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Tonight - alert but not

alarmed. No poll panic for the

Prime Minister. We can still

win this election. Another

Premier calls it quits. Peter

Beattie says it's time. You get

to a stage in your life where

you get over it and I'm over

it! The use-by date for men

wanting to become fathers. And

the FedEx press continues his

runaway success. There he is,

four times the chap-on of the

United States Open. Good

evening. No surrender and no

panic election. The Prime

Minister is staring down

nervous colleagues in his

government after another bad

showing in the opinion polls.

Mr Howard has declared there

will be no election before the

end of October. Some of his

most senior ministers are known

to have canvassed the

possibility of a late change in

leadership, but John Howard

says he will lead the

government to the election. The

APEC party is over, the back

scratching with staff and

volunteers is not. I don't know

what I'm saying here! Bound to

be embarrassing. Nowhere near

as uncomfortable as the Liberal

Party is feeling, caught

between horrendous polls, a

many looing election and the

hardest question of all. Are

you worried the Australian

people aren't listening to you

any more? Senior colleagues

and Liberal strategists are,

leading to the next

question. Is it time for Peter

Costello? I can certainly

understand a little bit of

jitters. We have the best Prime

Minister and the best leader.

He will be taking us to the

election. Will he win? John

Howard believes he can and is doggedly determined to stare

down those who think he has had

his day. We can still win this

election. But the latest AC

Nielsen poll shows the enormity

of the task.

The glow around Kevin Rudd

has only brightened. His approval rating is back at

record highs. I don't believe

they're telling me that the

government is terminal. I don't

believe they're telling me that

I ought to go. It's time for

the election date to be

announced. The normal time for

an election will be any time

between now and any time in

December. Too late for the

nervous in the coalition who've

been urging John Howard to call

an almost immediate election to

burst the bubble, but tonight

he has upped the ante, ruling

out a poll before late October. Parliament will be

sitting definitely for the next

two weeks. You can rest assured

of that. There will be a

change of message in the

meantime, less about the past

and a promise of an economy in

full employment for a fifth


You can see the complete

interview with John Howard on

tonight's 7.30 Report. The

Prime Minister may not be ready

to call it quits, but Peter

Beattie is. The longest serving

Queensland Premier since Joh

will step down on Thursday.

After nine years in the job Mr

Beattie says he's over it and

the one thing he says he won't

be doing is heading for

Canberra. It's been nine

years and two months since

Peter Beattie took the helm.

But he says he's well and truly

ready to walk away. And it's

now time. It's time for

renewal. I will be resigning

as Premier at 10 o'clock on

Thursday. There will be a

special caucus meeting on

Wednesday at 11 to elect a new

leader. He thanked the people

of Queensland for their support and his wife and children for

their tolerance. But says he

simply wants to be remembered

for doing his best. I stayed

because I felt I had

obligations to Queenslanders in

relation to the issues of

health, the water grid, and obviously council

amalgamations. The tributes

flowed from political friends

and foes alike. Across the

political divide Mr Beattie and

I got on very well. Peter is

larger than life, watermelon

smile. Peter Beattie rose to

prominence as Queensland

secretary of the Labor Party

before being elected to

Parliament in 1989, becoming

Premier after a steady rise

through the ranks. While

enjoying a massive

parliamentary majority, his

government has been dogged by a

host of scandals, involving

health issues, electoral fraud,

and most recently,

controversial council mergers.

Mr Beattie has ruled out a

career in Canberra, but had a

subtle message for the Prime Minister. Governments don't

renew, they die. If parties

don't renew they die. I'm

looking forward I have to say

to the first female Premier of

request Queensland, Anna

Bligh. Mr Beattie, who will

also quit his Brisbane-based

electorate, says he plans to

take a well-earned break.

John Howard has backed the

tough police tactics used in

Saturday's APEC protests. Some

officers have been accused of

brutality while deal being a photographer and several demonstrators but today the

police hit back, saying two of

their officers were injured in

attacks and the tough action

was justified. Thank you so

much. Good luck. Thanks a lot.

Thank you very much. As he

thanked APEC workers today,

there was no hiding the Prime Minister's relief that the

meeting of world leaders was

over without a major

catastrophe. The Premier, too,

was clearly elated. Mission

accomplished. Get out me face!

