Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
ABC News Breakfast -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) Ceasefire calls grow

louder in Gaza but still no

deal as the number of

Palestinian dead climbs above

1000. More rain falls in Fiji feeding floods that have

already claimed 11 lives and

left locals and tourists

stranded. The Federal

Government under pressure to extend a temporary boos to

first home buyers as markets

eagerly await the latest job figures. Lleyton Hewitt's

come back looking better by

day after making it through

the quarterfinals of the Sydney International.

Good morning, it's

Thursday 15 January. The top

story on ABC News breakfast -

UN Secretary-General Ban

Ki-Moon is preparing to

travel to Israel on a second

leg of a tour he hopes will

lead the lasting the

ceasefire in Gaza. The United

Nations peace began his peace

mission in Cairo. Overnight

the conflict became more

complicated with more rockets

hitting Israel from Lebanon.

In Gaza Palestinian medics

say the number of dead has

topped 1 on 000. For nearly

three weeks the people of

Gaza have lived under Israeli

bombardment, the death and

injury toll growing by the

day. Hamas has continued to fire rockets and mortar

rounds into south Israel the

far less lethal effect. Fewer

are being launched. When they

can the resident of Gaza

hurriedly look for supplies.

Many depend on food aid like

this. In Egypt UN

Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon

went with the Egyptian

president part of a week-long

shuttle then the capitals

searching for an agreement

that will end the killing I

have been urging in the

strongest possible way that

both sides must stop fighting

now. We do not have any time

to lose. Then we can discuss

and elaborate the terms and

conditions as the Egyptian

Government believes the

initiative, how to make this

truce last. Sustainable and

durable and which can be

fully respected by all the

parties. The Israelis,

weapons so the Palestinians

do not have anything to return from so they have the

stop it. I have seen it on

TV. It is a scandal. The

Israeli Government says it is simply wanting to stop the

Hamas attacks. Now it has to

contend with rockets fired from southern Lebanon. At

least three landed in open

ground in northern Israel

sparking fears Hezbollah may

open another front to support

Hamas T Lebanese army says it dismantled other rockets that

had not been fired. So far no-one has claimed

responsibility. The attack

has angered the Lebanese Government. Lebanese Foreign

Minister says it would only

serve to provide Israel with

an excuse the etall aide.

There are reports of

divisions in the Israeli

Government over the timing of

any ceasefire but for now it

is a war with strong support

in Israel and it appears the

objectives have yet to be

met. Despite the intense diplomatic efforts there is

little optimism for an end to

the conflict. As it continues

many die, innocent

victims. For more ABC correspondent Phillip

Williams joins us on the

phone. A loft hope is being

put in this Egyptian

proposal, this ceasefire

proposal. There are 1000

people dead in Gaza, 13 dead

in Israel. What are the

elements of this Egyptian

proposal? Well, they are

rather shifting sands I have

the say because there are

constant talks going on today

particularly with Hamas and

Egyptian officials but th

base of it seems to be a

ceasefire, a temporary

ceasefire, perhaps somewhere

between 3 and 10 days that

would give time to negotiate

a more lossing the peace and

the conditions for that would

be certainly from the Israeli

said a securing of the

borders between Gaza and

Egypt so that the smuggling

of weapons ends that, the

tunnels that have been used

for a long time now be closed

and shut down permanently.

Also in return that ever that

Israel would open its

crossing to tend siege which

has lasted for more than a

year and a half so there is ground to be given on both

sides but I have to say that

at this stage there is no

firm deal on offer. It is

just some noises, positive

noises coming out of

particularly the Hamas camp

but again rather confused

ones at that. So there is some confusion this morning

over whether Hamas had

actually accepted this

proposal? That is right,

yes. There was certainly a

message that seemed to come

from a Hamas official in

Egypt that seemed to indicate

that yes, we must make some

sort of agreement with

virtually forced into this

sort of agreement by military

pressure but then other

signals coming from Hamas

leadership in Lebanon saying

no we are not at that point

of agreement so it is really

a confused scene at the

moment and the - the positive

part in terms of the Israeli

side that is the Israeli

defence official has just

announced, in fact this is

hot off the wires that there

will be negotiated travelling

from Israel to Cairo

tomorrow. He had been

expected to be there today.

The fact he is going there

tomorrow seems to indicate

there is at least something

to talk about so that is

positive. We saw in your

package Ban Ki-Moon talking.

He arrives in Israel today.

What are the hopes of what he

can do? Well, he has one mission initially of course

and that is to stop the

fighting and he has made it

clear that the killing, the

injuries, the humanitarian

situation in Gaza, all of

that has to be improved, that

the actual fighting must end.

After that it is a question

of very long negotiations to

make it a more secure

cessation in hostilities but

it will be a task and he is

doing the rounds. He will be

here in Israel later today

your time then for the next

day and he visit Jordan and

Lebanon and I think Turkey.

Turkey may end up playing

quite a significant role in

there because there is some

speculation that Turkish

troops may be used along the

border with Gaza and Egypt to

stop those tunnels being used

and make sure that is a

secure border which is one of

the key demands from is the

Israelis so they may end up

playing a very significant

role. The latest job figures

are being released this

morning in the wake of the

Treasurer's statement that

the slowing world economy

will be felt in the

Australian job market. Wayne

Swan has refused to rule another economic stimulus

deal either in or out. Meanwhile the Federal Government is coming under

increased pressure to extend

a temporary grant to first

home buyers amid claims it

has been helping prop up the struggling house market. The

number of people killed in

Fiji's floods has reportedly

risen to 11. The islands have

experienced another night of

heavy rain and forecasters

say more is on the way.

