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Live. Today - bracing for more

rain, thousands of people in

NSW ordered to evacuate as

authorities warn there could be

worse to come. While in Victoria more properties are

becoming isolated as the heavy

rain continues there.

Also on News 24 today, Bob

Carr warns his new Federal Labor colleagues to stop backstabbing each other in backstabbing each other in the

interests of party unity. The

United Nations orders the

Syrian Government to allow the

Red Cross to deliver aid in

Homs. And new recruit Chris Sandow scores for Parramatta

but can't save his side from

defeat by the Brisbane Broncos. Good afternoon, you're

Palan. Checking tomorrow's watching ABC News 24, I'm Simon

weather: weather: Well

been told to leave their homes

across NSW and Victoria heavy rain and also widespread across NSW and Victoria as

flooding continues to cause

chaos across the south-east. The State Emergency Service

said the flooding in NSW is

combined scope unprecedented in terms of its

combined scope and duration.

The Warragamba dam west of

Sydney began to spill water

last night. The SES says last night. The SES says the evacuation lorders have been for communities along the

Hawkesbury River. The SES held a media conference earlier. 3,500 people right

across the State are subject to

evacuation order. Again, 75% of

the State is affected by flood waters and as we speak the waters and as we speak the rain

is continuing to fall and will

for the next two days. Here in

western Sydney we saw that the

Warragamba dam began to spill

water around about 7pm last

night and that has continued

the predictions as has been

made over the last four or five

days of river peaks down the Hawkesbury Nepean system. Hawkesbury Nepean system. This morning we issued morning we issued specific evacuation orders for people

along the Hawkesbury Nepean

system, totalling 2,000 people. They're predominantly in the

areas of Pittown, Richmond

lowlands which comprises about

1,000 people and the other

1,000 people in caravan parks

well as low-lying rural spread right along the river as

properties. Because the rain properties. Because

has fallen continuously has fallen continuously over

the last 3 to 4 days these

people have been preparing for this moment when they needed to

leave their homes. We leave their homes. We have

evacuation centres set up

within the district but we are

advising people if they advising people if they can to

go to friends' homes, to

relative s' homes but of course

if they would like they can go

to those evacuation centres.

The predictions for the next

two days is continued rain,

continuing heavy throughout

today with easing late this

afternoon but again over the

next 48 hours expecting another

200 mm. We also have about

2,300 people still isolated in

parts of NSW. Predominantly parts of NSW. Predominantly in

the north-western part of State as a result of the floods the north-western part of the

in over the last couple of months

in those western flowing rivers

but together overnight joining

those are people in Trundle,

about 379 people being isolated

due to the heavy rains

overnight, 30 properties in

Braidwood and another 20 properties in

properties in a town called

Toang near Goulburn. That also

see s another two flood rescues being conducted overnight

bringing the total of flood

rescues since the beginning of

this event to 43. An assessment of the situation there from the

SES Commissioner Murray Keir. Well, the ABC's Nick dol is in

the Hawkesbury region

north-west of Sydney and he north-west of Sydney

sent this report. I'm not far

from Pittown Bottoms which is

one of the areas along the

Hawkesbury Nepean that has been

affected bay flood evacuation

order this morning. It was a

been told to get out. warning and residents have now

been told to get out. Areas

around the Richmond lowlands are affected. There's quite are affected. There's quite a

few agricultural areas and

caravan parks that are likely

to be inundated. As you can see the locals aren't too worried. It's a bit It's a bit of a novelty for

some of them seeing the river

this high. This is actually a

boat ramp nompleally and it boat ramp nompleally and

goes down several metres. To

give you an idea of where the river is predicted to go, it's

around 5.4 further up the river at the moment. It's predicted

to reach 11 or 12, so as you

still a can see by that gauge treas

still a long way to go. The

locals here aren't too worried

about this stage. Those who do about this stage. Those who

need to evacuate have been

given plenty of notice and

they've gathered their

essentials and their pets and their agricultural equipment

and moved it to higher ground.

