juanita Phillips with ABC News. Good evening. The grain industry is furious has been caught up in a scandal at confirmation that Australia to Saddam Hussein's government. involving corrupt payments A United Nations report has named monopoly grain handler, AWB, Australia's as one of many companies

oil-for-food program. involved in the discredited to a go-between In AWB's case, almost $300 was paid to Baghdad. which funnelled the money as the Australian Wheat Board, The company, which used to be known of the scam has denied any knowledge by the book. and says it has done everything For decades, in Iraqi bread, Australian wheat has ended up oil-for-food program and when the United Nations' to sell oil for food allowed Saddam Hussein's regime became the single biggest supplier the Australian Wheat Board of humanitarian relief. along the way, But now a report to the UN says, Saddam's government ended up in bribes and kickbacks with nearly $2.5 billion from thousands of companies. by Saddam by many participants - The corruption of the program and it was substantial - so pervasive could not have been nearly disciplined management if there'd been more by the UN and its agencies. the Australian Wheat Board - According to the report, now AWB -

a Jordanian-based company paid about $290 million through part-owned by the Iraqi Government. for transport The company overcharged massively and funnelled the money to Baghdad. The AWB says it didn't know. the oil-for-food program, At all times through we relied on the UN. They approved the contracts - inland transport - contracts that included and they were there to certify and acceptable. that the prices were reasonable a matter for AWB, The Prime Minister says it's by the Government. which is no longer controlled

by the Government. It's no longer owned AWB was privatised back in 1999.

the oil-for-food program. That's three years into some people working for AWB The UN report concludes that while to the Iraqi Government, probably knew there was money going to prove it. there isn't the evidence companies should be prosecuted. Where there is, it says, have already been rocked UN Headquarters in New York by the oil-for-food scandal. are now spread further afield. The blame and embarrassment Chris Clark, ABC News. Michelle Leslie The Australian model for the first time has faced a Bali court of the drug ecstasy. charged with possession says Indonesia correspondent Tim Palmer has detailed two charges the prosecution from 3 months to 15 years. with sentences ranging at Denpasar District Court The 40-metre scramble to the cells is no catwalk. shackling Michelle Leslie And the handcuffs Renae Lawrence to alleged heroin courier she's accustomed to. aren't the accessories No, certainly not a good look. But not a good thing for Michelle. and dragged around the place, She's not used to being cuffed there really is no need. and, as I say, media coverage of her predicament, Maybe not ready to face her scarf once before the judges. Michelle Leslie only dropped

in court, But she betrayed little concern that her local address even smiling when answering was Krobokan jail. and simple matter. This was a short

Barely a page and half long, the indictment spells out found with two ecstasy tablets. when and where she was allegedly carry very different terms - But the two charges listed for the primary charge, 15 years maximum in jail for the secondary charge as little as three months she has an addiction. if she convinces the court of the defence. And that's clearly the hope she'd be home by Christmas I would certainly hope for their Honours. but again it's a matter from Melbourne doctor Peter Lewis, That could rest on evidence had been treated who says that Michelle Leslie using the drug Ritalin, for attention deficit disorder to the amphetamine-like medicine. and may have developed an addiction There's only one doctor and there's also some other evidence legal drugs, suggesting she used to use on face value. but we don't simply believe it We need to examine the truth.

in the local press That's all led to speculation has been predetermined that the outcome of this case stepped into the court - even before Michelle Leslie will decide the result that money, not evidence, will walk free in a matter of weeks. and that Michelle Leslie according to her lawyer. None of it true, That's rubbish! Rubbish! (Laughs scornfully) back in court next Tuesday. Michelle Leslie will be Tim Palmer, ABC News, Denpasar. Australian man, Van Nguyen, Friends of the condemned

to help stop his execution. are asking the public within weeks. The 25-year-old is due to be hanged a campaign called Reach Out His friends have launched

Singapore's president which they hope will convince to commute the death sentence. confident Van Nguyen can be saved, The Australian Government isn't but his family and friends aren't giving up, to the Australian public. appealing directly their hand on a piece of paper, What we want them to do is to trace their own hand, trace around it and write a message of support to Van. to Singapore's President. They'll then be sent The idea came from the last time visited him in jail. Van Nguyen's mother up to the glass Van actually held his hand trying to reach out to his mum, and said, "Mum, hold my hand." And she in return put her hand up and said,