Homes, bridges and roads have

been sunk bee get water and

mud and 9000 remain in

shelters. Many Australian

tourists trapped on the island returned home

overnight via a special

Qantas flight A fire that has

burnt out 23 hectares in

Sydney's north is under

control according to the NSW Rural Fire Service. Despite

predigs of high temperatures

today crews say they are

confident the blaze is

contained A fire that destroyed holes and businesses near Port Lincoln

in South Australia is also

under control. Overnight

heavy rain is swelling northern Queen's new year's

honours list's rivers. The

State Government is offering

disaster relief funning to people in 19 regions

including the major centres

of Townsville and Cairns T

flood damage bill is

estimated to be $32 million.

The main route between

Queensland and the Northern

Territory is expected to he

Haine closed to heavy traffic

for another fortnight. The

'Washington Post' newspaper

reports a Saudi terrorism

suspect was tortured by US

agents at Guantanamo Bay. The

man was suspected of involvement in the September

11 attacks. He was left in a life-threatening condition

after being interrogated. He

remains at the centre but all

charges against him were

dropped. The Pentagon says 61

former detainees have

returned to terrorism since

tear release from the Cuban compound. Returning to Fiji

where the death toll from

major flooding has risen to

11. Kerri Ritchie joins us on

the phone from Nadi. What are

conditions like there today?

It looks a bit better at

the moment. The rain seems to

have stopped and when I first

got up there was a bit of

sunshine. It is grey skies

again now but it is clear but

we have landlines down and

internet where I am for the

first time since I arrived a

true days ago so I think that indicates that I have been

told that is because of the

storm and I think that

indicates there has been

further flooding overnight

and everyone here is waiting

for this rain depression that

is meant to move in this

afternoon. We have as you

said the death toll has

climbed to 11. That includes

local children and the search

is continuing for a boot out

somewhere off the mainland

where I am at Nadi. Somewhere

around the islands and it has

about 24 people on board

including I think three

children. They have not been

able to search for that boat

yet. Conditions were just too

rough yesterday so there is a

boat there with about 24

people. I have seen out my

window a plane land which is

good news A plane has just,

um, you know, flown in so

there must be some movement

at the airport. It is pretty

waterlogged butt is the

low-lying areas of Nadi which

are the worst and that is

where we saw yesterday the

Main Street just pretty much

wiped out. I mean the

buildings are there but there

is nothing left inside them.

And I was told last night

that they are already saying

that about 20 of those shops

in the Main Street just will

not reopen and about more

than 90% of people here are

not insured, it is just too

expensive for them so

everything that has been

damgd is lost and they will

not get it back so, yes, it

is, um, very bad for the

Fijians and I think today's

weather could make it a lot

worse. So the death toll has

risen to 11. You have those

scenes of devastation in the

main streets, shops that will

not be reopening. We have

seen shots playing in the

water happily but is there a

sense now in the local

community of frustration and

desperation at what has

happened? I think - I can

see the desperation. I mean

we have walked down the Main

Street and come across people

sitting in the back of their

shops just surveying the

damage and crying, sitting

there with just really

nowhere to go, they cannot go

to their homes, they are

underwater and they just have

to go to community centres and sit there with other

people, you know, talking

about what they have been

through. I have not heard

much frustration about

whether aid is getting

through. I have been to some

community centres that say

food supplies are okay, we

have enough coming in. The

Government has organised

boxes of food and I saw that

where I was yesterday, boxes

of food were being brought in

but everyone is talking about

the small, isolated villages

we have been unable to get to

because of the roads. The

people up there are the ones

in dire straits. They have no

food. We are hearing reports

people are stranded up there

and is so water-logged they

have nothing so I think that

the amount of aid, there

seems to be a little bit

getting through. Blankets

from the Red Cross, food,

but, you know, there are 6000

people that are not in homes,

they are in community centres

which is a lot of people for

Fiji to deal with. We have

been receiving emails from

Australian tourists who were

over there eager to get out.

What is the situation with

tourists there now? I soak

the some Australian tourists

that I had met when I first

arrived here. I talked to

them again last night. Look,

I mean their attitude has

changed a lot. They are now,

you know, sitting it out,

flying out on Friday. They

seem a lot more calm. They

just, you know, they have

realised right, they cannot

get one of these flights t

few flights outs so they will

just have to sit it out. Australians do seem to be

cope wing this pretty well

now and are just waiting to

see if this storm brings much

more this afternoon. But,

yeah, I mean you come across

them in the hotels and down

the street, um, yeah, they

are just, you know, this is

the holiday they didn't want

but there is not much they

can do about it. Look, I've

spoken to resort hopers and

they say they want to make it

clear, that look, Fiji has

been hammered by this flood

but they don't want people to

be put off from coming in the future because they say there are areas that have not been

hit and that is right. We

have a lot of damage on the

West Coast but down south in

the coral coast they have

heaps of food and there is

minimal rain so people if

they are still thinking of

coming need to have big discussions because there are

still planes flying in but

they need to find out what

the weather is like and where

they need to go. We will have

the leave it there.