Of course there's still a

waiting game because that huge

volume of water making its way down from Warragamba could down from Warragamba could take

several hours to take affect. Nick Dole there. Authorities

sent to Victoria's say extra resources are being

north-eastern Gippsland as more

heavy rain falls across the heavy rain falls across the

State. Earlier today Weekend

Breakfast spoke to ABC reporter

Danny Morgan who is in

in northern Victoria have Wangaratta. He said conditions

improved slightly. In the last

hour or so since we've been

here the Ovens River behind me

has gone down slightly. It's in

a moderate flood at the moment

but looks like it's reached its

peak for the moment. expected - peak for the moment. It's

expected - there's expected to

be about 80 to 100 mm rain across north-eastern Victoria,

across the ranges, today.

That's started. There's been

some showers over the last 1.5

hours here. It hasn't begun in

earnest but the weather bureau

tells us in the afternoon and

evening we're expecting heavy

rain. It's a big weekend here

in Wangaratta. There's an AFL

football match between St Kilda and es - Essendon and es - Essendon on We've just been down to the and es - Essendon on tonight.

brilliant condition after about ground to have a look. It's in

270 mm of rain has fallen around Wangaratta this week but

the ground looks magnificent

but we chatted to a few of the

coaching staff in St Kilda.

They're a bit wary of what

might happen today because

there is 80 to 100 mm expected

later today. But 11,000 tickets sold for that sold for that game, so

everyone's hoping that the rain stays away and they can get

along to the footy tonight. But

for other areas in Victoria

obviously people are on alert

for evacuation and what is the situation in terms of those other areas where they might

expect the flooding to actually

worsen? Well, further to worsen? Well, further to the

west is the Goulburn Valley and

that's a pretty flat farming country through there,

irrigation country and several

towns around that region have

been dealing with flood waters

for days. Two towns at for days. Two towns at least

are isolated, Katamatite and Tungamar. Katamatite residents

were urged to evacuate last

night. After dark the only road

out was closed. Most people

have elected to stay. The flood

waters are only creeping up

there so there's no, I there so there's no, I guess, immediate threat but the flood waters have been rising

overnight there and half a

dozen or so houses in

Katamatite have water Katamatite have water through them but many more are

threatened with water lapping

at their doors. So yeah, pretty serious situation over in the

Goulburn Valley. There's 20 to

50 mm expected in that region today and that today and that would certainly

put some pressure on the towns

like Katamatite, Nurmurkah, a

number of towns north of

Shepparton that are in Shepparton that are in the

firing line. Turning to other

news now and the new Foreign Minister

Minister Bob Carr has held a media conference to talk about

his appointment and he spoke

about some of his aims as Foreign Minister and Foreign Minister and also the importance of unity within importance of unity within the Labor Party. One is Labor Party. One is the importance of cultivating bipartisanship in foreign

policy. I intend to reach out

to the Opposition. I give the

Opposition credit for having

bipartisanship on Afghanistan. We've got 1,550 Australian

fighting men and women in

Afghanistan and it's very, very

important to them to know that

their presence there is not subject

subject to dispute back home. My door will be open to My door will be open to explore with the Opposition further

opportunities for the sharing of information and for

bipartisanship. After all, this

is about Australia, it's about Australia's place in the world.

We can maximise the area We can maximise the area of

policy that is above party

political disputation. political disputation. The US

alliance is the bedrock for

Australia. We've got room for arguments over priorities as

friends. But we all recognise

that that security treaty

offers something very, very important to important to Australians.

Without it we'd be in a

position of seeking armed

neutrality and that's not an attractive prospect. I just

want to mention that in general

terms, in foreign policy my

approach has been that of a realist, a realist without

illusions and a realist who is

open to idealism. I give

enormous credit. The more I

read about Kevin Rudd I give

credit for rather ambitious

things on which I was sceptical

like the mobilisation of world intervention in Libya intervention in Libya and that

commitment to intervention

where there's a chance of success in pursuit of

humanitarian goals is very significant and that resides

within the overall framework of that predominantly realist

approach to foreign policy. For

any Government today in the

economic context we find

ourselves with all the cross

currents in the world economy,

government is hard. It's hard government is hard. It's hard

slog. I'm prepared to offer my

services but you don't get

saviours in politics, you just

get people prepared to roll

their sleeves up and work for

Australia. You've got to get

serious. I think we've got to

look at our ethos and get

beyond backstabbing one another

playing for advantage in the

media. Just get serious about

the challenge from the

conservatives. We could end up with a quite vicious,

unpredictable, erratic Abbott

Government and the people who support

support my side of support my side of politics

outside the caucus room want us

to close ranks. They want us to

get serious, they want us to

focus on doing good and

highlighting the bad that highlighting the bad that could

come from a change of government. Bob Carr there and

meantime the Federal Opposition

is attacking the Prime Minister Julia Julia Gillard's handling of the foreign affairs portfolio. The