"I'll hold you forever," and that to us is very significant because it says so much about how much he wants to be held. Van Nguyen was sentenced to death after admitting carrying 400 grams of heroin into Singapore - he claims, to help pay the debts of his twin brother. Today, Australia got a look at the man who will put the rope around his neck - possibly within a fortnight. We would also like to ask the Prime Minister, Mr John Howard, to also trace his own hand on a piece of coloured paper and write his support to Van, because every hand counts. No word from the Prime Minister today,

but there is support from the Victorian Government. I think it is good for the public to express their opposition to the death penalty, wherever it is, and particularly in this case. Every day that Van is alive, there is still hope. The problem is, there may not be many left. Ben Knight, ABC News, Melbourne. President Bush's domestic standing has taken a knock. The woman he hand-picked to serve on the US Supreme Court has pulled out of the job. Harriet Miers withdrew after intense criticism of her appointment from both sides of politics. Our Father who art in heaven... These are some of the men and women who killed the candidacy. They're not Democrats, they're Republicans. Holy God, we bring before you now our President, George W. Bush... Conservative and Christian, political and powerful - they gave thanks outside the Supreme Court.

The Miers nomination was a disaster from the beginning. For weeks, Harriet Miers tried to convince senators she was qualified for the Supreme Court. She'd been George W. Bush's personal lawyer, but never a judge. Her independence was questioned after notes she'd once written to George W. Bush were made public. Right-wing groups worried that Harriet Miers wasn't conservative enough on issues such as abortion. TV ADVERTISEMENT: Even the best leaders make mistakes. Conservatives support President Bush, but not Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers. Apparently Ms Miers didn't satisfy those who want to pack the Supreme Court with rigid ideologies. The only voices heard in this process were the far right. Harriet Miers announced her decision in a letter to the President. The failure of the White House to get its candidate onto the court is a political blow. It raises questions about what George W. Bush will be able to achieve in his second term. The President spent the day in Florida, meeting victims of Hurricane Wilma

and dodging questions about the political storm in Washington. (All Shout) Mr President! The heat is expected to increase tomorrow. Two top White House officials could face criminal indictment for revealing the identity of a CIA operative. Mark Simkin, ABC News, Washington. The founder of a so-called spiritual healing centre charged with multiple sex offences has been granted conditional bail. The cult leader has dismissed the evidence against him. He says it's a witch hunt and a conspiracy to destroy him.

The 83-year-old cult leader faced the court charged with 22 sex offences against two 12-year-old daughters of former followers. His lawyer Harland Koops said the allegations were concocted by disaffected and embittered former members of Dyers' cult, Kenja, and the victims were taking part in: In arguing for a continuation of bail, Mr Koops said at 83, Dyers had more than a dozen medical ailments, including heart problems, deep vein thrombosis and: making the allegations against him, he said, implausible. He accused the girls of lying, stating girls from the Eastern Suburbs knew the difference between right and wrong. Outside the court, surrounded by supporters, Dyers proclaimed his innocence.

I'm innocent, I'm innocent. Yeah, me. And as long as my health holds up, I will fight these bogus charges. Dyers was asked if Kenja was a cult. No, is football a cult? REPORTER: How would you describe Kenja? As a blessing to Australia if you really want to know. The spirit - the human spirit of the people of Australia. Magistrate John Bailey placed strict conditions on Dyers' bail, ordering him to report to police once a week and banning him from attending any Kenja premises or functions.

Bail was set at $100,000 dollars. He'll appear again on 20 December. Michael Gleeson, ABC News. A husband and wife who imprisoned their teenage daughter in the family home for nearly two years have been sentenced to weekend detention. The couple from western Sydney was sentenced to 21 and 15 months weekend detention respectively. Judge Colin Charteris said the couple had gone well beyond the boundaries of acceptable discipline. Outside court, the mother said her daughter had not been restricted from leaving and that she and her husband are confident of winning an appeal. Well, I'd love her to come home. I really would love her to come home. I... I put up with a lot of her... everything she's done to the family. We've loved her unconditionally and she's written that in letters, you know, and then she's denied the letters and people believe her. The State Opposition has joined forces with the Greens to try to force former premier Bob Carr to testify before a parliamentary inquiry into Sydney's Cross City Tunnel. The Opposition leader, Peter Debnam, says Mr Carr and former treasurer Michael Egan no longer have immunity from giving evidence. They were very much heavily involved in negotiations of the contract. They're now private citizens. When they're in Australia