Returning to the economy. For

more on that Ben Worsely

joins us from Canberra. Jobs

figure are out today. What

should we expect? All the

expectation are for a further

20,000 jobs to have been loss

officially, recorded

officially in December, for

the jobless rate the rise

from 4.4% to 4.5% that.

Follows 16,000 jobs lost in

November, so the 'em

preliminary market continues

to look a little gloomy. It

is not rising rapidly but it

is rising steadily and that

is obviously a concern for

those in the workplace and obviously for the Federal

Government in its first term

and having the deal with a

global economic slowdown.

Obviously the picture for the

economy remains gloomy more broadly. Down and Bradstreet

put out a survey overnight

which suggests zero growth in

2009. Now you look at the reports install newspapers

today and again it is all

gloomy T mining sector in the

'Financial Review' suggests

that $60 billion worth of

investment is under review

and in jeopardy. We saw

overnight Rio cutting

hundreds of jobs in WA in at

Argyle diamond mine and

another 3000 or so jobs

potentially at risk in the

mining sector so all around

not great news. I feel like the gloomying numberic

correspondent because the figures coming out of

Canberra at the moment are

not great. We have already

got some fixes on housing.

They have already been

released. Is that good or bad

news, Ben? A bit of both.

Housing values rose u new

home loans were up last month

by 1.3% and the value of

those loans was up 1.5%. Now

that sounds good but without

the new home buyers propped

up artificially by the first

home buyers grant which has

been increased it would have declined reasonably

substantially. The number of

first home buy ers was 18% in

November and the share of new

loans was up 23% the highest

level in 6 years. Part of the

Government's first stimulus

package a couple of months

ago was to double to $14,000

the first home buyers grant

and to trim it to $21,000 for

those buying a new home T

pressure now is on the

Government to announce

whether it will extend that increased level of assistance

to first home buyers.

All the indications are

for a second stimulus package

and you would consider it unlikely for the government

the roll that back. The

downside is that investors

seem to be leaving housing

market in droves. The number

of loans to investors in the

housing market was down 6%

that obviously has a flow-on

effect. Rental prices for

instance are expected to rise

on the back of that. The good

news on the economic front is

acome tonight with less than

good news. If you would

like to send your feedback on any stories. 'The Daily Telegraph'

reports a group of senior NSW

Labor MPs are propertying to

dump Premier Nathan Rhys and

replace him with Frank Sartor

the former mayor of Sydney.

The Sydney morning herald

says first time home buyers

have been lured by Government

grant and lead a rebound in

the housing market. The 'Canberra Times' reports

investors are fleeing the

housing market raising

concern that rents will

increase. The housing rebound

leads the Australian and the broadsheet reports that

Fiji's military-led

Government is struggling to

respond to floods without the

logistic support of Australia

and New Zealand. The 'Australian Financial Review'

says $60 billion of mining

projects have been put on

holds. Companies such as Rio

Tinto have cut spending after

commodity prices have slumped

The age tells of a story of a

man with serious mental

illness being set alight on

Rosebud and the US torture

tactics. Train station in

Melbourne may be closed

because of overcrowding

according to the Herald Sun.

More than 100 services were

cancelled because of hot

weather. The Advertiser in

Adelaide reports on a new

environmental threat as

ongoing droughts create dust

storms of toxic soils. Forest

protests than Tasmania have

turned ugly. 15 protestors

were arrested as 200 marched

into the upper Florentine

Valley. Two people have been

charged with the murder of

drug dealer Frank La Rosa and

his wife Kim. The

Courier-Mail has photos shown

of a laser pointed into the

eyes of a South African

Fielder during Tuesday's

Twenty20 match at the Gabba.

Spectators face a crackdown.

The Northern Territory News,

a man capture ed naked on

calma as he orders fast food

late at night. UN secretary

Ban Ki-Moon calls from a lasting ceasefire deal

between Israel and the

Palestinians as he begins his

peace mission in the meets.

Northern Israel has again

been hit by rockets fired by

Lebanon while in Gaza

Palestinian medics say the

number of dead has topped

1000. Fiji hit by another

night of heavy rain as the

number of people killed by widespread flooding rises to

11. Phone lines and internet

are down an homes, bridges

and roads are beneath water

and mud. 9000 people remain

in shelters. The latest job

figure are released this

morning in the wake of the

Treasurer's statement that

the slowing world economy

will be felt in the

Australian job market. The

Federal Government is also

under pressure to extend a

temporary grant the first

home buyers amid claims it

has been boosting housing

market.

In Western Australia

hundreds of workers at Rio

Tinto's Argyle diamond mine

have been laid off as part of

the company's global push to

slash debt by billions of

dollars. The cuts come a day

after a round of job loses

from resource operations

across the country and

analysts expect more job cuts

to come. Andrew O'Connor

joins us from Perth. It looks

like if resources sector is

in for a shake- out in 2009

It is a worrying time if you

are a resources worker

anywhere in the country.

Tease workers in the Argyle

mine in the far north of

Western Australia had no idea

tear jobs were in danger

until they were tolded to

clean out tear rooms and pack

tear bags. Rio Tinto has some

problems, $60 billion debt.