Opposition's foreign affairs

spokeswoman Julie Bishop said

Ms Gillard misplead Federal

parliament and her own party by

appointing Mr Carr. The whole

sorry and humiliating saga sorry and humiliating saga of Bob Carr's appointment has just reinforced the public's view

that Julia Gillard cannot be

trusted. When she was confronted with the facts that she she had approached Bob Carr to

be the Foreign Minister and

that she had been talked out of it by Stephen Smith and screen

Simon Crean, she said the story

was completely untrue. We was completely untrue. We now

know that the story was true. When Julia Gillard was When Julia Gillard was faced

with a choice of being seen as dishonest or weak, she chose

dishonesty. Bob Carr should be a competent foreign minister

but that's not Julia Gillard's problem. Stephen Smith and

Kevin Rudd were mostly

competent in their handling of

the foreign affairs portfolio.

Julia Gillard's problem is that

she lacks the skill and ability

in the foreign affairs

portfolio and most of the

Government's disastrous

outcomes in foreign molcy have been as a result of Julia Gillard's Gillard's intervention. Julie Bishop there. Police say a

camera mounted on a police car

will provide key evidence into

an investigation into the fatal

shooting of an officer in NSW.

Senior Constable David Rixon

was shot after he pulled over a

car outside a block of flats in

Tamworth. Fellow officers on

the scene performed CPR but the

father of 6 died a short time

later. One man arrested after

the shooting was today released from custody without charge.

The UN Secretary-General

Ban-Ki Moon has described the

ongoing violence in Syria ongoing violence in Syria as Intoll rabble. His comments came after the came after the International

Commit wri of the Red Cross was

refused interai to the Baba

Amar district of Homs. Amar district of Homs. He

demanded the Syrian ajeem allow humanitarian aid workers

unconditional access to the

country. The images which we

have seen in Syria is

atrocious. It's a totally unacceptable, intolerable. How,

as a human being, can you bear

with this situation? That's

really troubles me. I'm deeply

sad seeing all what's happen

ing. But Syrian authorities must open, without any preconditions, to preconditions, to a humanitarian community. Why humanitarian community. Why are

they afraid of receive ing head

of UN humanitarian department. Ban-Ki Moon there.

Polling stations have closed

for Iran's parliamentary

election after voting was

extended to let extended to let more people

cast ballots. Polling station

closed around 5 hours after closed around 5 hours after the scheduled closing time. The

poll is expected to be won by

supporters of the supreme

leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

They turned out in force in conservative neighbourhoods of

Tehran to choose candidates to

represent them in parliament

but by voting these people also

made another choice. made another choice. Their

ballot is a vote of confidence

in the ruling establishment,

that's because the majority of that's because the majority of those running for office are in the ruling conservative camp.

TRANSLATION: This is our duty

because the election has a lot

of meaning for my country and

it's a message to the outside world. For many voting world. For many voting means

obeying the obeying the most powerful man

in Iran, the supreme leader Ali

Khamenei, turned for a massive

turn out to send a message to the country's enemies. TRANSLATION: The best way of

saying something is saying it

with an action. The nation put us well into action us well into action so therefore the more people take part in the election the better

it is for the country. The

election boils down to a struggle between struggle between conservatives,

supporters of the supreme

leader and supporters of President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad.

He is not running for election

but is backing some candidates. Ahmedinejad's popularity with

the popularity has not only

plummeted, he has also fallen himself. By pushing for an

alternative power base that

doesn't rely just on religion.

The election is supposed The election is supposed to determine the popularity of the clerical leadership, a leadership which is leadership which is coming

under increasing pressure from

the West over its nuclear work

it it is also a leadership

which is facing challenges from

within and internal opposition

which is authorities have so

far managed to silence. Supporters of the

reformist campaign boycotted

the vote, it was their way of

protesting an election they believe isn't free and fair.

The leaders of the Opposition Green

Green movement are under house

arrest and the country's

guardian council disqualified

many candidates who are not

loyal to the leadership. The

lack of choice led many people

not to vote rather than cast a ballot they believe won't bring

about change. This woman told

us she didn't vote because she

didn't want to. "I am scared"

she said and walked away.

