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live. Tonight - quenching the

drought, the Nationals pray for

divine intervention. The MP

dumped by the Liberals power

rooigt. Racial violence makes a

comeback on Sydney's beaches.

And the wave wiz drd - - wizard

- Kelly Slater's record eight

world titles. Good evening, Joh

O'Brien with ABC News. As the

drought deepens the Nationals

leader Mark Vaille has bledgeed

at least $750 million in new

assistance to struggling

farmers. It's a sign of the desperate times that the new

package to be unveiled next

week will extend drought relief

to irrigators as well. Mr Veil

also warned the Reserve Bank

that another interest rate rise

would be a hammer blow for many

farm families. Australians may

love a sun burnt country but

drought provokes second

thoughtings and it's driving

the Nationals to prayer. Send

healing rain for that is our

heart's desire. The party's

federal conference heard one

tale after another of the woes of the worst drought in at

least a century. My sheep are

using the R. The A Newell

Highway as the new and best bit

of feed, the cattle are out of

water and I don't think my

Christmas will be terribly good

at all. Mark Vaille promised an

additional $750 million in

assistance. We will not let

them down during these tough

times. The new drought package

will be unveiled next week,

even more of the country will

be declared drought affected,

assistance will be extended for

up to 18 months and will now

include dairy farmers an

irrigators who have seen their

water allocations slashed. The

entire Murray-Darling basin

should be declared exceptional circumstances. The Nationals

also want interest rate relief

extended to contract harvesters

whose headers are idle because

there's no grain. There's some

sort of moratorium that needs

to be taken into consideration

with the banks if they're going

to repossess equipment. Mr

Vaille warned the Reserve Bank that another interest rate rise

would be the last straw driving

even more families off the

land. Your killer blow for many

farm families across Australia.

You can't have different interest rates in different areas in Australia but the way

in which we look after the

rural area of Australia is with our interest rate subsidy

scheme. As if the drought

weren't enough, it now seems

more than a dozen AWB figures

may face criminal charges

following the Cole inquiry. This Government has

tried to hold the AWB

accountable while never holding

itself accountable. That's why

this thing stinks to the

absolute core. Another ill win

for drought stricken grain

growers. In a major

embarrassment for the

Opposition leader Peter Debnam,

the sitting member nor the seat

of Hawkesbury has lost Liberal

Party endorsement and the

moderate backbencher Stephen

Pringle may add to his party's

humiliation by running as an

Independent at next year's

election. Peter Debnam was

putting on ta stiff upper lip

this afternoon. Stephen

Williams is a great

candidate. A candidate maybe

but not the one the leader

endorsed. He is a balk Baulkham

Hills shire kouns lor. The win

is intg interpreted as the

growing factions influence. A

suggestion Peter Debnam laughs

off. The Liberal Party has a

great preselection process,

it's a democratic process

compared to the Labor

Party. Stephen Pringle is not

as diplomatic. The Liberal

Party is hostage to the

factions and unless you are a factional puppet, you're not

going to get anywhere in the

Liberal Party now. He says the

right wing manipulated the

result, recruiting 500 new

members to the local branch in

the past few months. Look, the

Liberal Party has just been overtaken by branch

stacking. But Peter Debnam only

had one answer to any

question. This is - we have a

very good preselection process

and it is a difficult process

for all candidates. Today's

embarrassment comes only a

month after a similar

preselection battle left Peter

Debnam smarting. His endorse -

endorsed candidate Pru gou ward

bowed out. Stephen Pringle is

now considering running as an

Independent at next year's

State election. I'll be

Liberal Party next week after considering my position in the

that really count and the I've consulted with the people

the people of the people that really count are

Hawkesbury. He'll make a

decision during the week. Tough sanctions but no

threat of military action,

that's the United Nations's

response to North Korea's

nuclear provocation. The Security Council will vote

tomorrow on a punitive

resolution after China and

Russia convinced the United

States to soften its stance.

But North Korea remains defiant, maintaining it will

regard any sanctions as an act

of war. Washington

correspondent Mark Simkin

reports. For the people living

within range of North Korea's

missiles the crisis is

personal. These Korean War

veterans are demanding extreme sanctions. - "Please allow tous

do our duty. We will go to

North Korea and destroy their

nuclear weapons and bring you

the head of Kim Jong-Il." At

the United Nations the talk is

more diplomatic. After days of

debate over how to punish North

Korea, China and Russia have

forced the United States to

compromise on key issues.