Get back! But the ugly scenes

at Saturday's protest couldn't

be ignored. I totally support

New South Wales police during all of the actions taken by the

the APEC gathering. Forward

action was better than

retaliation. And commissioner,

it worked brilliantly. Back

off! Ooh! The only violence we saw was the behaviour from the

police and I think that message

went around the world. At the

centre of some of the alleged

violence were two police

officers who were today praised

for their bravery. I nought it

was a rock or a marble or

something. One of the young

police said "You have a dart

there" and pulled it out.

Constable Michael Nolan is

nursing four stitches after

being hit by an iron bar. I can

remember making the arrest,

catching the iron bar at the

last minute. That's about it.

Gavin Begbie who pal ledgedly

hit both officers was wrestled

to the ground. He faces 13

charges, including six of

assaulting police and five of

resisting arrest. Police allege

that when Mr Begbie was arrest

he told them "I didn't even get

the guy in the eye. What's the

big deal?" Today a magistrate

refused him bail, taking into

account his long criminal

history and a previous

conviction for assaulting a

police officer with an iron bar. While the Stop Bush

Coalition has distanced itself

from Mr Begbie, protesters

maintain police abused the

extra powers they were given

for APEC. Those laws were there

to try to silence and intimidate people, to try to

keep people off the streets.

The special police powers will

remain in place until midnight


The Premier has also been

defending APEC security

responses. In this case, a

decision to scramble fighter

jets to intercept a small plane

which strayed into restricted

air space over Sydney. The

pilot found himself in all

sorts of strife when he failed

to stick to his flight plan.

Pilot David Brown is probably regretting his decision to fly

his Cessna yesterday when he

sparked a major APEC security

scare. I have no comment. He

was forced to land at Bankstown

airport after being intercepted

by two F/A-18 Hornets for

flying in a restricted APEC

zone. Witnesses said they saw

the jets fire warning

flares. It was entirely

appropriate that that should

happen, particularly when they

got information of a plane

whose flight arrangements had

changed. It appears Mr Brown

didn't abide by his approved

flight plan. And this hot air

balloon was ordered to land in

a Kellyville Street when it

enter ed the air exclusion zone. Pilot Sean Cavanagh says

he also had an approved flight

plan. I have to say, I have no

idea what you could do with a

balloon in terms of terrorist

activity or some such, but it

would be a very slow-speed

approach and departure! And continuing to make its

departure, the so-called Great

Wall of Sydney. Deliveries are

getting through and life is

getting back to normal, but the

fence could be back. Police say

they have it on a three-year

lease and would use it again if it's appropriate. Pakistan's deposed Prime

Minister has made a high-risk

but futile attempt to return to

his homeland after seven years

in exile. Nawaz Sharif flew

into Islamabad this afternoon,

only to have his plane

surrounded by soldiers loyal to

the military dictator Pervez

Musharraf. He was arrested and

tonight he's heading back into

exile on a plane to Saudi

Arabia. The ABC's South Asia

correspondent Peter Lloyd was

travelling with Mr Sharif and

reports from Islamabad. The

sky was ominous above Islamabad

as President Musharraf's

security forces prepared for

confrontation. Then, after

seven years in exile, the man

who wants to be Pakistan's next

leader flew in to an airport

sealed off and an immediate

stand-off with the authorities.

Immigration wanted him off the

plane, but the 57-year-old

former Prime Minister refused.

90 minutes later he came off

the aircraft to a terminal

building. But his freedom was

short lived. There were wild

scenes as Mr Sharif was bundled

away. His destination - an

aircraft on the tarmac and

exile in Saudi Arabia. Nawaz

Sharif had left London to a

hero's send-off and was in

defiant mood. Mr Musharraf said

that he will take me straight

to the prison, but I don't

worry about that. I'm not

scared. Mr Sharif was ousted

by President Musharraf in a

1999 military coup. Now the

stage appears to be set for a

major confrontation, with or

without his presence in the

country. Before his arrival,

police had rounded up hundreds

of supporters. On the streets

near the airport, there was

fear gas as the crackdown

continued. The question now:

has the fuse been lit for

widespread unrest? Israel is have been shocked

by the discovery of a neo-Nazi

cell inside their country.

Police have arrested eight men

between the ages of 16 and 21.

Police found photographs

showing the Nazi salute and swastikas painted in a

synagogue. There was also a

video showing attacks on people

in public places. Police said

the gang targetted Asians,

foreign workers, drug addicts

and gays, as well as religious

Jews. All know not Jewish themselves, the men are said to

be immigrants from the former

Soviet Union who were given

citizen ship. They came to

Israel based on the law of

return as their family,

grandparents or great

grandparents are born Jewish.