we'll make sure they appear before the committee. Roads and Traffic authority boss Paul Forward was sacked yesterday for railing to disclose a deal allowing an increase in the toll. The Premier Morris Iemma today denied Mr Forward is a scapegoat and voiced full support for the former Roads Minister Carl Scully who agreed to the extra charge. The date of the Pittwater by-election has been announced. Voters will go to the polls on Saturday, November 26 to elect a successor to John Brogden, the former leader of the State Opposition. John Howard has taken NSW and Victoria to task over daylight saving. The two most populous States move to daylight saving on Sunday. But Tasmanians have already been enjoying longer evening light for a month. The PM says NSW and Victoria should follow suit. I think NSW and Victoria should start a month earlier. I think Tasmania is showing the lead there. NSW and Victoria dismissed the idea. Queensland's Peter Beattie

rejected a separate suggestion from Mr Howard that the south-east corner of his State should also adopt daylight saving.

My election commitment is that we won't and I honour my election commitments. Mr Beattie said he did not want to see different parts of Queensland

in different time zones. For years, Australian shoppers have been urged to buy Australian. That hasn't always been easy, particularly when it comes to unpackaged foods. But now new labelling laws will help consumers make an informed choice. Up until now, shoppers haven't been able to tell if fresh produce was grown locally or overseas. Today, food ministers voted to change that. Consumers will actually know for certain when they go into a fruit and vegetable shop, for example, that the unpackaged produce that they're purchasing is either from Australia or from another country. The labels will state exactly which country the produce comes from, but shop owners won't have to individually label each item. These proposals are about transparency.

They're about giving consumers the opportunity to make an informed choice. The ministers were also considering whether to extend country-of-origin labelling to packaged and tinned food -

something Tasmanian fruit and vegetable growers have actively campaigned for. Current labels simply state, 'Made in...' or 'Product of Australia'. Today, Food Standards said

they will investigate the costs involved of labelling foods with less than three ingredients. I think today is certainly a vindication for the Fair Dinkum Food Campaign in Tasmania

and for the vegetable growers of Tasmania. The ACCC and Federal Attorney-General's Department will also clarify the use of the term 'Made in Australia'. Sophie Scott, ABC News.

Now, a reminder of tonight's main story. Monopoly wheat exporter AWB says it was an unwitting player in the food-for-oil scandal that helped prop up Saddam Hussein's government in Iraq. And still to come - the footballers who'll carry Australia's hopes

for World Cup glory. Israel has struck back after yesterday's suicide bombing in which five Israelis died. In a Gaza Strip refugee camp, a car carrying four members of the group which claimed responsibility for the bombing was hit by missiles. All four militants were killed as were three by-standers. Thousands of people have taken to the steets of Iran in support of their president who says Israel should be wiped off the map. Despite widespread support at home, the outburst has drawn international condemnation. British Prime Minister Tony Blair says it's outrageous. These sentiments are completely and totally unacceptable. But Mr Blair refused to discuss whether any action should be taken against iran. Prince Charles has called for urgent action to address climate change, describing it as the greatest challenge facing the world. If you think about your and my grandchildren this is what really worries me. I don't want them, if I'm still alive by then, to say, "Why didn't you do something about it when you could have done?" The Prince says consumers can make a huge difference in helping the environment by the choices they make when shopping. Two Japanese brothers injured in the Bali bombings earlier this month have returned to Indonesia. The men flew out of Darwin this morning after four weeks of treatment. A month has passed since 36-year-old Yusuke Matsuda and his brother were evacuated to Darwin in a critical condition. When it happened that night, I was so out of mind, so I don't remember clearly. Today they were still bearing the scars of their ordeal

but happy to be going home. Lucky enough, I survived with the arms and the legs on and the body is good enough,

so I try to survive as much as I can. The brothers had been celebrating with family in the restaurant at Jimbaran Bay when the bombers struck on 1 October. Mr Matsuda's young Indonesian wife died on the restaurant floor that night. He was lucky to survive. This X-ray shows the ball bearings scattered throughout his chest. After repeated operations, he still has one near his heart. Doctors say it's too dangerous to touch. The men still carry other reminders of the attack, like these blood-stained bags. I have to keep up with this memory in my mind the rest of my life. Waiting for them in Indonesia is Mr Matsuda's 9-year-old daughter. He hasn't seen her since the night her mother died. TRANSLATION: My daughter is waiting for me to see, so I'm looking forward to seeing her. TRANSLATION: I hope her bad memory will fade away slowly. That's all I hope for her.