Instead of a blanket arms

embargo there will be a ban on

the sale of heavy items like

missiles, tanks and warships.

Countries are to check North

Korean cargo, it slaps travel

bans on members involved in the

program and freezes their

assets. There's a ban on

selling luxury good to if

country. The North Korean

population has been losing

average height and weight over

the years maybe this will be a

little diet for Kim

Jong-Il. North degreeia says it

will interpret sanctions as an

act of war. Just because the

North Koreans make these blood

curdling threats isn't a reason

to back down in the face of

that. The Security Council will

vote on the vez lution tomorrow

and it's possible the sanctions

will be softened again. The

Secretary of State, Condaleezza

Rice, will travel to North Asia

next week and will hold talks

in Tokyo, Beijing and Seoul. Japan isn't waiting for

tomorrow's vote, it sees itself

as a prime target of any North

Korean aggression and has

already imposed its own

sanctions. It's banning imports

from its communist neighbour

and has closed its ports to all

North Korean ships. The

restrictions will hurt some

Japanese as well. There are

dark days ahead for Japan's

mush room fansiers. Matsutake

is a much sought after delicacy

and imports from North Korea

make up more than a third of

the market but with Japan imposing tough new sanctions

from midnight, all imports have

been banned. "The profit of my

business will be halved" this

shop keeper says "If the

imports of matsutake is stopped

the wholesale price will go up

but I can't do the same for

what I sell them for." North

Korean ships are also being

turned away from Japanese ports

as part of a strategy to cut

off nick from Kim Jong-Il's

regime. Japan is also boosting

its defencings. An anti-missile

system is planned to come on in

line in five years time. The

Government is now looking to

bringing forward the start up date.

North Korea has threatened

consequences in response to the

sanctions. Strong sanctions on

Pyongyang are justified, Japan

says, because the threat

against it has doubled. A

combination of North Korea's

nuclear capability and its missile technology. But that

doesn't mean Japan's government

is about to develop a nuclear

capability of its own. Japan

already owns a stockpile of

nuclear material and it has the technological capacity. There

are some who think that a

regional arms race is

inevitable. This is a most

serious possible outcome of

nuclear tests by DPRK. Japan

insists the nuclear umbrella

provided by the United States

is more than enough and it

doesn't want nuclear weapons.

Japan says as the only country

to suffer an atomic attack, it

would never develop nuclear

weapons of its own. A question

mark hangs over the

Australian-led peace mission to

the Solomon Islands tonight. Prime minister Manassa Sogavare

is still threatening to expel

all Australians from his

country over the Julian Moti

affair. The leaders of the

international force say there's

still much work to be done to

ensure stability in the island

nation and they're now awaiting

collarification from the

Solomon's Government. For prime

minister Sogavare aution's

choice is simple - leave Julian

Moti alone or leave the Solomon

Islands. The hone yar riots

underlies the fragile state of

the Solomons. Sogavare says he

has a contingency plan to

replace the RAMSI mission if

Australia commands Moti be

handed over. Recently Australia

committed $800,000 over four

years. Today more than 300

Australian police and soldiers

patrol here with another 160

Australians working within

government departments. RAMSI

coordinators are seeking urgent

collarification from the

Solomons government. I think

RAMSI and all of the 14 different countries that are

contributing to it have got a

great deal more to offer

Solomon Islands which still faces enormous

challenges. We're interested in

helping to maintain the

stability and peace in the

Solomon Islands in the

interests of the Solomon

Islanders. Julian Moti is in

police custody on charges of

entering the Solomons illegally

on board a Papua New Guinea

defence force plane on Tuesday.

Australia has asked the Solomons government to hand him

over but the request has not

been relayed to the Solomons

police. Until I see that,

really it's a matter for the Attorney-General's chambers and

the Australian Government. The

threat to RAMSI is sure to be

high on the agenda when prime

ministers from across the region, including John Howard and Manassa Sogavare meet for the Pacific Islands Forum in

fee gee later this month. All

member countries contribute in

some way to the mission in the

Solomons. The return of the hot

weather here has brought a

return to violence on Sydney's

beaches. Police are

investigating two attacks by

groups at Manly and Maroubra.