The arrests came after an

investigation lasting more than

a year. The parents of

Madeleine McCann have gone home

to Britain four months after

their daughter went missing in

Portugal. Both have been

declared formal suspects in the

4-year-old's disappearance.

There was a media frenzy as

they left Portugal. Cameramen even jumped out at traffic

lights to get pictures as the

family was pursued to the

airport. Back in Britain, Gerry

McCann said they'd returned for

the sake of their two other

children, twins Amelie and

Sean. Despite there being so

much, we wish to say we are

unable to do so, except to say

this: we have played no part in

the disappearance of our lovely

daughter Madeleine. The

McCanns have not been charged and the Portuguese authorities

have placed no restrictions on

their movements. A court in

Melbourne has heard that a man

accused of drowning his young

children had told a close

friend that he thought about

killing them to take revenge on

his wife. It also heard

secretly recorded conversations

in which Robert Farquhar son

begged his friend not to tell

police what he'd said. Gregory

King was clearly nervous when

he began giving evidence in the

Supreme Court. He grew up with

his close friend Robert

Farquharson, the man who has

pleaded not guilty to three

counts of murder over the

drowning deaths of his sons.

Their mother attended court

today. Mr King testified that

Farquharson was angry and upset

after his marriage broke down.

He said about two months before

the boys died he met

Farquharson outside this fish

and chip shop and Farquharson

said he wanted to take what was

most important to his wife and motioned towards his children.

He stared at him and said

"Kill them." When asked if

he'd had a lot of trouble

remembering the details of the

conversation, King answered he

was 80% sure he remembered it accurately. Two conversations

Mr King secretly taped for

police were played in court.

Farquhar son is heard

repeatedly denying he killed

his children and he asked Mr

King not to tell police about

the fish and chip shop

conversation. He also said his children

were his world. The trial


Three brazen thiefs have

failed in their attempt to

steal an ATM in Sydney's west

overnight. Police say the trio

used a stolen three-tonne

front-end loader to smash

through the video store

window. The men weren't able to

free the machine and ended their

their escapade empty handed.

You're watching ABC News.

Tonight's top story - John

Howard tells a nervous

coalition he can still win the

election. And still to come - a heritage building on the move.

A battle is looming over

possible privatisation of the State's electricity industry. A

report out tomorrow is expected

to recommend privatisation , to

raise money for a new power

station. Unions have vowed to fight any such move saying it

will lead to job losses and

higher prices. When the long

awaited report into the

electricity industry by economics professor Tony Owen

is finally released-term,

sparks will fly. Government

shouldn't be rushing into this.

This is something that is a

serious issue. It requires

serious consultation. The

professor was asked to find a

way to raise money for a new

power station. The ABC has been

told there will be two key recommendations, (1) the sale

of electricity retailers

including Energy Australia and

Country Energy and (2) the sale

or lease of electricity

generators. The proceeds could

raise up to $20 billion.

Premier Morris Iemma

acknowledges workers in the

industry might not be happy. In

considering our response,

obviously, we will consult with

the work force. Unions are

furious and have threatened to

push for a special ALP

conference to fight any privatisation. I think the

reality is that it's in

conflict with ALP policy and

clearly it's something that is

of concern to the union

movement. The government's not

expected to make a final

decision on which

recommendations to accept for

some time. The Premier says

he's keen to examine what

impact privatisation might have

on electricity prices. The

opposition says it's all about minimising embarrassment for

federal Labor. The public have

been lied to, the unions have

been lied to, and it looks as

though tomorrow, the federal

electorate will be lied to as

the government tries to put off

the final decision until after

Kevin Rudd's election. By

that, he means the election

Kevin Rudd is contesting.

To finance now. Worse than

expected economic news in the

United States today pushed

global share markets lower.

What started the problem was

a report on Friday night our

time that the number of people

in work in the United States

schrank in August by 4,000, the

first fall in four years. The

market had been expecting an

increase in jobs of 10,000, and

that suddenly put the fear of

recession into investors, who

then dumped stocks. But it's

now virtually certain on the

other hand that the Federal

Reserve will cut US interest

rates when it meets next

Tuesday, probably by half a per

cent. And the other thing worth

remembering is that share

prices are not historically expensive when compared with

profits. Tonight's graph is a

long-term chart of the US price

earnings ratio. That is, the

total of all American share

prices divided by the total of

all the companies' profits. The

PE ratio is around about

average now. But perhaps the

more interesting message from

the graph is that crashes can

occur when the PE is 17, as it

is now. That's what happened in

the early 1970s. In 1929, the

PE was not far above 17 before

the great crash, and note that

the ratio spiked in 1935 and

2002, not because share prices

rose, but because profits fell.