Parliamentarians are weak in Parliamentarians are weak in a system where system where the ultimate authority lies with the supreme

leader. This ballot goes leader. This ballot goes beyond

winners and losers. What is key

is participation. Every vote

counts so the officials

extended voting late into the

night. A high turn out is what the authorities want. The

supreme leader says that would

be key for the country's

security but it may also be key

for cementing for cementing Khamenei's

undisputed rule. Well this

weekend Russians will elect a

new president with Vladimir

Putin the overwhelming

favourite. The first protests against his rule began two

years ago in the country's European enclave of Kaliningrad

and that's a recommend innocent

of the Second World War wedged

between lit - Lithuania and Poland. Norman Hermant

travelled there to see how the

presidential campaign is unfolding. There is no place in

Russia like Kaliningrad because

it's not actually in Russia.

This was once part of Germany

annexed by the red army after the Second World the Second World War, cut off

from Russia when the Soviet

Union collapsed. It can seem

here like they're watching

their own country's politics

from a I fair and like many,

these university students

aren't sure where mass

opposition demonstrations will

lead. If there were such many

people on the streets that means that probably something

should change but how it should

be changed that's another

question. Two years ago the

first big anti-Putin protests

happened here, a by-product of happened here, a by-product of

dissatisfaction with the local

governor. Now the presidential

election is playing out in the

rest of the country. The voters

here are unique. More had

visited their European

neighbours than mainland Russia

and many say that makes a

difference. When we go out of

our country and when we meet

different people who think

differently, we differently, we changed. This

may be an enclave surrounded may be an enclave surrounded by two EU countries far closer to

Berlin than Moscow. And like

the rest of the country some

here have deep suspicions about the recent wave of political

protests. Yuri is a Kaliningrad

deputy and a fed rat of the

Soviet war in Afghanistan. During his presidential

campaign Vladimir Putin has accused opposition accused opposition groups of

being in the pocket of US and

Western interests. He says he's right. TRANSLATION: There are those

interested in our collapse in

making an anxious situation in Russia Most here believe Vladimir

Vladimir Putin will be the next president. Like this city's

monuments he's a link to

Russia's past. Like it or not, he's also the future.

he's also the future. Two men

have been found guilty of

stealing from an injured

Malaysian student during last

year's riots. This pair year's riots. This pair were filmed taking items from the

injured man's ruck suck as they

helped him to his feet. They

were found guilty of were found guilty of violent disorder. This is the film

which led to a public outcry. Ashraf, a student from

Malaysia, is sitting on the ground disorientated and bleeding. He's just been

punched so hard that his jaw's been broken in two

places. They're actually

helping him up. As he tries helping him up. As he tries to

recover from the assault a man

helps him to his feet. It looks

like an act of kindness, a good

Samaritan helping an innocent

victim. But seconds later boat

he and a second man set about

robbing Ashraf, stealing a Sony PlayStation and a handful of

games from his rucksack. The

two men seen in that video, Reece Donovan and John Reece Donovan and John Kafunda

have today been convicted. He's injured, he's on the floor,

he's defenceless. he's defenceless. They've

appeared to help him, they've helped im-up and then they've

robbed from him. It's the

lowest of the low. Ashraf had

only been in the UK for a few

weeks when he got caught up in

the worst disorder in years. Back

Back in August he spoke of his

ordeal, just a day after undergoing surgery on his jaw. I felt sorry for them but

it was really sad it was really sad because amongst them there were

children, it was very

sad. Ashraf was attacked here

as he was on his way to as he was on his way to see a

friend who lived nearby. She had

had phoned him to say that she

was scared about the rioting in

the area. He was on his way to

comfort her. Today his father

in Malaysia told the BBC that

Ashraf now has a phobia about

crowds. The family are pleased at today's verdicts.

TRANSLATION: I'm very satisfied

with how the British Government

has handled this case. I also

hope that they will look after people's safety so that this

won't happen again. Donovan and Kafunda were not involved in

the initial assault on Ashraf

but their callousness captured

on film provoked widespread

outrage and they've been told

they can expect lengthy jail

terms. Tornadoes and powerful

storms are again battering the midsouth of the United States.