It looks to cut $10 billion

of that through job loses,

14,000 from its global work

force right around the world

but they are looking to cut

1000 of those here in

Australia so it looks like

these cuts are the first

slice of those cuts. Where

does that leave smaller

resource companies? One

analyst says the smaller

resource companies face a

grim year. These bigger companies because of their

larger revenue base and cash

flows are probably in a berth

position to weather full

effect of the global

financial crisis. Bilbao for

example has experience add

number of deter als from

contract clients for iron ore

but continues to sell on the

spot market because it can

afford to do so. The smaller

companies do not have the

cash flow and res to do that.

So if you are working in the

resources sector in general but in a small company the

next few weeks and months

ahead will be a very nervous

the Australian dollar is

buying 65.9US cents.

In a few minutes Vanessa

O'Hanlon will be here with a look at the national weather

and we will have a review of

some of today's newspapers.

This morning we will be

joined by the editor of the

Sunday Age but now with sport

here is Paul Kennedy.

Lleyton Hewitt has played his

best tennis since returning

from hip surgery. He beat

Janko Tipsarevuc yesterday to

progress the quarters at the Sydney International and

showdown with his old foe

David Nalbandian. Two matches in two days would put

Lleyton Hewitt's hip to the

test. In the fired-up Janko Tipsarevuc match, Janko

Tipsarevuc did his part by

racing out to a 3-love lead.

But the Serb needed his thumb

taped. It seemed to throw him

off his game. The Australian

broke the Janko Tipsarevuc

serve files to claim the

first set. That is trademark! The Serb who gave

Roger Federer a scare at the

Open last year became

increasingly frustrated as he

dropped 7 games in a row

while the fist pump was back

for Australia's No.1 player

and there were signs Hewitt's

sped around the court was

also returning. Hewitt set up quarterfinal against David

Nalbandian. Came in as a

wild card and you never know

what kind of draw you are

going to get so happy to get

through the first two rounds. The former world No.

1 has a supporter who

believes the 27-year-old can

climb back up the rankings

27 is not really old, you

know. For your information!

Roger Federer's opponent

Carlos Moya has never beaten

the Swiss master and that

statistic would not change at Coorong.

The world number 2s

rivals are not playing at

Kooyong but he does not mind

a bit The real guys might

not be playing. Like when I

lost the Andy an crossed him

in the semis a week

later. Andy Murray did not

seem fazed as he continued

his build-up on the Melbourne

Park practice courts. No.1

seed Serena Williams taught

to overcome rising star

Wasnajici in the Sydney

International. She won the

second set showing great

power from th base line. The

Dane held three match points

in the third set one decided

bay line-call review which

fell Williams way. She then

won the final set in a tie

break. The final score 6-7,

6-3, 7-6. Brazilian AC Milan

star Kaca as been offered 2

million to play in the Sydney

league. The offer is so big

even commentators have staggerd. How much is he

worth? Manchester city have

bid ?90 million to buy him,

football's biggest deal by

miles but even a lure of a

salary running into hundreds

of thousands of pound a week

has not persuaded him the

leave Milan Liberal here for

as long as they went and for

as long as my objectives are

as long as Milans. I have

even said that. Even if I

grow old and have the they

are me out I'm very happy

here. Money may change his

mind. Manchester City are

rich. Robinho was signed at

great cost and the club seem

to want the pair him with

Kaka whatever the cost.

Francis was bin's first

million pound footballer.

Back in 1966 Alan shearer was

paid ?16 million but the

biggest fee was paid 7 years

ago when Real Madrid bought

Zidane for ?17 million. Thus

offer would double that. An

as toe number call bid We

are talking about a very,

very special footballer, one

of the best if not the best

in the world but you cannot

tell me anyone is worth that

amount of money. I certainly

was not worth ?15 million in

96 and he is not worth that

now. He is a devoted

Christian a man of famously

high principles, a factor in

any possible transfer from

purely sporting situation it

does not make sense but he is not just about the the

football and the money. There

is this other very important

component to his life and if

he can find purpose and

meaning in that and in moving

here then I think City can

pull it off. Tonight after

gentle twist, his agent

telling the B BC that if Ma

land are prepared the sell

his client had beguiling and brilliant Brazilian may now

be willing to leave after

all. I have to point out not

all that none ever money goes

to him, that is a transfer

fee He would still get a

significant portion? Yes,

he would have the negotiate

his contract I would hate to

think about the soorns on his

legs. We saw Cristiano

Ronaldo crash his car the

other day and all the

supporters were concerned

about his legs. On the tennis, Roger Federer says he

wants to put back the

Australian Open two weeks. Do

we have the tuck about this

story every year? That is

because of the heat or

because they want to squeeze

another tournament in? I

think he wants more practice.

But it does not get any

cooler in February in

Melbourne That's true.

That comes up every year. It

does, like we are trading

water until the Australian

Open starts but the Sydney

Hewitt. interesting with Lleyton International will be

It will be a hot, dry and

windy day in NSW and a total fire ban is in place for most

of the statement dense cloud

is causing storms over the

north of Western Australia.