This was meant to be an evening

barbecue at the beach but

police say a group of 20 men

ended all that when they tried

to steal food and then smashed

up cars while shouting racial

taunts. Two men and a woman

were take ton hospital with

minor injuries after being set

upon by the group. I hope it

was not racially inspired

violence, I hope. Because that

disgusts me and every like

minded citizen across this

great city of ours. From tomorrow, police will launch

Beachsafe, 80 officers will

patrol Maroubra, Brighton Le

Sands and Cronulla hoping to

prevent a rerun of last year's

racially mote - racially

motivated Cronulla riots. There

will be a lot of cops an police

activity through summer. We

want to make sure that family

and friends can go to the beach

and enjoy it. Manly's had a

taste of some nasty beach

behaviour today. Late yesterday

officers from the Middle Eastern Crime Squad and riot

police were called in to break

up an jalt kation between two

groups of youths. Police say

no-one was hurt and no weapons

an alcohol is involved. There

was no indication that this was

racially motivated. We have a

group of people from the

Guildford area which had both

people from Middle Eastern

background and in their own

group people that were

Caucasians. A 15-year-old boy

has been charged with affray

and police expect to make more

arrests. This summer will also

see patrols in the skies over

Sydney's beaches reintroduced.

Under pressure to protect swimmer, the State Government

will spend more than $1 #4u, -

$100,000 for a trial shark

patrol program. Helicopters

will fly above popular beaches

but only on weekends while life

savers will be given for you

jet skis. We've decided to do

this as a pilot to see how it

will work. We will be

monitoring it, we'll be working

with surf life savers to ensure

it's used to its maximum

capacity. The Government's

sticking by its controversial

shark meshing program which

operates off 51 beaches. He was

a surprise winner and some have

even suggested an inappropriate

choice nor the Nobel Peace

Prize but there's no doubt the Bangladesh i economist dubbed

the Banker to the Poor,

deserves praise for his work.

Nobel peace laureate Muhammad

Yunus has led the way in

developing a system of

microloans to help people lift

themselves out of poverty. They

call him the Banker to the

Poor, he started three decades

ago with $35 from his own

pocket, giving small, unsecured

loans to people so they can

help themselves out of poverty.

It's a simple idea that's been adopted around the

world. Fantastic news. We are

all very excited about the good

news. It excites everybody in

Bangladesh and also the people

who are involved in microcredit

around the world, they're all

excited about it. The loans

give people a chance to get

beyond simple subcystence

farming and start a business,

perhaps a mobile phone call

centre in a small village.

What's crucial unlike normal

bank, the loans are given with

no collateral. The fact that

you're a human being, that's a

good enough introduction for

us. He shares the reward with

the Grameen Bank he created. It

has now more than 6 million

borrowers. The average loan is

$150 and most of the loans are

made to women. He believes

women are more likely to use

the money in ways that help

entire communities. Almost all

of the loans are paid back in

full and microcredit schemes

are now available in 130

countries. What we've tried to

do with Grameen foundation is

to support his work internationally, to globalise a

solution and have it work in

Africa n Latin America. The

Nobel Committee now seems to

favour those tackling issues

like poverty and disease over

those who have helped to

resolve armed conflicts. Tonight's top story

- the Nationals have warned the Reserve Bank that another

interest rate rise would be a hammer blow for

drought-stricken farmers. And

still to come - the sporting

sacrifice that takes rugby to a new extreme.

Australia has taken its first

step towards regaining the

rugby league tri nations trophy with victory over New Zealand.

The Kangaroos won 30 to 18. The

Tri-Nations champions opened

their campaign with their

customary challenge. The

cultural significance was lost

on Willie Mason. The video

referee got involved early

giving Cronulla's Nigel Vagana

the benefit of the doubt in

this call. Kangaroos bounced

back with this intercept by

Jonathan Thurston and

eventually set up a try out

wide for Karmichael Hunt. Soon

after the Broncos full-back was

in again. Matt King came up swinging after being shown the

sideline and pretty soon

everybody was in on it

including the cameraman and he

wasn't the only one seeing

stars. David Kidwell planted

this big hit on Willie Mason

who was rendered speechless. The Australians

went to the break with a handy

14-point buffer after Mark

Gasnier scooped up a way ward

pass. With 20 minutes to go t

Kiwis grafted their way back

into the game with a try under

the post. But Mark O'Meley put

the result beyond doubt. And

how's this for a finish.Both

teams now head to Melbourne for

next weekend's rematch.