The local market followed Wall

Street today as expected,

falling 1.4%. Mining stocks

fell the most. Industrials and

financials did a little better

while telecoms actually went

up. BHP Billiton crunched 3.7%.

Rio Tinto 2.7. Woodside 1.9.

And Fortescue 3.8%. Among

industrial stocks, AMP went

ex-dividend and lost twice the

amount of the pay-out. NAB was the worst of the banks, down

2%. Tattersall's fell 6%, while

Asciano went up 2%. Finally the

Australian dollar has fallen

very sharply against the yen,

because of a flight by Japanese

investors back home. And that's


We hear a lot about women's

biological clocks. Now it looks

like men have one, too. The

latest fertility research shows

that men who want to be fathers

have to get a move-on. The

evidence is they have much less

chance after they turn 40. For

women, the magic age is 35.

After that, conceiving can

become more problematic. Now

research shows there's a target

age for men as well. After 40,

their fertility starts to

decline. There starts to be a significant decline and their

chance of a pregnancy

occurring. That's thought to be related principally to sperm

DNA damage, fragmentation that

affects chance of pregnancy.

An international fertility

conference in Hobart has been

told when men get older the

risk of miscarriage and birth

defects also increases. We all

hear about older men having

children, Rupert Murdoch,

Charlie Chaplin, we've quosted

those cases for many years and

they're the exception rather

than the rule. Men are being

warned that as with women,

delaying parenthood might mean

they stay childless. If a woman

is in her mid to late 30s, and

is trying to get pregnant, if

her partner is 40 or older she

will have half the chance each

month of getting pregnant. But

researchers say the decline in

male fertility could be slowed

or even reversed if men stop smoking, lose weight and cut

back on alcohol . Giving

supplements of anti-oxidant

vitamins to men going through

IVF programs has also been

shown to boost pregnancy rates.

World No. 1 Roger Federer

has claimed his fourth

consecutive US Open tennis

title but he did have a few

nervous moments. Serbia's Novak

Djokovic had set points in the

first and second sets, but he

lost both in tie breaks before

Federer closed out the match.

On this stage, Roger Federer's lead status is rarely

questioned, but against a

first-time Grand Slam finalist,

the action didn't always match

the expectation. Federer was at

times the meek defender,

Djokovic the tenacious

attacker. Yet when it came to

finishing off a vulnerable

world No. 1, Djokovic froze. Oh

oh! He had five opening set

points on serve before

surrendering in the tie breaker. There goes the

racquet. That will be racquet

abuse. Second set, same story.

The Serbian was on top and

leading 4-1 before frustration

and Federer's finesse on the

big points dictated the same

set score. In a statement about

class, Federer produced only

fleeting moments of his very

best, yet still repelled his

young challenger in straight

sets for a fourth consecutive

US Open. Oh that's beautiful

play! I think straight sets is

a bit brutal for Novak to be

honest. That's 12 Grand Slam

titles for Federer, two short

of the Sam Sam record. South

African Brian Habana had good

reason to smile. While former

Wallaby coach Eddie Jones

confirmed his betrayal and

Samoa fumeed about this no-try

call at a crucial time, Habana

was in the midst of

accumulating four tries, as the

second favourite opened its

World Cup with its second

biggest ever Cup win, 59-7.

Australia's next opponent,

Wales, had to extricate itself

from a dilemma - a 17-9 deficit

against a revved-up Canada. But

five Welsh tries in 17 minutes

squashed Canadian hopes, 42-17

the final score. There will be

no Welsh outing for Mark

Gerrard or any in France. A

knee injury sustained in the

Japanese romp means he's on

vacation. American Tyson Gay

beat him in Japan, but

24-year-old Osafa Powell is in

the frame as the planet's

fastest man. He lowered the 100

m world mark by 3/100ths of a

second at the latest European

Grand Prix meet. Formula One

constructor McLaren may be

under a cloud over spying

allegations. But its drivers

keep delivering. Spain's Fernando Alonso has closed team-mate Lewis Hamilton's

world title lead by winning the

Italian Grand Prix. Australia's

Brett Rumford won the European

Masters in spectacular fashion,

with a chip-in birdie on the

first hole of a play-off to

claim his third European Tour

victory. Aaron Baddeley played

well enough to win in Chicago,

but he found one major obstacle

denying him the trophy - Tiger

Woods. The world No. 1 shot a

course-record 63 for his 60th

PGA win to pip the Australian

by 2 shots. Key Cowboys

forward Carl Webb faces an

uphill battle to be fit for

Sunday's NRL finals clash

against the Warriors.