Cloud is spreading showers

across the Top End and a few

showers will fall over South Australia where dense cloud

is and patchy cloud is

generating a few showers. The

tropical low in Queensland

has moved to North Western

Australia A monsoon trough

affects the tropics and hot

temperatures in Western northerly winds will affect

Queensland and NSW before a

trough brings relief with a

cooler change to southern

knew. More storms over the

tropics in Queensland. Patchy

rain over the central

interior and a few showers

across the central coast. Tasmania drizzle

in the south-east, clierng in

the morning, showers in the

west and south. Strong winds

by tonight. South Australia

very light showers over the

northern agricultural area

and southern pastoral

districks near the south-east coast. Western Australia a

hot and die day ahead with

north easterly wind along the

north coast. Milder

conditions inland and along

the South Coast. North of WA showers. Monday as soon as

continue over the Top End and

hot and windy for Alice

Springs. Tomorrow mostly

sunny in Brisbane a top of

32. Cooler temperatures in

Melbourne over the next few

days, 21. It should become

warm again as we get towards

the end of the weekend. See

you in half an hour.

UN secretary Ban Ki-Moon is preparing to travel the

Israel on the second leg of a

tour he hopes will lead the

lasting the ceasefire in

Gaza. Overnight more rockets

rained down on northern

Israel from Lebanon, while in

Gaza Palestinian medics say

the number of dead has risen

above 1000. ABC correspondent

Phillip Williams reports. For

nearly three week the people

of Gaza have lived unIsraeli

bombardment. The death and

injury toll growing by the

day. Hamas has continued the

fire rockets and mortar

rounds into southern Israel

to far less lethal effect.

Fewer are being launched.

When they can the residence

of Gaza hurriedly look for

supplies. Many depend on food

aid like this. In Egypt UN secretary Ban Ki-Moon met

with the Egyptian president

as part of a week-long

shuttle between the region's

capitals searching for an agreement that will tend

killing I have been urging

in the strongest possible

terms that both sides must

top fighting now. We do not

have think time to lose. Then

we can discuss and elaborate

this terms and conditions as

a Egyptian Government

relieves the initiative and

you to make this truce last.

Sustainable and durable. And

which can be fully respected

by all the parties. The

Israelis, so the Palestinians do not have anything to return to so they have to

stop it. I have seen it on

TV. It is a scandal. The

Israeli Government says it

simply wants to stop the

Hamas attacks. Now it has to

contend with rockets fire

from southern Lebanon. At

least three landed in open

ground in northern Israel

sparking fears Hezbollah may

open another font to support

Hamas. The Lebanese army says

it dismantled other rockets

that had not been fired. So

far no-one has claimed

responsibility. The attack

has angered the Lebanese Government. Lebanese Foreign

Minister says would it only

serve to provide Israel with

an excuse retall aide. There

are reports of divisions in

the Israeli Government over

the timing of any ceasefire

but for now it is a war with

strong support in Israel and

it appears the objectives

have yet to be met. Despite

the intense diplomatic effort

there is little optimism for

an early tends to conflict

and every day it continues

more die, many innocent

victims The latest job

figures are being released

this morning in the wake of

the Treasurer's statement

that the slowing world econ hi will be felt in the

Australian jobs market. Wayne

Swan has efused to rule out

another economic stimulus package. The Federal

Government is coming under

increased pressure to extend

a temporary grant to first

home buyers. The grants have been helped prop up the

struggling housing market.

The number of people killed

in Fiji's floods has

reportedly risen to 11 after

another night of heavy rain.

Phone lines are down this

morning and homes, bridges

and roads are beneath water

and mud. 9000 people remain

in shelters and 24 people on

board a small boat are

missing at sale. Many

Australian tourists who had

been trapped on the island

have returned overnight via a

special Qantas flight. A fire

has burnt out 23 heck stairs in Sydney's north is under

control according to the NSW

Rural Fire Service. Despite

predictions of high

temperatures today crews say

they are confident the blaze

is contained. Meanwhile a

major fire that destroyed

homes and businesses fire

Port Lincoln in South

Australia is also under

control. Overnight heavy

rain is still swelling rivers

in North Queensland. The

State Government is offering disaster relief funding the

people in 19 regions

including the major centres

of Townsville and Cairns. The

flood damage bill is

estimated to be around $32

million. The pain route

between Queensland and the

Northern Territory is

expected to he pain closed to

heavy traffic for at least

another forward night . The 'Washington Post' newspaper

reports a Saudi terrorism sis

speckt was tortured by US

agents as Guantanamo Bay. The

man was suspected of involve

many in the September 11

attacks. He was left in a

life-threatening condition

after being interrogated. He

remains at the centre

although all charges against

him were drochld meanwhile

the Pentagon says that up to

61 former detainees have

returned to terrorism since

tear release from the Cuban compound. Barack Obama will

be walking into a foreign

policy minefield when he

takes office next week. While

the crisis in Gaza is his most immediate concern

Afghanistan, Iran and North

Korea may prove the biggest challenges

The world an is the mates

change but wonders whether

this relatively inexperienced

politician is up the the

monumental challenges abroad

No president ever comes in

and has a completely clean

slate. Just look at this new

president's slate. First the

Israeli-Palestinian conflict

and what some call a

last-chance bid at a

two-state solution.

President Barack Obama may be

the last President of the US

to have the opens of dealing

with it and that makes it

urgent. Then there is a

deteriorating war in

Afghanistan. There is a

declining graph stational

But the big problems

could come from the east

Nuclear issues are at the top

because of Iran and North

Korea. Not since Roosevelt

succeeded Hoover in the 30s

or Lincoln took control

during the civil war has a

new president walked into

such a security crisis.