Australia's netballers weren't

as lucky against New Zealand.

They will have to wait until

Monday to try to clinch their

first trans-Tasman series since

2001. The Silver Ferns won

today's bruising second test in

Auckland 43-37 to level the

series one all. There's an

extra edge to this series, it's

the last to be played between

the international netball heavy

weights until next year's world

championships in fee gee.

Thursday's Test was a thriller. This time New Zealand grabbed

the early edge. Susan Pratley

impressed in game one but was

relaced by Catherine Cox and

she struggled early. Sharelle

McMahon was having a tough time

under intense physical pressure

by the New Zealanders. Pratley

replaced Cox in the second

quarter but also shot poorly.

Irene Van Dyk helped the sil

ver ferns to a 3-goal break.

New Zealand was the early

agressor but that soon changed. McMahon and Pratley

found their range for Australia

to lead 20-#19d at half-time.

New Zealand grabbed the first

four goals after the break and this time the Australian

defence got frustrated. The

world and Commonwealth

champions stretched their

advantage to six at three

quarter time and then pushed on

to win by the same margin.

COMMENTATOR: Time is up. Never

say die. Hit that circle edge.

Look for our shooters an put it

in the goal. Easy. It was still

a great performance. I thought

we fought it out right to the

end and even in the last couple

of minutes challenged them. The

decider will be played in

Christchurch on

Monday. American surfer Kelly

Slater has set a record that

will take some catching. He

needed only a second placing in

today's tour event in Spain to

secure an unprecedented eighth

world title. When ap

20-year-old Kelly Slater won

his first world title'Achy

Breaky Heart' topped the pop

charts an Paul Keating was

Australian prime minister. Then

he was the youngest champion,

now aged 34 he's the oldest and

his eighth title surpasses two

of the greats of world

sport. Schumacher almost won

his eighth the other day and

then he blew his engine out and

Lance didn't try for his eighth. Slater took an

unbeatable lead in the rank

tionz with two events to do

when he beat Australia's Joel

Parkinson in the semifinals.

After losing in the final to

countryman Bobby Martinez,

Slater gave mixed messages

about whether he'd be back next

year. It makes me feel like I

can keep going if I want but I

don't know if that's what I

want now at this point I'm not

sure. One goal which could keep

Slater on if circuit is the

record number of tour event

wins. He and the retired

American Tom Curren have both

won 33 times. In soccer's A

League the Central Coast Mariners have showed some of

the form that took them to last

year's final. The Mariners

trailed 1-0 when Benito Carbone

scored in the 12th minute. The

Central Coast struck back late

in the first half. Striker

Damian Mori scored twice in the

second half to ensure the

Mariners second win of the

season. The Sydney Kings have

been beaten by Townsville in

round four of the national

basketball league. Townsville

maintained its unbeaten record

at home this season while

Brisbane outplayed Adelaide.

Master trainer Bart kumings

claimed his second consecutive Caulfield Guineas when

Wonderful World took out the

race this afternoon. The

$600,000 winners cheque capped

off a remarkable turn around

for the 3-year-old colt. The

last time wonds wond took on

Court Command it finished

almost 12 lengths behind the

colt at Randwick. That was

enough evidence for punters who

backed Court Command in intoo

$2.80 favouritism. But at

Caulfield, Wonderful World is a

different horse. Court Command

took up his usual position at

the head of the field but as

they entered the straight, the

favourite was quickly overtaken

as bartd kumings claimed his

sift Caulfield Guineas. Keep

all the race goers happy. Mind

you I'm a little happy

myself. It was kumings' 246th

Group One success but the first

for jockey Luke Nolan. Bloody

elated to get it behind me. You

wait a long time to ride a

Group One winner. Excites

finished strongly to pinch

second with Court Command

hanging on for third.