Parramatta has injury concerns,

too. Ben Smith is having knee

surgery tomorrow and that rules

him out of Saturday's showdown

against the Bulldogs. It was

obvious on Saturday night that

Carl Webb's hopes of playing in

sudden's sudden death final

were remote . He joins a

growing list of Cowboy

casualties that includes Luke O'Donnell, Steve Southern and

Shane Tronc. The way they're

playing at the moment they've

handled everything that's been

thrown at them and we'd expect

the same this week. In better

news, Jacob Lillyman has

Review Committee for this high escaped the wrath of the Match

shot. It's time to give credit where credit is due according

to Eels coach Michael Hagan.

Parramatta take on the

Bulldogs, who boast one of the

game's most fearsome forward

packs. Getting through their

work pretty well and doing a

good job against more big-name

packs and Canterbury don't come any bigger names. The

Melbourne Storm will now enjoy a week's break following

yesterday's annihilation of the

Broncos. It's great to have a

week off. A lot of us have

played a lot of football this

year, and it's good to rest the

body up. Those still needing a

break include five eighth Greg

Inglis who is still recovering

from a back injury.

They've been moving timber

buildings around for decades,

but today, Australia saw a

first - a two storey heritage

listed brick building picked up

in its entirety and shifted.

It's a railway signal box north

of Sydney which has been

shunted out of the path of

progress. It's not the kind of

job you rush into. The planning

in this case has been going on

for months. And in that time,

it's rained. It's not that hard

to tell, really. And it hasn't

helped the task of towing a

brick building weighing more

than 300 tonnes. We've been

moving buildings in America.

It's all been done before in

the US, where the system of

self-levelling hydraulic

trolleys got off the ground,

safely even for bricks and

mortar. The signal box is

readied for the signal. It's

given enough of them in itself

in the first, first with the

big big handled levers and

next with the signal next with the signal

points. Starting signal cams.

Back block cams, and reversing

cams. All of this to move the

old signal box a bit over 100m.

It hasn't worked for some years

and it wasn't work where it's

being taken. So why go to all

this trouble? It was in the

way! A new through-line

bypassing Hornsby station will

track right through where the

signal box has been stationary

for all these decades. A new

one replaced it seven years

ago. The old one has to go. It

will become a museum, in sight

of the line, and the cost of

moving it ... That's commercial

in confidence. So we can only

report what others tell us -

around $3 million to move the

heritage building. The

alternative of dismantling and rebuilding it would've cost

even more. The weather now.

Despite all the cloud and even

a few thunderstorms today there

was very little rain for our farmers? Unfortunately there

wasn't much in store. In fact,

the heaviest falls above 3

millimetres were confined to

Kankoban and Thredbo, but there

is hope we will see more

widespread falls tomorrow. Rainfall totals tomorrow

are likely to remain very

light. As far as the rainfall

goes, a couple of isolated

showers about the north east

corner of the state tomorrow

afternoon, even the chance of a

thunderstorm with the bulk of the showers down around the

south western slopes and alpine regions.

Another wind change due on

Friday with a cooler

weekend. Thanks for that.

Before we go, another quick

look at tonight's headlines.

Peter Beattie bows out.

Queensland's Premier says after

nine years in the job he's over

it. But John Howard battles on,

despite another disappointing

showing in the opinion polls.

That's ABC News for this

Monday. The 7.30 Report is up

next, and I will be back with

updates during the evening.

Goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI CC

Welcome to the program and

while another Labor premier Queensland's Peter Beattie

opted to leave politics on a

high today, the Prime Minister

stared defeat in the face with

another disastrous opinion

poll. Mr Beattie sent a potent

message that governments that

don't renew die. But a

reflective Mr Howard says in an

interview for this program,

that he will lead his party

into the election and he won't

be announcing that election for

at least the next two weeks.

While Mr Howard was hosting

APEC last week, his senior

colleagues were getting

increasingly agitated at the

prospect of electoral wipeout

thanks to an 18-point gap in

last Tuesday's Newspoll.

Today's AC Neilsen poll wasn't

speculation the PM might be much better although the