Barack Obama will travel to

Washington on the same path

taken by Lincoln for his inauguration and there are

many more personal parallels

These were two skinny guy

from Illinois with limited legislative experience who

came out of nowhere to win

the number anything and win

the presidency. Both

lawyers, both served in the

legislative branch briefly

and both soared to prominence

on the strength of oratory. They both

defeatednSenators in the

Primaries but appointed them secretaries of state. Helpfully the for a legals

will end there. Lincoln may

have won his war but he was

assassinated as it drew to a

close. Firefighters have

brought blazes under control

on Sydney's North Shore and

in the southern highlands of

NSW but the threat has not

yet past with scorching

temperatures forecast in

Sydney and throughout NSW

today. What is the latest on

the fires in Killara? These

fires were causing

significant concern to firefighters throughout -

since Tuesday when they

started but it is now under

control. There are still 10

to 20 firefighters who have

worked through last night

just the make sure this the

fire would stay under control

before the heat wave today.

Now there are still some hot

spots which they are watching

and looking to put out where

they can the fire has burnt

through 23 hectares of bush

here but the rurl fire

service says the situation is well university control now.

there was a suggestion that

the first of the fires was deliberately lit. What is

being done? The Rural Fire

Service said there were

indications the fire was

deliberately lit here in East

Killara. They are will put

that in the hands of the

police and the police will

work with the rural fire in

the investigators on that but

first they node the make sure

the fire is well and truly

out so the investigators can

move in. What is the

situation with the rest of

NSW? Are there any fires

still burning? There is a

very high risk being ever

fires in NSW today according

to the Rural Fire Service.

There are fires still

burning. There is one at the National Park which has been

burning since 5 January but

the situation has not changed

in the has thee the four days

but firefighters are still

trying to put out that fire,

it is in very rough terrain

so it is causing difficulty.

There was another fire in the

Hawkesbury region and that

was started late yesterday

afternoon. Around 70

firefighters moved to put out

that fire. They put a lot of

resources into it and were

very successful. It was

largely under control by

early evening with only one

hectare of bush burnt. What

is the weather outlook there

today? As you said it is

for hotter temperatures than

yesterday. In the city we are

expected the reach temperatures of 33 degrees

and out west up to 40 and

possibly even over 40 so as I

said a very high firies being

and everybody urged to take

care. Residents on South Australia's Eyre Peninsula

will continue to mop up today

as concerns remain about

bushfire prevention measures.

Kirstie Bennett joins us. How widespread was the damage

there? The fire caused a

significant amount of damage.

About 280 hectares and in

that 2 tuna processing

facilities, three homes,

sheds, a winery and even cars

so the damage bill is

expected to run into the

millions. Have firefighters

worked out what caused the

blaze or are they still

working on that? They are

still working on it.

Firefighters were there last

night the make sure no sparks

would flare. They will

continue to search today to

try to find the cause but in

the 2005 fires they found a

car exhaust lit those fires

but so far police said is not

suspicious. You mentioned the

2005 fires. This is yet

another bushfire for the area, four years after 9

people were killed when fire swept through there stow the question has to be asked is

there the need for better

prevention measures? The

local council thinks there is

definitely a need for more prevention measures. The

Crownal inquest into the 2005

fires you are talking about

found that - it recommend add

review needed to be done into

the native vegetation laws

and the CFS says they are

like into that at the moment

but Taree view will not be

released until the end of the

next bushfire season but the

CFS is also saying it is up

to private property owner to

get rid of any fuels that may

be there because of the fires

that tore through this week

were actually three-quarters

were on private land.

Ban Ki-Moon

Ban Ki-Moon calls for a

lasting peace fire deal

between the Israelis the

Palestinian. Northern Israel

has again been hit by rockets

fired from Lebanon while in

Gaza Palestinian medics say

the number of dead has risen

above 1000. Fiji hit by

another night of heavy rain

Tasmania number of people

kill could rises to 11. Phone

lines and internet is down

and home, bridges and roads

are beneath mud while 9000

remain in shelters. The

latest job fiction in the

wake of the Treasurer

statement that the slow sing

world economy will be felt in

the Australian jobs market. The Federal Government is

under pressure to extend a

temporary grant to first home buyers amid claims it has

been boosting housing market.

For a look at the national

papers we are joined by the

editor of the Sunday age. What has caught your eye

today? Barack Obama is

about to be inaugurated next

week so I have chosen a few stories. On the fringe of

that event the first one.

The headline in the Age is by

Bob Michael Underwood. For

the first time a senior

George Bush official has

admitted they did torture an

inmate, an allegedly serious terrorist. The allegation are

very serious against him but

this he was tortured at

Guantanamo Bay and up until

now the administration even

in its dying days has aid

that would not happen, is

illegal, it is not what

America does, it is not our values. That is not our

style? There is

significance to this in the

dying days of the bush admin

strition and as Judge Susan

Crawford says in the

interview with Woodward she

tossed tout charges against

this person because of the

torture of him saying that the problem piss in the

future when American or

Australian or anyone else's

soldiers are captured by a

hostile force and it could be

a country that has bad record

on torturing prisoners what

authority does a cupty the

values democracy, values of

law have when this happens?