Connections of the - after the

gelding scored an upset win

over Mohamed Elbaradei in the

Group One Caulfield stakes. It

took him a long way - a long

time to get there but thank god

he did. And Sydney jockey Jason

Lee is recovering in hospital

with a suspected broken jaw

tonight after falling from his

mount Upyonder while leading

race 7 at Kembla Grange. Now

severe injuries are comman

place in top-level sport but

few players would consider

sacrificing a finger for

football. A rugbies brum brrk

player has take than action to

be fit for next years season.

Jone Tawake has had the ring

finger on his right hand

amputated above the middle

joint. Tawake suffered a severe

dislocation earlier this year

and underwent surgery which

resulted in complications and

an infection. Faced with the

option of several further

operations and a long recovery

or amputation, Tawake chose to

have the finger removed. I

think most of the boys wouldn't

do it but I think for me it was

either this or football. See at

the moment now I sometimes I

could feel there's still a

finger there but I just got to

get used to it now it's

gone. AFL player Daniel Chick

had a similar operation in 2002

and went on to win a

premiership this year with West

Coast. The State's Wollemi

National Park is yielding up

more of its prehistoric

wondering. Already famous for

its ancient trees it's proved

to contain a vast Calry of

Aboriginal art. Antarctica

yoltions found paintings

hinting at the first contact

Wollemi National Park with European set lers. The

north-west of Sydney is

renowned for hiding ancient secrets. It's home to the

Wollemi pine, a relic of the

time of the dinosaurs an now

Antarctica yoltions are

claiming more significant

fiebs. This fines show us that

Aboriginal people were using

and living and engaging in art

and ceremony in even the most

rugged parts of the country,

some of the most difficult to

access. Researchers led by a team from Queensland have found

dozens of sets of drawings and

paintings thought to be about

5,000 years old. And in a

relatively untouched Aboriginal

shelter, they discovered a

stone axe from a time when

European settlement had already

started to encroach. We think

it probably is only about 150

or so years of age because the

wood hasn't disintegrated. The

axe remains where it was found,

several kilometres from the largest engraved platform in

the region. Traditional owners

say the engravings are

especially important and were

vital for communication. A lot

of people said there's no

engravings in the Wollemi and

I've been disputing that for

years an years that there would

be so it's really good that

they've come across this site

and it prove there's are big

engraving sites out there. We

have found a couple of examples

of horses drawn in some of the

shelters and these are very early depictions that were

probably made soon after contact. More than 200 sites

have now been discovered in the

Wollemi National Park and

researchers are confident there

are more treasures to be found.

They say that they will continue working with

traditional owners to unravel

the past. Now let's take a

look at this hot weather. Today

it hit 36.3 degrees in Sydney

city. That's half a degree

cooler than yesterday but still

the first time in 148 years

we've had two consecutive days

this warm in October. But it's

going to cool down

significantly tonight.

There's a cloud band

stretches from WA to Victoria

causing isolated showers and there's speckled cloud crossing

South Australia, Victoria and

Tasmania. Southerly winds

behind a cold front will bring coastal showers to the south-east of the continent

tomorrow and cool things right

down. There's low sitting up

over WA with a trough extending

east and south.There will be

coastal shower and NSW, Victoria.

A strong wind warning south

of cape Byron and an extreme

fire warning for the slopes an

plains.

In the south-east an extreme

to very high fire danger

tonight.

Taking a look back now at our

top stories - the Nationals

leader Mark Vaille has pledged

at least $750 million in new assistance to struggling

farmers an irrigators in a

package to be unveiled next

week. And Australia has

defeated New Zealand 30-18 in

the opening game of the

Tri-Nations rugby league series

in Auckland. Before we go

here's a preview of the news an

current affairs line-up on ABC

Television tomorrow morning. At

9:00 on inn siders is Mark

Vaille. At ten o'clock

on'Inside Business' Alan

Kohler's guest is the president

of emrates airlines Tim Clark.

Barry Cassidy returns at 10.30

with a look at the week in

sport on yauv siders, his

special guest is Libby Lenton.

And at 11 Edmund Roy hosts'Asia

Pacific Focus'. I'll be back

with an update in about an hour

V a great night. Captions provided by Captioning and Subtitling International.