The last international victim from the blasts is an Indonesian man.

The last international victim from the blasts is an Indonesian man. He will stay in the Royal Darwin Hospital for several more weeks. Jane Cowan, ABC News, Darwin. To finance now and the local share price fell again today following heavy falls on Wall Street overnight Here's Alan Kohler. In fact, the Australian market marched in lock step with New York today.

The Dow Jones index fell 1.1%, largely because of a big fall by General Motors, down 7%,

after the company said it had been subpoenaed by the Securities and Exchange Commission over its accounting practices. Some analysts are now talking about the world's biggest car company going into bankruptcy. There are no car manufacturers listed here, but it fell the same as Wall Street anyway. News Corporation was one of the biggest falls - down 2.2% - to bellow $20 for the first time since it became an American company last year. BHP Billiton led the resources stocks lower, while NAB led a general retreat among the banks. And AWB shares actually rose,

despite the revelations the hands of Saddam Hussein. about money finding its way into although not as much as the others, And even CBA fell among the banks, a $500 million buy back after the company announced at the annual meeting today, profit forecasts. and reaffirmed its earlier The oil price rose in New York, for the negative tone there, which is another reason this afternoon, but it fell in Singapore on commodity markets, while elsewhere but copper fell. gold and nickel rose, merchandise imports for September - Today's economic news was virtually flat at $13.75 billion, but the interesting part Australia's largest source is that China has finally become of imports, for the first time. passing the United States it's been coming for a while - As tonight's graph shows, but in the year to September, of our imports, China accounted for 14.3% compared to 13.9% from the US and 11.3% from Japan. And, finally, the Australian dollar is trading roughly steady at 75.7 US cents.

I'll be back at 9:45 am on Sunday with 'Inside Business'. Till then, that's finance. is to be spent More than $500 million to speed up the rail track between Sydney and Melbourne. carrying freight is be replaced Antiquated signalling have to wait in sidings and freight trains will no longer for passenger trains to pass. From Cootamundra to Melbourne 16 passing lanes will be built over a total of 220km of track. This is a significant improvement - down to 10.5 hours. from 13 hours triple the freight moved by rail The improvements could between the two cities and reduce truck journeys by 300,000 a year. have unveiled a machine Australian researchers will end for all time which they say culling of whales. the debate about the scientific The device can gather could possibly want all the information scientists without harming the animals.

The equipment is getting its first outing in a tagging operation on humpback whales as they migrate through Australian waters. The Australian Government has fought a long campaign of scientific whaling. against the Japanese program replaced with these small darts. And now claim the big guns can be have developed Australian researchers technology new tracking and biopsy as much information and claim they can gather and blubber from just a small piece of skin

from a whole animal. as the Japanese can with a small bolt on the end We just have a cross bow a little piece of skin and it, it just takes your little finger nail, about the size of the back of the whale and ah, it just bounces off and we collect the floating dart. Scientists say it's like a mosquito bite. for a whale At the same time, has been developed new satellite tracking technology as they migrate. to follow the whales The Federal Government has spent $3 million developing the capability

and researchers have already begun tagging whales in Australian waters. The Government will be promoting the technology Commission meeting. at the next International Whaling as much as anyone else can We can actually learn from killing a whale - a very small biopsy. by actually taking what they eat, where they go. We can learn about how old they are, initially used on humpback whales The satellite tagging will be and the little known blue whale. Leonie Harris, ABC News. top soccer players have been named Almost all of Australia's month's World Cup qualifiers. in the 23-man squad for next most of whom are European-based, The Socceroos,

in just over a week. Make their way to Uruguay Here's Peter Wilkins. The pressure's building. injured former captain Craig Moore - All the big names, bar one - by coach Guus Hiddink have been named