It has been such a saga. I went the Guantanamo Bay when

I was in the US in the early days of the administration.

It has been such a saga for

For the judge the say

this person was lead around

on a laesh and he was

hospitalised. This is not

just a left-leaning junior judge. Thus judge was in

charge of the military

tribunals, with a very senior

position and a life long Republican Yes. Certainly

not as you say a left-winger critic of the Bush

administration at all,

intimately involved in the

process. It was her job

according to the story who decided which of the people

at Guantanamo Bay would go to

trial so a very senior

credible person so I is a

significant story. It will

be interesting to see if it

has a baring on the speed the

facility is closed because

Barack Obama has said he

wants it closed but it is not

as easy as he first thought

I think they have a problem

as Australia knows what do

they do with the people

there? This guy is alleged

to have been one of the

people who would be on the planes on September 11 That

is right.

Yes, someone supposedly

allegedly involved in the

planning of September 11, an

horrific event. The 'Financial Review'?

Yes, this is a big story in

the dying days. Tooft Bush

administration - John Howard

on television last night and

in the papers today the

coverage of the awarding of his Medal of Freedom. Watching this last tonight

and reading it this morning

it was the end of an era,

yesterday's men, Tony Blair,

British Prime Minister former

also receiving this

medal. They were all there,

Donald Rumsfeld How did it

strike you? No matter hot

your politic are there is

something bit troubling

finding it. The man of steel

rhetoric we have not heard

for a while. People beam

bridge getting a ceremonial

award in the way the

Americans do, very for mall.

They do this brilliantly. Why

did this sit uncomfortably?

If you listen to the words

the irony of people, had you

agree with what happened in

the last few years or not

there are two wars going on,

Afghanistan, Iraq, I mean the

world, Middle East is a mess,

for people getting awards in

my - as a personal view, for

spreading freedom throughout

the world and - it just

seemed to be a bit ironic

given the mess we in but

sense of the rhetoric of an

American president who

lavishes praise on an

Australian former Prime

Minister for a lot of

Australians I think they kind

of like it and they

appreciate it but it makes

them cringe a little bit. I

think that. Also just the

sense of so quickly these

people so prominent in the

last five or six years, so

much part of history now, so

much part of our past. Rumption felled was

there?

Yes, some controversial

figures, interesting, also

gone already when they were

such a dominant - such

dominant players in the last

few years. The Australian has

caught your eye? The front

of the Australian today about

the grant that the off Part

of the economic stimulus

package for first home buy

ers grant. $14,000 for a

established house, $21,000

for a new house, a significant amount of money. And it has been

working The figures have

shown first home buyers have

jumped on this and it is up

17% on the amount 6 people buying it.

Holiday Houses, $2

in the Australian media It is. There is an obsession angst. The market is divided them, there is a loft the prices, they cannot sell million, they have the cut poorly maybe they will do economy continues to go a possibility and if the starting to see that open as you can see the Government beyond the cut-off date and extend that boosted scheme rentals, there is a push to do with house prices, holiday obsessed with it. Anything to because Australians are

more fertile but you are more have it you are likely to be this hormone. It says if you Angelina Jolie has a lot of about a form of oestrogen . This is a funny story and light. I have find something interesting time. One more? I tried to good page 1 fall back at any that but housing prices are a the stories it point out that not faithful and in one of in particular are faithful or fertility and the way women to link this sex hormone with seems to she a link or tries study is credible but it some debate about whether the there has been a study on,

likely to be a serial

monogamist. This hormone

makes you so attractive you

will trade up regularly. Is

it going to be on the selves

in the next few weeks?

Hopefully! Tease stories come

out a lot now because science

is so advanced. It takes any romance out

romance out of everything. If

you do not look like Marylyn

Munro where does this leave

you? She had this hormone

in spades apparently. They

were not necessarily

promiscuous but this hormone

made them so desirable they

would trade up to someone not

just wealthy but has it all, just wealthy but has it all,

a good partner, but is very

desirable. So the imagination

net for the perfect man? .

That is right. But is all

biology, nothing to do with

actual, the person. A

reminder you can watch the

show streamed live every morning.

morning. Lleyton Hewitt will

play David Nalbandian in the Sydney International

quarterfinals today. Hewitt beat Serb Janko Tipsarevuc

yesterday in straight sets

after a sluggish start. It

was the Australian's best performance since returning

from hip surgery. African

bowler Wayne Parnell said it

was a strange sensation to

have satisfy laser light

thrashed in his eyes at the

Twenty20 game the other

night. He was diving for a

catch when the light

appeared. He did not seem too

stressed but cricket administrators would be

concerned about potential

copy cat layser carriers in

the crowd term at the MCG. An

Australian Twenty20 player

warner may get a call-up

tomorrow if Clarke is ruled

out with an injured thumb.

Team-mate Cameron White

conceded Warner was nervous

at the Gabba after his

stunning debut in Melbourne

but as White explains the

pressure is on everyone at

that level He was under more

pressure. When you bring an

innings like that, your first

you are going to be subject

the more pressure and on

himself as well. No doubt he

was nervous. Not taking

anything for granted. I feel

as if I'm under pressure

every time I play for

Australian looking for that

performance. Hopefully Friday

can I do well if I get a

game. In the A-League last

night Adelaide and Queensland

nil-all. The latest in Fiji

as more rain and wind until

Saturday, the rain is not

expected to ease until

Sunday. Dense cloud causes

storms around this region of

northern Western Australia.