The national weather service

says the States of Kentucky and

Indiana are being hit by high

winds and also hail storms. 3

people are reported to have

been killed and dozens injured

and the small town of

Marysville in Indiana is said

to have been completely

destroyed. 13 people were

killed by tornadoes in several

States early this week. And

officials in the United States

say they've uncovered say they've uncovered an international smuggling ring

stretching from the US all the

way to China. They say they've seized counterfeit goods seized counterfeit goods valued

at over $325 million making it

one of the largest smuggling

busts in history. The fake

products included shoes,

handbag s and large quantities

of cigarettes. More than 2

dozen US and Chinese nationals

have been charged.

The Brisbane Broncos have

started their NRL season with

an 18-6 win against the Eels at

Parramatta Stadium. The Broncos

ran in 3 tries to 1. New

recruit Chris Sandow scored the

Eels' only try with all Eels' only try with all three

of the Broncos' coming after

the half time interval. In the ecked vund of the AFL preseason

cup match on the Gold Coast it

was Geelong who prevailed by 49

points over the suns. points over the suns. Despite

one super goal and 3 goals by Nathan Bock the home

Nathan Bock the home side couldn't reel in the prem couldn't reel in the prem chers

who outscored them by 33 points

in the final term. NSW Waratahs

secured a bonus point win over

the Melbourne Rebels in the Super Rugby last night. War-Tahs centre Tom Carter

crossed twice in the first half

with the Rebels' only 5

pointer, a penalty try in the

second stanza. Sri Lanka

defeated Australia by 9 runs in

last night's one-day cricket

match in Melbourne to ensure

the two sides will meet in the

try series finals. Sri Lanka batted first and was dismissed

for 238 with Dan Christian

taking 5/31 including taking 5/31 including a hat-trick. Australia hat-trick. Australia was bowled

out for 229 in the 50th over in

reply. Sri Lanka has now won its last 3 matches against

Australia. Gold Coast United

owner Clive Palmer has failed

to secure a court injunction to secure a court injunction do

keep its A-League keep its A-League licence until

the end of the season. The Supreme Court in Brisbane sat

late into the night to decide

the club's future. The coach of the Australian women's the Australian women's team, Tom Surmani will oversee preparations for tomorrow's

match away to the fie nix. The

Brisbane Roar has missed the

chance to go top of the

A-League managing just a 1-1

draw at home to Melbourne

Heart. Berisha - was brought

down in injury time.

Today is a special day for

Sydney, the mardi gras festival

gets going later tonight. It's become one of the world's biggest celebrations of biggest celebrations of gay

pride. Those planning to join

the parade have been working

hard on floats and costumes all week. Kylie Minogue is the

guest of honour and this week

she had a message for the Prime

Minister about same sex

marriage. Julia, come on. I

think it's inevitable so if we

can get there sooner rather

than later it would be

wonderful. Organisers say

they're expecting more than

9,000 people to attend despite

the wet weather. British crooner Engelbert crooner Engelbert Humperdinck

is to represent the UK at year's euro vision song contest. The 75-year-old dubbed

the king of romance is best

known for his 197 67's hit

Release Me. He said it was an

honour to take part and was

excited and raring to go. excited and raring to go. The

song he will perform will be

announced and will be recorded

in London and Los in London and Los Angeles.

Humperdinck is the oldest

contestant and if wins will be

the UK's first victor 15 years

ago. The competition will be

held in May. If you don't like

audience participation you

might find a new theatre show in Melbourne slightly confronting. Audience members

are forced to wear special

goggles and become part of the

performance. The show was created by British created by British performance

artist El Pixo Rosso and is on at at the Melbourne Town Hall

until 18 March. Taking a look

at the satellite image, a band

of cloud associated with a

trough over central and south-east Australia is

producing flooding and producing flooding and isolated storms. Thick cloud over the tropics with a low is causing thundery showers and skies

aclearing from the west aclearing from the west under

the influence of a high

pressure system. Looking around

the country for tomorrow:

Standby now for 'Australian Story'. You're Story'. You're watching ABC News 24. Closed Captions by CSI

This Program is Captioned Live. # Theme music Hello and welcome to Contact Sport. I'm Steve Pearce. Coming up on the program we'll check in with some of Australia's stars of track and field, as they build up to the London Olympics. And the national team may have been on song, but Australian soccer has had a week to forget. Now Gold Coast boss Clive Palmer