in a 23-man Socceroo squad against Uruguay. for the first World Cup qualifier The greatest fear, as club commitments continue, is injury. You'd love to be able to wrap them up in cotton wool for a couple of weeks and wait for the Uruguay games but they desperately need the match fitness. George Best, A former maestro of the round ball, is fighting for his life. After four weeks in hospital, and Northern Ireland star the former Manchester United faces a critical 24 hours. he hit the post. COMMENTATOR: Oh, my goodness, Best has internal bleeding he received two years ago unrelated to the new liver alcoholic lifestyle. after a debilitating 50 medals in Beijing 2008, Australia is headed for about either the Sydney or Athens games. with more gold than it won at Olympic Committee's assessment That's the Australian this year. based on benchmark events have had a bad Athens Some of the sports who might and are showing good signs. have recovered a 10km open water swim event The IOC has approved of women's football, hockey and an increase to the number and handball teams. There'll be a women's steeplechase. However, boxing for the ladies has been rejected. He's the man of the moment. While Makybe Diva's connections prevaricate on a Cup start, jockey Glen Boss feels he's on the money selection in the Derby in favourite Pendragon. I honestly think, I believe, in the race I'm on the best 3-year-old stayer trained by a master trainer. eight against the Silver Ferns They've lost six of their last and it'll be just as tough tomorrow

trans-Tasman domination. try to continue their recent as New Zealand's netballers

were out-muscled, In June, the Australians

rugby league methods but they've studied to deal with controlled aggression. more physical I don't mind it. If the game has to become I think it's part of the challenge

the sport really enjoy that too. and I think people who come to watch for the first Test The West Indies tuned up against the Bulls with some lusty batting after a weather-delayed start. and 58 from Chris Gayle A century from Devon Smith

close to Queensland's 323 muscled the total for the loss of only three wickets. Despite his elation at being selected in the Australian XII, leg-spinner Stuart MacGill feels Nathan Bracken will see him carrying the drinks. I still think weather and conditions up there

probably mean that it's unlikely that Shane and I will bowl together is the man. in which case probably Bracks for NSW on Sunday against Tasmania. Bracken and MacGill both play a comprehensive win New South Wales has completed over South Australia interstate cricket competition. in the opening round of the 4-day bowling attack The Blues' Test strength on the final day sliced through the Redbacks to record a 187-run victory. Darren Lehmann South Australian captain first innings century followed up his

with a quick fire 47 Blues leg spinner Stuart MacGill but when he was dismissed by the match was all but over. It's great for us to back up from last year and start the season well and get the six points and obviously win the first ING game as well. Newly recalled Test bowler Nathan Bracken removed five of the last six batsmen in an impressive hit-out

ahead of next week's first Test against the West Indies. Let's see if those in the know are still forecasting a bit of rain this weekend. Here's Mike. Thanks, Juanita. Good evening. Yes, a trough moving from the west offers the promise of some more rain this weekend.

Today, though, it was back to mostly dry through NSW. Humid but fine in Sydney, with coastal temperatures from 16-26 degrees, a top that's 3 above average. The trough over NSW has mostly moved out. A trough is moving in over the weekend from the south. South-east NSW expecting some showers. Strong wind warning from coastal waters in the south.

Thunderstorms expected for inland NSW. Thanks, Mike. Now before we go, another quick look at tonight's top stories. Australia's wheat exporter has been caught up in the Iraqi oil-for-food scandal. It's been confirmed that millions of dollars paid by AWB in transport costs were secretly funnelled to Saddam Hussein. Australian model Michelle Leslie has appeared in a Bali court

for the first time, charged with possessing ecstasy. And US President George W. Bush has dropped his efforts

to get his long-time aide appointed to the Supreme Court. And that's ABC News for this Friday. I'm Juanita Phillips. Stay with us for 'Stateline' with Quentin Dempster and 'Lateline' is along at 11:00pm. Enjoy the rest of your evening and have a great weekend.

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This week,

why... The government clearly

does not want these documents

to come out. An Effesus ethical

error. To think before you act.

To fail to do that in my terms

is to act unethically. And the bitter fight over John

Brogden's northern beaches

seat. We're very unhappy with

the way John was treated.

Welcome to Stateline NSW. I'm

Quentin Dempster. Paul Forward

the Chief Executive of the

roads and traffic authority was

axed yesterday for having

failed to comply with a

government requirement to

publicly release private sector