Cloud is spreading showers. Queensland, more storms

over the tropics with patchy

rain or showers over the

central in tear yompl NSW can

expect another hot day with

dry wind and coastal sea

breezes ahead of a gusty

south change in the south.

Extreme heat in Victoria

milder, isolated thundery

showers in central and

eastern areas contracting to

the north-east before clearing. Drizzle in Tasmania

in the south-east clearing in

the morning. Showers in the

west. Strong and gusty north-westerly wind. South

Australia very light showers over the northern agricultural area and

southern astral district near

the lower south-east coast.

In WA hot and dry with north

easterly wind along the West

coast. Milder conditions

inland and along the South

Coast and north of Western

Australia, isolated showers

and cally storms. Monday as

soon as over-the-top end and

hot and windy for the Alice.

Temperatures will stay in the

20s with a top of 25 in

Sydney tomorrow. We have had

of the a discussion about the state

of the housing market on our

account with most saying the

pain is set to continue.

More on the floods in Fiji in the next hour.

Ceasefire calls grow

louder in Gaza but still no deal as the number of

Palestinian dead climbs above

1000. More rain in Fiji

claimed 11 lives and left feeding floods that have

locals and tourists stranded.

The Federal Government under

pressure to extend the boos

to first home buyers as

economists brace for the

latest job figures. Lleyton

Hewitt looking better by the

day after making it through

to the quarterfinals of the Sydney International.

Good morning, Thursday 15

January. The top story on

ABC News this morning - UN

secretary Ban Ki-Moon is preparing to travel the

Israel on the second leg of a

tour he hopes will heed to a

lasting ceasefire in Gaza.

mission in The UN chief began his peace

mission in Cairo where his

support was behind an

Egyptian initiative but

overnight the situation was

more complicated with more

rockets raining down from

Lebanon while in Gaza the

Palestinian medics say the

number of dead is 1000. For

nearly three week the people

of Gaza have lived under

Israeli bombardment. The

death and injury toll death and injury toll growing

by the day. Hamas has

continued to fire rockets and mortar round into south

Israel the far less lethal

effect. Fewer are being

launched. When they can the

residents of Gaza hurriedly

look for supplies. Many depend on food aid like this.

In Egypt UN secretary Ban

Ki-Moon met with Ki-Moon met with the Egyptian president. Part of a

week-long shuttle between the

region's capitals searching

for than agreement that will

end the killing I have been

urging in the strongest

possible terms that both

sides must stop fighting now.

We do not have any time to

lose. Then we can discuss and

elaborate the terms and

elaborate the terms and

conditions as the Egyptian

Government introduces the

initiative and we can discuss

how to make this truce last,

sustainable and duringable

and which can be fully

respected by all the parties.

So the Palestinian do not

have anything to respond to

so they have to stop it. I

have seen it on television.

It is a scandal. The Israeli

Government says it simply

wants the stop the Hamas

attacks. Now it has to

contend with rockets fired

from south Lebanon. At least

three opened in northern

Israel sparking fears

Hezbollah may open another

front to support Hamas. The front to support Hamas. The

Lebanese army says it dismantled other rockets that

have not been fired. So far

no-one has claimed

responsibility. The attack

has angered the Lebanese

Government. The Lebanese

Foreign Minister said it

would only serve the provide

Israel with an excuse

retaliate. There are reports

of divisions in the Israeli

Government over the timing of any ceasefire but for now it

is a war with strong support

in Israel and it appears in Israel and it appears the

objectives have yet to be

met. Despite the intense

diplomatic efforts there is

little optimism for an early

tends to conflict and every day it continues many more

die, innocent victims. A

short time ago I spoke to

Phillip on the phone to

Jerusalem and asked him about

the elements of the Egyptian

ceasefire proposal They are ceasefire proposal They are

shifting sandry to say

because there are constant

negotiations going on today

particularly with Hamas and

Egyptian officials but th

base of it seems to be a tear ceasefire of perhaps

somewhere between 3 and 10

days to give time the

negotiate more lasting peace

and the conditions for that

would be certainly from the Israeli side a Israeli side a securing of

the borders between Gaza and

Egypt so the smuggling of

weapons into the tunnels that

have been used for a long

time now be closed and shut

down permanently. Also in

return the Israelis would

then open its crossings again

to end the siege which has

lasted for more than year and a half so there is ground a half so there is ground to

be given on both sides but I

have the say that at this

stage there is no firm deal

on offer. It is just some

noises, positive noises

coming out of, particularly

the Hamas camp but again

rather confused ones at

that. There is some confusion

this morning over whether

Hamas had actually accepted

this proposal That is right,

yes. There was certainly a

message seeming to come from

Hamas officials in Egypt. It

seemed to indicate that yes,

we must make some sort of agreement with virtually

forced into this sort of

agreement by military

pressure but then other

signals coming from Hamas leadership in Lebanon saying

no we are not at that point

of agreement so is really a

confused scone at the moment

and the positive parts in

terms of the Israeli side

that is the Israeli defence

official has just announced,

in fact it is just hot off

the wires that there will be

someone travelling from Cairo

tomorrow who had been

exp